Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Eating Pointers

Maintaining a healthy weight during the holidays has proved to be quite the challenge for many over the years.  Those who have been successful in either maintaining or losing weight during the holidays don’t do so by accident. There is often a plan or if we must say it, a conscious effort to not give up or give in.  This by no means implies you have to eliminate the savory treats of the holidays. It means that you need to practice moderation and consistency.

I like the treats of the holidays.  Truth be told I can eat my share of toffee and peppermint bark chocolate.  The key is to enjoy the treats in moderation.  But, I’m guessing you have already heard this before, right?  So, how do you put moderation into practice?  That starts with a plan.  Before starting any plan we need to determine faults.  Once the faults are determine a plan can be developed. 

Here are some examples.

Fault #1 – “I over eat at holiday parties”

Plan #1- Eat healthy through out the day.  Don’t fall into the trap of eating less before the party in order to save calories.  Saving calories can work against us at the party and push us to over indulge at the party.  By eating healthy though out the course of the day you will be satiated and not feel the urge to over indulge.  This will allow you to make better choices at the party while still enjoying the goodies in moderation.

Fault #2 –“I just don’t have enough time to get in my workout”

Plan #2 -Consistency is a key component in any fitness program.  Staying committed during the holidays has to be a priority.  By staying committed you will continue to make progress, keep your metabolism cranked up and all you to enjoy the holiday’s guilt free.  However, feel free to mix up the routine.  Try interval style workouts.  Interval workouts will reduce your workout duration and help you maximize fat loss.  Email me for a sample routine, in the subject line write “Sample Interval Workout

Fault #3 – “The holidays are an emotional time for me”

Plan #3 – There are a variety of reasons why the holidays are such an emotional roller coaster for so many.  The loss of love ones, a break up, custody issues, and loneliness just to name a few.  I am not a counselor so I can’t prescribe anything specific but here is what I can say.  More than likely this emotional time is something you knew was coming; it is not something that just happened.  So take a moment and do your best to put yourself in the best position to be happy.  Take a moment and remember better times.  Take joy in helping someone else.  Do something that will put a smile on someone else’s face.

The key to success is to plan ahead and develop personal strategies that will help you overcome your personal challenges.  We all have them.  We all have our faults.  If you are struggling with a fault and would like some help feel free to comment below or email me personally @ .  Or share a fault and a success strategy that you have applied. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

No Excuses, Be Consistent!

It is a cold and snowy today in Aurora, Colorado.  As I watch the wonders of winter I am reflecting back on the days when I would see the snow and feel the cold and decide not to head over to the gym to workout.  Like you I had my share of excuses such as: “I don’t want to brave the traffic”, “I am warm and cozy already”, or  “its just to cold to be outside”.  The one that would get me most of was, “Naw, I’ll get it done tomorrow”.  Thankfully, there is a way to get a kick butt workout and never have to leave the comforts of home or office.

Give this 20 minute Fat Burning workout at try.

Warm Up:
  • 15 Body Weight Squats
  • 10 Push Ups
  • 20 Jumping Jacks
  • Repeat 2 times No Rest

The Workout:
  • Plank- hold for 20-30 seconds
  • Prisoner Squats -- 20 reps
  • Push Ups – 20 reps
  • Reverse Lunge – 15 reps per leg
  • Mountain Climbers – 30 reps
  • Rest 60 secs and Repeat 3 times

The concept when making healthy changes is to find ways to be consistent.  Look for reasons to be successful. 

It is only the rare few who look forward to each and every workout or healthy meal.  The vast majority will have moments where it just easier not to get the workout in or make the better eating choice.  When we reach these moments it is amazing how easy the excuses come. It is amazing how easy it is to justify.  I am asking you not to take the easy road.  Take the road less traveled and find a reason to stay consistent. Find a reason to get the job done!

Just Say, "No" to Food Pushers

In our most recent newsletter (click the link below to read)
There were some strategies to help you avoid the "Food Pushers".  Food pushers are individuals who push up wanted food on.  They are the people who want you to try this or try that and for some reason or another don't want to take "no" for an answer.

Here are a couple of sample scenarios from the newsletter:

Food Pusher #1- "Try this new treat I made, you'll love it"
I'm Stuffed Response- "I wish I had room right now"

Food Pusher #2- "I know this dish is your favorite, hand me your plate"
Stalling Response- "I really can't wait to have some in a bit"

Tell me about your strategies for avoiding the "Food Pushers" in your life?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Trainer makes bad choice at Applebee's

First I'd like to start out and say I am human.  Yes, I am a personal trainer and for the vast majority of the time I eat healthy.  But there are times I like to give in to temptation. Occasionally I like to eat a B.L.T. (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato).  So, last Friday I was out with the family at the local Applebee's and ordered the American BLT.  I exercised some restraint and ordered a house salad instead of the fries. When I got home curiosity got the best of me an I decided to look up the caloric content of the American BLT.  To my surprise it was a whopping 1460 calories!!!   I had to take a second and a third glance.

 Look for yourself

I'm sure your thinking those calories included the fries.  Nope!!!  That was with out sides!

Because I like BLT's from time to time I am pretty aware that average BLT calorie range is between 400-600 calories. This is with out condiments. So to see that the American BLT was a whopping 1460 calories was shocking.

So to help you from getting fooled in the future here is what I suggest:

  • Google the menu and nutritional information of restaurants your frequent most and look up the calories of your normal food suggestions.  Try something new if necessary and aim for an entree that is 600 calories or less. 
  • Don't be afraid to make modifications to your order.  Ask for no butter, hold the mayo, no fries, etc.  Get the picture?
  • Avoid getting lost in conversation while eating.  Enjoy the company are with, but don't leave food on the plate in front of you while you converse.  Get a doggy bag and promptly remove the temptation. Then you can enjoy the company and avoid unwanted calories.
Next time I order from Applebee's I will not be ordering the American BLT.  I think I'll try the Chili Bowl and a side salad.  

