How to Have both a Social Life and a Healthy Life

Happy Thursday everyone! I g397061_10150813175798056_1526232110_net this question from my clients all the time: How do I stay on track for my goals and living a healthy lifestyle and still maintain a social life?

That is a great question!! It can be tricky, especially if your social life consists or eating at cool restaurants, drinking at fun bars, baking for girls night and then eating some more… sound familiar??


Here’s my best advice on this sticky situation…

One of the best things you can do is tell your friends/family about what you are doing & your goals. Most likely they’ll be super supportive! Then suggest that you guys go for a hike or run on the beach together and then grab some lunch, instead of just grab lunch.

When going out for food, just try and do the best you can!
  1. Try and pick healthier options. With the health and fitness craze going around these days, there are usually plenty of hip, healthy restaurant to try. You could try a cool juice/smoothie bar, a salad place etc.
  2. If you do go to a restaurant that has tempting unhealthy options, here’s a good rule…
“Try to and make at least half of your plate healthy. For example, if you are going to have a burger, then get a side salad instead of fries; or if you reallyyy want those fries then get a salad as your main course. Same for Italian and other restaurants – get some pasta but don’t eat the bread they put on the table, OR get a chicken salad and then eat the bread. Think either/or, not both! That way, not everything you eat at that meal is bad for you”
As for going out, that get’s tough. Obviously, you want to try and avoid alcohol if you are going for weight loss; but you also don’t want to be a buzz kill if you are meeting friends for drinks right? Here are two tips…
    1. Get red wine or a super dark beer like Guinness if you are meeting up for drinks with people (red wine isn’t terrible and actually has some anti-oxidants that are good for you! Dark beers like Guinness have the least calories of any beer… shocking right??)
    2. If you are going out then try and stick to vodka sodas or vodka waters (I call that disco water – some bartenders know what I mean and others don’t haha) and then squeeze some lime, orange, and/or lemon slices into it and it actually tastes pretty good and it is about 100 cals (instead of 200-500 in a normal cocktail).
Hope all that info helps! And most importantly just keep in mind your goals and why you are changing your diet and routine. That will be your best motivator 🙂
– Amanda
Be Happy. Be Fit.

Losing Belly Fat Isn’t Just About Diet & Exercise!

Ready to hear something that just might blow your mind? Diet and exercise, although VERY important, are not the only factors to weight loss, especially fat loss in the stomach area! If you’ve ever felt like you have hit a weight loss plateau, or that the rest of your body is toning up but your waistline just won’t budge, there is something else to consider: hormones! There are many different hormones in our body that affect how each of us burns and stores fat in the stomach area. But basically it boils down to two major hormones: cortisol and insulin. 

Let’s pause about the hormones for a second and talk about fat. There are two types of belly fat: visceral and subcutaneous fat. The visceral fat is deep inside, surrounding our organs. This fat cannot be seen by the eye or pinched. On the other hand, subcutaneous belly fat is what you can pinch at your waistline and is often nicknamed a “muffin top”. The good news is that visceral (deep inside) belly fat recieves a lot of blood supply, is rich in beta-receptors, is more responsive to cortisol, and is less sensitive to insulin. Those are bunch of fancy scientific words basically saying that visceral fat is hard to store and easy to burn, thus can more easily be managed by exercise and diet. 

However, our subcutaneous belly fat is a different story. It has more alpha hormone receptors, meaning that it is less responsive to fat-burning hormones. It also is far more insulin sensitive and less reactive to cortisol. In a nutshell: subcutaneous fat is easier for our body to store and harder to burn and get rid of. This is where healthy hormone levels come in!

Hormones, specifically cortisol and insulin are responsible for the storage and release of fat cells, especially in that pinchable subcutaneous belly fat. Simply put, if these hormones are out of whack, they cannot do their jobs correctly. What effects these hormones? You can think of cortisol as the “sleep and stress” hormone and insulin as the “starch and sugar” hormone.

It is a known but often overlooked fact that we all NEED 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Even slight sleep deprivation can cause a stress response in the body, which alters cortisol levels. Other stresses such as work, relationships, and physical stress (ie. over-exercising, posture) can also alter cortisol levels. Thus, it is very important for each of us to manage our stress in order to shrink that waistline. This could be a nice long walk, a restorative yoga session, massages, spa treatments, meditation, laughing, reading, or any other activity you find relaxing. Eliminating stress and increasing sleep are the keys to keeping your cortisol levels in check, and therefore promoting belly fat loss.

The other main hormone, insulin, is more affected by how many starches and sugars you consume. Foods high in sugar and simple carbohydrates can cause your insulin levels to spike (bad news for the subcutaneous fat!). However, consuming more complex starches (brown rice, quinoa, and other foods with a low glycemic load) has the opposite effect and actually helps maintain a stable, healthy insulin level.

Phew that was a lot of information! Take some time to understand it. If you would like to read the entire article, and learn a bit more about the science behind burning subcutaneous and visceral stomach fat, check it out here!

Now get some sleep and de-stress! See below for one of many de-stressing ideas.

– Coach Amanda