Tag Archives: Fat Loss

Make Your Diet Work For You


There are millions of people in North America who are considered to be overweight, and many are actually obese. Being overweight or obese is never a good thing, and can lead to a lot of health problems,  including heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes, just to name a few. Unfortunately weight loss is not the easiest thing in the world to accomplish, and for many of us it is a lifelong battle to maintain a healthy weight.
Finding Your Ideal Diet
If you have decided that it is time to go on a diet to lose weight, you are probably wondering which diet is the best for you. Every day we are bombarded with new fad diets, each one guaranteed to “melt fat”. I agree, some of these diets do just that, but some are extremely low in calories. The problem with these low calorie diets is as soon as you go off the diet and eat more food again, the weight you lost will come right back. The best way to lose weight and keep it off, is to follow a balanced diet with all of the nutrients we all need to stay healthy, and also making sure that you are eating enough so that you do not feel hungry. This is one of the first things that make people want to go off their diets – they feel deprived and starved, which can lead to binge eating.
If you are not sure how to go about getting started on a healthy and well-balanced diet, you should speak with a registered and well educated nutritionist. A nutritionist will know exactly what you need, and this will help you with your new diet that will keep you  satisfied while helping you to lose weight and keep it off. No matter what type of diet you plan to use, it is important to first discuss it to  make sure that you are getting all of the proper nutrients you need.
Treat Meal
Make sure that when you are on a diet, that you allow yourself the occasional treat. This will help to keep you from binging and keep you feeling sane. There are all kinds of healthy foods that also make delicious treats, such as fruit, unsalted nuts, and even dark chocolate which is loaded with healthy anti-oxidants. If you use your imagination, you can come up with healthy treats that taste naughty!
Keep Going!
With great snack options, a positive mind and a balanced lifestyle, you should have no problem at all with sticking to your diet, and you will see those pounds fall off in no time. The key is to never give up and to never get discouraged if a mistake is made.


Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Shape Up Your Attitude!

As a personal trainer, I have heard all the excuses for people not allowing themselves to get into shape. I have heard all the crazy excuses like “but it’s my 2nd cousin’s birthday”, or “I messed up at the beginning of the week, so I decided I may as well start fresh next week”, or the best one yet, “because I have been working out so much, I thought it wouldn’t matter if I let my diet slide for a few month because my fast metabolism from all the muscle should burn all the bad calories. I thought”. Now that is a mouth full!

Its time to shape up your attitude! If your head is not in the right spot, you will never allow yourself to reach your fitness and weight loss goals. There are many people out there that have bad food cravings which they give in to on a daily basis, or they emotionally eat instead of getting off the couch and going for a walk. There are also others who just don’t care because they are in such a bad spot in general that they are allowing their lives to spin out of control.

There are a few steps to take to help “shape up” your mind to prepare yourself for health and fitness.

Think about what is really upsetting you

If you are upset about work, friends, or your spouse, take a step back and think about how to work the situation out before emotionally eating. Nothing is worse then making yourself feel even more upset because you sabotaged your goals with food in a way to cope with your emotions. If you actually think you need to talk to someone about your problems, do not be afraid to do so.

Learn to control your cravings

Ask yourself “do I really need that chocolate bar? What will I get out of eating that pint of ice cream besides regret and self-loathing?” When I am craving something that is not good for me, I sit back and think about if the extra calories is really worth it, and I think about how it really tastes. Usually I remember that the food doesn’t taste as good as I think, and I rather eat something healthy that tastes great. Eating something you crave then regretting it afterwards because it didn’t taste good is never worth the extra calories and the feeling of guilt.

Put health first

I have a problem thinking about some of the foods that are out there for anyone to eat. A 1000 calorie burger and fries never seems appealing to me because of the saturated fat, sodium and overall heart-clogging affects of the foods. I always picture in my mind what these foods could do to my body if I allow myself to eat this way every day. There are many things in life that we all want to do and experience, and we cannot do these things if we sacrifice health for poor food choices everyday. The risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease and other illnesses are not worth messing up our lives. Also think about your family and how tragic it would be for them to lose you at a young age because you had such an unhealthy lifestyle of fast food and no exercise.

I rather live longer then sacrifice my health for poor choices in food.

