Welcome to MissFitChick
MissFitChick is THE complete fitness website for information, inspiration and motivation to help you achieve the level of health and fitness that your mind and body deserves. No diet will provide long term results. Explore this website for a vast array of workouts, recipes, tips, nutrition information, exercise demonstrations, eating programs and countless proven methods to put you onto the path of a truly fit lifestyle.
Whether your goal is fat loss, adding lean muscle, improving cardio vascular health or simply staying in good shape, we're confident you'll find what you're looking for in our vast library of information.
Scroll down this page to find ongoing commentary, articles, links and news that will help you reach your fitness goals and keep you motivated for that regular workout or next healthy meal.
September 12, 2010
The Summer of 2010 Best Beach Bodies
Here's the list put together by Men's Health magazine. Now, obviously something like this will all be in the eye of the beholder. However, in my opinion, with the exception of Jessica Biel, I find that the most healthy looking figures presented here come from the older women on the list.
April 2, 2010
Chain restaurants will be required to post calories
No matter how you feel politically about health care reform in the US, I don't know how this can be considered a bad idea.
Within the health care legislation signed by President Obama in March is a new law that states that restaurants with chains of 20 or more will be required by law to document caloric totals on menus. It would be even better if they were required to include other important information such as sodium, sugar and macronutrient info. This will make people aware of how some 'healthy menu' options at fast food restaurants are anything but.
I guess this is a very strong first step and will hopefully impact people to make better eating decisions as we find ourselves in the middle of an obesity epidemic.
January 5, 2010
Possibly the craziest marketing campaign ever
I think everyone knows the success that Subway has realized with their healthy options and the 'Jared' campaign. It's a fine way to eat in moderation, even though it's not easy on the wallet.
So, what does Taco Bell do? Arguably one of the most unhealthiest fast food franchises on the planet has decided that people looking to lose weight should go to their drive in. Sure they have healthy focused options on their Fresco menu, but if you look at the amount of sodium in these meals - such as the fresco burrito extreme- you'll find over 1400mg of sodium.
Fast food is for laziness. Not paying attention to what you're putting in your body is also a form of laziness. My guess is Taco Bell knows this and believes people will just be looking at calorie and fat totals. Besides, this is the company that contributes a significant amount to the obesity problem facing so much of the population. Well, there's more than fat and calories people need to consider when making food choices, such as sodium and whether the food is processed.
There are no short cuts to losing weight, no matter what the woman in these ads will tell you. Remember what we talk about on this site. Eat non-processed foods. Keep sugar in check. Keep your sodium in check. Continue to keep track of your macronutrients. Avoid fat and sodium filled sauces.
And if you have to, a 6-inch turkey sub on whole wheat will be a better option.
January 2, 2009
New Years resolutions or habits worth sticking to
People look at a new year as a chance for a new start. Personally, I don't wait for this time of year to set new goals or habits, but it's great that people take the time to consider what they want to accomplish or habits they should change. However, it's been said that the only new years resolutions that aren't cheezy are the ones that are kept. Setting new goals or new habits at this time of year should only be done if you are truly commited to them and have set yourself up for success.
So whether you're setting goals for the new year or assessing your fitness level to make improvements, here are some resolutions or habits worth taking into consideration:
- Drink more water
- Get more sleep
- Set a new short term goal
- Change your workout to include exercises new to you
- Do a full assessment of your nutritional plan and make changes required
- Pack a lunch for work every day
- Make your own protein bars
- Read two fitness books
- Reduce your intake of sugar
- Add an intensity boosting technique to each workout
- Ease up on the booze
- Start tracking every set during your workouts.
- Be sure to eat 6 meals a day
- Partake in some sort of a fitness or sport competition
- Break your own personal record for weight squated or pressed
- Improve your flexibility
- Create a workout schedule so you don't miss a session
- Get a loved one to begin working out and eating clean
- Write down no more than three new goals and be sure to reach them
Just remember, your ability to succeed in reaching your goals or your resolutions is completely in your hands. Take accountability for your habits and actions and you'll be sure to be on your way to getting to where you want to be.
December 18, 2009
How to stick to your fitness plan during the holidays
It’s that time of year. The time of pastries, wine, stuffing, chocolates, parties and pure gluttony. Basically, it’s the time of year that your fitness plan loathes. Not only do you eat poorly this time of year, but time with family and friends often makes it difficult to get your workout in.
