Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mythbusters: Fat Burning Zone

A new lil' segment for y'all. Our PhitPro, Be Well workshop on Thursday was AWESOME. I work with some amazingly knowledgeable and talented people. I hope some of you guys can make it next time. Super motivating! Carlee did an awesome workshop on bringing truth to light on a lot of the fitness myths that are out there. As I was listening to her I realized that so many of these myths are common beliefs of the general public, and I felt it might be helpful to correct some misconceptions.

Myth: You should only work out in the "fat burning zone"
Fact: You will burn a higher percentage of calories from fat when you are working out in the fat burning zone, but you will burn more calories over all if you you increase your intensity.

We are talking efficiency here. We are all busy people. I'm guessing that you don't want to spend endless hours a day in the fat burning zone trying to get your calories burned count up there. There is a better way people! I hope I can explain this in a way that will make sense to goes.

Let's say you are working out in your fat burning zone, which is 60-70% percent of your max heart rate. (To find your max heart rate calculate 220 - your age, then figure out the intensity percentages from there.) In the fat burning zone you will burn about 50% of your calories from fat, but a lower total amount of calories. If you were to work out in the aerobic zone which is 70-80% of your MHR, you will burn less calories from fat when looking at the percentages, but because you are burning more total calories over all there will be the same amount of calories from fat. Does that make sense?

Maybe this chart will help...This represents the calories burned by a 130 lb woman.

So, what is the take home from this? Work harder! :) If you only have a short amount of time to get some exercise in. Get that heart rate up! You'll burn more calories in a short amount of time. I recommend using a heart rate monitor to gage where your'e at while your'e working out. They are pretty nifty as far as calculating your total calorie burn as well. High intensity exercise should have you breaking into a sweat within the first five minutes of exertion. Another way to judge if your intensity is hard enough is to evaluate your breathing. If you can easily control your breathing through your nose, and you aren't required to breathe through your mouth at all your heart rate is probably on the lower end of the spectrum.

This principle is why I praise intervals so very often. It may be super hard for you to keep your intensity up for a constant workout, but if you can bump that intensity up for a few minutes and then give your self a lower intensity active recovery you'll be burning more total calories than if you were to stay in the lower intensity zone. Kapeesh?

Sooo...push yourselves. Burn some calories!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March Be Well Workshop

We are having another Be Well Workshop at Elevate Thursday night, March 25th from 7-8 PM. It is free, and anyone is invited to attend. The mini-classes will be...

Fitness Myths BUSTED! Carlee Platt

Are you an “Adrenaline Junky?" Ashley Buckner

Core Matters (mini workout) Zach Biesinger

All Workshops will be taught by PHITpro’s Certified Personal Trainers

Prize Giveaway, Refreshments and More!

I won't be teaching this go round, but the trainers that are teaching are awesome. If you have any questions about it let me know!

Elevate is located at 47 West 400 North Orem, UT 84057

Monday, March 22, 2010

My top 10 food finds you MUST try...

In case you've missed my raving about favorite foods of mine in the goes...

I am IN LOVE with this stuff. Throw it on top of a salad, and you don't even need dressing it's so flavorful. With only 20 calories per 2 TBS it's a great choice.

I've raved about this before. It's just good and so good for you. My favorite way to buy it is in the bulk individual packages at Costco. Pop them in the microwave, and then sprinkle some sea salt on them. So easy, filling, and fantastic.

These are seriously the most amazing invention EVER. 90 calories, 9 grams of protein, and 9 grams of fiber. Unbelievable, I know. These are great for turkey wraps, peanut butter and banana wraps, panini's, and thin crust pizza's. Just do it, trust me.

These are another great creation. At 80 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 12 grams of fiber they make regular tortillas look pansy-ish. They are pretty tasty too.

Yum. This stuff is good. Unfortunately I am not a huge fan of the all natural peanut butter that you have to keep refrigerated and stir all the time. It weirds me out. So, I've found this is the next best thing. It doesn't have the trans fats that normal PB has, and has less sugar. I love this spoon in the PB love this stuff.

These are another great, throw in your purse, snack. There are a ton of flavors to choose from. My favorites are the chocolate and the oats and peanut butter. Let's be honest. I love all things peanut butter.

I have been loving these lately. I am such a texture person, and I was afraid I was going to think they were weird, texture-wise. Not so. They have more of a rice and beans texture. They have 120 calories per patty, 4 grams of fat, 11 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber. I've been eating them in burritos and cutting them up on salads. YUM.

These make my water drinking a LOT easier. I always have a few on hand in my purse. They each have about 12 calories in them, and they are sugar free. Soooo good.

My Mom introduced these to me, and they are SO good! They are a delicious treat with only 110 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 5 grams of fiber.

