What Does it Mean to Eat Clean?

“Clean eating” is a popular phrase that you’ve likely heard, but do you know what it really means? Like most trendy catchphrases, it’s more complicated than its simple nickname.

What is “clean eating?”eat-clean-2

Clean eating generally describes a diet that includes mostly whole foods in their natural states. Clean diets are those that are heavy in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and that avoid fast food, junk food or heavily processed foods. Foods that fall into the category of “clean eating” are generally found on the perimeter of grocery stores, rather than the inside; i.e. the produce section and the meat counter. More simply, if it contains additives, comes from a box, or can be ordered from a drive-thru window, it’s not real food. Real food, according to those that adhere to a “clean eating” lifestyle, is natural food, rather than made in a factory or laboratory.

Interested in cleaning up your diet? 5 ways to eat clean without losing your mind.

The idea of clean eating probably sounds great! We already know how dangerous added sugar and chemical preservatives are to our bodies and we know that our diets shouldn’t rely on fast food or junk food. Committing to a clean eating lifestyle, though, requires a little prep work and simplification to take the guesswork out of eating well.

  1. Before reaching for a processed food, ask whether you can enjoy it in its more natural form. For example, if you enjoy applesauce as a mid-morning snack, replace it with a fresh apple to reap all of the nutrients. While applesauce is less processed (and therefore, “cleaner”) than an apple pastry might be, it still doesn’t have as many nutrients and benefits of eating the whole, natural apple.
  2. Focus on how you feel when you eat clean. Rather than making a clean eating diet feel restrictive or punishing, focus on the positives you feel from eating whole, natural, nutrient-rich foods. Do you have more energy, less anxiety, or better sleep? The more you focus on the positives, the easier it will be to skip the drive through on your way home from work.
  3. Start slowly. Before you throw out everything in your pantry, begin slowly by just incorporating more fresh fruit and vegetables into your meals. The less processed food and added sugar you consume, the less you will crave these foods. Throwing out everything in your kitchen and diving in head first is a recipe for burnout before you even get started.
  4. Shop the grocery store perimeter and read labels. Most truly “clean” foods won’t have labels and you don’t have to worry about preservatives, chemicals, or added sugar. For those items that you must buy packaged, look at labels and make sure you can pronounce everything on the ingredient list. If you can’t decipher the words on the ingredient list, it’s not at all a “clean” food.
  5. Take advantage of local, fresh foods. Enjoying the local farmer’s market is a great way to ensure that your food is fresh and natural. When you’re on vacation, try to opt for what is fresh and in season in that particular locale. Fresh seafood on the beach or apples from the apple orchard are easy ways to add flavor without preservatives while you’re enjoying a vacation.

Have you ever tried eating clean or developed your own version of the theme? Share your own tips and tricks in the comment section below!

The Real Reason FitClub Makes You Healthier

In a world where so much of our social interaction takes place online and through our phones, a FitClub membership still remains crucial to achieving your fitness goals. If you’ve ever told yourself that you’ll work out at home, you probably already know how difficult it is to motivate yourself when no one else is around, or even worse—when your family is at home waiting for you to finish. Whether you’ve been a FitClub member for years, or you’re interested in joining, step away from your ancient workout DVD’s and Youtube videos, because leaving the house to pursue your fitness goals has never been more important.woman-running-weed-friendly-gym-weedistry-news-blog-cannabis-mcig-3

  1. Surrounding yourself with people on the same healthy lifestyle track as you is motivating. Have you ever been half way through your own workout and found yourself watching someone else’s moves? Stepping into FitClub allows you to observe moves or feats of strength of other FitClub members. In fact, it’s perfectly acceptable to copy someone else’s routine if you find yourself envious of their endurance or strength. You can’t get that kind of motivation in your living room.
  2. Once you commit to leaving the house, it is a lot easier to fit in a full workout. On days when your motivation is low, it may be tempting to tell yourself that you’ll just work out at home. What happens, though, when you are trying to get through the same workout DVD that you’ve done for years with low motivation? It’s so easy to quit and start folding laundry, making dinner, or giving into the demands of your family. When your motivation is low, but you commit to just walking in the front door of FitClub, you’re far more likely to draw on the energy of others working out and you can leave your daily distractions behind you.
  3. Even if you routinely stock up on at home fitness equipment, your body and mind still need variety. The 5-pound pair of dumbbells that you bought years ago may have been effective then, but if you’re consistently working out, your muscles adapt quickly and adding weight is imperative to sustain progress. At FitClub, the resistance machines and a variety of weights allow you to push yourself each time you visit.
  4. Easy access to professional fitness trainers allows you to ask the questions keeping you from optimal fitness. Celebrities are constantly producing more at-home fitness videos, but you can’t ask questions when you don’t understand a move. Hiring a personal trainer and taking advantage of their expertise allows you to learn new moves, challenge your body, and learn the proper form to avoid injury or burnout.

