Worst Advice For Losing Weight: ‘Eat Less’

images763RLJRBThis comment from a friend of mine got me super fired up. It has to do with something I’ve heard throughout my earlier life as a long distance runner who needed to stay thin to keep up with the “skinny girl runners.”

In fact, anytime someone would say this two-word phrase to me, I wanted to slap them silly. Not because I didn’t think their intentions were good, but more because I didn’t feel understood as a human being.

Here’s what I heard from coaches back then: ” Kim you need to lose a few more pounds. When you do this your VO 2 maximum will increase, and it will be easier to run faster.” Now mind you, I was 105 pounds. But this was athletics and the ideal weight for my height to run my fastest was projected at about 98 pounds. But it was not the weight goal of 98 pounds that troubled me so much that I could just soccer punch anyone who mentioned getting thinner, but rather a two word phrase I hate to hear even to this day. What is this two word phrase?

The World’s Worst Advice For Thin or Not So Thin People

Eat Less! That’s right. This is the two word phrase I heard from my coaches way back when, and what I hear from trainers and health coaches dispensing advice to their clients even to this day. Eat less! You’ll lose weight. This is the worst advice one can get nowadays when confronted with aiming to get healthier and leaner. Nowadays we should know better.

The problem with this phrase “eat less” is multifaceted. There are a myriad of reasons eating less is not how we should ultimately get to lean. The following are just a few:

1. Hormones become out of balance causing depression, midsection weight bloat, and increased sugar cravings.

2. Energy levels become depleted making one less likely to be active and happy.

3. Body composition changes as muscles weaken and get smaller, while fat storage throughout the body increases especially in the mid section.

4. Metabolism slows, making healthy living and health numbers worse than in previous years.

How to Increase Your Motivation to Get Fit and Lean

imagesEKRS18DNHere is a question I was recently asked by a soon to be retired professor regarding having the motivation to start and complete a weight loss program.  I have a feeling he’s not the only one having this problem. I wanted to share my response to him with everyone.

Question: I am a college professor and soon to be retiring.   I believe that  if I can get fit and healthy before retirement, I will enjoy retirement much more than if I were not fit and healthy.  So far I have not acted on it, and feel like my life is on hold. I do not want to retire if I am not feeling fit and really alive like my students, yet I do want to retire and have the energy and the passion to do things for myself, family and community at large. My question is, how can I increase my motivation to get fit, get healthy, and begin anew?

Answer: This is a great question because so many of us desire a certain way of being in the world yet strangely we can’t find the motivation.  Major Life changes such as retirement are rarely easy. We get caught up in day to day living and urgent matters of the day take over.

Your plan for getting fit and healthy has to begin with the fun stuff of envisioning your  future self as a “retired person.”  In my practice people often say they are motivated to change, but so often cannot articulate the real reasons for change. Often they think that if they lose weight and get fit their life will be transformed – if I am slim and fit all the pieces of my life will flow seamlessly kind of thinking.

The step you may be missing is that of envisioning a future self in all it’s totality. Part of the reason people can’t seem to lose weight or keep it off is that in their zeal to get started on “the big weight loss/get fit plan, they forget why it’s  actually important to be the fittest and healthiest they can be.   Sure many say they will feel better, and look better, but it goes much deeper than this.

Increase Motivation Steps: write several paragraphs answering the following questions.
I call this writing exercise blabbing as no one else needs to read it.

1. Why is it important for you to be fit and trim? And How will being fit and trim impact your loved one’s health?
2. How will being fit and trim change your life positively as you get set to retire? What fun things will it open up?
3. What will you dare  dream of doing  as a fit lean person that you cannot do now?
4. Would you have less fear of your life to be if you felt your health was optimal? How would you think differently about the fun possibilities in life?
5. How will you be able to contribute more to your own life and the life of your loved one’s if you were fit, lean, and the healthiest you could be?

Read your vision daily. Make no expectations to act until you are ready. In most cases, people begin to start  acting within a short time period. If that is not the case with you, then review your vision and aim to dig deeper within yourself and make more of an emotional connect. Emotions cause us to change, so drive it with emotion and get rid of the cognitive mind stuff we typically pride ourselves on. This is about change which begins from emotion and not that brainy beast of ours.

