Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Michael Pollan's 7 Rules For Eating

Good nutrition is key fat loss and health but we make it more complicated than it has to be. Below are "Food Rules" author, Michael Pollan's, 7 Rules for Eating.

1. Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as
food. "When you pick up that box of portable yogurt tubes, or eat something with 15 ingredients you can’t pronounce, ask yourself, 'What are those things doing there?'" Pollan says.

2. Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.

3. Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.

4. Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot. "There are exceptions — honey — but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren’t food," Pollan says.

5. It is not just what you eat but how you eat. "Always leave the table a little hungry," Pollan says. "Many cultures have rules that you stop eating before you are full. In Japan, they say eat until you are four-fifths full. Islamic culture has a similar rule, and in German culture they say, 'Tie off the sack before it’s full.'"

6. Families traditionally ate together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times. It’s a good tradition. Enjoy meals with the people you love. "Remember when eating between meals felt wrong?" Pollan asks.

7. Don’t buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car.

If we all ate this way we would definitely be healthier and slimmer.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Collected Fitness Wisdom #38

The bottom line is, do a particular exercise for what it will bring you in terms of good health and fitness; steer clear of choosing an exercise based on a claim that almost seems too good to be true.  As it turns out, Pilates is a wonderful activity, boasting well-documented, fitness-friendly benefits. But capitulating these benefits into “you’ll get long, lean muscles” ignores the fact that the visual image associated with such a phrase is simply not deliverable in most people’s bodies.

~ Evamarie Pilipuf 

One of the biggest misconceptions is that squatting deep (below parallel) is bad for your knees.

HOWEVER, when there weren’t any chairs, recliners, sofas or even TOILETS for that matter, how do you think people rested or WENT TO THE BATHROOM.

The squatting movement itself is PRIMAL.  Our bodies were meant to squat, and SQUAT DEEP.

~ Chris Lopez

An exercise program must be approached over a period of weeks and months, not days. The reality is that there is no quick fix, no easy way, no magic weight loss plan, no secret cellulite formula. There is only the law of the farm. You will reap what you sow. In reality, you will reap what you sow and care for. If you are consistent and diligent with both diet and exercise, you will eventually see results. However, remember, much like fertilizer and water, diet and exercise go together.

Try to grow crops or a lawn without water. No amount of effort will overcome the lack of vital nutrients.

The law of the farm.

Plant the seeds.

Feed and water properly.

Wait for results; they will happen, not in days, but in weeks and months.

 ~Mike Boyle

The look that most people would describe as "toned" is ALWAYS a result of building muscle (or keeping the muscle you've got!) and losing fat...PERIOD. If you don't have muscle mass, you can lose fat but you'll just be a smaller version of what you are right now.

~ Nick Nilsson


Thursday, August 25, 2011

What's The Best Fitness Program For Me?

Everyone is different. That's not exactly breaking news but it is important to consider your strengths and weaknesses, personality, likes and dislikes, lifestyle, etc. when you're deciding upon a fitness program.

At Body & Soul Fitness Studio, I offer a variety of ways to help you meet your health and fitness goals. It's important to choose the one that's right for you.

Want personal instruction but enjoy the camaraderie of a group setting?

Looking for a challenging workout and fast results? Need accountability?

No Pink Dumbbells Boot Camp might be right for you.

Let's say you want personal instruction and accountability but your schedule won't accommodate boot camp. Grab a friend or two and do personal training. If that won't work, you can go it alone with one-on-one training.

Have a crazy schedule or just prefer to work out on your own?

A Body & Soul gym membership could be your best option. Each member receives a workout designed specifically for her, based on her personal goals, current fitness level, medical/injury issues, available time, exercise experience, etc. but you work out on your own schedule.

What if you want to exercise at home?

While I believe there are definite advantages to boot camp, personal training, or a gym membership, if you have the motivation to go it alone, I can design a program for you. Regardless of whether you have lots of equipment or none at all, I can create a balanced, effective program that's right for you.

The most important thing is to take action. Do something that fits in with your personality so that you can make it a habit.

Call me at (717) 509-7777 to discuss how best to incorporate fitness into your lifestyle.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

8 Metabolism Boosters for Weight Loss - True or False?

Here's a guest post from the great Craig Ballantyne. (He pays me to say that.  ;-) ) 

Seriously, there is so much conflicting information out there and I think this article does a great job of addressing the facts and fiction of metabolism and fat loss.

8 Metabolism Boosters for Weight Loss
By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS 

Your metabolism is your fat loss foundation.

It keeps burning and burning fat 24 hours a day...the only problem is, do you have a fast metabolism? And if not, what can you do about it to boost your metabolism and burn fat to lose weight?

