Real Life Tips for Being a Morning Workout Person

Mornings are rough for all of us. But how do some manage to turn on their superhero powers and get out of their warm cozy bed to go workout? It’s all about being easy on your brain when it hasn’t even had a chance to wake up yet! Plan, prepare and leave your excuses on the pillow with these tips from the TITLE Boxing Club Marketing Team.

As a mom, Audrey knows the struggle of balancing your own routine with your family’s needs. Her practical ideas are invaluable:

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“Set two alarms – one by the bed and one that makes you actually get out of bed to turn it off on the other side of the room. Also, have everything ready to go like your gym bag, work clothes, kids clothes, lunches, water and snacks the night before. You can even pack some of your things in your car the night before so it’s less you need to grab in the morning.” – Audrey, Brand Manager

Brooke is a busy professional who is constantly on the go and traveling for work, so planning ahead is a priority. Here are some of her go-to methods.

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“Schedule your workouts ahead of time in your planner like you would any other appointment and make sure you keep it. Setting time aside for yourself and your health is key. Also, put your workout clothes by your bed the night before so you have one less thing to think about and create an excuse for in the morning.” – Brooke, Senior Director of Marketing

Planning a wedding on top of a demanding work schedule is a stressful reality for Jenna. Here are her tips for staying on track through busy times.

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“Plan your workouts with a friend or your significant other. You’d never bail on them for happy hour, so you won’t skip out on your workout plans either! Also, fall asleep (meaning no Instagram in bed) at least 8 hours before your alarm is set to go off. When it does, you’ll know lack of sleep isn’t an excuse for hitting snooze!” – Jenna, Digital Marketing Coordinator

Everything You Need to Know About a Life of Counting Macros

Everyone has that one friend (or several) on Instagram who is constantly showing off their latest “gains” and hashtagging things like #IIFYM while weighing meals on a scale and skipping out on socializing to keep within their macros. Then you ask, “What is this life and do I want to take part in it?”

Let’s start by finding out what counting macros even means. Macros is short for macronutrients, which are some of the major the nutritional components of your diet like protein, carbohydrates and fats. These are required in large and specific amounts in your body to maintain a healthy body composition, AKA that shredded look we all want.

Counting your macros means tracking the number of grams of protein, carbohydrates and fats you consume in a day. Why is this important? Because to lose weight but maintain lean muscle mass, you need more than just a caloric deficit. You need to eat enough protein every day to preserve your muscle. You need to eat enough carbs to provide those muscles with glycogen stores that you’ll use when working out intensely. And lastly, you need to eat enough healthy fats which play an important role in hormone synthesis. Every macro formula is different for everyone, but generally follows a rule of 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 20% fat.

Some peeps think they can eat anything within their macro count no matter if the food comes from a drive-thru or a farmers market. That’s where #IIFYM, If It Fits Your Macros, comes from. [insert eye roll emoji.] However, the micronutrient content of your food source is just as important as the macronutrient content. Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals that support healthy physiological functions in the body. Put it like this: having a great body but also having a chronic disease due to lack of micronutrients is not sexy.

4 Ways to Know if You’re Right for the Macro Life

  1. You can get on board with clean and precise eating, avoiding junk food and limiting cheat meals.
  2. You can make a pact with yourself to remain consistent with counting your macros – Every. Single. Day.
  3. You’ve tried out different meal plans that include clean eating, meal prepping, or even just counting calories in the past.
  4. You include weight training consistently with your workouts.

1 Way to Know You’re Not Ready

  1. You struggle with understanding the differences between fats, carbs, proteins, whole foods or processed foods. Maybe you’re not at the right place to start counting macros. There is so much to learn; the basics are undeniably important. Start there first.

4 Steps to Get Started

  1. Buy a kitchen scale. You’ll need to know precisely how many grams you’re eating, in order to stay consistent with your macro limits.
  2. Know your goal. There are several free online macro calculators out there – just input your stats and it will give you a goal for each macro count.
  3. Buy whole, fresh foods and plan out your meals weekly or daily. Prepping is key in the world of macro counting because just one unplanned meal out can throw your whole day off.
  4. Stay on track. The point of counting macros is to provide your body with a certain formula of nutrition calculated for your own body. To see effective results, focus is key. You can do this!

