Archive | January, 2012

Calorie Shifting: Perfecting your figure!

January 31, 2012

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tricking your metabolism diet

When trying to lose fat, many people start lowering their calorie intake in order to reach their goals.

At first, you might see your weight going down on the scale, but on the long run, staying on a low-calorie diet will only slow down your metabolism and signal your body to switch itself into starvation mode. Not only will you end up holding on to that stubborn fat, but you will also enter a catabolic state where you start using your muscle tissue as fuel. Now I’m pretty sure that that’s not what you are trying to achieve!

Calorie shifting or cycling, will allow you to combat the natural process that occurs in your metabolism whenever you are restricting your calories. Your body is a smart machine which is designed to preserve its fat stores, whenever these fat stores are threatened, your metabolism slows down to compensate and this is why so many people hit a plateau at a certain point along the way.

To avoid this process, you can trick your metabolism by alternating you daily caloric intake, which in turn, will keep your metabolism constantly guessing. This will prevent your body from quickly adapting to a certain number of calories it expects to receive; therefore, your metabolism becomes more efficient.

About 2 years ago, I’ve experiences the side effects of a “lower” calorie diet. I dropped about 15 pounds, and although I lost the fat I wanted, I was unable to build muscles and achieve my desired physique. You need energy to sculpt the body of your dreams, and you also need to provide your body with proper nutrients to function optimally. I’ve learned my lesson, and now my main focus is on making sure that I am getting enough nutrients and calories in.

Although I do not believe in constant calorie counting, I think that it’s good to have a basic understanding of how our body works with the foods we consume. Once you become aware of this, you can start listening to your own body and adapting along the way.

Shifting calories is ideal in situations where you feel like you have hit a plateau or when you are not seeing the results you are looking for and need a little extra push.

Basic guidelines for Calorie Shifting

First of all, you need to establish a baseline, and estimate your approximate caloric needs depending on your specific goal. You can check out THIS LINK to give you an idea. Remember, we are all different and there is no certain way of predicting how each one of us will respond to any given diet or number of calories suggested. With trial and error, you will find what best works for you. Once you have determined that target number, say, 2,000 calories a day, instead of breaking the calories evenly throughout the week, you up-shift and down-shift your daily intake while still reaching your weekly calorie target.

Here is an example: 2,000 calories/week

  • Monday: 2000 cal.
  • Tuesday: 1500 cal.
  • Wednesday: 2300 cal.
  • Thursday: 1600 cal.
  • Friday: 2300 cal.
  • Saturday: 1700 cal.
  • Sunday: 2600 cal.

After shifting your calories for about two weeks, you can go back to your regular diet for a certain time before you start the process over again.

Basically, you will be burning fat when you are down-shifting your intake, and before your body signals the brain to slow down, you will provide it with sufficient calories to keep it going. Not only will this technique help you lose fat faster, it will also give you a mental break and won’t leave you feeling deprived. As long as you have a good diet basis and you workout regularly, this simple trick can work wonders…

Mix it up folks!

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Workout Log) Week of 23-29 January ’12

January 29, 2012

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Summary of the week

Let’s check out what my goals were:

  • 2 x 12min HIIT DONE
  • 50min. Bun Shaper routine from One-on-one with Tony Horton DONE
  • Cardio session + Total Body Circuit (weight training) DONE (I only used body weight since I was very sore)
  • 10min. Split stretches (4-5/week) DONE (I even did one extra session)
  • 10min. Upper body strength exercises: chest and back (2/week) DONE

My Goals for next week (week 1 of my “Project Valentine’s” fitness challenge): 30 Jan.-05 February ’12

  • 2 x 12min. HIIT
  • 1 x 45-50min Bun Shaper from One-on-one with Tony Horton
  • 1 x Cardio session + Total Body Circuit training
  • 4-6 x 10min. Split Stretches
  • 2 x 8-10min. upper body conditioning
  • 1 x Additional Cardio Session (optional)

Part 2:

  

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Monday Inspiration: Just Do It !

January 29, 2012

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Just passing by to share a little inspiration before I start my

Valentine’s Project !

Have a great week !

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Project Valentine’s: Fitness Challenge!

