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Monday, December 14, 2009

Looking for the easy way out

Everyone is guilty of it to one degree or another, but long term all it does is lead to dead ends.  If you are looking for the quick fix or easy way out when it comes to exercise, looking good or staying healthy then you are barking up the wrong tree.  In order to really make significant changes in how you look and feel then you have to make significant changes in how you behave.  Working out 20 minutes a day isn't going to make you look like the guys and gals on the bowflex commercial.  If you believe it will then you are at the very least highly gullible and more than likely uninformed on what it takes to achieve high levels of fitness.  The message I want to get across is; if you want to get fit you are going to have to work hard, sweat, be uncomfortable and do things when you don't feel  like doing them.  There is no magic pill or secret, the only secret is the one you already know and hope no one else realizes and that is that hard work, commitment and consistency is required in order to do anything worthwhile.  So stop thinking about it and just do it!  Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

P.E. Influences the Young and Especially the Poor

In a recent study it was found that P.E. is especially important in helping low income students develop habits of activity that help them maintain a healthy weight and level of fitness. For these students the regimen they do or do not go through in a school based physical education class may be the only message of health and fitness they are getting. Many of these kids live in situations and environments that do anything but promote health and well being. If the obesity and health care issue is to be resolved it has to start at a young age with physical activity as well as education and action on healthy eating habits and nutrition. Get kids out of the house and involved in activities that make them use their bodies as these are the habits they will carry with them to the next generation. Just as P.E. is important, even more important is the influence of the parents and their lifestyle and habits. If parents want to be there for their kids then they have to take care of themselves and lead healthy lives as well. This certainly doesn't mean just chasing the almighty dollar and a lifestyle that leads to the neglect of health and other aspects of life that are certainly more important than the big house and fancy car.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Social Factors Influence Portion Choices

An interesting new study regarding the influence of other people's size and food choices on how much those around them ate provided some interesting results. In this study it was quite obvious that people's decisions in social situations (i.e. eating with others) are very much influenced by their perception of others. What they found was that people take portions similar in size to the portion of their companion regardless of that person's size. However, and this is the interesting part, despite this fact the amount of that portion they actually consume is largely influenced by the size of the person they are with. If a thin person takes a large portion and it may lead you to eat more than normal, but on the other hand if a heavier person takes that same portion you are likely to eat less even though you mimicked them in terms of portion taken.

What people don't realize in doing this is that the thinner person, even though they eat a larger amount, is likely to have a faster metabolism and be naturally disposed to having a smaller build. On the other hand the larger person can eat a smaller amount and still have a tendency to be overweight due to naturally have a bigger frame.

Take home point here is be careful on how you allow others, whether consciously or not, influence your food choices and amount you eat. One key is to get in the habit of saying "No" to more food than you know you should may be ok for the thin small framed person, but not for you. Of course this gets into the whole peer acceptance thing and not wanting to stand out amongst a crowd...with food however it may make the difference between being at a healthy weight for you or dealing with the problems associated with being overweight. Fight the need to fit in and do what's best for you, not what's best for others.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Soda Beefing Up Californians

According to new research done by researchers at UCLA, soda drinking Californians are almost 30% more likely to be overweight than those who don't drink soda. There are some startling numbers here with percentages of over 40 and 60% respectively of youth in the 2-11 and 12-17 age brackets drinking at least 1 or more soda or sugar containing drinks per day.

What does this says wake up people...and can full of 17 teaspoons of sugar along with many other colorings and flavorings is making a huge and direct impact on the health issues of those in the Golden State. If it's happening here in California (that's where I'm at writing this now) then we know that most likely the same type of thing is going on in all of the other states in the country. With health care now more at the forefront of people's minds and the desire to reduce costs so high it's about time people start taking personal responsibility for their individual actions and thus the long term effects and consequences to one's health. There is no excuse, fizzy sugar water is damaging many people's health and along with it ultimately there pocket books. It goes like this - either pay for good quality food and lifestyle now or wait and pay a lot more for sickness later.

And NO diet soda is absolutely not a viable alternative...unless you don't mind damaging your brain with toxic artificial sweeteners and chemicals. Stick with good old water and if you need flavor and a slice of lemon or put a bunch of fruit in a pitcher of water and drink from that all day to get your flavor fix.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Popping Pills?

Do you pop pain killers like candy every time you workout in hopes of avoiding soreness and aiding recovery? If you do, a recent article in the New York Times is a must read!

Just what you thought may be true, is actually not. Instead of preventing pain and aiding recovery, taking NSAIDS like ibuprofen on a regular basis actually slows down tissue recovery and has no effect on pain when compared with those who hadn't taken the pain killers.

Essentially what researchers found is that painkillers blunt the bodies response to the stress of exercise. In essence they lower the bodies normal chemical response to stress in the form of exercise and thus the body doesn't produce as much collagen, thereby the normal adaptation that would occur due to exercise is lessened and thus recovery prolonged.

Message is take NSAIDS only for acute tissue injuries not for normal muscle soreness that you will experience from exercise or you risk inhibiting your bodies ability to recover and rebuild stronger.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Brain Degeneration and Obesity

"The brains of obese people looked 16 years older than the brains of those who were lean, and in overweight people looked 8 years older."

This is quite shocking news. Just one more item added to the long list of negative health effects obesity leads to. Also mentioned in the article is the fact that age didn't matter, this effect spanned all age groups. The loss of brain tissue increases the risk of alzheimers as well as other forms of dementia.

The areas affected were those related to planning and memory, executive functions and attention as well as long term memory and movement.

Those with the loss were in the BMI categories between 25-30 (overweight) and over 30 (obese).

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fat People Live Longer?

Hold down your excitement. Before you run off and tell everyone you know that a new study says fat people live longer lets look at what it really says. What the study found, based on BMI, which only takes into consideration height and weight, not muscle and fat, was that those in the overweight category, 25-30 BMI were 17% less likely to die than those of 'normal' weight, BMI 18-25. Instead of saying of yes, now I can eat all I want and not worry because being overweight is good, look at what it really says. If your risk of death is 10% then the risk for overweight people, based on BMI, is 8.3%. Essentially what this means is that focusing solely on weight as an indicator of health is not the thing to do. That fact has actually been known for quite some time. What this also really says is that being fit and regularly exercising is more important than reaching a certain 'weight loss' goal, particularly for those without weight related health problems. It's been shown for quite some time, and confirmed by a 2005 US study that those who are still technically considered 'overweight' but are fit live longer than those of normal weight who don't exercise. Definitely a word of caution to those who don't workout because they think they don't need to because they are skinny, you are actually at a greater health risk than those who are a bit larger. All in all what this says is that weight isn't the only factor and fitness plays a huge role in overall health and longevity.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

More on Obesity Cost

This staggering $147 billion medical cost of obesity is nearly double what it was 10 yrs prior.