5 (Funky) Fresh Ways to Spring Clean Your Workout Routine

The winter isn’t just rough on our skin and hair; our workout routines can suffer as well through the bitterly cold weather and short, dark days. It can make us seriously unambitious, prone to comfy clothes and Pinterest, and leaves us in a funk! The good news is the birds are chirping, the tulips are blooming and spring is right around the corner. So let’s talk about cleaning up our workout routines and getting back to our favorite healthy habits. (Yes—healthy habits can be your favorite!)

Plan Tonight for an Easy Tomorrow

Before you go to sleep, pick out your workout clothes and set them by your bed for an easy, no-excuses outfit that you can throw on when your alarm wakes you up early for that 5:00 a.m. Power Hour. It’s even smart to prep your water bottle, protein powder or snack with your gym bag the night before so you don’t forget anything when you have to get up and go.

Eat (a Big) Breakfast

Not a morning workout person? Begin your day early anyway and make a big, nutritious breakfast with protein that will kick-start your metabolism. Eating like a king or queen in the morning will give your body nourishment for the start of your jam-packed day, and help you stay energized until your evening workout.

Treat Yo-self

Warmer weather is as good an excuse as any to treat yourself to a new pair of workout pants, new Nikes or those TITLE boxing gloves you’ve been eyeing. New workout gear is one of the best ways to motivate yourself to get back into your routine and look great doing it!

Be a Tall Drink of Water

Don’t want to get up and turn off The Bachelor to do anything cardio related? Us, too. The lack of energy and willpower is real. But the solution is simple! Drink more water. (Think: probably a gallon more!) Not only does more water in your diet help your energy, but it also helps to beat the bloat. Hello, you tall drink of water, you! Plus, staying hydrated means you recover faster and you can get to your next TITLE class without any serious struggle. Take note: water down, power up!

Keep a Journal – For Real

“Has it really been two weeks since I’ve worked out?” We all know the feeling. Between work, family and relationships, we tend to forget that oh-so-important “me time.” Start keeping a journal or a list in your phone of all of your workouts. Accountability is key for progress!

Heavy foods, lean body: Eating better all winter long

Heavy foods, lean body: Eating better all winter long

The colder it gets, the more your body craves an excess of carbs and fat. Pair that with the fact that fewer fruits and vegetables are in season, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for seasonal weight gain. Fortunately for you, we’ve got some great tips for how to stay fit all through that long, cold winter.

1.  Putting pomegranates on a pedestal. A few years ago, pomegranate juice was all the rage. These tiny gem-like seeds (and the juice that comes from them) are rich in antioxidants, reduce arterial plaque buildup, and may improve blood flow to the heart. They’re also delicious.

2.  It’s easy being green. Dark leafy vegetables like kale, chard and collards thrive in the chill of winter. They’re also especially high in potassium and vitamins A and C. Try them in salads, as sides, or in the case of kale you can even bake them as chips.

3.  Eat your Brussels sprouts. With more protein than most vegetables and lots of fiber, Brussels sprouts make for a delicious and filling side dish. They can also help detoxify the body, fight cancer and reduce inflammation. Not bad for a vegetable we all hated as kids.

4.  Squash all doubts. Low in fat and high in fiber, squash are one of the healthiest winter vegetables. The fiber makes it heart-friendly, potassium for enhanced blood flow, while vitamin B6 helps both the nervous system and immune system function efficiently. Plus, with names like butternut, acorn, spaghetti and delicata, they’re even more fun to say than they are to eat.

5.  Orange you glad for citrus. Lime, lemon, orange or grapefruit, citrus fruits are at their juiciest in the wintertime. Obviously they’re a powerful source of vitamin C, but did you know they’re also great for your cholesterol? Even better, their bright acidic flavors put you in mind of sunnier days ahead.

6.  Pay attention to potatoes. Normally, starches are a bad thing, lumped together with bleached flour and white rice. But potatoes actually have a number of beneficial nutrients. They’ve got vitamins B6 and C which boost your immune system, folate for pregnant women, and if you can find the purple ones, they’re even known to lower risk of cancer and heart disease.

Rich in fiber, as well as both calcium and potassium, whole grain oats are a great way to stay heart healthy and reduce your blood pressure. The fiber will also fill you up, which is why studies show that people who eat oatmeal for breakfast consume 1/3 less calories at lunch. And it gets extra credit for actually warming you up.

The other staples of winter are just as good for you. Onions, carrots, fennel, turnips and beets all have nutritional properties that help you lose weight and stay healthy. You can also indulge (a bit) in foods high in protein and good fats, like lean meats, fish, nuts, olives and avocado. And before you know it winter will be out like a lamb and you’ll have a great crop of spring vegetables to choose from.

