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33 Ways to Drop 10 lbs

We’ve officially hit 90 degrees! I would say that the countdown to get your bod “SUMMER READY” is rapidly closing in! PRIDE is a few short days away and FIRE ISLAND is a callin!

As you know by now, at Gay Mens Boot Camp we are 100% against quick fixes and last-minute weight loss cram-sessions.

To fast track results for you guys, I thought I would cut through all of the crap out there and give you a compilation of our TOP 33 ways to lose 10 lbs, how to better conceptualize a healthy lifestyle, & how to stop believing it’s all about will power.

It takes eliminating outdated & antiquated beliefs about weight loss and incorporating a combination of positive habits and influences to get fit, drop the fat and keep it off.

So, please read #1-33 as :

that will, if slowly worked into your life, help you drop the 1st or the last 10 lbs!

1. Measurement = Motivation. Replace self-discipline with DATA. Seeing progress in change in #’s makes repetitive tasks of workouts, cooking meals etc fascinating! A few suggested measurements to take: Circumference, heart rate w/ daily tasks & exercise or even time to complete 20 pushups, for example. This creates a positive feedback loop that makes the ACT OF MEASURING more important than what you are actually measuring.

2. The more you have yo-yo dieted & have gone on short-term exercise binges, the less likely you will see the # on the scale change when you begin to exercise. But don’t be discouraged! It’s the all important body composition (not “weight”) that will actually change (ie decrease in fat, and increase in fat burning lean muscle.) It’s common to drop an entire pants size and not see the # on the scale budge! (see #13.)

3. START with realistic GOALS that have a deadline, are measurable, and specific! Short term goals should be tangible behavioral modifications like “I will pack lunch for work 4 out of 5 days this week”.

4. Modify ALL restaurant orders, even if it costs extra. (Consider it your flat belly tax.) Grilled, not fried. Substitute steamed veggies for french fries. Dressing and marinades on the side. Whole wheat version of everything bread, wrap, rice etc.) IT ALL ADDS UP!


5. FASTEST WAY to get your eating in check: SLOW DOWN.
Eating slowly makes you more conscious of what you are putting in and can cut consumption by more than 1/2. FACT: it takes 21 minutes for your body to recognize that you are full.

6. Cook for “+1” tonight & save time tomorrow. At dinner, make your usual veggie, lean protein, and whole grain carb meal…but make an extra serving. Pack the other in a tupperware and you’ve got your healthy lunch ready for tomorrow!

7. Stop shooting for PERFECTION. It will never happen. You will just drive yourself crazy and fail big time. Forget bullet points on the science of carbs and heart rate and exercise. Just do 1 thing tomorrow a little BETTER than you did today and mind what’s going in your mouth. Without trying too hard, you will inevitably improve on every level!


8. Doing ab exercises alone will NEVER get rid of extra belly fat. You must CONSISTENTLY combine cardio, metabolic strength training and a clean diet in order to lose the fat around the middle (and all fat for that matter.) Just focus on improving on 3 different exercises and as performance increases, FAT will decrease!

9. FAIL FORWARD. Don’t ever be afraid to make mistakes; consider it a way to gain valuable experience. Each attempt gets you one step closer to finding what will work for you and makes you 1 step ahead of that person who was afraid to act at all.

10. Avoid the “rookie trap” of giving up too soon before results set in. Recognize that you are on a lifestyle change, not instant gratification. Expect approx 1-2 Lbs/Week for long-term adherence. Focus daily energy on completing workouts/packing meals/sleeping 7 hours VS “how fast can I drop 20 lbs that took me a year to gain.” The later is a recipe for failure.


11. Always seek out easy cooking alternatives that can cut calories/fat/sugar by more than half. Ground Turkey vs Ground Beef, 0% Greek Yogurt vs Sour Cream, Apple Sauce vs Processed Sugar, Baked Sweet Potatoes vs French Fries. Small decreases ADD UP: save 500 cals/day x 1 week = 1 Lb of fat lost!

12. SCHEDULE a CHEAT MEAL 1x/week. (Always mind portions though.) This keeps you motivated to stick a clean eating plan, it CURBS CRAVINGS and is the best long-term strategy for a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE rather than short-term crash-diet.

