Category Archives:Weight loss

May. 10.

Fighting Mental Illness with Fitness

Fighting Mental Illness with Fitness

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! If you are fighting a mental illness it is nothing to be ashamed of. After training many people over the years I have come to realize most of us fight similar mental battles and the more you can open up about it the more you can overcome.

Most of my life I battled depression/anxiety. Doctors actually told me at one point my brain simply does not produce serotonin like other brains. Serotonin is a chemical that stabilizes your mood and acts as a neurotransmitter.

What does a depressed person look like?

         That is hard to say, 1 and 5 Americas have a mental illness and 1 out of 10 are depressed! Depression is debilitating and in the United States has become the leading cause of disability from a wide age range of 15 to 44 years old.  When thinking of a depressed person you would most likely visualize a sad person who cries a lot. This is how depression FEELS! Yet on the outside depression can look successful and depression can look fit!

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I was an overweight kid, an anorexic teen and a depressed obsessed fitness competitor. On the outside I looked mentally and physically healthy but I was not. Exercise was my “out” and food was what I controlled to help live with my depression and social anxiety. Today I have given up control over food and have come to a point where exercise is not always the answer. I have accepted my mental illness and after 28 years finally learned how to take action to combat it.

Am I depressed today? No, but I could be! The way your brain produces chemicals is not your choice. It is a choice to fight though.  

Steps I take to fight depression and anxiety in a healthy way are:

1.       Using exercise in combination with mental health help. Therapy, talking with friends or a life coach in combination with exercise can dramatically help improve your chances of overcoming mental illness.

2.       Incorporating running back into my exercise plan for endorphins. With an unstable mood the endorphins have always helped bring me back to reality and help me feel accomplished.

3.       Nutrition! Eating a balanced diet will help your hormones stay in balance and give your brain and body enough fuel to properly work. Also viewing no food as “good” or “bad” will help create a positive lasting relationship with food as being fuel for the body and not something that can control your feelings.

4.       Be consistent! A study by Duke University compared the antidepressant effects of exercise on three different groups. One group received Sertraline a popular antidepressant, one group exercised and one group received a placebo. The exercise groups all exercised at different levels and frequencies. The group with the largest antidepressant effects was that of the group who consistently exercised for 3-4 days a week for 40 minutes or more.

5.       Be grateful! On repeat! Depression will tell you your life sucks or that no one cares! You have to fight it and tell yourself otherwise over and over!

6.       Set a 6 month goal to fight. It takes about a month to conquer a new habit and about 6 months for your brain to form the habit to where it will no longer be “new” to your brain.  

7.       If you are depressed and food is your drug of choice, use exercise like an anti-venom to the drug (food.) Find a routine and accountability to help you keep a healthier balance during your fight to overcome.

 

If depression and anxiety are holding you back from your full potential please contact us! We would love to hear from you and help you find an exercise routine most suitable for your specific goals!

 

It is also postpartum depression awareness month! It is very real, if you know someone that has recently had a baby please reach out to them so they know to be conscious of PPD signs and to know they are not alone!

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Mental health is JUST as important as physical health!

Jan. 23.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting

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Intermittent fasting is not the “key” to fat loss and it may not produce accelerated results. If your metabolism is healthy and you are already dieting it can be mildly used as a tool for a short duration of time to aid in  fat loss.

There are countless studies examining intermittent fasting affects on cancer, weight loss and performance in athletes. The senior investigator for the National Institute of Aging said fasting has been shown to improve bio-markers of disease, reduce oxidative stress and improve memory. Fasting may help physiological factors because the body is under less stress when fasting.

In a fat loss study with overweight individuals with asthma, intermediate fasting every other day was shown to help them lose 8% body fat and decreased markers on asthma related symptoms.

What happens to the body during the fast?

After 10-16 hours of not eating the body will use stored fat and release ketones into the bloodstream. This will help the body use stored fat as energy unlike when it is being fed.

