Renov8 Fitness Blog: Learn More About Health, Wellness, Fitness and Nutrition


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healthy food

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Hunger or Craving?

You’d think it would be easy to eat when you're hungry and drink when you're thirsty, but as we all know, it’s not as easy as it sounds. In our day of living we’ve all become accustomed to habits based upon our daily lifestyles. For example, when I worked in the corporate world many years ago, I started drinking coffee each morning because that’s what everyone did. It was an unnecessary habit I started when I arrived at work each day.

Nowadays we’ve lost our true perception of hunger. How do we know if we’re truly hungry or just experiencing a food craving? The key is learning how to recognize the difference between hunger and cravings.

True hunger commonly occurs when you haven’t eaten for a while (a few hours or more). If you’ve gone a really long time without eating, you’ll also notice hunger pangs in your stomach such as rumbling and grumbling. You may feel weak and lightheaded with a possible headache. My husband always knows when I’m hungry because I get cranky, too (commonly referred to as ‘Hangry’).

One important thing to remember about hunger is that the feeling doesn't pass with time. If you’ve waited approximately 15-20 minutes and you’re still feeling the same way, then you really may be hungry. Your body is telling you that you need to eat and satisfy that hunger with food. Just make sure it’s not one type of food you are fixated on, as that may be a craving.

Cravings are usually for one specific ‘comfort’ food such as sweets, salty items, and fatty foods versus just nourishment in general. Cravings are also commonly caused by negative feelings and can be stronger if you’re dieting or restricting specific foods from your nutrition. And for us ladies out there, these cravings intensify during our menstrual cycle and pregnancy. What fun!

Many times we give-in to our cravings to feel better, but it can also put us a through an emotional roller coaster. We feel good while consuming the food item of choice, but then feel guilty afterward. Occasional guilt after over-indulging is normal, however if every single meal is a battle with excessive guilt, regret, and shame, then this might be something more serious.

Cravings can also occur right after we’ve eaten. For example, I commonly crave sweets the moment I’m done eating dinner – that’s my downfall and it’s a true sugar craving! But the most important thing to remember about cravings, is that they will pass with time. When I have those sugar cravings, I sometimes give-in to them, but many times I try to distract myself and eventually forget I even had the craving in the first place.

Try distracting yourself with journaling, exercise, sleeping, working, studying, listening to music, talking to a friend, or anything else that will shift your mindset to a positive new task at hand.

So, the next time you have the desire to eat, stop and try to recognize if it’s hunger or just a craving.

Have a happy, healthy and nutritious day!

Heather Binns Founder, Renov8 Fitness, LLC


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Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs

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Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs

A solid nutrition plan is extremely important when it comes to seeing fast results from working out. Most people will never wear a bikini or go shirtless at the pool (I’m talking about men here), or ever feel confident in their own skin because they don’t understand one important point: No matter how much you exercise, you can’t out work bad nutrition.

In order to lose body fat, get back into a bikini or board shorts alone, you must have a healthy nutrition program that works for you. Pasta, white rice, most breads, pastries, flour tortillas, most cereals, and white flour (i.e. any processed carbs) should either not be a part of your nutrition, or should only be consumed in a splurge meal.

Don’t think all carbs are bad either. Fruits and vegetable are good carbs, along with whole grains such as brown or wild rice, quinoa, chickpeas, and wheat-free breads (healthy starches).

If you want to lose body fat and get the body you desire, you cannot eat foods that don't work for you. Instead, eat small balanced meals focused on green vegetables, lean proteins, and a small amount of healthy fats. Then fit-in those healthy starches sporadically. An example of healthy lean proteins that enable you to build lean body mass and burn fat include chicken and turkey breast, salmon, and grass-fed beef or bison.

So, eat lean proteins, load-up on green vegetables, drink plenty of water, exercise right, and you will start your journey to the body you desire. Check out the video HERE to learn more about healthy eating :)

Have a happy, healthy and active day!

Heather Binns, Founder, Renov8 Fitness, LLC

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No More Excuses!

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No More Excuses!

Sometimes clients don’t want to get a follow-up body composition assessment because deep down inside they know the numbers are going to be the same, if not worse, than the prior assessment. Many times the reason is because someone was out of town on vacation, had too many splurges in the last month, has not been working out at Renov8 Fitness as much as they used to, or is letting stress control their life.

