Jamison Hill

The Journey of a Chronically Fatigued Exercise Addict 

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A Convo With Fitness Expert Brad Gouthro

Posted on September 29, 2011 at 7:05 PM Comments comments (2)

10 Questions With Brad Gouthro

Author of Awaken The Abs Within – 7 Secrets to Lose Belly Fat

 

               

 

1.

Q: Tell my readers a little bit about yourself including your fitness and nutrition background.

A:  As a kid I was always involved in competitive sports. Even though I was a decent athlete, I was always self-conscience of my body. I had one of those hybrid body types where I was skinny all over EXCEPT my pudgy belly. This low self-esteem turned me into the kid who would never be seen with his shirt off. Fortunately, one of the things I did have going for me was my ambition and drive to continuously improve in all aspects of my life. The area I needed most help with was my self-esteem. This began my journey to become properly educated in health, fitness, and nutrition.

I began training over 12 years ago. But believe me, I wasn’t training SMART for those entire 12 years. I became so confused and frustrated with all the conflicting information and lack of results that I almost gave up. I then had an epiphany. Why should I listen to other people’s advice when I was in better shape than most of them (and that wasn’t saying much)? I finally realized that I needed ONE (and only one) mentor that was getting the results that I wanted. Once I found this mentor and got properly educated in fitness and nutrition, my body transformation literally took off. I’m currently a certified personal trainer and a certified nutrition and wellness specialist with clients all over the world. I’m owner of Brad Gouthro Fitness, a publishing and training company that specializes in helping people lose belly fat, build six pack abs, and live life to their fullest potential. I was voted one of the top trainers based on my nutrition and exercise techniques, and was featured as a cover model on the Lean Muscle Hybrid fitness system. In Awaken The Abs Within – 7 Secrets To Lose Belly Fat, I share these exact secrets that I use everyday that transformed my physique.


2.

Q: It seems like every male wants six pack abs and all females want a flat stomach. Since so many people want it, why do so few have it? In other words, why is it so hard for people to get six pack abs and a flat stomach?

A: To be honest, it’s really simple to get a flat stomach and six pack abs. However, ‘simple’ doesn’t always mean ‘easy’. The secrets that I share in Awaken The Abs Within, are not that hard to do. It just takes discipline with your diet to eat natural unprocessed foods, increased intensity in your workouts, and a real desire to make a positive change in your lifestyle. You need to believe that you can do it. There are countless real life situations where people in much worse conditions have overcome all odds to lose fat and totally turn their lifestyle around. And that’s what this is all about. It’s a lifestyle! It’s not a short-term fad diet/program. It takes commitment, but everyone has the potential to do it.



3. 

Q: In your program you say low calorie diets, excessive cardio, and countless crunches ARE NOT the way to a flat stomach and six pack abs. Your approach would surprise a lot of people. Can you explain this further?

A: In the Awaken The Abs Within program, cardio and abs training ARE a component of the program. But it’s not the main piece of the puzzle that most people should be focusing the majority of their time on. This is where too many people get confused. To find your abs you first need to lose the excessive belly fat covering them. Focusing the majority of your time on crunches will not burn enough calories to burn belly fat. To get the most out of your workouts, people should be focusing on multi-joint exercises that recruit more than one muscle. This will stimulate the greatest fat burning and hormonal response in the body, sparks your metabolism at a higher rate, and thus burns more overall calories.

After you focus the majority of your time on these multi-joint exercises, you can then spend the final 5-10 minutes directly strengthening your abs. The point is, abdominal training should be a smaller portion of your overall training session.

With regards to cardio, too many people (especially females) are missing out on the golden nugget of adding lean muscle mass. Lean muscle is the metabolic driver of the body. This simply means the more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you’ll burn throughout the day. If you’re a female, you WILL NOT grow He-Man like muscles by lifting weights. Females don’t produce enough testosterone to grow large muscle like males.

Excessive cardio can also catabolize (breakdown) muscle tissue. This will slow your metabolism and essentially creates a smaller fat version of your original self.

