The Weekly Burn

The Best Way to Control Your Weight? Listen to Your Body.

If you’re trying to get yourself on a healthy eating path, it’s easy to get confused by all the conflicting information that’s out there. There are so many different diet regimens all claiming to be the best way to eat to achieve and maintain a slim and healthy body. I personally feel most of these diets make things way too complicated for the average person to follow. Don’t eat before 11:00 am. Don’t eat after 8:00 pm. Eliminate carbohydrates. Load up on fats. Eat like a caveman… Most of the diets you’ll read about are full of rules and restrictions that definitely stack the odds against you when it comes to success.
Lately I’ve been hearing more about intuitive eating as an approach to eating and it makes a lot of sense to me. In fact, research has shown that intuitive eating is associated with lower body mass index (BMI), better psychological health and improved nutrition. The concept behind intuitive eating is simple. You eat when you’re hungry and you stop when you’re full. You don’t restrict any foods or categories of foods. You can eat any time of the day that you’re hungry.
Even though intuitive eating is so simple,

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What’s it Mean to Have a Plant-Based Diet?

Plant-based diets are growing in popularity because of their link to a number of health benefits. If you’re thinking you could never go plant-based because you can’t – or don’t want to – give up meat, you don’t need to! Having a plant-based diet doesn’t necessarily mean you’re vegetarian. It means that the majority of foods you eat are derived from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans.
The Mediterranean diet is one example of a plant-based diet that also includes fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt a few times a week, with meats and sweets less often. This way of eating was recently cited as the best overall diet for health and weight management. Studies have shown that following the Mediterranean diet reduces your risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, certain cancers (specifically colon, breast, and prostate cancer), depression, and memory disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Here are descriptions of different versions of a plant-based diet:
  • Semi-vegetarian or flexitarian: includes eggs, dairy foods, occasionally meat, poultry, fish, and seafood.
  • Pescatarian: includes eggs, dairy foods,

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Experts Say This One Thing is the Most Important for Lifelong Health

I heard an interview recently with a researcher who asked dozens of nutrition experts what they think the most important thing is when it comes to achieving lifelong health. Being nutrition experts you’d think their advice would center around food. How to make healthy food choices. How to get more vitamins and nutrients. How to cut back on unhealthy foods. But, it didn’t. Every single nutrition expert interviewed for the piece said that the number one factor for sustaining optimal health is exercise.
The experts agree that exercise isn’t just valuable as a way to burn off excess calories. In fact, they think its real value is in its ability to help you form lean muscle. When your body is made up of lean muscle it not only burns more calories when you’re active, it also raises your resting metabolic rate so you burn more calories even when you’re doing nothing. And as we age, maintaining lean muscle is even more important because your metabolism naturally slows down as you get older.
So, although you may have heard about all different types of wonder pills and supplements that supposedly stimulate your metabolism –

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How to Crush Your Goals in 2020

When it comes to achieving your goals – whether they’re fitness goals, life goals, financial goals or relationship goals – there’s one factor that is absolutely non-negotiable and that’s commitment. In the fitness realm, there are many things that can derail your success. Boredom, work stress, family obligations, not seeing results quickly – these are all things that can toss you right off the path if your commitment is lacking.
Here are some ways to keep your commitment level high and ensure you keep making progress toward being your best self.
  • Go for small and achievable goals. The number one reason people don’t achieve their goals is because they set out to do too much all at once. I get that you may want to exercise 5 times a week, lose 25 pounds, quit smoking, eat more vegetables and drink more water but setting out to do all that at once is not realistic. Instead break it down into small steps that are achievable and won’t leave you feeling overwhelmed.
  • Put your goals out there. It’s proven that people are more likely to achieve their goals if they make them known to others.

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How to Fight Holiday Stress

The question I’ve heard most over this past week among members was, “are you ready for the holiday?” And very frequently the answer was something along the lines of, “no, not at all,” or “I’m so stressed,” or “I’ve been so busy.” It’s kind of sad how what is supposed to be a time of joy and enjoying time with friends and family can turn into what seems like endless weeks of pressure, stress and drama.
So, as we go into what is likely one of the busiest weeks of the year, here are some ideas on ways to decompress, de-stress and keep your sanity.
  • Don’t over commit. Sure, it’d be great to bring a platter of home made cookies to your in-laws house for Christmas or throw together a sit down meal with all the fixings for your extended family. But, if making that happen is making you feel stretched too thin, it’s OK to get some help. Find a local bakery that makes delicious sweets, a restaurant that offers catering or ask your guests to all bring a dish. After all, what’s on the table isn’t nearly as important as the people around it.

