I’ve often been asked about what makes the body use carbs or fats for fuel both during and after exercise, so today I’ll try to answer this question without hopefully getting overly technical. Bear with me on some of the details, but hopefully by the end of the article I’ll have provided clarity. We’ll get into how your body uses both carbs and fat in energy production along with how this pertains to exercise and weight loss. Understanding the differences will help you make more informed decisions with your pre and post workout nutrition if your goals include changing your body composition.
Alright, let’s start with discussing whether there’s a difference between how the body burns carbs or fats for energy. It’s important to first understand the body really cannot use either carbohydrates or fat directly (in their original form) for energy production. They both must be broken down into smaller units which the cells can then use for energy....
If I asked you what the most important form of exercise is for anyone over the age of 60, what would you say? A lot of individuals would say something like walking, and while aerobic exercise should be without question a top priority, I’d make an argument that strength training should have an even higher priority.
While some will quickly poo-poo that statement, stick with me for a minute while I make my case. Again, just to be clear, this isn’t to say aerobic exercise like walking isn’t beneficial. In fact, it’s something that all adults should regularly look to do for their overall health and wellness. Simply put, we’ve not been designed to sit, but to move! The more you move, the better you move and the more you sit the worse you move.
But the real reason I’m preaching to you today about strength training is that while I see a lot of older adults these days wearing Fitbits and other smartwatches to count their steps and monitor activity (which I...
Over the years I’ve had a lot of individuals express to me how they’d really like to have a personal trainer, but believed it was just simply too expensive. Now this is totally understandable seeing how hiring a personal trainer is certainly more of an investment than just joining a gym. However, the notion of personal training having to be expensive isn’t necessarily always true. Especially with the strategy that I’m about to share with you.
Comparing cost between hiring a personal trainer and a gym membership is an apples to oranges comparison anyways as there’s not much similarity between the two other than the individual having the intent to exercise with either option.
It’s no secret that hiring a personal trainer increases commitment with exercise if for no other reason than the financial investment paid up front for it.
Nothing works better to provide accountability like having hard-earned money committed in advance for appointments to meet...
As a fitness coach one of the most common questions, I get asked is how to improve the appearance of one’s midsection. Many people have been misled into believing that if they do hundreds of crunches and sit-up’s that they’ll end up with a tight, flat stomach.
The truth is that’s not the recipe! While crunches and sit-up’s can be part of well- balanced fitness regiment, you don’t have to do a ton of them, and they’re certainly not the path for fat loss. In my professional opinion, ab isolation exercises are just one piece of the total puzzle in building a strong core and flat stomach that functions as good as it looks.
Here is a summary of my position on ab training:
Adequate sleep and recovery is one of the seven essential components needed for effective fat loss and body transformation. Without enough sleep your body stays in an on-going catabolic state where hormonal imbalances essentially block fat loss. As a double whammy, you’ll also be more likely to gain weight with stress related eating habits. Research has shown that individuals who do not get enough sleep are, get this, a whopping 73% more likely to be overweight than those getting 7-8 hours per night!
In today's blog post I’m going to explain just exactly why this happens along with providing you some tips on how to improve your sleep patterns and therefore your weight loss. The first principal we must come to terms with is that health and body composition hinges on sufficient rest and recovery. The old adage, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” may sound cool but the truth is you’ll just get there quicker. You can only push the human body so hard for...
Although most all exercise is beneficial for improving your health, is there one form of exercise that trumps all others in helping to stabilize blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity? In today’s post I want to discuss this topic and share with you my thoughts based on personal experience and research.
Before we dive right in, I want to be perfectly clear with a few things up front. When I find a particular methodology with fitness training to provide a positive result and then I make reference of what I found, it doesn’t mean the science is settled and the case is closed. For crying out loud, haven’t we had enough of that lately? Take the information for what it’s worth and do your own experimentation and evaluation of the research associated with it.
I want to clarify this in attempts to avoid the senseless debates that sometimes come up. There are a lot of people, so called “experts” included, that have very rigid positions on...
Are there really any true bona-fide secrets to shedding unwanted body fat, getting fit, and improving your health? There will be those who disagree, but after twenty plus years in the personal fitness training industry, I believe the answer is unequivocally no. Now this isn’t to say that we don’t uncover and learn new things on an on-going basis with exercise and nutrition science, but I will go out on a limb and say that you shouldn’t expect a pill anytime soon that will get you in exceptional shape or health without any effort.
Still, it seems that it’s part of human nature to desire the shortcut, the quick and easy way, the path less demanding. The first step towards success is recognizing that pull and not trying to deny it. You see it’s not like you’re going discover one day that you find if more pleasurable wearing yourself out with a workout than putting your feet up and taking it easy. It’s more like, you’ll associate the...
You’ve undoubtedly heard the advice about writing down the foods you eat when trying to lose weight. Journaling has long been considered by many weight loss experts as an effective, yet strangely often underutilized strategy for lifestyle and behavioral change. It appears there may be something to this as confirmed through research. A research study by the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research showed that individuals who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records.
The study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and included over 1,685 participants. Similarly, the National Weight Control Registry which tracks over 5,000 individuals who have lost large amounts of weight and maintained that weight loss, found that an overwhelming majority of successful study participants tracked what they ate.
The research seems pretty clear that writing down what you eat improves results. It may seem like boring and tedious work,...
You may have heard before that excess belly fat is directly related to increased cortisol levels. This is true and it’s arguably one of the deadliest combinations for the human body because of the connection to increased visceral fat (the fat that surrounds your organs) and high levels of inflammation. If you have a significant amount of belly fat your chances for developing insulin resistance and type II diabetes nearly doubles!
What you may not be aware of is the reason behind the connection of belly fat and cortisol. The objective of this post is to explain the details behind the connection and provide you with action steps to reverse it.
For starters let’s look at how cortisol levels get increased in the first place. While cortisol gets a bad rap it serves a beneficial role in the human body. Cortisol is a hormone that is secreted by the adrenal glands in times of stress. The stress may be psychological or physiological. A little bit of stress like produced during...
There is a common longstanding belief that cardio is the best type of exercise if your goal is to lose weight. This is easy to observe if you walk into most any health club during peak hours. You’ll often find most of the individuals who appear to be exercising for weight loss on the cardio equipment and not so many in the free weight training area.
I believe one of the main reasons behind this is the faulty belief system that in a vacuum, cardio is best for weight loss and strength training is best for muscle building.
While cardio is certainly beneficial for weight loss and obviously strength training is beneficial for building muscle, I’d make the argument that strength training is best for BOTH muscle building and fat loss.
It’s been my experience over the past twenty plus years in the fitness training industry that the key component in a lean body transformation is unequivocally strength training.
Therefore, if you’re goal is fat loss, it should be at...