It’s All About Balance

Ok, time for some Hector-isms regarding weight-loss, exercise, and the such. These are just some simple fitness and battle of the bulge tips to keep in mind. My clients hear the following from me over, and over, and over again.

1. Women, mujeres, muchachas, you cannot eat like a man unless you want to weigh what a man weighs. Why can’t you eat like a man ladies? Because on average, men are bigger/taller than women, and men carry more muscle mass than women. Being taller and carrying more muscle mass allows for more calorie consumption. So ladies, every time you sit down to eat with a man who is bigger than you, make sure your plate’s amount doesn’t match his.

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2. Women, you cannot drink  as many adult drinks as a man does for the same reasons I just stated above. If your male friend has 10 beers over the weekend, and you do to, you will pay the price more than he will, in the form of fat accumulation.

3. Women, lifting weights will not make you buff or bulky. To be buff or bulky you would have to be really, really strong. Like WAAAAYYYYYY stronger than you probably are right now. Very few women have the genetic predisposition to get bulky/buff. If it was that easy to be buff, you would see buff men everywhere, and that is simply not the case. Ladies, don’t be afraid of getting strong.

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And now for my compadres, the men.

4. Vigorous exercise helps circulation/blood flow to all parts of the human body. Good blood flow helps your friend downstairs stand at attention. Get it!!!

5. Men, if you’re not sure if you have gained weight in the form of eff-aye-tee in the last 10 years, there is a simple way to find out. Go find a pair of pants and a shirt that fit you well ten years ago and try them on. If they are super tight or don’t even fit, you have gained weight. The four things that don’t lie about weight gain are clothing, the mirror, the scale, and children. If a child says “you’ve gained weight”, you probably have. I once was told by a kid that I have big ears, and guess what, I have big ears. But that’s ok because guess what they say about men with big ears? They say we hear well. (Get your brain out the gutter).

6. Men, do you like how women look who workout? You like a nice firm and toned body?  Well guess what? Women like how men look who workout too. You don’t believe me, just ask a few of your female amigas.

7. Men, take advantage of the testosterone you produce naturally and do resistance training. Your body will thank you for it, and you might build some muscle too.

Now some Hector-isms for everyone.

8. Just because you can stomach it, doesn’t mean you should eat it. Think junk food.

9. Your stomach is not a garbage can.

10. Do you have a car? Do you take your car in for its maintenance and scheduled tune ups? Well, guess que? Your body is a much more complicated piece of machinery than a car, so give it its tune-ups too, in the form of exercise, and provide it with clean fuel/food while you’re at it. You can always replace a car, but the last time I checked, you get one body. Yep, just one. True Dat!!!

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11. You don’t run on batteries. If you’re constantly tired and addicted to caffeine, check your food quality and sleep amounts.

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12. And finally, I believe life is about balance. Go ahead, have fun, eat some pizza, drink some beer, stay up late, but make sure you balance it out by eating clean, drinking water, exercising, and getting your sleep.

taichi

 

 

Beer, Pizza, and Weight Gain

So how’s that New Year’s solution going? Nope, that is not a type-o. It’s better to call them solutions, as in to solve something, than to call them re-solutions, as in to try to solve something over and over again, like weight loss. To me, re-solution sounds too much like you are redoing or retrying something. So how’s that New Year’s solution to lose weight and get in shape going? Not so good? Never fear, Hector is here. It is time to trouble shoot.

First, let’s talk about alcohol. How much did you drink during the holidays last year? No, not just the Christmas holidays. I am talking about all the holidays, as in Labor Day weekend, Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July weekend, Thanksgiving Day weekend, and whatever else you might celebrate weekend. You drank mucho? That’s ok because this is not an exercise in finger-pointing. I’m just trying to help.

Did you also regularly drink on weekends that weren’t about celebrating anything in particular, other than you survived another week of work? Did you go to a few happy hours too? Did you drink on Sundays during football season? Did you drink because it was hot outside, and you were poolside with some friends and the kids? Did you drink because you were happy? Did you drink because you were sad? Did you drink because you were tired? Did you drink because you deserved a drink? Did you drink because you needed to relax? Did you drink because it was a Friday night? And then drank because it was a Saturday night? And then drank because it was Sunday night?

