Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Taking the First Step to a LifeStyle Change

Health and Fitness is not a Trial an Error or Temporary/Secondary Action, or to prepare for your favorite event or to put on your favorite trend..It is a Lifestyle Change..what do one think of when he or she thinks of Health? Based on the definition provided by Wikipedia..Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living being..In humans, it is the general condition of a person's mind and body, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain. And Physical fitness is a general state of good physical health including, flexibility, cardio-respiratory endurance, and strength. Everything you do from the day you were born to the day you die will affect your Health and Physical Fitness Condition. The only thing that is stopping one from obtaining good health vs bad health is YOU. Unless one is born with conditions that are out of his or her control..not accomplishing your Health and Fitness goals =  EXCUSES!!! The great thing is that its never to Late to Start and Create a Plan that works for YOU!! Remember its a Lifestyle change..not a Friend-style Change or Work-style change or Trend-style change..But a LIFESTYLE CHANGE!! In the month of March I will focus the first questions one should answer when making a Lifestyle Change:

1) Identify the Need
2)Make the Decision - 
3) Create a Plan
4) Preparation
5) Dedication
6) Consistency
7) Motivation
8) Execution 
9) Make it Fun..Keep it Simple...Associate with Others that Have the Same Goals(Team-Work)..Rid Yourself of Bad Habits......Educate, Educate, Educate Yourself - Your Not in this Alone!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

10 Healthiest Fat Loss Foods

Healthy food is not fat loss food. It can be, but healthy does not equal fat loss. The idea that “healthy eating”, (whatever that means) is synonymous with body change is probably the single biggest misconception there is regarding what real physique change takes.

On the other hand, fat loss food is almost always healthy food. Especially when there is excess fat to be lost, and unless your less than 10% body fat for a male and 15% for a female, you probably could spare some more fat loss.
What is healthy eating?
Healthy eating has to do with vitamin amounts, mineral concentrations, essential fat content, fiber and phytonutrient levels. There are plenty of foods that have great nutrient profiles that are not going to help most people lose fat. These include whole grains, nuts/seeds, avocados, olives and high fat dairy foods to name a few. These foods, in anything but smaller amounts, will not be a great strategy for most people and if they hope to get any results with these staples the only option is controlling portions. And that is the issue, controlling portions does not work for most people. Especially the overweight and obese who often have metabolism that make it difficult for them to feel satisfied from meals and stay full between meals. A better approach is to eat your fill, and you can do just that when you trade in your “healthy foods” for fat loss foods.
To lose fat it takes two things; low calories in the context of hormonal balance. The hormonal balance has to come first, and when it does calorie intake normally takes care of itself.
In other words, eat more of the right things more often and you will have less hunger, absent cravings and stable energy leading to automatic reduction in food intake without trying. Do it the other way, by taking a calorie first approach and you will likely increase your hunger, elevate your cravings, suffer from energy lows and slowed metabolic rate (by slowed metabolic rate I mean a less efficient fat burning engine not how many calories you burn per day). You can be burning calories and losing weight, but if the hormonal balance is off those calories and that weight will just as likely be coming from muscle as opposed to fat.
What is fat loss eating
Fat loss foods have three things that set them apart; high volumes of water, high amounts of fiber and/or elevated protein content. Water, fiber and protein are all very filling. This is the reason many people can sit down and eat five or six cups of cereal and still feel hungry (cereal has no water, a high starch to fiber ratio and almost non-existent protein). Try eating 5 cups of broccoli or 5 boneless skinless chicken breasts. If you can finish either you certainly aren’t going to be hungry after.
And just for fun, lets calculate the calories. For the sake of trying to be fair, lets choose the best cereal out there (or at least the one the nutrition divas tell you to eat), Kashi Go Lean. 5 servings (5 cups)= 950 calories (via www.calorieking.com). 5 boneless skinless chicken breasts (6oz each)= 936 calories. 5 cups of broccoli= 273 calories. You could eat 5 chicken breast and 5 cups of broccoli and still be just over 200 calories more than 5 cups of Kashi. Even going through this exercise I have to shake my head.
Do nutritionists really feel cereal (one of the most processed foods on the planet) is a better fiber source than broccoli? Does anyone actually believe most people can overeat chicken breasts? I am 230 pounds and an active weight lifter, I can’t eat more than 2 chicken breasts at a sitting, and while I am not a big eater I have a hard time thinking people can eat 10 chicken breasts in a day. And even if they could, that still amounts to less than 2,000 calories. This would mean you need to eat three for breakfast, three for lunch and four for dinner. I am doubting anyone would have much room for their broccoli after that.
The reality is, you can take any lean protein source and pair it with as many non-starchy vegetables as you can eat (corn, potatoes, peas, beans etc= starchy vegetables if we can even call them vegetables, they are actually starches). Then throw in as much low sugar fruit as you want for your sweet tooth (things like berries, apples, pears and citrus). And you will end up with more food than you can eat, less calories, less insulin and more nutrients than any low fat, whole grain diet a nutritionist can dream up. By the way, this has actually been compared in research (see the table below and the citation reference).