13. STOP WEIGHING YOURSELF. The scale is THE WORST barometer of success or failure of your diet & exercise program. The scale CANNOT tell when you drop 5 lbs of unwanted fat and gain 5 lbs precious lean muscle. Use how your clothes fit or circumference measurements instead!

14. PLAN your meals for the day…IN ADVANCE. Magic word? PLAN. No last-minute guessing, NO emotional stress driven decisions. NO starvation induced binges. Make choices before the damage is done. Fastest way to correct behavior is to be conscious of actions in REAL TIME, not after.

15. Do cardio & strength at the same time. Go out for a run, 3 different times stop and do 30 seconds of each: Squat, Pushups, Step Ups, Dips. DOUBLE the workout, IN HALF THE TIME!

16. Know your weaknesses….and OWN ’em! Logic & will power will often fail you. Never end up making it to the gym after work? OK! Stop beating yourself up and come up with a conscious solution already! Schedule morning workouts with a trainer, a boot camp, or with a friend!

17. Create a VISION of where you want to be + Take MASSIVE Action = Live your dream.

18. Calorie burnage is cumulative. Being that it’s the “end of day totals” that count, always seek out ways to do a lil bit extra! E.g. Get off the train a stop earlier. 2) Use the b-room on another floor and take the steps 3) WALK 20 mins to a farther lunch spot OR walk 20 minutes after you finish.

19. Greatness is, by and large, a conscious decision.

20. Get 7 hours of sleep. Getting too few hours increases CARB CRAVINGS, increases risk for heart disease, screws with weight loss hormones, and makes you 4 TIMES more likely to be overweight! For max benefit, experts suggest hitting the hay earlier, rather than sleeping later.

21. Fall in love w/ your nakedness. Look in the mirror & focus FIRST on your favorite body part. Don’t pinch your least fav. Say out loud, “I love my _____.”

22. THINK about (and become) the person you want to be. Whatever life-situation you find yourself in is merely a reflection of what your subconscious mind repeatedly thinks about. Quit calling yourself the “chubby guy,” or “unmotivated” and start thinking about and believing that you can be whatever you want to become.

23. Set it and forget it! Forget the “big picture” day-to-day. Yes it is imperative to create a long-term goal, but then please tuck it away. Your daily energy is better spent on packing healthy lunches, controlling stress reactions, completing daily workouts, and sleeping 7 hours.

24. Paint-by-numbers SUCCESS: 1 Day at a time. 2 People to support you. 3 Goals/month. 4 Pieces of fruit/day. 5 Vegetables/day. 6 Meals/day. 7 Days of activity/week. 8 Glasses of water/day. 9 Different exercises/workout. 10 minutes of meditation/day.

25. SPICE IT UP to make healthy unprocessed food taste delish! Keep garlic, salt-free spices, onions, and tons of lemon handy. Once you detox from mainstream packaged/processed crap you will NEED those spices!

26. Don’t sweat the small stuff. When you are committed to a lifetime of healthy living, inevitably you will skip a few days or even a weeks worth of workouts. Who cares, so what?!

27. If it seems too good to be true… it probably is. NO ONE with a sick body has ever achieved it in a short amount of time or without healthy diet and exercise habits.

28. Fat can be contagious. You are more than 2x as likely to become overweight if your friends or partner is overweight. Search for comrades that support and enable healthy habits. Find a workout group or team of like-minded goal oriented men.

29. Eat Breakfast. The single most important thing you can do ALL DAY to kick-start your metabolism, foster better food choices, and prevent weight gain. Common thread between those with difficulty losing fat & obesity related illness: they don’t eat breakfast.

30. It’s easy to come up with 1000 ways to fail at being healthy. Alas, all you need to find is ONE way to be SUCCESSFUL.

31. Don’t try to lose 20 lbs, it’s too huge of mental hurdle. Start by replacing ONE, yes 1, bad habit with a positive correction each week. E.g. Week 1: add 2 veggies more per meal. Week 2: sleep 1 extra hour/ night. Week 3: Don’t eat out until the weekend. etc.

