Ever wonder what happens when you burn & lose body fat? Here’s your answer!
My Fitness Pal – Have you heard of it?
Here at 1 & Only Fitness, we are huge fans of My Fitness Pal! Several of our staff members use it and the majority of our personal training clients use it as well! If you’re not up to speed on what MFP is, here’s a quick overview.
My Fitness Pal is a FREE online fitness journal and smartphone app available on Apple, Android and Windows devices. The web application automatically syncs with the mobile data so that you’re always 100% caught up on your journal entries. With MFP, you track your daily nutrition right down to the macro and micro-nutrients! You can also track water consumption, fitness activity and use it as a journal/blog!
The best part? Did I mention that My Fitness Pal is free. There is a paid version, but it’s strictly upgrades. You can get everything you need and more from the free app.
Here’s a list of perks that come from the free version, taken from MyFitnessPal.com:
- The easiest to use food diary on the web Track what you eat with just a few clicks from anywhere with an internet connection – at home or at work
- A searchable food database of over 1,000,000 items and it’s growing every day!
- Your own personal food database add your own foods and recipes at any time and access them from anywhere with an internet connection
- Free mobile apps for iPhone and Android so you can log your meals and exercise even when you are on the go
- Support and motivation from people just like you – Our discussion forums let you learn from others, share your own tips, receive and give encouragement, and make friends.
- A personalized diet profile customized to your unique weight loss goals.
- Flexibility: Our system can support any diet like Atkins, the South Beach Diet, the Zone, and more. No matter what diet you’re on, we can help.
Sound like something you could benefit from? I think YES!
With My Fitness Pal, you can easily keep yourself accountable. Take it upon yourself to start measuring portions, paying attention to your food intake and fuel your body with the proper wholesome foods you need to make progress towards your goals!
Here’s the deal!
I would like to offer a FREE 4-week training program, consultation, nutritional counseling session AND 30-minute personal training session to the first THREE people who keep a 7-day food log and show it to me at the gym (or via email).
This deal expires in 14 days. You have until July 21 to keep a 7-day consecutive food log, you can do that! Complete it, show me and we’ll get you set up with a package values at over $400 for FREE!
One of the most common excuses I hear for why individuals don’t exercise is LACK OF MOTIVATION. This story will put a quick end to that excuse. Jesse Shand was recently featured on BodyBuilding.com for his amazing weight loss story.
28-year-old Jesse Shand battled obesity and won—with a little help from his friends on the Bodybuilding.com forums. Learn how the kindness of strangers made a difference in one man’s life!
Jesse went from 653 pounds back in 2013, to 297 at the time of this posting. He’s probably working out as we speak. He has displayed a tremendous amount of motivation, perseverance and determination along this journey, but as the article on BB says, he’s nowhere near finished with this story!
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
What is stopping YOU from taking your first step? If you’ve already started your weight loss journey, this should be a real life example of how hard work and dedication pays off. Keep it up, we’ve got your back and will help in any way!
Don’t be hesitant when it comes to your health. You only have one body and you have to live in it forever. Let’s make sure we take care of it!
Note from author: This is a little bit more personal than most of my other articles. Stick with me on this one, it’ll make sense in the end.
You’ve probably heard that when it comes to weight loss, health and wellness, nutrition is the most vital component of the process. I agree wholeheartedly. You can’t out-train a poor diet. That’s a 100% fact.
Nutrition has always been the most intriguing piece of this fitness puzzle to me. Ever since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease back in 2012, my entire lifestyle has changed – for the better. I place an extremely high priority on my nutrition, and my knowledge on the subject.
Of course, the exercise and anatomy portions of the fitness world are very important to me as well, but something about nutrition just really gets me going. Clients at the gym have noticed this about me and I’ve kind of become the go-to guy for nutrition questions. I love that. Keep it coming.
I got into this profession to help people and I enjoy doing that every single day. I do want to come clean about something and extend a challenge to everyone reading this!
Before I get to that, let me give you some background…
Had such a great night lecturing at @CommunityHealthNet's Healthplex Sports Club, discussing #CeliacDisease & the #GlutenFree lifestyle. As many of you know, this is something that is extremely important to me. It was awesome to share my knowledge and passion on nutrition and personal Celiac experiences! Hoping to speak publicly again soon. It was a blast, thanks again for having me! #health #nutrition #fitness
I recently lead a lecture and discussion about Celiac Disease at the Community Healthplex Sports Club, which is part of the Community Health Network. It was an unbelievable experience. I was able to spread great information to a receptive audience and it went better than I could have ever expected. It did open my eyes to some things I was not aware of.