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So what’s my point of all this alcohol talk? It is simple. Calories from alcohol add up. And if you were a regular drinker last year, and this year you are trying to lose weight, I would advise you to cut back on the alcohol, big time. You might save some money too!!

Time for some math. Let’s say you drink an average of twice per week, and you have two drinks each time you drink. I will be kind and say that each drink only has 100 calories. That’s 400 calories per week, and that is a whopping 20,800 calories per year of empty calories. I know, I know, wine is good for you, but we’re talking weight loss here, and not tannins and resveratrol.

If you drink three times per week, you are drinking 42% of the year. That’s creeping up on almost half the year. And if you are drinking four nights per week, you are drinking 57% of the year. Good luck losing weight drinking four times per week or more. It’s tough. You might attain six-pack abs though.

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One of the most effective changes a regular alcohol drinker can make to lose weight is to cut back on drinking. How much should you cut back? Well that depends on how much, and how often you drink? But I do know this, the less active you are, the less you can afford to consume liquid calories from beer, wine, tequila, rum, scotch, or whatever your preference. Combining inactivity and regular alcohol consumption will wreck the best of weight loss plans.

Now let’s talk children. According to yesterday’s news, pizza contributes to children’s weight gain.

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Really!! We needed a seven-year study, 2003-2010, of the dietary habits of children to figure out that pizza contributes to weight gain/obesity? Let me guess, fries, hamburgers, sodas, ice cream, and funnel cakes will make you gain weight too? Please feel free to look up the pizza study I am talking about. Just Google “pizza and childhood obesity” and it should come up.

Pizza is not bad once in a while, any nutritionist or pediatrician will tell you that. The problem is that when pizza is consumed often, and several slices at a time, the calories add up very quick. I am not here to tell you or your children what to eat, just asking you to be aware that pizza packs a punch when it comes to calories.

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So that means that just 3 slices of regular crust pizza is almost 1,000 calories. You would have to walk about 8 miles to burn that off. And as of now, I know no one who walks 8 miles in one walking session.

On a side note, I like to read the comments at the bottom of  weight loss articles, like the pizza one yesterday, to get an idea of what people think. Man, I tell you what, keyboard personal trainers, pediatricians, and nutritionists are everywhere. “When I was a kid, we walked everywhere. We played outside from sun up to sundown. We never wanted to be inside.” read one comment. Then there were those that were a bit nastier like “Kids nowadays are so fat because they don’t move and just play video games all day.” Then there’s the perfect parent who says “It’s not the kids, it’s the parents.” These comments can get ugly. Technology is great, but it has also allowed folks to talk tish from the safety of their homes or a coffee shop. That’s not cool. (Excuse the venting. Maybe it’s better to invent than vent.)

Ok, where was I? Oh, yeah, I was talking about kids and weight gain. Allow me to try to simplify a complex subject. Here it goes. Children are becoming overweight because they consume more calories than they burn. That is a fact. It does not matter if these calories come from sushi, red meat, chicken fingers, hamburgers, fries, pastries, ice cream, cereal, cookies, or pasta. If a child consumes more calories than his or her growing body, and its physical demands need, he or she will gain weight.

Here are some things I have noticed:

The thin kids that I know, whether they be adolescents or teenagers, are physically active. I don’t know what they eat day in and day out, but I know they are active.

Most overweight children that I have met or know personally, are not very physically active.

Almost all, if not all, children love pizza, ice cream, fries, cookies, soda, etc.

Not all kids enjoy physical activities. And that is ok.

To help children grow as healthy as possible, movement must be encouraged, and the amount of calories children consume should honor the amount of movement they partake in. And yes, a child who prefers video games, reading, and being on the computer over exercise, has less caloric demands than a child who swims or plays football five days per week. This is a fact.

This caloric formula, law, or whatever you want to call it, even applies to animals. My Rottweiler, Rocco, eats 6 cups of food a day, and he’s only 6 months old and already about 65 pounds. My Jack Russel Terrier, Buddy, on the other hand, eats about 3/4 cup of food a day. Buddy weighs 17 pounds and is about 6 or 7 years old. He’s a rescue, so we don’t know his true age. If I increased Buddy’s food amount, and didn’t increase his activity levels, he would gain weight. If I cut back on my Rottweiler puppy’s food, he would lose weight and probably not grow to his full genetic potential.

