Friday, February 12, 2016

How to Snack Well

As a personal trainer who specializes in weight loss, I am constantly being asked “what am I doing wrong”? I then begin to ask some questions and the resounding response is snacking and portion size.

The remedy to both is sometimes the same thing. If you eat food that is healthy you can often get a bad result if you have too much of it. If you want to snack, you can eat the right stuff but again too much of it.

The best advice I can give you is to read the label. Most of the foods we buy comes in a package that allows you to find out how many calories are in a serving. We need to be careful that the serving size is not a trick. What I mean by this some companies give a small serving size that no one actually uses. Cereal is a good example. If you weight an ounce or cereal it is often half of what most people consider a bowl. Spray butter is another. They say it has no fat because one spray is less than a half a gram. When is the last time you only used one spray.

Next time you dole out a portion, look at how many portions are in the container. You can also buy a small food scale. After you use it on an item you can usually eyeball it for the next serving. Most people eat the same thing 80% of the time and eat new food item only on occasion. If you can learn the calories in the 80% the other 20% won't get you in much trouble.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Update on Family Weight Loss

     I posted something a few weeks back about a family member who asked how she could get back in shape. I had the unusual position where I didn't have to pussy foot around because of our long relationship and because of the fact that she asked for my professional opinion.

    Yesterday I got a text that she was doing great and had already lost six and a half pounds. We were both ecstatic. I then asked what was the secret. She said there are no short cuts but that one thing I said made a huge impact on her progress. I was curious what it was because I am always looking for a common denominator. If it works for one person it won't work for everyone but it may works for others as well.

    She said that one thing I said stuck out in her mind like never before. I don't remember the exact words unfortunately but it all came down to something like this. At the end of the day the only thing that matters is one word. "willpower". It may be two words "self discipline". She said that only thing keeping her fat and cutting her life span was her lack of willpower. No carb or fattening dish is worth my self esteem she texted! The good news was that there were only a few key times of day that she had to address to regain power and start making progress.

     If you are a successful business person and have done what it takes to succeed at work, just apply the same tenacity on something equally important, yourself. Someone once said that nothing tastes as good as being fit feels. You may find that if you try it for a few weeks you can create a new habit.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Should I Snack

     As a personal trainer who deals primarily with weight loss, I often get asked about snacking. The surprise is that I have done a 180 on what I used to think and do. The old mind set was to eat several meals a day to keep the metabolism up. The old rule also said eat breakfast as the most important meal of the day.

    I have to confess that at 60 my easy weight loss days are over. In the past with routine exercise and diet I could get in my best shape in a month or two. Now that old plan is not as effective. What I found was, that eating between meals was not working for me. There are several possibilities for this but the one that makes the most sense is the concept of glycogen depletion. What this means in English is when you snack you replenish your glycogen stores in the liver. This is the easy accessed fuel the body need for energy. Without this easy to accessed fuel,  the body must get energy from somewhere else. The body can now draw on fat to fill that requirement as an energy source.

     The good news is that it doesn't take long before this becomes second nature. We are all creatures of habit and good habits like bad are just that, habits. Give it a couple of weeks and you be surprised how the appetite is down along with your weight. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

How To Get Back On Track

     A family member asked me yesterday, how she can get back to her old shape. This lady has struggled  most of her life with weight until five years ago. She dropped about 30 lbs. and looked terrific, better than ever before. She is in her mid fifties and has put back 20 of the 30 lbs.

     Ever notice that after you drive to a new place the first time the second time is much faster. The same thing goes for weight loss. I'm not taking about a fad diet that you lose rapid weight in a short period of time. I'm talking about weight loss the right way with smart nutrition, exercise and most importantly willpower.

     There are no easy answers. Quick weight loss usually results in quick weight gain. The "exercise prescription" refers to three to five days a week of walking or exercise.  Food is often the hard part.
This lady knows what to do and already hits the gym.

     We went to a Mexican restaurant for brunch and I saw part of the problem. She had a omelet with rice, beans and tortillas. You cant eat carbs. like that and lose weight. My guess is the plate had about 2000 calories. She only had 1/2 but she brought it home WITH the tortillas.

    My suggestion was two things. 1)  Take the picture of you in the two piece bathing suit 20 lbs lighter and put it on the frig. 2) Hold off on the beans, rice and tortillas for four months. The immediate response was not even black bean?  My response was not even black beans for four months then you can go back to black beans.

     As I was leaving I left her with one thought, it all comes down to one word, WILLPOWER!
Are you going to let "it tastes so good" continue to be more important to you than looking your best?