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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.
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  • 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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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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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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Reblog: Mliae is back at work

Yesterday, I had a long and refreshing chat with my friend and former client, Mliae. Long story short, it looks like she needs a little help again to get in shape again, and we´re going to achieve her goals, one more time. For sure!

I follow the strict policy of not sharing the details of my clients, they have their privacy and they share only what they want to share. So if you want to know more, pay her a visit and follow on her new fitness journey.

When You Mañana Your Fitness Goals Too Much

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It´s time for a challenge

Hello, dears!

Please raise your hand those who want to lose weight! I don´t know what a typical summer vacation is like where you live, but in Galicia, we spend the summer eating from party to party. By the end of the summer, we all need to lose weight.

Have you eaten too much this summer? Maybe you´re more Galician than you think.  No worries, my friend, between party and party, I have been preparing this new challenge for this moment.

Home workouts to help you get back in shape from home. You only need dumbbells, a Swiss ball and less than 30 minutes. The challenge also includes some nutritional advice.

We could say it starts at hangover/inactive level and it gets harder with time.

 

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Are you ready to join us? Click here and Add to calendar.

The challenge will sync with your calendar so you can easily access the workouts from any device.

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Each workout is an Evernote note. I strongly recommend you:

  1. Use Evernote.
  2. Copy the notes to your account and edit them. Write down how many reps and how much weight. Add your comments and meals.
  3. Save this challenge to compare and track your progress in the future.
  4. Eat your veggies 😉

 

 

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6 Workouts that Don’t Feel Like Workouts by Paige Johnson

Hello dears,

Our friend Paige, from  Learnfit.org is visiting us again. This time she had found some interesting and unusual ways of exercising.

If you dread going to the gym, getting in those miles, or hitting the saddle for the spin class, today is the day to stop dreading workouts! Here are some unique ways to burn calories without focusing on each passing minute.

It’s true that not all exercises are created equally. For instance, some burn more calories than others, but that shouldn’t be the totality of how you choose workouts. What about having fun? Working on agility, speed, quickness, or balance and not solely on muscle hypertrophy or burning fat?

Really sticking to a healthy lifestyle means finding selections you enjoy. Here are a few to check out if you want to have a blast while optimizing your health:

  1. Skip and jump rope. It really can be that easy. Jumping rope is surprisingly very difficult for most adults upon revisiting the activity for the first time since childhood. However, it’s also a massive calorie burner and there’s a reason it’s a staple in boxing training. It combines cardio with balance, endurance, strength, and agility. It’s very demanding, so alternate it with simply skipping instead of running. Take a cue from the kids on the playground!
  2. Pole dancing. It doesn’t matter if you identify as female or male—really! Pole dancing has gained popularity over the years as a workout, but still many people haven’t tried it for a number of silly reasons. Some don’t think they can be “sexy” (not true), others are scared of the logistics of pole climbing, and some don’t think they’ll fit in. Pole dancing requires amazing strength and balance in ways you’ve never encountered before. Plus, many studios offer non-pole options like burlesque classes. All ages, genders, and abilities are welcome.
  3. Learn to drive a racecar. Racecar driving is definitely a sport, albeit a costly one. However, if your budget is generous or if you’ve souped up your own muscle car, learning how to drive like a pro can also come with a side benefit of a great workout. It takes an immense amount of strength to handle such a machine like an expert, as well as training. It might not be an ongoing workout for everyone, but if it’s on your bucket list you can certainly count your sessions as part of your recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week.
  4. Walk a dog. Owning a dog that requires daily walks can be a powerful motivator to get in multiple walks each day. In fact, almost half of dog walkers got an average of 30 minutes of daily exercise at least five days a week, but only a third of those without a dog got that much exercise on a consistent basis. Don’t have a dog or care to get one? Thanks to services like com, you can become a dog walker and get paid to burn calories on the regular.
  5. Hit the slip ‘n’ slide. Summer’s almost here, and that means finding creative ways to cool off. Staples of yesteryear, like running through the sprinklers and gliding down a slip ‘n’ slide double as fun, cool ways to sneak in a workout. If you’re around kids, lead the way and introduce them to the go-to entertainment options before screens were the most popular pick.
  6. Facial yoga. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like, but it’s not found in most traditional yoga studios. Fortunately, there are many online videos available, most of which are free. Yoga is about balance, flexibility, and stress release. We hold a lot of tension in our faces. Right now, your tongue is probably pressed against the roof of your mouth! Face yoga helps work very under-worked muscles, and some swear that it can help tighten muscles/skin for a more youthful and relaxed appearance.

