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Women’s Workout Health & Fitness Tip #2: Invest in Yourself!

Thank you Gabe for this great tip!

Ladies- Investing in your health is one of the best things you can do- your body will thank you NOW and LATER!

7 Weight Loss Myths

Ever find yourself following every rule in the book yet the scale won’t budge?
You feel as if you’re doing everything you’re supposed to but still look the same? Let me tell you, we’ve all been there. Unfortunately there is a lot if misinformation out there that may be throwing a roadblock in front of your weight loss. We all seem to believe that the same rules apply to everybody, yet we are all different in our own ways. Some have slow metabolisms while others (the lucky ones) have fast ones. Some benefit more from cardio while others find success in strength training.
Below are seven of the most common misconceptions women believe to be true about weight loss.

#1
You Have to Work Out to Lose Weight
While it’s true that exercise burns calories, many are able to shed pounds without it. “Weight loss is a simple matter of calories in versus calories out” (Karen Ansel). For some who lack restraint, exercise may cause overeating from feeling hungrier. Weight loss aside, all experts agree that working out it good for you in more ways than one. To create a healthy balance is to consume filling foods that are healthy and lean. Veggies, complex carbohydrates, and lean proteins will leave you full for longer and more energetic.

#2
Eating After 6pm or 8pm Causes Weight Gain
There is no evidence out there stating that eating after a certain time causes weight gain. The truth is that eating oversized portions at night usually indicates that you ate badly throughout the day. The best way to control how much you eat at night is to manage and space out your meals evenly throughout the day.

#3
Your Metabolism Slows With Age
Although most people tend to go up on the scale with each passing year, age is not the cause of weight gain itself. Most people pack on the pounds/fat mass due to muscle loss. Our metabolic system is consistently adjustable. This is why strength training is so important as we age. It will help protect our muscle mass while refining our diet.

#4
Carbohydrates Make You Fat
With so much fuss going on about cutting carbs or not eating them at all, it’s so hard to know what to believe. The confusion stems from the fact that many Carb foods are comfort foods that are very high in calories. However we find ourselves in a world of scientific research claiming that “cutting carbs under 130 grams a day can affect your brain function due to the lack of serotonin production.” The best way to eat carbs is to eat the healthy ones like fruits, veggies, and whole grains.

#5
Drink Water and Lose Weight
Water is essential but not a magical way to weight loss. It is commonly believed that the intake of water will flush toxins and fat from your body, but “the toxin fat connection does not have a scientific basis.” What happens is that consuming water replaces other beverages, reducing caloric intake.

#6
Just Eat Healthy Food and Lose Weight
Eating high portions of high-quality foods such as olive oil, some fish, brown rice, or nuts can cause just as much damage on your body as eating butter, pizza, fries, or cookies. The lesson in all of this is portion control. When you are not hungry, stop eating! Many people think they are hungry but really are dehydrated. Balancing is the key to weight loss. No one says you can’t have a slice of pizza here and there but don’t eat the entire box!

#7
Eating Small, Frequent Meals will Boost your Metabolism.
News flash! While the messege is right, the reasoning is reasonably off. We hear it and think, “oh yeah, it makes sense, in order to keep things moving you have to have them working.”
Wrong.
Eating portion controlled meals every three to four hours doesn’t actually boost your metabolism. It only helps prevent cravings that make healthy food choices more difficult. However eating small meals has many other benefits. It fuels your body in short intervals keeping it alert and awake. When we are deprived of food we become cranky and lack energy. Eating healthy and frequently in smaller amounts make you happy while creating a positive energy- increasing the chances you’ll make healthier choices!

Learning how to properly lose weight is tough. With the amount of diets, books, and misconceptions we have out there, no wonder we have an obesity epidemic. When it comes to yourself and your meal of choice, ask yourself will you be happy after the meal is over?
Another thing to keep in mind no matter how short or long a workout is, a workout and your body can only benefit!
Love yourself, love your body, and treat it well- it’s the only one you have.

What to Eat Before & After a Workout

Are you ready to sweat and kick butt in the gym? Not so fast. For the people who make it a point to get to the gym every day, don’t let your efforts be unsuccessful due to skipping out on pre and post workout fuel. Many women believe the less they eat, the more they lose. While that may be true for some, they also tend to gain it all back that much quicker. Eating the RIGHT meals is essential for your performance and results.

