Tuesday, January 22, 2013
I know, I know, I know. I've said over and over in my blogs not to watch your weight, but to concentrate on things you can really control. Well, I just put that in the title to get your attention. What I actually want to talk about today it the "G"-word. That's right G-U-I-L-T, GUIILT.
I was on-line this morning and came across an article by Lorie Parch entitled "The Secrets of Thin People."(Link posted here: http://health.yahoo.net/articles/weight-lo
One of her "secrets" was "thin people enjoy their food." Under that secret she goes on to explain, thin people enjoy their food more than overweight people because they eat without self-reproach. In other words thin people eat without a side-helping of guilt. Thin people eat without caring what other people think about them and what's on their plate.
I thought to myself (as a light bulb went on over my head) how true is that! How many times have you sat down to the table at work and noticed other people looking to see what you are eating? How many times have you been at a family gathering and noticed other people looking to see how much you have on your plate? What was the expression on their face? How did that "look" make you feel?
Guilt, shame, self-loathing, are all stressers that release hormones called nuero-chemicals into the bloodstream. According to an article published in Psychology Today, these hormones alter normal blood chemistry and block receptors in the brain that both trigger appetite and suppress it. Researchers are trying to figure out how these complex chemicals affect the brain and interact with blood sugar levels and insulin levels in the body. If you want to read the article for yourself here is the link. http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/20
0802/consuming-passions I've read it three times and I only understand about half of it.
In any respect, it is plain to see, if we remove our guilt from our plates, we may eat less and make better choices about the foods we eat. I believe it goes back to developing good eating habits.
1. Choosing the right foods. Eat food with bulk (fruits and vegetables)
2. Measuring portions/using portion control
3. Drinking plenty of water before and while we eat
So, go ahead and eat without that extra helping of GUILT. But eat SMART and stay with the program.
Until next time, Have a Guilt-free day and JUICE to you!
Monday, January 21, 2013
I received a couple of emails asking about my workout schedule. How do I incorporate "muscle confusion" into my workout routine? I go on a two week schedule. I know lots of fitness experts out there will say you need two days of rest per week, and I agree with them. But, just because your resting doesn't mean you can't be active.
Here's my rotation:
DAY 1: Walk 3-3.25 mph for 1 hour daily (I walk to and from the gym so I split mine into 2 sessions 30 minutes each). Stretch 15 minutes. Weights 30 minutes/12 exercises (front of body). Swim 30 minutes/1500 yds. Total time 2:15
DAY 2: Walk/Stretch/Weights (back of body)/Eliptical 30 mins Total time: 2:15
DAY 3: Walk/Stretch/Weights (front of body)/Swim 30 mins Total time 2:15
DAY 4: Walk/Stretch/Weights (back of body)/Bike 30 minutes Total time 2:15
DAY 5: Walk/Stretch/Treadmill 30 minutes/Bike 30 minutes/Swim 30 minutes Total time 2:45
Day 6: Walk/Stretch/Zumba or Kick boxing class Total time 1:45
DAY 7: Stretch Class 1hr/Yoga 1 hr Total time 2:00
Day 8: Walk/Stretch/Weights (front of body)/Swim 30 minutes
DAY 9: Walk/Stretch/Weights (back of body)/Eliptical 30 minutes
DAY 10: Walk/Stretch/Weights (front of body)/Swim 30 minutes
DAY 11: Walk/Stretch/Weight (back of body)/Bike 30 minutes
DAY 12: Bike 30 minutes/Stretch/Treadmill 30 minutes/Swim 30 minutes Total Time = 1:45
DAY 13: Walk/Stretch/Zumba or Kick Boxing Class Total Time = 2:00-2:15
DAY 14: Stretch Class/Yoga Class Total Time = 2:00
I use this workout schedule to achieve my goals. It may not work for you. I'm at least 2 hours of fitness time almost every day. This doesn't fit into most peoples schedule. But as I said before, I walk to and from the gym instead of driving. On my "bike" days, I ride my 15 speed bike for 30 minutes around town. Depending on where you live, the weather may not permit this every day.
