Archive for category weight loss/overweight

Body Fat And Abs

revealing your abs by reducing your body fat

revealing your abs by reducing your body fat

Here is what you might look like if you reduce your body fat percentage. It might also help to do a little exercise as well…

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Of Course Sugar Is A Drug

Here is a very damning article about sugar. It’s an interview with Robert H Lustig, a medical expert at the University of California. Some of the excerpts below are scary.

The Wall Street Journal asked Americans what are the most dangerous of four substances in America: tobacco, 49 percent; alcohol, 24 percent; sugar, 15 percent; and then marijuana, 8 percent. Sugar was doubly worrisome to Americans than marijuana was. How about that?

Sugar is the alcohol of a child. You would never let a child drink a can of Budweiser, but you would never think twice about a can of Coke. Yet what it does to the liver, what it does to the arteries, what it does to the heart is all the same. And that’s why we have adolescents with type 2 diabetes.

There are three negative biochemical effects sugar has on the body:

One, fructose, the sweet molecule in sugar, is not metabolized like glucose. It’s metabolized in the mitochondria, and it is metabolized in the liver to liver fat. That liver fat mucks up the workings of the liver and leads to a process called insulin resistance. That raises your insulin levels because your pancreas has to make more insulin. That drives all the chronic metabolic diseases we know about, plus it burns out the pancreas, leading to diabetes.

Two, cellular aging. When bananas ripen, they brown. The sugar in the bananas binds to proteins in the bananas nonenzymatically, even in dead tissue. That’s called the cellular aging or Maillard reaction. That happens to everyone all the time, so we brown inside. You don’t want to brown very fast, but we’re all browning because that’s how we age. But sugar makes us brown seven times faster; it basically kills our organs quicker.

Three, sugar is addictive. So a little makes you want more, because of the effect of the reward center of the brain.

For other drugs of abuse, we limit them in various ways. If they’re legal drugs of abuse, we make them expensive and we have all sorts of restrictions on access. But for sugar we have nothing. We give it to newborns, we give it to two-year-olds, we have it at birthday parties and at school, etc. So we have a nation of childhood addicts; just walk into any supermarket and watch these kids nag their parents for the stuff. That’s why we should regulate it.

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Weight Loss Challenges

I have been bumping into so much discussion about how to lose weight. Yesterday on the radio, Kirstie Alley said she always ate large portions, was very athletic and had no overweight problems. Then she turned 53, and ballooned up for no special reason. I wrote about her in 2011. She had jumped to 230 pounds from 143…and then she lost 75 pounds, gained 75, etc. The key question is how to lose it and keep it off?

So today I read an article suggesting that you lose more weight from exercise in a warm setting than a cold one, because you eat less after the workout.

The comments are illuminating. One says you can’t lose weight from exercise alone:

I have done a lot of research into clinical trials regarding exercise and weight loss. The general theme is around 25% of individuals GAIN weight with exercise. Another 25% remain weight stable. The remainder may lose paltry amounts…or up to 10-15 pounds…only if sustained. The tale is worse for women.

Exercise has been shown to be fairly pathetic for weight loss. Begin with diet.

Another says you have to do larger amounts of calorie burn through exercise and also agrees that diet is important:

What has been shown to be “pathetic” for weight loss is doing a very small dose of exercise. The vast majority of research studies only have persons exercising about 1-3 hours a week and therefore burning only at most about 200 calories a day. Most dieters in these studies are producing deficits of between 500 and 1000 calories a day- no wonder “diet” looks better. As I quoted below, this study showed that when calorie deficits are matched, exercise brings the same amount of weight loss. Of course the exercise has to be at a much higher dose- at least an hour a day of fairly intense exercise http://www.nature.com/nrendo/journal/v3/n7/full/ncpendmet0554.html

Possibly people who gain weight from exercise are those doing this paltry amount of exercise and thinking they are burning more calories than they are, and therefore they overcompensate by eating too much. Studies also show that at whatever kind of diet that is done, 95% regain all their weight within five years- and low carb diets also don’t bring lasting weight loss. Dieting without any exercise necessitates drastic calorie reduction, which is not sustainable for most people. Exercise is an indisputable factor in keeping weight off. My citation explored many studies which show this. I exercise at least an hour everyday and this helped to lose 100 pounds and continuing to exercise has helped me to keep every pound off going on 5 years.

It’s a huge challenge for most people, especially when most can’t do an intense hour workout each day. But I am still convinced from all I have learned that healthier, low fat/low sugar/low carb diet plus exercise is needed to lose weight and keep it off.

