Category: fitness motivation

Alcohol and Weight Loss

How to navigate Alcohol While Trying to Lose Weight

Drinking while trying to lose weight is the toughest thing to manage for many. Drinking represents keeping up your social life while still trying to live healthy.

 Learning to manage alcohol for many is the difference between success and failure when losing weight.  The ‘beer belly’ didn’t get it’s name from not drinking beer.

You can still drink while losing weight. Often a lot of the weight gain from drinking comes from the lack of inhibitions after we have a few drinks.

How many times have you started to make bad decisions, food or otherwise, just because of a few drinks?

Don’t let discipline go right out the window the second you have a drink. I know easier said than done.

Tip 1: Eat before you start drinking.

If you’re hungry and then you start drinking, you know that midnight taco run is going to happen.

A meal higher in protein will help keep you full. Listen to your body. Not that drunk voice in the back of your head.

Tip 2: No sugary drinks

Sugar plus alcohol is going to stop your weight loss. The obvious sugar drinks are the ‘beach’ drinks. Daiquiris, margaritas, piña coladas. Overlooked sugar drinks are the alcohol and coke/soda/red bull/fruit juice. These drinks contain just as much sugar!

Tip 3: Beer & wine in moderation.

Depending on the beer it has between 100 – 200 calories. Red wine has about 135 calories per glass (that’s 5oz) How easy is it to drink 5 beers in an evening out? Or an entire bottle of wine? At only 1 beer an hour (unlikely) that’s easily an extra 500-1000 calories.

If you’ve been sub 200 calories per day for the entire week, which is about where you’d want to be to lose weight without going crazy, then had an extra 1000 calories on Saturday night you’d be right back where you started the week off.

Now add in a few extra calories from the food you snuck in while drinking. It’s easy to see how eating less during the week and eating in excess on the weekend can still cause weight gain.

I know I’ve been guilty of this.

Tip 5: What to drink

Alcohol with zero calorie mixers. Or just alcohol.

Tequila and a couple limes
Vodka and soda
Vodka and lacroix

Tip 6: Stop drinking until you’ve reached your desired weight.

Once you’ve reached your desired body weight, and can maintain your healthy body weight, adding alcohol back in is much easier than trying to lose weight while continuing to drink alcohol.

Alcohol seems to stop all progress both in losing weight and gaining muscle.

 Beside the calories, alcohol messes with sleep. Poor sleep leads to reduced decision making, and lack of energy.  Lack of energy = no exercising. A crappy cycle will mess up weight loss. Even if you’re not drinking, poor sleep will stop weight loss progress.

Alcohol is a double whack to weight loss. Excess calories and reduced sleep.

Keep alcohol in check and the weight will come off!

Reminder: at some point you HAVE to change something about how you are living.  If you want to lose weight, you have to make changes.  There is a difference between making something work for your lifestyle, and completely refusing to make ANY sacrifices or ANY changes. 😉

How to still lose weight while drinking alcohol. It is always the first thing that people tell you to give up but what ify ou don't want to. Here are some tips that will make you lose weight while still being able to have a social life.

Hey! I am Caitlyn, the other half of FTBH. Cameron and I started this website together in 2016 as a way to reach out to people who want to live a healthy life, but may not know the best ways to go about it. We fully believe in finding the right method for you and your lifestyle. I am a professional dancer and owner of a Chicago based aerial dance company (Methos Aerial). I have been through all the ups and downs of weight loss and mental health and am an open book if you want to reach out. 🙂

A Beginners Guide to the Gym

How to become comfortable at the gym

If you never played sports in Highschool or weren’t a college athlete, you probably never HAD to go to the gym.

You probably never had someone tell you how to work out, what weights to lift and how heavy, what to eat before/during/after, how to stretch to avoid injury… the list goes on and on.

And for someone who wants to get healthy but has never actually been to the gym… this is scary and intimidating.

Well… you are not alone. There are many people out there in the exact same boat. This guide is for you! 😉

First …. a quote that I once heard –  “You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.” ~ Olin Miller 

Now I know it sounds a bit harsh… but it’s the truth. People are much more focused on themselves then they are on you. If you make eye contact with someone and wonder why they are looking at you, I guarantee they are wondering why you are looking at them.

You HAVE TO STOP getting nervous about doing something embarrassing at the gym. You are trying to make a life change, and that is going to require doing a few things that are uncomfortable. It’s okay… push through it and you will be glad you did. And unless you are this guy.. You have nothing to worry about. 🙂

Second…

GET A GYM MEMBERSHIP if you don’t already.

Don’t even plan on working out that day. Just go to the gym, sign up for a membership and have them give you a tour of the gym. Then leave!

Phew… you did it, you got a membership!

Now, let’s actually make that membership worth your while. The biggest problem we see, and why a lot of people stop going to the gym, is a  lack of planning .

Let’s start breaking it down!

Step 1: What to Eat and When?

Timing for MOST people is not as important as people make it out to be. It’s generally driven by supplement companies to sell their products.

Like pre-workout, protein powders, BCAAs…

Timing becomes very important for endurance athletes and more intense “gym goers”. However, if you are still reading this post… that is not you.

What we recommend…

 Don’t go to the gym starving… Don’t go to the gym stuffed 

Simple as that!

“Wait what? People always tell me to eat carbs right before a workout!!”

Trust me… eating enough carbs is never an issue for people. We already over-eat carbs. You already have enough glycogen in your body to get you through your workout. Adding more right before working out is not necessary. Plus, you most likely aren’t giving the carbs enough time to turn into glycogen in the first place.

Eat something light before your workout (greek yogurt, cottage cheese) … then something a little more substantial after your workout (Eggs/Omlet).

Don’t overthink this! Simpler is better.

