Saturday, 30 July 2016

5 Reasons Why Tracking Your Calories Didn’t Work

Understand Why Food Logging Didn’t Work For You

Have you tried to count calories but didn’t lose any weight? If weight loss really is just about calories, why didn’t it work? Here are five reasons why you may be counting your calories and still not seeing results.

1. Unintentionally Leaving Calories Out

How are you logging your food? What are you using to measure your food? What is “1 cup”? Is that cup packed down or not? Your food log needs to be specific or you run the risk of unintentionally under-reporting your calorie intake. EVERYONE has under-reported their calorie intake at one point in time. Depending on the food, there can be a big difference between a packed cup and an unpacked cup. You may be consuming extra calories without realizing it because of this discrepancy. The most accurate way to measure your food is by using a food scale and calculating the grams and ounces of each food item that you eat.

2. Intentionally Leaving Calories Out

It was just one, right? Wrong. If you aren’t being honest on your food log, you are sabotaging your own progress. Your food log needs to be completed every single day because every calorie counts. It may feel like this one potato chip or one strawberry won’t make a difference, but it adds up. An extra 100 calories per day adds up to ten pounds of weight gained every year. It’s not worth it. If you are leaving any calories out of your log, you are only lying to yourself. This includes “cheat” days. If you are eating more calories than you should be for your goal, you are only cheating yourself and you deserve better than that.

3. Overestimating the Number of Calories You Burn

How many calories did you burn in that workout? Are you sure? People commonly overestimate the number of calories that they burn during a workout. Part of this is due to individual perceived rate of exertion. “30 minutes of strenuous activity” means something different for two different people. It is impossible to gauge how many calories you are burning on your own.

4. Adding Extra Calories For Exercise

It is too easy to fall into the “I worked out today so I deserve this cookie” trap. You are not a dog and you do not need to reward yourself with food. Even with an activity tracker, your calorie intake needs to remain a constant number. Activity trackers are not 100% accurate in calculating how many calories you’ve burned. If you add in extra calories because your activity tracker or food log says that you burned extra calories, you are putting yourself in jeopardy of eating too many calories and gaining weight.

5. Focusing Too Much on What You’re Eating and not How Much You’re Eating

We’ve all been guilty of the “it’s healthy so I can eat more of it” mindset. 3000 calories in kale is still 3000 calories. If you are focusing all of your attention on eating “healthy” and aren’t putting calories first, you may be overlooking the most important factor of weight loss. Remember, get your calories in line first, THEN focus on balancing your macronutrients.

That’s Why

Now you know, tracking your calories through a food log is an effective and efficient way to achieve your goal as long as you are being accurate. It doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Eliminate under-reporting of calories consumed and overestimating of calorie burned, as well as stick to your plan every day. If you work on perfecting your accuracy one step at a time, it will turn into a game of “how can I eat what I want while staying in my goal”. There’s always a way to make it fun!


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Why Should I Do Cardio?

All About Cardio

We have heard of the many benefits of exercise but what benefits will we receive when doing cardiovascular exercise? Cardiovascular exercise is exercise that involves your circulatory system and increases your heart rate to pump blood throughout the body. Aerobic exercise, or Cardio, is a popular form of exercise amongst many people.

How much Cardio you should do

It ranges anywhere between low to high intensity. Intensity for each person is measured by determining the MHR (Maximal Heart Rate). MHR = 220 – Your Age. Low to Moderate Intensity is 50 – 70 % and High Intensity is 70 – 85%. Max intensity should be 85% of your MHR. Aerobic exercise includes running, biking, dancing, tennis, and even some form of resistance training, such as in a circuit.

Weight Loss

Aerobic exercise helps a person lose weight! It helps a person lose weight by burning off calories from the movements from doing the exercises. Typically the more muscles used during aerobic exercise the more calories that a person will burn. Simple as that! It has been thought that low to moderate intensity training is the way to go to burn more fat at a higher percentage. However as far as total calories higher intensity is the way to go as long as there is oxygen and doesn’t become too anaerobic (using no oxygen).

Heart Health

Most believe that Aerobic exercise is good for weight loss, which it is, but it provides more benefit than losing weight. Aerobic exercise also works out your heart! Your heart is a muscle and if you make it pump blood due to exercise it will get stronger. Working out your heart is important as a healthy heart will go a long way in reducing future cardiovascular issues.

Makes you feel good!

Aerobic exercise leads to the release of hormones especially endorphins in the body. Endorphins are the “feel good” hormones that many hear about. Another hormone that increases after aerobic exercise is Growth Hormone, which regulates body composition, muscle/bone growth, and sugar/fat metabolism. Growth Hormone decreases in the body as you age.

Faster Recovery

Soreness after you are done with a workout is always the one thing that most people dread. Soreness is no fun but fear not my friends! While getting rid of soreness completely is not physiologically possible aerobic exercise makes recovery after a workout easier. Aerobic exercise after a workout decreases the time of lactic acid build up post workout from 2~ hours to roughly half that time. Aerobic exercise also allows the body to pump more nutrients to the muscle. This in turn allows a decrease in DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) that occurs due to muscle damage from exercising.

Yes to Cardio!

Aerobic exercise should be an important part of any workout routine. It has many benefits and has many different forms. Having a variety of different cardio workouts is beneficial in your quest to achieve your health goals. Choosing which ones work for you also make Cardio training more fun and interesting!




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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Protein 101 – How Much Protein Should I Eat?

Every Body Is Different

What amount is good for me, you ask? Well Protein is great for you and helps your body repair and build tissues and structures throughout your body. We definitely do not always get the daily requirement that is needed. It is super necessary that we do get the right amount of Protein for our body type. But how much protein do we truly need for our body types? It’s tiring not knowing what the proper amount is specifically beneficial for you.

Why Do I Need Protein?

