Tagged: Fad Diets

What Difference Can One Change Make?

So you want to change your body, or become more healthy inside and out, but the idea of radically altering your nutrition, and squeezing non-existent time out of your schedule to exercise has you feeling defeated before you start? Well, you are not alone. This is probably the most common reason that periodically renewed commitments to achieving fitness fails for some many (along with those silly summer diets).

Well allow me to suggest something novel: make just ONE change. That’s not so hard, eh? But what difference can that make? you ask. My answer: you’d be surprised.

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My nephew, who is not known for being a healthy eater (hates vegetables), and who has very limited time for exercise, took it upon himself to stop eating sugar (sodas, sweets, etc.) and add in 12 minutes of exercise on the weekdays. Within two weeks he’d seen and felt a difference in how his clothes fit (i.e., he lost “weight”, but you as you know I call that losing “fat”).

Now you might note that this constitutes two changes. But I believe he would have seen a difference with just the one change (nixing the sugar). The speed with which he lost body fat was a tad faster for adding in the second change (exercising).

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Almost anyone can commit to and maintain a change of one thing being eliminated or added. If you do not choose to change your calorie intake — but do ad in a minimum, yet effective amount of exercise – you will lose a little body fat, at least initially. Same goes for eliminating one higher-caloric food category (i.e., sugar, bread, starches – whatever you seem to overdue the most). (Note: you can also opt to significantly reduce said food, so that you do not binge later because you’ve abstained completely from something you love and crave.)

I stated that you would only initially see a reduction because eventually you will plateau and no longer lose fat. My recommendation therefore is that after four weeks of the first change, you increase said change or add another. Example: 12 minutes of exercise should be increased to 15-20 minutes; or keep the sugar out but now reduce the quantity of starchy high-glycemic foods (like white bread, white rice, white pasta).

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So take heart if you feel frustrated that “dieting” or attempting to stick with an exercise routine are just not cutting it for you. Try this single elimination or addition and you will undoubtedly achieve some success – and success is the best motivator for continued change which begets more success. Before you know it you can achieve your goals!

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When Fad Diets Happen to Good People

I’m still shocked these days to find a plethora of fitness-minded individuals still placing value in fad diets. A week does not go by where I don’t hear someone dissing carbs, or talking about how drinking hot-lemon-honey-cinnamon-cayenne water helped them boost their metabolism. Facebook, Pinterest and other social media sites are littered with the next best superfood that we should O.D. on. On my Tumblr account this week I slammed the photo below for promoting the idea that a single food can burn belly fat.

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People people people, listen to me: no one food, or food combination will help you get those six pack abs – especially as a stand-alone concept. Granted, if you eat foods that build muscle and help your liver to keep sugars under control ALONG with consistent and effective exercise (resistance training and cardio), you will burn fat from your body. But let me also remind you that there is no way to spot reduce the fat from an area of your body. While you can tone specific muscle groups, where your body burns the fat from is still more random than you might think. If you radically curtail your food consumption while over-ramping your calorie burn, you will lose fat, but you will also lose muscle and more importantly, the fat may come from other areas of your body before the desired zone (i.e., your face or bosom before your belly or butt).

I know that all of this stems from society’s desire to do things quickly — see results fast with as little work or discomfort as possible.  Unfortunately life has proven repeatedly that, as trite as this personal trainer common quip sounds — NO PAIN NO GAIN is reality when it comes to changing your body.  That doesn’t mean abusive pain, but it does mean giving up a quantity of things you love and keeping your body moving despite soreness.

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Once again I want to remind all of you that fad diets do not work – or rather do not work for long. As I stated only last week (Success Comes with Consistency) diets are temporary. But fad diets are worse because they strictly restrict what you eat, forcing your body to try and obtain a full range of nutrients, carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats from a very limited source. Their failure rate is even higher than a simple calorie restricting diet because most people find the limited fad-foods boring within a very quick period.

So back away from that Pinterest post that claims you can lose 5 lbs and increase your metabolism by eating grapefruits, almonds, and green tea exclusively for a week. It’s not worth it even if it were to work, because as soon as you reintroduce all the other foods you still crave, the 5 lbs will return, and your body will be pissed off at you and likely not let you lose 5 lbs the same way again.

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If you want to change your nutrition in a permanent way, I’ve given you lots of tips within this blog, and I offer a very affordable meal plan that will be customized to your lifestyle, and food tastes (Workouts247.com). Now go eat something healthy and stop starving your body!

Success Comes With Consistency.

Spring is here and the rush to get into bathing suit condition is on full swing. What that translates into with many is a hurried goal to lose body fat. Unfortunately that means people “go on a diet.” As I’ve discussed numerous times herein, “diet” implies temporary. Temporary changes will never garner you a permanent success. To get into healthy physical condition and stay there you need to be constant – success is achieved though consistency.

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That is true in all areas of life. Whatever your career, after college or time spent learning your trade, you must still consistently study and stay on top of any new trends, techniques or changing technologies that apply to your field. In relationships you must maintain consistent honesty and reliability. Likewise, your body must receive consistent exercise and healthy nourishment to maintain a healthy composition (lean muscle & body fat).

Diets do not work. They are not consistent. For a designated (short) period of time you eat limited choices of foods, in limited amounts, thereby depriving your body of the quantity of calories that you previously consumed (typically high-caloric foods to boot). Your body decreases in size to some extent (most say they’ve lost weight – but you know I’m only looking to see you lose fat).