32. Excuses OR Results. You can’t have BOTH.

33. Start the week by scheduling in your workouts as the most important meeting of the day. “I don’t have time to workout” REALLY MEANS “I would like to procrastinate a little longer.” Get real. Get focused.


GO OUT THERE TODAY AND BE AWESOME!

Your Fun, Fanatical, Fitness Expert,

Laura Miranda MSPT, CSCS
http://www.GayMensBootCamp.com
646.454.0777

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Sleep, Sex and Abs

Think you already know the formula for getting in shape fast?

Eat clean, work out every day, and avoid the bad stuff, right?  Think again.  If you are having trouble keeping off the lbs or you just hit a plateau in your workout routine, then you will want to wake up and listen up.

Gay Men’s Boot Camp in NYC starts at 6am, sunrise. So the boys and I know a thing or 2 about the importance of getting our beauty sleep.  Next outdoor session starts Monday 5/2.

Lemme break it down – the most recent research has revealed something that will hurt more than the sound of your ear piercing alarm did this morning: adequate rest plays an important role in your ability to (or not to) shed extra pounds.  

Does sleep deprivation cause you to gain weight? WAKE UP! The answer is Yes!

Slug down 3 Ventis, stay late at work, pick up some fried & processed nibblybits on the way home, pass out with the crumbs on your chest/blackberry in hand/TV blaring. Wake up exhausted aaaaand repeat.  Sound familiar?

Most people are unaware of the implications that not getting enough sleep has on your health.

Besides helping you STORE fat around the middle, lack of sleep decreases testosterone and overall desire for sex. Chronic sleep loss makes you irritable and anxious, ages your skin faster, decreases concentration, and  increases stress levels. Simply put, when you are sleepy your threshold to deal with life is lowered making you more likely to become sick and tired of being sick and tired.

So how are your WEIGHT LOSS efforts Effected by lack of sleep?

a) When you are tired it can be all the more difficult to make healthy decisions. The gym takes a back seat and you tend to seek out comfort food or alcohol to fill the sleep-void.

b) Since the positive effects of exercise are actually processed DURING REST and not on the actual bench press or squat rack itself. Without adequate rest, a lot of your hard muscle building work is going to waste.

c) 2 important hormones are negatively effected. Ghrelin INCREASES (hormone that lets our body know when it’s feeling hungry.) Leptin DECREASES (hormone that tells the brain when it should stop eating.) This results in your body frequently craving high carb foods and not feeling full once you’ve scarffed down every highly processed  morsel in sight.  (IE – hell on earth.)

Here are Gay Boot camp’s HOT tips for a good night’s sleep (And sure fire way to a healthier lifestyle)

1. Don’t watch TV before tucking yourself in. Often people will tell me they “cant get to bed earlier than 12am” but when pressed, they admit that about 2 hours of that time is actually spent in front of mindless TV. Try reading a book or talking to your boyfriend. Wind down by quietly reviewing your day and invasion ways that you can improve yourself for tomorrow.

2. Exercise on a regular schedule. Leaving a workout until you can “find the time” will NEVER happen. Schedule your workouts like any other important meeting on your calendar.  Hook up with a friend for a run, join a group of fitness freaks (GayMensBootCamp.com) or hire a trainer lock you into a routine.

3. Keep a pen and pad bedside to jot down racing thoughts. Difficulty sleeping because of a racing mind playing out past, present and future events can easily keep you up for hours. Getting stressful to-do’s or important items you need to remember out of your head and on to the paper will quickly quite down a noisy mind and allow you to relax.

4. Shut Down work and all electronic devices well before going to sleep. High anxiety levels and a racing mind before bed will continue for hours once your head hits the pillow. Stop all work activities & social networks at least 2 hours before going to sleep and replace that with reading, meditating or other soothing activities.

5. Prioritize your next day To-Do list before leaving work for the night. Being able to hit the ground running 1st thing in the morning with a solid plan of action will limit time spent lolly gagging around deciding on what to do next and will limit the amount of anxiety or stress about the day to come. START with the most difficult task 1st and leave the busy work – emails/phone calls/paper work to the end.

GAAAAAY Boot Camp in NYC: Get in, get fit, get HOT!

Is Fat Contagious?

