Sunday, May 23, 2010

Exercise Planning and Routines

I've talked about why exercise is important.  We all know it is.  Probably more so for the mental kick it can give you than the physical.  The physical aspect will only affect your weightloss 20% or so.  Losing weight is 80% diet, and 20% exercise.  Why am I putting so much emphasis on exercise, then?  Becuase it's also a showing and a physical performance of your commitment to health.  That can help you stay focused mentally, and continue through those pesky plateaus.

So let's go over a few things that can get you started, or give you something different to try.

First, an exercise plan needs to be diverse.  It should incorporate cardiovascualar and resistance exercises.  Strength and endurance are both needed to accomplish most physical tasks.  Ignoring one or the other will create holes in your plan.

Exercise plans should be fitness goal driven.  Make a goal to run a marathon or half-marathon.  Don't think that's possible?  They do it on The Biggest Loser every season now.  Plan to do an Ironman, or make your own goal.  The goal should be something that's possible for physically fit people, but that you may think is impossible for you.  That's how you stretch yourself.

Next, find out where you are.  What are you comfortable with?  It may not be much at first, but that will change.  Remember the President's Fitness Test back in school?  That's a good measure of fitness, and a good place to start.  Test yourself on some of those.  These are basic exercises that could be done with little or no equipment, and that can be improved upon.

Then set some goals.  Plan a road map to where you want to be.  Maybe it's a stretch to do 20 push-ups.  Make that a goal.  Maybe you'd like to run a mile in under 8 minutes.  Make that a goal.

Every day is your chance to make a difference.  Plan on focusing on your main goal - whether cardio or strength, but include some of the other exercises.  Even if you're training for a marathon, do some push-ups and sit ups two or three times a week. 

Ultimately your ability to or failure to plan will make or break your exercise routine.  You are less likely to skip a workout if you've had it scheduled in since the beginning of the week.  Plan it out, plan on it, keep your commitments!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Making the Most of Your Time

It seems like there's more and more stuff to occupy our time every day.  For me, it seems like I'm even busier now that school is out for a few weeks than I was during the school year.  Our lives demand a lot from us.  How do we manage healthy living in a "go, go, go" world?

The excuse that you don't have time to exercise is no excuse at all.  Keep a journal of all your daily activities for a week.  You'll notice that you do, in fact, spend much of your time in sedentary activities.  If you were to cut those out entirely, could you fit in some exercise? Probably so.

For me, it's difficult go get in some exercise when I'm at work all day long.  I work 13 hour days, and the last thing I want to do most work days is go to the gym.  Here's a couple of things I do to get some activity in, that you can do too!

Fit in your exercise.  During your breaks and your lunch time, do something to get your heart rate up.  During my 45 minute lunch break, I take a 25 minute walk.  I get my heart rate up, and I don't walk so fast that I'm super sweaty by the end.  That's always another concern of mine - getting too sweaty.  I also keep a stick of deoderant in my cubicle.  Shorter breaks are a great opportunity for some simple strength training.  Do some push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, squats, etc.  You can fit those in and, again, keep from getting too sweaty.  Even small amounts of strength training like those mentioned will raise your burn rate a little, and help with your weightloss.  Another reason I do these things - it keeps me from focusing on food.  I used to look forward to breaks and lunch becuase of the food I would eat.  Now I focus on healthier things. 

Another aspect that we must not overlook is planning meals.  We've all been in the situation before where you're at work, or out and about and hunger strikes.  What do you do? Go to the nearest drive through and get the poison they sell.  We've all done it.  Plan your meals and your whole day ahead of time so you don't get stuck in this position.  Bring healthy snacks, or pack a healthy lunch to take with you.  You'll save money and eat healthier.

Remember, if you need to cut things out of your life, cut sedentary activities.  Plan your day ahead of time, and never eat fast food.  Also, fit in your activity whenever you can.  Make it work!  It's your life we're talking about here!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Anyone out there?

I'd really like to hear from all of you!  What are your struggles?  What are the questions you have about healthy living?  What do you want to know about, or would like me to write about?  Where are you in your healthy living or weightloss journey?  E-mail me at:

Saturday, May 15, 2010


It's not a four letter word. I counted (it's eight). Exercise is the body's way of tuning itself up. It allows you to become leaner, stronger, have more energy, and, in general, feel better. There are too many benefits of exercise to number, but here's a few reasons I love it:
1) It's a release. It's a great way to work out a frustrating day at work (or at home). It can literally run my troubles into the ground. Vigorous aerobic exercise can also trigger the release of endorphins, giving you that "runner's high."