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Low Carbohydrate Diet Might Lower Weight

This article offers a perverse reason why people gain weight and then can’t lose it. It’s because there are calories in fat cells that are NOT in the bloodstream…so your body tells you you’re hungry, your metabolism slows down, and you feel the compulsion to eat.

As it turns out, many biological factors affect the storage of calories in fat cells, including genetics, levels of physical activity, sleep and stress. But one has an indisputably dominant role: the hormone insulin. We know that excess insulin treatment for diabetes causes weight gain, and insulin deficiency causes weight loss. And of everything we eat, highly refined and rapidly digestible carbohydrates produce the most insulin.

Like an infection that raises the body temperature set point, high consumption of refined carbohydrates—chips, crackers, cakes, soft drinks, sugary breakfast cereals and even white rice and bread—has increased body weights throughout the population.

People in the modern food environment seem to have greater control over what they eat than how much. With reduced consumption of refined grains, concentrated sugar and potato products and a few other sensible lifestyle choices, our internal body weight control system should be able to do the rest.

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Eat Like A Caveman

Here is the article that talked about the movie Fed Up. In addition to describing the movie, there are some excerpts that endorse low-carbohydrate/high protein diets, which some friends have been describing as paleo/caveman diets: eat like a caveman…nothing that is from cultivated, starchy products, like potatoes, grains, bread, etc.

Are all calories equal?

Dr. David Ludwig, the director of the obesity program at Boston Children’s Hospital, argues in the film that they are not. In recent studies, Dr. Ludwig has shown that high-carbohydrate diets appear to slow metabolic rates compared to diets higher in fat and protein, so that people expend less energy even when consuming the same number of calories. Dr. Ludwig has found that unlike calories from so-called low glycemic foods (like beans, nuts and non-starchy vegetables), those from high glycemic foods (such as sugar, bread and potatoes) spike blood sugar and stimulate hunger and cravings, which can drive people to overeat.

Studies also show that calories from different foods are not absorbed the same. When people eat high-fiber foods like nuts and some vegetables, for example, only about three-quarters of the calories they contain are absorbed. The rest are excreted from the body unused. So the calories listed on their labels are not what the body is actually getting.

I am still convinced that if you eat less and exercise more, most people will feel better and lose weight. Now that it appears if you eat less carbohydrates you will lose even MORE weight, that should make it easier to see lower numbers on your scale.

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Would You Pay To See A New Film About Sugar?

So here comes a new documentary for movie theaters claiming that the cause of obesity, diabetes, overweight is the sugar and fat in our food. One in three Americans will have diabetes by 2050. 95% of our population will be overweight or obese within 20 years (it’s 66% now) Sugar is in 80% of all processed food products. The sugar and junk food lobbies deny there is any problem at all. This is like when the tobacco companies swore that cigarettes weren’t harmful.

This crime is so obvious, I can hardly believe people don’t know it. A man asked me today at tennis how he could lose a few pounds around his mid-section. I said eat less, especially sugar, and that includes wine, which metabolizes into sugar. Another man mentioned that it’s also important to enjoy life, and wine helps people do that.

I agree. I have always had a sweet tooth for baked goods. It’s almost impossible for me to give up those great sweet tastes. But I do eat less ice cream and sorbet (no cream/cholesterol) and pies and cakes and cookies. The effect of sugar on the brain appears to be identical to what cocaine does. Pretty seriously addictive.

However I seem to have more discipline than the average person. I am determined to stay fit and healthy in addition to living longer. This is a huge challenge for most people. How do you handle it?

The film was produced by Larry David’s wife, Laurie David, who also produced An Inconvenient Truth with Al Gore, and former CBS-TV news anchor, Katie Couric. I am sure Laurie’s association with the political left will inhibit many Republicans from watching the film or considering its message. Too bad. Sugar is bad. Avoid it to whatever degree you can.

Your life and health depend upon it…

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No Certainty About Causes Of Weight Gain And Loss

I gained three pounds the other week. Puzzling, because I played tennis 10 times in 12 days. Should have burned more calories. Normally I play 4-6 times in two weeks. I wondered if it was all the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I was eating—maybe 1000 calories a sandwich. Or the pumpkin cake gift I finished in a week.

Within two weeks, I had cut back on dessert and skipped a few meals, lost the three pounds and was back to the same 175 pounds I carried when I graduated high school.

But a therapist I spoke with said most people gain back the weight they lose…especially obese people. They are too tempted by the tasty foods available to them.

Then today I read this article that really wonders why people gain it back. “Is this a failure of willpower or of technique? Was our chosen dietary intervention—whether from the latest best-selling diet book or merely a concerted attempt to eat less and exercise more—doomed to failure?

