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 : September 2009

September 30, 2009 07:03 - There Are No Bad Food Groups

Guest Author: Stacey Lemmon

Walking through the weight loss section of any bookstore is like waking through the food pyramid walk of shame.

You would think that sugar had been found guilty of every vile, heinous crime ever committed, and his little buddy fat doesn't come off looking much better.

We have been told not to eat carbohydrates of any form, but in the same diet plan encouraged to eat bacon. Bacon, people—...we have been told that not only can we, but we should eat bacon!

What kind of sane, reasonable person thinks that a diet is good that says you can have a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, but only if you hold the bread and then makes you stop to question whether or not tomatoes are on the good list or bad list? If you are curious, tomatoes were allowed, but ketchup was not because of too much sugar!

Any diet that removes an entire good group from the food pyramid is not a well thought-out plan, nor is it necessarily a healthy one. Instead of encouraging people to eat a well balanced diet with each group of the pyramid represented in a healthy manner, or suggesting that people eat more fruits and vegetables and cut back on the dangerous, saturated fats, the diet book writers will give us what sounds like the miracle, the cure-all, magic plan that we have all been waiting for.

But, here is what they forget or they want us not to know: There are no bad food groups, only bad food choices within those groups.

After carbs had their day of infamy, the diet industry moved on to the fat category. The suggestion was then made that every single fat gram be removed from our diets with the feeling that if you never ate fat, you would never get fat.

As a hypothesis, it sounds pretty logical until you find out that it does not really hold water. For one thing, no one was losing all that much weight this way and for another, there are so many sources of fat in our food, both obvious and hidden that it was almost impossible to exorcise it completely.

Science went back to the lab and crunched some more numbers and what they found was simple: There are different kinds of fat and some of them are actually good for you. The dieting industry was really knocked for a loop with that little gem. Good fats include olive oil, canola oil, nuts and nut butters. The smallest portion of the food pyramid was suddenly back in action.

There are good choices and bad choices within each part of the food pyramid. We know that we need protein to build lean muscle mass. A nice piece of broiled, skinless chicken breast is a good protein source. A bucket of fried chicken legs is not. Vegetables, usually everyone’s darlings can be ruined too if they are prepared in the wrong way or served with the wrong thing.

A recent trip to the grocery store revealed this. A cranberry and spinach salad had over 49 fat grams in it, and nearly an entire day’s worth of calories. The problems with the salad were the extras that were in it. Not only did the salad have spinach and cranberries, but it also had croutons, cheese, two boiled eggs, walnuts and yes, you guessed it, bacon!

Author Bio: Stacy Lemmon is a fitness specialist who has a desire to see people lose weight and get into the best shape of their life. Stacy suggests trying out the P90X Workout, or Insanity Workout if you are looking for a great home workout.

September 30, 2009 07:49 - Working Out: Family Style

Guest Author: Stacy Lemmon

One of the easiest ways to make sure that you get your work-out is by including the entire family.

With all of the scary news reports about juvenile heart attacks and high blood pressure it should be enough to get every mother up and off the couch and in full team mode.

Discuss the plan with the entire family about a week ahead of the day you are going to start this and then stick with it. There will be no excuses accepted and no one is allowed out of the exercise.

Start with something simple, like a walk around the block. Add another block each night until the walk takes 30-45 minutes to do. Start adding new exercises. Make it fun, exciting and a challenge, but make sure that everyone can do the routine comfortably.

Once you start getting the kids involved, challenge another family to a competition. Organize a neighborhood baseball game. Have games of volleyball in the backyard. Whatever you can do to get your family up and moving around, do it.

There will be days when no one really wants to exercise but you power your way through it. There will be days when you cannot wait to get out there. Once you get family members used to the exercise, it will be time to start addressing their eating habits.

Talk to them, include them in the decisions, but remember, you are the parent and it is your responsibility to make sure that they are eating good food at least part of the time. If you give them good eating and exercise habits now, they may not have bad habits later as adults. Of course, they could go to college and go hog wild, but at least you can say that you tried.

Family work-out times should build teamwork, perhaps by running relay races with each other. Again, adding a little healthy competition can motivate even the most reluctant family members, especially if there is some sibling rivalry to play on. Do whatever it takes to get them moving.

If you cannot get them to work out willingly, you may need to be a little sneaky. Take trips that will involve a lot of walking, swimming or other activities. Park as far away from the entrance of the mall, grocery store or other places, as you possibly can. Tag your child and then run away; see how long they can resist.

If you still cannot get them to move around and you have taken everything but the air that they breathe away from them, it is time to pull out the ultimate secret weapon. If the kids will not move up and off of the couch, go over to the neighbor’s house and borrow their Jack Russell terrier. Bring in the little monster and watch everyone turn into a giggling, dog wrestling, jumping around bundle of energy. When everybody is panting and worn out, grab Mr. Pooch and take him home. Repeat as often as necessary.

About the Author: Stacy Lemmon is passionate about every aspect of exercise and fitness. She feels that if you keep your workouts fresh and fun you will continue to work out. If you are looking for an intense home work out that has been used to train professional athletes she suggests trying out the Insanity Workout by Shaun T, or the Slim in 6 Workout for ladies.

April 2008 «  » January 2010


RSS Feed For This News

Personal Trainer Blog Home | Archives | Articles