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    Peak8Fitness + Nutrition Blog

September 1, 2015

Have a Goal? Set a Deadline

Regardless of the importance to our overall mental and physical wellbeing, goals often take the backseat to the day-to-day tasks and thoughts that keep our lives operating. If we talk about goals, the conversation often starts with one word: someday.

Someday I will run a 10k.

Someday I will eat more salads and less sugar.

Someday I will feel comfortable in a bathing suit.

Let’s face it – any statement that starts with someday should really begin this way:

I will probably never run a 10k. 

I will probably never eat more salads and less sugar.

I will probably never feel comfortable in a bathing suit.

Why? Because goals are achieved through the accountability offered by actionable steps and deadlines. Deadlines force you to put a date to that “someday,” which increases the likelihood of achieving a goal substantially.

Next time you think about that fitness or nutrition goal that would improve your overall health and wellbeing, consider these reasons for setting a deadline:

Deadlines help you to work backwards to create a plan of action.

If your goal is to run a 10k and you’ve set your goal deadline for six months from now (the date of your first race), you know the general shape your body needs to be in and the distance you need to be able to run by that day.

From there, you can set milestones to hit along the way, whether they are based on distance, time, or both. These milestones take a very large goal and break it down into specific, actionable steps. They can shape your training and turn the dream of running a 10k into a reality.

Deadlines help you prioritize your time.

With a deadline and milestones laid out, the time you spend training suddenly has a clear focus. You can pour your energy into making sure you are on track to get your body to where it needs to be in six months.

Working towards a specific deadline will bring the rest of your life into focus as well. If you know you’re working towards something substantial and it’s possible to achieve, you can find more motivation and time to make it happen than you otherwise would have thought possible.

Deadlines force you to really figure out what you want and why.

It’s easy to become stuck in the monotony of day-to-day life when you don’t take the time to think about what you actually want for yourself and your life.

Setting a deadline cements a commitment to yourself to figure our where you find fulfillment and what would help you to become the best version of yourself. And one goal deadline will often give you a push to figure out what other goals you’d like to work towards achieving.

Deadlines spur action.

When a deadline is set, there’s no more time to make excuses. After all, one skipped workout just means more progress will need to occur in the ones that follow in order to make that deadline. And that sounds like more pain than it’s worth.

So here’s your challenge…

Think about the goals that have been taking up space in your mind. Select just one, and decide on a deadline for yourself.

Take that deadline and plaster it anywhere you need to see it in order to truly stay committed.

Now, see how your success rate suddenly skyrockets.

August 14, 2015

What Drives You?

July 9, 2015

The Top 8 Grocery Items on My List

For most, meal planning and grocery shopping are the biggest obstacles to eating healthy. The amount of energy it takes to think and plan ahead makes grabbing take-out seem so much more attractive.

But you don’t need to settle for something that’s not great for your body or your bank account in the name of convenience. It’s all about streamlining the process and having certain go-to foods that are both healthy and satisfying.

For me, this list is made up of eight essential items:

Eggs:
Packed with a variety of different nutrients including vitamin B2 to assist in breaking down energy from food and vitamin A to help with your eyesight, eggs are also said to help limit your calorie intake for the rest of the day.

Steel Cut Oatmeal:
A solid source of dietary fiber, steel cut oats have also been shown to lower your risk of heart disease and keep blood pressure in check. If weight loss is what you’re after, they will help keep you fuller for longer.

Chicken:
As a protein source, chicken tends to be lower in saturated fat than red meat and is one of the best foods to assist in weight loss as well as muscle building. If your energy is dipping, the vitamin B6 in chicken can give you a quick boost.

Salmon:
The protein found in salmon is easier for the body to digest and absorb than many other types of meat. It also helps reduce cholesterol, increase metabolism and aid in the growth of healthy hair and nails.

Spinach:
Considered to be a very nutrient-rich food, spinach is a great source of antioxidants, iron, vitamins and minerals. It’s also extremely versatile and can be used in a variety of ways.

Bell Peppers:
Whether you opt for red, green, orange or yellow, bell peppers are low in calories but high in vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and fiber. If you want to get the most nutrition, however, opt for the red variety.

Avocado:
Avocados are packed with fat – but not the kind of fat you should stay away from. Monounsaturated fat will help you stay full, increase your body’s ability absorb vitamins and minerals and increase your skin health as well.

