Effing Belly Fat!

A lot of my clients complain that as they get older their belly seems to be getting bigger.  Unfortunately, that’s a natural thing that happens to most people.  They also complain that no matter how hard they exercise or how well they stick to their nutrition plan that belly just won’t budge.  This actually isn’t entirely true though.  It’s true that belly fat is hard to lose but it’s not impossible.  As you decrease your body fat your belly is shrinking, just not as fast as the rest of your body is.

What’s The Deal With Belly Fat?

Fat burning is a two-step process.  The first step is lipolysis which is when the fat cell releases fatty acids into the blood.  The second step is oxidation which is the process whereby cells use those fatty acids for energy.

Lipolysis is stimulated by the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline which are catecholamines.  The catecholamines enter your blood stream and then attach themselves to special receptors on your fat cells.  Once these catecholamines attach themselves they cause the fat cells to release their fatty acids which can then be used by other cells in your body.

Sounds simple enough, right?  Here’s where the frustration comes in.  There are two types of receptors on your fat cells that the catecholamines attach to: alpha receptors and beta receptors.  Beta receptors are the ones that trigger the release of fatty acids whereas the alpha receptors hinder it.  It just so happens that fat cells in your belly and quite often hips and thighs have more alpha receptors than beta receptors making them resistant to your fat loss efforts.

You Are Not Doomed!

Now that you know the facts you can understand why certain areas of the body seem to resist fat loss.  The good news is this doesn’t mean that you can’t lose fat from those trouble areas, it just means you need to do the right stuff and then be patient.

Tried And True Fat Loss Tips

  1. Eat enough of the right foods

Do NOT be tempted to starve your fat away!  This just backfires in the end.  Make sure you’re getting enough calories to support your body and your activity level.  You can either hire sports nutritionist or Google the info.  Then you need to make sure you’re getting your calories from the right sources.  Personally, I like to eat about 40% protein, 30% carbs and 30% fat.  Depending on my training and my goals I find about 1800-1900 calories feels good.  This just seems to work well for my body.  I mainly eat clean whole foods and supplement with a high-quality whey protein shake and egg whites if I need to bump my protein up a bit.  Everyone is different to be ready to experiment a bit and try to avoid going to extremes on anything.  Your body hates extremes.

  1. Lift weights!

I cannot stress this enough!  You must lift some heavy weights (especially as you get older) if you want a healthy body composition.  A lot of women fight it but every single one of my female clients who I’ve talked into lifting heavy has at some point sent me a message thanking me because they’re finally seeing the results they want!  If you’ve never lifted before you really need to hire a qualified trainer to show you proper technique.  Heavy weight training is awesome when done right, dangerous when done wrong.

  1. Stop doing so much cardio!!!

Are you one of those people who spends hours and hours a week doing cardio and feel frustrated with your results?  I was!!  That’s because too much cardio tells your body it needs to get really good at storing energy (ie FAT) so that it can fuel the long grueling cardio workouts you keep making it do.  This is not to say that you shouldn’t do cardio, just don’t do marathon steady state sessions.  Instead do HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training.  HIIT is where you go as hard as you can for a short period of time, recover and then repeat.  These workouts can be as short as 15-20 minutes including the warm-up.  There are lots of studies that have been done to prove how effective HIIT is.

A dehydrated body is a sick body.  All of your cells absolutely require a certain amount of water every day.  Your kidneys need enough water to function properly.  If you’re dehydrated your kidney’s can’t do their job of purifying the blood.  When this happens, your liver has to help your kidneys out.  Your liver’s main function is to metabolize fat.  If the liver is having to help the kidneys do their job it can’t metabolize fat as efficiently.   Aim for about 3-4 litres/day.

