Archive Monthly Archives: May 2017

Summer Countdown: How to Look Great in Just 6 Weeks

Watch your calorie intake and head for the gym.

Want to shape up for summer? Don’t wait until the last minute. If you start now, you’ve got six weeks or so––plenty of time to see some serious results before swimsuit season starts.

Six weeks may sound like an eternity, but if you’re trying to get in get in shape for summer, you’ll want to get going right away. I’m nudging you now, because many people have the tendency to put this off. As in, “I’m going on a surfing trip next week, and I can’t be seen looking like this!” A crash diet to take off a couple pounds in a week might make you slightly less self-conscious in your board shorts. But if you really want to make some headway before swimsuit season, the time to start is now.

Six Weeks ‘til Summer: Shape Up Now

Here’s the thing: a safe and achievable rate of weight loss is about one or two pounds a week. In order to lose a pound in a week’s time, you need to tilt your calorie balance in the negative direction by about 500 calories per day. Now, a pound of fat stores about 3500 calories. If you burn up 500 of those stored calories every day for a week, you’ll lose about a pound of fat. Larger people can often tip the balance a little further, coming up with a shortage of 750 or even 1000 calories a day to lose a bit more quickly.

Depending on your body size, that means that if you start now, you could lose 5 or 10 pounds by early June, and that could be enough to give you a beach body by the start of summer. With a one-two punch of diet and exercise, six weeks is enough time to see some noticeable changes in your muscle tone and shape if you dedicate some serious time to your workouts.

Diet and Exercise

The best way to create your calorie ‘shortage’ is with a combination of diet and exercise. Don’t try to just do one or the other. For one thing, if your calorie needs aren’t that high to start with, you may not be able to cut out 500 calories a day from your meals without cutting back too far. You shouldn’t go much below 1200 calories a day. If you try to cut too much, not only is it harder to pack all your nutrient needs into fewer calories, but you also may not have enough energy to exercise. Trying the ‘exercise only’ approach is tough, too, because it takes a lot of exercise to burn up 500 calories––like a solid hour of nonstop swimming.

Turn Up the Nutrition

Focus on eating the most ‘nutrient dense’ foods––those foods that give you the most nutrition for the fewest calories per bite. Vegetables top the list, followed by the lowest fat proteins (fish and shellfish, poultry breast, egg whites, fat-free dairy products, protein powder), then followed by fruit and then whole grains.

Power Up with Protein

Make sure to include some protein at every meal and snack. It will help keep you from getting too hungry in between meals.

Hold Up on the Grains

Cut back on your whole grains for the first week or two to give yourself a little head start. You don’t want to cut them out completely, but cutting back to just a serving or two each day can help you save a lot of calories. As long as you’re eating plenty of veggies and fruit, you should be getting enough carbohydrates to fuel your exercise.

Shake It Up

Careful calorie counting is the key, but it’s often one of the hardest things to do. This is why meal replacement shakes work so well. They take the guesswork out of calorie counting, because you know exactly how many calories are in them. Have a protein shake made with milk and fruit for two meals a day, then focus on veggies and protein for your third meal. Keep your snacks small and protein-packed (like a protein bar or a small carton of Greek yogurt), and you’ll keep your calorie guesswork to a minimum.

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Good morning. 

What do people think of you? You cannot make everyone happy. Some people are going to have negative things to say about you but you can’t let it bother you. Realize that it is their opinion and move on. Don’t dwell on why someone doesn’t like you. Be yourself and the right people will love you for who you are. How can you let go of what other people think today?

“The opinion which other people have of you is their problem, not yours.”

-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Have a great day!

Where are you going?

Good morning, 

Where are you going? So many times, we feel stuck where we are because we get comfortable or we feel like we can’t do any better. Know that where you are right now is the beginning of a new day, a new start. Take control and figure out what you are going to do with your new beginning. How can you see today as a fresh start and what are you going to do about it?

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”

-Nido Qubein

Have a great day!