Step 2: Warm-Up

Warm-up the muscles you will be using. NOT A TIME TO SIT AND STRETCH.

Appropriate warm-ups are also referred to as dynamic stretching.  Warm ups should be preparing your muscles to perform. 

The best options to warm-up:

Hit the treadmill/bike/rower/stairs for 5 minutes to get moving.

If you are just doing cardio that day, than start slow to get your body warm and then increase speed/resistance as you go.

If you’re lifting weights, strength training, conditioning… work the muscles lightly that’ll you’ll be using during the workout. You can use no weight, light weights, or a band. You wouldn’t hop on the treadmill and immediately start sprinting, the same applies for lifting weights.

For example: If you’re going to be squatting. Squat without any weight for 20-30 reps to warm up your knees, hips, back etc. then add more weight.

Warm up time should be about 5-10 minutes. And you should actually feel “warm/damp” when you are done!

Step 3: Strength Training

Many beginners simply head straight to the cardio machines and stay there for the duration of their workout. Why? Because it’s familiar/comfortable and doesn’t require any “thinking or prep”.

 We CANNOT recommend strength training enough.  Especially for gym newbies. It is the fastest way to see results and generally will solve a lot of your other physical problems.

Most of us have terrible posture from working at computers, being on our phones, and sitting often. Strength training is the fastest way to correct these problems. AND the quickest way to weight loss. 😉

We could talk for hours about weight lifting/strength training for hours but these are the BASICS and WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

~ Don’t worry about sticking with one/two muscle groups per session (Day 1: Chest and Triceps, Day 2: Legs and glutes etc.) when you are new to the gym, you are probably only going once or twice a week. It’s okay to do a full body work out each time just give yourself enough time to recover before going back.

~ As a beginner start with the machines. They are easy and most have little pictures on the side to show you exactly what muscle groups you will be working. When you become more comfortable with the machines you can start to add in some simple movements off the machine.

~ Figure out how much weight to use. How much weight to use will differ from person to person. You should be able to do 10-15 reps for 3-4 sets/times (60 second rest between each set). It should be challenging to finish the 15 reps and should get harder and harder as you move through your sets. If you are cruising through, increase the weight for the next set, if you can’t finish the 15 reps after the first set… lower the weight.

Write down in your phone how much weight you used so you don’t have to play the guessing game next time. Also, this is the only way to see progress!

Movements that are great for beginners (video links):

Seated Band Pull
Lat pulldown (cable or regular)
Seated press
Incline Dumbell Press
Hamstring curls
Leg extensions
6 Ways
Lunges
Sled push
Hollow holds (arms by ears for added difficulty)
Hip Thrusts
Push ups (on knees if needed)
Kettlebell Deadlift

Strength training shouldn’t take longer than 45 minutes when starting out. 30 minutes with the proper intensity is great. You should be moving efficiently through your workout.

Step 4: Cardio

No matter what your health goals are, cardio is important. A lot of people HATE CARDIO! They think they have to run for miles until everything hurts and they can’t breath. They are wrong!

Cardio comes in MANY forms. Going for a long, fast paced walk could be your cardio.

However, if you want get the most “bang for your buck”… we recommend HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) once or twice per week.

15 minutes max. You might only get to 5-10 minutes when first starting out.

Here is what we recommend …

Incline treadmill (I mean really incline… all the way up or almost all the way up), stair stepper or spin bike. Pick the one you feel most comfortable on.

Crank up the speed as high as you can handle for 20 seconds. Then stop and rest (I stand on the side of the treadmill) for 40 seconds while leaving the equipment running. Once 40 seconds is up, hop right back on at your top speed for another 20 seconds and back off for 40 seconds etc. etc.

Repeat for 5-10 rounds. As you get better you can move it up to 15 rounds. Don’t go over 15 rounds. Increase the difficulty (faster speed, more incline, more resistance on the bike etc.) rather than the length of time.

Step 5: Stretching

Static stretching at the end of your workout will help prevent muscle soreness. Light biking and walking will help as well.

As for increasing flexibility… consistent stretching it is important. Work on it at the end of your workouts when your muscles are warm. Strength plus mobility is what keeps our bodies balanced and prevents injuries.

Stretching, however, shouldn’t be used to relieve pain instantly. Or to press, twist, turn your body so hard that you feel better.

 If you are having pain in specific areas, it is most likely due to muscle imbalance …and over stretching is not going to cure that.

A foam roller is a great tool, but don’t over do it! Use it for a couple minutes after a tough workout but also add in static stretching.

FINAL ADVICE FOR YOU…

JUST GO! The more you go to the gym, the more comfortable you will get. Use Fit to be Hitched as a resource, we are ALWAYS happy to answer questions and provide advice!

If you are just looking to get started with a healthy diet and workout program you should check out our 7 Day Nutrition and Fitness Guide. It will walk you through what to eat and what exercises to do at the gym, with videos so you know what each exercise is suppose to look like.

Good luck!

Just starting to work out? Not sure what to do at the gym? Don't worry, this is for you. It's our beginners guide to the gym to help make it easier and less scary

Hey! I am Caitlyn, the other half of FTBH. Cameron and I started this website together in 2016 as a way to reach out to people who want to live a healthy life, but may not know the best ways to go about it. We fully believe in finding the right method for you and your lifestyle. I am a professional dancer and owner of a Chicago based aerial dance company (Methos Aerial). I have been through all the ups and downs of weight loss and mental health and am an open book if you want to reach out. 🙂

30 Days to a Bigger Butt

A simple, effective 30-day program you can do from your own home.

Many people think it takes complicated machines and exercises to build a bigger butt. The most important part of building a bigger butt is consistency.

 Never skipping a day and high, light volume is the key to a bigger butt. 

Also, while we think squats are one of the most important exercises you should be doing. Squats are NOT the most important for growing a nice booty.

