Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Portion Teller. Small Changes will bring big results with boot camp!

Americans eat too much of everything. There isn’t one food group responsible for our expanding waistlines. In order to avoid cravings and lose weight, we need to cut food from all of the food groups instead of cutting out entire groups. This book provides a simple plan to help us eat the right foods in the right amounts.
  • Fruit (2-4 servings daily)
We all know that fruits contain loads of vitamins and minerals, but they also contain a lot of sugar which is why we’re told to limit our fruit intake to 2-4 servings per day. Dr. Young tells us that the most helpful visual for determining the right serving size of fruit is a baseball. A baseball’s volume is approximately 1 cup. So 1 cup of berries and 1 baseball sized apple or orange would be good examples of a fruit serving. According to The Portion Teller, the best fruits, nutritionally, are berries, kiwi, melons and citrus, and we should avoid fruit juice, dried fruits, canned fruits in syrup due to their high sugar content.

  • Non-Starchy Vegetables (3+ servings daily)
Yippee! We can eat as many servings of vegetables as we want! Again, the visual of choice is the baseball. A serving size of raw vegetables is 1 cup, while a serving size of cooked vegetables is 1/2 cup. The best way to maximize your vegetable nutrient intake is to eat as colorful a plate as possible. Some of the most nutrient packed vegetables include spinach, red peppers, asparagus, broccoli and carrots. There’s no need to avoid any of the non-starchy vegetables because according to Dr. Young, “No one ever got fat from eating too many carrots.”

  • Grains and Starchy Vegetables (4-8 servings daily)
The Portion Teller Pyramid allows us to eat more servings of grains and starchy vegetables than any other food group. But it also provides us with a warning for the types of grains we’re supposed to eat. It tells us to choose healthy grains such as whole wheat, rye, and oats while avoiding white bread, muffins, bagels, and pasta. However, the most important thing to consider when eating our grain servings is the correct serving size. Remember, “white flour products, such as bagels and muffins, have increased in size over the past few decades, sometimes as much as 400%.” A computer mouse is the right size for a baked potato, a CD is the right size for a pancake or a pita bread. And a CD case is the correct size for a piece of bread. Be careful with your grains, the average American eats 17 Portion Teller sized servings of grains every day.

  • Fish, Poultry, and Meat (2-3 servings daily)
6-8 ounces of meat will provide us with all of the protein we need each day. Dr. Young recommends one serving of meat with every meal and she stresses that low fat, high protein meats such as poultry, fish, and the leaner cuts of red meat are the ones we should be eating. You may also want to include eggs and legumes into your balanced diet as these contain different types of fats that might not be found in the other types of protein. The visuals provided to help us size up our meat servings depend on the type of meat being eaten. More often than not, a deck of cards will be similar to a serving of meat. However, if you’re protein source is a flaky white fish, a standard check book is a good visual that approximates 3 ounces.

  • Dairy (2-3 servings daily)
There are many benefits to including several servings of low-fat dairy into your diet on a daily basis. Dairy products are wonderful sources of calcium and the B vitamin Riboflavin; some sources are even fortified with Vitamin D. Another huge benefit of consuming dairy products is that the protein in them fills you up so you don’t feel hungry. I like dairy products a lot and find it hard to keep within the recommended 2-3 servings per day for dairy–I guess there are worse things that I could be cheating with. Dr. Young provides several visuals to help find the right serving size when it comes to dairy products. My favorite one is the “4 dice visual.” Whenever I go to a party, often the thing that trips me up is the cheese tray–certainly one more of those little cubes couldn’t hurt? But how many have I already had? My new trick is to use a plate. Every five cubes basically equals about one ounce, or one serving of dairy. I put all my “dice” on my plate at the beginning and don’t go back to the buffet. I don’t have to limit myself to just one serving, but I make sure to budget those extra cubes in to my day.

  • Fat (1-3 servings daily)
1 to 3 servings of fat daily is not very much fat. The Portion Teller provides simple visuals for doling out your fats as well. A golf ball is about 1 oz, a shot glass is about 2 tablespoons and a walnut is about 2 tablespoons. The fat visuals are by far the smallest of the visuals provided in the book because gram for gram, fat has about 3 times as many calories as carbohydrate and protein. It’s recommended to steer clear of the “bad fats” such as butter, coconut oil, cream cheese and mayonnaise so that you can concentrate on consuming good fats such as olive oil, tahini, avocado, nuts, and nut butters.

  • Treats and Sweets (0-2 servings daily)
Everyone agrees that treats and sweets aren’t good for us. But they are part of life–I’d never give them up completely. Like fats, treats also have very small visuals to help you relate to serving size because they are calorie dense foods. You’re supposed to think in terms of 1/2 of a baseball or 1 tennis ball. The Portion Teller also gives us some tips to help us deal with the sweet tooth in all of us:

  • Avoid your triggers–if you can’t stop with one serving of chips, then don’t eat any.

Only splurge 1 day a week–avoid eating sweets on a daily basis and they’ll seem like more of a treat.

Skip soft drinks–you’re better off chewing your calories than drinking them.

Fat free still means calorie laden–be careful when eating those low fat cakes, cookies, and ice creams.

Share–order one dessert for two people when at a restaurant.

I highly recommed picking up a copy of the Portion Teller - small changes can make big differences on the scale! If you combine the principles of this book along with our total body workouts at Texas Fit Chicks boot camp, your body will completely CHANGE! Check out Melisa, who successfully changed her portion sizes and trained with us - her results are proof it works!

Ready to be our next "After model?" We serve women in McKinney, Plano, Prosper, Allen, Frisco and all of the N Dallas area. Lose weight, tone up and live the healthy life you deserve. All fitness levels welcome - start any Monday! Hurry and save your spot....we are INDOORS for the winter - so space is limited!
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

100 easy ways to cut 100 calories per day

Here are 100 painless ways to cut 100 or more calories a day. Making small changes can add up to big results when you are trying to lose weight, and keep it off.

