Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My #1 Rule For Eating Healthy by Mike Geary

I recently received this via email...

My #1 Rule For Eating Healthy
by Mike Geary

Whenever I tell people this simple rule for eating healthy, they are always shocked by it's simplicity, and that they never thought of it like this before.

First, we need to come to the realization that food science and marketing in recent decades has crowded all of the REAL food out of our grocery stores to the point that at LEAST 90% of everything in a modern-day grocery store is NOT true food anymore...

The so-called "food" that lines our grocery store shelves nowadays is better termed -- "Edible Food-Like Substances", as the highly respected nutrition journalist Michael Pollan calls it.

I absolutely love that term and think it is SO very true!

Our food supply has become so overly processed, that it's not uncommon for a simple snack food to contain a list of 20-30 ingredients of additives, chemicals, flavorings, colorings, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, artificial sweeteners, and more.

However, it CAN be easy to avoid ALL of this junk by following my 1 simple rule of eating healthy... and that is:

>> Eat only foods that are 1 ingredient.

Drop dead simple!

This means sticking almost solely to these:
eggs, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, berries, and meats (only meats raised in a healthy manner)

For example, almost everything I ate today was 1 ingredient, although perhaps mixed together:

* eggs with veggies for breakfast
* snacked on fruit, berries, and nuts all afternoon
* home-made guacamole (made fresh with all single ingredients) and veggie sticks
* cooked mixed veggies, side salad, and grass-fed bison steaks for dinner

Now THIS is fat-burning nutrition made easy!

Pretty simple stuff, and all made from single ingredients instead of processed food packages with 30 ingredients or more.

Do I eat like this 100% of the time... admittedly no... BUT, if you can stick to this 1-ingredient rule at least 90% of the time, it is actually VERY simple to get as lean as you want!

A 2nd simple rule:

If your great grandparents 100 years ago wouldn't have recognized the food you're eating, don't eat it!

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Should The Government Tax Soda And Pizza?

Researchers from the University of North Carolina estimate that an 18% tax on soda and pizza would likely lower the calorie intake of U.S. adults enough to reduce their weight by an average of 5 pounds.

"While such policies will not solve the obesity epidemic in its entirety and may face considerable opposition from food manufacturers and sellers, they could prove an important strategy to address overconsumption, help reduce energy intake and potentially aid in weight loss and reduced rates of diabetes among U.S. adults," wrote the team led by Kiyah Duffey of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Tax soda, pizza to cut obesity, researchers say

In the study, a reference is made to taxes on cigarettes but those comparisons are irrelevant; those taxes are on ALL cigarettes. Even IF such taxes would decrease consumption of soda or pizza, it's likely that most people would simply exchange one crap choice for another.

Instead of soda, they might start drinking lattes or sugary juice drinks or iced tea. Do you know how many calories are in some of those designer coffees? There are worse foods than pizza. Taxing it, MAY make someone not eat as much pizza but who's to say they wouldn't substitute pizza for a Double Whopper and fries or a Bloomin' Onion?

I am not a fan of food manufacturers misleading the public with the claims on their products and believe the government should address it. People are often clearly confused by what truly is a healthy choice. That being said, does anyone really believe that soda is good for them?

The bottom line is education and personal responsibility.

Did you happen to watch Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution the other night? He went into a classroom and held up tomatoes and asked what they were; a kid said potatoes. The children couldn't identify a potato and didn't know that french fries came from them. Another kid believed an eggplant was a pear. Most of the kids had no idea what the vegetables Oliver held up were. These weren't "exotic" foods; they were basic veggies.

The change needs to start with adults taking responsibility for their health and that of their children. I actually agree with those who believe that if the majority of a child's nutrition comes from fast food and processed junk, it's child neglect.

That's what happening in our country. The kids get processed junk in school and then come home to a dinner of McDonald's, Taco Bell, Wendy's, pizza, etc. An occasional fast food meal isn't going to destroy anyone's health but too many Americans are LIVING on this diet and it is slowly killing them.

As a country, we NEED to improve our diets and dump excess fat.

