What should you do with your “carbs”?  Cut them out?  Decrease them?  Well you should never cut them out, as it is your body’s #1 source of energy.  Should you decrease them?  It depends on how many you are eating.  My advice is to do something different with them, which will result in the same amount of calories, but be much more food.  Watch our video to learn more!

To see our Google post, click here.

If you want to shape, sculpt, or increase tone in your body, there is only one way to do it.  It happens to be the same thing that will increase your metabolism, which is the biggest calorie burn of each and every day.  In this 7th edition of Walking You Through Weight Loss, we are asking you to make a change to your habits, but only 2 or 3 times per week.  This alone will shower you with all sorts of great changes to your body.

Here is a big weight loss tip, especially during the winter months when the weather does not always cooperate.  This is lesson #8 in our Walking You Through Weight Loss series.  In this series, we ask you to make one simple periodic lifestyle change, that adds up to habits that make huge changes to your health and quality of life.

To see our Google post, click here.

Make small changes, over time, to your lifestyle and end up with big results.  Here is one more small change to your routine to make a habit!  Your habits are also known as your lifestyle, and if you live a healthy lifestyle it will reflect in the mirror and in your quality of life.

To see our Google post of this topic, click here.

Did you parents ever give you food to calm you down when upset?  How about a cookie to help that skinned knee?  Recent research show that instances like this lead a child to have an unhealthy relationship with food.  Saying that in fact, emotional eating is learned, not inherited.

This unhealthy relationship, or attitude towards food, can certainly lead to obesity.  And in cases where people eat less when emotional, can lead to anorexia or other disorders.

A recent study was done with both identical and non-identical twins, with half having obese parent, and half having healthy weight parents.  The results showed that environment had more influence that genes.

What do you do with this information?  If you are a parent, avoid using food to soothe your child.  Teach them another way to deal with emotions.  If you are an adult with emotional eating problems, this is empowering information to help you direct your efforts toward a healthier lifestyle!  Rather than beating yourself up with trendy diets….look at how you are feeling when you eat, and why you are eating.

The only feeling that eating will cure is hunger.

For more on this….

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-06-emotional-childhood-home.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-44520122

A doctor recently told me that in medical school, they only had a few days dedicated to nutrition, and less than that dedicated to the positive effects of exercise.  With some reports saying that 80% of medical conditions can be linked to lifestyle, why do doctors spend more time learning about medications than they do nutrition and exercise?

This lack of training for doctors, certainly steers them into the direction of prescription drugs, simply because they know about this topic.  Unfortunately, drugs do not change lifestyles, so when a person gets a pill, the underlying issue affecting their health is still present.  It is simply masked by a drug.  I have said in the past that prescription from a doctor is a “permission slip” to keep living an unhealthy lifestyle.

A big part of the problem is that some patients do not want to change their lifestyle, so a drug is required to improve their quality of life and reduce risk of death.  So the doctors can find themselves in no-win situation in this case.

The editor-in-chief for a major medical journal recently said that the same level of quality and scrutiny should be applied to research into preventative medicine (nutrition, exercise, etc.) as has been with prescription drugs.  This, in conjunction with added education on this topic in medical school would be a great start to a healthier population.

As a physical therapy professional, here is an example of a classic patient who is not happy with their knee surgery….

Patient: “I wish I never had this surgery.  The pain is as bad as it was before the surgery.  I have been doing my therapy and it has not helped.”  Oh, poor me…..

Therapist:  “Can you show me the home exercises you were supposed to be doing 2x per day the last 4 weeks?”

Patient fumbling:  “Uh……..”

This is a classic example of someone who does not do everything they need to do to succeed but quickly blames someone other than themselves for their failure.  This is also seen in many other aspects of life, including those with weight loss goals.

When I see people dieting and their exercise is “walking the dog”, they are not doing everything needed to succeed.  When they go to they gym and are either socializing or working out at 50% intensity, they are not doing everything needed to succeed.  When they have a “treat” everyday, because “I have to have my chocolate/wine/etc. etc”…they are not doing everything needed to succeed.  And most times, of course, it is not their fault.

If you are doing everything needed to succeed and are feeling down, you have earned a pity party, complete with balloons and confetti.

All others need not apply.

After working with thousands in the health and fitness arena you can easily begin to make fairly accurate generalizations. One generalization that I can make is that many people have two common misperceptions. One being a misperception of one’s true appearance, and the other being a misperception of what an intense workout really feels like. This generalization I make was recently reinforced by a study that showed that 70% of obese people think that they eat healthy and 40% feel that they exercise intensely. The study went onto to confirm that most of the people did not realize that they were clinically obese and they obviously did not know what intense exercise was.

Have you ever seen someone obese and say “how could they let themselves get that way?” I have said that on many occasions, but it is now easier for me to understand after seeing hundreds of people who think they are a little overweight find out through a body mass index that they are actually clinically obese. The body mass index (BMI) is the accepted test for obesity by those in the medical community (there is a free BMI at sensiblefitness.com). I have broken the pride of many with a BMI test, it is often a unexpected reality check for people.