If You Are Not Moved to Act After Several Weeks
Then you gotta get going. It’s tough love time!
Know that action will have to begin whether you are ready or not!  I call this faking it until you make it. Fake how you want to be and set up your action plan. Feel confident that action causes change in the brain so begin where you are at, and not where your spouse, neighbor friend, dog, cat are at. This is about you. It’s tough love time and begin to take action – start changing your eating habits and get moving.

Get Rid of Old Style Thinking and Lose Weight Now- Do This

Girl, Female, She, Her, Lady, Femme
Last week it was established that:
1. Yes, you can target belly fat.
2. Belly fat burns so much quicker than other body fat.

I was not in dreamland when I made those statements, and I think you get it that belly fat can be targeted. Those of you who are 30 Days to Lean members have lived this truth by immersing yourselves in a better way of eating. This cleaner way of eating targets fat especially in the mid section where it is most damaging to our health as well as where we despise having it the most. Now I know that many of you say, “I can’t be helped in losing weight.” You may say things like, ” I eat healthy Kim. I eat clean. I’m a healthy eater, and I barely eat many calories!”  And to that I say, ” You are missing the point. That is old style thinking. We cannot lose weight when we are eating like birds!”

You See 

That part of you that says, “let me just count calories, and increase my exercise and I’ll lose weight”, attitude is killing your ability to lose weight” Funny thing is, if you ask yourself how often you have went on this “old style thinking type of diet” only to find out that you end up fatter, it is probably for many many years!  I am here to  say stop that! ( in a nice way) A mind shift is needed.

A Review But New Information Too

Below are the three things that people are doing or not doing that sabotage their efforts at losing fat in the middle. * The asterick indicates what you should work on right now to remove belly fat.  No procrastination!. No crying! And no saying “no!” Let’s get this job done guys!

1. Exercise. Slow and steady exercise burns belly fat. The more you do it, the more fat you burn. But you can’t increase your stress in the process. Walking or very light jogging is best. The average person will ignore this advice and keep burning themselves out and then wondering why their food and sugar cravings are through the roof.

* What To Do Now

walk daily for 30- 60 minutes at a low intensity. Low intensity means below 70% of your maximum heart rate. To get your heart rate at 70% of it’s maximum do the following: subtract your age from 220 and multiply it by .70. The number you get is a guideline to use  for your walks.

If you are a bit fitter and can jog keeping your heart rate under 70% of it’s maximum than you may jog. Note – jog /walking is a good option for those of you in between fitness levels. The key here is to keep your cortisol ( belly fat hormone ) low and not raging high. Doing so will decrease your belly fat ( notice it is not the calories you burn that I am counting – old style) while keeping your appetite in check. Maintaining a healthy, ” I look forward to eating appetite is central to weigh loss vs a “I am a raging hungry maniac because I worked out like a “raging bull and I need to consume everything in site,” becomes a problem while in the process of losing weight. Be low key guys. That is if you really want to focus on weight loss. I, like some of you love to work out and play hard, but this is not the time. What you are essentially doing when you work out so hard is not just increasing cortisol, but giving yourself permission to eat poorly instead of focusing on the food you eat to decrease belly fat. This is not the case for some people, but I tend to think that it is for many people. They train in the gym so they may overindulge. Not too cool.

2. Reduce stress. The other thing you must do when you are in the process of  losing weight is to reduce stress. This of course goes hand in hand with moderate light exercise which reduces stress but there are other things that one can do to reduce stress during this time period of weight loss.*What To Now

Image result for daily life and routines

Find Your Daily Routines

In great part members of the 30 Days to Lean program are so successful because they are forming new routines built around food. I have helped them incorporate the mindset of “when we eat – we eat!” No guilt. We eat breakfast. We eat lunch. And we eat dinner. My members will tell you, they look forward to the new eating routine and when they eat, they enjoy it. This is the missing link in old style dieting. But here’s the thing, when they do not eat-they do not eat. This is the beauty of forming a routine of eating. Not only can we look forward to eating because we have not mindlessly snacked all day, but we have better blood sugar and hormonal balance because we are not asking our pancreas to work in overdrive.

