Archive for December, 2015

Weight Loss Myths

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

 

weight-loss-myth91Every regime has its supply of useless folk lore and half-truths that get passed on down the line from person to person. But I’d put weight loss up against any of them for what has to be the most time wasting and even the most dangerous myths out there.

There is a ton of free advice seen in the media these days and if it is taken seriously, can really set you back on your weight loss endeavours. This can lead to the kind of frustration that makes people think they are “destined to remain fat for life”.

This in not true, Have a look at the Weight loss myths below and draw your own conclusions.

Exercise on an empty stomach and burn more fat.

You-Exercise-Empty-StomachEffective weight loss is the total amount of calories burned during the day, not how or why they were burned. It doesn’t matter if it is night or morning, so exercise early in the day has no advantage to exercise later in the day.

Studies show that increased metabolism induced by anaerobic exercise is actually less after a large meal. Which probably means that more energy is being used for digestion than what is being used to repair muscle.

More exercise is better.

Every exercise session is beneficial to each individual, however more is not always better. It depends on what is trying to be achieved. There is a level and frequency required to achieve results.

After this level is reached, additional exercise can have the opposite effect, not allowing the body to recuperate and adapt to the stress induced by the exercise, which can be detrimental to your results.

After stopping exercise muscle will turn to fat.

bb68d4d1bb23257c0decc691de71b7cbThis in not possible, Muscle and fat are two different types of tissues in the body and you cannot convert one into the other. This is like trying to turn water into milk. If you stop training, the muscles will shrink in size – and do not disappear. The more calories taken in that are not burned off will be deposited as fat.

If you’re not sweating, you’re not working hard enough.

Sweating is the body’s way of cooling itself down. Many factors contribute to body temperature, including room temperature, types of exercise done, body-fat levels, clothing, and exercise intensity. The intensity for exercise can’t be judged by the amount you sweat.

A well-trained person will often sweat a lot because their body can more efficiently regulate heat.

Taking sugar before exercise to raise energy levels.

Healthy lifestyle woman in fitness top holding pear and water bottle

Ingestion of sugar will lead to a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. This rapid rise stimulates a release of insulin, which quickly removes the excess sugar from the blood system, often causing your blood sugar levels to drop, sometimes below the level that it started at, leading to faster exhaustion.

Gaining weight is just a part of getting older.

Getting older is not an excuse for gaining weight! As we age and begin a more sedentary lifestyle we start to lose muscle mass.

The efficiency of your metabolism is directly linked to how much muscle you have on your body. The most efficient way of maintaining your body’s muscle mass and keeping your metabolism from dropping, is by doing a high intensity strength training workout once a week.

X is the best form of exercise.

635765450163987104-2107535586_er4a3274.imgopt1000x70Claims like this are usually based on marketing strategy and personal bias. Even when claims are based on factual information, they have little practical value to the average exerciser. The most important thing is to choose an activity that you like, and perform it properly and consistently.

If it’s fat free I can have as much as I want.

Unfortunately fat free doesn’t mean calorie free. The word fat free is misleading because if you overeat on anything, even fat free foods and you don’t burn off those calories, your body will
store the excess as fat.

Don’t drink water when you exercise or you will get cramps.

By drinking litres of icy cold water in one go while exercising you will probably suffer from cramps.
This is why it is important to drink water continuously before, during and after exercising to replace the fluid you’ve lost and avoid any discomfort.

By not having a personal trainer I wont make gains.

Hiring a personal trainer is one way you can use to reach your goals, but you are an adult capable of making decisions and setting your own goals once you have the knowledge of how to go about it.
Following a good exercise program and eating plan does not require someone standing over you and telling you how to do it.

By exercising my abs I will lose my pot belly.

Exercising your abdominals will help to tone and firm the abdominal region, but it will not reduce fat deposits that are responsible for a pot belly.
Fat reduction comes from burning more calories than you take in. Fat is reduced uniformly throughout the body there is no such thing as spot reduction.

Weight Loss Strategies

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

dietIf you want any weight loss program to work you have to perform “Strength Training”. It’s absolutely imperative during the course of a lifetime not only for weight loss goals but also for general health and well-being.

For years we have been told to diet the excess fat from our bodies and throw in some fast walking to hasten the process. The trouble with this is that the low calorie restricted diet would throw the body into starvation mode, with the body
holding onto the fat and using precious lean muscle tissue for energy.

This would “Lower Your Metabolism” causing greater muscle loss and once the diet was broken the original fat returned, and you would have greater chance of gaining even more fat.

“A Vicious Cycle”

Eventually, your body would become used to the diet and then you will reach a point where nothing was happening.

So what do you do now?

Try weight loss supplements, creams, massage, toning tables, drugs. You should know by now that these don’t work.

There is a better way, it’s simply…

“Strength Training”

Female runner exercising

Many studies are showing that Strength Training is a superior method for weight loss.

(Ladies, you won’t bulk up by using weights, you don’t have the testosterone to get big and muscular, so don’t worry).

If you don’t incorporate Strength Training into your weight loss program then look forward to “disappointing results”.