1. Spread 1 tablespoon of all-fruit jam on your toast rather than 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter.
2. Replace 1 cup of whole milk with 1/2 cup of nonfat milk.
3. Eat 2 poached eggs instead of 2 fried eggs.
4. Replace 1/2 cup of granola with 2 cups of Cheerios.
5. Instead of using whole milk and eggs to prepare 2 slices of French toast, use nonfat milk and egg whites.
6. Snack on an orange and a banana instead of a Snickers candy bar.
7. Munch on 35 pretzel sticks instead of 1 ounce of dry-roasted peanuts.
8. Replace 1 cup of sweetened applesauce with 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce.
9. On your lamb-and-vegetable kabob, replace 2 of the 4 chunks of meat with fresh whole mushrooms.
10. Dip an artichoke in 1 tablespoon of low-fat mayonnaise instead of 1 1/2 tablespoons of regular mayonnaise.
11. Steam your asparagus rather than sauté it in 1 tablespoon of butter or oil.
12. Instead of a 5-ounce glass of wine, opt for cherry-flavored sparkling water.
13. For a chewy snack, have 1/2 cup of dried fruit rather than 9 caramels.
14. Replace 3 slices of bacon with 3 slices of Light & Lean Canadian bacon.
15. Eat a Lender's egg bagel instead of a Sara Lee egg bagel.
16. Select 1 cup of home-style baked beans instead of an equal serving of baked beans with franks.
17. Replace 2 biscuits with 2 dinner rolls.
18. When making a sandwich, use 2 slices of Roman Light 7-grain bread instead of Pepperidge Farm wheat bread.
19. Eat 1/2 cup of steamed fresh broccoli instead of 1/2 cup of frozen broccoli in cheese sauce.
20. Make a burrito with 1/2 cup of fat-free refried beans and 1 ounce of nonfat cheese instead of the same amount of traditional refried beans and cheese.
21. Replace an apple muffin with a high-fiber English muffin.
22. Reduce a typical serving of chocolate cake (1/8 of a two-layer cake) by one-third.
23. Switch from 1 cup of whole-milk hot chocolate to 1 cup of steamed 1% milk flavored with a dash of almond extract.
24. Replace 1 cup of caramel-coated popcorn with 2 1/2 cups of air-popped popcorn.
25. Switch from 1/2 cup of yogurt-covered raisins to 1/2 cup of plain raisins.
26. Snack on 1 cup of nonfat plain yogurt instead of 1 cup of custard-style yogurt.
27. Top your celery sticks with 2 tablespoons of fat-free cream cheese instead of 3 tablespoons of regular cream cheese.
28. Replace 2 fried-chicken drumsticks with 2 roasted drumsticks and a cup of peas and carrots.
29. Instead of eating 5 chocolate-chip cookies, savor the taste of 2.
30. Lighten your 2 cups of coffee with 2 tablespoons of evaporated nonfat milk instead of 2 tablespoons of half-and-half.
31. Replace a 12-ounce can of cola with a 12-ounce can of diet cola.
32. Thicken your cream sauce with 1 percent milk and corn starch instead of a roux of butter and flour.
33. At the appetizer tray, choose 4 fresh raw mushrooms instead of 4 batter-fried mushrooms.
34. Use 2 tablespoons of fat-free sour cream instead of regular sour cream (on baked potatoes or in stroganoff). If done twice in the day, 100 calories will be cut.
35. Reduce the size of your steak from 4 1/2 ounces to 3 ounces.
36. Grill a cheese sandwich with nonstick cooking spray instead of margarine.
37. Replace 1 cup of chocolate ice cream with 2/3 cup of nonfat chocolate frozen yogurt.
38. Snack on 2 ounces of oven-baked potato chips instead of regular potato chips.
39. Instead of topping your salad with an ounce of croutons, get your crunch from 1/4 cup of chopped celery.
40. Instead of 1 cup of macaroni salad, eat 3 1/2 cups of spinach salad with 2 tablespoons of low-calorie dressing.
41. Cut the peanut butter on your sandwich from 2 tablespoons to 1 tablespoon.
42. Serve your turkey with 1/4 cup of cranberry sauce instead of 1/2 cup.
43. Order a sandwich on cracked wheat bread instead of a croissant.
44. Complement your hamburger with 1 1/4 ounces of oven-baked tortilla chips instead of a side of fries.
45. Split an apple Danish with a friend rather than eat the entire thing.
46. Order 2 slices of cheese pizza instead of 2 slices of pepperoni pizza.
47. Grab a Dole Fresh Lites Cherry frozen fruit bar instead of a Sunkist Coconut frozen fruit bar.
48. Snack on 1/2 cup of fruit cocktail canned in water instead of 1 cup of fruit cocktail canned in heavy syrup.
49. Switch from 1 cup of fruit punch to 1 cup of sparkling water flavored with 2 teaspoons of concentrated orange juice.
50. Instead of eating garlic bread made with butter, spread baked garlic cloves on French bread.
51. Rather than snack on 1 cup of grapefruit canned in syrup, peel and section 1 small grapefruit.
52. Dip your chips in 1/2 cup of salsa instead of 1/2 cup of guacamole.
53. Switch from 1/2 cup of Frusen Gladje butter pecan ice cream to Breyers butter pecan ice cream.
54. Use 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise in your tuna salad instead of 2 tablespoons.
55. Hold the tartar sauce on your fish sandwich, and squeeze lemon on it instead.
56. Replace 3 fish sticks with 3 ounces of grilled halibut.
57. In sandwich spreads or salads, use 3 teaspoons of dijonnaise instead of 4 teaspoons of mayonnaise.
58. Use 2 tablespoons of light pancake syrup instead of 2 tablespoons of regular syrup.
59. Top your pasta with 1 cup of marinara sauce instead of 1/2 cup of alfredo sauce.
60. For each serving of pasta salad you make, reduce the oil or mayonnaise by 1 tablespoon.
61. Replace 1/2 cup of peaches canned in extra-heavy syrup with 1/2 cup of peaches canned in water.
62. Prepare 1/2 cup of steamed peas and cauliflower instead of frozen peas and cauliflower in cream sauce.
63. Cut back on sampling during cooking. The following "tastes" have 100 calories: 4 tablespoons of beef stroganoff, 3 tablespoons of homemade chocolate pudding, 2 tablespoons of chocolate-chip cookie dough.
64. At an Italian restaurant, snack on a large breadstick instead of a slice of garlic bread.
65. Eat a 3/4-cup serving of pudding made with skim milk rather than a 1-cup serving of pudding made with whole milk.
66. Choose 1/2 cup of brown rice instead of 1 serving of frozen rice pilaf with green beans or 1 serving of frozen Oriental rice and vegetables.
67. Compliment your sandwich with 3/4 cup of split-pea soup instead of 1 cup of chunky bean and ham soup.
68. Replace 3 tablespoons of strawberry topping on your ice cream with 3/4 pint of fresh strawberries.
69. Pass on the second helping of mashed potatoes.
70. Eat 3 grilled prawns with cocktail sauce instead of 3 breaded and fried prawns.
71. Make a pie crust with 1 cup of Grape-Nuts cereal, 1/4 cup of concentrated apple juice and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, instead of using a traditional graham-cracker crust. You'll save 100 calories per slice.
72. Replace 8 sticks of regular chewing gum with sugar-free chewing gum.
73. Snack on a papaya instead of a bag of M&Ms.
74. Substitute 3 ounces of scallops for 3 ounce of lean beef in your stir-fry.
75. Rather than spread 4 tablespoons of cream cheese on two slices of raisin bread, dip the bread in 1/2 cup nonfat apple-cinnamon yogurt.
76. Munch on 1 cup of frozen grapes instead of an ice cream sandwich.
77. Rather than drink a strawberry milkshake, make a smoothie of 2/3 cup of low-fat milk, 1/2 cup of strawberries and 1/2 a banana.
78. Replace 2 brownies with 2 fig bars.
79. Eat 2 meatballs instead of 4 with your spaghetti.
80. On a hot day, quench your thirst with a glass of ice water with lemon or mint instead of a can of light beer.
81. Eat 1/2 cup of black beans instead of 3 ounces of roast beef.
82. Replace 1 1/2 tablespoons of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spread with 1 1/2 tablespoons of Nucoa Smart Beat margarine.
83. Choose 1 serving of vegetarian lasagna instead of lasagna with meat.
84. Eat 2 Kellogg's Nutri-Grain bars instead of 2 Kellogg's Pop-Tarts.
85. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of low-calorie French dressing on your salad instead of 2 tablespoons of blue cheese dressing.
86. Replace 1 large flour tortilla with 1 six-inch corn tortilla.
87. Eat a turkey sandwich instead of a chicken salad sandwich.
88. Choose 4 1/2 ounces of tuna packed in water instead of 4 1/2 ounces of tuna packed in oil.
89. At Burger King, have a Whopper Jr. Sandwich with regular fries instead of a Whopper With Cheese Sandwich.
90. Order your Quarter Pounder without cheese.
91. At Jack in the Box, eat a regular taco instead of a super taco.
92. Fix 1 cup of turkey chili with beans rather than regular chili with no beans.
93. Use 1 cup of fat-free cottage cheese instead of regular cottage cheese.
94. Order a sandwich with barbecued chicken instead of barbecued pork.
95. Replace 1 cup of corn with 1 cup of carrots.
96. Reduce your helping of turkey stuffing from 1 cup to 2/3 cup.
97. Have a single scoop of ice cream instead of a double scoop.
98. Replace 2 ounces of corn chips with 2 ounces of SnackWell's wheat crackers.
99. Eat 1 hot dog at the baseball game instead of 2.
100. Shred 2 ounces of fat-free cheddar cheese on nachos instead of regular cheddar.

Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D., is a nutritionist in private practice and editor of the Nutrition Report. Her latest book is Nutrition for Women: The Complete Guide
We offer fitness training for women only - with our boot camps in McKinney Texas. Serving women of Frisco, Plano, Allen, Dallas and Prosper Tx. Our trainers are all nationally certified fitness trainers and have a passion for helping women lose weight and regain health through exercise! Join us for a 5 wk boot camp and start any Monday.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

No more excuses. Personal story from your trainer.....

Do you have an excuse?

Making life changes can be difficult. Humans are creatures of habit, and sometimes those habits can have a really negative effect on our daily lives. One of those is being sedentary. Modern conveniences make it really easy to not get moving. It’s interesting to me that very rarely do you see old black and white photos of obese people. Granted, none of them seem to smile, and they don’t look particularly happy most of the time, but I can’t think of many pictures I’ve seen with overweight people! Back then, they didn’t have the conveniences we do and they didn’t have the weight problem either. The number of people that will become diabetic this generation is staggering. The childhood obesity rate is steadily climbing and something has got to be done. Parents have the first influence on our kids, and what we do at home is an example to our kids, that starts at an early age. It’s our responsibility to show them how to take care of our bodies and exercise is an integral part of that. There are lots of excuses that we make though, and we need to really reflect on whether or not it’s truly a reason to not get up and get moving.

It takes the first step to start a new lifestyle. I have been there. I gained around 75 lbs with my first baby. I remember watching a Cowboys game, seeing Emmit Smiths' stats and being horrified that I was only 12 lbs less than him! Totally sedentary during pregnancy, diagnosed with toxemia, put on bedrest and had an emergency C-section 3 weeks early. I had a lot of weight to lose after that baby, but with diet and exercise was able to get back to pre-baby weight. Maintained it pretty well, then baby #2 came along. I gained another 50+ pounds and again, had a lot of weight to lose. This time though, it wasn’t so easy. Baby 3 came soon after, and I was determined to do this one differently. I exercised throughout the entire pregnancy, still gained around 40 lbs, but she was a big baby, and I lost it within 2 wks. It was night and day different. Then, my thyroid decided to give up on me. I was diagnosed with Hypo-Thyroidism at 27. Had all the symptoms, extreme fatigue, hair loss, difficulty losing weight, etc. It’s something that completely changes your life, since that little thyroid controls your metabolism. It’s not fun – sometimes I think it’s not fair – but it is what it is, and I work around it. Exercise and clean eating makes a ton of difference in the way that I feel on a daily basis, and it’s critical that I stay on top of both aspects of that to make it through the day.