Food for animals or humans is energy. If you consume too much food for your physical demands, you will gain weight in the form of eff-ay-tee. Remember, fat on the body is just stored energy waiting to be used. The human body is so efficient with its calories that it will not poop or pee away any excess. You give it excess calories, and it will store them for later use as eff-ay-tee. Your body does not know that you will eat again, again, and again. Food abundance, where it currently exists, is a relatively new phenomenon for humans.

There is really no one factor to blame for our societies weight gain problem.

And here’s another challenge. For anyone to lose weight, calorie consumption must be reduced, and the feeling of hunger must be learned, and that feeling of hunger must be endured for short periods at a time. Sorry. If a person satisfies their hunger signal every time it appears, chances are, they will gain weight. Sorry again. Weight loss is more about calorie reduction than it is about carrots and lettuce on your plate. I hope this makes sense.

If you want something to place blame on for how easily humans gain weight, blame the ridiculously complex machine known as the human body. It runs on very little fuel, and it always wants fuel/food, no matter how active or inactive it is. It does not care what the fuel is, it just wants it. Blame evolution.

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Children can have pizza, adults can have adult drinks, but these calorie sources are best consumed in moderation. Even consuming too much water can kill you, and water has zero calories. Now that’s muy loco!!!

 

 

 

 

Diabetes Anyone?

The more I learn about the human body, not through school but just reading, the more it impresses me with its adaptability. Walk outside when it’s 100 degrees, and you will sweat to keep cool. Walk outside when it’s zero degrees  in shorts and a tank-top, and your body will eventually shake violently to keep you warm. Try to go more than 48 hours without sleep, and your brain will take over and you will start dozing off to encourage you to sleep. The body is constantly adapting to its external and internal environment.

I used to say that the body has not adapted to the excess food we consume, but I was wrong. It has adapted. The body, when given too much food, stores the excess as fat, and that is its adaptation. But give it excess food, over and over and over again, and it’s machinery of storing fat and releasing insulin to deal with the high glucose levels might start to malfunction and BAM!! type 2 diabetes might rear its ugly cara. So I downloaded “Sugar Nation” by Jeff O’Connell to learn more about type 2 diabetes, it’s manifestations, and if any solutions, other than medicine, are on the horizon. Here are some excerpts.

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“Beyond all science being presented at the ADA (American Diabetes Association) conference, type 2 diabetes really boils down to the sum total of a very long trail of personal choices, made over a lifetime. Whether you worked the treadmill for twenty minutes or turned on the television. Whether you stuck with your diet or ordered that fudge brownie with vanilla ice cream, promising yourself that you would repent later. The truth is, by the time you have or even flirt with type 2 diabetes, there’s probably a lot more out of whack with your life than just your blood sugar. That certainly was the case with me.” The author of this book developed pre-diabetic symptoms, and he was not overweight, so he was shocked when this happened. But looking back on his life, he realized that for many years he ate high carb, high fat (mostly bad fats), and highly processed foods. The irony of it is that he was a writer for several men’s health and fitness magazines. Because of his career, he had access to many respected nutritionists and doctors and he took it upon himself to learn as much as he could about type 2 diabetes.

“Diabetes, along with obesity, is looming as the biggest epidemic in human history” says Paul Zimmet, M.D., Ph.D., director of international research at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute of Australia.

“Those diabetics who are obese, but who are at least moderately fit, have a much lower death rate than diabetic patients who are normal weight but unfit”

If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic “If you can afford it, see a personal trainer once a week, or a nutritionist once a month”. The doctors the author talked to, and all the nutritionists he talked to ALL agree on the importance of learning to eat right and exercising to combat type 2 diabetes, and even prevent it.

