Small changes make a big difference

How many times have you told yourself that you need to lose weight?

I’m not talking about a couple pounds either – I’m talking about 20 or more pounds of extra fat that you’d like to see disappear.

I’ve come to notice a trend. Most people psyche themselves out before they ever start losing the weight. It’s as if the enormity of their goal simply puts them into shut down mode, and they give up on the idea entirely.

Has this ever happened to you? You try out a diet or exercise plan for a week or so, and then you get frustrated when your body looks the same as before. So you give up.

Weight loss isn’t a speedy thing. It takes time to gain weight – many people put on weight for years and then expect to lose it in a few weeks or months. It doesn’t work that way.

So instead of pressuring yourself into losing 50 pounds in two months, how about sticking with a realistic, proven way for long term weight loss: Small changes to your lifestyle over time will make the difference.

In practical terms, make it your goal to drop one pound a week.

Now, this may not seem like that much, but if you did this consistently for one year it would result in 50 lbs lost. All it takes are small changes in your daily lifestyle. Let’s break the process down…

How to shed a pound a week: Burn 3500 extra calories.

It really is that simple. Try the following three steps:

Record your normal weekly exercise – look at everything from walking to participating in sports to exercising in the gym. This is your starting point. You need to burn an additional 3500 calories on top of your normal weekly exercise. If you don’t currently exercise, then this step is really easy for you, a simple blank page will do.

Record your normal weekly food intake – this may be hard to do honestly, but remember that you are only cheating yourself by not recording everything. Calculate the total number of calories that you eat in an average day. In your quest for dropping inches you shouldn’t exceed your normal daily caloric intake – you should, rather, work at slowly decreasing that number. Remember, we are going for a 3500 calorie deficit each week – this can be done by a combination of increased calorie exertion (exercise) as well as a decrease in calories consumed (eating less).

Chart the difference – now that you know your starting point for both calorie exertion and calorie intake it is time to turn the tables in your favor. Take every opportunity to exert more calories by increasing your physical activity, and to decrease your calorie consumption by eating fewer calories and by making healthier selections. Record your progress in a notebook and refer back to it often. You will be surprised how encouraging it is to see your progress written down on paper.

Remember, if you burn up 500 calories a day you will drop a pound in a week.

Here are some practical ways to lose calories:

If you normally… Do this instead…

Drink regular soda pop Drink water or diet soda pop (160 calories lost)
Eat a snack from a vending machine Enjoy an apple (180 calories lost)
Hit the snooze button in the AM Jog for 30 minutes before work (150 calories lost)
Skip your workout See me for an invigorating workout (changes your life!)

Weight loss doesn’t have to be allusive. Make small changes each and every day toward a healthier, fitter you. Remember that small changes make a big difference.

I’m always available to help – call or reply to this email to set up your free consultation.

Emotion Creates Motion

Can you remember a time when you felt completely discouraged with your body? It’s easyto beat yourself up when the body that you have is miles from the one you want. When negative emotions flood over you resist the urge to get down on yourself, rather turn the tides in your favor. You may have heard the expression ’emotion creates motion’. This is a very powerful tool. Channel your dissatisfaction with your body into ‘motion’. Take control of your body and put a plan into action.

Weight-Loss Pills: Do they work?

Let’s be honest for a moment. You’ve seen the advertisements for weight loss pills-you know the ones with those amazing before and after pictures-and you’ve wondered to yourself…do they work?

Diet pills are everywhere, they tempt from store shelves, from infomercials and from glossy magazine pages. You probably know someone who is dabbling with diet pills or maybe you’ve tried them yourself. Have you ever wondered how they work?

Weight loss pills can be broken down into 3 basic categories:

Appetite Suppressants: These work just like it sounds. The appetite-regulating region of your brain (the hypothalamus) is tricked by blockage of the re-uptake of serotonin and norepinephrine. As a result you feel like you’ve just eaten a big meal, so you’re less likely to overeat.

Stimulants: These types of weight loss pills used to contain a combination of ephedra and caffeine to raise energy expenditure (thermogenesis) while also reducing appetite. You’re probably aware that these pills were proven in some cases to be deadly, so ephedra was taken off the market. Stimulant pills now contain other ephedra-like substances, vitamins and caffeine. The idea is to increase energy and boost metabolism.

Fat Blockers: These pills inhibit the action of the enzyme lipase, which is responsible for breaking down fat during the digestion process. The goal is to prevent a percentage of the fat you’ve eaten from being absorbed into your system.

So we return to our burning question. Do the pills work? Here’s what the diet pill companies say:

“You’ll lose 30lbs in 30 days”
“Achieve rapid weight loss results”
“Burn calories and fat 24 hours a day”
“Fights fat and delivers rapid weight loss”

Those claims are amazing…too bad they are just that-claims. It’s so tempting to imagine that those benefits could be gained just by swallowing a pill. Tempting enough to make diet pills a multibillion dollar a year industry. Hmmm, makes you wonder that if that many diet pills have been taken then why don’t we all look like swim suit models yet?

