Tag Archives: exercise

Insulin…a wonderful little hormone or fat storing machine?

Most of you know that I am a complete nerd and have been hacking my body for years. That means that I have worked hard to figure out how “MY” body reacts to specific foods and have made healthy changes. We all respond differently to certain food groups so it’s important for you to do the same thing. But, lets start with the basic stuff.

Insulin is a wonderful little hormone that regulates how our body uses and stores glucose and fat. Our cells rely on it for energy and it has an important role in the body. If we don’t have enough or can’t respond to insulin then we become resistant or diabetic. But, all of us are on a mission to avoid that, right?

Insulin signals the liver, muscle and fat cells to take in glucose from the blood and use it for energy. If we have enough insulin on board from food then insulin signals the liver to take that extra glucose and store it as glycogen for future use. Did you know the liver can store up to 5% of it’s mass as glycogen? Once that capacity is full then insulin signals fat cells to take that extra glucose and store it in fat as triglycerides and make it harder for our body to breakdown fats.

Without insulin our cells cannot take glucose from the blood and use it for energy.

With insulin resistance our body is less able to take up glucose from the blood.

What you eat and drink play a key role in controlling this process. Anyone can be insulin resistant. Refined carbohydrates found in processed foods, white breads, bagels, pasta, sodas, sugary sweets, and many other things on the Standard American Diet (SAD) contribute to this. When we eat processed foods, our body requires more insulin to metabolize it and our cells become less responsive. As we get older we become less sensitive to these changes.

To help balance insulin, consider a whole foods diet with fresh vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats. Limit fruit to no more than 2 a day. Veggies are free foods, fruits aren’t. That apple is like an intravenous injection of fructose that takes a b-line to the liver telling your body to store fat!!

You CAN get enough healthy carbs from non-grain sources like vegetables.

Healthy fats are important to help insulin resistance. These fats include tuna, salmon, cold-water fish, eggs, avocado, grass-fed butter, and flaxseed.

Exercise will help insulin levels stay normal, maintain hormonal balance, and regulate metabolism.

Consider limiting your eating window to an 8 hour period. This will give your body time to look to fat stores for energy instead of continually suppling it with glucose from food. If you don’t eat your blood glucose levels will take a chill pill and then your insulin levels will decrease. There are tons of studies supporting this. Hit me up if you want the references. In order to burn body fat your insulin levels need to be very low. You can get there with short term fasting (eat in an 8 hour window and fast the other 16).

If you want to use your body fat as fuel you need to challenge the FDA and media with all this eat every 2 hours to maintain your metabolism garbage that is out there. Do a little test run yourself and see how you do.

For more information and support check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/homefitnessjunky or http://www.anitakellam.com_6454

What’s your excuse??

What’s your excuse??

I already know all the excuses because I was the queen of them for years… It’s raining out, it’s too nice out, my workout clothes are dirty, I forgot my headphones at home, I don’t have time, I don’t want to get bulky, I’m too tired…blah blah blah. The real question to ask should be what’s your REASON?

My before picture is just after finishing my doctorate. I did not regularly exercise. I held baby weight after each pregnancy. I was constantly exhausted and used the excuse that chasing the children around was enough exercise. I came down with every cold and virus that could fester and spread on the grocery cart handle. I was miserable and avoided any pictures with my children – which now in hindsight is just plain sad for them and me. I went to bed miserable every night because I failed at what I had sworn that morning I would do – which was to make better food choices and get to the gym. It was an ugly vicious cycle and the effects of my misery did not go unnoticed by my family. 

Finally, one morning I woke up and said I am done talking about it -(I felt my back fat jiggle) and from that day on I started living it and being about it. There have been setbacks, struggles and tears but the truth is, once I started getting up and consistently working out in the mornings, it made me want to make better choices all through the day, including in the kitchen. My energy levels became increasingly better and I slept like a rock all night. My moods were much happier and instantly improved my family life and relationships. It would be a straight up lie if I said I wasn’t motivated to rock a bikini at my age but I also realized these kids in my life really were MY WHY and they needed and deserved a happy, healthy, active mom who could step up and be their healthy role model. When I found my reasons why, I simply lost all of my excuses.

