Archive

Category Archives for "Weight and Fat Loss"
21

Diet Cheat Days: Yes or No?

Dear Fun and Fit, K and A: I’ve heard that a “cheat day” will boost my metabolism and increase leptin hormone levels. I’m currently losing weight by eating 1250-1350 calories daily. My normal intake is about 1750. Today I ate about 3600 calories for my “cheat day.” Is that too much or is it okay? I’ll go back on my diet tomorrow. Will this all boost my metabolism or cause me to gain weight? Thank you, and greetings from Helsinki, Finland Mira

Cheat Days are High Calorie Days

Hello Mira:
We love your name; it means “wonderful” and “peace.” We’re going to tell you right up front that we are NOT fans of “cheat days” for a whole bunch of reasons. We shall now do our best to talk you out of eating this way.

* Just the name implies you’re a cheater. Who wants to feel that kind of shame and have that label? It’s all negative. We hate the whole concept of looking at food as good or bad. Food isn’t moral; it’s fuel.

Food is not moral; it's fuel. Shift away from bad & good thinking in order to lose weight,… Click To Tweet

1 kabillion calories

*Also, what do most people (and probably you) eat on those 3600 calorie days? Salad? Roasted veggies? Fruit with yogurt? Suuuuuuuure. More like ice cream, candy, chips and all kinds of high fat foods. Sadly, that fat makes its way to your brain, telling it to ignore the “I’m full” signals that those lovely hormone regulators – leptin and insulin – are trying to send. Think of them as your parents, yelling “Put the spoon down,” and the fat as earbuds that you stuck in your ears so you wouldn’t have to listen. It’s not good to become resistant to leptin and insulin because they are your BFFs, and want to help you.

One Cheat Day Can Affect You Half a Week

* This “fat high” can last for up to three days, which means you will spend half of the next week wondering why you’re extra hungry, especially for those high-fat foods. Basically, it’s a short-lived addiction, and willpower cannot overcome addictions.

Sign up to start "youthifying" today.

Count Your Calories: New Math Tool

* Math has an uncomfortable way of butting in to your weight loss business. If you reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories a day, you’ll lose about a pound in a week – 500 X 7 = 3500. Everyone is different, but these numbers are a great place to start. You say you normally eat about 1750 calories per day – 1750 – 500 = 1250 (the low number on your diet plan). It will take more than a week to lose a pound of weight if you are at the higher, 1350 amount. But on that 3600 calorie “cheat day,” kowabunga – you just got yourself an extra 1850 calories (3600 – 1750 = 1850). So in 6 days you reduced your intake by 3000 calories, but on that seventh day you took in an extra 1850 (3000 -1850 = 1150). So for the entire week, you had a total reduction of 1150 calories, which means you’re losing less than half a pound a week.
* If you jogged in place during the above math lesson, you might have burned some extra calories! If you hate math, that section just above said, “Cheat Day = Bad Idea.”

Metabolic System Explained in 472 Easy Steps!

Reduce Calories and You Risk Reducing Your Metabolic Rate

* You also asked about metabolism, so let’s go over some weird “opposite day” type of stuff – When you eat less, you expend calories at a slower rates – meaning your metabolism slows down. It has a fancy name – diet induced adaptive thermogenesis. If you want to speed up your metabolism, you should ditch the cheat day AND the diet and just go for 4 or 5 small meals/ snacks a day. Mostly choose healthy food, yet leave space for a few of the treats that you were saving for cheat day. Moderation beats the Restriction – Overindulgence cycle you’re in.
* And we wouldn’t be exercise experts if we didn’t ask, “Mina, are you also exercising?” You had better say, “ kyllä.”  That’s fancy talk for “heck yeah.”

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Photo credits:  Christian Cable, CollectionAgency, lejo72, P.K. Cerda

Alexandra Williams, MA

15

How Do Your Personality, Luck, and Gender Affect Your Health?

By Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

Do you believe fate or luck is a critical factor when it comes to to enjoying a healthy lifestyle or losing weight? Or is your personality a better predictor? Perhaps even more interesting — how does your gender affect your ability to make healthy choices?

Personality and Gender Affect Healthy Life Choices

Healthy Woman Chooses to MultiTask

Researchers from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research looked at data about the diet, exercise and personality type of more than 7,000 people and discovered that personality definitely has an effect on weight loss and good health. Those people who, like “The Little Engine That Could,” believe they can change their lives through their own actions eat healthier food, exercise more, smoke less and stay away from binge drinking.

People who are more like Eeyore, (the donkey from Winnie-the-Pooh), believe that luck or fate are responsible for their situation. These people tend to be less healthy because they don’t see themselves as fully in charge of their own lives.

Simply said, a “can do” attitude leads to a healthier lifestyle. Join us now in a chorus of “Anything you can do I can do better!”[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO23WBji_Z0[/youtube] Men and Women Differ in Weight Loss Motivation

Arnold Will Pump You Up

Interestingly, the motivation for leading a healthy life differs for men and women. Women are motivated by the desire to enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, while men want physical results. Pump me up! Go Hans! Go Franz! Go Fun! Go Fit!

What Do Leading Experts on Obesity and Overweight Research Say?

Dr Jim HillWe asked the number one obesity expert and our go-to-guy, Dr James Hill, Executive Director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, for his take on this latest twist. (Get more of his insights on weight loss and obesity here: Lose 2 Pounds in 2 Days.  You may also enjoy Lose Weight or Maintain Weight? prompted by another Anschutz professor, Dr. Holly Wyatt).

It totally makes sense that expectations about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle would affect outcomes. Interesting that men and women have different expectations. I definitely believe we need different weight management programs for men and women – and not just for different expectations. Men and women approach weight loss very differently. Women have to have a comprehensive experience while men just need to understand what they need to do and do it.” Dr. James Hill

Aren’t we all lucky to have optimistic personalities so we can control our own health and weight outcomes? Info and education alone don’t cut the mustard … or pounds. The belief in our ability to make change is the ultimate tool to a healthy life at any age or either gender.

Photo credits: CreativeCommons.org –  infomatique (multi-tasking woman)

Do you have a personality? Then take control of your healthy life and subscribe to our YouTube channel and our blog. Follow us on Twitter: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Please also follow us on Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Or click on the icons in the right sidebar ——–>

14

End of Summer Trip to Rancho la Puerta

Alexandra Williams, MA

A Spa Stay is the Perfect Way to Spend a Few Relaxing Days

We went to Rancho la Puerta spa in Tecate, Mexico last weekend, not to teach, but to hear author Dr. John Ratey speak about his book “Spark.” Have you heard of Rancho la Puerta? We’ve been going there as guest fitness instructors and presenters since the mid-80s, when Kymberly was first hired to teach fitness for them as part of the cruise ship staff.

The Ranch staff know how much Kymberly loves Dr. Ratey’s research and book about the link between exercise and the brain (more from Kymberly in an upcoming post about her dream-come-true experience of meeting Dr. Ratey, who is very droll and excellent company), so they invited us to come down while he was a presenting guest. Try to feel our pain, as we had to choose every hour between lectures, massages, pool classes, group fitness classes, hikes, meditation, and eating organic, vegetarian food. Yeah, exactly. Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful (trivia: did you know that Rancho la Puerta: Golden Door has a long history with Pantene?)

Actually, our pictures can show you some of the beauty that is the Ranch.

Breakfast is my favorite morning meal

The Ranch Kitties Participate in Meditation

These are just the “extra” Daily Activities

Look Ma, I’m Lounging

Forced to Relax in the Great Outdoors

In a Spurt of Energy, I Moved My Lounging over to the Pool

 Thank you LongSailSports, for the cool googles and GELIE bag! Perfect timing for this trip!

