We've all seen the post on Instagram that says a Sunday well spent brings a week of content. We over here at Train It Right couldn't help but agree! Sunday's are a great day to relax, reset and get ready for the work week ahead. But like many, you're probably on a journey of health and fitness. Eating clean and sticking to a plan can be one of the hardest parts of your journey. The best way to combat failure in this is planning and prepping. Though there are many food prep companies (and they are great) prepping your own food can be simpler and easier than you think.

Here are a few tips to help you ease into prepping your own food:

* Create a grocery list based on your food plan and shop the day before prepping

* Lay out all of your containers
- Use your open counter space to house your containers and place the food in the containers as you go. So when your spinach is ready go ahead and ration it out for each meal as you go.
* Cook all at once
- The cool thing about a full kitchen is several appliances. Example... You can bake your fish or and chicken in the oven while cooking your sides such as spinach, kale, broccoli and more on the stove top. Multitasking at its finest!
- You can also make use of the racks in the oven and bake several items at once. Just keep strict watch of the timer.
* Wash the dishes as you go
- This helps with clean up which speeds up the process. A secret of all chefs!

*Remember why you're doing it

- Lets face it, some of us just don't like to cook. With that being said, remember why you're investing the time now. Not only are you sticking to your meal plan to ensure you meet your goals, but you're saving time and money!
Happy meal prepping.

For a free meal tracker, click here http://www.trainitright.com/wp-content/themes/trainitright/TrainItRightFreeFoodJournal.pdf

Train It Right - Alicia Bell




When we see people who are overweight, many commonly assume that the individual is overeating and not exercising.   Neither of these instances is cause for prejudice, fat shaming or other negatives.  There are men and women who seemingly do everything right when it comes to diet and exercise and they are either gaining weight or simply unable to shed pounds.  This can be incredibly disheartening and wreak havoc one one’s self esteem. Here are 10 surprising reasons provided by Dr. Christopher Calapai as to why this might be occurring.  Dr. Christopher Calapai D.O. is a New York City anti-aging and stem cell specialist, and long-time nutrition advisor to the New York Rangers hockey team.  

Lack of Sleep

There are two issues at work with sleep and weight gain. First, if you're up late, the odds are greater that you're doing some late-night snacking, which means more calories. The other reason involves what's going on in your body when you're sleep-deprived. Changes in hormone levels increase hunger and appetite and also make you feel not as full after eating.


“Many anti-depressant medications cause weight gain—so if you're depressed and taking pills for it, expect to see a bump in weight between 5 and 15 pounds, with continued gradual accumulation over the years,” says Dr. Calapai.  If you're not taking pills, there’s evidence that feelings of depression can correlate to weight gain. If patients are taking anti-depressants  that could be the culprit of their weight gain, they should see their prescribing doctor and be weaned off slowly. “There's a long list of medications that can cause weight gain: If you're taking birth control pills, excess hormones for hormone therapy, steroids, beta-blockers for heart disease and blood pressure, anti-seizure meds, breast cancer medications like Tamoxifen, some treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, and even some migraine and heartburn medications, you may notice pounds creeping on,” says Dr. Calapai.

Your gut is slow

Digestive issues, including slow bowel movements, may also account for excess pounds. "Ideally, you eat, and then, an hour or so later, you have a bowel movement," says Dr. Calapai. "But once or twice a day is still in the healthy range."  If you're not so regular, dehydration, medications, low fiber, or even a lack of good flora in your gut could be to blame. If constipation is your only symptom, then trying probiotics can help your digestive tract work properly.  If you're still having trouble, check with your doctor to rule out a range of disorders, including hypothyroidism or a neurological issue.

You're getting older 

It's the one condition that's unavoidable. "Often, I hear patients tell me they think their metabolism is slowing down," says Dr. Calapai. "This is real. We don't burn as many calories at 40 or 50 as we used to burn at 20. So we need more exercise and less foo to keep the metabolism going.  "Remember that all calories are not equal when it comes to weight," says Dr. Calapai.  "Eating lean protein will cause your body to burn calories more efficiently. On the other hand, carbs are something your body tends to burn more slowly and even store in your body more readily."

You have plantar fasciitis

"Many musculoskeletal conditions, including plantar fasciitis, but also osteoarthritis and knee or hip pain, can result in unintentional weight gain," says Dr. Calapai. "Plantar fasciitis certainly can force you to cut back on your activity enough to cause weight gain."