How long should a fast be? At least 10 hours.

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What should I eat coming out of fast? A low carbohydrate meal should be eaten first or carbohydrates with added fiber. The body will be sensitive to insulin coming out of fast, eating lower carbohydrate or incorporating fiber will keep insulin spikes low.

Do I eat normal macros or less after fast? Normal, a slight decrease in calories is ok, but just because you fasted does not mean your body requires less food. This does not mean binge either. Instead plan to have 2-3 meals in the 10 hours left in the day (if fasting for 14 hours.)

Can I work out during a fast? YES!

 

Use these as tools to aid an already consistent and specific eating program to accelerate results!

Jan. 11.

What Goals are Realistic for You?

What Goals are Realistic for You?

To lose 20 pounds in one month, to have more energy, to fit into size 8 jeans by spring; these are most of our goals but are they realistic based on the body’s anatomy and your past history? To better give you some idea of how to set realistic goals I have answered some questions about weight loss, muscle gain and strength!

How fast can I build muscle?

First off, genetics DO play a role in all 3 topics (weight loss, muscle gain and strength.) There are three different body types: mesomorph, endomorph and ectomorph. Mesomorphs and endomorphs build muscle at a faster rate than ectomorphs who are hard gainers.

So on average how fast can the human body gain muscle? A 200 study analysis showed that the average rate of muscle increase was about 0.1-0.2% per day on untrained people. That means if you want to add an inch to your arm size it would take at least 2-4 months! Studies show the first week or two all muscles can do is repair and there are no extra resources to build. Therefore it will take at least 2-3 months of consistently training to see any major changes.

Overall muscle growth varies a lot per person. Some can gain 4-8lbs of lean mass in 3 months (this is the majority of people) but some bodies actually can gain at 2 times that rate!

How fast can I lose fat?

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The most important factor in fat loss is your metabolic rate. If you are a serial dieter you metabolism may be damaged and somewhat non-responsive. Every time you lose and regain weight it will become harder each time you try to lose fat unless there is some time given for metabolic repair.

If your metabolism is responsive a good base of how fast you can lose is:

Body fat percentage ÷ 20 = % of your current weight you should aim to lose per week.

Another way to calculate is 1.5 pounds of FAT per week, this could equal more on the scale since we are talking just fat not including water weight. Studies have shown that if more than 1.5 pounds of FAT (not scale weight) is lost that there will also be muscle loss.

When it comes to body types mesomorphs and ectomorphs lose fat at the fastest rate with the least amount of output. Endomorphs can lose fat at the same rate but usually require more output.

How fast can I increase strength?

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The first variable in strength increase is how long you have been working out. Have you ever heard that saying “muscle memory?” Well it’s actually more like central nervous system memory. Your brain will always remember movement patterns that are repeatedly done, like riding a bike or back squatting. Therefore be able to perform better and lift more with each squat session.

Second variable is simply what you inherit. There are two types of muscle fibers slow and fast twitch. Fast twitch muscle fibers are used for power and force, the amount of fast and slow twitch fibers you have are actually inherited.

Third variable, who gains strength quicker males or females? Males and females can have equal strength though men will gain strength at a faster rate because majority of the time they will have larger muscles and therefore able to move more weight.

My tip

Write down you overall goal (ex. Loose 20lbs.)

Then evaluate how much muscle or fat you have. Focusing only on scale weight can leave you frustrated and feeling like your body is just broken!

From here make a training plan where you can track MULTIPLE things (ex. How much weight your lifting, how fast you can do an action, circumference measurements,body fat and lastly scale weight.)

*If you are just beginning, a good time frame to have a goal is 6 months, then from there you can further break the goal down.

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Dec. 26.

Compound Movements to Maximize Results

Compound Movements to Maximize Results!

Stimulate the most muscles for the most results!

There are two types of training, compound and isolation. Compound in my opinion being the most important exercises to add to your training routine no matter if you are 70 years old or 20 years old; whether you are training for muscle size, strength or for fat loss.

