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How to Effectively and Successfully Overhaul Your Life

By Jill Jacobs

I haven’t always been healthy and in good physical shape. I have managed to move from an unhealthy place where I didn’t exercise or eat in a way that was great for my body to a place where I have a healthy and fit lifestyle. For years, the thought of overhauling my life was overwhelming and frustrating.

I want to share with how I turned my life around. This is something that is simple and doable for everyone! I’ve used this method with many of my clients, and this can serve as the start of your own journey to becoming a healthier and fitter you.

How to Effectively and Successfully Overhaul Your Life

Step 1: Think about your habits- good and bad. Hang on to all your good, healthy habits.

Step 2: Now, choose just ONE behavior that isn’t helping you reach your goals. Change that one behavior. (This could be taking away a harmful behavior or adding a healthy behavior.)

Today is the day to start doing one thing differently. Do this one thing until it becomes an effortless change…until it becomes a healthy habit.

It takes effort and lots of mindfulness at first, but eventually it will become simple. It may take anywhere from 1-4+ weeks to master it.

Step 3: Once you find the new habit easy, pick another habit to change.

Don’t underestimate the power of one!

How to Effectively and Successfully Overhaul Your Life

Changing one thing at a time makes sustainable, life-long change doable and doesn’t overwhelm you.

If you pick just one thing to focus on, that takes pressure off by taking away the feeling that you must change everything all at once.

Ideas of habits to add to your life:

  • Center meals and snacks around protein
  • Walk 10 or more minutes each day
  • Exercise 3x per week
  • Drink 96 ounces of water per day
  • Shut down your kitchen for 12 hours beginning at 7 pm
  • Monitor your carb and/or fat intake
  • Eat 5 servings of veggies daily
  • De-stress daily for 10 minutes (massage, yoga, walk, read, take a warm bath, etc)
  • Commit to a specific bedtime and wake up time

Remember, just pick ONE!

It’s very difficult to overhaul your entire life in a day. It takes more will power than many of us have!

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by changing only ONE thing, so give it try! Truly, less is more when it come to lifestyle change.

Let me know how it goes. 🙂

Comment below and let me know what ONE thing you have decided to change.

xo -Jill

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Q&A: How soon and what should I eat post-workout?

By Jill Jacobs

I vividly recall leaving the gym after a strength training sesh, opening my car door, adding water to my shaker bottle that was pre-filled with a scoop of whey protein powder, and shaking it vigorously. I peeled my banana or grabbed my apple and began noshing on it while sipping my protein shake in between bites. I was convinced that my the muscle I was trying to build would shrivel up or I’d miss out on all the gainzzz, bro, if I didn’t eat immediately after my workout. 😉

how soon and what should I eat post workout

There is a lot of science behind meal timing and macronutrients for muscle building and fat burning, no doubt. But did I really need to be that obsessive? Was it so important to eat that quickly post workout or could I wait until I got home?

While I’m not a biochemist, I am a certified nutrition coach and have studied many reputable articles on the topic of post workout nutrition. Here’s my opinion.

Q: How soon and what should I eat post-workout?

1. How soon should I eat post-workout?

A: In the story I told you above, I was of the understanding that I needed to eat right after my workout or I’d lose any gains.  I’ve come to believe that I was taking an extreme viewpoint and that the post-workout nutrition window is much larger than a few minutes! No need to take food to the gym. 🙂

Through my personal studies, certifications, and research, I now recommend eating within 2 hours of working out if your goal is fat loss. If your goal is muscle gain, the window is a bit smaller (30-60 minutes).

2. What should I eat post-workout?

A: Post workout nutrition serves the purpose of increasing protein synthesis, decreasing protein breakdown, and replenishing glycogen stores (for energy). You will need a good dose of protein for the first two processes and some carbohydrates for the latter one.

To keep it simple, I stick with a one-to-one ratio of protein to carbs and keep fat grams less that 5.

Protein intake should be approximately 20-25 grams with about the same numbers carb grams whether your goal is fat loss or muscle gain. (With fat loss, you can certainly drop the carb level if that works best for you. But post-workout is an optimal time to eat carbohydrates.)

Good sources of protein are whey protein powder, egg whites, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, lean beef, turkey, chicken, and fish.

Carb intake for muscle gain needs to be quick, higher GI carbs like rice cakes, honey, higher sugar fruit like bananas and raisins, or potatoes (white or sweet).

Carb intake for fat loss is ideally slow digesting carbs like oats and other grains, starchy vegetables, or beans.

What do I eat post-workout?

Here is my GO-TO chocolate banana protein shake! It’s YUMMY. 🙂

For more Q&A blog post, go HERE. I love answering the frequently asked questions that I receive from my readers and clients. Email me at jill@jilljacobs.me if you have a question you’d like me to cover. 🙂

xo -Jill

 

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{Recipe} Healthy Breakfast Casserole

By Jill Jacobs

Healthy Breakfast Casserole is a Jacobs family favorite and my clients love it as well. It’s great for a crowd (think: company during the holidays), and it keeps well for a “fast food” breakfast at home. Just heat for a few seconds in the microwave, and you’re good to go!