You have Cushing's Syndrome

Weight gain accompanied by high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and changes in your skin tone and quality, including purple or silvery stretch marks on your abdomen and ruddy cheeks, could be a sign that your body isn't processing nutrients the way it should, due to a cortisol-producing tumor on one of your adrenal glands. The syndrome affects only about 15 in every million adults annually, so proceed with caution before demanding a battery of tests. "Cushing's Syndrome is not terribly common," says Dr. Calapai, "but one of the telltale signs is that your fat distribution is more in the midsection of your body, leaving your arms and legs looking more slender."


It is often overlooked that liquids have calories. Calories from juices and soft drinks can quickly add up and at restaurants where free refills are the norm, the calorie build-up can go unrecognized. Wright also explains that liquid calories have no satiety factor. “Satiety relates to how long we stay satisfied after we consume something. If you ate 500 calories of healthy solid food, he/she would be full and unlikely to eat anything for quite some time, but after drinking the same amount of calories in orange juice, cola or root beer, you might be hungry minutes later.”


Many people do not realize that weight gain is not just fat gain. Weight training can increase your muscle mass, therefore increasing your weight. When you gain muscle faster than you lose fat, your body mass is increasing.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS):

PCOS is one of the most common reproductive problems diagnosed in younger women, striking perhaps up to 10% of women who are of childbearing age (i.e. roughly 12-45 years old). It involves the development of many small cysts on the ovaries, as well as menstrual disturbances. The hormone disruption caused by PCOS has many unpleasant consequences, including unwanted weight gain (usually because of a higher resistance to insulin). If you also suffer from acne, find that you are hairier than most women and do not have regular periods, ask your doctor about being tested for PCOS. This usually involves blood tests and an ultrasound of your ovaries. If you do have PCOS then you can lose the unwanted weight, but the unfortunate fact of the matter is that you will have to adopt an attitude towards healthy eating and exercise that is substantially more diligent than that of your peers.

Quitting Smoking:

Although making the decision to stop smoking is extremely good for your body in a great many respects, most people who do quit smoking end up gaining around 7-10 pounds. Most of this is due to the fact that reaching for cigarettes tends to be replaced with reaching for snacks, but the new absence of nicotine in your body will also lead to a drop in metabolic rate (so you won't be able to eat as much as you used to without gaining weight).

“Carb intake makes it difficult for your body to burn fat as a primary fuel . Low carb diets work well to burn fat and lower cholesterol and lose weight, “says Dr. Calapai. If you suspect you are gaining weight that you can't attribute to your eating habits, medications, or lack of exercise, a few tests—including a blood test and urinalysis, to get an accurate check of your body's cortisol levels, will give your doctor the first clues to this condition. If the levels are deemed excessively high, then your doctor will order further tests, like a CT scan of your pituitary and adrenal glands, to determine if such a tumor exists. If the tumor is confirmed, doctors will likely perform surgery to remove the tumor (and possibly the affected gland), followed by a course of steroids to help regulate the remaining gland.



5 Common Things That Happen When

You Lose A Noticeable Amount Of Weight

Whenever someone chooses to commit to a weight loss journey, it’s not just a physical transformation that happens, but a mental transformation as well. Regardless of how long it takes for people to reach their goal weight, there are significant things that occur along the way that impact their body image and confidence. For all of the positive reinforcement once receives, they might also notice some negativity or odd reactions from those they are close to. Read on for tips and insights from leading experts that will offer clarity and solutions for anyone seeking to transform or who already has.


  1. You shed friends along with pounds.

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD a NYC based licensed neuropsychologist, a teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College, explains that, “It is normal to lose friends as you lose pounds. As you see the payoff from the lifestyle changes you’ve made you may feel disconnected with friends who may still eat and drink things you no longer do. You’re evolving,” offers Dr. Hafeez. She also adds that, “It’s common to notice jealousy, and digs. You may even experience exclusion from dinners out presuming you wouldn’t want to indulge.”


Have faith that your true friends will love you at any size. “It will actually be difficult to tolerate any gossip, negativity or activities that are counterproductive. The last thing you need are people who bring you down when you are doing something positive for your well being. Look out for yourself. At times that may mean distancing from certain people,” advises Dr. Hafeez.


  1. Loose skin becomes the new thing you notice.Once you reach your goal weight, you may love how you look in clothes but naked in or a bathing suit is a whole other story. This is most common when weight loss is significant. Even when weight training is part of the regimen, loose skin does happen.


Dr. John Zannis a board certified plastic surgeon based in New Bern, North Carolina frequently sees and treats patients who went through a weight loss transformation. According to Dr. Zannis, “Loose skin can gather at the stomach, under arms, breasts, buttocks, inner thighs, face and neck. The more significant the weight-loss is, say 50 pounds and above, the more likely a plastic surgeon is sought out to explore body lifts that specifically address loose skin after weight-loss.”


