Apr
16
2012
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Want Your Midsection In Shape Before Summer?

 

Think Doing 1,000 Sit-Ups Will Get You There?

 

Think Starving Yourself Will Get You There?

 

If you answered "YES" to any of these questions, then you better keep reading.

 

It's a simple guide, but one many forget; especially those that wait till the last minute and want instant results.  By the way, you can't cram for abs, like you crammed for tests back in school.  I don't care what the media tells you!

 

Getting lean and staying that way basically boils down to 3 consistent steps:

 

1.) Make a Plan:

     Yes, I'm sure you're tired of hearing me say it, but it's the truth.  There is no successful outcome without a plan!

     +  Make time to plan your meals and track them

     +  Make time to plan your fitness (if you're serious, you can't afford to miss workouts)

     +  Make time to get your rest.(transformation happens during recuperation--not while working out)

 

2.) Do Circuit Training:

     If time is an issue when it comes to working out, then circuits is the best way to go

     Ditch the social time workout

     +  Do cardio intervals to get the most out of your cardio time

     +  Try alternating upper and lower body exercises (3-5 exercises in a row)

 

3.) Consistent Good Nutrition:

     It doesn't have to be perfect, but better than you're eating now.

     +  3 meals per day containing a protein, carbohydrate, and fat (here -->)

     +  2 snacks per day that are basically "mini-meals" (one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon)

     + Cut down or eliminate the sugary drinks and go for water or ice tea (unsweetened).

 

It's honestly that simple.  Just like a travel itinerary or a retirement plan -- you have to make a plan and stick to it.  Doing these 3 simple steps consistently will get you the results you want and deserve.

Mar
13
2012
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I can't tell you how many times I've answered the question about the safety or dangers of red meat.  And I'm not just referring to the difference between organic versus non-organic nor grass versus corn or grain fed.  Some people have serious concerns when it comes to consuming red meat. 

 

And to be quite honest, you should be concerned about what you put into your body.  With all of the chemicals that we read about being added to our food, you'd be foolish not to be more discriminating when it comes to your daily meals.

 

But sometimes marketing hoopla and research can go a bit overboard.

 

Check out this article:  All Red Meat Is Bad For You!

 

Now that's one powerful title.  And after reading the article it's enough to make anyone swear off red meat -- PERIOD!

 

But when you sit and think about the "study" they cite, I noticed they didn't discuss whether any of the participants exercised or not?  Did any of the participants consume alcohol or eat processed foods as regularly as they consumed red meat?  Did they have family histories of poor health? You can see where I'm going with this.

 

While you should limit the amount of red meat you consume, you should also be aware that other factors play a strong role in mortality rates -- not just red meat.

 

And because we live in such an information age we are fortunate enough to get articles like the one below, that help to put a little perspective into the mix.

 

Why Red Meat Is NOT Bad For You!

 

Whether you are a vegetarian, eat no red meat, or only consumed a limited amount per week, the bottom line is not to believe everything that comes across our hyped up media, just because it claims to be a study.

 

You're intelligent.  Think it through.  Do what makes sense to you, and don't be led around by your emotions and a few so-called research studies. 

 

 

 

Health comes in many varieties and can be achieved in many ways.  Make sure the one you choose is a decision made by you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The year continues to click right by us.  Here we are on the last week of August -- WOW does it fly.

But more importantly, it's Monday and time for some Tips, Tricks and Info to get you on your way to that new you!

First off, here is an article that is nothing short of terrifying -- really, I'm serious!  This article goes into detail about what will happen to the obesity rates in the United States if we don't seriously do something NOW!

Obesity Rates Are Projected to Soar -- Half the Population . .

My hope is that this next article will be key in avoiding the article I just shared with you.  I've seen it in other countries and a few progressive companies here in the U.S. have been using it.  How cool would it be to be paid to workout out?

Workers Tout The Benefits Of Exercise On The Clock

When it comes to change, the hardest thing is to get started.  I remember speaking to many people over the years that tell me how difficult it is to get the process of change started.  Let's be honest, making changes in any part of your life can be challenging in the beginning.  I think this next article has some great ideas on how to get yourself on track.

4 Tips on How To Get Started

OK, so let's say you have been exercising and are just not seeing the results you want.  Or probably more to the point, you're having trouble staying on track.  You want to make the commitment, but it's a struggle to start or keep it going for any length of time.  You're not alone, lots of people have difficulty starting a new routine, let alone keeping it going till they see their results. This should help:

5 Ways Dieters Sabotage Themselves

If we are going to avoid half of the population becoming obese by the year 2030, we better get started. 