Click Here to Download

3 exercises for a bigger butt at home.

At home 30 days to a bigger butt with these 3 simple exercises.

At home 30 days to a bigger butt with these 3 simple exercises.

Hey! I am Caitlyn, the other half of FTBH. Cameron and I started this website together in 2016 as a way to reach out to people who want to live a healthy life, but may not know the best ways to go about it. We fully believe in finding the right method for you and your lifestyle. I am a professional dancer and owner of a Chicago based aerial dance company (Methos Aerial). I have been through all the ups and downs of weight loss and mental health and am an open book if you want to reach out. 🙂

Ditch the “Always be Happy/Motivated” to Find Lasting Health and Happiness

Being Happy all the Time is Bull&#%!

 

Misconception… Being in a happy and motivated state of mind, leads to success.

Truth… Overcoming struggles/challenges leads to happiness and success.

In the post titled “Making Health A Habit: How to Deal With Stress” I wrote the following:

“IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: We use the words ‘happy’ and ‘positive’ often, but we are slightly misusing these words. Neither of us are always happy or positive, it’s about moving forward in a way that’s not self destructive. Sometimes life just sucks, it’s hard, no fun, and that’s ok. We want to make this perfectly clear. Real life isn’t an Instagram feed. Those are just the highlights. It’s full of ups and downs. Our goal isn’t to rid ourselves of the downs as the downs are needed just as much as the ups. The downs are when we are learning the most powerful lessons (if we’re listening). The journey is the goal. The struggle is the reward. It’s what makes all this worth it. Learning to make the journey a positive one… while overcoming the struggles in a way that makes you a better/healthier person… that is what we are hoping to achieve. Not ridding ourselves of the negative experiences. In many cases we’re choosing the struggle over the easy choice because we know that’s where meaningful growth occurs.”

There is always advice on the internet about being happy and staying positive.

“Don’t let anyone or anything get you down.”

“You are in control of your own happiness.”

“Stay positive even when your life’s falling apart.”

While I understand their intensions… constantly being positive or happy is bullshit.

Always have a smile on your face and the rest will figure itself out… come on, that isn’t real life.

When I was younger my dad would always say to me. “You are the only person who is in control of your day.” and I would say “but, ‘this person/thing’, put me in a really bad mood.”

And he would say, “no, you put yourself in a bad mood.”

I understand the lesson he was trying to teach me. I was the only one who could control my emotions. It was my choice what kind of mood I was in and how my day would be and no one could take that choice away from me.

This did not mean that I HAD to choose to be happy and positive ALL the time. Or live with a constant smile on my face.

It’s exhausting to think you have to be in a good mood 24/7. Walking around with a huge smile on your face just because you think you should.

Also, this “resting bitch face” phrase that society has coined. Describing women who aren’t walking around with a smile on their face… it’s a very irritating phrase.

I don’t want to be labeled as a “bitch” but sometimes I am just not smiling…sorry not sorry!

The point is… I have a lot of bad days. We all do. Marriage isn’t easy. Kids aren’t easy. Work isn’t easy. Life isn’t easy.

I was having a particularly rough day a couple weeks ago.

My husband and I hadn’t made much time for each other which created unnecessary tension.

I was feeling defeated with my career progression.

It was cold and rainy outside all day.

A dance gig we were counting on fell through.

… And one of my dogs got sick so I came home to a few piles of “welcome home” fun.

All in all… it just wasn’t a great day. Nothing super dramatic happen, just one of those days. I was not in a good mood.

What did I do? I went to a barre class, because that’s what I have been doing every Monday.

Good mood or not… I always go to this class, so what would stop be from going today?

Did I WANT to go? I don’t even know! Because habit and discipline took over. I didn’t think about it as an option.

Monday’s I take this class. Today is Monday, therefore I am taking the class.

Thank goodness for habits and discipline because if I only worked on my goals when I was “happy” … I would fail.

It’s easy to go to the gym and eat perfectly healthy when you are in a great mood… feeling on top of the world and full of motivation!

But as soon as the days get tough and ‘life’ gets in the way. We lose motivation and our health goals are the first to go. We stop eating well, we stop taking care of our bodies.

Why? It doesn’t make sense… why would we want to make ourselves feel worse?

We can only control, what we can control. Ha.

You can control yourself, your decisions, what you put in your body, how you treat your body.

It’s okay to be in a bad mood, it’s okay to not feel happy every second of every day. It’s okay to even dread going to the gym, or dread prepping your meals.

Do it anyway. Push through these moments because your goals are more important.

Take control of the parts that can be controlled and have at least ONE thing go right with your day. 🙂

The best part of achieving a goal… is knowing that it wasn’t easy and that you worked your ass off to get there.

You used discipline to overcome the down times.

You defeated the struggle.

That is the most empowering feeling you can have.

The more you defeat the struggle the more fulfilling your life becomes.

Screw being happy and perfect all the time. Use the negative emotions, imperfections and experiences to propel you forward.

Our goal at FTBH is to build a solid foundation. So when your brain is too tired to concentrate on eating healthy and working out, or you had a horrible day and have no motivation left… you will do it anyway because it’s become a habit.

It’s become part of your daily life and the part you enjoy pushing through and having complete control over.

I hate the 'resting bitch face' phrase. Women are always pushed to be happy all the time. Screw that! Being happy all the time isn't realistic. Embrace your bad days, your struggles and challenges. That means you are pushing yourself into something that is uncomfortable and there for you are one step closer to success.