Eating like an athlete

Getting and staying fit takes a tremendous toll on the body, and how you feed your muscles plays a big part in how effective your workout is. So we went straight to the source, the experts who spend every day pushing their bodies to the max in order to stay in peak form — professional athletes. Here are their best tips for how to fuel your body in order to get the most out of your workout:

1. Keep Your Meals Balanced. There are certain things your muscles need, and your best bet is to get some of each at every meal. Include servings of protein, carbs and good fats in everything you eat to help your body recover from your last workout and get ready for the next one.

2. Eat Three Meals A Day. Most of us think in terms of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but athletes break their day into: breakfast, preworkout, and postworkout, plus lots of snacks in between. And, they never EVER miss a meal.

  • Breakfast: Always eat breakfast, even if you exercise first thing in the morning. Even if you don’t feel hungry, your body is, and your workout won’t be half as effective if you don’t fuel before a training session.
  • Pre-workout: Think of your body as an engine. It doesn’t matter how hard you try to make it go if there’s no fuel to burn. Without food in your system, your muscles are hungry, which means that they perform less efficiently so you’ll gain less muscle and burn less fat.
  • Post-workout: After a workout it’s all about replacing what you’ve used. That means carbs for energy and protein to rebuild muscle. It’s important to have a snack within 30 minutes after finishing a session and a full meal within one to two hours.

3. Do Some Carb Loading. While carb has become a major 4-letter word in the world of dieting, that’s the stuff your body is burning while it works out. Pro athletes often eat 3x more carbs than protein in order to make sure they have plenty of calories to keep them going.

4. Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods. While some gymaholics swear by their protein shakes, most athletes will tell you that if you eat right, your body should be able to get virtually everything it needs from the food you eat. Add more lean meats, poultry, seafood, low-fat dairy foods, whole grains, fruits, and veggies to your diet before you ever start supplementing.

5. Chug Sports Drinks. But don’t forget that your calorie count includes the drinks you’re consuming. Athletes drink water to hydrate and only use sports drinks to boost sports performance during training sessions that last longer than 60 minutes.

What it comes down to is this: food is the key ingredient for fueling, refueling, and repairing your body. If you eat right your body will have everything it needs to perform when you want and how you want. But without proper nutrition, your training sessions will be less effective and you’ll be less likely to achieve the results you’re looking for.

Keeping it off: How to hang onto your summer body

Now that Fall is fast approaching, don’t let all that hard work you put in getting in shape for summer go to waste. Don’t let the cooler temps and extra clothing coverage lull you into complacency. Instead, keep up your momentum and see what your body is really capable of. Here are our favorite steps to staying fit on into the Fall and Winter:

1. Set new goals – 

You were able to put in all of that extra time and effort for summer because you knew what kind of summer body you wanted. Whether it’s an upcoming wedding, a beach vacation or seeing family at the holidays, keeping a specific goal in mind will give you the motivation to stick to your workout.

2. Stay naked –

It sounds silly, but part of why we care more about our summer body is because we see more of it. Check yourself out in the buff more often during the Fall and Winter so you can keep an eye on exactly what’s hiding under all those long sleeves.

3. Keep it outside – 

The worst part of summer ending is not getting to be outside as much. So keep your workout outdoors until the weather really gets cold. Moving back into the gym too soon makes it tough to stay motivated.

4. Get some help –

It turns out that sometimes the best way to stay motivated is to have someone yelling at you. But seriously, try working with a trainer to switch up your routine. It will reinvigorate your workout and keep you interested since your old routine probably feeling stale.

5. Hang out gym-side – 

Since you’re not spending time with friends by the pool, clearly you’ll need somewhere else to socialize. Make the fitness club your new spot, since working out with friends is a proven way to stay motivated and keep you coming back.

6. Make it a team effort –

School is starting, and it’s the perfect time for people of all ages to join a team sport. You’ll be building a routing fitness activity into your schedule and you’ll have a bunch of teammates who are counting on you to stay in shape.

The real challenge (obviously) is keeping motivated. With these tips and a little willpower, you should be able to stay in summer shape all season long. And before you know it, it’ll be Spring and you can start planning for Summer all over again.

