Posts Tagged ‘obesity’











Refined white sugar is particularly noxious, and by some perverse twist we have come to believe that sugar-sweetened desserts are essential to “having fun.” We feed our children this devitalized food because we are socialized to expect it, (amen!) and we to provide it (not me).”  As adults, most people like to end their meals with a sugar-sweetened dessert, anything from ice cream to cake or cookies. The absence of such a dessert at an elegant dinner party would almost be a social faux pas. What is so bad about this ubiquitous substance? According to nutritionist Robert Crayhon, author of Nutrition Made Simple, sugar can:

*raise insulin levels and contribute diabetes
*raise blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides and so contribute to cardiovascular disease
*contribute to gallstones and obesity
*contribute to mood swings and depression
*increase stomach acidity
*cause migraines
*weaken the immune system
*deplete the B vitamins, calcium and copper
*interfere with the absorption of calcium and magnesium – and so contribute to osteoporosis

But despite what we know about the substance British physician John Yudkin calls “sweet and dangerous” and “pure, white and deadly,”many people still feel that they might be “deprived” when they consider quitting the consumption of sugar-sweetened foods. For our long term health, thats the kind of “deprivation” that would be a good thing, just like deprivation of tobacco would be good too.
Dont worry, a little treat here and there is not going to kill you, but consuming the amount of sugar that the average person does just might! What’s really sad is the kids that suffer from their parents choices. Just look around.

Get Strong! Stay Strong! (and sugar free!)


By Matt Lisk
Author of The Burrito Diet

Stop Using Weight Machines!

Weight machines are sexy, sleek, shiny, and smooth. Perhaps that is why gym owners and lazy personal trainers have fallen head over heels in love with them.

Gym owners pack their gyms with these eye catching devices so that they could get more people into their gyms without having a large amount of trainers on staff. Those gym goers who do utilize personal training services often get a highly paid escort who walks them from machine to machine and adjusts the setting for them. Do you know how to spot a good trainer? One who never takes their clients to the weight machines!

Without getting too biological on you, your muscles do not work in isolation – they work in a chain of movement. The most evil of machines, the leg extension machine, is a prime example – it is just not a natural movement. It has absolutely nothing to do with how our legs are used in everyday life – for walking, climbing, and descending.

Don’t get me wrong – machines do have their place in the fitness world. However, they are most beneficial to two populations – bodybuilders who are looking to correct a deficiency or weak point, and physical therapy patients who are trying to rebuild strength and regain range of motion. They are not meant for people looking to lose fat!

People looking to lose fat need to utilize free weights, body weight exercises, and various other equipment like medicine balls, resistance bands, and balance trainers – essentially training movements not specific muscles.

Stop Using the Handles on Cardio Machines!

It cracks me up every time I see someone who is using a treadmill and is holding on to the bar in front of them for dear life with a white-knuckled grip. Maybe you’ve seen the people who are draped all over the stairmaster or stepmill with their arms, and their heads facing down while their back is unnaturally curved. There are even those who hold on to the siderails on the stepmills or elliptical machines and push up with their arms (or my all time favorites are the people who contort their arms so that their wrists are facing forward!)

What do these people all have in common? They are wasting their time! Bars are meant for balance only – not as a crutch to use when the going gets tough during exercise. When you walk or run outside, do you have anything to hold on to? Unless you run while pushing a shopping cart (very odd!) or stroller (if you must), let go of the handles. You’ll expend more energy and use more muscle, thus getting a more efficient and effective workout.

I know what you’re thinking – “What about the elliptical machines with the handles that pump back and forth? Don’t I get more of a calorie burn from them?” In short, no. Pumping your arms back and forth without touching the handles will of be far more benefit to burning fat.

And don’t use the handgrips on any cardio machine to get your heart rate – they will not be accurate. Instead, read on and follow my advice below.

Stop Doing Hours and Hours of Cardio!

Read this next statement carefully, then re-read it:

You should never spend more than 20 minutes doing cardio

Want proof? Simply put a picture of a marathon runner next to a picture of an Olympic sprinter (preferably one who is not using steroids!). Now, which person’s build would you rather have?

If you’re doing long bouts of cardio (more than 30 minutes at a slow and steady pace) you are burning muscle – muscle that is extremely vital to your fat burning efforts. Your “cardio”, rather than slow and steady, should be short bursts of hard effort followed by recovery. I will go into this much more in depth in future newsletter articles, and may even have an expert or two explain in detail why training this way is much more efficient for fat loss. For now, take my word for it that SLOW AND STEADY DOES NOT WIN THE FAT LOSS RACE!

Stop Reading / Watching TV / Using Your Mobile Phone While In the Gym!

The gym is the one place where multi-tasking is an absolute no-no! Shut your mobile phone off (or better yet, leave it in the car – many facilities are starting to ban mobile phones because people tie up equipment while using them, or worse, take pictures). Leave the magazines and newspapers at home. You only have a limited time at the gym – you should be focused on achieving your daily goals. To keep myself honest, I’ll use a stopwatch to time my between-sets breaks. Eliminate all distractions and your fat loss efforts will improve dramatically!

Never Workout Without Recording Your Results as You Go!