The Daily Quotes are Great, and I especially Love the Squirrel

I dedicate the picture above to John Poole, as he has a tremendous love for squirrels and their antics.

Dreams Do Come True: Eating with new Pals, including John Ratey

I’m Such a Plankster!

Did you know there are many activities you can do when you are (still) recovering from foot surgery? I even took a water class, then did laps, right after 3 miles on the bike and a mile on the treadmill. I was awesomely awesome somewhat nauseous afterward!

I Melted the Pool Water ‘Cause I’m so Hot!

These Are Your Glutes on Ranch Fitness!

I was so gracious; I let them use my glutes as the model for these male torso sculptures.

The Butterfly Door at the Rec Center

My bedroom! Not really; it’s the Library Lounge

My mind is a Labyrinth (so are the ground and the sculpture)

Every day at the Ranch, I was asked about my compression leggings and socks by Zensah. You don’t have to have foot surgery to be a fashionista, by the way!

Sunrise during the Breakfast Hike to the Organic Garden & Kitchen

Yes, I woke up at 5:45 to take the morning hike to the organic garden and kitchen for breakfast. But look at the picture below and you’ll see that it was totally worth it!

The Only Place at the Spa with a Secret Stash of Chocolate Chip Muffins

La Cocina que Canta: You Eat Where the Food is Grown

Before Kymberly left town to visit her daughter at college, she made this short video that has some gorgeous views of the Ranch. Take a look.

By the way, if you are considering a trip to the Ranch, don’t listen to the dire warnings about Mexico. Rancho la Puerta is only 43 miles east of San Diego, and about 2 miles over the border at Tecate. You are escorted the entire way in the Ranch shuttle and you never have to leave the spa (although we lots of people like to go into town for pinatas, chocolate, wine, lard-based donuts)!

Have you ever gone to a spa? What did you like best about it?

We want to give a shout-out here to our friends at Mr. Steam. They had nothing to do with our trip to Rancho la Puerta, but they do offer us the same feeling of spa luxury with their products. We’re proud to be ambassadors for them! 

9

4 Stages to Healthier Habits

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Want Better Habits?

Do you have a health habit you want to change? Vowing to eat healthier foods? Promising yourself to exercise more or get more fit? Deciding it’s time to quit smoking or sleep longer or strength train?

Have you tried to set better habits before only to fail? Forget any past unsuccessful attempts. Accept that habit change requires more than willpower or goal setting. You need a tried and true strategy based on how we really behave.

Kymberly: I got to hear licensed psychologist, Neil Fiore, PhD, speak on behavior change at Rancho la Puerta Fitness Spa (“the Ranch”), when I was teaching there last week. Oh, those high level speakers the Ranch attracts for evening sessions — Just another bonus of going to Tecate, Mexico! I plan to make my presence there a habit! (Ya hear that, Ranch team?).

According to Dr. Fiore, a specialist in productivity, successful habit change is a four stage process.

Stage 1: Make Up Your Mind

Evaluate the pros and cons of the habit you want and the habit you are trying to leave behind. What are the risks? The benefits? What pain are you feeling and what are you willing to do to “kill” that pain?

Alexandra: For many people, the habit we are trying to leave behind is “eating food I know isn’t good for me.” What that really means is, “This food is not good for my weight loss goal, but it is good at giving me an immediate, temporary good emotional feeling.” So the habit to leave behind isn’t eating those foods; it’s eating them as a mood amelioration. One idea is to make up your mind to change that link.

Stage 2 – Commit to Change

Get back to Rancho la Puerta, Kymberly

Get back to the Ranch? Just gotta habit!

Kymberly: Make a plan to get from the old to new habit. Map out the small steps required to shift from A to B. Consider the distractions you will face. Become aware of each action item needed to transition to better health.

Alexandra: Using the example above, commit to writing down your mood whenever you eat. Not just your mood on foods you feel aren’t helping your long-term goal, but also the ones that are. Probably the biggest challenge will be committing to writing everything down! Write that down! Jacktastic! (If you get this reference you are part of the Melissa McCarthy groupies club, and should definitely be committed!)

Stage 3 – Take Action

Kymberly: Decide where and when you will start the new habit. What is your schedule? Accept that you will face doubts and anxious moments. Then show up despite your fears.

Alexandra: Okay, sometimes it’s not so good to show up, especially if Ben & Jerry’s Americone Dream is calling you like one of Homer’s sirens. Your action plan would be to write down your food intake and moods and just observe. That’s it–observe what occurs. Interestingly, when people become aware of their habits, they change them without a lot of conscious effort (and the anguish that goes with it). Just as you picked up some bad habits without really intending to, so can you get rid of them. Obviously, it’s harder for some habits than others, especially if chemicals are involved (think smoking).

Fire those bad habits

Fiery redheads unite to fire those bad habits! From wall art at Rancho la Puerta.

Stage 4 – Have a Long Term Plan

Kymberly: Truth?! You CAN handle the truth!: You will have setbacks. What is your recovery plan? Dr Fiore highlighted this as a key component of habit change success. Those who fall by the wayside give up after a setback, thinking one mistake or one bad moment means failure. Happy habit changers have accounted for the probability of setbacks and create a “get back on track” strategy.

Alexandra: In other words, plan to fail. Because planning will lead to success. No-one likes to be bossed around or told what one should or can’t do, even when it’s you talking to yourself. Create your plan based on what you can and will do! Picture your road to success as having rest stops, not as one big U-turn. Changing habits is mental so if you plan to incorporate the slow-downs, you’ll think, “Aha, I was expecting this, and now I will move forward again,” which is totally different than, “Aha, I’m a loser because I got off the straight and narrow and therefore forget it.”

There you habit!

Readers: What new or improved habit are you currently working on?

Start a good habit right now: Subscribe to our YouTube channel. And our blog. Follow us on Twitter: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Please also follow us on Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. We make this an easy habit to instill by giving you handy dandy links in the right sidebar.

 

 

 

 

6

Fun Summertime Fitness Activities & Their Calorie Counts

Guest Post by Adrian Dunn
Kymberly is teaching at Rancho la Puerta spa in Mexico and Alexandra is recovering from foot surgery, so our colleague Adrian is here to step in! Thanks! 

How Many Calories Can You Burn Doing Fun Summertime Activities?

The long days of summer are here and along with barbecues and watermelon, it’s also the best time for outdoor fitness activities. You can have fun with family or friends and tone up up your muscles and burn calories at the same time.

All calorie counts are approximate and are based on a 150-pound person engaging in the activity at moderate intensity for 30 minutes.

Hit the Trail

Find a bike path and enjoy an easy bicycle ride with the family. Even a moderate pace burns 200-300 calories, and increases your leg strength and cardio fitness. Take a picnic and ride off the calories on your return trip!

Or take your roller blades on the path and you can firm up your legs and buns and burn 250 calories.

Head for the Hills

If you are lucky enough to have hills or a nature preserve near you, take a day hike. With some good sneakers or hiking boots, you can explore the natural terrain while burning around 200 calories.

Rock climbing is a growing sport that is challenging and builds strength, stamina, and flexibility. Be prepared to take some lessons and find out what you need to enjoy this sport. You can burn up to 270 calories.

Fun with Animals

Fly Like a Doggie

Try “Keep away” Frisbee with your favorite dog and a friend. Just remember, there is no such thing as a dog-proof Frisbee, so bring an extra one for Fido. Calories burned: 100.

Always wanted to try horseback riding? This activity can take you to places you wouldn’t ordinarily go. The horse is doing most of the work, and you still burn 150 calories.

River Wild

Get a great upper body workout by kayaking or canoeing on your local river. Burns about 150 calories and tones arms, shoulders, and back muscles.

Beach Benefits

See those smiles? They’re running on the beach!

Jogging on sand is a super workout for your legs and great for cardio fitness too. You can burn an easy 200 calories. Or rev it up by joining a game of beach volleyball and burn 280 calories.

Keep It Safe

* Use sun protection: hats, sunglasses (we like our affiliate Warby Parker because for every pair sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need), and sunscreen.

* Insect repellant. Don’t forget the black fly, ticks, and mosquitoes! They don’t forget you.

* Stay hydrated: drink plenty of water before, during, and after physical activity.

* Bring a snack: pack portable foods that won’t spoil in the heat, like whole fruit, trail mix, or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

* Wear protective gear: bike helmets, knee and elbow pads for roller blading, moleskin to prevent blisters when hiking, flip-flops for hot beach sand.

The Backpacket is a combo sunscreen & insect repellant

* Take your cell phone: take a charged cell phone if you hike or ride off-road, in case of unexpected events.

* Avoid the hottest time of the day: if you live where it is hot (and who doesn’t this summer), do your most strenuous outdoor exercise in the morning or evening when it is more likely to be cooler.

Let this be the year you try a new summer activity. Invite your favorite companions and head for the hills, the trail, or the beach. Getting back to nature is a great way to have fun and get fit at the same time!

Guest Blogger Adrian Dunn is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, Wellness Coach, and Fitness Coach for EverydayHealth.com and its calorie counter tools.

 

Photo credits: Creative Commons: Ronnie Macdonaldgvdveen51,  scovophoto, Backpacket

19

5 Fitness Trends from IDEA Convention

What are exercise leaders doing, saying, and learning when you’re not looking?

Alexandra Goes on a Whirl at IDEA World

Combine 6000 fitness professionals from around the world with 3 days of expert lectures, workshops, workouts, panels, and trade show and what pops out? To start, 5 fitness trends that you get to see here first! Take a look at the latest in exercise, nutrition, and fitness based on our recent participation in the IDEA World Fitness Convention.

1. Runaway Train of Obesity

Our nation (and others) is getting heavier and heavier with no slowdown in obesity rates on the horizon. In fact, 42% of the US adult population is predicted to be overweight or obese within the next two decades, with a third already so. The word to the fitness industry – we have not yet succeeded in getting our neighbors, relatives, friends, or community healthy, moving, or eating well. As a nation, we are speeding on a track to a major health crisis. At least we have not yet jumped the track. We can still apply brakes. And it’s going to take a multi-pronged, complex approach; not any simple, easy solutions.

2. Focus on Food

Fruit, yogurt, chocolate dessertConsumers (most of you reading this) are going to be looking more and more to exercise leaders for nutrition advice. So we fit pros are getting the word to get more education in this area so that we can stay within our scope of practice while meeting your needs.

  • Dieting vs. Diet Management  Diets based on calorie restriction or excluding nutrient categories (such as no sugar, no carbs) ultimately don’t work for weight maintenance. People with a weight loss goal need to clearly distinguish between their weight loss phase and weight maintenance phase. Based on where they are in the process, diet plays a different role.
  • Diets DO work for weight loss.  Yet, a clear trend was the emphasis on INDIVIDUALIZED diet plans. What works perfectly for one person (Paleo, or raw vegan, or low carbs, for example), might produce limited results in another. No “one right diet” exists. Apparently much of the confusion over what is “good,” “bad,” or “the newest secret” is far more person to person than thought before.
  • Trade Show  Even the trade show evidenced the focus on food. For the first time in 30 years of IDEA events, an entire section was devoted to ingestibles: food, drink, supplements, powders. IDEA even offered a cooking stage with presentations, demos, and lectures. Next year we hope the trend includes lunch!

