Hunger – The Biggest Weight-Loss Obstacle?

hungry
Today marks the second consecutive day in a row in which I’ve immediately come across a doom and gloom weight-loss article. Perhaps this just a formula for writers to drive a home their main argument, but I think these articles have a way of beating down our resolve, causing a double hand throw in the air and a long look in the ‘goodies’ closet to once again celebrate defeat.
You can read the article in question here, but I’ll save you 1,000 words of reading by simply saying that the initial position of the article is that it’s purely hunger that is the true obstacle of weight-loss. Now, if you’re on a severely restrictive diet (which either means you’re in a life or death situation and under a Doctor’s direct care, or you’ve chosen a really, really poor diet) of course hunger will be a problem. However, while there are always obstacles to losing weight and even maintaining your target weight, I wouldn’t have placed ‘hunger’ in even the top 5. In fact, when I work with clients, I can’t tell you how many times I repeat “do not let yourself get hungry”. This may sound obvious, but the trick is to have a solid plan and stick to it. By doing so, you can basically eliminate hunger, or, at very least, as the article soundly suggested at one point, be easily able to cope with it if your next meal is right around the corner.

Here’s a sample of the article:

Is it possible to lose weight without hunger? Logic tells us it’s not. If dropping pounds were easy, we’d all be wearing the same size jeans we wore in high school.
The reason it’s not easy is that your body is trying to protect you. “It sucks to diet, unfortunately,” says Spencer Nadolsky, D.O., author of The Fat Loss Prescription. “Our bodies fight to regain that weight.”
Not everyone regains it, to be sure. In a Penn State study, about one in six adults who lost at least 10 percent of their maximum body weight were able to keep it off for a year or longer.
Average sustained weight loss in that group was 42 pounds. But that still leaves five out of six who regained some or all of it.
“Hunger becomes an issue whenever you try to lose weight,” Dr. Nadolsky says. “It’s difficult to continue to eat less when we have a physiological drive to eat more.”
When everything under the hood is running smoothly, hunger should reflect how much food you need to keep your body at its current size, give or take a pound or two.

Again, I recognize that the article might be using these supporting statements to set up the “8 ways to combat hunger” as mentioned in the title of the article, but I just don’t believe it’s as big an issue as it wants you to believe. Clients demonstrate a more difficult time with letting go of poor eating habits (read: cravings) than anything else, but those can easily be dealt with. If hunger is your biggest problem with your weight-loss program, it’s likely the program that is at fault, not you. Overly restrictive diets, or weight-loss programs with high intensity workouts without properly nutrition could be two big drivers.

How We Complicate Weight-loss

weightloss

Sometimes we have a knack for making things more complicated than necessary. And, once in a while, we read things that make us think that just maybe things really are complicated.  I remember a time not too long ago when I struggled with weight-loss myself. I remember clearly thinking at one point in my mid-thirties “is keeping my weight down just simply out of my control”.  Without completely understanding how to do it properly I felt lost, confused, and very frustrated.

When I read through an article on Flipboard this morning, the bleak outlook that was painted triggered those old feelings, and made me empathize with anyone who is now caught in that all-to-familiar spiral.

You can read the full story here, but here’s a sample of the content

If you’re one of the millions of people struggling to lose weight, the latest news probably isn’t helping your motivation much. I’m talking about two recently published articles, both backed by rigorous research, that paint a grim picture around weight loss and exercise. But don’t throw in the towel just yet. They don’t tell the full story.

In case you’re not familiar with the articles I’m talking about, here’s a quick recap:

Article 1: The New York Times

The New York Times article looked at former contestants on “The Biggest Loser” and concluded that almost all of them regained the weight they’d lost on the show. The article reasons that after drastic weight loss, two things happen that make weight gain almost inevitable:

1.Resting metabolism decreases (so you burn fewer calories).

2.Hunger and cravings increase, thanks to plummeting levels of leptin, the hormone that controls hunger.