Organic Raw Peanut Butter or Almond Butter:
Another great source of protein, peanut butter or almond butter can keep you satisfied between meals, while also adding antioxidants and potassium to your diet. The organic, raw variety will take out the sugars and other not-so-great ingredients found in most brands.

Next time you find yourself considering skipping a trip to the grocery store and going for take-out instead, pull out this list. Not only will you be in and out in no time, but your fridge will no longer be an obstacle between you and your health and fitness goals.

It really is that easy.

July 9, 2015

Ready to Give Up? How to Jumpstart Your Motivation

Motivation isn’t usually a permanent resident. It comes and goes, sometimes staying for awhile, and sometimes just making an appearance before flying out the door again.

But that doesn’t mean the path to reaching your goals has to be just as rocky.

If you’re struggling to stay the course and keep moving forward, here are a few things to remember:

Motivation doesn’t have to come before action.

If we always waited until we were motivated to act, most goals wouldn’t be reached. You might not be buzzing with excitement every time your alarm goes off for that early morning workout, but you can still take the physical steps to get out of bed and pull on your workout gear. Motivation will likely show up once you start moving.

Habits can always help pick up the slack.

We all have plenty of decisions to make throughout the day, so the more we have set on autopilot, the better. If you have a workout schedule and a meal plan already laid out, you’re less likely to rely on motivation to make sure you do what’s right for your body. Create habits and you’ll create a smoother ride to success.

Sometimes you just have to be kind to yourself.

Have you been slacking on your workouts lately? Instead of kicking yourself for falling off the bandwagon and further hampering your motivation as a result, start looking forward instead of backwards. Guilt won’t leave much room for thinking about how you can improve.

Self-reflection can go a long way.

What’s the why behind your lack of motivation? Do you need to switch up your workout routine? Are the goals you’ve set not actually reflective of what you hope to achieve? Does your meal plan need some pizzazz? Sometimes a lack of motivation is simply an indicator that things need to change.

Still thinking about giving up? Here are a few things you can do today before calling it quits:

Get an accountability partner.

Motivation is contagious, so a good workout partner might be able to rub off on you. Not only will they hold you accountable, but they can be a good distraction from the work at hand.

Look back at your progress.

It’s easy to forget how far you’ve come when your eye is always on the finish line. Make it a point to really look back and document where you were starting from. That’s usually enough to convince you how much hard work can pay off.

Create a fail-proof routine.

If late afternoon workouts are leaving you exhausted and are too easy to cancel, find a time to workout that is easier to stick to. Create a schedule or plan that is as fail-proof as humanly possible and you won’t have to wait for motivation to show up.

Before you give in to feeling down on yourself, take control and show motivation who’s boss. Your body will thank you for it.

June 26, 2015

Wake Up and Sweat: The Benefits of a Morning Workout

Waking up and throwing on your workout gear might seem like the last thing you want to do, but there are definite advantages to an early morning sweat session. Not only will you reap the calorie-burning benefits all day long, but you might be surprised at how much easier it is to be motivated to workout before spending a draining day in the office.

Next time you consider hitting the snooze button just one more time, think about this:

Fat burning will occur during the times that you’re actually eating.

If you’re accustomed to working out in the evenings, the after-workout fat burn is happening while you’re sleeping. Morning workouts allow the fat burn to occur when it’s the most useful – during the hours you’re consuming calories.

It will help kick start your energy and brainpower for the day. 

It may seem counterintuitive considering exercise is the time of the day when are probably exerting the most energy, but working out will actually help increase your energy levels. Oxygen and other nutrients created by intense activity will help your cardiovascular system run more efficiently as well.

If memory-recall or brain function is something you could use help with, that’s also something else exercise offers.

Your eating habits will reap the benefits.

Studies suggest that high intensity workouts don’t make you a ravenous beast, they might actually do the opposite – decrease your appetite. They are also said to decrease those all-consuming cravings that can be virtually impossible to silence.

You’ll be more likely to stick to a schedule.  

Afternoon workouts are far easier to skip when a last-minute happy hour invitation pops up or forgotten family commitment takes precedence. How many invitations do you receive or family emergencies do you have to take care of before work? Probably none.

Do yourself a favor and get it over with early on in the day. That way you can get on with the rest of your day, guilt-free.

Now wouldn’t that be nice?