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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:27 pm 
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Please consult with your physician before starting any fitness program.

If your goal this New Year is to lose weight for the long haul, then read on. The following information is based on exercise science, statistics and is completely practical for the general population. There are many companies that prey on consumer’s vulnerabilities and desire for short cuts to weight loss. These companies will market their product with unproven results and portray it as the all in one solution to weight loss. You will also find misleading weight loss information on food and beverage labels, magazines cover, the internet, and even from misinformed fitness professionals. These campaign remind me of the saying “… if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is” .

There is only one universal rule regarding weight loss that applies to everyone. You must burn more calories than you consume on a daily/consistent basis to see results. Similarly, you will gain weight if you consume more calories than you burn on a daily/consistent basis. Please note, you want to lose body fat not muscle if your goal is weight loss.

There are 2 roads you can choose to lose weight, the healthy path or unhealthy slippery slope. The latter is what some call “the rollercoaster ride” of weight loss and gain. This rollercoaster ride always begins with some product, service or program packaged with a lean super model proclaiming you can have this body in “3 weeks”! However, if you look closer at the disclaimer on the box it usually states the results are “atypical”. Meaning: “fat chance you will get long term results and thanks for the $19.95 plus s&h!”.

If you have not seen results in the past 1-3 months then you might want to review your program.

I have compiled 5 do’s and don’ts for weight loss that most of us have done at one time. You can learn from these experiences and use them to your advantage.

5. Buying equipment for specific muscles:

DON’T: I do not have enough ink in my printer to list all the equipment and fads that claim you will have a lean visible 6 pack by just working the abs for 5 minutes per day. It is NOT TRUE. Spot reduction is a myth; if you work one muscle group under a layer of body fat then you will have strong muscles under a layer of fat. This also applies to machines that isolate muscles.

DO: If time is important to you and your goal is weight loss, focus on total body workouts. The more muscles you work per exercise, the more calories you will burn thus MAXIMIZING your time and results. Here are a few suggestions for total body exercises: you can use your own body weight, dumb bells, Val Slides, Kettle bell, cable machines, resistance bands and even take a group class. I guarantee you will burn more calories if you do a squat with a dumb bell curl and press than a seated curl machine.

4. Diets:

DON’T: If diets worked then we would not have a national obesity epidemic. The word “diet” is one of the most misunderstood and marketable words in our culture. Usually the person who is dieting is misinformed by the misinformed. We all know someone who went on a diet and saw results in 1 month, but 3 months later was struggling with more weight than when they began.

What happened? One answer is there was a drastic, unrealistic caloric restriction. This drastic drop in calories could have affected the mood/emotions of the person and when they decided to reward/indulge or find comfort with old treats, they found the boomerang of weight gain.

DO: Remember, nutrition is 1/3 of the formula for long term results. Without a fitness program you can not promote lean muscle development which equates to an increase in metabolism. Diets DO NOT increase metabolism. Rather than dieting consider learning about foods that are nutrient dense (low calories/low fat/ high nutrition benefits), minimize consumption of sugar (especially soda), white flour and red meat. Changing our eating habits is NOT impossible. Start with a daily nutrition journal and note where substitution for healthy foods can be placed. Visit www.mypyramid.gov for great information on nutrient dense foods.

3. Not addressing muscle imbalances:

DON’T: Start a weight loss program without reviewing your current health. Muscle imbalances usually occur from injuries (e.g. ACL, rotator cuff.), repetitive movement patterns (sport specific, sedentary lifestyle). Most commonly, these imbalances arise from a culture of sitting in front of a computer/TV for hours at a time. Your body was designed to move, not to sit for long durations. Sitting will basically make important muscles of the torso/core weaker while promoting serious muscle dominance in others. This muscle dominance does affect our joint actions/posture and is commonly seen with low back pain, knee discomfort, shoulder/neck stress, poor posture and decrease joint range of motion.

DO: Get a fitness assessment, most health clubs offer this service free of charge! If you begin a routine without addressing these usually reversible muscle imbalances, then you are missing a great opportunity to prevent injuries and burn more calories!!! If you are not a member of a club, list your past injuries, current muscular/joint pains and make an appointment for a physical with your doctor. Inform them you want to start a weight loss program and follow their suggestions.