Hey! I am Caitlyn, the other half of FTBH. Cameron and I started this website together in 2016 as a way to reach out to people who want to live a healthy life, but may not know the best ways to go about it. We fully believe in finding the right method for you and your lifestyle. I am a professional dancer and owner of a Chicago based aerial dance company (Methos Aerial). I have been through all the ups and downs of weight loss and mental health and am an open book if you want to reach out. 🙂

The Road Map to Weight Loss Success

Discipline over motivation-where real weight loss success is found

 
This is part 2 to Motivation vs Discipline. Part 1 was about forgetting about motivation to achieve big success and crush your goals. What you need instead to achieve success is discipline. We talked a little about how to apply discipline. But in part 2, I lay down the road map to discipline… and how to help you get started.

The path to achieving discipline is much easier said than done. For weight loss there’s a reason that it is a billion industry. It’s hard. And we all want shortcuts.

Discipline isn’t a shortcut

… But it is sustainable and the key to long-term success. It’s the ‘trick’ no one wants to tell you because it doesn’t sell.

Discipline causes you to be self-sufficient. Our entire goal at FTBH is to get our readers to be self-sufficient. To create a lifestyle that works for you, not someone else. (Great article about that here – Stop Putting a Square Peg into a Round Hole)

Also, as you become self-sufficient you’ll learn what discipline means to you. Being in the fitness community I know many people that live healthy lives. They all arrive at their idea of success in a different way.

From different forms of exercise to different diet strategies. No two people arrive at success the same way. We all have different experiences that cause each of us to look at the world a little differently. On top of that we have unique bodies, lives and family health histories.

Choosing to take the road to success through discipline is the healthiest path… and… the most satisfying path to success.

Often the biggest factor in the way of health is stress. Discipline helps to remove stress. Because you have no choice to to move forward. You’re disciplined and stress can’t stop you.

This is the quickest way to apply discipline to weight loss. The same road map can be used for any difficult life goal. Here we go…

1. Seek accountability

 
Seeking accountability for weight loss use to be tough. But with the rise of the internet and group style gyms this has become much easier to find.

There are many forums on the internet that are incredibly supportive. The subreddit /loseit is one of these forums. You can see how mentally difficult this is for everyone. It’s not easy. And knowing it’s not easy… makes it easier. Odd how that works isn’t it?

The rise of group fitness gyms are one of the best forms of accountability. Gyms such as Crossfit, Orange Theory, Yoga Studios… gyms where the coaches and other clients know you. And if you don’t show up they start texting you. That’s great accountability.

Personal trainers can be great forms accountability. But they should be trainers… not friends. I see this way too often. The trainers would rather chat about their clients weekend than let them know they’re slipping a little too much.

Family (and some friends) are difficult for many to find accountability from. Our relationships with them are more than just a health goal. And our family and close friends like who we are now. Even if weight loss is a goal, when you start to apply discipline your schedule will change. Many times our family are verbally supportive but their actions say otherwise.

They serve food you ask them not to. They question you every time you make health a priority.

This can be difficult early on. And expecting them to provide accountability often falls short.

Family and friends can be good accountability partners … only when they themselves are doing the things and leading the life you want. They will understand what you’re trying to do and how hard it is.

As time goes on you’ll start to find you become accountable to yourself. Discipline is starting to take hold when this becomes the case.

2. Take a systematic approach

 
Break down the pieces of weight loss into smaller pieces that you can master one by one instead of all at once.

‘Being Healthier’ is a HUGE goal. Weight Loss is a HUGE goal. If you’re coming into this thinking about where to start it is very overwhelming. Not only are these gigantic goals but the target is moving. You and your life aren’t static. The world around you is changing, you’re always evolving. Hitting a moving target is hard.

A systematic approach is breaking it down into small pieces. This is why being self-sufficient is so important. You can make changes to your pieces as needed.

What are small pieces?

The two most important small pieces are Diet and Exercise. The next most important small pieces are Stress and Sleep.

Diet – The first of the big two.

Diet Can be broken down the most & many of these sub-categories can be broken down further:

Calories – Know what YOUR body requires to lose weight. Even if you don’t use a calorie counting approach… knowing about how much you should eat each day will have a huge impact on your weight loss journey.

Macros – Do you respond better using a low carb diet, a higher carb diet, a high fat diet, a keto diet? Master the best strategy for you, at your current weight, one that works for your life.

Food Quality – Do you have trigger foods? I don’t know anyone that struggles with weight that don’t have trigger foods (peanut butter is my biggest!). Know what they are and avoid them. Moderation with these foods are NOT possible to start. Get them out of the house. Also, if you have health issues that are caused by foods… solving them would fall into the food quality category. Gluten sensitivity being the big one.

Timing – Do you respond well to diet timing strategies? They are not required to lose weight. But many find it beneficial. Intermittent fasting being the popular one right now. Timing also includes nutrition around workouts.

Preparation – This includes the best ways for you to prepare your food and make life simpler. This also includes preparation for social a situation. Types of alcohol that will keep you on track and even fast food options that you know to either avoid or eat… depending on what might throw you into a tailspin.

Consistency – Probably the most important sub-category of diet. Doing the right things more often than not. We all have different levels of consistency that work for us. If you’re very overweight, to see progress right away you might not have to go crazy with consistency. But as you get closer and closer to your goal weight your consistency will have to improve. Once you hit your goal weight figuring out the consistency will be important to keep you there. These are 3 sub-levels of consistency that you can break down and master on your weight loss journey.

Fitness – The second of the big two.

You can break down fitness into smaller manageable pieces. Depending on your choice of exercise you can break these down into even smaller pieces as well. If you lift weight there are many movements that you can learn. Or maybe you chose to rotate between different forms of fitness. Becoming experienced enough in each to have positive effects is a way to break fitness down.

Lifting weights – Learning how to correctly workout with weights, and with the intention of weight loss, are two subcategories of fitness you can master.

Figuring out what to do at the gym (aka your program) is something you can learn for yourself. Or follow someone else’s if you’d like to not make that something you need to learn. We have a great 7 day starter program!