Do you have an excuse? When I ran the San Francisco marathon in 2005, it was amazing. The feeling of accomplishment was awesome and running across the Golden Gate on that July morning was surreal. While training for that, I found out that I can do 5 miles just fine, but after that, I have to take off my shoes and walk on the pavement for about 2 mins to fix the shooting pain I get in my toes. Many trips to the podiatrist and expensive orthotics later, I still could only do 5 miles before having to take them off. It’s just the way my foot is built – nothing the Dr could do. So during the 26.2 mile run, I did that about 5 times throughout. Finishing fast wasn’t an option for me. There was a moment that I got frustrated and started to be irritated by this taking off my shoes process, and then I saw something that gave me lots of gratitude and humility. I was coming up to mile 10 and saw the ½ marathoners that had already finished. One of them had 1 leg, and a prosthetic for the other. My self pity went away, and I was quickly put back in my place. What an amazing person that didn’t let any excuses or disabilities slow her down.

Decide that you are not going to allow your excuses determine your health today. Take that first step towards creating a better life for yourself, and taking charge of your fitness. In the process, you will be a great example for your family, and those in your life. It’s always easier to “stay on a roll” than to get on a roll, but it only takes 21 days to create a habit. Go mark the calendar and decide that today is your day 1 of creating positive lifestyle changes that will lead to your success!

I love my job as a personal trainer, and am passionate about helping women lose weight anand change their lives through health and fitness. Our womens only bootcamp teaches you exercises that can be done at home – on travel – or anywhere you have a space! We use equipment that you won’t find in a gym (or maybe you will find it but don’t know what to do with it!) and it’s functional training. Meaning, it helps you in everyday life. Climbing the stairs is easier, holding a baby that feels like a sack of potatoes is easier, carrying loads of laundry is easier…all the fun stuff we get to do! lol. Bootcamp is a great way to shock your body and lose weight. In the process – you will meet great friends that are all women with a common goal…better health.

Decide today, Commit to your goals and let us help you succeed. Texas Fit Chicks bootcamp is the most fun fitness you will find in McKinny Texas. Also serving women from Frisco, Allen, Plano, Prosper and Dallas. We are indoors for the winter and out of the cold! Join us and start any Monday. Ready to commit?
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All exercises shown at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels - so you will always be working at your own level. One last thing...we DO NOT sell any type of supplements, vitamins, equipment or candles! (little sarchasm on that last one) I've been approached by many reps wanting me to do so, but I feel like my clients are here for a great workout, and not an infomercial. With our program, women get a free meal plan that was created by a registered dietician....we want you to do it the healthy way and will never push any product.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Why the scale lies...and why you should ditch it!

I continue to warn everyone that the scale is a springy, beady-eyed, lying menace.

We've been told over and over again that daily weighing is unnecessary, yet many of us can't resist peeking at that number every morning. If you just can't bring yourself to toss the scale in the trash, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the factors that influence its readings. From water retention to glycogen storage and changes in lean body mass, daily weight fluctuations are normal. They are not indicators of your success or failure. Once you understand how these mechanisms work, you can free yourself from the daily battle with the bathroom scale.

Water makes up about 60% of total body mass. Normal fluctuations in the body's water content can send scale-watchers into a tailspin if they don't understand what's happening. Two factors influencing water retention are water consumption and salt intake. Strange as it sounds, the less water you drink, the more of it your body retains. If you are even slightly dehydrated your body will hang onto its water supplies with a vengeance, possibly causing the number on the scale to inch upward. The solution is to drink plenty of water.

Excess salt (sodium) can also play a big role in water retention. A single teaspoon of salt contains over 2,000 mg of sodium. Generally, we should only eat between 1,000 and 3,000 mg of sodium a day, so it's easy to go overboard. Sodium is a sneaky substance. You would expect it to be most highly concentrated in salty chips, nuts, and crackers. However, a food doesn't have to taste salty to be loaded with sodium. A half cup of instant pudding actually contains nearly four times as much sodium as an ounce of salted nuts, 460 mg in the pudding versus 123 mg in the nuts. The more highly processed a food is, the more likely it is to have a high sodium content. Thats why, when it comes to eating, it's wise to stick mainly to the basics: fruits, vegetables, lean meat, beans, and whole grains. Be sure to read the labels on canned foods, boxed mixes, and frozen dinners.

Women may also retain several pounds of water prior to menstruation. This is very common and the weight will likely disappear as quickly as it arrives. Pre-menstrual water-weight gain can be minimized by drinking plenty of water, maintaining an exercise program, and keeping high-sodium processed foods to a minimum.

Another factor that can influence the scale is glycogen. Think of glycogen as a fuel tank full of stored carbohydrate. Some glycogen is stored in the liver and some is stored the muscles themselves. This energy reserve weighs more than a pound and its packaged with 3-4 pounds of water when it's stored. Your glycogen supply will shrink during the day if you fail to take in enough carbohydrates. As the glycogen supply shrinks you will experience a small imperceptible increase in appetite and your body will restore this fuel reserve along with its associated water. It's normal to experience glycogen and water weight shifts of up to 2 pounds per day even with no changes in your calorie intake or activity level. These fluctuations have nothing to do with fat loss, although they can make for some unnecessarily dramatic weigh-ins if youre prone to obsessing over the number on the scale.

Otherwise rational people also tend to forget about the actual weight of the food they eat. For this reason, it's wise to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you've had anything to eat or drink. Swallowing a bunch of food before you step on the scale is no different than putting a bunch of rocks in your pocket. The 5 pounds that you gain right after a huge dinner is not fat. It's the actual weight of everything youve had to eat and drink. The added weight of the meal will be gone several hours later when you've finished digesting it.

Exercise physiologists tell us that in order to store one pound of fat, you need to eat 3,500 calories more than your body is able to burn. In other words, to actually store the above dinner as 5 pounds of fat, it would have to contain a whopping 17,500 calories. This is not likely, in fact it's not humanly possible. So when the scale goes up 3 or 4 pounds overnight, rest easy, its likely to be water, glycogen, and the weight of your dinner. Keep in mind that the 3,500 calorie rule works in reverse also. In order to lose one pound of fat you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in. Generally, it's only possible to lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week. When you follow a very low calorie diet that causes your weight to drop 10 pounds in 7 days, it's physically impossible for all of that to be fat. What you're really losing is water, glycogen, and muscle.

This brings us to the scale's sneakiest attribute. It doesn't just weigh fat. It weighs muscle, bone, water, internal organs and all. When you lose "weight," that doesnt necessarily mean that youve lost fat. In fact, the scale has no way of telling you what youve lost (or gained). Losing muscle is nothing to celebrate. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue. The more muscle you have the more calories your body burns, even when youre just sitting around. That's one reason why a fit, active person is able to eat considerably more food than the dieter who is unwittingly destroying muscle tissue.

Robin Landis, author of "Body Fueling," compares fat and muscles to feathers and gold. One pound of fat is like a big fluffy, lumpy bunch of feathers, and one pound of muscle is small and valuable like a piece of gold. Obviously, you want to lose the dumpy, bulky feathers and keep the sleek beautiful gold. The problem with the scale is that it doesn't differentiate between the two. It can't tell you how much of your total body weight is lean tissue and how much is fat. There are several other measuring techniques that can accomplish this, although they vary in convenience, accuracy, and cost. Skin-fold calipers pinch and measure fat folds at various locations on the body, hydrostatic (or underwater) weighing involves exhaling all of the air from your lungs before being lowered into a tank of water, and bioelectrical impedance measures the degree to which your body fat impedes a mild electrical current.

If the thought of being pinched, dunked, or gently zapped just doesn't appeal to you, don't worry. The best measurement tool of all turns out to be your very own eyes. How do you look? How do you feel? How do your clothes fit? Are your rings looser? Do your muscles feel firmer? These are the true measurements of success. If you are exercising and eating right, don't be discouraged by a small gain on the scale. Fluctuations are perfectly normal. Expect them to happen and take them in stride. Its a matter of mind over scale.

