Posts Tagged ‘Weight Loss


Time To Go To The Next Level

Are you making progress in your fitness and nutrition?  If so then it’s time to take it to the next level.  If you are not making progress, then it may be time to reevaluate you training and nutrition and try to figure out what’s not working.

Sometimes it can be something simple like not getting enough protein or vegetables in your diet.  Or, it could be something holding you back like problems with digestion or stress.

If you are making progress, that’s good.  The worst thing we can do is think we got it made because we are seeing results from our workouts and nutrition.  One of the things I tell people I train is never think that you can do the same things you are doing this week and expect them to help you progress next week.

If you are looking to make progress, you have to change your workouts.  Your body is very good at adapting and once it adapts to the workout, you stop making progress.

This means you have to vary your sets, reps and even your cardio conditioning.  Basically, I never train the same sets and reps two workouts in a row.  The workouts always change so that muscles can not adapt to the training.

Have fun with your workouts.  In order to see any results, you have to exercise 5 hours a week.  If you are going to spend an hour each day in the gym for 5 days out of the week, you might as well enjoy the time that you are there.

Personally, I love working out.   When I’m weight training, it’s just me and the weight.  I never think in terms of the weight and me in competition.  No, the weight is there to show me what I need to do to make improvements.  If it ever turns into a competition, I will always lose to the weight.  I’ve come to terms with the weight and it allows me to see me as I am and what I need to do.

Make friends with your workouts.  Have fun and enjoy making progress.  It’ll make going to the gym something you look forward to rather than dread.

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More Benifits From Weight Loss

Recently I was talking with a trainee about the changes she is going through with her weight loss.  One of the things that she said is happening to her is that her energy level at work is much higher than it used to be.  Then she told me about how her back is no longer bothering her.

I had to think about that for a moment.  It occurred to me that I had not had issues with my back since I had lost all my weight.

Driving long distances was always a problem.  If I drove for more than two hours at a time my lower back and hips would ache.  Sometimes so much that I would have to pull over and walk around for a few minutes.

I haven’t thought about how it used to be such a problem driving on long trips in a long time.  Over the summer when I drove to Texas from Anderson, South Carolina I experienced no pain and felt great.

Losing weight changes a person’s life in ways they could never imagine.  If I would have known all the ways that my life was going to get better by being healthy and fit I would have thought it was impossible.  There are a multitude of reason why a person should make the changes they need to make to get in shape.  But really, it comes down to one simple thing.  Feeling better about yourself.

Today I no longer feel out of control with my eating and weight gain.  I am no longer powerless to make the changes that need to be made for me to live the life I want to live.  I heard this said a long time ago and I believe it now more than ever…”powerlessness is a very powerful feeling.”

Don’t let anything stand in your way of reaching your fitness goals and felling good about yourself and your life.  We all have the potential to make the right choices for ourselves.  And making the right choices gets easier the more we practice making them.

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The Cycle of Stress Eating

This past week I was talking with a trainee about their progress.  This trainee has made excellent progress but seemed to be having difficulty staying away from foods she knew were not healthy for her.

We discussed a wide range of issues.  One of the things I asked her to do was to reflect on what she was thinking and feeling when she made the decision to eat something that’s not on her nutrition plan.  Not just “Oh, I’m hungry, I think I want a whopper with fries.”  What was the motivating thought and feeling for her to eat fatty, greasy non-nutritious foods.

What we came up with is that she eats out of stress.  The way that she’s always dealt with stress, anger, sadness, hurt, fear or any other feeling is to eat away those feelings.  By eating away her feelings she can literally “stuff ” her feelings and never have to address them.

Here’s the deal, we all have ways that we cope with life and the feelings we experience.  Some people use food.  Others use alcohol, drugs.  Others even use relationships as a way to mask feelings.  No matter what a person uses to turn off their feelings, they will continue to act out in the same manner, unless they can directly confront why they are avoiding the issues that need to be dealt with.

The cycle of acting out to avoid the uncomfortable feeling looks something like this:


Each part of the cycle leads to the next and when a person is in this cycle, they have an extremely difficult time removing themselves.  The individual has to stop themselves in the fantasy stage and question what is causing them to romance the idea of eating something that is going to make them feel bad emotionally, mentally and physically.

The best way to get out of this cycle is to stop and think about what is going on right now and what the person is feeling.  Many times stress is a major factor.  Loneliness is another feeling that triggers acting out.

