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Category Archives: Weight Loss

The Good Fat, The Bad Fat, and The Ugly Fat. Part 2

THE BAD FAT

Saturated Fats are typically found in animal fats. Burgers, bacon, dairy products… They all contain the bad fats… SATURATED FATS!

If your goal is to lose weight, your best bet is to stay away from animal fats/Saturated fats. That stuff clings to your body! Think about it, it takes 4 calories to burn up a gram of a carbohydrate, but 9 calories to burn up a gram of fat. Hey, want to continue eating yogurt, hot dogs, and grilled cheese sandwiches so you have to stay on a treadmill 2.25 times longer to lose weight than if you ate fruits, vegetables, and grains? OF COURSE NOT!

Besides carrying around extra weight on your body, and maybe not looking as good as you’d like to look on the outside, it’s really the damage on the inside of your body that turns me off when consuming saturated fats.

Raising the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) increases your chances of having a heart attack, and that’s exactly what this stuff does. A meta-analysis published in 2003 found a direct relationship between saturated fat and breast cancer. In 2007, a systematic literature review published by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research found consistent evidence for a direct relationship between animal fat and colorectal cancer. Throughout the years there has been many studies and experiments done that link animal fats to cancer, and many experiments done to label saturated fats as unhealthy, but Trans Fats are the real bad news…

THE UGLY FAT

Trans Fats are typically found in packaged goods and fast food restaurants. Twinkies, doughnuts, KFC, McDonald’s… They all have/use the ugly fats… TRANS FATS!

Back in the day (late 19th century) scientists discovered that they could create a fat that would prolong the spoiling of packaged goods by simply adding a hydrogen atom to an unsaturated fat. The partially hydrogenated fat creations wouldn’t spoil as easily as nonhydrogenated fats, plus they didn’t break down during temperature changes, which made transporting them easier, and they were less expensive than animal fat. Well done boys, yet another amazing man-made invention!

Obviously food makers all over the world were all about trans fats! McDonalds, along with other fast food companies starting using trans fatty oils to fry their foods with, packaged junk foods like twinkies and cookies were all being made with trans fats… Until 1981 when a group of Welsh researchers linked Trans Fats to heart disease.

It’s like this… Trans fats aren’t naturally occurring fats. Think of them as foreign substances that you are putting in your body. The stiffer and harder fats are, the more they clog up your arteries. Over time the artery cloggers will in fact make it quite difficult for your heart to operate which could lead you to a trip to the operating room.

These artificial/man-made trans fats not only raise the level of “bad” cholesterol (LDL), but they depelete the “good” cholesterol (HDL)!

12 years after the Welsh researcher’s discovery, a Harvard experiment strongly supported the hypothesis that intake of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fats) contributed to the risk of having a heart attack. Since then they have been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease, Diabetes, Obesity, Cancer, and Liver Dysfunction.

Skip out on the Twinkies and eat some fruit if you want something sweet. Drive past the McDonald’s on your way home from work and pick up a salad at your local health food store. STAY HEALTHY!

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Implement the Overload Principle to Your Workouts

This blog entry is dedicated to the people playing Hanging With Friends on their phones while they think they are burning a ton of calories on the recumbent bike. This is also dedicated to the men and women who listen to an entire Kanye West song in between their sets. I would also like to dedicate this to the guys and girls who stop doing their push ups once they reach 10 reps even though they can clearly do another 10 reps. YOU AREN’T WORKING!

Here is how you get stronger: Push yourself to the max.

This is how you lose weight: Push yourself to the max.

The people I mentioned above are not implementing the Overload Principle to their workouts and therefore will not be getting optimal results! Don’t be that guy/girl!

Muscles only reap the benefits of strength training when they are forced to operate beyond their comfortable limits. The weights you lift, the reps you do, and the sets of reps you do should all be increased from time to time to keep challenging your muscles.

Your heart is a muscle too you know… If you’ve been running at the same MPH for a month going the same distance every time you run, you need to up your speed to work your heart out more efficiently!