  1. You have more energy, are excited about life and can do more!

As you change your diet, add daily exercise to your new lifestyle and see the weight melt off, you gain energy! You don’t feel the need to hit the snooze button anymore. You may wake up energized for that 7am powerwalk or you may be inspired by that beautiful new dress you get to wear to work, another dress size dropped. Yay!


“Use newfound energy to your advantage, encourages Dr. Hafeez, your brain is forming new neuropathways as your perception about your body starts to change. That flight of stairs that was once an obstacle is much easier. Simple things like putting on shoes, picking up toys and pushing a vacuum are done with ease. As you take notice of what your body can do, you gain more confidence and want to do more. This energizes you both physically and mentally,” she adds.


  1. Shopping gets interesting.

It is common to get overwhelmed with options now that you can shop the way you always dreamed of.  Perhaps your new strong, shapely legs have inspired you to wear dresses again for the first time in years. Or after always covering your arms, you may opt for sleeveless tops. Either way, trying new looks outside of your comfort zone can be daunting. Dr. Hafeez advises to, shop on your own or with someone you really trust. “It is important that shopping is made to be fun by approaching it as a style experiment. Don’t expect everything to look perfect just because you are a much smaller size. Some things will work, others won’t. Look for clothes that feel good. When you smile in the mirror that’s a sign you’re on track.”


  1. You make yourself, your health and well being top priority and start to inspire others.

When you lose a noticeable amount of weight other people want to know how you did it and how you are keeping the weight off. Your immediate family may also adapt to your dietary changes and experience weight loss by association. When your kids see you wake up every morning to exercise they see that anything worth having requires commitment. Your significant other may be inspired to also lose weight. “When you take care of yourself and are in a positive mindset, it has a positive impact on everyone you interact with. When the mind and body are aligned you love the way you look and feel, you’re happy and someone others can look up to.”

For information on Dr. Sanam Hafeez visit: http://comprehendthemind.com/about-us/

For information on Dr. John Zannis visit: http://www.zannisplasticsurgery.com/plastic-surgeon-new-bern-nc/

How To Keep On Track With Your New Year's Fitness Goals

OK, so just over a week ago, a lot of you might have made yourself some new year’s resolutions. And, by now, you may already have given up on them. If so, worry not. There’s still time to get yourself back on track without too much damage - and these tips should help.


Image Credit


Get emotional


We all have different reasons for getting fitter and healthier, and all of them are emotional. It might be so that you can fit into your old jeans again, or it could be because you are tackling a charity marathon and want to do your best. Whatever your personal reasons, always keep them in mind - especially during tough workouts, or after a busy day. All you have to do is turn up, push yourself to your limits, and you will soon catch that dangling carrot.


Read everything


Read about people hitting their fitness goals, and you will want to keep going yourself. I’d like to think there is more than enough inspiration on this blog, but there are hundreds of others. Fitness Edge is a new one I have recently found, but there are plenty more. Read up on everyone’s success stories, and picture yourself in their shoes. If you can understand the possibilities, then making it happen will be much easier for you.


Go faster


‘I don’t have enough time’ is an excuse I hear a lot from people when it comes to breaking their fitness goals. Well, if you are short on time, just work harder in the time you have. You can get more out of a high-intensity workout over twenty minutes than you can from an hour long jog anyway. So, push yourself faster and harder, for shorter periods of time, and you will see results.


Plan your week better


Another big reason people don’t achieve their fitness goals is through lack of planning. We’re all busy, but if you want results, you have to make time. Plan your week or month long in advance, and identify times when you will workout. Don’t miss them - for anything. Treat them like you would an appointment with the doctor or even part of your working day. Once you get used to it, it will feel like it is part of your life. But, you can’t get to that stage without including your workouts in your calendar or diary.


Get a support network


OK, so getting a support network means two things. The first one is obvious. You just hang out with people that understand what you’re doing and give you help and encouragement. But the second one involves keeping yourself away from those that don’t understand. You know who I’m talking about - it’s the guys that doubt you. It’s the people that enjoy a drink a little more than the next person, and encourage you to tag along. It can be tough to keep good friends at arm’s length, but it won’t be forever. Once you have got past a certain point, you mind will be a lot stronger to deal with these issues. And, when it comes to drinking, you can always have one of these.


Hope this has helped - let me know how you are getting on!



somaya - Train it right

We have to give big props to former reality tv star Somaya Reece for her weight loss journey. Her fitness classes, constant twitter and instagram updates have inspired many. She over came the eating disorders bulimia and anorexia to become fit and healthy. She went from a size 18 to a size 8.