Compound movements are classified by movements that require multiple joints to be used.

Examples: Squat, Deadlift, lunges, chest press, running

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Compound movements require more muscle fibers to be recruited, systematically then more muscles will be used and maximum calories will be burned. The squat for example uses multiple joints, the shoulders are engaged (if bar is used), the hips, and knees and all muscles attached to these are engaged including hip muscles and core stabilizing muscles.  

More joints, more muscles equal moving more weight and using more energy/calories!

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There is not just the benefit of more calorie burn with compound movements but the stress that compound movements put on the body increase the hormonal responses post exercise, increasing muscle growth. The hormones that I am talking about are growth hormone, testosterone and insulin-like growth factor which all come in to help repair muscle fibers and grow muscle.

Compound movements can be done by anyone even elderly. The benefit of an elderly individual practicing squatting and deadlifting comes into play when something needs to be picked up off the floor or are doing something like making a bed. Movements do not need to be hundreds of pounds to be affective.

 

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Add at least ONE compound movement EVERY time you exercise!

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Dec. 06.

WATER!

Water!

How important is water? Does it affect weight loss?

Water as most of you know its super important, we are 75% water and the fact that we can’t go more than 3 days without it shows its importance! Ok, now for the meat and potatoes of water.

Fat on your body is mostly glycogen stores that will be used for energy. Carbohydrates bond with water molecules so they can be stored as fat. Glycogen cannot be stored without water! Therefore the higher the body fat percent the more water is needed so the body has enough water …for carbohydrate storage and to regulate other body functions. How much water? For every gram of stored glycogen ¾ of that is water! This is why initially you lose 5-15lbs starting a weight loss program. Just by exercising the body will use glycogen stores and the water attached to them. This unfortunately does not mean actually stored adipose (fat) was lost, just that glycogen was used.

The opposite of this happens if you carb load. If you ate 500 grams of carbs your body would use 1500-2000 grams of water to store those carbs. This on the scale may be equal to 3-4 pounds gain but in reality the weight is not fat gain and it does not mean carbohydrates equal fat gain. Carbohydrates paired with water simply cause a scale fluctuation and muscle size differences.

How much water? At least a ½oz per body pound. You will need more if you drink anything with caffeine or alcohol.

Sodium and water also play a role in that number you see on the scale. I will do my best to explain this quickly and effectively. Your body has 2 ways it stores water inside the cell and outside the cell. Sodium regulates extracellular fluids or outside the cell fluids. If your sodium is high and water is low the fluid outside the cells will increase and you may feel bloated. If you sodium is too low and water is too high the same will occur especially if you are working out hard and not replacing this electrolyte.

Therefore drink your water. Don’t avoid sodium if you are working out and don’t get frustrated if you lose 5-15lbs and then it stops. Water and carbohydrates can fluctuate the scale a lot within 24 hours so be mindful of what went into your body the last few days before stepping on the scale.

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Aug. 31.

The Yo-Yo Affect

The Yo-Yo Affect

Weight cycling and Metabolism

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The growth of personal trainers in the last 5 years is needed but what are needed more is trainers who seek out knowledge from more qualified experts and whose driving motivation is not money. Media, marketing and money have created a rise in quick fix systems and health coaches who promise the world in “easy” quick fixes; under deliver in nutritional knowledge and leave the client with a slower metabolism after big rebounds in weight.

How many diets have you tried?

How many times have you regained the weight?

What did you learn through these diets about nutrition and your body?

Is it harder to lose the weight today?

I (Jay) have been a trainer for over 14 years and have seen fad diets cycle themselves through main stream media.  Most of these fad diets will deliver “results” but the biggest result of a diet should be attaining your goal by learning your macro boundaries and maintaining your results by implementing the proper exit strategy from the caloric deficit. I myself have attained goals using unrealistic, un-maintainable and un-scientific measures. Over the last four years I have learned more about nutrition and how the body works and completely changed my ways of dieting. Not consuming enough calories, food restricting and over training left me feeling like I had an eating disorder, with a severely damaged metabolism to go along with it. Today, as I get ready for my first show in 4 years I have to go through a process of metabolic adaptation.

