Sunday, January 30, 2011

"A Goal is a Dream with a Deadline"

It's a beautiful Sunday morning here in Lexington, Kentucky...and I qualify that by saying a sunny, 45 degree day at the end of January in an already too long and cold winter is a welcomed relief!  I'm sipping on coffee as I write new monthly training programs for my personal training clients.  I'm thinking of new ways to challenge them and keep them headed in the right direction to achieving their goals.  And I glance at one of the framed quotes I keep on the wall of my training studio.

"A Goal is a Dream with a Deadline."  This simple quote by American author Napoleon Hill (1883 - 1970) conveys a message which is so overlooked in our lives.  It is at the heart of the service I provide to my clients and the main ingredient for success I try to instill in each one of them.  We all have dreams of who we want to become and in the case of my clients, the body image and healthy lifestyle they want to attain.  But until we turn those dreams into realistic, achievable goals by establishing a deadline for when we'll arrive there, they remain nothing more than something intangible.

I ask every client what they want to accomplish before I prescribe their first workout.  It may be to get to a certain weight or body fat percentage.  It may be to get back into a specific clothing size.  Their desired results are varied.  It becomes my duty to help them establish a deadline for when they will get there, and to set quantifiable milestones along the way to ensure we are headed in the right direction, with the least number of obstacles, to arriving on time.

So now I return my attention to the client's program setting before me.  Am I keeping them on track?  Is this plan going to get them to that next milestone and more importantly, that current goal?  Alright then...another sip of coffee and back to work!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Biggest Loser Progress Report

I mentioned the Biggest Loser Group I'm working with in my post concerning visceral fat.  Well, they just completed their third week of a 10 week program and their progress is amazing! 

A little background on this group...there are a total of 20 competitors who are placed into two teams of ten.  They have named themselves the "Booty Busters" and "Bombshells and Beefcakes".  As you can probably tell by the names, these teams have a great sense of humor, but more importantly they are individually and collectively committed to making some serious changes to their body composition and overall health.

I conduct a one-hour fitness session twice a week with each of these teams.  Each session is a combined cardio and resistance training circuit geared to maximize burning calories and increasing muscular endurance, strength and flexibility.  In addition each team is encouraged to do some form of fitness training another three days per week, either alone or with their team.  I have also provided each member with a nutrition road map uniquely designed for each member to maximize their body fat loss while eating healthy.  Look for an upcoming post on these concepts with my "three-legged stool" approach to achieving a healthy lifestyle.

Following are the results so far, along with some other details about the teams.  For my readers, check in weekly to see their progress.  For the competitors, keep up the great work!!!
  • Booty Busters.
    • One male, 9 females
    • Average Age: 47
    • Start average team weight:  171.72 lbs; average body fat:  35.14 %
    • End of week 2 average team weight:  169.6 lbs; average body fat:  35.02 %
    • End of week 3 average team weight:  168.06 lbs; average body fat:  33.95 %
  • Bombshells and Beefcakes.
    • Two males, 8 females
    • Average Age: 48.5
    • Start average team weight:  190.48 lbs; average body fat:  38.67%
    • End of week 2 average team weight:  187.56 lbs; average body fat:  37.84%
    • End of week 3 average team weight:  186.82 lbs; average body fat:  36.85%

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The New Personal Best WKYT Ad

The new WKYT ad spot for Personal Best.  It was a blast filming this short segment with the WKYT crew and our new "fitness models" - Callie, Matt and Randy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Does Drinking Iced or Chilled Water Help with Weight Loss?

One question I'm commonly asked by clients is whether drinking iced or chilled water can aid in weight loss.  The short answer to the question is yes, but let's take a look at how this all works.

Let me begin by saying that I'm a big advocate of nutritional guidelines that suggest eight servings of eight ounces of water per day is best for most individuals.  Our bodies' metabolic and physiological processes are dependant on adequate water intake to be at their peak of efficiency.  And all the clients I've worked with who follow the guidelines for a total of 64 ounces per day do better at reducing and keeping their body fat levels lower.

