Posts tagged increasing metabolism

The Cardio Fountain of Youth

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In a recent study published in Cell Metabolism researchers may have found the key to slowing down the aging process. It is not a pill, potion, or surgical procedure. The key is good old exercise.

 

In particular the key is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The study reported that the subjects who were in the 65-80 years old group increased their mitochondrial capacity by 69% through HIIT biking. What this fancy talk means is that this type of exercise stopped the aging process at the cellular level.

 

Pretty cool stuff, but how does that effect you? If you go to our boot camp, you are already doing this type of training! If you are not, I wanted to give you a few tips to add HIIT into your training regimen.

 

Let’s go ahead and start with the bad news first. HIIT is hard. Always gotta add those disclaimers.

 

HIIT is simply alternating high intensity exercise with low intensity exercise or short rest breaks. Where you take it from there will vary based on personal preference and your fitness level.

 

In the study they used biking, but you can do walking, running, swimming, bodyweight exercises, kettlebells, weights, bands, and just about any exercise method you can think of. When you are first starting out, I would recommend short bursts of the high intensity part and longer rest breaks or low intensity portions.

 

A famous (and famously hard to do) training protocol is the Tabata method. This is 20 seconds of all out effort (think running as fast as you can) and resting for 10 seconds for a total of 8 rounds. It is pretty rough, but if you are pressed for time it is a great option.

 

That is just one way, but there are tons of ways to work this into your program. Give it a try and have a great weekend!

Too Much Information (TMI)

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There is a phenomenon called information blindness that is caused by too much information. When people are faces with too much information, they just shut down and will now act.

 

Think about a restaurant with an overwhelming menu. What do you do? I just choose something that has a picture.

 

Or have you ever walked into a library or got onto Netflix with no idea what you wanted to choose? It can cause you to just give up.

 

Information blindness often happens with diet plans as well. People get presented with all the information for the whole plan up front, they get overwhelmed, and it paralyzes them. I've been there myself.

 

The idea behind the Lean and Clean Challenge is to give you the information slowly and help you build habits. All of the information is there for people who like a peak ahead, but it is not necessary.

 

Build the habit, make it stick, and then you will have it long term. There are still spots available if you want to join.

 

You can join here -->Lean and Clean Challenge

 

The challenge starts on Monday, February 20 and I would love for you to be a part of it. Join us today!

Diet vs healthy habits. Which is more important?

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One of my awesome clients Lesley gave me a really interesting article to read the other day from The Costco Connection. Yep, I didn’t know Costco had a magazine either.

The article was titled “Dieting versus healthy habits” by Dr. Sandra Aamodt. The main idea was questioning why doctors always recommend dieting for their patients when it has not been proven to improve health in the long term.

The most telling quote in the article is where Dr. Aamodt says, “For health, the most important habit is daily exercise. No matter how much people weigh, physical activity predicts better health. People who rarely get off the couch are more than twice as likely to die prematurely as people who exercise moderately, whether they are normal weight, overweight or obese.”

Two stats that stood out to me are: low fitness is responsible for 16-17% of deaths in the US. Obesity is responsible for 2-3% once fitness is factored out.

That’s not to say you should not watch what you eat. Healthy eating will make you look, feel, and perform better so it is always a good idea!

The main point is to choose a lifestyle change over a diet. It is a clue that diet has die right in the name!

Become more active more often. Ditch processed foods, practice portion control, and cook/prepare more whole foods rather than going on a diet.

Star Wars and Weight Loss

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ripcarriefishercenter2016hasstruckagainpressftopay_f0db7b_6129772

I went to go see the new Star Wars movie yesterday. Spoiler alert- it’s really good, if you are into that sort of thing. Ties some parts of other movies together for you.

While I was there I made a big mistake. I ordered a large popcorn and large drink. Not sure what happened but it just kind of appeared in my hands. They were running some sort of special I think, it was all a blur.

My son and I were going to split it, so I guess I thought it would be ok. The popcorn was the size of a pillowcase and the drink was the size of a bazooka.

legalize-bazookas-compressed

Then my next mistake was letting my son pick the drink. The movie theater had one of those machines where you can get any kind of drink you want. Hundreds of combinations. I think we wound up with a Sprite, Grape, Root Beer mixture that was pretty terrible.

30 minutes of straight eating popcorn and drinking the toilet water drink later it was all gone. All of it! It was pretty amazing/depressing.

The moral of the story- portion control matters.

There is a ton of research out there that backs it up. Did you know that people clean their plate 91% of the time? And that is no matter how much food was offered and how hungry they were. At least we aren’t quitters…

So if you are trying to lose weight your first move should be to start using smaller plates and bowls. The super brains at Google introduced smaller plates in their cafeteria and the employees lost an average 10-15 pounds. With no other dietary changes!