January 28, 2012

8 Comments

As I mentioned in my last Workout Log, I’ve started a new challenge this week, called “Project-27″, which is more of a long-term challenge. In order to keep myself motivated, I’m breaking it up into smaller challenges. Short-term goals are helpful because they are more measurable than long-term goals, without them, you might feel like your ultimate goal is out of reach, which can get pretty frustrating.

Project Valentine’s is a 2 week challenge, starting on January 30th, and ending on February 12th (just 2 days before Valentine’s Day!).

Here is a brief overview of my fitness goals for “Project-27″:

  • Increase upper body strength: Perform proper form pushups and pullups
  • Increase lower body flexibility: Perform the side and center splits
  • Improve overall body composition: Gain muscle mass (in my entire body) & lose body fat (about 3%)
  • Sculpt and tone mid-section: Waist, hips, butt, and thighs

Obviously, the majority of these goals cannot be accomplished in just 2 weeks (in my case). But, a lot can be done within this time frame, and you can really start noticing major improvements if you give yourself that extra push. Let’s see how far we can go in 14 days, shall we?

Project Valentine’s: Challenge Breakdown

Weekly Fitness Challenges

  • 2 x 12min. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Check out MY WORKOUT LOGS, or the following links for ideas and routines: BODYROCK, ZUZANA’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL.
  • 1 x 50min. Bun Shaper routine from One-on-one with Tony Horton. Click HERE for full routine
  • 1 x 20-60min Cardio + TBC (Total Body Circuit training). You can also check my workout logs for ideas…
  • 1 x Cardio only (at the gym or P90X)
  • 5 x 10min. Split Stretches. I will be posting my beginners routine soon!
  • 2-3 x Upper Body strength routine. You can view my routine in My Workout Log (week:23-29 January) by the end of the week

Nutrition Challenge

  • eat 90% clean 6 days/week ( basically what this means is: avoid processed junk and fuel yourself with real food. Ex. Fruits, veggies, grains, beans, legumes, eggs, meat, nuts & seeds, etc.)
  • Eat adequate calories for ultimate performance and ideal body composition. That’s about 2,000 calories in my case. You can estimate your caloric needs, depending on your goals and activity level by clicking HERE.

My Rewards for completing this 2 week challenge

  • New running shoes
  • New sports bra

Let’s get our hearts pumping!

Click HERE to check out week-01

Click HERE to check out week-02

Mission Accomplished!

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Homemade Peanut Butter !

January 24, 2012

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Make your own yummy spread, it’s easy as 1,2,3!

I can’t believe I didn’t try this one before, thank you LIZ for the reminder! I always felt a little guilty buying my 10$ organic peanut butter at the natural health food store, and now that I’ve tried making my own, I’m never turning back! Yesterday, I grabbed 2 cups of roasted salted peanuts ( I couldn’t find the non-salted kind) at the grocery store, the total cost was 1,50$. As soon as I got home, I threw them in my food processor, added about 2 tbsp. of oil, three minutes later, I had my own delicious jar of homemade peanut butter. It was that easy, really!

How do you like your nut butter?

You can play with the recipe, with the kind of nuts you use (walnut, peanuts, cashew nuts, almonds, hazelnut, or you can mix it all up), you can also add some honey for a creamier version, or add a pinch of salt if you prefer it that way. I suggest you start with plain roasted peanuts, or you can roast them on your own (simply place peanuts in the oven, preheat to 350 degrees F. for about 15-25min., toss them around half-way through). Once you have processed your nuts for a couple of minutes, you can add whatever ingredients you like. Some only add a little honey without using oil, give it a try, play with it, and make it your own!

My favorite peanut butter combos

  • I love to mix it in my oatmeal for breakfast
  • sliced bananas topped with peanut butter and honey
  • on a toast with jam
  • topped on banana bread

Warning!!! Do not eat the whole jar at once!