- Article by Skwigg

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Top 5 Trainer Tips for the Holidays

So the holidays are upon us! This time of year is filled with parties and crazy busy schedules. All a recipe to crash your fitness...and gain the 5-7lbs that most Americans start the new year with. Here are your trainers top 5 tips to get you through the holidays! I tell my clients to shoot to MAINTAIN....and NOT GAIN. That's a more realistic approach and if you can do that, you're ahead of the game!
Tip 1: Plan your splurge. Those of you that know me, are fully aware that I don't eat "clean" 100% of the time. Life is more fun with a box of Milk Duds every now and then! The 90/10 rule still applies during Christmas. Eat well 90% of the time and 10% of the time do what you want...and you will be just fine. If you've got 2 parties to go to this week, decide ahead of time which party will be your day to indulge, and which one will be a little less decadent...then stick to it. A couple of ways to stick to it would be to avoid alcohol if it's there - so that you don't throw all your eating plans out the window...and eat a little before you go so you aren't starved when you get there.

Tip 2: Break a sweat for 30 mins every single day. No, that doesn't mean crank up the heater in the house either. Go for a power walk, do a workout DVD, hit the gym, come to bootcamp! If you've got no time to devote - do it in 10 minute chunks 3 times a day. Studies show that you will get the same benefit if you work hard enough in those intervals - as when you do it all at once. If you've got the time, crank that up to an hour and burn off that decadant splurge you had at that party last night!

Tip 3: Sneaky Substitution. There are sooooo many things you can substitute for the high fat stuff, that are still tasty and fun! Love starbucks? Swap your full fat latte for a Skinny Vanilla latte, and save yourself a ton of cals! Want a brownie? Get a box of cake mix and mix it with a can of pumpkin (and nothing else) bake for 25 mins and Voila - you have 1 pt (WW) brownies!!! (thank you, Sarah!) At Chick-Fil-A? Get a grilled chicken sandwhich rather than the fried ones, and have cole-slaw instead of fries...etc. You can eat healthy versions of your favorites and not see the number on the scale move in the wrong direction.

Tip 4: Find Accountability. If you are a client at Texas Fit Chicks bootcamp, you've already got it! Our trainers are all dedicated to your success and encourage our women to journal their food...and share it with us so we can suggest improvements if needed. Food journaling is a powerful tool in helping you know just what has gone down the hatch...so that you are on top of your day, calorie wise. If we aren't your trainer yet, find a friend that has similar goals over the holidays, and talk daily about it! Having a girlfriend in the same boat as you makes things a ton easier, and accountability can make the difference between eating a twinkie or an apple :)

Tip 5: Don't sweat the small stuff. So holidays are sort of crazy times that are busy and stressful as well. Try to decide that the traffic on the way to the mall isn't going to make you drive through Wendys for a Frosty and Fries. Emotional eating doesn't fill you up ~ it just makes you feel guilty afterwards but the stress is still there. Take some time out just for you each day ~ do some yoga breathing and maybe get a mani/pedi to relax and de-stress. Be good to yourself.

Our fitness boot camp, led by certified female trainers will get you through the holidays! Start on any Monday, and join us on the road to better health and fitness in a fun environment! McKinney locations for our womens only boot camp are all INDOORS for the winter! Get up. Get Out. Get Fit!
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How much belly fat is dangerous...and what is Visceral fat?

Some people have pear-shaped bodies. They tend to hold most of their weight in their hips and thighs. People with apple-shaped bodies hold most of their weight in their bellies. They often have excesses of what is known as visceral or intra-abdominal fat as well as excess subcutaneous fat. How much is too much? The standard (Harvard)  is if your waist measures more than 35" for a woman, and 40" for a man.

I happen to be one of the lucky "Apple" shaped people. So, if I gain weight, it heads straight for the belly. Thank you, MeeMaw. My sweet grandmother always said we were shaped like a frog, skinny arms and legs with a gut. Nice mental picture you have now :) I am constantly working (through clean eating and exercise) to make sure I don't give my body the option of carrying the dangerous visceral fat that will build in that area. So what is Visceral Fat and why should you be worried if your extra weight tends to build in that area?
Visceral fat is also referred to as organ fat or intra-abdominal fat and is located inside the abdominal cavity between the torso and internal organs.There is a strong correlation with abdominal fat and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, and hypertension. It is the most dangerous place that a person can have fat because it suffocates the organs. The liver metabolizes fat and releases it into the bloodstream to form cholesterol. LDL (low density lipoprotein), labeled as the ‘bad fat’, builds up into plaque that then clogs the arteries.

Visceral fat has also been associated with insulin resistance. Abdominal fat is hormonally active and secretes a group of hormones called adipokines. These are cytokines (cell to cell signaling proteins) that may impair glucose intolerance. This predisposes the person for Diabetes Type 2 because increased obesity raises serum resistin levels which then in turn correlate to insulin resistance. It is abdominal fat that appears to be contributing to this increase in resistin levels. Serum levels have been shown to decline when visceral fat is reduced

The more visceral fat you carry around the higher your chances of developing insulin resistance (leading to type two diabetes), heart disease and other metabolic syndromes.
According to researchers from Duke University Medical Center, exercise can significantly reduce the amount of visceral fat you carry around. The more exercise you do, the more of this type of dangerous fat you will lose. Researchers in this study said that extra exercise can reverse the amount you have, while some moderate exercise can stop your visceral fat mounting up.

Eating a clean diet is absolutely IMPERATIVE to rid yourself of this belly fat. It's a common myth that you can "spot train" by doing crunches to get rid of the fat. It will only happen when you have adequate levels of cardio exercise, clean eating and strength training. Limiting alcohol, sugars and processed foods. Our trainers create fat blasting bootcamp workouts that will challenge you and our meal plan will take the guesswork out of what to eat! Contact us today, and get on your way to a healthy life with our women only bootcamps in Mckinney and Frisco Texas

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Getting through the Holidays - Why Weight? Insight on weight loss from Texas Fit Chick bootcamp client, Sylvia

One of our clients Sylvia wrote this great blog that I wanted to share with you about the holidays and her own personal insight...I think you will enjoy it, and find it inspirational!
Why Weight?

It's that time again, people. You just finished eating the last of the Halloween candy and are starting to salivate over the Thanksgiving menu. You will load up you plate and go back for seconds as your stomach is screaming, "No more!" Then, there are the Christmas parties that begin the first weekend in December. Not to mention the frantic Christmas shopping. You are so rushed, you just grab something quick on the food court. Finally, Christmas comes along and it is a replay of Thanksgiving. As you are laying sprawled out on your couch, unbuttoning your pants, you begin hating yourself. You start listing your New Year's resolutions in your mind. If you are super motivated, you write them down. "December 1st brings a brand new me!"

I have to ask. Why are you waiting?

Last year, I began my 30+ pound weight loss the day after Thanksgiving. I got up on Black Friday and didn't hit the sales - I hit the gym. That feeling in a deserted gym brought on such pride that it was almost sinful. I felt liberated. I was liberated from that woman that sat on the couch depressed about the person she had become... The unhealthy, clinically overweight, lazy individual. It was time to ditch the excuses and do something... NOW. For me, that "now" was after a gluttonous Thanksgiving.

What is keeping you from taking action now? Why are you going to wait until the New Year? Think about how far ahead you will be if you start now? Don't be one of those people that says, "I'm going to do as much damage to myself through the holidays and start fresh on January 1st." DON'T BE THAT PERSON. Do not disrespect yourself enough to allow that to be your plan of action.

There are so many things you can do for yourself this holiday season. Decide to place smaller servings on your plate. To help you with this, switch your dinner plate for a lunch or salad plate. Take a walk around the neighborhood after the holiday meals. During your holiday shopping, put some healthy snacks in your purse to fend off the desire to hit that food court. Sip on water while you are looking for that perfect gift for Aunt Susie and you won't get into that hunger mode.

I am not only writing this for my readers, but for myself, too. This injury has had a bigger effect on me than I would like to admit. The cookies, the sodas, the hours of television watching are slowly morphing me into that woman I never wanted in my home again. So, I am taking action once again. I am starting NOW. When I sit down with my family on Thanksgiving, I will thank God for my health, my family and friends. I will also thank Him for giving me the strength to make this change. Will you be able to do the same?

Thanks for sharing that Sylvia!

At Texas Fit Chicks bootcamp, our trainers will guide you in a positive and motivating way to get you to your fitness goals. Exercising doesn't have to be something you dread anymore! Our female personal trainers make every workout fun and different, so your body never has a chance to plateau. We use things like Kettlebells, Stability Balls, BOSU trainers, resistance bands ~ and all are provided for you! Texas Fit Chicks also offers a nutritionist created 5 week meal plan to keep you on track with your eating, as well as free body comps before and after your 5 wk session. Formerly McKinney Boot Camps & Frisco Bootcamps, we are now Texas Fit Chicks bootcamp, and have been around serving women since July 2009. 