Flexibility is a crucial element of fitness too! You must stretch your muscles to the point of tightness and hold for 30-60 seconds in order to gain flexibility results. Don’t break the hold until your 30 seconds per muscle group is up! I know you may not love stretching as much as me and all my yogi friends out there do, but full body mobility is very important. No one want’s to grow up and walk like the Tin Man.

Also, don’t take too much time off from your workouts!

If you don’t USE IT, you LOSE IT!

Muscle atrophy will occur in a few months after you cease to workout. This Reversibility is every gym goers worst nightmare. This is when your gains start to decrease!

You must keep exercising. You must make fitness a part of your life. Don’t become old and feeble… Become old and stronger, old and faster, old and sharper…

Don’t ever get to the point where you are out of breath by the time you reach the top of one staircase. Don’t get to the point where you need to think about how you are going to get up from a chair.

I’m not talking about aesthetics, I’m talking about using weight bearing exercises to increase bone density, joint stability, and overall improvements in every day functions!

STAY HEALTHY! – Your favorite New York City trainer.

Don’t Plateau!

Plateaus are real, and I’m not talking about the top of mount Kilimanjaro!

A plateau in the fitness world means that you stop getting results from your exercise. Plateauing really only happens if you make the mistake of DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU WORKOUT!

Your body is smart. It can adapt to anything you put it through. You must constantly keep your muscles on their toes by changing up your routine. Changing up what you do in the gym does what is known as “muscle confusion” and it actually makes perfect sense when you think about it.

Let’s say all you do is bench press. You are working your pectoralis major muscles (chest) in ONE way and one way only. On your back, and pushing a weight above you.

Sure, you will definitely get results in the beginning of your benching program, but rest assured after about 6 weeks of doing the same thing, you will no longer be adding weight onto the bar, and you will no longer be seeing progress in the growth/definitions of your chest.

It’s like when you play the same trick on your little brother more than twice. Eventually the little guy is gonna catch on, and will get used to your pranks, preventing you from having any fun at his expense until you create a much more different plan of pranking him.

There is more than one way to work a muscle. Since I’m writing this on a Monday (International Chest Day), take the chest for example: Instead of a flat bench press with a bar, use dumbbells. Instead of a flat bench, do your chest presses on an incline or decline. Use cables. Do body weight exercises like push ups. Do clapping push ups. Don’t even change how you work the muscles, just play with your rest time in between sets. Play with the rep speed in which you do your repetitions. I can think of 20 different exercises/variables you can change for your chest!

That example is obviously for strength gains, but lets talk about weight loss. If you are doing cardio and ALL you do is run the same distance every day, guess what? You will plateau!

Don’t just run. Try rowing. Try spinning, martial arts, swimming, basketball, jump rope, etc…

The best way to avoid plateauing, and keep progressing your training is to change your routine up constantly. Me personally, I just straight up get bored with doing the same thing week in and week out so I’m always changing up my workouts. And my clients? Most of them haven’t even seen the same workout program twice and I’ve been training some of them for over 2 years!

If you like a particular workout routine, and you want to keep all the exercises the same every time you come to the gym just to track how many more reps/sets you can do for a particular exercise, 6 weeks is the most amount of time you should spend with that one program. Then, do yourself and your hard earned gains a favor and switch your exercises up!

A word of advice…

NOTHING beats plateauing like working out with a partner. I don’t care if you have someone just to give you a few extra forced (assisted) reps at the end of each set you do, or have someone yelling at you to go faster on the treadmill, or someone pushing you to not stop during your workouts, it is so much more motivating to push yourself to your maximum.

Variety is key. Keep it interesting. Change it up. Push yourself to your maximum. You must implement the overload principle of training! But, that’s a whole other blog entry…

Gut Check!

Reach down and grab your stomach fat (I’ll do it too)…

If it’s soft and flabby you have subcutaneous fat. This is the fat that’s directly underneath the skin. Granted, excess body fat is never healthy, but subcutaneous fat is not as threatening as visceral fat.

How do you know what type of fat you have around your stomach?

“Pinch an Inch”

Reach down and try to pinch your belly fat. If you can’t get a good hold of the fat around your stomach because it is hard, you have visceral fat.