Well, we definitely need protein to help take care of those tissues and structures throughout our body. Without protein, those tissues and structures would not be able to function properly. And no one wants their body to not function properly, right? Proteins are made up of different kinds of amino acids. Those amino acids are broken down and used for adding to tissue when needed for an energy source or used to replace and repair damaged tissue.

The Right Amount For Me

There are different factors that relate to how much protein someone should intake daily. Protein is actually more necessary to obtain as you age. It is recommended that protein should range from 10 to 35% of total caloric intake. This range still allows for different goals to be achieved. So whether your goal is to take in the normal daily amount of protein necessary to aid in satiety (the feeling of fullness) or your goal is to utilize protein percentages for performance.

Recommended Protein Intakes
Activity Level –  Grams of Protein per kg Body Weight per Day

Sedentary (Adult) —  0.8 (0.4 g/lb)
Strength Athletes  —  1.2 – 1.7 (0.5 – 0.8 g/lb)
Endurance Athletes  —  1.2 – 1.4 (0.5 – 0.6 g/lb)

Factors Affecting Protein Requirements 

The amount of exercise, body-composition or sports-performance goals, and the amount of calories consumed all have an affect on how much money protein should be obtained. Exercise contributes to the amount of protein that we need because it increases the oxidation of amino acids and also the turnover rate of protein in lean body mass during recovery. So this just means that our body is in need of protein because it helps repair the damaged tissues and structures used during increased activity. Goals have an affect on the amount of protein consumed because it changes the percentages that is paired with Caloric Intake. While consuming a smaller amount of calories throughout the day, protein will automatically provide the missing energy that is normally satisfied by carbohydrate and fats.

So…not only is protein super beneficial for your body, but it helps you feel full throughout the day. And no one wants to feel hungry, right? Regardless if you are super active or like to go on an occasional hike, protein should play an important role in your diet.


Clark, M. (2012). Nutrition. In S. Luccett. & B. Sutton (Eds.) NASM Academy of Sports Medicine Essentials of Personal Fitness Training (pp. 438-446). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Calories First!

The Only Solution

Calories are the most important factor in weight management. Period. The ONLY way that you can lose weight is by eating less calories than you are burning. They are the energy that fuels your body. When that energy is out of balance, a change in weight will occur.

The Only Secret to Weight Loss is Calories in vs. Calories Out

Everywhere you look, there are articles about “the secret to weight loss” or “how to lose weight without counting calories”. These are all bogus. The only secret to weight loss is that you absolutely have to eat less calories than you are burning. Calories are first, above all else. When it comes to general weight loss, it doesn’t matter how many carbohydrates you eat, what time you eat, or if it’s organic. Macronutrients are important but, if you focus on that instead of calories, it will be harder to get to your goal.  It really is just a numbers game and comes down to calories in and calories out.

Calories in Your Body are Like Money in Your Bank Account

If you spend more money than you make, you will be in a financial deficit and will have to find other resources to pull money from. If you make more money than you spend, you will be in a surplus and the extra money gets stored in your account for later. Calories act in the same exact way. When you eat less calories than you burn, you are in a deficit and will lose weight because your body has to pull from stored energy in body fat and muscle. When you eat more calories than you burn, you are in a surplus and the extra calories get stored for later.

You Can’t Outrun a Bad Diet

Exercise can’t undo poor nutrition. You can exercise all you want but, if you are eating back the calories you burned, you WILL NOT lose weight. While exercise will help increase your calorie burn, it will not make up for poor nutrition.

Now you know, it all comes down to calories in and calories out. If you only have time and energy to do one thing, it needs to be monitoring your calorie intake. Calories don’t have to be something to stress over. By learning these basics and applying this knowledge, you can take control over your calories, your weight, and your life.




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The Most Important Type of Training

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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Why Should I Exercise?

Exercise is beneficial!

Should I exercise/train is a question everyone has asked themselves at least once in their lifetime. Most people know that exercise is good for them but they might not know the full reasons why. There is lots of misinformation out there and some are led to believe that training is not needed and all you need is to do is take a pill. That is not the way to go! Nutrition and training is the key! Training in tandem with good nutrition is the way to reach your health goals whether it is lose weight or to improve health. Not only does exercise help your health, it is also fun!

ANYONE Can Train

Anyone can benefit from exercise, including seniors and those with disabilities. In my experience I have not run into any person that was not able to train due to their disability or injuries. As long as a person has a good trainer or guidance then they have no reason to not train. If you have the mindset to change then positive results will follow!

Losing Weight

Regular training with proper nutrition can lead to weight loss. As explained in our previous articles about calories we have seen that the proper amount of calories in and calories out is the formula for weight loss. However we need to use calories in order to lose weight. That is where exercise comes in! We need exercise to burn any excess calories not used for normal body functions so that they are not turned into fat. When you exercise you also damage your muscle tissue, which requires calories to rebuild itself. Slight muscle gains are created once the tissue is rebuilt but calories are still needed in order to maintain the increased muscle mass. More muscle mass = more calorie usage! This does not mean you will become a bodybuilder when you exercise/weight train but modest gains can be beneficial for losing weight.

Becoming Stronger & Moving Better

On top of losing weight training regularly will lead to better strength gains and movement. Proper movements will lead to lesser chance of encountering a bodily injury. Overall improving movement and gaining strength will also lessen the chance of minor muscular injuries such as shoulder pain, back pain, knee pain, etc. Exercise also leads to better strength in bones on top of strengthening muscles. Stronger bones will lead to less of a chance of developing bone disorders in a person’s older years.

Should I exercise? Yes you should!

“The reason I exercise is for the quality of life I enjoy.” – Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper

As you can see there are many benefits to exercising like losing weight and moving better. Countless more benefits are seen when a person exercises regularly. On top of losing weight and gaining strength regular exercise can also lead to another condition called having fun! For many of my trainees having a fun workout is rewarding and they feel it has helped them in their pursuit of their goals. Therefore if you have health goals that you want to achieve or want to begin pursuing setting up a nutrition plan and exercising regularly is a great place to start.