Fat loss eating means eating more of the right things more often. The right things= lean protein, vegetables and low sugar fruit. In our clinical practice almost everyone (upwards of 90%) who eats this way sees substantial improvements in body composition and health. That is the difference between healthy eating and fat loss eating. Fat loss foods are both healthy and help with body composition, while “healthy foods” may be neither.
Here is my list of top 10 healthiest fat loss foods based on the same criteria above. High water, high fiber and higher protein along with power packed nutrition including vitamins, minerals, essential fats and healthy plant chemicals. Eat from this list of food 90% of the time and our bet is your body’s appearance and its health improves dramatically.
1) Salmon & Sardines- High protein, good essential fats and low mercury unlike most fish.
2) Berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)- Low sugar, potent amount of antioxidants
3) Bison- All the best elements of chicken and red meat rolled in to one (no, bison is not an animal that is part chicken and cow). It is low fat like chicken and loaded with nutrition like beef.
4) Cruciferous vegetables (Cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, kale, etc)- low amounts of starch compared to fiber and phytonutrients that help estrogen metabolism.
5) Eggs (lose all or some of the yolks if you have a tone of fat to lose)- The yolks are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet and the whites are the perfect protein. If your doctor still thinks eggs raise cholesterol and cholesterol cuases heart disease please give him or her a recent nutrition book to replace their 1980′s nutrition library.
6) Greens (lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, etc)-Almost negative calorie with power packed nutrition
7) Water veggies (celery, cucumbers, etc)- Eat a dump truck full of this stuff and you still probably wont break 1,000 calories.
8. Apples- Great for a sweet tooth, loaded with water and soluble fiber and plenty of nutrition.
9) Boneless skinless chicken breast- low fat, satiating, every ones favorite protein.
10) Cocoa powder- zero calories, high fiber and loaded with bioactive compounds that raise energy, blunt hunger and reduce cravings. Add 1 tablespoon to a mug, pour hot water on top while stirring and you have the worlds best diet aid. It also lowers blood pressure, has the same blood thinning effect as aspirin, balances blood sugar, etc etc
By Metabolic Effect

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Cardio Meltdown Workout

You wanted a program that gets results. Well, here it is. There is nothing magic about it. The success depends on consistency, hard work, and sensible eating habits. In other words, it depends on you. It’s difficult, but it works. Written by Thomas D. Fahey, Ed.D  

Principles Of The Ultimate Cardio Meltdown Workout
This program is designed to make you lean and fit. If you are not willing to work hard, try one of those “get-something-for-nothing programs” and see where it gets you. If you really want to achieve a fit, hard body, this program is for you. The program is divided into three levels: The Cardio Meltdown Prep Workout, The Beginning Cardio Meltdown Workout, and The Advanced Cardio Meltdown Workout. Start at the beginning and build up. Here are some of the basics: This is The first week to a very Basic Cardio Meltdown Program...
The Cardio Meltdown Prep Program
Instructions: Do this program if you have been sedentary. Check with your physician if you have any health problem that might make exercising dangerous for you.