“Since the 1960s, nutrition science has been dominated by two conflicting observations. One is that we know how to eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight. The other is that the rapidly increasing rates of obesity and diabetes suggest that something about the conventional thinking is simply wrong.

In 1960, fewer than 13 percent of Americans were obese, and diabetes had been diagnosed in 1 percent. Today, the percentage of obese Americans has almost tripled; the percentage of Americans with diabetes has increased sevenfold.

Meanwhile, the research literature on obesity has also ballooned. In 1960, fewer than 1,100 articles were published on obesity or diabetes in the indexed medical literature. Last year it was more than 44,000. In total, over 600,000 articles have been published purporting to convey some meaningful information on these conditions.

It would be nice to think that this deluge of research has brought clarity to the issue. The trend data argue otherwise. If we understand these disorders so well, why have we failed so miserably to prevent them?…”

All these studies, all these papers, and people keep gaining weight! So much for the impact of knowledge on some irrational human behavior. But what the author went on to say is that it is not yet certain what diets are necessary to lose weight—or which foods created the gain. So take your best guess and keep trying…

Jenny G. Perry Loses Friends After Losing Weight

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Here is a sad and unexpected result from exercise and weight loss: the jealousy of others you hang out with, and the lustful looks from guys who think your hot. Change can be very confronting for others.

Ten years ago, I was almost 60 pounds more than I am now.

I had cut my hair short, added a few highlights and really had this frumpy vibe going on. I had two kids at the time, ages 6 and 2. I was trying to be taken seriously as a good mommy and had let myself go. I was eating a ridiculous amount of sugar. I cared way too much about what other women thought of me. I formed new friendships with the moms from school and they frequently revolved around food. I hated the way I looked, but I fit in. After seeing the pictures from a trip to Disney with my family, I wondered how I let it happen. I knew I was wearing a size 14 and at five feet tall, it looked like I was wearing an even bigger size. I had a double chin and knew if I didn’t stop this weight train, I’d be even bigger.

I lost 50 pounds in six months. I changed how I ate and worked out like crazy. It was great and I felt pretty… except for a few ugly things. First of all, one of the moms joked that if I lost any more weight, no one would want to hang out with me. I already felt that. There was a judgment thing going on and of course jealousy could have been behind it. Also, people don’t like when we change. It bugs them out. It makes them confront certain parts of themselves they think they can’t change. Many times when a woman would see I lost weight, she would tell me how they should lose weight or give me excuses why they haven’t. I never knew what to say. I’d offer tips, but the conversation never really seemed to be about weight in the end.

The other side effect I was not ready for was that creepy guy stared at me randomly, making me feel uncomfortable and naked. I had gone from one person people saw, an overweight woman, to the cute young thing. I had also started growing my hair longer and dressing younger, and so I looked more my age. It was bizarre. This kind of attention was a double-edged sword. Seeing younger guys glance my way, checking me out at the gym was very flattering and motivating to keep me going on the Stairmaster. But getting out of the car at the convenience store and feeling someone’s eyes on me in a negative, disgusting, weird way felt awful. I didn’t know how to act. I could see why someone would want to hide their body. I didn’t want to have to wear baggy clothes out of fear and change who I was because of others. I was still trying to figure out who I was and wouldn’t know her for quite a few more years. I actually felt like guys took me more seriously when I was overweight and treated me like a ditz when I was thinner. The whole thing was a mind trip. Read the rest of this entry »

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Two Ways To Be Thin

Millions of chubby, plump and overweight humans want to lose weight, but they can’t. I have always been impressed with how hard it is for most people. They need more powerful motivation. I read decades ago that most people can’t save money…until they want to buy a house and need a down payment. With that kind of goal, they are able to save. What does it really take to inspire an average person to eat less and exercise more? What will do it in a majority of cases.

I am constantly awed by movie stars who want to be hired for a particular role, and somehow have minimal problems dropping 20-50 pounds. Either money, ego or a great acting part can keep some actors from eating more than 600 calories a day! Below are some incredible examples of actor weight loss.

However the video above shows how anyone can look thinner…at least for some situations. Try it at home, and see if it works!

