Archive for February, 2011

Four more secrets to weight loss to add to your daily repetoire!

  • 4) Move Your Body (at least 5 days a week)

Strive to exercise at least 5 out of 7 days of the week.  If you are weight training a couple days a week, then fill in the remaining 3 days with something you enjoy.  Experiment with several different forms of exercise until you find one you like and incorporate it into your weekly routine.  There are a multitude of activities available to choose from.  Go take a dance class like Zumba, try kickboxing, there’s spinning, yoga, and pilates.  If you’re looking from something a bit more challenging, enroll in a boot camp.

  • 5) Fuel Your Body Often

 You have to feed your body what it needs.  Shoot for 4-5 smaller meals throughout the day and make breakfast a priority.  Don’t skip meals.  You should never go longer than 4 hours without having a meal or snack.  Losing weight doesn’t require strict dieting or starvation.  This will only slow down your metabolism and cause you continue to yo-yo from losing and gaining all the time.  Make this a lifestyle change and not a diet.  A lifestyle change is something long-term that is positive.  The word diet, on the other hand, is like a foe you are constantly trying to beat.  This change is a not a temporary fix until you reach your goal weight, but a new way of life for the rest of your life.

  • 6) Eliminate the Junk

 Choose foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.  Get rid of anything processed with added sugars, fat, and sauces.  The fewer the ingredients the better!  Begin to start looking at food labels and stay clear of items with long lists and words you cannot pronounce.  You want to minimize choices that have sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils.  Sugar meaning anything ending with the word ose- fructose, glucose, sucrose, etc.  You will be astonished at the amount of products containing the above listed ingredients from breads to condiments, and yogurts.

  • 7) Eat a High Quality Protein with every meal

 Eating proteins gives your body a greater metabolic boost due to the higher thermogenic effect compared to that of carbohydrates and fat.  In addition, protein is more filling keeping you satisfied longer.  Be sure to incorporate lean proteins into your meals: fish, chicken, lean red meat, turkey, eggs, skim milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, beans, lentils and some extent nuts.  Also, when eating snacks, try to add a protein source.  An apple is a great choice, but an apple with all natural peanut butter is a better choice.  The second option makes you feel satiated and helps stabilizes your blood sugar. 

 Use these tips with the previously listed weight loss secrets and begin to reduce body fat, eliminate unwanted pounds, and overall give your body the proper energy it needs to function efficiently.  The remaining secrets 8-10 will be delivered within a future post.  Enjoy your next adventure grocery shopping!

Eat less, workout more, lose weight. Restrict calories, starve yourself, and exercise like an intense-crazed lunatic. Sounds like a solid plan. Not exactly. The body doesn’t work this way. This way will only work in the short term. Down the road, a routine like this will wreak havoc on the body.  Hence, a constant influx of cortisol, fluctuating weight levels, joint pain, and unsatisfying results.  For any long lasting success in body fat reduction and weight loss, use the following steps for continued success:

  • 1) NEAT – Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis

Simple movement we do daily can play a key role in weight loss. NEAT is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating, or structured exercise.  A desk-bound man or woman may only take 1500-3000 steps a day when 10,000 steps a day is the recommendation for general health and weight loss.  So, walking around more at work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, stand while talking on the phone, cooking, cleaning, gardening, and pacing around are all examples of NEAT.  Society has made it easy for us to do nothing and many jobs require sitting at a desk in front of a computer for 8-10 hours. Finding ways to incorporate movement into your day will help burn more calories combating the time spent with little or no movement.  Some suggestions would be to get up from your desk and walk around at least every hour, cook dinner while standing instead of just picking up take-out, or go for a walk with family or friends.  The key is to take a whole day approach to physical activity, not just your evening workout. 

  • 2) Increase Muscle Mass – Pump Iron

 Aim for at least 2 days a week of weight training.  Adding muscle can have a lasting impact on both weight loss and overall health.  Muscle is highly metabolically active while fat is not.  In other words, muscle requires more calories to be maintained and fat just sits around.  Building muscle will not only help you burn more calories throughout the day, it will help stop bone loss, decrease your risk of injury, as well as boost your stamina and function for everyday activities.  Make your workouts challenging, continue to mix them up for muscle confusion, and make sure to add exercises that require the major muscle groups so you can get the most bang for your buck.

  • 3) Interval Training

 When thinking of your exercise program, throw in some intervals to your cardio workouts.  Basically, you are going to push yourself for a short period of time with a small recovery and then do it again.  For example, while walking on the treadmill or outside, start with a warm up and then pick up the pace for 30 seconds to 1 minute for as hard as you can go, then ramp it back down to the moderate level for a short time until you recover.  The goal is to be able to maintain the harder pace longer and recover more quickly.  Initially, start with a 1:3 work/recover ratio, and gradually build to a 1:1 ratio.  You should do this for 15-20 minutes and cool down for 5 minutes after.  If you are not winded by the end, you didn’t push yourself enough.  Not only will interval training help you burn more calories during your workout, the high intensity will create a post-workout afterburn throughout the day. You can also do the same with your weight training. An example from a previous blog post using HIIT.  http://wp.me/pOgCs-5y 

Stay tuned for further weight loss secrets….