If you are ready to jumpstart your fitness and workout with a trainer at a fraction of the cost ~ Visit our Website for more information! We allow you to start any Monday so no need to wait on a new camp to begin! You can also reach us at 972.984.9971
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and hope to see you soon!
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Texas Fit Chicks bootcamp. Serving women of Stonebridge Ranch, McKinney Texas. Frisco, Allen, Prosper, Plano, Dallas

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Holidays are Coming...what's your plan to avoid weight gain? Texas fit Chicks Bootcamp trainers can help

I love the saying "Failing to Plan is PLanning to Fail." When it comes to the holidays and food temptations, this is critical to your success. Those of you that are already clients at Texas fIt Chicks, know that our trainers won't ever expect you to eat perfectly all of the time. We encourage you to have a "cheat" day or meal once a week, otherwise you will feel deprived and less likely to succeed. Over the next couple of months though, the holidays bring with it stress, change in routine, travel and lots of heavy and fattening food. That's why the average American will gain around 7lbs over the next 2 mos. I want you to set a goal today. Losing weight will be a challenge, but it can be done with planning and flexing that will-power muscle! Another goal could be to maintain and not GAIN. That will also take some flexing of your will-power muscle, and having a plan you stick with.

Decide ahead of the parties to plan for your treats. Decide in advance that you’re going to have one or two treats per event and then enjoy them. Educate yourself on what's in that latte that you are enjoying daily, and if it's enough to replace a meal, decide if you want that or pie after dinner? Choose which indulgences you want to have, and compensate later in the day or the next day with healthier choices. I do well when I have a plan. So if we are going to be gone for 5 days, I will plan to exercise 3 times and then pick and choose what I want to "spend" my calories on. When there's a plan and a goal ahead of time, it makes a huge difference in my behavior.

Eliminate food cues that cause impulse eating. This is called “stimulus control.” Don’t forget, if you don’t buy it, it won’t be there for you to eat. Use a hunger scale from 1-10. “1” is VERY hungry, “10” is VERY STUFFED, and “five” is CONTENT. When you feel the cookies call, ask yourself, where am I on the hunger scale? If you’re a “one,” “two,” or “three,” then you need to find a healthy meal or snack. If you’re a “six,” “seven” or “eight,” then you need to find something else to do other than eat.

Sometimes just pushing away from the table when you are full is the trick. Listening to your body and knowing when you are full is when it's time to stop. Don't eat just because everyone around you is ~ think of your goal often, but enjoy your treats when you do indulge! I have been one of those statistics and come back from being away for Christmas with an extra 5 lbs to lose. It's very frustrating and takes so much work to lose it!

If you want guidance of a female personal trainer through the holidays, but don't want to spend a ton on private training, check out our women's only bootcamp! We offer Indoor Bootcamp for MckInney, Frisco, Allen, Plano, Prosper and Dallas - with women trainers. Our boot camp will help you lose weight and tone up. We have women of all fitness levels in our camps and also offer a 5 week nutrition plan for free! We use things like Kettlebells, Resistance bands, BOSU trainers, Medicine Balls and Stability balls to get you in the best shape of your life. The only thing you bring is a yoga mat and set of dumbbells. We provide the rest!
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why do Texas Fit Chicks strength train in bootcamp? Osteoperosis, fat loss and MORE!

Many times women are scared to lift weights. They don't want to look like bodybuilders or get buff! Please understand that if you lift correctly, and under the guidance of a trainer...that won't happen. Resistance training is critical to keeping your body healthy and our bootcamp design incorporates this in our training design.

Getting older is not fun...but you may know that already. Along with our metabolism slowing down each year after 35, muscle mass naturally diminishes with age. "If you don't do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, you'll increase the percentage of fat in your body," says Edward Laskowski, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center. "But strength training can help you preserve and enhance your muscle mass — at any age."

Strength training also helps you:
  • Develop strong bones. By stressing your bones, strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Control your weight. As you gain muscle, your body gains a bigger "engine" to burn calories more efficiently — which can result in weight loss. The more toned your muscles, the easier it is to control your weight.
  • Reduce your risk of injury. Building muscle helps protect your joints from injury. It also contributes to better balance, which can help you maintain independence as you age.
  • Boost your stamina. As you get stronger, you won't fatigue as easily.
Manage chronic conditions. Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, including arthritis, back pain, depression, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a condition in which bone mineral density is lost, usually affecting postmenopausal women. Estrogen is a vital element in bone health. After menopause, bone density is the most vulnerable, as estrogen production decreases. Simultaneously, muscle mass decreases with age at a rate of approximately 15 percent per decade, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Keeping your bones strong starting at an early age will reduce your risk of brittle bones down the road.

Our bootcamp is guided by female personal trainers that specialize in training women only. You will have a well-rounded program designed with targeted training to transform your body for weight loss, toning and all around better health! Our clients enjoy weight loss of 8-10lbs after 3 days a week in our 5 wk sessions. We also provide a FREE 5 week nutrition plan to get results faster! Our camps will never try to sell you supplements, shakes, or anything else! We just want you to get the results you want...and have fun doing it!

Find one of our bootcamps near you - with locations in Dallas, McKinney (Stonebridge Ranch near Adriataca) and Frisco Texas. Have questions?
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Monday, November 1, 2010

Top 5 reasons to join Texas Fit Chicks Bootcamp

Here are the top 5 reasons to join a Texas Fit Chicks bootcamp near you!

# 5. We make it FUN. Seriously....you can use the word "fun" and "exercise" in the same sentence. It IS possible to enjoy the best hour of your day with us ~ and sometimes there are tears from laughter. There is NO REASON to dread or fear the hour with your trainer, and we work hard to make sure it's something you actually look forward to! Constantly changing up your workout, bringing in our trainer toys like stability balls, BOSU trainers, Resistance bands, Kettlebells and more, you won't ever get bored or do the same workout twice! We know that our bodies adapt and plateau if you do the same thing day in and day out, so you will see constant change for the better if you follow our workout and nutrition plan!

# 4. You will Meet New Chicks getting fit. We sometimes do workouts that involve partner work and interacting with the chick next to you. That makes it fun...especially when you find out that your kids go to the same school or you live on the same street (it's happened!). We also have bi-monthly Girls Night out so that you get to see that chick in her make-up and no sweat! It's a great opportunity to make some new friends and enjoy life with fun new people in it.

# 3. Affordable Accountability. Let's face it. Sometimes we just need someone to motivate us to get up and show up for our workout! With our bootcamps, you've got a personal trainer that's looking out for you. No more signing up for a gym membership and never going. We make it impossible to fade off into the crowded gym background. If you're not there, we are checking in on ya to see why....and keeping you on track with your goals. Enjoy access to your personal trainer via email anytime and get a expert on your side to get you to your fitness goals!

# 2. It'll make your Doc happy. No more dread over the yearly physical! Our chicks have enjoyed lower cholesterol, stronger bones and rave reviews from their doctors after training with us. Everyone knows that exercise is good for you, and there are way too many physical benefits to mention here.

And the #1 reason to start with Texas Fit Chicks Boot Camp is....drumroll please....
You will love THE RESULTS!!
Our clients enjoy a 10-12 lb loss and 8-10 inches after a 5 wk bootcamp with our 3 day/week program and nutrition plan. They enjoy more energy, stronger bones, decreased stress levels all while under the guidance of experienced fitness professionals.

Do you have specific fitness goals? Do you have a certain amount of weight to lose, or a pair of jeans that you want to get back into? Don't leave it to chance. Let one of our nationally certified personal trainers create the program that will get you where you want to be, at a fraction of the private training cost.

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Texas Fit Chicks bootcamp serves women of McKinney, Frisco, Allen, Plano, Prosper and Dallas Texas

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Free Total Chick Makeover - should we choose you?

Are you ready to completely change your life? We are looking for a woman that is dedicated to changing her life in a positive way....and wants guidance at every step. Yes the holidays are coming. Yes there are things that get in the way. But if you can fully devote the next 15 weeks to us, we guarantee that you will feel the best this holiday season than ever...at no cost to you!!

For the special chick that is ready for serious change, we are GIVING AWAY an incredible 15 weeks of BootCamp, Personal Training, Private Nutritional counseling and a Professional Photo session at the end of your session with us! This is for a woman who is serious about making significant changes to her life and convinces us that she's the one that should be selected!

Our total chick makeover includes:

15 weeks of boot camp with Texas Fit Chicks bootcamp

7 hrs with nutritionist with Amy Haynes, RD
Individualized meal plan and coaching with Amy Haynes, RD
15 personal training sessions with Texas Fit Chicks trainer
After makeover photo session with Still Moments Photography

If you would like to be the chick that we choose for this amazing opportunity, send an email telling us why you think you should be the one. Convince us! All entries will be kept confidential, and winner will be notified by phone, so please put that in there as well. Include a photo if possible. This contest is open to all chicks over the age of 18, including current clients of Tx Fit Chicks bootcamp. We will take all submissions until Oct. 10. Email your entries to: trainwithmelody@gmail.com Good luck!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Texas Fit Chicks Boot Camp now includes Meal Plan

At Texas Fit Chicks Boot Camp, our trainers always encourage clients to journal food. Weight loss comes only with exercise AND good nutrition. No matter how hard you work during a boot camp session, you will not see results if, over the next 23 hrs of the day, you make bad choices regarding nutrition. It's critical to do both when weight loss is the goal.