Matthew McConaughey lost 40 pounds

Matthew McConaughey lost 40 pounds

Matt Damon lost 40 pounds

Matt Damon lost 40 pounds

Tom Hanks had to first GAIN 50 pounds and then lose it all

Tom Hanks had to first GAIN 50 pounds and then lose it all

Christian Bale lost 63 pounds

Christian Bale lost 63 pounds

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Amanda Loses 88 Pounds In A Year

After the previous post about how Americans eat too much, this lady shows us what it’s like to lose weight. Amanda lost 88 pounds over a year by reducing her portions, eating fewer carbs and undertaking moderate exercise. We all know how hard it is for most people to drop a few pounds, much less 88 pounds. But Amanda has obviously inspired many people, because the pictures she posted led to almost three million views.

She sure does look different!

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Why Americans Are So Fat

I lost weight in Mongolia and in the week or so before the trip: about five pounds. So now that I am back home, I am stuffing food down my gullet as though I were a goose being bred for pate…but fasting, attending parties that only offer red meat I won’t eat and skipping meals, because I am too busy catching up, definitely do not help gain weight. I still have almost three pounds to go!

So here is a NY Times article suggesting that the ONLY reason Americans are overweight is because we…they…eat too much. Pigs at the trough. What do you think?

Hard Truths About Our Soft Bodies
By FRANK BRUNI

I was steering my cart through Costco the other day, wondering whether to waddle to the aisle where they sell cashews by the quarter-ton or to the one with thousand-piece packs of chicken thighs, when an epiphany pierced the fog of my gluttony.

Actually, two epiphanies. The first? I needed to have kids, four or five or better yet a baker’s dozen. Only then could I take full advantage of the savings around me.

The second? Costco as much as anything else is why the land of the free and the home of the brave is also the trough of the tub o’ lard, our exceptionalism measurable by not only our G.D.P. but also our B.M.I. That’s body mass index, and our bodies are indeed massive.

I don’t blame Costco per se. I blame what it represents: an American obsession with size, with quantity, that manifests itself as surely in supermarkets and restaurants as it does on our highways. We drive minivans and sport utility vehicles; we rip into veritable feed bags of potato chips and wedge our steroidal Thanksgiving turkeys into refrigerators more capacious than some European cars. This doesn’t redound to our benefit.

And while the notion that we weigh too much because we buy, order and eat too much may be obvious, it’s increasingly obscured. Study after study and report upon report looks at more particular reasons for obesity and excess pounds, focusing on the edges and the aggravators of the problem instead of the flabby core. And the number and variety of these investigations, not to mention the prominent showcase we in the news media give them, create the impression that alchemy, not appetite, is our enemy, and that if we could just fine-tune our daily schedules, rejigger our protein-to-carbohydrate ratios or wallow sufficiently in fiber, all would be well.

It’s as if we’re micro-focusing on less daunting and less damning culprits to distract ourselves from the one that’s most fearsome and difficult to change, which is the sheer volume of food that many Americans are accustomed to consuming. Read the rest of this entry »

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Chris Pratt Gains/Loses Weight And Abs All The Time

Chris Pratt gained 60 lbs over six months for a movie role

Chris Pratt gained 60 lbs over six months for a movie role

Here is another actor who has the ability to gain or lose dozens of pounds and create abs each time he is lighter. Chris Pratt was in Zero Dark Thirty and wanted to look good when he was hanging out with Navy Seals. Right after that, he gains 60 pounds for a role in Starbucks. Then six months later he is Mr. Six Pack again to play a super hero in Guardians of the Galaxy.

How do these people do this, when it is almost impossible for most people to lose even 10 pounds? Makes you wonder about will power and the motivational influence of being on screen and earning money. Maybe the solution to the obesity epidemic is to film everyone who is overweight and post their bodies in bathing suits on public billboards!

Chris BEFORE he gained 60 lbs

Chris BEFORE he gained 60 lbs

Here is Chris before he gained the weight.

The “Parks and Recreation” funny man showed off his massive six-pack during an appearance on “Conan.” Pratt displayed his toned abs by flaunting an iPhone photo of himself standing in front of a mirror flexing while wearing only boxer-briefs.

Pratt said his six-pack is the result of getting in shape for his role as a Navy SEAL in Kathryn Bigelow’s upcoming Osama bin Laden takedown film, “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Chris AFTER gaining the weight

Chris AFTER gaining the weight


are those abs still under there?

are those abs still under there?

To play a lawyer in the comedy flick Starbuck, the 33-year-old actor was asked to put on a significant amount of weight.

“I gained 60 pounds in about four and a half months. I just did it the old fashioned way: eating and drinking my face off,” Pratt shared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Dec. 10. “I’ve lost a little bit of it, but it was hard. It was probably just as hard as losing weight. You wouldn’t believe it, but it is. It’s these same principle: It’s all about pain.”

showing off his abs again 60 pounds lighter

showing off his abs again 60 pounds lighter

After gaining all that weight, the 34-year-old actor underwent a physical transformation for his part in the upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy” film. Pratt, who stars in the sci-fi movie, showed off his ripped body this week, taking to Instagram to post a shirtless photo of himself.Pratt attributed the transformation to six months without beer, hashtagging “GOTG” to confirm that the makeover is for the superhero film.

