Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Fat Loss and Fitness Tips

These are my practical and practiced fat-loss tips!
It didn't happen overnight

  1. Chew Mint: Overeating is a habit; if you feel the need, chew gum to get your mouth moving and the mint will ruin the flavor of anything you would eat and help avoid cravings.
  2. If you are going somewhere with unhealthy food like a party, never go hungry.  Eat a healthy meal before so that you are less likely to give in and eat what you shouldn't
  3. Start each day with a tall glass of Ice Water, water helps curve hunger pangs and also gets your metabolism going.
  4. Add pure and natural fiber powder to water throughout the day to keep away hunger.
  5. Studies show that getting enough sleep is essential for your fitness. Getting 7-8 hours of solid sleep at night will help your recovery and aid your body in its ability to burn fat for energy.
  6. 3500 calories of a surplus or a deficit equals one pound of body-fat gained or lost.
  7. 1800 calories of surplus or deficit is equal to one pound of water gained or lost.
  8. Log your calories! If you don't log then you don't know.
  9. Workout tip, training to failure is when you push your body to a point it can not do anymore, and that tells your brain it needs to adapt and become stronger
  10. Workout tip, lactic acid is the burn you feel in your muscles as you fatigue them, while it is generally not liked, it is essential.  The lactic acid is a key to producing growth hormone release and recovery.
  11. Buy a pedometer and get moving; walking and moving every hour of everyday will give your metabolism an extra boost to help you burn body fat for energy. Set a goal for 10,000 steps everyday.
  12. Take it one day at a time, and continually educate yourself on your body, and what works best for you.
  13. Do NOT punish yourself for slipping up, guilt is horrible for fat-loss. It's so much better to forgive yourself and just get back on the diet horse. One day will not make or break your goals!
  14. Be patient, Rome wasn't built in a day and your new body won't be either. This is a new lifestyle change that must be started now and followed the rest of your life. Otherwise you will fall into the yo-yo trap of most dieters. 
It takes time to build something you will be proud of.

We live very sedentary lives, 100 years ago the average person ate 1,000 more calories, didn't exercise, and being overweight was extremely rare. So we just need to be more active, get up and move every hour of every day. Every little bit helps! 

Crispy Turkey & Bacon Snack Wrap

All right I just posted about my love of bacon, and now here is my favorite bacon snack. This works great for a meal or in between meals, and late night snacks. It is very filling and satisfying. 

  • First I cook 2 slices of Oscar Mayer Center Cut bacon in the microwave, 2 slices on a paper towel take about 1.5 minutes, but the time varies by microwaves.
  • Then I spread one wedge of Laughing Cow Light Swiss on a White Mission Carb Balance Tortilla.
  • Next I take 3 baked chips, either plain Lays, or sour cream and cheddar, or baked Doritos. This is the fun part where you can try different flavors to see what you like. I crunch them on top of the swiss spread.
  • Lastly take 3-4 slices of deli turkey, and lay on top of the chips and then add your cooked bacon. 
  • Roll it up and enjoy. 

Honestly I can't believe how good this is when I see the nutrition count. It's about as balanced as you can get, with low net carbs and high protein, and tastes amazing.

Nutrition Info:

Calories  280
Fat         9grams
Carbs    25 grams
Fiber     11 grams
Protein  25 grams

Only 14 net carbs!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bacon, Bacon, and Bacon

I love bacon, I always have. Bacon has the rap of being a very unhealhy food, and that it should be avoided when you are trying to lose weight. Sure it's not great for you, but I eat bacon almost every single day!

It is true that regular bacon is very high in fat, but now we have much better options. While you don't want to go crazy eating a plate full of bacon, it's also won't hurt your diet to have it in moderation.
I always add 2-3 slices to my daily sandwich or burger, in my opinion bacon just makes everything taste better.

Here's a question for you, which is lower in fat; Turkey Bacon, Veggie bacon, or Center Cut Pork Bacon???