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Workout Log) Week of 16-22 January ’12

January 24, 2012

4 Comments

Summary of the week

Rest, eat, sleep, day-dream, eat, and rest some more…

No, I didn’t give up, if that’s what you’re thinking! I don’t remember the last time I haven’t worked out for so long (one whole week! Yayks!), but let me tell you that this short break did me good! I usually always push myself to do at least 2 or 3 workouts a week even when I don’t feel like it, because I know that I will feel better afterwards. I have to admit that I have been quite unmotivated these past few weeks, and I really wanted to take a step back, and rediscover my inner mojo! With that said, I will be posting some of my weekly goals along with my workout logs. I’ve created a little challenge for myself, called “Project-27″, it’s all about doing my best and being more fulfilled as an outcome. It’s no hard-core challenge, I will simply be focusing more on balance and positive attitude, and less on perfection or going into extremes. I am also doing this challenge for my 27th birthday, hence the name “Project-27″! I’ll be turning 27 in about 4 months, and I’d like to accomplish a few things by then. I’ll be sharing the fitness aspect of this challenge here on My Fit Station, hope you enjoy!

My Goals for next week: 23-29 January ’12

  • 2 x 12min HIIT
  • 50min. Bun Shaper routine from One-on-one with Tony Horton
  • Cardio session + Total Body Circuit (weight training)
  • 10min. Split stretches (4-5/week)
  • 10min. Upper body strength exercises: chest and back (2/week)

 

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No Gym, No problem!

January 20, 2012

1 Comment

3 New Body-Weight Workout Routines from:

The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises“.

I believe that this is the 5th workout that I will be sharing from my favorite fitness book: “The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises“. Feel free to check out the previous workouts by clicking on the links bellow:

This time, we will be focusing on body-weight exercises. Ever since I have discovered this type of training and began applying it to my own workout routines, I have seen noticeable results. You can do these workouts anywhere, they are short, yet very effective since you are working multiple muscle groups at once and burning extra calories along the way.

“You don’t need a gym membership to sculpt a great body. In fact, you don’t even need equipment. Tone your arms, legs, and abs and burn fat anywhere with these super-simple body-weight workouts.”

How to Do this Workout?

  • Perform the exercises in the order shown.
  • When you see a number without a letter next to it (ex.1, 2), perform the exercise as a straight set (do 1 set, rest for prescribed amount of time. Complete all sets of this exercise before moving to the next.
  • When you see a number with a letter next to it (ex. 1A, 1B), it indicates that the exercise is to be performed as part of a group of exercises. Instead of completing all sets of an exercise at once, do only one set (ex.1A), rest for the prescribed amount of time, and then do one set of the next exercise in the group (ex.1B). Once you are done with a group (ex. group 1), you can move on to the next (ex. group 2) until you have completed the whole workout.
  • When prescribed rest period is = “-“, that indicates you’re not to rest between movements; move directly to the next exercise.
  • * AMAP: Stands for as many as possible, in this case, complete as many reps as you can.
  • If any of the given exercises are too hard, feel free to substitute the variation of the movement that allows you to perform the prescribed number of reps.
  • All exercise breakdowns & demos are listed under each workout (see “Exercise Breakdown)

Click HERE for FREE PRINTABLE PDF. version of these workouts!!!

Workout 1

* For the Floor Y-T-I raises: Do 10 reps. of each letter

Workout 2

* For the Iso-Explosive exercises: Make sure to hold the down position for 5 seconds each rep.

Workout 3

* The 1st time you try this routine, do 2 sets of each exercise. In the future workouts, work your way up to 5 sets each.

Hope you enjoy these workouts, have a great sweat!

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Workout Log) Week of 09-15 January ’12

January 16, 2012

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Summary of the week

  • 2 x 12min HIIT
  • 2 x 20min. Elliptical trainer (HIIT & moderate intensity)
  • 25min. Bun Shaper routine from One-on-one with Tony Horton
  • 30min. Total Body Circuit (weight training)

*Click HERE to view Last week’s HIIT routine (look for DAY03)

** Click HERE to check out the “Bun Shaper” routine

 

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20+12 Fun Ideas: Stuff that will Make you Feel Awesome in 2012!