Your metabolism is basically how many calories you burn each day. Children have faster metabolic rates than adults, and we all know about the legendary metabolism's of teenage boys. That's the metabolism you wish you had.

And while it is inevitable that your metabolism decreases with age, it doesn't doom you to gaining weight. It might even decrease 30% over your life, but really, is that any reason to become overweight? No way. Not when you can turn it around with a couple of simple, proven techniques listed below...

Here are 8 possible metabolic boosters and the truth about whether each works. 

1) Strength training  

Claim: Boosts metabolism up to 10% after a training program  


In fact, despite what many men and women think, harder exercise is better for your metabolism. However, please note that 1 pound of muscle does not burn 50 calories per day.

In one study, women received a greater metabolic boost from using 8 repetitions per set rather than traditional high-rep (12 reps) sets. So stick to harder exercises (pushups and more advanced bodyweight exercises) or dumbbell exercises.

2) Breakfast

Claim: Because it stops your "fasting", it can boost metabolism

True? Maybe yes, maybe no.

Your metabolism won't go into "starvation mode" without breakfast, but it is associated with successful weight loss. So make it a habit to consume some protein, fiber, & fruit (& even veggies if you can fit them in) at this time. This will keep your appetite in check till your next break or even lunch.

3) Green Tea  

Claim: Burns an extra 80 calories per day

True? Not really. It has been shown to burn 80 calories per day in young men on the first day of supplementation, but will this affect last once your body gets used to it? I don't think.

After all, take a look at caffeine. You can find studies that show it increases metabolism as well. But really, is anyone losing fat with caffeine? The revolving doors at Starbucks say "No!".

Coffee is okay in moderate doses, and I recommend Green Tea to everyone, but for health reasons, not for fat loss. The only way you will lose fat with Green Tea is if you replace a 300+-calorie Frappucino with an iced, unsweetened Green Tea. Otherwise, don't count on it for much in terms of metabolism.

4) Fat Burners

Claim: Boost your metabolism big time!

See above. Fat burners are simply caffeine pills with a few other ingredients thrown in. You'll get an increase in mental energy, but that doesn't mean it will significantly boost metabolism or burn fat.

5) Ice Cold Water with Lemon Juice Squeezed into it  

Claim: The body will burn calories warming up the water and the lemon juice also burns more fat.

Truth? Nice in theory, short in practice. Nobody is losing fat with ice cold water. If it sounds too good to be true - you know the rest of the story.

6) Eating 6 small meals per day

Claim: Boosts metabolism and can help control cholesterol.

True! Simple and effective, and true! Try and split your meals up into smaller meals that can be eaten over the course of the day. This might be part of the breakfast magic...

(Mickey's note: This particular strategy can work great for some but not for others. Some people have a tendency to consume more total calories over the course of the day if they eat 6 meals. If you're going to do this, you MUST make sure you don't end up taking in too many calories.

Also, it can't be more difficult for some women  If you're eating 1500-1800 calories per day, "meals" of 250-300 calories may never leave you feeling satisfied.

Experiment with what works for you.) 

7) Protein

Claim: Burns more calories (uses more calories in digestion than carbohydrates or fat).


Now I'm not sure if this is significant, but protein also helps fill you up longer. And that's where the real benefit comes in - preventing overeating. And if you want details, another study showed that animal protein results in more energy burned than vegetable protein.

8- Interval training  

Claim: Interval training causes a greater increase in post-exercise metabolism than regular cardio.

I certainly believe it.

And I do know this. A recent study from Australia found that a shorter interval program led to more weight loss than a twice-as-long aerobic training program. This confirms the original interval training study from as far back as 1994 that showed greater results from a shorter interval program when compared to a traditional cardio program.

Bottom line: Intervals work!

So we see that hard work and diligent eating burn more calories and that magic pills and potions don't work.
But that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. My advice? Add strength, intervals, mini-meals, and protein to your weight loss plan and you'll be leaner and warmer thanks to your faster metabolism.

Turbulence Training was built to boost your metabolism,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

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

Friday, August 19, 2011

From The Raving Fans Dept. - No Pink Dumbbells Boot Camp

Amy Forsberg
Member since March 2011

"I love No Pink Dumbbells Boot Camp for how I feel after each workout and how I have progressed in the 5 months I have been attending. I truly look forward to the 3 days a week when I go to class and Mickey has yet another great, challenging and yes fun workout planned. Class is never, ever boring and before you know it 45 minutes to an hour have gone by and it feels terrific!"


Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's Just A Big Fat Lie. It's Not OK To Ignore Obesity.

Let me start out by saying that my primary objective at Body & Soul Fitness Studio is to improve the quality of women's lives. There is a very long list of physical, mental, and emotional benefits that come from regular physical activity. Although dropping excess fat is usually a byproduct of good nutrition and the right exercise, that is not the most important reason to exercise.

