Zigzag Dieting

Zigzagging is the most powerful tool in your nutrition arsenal for adjusting your diet as your fitness or your goals change.

Whether you want to lose weight, gain weight, or just eat so that you perform at your best, the most effective tool to figure out how much you should be eating is known as zigzag dieting. Also referred to as “refeeding” in bodybuilding circles, it’s a technique I’ve been using for years.

Here’s how to zigzag diet: On 2-3 days of the week, eat the same number of calories you usually would. On the remaining 4-5 days, eat more (or less) calories. The general practice is 4 days of change and 3 days of remaining the same, but some prefer 5 and 2, or even changing daily as shown in the graph below. No matter which plan you follow, your body will tell you if it was a good idea by responding better (or worse) to your workouts. While it’s generally used to add calories (hence, “refeeding”), it works the same in both directions. Continue zigzagging up and/or down until you feel like you’re performing at your best.

Zig-Zagging aka Refeeding

 

How many more (or fewer) calories should you eat while zigzagging?

The bigger and more active you are, the higher number of calories you should add or subtract. Most people move in a 200-500 calories per day range (or more, as you can see in the image above, though that’s more of a deficit than I’d use unless I was well versed in it). Don’t get too caught up in the number. There’s nothing wrong with going too low, and then zigzagging again. Unlike yo-yo dieting, zigzagging won’t negatively affect your metabolism. Instead, if you pay attention to your workouts, and keep zigzagging until you’re nailing every workout, your body will respond by raising your metabolism to handle the stress and gaining or losing weight will become easier.

 

How zigzag dieting can break a plateau
Say, for example, you’re eating 1500 calories a day and you’ve lost weight. But, now your weight loss has stagnated. That’s because the new, fitter you has a different body composition than the former you. You have more muscle and a higher basal metabolic rate (BMR). In order to continue your weight loss you need to eat more, because 1500 calories isn’t enough and your body is reacting by slowing down your metabolism and releasing cortisol in a protective response (this is often called starvation mode because this is how your body would respond to being starved).

For the sake of this example, let’s say your run a calorie calculation and determine that you need to 2500 calories per day. (Here’s an article to help you figure out how many calories you should be eating.) You don’t want to jump straight to 2500 calories. First, it would cause some shock to your system and, second, it might be inaccurate, as those calculators only give ballpark figures. The most effective thing to do is to zigzag your caloric intake. In this instance, I would recommend eating 2000 calories per day 3-4 days per week and 1500 calories on the other days. Note how your body responds. My expectation is you’d feel good on the higher calorie days and famished on the lower calorie days.

You want to be energized but not hungry and not full. So, after a week or two, bump up your calories to around 2200 calories for 4-5 days and 1500 calories on 2 days. Do this for about a week. If I’m still starving on the low days, try bumping them up to 2000 and see how you respond. You can tell when you’re eating too many calories because you’ll begin to feel full, you won’t digest your food between meals, and you’ll feel more lethargic at the beginning of workouts.

Do you have questions about zigzag dieting? Let us know in the comments below.

 

article credit to beachbody blog by: Steve Edwards

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Bored Easily

Okay I changed things….if you have followed me for any amount of time you now know that I get bored easily. That actually might be an understatement actually. My husband always jokes with me….oh look a tree…yeah that’s what he will say to me because my train of thought and focus changes so frequently. Hey, I am who I am and I definitely keep things interesting that’s for sure. I can also go off on rambling tangents…probably have noticed that about me as well. Okay, back on point….

Where was I?

Oh yeah, I get bored easily. Well, it has happened again. I was absolutely loving body beast. I have been getting amazing results and starting to really see the definition come in. BUT…my sister is doing the 21 day fix right now. I was also wanting to really zero in on my nutrition and just decided now was a good time to refocus. So, as of Monday I’m doing another round of 21 day fix….and here is the thing, I’m counting on everyone else to keep me on track and focused for the next 21 days. I’m doing this…start to finish :).

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My awesome planner with 21 day fix stickers!

I still need to take my before pictures and measurements other than weight and body fat so those will be posted either later or I will wait until I’m done with this round (or the next one) to post the difference. If you haven’t noticed yet I don’t have any before/after pictures of me up really yet. I know I should, it is just something I’m not ready to do yet. First, I’m still on my journey, I’m not where I want to be or even close for that matter. BUT soon my friends, soon I will get there and post transformation pictures!