I can share many experiences of those with misperceptions of their appearance, from the very thin person who thinks they are fat, to the 180 woman (grade 2 obesity) who thought she “looked like a ballerina” after losing some weight. My point is that it is very easy for someone to look at themselves in the mirror with rose colored glasses on, especially when the weight creeps on slowly over a period of years. You simply get used to seeing the added weight and grow to accept it. That is when a BMI test can be quite the reality check, “Oh my God! I’m obese?!”

Ok, so your vision may be a little distorted, and very few friends or loved ones have the guts to tell you how you really look. So what do you do to get an accurate answer? Take the free BMI test….just Google it!

Another misperception that exists among people of all fitness levels is an inaccurate perception of high exertion. More often than not a person may feel as if they are really pushing themselves during a workout, when in fact they are nowhere close. This leads to limited results in weight loss and plateaus with muscle tone in both men and women.

For a muscle fiber to increase it’s firmness or tone, you must have a properly established program executed at the proper intensity level. Many veteran exercisers have come to Sensible Fitness to learn how to break through a fitness plateau and are astonished that they not only have been performing the wrong program for years but they also have not been pushing themselves hard enough, the latter of which happens easily when training alone.

As a physical therapy professional I have used 5-pound dumbbells to strengthen the frail elderly in nursing homes and yet fitness videos and group exercise classes still try to create the illusion that the young and middle-aged population can sculpt a fit and trim body with them. Give me a break! A 5-pound dumbbell might be challenging for a novice female performing exercises for her shoulders, but that is the only muscle group. Lifting these light weights for a high number of reps, as done with videos and classes, may help a little with muscular endurance but it will have very little or no affect on gaining muscle tone or sculpting.

Exercise is a science. It involves chemistry, physiology, kinesiology, and more. Too many people are establishing their workouts from fitness magazines, from “monkey see monkey do” at the gym, or from what they did in high school 20 years ago. Medical science has proven that the intensity of your workouts should be dictated by your fitness goal. A specific intensity (reps, sets, rest, and overall volume) is prescribed if your goals are to increase muscle mass, to increase muscle tone without gaining mass, to increase strength maximally, etc. The majority of people are not educated in the field of exercise science and are putting their blood, sweat, and tears into a misdirected workout. This leads to a misperception that one is exercising intensely, when actually they do not know the proper intensity level for their fitness goals.

To understand what a properly established workout “feels like”, it takes a personal visit to a knowledgeable trainer. It will cost you less than a round of golf or a trip to the hair stylist, but it will forever give you the education needed to give you the optimum results for your time spent exercising.

Before you blame being overweight on genetics, you first must consider that genes do not change over a few generations.  So if your distant relatives are thin, chances are your genes are not to blame.  We often learn the foundation of the lifestyle we live at a young age.  Things like what types of foods we eat, how we cope with emotional highs and lows, rewarding good behavior with food, getting ice cream when you fell on your bike and scraped your knee, the list goes on!!!

In order to succeed with weight loss, it is best to get an accurate diagnosis of the problem.  Is it genetic, or lifestyle?

To see our Google post for this, click here.

I am asking you to make one lifestyle change per month…only one!  If you do this…YOU WILL BE SKINNY!

To see our Google post, click here.

Betty recently passed away peacefully, with her family surrounding her.  She was a long time client and an incredibly close friend of Sensible Fitness.  Over the past years Betty embraced new adventures like zip-lining, and target shooting, but said “no way” to skydiving (boy, did I try though!).  She was 87 and remained dedicated to staying strong and maximizing her quality of life.  She was loved by all, and will be missed terribly.

Betty zipling

Even though experts have long told us that a health diet can help prevent things like obesity, cancer,  and heart disease, we still do not get nearly enough.

Here is an interesting article from the Guardian:

Only a sliver of Americans eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Just 12% of Americans eat the minimum daily fruit recommendation of one and a half to two cups per day, and only 9% consume the minimum daily vegetable recommendation of two to three cups per day, according to the study, published on Thursday.

“The study confirms years of data demonstrating that Americans do not eat their veggies,” Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University, told the Guardian. “Assuming this result is close to reality, it suggests the need for taking much stronger action to make it easier and cheaper to eat fruits and vegetables.”

The study, which broke out groups of Americans by state, class, race and gender, found some subgroups were even less likely to eat enough produce.

Men, young adults and people living in poverty all had especially low rates of fruit and vegetable intake. While 15.1% of women eat the recommended amount of fruit each day ,just 9.2% of men do the same. Similarly, 11.4% of wealthy Americans eat enough vegetables, but only 7% of poor people did the same.

Because a poor diet is linked to cancer, obesity, heart disease and diabetes, public health authorities have long endorsed a diet rich in fruit and vegetables.

Sarah Reinhardt, a nutritionist and food systems analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), said there was a growing awareness about the importance of healthy foods. “We have a lot more work to do to make sure they reach every corner of the country,” she said.

The CDC’s findings also showed the disparities in fruit and vegetable consumption by state. For example, just 2.2% of South Dakotans between 18 and 30 years old eat the recommended daily serving of vegetables.