2. Excessive cardiovascular exercising:

DON’T: I must stress, if your goal is to lose weight (e.g. body fat NOT muscle) then doing cardio every day exceeding 60 minutes is counterproductive. The laws of diminishing returns can apply to the belief MORE is better when it comes to cardio. If you are doing the same cardio (e.g. treadmill) every day for more than 60 minutes and not seeing results, you are probably overtraining. Your body has activated its’ primal survivor mechanism and is not using fat and carbohydrates for fuel but rather lean muscle. Some overtraining symptoms are fatigue, weight gain, poor sleep, irritability, no appetite and injuries.

DO: Plan your week in advance. You should have cardio only days balanced with total body workout days that finish with a 15-20 minute cardio session (do not exceed 1 hour). Cardio only days should be 25 minutes to 60 minutes. Remember to begin at a pace where you can hold a conversation. Eventually, your conditioning will improve and your time will increase. For the first 1-4 weeks, time and consistency are the most important variables for weight loss, not intensity.

1. Realistic time table:

Don’t: Try to steer away from the diet fads, miracle creams and equipment that claim unbelievable results in 1 week etc... Fact, to lose 1LB of body fat you need to burn 3500 kilo calories per week. However, if you are trying to take shortcuts for weight loss with pills, supplements etc…chances are you are getting more than you bargained for. On top losing weight you are also losing important vitamins/minerals needed for cellular function, lean muscle and your hard earned money as well as the opportunity to experience the rewards of long term results.

DO: There is the healthy method of losing weight through nutrition awareness (proportioned macronutrients), cardiovascular exercise with strength and conditioning program. These are the 3 necessary ingredients to build a solid foundation for weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. This formula will promote an increase in metabolism, increase in stamina, tone muscles, improved self-confidence, long term weight loss along with a host of other benefits.

Training for weight loss is not a linear process, meaning you will not see the same results every week. We live in a society that craves instant gratification at any cost. This article was written to counter that mindset, you can achieve your fitness goals without compromising your mental and physical health. By the way, results are not “atypical”.

For total body exercises, fitness videos and articles visit www.fitnessfoundry.net

Julio A. Salado, NSCA-CPT, R.K.C.
Fitness Foundry designed for healthy living.©
Assess, Initiate, Motivate
juliosalado@fitnessfoundry.net
http://www.fitnessfoundry.net

Copyright © 2010 Fitness Foundry designed for healthy living. All rights reserved.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:20 pm 
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That's pretty good Julio. I have only a couple of observations. The first has to do with the Diets section. I'm not a big fan of the government food pyramid and being of the slightly older generation, it was wrong for so many years and I don't agree with the curent one. I see nothing wrong with red meat and lots of it. I'll agree that chicken and fish is better for you than finished beef, but range fed beef, venison, elk, etc. is almost as good as other meats. I actually don't have much of an issue with finished beef except when it is coupled with the other things you mentioned.

Another issue I have is addressed with the muscle imbalance section. I don't have much faith in the trainers at most of the gyms I visit. Granted a good trainer is valuable, the average trainer doing a fitness assessment at you average club is about as useful as tits on a boar hog.

I may be way off base here, but I think it is generally accepted in the fitness community that HIIT is superior to steady state cardio routines. While your advice is good for a beginner, I think the community as a whole should look into understanding and developing HIIT programs for beginnners.

All in all, a very good post and the observations I bring up are more my opinion than anything else. It isn't that you asked for an opinion and personally I don't put much value in what I have to say. However, I feel that if someone has put in the effort to write an article and has the guts to put it out there for review, then that person deserves some feedback - whether it is positive or negative. I tend to forget that the general knowledge level of the average person in regards to exercise and fitness is usually very poor. While I don't agree with everything, the information you put forth is solid.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:17 pm 
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Thanks for your post...I agree with all you said.

I especially agree that most trainers do not understand the importance of a thorough fitness assessment and its purpose for a solid program design.

I also stress in my articles that training is progressive and that goes for cardio...HIIT is great for bodyfat reduction but can be counterproductive in the hands of a incompetent trainer or a beginner who is deconditioned.


Thanks again, good stuff.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:42 am 
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The diet part seems to have fair bit of mythology and conventional wisdom in it rather things taken from peer reviewed studies. Why raw calorie input/output has little to do with it has been covered thoroughly elsewhere. The problems with the whole low fat thing and Ancel Keys lack of evidence has also been extensively covered.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:38 am 
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Part of the problem with the dietary guidelines is they're over-simplicity. I just picked a couple of quotes from their brochure as examples.