Being a part of a community of others all striving towards healthier lifestyles lets you feel less alone on your journey. Even if you’re an introvert and shy away from talking to people during your workout, you can draw strength from other FitClub members. Whether you’re swimming next to someone pursuing a healthier lifestyle in the pool or sharing a set of weights with someone while you finish your reps, everyone at FitClub is on the same journey. When your journey towards a healthier lifestyle starts to feel lonely, walking through the doors of FitClub can remind you that you’re not alone and others are sharing the same path to a better lifestyle.

The 5 Best Ways to Start Eliminating Belly Fat For Good

Striving to reduce belly fat is more important than fitting into a smaller pant size or your summer bathing suit. The tendency to store additional fat in the abdomen is associated with higher risks of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Reducing fat in this area reduces levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, and allows your body to produce, store, and use insulin in a healthier way.belly_fat_woman

To reduce belly fat, forget everything you think you know about crunches and sit ups and revamp your fitness routine.

  1. Add cardio to burn calories. Weight loss, fat loss, and cardiovascular health require you to add cardiovascular exercise to your fitness regimen. Feel free to mix up your cardio routine by adding rowing, running, swimming, or cycling to your workout at FitClub to eliminate the possibility of either your mind or your body becoming bored with your standard choice. If cardio is your least favorite way to exercise, check out FitClub’s variety of cardio classes to mix it up and find what keeps you interested and motivated.
  2. Add healthy proteins to your diet. Protein allows you to feel fuller longer and leads to the growth and strength of lean, healthy muscle. Adding protein to your diet will tone the abdominal muscles while also naturally preventing hunger throughout the day. To add protein with minimum effort, add protein powder to your smoothies or morning oatmeal.
  3. Eat fat. It sounds counterintuitive to decide to eat fat to reduce belly fat, but if you’re adding healthy fats to your diet you will build healthy, lean muscle mass and reduce body fat. To add healthy fats to your diet, try adding small portions of nuts, olive oil, avocado and fish to your diet. Portion size matters, though, when adding fats, because calories still count, even when you’re eating healthy foods!
  4. Chill out. Reducing daily stress reduces the amount of cortisol the body produces. Adding yoga, meditation, better quality sleep, or even just deep breathing exercises to your daily routine can reduce the amount of cortisol in your body and lead to a flatter stomach as an extra benefit.
  5. Try HIIT. Experts tend to agree that adding HIIT (high-intensity interval training) to your favorite form of cardio or resistance training expedites reduction of belly fat. HIIT raises your heart rate while also working your muscles, leading to a more efficient burn in a shorter amount of time. You can add HIIT to any type of cardio or resistance training by picking up the pace, adding intervals or weight, and keeping yourself moving through short, intense bursts of activity followed by a very short, but necessary rest, to recover. Not sure you know how to create your own HIIT workout or want to push yourself harder? Try FitClub’s HIIT class to give you the maximum belly fat burn possible.

What’s your go to workout to reduce belly fat? Share your own tips and tricks in the comment section for your fellow FitClub members!

What Are You Made Of?

If you’ve ever been curious about your body’s composition of lean muscle mass and body fat, it’s time to try FitClub’s InBody System. Body fat analysis no longer requires you to strip down and be pinched to determine your body fat percentage. At FitClub, the InBody System is free for members and as easy as making an appointment and taking off your shoes. The entire process takes less than five minutes and when you leave, you have a detailed chart showing you what you’re made of.inbody

Why do you need to know your body composition? Here are five things you need to know about your body before you delve into a new fitness regimen.

