I’ve had it!


I’ve sat quietly by and politely smiled when I’ve heard people speaking about the huge success of using this potion ‘X’ or make claims about this pill ‘Y’ or tonic ‘Z’. Commercials, magazine ads, and advertorials (when a company writes an article that appears to be informational or educational in content, when in fact it is an advertisement for their product) are making all sorts of claims about what we all NEED in order to be healthy.



I was watching TV the other day and noticed several ads came on about a product that was touting the health benefits of a certain drink. I remember yet another one that talked about the lack of nutrients in our soil, so people should start taking these pills to assure their health. Then of course there was the exercise DVD's that tell you how amazing your results will be by doing their 'special' program.



Needless to say I am all for health, fitness, and wellness. But is it just me, or has the marketing and snake oil selling gotten way out of hand?



I don’t deny that the quality of the soil is depleted, and that we probably all take in more toxins than is healthy for us. What gets under my skin is the shear outrageousness of the claims and the backwards thinking that is used to sell the products.



If you have the discipline to take product ‘X’ 4 times per day with meals and every other weekend, couldn’t you use that same discipline to prepare your “real food” meals prior to each day and receive even more benefits from consuming actual food instead of a pill or drink?



The same idea applies to your health. There is no magic exercise program out there, only the one that you commit to doing on a consistent basis.  If you’re consistent and improve the way you eat, you will get results. Now for some people that may be hiring a Fitness Coach, or purchasing a set of exercise DVD’s, but you have to utilize the information and motivation if you want to see a result from your investment.  Just showing up and going through the motions won't give you the results you want.



I don’t know about you, but it sounds like some old fashioned reality is what is needed to me.


1.)    Your body was built to move. Because we spend so much time inactive,  exercise is a way to give your body what IT NEEDS – challenging physical movement that gets the blood pumping and produces and some perspiration. Remember Not All Movement is Good Movement. First get proper instruction.

2.)    Watch what you put in your body. Garbage in, Garbage out. Take the time to prepare your meals ahead of time so you don't make poor food choices because your starving. NO amount of special antioxidant drinks or pills will cure inactivity and poor food choices!!

3.)    Make time for consistent fitness in your life, if not daily then 3x/week minimum. Many of us are stressed out beyond belief. How well you take care of your physical body, or fail to, will dictate how long and how well you live and enjoy your life.  Energy drinks won't fix the problem.


4.)   Make a Plan. If you really want to see a change in anything in your life, make a plan with 3-4 realistic short term goals and 1 long term goal, and get to work.


It is my intention to use these blog posts to assist you in achieving your health, fitness and wellness goals, by providing reliable, practical information that when you use it consistently, you will get the results you need.



Make a commitment to yourself Today to Get Out Of Pain, and Get In Your Best Shape.



Here’s a FREE BONUS to get you started.

WELLNESSTOFITNESSIN4EASYSTEPS.doc

As I discussed in part 1, we can all admit that when we are under a great deal of stress it is difficult for us to commit to our healthy eating plan.
 

I discussed the hormones Cortisol (the stress hormone) and Serotonin (the feel good hormone) and how they each play an important role in food cravings, and fat storage.  In part 2, let’s take a closer look at stress and ways to manage it so that it doesn’t sabotage your weight loss goals.

 

Stress is a part of life.  Whether it’s the baby crying, the irritability of a loved one, the endless deadlines at work, or the constant flow of bills, stress is a part of all of our daily lives.  But not all stress is bad.  In some cases stress actually assists us in being our best selves by increasing our awareness and attentiveness to a situation. As a practicing psychotherapist for 7 years, and a fitness coach for the past 14 years, it has been my experience that the main culprit when it comes to stress sabotaging weight loss goals is chronic stress.

 

 

 

Stress is defined as a mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences affecting physical health, usually by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression.

I want to be clear; a “stressor” is the precipitating event or situation which can cause a response of “stress”.  Thus, a stressor is only stressful if you deem it to be so.  How you handle, or fail to handle the stressors in your life is what determines your stress level and your ability to maintain your commitments to your weight loss goals. 

