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Your scale, body composition, and weight fluctuations

The biggest problem with the scale is that it only shows a number. In terms of tissue type, the body may be analyzed into water (blood, lymph, urine), fat, muscle, bone, carbs (glycogen and glucose), nervous tissue (brain and nerves), hormones, connective tissue, contents of digestive tract (including intestinal gas), air in lungs, and epithelium. The scale shows your total body weight.
Obsessing over what the scale says without considering body composition is where the trouble begins. Your ratio of fat to muscle is known as body composition and it’s one of the ideal ways to judge your progress. Instead of obsessing over the reading on the scale, shift your focus to body composition.

Body composition

The percentage of fat varies from person to person, but even an obese person has more water than fat.
The adult human body averages 53% water. This varies by age, sex, and adiposity. In a large sample of adults of all ages and both sexes, the figure for water fraction by weight was found to be 48 ±6% for females and 58 ±8% water for males. Your body weight can fluctuate 2-4 pounds a day or more from shifts in water alone.
In a lean adult, the percentages of protein and water are comparable. It’s about 16%. Muscles, including the heart, contain a lot of muscle. Hair and fingernails are protein. Skin contains a large amount of protein, too. Muscle is the weight you want to keep. Fat is the weight you want to shed. Even if you’re not an athlete or bodybuilder, you should still set goals to develop and maintain muscle not only for how it looks but also for what it does for your metabolism, your strength, your health and even your confidence.
Carbohydrates are stored in the muscle as glycogen and water are stored along with them. That’s why your weight can go up a few pounds when you eat more carbs. Add sodium (salt) and you may gain even more. Humans use glucose as an energy source, there isn’t that much of it free in the bloodstream at any given time. Sugar and other carbohydrates only account for about 1% of body mass.
Minerals account for about 6% of the body. They include salts and metals. Common minerals include sodium, chlorine, calcium, potassium, and iron.
The scale is not your enemy. It can be your friend if you know how to use the number as part of the feedback you need to progress and make course corrections. What matters the most is body composition, not just body weight.
Simply remember the difference between body weight, muscle weight, and fat weight. This knowledge will change the way you think about diet and exercise, changing the way you act. You’ll act smarter! You’ll start thinking about muscle!

Measure your body perimeters

To measure our body circumferences, all you need is a dressmaker tape. Place the tape around the body without pressing.
Antropometria Evernote.png
  • Neck: Relaxed, measure the circumference of your neck around your widest point.
  • Shoulders: Relaxed, arms at your sides, measure around the widest part of the perimeter.
  • Chest: Measure the circumference of your chest around your widest point.
  • Bíceps: With the arm relaxed and hanging beside the body, measure the horizontal circumference at the midpoint.
  • Abdomen: Relaxed, measure the horizontal circumference at navel level.
  • Forearm: Arm hanging beside the body and slightly separated from the trunk, measure the perimeter at the widest point.
  • Waist: Relax your abdomen, measure the narrow horizontal perimeter of the torso.
  • Hip/Glute: With both feet together, measure the maximum circumference of the hip.
  • Thigh: Standing with legs slightly apart, measure the maximum horizontal circumference just below the gluteal fold.
  • Calf: Standing with legs slightly apart, measure the maximum horizontal circumference between the knee and ankle.

With this measurements, calculate your body composition.

