Healthy Living in a PHAT Body

While I can't promise you that you'll achieve a fitness model body, I can at least give you some simple but important tips in achieving a stronger leaner physique.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Does A Quick Weight Loss Diet Really Work?

Only if you’re trying to fool the scale on a specific date and time.
Quick weight loss is advertised by diet marketers all the time. The marketing screams at you;
“Lose 10 pounds over night, while you sleep"
You’ve heard them before, but you really don’t believe them do you? I hope you understand somewhere in the back of your mind that quick weight loss is neither real healthy nor long lived.
Quick weight loss should only be used if you’re weighing in too some kind of competition or test. And only under a doctor’s care. It can be dangerous if you’re not strong enough to handle the drain.

On the other hand, competitors do it all the time, but they understand the weakness overriding their efforts. They understand the importance of getting back into their original rhythm.

Most quick weight loss pounds are only water; very, very few fat cells. Your body will flush water out of your system and the scale will show an over night loss of some desired pounds. However, it doesn’t last long.

Loosing weight this way is like squeezing a sponge dry. Weigh the sponge before and it will be heavier than after you squeeze the water out. And guess what? As it’s dipped in water the weight all comes back.

This happens with your body too. You can drink down the special diet formulas and drain your body of fluids. It’s good for the weigh-in but as soon as you drink any fluids your body will hold the water and your quick weight loss soon disappears. Not what you’re looking for when you’re trying to fit into those new 501s.

The success of quick weight loss in a no-carb diet is also this loss of water. You may be excited when you see the quick weight loss, however it doesn’t last long. Once carbs are introduced back into your diet, sadly, there goes the quick weight loss.

Be grateful for this, since it’s your body trying to create balance and keep you alive. The only proper way to lose weight is by reducing the size of those fat cells.Instead of being persuaded into a quick weight loss scheme try these small easy life style changes. These tips won't achieve quick weight loss but by following them you will see some really great long term healthy changes in your body and in your mind set.

1.) Always have your meals with soup or salad first. This helps to fill you up before the main meal.

2.) Eat slowly. This gives your body ample time to communicate to your brain the fullness you are experiencing. If time won’t allow you to eat slowly, have a meal replacement bar instead.

3.) If you’re using a no-fat or low-fat dressing on your salad, have it on the side and dip your fork into the dressing before you spear the salad. This gives you the flavor without as much dressing. A high calorie dressing poured over your salad can add 200-400 additional calories to your meal.

4.) When dining out--have a to-go box delivered with your meal. Immediately put half your meal in it. Not only will you cut calories but you now have an entire additional meal for a few hours later. Your brain will produce an unperturbed feeling because it thinks you finished your meal.

5.) At a fast food restaurant, never super size your meals. I don’t need to explain why; you know why!

6.) And if you must have a dessert, split it, and give the other half to that hot bodied friend you dislike so much.

7.) Finally a very real important tip for weight loss; Always think long term.


These simple eating tips won’t bring quick weight loss but if you start using these every day, you will start seeing the long term success.


-Jaikob

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Do You Jiggle When You Walk?

Hey I’m back…

Today I stopped by my favorite coffee shop in Berkeley, right across from the campus and noticed this student; couldn’t have been 20 years old.

Now this kid was obese, no I mean OBESE. I felt bad, really bad, you know like empathy?!

He jiggled when he walked and everyone would turn and stare the way I would turn at a beautiful girl passing me by.




Anyway, it got me thinking about composition, specifically body composition. And how it affects the way we move, the way we fit into society. The way we fit into our own thinking. How we live within ourselves.

Do you ever think about how you fit into society? Are you PHAT or fat? Do you count yourself as one of the obese?

Today there are more people obese then in any other time in history, and I think most of them are here in the USA. And the reasons are pretty simple – simple as too much food and not enough exercise.

However, even with all the focus on weight loss, you still may not be completely changing your lifestyle or bad health habits.

Why is that?

Truthfully, I think it’s because maybe you feel safer being fat, but more on that on another day.

Today let’s talk about your body composition. You know the shape of your body and how it affects your life or your workout.