In a study in the journal Appetite showed the dramatic difference switching from a 12-inch plate to a 9-inch plate can do for you. Participants in the study were able to cut their calories by 48% (up to 275-350 calories per meal). If you used the smaller plates for just 2 meals a day, that would result in a 14-18 pound weight loss over a 3 month period.

If you’ve been unsuccessful in the past trying to lose weight, give the smaller plates and bowls a try. It might be just what you need to be successful.

Wok this way!

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wok_teaser

I have a new goal in life. To become a master of the wok.

My wife got one for her birthday in September and it just sat there for a couple of months. Then one day I decided to put that baby to use. Heroes don’t always wear capes.

It took me an hour to cure that thing and get it into cooking shape. Woks are fancy like that. But it has been awesome!

I’m a changed man. I’m cutting up vegetables more, looking up recipes, trying new things. I even went into this Asian market that I pass by all the time, but never go in. Some really interesting things happening in there FYI.

My point in sharing this is that you need to find a way to get excited about healthy cooking, just like you do about exercising. A good way to jump start that is cooking using a new method (wok, grill, Crock Pot), trying new foods, eating the same foods with different spices, etc…

It is easy to get into an eating rut where you eat the same things all the time. Branch out and you will find yourself cooking more, spending less on eating out, and saving yourself a lot of unwanted calories.

10 Steps To Fat Loss Success (Part 1)

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 cliffs-notes

2016 is almost over! How did this happen? I need to pay attention more.

Since the year is coming to a close, I wanted to give you a Cliff's Notes version of almost all of my advice. Do they still make Cliff's Notes by the way?  If I had to boil it down to the 10 things you need the most, it would be this list.

Here is my suggestion for this list. Take a look at what you are doing now and add in one thing from this list. Start with the one that would be easiest for you to make a habit, then go from there. The New Year is coming, don't get caught up in the rush to change EVERYTHING about yourself in one week.

Here are the first 5 items on the list:

1. Just Eat Real Food

If you did nothing else on this list, you could cure a lot of problems if you just followed this one thing. Cutting processed and fast food out of your diet and eating things that come from the Earth is exactly what your body needs.

Crazy stat from Dr. Mark Hyman- There 600,000 processed food items in our environment. 80% of them contain added sugar.

More on sugar below.

 

2. Don't fear fat

Fat has a bad reputation because it is high in calories, but it is also very beneficial too. Food like fish, nuts, avocado, and coconut oil are all excellent examples of beneficial fats to have in your food plan.

Trans fats (man made fats) should be avoided at all opportunities. Shortening, fried foods, canned biscuits, margarine are all chock full of trans fats that will lower your good cholesterol and raise your bad cholesterol.

3. Shake the sugar habit

Sugar is absolutely killing America, especially our children. It is extremely addictive and has a vicious cycle that is very destructive to our bodies.

The end result? Your hormones get out of wack, you gain weight (among other side effects), and then you crave even more sugar!

Because of this threat, I even wrote a book about how to kick the the sugar habit. There was even research and stuff involved, it was like being back in school. I was proud of the end result though.

Fun fact- Having 1 soda per day increases a child's chances of becoming obese by 60%. And 90% of kids have at least 1 soda per day. That is a big reason experts are predicting that be 2050 obesity rates will sky rocket from 36% where we are now, to 50%.

4. Read the articles

If you read nothing else today, start reading your food labels. The package on the outside, is 100% marketing. The true story is told in the food label.

If nothing else, look at the first 3 ingredients (they are listed from the largest amount to the smallest). And if it has a bunch of stuff you don't recognize or can't pronounce, don't eat it.

5. Upgrade your carbs

Carbs have been demonized over the past few years. Carbs are not the devil. The simple starches (chips, fries, aka junk food) are the real problem and should be avoided for sure.

Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are all excellent sources of carbohydrates. It all gets back to the first step we discussed. Eat carbs that are not processed.

 

What you can learn from my basketball “career”

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Somebody could't have slipped me a protein shake or a steroid or something???

Somebody could't have slipped me a protein shake or a steroid or something???

 

Here are a few of the highlights from my illustrious high school basketball career:

-fouled out in 2 minutes (2 offensive, 3 defensive) -played a total of 13 seconds one game -scored 12 points against! But it was against a team that was down to 4 players by the time I got in

 

Ok, so maybe football was more of the sport for me. My son loves basketball and thankfully as some awesome coaches. I do what I can to help him, but I am amazed at how much I have forgotten about basketball.

 

Despite not playing much, I practiced for so many hours and ran so many drills you would think I could retain a lot of that stuff. Not so much, but there is one thing that I remember.

 

Triple Threat

 

Anyone whoever played for Ronnie Stapler (here are a few other things I learned from Coach Stapler) knows all about Triple Threat. I went to school with his daughter and she would each lunch in the Triple Threat position.