There is plenty of information on nutrition online, but how do you know what's accurate? There is lots of mis-information out there, and now our clients have to guess no longer. A good resource for anyone is MyPyramid.gov.  My Pyramid is an interactive, internet-based program in which you can receive personalized plans for either weight maintenance or weight loss base on your age, gender, weight, height, and activity level. The pyramid emphasizes grains as the largest component of an individual’s dietary intake, followed by vegetables, dairy, fruits, meat and beans, and small, discretionary amounts of oils and sweets. My pyramid, unlike the original Food Guide Pyramid, shows a figure climbing stairs to reinforce the importance of physical activity in developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

If you want a more customized calorie intake meal plan though, you now get that for free as a client of ours! Texas Fit Chicks has partnered with a registered dietician in the area that has created a 5 week meal plan available only to clients that are currently in a bootcamp session! Amy Haynes, RD is an instructor at the Dallas Culinary Institute, and offers private nutritional counseling as well. Combining her recommendations and your trainer led workout in boot camp WILL get you the results you want! You will lose weight, tone up and enjoy the many other health benefits that come from taking care of yourself in every area.

Texas Fit Chicks is excited to announce new locations and times of our women only workouts. All classes are led by nationally certified FEMALE trainers - it's a motivating friendly environment - and we don't sell any supplements unlike other boot camps in the area. Here are our locations and times:
Stonebridge Ranch BootCamp - Mckinney Tx - 5am-6am, 6am-7am 7pm-8pm
Frisco Texas - 5:30am-6:30am, 8:30am-9:30am
Dallas, Tx - Northaven Park  9:30am-10:30am
Click here for additional information

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Why do we do Tabata training in boot camp?

Question: Would you rather do 4 mins of all out effort when exercising...or spend 45 mins to an hour on a treadmill at the same pace. If you're like me, there's no comparison. 4 minutes is the best choice!

How effective can just 4 minutes of exercise be? ... Very. You will be amazed at how intense the four minutes of exercise will feel. The intervals tax both your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. To be clear, this isn't "eight sets of eight," although the goal of doing eight reps in each of the 20-second clusters is about right. Instead it's "as many reps as I can get in" during the twenty seconds, followed by ten seconds rest.

Credit for this simple and powerful training method belongs to its namesake, Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan. Their groundbreaking 1996 study, published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise, provided documented evidence concerning the dramatic physiological benefits of high-intensity intermittent training. After just 6 weeks of testing, Dr. Tabata noted a 28% increase in anaerobic capacity in his subjects, along with a 14% increase in their ability to consume oxygen (V02Max). These results were witnessed in already physically fit athletes. The conclusion was that just four minutes of Tabata interval training could do more to boost aerobic and anaerobic capacity than an hour of endurance exercise. Anaerobic capacity benefits cardiovascular and muscular condition!

A true tabata is an all out effort on the exercisers part. Full out effort for the 20 seconds 8 times through is needed to be a true tabata. When we do tabatas at boot camp everyone is at a different ftness level, so the exercise will be shown with a modification for beginners....so that everyone can participate!

I am all for time management - can you spare 4 minutes today?
Texas Fit Chicks will get you to your fitness goals!
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Texas Fit Chicks - Boot Camp for women in McKinney, Frisco, Little Elm and Dallas

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How is Texas Fit Chicks Boot Camp is different than the rest?

Do you want a trainer that screams at you as if you were in basic training? Would you like to be punished with an extra set of 50 pushups if your water break lasts a bit longer than the rest of the class? Does it sound fun to you to workout when it's 30 degrees outside with a 12 degree windchill? Do you want a trainer to tell you that we are all going for a 2 mile run at a 9 minute/mile pace and if you don't keep up you will be humiliated in front of everyone else?

If you answered yes to ANY of those questions, then Texas Fit Chicks bootcamp is NOT for you!

Our philosophy is simple - there are many ways to lose weight and encourage our women without screaming, punishing or demeaning anyone in the process. We encourage and motivate in a positive way ~ and this allows for women of any fitness level to feel comfortable in our classes. We also go indoors for bootcamp in rain or when it gets cold outside ~ so we can focus on the workout and not on the weather! Check out this testimonial from one of our fit chicks that has been with us for over two months now....

My first 5 week session of boot camp was challenging and it was great! I came into the boot camp at fitness level 0 and talked my mom into joining as well. In high school I played every sport possible and was in great shape but after being out of school and out of athletics for 3 years, that shape went more circular (hey its a shape!) :). I remember looking at my mom our first monday of boot camp and seeing the what the heck have I gotten myself into look reflecting on both of our faces. Over the past 15 sessions, those looks are no longer there and we both enjoy coming to boot camp in the mornings. I was never uncomfortable about my size or my fitness level because Melody makes every exercise do-able for each person no matter what their fitness level, age, or size. I loved having Melody as a trainer, she is so much fun and so are the women in my class-they make it impossible to see working out as torture. After my last session, I lost 5lbs and 13 inches. I have already paid for my next 5 weeks and cant wait to see the results at the end! I would recommend this boot camp to anyone and everyone!
Brandie W.

If you are looking to jumpstart your fitness or lose weight - we offer bootcamp in Frisco, McKinney and Dallas for women. Texas Fit Chicks BootCamp is affordable personal training and will get you the results you want!
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Monday, August 9, 2010

Brides-to-be enjoy success with Texas Fit Chicks Boot Camp

The wedding season has arrived, and we have several new brides to be that are seeing great results with Texas Fit Chicks Boot Camp! Here's the most recent testimonial from our client Kelly..

"Texas Fit Chicks Boot Camp is a great way for any bride-to-be to get in shape for her big day! Not only is it a great workout but you have the opportunity to exercise with a group of fun and positive women. Also it is a great way to release some of that pre-wedding stress!" - Kelly F.

Another Client had great results after just 2 sessions with us, and is still a boot camp girl 3 mos after her wedding! Corrie B. says...

I have been with Texas Fit Chicks since January. In preparation for my April wedding. I could not shed the weight that I had put on. I googled bootcamps in McKinney and they showed up... Every workout was amazing. My body started to change within the first month and I began to be encouraged by my loss of inches. I am now on my 4th or 5th 5 week session and will continue signing up. It has become a part of my weekly routine... If I miss bootcamp for whatever reason, I get so mad at myself. Melody, the lead trainer, designs calorie burning and muscle toning workouts that have left me 20lbs lighter and 25 inches slimmer and counting. There is no yelling like traditional bootcamps. In fact, there is more giggling then anything else. This camp has changed my life and ALL of my friends, coworkers, and family have loved watching my body transform!! My new hubby likes it too! :) - Corrie B.

Whether your goals are weight loss, you want to tone up, or you just want to have a great group of women to workout with - you will love boot camp, and get amazing results...guaranteed! Make it a Bridal Boot Camp for the entire wedding party! We are nationally certified female personal trainers that will get you to your goals. All fitness levels welcome!
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Womens Only Fitness Boot Camp with locations in Frisco, McKinney and Dallas, Texas
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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Why should I lift free weights vs machines at the gym?

The female personal trainers at Texas Fit Chicks Boot Camp know how to get women the results they are looking for. When training at a gym years ago, the routines I set up for clients never involved putting them on weight machines. I was always getting equipment like the BOSU trainer, resistance bands, medicine balls and dumbbells - which kept my clients interested and coming back for more. Using free weights (dumbbells) during boot camp is far superior to the machines for the following reasons...
  • You can't do compound exercises with machines. Rarely will you find only one muscle group being worked during boot camp. Compound exercises call on several major muscle groups at one time, increasing the calorie burn and building more lean muscle mass.
  • Free weight training doesn't only train the main muscle groups, but also the muscle groups that stabilize our joints.
  • Using free weights allow for natural movements that aren't limited by the design of a machine.
  • Most machines are designed for the size of an avg. male....enough said!
  • Free weights are more FUN! There are thousands of exercises that can be done with a set of weights. Machines limit you to 1 maybe 2.
It's important when lifting free weights to be under the guidance of a personal trainer. Want to have a trainer but not spend upwards of $50+ per hour? Check out our Personal Trainer - Women only Fitness Boot Camp - where you can train for as little as $11.60/hr!
Texas Fit Chicks Boot Camp

Classes in Mckinney, Tx ~ Frisco, Tx ~ Dallas Tx
Start any Monday - All Levels Welcome!
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Healthy Chips? Recipe is here...plus an easy way to lose a pound!

