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Motivation

Filtering by Tag: how to lose weight

I started my workout program and I've GAINED weight! Help!

Jena Chopson

Has this ever happened to you before? 

Odds are if you have ever embarked upon a new, relatively more intense workout program, this has happened to you. 

What does it mean? Does it mean the workout program doesn't work? Does it mean you're doing something wrong? 

I see this happen sometimes with my clients during the first week or two of their program. 

The good news is, it's actually quite common, and here's why: 

1.) Inflammation

Exercise-induced inflammation is extremely common, especially with higher intensity programs like Insanity, P90X, or the 21 Day Fix Extreme. 

When many people begin these program, they see a temporary increase in the scale. Notice I didn't exactly say weight gain. With the help of celebrity personal trainer Chalene Johnson, let me help explain: 

"When someone starts a new exercise program, they often experience muscle soreness. The more intense and “unfamiliar” the program, the more intense the muscle soreness. This soreness is most prevalent 24 to 48 hours after each workout. In the first few weeks of a new program, soreness is the body trying to “protect and defend” the effected or targeted tissue. Exercise physiologists refer to this as delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS.

This type of soreness is thought to be caused by tissue breakdown or microscopic tears in muscle tissue. When this happens, the body protects the tissue. The muscle becomes inflamed and slightly swollen due to fluid retention. This temporary retention of fluid can result in a 3- to 4-pound weight gain within a few weeks of a new program. Keep in mind that muscle soreness is not necessarily a reflection of how hard you worked. In fact, some people feel no signs of muscle soreness, yet will experience the muscle protection mechanisms of water retention and slight swelling.

Most people are motivated enough to put up with this temporary muscle soreness. Yet, many, especially those who really need immediate weight loss to keep them motivated, become discouraged and quit!"

Who mostly becomes discouraged by this? Yep, you guessed it--us WOMEN. They key here is knowledge of the science, as explained above. Expect that this will happen, but don't let it discourage you. Know that this is just a temporary gain on the scale, it's normal, and to keep going! 

2.) Dial in your expectations 

I see this one ALL the time. I've even seen this to some extremes. When women don't drop 21 pounds in 21 days, they resort to crazy (and unhealthy) cleanses, fasts, and other unhealthy ways to drop said pounds FAST. After all, if it's not happening fast, it must not be working, right? 

WRONG. For some reason, even though it took us months, and even YEARS to land us in the body we're currently in, we think we can reverse that in a matter of days. 

It simply isn't true. Losing weight, gaining muscle, and becoming healthy is a process. It takes time + consistency to reach those goals. Patience and diligence is key. Trust the process and keep going! 

3.) Muscle is more dense than fat. 

You ever hear the phrase, "Muscle weighs more than fat?" Well, of course, we know that phrase verbatim isn't exactly true. A pound of muscle is the same as a pound of fat. A pound IS a pound, after all! 

But I believe what people are TRYING to get across, is that muscle is more dense than fat. Simply meaning that it's more concentrated. Therefore, it's going to take more muscle mass (and thus more pounds of it) to equal the same amount of mass as 1 pound of fat. 

Confused? Let's look at this image to help us out. 

Clearly, as you can see, these both weigh the same, but the fat takes up more SPACE. 

This illustration is exactly why us health & fitness coaches recommend taking MEASUREMENTS just as often as you are weighing yourself, because, frankly, the scale can be a liar. You can be packing on more muscle and becoming LEANER whilst not seeing any movement on the scale. 

Before photos and measurements will help you to be able to see this picture more clearly. I highly recommend it! 

4.) You're eating too many calories 

I put this one last because if you are truly following your workouts and your meal plan as you should be and the scale isn't moving, it is very likely due to the bullet points above. 

BUT, I've also seen many instances where my clients aren't being truly honest or aware of what they're eating. 

If you aren't tracking your nutrition intake, you should be (at least in the beginning). You need to get an idea of what you're taking in nutritionally on a typical day. Oftentimes, this surprises people. 

At the end of the day, weight loss is all about calories in and calories out. If you burn more calories than you take in, you will lose weight. Please note that this doesn't mean you will be healthy. I've been a shining example in my past on how eating less and burning off excessive calories doesn't exactly equate to health. 

Getting the RIGHT calories in, along with a healthy relationship with exercise is really the sweet spot (no pun intended). If you eat healthy, nutrient-dense foods and exercise consistently, you will likely gain muscle mass and lose fat. 

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No matter where you're at on your fitness journey, just know that I'm here to help! If you are struggling and need help getting all of this right, I'm only a simple message away. 

To your health, 

xoxo

Jena


SIGN UP TO GET JENA'S MOTIVATION, DELIVERED STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX! Subscribe to the Inspired By Jena Mailing List and receive regular fitness communications that include recipes, exercise tips, featured Beachbody® products, and motivational stories from Beachbody Coach Jena Chopson and others just like you.

Your post superbowl game plan

Jena Chopson

Does your post superbowl party body have you feeling a little like this? 

If so, you aren't alone. The average American eats more than an entire day's worth of calories during the Superbowl party alone. 