 

There are two types of stressors:

  • Acute stressors which are similar to the flight or fight response, where you have an immediate physical response to the event, situation, or request and
  • Chronic stressors which are directly related to long term exposure to situations in which you respond to in a stressful manner.   What we need to understand and remember is that stress is as individual as styles and tastes of clothes.  What one person finds intolerable, another person may not be bothered by at all. 

     

     

    The first thing to do to learn to manage your stress level better is to start taking notice of situations that cause you stress.  What type of unique response do you have and to what types of situations?  Begin to notice your internal dialogue.  What is it saying?  Is it encouraging you to move forward or is it negative and self-defeating?  This first step is important because once you effectively identify your stressors you are now empowered to change your reaction to them.

 

The second step is HUGELY important.  Because believing that you are capable of making the changes necessary to enjoy a better, less stressful life begins the process of healing.  Ask yourself, can you avoid the stressor altogether or at least minimize your contact and/or length of time with the person or situation that creates the stress? 

 

Once you begin to believe that you can in fact change the way you respond to a stressor you can then begin to make the small adjustments towards experiencing less stress.  You can look at whether you are viewing your stressors in exaggerated terms. Are you trying to please everyone?  Are you being too rigid in your expectations?  Are you dealing with an all too familiar situation and expecting a different outcome? Then take some deep breaths to slow your heart rate and help clear your thoughts.  Look at these stressful situations as something you can cope with successfully.

 

Stress creates many different reactions on a hormonal level, mental level and emotional level.  I believe you are capable of sticking to and achieving your weight loss goals.  Here are a few tips to keep you on track in the face of stress and cravings:

 

By taking the time to read this valuable information, you have already demonstrated that you are ready to achieve your weight loss goals.  You have the information, now it’s time for action!  To change, one has to move.  You are now ready to handle stress, rather than it handling you.  Move to a place of power in your life. I know you can do it!  If you have any questions or have a unique situation let me you would like help with, please contact me.

Here's your FREE-- Checklist_to_Reduce_Stress.pdf

 

May
21
2010
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I hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed my newsletter.

One of my clients had a great question that I’d like to answer here. She expressed concern that the carbohydrates (carbs) in the last recipe, on the newsletter, seemed a bit “high”.

 

The first thing I would ask you to remember is that one meal, slightly “high” in carbs, is not an issue.  What’s of bigger importance is the total caloric intake of protein, carbs and fat over a 24hr period.

 

We’ve all watched the media bounce back and forth between low carb, high protein, fat-free, and an assortment of other inaccurate and short sited responses to losing weight and keeping it off.

 

I personally don’t believe in the “one size fits all” type of philosophy when it comes to nutrition. I genuinely believe that each person is unique in their metabolism, fitness level, time they have to spend exercising, as well as how many calories they burn just doing their daily activities. That is why I take a body composition analysis on each of my clients, as well as find out what a “typical” week of exercise looks like for them, before I create a customized nutrition program.  That way I am sure that the nutrition program meets their individual needs and lifestyle.  And to be quite honest, if the “one size fits all” philosophy worked, we’d be seeing a better improvement in the overall health of our population.

 

With all of that said I can give you a general rule of thumb when it comes to creating your meals.  My reading is leading me to believe that perhaps portion control is really the key to losing weight and keeping it off (for those that do not want to measure their food).  What I mean by that is: picture your plate, now divide it down the middle so that you now have two halves. Half of your plate should be full of fresh vegetables (preferably leafy green). Divide the second half into to two equal parts.  In one of those halves you would have a lean protein source (eggs, fish, lean meat, poultry), and the remaining space would be filled with carbs (starchy – brown rice, whole-grain breads, etc.).  Does that make sense?

 

The second general rule of thumb is: if you tend to start your day “high” in carbs, be sure to taper your intake of starchy carbs throughout the day.  The thinking behind this is that you give your body the rest of the day to burn off the starches you’ve taken in during the early hours of the day.