Maybe if understanding the one aspect of losing weight that you need to understand better and how it relates to weight loss you could better deal with toning up.

First, I’m sure you understand that "obesity" is not just a condition involving too much weight, but also a disease that poses multiple health risks.

I’m not going to beat you down with those risks, since I assume you must know them by now. If not, just do a search on Google or Yahoo on Obesity.

Only you know what affects it has on your physical performance, which might be as simple as walking up a flight of stairs or heading to the mailbox.

To get started in conquering obesity, you should educate yourself on how to achieve better health. I’m thinking you may not even be aware of the fat-to-muscle ratio, which is crucial to losing the right type of weight.

You see, if you’re not combining good eating habits, cardio exercise, and weight training, then you’re not helping your body at all and most likely even doing it harm.

These three things together create the synergy needed to lose weight while maintaining muscle.

For instance, if you eat a good, balanced diet and go to the gym but only do cardio to lose weight you will in fact lose weight, but unfortunately, you will lose the wrong kind of weight.

The weight you’re dropping is not the fat weight you need to lose, but muscle. When this happens, your body's metabolism and muscles are inefficient, you may be getting thinner but you’ll notice you’re also getting weak.

If you’re eating right and only doing cardio exercises, what you are is a skinny fat person. With all the same health risks as a fat person. Sure, you’re losing weight but again, it will be muscle weight.

Therefore, the fat-to-muscle ratio drops, giving you a soft, undefined appearance. Additionally, because your fat is not lost, all of the health risks such as diabetes 2, heart attack, and other serious diseases still exist.

Therefore, it is essential that you use a combination of good nutrition with the cardio and weight training to lose the fat and not the muscle.

Keep in mind that you do not have to overdo the weight training but you do need to incorporate it into your daily routine. Resistance training is what shapes and sculpts the muscles, bringing the fat-to-muscle to a healthy ratio.

Keep in mind that if you had a dozen people undergoing a body composition evaluation, all of them obese, you would discover not only a laundry list as to why the person is obese, but also come to understand that the same weight loss and exercise program would not work for every person.

As mentioned, most people become obese simply because they start into bad eating habits and stop exercising.

However, another reason for obesity relates to health. Some people have inherited or developed health issues that cause them to be overweight, such as thyroid problems. In connection with that, a person can experience significant weight gain because of medications being taken for health issues.

Therefore, creating a one-for-all weight loss or exercise program simply wouldn’t work. Through a body composition evaluation, all of these factors will be exposed so the appropriate program can be developed. This is important since what I want is for you to enjoy eating and exercising, as well as benefit from it.

However, if you’re not on the right type of program based on your body composition, you could be taking the long way to the body you want.

The key to losing weight, the right type of weight, and living a healthy lifestyle is to remember that a poor fat-to-muscle ratio will have a negative impact on both.

Sadly, more then 45% of the population is overweight, with many of them being at the level of obesity. When the body has high composition levels of fat, not only is there great risk of serious disease but also injury to your knees, ankles, and your back.

It also affects your mental health, often throwing you into a tailspin of depression. That’s something I really empathize with. I see it all the time at the gym around February and March when members begin to quit.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to check your body's composition level so you know exactly the amount of fat you’re carrying.

In reaching the right fat-to-muscle ratio, it is important you know your body needs some fat to function.

For one thing, an appropriate level of fat helps to cushion internal organs and nerve conduction. However, when the fat is over a healthy ratio, trouble begins.

You need to measure your body's composition on a regular basis with the use of a caliper, which can be purchased at a minimal cost.

Remember, by understanding your body’s composition, what is happening inside your body both good and bad, you can take control to lose the excess fat.

Armed with this newfound information, you will no longer have to guess where you are with your fat-to-muscle ratio, you will know.

-Jaikob

Monday, August 01, 2005

11 ESENTIAL TIPS TO A BETTER BODY




Behavioral changes guarantee your success - not just knowledge alone. You may already have drawn out your road map with your nutritional plan and your workouts, so take that strategy and ACT on it.







Listen up!

1. CUT THE SIMPLE CARBS.
It's unfortunate that the majority of people are "carbo junkies."

This especially applies to you if you’re overweight because your body then struggles with insulin sensitivity.