The days of strength training three to five days a week in the gym, an hour at a time are long gone. That just doesn’t work. One short strength-training workout a week done at home or in the gym will melt away more fat than you would have ever thought possible.

Fats, Figures and Cardio Work

cardio-fat-loss-2We’ve already found out that by increasing the functional muscle on your body, you increase your resting metabolic rate. Due to the HIGHER metabolic rate you can now eat MORE calories, which means that you won’t need to starve anymore to lose weight.

In a sense, fewer calories have to be cut back from our daily intake of food and successful dieting (provided that you eat the right foods) will become more likely.

As far as Fats are concerned, they’re burned from the body when cells oxidize to release energy in the form of exercise. When exercise is done slowly to moderately for 20 to 30 minutes, then the majority of energy is TAKEN from the fat stores.

It’s important to understand that the loss of fat comes from fat cells ALL OVER the body, NOT just from one or more specific areas. Therefore, fat reduction of a certain area is not generally possible.

The best exercise for the purpose of fat loss is fast walking either indoors on the treadmill or outdoors. Walk until you are mildly puffing and hold that rate for the allotted time.

If your cardio activities leave you panting or breathless ~ you are going too hard. Your energy will be then coming from your carbohydrate reserves and not from your fat stores.

Nutrition For Weight Loss

Blog-nutrition-weightlossSmall frequent meals should be consumed during the day each containing a little protein to maintain muscle and energy levels. Foods with vital vitamin and mineral supplements should also be taken on a daily basis.

By decreasing the amount of calories you eat per day to the weight loss amount, you should start losing weight. Don’t go any lower and check the mirror regularly to judge your progress.

If you don’t have an accurate idea of how many calories your consuming a day, how will you know whether you’re overeating or not?

Another word about diets… They’ll send the body into starvation mode; a survival mechanism from long ago when humans faced periods of famine. Cutting back on your calories too low will cause the body to lower its metabolic rate, which reduces
its ability to burn fat.

At the same time, hunger signals increase and we quickly start to crave high-energy foods loaded with fats and sugar. The same foods we are trying to do without.

Here are some great eating tips for you to consider:

  • Reduce both obvious and hidden fats.
  • Record food intake to identify problem areas.
  • Be aware of times when you over eat.
  • Avoid severe food restriction.
  • Monitor body fat levels, not weight.
  • Aim for moderate fat loss (one pound per week)

Atkins Bankrupt

Friday, December 4th, 2015

 

image613620xOver the past few weeks, ever since Atkins went belly up our company has been bombarded with questions about the possible harmful effects that their ‘Atkins days’ might have caused.

It seems like everyone tried that system at one time or another.

Well to help alleviate some of the fear that’s out there, let me answer just a few of the basic questions here:

Q: “Could I have caused permanent damage by following a high protein diet?”
A: If you haven’t yet experienced any major health problems, then it’s not too late to reverse many, if not all of the negative side effects that usually follow a program like that.

Q: “I think I’ve damaged myself internally by following this type of diet … help!“
A: First, relax! Then simply stop doing the things that you know are killing you, and start doing things that have been proven to make you healthier, leaner, and more energetic.

atkinsFor example…every meal should have it’s foundation in fresh, preferably raw vegetables, then you should add a small portion of lean protein such as egg white, fish, chicken, or turkey. That’s it. That simple change will help you reverse many of the toxic effects of an unhealthy diet – and re-start the fat-burning process getting you back into a tight, lean body.

Q: “I’m afraid to stop this way of eating, for fear of gaining it (my fat) back, what do you suggest?”
A: It’s time to make a change. It’s time to re-train your body, and begin triggering the correct chemicals within your body to help you automatically burn body-fat naturally. By following a healthy diet like the one laid out in The Living Health Weight Loss Program, or any other healthy program that’s proven to get you healthy and lean fast – by using a healthy program like that your body WILL transform from unhealthy to healthy, from unfit to fit, and from ordinary to extraordinary.

Eating Out, Mexican Style

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

 

Mexican-Sweet-Potato1With the fast pace and competitiveness of American society, dining out is a way of life for many people. Americans eat out an average of three to four meals a week. Unfortunately, in many cases, restaurant food often contains a lot of fat, sugar and sodium for taste and preservative value. It is possible, however, to eat healthy and choose wisely if you’re skilled at special ordering and knowledgeable about food preparation for different cuisines.

Tips:

McCormick GuacamoleHold or limit guacamole and sour cream. Two tablespoons of guacamole has about 50 calories and four grams of fat (72 percent fat) and two tablespoons of sour cream have 45 calories and five grams of fat (100 percent fat).

Hold or limit the chips. A typical basket of chips contains 1,040 calories and 43 percent fat.

Hold the cheese or get it on the side. A one-inch cube of cheese has about 100 calories and eight grams of fat (75-percent fat).

Skip or limit the chile con queso dip. One cup has about 529 calories and 31 grams of fat (53 percent fat).

Drink light beer or a wine spritzer instead of a margarita (90-100 calories versus 250 calories for the margarita).