People in West Virginia, which often tops lists of the least healthy and poorest US states, were the least likely to get enough vegetables on average – just 5.8% of West Virginians ate the recommended amount.

Residents of Alaska were most likely to eat the recommended amount of vegetables, though the percentage is low – only 12% of adults there eat enough.

Improving these rates is particularly challenging because just 2% of US farmland is devoted to growing fruits and vegetables, according to UCS. Reinhardt said farmers would need to grow almost twice as much produce just for Americans to get the recommended amount of servings.

“The food industry is not exactly working with public health on this, there’s a multimillion-dollar industry working to get people to eat [processed foods],” Reinhardt said.

The new research comes from the CDC’s 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which looks at how Americans eat and behave. Researchers called American adults’ landlines and cellphones and asked how often people eat beans, dark greens, orange vegetables, “other” vegetables, whole fruit and fruit juice.

The Lancet, a medical journal, published some interesting lifestyle factors that can contribute to dementia.  Some of these caught me by surprise.  Here are things that can add to the risk of dementia…

~Mid-life hearing loss

~Failing to complete secondary education

~ Smoking

~Failing to seek early treatment for depression

~ Lack of physical activity

~Social isolation

~High blood pressure

~ Obesity

~Type 2 diabetes

Entire article, click here.

Your body needs sleep, and here is a quick list of reasons why.

~ We are told to get 8 hours for a reason.  Both under and over sleeping is linked to poor health.

~ Poor sleep habits have been linked to obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes to name a few.

~ When you don’t get enough sleep, you are robbed of certain “stages” of sleep that are very beneficial.

~ People with disturbed sleep cycles get sick more often.

~ Studies actually show that we are no more sleep deprived than generations before us.

~ Phones are keeping teens awake and they are at risk of becoming sleep deprived from the start.

~ More light exposure during the day and less at night can actually affect your “body clock”, which prepares you for sleep.

Here is a interesting graphic:

number of hours of sleep

See entire article.

Insects are not just for breakfast anymore.  In fact more than 2 billion people worldwide eat insects as a part of their daily diet.  Here is an article from WebMD that talks about it:

The next time you see a grasshopper, try to imagine it as a snack.

If might help if you know that insects are nutritious and digestible.

“For a long time the prevailing wisdom was that mammals didn’t produce an enzyme that could break down the exoskeletons of insects, so they were considered to be very difficult to digest,” researcher Mareike Janiak said.

But Janiak and her colleagues at Rutgers University in New Jersey say that’s not so.

They found that most primates — including humans — have at least one working copy of a gene called CHIA. That’s the stomach enzyme that breaks down an insect’s outer shell, or exoskeleton.

Their study was published recently in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.

Scientists are still debating how effectively people digest an insect’s exoskeleton, said Janiak, a doctoral candidate in anthropology.

“For humans, even if we didn’t have an enzyme, the exoskeleton becomes a lot easier to chew and digest once the insect has been cooked,” she said.

While people in the United States, Canada and Europe may not consider insects food, they’re a staple for 2 billion people worldwide, according to the United Nations.

But most research has focused on western cultures rather than people around the world who actually eat bugs regularly.

About 1,900 insect species are edible. They are highly nutritious, containing healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins and essential minerals, the researchers said. But the yuck factor is a hurdle.

“It’s interesting that many people who like shrimp and lobster think insects are yucky. But shellfish are kind of like underwater insects,” Janiak noted.

Bugs can be quite tasty, she said. She said she’s snacked on tiny crickets from Japan that were marinated in a salty paste, and a friend working in Uganda had eaten cooked grasshoppers that tasted like — you guessed it! — chicken.

The growing availability of flour made from sustainably raised crickets may prompt more people in western cultures to give insects a try, she said.

Sensible Fitness awards

How do you find the best personal trainer in Cincinnati?  It seems like multiple outlets in Cincinnati have their own “awards” for the best plastic surgeon, the best photography studio, and yes….the best personal trainer in Cincinnati.  How do these media outlets pick the “best”?  Is it maybe the personal training center that advertised with their magazine the most?  Could it be on-line voting where every sister, brother and cousin votes for their family member?  I can tell you one thing…it is not with an objective investigation of education and experience.

Sure you might want your personal trainer to have a fit appearance.  And you may also want them to have positive attitude, be full of energy, and also very personable.  These are great attributes for you trainer to have, but those are mainly personality traits.  Personality traits do not give you the knowledge to develop a safe and effective exercise protocol.  Throw into the mix that many people have orthopedic or other medical issues and the need for true blue education and extensive experience grows exponentially.

The moral of this story is that education and experience is what determines the best trainer.  You are entrusting your health and quality of life to your personal trainer when you hire them.  Uneducated and inexperienced trainers have a much higher chance of injuring a client.  Sensible Fitness is owned and operated by Physical Therapy professional, and specializes in training mature adults with the “aches and pains” of an aging body.  You can see our medical endorsements by clicking here if interested.

So my advice is buyer beware.  Keep in mind that a “certified personal trainer” in Cincinnati, or anywhere in the USA for that matter, does not have to meet educational requirements.  Personal training is a 100% self-regulated industry.  If this scares you, and it should, please read an article on this topic by clicking here.