Finally, one of the most important aspects of the program is diet. Most people think in order to lose fat they need to starve themselves. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When you starve yourself, you’re actually creating a fat storing environment within your body. Essentially your body enters starvation mode and holds on to everything. Your body then attacks your muscle cells, thus reducing lean muscle tissue, which decreases your metabolism and throws your fat burning hormones and enzymes out of whack. For optimal fat loss, you need to consistently eat healthy whole foods.

If you’re looking to get lean, focus your time on eating the right TYPES of foods, in the right QUANTITIES, at the right TIMES. And make sure you spend the majority of your exercise time performing the right kind of multi-joint exercises and compliment that with a few minutes of ab work and a few sessions of cardio per week.

I show you all the right types of fat loss foods, full body and abdominal workouts, and cardio programs to burn belly fat and much more in the Awaken The Abs Within program.


4.

Q: Can you really get “Abs in 6 minutes” like those infomercial products claim? 

A:  I get so frustrated by these ridiculous claims. It gives people a false sense of hope that always lets them down. As a fitness professional, it is my passion to make people aware that health is all about making the right choices. These choices create your lifestyle. I don’t promise my clients quick fixes. I provide them with a plan that will create a healthy lifestyle for them, if they commit to it over the long-term. One of the most challenging things people need to overcome is the desire for instant gratification. People need to remember it didn’t just take one week for them to get fat, so it’s not going to just take one week to lose fat. Consistency, discipline, intensity, and a positive attitude are the cornerstones of creating a healthy lifestyle. This doesn’t just take 6 minutes.



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5. 

Q:  How many times per week do you recommend people train their abs? Should people change their abs routine?

A: It really depends on your current situation and goals. As mentioned earlier, direct training of your abs is just a small piece of the overall puzzle. Once you get your body fat levels low enough, you can begin to create more definition by directly training your abs. I personally, train my abs 4-5 times a week and continuously train them using different variations, reps, sets, etc. However, for someone that is carrying a lot of body fat over their abs, I recommend they spend more time performing multi-joint exercises to create a higher caloric burn.


6. 

Q: How important is diet in getting a lean stomach and six pack abs? Can you provide any diet tips/insights from your book?

A: Diet is the area that most people are confused about. Getting abs is 80% diet and 20% exercise. This is why I’ve devoted such a large percentage of this book to nutrition. I always say, “Abs are made in the kitchen…not in the gym”. I see many of the same people in the gym everyday. But the thing is, their body never changes. Even though they may be working out hard at the gym, they probably have terrible eating habits. In Awaken The Abs Within, I’ve created a unique nutrition principle called TQT. It stands for eating the right TYPES of food, in the right QUANTITIES, at the right TIMES. Most people will be surprised at the quantity of food they should be eating to lose belly fat. You will never starve on this program. Following the TQT principles outlined in this book will ensure you keep your hormones balanced and create a fat burning environment within your body.

In this program I also provide a full list of the best fat burning foods including their protein, carb, fat, and calorie breakdown. I provide a sample meal plan and take you step by step through how to create your very own customized meal plan. I also show you how to calculate the quantity of food you should be eating at each meal based on your current body characteristics and lifestyle requirements. Lastly, I discuss when certain foods should be eaten and the types of foods to avoid at other times. By following the principles outlined in Awaken The Abs Within, it will take all the confusion out of proper nutrition planning. Most importantly, these strategies are implementable over the long-term and can be apart of your everyday lifestyle.

My main nutrition tip is to eat natural whole foods. You’d be amazed at the results you can get from adding more lean protein and dropping processed junk food and soda out of your diet.




7. 

Q:  Do your 7 secrets to lose belly fat apply to both males and females? What about beginners and more advanced fitness enthusiasts?

A: Yes. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, beginner or advanced. There is something for everyone in Awaken The Abs Within. I include over 30 weeks of workouts in this book. If you’re a beginner, you can start from week one. You don’t even need a gym membership to do these workouts. If you’re more advanced, you can skip right to the intermediate or advanced workouts. All of these workouts are designed to stimulate the body to burn fat and build lean muscle.