  1. Supplement wisely.

Don’t be tempted by the latest miracle pill that’s going to ‘melt the fat right off your body’.  There are some great supplements that you can try but be sure they’re from a reputable company and be sure you use them as they’re meant to be used: AS A SUPPLEMENT.  This means that you need to already have your nutrition and fitness plan dialed in before supplements can help you.  There are some great fat burners but if you’re using fat burners without moving your body they won’t do a thing for you except make you super hyper and maybe a bit nauseous.  Exogenous ketones can be a great supplement but only when used in conjunction with a keto or keto-like diet (in other words low carb).

Don’t Get Frustrated

I know it’s frustrating when you’re doing everything you need to do but your results are slow or even seem non-existent.  The good news is you can lose that fat!  The bad news is you’ll need to be patient and perhaps more diligent than you have in the past.  Fall in love with the process and be consistent and persistent!

Does Weight Loss Slow Down Your Metabolism?

Have you ever lost weight only to gain it back plus more?  Why does that happen and what can you do to avoid it?

 Weight Loss and Metabolism

Metabolism is how much energy your body burns.  You burn calories at rest, while exercising and while digesting food.  Your metabolic rate will depend on your size, your activity level and your genetics.

Losing weight does in fact cause your metabolism to slow down because there is less of you to move around.  This doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to gain your weight back though.  You just need to adapt your life to your new size.

Here are some things you can do to help keep your metabolism running well:

  1. Lose weight slowly.

Your body actually does not want to lose weight.  When you lose weight your body sees that as a threat to your existence so it slows its metabolism down in an effort to conserve energy.   If you lose weight fast using extreme measures your body will fight back even more.  The trick is to lose it slowly by slightly decreasing your calories and adding a moderate amount of exercise to your plan.  You should aim to lose about 1 pound per week.

  1. Hit the weights!

Have you been doing a ton of cardio but the weight is just not coming off?  Like excessive calorie restriction, excessive cardio will cause your body to slow it’s metabolism down to conserve energy.  Back off a bit on the cardio and add some heavy weight training.  Don’t worry ladies, you will not get bulky.  Lifting heavy weights will cause you to gain muscle.  Muscle is a metabolically active tissue which means it requires a certain amount of energy just to exist.  This is why people who are more muscular burn more calories.  You need to vary your strength workouts but aim to start with lifting enough to fatigue your muscles within 8-10 reps.  Do 3 or 4 sets with about 2 minutes between sets to allow your muscles to recover and be able to get through the next set.

  1. Change things up regularly.

Variety is the spice of life!  The body is an amazing machine that can adapt to anything that life throws at it.  This is great for some situations but not for weight loss.  If you’ve been eating the same thing and doing the same exercises for a long time you have to switch it up.  Have you noticed that you don’t get as sore as you used to from your workouts?  Have you noticed that even though you haven’t changed your diet you seem to be gaining weight?  This is because your body has adapted to what you’re doing and will no longer change.  It’s up to you to provide a different stimulus for your body.

4. Hydrate.

A dehydrated body will never perform optimally.  Not only can dehydration affect your weight, it can also affect your mental health.  Aim for 3-4 litres/day.  Drink more on more active and/or hotter days.

You Are Not Doomed To Gain Your Weight Back

Even though your metabolism does slow down when you lose weight this does not mean you are doomed to gain your weight back.  Keep in mind the 4 tips I gave you and realize that your new body needs to be cared for and treated differently than your old body.  If you need help, that’s what I’m here for 😊

Benefits Of Being Mindful

Some Benefits of Being Mindful

Being mindful is something we should all practice.  It means focusing on the present moment and not letting distractions pull you away.  Here are some benefits of being mindful:

  1. Improved sense of well-being

    People who practice mindfulness are less likely to be as stressed.  They’re not worrying about the future and they’re not grinding on the past.  They’re able to enjoy each moment and by doing that are able to create stronger bonds with those they love.

  2. Improved physical health

    Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness can actually have a positive impact on your health.  Here are some health benefits of mindfulness:

  • Helps to relieve stress
  • Helps to lower blood pressure
  • Reduces chronic pain
  • Improves sleep
  1. Improved mental health.

