Hunter The Gladiator Is Worried You Might Be Skinny Fat

“Hunter the Gladiator is worried you might be skinny fat” By Jonathan Wells, an article published today on the Telegraph.

Read the full article here, especially if you immediately associate thin with healthy.  However, since I just yesterday wrote an article touting the benefits of strength training, I wanted to highlight this one excerpt.

 “Everybody should start with weight training and some high intensity interval training. Make sure to keep an eye on the amount of cardio you’re doing as well – it has its place, but if you’re endlessly running and always at spinning class, your cortisol levels – a stress hormone – will rise, and this will not allow your body to undergo a positive change in body composition.

I’ll also caution with this excerpt for those who plan not to read the full article above:

 “A person who is skinny fat is not technically overweight,” explains the 42-year old. “They can, to all intents and purposes, look completely healthy, thin and in-shape. However, underneath their clothes and healthy-looking exterior, it’s a different story.

“Your body can have a high fat percentage – often viscerally – but be incredibly low on muscle mass. Put simplistically, you can be thin on the outside but fat on the inside.

“This is a common problem among people who are obsessed with their weight on the scales rather than their health and body composition as a whole. The condition can lead to the development of chronic inflammation, low cholesterol, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure.

In summation, see yesterday’s article and add strength training to your regimen.

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One Big Food Craving Myth!


How often have you heard a friend or colleague say “my body is craving carbs”? Or meat? How about chocolate? While cravings are omnipresent for most of us, our bodies do not send signals for particular macro or micro nutrients.  What you’re experiencing, then, is a psychological craving, not your body telling you to eat Macaroni and Cheese.

A Web MD article by Elaine Magee says:

It is all in our heads: several specific areas of our brains, actually. Areas of the brain responsible for memory and sensing pleasure are partially to blame for keeping those food cravings coming.

Three regions of the brain — the hippocampus, insula, and caudate – appear to be activated during food-craving episodes, according to new research from the Monell Chemical Senses Center. Their brain tests suggest that memory areas of the brain (which are responsible for associating a specific food with a reward) are actually more important to food cravings than the brain’s reward center.”


To make matters worse, cravings can be heightened by emotional needs as well.  Think of how often we seek food to comfort us in the face of stress and anxiety?

For many of us, cravings kick into high gear when we’re stressed or anxious. Carbohydrates boost our levels of the hormone serotonin, which has a calming effect. And recent research suggests that the combination of fat and sugar may also have a calming effect.

Researchers from University of California at San Francisco put rats in a high-stress environment and discovered two key points: the stressed-out rats preferred to eat sugar and fat, and when the rats ate fat and sugar, their brains produced less of the stress-related hormones (the ones that trigger the fight-or-flight response).”

The relationship we’ve unwittingly built with food over years and years of practice has made it complicated to understand what we’re truly feeling.  We always do our best to listen to our bodies, and that’s good advice in most situations, but the very nature by which we’ve commingled physiological and psychological needs makes it nearly impossible to see food cravings for what they really are.  And, in doing so, make it really difficult to find strategies against them.  After all, how can you find a solution to a problem if the problem itself is completely unclear?

To overcome food cravings, we must first understand what they are.  A blend of memories, rewards (playing in the reward center in the brain), and a need for calming.  For most of our cravings, the following tips can keep them at bay.

  • Repeating a behavior over and over causes it to firmly root itself. The opposite, then, chips away at it.  What this means is that the more you avoid it, and the more you make it habit to say no (or better yet, replace it with a “good” habit), the sooner you will be free of it.
  • It’s all in our heads. Fully understanding why we crave can help us see it for what it is. A brain memory that has no real necessity behind it. Next time you’re hit with one, focus on the fact that your brain is being triggered by memories and it isn’t a real signal for eating. Often, that alone will be enough to put it in perspective and move on.
  • Coping with Stress and anxiety. Food should not be a coping mechanism for emotional issues; there are much better ways (both in teams of health and efficacy) to deal with stress.  Not only will this break the tie with food, but dealing with issues the right way can actually help resolve the root cause.  Using food does nothing toward long term resolution and, in fact, can add to it with guilt, feelings of failure, and post binge crashing.