This isn’t the first time Chris, who stars in the sitcom, “Parks and Recreation,” has drastically transformed his physique. In 2011, Chris lost 30 pounds for the drama “Moneyball” and then, shortly afterward, gained 50-60 pounds for the comedy “Ten Year.”

“I went from 220 pounds that I cut down for ‘Moneyball’ to almost 270-280 pounds for ‘Ten Year,’ ” he said. “I gained like 50 pounds to play this fat, alcoholic character. I would drink dark beer every night.

“I would have a double order of pancakes every morning. Burgers for lunch. Fries, snacks, candy. I ballooned my weight up. It was probably very unhealthy, but it was so fun.”

Pretty impressive that he has so much control of his weight. Lots of discipline showing here!

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Paula Dean Bamboozles Fat Fans

Paula Deen supporters are a tad overweight in this photo

Paula Deen supporters are a tad overweight in this photo

The food chef and drug spokesperson Paula Dean is in the news, so I wondered about her. Vaguely recall articles about how she recommended high fat-content food, suggesting that it wouldn’t hurt you. Of course it did affect her, and she admitted she had diabetes. But then she pushed an anti-diabetes drug. Unbelievable.

However she is so loved and admired that her fans are right there with her. Love is blind it seems to me. Above is a picture of her supporters, and they do NOT appear to mind being heavy. Below is an excerpt from Wikipedia that details some background on her hypocrisy.

It’s also clear that her business empire generates millions of dollars each year. But that doesn’t mean that she would say she has enough and stop taking advantage of the idiots who think it’s ok to eat thousands of extra fat-full calories and not suffer the consequences. An excellent example of greedy pigs in action.

Deen has faced extensive criticism for the high amounts of fat, salt, and sugar in her recipes. She faced particularly strong objections with the release of Lunch-Box Set, a cookbook aimed at children, with Barbara Walters saying of the book, “You tell kids to have cheesecake for breakfast. You tell them to have chocolate cake and meatloaf for lunch. And french fries. Doesn’t it bother you that you’re adding to this?” Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain commented in 2011 that he “would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it’s OK to eat food that is killing us.”

On January 17, 2012, Deen announced that she had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes three years before. It was also disclosed that Deen is a paid spokesperson for the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, whose main export is insulin. She was called a hypocrite for continuing to promote her high-sugar diet while only disclosing her medical condition when it benefited her in representing the drug company to market their diabetes management program.

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How To Lose Weight

I love this site. Simple instructions and information…

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Why We Overeat And Why We Age And Die

I discovered this series of brief animations that explain all kinds of questions, from how an orgasm works to how our brains are fooled. You can see many of them right here.

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Is Thin Better Than Fat If You Are The State Governor?

Today’s Gail Collins’ always-humorous essay, titled “Fitness for Office,” touches on the relationship between politicians’ weight, fitness and their governing record. Lots of smiles. Here are some of the best excerpts.

Governor Chris Christie (who is obese) says he’s very healthy and that “there is a plan” for losing weight. But there is also a plan for totally funding the state employee pension system. I wouldn’t hold your breath.

There’s a national accord that thin is generally better than fat. However, it’s hardly the biggest issue when you’re picking a governor. There are citizens all over the country who would trade their more compact leaders for Christie in a second. Just ask somebody in Pennsylvania. Or Illinois. The guy in Florida has the physique of a greyhound and the state is totally miserable.

In 2006, New Yorkers elected Eliot Spitzer, a man who could not possibly have looked fitter. We probably had the best B.M.I. in the National Governors Association. Just over a year later, he was gone in a sex scandal. You had to wonder if exceptional leanness might occasionally be accompanied by exceptional friskiness. As we all know, a governor in South Carolina once vanished for what his staff claimed were body-toning hikes on the Appalachian Trail when he was actually committing adultery in Argentina.

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Amy Serfass’s Fitness Camp For Women

Amy Serfass (left) leads her Booty Camp

I met Amy Serfass at a Tough Mudder obstacle course she was traversing and wrote about her abs. Now it’s Amy’s turn to write about her views on fitness, diet and health and especially her group training program for women.

Ladies—Make group training your new gym membership and avoid becoming an overweight statistic.