Running – Many people love to run (yuck, I hate it haha). How fast, how far, how often? Learning what works best for and what challenges you is a fitness sub category.

Yoga – Taking a class is generally the best way to get the hands on help you need. But there are many youtube channels that will help you follow along at home. If you want to take it further you can always take a teacher training course, or go on a yoga retreat. Even if you never plan to teach, this is a great way to take your knowledge further. (My sister did this and loved it)

There are endless fitness endeavors. Find the one which keeps you coming back for more.

However; don’t let fitness become mindless movement for the sake of moving. Real growth in fitness comes from constant effort. Enjoy it but learn when it’s time to step up the intensity to continue to see progress. Scheduling time to try something new once in a while is a great way to change it up and keep you engaged.

Stress is the first of the small two.

It’s another moving target that can be broken down in infinite ways. We talk about managing stress in our article “How To Manage Stress.” But… some common ways to breakdown stress include, journaling, yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation.

Check out our article for a deep dive into stress and health.

Sleep is the second of the small two.

Once you solve your sleeping habits. It becomes more about consistency than breaking it down into pieces. But… if you struggle with sleep there are many things to try. Such as temperature, sounds, light control, types of mattress & pillows, sleeping positions, bedtimes, pre-bed routines… Once you find your ideal habits stick to them. You’ve mastered the sleeping discipline!


Reading through all these smaller pieces is overwhelming. That’s why you take a systematic approach and break it down into manageable parts. Which leads us to #3…

3. Form habits from the mastery of the small pieces

 
You’re trying to lose weight. When most people first start they think “okay, I need to go on a diet. I better get ALL the healthy food! Cut out carbs, alcohol, sugars, count my calories and macros, prep all my meals, make smoothies, take the right supplements…”

Wow… I’m overwhelmed thinking about it.

But this time you’re using discipline to get there… You’re going to layer in the small pieces.

*Remember from #2. You’re taking a systematic approach. And layering in the small pieces allows for these pieces to become habits.

As you master a small piece they’ll become habits when you stop having to think about them or they become part of you. You’ll naturally work them into your life. Without them life feels off.

After you master each of your subcategories move to the next. Stack small piece on top of small piece.

As the small pieces form into habits, you can start to expand in each area… like find new meals to cook. New ways to reduce stress further. Chose one and master it… then another… and another… until one day you’re doing things automatically. That’s discipline. Habits are discipline.

I wish I could give you a path to follow here but this path is highly dependent on you.

Here’s two examples:

Tracking → food prep → calories → macros → quality→ more quality → less cheats → less alcohol → another layer → another layer…

Or it could look like this:

Intermittent fasting → food prep → quality → macros

In example one you never stop looking to layer in more. In example two you find these four pieces work for you and that’s good enough.

The reality is it’s a mix of both. Your life is constantly moving. You’ll find things that work for you now. But as life changes you’ll have to drop parts and add in new ones. This is natural.

4. Be honest with yourself: Everything you try isn’t going to work. Even if it works for someone else.

 
A diet strategy that is popular might work for many people but it doesn’t for you. That’s ok. But be honest about it. Did you follow it like you should? Or are you making excuses to go back to your ways? Or does it not fit with your lifestyle?

Changes will need to occur if you’re trying to change something about yourself. Don’t make excuses.

Also, just showing up sometimes isn’t enough to see changes. You actually have to work hard. This includes your diet too. You can’t say you’re counting macros but slip in a little extra all the time and expect changes. You’re not being honest with yourself if you can’t see what you’re doing is holding you back.

Did you have a bad week or is your approach not working? Be honest. It’s sometimes a bad week.

We all have biases and they show up most often when we’re being honest with ourselves. Find your biases, identify them, and when you think something isn’t working… ask yourself if that’s a bias talking or is it not working?

“It ain’t what we don’t know that gets us into trouble. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.” – Mark Twain

5. Surround yourself with the right people

 
Where it might take a few people or a single group to keep you accountable… Surrounding yourself with the right people is by far the single best way to change your situation.

You’ve probably heard that you’re the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with. If you haven’t it’s exactly as it sounds. Look at the 5 people you spend the most time with. They have the greatest psychological influence over who you are, whether you realize it or not. Or whether it’s who you want to be or not.

Ever notice how people who look similar seem to be in the same group of friends? Not only do their interests overlap but even how they look and dress overlap.

People who enjoy yoga tend to hangout with other people who enjoy yoga. People who like going to the gym, hangout with other people who go to the gym. Or dance, or try new restaurants, or go to music festivals, different breweries etc. etc.

Changing this is the most difficult of any of the 6 steps. For most of us the two groups of people we spend the most time around are our families and co-workers. Two groups of people you can’t just ‘drop’ from your life. Nor do you generally want to. Unless you hate your job, well then… go for it! 😉

If our social group or families are not supportive this can be incredibly difficult. Access to fitness communities are easier than ever now. Get involved. Make these groups people you start to spend more time with.

Hopefully your friends are supportive. But if they are struggling with their own health issues and are not ready to join you it will be stressful on your relationship.

Changing the 5 people you’re around the most is often the #1 advice espoused by ‘experts’ if you want to change your life. And they act as if changing it is as easy as changing your clothes. It’s not. It’s so incredibly hard to change your 5 closest relationships.

Many times these relationships are amazing, it’s just one part of the relationship that has negative effects on your life. Should you throw out an amazing relationship for that one negative effect? I don’t think so.

If that negative effect is about your health. You need to make it known that you want to and need to change it. And work through it with that person.

Also the more you immerse yourself into the health communities of your choosing these become the people you start to spend more time with. And by default they become the people closest to you.

6. Reward yourself

 
Small wins are the ‘motivation’ to keep going. Finally motivation!