How to lose fat

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Diet induced thermo genesis- Thermo genesis is heat inside the human body. Diet induced thermo genesis is an increase in heat and energy expenditure brought on by food and water. Diet induced usually is by consuming fewer calories than the maintenance metabolic rate or burning more calories than you consume.

 

How the body reacts

Any diet where there is less energy consumed then burned, in turn will cause the metabolic rate to slow down. The body will try to keep homeostasis by forcing the metabolism to adapt to the lower caloric intake in efforts to maintain the same body weight. Over time the metabolism will become more efficient; burning less calories and keeping the body mass the same regardless of the caloric deficit or energy output.  Once the metabolism becomes efficient so does the mitochondria inside the cells. Mitochondria are the power house of cells producing ATP (energy readily used by the body) from glucose.  An efficient metabolism is what you DON’T want.

Hormones also play a role in weight loss. Hormones tell you when you’re hungry, thirsty and full. Studies have shown that when thermo genesis becomes adaptive hormones cause a decrease in satiety and an increase in hunger.  Food also regulates the thyroid and the body’s natural testosterone level, which is important even for women.  Leptin and insulin levels are regulated by food. Insulin has gotten a bad name but is important for fat loss in the active person.  All these can affect the body’s ability to lose weight and cause a faster regain if reverse dieting is not practiced.

The Regain

Do you ever feel like it was the cookie that made you fat?

There is name for the regain after dieting, post –starvation obesity. Diets most time leave you hungry and wanting everything you have restricted yourself from. You indulge in more calories and the body immediately begins to retain any extra calories you feed it.

Your metabolic rate slows down while dieting and your hormones are thrown off…so how do you stop dieting once a goal is hit and not gain all the weight back?  First, the body needs planned re-feeds. Re-feeds are usually scheduled or are thrown in based on the body’s current progress. Re-feeding temporarily increases leptin and bring back up the metabolic rate. Second, the body cannot diet forever! Calories eventually need to be brought back to the maintenance level.

Why stop dieting NOW

The science and experience of those of us who have dealt with metabolic damage is one of the most frustrating experiences. Dieting leaves you feeling prisoner to “it” in order to keep from regaining. No one should feel any one food is the cause of fat gain and no one should feel they need a certain pill or system to lose weight. The freedom is in learning through dieting flexibly.

5 ways to Identify fad diets..

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  1. It focuses on avoiding foods or a macronutrient (example, Adkins ).
  2. It promise a certain weight lose in a specified time.
  3. It requires supplementation.
  4. It has a name:  21 day fix, It Works..etc.
  5. It puts multiple people on the same plan and is adjusted the same way for everyone.

 

Results are in the knowledge, not the pill.

 

Insel, Paul, Don Ross, Kimberley McMahon, and Melissa Bernstein. Nutrition Fourth Edition. 4th ed. London: Jones and Bartlett, 2011. Jones and Bartlett, 2011. Web. 10 Aug. 2015.

Trexler, Eric T., Abbie E. Smith-Ryan, and Layne E. Norton. “Metabolic Adaptation to Weight Loss: Implications for the Athlete.” JISSN. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 27 Feb. 2014. Web. 21 Aug. 2015.

 

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Sep. 08.

Cardio for Calories

 Cardio for Calories

Four ways to maximize cardio for fat loss!

How do you stop spinning your wheels during cardio sessions? These are four ways to maximize your calorie output:

Integrate cardio with weights

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Short on time? Circuit style training is great for keeping your heart rate elevated for a length of time while still obtaining the benefits of resistance training.