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Monday, 25 July 2016

Life is Fitness

Thinking Outside the Box

I want to “jog” your memories a bit to a time where you felt like you were most fit. For some of us, it’s today. For others further back. And for more than a few of us, much further back. This isn’t an opportunity for us to feel bad or good about ourselves, it’s merely the beginning of an observation.

Fitness is Feeling

First of all, fitness is feeling. Think back to yourself at your fittest. How did you feel? Pretty good I bet. Like you could just about conquer anything. More importantly, I bet you felt capable. You had more energy… Energy you could choose to spend loving your family, spending time with them. That’s the important stuff right there.

Fitness isn’t about looking good… Though that tends to be a benefit. It’s not about being good necessarily… But that, too, is also a benefit. It’s really about being able to do the things you want to do when you want to do them without fear. It’s about feeling more than capable enough to make the decisions that are important to you.

Fitness is Fun

Let’s face it, no one likes to workout. Not in the moment at least. Working out is uncomfortable. You get icky and sweaty. It’s just not that fun of an experience, especially at first. People learn to love it because of how they feel after it. Also, how they feel when they string a bunch of great workout days together (say 365? okay, call me crazy).

Here’s the thing: not every workout has to be this miserable sweat fest. You don’t have to do cardio machines that bore you to death or exercises you hate… You can actually find ways to have fun while exercising (yes, even strength training). The truth is that even if you can’t find some form of exercise you enjoy (P.S. You’re being really stubborn and closed minded), you will enjoy how you feel as a result of it. You can’t argue with the positive feelings that fitness is proven to create. Everybody could benefit from them. Those who take the opportunity for fitness everyday already do.

Fitness is Life

How much easier would life be if we felt like we could handle it? What if we, wait for it, actually could handle it? Wouldn’t that be even better? Furthermore, what if there was something more to fitness, that translated into more than just our physicality. What if it affects our mentality? Maybe it changes our thinking? Helps us grow?

Is there an option for ALL OF THE ABOVE? Because, if so, that would be the correct choice. Do not forget, fitness isn’t something you do for an hour three times a week… Fitness is all day everyday. Fitness is life. And when you live fitness, it gives back generously.

So get out there and take your fitness by the horns. Find fitness in the mind, the body, and the soul. Live each day for the opportunity to learn, change, and grow. Take action and opportunity as they arrive. Say yes to fitness. Say yes to new life.


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Saturday, 23 July 2016

Calories Matter

Calories, calories, Kilocalories!

Weight management can seem like a complicated process whether you are trying to lose body fat, gain muscle, or find a nice balance between the two. It doesn’t have to be difficult though. While there isn’t a magic solution, I can give you the next best thing. The secret to weight management is… calories!

Why do calories matter?

Weight management is controlled by two factors: how many calories you consume and how many calories you burn. When the body consumes the same amount of calories as you burn every day, you are in a state of energy balance. This isn’t typically the case though. People commonly consume more calories than they burn, which puts them into a calorie surplus. When you are in a calorie surplus, the body stores those calories for energy later in the form of either body fat or muscle.

The math of it… 3,500 calories = 1 pound

3,500 calories are equal to one pound. This can be one pound of body fat or one pound of muscle. Your body takes in calories through food and drinks that you consume then burns those calories through exercise and daily living. Yes, that’s right. You burn calories for just existing as a human being!

Since 3,500 calories are equal to one pound, an extra 3,500 calories over your burn per week, or 500 calories over your burn per day, will result in one pound of weight gained per week.  Most people don’t gain weight this quickly though, so let’s break it down further. Following this method, if you were to consume just an extra 100 calories over your calorie burn per day, a simple fun size candy bar, you would gain 10 pounds a year. Sound familiar? It doesn’t take much. A small calorie surplus every day, over the course of time, will result in weight gain.

The good news is that you can manipulate these factors. By knowing that 3,500 calories are equal to one pound, you also know that you can consume 3,500 calories less than you burn every week to lose one pound per week. This is only a deficit of 500 calories per day! For example, let’s say you burn 2000 calories every day and want to lose one pound a week. It’s just simple subtraction. 2000 – 500 = 1500. You would need to consume 1500 calories per day to lose one pound per week.

Exercise increases calorie burn and helps you lose body fat.

To achieve weight loss, you will need to be in an overall calorie deficit. This is done by consuming less calories and burning more calories. By increasing your daily calorie burn, you will immediately increase your calorie deficit and weight loss over time. This increased calorie burn can come from a combination of moving more throughout the day and targeted exercise programs.

Exercise, particularly strength training, also helps you lose body fat instead of muscle. When you are consuming a calorie deficit, the body has to draw upon stored energy for fuel. This can come from one of two places: body fat or muscle. If your body doesn’t see your muscle as necessary, it will break it down and use it as energy. This is where exercise comes into play. If you are working out and giving your body a reason to keep the muscle, it will break down the body fat and use that for energy instead.

Does is matter where the calories come from?

For general weight loss? No. A calorie is a calorie and your body cannot tell the difference if the calorie comes from broccoli or Oreo Cookies. As long as you are eating less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Mark Haub, a nutrition professor at Kansas State University, set out to prove that, for general weight loss, it didn’t matter where the calories were coming from as long as you were on a calorie deficit. He ate 1,800 calories a day for 10 weeks, with a diet consisting of Twinkies, Doritos, and sugary cereals. After the 10 weeks were up, he lost a total of 27 pounds, proving that the body doesn’t differentiate between calorie sources. That being said, living off of Twinkies alone isn’t going to provide the nutrients that your body needs to function. If your body isn’t taking in enough protein, an overwhelming portion of the weight that is lost will be from muscle and not body fat.