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Once the diet is over (i.e., the desired scale weight is achieved), you resume your old habits and guess what – the weight (fat) comes back.

So if you are one of the many individuals seeking to look different this summer in a bathing suit (or in general) I suggest that this time you do NOT “diet.” This time you make a permanent change to your approach to nutrition – making it your lifestyle to eat smaller quantities of higher quality food (unprocessed, low in animal fats, salts, and sugars) while still allowing yourself to enjoy your favorite (or comfort) foods in moderation.

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Today I am not going to go into a detailed description of how to eat this way as I’ve done so many times in this blog, and I also offer customized meal plans to clients who seek to make their nutritional change permanent (http://www.workouts247.com). My goal today is simply to remind you that you’ve failed before when you’ve gone on a diet (probably more than once), and that this time you should change your approach if you are really serious about changing your body and health permanently.

Good luck, and I’m here when you’re ready to commit to consistency!

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The Confusion Continues

I was at a party last weekend and as usual, once the word is out that I’m a certified personal trainer, I got bombarded with questions about diet and exercise. As always, I am only slightly surprised by how little the average person understands about nutrition and exercise.

Clearly not everyone is reading my blog yet (wink) as the concepts that carbs are bad and cardio is enough seems to be the predominant idea behind most people’s attempts to “lose weight” (another of my pet peeves as you all know that it’s about fat loss not weight).

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I find people are still caught in the vicious circle of attempting a quick fix to become smaller in their bodies, then being disappointed that the results do not happen or do not stick. Soon emotional eating kicks in as the workouts fade to once a week or none at all. Then it starts all over again. Lather, rinse, repeat!

Let me preach to everyone one more time the keys to failure: counting calories, abstaining from carbs or certain foods just because you think that is the trick, repetitive uneffective cardio and casual resistance training. These approaches will NOT work – or at least will not last.

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Clearly I shouldn’t complain, for as long as the confusion continues I will continue to have a full slate of clients. But I really do want to help educate the masses about exercise and nutrition and how to affect a real and permanent change to your body. I continue in my quest to teach moderation where nutrition is concerned combined with ever-changing and always challenging exercise performed in a moderately small chunk of time.

Your experience of life (and more importantly your enjoyment of same) should not be consumed with worries over what and when you eat, how to squeeze in time to work out, and if you’ve done enough to your body that you can rest easy. My goal is to have exercise and nutrition fit seamlessly into my days/weeks so that all aspects of my life have meaning and balance.

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There’s a reason I named by business Dane Life Fitness. I firmly believe fitness is essential to all aspects of one’s life. If you spend a predominant amount of your life focused on only your body, there’s no question that other areas of your life will suffer. So stop stabbing in the dark – acting (reacting) in a haphazard way, and create a specific targeted plan of action that fits your body type and goals, and your lifestyle. There’s plenty of resources out here in the internet that can help you, and of course, working with me (or any other personal trainer you like and trust) is the quickest and more sure-fire way to get on the right track.

Paleo Workout Anyone?

There’s a lot of focus these days on the Paleo Diet – essentially eat what the cavemen (hunter-gatherers) ate. As you all should know about me by now, I do not use the word diet as it implies temporary. You may also have heard me issuing slight criticism over the “Paleo Diet” as I see many pinned recipes on pinterest being for “paleo cookies or desserts.” Hate to break it to you, but the aforementioned cro-Magnons did NOT eat chocolate (or bacon which seems to be on a lot of Paleo meal plans).

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But if you really want to embrace the Paleo lifestyle, than I think we should have a Paleo Exercise Plan (trademark Ariana Dane, 2014 – wink). The premise being that you are physically on the move 8-10 hours a day, not exercising, but physically taxing and challenging your body. After all, that’s what they did. Those hunter-gatherers were not sitting in a car or at a desk for hours a day, they were hiking, climbing, sneaking, stretching, throwing, beating, carrying and cooking.

Try spending just one weekend day outdoors pretending you’re a hunting paleoperson (yes I made that word up). Between the berries you’ll forage for and the dried meat you’ll carry for sustenance, along with the major calorie expulsion of rarely sitting until sundown, you’ll get lean very quickly.  Maybe I should offer a weekend boot camp (sans boots as they were all barefoot), where you’ll sleep soundly on the floor of a cave after a long day (up at sunrise) of hunting and gathering. I guarantee participants a calorie burn in the thousands!

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If you have sensed my sarcasm here, you’re not wrong. Once again I am irritated by fads that manipulate people who are desperate to change their bodies into subscribing to something that ultimately they cannot sustain.

Moderation, as always is the real key. Eat lean, clean and consistent (5-6 times a day, lean proteins, green and colorful veggies, small amounts of fruits and whole grains, little to no dairy) while moving your body when ever possible. I call it the “21st Century Human-Being Lifestyle.” If there’s something you really want (like a cookie) have one, but don’t go to all the trouble to make it Paleo, just have ONE wonderful Nestles Tollhouse cookie and move on.

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Use the stairs at work; park further away from a building’s entrance; take three 10-minute breaks to squat, wall press, stretch, or do some jumping jacks. Keep the blood flowing, keep physical activity always close at hand. This is how to be healthy and happy and not beholden to a trend that next year will be discarded for the newer, fresher, equally more ridiculous fad.  Okay I’m getting off my soapbox now, but not before I do 25 step ups!

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