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sugar, is it the enemy it is portrayed to be?

Sugar is labeled as the notorious villain to the fight on overweight, obesity, diabetes and cavities. But is sugar getting a bad wrap?  If you browse through the internet you can find a host of information stating the harmful effects sugar has on the human body.  The typical amount of sugar the average American consumes seems to range from 40lbs to 160lbs.  So what is the reality?  Honestly I don’t think we know.  For those in the sugar industry they say the term “sugar” is used as a slang term that extends well beyond sucrose and includes chemical compounds such as high fructose corn syrup.  Because of sugar’s use as a slang term the actual amount of sugar consumed is distorted. In addition the direct link from sugar to overweight, obesity, cavities and diabetes isn't as direct as one might think.

For more information read this article:

Numbers aside anecdotal there is a strong connection between consumption of sugar and processed food intake.  When individuals make a conscious effort to reduce consumption of sugary and processed foods weight loss occurs.  And the changes can be dramatic and range from a loss of 2lb-10lbs per week.  This reduction in  consumption of sugary and processed foods often is accompanied by a reduction in calories which plays a pivotal role for the weight lost.

When sugar is consumed the body responds with an increase in insulin levels.  Often times the body produces more insulin than is needed to handle the consumption of sugar.  This is a normal process however, it is important to note that is insulin is a storage hormone. As long as our insulin levels are up we are not burning fat we are storing. So our purpose in reducing the consumption of sugar and processed foods is an effort to help the body burn fat.  To take the fat stored in the body, put into the blood stream and send it to the muscles to be burned.

The biggest culprits of sugars in our foods:
  • Sodas or pop
  • Sweeten fruit drinks
  • Candy and cake
  • Prepared foods such as ketchup, canned veggies and fruits, and peanut butter
  • Low fat products

So how much sugar should you consume?  According to the United Nations and World Health Organization 10% or less of the calories  consumed should come from sugar.  On a 2,000 calorie per day diet that would be 200 calories (or 50 grams).  FYI one can of soda will put you over the limit.  In practice I find limiting the sugar consumption to 25 grams or less leads to quicker fat loss results.

Looking to lose 20 lbs?  Contact DBJ Fitness, LLC @ or 720-298-0281 and get started on with DBJ Fitness Fat Loss System.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Gluten or No Gluten

In the past few months gluten has been under attack.  The movement to go gluten free has been in the forefront for a variety of reason.  The two biggest reasons that come to mind are because health related problems associated with gluten consumption and the new FDA regulations standardizing the amount of gluten that can be present in a food to be classified as gluten free.

Gluten is a protein composite found processed food from wheat, barley, rye and other related species.  Gluten gives the spongy and elasticity to breads and provides a chewy texture in some foods.

There are specific diseases such as celiac disease in which gluten can be devastating.  In individuals who have celiac disease any amount of gluten detected in the body sets off an allergic response in the digestive system.  The body sees gluten as an invader and sets out to seek and destroy.  When this happens there are casualties.  The inner lining of the small intestine becomes damaged which leads to malabsorption of vital minerals and nutrients. There is no know cure for celiac disease and a gluten free diet has been proven the best means of controlling the disease.

Here is short list of the symptoms associated with celiac disease:
  • Digestive problems (abdominal bloating, pain, gas, diarrhea, pale stools, and weight loss)
  • A severe skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Musculoskeletal problems (muscle cramps, joint and bone pain)
  • Growth problems in children
  • Seizures
  • Tingling sensation in the legs
  • Aphthous ulcers
  • Missed menstrual periods

In addition there are health problems associated with celiac disease:
  • Osteoporosis
  • Miscarriage or infertility
  • Birth defects

Also people who have celiac disease may be dealing with other autoimmune diseases such as:
  • Thyroid disease
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sjogren’s syndrome

The side of the health concern on individuals who do not have celiac disease but who may suffer from some of the same symptoms.  The terms generally used this condition is non-celia gluten sensitivity (NCGS) or gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance.   This condition is gaining in popularity but is difficult to diagnosed and not quite fully excepted in the medical community.

Given the litany of symptoms and health concerns related to gluten consumption it is no wonder people are choosing to go gluten free.  The downside however is most are choosing to go gluten free in an effort to lose weight.  The idea of going gluten free in order to lose weight is missed place and in fact can do more harm than good in the long term.  Going gluten free isn’t a miracle means of losing weight.   The average dieter looking to lose weight by going gluten free just begins to cut grains and other nutrients out of their diet.  This can have devastating consequences and cause mineral shortages in the diet; minerals such as iron, fiber, calcium, thiamin, ribroflavin, niacin and folate all of which are important to the body.

People who have seen weight loss because of going gluten free can more than likely contribute that success to making better eating choices.  I have to exercise caution hear just because a food is labeled gluten free doesn’t mean it is healthy for you.  The same companies who put out the unhealthy processed foods are the same companies producing the gluten free processed foods.  Bottom line if the product is unhealthy in gluten form it is probably unhealthy as gluten free.

If you feel that you may have celiac disease or be gluten intolerant seek out a qualified doctor and/or homeopath to help you make the diagnosis and develop a plan of action.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Hurt or Injured, which one are you?

As an athlete this was a question I often heard during practice and on the playing field from coaches and fellow athletes.  Are you hurt or are you injured?  The difference was a simple explanation: if you where hurt you could still play, if you were injured you could not.