Week 1:
Walking: 5-6 days per week; Walk until you get tired— shoot for 10-30 minutes.
Weight Training: Monday and Thursday; do one set of 10 reps of the following exercises: bench presses, upright rowing, lat pulls, bent-over rowing, arm curls, crunches or sit-ups, squats or leg presses, leg curls.
Stretching: 5-10 exercises; 1 set, hold stretch for 15-30 seconds
Week 2:
Walking: 5-6 days per week; walk 20-40 minutes, as tolerated.
Weight Training: Monday and Thursday; same as week one; increase weight used as tolerated.
Stretching: 5-10 exercises; 1 set, hold stretch for 15-30 seconds
Week 3:
Walking: 5-6 days per week: Walk 30-60 minutes, as tolerated
Weight Training: Monday and Thursday; same as week one; increase weight used as tolerated.
Stretching: 5-10 exercises; 1 set, hold stretch for 15-30 seconds
Week 4:
Repeat week 3 until you can walk for 60 minutes without stopping.
Walk-run: 5-6 days per week; Walk for 60 minutes; every 5 minutes, jog for 30-60 seconds.
Weight Training: Monday and Thursday; same as week one; increase weight used as tolerated.
Stretching: 5-10 exercises; 1 set, hold stretch for 15-30 seconds
Week 5:
Repeat week 4 until you can run for one minute during each 5-minute interval of your one-hour walk.
Walk-run: 5-6 days per week; walk for 60 minutes; every 5 minutes, jog for 2 minutes.
Weight Training: Monday and Thursday; same as week one, except do 2 sets of each exercise and increase weight used as tolerated.
Stretching: 5-10 exercises; 2 sets, hold stretch for 15-30 seconds
Week 6:
Repeat week 5 until you can run for two minutes during each 5-minute interval of your one-hour walk.
Walk-run: 5-6 days per week: Walk for 60 minutes; every 5 minutes, jog for 5 minutes.
Weight Training: Monday and Thursday: Same as week one, except do 2 sets of each exercise and increase weight used as tolerated.
Stretching (5-10 exercises; 2 sets, hold stretch for 15-30 seconds)
Week 7:
Repeat week 6 until you can run for five minutes during each 5-minute interval of your one-hour walk.
Walk-run: 5-6 days per week; Walk for 60 minutes; every 5 minutes, jog for 5 minutes.
Weight Training: Monday and Thursday; same as week one, except do 2 sets of each exercise and increase weight used as tolerated.
Stretching: 5-10 exercises; 2 sets, hold stretch for 15-30 seconds
Week 8:
Walk-run, 5-6 days per week: Walk-run for 60 minutes; jog 10 minutes, walk 5 minutes; repeat 4 times until you have exercised for 1 hour.
Weight Training: Monday and Thursday; same as week one, except do 2 sets of each exercise and increase weight used as tolerated.
Stretching: 5-10 exercises; 2 sets, hold stretch for 15-30 seconds
Week 9, or until you can complete the entire workout:
Walk-run, 4 days per week: Walk-run for 60 minutes: jog 20 minutes, walk 5 minutes; repeat 3 times until you have exercised for 75 minutes.
Interval training: Monday and Thursday. On a 400-meter running track (or same distance on a field), sprint 100 meters then walk 100 meters. Begin with one repetition and build up until you can do 16 repetitions (2 miles of sprinting the straight a ways and walking the turns)
Weight Training: Monday and Thursday: Same as week one, except do 3 sets of each exercise and increase weight used as tolerated.
Stretching: 5-10 exercises; 2 sets, hold stretch for 15-30 seconds

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

1-5 Diet Traps to Avoid

1. Eating Too LittleEating three square meals is just the bare minimum for a healthy and fit body. You should be eating three meals and at least two healthy snacks each day.

Most women eat too little. They skip or skimp on breakfast and then often do the same with lunch. This leaves you running on fumes all day. By the time dinner comes around, you are ravenous and likely to overeat.

You end up having your heaviest meal at the end of the day when there is little opportunity to burn off the calories. This is the perfect recipe for gaining fat.

2. Eating Out Too Much
If your busy schedule or desire for convenience has you eating out most of the time, you have little to no control over the foods you eat. And simply put, you have little to no control over what you look like and how you feel.

If you want to look and feel your best, you need to start cooking. This doesn't mean you spend hours cooking gourmet meals - it meals finding a delicious variety of recipes that you can put together in cinch. And before you eat out, learn about the common pitfalls of restaurant dining and how to avoid them.
3. Emotional Eating
Food can evoke both good and bad emotions and it is also a go-to when women feel anxious, depressed, angry, sad, or even elated. Women experience a variety of psychological attachments to different foods.