    There have also been studies done that show mindfulness can improve your mental health.  It can help treat:

  • Depression
  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

How To Practice Mindfulness

Here are three things you can start doing today to help you be more mindful and live a more rewarding life:

  1. Breathe.  Sounds simple right? You’d be surprised though by how often most of us are not breathing properly.  When you have a few free minutes find a quiet spot.  Just sit and focus on your breath.  I find it helps to follow a count: breathe in for 4 counts then out for 4 counts.  As you get better you can extend your count.  You’ll be surprised by how easy this makes it to focus on just your breath and drown everything else out.
  2. Become aware of your body. Find a quiet spot for this too.  This will take a bit more focus.  If you can lie down in a comfortable spot.  Close your eyes and then start focusing on different parts of your body.  Start at your feet.  Spend some time here and focus on what you’re feeling in your feet.  Then slowly work your way up your body.  Notice if you’re feeling any tightness.  If you do try to let the tightness go.  This brings us to the third thing to try.
  3. Let go of tension. When we’re distracted and/or stressed our body will become tense.  For most people this tension is most noticeable in their neck and shoulders.  You’re probably holding tension in other areas too.  In your quiet spot, while you’re breathing deeply and becoming aware of your body look for those tense spots.  Once you find one focus on letting it go.  Keep doing this for each tense spot in your body.  This could take a bit of time so if you’re short on time focus on one area today and do the others on another day.

Go Be Mindful

It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and lose the ability to be mindful.  You might think you’re doing a great job of multi-tasking and getting lots done but really in the end you’re only giving a small part of yourself to things that require a large part.  Becoming mindful will change your outlook on life and you’ll be able to deeply connect with the people and things that are truly important to you.  Mindfulness leads to a rich and rewarding life.

Simple Steps To Do Anything You Want to do

Simple Steps To Do Anything You Want to do

  1. Define your goals.

Make your goals very specific.  Write down exactly what you want no matter how crazy it may seem.

  1. Decide how bad you want it.

Now that you have your goals, decide how badly you want it.  Things are going to get tough sometimes so you need to really love it.  When you’re having a bad day and don’t want to do what you need to do will the thought of the outcome you’re working towards be enough to motivate you?  Don’t waste time start on a path to something you don’t really want that bad.

  1. Create your plan of action and break it down into steps.

If your goal is to lose weight and be healthy you need a plan.  Where are you going to workout?  Do you need to join a gym?  When will you workout?  Write it on your schedule.  What healthy foods do you need to have in your house?  When are you going to go shopping for them?  What unhealthy things do you need to get rid of?  Plan every step and then DO THE STEPS.

  1. Focus on each part of your plan.

Stay focused!  Don’t half ass anything.  Using the fitness goal, when you’re doing your workouts focus your workout.  When you’re out shopping for healthy foods take a list and stick to the list.

  1. Be consistent and persistent.

Consistency and persistence are key.  There will be days you don’t feel like doing what you need to do.  There will be days where you feel like you’re getting nowhere and you’ll question why you’re even doing it.  Push through that!  Do what you need to do everyday no matter what.  Sometimes the journey is tough, but the outcome is worth it (assuming you did step 2).

  1. Visualize yourself having reached your goal.

Spend some time every day or every other day visualizing your life once you’ve reached your goal.  How will you feel?  Take time to focus on how great you’re going to feel.  The long term pay off is pretty much always better than the instant gratification you feel you need in a given moment.

How To Build Your Own Workout Program

How To Build Your Own Fitness Program

A personal trainer is an awesome thing to have but not everyone wants to invest in one.  Here are some tips so you can build your own effective fitness program.

Mix it up!

If you do the same workout over and over again your body will adapt to it and you won’t see any progress after a while.  You need to change up your exercises and your rep range about once every 4-6 weeks.