Healthy chips DO exist!
Here's a great recipe I found in my favorite fitness magazine "Oxygen" for this month...Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Chips with Greek Yogurt Ginger Dip

Ready in 20 mins - Makes 2 servings
YOu will need:
1 sweet potato, peeled

Sea Salt and ground pepper, to taste
1/2 C low-fat Greek yogurt
2 tsp Honey
1/2 t ginger, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use a veggie slicer to cut potatoes into very thin slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 5-7 mins.
In a bowl, whisk together yogurt,honey and ginger. Serve with chips

Nutritional Info:
Calories: 120
Total Fat - 1g
Saturated Fat - 0.5g
Cholesterol - 5 mg
Sodium - 60mg

Want to lose an extra lb in 24 days with just one little change in your habits? Give up the full calorie soda...like Coke or Dr Pepper - they have around 140 cals for the 12 oz can! You will lose 1lb just by doing that...but if you want to lose more, check out one of our women only boot camps in the N. Dallas area!
Learn more about Texas Fit Chicks Boot Camp

Texas Fit Chicks Boot Camp

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Brandies' experience with Texas Fit Chicks boot camp

My first 5 week session of boot camp was challenging and it was great! I came into the boot camp at fitness level 0 and talked my mom into joining as well. In high school I played every sport possible and was in great shape but after being out of school and out of athletics for 3 years, that shape went more circular (hey its a shape!) :). I remember looking at my mom our first monday of boot camp and seeing the what the heck have I gotten myself into look reflecting on both of our faces. Over the past 15 sessions, those looks are no longer there and we both enjoy coming to boot camp in the mornings. I was never uncomfortable about my size or my fitness level because Melody makes every exercise do-able for each person no matter what their fitness level, age, or size. I loved having Melody as a trainer, she is so much fun and so are the women in my class-they make it impossible to see working out as torture. After my last session, I lost 5lbs and 13 inches. I have already paid for my next 5 weeks and cant wait to see the results at the end! I would reccomend this boot camp to anyone and everyone! - Brandie W.
Texas Fit Chicks Boot Camp
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Texas Fit Chicks Boot Camp for Women only

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tricks to Curb Hunger

Do you ever find yourself mindlessly eating? In the kitchen too often between meals...scrounging through the pantry? I have found a few tricks that help curb hunger when I've already had enough calories for the day...

Drink lots of water - Often times people confuse hunger for thirst. If I think I'm hungry, drinking a full glass of water before reaching for a snack many times does the trick. Most people don't drink enough water throughout the day. Adding lemon or fresh cucumber can make it more interesting if you need it!

Chew Gum - There are studies out there that indicate chewing gum can reduce the desire to snack....I like to chew cinammon gum (sugar free) and find that it really does do the trick!

Add Nuts to your diet - Unsalted/Unroasted nuts have protein and healthy fats which promote the feeling of being full. They take longer to digest, and if you have a glass of water w/ 12 raw almonds, it's a healthy snack that will keep you satisfied!

Make sure you are eating frequently throughout the day and not letting yourself get too hungry...keeping your blood sugar at a steady level so that you don't find yourself starving and reaching for the first thing you see! Ask yourself this question before you eat...Am I really hungry? It's amazing how many times people eat out of habit or boredom, without thinking about it.

Texas Fit Chicks Boot Camp
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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Snacks that can Sabatoge your training

YOu work hard at boot camp, and want to spend the next 23 hrs of the day working towards your goal of weight loss. Some things that might sound like healthy choices but are hiding lots of sugar and might sabatoge your training....here are some examples:

Granola ~ Check the label. Depending on the brand, some granola can have as much as 30 grams of sugar per serving!!

Protein Bars ~ Another one that can sound OK but some have as much sugar as a candy bar! Be sure that yours has less than 7 grams.

Bagels ~ Some can have up to 390 calories and so many carbs that will eventually turn to sugar and stored as fat!

"Veggie Chips" ~ Basically potato chips with lots of salt, fat and not much fiber

Instead of choosing those for snacks during the day....try this instead:

Celery w/ Almond Butter ~ This is a great snack, 2 T of almond butter and 4 stalks of celery...really fills you up and is super healthy

2 Hard Boiled Egg Whites w/ Slice of Ezekiel Toast ~ Egg whites give you tons of protein, fill you up and are a low calorie snack!

Low Sugar Protein Bar ~ I don't (and won't) sell any type of supplement, but when I am at the store and choosing my protein bars, I always buy "Pure Protein" bars. Around 20g of protein and 3 g of sugar.

Apple w/ Handfull of Raw Almonds ~ Don't go for the roasted or salted kind...the extra sugar and sodium is something you don't need. The bulk raw almonds are the best, and the apple will give you more fiber!
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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Another health benefit of boot camp

Not only will you change your physique with Texas Fit Chicks boot camp, you will also make your doctor happy! One of our boot camp clients visited with her cardiologist this past week, and he was so happy with what she is doing and how her health has improved! She is a young 62 year old, and is an inspiration to us all! Another reason to become a fit chick is for the health of your bones.

Throughout life, our body breaks down and removes old bone tissue - replacing it with new tissue. During childhood and teenage years, the body makes more bone than it takes away...but starting in our 20's production drops off. To help build and protect our bones, we need weight bearing exercise. We incorporate strength training with a sound cardio program during boot camp. It's important to also get your calcium and vitamin D....which is needed for the body to absorb the calcium. Don't smoke and limit alcohol as well.

I read a great quote this week that is so true..."Those who say they don't have time to exercise will have to find time for illness sooner or later".

Texas Fit Chicks Boot Camp
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Chunky Watermelon Salsa....

This sounds really yummy...and great for the hot days we're already having...

Chunky Watermelon Salsa

Ready in 10 minutes •

Makes 2 Servings

2 cups diced watermelon

1 cup peeled, diced cucumber

1/4 cup sliced green onions

2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro

2 tsp minced, seeded jalapeño pepper

Juice of 1 lime

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.


Calories: 60, Total Fats: 0 g, Saturated Fat: 0 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 10 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 16 g, Dietary Fiber: 16 g, Sugars: 11 g, Protein: 2 g, Iron: 1 mg

Recipe provided by Nanci S. Guest, MSc, RD

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Need to lose weight? You might need to Eat MORE!

Sometimes we don't take in enough food to lose weight. Yes, you read that right. Food is not the enemy when it comes to dropping pounds, in fact - in many cases - people sabatoge their weight loss by restricting calories so severly. Essentially, the body thinks you are starving, so it hangs onto every ounce of fat available. Here is a great article that explains our resting metabolic rate, and why it's important to know yours. There's a calculator to help you find out how much you should be eating as well! Know Your Numbers

The numbers we are talking about are your resting metabolic rate. We will discuss your metabolic rate and how it can work with you or against you when it comes to weight management. If you are a chronic dieter - and these days the majority of people are chronic dieters - you need to know why restricting calories too severely is damaging to your body and counterproductive. If you feel like you are restricting calories but not losing weight, the information in this step will help you understand why restricting calories below your resting metabolic rate (RMR) can actually work against you. Your body is a complicated "machine" and meeting its needs with high quality "fuel" is important for health and performance. The quality of the food you provide your body - especially the quality of the calories you eat to meet your RMR - is important to your health. In this step we will:

• Define "metabolism" and "resting metabolic rate" or RMR
• Explain the importance of knowing your resting metabolic rate (RMR) in weight management
• Tell you how to estimate your own personal RMR
• Explain the critical importance of meeting your RMR requirements with wholesome food

What is "metabolism" and what is "resting metabolic rate"?

Even when you are sitting at rest your body is not resting. Your heart is beating, you are breathing and your body is carrying out other functions that you are unaware of entirely. Your body may be making blood cells, your kidneys may be eliminating wastes and your liver may be clearing toxic substances from your body. Your brain is burning calories as it acts as the master control center coordinating all of these activities. This is work that your body must do to keep you functioning. This work involves making new cells or tissues, breaking down old cells or tissues, or repairing and maintaining existing cells and tissues. All of this work is collectively referred to as your metabolism. It should not be surprising that this work requires energy. You are burning calories even when you sit quietly at rest.

The rate at which your body burns calories when you are comfortably resting is called your "resting metabolic rate" or RMR

There is only one way to know for certain if you have a slow metabolism and that is to measure it. Before you go to the expense of having your RMR measured, you should know that a slow metabolism is quite rare. Shape Up America! has provided you with a "Metabolism Calculator" that you can use to estimate your RMR. We will tell you more about that below.

There are different systems for measuring RMR, but the goal of each is the same - to measure the number of calories you burn while at rest. A common system for measuring RMR involves putting a ventilated hood over your mouth and nose. Another system involves pinching your nose shut with a clip as you breathe into a mouth device. Regardless of which system is used, the rate at which your body uses oxygen while at rest is measured. Without going into the technical details, measuring your rate of oxygen consumption allows calculation of your RMR. Your RMR is the number of calories you burn over time. If we know your RMR, we can easily calculate the number of calories you burn over an entire day if you were to remain at rest.

How to estimate your daily RMR

To estimate your daily RMR, we have a "Metabolism Calculator" for you to use. Click below to use our Metabolism Calculator to estimate your RMR. The number of calories determined by the Shape Up America! Metabolism Calculator is an estimate of your resting calorie needs for the entire day.