8. 

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

A: Fitness and nutrition is my passion. I live and breathe this stuff everyday. More importantly, I understand the confusion and frustration that so many people are going through when it comes to fitness and nutrition. I experienced it first hand during my journey to a healthier lifestyle. Based on questions I receive daily from my clients, my social networks, and people at the gym, it’s apparent there is mass confusion surrounding fitness and nutrition. To help clear up all this confusion, I’ve literally downloaded everything that has worked for me and my clients in this book. It’s my hope that other people can take what I’ve learned and apply it to their current situation to create a healthier lifestyle.

9. 

Q: There are a lot of fitness and nutrition books/programs on the market. What can people expect from “Awaken The Abs Within – 7 Steps To Lose Belly Fat”, what makes it different, and how can they get a copy of the book/program?

A: I don’t make any false claims. I’m very upfront that Awaken The Abs Within creates a lifestyle that is implementable over the long-term. I promise, you won’t starve, you won’t be at the gym for 4 hours a day, and you won’t be stuck eating only celery sticks. You can accomplish incredible things by having a good balance of exercise, a kitchen full of healthy whole foods, and most importantly, a positive can-do attitude. I teach you how to accomplish all aspects of this in this book. To this day, I still incorporate all 7 secrets into my everyday lifestyle and I love the maintainable results that I’m getting.

You can pick up a copy of the full Awaken The Abs Within e-book program at www.awakentheabswithin.com. There’s also a 60 day money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with all the hard work that I’ve spent over the last year writing this book.




10. 

Q:  Finally, what are your top 3 pieces of advice to lose belly fat and awaken the abs within that you’d like to leave my readers with?

A: Even though Awaken The Abs Within is packed with tips and strategies to lose belly fat and get a flat stomach, here are my 3 top tips:

1. Eat whole foods. Get the processed foods out of your kitchen. Don’t even bring them into your house. This especially includes soda.

2. Make the most of your time in the gym. Always try to improve on the previous workout by doing one more rep, increasing the weight, or increasing the intensity of your routine. Always be improving!

3. Believe you can do it. I know it sounds cheesy but it’s so incredibly important. Find people getting the results you want (I hope I can be that person) and study what they’re doing in their lifestyle.

5 Keys to Obtain Your Ultimate Fitness Physique

Posted on August 18, 2011 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Dieting can be a tedious, torturous part of your lifestyle, but it certainly does not need to be. It might be as simple as limiting your consumption of “sweets”; or it could be as complicated as measuring out every gram of food you consume and then converting those measurements to calories. The most efficient way to diet and obtain your ultimate physique is by using the following five keys.


Organization

First of all, you need to organize the goals of your diet. You should establish short term goals like: “I am going to loose 5 pounds in two weeks” or “I am going to drop my body fat by two percent in fifteen days.” Long term or overall goals should also be established: “I am going to loose thirty pounds by the end of the year” or “I am going to lower my body fat to seven percent.” Once these goals have been established, it is time to lay out your plan.

 




Planning

 

It is most important that you plan out your daily caloric intake and macronutrient ratios to ensure that your body receives the proper nutrients that it requires, ultimately maintaining muscle while shedding fat, which is the primary goal of any smart weight-loss diet. There are two options when planning out your daily food intake. You can plan out exactly what foods you will eat and their corresponding gram measurements before you begin dieting, in what is called a meal plan. This is an easy to follow option that simply requires you to do a small amount of prep work for easy food measuring and making. The other option is to measure out your food as you go and record it in a food log.


Mental Preparation

The third and possibly most important ingredient to a successful dieting experience is the mental preparation. Discipline is the key to any dieting - you must be able to resist those tempting foods that you crave so much. This might not seem that hard to some, but anybody with a sweet tooth knows how hard it is to resist temptation. Showing discipline is the primary reason why the mental aspect of dieting is so critical. Everybody is human and is bound to “cheat” in one form or another when dieting; yet it is those that show enough discipline to get back on track and continue with their diet plan who will eventually achieve their ultimate body.