For a practical example it comes down to this: a sprained ankle or broken leg. Now we could argue the particulars. But that would for another article.  Today I pose the question as it relates to whether you should workout while you are hurt or injured?

When I train clients whom have suffered an injury I work under the following guidelines:

  • Pain
  • Posture
  • Range of Motion
  • Function
Pain- Using pain as a guideline I can select exercises that do not cause my client any additional pain.  There may be some discomfort, but the point is to work pain free.

Posture- During the injury phase the body will begin to compensate mechanically to accomplish day to day tasks. In the short term this is how the body adapts.  The trouble is as the body heals it doesn't naturally go back to proper mechanics.  It will continue to use the compensated pathway established.  The goal when training an injured area is to maintain the best posture permitted by the injured area.

Range of Motion- Goal is to maintain and improve on the range of motion of the injured and often times the surrounding area.  The body will compensate by restricting the range of motion of a joint when injured.  If left unattended the range of motion will stay restricted even after the injury has healed.  Focusing on maintain and increasing the range of motion as the injured area heals will lead to less pain and complications later.

Function- The idea here is to be able to return to pre-injury function.  That is to be able to do all the things to a similar degree following the injury.  In some cases we do have to establish a new normal, but we want to as close as possible to the pre-injury function.

In the end keep things simple.  Don't settle for being hurt or injured work to get better.  In the long run you will have a more productive and active life.  

One last point, if you are injured and are referred to see a physical therapist... Go!!! Do what is asked, take an active role in your recovery.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Change your Focus from Weight Loss to Fat Loss

It seems like everyone want to lose weight when the goal should be fat loss.  Losing fat isn't complicated.  All it takes is a commitment to make better choices, a technology that works, and a belief that you can do it. Learn the basic of fat loss with fitness professional Darrell Morris.

Join Darrell Morris live on the following dates:

Saturday August 17, 2013
3-4pm Eloise May Library
1471 S. Parker Road
Denver, Colorado 80231
Click here for registration

Tuesday August 27, 2013
6:30-7:30pm Smokey Hill Library
5430 S. Biscay Circle
Centennial, Colorado 80015
Click here for registration

Friday, May 24, 2013

McDonald's can't shake criticism about nutrition | AP Business News - The News Tribune

McDonald's once again faced criticism that it's a purveyor of junk food that markets to children at its annual shareholder meeting Thursday - including some sharp remarks from a 9-year-old girl.

The world's biggest hamburger chain has been looking to keep up with changing tastes as people increasingly opt for foods they feel are fresh or healthy. Customers can now order egg whites in its breakfast sandwiches, for example. McDonald's also recently introduced chicken wraps to go after people in their 20s and 30s looking for better-for-you options.

But on Thursday, McDonald's was taken to task by speakers associated with an advocacy group about its menu and advertising toward kids. As with other shareholder meetings where critics are given the rare chance to face executives, McDonald's Corp. allotted about a half-hour for attendees to ask CEO Don Thompson questions.

Among those was a 9-year-old girl who asked Thompson to stop "tricking kids into eating your food." Specifically, she called out the company's advertising for getting kids to "keep bugging their parents" for the food. The girl's mother echoed the request later on, saying McDonald's undermines parents by marketing to children.
 Another speaker asked that McDonald's remove its locations from hospitals, while others asked it to stop targeting communities of color by signing stars such as Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas and the NBA's LeBron James.

Read more here:

McDonald's can't shake criticism about nutrition | AP Business News - The News Tribune

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Lunch fit for Fat Loss

Eating any meal on the go is a challenge.  There are a lot of ways to help accomplish this task and for our purposes today I am going to share an easy lunch time meal that can be prepared at the office.

I must admit a little prep time is needed so here is what you need to have ready to before you head out to work: 

  • Pick two veggies
  • Pick a protein source
  • Take a Zip’n Steam bag

Off to work you go!

When it is time for lunch simply combine the ingredients in the Zip’n Steam bag.  I use:
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Chicken Breast
  • w/a pinch of Sea Salt
Place bag in microware for 5 minutes and presto.   A healthy nutritional lunch that will help you lose fat and satiate your appetite


Friday, April 5, 2013

Breakfast In A Pinch

A common trait among those who are successful losing fat is eating breakfast.  Yes, I have heard the excuses; I don’t have time, it makes me feel yucky, I’m not hungry in the morning. Those are simply excuses. 
Breakfast is important and an absolute must for anyone seeking to lose fat.  Breakfast should include lean proteins and fibrous carbohydrates.  Two of my favorite breakfast meals can be prepared in 15-20 minutes and can squeezed in during your current morning routine.
Here are my two favorite breakfast meals:
·       Scrambled eggs with spinach (1 Tbsp of olive oil,  ½-1 cup fresh spinach, 3-4 whole eggs*)
·       Scrambled eggs with a Green Pepper ( 1 Tbsp of olive oil, 3-4 whole eggs*, 1 green pepper)
*If you prefer you can use egg whites only, just some an additional egg white.
By nature I am a morning person: I know I am in the minority but I have to be true to who I am. I am up and ready to go when the alarm goes off.  Being ready so quickly has its up’s and down’s.  The up is I am ready to go after a quick brush of the teeth, wash of the face and hands, insertion of contacts, brush of the hair and dressed. The downside, I will strive to get every minute of sleep I can.  So in order to squeeze in breakfast I have to do some multi-tasking.
Let me walk you through a typical morning and how I squeeze in a cooked breakfast.  I will wake up put the skillet on the stove (set to medium) with one tablespoon of olive oil.  Go brush my teeth.  After brushing my teeth I will add 1 cup of spinach to sauté while I wash my hands and face and insert contacts.  I add the eggs.  While the eggs are cooking I will prepare a cup of black or green tea and get dressed.  Check on the eggs; scramble as needed.  Put on my shoes and prep my bag for work (on colder mornings I will start the car to allow it to warm up).  Presto, breakfast is done.  Breakfast takes 5-10 minutes to eat and I am on my way.  
For mornings that I am on a tighter schedule, I scramble the eggs and eat the green pepper whole.
Ideally I would encourage you to have your meals prepped and ready to go, but that is not always the case.  Sometimes you have to make the most of the time you have.  When it comes to losing fat just as in life, it is about finding a reason to be successful; not an excuse to fail.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Energy Drinks Good or Bad?

