How Dense Are Your Calories?

A calorie is a calorie, but certain foods pack a ton of calories into small portions. One of the best ways to improve fat loss is to select foods that have high nutrient content and low caloric density.

What is caloric density?

Caloric density is the number of calories contained in a given volume of food. As an example, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter pack in roughly 188 calories. But the same two tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk have roughly 4 calories.  

When it comes to meal planning for weight loss, think about the caloric density of your food and how satiated you will feel after eating it. High fat and low nutrition foods are usually where you run into issues of overeating.

Swapping out calories

Simple food swaps are a great way to stave off hunger, keep your calories low, and keep your nutrient profile high.

Though salmon is packed with nutrients, eating 6 ounces every day can add a ton of calories. A 6 ounce serving of salmon comes with 354 calories. To spare the...

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Build Stronger Hip Adductors With This Move

 

The hip adductors are often ignored in workouts and tend to be a weak link in athletes. It's a lot sexier to build a bigger squat or rip a heavy bar off the floor. 

But the hip adductors play a crucial role in your overall movement and function. The adductors attach to the inner thigh starting from the medial knee all the way up to the pelvis.

Tight Adductors and Knee Pain

They attach to the inner ligament in the knee, and tight, weak adductors are often the culprit for nagging knee aches and pain. In addition, tight adductors are often at war with the glutes and can win the battle by causing knee valgus and anterior tilting of the pelvis. Though it's not as cool to squeeze a ball between your knees as it is to hip thrust, the adductors should be trained equally during accessory work as the glutes in your training. I recommend doing 2 adductor exercises for every 3-4 glute exercises during your workout week. 

Enter The Copenhagen Plank

The Copenhagen plank is a great...

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Are you self-sabotaging your fitness goals?

We all do it on some level. Self-sabotage. You might think, “Um, got the wrong person, Kellie. Totally not me.” Or you’re on the other side of the fence shouting, “Preach it, Kellie! You know me so well.”

Self-sabotage is a behavior mechanism that prevents us from reaching our long-standing goals. The most common form is procrastination.

I see it come up in fitness frequently.

“I’ll start working out when…” “I need to drop a few pounds before I join a gym.” “I got busy and didn’t have time to work out.”

However, other methods of self-sabotage sneak up on you, and you don’t even recognize their patterns.

The first step to stomping out self-sabotage is to recognize your own behavior patterns and realize your thoughts and behaviors are the reason you aren’t reaching your goals.

Here are the less-talked-about self-sabotage methods you use to prevent you from reaching your goals.

Negative...

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Quick Fix To Fire The Glutes Better From All Fours

 

The quadruped position is a great way to work on core stability, glute strength, and balance. Many of my favorite exercises are done from this position including bird dogs, rock backs, hip extensions, and fire hydrants.

The Set Up

Like any exercises, the set up will measure your success in these exercises, and a crucial component is getting the glutes and core to work in unison. 

The finer details of a quadruped position will make or break the success of the exercise. This video goes over the common mistakes often seen when setting up on all fours, and how to make corrections. 

It boils down to lumbopelvic positioning, cervical alignment, joint alignment, and thoracic and scapular positioning. 

Pay attention to how your body feels when in this position. You should feel solid, and your muscles throughout the trunk should work to keep you in a stable position. 

Avoid extending through the low back (arching), allowing the belly to drop toward the floor, or the ribs...

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4 Take-Anywhere Glute-Building Exercises

Glutes Exercises On The Go!

It’s great to have a regular fitness routine, but what happens when you can’t make it to the gym?

 
I’m a huge fan of on-the-go exercises that you can do pretty much anywhere no matter how much space is available.
 
Many of my online personal clients travel a lot for work (and pleasure. I make sure they bring their band sets with them-- which makes hotel workouts a cinch.
 
These are 4 of my favorite glute-building exercises you can take anywhere. All you need is a couple of mini bands and a little square of space.
 
Group these exercises into a quick glute circuit (will show you how), or added to the end of your regular workout routine for a little booty bonus action.

Feet-Elevated Bridge March

Pull up a seat for this one. Place your feet on a bench or chair with legs fully extended. This can be done with or without a mini band.

If using a band, place the light-weight mini band over the forefoot of...