We can't afford the increasing medical bills to treat all the health issues associated with horrible diets and obesity. Education will do far more to improve our nutrition and lower obesity rates than taxing certain foods. I hope Jamie Oliver's food revolution really catches fire and spreads.

Leave a comment and tell me what you think. Is taxing pizza and soda the way to go?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Celebrate Hailey's 3rd Birthday And Save

Because the nutrient quality of our food has degraded over the years, unless your diet is perfect, you probably need a multi-vitamin. Unfortunately the quality and consistency of many vitamins on the market leaves much to be desired.

I've mentioned Prograde Nutrition before because they manufacture only the highest quality nutritional products including vitamins, meal replacements, workout drinks, nutrition bars, protein powder, etc.

Prograde was started by fitness professionals who were disgusted by the unscrupulous supplement companies and their poor quality products and marketing hype.

Prograde's VGF 25+ multi-vitamin is a blend of 25 vegetable, green and fruit concentrates. They use whole foods in their products rather than chemicals and artificial ingredients. In fact, they actually grow, harvest and process their own raw materials on their 2,500 acre farm in Florida.

Prograde is GMP certified. On top of that, they are a GMP "A" Rated facility, so what they say is in the bottle really is IN the bottle. It's extremely difficult to get certified and even tougher to get an "A" so if you're looking for good quality nutrition products and don't mind paying a little more for the best, check them out.

Their website proudly proclaims, "...we are not for everyone. And that's ok with us." So, if you're just looking for the cheapest vitamin without regard for quality, Prograde is definitely not for you.

The good news is that Prograde is having a sale. In honor of Hailey's 3rd birthday, they are offering 15% off all of the products. Check it out here ==> Hailey's 3rd Birthday Sale

The bad news is that it ends March 26th (this Friday) at 11:59 PM.

If you want safe, professional grade nutritional products that deliver on their promises - essential fatty acids, multi-vitamins, delicious nutrition bars (my members were amazed at how good they are), workout drinks, meal replacements, etc. you can find all of those here.

Use coupon code: Bday15 (coupon expires March 26th at 11:59pm EST)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'll Keep Saying It Until You Get It, Cardio Is Not The Answer

I really thought the word was getting out that cardio is not the key to fat loss.

There's definitely been progress. I've seen mentions of interval training in many mainstream magazines. Even an article in the recent issue of Prevention mentioned how many women complained of not losing weight on their walking problem. No surprise to me; check out Walking Is Great Exercise - Another Myth Exploded

So, there has been progress but not enough. I still see way too many Twitter and Facebook comments about doing cardio to lose weight. Even some gym members have convinced themselves that cardio is the key.

Sorry, the research just doesn't back that up. It doesn't matter that you sweat more doing the elliptical than when you're strength training or that your heart rate is higher running on the treadmill. Those activities will not help you discard unwanted pounds better than resistance training.

Intervals are definitely better than steady state cardio but even intervals are not the best type of exercise to get rid of excess pounds and inches.

I've posted a link to the article below before but it obviously needs to be posted again. It's long but it's worth it. Print it out and read it when you really have time to absorb the information.

It's written by Alwyn Cosgrove, a highly respected trainer and fitness author. His methods are based on studying the research and years of results with real world clients.

Even though Alwyn was involved himself in MMA and has trained many athletes, the vast majority of his clients come to lose fat. By his own admission, he has "made more money from the fat loss market than any other single client group." Alwyn's (and wife Rachel's) Results Fitness gym was listed as one of Men Health's 10 Best Gyms in America. This guy knows his stuff. If you're silly enough not to believe me, that's one thing ;-) but give this guy a serious read.

Here's a short excerpt but don't get scared off, the entire article is not full of research jargon...

Both groups lost weight. The resistance training group lost significantly more fat and didn’t lose any LBM, even at only 800 calories per day. (The reason the calories were so low was to really take any dietary variables completely out of the equation and compare the effects of the exercise regime on LBM and metabolism.)