“As long as you are below your initial weight, your body is going to try to get you back,” says Dr. Michael Schwartz in the article.

Article 2: Vox

In the second article, writers at Vox claim that exercise does not work for weight loss. It concludes “exercise is excellent for health, but it’s not important for weight loss” by citing 60+ supporting studies. The article reads much like a compilation of what I’ve been writing about for years. It even includes some identical messages, such as why counting calories from exercise will sabotage your weight-loss goals and why you should focus on diet, not exercise.

Still, I found myself upset after reading both of these articles—not because of what they said, but because of what they didn’t say. They omit half of the story, leaving readers with only one conclusion to infer: We’re f*cked! Your exercise has been for naught. And if somehow you actually do lose weight, expect the pounds to creep back on, because you’re fighting a losing battle against biology.

Most people take away two really impactful “truths” from this. 1) Once you start losing weight, your body will work against you to get you back to where you started and 2) exercise is pointless with regard to weight-loss.

Like the author of the blog post that cited these articles, I, too, have lost 30 lbs. and kept it off. For 8 years now.  While I’ll agree that the longest route to weight-loss and the quickest one to frustration is to solely rely on steady state cardio as a means to stay thin, I can’t say that I identify AT ALL with the first statement.  In fact, I pay very close attention to cravings and food addictions, and I have no personal experience that simply losing weight had any impact on the frequency and intensity of cravings.  Now, I can’t dismiss that what was said was scientific fact, that’s certainly possible, I just didn’t notice is to any extent that I found it demoralizing in my own efforts.

In fact, I would argue that cravings are more a function of your eating habits and routines than your body screaming for nutrients.

So before you throw your hands in the air and order a large pizza in celebratory defeat, let’s check to see just how well you conform to the true principles of long term weight loss. Perhaps you’ll realize that your frustration comes from the wrong approach rather than your body working against you.

  1. Do you strength train? – if you have any history with my blog you know I’m a staunch supporter of strength training. To the extent that it’s worth repeating that if I could only do one form of exercise, it would win out over cardio every day of the week.
  2. Do you do HIIT training? – I’m not sure why this hasn’t taken root in our society since ‘time’ is seemingly our most precious commodity, but to get outstanding results, a tremendous sense of accomplishment, a feeling of total exhaustion, and get it in only a fraction of the time? I don’t know how this is the bestselling idea since indoor plumbing.
  3. Are you eating clean? – You want to ratchet up your cravings? Eat exclusively processed, sugar-laden pre-packed foods. See if your brain doesn’t go nuts trying to get you to repeat that behavior. Similarly, want to crush your cravings, give your body clean, whole foods. Your body doesn’t raise the cravings flag when it’s getting the nutrients it needs to run efficiently.
  4. Do you say “no”? – Let’s face, life can be a succession of mine fields when you’re trying to eat a clean diet, especially now that the warmer weather is here (well, almost). You can’t go a day without someone shoving delicious treats and high fat animal protein in your face. If you’re not saying no with regularity, you’re giving your brain a reason to light up like a Christmas tree with all the fat and sugar, not only leading to a whole sack of calories, but subsequent cravings.
  5. Are you monitoring? – We at FC99 are huge proponents of living mindfully and tracking what we do. What we eat, how much eat, how often we move, how our weight changes, etc. If you’re not mindful of these things, it’s almost impossible to progress. You need to know what you’re doing each week and getting feedback from it. That’s how you make the necessary course corrections.

I’ve said this in the past.  Permanent weight-loss, in theory, is very easy. In application, it’s difficult because it requires significant changes in habits that are deeply rooted in our lives and culture.  However, all of that is simply habitual and can be changed, we just have to know how to do and to give it enough time to take root in place of the poor habits we’ve built.

