Posts Tagged Stefan Pinto

Will Wearing Greek Yogurt Give You Great Abs?

In a lazy world, great abs like these would result just by eating the yogurt marketed in the ad

Why am I laughing at myself? I eat a Greek NON-FAT yogurt every day. And this story, sent to me by Stefan Pinto (whom I have written about in the past), makes me wonder if I have just fallen for the hype! Greek yogurt sales are way up, but the product is almost double the price of other brands. I began eating it when my cholesterol count rose too high from regular yogurt. Stefan is the man in the ad, and he does have great abs. And I do think the zero-fat Greek yogurt tastes better than the others. Will I develop abs like Stefan’s if I just eat the yogurt he is wearing? Here are excerpts from the story he sent me.

Greek yogurt, overall, has had one of the fastest growth spurts the food and beverage industry has seen in recent history. In each of the last three years, sales of Greek yogurt have boomed more than 100%, while non-Greek yogurt has crept along at single-digit speeds, according to consumer data tracker Nielsen.

Sales at yogurt maker Chobani Inc. — which claims nearly half of the Greek yogurt market share in the U.S. — soared 2,812% in 2008 alone, according to a report from UBS Investment Research. Greek yogurt now hauls in more than $1 billion in revenue a year in the U.S. — about a quarter of total yogurt sales.

Yogurt of all types is the food trend of the decade, according to research firm NPD Group. Not only is it popular with young adults because it’s perceived as being healthful, it’s also a prominent ingredient in some ethnic cuisines that are increasingly gaining a foothold in the U.S.

Greek-yogurt makers have marketed themselves effectively, analysts said. Danone’s Oikos brand featured actor John Stamos in its Super Bowl ads. Voskos ran print advertisements featuring the rippling, yogurt-slathered muscles of fitness expert Stefan Pinto.

Greek yogurt isn’t known for being particularly tasty and is sometimes 90% more expensive than other yogurts, according to the UBS report.

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Perfect Playgirl Six Pack Abs Foods

Stefan Pinto's abs

Stefan Pinto altered his appearance and his life by exercising in the gym, adopting a new diet, and losing 60 pounds. In a Whole Foods supermarket, a model scout saw him and offered him a new career. Within 2 1/2 years of beginning this changeover, he was a Playgirl centerfold. You can read his story in an earlier post. And he was mentioned recently in The New York Times . Below is the diet he recommends to shed those unwanted pounds.

Playgirl asked me to pose nude in their magazine on Christmas Day, 2006. It was via a text message and it simply said “hey merry xmas pics r gr8 when can you come to LA?”

When I moved to Miami, the last thought in my mind would be becoming a model, let alone a centerfold in Playgirl magazine. Two years earlier, I first stepped into a gym, admittedly out of boredom.

So when Playgirl confirmed that they wanted to photograph me for their magazine, you could just imagine how validated I felt. After all, not only was I once overweight, but I spent most of my time behind a desk, working in a bank and living in New Jersey.

The Playgirl photo shoot was scheduled for February 14th, Valentine’s Day. I had a little less than two months to make a perfect impression. I wasn’t concerned about appearing nude. I wanted to make sure, I had abs. A six-pack that I would be proud of and would live forever in the printed and online archives of Playgirl magazine.

There is no “secret” to getting six pack abs. Six pack abs do not require costly operations nor are they reserved for male models and celebrities. Everyone already has six pack abs (some have ten). Making them visible comes primarily from eating a proper diet.

The saying, “you have to spend money to make money” can be applied to losing weight: “you need to eat to lose weight.” The human body is designed to protect us…When we don’t eat, our body goes into starvation mode, hoarding calories. So when we do eat, we gain weight instead of losing. Adopt the familiar formula of burning more calories than you consume, but make sure that the calories you do consume are a combination of high protein and good carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables). These foods will serve as the caloric fuel for your abs muscle-building exercises.

Six pack abs do not happen overnight. Patience, perseverance and a great deal of effort is required. Abs are 90% diet and 10% exercise (mostly cardio). And to prepare for my Playgirl photo shoot, I diligently followed a strict eating plan: a diet high in fiber, low in sodium and absolutely no dairy (except yogurt).

The following foods are superb for defining your six-pack abs. All of these are personal recommendations. In addition, you should consume the required eight glasses of water a day. If water is not that appealing, try green tea.

At least four servings a day of these fiber rich and good carb foods: broccoli, carrots, spinach and/or Brussels sprouts. I recommend Birds Eye or Whole Foods’ 365 brands. Each bag contains approximately four and a half servings. Steam the entire bag for no more than eight minutes (vegetables should be crunchy). Eat either for lunch or dinner.

Four to six servings of food protein. This can include chicken, tuna, eggs or any other protein-rich real food. Combine with rice and chick peas (additional protein) for a delicious meal. Simply saute in a sauce pan with olive oil, onions and seasoning (I use cilantro and smoked paprika) to taste. Chicken is cooked once the meat is no longer pink. Immediately remove from the heat to avoid over cooking (and destroying the protein—which most mediocre restaurants do, fyi).

Three servings of beans and legumes. Mix it up a bit with canned varieties. Try chick peas, black beans, red beans or lentils.

Substitute your dairy with either hemp milk or almond milk. Avoid conventional brands of yogurt. They contain high amounts of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. I like Fage’s Total yogurt and Chobani’s Greek yogurt. Both low fat varieties.

Drink a whey protein shake twice a day.

If you are pressed for time, traveling frequently or simply hate to cook, you can still get your daily servings of vegetables and nutrients. There are many good vegetable “food” powders available. My absolute favorites are Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer and Garden of Life’s Perfect Food (also available in caplet form). Incidentally, Vega was my food of choice during the Romantic Times Romance Novel Book Cover Model competition in Orlando.

