A Bunch of
Weight Loss Tips
Americans have gotten way out of control with our eating habits
and weight. You've seen most of these tips before in just
about every health and fitness magazine or internet site but
they are well worth the review. See what you can
incorporate into your daily routine!
Avoid fad diets and just
eat 3 "sensible" meals daily with adequate fruit and
vegetables. The changes you make should be lifestyle
changes (ie. FROM NOW ON) and not just a "diet".
Portion control! Going
from 4 slices of pizza to 2 works. Cut down on seconds.
Try this: leave at least 1 bite of food on you plate of your
regular meals. Psychologically it helps you to practice
Using smaller plates, forks and spoons is a good trick too!
Limit fats and high-fat
foods as well as sugar
Make it light! Beer, soda,
etc... If you have to have it, diet soda and light beer
have much less calories than their counterparts. Alcohol
has a lot of calories itself, so try to limit the amount
that you have in one sitting, or the frequency that you
drink. I went from dark or regular beer to light beer and
cut back on how often I treated myself. It's an
acquired taste, but you get used to it.
Include resistance training in addition to cardio and you'll
lose more fat, look and feel better, AND you'll actually be
able to eat a little more. Each additional pound of
muscle burns an additional 50 calories per day!
Be aware of your social
situations and habits that lead to overeating. Try to
avoid or prepare for these situations.
Keep you snacking in
check and if you do snack, try to choose wisely.
Solicit help from your
family and friends to support your lifestyle change and
Calories are what you
need to watch. With 3,500 calories equating to a pound
of body fat, make better choices about what you put in your
No more deep fried foods!
Try some steamed veggies on the side, or a baked potato if
you have to have that spud fix. OK, so now I have a few
chicken wings once in awhile, but I still haven't eaten a
full order of french fries in about 4 years!
Forget about the chips and
especially the dips! Pretzels are much less damaging and
rice cakes are even better (the flavored ones aren't bad).
Whole wheat bread instead
Substitute egg whites or
egg beaters rather than eating those yokes. You'll
save yourself that extra fat and cholesterol.
Mustard instead of mayo.
Never really liked it much, but you get used to it.
Get rid of the empty
calories. That means all that crap that you eat that has no
nutritional value. Candy, ice cream, cake, etc.. should
only be used for a special treat... like when you hit a
Drink lots of water. Water
is an appetite suppressant, essential for your body, and
helps flush your system.
fat, light, or fat free foods are better alternatives also.
Hot dogs, salad dressings, there are many foods that have
light alternatives so that you don't have to give them up
all together. All I can say is that you have to try them
first. Some are tolerable and even good... others are
simply not worth it in my opinion!
Read the labels on the
food... then decide on the best choice for that snack or
meal. Pay particular attention to the calories and fat
content and whether or not there are "smarter"
I would recommend that you not try to do all of this at once.
Just add a tip or three every week or so until you get
accustomed to it. When I first started changing my
eating habits, it took a while to get used to it. The
bottom line is that you want to make changes that you will
continue FROM NOW ON.
It is sometimes better to
cut back by eating smart than trying to tackle a difficult
"crash-diet" that can set you up for non-compliance,
frustration, and eventually failure. Discipline and
personality will play a large part in this decision. Know
what you're are capable of but challenge yourself to succeed!
Ok... so who's up for a
challenge? If you drop what you're doing and read my
eNewsletter as soon as you get it, then today should be the
beginning of June. I'm giving you until the end of
June to 'complete' your homework assignment.
Plenty of time if you got the stones for it!|
So here's my challenge for you:
for the next 4 weeks, make a promise to yourself (and to
me). Either give something "bad" up for a month, or
start something "good". Just so we're clear here,
bad=crappy foods and good=exercise. Tomorrow
morning, get up weigh-in, and write it down... along with
your promise... that's the start of your progress chart.
You think I'm kidding? Studies have shown that when
you are serious about it and write this stuff down you have
a better chance of committing to it and following through.
Hang on... here are the
guidelines. If your promise is intake related (ie.
stuff you're cramming in your mouth) then you can't pick
something that you only have once a week or less. I'm
talking about a daily habit or choice that you make that
could be improved upon. If your promise is exercise
related, then I'm expecting 30 minutes or better of
SOMETHING. Whether it is a brisk walk, a piece of
cardio equipment, or weight/resistance training... stick
with it 3 times a week for the entire month of June.
The article above has several
ideas for dietary changes you can make. Unless you're
really tough, you don't have to do them all. Just pick
one or a couple that could be somewhat challenging, but that
you feel you can stick with. Big goals that you bomb
on in the first week aren't going to cut it!
For exercise, you want to
focus on the challenge. Whatever you choose...
the benefits of exercise are in TRAINING your body by
pushing it a little further than you are used to on a
regular basis. That is how your body adapts to
training. You don't want to over-do it, but you don't
want to under-do it either. A good rule of thumb for
cardio is to use the talk test. This is where you can
hold a conversation, but not carry a tune. In other
words, you shouldn't be hyperventilating, but you should be
almost there... where you can still talk. For
resistance training... if your target number of repetitions
for an exercise is 10 then you should be struggling when you
get to 9 and the 10th should be a real challenge. Once
you hit your target without a struggle, it's time to
increase the weight.
Now set yourself a reminder
to send me an email
(firstname.lastname@example.org) at the end of June... let's
say the 29th. What I'd like to know is what you gave
up or started doing, what changes that you may have seen as
a result, and generally how you feel. If you have any
questions between now and then, let me know. My
intention here is for you to dedicate yourself TO YOURSELF
for the month of June and see what kind of impact that you
can make. What have you got to lose... besides the
obvious?! So who's up for the challenge?