For more info on personalized weight-loss plans, visit http://fitcoach99.net/personal-weight-loss-plan/

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The Case Against Low-Fat Milk Is Stronger Than Ever

Gallon of Whole Milk

Low Fat vs. Full Fat Diary

The war on low fat vs. full fat dairy rages on!  For that matter, so does the long-standing debate around eating dairy at all! I think it’s just part of our culture and our human nature to endlessly bicker about the nuances of dieting while completely ignoring the problem from a macro level; but let’s save that for another post.  Let’s assume dairy IS part of your diet and that you truly want to know which is best for you.

Despite the fact that a recent article from Time magazine seems to posit that eating full fat dairy may actually be better for you, the body of the article, if read correctly, really says it’s up to you. Well, rather, it’s up to you based on your needs.

Read: The Case Against Low-Fat Milk Is Stronger Than Ever

Despite seemingly taking a side, though, the article isn’t about which is inherently healthier.  It’s rather about how studies demonstrate how people work dairy into their daily lives.

the body of data is beginning to reveal both that full-fat dairy has a place in a healthy diet, and also how focusing on one nutrient in the diet may backfire. When dietary guidelines began urging people to lower the amount of fat they ate, the idea was to reduce the amount of cholesterol and unhealthy fats in the body. But by focusing just on cutting out fat, experts didn’t count on the fact that people would compensate for the missing fat and start loading up on carbohydrates, which the body converts into sugar—and then body fat.

then

 people who had higher levels of three different byproducts of full-fat dairy had, on average, a 46% lower risk of getting diabetes during the study period than those with lower levels

Despite this good initial data, which started down the path that the full-fat versions were, in fact, inherently better, the remainder of the article supports the idea that those who eat low fat dairy generally eat less fat on a whole, replacing fats with higher carb, higher sugar foods.  Doing so will obviously translate to not only weight gain but higher risk for disease.

I fully support their admonishment to avoid doing just this.  Removing necessary macronutrients like healthy fats (we’re looking at you Avacado) is not the right path to heathy weight-loss.

I personally use low fat and fat free dairy, but only due to the calorie content.  I do not shy away from healthy fats like nuts and olive oils, though.  However, for how little I eat dairy I can easily cut a few calories by using the fat free version of milk for my coffee or the occasional bowl of whole grain cereal.

So, to answer the original question, which is better is up to you. If you like the taste of full fat dairy and have your daily calorie target under control, then definitely have it. If you need to find easy ways to cut down on calories to stay within your goal, using the fat-free version is a simple way to help.  Do not, however, cast ‘fat’ on a whole as an evil and substitute healthy fats for processed junk.  This message is to those who specifically seek to continue to eat low fat and fat free versions of junk food to avoid changing habits.  Fats are a necessary macronutrient, you just need to avoid the unhealthy saturated fats and trans-fats found in processed garbage you find on the supermarket shelves.

 
Having trouble losing weight? We can help! Check out our online coaching page. For what you’d pay for a single session with a trainer we’ll create a tailored program and help you course correct as needed.

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Depressing New Study Links Eating Carbs With An Increased Risk Of Cancer

carbs

I’m not a fan of using scare tactics, but I think this is a pretty important message.  According to an article by Sarah  Bruning,  posted on Woman’s Health website (read the article here) :

study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, people whose diets included a large percentage of high-glycemic foods (think: white bread, potatoes, refined/processed foods) saw their risk for lung cancer (the number one cancer killer of women) soar by 49 percent.

You may have heard about the low glycemic diet, and if not for yourself, then certainly as it relates to diabetics (though I would argue the benefits of following a diabetics diet), and hopefully you understand that this very important index is what separates the good carbs from the bad.

In fact, I’m a little upset that the title of the article simply said “Carbs” with no such delineation.  It’s important to make this distinction so that you know how to remove the dangerous ones from the truly good ones with tremendous health benefits.

Generally speaking, the good variety has fiber, which slows the digestion process and prevents blood sugar levels from spiking.   This avoids the body’s natural insulin response, which is why it’s important for diabetics.  Insulin also promotes fat storage, which is why it’s bad for anyone else (among other things, as this study proves).  Higher fiber carbohydrates include a wide variety of vegetables and whole grains.  However, please learn to read nutrition labels, the whole wheat bread you buy may just be a refined flour product, which doesn’t have the appropriate levels of fiber to consider it a ‘good carb’.