Well, here are a few tips to help you ensure that you get your eating in order while squeezing in a workout here in there so you can still squeeze into those new clothes that Santa brought you.
• Don’t let your loved ones impact your decisions. They’re not going to help you out. In fact, it will probably just be the opposite. Stay strong and remember to listen to your own voice when it comes to what you eat and do, not what they want to see you eating.
• Fill up on the healthy food options, such as nuts, turkey, oranges, etc. Not all food served during the holidays is bad. Choose the good ones and let them fill you up
• Don’t forget to eat every 2 to 3 hours. You’ll make better food choices when you’re not famished.
• Get in a workout as a group activity. Gather the family and go sledding. Have a game of street hockey. The family that plays together keeps you on track of your fitness plan.
• If you’re loved ones don’t want to get active, get your workout in as soon as you wake up before anyone knows the difference. Go out for a run, sneak out to the gym or do a workout in your room such as one that requires no equipment.
This time of year is truly about being with loved ones, but that doesn’t mean you have to take a step back in reaching your fitness goals. All it takes is the willpower to make good food choices and finding at least 30 minutes every second day to get in some sort of workout.
Because it’s important that we show how thankful we are to have our health.
November 9, 2009
Just how bad is fast food?
In a moment, we lose strength.
That greasy and fried yet tastey burger is just too easy to get a hold of. Stopping at the drive-thru while running errands seemed like the only option at the time. And since you were there, you might as well go big or go home, right? Just how bad can one combo meal be, especially since you didn't 'supersize it'?
In a word...pretty friggin' bad.
Let's look at some of the choices that many of us have made over the years and exactly how the macronutrients fit into the eating plan of someone wanting to live a healthy lifestyle.
McDonalds Big Mac Combo/Whopper Combo
1,420 calories, 59 grams of fat, 1,390 milligrams of sodium
For some, this unhealthy meal is the equivalent to their caloric daily requirements for the entire day! Not to mention that they would already be over their daily fat intake requirements.
Taco Bell Veggie Fajita Wrap Supreme
510 calories, 24 grams of fat, 1,180 milligrams of sodium
Think that because it's veggie, it's a good choice. Well, think again.
Spicy Italian Sub from Subway
482 calories, 25 grams of fat, 1,604 milligrams of sodium
These numbers are without many of the toppings. Just because it's from Subway doesn't mean that it's healthy. Choose wisely.
Wendy's Taco Salad
380 calories, 20 grams of fat, 1,040 milligrams of sodium
Salads are not always healthy. Of course we all know the dangers of adding dressings on top of them. Do your research and make sure you know what's in the food you're going to eat.
Pizza Hut Spaghetti and Meatballs
850 calories, 24 grams of fat, 1,120 milligrams of sodium.
This is possibly nearly half of your caloric intake for the whole day.
Now, this doesn't mean you must never eat this food. If you love it, then treat yourself to it from time to time. But know the impact this will have on your fitness goals. Choose your meals wisely and limit the amount of times you pull up to the drive-thru, because you have to ask yourself if this one meal is really worth hindering the time you put in at the gym and the good choices you make throughout the week.
To discuss this or other topics, visit our Facebook discussion page here.
October 22, 2009
4 Things to Understand When Beginning a Fitness Lifestyle
There's a lot to know when it comes to embarking on a healthy and fit lifestyle. However, if there are five principles that 'newbies' should understand, they are the following:
- You need to change your life, not just go to the gym more.
It's more than just working out. Your nutrition will have the greatest impact on your results and your health and nutrition is not a temporary thing. Working out should be done at least three times a week, not just when you're getting ready to go on a warm vacation. Make it a part of your schedule, just like any other appointment.
- You will never stop learning
From putting together nutrtition plans, work out splits, supplementation or recovery, you will be constantly be learning what's best for your program. Every body is different so the more you know, the easier it will be to figure out how to get the results you want.
- You will need to lift weights
For most fitness goals, weights are extremely beneficial. Not only does it increase bone density, increased joint stability and improved co-ordination, it is also the most effective way to reduce fat. Lifting weights will speed up your metabolism, which is the most effective way to burn more calories.