Monitoring your calories is an essential component of success in any fitness goal. It takes the guessing out of weight loss and gives you the tools to take control of your health. Knowing your calorie intake and your calorie expenditure is the closest thing to a magic solution.




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Friday, 22 July 2016

Macronutrients 101 – So What?

Macros Matter

If you have read other nutrition sites then you have probably heard Macros on top of hearing about Calories. However why should we care about Macronutrients anyway? Why not just focus on only calories in and calories out? I’ll explain why and after reading this article you will think why didn’t I know this from the beginning?! As stated in Macronutrients 101, Macros are more than just types of food that provide calories. They have other uses and benefits to your body that would help in your pursuit of your health/nutrition goals.


The three Macros present in all of our foods are Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fats. As we have spoken of before Carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram, Protein contains 4 calories per gram, and Fats contain 9 calories per gram.

Keep your eye on Carbs!

You will be able to find Carbs in items such as pasta, rice, and bread. Carbs should be present in every meal but they need to be in the appropriate quantity. One thing to know about Carbs are that they are divided into simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple Carbs such as sugar are easily digestible, however complex Carbs such as vegetables and whole grains are more useful for weight loss due to the slow rate of digestion. Simple Carbs must be eaten reasonably as abuse with these can lead to significant increases in calories. A typical average proportion of Carbs in your diet should amount to 40 – 65% of your diet. Depending on your goals you should vary it anywhere within the spectrum.

Protein! Protein! Protein!

Protein is another Macronutrient you should have a good amount in your diet. Protein can come from either animals or plants. Protein is made of amino acids which each has a distinct function within the body. Another important aspect about Protein is that it provides a feeling of fullness, or satiety, that can be useful for controlling appetite and losing weight. A good average proportion of Protein in the diet is 25 – 35%.

Fats are not the bad guys!

Finally there are Fats, which are the one Macronutrient with an unfortunate name. However Fats are still an important part of your diet! Eating Fats does not cause someone to gain weight, it is the fact that Fats are more calorie dense and are abused in a typical diet. Fats are important to bodily functions such as transporting nutrients throughout the body, serving as the component for hormones like testosterone and progesterone, and providing essential fatty acids (EFA). A good average proportion of Fats in the diet is 20 – 30%.

Macronutrient Balance = Health Goal Success

There are a few aspects of each Macronutrient that are important not only for weight loss but normal bodily functions. Learning how to balance Macronutrients leads to success towards one’s goals. Counting calories will allow a person to lose weight, however long-term weight loss and health is dependent on balancing your calories while also keeping in mind your proportion of Macros. Also one last thing to always remember….. Happy Eating!




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{Snack} Strawberry Kabobs

strawberry kabobs


These little kabobs pack a lot of punch for just 103 calories!

These mini-bites can be thrown together in a snap with whatever you have on hand when you need a quick snack. It can easily be substituted with your favorites to make it your own. Use more fruit, less brownie, different fruit you like better, angel food or pound cake cubes…the options are endless. When company’s coming and you want to serve something sweet that won’t derail your lifestyle efforts, this could just be the perfect mini dish to serve.

Recipe (serves 4)

  • 4 wooden skewers
  • 8 whole washed strawberries
  • 8 brownie bites, 1” cubes
  • 4 large marshmallows

Assemble & Enjoy!

Calories: 103 calories each

Macronutrients: 2P/20C/2F

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The Definition of Health

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Thursday, 21 July 2016

Protein 101 – What Is Protein?

Yes, You do Need It

Protein is always being talked about by people at the gym. “Gotta get my protein!” or “Did you get enough protein today, Bro?” So what really is protein? What is all the hype about? What are the benefits to protein and why is it so important and necessary for our bodies to get enough of it throughout the day? Try to think of protein as the “handyman” of the body. Protein goes to work every day with an essential job of building and repairing the tissues and structures all throughout the body. Without the “protein handyman” doing its job of repairing and building, the structures and tissues we use often will become weak and overused throughout time.

Protein is the Handyman

Every handyman has lots of different tools and building blocks that are utilized with different jobs they have. Protein has a structure made up of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds. Those amino acids act as the handyman’s building blocks and repairing tools in the body. The two categories of amino acids are essential and nonessential. Essential amino acids are not manufactured or made within the body which means that they can only be taken from and external source through food or supplement. Non-essential amino acids are manufactured within the body from dietary nitrogen and fragments of carbohydrate and fat. In order to repair and build within the body, these essential and nonessential amino acids are sequenced together. There are twenty amino acids that are used to build the different variety of proteins within the body. There are eight essential, ten non-essential, and the last two remaining amino acids are considered semi-essential because the body cannot produce them on its own at a rate that will support growth.

Amino Acids

  • Essential: Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine
  • Non-Essential: Alanine, Asparagine, Aspartic Acid, Cysteine, Glutamic Acid, Glutamine, Glycine, Proline, Serine, and Tyrosine
  • Semi-Essential: Arginine and Histidine

Good Sources of Protein

There are many sources of protein that we are able to obtain through food. A complete protein is when the source provides appropriate ratios of amino acids needed for the body. An incomplete protein is when the source does not do its job of providing all the essential amino acids or may be lacking in one. When there is a case that the amino acid that is lacking in the protein is it then called the limiting factor. Complete proteins can be found in animal sources such as dairy and meats. Incomplete proteins include grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and some vegetables.

The main sources that we see every day of incomplete proteins are barley, corn, earl, oats, buckwheat, pasta, rye, wheat, beans, lentils, peanuts, chickpeas, soy products, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, cashews, and other types of nuts. If you choose to combine some of the incomplete proteins then you are increasing your chances of obtaining all the essential amino acids therefore forming a complete protein. Some examples of complete proteins are eggs, meat and poultry, fish, yogurt and granola, and hummus.