I realized that sometimes my nutritional beliefs, when compared to the common view of nutrition, can be:
But I also know that my nutritional beliefs produce:
- Healthier Lives
- Happier Lives
I’ve lived it and seen my clients live it. When I discuss my nutritional lifestyle, a lot of people’s initial reaction makes it seem like they think I eat a perfect diet – and at times I think this can be discouraging for clients, rather than the uplifting effect I was aiming for. I never want to give that impression, and sorry if I have given that impression to you!
This is what I want to come clean about. I have slip-ups just like everyone else. Let me tell you something, no one eats a perfect diet. I can guarantee that. Like I said, I have slip-ups, overeat occasionally, give in to temptations, etc. It’s natural for us to do so, we just have to minimize it.
Sounds easier than it is, right? Because life happens. My wife, Catherine, is 23 weeks pregnant and her cravings are my top priority. If you’ve never experienced pregnant woman cravings, it’s exactly what you think it is.
She craves something unusual, unhealthy and/or delicious. You go and get it for her immediately.
I have pretty strong willpower, but as you know from my previous article, environment trumps willpower. Sometimes her cravings become my snack. Or my dinner. Or my dessert. Or all of the above.
As I said before, you can’t out-train a bad diet. As my dietary slip-ups are increasing, I would love to increase my training intensity to at least try to level it out – but I can’t. A herniated L4-L5 disc will do that to you.
I’ve been battling this for 4-5 months now and I’m finally receiving injection treatments for it after trying several other methods. With that, comes a lowered level of intensity of my workouts. Sorry about all the personal info, but it all has a point! Just wait… it’s coming!
Nutrition is going to be exponentially more important to me over the next 12 weeks during my recovery process. Not exercising as hard will leave less room for dietary errors and I’m ready for the challenge!
I’ve decided that during the month of June I’m going to do the Whole 30 challenge. Whole30 is not one of those fad diets that may or may not work. It has only one rule: Eat real food. It’s like hitting the ‘reset’ button on your nutrition, or it could be an intro into a healthy lifestyle for those who may not be happy with their diet.
For 30 days, you avoid added sugars (even natural ones like Stevia), alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, MSG and pseudo-treats. During the 30 days you step away from the scale and any other body measurements and just let whole, natural food have its effect. You will feel great and this will undoubtedly get you closer to your goals.
This is going to be tough. I already avoid grains, alcohol, dairy, most legumes and the food additives, but as I mentioned before, I have slip-ups more often than I’d like to. The added sugars can be tough to avoid, even if they’re natural. I can buckle down and do this for 30 days. If not, then that’s just weak!
I’m going to document the entire month on this blog. You’ll see what I eat, how I’m feeling and stay updated on my progress.
Then… YOU CAN JOIN ME!
After I complete this during the month of June, I’ll repeat it in July and invite friends, family, clients, etc. to join the fun so we can all feel great together! So stay tuned and do some research on Whole 30! It’s going to be an awesome month for me in June and I hope you all join me in July!
Sign Up For Free Below
This is a 100% FREE challenge. Just fill out the contact form below and we will get in touch with tons of useful tools/info to help you out when the challenge starts on July 1. Myself, and other 1 & Only Fitness staff members, will be there right by your side every step of the way! We are participating too and can’t wait to share the results.
Now that it’s May, Spring weather is in full force. It’s a great time of year, not only because the nice changes in the weather but it’s an awesome time for local produce. Farmers markets are starting to open, your local grocery store is carrying more and more fresh produce and it’s going to help you achieve your fitness goals.
Thanks to Greatist.com we have an excellent infographic, which is a definitive guide to your Spring produce shopping.
Here are my top 5 selections of Spring produce:
Greens: Eating more green veggies is going to be your key to fitness success. Luckily, two of my favorite greens are going to be at their freshest during the Spring time.
Radishes: Radishes have recently grown on me and quickly became one of my go-to vegetables. Radishes are a great source of nutrients and have a nice, buttery flavor when cooked in the oven. You can also try them raw, chopped on a salad.
