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Category "Fuel"

In Defense of Diets

Posted by Maureen Harris on

Please Proceed to Baggage Claim

The word “diet” carries some pretty intense baggage.

Many people love diets and proudly hashtag away their diet of choice on their #foodstagram posts or yell from the rooftops how a given diet has changed their lives.

Others flatly declare that diets don’t work. End of story.

Some of us may wear the word “diet” like a cloak of comfort, not because diets are comfortable, of course, but because diets may be familiar. Or because the notion of going “off” a diet carries with it the fear of 30 lbs of overnight weight gain. For someone’s who’s been dieting since middle school, a diet may feel like a well-worn pair of slippers. Being a dieter has become part of that person’s self-identity. The diet becomes all-consuming, and it’s no longer an intentional, strategic, short-term activity.

For others, being perpetually on a diet is the channel through which they focus their feelings of inadequacy. For one of any number of reasons, a person may feel flawed and in need of fixing. Diets may seem like the solution. It’s unfortunately extraordinarily common for people to believe that they will only be pretty/likeable/lovable if, and only if, they lose 5 (or 10 or 50) lbs, and chasing diets seems like the appropriate means to go about working on that perceived obstacle to being whole or enough.

For some, the notion of a diet stirs up nauseating feelings of being imprisoned by “shoulds” and “can’ts”.

Others may have had dangerous dips into disordered eating or eating disorders, and the idea of any kind of regimented eating invokes terror of relapse into self-harming patterns.

Some people have a visceral rejection of anything that involves an imposition of rule or restriction.

Maybe you can relate to some of these feelings?

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Pro-Tips About Protein

Posted by Ted Andrews on

Protein, the muscle-building nutrient we all love to talk about, and with good reason. Protein is awesome, and not just for it’s ability to help you build lean muscle and get super strong. Protein’s role in the human body is complex and varied and immense. Proteins are responsible for pretty much all of the functions of the human body. Protein works to make all the reactions that support life happen in a timely, effective fashion to ensure that your body keeps on running at optimal levels! Proteins also provide the structure of the body, comprising everything from bones and muscles to skin and hair. Lastly, protein is responsible when tissue damage occurs, both intentionally (like in weight training) and unintentionally (a scraped knee that must heal).
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Fitness Info: Who to Follow?

Posted by Sarah Polacco on

Fitness advice is literally every where we turn! There are magazines, podcasts, blogs, TV shows, facebook pages, Instagram feeds, and tons of books all focusing on the topic of fitness and nutrition. Unfortunately, amongst all of this information, there is a plethora of crap. How do you know what is actually reliable, helpful, safe, and productive information? Let’s talk about it. I am going to share with you guys what unproductive and productive information looks like.

Lets first go over what does bad information look like. There are a ton of factors that go into what makes an article, a program, or a post beneficial, productive, or helpful. These are my qualifiers for what bad content looks like.  

Anything that:

  • Prioritizes extreme weight loss results over overall health
  • Over emphasis of the mentality of “Go Hard or Go Home” or “No Pain, No Gain”
  • States how to spot treat fat loss. (This is impossible)
  • Puts very short time limits on goals
  • Makes you feel inadequate, small, weak, or like you need to change who you are
  • States that their way is the only way to lose weight, gain muscle, be attractive, etc.

Before writing this article, I went out and did a little recon to see what magazines had to say in terms of fitness advice. To be honest it has been a long time since I had even looked in the direction of a magazine because they often times spread messages I do not wish to support or promote. Largely, this misinformation and negative standards are geared towards women but are not limited to. These were amongst the titles and article I found:

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Eat Your Colors!

Posted by Sarah Polacco on

We know that eating your fruits and vegetables is super important, but have you ever thought about the assortment of colors within your diet?

Different colored foods offer different kinds of nutrients. We often spend a lot of time focusing on just getting the greens into our diet, but there are tons of health benefits from eating foods of all different colors! If you are only eating one kind of color, you are limiting the nutrients your body needs to live, breathe, and thrive.

