Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Should I Eat Breakfast

When I started as a personal trainer 25 years ago, the conventional wisdom was very definite about not skipping meals. The most important meal of course was breakfast. If you follow the most current information, this is no longer a given. Many of the nutritional authorities have now put it out there that skipping breakfast many have other benefits.

The reason for this involves the concept of intermittent fasting. If you eat dinner at six or seven and skip breakfast, you add another four to six hours that the body is without food. After food is digested it is converted to glycogen which is easily converted to energy. Without a constant supply of this on hand fuel the body needs to convert fat into energy. Can you see where I'm going?

The old idea of six small meals made sense because something called the thermic effect of food. This means after you eat food the metabolism is boosted by 10% to convert that food to energy. If you eat 300 calories you burn 30 calories to digest it. We used to think if you ate all the time or grazed you would constantly be stimulating your metabolism. Look around,  we have more obese people now than ever.

If you eat 1000 calories you burn 100 calories. If you eat three meals of 333 calories you still burn the same amount but you continue to replenish your glycogen. The body never needs to burn fat reserves.

I don't recommend one meal a day but you may want to try eating a late breakfast and a early dinner or just skip breakfast and eat the same lunch and dinner. If you used to eat 21 meals a week and now you're eating 14, you will probably be eating less and losing weight. Try it, I did!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

When is the best time of year to start working out

 After 25 years of helping the local Foothill residents get in shape I often get asked, when should I start. The age old wisdom is after the first of the year, a new years resolution. What I have found may surprise you. The people with the highest success rate start in December.

The reasons for this may vary and don't get me wrong January is a close second. The best time to get in shape is when you're  ready. This is one of the things that no one else can do for you. I think the reason December is effective is because you are making a decision for yourself, not because everyone else is doing something.

One of best things to do if you want to lose weight and get in shape is ask the special people in your life to help out. If being strong and lean were easy the scenery at the mall would be a lot better. Most people make MUCH better progress with a proven system in place. A proven system is always more easily accomplished with a team in place that all work together toward a common goal.

If you don't have supportive team around you which is often the case, try a  few sessions with a experienced certified personal trainer. Body Mastery is the business I started over two decades ago and I tailored it to the average person who hates exercise. I consider our system the un-bootcamp.

No matter how effective a program may be, it will never succeed if people find it too unpleasant to follow. If you hate the process good luck in making it a way of life. This obvious principle is why we try to make each workout not only productive but also enjoyable. The first thing most clients find attractive is that you are never in competition with anyone. We have  clean cool environment that only involves you and your trainer, no distractions. We have music, TV or other forms of entertainment that help pass the time more quickly than you'll expect. If you want to try a workout for free just mention this blog post and I can show you what I mean.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

How to Get Your Partner Going

     Many of my clients have partners that also work out on a regular basis, but some have to go it alone. The support system ranges from one end of the spectrum to the other. If your partner is already on the band wagon, good for you. If they aren't here are a few suggestions.
      If you're in a good relationship your partner wants the best for you. You can use that fact to help them by helping you. What I mean by this is you can ask your significant other to help you first with your food choices. I don't think a husband who brings home pizza on a regular basis is helping anyone with weight loss goals. Don't get me wrong I'm Italian and love Italian food but it can be enjoyed sparingly and certain foods are 1/4 the calories of others.
      The first thing to do is come out in the open and tell your partner you would like some help eating healthier. You can make suggestions for dinner like fish or chicken. Tell the waiter not to bring the bread or chips when you eat out. We often have a healthy salad or appetizer and then split an entry which is a habit that we really have grown to like.
      Snacking is often a problem after dinner. Sometimes you can make progress by switching to a smarter choice like popcorn or pretzels. Better yet ask you partner to skip a snack night here and there. That at least is a good start and you can build on to it.
       As far as routine exercise,  the best thing I have found is to ask for some company on a walk after dinner. It has been statistically proven that walking is one of the best things to speed up a sluggish metabolism. After 5PM the body begins to slow down metabolically. A walk anytime after can reap rewards that you wont get at other times. If you are a woman, you can use the safety issue of walking alone. Make your man play the protector role, we always love that even if we don't admit it.
     Finally you can buy a personal training session from a local trainer. Body Mastery has been helping the Foothill locals get in shape for 25 years. We have a private workout studio and also come to homes. If you get a bad response you just need to pull the "I love you and care about your health" card. Then use it yourself if that doesn't work.