To read the full WEB MD article, visit:

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HIIT Training – Maximizing Your Workout



One of the biggest obstacles to keeping to a training regimen is finding the time within our busy schedules. After all, between careers, raising children, cultivating personal relationships and every other responsibility that competes for our precious time, it is a very valid concern.  That being the case, it should be within our best interest to maximize the limited time we can dedicate to exercise.  As a matter of simple mathematics,  why spend 60 minutes when you can achieve similar (if not better) results in 30?  The answer is obvious, yet, it’s surprising how few people design their workouts within this framework.

Based on first hand conversations, folks who are not dedicated gym rats and fitness buffs tend to immediately gravitate toward walking, slow jogging (outside or a treadmill) or the elliptical machine, using it as the basis of the workout, rather than a complimentary activity.  These types of exercises are known as steady-state cardio, meaning that it’s performed at the same pace for the duration, and tends to be done at a low to moderate intensity.  The main logic behind it is to keep the body in the fat-burning zone, allowing the body to draw energy from fat rather than glucose.  It should be noted that it typically takes at least 20 minutes to move into fat stores for energy and the body never completely draws from one source of energy, but consistently tries to keep the system at it’s most efficient best.

While it’s not my intent to attack or defend this position, it is my intent to categorize steady-state cardio as an inefficient means to fat-loss.

From an article by Rachel Cosgrove written for TNation:

”Back in 2008, I wrote a controversial article for T Nation: The Final Nail in the Cardio Coffin. In it, I talked about how my body composition suffered when training for an Ironman Triathlon. Despite twenty hours per week of endurance training, time spent mostly in the so-called “fat burning zone”, I barely lost any fat and definitely lost muscle, even with a controlled diet plan and a couple of weight training sessions per week.

This solidified my belief that steady-state aerobics is absolutely, completely, utterly ineffective for fat loss. Long, steady-state endurance is not the answer for a defined, lean physique, and it’s a waste of time if your goal is long term fat loss. Endurance work is only the answer if your goal is to compete in an endurance event, not if you want to actually look your best. If you want to lose fat but not look like a soft endurance athlete, metabolic interval training is the way to go.”

 Read Rachel’s full article here:

So if plugging in the earphones and grinding out 60 minutes on the treadmill isn’t the answer, what it is?

High Intensity Interval Training seemingly has the answer.  From a 2014 post on

“Studies have shown that high intensity workouts like the workouts on the site and in the 12 Minute Athlete app can burn upwards of 12 to 22 calories per minute.  Compare that to about 10 that you burn exercising moderately (jogging, biking, etc.), and that seems pretty awesome.”

In addition to the calories burned within the routine itself, there is the afterburn effect.

The afterburn effect refers to the amount of calories and fat that your body is able to burn post-workoutVarious studies have shown that high intensity interval training can burn up to nine times more fat when compared to steady-state, low intensity cardio workouts—and increase your metabolism for up to 48 hours afterwards (moderate intensity workouts only burn calories during the actual workout, not afterwards).”

 Read the full article here:

If that isn’t enough, many HIIT routines are designed to build lean muscle mass, which in itself should be a primary goal (one which is completely overlooked if your entire routine is simply steady-state cario).  Muscle is more ‘expensive’ for the body to maintain, so it burns more calories at rest.  The gradual loss of muscle that we experience as we age is at least partly responsible for our gradual weight gain over time.

So, having trouble finding the time to work out?  A quick google or YouTube search should provide you with more than enough options to bang out a high intensity workout less time, and provide you with a myriad of additional health benefits.

Much like Rachel Cosgrove, I have completely removed steady-state cardio from my workouts completely, and have so for over a decade.

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Exercising More but Still Gaining Weight? Take this Quiz.

Original Source: CNN.  Full Article here:

Exercising more but still gaining weight? Take this quiz

150420131737-01-shutterstock-251548909-exlarge-169You’re running on the treadmill, hitting up each HIIT class on your exercise center’s timetable, and quality preparing more than you ever suspected conceivable. Yet, your scale hasn’t gotten the reminder. What gives? This five-inquiry test will offer you some assistance with pinpointing your issue — and get your weight moving in the right cours

5 Reasons You’re Gaining Weight Despite Working Out

1. Are you cutting calories?

To get more fit, you have to smolder a bigger number of calories than you’re taking in. (Need confirmation? Here are six reasons you can’t out-activity a terrible eating regimen.) But there’s cutting calories and after that there’s cutting an excess of calories, says enlisted dietitian and quality mentor Marie Spano, RD, CSSD, CSCS. When you begin cutting calories like a ninja, you won’t not be giving yourself enough fuel to truly hit it amid your workouts. “You simply make a cursory effort,” she says. In addition, numerous individuals who begin off their days seriously confining calories wind up tossing caloric alert to the wind by dinnertime. “In the event that you don’t have enough nourishment, you’re liable to experience sugar yearnings later in the day,” says Washington D.C.- based enlisted dietitian Anne Mauney, MPH, RD.

