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Archive

Monthly Archives: January 2016

January 29, 2016

Robin sets a stretch goal

Robin’s health and fitness path was not a direct one. She weighed 350 pounds and had undergone several unsuccessful attempts to lose the weight. She kept all her emotions bottled up and used food to fill any voids. However, she soon found herself with some big goals.

After her mother passed away, Robin’s brother kept encouraging her to do something about her health. She went to the doctor, who told her that her life would be shortened if she didn’t take action. A month later, Robin was diagnosed with high blood pressure and needed medication. She knew it was time to act.   A friend introduced her to My Fitness Pal and she began tracking the food she was eating and finding support among the online community. This, coupled with the support of her friends and family, made her thrive.

She joined a new gym in town and began working with a personal trainer. This trainer helped her see what she could handle at the beginning of her journey. Her trainer had her walking on a treadmill for a minute, then jogging for 30 seconds. Though it was tough, it made her hungry to run even more. Running was the only time that her mind could let go and she felt free and clear.

Since she had this newfound love to run, Robin made a stretch goal to run a half-marathon. Before the race began, she had her doubts. Could she really do it? Did she belong to be out there with everyone else? When the race began, she knew she was right where she belonged and she successfully finished the race.

For Robin, one key to success was having a specific goal in mind—something to work toward. She also credits the support of her friends, family, and the online community of My Fitness Pal. Having a workout buddy and doing food prep were also critical components that worked for Robin. All of these elements created the exact formula necessary for Robin to reach her goals.

Diane – a new way to look at goal setting

Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

January 28, 2016

Should I be taking fish oil?

Today we will discuss the benefits of fish oil.

It should not come as a surprise that fish oil has many health benefits. The use of fish oil can improve heart disease, stroke, Parkinson's, eye-health, and arthritis. It is one of the best nutritional tools to improve heart and brain health.
What is it about fish oil that makes it so special?

Well, fish oil has a particular type of fat called omega 3 fatty acids. There are two components to that; EPA and DHA. Both of these have the mechanisms that help our hearts, eyes, and brains. They have benefits for individuals with diabetes. Even some studies have found fish oil may reduce the pain from women’s period. So, this is a pretty amazing substance.

The best source of fish oil is fish!

Yes, there are people who do not like fish much. They don’t like to taste a fish. But there are things that you can do to prepare it better. The advantage of taking fish is the protein it contains besides its oil. When you eat fish, you know a little more about it. So, make sure you pick a good quality fish.

But not all fish will give you equal benefits. There are some fish that are fatty than other fish. Some of the fish will not give you as much fish oil as you get eating same size or part of another fish. It is healthier to get wild and fresh fish instead of firm fishes.

How you cook and prepare fish for eating is important as well. You should try to cook the fish in a way that you can get the health benefits from it. If you want to fry something, make sure you use fatter oil is no going to break down or degrade.
If you are someone who does not like fish, there are some quality supplements in the market. But you have to be careful about the fish oil because if it breaks down and oxidizes, you can harm your body.

Understand the benefits of fish oil and make sure you're getting it from quality sources.

Links: Pub Med – Fish Oil

Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

Is margarine good for you?

January 27, 2016

Primal Prescription | Dr. Doug McGuff

This is the first of a two-part interview with author, Dr. Doug McGuff. Dr. McGuff coauthored his new book, Primal Prescription, with Dr. Robert Murphy.

Dr. McGuff became interested in exercise and diet at the age of 15. He went on to graduate from medical school and trained in emergency medicine. As an accomplished physician, he served as Chief Resident and in 1997, he opened Ultimate Exercise, a personal training studio specializing in high intensity exercise.

Primal Prescription evaluates the current state of healthcare. The public is sold on the concept of failures of the free market system in healthcare. The fact is that no semblance of a free market system has existed in medicine since the Great Depression. Price nor quality is cared about. Excellent healthcare providers are all trapped within a dysfunctional system of delivery. The book speaks about all of this and provides practical tips on how to survive the system.

To manage your health in the current system, it is best to “starve the beast” or adopt dietary discipline and exercise. When you do not do this, you become complicit in your own demise, eventually needing to be saved. Of course, there are always unforeseen illness and accidents to consider.

It’s important to pursue health by eating, lifting, and moving to prevent illness. Pick what appeals to you and what works with your lifestyle. It’s important to make sure you have a personal physician and develop that relationship. You will eventually need someone to guide you through this complex system. Consider someone who practices a broad range of medicine – a family practitioner or internist.