 

Remember, one size fits all does not work.  Find out how your body works by getting a body composition analysis and that information along with your “typical” week of activity, should help put you right on target and ready for summer swimsuit season!

 

As always, please let me know if this information was helpful.

I usually like to spend these posts sharing ways for you to combat pain and discomfort. Because honestly, it seems like most everyone I speak to is experiencing some type of pain or discomfort in their body. But today I was approached by a couple that asked a very interesting question, “Does stress really affects a person’s ability to lose weight?”

 

By all means, YES, stress does play an important roll in how effectively you lose weight.

 

RING! RING! RING! The alarm clock sounds and jolts you out of your peaceful sleep. The day has begun.  If you’re like most of my clients you whiz through the day stressed out from the moment we wake up.  It’s no wonder over 60% of the population is considered overweight.  So what do you do in a world full of growing commitments, bills, challenging relationships, and constant temptations of processed food?  And why do you crave that processed food anyway?

 

Let’s keep this simple, when you are under stress it is difficult for anyone to commit to a healthy eating plan. You begin your day in a whirl-wind just to get on the road and on your way to work, not to mention all the stress of dealing with traffic.  Once you are at work having to deal with the stresses of deadlines, annoying co-workers and demanding bosses; this is on top of the responsibilities you already have at home.  It’s enough to make anyone just want to indulge.

 

When you are stressed your body releases a chemical called “Cortisol” (known as the “stress-hormone”) into the bloodstream.


  • Cortisol levels rise in response to a perceived stress; real or imagined.
  • An increase in Cortisol means a decrease in Serotonin (think of a see-saw).
  • Serotonin is the hormone responsible for relaxed and content feelings and, no surprise, is one of the significant hormones that assist in helping us fall asleep at night. 

     

    Eating can often be a distraction, because if you’re focused on food, for however long that lasts, you’re not dwelling on the problem that is causing you stress. 

     

    The funny thing is that when you’re stressed (remember the see saw)

 
  • you may typically crave carbohydrate-rich foods, which when consumed, create feelings of relaxation and contentedness. In fact;

  • when you stuff yourself or binge on large amounts of carbohydrates you may notice a “sugar high”;

  • In fact, this stressful lifestyle is encouraging you to eat high sugar foods to regain that pleasant feeling of calm.  Sound familiar?

 
I want to make it VERY clear here that including exercise as a part of changing your physique doesn’t mean you have to join a gym! 
 


What it does mean is that you need to include physical activity into your daily or at worst weekly schedule.  Unfortunately everyone seems to be looking for the quick fix.  In this age of almost immediate gratification, few seem willing to take on the challenge of giving their body what it needs. . . . .  EXERCISE!  A good weight loss plan is built around the client.  That’s why when I create programs for my clients I am sure to ask them what types of physical activities they enjoy doing and then include those types in their weight loss program to assure success – and that doesn’t always mean going to a gym.  (Please contact me so I can help you find out what works for you to be successful in your weight loss goals.)

 

“SO WHAT DO I DO?” YOU ASK.

Great question.  In Part 2, I discuss the different types of stress that affects us all, and ways to manage that stress so it doesn’t get the best of you or your waistline.

Dec
02
2009
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Do you know what the term glycemic index means?  Though not as popular presently as a few years ago, this term is extremely important to anyone interested in quickly and effectively losing weight and keeping it off.


Glycemic index refers to the speed at which a certain carbohydrate enters the blood stream as sugar.  While all carbohydrates must be broken down into simple carbohydrates to be absorbed, it is the speed at which this happens that is known as the glycemic index.


There are 3 factors that determine the how fast this process will happen: (1) The structure of the simple sugar (i.e. processed foods like rice cakes are the highest), (2) the soluble fiber content (hence vegetables typically have a low glycemic index), and finally (3) the fat content.


Yes, I know, now you are asking yourself, “So why is this important to me in achieving my weight loss goals.”