Resting Metabolic Rate Calculator Click Here

Why you need to KNOW YOUR RMR

When you cut calories to BELOW your RMR, your body fights back. Restricting calories below your RMR is like asking your car's engine to run on too little gas. If your car is sitting in the driveway with the engine on, it is burning gas as it sits there. If you put the car in drive and step on the gas, it burns gas at a faster rate. What happens if you choke off the supply of gas to your engine? It sputters and eventually stalls. The same is true for your metabolism.

The RMR number is telling you the minimum number of calories your body needs to keep your body functioning properly.

What happens if you cut your food intake BELOW your RMR? Your body fights back. It actually DECREASES its metabolic rate. If you are eating an insufficient amount of food to meet your RMR, you will not be eating enough to maintain your body's functions properly. You can do this for a day or even two days without consequences. But chronic restriction of calories below the RMR is not unusual among dieters. This type of severe restriction can go on for an extended period of time (weeks or months), but NOT WITHOUT PAYING A PRICE. That price may be your health.

When you restrict calories too severely, your body is forced to make tradeoffs. Your body will struggle to preserve the highest priority bodily functions. Brain and heart function will be a very high priority whereas reproductive function and bone will be sacrificed.

You think you are restricting calories but if your restriction is too severe, your body will do everything it can to conserve calories. A familiar example of restricting calories too severely is the athlete or ballerina or model that is always trying to cut weight. But many people practice severe calorie restriction, not just models or athletes.

Here is what happens to a female who restricts calories too severely for an extended period:

• She experiences fatigue and becomes listless
• She may sleep more
• She finds it more difficult to exercise or work
• She damages her immune system which means she gets sick more often and for longer
• She skips her menstrual periods for months or even years because her endocrine system is thrown into disarray
• She loses her reproductive capacity (she will be unable to conceive or carry a baby)
• If she is dieting while pregnant, she may damage her baby's development
• She loses muscle tissue as her body breaks down muscle in its desperate search for calories
• She loses heart muscle in addition to skeletal muscle
• Her bones become thinner and she may experience broken bones if she falls
• Her hair becomes brittle and may start to fall out
• Her eyes become dull
• She develops skin problems
• She has bad breath because she is burning ketones
• She starts to experience mood changes
• She develops psychological changes that can develop into dementia, anorexia or bulimia
• She can eventually starve to death

There has to be a better way, and there is. Severe calorie restriction is totally unnecessary and counterproductive. The alternative is to take the long view and be willing to LOSE WEIGHT SLOWLY by restricting calories only modestly. You need to know your RMR and avoid restricting calories below your RMR. Here is what you need to know:

1. Your RMR makes up the major portion of your daily calorie needs

2. You should protect your body's RMR as you do a high performance automobile. You need to eat enough calories to meet your RMR each day.

3. A racecar requires high-test fuel for optimal performance. Similarly, your body requires wholesome food in adequate amounts to protect your RMR

4. Building healthy muscle and bone by eating the right foods and exercising will actually INCREASE your RMR and help you manage your weight

5. Protecting your RMR will pay you dividends because you will feel better and be more vigorous and active - which allows you to burn more calories.

6. To increase your metabolism:

a. Exercise daily

b. Build your muscles through strength training

c. Build bone by doing "weight bearing" exercise like walking or dancing (or any other exercise or sport that you perform while up on your feet)

If calorie restriction is too severe, the fatigue that results will undermine your exercise regimen. You will not have the energy you need to exercise. You may actually rest more or sleep more - which leads to an overall reduction in calories burned. Here is a typical scenario:

John burns 2000 calories per day of which 1600 calories per day is his RMR requirement.

John wants to lose 1.5 pounds per week, so he cuts his calorie intake by 750 calories. This leaves John with 1250 calories - some of which is from nutrient poor soda and "junk food." The 1250 calories he allows himself is well below the 1600 calories he needs to support his RMR.

This drastic reduction in calories and poor quality food causes John to feel fatigued and he sleeps a lot - in fact he starts sleeping late and does not want to go for his daily workout in the early morning.

After a week or two of feeding his body only 1250 calories a day, John is surprised and frustrated that his weight loss is not the 1 ½ pounds per week he expected. It is scarcely ½ pound per week! This is because to conserve calories, his RMR has decreased drastically and he is exercising less and sleeping more.

Food is more than Calories - USE WHOLESOME FOOD TO MEET YOUR RMR

Food is one of the great mysteries as well as one of the great pleasures of life. Food contains much more than vitamins and minerals and energy (calories). It contains many, many compounds that play an important role in protecting your health and well-being. Only a tiny fraction of those compounds have been identified and every year many more important compounds in food are found. Few have been studied adequately. We are just at the beginning of understanding how special compounds in fish and vegetables protect against cancer, how dietary fiber protects against cancer and heart disease, and how many other valuable compounds found only in food protect your health. Think of wholesome food as your health insurance policy.

No vitamin-mineral pill is a substitute for good wholesome food. EAT HEALTHY FOOD TO MEET YOUR RMR

Many of the special compounds found in food are important to keep your metabolism running optimally. To protect your health and maintain your metabolism, you should plan to meet your RMR requirements with wholesome foods. A wholesome food is a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals and many other things your body needs. Sodas, candy, desserts, chips, should not be used to meet your RMR.

Here are the foods we recommend you eat to meet your RMR requirements:

• Plenty of veggies. Choose plenty of dark, leafy greens and other highly colored vegetables each day. Learn how to eat vegetables raw or properly cooked so they are not over-cooked. Frozen veggies can be as nutritious as fresh. Canned vegetables are OK too. Aim to cover at least half your plate at lunch and dinner with veggies.
• Aim for whole grain breads, pasta, cereals and other products. Aim for at least 6 servings a day but remember that for these foods, a serving is only 1 ounce.
• Choose 2 or 3 servings of fruit each day - Don't get carried away with your portion sizes. One medium-sized apple is one serving. For weight management, avoid juice and choose fruit instead because fruit is more filling than juice. One half cup of berries or cut up fruit (pineapple chunks, melon pieces) counts as one serving. One half banana counts as one serving.
• Aim for 2 or 3 servings of low fat or nonfat dairy products a day. A milk or yogurt serving is one cup. A regular cheese serving is ½ ounce (for regular cheese) and 1 ounce for low fat cheese. Take care to use only NON-FAT or Low Fat milk, cheese and yogurt.
• For protein, choose only fish, poultry, eggs, LEAN meats, beans, and legumes. Go for a serving at every meal. One egg is one serving. One half cup of beans or legumes is one serving. 2-3 ounces of meat, fish or poultry is one serving. Trim visible fat and remove skin from the poultry before eating. Avoid fried foods and sauces. Eat your protein servings prepared as plainly as possible. Use herbs, garlic, onions, salt, pepper and other spices to add flavor.


You are not always sitting at rest. Sometimes you are running, walking, playing, doing physical labor, and doing many other activities. From the perspective of your body, this is all EXTRA work over and above the work your body must do when you are resting. When you are active, your metabolic rate moves up above your resting level because you are burning more calories. Some of the work your body does is very subtle and you are hardly aware of it. When you are too hot or too cold, your body has to do work to warm you or cool you. So temperature control causes your metabolic rate to increase. When you eat food, your body does work so your metabolic rate increases. When you digest food your metabolic rate increases as you digest and absorb food. At the end of the day, your total calories burned are determined by your resting metabolism (your RMR) PLUS all of the calories your body burns to do the extra work you performed throughout the entire day. Your Total Daily Calorie Goal covers the total number of calories you need for the entire day. Restricting calories too severely causes your RMR to decrease. The more severe the restriction the more drastic the drop. Restricting calories too severely is counterproductive because your body will fight back by decreasing RMR. Not only should you avoid restricting calories below your RMR, you should take care to make sure you eat wholesome food to meet your RMR.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Calories and Dieting .

How many calories do I have to restrict to lose one pound a week?

The rule of thumb is to create an "energy deficit" of 3500 calories in order to lose one pound. If you spread that energy deficit over an entire week, that comes to a deficit of 500 calories per day. If you subtract 500 calories from your total daily calorie goal provided by the CyberKitchen and it restricts you below your RMR, you need to back off on your restriction. That is why you need to use the Shape Up America! Metabolism Calculator to know your RMR. The average woman burns 400-600 calories during one boot camp session.

What do I do to lose one pound per week without restricting calories below my RMR?

If you still want to aim for a deficit of 500 calories per day, you can use an exercise strategy to boost your deficit. 1 hr of boot camp – pushing yourself will typically burn around that number of calories, based on the women that wear body buggs and HR monitors during class. The beauty of this combined approach is that the restriction is milder plus you reap the health benefits of exercise as you lose weight.

Article from shape up America.

Read blog below for a peek into a very successful clients' food journal!

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