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.

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.

“How much weight did you lose?” I overheard one female member ask another.  “How much weight did you gain man?” one male lifter asks another as he exits the scale.  I believe that these two phrases are the most over-used phrases in the world of health and fitness.

Yes, stepping on the scale will tell you how much you weigh on planet earth, but it does nothing to tell you about your present state of health, wellness or fitness.

It appears most of the population is concerned about decreasing their weight;  records show that people in United States spend, on average, $40 billion a year to “reduce their weight”.  My experience with my clients as well as the general public is that people are confused as to what it is that they are trying to reduce or get rid of – body weight or body fat.  Unfortunately these terms are HUGELY misunderstood, and sometimes mistakenly used interchangeably. 


WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?


To get us started on the right foot, let me first clarify the difference between all of the important terms.  Body weight is nothing more than the measure of the gravitational pull of planet earth on your body.  Whereas body fat, refers to how much of your total body weight is made up of fat.  Then there is lean mass which refers to your muscles, bones, connective tissue, and organs.  The remainder falls into the fat category. 


There are two types of fat:

(1) Essential fat which is required for normal physiological functioning and is stored in the bone marrow, the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, and other major tissues and organs; and (2) Storage fat which lies beneath the skin (subcutaneous) and serves as insulation, as a nutritional reserve, and protects internal organs from trauma.  It is the sum of these two fat categories that dictates your overall body fat percentage (%).

WHERE DID THIS COME FROM?


Unfortunately it appears that most of us are only concerned with height versus weight scales and charts used by Life Insurance Companies since 1959, largely because these were the only initial indicators developed to assess health.   However a wealth of information about body composition (lean mass to fat ratio) and its relationship to overall health and wellness have come along since that time that are better indicators of health fitness, and wellness.

Just to put this in perspective, I was told by my insurance company that I was overweight according to my last doctors’ visit.  They informed me that I would have to pay a higher monthly rate in order to stay insured by them.  Mind you I am 5’8”, 207lbs. with 9% bodyfat.  I circuit train with free weights and enjoy boxing regularly.  My blood pressure is low, my cholesterol both good and bad are very low.  But the only thing the insurance company was concerned about was my weight to height number on their scale.  Never mind that all other indicators suggest that I am very healthy.

Now at first glance it may not seem all that important to distinguish between the two – body weight versus body fat.  Especially in a world that seems to be obsessed with being thin.  But being thinner is not an indicator of being healthier.  You can have two people that weigh 135 lbs.  One person has 15% body fat (20lbs. fat), while the other person has 30% body fat (40lbs. fat). What that means is that the person with 15% body fat is having an easier time carrying their body weight around in their daily activities because they have more muscle to do the job.  This obviously suggests that, all things being equal, they have a better chance at a longer life expectancy than someone who is carrying extra body fat.  If for no other reason than the person at 15% is, over time, experiencing less wear and tear on their joints, will have a better overall energy level, and mobility.

But let’s take it one step further.  As I discuss in my article on Stress and Weight Loss, excessive body fat has been correlated to coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, arthritis and certain forms of cancer.  So let’s be clear, while body fat is not a full- proof indicator of health, it is definitely putting you in the right direction to focus on, rather than body weight.  So the question now becomes, are you overweight or overfat?  Remember overweight is based on your height only, while overfat refers to your body fat percent in relationship to your overall body weight.

BODY COMPOSITION


Body composition refers to the ratio between your lean mass and body fat.  Below I have included a chart that provides general ranges for both men and women.

Women

Men

Essential Fat

10 – 12%

2 – 4%

Athletes

14 – 20%

6 -13%

Fitness

21 -24%

14 –17%

Acceptable

25 -31%

18 -25%

Obese

32% and up

26% and up

This chart gives you a general idea of the ranges you should consider when considering what level of health, wellness, and fitness you are striving towards.

There are several ways to calculate your body fat percentage.

1.)   Hydrostatic Weighing Test:  Considered the Gold Standard by many, this test requires you to sit on a scale inside a tank of water and blow out as much air as you can from your lungs. 

2.)   Skinfold or Pinch Test:  Calipers are used to measure skin fold thickness in various parts of the body.  Body fat is then determined by computing the results using a formula. This is one of the testing measurements I use for my clients.

3.)   Bioelectrical Impedance Test:  A special scale is used to pass a harmless signal/ current from hand to foot.  The signal will travel faster if there is less fat in the body.  This is the other measurement tool I use for my clients.