If you're obese on average your medical costs will be 47% higher or in dollar figures almost $1500/year as compared to someone who is not obese.

Nearly all of this is attributable to the costs of disease brought on by obesity.

What this says in my estimation is two-fold, one people need to start taking responsibility for their lives and actions and two it's obvious we need to re-evaluate how we are addressing the obesity problem which I will address in the next post.....what this relates to is the fact that there is much more to it than just eating right and exercising....this fact research is even beginning to validate..

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Almost 150 Billion In Added Health Care Costs Due to Obesity

This is astonishing to think that the health care costs of obesity are that high! This should be a wake up call to not only those in government, but everyone. If we want health care reform it looks quite obvious that we should start where it always pays to start with most things, with ourselves. Changing our habits and/or continuing good habits in order to influence others to make changes. Choices we make in any aspect of our life will impact many others. And this is just another testament to that fact. Keep in mind this is a per year cost......more on this tomorrow...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Beyond Exercise & Healthy Eating

You hear it all the time, typically from those who are "in shape", "all they have to do is eat less and start working out". If it were that easy then most people wouldn't have the weight problems to begin with. New research is suggesting that therapy for emotion based eating is necessary if results are to be had by many who struggle with weight problems. It's just not enough to give someone an exercise plan and diet when the actual problem is rooted in the psychological and emotional realm.

I can attest to this reality as I have seen it in a large number of the 100s of people I have worked with over the past decade. Regardless of the exercise routines, information about food etc. etc. the vast majority are unable to reach and sustain their fitness goals. I'm not saying this to be negative, it's just reality. The reasons for this are many but the first and foremost reason is deep down they themselves don't really want to make the necessary changes for any number of reasons. Oftentimes they are at the gym or seeing me for tacit reasons such as "I know I need to get in shape", "my spouse wanted to join or wants me to do this". They aren't doing it because they really want to themselves. It's by and large paying lip service to working out and eating right. The reason I say this is because actions speak louder than words and when you really get down to it they aren't ready or willing to take those actions. When someone needs to lose 40 lbs and they say they can only workout 3 times a week for maybe an hour they are either very confused and uninformed about what it really takes or they just really don't want to lose those pounds. It's not a high priority despite what they say.

What has to happen in these cases is that someone should be sat down with and the real reasons why they don't exercise enough and have poor eating habits need to be identified. It needs to be a no nonsense conversation that is truthful and doesn't hold anything back. Next the actual specific changes they want to make need to be detailed. This goes much beyond "I want to lose weight". It has to be specific and measurable as in "I want to lose 40 lbs by this coming January 1 and I want my bodyfat to be 20%". Then they need to be told what will be required to make those changes in that time frame. They have to then affirm that they are either willing and able to do what's required or adjust the goal to something more attainable based on their willingness and ability to commit. After this they need to identify strong emotion driving reasons why they want to make the changes needed to achieve this no matter how hard those changes may be. This is the point at which they may decide they aren't really ready to change, which is fine because then they won't waste their time doing something they aren't really totally on board with.

What's next is the part of the equation that most never address and that is their support for what they are doing.....this is an essential component that is ignored most of the time. I will address this next time...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mega-Calories at Your Fingertips

Now that California law requires chain restaurants to put calorie counts on menus, if you're lucky enough to live here, you will be shocked at how many calories are in various foods they serve! All I can say is it's no wonder people are obese. Well over a thousand calories in many if not most entrees and even in the appetizers! You think a soup and salad is healthy, well at TGI Fridays you see that a soup is 500 calories and some of the salads are over 1000 calories. Of course none of this includes drinks which pack in a lot more calories in the form of sugar. If you eat in these restaurants regularly it's no feat at all to be packing in over 2000 calories in one meal. One thing this law does, if you are health conscious is to really limit your selection and keep your food choices in check. This is especially true when you have to really hunt to find things under1000 calories. Take advantage and make better choices. For those outside of CA, be careful, you are eating a lot when you indulge at these chain restaurants. Choose wisely or you will see your waistline grow quickly!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Obesity Rates Not Going Down in America

A new report just issued shows that obesity rates in the United States are on the rise in 23 states and hasn't gone down in any! Hmmm....based on this what do you think may be a good way to reduce the extravagant costs of healthcare in the US without resorting to extremely expensive so called "reform". How about we develop a lifestyle based program focused on prevention through weight loss, proper nutrition, exercise and positive lifestyle changes. Give people incentives to make these changes so they can not only avoid developing costly disease processes at young ages but also become more productive members of society due to improved health. This would help to make people take personal responsibility for their health and thus reduce the burden on the healthcare system which thereby would reduce costs and help now overworked healthcare workers provide better care to those who really need it. It's the whole rabbit and carrot trick. People make changes best when they have some skin the game...and in this case the skin would be in the form of insurance premium and other financial incentives based on lifestyle behaviors. Determine how much savings various healthy behaviors generate for the government and perhaps issue income tax credits based on these savings. This would generate multi-layer benefits as hospitals, government, companies and society as a whole would save significant dollars while the individual would also see there efforts pay off not only in terms of saving money but also in quality of life and improved ability to contribute positively to the betterment of their life, their families life and the lives of others.

People change most when given incentive to do so.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

All You Need is You

With the economy down and your finances tight there's no excuse or need to worry about how you are going to stay in shape.

Why? Because being fit doesn't have to cost a dime. Using just your bodyweight for exercises can provide more than enough variety and challenge to get you in top shape. Just a little creativity coupled with some hard work and watch your body change in no time.

The basics always work the best. Push-Ups, Pull-Ups, Dips and on it goes. For the legs you've got squats, lunges, hip raises, leg lifts and so forth. What's great about these exercises is you can do them anywhere and it won't cost you a lot of time or money.

If you're just starting out Day 1 do 3 sets of 10 of Push-Ups, Pull-Ups and Dips; modified as needed. Then the next day do 3 sets of 10 for squats, lunges and hip raises. This shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes each day and you'll get in great shape doing it!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Too Much of a Good Thing?

You can exercise too much.....this may never cross some people's minds, especially in American society where the mindset is typically "more is better". In the case of exercise this isn't true, you must have the correct balance of exercise and rest in order to obtain the healthy benefits. Now don't all of a sudden jump to the conclusion that you are exercising too much because for most people the opposite is true. I'm writing about this mainly to let people know that exercise just like almost anything else can be a double-edged sword. Too much is unhealthy, just as too little is unhealthy.