The psychology of new eating routines is, as one members says very liberating. At first, it seems intimidating to suggest one does not snack, but as members settle in and begin to make sense of this whole concept of weight loss, they begin to get it! And what I love even more about this idea of eating and enjoying real food 3 times a day is that science says, we lose more weight, more quickly when we stop eating in between meals! No snacking is a winner all the way around. I like to say to my members, “the goal should be to eat like you mean it and enjoy every bit, then go on with your life!” Having this attitude is a must to real weight loss for a lifetime.

How Eating Like This Reduces Stress

The food industry perpetuates the idea of constantly eating. Food is everywhere and I believe it is stressing us out in a very bad way. So many people tell me they constantly think about food, and that they cannot imagine not having one or even several snacks throughout the day and evening. The bottom line is that what we focus on, we stress about. Some people do not think about food all day long, but when it comes to the evening, bang, they are focused on it all night long. This is not good. We need to eat, and enjoy, then be done with it- waking up feeling great the next morning and starting all over. This is normal. And it’s what we are doing in the 30 Days to Lean Plan.

Is it difficult to not eat between meals? It can be initially. Can you do it? Maybe. Maybe not. You have to be motivated to change and this is a big reason I never try to convince people that it is simple. If it was simple from the onset, everyone would be lean and mean. The best part? When it becomes simple life changes for the good. That’s when we call it a lifestyle change, but you gotta  have the right head, the right attitude, and the motivation to change.

3. You have to address insulin resistance. This is the toughest of the three things to do to lose belly fat.  And it takes changes toyour diet, not just eating less. This is why the Top 3 Diets fail in the long run, because they do not address this point. 

* What To Do Now

Stay tuned For Lose Your waist Wednesday May 13th.

Hint: It’s about what we eat, not how much. And even though I mention slow cardiovascular exercise like walking as a means to lose weight, know that it is what we eat that has the number one impact on belly fat loss and weight loss in general. So in other words, if you want to lose weight real fast and real smart, you must eat the right foods. Exercising your buns and belly off is lowest in effectiveness of the three most effective go to’s for weight loss that I have listed here today.

Bring Health Back to The Body and Watch Weight Loss Happen

imagesGBDUD2F6I Had A Few Moments
I had a few moments between training clients yesterday so I sat outside by the pool to enjoy the sun.
Shortly after taking a moment, a 30 Days to Lean Member stops by and we chat.
This is What He Said
“After 60 days of being on your plan my wife and I feel great. We have changed our habits and changed our lives. The best part is, he said (and this is why I love what I do), is that I do not feel deprived. I eat. I look forward to eating. And I love the wholesome foods that we cook ourselves.”
In The Beginning of Change we all tend to get a little hyperactive for lack of a better word. We think things to ourselves like, ” I could never give up that sweet daily dessert at night or I can never give up that bread, or whatever it is that we tend to crave. I get it. Part of life is eating and eating things we love. Remember I am Italian and food is so so importante!
What Happened?
Here’ the thing, this member who lost 18 pounds was able to motivate himself long enough so that his body chemistry actually changed. What happened to the cravings? After 10 days of eating only from the plan he, like many of the other successful members started noticing a waning desire for sugar whether in the form of simple or complex sugars ( candy bar or breads as examples).
I have simplified this to illustrate the point that in order for real weight loss to take hold one must accept a certain amount of discomfort initially. But in reality, because this member and his wife were able to eat so many other foods with abundance, they began the process of bringing health back to their bodies. The hormonal chemistry changed and life got better: better sleep, better energy, better health numbers, better disposition, and a more content happy lifestyle while still enjoying great foods and parties!
What You Gotta Know
1. Food Choice Matters!
2. We become content through immersion of proper foods and life gets sweeter!

Can You Do The Things You Need to Do Without Getting Tired?