#FitMom Tip #1: Center your meals around protein to keep your hunger in check. Shoot for 20 or more grams of protein at each meal and snack.

#FitMom Tip #2: Prepare recipes like this healthy breakfast casserole ahead of time to have easy protein source ready to grab in a pinch.

Healthy Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 6 Whole Eggs
  • 2 cups 100% Liquid Egg Whites or 10 Egg Whites
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 cups chopped Spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped Onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped Bell Peppers
  • 1 lb Turkey Sausage, Chopped Canadian Bacon, or ground 99% lean turkey breast
  • 12 Tbsp of shredded cheese (optional)

Note: You can add or take out ingredients to make it fit your needs and preferences. Use meat and veggies that your family will love.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350*. Spray 9×13 pyrex dish with cooking spray. Saute’ onions and peppers with sausage in a saute’ pan w/ a little cooking spray. Pour mixture into 9×13 pan. Sprinkle chopped spinach on top. Combine whole eggs, egg whites, and almond milk. Beat until fluffy. Pour over sausage and vegetable mixture in the 9×13 dish. Top with black pepper, paprika, or any spice of your choosing. Bake 30-35 minutes until browned to your liking. Cut into 12 pieces. Top each serving with 1 Tbsp of shredded cheese if desired. Serve with a side of berries. Enjoy!

This is a great choice for re-heating on a busy morning… No need to run through a drive through when this is prepared in your refrigerator! 🙂

For more recipes, all you need to do is click HERE!

xo ~Jill

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{Workout Wednesday} Turn Any Playground Into A Gym

By Jill Jacobs

I have very active boys. While they love their electronic games, they tend to prefer the outdoors if it’s anywhere close to a nice day. My oldest can turn any activity into a competition with his buddies, and my youngest is obsessed with pull ups and jumping rope lately. It’s fun to this side benefit of working out at home; my kids *want* to get involved and be active too.

Here is my youngest programming his own workout. 🙂

Turn Any Playground Into A Gym

We have a park about 1/2 mile from our house as well as a few playgrounds within our neighborhood. I confess that taking them to play at a park is NOT at the top of my list of desirable things to do (after all, we have a perfectly good yard and cul-de-sac!), but when I do, I like to use that time wisely.

If the boys are entertained with each other or friends (and don’t need me), then I use the time to read, catch up with a girlfriend or family member on the phone, or fit in a playground workout!

There are so many exercises you can do on or near a playground. I’ve put together a workout below that will help you get started thinking about ways to use your local playground to exercise. This is family fitness at its best!

Turn Any Playground Into A Gym

Turn Any Playground Into A Gym

With your children in your view, of course, start by warming up a bit by jogging around or in place, doing some butt kicks, jumping jacks, and any other dynamic exercise. Then, clock in for a specific amount of time. I think 20 minutes is perfect, but if you only have 10 minutes then clock in for 10 minutes! Never, ever, ever allow perfect or ideal to be the enemy of good!

Once you’re warmed up, start your clock and go:

  1. 1-5 Pull Ups or 15-30 second Flexed Arm Hang on the Monkey Bars – If you can perform pull-ups, using the monkey bars is a great way to fit in a set. If you can’t, jump up to the bar and hold a flexed arm position for as long as you can. You want your chest to the bar with your shoulders back and down. I suggest 15-30 seconds but do what you can even if it’s less or more. Also, letting yourself down slowly is a great way to build pull-up strength. This is called a negative pull-up.
  2. Stationary Reverse Lunges – You could do forward walking lunges around the perimeter of the playground, but I find that reverse lunges are better on the knees (at least for me!).
  3. 5-10 Push Ups – You can adjust push ups to your ability by changing the position used and/or number of reps. Choose any position from incline, to standard, to decline if you’re advanced. For incline and decline, find a park bench, ladder rung, or any elevated surface.
  4. 20 + Mountain Climbers – Staying in plank position after your push-ups, perform 20+ mountain climbers.
  5. 10 right/10 left Step Ups on a park bench, the bottom of a slide, or another stable surface – If you can find a place for step ups, these will work your booty!
  6. Sprint 20-40 yards* (On a hill if available) – Here is some more info on sprint training.

Repeat the circuit until your time is up!

*If you don’t have a place to sprint, do 20 squat jumps instead. 

There are so many more exercises you could perform on a playground including burpees, squat jumps, split squats (using a park bench for your back foot), box jumps onto a bench, any core work if you take a yoga mat or a have nice grassy area, hanging leg or knee raises (on the monkey bars), crossing the monkey bars, swinging with your child, pushing your child on a swing (especially vigorously on a tire swing!), inverted rows on a low bar, pike push ups with your feet in a swing, any type of crawling exercises, not to mention all you could do with a suspension system like TRX! The sky is the limit. 🙂

Turn Any Playground Into A Gym

Skitterphoto / Pixabay

The most important thing is to enjoy your time with your kids. The added benefits are exposing them to the outdoors and showing them how important exercise is to you!