2) Every day is a victory. I try to set a new standard for myself ever time I work out. Sometimes I don't achieve my goal for the day, sometimes I do. But my confidence is always built when I work toward and achieve my work out goal for the day. It's one more way to overcome those mental barriers, and a great way to rebuild your self-esteem.

3) There's a visible difference in my weightloss. I think that exercising regularly helps keep you focused on the goals you're trying to achieve. When you're tracking your calorie intake, and you know your calorie burn at certain activity levels, you begin to measure the food you eat not just in calories, but minutes or hours of activity. It puts the Costco Muffin into perspective when you realize that you'll have to literally run your butt off for an hour or so to burn it. It obviously helps to burn more calories too.

4) It's a good time for self-analysis. There's no time like when your heart is pumping and your blood is flowing to mentally stop and consider what factors may have caused your unhealthy lifestyle. It's just a good time to think and work out you issues.

While it may seem daunting, it's really only the start that stops most people. Excuses include: going to the gym being cost-prohibitive, embarrassment, not knowing what to do, not having time, or constant exhaustion. I've used these excuses myself. They pop up time and again with different names.

You don't need a gym to exercise. People do it all the time. If you need some guidance, there's always workout DVDs, and guidance online. Most exercises can be done in your own home. If you don't know what to do, find a resource. There is a treasure trove of knowledge that can be tapped into online. I will provide what I think is a good "ground zero" guide for starting out (in the next couple of days).

Time can slip away so quickly each day. In our busy lives it's often hard to find time to exercise. So don't find it… create it. You have to plan to exercise every day, then prioritize it very high. It can take the place of the 30-minute TV show you watch, or the extra hour you spend on your hair and/or makeup. Prioritize yourself, your life, and your health. There's no need for embarrassment whether exercising at home or at the gym. There will always be funnier looking people than you at the gym or on the street. Just go out and do it!

I can't give you the motivation you need to get up and move. Only you can provide yourself with that. But I hope to help you overcome some of those barriers. Don't let the start stop you. Be better today than you were yesterday, and resolve to be even better tomorrow!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dining Out...

Not much to say today. I have a weigh-in for the contest I’m doing at work, and it always seems like I’m up a couple of lbs on Fridays. Not cool. But I’m always back down by my own weigh-in day Monday, so not too depressing.

Today I thought I’d cover the topic of eating out. Tonight, my beautiful bride and I are meeting some good friends for dinner. They are in from out of town, and we’re meeting a group of people at Louie’s Italian Restaurant in Meridian. Now in the past I would have gone and ordered something ridiculous, but I can’t do that anymore. Here are some simple tips for eating better when dining out socially:

1) Stick to your diet. Yes, it’s okay to cheat a little, but not an entire meals worth of calories. Just because you’re eating out doesn’t mean you’re taking a vacation from health.

2) Plan ahead. If you can find the menu online, or drop by a little early, you can plan what to get. It would be nice if everything came with calorie counts, but keep a reference nearby if you need to. If you have no reference, and the calories aren’t listed, make your best guess and best effort to cut excess calories (taking off dairy products, dressings on the side, etc.).

3) Eat a snack… or a meal. When you’re eating out socially, people are there for your company, not to watch you eat some calorie loaded meal. Eat a snack that will curb your hunger, and help you eat less of the caloaded food. (I just now made that word up it means “calorie loaded”). It’s even okay to eat a meal, then just get a diet soda or water with lemon. Maybe then you can offer simply to pay the tip (you’ll get off a lot cheaper AND be the hero of the evening).

4) Be “that person” when you’re ordering. If you have to order everything modified, do it. The servers are there to make you happy. Remember to tip well, though. Let’s not be cheap.

5) Don’t hide. Don’t try to conceal your healthy habits. Your friends will understand and support your efforts. Letting them know will also add some pressure to be extra good!
Overall, enjoy yourself. That’s what dining out is all about. We just want to make sure you don’t have regrets the next day. Good luck, and Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Eating Organic

There's no substitute for healthy eating on your weightloss journey.  There's no better way to eat healthy than to load up on the organic fruits and vegetables.  This was a good article on eating organic and making a transition from regular to organic foods.  And of course the Eat Clean diet is a great resource. (Have I hyped that book enough yet?)

