Monday, July 27, 2015

Four Simple Tips For Weight Loss

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Guest post By Mike Occhipinti, manager of The Body Shop Studio,  22 July, 2015

One of the most frequently asked questions are “what do you eat” or “what should I eat if I want to lose some weight?” If you are one of those people who find yourself asking or wondering these questions, you might find this article as a good stepping stone to get you on your way. Now let me state I am not a nutritionist or dietician, but I can share with you some tools I have seen personally work for me and my clients. Lets talk about four simple ways to get the ball rolling.

1. Increase meal frequency.

Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day is good way to get your metabolism moving. You want to eat anywhere between 2.5 to 4 hours. Try not to go beyond 4 hours because after that your body goes into starvation mode and will store calories instead of burning them off. When you eat often you also prevent overeating later in the day. If you’re someone who skips meals, especially breakfast, I challenge you to eat 4 balances meals throughout the day then go home and try to overeat. You won’t want to. Why? Because you’ve given your body adequate fuel throughout the day so it’s not craving CRAP (like sugar, which the body will convert quickest to energy) and you will have that willpower you’ve been yearning for. YES IT”S THAT EASY.  Also, the because our bodies are way smarter than we are, when it comes to food rationing and storing for energy it will do it when it needs to whether you WANT it to or not. So keep that engine, your metabolism, running by fueling it, literally, and it won’t have the opportunity to store the fuel as fat. But there is no magic number of meals you need to eat a day or exact time range that you need to follow. The truth is that you need to find what works for your body and metabolism. This comes with some trial and error. Maybe start with 4 meals and 1 snack, or 5 small meals, or three small meals and 2 snacks and see what works best for you and your life. Ultimately, what works for you, will work for you.

2. Eliminate sugar and processed foods.

WHAT?! NO!? REALLY?! YES!!! Sugar is the root of all evil. Just bite the bullet, take the plunge. cut the cord and DO IT. We are often told fat is makes you fat and you should by fat free items but the truth is, when companies take fat out of a product, the taste changes and therefore they must add something. That something is usually sugar, which just so happens to be more addicting than cocaine according to numerous studies performed. You will not only look better but you will feel better too. Science has shown and I personally can share from experience that when you go cold turkey, you begin to not miss it. Then something REALLY cool happens, once you give it up and then reintroduce it because the chocolate brownies your Aunt makes every holiday are just too good to pass up, you actually feel SICK. Processed, white sugar makes you sick. You have two options: You can throw out all of the refined carbohydrates and sugary food/drinks in your house, or just finish them off and not replace them. Food shopping should be done around the outside perimeters of the supermarket. Stay away from the boxed foods and sugary drinks. Something as simple as eliminating sugar goes a long way when it comes to weight loss.

3. Have the majority of your diet come from these food sources:

Lean protein: chicken, steak, fish,eggs, turkey, etc that are grilled baked or boiled.
Fibrous Carbohydrates aka Vegetables: broccoli, asparagus, kale, spinach, ya know, the GREEN stuff
Fats: avocado, coconut oil and other oil variations,
Starchy Carbohydrates: Sweet potato, quinoa, rice, legumes


I could go on and on about the importance of water but lets remember the body is somewhere between 60-70% water. It helps with digestion,  flushing bodily waste, maintaining body temperature, helps clear up your skin, and balances your electrolytes. Your muscles alone are 73% water, so if you suffer from muscle cramps, drinking water could alleviate some of those aches and pains. But how much should you drink? A good starting point is to do ½ your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 140 lbs, you want to drink 70 oz of water a day. If you’re exercising you’re going to want to increase that amount. Also, let’s make something clear, coffee, tea, soda, juice IS NOT WATER. When we say drink more water, we mean WATER as in H2O. If you have a tough time drinking water one way to increase your intake is to do it while your eating your meals because you’re already sitting down and can remember to drink it. Drinking water before and during meals will also help you eat less because there won’t be as much room for the food.

The four above tips for losing weight while simple, will go along way. I have seen people make great strides following just these four steps. Stay focused and take it one meal, one day at a time.  239 Main Ave, Stirling, NJ 07980 (908) 307-3777

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Make you own home gym!


You can spend thousands on a home gym or nothing at all. You can use gallons of drinks to simulate weights and use items around the house. However you will have more fun and use the gym more often if you have the below items to get going.

An exercise or stability ball, costs about $15+. Make sure you get the right one for your size leg/weight. Make sure it is the right size or you won’t feel comfortable using this.

