RECLAIMING FITNESS

Reclaiming fitness is not only about fat loss; it’s about developing self-control, strength and stamina!

  • 11th August
    2012
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Detox Diets Don’t Help You Lose Fat

Detox diets don’t help people lose fat. People who fast for several days may drop pounds, but most of it will be water and some of it may be muscle. Most people regain the weight they lost soon after completing the program.

Detox diets are for short-term purposes only. In addition to causing other health problems, fasting for long periods can slow down a person’s metabolism, making it harder to keep the weight off or to lose weight later.

Eat Right and Your Body Does the Rest

Of course, it’s a great idea to eat lots of fruits and veggies, get lots of fiber, and drink water. But you also need to make sure you’re getting all of the nutrients you need from other foods, including protein (from sources such as lean meats, fish, eggs, and beans) and calcium (from foods like low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt).

The human body is designed to purify itself. You can help by eating a variety of healthy foods. If you have questions about detox diets or are concerned about your weight, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: July 2012

  • 26th July
    2012
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  • 25th July
    2012
  • 25

Here’s How the Weight Scale Can Mislead You

Clothes, mirrors & pictures don’t lie. Neither do fat calipers. But the weight scale can become your worst enemy by misleading you and killing your motivation. Examples:

  • Carbs & Water. Carbs bind to water. So eating less carbs will make you lose weight: water loss. This is why you lose so much weight on a diet like Atkins the first 2 weeks: it’s mostly water. Of course, increasing your carb intake will make you gain weight again: water retention.
  • Muscle Gains & Fat Loss. You’ll gain muscle while losing fat when you get into strength training. But on the weight scale it will look like you’re not making progress: your body-weight doesn’t change. Track your body fat using a fat caliper and you’ll see your body fat is going down.
  • 25th July
    2012
  • 25

Weight Loss vs Fat Loss? Are You Sure You are Losing Fat?

Weight loss is one of the hottest topics ever. Everyone seems to be trying to lose weight nowadays. But what’s the difference between weight loss & fat loss? People seem to use both terms interchangeably.

After reading this post you’ll understand the difference between weight loss & fat loss, but also which one you should aim for and how.


Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss. 
What’s the difference? Let’s start by defining weight loss & fat loss so you know what I mean here.

  • Weight Loss. You want to lower your body-weight, the sum weight of your bones, muscles, organs, body fat, …
  • Fat Loss. You want to lower your body fat, the amount of fat your body carries. Healthy goals are 10% body fat for men and 15% for women.


Problems with Weight Loss.
 If you want to lose weight, it’s most likely because you carry too much fat. There are people who must lose weight, like athletes before a competition, but most want fat loss. So stop weighing yourself.

  • Unreliable. Your body-weight can fluctuate daily since it’s influenced by your stomach/bowel/bladder content, water loss/retention, muscle loss/gain, fat loss/gain, … You’ll have no idea what’s going on.
  • Irrelevant. 2 people with similar height can weigh the same, but look completely different because one has lower body fat than the the other. Check the picture at the top for an example.

The last point shows why the BMI standard is flawed: it doesn’t take your body fat into account. Both guys in the top picture have the same BMI, but one is clearly healthier: his body fat is lower.


Here’s How The Weight Scale Can Mislead You. 
Clothes, mirrors & pictures don’t lie. Neither do fat calipers. But the weight scale can become your worst enemy by misleading you and killing your motivation. Examples:

  • Carbs & Water. Carbs bind to water. So eating less carbs will make you lose weight: water loss. This is why you lose so much weight on a diet like Atkins the first 2 weeks: it’s mostly water. Of course, increasing your carb intake will make you gain weight again: water retention.
  • Muscle Gains & Fat Loss. You’ll gain muscle while losing fat when you get into strength training. But on the weight scale it will look like you’re not making progress: your body-weight doesn’t change. Track your body fat using a fat caliper and you’ll see your body fat is going down.


How to Make Sure You Lose Fat, Not Muscle? 
Check the picture above: 5lbs muscle takes less space than 5lbs fat. That means you’ll look slimmer at the same body-weight by building muscle. Keys to losing fat, not muscle:

  • Get Stronger. Strength training builds muscle & prevents muscle loss. It also helps sticking to your diet. Check the StrongLifts 5x5 routine.
  • Eat Healthy. Eat whole unprocessed foods 90% of the time and eat less starchy carbs. Check the 8 nutrition rules.

You can do cardio to speed up fat loss. But without strength training, cardio will cause muscle loss and you’ll end up skinny-fat. Avoid.


How to Track Progress Efficiently. 
You don’t need to track progress weekly, changes wouldn’t be drastic enough. Track progress every 2 weeks.

  • Stop Weighing Yourself Daily. The daily fluctuations will mess with your motivation. Weigh yourself once every 2 weeks, not more.
  • Stop Looking in The Mirror. Self-image issues can skew perception. Shoot full body pictures and compare them with old ones.
  • Track Body Fat. Get a fat caliper and track your body fat every 2 weeks. Use this how-to guide and watch this video.
  • Take Measurements. Girth measurements of your neck, chest, arms, waist & thighs. Waist should go down, rest should go up.
  • Shoot Pictures. Full body pictures from ankle to neck, front/back/side, every 2 weeks. Compare with your previous pics.
  • Strength Stats. Keep a training log. Strength going up means muscle gains and strength training prevents muscle breakdown.

Listen also to what people say. They’ll notice your body change more than you will. Clothes will start to feel differently too. Read the forum thread: “Anybody else in awe of your own changes?


You Might Not Want to Lose Weight. 
Big guys who want to lose weight often change their mind once they’ve lowered their body fat. They realize they prefer to stay big as long as their body fat is healthy.