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Your Holiday Party Survival Plan

When I talk to members about their health and fitness goals and struggles, one of the things I hear so frequently is how difficult it can be to stay on track this time of year. The holiday season is full of social gatherings, work events, family dinners and other occasions where food and drinks are the main attraction. And, more often than not, broccoli and cauliflower aren’t on the menu.
But, as you know if you’ve read other newsletters, I’m not one to preach deprivation. I’m not an advocate for restrictive diets that severely limit the foods you can enjoy. Instead, I’m all for enjoying everything in moderation. One easy way to keep yourself in check this holiday season is to follow the 80/20 rule. It’s simple, make sure 80% of the food and beverage choices you make are healthy and smart. This leaves the other 20% for fun and indulgent choices. It’s also helpful to make a list of your top 3 favorite holiday treats and commit to having just those. Why waste calories on things you don’t absolutely love anyway?
Here are a few other tips to help you through your holiday social circuit:
  • Eat a small but filling meal or large snack before you go to a party.

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Four Reasons You Shouldn’t Cut Out Carbs

If you’re on a low-carb diet, you’ll try to keep your carbohydrate intake at around 100 grams per day. If you’re doing Keto, you’ll strive to keep your carbs down under 60 grams. But I recently read an article about a “new” diet that’s taking carb restriction even farther. It’s the zero carb diet. To follow it you’d have to keep your total grams of carbs for the day in the single digits! This gives me flashbacks to the days of fat free everything – and we all know how well that turned out. So, while I’ve already written about why I’m not a fan of Keto, low-carb or really any fad diet, hearing about the zero carb diet prompted me to revisit the issue.
Here are four research backed, medically-proven reasons why you should not restrict your carbohydrate intake.
1 – When you cut out carbs, you’re cutting out important nutrients too. To stick to a an ultra low-carb diet you’d have to cut out huge categories of foods like many vegetables and fruits. But these food sources contain dozens of vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals that you just cannot get from a supplement.

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Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving Dinner

I feel like the Thanksgiving holiday has become synonymous with over-eating. If you think I’m wrong consider this. The average Thanksgiving dinner complete with all the fixings is about 3000 calories. So, if you’re average that means you’re consuming more calories at that ONE meal than you should in about a day and a half. In just one meal. And, that’s not even considering the follow up meals of leftovers that happen later that day and the next. But, I’m here to tell you that it does not have to be that way. Here are some tips to help you have a healthier Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Don’t starve yourself leading up to the big meal. While you might think this is a good strategy, it’s actually more likely to backfire on you. Going into a meal where there is an abundance of food when you’re ravenously hungry is never a good idea. Chances are you’ll go way overboard and eat more than you should. Instead, have a healthy breakfast (and lunch if necessary) as you normally would.
  • Go for the white meat. Although many prefer the taste of dark meat,

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Maintain Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge

Synergy PFT


12/2 – 12/31 – 30 Day Challenge

50 People NEEDED!!!

The holiday season is typically a time of over-indulgence during which many many people gain weight. Participating in the Maintain Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge is a way to make this year different. The goal of this challenge is to maintain your current weight or lose weight during this holiday season.  

Here’s how it works:

  • Add $20 to the pot to get in to the challenge.
  • Your first weigh-in must take place during the week of 11/25 using the Synergy digital scale. This weight is to be recorded on your personal fitness profile sheet. 
  • Final weigh-in must take place during the week of 12/30 using Synergy digital scale. This weight is also recorded on your personal fitness profile sheet. Optional weekly weigh-ins on Thursdays & Fridays 12/5 or 12/6, 12/12 or 12/13, 12/19 or 12/20, 12/26 or 12/27
  • Each participant adds their name to the spreadsheet on white board and uses this to track their daily points. 

50% of the money collected will be awarded to the participant with the most points on day 15 and the other 50% will be awarded to the participant with the most points on day 30.

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The Best Way to Battle Holiday Stress

Have you ever heard the Christmas carol that calls the holiday season ” the most wonderful time of the year?” Although I love the holidays and the festivities that go along with them, the reality is there’s also a TON of stress around this season.
A survey from the American Psychological Association showed that 22% of Americans describe themselves as being under an “extreme level” of stress in general. The holidays can easily bring that to a whole other level. The other thing that can contribute to feelings of stress, anxiety and depression this time of year is the fact that winter days are shorter and we’re getting less exposure to sunlight.
There are lots of ways to cope with the stresses of the season, but the one health practitioners recommend most – besides avoiding your in-laws – is exercise. The reason is that in addition to improving your physical fitness, exercise has been scientifically proven to improve your mental fitness, too. Studies show that if you’re feeling fatigued, having a hard time focusing or in general feeling fuzzy, exercise is a quick and effective remedy.
Physical exercise actually reduces the levels of stress hormones,

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