Sunday, January 20, 2013
There have been a lot of postings this week on different Sparkteams I belong to about the use of supplements such as "fat-burners", "metabolism increasers", herbal teas to increase metabolism, energy drinks, etc... So I thought I would take a couple of days to do some research into these supplements and give you all a report.
First, I looked into the fat-burners. Supplements that purport to have "maximum weight loss power" and promise to help you "lose belly fat naturally." I read several articles from various research groups and looked at the ingredients on the labels then did research into those on my own. I am NOT a scientist. I do NOT have a degree in biology or medicine. However, I am a pretty smart guy who can understand the research done by others, and this is what I found.
Most of the claims made by supplement manufacturers are untrue. They make it sound good by saying "contains ingredients found to" do this or that. The truth is, if you take these supplements you have to combine them with a "reduced calorie diet" and exercise to get the results promised on the label. If you look at the list of ingredients, you will see these wonder pills are nothing more than multi-vitamins with caffeine (up to that of a cup of coffee) or other ingredients used to speed up heart rate.
Since you are already doing the reduced calorie diet and exercise suggested on the label as part of your Sparkpeople program, what do you need the supplement for?
Finally, the label is required by federal law to have the following statement (Notice I didn't say warning. Those are listed above this statement) "These statements (meaning everything on the label) have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease." Why do they have to put this on there? Because the supplement has NOT been scientifically researched, tested or evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Why hasn't it been tested by the FDA? Because of libel issues I can't say here, but draw your own conclusions.
If you have time or you are interested, go to part 2 of this series on Supplements. I disclose the actual research I have done on this topic.
Until next time... JUICE to you all!
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Sounds weird, right? Afterall, we're all hear to lose weight, most of us anyway. That's why we joined Sparkpeople in the first place. Let me explain.
You weight is just an arbitrary number. It really doesn't mean anything. What is weight anyway. Weight is a measure of MASS (your body, muscle, blood, fat, bones, brain, organs, etc...) as it is acted upon by FORCE (in this case gravity). Let's say you weigh 200 pounds. On the moon you would weigh 33 pounds, on Jupiter you would weigh 63,600 pounds. You see, your "weight" has nothing to do with you.
Ask yourself one question, "What's my real goal, to lose weight or to be smaller?" Isn't it strange how we equate the two.
Let me ask you this. Which takes up more space, a pound of bricks or a pound of feathers? It's not a trick question. A pound of feathers takes up much more space. It's the same with our bodies. A pound of fat takes up much more space than a pound of muscle. So, shouldn't our goals be related to being smaller, not necessarily to "weigh" less?
This is why I've chosen the following goals for myself. Plus they are more measurable and provide more immediate feedback.
1. Improve my physical fitness.
Benefits: Better muscle tone, more flexibility, better cardiovascular health, lower Blood Pressure, lower cholesterol, lower resting heart rate, added muscle mass, lower fat mass, lower stress.
2. Reduce inches around neck, waist, hips, thighs.
Benefits: less weight around the middle reduces chances of a heart related event such as heart attack, angina, stroke, and other diseases.
3. Improve flexibility.
Benefits: Stretching has been shown to reduce the effects of osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, improve posture and movement later in life as well as now.
These don't have to be your goals. But the nice thing about these goals is as you reduce your size, the weight just seems to come off naturally without thinking about it.
So, do yourself a favor and stop worrying about losing weight. It's just a number. Shrink yourself down and you'll be much happier. What do you have to lose, besides inches, I mean.
Good luck and JUICE to you all!
Monday, January 14, 2013
Yesterday I shared about ATTITUDE. Today I want to talk about YOU!
I was talking with a friend the other day whom I've known since high school. She is the most loving, kind, giving person I know. She has several physical challenges to deal with everyday because she has fibromyalgia. I asked her how she was feeling and she responded about aching in several places, a nearly sleepless night and waking up with a headache. Pretty typical for a person with this chronic illness. Then I asked her what she had planned for the day. HOLY COW, the President of the United States doesn't have as much on his plate as this woman takes on every day.
