Category Archives: Support & Motivation

The Basics Of Weight Loss


While elementary, experience has shown us that many, if not most, have trouble following these instructions, which simply echo what your body is likely trying to tell you.

Let’s begin by looking at how things work when you’re both out of shape and have a lot of weight to lose. When this is the case, getting starting is the crux. “Just Press Play” was Beachbody’s original slogan, because the key to success was to simply to open the box you bought, put in a video, and press play.

When you’re very overweight, almost anything you do will lead to improvement. Any exercise and any diet that isn’t all fast and convenient foods, will kickstart the process. The hardest part is changing your habits so that exercise and thinking about making better food choices is a way of life. Of course, if you add a structured exercise program and a sensible eating plan, it will work better, and much, much, faster. Throw in a few tips on how to do this, and a super motivating fitness trainer, and it starts to get addicting.

Beyond the mental crux, things are pretty simple. At the beginning of a program, your body isn’t too picky. More exercise and less food is the key. Splitting hairs is merely a bonus. In fact, when you’re very overweight, you can eat way less than you technically need to survive and not only see great results, but feel better. Since this tactic does not work forever, it requires an explanation.

You’re bringing your body into homeostasis; a point where it’s functioning as humans were meant to, which includes exercise and eating foods that come the earth. We are built to move, and when we do, our bodies release performance-enhancing hormones to regulate processes, including how to think and expend energy. All of which lead to not only weight loss, but  more energy, mental alertness, and feeling better.

You’re body also doesn’t like to be overweight. Because we’re built for survival, and excessive body fat slows us down, your body can quickly turn this fat into an energy source. What basically happens is that you starve yourself and your body uses its (ample) reserves of adipose tissue (aka fat) to survive. As those reserves get used up, you shrink and lose weight, all of which leads to everyone telling you how great you look and inspiring you, perhaps, to workout even harder and eat even less. But then, at some inevitable point, things get tricky. Click here to find out when you need to eat more to keep losing weight.

from Beachbody Blog


10 Ways To Feel Less Bloated

We’ve all suffered through the pain and discomfort of being bloated — a stomach distended to the point where it’s coming dangerously close to detonation. And that ultra-full, gassy sensation typically boils down to what we eat and how our bodies process it. No one wants to feel bloated, so here are 10 tips that’ll help you avoid it.

1. Chew Your Food. More.
Your meal isn’t approaching its expiration date, so resist the urge to wolf it down. By chewing slower, you allow less gas to enter the stomach as you eat. Plus it takes your body approximately 20 minutes to realize it’s full, so by eating slower, you’re less likely to overeat.

2. Eat Smaller Portions
Eating more often but eating smaller portions when you do assists with weight control and helps you better absorb nutrients. It’ll also help prevent you from feeling like there’s an anvil in your gut. Space meal 2–3 hours apart and try to follow the Japanese practice of hara hachi bu—eating until you’re 80 percent full, at most.

3. Avoid Processed Foods, Fried Anything…
Ever heard of azodicarbonamide? It’s a common additive in bread that’s so tasty it’s also found in…yoga mats. Yum! Point being, if you can’t pronounce it, you can probably live without ingesting it. And, if you’re thinking about funnel cake, just say no. Few things are harder for the human body to digest than a greasy, breaded calorie bomb.

4. …And These Foods
Cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, and others), sugar substitutes, and legumes (beans) can have the balloon effect on some people.

5. Eat and Drink These Bloat Soothers 
Foods that don’t cause bloating—and might actually help with it—include cooked veggies, low-sugar fruits like grapefruits, yogurt (if you don’t have dairy issues), and green, ginger, or peppermint tea.

6. Sip Carbonated Drinks
Ripping beers with your pals translates to the consumption of unnecessary empty calories (hence the term “beer gut). And later on, thanks to the carbonation, you might also get a serious case of upset stomach. Think moderation when it comes to fizzy drinks, even super-healthy ones like kombucha. The rest of the time, stick with water. Mix up the taste by adding lemons wedges, fresh mint or basil leaves, or cucumber slices.