Split orders and take home half in a doggie bag. Share the praline or sopapilla, if you must indulge.

Be aware of: tortilla shells, chorizo (Mexican sausage), deep-fried, refried beans, “served over chips, stuffed or covered with cheese or bacon,” cheese sauce, queso, guacamole, sour cream, sauces (con queso).

Go for: flour tortillas (2-3 grams fat), corn tortillas (1 gram fat), soft tacos, marinated, simmered, grilled chicken, shrimp, fish, pinto beans, Mexican rice, black beans, hot peppers, served with salsa, covered with enchilada sauce, salsa verde with tomato, lettuce, onion, mole, tomato.

Eating Wisely and Weight Loss

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

 

 

Vegetables and Fruits

Please bear in mind that I am not a dietician, or a physician, and my opinions are those of a Yoga teacher and life-long student of Ayurveda. Always consult your family physician before changing your diet.

It may be generally agreed that eating wisely and weight loss do not often agree. Just look back that the parade of “fad diets” that didn’t seem to work over the long term and, in retrospect, were not wise from the onset.

This article will be a “union” of ideas from Ayurvedic principles, modern fitness concepts, and overall strategies for better health.

o-VEGETARIAN-DIET-facebookIt goes without saying that a vegetarian diet is healthy. Only a decade ago, there were many reservations, among local physicians in New England, in regard to this concept. How rapidly knowledge, insight, and opinions change.

Marie, my wife, exposed me to the vegetarian diet. Before that, I ate what is now called the “Mediterranean Diet.” The diet I eat, to this day, is a combination of the two. The combination of these two, “classic” diets, are easy for me to live with and it is not an effort, at all, for me.

That is the biggest hurdle for most people. Many of us take on a radical dieting change that we cannot live with. Most of us can afford to make a few small changes at a time, instead of changing everything at once – unless you are dieting under the guidance of your doctor or dietician.

Therefore, I propose a few small changes to your eating habits that will make sense. You do not have to change them all at one time.

Sit down and focus on eating your meal.

Avoid television, reading, heated conversations, etc.

Thoroughly chew your food at a slow pace and do not put more food in your mouth until you have swallowed the previous bite.

Be aware of how hungry you are before your meal.

Try to avoid too much time between meals, as this leads to over consumption and your stomach should never be more than three quarters full, after a meal.

yogaExercise tip: Some of you practice Yoga and understand the many benefits of Sun Salutations, but have you ever tried weight resistance?

Strength training increases energy expenditure during a weight resistance training session. The high intensity of strength training indicates a high utilization of carbohydrates during a training session.

During the post-exercise recovery period, energy expenditure is elevated for a period ranging from two to fifteen hours (1). The increased energy demands are obtained by burning more calories, and a good portion of the calories are coming from fat stores.

Reference (1) – Melby C, Scholl C, Edwards G, Bullough R. Effect of acute resistance exercise on post exercise energy expenditure and resting metabolic rate. Journal of Applied Physiology 75(4): 1847-1853, 1993.

Even if you work every body part just once a week, this method of cross training will effectively burn calories. When you combine this with any aerobic activity, you have a powerful combination. Rowing and bicycling are good substitute forms of resistance too.

Strategies for results: Get help from a qualified Personal Trainer, Dietician, or a Life Coach. You could do it all yourself, but how much time do you have to “spin your wheels.” without any progress? These services exist for those who don’t want to waste time and want solutions now.

Living with Your Diet

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

 

09.27.10-Alis-pantry-AFTER-17Recently, I was reading about a diet plan where you throw everything out of your pantry. Although this sounds like great news for the supermarkets, over the short-term, this leaves very few choices for you to actually eat.

Can you exist on salad, topped with Flax seed oil dressing, for the rest of your life?

hero_pdt_garden_saladPeople believe that they must pay penance for their eating sins. Dietary and exercise torture seems to be good for the conscience and the prescription of the day. How else can we explain “off the wall” diets and “extreme” exercise programs?

Whatever happened to eating in moderation and using common sense? Even if you are eating a “diet cookie,” you can’t have all you want.

healthy-snacksIf you travel, or eat in restaurants frequently, you have to eat in moderation, space your meals out, carry healthy snacks, or visit the salad bar at your local supermarket. There are plenty of good choices, and it won’t cost you an “arm and a leg.”

When you eat, you shouldn’t feel stuffed after a meal. This slows down your digestive system, similar to the principle of a “log jam,” and you may not eat for six hours or more, depending upon the amount of food consumed. This is a time when your body is crying to go for a walk.

You should feel comfortably full every time you leave the table, and you should eat five or six times a day; three moderately-sized meals and at least two healthy snacks.

HLD-60121-1Sorry to say, diet cookies are rarely healthy. If they were of nutritional value, I would live on the Chocolate Chip Cookie Diet.

Now back to reality, if you love dessert, you can’t give it up for life.
Depending on the state your health, you may have to seriously cut back.
Therefore, consult with your family doctor, get a diet that makes sense, and please walk, swim, or exercise regularly.