Foods you should eat MORE of to weigh LESS

Any time somebody brings up the topic of weight loss, the first thing that comes to mind is crash diets and starving yourself. Which of course is no fun at all. So we decided to take the opposite approach and put together a list of 10 foods that actually help your body to burn calories and fight fat. That way you can drop pounds while feeling good about what you eat.

1.  Eat your whole grains. Turns out that certain foods take more energy to process than they contain. Whole grains are one of them. Eating foods rich in fiber like oatmeal and brown rice actually burn twice as many calories as processed foods.

2.  Get your green tea. There’s a natural compound called EGCG found in green tea that temporarily speeds up your metabolism. In one study, people lost almost a pound a week by drinking 4 cups a day.

3. Turn up the spice. Apparently, the substance that makes hot peppers…well…hot…is known as capsaicin, and in addition to making things more delicious, it actually heats up your body. Which in turn helps you burn more calories. So go ahead and pile on as much as you can take.

4.  Pick your protein. As hard as it is for your body to break down whole grains, lean proteins are almost as good. About 30% of the calories you get from protein are given back in breaking it down.

5.  Fruits are great. Many fruits and vegetables, especially grapefruit, watermelon, celery and cucumber, contain a ton of water while most of the rest is fiber. That means that you’ll get hydrated, get a burst of quick energy, and feel more full, with every single serving that you eat.

6.  Don’t forget fish. It’s been proven that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish acts as a metabolism regulator. They affect the levels of the hormone leptin in your body, which control how fast fat is burned.

7. Take it black. Everyone knows that coffee makes you feel more alert, but it does much more than that. As caffeine hits your system, your heart rate increases, your blood takes in more oxygen and your metabolism is elevated, letting you burn more calories. Just don’t spoil it with lots of cream or sugar.

8. Enjoy an avocado. This superfood is a complete fat fighting powerhouse. Avocados contain monounsaturated fats which are hard to break down, speed up your metabolism, taste great, and have a whole host of other health benefits.

9. Count on chia seeds. In addition to growing into a cute pet on your windowsill, chia seeds have all of the fat fighting things you’re looking for. They’re rich in protein, fiber, AND omega-3 fats, plus they help boost metabolism, suppress appetite, and turn on glucagon, our biggest fat burning hormone.

10.  Go nuts. One of the tastiest ways to burn more calories is by eating nuts. Nuts in general are high in fiber, good fats and omega-3s. Best of all, Brazil nuts accelerate your metabolism by converting the basic thyroid hormone into T3, the active form of thyroid hormone. They can even fight cellulite.

Obviously, you’ll probably still have to put down that donut, but if you stick to calorie burning foods like these, you can feel free to go ahead and eat to your heart’s content. Combine it with a solid workout, and you’ll be losing weight in no time.

Fitting in your fitness: How 5 busy moms make time to work out

With summer winding down, it’s time to think about getting back into the routine of an activity-filled fall. The challenge, of course, will be making time to keep up your fitness routine as school season kicks into high gear. So we talked to 5 of the busiest moms we know to find out how they fit it all into their over-scheduled lives.

“Work out before the day gets away from you” – Ashley, 28

As work, activities and other commitments start to pile up, it becomes less and less likely that you’ll have time for your workout. Plan your workout for first thing in the morning when your routine is more scheduled, and before delays and other obligations begin to add up.

“Whatever workout you have time for is better than no workout at all” – Jen, 34

A workout doesn’t have to take a whole hour—in as little as 10 minutes, you can get in a decent workout. It’s much easier to squeeze in 6 short bursts of exercise than it is to find an entire hour straight where you have nowhere else to be.

“So what if you have to skip the gym, just don’t skip your workout” – Bethany, 31 

Who says that your workout has to happen in the gym? Ride your bike to work, go to yoga at lunch, do leg lifts at your desk. Between cardio, plyometrics and other bodyweight exercises, you can get in some quick exercise no matter where you are.

“Multitask at the gym just like you do in the office” – Ali, 27

Doing two things at one will cut your gym time in half. Compound exercises help you hit more than one muscle group at a time, and adding weights to your cardio is just plain more efficient. It’s all about making the most of the time you have.

“Turn your workout time into quality time” – Kate, 38

One of the best parts of working out is that you don’t have to do it alone. Instead of coffee, catch up with friends at a group fitness class. Play a pickup game. Go for a jog. There are lots of ways to fit other people into your workout routine.

We also find that putting your workout on your schedule in black and white is the first step to making sure it actually happens. That way instead of trying to fit a work out in, you’ll have to schedule around it.