Friday, May 29, 2015

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What Are You Waiting For

So many people who come to me tell me that they have been thinking about calling for some time. Many tell me they wanted to lose some weight first. Others just put it off because they are afraid that they will fail at their attempt.
The good news is that it is never too late to start. I have trained clients in their 90's and they are usually amazed at how much better they feel. The fact remains that exercise will always be the best thing to help you put off aging and improve not only how long you live but also how well you live.
If I had to pick one reason why the vast majority of people don't engage in a routine program is because they hate the thought of exercise. They do too much without a viable game plan. 
If you were planing a vacation to the opposite coast, would you just get in the car and start driving? That is the equivalent of wanting to get more fit and starting by running and lifting weights.
Fitness like other goals is more achievable when approached intelligently.
Before you start your workouts, do some research and find an experienced fitness pro who can make the process understandable. If you break things up into measurable steps you will find success you never thought possible.
Call us in La Crescenta for a free consultation

Thursday, February 26, 2015

How to Follow Through on Your Goals

To find success in fitness like anything else you need two things: 1) a viable plan and 2) most importantly the follow through to make it work. Unlike the hard things like finding the right mate or a high paying career that you actually like, fitness is basically pretty easy.
All you need to do is eat health but not too much and spend two to three hours a week on an effective exercise program. The good news, the plan is a no brainer and its the same for everyone.
The only reason everyone is not in great or at least good shape is part two, the follow through. We all know what we need to do and only need the willpower and discipline to stick to our plan.
Although the first part (the plan) is the same for everyone, the follow through is different for each and every individual. I will now try to give some of the tips I've used to help motivate thousands of clients I've helped during my personal training career of 25 years.
1) Ask a family member or spouse to help keep you on your toes. You want accountability but you need the right approach. Tell people what you need or it will usually come across as nagging. There is probably a phrase that drives you crazy but also one that may really be helpful.
2) Right on a daily planner or calendar when you ate well and when you exercised. One client put a red check for ate well and a green check for a walk or exercise session. When you look at the month and see lots of checks it makes for a good visual.
3) Give yourself a reward for short term goals. If you lose five pounds treat yourself to a new shirt or a small splurge. You may not want the rewards to be in the way of food.
4) Find a partner of trainer who shares your fitness goals. If you ask 100 people I think you will find most will like to drop a few pounds. Finding a walking partner may be the first step to making fitness progress. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Add One Hour a Week and Lose Weight

There is a simple way to lose weight if you are walking or doing just cardio. The good thing about cardio or walking is that it helps rev up your metabolism. Some studies show a several hour boost after just an hour walk. On the other hand if you build muscle your metabolism is accelerated for 24 hours. Fat is like dirt, it doesn't need to be watered or fertilized. Muscle needs nutrients like food to  be kept alive.

I have several clients that come to me for two half hour session a week to build and maintain new muscle. The good thing: the less you're used to the less you need to do. They call weight lifting progressive resistance because you progressively lift heavier and heavier weight. This means you never have to be overwhelmed. Start with a weigh that begins to get heavy after eight or ten reps and stop at 15 repetitions. You may find a pound or two for some exercises is plenty.

A good weight loss program might be to walk Mon Wed and Fri and then do some resistance training on Tues and Thur. Don't forget that you can't walk off bad eating. All the cardio is for naught if you don't follow a common sense eating program. For example a few appetizers at Friday's took a half marathon to walk off.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Take Fitness to the Next Level

For those of you who are looking to get in better shape but are not making progress, here are some tips. If you aren't losing weight you need to switch up what you are doing. You can change your routine, ask a friend to join you, even take a few sessions from a personal trainer. If you are doing cardio for 20 mins, go to 30. If you workout two days a week add a day. The body can get in a rut and just may need a little change. Joe Weider the father of body building came up with the principal of muscle confusion. It has been proven for decades that the muscles respond better when they are given different stimuli. That just means changing your exercises. The problem is that most people have a limited amount of knowledge on how to change a routine. You can actually spend the exact amount of time and energy but make progress just by varying what you do.

The best thing to do is just ask a friend or a trainer to give you a new routine. You may not believe it but most people just need a little change to reap big results. The body loves regularity and small changes disrupts homeostasis. In English this just means but switching it up a little you can get a big pay off.  Personal trainers differ in many ways but we  all agree on this one. Don't take my advise give it a try. you'll be glad you did.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Keep Your Resolution


Is has been statistically proven that the majority of our resolutions are never accomplished. When it comes to fitness the major problem is the wording of the resolution. If your goal is to make progress with your health, longevity and  appearance, the solution may be as simple as the wording of your resolution.
There is acronym KISS. Keep it simple stupid (however I think we can do better than stupid). My experience over the past 20 plus years shows that a narrowly defined objective is easier to achieve that a goal like get more fit or lose weight.
If you are looking to lose weight and get more fit, the answer for most people is exercise routinely and eat better. The problem with that mission statement is: What does routinely and better mean? I would recommend that if you are starting at level 1 (couch potato who eats lots of fast food) , begin by saying you will walk two days a week and stop eating desserts after dinner. Get my drift. Make a strict goal that is clear to understand and easy to accomplish. In the coming weeks I will include a variety of tips that will hopefully include various people at different levels of making fitness a priority in their lives.