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.