What is unfortunate is that organic fruits and veggies are often hard to find or are too expensive.  Most of us are on tight budgets, and can't afford to spend our entire disposable income on organic food.  There is a way to get those organics without breaking the bank: Grow your own.

I cannot hype the benefits of growing your own garden enough.  There are several things that growing your own fruits and/or veggies will do for you.

1) You'll know where your food is coming from. I've talked about this before.  Most of us have no idea where our food comes from.  This includes produce as well as meat/poultry, etc.  Where is that lettuce you buy coming from?  Much of what you buy in a typical super-market is grown outside the United States where quality control is minimal.  Additionally, most of the produce is picked long before it's ripe so that it keeps until it's shelved at the store.

2) You'll have the power to provide.  Growing you own food makes you free. You become free from the systems most people depend on for their food.  There is much uncertainty in the world today.  What if there's a trucker's strike?  What if there are storms, floods, fires, or other natural disasters that disrupt the food supply chain.  Can you feed yourself?  Take the power to provide into your own hands.  Grow your own food! 

3) It's an enriching experience.  There's just something about growing your own food that puts you back in touch with life.  It gives you a new appreciation for and a new relationship to food.  It's not just something you find at the store, but something you grow with care and effort.  It could also be a great way to get outside and get that activity level up.

4) Eating food you've grown can help trim that budget.  If you grow your own food, you can offset the cost of purchasing the more expensive healthy foods.  This can make it even more economical to eat healthy than it is to eat the typical commercial varieties.

5) You'll get variety you can't find in the store.  If you're like me, you like your food to be colorful, fragrant, and tasty.  In your garden you can grow rare varieties that you won't find in the store.  Right now I have things such as Bulgarian Carrot Peppers, Black Tomatoes, Purple Cherokee Tomatoes, Yellow Gooseberry Tomatoes, and Yugoslavian Lettuce in my garden.  You'll never find those in the grocery store. 

So how do you begin, if you haven't already?  It's taken me a couple of years to get the hang of the gardening thing, and I'm still no genius.  But every year, you'll get better.  The key is just to start NOW.  It's not too late! 

I highly recommend The All New Square Foot Garden by Mel Bartholomew.  I built my 4x4 boxes for around $60 each.  They are SUPER easy to build, plant, maintain, etc.  For around 5 minutes a day, you can have the best tasting vegetables in your own yard.  This can be adapted to apartment living too!  Check it out. 

As for fruits, I recommend getting a good catalog from a nursery such as the Raintree Nursery

Here are some other resources:
The Backyard Homestead - Great resource for backyard food production.
Seed Savers Exchange - Awesome seeds, great variety.
The Survival Podcast - This guy knows gardening and permaculture.  Check him out!


Dieting isn't always a perfect science.  It's hard to break old habits, fight cravings, establish new healthy habits, and find time to make it all work all the time.  But not to worry.

One of the things most people experience in living healthy is a bad day.  It is almost inevitable that you will mess up and over do it, or eat the entire piece of pie.  In my case, if I'm ever faced with free pizza I will indulge.  That's the time where your commitment is tested.  It's not the fact that you may have indulged, but what you do after that will show your true colors. 

Get back on that horse.  Before I was really committed to living healthy, I would often mess up halfway through the week, then write the entire week off and determine I'd start the next Monday.  That's no commitment at all, it's a cop-out.  There's nothing that says you can't start or re-start a diet mid week.  The worst thing you can do is let a little set-back discourage you.  The only way to be better is to decide to be better, then do better. 

Never lose hope, never take your eyes off that goal.  Your cravings will slowly die off as you live the healthy lifestyle longer and longer.  Keep at it.  You'll get there before you even realize it!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

AdSense is a goner

I'm removing the AdSense ads from my blog.  You probably didn't even notice them, but they have got to go.  I went to look at my blog this morning, and there's an ad for "The Real HCG Diet".  I'm telling people to avoid such things, but my Ads are directing them to it.  That's not the message I want to convey.  They are goners.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Overcoming Barriers

Today's post is going to be short.  I apologize for the lack of posts the last couple days, but I had two final exams, and yesterday was mother's day.  It's been busy, to say the least. 

Being sick and busy makes it tough to get to the gym.  But it's important.  If I can make time to go, anyone can make time to go.  I was able to get there this evening.  I never have as much time as I'd like, and I have to maximize my time while there.  I usually run on the treadmill.  It's the best calorie burn for the time. 