Have you ever come across one of those Buddah statues with the big belly you’re supposed to rub for good luck? Let me tell you right now, if your belly protrudes from your body that much, and the fat around your abdominal region is hard as opposed to soft flabby fat, you don’t need luck, you need a lifestyle change immediately!

Visceral fat is also known as “organ fat,” meaning, there is fat all around your organs and even a little snaking it’s way into your muscles. In fact, think of a snake who wraps around it’s prey squeezing the life out of it before he swallows it whole. This is the equivalent of visceral fat wrapped around your organs, putting a tremendous amount of stress on them, forcing the liver, pancreas, and worst of all, your heart to work extra hard to function throughout the day but inevitably prevents them from performing up to their fullest capabilities.

Drinking like a fish, eating like a wild boar, never exercising… This is how you end up with a life threatening Buddah belly.

You are more likely to have clogged arteries, tumor growth, hypertension, and heart attacks if you have visceral fat.

Deprived of maximal cardiac output, not getting the most efficient muscle contractions you can get for strength training, irregular and obstructive sleep patterns… It’s like you are living life in a choke hold!

Back in my Jiu Jitsu days my Sensie would always say “The best way to defend against a choke hold is to never let your opponent get in a position to choke you in the first place! But, since this is a private $ession, I’ll show you a little trick!”

So, these are the tips to help you out of the choke hold…

All those saturated fats that are found in red meat, cheese, whole milk, and crap like bacon should be substituted with vegetables, whole grains, and fruit. Eat as raw as you can!

DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL! If there was ever such a thing to help clog your arteries and stress your heart out it’s alcohol. Wait till you are out of a heart attack’s cross hairs to pop open a brew.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… EAT LESS & MOVE MORE!

Get your metabolism churning, get blood flowing throughout your entire body, burn calories, and shred that unnecessary, unwanted body fat! Exercise lowers your resting heart rate, it lowers your blood pressure, it lowers your cholesterol, and it gets rid of fatty deposits in your body that can impede in your every day activities!

Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables will help produce some great glucose and insulin responses to carbs which will start to mobilize fat stores easier than just eating something like steak. Quinoa, spinach, brown rice, apples… These foods will definitely speed up the process of saving you from an early grave! Eat the colors of the RAINBOW!

Why Multivitamins Will Never Be as Good For You as a Salad

I was killing time before my next session, so I went to a health store to browse. After laughing at the ridiculous names of these new protein powders they have on the market, I came across a huge display of multivitamins.

Hmm, I can drop $20 right now and pop two pills for 45 days, or I can eat a salad… I think I’ll go with the salad since vitamins don’t have most of the benefits natural foods do. “Why,” you ask? Well…

Plants and fruits off-set the crazy amounts of electrons (aka free radicals) floating around their systems by producing  antioxidants. These free radicals are floating around the plants/fruit’s systems in the first place because while changing light into food & energy through the process  you may have learned about in 7th grade science called “photosynthesis,”  there is an electrical storm going on in their systems that produces free radical electrons (which are bad).

Plants create antioxidants in order not to die while going through photosynthesis.

Free radicals in humans are similarly harmful. They cause cancer, premature aging, and a whole slew of diseases.

The real kicker is that no animals (humans included) can produce antioxidants on their own. Only plants do. So that’s why we must eat plants. To get our antioxidants.

Antioxidants are the only things that can off-set free radicals. When you take a vitamin, you don’t receive any of these benefits. None of them. A vitamin manufactured in a lab doesn’t have anything on a salad!

Mother Nature of course knew this all along.

The reason plants and fruits are so colorful is the same reason nature made sex feel so good – because it’s in the best interest of our species to eat plants to stay healthy (and sex to procreate/feel awesome). Nature made plants look appealing, with all their varying colors and plumpness, in order to entice animals to eat them. Of course then the food industry’s marketing machines came along and made us crave McDonald’s instead… But that’s a whole other rant.

Anyway, you might be thinking, “How does this schmuck know so much about photosynthesis”?

Because I read books!

I would like to give props to T Colin Campbell, PhD, and Thomas M. Campbell, the authors of “The China Study.” Such a well written, fascinating book on how raw foods can potentially eliminate most of the health problems today in the world (non-fiction). Just ask my man David Klein, the publisher/editor of Living Nutritious Magazine who called this book “The most important book on nutrition and health to come out in the last seventy-five years.”