 

Time is a precious commodity and with the fast-paced, time deficient world we live in, most people put exercise to the back burner and to the bottom of their to do lists. You may not have thought of it this way, but exercise saves you time and will most likely add longer and stronger years to your life.

Taking a little time for exercise will surprisingly help you manage other areas of your life. Some of the positive effects include lifting your mood, boosting your self-esteem and reducing your stress. Exercising gives you a healthier focus. Those who exercise are sick less often, report being happier and even make more money then those who do not. People who exercise more regularly make healthier food choices and sleep better. If you can manage to make exercising a priority, you will be pleased with how much better you become at managing life tasks.  Here are some tips to help you make time for exercise:

  • Make an appointment – Schedule activity in your planner a month in advance and keep that commitment the same way you would any other meeting. When you go to schedule other activities, do so around your workout session. If it’s necessary to cancel a workout session, reschedule it immediately for another time during the day or for the very next day.
  • Get Support – Let your significant other know your exercise schedule ahead of time, so there are no conflicts or guilt when it comes time for working out. Inform your employer of your goals and ask for some flexibility in your schedule. For example, come in later and work later, so that you can get in your morning run or walk.
  • Stick to Your Schedule – Set your watch or blackberry to go off when it’s time to exercise. Then stop what you are doing and take 30+ minutes to exercise. You will be more productive finishing up tasks after you worked out versus trying to work through a situation knowing you did not keep your commitment to yourself.
  • Plan Ahead – Cook on Sunday night for the week. This way, you can head to the gym after work and still come home to a healthy cooked meal. This will help you stay on track for your meal plan as well as your exercise schedule. For best results, both your meals and activities need to be planned for and should not be left to chance.
  • Workout at Lunch – A workout break will refresh you for the second half of the day and is known to boost brain power. You will be more productive after recharging your body with exercise than working through your lunch and eating at your desk.
  • Make an Investment – Your body is your temple. You only receive one. Make an investment in yourself and protect your investment daily.  Ask yourself. What did I do for my investment today?
  • Always be Dressed to Move – You never know when the opportunity will arise to go for a walk or hit the gym. Keep your sneakers in your car at all times, lay out your workout clothes or pack your gym bag the night before. Eliminate excuses and always be prepared for opportunities to exercise.
  • Engage in Intermittent Sessions – Take several 10-15 minute walking breaks throughout the day. By days end, you could have completed 60 minutes of cardiovascular activity, and the health benefits are the same as continuous exercise.
  • Eliminate Time Wasters – Take a look at your 24-hour schedule and see where you can eliminate some time wasters. Can you multi-task, be more efficient or watch less TV? Less Facebook? You only need to dedicate a small percentage of your week to exercise. You are worth it!
  • Set Yourself up for Success – Get up 30 minutes earlier — then you don’t have to make excuses for the rest of the day. Morning exercises have the highest compliance rates, as do those who exercise with a partner.

Reaching your goals does not have to mean hours in the gym. All it takes, is a little time here and there.  But, you have to make the commitment to yourself. There should be no excuses for finding time to exercise.  Take this tips and make the positive changes you need to get it done.

 

My clients ask me all the time about incorporating protein into their daily nutrition plan. First and foremost, I believe whole foods should be the number 1 choice. But, there are times when you just cannot get that meal in. Maybe you are in a hurry or on the road or possibly need extra protein after an intense workout. This is when a good protein supplement comes in handy.  Most people feel overwhelmed with all the options that are on the shelves today.  When deciding on a protein powder to supplement into your everyday nutrition, here are a few things to look for to ensure that you are getting the absolute best when it comes to your nutrition:

  • Look for a protein powder that has at least 18 grams of protein or higher.
  • Calorie content is key!  Choose an option that is low in calories, I recommend anything under 150 calories.
  • Choose an option that is low in sugar, there are options available that have 0 sugars which are best.
  • Watch the fat grams in the protein powder that you choose, aim for no more than 5 grams of fat per serving and stay away from options with saturated fat.
  • Look for a protein supplement that is low in carbohydrates, this if very important!  Aim to find an option that has less than 5g of carbohydrates per serving.
  • Of course you want to find a brand of protein that tastes good or you won’t want to drink it!  There are a lot of great tasting options and flavors out there but the key is finding a great tasting protein powder that also is nutritious and packed with high quality protein.
  • If you are lactose intolerant make sure to find a soy based protein powder and avoid products made with milk proteins.
  • This is last one is optional but I like to use a protein powder that is good to cook and mix with as I get bored only drinking shakes and like to incorporate extra protein in the foods that I eat.

 

There are some amazing protein supplements available and after you find one that fits your lifestyle and you love, you will be amazed at how beneficial your protein supplementation will be in helping to lose body fat, increase strength, increase performance and lose weight. 

My personal favorite is Beverly International Ultimate Muscle Protein Vanilla.  I have tried dozens of other brands over the years but this is my favorite.  The powder mixes well and the taste is really good.  Here are nutrition specifications on UMP:

  • Calories per serving: 120
  • Fat grams per serving: 3.5g
  • Carbohydrates per serving: 4g
  • Sugars: 0g