Weight loss, key points I’ve learned.

Today I want to share some key points to weight loss. These are things that I have applied in my own life as well as with people I meet on a daily basis. What I hear most is “I want to loose weight but I don’t know where to start.” There are so many products on the market today and the internet is constantly throwing new diets and “magic pills” at us, it’s hard to weed through it all. To be totally honest, in my opinion, it’s mostly bogus! Weight loss  is 70% diet and 30% exercise. But it’s hard to change a lifetime of poor eating habits.

What I tell everyone who seeks weight loss is to retrain their body to burn fat. To do this you need to cut off the constant supply of sugar. Unless you exercise like a mad man at a fast pace, compete in fast sports on a regular basis, or are being chased by zombies every day you don’t need all the sugar to fuel your energy!

Before and After

I used to not like to have my picture taken. At 208lbs [before] I was not happy with how I looked or felt. Through lifestyle changes and consistent exercise, I got down to 135lbs [after]. Eliminating white sugar and white grains, and reducing portion sizes was an important part of my fat loss. Exercise consisted of daily power walking, targeted floor exercises and light weights.

 When you eliminate high impact carbs and sugars, your body turns to fat for it’s fuel source. Add healthy fats to your diet and you trigger the body to use fat. When it runs out of the fat from your diet it pulls it from storage. This trains your body to burn fats and leans your body composition. Just make sure you have a good amount of protein to keep muscles from breaking down and to promote lean muscle growth. Remember that muscles burn calories faster than fat does. They also come in handy for the exercise part!

The exercise doesn’t have to be an all day marathon either. In my research into HIIT I have come across calculations of calorie burning for up to 48 hours after a quick 15 minutes of high intensity exercise. This is probably why so many have stuck with programs like P90X and it’s extensions, it’s high intensity and it works! High intensity is basically as hard as you can for a period of time. Then a very brief rest, and do it again. As with any exercise though, you want to warm up and stretch to prevent injury. Then stretch again afterwards and have some protein, like a lean protein shake.

In addition to a protein shake after you workout to repair and build lean muscle, digestive enzymes can assure nutrients are broken down and used from the foods you eat. Providing healthy fats in your diet is key to switching from sugar fuel to fat fuel. Some suggestions would be beef and butter from grass fed cows (contains a natural source of CLA or conjugated linoleic acid which has been shown to promote leaner body composition), a good variety of non starchy vegetables, and things like walnuts, avocados and coconut oil. After eliminating sugar and high impact carbs, try to reduce or eliminate grains. Start with white flour and corn.

If you’re interested in changing the way you eat, look into Paleo. A couple of my favorite sites are paleoleap.com and stupideasypaleo.com. I’ve also done a lot of research on sweeteners and I will be adding a post on my findings soon.


nutritional supplements

General Thoughts on Nutritional Supplements

Do you take nutritional supplements? Depending on your diet and lifestyle, you might want to consider this. I’ve been in the health industry for over 25 years now and I’ve seen a lot of fad diets, tools, therapies and methodologies come and go. A few things are always there right under the surface like eating a balanced diet of a variety of whole nutritious foods. Exercise, at whatever level possible for you at the moment is also very important.

Are you doing that? All the time? NO? Well that’s why there are certain nutrition supplements that I believe in for everyone 100%. We can’t always control our environment. There is always stress, even if you feel calm. Stress comes from physical activity levels, mental and emotional issues, injury and illness. Your body needs certain things to stay healthy, and functioning at optimum levels.

In addition to doing your very best to eat a variety of whole nutritious foods and get some kind of exercise every day, my recommendation for nutrition supplements are the following:

Multi-vitamins are probably the most important nutritional supplements for everyone. Multi-vitamins fill those gaps that are always there no matter how good your diet is. Vitamins and minerals are important for general health but are often missed when we start limiting the foods we eat because we are following a particular “diet.” Many companies are now adding antioxidants in their multi-vitamin formulas, especially in those targeted for over 40. these are essential in regenerating damaged cells and keeping our body functioning optimally. Choose a product that is sourced from organic whole foods. Whole food multi-vitamins are basically recognized by the body as food, and therefore absorbed more completely.

Our needs change when our activity changes. Clients who have visited a doctor recently are finding that they are deficient in vitamin D, or particular minerals which turns out to be the root of the ailment that brought them to the doctor in the first place. Blood sugar imbalances, improper metabolism, lowered immune function, disturbed sleep patterns, inability to handle stress, muscle spasms or pain are just a few things that can show up when your body is lacking in basic vitamins and minerals. These missing parts can be supplemented with a quality multi-vitamin.

Most people don’t have an understanding of the levels of these vitamins and minerals for optimal health.  I say “optimal health” and not just “survival,” like the outdated FDA recommendations for these nutrients put out in the 1940’s, because we all want to feel in peak optimal health. The world is a different place, we have different stressors, depleted soils, additives and synthetics in our foods. Those outdated  percentages just can’t cover what a average person needs today. In general, if you take only one supplement, make it a high quality multi-vitamin.

Beyond a multi-vitamin, these supplements are proving to be highly important in combating disease, lowering pain and helping maintain lean strong muscles, clear skin, and healthy circulation:

  • Pro-biotics: to keep the gut in optimal health with an abundance of helpful micro organisms that work to keep our immune system strong and nutrition absorption high. Many doctors are saying that most disease begins in the gut, so why not keep it functioning at it’s best?
  • Protein: to fuel, repair and grow lean muscle tissue. If the body doesn’t get the proper fuel and replenishment for our daily activity levels or workouts it will pull from our muscle tissue what it needs, therefore breaking down muscles and defeating our efforts to build lean muscle or maintain certain activity levels. [For those trying to shed extra weight, remember muscle burns calories faster than fat, the more muscle gains you have, the faster your body will burn calories.]
  • Omegas: to keep joints, skin, heart, and brain fed and in top shape. The more active you are and how you move your body will make this very obvious. Omega 3 has two active parts that you should be familiar with; EPA and DHA. EPA is the anti-inflamitory, heart healthy, cholesterol controlling part and DHA is the focus, concentration, memory and brain healthy part. Taking into consideration hereditary elements this can be a first step in controlling disease and deterioration.

That being said there are many additional supplements I would recommend for various reasons which I’ll discuss in another post. I’m not a doctor but I believe all doctors would agree with these top 4 things for most if not all of their patients.

Many people have never even considered taking any nutritional supplements, but I do know that once they have and either run out or forget, boy do they notice a big difference! I guess before they started taking them they never really had any idea how much better they could feel and function. We get so used to the way our body feels from day to day that unless it’s a big deal, like injury, illness or pain, we don’t think there’s anything wrong.