“Insulin helps the body metabolize the sugar in the blood, which is called glucose. This blood sugar can come from diet, but the liver and kidneys can also produce it. What isn’t needed for energy can be stored in the muscle tissue and liver. This stored form is called glycogen. But because storage space is limited, at a certain point, the liver begins turning excess glucose into triglycerides, which often become fat. The human body has evolved such that it possesses a very low capacity to store carbs but a very high-capacity to store fat. This phenomenon is evident in buffet lines across the heartland”… “Thats in a relatively healthy person” says Jeff S. Volek, Ph.D., R.D., associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut. “Even before glycogen levels fill up, people with insulin resistance dispose of carbohydrates by converting the majority of them to fat.”

“Particularly if you don’t exercise, those excess carbs will cause blood sugar to spike and then crash, at which point the body bellies up for another round of sugar.”

How about some scare tactics (with pictures provided by me):

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“Cancer as it turns out, has a sweet tooth. Recent research shows that the consumption of high amounts of sugar and refined grains boosts the odds for cancers of the esophagus, kidneys, and pancreas.”

“High blood sugar can sour your mood. In a recent study, researchers found that people who drink two and a half cans of sugary soda daily are three times more likely to be depressed and anxious than those drinking less pop.”

“High blood glucose levels can break your heart. When researchers study large populations, elevated blood sugar levels correlate with a greatly increased risk of heart disease, the number one killer of Americans.”

“Your joints might ache and creak prematurely, too.  A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology linked insulin resistance with rheumatoid arthritis.”

“The kidney disease rate is 22 percent higher among diabetic men than among all men, and diabetes is the leading cause of irreversible kidney disease requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation.”

“Diabetes skyrockets the risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, as extra triglycerides produced from carbs overrun the organ.”

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“If passing on jelly doughnuts seems difficult, imagine living without eyesight. In fact, nothing causes more new cases of blindness among twenty to seventy-four-year olds than diabetes.”

The scary and alarming stats go on and on. From here on I will just talk in Hector terms. Basically, type 2 diabetes effs up the body really bad. But what get’s me is that its not a disease like cancer, where many times its diagnosis is a surprise and can’t be traced back or linked to anything in particular. Type 2 diabetes follows a well established trail of lifestyle choices (too much food, and not enough movement). “What you talkin-bout Willis?”

what you talking about willis.

Yes, that was pretty much the conclusion of the book. We just eat too much, especially carbs, and blood sugar skyrockets, day after day. Eventually our pancreas can’t produce enough insulin to keep up with the sugar levels, and we have to be given MORE insulin, think medicine, so we can function properly, somewhat.

I don’t know if I got the above paragraph correct, but I know I have been super-duper correct in what I preach now, and have been preaching for years: Put down the sodas and the rest of those sugar drinks,

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Pass on the big ass bucket of fries. No one needs a bucket of fries! Really America, a bucket? How does that go down? You are just hungry and decide “I know, I will have a bucket of fries.” Or even worse, “Oh, you’re hungry little Johnny, or little Juan in my case. Here why don’t you have a bucket of fries.” Stop, please. What’s better than a bucket of fries? How about a small serving of fries?

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Cut back on the pizza. Notice I didn’t say eliminate pizza. I just said cut back. Like no more than twice per week.

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Chill on the desserts. Unless your are in super-duper shape, six-pack abs, and you move everyday, you probably don’t need dessert. I just learned today that desserts is stressed spelled backwards.

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And M.Y.A. Yes, Move Your Ass!!!!! That means exercise.

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Do anything, I don’t care, just move. I also learned in the book that the more intense the exercise, the more your body can tolerate and process carbohydrates correctly.

And last but not least, there is one part of the book I didn’t quite agree with. When the author said that type 2 diabetes results from a lifetime of “personal” decisions (no exercise, too much food). True, but not. How about the 10-year-old boy with type 2 diabetes? He just ate and drank what his parents provided, for years. That young boy probably ate fast food day in day out, drank soda, and didn’t move much, and then developed diabetes. The effed up part is that those decisions were made for him, and not by him. Very few children under 10 or even 12 choose what they eat every day, and how much they are going to move. So when I see an overweight child, with regular soda in hand, of any race, I hate to think of their future health because I know chances are type 2 diabetes is on the horizon, with the rest of that very preventable disease’s complications.