She had her work (as a teacher), lunch with a friend, grocery shopping and 10 other errands, pick up her daughter at school for events, something at her church, a fund raiser meeting after that, dinner to prepare, a parent meeting at school, housework to do, and probably 5 other things for other people to do.
This is a typical day for her. She runs around all day on almost no sleep and does this until her body shuts down. I'm willing to bet many of you do nearly the same thing. You give and give and give until there is nothing left to give. You are worn out and you don't know where the day went. I know it's true because I read it everyday in your postings. If you happen to be an accountant right now, fer-git-a-boud-it. The next 3 months are going to be filled with long hours and no time off.
Think about this for a moment... when are you at your best? When are you at your most productive? Are you doing your best for your family and your job when you are exhausted and frazzeled? Or are you at your best when you are rested, relaxed and have piece of mind? I believe the answer is obvious.
This is why you need to take a couple of hours every day just for you. Studies done at the National Institute for Health (I can't believe I'm using this agency because I rip them all the time as a bunch of quacks, but people put stock in what they say) show that people who take a one hour lunch break away from work are more productive than those who work through lunch! That's right. Over the course of the work day, people who take a lunch break get more work done in 8 hours than those who work through lunch get done in 9 hours.
While the study doesn't reveal this, I'm betting productivity is linked to increased blood sugar and a more relaxed state of mind in the people who take a lunch break. It gives us a chance to relax our brains, think about something other than work, then organize and prioritize the remainder of our day while we re-energize our bodies with nutritious foods. All of these things add to our daily productivity.
Other studies show that vast majority of Americans are both exercise and sleep deprived. Watching TV you would think all we do all day is go to the gym and lay on the couch or in bed. But it's true. The National Sleep Foundation reports the average person needs 7-9 hours of basal (REM) sleep each day. They also report sustained sleep deprivation leads to lower productivity, increased risk of car accidents, increased BODY MASS INDEX, increased DIABETES AND HEART DISEASE, and several other unpleasant things.
Let me tell you what I told my friend, YOU NEED TO TAKE TIME EVERYDAY FOR YOU! I know you are all the kind of people who put your personal needs below the needs of everyone else in your life, but I'm telling you, if you put yourself FIRST you can do so much more for everyone else.
I would like a pledge from each one of you to try the following EVERY DAY for one week to see if it makes a difference.
1. Take lunch away from work (even if it's just to the cafeteria or a break room away from phones, paper, customers, whatever) for at least 30 minutes but preferably 1 hour and have a healthy lunch.
2. Exercise every day for 1 hour. Take a class, do a video, walk around your neighborhood for an hour, I don't care what you do, but take a minimum of 60 minutes for yourself.
3. Sleep for at least 7 hours. That may mean putting some things off until tomorrow, but for a week that's okay. Take your wake-up time, back that up 7 hours, then add one hour for getting ready to sleep by relaxing, brushing your teeth, whatever. This is the time you stop EVERYTHING for the day. I want you to get a MINIMUM of 7 uninterrupted hours of solid REM sleep.
Do this every day for 7 days and I'll bet you dollars-to-rice cakes (notice I didn't say donuts) you will get more done than you ever have.
Let me know how you're doing.
Until next time, GET WET and JUICE to you all!
Sunday, January 13, 2013
I wanted to share with you some of the tools I use to be a POSITIVE person and to combat negativity in my life. Choose what works for you and share with me anything you have found that works. I'm always looking for feedback.
1. Eliminate negative language from your vocabulary. Stop swearing, stop any sarcastic remarks and look for something POSITIVE to say. Remember the old adage: If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
2. Take care in your tone of voice. Negativity not only comes from what we say but from our tone of voice. Eliminate a harsh "tone" from your voice. If you must criticize do it with a soft tone.