You'll notice that I lift weights 4 days/wk alternating between the front of my body muscle groups and the back of my body muscle groups. I do abdominals EVERY day.
You'll also see I have 1 day/week that is all cardio, I do this to train for upcoming triathlons. One of my goals is to compete in 4 local events per year starting this summer.
You'll also notice I do Zumba, Kick boxing, and Yoga as well as a full-body stretching class each week. This is to use muscle groups in different ways that traditional exercise doesn't allow for. It also increases my flexibility to help me become a better athlete and it's fun!
But, as I said before, this is MY schedule. You need to make your own based on your goals. You are welcome to use this as a guide. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me.
GET WET, have fun and JUICE to you all.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
If you haven't read Part I of this series on Supplements, please go back an check that article out first.
The research. If you are familiar with my blog, you know I am all about research and "the science." I love the science behind claims, because most of it is "junk science." Someone did a study about this, that or the other thing and published a report. A "study" is usually nothing more than a questionnaire asking a select group how it feels about something.
When you do your own research, you really need to see who is writing the article, what the person's qualifications are and what they have to gain by writing the article. For instance, I am a trained journalist, with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from an accredited university. I am NOT a dietitian, doctor, biologist, physiologist or any other kind of "gist". I am just a guy who does research the writes about it. I have nothing to gain other than the dissemination of information to anyone who wants to read my blog. My only goal is to get people to think for themselves.
So, with that said, here's the scoop on supplements. Most of them are nothing you can't get in what you eat every day. In fact, many of the supplements on the market contain ingredients that are bad for you if taken in large doses. And none of the supplements I researched say anything about what will happen when you stop taking them.
Even the people who write about supplements "hedge" their articles with caveats and disclaimers. I read a good article about supplements on WebMD by Hilary Parker who is a Ph.D candidate at Johns Hopkins. The article is called "Proven Weight Loss Supplements"and is sub-titled "Which weight loss supplements really work." I don't know if she picks the titles to her own articles or if it is done by the editors at WebMD, but even she falls into the trap that is what I call "supplement hype."
In her article she looks into 6 ingredients found in supplements, Calcium, Fiber, CLA, Green Tea Extract, Meal Replacements, and Orlistat (and over-the-counter medication). But as she writes about each of these supplements she admits the research is inclusive or the supplement needs to be combined with some change in behavior to work.
1. Calcium supplements as fat metabolizers, the research is contradictory or inconclusive depending on who you ask.
2. Fiber supplements: work, but you can get the same results if you modify your diet and drink plenty of water.
3. CLA (Conjugated Linolic Acid): I had to look this one up in two different places just to understand what it was. It is a fatty acid that occurs naturally in small amounts in dairy products and in red meat. In other words, it's a polyunsaturated fat that has been isolated and made into a dietary supplement. It works (in pigs, but the jury is still out as far as how it works in humans), but the side-effects are still being studied in Sweden and include: increasing Blood Serum Cholesterol, inflammation (the article didn't specify what kind of inflammation), and adverse liver tests (what tests was also not specified).
4. Green tea extract: They list three extracts in the article, but admit without the caffeine the other two might not work at all as far as metabolizing fat.
5. Orlistat: also known under the brand name Alli. This is actually a medication available over the counter. I'll save this one for another article.
What else did I find? I found out many supplements had to be taken off of the market because they contained ingredients, such as enphedra, which are banned in the US because of their harmful side-effects.
Here is the topper. Many of the articles written are made to sound factual, but are based on sketchy research or misquote actual research in order to sound valid. I found one such article on Livestrong.com which mis-named the journal it referenced several times in an article on CLA.
I found the actual article and I will save the results for another Blog of my own. For the time being let's just say CLA may not be all these writers think it is.
I found another article on ASKMen.com that promotes the virtues of many fat burning supplements which contain ingredients banned by the Food and Drug administration.
My point here is, draw your own conclusions. Even scientific experts can't agree on the validity or the usefulness of dietary supplements or the research done on them.
More "food" for thought.
Until next time, JUICE to you all.
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!
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