** Mickey's note: In case you didn't figure it out, LBM = lean body mass. **

The resistance training group actually increased metabolism compared to the aerobic group, which decreased metabolism. It seems that resistance training is a more significant stress to the body than a starvation diet.

In my experience, full body training in a superset, tri-set, or circuit format (with non-competing exercises) in a rep range that generates lactic acid (and pushes the lactic acid threshold or LAT) seems to create the biggest metabolic demand. It makes sense: training legs, back, and chest will burn more calories and elevate metabolism more than an isolated approach training one of them.

If you are interested in slimming down, do yourself a favor and read the entire article here. The Hierarchy of Fat Loss It tells you the most effective type of exercise to do depending on how much time you have to spend per week.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Collected Fitness Wisdom #18

Fat loss is all about caloric expenditure. We must burn more calories than we take in, and the real key to doing this...is not aerobic training, which will burn calories while you are doing it, its anaerobic training, which burns calories while you are doing it AND increases the calories burned for hours afterwards.

In the case of weight training, if we build muscle and keep it, that burns calories forever more. Even when you sleep!

~Alwyn Cosgrove

Here’s a quick little test for a personal trainer. Tell them you can only workout three days per week for 30 minutes each time, and that your primary goal is to lose weight.

If they suggest anything other than total body workouts (or maybe upper/lower splits) with big, compound bodyweight and free weight exercises, congratulations – you found a worthless trainer. Now turn around, and walk away. Better yet, run.

~Nia Shanks

Coming from a guy who has been "crazy fit" to "pretty fat" - and every step in between - let me tell you:

I seriously doubt anything will reward you as much as your path to fitness and health. It has positive, profit-producing, happiness and fulfillment inducing IMPACT on, well .... everything.

~Mark Joyner

I hope everyone realizes that those perfectly ripped fitness models they use in the infomercials didn't get their awesome bodies by using their pointless contraption they're selling... they got their perfect body because they are a professional fitness model, and they work their butt off with REAL full body workouts and lots of dietary discipline.

~Mike Geary


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Seriously, Bob?

It's not the first time I've heard lame advice or misinformation being given on The Biggest Loser but last night it happened again. During one of the "Trainer Tips" segments, Bob Harper suggested that office workers take breaks from the computer and exercise during the day. So far, so good.

So what's my beef? Bob's suggestion that people keep a resistance band at their desk and do Bicep Curls and Tricep Extensions. Really, Bob? Those are your two best exercise suggestions for desk jockeys?

Granted, last night's tip wasn't as ridiculous as Harper telling viewers that crunches will burn off abdominal fat (as he did in a previous season) but there are much better options.

Pair Prisoner Squats with Incline Desk Pushups. No equipment needed and both exercises work multiple muscles, which means they're more functional and will burn more calories than Bicep Curls and Tricep Extensions.

Prisoner Squat - Make sure you keep your weight on your heels and your elbows back.

Incline Pushup - Keep your body straight, your butt down and no head bobbing.

If Incline Pushups are too tough, do Wall Pushups until you get stronger.

As far as exchanging your chair for a stability ball (which was the other part of the tip), there's some disagreement. Some people swear by it; their experience has been positive. On the other hand, Dr. Stuart McGill, a highly respected and leading researcher on spine mechanics, cautions that prolonged ball sitting "places a high compressive force on the discs". So, you may want to consider limiting the amount of time you sit on a stability ball.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Rules For Successful Fat Loss

Sorry I haven't blogged for a few days. It doesn't usually go this long between posts but things have been busy.

I just stumbled upon a great article and since I don't have time to write something myself today, I thought I'd pass it along.

You CAN change your body.

Renton Results Boot Camp Rules For Successful Fat Loss

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

5 Nutrition Tips for Fat Loss - Craig Ballantyne

5 Nutrition Tips for Fat Loss
By Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

This is always tough to admit, but nutrition is more important than your workouts when it comes to fat loss.

And since diet is more important than exercise, I've decided to spend a lot time sharing nutrition tips this week, starting with these 5 diet secrets:

1) Your nutrition program doesn't have to be extreme.