The energy drink industry is booming.  The demand for these products is driven by superior marketing efforts focused on students and professionals that require sustained alertness.  Certainly the key to any marketing campaign is to highlight the benefits of the product.  Caffeine is the main player and the benefits of caffeine use are improved performance, concentration and endurance.  It is easy to see the allure of using caffeinated products.  So perhaps the question isn’t whether energy drinks are good or bad, but rather when and if we should use energy drinks?
Use as an Ergogenic Aide
The research on caffeine as an ergogenic aide is generally related to athletic performance.  The results show improvement in athletic performance comes from the consumption of caffeine in capsule form and specific to endurance performance, such as distance runners.  As it relates to weight lifting maximum or low intensity efforts there doesn’t appear to be any measurable difference. It is important to note that because caffeine is a know ergogenic aide for endurance sports athletes need to be concerned with the amount of caffeine that can be consumed (International Olympic Committee banned amounts exceeding 12mg/ml in a urine sample, NCAA limit is 15mg/ml)
For athletes that require maximum intensity efforts and are using creatine supplementation, caffeine consumption may blunt the desired results from creatine supplementation.
Mixing Energy Drinks with Alcohol
Mixing a know stimulant (caffeine) with a know depressant (alcohol) is not a smart idea.  Consuming these drinks can halt the feeling of intoxication, lead to heavier drinking and increase the risks for alcohol related injuries.
Consumption for the average person
The occasional consumption of energy drinks appear to be harmless.  But the general recommendations are to limit the consumption to about 16 ounces (500 ml) per day. For adolescents the recommendation is no more than 100 ml and for younger children I would simply avoid caffeine.
Consuming caffeine above the recommended level can lead to a variety of side effects: insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, upset stomach, fast heartbeat and muscle tremors.  Important to note that some people are more sensitive than others so it is possible to experience the side effects in much smaller doses.
Please note if you have any underlying health conditions such as: heart disease, high blood pressure, pregnant or breast feeding, just avoid energy drinks altogether.
A Healthier Option
If the purpose for consuming energy drinks is to boost energy levels there is a better option that has more desirable side effects.  Improving eating behaviors, exercising and getting adequate amounts of sleep will leave you feeling well rested, focused, clear minded, and provide the increases in energy level.   The side effects will be fat loss, clothes fitting better, healthier looking skin, increase self confidence, and a better outlook on life.
In the end as a trainer and parent I would recommend steering clear of the energy drinks.  Enjoy the occasional cup of ‘Joe’, (I am a tea drinker myself).  Make better nutritional choices, exercise and get plenty of rest.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monster Lawsuit Raises Caffeine Questions - ABC News

By (@slupkin)
Oct. 24, 2012

A wrongful death lawsuit against Monster Beverage Corp., and the release of Food and Drug Administration incident reports indicating that Monster Energy drinks might have been responsible for five deaths since 2009, have brought questions about death by caffeine back into the national spotlight.
Although death by caffeine is possible, it generally takes 5 to 10 grams of the stimulant to kill someone, toxicologists say. Anais Fournier, the 14-year-old Maryland girl at the heart of the lawsuit, whose parents allege the energy drinks caused her death, consumed 480 mg of caffeine over two days, or less than a gram of the stimulant.
"This dose would not be expected to be fatal in a normal person of that age," said Dr. Christopher Holstege, director of toxicology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

Then again, what's lethal depends on several factors, including a person's weight, medications and underlying health conditions. A 41-year-old woman lived after consuming 50 grams of caffeine, up to 10 times more than what's considered a lethal dose, according to a 2003 Journal of Toxicology article.

"It is very difficult to predict one's response to caffeine. Some people are more sensitive than others," said Bruce Goldberger, the director of toxicology at the University of Florida College of Medicine. "Therein lies the problem. If someone has an undiagnosed medical condition, they may ingest caffeine not knowing it may have a deleterious effect, such as a cardiac arrhythmia, hypertension or anxiety."....

Monster Lawsuit Raises Caffeine Questions - ABC News

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Eat More, Burn More; The Physique Athlete's Method To Maximze Fat Loss

by Tom Venuto

Physique athletes (bodybuilding, fitness, fitness model, figure and bikini competitors) eat and train differently than most people. In fact, a lot of what they do to develop the leanest, most muscular, most aesthetically pleasing bodies in the world is the exact opposite of how most people do it. For more than 20 years (more than 10 years online), I’ve been teaching men and women the physique athlete (bodybuilder’s) method to fat loss. I often sum it up as “eat more, burn more.” In today’s post, I take a reader question that clears up the misconceptions about what this philosophy really means and how it’s possible that you can eat more and get leaner and more muscular doing it… continue reading 

P.S. I enjoyed reading this article and would recommend reading the entire article.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Truth about Fat, Sugar, and Food Labels

