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 : February 2006

February 2, 2006 06:15 - More on diets.

Fat-Restricted Diets

Although diets that cut fat intake are usually healthy diets, those that reduce levels of unsaturated fat to nearly nothing are also asking for trouble. Not only does fat act as a carrier for the four fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), it helps to cushion your kidneys, liver, and nerves. Research has shown that an extremely limited intake of unsaturated fat can result in elevated cholesterol, a condittion that can lead to a heart attack and stroke.

Since most diets have a limited number of calories per day, it is highly unlikely that you are taking in a full ration of vitamins and minerals. Even the most well-balanced diet has a difficult time replenishing all the vitamins and minerals required by athletes and even the average person during training.

Low-fat dieting during training can severely reduce the effects of the training so be very careful not to cut fats too low and be sure to take supplemental vitamins and minerals daily.

I really want you to understand that it is not just dietary fat that will lead to body fat.

Eating more calories than what your body needs to perform daily activities and daily metabolism is what causes body fat. It is the same as trying to stuff 20 lbs of potatoes into a 15 lb sack! Guess where the excess goes? Your belly, your butt, your thighs.

In my next post Ill' begin to discuss what happens in the body with the proteins, carbs and fats you consume.


February 5, 2006 16:29 - The real causes of Obesity

People and machines have a similarity when it comes to the processing of energy, both are governed by the laws of thermodynamics.

If a person consumes less energy in the form of food calories then it expends in metabolic processes, then a negative energy imbalance occurs and the person will lose body weight as the body must then use its stores of energy to survive.

This makes the converse true in that taking in more calories than are expended results in a positive imbalance of energy that causes the body to gain weight as the excess or a portion of it is stored as body weight.

In simple terms, body fat is caused by eating more food than your body can use for it's regular level of activity.

Genetics also play an important role in the storage of body fat. There are factors that predispose one to gain weight more easily than others. A lower metabolic rate, an enhanced metabolic efficiency in storing fat, a greater number of fat cells, a smaller percentage of fast twitch muscle fibers and lower levels of activity during the day all play a part.

However, no matter what your genetic makeup, body fat levels can be controlled by consuming fewer calories and exercising.

You should also be aware that not only high carbs and fat in the diet can lead to obesity but excess protein as well can have the same effect.

The big secret to losing body fat and body weight is nothing more than creating a negative energy balance by consuming fewer calories than needed in the metabolic process and exercising regularly.

More on dieting in my next post.

(Inspirations Personal Training Home Page)

February 13, 2006 06:50 - Dieting for weight loss

I have been busy reworking a section of my fitness and weight loss website that deals with dieting and weight loss programs and the most recent new page you should have a look at is my review of Bob Greene's weight loss program "Total Body Makeover".

Greene's philosophy is much the same as my own and he does a great job of putting together a sound program that can be used by anyone at any level of fitness. The book is also an entertaining read as he includes a lot of real life examples of successful "losers", not the least of whom is Oprah herself. These examples include the stories of these people told in their own could find that they are not unlike you.

I read a lot of books on weight loss and have reviewed plenty of weight loss programs and the "Total Body Makeover" is a recommended read.

Greene recognizes that you have to get your head and heart into any program of change or you will simply lose interest and quit. He spends alot of time dealing with the way to make a commitment and stick to it as well as the transition from the 12 week program back to real life when you are finished.

The "The Total Body Makeover" is worth the money if you are looking for inspiration and a workable and healty weight loss program.

Read the full review here!

February 16, 2006 06:39 - Q. How do I lose this beer belly?

A.Matt wrote me recently asking how he could target his "beer belly" because his recent changes for the better in diet had helped him lose quite a bit of weight but he still had a large gut out front that was refusing to go.

This is a classic problem for men and women alike, though women will more often have stubborn body fat on the thighs or butt. The area of the body where fat tends to deposit is something decided by genetics.

Fat will tend to be lost first from the part of the body it was last deposited on.

What that means of course is that the "beer belly" which grew first will be the last fat to be lost, even using the most effective exercises for fat-burning and a healthy diet.