While diet pills showcase a few star subjects, none of whom live on your block, the world is full of real people who have lost weight and improved their lives with exercise and healthy eating.
Check out these proven benefits of exercise:

Increased Weight Loss
Strengthens Heart and Lungs
Improved Sleep Pattern
Increased Strength
Improved Coordination
Raised Self Esteem
Renewed Confidence
Feel Good Endorphins
Feel Younger Than Ever
Improved Mood

A pill may slightly increase your metabolic rate for a time or may suppress your appetite, and you may lose a few pounds. However, a pill alone cannot produce serious or permanent weight loss. A pill cannot deliver the same results as healthy nutrition and regular exercise.

And weight loss pills have been known to give the following side effects:

Raised blood pressure
Increased risk of heart attack
Cramping, gas and diarrhea
Dry Mouth
The bottom line is that true weight loss can’t be achieved by a pill.

If you really want to lose weight, if you’re looking for long term health benefits then look no farther than your sneakers. That’s right, lace them up and go for a jog. Then schedule a time to meet with me.

Together we will turn you into a walking talking billboard for the benefits of exercise.

Comfort Food…Your Two-Sided Friend

With one holiday under your loosened belt, you’re gearing up for many more celebrations…and piles of seasonal comfort food. If you don’t mind, I’d like to be totally candid with you today.

Sure, I could write you a ‘feel good’ article about cutting back a few calories and exercising a few minutes each day, but I’d rather be perfectly frank (and truly helpful).

Here’s the real deal: You abuse food.

That’s right. You’re overweight because you eat too much, and you eat too much because it brings immediate pleasure.

I am here to point out that this pleasure comes at high price…

The other side of comfort food: You’ve heard dishes being referred to as ‘comfort food’—some restaurants even have an entire section of their menu designated as comfort food. But comfort food is more than just a hearty dish.

It’s those extra calories that you eat to feed an emotional need rather than a nutritional need.
It’s excessively big portions that leave you stuffed.
It’s high calorie snacks.
It’s sugary treats.
It’s fried, cheese smothered appetizers.
It’s whatever you indulge in with mindless munching.
Could you relate to any of the above? Most of us tend to gravitate toward a particular form of comfort food. For many women it’s chocolate or other sugary treats. For men it often takes a saltier form.

Think of the last time you ate for pleasure rather than nourishment. Why’d you do it?

Out of Habit: Your body loves routine. If you always snack while watching television then you’d probably find it hard to relax without going through that munching motion. The good news is that once you break the cycle your body will quickly adapt to a healthier routine.

To Change Your Mood: Does the thought of a cupcake bring a smile to your lips? How about a large pizza to lift your mood? Pay attention to the emotions that trigger you to overeat—you may be surprised how often you use food to feel better.

Because Everyone’s Doing It: Who can resist comfort food when it’s offered among friends? Peer pressure doesn’t just apply to teenagers—it’s another reason to overeat. Remember that true friends will support your decision to refrain.

Can you remember how you felt after you last filled up on comfort food? If you’re honest, you’ll admit that the stuffed and bloated feeling was downright awful. So why do it?

Come on, where have your eating habits gotten you?

Into clothes that are a few sizes larger.
Drained and with less energy than ever before.
Plagued with health concerns and prescriptions.
Embarrassed and frustrated with your body.
Most people don’t realize it, but the battle to overcome your eating habits is decided by a single body part—and it’s not your mouth. (Your mouth is simply a puppet.)

It’s your brain. Once you’ve made up your mind, for better or for worse, you can bet that your body will obey your decision to the letter. You’ve proven it time and time again.

So make the decision to give up your unhealthy dependence on comfort food.

There is no better time than now.

Making a change is hard—that’s why I’m committed to being with you every step of the way. Call today to schedule a consultation.

You can end the abuse, once and for all.

What type of intensity should I be aiming for when I do cardiovascular exercise?

Depending on your fitness goals, recommendations about how difficult and how long cardiovascular exercise should be vary. 
If your goal is to improve general cardiovascular fitness then low to moderate intensity exercise for at least 20 minutes three to four times a week is a good start. The most common goal of those working out is to lose weight or at the very least to change their muscle to fat ratio. If you are somewhat deconditioned then you should aim for lower intensity, longer duration types of cardiovascular exercise. Once you build up endurance then you should aim to increase intensity to increase the total number of calories burned and also to strengthen your heart.

An effective way to do this is interval training. Interval training is basically varying the intensity of cardiovascular exercise. Often it involves intense periods of aerobic exercise that are followed by a lighter intensity “recovery” period.

The fat burn” or “weight loss” program on a cardiovascular machine is basically nonsense? 
It is outdated information.  When your level of aerobic intensity is low the percentage of calories burned that actually comes from fat is higher than if your intensity was high. In other words, if you are sitting on the couch watching TV the percentage of calories burned that are coming from fat is higher than if you are doing something more challenging. Does this really matter if you are burning such a small amount of calories in the first place? During interval training the percentage of calories coming from fat is not significantly lower than if you were doing something less intense. You are burning more fat in total and increasing cardiovascular capacity with an interval program.

Something to keep in mind is that if you do decide to incorporate interval training into your fitness program be sure not to do intense intervals on consecutive days. Interval training is anaerobic enough that your muscles will need to recover to some extent before working that hard again.

Start with what is realistic with your current fitness level and then add from there. 
Develop a solid aerobic base and most importantly make it part of your routine. If you are looking to see greater results regarding fat loss then look to incorporate an interval program into your routine.