Thursday, February 17, 2011

How to win a weight loss competition

I love weight loss competitions because it keeps us motivated and accountable. In the past when I dieted and tried to keep it a secret I was doomed to fail, but when I was confident and told my friends about my weight loss plans I was much more likely to stay on track and succeed. Well a weight loss challenge is just like that, you are proclaiming your desire to many and once you start there's no looking back. You need to see it through. Most of us are very competitive people, and once you begin you really want to win, and the desire to be the champ will keep you motivated.  Which leads to the best part about these challenges, everyone loses weight, therefore everyone is a winner.

SPIKE84 is running a weight loss challenge at Anytime Fitness in Elk River & Rogers, and it has me pumped.  After the first weigh-in we had 9 of the 14 contestants lose 9+ pounds and one guy lost an amazing 22lbs in just 28 days! This is the third such challenge I have overseen and this one is our most competitive.

Here's several tips that will give you an edge in your weight loss challenge.

  1. Prior to your first weigh-in, have a couple of spike days. You will gain a few extra pounds of water from glycogen storage to give you a higher starting number, and also get your metabolism cooking at the start.
  2. Log everything! The competitors who win, log their food, log their workouts, and log their moods. The data you collect will help you when you need it, and knowing your calorie goals will keep you honest.
  3. Follow a plan, this year our competitors are using SPIKE84, and simply having a plan to follow is helping everyone stay on track and move forward with confidence.
  4. Don't be afraid of lifting weights. it's difficult to actually add pounds of muscle while losing weight, and the boost of fat burning through weight training is important.
  5. Don't worry if you see someone jumps out to a huge lead, neither of our past winners were the top losers in the first month. It's how you finish that really matters.
  6. Drink plenty of water in the week leading up to your weigh-ins, this will help you lose extra water weight.
  7. Avoid carbs 24 hours prior to weigh-ins to burn up glycogen and flush out water weight.
  8. I've known of some who spend 20-30 minutes in a sauna right before weigh-in to drop water weight.

I have many more weight-loss tips in other blog posts, but I wanted these to be specific to a weight-loss competition. When your dealing with pounds, water weight is a big factor.

Good luck, and you have nothing to lose but weight

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Myths of a High Protein Diet

I have been dieting for years. My personal experience and success is proof positive that I absolutely know what I’m talking about when it comes to losing weight. I have tried just about everything and through these trials I have come up with plans that work. Many of my ideas run against the grain., They are new and different than mainstream thinking. I believe it’s time to rewrite the nutrition books and start a new revolution in dieting! Our population is nearly 70% overweight. The old rules are not working. Athletes, bodybuilders, and myself know that if you want to have a great physique you need to eat a high protein diet.

So why are people afraid of high protein diets? 

The myths of high protein diets.
  1.  High protein diets will make you fat. 
  2.  Protein causes kidney damage.
  3.  Protein is only beneficial for weight and muscle gain. 

Myth #1 High Protein Diets make us fat. 


Many experts lump high protein diets with low-carb/high fat diets like Atkins™. This is like saying all bodybuilders are muscle-heads! It’s a stereotype and just because some high protein diets have us eating large amounts of foods high in saturated fat, it doesn’t mean they have to. I eat a very high protein diet, but it is also low fat. There are many low fat/high protein options.

  •  2% Cheese sticks 
  •  Beef Jerky 
  •  Lean Meats 
  •  Skim Milk 
  •  Protein shakes and bars
  •  These are just a few examples

The truth is excess calories make us fat, and as long as you are within your calorie limits, protein will not make you fat. 

Myth #2 Protein Causes Kidney Damage 


The truth is, if you have kidney damage a lower protein diet is better for you.
BUT, High-protein diets are not hazardous for the healthy kidneys. 
It’s like running is great exercise for healthy individuals but not so great if you have a heart condition. 

"is it possible to eat too much protein? There are no dangers associated with higher intakes of protein - unless you have kidney disease."
"From the results it was shown that the HPLC (High Protein- Low Carb) diet is a safe and effective option for medically supervised weight loss in severely obese adolescents."

Myth #3 Protein is only beneficial for muscle and weight gain 


To be honest, this was my belief for many years because this is what I was told, and I didn’t know enough then to question it. Now my opinion is that protein is as much, or more, beneficial for weight loss. Studies have shown that high protein diets help us in several ways with weight loss. 

  • Increase satiety (makes us feel full) with less calories
  • Increased thermogenesis
  • Increase sleeping metabolic rate
  • Increases protein balance and fat oxidation 

In conclusion, if your goals are to lose weight, then not only should you limit your calories but you should increase your protein. 
This is not just my opinion but it is proven in study after study that a high protein diet safe and it is very effective for weight-loss!