On this page you will find advice given not only by myself but by other nutritionists and personal trainers as well to help you avoid the mistakes that are very common to make.
Avoid many common mistakes and learn about common experiences with this advice by myself and professionals
KEYS TO LOSING FAT AND GETTING LEAN
Eat vegetables and protein with every meal
Avoid liquid calories (counting liquid calories as calorie intake)
Drink a gallon of water a day (this will help you avoid drinking sugary drinks
Try to workout everyday (or at least 3 times a week)
Have a cheat day once a week (this allows you to look forward to something)
Track your calories (I recommend using MyFitnessPal)
STOP OVERTHINKING WHAT YOUR EATING
It's not so much what you're eating as much as it is how much of it you're eating
You may be wondering "what do you mean it's about how much I'm eating and not what I'm eating?". Well don't get me wrong, I do not think anyone should be eating or drinking bad food and beverage items, but it's also important to realize that everyone is different. For example if you're just starting your weight loss journey, eating bad, junk foods at all is only going to set you back. If you've been seeing immense improvements and differences in your physique then you don't need to be so strict. This segments is solely for those who call themselves "foodies", people who love food and enjoy it. You can still enjoy the food that you like, you just need to consume them in smaller quantities. For example if you have a sweet tooth, rather than eating a whole bag of candy, eat half or a quarter of a bag of candy. If you like pizza, there are a few things you can do in variation to still enjoy it. One thing you can do is make the pizza yourself, this limits the amount of grease and other unnecessary added ingredients. Another thing you can do is instead of eating 4 slices of pizza, eat 2 slices and a salad. One thing to be careful of is this "take it or leave it" attitude, this is when someone has one bad snack, meal, or day of eating and they say something similar to "oh i just ate one bad thing so now why should I continue this diet/lifestyle. I ruined it all with this one thing." No they didn't. They simply didn't have the discipline or practice of being able to say enough is enough. As you apply the strategy I had suggested you will not only be eating what you want in moderation but you will also develop a discipline that will last you a lifetime. You may have enough discipline to just eat the serving size of some foods.
MIKE O'HEARN SEMINAR SERIES (PART I)
A number of videos listed below from Mike O'Hearn's Seminar Series
Here are a few videos from Mike O'Hearn's seminar on youtube in which he talks and discusses with new up-and-coming personal trainers. This series is a great informational opportunity and a great way to learn about what you're doing in the gym. Check out the other three parts below.
SEMINAR SERIES (PART II)
Check out part two of the Mike O'Hearn Seminar Series
SEMINAR SERIES (PART III)
Part three of the Mike O'Hearn Seminar Series
SEMINAR SERIES (PART IV)
Part four of the Mike O'Hearn Seminar Series
WHERE DOES THE FAT GO WHEN WE LOSE IT?
Where exactly does the fat go when we loss it? Does it just disappear into thin air, or is there a science to it?
Turns out, like everything else, there is a science to it. Going into a caloric deficit to lose weight and fat through change in nutrition and exercise, our fat cells contain esters called triglycerides which are released for energy purposes. Our bodies have consistent chemical reactions throughout the day, for example, oxygen breaks those triglycerides into carbon dioxide and water. In simplest terms, 84% of the fat is released through carbon dioxide when we breathe and the other 16% is released through our urine, waste, tears and sweat.
DO NOT PERFORM SQUATS FOR HAMSTRINGS!!!!!
Squats are a quad focused exercise. Although it is a compound movement, meaning it works multiple muscles at once, the squat primarily works your Glutes, Quadriceps, and Adductors. Your Hamstrings are used as a stabilizing muscle. You can feel your hamstrings work because of their dynamic stabilizing function. That pressure and feeling you have in your hamstrings is your hamstrings working to stabilize your knees from the counteracting pressure from your Quadriceps. Many people often believe that they are working their Hamstrings as a primary muscle based on how the movement feels, when in reality that muscle you feel is your Adductor, closely located to your hamstrings. So if you want a stronger squat, you should consider using the Adductor machine.