Enough literature has been published teaching Americans about the nutritional havoc excessive dietary fat can play. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing has led to so much misinformation that while Americans attempt to eat in a manner that they perceive to be healthy, few rarely have a sense of the role fat plays and where fats are. Ordering the chicken mixed salad in a restaurant might often have you ingesting more dietary fat than you would if you ordered the cheeseburger! Often the chicken breast is “marinating” which means “soaking up oil” for hours or days before it makes it to your plate. Add croutons, dressing, bacon bits, and you are stacking up fat calories in the “healthy” salad.
Since so many attempts to eat “low fat” or “fat free,” marketers have learned that if they can plaster those words all over their label, people will buy!  Loopholes in the FDA labeling laws have allowed food companies to mislead on their labels by promoting high fat foods as “low fat” and pure fat in some cases as “fat free.”  
Skip the big print and read the label. 
If any ingredient contains fat or oil, the food cannot possibly be “fat free.” 
While some “fat free” labeled snacks may really be pretty close to fat free, the most abundant ingredient in most cookies, cakes and ice cream is sugar. When you ingest simple sugar, it causes a rush of insulin which leads firstly to a compromise in fat release, and secondly, to the possible storage of body fat.  Too often, those attempting to avoid fat wind up having their dietary attempts fail due to excessive intake of simple sugars!
Supplements:  Magic in a bottle?
There are some supplements that are valid. They are, however, “supplements,” and by definition mean, “in addition to.” A supplement cannot and will not be a solution.  Most supplements are single micronutrients (vitamins and/or minerals) or combinations of micronutrient compounds. The processing of food in itself is synergistic and all of the nutrients work together.  For the most part, the micronutrients act upon the macronutrients for metabolic processes to take place. A concern for single vitamins and minerals without concern for intake of proteins, carbohydrates, and essential fatty acids can only leave you frustrated and short of achieving your health and fitness goals. Once you get the Synergy between exercise and supportive nutrition through food right, you can “fill in the gaps” or seek to optimize performance using supplemental aids. The most vital “supplement” in quest of supportive nutrition would be one that provides all of the nutrients you’d obtain in a meal in the event that a supportive meal is not accessible or convenient.  These are often called “meal replacements” or “nutrition formulas” Don’t get fooled by ads and labels that promise “magic.”  Look for a formula using a high quality protein and complex carbs, free from saturated or hydrogenated fat, and low in simple sugars. Also seek out a formula that maintains a high and complete profile of vitamins and minerals.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Successful Cardio

Did you know that doing aerobic exercise is making people fatter?
If you have ever been a health club you’ve seen em’ people who run for hours on end or climb until you are pretty sure they should have made the top of the mountain by now. Yet day after day month after month, they are showing no signs of physical change. Some may even look like they are in good shape have a nice physic, but get them our of their clothes and they are just a self-conscious as you might be. Let us refer to them as the fat-skinny-yes it is possible to be skinny and yet have enough fat on your body to be classified as obese.
Do I have your attention? Good!
You probably already know that aerobic exercise burns fat, so it seems logical if we want to lose fat, we should do aerobic exercise. So what’s the answer?
The answer is complex so I am going to simplify things a little. The body does not exclusively burn fat during aerobic exercise, its direct fuel source is ATP. ATP can be created from fat and glucose. In addition, the fat you have accumulated is not the exclusive fat supplier to meet your body’s energy needs. The dietary fats in your digestive tract can be broken down into fatty acids that travel as triglycerides in your blood stream; therefore, there is no guarantee that your stored body fat will be the preferred source.
If you exercise aerobically beyond your body’s ability and/or willingness to supply fat and stored sugar (glycogen) as fuel, your body can do a little trick. It will convert amino acids (protein) into sugar and use the newly created sugar as a source of ATP. Those amino acids are coming from muscle tissue and muscle is huge in improving your ability to burn fat. (More on this in a later article)
Far too often aerobic exercisers cut back on their caloric intake and exercise more trying to burn more fat, cannibalizing muscle.
While they are losing weight, doing to much aerobic exercise and lacking concern for muscle, you will lose muscle. If you lose weight and a predominance of that weight is muscle you not only increase your body’s percentage of fat, but you have decreased your body’s ability to burn fat.
I hope you are still with me. Aerobic exercise is part of the secret just not all of it.
For fat burning do some sort of aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week for a minimum of 20mins and no more than 45mins. (If you are just starting our work your way up to 20mins and then go from there) Work with in your Targeted Heart Rate Range:
220-Age= Max Heart Rate (MHR)
MHR x 60%= Lower end of Range
MHR x 80%= Upper end of Range
Any activity will work!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Is Resistance Training Important?

By now you know that aerobic exercise burns fat, but doing to much aerobice activity breaks down amino acids and that those amion acids are coming from muscle tissue, which can cause the loss of muscle!

There is another term we need to become familiar with and that is anaerobic exercise.  Anaerobic means without oxygen.  Aerobic you might have guessed means with oxygen. Anaerobic exercise are activityes in which you become exhausted very quickly (ie sprinting or weight training).  Anaerobic activities build muscle.  What you should know anerobic exercise develops muscle and aerobic exercise burns fat.  Fat is burned inside the muscles.  As you develop more muscle you have the ability to burn more fat when you do the appropriate amount of cardio (aerobic) activity.  Good  news right?  Well for most yes, but for others the image of getting big muscular body is not something they want to visualize.  Let us examine the commonly used phrase, "I don't want to get big I just want to get toned."  Take a deep breath, "toned" means to grow or gain muscle.  What happens here is as the muscles grow they utilized more fat in the body.  As the muscles demand the use of fat stored in the body the muscles grow the fat disappears and you begin to see muscle definition- muscle tone!

So how do you build muscle?  In order to build muscle you must ask the muscles to do more work than they are accustomed.  Then provide supportive nutrition to supply the muscles with the right nutritients to grow.