Why is this? Because by exercising you are putting stress on your body which causes damage to your body. The right amount of this stress will cause your body to adapt while the wrong amount will cause your body to break down. This break down comes from overtraining, which is when your body is being broken down more by exercise than it has capacity to rebuild. There are many indicators of this and people become overtrained at various levels of exercise. Some of the indicators of overtraining can be sustained soreness (this doesn't include soreness you get when you first start working out), trouble sleeping, becoming ill, extreme weight loss (involving loss of muscle), inability to achieve goals etc. Keep in mind that what causes overtraining in one person may be the right amount of exercise for another. Other factors which influence overtraining are diet, sleep, stress, bodies inherent ability to withstand a particular level of training and so forth. In other words if you have a terrible diet eating junk food, sleep very little, drink excess alcohol etc. you will most likely overtrain much more easily than someone who doesn't have these lifestyle habits.

These realities are things you must consider if you are going to workout and thus your workouts and program must be tailored and adjusted continuously for your specific needs. In other words don't expect to be able to do the same workout that your friend or a celebrity does and get the same results as you and your life are unique and therefore need a unique program designed aaround that uniqueness. It's all about a balance between pushing yourself and then resting an appropriate amount for recovery before pushing again. Because the many factors affecting your body at any time this balancing act is not only a science but also an art. Exercise may seem like a simple thing, which in some ways it is, but it becomes very complex in terms of its application to each individual. So if you want the best results which includes achieving the look you want as well as the health you want it will take time and energy. Just remember, nothing that's worth doing or achieving is easy. It takes hard work, commitment, and the determination to do what's needed even when it's uncomfortable or inconvenient.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Core Fitness...

This is all you hear about everywhere, "do this for your core", "do that for your core". So most people automatically think this means do as many crunches as you possibly can because "you gotta have a six pack". This is so so far from the actual truth. For one, there are many people who have "six packs" but are far from healthy and actually are relatively weak in the rest of their core. If you have a strong front but a weak or non-existent back it doesn't do much for you.

Ever hear of the naked spine's not really a syndrome but you see it very frequently, particularly in females who train their abs like crazy but do little or nothing for their backs. Here's how to recognize this, if you look at someones back and you can see their spine protruding with little or no muscle along the sides of it that's not good at all. They need to strengthen their back, particularly erector muscles along the spine using (back extensions, torso rotations, rowing movements etc.) Not only will it help them avoid injuries, it will also balance out their looks. Nothing looks worse than a six pack coupled with a bony naked spine where the ribs and spinal column are visibly protruding.

Additionally, the hips should be strengthened in order to provide a total core workout. The muscles of the hips and glutes play a huge role in stabilizing and strengthening the core. This is also an area where many if not most people are seriously lacking. A lack of strength in the hips translates into major potential problems for the spine as well as the lower body areas of vulnerability such as the knees and ankles.

All in all what the point I'm trying to make is that the core is all abs and just because someone has a six pack doesn't mean they are in shape. Take a look at their back and butt and then decide...if those two areas are looking pretty sad then they have a lot of work to do. Even individuals who are "elite athletes" may still have these glaring weaknesses. So balance yourself out by working your abs, back, hips and glutes if you want a core that not only looks good all around but also keeps you injury free. Check out this article for more on this.

Monday, June 22, 2009

....Sports Drinks

These drinks are all the rage now with more and more brands and types available. But really, think about it. Does it make sense to drink liquids which are fluorescent colored? No liquid that humans are meant to drink is naturally fluorescent in color! In order to get these colors they must place many artificial colorings in the beverage. Additionally, most are either loaded down with sugar or artificial sweeteners which are extremely unhealthy for you, despite the fact that government agencies have approved them. If you have enough cash and enough political influence you can get anything approved. Bottom line is these drinks are extremely overpriced and unnecessary for almost everyone. Unless you are working out at extreme levels or in extreme amounts you don't need to suck down a bottle of fluorescent colored sugar water to make it through your 20 minute treadmill routine. All your body needs to stay hydrated is water, a very small amount of sugar and a tiny bit of salt. With sugar we are talking a 3-6% solution of sugar and the salt only comes into play at really high levels of exertion. For your average workout, the type of which I've seen most everyone do, a bottle of water is plenty. Only 5-8 oz every 15 minutes are needed during a workout, with various factors affecting this amount (intensity, previous hydration status, how much you sweat..etc). Start drinking water and avoid the over-hyped unnecessary sports drinks and other "fake" nutrition.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Food Quality continued.....

On with the food quality discussion. This is very important when putting together an appropriate nutrition plan, thus the extended discussion of it. Another reason is that most people either don't think about it or are not aware that this is important. Just as a review...when purchasing meats you want to look for hormone free, organic, grass fed, free range products where the animals have not been raised using non-natural foods and treatments. Whatever the animal eats or is injected with will be left in the meat and then it goes into your body and affects you in various ways. You may think the amounts of these substances are small, which that may be true, but your body is highly sensitive as it only takes a minute amount of a substance to cause an effect. Just as an example, at a concentration level similar to placing a drop of a hormone in a rail tanker train several miles long a physiological effect in your body will occur. Now that's a small amount!

You always hear people these days talking about eating "whole foods", the reason being is that they typically contain more nutrients and are lacking all of the chemicals and preservatives that are placed in processed, unnatural food products. This is a big reason that reading labels is important, so you can see what you are really eating. Again these chemicals and preservatives can cause problems in your body and keep you from getting proper nutrition. It's not just about calories in vs calories out. If you don't digest and absorb it, it's not really calories in! Many of the chemicals and preservatives irritate your digestive system and cause it not to work properly. This includes things like alcohol which is a poison with no nutritional or health value. Yes they say wine can be beneficial, but it's not because of the's from the beneficial substances in the grapes which you can obviously get from eating grapes. So don't justify your alcohol with media sound bites that are there to get you to watch the news.

Once you figure out the quality issue the next thing is figuring out when to eat, how much to eat, and what to eat for meals/snacks....more on that tomorrow.....

Monday, June 15, 2009

Eating Seems Good..So What's the Problem?

More often than not, if weight is an issue, sugar(s) are the culprit. People have been so scared into thinking fat and meat and eggs are bad that they have replaced these foods with excessive carbohydrates (which are sugars). Granted there are different types of sugars but the sugars most people consume are the ones that are easy to access. They are simple refined sugars which are in many different foods including diet foods (had to use something to make it taste good), most breads and pastries, pastas, many condiments and snack foods. Ever wonder why some pasta sauce has a sweet taste? Tomatoes aren't sweet....hmmm??..... they put sugar in the sauce! Sugar gets put in a number of "health foods" to give them taste. Normally fat gives foods taste, but when the fat is taken out the alternatives are sugar or artificial flavorings to make the item edible. The bottom line is, if you eat whole natural foods that you can look at and say "that grows in the ground or on a plant, or is from an animal that eats those plants" you'll avoid many of these problem foods.