Make your workouts fun again and sample everything that’s out there. You might be missing out on your favorite exercise.

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Home training is in by Tina Tazekand

Today, Tina is visiting us from the sunny California to talk about home training.

Home training is in! Are you with me?

With the busy hustle and bustle of daily life, it may be harder for most to find time to run to the gym before closing to workout. We also can’t forget the hassle of waiting in line for the machines to be free at the gym either.

Remember when home gyms just started to get popular? Well, the fitness world has returned home – your home!

Luckily with the help of technology including the Internet, computers, and cell phones, we can now workout in the comfort of our home. Yes, I’m talking about good old fashioned home training, but with a whole new tech twist!

There’s so much that online workout programs offer – streaming workout videos, nutrition meal plans, blogs, comfort, and convenience while you sweat bullets and stay motivated.

21 days ago, I started one of these online streaming workout programs and now I’m down 5 lbs. and feel amazing! The increase in energy is astounding, and I love waking up every morning to my daily workout which I stream on my laptop, phone, or AppleTV depending on where I am. If I get to the gym, I use the weights there to complete my workout with my phone. If I’m at home, I use my resistance bands and body weight workout videos on the AppleTV or my laptop.

The workouts are really challenging and the meals planned out for me are helpful and easy to cook. Easy in, easy out – the meals are made with simple and clean ingredients that I actually have in my fridge. I only have to go to the store for certain ingredients once in a while, otherwise, I have everything I need to do my meal planning for the week.

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I found that having my own blog through the workout website helped me document my fitness journey, inspire others, and motivate myself to keep going strong. This is a wonderful relatively new feature to the website that I love. It makes me feel like more of a community member amongst others working toward their fitness goals.

In addition, I was able to become a coach myself and lead a challenge group to keep others motivated and inspired to continue achieving their fitness goals. This is my most favorite part of the membership – it reminds me to hold myself accountable as I lead by example and encourage participation in the challenge group for those I lead to stay strong and motivate each other with their fitness goals, recording progress in weight loss and measurements, sharing their stories, recipes, routines, exercises, etc. All of the participants log on to an app on their phones to be a part of the group daily and take part in daily games to encourage healthy living.

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My plan also came with portion control containers that were shipped to me to help me eat the right amount of different food groups/categories. It helps me control what I’m putting into my body every day and has helped me get the most out of my workouts. If you just workout and overeat, you undo all the work you did in your exercise routine, so portion control is just as important as exercise, if not more.

There are several of these programs to choose from depending on your fitness level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced), goals, and preferences (what kind of music/exercise you like, etc.). There are also several websites where you can sign up for these various programs.

Personally, I chose Beachbody on Demand (BOD) because I was drawn to their success stories – I found them to be both motivating and inspiring.  I work late most nights and have to care for my dog in the morning, so I was looking for some way to fit my workouts into my busy schedule and BOD did just that.

They also led me to discover a delicious, vitamin-rich, dense nutrition shake (Shakeology) that keeps me full throughout my workout and well beyond. It prevents me from snacking and helps me lose weight.

I highly recommend these websites to everyone I know who is looking to get into shape – especially with graduations happening and summer being just around the corner. I’ve even gotten my cousin signed up and she absolutely loves it! She’s a wife and a mother of two kids who works full-time and couldn’t find time for the gym. So she canceled her membership and joined me on BOD to see what all the hype was. And that was that! She has managed to find a ten minute a day workout program that works for her!

And if we can do it, you can do it! You can achieve anything you set your mind to, and with today’s technology, you can have the body of your dreams without having to leave your front door.

Bio:  Tina is a coach at Beachbody and has just started out on her fitness journey. She has two blogs – one on WordPress and one on Beachbody. She lives and trains in Los Angeles, CA. Meet her and join her groups on Beachbody and Shakeology.

 

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Hard work pays off

Hello dears!

I have exciting and exclusive news today. As you know, last year I´ve been working on a free fitness calendar. This January I was delighted to show you what I had done, some workouts or challenges focused on multiple goals. If you need to refresh your memory, please read Workouts for free.