Two thirds of women are trying to lose weight at any given time, but 64% of women are still overweight and unhappy, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention). Even if you’re not in the fitness industry, the average female acknowledges obesity is on the rise and, in-fact; more women (35%) are obese compared to men (32%). This had me thinking. What is truly keeping women from working out? I polled fellow females and found these common reasons:

Amy is always ready to get tough with her ladies

1. I don’t have time – #1 reason!!!
2. I don’t have anyone to exercise with
3. I don’t feel comfortable working out at a traditional box gym
4. I don’t know where to begin or what to do
5. I don’t have any motivation or energy

I got into this industry and became a certified personal trainer because I wanted to help women from becoming an overweight statistic. I wanted to motivate them to exercise while making them feel better about themselves and their bodies. That’s why I decided to specialize in women and weight loss and create group training experiences specifically for females.

Group training for women provides a platform to meet other females with similar health and fitness goals. In a group setting, you find the energy and motivation that one-on-one training can’t always provide. It eliminates the need to know where to begin or what to do, because you’re following a professional that has your best interests in mind. Group training also reduces the risk of boredom, helps you avoid exercise plateaus, and provides much needed exercise variety to keep you coming back.

Most importantly, you are part of a positive community, creating lifelong friendships, and accomplishing goals you never thought possible. I have had clients complete their first 5k together, their first mud/obstacle run, organize marathon parties, or attend social events as a unit. All of these events have been accomplished from meeting other females at a group fitness program dedicated just for women.

Achieving or maintaining a healthy weight is not just about fitness. Weight loss is at least 80% nutrition, 20% fitness. With my group training program, known as Amy’s Booty Camp, I focus on nutrition by providing guidance from a certified nutritionist. Members are also required to log their food, which keeps them accountable and disciplined. One rule of thumb is cutting carbohydrates past 3pm. It’s necessary to have good carbohydrates in your diet, such as whole grains, because they act as your immediate source of energy for the body. Your brain uses about 450 calories of carbohydrates every day. However, if eaten in excessive amounts, the body changes them into fats and stores them in that form. By eating good carbohydrates before 3pm you allow your body more time to burn them off, so they are less likely to be stored as fat.

Offering nutrition expertise while working out at least 2 days per week has led one female to lose 27 lbs and 14.5 total inches in just 2 months with Amy’s Booty Camp!

group support helps the inches disappear

Many of us feel that we don’t have time to work out. The women in Booty Camp MAKE the time to commit because they are unable to get the results on their own. Booty Camp also provides personal time away from work, family, and the daily stresses of life. By making the class fun, friendly, and full of variety, I am able to keep members continually enrolled. Booty Camp is also for the early risers. We train two days per week for 5 weeks at 6:15 am for an hour. Statistics show that 90% of people who work out in the morning stick to their exercise routines.

After each 5-week Booty Camp program, we take no more than one week off before starting the program over again. I stay in touch with the ladies via email and Facebook during their week off, continually offering them healthy tips and guidance to stay connected and keep them motivated. The program runs exclusively in the Upper East Side area of New York City at a studio on 67th Street & 3rd Avenue.

For more information on my growing Booty Camp program please visit my web site.

Amy Serfass
NASM Certified (National Academy of Sports Medicine)
Master Trainer at Australian Institute of Fitness

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Sari Keeps On Changing

Sari Max is a new person

Sari Max is just melting away, and it’s having a huge effect. She wrote earlier in March about how she’d lost over 60 pounds. Now she has dropped another 15! And she has brought fitness and athletics into her life. She is biking for the first time in maybe 15 years, kayaking, which she hadn’t done in at least 20 years, and sometimes adding running spurts to her fast walking.

Sari with son Ben

She is a changed woman, with her new hair style and a bit of color. “I am full of vigor, she tells me proudly.”

I know it takes a lot of discipline to exercise when you haven’t been. But Sari is even doing floor exercises at home, including push ups and 25 sit ups at a time. Way to go, Sari!

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Obesity, Cancer And Other Health Issues May Correlate With Childhood Traumas

David Brooks wrote a very upsetting column last week suggesting that if you had as a child many of 10 pretty common traumas, then you may be doomed for life to suffer bad stuff, including health and weight issues. Traumas like being abused, having divorced parents, or family members who’d been incarcerated or declared mentally ill. Coincidentally I saw a movie about Freud and Jung, in which the former just wanted to identify the source of the problems, while Jung also wanted to help heal or cure the problem. Hard for me to understand why Dr. Freud wouldn’t want to heal the patients as well. Here are some excerpts from the Brooks article.