The key to being superhuman is to realize you’re only human. You have to engage in a way that will be livable over the long-term. Have a system that you follow on a daily basis. Do what’s best for you and what will cause the least amount of stress in the process. To learn more about Dr. Doug McGuff, visit www.drmcguff.com. Primal Prescription is now available for purchase on Amazon.

Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

Body by science | Dr. Doug McGuff

January 26, 2016

Progression for results

Clients John and Tammy are seeing real success in the program. They’re checking in once again and have taken another round of measurements. Both are down ½-inch across the board.

John even has shorts that don’t fit anymore. He recently got his A1C blood test done to review his blood sugar levels. In the four months since his last test, he dropped 2.1 marks. His doctor was so impressed that he feels John will be off his medication in three to six months and under 200 pounds in six months. John now has a goal to reach 180 pounds. He can see what’s possible and what he is capable of achieving. He’s setting slightly bigger goals and placing milestones along the way. He understands what is coming next in the natural progression of his health and fitness journey.

Tammy has seen a shift as well. She has noticed her mindset changing as she is building new habits around healthy eating. She is no longer looking for the quickest meal, but finding the healthier option. She knows she has a choice to make and is using her willpower to make the right choice. She can even consider planning ahead and packing a lunch. She is encouraged by the fact that her measurements went down as well. Her hip measurements went down by almost three inches!

John and Tammy are true examples of patience, perseverance, and progression. They know the weight usually comes off faster in the beginning, but are prepared to stay the course. They are truly seeing their progression and know that they can accomplish anything with the help of patience and perseverance.

 

Tweaking to fit

Discussions about sleep

 

Music used for the podcast Intro and Outro: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music

January 25, 2016

4 fitness modalities that matter

When beginning a fitness journey, people often need to lose weight and may only be focused on what the scale says. In reality, different fitness modalities need to be considered to help you achieve all of your fitness goals, which should be so much more than just weight loss.

Here are four important fitness modalities to consider:

Cardiovascular

Many people assume cardio is essential to fat loss, but it’s not always one of the most important modalities in the equation. It simply needs to be sustainable and work with your diet. Some examples include running, walking, or riding a bike. Perhaps the most effective way to get to a high level of fitness through cardiovascular exercise is by cross country skiing. As long as you’re moving and getting your heart rate up, you will see the real benefits of this fitness modality.

Balance

As you get older, you lose that brain-muscle connection and run the risk of falling. Working to improve your front, back, and side to side balance will help you in the long run.

Mobility

You want to be able to move through a full range of motion so you can continue to have the ability to do things for yourself. As you improve your mobility, you will feel more flexible and capable. Just be careful not to injure yourself.

Strength

Building muscle will keep you healthy. You will be less likely to injure yourself and have the ability to move something heavy in one direction or another. Improve strength by doing resistance exercises. Add in free weights and machines if you’d like. Challenge the muscle and then rest the muscle.

Find a good cross-training program that includes all of these important fitness modalities. Then pair it with a good diet to build and fuel your body. Soon enough, you will be in much better shape.

I’d like to encourage you to get our guide – The 7 Health and Fitness Measures That Matter. It will give you some guidance to know that you’re focused on the right things with your health and fitness program.

How is your mobility

Music used for the podcast Intro and Outro: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music

January 22, 2016

Nutrition is personal

The concept of personal nutrition has been kind of a hot topic in the nutrition field, bio-hackers, and health advocates alike. This study found is that individuals react to food slightly differently based on their genetic profile and their lifestyles in the past.

A 2015 study on “Personalized Nutrition by Prediction of Glycemic Responses in Cell” examined 800 individuals, 60 percent of which were female with mean age of 43. The study sought to understand the blood sugar response relative to certain foods. Another goal of the study was to come up with a predictive model to allow people to manage their blood sugar. They monitored the blood sugar of 800 people in five-minute increments. Over the period of the study, the participants were encouraged to eat different types of food. After a week of examination, another 100 people were examined through the same process. When the algorithms of both examinations were compared, the individuals were, in fact getting highly predictable blood sugar results. There was a correlation between the algorithm and participant results. The results went beyond the genetics of the study participants.

There are companies now that will evaluate your gut microbiome. But there are easier and less expensive ways for you to do something similar yourself. You can purchase a blood sugar monitor and test strips. You can test your blood sugar before you eat and again 15/20 minutes after you eat. You may even want to take another reading 90 minutes afterward. This way you can see how your blood sugar rises with that particular food. Some food items like cake, cookies and alcoholic drinks can give you a surge in blood sugar, pretty much no matter who you are. Once you know how particular foods affect you, you can modify your diet to keep your blood sugar stable. This will help you lose fat much easier.