Eating right not only burns more but helps your body recover in the long run. Taking pre and post workout nutrition seriously is the first step to weight loss no matter what type of workout you are doing. Also keeping a healthy lifestyle is the overall factor of whether you remain fit.

Not sure what to snack on. Not to worry. Below is a chart created just for you to gain more information on the smart choices that take place before your incredible workout.

Pre Workout (Energy Phase)

While it is true that you burn calories (sometimes quicker) on an empty stomach, fat also stores during your workout. This fact does not actually reduce your body fat. Eating a pre-workout meal or snack will give you energy, stamina, and help blast through your fat storing system while building muscle.

1-2 Hours Before Workout:

  • Hearty salad
  • Lettuce Wraps
  • Veggie Omelet
  • Smoothie
  • Oatmeal

50-90 Minutes Before Workout:

  • Fruit & Yogurt
  • Peanut Butter & Apple
  • Fruit & cottage cheese
  • Banana and almonds
  • Broccoli

Post Workout (Anabolic Phase)

It is important to refuel after a workout. This will help your body recover from the stress caused during the workout. To recover you can combine the right balance of protein and carbs. For the best results, eat within 30-60 minutes after exercise, due to the fact that your muscles are the most receptive at this time. This ensures your body to recover, adapt, and improve.

1 Snack Immediately After Workout

  • Kefir Probiotic
  • Dried Fruits and nuts
  • Banana
  • Trail Mix (Healthy Mix)

2 Meals Immediately After Workout

  • Quinoa & salmon
  • Black bean and rice soup
  • Tofu Stir Fry & Brown Rice
  • Sweet Potato & Chicken
  • Grilled Turkey Sandwich

Portion of food depends on:

  • Height and weight of individual
  • How much you exercise
  • What exercise you do and for how long you do it

These are a few of the options to stay healthy and strong. There are a million other light recipes for your body to refuel. Also remember to stay hydrated. A well-hydrated athlete feels better, stronger, and can work out longer!

Follow us on Pinterest @W3Body for more pre and post recipes and awesome workouts!

W3 is the Top Chicago Women’s Fitness Center

Women’s Workout & Wellness/Women’s Workout World, also known as W3 or W3Body, is the top Chicago Women’s Fitness Center. Women’s Workout has been in business since 1982, so we have been practicing women’s fitness for over 30 years! W3 definitely has enough experience to know, understand and educate on how women get the best results through fitness.

We know, nutrition is KEY in achieving results. W3 is a Chicago women’s fitness center that has implemented various nutrition programs in the past and is about to bring another one back! Besides proper nutrition, though, exercise is what will help you achieve those goals, and from our experience with women’s fitness and exercise, we know what will change your body the most! STRENGTH training, especially functional strength training, is where women will see a real change in their bodies and start becoming defined, toned, and shaped.

W3 as Chicago women’s fitness center has also realized that the GROUP dynamic is a huge component for an all-women’s environment. There are a few reasons for this. First, the group dynamic allows women to workout together, whether it’s with their friends or with unfamiliar faces. They are all in it ‘together,’ working toward similar goals. Moreover, this group dynamic allows for a social aspect to be brought into women’s exercise routines. We are social creatures! Why not add this component to motivate women to come back for more. Lastly, the group dynamic is encouraging, fun, motivating and energizing. That’s why women love it and that’s why as a Chicago women’s fitness center, we know what the women in Chicago want to help them get and stay fit. We have known since 1983 and continue to deliver this consistent experience because we are a company for WOMEN, all about WOMEN, and our fitness model definitely reflects that!

For more information, please come in and try a class. We know you’ll be pleased, and if you’re one of those women who are scared, timid, unmotivated or just have never worked out before, we guarantee a transition into a program at W3 will be the best one for you. After all, we do specialize in women’s fitness! See you soon~ W3.

How to Be Healthy and Stay Fit during Summer

It seems trivial to talk about how to be healthy and stay fit during the summertime….obviously this season is most important to all! Tank tops…. short shorts… bikinis, etc. but what we may not realize is that it’s actually a lot harder for women to fit in their workouts and prepare healthy meals during the summer. Why?

