Answers to Your Questions on Fitness, Exercise and Weight loss

My latest observations, experiences and advice as a personal trainer about fitness, exercise, fitness equipment, weight loss and more.

 Inspirations Personal Training Home Page : Personal Trainer Blog Home : January 2008

January 3, 2008 06:55 - Does Hypnosis for Weight Loss Work?

Hypnosis for weight lossHypnosis for weight loss is not at all like the stage shows where people are made to cluck like chickens and do goofy stunts. With a 97 % success rate, hypnosis may provide the edge you need to lose unwanted pounds and better yet, keep them off for good.

(Read Article)

January 4, 2008 18:37 - What You See Is What You Eat and Don't Trust Your Stomach!

Here are a couple of interesting studies that could change the way you look at food.

Researchers at Cornell University offered a group of students a free lunch for several weeks.

Unbeknownst to the students everything they ate was measured and weighed.

Each week the amount of food served was increased. Each week the students ate whatever was in their plate. Portions of soup, pasta, breadsticks and ice cream increased significantly during the course of the study, and the students simply ate what was in front of them.

The scientists concluded that portion size determines calorie intake.

Source: David A. Levitsky and Trisha Youn, "The More Food Young Adults Are Served, the More They Overeat.” Journal of Nutrition, Oct. 2004, 134(10):2546-9.

Dr. Brian Wansink and his research team rigged up some interesting soup bowls that were connected, beneath the table, to a pipeline that continuously fed tomato soup into the bowls.

One group of eaters in his experiment ate their tomato soup from regular bowls and the other group ate from the bowls that refilled themselves.

The diners did not know that their bowls were constantly refilling. All eaters were instructed to eat until they felt full.

Those whose bowls refilled ate 73% more food than those eating from regular bowls.

Even though they ate so much more, none of them claimed to feel full. In fact, one eater when asked if he was full (because he had consumed almost a gallon of soup) looked down at his bowl which was half full and said, “Why would you think I’m full? I still have half a bowl to go.”

Source: Brian Wansink, James E. Painter and Jill North, "Bottomless Bowls: Why Visual Cues of Portion Size May Influence Intake." Obesity Research 13, 93-100 (2005).

TIP OF THE DAY: Choose your portion size by measuring it or weighing it. Don’t wait until you feel full to stop eating, The more you put on your plate, the more you are likely to eat..

January 7, 2008 07:32 - People Will Eat Anything

Taste May Not Matter

Researchers wanted to see if moviegoers would eat popcorn even if it was stale, even if it tasted terrible.

Sure enough, not only did everyone in this study eat whatever was given them, they ate plenty of it.

People who were given small and medium containers of popcorn ate it all, and felt it was sufficient. On the other had, people who were given giant size containers filled with stale popcorn ate it all, too. The larger the portion served, the more the people ate.

Portion size determines how much is eaten, whether or not the food tastes good.

Source: Brian Wansink and SeaBum Park, “At the Movies: How External Cues and Perceived Taste Impact Consumption Volume.” Food Quality and Preference, 12(1): 69- 74 (January 2001).

TIP OF THE DAY: You will eat whatever is in front of you. Don’t tempt yourself.

FACT 2: Restaurant Portions Are Gargantuan

When you wish to eat a particular food, it is assumed you are eating one serving of that food. Most restaurants serve portions that really are for 3 or 4 people. When we see huge portions so often, they start to look normal.

Here are the desired portion sizes of foods appropriate for one person:

A portion of a snack food, such as small crackers, potato chips, pretzels, should be one ounce. This is one handful.
A cup of fruit should be the size of a baseball.
A 3 oz. portion of meat is the size of a cassette tape.
A portion of potato is one potato (the size of a computer mouse).
A portion of cheese is the size of your thumb.

Based on: “Visualize the Right Portion Size,” by the American Dietetic Association.

January 8, 2008 07:05 - Hypnosis Can Be A Great Way To Finally Overcome Your On-Again, Off-Again Motivation to Diet and Lose Weight

hypnosis for weight lossEvery day I hear ads on the radio for the use of hypnosis to help you lose weight. I never thought much about it, but the more I learn about hypnosis, the more I realize that it could help to overcome the biggest obstacle people face when thinking about losing weight...MOTIVATION!

(Read Article)

January 9, 2008 07:19 - Keeping Track in a Book Can Help You Eat Less

diet journalYou read it in every diet guide that you should keep track of the foods you eat every day and do a calorie count.

This is something I ask my clients to do when they first start to work with me on losing weight. I want to get a handle on what they are eating and how much and at what time of day.

I will have them record what and when they are eating for several days. It can be a real eye-opener for someone who has never done this before.

From that point I can help them set calorie targets and suggest positive changes for their diet and eating habits.

Dieters who record everything they eat tend to eat less than dieters who don’t write down their foods.

Pausing to find paper and pencil sometimes actually gets you to think twice and ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” And seeing in black and white precisely what you’ve put into your mouth can be so shocking that some dieters simply stop over-eating so they can stop writing.

TIP OF THE DAY: Walk around with pencil, paper, and a calorie book. Record whatever you eat and tally your calories before you go to bed each night.

January 10, 2008 07:24 - Low-Fat Labels Can Be Misleading

You’ve seen those low-fat labels on many food boxes, the makers put them there to let you think you are getting something that will help you lose weight or at least, not put on any more.

When you examine the box of cookies or the package of muffins with that label, please look closely. Check the calories and check the sugar content.

Processed food is usually made tasty by adding sugars and fats. If there’s low or no fat, then the sugar is increased. Reducing dietary fat alone, without reducing calories, will not result in weight loss.

