Answers to Some Common Weight Loss, Food, and Exercise Questions

1. What’s better for us, walking on a treadmill or walking outside?

Anyone I have trained is probably tired of me begging them, I mean, advising them to walk outside. Walking outdoors is good for you, you get fresh air, you burn calories, you might see something interesting, and you can’t press stop, and stop walking like you can a treadmill. But the biggest difference that I see between walking outdoors and walking on a treadmill is that the treadmill band moves for you, and the ground outdoors does not move for you. Because the treadmill band moves, it moves your legs for you quite a bit, so the amount of leg force used to walk 3 mph on a treadmill is not the same as walking 3 mph outdoors on flat non-moving ground.

Treadmills are a great option for bad weather and to create inclines/hills, but whenever possible, walk outside.

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2. Do protein shakes aid weight loss?

Fruit smoothies

Protein shakes only help weight loss if they REPLACE a meal, but many people consume them in addition to what they already eat. It takes discipline to say “I am only having a protein shake for lunch”, and it takes even more discipline to actually do it.

3. Healthy Homeboy, were you overweight as a child, or ever, and if not, how did you learn to be lean and in shape?

This is a very common and fair question that I get from friends and clients that have battled their weight for much of their lives. I have always been lean, always. I started having visible abs, yes like a six-pack, in my teens, and even at my current age of 41, my ab muscles are visible. My mother, bless her heart and may she rest in peace, was very strict about food with my siblings and me.

My mother was a house keeper/cleaning lady for wealthy people in Los Angeles for at least 30 years. Because she did some of the grocery shopping and cooking for them, she saw how their children ate. So when I was very young, my mother naturally thought “If it’s good enough for a doctor’s or lawyer’s son or daughter, it’s good enough for my children”, and she fed my brother, sister, and me similar foods she saw upper class children eat. So from a young age I was eating oatmeal (like real oatmeal, not the 1 minute type), eggs, chicken, fish, shrimp, fruits as snacks and dessert, rice, and vegetables. I hated vegetables. My mother and father worked hard to feed my siblings and I healthy. I was even eating multi grain bread back in the late 70’s! Gluten intolerance be damned!!

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Just as important as what I ate as a child, are the things I didn’t eat. We rarely, if ever had soda in the house. My mother was very strict about that. I am not sure how she knew that soda and sugar laden foods weren’t the best things for a growing child, but she knew. Fast food was a rarity in our house, but once in while we did have pizza (Like 2 times per year. Seriously!). I was allowed 3 small ass cookies a day, and if I went over my cookie allotment, that was my ass! Unless it was a special occasion, like birthday parties or some holiday, we rarely had ice cream or cake.

My mother worked more than full-time, and somehow found energy to cook for 3 children at the end of the day. WTF! Oh yeah, my brother, sister, and I couldn’t sit still and we were always on the move playing inside and outdoors when we could, so that helped us all stay lean.

So I guess that growing up, I didn’t eat crap or drink crap, and I was active. And decades later, that “stay lean” formula still works.

4. Is it necessary to workout to lose weight? No it is not. Yes, you read that correctly. Now let me be clear. Working out with weights and doing cardio will accelerate weight loss and has a bunch of health benefits like strengthening your heart, bones, and muscles. But if someone doesn’t want to workout out at all and wants to lose weight, it can be done by restricting calorie intake to 1,500 to 2,00o per day. I would guess that the average amount of calories consumed by an American adult battling weight issues is somewhere in the 3,000 range, if not more. But yes, you can lose weight without exercise. I can’t believe I just wrote that.

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5. We all know eating healthy is important, but is there any other “tricks of the trade” you have for helping people lose weight? Yes I do have some extra ammo for your weight loss efforts. For dinner try to have vegetables, a protein, and water. That’s it! You can’t eat more. Your insulin levels will thank you. The calories will be low, and you won’t wake up burping last nights gargantuan meal. If you have ever woke up, and you were still stuffed from the meal you had the previous night, YOU ATE WAY TOO MUCH!

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Here are some more helpful weight-loss tidbits.

Ladies, don’t eat like a man, unless you want to weigh what a man weighs.

Ladies, don’t drink like a man, unless you want to weigh what a man weighs.

Just because you can stomach something, doesn’t mean you should be drinking or eating it.

Your stomach is not a trash can.

Don’t treat your pet’s health better than you treat your own.

When an overweight dog loses weight, they almost always feel better and have more energy. The same goes for humans.

Humans were born to move. Why do you think we have so many muscles on our bodies?

Food is energy. Fat on the body is just excess stored energy that we consumed, and it’s waiting to be burned off.

If you’re a friend or client trying to lose weight, and I ever catch you entering a buffet, I will stop you. If I ever see you exiting a buffet, I will ask you what you just ate, and then ask you to tell me the truth, and then I will make you walk home to burn off all those calories. lol. You know I wouldn’t do that, but I would be disappointed.

And the last bit of advice I have is to please take control of your food intake and try not to be the 50% of Americans that are projected to be pre-diabetic or diabetic by the year 2020! You read that right, and that is scary. That’s only 6 years away. The harsh reality is that in many instances becoming diabetic or pre-diabetic is strictly a result of a lifetime of consuming too much food. Imagine that, getting a disease, and a bunch of symptoms as a result of too much food. WTF!

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Now that I gave you all this advice and harsh restrictions, I will tell you the same thing my mother told me when I asked her why she was so strict with me and my food. “I do it because I care, but more importantly, because it’s the best thing for you”.

Thanks mom.

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