RATHER, COULD YOUR FRIENDS BE MAKING YOU FAT?!?
Spoiler alert: the answer is Y-E-S

This time of year those resolutions start to creep in again because the temp has FINALLY broken the 60 degree mark. The summer looms as we all begin to kick it into high gear at the gym. Yet, if your progress is slower than a line of tourists trying to purchase a metrocard, then it might not shock you to hear that FAT is CONTAGIOUS.

Does your sphere of influence include friends who gripe about never being able to lose weight, lazy coworkers who indulge in take-out and Costco sized bags of  chips,  or partners or family members who only know how to bond over food and drink?

Wait a second, could your mom have been right after all? “Show me your friends and I will show you who you are. You are who you surround yourself with.”  Aggghhhhh. Fine, you were right! Happy now?!

.

EVIDENTIARY SUPPORT:
A recent SCARY study at Harvard Medical School found –
Your risk of becoming obese increases by
:

  •  57% if you hang with a friends who are obese
  • 40% if your siblings are overweight
  • 37% if you are married to someone who is overweight

Now, I’m not saying axe all of the friends who would rather meet for all-you-can-eat brunch and bellinis than have a sweat-fest in spin class. But, in order to set yourself up for success you must create a healthy environment to do so. 

The moral of the story is that just as your social network can make you FAT and unhappy, it can also inspire and motivate you to be fit, thin and healthy too. Change your body by changing the people around you with these 3 steps:

1) Seek out friends who have alternative methods of FUN and socialization that goes beyond the usual drinking/eating. What about  rock climbing, skate boarding, belly dancing, or hiking! Limit  brunch, shopping and kvetching to 1 Sunday a month.
2) Join a local group of like-minded men. Find fellow fit-friends in local business networking groups, on  Meetup.com, in an all-gay fitness boot camp, or gay sports league. There are TONS of motivated people who are already changing their lives with a little help from their friends.
3) Take a good hard look at the men (and women) that are in your circle of influence right now.  If they don’t inspire you to be BETTER every day, dump em! Or, 1st try to invite them on your wellness journey. Read MSN’s article quoting me on How to Lose Weight With a Partner for some ideas. If after your suggestions they pull their “business as usual”, then you have my permission: de-friend from Facebook, erase their number, and ignore their texts. Life’s too short. Your body will thank me.

PS- Invite a friend to the next GAY MENS BOOT CAMP starting on soon in the West Village of NYC!  

Laura Miranda MsPT, CSCS
Miranda Fitness Concepts, INC
www.StrongHealthyWoman.com
www.GayMensBootCamp.com
646.454.0777

Top 5 Weight-Loss Foods (every hot guy MUST HAVE)

(Here’s my secret list of the TOP 5 FOODS every hot guy must have in his kitchen at all times:) text away!

Since this is the age of instant gratification, ie Twitter, Facebook, text message, BBMbush not paying attention (for a change) – who has time to figure out the BEST foods to eat to help you lose weight FAST?

 

Who has the time? I will tell you who… ME! Laura, The Body Transformation Expert (rather, YOUR body transformation expert.)

Without fail, at each and every  GAY Boot Camp/Nutrition Seminar/Grocery Shopping Tour/Dinner with friends/Meeting with my accountant – I get asked the same question: Just TELL me exactly what I should eat to lose weight. NO ONE, or very few people want to hear the philosophy behind it so that they can duplicate it when I am not around. “Just give me a list!” (I still tell them a little background anyway. I ‘m used to being tuned out at this point.)

So here ’s your darn list (and a little background) on the TOP 5 FOODS every hot guy (or “guy that’s trying to become HOT” ) must have in his kitchen at all times:

1) BEANS

beans, beans, good for your heart...Forget the song you used to sing as a child “beans, beans, good for your heart…” What makes the bean a virtual super-food is that it’s high in fiber, it’s a complex carbohydrate, and it is loaded with protein. Having a high concentration of each of these in one beautiful morsel literally makes it one of the best choices when trying to eat to lose weight. Simply adding beans to an otherwise boring meal will keep you fuller longer (fiber), feed your muscles (protein), improve taste and promote healthy weight loss!