... to be continued
Bodyweight Exercise of the Month!
OK.. I'll fess up... I don't do this exercise on a regular
basis, but I do like it and it looks kinda cool! Decline
push-ups are actually a great bodyweight exercise for working
your upper chest. The important thing is for you to keep
your back completely straight and not let it sag in the middle
as you do the exercise. By alternating bringing a knee
to your elbow during the down motion of the push-up, you add
some oblique (side) work to the exercise. From a calorie
burning perspective, you get your most bang for your buck with
compound exercises that are working multiple muscles (moving multiple
chest, shoulders, arms, sides (pectoralis major, deltoids,
Starting in the "up position" of a push-up with your feet
elevated on a bench or chair. Lower your self down while
bringing your knee to the side by your elbow. Return to
starting position and complete the same motion with your
opposite knee. That's one rep.
Safe Pregnancy Workouts
From time to
time I get fitness questions from friends and family
regarding exercises and workout tips, often times these
questions are regarding how to exercise when you're
pregnant, or if you've just delivered your bundle of joy.
For the past few months I have been researching pregnancy
fitness and have also come across some really informative
websites that I will cover in a moment. Here is a
great high-level response to the question of pregnancy
workout guidelines (courtesy of babyfit.com):
The exercises you can do during pregnancy depend on your
health and how active you were before you became pregnant.
If you were not active before pregnancy, this is not the
time to start an extremely strenuous exercise program.
However, swimming, walking, or prenatal exercise classes are
great places to get started. If you exercised before
pregnancy, there is no reason you cannot continue, within
Before you begin any exercise program, discuss it with your
healthcare provider. The two of you together can plan an
exercise program that is consistent with your current level
of fitness and health conditions.
Swimming, brisk walking, prenatal exercise classes, and
stationary bicycling, low-impact aerobics, tennis, golf,
bowling (be careful of back strain later in pregnancy),
strength training, yoga, stretching.
Exercises to AVOID
As your uterus grows and your abdomen gets larger, your
sense of balance may be affected. This is also not the time
for contact sports where you could fall, injure yourself, or
be struck in the abdomen. Therefore, avoid these activities:
scuba diving, water skiing, basketball, softball, baseball,
horseback riding, and snow skiing/boarding.
As I mentioned, I have come across several very useful
websites that contain a wealth of information as well as
exercises. In addition to
babyfit.com, I have found
pregnancy.org/fitness to be
very useful. Most of these sites allow you to sign up
for free email newsletters for pregnancy fitness. In
the interest of fitness, I of course took advantage of this
benefit. So now I get emails once or twice a week with
greetings like "Pete, are you sick of struggling with
morning sickness?" or "Pete, are you tired of feeling fat and
unattractive?". Ah... the things that I do in the
interest of fitness!
The overmedication of
Americans has been a hot topic in recent years.
In fact, according to an article recently published in
Business Week the number of prescriptions filled by
adult and elderly Americans is 12 and 30 a year,
Unfortunately, most people continue to avoid making
recommended lifestyle changes that have proven to reduce
risk for disease and disability. Instead, the
influence of big pharmaceuticals furiously fuels the belief
that drugs hold the key to both long life and better quality
of life. Not so fast! The
results of a recent study strongly suggest that drugs are
not a prominent factor in whether you will live an
exceptionally long life.
Researchers at Harvard
University say there are only two factors
consistent with living to be 90: exercise and not smoking.
This conclusion was made after reevaluating information
obtained from the Physician's Health Study, which was
completed in 2006. This particular project followed 12,000
male doctors over 26 years to track the effects of aspirin
and beta-carotene on health.
They were unable to draw
conclusions on those variables.
Although medications have
proven effective in treating a variety of diseases they
don't appear to be responsible for helping you live longer.
This information serves as a reminder that encouraging
physical activity for the masses will take persistence.
Most Americans continue to
view physical exercise as an inconvenience.
John Carey. (2008) Fewer Pills, Longer Life. Business Week
Ok, raise your hand if you are
still procrastinating with your "I'm going to start" promise
to yourself. How long ago did you make that promise?
When you made the promise did you say "tomorrow" or "next
month" or maybe even "as soon as school gets out".
Well, it's June now... no time like the present!
When I was deciding on a name
for my personal training business, I wanted to ensure that I
picked something with meaning. If you noticed I
purposely spell it TODAY! Fitness with the emphasis on
TODAY! In other words, when you make that "I'm
going to start" promise to yourself, don't project it out
where you don't have to think about it right now... Start
TODAY! Even if you start small and add to it, at least
you are starting. Whether your goal is diet/nutrition
related or exercise and fitness related... something is
certainly better than nothing!
So let's take a moment to think
about this... kinda like wishing on a star. What is
your "I'm going to start" promise to yourself? If it's
diet related, at a minimum you can certainly replace that
soda with a water today, or maybe pass up that afternoon
candy bar while you prepare for your lifestyle change.
There's plenty of little things that can start you off and
help you get mentally prepared. If your goal is
exercise related, then drop and give me 20! I've
mentioned it before, you can do a set of push-ups, a set of
bodyweight squats, and a set of bicycle crunches at a
minimum and it is still better than sitting around just
thinking about it. If you do that every other day,
then start adding to it, you'll be on your way to putting
together a good total body routine! Either way, the
point that I'm trying to make is that it's time to take
action and fulfill that promise to yourself... It's time to
For prior issues of this
newsletter go to
was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved
us into action,
and discipline that enabled us to
follow through. "
- Zig Ziglar
youtube video of the month -->