One reason is that now, kids are home from school. Many moms, both who work and don’t work, have the added responsibility of making sure their kids are taken care of FIRST. What does this mean? Quick, easy snacks & meals the kids will enjoy. It’s a lot harder to prepare food for the kids that they’ll enjoy plus prepare some healthy meals and snacks for her. Let’s face it- women put everyone else first, especially when it comes to their children. And in the summer, when their children require a lot more time commitment from them, they tend to put themselves last, making it a lot harder to stick to their healthy meal plan and workout regimen. 

Another reason are those yummy summer barbecues! barbecue chicken… potato salad…cookies… alcohol… beer… and more… “well, just this once!” 

How many times per summer do we say that? Add up those calories and see why it’s so hard to stay fit and healthy when your weekends consist of family barbecues!

The last big reason it’s hard to stay focused on your plan are vacations. Many people take vacations in the summer. What do vacations mean to the average population? Diet= out the window. Workouts? not today! Relaxation= yes please. Calories don’t count? Not this week!

It’s great and necessary to take a break from time to time, but that doesn’t mean you have to undo everything you worked hard to accomplish. So what’s the plan? Follow these steps to stay fit and healthy this summer!

1) Map out your kids’ schedule. 

2) Find time to prepare around your kids’ schedule. Is it the mornings? Evenings? or are weekends the only time you have to prepare healthy meals and snacks?

3) According to the schedule, when will you have time to workout? If it’s the mornings and you like group exercise classes at W3, choose which one you are going to do. If it’s the evenings and you know you want to participate in the group functional training program 2x/week, check those times and carve it out in your schedule. You need “me” time!

4) Again… prepare, prepare, prepare! You must prepare for the summer barbecues. By this we mean- think ahead and make something healthy to bring for everyone. Maybe look up a healthy version of chicken salad or a healthy dessert that involves fruit. It’s A LOT easier to avoid the bad stuff when you have the option of good stuff, too! And if you don’t bring it, you can’t necessarily count on anyone else who will.

5) Even on vacations, you can indulge and still not go overboard. We recommend really researching wherever you are going. Are there local places to take walks? Hike? Bike ride? Research the local food places you will most likely be visiting. Maybe choose the top ones where you can order something delicious yet healthy! You can indulge but still eat healthy 70-80% during your vacation!

We know you know.. preparation and planning are key! But really, if you go to a barbecue unprepared or wakeup and didn’t plan a workout into your hectic day, how do you expect to be able to keep the ‘good stuff’ in your schedule? Healthy food won’t just appear and time definitely won’t appear, so just plan ahead. You can do it!

If you have anymore recommendations, please leave your comments here! We would love to share more tips on staying healthy and fit during the summer!

Stay Fit, Stay Fabulous

~W3

Is Diet Green Tea Good for You?

I was in one of our W3 locations the other day, and a member approached me with a nutrition question. She asked me what I thought about diet green tea and is it good for you? Interesting question I thought…. Anything with the word “diet” in it is usually altered in some way, usually more than one, so no, it’s not good for you. I went on to explain…

Natural green tea has zero calories in it. “Diet” usually means that it is reduced in calories, oftentimes to zero, so if natural green tea has zero calories, diet green tea shouldn’t exist. She looked perplexed.

Basically, it’s backwards, and kind of sad that the food/diet industry would take such a great, natural product and morph it into something unhealthy… and then marketing it to the public as if it’s going to help them lose weight. WRONG!

Basically, unnatural green tea products, so any type of bottled green tea that is sweet, was created by adding tons of sugar. This sugar=calories. In today’s world, every sugary drink needs a diet version, right? So the food/drink industry went on to create a diet version of green tea, so they basically do the same thing that you would do to make Coke “diet.” You take out the cane sugar and replace it with additives and fake sugar/aspartame, making it zero calories and extremely (unnaturally) sweet…. basically this makes drinking diet green tea equivalent to drinking diet coke. I don’t recommend it.

It’s unfortunate that it’s marketed in such a way that it’s good for you. Green tea IS good for you and has great health benefits; it’s even linked to helping you lose weight! But that’s natural green tea. I have a great recommendation for you. Buy unsweetened, natural green tea. The bottle should literally read 0 calories and the only ingredients should be green tea and water. If you don’t like the way it tastes, add zero calorie, natural sweetener, such as Truvia or Stevia. It has zero calories and doesn’t include the dangerous aspartame. It’ll make it sweet and keep it healthy!

There you go- hopefully that answers the question!

Stay focused, stay fit~