And the new link to cancer?  According to Sarah Bruning:

Higher levels of insulin can then spur an increase in proteins called insulin-growth factors, which have been linked to a greater likelihood of developing lung cancer.

A quick google search will get you a full list of foods with their index rating (higher is worse), but also be aware that the true measure of a food’s quality would be it’s glycemic load, not necessarily the index.  The difference?  The load considers the volume carb contained in the food, rather than just how quickly the carbohydrate metabolizes.  For example, watermelon has a high glycemic index, but a low glycemic load, simply because it’s over 90% water.  The sugar contained is so diluted that it will do little to spike your blood glucose level.

Click here for a quick lesson.

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Sleep Munchies: Why It’s Harder To Resist Snacks When We’re Tired

sleep

Article by Allison Aubrey, published on NPR.Org

What’s it about?

The article posits that not getting adequate sleep leads to higher rates of snacking.

Why?

““Part of the answer seems to be that skimping on sleep can disrupt our circadian rhythms. Lack of sleep can also alter hunger and satiety hormones.

Now, a new study finds evidence that sleep deprivation (getting less than five hours of sleep per night) produces higher peaks of a lipid in our bloodstream known as an endocannabinoid that may make eating more pleasurable.

So, what’s an endocannabinoid? If you look at the word closely, you may already have a clue. The prefix endo means inner, or within. And cannabinoid looks like … you got it: cannabis.””

The Study

““The study was divided into two parts, each lasting four days. For one session, the participants were allowed to follow a normal sleep schedule, about 8 1/2 hours per night.

But during the other session, they agreed to a crazy schedule. They went to bed at 1 a.m. and were woken up at 5:30 a.m., so that they got a maximum of just 4.5 hours of sleep per night.

In both sessions, study participants were offered buffet-style meals and plenty of snacks, including candy and chips.

“They were given way more food than they could ever eat, “says Hanlon.

It turned out that when participants were sleep deprived, they ate about 400 more calories from snacks. That’s “a lot more,” Hanlon says.”

In Summary

Getting adequate sleep is in the top 5 rules of most weight-loss plans. This new evidence lends an additional reason to get your ZZZ’s. If stress and anxiety is leading to insomnia for you, seek help in working out the issue.  From recovery and muscle growth to satiety, it seems it’s a huge component of successful weight management.

Having trouble losing weight? We can help! Check out our online coaching page. For what you’d pay for a single session with a trainer we’ll create a tailored program and help you course correct as needed.

Don’t want to make major changes? Check out our Mindful Living Program. The easiest weight-loss program you’ll ever need.

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5 Weight Loss Strategies That Don’t Work

diets

Let me know if this sounds familiar:  You come across a recent picture of yourself and think “oh my god, am I really that heavy?” and immediately panic and resolve to lose a few pounds.  I think by the time we’re past our 20’s we all go through this, and while some of us may even eek out a few pounds in the loss column, only a handful of us actually keep the weight off in the long run.

The reason this is so common, is that most of us choose to create our own weight-loss plan, which really isn’t a plan at all, but rather a culmination of strategies that we think work best for us, with only hearsay or pure mythology as a basis.

If you’re one to not consult professional advice, here are 5 common strategies that not only mislead you, but can actually be detrimental.