A few weeks ago I received an email from Stanza´s founder herself. I´m not going to share the whole conversation but her first sentence explains why she emailed me: “We noticed that you’ve logged in and added events in the last couple weeks”.

I felt observed (but in a strangely good way), and I laughed as I thought: “the last couple weeks? Really? Where have you been last four months?”. No, I didn´t tell her that! It was just my first thought. Then, I came back to my sense. She wanted some feedback and got a few questions.

Honestly, I don´t know a word about startups, how they work or who does what, but it´s very cool the founder of a company reaches you to ask a couple of questions. So, I answered her questions and gave my opinion. I thought it was it all but she had one surprise. A huge one!

Stanza´s tech team has been working on dynamic rolling calendars but they are not available yet. Guess who has not one, but two rolling calendars before anyone else? You´re right! Me! The tech team converted my calendar in a rolling calendar. What does it mean to you?

No matter the day of the month you join the calendar, it will sync Day-1 to your calendar. You can sync today and a friend of yours on Thursday, both will get Day-1 in your calendars, on different dates. Using a regular calendar, your friend would miss three days. I think this is a great feature for fitness calendars.

I had to choose because I had too many challenges and the tech team had to convert the events one by one. So I decided to keep the most demanded, muscle gain and fat loss. I hope you like my decision. Also, I´ve made the proper adjustments to turn them awesome 30-day challenges.

But, let me tell you that these challenges will start on March 1st because I need to finish some other things that were on hold as I worked with these guys.

As you may expect each workout contains exercise demonstrations, instructions, tips, playlist, links to contact me if you need support, and a positive quote (you know I can´t live without them).

You should take a look, choose your challenge and add it to your calendar, today. And then, tell your friends, neighbors, coworkers because some of them would like to know about this 😉

Have a great week!

 

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Guest post – The Easiest Ways To Stay Fit All Year Round

Hello, dears!

Today, I´m pleased to introduce you a new blog, LearnFit.org, and one of the bloggers behind it, Paige. She is a yoga enthusiast and avid cyclist. Loves strength training and weight lifting. And she is going to give you a few tips on how to stay fit all year round.

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These days, many people lead busy lives that leave little room for much besides work and sleep, but it’s important to ensure we eat right and get in daily exercise. So how do we balance those things and stay healthy? It’s not hard if you know where to begin, and with a little planning and some creativity, you can find a great work/life balance that is sustainable all through the year.

One of the first things to do is to get organized. Create a schedule that allows you a little extra time for workouts and meal planning, then stick to it. After that,  it’s a matter of following your schedule and finding ways to make do when the weather throws a wrench in your plan.

Here are a few ways you can get started.

Swim

Swimming is wonderful exercise that gets your entire body involved, but for those of us who aren’t lucky enough to live in California, it gets tricky finding ways to get in the pool once winter rolls around. Check out your local YMCA or city public pool to find out their indoor pool hours and ask about a membership; once we have to pay for something, our resolve to stick to it increases.

Create a home gym

You don’t have to spend money every month to belong to a big fancy gym; there are several easy ways you can create a perfect workout station in your own home, which will come in handy on the nights when you’ve just gotten home from work and can’t handle the thought of going back out into the world. You don’t have to fill it with expensive equipment, although a treadmill is always a great investment. You can also use simple hand weights, a yoga ball, resistance straps secured to a doorframe, and sand bags for resistance training.

Stay in bed

Yes, you can exercise from the comfort of your own bed; it just takes a little creativity. Try lying on your back, putting a good-sized pillow between your feet, and tossing it up to your outstretched hands. Grab it with your feet and bring it back down to the bed, then repeat. Or do stretches that are great for your back, such as lying flat on your back and lifting your pelvis toward the ceiling repeatedly. You can also bring one knee up to your stomach and move it across so that it touches the bed.

Eat right

This sounds like a no-brainer, but many people assume if they are exercising daily they can eat whatever they want. While it’s true that counting calories shouldn’t mean as much when you’re working out every day, it is still important to make sure you’re getting enough protein and vitamins. Dark, leafy greens, nuts, fish, fresh fruit, and berries are all awesome energy boosters that will give your body the fuel it needs and keep you feeling good.

Get enough rest

If you lead a very busy life, you know the importance of getting enough sleep, but you may not be getting quality sleep. Set a bedtime and stick to it, and turn off your phone, laptop, and television at least an hour before you lie down for the night as they can all interfere with your sleep cycle.