So it's no surprise that we all wake up on Monday morning feeling a little....blah. 

I always say that these things can be a one time fling or they can become your "thing." The choice is up to you, but these events can quickly create a slippery slope without you even realizing it. 

Here are my top 5 tips to making sure your Superbowl party was truly just a one-time thing and to helping you get back on track with your health & fitness goals:

1.)  You need a system. 

And by system, I don't just mean a "gym membership." 

Let me explain. Goal setting 101 is creating something that is specific and measurable. Simply paying $40 a month to have access to a gym isn't specific, and it isn't measurable....unless you're talking about the measurable amount of money you're throwing out the window each month ;)

Okay, I kid, I kid. Perhaps you are actually going to the gym. But do you have a PLAN? If you have determined that you are a "gym person," then what is your plan? Do you simply walk into the doors and gravitate towards whatever machine is calling your name that day? If so, you might need to put a little more time & effort into your system. 

How will you get the most out of your membership? Is there a class you can attend consistently? Can you design your own plan doing your own research on utilizing strength training 2-3 times per week and cardio sessions 2-3 times per week? Would a personal trainer help you out? 

I can't tell you what's best for you, only YOU know what's best for you. I just want to make sure you have a plan. Because mindlessly hopping on an elliptical while you text your best friend about margaritas for 30 minutes a few days a week isn't going to cut it ;) 

Coach tip: If you want a system that gives you a full workout schedule and a personal trainer without the steep personal trainer prices, you should definitely check out Beachbody On Demand to see if it would be a good fit for you. You can take this to your gym using your smartphone and use their equipment to get the results you want. Plan + trainer + workout schedule = problem solved. 

2.) Throw out the leftovers

Do you really need that leftover jalapeno popper dip? What about all those bags of chips? 

The answer: No. You don't. 

If you absolutely loathe the thought of throwing away perfectly good food, then offer to "donate" your leftovers to a neighbor or a friend or simply bring the leftovers to work to share. Very few people turn down free food ;) 

3.) Bring IN the good stuff

I know you were JUST at the grocery store this weekend stocking up on party foods, but it's time to head back and stock up on the good stuff. 

Load up your cart with fresh fruits, vegetables, & lean meats. Avoid all things that come in a bag or a package. 

It definitely isn't rocket-science. We all know what to do here. 

Sometimes you just have to rip it off like a band-aid. Ridding your house of the junk and stocking it back up with healthy foods leaves you with no option but to have healthy foods on hand when those cravings start calling. 

4.) Consider a jump start

These aren't for everyone, but whenever I feel like I am in a true "rut" with my nutrition, I always turn to a short cleanse to get me back on track.

No, I'm not talking about the crazy juicing cleanses your mom used to do. And I'm not talking about the cleanses that leave you BFFs with your bathroom for a week, either!

I'm talking about a short 3-5 day challenge with a focus on really clean eating.

There's literally hundreds of these out there. Do your homework and find what is best for you.

You could even create your own, researching a vegetarian or vegan 3 to 5-day meal plan that focuses on tons of fruits, veggies, and vegetarian protein sources for a short amount of time to allow your body to naturally detox and get back on track with healthy eating.

My personal favorite is the 3-Day Refresh.  It's only 3 days and it focuses on eating fruits, veggies, and healthy fats, along with vegetarian protein sources. I typically will easily drop 5 lbs of bloat in these 3 days and feel like a new, rejuvenated version of myself when I wake up on day 4.

5.) Grab a friend

Accountability really is the spice of life. I believe that every journey is not only more fun & enjoyable but more successful when you have a friend alongside you. 

Your health & fitness journey is no different. 

Find a friend who shares common goals with you in regards to health & fitness and help keep each other accountable. This can be face to face accountability in the form of "meet me at the gym at 6am!" or it can be virtual accountability in the form of "I better see you post a sweaty selfie on facebook or text me that gym selfie by 7am tomorrow!" Both are equally effective. 

If your friends aren't picking up what you're throwing down, I'd be more than happy to provide you with that support & accountability and mentor you through your journey. And I do it for free. Simply fill out this form so that I can get to know you a little better and I'll reach out. 

 

Don't let the post Superbowl BLAHs get the best of you! Create a plan ASAP using these 5 tips to get yourself back on track and regain control of your health. Remember, Spring is just around the corner (fist bump)! 

Xoxo,

Jena 


SIGN UP TO GET JENA'S MOTIVATION, DELIVERED STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX! Subscribe to the Inspired By Jena Mailing List and receive regular fitness communications that include recipes, exercise tips, featured Beachbody® products, and motivational stories from Beachbody Coach Jena Chopson and others just like you.

Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Work

Jena Chopson

Do your resolutions look a little bit like "Blah blah blah....and Girl Scout Cookies?" You're not alone. Read on to find out why most resolutions don't work and what the surprising solution is. 

Read More
SIGN UP TO GET JENA'S MOTIVATION, DELIVERED STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX! Subscribe to the Inspired By Jena Mailing List and receive regular fitness communications that include recipes, exercise tips, featured Beachbody® products, and motivational stories from Beachbody Coach Jena Chopson and others just like you.