  • Severe Calorie Restriction. I once over-heard a co-worker relay a new ‘diet’ that he created to a colleague.  The diet was based on the fact that his cousin, who had just been in a horrific car-crash and could only consume liquids, had lost “a whole bunch of weight”.  This new diet, proudly named “the once a day chew diet” was simply to only eat real food 1x a day (the chew), while only consuming beverages the rest of the day.  Mind you, these beverages were not specifically considered to provide nutrients and the requisite calories necessary to sustain bodily functions, but arbitrary drinks that he’d enjoy enough to mask the obvious lack of food.  Also, the 1 real meal was based on food preferences, not nutritional value.  That day he had only consumed a bialy.  As far as choices go, that was pretty poor.  This ends up just being a diet based on severe calorie restriction which creates havoc within the body.  It slows metabolism, it causes the body to break down lean muscle mass for calories, and, of course, robs the body of the nutrients it needs.  All of which is the exact opposite of what you want when trying to lose weight.  The correction to over-eating poor quality food isn’t eating less.  It’s eating better.
  • Low-Fat Diets. A few decades ago, low-fat diets were in fashion.  There are two reasons why I believe fat has a bad name, similar to today’s carbohydrate.  First, fat has more calories per gram than either protein or carbs (compare 9 to 4 of both the latter), which means fatty foods naturally carry more calories.  Secondly, there are bad quality fats that are detrimental to health, just like there are poor quality carbs with negative health benefits (including weight-gain).  For both of these reasons, fats get lumped into one category and labeled ‘bad’.  However, good quality fat is necessary for optimal health, and can provide satiety and curtail cravings.  Lastly, low-fat foods as marketed on our grocery shelves are often overly processed foods with added sugar to make them more palatable (this is not true for whole foods naturally low in fat).  A healthful diet contains 20-30% of calories from good quality, health promoting fats (monounsaturated oils, seeds, nuts, avocados, to name a few)
  • Not Eating after 6. While there are benefits to having fewer carbs after 6 (or even earlier), especially the refined variety, there isn’t proof that any such strategy in and of itself will promote weight loss.  This is especially true if your whole diet is predicated on this one rule alone.  You can’t undo an unhealthy diet, I don’t care what time you stop eating.
  • Only Exercising. More often than not, this actually works against us.  It becomes an excuse to eat more, and/or eat poor quality food as a reward.  It also causes us to grossly over estimate calories burned.  True weight management pairs the two together to create a calorie deficit and, if you’re smart and learned it’s necessary to strength train, promote muscle hypertrophy. Lean muscle mass burns more calories at rest. Of these two levers, diet is weighted more heavily.  Most put the ratio split at 80/20 in favor of diet.  Lastly, for emphasis on this last point, even a relatively good workout will only burn 300 calories or less.  Strategic changes in diet can easily remove more than that with little effort.
  • Food Group/Macronutrient elimination – Fad diets often remove entire food groups like dairy, or entire macronutrients like Fat (as noted in number 2 above) or Carbohydrate. These groups or macros aren’t the problem, it’s their existence in overly processed and refined foods that give them a bad name.  And, to completely contradict this trend, having a wide variety foods is the best way to reach optimal health as it will supply your body with the wide array of vitamins and minerals it needs.  To make the argument even better, it means more variety for you to eat, removing those nasty feelings of deprivation.  Forget removing dairy, or removing carbs for the sake of removing them. Instead remove the poor quality foods (processed prepackaged foods and junk foods) that are causing poor health and weight gain.  It’s time to start putting blame where it really belongs.

 
Don’t want to make major changes? Check out our Mindful Living Program. The easiest weight-loss program you’ll ever need.


 
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Should You Give Up Dairy To Lose Weight?

dairy

This was the title of a recent article by Julie Stewart from fitness magazine.  She writes “Here’s a surprising statistic: One in 10 millennials are vegan, according to a report in Nutrition Business Journal. Call it a lifestyle or call it an elimination diet—either way, it’s picking up steam due in part to like backers like Beyoncé. (Who doesn’t want to be a little more like Queen Bey?!) And even Khloé Kardashian recently claimed that she lost 11 pounds just by cutting cheese and milk from her diet.”

Having backers like Beyonce, Khloe, and social media tends to send things viral:

“Social media has also spread the word about blogs and other media touting veganism. Many restaurants have added vegan options, and stores are stocking more plant-based substitutes for meat, dairy, and egg products, eliminating some of the roadblocks that used to make vegan diets hard to stick to, she says.