To sum it up.  Anerobic exercise builds muscle.  Fat is burned inside muscles.  Aerobic exericse is the primary system in which to burn fat.  More muscle means faster utilization of fat.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Motivation For Fat Loss

Finding the motivation to lose fat should be easy.  Nearly 2/3 of Americans are considered overweight or obese.  The side effects of carrying extra fat have been well documented: side effects such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, etc.  Let us not forget about the psychological effects that can be associated with being overweight or obese. Such as low self esteem, decrease sex appeal and decreased libido. So how does one find the motivation to lose fat?  It starts with two choices.  1. A choice to commit to making healthier choices.  2. A choice to be consistent. 
Let me be more specific.  It starts with YOU making the two choices.  Understand nobody else can make the choice for YOU. 
Here are 5 tips to help you find motivation:
1. Action is Power
The idea behind losing fat isn’t complicated.  In fact I am sure if I asked, you could easily name 5 or more methods of losing fat. So it is not a lack of knowledge that is holding anyone back.  So, what is holding them back?  Fear!  I believe most people are afraid to take control and make changes in their personal lives.  They have become accustomed to how things are.  When it comes to making changes goals must be set.  The goals need to be realistic.  Start the journey towards losing fat by setting up realistic goals.  And take action.  Take that first step.  Start with the easiest goal and proceed.
2. Reward the Day to Day Successes
Eating healthy should be one of the goals. But what is eating healthy?  Sure, there is a ton of information about eating organic foods, cutting out processed foods, avoiding sugar and increasing intake of lean proteins, but what are your current eating habits?  Current eating habits will dictate how successful you will be in changing future eating behaviors.  Here is what I mean: if you food eat 3 jelly glazed donuts for breakfast, a candy bar for a mid morning snack, a hamburger, fries and coke for lunch, another candy bar for a mid afternoon snack, then fried chicken, mashed potatoes and corn on cob for dinner, followed by 4 brownies before bedtime, the likelihood of you switching over to organic foods, cutting out process foods, avoiding sugar and increasing you intake of leans proteins at a moments notice is unlikely.  Sadly, this is how many try to change their eating behaviors.  But it is not realistic and leads to failure.   The goal should be to make small changes.  Using the above example if you cut down to one jelly glazed donut and one brownie you will have eliminated over a 1,000 calories from the diet. This is something worth celebrating!  That change is the equivalent of a 2 pound weight loss after one week.  Okay so you didn’t eat any vegetables (and NO I’m not counting fries as a vegetable).  Once able to sustain the reduction in donuts and brownies a new norm will be established.  Next, make another healthy change perhaps instead of the jelly glazed donut for breakfast you switch to oat meal. Recognize the small changes as a series of successes.
3. Don’t focus on the end result
Don’t get me wrong the end result is important.  However, it can be quite a distance from the starting point.  This can lead to feelings of despair and hopelessness.  Make sure you have set a series of short terms goals, sometimes referred to as mile markers, and focus on the positives.  We already discussed the impact of small realistic changes to your diet, but what about exercise?  If you are a couch potato now, a short realistic goal might be to walk in a 1k walk.  This could be something you would be ready to do in just a week.  In 30 days you could be ready to do a 5k.  Focusing on the positive short term success is part of the journey towards achieving the end result.
4. Seek Out Supporters
People who share their goals and associate with like minded individuals are more successful at losing fat.  Seek out people whom you trust and share a common interest or goal.  Sharing your goals with someone you trust makes the goal real and creates a sense of accountability.  For this reason it is important to confide in someone you trust.  It is also important to understand hanging around family and friends who don’t share common goals will dramatically decrease your chances of success.  I know this can be scary but if they are true friends they will understand.  It is about putting yourself in a position to be successful.  This is an action step and often times a difficult step.
5. Plan for Success
When it comes to fat loss success planning ahead is vital.  When we fail to plan, we plan to fail.  This could not be any truer than when it comes to fat loss. If you plan what to eat on any given day you are much more likely to be successful.  If you don’t plan you will eat what ever is most convenient.  Planning ahead is a choice and takes a commitment.  It is not always easy and comes with a sacrifice.
Motivation will vary from day to day.  There will be days motivation is greater than others. Such is life.  However, hold to the 5 tips provided and excel on the days motivation is high and preserver through the days motivation is low.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Professor Educates Public on Energy Drink Dangers

Like any mom, Dr. Kim Kato is concerned about her children’s nutrition. So when the licensed athletic trainer and professor of health and exercise science at MidAmerica Nazarene University, discovered the dangers of energy drinks, she made it her mission to educate teachers, parents, and athletic trainers about the risks.
Energy drinks, heavily marketed to youth, are touted as natural substances that increase energy and enhance performance. According to research Kato cites, however, there’s no evidence that these drinks provide a competitive performance advantage. Worse, there’s evidence that they may be unsafe, especially for children and teens.
“From a parent’s perspective, it’s always important to know what your child is using on a daily basis,” said Kato. “If they’re relying on these [drinks] to get through the day, that’s a concern.”

Professor Educates Public on Energy Drink Dangers

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

6 Great Tips for Fat Loss

Exercise alone will not lead to fat loss.  Exercise must be accompanied by sound nutrition.  The success of any fat loss program is dependent not on the number of workouts you get per week, but the quality of food you eat.  Support your fat loss efforts by incorporation the follow 6 Great Tips for Fat Loss.

1. Eat every 2-3 waking hours

It is important to focus on fueling the body for the results you want.  In the case of fat loss you will be looking to fuel the body every 2-3 waking hours.  Use hunger as your guide. If your start the day off with a healthy breakfast you will find with in 2-3 hours you will be hungry again.  This pattern will repeat through out the day as long as you are eating healthy foods.  If you find yourself feeling hungry sooner then increase the protein intake for each meal.  Don’t confuse hunger with boredom.  Often people with nothing to do will hunt through the kitchen in search of something to eat.  Don’t fall into this trap. Two tips to prevent you from falling into the trap: 1. find something to do, 2. drink water.