Quote:
CONSIDER THIS:
If you eat 100 more food calories a day than you burn,
you’ll gain about 1 pound in a month. That’s about 10
pounds in a year. The bottom line is that to lose weight,
it’s important to reduce calories and increase physical
activity.


This may be OK guidelines for the average person with no real issues but it obscures most of what people need in order to take it to the next step, which is hormone control.

Quote:
Know your fats. Look for foods low in saturated fats,transfats, and cholesterol to help reduce the risk of heart disease (5% DV or less is low, 20% DV or more is high). Most of the fats you eat should be polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Keep total fat intake between 20% to 35% of calories.
.

They continue to group Saturated fats in with Trans fats and treat all polyunsaturated the same. That may be because they only update every 5 years and there has been a lot of progress in this area recently. Hopefully the 2010 guidelines will sort this out. (in teh comments on the latest discussion on fat: "Contradictions exist between the science contained in the 2005 Dietary Reference Intakes (Macronutrients) and the current nutritional recommendations and prevailing wisdom.") I don't expect the fixation on cholesterol to go away soon. It's too deeply entrenched. We'll have to wait for this generation of doctors and nutritionists to die off.

Julio, recommending the "safe" approach to diet is not doing your clients any favours. They will probably be coming to you because the advise they've been getting from official sources is inadequate for their needs. You need to direct them in what to do when the official guidelines don't work.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:31 pm 
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I'm a big beleiver in calorie math. It worked for me. And guys like Alan Aragon are for it, based on reviews of literature. Other than that, the article seemed like a random set of stuff and pretty trivial information...and not that enticing in the writing.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:54 pm 
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ApolytonGP wrote:
I'm a big beleiver in calorie math. It worked for me. And guys like Alan Aragon are for it, based on reviews of literature. Other than that, the article seemed like a random set of stuff and pretty trivial information...and not that enticing in the writing.


Well, if you have good genetics then yea, your body will almost always burn fat rather than withhold energy. Then calorie reduction works great as long as you keep the carbs low too.

Unfortunately it doesn't work that way for pretty much anyone who is significantly overweight. Now if you gave them drugs that made them always burn fat rather than conserve, and stimulate appetite, then it would work great for them too.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:11 pm 
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Agree to disagree.

A. Thermodynamics.

B. Research reports.

C. I lived it.

D. I spent 6 months posting like crazy on the NS boards and saw all kinds of results from different men and women. As long as they ran their program they lost weight. The ONLY ones who had it tough were 60+ women...and they still lost if they kept on track and exercised a little (and the reality is a lot of them have 1200cal maintenance diets...they just do.)


Last edited by ApolytonGP on Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:20 pm 
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Lets not forget that, just because your not fat doesnt mean your healthy.

Obvioudly having mass amounts of excess fat can significantly raise the risk of an illness. But being physically fit isnt everything. I want a strong immune system and eating low fat foods isnt going to do that.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:08 pm 
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ApolytonGP wrote:
Agree to disagree.

A. Thermodynamics.

B. Research reports.

C. I lived it.

D. I spent 6 months posting like crazy on the NS boards and saw all kinds of results from different men and women. As long as they ran their program they lost weight. The ONLY ones who had it tough were 60+ women...and they still lost if they kept on track and exercised a little (and the reality is a lot of them have 1200cal maintenance diets...they just do.)



A. Thermodynamics have nothing to do with it. That only involves heat exchanges and other sorts of energy transfers. This is a lot more complicated than that. There are complex chemical reactions going on. Your body can't absorb any energy without certain hormones. Look at the difference between treated and untreated type 1 diabetics for example. No insulin, no energy (other than from body fat), you waste away no matter how much you eat. Take people who had thyroid cancer and lost all thyroid function. No T3 and they are screwed. The existence of endocrinologists is another example. If there is nothing to it, what's the point? The chemical reactions in the body are numerous and complex. It also varies greatly from person to person.

B. Please provide said research reports. All the ones I have seen are either flawed or prove the opposite. Take the Keys study on "semi-starvation" diets for example.

C. Then you probably have decent genetics. Some people just luck out.

D. This anecdotal evidence is irrelevant.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:10 pm 
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Jebus wrote:
Lets not forget that, just because your not fat doesnt mean your healthy.

Obvioudly having mass amounts of excess fat can significantly raise the risk of an illness. But being physically fit isnt everything. I want a strong immune system and eating low fat foods isnt going to do that.