You don’t need a gym to get into shape

Many people despise the gym, but the good thing is a gym is not necessary to get into shape. The nice weather is here and the possiblilities are endless! Go for more walks, hikes, start running outdoors, play with your children in the park, make a date with your friends and make up your own outdoor workouts, play frisbee, soccer, baseball, I can go on and on! Take advantage of mother nature, it is wonderful out there. There is no excuse not to! There is always the option to workout at home too, and there are many videos and programs you can find for free on the internet.

Stop blaming others for your actions

When it comes down to it, you need to take responsibility for your own actions. Many people like to put the blame on to others, like their spouses or their family, but you are the one to blame. You are the one who is responsible for what you eat, and how you treat yourself. You cannot blame someone else for you pigging out on a plate of nachos at a party because it was on the table. Fill your plate with fruits, vegetables and protein, and if you must, take a few bites for a taste and avoid pigging out. If your husband brings home pizza when you are trying to lose weight, tell him to keep it away from you! Explain your goals and kindly express the way you feel about the food that he brings in to your home. If you are at a family gathering, eat the healthy foods. You don’t owe anyone an explaination as to why you choose salad over pasta or fruit over cake or sparkling water over a beer. You are the one in control of your life, so control it!

No more excuses! If you want to change your life and your health, do it! No one can do it for you. Get your head in the right space and realize what you are doing to yourself before you sabotage yourself more. Its never too late to make a change for the better, and no one ever regretted getting healthy and fit. Keep that in mind next time you want to sit on the couch with your bag of chips!

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Remain a Fat Burning Machine On and Off Season

[facebooksimplelike]

Come competition time, the aim for all competitors is to become as lean as possible, while maintaining a hard physique. Although achieving this type of appearance should be relatively easy, there is one factor that often negates progress in even the most diligent: a slow metabolism.

A slow metabolism is the one thing a competitor does not want to be cursed with, when the main goal is to lose body fat.

Maintain a Healthy Weight Off Season.

The metabolism is adversely affected when one consumes a large amount of food for a certain period of time. In fact, the term yo-yo dieting stems from many peoples attempts to lose weight, while reverting to bad eating habits, when they should be sticking to a more sensible diet.

The body will simply adapt to maintaining a low metabolic rate if it has to continually adjust to a sharp decline in calories for a certain period of time, followed by engorgement for another period of time. This has obvious implications when it comes to losing weight during competition season. Attempting to lose fat at a rapid rate can also result in losses in protein, and loss of muscle protein means a decrease in metabolism. In my opinion, it is very important to keep a high protein diet, along with supplements like glutamine and branched chain amino acids during dieting to avoid muscle loss.

Another problem with drastic weight loss, is an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL). LPL is a fat storing enzyme that increases when calories are dropped at a significant rate. When your body produces too much LPL and you start to pile on the fat, you will possibly need to diet harder to lose this fat after, which may further increase LPL and making fat loss next to impossible.

Your best bet is to maintain a sensible eating plan during off-season, so when pre-contest rolls around, calories do not have to be severely restricted to lose weight.

Eat Smaller Meals

Eating smaller meals more frequently helps to keep the metabolic rate constantly heightened, and helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. A constantly stimulated metabolism means fat-burning over a longer period of time.

Stabilized blood sugar prevents the hypoglycemia that occurs when one eats a huge meal and feels tired and lethargic soon afterward, due to low glucose levels to the brain. The body is more likely to store fat when in a hypoglycemic state, due to spiked insulin levels.

Train Aerobically

Competitors serious about fat loss should engage in aerobic activity both off-season and pre-contest, to keep the metabolism high. Aerobics, or what we all like to call cardio, has a great effect on fat-loss. Cardio stimulates the metabolism, metabolizes fat directly as a fuel source, and burns carbohydrates. In turn, this will all help to lower the fat-storing potential of these macronutrients.

Cardio can however deplete the body of protein if done too often or for too long. Therefore, if you feel like you are losing muscle pre-contest, it might be a good idea to cut back on cardio to the point where fat, rather than muscle, is being utilized. Depending on the individual, cardio sessions 4-5 times per week for 40-minutes should be sufficient.