Weight fluctuations

Don’t worry if you get on the scale and find that your weight has gone up or down a few pounds from the day before. The amount of food you eat, how much water you drink, how much you exercise and how much you’ve gone to the bathroom can all temporarily influence your weight. Weight training can cause your muscles to retain water, and your body may also retain more water if you’ve eaten a lot of carbohydrates. Salty food intake, hormonal fluctuations, and constipation can also affect your weight, temporarily making you a few pounds heavier than usual.
Reasons why body weight fluctuates daily:
1) Sodium: Think of your body like a pendulum scale. If you eat more salt than usual one day, your body will react by trying to balance the scale by retaining more water. Eat less salt than usual, and you have the opposite effect. If you eat a lot of salty food, you retain fluid, causing you to feel bloated and potentially see a higher number on the scale.
If you´re trying to lose weight, avoid these salty foods:
  1. Pretzels: Naturally low in fat, and some are made with whole wheat. But you can get a lot of sodium from them, especially if you don’t stop at a 1-ounce serving.
  2. Pasta sauce: Many are very high in sodium, often with more than 600 milligrams of sodium per 1/2 cup serving.
  3. Instant noodles: Instant noodle soup cups or packages are easy, inexpensive, and taste pretty good. But one serving will deliver about 750-950 milligrams of sodium (depending on the brand and the flavor).
  4. Mixed nuts: Nuts are a smart snack, giving you “good” fats, fiber, and protein. Naturally, nuts have almost no sodium, but nut mixes often have added salt, so check the label.
  5. Spicy chicken tenders: One order (three pieces) of spicy chicken tenders from a fast-food chain or restaurant can add more than 2,100 milligrams of sodium.
  6. Tortilla chips: Most tortilla chips are dusted with salt, totaling at least 250 milligrams of sodium per 2-ounce serving.
  7. Bottled Salad Dressing: Can have as much as 400 milligrams of sodium per 2-tablespoon serving, depending on the flavor and brand of the dressing.
  8. Lunch meats: Processed meats have salt and sodium for shelf life (or food preservation) and taste. Packaged lunch meats, even when they look like they have just been carved, contain about 560 milligrams of sodium or more per 2-ounce serving.
  9. French fries: Even the smallest size of fast-food french fries adds at least 250 milligrams of sodium.
  10. Fast Food burger or sandwich: One fast-food burger or sandwich alone can have more sodium than you should get in a whole day.
2) Alcohol: This diuretic causes dehydration in the body, which leads to water retention. The water retention is a result of your body wanting to make up for the difference in water levels drinking alcohol has caused. Also, alcohol stimulates your appetite and wrecks your self-control regarding the amount of food that you consume.
3) Carbohydrate intake: The body turns the majority of eaten carbs into glucose for immediate energy, storing them in the liver. Glucose that is not used for immediate energy, turns to glycogen. Glycogen is stored in the muscle tissue, which can lead to water retention. To save each gram of glycogen, we need three grams of water. This is why endurance athletes who carb-load tend to gain water weight in the days leading up to their races, and why people on low-carb diets lose weight so quickly at first. Aa low-carb diet often leads to rapid weight loss, but it is not fat you’re losing, it’s the body using up the stored glycogen for energy, which causes less water to be retained, leading to weight loss (not fat loss).
4) Strength training: Lifting weights or doing body weight exercises causes trauma to muscle tissue. The muscle rebuilds itself and grows, making you stronger and more toned. Part of the body’s response when repairing microscopic tears in muscle is fluid retention.
5) Dehydration: While bodybuilders and fitness models often intentionally cut down on water before competitions or photo shoots to show off more defined muscles, depleting your body of liquids can actually make you retain water. When we don’t drink enough fluids, our bodies hold on to whatever water we do have in us to maintain fluid balance. Then, our kidneys excrete fewer fluids via urine because they’re training to maintain that balance, and that can make the scale go up.
6) Restroom usage: 1-3 pounds a day of body weight change can be seen by using or not using the restroom.
7) Hormones: Most women are probably familiar with this one already. Experts believe that water is retained when hormones fluctuate, especially about one week prior to your period.
All of these can make your body weight go up or down without causing an increase or decrease in body fat. They are not necessarily areas you need to overly concern yourself with controlling, but hopefully now that you know a little more into how and why the number on the scale is not stable, you will relax a little when you step on the scale and it’s not necessarily what you were expecting.

Sustainable fat loss

The human body is always trying to maintain water balance for our overall health.
One to two pounds of weight loss is considered to be a healthy amount of weight to lose in a week.
Why is more weight not better? If you lose more than the 1-2 pounds in a week, it most likely not just body fat. It could also be muscle tissue, water weight, etc.

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Mliae´s Week 2 Update

This week has been an emotional roller coaster for Mliae due to weight fluctuations. It’s hard not to worry when you see the scale jump a pound or two overnight. But these fluctuations are normal and due to water retention.