One thing that I like about running is that it offers me a new challenge every day.  Every time I run, I have the opportunity to break a new personal record.  Today I did just that.  My previous "vigorous activity" level for one day was 25 minutes, which means I ran for a total of 25 minutes that day.  Today, I wanted to do better.

I ran for ten straight minutes again, which is pretty good for me.  I'm getting better endurance, and am feeling much better when I run.  But becuase my time was limited, I skipped one of the most important parts of my work out - stretching.  I started to cramp after 22 minutes or so, and had to stop to stretch.  I showed 18 minutes of vigorous activity on my BodyMedia FIT.  Dang it!  I was fatiguing too.  I didn't feel like getting back on the treadmill.  But I did.  I needed another 8 minutes of running to beat my previous best.  I set my time for 8 minutes, turned on some good tunes, and ran.  I wanted to stop after 3 minutes.  I felt like my legs were on fire after 6 minutes.  But nothing could feel as good as hitting that 8 minute mark and knowing I had just set a new "personal best". 

I'm not trying to toot my own horn here becuase really, running for 26 minutes is not something to brag about.  But what is important was that I broke down my old barrier.  Every barrier is a challenge, not a stumbling block.  Everyone has a barrier.

When I began, I didn't think I could run on a treadmill becuase I was afraid to break it.  I was afraid.  But not anymore.  Every day is a new challenge and a new obstacle.  And every day is a chance for a victory.  Sieze the opportunity, embrace it, and claim the new you.

Friday, May 7, 2010

HCG Diet

Many of you have already approached me about the HCG Diet.  I have criticized it so far, but have lumped it in with some previously famous fad diets.  That wasn't necessarily fair becuase thios one is a lot different.  And I don't mean that in a good way.  However, I honestly hadn't done much reading on the diet itself, but from the information I was given, was very very skeptical.  Here were some of my original reservations:

1) Don't mess with your hormones.  Ever.  Unless you get a reputable physician's recommendation and a prescription for hormone therapy, it's not only unwise, but can be extremely dangerous to mess with your body's hormone levels.  Unless there's some deficiency or over-production, there's no need to tinker with hormones.  Artificially raising hormone levels can cause later deficiencies or even permanent damage to glands.

2) Restricting your body to 500 calories might be great for losing weight... if you feel like muscle and vital organs aren't inportant.  A heavily restrictive diet like this will cause your body to go into starvation mode.  In starvation mode, the first source of internal energy is glycogen storage.  After those reserves are used (and that's pretty fast), your muscle and connective tissue is consumed next, along with some organ tissue.  Last to be consumed is body fat.  It's also not enough calories to sustain full and healthy brain function. 

3) It doesn't actually help change bad habits.  Anyone can starve themselves for a month if they really set their mind to it.  After that month, no good habits have been established in place of old bad habits.  No sustainable lifestyle changes have been made.  No healthy habits are made.  This does not bode well for keeping weight off in the long run. 

After reading both pro and con articles, it appears that my initial misgivings were justified. HCG is banned in MLB, and can cause some pretty nasty side effects.  Also, there's no credible scientific backing to the "diet" claims. 

For more info, Google "HCG Diet Side Effects" and you'll get a host of information about the possible issues it may cause.  My take is that it's not worth the risk.  Maybe you won't have any issues on the HCG diet.  Maybe you will.  But there's only one sure-fire way to lose and keep off the pounds and inches... moderate weight loss.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Healthy Fuel

I'm sick again today.  Last week I think it was just exhaustion.  This week, I'm bona-fide home sick with the flu.  I figured, though, that I might as well make lemonade out of life's lemons and blog between trips to the bathroom (TMI, I know... sorry).

I thought I'd share some thoughts on food today.  Until recently, the only thing I really cared about when it came to food was taste.  But as I have really become interested in health and wellness, losing weight, and becoming physically active, I've done a lot of reading about food.  The more I read, the more I'm coming to realize that healthy eating isn't just about fat/carb/protein content.  While that's a big part of it, it's also about everything else in the food we eat.

Here are some interesting things I learned:

White flour has little or no nutritional value.  It is processed in your body more like a sugar than a grain, and provides you with few nutrients.  Sprinkle a little white flour near an ant hill and watch them treat it like dirt.  Sprinkle whole wheat flour on the ant hill and you'll see them go into a frenzy.  They love whole foods.  Even ants know what is good for them and what isn't.