For whatever reason, the person experiences a void in their life and they usually try to fill that void with food.  Filling a void with food can cause lots of negative consequences.  It’s not the rapid type of consequences that someone who uses drugs and alcohol.  It comes on over a long period of time and can be just as devastating.

Sometimes it’s not just the physical aspect of weight loss like exercising and eating properly.  We also have to consider what is going on mentally and emotionally.

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To Succeed You Have to do The Opposite

“If you look around and do the opposite of what everyone else is doing, you have a 98% chance of doing it right.”

Most people, when asked, will tell you one of their main goals is to lose weight.  With so many people wanting to lose weight, why is it that so few people actually lose weight?

There are three factors that determine a person’s ability to meat their weight loss goals.  They are diet, exercise and attitude.  If a person lacks any of the three of these factors they can kiss their weight loss goals goodbye.

Exercise and poor diet does not work.

A recent study done by Dr. John Berardi at the University of Texas was done on individuals who worked out intensely for 6 hours a week for 16 weeks.  However, they did not change their diet.  After the 16 weeks the average weight loss for the entire group was 1 pound of body fat.  Again, exercise without proper nutrition does not work.

In another study with teenage girls in a detention center.  The girls worked out for two hours a day for six months.  For their nutrition plan they followed the USDA nutrition guidelines, which is heavy on carbohydrates and low on fats.  And because they were in a detention center they had no choice but to follow the diet.  The results were that on average they gained 6 pounds, increase 1/2 inch in their waist and increased 3/4 inch in their hips. So, if you exercise and eat a poor diet you will not see any benefits from your exercise program.

Diet by itself does not work.

In a study of people that followed weight watchers but did not exercise found that people lost weight but the weight they lost of muscle and not fat.  This is highly problematic because muscle burns calories.  If you lose muscle you lose the ability to burn calories and you do significant damage to your metabolic rate.  This is referred to as metabolic syndrome.  In order to lose fat and keep the fat off you need lean muscle.  Without lean muscle, it is very difficult to lose body fat and keep the fat off.

In the same study, people who went to a gym and ate properly lost less weight than people that went to weight watchers.  However, they lost more visceral fat (abdominal fat).  And they gained muscle which is heavier than fat.

Attitude “If you want to know where your mind has been, take a look at your body today.”

Our life is a reflection of where our mind has been.  We become what we think about all day long.  Physiology follows psychology.  If we have a bad attitude toward exercise and fitness, it will show up in how you body looks.  Also, if you have a bad attitude towards proper nutrition it will show up in your appearance.

You have to see, feel and experience what you want to become.  If you want to change your body you have to not just exercise, or just diet.  You have to have a good solid workout and nutrition plan.  And you have to have a good attitude about what you are doing.  Without any of these tree components it is going to be extremely difficult to have success in meeting your weight loss goals.

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What would your life be like?

One of the first things I ask someone who is just starting to train with me is “what is your life going to be like with you reach your weight loss goal?”

In other words, how is your life going to change?  Most people only thing about losing weight and how that will cause them to wear smaller clothes sizes.  But there are many other ways in which weight loss has an effect on our lives.

How will people view you now that you’ve changed your body composition.  People are generally creatures of habit and most people don’t like change.  Even when it is a good change.  How will your family and friends react to your new appearance?  How will they react to your new lifestyle?  Will they encourage you or will they see your change as a threat to their security and try to sabotage it.

Don’t think that everyone will like what you are doing.  Especially if they see you doing what they so desperately need to do themselves.  This is why it is so important to have people in your life that are supportive and want you to succeed.  I have seen so many friends and family try to sabotage a person’s weight loss goals.  Life is too short to have people in your life that are not 100% supportive.

How will you view yourself when you reach your weight loss goals?  What will it be like to have confidence in yourself like you’ve never had before? Setting and obtaining weight loss and muscle development goals is a feeling like you’ve never had before.  No longer will you feel out of control with your weight.  Feeling powerless is a very powerful feeling.  Feeling in charge of your life and secure with your body feels more powerful than the powerlessness you felt before.

How will things change in your relationships with your spouse?  Your dating life?  Your carrier?  Your relationship with food?  Yes I said that right.  How will you relate to food and how everything you eat effects you?  Will you be able to develop boundaries with your meals so that you know when to eat, how much to eat, and what not to eat?