What are your best tricks for finding time to work out? Let us know, we’d love to hear!

Quit the jiggle: 10 days to tighter thighs

Getting rid of a little thigh jiggle isn’t so easy, especially the inner thighs, which are an especially-hard-to-target problem area. But with the summer sun beating down and everybody in shorts and bathing suits, there’s never been a better time. Here’s our simple plan for getting one step closer to thinner thighs in the next 10 days.

1. Seated Bent Knee – 

Sitting with your hands pressed on the floor besides your hips, raise your knees in towards your body. Keep your knees touching and your toes pointed. Then, leaning slightly forward and contracting your abdominals, open your knees out to the sides, trailing your toes on the floor, and then bring your knees back together until they touch. That’s one rep. Repeat this exercise 20 times.

2. Wide Plie Squat –

Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and toes turned out. Holding your hands behind your head, tuck your pelvis, and slowly squat down until your knees are bent at ninety degrees (about a 4 second count). Then slowly lift yourself back up until your legs are straight again. Do this exercise for one minute.

3. Slimming Skaters – 

Start with feet together, toes forward, arms by your sides, keeping your head and neck straight ahead. Start by taking a wide ‘skate’ step with your right foot to the right side, then drag your left foot toward it, reaching your left arm forward while bringing your right elbow back, as if you were skating. Then, quickly change directions and repeat the movement on the opposite side. Repeat as many times as you can, alternating from left to right, for a total of one minute.

4. Thigh Raise – 

Lying face down, raise your legs from the waist, until your feet are a few inches off the ground. Bend your knees slightly, keeping them off the ground, and hold that position for five ­seconds. Slowly unbend your knees and, slowly lower your straight legs to the ground, then repeat, increasing the duration each time until you work up to15 seconds.

5. Frog Extensions –

Lie on your back with your arms relaxed on the ground beside you. Slowly raise your knees up towards your chest, contracting your abs. Turn your knees out to the sides and place your heels together. Now, extend your legs at a 45-degree angle. With both legs extended and turned outward, squeeze your knees together. Return to your starting position, maintaining the same 45-degree line on the way back. Repeat this movement 15 times.

6. Bottom Leg Lift –

Sit on the floor, with your left leg straight out and your right leg bent and crossed over your left. Now lift up your left (bottom) leg so that your foot is at least 6in off the ground. Hold for ten seconds, then slowly lower your leg. Repeat on the other side.

Combine these exercises with a good diet and a regular workout regimen of cardio and strength training, and you’ll be on your way in no time.

BBQ without blowing your diet!

Grilling out is a summertime staple. Who wouldn’t prefer being outdoors to being cooped up in a hot kitchen? But between a party atmosphere and family-style feasts, it’s easy to lose sight of your diet plan during backyard barbecues. That’s why we wanted to pass along our best tips for throwing a cookout, without maxing out on calories:

1.  Size matters. Half the challenge with BBQs is that you often have no idea how much you’ve eaten. Avoid serving buffet-style and pass-around plates in favor of pre-portioned servings in sensible sizes.

2.  Stay the course. Instead of serving food in waves as it comes, try to create organized courses that can be served simultaneously, by matching pre-made sides with the hot dishes off the grill.

3.  Cash in your chips. Whatever your preferred chip, tortilla or otherwise, chips waste hundreds of calories for what is basically just an efficient way to deliver dip to your mouth. Instead, serve thin slices of vegetables that will add flavor and nutrients, without sacrificing scoopability.

4.  Speaking of dip. Spinach dip and onion dip both contain sour cream, which is high in both fat and calories. Use greek yogurt instead and it’s instantly better for you. Or just serve hummus.

5.  Go lean. Burgers by themselves aren’t bad for you, but add in cheese and a bun, and you’re already hitting that 500 calorie mark. Stick to steak or skinless grilled chicken for proteins that fill you up without weighing you down.

6.  Marinate on it. Add low-calorie sauces like Worcestershire or Soy to your marinade to make your chicken and steak taste like a million bucks, and even, studies show it may cancel out some of the cancer threats posed by grilled meat.

7.  Don’t forget the fruit. Grill it, blend it, make a salad out of it, fresh summer fruits are the only sweet things you need to serve at a BBQ. Better yet, turn fruit into homemade ice-pops for a cool treat that everyone will love.

Now go have some fun, without worrying about how to stay healthy!