Dumb bells are good for a home gym, you can choose a lighter weight and a heavier weight to get started. It is easier to add to this when you get fitter.

Exercise bands/ropes come in different strengths and it is easy to pick up a multi pack in a big box store for $15.

You need a cardio machine that you will use.  Do you like treadmills? How about the Elliptical? Or just go with a mini re-bounder for $30+ and step for cardio.

Work out videos or on demand tv or local trainer classes are a good bet to give you a good all round workout, getting all the major muscle groups.

For intermediate level you may enjoy:

An adjustable bench is a good idea, even if you aren’t a big weights person, a versatile one can be used for leg lifts, and incline. It can cost $40+ secondhand.

A chin up bar can be a cheap and easy to install in the frame of a door but make sure it is installed correctly as you may get hurt if not.

Look online for workouts, there are many but check with your doctor first.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Must get fit!

Dieting alone won't work long term, or at all, a fitness plan is required too. You may have gained weight because of overeating, but also probably because you aren't burning off as much as you eat.

You need to increase your activity, I've noticed that I clock 5,000 steps a day doing what I do every day. That isn't enough, and apparently is in the sedentary category. I had no idea that 5,000 steps is sedentary, I thought it was good. The goal is 10,000 steps and often more. But even 7,000 steps has marked improvement on your health.

How do you increase your activity? Well I'm sure you've read the ways to increase steps, park further from the store, walk to nearby stores, walk your pets or bike ride with your kids, etc. But you will also need to do a strenuous activity a few times a week as well as doing your steps. Perhaps a light jog/walk, or an exercise or yoga class in town, go to a gym, or bike ride around town. There are tons of different options for beginners and you can choose your favorite activity. Don't limit yourself, perhaps you like dancing, enroll in a class or two.

You can also do a workout from home by doing a DVD or you tube routine. There are literally tons of options these days. From on demand exercise classes, online website classes, videos/DVD's and more. Don't get stuck on only one option either as you may get bored or want a change of pace. If you change your workouts you will vary the muscle groups used and be fitter than if you only did one activity.

See if you can encourage your friends to do an activity with you, you get to enjoy their company and this will keep you active too. Perhaps see if your next friends get together can be a fitness activity instead of a restaurant or drinks.

You may also need someone to keep you honest and improving, if you are looking for a specific goal. Perhaps a doctor can monitor your progress. Go to weight watchers they have weigh ins, or find a weight loss buddy online or nearby.

Keep at it, every increase in activity is important and necessary. You will start to feel better, especially if you are also watching your meal plan/diet.

Any other ideas or comments on an easy way to incorporate fitness in your life?


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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

How to focus on your health but not obsess, is this possible?

People are getting bigger and less fit and lifestyle accounts for many of today’s ailments. We know it is important to focus on your health. But health advisers suggest not obsessing over your health as too much focus on diet and weight may propel you to a binge or other eating disorder. If you focus on food all the time you may be hungry all the time too if you get hungry when you think about food.

What is the balance between focusing on health, and not obsessing over food? It seems to be a very fine line, which is why health professionals suggest making small lifestyle changes in the long term instead of short-term diets.  Do what ever you used to do but eat a little less or skip a snack (if blood sugar is balanced), eat lots of vegetables and some fruit, eat dessert only on the weekends or special occasions etc.  If you try to do all the suggestions all at once you risk failing and that failure and the obsession may make you less likely to want to try changes in the future.

In Stop the Insanity Susan Powter says that the obsession over food is the reason for the obesity and that if we stop forbidding foods that we can go back to our natural hunger pattern and be content with our shape and body.

Is it possible to calorie count and not obsess? I am not so sure. If you have to count calories then you are slightly preoccupied with your diet and it focuses on the calories you can’t eat.

In Scarcity:Why Having Too Little Means So Much, Eldar Shafir goes in to depth about how restriction focuses on the loss in a negative way. It claims that the best way to lose weight is to increase the frequency of meals to allow the feeling of abundance. How cans this work with initiating a weight loss? I have yet to find out but it is worth examining given that most diets fail over the long term.

Perhaps the focus could be on stopping binge dieting and emotional eating? I.e. we won’t abuse our bodies when we feel bad and eat too much ice cream. We won’t give in to a binge when we have overeaten a little, i.e. “throw the baby out with the bath water” just because we slipped up a little.  There are lots of resources out there for binge eating and overeating addiction, including overeater’s anonymous, online forums and more.

Of course we all know we should move more and often. Perhaps we could focus more on fitness, since fitness addictions are more rare than eating disorders. But yes there is a small minority that will overdo fitness too. 


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