BUY IT LIKE THIS: Canned, be sure to get “no salt added.” Normal sodium content should be around 40mgs. Excellent types: Kidney, Garbanzo, Black, Soy, Pinto.
COOK IT LIKE THIS: There is little to no prep with canned beans. Straight out of the can and put right on top of food or simply warm them up for a few seconds and you are good to go.

2) BARLEY

barleyEach meal should contain 50% vegetables, 25% lean protein and 25% whole-grain carbohydrate. Barley is better choice than even brown rice or brown pasta because it contains a superior amount of fiber as compared to its counterparts. Fiber, quite simply helps metabolize fat (need I say more?) 
BUY IT LIKE THIS: Find it in the aisle next to pasta and rice. Appears like un-cooked rice.
COOK IT LIKE THIS: Prepare it just like rice – in water, boil until soft. Can also be used as breakfast in place of oatmeal, in stews, sprinkle on salads or as a substitute for any recipe that calls for rice.

3) KALE

The makeup of a healthy man’s diet should consist of 6-8 servings of vegetables per day. The darker the veggie, the good ole kalehigher the concentration of anti aging, anti-cancer, and anti-fat components it will contain. Kale is jam packed with calcium (who knew?) tons of other vitamins/minerals and FIBER. Hot guys eat tons of fiber! I cannot make this any clearer for you! Seek it out at every meal. The more foods you add to your diet that are high in fiber (veggies, whole grains, beans, legumes) the faster the other garbage you are eating will fall by the waist side (pun intended.)

BUY IT LIKE THIS: Found in the green leafy vegetable section. Looks like dark green lettuce.
COOK IT LIKE THIS: Use in place of lettuce anywhere – uncooked, in salads, sandwiches, or use in place of bread or wrap in your favorite lunchtime sandwich. Also, steam like spinach or sauté in light garlic and oil.

4) OATMEAL

The BEST way to start your day (ie - eat this to lose weight) This little gem is a complex carbohydrate that is high in fiber. Because of its make-up you will stay fuller longer, and satiated. You’ll be awake and alert well into the morning after a bowl of this first thing. Be sure to pair it with a protein topping to maximize the benefits. Watch this video where I tell you why you HAVE TO combine protein and carbs in order eat to lose weight.

BUY IT LIKE THIS: In a canister in the cereal aisle, instant/quick oats are just as good as the regular. Avoid the fancy versions with added stuff (raisins, sugar, berries.) Just get “plain oat meal” add your own toppings and save TONS of calories/sugar/salt.
COOK IT LIKE THIS: SUPER EASY! Instant oats takes 1 minute in the microwave. Take a canister/bowl/spoon to work and eat it first thing or as a mid morning snack with fresh fruit or nuts on top.

5) MIXED UNSALTED NUTS/SEEDS/BERRIES

"Waist" friendly, you can't make this stuff upProtein is muscle food!  They are packed with the good kind of fat which won’t clog your arteries, but will leave you satiated, improve your mood, and make you more alert. TONS of anti aging/anti cancer/anti heart disease/ant diabetic properties. Reach for nuts instead of simple starchy carbs as in crackers or pretzels and you will INSTANTLY feel a boost.

BUY IT LIKE THIS: If you can’t find a container of premixed unsalted nuts, make a mix yourself by buying a few small bags of pumpkin seeds, almonds , walnuts, flax seeds, cashews, dried cranberries, pecans, raisins, etc.
COOK IT LIKE THIS: Pre-separate into serving size baggies at the time you are creating your mix. This is an easy grab ‘n go snack AND helps you avoid eating 3-4 servings in one sitting. Keep them in your desk, in your pocket, in your cabinet at home.

To sum it up, most of you are not out there eating cheeseburgers and French fries every night. You are most likely a big step below that. I say “below” because each level down is a step cleaner on a scale of healthy eating. You should consistently arm your refrigerator with food that is the cleanest, most un-processed, as close-to-the-way-it-came-out-of-the ground or tree as possible. Beans, Barley, and Kale, Oatmeal and Mixed Nuts are 5 foods that are tops in their categories when it comes to eating for weight loss.

 

Laura Miranda MsPT, CSCS
Miranda Fitness Concepts INC
www.GayMensBootCamp.com
646.454.0777