And yes, some people are more susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes because of genetics. And guess what I know, and didn’t have to read a book to learn? None of us can control our genetics, for better or worse, but many of us, except children, can control what we eat, how much we eat, and how much we move.

If you look like this, that’s Christiano Ronaldo,

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or like this. (Just some guy showing off at the local park doing pull ups)…

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and sprinting,

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You can probably eat a bunch of carbs here and there without any ill effects.

 

Popular Fitness Questions Answered, Again

What’s the best exercise you can do to lose weight? How about “whatever activity you enjoy doing is best”. What good would it do if I said “sprinting up a 100 yard hill ten times, while wearing a weighted vest, will help you burn calories, build muscle, and tone your whole body” if you hate sprinting? Find a physical activity you enjoy and do it, over, and over, and over, again. And then do it one more time. Worst case scenario, walk a mile a day, and in a year you will have walked 365 miles and burned off 45,000 calories, minimum.

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What’s the best food to consume to help you lose weight? How about, don’t consume too much food. Sounds like a bit of a rude answer, but it’s kind of true. If I say that brown rice, oatmeal, seafood, and fruits are healthy, but you eat too much of these foods, then you might gain weight. Monitor your calories and the quality of them, to lose weight.

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What does toning mean? In the workout world toning means that you lose enough fat to see your muscles. That’s it! That is the only way to tone. We all have muscles. The main difference between us all, when talking about being tone, is the percentage of body fat around those muscles. Low body fat levels = tone body, for men and women alike.

What can you do to elongate your muscles? Technically, nothing. Sorry about that my yoga participants. You only elongate your muscles as you grow taller. Once you’re done growing, your muscles will not elongate anymore. They can be stretched and strengthened, but that is as far as the elongation of muscles goes.

Will lifting weights make you bulky? This is a popular question I get from women. For starters, gaining muscle is very, very, difficult. Ladies, just think of how many buff and tone men you know? Not many. Time to brag. I can dead-lift 315 pounds 3 times, and 225 pounds ten times, and I have never been described as bulky. Simply put ladies, you won’t get bulky lifting weight unless you train with that intent. I have never met a woman who trains that way. The main way we all can get bulky is by eating bulks of food.

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Or…

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Here’s another popular complaint I get. “I hate exercise! What can I do to like it”? This is the bad news of the day. Your body’s demand and requirement, to move, to help it stay strong and function optimally, will never go away. Humans were made to move. Why do you think you have so many muscles? To reach for the remote control, or just walk to the fridge? Nope, your designed for movement. There’s even a scientific field for this called bio-mechanics. I was going to go into that field, but then I decided I better focus on helping people eat less and move more instead, and there’s no degree for that. Just kidding.

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And the last time I checked, you only get one body. I am not asking you to be a workout nut like myself. Or as my wife said Monday, when I told her I did dead-lifts at the gym and then went for an hour bike ride in the heat, “You’re a weirdo”. I am not asking you to be a weirdo. I know you have a life. But just like you get tune-ups for your car, go ahead and give your body a tune-up by walking or jogging, lifting some weights, and eating clean and in the right amounts. Trust me, your body will thank you for it. Your constipation might even go away. Yes, exercise helps constipation.

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Real Life Weight Loss

Hello everyone. When it comes to weight loss, I usually give advice along the lines of moving more, eating less, and drinking water, simple formula right? Well today, I will introduce you to a real life person, who attained real life weight loss results. Her name is Farah, and she is my wife’s cousin.

Farah came to visit us a few weeks ago. When I first saw her I thought “I didn’t know Farah had a twin sister. This girl looks just like Farah, except her face, and the rest of her body is thinner”.  Nope, Farah does not have a twin sister. Farah looked different because she had lost weight. Good job girl!!!!

For starters, Farah is a mother, and works full-time. So she does have a life other than working out and watching what she eats. This is her when she was about to burst and become a mommy a few years ago.

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Below, that is Farah before she began her weight loss journey.