Conduct an experiment of one and identify the food that best suits your body.

For health and fitness, sugar is the devil

Music used for the podcast Intro and Outro: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music

Be a lab rat to find health and fitness

January 22, 2016

Patty’s health choices

Patty was on a quest to change her health. But it wasn’t just weight she wanted to lose. Patty also needed to kick her smoking habit. In her 40s, Patty was morbidly obese, topping the scales at 350 pounds. She was on four different medications and was smoking a pack and a half of cigarettes each day. She knew she needed help.

Patty’s daughter saw the My Fitness Pal app and encouraged her to download it onto her phone. It sat untouched for two or three months. Truthfully, Patty was scared to begin. Once she did, she found exactly what she needed—information and support.

She started eating less and moving more. She began with walking and religiously tracked the food she ate and the exercise she did through the app. After a while, it even became easy. She has the tools at her fingertips.

In her first year, Patty lost 115 pounds simply by eating less and moving more. By her second year, she was off all of her medications. This was great, but she knew there was one more hurdle to overcome—quitting smoking.

She had been wanting to quit smoking for so long. When she first tried to run, she couldn’t breathe and her lungs hurt. She made the decision to quit and after two months of not smoking, she ran her first 5K and felt great doing it.

Her biggest tip is that even if you think you can’t be successful, you can be. You have to want it bad enough and have a strong reason as to why. For Patty, it was being able to be active with her grandchildren.

Though she did put on a little more weight after quitting cigarettes, she now knows how to take it back off and will do so. Now, Patty knows that adopting a health and fitness lifestyle is forever and she is committed to staying healthy for life. To get in touch with Patty directly, contact her through My Fitness Pal as Pattydi.

Julie gets fit

 

Music used for the podcast Intro and Outro: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music

January 20, 2016

Self love for health and fitness | Kim Knight

Today, we have Kim Night. Kim is a health and personal transformation coach living in Auckland, New Zealand. She shows people how to identify and resolve the absolute root cause of chronic physical pain or fatigue without medication or supplements. She also specializes in stress and anxiety with action. 99 percent of her work with clients is carried out remotely over phone, through online webinars, and online self-help programs. Her professional training and client experience are extensive.

Unable to work for over 10 years, her own recovery from CFS, anxiety and clinical depression led her to try over 160 different therapies on her journey back to health.

Kim says she dealt with a lot of people and she includes herself in that list. When she was a kid, she loved doing sports. She talks about limiting beliefs deep in the unconscious that make her feel bad. She thinks our limiting beliefs limit us from being happy or healthy. That’s why she feels it’s important to identify these limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs such as “I am unworthy” kind of destroy us. I am unworthy and I am not good enough are common limiting beliefs among many.  That’s why she believes we need to re-empower ourselves. We are designed to be happy, healthy and joyful. That is our natural state. If you have these limiting beliefs running in the subconscious, it does not matter what you say in your conscious level and will stop us every time.

Kim believes we need self-discipline and willpower to push ourselves through into good practice and do whatever makes us happy. She says we need to understand it’s about self-love and self-respect. When we do good things for ourselves like eat well or exercise, we are loving, caring and respecting ourselves.

So, when we want to achieve something or anything, we have to have self-love.

Here are relevant links:

Main website http://thekiwihealthdetective.com/

Free Mickel Series  www.mickeltherapy.co.nz

Qigong website: www.taohealthqigong.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KimKnightArtofHealth

The love diet | Dr. Connie Gutterson

Music used for the podcast Intro and Outro: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music

January 19, 2016

Tweaking to fit

In this client episode, John and Tammy evaluate their progress thus far and consider tweaking their program just a bit. They’re making progressions and improving their form, but they realize that alcohol consumption is also part of the equation. After all, alcohol calories are sugar. In the future, they will need to look at their volume and manage it against what other sugars they are consuming. Another important factor to consider is water consumption. They will want to keep drinking water to counteract the dehydrating effect with alcohol.

When evaluating their diet, John and Tammy recognize they are eating a lot of basic carbs—essentially eating a basic American diet. This will be one of the areas to tweak. They will reduce their carb intake, and once they start lifting weights, shift more to protein consumption than the carbohydrates.

Regarding their exercise plan, John is noticing his knees are more flexible and he’s having less pain at work. He’s doing push-ups, but would like to do more upper body work. Another tweak will involve starting push-ups in the standard position, not on his knees, and then dropping to his knees when he begins to struggle with his form.

Tammy mentioned she was having a bit of trouble with squats. While she is holding onto a chair to keep her balance, she will now try using the chair as part of her squat. She will adjust her positioning so that when she squats, her bottom will touch the edge of the chair, which will help take some of the pressure off her legs.