Implementation

The Implementation of your diet plan might sound easy compared to the previous keys, but underestimating the implementation of your diet can come back to haunt you. When you implement your diet plan, it is also important that you be willing to adapt your plan if circumstances change. Life can often be unexpected and you can’t afford for your nutrition to suffer because of it.


Evaluation

When you eventually come to the end of your dieting cycle, it is important to record your final results both by statistics and by photo. Since the start and finish of your diet are the most important points in recording your progress for comparison, it is also suggested that you periodically record your progress in between to fully display your transformation. The evaluation key is essential in your start-to-finish comparison and to your success with future diet plans. Just because your diet is over doesn’t mean your work is done - use your diet not only to look good, but also as a learning experience to improve upon in the future.

Visualize Your Way to Improved Fitness

Posted on June 15, 2011 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

A positive practice that is definitely worth passing on is visualization. Everyone should use visualization. Envisioning our world within our mind can be irreplaceable to our success. In relation to exercise start with the big aspects first. Think about what you ultimately want to accomplish through exercise then work backwards. From your ultimate, long-term goal, envision the smaller (short term) goals to stay focused. Then, think about what you are going to do today to move closer to those goals. What will you do right now, this very moment to assist these steps - it can be as simple as making a commitment to workout or eat healthier. Start-off right, start NOW!


Visualization is so important to successful exercise. If it is overlooked or neglected working out will become like trying to hit a baseball with one hand- it’s really difficult! Starting out, if you do end up stalling, sputtering or even stopping, have piece of mind that you can always start over - just like a mulligan in golf or a do-over. If you have trouble starting, constantly getting discouraged, take some time, a day or so, regroup and start fresh once you are ready. Time may be continuous, but fitness can always restart and it will - most likely many times. The more persistent you are, especially in the beginning, the less failure becomes a possibility. Don’t let yourself give up or be content with only a few workouts. Think of a track runner at the beginning of a race, they never sprint off the line, stop after 500 feet, walk away and are content with doing so. They always want to finish the race, even if it is in last place. You should take on this mentality with exercise. Don’t just sprint off the start line, then stop after a week content with what you have accomplished. Finish the race! Don’t worry about what place you will finish compared to others. Just finish and you will be able to look back at where you came from and say, “I’m so glad I didn’t stop way back there!”

Fight Allergies - Don't Suppress Your Symptoms!

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)

There are all sorts of allergic reactions out there - from peanuts to pups - the most common pollen. With beautiful weather and plants comes pollen in the air and in our airways. While, seasonal allergies are by no means limited to pollen, most allergies seem to have similar reactions. When we encounter an allergic reaction caused by foreign pathogen invaders. our histamine compound triggers an inflammatory response, which often leads to the sore throats and sinus' that we endure.


What Are The Remedies?


Anti-Histamines:


The most popular remedy in our society, Anti-histamines are very generic. I'm sure you have seen them on TV or even taken them yourself. Zyrtec (Ctirizine), Allegra (Fexo Fenadine) are common anti-histamines that of course show allergy relief. What you may not know, however, is that the reason they show success in reliving allergic reactions is because they suppress our body's natural responses. Histamines are released in response to allergens, which in turn sets off an inflammatory immune response. While, this response is the culprit behind many of our symptoms, it also is necessary to let us know something is wrong in our body. Without it our bodies are masked and we are out of touch with our symptoms - our natural responses. This is not to say that anti-histamines are all bad, there are natural options like Stinging Needle.


Natural Remedies:


Are great alternatives to Anti-histamine medication. While, some natural remedies do inhibit histamines (Stinging Needle) there are many that fight allergies without blocking immune responses' from our body. Regardless, any natural remedy is better than artificial medication, at least in my opinion. Butterbur is a great natural histamine non-inhibitor. It has a vast number of other uses ranging from upset stomach to insomnia. Its properties have been shown to decrease inflammation, thus subduing allergic reactions.


Another natural remedy is Biminne, which is a wide mix of several different Chinese herbs including ginkgo, horny goat weed and astragalus. This herb mixture has been shown to help sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and many other allergy symptoms.