 

 

 

 

Do cardio on a separate day, or time of day from lifting

Cardio is just like lifting in the sense it is always best done when you have the energy to push yourself to the max. Therefore, it would be more beneficial to do cardio on a separate day from other training than it would be to give your cardio training 50% effort post training.

Eat prior to cardio

Contrary to the myth, there is no proof of long term fat loss during fasted cardio. There are benefits at certain times for certain goals using fasted cardio. Most clients want to gain lean muscle while loosing fat therefore fasted cardio would not be most beneficial.

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There is room for argument that fasted cardio has benefits. And I would agree using fasted cardio for performance based gains can be a useful tool when integrated properly.  But from my experience for the benefit of fat loss, I have found an individual can push themselves harder, allowing their heart rate to be elevated to a fat burning zone when they have ate at least a few hours prior to cardio. If muscle loss is the goal, fasted cardio may be an alternative cardio option.

It’s all about the heart rate!

cardioEver seen those gym goers who do cardio daily while still holding a conversation… and continue to look the same?  One factor why they may never gain results is because they are taking cardio lightly. Cardio for fat loss should be quick an intense! A study by the University of St. Thomas, shown that maximal fat oxidation occurs between 60 to 80% of one’s maximal heart rate. When the heart rate is elevated so is oxygen consumption. The most fat oxidation occurs around 54% of the body’s maximal oxygen uptake, or VO2max.

Can you burn fat with moderate intensity cardio? Sure.  Low intensity cardio at long durations may burn more calories than a short high intensity cardio session during the actual activity but you will not expend energy post exercise with low intensity cardio. Therefore cardio training must be integrated based on one’s goals.

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Apr. 04.

Detox Diet Breakdown

Detox Diet Breakdown

Your Body is Smarter than you Think!

d2What is a detox? A detox to a medical professional maybe something that rids the body or poisons or alcohol. A detox to the health industry is something to rid organ systems or the whole body of toxins from the atmosphere or from consuming foods.

What is in a detox?  Over the counter detoxes come in a few different forms: teas, juices, cayenne pepper, laxatives, herb, enzymes, fiber or detox through your feet with foot pads or ionic foot baths.

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What are they trying to eliminate? Toxins, parasites, fecal matter attached to wall of intestines

What are the proposed benefits? Restored energy, relief from chronic conditions, clear intestines, weight loss, better sleep and mental clarity

What about weight loss? Weight loss during detoxes does occur in most cases. Most detoxes do not include carbohydrates and include laxatives or fruits and vegetables with diuretic properties. Eliminating carbohydrates will release water held in the muscles causing a weight drop. Most detoxes add laxatives, which will cause bowel movements and dehydrate the body and bowels. Lastly add those fruits and vegetables that have diuretic properties causing the muscles, organs and skin to rid themselves of water and you are left with a dehydrated and lighter body but not less fat.

What is the scientific evidence of detoxes actually detoxing the body? To date there is none!

What are the dangers? Dehydration, blood sugar levels rising, lack of carbohydrates and protein can cause metabolic acidosis, bowel problems, electrolyte imbalances, as well as the potential to cause a negative relationship with food.

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What are positive ways to detox the body? Eat a high fiber diet. Drink enough water and get plenty of sleep! Do not smoke. Do not drink alcohol on a regular basis. Get omega fatty acids in your diet. And Exercise!! There are also benefits of eating certain herbs, vegetables and fruits that help your cholesterol, liver, skin and energy but these should be done in moderation and combined with a balanced active lifestyle.

What are positive reasons to detox? For spiritual purposes. Or for food sensitive purposes, if having an issue or given a specific diet for medical reasons.

The health industry promotes detoxes to help with energy, sleep and mental clarity because they know the diets of most Americans do not contain the proper nutrients! High fat, sugar and jacked up on caffeine is what most American diets today consist of. Changing even one of these factors will cause you to have more energy and loose weight! There is no science to back over the counter detoxes, so I would not recommend wasting your money!

Your body has detox systems and organs in place already, it is simply our job to keep them healthy!

 

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