Weight Loss Specialist

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I just finished and passed my WLS exam, and am now a Certified Weight Loss Specialist through the N.A.S.M. This helps me deal with physiological and psychological issues that clients may experience, and are associated with weight loss.
A major part of keeping my certification current as a Certified Personal Trainer is continuing education. Personal trainers do NOT have to be certified in all states, and Ohio is one of them. I would not let just anyone teach me proper self defense, exercise, investing, or any number of skills simply because they can. My life, money, time, and body are valuable.

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In fitness, Bob

High Fat Diets

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The Truth About Fat-Heavy Diets

The Truth About Fat-Heavy Diets

PHOTOGRAPH BY STOCKFOOD/CLINTON HUSSEY

Headlines scream about fat-loading for endurance, butter-drenched “bulletproof coffee,” and how bacon is good for you, but here are four truths that you really need to know.

This article appeared in the June edition of; The Training Edge, a publication by N.A.S.M. This is neither for or against a fat heavy diet, but raises a rational awareness.

1. It’s easy to overdo it.
“A gram of fat has nine calories, while carbohydrates and protein have four calories per gram,” notes registered dietitian Courtney M. Sullivan, founder of Nutrition for Body and Mind (cwnutritionforbodyandmind.com) in Beverly Hills, Calif. “Healthy fats are important for a balanced diet, but moderation is key.”

2. Good fats can aid post-workout recovery.
In a University of Florida study, people who took a supplement that included an omega-3—found in fatty fish like salmon—had less inflammation after exercising. “Get some every day,” advises Sullivan.

3. Animal fats can raise the risk of heart disease.
In a recent case study from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, a 39-year-old man who worked out regularly saw his LDLs (“bad” cholesterol) rise 55 points after he began eating more meat and cheese on the Paleo diet and then added a daily cup of bulletproof coffee (coffee laced with a tablespoon of butter and a medium-chain triglyceride oil). Bottom line: Butter, bacon, and fatty red meat are high in saturated fat, which can increase your risk of heart disease.

4. “Fat loading” for ultra-endurance isn’t ready for prime time.
The theory that high-fat eating lets you “tap into your body fat” for energy, saving carb stores for later or slowing their use during exercise, has had mixed results in human studies.

Heart Disease in Women

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Can you believe that at the age of 30, physical inactivity begins to play it’s largest role in a woman’s risk of developing heart disease? This is according to Australian researchers, as posted in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. (May 2014)

Physical inactivity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. In 2008 according to the World Health Organization; globally, 31% of adults age 15 and over were insufficiently active. Of those, 28% were men and 34% were women.

From the age of 31 and beyond, inactivity raises the risk of heart disease more than smoking, being overweight or having high blood pressure.

Changing diet habits and walking thirty minutes a day or for an hour three times a week, will make a drastic change in your risk. Blood flow to the heart and the ability to pump normally can be changed in as little as a  month.

Exercise is only a fraction of the equation though. Stress management and a strict, healthy diet are crucial lifestyle changes that need to be adhered to. Following up with regular visits to your doctor, staying at a healthy weight and not smoking will greatly reduce your chance of developing heart disease as well.

It is never too early or too late, to begin a healthy lifestyle change. Find a support group, join a walking club or just ask your medical professional for advice and help. Some insurance companies will offer a discount on proactive health services. Search social media or join a discussion forum. My Fitness Pal is just one of the apps that has many group discussions, recipes, food logging tips and support opportunities.

Whatever method you choose to better yourself, just stick with it. You will develop a sense of pride and accomplishment, and just may be a role model for someone else.

In fitness, Bob

Obligations

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Are you obligated to accept food when someone offers it to you? How do you handle the situation if someone says, “Just have one”.

Adhering to a specific nutrition plan or diet, can be difficult in itself. Holiday parties, family gatherings and even pressure from coworkers can make sticking to a program almost impossible.

The pressure can feel like sabotage, even when the intent is innocent. “You can have a little”, “One won’t hurt you”, “It’ll be our little secret”, these sayings and others can be difficult to deal with.