Families that play together, stay together. 🙂

xo -Jill

 

 

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The 5 Best Exercises for Fat Loss

By Jill Jacobs

Two things are important when planning your workouts: aligning your workouts with your current goals AND enjoying the way you exercise.

In this post, I’m sharing 5 of the best exercises to help you with your fat loss goals.

Going back in time to 2009 – that was the year I decided enough was enough. I didn’t have to feel stuffed into my clothes just because I had given birth to 2 babies. I didn’t have to settle for being overweight because that’s normal in your 30’s in our current culture. I didn’t have to continue on the path of complacency and acceptance of my current status.

I had always valued “health” and “healthy eating” even though I was confused about what that meant most of my adult life. I mean, in my early 20’s and newly married, I swapped hamburger helper for tuna helper on our grocery run and was super proud of my “healthy choice.” Haha!

This time (2009) was different, though. I decided it was time to reclaim myself and my body and educate myself on what healthy eating and exercising really were. This time, I was serious!

As I embarked on the journey of education, I played around with multiple ways of exercising.

First was steady-state running (pacing, not sprinting). I lost a few pounds, but running made me soooo hungry and did little to nothing to add muscle tone to my body (plus I pretty much hated it).

best exercises for fat loss

I TOTALLY need this sticker!

Then I tried P90X. I LOVED that program and used it with my husband, David, for around 9 months. I learned how much strength training could change my body (and yours), especially when going heavy and eating for fat loss.

To challenge myself with something new, I joined a local kettlebell gym and fell in love with kettlebell training so much so that I got certified to teach myself! This was where I learned about one of the best exercises for fat loss I’ll be discussing below. Stay tuned!

I continued my education with Metabolic Effect by getting my personal training certification as well as my nutrition coaching certification.

Taking the combined knowledge base from my education and experience, I put together the list below to help you define what your exercise program needs to incorporate if your goal is fat loss. There are tons of exercises that will help you lose body fat, but these are my favorite and work well for my clients and me. 🙂

The 5 Best Exercises for Fat Loss

Here are the 5 best exercises for fat loss:

  1. Sprint Training: Sprints are often an overlooked exercise, but that’s a mistake! They are known for building muscle, tightening the core, and leaning out the body. Great combo! Sprint speed is relative, so anyone can do them. There are many exercises such as biking, running, swimming, and really any form of cardio that can be morphed into sprint training!
  2. Kettlebell Swings: The 2 hand kettlebell swing has a reputation; a reputation for torching fat that is! The swing is an explosive move that fires up the body’s metabolism burning fat for many hours after the workout is over. (Here’s a tutorial on the swing if you’re not familiar with how to perform it.)
  3. Hybrid moves like the squat press: (videos – double squat press, single arm squat press) Hybrid moves use multiple joints and multiple muscle groups. Working more muscle at the same time makes for a quicker workout with more fat burning potential. With these type of exercises, I like to go heavy ensuring that my muscles burn, I sweat, and I get out of breath. This creates an optimal hormonal response for fat loss.
  4. Leisure walking and other restorative practices: I’ve written on this before, but want to re-state how important restorative activities are to a balanced, healthy lifestyle. They lower the stress hormone cortisol. This helps reduce hunger and cravings making it easier to get better results. BINGO!
  5. The exercise you will actually do. 🙂 The reality of exercise is that if you hate it, you won’t do it. That’s what running became for me so I changed things up. Life is too short to exercise in a way you don’t enjoy! Finding a way to move your body regularly that you enjoy may take some experimentation, but it’s totally worth it!

In exercises #1-3 above, I recommend training using Metabolic Effect’s signature exercise style called Rest-Based Training (RBT). With RBT, you rest as needed. The goal of this style of exercise is to force you to rest. You never pace yourself. You are “all in” for an exercise until your body tells you to stop. This makes every workout scalable to any fitness level. Magic! If you’re finding that you don’t need rest, you need to increase the amount of weight you’re lifting or increase the intensity level (as with sprints). 😉

Dr. Jade Teta says it like this, “Push until you can’t and rest until you can”.  The workout will flow from exercise to exercise until you must rest. Then, you rest as long as YOU need to and move on. Resting can happen in the middle of a set; it can happen any time you need it. That’s totally fine! Everyone is at a different fitness level, so this style of working out adjusts to YOUR level.

There are several other factors besides exercise when it comes to fat loss including nutrition choices, lifestyle factors such as sleep and stress, having an organized program, and seeking out the accountability and support you need to stay you on track. That’s why Coach Amanda Tress created FASTer Way to Fat Loss. Her program is super robust utilizing advanced fat loss techniques such as carb cycling and intermittent fasting. Most importantly, FASTer Way to Fat Loss is a supportive community full of like-minded women who can hold one another accountable throughout the 6 week program!

As always, let me know if you have any questions either in the comments, on my facebook page, or by email (jill@jilljacobs.me)!

xoxo -Jill


FASTer Way to Fat Loss is a 6 Week Boot Camp that Utilizes Carb Cycling and Intermittent Fasting – HIGHLY effective program!


Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!