The earth pretty much sets us up to live a nutritious, healthy lifestyle. So, why go to a corporate giant to spend hard-earned money on stuff that most people don’t need and aren’t even functional when compared to plants?

I say “most people,” because I understand some of you might have special needs/deficiencies in certain vitamins/minerals for whatever reason. So, always consult a doctor or nutritionist to find out what you need to spend your money on. I just wouldn’t rely on multivitamins as your main source of nutrients.

Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple. The colors of the rainbow. If you eat an entire rainbow every day (I’m not talking about a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal), the chances are, you won’t need a multivitamin.

Strawberries, oranges, bananas, plants (the darker the leaf, the more nutrients. Always go for kale or romaine over iceberg), blueberries, and raisins. This pretty much gives you almost all the macro-nutrients, vitamins, minerals and even protein that you’ll need.

Stick to plants and fruits in lieu of wasting money at these bogus “health stores.” Their employees get a commission off of select products (probably the ones they try to sell you), and 9 times out of 10 they aren’t even educated on what they are selling.

Enjoy your salad people!

Why Sugar is Kicking Our Asses

Whenever I tell my clients not to consume anything with more than 5 grams of unnatural sugar they naturally agree with me (because they know I know what’s up). But after stalking them on loseit.com, I find that they are still consuming too much sugar. Getting people to really understand what is healthy and what is not healthy is a slow process even if they are fast learners, and the truth is, I can’t even be mad at them.

You see all these famous athletes holding Vitamin Waters in the magazine advertisements. You pick up a Sports Illustrated and you’d think it would be absolutely impossible to NOT drink a Gatorade after a Basketball game!

But what those advertisements aren’t telling you in that these sports drinks are LOADED with SUGAR!

It’s like there are sugar hoodlums waiting to snuff you out around every corner. Sure, they may greet you with a smile and say “Made From the Best Stuff on Earth” like Snapple, but really, this so-called “Stuff” is sugar water that will make you fat.  26 to 54 grams of sugar per serving! By the way, notice how I said PER SERVING?!

There are 2 servings per Snapple bottle. That means there are really 52 to 108 grams of sugar in each bottle! SUCKERPUNCH! You just got robbed of 30 minutes on the elliptical!

Now you may be thinking “Dude, this is juice from FRUIT! How bad can it be?”

Pretty bad. Any juice that comes from the fruit doesn’t come with the whole fruit, which means it doesn’t come with the vitamins and minerals your body needs to digest/absorb the juice, which means you are just getting the sugar from the fruit, which means you’re pretty much just drinking sugar water, which will make you FAT.

If I didn’t know any better, and I saw that clever marketing, I would think Vitamin Water wanted me to get healthy. I mean, it says I could have “More Muscles Than Brussels” (whatever that means.) But, no. Vitamin Water would just make me fat because up until the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) stepped their game up and sued Vitamin Water for Billions of dollars a few years ago, a typical bottle of Vitamin Water would have about 13 grams of sugar per serving. There are 2.5 servings in a Vitamin Water…

Uh oh…

13 grams of sugar X 2.5 (BECAUSE NO ONE BUYS A VITAMIN WATER AND DOESN’T DRINK THE WHOLE THING) = 32.5 grams of sugar, which is 130 calories worth of crap, so don’t drink it.

This is the blog that 50 Cent doesn’t want you to read!

It’s not like you have to grow eyes in the back of your head or anything. Just be cautious. Don’t be fooled by these products that say “Quench Your Thirst”, “Made From the Best Stuff on Earth”, “More Muscles Than Brussels…” Read labels! Learn how to count servings!

Also, there is nothing wrong with Vitamin Water Zero… It has 0 calories, but above all else, it is sweetened with Truvia!

Truvia is a natural sweetener that is a great sugar substitute! It does not contain aspertame, or any harmful chemicals in it, and it is totally acceptable to put Truvia in your coffee instead of table sugar!