Here's my part, passing on tips, tricks and info that matter.  And if that wasn't enough, I'm currently running DYNAMIC X --  "The Anti-Boot Camp Class", just in case you need a little jump start.  You can get all the info here: DYNAMIC X

Well there's your Monday dose.

Remember, you don't have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going!

Now Get On Track and Stay On Track!
Well, it's Monday again.  So of course it's time for some information that actually works and saves you the trouble of trying to make sense of all the media hype and misdirection.

The first article is for those of you who are wondering does timing of meals really matter when it comes to putting on or keeping your muscle.  Believe it or not, it actually does matter.  Research has confirmed something that those of us in the fitness community have known for a while, eating an easily digested meal, high in protein and low in fat, directly after your workout preserves and assists you in gaining muscle.  And remember the goal when it comes to transforming your body -- maintain your muscle and shedding the body fat. 

Here's a little help:  Muscle Building Effect of Protein Post Workout

The second article is an excellent read.  Especially for those of you who really don't want to keep track your fitness progress and goals.  Believe me when I say, it doesn't matter until you write it down.  I don't exactly know what mechanism it is, but there is something about writing down a goal that is very motivating and spurs a sense of accountability.  And what better way to achieve a goal than to make yourself truly accountable.  That's how success happens in any realm -- making yourself accountable.

Need a reason?  Here's 5 Reasons to Keep Track of Your Fitness Goals

And then we move to an issue that is always concerning to me, people looking for shortcuts when it comes to weight loss. I have to admit, there are many "diets" that can provide short term weight loss and body transformation, but few of them are truly safe.  And to be quite honest, virtually none of them are something you can keep up for any length of time.  So why bother?  I mean seriously, transforming your body is a lifestyle change that takes time.  It is something that you do step by step -- getting a bit more consistent each day and each week.  Lasting body transformation is not something that happens quickly -- we're talking about changing habits here.  So even the most committed do back step once in a while.  But with a good program, consistent effort and realistic goals, You Can Do It!

Check this out:  The Danger of Weight Loss Shortcuts 

(by the way, holding your breath as a form of body transformation, doesn't work)


Only the real deal info here --

So Get On Track and Stay On Track!
I have to apologize right up front.  I realized today, after thinking a little deeper on the issue, I may have mislead and confused some people. I claim that I want to give all of you accurate, practical information that will help you achieve your goals.

So for the record, let's get this specific issue clear.

Over the past week I have received several questions asking, "If I'm not losing weight (on the scale) am I still making progress in my training?"  This is an excellent question and a great one for Mid-Week Motivation.

The short answer is Yes!

Remember, a pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of fat, which both weight the same as a pound of muscle. 

The difference is one of space.

Think of body fat as taking up the space of a grapefruit, while the same weight of muscle would only take the space of a tangerine.  So while you may not see the numbers change on the scale, you should notice a difference in how your clothes fit -- because your muscle takes up less space, you should see the progress in inches first, not weight.

What I mean by that is, you may not see your loss of body fat on your typical bathroom scale, but that does not mean you haven't gotten rid of some unwanted body fat.

When you begin a good nutrition and exercise program it is not unusual to initially see the overall body weight number on your typical bathroom scale actually go up. 

Why?

Because if you're like most of the population, chances are you've been under-eating.  Meaning, you've probably been consuming way too many carbohydrates and not near enough protein to feed your muscles properly.  So when you start eating properly, your muscles soak up all those extra calories because they have been starving all this time.  And in most cases, the muscles soak up the good nutrients a bit faster than you are able to burn off the extra body fat (stored sugar for energy).

To take it one step further and hopefully make this a bit more clear, think of it this way.  From what I've gathered from my research, we are all born with a certain number of fat cells and a certain number of muscles cells.  The amount of each of these does not change!

What does change is the size (volume, amount of space they take up) of each of those types of cells.  You can shrink your fat cells through exercise and good nutrition, thus creating a "smaller", healthier you.  While at the same time slightly increasing your muscle cells (which take up less space) which thus allow you took look smaller, feel better, and live longer, all without seeing much change on your typical bathroom scale.

So again, YES, you may still be making progress even if you don't see the number decreasing on your typical bathroom scale.