THE TWO TYPES OF DISEASES
Chronic (Noncommunicable) vs Acute Diseases
There are generally two types of diseases, chronic/noncommunicable (ex. not contagious) and acute diseases. Acute diseases are those that generally occur suddenly and can be healed or treated in a short relatively short period of time. An example of an acute disease is getting sick, having a cold, or having the flu. Chronic diseases tend to be of long duration and are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental, and behavioral factors. Most noncommunicable diseases are cardiovascular (such as heart attacks). The parameters of a chronic disease are that they take a longer duration to cure (or may not be curable at all), lasts 3 months or more, and generally cannot be prevented by vaccines nor do they just disappear over time. It's important for everyone to know that chronic diseases can be avoided with healthy nutritional and consistent exercise.
Are there different benefits to the temperature of your showers?
The answer the question above is yes. Cold and warm/hot showers have different health and recovery benefits. Studies have shown that some benefits to taking cold showers, as uncomfortable as they may be, include; decreased inflammation and swelling, reduced muscle soreness and fatigue, lower cortisol levels, improved circulation, and reduced pain. Other studies have shown that colder conditions result in (not all of which are beneficial); increased metabolism, increased heart rate and blood pressure, increased levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, lower levels of cortisol (stress hormone). On the other side of things, hotter conditions have been shown to improve cardiovascular heath, reduced muscle soreness and fatigue, improved brain health, better blood flow to joints and muscles, improved sleep.
As with anything else, there is always a risk that comes along with excessive use. Although water temperature can be extremely therapeutic, if you stay in a cold shower or cold conditions for too long it can result in a decreased breathing rate, a drop in blood pressure, heartbeat irregularities, and decreased consciousness. Water that is too hot can result in burns and/or heat stroke.
QUESTIONS ABOUT OBESITY ANSWERED
Questions and answers about obesity that should help with your understanding of obesity
Q: Is obesity a personal trouble or public issue?
A: Both a personal trouble and a public issue
Q: What has changed over time to contribute to the so-called "obesity epidemic"?
A: Access to nutritious foods, the means to afford them, the time required to prepare them
Q: How do different cultural values, beliefs, and traditions affect obesity rates?
A: Observing what another culture regards as normal and natural tells us that our values are not universal, but are rather the results of naturalizing and normalizing processes that render them so. There are also populations that are more fat-tolerant and/or fat positive than others
Q: Is society organized in ways to contribute to obesity?
A: Food related practices, inclinations, and beliefs, differences in preferred body types, and the influence of the media
Q: How do we know who is obese?
A: Obesity is defined as an individuals BMI of 30 or greater (calculated by weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared)
Q: Does BMI show if someone is healthy or not?
A: No, BMI is simply a rough estimate of someones obesity level based on their weight relative to their height. It does not measure a person's healthiness given that an individual (for example an athlete) who has an immense amount of muscle (leading to them weighing more) would then be considered obese but have very low body fat percentages.
HISTORY OF THE TREADMILL
Let's just say there's a reason they call them torture devices...
In the 19th century, the treadmill was used to punish English prisoners. Before social movements and uprisings took place, the go-to punishment for the English prison system was either execution and/or deportation. Social movements managed to fight for a change of punishment and so the treadmill was created. Prisons were remodeled and installed was the first model of what would soon become the treadmill. Originally it was a 24 stoked, high, and long cylinder in which the prisoners would walk on tirelessly for nearly 6 hours. Similarly to the modern-day treadmill, if you don't continue to walk/jog, you would fall. As this abnormally large wheel would turn, it would also work as a production machine, pumping water, crush grain, and power windmills, hence the name "tread-mills". Eventually this form of punishment was seen as being too brutal a form of punishment and so it was banned. Later on in the 1960s-1970s the United States saw its first "jogging craze" with the treadmill being the frontrunner of this new form of cardiovascular exercise.
Part I: Stress
Growing old is a privilege, a lot of people don't get the opportunity to live a long life. And although growing old is a privilege it is also a responsibility we have to ourselves. In order to grow old and enjoy our children's lives and our grandchildren's lives, and perhaps even our great great-grandchildren's lives...we have to live a HEALTHY life of our own. Inspired by the Disney+ series Limitless with Chris Hemsworth (link below), this 6 part longevity series is focused on helping you live the longest, healthiest life possible, providing the science and activities that will guide you to the keys of longevity.
