Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What If No One Were Fat?

The financial implications for the United States if all of our citizens were at an appropriate weight are amazing. Check out the article here:

What if no one were fat?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Are You Being Deceived By The Food Industry?

Have you noticed how all kinds of packaged foods now prominently display "health" claims on them?

According to Business 101, if you want to sell more product, find out what people want and give it to them, right? It's no accident that as people are becoming more health and nutrition conscious, manufacturers are producing healthier foods. Or, are they?

Check out this blog post from Dr. Mark Hyman:
Are You Being Deceived into Eating Fake Frankenfoods?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Machines vs. Free Weights

You'll often hear that resistance machines are safer than free weights or that beginners should start out with machines and then move on to free weights. Depending upon the exercises you're doing and the level of instruction you received, I don't necessarily agree that machines are safer or that newbies should be relegated to machines.

There are machines that I would rarely, if ever, use but I do think some machines are beneficial. A basic cable machine (or Cable Crossover) can give you the ability to perform lots of good exercises. I also think that, especially for women, a Pulldown machine is very useful. Most women are unable to perform Chin Ups or Pull Ups so, although it's not essential, a Pulldown machine definitely comes in handy.

Here are two good articles regarding Free Weight vs. Machine debate:

don't fear the free weights!

Free Weights vs. Exercise Machines


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Random Thoughts

* Why do so many people still believe in magic fat loss pills and exercise gadgets that will transform your body in 5 minutes a day?

* I don't know about you but I'm annoyed with whatever marketing genius told people to triple and quadruple space their e-mails. (Probably the same one who told them never to write more than a one sentence paragraph.) I get a lot of fitness related e-mail and all that scrolling is a waste of time. I actually unsubscribed to one list because the spacing was so extreme.

* Why do people say they know you can't spot reduce but then ask, "What exercises can I do to get rid of my _________________ (insert body part here)"?

* Who decided that it's cool/necessary to reverse the images on TV? And, why? It's usually done during shows that are comprised mostly of interviews but it makes no sense, is totally unnecessary and annoying, and sometimes makes well known people look "off".

* Why are some people so resistant to new fitness methods even when they acknowledge that the "lots of cardio for weight loss" didn't work?

Feel free to leave a comment with your own.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

And The Winner Is...

Did you vote?

Not just today but did you use the link I posted last Wednesday to vote for the Turbulence Training Transformation Contest winner? I did and my choice, Emily Johnson, took 1st place winning $2000 and a 3-year Platinum TT Membership.

Emily dumped 15.5 pounds of fat and 4 inches of belly fat in only 12 weeks. If you haven't read her story, you can check it out at:

There ended up being a tie for 3rd place so there are 4 winners in all. In addition to Emily, we have:

2nd - Steven Hays (Wins $1000 & a 2-Year Platinum Membership)

3rd - Kristine Willis (Wins $500 & a 1-Year Platinum Membership)
3rd - Adam Harper (Wins $500 & a 1-Year Platinum Membership)

Craig Ballantyne, TT's creator, also awarded surprise bonus prizes and Honorable Mentions to a bunch of contestants.

If you want to see the inspirational photos of the top 8 finishers and read their essays, go to:

Congratulations to all the winners and everyone who participated!

And don't forget, the next TT Contest starts May 1st.

To get started now on the program these people used to transform their bodies check out Craig's TurbulenceTraining.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Be Like Hillary

Whether your main fat loss goal is looking good in your swimsuit, improving your health or just being in better shape to play with your kids, you'll succeed faster if you take a cue from Hillary Clinton.

It's irrelevant whether or not you support Hillary for president, whether you like or dislike her, or even whether you believe she should have already dropped out of the race.

The woman knows what she wants and is determined to fight for it. She's ignoring all the naysayers who insist she'll never succeed. When she makes a mistake she re-evaluates the situation, picks herself up and starts again.

If you consistently do those same things, you will be successful at fat loss.

You don't have to like or support Hillary to appreciate her passion and tenacity. Those qualities are why successful people reach their goals. They don't let every bump in the road derail them. They don't put every one else's needs before their own. They don't let every error be an excuse to give up permanently.