7. Consume More Fiber
Generally, Americans don’t eat enough fiber. That’s because fiber is primarily found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables…not at the drive-thru. If you’re not used to getting enough fiber (approximately 25–38 grams), eating more fiber may cause you to temporarily feel more bloated. But, in the long run, it will help you digestive tract run more smoothly, and as a result, you’ll feel less bloated, less often.

8. Discover If You Have A FODMAPs Intolerance…
If you regularly suffer from bloating, IBS, constipation, and abdominal pain, the culprit is obviously Satan’s favorite protein, gluten, right? Not necessarily. Countless things can trigger abdominal discomfort. And while gluten can certainly be one of them, so can intolerance to FODMAPs. The egghead term for FODMAPs is “fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharide and/or polyol.” They’re a group of carbohydrates that some individuals have trouble digesting. Foods high in FODMAPs include apples, watermelon, milk, ice cream, yogurt, onions, and some artificial sweeteners.

Clearly this means you should swear off apples because they’re terrible for you. Not really. It’s hard to give direct advice on this because it would be contingent upon how your body reacts. And since we don’t stalk you (anymore), we don’t have enough info to make a call.

9. …or Another Intolerance
Other foods that maybe be especially triggering include wheat (bread, pasta, and other gluten foods), dairy, alcohol, yeast (again with the bread, but also beer, wine, and MSG). An elimination diet will help you determine if one of these foods is an issue. Another option is to…

10. Become A Food Super Sleuth
Time to investigate your food choices, gumshoe. No trench coat or goofy fedora required, either. All you need to do is keep a detailed food journal with footnotes reminding you when you experience bloating or discomfort. Use a pad and pen or a smartphone app like Lose It!, MyFitnessPal, or Calorie Counter Pro, which we prefer because they also track caloric intake. Eventually you’ll notice patterns as to which foods or groups of foods are the perpetrators. From there, you can make a citizen’s arrest…or just stay away from those foods.


3 Simple Ways to Lose Weight


Let’s cut to the quick. Do these things and your diet will get better. Probably much better.

They might be obvious yet, in my experience, many people have trouble following the basics. I guess we’re all wired differently and, thus, we vary in what clicks for us mentally when it comes to instruction. But I can’t tell you how many diets I’ve analyzed that weren’t “working” that were focused on, say, gluten or Paleo or some other trend-of-the-year but weren’t focused on these three simple components.

If you want to lose weight, adopting these three methods is absolutely vital no matter how you’re eating, be it high protein, high carb, high fat, or high fruit.

1. Drink more water
Most people overeat because they’re dehydrated. Drink two glasses of water every morning and keep on going throughout the day. A good gauge is to aim for half your body weight in ounces each day. Or, shoot, just make it an even gallon. You’re unlikely to drink too much, and I’ll bet you drink too little. You’ll be amazed how much better you feel and function when you’re properly hydrated.

2. Cut out (or at least down) on junk
Most of us know where our diets are going south. We eat too much packaged junk, desserts, fast food, and cheap beer. Like, way too much. Stats show we get more than 10% of our calories from soda, fast food is a jillion-dollar industry, ampms are way more popular than farmer’s markets and we drink more beer, per capita, than the country that invented it. Yet, we have an insatiable appetite for answers to our issues that aren’t (quite literally) right in front of our face.  Instead of worrying about eating like a caveman or whether or not you’re allergic to gluten, try cutting the crap out of your diet and see what that does for you. Chances are you’ll never have to suffer through a diet book again.

3. Eat to fuel recovery (aka eat for what you do)
Instead of eating until you’re stuffed, try eating just enough so you recover from your workout, or whatever else you just did. We’ve gotten used to feeling full as our default state, or goal, which is positively bourgeois.  In a survival state, aka a performance state, you’d want to feel light, not full. Get used to feeling light and you’ll push harder during your workouts and you’ll end up eating pretty close to optimally because performance is addictive, too.

Editor note: Check out Steve Edwards’ Blog for more on weight loss, getting fit, and much much more.]

from Beachbody Blog