Sensible Fitness is committed to giving you the best personal trainer in Cincinnati by assuring our trainers have the highest level of education, exceptional experience, and are just all around super cool people.  That has been our winning formula for over 21 years, and what makes our trainers the best in Cincinnati.

Healthy eating leads to healthy feelings toward yourself.

Healthy eating leads to healthy feelings toward yourself.  When most of what you put in your mouth is nutritionally sound, then when some junk food enters, it is no big deal.  All too often people feel shame or guilt after eating some junk food.  This is not a healthy behavior.

While everyone is different, what works for me is to have 90% of what goes into my mouth be for the nutritional value that the food has.  If 90% of what you eat is healthy food, you will never feel guilt about having something unhealthy.  When only 10% of your food is “unhealthy”, then that food is a treat…and you should never regret a treat.

Unfortunately, many people eat more than 10% unhealthy foods, and that means it is a lifestyle.  I recommend writing down everything you eat for a week and see how much is healthy vs. unhealthy.  On a day to day basis, you may not think you are “cheating” much, but when you look at a full week or a full month, you may be surprised!

Another thing people often say after eating something unhealthy is…”I feel fat”.  Do you ever say this after a day of eating steamed veggies and lean proteins?  Probably not.  This is often said after eating something unhealthy.  And since “fat” is not an emotion, you cannot feel “fat”.  You could be feeling shame, disgust, regret, low self-esteem, etc.  And since it is easier to deal with “fat” than it is with deep felt emotions, people throw themselves on diet.  Try to figure out WHY you are eating.  Is it because you are hungry, or is it connected to an emotion?

But you will never say “I regret eating healthy yesterday”.

Motivational statement about reaching weight loss goals.

To reach your weight loss goals, one of the biggest obstacles is first getting the proper mindset.  All to often people enter this journey with the “I will try” or “let’s see if this works” attitude, and I have found this is a recipe for disaster.  Just by saying this, you have already laid the groundwork for eventually saying “well I tried, BUT…”, or “I thought that would have worked, BUT…”

Lots of people want to shrink their butt.  In order for this to happen, you have to shrink your “buts”, and this is done between the ears.  After being in the personal training industry for so many years, I would say hands down the biggest obstacle to overcome is a defeated attitude.  An example of this would be the many times I have asked someone about the exercise they planned to do over the upcoming weekend.  “Well, the weather…”, “My son has soccer games…”, “I had to go to my Mom’s Saturday morning…”.  Very similar excuses, are given when I ask about recent healthy eating.  “I tried, BUT…”, “I planned to BUT….”.  The list goes on.

If your first response to any aspect of reaching your weight loss goal is some form of resistance or excuse, you are doomed to reach your fitness goals.  One of the bigger success stories come from our client Kate, who walked in our doors, told us her story of being overweight and miserable, and then literally broke into tears.  She had hit rock bottom, and she surrendered to our guidance and followed it precisely.  She was ready for change and avoided “I tried, BUT…”.  She had the right attitude from the start and succeeded tremendously.  She went from size 16 to 00 in a matter of months.  By eliminating her “buts”, her butt shrunk too.  She became the queen of our “Tiny Heinie” club!

Inpirational quote about healthy choices

Food is not entertainment when you are bored.

Food is not comfort when you are upset.

It is not your therapist.

Food is nutrition for your physical body’s requirements to survive.

Although my competitive bodybuilding days are long behind me, the one thing that has stuck with me is that I view food as fuel for the body.

Sure I enjoy a cold beer and chicken wings, whenever I want. But 95% of what goes in my mouth is for the nutritional value. It is never for entertainment or comfort.

If you are struggling with weight control and you make this “mental breakthrough”, everything will change for you. If your desire is nutritional value, it will automatically eliminate many unhealthy aspects of your eating habits.

Did you know we have a YouTube channel that is full of educational videos, and no sales pitches?  Many of these video are excerpts from our 3-time award winning TV show.  We recently had this super cool comment, below, left about our video about carrying hand weights while walking.  Does doing this benefit you or not?  I am not telling, you will simply have to get on YouTube and check it out.

Click here to see our channel…

YouTube cincinnati trainer channel

Many people do not know the difference between muscle mass, definition, and tone.  Let your favorite personal trainer from Cincinnati explain it to you in terms that are easy to understand.

I have been beekeeping for around 5 years and have not seen the winter temperatures stay so low for so long.  Going into the winter the hive population has to be strong, because it is a cluster of bees constantly buzzing their wings that keeps the inside of the hive 92 degrees, no matter how cold it is outside.  The bees cluster around the queen, keeping her warm, and migrate around the hive to eat the honey stores and fuel their wintertime efforts.

Going into the winter this year, I had one strong hive, and one not-so-strong hive.  Unfortunately, the weaker hive was lost in December 2017.  Although there are various reasons a hive can die, I am thinking that there was simply not enough bees to maintain a warm hive.  December had a string of multiple days well below freezing, and January 2018 has been even worse.