Keep your sugar intake to under 5 grams per serving or else…

The One Sided Beatdown of Natural Sugars Over Processed Sugars

In this corner… Fighting out of Manhattan… Standing at 6 Feet 5 inches tall… Weighing in at 200 pounds of ripped lean muscle mass… The highly functioning, packed with long lasting energy, premium human fuel, NATURAL SUGAR!

Complex sugars are broken down in a regulated and controlled manner in your body. They are found in the vegetables and grains that the Earth provides for you. Your brain needs them to function during those long business meetings, and your body needs them for energy to sound enthusiastic during those long conference calls.

I don’t know about you, but I never turn down natural energy from foods. That’s why I always get my sushi rolls with brown rice, and when I order a veggie burger, you better believe it’s on a whole wheat bun… FOR THE COMPLEX SUGARS MY BODY/BRAIN NEEDS!

Even simple sugars like the ones found in fruit are great for your body! Just because fruits are considered simple sugars doesn’t mean they can’t benefit you with all of their natural nutrients! The more colorful the fruit, the more densely packed with vitamins and minerals they are. So go for the REALLY red strawberries, and the REALLY purple plums.

One of the many good things about these complex/simple sugars are that they are typically rich in fiber. Fiber slows down the absorption of carbs so you’ll be fuller for longer, which will control your appetite throughout the day, making it easy to stay in your DAILY CALORIC BUDGET. Fiber is great like that! A whole blog devoted to fiber will be posted in the near future!


And in this corner (fart)… Fighting out of some rinky-dink town (yawn)… Standing sluggishly at 5 feet, 3 inches (tweek)… Weighing in at 100 pounds over weight… Here is the depressed, shaky, cracked out, REFINED SUGAR!

All refined sugars have been stripped of all their nutritious life (vitamins and minerals) which means your body actually has to borrow stored up nutrients just to digest this crap. When your body undergoes this process, your immune system says “screw this” and goes “bye bye,” leaving you more susceptible to get sick. Plus, processed sugar causes wrinkles, acne, ruins the enamel in your teeth, AND causes cancer!

Sweets, sodas, white bread/white rice, and anything frosted all contain these stupid refined sugars. And, believe it or not, they aren’t just in the candy isles of your grocery stores… But, that’s a whole other blog entry.

There is no chemical breakdown of the sugars found in sweets like with the complex or simple ones. This garbage goes right from your intestines, and into the blood stream making your blood sugar levels go through the roof. Your brain then releases a “feel good” neurotransmitter called Dopamine (which is the same chemical that is released in the brains of people who shoot up on heroin. That kinda weirds me out…) making you feel happy. This is why my eyes used to roll to the back of my head when I was eating muffins regularly before I found out they were NEGATING MY WORKOUTS!

Anyway, when large quantities of the nutrient-lacking sugars are consumed, a ton of insulin is released from your pancreas which instantly tries to convert this stuff into energy. This is very temporary, which means once you use this short-lived energy spike, you will have a comedown effect, leaving you sleepy, maybe even head-achy, and hungry all over again! Worst vicious cycle ever.

Your liver can only contain so much glycogen from the sugar. Once it’s all ballooned up, and can’t take in any more sugar, glycogen gets dispersed from your liver to your stomach, butt, and hips in the forms of fatty acids, which pack on those unwanted pounds you are trying to get rid of.

Now, you might be thinking “Hold up… Why am I listening to this guy who used to sell real estate try to talk my ear off about sugar?”

Gee, I don’t know, maybe because one of the best health and nutrition books I ever read was Jackie Warner’s “This is Why You’re Fat (And How to Get Thin Forever)!” If you don’t want to limit the amount of sugar you consume in a day based on what I’ve told you, take one look at her and you might change your mind.

So, what do you do?

ARE YO READY FOR THE ULTIMATE WEIGHT LOSS SECRET!?

Don’t eat anything that has more than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Done. The majority of the sugar-related weight loss problems in the world have just vanished. 4.99 grams of sugar or below, and you are golden! Your body does not register anything less than 5 grams of sugar as fat unless of course it’s from a fruit or a vegetable. Sure, you will have to be careful while buying groceries and eating out, but it’ll be worth it once you start seeing your abs!

Natural sugars knocks out refined sugars every time!