The Men’s Health Abs Diet was my foundation. It served as my guide, helping me to lose abdominal weight and the stubborn body fat around my mid-section. To this day, I still follow the meal plans outlined in that orange book. However, I have discovered that there are several other foods and exercises that are not only as effective as the Men’s Health Abs Diet, but also serve to accommodate the lives of busy people, unused to preparing a home-cooked meal.

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Stefan Pinto: From Fat To Fit And From Geek To Chic

Stefan Pinto transformed—6/2009

I read about Stefan in the New York Times , went to his web site, and emailed him to learn an amazing story of his life and body transformation. Here is how he changed his life.

“Five years ago, the only vegetable I ate was the sauce from tomatoes. It was every Friday night that I dined on Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Crust Meat Lovers followed by a heaping three-scoop Baskin Robbins banana split chocolate Macadamian Marshmallow sundae. And five years ago I was 60 pounds overweight, taking prescription medication for allergies, migraine headaches and foot pain. And five years ago, I almost had a heart attack. I was only 33, and the short-lived, immediate joy of eating a poor diet nearly killed me.”

Then two things happened—he joined a gym and changed his diet.

“When I first started going to a gym, I hated it. I could not even ride the stationary training bike for five minutes without feeling as though I would suffer a premature stroke. Turns out, I had exercise induced asthma, a condition diagnosed by a certified trainer and common among the sedentary.

My warm ups on the treadmill ended up being my workout the majority of the time. So, I would “walk” on the treadmill for an hour. Even if I didn’t work out with weights, I would do my hour of walking on the treadmill. Even if I felt “too tired” to go to the gym, I went. But I didn’t really see the point. I suppose I was trapped in the “I want it now” scenario. It just seemed “too difficult.” I was being typical. Naturally, with such a fine excuse, I inevitably gave up after one month and skipped the gym for the next three.

a heavier Stefan—2005

What made me go back was the realization that I hadn’t really given it my best shot. I didn’t try to do anything different. I did what was convenient. And as soon as discomfort of changing a routine set in, I panicked.

the original Stefan—2005

Thankfully (and luckily), I realized that I DID want to lose the weight. I knew that I would not be able to answer to my older self as to what happened to my body. I made a commitment that I will lose 20 pounds by my 34th birthday (I gave myself one year).Where did the motivation come from to do this? Especially during the dead of winter (I lived in New Jersey). Looking back, I have discovered this when it comes to being—and staying—motivated:

It is all about attitude. Those with positive attitudes are more highly motivated than those who aren’t. If we see exercise as a “chore,” then it becomes this. If we see it as a “gift” — an ability to actually change our bodies—then, well, I am sure you understand.

After three months a trainer approached me and suggested I change things up. I ended up hiring that trainer…

By the time I moved to South Beach (two years later), I had already been re-trained and disciplined into a healthier lifestyle, so going to the gym was no longer a chore but a necessity. I worked out seven days a week.

a happier Stefan—2009

It was in 2005 that a model scout discovered me in a supermarket. All of these steps led up to a transformation on the outside, but my attitude towards life and expectations didn’t really change until 2008, when Miami experienced a financial collapse, and my life was set in turmoil.

It made me realize what was important and who I really was. I lost my home, my pet and all of my belongings (I didn’t even have money to buy coffee). Yet, I wasn’t afraid. People who knew my situation grew distant out of their own fear, but I just knew—it’s not that simple to explain—but I just “knew” I would be okay. I felt it here (points to heart). Perhaps all of the cardio offered me some mental clarity? But I am happy I didn’t give up.

I realized that I could just take a job. I actually interviewed at an insurance company and on the drive back home, my rationale kicked in and inquired on what I was doing. I knew I would hate working at that place. The universe stepped in and I never got that job. I decided I would do what I’ve always wanted, and go live in California. Moving to Los Angeles was one of the best things I could’ve done. I am happy with the man I’ve become.”

Today Stefan Pinto writes a health and fitness column for the National Fitness Examiner, has a radio show, is a model, and has a physique that earned him a Playgirl centerfold. Check out his web site to learn more about him and his diet.

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Creams And Caffeine To Make Your Abs Shine

Stefan Pinto (picture by Stephanie Diani)

My friend Joe sent me this link to a New York Times article about creams, makeup and caffeine that can improve the look of your abs. These seem more in demand than abdominoplasty (tummy tucks), which appealed to only 4700 American men in 2009, a doubling of the number in 2000.

So if you want to highlight whatever abs you do have, or tighten the skin in that region, you can do it with various products. I liked this quote the best:

“When you first glance at these products, it sounds like it’s snake oil, but when you dig deeper it seems like there is some efficacy to it,” said Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, a dermatologist in New York and assistant clinical professor at the Yale University School of Medicine. “When you add caffeine it causes blood vessels to restrict, and it turns out that’s a great trick for making skin appear less puffy.”

Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas cautioned men against expecting dramatic results from such products. “But even a 10 percent improvement would make a difference to some people,” she said.

Stefan Pinto, a model and fitness columnist, spoke well about one product, but look at the routine and diet he has underneath the cosmetic part. In addition to a strict gym regimen, he eats eight servings of vegetables daily and avoids dairy products and bread. “If you think you can go into a store and buy something and get all these results, then you’re fooling yourself,” he said.

How do you eat eight servings of anything in a day? He sure has discipline and determination! I can barely do three sessions of crunches some months, so don’t look to me for major inspiration. I better do some exercises and stop eating so much no-fat yogurt…

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