For some this can lead to some strangely shaped bodies as the fat is lost from the rest of the body first, leaving a disproportionately large belly or butt or whatever, until you are finally able to get to the last fat reserves and burn them off.

So don't despair if you find yourself in this position...just keep at it! Incorporate compound exercises such as lunges and squats that use the larger muscle groups for maximum fat-burning and muscle building, but don't neglect the upper body and aerobic exercise as well.

It' gonna take more work and more time to finally shed those stubborn fat deposits, but it can be done!

Look at my Weight loss program reviews for a plan with that emphasizes exercise.

All the best,

February 17, 2006 06:29 - Basics of Dieting for Weight loss

There are 3 basic ways to lose weight: Dehydration, Fat Loss and Lean Weight Loss.

Dehydration is not a great route to follow for obvious reasons. Your body is made up of over 80% water and water is required for the proper function of just about everything your body does. Some weight loss programs cause you to lose "water weight" initially, which gives you a boost in your confidence at the quick results, but not only is this unhealthy, you will gain it back almost as quickly as you lost it when you start drinking the amount of water your body needs. You can read more about water here...Water is the essence of life.

Lean weight is, of course your muscle mass, which, if you want lose weight, is extremely important to your metabolism. The more muscle mass you have the more calories your body will burn even at rest. To lose lean weight is counter-productive to your goals.

Diets that produce losses in lean body weight are those most often lacking in carbohydrates and possibly protein. Without carbs in your diet, as you will find with some of the popular low-carb diets and it's the reason they can work for initial weight loss, energy for workouts will come from fats and then proteins. When you reach protein-based fueling, your performace will decrease, you will feel fatigued, tired, weak and irritable. Your brain will find it more difficult to operate effectively and you will be less able to concentrate on your activity.

A loss in lean weight can be a result of too little protein intake. Because training breaks down your muscle proteins, they require protein intake to be used for repair and rebuilding. When protein is not available, your training will continually break down your muscle and you will actually lose valuable tissue. Vegetarians attempting a fitness program must be constantly aware of protein intake.

Even when adequate amounts of quality protein are consumed, without sufficient carbs, the proteins will not be metabolized and absorbed in your body as well, and without carbs, your body will be forced to use muscle tissue for energy.

The emphasis should, of course, be on dieting for FAT LOSS!

More in my next post,


February 21, 2006 08:43 - Weight Loss Diet Review

I just finished Dr. Phil's book "The Ultimate Weight Solution" and I have a few good things and a few critical things to say about it.

"The Ultimate Weight Solution" became a runaway bestseller a couple of years ago as Dr. Phil began to use his popular television show as a large scale infomercial to promote sales. Every week, on prime time television, he would use up the whole hour with his weight loss diet success stories. He'd make reference to the book in almost every show he did.

It seemed to me he was blatantly taking advantage of his status to promote a book on a subject that wasn't in his normal domain. Doesn't sound much like "Relationship Rescue" or "Self Matters" does it?

The whole subject of "weight loss" is huge in North America and is a very lucrative topic to publish about...could it be that he was just chasing the money?

My short answer is yes. There is nothing really new in this book that hasn't been said before and I have little doubt he made big bucks with it.

Having said that, the story is not all bad. The book is well written, full of real-life examples of people who have successfully changed their lifestyles and their waist sizes. He focuses on changing your attitudes toward food and the bad habits that have put on the fat in first place.

For my complete take on Dr. Phil's Ultimate Weight Solution you can read my review here...Dr. Phil's Weight Loss Diet

February 22, 2006 09:17 - Diet Supplements Review

I've been going a little crazy with book reviews lately but here's another one.

Will Brinks "Diet Supplements Revealed" was originally published as an e-book but has expanded considerably into a full-blown weight loss program with an expanded e-book and a full-featured membership site included in the price.

If you didn't know, Will Brink is a recognized expert in sports and fitness nutrition and has published many papers and articles on the subject.