If you are serious about dumping fat and getting fit, decide what you want and commit to a long term plan of doing what's necessary to get there.

You even have the advantage over Hillary Clinton. Only one Democratic candidate will get the opportunity to run for president against John McCain but every person reading this can succeed in dropping fat and improving their health.

What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wow! Check Out These Transformations

If you've read this blog more than once you probably know that I'm a big fan of Craig Ballantyne and his Turbulence Training system. Well, Craig just ended his first TT transformation contest. A panel of experts chose the finalists but you get to help chose the winner.

See the contestants Before and After shots, check out their measurements and how much fat they dumped and place your vote

Talking about transformations...

Last night the first U.S. female Biggest Loser (Ali) was crowned and once again, Jillian Michaels was the trainer of the winner. She also trained the previously eliminated contestant (Bernie) who won the $100,000 "at-home" prize. Click here to see what Jillian has to say about Turbulence Training.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Good vs. Bad Food, It's Time To Grow Up

The poor egg. First it was a staple of the American diet. Then, for years it was vilified for causing high cholesterol. Finally, that was disproven and people started eating eggs again without fear.

Unfortunately, there's a new study out that claims eating more than 7 eggs a week could lead to an early death. Here we go again.

I didn't intend to write two food-related blog posts in two days but this morning I received an e-mail from John Berardi of Precision Nutrition that read:

Last week a study was reported on, a study suggesting that eating more than 7 eggs per week can lead to premature death.

Uh, oh. I eat about 21 whole eggs a week (3 per day).

So I guess I should be dead already.

But instead of getting worried, I'm chuckling. Laughing at the absurdity of it all.

You see, this idea, the idea that natural foods like eggs, lean meats, soybeans, whole grain cereals, etc. can inherently be bad for us, is so absurd that the only thing an intelligent person can do is chuckle.

First of all, the "egg study" is flawed and virtually meaningless.

Second of all, the media has it all wrong about the "goodness" or "badness" of specific foods. You see, very, very few foods either qualify as good or bad.

Instead, it's our own physiological environment that sets the stage for how the food reacts within our bodies. Control the environment and the food part becomes ridiculously simple.

If you've ever been confused by the seemingly contradictory nutrition information out there, you've got to check out this week's article.

It's time to put the good food vs. bad food debate to bed once and for all.

Until next time,

Do yourself a favor and go read John's excellent article.

Good vs Bad Food
It's Time To Grow Up

Monday, April 14, 2008

Are You Getting What You Expect From Green Tea?

Green tea is all the rage but are you getting all the health benefits from your brew? If you're buying bottled green tea instead of making it yourself, probably not.

Green tea is loaded with antioxidants known as catechins, which are believed to help prevent heart disease and cancer. So, with all the hoopla about this healthy beverage, the market for the product increased and manufacturers jumped on the bandwagon and started producing it.

Unfortunately, when green tea is bottled, it becomes cloudy. The process of "declouding" to improve the appearance involves removing many of the catechins which, in turn, reduces the health benefits. In fact, when bottled green teas (including major brands like Snapple and Lipton) were tested for the amount of catechins they contained, researchers found them to be extremely low and in some cases zero.

Another issue with any bottled tea is the high sugar content, which is not a good use of your calories if you're trying to drop body fat.

Last but not least, most commercial tea contains all kinds of unpronounceable chemicals. Our bodies don't even know how to properly digest that stuff. Healthy? No way.

As always, if it comes in a box, bag or bottle, limit your consumption if you're goal is good health, proper nutrition, and fat reduction.

So, if you're looking to take advantage of the many health benefits of green tea, stick to brewing your own.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Eat All You Want and Lose 30 Pounds in 30 Days While You Sleep

O.K., I admit it, that title is a scam just like the pills, potions and gadgets hawked by unscrupulous hucksters promising you the perfect body if you just plunk down $59.99 for their product.

It's estimated that Americans spend $30-40 billion (that's billion with a b) per year on weight loss products, gadgets, diet programs, prepackaged foods, etc. Sadly, in my opinion, most of that money is wasted on what people hope will be an easy, quick fix.