Lastly, I've been saying "typical bathroom scale" throughout this blog, because technology has now advanced to a point where you can buy a bathroom scale that will provide you with a body composition number (body fat compared to lean muscle).  They are relatively inexpensive and do a decent to good job of giving reliable information on which to base your progress.

So don't get down on yourself just because you don't see the number decreasing on your typical bathroom scale.  Instead, get a better bathroom scale, keep planning your meals in advance to stay on track, and get your exercise in consistently with no excuses.

Now Go Out and Get It Done!
Yes, I'm back from vacation.  Needed the downtime. Definitely feeling refreshed and ready to get back into the thick of things.

Even on vacation I can't seem to escape the marketing machine's grip.  I found some interesting facts about Pizza in one of my "poolside" reading magazines.  At first read I thought, "Wow, this is some good information to consider". But something just didn't seem real.  Then it hit me.

It almost made me pull out my hair, but then I remembered -- I don't have any.

Check out the short video below and see what I mean.

We all have goals we would like to achieve.  It doesn't matter what that goal is quite honestly.  For my purpose I want to help you achieve the your best body. 

I want you to live without having pain. 

I want you to be the weight you desire. 

I want you to like what you see when you look in the mirror.

I want you to be able to do what you truly love doing, whether it's gardening, knitting, playing a specific sport, or working out.

I know you work unbelievably hard at your job each day, each week.  I believe you work just as hard at home, to the best partner, husband/father or wife/mother.  It's a grind sometimes, let's be honest; but you do the best you possibly can each and every week.

Yet amongst all those responsibilities we have to find some you time. 

I know, I know, it can be a daunting task at times.  But if we don't take good care of you, you won't be able to show up in the other areas of your life the way you want.

I don't know about you, but when I don't take good care of myself, feeling as though I'm running from one obligation to the next; I get cranky, have difficultly sleeping, and quite honestly, am not that pleasant to be around.

I respect the amount of time you spend at work and at home, so I spend each week carefully choosing subjects and information that will inspire, educate, and motivate you into action.  Action that will give you a renewed sense of "get it done".  Because you and I both know the better you take care of yourself, the better you're able to give to others.

But sometimes it's hard to find that time, or so I thought. 

What I've come to realize is, it's not about finding the more time to get everything I need and want, done.  No, actually it's about me managing the time I have.  Does that sound like you? 

The first thing I had to do is have the discipline and the courage to create a goal and the plans to make it happen.  These two items were a big help:

The_Indispensable_Quality.doc

The_Time_to_Act.doc

The older I get and the more I think about it, the more I realize success has more to do with managing what you have than it does with longing for something outside of yourself.  And the funny thing about managing what you have is that you often times find yourself getting more of what you want and need.

But the first thing that has to happen before you can start working on any of this, is a sense of urgency.  A sense that it's time to make a change.  Time to stop filling up that closet with regrets and missed opportunities.

Excuse_Me_Your_Life_is_Waiting.doc

It's your life.  You deserve to have the type of life you want.  There is nothing you can't accomplish.  It will take a plan and some effort, but it IS within your grasp. 

Just take the first step -- that's all I ask.

Now Go Out and Get It Done!
Mar
07
2011
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I don't know if you are realize why I make such a big deal of eating regularly.  And by regularly, I mean eating a balanced meal every 2.5 to 3.5 hours.  Yes, I realize it's a pain in the behind.  Yes, I realize sometimes your meeting schedule for that day doesn't cooperate, I understand.  But you'll need to find a way to get some nourishment in every 2.3-3.5 hours each day.

Why?

Because that is approximately the amount of time it takes before your body has burned through the previous meal.  And as long as we're being honest about it, it's about the time your blood sugar is beginning to drop off.  And we all know what happens when your blood sugar begins to drop.  Outside of being loopy and distracted, you'll notice it's harder to keep focused, and think clearly.  Basically it just takes so much more energy to get the job in front of you done.

Now, add to that, if you make a habit of skipping meals it actually sends the message to your body to store calories.  That's right, store calories (think increased body fat). 

Why?

Because as corny as it sounds, your body is a survival machine. We out survived the dinosaurs for a reason -- our ability to adapt.  One of the reasons we've been so good at survival in tough times is because our bodies respond to our eating habits.  When food was scarce, whether from drought or cold (depending on where your ancestors lived), your metabolism slows down.  In that way it ensures that you will not starve to death (conserving energy).  That's kind of an important thing don't you think.