These are all important questions and in reality don’t have answers because none of these things have happened yet.  But when you do start your journey, hold on, it’s going to be a wild ride.

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5 Simple Suggestions For Fat Loss

Fat loss isn’t rocket science.  I know we love to make our problems seem much bigger than they really are, but when you really look at them they’re typically easy to solve.   And that’s often the case with fat loss.

To prove it to you here are five super simple fat loss tips you can easily follow:

1) Stop guzzling liquid sugar. Yes, I mean soft drinks and juices and bottles

of iced tea loaded with high fructose corn syrup.  For the most part, a 12 oz can of cola is 150 calories of pure sugar. Have a couple of those a day and you’ll see how the pounds are packed on.  And while you’re at it, stop drinking diet sodas.  Studies show that people who drink diet sodas tend to be as overweight or even more than those who drink regular sodas.

2) Eat breakfast!  If you want to make fat loss easy then make sure you start your metabolism off on the right foot each morning.

3) Eat more fruit. Aim for at least 5 servings a day.

4) Eat more veggies. Again, aim for at least 5 servings a day.

5) Stop eating processed foods.  Here are some ways to tell if what you are buying is processed.

  • If the product has more than five ingredients – it’s processed.
  • If it doesn’t have a mother or come from the ground -it’s processed.
  • If your grandmother does not recognize the ingredients – it’s processed.
  • If a caveman did not eat it – it’s processed.
  • If a food company spends millions of dollars trying to convince you their product is healthy – the product is probably not healthy and – it’s processed.

The fresher the foods the better.  I suggest buying fruits and vegetables from produce suppliers who get their stock from local farmers.  This way you are guaranteed freshness and you know where your food is coming from.

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Weight Loss From The Inside-Out (The Psychology Of Weight Loss)

One of the things I try to get my clients, whose goals are to lose body fat, to recognize is what they have lost from their overeating and lack of fitness.  For me, I suffered many losses.  I didn’t realize until later just exactly how much I had lost.

When I talk about losses, I don’t mean that I could no longer wear smaller size clothes or that I had difficulty sitting at booths in restaurants.  Those booths really weren’t made for people as overweight as I was.

What I’m talking about is the loss of self esteem and self respect.  Not being able to look at myself in pictures without cringing.  The shame I felt when I saw how much weight I had gained.  The embarrassment I felt when I was out in public.

I lost a tremendous amount of self worth.  I felt depressed, out of control, and hopeless.  I knew that this was a contradiction to my belief system.  The beliefs of it being important that I be in shape and healthy, that I should not be ashamed of how I looked, and that I was too young to be feeling as bad as I did physically were all being contradicted.

Because of the contradiction of these beliefs, I suffered many more losses and felt even more shame.  This is the cycle that occurs and once a person is in this cycle it is extremely difficult to get out of.  Not impossible, just difficult.

First thing someone has to do when they are trying to overcome the destructive behaviors patterns that lead them to being overweight is to recognize that being overweight comes at a price.  Not just in how much that person spends on extra large size clothes, food, doctor bills and medication. But also the price one pays mentally and emotionally for being overweight.

Next we look at losses they have suffered.  The loss of self esteem, self respect, loss of boundaries with food, and loss of time spent really enjoying life.  These losses are deep and go to the root of an individuals pain.  No one gets a free ride when it comes to being overweight.  There is always a price to pay.

After we look at losses we look at what we felt because of the loss.  These could have been feelings of shame, regret, anger, embarrassment, hurt or the feeling of being out of control.  Then we look at what happened when the person felt what they were feeling.  What did they do with that feeling.  Did they ignore it?  Did they try to make it go away by eating more?  What types of things did they do when they felt those feelings.

Finally, we look at how the loss, the feelings they felt because of the loss, and what they did with the loss contradicted their own belief system.

This is a lot of internal work.  And it can be difficult and painful.  But, if a person can get to a place where they understand that it’s not just about overeating.  They are overeating for a reason.  They didn’t get overweight by accident.  And until they recognize that they are in a vicious cycle, getting out of that cycle is going to be more and more difficult the longer they are in that cycle.

It’s not impossible to disengage from this cycle.  It’s a lot of work to change years of behavior patterns.  Understanding that there is a cycle and a pattern is usually all it takes for most people to start making positive life altering behavioral changes in the way they eat and take care of themselves physically.

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