There are many sources of proteins out in our world so that you will never become bored of obtaining it in one certain way. Now you will be able to join the discussion of what exactly is Protein and why it is beneficial for you. Protein is awesome and absolutely necessary for everyone.


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{Breakfast} Lighter Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake


A Tasty way to start your day with the energy you need!

This super yummy protein shake is great for breakfast on the run, a mid-day snack or evening treat. It tastes so good you’ll want to make these everyday. And, you can. That’s how macro efficient this shake is!

Do you get bored with the same breakfast everyday? Feel like you can’t “enjoy” a meal when you’re cutting calories and macros to lose body fat? I got you. We’re gonna be best friends. I like the taste of taste. Doesn’t everybody? Of course we do! Try adding this into your day here and there and don’t be afraid to try different varieties. Swap fruits, use chocolate protein powder instead of vanilla (Whoa, WHAT?!), the list of possibilities are endless!


  • 1 scoop DotFIT Vanilla Creme Whey Smooth Protein Powder
  • 1/2 average size banana
  • 2 TBSP PB2 Peanut Butter Powder
  • Crushed ice and water to desired consistency

Add all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth & enjoy!

Calories: 251 calories

Macronutrients: 31P/27C/4F

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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Banana Oat Pancakes

by Tracy Crawford

Golden, fluffy whole grain banana pancakes with a soft and sweet inside. A guilt-free, deliciously healthy, naturally sweetened breakfast for any morning!



  • 3 small bananas (9.5 ounces), mashed + extra for serving
  • 1 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons madagascar vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey* optional
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup oat flour (could use half oat flour and half oats if heartier texture is prefered)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg



In a small mixing bowl, stir together the mashed bananas, vanilla, butter, lemon juice and optional honey. Beat in the egg whites. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oat flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. With a spatuala, stir just until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened. Do not overmix! Let the batter sit for 10 minutes. You may want to thin out the batter a bit with a touch of water.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat, or heat an electric griddle to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil the surface with cooking spray. (If you’re using a non-stick electric griddle, you might not need this step at all.) Once the temperature is set, pour 1/3 cup of batter onto the surface in sections. Cook for about 3 minutes, until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the cake. Once the underside of the pancake is lightly golden, flip it with a spatula and cook for another 90 seconds or so, until golden brown on both sides. You may need to adjust the heat up or down depending on your stovetop/griddle. Serve with additional sliced bananas. Makes 9 pancakes.


Helpful Kitchen Hack:

If you don’t have oat flour handy don’t worry. Pulse oatmeal in your food processor until “flour” consistency and you’re all set!


Nutritional Information:

Recipe Makes 9 single serving pancakes

  • Protein: 4
  • Carbohydrate: 17
  • Fats: 1
  • Calories (each): 102

*includes optional items


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Calories 101- What is a calorie?

What do you think of when you hear the word “calorie”? Do you imagine this evil, invisible, army that makes you gain weight at night? Calories are often thought of as a negative part of your day but they don’t have to be. Calories are actually essential for life and, in the correct amount, provide the fuel that you need to get through your day. Understanding what calories are is the first step to controlling this important factor in weight loss.

What are calories?

Calories are the energy in food that fuels your body. They are essential. Your body needs energy to survive and perform functions, such as breathing, pumping blood, and moving muscles. This energy comes from the calories that you consume every day. Throughout the day, the body burns calories through the metabolic processes where enzymes break down food for digestion, through voluntary and involuntary movements and functions in the body, and through exercise.

Calories are a unit of measurement. The term “calorie” is used to describe two different words: calorie (lowercase c) and Calorie (uppercase C), also known as Kilocalorie. A calorie (lowercase C) is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree Celsius. Calorie (uppercase C), or Kilocalorie, is a unit of measurement equal to 1000 calories. The calories that you see on the nutrition label for food are actually Kilocalories and not calories. These terms are used interchangeably in the fitness and nutrition community though, with calorie being the most commonly used term to cover both. The term calorie will be used throughout this article.

I burn calories just existing as a human being?

Yes. Your body needs a certain amount of energy everyday to function at rest. This number is called your basal metabolic rate, or BMR. The number one factor that determines your BMR is lean body mass, or how much muscle you have. The more muscle that you have, the more energy your body needs to maintain itself. The basal metabolic rate accounts for approximately 50- 60% of calories that you burn in a day.

The Laws Of Thermodynamics

Thermodynamics is the study of energy. There are three laws of thermodynamics that look at the transfer of heat as energy, the first of which, directly applies to fitness and weight management.  Also known as the Law of Conservation of Energy, the first law of thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed in an isolated system. In the body, energy (calories) cannot be created or destroyed, meaning that the body will not just produce calories or burn calories without effort to do so. Calories must be consumed through food or drink, and calories must be burned through daily living and exercise.

Thermic Effect Of Food

The thermic effect of food, or TEF, is the amount of energy expended as a result of the processing of food for storage and use. As you consume food, your body requires a certain amount of energy for digestion, which increases your metabolic rate for a short amount of time following a meal. This is commonly referred to as the afterburn. Meals that are higher in protein have been found to have a slightly higher afterburn. This isn’t a magical solution for weight loss though because the total thermic effect of food is only approximately 6-10% of the calories that were consumed in that one meal. For example, if you eat a 300 calorie meal, only around 30 calories will be used for digestion.

So if I eat more often, I’ll burn more calories?

No. The thermic effect of food is based on quantity of food consumed, not frequency. Your eating schedule should reflect your lifestyle and what works best for you to control hunger and provide your body with adequate nutrients.

Now you know, calories are a unit of measurement for the energy in food and drinks that fuel the body. Calories are needed for every function in the body as well as any movement that you do. They are an essential part of life and a tool that you can use as you pursue your goal.