Finally, Bee Propolis can be used to treat allergy symptoms because of it's anti-inflammatory properties. Personally, I have been using it off and on since I was a kid and have found it to be very beneficial. It is a residue like substance gathered by bees to seal their hive, a sort of bee stucko if you will. On the note of bees, some say that eating local honey can also help allergies, a type of homeopathic treatment that must be sourced locally otherwise it won't be effective. Local bees, local pollen, local you comprise local allergy relief. One final note - if you are allergic to bee stings it may not be a good idea to expose yourself to these remedies as they can cause a more severe allergic reaction.

Be Outgoing With Your Exercise

Posted on May 13, 2011 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (2)

Do you consider yourself an outgoing person? 


If you do I'm sure you are: 

 

  1. Energetic in social settings
  2. Motivated to meet new friends 
  3. Lead and organize social gatherings with your friends  


The funny thing is all of these also apply to exercise. In fact, the whole idea of being outgoing translates to exercise. No, I don't mean go to the gym and talk someone's ear off. Being outgoing with exercise is not about being an extrovert, it's simply about taking the initituive to burn calories. I'm talking about being: 

  1. Energetic in workout settings 
  2. Motivated to meet (learn) new exercises 
  3. Lead and organize group workouts with your friends 


Being energetic while working out is as much of a physical state as it is a mindset . Physical energy is provided by sleep and adequate nutrition. The energetic mindset is all about enthuasism. Push away those lazy thoughts of "I'll workout later" or "It's been a long day," and get hyped to burn some calories. The way people talk about procrastination makes it sound like a disease - something that they can do nothing about and is inccurable. I am guilty of this just as much as the next person, but we really must realize we aren't helpless. Push aside those stalling thoughts - remember we control our thoughts, which control our actions. Be outgoing- get energized to workout!


Getting motivated to learn new exercises should be easy. What is more motivating than trying something new? It's hard to get excited to do the same workout routine you have done four days a week for the last year, so switch it up. Be outgoing- go look up new exercises online or in a fitness publication!


Being a leader is by no means an easy job, but it surely has big rewards. Getting a group of friends or coworkers together to workout can be complicated and frustrating, but think about it's pay out. You get to better your body and lifestyle while bonding with friends. Gathering your friends for a fitness class or just going on a group run can be so advantageous to the body and mind. Eventually, your spirits will be high and weigh low. Be outgoing - gather a group to exercise! 

 

Break Your Fast!

Posted on May 6, 2011 at 11:01 PM Comments comments (0)

The importance of eating breakfast is a fairly common piece of knowledge. Still, an alarming number of people neglect this essential meal. Let's breakdown the word: Breakfast. There's BREAK and FAST- what is the purpose of the meal? It is to feed your body- ending the fast that our body has been in while sleeping. If someone sleeps eight hours a night, that is eight hours her body is going without food.  is there another point in a 24 hour day that our body goes without food for as long? That's right there isn't! 


The thought of not eating breakfast is horrible. This mistake translates into additional fasting time for our body, which it does not need. The longer that our body goes without food the longer it is deprived of nutrients that it relys on so greatly. A solid breakfast should provide significant amounts of all macronutrients to our body. This is essential to our body's needs and setting the nutritional tone for the rest of our day.


What is a good breakfast?


While, there are plenty of acceptable variations of a proper breakfast, none get much better or simpler than eggs, toast and greens. This meal supplies adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Ideally, the eggs should be half whole eggs and the rest just the whites. This separation will reduce calories and cholesterol, while still packing a protein punch. The toast should be whole-grain for sustainable energy and lower blood sugar. The greens are simple, just add a lot of them. Not only is this a well-balanced meal to start the day off, but it is very quick and easy to make- five minutes is all it takes to make. Do you have five minutes to start your day off the right way?



Food Associations

Posted on April 30, 2011 at 7:29 PM Comments comments (0)

"Food is the only art form that truly nourishes."