What happens when you eat simple refined sugars is they digest quickly and due to the fact that most people do very little physical activity they get stored as fat because the body has no need to use them for energy. Even more reason to exercise, especially if you are going eat foods with significant amounts of sugar in them. So how do some people who practically eat like vegetarians, becuase they've been scared into thinking cholesterol is going to kill them, still have high cholesterol. Because if you don't eat cholesterol the body will make it. And guess what it makes it from, excess carbohydrates (sugars). So if you stop eating egg yolks, think you're going to have a heart attack if you eat a steak or have some butter then chances are your body is going to have to make cholesterol from your high sugar diet. It's sort of like a double edged sword; the harder you try to avoid cholesterol the more sugar you'll be eating. The more sugar you eat the higher your insulin levels (which is a hormone that's trying to get the sugar into cells). Then cholesterol is needed to repair the damage to the vessels done by excess insulin. This is one of the reasons diabetics typically have heart and circulatory problems. Their body is overwhelmed by sugar with no place to put it because the cells are no longer sensitive to insulin, therefore it stays in the blood stream...thus high sugar readings and high insulin levels leading to more damage and more need for cholesterol to repair the damage caused as the body keeps trying to get the sugar out of the blood. So before becoming an extremist who tries to cut every last gram of fat and cholesterol out of your diet try cutting out sugar, it may be hard because sugar has been shown to be nearly as addictive as hard core illegal drugs but in the long run it will be worth it health and appearance wise. If you cut out sugar and start eating these so called "forbidden" foods (which are actually good for you in moderate amounts) you'll probably feel better and drop some serious weight in a short period of time.

As a final note, bear in mind cholesterol is a very essential substance that is used in the body to repair damage as well as in the making of the sex hormones. You can't live without it! Eat some whole eggs, meat and good fats, you'll be amazed how you feel and you'll probably lose 5-10 lbs in no time when you couple this with the elimination of refined sugars. Focusing on getting your carbohydrates from vegetables, fruits and true whole grains (if you don't have gluten problems) will help you put an end to the dietary and weight rollercoaster!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Protein Quality - Meats - Red Meat...It's Good for You

I want to start with protein, primarily because this is where many people are woefully inadequate in their consumption. There is also much confusion and misinformation about proteins that is propagated through the media and other organizations with hidden bias. The first thing you have to understand is "meat, fat, cholesterol and eggs don't cause heart disease". This is something that has been beaten and ingrained into peoples heads over the last half-century. You need fats, proteins and cholesterol for your body to function properly and be fit. Anyone that tells you otherwise does not understand the role these substances play in your body. The problem isn't these foods, it's in the quality of these foods that people buy and how they are prepared that's more of a problem. If you buy the cheapest meat you can find, eat packaged lunch meat, canned meat and other heavily preserved meat products you will have problems. When buying meat you should look for hormone free, free range meats. The reason is that these animals have been fed and allowed to eat what they would naturally eat. For example, cattle were meant to eat grass, not corn. When they eat grass the fat make up of their bodies is different and they contain more beneficial fats. This minus the hormones that the mass market cattle are fed to fatten them up unnaturally in a shorter time period and you have a healthy animal and thus healthy meat for you to eat. The problem with hormones is that they get in the meat and then they get in your body and cause problems. It's always better to by fresh over frozen meat or anything that's already pre-made into something for convenient microwave preparation.

Then you have to look at how you prepare the meats. Don't overcook them and definitely don't cook them in the microwave. Microwaves may be convenient but they destroy the food, make it taste terrible and also have been documented in studies conducted in Europe to cause changes in people's bodies who consume food cooked in them. Read this article about microwaves and what they do. Meats should be cooked slowly and on low heat. The charring and burnt material that you see on some meats is not good for you. Additionally, the higher the temperature the more the fats are damaged. Avoid deep frying or cooking with vegetable oil as these oils are unstable and are damaged by the time you purchase them (this is despite what you hear plastered all over the media and in restaurants). Coconut oil is one of the best oils to cook with if you are going to fry something as it is stable up to a much higher temperature. Olive oil can be used for low temperature cooking. All of this and more affect how healthy the meat is for you.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should rotate your meats, don't always eat the same thing. So many people think they should only eat chicken breasts and fish. This is simply not true. First of all, most fish has mercury in it and you shouldn't be eating it very much at all. Particularly, larger fish, as they eat smaller fish and thus contain more mercury. As paranoid as people have been made about "red meat", it's quite ironic to see people who are eating the least amount of it having more problems with cholesterol and weight than anyone else. If you are wondering why that is I'll get more into that tomorrow as this is getting quite long already. Go out and eat some red meat, it's not gonna kill you! In fact, your lifestyle and over consumption of processed foods and sugar will get you way before high quality red meat will.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Quality matters....

when it comes to food just as it does with any other product or service you use. Would you go to an auto mechanic that charged $5 to replace your tires or fly on an airplane lawn chairs for seats? I think not! But for some odd reason most people look at food and try to go for the cheapest possible options. It's pretty hilarious when you see someone with a Porsche driving through a fast food restaurant to buy a $2 sandwich. They'll spend tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on a car and put high grade fuel in it but when it comes to their bodies they put cheap, highly processed, chemically laden junk in that will make them fat, moody and disease prone. I guess it speaks to the priorities of many people. They care more about what something looks like on the surface than on the reality of what's beyond the surface. More times than not this is a dangerous proposition.

For some people, it's understandable that budgetary concerns don't always allow the purchase of top of the line organic food....but for the many people...particularly clients that I come into contact with that is simply not the case. No one who drives $50,000+ cars and goes on multiple vacations each year and lives in a multi-million dollar home can tell me they can't afford to shop at Whole Foods or buy organic food! It's simply BS. It's priorities and also lack of knowledge about what is good for them or not. The way I look at it're gonna pay for health one way or the other....either by buying high quality food and living a healthy lifestyle or paying doctors, drug companies and hospitals thousands of dollars an hour to feel miserable and maybe get better.

The first thing people need to get straight is that healthy food doesn't taste bad. And no pre-packaged lean cuisine is not healthy food. Healthy foods are things like fresh vegetables, fruits, naturally raised meats etc. The less that's been done to the food the better. Why do you think food in high end restaurants tastes better than your chains....partly because they use fresh ingredients, many times they are from local sources. Try to shop at farmers markets or natural food grocery stores. Even some of your run of the mill grocery stores now stock organic and natural foods. You just have to look at the labels to see what the deal really is because marketers are now in tuned to the fact that people look for these products so you have to be careful. Just because something says "natural" doesn't mean it's necessarily good for you.