Related Links


  1. Boundless. “The Three Laws of Thermodynamics.” Boundless Chemistry. Boundless, 02 Jun. 2016. Retrieved 13 Jul. 2016 from
  2. 2012. NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training. Fourth Edition. Philadelphia, PA. Lippincott Williams & WIlkins, a Wolters Kluwer business.



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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Macronutrients 101 – What are Macronutrients?


Calories is the main term people hear when it comes to losing or gaining weight. While that is true the one aspect about our food that can be forgotten is the ratio of Macronutrients that each food contains. Macronutrients include Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fat. A successful diet will have a balance of Macronutrients and knowing your Macronutrients allows a person to be able to understand just how many
Calories they are intaking on a daily basis.


Each Macronutrient serves a specific role and function inside of the body. Carbohydrates or “Carbs” are the main culprit of diets. However what exactly are Carbs and why are they so bad? Carbs are chains of sugars where once ingested they are broken down into glucose, which is absorbed by the brain, and glycogen, which is used by the muscles and liver. The function of Carbohydrates is to provide an easily accessible energy source for our cells to use. Altogether Carbohydrates contain over 4 calories per gram.


Protein is another Macronutrient needed to maintain or build lean body mass and is mostly found in meat, dairy and some plants. Due to the promotion of lean muscle mass Protein is very effective for body fat loss! While building lean muscle is one of the functions of Protein, that is not the only purpose of Protein within the body. It is used to form body structures such as organs, hair, or any other tissues within the body. Protein as an energy source provides over 4 calories per gram.


The third Macronutrient that has a bad reputation is Fats. I know what you’re thinking. Fats should be avoided or limited at all costs! However I will explain that Fats are actually not that bad. Fats are vital to normal bodily functions and are the components of hormones as well as insulation for nerves, skin, and hair. One hormone that is most important in terms of body fat loss is the hormone testosterone, which leads to higher proportion of lean body mass! Out of all the Macronutrients Fats are the most energy dense and contain over 9 calories per gram.

Balance is the key

“The only secret to food combination is a balance of protein, carbs and fat – they all play a key role in our health.” – Jorge Cruise

As you can see there is more to Macros then we would imagine. Once we fully understand Macros then it makes planning our future meals that much easier. However knowing what Macros are is only one step towards reaching your goals. Learning exactly why Macros are important, what proper portions to take, and what are good food sources for each Macro should be your next step. Luckily for you here at Access Change we strive to provide everyone with the proper knowledge about Macronutrients and more!


Related Links

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Monday, 18 July 2016

2 Things You Can Do TODAY to Start Losing Weight

Getting Started

Okay. So you want to lose weight and you want to start today. Good news. This process is way easier than most people will lead on. Everyone wants to make it hard. They want something to be wrong with you, your metabolism, genetics, or your body. I’m here to tell you that nothing is wrong with you, that there is hope and you can lose weight.


Understand that your body operates on something called Calories. Calories are in most everything we eat and drink. These calories add up over the course of a day to be our “Daily Caloric Intake”… I know, super fancy stuff. Essentially, our body takes the Calories, or energy, that we give it and uses it. Simple as that.

If we give our body exactly the amount of energy it needs in a day, we won’t gain weight and we won’t lose weight. That’s called maintenance, or more commonly in goal terms: Plateau. Calories in equals calories out.

But wait! I thought my plateau was because my metabolism slowed down! That’s what my friend who says they know a lot about fitness said…

The good news is: your friend is wrong. Your metabolism is just the number of calories you burn. It’s not some magic function of your body that randomly accelerates or limits your caloric burn. There are multiple factors that go into this, but to GET STARTED there are only two that you need to know. Really, there are just two that are really relevant. Everything else is just something that you have to accept. Very minor things.

Number 1: Eat Less

I know, big surprise, huh?

Here’s the thing about weight control. If you eat less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Period. Your body needs a certain amount of calories every single day no matter what.

Most of the calories we burn are just from existing. Every calorie we burn is our body’s effort to maintain itself. There are a few factors that make that more difficult for the body (requiring more calories). It’s a lot easier to eat 500 calories than it is to burn 500 calories. That’s where people struggle.

If we eat more calories than we burn, we gain weight. It really is as simple as that. So if you’ve gained weight in the last few months or years, it means that (all factors included) you have eaten more calories than you have burned. Your body takes the extra calories and stores them for future use. It does that to ensure our future “survival” when there isn’t extra food available. Well… Let’s just say we don’t need to save up for winter any more, so let’s all eat a bit less overall.

Number 2: Move More

Movement uses the muscles. Muscle tissue is high maintenance (it needs calories to exist). The more muscles you use the more calories are required to maintain them. Very simple.

This is why exercise is important. It helps us burn additional calories (aside from being good for just about every other function in your body). Strength training is the most important type of exercise because it helps build/retain our muscle mass, which allows us to burn more calories.

Basically, your body is always trying to reach energy equilibrium (it wants to be okay, neutral, comfortable). Your body wants your normal day-to-day intake to equal the expenditure. If we’re eating to much, we gain weight until that balances out. That results in gaining 50 to 100+ lbs. sometimes. At that point it takes so much more effort to move and maintain everything, that you burn some extra calories. If we reduce our intake, our body tries to reach a balance point. If you don’t strength train and eat properly, you will lose muscle in addition to body fat to make up for the difference. It really is that simple.

Okay… Got It. What now?

You need a program, designed specifically for your goals. You need an adjustment to your nutrition and your exercise routine. You need proper supplementation to support these practices. And most importantly, you need a coach. We have quite a few ways to get started. Check them out below.

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Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Why Do So Many People Struggle to Lose Weight?


Hello Everyone! Steve here, and today I am revealing the practice that will move you toward any lasting positive health or fitness change. If you want to lose weight, you need to read this… Twice.