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And below is the “Look at me, I look great, I am 36 years young, I have busted my butt working out, have been strict with my food intake, and I have lost 27 pounds! and counting” selfie. Look how much thinner her face looks, and look how much flatter her tummy is. Great job!!! To tell you the truth, in person, the results are that much more  impressive ad evident than these pictures illustrate.

after(1)Because Farah did not use my services to lose weight and tone up, I decided to interview her, so I could learn a thing or two and share her weight loss wisdom with my readers.

Interview:

1. What is the biggest change you made to help you lose weight? “My eating habits”. (She didn’t hesitate with this answer). She reduced her portion sizes, cut out processed sugar considerably, and “almost completely eliminated fast food”. And yes, although you can make healthy food choices at Subway, it is still considered fast food.

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2. When did you begin your weight loss? “After I had my baby, I did Weight Watchers for  3 months. I lost about 8-9 pounds”. She also said that Weight Watchers taught her about portion control, and she now uses saucers instead of plates, whenever possible, when she eats. (And when she gets angry, the saucers become flying saucers, just kidding. Farah is always happy just like my wife, her cousin. Maybe happiness runs in families like diabetes does. It’s just a thought).

3. Do you drink alcohol? “I drink less overall now. I really don’t drink beer, and just stick to mixed drinks. I sometimes have a glass of wine with dinner”.

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4. When did you begin exercising, and what do you do for exercise? “I began exercising last March, 2013. I go to the gym three times per week. I workout for 45 minutes to an hour and do weights and cardio. I also walk my baby in the stroller, for up to 2 hours sometimes”. The walking of the stroller outside is a seasonal thing because Farah resides in Canada. I believe she works out 4 to 5 hours per week. You go girl!!

5. I know you’re already busy as a mother, do you work too? “Yes, I have a full-time job”. This is very important because it means that she makes time for her workouts, despite her busy schedule. Technically, she has two full-time jobs because being a parent is a full-time job too. I speak from observation and not from experience.

6. Ok Farah, this is the million dollar question. Everyone who embarks on a weight loss journey needs a strong reason to do so. I always tell my clients that if their reason for weight loss is strong enough, it will fuel their weight-loss efforts. So, what was your main reason for wanting to lose weight? “I didn’t like how I looked in my clothes”. This answer was quick and serious, so I knew it was the truth. She said she also did it for health reasons, but it was mostly vanity. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Who doesn’t like to look the best they can look? Even back in the day folks were vain. The painting below is from the 1800’s.

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7. What has been the most challenging aspect of your weight-loss and fitness plan? “Creating a workout routine and sticking to it has been the toughest. The food changes have not been that tough”. This answer surprised me because most of my clients struggle more with food change/reduction than with exercise adherence.

8. What is your favorite form of exercise? “I like doing the elliptical machine and lifting weights”. Translation: She likes most forms of exercise except, in her words, “I do not like to run”. Amen.

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9. I have plenty of female clients, and many of them are working mothers just like you. What advice would you give to them if they are trying to lose weight and get fit? “Just stay active and eat clean”. I swear that this was her answer. It is great advice in just six words.

There you have it ladies, an interview with a young woman who took it upon herself to lose weight and tone her cuerpo. After our interview, I did give Farah some fitness advice and wrote her a workout routine in exchange for her allowing me to post her pictures and our conversation on my blog. Thanks again Farah, and I know you will inspire some women out there with your great results and sincere advice.

 

 

 

 

 

Waffle Tacos and Rappers

What should you do if you enjoy waffles, eggs, and sausage for breakfast, but you don’t want to cook your breakfast, or you just don’t have any time? No problem. Starting on March 27th, Taco Bell will start selling the Waffle Taco for breakfast, nationwide. taco-bell-breakfast-waffle

Those of you that know me well know that I rather not eat, than eat fast food. Better call it blast food instead of fast food, because that’s what it does to your rear end. Even if I have been working all day, training clients, doing boot-camps, and I have not eaten for hours, I rather wait and eat at home than eat fast food. Because I am not a fan of fast food, the Waffle Taco looks disgusting. It should be sold with toilet paper because it looks like you will need it a few hours after its consumption. I have a simple theory: If you eat grease you will poop grease. And if you are one of those folks that believes Mexican food gives you gas, the shits, and it’s fattening, you are correct in your assumption if Taco Bell is what you consider genuine Mexican Food. But aren’t those XXL Steak Nachos from Taco Bell so yummy?