Tomorrow more specifics on what to look for with different types of foods...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Eating the right proportions matters

This is huge! You have to eat the right amounts of carbs, proteins, and fats and timing is key. Of course everyone is different, so each person has to figure out what works best for them. As far as timing goes, you really need to try and eat something every 3-4 hours to keep your blood sugar from dropping and thus putting your body into starvation mode where it wants to store everything you eat since you aren't giving it food on a consistent basis. Whether it's a meal or a snack it should always have a protein and a carb, having just one or the other can cause energy problems. The protein will slow down the digestion so you won't have rapid sugar highs followed by a crash. The carb will give you energy to run on and keep you thinking clearly since your brain runs on glucose (which comes primarily from carbs).

So what are carbs and proteins? Carbs come from plants and proteins come from animals to put it simply. Fats come along for the ride with your proteins for the most part.

Here are some examples:
Carbs - fruits, vegetables....less preferred starches like potatos, pasta, bread
Proteins/Fats - eggs, meats, cheese, nuts

As a side note most of these foods have some of each type of nutrient (carbs, proteins, fats) they typically just have one that is predominant....

Why does this matter? Because how frequently you eat and the type of nutrients you eat affect how many calories you burn and the amount of fat and muscle you have...which contributes to whether or not you achieve the look and level of health you want.

Tomorrow.... the quality of what you eat......

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday June 5, 2009 - Eat only real food...

Most people think that's exactly what they are doing, but in reality they aren't. Another one of the big keys to not only losing weight, but also to being healthy is to eat primarily(80% of the time or more) whole and natural foods. What kinds of food are these? Things like fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, cheeses. No fruit juice doesn't count and neither does lunch meat or any of the other convenience foods (chips, soda, canned foods such as soups, breads). All of these items are processed to one extent or another. You know something isn't a real food when you look on the label and see 20 different ingredients in a loaf of bread (many of which are chemicals). The problem with these packaged convenience foods is that most of them contain substances that your body doesn't recognize and they are thus hard to digest. They may say they have 100 calories but they actually require 120 calories worth of energy to digest so you really are losing calories and nutrition. Foods without nutrients suck nutrients out of your body in order to process them, resulting in a loss from your body. People wonder how they can eat 800 calories a day and not lose weight, well for one just because you put it in your mouth doesn't mean your body absorbs all of it. Two, when you are on super low calorie diets that are filled with fake foods containing few nutrients, your body will lower your metabolism because it thinks you are starving, thus no weight loss.

One of the easiest way to keep to whole foods is to shop around the exterior of the store and avoid buying items in fancy packaging that will likely keep on the shelf for 6 months. Real whole food is alive and won't last for months on end in a pantry. The items that do are loaded with preservatives and other chemicals that are meant to kill and preserve the food.

A special note, kids especially should not be eating all of this processed and boxed convenience food. Their brains and bodies are still developing and feeding them lunchables, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets and other junk will do nothing for them or their health.

If it doesn't come off a plant or directly from an animal then avoid it, it's not good for you and won't help you lose weight. Even though the food industry has come up with some pretty slick "foods" and substances that taste good your body is still all natural and has no idea what these concocted chemicals are and it doesn't like them! Be careful, however, as some "natural" substances are still poisons.....arsenic, alcohol, etc.....and aren't good for you in any amounts.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tuesday June 2, 2009 - Your diet will get you?

If you're looking to lose weight your diet more than almost anything else will get you and drag you back to square one. As I said yesterday, most people eat too much food for their activity level. Gaining a pound a month is only little more than 100 calories per day in excess of what you burn off! So it doesn't take much, that extra cookie, soda, after work drink. That's 12 lbs per year and next thing you know you've gained a lot of unnecessary weight. Given the fact that most adults and even children don't get anywhere near enough activity there is no wonder obesity is such a problem. Even if you walk 30 minutes a day or do some sort of moving around you still aren't burning that many calories.....30 minutes of 3mph walking doesn't even burn 200 calories and that's if you are 175 lbs...if you weigh less you'll burn even less. The average person burns less than 2000 calories per if you're going out to eat often...eating high calorie foods and doing little or no exercise you will gain weight. So focus on more filling items such as fruits and veggies which have fiber and make sure to consume plenty of quality proteins such as eggs and meats. Your body naturally has a shut off switch when you eat fat or protein however when you eat carbs (aka sugars) there is no shut off switch so you just keep eating. You should be getting the majority of your carbs from vegetables and fruits while minimizing starches and refined grains (breads, pastries, pastas etc.) You won't get leaner eating large amounts of starching and refined carbs....actually your body will tend to hold onto more water the more of these items you you that bloated look and feeling.

So unless you are working out hard for several hours per day you can't be eating huge three course meals and snacks which are laden with breads, potatos and other high calorie foods if you want to lose weight

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday June 1, 2009 - Why can't I lose weight?

This is a question I've heard too many times to count. People hope for a simple straightforward answer, but the fact is there is not one. For each person the answer is different. As much as we try to simplify things, there is no getting around the fact that each person is different and requires a different approach if they are to be successful in losing weight.

Each day this week I'll briefly address some of the main reasons why you aren't losing weight. Those issues are diet, stress, and exercise. Here's just a few brief comments on what is most often the

All diet means in this context is "what you eat". Most people will tell you they eat pretty well. However, as soon as you find out what they are actually eating you realize they eat pretty bad. Much of the time this is due to ignorance more than anything else. I could go on all day about what is wrong with people's diets, but in the interest of your time here are the major issues for almost everyone. Number one, they eat way too much for their activity level. Number two, they eat way too many processed "foods" (much of this stuff isn't actually food). Number three, they eat the wrong kinds and/or the wrong portions of nutrients. Again most of this is due to ignorance.

coffee, soda, alcohol, food that will last in your house for that if you look at it you can't think of where you might find it in nature (donuts don't grow anywhere that I know of)....

I'll get into the details tomorrow.....

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday May 26, 2009 - Solve the Healthcare Crisis?