The first thing we're going to focus on is the relationship stress has with longevity. When we experience stress, our brains sense that and flip a switch. A flood of hormones enter our bloodstream after our nerves send our entire system into overdrive. We experience and increase in our breathing speed, our heart beats faster, we feel wired. When our body feels like it's experiencing a dangerous situation, the energy serge we experience prepares us to either fight or run away (Fight or Flight). When our bodies then feel like we are away from danger, our stress circuit should switch back off. But when we continue to experience stress from our jobs, relationships, school, etc... The hormone cortisol, keeps flowing and our fight or flight system doesn't fully stop running. As time goes on, we get burnt out which can lead to high blood pressure, a malfunctioning immune system, and elevated blood sugar, all of which increases the risk of deadly disease.
One thing that can help with our stress, is positive self-talk. Positive self-talk allows us to recognize that our fight or flight system responds not only to the outside environment but also within ourselves (our emotions and thoughts). When we feel under pressure and we believe that we can't cope with that stress our brains hit the panic button. We tell our fight or flight circuit to turn on and prepare for the worst circumstances. When our body anticipates injury, our arteries tighten, sending blood in towards our core to prevent us from bleeding to death. Our body is simply trying to protect us. So what's the problem? Well, the problem is that with less blood reaching our muscles and our brain our mental and physical strength flag. By thinking more positively though, we open our blood vessels up again allowing us to find the energy to fight and power through.
The more stress we experience, the faster we breathe, the faster we breathe, the more stress we experience. It's a horrible cycle, but if we can practice breathing slowly and deeply, the nerve fibers in our chest will detect the change in movement and flood our brains with signals to calm down resulting in a short circuiting our fight or flight system. Everything gets dialed down within our bodies including heart rate, stress hormone, and anxiety. Mindful Meditation in another helpful technique that not only helps us feel less stressed in the present moment, but when done regularly, can alter our stress response as a whole. The network within our brain that's responsible for our fight or flight circuit is instinctively hypersensitive in order to keep us safe. The problem is, the pressures and stress we experience daily can set it off. Scientists believe that about 8 weeks of regular mindful meditation can rewire connections within our brain, leading to a less likely overreaction to things that stress us out.
Some ways we can keep our stress levels under control is by practicing mindful meditation 3 times a week, practice box-breathing when feeling stressed out, and trying positive self talk when we feel under pressure and tense.
Part II: Shock
Although ideally our bodies look to stay in a comfortable temperature to keep healthy for a longer period of time, new science shows that embracing extreme heat and extreme cold can force our body to upgrade it's defenses and enhance our internal repair systems. This can lead to the decrease of our risk for certain diseases and potentially even add years to our lives.
There are scientists who believe that manipulating our body's response to the cold can have huge long term health benefits. The older we get, our body's built-in defense system could get trigger happy. The blood vessels within our body have an unwelcome surge of immune cells causing collateral damage. This could also cause inflammaging which is the breakdown of in tissues and organs, fueling two of the biggest killers in modern day society: heart disease and diabetes. Scientific theorists believe that dialing down our responses and reactions to the cold can help reset that rogue immune system, cutting down the risk of deadly disease in our older ages.
Many of us would like to think that we look healthy externally. Internally though, within our cells, loads of molecular junk piles up from the wear and tear of aging. All that "trash" can lead to problems as we continue to get older (dementia, heart disease, and cancer). The blistering heat of the sauna tells our bodies to send in heat shock proteins, serving as a kind of cleanup crew. By increasing heart rate and releasing those heat shock proteins, dramatically heating up our bodies can lead to an amazing amount of benefits.
A few ways we can incorporate shock into our routines is by doing early morning ice baths 3 times a week, regular 20-minute saunas at around 175 degrees, and using cold water for the last 30 secs of every shower.
Part III: Fasting
The food we consume contains glucose, the fuel that feeds trillions of our healthy cells. The problem is, the glucose from our food also fuels what we call "zombie cells", these are old damaged cells that linger beyond their usefulness. These cells can infect healthy cells, speeding up the aging process. From hair loss, wrinkles, to the onset of arthritis, cancer and dementia. Scientists have realized though that when we has and cut off the supply of glucose, those zombie cells are starved of energy diminishing them of their power.