Almost everybody can agree that food is attractive because it tastes good. Yes, it has other attractions like appearance and nourishment , but taste is really what makes us put it in our mouth. If it doesn't taste good it is very unlikely that we will put food in our mouth.


Unfortunately, most of the best tasting foods are also the most unhealthy or at least calorie costly. If this isn't discouraging enough to our diets, many of these great tasting, figure ruining foods are mingled with events that we enjoy and look forward to most.


Think about it... Weddings are often the social event of the year for people. Which, subsequently turns into the calorie packing day they will never forget. Icing heavy cake, fried hor d'oeuvres and alcohol to top it all off  are staples at weddings.


Baseball games are another great example. I love them! Nothing better than sitting in the stands watching a great game with beautiful weather. Until you buy a soda, nachos and a hot dog, which not only cots 25 dollars, but also 2,500 calories. The even more diet deceptive aspect of sporting events is that they can be enjoyed at almost any time in the comfort of our home with all the fatty foods our taste buds can handle at a cheaper price than a stadium.


Okay, so you get the point- eating can take the fun out of food and entertainment. But it doesn't have to, we can, first, enjoy these indulgent foods in moderation with responsible portions. Sharing nachos at a game or a piece of cake at a wedding is much more calorie conservative than filling your stomach to the point your pants button needs to be loosened. If this is still racking up too many calories than make small sacrifices. Instead of eating the most unhealthy food offered at these events go for something with less calories. Eating a salad instead of garlic fries isn't going to make the experience any less enjoyable. And if there are no healthy substitutions offered- bring some. I can't imagine the bride getting pissed at a wedding because a guest brought healthy food for everyone to enjoy. It's all about being calorie conscious- you don't have to be the Mother Teresa of good nutrition, just make a concerned effort to put good food and low calories in your body. If you can accomplish this you will be all right! 

Walking Exercise

Posted on April 25, 2011 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (0)

When was the last time you took a nice long walk? 


Whether you workout regularly or live a sedentary lifestyle, walking is a great activity to take up. Walking is fundamental to exercise and life in general. Think about it... What is the movement you perform most often? 


Walking!

We are always walking here or there or somewhere. 


Walking is a great compliment to regular, more intense exercise. If you have sore muscles take a leisurely stroll though your neighborhood or even better- a local scenic path to loosen up those tight muscles. An elevated form of walking is hiking. There is nothing better than roaming a beautiful rugged terrain while burning some extra calories. Taking a walk or hike on the cliffs above the beach or through a towering redwood forest won't even feel like calorie burning when you are captivated by your surroundings. For this reason walking/hiking is great for those already at a good conditioning level- it burns extra calories without the drag.


For those less conditioned, walking is equally as important if not essential. Going for a walk first thing in the morning or after dinner or both are great for starting your quest for fitness. Those that are deconditioned can walk everyday without the worry of over-training- it's the easiest form of exercise, with the lowest injury risk and it can be the most leisurely. 


Going for a walk with a friend is great for catching up with each other while staying active. Instead of chatting over coffee on the couch, get active, talk and walk. Kill two birds with one stone. 

Whether you walk to get in shape, stay in shape or just burn extra calories while exploring your surroundings, you will be glad you did! I have never heard someone comeback from a walk and say, "Damn, I wish I wouldn't have done that! Why didn't I stay on the couch and eat a donut?" 


Fit and Fat?

Posted on April 16, 2011 at 10:34 PM Comments comments (0)

Can someone be fat and fit?

This is a question that seems to be coming up a lot lately in the fitness world. First, off I want to clarify that this post is in no way intended to single anyone out or offend them- so I hope it doesn't! With that said, fat is a very subjective term to define- the feds use a measure based on height and weight (Weight(kg)/Height(m) squared) alone to decide if you are underweight, overweight, obese, or extremely obese. This is a big an assumption in my opinion, the center for disease control and prevention (CDC) even says, "BMI is used because for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat." The words to point out in that sentence are MOST PEOPLE (assumption!). While, someone who is obese might not consider themselves fat, someone who is underweight might strongly disagree.

Still, the question remains, what is FAT? 