- You need to work hard
Exercising requires you to work hard, get your heart rate up and get outside your comfort zone. For many, working out is just putting in time, but it really requires putting in a hard effort.
October 13, 2009
Burger King makes fun of fat people
So, I'm watching the NFL pre-game show yesterday, and for some reason, they do an animated skit that's sponsored by Burger King. They even have an animated version of the King setting up the skit. Anyway, the entire skit is knocking the Dallas Cowboys, but most of the time is spent slamming Jessica Simpson and her weight.
Now, I'm not a real celebrity nut, but even I know that she and Tony Romo have been broken up for a number of months. I guess the writers at Fox were so uninspired that they had to grasp and creating an entire skit knocking this average size girl into the ground.
I'm no Jessica Simpson fan, but the fact that Burger King responded to the video on Monday by saying that they only sponsored the segment and didn't approve the content is complete horse manure. This is like Marlboro mocking people for getting lung cancer.
Anyway, here's a very poor quality sample of the video...
October 12, 2009
Your 'daily' inspiration
Somehow, some way, Nike always seems to hit the mark when it comes to their advertising. They have a true connection with those that live a fit lifestyle and know how to give its audience a real boost.
Here's an ad that I love and probably speaks to anyone that works out or trains on a regular basis.
It's simple - but impacting.
October 12, 2009
Fitness on a Budget
It’s no secret that a lot of people are feeling the financial pinch due to the current economic downturn. Times are tough for a lot of people and it’s impacting lives every day, so now more than ever, it’s important for people to ensure that they take care of their health so not to be negatively impacted by stress or depression.
The good news is that you definitely don’t need a lot of money to get into the best shape of your life. In fact, you can eat and exercise at a top level and limit the dollars you spend doing so.
The following are just a small number of tips you can do to pinch your pennies both when it comes to exercise and your nutrition.
Buy used equipment
Everybody knows that there are endless houses out there with exercise equipment that is either gathering dust, acting as a clothes hanger or tucked under someone’s bed. Your first move when buying home exercise equipment should be to look to the classifieds, eBay, Craig’s list, garage sales or other sources to buy equipment at a fraction of what you’d pay for it new.
Buy dumbbells and a bench
With dumbbells and a bench, you can easily complete a full weight lifting program, such as the one found here. To save money, purchase the dumbbells that allow you to add and remove plates. This will cost significantly less than buying ones that have a set weight.
Free Exercise DVD’s
When was the last time you’ve used your local public library. In case you don’t know, most libraries have a vast array of exercise DVD’s. What could be better than having an entire collection of exercise DVD’s for free?
Not only does a rope cost very little, but it’s also a great cardio workout that you can do almost anywhere.
Body Weight Workouts
Push ups, lunges, sit ups, dips, close grip push ups, planks, etc. With the right intensity and technique, there are numerous exercises you can do that requires only you and a floor.
Of course, everyone knows running is a great cardio workout. It’s also free, if you have a good pair of shoes.
Share costs with friends
If you can workout at home, find a workout partner and chip in together to purchase the equipment or swap exercise DVD’s.
You can perform a good amount of exercises with bands and you can easily adjust the amount of tension.
Share a personal trainer
Some personal trainers will train more than one client at a time, which should result in a lesser cost to each person.
Take advantage of trial memberships
Many fitness centres will often offer trial memberships for non-members. Seek these out and take advantage of the use of great facilities.
Buy your food in bulk
Large bags of chicken breasts, large boxes of pasta, eggs and other food is significantly cheaper at stores like Costco and Sam’s Club. Plan well and purchase the food you know you’ll finish.
Don’t eat out
Not only do you ensure you eat better when you make your own food, but you also save a lot of money.
Buy your supplements online
For the most part, supplements are cheaper when you buy them online from sites such as bodybuilding.com and wholesalesupplementstore.com.
Avoid junk food
There is often no nutritional or health benefit to junk food, so why waste your money on it? Focus on eating the clean, whole foods that will help you reach your fitness goals.
Don’t pay full price for meat
Meat can be frozen upon purchase, so only buy meat that’s on sale. Doing so, there’s no risk of it going bad and you’ll be saving money every time.