Good morning. What are you willing to do to achieve your goals? If you are unwilling to put in the time and effort, everything will be hard. The more willing and determined you are, the easier it is to do what you need to do. What do you need to change your attitude about today?

“Nothing is easy to the unwilling.” 

-Thomas Fuller

Have a great day!


Good morning. What do you need to overcome? Many times the issues lies not with the problem, but with the way we view ourselves. You can be your own biggest opponent if you think that you can’t do something. Don’t put yourself down, build yourself up. Believe in yourself that you can do great things because you can! What do you need to conquer today?
“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”

-Edmund Hillary

Have a great day!


Good morning. How do you react in difficult situations? Look at your past reactions and decide if that is how you should have reacted. Then decide if you are going to choose to continue to react like that or if there is a better way. How can you choose to respond positively in spite of your circumstances?
“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.”

-Deepak Chopra

Have a great day!

Life is to short

Good morning. 

Do you love what you do? Life is too short to be unhappy doing something you are not passionate about. Don’t settle for comfort because you are afraid of change. Take a risk. Find what makes you excited and go for it. How can you pursue what you love today? What is your first step?

“If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.”
-Will Rogers

Have a great day!

6 Cycling Tips to Get Fit

Hit the road to get fit.

Cycling is great way to burn calories, tone your muscles, increase stamina and have fun, too.

If you want to burn calories, build muscle or improve your overall cardiovascular fitness, cycling is a highly effective form of exercise. It’s one that you can work into your daily commute, enjoy on the weekends or do at the gym anytime. Whether you choose to ride a stationary bike or actually hit the road, here are some tips to help you tailor your workout and achieve your goals.

Duration vs. Intensity

The duration and intensity level of your workout will help determine how you burn calories. Finding the right balance between these two factors will take practice. You want to ride at an intensity that suits your current fitness level, but also pushes you out of your comfort zone. You’ll also need to figure out a time commitment that’s achievable. If you want to get the best results, you’ll have to listen to your body and become your own coach.

Keep It Slow and Steady for Low Impact

Riding a bike is a low-impact activity, making it an ideal choice for days when you want to give your joints a rest. But don’t let the term ‘low-impact’ trick you into to thinking that cycling is an easy choice. If you’re new to exercising, I recommend starting out with a nice steady ride at a moderate intensity level. Try an intensity level of about 6-7 with duration of about 45-60 minutes.

Taking it slow is especially important, if you’re a true beginner or are just starting back after a long time off. I truly believe that easing your body back into exercise with a low to moderate intensity level is a good idea. Shocking your system with an intense ride on day one may just stop you from coming back for more.

Speed It Up to Shed More Calories

Increase your intensity level by adjusting your speed. The faster you go, the harder your body has to work and the more energy you’ll expend. Speed it up to an intensity level of 7-8.

Mix It Up for a Challenge

Interval training on a bike is great for burning calories and improving your cardiovascular fitness level. Alternating between periods of high and low intensity offers you a challenge, especially when you’re short on time. Shorter rest periods make the workout even more intense.

Add Resistance to Build Muscle

Add some hills to your ride for increased resistance. If you’re outdoors, look for hills with a steep incline so your muscles will exert more effort. If you’re on a stationary bike, experiment with the resistance adjustment until you find a level that’s difficult but still allows you to keep moving at a good pace. Just keep in mind that if you push too hard, you risk putting too much pressure on your knees, and riding with poor form is never a good idea. A good thought to keep in mind if you’re on a stationary bike is to imagine you’re on the road. Ask yourself ‘Would I be able to peddle up a hill without falling off?’ If the answer is no, reduce the resistance a little. Indoor cycling should be as close to road biking as you can make it.

Ride for Endurance

If you want to improve your endurance, ultimately you’ll have to ride for a longer period of time. Your duration should be relative to your current fitness level. Ninety minutes or more is an endurance ride, but if you’re new to cycling, 60 minutes is a good starting point. Build up your distance and duration over time, and aim to push yourself a little harder each time. To avoid boredom, use some or all of my riding suggestions throughout your ride.

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