When I’m consulting clients on their fitness and body composition goals the subject of alcohol invariably comes up. In all fairness, it needs to as alcohol is too important of a variable to not address. I’ve found individuals who do consume alcohol will fall into one of three different categories.
The first category are those individuals who tell me upfront about the couple glasses of wine enjoyed each evening at their “happy hour,” which they boldly declare they have no intention of giving up, nor should I even bother to ask them to.
Well, alrighty then and fair enough. I simply let them know they shouldn’t expect to see much in the way of getting leaner and firming up and continue the discussion. No sense dancing around it or teaching someone who doesn’t want to listen.
The second category are the ones who tell me they occasionally have a drink, but they’re open to adjusting consumption or quitting altogether for a period to see the...
I received a great question this morning on cardio that I wanted to share on the blog. I think it addresses one of the biggest misconceptions there is about cardio workouts for weight loss….the faulty belief that more must be better! This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Before we get into why, here is the question I received.
“Shane, I’m doing steady state cardio on the elliptical trainer for thirty minutes and jogging on the treadmill for twenty minutes, each morning, Monday through Friday. After initially seeing a few pounds of weight loss I’m now not seeing any change on the scale or in the mirror. What would you suggest I do differently?”
There’s a lot to unpack here, but the short answer to the question is to stop doing the thing that’s not working! In this case, 50 minutes of steady state cardio, five times a week for the objective of fat loss. If more is not the answer, which it’s not, the only other option is to do...
Would you be surprised if I told you that sleep deprivation is one of most common tell-tale signs of metabolic dysfunction, I look for with individuals who workout and eat healthy, but still find themselves gaining weight? It’s true. While the tendency is to over analyze on the calories burned / calories consumed side of the equation, the opposite is also true. There’s a tendency to underestimate the importance of things like sleep.
Understand that if you’re looking to have a leaner, more toned physique, factors outside of your food choices and workouts will play a significant role as well. Yes, things like resistance training definitely help improve body composition, but working the muscle is just the first step. The rebuilding, recovery, and fat burning processes occur after your workout, mainly while you’re sleeping.
So, to put it bluntly, if you’re not getting adequate sleep you can forget about seeing much of a change in your shape. Well, hold on,...
I came across a press release this week from Science Daily regarding a research study that looked at a woman’s ability to burn fat in a menopausal or post-menopausal state. Now it’s no secret that fat loss can be more difficult for women when they reach mid-life, but it’s not necessarily for the reasons you think. I thought it would be informative to do a blog post on this subject to help shine some truth on this controversial subject.
I’ll go right ahead and directly answer the question “Can women burn fat after menopause?”
The answer is unequivocally YES! This is the truth and it’s important to embrace this truth if you’re a woman looking to lose weight and you’re in any of the following categories:
Why is this so important?
Because it’s essential that you work from a place of truth, and you set your belief systems on said truth, so...
We all know one of the top priorities in a fat loss program is to reduce sugar consumption. This can be easier said than done though for a lot of folks. There is no question that excess sugar in the body is one of the primary culprits behind the hormonal imbalances and inflammation that promote weight gain. However, the problem is not the idea of cutting back on the sugars, it’s often the way it’s gone about.
Alright before we go much further, let’s first review some basics so we’re all on the same page. Consuming a diet high in processed sugars, refined foods, and starch carbohydrates combined with a lack of exercise is a leading contributor to low insulin sensitivity, progressive insulin resistance, and eventually left unchecked a condition called metabolic X syndrome. This is where the weight gain comes fast and furious and the body succumbs to suppressed health and wellness.
More on how we get there.
As you may already know, one of insulin’s main...
Are you frustrated with not seeing the scale go down even after changing up your diet and eating healthy foods? If so you’re not alone. Over the years as a personal trainer, I’ve found this idea of eating “healthy” to be misleading for a lot of my clients. There’s often an automatic expectation that if you eat healthy you should start to lose weight. While it’s true that eating healthy foods is a cornerstone for a successful fat loss program in the long-term, we shouldn’t expect the pounds to just start melting off because we’re making better food choices. Fat loss is a more complex matter than simply the quality of calories consumed. Remember, we still need to factor in the quantity of calories as well.
Instead of trying to put foods into one of two categories (good or bad), I’ve found it works better to help educate my clients on how the body burns fat. In other words, we work together to find the best way for them to eat that...
I recently had a talk with a client that I thought would be a good subject to expand on as a coaching tip for the blog. Basically, this client has a good understanding of what to eat and what not to eat and is staying pretty much "inside the white lines" when it comes to healthy food choices. The problem is she’s not losing weight despite being on a healthy diet. Needless to say, she’s a bit frustrated with cleaning up her diet so much but not seeing the scale move.
With a little questioning it quickly became clear there were issues with overeating and portion control. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again….getting on a diet of “healthy” foods and cutting out the processed garbage is NOT a guarantee for fat loss. While this is certainly part of the equation, and needed mind you, but without a caloric deficit at some point, there’s not much need for the body to tap into energy reserves (fat).
For some individuals switching from...
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....
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...
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