The wins, the small success are the motivation to keep you on your path to discipline. Progress is motivation. Not some meme on the internet. So stop looking for it there and start crushing your path to discipline.

What are small successes? Making it to the gym all the days you set out to. Seeing progress in the mirror or scale (if that’s how you’re tracking). Small successes can be endless.

I’ve found rewarding myself on a weekly basis works best. It’s short enough to keep the motivation up and if I miss it, the next week is right there. But rewarding myself on a daily basis just becomes insignificant (for me personally).

This sounds cheesy but my rewards now are the feeling that comes from knowing I achieved the goal.

If you killed your weight loss goal that week and ‘feeling good’ isn’t enough reward… than buy that sweater you always wanted or get your nails done. However, If weight loss is the goal, the reward shouldn’t be food or drinks. You’re building discipline not looking for reasons to break your discipline.

__________________________________

The best advice I ever received about discipline was…

“Be comfortable with the slightly uncomfortable.”

Constantly pushing and being uncomfortable is where real growth lies.

Think about any time in your life where you were truly happy. I’d guess that it came after a struggle. You got in the groove of being uncomfortable and this caused you to grow as a person. To be stronger, more resilient.

Often when these times happen we don’t even realize the satisfaction in our lives. We aren’t able to recognize when we’re in it. But if you look back you can see it.

Building this into your life is critical to discipline.

Discipline will allow you to be unstoppable!

If you truly want to lose weight and create a better lifestyle for yourself. This is the only road map you will need to follow to achieve your weight loss success.

No one wants to hear or improve open discipline. Why? Because it's hard! Learn how to improve your discipline in order to achieve real weight loss results.

Hey! I am Caitlyn, the other half of FTBH. Cameron and I started this website together in 2016 as a way to reach out to people who want to live a healthy life, but may not know the best ways to go about it. We fully believe in finding the right method for you and your lifestyle. I am a professional dancer and owner of a Chicago based aerial dance company (Methos Aerial). I have been through all the ups and downs of weight loss and mental health and am an open book if you want to reach out. 🙂

The Fastest Way to Lose Weight

How to Lose Weight Fast!

In college, this use to be me every month. “OMG, I have this [Insert Event]! I have to lose weight right now!”

I would crash diet. Lose the weight, feel really good. Then the next month I was right back at the weight where I didn’t want to be.

 Once I learned how to maintain a healthy lifestyle I stopped the stressful unhealthy ups and downs.  Yes, those crashes are not healthy.

If you need the motivation of big weight loss to jump-start a healthy lifestyle then this is how to do it. But most people who do crash diets don’t stick with them because it sucks. Mentally it sucks. You’re hungry, moody, and don’t want to be around anyone.

Disclaimer: I do not promote this for health. This is what a fitness model would do 1-2 weeks out from a fitness shoot.

1. Drink a lot of water (At a minimum a gallon per day)
2. Your body weight times 8 or 9 for daily calories (150 lbs x 9 = 1350) NEVER BELOW 1200 no matter how small you are.
3. No carbs… not even fruit
4. Only Protein and veggies (Lots of veggies!!! If you hate them check this out)
5. Keep salt intake to a minimum
6. Green tea or Coffee (If you’re not a caffeine drinker be very cautious)
7. Walk a lot (ideally more than an hour per day)
8. No weight lifting or intense exercise. You won’t have the energy

That’s it. This isn’t sustainable. This is miserable. Don’t do this. Don’t constantly be living like this.

I want to show you something….

muscle vs fat same weight different look

That’s me year round on the left. I eat 1800-2000 calories per day. I drink alcohol. I have fun with friends. I have an intense work schedule that requires me to be ‘On’ all the time. I workout 4 times a week for about an hour. I dance.

On the right that’s me in college when I would be crash dieting constantly. When I had perfected the two week weight loss.

Now I use a healthy diet plan that works for me year round. Never once have I had to crash diet since I learned about living a healthy lifestyle. I feel good about myself EVERYDAY and am ready for any occasion.

I wrote in detail about building your diet here (How to Lose Weight).

I wrote in detail about applying discipline to weight loss here (Motivation vs. Discipline) and again in more depth here (The Path to Discipline)

If you want to be miserable for a short amount of time, here you go. This isn’t what we recommend or beleive in at FTBH. This is meant to point out that this is an awful way to constantly be living and to let you know there are better ways. Real satisfying ways to live that stop the emotional ups and downs.

As always, feel free to reach out or comment below with any questions or advice!

Everyone wants to know the secret to losing weight. How to lose weight the fastest in the shortest amount of time. While we don't promote this type of weight loss because it is not sustainable. At last, we have answered the question.

At last we have answered this questions our clients keep asking us. What is the fastest way to lose weight in 2 weeks. The answer is really quite simple. We don't promote this type of weight loss because it is not sustainable and you will most likely gain the weight back right after.

Everyone wants to know the secret to losing weight. How to lose weight the fastest in the shortest amount of time. While we don't promote this type of weight loss because it is not sustainable. At last, we have answered the question.

 

Hey! I am Caitlyn, the other half of FTBH. Cameron and I started this website together in 2016 as a way to reach out to people who want to live a healthy life, but may not know the best ways to go about it. We fully believe in finding the right method for you and your lifestyle. I am a professional dancer and owner of a Chicago based aerial dance company (Methos Aerial). I have been through all the ups and downs of weight loss and mental health and am an open book if you want to reach out. 🙂

Change Your Mindset Change Your Life

Why Your Mindset is Holding You Back

 
Have you heard of the different personality traits of past-, present-, future-focused people?

Understanding the traits and how we all move between them can help us set goals. And accomplish them. Including weight loss!