Strengthening, Stretching and Balance

You get it that strengthening, stretching, and balance are all important right?
But how do we know how much strength we need? How much flexibility we need? And how much balance we need? These are the real questions we need to be asking ourselves. Not everyone is conditioning for a chosen sport  such as golf, tennis, biking, running or skiing. Some people may need just enough conditioning/toning for gardening, cleaning their homes, playing with the grandkids, their own kids, or traveling about.
Upshot Strength Question:
Can I do the things I need to do throughout the day without getting too tired in the muscles.
If your answer is no, then you need to up your strength in the weight department. That usually means going to the gym.
Everyone has a different daily routine- some are vigorous and some are not so much. Your level of strength needs to match what you want to do.
Often we think we do not want to do something we once loved, like gardening or hikes in the woods, mainly because we are deconditioned. Passion for what we used to do can often be reignited by strengthening our bodies, increasing the joint range of motion, and feeling grounded in balance.  Cardiovascular fitness plays a role in heart conditioning but this newsletter is not directly about cardiovascular training.
How Do We Know We Are Strong Enough? Flexible Enough? And Balanced Enough?
When you can do what you want to do without getting overly fatigued and thoroughly enjoy the activity, then, and only then are you as strong, flexible, and balanced as you need to be.
Don’t confuse this with training in the gym however. When you are in the gym lifting weights, fatigue is what we need to aim for. Why? Because a fatigued muscle is a stronger muscle. And a stronger muscle can put up with the demands of either your chosen sport or whatever you need or desire to do daily.
The intent for many people after age 40 is usually not to be in the gym because they love it, but to be in the gym so they may be able to do what they want to do! That’s why I go. This is in sharp contrast to years ago when I was in the gym because of the love of it! Now I condition just enough for my chosen sport which is tennis, and to keep my back  from caving forward from increased computer usage.
Thinking You Need To Step Things Up?
Do these exercises several times before we meet again.
Image result for tree pose man
Hold for one minute each leg.
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Hold for one minute  keeping abdominals pressed in supporting back ( build time incrementally).
Hold for one minute receiving stretch in lower back and front of thigh/quadriceps.
Balance Strength and Stretch:
Image result for yoga handsome man warrior pose
Hold for one minute ( build time incrementally).
Reverse sides.

Best Approaches for Exercise

imagesN12RDV2HYou get it that strengthening, stretching, and balance are crucial in being able to do what you want to do.
You get it that strengthening, stretching, and balance can be improved regardless of age.
You get it that your level of strength, range of motion and sense of balance needs to match life’s activities.
And you get it that strengthening, stretching, and balance play a large role in decreasing the aging process.
So Now What?
All this insight must be put into action. Don’t let it overwhelm you though. Too often we think in terms of all or nothing when it comes to change. This all or nothing approach, or what I call immersion, needs to be tempered with gradual progressive habit change otherwise we risk reverting back to old habits. Conditioning our mind to do exercise begins with small baby steps. And it should begin with baby steps since injury risk increases with age.
Here’s What I Mean
When it comes to exercise we need to acknowledge where we are at physically and where we want to be physically. Then, it’s just a matter of bridging the gap through what is called progressive overload of the body. Progressive overload simply means that we increase our training load ( example: increasing weights in a gym more progressively as it gets easy. Practicing holding a balance position longer as it gets easier. And increasing the range of motion in a joint progressively as it gets easier.)
Ask Yourself These 3 Questions:
1. Can I do the things I need to do throughout the day without getting too tired in the muscles?
If your answer is no, then you need to up your strength in the weight department. That usually means going to the gym.
Everyone has a different daily routine- some are vigorous and some are not so much. Your level of strength needs to match what you want to do. But remember, you must be wise and increase your strength progressively!
2. Can I move in various positions without feeling strain? If the answer is no, then you gotta increase your flex, called range of motion or ROM for short.
3. Do I feel balanced in various activities throughout the day? For example, I notice that some people have difficulty moving up stairs swiftly. Their ability to balance on one leg as when ascending stairs is a little wobbly. If you are feeling even a little wobbly, then it’s time to work on balance as stairs are for most people a daily living activity. * Often the wobbles while ascending stairs is a condition of leg strength too. You would be smart to practice both strength and balance.
Thinking You Need To Step Things Up?
Do these exercises several times before we meet again.
 Image result for one leg balance
Image result for abdominal side raises
Image result for hamstring stretches
Balance Strength and Stretch:
Image result for yoga handsome man warrior pose