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Okay back to the point again….:) see I get off track and bored easily!!! That’s why I’m loving beachbody on demand so much (granted body beast and 21 day fix aren’t included unless you buy the dvd’s). You get to pick which program you want and what workout what day etc. The challenge du jour is amazing too. Each day the people at beachbody “prescribe” a workout for the day jumping around and sampling all the different programs!

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Fix approved lunch!

Wow….eventually I will finish this post! If you don’t follow me on instagram yet you should! abby.siler.fitness is my name. I regularly post lunch ideas that are all fixed approved as well as other tips and workout bonuses as well as some of my random life in there! You should definitely check it out!

So, who wants to join me for a 21 day fix challenge group where we all support one another and keep each other on track!? I will be your coach and help you every step of the way! Lets do this! Sign up below if you want to join in on the fun!

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Body Beast Half Marathon Training week 4

Body Beast Half Marathon Training week 4…..Well we are getting ready to start the 4th week of Body Beast and this means a new phase of the program! This phase is the bulk phase. I can definitely say that I’m ready for this phase. In the first three weeks I limited my cardio a little to get my body used to strength training seriously again. This phase I’m planning on adding in 3 days a week of HIIT (high intensity Inverval Training) and then 4 days a week of long duration low load cardio. There is more and more research coming out saying this is the optimized way to fat loss so added in with the body beast hopefully this will optimize me leaning out!! I’m pretty excited for this phase too, I’ve already been seeing quite a bit of change in my muscle definition which is a plus for only 3 weeks in!

I was channeling my inner beast this morning to start the bulk phase! GRRRR!!!

Oh and Don’t forget that the Beachbody Performance line goes on sale today! For the next week there is free shipping for it too! Get yours now!

Beachbody Performance Nutrition

Back to the Body Beast Half Marathon Training week 4 schedule.

Monday: Bulk chest and Turbofire HIIT 15

Tuesday: Bulk legs and run 2 miles

Wednesday: Bulk Arms and Turbofire HIIT 15

Thursday: run 3 miles or beast cardio and beast abs

Friday: Bulk Back and Turbofire HIIT 20

Saturday: Bulk Shoulders and Run 4.5 miles

I’m not going to be posting the schedule at the beginning of the week anymore after this week since the beast schedule doesn’t change. Instead at the end of the week I will post a review of my workouts/schedule as well as the running/cardio schedule for the next week to go along with the beast schedule!

Also be on the lookout for some free documents including a body beast log and half marathon training schedule!

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Week 3 Body Beast and half marathon

Sorry for the lateness of this post. It was a busy busy weekend! However, I have Week 3 Body Beast and half marathon training schedule for you!

On a side note being a KU gal I’m pretty excited to know that KU won this morning in Korea at the World University Games representing the USA for the GOLD MEDAL!!! KU Fan or not everyone should be pretty darn excited!

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How was everyone’s weekend!? Mine was great. I worked on Saturday at the hospital and then Sunday was a meal prep day. Sunday I also played a couple of slow pitch softball games. It was technically a rest day for me BUT the softball games were great for an active rest day! They kicked my butt a little bit!

So here is the schedule for this week!

Monday: Beast Cardio and Abs or 3 mile run
Tuesday: Build: Back and Bi’s
Wednesday: Build Shoulders and run 2 miles
Thursday: Build: Chest/Tri’s
Friday: Build: Legs
Saturday: Build back/bi’s and run 4 miles
Sunday: Rest day

Don’t forget to BEAST UP!!

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 I’m coaching a new challenge group on facebook starting in a couple of weeks! Fill out the form below for more information! There will be a prize at the end of the 3 weeks.

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P90X week 7 and Body beast week 2

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great, fun and safe 4th of July! We spent the day on Saturday out at the lake with some great friends! We both only incurred mild roseyness from the sun! Since it is Monday that means it is time for your P90x week 7 and Body Beast week 2 with half marathon hybrid schedule.

Wow, that is a mouthful…..

I have a confession to make….no one is perfect. I dropped the ball a little bit this past week on my training. I did all of my Body Beast workouts as scheduled. However, running workouts took the beating. I only ran once this week. On Thursday I was scheduled to run 3 miles in place of beast cardio. Well, life happens and I slept in. My husband had the day off and didn’t get up at our usual time with me which made me lose all motivation that morning. Oh well, life goes on. I also was supposed to run a 4 mile race on Saturday morning, but, I had to work to cover a post-op patient. Of course, after that happened and we spent the day at the lake enjoying the sun and adult beverages, running was not on the top of my list. Again, life goes on, we are all human. That just means this week I need to buckle down and get my running in if I’m going to do the half marathon in October. I need YOU to help keep me accountable!
Back to the plan. Here it is p90x week 7 and body beast week 2 with half marathon training hybrid workout plan! The way I have formatted the schedules both have running on them, pick which one you are doing and as always adjust the mileage for where you are in your training. In the coming weeks I will post a pure half-marathon training plan for you!