When we get a warm day, above 50 degrees or so, you often can see a few bees exiting the hive, and I saw just that on the latest warm day in January with my strong hive.  But a quick peek inside the weaker hive showed a bunch of dead bees laying around.  I will keep the honey from this dead hive and use it to feed the living hive if needed.

Can you believe everything you read?

~ Have a 6-pack in 3 weeks!

~ Lose 15 pounds in 15 days!

~ Eat more and lose weight!

Walk through checkout lane in your local grocery store and you will see it. We are bombarded by books and magazines that promote the easiest and best way to reach our fitness goals. Before you believe everything that you read, let me give you a healthy dose of skepticism along with a few facts that will save you time chasing the easy way to a rock hard naughty body.

What is the ultimate goal of magazine publishers?  To get your money.  They want you to buy the magazine! Would you buy a magazine or book with a cover that said: “Exercise intensely and eat steamed broccoli!” No.  Just like the nightly news has “teasers” for the great story “tonight at 11”, magazine and book publishers are not only going to spice up their headlines to grab your attention, but they also will try every angle, including stretching the truth, to entice you to take the bait.

I was fortunate enough to have a great friend who was a professional body builder, and the author of articles in major magazines.  When I read the article of his “Bicep blasting workout”, I knew that the workout did not match what was being done in the gym.  When I asked about it, it all made sense.  Magazines repeat article topics constantly and since there had been an article on the biceps written just months before, you have to make yours different in order to sell.

My advice is to have a bit of skepticism with much of what you read. If there is a proven fat burning, muscle-building breakthrough, it would be plastered all over the media and not just on the cover of the National Enquirer.

Have a 6-pack in 3 weeks! Significant changes in muscle tone takes weeks, but it is more like 6-8 weeks rather than 3. And muscle tone is just half the battle, as you need to burn the fat covering the abs. Although we all have different issues in the midsection, I know I would need more much more than 3 weeks to see a 6-pack and I am fairly lean.

Lose 15 pounds in 15 days! Two things to remember here: One is that the majority of weight you lose the first several days is usually water, and second, as a general rule, if you lose more than 2 pounds per week you may be losing muscle too, which is a bad thing.

Eat more and lose weight!  It should say: “Eat more veggies, and less crap, and lose weight”. It is calories in vs. calories out folks! Eat more broccoli and less junk and you will lose weight. Trust me on this one.

It is an urge we all have.  To burn fat in the abdominal area, you must do extra crunches or other exercise for that area.  Somehow exercising this area more makes us feel like we are burning fat in that area.  Can this happen?  Well there has been research done on this very question and this video will answer it clearly, and help you make the most of your time in the gym.

We all know that sugary, fizzy drinks are full of calories – with the equivalent of about seven teaspoons of sugar in a standard can of cola.

But is it only the sugar in the drink that swells our waists, or could it also be the bubbles?

In a recent study done last year at Birzeit University in the Palestinian territories, researchers took a group of male rats and gave them either a fizzy sugary drink, a flat sugary drink or tap water to consume.

They found that the rats who regularly drank the gassy sugary drink put on more weight at a much faster rate than rats given either flat sugary liquids or tap water.

When they took blood samples, they found that the rats drinking fizz had much higher levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, which could explain the weight gain.

What researchers found was that ghrelin levels were about 50% higher when people had a fizzy drink.

So the fizzy sugary drink makes you a lot hungrier an hour later than drinking the same drink, but flat.

This increase in ghrelin wasn’t only seen after drinking sugary fizzy drinks; there was also a slight effect when researchers compared the impact of still with carbonated water.

They also wanted to see what effect drinking carbonated fizz had on how much food the volunteers consumed later in the day. And that, in some ways, was even more revealing.

Leading researcher said: “If you group together the carbonated drinks and the non-carbonated drinks, they ate on average 120 calories more after they had had a carbonated drink than they ate after they had a non-carbonated drink, and that’s a really significant finding.”

So, on top of the 140 calories in the fizzy drink, it seems they ate another 120 calories later in the day as a direct result of the extra ghrelin that was produced by having had a drink with fizz in it.

For the full article link, click here. 

new year weigtht loss

This is the time of year many people are planning to lose weight.  Their plan often includes a complete restructuring of their diet, along with hitting exercising multiple times per week.  There is nothing wrong with this plan in theory, but executing it successfully is usually close to impossible.  There is proof of this with a casual look at gym attendance in January compared to March.

Why do people fail?  It is too much change, so it becomes burdensome and people inevitably say “screw it”.  Restructuring your entire diet is a huge task in itself.  Tons of planning…the one thing most people fail to do anyway.  After the planning, there is the time needed for shopping and cooking.  Yes, you have to cook if you really want to control your weight.  Because you are now cooking and not going out to lunch, you have to pack your lunch to work, including some healthy snacks.  When you get home, you might be cooking again, and because you already planned this meal, all of the ingredients are in your fridge.

Your free time has now taken a huge hit, with all the time dedicated to healthy eating, but you still have to find time to exercise.  If you go to a gym, you have drive time, plus 45-60 minutes in the gym…another 1.5 hours of your day at minimum.