The key is to build the basic foundation and continue tweaking along the way. In the beginning stages, it will seem like progress is limited when you can only complete a small set. However, as progression grows, John and Tammy will be able to take on more reps and see a real improvement.

 

John and Tammy commit to health and fitness

Progression for results

January 18, 2016

Be a lab rat to find health and fitness

Want to know how you can get the best results for you? Become a lab rat to find your path to health and fitness! You can evaluate study data to see what might work best for you. Be wary of advice you see in the press or attention-grabbing headlines. Some of this is often based in fear-mongering to grab your interest. To be successful, you need to reflect about the true nature of the study. Usually, there is a test and control group to do a compare and contrast of results, from which statistically valid conclusions are drawn.

Some studies are metastudies. This is where several studies are evaluated and data is extrapolated to develop a new conclusion or bolster a prior conclusion. Look at how they were designed and pick apart why one was different than the other.

Some studies may have general assumptions. Analyze the data and think critically about the information that is presented. Some studies may include a very limited number of participants. The backbone of a good study will have a large pool of participants. Other studies may have bias or influence. In fact, some supplement companies will pay for a clinical study to be done. Be cautious of this as well.

All this being said, you have the opportunity to do experiments on yourself to be well-controlled. First, you must define your experiment. Determine how you will go about it and what your criteria will be. Do you want to lose five or 10 pounds in four weeks? Write that information down and keep track of your data. Want to try a low fat diet? Be clear on what that means to you so you can assess properly.

In the end, if you use common sense and do your research, you will be able to apply study findings to your own journey. Test something that you can sustain over time. If it works for you, systemize the program and make it a part of your daily life. Think of yourself as your own experiment—a lab rat on a journey to better health and fitness!

When what works for them doesn't work for you

 

Music used for the podcast Intro and Outro: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music

January 16, 2016

Mike finds happy trails

Mike BeforeMike has an inspiring story. He embarked upon a health and fitness journey and in the process found happy trails. At 56 years old, Mike was living a sedentary lifestyle and gained a lot of weight. His wake-up call occurred when a good friend, who was three years younger and more active, almost passed away from a heart attack. He knew he needed to make a change.

Mike started off slowly. He took out his old bike and began riding again on flat trails nearby. The first few miles were tough, but he soon gained endurance and began riding further. Then he added swimming laps to the mix. Finally, he began using his gym equipment at home and later joined a gym.

In addition to his physical activity, Mike began tracking his calorie intake on My Fitness Pal. He soon realized he was overeating by about 2,000 calories per day! A big soda fan, Mike was challenged by his son to cut out the soft drinks. He also began eating food with fresh ingredients, including fish and vegetables. When he made these changes, he really noticed the weight coming off. When he went to see his cardiologist, the doctor was very happy with his progress. To date, Mike has lost a total of 42 pounds.

Mike Current

Mike’s two tips include:

  1. Find an exercise you enjoy. Mike picked bicycling because he knew he would enjoy it and could make measurable progress. He set goals that were attainable and measurable.
  1. Have a good support group. If you don’t have friends and family, use My Fitness Pal, which has a lot of great information and encouraging people.

Mike has found happy trails and you can too! To connect with Mike directly, find him on My Fitness Pal as happytrails7 or check out his group called 50 Plus (or so) Support Group.

 

Music used for the podcast Intro and Outro: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music

January 14, 2016

Low carb versus low fat diets

Have you ever wondered about the science behind low fat and low carb diets? Which one is better?

In a study from 2003, 40 people between the ages of 24 and 61 were evaluated during a 10-week program. This program looked at health outcomes as a result of being part of a low carb or low fat diet.

Those within the low carb diet had no more than 15% of their calories coming from carbohydrates. Those within the low fat diet had less than 18% fat in their diet. In the end, both groups improved and lost nearly the same amount of weight, with the low fat group having lost 18.2 pounds on average and the low carb group having lost an average of 18.8 pounds.

In addition, both groups lowered their triglycerides and cardiovascular risk. However, the low carb diet increased their HDL but saw no change in LDL. The low fat diet saw improved insulin sensitivity, whereas the low carb group saw no change with this. The low carb group also saw their ketones increase, while the low fat group did not experience this.

So both diets worked well in their own ways and showed weight loss. But how do you decide what will work best for you? To do this, you have to prioritize what matters most to you. If you want to impact your insulin sensitivity, perhaps the low fat diet is for you. If you want to see your ketones increase, then the low carb diet might be the right choice.