Ditching dairy for environmental or animal welfare reasons is totally a personal choice, but going vegan as a way to lose weight is a little more complicated. Just because it worked for Khloé doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll have the same effect on you.”

Aside from the obvious rebuttal that dairy does have its benefits by being good sources of Vitamin D (something too many of us are showing deficiency) and calcium, if your diet is already a mess, simply removing dairy isn’t going to do much good.  This is true for any one type of food you may read to eliminate (or add, as is the case with the recent study showing protein consumption will aide in fat-loss).  PS, this is certainly not a knock against veganism, this is more of a warning to those with a traditional diet to be careful about removing categories of food without understand the role it plays in your diet and, more importantly, to be more aware of what else you’re eating.

The best approach for weight-loss is to be sensible.  Eat a wide variety of food to ensure you’re getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals.  Cut back on processed foods and added sugars, get your exercise, and watch your calories.

This is what it’s meant to live mindfully, and you can check out our full Mindful Living program here.

Also check out our 30 day fat shred program and our online coaching page.

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Building Your Own Meal Plan: The Right Macro-nutrient Ratio For Fat-loss

ratio

If you haven’t heard of macro-nutrient ratios, or even macro-nutrients, this may sound like a super advanced principle, but you’ll quickly realize it’s not only simple, but understanding it can help you build your own meal plan more effectively.

Macro-nutrients, as most commonly used in nutrition-speak, refer to the components of our diets that we need in large quantities.  Specifically Carbohydrate, Protein, and fat. Macro-nutrient ratios, then, are the percentages of each that we consume in a given time frame, usually per day.

Just as it’s true that no person reacts the same to a predefined diet, I will caution that not every person will respond according to generally accepted macro-nutrient rules, but, as much as we can provide a ‘one-size-fits-all’ the following should work for most of us.

The most common goal for folks new to Meal Planning is fat-loss, which is why it landed in the title of this post.  And, you won’t be surprised to learn that of the 3 common ratios, this is the one with the lowest carbohydrate percentage, and the highest protein intake. The ratio is:

Carbohydrate: 10-30% (I’d be careful about going under 15-20% myself, but these are generally accepted amounts)

Protein: 40-50%

Fat: 30-40% (Please understand that the bulk of these fats should be of the healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats and omega 3’s.  Saturated fat should be kept under 15 grams per day, and trans-fats should be avoided altogether)

So, what does this mean for your meal plan, how can you tell what the ratios are based on what you eat?

Well, it requires math, but it’s very simple.  You start by knowing how many grams of each macro nutrient you’ve eaten in a day. Then, multiple the grams of Protein and Carbohydrate by 4, and Fat by 9.  This will give you the total calories for the day.  Then simply divide the calories of each macro-nutrient by the total.

So, for example, if you had 1,800 total calories yesterday from 90 grams of Carbs, 225 grams of Protein,

and 60 grams of fat, your total calories per macro would be:

Carbs 90 x 4 = 360

Protein 225 X 4 = 900

Fat 60 x 9 = 540

And your ratios would be:

Carbs = 20% (360/1,800)

Protein = 50% (900/1,800)

Fat = 30% (540/1,800)

This would be a very typical ratio for Fat-loss.  If this is your goal, design your meals to mirror these same ratios, but start first with your total calorie target and work backwards.  And remember, you calorie target should be set 500 calories below your maintenance needs as to create a calorie deficit.

Creating these types of meal plans is something we can help you with, both with our online coaching and our 30 day reset, which focus on the fat-loss ratio.

To recap, here are the suggested ratios by the three primary goals (C/P/F):

Fat-loss: 10-30%/40-50%/30-40%

Maintenance: 30-50%/25-35%/25-35%

Bodybuilding/muscle gain: 40-60%/25-35%/15-25%

Want to make this super easy? Download an app like Lose it! and it will do the work for you. You can see your ratios at a glance each day and adjust as appropriate.