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We Are In This Together

It’s incredible how lonely fitness can feel. Like no one gets you. Like you don’t belong. Like no matter what it isn’t working, and you don’t have the motivation to keep going.

I’ve been in this industry for 10 years, first as a fitness competitor and blogger. And for the past 7 years as a writer, trainer, and entrepreneur.

I pay attention to marketing and products, and how messages push our attention in a certain direction.

I look at data and numbers. Statics and metrics.

And what I see is nothing short of heartbreaking.

You are led to believe you are broken. You are one pill, potion, gadget, procedure, quick fix, gimmick, or fad away from being fixed.

Maybe you have dumped gobs of money into the fitness and health industry (I know I have).

You’ve bought the books, tried the diets, done the detoxes and cleanses, subscribed to the supplements, taken the classes, joined the programs, the Facebook groups,...

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How Mindfulness Can Improve Your Workouts

Ever think about what your mind is doing during your workout? Mindfulness during exercise allows you to focus your attention inward so you can tune into your body as it moves, feel a stronger connection to your muscles, and achieve better results in less time.

Thought is a powerful thing. If your thoughts are elsewhere during your workout-- say thinking about your to-do list, the project deadline, or if you put the clothes in the dryer-- then your muscles and cardiovascular system aren’t getting the full attention they deserve

Conversely, if you focus too much on whether you are doing enough, doing everything right, or working at the right capacity you lose touch with that mind-body connection. The more you turn your mind off from everything else going on in life, then greater satisfaction you will have with your workouts.

Becoming mindful during exercise means you shift focus from your external world so that you can focus on your breath, how your muscles feels and contract,...

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The Importance of Collecting Data On Your Body

Even if you say you don’t, you are always collecting data on your body. How thorough you are with this process can make or break your success when it comes to your health and fitness goals.

When I was in bodybuilding, I bucked the system as much as I could. Consider me a lifelong rule breaker—just enough so that I push things slightly over the edge.

I couldn’t stand weighing and measuring my food. It felt like a chore, and I wanted to avoid feeling food-obsessed.

Here’s the deal. Even if you are eyeballing your food or using arbitrary measures like a deck of cards for a meat portion and a thumb-size for your fats … you’re still collecting data.

Not accurately. But you are.

That’s what I did. My coach set my macros and in the first week I dropped three pounds. I was already close to stage weight and had a hard time keeping on muscle, so dropping weight that early in the game wasn’t ideal. It wasn’t a goal at all.

I begrudgingly...

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Finding Clarity On What You Want

Yesterday I talked about how a huge life transition in 2016 helped me reform habits that no longer served me. For a long time, I had very little awareness about what I wanted in life.

Having no awareness of what you want usually looks like this:

  • Not following through on promises (to yourself and others)
  • Playing small
  • Feeling out of control in many aspects of life
  • Playing the blame game for your circumstances
  • Feeling disconnected from your true self, while feeling you are forced to live up to everyone else’s expectations
  • Going through the motions in life in a robotic manner
  • No fulfillment when you reach your goals
  • Fearing failure and staying stuck in the same avoidance patterns

Sounds dramatic, I know. But I was pretty much fitting every one of these descriptions to the letter.

Maybe some of these things resonate with you. Maybe all of them do, which is okay, too.

I Had NO Awareness Of What I Wanted In Life

Having this new awareness of having no awareness previously...

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Why habits are hard to change, but not impossible

Recently I broke a bad habit. Admittedly, it was hard. 

I got into the habit of settling down for the night with a glass or two of wine a few nights a week.

Not so bad, right?

Except it disrupted my sleep terribly and I felt groggy when I woke up the next day.

Before I broke that bad habit, I quit the habit of daily caffeine. I am a coffee lover, but also very caffeine sensitive. 

Between the wine and coffee, my sleep was a wreck.

Before I quit coffee, I quit sugar. Before that I quit using my phone 1 hour before bed. A few years ago I quit television.

You can see the pattern here. One slow, baby step at a time to reform habits that were no longer serving me.

To be frank … none of this was easy. But doable.

The Habit Loop In Action 

If you think about the habit loop, you simply change the behavior between the cue and the reward.

To take wine drinking as the example:

  • Cue > Finishing up tasks for the day and settling in to a book. 
  • Old behavior >...
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