P90X week 7:

Monday chest shoulders & triceps 3 m run

Tuesday: plyometrics

Wednesday back and biceps 1.5 mie run

Thursday yoga

Friday legs and back

Saturday 4 mile run

Sunday rest day

Body Beast week 2:

Monday Build: Legs Run: 1.5m

Tuesday Build: Back/Bi’s

Wednesday Beast:cardio/abs -Or- Run: 3m

Thursday Build: Shoulders

Friday Build: Chest/Tris

Saturday Build:Legs &Long run: 4

Sunday Rest Day

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Week 1 P90X plan

I hope you all had a wonderful memorial day weekend. Mine was very relaxing and full of remembering what the day is all about. Since it was raining in Kansas we spent a lot of time inside relaxing! But then Monday and today came and I had to kick my butt in gear with starting my first round of P90X! Each week I am going to post my workout schedule for the week. So this is my week 1 P90X plan!

 

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I am also training for some races while doing this program. Particularly I am gearing up to run the Fall Prairie Fire Half Marathon in Wichita, KS in October. Therefore, I have created a hybrid training schedule with P90X and running! Hope you enjoy! As far as the mileage goes for the running plan I am slowly getting back into running and increasing my base. If you are able to do more then go for it! This is just where I am currently.

 

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I have opted to do my “long run” on Saturdays instead of KenpoX. I just feel like it would be too much cardio, especially once I get into the 6-11 mile long runs. Again, modify this for how it fits into your goals! Or just do the straight P90X schedule and skip the running all together!

 

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Bikini ready in May!

It is the beginning of a new month and you know what that means! New challenge pack promotions and a new online challenge group getting ready to start up! Let me help you get bikini ready in May for summer! Keep reading for May 2015 Challenge Pack Specials!

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Insanity Max:30
Max out

INSANITY MAX:30™ and Shakeology Challenge Pack: Only $180 USD (normally $205 USD).
INSANITY MAX:30™ Kickstart and Shakeology Challenge Pack: Only $220 USD (normally $245 USD). – includes 3 day refresh

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Body Beast® and Shakeology Challenge Pack: Only $140 USD (normally $160 USD).

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Piyo

PiYo® and Shakeology Challenge Pack: Only $140 USD (normally $160 USD).
PiYo® Kickstart and Shakeology Challenge Pack: Only $180 USD (normally $205 USD). – includes 3 day refresh

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Ultimate Reset® and Shakeology Challenge Pack: Only $275 USD (normally $305 USD

 

I’m so excited about all of these challenge packs! Remember when you order a challenge pack you save $30-$90 dollars! Other benefits of challenge packs include:

  1. The Beachbody Workout Fitness Program of your choice
  2. 30 Day supply of Shakeology Packs (our super nutrition food shake) shipped directly to your door.
  3. Free 30-Day Beachbody Club Trial Membership (you can cancel anytime) – this includes beachbody on demand!
  4. Free Shipping
  5. Free Coaching (from me! This is where the challenge groups come in!)

To apply for my next challenge group starting soon fill out the form below! Hurry space is limited and time is running out!

 

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4 things to do at night to help you lose weight

Everyone has been there. Looking for ways to lose weight. I have 4 things to do at night to help you lose weight. Weight loss doesn’t happen over night, it is a long, slow process. But there are a few things that I do every night to keep me on track and help me reach my goals

 

 Pack Your Lunch

Not planning ahead is one of the biggest causes of weight gain. Instead of going hungry and grabbing whatever you can get your hands on by the time lunch rolls around, pack yourself your lunch. If you do it the night before, you avoid the morning rush stress or forgoing it altogether. Now since I go home over lunch I don’t pack it the night before completely. I do pack my husbands lunch at night though. I take lunches a step further in terms of ease. I have several recipes that I will rotate cooking on the weekends and portion out to freeze for lunches. I don’t do a huge meal prep day or anything like that. I just cook one of these meals and add it to the freezer. This way I don’t spend the whole weekend cooking and I am still able to keep my freezer stocked with pre-portioned healthy meals! I will be posting these recipes over the next few weeks.