 
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5 Signs You Might Be Skinny Fat!

skinny fat

That is the title of an article I came across this morning (written by Amanda Macmillan, featured on Fox News’s website.  Full Article link below) , and I have to be honest that the title alone made me click through (and chuckle!).  Obviously, though, this is no laughing matter.

However, to keep it light for a minute, are you one of the unfortunate people who has a close friend or relative that can eat like a garbage pail and never gain an ounce?  Okay, they’re not going to win any fitness competitions, but they could plow through a supersized meal and dessert and still wear the same jeans from High School?  I have a friend who is best friends with one of these, while she herself is the kind that would gain a pound just looking at a milkshake.

Often, when she goes off on the unfairness of life and the cruelty of the darned gene pool, my ‘go to’ response is to remind her that’s she is actually better off.  Why? Well, just being thin isn’t a barometer for health.  While she can fit into the same clothes from a decade ago, her friend isnt’ getting the warning signs that her body is slowly growing unhealthy.  While her friend goes about eating fried Oreos and sipping cola’s, my friend has had to clamp down on her diet an increase exercise to help stave off unwanted pounds.  As much as I hate to admit it, and I’m sure you’ll silently protest it as well, vanity plays a big role.  Assume you could eat whatever you want and keep your 20-something year old body – would you bother eating clean and working out? Only a small percentage would answer ‘yes’ to that.

So, forget being bitter and ‘hating’ our genetically skinny brothers and sisters, and start feeling blessed that your body is sending you signals to tighten up your diet and move a heckuva lot more.  After all, while it’s wonderful to look good, living a more healthful life pays so many more dividends.

Here are the 5 signs bulleted. To see the full article visit: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/01/28/5-signs-might-be-skinny-fat.html

  • You have a muffin top
  • You can’t do a pushup
  • You have a family history (diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure)
  • You don’t eat healthy diet
  • You’re in an at-rick population (e.g. ethnic group)

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Tabata Workouts: 4 minutes, 20 seconds Trumps An Hour On The Treadmill?

tabata
Let’s enjoy an exception to the usual disappointment of things being too good to be true.  If this is the first time you’re hearing of Tabata workouts, listen up!

Let’s answer the easy question first: What is a tabata workout?

From Active.com’s Fara Rosenzweig “Tabata training was discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.
Tabata and his team conducted research on two groups of athletes. The first group trained at a moderate intensity level while the second group trained at a high-intensity level. The moderate intensity group worked out five days a week for a total of six weeks; each workout lasted one hour. The high-intensity group worked out four days a week for six weeks; each workout lasted four minutes and 20 seconds (with 10 seconds of rest in between each set).

The results; Group 1 had increased their aerobic system (cardiovascular), but showed little or no results for their anaerobic system (muscle). Group 2 showed much more increase in their aerobic system than Group 1, and increased their anaerobic system by 28 percent.

In conclusion, high-intensity interval training has more impact on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.”

In case you were distracted reading that, let me reiterate those results. Group 2, the high intensity group following the Tabata workout, worked out ONLY 4 days per week, each workout lasting ONLY 4 minutes and 20 seconds. That’s incredible! And, group 2 show dramatically higher gains for both their aerobic and anaerobic system.
If you think time is the biggest reason you don’t exercise, you literally have no excuse not to try this. The mere idea of getting more out of 4 minutes and 20 seconds than what you got out of an hour in the past has to be the most exciting fitness news since Richard Simmons had us sweating to the oldies!

For examples of Tabata workouts (we put a few movements together for a workouts that 24 minutes or less), check our WOD’s (you can sort by that category from the mainpage).

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To read the full article, visit http://www.active.com/fitness/articles/what-is-tabata-training

For more on Tabata workouts, visit http://breakingmuscle.com/strength-conditioning/the-tabata-revolution-explained-what-why-and-how-to-tabata

For other ideas on Tabata workouts, visit: http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Printable-Tabata-Workout-23498981