Remember that everyone struggles with change to some degree. In dealing with clients that are going through multiple changes, they may have friends that are afraid to see them change. They may think that they could lose that friend due to different likes or priorities. I make it part of my responsibility to have a game plan in place in case these instances arise.

Be prepared to answer questions such as, “Why are you on a diet” or, “How much damage can one do”?                    It is acceptable to politely decline and say that “I won’t stop at just one” or, “I’m trying to better myself”.

Remember that you are in charge of the route you choose to take. Take control of yourself, your future, and your health.

In fitness, Bob

The Perfect Diet, or What Would Jack Say?

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Do not follow TV, radio, internet or celebrity hype. The perfect diet is the one you follow, and that allows you to achieve your goal. Which ultimately is long term health. Diet is a your daily maintenance of nutrition through intake.

So Now that brings us to Jack. Who’s Jack? I am referring to fitness guru Jack LaLanne. Born in 1914 and passed away in 2011. He opened what is believed to be the nations first health and fitness club, in Oakland, California. Long before infomercials and celebrity diets, there was The Godfather of Fitness. His television show ran from 1951-1985.

Jack LaLanne believed that if you practiced moderation, ate the most natural foods, and exercised on a regular basis, that you could attain maximum body health and fitness.

Having said this, I want to pass on some LaLanneisms.

Anything in life is possible if you make it happen.

Anything in life is possible and you can make it possible.

Your waistline is your lifeline.

Exercise is King, nutrition is Queen, put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.

If man makes it, don’t eat it.

Your health account is like your bank account: The more you put in, the more you can take out.

Health is wealth.

In fitness, Bob

Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad?

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I always thought I was doing myself a favor when I would use an artificial sweetener or sugar substitute in my tea, cereal, or anything else I would sprinkle it in, or on. Now all of a sudden I hear advertising claims for the use of sugar.  What gives?

Artificial sweeteners can raise insulin levels, which in turn will send a message to the brain to store fat, which leads to weight gain. It may be psychological as well. When we are told that something has no calories or less calories, we automatically believe that there is room for more. Maybe by cutting calories in your diet soda intake, you justify the burger, fries, chips, second portion of mashed potatoes or whatever you have.

Did you know that as little as one diet soda a day can increase your risk of diabetes or metabolic syndrome? Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that includes increased cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, larger waistlines and elevated glucose. This raises your risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease. Other negative affects can be headaches, tooth enamel loss and an increased risk of depression. Lower bone mineral density in female soda drinkers, raises the chance of osteoporosis as well.

Nutritional Value? Forget it. Not with an artificial sweetener. Do yourself a favor and drink water. So you like the bubbles? Get sparkling water, or put a straw in the glass and blow bubbles. Just kidding about the straw, I wanted to see if you were still reading. But I enjoyed it as a kid. My dad wasn’t so thrilled with me though.

If you are weaning yourself off of regular soda, a diet alternative soda may be for you, but only if it is short term. Our brains are wired to receive the signal that it had sugar, Not an artificial sweetener.

Our brain responds to sweets by telling us to have more. When we take in a sweet flavor without calorie content, the craving is not satisfied and we drink or eat more sweets to try to make up that difference, thus taking in more calories. Remember that the excess is stored as fat. Sugar actually sends a signal to the brain that it has received it’s reward, Sucralose, (my sweetener of choice),will not do that. So the viscous cycle continues. I will throw a word of caution about the excessive use of refined sugars. Moderation!

I am not a licensed medical professional, registered dietitian, nor do I claim to have all the answers. I am trying to raise your awareness of the possible dangers or hurdles you could face with a weight loss program. If you question this, please research for yourself. Knowledge and the application of it will take you extremely far. 

In fitness, Bob

Pineapple Coconut Smoothie

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IMG_20141121_083252_991                                    I wanted to start my day off with a flavorful  and nutritious breakfast, as we all should. I had made my wife a bowl of Coco Wheats, with an addition of coconut flakes and a small amount of coconut oil. It was a very well rounded blend of macro nutrients. Oh yeah, and it tastes just like a Mounds bar. (She loves this and requested it!)