Sweets are often in this category. If you are like most women, all forms of sweets serve as comfort food. If you turn to food when you are stressed, you are letting your emotions control what your eat and how much you eat.

If you are going to get the body you deserve, you need to find a way to break this emotional attachment to food.

4. Lack of Consistency
Do you remember what happened last January? Wasn't this the year you were going to lose weight and get that sexy body?

Chances are, you were good for a short while. But then you started skipping workouts or breakfast, and by February, your New Year's resolutions were just a distant memory. Maybe you'll try again, but the same thing is likely to happen.

By now, you have learned that without consistency there will be no results. This means making resolutions and sticking to them.

5. Not Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep is an often overlooked factor. If you are doing everything right, but still can't lose the fat, take a look at your sleeping patterns.

Are you getting to bed at a reasonable hour? Do you sleep at least eight hours a night? Stress in and of itself compounded by too few hours of shut-eye result in an elevation of the stress hormone cortisol (check out Is stress making your belly fat?). Chronically high levels of cortisol can make losing fat very difficult and can even cause you to gain fat.

If you are dieting and exercising and still not seeing the body you want, make sure you aren't making one or more of these 10 common dieting mistakes. Commit to correcting one a week and you will get that sexy shape you deserve in no time.
by Geo Grigoryan

Day 3:
Meal 1
3 Egg whites with veggies of choice omelet on 1 toasted whole wheat English muffin. Topped wit 1 oz reduced-fat Monterrey Jack cheese. and 1/2 cup blueberries. Total calories 386

Meal 2 - lunch
Mango Walnut Salad: 3 cups spinach with 1/2 cup copped mango, 1/3 cup sliced red bell pepper, 4 chopped baby carrots, 2 Tbsp walnuts, 2 Tbsp Vinaigrette and 1 Tbsp raisins. Optional 1/2 large whole wheat pita. Total Calories 395

Meal 3 Snack:
Strawberry smoothie. 1/2 cup fat-free milk, 1 cup strawberries, 3 oz fat-free plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 banana

Meal 4 Dinner:
3oz chicken Breast..2 cups Veggie of choice, and 1/2 sweet potato

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Good Fats Vs. Bad Fats

Monounsaturated fats, Polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids are all good for your heart and waistline. Monounsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature but may thicken when cold. Polyunsaturatred fats such as most vegetable oils, including safflower, corn, sunflower, and soy oils are typically liquid at room temperature and when refrigerated. Omega-3 Fatty acids are polyunsaturated and found in cold-water fish other good sources are walnuts and flaxseeds. In general, the "bad fat' label belongs to any fat that's semisolid to solid at room temperature such as a stick of butter or the marbling in a steak. Animal products, coconut oil, and cocoa butter are foods thnat are high in saturated fat. Another bad fat, trans fat, is produced when hydrogen is added to liquid oils to make them solid and extend their shelf life. You'll find trans fats in packaged products and just about every food that contains shortening. Here's a handy hint: If you see "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenate" on a food label, put whatever you're looking at back on the shelf. While its not necessary to banish fat from your diet - just make sure to eat good fats.
Rodale Inc

Day 2 Meal:

Meal One: 6 oz. nonfat Greek yogurt with ½ cup low-fat granola, ½ cup raspberries
Meal Two: 2 pieces string cheese and 12 almonds
Meal Three: 4 oz. chicken, 2/3 cup cooked brown rice, vegetables of choice
Meal Four: handful of strawberries, 1tbsp peanut butter, mixed with 8 oz. skim milk (or water) and ½ banana blended shake
Meal Five: 4 oz. baked flounder, 4 tomato slices, 1 cup acorn or butternut squash

Day 2 Workout:

Cardio of choice 45 min
Abs - 15min 10sets of 25 reps(lower abs, upper abs, oblique)
Chest Dips or bench dip 4 MAX
Deep Push ups (with hands on dumbbells) 4 12
Dumbbell Flys 3 10
Bent Over Barbell Row 4 10
One Arm Dumbbell Row 4 10
Upright Row 3 8
If you have access to a chin up bar I strongly recommend you add chin ups or wide grip pull ups as your first back exercise. Chin ups are the #1 exercise for building back width.