It is very hard to change a lifestyle and attempting an all-or-nothing plan, is not always the best option.  I suggest a more modest plan of attack, that has a much higher rate of success.  Let’s look at your diet and find one thing that needs improved.  Maybe it is eating before bed, for example.  Let’s attack this habit and once it is conquered, move onto another.  Too many people want the instant gratification of 15 pounds lost in 30 days, but these are the people that now weigh 5 pounds more than a year ago.  A classic rabbit and the turtle story.  If you take my advice, in one year you will have hugely transformed your habits (lifestyle) and you will rocking the swimsuit.

Exercise is somewhat different, as we all have a lazy component to us, so finding a way to increase accountability and commitment is the key factor here.  A reliable training partner is a great option, as is a personal trainer.  99% of my clients are with me for the accountability that an appointment gives them.  Most have access to gym equipment somewhere, or have a treadmill with clothes hanging on it at home.  It is simply hard to make yourself do it.  But the same rules apply with a gradual start to more easily develop a habit.  Those that add 3X a week strength training and 3X a week doing cardio find this to be too much change to their schedule.

So here is my advice.  Take a long and honest look at your schedule, your habits, and your level of motivation.  If a slower start would prove to be more successful, then by all means do it.  And stay off the scale damn it!  Changing your habits is the focus, not what number you see on a scale.  Change your habits and the scale takes care of itself.

Sudden cardiac arrest is associated with sexual activity far more often in men than women, research suggests.  But sex is a rare trigger for sudden cardiac arrest.

Only 34 out of the 4,557 cardiac arrests examined occurred during or within one hour of sexual intercourse and 32 of those affected were men.

Dr. Chugh said his study is the first to evaluate sexual activity as a potential trigger of cardiac arrest.  The research was presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association.

A cardiac arrest happens when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating. It causes someone to fall unconscious and stop breathing and unless treated with CPR, it is fatal.  This differs from a heart attack, where blood flow to the heart is blocked.

It is known that sexual activity can trigger heart attacks, but the link with cardiac arrest was previously unknown.

Dr Chugh and his colleagues in California examined hospital records on cases of cardiac arrest in adults between 2002 and 2015 in Portland, Oregon.

Sexual activity was associated in fewer than 1% of the cases. The vast majority were male and were more likely to be middle-aged, African-American and have a history of cardiovascular disease.

Read the entire article, by clicking here.

You are burning calories from the time you get up every day.

Let’s say you are an avid exerciser and remain active all day. At day’s end what has burned the most calories?

Does the answer change if you live a sedentary life and only walked to the couch to watch the rebroadcast of Iowa demolishing Ohio State in football?  If so, what has burned the most calories at the end of the day for this person?

Answer:

Whether you are an avid exerciser and live an active lifestyle, or are a sedentary individual, the answer is the same!

Your resting metabolism will burn more calories on a day to day basis than any exercise program or activity ever will. Your resting metabolism is the calories burned to support life….breathing, digestion, heart pumping, healing, etc., etc..

Some facts about metabolism….
1. Overweight people have a slow metabolism. Wrong. Actually because of their increased mass, they can have a higher metabolism.

2. A slow metabolism is the cause for being overweight. Wrong. While there are very rare cases of metabolic disorders that could be the cause, lifestyle choices are what makes most people overweight. Genetics and some medications can also contribute.

3. Weight training to increase your muscle tone and mass will increase your metabolism. While not many calories are needed to keep fat “alive”, muscles are hungry for calories to keep themselves sustained. If your increased muscle tone only burns a measly 50 calories a day, that adds up to over 18,000 calories a year, the equivalent of over 5 pound of fat per year.

If you are trying to lose weight, calorie reduction and cardio will have the quickest results, while weight training will provide the biggest benefit for the long-term.

overweight man

If you are expecting me to tell you to restrict your calories and give up holiday treats, you are wrong. While the holidays are in no means a “get out of jail free card” when it comes to calorie consumption, you should most certainly enjoy the fine food and drinks that accompany the season. And yes, you will gain weight.

Depriving yourself is not a part of a healthy lifestyle. Deprivation only leads to more desire for the “forbidden fruit” and this often leads to binging when you inevitably break down.

The holiday season should be treated the same as a vacation. A time to enjoy yourself, which includes dietary treats! Gaining a couple of pounds should not make you feel guilty or ashamed. Guilt and shame are emotions that often fuel unhealthy eating behaviors. Accept the few added pounds, tighten up the lifestyle after the holidays, and the weight will come back off over a few weeks.

For those of you currently overweight, you must realize one thing. It is not what you eat between Thanksgiving and New Years that makes you overweight. It is what you eat between New Years and Thanksgiving. Those 11 months are your lifestyle.

I do not believe in depriving anyone of tasty foods or trying to make Thanksgiving dinner a low fat meal, what kind of celebration is that? Instead, I suggest that you look at Thanksgiving in the same light as this feast’s origin in 1621, a single meal.

To gain one pound of fat you have to eat 3500 more calories than you burn. Therefore, if you put on a “few” pounds, it tells me that maybe your Thanksgiving celebration is more than a single meal.