Even after days without food, people like our ancestors found the energy to hunt. This is because when someone partakes in fasting, their bodies react in an almost superpower kind of way. When our body is given plenty of food, we store excess energy in the form of fat under the skin and around the internal organs. On the other hand, when food is taken away from our bodies and is scarce, that fat is sent to our liver where it is turned into alternative fuel called ketones. Ketones provide a power source for our bodies and our brains. Ketones gives us an energy boost and increases our mental focus.
We believe that our bodies go through some amazing biochemical changes when we go three days without food. These changes are said to have significant longevity benefits. Even within our healthy cells, there can issues. Scientists believe though, that when our cells don't have food to process they are able to begin repairing themselves.
A few ways we can incorporate fasting into our routines is to avoid eating before midday at least 3 times a week, go 24 hours without food once a month, and if possible. fast for 4 days once a year
Part IV: Strength
Our muscles serve a greater purpose than just facilitating movement. Within each fiber lies numerous miniature power plants that possess the potential to combat physical decline. Furthermore, when we flex our muscles, they release chemicals that actively combat various diseases. When viewed collectively, our muscles are an essential organ in our battle against aging. Consequently, the objective of climbing rope as a strength activity is to utilize not only our strongest muscles but every single muscle at our disposal.
Trillions of mitochondria reside within our muscles, resembling miniature power plants that supply the essential energy for our bodies to function smoothly. As we age, these mitochondria start to malfunction and deteriorate, hastening the aging process. However, engaging in exercise, especially endurance training, prompts our muscles to revamp their faulty mitochondria and even generate new ones. This replenishes our energy levels and counteracts the effects of aging. Deep within our muscle fibers, the mitochondria act as energy providers. Additionally, our muscles possess another remarkable ability. When they contract, they release chemical messengers known as myokines, which travel throughout the body. These myokines trigger a wide range of benefits, such as preventing the accumulation of unwanted fat, suppressing certain cancers, and enhancing the longevity and effectiveness of the immune system.
A few ways we can incorporate strength building in our routines is by endurance training for 2 hours a week, more climbing to work a wide range of muscles, and daily exercise in AND away from the gym.
Part V: Memory
Situated on both the left and right sides of the brain, the hippocampus is a diminutive seahorse-shaped structure. It can be visualized as a map that stores our memories and guides us in accessing them. Unfortunately, as we grow older, the hippocampus undergoes shrinkage, making it one of the initial targets for diseases like Alzheimer's. However, when we engage in stimulating activities such as navigation, the hippocampus responds by expanding and becoming healthier. This growth occurs as new connections are formed and additional brain cells are generated. Scientists hypothesize that a larger hippocampus enhances our ability to resist cognitive decline associated with aging, offering us better prospects in retaining mental acuity.
According to research, when we find ourselves in urban environments, the multitude of artificial visual patterns, intrusive noises, and distractions demand significant mental energy for our key brain functions to process. Consequently, memory retention, problem-solving, and concentration all suffer. However, scientists propose that our brains are inherently wired to process the sights and sounds of nature with greater ease. Rather than being overwhelmed, our cognitive abilities experience a complete restoration. Moreover, spending time in nature has the added benefit of reducing stress, which positively impacts our risk of developing Alzheimer's and promotes longevity. In fact, studies have demonstrated that simply taking a twenty-minute walk in the park without engaging with our cell phones can significantly decrease the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Just as important as interacting with nature for our stress and memory benefits, sleep plays a crucial role too. When we sleep, the accumulation of waste substances that occur throughout the day is effectively eliminated by a trash disposal system known as the glymphatic system. However, as we grow older, and particularly when our sleep patterns are disrupted, this essential cleansing process becomes less efficient. Consequently, harmful waste begins to accumulate at a faster rate than it can be efficiently cleared away. This accumulation obstructs the proper functioning of the system, resulting in inflammation and potentially contributing to the development of Alzheimer's disease.
A few ways we can improve and keep our brains and memory healthy through our routines is by taking hikes or walks without navigation and working to find your way back without it as well, engage in activities without the use of technology for at least an 1 hour a day, and by making sure you're getting the daily recommended amount of sleep for your age group.