Well, for over 20 years I have been assisting people achieve their weight loss goals and keep the weight off.  I have helped people understand what foods work for their busy daily schedule so that they continue to make progress when convenience is key.  I understand the rigors of having a busy schedule, late meetings, and frequent travel and I assist my clients in keeping to their nutrition schedule, while living a fast paced lifestyle.  Drawing on my experiences from High School wrestling to National Level Powerlifting, to presently practicing Mixed Martial Arts, I understand the importance of not only eating for improved performance, but also for quality of life. 


First off, let us understand that the body is an efficient machine.  It is constantly monitoring the levels of all the hormones, and nutrients in the body.  Hence, when an imbalance is perceived it responds by trying to bring the body back into balance. We out-survived the dinosaurs for a reason.  We are efficient machines, cable of withstanding harsh elements, and adapting to our environment.


The reason the glycemic index of a carbohydrate is important in achieving weight loss goals is that the higher the glycemic index of a food the more likely it will raise blood sugar levels, and in fact encourage your body to store fat.  When blood sugar levels are increased quickly and significantly by high glycemic carbohydrates, the body (the pancreas) responds by releasing insulin (a storage hormone).  The excessive blood sugar, that which cannot be used or stored in the muscles and the liver, is then stored in fat cells as energy for future use. Thus the body secretes insulin, which acts like Pac-man by removing the glucose in your blood stream to bring it down to acceptable levels.  Unfortunately the body is sometimes overly efficient in its quest to maintain balance and in fact the excessive insulin secreted in many cases facilitates a drop in blood sugar – resulting in you craving carbs (typically high glycemic) a few hours later.  As mentioned earlier, insulin is largely a storage hormone, from evolution created to save excessive carbohydrate calories for energy in the form of fat for future use.  Remember, we are survival machines.  We survived Ice Ages, droughts, and predators.


Think for a moment does this sound familiar: Up early grab a quick snack, usually a high processed cereal, a donut or some other high glycemic carb, off to work.  Around 10:00am you feel like you can barely keep your eyes open.  Reach for a cup of coffee and/or a muffin or donut or some other high glycemic carb. Around 12:00pm you feel the same sluggish feeling, etc.  This yo-yo effect that you are experiencing is the result of consuming meals with high glycemic index carbohydrates.  The high you experience after consuming the carbohydrate with a high glycemic index is probably the effects of an increase in blood sugar.  The low you feel a few hours later is the probably the result of the excessive insulin released to combat the high blood sugar. 


Many of my clients come to me not understanding the above example.  They figure out why they were experiencing this yo-yo effect.  As we look over their 5 day food journal it becomes evident that the food choices they are making are not only stopping them from losing weight, they are affecting their moods, ability to concentrate, and their energy levels. Their food choices were affecting their quality of life!  I help them develop a food plan that works with their lifestyle and food preferences.  I teach you how to be successful towards your fitness goals.


At this point I hope it is clear that the best carbohydrate choices are those that are low on the glycemic index.  Low refers to those foods which show a glycemic index of 60 or lower.  As a rule of thumb most vegetables are great choices except for corn and carrots which have a high glycemic index.  Most fruits are also acceptable, except for bananas and raisins, again, high glycemic index.  Selected grains like oatmeal and barley are acceptable because they have soluble fiber which assists them in being low on the glycemic index.


If you have any additional questions or questions regarding a certain food?  There is a rather extensive glycemic index on the website.  Just click glycemic index.


If you need help creating a nutrition strategy that works for you please contact me at kurt@energyfxfitness.com.  Or call me now at (310) 397-0089 and I can help you plan a strategy that works.

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but when the article, “Artificial Sweeteners Linked to Weight Gain” came across my desk, I was curious.  Immediately I wanted to run to my computer and let all of you know what the article said.  But I thought, one article doesn’t mean that much, let’s look a bit deeper.  And let me tell you, what I found in my research on this subject scared the heck out of me!