  1. Body weight isn’t enough. If you’ve been consistently working out with your eye on the scale hoping to see your weight loss, you’re missing a key component of fitness. Muscle weighs more than fat, so even at the same weight your health and fitness can vary. Instead of focusing on the number on the scale every morning, the InBody System gives you an accurate picture of your body’s composition, making it easier to determine whether you need to build lean muscle mass, lose body fat, or both. Watching your lean muscle mass increase and your body fat decrease is a more satisfying and accurate portrait of your health and fitness, even if your weight stays the same.
  2. Health risks. Your body fat number is a better predictor of health risks than the number on the scale. It’s your body fat, not your weight alone, that can help you and your doctor predict your risks of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. Knowing your numbers allows you to have a more informed conversation with your doctor to prevent dangerous health conditions from derailing your goals.
  3. Easy to track and see progress. Fitness and healthy living is about making progress on your own, unique goals. If your goals include living a healthier life and losing body fat, FitClub’s InBody System is a great way to start tracking your progress. At your first In Body System test, you’ll log in with your phone number, making it easy to see your progress when you return for another test down the road. When your analysis is complete, you’ll leave with a chart showing not just your current body weight, but how that weight breaks down into water weight, dry lean mass, and body fat mass.
  4. Setting reasonable goals. If the only fitness goal you have at FitClub is to lose weight, you may be missing out on a key component of healthy living, and what you may need to do is to build lean muscle mass. Knowing your body composition will help FitClub’s personal trainers assess your current overall fitness and health risks and to put you on a path to living the healthiest lifestyle possible, while ensuring that the weight you target is body fat.
  5. Ensure that when you lose weight because of your fitness and diet regimen, you are losing body fat instead of muscle. Because muscle weighs more than fat, if you’re trying to build lean muscle mass while burning fat, you may actually see an increase in your weight. If you’re tracking your body fat percentage, though, you can see that this is a positive change in your overall health and fitness.

Have you tried FitClub’s InBody System?

How to Make FitClub Feel Like a Vacation Destination in the Dog Days of Summer

Summer is already flying by and Labor Day is quickly approaching. Whether your summer vacation is already over or you’re skipping it altogether this year, FitClub members can enjoy the dog days of summer by making FitClub feel like a vacation destination of its own.04718f495f2cd0bbf3824686073a3e2c

  1. Try something new. One of the reasons people generally enjoy summer vacation is the opportunity to try something new that they don’t experience at home. FitClub makes it easy to mix up your fitness routine with new and exciting group classes you may not have tried and new machines recently delivered to FitClub West. Use your imagination and learn a new skill while you make a first-time Zumba class feel like a Latin dance party or unwind in an early morning Yoga class to give your body and mind a shot of vacation relaxation before starting your day.
  2. Experience new flavors. If your favorite thing about vacation is the opportunity to try new foods without doing all of the work in the kitchen, FitClub South has you covered with Just Right Eating. Just Right Eating delivers the meals to your door, taking the guesswork and prep out of healthy, delicious meals. After a long, sweaty workout, grab a smoothie from the Smoothie Bar to take a little taste of vacation with you when you leave to resume your day.
  3. Get a massage or relax in the sauna. Nothing feels more like vacation than a luxurious massage or spending a few quiet moments sweating out the day in the sauna. FitClub members don’t have to wait for vacation to steal a few vacation-like moments. After a class or workout, step into the sauna and steal a few quiet, meditative moments or schedule a massage at FitClub West to make it feel like your own personal resort.
  4. Go for a swim. The dog days of summer are perfect for jumping into swimsuits and enjoying the water with the whole family. FitClub’s family pool hours make it easy to make FitClub feel like a hotel without having to pack your vacation bags and schedule reservations.
  5. Be selfish with your time. Vacation is all about making time for yourself, and FitClub gives you that time out of your day to focus on your own goals and progress. Convenient childcare, varied class schedules, and late night hours let you sneak away from work and family commitments to spend the time you need alone or with a group to unwind and focus on your goals. Even if only for an hour, you can escape the day to day responsibilities and grab that “me time” you enjoy while on vacation.

What makes you feel like you’re on vacation? Can you steal those moments at FitClub during the dog days of summer? Get creative and share your ideas and plans with other members in the comment section.

How Dangerous Is Obesity?

Is obesity really that dangerous? Yes! More and more research proves that obesity may be the health crisis of our generation. What you don’t know about obesity may harm your health in very serious ways.

A recent study published by the Associated Press found that currently, approximately 33% of Americans are obese, and that if the trend continues, the rate will be closer to 50obesity% by the year 2030.

  • Obesity is a serious disease that impacts nearly every system in the body and causes type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Medical professionals differentiate between obesity and being overweight by using a person’s body mass index, which is calculated using a person’s height and weight. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention finds that an adult with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is overweight, while a BMI of 30 or higher is obese.
  • If you’re already exercising at FitClub, you’re on the right track for preventing obesity, but the calories you consume can put you at risk even if you’re working out regularly. Spending countless hours researching the latest trends and research in nutrition can be overwhelming and discouraging. Instead of guessing at the nutrition formula you need to ward off obesity and weight gain, take advantage of FitClub.