We are in the right direction since her body fat percentage went from 48.7 to 47.4. She lost 4 pounds of fat as she kept her lean muscle stable.

I usually recommend my clients to get on the scale just once a week, but as she was so worried about her weight, I tried a different approach. I advised her to get on the scale every day to realize that weight fluctuations are normal, they occur every day and she should not worry about it.

Please, visit her and show your support because she´s doing very well!

via Flabby- Assed to Fabulous with Chape! Week 2 Update

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How You Can Keep Moving With A Busy Schedule

Many of us spend on average 8+ hours sitting at our desks, traveling in planes, trains, and automobiles or on the couch; top that off with another 6-8 hours sleeping. That can add up to nearly 20 hours of sedentary sludge. Sitting invites stagnation and our fascia (the material protecting and supporting our body as a unit) begins to reshape so we start to take on the shape of our chairs. Our hips become tight, ankle movement diminishes, our shoulders push forward, we forget to engage our core as we slouch and collapse our lower back, and our necks crank towards the screen.
First, I don´t want to take for granted that everybody knows how much is enough exercise. To stay healthy or to improve health, adults need to do three types of physical activity each week: aerobic, strength and stretching exercises. If you want to read the full Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, here: health.gov
It can be challenging finding time to fit in errands, work, kids, home, exercise and the million other things to get done in a day.  Time is the biggest barrier to an active lifestyle. Remove the expectation that the only way to get in shape is by going to the gym for an hour every day. This time commitment is simply not realistic for most of us.

Aerobic exercise

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. (See Mayo Clinic Web). To find what´s “moderate activity” try the “talk test”, exercising hard enough to break a sweat but not so hard you can’t comfortably carry on a conversation. Vigorous activity makes you breathe hard and fast. At this level, you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath. You can combine moderate and vigorous exercise over the course of the week, and it’s fine to break up your activity into smaller bursts as long as you sustain the activity for at least 10 minutes. Ideas to add some walks to your day:
  1. Walk while talking on the phone or conduct walking meetings.
  2. Take stairs instead of escalators and elevators.
  3. Park in spaces furthest from the entrance.
  4. Use restrooms on a different floor or furthest from you.
  5. Use half or all of your lunch hour to take a walk with a colleague.  Steve Jobs was at his most creative while walking and thinking outside in the park next to his office, and we can be, too. Apple’s founder knew that the body and mind respond to nature and to moving.
  6. Put on some good music and dance while cleaning the house!
Make a commitment to move at every opportunity, stand whenever you can!

Strength training

The Department of Health and Human Services also recommends strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Studies have shown strength training to increase lean body mass, decrease fat mass, and increase resting metabolic rate. Weight training has also been shown to help fight osteoporosis.
Strength training doesn´t mean a gym membership. There are multiple ways to strengthen your muscles at home or at the workplace: bodyweight training, resistance bands, suspension training… Choose whatever best fit your abilities and preferences. At your desk, or anywhere you spend a good amount of time at, you can perform exercises such as
  1. squats,
  2. lunges,
  3. push-ups and
  4. chair dips.

Stretching

The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults engage in flexibility training two to three days per week, stretching major muscle and tendon groups.
I know all this exercise seems a lot from the point of view of busy people, but all of it only takes one hour, 4% of your day.
Remember, you can break up your activity into smaller bursts. If your job keeps you moving all day long, activity trackers (apps or wearables) are the simplest option to keep track of it. Forget daily steps and aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking. You do so, daily aerobic exercise is done.
Stretching at the workplace is something we all should do, but very few do. Whether you work behind a desk, drive for hours, or spend long hours standing (as waiters and watchmen), some muscles get tired and you feel stiffness, soreness, and at the end of the day, even pain. You can prevent this by taking a few 5 minutes breaks along the day to stretch and relax problematic areas like legs, lower back, shoulders, neck, and wrists. 3 little breaks and you´d be stretching 15 minutes every day. Examples of such stretches or postures can be:
  1. Doing core exercises.
  2. Stretching your legs and back when you are on your desk.
  3. Using a door frame or anything sturdy to stretch your chest.

These stretches will reduce the negative effects that sitting has on your body. It also improves one’s quality of life.