Just look around you the next time you are in a public place and it won't be long until you see many people who are overweight and out of shape. Particularly young people, many who are in 'disguise' (i.e. they look thin but are woefully unfit and based on research probably even more at risk than even their overweight counterparts). You here so much nowadays about the "healthcare crisis" in America. People supposedly can't afford to have insurance and they are constantly getting sick leaving them unproductive and thus contributing to the enormous costs of healthcare that those with insurance are paying for. I propose that a big part of this so called "crisis" is the simple fact that people are lazy and undisciplined when it comes to taking care of themselves. All you have to do to find evidence of this is look around you. People eating excessive amounts of food, much of it unhealthy. People drinking excessive amounts of sugar laden drinks which includes alcohol. It's scary when you walk around the mall and at every turn you see people dressed inappropriately for their body....many of them children...particularly young girls. When you have a huge gut it's not cool to wear skin tight clothing or have a half shirt on....some parents need to inform their kids of this. You tell me how a 120lb high school senior goes away to college and several years later comes home a 170 lb overweight, out of shape health risk in just a few years. Hmmm....could it be pizza, burgers and a heck of a lot of alcohol..... The way to lessen health care costs is not to turn the system into another inefficient government run bureaucracy where bureaucrats decide who gets what treatment. The way to lessen costs is to promote lifestyles that lead to health and wellness (regular exercise, self control, and discipline). It's always interesting to here people complain that healthy food and related products etc are too expensive but at the same time you see people who work minimum wage jobs find a way to own 50 inch flat screens, have the highest priced cable package, smoke a carton of cigarettes a week, and eat $5 bags of potato chips. Looks to me like the supposed health care crisis is more about priorities and habits than it is about anything else. It starts with health and wellness professionals who are horrible examples themselves. If you're 30 lbs over weight, rarely ever exercise and party like a rockstar yet think you can get others into shape as a trainer, think again. This is all to common, as are overweight nurses, doctors etc who smoke on their lunch breaks and eat fast food every day. These are the people who are supposed to be educating and caring for the people who don't know what to do. You can't give what you don't have. So if we want to change the healthcare problem we need to start with proper example and influence coming from the top. People listen and follow other people, so if you want to do your part in this area do so by being an example of health and vitality and people will want to copy you. On the other hand look and see just how quickly they will copy you when you are a bad example.

Personal responsibility, lets all start taking some and then these problems will diminish.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday May 18, 2009 - Just take the steps?

This is a comment you hear quite frequently when amongst people discussing "exercise" or "healthy habits". However, this is a very dangerous comment. Why you ask? Because it breeds content, comfort, and feelings of I'm ok you're ok when in reality that's far from the truth for most people. Even though taking the steps isn't a bad thing it is many times used as a justification for not doing real, challenging exercise that will actually push you to achieve the results you really want. If you need to lose weight and tone up and all you do is take the steps it's going to be a long road to losing that weight particularly if you don't make any other changes in your life. It may be a starting point for someone who has done little or no exercise for a long time but shouldn't be an ending point or comfort zone used to justify not doing more challenging exercise and changing ones diet. If you want to see real change you have to do things that aren't comfortable at first, this may include feeling embarassed, lungs burning, muscles burning, sweating profusely etc. These may be things you very much dislike, but are necessary if you really want to lose weight whether it's 20 lbs, 100lbs or even more. People use many excuses as to why they "can't" lose weight or get in shape, all of them are just that, excuses. So stop making excuses to justify your current state, take action by starting where you're able to start but realize that you must move forward to really get the results you want. You can't just take the steps. You have to change your diet, workout with weights, do cardio, get adequate rest etc. It's a package deal and it's a lifetime, not a one time commitment.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday May 7, 2009 - What's Your Excuse?

For not making your health and fitness a priority? I know there are a million of them and they are all running through your head right now as you read this. Everyone pretty much has the same ones. Honestly, though, they aren't the real reasons you don't exercise, eat right and take care of your health. The real reasons run much deeper than, work, kids, other commitments, too tired blah blah blah. What is it really? Selfishness. It is the driving force behind these flimsy excuses. Granted, all of those other things are important, but there are plenty of people out there that are 100 times more busy than you are who are still exercising and eating right. So the bottom line is none of your excuses are justified. Let me repeat that again, none of your excuses for not exercising and eating right are justified. You just use them to coddle your conscience into feeling better about not doing what you know you should be doing.

Now back to the selfishness, that seems so counter-intuitive to most of you. You think it would be selfish to actually take time to exercise and eat right. But in actuality it is selfish to not exercise and eat right. Now why is that? Because by not exercising and eating right you are essentially saying I'm going to do what I want to do regardless of how it affects anyone else. Affecting others, "How does me not exercising and eating right affect others?". It does so in many ways, if you have children (which is often a prime excuse for not exercising and eating right) you through your lack of action in the area of exercise and proper eating are saying to them that these things aren't important and that it's ok to be overweight, out of shape and unhealthy. Do as I say not as I do doesn't work for very long. Your kids will follow in your footsteps. Secondly, by not exercising and eating right you are putting yourself in a position where you can't perform at your best and have the energy to use your talents and abilities to be a productive member of society. In other words you won't be able to perform as well at work, thus cheating your employer out of your best effort, you will get sick more, need to use doctors and medications more, not be able to be as good of a friend etc. etc. etc. You will not be able to be the best you can be and use the God given talents you have to make a positive impact on the world. And this is wrong, as you are cheating others and society as a whole out of the many positive benefits that would flow from your actions if your body was in the best condition possible. So stop being lazy and selfish and start making exercise and eating right a priority in your life. And if you aren't sure what you need to do then there are plenty of resources out there where you can find out.

Just remember, every action or in-action in your life affects others directly or indirectly regardless of whether you admit it or not.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April 28, 2008 - You Can Be Fit at Any Age

Many people have the mistaken notion that as you get older you are guaranteed to become overweight and out of shape. This is one of the biggest fallacies out there. Regardless of your age you can be in great shape and have large amounts of energy. The key is making your health a priority. Many things become a part of people's lives as they become adults and gain more responsibilities and as a result they get lazy and let other things slide. I here people say, I have kids, work, blah blah blah. That's no excuse, I know plenty of people with the same and more responsibilities who don't let themselves get out of shape, they eat well and stay active doing many things. Now I don't mean oh they walk a mile a day and they are in great shape. They do a lot more than that. For example, this past weekend I did a 5K race where there were people in their 70s running times better than myself, and I averaged just over 8 minutes a mile. And furthermore their were people in the marathon who were in their 80's and people in their 60's running sub 4 hour times. So anyone who says that it's just normal to get fat and out of shape is very unaware of reality. The bottom line is you have to stop being lazy, stop making excuses, take responsibility for your life and start making your health a priority. It's your choice, if you do you'll feel better, have more energy, be happier, more positive and enjoy life. If you don't you too can become that 35 year old stressed out, overweight, un-energetic person who is on blood pressure medicine and can't keep up with their 5 yr old. And guess what, either way it's your fault, so make the positive choice. It won't be comfortable or easy at first, but nothing that's worthwhile is.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday April 27, 2009 - Workout and Eat Like Crazy

I know this may sound crazy, but those of you who have experienced it know the feelings of hunger you constantly have if you workout quite often. For those of you who don't workout very often or very hard, there is something big you are missing out on especially if you like to eat! Your level of hunger will go through the roof when you start working out a lot. The great part about it is you won't be gaining bad pounds if you gain any. Granted you need to eat quality foods and not fast food or junk. You may experience this to a greater or lesser degree depending on your individual situation. Typically you'll also desire better foods and be more apt to stay away from junk the more you workout. This is all because your body's metabolism is going up and you are using up the energy more quickly. You should also feel better and more energetic.