Buy no name brands
If you must buy packaged goods, buy no name or generic brands. They’re cheaper and most often the same quality as the branded versions.
Eat your leftovers
If you buy food, the last thing you want to do is throw it away. Make sure you get the most of your investment.
Getting in great shape doesn’t need to cost you and arm and a leg. With some concerted effort, planning and adaptation, you can reach your fitness goals, even when you may not have a lot of resources to do so.
October 2, 2009
Pay attention to what you eat
So a friend of mine has done a great job in focusing on great, healthy eating. She eats six smaller meals a day, has her calories in check, ensures she gets her pre and post workout nutrition in line and stays away from processed food. However, there are a couple of columns that she doesn't pay a whole lot of attention to - at least until just the other day.
She was eating a fat free individual yogurt you often find at cafeterias or markets. It looked healthy enough as it included strawberries and trace fat.
I innocently asked her if she happened to read the sugar content on the package.
This one little yogurt contained 35g of sugar. 35 GRAMS!
To put that into context, that's just slightly less than the sugar content found in a can of Coca-Cola Classic.
As I've said earlier, just because food is marketed as healthy doesn't necessarily mean it's the best choice for your nutritional plan. Sodium is another culprit that can sneak up on you and can have a negative impact on your nutritional plan.
Be sure to read the label and don't just look calories, fat, protein and carbs. Sugar and sodium also must be considered.
September 7, 2009
What Supplements Should I Take?
Nutrition is key to getting great results from your fitness plan. If you don’t have your nutrition in order, you’re results are going to be limited. That said, nobody is perfect and as our lives get crazier, it’s very difficult to eat perfectly all the time.
Because of this, millions of people use supplements as part of their nutritional plan and, obviously, to supplement for some of the macro and micronutrients they may not be getting sufficiently in their daily eating.
The health supplement industry is a multi-billion dollar business because of the results people expect from buying the latest thing. Because most of these are unregulated, most supplement companies aren’t held to account in the same way other industries are.
The good news is that there are only a small handful of supplements that most fitness enthusiasts agree are proven and can benefit your fitness plan. It is up to the individual to decide which claims they want to believe, but the following are the key supplements I would include in a true fitness enthusiasts’ plan, in order of importance.
This one is a no brainer. Like the ad says, ‘from A to Zinc’. Be sure to get your micronutrients in one easy pill.
• Protein Powder
Protein is most often referred to as the building block of muscle, which is a good thing because muscle will speed up your metabolism resulting in fat loss and lean muscle gain. If your goal is to get 1 gram of protein per pound you weigh, that’s a lot of chicken breasts. Protein powder makes it easy, portable and flexible with numerous meals.
• Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids, most commonly found in fish, are poly-unsaturated fatty acids. Studies show that a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids keeps joints healthy, improves brain performance, helps lower triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Omega 3 fatty acids may also act as an anticoagulant to prevent blood from clotting. Several other studies also suggest that these fatty acids may help lower high blood pressure.
Creatine isn’t just for men, so why limit this beneficial supplement just for men. Creatine can provide your muscles with increased energy and strength during workouts due to ATP regeneration, reduction in lactic acid, and help muscles recover faster, resulting in increased strength and muscle.
As stated earlier, you can get the benefits of the supplements listed above through your nutrition. That said, to do so, you need to have tremendous eating habits. The choice whether to use those listed above is up to you, but I would recommend them.
September 5, 2009
Careful of Magazine Promises
No matter how credible the magazine, it seems they always seem to blow it by the ridiculous claims they make on their cover:
‘Lose 30 pounds by summer’
‘Drop 2 dress sizes in a month’
‘Add 5 pounds of lean muscle’
Now, I’m smart enough to understand how marketing works, but I also understand about a company or magazine’s brand and the importance of reputation. To me, I think these magazines, whether it’s Shape, Oxygen, M&F Hers, Fitness or any others on the market, seem to do themselves a disservice when they make these blanket promises.
Now, as we say on this site, every body is different and most won’t see the results promised on the cover. To make these very specific claims with timelines just isn’t realistic. Many people quit their fitness plans or sticking to a fit lifestyle when their expectations or results aren’t realized with their hard work and dedication.