Let’s start from the beginning.  I could bore you with the research and endless amounts of studies citing each of the artificial sweeteners I researched, instead let me first give you a list of the most common.


  1. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
  2. Saccharin
  3. Splenda
  4. Aspartame
  5. Sucralose
  6. Stevia

I guess the best way to start this all off is to give you a quick and dirty understanding of how the body responds to sugar, how the body responds to artificial sweeteners, and then give you the down and dirty FACTS on what the dangers are of each artificial sweetener listed above.

Let me first say I am not some organic, grow your own food extremist.  Equally, I am concerned about the short and long term effects of the food and drink I put in my body.  I haven’t spent all these years working out to keep myself healthy, only to destroy myself from the inside out.


Sugar Evolution


During prehistoric times sugar came solely from complex natural sources that had other nutritional qualities, such as fruit, honey, bark, and leaves.  And as we all know naturally sweet food is seasonal, ripening with the help of the sun only during certain times of year.

As time and technology progressed, shipping and trade routes also grew. As did new refining technology, along with advanced food-processing techniques; thus we found ourselves with readily available sugar.  We have now created an environment where sugar is everywhere and in everything.  Unfortunately sugar is an empty calorie, devoid of protein, fat or fiber, often taking the place of real nutrients.


Sugar and the Body


Remember we are still very primitive, from a cellular level, such that we are all biologically predisposed to desire sugar. Sugar has not only a biochemical effect on the body, but also a psychological one.  I dare say most of us desire to have a sweet treat at least once in a while.  In fact, with the help of the media and some home/childhood experiences, most of us unconsciously associate sugar with love, pleasure, and reward.

From a biological perspective we seek out sugar to fuel our muscles and brains. After all, sugar (sucrose) is a carbohydrate that metabolizes directly into glucose (blood sugar), stimulating the release of the feel good neurotransmitter serotonin.  In fact scientists report that eating chocolate initiates a brain response similar to falling in love.

When you eat sugar, your blood sugar levels shoot up causing the release of insulin from the pancreas, which facilitates the absorption of sugar and other nutrients into the cells of your body.  If there are no other nutrients to help you sustain your blood sugar – you crash – your blood sugar level drops as quickly as it rose and you’re looking for another “rush”.  This is why it is so important to have a protein, carbohydrate, and fat source at each meal; it helps moderate your blood sugar levels and allows for sustained energy.  Eating in this fashion also allows the body to feel genuinely satisfied and release the satiety hormone leptin (which tells the body to stop eating).  Be clear, craving sugar is just the body calling for energy and a serotonin surge.  It’s the food choices we make that make the difference.


Artificial Sweeteners and the Body


First let me give you the response the body has to artificial sweeteners in general and then give the DIRTY FACTS on how artificial sweeteners affect the body.

Recent research has found that obesity has consistently paralleled the increased use of artificial sweeteners.  The more manufacturers use and we consume, the higher our country’s obesity rates seem to go.

As you just learned, typically when the body receives what it perceives as sugar, there is a release of insulin to assist cells in absorbing the nutrients in the blood stream. When artificial sweeteners are consumed, they have been shown to blunt the affect of the body’s ability to recognize sugar in the blood stream.  What that basically means is that when you consume artificial sweeteners it blunts or lowers your body’s ability to recognize sugar, thus leading to an increase in the amount of calories consumed.  In fact researchers found “that consuming food sweetened with no-calorie saccharin can lead to greater body weight gain and adiposity than would consuming the same food sweetened with a higher-calorie sugar”.  Further they noted that based on the lab’s hypothesis, other artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose and acesulfame K, could have similar effects.  In another study, people who used artificial sweeteners ate up to 3 times the amount of calories as the control group.  Plain and simple, artificial sweeteners confuse the body’s natural ability to know when it’s had enough calories (food or drink).