Just as an example this last week, and particularly weekend I was super hungry as I was doing quite a bit of trail running/hiking and also did a 5K race. It has seemed I can't get enough's a great feeling especially because I love to eat!

So workout frequently and intensely and you can eat till your heart's content!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April 2, 2009 - Just Move It, to Lose It

Sounds pretty logical right? If you want to lose weight you need to move your body around. The thing is, most people move very very fact a recent study indicated that morbidly obese individuals are sedentary more than 99% of their day. That means they only do any kind of significant movement for little more than 8 minutes per day according to the study! The rest of the time they are essentially plopped and not moving. I wouldn't hesitate to guess that most people, even those who appear to have a somewhat ideal weight are not moving much more than this either. I can speak to this having trained hundreds of people and listened to what their lives are like in terms of activity that physically amounts to much and I can tell you right now the vast majority do next to nothing in terms of activity. Walking to the car, walking into the office or into a store are not considered exercise or sufficient physical activity unless you have spent weeks or months in a bed. This amongst other factors is a huge contributor to the fact that very few people are in shape, even those who may appear to be phsyically (because they are thin). The bottom line is you have to set aside time to take care of yourself, move and be really active. Most people I see working out in gyms etc are not working out anywhere close to hard enough....and how could they be when they are distracted by things in their ears, tv's in their face and other people socializing. Now I'm not saying those things are bad it's just that if you've ever really pushed yourself hard when you worked out you have no interest in those things because you are so focused on keeping yourself going and doing the exercise that you can't think about a conversation or some other distraction. This is the kind of work you need to really get in shape, especially if you haven't worked out regularly in years. If this sounds like you, today's the day to start a new lifestyle, no more excuses......if the President of the United States can find time to workout then no one has any legitimate excuse for not "having time". If you're honest with yourself you will admit the real reason is simply lack of planning and laziness. So stop it and start moving it if you want to lose weight or you will lose your body slowly but surely. Be real, be honest, be strong and live the life you were meant to live.

Monday, March 9, 2009

March, 9 2009 - The Challenge of Female Fat Loss

More evidence is coming out that, while women burn more fat during exercise, they store fat more efficiently at other times. This recent study out of Australia shows a link between the hormone estrogen and fat storage. Basically suggesting that estrogen reduces women's ability to burn as many calories following eating, possibly due to the fact that the body is preparing for a potential can read on the study here.

With that said, it essentially means one thing, women have to work out harder and perhaps longer than men in order to reach a healthy and ideal level of body fat. Don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean women can blame hormones for being overweight, that's nonsense.....many other factors influence weight levels, including lifestyle, stress etc. The hormone thing is just one piece of the puzzle.

None of this should be too surprising to anyone who has been in a health club or gym recently.....if you look around, be it men or women, most people there are not working out even close to hard enough. The other week I for the first time ever saw a woman trying to read a hardcover book while doing twisting stability ball crunches. This is amazing as I thought I had seen it all after having worked in many health clubs in the past....just proves that if you think it can't happen it probably is or will happen. Ok, back to the hard work thing....and in no way am I trying to diminish what anyone is doing in the gym. The majority are doing what they know, which is quite often very little, particulary given the woefully inadequate and pathetic levels of training and instruction provided by "trainers" who went through a weekend course and have no idea what they are doing. So you have the blind leading the blind many times. That said, however, people need to push themselves harder than they are. You have to sweat and hurt and feel some discomfort in order to progress. Spending 5 minutes in between sets having a full on conversation is not doing anything for your physical fitness or fat loss for that matter. It's one thing to stay healthy, it's quite another to lose significant body fat. Ask anyone who has done so and they will tell you that doing 30 minutes of walking on a treadmill 5 times a week isn't going to do much of anything in terms of significant results. Once again this entails a lifestyle change that involves prioritizing fitness, committment, and consistency. These are the heavy hitters. I can say this from my experience, clients who are successful have positive attitudes, stick with routines over long periods of time, change their eating and rarely if ever stray for long periods of time. The other factor to keep in mind, and this is huge, if you have high levels of stress losing fat will be almost impossible. This means lack of sleep, crazy work hours, bad relationships (especially with significant others) and a whole host of other things including pharmaceuticals.

So if you aren't getting results, there is a lot to look at and evaluate in your life and usually most people know what they need to get straightened out. The hard part is actually doing it....get help if you can't seem to make yourself change on your own. Someone who will keep you accountable for your action or lack there of. There are numerous options which I'll get into next time....

Monday, March 2, 2009

March 2, 2009 - Higher impact better?

A new study suggests that higher impact activities may help bone density to a greater degree than weight training. Does this mean that you should immediately go out and start running or doing high intensity jumping drills? Absolutely not! However, what it does suggest is that light weight training and low impact activities such as walking do very little to improve or maintain bone density. Based on my experience most people do not do weight training or other exercise at a high enough level of resistance or impact to do any good. Other studies also illustrate that unless you are doing resistance training with weights at 80% or more of your maximum weight you will not build or maintain bone density. This means using a weight that only allows you to do roughly 8 reps. That means if you are using a weight that you could really do 12 reps with and only do 8 you aren't using 80%. This means you have to push yourself to use the proper weight in order to see results. In order to do this effectively you need to have the ability to adjust weights in at least 2.5lb increments with weights under 50lbs and in 5lb increments with weights greater than 50lbs. Yes, doing some higher impact activites such as jumping or jogging etc can be beneficial, but you need to make sure you are able to do them safely (i.e. under the guidance of someone who knows how to assess whether or not those activities are appropriate for you at the current time. Take home message is, even appropriate exercises, using inadequate resistance or impact will do little to ellicit progress, especially if bone density is a goal.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