Yes, everyone has their opinion, but there needs to be a standard, so  the feds presumptuous BMI scale is often used. As a side note, if you are serious about getting into shape I suggest using body fat percent as a weight loss and body composition tool- I consider it more accurate and beneficial. The issue I have with BMI is that it does not take into account the muscle you have on your body. Basically, if your weight as a whole is larger than what is typical for your height than you are considered overweight or worse. But what about bodybuilders who weigh 300lbs with less than 5% body fat? According to the CDC they are actually obese. What about a marathoner who is 6'1", 140lbs- they are underweight. These must be the exceptions to "most people."  

Alright, so you get the point- we all have different, often skewed visions of what fat is. However, I think most of us can agree that if someone's belly sticks out farther than your shoes and their arms jiggle when they wave, it should be considered fat.

For the longest time I automatically thought overweight people were unhealthy and unfit. That is, until I read Lynne Cox's book Swimming to Antarctica. It is an autobiographical account about her very accomplished long distance swims. Just hearing about her feats of athleticism, swimming in 32 degree water and setting new records for swimming the English Channel, I had no idea she was significantly overweight. She has shown athleticism that many didn't know existed and her weight did no harm, in fact it benefited her. The quote on the front cover says it best, "She is Lance Armstrong with body fat."

It is examples like Lynne Cox that make me believe that overweight people can be just as fit as those with a normal weight. However, being overweight does come with many health risk factors like diabetes, heart disease and orthopedic problems. For these reasons I say it is possible to be overweight and fit, but ultimate health will always be hindered by excess weight. 



Clean Drinks

Posted on April 13, 2011 at 5:59 PM Comments comments (0)

It has become common knowledge that “empty” calories are not good- we all know this. The reason these calories get a bad rap is because they essentially have no nutritional value- they are “empty” of nutrients. As many of us know alcohol is put in this class of calories. Big shocker- alcohol is not the best for you! This is especially true in regards to living a healthy, fit lifestyle. With that said even the most hardcore fitness freak enjoys a nice, cold and refreshing alcoholic beverage now and then.

The truth of the matter is that alcohol costs our diet dearly. For every gram of alcohol we consume our calorie intake goes up by seven calories. That means every time we drink a shot of our favorite alcohol we will be lucky to stay under 100 calories, that doesn’t include any of the mixes or soda that make alcoholic drinks taste better. More calorie costly drinks like margaritas or beer can be double the calories of a simple shot of hard alcohol.

Besides basically supplying zero nutrition to our bodies, alcohol can be very damaging to the liver- especially when consumed in excess over time. The issue of empty calories for fitness lovers becomes focused on excess calories, which do cause weight gain. From this perspective the term “beer belly” suddenly becomes a reality. Research shows that with the possible exception of red wine, most alcohols lead to weight gain and more specifically fat accumulating around the midsection.

How can fitness fanatics splurge on an alcoholic drink and not end up owing the rest of the weekend to time spent on the treadmill making up for it?

If only there was a way to enjoy an occasional drink or two and not negate all the hard work put in obtaining that impressive physique of yours. Well, maybe there is… Moderation. One key to having a drink without diminishing your results as you may have imagined is controlled moderation. For some, having two drinks every day of the week is considered moderation. Ultimately, YOU have to decide how many drinks a week or day you can get away with while avoiding a substantial caloric imprint. I will tell you right now, however, two drinks each day, seven days a week is going to leave a mark, whether you believe it will or not. Another strategy is to limit the calories of the drinks you allow yourself to have. In other words, drink low calorie alcoholic drinks. Yes, there is such a thing- light beer, vodka tonic, and smaller portion drinks are good examples. A small glass of chardonnay is going to be way less damaging to your diet than a pitcher of stout beer. If you are making your own drink use low or no calorie naturally sweetened beverages to mix instead of calorie expensive soda or juice.

Of course, It is important to relax and enjoy yourself after focusing on your workouts, but don’t let over-indulgence cancel out your hard work. Limit your alcohol consumption as much as necessary and when you do indulge make it as calorie conservative as possible.


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