Friday, October 25, 2013

The Scale is a Liar...

By Ron McDonald Jr | Fitness Coach

Here’s the best advice you’ll ever hear in regard to weight management-- “THROW AWAY YOUR SCALE.” The focus (obsession) on weight is the very reason why most people fail or get discouraged. It’s misguided and dangerous. Do you really think you can sum up how healthy you are by some arbitrary number. Why as humans do we have to quantify are health down to easy to understand numbers. Why do we give the scale so much power? Weighing yourself on the scale to determine your health, is like asking Stevie Wonder how do I you look?

Here is a example conversation between you and the scale:

You [Standing on scale] - "How healthy am I scale?"
Scale [With you standing on it] - "200"

You [Standing on scale] - "But scale I have been working hard and eating clean"
Scale [With you standing on it] - "200"

You [Standing on scale] - "But scale I feel great and have dropped 3 pants sizes"
Scale [With you standing on it] - "200"

You [Standing on scale] - "But scale everyone has noticed a change in my appearance"
Scale [With you standing on it] - "200"

This conversation is going no where, so stop asking the scale and ask yourself. The scale can only tell you how much you weigh in total, but it just simply cannot tell you if you've decreased body fat, improved performance, . If you want to measure your success what you should focus on are:

  1. Do I have more energy?
  2. Have my behaviors changed and accomplished the perceived impossible?
  3. Am I living a more healthy life?
  4. Do my clothes fit better?
  5. Am I physically able to do new and more things?
  6. Are no longer dependent on medications?
  7. Increased strength and lean/tightened muscles.
  8. Is my cholesterol and blood pressure lower?
  9. Improved level of vitality and vigor.
  10. How you feel (mood, do you sleep better, etc.)
And this is just a short list of things. Don't diminish all that you have accomplished down to just numbers. There in old saying - "Figures lie; and liars figure". Numbers simply cannot sum up all the progress that you have been making in "Your" quest for healthier living.

It is imperative to understand that this healthy living thing isn't about weight. Its about being able to live the life you want to live; when you want; how you want without any restrictions. Just keep focused and improve 1% everyday. After 100 days that 100% improvement. Just MAKE UP YOUR MIND.

Yours in good health and spirit

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Results Killer...

By Ron McDonald Jr | Fitness Coach

Beware! The "Results Killer" is still on the loose. There is nothing more deadly to a weight (fat) loss program than "poor" nutrition a.k.a the "Results Killer". Once the Results Killer gets a hold of your weight-loss (fat) program, it can be a real tragedy. We may need to call in the Special Victims Unit (SVU) for this case.

In my line of work, I don't think I can count the number of times I have witnessed someone become victim to the Results Killer. I find that people really don't understand; so it's my job to help them understand. There is basically nothing that can be done to out-train a poor diet. This would include over-eating and under-eating. Yes I said "under-eating" Too little calories can have just as much effect on your results as eating too many calories daily, maybe even worse. Both these scenarios can sabotage your results. Its like digging a grave for your results with a knife and fork. I apologize for the harsh example, but I want to help you and gets your attention.  I know its not easy, but with the right planning and process we can overcome and defeat the "Results Killer".

To protect yourself from the Results Killer, keep reading. If you looking for a quick fix or a "make me superfit-instantly-right now-today" pill you come to the wrong place.

To keep the Results Killer at bay your diet should consist mainly of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. Keep starches and refined carbs to a minimum. Drink plenty of fluids (primarily water), and try to eat at least 4-5 small meals per day. This will help your body maintain blood sugar levels and keep burning fat (when your not in the gym). When it comes to carbohydrates there are “good” carbs and there are “bad” carbs just like there is “healthy” and “unhealthy” fats. “Good” carbs include colorful/fibrous vegetables (like leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, etc.) and fibrous fruits such as grapefruits, pears, and apples. “Bad” carbs include starchy pastas, rice, potatoes, potato chips, candies, sugary sweets like cakes and cookies, and French fries. Just keep it simple.