Asparagus: Asparagus is one of my favorite veggies because of its versatility. A little light seasoning and 15 minutes in the oven has never tasted so good. Tip: Cook them in Coconut Oil for an even healthier, tastier surprise!
Sugar Snap Peas: No worries, sugar snap peas are that “good” kind of sweet. Eat them whole, not just the bean, raw or cooked for a great snack or addition to your meals.
Vidalia Onions: These large, juicy onions are sweet in flavor and taste great raw or cooked. You can eat them solo, as a side dish or mixed into a meal.
This contest ended April 29, please find the answers below. Winners have been contacted! Good luck on the next “Guess that Workout!”
Find the Answers Here!
Is Workout A:
A) Leg Day B) 5 mile walk with puppy
C) Mowing the lawn
This was just some good ol’ fashion yardwork! Cut the front and back in under an hour. My lawn is about 7,000 sq ft, in case you’re curious of what YOU might be burning when you mow and wanted to put it into perspective.
Guess that Workout
Let’s play a little game called Guess That Workout! Here’s how you play:
- Look at the two photos presented below. The data is taken from my Microsoft Band, which measures heart rate, calories burned, length of workout and a ton of other useful statistics (that I left out of the pics).
- Try to match the workout options to the data in the pictures.
- Submit your answers and if you get them both correct, you’ll receive $1 off your next post-workout smoothie!
Guess That Workout Below:
Coconut has become one of the top nutrition trends in the US, and with good reason. Coconut is a superfood that can provide numerous health benefits in addition to its amazing taste and wide variety of uses.
Right now the most popular Coconut product on the market is Coconut Oil, which is an oil extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts. At first, many people were scared of this oil (and might still be) due to its high levels of Saturated Fat. I’m here to debunk that myth and explain the benefits of Coconut Oil.
I eat Coconut Oil every day, multiple times a day and have experienced all of the benefits that I’m about to share. Here are 4 reasons you should eat Coconut Oil daily!
Coconut Oil Can Help You Lose Fat
Let’s start off strong with the #1 reason to enjoy at least one serving of Coconut Oil every day. Coconut Oil can help you lose fat. Isn’t that what we all want?
More importantly, Coconut Oil has been linked to fat loss in the midsection – especially internal, visceral fat that is stubborn and extremely difficult to manage. This is the type of fat that we highlight during our InBody 570 analysis as being the most dangerous.
A recent study by the Universiti Sains Malaysia’s School of Medical Sciences showed a decrease in waist circumference, body fat percentage and body mass index in a group of participants who consumed 1 ounce of Virgin Coconut Oil daily for 4 weeks (1). Participants did not exercise during the study or decrease their caloric intake at all during the study. These results came from simply adding 1 ounce of Coconut Oil a day.
Imagine the results you’d see if you added a nutritional and exercise plan!
Coconut Oil Can Improve Skin & Dental Health
You don’t have to eat Coconut Oil to enjoy the full scale of benefits! Take Oil Pulling, for example. Just take 1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil and swish it around in your mouth for 20 minutes. This simple, painless process can decrease eliminate harmful mouth bacteria, decrease plaque build-up and improve overall dental health. (2)
It doesn’t stop there. Coconut Oil can be used on your hair, skin and nails too! My wife rubs it on her baby bump to help fight the skin dryness and stretching that comes with pregnancy. We rub a small amount on our dog, Penny, to help her with her dry skin and doggy dandruff.
The Department of Dermatology at the Makati Medical Center studied and proved coconut oil to be safe and effective for use on skin when used as a moisturizer. (3)
There are also several other topical uses for Coconut Oil backed by scientific data, so don’t be nervous to use it! (4)
Coconut Oil Can Improve Cholesterol
Let’s start with the notion that Coconut Oil is bad for you because it’s mostly made of Saturated Fat. Normally, this would be an accurate assumption but Coconut Oil is a special case. It’s made of MCT’s, or Medium Chain Triglycerides, which is rare to see in naturally sourced fat. This is not the typical Saturated Fat that you’d find in poor quality meat and dairy, MCT’s in Coconut Oil are metabolized differently by your body. Your body uses the fat for energy as a first option, rather than storing it for later use.