Continue reading

Hey! I am Caitlyn, the other half of FTBH. Cameron and I started this website together in 2016 as a way to reach out to people who want to live a healthy life, but may not know the best ways to go about it. We fully believe in finding the right method for you and your lifestyle. I am a professional dancer and owner of a Chicago based aerial dance company (Methos Aerial). I have been through all the ups and downs of weight loss and mental health and am an open book if you want to reach out. 🙂

Stop Putting A Square Peg In a Round Hole

 

“The goal for health and life is to be self-sufficient.”


This is FTBH’s motto and something we are constantly reminding our readers of. A big reason why our articles are long and dive deep.

It’s not because we like to write long posts but because the points we want to get across require more than a few hundred clickbait-y words to explain correctly. We’re not here to churn out articles for clicks. We want information for our readers to get real results.

We put great effort into how we communicate with our readers. Our goal is to get you to be self reflective in order to form your own conclusions of what is important to you.

We want you to find what’s best for yourself. Make decisions that are best for your life, not someone else’s.

Often why you’ll see me arguing with myself in many of my articles. I do this internally too. Trying to poke holes in my own thoughts and beliefs. Forcing myself to make stronger arguments and opinions. To realize everyone has different life experiences. Applying what works for one person might not work for another.

For this reason the goal for health and anything in life should always be self-sufficiency.

By that I mean you have to be responsible for you. You have to look at your life and your experiences. Realize that you have biases because of these experiences. And that’s ok, because it makes you you. Awesome…wonderful…you!

 

Maybe you fear the gym because you were picked on when you were little every time you were in gym class. Or you don’t like being uncomfortable because that brings up memories of when you were uncomfortable in a situation that you couldn’t control.

Trying to shove a square peg through a round hole is never going to work. You need to find the diet and exercise that fits your life. Yes, you might have to change some things to make health a priority. But, if you’re just starting out… a 6 day per week, 2 hours per day fitness program on top of a calorie cutting, weight loss diet, probably isn’t the best place to start!

Or maybe you think the Keto diet is all the rage right now… but you have a close family that gets together every Sunday for pasta… Following the keto diet is going to effect your family life. Can you still have your beloved family night and still lose weight? Of course! If you choose a way of eating that support both weight loss and the occasional cheats.

We want our message and articles to make you self reflect and find your own hidden biases. If you choose to change them, that’s up to you. But you can apply successful health strategies to benefit who you are, without making huge changes to your personal situation.

You’re an adult now, and you do have control. Control over everything. From fitness, to health, to everything you face in your life. You have control.

As great as social media is, it’s provided us with many people wanting you to just follow their ways blindly. With no explanation of why their way is is right for you.

You see this with all the popular diets. People almost angrily preaching ‘this is the way for everyone!’. It’s not, it never is.

The goal is learning to be self-sufficient to live a life that is healthy and balanced FOR YOU.

Reading and writing about health should be about sharing ideas, not someone preaching about the correct and only way is their way. (I know that’s ironic right now)

Learning about health should always be applied to you. Not someone else. There are a million and one ways to live a healthy life….

But what is your healthy life?

What works for you?

Does what you’re doing make you happier?

What makes you stronger, both mentally and physically?
Keep asking yourself “Does this work for me?”

Articles you might like…

  1. The Butterfly Effect of Weight Loss
  2. How to Deal with Stress
  3. How to Achieve Long Term Weight Loss Success

The Key to Weight Loss isn't the Diet. It's much more simple than you think. Our goal at FTBH is to create a weight loss journey that is sustainable and works for your life. What exactly does that mean?

The one habit we find consistent about anyone who has built a successfully healthy life or has successfully lost weight and kept it off. It has also become our main motto at FTBH.

Hey! I am Caitlyn, the other half of FTBH. Cameron and I started this website together in 2016 as a way to reach out to people who want to live a healthy life, but may not know the best ways to go about it. We fully believe in finding the right method for you and your lifestyle. I am a professional dancer and owner of a Chicago based aerial dance company (Methos Aerial). I have been through all the ups and downs of weight loss and mental health and am an open book if you want to reach out. 🙂

8 Yoga Moves For A Sexy Core

Getting a strong sexy core can be accomplished at home with a few yoga moves. Controlling and strengthening your core will lead to better posture and transfer to other areas of your life.

Here are some of the best yoga moves for a sexy core:

 #1 Hollow Body Hold

This is a great ab exercise that can be done anywhere and at any time! You often see it on instagram when people are doing Gymnastic Bodies workouts. Try holding this position for at least 1 minute, take a minute rest and then repeat 5 times. Your abs will be burning! Make sure to keep your lower back glued to the floor at all times! 😉

#2 Bicycle Crunches

Oldie but goodie! The bicycle crunch is highly effective for working all areas of your abs. For an extra challenge and stretch you can straighten both legs. Keep your shoulders off the ground and try to bring your elbow towards your knee as apposed to bringing your knee to meet your elbow.

#3 Half Moon

Half moon doesn’t look like much but it takes a lot of coordination and ab security. Hold this position for at least 60 seconds before switching sides. You will start to feel it in your obliques and “love handle” area. Make sure you are looking up towards the ceiling in order to get the full benefits of the Half Moon position.

#4 Sunbird

Sunbird is one that looks extremely simple but when actually doing it, its hard! Typically it is done with opposite arm as leg but for an extra ab burner try doing same arm as leg, it requires you to engage your core to prevent from tipping over. Try to avoid any arching in the lower back and keep the back leg straight and pointing towards the ground. Hold for at least 60 seconds before switching sides. Then repeat until fatigued.

#5 Side Plank Variation

Side plank can be done in many different variations. It is a great option to work your obliques. You can pulse up and down by dropping the hip. Or you can hold this position for an extended period of time. For more of a challenge, glance up and extend your top leg fully towards the ceiling.