3. Remove yourself from a negative atmosphere. Simply don't participate in negative activities.
4. Correct negative behavior (this is one of my favorites). If you see someone yelling at someone else or belittling them, step in and correct the behavior. This works especially well with children. In a soft voice, be calm, be firm and stop the negativity. Don't accept negative behavior from anyone.
5. Delete bad habits one at a time. Make a list of behavior traits you want to correct. They could be anything from smoking or biting your nails to being rude or yelling at people. One of mine was interrupting people when they were talking because something popped into my head. (I'm still working on this one)
6. Use POSITIVE OR MOTIVATIONAL words and phrases when talking with people. Most people respond better, psychologically, when statements are made using positive references.
7. Praise often and do it in public. If someone is doing a good job or showing improvement let them know it. It doesn't have to be lavish, just noticable.
8. Acknowlege every person you meet. I use a 10-foot rule. I greet every person I come within 10 feet of with a warm smile and a cheerful hello. Be GENUINE. You will be amazed at what this simple act will do for your reputation.
9. Follow a greeting with SINCERE praise. "Hello, that's a good looking tie." "Nice to see you. You look very happy today."
10. Be kind to everyone you interact with every day.
11. Convert or cut them loose. This can be the hardest tool to use because it deals with people in your life. CONVERT is to help those around you change their attitudes into more positive ones. This can take a lot of time and energy on your part sometimes. Other times it just takes a kind word in private to turn someone around. If the person is someone you have to deal with every day because they are family or work related, keep at it. Eventually some of your positive attitude will rub off on them.
The other part, CUT THEM LOOSE can be even more difficult. As a positive person it is hard for us to give up on people. We want to help them. But some people you just can't help. Those are the people you want to remove from your life or at least reduce your exposure to them.
12. Be a role model. Lead by example. Be the sunshine in everyone's life. BE POSITIVE.
There are so many tools, but you get the idea. Create some of your own. Once you start using these, achievement will come much easier to you because you will have INTERNALIZED a positive you.
Until next time, JUICE to YOU!
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Last time I wrote about ATTITUDE I discussed NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and how choosing the words you use to express yourself can lead to a change in how you think. What I failed to mention is this is only one tool in changing your attitude on life.
A NEGATIVE attitude is learned. I believe as humans we are naturally optimistic beings. We strive for goodness and look for that in our environment. We LEARN how to be negative. It starts when we are young and get yelled at for spilling the milk, then we go to school and the other kids are mean to us and we are laughed at. Then we might have a negative home environment full of sarcasm because our parent(s) are overwhelmed and don't know how to deal with their pain. Then there is the media, full of negative messages about body image and self-centered greed. A media that thrives on class envy and "keeping up with the Jones'." Maybe we work in an environment where it seems everyone is griping about one thing or another, and complaining is the normal way of communication.
It doesn't matter where it comes from, negativity is all around us. It's up to us as individuals what we do with it.
Years ago I was the most miserable person to be around. My life was going great, but it was never good enough. Looking back, I still can't believe I had any friends. But you know the old saying... "Misery loves company." I was even told by several of my employers over the years that I had a bad attitude, but they couldn't fire me because my performance was so high. I just didn't get it. Then, I started reading books that motivated me and it was like a lightbulb went off in my head.
You can "reprogram" your brain to look for the POSITIVE. If you look around you today the people with the most success have at least one thing in common, they are POSITIVE people. The most successful athletes, have a positive "CAN-DO" frame of mind. They are the first one's to practice everyday and the last ones to leave. They put in the extra effort required to be successful. They are what I like to call "Extra-milers." They are willing to go the extra mile to achieve their goal. It's the same in business and other walks of life. If you dedicate yourself and go the extra mile eventually you will achieve SUCCESS.
But it all starts with a POSITIVE ATTITUDE or a POSITIVE STATE OF MIND. Only you can make the change for yourself. No one can do it for you. We can support you by reminding you to look for the positive, but ultimately it is up to you. Decide for yourself, are you going to be a better person with a positive outlook or a negative one.
Think about it.
JUICE to you all!
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