Sugar is not the devil.  There's sugar in fruits and veggies.  Our bodies' preferred source of energy is sugar.  It gives us a feeling of euphoria and can provide you with a little boost (when eaten in moderation).  Processed sugar should be avoided when possible, however, it isn't the worst you could do.  There are healthier alternatives to sugar, like Agave Nectar, Honey, and Stevia.

Are artificial sweeteners better for you than sugar? No. Many artifical sweeteners still trigger your body's insulin levels, causing you to store energy in the form of fat.  You would probably do better with a sweetener like Honey or Agave Nectar.  Additionally, some sweeteners have been linked to cancer.  If our goal is a healthy body and a healthy lifestyle, why would we risk cancer? While you may be able to avoid the carbs and calories by using artificial sweeteners, the net effect on your body may be even worse.

The human body does not particularly love red meat.  That's right, I said it.  Red meat has all kinds of ill effects including hightening risk of heart disease, colon cancer, hypertension and even endometriosis.  I personally believe that when eaten sparingly, these risks can be limited.  But even when eaten, you should shop around for organic, grass fed beef.  Most commercial beef is grain fed.  Grain fed beef have to be pumped full of anti-biotics and are usually trated with hormnones as well to make them grow fast and grow fat.  This was a good article on that.

When you analyze some of the things American's eat on any given day, it's no wonder we're the most unhealthy developed nation in the world.  We eat fast food, processed food, and junk food.  It's difficult go out to eat without getting one or all of the above named unclean foods.  But by planning ahead, and learning to make our own healthy and nutritious meals, we can avoid going through that fast food drive-thru. 

We could discuss this topic for hours and not reach the end, but the main points I'd like to communicate today are, simply:
1) Learn what is really in your food, and where it really comes from.
2) Know how food affects your body.
3) Never eat fast food.  Never.  Plan ahead.
4) Learn to cook, if you need to.
5) Always eat whole, clean food.

Just like a gas engine can't run long on mixed fuel, our bodies can't run on unhealthy fuel. 

A good resource for food IQ:
The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World
Jamie Oliver is awesome.  Get his book:
Jamie's Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals

See other links in previous posts for some more enlightening reading!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Biggest Loser

Since it's Tuesday, I thought I'd share a few of my thoughts on NBC's Biggest Loser.  I rarely miss an episode.  Like most of you reading this, I get caught up in the drama too.

So here's a few reasons I really like the Biggest Loser:
1) It shows ordinary people breaking their old barriers down.  Not only do the contestants face extreme physical challenge, they also must overcome their mental barriers. 
Both of these elements are important.  With the help of Bob and Jillian, the contestants learn how to exercise.  They have dietitians and many other systems of support in place as well to ensure their success.  But ultimately, it's up to each person to work hard, eat right, and do their best. 

The mental aspect is even more difficult, I imagine.  The weekly challenges often force people to face their fears, and usually push them beyond what they thought they were capable of doing.  Reaching the end of what you thought you could do, then doing a little more is empowering, and these people do it every day.

2) The method of weightloss is healthy.  While on the ranch, it's much more focused and intense than it could ever be at home, it's a healthy and sustainable way to lose weight.  They aren't pushing drugs or hormones, but healthy food in moderation, and exercise.  They track their numbers, etc.  See my Ten Points of Moderate Weightloss, and you'll find that most of them coincide.

3) It's entertaining.  There's serious drama, and it's inspirational.  What more could we ask for?

Here's a few reasons I don't like the Biggest Loser:
1) It doesn't help people set realistic expectations of themselves.  The contestants are losing 100lbs-200lbs in mere weeks.  It paints an unrealistic picture of losing weight. 

Aside from the amount of weightloss in such a short time, it's also a once-a-week program.  We watch it one time each week, which may give us a sense that effort only needs to be exerted once per week.  We only see snippets of the show, and never know what happens each day of the week.  We never really see how much work it is.

2) We don't get much in the way of useful information.  We know that they eat whole, organic food, and avoid sugar, fats, etc.  But we never get to see a run-down or their diet - just exactly what one of them eats in a day.  We also don't get much in the way of workouts.  They don't don't run through a typical exercise regimen. 

3) There's too many commercials.  It's way too commercialized for me.  They pull these "incognito" commercials amidst the show too, which I hate.  Cut the crap, get on with the show!