January 11, 2012

8 Comments

Playing is for Grownups Too…

As you look back to your childhood years, do you ever remember thinking: “I wish I never grow up to be a boring adult”. As a little girl, I would often think how serious and stuck up grownups were, I would think to myself “when I grow up, I will be nothing like that, I will be fun, creative, spontaneous, and most importantly, I will never stop playing”! Well that was a pile of gibberish… I ended up throwing away my Barbie dolls at the age of 11, I stopped spending hours creating games and crafts, and I started acting like a “grownup woman”, whatever that means. I also started feeling anxious, confused, and insecure. Fifteen years later, I dream about feeling free as a child and doing what I truly love. I might not have reached that point just yet, but I am certainly moving in that direction. I also recall dreaming about all the cool stuff I’d be able to do as an adult, with nobody around to tell me what to do or not to do, the world would finally become my oyster! Now I know that we all have responsibilities, but isn’t the most important one of them making sure that we are happy, fulfilled, and free-minded? One of the things I want to focus on in 2012, is to relax more and really take the time to have plain old fun, here are a few ideas that will bring you to that place you wish you had never let go of, have fun my friends!!!

1. Make a Friendship Bracelet and give it to someone special 

Instructions on how to make you friendship bracelet HERE

2. Hit the Park for a Sweat

Check out Bex’s Sexy Swinger Workout HERE

3. Start your own Blog and Share your Passion with the World

Visit WordPress.com to get started

4. Take your Dream Car for a Spin

And enjoy the ride…

5. Revamp your Old Furniture and Create a Unique Style on Budget

Click HERE for more Ideas…

6. Eat Delicious Raw Food and Feel Rejuvenated

Include some Matcha green powder into your smoothies for an extra kick!

7. Buy Sexy Lingerie and Wear it at home…or for a Special Occasion 😉

There is nothing wrong with adding a little spice to your life…

8. Grow your own Stuff

Check out the Urban Organic Gardener’s BLOG

9. Take a Hula Hoop class with your Girlfriends and burn up to 100 calories every 10min.

Make your own hula hoop: Click HERE

10. Why Paint your Walls white when you can Draw on them?

Better yet, invite your friends to tag along and create a master piece in your own home!

11. Be a Tourist in Your Own City

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side…
Here are some ideas to get you started: Explore new undergroud restaurants, take long bike rides dicovering places you haven’t visited in the past, get a tourist guide of your own city, visit new museums, explore the different forests near your erea, etc.  Don’t forget to take pictures and share your adventure on Facebook :)

12. Make your own Postcards and send them to your loved ones!

Make Postcards from Vintage Book Covers: How to Guide

13. Have a Dog Day

Take your fellow pet for a long walk/run outside, you will both be thankfull, I promise 😉
Don’t have a dog… I’m sure you can borrow one!

14. Organize your Closet

Check on THIS Closet Organization Guide for tips

15. Have a YOU DAY

That’s right, do nothing else but what comes to your mind. Spend a day sitting at a cafe terrace with your best friend, listen to your favorite music while pampering yourself, play games on your new playstation…for hours if you like, etc.

16. Dance your Heart Away!

Let go, play your favorite tunes…nobody is wathing 😉

17. Learn How To French Braid

Click HERE for tutorials 

18. Prepare a Romantic Spaghetti Meatball (or vegan ball) Dinner for you and your lover 

Check out THIS Tofu Balls Spaghetti recipe

19. Send a Message in a Bottle

What message would you like to share with the World?

20. Be bold and Dare to do something Out of your Comfort Zone every now and then…


Life is too amazing to spend your time worrying about what others think!

And 12 more Fun Ideas…

  1. Smile to everyone that passes your way…ok, maybe not the creapy neighbor that secretly has a crush on you. 
  2. Have a girls night IN, invite all of your girlfriends for homemade cocktails, rockin’ movies and anything else that come to mind
  3. Offer your services to your community: I’m sure that people would appreciate a Free Car Wash
  4. Wear no makeup and feel beautiful anyways
  5. Organize a karaoke night and sing your favorite song out loud
  6. Spend a day outdoors, from Dusk till Dawn
  7. Don’t give a damn what people think of you, have the courage to live by your own rules
  8. Play dressup
  9. Go “Dream Home” Shopping, even if you can’t afford it now
  10. Spend the day cooking for your friends and invite them over for no special occasion, do we really need a special occasion to get together and celebrate life?
  11. Be a minimalist, get rid of all the cluther and things you don’t need
  12. Tell a friend you love them

Happy New Year Folks, Live Your Life Like You Mean It!