Now lets look at how that cold water comes into play in weight loss.  I'll spare you the mathematics involved in determining how many extra calories are involved, but I'll summarize by saying that one eight ounce glass of iced water utilizes about 8.75 extra calories to bring it up to your body temperature.  If you are curious and want to see how this is determined, I suggest you check out this site.

If you are drinking the suggested 64 ounces per day of water, and and you choose to drink it iced, you will expend approximately 70 calories daily to bring it to core temperature.  That may not sound like a lot, but let's take a look over the long haul.  That's 350 more calories per week, or 3,500 calories in 10 weeks, or 18,200 calories per year!  I purposely mentioned 10 weeks since the 3,500 calories is equivalent to one pound of body fat.  And carrying that further, that would equate to 5.2 pounds of body fat in a year!

So, in answer to the question, I highly recommend following the nutritional guidelines for daily water intake as part of your healthy and fit lifestyle.  And consider chilling or icing it to maximize your fat-fighting efforts.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Risks Associated with Visceral Fat and What To Do About It

I recently began working with a group who decided to participate in a "Biggest Loser Contest" as a venue to get themselves in shape and lose some unwanted body fat.  To capture their progress, I am monitoring their body composition using the Tanita BC-1000 on a weekly basis.  One of the most interesting and critical pieces of data I'm collecting from the BC-1000 is the approximate visceral fat levels of each participant.  Visceral fat is that "deep belly" fat that surrounds the internal organs inside the abdominal cavity and has been associated with many adverse health conditions.

As I researched articles online to help educate these clients and counsel those with risky levels of visceral fat, I came upon a well-written summary on the topic at this link on WebMD I wanted to share with my readers.  In addition to defining it, the article demonstrates how essential and effective exercise is in regards to getting rid of unhealthy belly fat, and references a study that appears in The Journal of Physiology.  It took place at Duke University under the supervision of exercise physiologist Cris Slentz, PhD, and colleagues.

In this study Slentz recommends a 'mind shift' for society that focuses on prevention of belly fat vs. weight loss.  If Slentz had it his way, people would quit thinking weight loss and start thinking health gain.  "Until we are able to prevent the weight that many dieters regain following short-term success, we should place a greater national emphasis towards prevention," says Slentz in a news release.

I fully agree with his recommendations and encourage everyone to adopt a healthy lifestyle which involves eating right and exercising.  Our bodies are similar to an automobile in that the costs associated with properly maintaining it might seem high, but pale in comparison to the costs for repairs!  And if you already are in a situation where you have that unwanted and dangerous visceral fat, get started now and change your life!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Healthy Eating Habits

Well, it's another New Year that brings along with it new resolutions for most of us.  One of the most common of these is the desire to eat better in order to lose or maintain weight.  Over the past decade working with my clients I have accumulated tips that I wanted to share in this blog which can help in getting off the "diet" syndrome and putting you on the path to adopting a healthy eating lifestyle.

Eating Habits:
  • Eat five times per day (three meals and two healthy snacks between meals). Be consistent everyday. Example (1500 Calorie Plan): Breakfast: 500 calories; snack: 100 calories; lunch: 400 calories; snack: 100 calories; supper: 400 calories.
  • Eat something every three to four hours.
  • Try to eat more early in the day to prevent overeating in the evening.
  • Always eat breakfast!
  • Sit down when eating, and put all foods, even snacks, on a plate.
  • Try not to eat when watching TV or when at the computer.
  • Get junk foods out of the house! Vegetables and fruits are very healthy snacks.
  • Drink plenty of water. Six 12 oz servings per day are recommended.
  • Limit “empty calorie” drinks (regular and diet pops) to one or none per day.
  • Make a nutritional lifestyle change. Your successes won’t endure if you’re always “on a diet”.
Cutting Calories:
  • Portion control is essential. Keep meat, poultry and fish portions to 4 - 6 ounces. Pastas and rice should total no more than two cups prepared. Limit breads to one – two slices each day.
  • Be aware of calories in condiments.
  • Even fat-free and sugar-free foods have calories. Use portion control.
  • When eating out, order half-size portions, or order a healthy appetizer and salad, or soup and half a sandwich.
  • Follow the serving sizes on packages of foods to keep the portions in check.
Happy New Year to all and my best to you in maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle!