Commit to get fit TODAY! Personal Nutrition and Fitness Coaching.

Commit to get fit TODAY! Personal Nutrition and Fitness Coaching.

by Born Again Fitness Personal Training & Weight Loss on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 10:14am

Here’s how it works. Find a  friend, or friends and sign up taking advantage of my buddy discount.

I will customize a fitness and nutrition program that meets all your needs.

You commit to your health and I commit to providing you with all that you will need to be successful.

Working together as a TEAM we can make it happen.




This program is available for both remote and local clients.


What’s Included:

  • Fitness and nutrition evaluation
    • Discuss goals
    • Weigh and measure
    • Fitness assessment
    • Individualized fitness program
      • Train for a 5k/10k or longer distance
      • Workout as a group together in park
      • Workout as a group together in the gym
      • Start a walking program in your neighborhood
      • Nutrition program
        • Lose weight or just tweak your nutrition
        • Online program available
        • Eat what you want, or I’ll generate a month of customizable menus for you based on your favorite foods
        • Shopping lists, nutrition information, and accountability
        • Buddy website
          • Links to resources
            • Monthly personal or phone contact to evaluate your progress
            • Trainer led workouts
            • Go to to sign up or inquire about these services.



How to calculate your BMI

What Is BMI?
BMI (body mass index) is a screening tool used to measure weight relative to height. While BMI does not measure body fat directly, it has been shown to correlate to measures of body fat, such as underwater weighing, and is considered an accurate alternative for body fat measurement. With a simple formula, you can calculate your own BMI.
How Is BMI Calculated?
To calculate your BMI, you will need to divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared and multiply that by 703.
The formula is: weight / [height (in inches)]2 x 703 Consider the following example: April is 5’5″ and weighs 150 pounds. She completed the formula as follows:
First, April figures out that her height in inches is 65″.
Then she calculates that 65″ squared (65 times 65) equals 4,225.
Next, she divides her weight, 150, by 4,225.
The resulting number, which is rounded to 24.96, is April’s BMI.
What Does the BMI Number Mean?
Your BMI will place you in one of the following categories:
  • Those with a BMI below 18.5 are considered underweight.
  • Those with a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 are considered normal weight.
  • Those with a BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 are considered overweight
  • Those with a BMI of 30.0 and above are considered obese.
In addition to BMI, those who have a waist size of more than 40 inches for men, or 35 inches for women, have a higher risk for obesity-related health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

78 Reasons to Avoid “White Death.”

1. Sugar can suppress the immune system.
2. Sugar can upset the body’s mineral balance.
3. Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, concentration difficulties, and crankiness in children.
4. Sugar can drowsiness and decreased activity in children.
5. Sugar can adversely affect children’s school grades.
6. Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
7. Sugar contributes to a weakened defense against bacterial infection.
8. Sugar can cause kidney damage.
9. Sugar can reduce helpful high density cholesterol.
10. Sugar can promote an elevation of harmful cholesterol.
11. Sugar may lead to chromium deficiency.
12. Sugar may cause copper deficiency.
13. Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
14. Sugar may lead to cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, and rectum.
15. Sugar can cause colon cancer with an increased risk in women.
16. Sugar can be a risk factor in gall bladder cancer.
17. Sugar can increase fasting levels of blood glucose.
18. Sugar can weaken eyesight.
19. Sugar raises the level of a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which can narrow blood vessels.
20. Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.
21. Sugar can produce acidic stomach.
22. Sugar can raise adrenaline levels in children.
23. Sugar can increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
24. Sugar can speed the aging process, causing wrinkles and gray hair.
25. Sugar can lead to alcoholism.
26. Sugar can produce tooth decay.
27. Sugar can contribute to weight gain and obesity.
28. High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
29. Sugar can case a raw, inflamed intestinal tract in person with gastric or duodenal ulcers.
30. Sugar can cause arthritis.
31. Sugar can cause asthma.
32. Sugar can cause candidiasis (yeast infection).
33. Sugar can lead to the formation of gallstones.
34. Sugar can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
35. Sugar can cause ischemic heart disease.
36. Sugar can cause appendicitis.
37. Sugar can exacerbate the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
38. Sugar can indirectly cause hemorrhoids.
39. Sugar can cause varicose veins.
40. Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraception users.
41. Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.
42. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
43. Sugar contributes to saliva acidity.
44. Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
45. Sugar leads to a decreased glucose tolerance.
46. Sugar can decrease growth hormone.
47. Sugar can increase total cholesterol.
48. Sugar can increase systolic blood pressure.
49. Sugar can change the structure of protein causing interference with protein absorption.
50. Sugar causes food allergies.
51. Sugar can contribute to diabetes.
52. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
53. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
54. Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.
55. Sugar can impair the structure of DNA.
56. Sugar can cause cataracts.
57. Sugar can cause emphysema.
58. Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.
59. Sugar can cause free radical formation in the bloodstream.
60. Sugar lowers the enzymes’ abilities to function.
61. Sugar can cause the loss of tissue elasticity and function.
62. Sugar can cause liver cells to divide, increasing the size of the liver.
63. Sugar can increase the amount of fat in the liver.
64. Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.
65. Sugar can overstress the pancreas, causing damage.
66. Sugar can increase the body’s fluid retention.
67. Sugar can cause constipation.
68. Sugar can cause myopia (nearsightedness).
69. Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.
70. Sugar can cause hypertension.
71. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.
72. Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha, and theta brain waves, which can alter the mind’s ability to think clearly.
73. Sugar can cause depression.
74. Sugar can increase insulin responses in those consuming high-sugar diets compared to low-sugar diets.
75. Sugar increases bacterial fermentation in the colon.
76. Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance.
77. Sugar can increase blood platelet adhesiveness, which increases risk of blood clots.
78. Sugar can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Health is always moving on a continuum between sickness/disease and wellness. The only time health stands still is when the heart no longer beats. Which way are you moving?

Until next time, keep moving and stay positive.

Brandon Jenkins NASM CPT

Finding Your Inner Beauty.

I am going to elaborate on my background before I share my experience today. I grew up in a pretty chaotic environment. It wasn’t all bad but it helped to contribute to me being a very obese child and young adult. I was absolutely miserable although I would try to put on a smile and act like I was happy.

I ate everything under the sun, and would have probably eaten the sun if I could. I was an emotional eater and closet eater. With each bite I felt more and more shame. I felt absolutely worthless and hated myself.

You see, It is my opinion that no one who is obese  is truly happy. Yes, I believe that we can have good moments, hours or even days, but I believe that the weight obscures who we truly are and helps to keep us hidden.

I struggled with my weight for almost 15 years. The only reason that I began to lose weight was because I slipped down a flight of stairs and grabbed the rail with my right arm to catch myself and strained some back muscles.

At the time I didn’t know that  I had strained my back muscles, but the next morning when I woke up after my fall I was in pain. With every breath that I took I felt a sharp pain on my left side. I was convinced that I was having a heart attack 🙂

It was at that point I said “enough is enough” and put down the pizza and doughnuts. I began to watch what I put in my mouth, rode my bike and fell IN LOVE with bodybuilding.

I was able to go from right around 290 pounds to my lowest which was 180 pounds. I have since then put on quite a bit of muscle from bodybuilding and weigh in at 235.

So, back to my reason for this post. I look around at all the people in the world who are overweight or are struggling with some form of addiction. I always wonder if they can see their true beauty or is it buried under layers and layers of feeling worthless and shame.

When I look at someone who is heavy the first thing that comes into my mind is “wow, she is really pretty and would look phenomenal if she was at her ideal weight.” I am not saying that external beauty is all there is and that people who are obese/overweight are not beautiful, but I see past their weight and see the potential.

I see all of us who have struggled with food addiction or any type of addiction as butterflies. We have to go through stages before the true beauty of who we really are emerges.

I have been in the health and fitness industry now for nearly 15 years and the one thing that has never changed is people are in search of the perfect body. They think that if they can just get to a certain size that they will finally be happy and life will be good, but it doesn’t usually turn out that way.

What I have learned for myself was that I could be any weight but if I didn’t truly LOVE ME I was always going to be miserable. I would always be chasing a dream, this perfect life that waited for me once  I was skinny. I wasted YEARS not living. I told myself that I was going to do all these things once I reached my perfect weight.

I have been on a spiritual journey for many years now and can  honestly say that I love myself. I accept myself and all my flaws and can eat any type of food that I want and not go to excess! I do have my days where I catch myself wanting to eat my emotions but I dont have to now. I can do some self-talk and identify what is going on internally and make healthier choices.

This is what I want and hope to give to my clients. A new lease on life and a new way to deal with the stresses of this world. You dont have to hide behind layers of fat and baggy clothes anymore. I want you to know that inside and out you are a beautiful child of God and your worth is infinite.

My education is in Social Work and Addictions. My passion is to help people reach their true potential as a life coach and fitness mentor. You can live the life you dream of. All you need is the courage to get started and see it through.

You can learn more at

Sweet Misery–Sugar Substitutes and Poison

The story of sugar substitutes and how they affect your health.


Training for a 5k

Training for and completing an organized 5 kilometer walk or run is an ideal way to start a fitness routine, lose weight and build healthy exercise habits.

And for seasoned athletes, a 5K run can jump-start a fitness program, boost exercise motivation, add variety to a stale workout, and exercise with other people. Preparing for a 5K may be intimidating for a beginning exerciser, but follow these ten tips for a fun and injury-free race day.

Set an Appropriate Goal

A 5K (3.2 miles) can take as little as 15 or 20 minutes for fast runners and as much as an hour for walkers. Because there is such a wide range of abilities, it’s important to keep in mind that you are the only one you are competing against, and your goal is to do the best that you can do, avoid injuries, and have fun.
Find and Register for the 5K
Choose a race that is approximately 6 weeks to 12 weeks from now and register for it in advance. Committing to the race in advance gives you more incentive to train and sets an expectation that you will plan for the race accordingly. The easiest way to locate a 5K in your area is to visit, type in your location and see what’s on the calendar. Your local running shop, YMCA or health club is also a good place to find local 5K events.
Start Training
There are very elaborate 5K training programs, but a simplified program should include three days of exercise per week with one day of rest in between workouts.
Training Day #1 is your fast, high-effort day. Walk or run a short distance at a fast pace. Start with 1/4 mile and slowly add distance until you cover a mile at a fast pace.
Training Day #2 is a moderate-intensity day where you walk or run at a moderate pace. Start with one mile and gradually work up to the full 5K (3.2 miles) at a moderate pace.
Training Day #3 should be your long, slow day. This is where you build endurance and get your muscles accustomed to exercising for a longer time. Try to start at two miles and gradually work up to 3 or 4 miles.
Vary Your Training Intensity
During your high effort days, mix running (or jogging) with walking to boost your intensity. This is also called interval training and it works the same for beginning and elite athletes. Run or jog as fast as you can for about 30 seconds, then walk a minute to recover and repeat another 30 second interval. You can do as few as two intervals or as many as 10 in a session. This sort of training will increase speed, muscle tone, and endurance while helping you get fit faster. For more advanced athletes, consider adding speed training drills.
Strength Train
Weight lifting two to three times per week is another way to improve your 5K run. Not only will it strengthen the muscles, ligaments and tendons to help prevent injury, it will make the leg muscles less prone to fatigue during the event. Use a runners weight-lifting routine or consider a simplified strength training program for fast results.
Warm-up Before Exercise
A proper warm-up increases the blood flow to the working muscle which results in decreased muscle stiffness, less risk of injury, improved performance and psychological preparation for an event. Before your 5K training and racing, a good warm-up includes an easy three-minute jog and three 30-second, fast-paced efforts or sprints. Complete the warm-up 5 minutes before the race start.
Stretch After Exercise
Flexibility is an important component of fitness, and exercise tends to increase the amount of flexibility in a joint. Flexibility is also specific to the type of movement needed for a sport, so it is more important for some sports than others. Runners should focus on the the hip flexors and the hamstrings. The following stretch is ideal for these muscles. Start in a lunge position, with one leg back and one leg forward. Straighten the back leg to stretch the hip flexors. Return to the starting position, then straighten the front leg to stretch the hamstrings. Hold each stretch about 15 seconds.
Eat Right Before Exercise
Eating a simple meal of 200 to 400 calories about two to three hours before the race is important to have fuel for the event, but also have time to digest the food. Never experiment with food or drink on race day. It’s wise to practice eating before training to make sure the food works for you, then replicate this meal on the race day.
Eat Right After Exercise
What and when you eat following exercise can be just as important as what you eat before. While the pre-exercise meals can ensure that adequate glycogen stores are available for optimal performance, the post-exercise meal is critical to recovery and improves your ability to train consistently.
Listen to Your Body
If you experience any sharp pain, weakness or feel light-headed during exercise, pay attention. This is your body’s signal that something is wrong and you should stop exercise. Pushing through acute pain is the fastest way to develop a severe or chronic injury. If you don’t feel well, you should take some time off until your body heals. Also see: the most common running injuries.
Avoid Pre-Race Jitters
Pre-race jitters are normal, so try not to misinterpret it or think it is fear; that adrenaline rush you feel is normal and it is part of your body’s natural preparation for the competition. To help avoid nervousness before the event, arrive with plenty of time so you aren’t rushed, get a thorough warm-up, know the course, and dress for the weather. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts before or during the race, try to focus only on your breathing and race like you don’t care about the outcome.
Remember goal number one: you are only competing against yourself, so enjoy the moment.

10 Pitfalls to avoid

10 things to avoid

Be Realistic with Fitness

The desire to lose weight, look better and get fit, can grip men in frenzy of activity. Paying out for expensive equipment only to watch it gather dust because motivation has slipped is all too familiar. To avoid expensive failures don’t set high targets and make grand plans.

Wrap fitness into your routines
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Where possible walk to pass on a message rather than sending an email. Reconsider labor-saving devices and go for manual instead of automated.

Buy a Pedometer

You don’t need to broadcast the fact that your fitness program has begun but you might consider buying a pedometer as a simple investment. Depending on the type you opt for this can provide you with feedback as to how much you are moving and even give a rudimentary idea of how many calories you are using up.

Involve others in your fitness plan

You may not be in a position to involve others but motivation is helped if you are part of a group or team. In a family setting, for example, you might want to consider buying everyone a pedometer.

Get Twitchy!

How do you sit? If you’re someone who sits down and goes completely still for hours on end you are in self-defeating mode. People who sit and do hobbies burn up more energy (even modest amounts) than someone who does nothing. Even consciously moving your legs around or bouncing about to music is better than doing absolutely nothing.

Take an action audit

Many people have unrealistic beliefs about how much they really move around. Take a record of your activity levels over a week (be honest or what’s the point) and you might surprise yourself.

Increase activity levels

You could sit around for all your lunch break or you could move around. Feelings of fatigue are often the reasons why men don’t move around yet inactivity is the worst culprit for making you feel like doing even less. It may take a little effort to begin with but all you need to do is start.

Link activity to something you Like

Inactive people often find formal exercise boring and without much purpose. Break into this by linking movement with a positive outcome. I like getting home after a day at work so I might sometimes walk; I don’t do it all the time but its one of my options. I like a newspaper so instead of having it delivered I go out and get it.

Take a break
By this I mean an activity break. It can be a great way of trying out new ideas and can help kick-start fitness or just revitalize you.

Put that burger down!

Don’t use increased activity as an excuse to top up on sweet stuff or fast-foods. You won’t fade away as a result of increased movement but you may find that your system responds to increased exercise. Feeling that your appetite is increasing is a positive outcome and you should respond by eating what your body (not your head) is looking for. Drink water or fruit juice rather than more coffee or fizzy drinks, take more fruit and vegetables on board, experiment with good foods you may have previously overlooked or never even thought about. It’s not hard or complex and it will support all your other efforts.

Will fruit make you fat?

Learn the truth about fruit…is it the diabolical diet-killer it’s
sometimes made out to be or is it just fruit
and actually pretty good for you?!

The answer to the question of whether fruit can or will make you fat isn’t as simple as yes OR no…because the answer is yes AND no.

Sound confusing? It’s not so bad!

There have been studies done on fruit sugar (fructose) and how it’s metabolized in the body and liver, which I’ll get into in a bit, but I’m also going to talk about fruit from a practical standpoint.

First, here is why it WON’T make you fat…

Fruit is a fat-free (with rare exception, like avocados) and fairly low-calorie, high-fiber food. It’s going to be hard to eat ENOUGH fruit to result in an excess of calories, resulting in noticeable fat gain…hard, but not impossible.

You would have to look long and hard to find somebody who ate a lot of fruit and had gained a lot of fat because of all the fruit they ate. Fruit roll-ups, fruit juice (with 10% real juice), Fruity Pebbles and Froot Loops…maybe not so hard, though I do have to say high fructose corn syrup is NOT a fruit just because it has the word “fructose” in it, so that doesn’t count.

And I don’t know about you, but I have yet to hear of somebody sitting down in front of the television and not realizing they ate an entire bag of apples or saying their doctor told them they need to lay off the bananas!

“Real” fruit actually contains a lot of water, nutrients, fiber, etc…healthy stuff…stuff your body NEEDS. It’s generally when we start mucking around with fruit that we start to run into problems.

In the words of Homer Simpson…”This jelly donut has purple stuff in it. Purple is a fruit.”
That being said, there ARE metabolic issues with fruit and fat.

Yes, it IS true that the body has certain limitations processing fructose (the type of sugar found in fruit).

Fructose can only be stored as glycogen (glycogen is the carbohydrate storage molecule in the body) in the liver, not in the muscles. Muscle cells lack the proper enzymes to convert fructose into this storage molecule.

So that leaves the liver for storage…

When liver glycogen levels are full and your body can’t store any more carbs in the liver, fructose IS easier for the body to convert into fat than other carbs because of its molecular structure.

This fat is NOT immediately converted into bodyfat, however. It becomes free fatty acids circulating in the bloodstream. If they’re not burned, they CAN be stored as bodyfat.

But the OTHER good stuff you find in fruit, notably the fiber and vitamins and minerals, outweigh the “dangers” of storing a little extra fat.

And here’s the point that a lot of people miss, especially when they hear that fruit has the potential to work against fat loss when on a diet…

If you’re dieting, you should be in a caloric deficit. This means that your liver glycogen levels should very RARELY be full. You’re in a deficit after all!


1. The fructose should have little chance of being converted into fat.

2. If some excess fructose IS converted to fat, chances are good it’ll be USED by the body soon after being converted to fat because you’re in a caloric deficit.

Granted, just like ANY other carbohydrate, if you eat too much of it, it can be stored as fat. If you’re a competitive bodybuilder peaking for a competition, you MAY have to watch your fruit intake to be sure you come in at your leanest.

But for the average person looking to drop body fat, fruit is not something I would be too worried about (unless you’re on a low-carb diet, in which case you’re watching ALL carbs anyway).

I would be FAR more concerned about a person drinking too much of that diet soda garbage while dieting before I’d even be slightly concerned about them eating an apple.

Bottom line, my stance is this…DO NOT feel guilty about eating fruit, even while dieting. Treat it as you would any other food with calories in it and simply be aware of your intake because ANY food has the potential to make you fat, especially if you eat it when your body doesn’t need any more calories for that day.

If you want to minimize the impact of fruit on your fat-loss diet, eat it in the morning when liver glycogen levels are naturally at their lowest point. This will help ensure fructose won’t be converted into fat.

Honestly, there are MUCH more important things to worry about when it comes to fat loss…your training and overall nutrition are much more important than worrying about eating too much fruit.

Be sure to grab your FREE copy of 30-day “Dirty Little Secret Program for Building Muscle and Burning Fat FAST,” available at

29 ways to improve fat loss

1) Low- And High-Carbohydrate Diets Produce Similar Weight Loss. Low-carbohydrate diets are effective for weight loss during the first six months of dieting, mainly because they prevent hunger more than mixed or high-carbohydrate diets. At 12 months, however, low-carbohydrate, high-carbohydrate, or mixed calorie-restricted diets result in similar weight loss. Also, low carbohydrate diets might promote heart disease because they are higher in saturated fats than the other diets.

An Australian study found no difference in weight loss between low- and high-carbohydrate, calorie-restricted diets after 12 months. The study was carefully controlled so that caloric intake was the same in both groups. The low-carbohydrate group showed larger increases in LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) but more favorable changes in triglycerides (blood fat) and HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). We need more research to assess the long-term health effects of weight loss diets. (American Journal Clinical Nutrition, 90.23-32,2009)
2) Try Nordic walking For Fat Loss
Nordic walking involves brisk walking using Nordic walking poles. The poles promote more forceful, longer strides than normal walking, which increases the caloric cost of walking by as much as 67 percent. Shorter poles increase the energy cost of walking by 3 percent when going uphill, but pole length has little effect on comfort during the activity. Nordic walking is a terrific fat burner and an enjoyable activity that you can do almost anywhere. (Journal Strength Conditioning Research, 23: 1187-1194, 2009)
3) The Mediterranean Diet Cuts Abdominal Fat
The Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables and unsaturated fatty acids. Common foods include pasta, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, nuts, and wine. People living in Mediterranean countries have the lowest heart disease rates and greatest longevity in the world. Diet may play an important role in their excellent health.

A large study of nearly 500,000 men and women age 25 to 70 years living in 10 European countries found a reduced risk of abdominal obesity in people who followed the Mediterranean diet. The relationship was strongest in men from northern European countries. People living in France, Norway, and Sweden were the thinnest, while those living in Greece and Spain were the fattest. Europeans were considerably leaner than Americans. The Mediterranean diet has positive effects on metabolic health and preventing obesity. (Journal Nutrition, 139: 1-10, 2009)
4) Two-A-Day Workouts Increase Fat Use
Exercising below 65 percent of maximum effort uses mainly fat as fuel. Above this intensity, carbohydrates become increasingly important, and they’re used almost exclusively for fuel at extreme exercise intensities.

Swiss researchers found that fat use during exercise is influenced by prior physical activity. Moderately-trained subjects took two maximal treadmill tests: one to determine maximal oxygen uptake and estimate fat use and a second to determine the effects of prior exercise on fat use. During the second test, subjects exercised on a treadmill for one hour at 57 percent of maximum effort. After a short break, they took the second treadmill test to exhaustion. Fat use was higher when the subjects took the test after the initial one-hour run. Two-a-day workouts will trigger more fat-burning during the second workout. (Metabolism Clinical and Experimental, 58. 1778-1786, 2009)
5) Fat Oxidation Rates Higher During Low-Intensity Exercise
Elegant studies by Dr. George Brooks from the University of California at Berkeley showed that fuel used during exercise changes abruptly from fats to carbohydrates at approximately 65 percent of maximum effort. A Brazilian. study on obese adolescents reinforced his findings. Maximum fat oxidation rate occurred at 42 percent of maximum effort (i.e., maximal oxygen consumption). However, fat use was the same during recovery following moderate-intensity (67 percent of max) or low-intensity exercise (42 percent of max).

Unfortunately, these studies do not tell us what we really want to know: which exercise intensity will cause the greatest fat loss following three to six months of training? The majority of long-term training studies show that high-intensity training results in greater long-term fat loss than moderate- or low-intensity training. (European Journal of Applied Physiology, in press, published online October 10, 2009)
6)Fat Burning versus Aerobic Zone On The Treadmill
Anyone who has worked out on electronic exercise machines such as a treadmill, elliptical trainer or stationary bike is familiar with fat-burning and aerobic training zones. Typically, people choose one or the other when setting up the machine for their workout. The fat-burning zone is low- or moderate-intensity exercise, while the aerobic zone is more intense and creates large increases in heart rate and ventilation (breathing).

Daniel Carey from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota determined the fat-burning zone by measuring gas exchange (respiratory exchange ratio—the ratio of carbon dioxide expired to oxygen consumed) during a maximal exercise test on a treadmill. He estimated that maximum fat use occurred at 54 percent of maximal oxygen consumption. He concluded that training between 60 and 80 percent of maximum heart rate was a good compromise for maximizing fat burning and building aerobic capacity. (Journal Strength Conditioning Research, 23: 2090-2095, 2009)
7) Green Tea Promotes Weight Loss And Weight Management
Green tea is a popular weight-loss supplement that also improves blood sugar regulation, influences fat cell turnover, and promotes weight loss and weight management. Green tea contains chemicals called catechins that increase metabolic rate and decrease appetite. Researchers from Maastricht University in Holland pooled the results of 11 studies using a statistical technique called meta-analysis, and found that catechins and green tea promoted weight loss and weight maintenance. Catechins worked best when combined with caffeine.

Other studies found that the catechins in green tea helped decrease total abdominal fat, subcutaneous abdominal fat (under the skin) and blood triglycerides (blood fats). Green tea is an effective fat fighter that complements the effects of exercise. (International Journal of Obesity, 33: 956-961, 2009)
8) Olive Oil Consumption Might Reduce The Risk Of Obesity
Olive oil is a central component of the Mediterranean diet, which is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Spanish researchers found that eating more olive oil might also reduce the risk of obesity. They examined body composition and nutrition in 613 people. They estimated olive oil consumption by measuring
concentrations of specific fatty acids in the blood.

People who consumed the least amount of olive oil in their diets were 2.3 times more likely to be obese than those who consumed the most olive oil. The researchers concluded that the type of fatty acids consumed in the diet influences the risk of obesity. (European Journal Clinical Nutrition, 63: 1371 1374, 2009)
9) Eating Cod Promotes Weight Loss
Cod is a popular whitefish with a mild flavor that is low in fat. It is high in vitamins A, E and D, and the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. A study from the University of Iceland in Reykjavik showed that cod promoted weight loss in young, overweight men who ate it five times per week (150 grams), compared to a control group that ate no seafood, but consumed the same number of calories.

The cod group lost 11 pounds and 2 inches from their waists, while the control group lost only 3 pounds and showed no changes in waist circumference. Cod eaters also showed decreases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides, and insulin. Increasing consumption of cod in the diet might promote weight loss. (Nutrition, Metabolism And Cardiovascular Diseases, 19: 690-696, 2009)
10) Increased Meal Frequency Does Not Promote Weight Loss
An urban weight-loss legend is that eating small meals throughout the day promotes weight loss, compared to eating several larger meals. The rationale was that frequent, small meals increased the caloric cost of digestion, suppressed appetite, and increased gut chemicals that prevent hunger.

A University of Ottawa study, led by Eric Doucet, showed that frequent, small meals didn’t promote weight loss. People consumed a reduced-calorie diet with meals served three or six times per day for eight weeks (calorie intake was the same). Both groups lost about 5 percent of bodyweight, but the frequency of meals had no effect on weight loss. Eating frequent small meals during the day has no effect on weight loss. (British Journal Nutrition, in press; published online November 30, 2009)
11) Scheduling Meals And Exercise For Maximum Fat Burning
Exercise, cutting calories, and losing fat are difficult, so you want the most from your weight-control program. A study from the University of Munich in Germany showed that meal timing, dietary composition, and exercise influenced post-exercise fat metabolism. George Brooks from the University of California in Berkeley showed that the body uses mainly fat as fuel at exercise intensities below 65 percent of maximum effort. Also, carbohydrate-rich meals slow fat release from fat cells and decrease subsequent fat burning.

Obese people exercised for 30 minutes at a moderate intensity and then consumed a meal rich in either proteins or carbohydrates. The high-carb meal suppressed fat release and use after exercise, while the high-protein meal increased fat burning. Consuming a carbohydrate-rich meal two hours before exercise promoted fat burning just like the post-exercise high-protein meal. Maximize fat burning by consuming a high-protein, low-carbohydrate meal after exercise or a high-carbohydrate meal two hours before exercise. If you are not concerned about weight loss, consume high-carbohydrate meals after endurance exercise to restore muscle and liver glycogen and promote tissue repair. (Hormone and Metabolic Research, in press, published online January 21, 2010)
12) Poor Sleep Habits Increase Abdominal Fat
Sleep problems such as obstructive sleep apnea (airway obstruction during sleep, leading to disrupted sleep), insomnia, and inadequate sleep due to excessive work or partying promote obesity. Kristen Hairston from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina and co-workers, in a five-year study, found that poor sleep habits in African-American and Hispanic young adults promoted gains in abdominal fat. Sleep duration was categorized as less than five hours, six to seven hours, or eight hours or more. In adults less than 40 years old, abdominal fat, organ fat (visceral fat), and body mass index (proportion of weight to height) increased in people getting too little or too much sleep (six to seven hours per night was best). Sleep duration was not related to changes in body fat in people over 40. (Sleep, 33.299-295,2010)
13) Fat Use Higher During Running Than Cycling
Carbohydrate is the principle fuel for exercise above 65 percent of maximum effort. However, metabolic rate increases 12 to 25 times above rest during exercise, so fat use increases tremendously. South African scientists showed that fat use was greater during running than cycling. They measured fat use indirectly during prolonged cycling and running at 60,65,70,75, and 80 percent of maximum effort. Cycling places a more concentrated load on the leg and thigh muscles, which would increase the use of carbohydrates and decrease the use of fats. (International journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 20.44-55, 2010)
14) Why Nuts Promote Weight Loss
Eating nuts to lose weight doesn’t make any sense. They are calorie dense and high in fat. Only one ounce of mixed nuts contains 174 calories and 15.9 grams of fat. Why do nutritionists recommend nuts as part of a healthy diet? Richard Mattes and Mark Dreher from Purdue University, in a review of literature, concluded that nuts contain many healthy nutrients and antioxidants that prevent degenerative diseases such as coronary artery disease and cancer. Large population studies found a link between high nut consumption and reduced body fat. Nuts prevent hunger and are poorly absorbed in the gut. They also increase the energy cost of digestion and improve dietary compliance during weight loss. Nuts are valuable for weight loss, as long as you don’t eat too many of them. (Asia Pacific Journal Clinical Nutrition, 19:137-141,2010)
15) Altitude Exposure Promotes Weight Loss
People usually lose weight when they vacation at high altitudes. Most studies have shown weight losses of nearly 0.2 pounds per day at altitudes above 6,000 feet. Most of the weight loss is due to dehydration, but some is due to increased energy expenditure, decreased food intake, and increased resting metabolic rate. Water loss increases at altitude because of an increased breathing rate (expired air contains water vapor).

People eat less at altitude, at least initially, because of acute mountain sickness. Vacationing visitors at altitude usually do more physical activities than normal, such as skiing, hiking, or fishing. High altitude also impairs digestion, so more energy is lost in the feces.

A German study found that weight loss at altitude also reduced diastolic blood pressure (lower blood pressure number). If you need to lose 5-10 pounds in a hurry, consider a backpacking trip to the Rockies. (Medical Hypotheses, 74: 901-907,2010, Obesity, 18.67S-681,2010)
16) Thermogenic Supplements Enhance Weight Loss
Thermogenic supplements, such as caffeine, capsaicin, and green tea, increase metabolic rate and promote fat use. A review of literature by scientists from Maastricht University in the Netherlands concluded that these supplements increase caloric expenditure by 4 to 5 percent and fat use by 10 to 16 percent. They are not magic bullets that trigger massive weight loss, but will promote weight control over time. The supplements work better in some people than others. They work by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system (fight-or-flight system), which helps control hunger, stimulates energy expenditure, and promotes fat breakdown. Thermogenic supplements maybe a valuable tool in the fight against obesity. (International Journal of Obesity, 34: 659669, 2010)
17) Adequate Protein Intake Preserves Muscle Mass During Weight Loss
Weight loss is extremely difficult because reduced caloric intake increases hunger sensations and slows metabolic rate. A low-calorie, mixed diet triggers protein mobilization for fuel, which results in muscle-wasting. A review of literature by Suzanne Devkota. and Donald Layman from the University of Chicago concluded that substituting protein for fat and carbohydrate in the diet reduces insulin levels and suppresses hunger and food cravings. Protein, particularly sources high in the amino acid leucine, triggers protein synthesis and helps maintain muscle mass during periods of caloric restriction. People trying to lose weight should consume protein, particularly during breakfast and lunch. This will help curb appetite and maintain muscle mass. (Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 13: 403-407, 2010)
18) Weight Loss Decreases Biologically Active Testosterone
Gains in muscle mass and strength depend on adequate blood levels of testosterone. Studies by Shalender Bhasin (now at Boston University) and colleagues such as Tom Storer showed that muscle mass increased in direct proportion to testosterone levels. A significant portion of testosterone is bound to serum hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and is unavailable for anabolic activities, such as synthesizing muscle protein. SHBG increases with age, which partially explains why aging men gradually lose muscle mass, even though their total testosterone levels remain within the normal range. A review of literature conducted by scientists from the Laval University Medical Research Center in Quebec, Canada concluded that SHBG increases during weight loss, particularly in obese people. The increases are greater in women than men. One study found that high-protein diets prevent increases in SHBG better than high-carbohydrate diets. However, during weight loss, changes in SHBG are independent of dietary composition. The study showed that these hormone changes are most significant during pronounced weight loss. Serious gym addicts should attempt to lose fat gradually so they can maintain higher levels of biologically active free testosterone and preserve muscle mass. (Nutritional Reviews,
66.506-516, 2008)
19) Brown Fat Might Be A Key To Weight Control
The human body contains small amounts of a calorie-burning tissue called brown fat (brown adipose tissue, BAT) that converts food energy directly into heat. White fat does the opposite: it stores energy. Increasing brown fat production might help people lose weight and control body fat. BAT promotes non-shivering thermogenesis, which generates heat and helps animals and humans adapt to the cold. It is turned on by the sympathetic nervous system, which is the body’s fight-or-flight system for coping with stress and emergencies. BAT prevents weight gain by increasing metabolic rate following overeating. While BAT is important for temperature regulation in human infants, it was not considered a significant source of heat generation in human adults. Scientists developed a scanner called positron emission tomography (PET) to detect tumor growth. Patients are given radioactive glucose (sugar) that is taken up in metabolically active tissue such as cancer cells. By accident, scientists discovered significant amounts of metabolically active brown fat in adult humans during PET scans. Most human BAT is found in the neck and above the collarbones, with some around the spine and aorta (large artery leaving the heart). Individual differences in BAT may play an important role in human obesity. Several recent studies showed that activating the genes that control BAT production might help treat obesity.(WebMD, August 21, 2008)
20) Low Glycemic Index Diet Promotes Weight Loss
Glycemic index is a measure of how fast a food increases blood sugar. High glycemic index foods include simple sugars and white bread that enter the bloodstream quickly, while low glycemic index foods include whole grains that are digested slowly and trigger more modest increases in blood sugar. One theory is that rapid increases in blood sugar trigger greater insulin release, which promotes fat storage. British researchers found that middle-aged adults lost more weight following a low glycemic diet than a high glycemic diet during a 12-week study. Both groups reduced caloric intake by 300 calories below normal. The average blood sugar levels was lower in the low glycemic index group, but there were no differences between groups in heart disease risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol, or waist circumference. Few studies have found that the glycemic index of the diet influences weight control or heart disease risk factors in healthy people. (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 62: 145-149, 2008)
21) Insulin Promotes Fat Storage
High insulin levels from drinking high-sugar soft drinks or eating meals high in simple sugars promotes obesity. Insulin is an important hormone for carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. Blood glucose (sugar) increases rapidly after a meal. In response, the pancreas releases insulin, which helps move the glucose out of the blood and into the cells. Glucose is an important fuel for muscles and the central nervous system (brain, spine and nerves). Excess glucose is stored for later use as fat in white adipose tissue (fat cells) through a process regulated by insulin. Japanese scientists, in a study using fat cells cultured in the laboratory, discovered that insulin promotes fat storage by preventing fat breakdown. It does this by blocking the action of adrenaline and hormone-sensitive lipase. The study showed why high-sugar meals and soft drinks promote obesity. High-sugar soft drinks cause rapid increases in blood sugar and insulin release, which prevents fat breakdown and promotes fat storage. This study showed why high levels of insulin levels promote obesity. (Kobe Journal Medical Sciences, 53:99-106,2007)
22) Green Tea Decreases Abdominal Fat
Green tea is a popular weight-loss supplement that also improves blood sugar regulation and influences fat cell turnover. While it is not a magic bullet that instantly improves metabolic health, it helps. Kevin Maki from the Provident Clinical Research, in Bloomington, Indiana showed decreases in total abdominal fat, subcutaneous abdominal fat (under the skin), and blood triglycerides (blood fats) in people consuming a green tea beverage containing 625 mg of catechins and 39 mg of caffeine for 12 weeks, compared to a placebo (green tea without catechins or caffeine). The people also did 180 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise.

Caffeine and catechins— particularly epigallocatechin-3-gallate— speed metabolism and fight fat. Other studies found that green tea extract increased the conversion of testosterone to estrogen in fat cells, which might have negative effects in guys who are trying to get huge and ultra-ripped. Green tea is an effective fat fighter that complements the effects of exercise. However, some people should use it with caution. (Journal of Nutrition, 139: 264-270, 2009, Journal of Nutrition, 138:2156-2163,2008)
23) Whey Protein Supplement Speeds Fat Loss
Drinking a whey protein shake 20 minutes before a meal will help you lose fat and preserve muscle mass. A 12-week study on weight loss from the Minnesota Applied Research Center in Minneapolis found that a pre-meal protein supplement helped decrease appetite during lunch or dinner. Consuming a whey protein beverage (Prolibra) 20 minutes before breakfast and dinner caused greater fat loss than a placebo (fake Prolibra; 8 pounds versus 3.5 pounds) and helped maintain muscle mass. Substituting proteins for carbohydrates is a good strategy for weight loss. The amino acids from whey protein circulate in the blood, and the liver converts them to blood sugar. They work like tiny blood sugar timed-release capsules to maintain blood sugar levels, which decrease appetite. Health experts are scrambling to find techniques to help people eat less and lose weight. Drinking a whey protein shake before meals might help. (Nutrition & Metabolism, published online March 27,2008)
24) Virus Linked To Obesity
Can a virus make you fat? The genetics revolution promises to reveal the answer to medical questions that have baffled humans for centuries. Genes act as controllers for all cell functions, such as storing and using energy, repairing damage, and making new proteins. Interfering with them disturbs basic body processes such as metabolism and immunity. Genes fight off challenges every day from such diverse sources as ultraviolet light from the sun, free radicals produced normally during metabolism, and environmental pollutants. Add viruses to that list. Several studies have linked viral infections to coronary artery disease. Now, scientists have found that viral infections may be linked to obesity. Animals infected with the adenovirus-36, which comes from the same family of viruses that cause colds, diarrhea and pinkeye, had more body fat than animals not infected. In humans, about 20-30 percent of obese people are infected with the virus, compared to only 5 percent of lean people. If viruses really contribute to obesity, scientists may be able to make a vaccine to combat them. (BBC News, January 26, 2009)
25) Does Drinking More Water Promote Fat Loss?
Recent nutritional guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture advise people to drink water when they are thirsty. Research does not support previous recommendations that people should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. French researchers speculated that increasing cell water levels promotes fat loss. Increased water intake inhibits angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), which helps control blood pressure and thirst. In animal studies, inhibiting ACE led to increased water intake and fat loss. Drugs called ACE-inhibitors combined with increased fluid intake might contribute to weight loss. (International journal of Obesity, 33: 385, 2009)
26) Moderate Protein Diet Helps Sustain Weight Loss
Ninety percent of people gain back the weight they lost within a year. Two-thirds of Americans are obese or overweight, so many of us are chronic yo-yo dieters, following an endless cycle of weight loss and weight gain. These people would be better off staying overweight than constantly increasing and decreasing weight. Donald Layman and colleagues from the University of Illinois found that people could sustain weight loss and promote long-term positive changes in body composition and blood fats by increasing daily protein intake to 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram body-weight (the RDA for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram bodyweight). After 12 months, a group following a diet with moderately-increased protein content showed more fat loss, lower blood triglycerides (fat) and higher HDL (good cholesterol), than a group eating less protein and more carbohydrates. Increased dietary protein promotes longterm weight maintenance and improved body composition. (journal Nutrition, 139: 514-521,2009)
27) Weight Training Promotes Abdominal Fat Loss
Most health-related organizations, such as the American Heart Association, American College of Sports Medicine, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recommend aerobic exercise for promoting metabolic health and weight control. Increasing evidence shows that weight training is an essential part of an exercise program. Weight training builds strength, but it also improves metabolic health and promotes fat loss. East Carolina University researchers, led by Robert Hickner, showed that a weight-training workout cause marked increases in energy expenditure and fat use in lean and obese men. Weight training was particularly effective for mobilizing fat in the abdominal region. However, abdominal fat mobilization was greater in lean than obese people. Weight training increases energy expenditure and fat loss in lean and obese men, but a variety of approaches is best for promoting weight control. (Journal of Applied Physiology, in press, published online March 5, 2009)
28) Diet Plus Exercise Best For Long-Term Weight Loss
Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Weight-loss studies don’t offer much hope for a long-term solution to the obesity epidemic. Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health pooled the results of 18 weight-loss studies using a statistical technique called meta-analysis. They compared the effect of exercise plus diet versus diet alone on weight loss and body mass index (BMI, a measure of the proportion of weight to height). People lose about 2.5 pounds more by combining diet and exercise, compared to dieting alone, in studies lasting as long as two years. Unfortunately, the average weight loss in these studies was less than 15 pounds— and most people regain some of the weight regardless of which weight-loss program they follow. Just like in real life, the dropout rates in these studies were as high as 65 percent. There is hope! In one study, people sustained a 5.6 percent decrease in BMI for six years.’Successful losers’ should cut calories, exercise consistently and receive regular encouragement from professionals or support groups to maintain weight loss. (Obesity Reviews, 10: 313-323, 2009)
29) Exercise Does Not Increase 24-Hour Fat Burning
Exercise increases the capacity of muscle to use fat. A review of literature by Edward Melanson and co-workers from the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine concluded that exercise does not increase 24-hour fat use. The popular belief that exercise increases fat oxidation after exercise is a myth. Exercise promotes weight maintenance by creating a negative caloric balance and increasing muscle mass, which increases metabolic rate. The body uses fat stores when energy expenditure exceeds energy intake and fat intake is less than fat oxidation. Researchers concluded that moderate-intensity exercise would not burn more fat unless people consumed fewer calories and less fat. While exercise is not a cure-all for fat loss, it has many positive effects on metabolic, musculoskeletal, and cardiorespiratory health. (Exercise Science Sports Reviews, 37.93-101,2009)

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