With High Fructose Corn Syrup, the effects are even more pronounced.  It seems that fructose is actually “shunted” (pushed) towards the liver, unlike sucrose (regular sugar) which is broken down in the body, prior to reaching the liver.  And once reaching the liver fructose mimics the effects of insulin in getting the liver to release fatty acids into the blood stream. Thus it appears that fructose causes the liver to release triglycerides. Triglycerides are a common fat in your blood that is often used for energy.  In normal amounts, triglycerides are important to good health.  But high triglyceride levels are part of a group of conditions called Metabolic Syndrome.


Metabolic Syndrome is the combination of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, too much fat around the waist, low LDL (good) cholesterol, and high triglycerides.  This syndrome will increase your risk of heart disease as well as for diabetes and stroke.


Hence, fructose itself may lead to the increased rates of obesity, not merely through increased calorie intake, but through a variety of complex chemical reactions it stimulates in the human body.


Now here’s the interesting thing.  If the liver is bombarded with insulin too often, and this is based on each person’s tolerance level, it begins to become less responsive to insulin being present in the blood stream.  When the liver is less responsive to insulin in the blood stream you can become insulin resistant – which can be a precursor to you getting diabetes, and you don’t want that!


So there you have it.  Artificial sweeteners, sometimes called body toxins, confuse the body into potentially eating a significant amount of excess calories than it actually needs.  While HFCS through a host of complex chemical reactions actually can create an environment for obesity and possible diabetes.


Now here are the most significant findings on the list I promised from above.


Saccharin


  • Presently studies show limited or sufficient evidence of carcinogencity in humans
  • Possibly blunts the ability to recognize sugar in blood stream
  • Possible allergic reactions headaches, breathing difficulty, skin eruptions, diarrhea
  • Does seem to cause fewer problems than Aspartame

Splenda (Sucralose)


  • Pre-approval research showed sucralose caused shrunken thymus glands (up to 40% shrinkage) and enlarged liver and kidneys.
  • Discovered 1976 while seeking to make new pesticide formulation
  • Possible allergic reactions skin rashes, panic-like agitation, dizziness and numbness, intestinal cramping, headaches, muscle aches.
  • Not a “natural” product (see the Splenda website)
  • Contains chlorine which is considered a carcinogen.

Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, Sugar Twin)


  • Has received the most complaints of any artificial sweetener
  • Use can result in accumulation of formaldehyde in the brain, which can damage your central nervous system and immune system.
  • Linked to neuropsychiatric disorders, including panic attacks, mood changes, manic episodes, visual hallucinations
  • Mild link to depression and male infertility
  • FDA approved though dangerous side effects found in rodents. Same side effects now being found in humans 15 years later.

Stevia


  • Known as sweet herb
  • Has been used for over 400 years without ill effects
  • Reports from other countries show little or no side effects

I could not close this article without sharing with you the dangers of artificial sweeteners and acknowledging that there still needs to be long term studies on humans to be able to say without a doubt -- artificial sweeteners are a danger to humans.  What I will ask you to consider the Tobacco Industry and its stand on cigarettes – supposedly no link between smoking and cancer, and the new knowledge on the dangers of heating your food in plastic – which we originally thought was safe.


I encourage you to build your meals and snacks from whole foods whenever possible and avoid highly processed foods.  If you have to sweeten food, do so sparingly with natural sugars such as honey, rice syrup, molasses, and maple syrup.


And if you would like my help on how to avoid artificial sweeteners and highly processed foods or to get your nutrition on track please visit my website now at http://www.energyfxfitness.com. I look forward to assisting you in being your healthiest and best.

When I was a kid I would insist that my parents purchase these specific shoes that I believed would make me run faster and jump higher. In my adolescence I wanted to wear certain clothes that would make me part of the in crowd. Presently, some adults believe that driving a certain car will in fact make them more popular and increase their chances of dating the right person. As an adult I realize that many of us are using these same types of media driven magical/wishful thinking when choosing how to go about losing weight. We somehow believe that there is a quick fix to years of inactivity and careless eating habits.