2. Don’t count calories

Counting calories isn’t fun.  I do recommend food journaling as a means of keeping you accountable and knowledgeable about what you are eating, but it is not necessary to count the calories.  The key is to adjust your mindset when it comes to portion sizes.  Use visualization to help you determine portion sizes.

3. Don’t drink you calories

Don’t forget to account for the calories in drinks.  Juices, coffees, teas and alcohol contain additional calories.  If your goal is to lose fat; you need to be accountable for these hidden calories.  The extra calories consumed in most beverages come from sweeteners.  Sweeteners will impede the body’s ability to burn fat.

4. Start the day with breakfast

Eating a healthy breakfast to start the day will start the day off on the right track.  It gets the fat burning engine running.  Skipping breakfast to save calories is a flawed strategy.  People who skip breakfast, in an effort to save calories, are more likely to be famished by lunch time. Therefore, consuming more calories at lunch than they would have if they eaten breakfast.

5. Cheat once a week

Eating healthy is good for our bodies, but sometimes we need a mental break.  It is okay to give into a craving from time to time.  Give yourself permission to cheat on one meal per week.  This concept allows you to post pone bad eating choices through out the week.  So go ahead and choose one meal to indulge in your favorite foods.

6. Focus on single ingredient foods

Look at it this way: avoid processed foods. Nature has served man well for thousands of years.  There is no need to venture far from the life giving foods that are naturally provided for us.  Processed foods do more harm that good.  Make a concerted effort to avoid them whenever possible.

Here are two examples of processed foods (comment below if you know what they are):

Item 1: Whole grain oats, modified corn starch, sugar, salt, tripotassium phosphate, wheat starch, vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) added to preserve freshness.

Item 2: mechanically separated turkey, turkey, water, sugar, salt, potassium lactate, natural smoke flavor (canola oil, natural smoke, natural flavoring), sodium diacetate, sodium phosphate, natural flavoring, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.

Integrate these six tips into your fat loss regimen and you will be well on your way to a leaner sexier you.

Monday, January 28, 2013

How to Journal for Fat Loss Success

Failing to journal leads to failure.  When it comes to fat loss; being accountable is the best determining factor of success.  If you looking to lose fat you need to be honest about the types and amounts of foods you are consuming.  Journaling has proven time and time again to be the best method for being held accountable. 

We don’t have a clue. If someone were to ask you what you ate today, you would do your best to remember everything you ate.  You would list what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, you will leave out either several items or underestimate the quantities. This could be intentional or unintentional.  In either case studiesshow normal weight people underestimate their caloric intake by 20%, whileoverweight people by 40%*.  Simply put we need to know what we are consuming.

There is a great deal of power that goes into putting pen to paper. When it comes to losing fat writing down what you eat will have a great impact on current and future food selections.  Once you understand what you are putting into your body you can take ownership. If you know one serving (2 cookies) of the Girl Scout Cookies Samoas’ contains 140 calories: just for the record if you consume the entire box that would be 1050 calories (15 per box).  Writing down what you eat puts you face to face with the truth. Does this mean you can’t have the cookies? No. What it means is that you should limit how many you should have in any one day.

When journaling the foods eaten you will gain an understanding of how much you are actually consuming. This will allow you to practice moderation.  Moderation doesn’t mean you have to give it up favorite foods.  It means that you need to limit their consumption. So instead of sitting down in front of the TV and eating the entire box of cookies, eat one serving and walk away.  It is the awareness of what we consume that can foster an environment of change.

Accountability begins with being honest.  Facing the truth can be very difficult.  In theory I think it is easy to realize we are not perfect, but when there is documentation to confirm the theory we are frightened. We go into denial. We hide. We joke. We justify. Let the truth set you free.  By being honest with yourself you can set goals and create change.  You can lose the fat.  You have nothing to hide from, nothing to justify.  You are ready to make a change.

Start keeping a journal today.  Here are 2 simple suggestions to start journaling food intake:

  1. Use your smart phone to take a picture of everything you eat.
  2. After lunch and before bed write down what you ate.  Referring to the pictures of course and reference when and where.  This can be written in a small spiral note book or logged into any digital option.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Do Supermarkets Promote Bad Choices?

Read this recent post by Ayala Laufer-Cahana, M.D.

Study: Do Suppermarkets Promote What's Good for You?

Advertisements sell and -- as much as we hate to admit it -- food ads do shape the way we eat. That's why in 2010 about $7 billion was spent on food ads in the U.S.
Much has been said about the ubiquity of junk food and fast food ads on TV and their effect on eating habits, especially kids' eating habits.
Newspaper and mailed circulars receive much less attention, despite the fact that they are an important advertising channel for food and grocery retailers, and food advertisers spend nearly $1.6 billion on these outlets yearly. Consumers pay quite a lot of attention to them, and a recent survey showed that shoppers change their meal plan according to which products are on promotion, with young people even more susceptible to eating-on-promotion.
A new study (published online ahead of print) in Appetite is among the first to evaluate the types of foods promoted by U.S. supermarkets and compare them with current dietary guidance. The study analyzed sales circulars issued in 2011 by supermarket top chains and included a sample from each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. The proportional ad area devoted to each food group was compared to the area allotted to that food group in the MyPlate icon.

Read the full article

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dynamic Warm Up

If you are tired of the traditional warm up routines then take a shot at a Dynamic Warm Up.  The concept behind doing a Dynamic Warm Up is to engage as many muscles as possible and get the blood flowing to all areas of the body.  Complete a Dynamic Warm Up and cut your warm up time by 50%.