Train with weights

This should be an easy one for competitors: training with weights. Weight training builds muscle and muscle stimulates the metabolism to a significant degree. Individuals with more muscle tend to have more efficient metabolisms from the fat-burning effect that comes along with muscle.

Eat Protein

Protein plays a very important role in the fat burning process. Protein stimulates the metabolism far more efficiently than either carbohydrates or fat, due to the energy demands of amino acids.

In fact, studies show that eating a meal high in protein will stimulate the metabolism by as much as 30%, as opposed to fat or carbohydrates which increase it by around 4%. Protein will heighten the metabolic rate for around 12-hours after eating.

Eating sufficient protein shouldn’t be a problem for most competitors, as it is a fundamental requirement in terms of muscle building, and should be an established part of their nutritional plan.

Always eat breakfast

Breakfast has always been the most important meal of the day to most of us, and for good reason: it kick starts the metabolism and helps to negate the possibility of “indulging” later in the day.

Skipping breakfast will keep the body in starvation mode because it has essentially been fasting over an 8 hour sleeping period. When starved for too long, what can happen is the body will need to hang on to every available calorie, and fat loss will be the last thing to occur.

In conclusion, achieving your best body depends on a number of factors, including a functioning metabolism. A slow metabolism can decrease anyone’s chances of losing sufficient body-fat come competition time.

Rather than blaming a slow metabolism on genetic factors, follow these guidelines as best as possible, lose fat, look and feel great!


Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training


High-intensity interval training (HIIT) describes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest. HIIT is an amazing workout for any fitness level, and a great tool to use in everyone’s fitness routine for many reasons.

A good example workout is running as fast as you can for 1 minute and then walking for 2 minutes. Repeat this 3-minute interval 5 times for a 15-minute, fat-blasting workout which will leave you sweating, feeling amazing and wondering why you didn’t start doing this ages ago. It almost sounds too good be true, but there are many proven facts about HIIT that will make you want to hit the treadmill as soon as you are done reading this article.

HIIT is the ideal workout for a busy schedule—whether you want  a fast workout before work, during your lunch break,or to get in quick shape for an event. The best thing about HIIT is how fast you can do a workout! You can fit this kind of training literally anywhere at anytime with no equipment necessary.

Research shows you can achieve more progress in 15 minutes of interval training 3 times per week than the person jogging on the treadmill beside you for an hour. According to a recent study at the American College of Sports Medicine, just 2 weeks of high-intensity intervals improves your aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training.

Not only do you burn more calories during HIIT workouts, but the effect of all that intense exertion kicks your body’s metabolism into superman speed. That means you will burn more fat and calories hours after your HIIT workout than you do after steady state cardio.

Most people aren’t used to or do not like pushing into the anaerobic zone (when you feel like you can’t breathe, your heart is bursting out of your chest and you want to collapse on the floor). Extreme training produces extreme results, like better aerobic capacity and endurance and faster fat loss.

Any bodybuilder, figure and bikini competitor know the risks of losing muscle mass along with fat during the cutting stage for a competition. While steady state cardio may encourage muscle loss, studies show that both weight training and HIIT workouts allow dieters and competitors to preserve their hard-earned muscle while ensuring most of the weight loss comes from fat. What a great combination!

In addition to increased fat burning and saving your muscle mass, HIIT studies have shown that it stimulates production of your natural human growth hormone (HGH) during the 24 hours after you finish your workout. HGH is responsible for increased caloric burn but also slows down the aging process, which makes us younger inside and out. Maybe that is why I still get asked for ID when I buy lottery tickets.

This is not a workout you can do while reading a magazine or gossiping with your friend. Because the session is so short, you should be working hard the whole time. If you feel like it was just an “ok” workout, then you did not perform the intervals properly. The trade-off  for this type of training offers seasoned exercisers and athletes a new challenge to bust out of plateaus and new exercisers a quick way to shed fat. Keep in mind that this is very challenging, and if you have been sedentary for a long time, you should start with continuous cardio to get your fitness level up.

This type of training definitely won’t bore you like continuous cardio bores most of us. You may be in pain, cursing the treadmill and want to give up, but stick with it, the results are amazing and worth it!


Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Why the Weight Won’t Come Off


[facebooksimplelike]

You are busting your butt everyday at the gym, sometimes two times per day. You are doing endless amounts of cardio and eating a very strict
low-fat diet. It has been months now, and you have only lost one pound! At this point you are thinking….