The answer is not turkey

It's also not Veggie Bacon.

Would you believe that center cut pork bacon is the lowest in fat? Not only that it's by far the best tasting.

Morning Star Bacon has: 
2 slices and 16g serving

60 calories
4.5 grams of fat
2 grams of carbs
2 grams of protein
68% of the calories are from fat.

Louis Rich Turkey Bacon has:
14 gram servings
35 calories
2.8 grams of fat
zero carbs
2 grams of protein
72% of the calories are from fat!

Oscar Mayer Center Cut Bacon has: 
15 gram servings
70 Calories
4.5 grams of fat
zero carbs
7 grams of protein
Only 57% of the calories are from fat

So if you love bacon like I do, make the right choice and go with the center cut, this way you get some extra protein, less fat, and all of the great bacon taste!

Tomorrow I will share my favorite bacon recipe! I have it as a nightly snack 4-5 days a week.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Can You Really Indulge Without Guilt???

As I am about to begin another weekend of Spike Days, I can’t help but be delighted with where I am now with my weight, my body and food.  

One of the big misconceptions of being overweight and then losing weight is that you have to give up junk food-things like pizza, ice cream and donuts, and that you have to give them up for good. I don’t know about you, but I feel like we only live once and the thought of never eating those foods again is almost as bad as living life overweight.

Even though I have now lost 126lbs, I still love those foods just the same as I did when I was 330lbs. In fact, I think I love them even more now.  You see, I used to have a love/hate relationship with food.  I loved to eat it, but then hated myself afterwards.

To lose weight, some people do cut out junk food completely and more power to them!  I have tried doing just that in the past, but unfortunately, it didn’t work for me.  Maybe I am a slave to those foods but I can’t go through life without having pizza or ice cream every now and then. The more I avoid them, the more I want them. I think it comes down to the fact they just taste good...no they taste amazing I would tell myself over and over again that food is just energy and I can be happy without them but, for me, it just wasn’t true. Sure, food is energy but it is also something to be enjoyed.  I, unfortunately, don’t enjoy asparagus as much as I enjoy a cream cheese donut.
So part of my journey was understanding that I couldn’t, and didn't want to, live without pizza, ice cream or donuts.

When I was overweight, I was embarrassed to eat high calorie foods in front of people.  I felt like I was constantly being judged. Sadly, I would often eat without enjoyment, because eating delicious but high calorie food just felt wrong or bad.  

Another part of my journey was accepting the fact that I wanted the best of both worlds. I wanted to be fit and still eat what I love.  But was this possible???

I am very proud to tell you that, yes it is! I am walking proof. I can happily say that this weekend I will eat donuts, I will have ice cream, I will probably eat a whole large pizza, and I most definitely will do it without guilt or embarrassment!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Childhood obesity skyrocketing

My interview with the Star News ended up being their lead story in last weekends paper!
The reporter Liz Nelson did a wonderful job conveying the message that I, COAK (collation of angry kids), and Anytime Fitness is trying to get out to parents.

Here's the link to the full article, if you are in the Elk River area it was the front page story.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Time for a Giveaway!

I'm having my very first giveaway and it's your chance to win an autographed copy of The Spike Diet book AND a free personalized diet and fitness plan!  There are 5 ways to enter and you can do just one or all five!  

1.  Share the contest, with a link to the blog, on your Facebook page.
2.  Post about the contest, with a link to the blog, on your personal blog.
3.  Become a follower of the blog.
4.  Subscribe to the blog.
5.  "Like" the Spike Diet Facebook page.

To enter, simply do one, or all, of the above and post in the comment section about which you did.  Make sure you do a separate comment for each entry so all will be counted.  You have until Monday, Sept. 20th to enter.  Then I will use a random number generator from random.org to draw a winner.  That's it!

Good luck!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

This is what I DIDN'T do to lose 125lbs

I've told everyone how I've been able to lose all this weight and keep it off but I want to emphasize how I didn't lose 125lbs because I feel like there are many desperate people doing the wrong things because they believe that the only way to lose weight.