Other food components such as proteins (chicken, steak etc.) and starchy carbohydrates (rice, pastas etc.) are generally tan, white, and bland colored. So, if you focus on adding more color to your meals, that color will generally mean more and various kinds of vegetables and fruits. Emphasizing more color into your diet may also help you try new foods. And who knows, you just might find your new favorite food or recipe!

Let’s talk in a little more detail about each color and what benefits they offer.


Foods: Tomatoes, Cherries, Red Bell Peppers, Beets, Raspberries, Red Cabbage, Grapefruit, Red onions.

Benefits: Great source of Lycopene. Benefits heart health, decreases risk for certain types of cancers, decreases inflammation in the body and helps digestive health.


Foods: Carrots, Oranges and other Citrus fruits, Sweet Potatoes, Peaches, Mangos, Butternut Squash, Cantaloupe, Papaya, Pineapple, Ginger, Pumpkin, Corn, Turmeric, Yellow Peppers,

Benefits: Great source of Alpha carotene and Beta carotene. Improves skin and eye health, strengthens immunity, and decreases risk of cancer.


Foods: Green beans, Spinach, Arugula, Peas, Spinach, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Chard, Bok Choy, Kale, Parsley, Collard Greens, Green Peppers, Kiwi, Asparagus, Celery, Cucumbers

Benefits: Great source of phytochemicals. Lowers risk of some cancers, strengthens teeth, muscles and bones. 


Foods: Eggplant, Blackberries, Blueberries, Beets, Purple potatoes, Grapes, Purple Asparagus, Purple Carrots

Benefits: Has anti-aging properties, lowers the risk of some cancers, increases circulation, and helps to improve memory.


Foods: Parsnips, Onions, Cauliflower, Garlic, Coconut, Apples, Mushrooms,

Benefits: Great source of Flavonols, quercetin, sulfides. Lowers cholesterol, improves heart health, and improves immunity.


Sources used:

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What's The "Best" Type of Exercise?

Posted by Lauren Perreault on

My mom teaches Microsoft Office for a living and the other night over dinner, she was making fun of my aunt's computer's operating system - saying that it was the most useless system out there because it wasn't compatible with anything, blah blah computer talk. Since I don't know anything about the computer world, I joked that my aunt was using what sounded like "the Zumba of computer systems." We all had a good laugh at how both my aunt's computer system and Zumba were "useless."

But then my aunt admitted that her computer was still getting the job done, and my mom chimed in that she actually loved Zumba when she took some classes and that it was really fun for her!

Sometimes, as fitness professionals, we get way too caught up in the "my way or the highway" mentality. We have spent years being programmed to make fun of anything that wasn't the "best" type of exercise. 

And I understand why so many of us do this. We find something that finally works for us or changes us for the better, then we see it working for our clients and changing our clients for the better, and we just want to make sure everyone else knows that we've found the BEST way to train! Our intentions are good. As fitness professionals we got into this industry to help people, and we want to both steer them in the right direction and steer them away from things we don't think will be as effective for them!

However, there are other ways to get our message across to the people who need to hear it, without putting anyone down or making anyone else feel bad about what they're doing. Just because I believe that strength training has a greater overall effect on someone's health and well-being, doesn't mean that Zumba is bad for them! In fact, if it's the hour a day that they feel completely alive, who the heck am I to tell them that that's "not helping them." It is! If they're a happier person because of it, it's useful.

We're all going to have biases toward what we have personally seen help the most people be healthier, happier humans. But that doesn't give us an excuse to discount or make fun of someone else's method. Instead, we can educate those around us on the positive effects of what we believe in, and then let them decide if that sounds like what will work best for them.

If we say things like "you're wasting your time doing that" or "you'll never reach your goals doing that" it doesn't provide a solution, it just creates negativity and more separation in our industry.

Let's rise above the negativity and come together as a group of people who want the best for everyone we work with! We will continue to educate our readers/clients on the science behind the exercises we choose and the nutrition strategies we believe in, and we will let them decide for themselves if it is more or less useful than other things they've tried. Because remember, it's not about us and what we believe, it's about them and what makes them healthier, happier human beings.

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