Focus on fat loss first. Once you’ve got your body fat down, check if you like what you see. Then decide if you still need to lose weight.

  • 25th July
    2012
  • 25

Dieting is Bad

Weight loss is not the same as fat loss. People can be of normal weight and yet be too fat for health. What counts is the ratio of muscle to fat. Is your body weight, for example, 30% fat or 15% fat? There’s a big difference in body composition between the two.

Muscle tissue is denser than fatty tissue. This is why trim athletes with a relatively low percentage of body fat can look smaller and yet weigh more than fatty non-athletes. A pound of muscle takes up less volume than a pound of fat.

Here’s a critical point: muscle is about three dozen times more active metabolically than fat. In other words, a pound of muscle uses a lot more calories than a pound of fat. Lean muscle is a METABOLIC FURNACE.

This explains why dieting (without weight loss exercises) is so insidious. Suppose you go on a semi-starvation diet, lose twenty pounds, get sick of the dietary restrictions, and regain the twenty pounds. You’ll not only be discouraged, which is one way you’ll be worse than when you started, you’ll be fatter, too.

(Source: lasting-weight-loss.com)

  • 18th July
    2012
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  • 17th July
    2012
  • 17

Sprinting, Not Jogging, Sheds More Harmful Belly Fat, Study Says

Sprinting, not jogging, helps men lose harmful belly fat faster, scientists in Sydney found.

Eight-second bursts of sprinting on an exercise bike repeated intermittently for 20 minutes helped overweight men lose 2 kilograms (4 pounds) of body fat over 12 weeks, researchers at the University of New South Wales said today. Importantly, there was a 17 percent reduction in fat stored around their liver, kidneys and other internal organs that is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

The findings, published in the Journal of Obesity, add to evidence that high-intensity exertion may result in greater fat loss than less vigorous forms of exercise such as jogging. The research also indicates bouts of sprinting over 20 minutes three times a week may be enough to spur a significant reduction in fat, including around the trunk, in overweight young males.

“Sprinting is a very efficient form of exercise and it’s fun,” said Steve Boutcher, an associate professor in the university’s school of medical sciences, who led the study. “Other studies using aerobic exercise, such as continuous jogging, have found that the amount of exercise needed to produce a similar decrease in visceral fat was about 7 hours per week for 14 weeks.”

Two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight and one-third are obese, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The obesity rate may rise to 42 percent of the U.S. population by 2030, the CDC said in a May 7 report.

Adding Muscle

The Sydney researchers randomly allocated 46 inactive men in their 20s into either an exercise or control group. Those selected to exercise were required to sprint for 8 seconds on a stationary bike followed by a 12-second recovery phase in a training cycle lasting 20 minutes and repeated three times a week over 12 weeks.

Weight and waist circumference increased in the control group. While those in the exercise group lost weight, they put on 1.2 kilograms of muscle in their legs and trunk, according to the study, which was supported by Diabetes Australia.

“Participation in regular aerobic exercise typically results in little or no gain in muscle mass, whereas moderately hard resistance exercise over months may increase muscle mass,” Boutcher said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Gale in Melbourne at j.gale@bloomberg.net.

(Source: bloomberg.com)

  • 30th June
    2012
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  • 5th June
    2012
  • 05

10 Healthiest FAT LOSS Foods

Fat loss eating means eating more of the right things more often.  The right things= lean protein, vegetables and low sugar fruit. In my clinical practice almost everyone (upwards of 90%) who eats this way sees substantial improvements in body composition and health.  That is the difference between healthy eating and fat loss eating.  Fat loss foods are both healthy AND help with body composition, while “healthy foods” may not help with either one.

Here is my list of the top 10 healthiest fat loss foods based on the same criteria above.  High water, high fiber and higher protein along with power packed nutrition including vitamins, minerals, essential fats and healthy plant chemicals.  Eat from this list of food 90% of the time and my bet is your body’s appearance and its health will improve dramatically.

  1. Salmon & Sardines- High protein, good essential fats and low mercury content unlike most fish.
  2. Berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)- Low sugar, and a potent source of antioxidants
  3. Bison- All the best elements of chicken and red meat rolled into one (no, bison is not an animal that is part chicken and cow).  It is low fat like chicken, and loaded with nutrition like beef.
  4. Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, kale, etc)- low amounts of starch compared to fiber and phytonutrients that help estrogen metabolism.
  5. Eggs (lose all or some of the yolks if you have a ton of fat to lose)- The yolks are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet and the whites are the perfect protein. If your doctor still thinks eggs raise cholesterol in everyone and that cholesterol causes heart disease, please give him or her a recent nutrition book to replace their 1980′s medical library.
  6. Greens (lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, dandelions, etc)- Almost negative calorie with power packed nutrition
  7. Water veggies (celery, cucumbers, etc)- Eat a dump-truck full of this stuff and you probably still won’t break 1,000 calories.
  8. Apples- Great for a sweet tooth, loaded with water and soluble fiber and plenty of nutrition.
  9. Boneless skinless chicken breast- low fat, satiating and every ones favorite protein.
  10. Cocoa powder- Virtually zero calories, high fiber and loaded with bioactive compounds that raise energy, blunt hunger and reduce cravings.  Add 1 tablespoon to a mug, pour hot water on top while stirring and you have the worlds best diet aid.  It also lowers blood pressure, has the same blood thinning effect as aspirin, balances blood sugar, and more.
Metabolic Effect Blog

(Source: blog.metaboliceffect.com)

  • 31st May
    2012
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  • 31st May
    2012
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