Find an exercise schedule and activities that work for you so that you stay fit and healthy. Once you learn to make time – and it doesn’t have to be a monumental commitment – the benefits will outweigh any desire you may have had to sacrifice your health by staying on the sidelines. Keep in mind that it is possible to get all the exercise you need without using equipment, attending a class or going to the gym.

The most important key is to change the mindset. Exercise shouldn’t be a chore. It should be time for you.  Don’t be afraid to make time for yourself. You are worth it!

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Fitness Meet and Greet

Beyond a hobby, blogging has become a true passion of mine, and the community is what has kept me around. You have encouraged and inspired me to be a better person, to share workout tips, healthy recipes, etc.

Since I started two years ago, I have seen many people start their blog to share their fitness journey and I would like to help them get to know each other.

For those of you who have known me for a long time, you guys know that I´m an IFBB certified personal trainer, TRX monitor, nutritionist… But many people start their fitness journey with no idea at all about training or nutrition.

No fitness journey is easy, and I hate to see people struggling every day, with ups and downs, and only with a few likes on their blogs. Do you ever feel like healthy living is just tough? You’re not alone.

Let’s change this and let´s create a network of people who support and encourage each other through their fitness journey!!

If you are on a fitness journey, you are encouraged to self-promote, in the comments section.

Introduce your blog to the other guests at the party. Tell the readers about your blog, and post a link to your favorite post, a recent post, your About page, your blog link, or anything you like.

At other Meet and Greets, guests return and leave different links to articles in different comment boxes. You are welcome to return as often as you like and leave links.

If you are not already following Chape.Fitness, I like new subscribers too.

Please, reblog this post, this way more bloggers will know about this meet and greet. Also, edit your reblog post and add tags.

 

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January Giveaway: Enter for a chance to win 3 months of personal training

Many of you asked me for this so, it´s time for the first giveaway of the year.

This giveaway will change the life of the lucky winner! So like, comment, share and subscribe to win.

The importance of staying in shape is now becoming a lifestyle. I offer great custom training and meal plans to make your journey easier. All my plans work for the busy traveler, parents on the go, or anyone who wants to get in shape and stay in shape.

Here´s your chance to achieve your fitness goals in 2018!!

The winning package (valued 450€) includes:

  1. Evernote account: The tool that allows us to be organized, work efficiently and flexible.
  2. Initial test: To get to know you better, I’ll ask you about your sports history, eating habits and lifestyle.
  3. Exclusive Notebooks: Exercise library, recipes, fitness articles, playlists, and more resources.
  4. Custom training plan: Adapted to your goals, schedule, equipment, and fitness level.
  5. Custom meal plan: Based on what you like to eat, maximize your results fitting your macros.
  6. Daily coaching chat sessions: To answer questions and provide support, advice, and motivation.
  7. Weekly check-ins: Checking your results and progress, we´ll make the necessary adjustments at the right time.
  8. Make your goal a reality: Serious planning and new habits will help you achieve your goal.

The contest starts today and runs for the next 30 days.

SIGN UP HERE!

 

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Fitness advice: Propioception, your first fitness goal

Once you start exercising, your first goal should be to improve your

Proprioception

From Latin proprius, meaning “one’s own”, “individual”, and capio, capere, to take or grasp, is the sense of the relative position of one’s own parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement. Proprioception, simply put, means “sense of self”. Proprioception is the capacity of the body to determine where all of its parts are positioned at any given time, and it plays an important role in the world of sports.
The International Association for Dance Medicine defines proprioception metaphorically as the sixth sense, extending the classical five senses to include the body. This body sense is more than just a feeling of movement. It is intimately tied to our feeling of muscle tone, perception of effort and, most importantly, our perception of balance.
A professional athlete has a high degree of proprioception awareness, just watch this:

While one’s proprioception may not mirror a professional athlete’s, working on your proprioceptive skills will make a difference in your day-to-day activities. There are a number of exercises to train your proprioception.

Balancing Exercises

Good exercises for proprioception development would be activities that challenge balance and equilibrium. Balance exercises help your body and brain to control the position. You can improve proprioception using a balance board, a Swiss ball, a Bosu or/and a medicine ball.