However, when it comes to weight loss (fat), it’s calories in versus calories out at the end of the day. So this means even overeating on healthy food can be a "Results Killer" as well. You must create a caloric deficit, while eating enough protein, healthy carbs and healthy fats. You simply can't get around this process. The most effective way to create that deficit is to use a combination of quality nutrition and exercise. This fights fat and the "Results Killer" from all angles.  So lets begin to fight against this killer together by working on building a healthy habit of planning your daily meals.  Preparation is the key.  I have put together a sample meal plan below that will help in the food choices and structure in planning daily meals.

Example Meal Plan (approx. every 2.5 - 3 hours)

Meal 1 - Super Shake (Whey Protein, Grounded Flax Seeds, Emergen-C, Frozen Fruit Mix)
Meal 2 - Mixed Nuts (almonds, walnuts, and/or Brazil nuts)  and fresh whole fruit (pear or apple)
Meal 3 - Green salad, albacore tuna, fresh mixed veggies, and balsamic dressing
Meal 4 - Veggies and Greek Yogurt
Meal 5 - Salmon, Steam mixed veggies, and fresh cut fruit

"Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you've got a kingdom" ~ Jack LaLanne

Yours in good health and spirit.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Muscles Don't Grow in the Gym...

Muscle growth does not take place in the gym and on the other hand neither does weight loss.  The body will change through the process of consistent productive exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate rest/recovery. I have witnessed on many occasions where you see the guys lifting weights and checking out their muscles in the mirror to see if there was any immediate change. Maybe if they looked harder or squinted their eyes, you might see something. Also to be fair I also see the ladies checking their weight several times throughout their workout to see if the scale will show any changes. What people don't seem to understand is that the actual process of change takes place outside the gym when you are eating clean, recovering/resting, and sleeping adequately.  So lets go more in depth.

Inside the Gym
When you are working out in the gym what you are actually doing is attempting to stimulate your body in order to get a response. Nothing happens without stimulus. Exercise is that stimulus. You are trying to force your body to safely change due to the stress you placed it under. For adaptation to occur, the body must be confronted with a stressor or some form of stress that creates the need for response. This involves all the resistances training and  cardiovascular conditioning.  So working out is like planting seeds.  However if those seeds aren't watered properly and/or don't receive the proper nutrients then the desired results cannot be expected to be achieved.  In addition it is important to be aware not to overdue the seed planting as a whole.  There is a such thing as "over training", which occurs when the body is put under excessive stress and can cause injury and overall body system breakdown.  So its important to give a good effort in your training but overdoing it won't get you any closer to your goal, it will actually delay results.

Outside the Gym
So in layman's terms what this means is that we need to focus on watering, resting, and the feeding process outside of the gym. The workout is not over once you leave the training facility.  It actually has just begun.  Generally speaking a workout is about 30 - 60 minutes that leaves about 23 hours left for sleeping, eating, and other physical activities take place outside of the gym. These activities are critical in making sure that the 30-60 minutes of training will not be all in vain. Constantly applying stress can lead to over training and serious side effects. In addition not getting the proper rest and food in your system is just as important.

So clean eating plays a key role as well. Do you think your body will be able to adapt and recovery better from the stress of exercise from fries, chips, doughnuts and soda or lean protein, water, healthy fats, and fruits and veggies? The food we eat is used to build new cells and lay down new stronger muscle tissue in our body. There is no way around it.  In addition to proper nutrition, adequate rest and recovery is paramount.  Giving the muscular system and other body systems time to re-calibrate and repair from the stress prevents injuries, puts the body in the best state to burn fat, and improves performance.

So the take away message is to understand that most or more of the focus needs to be placed on what all of us do outside of the gym. You cannot out train poor nutrition. Don't even try it. So don't work hard in the gym and then do the direct opposite outside of the gym. You deserve better for all your hard work - so just focus on being better in and outside of the gym.

EDUCATION and SAFETY always lead to RESULTS.

Yours in good health and spirit.

This web site and its content does not provide medical advice and does not direct that you undertake any specific exercise or fitness regimen. You must consult a physician before undertaking any activity described in this web site.