MCT’s are easy for your body to digest compared to Long Chain Triglycerides, so Coconut Oil is also a good option for those with digestion issues. The MCT’s in Coconut Oil bypass the lipoprotein stage of the digestion process which means the fat does not require enzymes to break it down and it will not enter your bloodstream. Why is this good? Because that reduces the risk of digestive problems and clogged arteries. Long story, short: Your body doesn’t have to work as hard to digest MCT’s and they increase your energy without storing excess fat.
I say all that to illustrate that this Saturated Fat is not one that you should be weary of trying. In fact, there is research to support that Coconut Oil can raise your HDL (the good Cholesterol), which theoretically, can reduce your risk of heart disease. (5)
Coconut Oil Can Increase Your Energy
Speaking of MCT’s, they’ve been linked to increase energy expenditure (6) which can help everyone. No one would turn down a little extra energy throughout the day. Think about all of the things you could accomplish if you just have 5% more energy during your day.
Think about this situation:
You don’t work out because you don’t have the energy, but exercise can lead to an increase of overall energy. So if something doesn’t change it’ll be a never ending low-energy circle of failed fitness goals. One serving of delicious Coconut Oil could be that boost you need to kick it into gear!
Now that you know some of the major benefits of Coconut Oil, don’t forget about some of the not-so-obvious reasons to try it out.
- Prevents Kidney Stones
- Reduces viral susceptibility
- Improves bone strength
- Useful in treating Pancreatic disease
- Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties
You’re probably ready to get your first jar of Coconut Oil, right? Not so fast. Don’t just choose the cheapest or most convenient product out there. Just like anything else in the food industry, there are some really poor quality products out there pretending to be healthy.
Make sure you purchase an organic, virgin or extra virgin, unrefined Coconut Oil that comes in a glass jar. DO NOT purchase Coconut Oil that is refined or comes in a plastic jar. It also goes without saying that you’re looking for strictly Non-GMO products during your search.
I personally use Skinny & Co. but some other reputable brands are:
I hope you start to explore the awesomeness that is Coconut Oil. Try it once and I guarantee you’ll love it. Let me know if you need any recipes or cooking tips!
(1) Liau, Kai, Yeong Lee, Chee Chen, and Aida Rasool. “An Open-Label Pilot Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Virgin Coconut Oil in Reducing Visceral Adiposity.” ISRN Pharmacology. International Scholarly Research Network. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3226242/>.
(2) Asokan, Sharath, Pamela Emmadi, and Raghuraman Chamundeswari3. “Effect of Oil Pulling on Plaque Induced Gingivitis: A Randomized, Controlled, Triple-blind Study.” Indian Journal of Dental Research. Indian Journal of Dental Research. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <http://www.ijdr.in/article.asp?issn=0970-9290;year=2009;volume=20;issue=1;spage=47;epage=51;aulast=Asokan>.
(3) “A Randomized Double-blind Controlled Trial Comparing Extra Virgin Coconut Oil with Mineral Oil as a Moisturizer for Mild to Moderate Xerosis.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15724344>.
(4) “Effect of Oil Pulling on Streptococcus Mutans Count in Plaque and Saliva Using Dentocult SM Strip Mutans Test: A Randomized, Controlled, Triple-blind Study.” Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry. Department of Microbiology, Meenakshi Ammal Dental College. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <http://www.jisppd.com/article.asp?issn=0970-4388;year=2008;volume=26;issue=1;spage=12;epage=17;aulast=Asokan>.
(5) “Effects of Dietary Coconut Oil on the Biochemical and Anthropometric Profiles of Women Presenting Abdominal Obesity.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19437058>.
(6) “Twenty-four-hour Energy Expenditure and Urinary Catecholamines of Humans Consuming Low-to-moderate Amounts of Medium-chain Triglycerides: A Dose-response Study in a Human Respiratory Chamber.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8654328>.
What are your goals? Whether you want to lose weight, pack on muscle or increase your mobility, there will certainly be some amount of structure and/or sacrifice necessary to earn the goal you have in mind.
When I ask an individual what they believe it will take for them to achieve their goal, one of the most common answers is willpower. Maybe it’s not the exact term willpower, but it’s usually a synonym such as discipline, accountability or dedication. Something along those lines.
Willpower is a sense control deliberately exerted to do something or to restrain one’s own impulses.
What I don’t understand is why we’ve been lead to believe that building healthy habits is strictly based on willpower and discipline. Americans have been relying on willpower to improve their health for decades and where has that gotten us? Nowhere. In fact, things have dramatically worsened over the years according to the data collected by Harvard University’s School of Public Health.