Strengthening Exercises

As you build strength in the muscles, the brain begins to understand the request of this strength more and more. As strength builds, it helps improve proprioception awareness with the mind and body and also allows you to continue/hold a movement or action longer in proper form.

Exercises While Closing the Eyes

You can gain the ability to inform and trust your muscles to perform different exercises with the eyes closed. This enhances the communication between the brain and the muscles so that you are able to perform activities properly without watching the movement take place.

Plyometric Movements and Drills

Exercise involving coordination and movement patterns enhance the kinesthetic awareness. Vertical jumps, running figure-eight patterns, change of direction drills and crossover walking help to establish the connection between muscles and nerves. As you are asking the body to perform certain movements, it trains the brain to respond to these movements.
It is always important to seek expert training support whenever possible. Work with a fitness professional or physical therapist with these types of exercises as they will be able to individualize a program for your specific needs, whether elderly wanting to gain a better sense of balance and basic day-to-day functions or an athlete wanting to enhance performance and prevent injuries.
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The very best of 2017: the most visited and liked articles.

As we close the books on 2017, I’ve rounded up the most popular reads. The best from the past year, all in one place.

50 reasons to exercise

How I run an online business, blog regularly, keep learning and manage my life with Evernote

30 Tofu healthy recipes

Weider´s training principles: The progressive overload principle

30 healthy turkey recipes

30 healthy squid recipes

My lower back routine

Elokenz: share your evergreen content

Evernote for Fitness

Barbell Deadlift

Swiss ball lower back stretch

Contest winner – Testimonial

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The best way to start 2018

Hello, my fellow bloggers!

As you know, my good friend Mliae needs to get in shape after some health problems. And she asked for my help before the holidays. I felt she deserved to enjoy Christmas without worrying about her diet or having to exercise so I gave her vacation until this week.

Now, it´s time to work, for both. I usually ask my clients for a testimony, a recommendation letter or something similar, once we have finished and reached the goal. But this girl has surpassed all my expectations before we started.

It’s a long post explaining the reasons why we work together again, but I know you like reading and I’m sure you’ll love every word. I can´t imagine a better way to start this year.

Thanks, my dear Mliae for your trust and this beautiful post!

via New Year, New Bod: Here We go! From Flabby-Assed to Fabulous with Chape Fitness

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Best Workout Playlist January 18

I like to get into my own world. When I am at the gym there’s no distractions, No room for weakness. To make the physical changes you seek you must mentally prepare and be zoned in.

Research consistently finds that listening to music distracts athletes from their “bodily awareness” (read: pain). And a recent study found that not just listening, but controlling and creating music in time to one’s pace had an even more profound effect on perceived effort during a workout. The study found that cyclists actually worked harder when listening to faster music as compared to music at a slower tempo. But too fast is no good, either. Songs between 120 and 140 beats per minute (bpm) have the maximum effect on moderate exercisers.

I assume that many of you are going to the gym next week, so this is an excellent playlist that will help you to give your best:

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How I run an online business, blog regularly, keep learning and manage my life with Evernote

A short introduction

To understand why I do online training and why I decided to use Evernote, I have to tell you a little story. It all started when the economic crisis hit Europe a few years ago. Many friends and clients were forced to emigrate to find a new job. United States, Canada, Chile, UK, Australia and even Vietnam were some of their destinations. If everyone had gone to the same country, I would have gone with them, but that was not the case. As many of you already know, I live in a small Spanish coastal town that suddenly saw its population drop from 12,000 to just 8,000. You do not have to be very smart to realize that my traditional personal training business was going to sink. Fewer people, with lower purchasing power, would consider personal training as a luxury they could not afford.

So I had three options: look for another job, emigrate or reinvent my business. I chose the third option.

Emails and PDFs always seemed like a shabby way of sending training plans, so I started looking for other ways to network with my expatriate clients.

Each coach understands personal training in a different way. I approach each client as a project. They have a goal, which can change over time, they face difficulties during the process and they need a fluid, constant communication that can adapt to their new situations.
So I tried different apps with them to manage projects like Asana, Basecamp or Trello. They all are great apps, but some way or another they didn´t fit all our needs.