Your body absolutely needs carbohydrates, but you may need to learn to appropriately reverse the ratio of simple carbs to complex carbs.

Most importantly you’ll need to reduce the amount of sugar you take in. Having a good ratio of complex to simple carbs will let your body regulate blood sugar levels more efficiently, burn more fat as fuel, and ultimately lose more weight.

2. EAT SMALLER, MORE FREQUENT MEALS.
Eating about every 3-4 hours prevents your blood sugar levels from spiking dramatically throughout the day. This helps your hormones stay in check, while regulating hunger as well.

Ultimately, it helps elevate metabolism, it's easier on your digestive system, and it can eventually provide you with more energy throughout the day.

3. CONSUME MORE FUNCTIONAL FATS.
Essential fatty acids, such as omega-6 and omega-3 consumed in appropriate ratios of 2:1 or better yet at 1:1 will allow the body to regulate your hormones, calm down inflammation, and stabilize blood sugar levels.

This eventually leads to greater fat loss.

4. DOWN THAT WATER.
Water is often overlooked, but it's the number one nutrient for your body to survive. Staying hydrated aids with digestion, curbs your appetite, and flushes out metabolic waste. Make sure to get in at least 1 oz for every pound you weigh.

5. INCREASE FIBER INTAKE.
Fiber keeps your meal moving along your gastrointestinal tract, and like water, it aids in flushing metabolic waste. It also helps you maintain consistent energy levels, slows your rate of carbohydrate digestion, which steadies your blood sugar levels.

6. REDUCE OR ELIMINATE ALCOHOL.
At least while you’re training. Not only is alcohol estrogenic (negatively affects testosterone for men), it can lead to fat gain, and has a whopping nutrition-empty 7 calories per gram,

Alcohol takes precedence over fat metabolism when present in your body. Alcohol actually shuts down your fat burning mechanism for up to 48 hours, so avoid it as much as possible.

7. SPICY METABOLISM.
Including a variety of spices in your foods such as curry, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and certain herbs may help boost your metabolism. Spices also help with stabilizing blood sugar levels.

Cayenne pepper is possibly the healthiest herb available to man kind. Put it on as much as you can if you can stand the heat.

8. MAKE WEIGHT TRAINING YOUR FOCUS.
While aerobic activity may burn a great deal of calories, especially when maintained at a high intensity, you’ll also be burning muscle mass.

You'll achieve greater results by focusing on resistance training. This is because proper resistance training stresses all of your muscles fiber types and promotes a leaner body.

When you stress your muscles effectively, you either maintain and strengthen your current muscle mass or you even gain some.

For every pound of muscle you gain it equates to 50 extra calories you can burn per day while doing nothing. This melts the fat away quicker and provides you with more strength than you would ever get doing cardio alone.

So hit the weights at least three times per week followed by 15 to 25 minutes of cardio. Then have a protein shake.

9. SLOW DOWN YOUR EATING.
Be conscious of how fast you eat, slowing down the pace prevents compulsive overeating and helps your digestion.

It takes at least 20 minutes between the time you're full and when your brain actually realizes it.

If you’re too busy to eat slowly then skip the meal and opt for a meal replacement shake instead. You body will thank you because it makes your goals easier to achieve.

10. WATCH FOR FOOD ALLERGIES.
Many people are allergic to dairy and wheat products. Being sensitive to these two food categories have been shown to cause weight gain.

If you're consuming a diet high in refined foods, these sensitivities become more obvious. This causes digestive problems such as bloating, stomach pain, and water retention.

If you think this may be happening to you consider an allergy test. You shouldn’t be eating all those refined foods anyway.

11. GET YOUR ANTIOXIDANTS.
Getting your daily dose of antioxidants from a good multi-vitamin or a specific antioxidant supplement combination, or even a healthy combination of fruits and vegetables is important for combating toxins held in fat cells.

Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, E, polyphenols in green tea, etc. help your body reduce the time that toxins stay in your system.

So there they are - 11 basic tips to help you achieve a healthier and leaner physique.

It's never too late to take action.
Stay motivated and consistently remind yourself of your fitness goal.

--Jaikob