4.)   BMI:  The most popular, because it is the most accessible.  Beware however as this does not take into account gender and age, which are very important.  This is the weight to height scale I discussed above.  Click here to figure your own BMI.

Ultimately when using any of these measurement devices to determine body fat to body weight a note of caution must be used.  These are not full – proof devices; each comes with its own amount of error built in.  The goal is to get a number that you track over time to provide you with insight as to whether your health, wellness, and fitness program is helping you get healthier or not.

EXERCISE & NUTRITION


As some of you read this you are saying, “fine, I’ll just cut my calories back, or do such and such diet and I’ll lose weight”.  And to a minor degree you would be correct.  However, after being in the health, wellness, and fitness industry for over 20 years I can tell you just cutting calories is the slowest way to achieve lasting weight loss towards improved health.

For one, just cutting calories, if you not working with a certified nutritionist or dietician, in many cases leads to your body consuming its lean mass (muscle) for energy.  This results in your body’s metabolism slowing down; which in turn slows down how quickly you will shed those unwanted pounds.  Your muscles are the horses that power your body into movement.  If you decrease that horsepower you will burn fewer calories as the body tries to protect itself from starvation. 


This is a typical response to the calories in versus calories out idea.  While it is true that if you eat less calories than you burn you will lose weight.  But it is also true that if you are not eating the right types of calories you will get rid of weight that will actually slow your progress towards weight loss.

Let me quickly try to explain why this is so, as it seems so many people are in fact confused about this issue of drastically reducing their calories and not getting results. Depending on where your ancestors came from, they dealt with periods of caloric deprivation.  What I mean is that if your ancestors lived close to North or South Pole they had to deal with growing ice sheets that made food less available.  If your ancestors lived close to the equator then they had to deal with issues of drought and again, that made food less available.  So during those periods of less available calories (caloric deprivation) on which to survive, the body had to adapt.  It did this by learning to slow it’s metabolism down in order to make sure that we survived.  This was a survival mechanism that kept our species alive. So when you skip meals or drastically reduce your calories, you are in a sense telling your body to slow down your metabolism because calories are scarce. 


The unfortunate part of this is that when you do this the body goes for the most nutrient dense tissues in order to make up for that caloric deprivation.  When the body is choosing between lean mass (muscle) and fat, lean mass contains more nutrients.  So typically your body will go here to get the calories it needs to survive.  This means, as I mentioned above, as the body consumes its own muscle to survive it also slows the metabolism you are trying to rev up to lose weight.  Thus skipping meals is counter productive to losing weight and in fact works against your goal in the long run.


When working with my clients I explain this issue to them and then make clear the importance of consuming 5 -6 meals each day.  This allows you to maintain your muscle, keep your metabolism revved up as well as not feel hungry through out the day. 


Along with consuming regular meals through out the day I am a big believer in the use of exercise (cardio as well as resistance exercise) in order to speed up the weight loss process.  Research continues to show that utilizing exercise in addition to a well rounded nutrition schedule actually assists in losing weight faster.  And what’s more important is that it is the weight you want to get rid of – body fat!

Specifically utilizing resistance exercises stimulates the muscles in order to maintain your lean mass, while utilizing cardio assists in burning extra calories.  The two done together ensure that you, while using a well rounded nutrition program, will watch your body fat % drop steadily.

For more information on this topic please order my 20 of the Most Frequently Asked Fitness Questions CD, where I go into more detail.

Now when I say exercise I don’t only mean joining a gym.  Perhaps you can start with: taking the stairs at work rather than the elevator, or when safe, park further away from the entrance and walk utilize hobbies that include physical activity (gardening, dancing, hiking) Think of it this way. If you burned 100 more calories per day, which is equivalent to walking approximately 1 mile each day (15 minutes), and kept this up without changing your nutrition.  You could stand to lose 10 lbs in one year.

When working with my clients I strive to create custom meal programs that they can stick to, as well as exercise programs that are personalized to their unique level of fitness.  Doing this drastically increases how fast they lose weight and keep it off. If you have any questions or would like some help in creating a customized nutrition and exercise program visit my website at http://www.energyfxfitness.com or contact me at (310) 397-0089.  It’s time you had the success you deserve!

About the author:


Kurt Elder MSW, CPT is a Fitness Consultant and Results 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 for his clients. Kurt may be contacted at http://www.energyfxfitness.com or call me at (310) 397-0089.