My thought is that these magazines would probably hang on to more of their readers if they didn’t make blanket promises and set realistic expectations, keeping people engaged in fitness and their publications in the long run.
September 3, 2009
Take it Easy on the Bosu Ball
Core training has really become popular lately, and for good reason. A strong core prevents back pain, improves posture and better supports your spine.
The Bosu Ball is a ball that, among other things, forces you to use your stabilizer muscles when you perform strengthening exercises. There are specific exercises that people can do, such as standing on one foot while doing overhead dumbbell presses, that strengthen your core.
But people are going overboard.
I see people’s entire fitness program involving a Bosu ball, sacrificing weight and intensity, to continually perform core strengthening exercises, even though their goal may be to add lean muscle or lose fat.
Call me old fashioned, but I’m a believer that if you perform compound exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, standing presses and other strengthening exercises, you’ll be working your core stabilizer muscles sufficiently. However, if you continually do dumbbell curls standing on one foot on a Bosu ball, sacrificing weight so you don’t lose your balance, you most likely won’t see the results you want.
Bosu balls are fine, but use them sparingly when it comes to your strength training workouts.
August 28, 2009
If Your Workout Looks Like This....Change What You're Doing
Starting a workout program is tough. Putting in a lot of time and having limited results is even tougher to deal with and is the main reason why most people don't stick to their program.
There's one common approach that you often see in a gym that represents a workout with limited results, and it's described below. To be blunt, if you read this and it sounds like your hour at the gym, you might want to strongly assess changing the way you tackle your workouts:
- You walk into the gym and walk around the floor checking out the different equipment and moving to those that aren't being used
- Get on the elliptical for 15 minutes while set to a steady level and reading People magazine
- Walk through the weight area where you test out a machine or a weight and do some reps before making your way to find the next exercise
- You do some dumbell curls
- Make your way to complete some leg curls
- Complete a few sets of dumbell flys of 15 reps
- Finish with calf exercises
To some this may sound silly, but to others, this sounds very familiar. The problems with this scenario include:
- Not going in with a plan and wasting time and focus
- Completing cardio in a steady state with little intensity, not to mention cardio is recommended to be done last so you can save your strength for lifting weights
- Doing 'single joint' exercises, such as curls or calf raises, where you are going to have limited results by working limited and smaller muscles
- Doing a hodge-podge of exercises without challenging larger muscles with any sort of intensity
The key things to remember to realize success in your program include:
- Work out intensely
- Be sure to include weight training in your program
- Go in with a plan
- Perform multi-joint or compound exercises
- Lift heavy
If you keep these principles in mind when it comes to your time at the gym, you'll improve your chances of seeing the results you want.
August 16, 2009
Be Careful of ‘Healthy’ Foods
As I’ve said numerous times, there’s a lot of information you need to know to understand and ensure healthy eating that contributes to your fitness goals. This can be difficult to obtain because we spend a lifetime hearing endless false claims about getting in the shape you want. From Miami Diets to Grapefruit Diets to not eating after 6pm, the key is to find your way past the quick fixes and more towards the proven results that will have long lasting impact.
The problem is, marketers make this extremely difficult. In fact, they seem to take advantage of our fast moving world and people believing something is healthy without actually verifying whether it is or not. This is not new as people have been buying products and foods for centuries with the promise of improved health.
This is definitely the case as companies are looking to take advantage of a more health conscious marketplace. The problem is, the products they’re selling are not always healthy. From sugar loaded ‘nutrition’ bars to sodium packed baked chips to highly processed frozen diet meals, people automatically buy into the promises on the front of the package without figuring is out for themselves.
So how does one get by all the crap and focus on the facts? The key is not what the front of the package says, but what is on the label. Sugar is one of the key deterrents to reaching your fitness goals and can even be found in whole, healthy foods such as fruit. However, in pre-prepared foods, be sure to check the sugar content along with the other nutrients. The same should be said about sodium, which many people easily overlook.
The point is, just because something is marketed as healthy, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Don’t automatically pick up that a bag of chips because it claims it’s healthy. Don’t rely on frozen processed meals because they’re made my Weight Watchers. Don’t only look at the carb, protein and fat totals. Read the label, ensure the nutrients and ingredients fit into your plan and continue to educate yourself to best understand the fuel you’re putting in your body.