I get that it happens to the best of us…getting caught-up in life and forgetting about our goals and making ourselves a priority…but at some point we need to draw the line. You can’t take care of others if you don't take care of yourself first. That’s why I know it’s important to me to continue staying active and eating healthy as best I can.

There will always be a good reason or excuse not to do what you said you were going to do. It really comes down to commitment. The only way to get back into those jeans that you love so much, to get your body feeling better with less pain, to feel more confident and proud of yourself, or to get your body ready for summer in the next 10 weeks, is to do what you said you would do long after the emotion that prompted you to say you’d do it has left. That is commitment!

Unless you have commitment, you are not going to reach your goals and get what you deserve. The key is to be prepared for the events that will come along to derail you. That is why I am a big proponent of “splurges.”

A splurge is when you can eat any and everything in one meal that you have avoided while staying true to your guidelines of working out and eating healthy. Use your splurges for celebrations, office parties, and other social events that would otherwise throw you off your game.

The other thing that will keep you on track is accountability. Imagine if the clients I mentioned above didn’t have any Renov8 Fitness coaching sessions scheduled? It would probably make matters even worse by sleeping-in, stressing out by working too much, being lazy, and NOT working out. The goal is to lose body fat, get in shape, build muscle, gain confidence and have fun!

Be true to yourself. Plan your week better. Use your splurges wisely. Find a coach or friend to use as accountability partners and you will reach your goals and get what you deserve. Everyone deserves to be happy with themselves.

Have a happy, healthy and active day!

Heather Binns

Founder, Renov8 Fitness, LLC

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Do You Eat?

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Do You Eat?

Healthy that is....

But what exactly does "healthy" mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, healthy means "free from disease or pain," "showing physical, mental, or emotional well-being" and "beneficial to one's physical, mental, or emotional state."

Do you REALLY eat healthy?

I know many times I think I am eating healthy, but when I start logging my food for a couple weeks, I notice that I have slacked. I got caught-up in my old ways of eating too much sugar, not enough protein, not enough vegetables, etc. See, I have the same problem as most people and have to continually remind myself to eat healthy as well.

So how can you REALLY know if you are eating healthy?

I recommend logging your daily food and drink intake for at least 2 weeks to really get a good look into how you eat on a regular basis. You'll most likely be surprised with what you find out. For example:

  • How often do you eat vegetables, lean protein, sugar, processed foods, etc.?
  • How often do you drink alcohol?
  • What is deficient in your nutrition?
  • Do you tend to eat smaller or larger portion sizes?
  • Are you eating only when hungry or are you emotionally eating as well?
  • How much water do you drink each day?
  • How do ingredients make you feel 30 minutes to 48 hours after consumption?
  • And so on...

By putting pen to paper you are actively recording in your brain and keeping your nutrition at the top of your mind. You'll start noticing what you reach for in the refrigerator when it's time you eat versus mindlessly choosing and consuming.

To help make these two weeks of food logging easier for you, keep a pen and paper/notebook with you at all times. Record your intake including food item, quantity, and notes on how you feel or the situation you were in at the time. This is important as snacks are typically consumed unpredictably and, as a result, is impossible to record accurately unless your food log is nearby.

Try to record as precisely as possible every single item that you consume including water, vitamins, condiments, etc. Use a small food scale if you have one, or use standard measuring devices (ex: measuring cups and measuring spoons) to record the quantities consumed as accurately as possible. If you don't eat all of an item as planned, measure what's left and record the difference.

Also record combinations of food separately (ex: 100% lean ground beef, brioche bun, and condiments) and include brand names of food items, or list the contents of homemade items, whenever possible. For packaged items, use labels to determine quantities and ingredients.

Now I admit, this will still feel cumbersome over the 2-week period, but the knowledge you will gain from this experience is ten-fold and well worth the effort. Like I said before, you will most likely be surprised with what you find out. And best of all, you don't need to count calories!

So choose your pen and paper/notebook of preference, determine a start date for logging (ex: Monday, February 12th), and when you are done I would love to hear what you found out. What nutrition habits were you surprised by and what are your plans to adjust them based upon your goals?

Ready, set, go! You got this!

Yours In Fitness, Heather Binns

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Protein Bar for a Quick Snack?

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Protein Bar for a Quick Snack?

A new Renov8 Fitness member asked about protein bars I recommend when in a bind and need a quick snack. As most of my friends and clients/members know, I always recommend real whole food first. Howeverer, if you are to choose a bar for a quick snack, this is the one I recommend - Rx Bar. Also, that link gives you 25% off :)

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