Over all, I love the show.  The Biggest Loser has come out with a series of resources you can use to start and maintain your weightloss in a healthy, sustainable way.

The Biggest Loser 30-Day Jump Start: Lose Weight, Get in Shape, and Start Living the Biggest Loser Lifestyle Today!
The Biggest Loser: 6 Weeks to a Healthier You: Lose Weight and Get Healthy For Life!
Biggest Loser Family Cookbook: Budget-Friendly Meals Your Whole Family Will LoveThe Biggest Loser Calorie Counter: The Quick and Easy Guide to Thousands of Foods from Grocery Stores and Popular Restaurants--As Seen on NBC's Hit Show!The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps: 100 Easy Changes to Start Living a Healthier Lifestyle

Quick note on AdSense ads and search...

I added some AdSense ads and an Amazon Search bar to my page.  It's a little ridiculous, I know, but hopefully some helpful ads will come up. 

In regards to Amazon, I will be getting a very small kickback from every purchase made by searching from that bar.  If you can get a book cheaper on Amazon than anywhere else, I'd appreciate the kickback.  But don't buy it just for that, it's not worth it.  I didn't create this blog to make money, but it wouldn't hurt to get a slice of the pie!

A couple of books to get you started, however, that I highly recommend are:
The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged!: Lasting Fat Loss That's Better than Ever!
The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook: Great-Tasting Recipes That Keep You Lean
The Eat-Clean Diet for Family and Kids: Simple Strategies for Lasting Health and Fitness
Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength
Eating For Life

I really like the approach that Bill Phillips (Body for Life) and Tosca Reno (Eat Clean Diet) take to weightloss.  They're all about healthy and sustainable choices and changes.  Amazon has pretty good deals on them, actually.  Check them out!

I'd eventually like to post a long list of good books for healthy living.  If you've got any suggestions, please e-mail me at

Monday, May 3, 2010

As I eavesdropped on the elliptical...

Yes, I was eavesdropping. Normally I keep my headphones in with my music blasting some kind of upbeat rock. Muse (most commonly), Flogging Molly, Incubus, Jimmy Eat World or some other rocker is usually all I hear while running or pumping my legs furiously.

Today I forgot to put my earbuds in before getting on the elliptical for a warm-up. It's a good thing I'm not nearly coordinated enough to retrieve my iPod and set myself up, or I'd have missed the conversation two ladies beside me were having about "detox" diets, or cleansing diets. I guess leaving the tunes off is a great way to get new topics for the blog.

I have always been a skeptic of the cleanse diets and detox rituals before starting a diet. It just never made sense to me that the body really needed to be "cleansed" from all the crap I had put through it. I had always believed that the body did a pretty good job of removing toxins and other yuckies.

Besides, my method of cleansing in the past has always invloved a healthy morning bathroom ritual (you know what I mean ;p), lots of water, and a good work out. I always knew this much: whenever I work out and plenty of water, I feel "cleansed".

From what I have read, that seems to be justified. Our bodies can only excrete toxins in four ways: Respiration, Urination, Defecation, and Persiration. Ensuring that we drink enough water to stay hydrated, then working up a sweat, and having success in the bathroom are the keys to success. Starting some radical "cleanse diet" might be good if it gets you eating whole foods - sans the chemicals and toxins from processing. But it seems like it will be ineffective at best, and damaging at worst. This WebMD article can shed more light on this subject.

If you're interested in "detoxing" your body, it may very well be that you should first look into changing your diet. As I've mentioned before, the Eat Clean diet is a great resource for healthy diet practices. Remember that a body only needs to be "detoxified" if it's had toxins put into it.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ten Points of Moderate Weightloss

Wasn't feeling well today. I got up with body aches, feeling a little light headed, and queasy. After a shower, the thought of breakfast made me sick, so I took it with me to work. I took a couple Ibuprofen at work and felt better, but when it wore off, I came home.

After a two hour nap.... yeah I feel much better, but not good enough to work out. Still a little light headed. Boo.

I thought today that I'd share what I'm calling my "Ten Points of Moderate Weightloss." These are at the core of my new weightloss philosophy.

1) Throw out the fad diets and the extreme diets.