DailyBurn: 6 Weight Loss Success Stories to Motivate You Right Now

The fix: Exactly what number of calories you need relies on upon what number of you’re blazing in the rec center, however by and large, your caloric deficiency (the quantity of calories you eat less the quantity of calories you smolder) shouldn’t be any more than 500 every day, Spano says. (You can utilize one of these cool following applications to offer you some assistance with keeping tabs.) Aim to devour the main part of your calories amid the first 50% of your day and around your workout.

2. Do you follow up your workouts with a store-bought smoothie?

Hitting up the smoothie counter won’t not be the most ideal approach to refueling your muscles. (These refreshments are only a couple of illustrations of tastes with genuinely unnerving calorie tallies.) “Numerous smoothies are stacked with sugar and calories, and can totally neutralize any calorie-smolder you got from your workout,” Spano says. Natural product, yogurt and sherbet-substantial assortments are among the most noticeably awful guilty parties.

DailyBurn: What 200 Calories of Nuts Looks Like

The answer: Instead of purchasing a pre-made smoothie, throw together one of these simple three-fixing smoothie formulas at home. Furthermore, don’t guzzle it down on-the-go. At the point when individuals take a seat to eat their dinners, they end up feeling more full and eating less later in the day than if they had eaten while progressing, as indicated by a 2015 Journal of Health Psychology study.

3. Do you constantly crave food?

This won’t not be a terrible thing. Examination does a reversal and forward on exercise’s consequences for yearning, yet in the event that your workout is expanding your longing, it’s not as a matter of course a major ordeal, Spano says. “Individuals eat for an assortment of reasons, and appetite is frequently the last reason.” (Hey, it’s superior to anything eating to fulfill longings or mitigate stress.) But, still, in case you’re chowing down on a larger number of calories than you’re smoldering — regardless of the possibility that you’re blazing a ton — you’re going to put on weight, she says.

The answer: Take a period out to consider in case you’re really ravenous — or simply exhausted, drained, pushed, miserable, or generally passionate. On the off chance that you are truly, genuinely hungry, eat! Simply settle on sound fiber-and protein-rich nourishments that will top you off, for example, vegetables, low-fat dairy, solid fats and incline meats, she says. These fast and simple high-protein snacks are a decent place.

4. Do you read your cardio machine’s calorie-counter displays?

Your treadmill (also your circular and stationary bicycle) is deceiving you. A few machines may overestimate your caloric consume by to 30 percent, as per the American Council on Exercise. So in the event that you put your trust in them, you could undoubtedly wind up eating a larger number of calories than you blaze — regardless of the possibility that you’re industriously following your endeavors.

The answer: Don’t pay any brain to your cardio machine’s calorie show. While Spano doesn’t prescribe carrying on with your life tallying calories, in case you’re absolutely driven to know what number of calories your workout’s smoldering, look to a wellness tracker. They aren’t immaculate, yet they do get a ton closer than cardio machines, recommends examination distributed Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

5. Are you sleep deprived?

Weight reduction boils down to adhering to a good diet, exercise — and recuperation. In the event that you pass up a great opportunity for one of those, the other two aren’t going to completely pay off, Spano says. What’s more, for a great many people, recuperation, or all the more particularly, rest is a major issue. When you don’t get enough close eye, the hormones accountable for managing your yearning levels — leptin and ghrelin — get distracted, bringing about extraordinary longings that could wind up neutralizing your workouts, Mauney says. Then, a 2015 Diabetologia study proposes that only four days of lack of sleep causes your body to store more fat. What’s more, as per examination distributed in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, the nature of your rest impacts that you are so prone to workout the following day, as well.
The answer: Stop bargaining on zzz’s, Mauney says. While each individual’s rest needs are distinctive, the Sleep Foundation prescribes grown-ups ages 18 to 64 rest somewhere around seven and nine hours every night. Get that to give your workout the best risks of working.