Sunday, December 28, 2014

Don't Get Swept Away by Deceptivce Weight Loss Claims

This is that time of the year you get hit by a sea of advertisements for weight loss programs and products. The weight loss industry is big business with annual revenues of over $20 billion, with lots of players trying to get a hold of your cash.  You'll hear about products and services ranging from prepackaged meals to things you can sprinkle on you food to help you loss weight.  Here are some things you should know to make sure you don't get swept away by deceptive programs and products promising dramatic results in only days.

Diets don't work for long-term weight loss.  At any one time there are over 100 million people in the U.S. on a diet.  Most people lose 5 to 10 percent of their starting weight within the first 6 months on a diet, however over 90 percent of them regain their weight within 1 to 5 years.

The reason why so many people fail on a diet is because they don't make the necessary lifestyle changes to lose the weight and keep it off.  Making healthy lifestyle choices that you can stick to for the long-term is key to losing weight and keeping it off.  Any diet that places severe restrictions on what you can and cannot eat is going to fail because it is nearly impossible to adhere to for very long.

There are no magic pills or dust that's going to make you lose weight, or at least not in a healthy way.  I'm a personal trainer with over 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry and I have never seen a single pill or product that will miraculously cause you to lose weight in a healthy manner.  Weight loss has always and will always be a result of taking in less calories than you expend.

Put little belief in the celebrity hype.  Most of the major weight loss products and services have celebrities who endorse them who are paid $500,000 to $3 million to do so.  So think twice the next time you hear some celebrity talk about how they lost weight on some fantastic product or service.

Always remember that healthy eating and  regular exercise is the best combination for losing weight and keeping it off.  Not only will you look better, you will also feel better.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Are You Getting the Maximum Results From Your Strength Training Program?

I've worked in the health and fitness industry for over 21 years now as a personal trainer.  During which I have exalted strength training also called weight lifting, and resistance training as the best way to combat the effects of aging.  Scientific research has now proven that strength training is indeed the most beneficial way to maintain your muscle mass, and strength as you age.

Now, I'm beginning to see more people in their 40s and over get off the bikes, and treadmills and start to lift weights.  However, most of them are not using the kind of resistance to reap the most benefit from their weight lifting efforts.  I see them using very little resistance for countless repetitions of each exercise they perform.  To reap the most benefit from your strength training routine you have to use enough resistance to stimulate muscle repair and growth.

A proper strength training routine produces microscopic tears in your muscles and your body responds by repairing your muscles, increasing muscle size, and consequently increasing muscle strength.  Using a resistance that you can easily do for more than 10 repetitions does not cause the microscopic tears in your muscles, nor an increase in muscle size and strength.

Scientific research has proven that working out with a resistance between 60 to 100 percent of the maximum weight you can lift for 1 repetition with proper form is the most beneficial in producing gains in muscle strength.  In layman's terms, use a resistance for each exercise with which it is difficult to complete 8 to 10 repetitions with proper form if you want to get the best results from your strength training program.

If you want to start strength training I suggest you find a nationally certified health and fitness professional to design a program for you and to show you the proper lifting techniques.  It is well worth the time and money to know you are getting the maximum benefit from your exercise program.

Friday, December 12, 2014

If You Build Muscle, You Will Burn Fat

English: Fitness Model posing with dumbell. Ph...
English: Fitness Model posing with dumbell. Photo by Glenn Francis of (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Remember the line from the movie Field of Dreams, "If you build it they will come".  Well, here's a line to remember if you want to lose body fat, "If you build muscle, you will burn fat".

A significant gain in weight and body fat results from an energy imbalance over a prolonged period of time, which means that energy intake exceeds energy expenditure.  In other words, weight gain and body fat accumulation results from a prolonged period of eating more calories than you burn.  Thus, you didn't go to bed one night fit and trim and wake-up the next morning fat and over-weight.

Consequently, you can change your energy balance by either altering the amount of calories you consume or increasing your energy expenditure.  Your total daily energy expenditure is the sum total of the following: your resting energy expenditure + the thermogenic effect of the foods you consume + the energy expenditure related to your daily activity.  Consequently, if your total daily caloric intake exceeds your total daily energy expenditure, you gain weight in the form of body fat.

Under most circumstances the largest component of your total daily energy requirement is your resting energy expenditure (also referred to as REE).  Your REE is composed of the metabolic requirements of your organs, and muscle mass.  The energy requirements of your organs remain fairly constant under most circumstances therefore, the energy expenditure related to muscle metabolism is the only part of your REE that varies considerably.

Muscle is the active component of your body that burns the most calories at rest.  It is estimated that a pound of muscle burns approximately 6 calories daily at rest. So, for each pound of muscle you gain you also increase your energy expenditure by 6 calories each day.  While that may sound like a small number, it makes a big difference over time.  For example, let's say you gain 5 pounds of lean muscle in the course of a year.  That equates to an additional 30 calories in your daily energy expenditure.   Over the course of a year that equates to nearly a 11,000 calorie increase in your REE.

The synthesis and breakdown of muscle protein is principally responsible for the energy expenditures of resting muscle.  The energy to provide for this process of muscle protein turnover is derived mainly from the oxidation of fat.  Yes, body fat is the preferred fuel of resting muscle, and it is also the preferred fuel for your muscles during low to moderate intensity activities.

Now, let's look at the above example of a 5 pound muscle gain in a different light.  It takes a 3500 calorie deficient to lose 1 pound of body fat.  So, the 11,000 calorie increase in your REE due to a 5 pound gain in muscle equates to a 3 pound loss of body fat over the course of a year.  Now, do you see why it's important to build and maintain your muscle mass if you want to get lean? Thus, I remind you again, "Build the muscle and you will burn the fat".

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Beginners Guide to Strength Training Over 50

My newest ebook, A Beginners Guide to Strength Training Over 50.  Strength training is one of the most important things you can do if you want to remain healthy and fit over the age of 50.  In this guide I show you a beginners strength training routine I do with my clients over 50.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Muscle Plays a Major Role in Your Health

I've been in the health and fitness industry for over 21 years now and I've always emphasized the importance of building and maintaining healthy muscle, especially as you age. I've always known that muscle plays a major role in your overall health and fitness and current research has now proven this as so.

The importance of muscle mass, strength, and metabolic function in the performance of exercise, as well as the activities of daily living has never been questioned. However, the role your muscles play in whole-body protein metabolism is less recognized.

Your muscle plays a central role in your whole-body protein metabolism by serving as the principle reservoir for amino acids to maintain protein synthesis (growth & regeneration) in vital tissues and organs in the absence of consuming enough protein in your diet.  In other words, if you don't get enough protein in your diet, your body breaks down your muscle mass in order to make the necessary amino acids you need to survive.

Additionally, new research points to a key role that muscle metabolism plays in the prevention of many pathologic conditions and chronic diseases.  Loss of muscle has been associated with weakness, fatigue, insulin resistance, fractures, and frailty. Thus, many of the degenerative conditions that are associated with aging are caused by poor muscle health.

Thus, building and maintaining your muscle mass is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health.  In my next series of post I will show you the most effective ways to accomplish this.