Changing your rep range is super important and it’s something that a lot of people neglect to do.  Each rep range has a specific outcome:

  • 15 or more reps is used to develop endurance. This is also a great place for someone brand new to weight training to start.
  • 8-12 reps is used to increase muscle size.
  • 4-6 reps is used to develop strength. NOTE: do not attempt this if don’t already have a good base of strength built up.
  • 1-3 reps is used to develop maximal strength. NOTE: if you are new to weight training DO NOT do maximal strength training until you’ve built a good base of strength and you’ve consulted with a qualified trainer.

Changing your exercises is important.  You can easily search different exercises for the same muscle group on YouTube for ideas.

If you are brand new to weight training go to your local gym or rec centre and set up a free consultation with a trainer – most gyms/rec centres offer this.  When done correctly weight training will get you great results but if done incorrectly you can really injure yourself.

Stay balanced.

Make sure you’re working all you muscle groups equally.  A lot of people focus on what I call the ‘mirror muscles’.  These are the muscles you see in the mirror such as chest, quads, shoulders and biceps.  If you ignore the opposing muscle groups you’ll develop a muscle imbalance with can lead to bad posture and eventually injury.

A good rule of thumb is when you work one muscle group do the same amount of work on the opposing muscle group.  Follow a bench press with a seated row; follow bicep curls with tricep extensions; follow leg extensions with a seated hamstring curl.

Order matters!  Do tougher exercises first.

When coming up with your program be sure to do the exercises that require more muscle groups and more strength first.

For instance, do your heavy squats and deadlifts at the beginning of your workout.  Next move onto exercises that target two or more muscle groups such as bench press and rows.  Finally do your exercises that hit just one muscle group such as hamstring curls, leg extensions, bicep curls, tricep extensions, flies, and lateral raises.

Move in all directions!

Most of what we do in the gym (and life) is done in the sagittal plane (forward and back).  Think  bench press, squats, lunges, bicep curls, sit-ups, treadmill, bike.

There are two other planes that cannot be ignored:

  • Frontal plane which moves side to side. Think lateral lunges, lateral raises, speed skaters.
  • Transverse plane which contains rotational movements. Think Russian twist, wood chops, T-pushups.

Ready To Get Started?

Follow these tips for a great, well rounded fitness program.  If you’re still unsure of where to start invest in one training session with a qualified trainer to help get you started or do a Google search for workout programs.  Just be careful with your Google search.  Just because you found it on the internet doesn’t necessarily mean it’s correct 😉

Wholey Fit Daily HIIT! AMRAP & Tabata!

AMRAP & Tabata!!!!

Warm-up for 5-10 minutes before you start and cool down and stretch for 5-10 minutes when you’re done.


50 Jumping Jacks

40 Alternating Reverse Lunges 1-2

30 High Knees 1-1

20 Squats

10 Push-ups

5   Burpees

Tabata Core

Bicycles (bicycles for 20 sec hold for 10 sec for 8 sets)

Wholey Fit Daily HIIT! Perfect 10!

Perfect 10!

Warm-up for 5-10 minutes before you start and cool down and stretch for 5-10 minutes when you’re done.

Complete 10 Rounds for Time!

10 Burpees

10 Hip Lifts

10 Bicycles (1-1)

10 Plank Jacks

10 Plyo Lunges (1-2)

10 Reverse Crunch

10 Knee Taps (alternate lead arms)

10 Tricep Pushups

10 Mountain Climbers (1-1)

10 Pulsing Squats

Wholey Fit Daily HIIT! 10 to 50!

10 20 30 40 50…..

Do one time – if you have more energy add more sets increasing by 10 reps each set.

Warm-up for 5-10 minutes before you start and cool down and stretch for 5-10 minutes when you’re done.

10 Pushups

10 Burpees

10 Prisoner Squats

Rest for 30 Seconds

20 Pushups

20 Burpees

20 Prisoner Squats

Rest for 30 Seconds

30 Pushups

30 Burpees

30 Prisoner Squats

Rest for 30 Seconds

40 Pushups

40 Burpees

40 Prisoner Squats

Rest for 30 Seconds

50 Pushups

50 Burpees

50 Prisoner Squats