They gave the 17000 adults interviewed what came to be known as ACE scores, depending on how many of the 10 experiences they had endured. The link between childhood trauma and adult outcomes was striking. People with an ACE score of 4 were seven times more likely to be alcoholics as adults than people with an ACE score of 0. They were six times more likely to have had sex before age 15, twice as likely to be diagnosed with cancer, four times as likely to suffer emphysema. People with an ACE score above 6 were 30 times more likely to have attempted suicide.

Later research suggested that only 3 percent of students with an ACE score of 0 had learning or behavioral problems in school. Among students with an ACE score of 4 or higher, 51 percent had those problems.

Schools are now casting about, trying to find psychological programs that will help students work on resilience, equanimity and self-control. Some schools give two sets of grades—one for academic work and one for deportment.

And it’s not just schools that are veering deeper into the psychological realms. Health care systems are going the same way, tracing obesity and self-destructive habits back to social breakdown and stress.

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TV Anchor Jennifer Livingston’s Obesity Creates Ruckus

Here is a story about a woman who works out 2-3 times a week, runs in triathlons and 5k races, and is still overweight, called fat, and measures as obese. Her husband said it’s due to a thyroid condition.

But Jennifer Livingston is also a TV morning show news anchor who received a letter criticizing her as a poor role model for the community. She fought back by reading the letter on air and damning the writer’s insensitive bullying. Her actions went viral and national, so here is an ABC segment in which she is quoted and interviewed.

One person who commented on line and defended the letter writer had this to say: “…don’t hide behind bullying, this man is not bullying you, he is just asking you to do something about your excess weight. GIVE UP A FEW BURGERS AND CUT THE CHEESE. START MOVING JENNIFER!”

Oh how confusing life is. How it looks so different to people watching from various angles. I have to admit that I believe one can lose weight by eating less. Exercise can help burn off calories as well. But that doesn’t mean the exercise doesn’t also increase your appetite, and that for some people it’s seemingly impossible to not have the cheese and to skip the dessert. What do you think?

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44% Of Americans Will Be Obese In 2030

Shocking! This can’t bode well for health-care costs. A new report released by Trust for America’s Health projects that by 2030 more than half of the people in a majority of the United States will be obese. Mississippi, which is currently America’s fattest state, is expected to nearly double its obesity rate from 35 percent to 67 percent. The new report’s predictions of overall obesity even surpass government forecasts, estimating that every state will have rates of obesity above 44 percent by 2030. The numbers are reportedly based on state-by-state surveys taken by the Centers for Disease Control from 1999 to 2010.

So right now one-third of Americans are obese and another one-third are overweight. Does this mean that everyone in some states is going to be gigantic if the third of obese people doubles to two thirds and then there will be others who are “just” overweight people as well? There have to be some thinnies still holding out from becoming fatties, don’t you think? No wonder my ability to avoid fattening foods is so obnoxious to those who are heavy and resent my fitness. Maybe I need to avoid those “friends.”

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Death Row Inmate Too Fat To Execute

Attorneys for Ronald Post, a 480-pound death row inmate in Ohio, say their client is too overweight to be put to death. I can’t help wondering why a prisoner being fed by the government receives so much food that he can gain and retain all that poundage. Hell of a way to escape punishment. Smart!

“Indeed, given his unique physical and medical condition there is a substantial risk that any attempt to execute him will result in serious physical and psychological pain to him, as well as an execution involving a torturous and lingering death,” reads the filing made on behalf of Ronald Post, 53, who was convicted of shooting to death hotel clerk Helen Vantz 29 years ago.

Post, who is set to be executed by lethal injection on January 16, 2013, says that his executioners would encounter several problems, including difficulty finding a viable vein for injection and the likelihood that with his unusual weight he would break any gurney used in the process.

The Ohio prison system relies on lethal injection in cases resulting in execution.

Ohio is tied nationally with Kansas for the 13th highest obesity rate in the country, with 29.6 percent of its residents listed as overweight.

The Associated Press reports that this is not the first case in which a death row inmate has attempted to use his weight to escape execution.

In 1994, a federal judge in Washington State ruled that 400-pound Mitchell Rupe was too heavy to be hanged and instead was eventually sentenced to life in prison. Rupe died in confinement in 2006.

However, other heavyset inmates have not fared so well in their pleas, such as in the cases of Richard Cooey in 2008 and Christopher Newton in 2007. Still, both of those men each weighed 200 pounds less than Post.

Newton, who was also from Ohio, had his execution delayed for two hours while prison staff struggled to find a vein to administer his lethal injection.