This stuff is AWESOME. I hate that I have only ever seen it at Walmart, which makes it a pain to keep on hand sometimes. I love to mix it with my Kashi, but it's great to mix with just about any cereal for a low cal increase in protein. There are 10 grams of protein, and only 100 calories per serving which is awesome

Also...I love the Hungry Girl website. She comes out with a "shopping list" every year of what her must have foods are. Click HERE for the link to it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Meet my new best friend

Food journaling. I talk a LOT about it, I know. It is such an important factor in weight loss if you are really looking to get your goals accomplished. There are a lot of ways to journal, you just need to find what works for you. Like I've mentioned before, I like to use a free website called

I have wanted a food scale forever, but just haven't got around to getting one, until this past weekend. Enter...newest purchase...

I usually measure everything out by count or by cup, but I have always guesstimated with somethings like fruit and meat. Now I don't have to guess! When you are trying to be exact about your food journaling food scales are a great way to go. So excited!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Green Leafy Goodness

Happy St. Patty's Day! Are you all "greened" out by now? Well, let me squeeze just a little more green-ification into you!
You hear all the time that you should be eating leafy green veggies, (The USDA recommends we eat at least 3 cups of leafy greens per week) but why?
Here are the benefits of stocking your diet full of rabbit food:
- Dark Leafy Green Veggies are calorie for calorie one of the most nutrient dense foods available
- Very low in calories and carbohydrates (making them very low on the glycemic index.)
- They contain TONS of minerals (iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium)
- They are chalked full of vitamins (K, C, E, and a whole slew of the B's)
- They contain phytonutrients such as beta-carotein, lutein and zeaxanthin...these bad boys help fight age related problems in our eyes, and protect our cells from damage
- Vitamin K seems to be the one getting the most attention here. The leafy greens are packed with Vitamin K. K is responsible for regulating blood clotting, aids in stopping osteoporosis, can help reduce inflammation, and protects against atherosclerosis & arthritis. Note that because Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin it needs to have some fat ingested with it for it to be ingested.

Now, what kind of a friend would I be if I didn't provide a healthy and delicious way to get your greens in...

Greek Salad

½ head of green leaf lettuce, ½ head of red leaf lettuce,½-1 cucumber, cut up into chunks,2 slices red onion, cut in chunks, ½ small can of olives, 1 avocado cut into chunks, 1 small tomato cut into chunks,½ small container crumbled Feta cheese, finely grated fresh parmesan cheese *You could even add grilled chicken to this & it would be yummy!


1 part red wine vinegar, 2 parts safflower oil, Lawry’s garlic salt (thick until it falls into the oil), Lawry’s seasoned pepper

Voila! sooooo good.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Exercise of the Week: Pushup Mt. Climbers

You guys are hard core. So, give this exercise a shot.
Begin by doing a regular pushup on your toes.
As you reach the top of the pushup bring your right knee into your chest and then back to starting position.
Repeat the same motion with the left knee.
Repeat with another pushup.
Aim for 15 reps. Do 3 sets and you should be spent!
This works your upper body and your core. DANG.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I'm not even mad. I'm impressed.

Baking is a stress reliever for me; It's almost like it's therapeutic. Is that weird? I get urges to cook all the time. Usually I bake and gift, hoping that the sugar filled confections are edible, and never knowing for certain, due to my non-treat eating habits. But there are some specific things I'll make so that I can partake as well. Last week I posted THIS recipe for a healthier version of Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. I was actually very pleased with the outcome, but I wasn't completely satisfied as far as the caloric value was concerned. I knew I could do better. This whole past week I've been thinking about how I could toy with the recipe to get rid of the chocolate chips all together. I was looking at some sad, past the point of regular consumption, bananas sitting on my counter and I thought about how that might incorporate nicely into the recipe.

I mean come on...bananas, oats, honey....yes please.

Oh, and I haven't even got to the best part yet. Each cookie? 47 CALORIES!!! I am not even kidding. A cookie for less that 50 calories, and with 2.6 grams of sugar. I wouldn't joke about such a thing. They seriously are SO good. It tastes like a little bite of banana bread. I'm kind of excited about it if you can't tell. Move over chocolate chips, we don't even need you.
Here is the recipe as of today.

recipe yields 36 cookies

1 1/2 TBS butter
1 1/2 TBS unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 egg whites
1 TBS water
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
2 small ripe bananas, mashed

1. Preheat your oven to 350
2. Mix together butter, applesauce, brown sugar, honey, egg whites, and water.
3. Add in your dry ingredients, and then your oatmeal and mashed bananas.
4. Spoon onto cookie sheet (sprayed with Pam) and bake for 12 minutes.

Nutritional Info:
47.7 calories, .8 grams of fat (.4 sat, .1 poly, .2 mono), 9.8 grams of carbs, .7 grams of fiber, 2.6 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.
DANG. That is all I have to say.

Did I mention I love questions?

Thank you Darling Lori.
"Okay megan question. I'm getting ready to run my first half marathon, I am up to running 7 miles, right now I run about 17 miles a week. I'm also still trying to lose weight I have the extra spare tire around my waist and the thighs still giggle. How many calories should I be eating? I think this would be a good time to talk about this because marathon season is upon us. I need your help."