The Nutrition Facts panel on your food will tell you about the nutrients in your food. Look at the %DV line. If the Daily Value is 5% or less, you know it is low in that particular nutrient. If it is 20% or more, then it is considered high.

The FDA recommends using the %DV to compare foods and their claims. If one food claims to be low in fat, just check the nutrient claim for fat in a rival food to determine if the claim for low fat is really valid.

Source: Naomi Kulakow, coordinator for education and outreach in
the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, in Linda
Bren, “Losing Weight: Start by Counting Calories,” FDA Consumer,
January-February 2002. Pub.# FDA 04-1303C.

TIP OF THE DAY: The Nutrition Facts panel on your food is important. You should check it before you purchase or eat a particular food.

January 14, 2008 07:01 - Eating Breakfast Helps You Lose Weight and Keep It Off

Scientists polled 2959 people who had each lost a significant amount of weight, and kept it off for at least one year. The majority had kept off their weight for about six years. The results indicated that 96% of those who kept their weight off regularly ate breakfast. Over 75% of respondents report eating breakfast every day of the week.

It seems that a common characteristic of people who can maintain their weight loss is that they do not skip breakfast.

Source: Holly R. Wyatt, Gary K. Grunwald, Cecilia L. Mosca, Mary L.
Klem, Rena R. Wing and James O. Hill, "Long-Term Weight Loss and Breakfast in
Subjects in the National Weight Control Registry." Obesity Research 10:78-82 (2002).

TIP OF THE DAY: Do not skip breakfast!

January 14, 2008 07:05 - Watching TV Adds to Your Weight

The average person in the United States watches television for about 28 hours a week.

The people in one study had all achieved a good weight loss and had kept it off. The majority of these people watched television for fewer than 10 hours per week.

When the group was interviewed again, after one year, those people who gained weight were the very people who increased their television watching.

Source: Douglas A. Raynor, Suzanne Phelan, James O. Hill and Rena R. Wing,
"Television Viewing and Long-Term Weight Maintenance: Results from the National
Weight Control Registry." Obesity 14:1816-1824 (October 2006).

TIP OF THE DAY: Stay away from the TV.

January 14, 2008 07:07 - Excellent Picture I Want to Share

Hey everyone;

I get an endless stream of jokes and cartoons in my email box from various friends everyday. Some are good and some not, but yesterday I got this one and love it.

Enjoy! And if you have a good one you would like to share, please send it to me through my contact page on the left and I will publish it here!

"I'm trying to find out which WalMart sells this mirror!!! "

January 15, 2008 07:23 - Eating Out May Be Dangerous

Researchers in Massachusetts studied 500 adults for a year. They determined that those with the highest risk of obesity were those who ate the most meals away from home.

Frequently eating breakfast and/or dinner out was associated with an increased risk of obesity and overweight.

The study also evaluated the nutritional content of meals eaten at home versus those eaten away from home. Breakfasts and dinners eaten away from home were significantly higher in total calories, percentage of calories from total fat, and percentage of calories from saturated fat.

Meanwhile, they were lower in their percentage of calories from protein, carbohydrate, and fiber.

Source: Yunsheng Ma, Elizabeth R. Bertone, Edward J. Stanek, III, George W. Reed,
James R. Hebert, Nancy L. Cohen, Philip A. Merriam and Ira S. Ockene, "Association
between Eating Patterns and Obesity in a Free-living US Adult Population." American
Journal of Epidemiology 158:85-92 (July 1, 2003).

January 22, 2008 07:28 - The Scale Is Your Friend

People who have lost at least 30 pounds and have maintained that weight loss for at least one year are eligible to become members of the National Weight Loss Registry.

Researchers who have studied these members have learned that they all weigh or measure themselves regularly (usually daily). You can’t fool the scale or the tape measure.

TIP OF THE DAY: Buy a scale or a tape measure. Use it every morning.

Walk and Walk and Walk Some More

Members of the National Weight Loss Registry report that they engage in 60-90 minutes of daily physical activity.

And most of them walk. They walk so much that they far exceed the minimum physical activity recommended by the US Surgeon General.

To put more walking into your daily routine, consider parking your car as far from the entrance of your destination as possible. If you use public transportation, get off a stop earlier than your usual stop and walk the rest of the way. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, and whenever you have a few spare moments walk around the neighborhood.

For tips on walking for weight loss, see this Reader’s Digest article online at:

Source: Mary L. Klem, Rena R. Wing, Maureen T. McGuire, Helen M. Seagle, and
James O. Hill, "A Descriptive Study of Individuals Successful at Long-Term
Maintenance of Substantial Weight Loss." The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
66:239–46 (1997).

TIP FOR ANY DAY: Look for opportunities to add walking to your life.

January 31, 2008 07:15 - Eating Slowly Makes You Feel Full

Researchers at the University of Rhode Island fed a group of women some pasta. Half of the women were instructed to eat very slowly and half were told to eat quickly.

When the eaters were interviewed after the meal, the fast eaters had eaten more calories and did not feel full. The slow eaters ate less, and felt full.

TIP 1 OF THE DAY: Chew your food well and eat slowly.

Bore Yourself and Lose Weight

If you eat the same menu every day, you will eat less and food will play a lesser role in your life.

In an experiment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, two groups of people were offered bowls of M&M’s. One group had bowls with 10 colors of candy in them. The other group had bowls of M&M’s with just a few colors.

Eaters who were given the 10 colors of candy in their bowls ate almost twice as much as the other eaters. Many choices and much variety encourage eating and overeating.

TIP OF THE DAY: Stick to a boring menu. Eliminate choices, and stay away from buffets.

December 2007 «  » February 2008


RSS Feed For This News

Personal Trainer Blog Home | Archives | Articles