Speaking of the immune system, there was a study done recently showing how important vitamin D is. It is really quite remarkable. Get some D3 and you should almost never get sick. It particularly stops seasonal cold and flu type things.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:02 am 
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A calorie is a unit of measurement of energy released from a substance by a reaction (combustion) that does not occur in the human body. I might be useful as a crude measure of relative amounts of a given macronutrient, but a calorie of fat and a calorie of carb are not the same thing at all.

Of course, this is old, familiar territory, and there is some danger of hijacking the thread.

I believe that it is better, when giving advice to the novice, to emphasize reduction in carbs.

If you want to throw anecdotal evidence around, I'm 170# for over 2 years, down from 230. Didn't count a single calorie. Just cut a bunch of high GI carbs out of my eating. Replaced a lot of it with protein and fat.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:48 am 
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You guys have been so nice to me. I don't want to become a total pencil-nose and start digging up Alan Aragon and Pubmed to hash this out.

Would say...that I totally respect your 230 to 170. Very similar to me. Given that you did not count calories, how can you say that the change in diet was calorie neutral? From a practical manner, I am highly in favor of eliminating calorie-dense foods when dieting. Veggies will fill you up. Sugar won't. Neither will fat. (And I don't think "fat makes you fat"...I think excess calories make you fat...the danger from fat is the calorie-density.)


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:35 pm 
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ApolytonGP wrote:
You guys have been so nice to me. I don't want to become a total pencil-nose and start digging up Alan Aragon and Pubmed to hash this out.

Would say...that I totally respect your 230 to 170. Very similar to me. Given that you did not count calories, how can you say that the change in diet was calorie neutral? From a practical manner, I am highly in favor of eliminating calorie-dense foods when dieting. Veggies will fill you up. Sugar won't. Neither will fat. (And I don't think "fat makes you fat"...I think excess calories make you fat...the danger from fat is the calorie-density.)


For every expert that says that a calorie is a calorie, we can come up with one that disputes it. Yes, calories do make a difference but what you eat makes a difference with regard to your appetite and your hormonal response to the food. Fat and protein are more satisfying that carbs in general. Yes vegetables have a lot of bulk and that certainly makes a difference. It's hard to get many calories from vegetables. In order to get the majority of calories from carbs, you must eat starchy vegetables and grains. Those are not filling.

Things that make you hungry are sugar and salt. Adding those to your food will increase your appetite. Drinking your calories will also increase your calories and increase your fat gain.

The most important rules should be to avoid sugar, particularly HFCS, products made with flour, industrial oils, MSG and processed foods in general. Protein should be moderate for everyone but higher for those seeking to add muscle or lose fat. Saturated fats will improve your health. Omega 6 should be minimized. Most grains contain anti-nutrients that could harm your health. They are best to be avoided.

Eating this way will allow your body to normalize as long as you don't go crazy. You need to use common sense and stop eating when you're no longer hungry. Obviously you can't stuff yourself on huge steaks every meal and expect to lose weight, especially if you're marinating the meat in spicy sauces containing MSG and salt. You will certainly overeat that way.

The debate over "metabolic advantage" is trivial. None of what I just went over requires a metabolic advantage. That said, it is an ongoing debate and I think the Dr Eades of the world have a better case than the Alan Aragons.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:01 pm 
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ApolytonGP wrote:
You guys have been so nice to me. I don't want to become a total pencil-nose and start digging up Alan Aragon and Pubmed to hash this out.

Would say...that I totally respect your 230 to 170. Very similar to me. Given that you did not count calories, how can you say that the change in diet was calorie neutral? From a practical manner, I am highly in favor of eliminating calorie-dense foods when dieting. Veggies will fill you up. Sugar won't. Neither will fat. (And I don't think "fat makes you fat"...I think excess calories make you fat...the danger from fat is the calorie-density.)


Are you kidding? By all means bring on the pubmed! References to peer reviewed research is ALWAYS welcome here. I encourage that wholeheartedly.

As to the Alan Aragon and other experts, that is pointless, as doing so would be the logical fallacy called "appeal to authority." The exception to this is something like exercise where there is very little solid research and only if the argument is about what is more likely to be best and not about it's empirical truth.

Fat will indeed fill you up. Try eating some Havarti cheese, with no other food to go with it. There are no carbs to stimulate appetite. It does have some protein, but it is mostly fat. See how much you can eat. I bet it's not much.


If you really want to prove your point, a logical argument, addressing my points and maybe some pubmed would be the way to go. It's rather pointless though as I can tell you I have researched this in detail and have already had this conversations many many times.


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