FitClub’s commitment to healthy living includes encouraging its members to maintain proper nutrition. If you’re concerned about weight gain or obesity, taking advantage of FitClub’s dotFIT HYPERLINK “http://fitclub.net/index.php/fitclub-programs-2/nutrition-and-weight-loss” HYPERLINK “http://fitclub.net/index.php/fitclub-programs-2/nutrition-and-weight-loss”Me program is a good place to start taking action. FitClub’s certified trainers partner with FitClub members to start members in the dotFIT Me program that provides individualized step-by-step guidance to members looking to get a handle on both nutrition and exercise.

  • If you or someone you know may be at risk of developing obesity, it’s important to see a medical professional for health tests. A medical exam will likely include blood tests to determine whether the patient is already at risk for type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol, as well as a blood pressure test to determine the health of your cardiovascular system. A medical professional can also help explain the healthiest ways to achieve weight loss and recover from or prevent obesity.
  • Unfortunately, children are not immune to the obesity epidemic. The American Heart Association suggests that parents and adults encourage children to eat a nutrient-rich diet of fresh fruit and vegetables and that families make time to prepare healthy dinners together that everyone can enjoy. Early education is key and the more kids learn about what makes their bodies healthy and strong, the more likely they are to make informed decisions when they choose a snack at school or while out with friends.

The statistics are as scary as the health conditions, but obesity is preventable with the right information and tools. FitClub is not just a place to work out, but is a full community of professionals equipped to get you and your family started on a healthier path!   If you or someone you know is concerned about the risk of obesity, stop by the front desk at your favorite FitClub location and get started living a healthier lifestyle today.

Train Like Ironman Competitor Michael Dwyer at FitClub!

​Last week, FitClub caught up with Ironman challenger, Michael Dwyer, for the inside information on his history with the sport of triathlons and what keeps him motivated to move forward. This week, FitClub is sharing the story of his training and mapping out how we can all benefit from his training strategies.Steelhead, MI Aug 2016-on the bike

​To stay in top, competitive shape, Michael needs to train each week for 13.5 hours to 17 hours and incorporate three to four sessions of swimming, biking and running workouts; two weight lifting sessions and four to six stretching sessions each week. Michael has relied on FitClub to get into top shape and stay in top shape during his training by popping into the FitClub South pool, fitting in a run on the treadmills, and hitting the weight room and sauna, often on his lunch break during busy days.

​The one thing Michael wishes he knew when he started training is that a consistently healthy lifestyle requires attention to the physical training, of course, but also to his nutrition, sleep, and stretching routines. By being consistent, tracking workouts, and committing to fitting in each and every workout he needs, Michael’s been able to achieve great success.

​Whether you’re interested in training to tackle triathlons, or you just want to be in better shape than you were yesterday, you can challenge yourself to train like an Ironman at FitClub all year round!

Start in the pool. Triathlons vary in distances, but all start in the water. To create your perfect triathlon challenge, incorporate swimming into your weekly workout regimen. If you’re new to swimming sign up for adult swim lessons at FitClub to get more comfortable in the water. If the idea of swimming laps doesn’t peak interest you, check out FitClub’s group aquatics classes for a full body workout. Get creative in planning your own unique triathlon challenge at FitClub and mix it up.
Cycling. Stationary bikes equipped with flat screen televisions may provide the workout you’re looking for (and out of the summer heat!), but if you find it hard to push yourself alone on the bike, a CycleFit class can make you feel like an Ironman and give you the push you need for a great workout! You’ll find that a CycleFit class allows you to draw motivation from other members and the beat of the music while following the instructors’ challenges to increase speed or resistance.
Running. Walk, run, or sprint your way through whatever distance and pace feels challenging to you on FitClub’s treadmills while you map out your next challenge. The treadmill has a bad reputation for being boring, but with the options available on today’s treadmills, you can mix up the incline, change the pace, and push yourself in a variety of different workouts all on the same machine.
​While FitClub celebrates Michael’s accomplishments and wishes him luck with the upcoming championships, we can also join him by creating our own, unique triathlons at FitClub! Mixing up the cardio workouts is a great way to stay consistent without burning out or growing bored.

​Have you ever tried to complete a triathlon of your own pace and distance at FitClub? Maybe it’s never crossed your mind, but competing against yourself this summer may be just what you need to get started on a healthier lifestyle.