My goal is to help members get strong, healthy and fit, not to mold them into some cookie cutter ideal. I hate the fact that women are made to feel bad about themselves if they don't look like reed thin celebrities. Please keep that in mind as you continue reading.

While researching statistics for my recent newsletter, I came across some websites that try to minimize the obesity problem.

The basic premise of these pages is that the issue has been manufactured (or at least severely overblown) by those with the most to gain (the pharmaceutical industry, diet companies, doctors and hospitals involved in weight loss surgery, etc.).

I am not a fan of bariatric surgery, weight loss drugs or pre-packaged food weight loss systems.

Do those industries prey on people's insecurities? Absolutely but that doesn't decrease the number of people who are overweight and obese. Those businesses aren't booming because a few Americans have a spare tire. Yet these fat rationalization (they call it "fat acceptance") websites are maintained by those who promote the idea that obesity is not a real problem.

One website author was upset because researchers who estimate the medical costs of obesity included expenses associated with treating a variety of conditions including hypertension, cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

They ASSUME that if we get heart disease or breast cancer, it is because we're fat.

I'm not sure researchers assume that someone got cancer because they were fat but it IS a risk factor for many diseases.

Is it just a coincidence that as the number of overweight kids has increased so has the number of kids with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure? These conditions were previously found almost exclusively in adults.

Does anyone logically believe that being overweight or obese does not exacerbate health problems? Isn't it obvious that having to lug around an extra hundred pounds all day long is tough on your body? Doesn't it seem rational that bodily organs not strangled by fat would function better?

Yes, I agree that there are much better ways than BMI to measure a healthy body. I also believe that someone can be overweight and still be healthy. In fact, if you're overweight but exercise and eat a healthy diet, your risk of many diseases is lower than a thin, sedentary person who does not eat as nutritiously.

That said, I'm at a loss as to how anyone can think this is a fabricated problem. Have they looked around lately? There have never been so many people who are 100, 200 or more pounds overweight.

One website claimed...

The obesity epidemic was fictional. Fat is genetic.

So where were all their 300 and 400 pound ancestors hiding?

I don't think people nowadays just stuff themselves more than people in the past.

Of course, with all our labor saving devices we are far less active. As I remind people, we don't even have to walk across the room to change the channel on the TV anymore. (Yes, kids, in the olden days there were no remotes.)

I also believe that processed foods are a definite factor in the obesity crisis. The food is cheap and, according to David Kessler, M.D. (former FDA commissioner), manufacturers have made it a priority to create high-calorie foods with the most addictive possible combination of intense flavor and "mouthfeel."

Our use of low or no-calorie sweeteners has also blown up in our faces. It appears that the sweet taste signals our brain to expect calories and when our body doesn't get any, our brains make us hungry and we eat more.

However, none of that absolves us from taking responsibility for our health and wellness. No one puts a gun to our head and forces us to eat a Tastykake instead of an apple. We don't have to regularly stop at McDonald's for a burger and fries instead of packing a healthy lunch.

It's not that I don't realize how difficult losing weight is or that I'm unsympathetic.

No one should be stared at, ostracized or made fun of.

But I take issue with those who want everyone to pretend that obesity is not a serious health issue. The FA crowd wants to pretend that if nobody talks about it, there won't be a problem. As if, super sized movie seats and coffins would make all the obese people happy with their lives.

They want us to ignore that our overweight children are headed for shorter lifespans than their parents (or maybe similar lifespans filled with drugs for diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc.) . They want us to ignore the effect of obesity related health care costs on the country. They want us to pretend that obese people don't care that they can't play with their kids or that their knees or back constantly ache.

Basically, if we just stopped talking about obesity, there wouldn't be a problem.

They're wrong.

And what's worse is that they're trying to convince people that they are trapped and have no way out.

The truth is that health, weight, and fitness are somewhat influenced by lifestyle, but it is far more influenced by factors outside of our control.

That's just B.S. If these bloggers want to give away their personal power and rationalize away the effects of obesity for themselves, that's fine. However, except in rare cases, people always have the power of choice in their lives and no one should try to convince them otherwise.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Remember, You Are A Work In Progress

Every woman is work in progress.

When you commit yourself to continuous improvement, you can’t help but feel better about yourself. With growth comes the willingness to take risks and accept challenges. It’s exciting because there is always something new you can be, do, have, and learn.

It is in this reaching that you find out whom you really are and all that you are capable of. And, as a result, you evolve as a human being.

As you build momentum,  you’ll shine with confidence and inspire others along the way. Now, that’s what progress is all about!            
 ©Jane Powell – Meditations for Women