The U.S. and 20 of the world’s 198 countries officially sanction the death penalty, according to Amnesty International. The group reports that the U.S. executed 43 individuals in 2011. Of those, five executions were carried out in Ohio.

China is believed to have executed the largest number of individuals, though exact figures are not known.

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Changing Sizes For Plus-Size Models

two models: plus size (right) and normal size

The picture shows plus-sized model Katya Zharkova on the right and a normal fashion model on the left. Ten years ago, plus-sized meant dress size 12-18. Now it means 6-14, according to Plus Model Magazine . “Plus-size” looks like a fairly average body type (actually, given the country’s propensity for over-eating, she probably falls well under the median weight).

I bumped into this picture, when I was learning more about the obesity trend in America, which I will write about later. Isn’t it interesting that as the models become skinnier, the readers become fatter! What is that about?

Here are the statistics that accompany the photo spread in Plus Model Magazine:

# Twenty years ago the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today, she weighs 23% less.

# Ten years ago plus-size models averaged between size 12 and 18. Today the need for size diversity within the plus-size modeling industry continues to be questioned. The majority of plus-size models on agency boards are between a size 6 and 14, while the customers continue to express their dissatisfaction.

# Most runway models meet the Body Mass Index physical criteria for Anorexia.

# 50% of women wear a size 14 or larger, but most standard clothing outlets cater to sizes 14 or smaller.

You can see more photos of Katya in this article .

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We See This Guy On TV Alot

do you recognize him?

He’s got a pretty good set of abs and body in general…right? But there is something very unusual about him. His name is Jeff Life, and he is a 72-year-old doctor. See him working out below, something he does at least six times a week in the gym.

In an LA Times article , it says his regimen includes hard cardio, heavy weights pushed to the max, martial arts, Pilates, a strict low-glycemic carb diet and lots of supplements. It has also, for the last seven years, been hormonally enhanced by a program that includes testosterone and human growth hormone—a therapy Life views as entirely appropriate, even necessary despite the medical evidence questioning both its effectiveness and safety…

Like most people, Life didn’t give a thought to his testosterone level, his HGH or his fitness as he built his career as a family practice doctor in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. A lapsed Masters swimmer who became inactive in his mid 40s, the father of five became fat and borderline diabetic—”a typical stressed-out middle-aged doctor who ate, drank and didn’t practice what he preached. It was years and years of sloth.”

Dr. Jeff Life–2010

That changed the day Life, then 60, picked up Muscle Media magazine and read about “the Challenge,” a 12-week, before-and-after fitness contest. His competitive fires lighted, Life sent in his before photo and hit the gym.

Three months later, he’d dropped 25 pounds, cut his body fat from 28% to 10%, got genuinely ripped and was named one of the contest’s 1999 “Body for Life” 10 grand champions…

But by age 64, Life found himself shrinking.

His muscles didn’t respond to workouts like they did a few years before. Abdominal fat started piling up. He began feeling mildly depressed. And he wasn’t waking with an erection as often as he used to.

It was a condition he would soon know as andropause, the insidious creep of declining testosterone.

It was time for his second epiphany—and the photo that would change everything…

the whole Dr. Jeffrey Life

Dr. Jeff's ad for the company he works with

In June 2003, Life became a Cenegenics patient, ultimately taking daily shots of HGH along with once-a-week testosterone shots, a regimen he still maintains.

“I could feel the difference quickly. Clarity of thought, a new, sharper focus, increased sexual function, bigger muscles.” He was so impressed that he packed up, moved to Las Vegas and joined the company.

After six months of seeing clients, Life had an idea to keep them motivated: Show them his body.

“They needed to know that I walked the walk.”

That might have been the end of the story—until a year later, when a writer from GQ magazine, in to do an anti-aging story, walked by Life’s office. His eyes bugged out at the sight of the glossy 8 by 11 of the buffed, bald, jeans-wearing guy hanging on the wall.

The shot ended up in his article in the January 2006 issue of GQ….Now it’s been seen by millions. An old, bald head on the young beefcake body. The claim is that this is not digitally modified. Whats your reaction?

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90 Stories Of Weight Losers

Ryan Norton at 305 pounds—1/15/2012

Just bumped into a slide show (at bottom of the page of this link) of 90 people who lost weight, showing the before and after pictures. Amazing. Also included are the stories of how they gained and lost weight and what it took to finally start dropping the pounds. Pretty inspirational. Check ’em out And here are photos from one of the stories by an ex-marine who lost 74 pounds when his buddies forced him to prepare for a Tough Mudder obstacle course challenge that I have mentioned in an earlier post .

Ryan at 231 in the Tough Mudder—Summer 2012

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