February 25, 2009.......discipline sacrifice and reward

Being fit and leading a healthy and happy lifestyle requires many things which most of us don't come by naturally, because we are human beings with faults and weaknesses. Those big things we need to develop in order to get to the point of attaining the rewarding feelings of happiness that a healthy lifestyle brings about are hard to come by. This is especially true in today's society of instant gratification devoid of discipline, hard work and sacrifice. It's no more evident than with the economic crisis the world is facing, particularly in the US. Most if not all of it was brought on by the lack of discipline and sacrifice in many areas for many people. This, I feel, can be carried over to fitness and the growing problems with obesity, health and the results costs that society is being overwhelmed with. Focusing on creating discipline, through small sacrifices, in ones life will carry over to the ability to achieve ones goals for health and fitness. A great way to start is to by perhaps getting up 30 minutes earlier so you can fit in that workout that always seems to get pushed to the side. It may "hurt" a bit the first few days, but it will get easier and eventually not be a struggle at all. This may help one do a better job of saying no to that cookie or other food that you just can't go without. Start small and build discipline and sacrifice into your life and then watch how your life changes for the better. Many times happiness and fulfillment lie just on the other side of what appears daunting and intimidating but yet is doable. Go beyond what you think you can do as that is where the real fruit of your labors comes to light. You must navigate through the darkness in order to see the light on the other side. That darkness more often than not is composed of the habits, fears and attitudes which attempt to hold us back. Vow to accept them as they are and face them head on knowing they can be overcome.

Monday, February 23, 2009

February 23, 2009 - Why the easy way doesn't pay...

An article out on another study and further evidence that performance enhancing substances cause problems for those who use them. Granted this study focused on former NFL players linking muslce and bone related injureis to the use of may think this is irrelevant to those who aren't athletes....however it's not. I would hazard to say it points out the fact that using substances that affect your body in an unnatural way, whether they are legal or not legal has startling ramifications down the line. As has been said many times before, in any area of life, whether it be fitness or anything else, there are no shortcuts to success. You can use these things to get ahead, but ultimately you will pay for it. Many can say there is so much pressure to look a certain way or perform to a certain level as an athlete, mom, executive or whatever role in life you have. I say, however, that is not a justification to abuse your body using substances which allow you to get an edge in an artificial way. This, in my estimation, promotes laziness and the achievement of results without the need for discipline, hard work and consistency. The choice is up to you, but the evidence is made clear, harm is inevitable if you make that choice. It's not only your health but your character which is at stake. Do what's right, not what's easy.

Friday, February 20, 2009

February 20, 2009- Cyclists and others at risk for bone loss...

If you or others you know participate in activities such as cycling, swimming or other non-weight bearing activities as your primary form of exercise be aware that you may be at risk for bone loss if you don't supplement that activity with a weight bearing activity such as weight training, jogging etc. These problems can come on early, in the 20s or even 30s. If you are going to do weight training you must also keep in mind that in order to get the benefits for your bones you need to be using resistance at or above 80% of your 1 rep max. This means a weight that you can do only 8-10 reps with......the take home message is bone loss and potential resulting injuries can come on early in life if you don't stress your body with the right combinations of exercise and activity. Read the article

This all goes back to the intensity levels of an exercise, and the evidence I see in gyms and with many individuals is that they don't work anywhere near the levels of intensity or for the duration of time needed to reach the goals they desire to attain. You have to push yourself. Ask yourself, am I coasting? or am I really working hard and doing a little bit more than I think I can do? If your answers are yes and no, then before you become frustrated about the lack of results you need to be able to honestly change those answers to no and yes.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

February 17, 2009 - Startling Obesity Statistics!

I was just reading an article about the obesity problem in America and some of the statistics are absolutely alarming! Most particularly the ones regarding adolescents and their liklihood of being obese as adults if they are obese as adolescents. Here are the results....for boys who are obese as youngsters their liklihood of being obese as adults is 80% and for girls it's a more daunting 92%! This speaks to the fact that most people realize, and that is that habits developed during youth don't tend to change easily when a person becomes an adult. The key to young people maintaining a healthy weight has many contributing factors but I believe it largely has to do with the example, or lack there of, set by parents. If you are a parent you must lead a healthy lifestyle which includes regular exercise and a proper diet in order for your children to have the best chance of doing the same. Kids do what their parents do.....parents are to be the primary educators of their children in all areas. To the degree that parents fail to provide proper and adequate example and teaching, is the degree to which their children will fail to reach their potential in not only fitness and health but also in life as a whole. In this society, where everyone likes to play the blame game, we need only look at ourselves and see what we are doing before blaming others for our problems or the problems of our children. It doesn't matter how many programs, teachers, instructors, doctors, nutritonists, trainers are available, if parents don't take the lead and set the example the liklihood of failure of children to develop into healthy productive members of society is exponentially higher. With this whole new so called ethic of "responsibility" it's about time each of us take a look at ourselves and take responsibility for our lives and realize that our actions and example influence others far more than our words. The old adage still rings true "actions speak louder than words". Lets shut up and act!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

February 12, 2009 - Pizza Man Says Don't Eat too Much

I ran across a slightly humorous and ironic article noting how the Papa John's pizza founder said his you can't eat too much of his product because it wouldn't be healthy........this is amazing coming from a big time corporate guy admitting his companies food isn't good for you (he says you can't eat 5 or 6 pieces)...oh my...of course nobody ever eats that in denial...hahaha! Anyway it's about time companies are honest about the fact that many of there products, even so called 'healthy' ones, are actually terrible for you. Just think, you'll have to workout really hard for several hours to burn off one of those big indulgences. You've got to limit thus if you want to stay fit, or get fit............

Spent a lot of time modifying the Results program I put together last year....hope to get it officially published in the next month or so.....

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

February 11, 2009.....Workout More to Lose Weight

Just read an article today indicating what I pretty much already knew, and that is the old stand by of 30 min of moderate exercise 5 times a week isn't going to cut it if you want to lose significant weight and keep it off. The American College of Sports Medicine has upped the amount to 50 min 5 times a week. This means moderate intensity, not the kind of workout where you don't break a sweat doing slow walking or 2lb dumbbell lifting. You have to push it...I notice it in gym all the time, most people aren't working out hard enough...if it's not a little bit uncomfortable then you're probably slacking.......The 30 min plan will only keep you from having more than 3% weight gain....which is almost 5 lbs a year for a 150 lb person........So work harder...even when it's hard you have to push yourself and push yourself away from those foods you love more often.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

February 10, 2009....I published my Women's Workout Book

I've finally gotten my long worked on women's fitness book, Trim Tighten and Tone, published. You'll never appreciate the amount of work that goes into a book until you do it! The relief of being virtually finished with this part of the project is amazing! Over 5 months worth of work, hours of photo shoots, editing photos, writing and formatting..........ahhhhh! I think everyone will really like it and find the programs easy to follow and use. If you'd like to check out this book or the others I've done (which are soon to be revised and updated) check out my publishing store front at ..... with that it's time to grab some food and head to the gym...I have to get out of this chair....can only take so much bad computer posture in one day.........Ciao!