Then, I found Evernote, and everything started to fit in a natural way.

Why Evernote

When you decide to exercise and start a training plan the very first thing you must do is keeping a training journal, period.

Every day write what you have done, how many series, how much weight you have used, how you feel after training and the next day, what you have eaten, how you have slept, etc. To verify how the training plan went, you should also write down your weight and body perimeters at the beginning and end of the training plan. This is called facing reality, has it worked or not? Then you can adjust according to the results.

I used to give each of my clients a paper notebook to do all these things. Today, with Evernote, I do this same thing and much more, digitally.

Even though I can not be with my clients in person, they have a link for each exercise where they can watch a video and read a description to do the exercise correctly. Also, they have a notebook with a lot of recipes, so they do not have to ask me what they can eat today. They have a long list of recipes to choose from at any time.

food

And of course, I’m available via workchat for anything you need, in addition to talking regularly about how their training is going. If they are not convinced that they are doing an exercise correctly, they simply send me a video doing it, and I will correct them, if necessary.

Evernote, the perfect environment for online training

One of my first goals for my business was to create an exercise library. An extensive one. Today I have exactly 1259 exercises stored in Evernote, organized by tags (muscle, equipment, and level) and I easily find what I need to create the perfect training for each client.

Exercise library

I created my own training templates and I just have to copy the exercise I want in the corresponding place. This saves me a lot of time.

fitness templates

Each client has their own exclusive notebooks and it is impossible to get training, recipes or notes that do not correspond to them. With Evernote, you decide what you share and with whom.

The best part of all this? Anyone can do it. Even if you´re not a trainer, you can create your own notebook and save any exercise or workout you want to do, that you find in a blog, YouTube or wherever, thanks to the Evernote Web Clipper.

In my opinion, Evernote is the perfect environment for personal online training and I still wonder why not many more coaches are using it.

More things Evernote has helped me with

Finding this perfect environment is far from starting an online business. You need a website, advertise on Google, create your accounts on different social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. And I had no idea about all these things.

One of the first tips that anyone can find if they want to build an online business is to write a blog. Of course, I started blogging without having the slightest idea where to start, except I had to talk about fitness.

My first fitness posts got four or five likes. Now it’s no surprise, but then that was a disappointment. Blogging has many points in common with fitness, you have to start small, learn to do things correctly, a few tricks and progress at your own pace.

In both cases, consistency is the key. I could not find anything smaller to begin with than a daily quote. Making a simple comparison is like starting doing push-ups and chin-ups. Evernote helped me do this and almost effortlessly, I posted a daily quote for more than 500 consecutive days. How? I simply created a note, I titled it “quotes” and there I wrote down each quote that I liked. Then I just had to publish it on the blog and mark it as published, to not repeat it. I still have about 200 quotes that, maybe, I’ll publish someday.

Quotes

Instead of writing drafts in WordPress, I create a note for each new article and organize them by topics in different notebooks. For me, it is much easier to organize it so I do not have a list of drafts in WordPress.

I also keep in Evernote a lot of post fitness that I find on the internet, on different topics such as injuries, nutrition, new training methods and the latest studies. I keep them all in a notebook, organized by tags, so I find them easily when I need them.

But there is much more than fitness in my Evernote: marketing, web design, SEO, WordPress, Twitter and Facebook tips, and many other things are in another notebook, perfectly tagged. There are many things one must learn to build an online business and with Evernote, I have everything in the same place, organized and easy to find.

Managing my day to day

To organize my day to day, I created my own version of the Eisenhower matrix.

Eisenhower Matrix

I reduced the matrix to only three areas because I do not understand why I need the fourth quadrant if those things are neither urgent nor important and they need to be dumped. Why should I bother and waste my time on that? I apologize for showing you the blank note, but my daily schedule, my tasks, and ideas, are not of your concern:

my todo list

I also have a shortcut to this note on my cell phone, to access it at any time, anywhere.

todo today

When I complete a task I delete it, and every night I check and fill in the blanks for the next day with new tasks. I couldn´t find a way to be more productive, but I´m open to suggestions.

As you can see, there are many reasons to use Evernote, what is yours?