When it comes to change, specifically a health or fitness change (like losing weight, gaining muscle, etc.), there are a few things you must understand before you can begin. Achieving a goal is a process, it doesn’t happen overnight. You won’t see results tomorrow, or the next day, or the next week. It takes time. If you approach a goal with the expectation of instantaneous, or even “fast”, results, you will only ever be disappointed. Truthfully, if you carry any sort of expectation of what any specific change will look or feel like, you can only ever be disappointed. You can’t predict everything.

Now, why do I say this? It’s not supposed to be discouraging, actually it should be encouraging. Every single day many people stop working towards a goal because it wasn’t going according to plan. It wasn’t happening fast enough, or happening in the way they were expecting. This leads to people thinking there is something wrong with them. This is SO FAR from the truth. The problem in these instances is their plan, not their person.

The Master Plan…

When people begin to work towards health and fitness goals, often they are very excited. People start to visualize everything about their goal. They start to visualize what they will look like at the end. They start to dream about how they will feel, the promotion they will get, or the person that will want to date them. People tend to get very specific with how they want their journey to play out. This is potentially very damaging with the wrong expectations.

Why you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

You can’t predict everything. Nothing, I mean NOTHING, goes exactly as planned. Sometimes the variance is minimal, but usually things go in a direction that we never even considered or expected.

So what does that mean? Should we set specific goals?

The answer is twofold.

Direction over Destination

Setting a very specific goal implies a destination. An end point. Determining that you want to look a specific way, or feel a specific way is dangerous, because your destination may be built on false expectations or understanding. Sometimes those expectations are too large, or rapid, and many times they are too small and end up limiting your progress to what you visualized to start, and not what you are capable of now.

You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.

-Jim Rohn

The preferred, most successful method, is the pursuit of a direction. The pursuit of a lifestyle. Instead of trying to visualize a result that you couldn’t possibly understand (which is very discouraging), choose a direction, formulate a plan for today (not tomorrow or the next day), and execute it to the best of your ability. This way you are thankful for progress, not upset that you haven’t reached your goal. There’s no end point, each day is a new beginning.

Manageable realistic daily plans, that walk you (not run) in a chosen direction. Every day is one step forward, not one step closer, but one step forward. Yesterday is gone. It doesn’t come back. Something new and potentially wonderful is happening right now! Worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. Take a step forward today.

This is the secret to success.


Read This Next

Want to know how to formulate a plan that works? Want to finally start moving in the right direction, and get there? These are the next steps:

  1. Am I Ready to Start Losing Weight Today?
  2. Desire. Decision. Discipline. (Coming Soon)
  3. What Can I Do TODAY to Move in the Right Direction? (Coming Soon)

Related Links

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Am I Ready to Start Losing Weight Today?


Hello Everyone! Steve Here, and today I am going to reveal the truth about health, goals, and (most importantly) time. I will be talking specifically about weight loss, health, and fitness, but these concepts apply to any type of goal that you desire to actualize.


When making the decision to start pursuing a health or fitness goal (like losing weight, gaining muscle, etc.), many people make a plan for action. Often times that includes a plan for tomorrow (or Monday, a penny for every diet or workout plan that was going to start on Monday). And don’t get me wrong, the right plan can be good, but the wrong plan is dangerous. “Starting” or “restarting” a plan is where the problem usually exists. Phrases like, “I’ll start tomorrow”, “I just wasn’t ready to start today”, “I didn’t feel like it today” greatly limit our potential for success.

Am I Ready?

Let’s break down this concept of ready. Everyone pretty much knows what the word ready means, but let’s take a second and try to define it in our heads…

Go ahead, try it…

Did anyone just go, “Well, it means that I’m… ready.” It’s only natural, because it’s a word that really doesn’t make sense.

Some of us may have taken a different direction and defined it by describing what we hope will be the feelings associated with readiness, like desire, need, inspiration, or confidence. Which is good sentiment and intention, but usually difficult to find at the beginning (with the exception of maybe need, but more on that later).

Some of us probably just googled it:

Let’s look at how it’s defined on

  1. Ready: Completely prepared or in fit condition for immediate action or use.

Now I have a question for you… If we were “completely prepared” or “in fit condition for immediate action” would we even have a goal?????

No! We’d be “there”. (Ah yes, the elusive “there” again)


Achieving health and fitness goals isn’t about being ready… It’s about being not ready and deciding to fix that!

This ties perfectly with one of my personal favorite quotes:

It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.

-Hugh Laurie

He makes a good point. Let’s take it a step further.

The Importance of TODAY

The overarching question that matters on any given day is: What can I do TODAY to move in the right direction?

The truth about health, goals, and time is that every day you wait is gone forever. I don’t say that to discourage, but to encourage immediate action. Your life is valuable, more valuable than any level of pleasure or comfort you could have today (which, I’ll explain later, is not an “instead” like we tend to believe). What you do today matters. And a day without growth is a day wasted. We weren’t born to stay the same, we were born to grow and change.

You want more truth? If you insist:

You’re not ready, neither am I, nor anyone else on this planet. There, I said it. So let’s all just start anyway and begin to grow and change together and for the better. What you do today will change tomorrow. And when tomorrow transforms into today, today will matter, and today will continue to change tomorrow. Stringing a whole bunch of well executed “todays” together is how we give positive change the opportunity to occur.

Don’t worry about tomorrow yet. Focus on today. Seek a plan, and execute it. When tomorrow comes, do that again. Today is the tomorrow you were hoping for yesterday, so take action today…starting right now! And together we will all move one step closer to good health.


Read This Next

  1. Why Do So Many People Struggle to Lose Weight?
  2. Desire. Decision. Discipline. (Coming Soon)
  3. What Can I Do TODAY to Move in the Right Direction? (Coming Soon)

Related Links

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Testimonial: Kristy Haffner

Kristy Haffner - Access Change Fitness Challenge

*Results Vary Person to Person

My story begins similar to many others, I wanted and needed to  lose weight, but came from a history of multiple failed attempts. I had really given up on thinking I could lose weight because I had never received adequate support. That all changed once I found Access Change.