Love, Kisses, & Sillyness…Isabella :)

Click on each image for source

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Workout Log) Week of 02-08 January ’12

January 10, 2012

2 Comments


Summary of the week

  • 20min. Elliptical trainer
  • 60min. brisk walk
  • 12min. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
  • 30min. Elliptical trainer
  • 30min. TBC (Total Body Circuit)
  • 10min. Deep Stretch

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Healthy Cottage Cheese Pancake Recipe !

January 6, 2012

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Fueling your body with the proper nutrients should definitively be something we all enjoy. When I first started working out, a decade ago, I had the false belief that I needed to eat boring, non-satisfying, and lite versions of my favorite foods to get in shape. We all know that nutrition plays a major role in the results we see in the mirror, and on the scale, but we often get confused with all the misleading contradictory advertised diets plans, meal replacements, and food recommendations out there. After years of experience, dieting, binge eating, and frustration, I have finally found my balance and developed a positive attitude towards food along the way. My approach to nutrition is pretty simple; eat when you are hungry, eat real food, make your food delicious and pretty, and enjoy! Ever since, I have started experiencing with new recipes in the kitchen, it’s unbelievable how many ingredients out there can be replaced by healthier and far tastier ingredients in my opinion. For example, when you bake a cake, you can substitute the butter with cottage cheese, the oil with fruit compote or yogurt, you can replace the sugar with honey, the white processed flour with oats, just to name a few.

So let’s cut to the chase and make some pancakes for Pete’s sake!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup plain yogurt or apple sauce
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (or 1/2cup + 1/2 cup of rolled oats)
  • 1 tbsp. honey or agave
  • a little butter (no, it won’t kill you in small quantities)
  • your favorite toppings (blueberries, bananas, apples, walnuts, shredded coconut…)

Directions

  • Preheat griddle or large skillet over medium low heat while you make the batter.
  • Beat together the cottage cheese, yogurt and egg yolks. Combine the dry ingredients. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry.
  • Stir the flour mixture into the cottage cheese mixture, blending well but not beating. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites; they should remain somewhat distinct in the batter.
  • Spray the griddle or skillet with neutral non-fat cooking spray (or a small amount of butter) and, when it is hot, add the batter by heaping tablespoon, making sure to include some of the egg whites in each spoonful. Cook until lightly browned on the bottom (3-5 minutes) then turn and cook until the second side is brown. Top with your favorite add-ons & serve immediately.
  • Makes 3-4 servings. Cooking time is 20 minutes.
  • Invite your friends over!! Or keep them all to yourself!
Recipe & image source adapted from: The Chic Brulée !
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Workout Log) Week of 26 Dec. ’11- 01 Jan. ’12

January 4, 2012

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Summary of the week

  • 15min Total Body Circuit training
  • 2 x 10min. Quicky Workout/Total Body Circuit
  • 20min. Elliptical trainer

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Workout Log) Week of 19-25 December ’11

January 4, 2012

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Summary of the week

  • 12min HIIT
  • 16min HIIT on Elliptical trainer
  • 2 x Total Body Circuit

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Pizza Omelet Recipe !

January 2, 2012

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How Do You Like Your Eggs?

Boiled, poached, scrambled, sunny side up? If you are looking for something new, try this delicious and healthy recipe to add some variety to your meals.        

Ingredients

(2 servings)

  • veggies of your choice, preferably seasonal (I used 1 onions, 1  leak, 3 mushrooms, and 1 carrot)
  • 3 whole eggs + 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp. milk or milk alternative
  • seasoning of your choice
  • feta cheese (optional)

Directions

  • cook vegetables in heated pan with olive oil until tender (add water if needed)
  • beat eggs with milk
  • pour egg mix evenly on grilled veggies and place in oven-proof dish 
  • top it off with some feta crumbles if desired (or other grated cheese)
  • bake for about 25min. at 200 degrees
  • serve with salad

Enjoy!

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