I'm tired of all these diets that promise quick and dirty weightloss. There's a reason they come into... then out of vogue. The Atkins diet, the South Beach diet, The Zone diet, and - the newest abomination - the HCG diet all have or had huge followings until people realize that while it makes you thin, it also makes you CRAZY. Some of these diets have a good premise, but can even be damaging to your body.

Thinking of starting a new diet? Just one question: How's that Atkins diet working out for you five years after? Did you gain the weight back (I'm guessing you did!)?

2) Know Your Body Composition Numbers.

You need to know your numbers. This isn't college calculus or differential equations, and there's no mystery here. Find a physician that can help you figure out what your lean body mass is, and what is a realistic and healthy weight for you.

An example of this is that at 6'0", this website tells me a healthy weight for me is 136-184lbs. A snowball has a better chance of staying frozen in hell than I have at getting down to even 184lbs. I had a body composition done by a professional and found I had 210lbs of lean body mass. So even at the healthy - albeit really low - percentage of 10% body fat, I'd be 231lbs. That's a 47lb discrepancy, and makes a huge difference.

3) Know Your Calorie Burn/Intake Numbers.

There's no magic to losing weight. There's no wieght loss cure, pill, or voodoo hex that can substitute for this. At the end of every day you will lose weight if you've consumed fewer calories than you've burned. Shazaam!

For this there are many avenues of help, including a Body Bugg, or GoWearFit. But being really conscious of your activity level and intake of calories can be just as effective. There are a multitude of websites (this is a good one) to help.

4) Make Sustainable Choices and Changes.

Everything you do should be something you can do for the rest of your life. Again, no fads. These changes should be implemented slowly - one at a time - or you'll burn out. Sustainability is key to your success. Find healthy alternatives to facets of your life. If you're burning out, you might be changing things too fast, or too extreme. Slow down, take a breath, become an expert of living the changes you make before implementing more. A healthy body is not a race.

5) Don't Deprive Yourself, Control Yourself.

I'm not going to spend too much time on this. Simply - if you want something, have it. If somene brings cake and ice cream into work for an event, and you really want it, then have cake and ice cream. But control yourself and have a single portion, or even just a taste. Just today I had half a donut that someone brought in.

6) Food Should be Fuel, Not Recreation.

Look for a new hobby! Food is not a hobby anymore. At least not your hobby. In our culture we've made it impossible to have a gathering without some kind of goodies. Our holidays can be described by the food we eat.

Learn to cook, love to cook, and learn to make healthy food. Cooking is a healthy activity. If this is your new hobby, that's fine. Just make sure you're learning healthy cooking techniques and using whole foods and healthy ingredients.

Ditch the processed food. That means when eating out and at home. I recommend the Eat Clean Diet for a good education on food. It's not a diet so much as a good resource for healthy eating.

7) Anyone Can Exercise.

This means you. There's a ton of different ways to work out, and plenty of guides out there. Set a fitness goal, and work towards it. Just do something. You should be getting at least 10,000 steps in per day, but make that a minimum level. If you're tenative about starting, try the stationary bike. It's low impact, and you can set the resistance and time. Get up, get out, get on your way!

8) Overcome Mental Barriers.

Everyone has at least one thing that really sets them back. Sometimes that's the thought of going to the gym. Sometimes it's eating less or eating right. No matter what it is, you have to take a good hard look into your life, your heart, and your mind, and figure out why you're overweight. You have to open up and be honest with yourself.

This is absolutely the hardest aspect of weightloss. Now is the time to overcome your mental barriers! You can do it. You'll find a new strength as you begin to leave your old stumbling blocks in the dust.

9) Set Realistic Goals and Expectations.

The whole premise that you can lose weight fast and furiously is false. You didn't get fat overnight, don't expect to get thin overnight. Don't expect it in a month. Set your goals based on conservative estimates. 1-3lbs per week. If you've got a lot to lose, your time goal might be a year or more. This takes patience!

Most people set goals wherein they must lose 6-10lbs a week for two months. Yeah right. Maybe you do it... good luck keeping it off. Get real!

10) Figure Out What Works for You.

Every person is different, and everyone has different body chemistry, body composition, etc. The same things won't work for everyone. Figure out what motivates and keeps you going. Find your own routine.

In general, do your own thing. Ditch the fads and the extreme diets. Learn how your body works, and what works for you. Keep at it. If you blow it one week, get back at it the next. Press forward, move ahead. The worst thing you can do is put this off! A year from now you can be proud of yourself or filled with regret. It's up to you to decide every day.