I have been in the Health and Fitness industry for over 20 years, and I continue to be amazed at how easily many of us are led into the profit driven hype the media feeds us. Telling us how using philosophy ‘X’ or product ‘Y’ will lead to quick and satisfying weight loss. Drawing from my experiences in high school wrestling; to National level Powerlifting; presently practicing Mixed Martial Arts, as well as having been a practicing psychotherapist, I know what works and what doesn’t, as well as the struggles it takes to get there. I have witnessed the frustration of 100’s, if not 1,000’s of clients who came to me after trying the latest diet trend and having little to no results. I know what works in the real world. I know how to help you get there because I’ve assisted 100’s if not 1,000’s of clients achieve their weight loss goals. And there is no magic involved.

The process is rather simple, eat more calories than you burn and you will gain weight. Eat fewer calories than you burn and you will lose weight. The trick of course is not to deprive yourself so much that you feel hungry while having fewer calories. There have been numerous approaches to weight loss ranging from philosophies that encourage certain foods be eaten together, to cabbage soup diets, to eating foods specific to your blood type, to eating all the fat and protein you want. Yet through all of these trends, the same fact remains. Take in fewer calories than you burn and you will lose weight. There are no quick fixes and at the same time there is no need for undue suffering while modifying your nutritional intake.

So what does work, you must be asking yourself by now? What can I eat and how can I lose these unwanted pounds that are not only unattractive to me, but are inhibiting the quality of my life? The answer is rather simple. Let me tell you why. The unfortunate truth is that most of us don’t really know what we eat day to day. We get hungry and put something in our mouths. Part of any successful weight loss program is to first keep track of what you eat. I have my clients keep a 5 day food journal to start the process off. This gives us each an idea of what modifications need to be made to get them from point A to point B. I rely on real-life, scientifically based, age old truths about how the body works and what gets results for my clients.

In June 2002 Consumer Reports published an article, called the “The Truth About Dieting”. In it, they effectively and accurately lay out the guides/strategy that I have been espousing to my clientele for years for successful weight loss. Consumer Reports conducted the largest survey ever on long-term maintenance of weight loss, 32,213 respondents. From this group they found 5 key points necessary to successful long-term weight loss. And in August 2002, L.A. Health News published a piece that utilized information reviewed by the website iVillage.com, where several of the leading diets plans were reviewed for their hunger (if they left the user feeling hungry), health (do you get the nutrients you need), ease (is it easy to follow), and expense (will this diet break your bank).

I could go on listing volumes of references of all the information that is out there to guide you to your success, but the key elements are rather simple. And probably not so different from the ideas your mother used to tell you. Simply put, unless informed differently by a physician, you should have a protein, a carbohydrate, and a fat at each meal. Meals should be spaced approximately every two and a half to three and a half hours apart. This could be three typical meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner, with two snacks (one mid-morning snack and one late afternoon snack), or five small meals throughout the day. Why? Because your body needs consistent nutrition throughout the day in order to remain alert, maintain energy levels, and keep your body burning fat rather than storing it.

1) Carbohydrates: Consistent with Consumer Reports article, The Zone by Barry Sears, and numerous other diet plans. One of the biggest keys to a successful weight loss program is taming your blood sugar. The body’s use of carbohydrates is the key to success and is a regular part of diets. There are essentially two types of carbohydrates: Low Glycemic such as vegetables, whole grains, legumes and food rich in fiber, and High Glycemic, which include foods such as white rice, pasta, refined flour, bread, potatoes, and sugar. During digestion carbohydrates are broken down into sugar (glucose) molecules. When they reach your blood stream the pancreas releases insulin, which is the only way cells can uptake the glucose and hence use the glucose for energy. However, fasting-acting, high-glycemic carbohydrates create an upsurge of blood sugar that is uncomfortable to the body (not to mention being stored as triglycerides (an indicator of heart disease risk)). In response the body unleashes a surge of insulin that often drives blood sugar levels below normal and thereby increases the craving for more (often high glycemic) carbohydrates. It is of importance to note that your brain is the second largest consumer of carbohydrates in the body, so drastically reducing or worse yet, skipping carbs altogether is an easy way to impair your clear thinking, not to mention your energy levels.

