Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Filling the Void

"Every human being is the author of his own health or disease." -Buddha
loathe diets and programs.  These books and programs have messed with a lot of minds and bodies so I never recommend or written one but a good friend and client of mine gave me some advice.  He said that when people are changing their eating habits they need a plan.  What to put in the empty tummy and on the shopping list, and they need it in writing.  I see his point.  So here are a few simple rules for getting back to eating like nature intended. 

Rule #1   Eat. We are designed to eat.  If someone is trying to gain weight or lose it the solution is the same: Eat and eat often.  Eat every 2 1/2 - 3 hours.  Always.

Rule #2  Eat real food.  A carrot, an apple, a chicken breast and almonds are all real food.  You know where it came from and there are no ingredients you can't pronounce, but do you know how a PowerBar is made?  You know butter comes from cream that comes from a cow but how do they make I Can't Believe It's Not Butter?  No one knows!  Can you pronounce all the ingredients in that meal replacement shake?  If it sounds like a chemical maybe you shouldn't eat it!  Scientists keep coming up with replacements for real food but coming up short.  They just can't compete with nature.
Rule #3  Eat protein, carbs and fat at each of your six meals.  I like Bill Phillips guide:  The protein should be the size of your palm and the carb the size of your fist.  Isn't that simple?  Now you can throw that food scale and calorie guide away.

Rule #4  Eat food as whole as possible.  Eat the skin of the apple, eat your grains whole, don't throw away the yolk of your egg and skip refined grains.

Rule #5  Get rid of added sugar. Sugar is a chemical and responsible for nearly all the extra pounds walking around America.  Artificial sweeteners are not good either.  Obviously if something is artificial it isn't real food, and I promise you it will not aid in weight loss.

Rule #6  Plan ahead.  If you don't plan those meals in advance you will be reaching for the junk that is so ubiquitous in our society.

There you go.  Six easy rules.  Easy to remember and you didn't have to buy a book or some pseudo food product.  Now go out there and live a healthy life.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

If Diets Don't Work Why Is My Friend Losing Weight?

Everyone says diets don't work and yet they are ubiquitous.  It seems that every other person you know is dieting and the book stores always have a new program on display.   Let me tell you why they don't work and offer an easier alternative.   First let's be clear.  In this context diet means restricting of calories usually according to some prescribed program and often promoting a product you must buy.

Main Reason Diets Don't Work:  Going without enough food is like holding your breath under water.  No matter how strong your will, eventually you will surface and breath in all you can.  It is a biological and physiological response but a dieter blames themselves for not being stronger.  They end up feeling like they have failed (again), and their self-esteem takes a beating when actually they have done a very difficult thing! We are designed to eat, and when you fight Mother Nature you will always lose!

Contributing Problem:  About 1/4 of the weight you lose will be muscle.  Maybe more if you aren't exercising.  To make matters worse your body goes into a survival mode so it needs less to sustain itself.  All this means lowered metabolism which means need fewer calories to survive.  Now it is harder than ever to keep the pounds off.

Solution:  Eat.  I know it seems counter-intuitive but the solution is to eat and eat often.  Skip counting calories.  EAT SIX SMALL MEALS A DAY.  Real food rather than meal replacement products.  Balance carbohydrates like vegetable, fruits, beans and a little grain with a protein at every meal.  Bill Phillips suggests your protein be the size of your palm and the carbs the size of your fist.  Don't worry too much about the fats as long as they are good fats but please skip the added sugar.  Add short, high intensity workouts (HIIT) and make sure you are doing some muscle building workouts a few times a week.  Maybe try our boot camps.  They are the most time efficient way to get the best workout for fat loss.

Final Note:  On this program you lose weight and you are never hungry.  You reduce your chances of every bad health risk from the common cold to cancer, from hypertension to tension and depression.  It takes a little longer but the change is permanent and healthy and so much easier than a diet!

for more on this topic see:
"Eat To Lose Weight"

"Take A HIIT or What Is  a BootCamp"

Fast food is not just about calories.