Check out the video below:

My favorite quote from this interview "Abs are made in the kitchen NOT in the gym"

Way to go Somaya! Keep Inspiring us! For more on Somaya check out her website. www.thisfitsme.com

Congrats to Snooki. She did an amazing transformation and she worked her butt off to do it. Yes it takes time and she did it gradually. Way to go girl! Check out her cover:


Okay, more than a few pounds. Waaay more than a few, actually: The four-foot-nine Jersey Shore personality and new mother shed 42 pounds in six months, and as she told Mehmet Oz, MD, yesterday on The Dr. Oz Show, she did it without starving herself or resorting to any other unhealthy tricks.

She just wants to be a good role model for Lorenzo, her seven-month-old baby, Snooki told Dr. Oz. Hey, she’s already a good role model for all of us who need to clean up a little, whether we’ve been acting out on TV or spending too much time in a seated position watching other people act out on TV. So here are Snooki’s rules for losing weight. The shorthand version: Don’t be like Snooki.

Anti-Snooki Rule #1: Be sensible. It was the first question Dr. Oz asked: How did you lose the weight? “You don't do anything crazy,” Snooki told him. “You just go to the gym. You work out.” She wasn't kidding about that: She goes to the gym five days a week or more. And no half-asleep trudging on a Stairmaster for her, either. Trainer Anthony Michael makes sure she keeps her heart rate up (she wears a monitor) and her core muscles working, with exercises like squats, plank jacks, mountain climbers and stars. She also eats right: lean protein and fruit and vegetables, and plenty of it. She sticks to 1300 calories a day, but with foods like those she can eat whenever she gets hungry. “I worked very hard to lose that weight,” Snooki told Dr. Oz. Sensible!

Anti-Snooki Rule #2: Be patient. Snooki lost a lot of weight fast, but she struggled for the first few weeks when she was doing everything right for no visible reward. “I went to the gym for probably, like, a month and a half and I didn't see any results,” she said. “I’m, like, what the hell’s going on here?” She kept at it, though, and soon enough the weight started to come off and the muscles started to show. Because that’s Snooki: She’s goal-oriented, deals well with frustration, and perseveres. Right? Well, that’s the new Snooki. The anti-Snooki.

Anti-Snooki Rule #3: Be centered. Snooki wanted to make a major change in her life and her body, but not because she hated herself. She was motivated by wanting to be a good role model for baby Lorenzo, and by wanting to be able to keep up with him when he starts to get mobile. “And also I want to look good,” she said (which she does). “I don't want to be skinny—I want to be strong.” Snooki’s bottom line for all of us trying to get from where we are to where we want to be: “You should feel great about yourself, because you're an awesome person.” Then she took a sip of a cocktail Dr. Oz mixed for her: grapefruit, lime juice, and tequila, in a portion-controlled 125-calorie cup. Snooki, here’s to you!

- See more at: http://blog.sharecare.com/2013/04/02/snookis-rules-for-weight-loss/#sthash.2PjsUIgj.dpuf

My newfound gem for healthy cooking? Coconut oil. If you are a fan of coconut, you will find that this oil adds a light coconut flavour to your food, not to mention the health benefits are abundant! Yes, coconut oil is a saturated fat, which some might say are "bad" but the way that it reacts in the body is GOOD! Here's how it works: coconut oil is nature's richest source of medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. Due to the fact that MCTs have a shorter chain it is easy to digest and quickly burned off by the liver for energy but without the spike in insulin. This causes a metabolism boost and uses the coconut oil fat for energy, thus causing you to lean out. I use organic extra virgin coconut oil on practically everything! I sauté my veggies in it and even use it when cooking my eggs in the morning! Here is my favourite dinner recipe using this gem. This dish will pump up your metabolism and give you a healthy dose of your omega-3s!

(Serves 2)


16 ounces Atlantic salmon filets (with skin on)
2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 lemon wedges


1. Preheat oven to 350º
2. Smear 2 tablespoons coconut oil on the bottom of a rectangular baking dish
3. Place fish on top of the oil, skin side up
4. Place fish in oven for 15 minutes
5. Remove fish from oven and use a spatula to gently peel skin off of salmon
6. Place fish back in oven for an additional 15 minutes
7. Remove fish from oven and squeeze on your lemon
8. Sprinkle on your salt and cayenne pepper evenly
9. Cut into 2 servings and plate

That's it! Such a simple recipe and you can mix it up with different spices and flavours but don't forget the coconut oil!  Serve your fish with some nice green veggies and a salad to complete your meal. Enjoy!