Many people eat more than typical on the days prior to the holiday, enjoy a gluttonous feast on the holiday, and then have days of leftovers afterward. Halloween is a perfect example. You do not gain a few pounds from the candy you eat on Halloween night, but rather from the candy you nibble at for the weeks surrounding it. Substantial weight gain at Thanksgiving is a reflection of this type lifestyle choice and usually not a single meal or a single day.

My best advice is to have your lifestyle include a consistent exercise program with the foundation of your every day eating habits being good, clean, healthy foods so that when you “celebrate” it has little or no impact. A well-established exercise program is a very effective shock absorber for the extra calories. I tell all of my clients that if you exercise and eat healthy on a consistent basis, you can and should enjoy special occasions.

Here is a light-hearted way of thinking about it. A “moment” is a brief period of time, and we all have “moments” when we cheat on our diet. But when these moments are too frequent or too long, they become “moo”-ments and we start looking like a cow!

Whether you are currently living a healthy lifestyle or not, it is important to enjoy the time with family which includes the delicious foods that this single meal celebration brings with it. And don’t be alarmed if you weigh significantly more the day after Thanksgiving as the foods that are high in sodium may have you retaining some water. So stay off the scale for a day or two!

It is what you do on the days that are NOT holidays, that make you overweight!

It is common for those overweight to jokingly say “I don’t have abs!”  The fact is….yes you do!  Everyone has the same musculature in the mid-section, but not everyone can “see the 6-pack”.  There are a couple of reasons why you might not be able to see your abs, and this video will reveal them both.  Yes, you too can see your abs, but it demands a lifestyle that is more rigid than most.  Are you willing to pay that price?  Is it worth it?

While many people tend to put on a few pounds over the winter months because of decreased outdoor activity, there are many dedicated individuals who brave the cold and refuse to let the weather be an excuse for a decreased fitness level. While the risks of exercising in the heat have many risks, there are also special considerations that you should be aware of when exercising in the cold.
While extreme cold does have legitimate dangers of hypothermia and frostbite, exercising in the cold mainly has many unwelcome complications. This would obviously include having proper insulation, but also modifications before, during, and after training.
No matter what the temperature is outside, you should always dress to maintain comfort during the activity, and not for the start of the activity before peak body heat is reached. The first layer of clothing should be a fabric that wicks sweat away from the body, while the middle layers should have strong insulation properties. The outermost layer should be zippered, which can be opened as your body heats up. The goal is to stay warm without having a significant sweat accumulation in your clothing. Much heat can be lost through the head so proper covering is essential, along with protection for areas in danger of frostbite such as the ears, fingers, and toes.
When exercising in the cold it is recommended to take the extra time needed to warm up your core temperature, to consider wind direction and velocity, and to avoid prolonged exposure to the cold after your activity. If you are training in windy conditions it is a good idea to “go out” facing the wind and to “come back” with the wind at your back which limits your exposed skin to wind chill while being sweaty. Any veteran cold weather exerciser will tell you that no matter how cold it is you will sweat if you are exercising at proper intensity!
After exercise it is important to add clothing or seek a warm environment. When you stop exercising your body heat production stops while at the same time the amount of heat loss remains high. This can lead to hypothermia.
Exercising in cold enough temperatures to reduce your core temperature can impair endurance exercise performance, while brief exposure to cold or training in a cool climate can actually improve performance. Optimal performances in long distance cycling and running events usually occur in cool climates.
The colder weather is not a reason to stop exercising, but is often instead used as an excuse. Ha, ha.

Exercise is known to be beneficial to bone health but there is reluctance to use high intensity programs in older women with low bone mass because of the risk of fracture or other injury. A new Journal of Bone and Mineral Research study found that only 30 minutes twice a week of high intensity resistance and impact training improved functional performance and bone density, structure, and strength in postmenopausal women with low bone mass, without adverse effects.

The results indicate that closely supervised exercise training interventions of this type are effective and safe for bone.

“We were delighted to find that even women with very low bone mass could tolerate the high loading required to increased bone mineral density as long as it was introduced gradually with close attention to technique,” said Dr. Belinda Beck, senior author of the study. “The simultaneous improvement in functional performance suggests our exercise program provides dual protection from osteoporotic fracture by also preventing falls.”

Of course, we at Sensible Fitness have known this for decades and encourage the proper intensity and exercise form.  You have probably heard us say “no challenge, no change”, and this certainly goes for increasing bone density.  When a tissue or bone has a challenging stress put on it, it encourages the structure to become stronger to handle this stress.  This is why we encourage the last few reps of your exercises to be very challenging.  Let’s say your goal is 15 reps, but you could probably get to 20 if gave it 100%….well then, you need to increase the weight being lifted.

When a new person starts with us who has been exercising on their own, but not getting results, we start their workouts on the high side of moderate intensity.  This is simply because we do not know their abilities and want to be safe.  But 99.9 times out of 100, even at moderately-high intensity, this client will say “I never push myself this hard”.  One of the biggest mistakes/oversights a person can make with exercise is not using proper intensity to get results.  This reinforces the importance of a trainer, because you will always work harder when someone is keeping an eye on you.  High intensity exercise, with proper form, is not dangerous and will not “bulk you up”.  Simply put, high intensity exercise gives you results.