Monday, April 2, 2012

30 Day Challenge - Day One Health Facts/Meal Plan

There are so many people who think losing weight is about cutting your daily caloric intake to an extremely low amount. There are so many people on roller-coaster diets, probably too many to count, and most of these people are unsuccessful in their weight loss efforts. These low-calorie diets are not successful because they slow down your metabolism, and this causes your body to enter into “starvation mode.” In starvation mode, the body burns very few calories because it is attempting to store the few calories it is being fed for energy. These diets can cause extreme fatigue and hunger, which is the reason for their lack of success.
Successfully losing weight is a learning process. It involves making healthy food choices, paying attention to portion sizes, and eating small frequent meals throughout the day. The average female adult consumes 1,500 or more calories per day, depending on her activity level. To determine exactly how many calories your body needs daily, calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Basal Metabolic Rate is the energy (measured in calories) expended by the body at rest to maintain normal bodily function. The calculating formula is different for men and women and also changes with age. In order to lose weight, caloric intake should be less than caloric expenditure. The formula for calculating BMR is as follows:
Women: 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
Men: 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)
The activity level of a person must also be considered. To include physical activity, follow this formula:
Multiply the BMR by:
1.2 if sedentary (little or no exercise)
1.375 if you exercise 1-3 days per week
1.55 if you exercise 3-5 days per week
1.725 if you exercise 6-7 days per week
Once you determine your BMR, you can divide the calories into five or six small meals per day, to increase your metabolism. By eating foods high in protein, and decreasing your consumption of fats and complex carbohydrates at each of your five or six meals, your metabolism will become extremely efficient at burning calories.
To maximize the metabolic aspects of your food intake, you should incorporate five or six evenly-portioned meals throughout the day. The first meal should be within one hour of waking up, and each subsequent meal should be spaced two to three hours apart for the remainder of the day. People have to abandon the thought process of three meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Instead, get into the habit of adopting a nutritional pattern of Meal 1, Meal 2, Meal 3, etc. The reason for this is that traditional meal titles in this country are associated with eating certain patterns such as; breakfast should consist of eggs, bacon and bagels, while dinner should be meat and potatoes.
So how does splitting your daily caloric intake into five or six small meals a day increase metabolism? The human body’s metabolism is like a furnace. If you eat three meals a day, the furnace will begin heating up at the first meal and then die down until lunch, where it will heat up again, cool down until dinner, where it heats up one more time. By eating five or six small meals during the day, the furnace will continue burning throughout the day without the cooling-down periods. This means your metabolism is functioning at an increased rate all day with little fluctuations.
Another way that eating small meals frequently will help contribute to weight loss is by a mechanism called the thermic effect of food. When you eat a meal, your body begins the process of digestion, and this process requires the use of energy. The body actually burns calories while it is digesting food. This is sometimes the reason why people’s body temperature increases when they eat. It makes sense that if the body has to digest more frequent meals throughout the day, then the daily caloric expenditure will be increased.
Another advantage of eating small frequent meals during the day is it will help to balance blood sugar levels and prevent hunger attacks. This is in direct contrast to the low-calorie diets that cause blood sugar levels to experience increases and decreases through the course of the day. Frequent meals also regulate insulin levels, which is necessary for muscle growth and glycogen storage. One of insulin’s roles in the body is to transport glucose and amino acids into the muscle cells, where they can be used for energy and muscle growth.
Adopting this type of lifestyle will require a bit of meal planning and preparation, but it is certainly worth it. Purchasing some Tupperware and a food scale and following this weekly meal plan can help get you started. This meal plan is based on 1,500 calories per day, consisting of 25 grams of Fat, 179 grams of Carbohydrates, and 127 grams of Protein. Once you calculate your BMR, you can adjust serving sizes to meet your individual daily caloric needs
Tracey Greenwood, Ph.D

Day one Food Example - along with 90minutes of Cardio and Calisthenics:

Meal One: 4 egg whites and 2 slices protein toast or whole-grain toast
Meal Two: 1 medium apple, 6 oz. nonfat Greek yogurt
Meal Three: 6 oz. tuna and 1 cup raw vegetables, 4 Tbsp low-fat raspberry vinaigrette dressing
Meal Four: ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese and 12 almonds
Meal Five: 6 oz. grilled salmon, 1 cup steamed green vegetable of your choice