Here's a good article from about too-good-to-be-true weight loss plans:

12 Ways to Spot a Fad Diet


Sunday, April 6, 2008

When Pink Dumbbells Aren't Pink Dumbbells

Today I happened upon a post on a weight loss forum regarding "pink dumbbells." The woman was questioning whether she was welcome on that forum because of the staunch beliefs of some of the members regarding weight training and ongoing, sarcastic comments about using pink dumbbells.

I can't speak specifically to the tone of that forum because I'd never visited there before and only read that particular thread, which I found totally by chance. And, although I certainly don't like people feeling demeaned in online forums, I have to say "Yea!" that more women are getting the message about how to get the best results from their strength training routines.

That being said, I was concerned that some of my readers may also be confused about the whole "No pink dumbbells" theme of this blog so I decided to explain the training philosophy a little more in depth.

When people refer to "pink dumbbells", it's not about the actual color of a dumbbell; it's more of a shorthand way of referring to light, non-challenging weight. In fact, the original poster was partially upset because, at her gym, the pink dumbbells were 10 pounds and she felt that she was being ridiculed even though she was using a weight that was challenging for her. (As the replies came in, she realized that was not the case.)

Although I've never been in a gym with 10-pound pink dumbbells (it's usually the 2 or 3 lb. home weights that are pink), let me say again that it's not about the actual color. It's not even about the actual weight you use; it's about the workload on your muscles.

It's all relative. A 5-pound weight may be enough resistance for a beginner or on certain exercises. The point is to challenge your muscles with a resistance that you can only perform 6-10 times. Contrary to the "light weight, high reps to tone" myth, doing 25 reps using 3 pounds is not an effective or efficient way to achieve the body you want.

When you can do 10 reps with good form, increase the weight slightly at the next workout (this is where Plate Mates come in super handy if you use metal dumbbells). As long as you can perform at least 6 reps with the higher weight while using correct form, you're good. Then, just continue to increase your reps as you're able until you reach 10. Once you can do 10 reps, repeat the process. For best fat loss and strength results, you should always be striving to increase your reps or your resistance (always with good form, of course).

So, as long as the weights you use challenge your muscles, don't worry about what color they are. (The 1-pound dumbbells at Body & Soul are blue.)

If you're seriously interested in dropping body fat, getting fit and reshaping your body check out The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess book or Craig Ballantyne's TurbulenceTraining program.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Do You Really Want to Drop Body Fat?

The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now. ~ Zig Ziglar

People say all the time that they want to lose weight, be able to play with their kids, get healthier, etc. But if you look at what they do, there's a clear disconnect.

People often claim they have no time for exercise but in the next breath they're discussing in detail what happened on American Idol, Lost and/or The Big Give.

If you're serious about fat loss, you need to start making commitments instead of excuses.

I have a client who claims he wants to drop some weight but he often talks about his wife being a terrific cook and baker. I've suggested he approach his wife by asking for her "help" but he doesn't want to. I know the woman and she'd cut back on the sweets and lighten up the dinners in a heartbeat if she thought he really wanted her to. In all fairness, he doesn't blame her; he accepts responsibility for what and how much he eats. The truth is he doesn't want to cut back on the treats and the seconds.

I had another client a while back who busted her butt in the gym but never lost any weight. Why? Although she worked out 3 times a week, she never did her "homework" (20-30 minutes of activity the other days of the week) and, contrary to her claims, she ate too much. Three hours of tough workouts a week will not make up for 165 sedentary hours and a lousy diet.

You can always find someone or something to blame.

* There are no healthy food places near my work to have lunch.
* My family insists that we have junk food in the house.
* My trainer doesn't work me hard enough.
* My family refuses to eat the healthy dinners I make.
* I don't have time to work out.
* I'm just too tired after work to exercise.
* I don't have time to prepare food.
* My husband/friend/co-worker/mother sabotagues me.
* My co-workers bring donuts to work every day.
* I can't afford a personal trainer.
* Family get-togethers always center around food.

It's up to you. If you're not ready to do what it takes to get what you want, fine. Just stop saying it can't be done because it can. You have to decide to start making lifestyle changes and then follow through. You have to want it more than you want to vegetate on the couch or eat an entire box of Girl Scout cookies.