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They might be yummy, but even if you share them with a friend, that’s still 600 calories a piece, and I guarantee you will be on the toilet complaining “Mexican food shreds my guts and butt every time!” Yes it does make your guts rumble, because it’s from Taco Bell. Just think about the quality or lack there of, of the meat and cheese they must be using to sell food for so cheap.

My fast food beef, pun very much intended, is with those of you trying to lose weight, who have the financial means to eat healthier, but you refuse to do so. Fast food is not going to help your weight loss efforts, no matter if you’re rich, poor, or anywhere in between. You will only lose weight on a fast food diet if you consume less than 2,000 calories a day total, from it and other foods. And please don’t believe that it is mostly those in poverty that eat fast food. That is B.S! How do I know? Because sometimes for shits and giggles I will sit by a McDonald’s drive through to see the types of cars that visit the golden arches. And guess what I see? Yep, you guessed right. I see cars that describe the opposite of poverty, driven by moms wearing expensive glasses, and teenagers in the front and back seats of those cars wearing Beats By Dre plugged into their i phone 7, 8, 9, or whatever number they are currently on. Aren’t those headphones like 300 bucks or something? Damn!! You go Dre.

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Above, that is Dr. Dre, yes, the Beats Headphones guy, wearing the blue L.A. Dodger hat, and that is Ice Cube on the far left wearing an N.W.A. jacket. This is the group that started gangster rap. The group came together around 1988. That’s so long ago that Drake the rapper was about 2 years old and Nicki Minaj was about 6. Does anyone know what N.W.A. stands for? Just kidding. If you don’t know what N.W.A. stands for, go check it out.

Do you want to know why I believe that anyone can lose weight? Because if Dr. Dre can go from producing songs for N.W.A in the late 1980’s, and selling albums with zero radio play, to currently convincing America and the world that adults and their children need 300 dollar headphones, anything is possible.

And if you think those dudes in the picture above look pissed, you should go listen to their music from back then. Facial expression and rap lyrics match to a T. After you go to Taco Bell today or tomorrow and you bust a grub and poop, go to You Tube and look up “Straight Outta Compton” by N.W.A. The first rapper to rap on that song is Ice Cube. Yes that Ice Cube. The one from the “Friday” movies and Coors commercials. He was angry in his N.W.A. days, but he has chilled out considerably. I think success and money quenches anger flames, just a tad.

The first time I heard the N-word blaring out of my boombox speakers, it was from N.W.A. I couldn’t believe my ears and I had to rewind the cassette tape, yes cassette tape, over and over to make sure I was hearing what I thought I was hearing.

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And sure enough I was hearing the N-Word. I was amazed by N.W.A.’s ability to express their inner city frustrations through beats and rap lyrics. I was even inspired. My boombox had the ability to record so I recorded myself rapping. My rap went something like this (try not to laugh, I was just a teenager) “My favorite cartoon is Scooby Doo, my favorite color is blue, watchagonna do?” After I played my rap back for my own self critique, I quit. LOL. Well I kept on writing raps that morphed into poems. Then those poems morphed into short stories. And now those short stories have morphed into a collection of stories from my teenage years that somehow is turning into a novel. It’s coming along great. My book is about 70% complete, so stay tuned. Thanks N.W.A. In a strange way you inspired me to write, and even blog.

Hopefully I can inspire my weight loss nation to cut back on fast food. But it has been a challenge to do so. I have learned that humans have a difficult time changing their habits, even if it is for health benefits. Unless they get a health scare, like diabetes, fatty liver disease, or some smoking related illness, most humans resist lifestyle change.

Oh, before I forget. I saw another food the other day that made me say WTF!

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What ever happened to the days of eating potato chips because they taste like potato chips? What’s next, Oreo cookie flavored hot dogs? Or how about Rocky Road flavored pizza? Don’t laugh, that’s the direction we are headed in.

Should You Eat Less Or Move More?

If you could only do one, eat less or exercise, which one would you pick for weight loss? Your answer should be to eat less.