My decision to coach keeps pushing me further, keeps me motivated and providing goals but it is very far from my reason why I continue to live this lifestyle.

So instead of looking for your excuse, are you able to dig deep and find YOUR reasons WHY? When you do find your why and your passion, your results will follow. Message me for help.11042942_947364438631658_7105274840541815394_n

What are you waiting for?

Starting an exercise program can be overwhelming at times, but start slow and it will get easier while you get stronger. Follow these tips and you’ll reach your goal before you know it—and be ready to set the next one!

Beginner Workout Tips
1. When you have no motivation to work out, go for just 10 minutes. Once you get going, you’re more likely to continue than if you never started. Plus, if you stop at 10, at least you get 10 minutes of activity!

2. Let go of tension in your hands, neck and shoulders while working out. Too much energy is expended with the tension when it could be directed to the muscle actually working.

3. Be ready in the A.M. If you have trouble getting up early for a workout, set your clothes out the night before and jump in the shower for 30 seconds to wake yourself up as soon as you get up.

4. Set mini-goals. Reaching smaller goals lends a sense of achievement, which in turn fuels motivation. For example, rather than the goal be to lose 15 pounds, start with 5 pounds. When you reach that goal, reassess and set a new mini-goal.

5. Think positive! It may take a while to change your body for the positive, but in one second you can transform your mind.

6. Do it for you. Lose weight for yourself and no one else.

7. Outsmart cravings. When a sugar craving hits and you want to graze out of boredom, brush your teeth before you indulge. Your fresh breath may save you a lot of unneeded calories.

8. Use your arms. Simply pumping your arms when doing any cardio activity can raise the level of calorie burning by 15 percent.

9. Take time to recover. A hard strength workout is like bruising a muscle. You wouldn’t keep hitting a bruise would you? Let it heal before working it again.

10. Get outdoors. Sunlight and fresh air are great energy boosters. Take a walk, have a picnic or just sit and think of the positive changes you would like to make in your life.

11. Always have an extra set of workout clothes on hand. You never know when an unexpected energy surge or free time may arise to exercise, so keep a set of workout clothes at work or in your trunk. Being prepared will save time and energy.

12. Choose activities you enjoy. There is no need to force the ones you don’t like. You won’t stick with them, and that will only be detrimental to your success in the long run.

13. That being said, you never know if you will like something new until you try it. Be willing to “stretch” yourself a little.

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Positive thoughts for weight loss

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Do you remember the words to a popular song of the 1980’s, “Don’t Worry Be Happy?” Well there is more power to that sentiment than you may have ever realized.

Positive thinking plays a significant role in your weight loss efforts. Beating yourself up with negative thoughts can throw you off course and trigger old bad habits that will take you off course such as going off your diet, overeating and skipping your exercise routine. Positive thoughts, on the other hand, can increase your motivation and energy level.

It is important to then make a conscious effort to transform your thoughts. It may be true that you often cannot overcome your food cravings or stick to your diet. However, if there are times when you are able to stand strong, then focus on those moments and celebrate the triumphs. Maybe you put less sugar in your coffee today and said no to a second slice of pizza. Giving attention to the positive things will help to create greater self esteem and motivation to continue with your weight loss efforts.

One of the ways that a negative attitude can prevail when you start to make healthy choices is if you have set unreasonable goals for yourself. Trying to exist on an extremely low-calorie diet or setting your weekly weight loss goal at an unattainable number often sets you up for failure.

To increase weight loss success, set achievable goals. Losing one or two pounds per week is a reasonable goal and can generally be achieved without extreme measures. Weigh yourself weekly; every week that you reach your goal, acknowledge your success. This will perpetuate positive thinking. Before long, you’ll find that your motivation and energy have increased, and the pounds are coming off.


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