1. I did NOT do P90X or the Insanity workout to lose 125lbs.

  • These are extremely intense workouts that even in the shape I am in today I don't know if I could complete them.
  • P90X for example is an hour a day 6 days a week. My workouts are approximately 30 minutes and 3-4 times a week. Diet is far more important to losing weight than exercise. 
  • So the idea that you need to nearly kill yourself working to lose weight is FALSE. Yes we should all workout, but remember even a little bit helps. You should start with less and progressively add more intensity to your workouts. 
  • If you are not already in great shape then you need to avoid P90X or Insanity style workouts.  

2.  I did NOT starve myself to lose 125lbs.
  • With my Spike Days every week, I never felt deprived, and I honestly feel like I eat more now than I did when I was obese. 
  • On non-Spike Day's I eat high protein and high fiber foods to help me feel full and keep my metabolism burning.  Drinking water between meals also helps to avoid feeling hungry.
  • Diets that require to eat less than 1,200 calories a day, or even worse 500 calories a day like HCG are not safe and will cause your metabolism to slow and your body to slip into "starvation mode"
3. I did NOT eliminate carbohydrates from my diet to lose 125lbs.
I'm definitely a "carb-guy".
  • Through my research I now know why low-carb dieters lose more weight at the beginning of their diet than people simply following calorie restriction. The reason is glycogen. Atkins and South Beach are so popular because while most regular diets you may lose 1-3 pounds the first week, low-carb dieters may lose 3-5 pounds the first week. It's NOT because Atkins is more effective at fat-burning, they are just losing more water weight. When we cut out carbs or body is forced to burn up even more glycogen which has a large connection to water weight. (see my post about glycogen) This water weight will come back as soon as carbs are returned to your diet, and while it looks great on the scale, water weight is not fat and does not really effect your appearance. In fact most of the water weight is in your muscles, when we are dehydrated our muscles can look flat and weak.
  • Did you know? That Atkins and other low-carb diets bring on ketosis, in fact Atkins dieters long for ketosis. Ketosis refers to elevated levels of ketone bodies in your blood. When glycogen is completely depleted our liver will turn fat into ketone bodies to be burned instead of glycogen. it sounds great "burning fat" but it messes with our entire bodily process, our brain which requires 100 grams of glucose a day drops that requirement to about 30 grams a day.  So people in "ketosis" are only giving their brain 30% of what it needs..
  • I tell people all the time if you want to lose weight with a low-carb diet then you need to plan on going low-carb the rest of your life otherwise as soon as you bring the carbs back, the weight will come back too.
  • Instead I eat a balanced diet of 40% of my calories from protein, 40% from carbs, and 20% from fat. That way my body gets everything it needs.
4. I did NOT take unnecessary diet drugs to lose 125lbs. 
  • I was prescribed weight-loss from my a doctor a few times before along with anti-depressants, neither medication did anything for my weight problem.
  • I had to change my lifestyle and there is NOT and will never be a magic pill. 
  • With a pill you rely to much on that pill to make you lose weight when all we don't go through the necessary journey of weight-loss.  Where we learn about ourselves and gain valuable knowledge that will help keep the weight off for good. “give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” 
5. I did NOT have risky surgery to lose 125lbs.
  • No matter what they say, every surgery has risks.
  • I know many people who regret having weight-loss surgery done; whether because they can't keep food down, or they've had to have multiple post-surgery operations, or they feel like their loose skin is worse than the fat. 
  • Many people including myself have lost 100+ pounds without surgery, I would exhaust ALL options before going this route and personally I would never recommend having weight-loss surgery done.

In 2003 when I weighed 330lbs
From September 10th at 205lbs

If I can do it without the above you can too.  You just need patience, knowledge, and consistency. Find out your real reasons you want to lose weight and remind yourself daily to stay motivated. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Obese Children! It all starts at home.