Ultimately, the right choice for you is the one that will work with your lifestyle. If the changes are not sustainable in the long-term, it won’t be the right fit. Consider what food you have access to and the nature of your everyday lifestyle. Be realistic. If you know you cannot give up bread and carbs, then perhaps the low carb diet is not for you. Choose one or the other and stick with it. The choice over a low fat or low carb diet is truly yours to make!

Music used for the podcast Intro and Outro: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music

January 13, 2016

Can fasting be a healthy solution for weight loss | Jimmy Moore

This is part three of a three-part series with Jimmy Moore. If you are yet to listen to previous two parts, I recommend you to go back and listen to those.

Jimmy has been experimenting with fasting for a while. In fact, he was in his day fifteen of his fasting at the time of recording of this podcast. As he fasts quite often, it has become quite easy for him to forget to eat. Fasting for a period of 16 to 24 hours was no big deal for him because of his past and because he had been 410 pounds. In this regard, Jimmy consulted with Toronto-based Nephrologist doctor Jason Fung. Jimmy is currently collaborating a book called “Fasting Clarity” with him. Dr. Fung recommends fasting for periods of one to two weeks. Dr. Thomas Seyfried from Boston College advocates fasting for a week each year to prevent cancer.

It was a couple month ago when Jimmy started his first long fast. At the time of fasting, he drinks water, bone broth with sea salt, and kombucha. At the time of his fasting, Jimmy consumes about 100 calories per day. During a recent 17 1/2 day fasts, he lost 19 pounds. He was happy with the outcome. He is documenting every small detail so that he can include his findings in his book next year.

Jimmy wonders why fasting is not recommended more by medical professionals. Even temporary period of fasting can do well for our health. One reason he is writing his book is he wants people to know the benefits of fasting.

The scoop on ketosis with Jimmy Moore

 

Understanding cholesterol with Jimmy Moore

Music used for the podcast Intro and Outro: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music

January 12, 2016

John and Tammy commit to health and fitness

In this episode, we meet Forever Fitness clients John and Tammy and talk about committing to health and fitness.

The commitment to health and fitness is the same as committing to your spouse. But committing to your health and fitness is something that you should not do for your spouse. You need to have self-love and do it for yourself.
Allan believes that making a verbal commitment is important. One needs to make vows to oneself about his or her commitment to be fit. One needs to write his or her vows, read it and feel it from heart.

Tammy admits she's uncomfortable  expressing that she wants to look better. Allan notes that when you take care of yourself and your body is good and healthy from inside, you should look better. There is no reason to feel ashamed of saying that because being healthy and looking better is effectively the same thing. One can’t look better unless he or she is healthy. Tammy finally clearly and confidently says she does want to be healthy and proud. And it’s important for every individual to say and feel his or her commitment to health and fitness.

Tammy finally clearly and confidently says she does want to be healthy and proud. And it’s important for every individual to say and feel his or her commitment to health and fitness.
John indicates he is inspired to push hard to reach his health and fitness goals. He is ready to make this commitment. John wants to have a long healthy life. That’s why he needs to make a vow to himself about his commitment to health and fitness.
John makes his vow saying “I John, commit to training my body for a happy, healthy future”.

 

Meet my clients John and Tammy

Tweaking to fit

January 11, 2016

Dealing with weight loss plateaus

In a health and fitness journey, there is one certainty. At one point or another, progress will slow and a weight loss plateau may occur. You may be doing all the right things, but the weight has simply stopped coming off. Perhaps the number on the scale is ebbing and flowing. This can last for days, weeks, or even months in a weight loss plateau.

Do a self-evaluation. Evaluate the quality and quantity of your food. Did you stop eating well? Start doing your food logs again. Are you stressed? A cortisol response with stress could be causing your body to store fat. If you’re having trouble being objective, you may consider bringing in a coach for ideas on how to improve.

Don’t overlook the importance of progression and patience. Over time, you will see great progression. At first, you may see drastic improvements—big losses of body fat and advances in strength. But over time, your body will level out in this plateau. You may come out of a plateau, only to end up in another plateau yet again. This is normal. Your body is trying to find balance.

Make sure you’re looking at several different measurements, not just the number on the scale. Check out this free infographic, 7 Health and Fitness Measures That Matter, to consider some other measurements. If you’re not seeing progress in one area, chances are you will see progress in other areas.

The key is to focus on health first. Stay on the plan. Don’t panic and don’t quit. Continue to work on what is showing results, keep progressing, and tweak the plan as you go. Have the patience to stay the course and you will overcome this temporary weight loss plateau.

 

Music used for the podcast Intro and Outro: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music