Whether you use a good old fashioned paper and pencil, or a tricked-out PDA, keep track of your workouts EVERY TIME you go to the gym.

A well-respected fitness expert (who we will hopefully be able to speak to during one of the upcoming teleseminars) speaks of setting personal records (or PRs as he calls them). Every time in the gym, you should be focused on doing a little bit more than you did the last time – a Kaizen approach to fitness. Let’s say you did 3 sets of 5 chin-ups in your last workout – you should strive for 3 sets of 6 chin-ups next time out. If you fail, that’s ok – the quality of your workouts will be affected by many variables like nutrition, amount of sleep, outside stress, etc. Even if you did one set of 6 chin-ups followed by two more sets of 5, you’ve bested your personal record. And how would you know that? Because you were keeping track!

I have detailed workout journals that span years. Not only do I note the sets, reps, time, etc. but also any other notes that would have come into play (e.g., “gym crowded – forced me to substitute Exercise X for Exercise Y; poor sleep the night before; feeling nauseous). This helps you to put some context around your performance. Your solution does not need to be fancy – a notebook is fine, though there are software packages you can use. No matter what you choose, make sure you utilize it every time you work out!

Stay Tuned for Part 2

Get Strong! Stay Strong!



New Market for Obesity Trends

New Market for Obesity Trends



I have recently stumbled across a few articles and blogs regarding the topic of “fat acceptance” and am literally appalled.  The notion I feel is utter nonsense and represents another attempt by our society to pass the buck.  While I am in complete support of being happy with yourself, the idea of just accepting the fact that you are “fat” and believing there is no problem with this is flawed.  The research is pretty clear that if you are overweight there is a much higher rate of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, not to mention the beating you joints take which eventually leads to degeneration, pain and further inactivity (all leading to an increased burdon on the healthcare system, family and society).  In talking to many overweight people I found that while they will admit to needing to lose weight they really have no desire or discipline to do it.  I also believe that much of what they have been told or have actually tried doesn’t work.  There is a tremendous amount of confusion about exercise and especially nutrition.  It not as easy as just exercising and eating salads.  Most people when trying to lose weight stop eating or significantly restrict calories.  This can actually lead to increased fat storage.  Remember our bodies are wired for survival and when the body senses restricted food intake, which it relies on for all functions, it will store fat to ensure its survival.  As a person goes from one diet to another or repetitively diets over time the ratio of fat to muscle increases.  This makes it continually harder to lose the fat and significantly increases your risk of health problems.  The person, as many experience, get stuck in this never ending struggle with their weight.  When it comes to exercise, as most people find out, it not as easy as just going and doing exercise (the typical recommendation from the doctor).  Most doctors really know very little about exercise and even less about nutrition.  Think about it, they make a living dealing with sickness and disease.  You need to have the right type of exercise, the right intensity and progression to get the desired results.

Stay tuned to the next posts to get some tips on eating and exercise.

Stay Strong! Get Strong!


Today’s youth is tomorrow’s future. The problem is that what is happening to our youth may be setting them (and our country) up for failure. There are two major problems we see in America today; early sports specialization and obesity. Early specialization is when kids play one sport year round at too early of an age. Today it seems that children are getting involved in organized sports earlier and earlier. Now, organized sports are a great avenue for kids, but the problem is that too many are not being exposed to multiple sports, and activities which are important for developing basic biomotor skills. When kids play the same sport and the same position they miss out on critical biomotor skill development. I see many high school kids and adults that can’t skip, cross over step, forward roll or jump properly. Also, their minds and bodies do not possess the ability to tolerate the various stress and activities we are exposing them to. We must remember that kids are not small adults. Their bodies and minds are still growing and sensitive. Specialization in one sport really should not occur until around 14 years of age. The amount of stress these young kids are exposed to through competitive practice, play and the demands of today’s coaches and parents are unbelievable. What we see is that by the time these kids are 16-18 they are burned out or injured and done with sports/ exercise. These kids then become inactive adults, some of them with lifelong problems from unnecessary injuries that occurred at a young age. So what’s the answer? Parents and coaches need to become more educated and make some hard decisions on what they will let their young kids be exposed to. Youth athletics is supposed to be f u n , se a s o n a l an d developmental with periods of rest an d rec o v e r y . Unfortunately we are not seeing this. The climate of youth sports in America has become out of control. The second problem of obesity is even more alarming. The CDC has ranked childhood obesity as the number one problem in America. Also, the incident of childhood diabetes is rapidly growing. This is a disease that in the past did not occur until the 5th or 6th  decade of life.M any factors contribute to this epidemic. Technology has created an environment that doesn’t require you to move to be a part of it, video and TV, increased processed foods, poor eating habits, fast food, soda and junk food consumption, decreased physical education in schools and overall lack of physical activity. These unfit “sick” kids will grow up to be unfit “sick” adults. The burden on the healthcare system, not to mention national security and the economy, will be astronomical. I’ve even heard that this past generation of kids will not outlive their parents! So you see that our kids are moving down a sad path from both ends. As parents, teachers, and coaches we all need to take an active role in educating and developing our kids and being good role models physically and nutritionally. We should strive to develop happy, healthy and terrific kids who enjoy life and recreation for a lifetime.

Get Strong! Stay Strong!