For my pineapple coconut smoothie I used a farm fresh, raw egg. Disclaimer: I am aware of the dangers and risks of salmonella and am not advising that anyone takes my choice to do so, as a prescription to do the same.  That being said, I also added;                              

     8 oz plain Greek yogurt                                                                  1 c fresh pineapple                                                                          2 Tbsp coconut flakes                                                                    1 Tbsp honey

All ingredients were put into the blender and swam together happily for about 30 seconds. This made approximately 20 oz of deliciousness.

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According to MyFitnessPal, which is an app that I use to monitor my calorie intake, this smoothie came out to be 394 calories; with 54 g carbs, 32 g protein, and 10 g fat. This is a good blend! I typically stay on the high side of the recommended protein intake, due to my exercise and martial arts routine. You could easily add 1/4 of a banana to this and increase the carbohydrate ratio. A sprinkling of cinnamon in your smoothie wouldn’t hurt to keep insulin spikes down as well.

In fitness, Bob

Weight Loss Plateaus

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Have you ever started a diet or weight loss plan, only to hit a plateau or hump that you just couldn’t get over? Were the goals that you set for yourself reachable in the time frame you allotted? Did you find yourself cheating occasionally or skipping workout days.

Some of you may know that in order to lose weight you must expend, or use, more calories than you take in. You will need to workout a little more to get rid of the extra weight that you have put on as well.

When beginning an exercise routine, most people experience their best results, however the body adapts to the exercise routine and is no longer challenged the way it was before. If all you monitor is the scale, you may not even see the results. This is due to the fact that you are burning fat and losing mass. You may even see an increase in your weight because you are building muscle. This new muscle growth will help you achieve the results you want.

You must hold yourself accountable with every bite you take. If you consider how much movement is required to burn the food energy you ingest, you may achieve greater results. This is not to say that you should starve yourself either. In a starvation mode, your body will adjust by storing the food it takes in as fat, so that it does not burn it as fuel. You will actually begin to lose muscle mass.

Try to keep an honest journal of what you consume and how you were feeling at the time you ate it. Were you angry, happy, with other people or alone? Condiments and drinks will add to your intake of “invisible” calories quickly. I love eggs, but at 70 calories each or 17 for the white only, sometimes I sacrifice a yolk or two. This helps my cholesterol as well.

Change up your workout routine. As I said, the body will become accustomed to the exercise, and your nutrition needs will change. Do you fidget? Maybe you should. Movement uses energy. Sing to yourself and tap your foot, or get up for a quick walk to a friends cubicle, the restroom even if you don’t need to use it, just start moving more. And if you increase your water intake, (hint hint), you will have the need to get up and move.

Don’t fall for for rapid weight loss pills, gimmicks, machines, or diets of whoever is famous at the time. If you do not make this a lifestyle change, then you won’t have a life changing event. Consider hiring a Certified Personal Trainer that will help guide you through your journey. Stay motivated, accept that you may have setbacks, and overcome them.                                                                          In fitness, Bob

Eat more to lose weight?

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 No I’m not crazy or selling some scientific designer drug, or even jumping on a band wagon for the latest herb fad. When most people hear the word diet, they usually think it means to eat less. This is why so many people are turned off when the word diet comes up. They instantly think starvation

Diet actually means the sum, (amount), of food consumed by a person or organism. When I say that you need to eat more, I am referring to eating more nutritiously. This would be a healthy diet. Incorporating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your consumption of your daily intake. Doesn’t that sound better without the word diet

Too many people actually throw their body into a starvation mode and begin to store fat. You may think that makes no sense since starving would mean no food. Let me explain. Without the proper ratio of macro nutrients, (carbohydrate, protein, fat), and a consistent eating schedule, your brain will send a signal to turn your food into fat, so that it can use it as a fuel source later. If you don’t burn that fat reserve, it stays as a fatty deposit. 