In 1990, obese adults made up less than 15 percent of the population in most U.S. states. By 2010, 36 states had obesity rates of 25 percent or higher, and 12 of those had obesity rates of 30 percent or higher.
Today, nationwide, roughly two out of three U.S. adults are overweight or obese (69 percent) and one out of three is obese (36 percent).
What I’m trying to say is that we CANNOT rely on willpower when it comes to creating healthy habits. Our willpower WILL fail us, you can bank on that. Trust me, for the longest time I thought willpower alone would help me meet my goals. I found out time after time that, unfortunately, that is simply not the case.
Willpower is Scottie Pippen.
Willpower is great, but will not win you championships on its own.
Willpower needs a Michael Jordan.
ENVIRONMENT is Michael Jordan.
Your environment is the absolute most important component of creating healthier habits. Environment trumps willpower and will always be superior when the two are faced against each other. It may not be immediate, but your willpower will eventually give in to your environment. It could take seconds, minutes, days or even years but it is 100% inevitable. No one is perfect, so to think that we can live, eat, exercise, work, etc. perfectly without giving in to temptation every now and then is purely erroneous.
The key is that we must develop an environment that is preparing us to succeed towards our goals.
Our willpower is limited, unfortunately we don’t have an infinite amount. Think of your willpower as your smartphone. If you’re on your phone talking, texting and playing on apps all day that’s going to drain your battery faster. Eventually, your battery is going to die and you’ll be forced to charge it. If you have to use willpower to turn down unhealthy food choices multiple times a day, that’s going to drain your supply of willpower faster. Eventually your willpower will run out and you’ll be chowing down on a combo meal from McDonald’s. Not good.
One of the best scientific studies that illustrates this is the Ego Depletion study by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published in 1998. This is one of the golden standards when it comes to the topic.
Here’s a brief outline:
Students participating in the study were asked to enter a laboratory room that was set up to look like a taste perception study. The room was filled with the aroma of freshly baked Chocolate Chip cookies, which had just been baked in the room. In the room, there were two different food displays; one was bowl of red and white radishes, the other was a plate of chocolate chip cookies and chocolate candies.
The participants were told which food to eat and how much of that food they were allowed to eat. After the tasting was over, the participants were asked to complete a series of geometric puzzles, however, they did not know that these puzzles were designed to be unsolvable. They were told that they would not be judged on the results of their puzzles, but on whether or not they finish the puzzle and the amount of time spent on them. Each participant was notified to ring a bell when they want to give up on the puzzle.
The results show that the participants who ate the radishes gave up on the puzzles FASTER than those who ate the chocolate/cookies (8.35 minutes vs. 18.90 minutes).
What does that mean? That means the group who was told to eat radishes depleted their supply of willpower by rejecting the delicious cookies. They exhausted their own willpower so much that they quickly gave up on the next challenge they were faced with.
Resisting temptation seems to have produced a psychic cost, in the sense that afterward participants were more inclined to give up easily in the face of frustration.
The key here is to set yourself up for success with an environment tailored towards what you’re trying to accomplish. The goal is to NOT use your willpower, because you’re not forced to use it by temptations in your environment. Instead of having your environment battle with your willpower, we need to utilize these two things in tandem, just like the Michael Jordan & Scottie Pippen analogy I used before.
If you are consistently living with a healthy environment, you won’t need to use your willpower. That way when things get shaken up and you call on your willpower for help, you actually have the strength to keep your eyes on the prize.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” So let’s prep our lives to be healthy.
- Prepare your meals in advance.
- Keep only healthy items in your refrigerator and pantry.
- Hang out with friends who also value their health.
- Be positive and friendly to everyone that you meet.
- Work your hardest in everything that you do.
These are easy ways to create the environment you need to meet your goals.
Don’t rely on willpower anymore. You’re stronger than that.
1) “An Epidemic of Obesity: U.S. Obesity Trends.” The Nutrition Source. Harvard University: School of Public Health. Web. 2 Apr. 2015. <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/an-epidemic-of-obesity/>.
2) Baumeister, Roy, Ellen Bratslavsky, Mark Muraven, and Dianne Tice. “Ego Depletion: Is the Active Self a Limited Resource?” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Web. 2 Apr. 2015. <https://www.psychologytoday.com/files/attachments/584/baumeisteretal1998.pdf>.