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.