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Remember, you cannot out walk, jog, run, sprint, or out weight-lift a bad diet. But you can counter inactivity with eating less. Of course, moving more and eating less is the optimal way to lose weight. But if you had to choose only one, eating less is the way to go.

The following is for all you 30 and over folks. You know when you get together with a group of friends over food and drink and the subject of weight loss comes up and someone inevitably says “Wasn’t it so much easier in your teens and twenties to stay thin?” as they devour their sixth chicken wing slathered in creamy high calorie sauce. Well was it really easier to stay thin in your youth? Things are changing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18% of 6-11 year olds in the U.S. are obese, not overweight, but obese. And 18.4% of 12-19 year olds are obese, again, not overweight, but obese. So what happened to our theory that when someone is younger it is so much easier to keep the weight off?  What is happening to 1/5 of our youth that they can’t keep the weight off? The following is my opinion. I don’t think it’s that our youth can’t keep the weight off as much as that as the years pass, they eat more and more and gain weight.

When you look back and remember a thinner you, you are probably remembering someone who ate less food, drank less sugar, and was more active. You were also in the process of gaining weight and didn’t really notice it because weight gain is gradual. No one wakes up one day and is like “Holy shit, I gained 50 pounds overnight!” It might feel like you gain weight overnight, but you don’t.

69% of people 20 and over in the U.S. are overweight. That’s almost 7 out of 10! And no matter how you slice that pie, our nation is gaining weight in all demographics. Little by little, the good old days of younger people being thin are disappearing. Why? Because as Americans, we eat more and more everyday. But because people aren’t very accurate/honest when it comes to food consumption, it is difficult to calculate how much more we are eating as a society now. Some estimates have the calorie increase as low as 500 per day now day in the 1970’s, and other estimates have us consuming as much as 1,000 additional calories per person, per day, now than in 1970. Who knows what the truth is, but what we do know is that collectively we do eat more.

And boy do we love sugar. Check out the following.

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And this is how you burn it off.

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Notice that in order to burn off those extra calories there was no mention of sitting in front of a TV, your tablet, or your Intelligent Phone. You gotta move! And Tweeting, texting, sexting (if you’re into that), Face Booking, and playing Call of Duty is not exercise. Walking the mall is not exercise either. That is life, and so is walking the dog and washing your car.

This one just blew my mind. Since I am not a sugar drinker myself, it really blew my mind. Like WTF!!!!!!!

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Really America! We are consuming almost 40 pounds of added sugar from sugar drinks per year, per person. Que La Chingada! That’s WTF in Spanish. If you are trying to lose weight and want to lose weight, p-u-t t-h-e s-u-g-a-r d-r-i-n-k-s d-o-w-n. If you’re thin, not diabetic or pre-diabetic, then you can probably enjoy your Coke with a smile.

And for those of you who are thinking “Sugar drinks are fine, they won’t affect my health”, think again. Check this out.

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Yep, sugar drinks mess with your health too. And if you are always drinking carbonated sugar drinks and your stomach is so jacked up that you’re always reaching for antacids, give those sugar drinks and your intestinal track a break.

So there you have it my Weight Loss Nation. If you want to lose weight you should focus on your eating habits and definitely replace sugar drinks with water. If you’re having a hard time putting the sugar drinks down, ask yourself the following question “What is more important, my health and weight loss or drinking sugar?” Your answer to that question will let you know how serious you are about your weight loss. And how serious you are about your weight loss will determine how much weight you lose.

And don’t let anyone convince you that because you like or enjoy something, like sugar, you are addicted to it. Man up, or woman up, and just admit that you like sugar so much that at times your rather have a soda than drink water. Once you have it in your head that you are the one that makes that soda drinking choice, and not some uncontrollable sugar hungry demon in your soul, it will be easier to let that sugar urge go. Be accountable for your health. You are in control of your body.

Two last things. Ladies, if you eat and drink like a man, you will weigh what a man weighs. And, I was talking to a woman once, I think she is in her forties. She has two kids and has always maintained a healthy weight. I asked her what she did to stay trim? She said “If I start to gain weight, I cut back on my food.” BRILLIANT!! No apps or fancy electric bracelets needed. She just cuts back on food.