“Why do I even bother? Why is the weight not coming off?”

I probably hit a sore spot with a lot of women just now with the first paragraph. I see this almost every day with my job as a personal trainer and a competition coach. I have many women sit down with me and ask me the same question. Usually in about a matter of 2 minutes, I figure out what is going wrong with a few simple questions.

Your Current Diet

It can be the amount of food you are eating, or the type of food. A lot of us get caught up in the low fat, low carbohydrate diets. We buy bars, shakes and other processed foods thinking that they are healthy for us. Most of these foods are loaded with chemicals to preserve them and make the foods taste better. Low fat versions of food usually will have some sort of sugar added to make them flavourful. There can be many other reasons why your current diet is holding you back, for example too many carbohydrates or too many “treats” during the day. Or it can be as simple as too many calories.

Your Solution

Start prepping whole and fresh foods, and avoid anything in a package. If you think you may be eating too many calories, keep a food journal to figure out where you may be going wrong. Most people eat too many carbohydrates and not enough lean proteins and healthy fats, and if you
document your food, you may be shocked at what you are doing to yourself. If you have a weak spot for certain treats, keep them out of your house. If your favourite treats are not around, you won’t be tempted to pick at them.

Over-Training

More is not always better when it comes to training, and I can be guilty of this myself. I have spoken to many women who over-train,
especially with cardio. Some women I have spoken to do massive amounts of cardio; 2 hours in the morning and again in the evening! This to me is a hard concept to grasp since it is pretty tough for me to actually do a boring cardio session for a long period of time.

Your Solution

Try interval training. Interval training is very efficient and can burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. Interval training should be so intense that you shouldn’t last more than 20 minutes, and in my opinion, 20 minutes of interval training is plenty. Switch it up day by day between interval training and continuous cardio, and keep continuous cardio to 45 minutes max.

Not Enough Weight Training

There are still many women who fear weight training, or to lift more than 10 pounds. The fear is that their bodies will “bulk” up and they will look manly. The fact of the matter is, women do not have the genetics to build up large muscles like men do. To increase your metabolism you need to build muscle. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, you have the potential for a negative energy balance, which can result in weight loss – or fat loss – due to your metabolic rate. And that can add up. Muscle is also smaller than fat, so it takes up less space in our bodies than fat does.

Your Solution

Try full body resistance training 2 to 3 times per week, starting with the large muscle groups and ending with the smaller muscles. Try
super sets, strip sets, and giant sets. There are many ways to have a great workout, and avoid taking a lot of rest in between sets to burn lots of
calories and to make the most out of your workout.

You Train the Same Way Over and Over Again

You may have hit a plateau with your training and don’t even realize it. Many of us get caught up doing the same exercises the same way day
after day, and when this is done too much, your body will get used to the same exercises and will not respond to them any longer.

Your Solution

Change your routine maximum once per month. Change up the way you train and lift heavy. Ask advice from a fitness expert for new and
challenging ways to train to keep your body guessing.

You Don’t Give Yourself a Chance

There are many women I have spoken to with weight loss goals in mind. Unfortunately they don’t allow themselves a chance to actually acheive their goals. There is always an event, or a party or just an average weekend that the sabotaging happens. These women beat themselves up to no end, and then they do this again! Its a never-ending evil cycle that needs to be broken.

Your Solution

Keep in mind what is important to you; your weight loss goals or a weekend of binge eating and drinking alcohol with your friends. The answer will always be the same – You Are What is Important! Stop making excuses and stop selling yourself short. If you really want something to happen for yourself, you should never give up. This way of thinking is used in all aspects of life; job promotions or a dream vacation. Why should it be any different for weight loss or other fitness goals? Your family and true friends will understand eventually, and you still can have a good time at events without all the extra calories from food and alcohol.

There is always a solution to a problem, no matter how frustrating it can be. Take a step back to evaluate the problem and figure out a way to solve it. Weight loss does not have to be this stressful, and you should avoid over-thinking things. Keep your head in check and your eye on your goals. Good things always come to those who wait, and the best thing to do is stay patient! Remember that next time you feel like there is no hope.


Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Powered by HostGator