Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lose Weight and Keep It Off

Most of the people who come to a personal trainer don’t have trouble losing weight. Many of the people I work with have lost hundreds of pounds. The trouble is that most have regained all the weight back and then some. There are a few things I can share that will help people from making the common mistakes.

The best and most effective thing you can do is to keep a food diary. You don’t have to carry around a notebook either. At the end of the day most people can remember every meal and even the snacks they’ve eaten. The amazing thing to me is this one fact: You double your chance of permanent weight loss success by adding this one behavior. 

The second no-brainer is to plan ahead. If you get home from work and there’s nothing to eat, what do you do? Most people eat out or pick up some delicious food to go. The problem is that most places keep you coming back by giving you food that tastes great. A restaurant’s main priority is repeat business, not your weight loss goals. If you’re off Sunday, go shopping for the week and bring a list. Plan your meals and shop when you’re not hungry. It may take more time in the beginning but it gets easier after a while.

You’ll love this one. Allow yourself to cheat once in a while. When I had my promo pictures done 20 plus years ago, I followed this strategy. It was football season. After six days of being really good, I went to Sunday Brunch. I had everything I wanted, watched the first half and then had a smart dinner. I have never looked better. The occasional feast lets your body avoid starvation mode efficiency and rewards your hard work during the week. A word of caution: Eat pretty well all week and feast for one day and you’ll gain weight. A more moderate option is eat with discipline most the time so you can splurge once in a while.

Finally, try to boost your metabolism by sticking to an activity you like. If you hate to do something, you probably won’t adopt it as a lifestyle. Most people don’t exercise because the last time they did it they hated it. Walk the dog, take a hike in our beautiful foothills or pick up those dumb bells you have in the closet or under the bed. In a few hours I can show anyone how much better they’ll feel by spending an hour or two a week moving in the right direction.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Taper 0ff Carbs and Lose Weight

I want to share something I saw on Dr. Oz this morning. We train in a closed private studio and I often prefer music or informational programming to straight news. I feel what ever makes the time go more quickly is best. The guest put very simply what many other like myself have said for years. I have heard: Eat like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch and a pauper for dinner. Unfortunately this is opposite to the way most people eat.

What I heard today put this cliché into straight percentages and had solid logic to back up this radical reform. If we eat a 40% of our breakfast in the form of carbs it will help fuel our daily energy needs. When lunch comes around we can scale that percentage down to 25 and then for dinner beef up the protein and scale down the carbo’s to 15%.

What is important to note is the quality of the food should remain the same. Sorry but a high carb breakfast is not pancakes with syrup. You can have some whole wheat toast, a small bagel, oatmeal or even smart potatoes (vs. hash browns). Make sure you also have a protein source with it that has at least 20-30 grams of protein. What I find nice is the fact that we Americans like a lot of protein for dinner anyway. You can have broiled fish, chicken, pork tenderloin (even red meat once in a while) but have it with veggies instead of rice, rolls, potatoes and starchy carbs.

What I like best about this program is that all the meals are good size. You may actually be eating more but finally starting to lose weight. One note of caution: If you do all this but have a few drinks and some snacks while you watch TV, you’ll add back all the carbs you just subtracted.

If you live in La Crescenta, La Canada, Sunland or Tujunga you can stop by for a free consultation.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Improve Your Posture and Balance

Here is a good way to improve your balance and posture with one move. The first thing you’ll need is a Swiss Ball. If you want more info on Swiss Balls go to my website and look at older posts ( Basically all you need to do is read the box to find which size is right for your height.

Sit on the ball and make sure your thighs are parallel to the floor. Make sure your knees are not pointed up and your legs form a right angle. For the beginners, just sitting and balancing will be a good place to start. When you feel this is too easy try to raise one foot off the floor. The higher you raise the foot the harder the exercise. For the advance, try to raise one foot straight and hold it for a few seconds and then lower it up and down ten times.

The above “ball sitting” will help your balance. If you want to improve your posture at the same time try this. Put you hands up as if to surrender or make the “field goal” sign in football. Next press your hands over your head to the middle. This is called a dumbbell press. Start with just your arms and then add a few pounds. This is not only one of the best exercises for the shoulders but if will do wonders for your posture. 

To kill two birds as they say combine the first “ball sit” with the second dumbbell press. The first thing is to do both moves with both feet on the floor. This will become easy at some point and then you can try lifting the weight while holding one leg up.

As I continue to train seniors in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s I notice one common problem. Forward head posture seems to force people to lift the arms in front of the forehead instead of over the top of the head. You may have a hard time in the beginning raising your arms over your head to the middle. As you continue to perform this exercise you will be amazed at how you can correct the way you sit, stand and walk.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Good Way To Get Started

This entry is for anyone who wants to look and feel better but hasn’t gotten started. The majority of the people I talk to want to stick to an exercise routine. The biggest problemis often the approach that they take. Most of my clients come to me after several attempts on their own to get in shape. Here is my take on how to get started.
There has been new research that suggests it may be more productive to break up your cardio session in two or three segments. The study used two 30 minute sessions but then suggested that two or three 10 minute session would also be effective. The reason has to do with the fact that a break in the middle helps you breathe better and absorb more oxygen.
You may not have time for a half hour walk but you probably have time for a few ten minute walks. Also you burn the same amount of calories if you walk or run a mile. The difference is how much you get done in a given time frame. I know running is great exercise but have you ever looked at the face on a runner. There are not a lot of smiles.
Think of less as more if you want to get yourself going. The biggest mistake is to do too much, too fast. Bootcamp was intended for military men in their 20’s. If you have any problems with knees or sore ankles this may not be for you.
So in summary, if you want to get started try a few ten minute walks. Take a watch and pay attention to how long it takes you to walk a given distance. As you progress you inevitably will try to go a little farther or a little faster. Remember a little bit of something is better than a lot of nothing.