Put Breakfast in a Bag

Same idea as packing your lunch the night before – why not pack your breakfast? If you are a breakfast eater it makes this so much more simple. However, if you have your Shakeology for breakfast, better not make it at night. It is so quick just make it in the morning. However if you use fruit in your Shakeology portion it out for the freezer in little baggies so it is a grab and blend kind of thing too!

 Prep Your Gym Bag/Lay out your workout clothes

Do your workout gear round up the night before and have it ready to go in the morning. Workouts are more likely to happen if you deliberately take the time to prep for them. Plus, if you make this a habit every night before a workout, you’re more likely to get in the habit of a regular exercise routine. I sleep in my workout clothes since I’m an early riser and workout first thing in the morning. It takes out a step at 5:00 in the morning so I have less to think about and can just get my butt downstairs for my workout!

Chop Chop

Prep your veggies for dinner the night before! You did such an awesome job eating right all day, so don’t ruin it by coming home at night starving and throwing together a quick and probably not-so-healthy meal. Also defrost any food on a plate in the fridge the night prior so you don’t have to wait on it!

 

That’s it! If you want more great tips and advice for healthy living and clean eating join one of my online challenge groups. Apply below!

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Squats, the right way

Squats, the right way.

If you look at any fitness program, beachbody or another, they will have some form or multiple variations of squats in them. Bodyweight, goblet, barbarian, sumo…the list goes on and on. But the foundation behind them all is the same. You need good squat form and to do them the right way to prevent injury.

Let’s back up a little though. Why is it that every single exercise program includes a squat you ask. Great question!

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Squats are a compound exercise powerhouse!

Squats are a compound movement — this means that they work multiple joints and multiple muscles at the same time. In fact, squats work your core, back, legs, and hips just to name the major groups. If you add a weight you get your arms in there too. Now that is a powerhouse awesome working exercise.

Okay now, how do you do one?

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1. Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, hips over knees, and knees over ankles.

2. Roll the shoulders back and down away from the ears. Keep the spine in neutral to prevent back problems! Don’t arch your back or round you back. Just don’t do it, it is bad. Very very bad.

3. Extend arms out straight so they are parallel with the ground, palms facing down.

4. Start by sending your hips back like you are going to sit in a chair.

5. With your butt sticking out, make sure your chest and shoulders stay upright. Remember to keep your head facing forward with eyes straight ahead for a neutral spine.

6. The best squats are the deepest ones your mobility allows. Ideally you want to have your thighs at the very least parallel to the ground, again if you have enough flexibility. I don’t.

7. Keep your weight in your heels always. You should be able to lift your toes up off the ground. Then push back up into start position with your core engaged.

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Proper squat form, squat the right way, learn to squat, squats, glutes

There you have it! How to do a standard body weight squat. Once you have mastered this the options are almost limitless! Stay tuned for squat variations on another day!

 

Remember I always have an online challenge group that is 21 days long. Space is limited and my next one is starting soon. Sign up below to claim your spot!

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Fit Plan week of April 20

Fit plan week of April 20! I am on the 8th week of P90x3 starting today so it is a recovery week more or less for that. I have decided this week to add in a lot more stretching on top of the recovery week because being the good little DPT that I am, I noticed I’m getting a little too tight. So I’m going to pull in a couple 10 minute trainer yoga and Insanity relief workouts!

Monday – run 1.62 mile with 10 intervals and P90x3 isometrix
Tuesday – P90x3 Dynamix and 2 mile walk
Wednesday – P90X3 Accelerator and Insanity Asylum Relief
Thursday – P90X3 pilates X and run/walk 1.68 miles with 8 intervals
Friday – P90X3 CVX, 10 minute trainer yoga, and 2 mile walk
Saturday – P90X3 X3 yoga and Run/walk 1.65 mi with 5 intervals
Sunday – P90X3 Dynamix

Well there you have it. My workout plan for the week. No as well all know things don’t go according to plan. I got up this morning and just really wasn’t feeling the Isometrix workout. I don’t know why but I really don’t like it. So I decided that my run and the 10 minute trainer yoga was good enough for me today. After all this is a recovery week and I shouldn’t get burned out on a workout that I don’t enjoy!

As you can see I have workouts from multiple different programs in there. That is why I love beachbody on demand so much! Flexibility!!!

What does your workout week look like!? Leave a comment below and help us keep each other accountable!

Don’t forget about my monthly online challenge groups ! They are filling up fast! Sign up below!

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