The key is to minimize the amount of high glycemic carbohydrates you take in at each meal. If you have a high glycemic carb in your meal make sure to include approximately double that amount of low glycemic carb. In that way you are able to control your insulin levels and hence your energy levels.

2) Protein: Other than the Atkins Diet, many traditional reducing diets restrict protein intake. However, recent research has shown that protein actually aids in the slowing of food absorption. For instance if you have a serving of fish with some white rice, though I suggest brown, your blood sugar will rise more slowly than if you consume the same number of calories of white rice alone. So protein can aid in a low-glycemic diet, as well as helping you control your insulin. Protein also serves the purpose of feeding your muscles. Without the amino acids present in protein, your muscles would starve. Maintaining your muscle (often referred to as lean mass) is what allows you to keep your metabolism up and hence burn more calories.
The key is to choose lean protein such as lean cuts of beef, pork, egg whites, fish, chicken, turkey, and reduced fat dairy.

3) Fat: Though for some time we have been lead to believe that fat is bad, recent research encourages the use of fats towards weight loss and maintaining good health. Fats such as mono- and poly-unsaturated vegetable oils, olive oil, avocados, nuts, and fish oil seem to protect people against heart disease. In addition adding fat to your meal slows the absorption rate of food allowing you to feel fuller longer. Further, this slowed absorption rate decreases the blood sugar surge that would occur if fat were not included in the meals containing high glycemic carbohydrates.
The key is to utilize healthy fats to maintain well-rounded nutrition and health.

4) Consistency: It appears that it is not so much what you do in your weight loss strategy as much as it is how often. Those that have the most success in weight loss and keeping the weight off, do so by making consistently better choices in food and adding exercise regularly.

Again, the idea is to meet your nutritional requirements while decreasing your overall calories and not feeling starved. One of the best ways to do this is to choose foods rich in fiber and water. The idea is to get your body to feel full before you’ve consumed too many calories. The easiest way to do this is to choose foods that are rich in fiber and water such as vegetables, grains, and lean meats. Merely drinking water after a meal, while helpful, does not create the same feeling of fullness as when water is a part of the food. An example used by Consumer Reports is of having chicken noodle soup versus having chicken and noodles side by side on a plate.

To summarize, eat every three and a half to four hours, include a protein, high glycemic and approximately double the low glycemic carbohydrate, and make sure to include fat in every meal. Exercise regularly and POW watch the unwanted pounds leave and stay gone!

Now if this all still sounds too complicated to get you results AND If you’re ready to have the body you always wanted contact me at kurt@energyfxfitness.com and I can help create a nutrition schedule that won’t break your bank and will get you results fast! Call me now at (310) 397-0089.

NOTE:

In the Spring of 2000, the U.S. Public Health Services’ Centers for Disease Control declared obesity an epidemic among all segments of the population, in all regions of the country. By 2001 the CDC officially recognized obesity as the No. 1 epidemic in America. According to the CDC, one in five American adults is obese, which is defined as being 30 percent above the ideal weight for one’s height. Obesity has increased among American adults by nearly 60 percent in the last decade and approximately half of Americans are overweight.
These extra pounds have been known to increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure as well as being associated with several types of cancer, including breast, colon, kidney, liver, pancreatic, and rectal.

BMI Formula BMI Formula (14 KB)



About the author:

Kurt Elder MSW, CPT is a Fitness Consultant and Result Coach. Kurt has been in the health, fitness and wellness industry for over 20 years. He has been a practicing psychotherapist, competitive athlete, and world record holder. He holds a certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Kurt is currently the owner and operator of Energy F/X Fitness Consultants. Kurt is a highly sought after authority in rehab and sports conditioning as well as weight loss. His approach, aided by his unique background, allows an experience of total transformation of his clients. Kurt may be contacted at http://www.energyfxfitness.com or call me at (310) 397-0089.