Hold up on making any extreme diet changes. Make sure the nutrition plan you've chosen is sustainable. Simple diet changes go a lot farther than you might think.

Why not just eat more whole, natural foods rather than trying to go on an impossible-to-stick-to ultra-low carb extreme plan?

2) Get the junk out of the house.

If it's in your house, you'll eat it...and trust me, this goes for me too. When I visit a relative's house for holiday, I always eat the treats they have sitting around. That's why I keep the junk out of my house.

So whatever your weakness is, keep it out of your home.

Success is that simple.

3) Fill in the "diet-killing" gap.

For some folks, the diet-killing gap is between work and dinner. For others, it's between dinner and bedtime, but for almost everyone, there is a point in the day when we suffer from mindless eating.

So make sure you have alternatives...as soon as you come home from work, cut up vegetables and dip them into hummus. That will keep you full on a small amount of calories.

After dinner, if you need something sweet, stir up chocolate protein powder into a small bit of plain yogurt. That will satisfy you.

(Mickey's note: If you want a protein that actually contains what the label says and doesn't taste like chalk, check out Prograde Nutrition at www.GetPrograde.com. They sell a high quality and very tasty protein powder.)

4) Chew your food 5-10 times before swallowing.

Most people eat so fast they only about 1-2 times. You'll really notice a difference and you'll slow your eating so you feel full.

5) Have a bowl of broth-based vegetable soup before a meal.

American researcher Barbara Roll has published a lot of studies showing that this will help you reduce the food you eat. Surprisingly, consuming just water doesn't seem to do the same trick.

So those are just 5 of the diet secrets we have for you this year.

(Mickey's note: I know Craig didn't mean this to be an all encompassing nutrition article but I feel the need to add a very simple but important tip...

* Ditch the liquid calories. Soda, ice tea, lattes, "energy" drinks, etc. are just full of nutritionless, empty calories.)

Stay tuned for proven secrets to help you lose fat in 2010.

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

About the Author

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit www.TurbulenceTraining.com

Sunday, March 7, 2010

If You Have Problems With Aspartame, Look Out For AminoSweet

If you've experienced headaches, nausea, joint pain or other symptoms that you've associated with consuming aspartame, beware. Apparently, the company that manufacturers aspartame, is trying to do an end-run around growing concerns about the use of artificial sweeteners.

Ajinomoto, maker of aspartame, is now hawking their product as "natural" and has rebranded it as "AminoSweet". You can read more here ==> Aspartame has been renamed and is now being marketed as a natural sweetener

Friday, March 5, 2010

Workout for St. Jude - Saturday, March 13th at 9:00 A.M.

If you're in the Lancaster, PA area, please join me for a fun and challenging group workout benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Workout for St. Jude
Saturday, March 13th at 9:00 AM

Body & Soul Fitness Studio
618 Columbia Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17603
(717) 509-7777

Plenty of free parking.

Please spread the word among your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers.

Donation is $15 per person or if you prefer, feel free to get sponsors.

It really helps if I have an idea of how many people will be attending so if you could let me know you’ll be coming that would be great. However, if you decide last minute that’s great, too. Raising as much money as possible is obviously the goal.

The workout will last approximately 60 minutes, including warmup and cooldown.

All fitness levels are invited. Exercises will be adapted or substituted, as necessary. Anyone 12 and older is welcome to participate.

All proceeds benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where no child is ever turned away due to parental inability to pay and no family is billed for charges not paid by insurance.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

One Minute Fat Loss Tip from Jon Benson

Got a minute?

That's all you need to check out Jon Benson's first of many video-based 1-minute fat loss tips.

You can watch it here ==> www.EveryOtherDayDiet.com

His new site has tons of new features. He'll be posting his weekly live 1-minute video and even a diet quiz if you want to test your fat loss knowledge.

Plus his main presentation: "1 Tip To A Flat Belly!" can also be see at www.EveryOtherDayDiet.com

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

This is Jon's before and after so he knows a thing or two about obesity and discarding body fat.