 

Triple Threat is a position you get into when you get the ball so that you can easily dribble, shoot, or pass. To this day I get into Triple Threat whenever I catch a ball.

 

My point of all this b ball talk is to get you thinking about what Triple Threat could be for you in regards to fat loss and getting in shape. After you've been exercising and eating right for long period of time, you have the tendency to forget what worked for you.

 

The basics will always work, sometimes they just need tweaking. Think back to a time when you had success with losing weight, getting in shape, etc... What were you doing then?

 

Chances are you were: consistently exercising at least 3 days a week; cooking more, eating out less, and fueling your body with whole foods; doing the extra things that mattered like sleeping enough, being more active in every day life, having a positive attitude, stretching, and getting rid of harmful stress.

 

Or maybe you were in college and could eat, drink, and do whatever you wanted and still look good. That doesn't count.

 

It’s time to bring back your Triple Threat. Exercise, Healthy Eating, and the Little Things That Matter.

 

You don't have to start doing all of them today, just pick out the easiest one for you to start and then start! Make that step a habit (however long it takes) and then add in the next one. The key is changing something to get you started in a positive direction.

“A complete failure”

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complete-failure

If you have been following my writing for awhile, this will probably not come as a surprise. But here it is:

 

Low fat diets do not work

  low-fat-is-wack  

That is not just my opinion, this study shows that low fat diets have "been a complete failure tackling obesity". So what do they recommend instead?

 

Here are some guidelines from the study:

 

-Focus on portion sizes

-Rather than avoiding carbs and fats, avoid processed foods

-Don't fear all fats, there are healthy fats you should make a part of your every day nutrition

 

I really like their advice. Any time you get back to eating foods in their natural state you are on the right path.

 

This is also good advice for Thanksgiving. Rather than limiting yourself with your favorite foods, eat them in moderation (or at least semi-moderation).

 

Choose more of the homemade items over the stuff that came out of a box or can.

 

And I'm pretty sure pecan pie is considered a healthy fat. Let's just all assume it is and not look it up.

 

PS- a will have a special workout video for you tomorrow to get you ready for Black Friday shopping.

Go for a lifestyle change, rather than a weight loss plan

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lifestyle-change Something I preach about constantly is the importance of a lifestyle change, rather than just the “I need to lose X amount of pounds” goal. When all you are focused on is that number on the scale, you let a lot of things fall by the wayside.

 

Not every pound is created equally. You want to carry as much lean muscle mass on your body as possible. That way you will burn more calories at rest and your goals will be easier to reach.

 

If you are doing strength training as part of your workout (and you should be), you could add a pound of muscle and lose a pound of fat. On the scale it looks like nothing! But in reality, you are doing awesome.

 

When you are only focused on weight loss, it makes you more susceptible to fad diets. Here is a hint- if a diet tells you to completely give up proteins, fats, or carbs stay away. Your body needs all 3 of those macronutrients to function properly.

 

You can fall into the trap of starving yourself to get the weight down. You don’t have to starve to get results! You can eat meals that nourish your body, made up of foods you actually like, and you don’t have to be hungry all the time.

 

The key is to make your meals more nutrient dense. This will provide you with the energy you need without making you take in more calories than you need.

 

Focus on the making fitness and health a way of life. Move more (especially outside of your workouts), eat healthier, take care of your muscles, get plenty of rest, and enjoy yourself! Life is too short to walk around feeling unhappy and unwell all the time.

 

PS- if you want to take the guess work out of what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat I have spots left for my new Weight Management System. You can go to this link below to learn more and to reserve your spot.

----->Learn More

The Processed Plan

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dangers-of-processed-foods

Had one of those days yesterday. We had been out of town all weekend, got back in town, had a meeting at church, and then went straight to a football coaches’ meeting. A lot of running around and not much meal planning.

We ended up eating a broccoli and cheese casserole with chicken cordon bleu. Sounds fancy right? All stuff from the freezer section my friend.

I ended up eating way more of that stuff that I probably should have. Seemed like I just could not get full! That is an issue with processed foods like the stuff you find in the freezer section.

A great start to cleaning up your eating habits is to start cutting down on processed foods and drinks. The more you can eat, whole, natural foods (stuff that comes from the earth not a factory) the better off you will be.

In fact the lead researcher in a study printed in Journal of the World Public Health Nutrition Association claimed:   “The rapid rise in consumption of ultra-processed food and drink products, especially since the 1980’s, is the main dietary cause of the concurrent rapid rise in obesity and related diseases throughout the world.”

That’s motivation enough for me to do better. Your action step for today is to replace one processed food you were going to eat today with a whole, natural food item. Can’t get it in today? Start tomorrow! The main goal is to start. After that you can slowly start replacing more and more of the processed foods in your life.

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