*pre-post disclaimer: "How many calories should I be eating?" is probably one of the most common questions that I this post will apply to the race-trainer and the average mom alike.
Getting the eating part right when you are training for a race can be very difficult. One of the things that I have struggled with the most is the fact that your appetite increases a lot when you are running all the time, and so your natural tendency is to eat...duh. This can create a problem. Mentally you think, "I just ran ____ miles, I can eat whatever I want." You are burning a lot more calories, but you want to be careful not to eat yourself out of house and home because you feel like you can. It is key to look at what your goals are here. Are you running to lose weight? Are you running with more of an athletic goal? If you are running to lose weight you want to be sure that you have a calorie deficit. What does that mean?

Math. That is what it means.
For example. Let's say you have a Basal Metabolic Rate of 1200 calories per day. (BMR = the calories it takes for your body to keep you alive without any movement on your part. Click HERE to find yours.) Now let's say throughout your day you are moderately active, burning about 400 calories doing whatever it is that you do, sitting at your desk, cleaning the house, running errands, you get the point. Now your Burn for the day is 1,600 calories. Well, let's say you put in a 400 calories breakfast, a 400 calorie lunch, 200 calorie snack, and a 600 calorie dinner. This puts your total calorie intake for the day at 1,600 calories. Now let's say you didn't make it to the gym as planned, because the bachelor was on.

Currently your daily math is looking something like this:
- 1,600 calories burned
+ 1,600 calories eaten
= 0
As math would have it you evened out for the day. No extra calories burned, No extra calories eaten.

Now let's say you decided to ditch foolish Jake the bachelor, and did make it to the gym where you ran 6 miles, burning 600 calories. Now your math looks like this.
- 2,200
+ 1,600 calories eaten
= -600 calorie deficit

Congratulations Megan, you can do basic kindergarten math...But what does this all mean?
Well, 1 lb of fat = 3,500 calories. So if you were looking to lose one lb a week you would want to have a total weekly caloric deficit of 3,500 calories, which equals out to 500 calories per day. These calories can come from not eating as much, or from working out more. It is best if they come from a combination of the two.

Figure out your BMR depending on your activity level by clicking HERE. From there you will want to subtract the deficit of how many calories/depending on the poundage per week you're wanting to lose. 1-2 lbs per week is considered healthy, and sustainable weight loss.

Here are a couple things you want to remember.
1. Most people underestimate what they are eating. If you are really wanting to lose weight the best thing to do is to journal your food. I log mine on, which I've mentioned before, but there are all sorts of other free online venues, apps, or even a blank spiral notebook. The key to journaling is not to cheat!
This article is a great one about it.

2. The key to weight loss and your calorie deficit is consistency. Your body won't change if you hit your deficit for one day, but if you consistently hit your deficit for three weeks it will.

3. Heart Rate monitors, and Body Bugs can be an amazing tool in weight loss success as far as helping you know how much you've burned. The more exact your math is, the more you will be able to see why you are or are not losing weight.

4. If you this is still super confusing to you, and you want more specific help email me at and i'll help you out!

Friday, March 5, 2010

A day to be celebrated, indeed.

Today is a holiday. For me at least. Today is national cereal day. If you know me at all you know I LOVE cereal. I will confess that I eat it for breakfast and dinner sometimes. I like it hot, I like it cold, I like it dry, I like it in yogurt, I like it in the form of treats...I mean let's be honest...It's just SO good. And luckily it can be so good for you too!

I am somewhat of a cereal suicide-er if you will. I just like so many kinds that I find that mixing them can give you the best of so many worlds. My current favorite is Kashi Golean Crunch mixed with Special K Protein Plus.

I mix 1/2 cup Kashi, 3/4 cup Special K, and about a cup of milk and I end up with a delish breakfast which comes out to be 286 calories, 5 grams of fat, 43 grams of carbs, and 23 grams of protein. I seriously get excited about waking up to eat it...I love it that much.

So, how do you know if your cereal is a good choice? Here are some guidelines:

- the first ingredient listed should be "whole grain" "whole wheat" or "wheat bran." Avoid cereals with the word "enriched." That usually means processed.
- 5 grams of fiber
- 3 grams of protein
- Added sugars shouldn't be more than 25% of the total calories (To figure this out multiply the grams of sugar per serving by 4. Divide this number by the total calories per serving. Multiply this # by 100 for the percentage of calories from sugar) If you can find a cereal that is just above the 25% mark, has 5+ grams of fiber, and the first ingredient is "whole grains," it would still be a great choice considering it's no higher than 30%. Generally, more than 7 grams of sugar is too high.
- Avoid cereals with phrases like: "hydrogenated oils," "dyes or artificial colors," and "chemical preservatives."
- If it looks to delish to be might be. Look at the nutrition facts first!

Some good Cereal Picks:
- Fiber One Bran Cereal* a great one to mix with other more flavorful cereals.
- Fiber One Honey Clusters
- Quaker Oatmeal Squares
- Shredded Wheat
- Frosted Mini Wheats
- Raisin Bran* this one appears to be high in sugar, but the sugar content is actually coming from the raisins in the cereal.
- Kashi cereals

Serve up some of this deliciousness with a little bit of skim milk, soy milk, or almond milk, & Voila! You are a happy camper.