Well, flash forward, if you consistently skip (go over 3.5 hours without eating something substantial) meals you are in fact sending your body the same type of message -- caloric deprivation or "food is scarce".  Being the great survival machine that it is, your body will slow down your metabolism to make sure you don't starve (think conserving gasoline). 

So any ideas you had about losing weight or getting lean -- scratch 'em.  Your body is focused on survival because you've been missing meals.

Now, on the other hand, when you feed your body every 2.5-3.5 hours, your sending your body the message that it does not need to store calories -- because you are feeding it consistently (think decreased body fat).

Obviously if there's no need to store calories (evidenced by the regular meal schedule) then your body will (with a good exercise program) proceed to get lean by speeding up the metabolism and burning fuel (food) efficiently.

And to make sure you have your meal options, I've included some snack options to help you stay on track.  Last week was breakfast choices.  This week let's cover the morning and afternoon snacks.  Next week I'll make sure you stay on track with some lunch options.

Snack Options (mini meals):

Romaine Tuna Wraps (Romaine_Tuna_Wraps.doc)

Mint Chocolate Shake (Mint_Chocolate_Shake.doc)

Raspberry Mocha Shake (Raspberry_Mocha_Shake.doc)

And remember there is always the trusty Pita Pocket (cut in half) with 4-6 oz. of your favorite meat, lettuce, tomato and a low fat topping.

That's the Big Deal!
 
So get your meals in.  It just takes a little creativity.  Don't find problems, Find Solutions!
Feb
28
2011
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I realize it may be hard to believe, but we are just about to begin March.  Which means the first quarter is almost over. 

Stay with me here. 

Which means the first 3 months of the year are almost over.  How's your body transformation -- project, resolution, promise, or whatever you're calling it going?

You know you could just start off by having a good breakfast to start getting back on track.

I don't know how it happens, but for some reason breakfast seems to be the most difficult meal to get most people to eat consistently.  I've heard all the excuses from "I don't have time", to "I don't eat eggs", to "I'm really not that hungry in the morning". Trust me if you've been sleeping for 6-8 hours or more, your body is hungry -- even if you don't feel like eating. 
However, if you keep that pattern up, of not eating breakfast, you encourage your body to store calories as body fat.

Why?

Because if you continue to tell your body it will be underfed the amount of calories it needs (which is what you do when you skip breakfast), it will do what it was made to do -- survive.  Thus it will store calories and slow your metabolism down, so that it can conserve energy (think a slow metabolism makes it extremely difficult to lose weight).

So whether you're working to get lean and ripped for summer, or just wanted to get rid of a few pounds, breakfast is the most efficient way to do that no matter how you slice it.

Being committed to your success, I'm going to make this super easy for those of you who consistently skip breakfast for any reason.  Below you'll find some easy recipes to get the right food in your stomach, and still get you to work on time.

Remember, when you eat a proper breakfast consistently you start your metabolism off right.  Meaning, you send the message to your body not to store calories because you will be feeding it the nutrients it needs consistently.

I'm sure you can find at least one option below that will suit your tastes and time schedule.

Don't find an excuse.  Find the solution.







Check back with me next week and I will share with you some lunch options to help keep you on track and reaching your goals.
The year is almost over.  I promised to make sure that you were well prepared with a wide variety of recipes to make sure you start the new year off right.  Recipes to help start you on track, keep you on track, and not make you feel like you were going to have to give up taste.  I believed I've delivered as promised.

Only one more Monday left in the year.  So here are two more recipes to add to your ever growing file.  Next year is going to be so easy for you start off on the right track.  By spring you'll be unveiling a new you and not had to suffer, by living on tasteless boring food.  No one likes to feel deprived.  So I've made sure that your journey to a new you is as painless as possible when it comes to your nutrition.

Here you are:

Recipe #1:  Pizza Eggs (Pizza_Eggs.doc)

Recipe #2:  Romaine Tuna Wraps (Romaine_Tuna_Wraps.doc)

This weeks recipes are from A Recipe for Life by Susan Dopart, M.S., R.D. with Jeffrey M. Batchelor and Eat 2 Liv by Elizabeth Brown M.S., R.D., C.D.E

Be sure to come back next week for more recipes to add to your file.  Remember, the more options you have the easier it will be to stay on track.  No one likes boring food.  And cooking and preparing food that actually tastes good should not be a chore.  If you've been cutting and pasting you will ready to rock come January.