Here is the routine:
  1. Standing Twist 10 per side
  2. Wood Chops 10 per side
  3. Extensions 10 reps
  4. Push Ups 10 reps
Choose a medicine ball that is approximately 5-10% of your body weight.  You can also use DB's or resistance cords if a medicine ball is not available.

p.s. on the extensions you don't want to arch the back.  In the video I am a bit soft spoken and all you hear is arch the back.  Remember don't arch the back.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fat Loss 101 Believe That You Can

In the third part of the fat loss series I want to address the importance of believing in you.  When you watch infomercials and see before and after pictures there is a disclaimer at the bottom that states ‘results may vary’ or ‘results not typical’.  This is because one of the three items was missing; commitment to make better choices, a technology that works, or a belief that you can.  If you commit to making better choices and find a technology that works; then all that is missing is the belief that you can.
I find the vast majority of people when looking for the best fat loss plans or best fat loss programs truly don’t believe that they can change.  Believing and wanting to change are two different things.  It is easy to want.  Saying I want to lose body fat is easy.  Believing that you can is another.  Everyone wants something very few ever get what they want. 
It is not uncommon for someone to start a fat loss program with the best of intentions.  They believe they can use will power to get them through the program.  In reality will power only buys you a couple of days.  In fact will power usually doesn’t kick in until day three or four and quickly fads away between days eight and fourteen.  Most fat loss programs target this two week window.  The marketing is designed to feed upon the individuals emotional needs and achieve a fast result.  The programs are designed to provide fast results to strengthen the belief that you can do it.  Resolve gets tested.  Excuses begin to arise. Distractions become obstacles. It is at this point that distinguishes those who can and those who won’t succeed.  It is the person who has a strong enough belief in themselves that will go on to be successful.  The person that truly doesn’t believe they will succeed will not. Think of the first two weeks on a fat loss program as a jump start to developing a habit.  On average it takes 28 days to make a habit.  It is going to be your belief that you can and your commitment to make better choices that will allow you to press on after will power is no longer the driving force.
There are hundreds of books and resources discussing the power of belief so I am not going to go into all the science and research.  What I am going to tell you is that if you have doubt in yourself and you do not believe you can be successful you are selling yourself short and I truly believe you will never be happy or satisfied with who you are.  Remember this quote “whether you think you can or can not, you are right”. 
When starting a fat loss program make sure it meets the criteria “A Technology that Works”. If the program meets the criteria then it is up to you to bring a commitment to make better choices and a belief that you can.  If all three are present you will succeed.

Friday, January 11, 2013

IST Training v1

This program is designed to focus on both stability and strength.  Perform the exercises list below 3 times per week. For example: Monday-Wednesday-Friday.  Perform Cardio activity for 20-30 minutes 3 times per week.  The cardio activity can be performed on separate days or following the workout.

Beginners:  1 set 15-20 reps

Intermediate: 2-3 sets 12-15 reps

Advanced: 3 sets 12 reps
Warm Up (use a dynamic warm up)

  • Medicine Ball standing twist 10 p/s
  • Medicine Ball wood chops 10 p/s
  • Medicine Ball extensions 10
  • Repeat the warm up for 3 sets.  Progressively get faster on each set.

  • Back Extension paired with SB Hamstring Curls
  • Standing Chest Press paired with Push Ups
  • Pull Ups or Lat Pulldowns paired with Reverse Flies
  • Shoulder Press paired with Scaption
  • Stability Squats paired with Jump Squats
Cool Down

  • Light stretching as needed

Monday, January 7, 2013

Fat Loss 101 'A Technology That Works'

In the first article in the Fat Loss 101 series we discussed the number one priority when it comes to fat loss; committing to make better choices. The second thing you need to have is a technology that works.  The phrase “a technology that works” simply refers to the right knowledge.  Here is what you need to know regarding fat loss.  First you need supportive nutrition.  Second a concern for muscle and third moderate aerobic exercise.

Supportive nutrition - Supportive nutrition means fueling the body for the desired results.  If fat loss is the goal then you need to practice the following two nutritional concepts.  First, eat a supportive meal every 3 to 3.5 waking hours. Second, each supportive meal should consist of the following: a lean protein, starchy carbohydrate and fibrous carbohydrate. Here is a sample of what your meals might look like:

  • Breakfast- eggs, spinach and brown rice
  • Mid morning snack- goat yogurt w/celery
  • Lunch- spinach based salad with broccoli, green peppers and chicken
  • Mid afternoon snack- almond butter with apple slices and celery sticks
  • Dinner- Salmon, asparagus, quinoa
Have a concern for muscle - Fat is burned in the muscles. In fact you should think of your muscles as a fat burning furnace. The more muscle you have the more fat you can burn.  This doesn’t mean you have to be a massive body builder.  But it does mean that you need to maintain or increase the amount of muscle you currently have.  In order to maintain or build muscle you need to provide a stimulus the challenges the muscles. The easiest way to challenge the muscles is through resistance training.  Resistance training can come through the use of body weight exercises, dumbbells, exercise tubes, etc.  How much weight, how many times, and how often will be determined by your current fitness level. 

Moderate aerobic activity (cardio) - Performing endless hours of cardio is not the goal.  In fact the mere thought of having to do long bouts of cardio is a real turn off. I recommend only 20-30 minutes.  The best way to accomplish this is to perform interval training.  Interval training basically means combining moments of high intensity activity with periods of low intensity activity.

When you combine supportive nutrition, a concern for muscle and moderate aerobic activity you will see fat loss.  Your body will change.  You will see an increase in energy levels.  Decrease in clothing sizes.  Increase in self confidence.