Starting your day with a good breakfast, within an hour of rising, will provide you with fuel to burn and give you more energy. Eating a healthy midday snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner will keep your body fueled. White breads and sugars are usually the culprit for the crashes we feel. Then the brain craves more to bring back the feeling of satisfaction. This becomes a vicious circle and before you know it you’ve had too many sodas, sweets, processed meals, potato chips or whatever else your go to food is. 

Sometimes we get caught up in what others may think about us because we pack our lunch or eat healthy snacks. Well I don’t know about you, but I’m not doing it for what they think. This is about me. This is an investment in my life. I want to spend time enjoying life, family and whatever else comes at me. I enjoy having the energy to carry out my day, play with grand kids and yes, zip lining.

Isn’t it time you did this for you? Have an extra serving of vegetables and fruit throughout the day. Start using whole grain breads, and be mindful of what a portion is. Find some cargo rice or six grain rice for a change. Incorporate more lean protein into your diet and slowly increase your fiber and water consumption. The changes will occur. Getting fat or out of shape is a process and so is reversing it. March in place while reading your email or the paper or whatever you choose. Consult your doctor and begin an exercise program. Take your first step to changing your life for the better.  .                                              In fitness, Bob

Rampant Obesity

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My first soapbox that I’m going to jump up on should be a vegetable crate. (Pun intended) Greetings fitness fans, dieters and curious readers. In the process of setting this business up and designing my website, I was told that my blog or an article would be a great place to start conversation and chaos. Here you go.

I had just returned home from dropping off some business cards at a local business and watched a neighbor get out of her car with her two children. She is pregnant and the kids are about 1 1/2 and 3 years old. The thing that caught my eye was the fact that the littlest one was carrying his own bag of fast food. Mom had her’s and the drinks. I’m not saying this is an issue unless it sets up a lifelong routine of bad habits. Convenience isn’t always best.

I remember vividly, my father calling a radio station to recite the “Two all beef patties” jingle in under five seconds and what a treat it was to go out for burgers, ice cream or an occasional Sunday dinner. I am not against fast food or even buffets for that matter. I have done food challenges, but knew what it would take to work it off. Commitment! I still go out to eat and know that restaurants use bigger plates and portions to lure people back. It’s what the majority wants. (Pack up half and take it home for another meal). It bothers me to see a society of people that don’t go walk, ride a bike, throw a ball, have gym periods in school or exercise in general. You might say, “But I do walk”. Do you walk at a pace that increases your heart rate?

The American lifestyle of freedom to choose, has been coveted by many. Look around, we are a very diverse culture. Unfortunately for other countries now, the desire to become ‘Westernized’ is taking it’s toll. Some people are cashing in. A whole new line of clothing sizes with more X’s than there ever was, sturdier furniture, weight restrictions on rides, plane fees, and mobility scooter sales are through the roof.

I think my biggest struggle is with the acceptance of the epidemic. Children that are raised thinking that it is okay to have soda with each meal and in- between. The abuse of energy drinks, coffee style beverages for children, or sports drinks that may contain more sugar than anyone needs. I’ve heard in conversations that; it’s in our family genetics, or, my body traps fat in my abdomen, or I can’t get around like I used too. Some have true medical conditions that inhibit movement. Those are the majority of people that want to move. This is to the ones that choose not to find out what a single serving is, not the restaurant portion. To those that could use the stairs but won’t, or park as close as possible for whatever reason. It will take time and effort to achieve your goal. Keep pushing yourself!

If this makes you think about not eating in front of the TV, actually cooking a serving of fresh vegetables with your meal and going for a walk at a local park, then you are off to a great start. These are simple things to do that many don’t consider or have forgotten what it was like. Does a day of shopping at the mall or grocery store make your legs tired? Incorporate a little movement into your downtime. Are you afraid that doing air jump rope or running in place will make you look silly? The privacy of your own home is the place to begin. Then you can venture outside with pride.

In fitness, Bob