#6 Locust Prep

Locust prep requires a great deal of flexibility along with all around core strength. It is a great way to prep for other harder yoga poses and a sure way to fire up any of those core muscles you might not even know are there!

#7 Boat Pose

Boat pose is one of my personal favorites. If done correctly it can truly fire up those lower abs and help you work towards a deeper compression. For an extra challenge extend the legs fully but still make sure you keep a flat back and don’t sink or slump down. Hold for 60+ seconds or do small pulses for 60+ seconds. You will feel a burn in your abs but also your quads and hip flexors.

#8 Plank

Planks are the best! They are a full body exercise when done properly. Engage your thighs and butt and pretend you are pulling your pelvis to meet your elbows so that your core stays strong and engaged the entire time. Try to avoid sinking in your shoulders or in your lower back. As soon as your lower back starts to arch, take a rest and try again!

Hey! I am Caitlyn, the other half of FTBH. Cameron and I started this website together in 2016 as a way to reach out to people who want to live a healthy life, but may not know the best ways to go about it. We fully believe in finding the right method for you and your lifestyle. I am a professional dancer and owner of a Chicago based aerial dance company (Methos Aerial). I have been through all the ups and downs of weight loss and mental health and am an open book if you want to reach out. 🙂

5 Best Exercises for a Total Body Makeover

What are the 5 best exercises if you want to get the most bang for your buck!

 
We’re always trying to do less for more. Squeeze the last little bit out of everything. Get better results from the least amount of effort.

The term ‘Biohacking’ has grown in popularity. While the idea of taking shortcuts to success is silly to me. The idea of optimizing activities, from exercise to meal prep to creating a higher performing you, is very enticing to me.

What I’m always trying to do for myself. We’re all busy. Spending countless hours trying to be in shape, on top of everything else, is often more trouble than it’s worth for most.

Now, this doesn’t mean I’m NOT foregoing hard work in place of promised shortcuts. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way too many times.

The fad diet, the 3 month goal date, the silver bullet. That is always bad information sold to us because it’s what we want to hear.

I’ve not made it any secret though, that the best shape of my life came from 4 hours a week in the gym while I had a newborn.

Reading that sentence makes most people think I found a shortcut. Nope. Not at all.

It’s that I stopped chasing perfection. Trying to do every little diet thing right. Trying to get in every exercise. Doing all the goals at once.

I wasn’t trying to get strong, get bigger muscles, lose weight, run a faster mile, run longer… all at the same time.

The goal was clear. Get lean, lose the fat.

And because of the new baby I had very few hours to spend in the gym. Which I found out was for the better.

I was forced to create efficiency.

Get the most bang for my buck, if you will.

In doing so, I found the exercises with the most mileage to losing weight.

I’ve always found simpler is better when it comes to weight loss. The simpler you can make your diet the easier it’ll be. The simpler you make the workouts the easier it’ll be.

What if we want to make it super simple? Like super “5 exercises” simple.

 
What would those 5 exercises be?

How many times per week?

Number of sets?

How many reps?

Here’s the super simple only “5 exercises and go home” workout. I’ve given you two workouts that incorporate the 5 exercises.

  1. Squat – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0socrqbpGmk
  2. Plank – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJItDLak6QM
  3. KTB Swing – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F0BPsSP99U
  4. Lunges – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gL4-xs805Hk
  5. Pull Ups – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MClLXsfya6o

Bonus – Sprints (Bike, Incline Treadmill, Rower)

 

Workout 1:

 
5 rounds (Add weight to each exercise as it becomes easier)

  • 20 reps squat (body weight)
  • 1 minute plank
  • 20 reps KTB Swing
  • 20 reps Lunges (10 per leg)
  • 5 reps pull ups (Use assistance as needed, band or assistance machine)

Workout 2:

 
Perform each movements sets and reps before moving on.

  • Squat: 5 sets of 8 reps – Rest 90 seconds between each set
  • 5 total minutes of planks – Rest as needed
  • Lunges: 2 sets of 50 reps (25/leg) – Rest 2 mins
  • Pullups: 5 sets of 3-5 reps – Rest 90 seconds
  • KTB Swing: 100 reps – Rest as needed

*Bonus: Add to the end of any workout, once per week.
15 minutes: 20 second sprint/ 40 second rest – 15 total rounds. Can be done on the treadmill at an incline, spin bike, or rower.

This is it. It’s fast. It’s simple. Not easy by any means. There are no shortcuts to weight loss. Just effort and a plan.

I would do each ‘workout’ every other day. Two weeks would look like this.

Monday – Workout 1
Tuesday – No workout
Wednesday – Workout 2
Thursday – No Workout
Friday – Workout 1 & Sprints
Saturday – No Workout
Sunday – Workout 2
Monday – No Workout
Tuesday – Workout 1
Wednesday – No Workout
Thursday – Workout 2 & Sprints
Friday – No Workout
Saturday – Workout 1
Sunday – No Workout

This isn’t a strict schedule. If you need to move around the days it’s flexible like that.

Don’t overthink weight loss. Keep it simple. The less decisions you have to make the easier this all becomes.

You’re life is filled with decisions you have to constantly be making. Don’t add stress (even minor) trying to figure out what to do in the gym each day.

5 best exercises to get a full body workout

5 of the best full body exercises if you are trying to lose weight. If you hate going to the gym but still want to lose weight these exercises will give you the most bang for your buck so you don't need to spend hours at the gym

Hey! I am Caitlyn, the other half of FTBH. Cameron and I started this website together in 2016 as a way to reach out to people who want to live a healthy life, but may not know the best ways to go about it. We fully believe in finding the right method for you and your lifestyle. I am a professional dancer and owner of a Chicago based aerial dance company (Methos Aerial). I have been through all the ups and downs of weight loss and mental health and am an open book if you want to reach out. 🙂

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