I walked in knowing absolutely nothing about exercise and being very discouraged from trying to workout and failing multiple times before. I didn’t know what to do in a gym at all and I would always feel intimidated by others around me. Furthermore, I counted zero calories and had no clue about good nutrition. From Day one, everyone here is so nice and welcoming and showed me they really care about my fitness and health goals. A lot has changed for me just through 6 weeks; I lost over 10 pounds of body fat and gained muscle too. Every trainer is knowledgeable and always attentive to your needs and/or injuries and modified all exercise according to each person’s ability. I knew after a week in, I was determined to do well this time and I had found a place that could truly support me in making this happen. I went from 0 to 100 real quick and started exercising at least 5 days a week and almost 2 hours at a time each day. Every trainer is excellent and so motivating. I love my new fitness family there and have learned so much in such a short time. I love the classes and have logged food daily and am learning how to be a healthier and happier me. I am actually being successful with losing weight and becoming stronger.

Thank you Access Change for everything! I am happy and fortunate to have found you and look forward to continuing with my progress toward my weight loss goals.

If you have struggled before too and felt like you failed multiple times on your own, or if you have been intimidated, or lack motivation and confidence to think you can do this, come to Access Change and change your life story!

*Results Vary Person to Person

Related Links

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Rhys Waite: Testimonial

Rhys Web

*Results Vary Person to Person

I’ve lost over 60lbs, but have gained so much more with Access Change!

Fitness has always been a mystery; namely, why would nothing work for me? I’ve been overweight and uncomfortable with my body since adolescence. Every Summer I would make the commitment to myself: “This is the Summer I’m going to get in shape!” Yet, no matter how hard I worked out or how diligently I struggled, every Summer would inevitably end with me having to buy slightly larger clothes for the new school year and feeling defeated, depressed, and resigned to the “fact” that I’m just one of those people that can’t change.

So, I grew to accept being heavy, I lost all interest in physical activities and eventually just stopped trying. I mean, honestly, if I work like crazy and still end up the same, what’s the point in trying anymore?

A few years ago, I met Steve socially and he asked about my workout habits, and if I’d be open to going to the gym with him. I just joked: “I’m good. I worked out last year.” We both laughed and the just moved on to the next topic of conversation. He never pressured me or pushed me to do something for which I wasn’t ready.

But, the difference with Steve (and all the excellent trainers at Access Change) is that they don’t quit. They believe in everyone’s potential, truly care, and absolutely believe that ANYONE can change their story, when the time is right. Now, with AC’s help, I’m living proof of that potential.

Since the opening of Access Change in October 2015, by following their evidence based program my life has changed for the better in every way. I’ve opened my mindset to new possibilities, expanded my education, and developed absolute confidence that I am in control of my life. Access Change has taught me the evidenced based practices essential to a healthy lifestyle; how to eat what I enjoy eating and still lose weight. how to enjoy exercising and see real results (what?? did I really just say that??), and what’s best: how to actually achieve my goals and maintain them!

I am the Facility Manager of Access Change and am also a proud paying client. I’ve lost over 60 pounds in just over six months and am well on my way to reaching my first of many fitness goals. I love taking AC’s group fitness classes; they are so well-planned, taught, and fun! I know that I can just show up without having to prepare anything, jump right in, and have an amazing total body workout without any reservations or fears.

My greatest pleasure is to come in every day and spend time with friends and loved ones–both new and old–and share in the success and joy that Access Change has brought to all our lives!

*Results Vary Person to Person

Related Links

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Next Fitness Challenge Begins 8/11/2016

Exciting News!

The next Access Change Fitness and Nutrition Fitness Challenge begins on 8/11/2016. This means that now is the time to sign up and get early access to your personal trainer. The challenge will be a 30 Day Transformation Challenge, focusing on Body Fat Loss and Muscle Gain.

That’s right, we’re doing some extra cool things this time around… Including some awesome new giveaways. Last time we gave away a Disney Annual Pass and 7 other awesome giveaways. We’re ready to amp it up a notch. Stay tuned for our new giveaway list.

During our last Fitness Challenge you had the opportunity to earn giveaway tickets. We liked that and will be bringing that back. The focus for earning tickets will still be the habits that promote/produce lasting positive change. There are plenty of fad diets out there that get you to a goal, but none of them help you stay there. We’re fixing that. Our programs are built to last and focus on lifestyle and habit reformation.

Team Up!

We’ll be working in teams this time around. The teams will be randomized, but each group will be paired with a personal trainer. This personal trainer will be your resource. They will teach you everything you need to know to be successful. Also, you’ll meet with them to discuss the focus for each week and to ask your questions (because you’ll have them).

Invite Your Friends!

There will be a form on our fitness challenge page that will allow you to invite your friends. This will mark them as your referral and earn you piles of bonus tickets! We always are more successful when the people we care about aren’t just supporting us, but are involved. That’s one of the ways to create long term health and fitness success in your life.

Strength and Conditioning Classes

Most of our fitness challenge participants utilize our strength and conditioning classes. These classes are focused, intense, and fun. People also love the flexibility. Our first class is at 5am and our last class starts at 8:30pm! You can find time that works for you!

Personal Training

This time round everyone will be working directly with a personal trainer. Statistics show that our current members (people who already follow and know our program) are more successful than new members in our fitness challenge. That’s because they know the system and the fitness challenge is just some extra motivation to follow it perfectly. New people have to learn the system first and abandon old self-damaging ways of thinking. You definitely want to start this process early and make sure you get the most out of your challenge. Now you can get early access to your personal trainer and start building your program right away.

Fitness Challenge Success Guide

In the next week we’ll be releasing our Fitness Challenge Success Guide. This is an e-book that will lay the foundation for your desired result.

The Link

Check out the challenge here: (


OTher Helpful Links

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