Article source: Click here

Something as simple as a feces sample reveals whether you can lose weight by following dietary recommendations characterized by a high content of fruit, vegetables, fibers and whole grains. This is a finding of a new study conducted at the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The bacteria we all have in our gut may play a decisive role in personalized nutrition and the development of obesity. This is shown by several studies that have delved into the significance of these bacteria.

“Human intestinal bacteria have been linked to the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity, and scientists have started to investigate whether the intestinal bacteria can play a role in the treatment of overweight. But it is only now that we have a breakthrough demonstrating that certain bacterial species play a decisive role in weight regulation and weight loss” says Professor Arne Astrup, Head of the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

If you want to read this article in full, click here for the full article.

A statement that I often hear is…”For weight loss, it is 90% diet and 10% exercise”. Is this true? Watch this video to learn the truth!

wax moth larvae

These cute little worms are the larvae from wax moths.  And they are not cute or little.  When a beehive is weakened, because of low bee populations for example, the wax moth can enter the hive and lay eggs.  When the eggs mature they turn into these larvae.

The wax moth larvae have a ferocious appetite for beeswax, which is the foundation of the comb that bees store their honey.  This can destroy a hive in no time.  I found the pictured destruction in one of my hives and am currently working on saving the hive.  I am trying to combine 2 weak hives into 1 strong hive.  The problem is that if there are any unseen wax moth eggs, the problem will continue.  Wish me luck!

This is a great time of year to reflect. We are far from the “holidays”, so what you are doing right now is your lifestyle, and it is your lifestyle that is the biggest influence on your health and appearance.

And being a fitness guru, I can’t help but reflect on the changes in the health and fitness industry. You have heard the cliché “the more thing change, the more they stay the same”. This certainly holds true in the weight loss world.

Just look at dieting in the last decades. Many years ago, the Adkins Diet was going full steam. Although originally written in 1972, it did not gain popularity until the early 90s, when the desperate overweight community was tired of the fat-free craze. The term “bad carbs” was coined, and everyone blamed their fatness on the carbohydrate. The poor, innocent, nutritious, and healthy carbohydrate was the scapegoat. Everyone should have instead stood in front of the mirror and uttered the words “bad choices”, instead of “bad carbs”.

The Adkins Diet faded and other diets gained popularity. South Beach Diet is one, but go to the local bookstore or Google the term “diet”, and you will find thousands. Diets change, but the thing that stays the same is that people are searching for something magic. Constantly searching for the diet that will let them keep their unhealthy sedentary lifestyle, yet somehow magically end up with a naughty beach body.

Like diets and life in general, the more exercise gizmo’s change the more they stay the same. Promises of easy weight loss and muscle toning, either without exercise, or with only minutes a day. The sad thing is that people are so lazy, and desperate to be thin, that they do not see through the lies. They stimulate the economy with purchases of diet books that will be partially read, and exercise contraptions that will collect dust.

weight loss book

I mentioned before that people are always desperate and searching for an easy way to maintain fitness. To validate this, I included the cover of a book that I found in the attic of a house. The copyright date of this book was 1941, and they were sucking people in then, with the same empty promises you hear today. People 70 years ago were looking for an easy way to get results in 10 days or less. This should be wake up call for anyone who has tried a fad diet, or an exercise program promising easy results.   Give up on the idea of anything changing your appearance without dedication and work being involved. You are wasting your time.

I ask you to think about what direction your fitness is going. As we enter the final years of a decade, now is a great time to reflect. What size were you in 2010? How much did you weigh? This gives you an excellent picture of the direction you are heading, and the quality of life you will have in 10, 15, 20 years if everything continues.

If there is one thing I would like you to take out of this article, it would be that small changes to your lifestyle will add up to big changes over time. What if 10 years ago you quit eating late night meals, gave up the snacking habit, or started eating a healthy breakfast? Where would you be today if you took your time, but stayed on track toward a healthy lifestyle over the past 10 years?

Listen to me. Implement the KISS technique: Keep It Simple Stupid. Make one positive, yet permanent change to your lifestyle every few months. Do this and you will win the battle.

Many often ask which form of strength training is better, free weights or machines.  They both are advantageous, but one may help you more than the other, depending on your ability and fitness goals.  I think this video will help you get a stronger understanding.  Enjoy!

Lisa before and after weight loss

Lisa came to us in her 50s and has since totally transformed.  Proof that it is never too late!

To learn more about her story, you can click here.

weight gain from choices

I interviewed a intern from Germany on my TV show who spoke openly about gaining weight when she came to America. She said “You people sit all the time. You even sit and get food handed to you through your car window.” Proof of this is pictured….the line at Dunkin’ Donuts went all the way around the building this morning.

Today’s tip: if it is handed to you through your car window…IT IS CRAP, NOT FOOD!

Emily started coming to us while still in high school, and now at 22, still has the personality that shines.  When I would not let her take this statue home, she decided to compete against it in a bodybuilding pose-down.  The judges had her winning by 4 points!

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