I give this one a high rating and suggest you read the full review here...Diet Supplements Revealed and the DSR Fat Loss Program



February 24, 2006 07:01 - Fat Loss Points to Remember

1. There are many ways to induce a calorie-burningthermogenic response in your body such that your fat-loss efforts will be far more effective. Using a sauna on a regular basis, certain herbs, exercise and frequent, smaller meals will all help, but there are more.

2.Vigorius resistance exercise will maintain or increase the total weight of your muscles (lean body weight). As you increase your lean weight, your metabolism also increases, both during exercise and at rest. Remember, bigger muscles burn more calories all day long than smaller muscles. Since the only way to keep your muscles at least normal size is through vigorous resistance exercise, your fat loss efforts will be considerably enhanced and longer lasting if you do so. This is why I keep telling you that dieting alone is not an effective way to lose body fat. Even dieting with aerobics is not as effective as resistance training.

3. Research shows that dieting does not reduce the number of fat cells you have, but it can reduce the size of these cells. It is believed that your number of fat cells is somewhat genetic and can be increased by overeating during early childhood.

4. Starving yourself, as many people are willing to try in order to lose fat, actually causes your fat cells to learn to conserve energy (fat) more efficiently. This means that your body's fat-storing process becomes efficient at the expense of your calorie-burning efficiency. Lowering your claorie intake too much slows down your metabolism and defeats the purpose of dieting. It will become more and more difficult to lose fat, even if you are exercising regularly.

5. Although how much you eat is important, it is just as important to know what to eat, when to eat, and how to adjust both your meals and your nutritional supplements program to suit your upcoming activities.

Read my Weight Loss Program Reviews for information on plans that will teach the proper mix of calories and exercise.


Inspirations Personal Training

February 27, 2006 06:50 - More Fat Loss Points

In many cases excess body fat will be reduced if you simply reduce your caloric intake of fats while maintaining your intake of complex carbs and proteins.

Reducing your fat intake while still consuming carbohydrates will give you all the energy you need without you feeling hungry all of the time you are trying to lose weight.

Reducing your fat intake, especially saturated fats, can reduce your chances of cholesterol buildup in your arteries, atherosclerosis, and heart disease. In order to lower cholesterol, it is vital to consume roughly ten to fifteen percent of your daily calories in the form of unsaturated fats, which help to increase your good cholesterol (HDL) and reduce your bad cholesterol (LDL).

Here are some tips to consider when planning your fat loss program:

  • Taste. You must learn to prepare the foods that are good for you in a way that also tastes good. Makes sense of course that if you like what you are eating, you'll be more inclined to eat it.

  • Satisfaction. Foods that satisfy your hunger and blood sugar levels will leave you less likely to snack. These foods should have a low glycemic index (under 50). Eating 5 meals each day keeps your blood sugar levels eleated and does not allow you to get hungry. Try having your biggest meal of the day (calorie wise) about 2 hours before you train and you will have the greatest energy level at the time you need it.

  • Calorie control. Regulate your diet in such a way that you are not consuming high calorie foods primarily of fat and you can control how many calories go into your mouth. Don't forget that exercise contributes to an elevated metabolism, which helps you to burn more calories at rest and during training.

  • For health. When you reduce your fat intake, your chances fo clogged arteries, heart disease, and stroke reduce significantly. Even obesity and diabetes can be developed through the consumption of high fat diets. Adding nutitional supplements to your daily diet will better replenish the nutrients lost during training and reduce the chances of a deficiency in any nutrient.

  • For life. The habits you develop during your fat loss stage, ie...eating whole, healthy, non-processed foods in the proper proportions and amounts and exercising must become life long habits if you wish to maintain your weight and health.

A healthy rate of fat loss using a fat loss diet and exercise is about 2 pounds per week.Remember that one pound of fat contains 3500 calories so if you decrease your daily caloric intake by 500 calories and incorporate more aerobic training in your overall exercise program, you can comfortably lose two pounds per week. Incorporating weight training will increase muscle mass and ensure you do not lose lean body weight and will help fat loss.


Inspirations Personal Training

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