It's time to stop playing the blame game, and put the responsibility back on us parents.

Anytime Fitness is teaming up with COAK, the Coalition of Angry Children, in an attempt to make a real difference with our drastically rising childhood obesity rates.

Finally, someone is having the guts to put the responsibility on the people who can actually make an impact, the parents.

 Everyone has a theory on why kids are so overweight; it's school lunches, it's video games,  it's fast-food. NO! NO! NO! Who has the power to control all of those excuses?  The parents!

I have never been more proud to be part of the Anytime Fitness team.  I am a manager and personal trainer at an Anytime Fitness so sure, I am a bit biased, but this COAK is the real deal. It can make a difference. You see children do not respond well to the "do as I say and not as I do" mentality.  The fact is, if you want your kids to eat healthier and you want your kids to be more active, then guess what? You need to eat healthier and you need to be more active. Parents need to quit putting the responsibility of their children's health in the hands of strangers. I mean, who loves your kids more than you? I hope you said no one, and if you really love your kids then you want them to live a healthy happy life, right? Well then you need to make fitness a part of your new lifestyle, and if you make the change your kids will follow.

I feel my tone is rather harsh, and chances are if you are reading this, you have already started living a healthier lifestyle.  This message isn't meant to be attacking.  Childhood obesity is something very close to my heart. Growing up overweight was extremely painful and put me into episodes of depression several times. I know my parents loved me, but they were terrible role models when it came to health. They were very supportive, but I had to make the change as a 14 year-old after I decided I had had enough of living that way.

Now, as a parent with three young boys, I am so proud that they are not overweight like I was. They see how important fitness and exercise is to me and they exercise with me and on their own. We eat healthy as a family, though as children they are not on a strict diet like I am.  Once in a while they have treats during the week, but it's not everyday. After all, we don't have to totally deprive our kids, but we also don't have to let them have junk food every single day.

Important tips:

  1. School lunches can be unhealthy and until that changes, do what I did in school, bring a bag lunch. A bag lunch does not have to include a treat. A sandwich, yogurt, fruit, and a milk is enough to curb your children's hunger.
  2. Go on family walks, or try the new craze geocaching.  It's a fun way to get some family exercise.
  3. Save fast food for no more than one day a week, besides being good for your health, when it happens on rare occasions it's more special.  And teach your kids about making the proper choices when you do eat out at fast food places.  Choose mandarin oranges or apples instead of fries and milk instead of pop.
  4. Allow your kids 30 minutes of video games a day and if they want more time, set up a system where they have to earn it.  At our house, my kids earn a ticket for 10 minutes of playing time for every 10 minutes they exercise.
  5. Limit drinks to water, low fat milk and 100% juice and give your kids no more than 8 ounces of juice a day.  Don't buy drinks with high fructose corn syrup, which is in many sports drinks and juice not labeled 100% juice.  Limit pop to special occasions. 
  6. Busy life?  Then instead of going out to eat every night, prepare several meals ahead of time, freeze them and quickly re-heat them before you go out to your children's many activities.  Have pre-cut fruit and veggies in the fridge to grab as a quick snack when you're on the go.
  7. If you are still too busy, then cut back on the activities. When it comes to obesity it is FAR more important to eat a healthy dinner then to be playing a sport and eating fast food. The kids really do not burn that many calories playing baseball and the amount of calories in fast-food are far greater then the amount lost in such activities. 
  8. Most important, and the point of COAK, as a parent you need to exercise and you need to eat healthy. Join a gym and show your kids that this type lifestyle is important.  Kids want to be like their parents.  You have the greatest ability to impact their lives.  Choose to impact them in a positive way.
 I am hoping by taking responsibility for our children's health as parents we can make a difference. If parents make the change then we can attack childhood obesity one family at a time.

Kudos to COAK, and Anytime Fitness. 
In an effort to get parents into the gym, Anytime Fitness is giving adults free 30 day memberships. For more information you can visit the COAK website on Anytime Fitness.