3. Dance Choreography That Repeats

Qignition

The Key to QiDancing is the Fun Factor and Repetition

Dance-based group classes are rising up, up, up with an emphasis on keeping complexity down, down, down. Whaddya know — people (you? For sure, we!) love to dance, just not when too much thinking, jumping, or choreography are involved. New programs such as QiDANCE, Big Dance, and LA Blast are taking popular, easy-to-follow styles such as ballroom, and creating fun, reinvigorating, no-apologies-for-pointed-toes dance cardio routines. Impact on the joints is low; the repetition of the dance moves is high. Key quote heard a lot: “ I love to dance when I work out, even if I can’t dance except like a dork.”  Everyone can succeed while shaking it!

4. Inside/ Outside Body Experiences

  • Internal Focus Presenters devoted time and attention to what’s going on INSIDE our active bodies and brains. How do we feel? What aches, pains, limitations are we bringing into our exercise routines? What is the role between the brain and the body that is changing our concept of mind/body interconnectedness? How is our posture affecting us? Bottom line: our thoughts are shaping our bodies to a degree still unknown, but expected to be significant.
  • External Focus Another trend is the push to make workouts shorter and more intense. The word to experienced exercisers is to emphasize intensity over frequency and duration to achieve visible (and invisible) results. Want a lean body? Trying to burn fat?  Willing to work hard for faster results? Go as hard as you can at least 20% of your workout time. Use intervals within your regular cardio workouts. Or devote one day a week to a short, intense burst of all-out effort.

5. Never Mind Ideal; Start With What’s Real

Trendspotters or Trainspotters? Kymberly, Alexandra, Alison, and Luly

Yes, there were a lot of workshops, workouts and lectures about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), TRX® and CrossFit, yet there were even more courses emphasizing the need to meet people where they are. The people who are already hooked on exercise love the intense workouts, but as an industry we need to do a much better job of reaching the people who are overweight or obese and don’t (yet) enjoy exercise. Presenters proffered words such as “realistic,” “small steps” and “increments.”  One key phrase we have used before here at Fun and Fit and heard highlighted as helpful for fitpros to ask new clients and class members: “What is the least you can/ will do?”  When you are tempted to stay on the couch, try this question on for size. “What is the least you are willing to do today to improve your fitness?” Now get out there and be a trendsetter!

And the absolute HOTTEST trend? Subscribing to our YouTube channel. Or our blog. Follow us on Twitter: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Please also follow us on Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. We put all sorts of handy icons in the right sidebar for you to click on.

Readers: Have you seen any of these trends in action? What trends have you noted that are not listed above?

 

18

Diets Work if You Do

Kymberly Williams-Evans, Ma and Alexandra Williams, MA

Timing diet and exercise for weight loss

What’s the BEST diet to lose weight?

Nutrition, diet, and weight loss professor Dr. Holly Wyatt tackled that steamy hot, fashionable question at the recent Fitness Health Bloggers Conference we attended.

Guess what?  After analyzing data galore, comparing famous and popular diets point by point, looking at short and long term weight loss rates, it comes down to …….

The best diet is the one you will actually stick with. The one you will do, do, or die. Well, not die, but diet. Apparently the actual macronutrient composition of a diet plan is NOT key to weight loss. That is, it almost does not matter whether you choose low carb, low sugar, high protein, Paleo, gluten free, dairy-free, taste-free, food combining, all organic, or any other “THE LATEST ONE WAY” out there. What matters when it comes to succeeding with weight loss is being consistent with reduced intake over the time needed to drop pounds. Remember, that for weight loss, you are looking at a  calorie restricted diet with a specific duration and end point.

As well, the diet or nutrient composition that might work wonders for one person could be a failure for another. More and more, researchers are finding that weight loss diets need to be tailored to each individual. No single book, theory, method or fad will be right for the masses. You could be the one person who succeeds on high protein whereas your best friend needs to go high carb. Wouldn’t it be great to be the person whose body and genes respond to a chocolate diet?

Check out Dr. Wyatt’s chart tracking the results of diets varying in fat/protein/ carbo composition. Notice that at 6 months all dieters lost weight at about the same rates. And at 2 years, all dieters were still averaging similar results regardless of food make-up. Comparing the Zone, Atkins, Learn, Ornish diets reveals… envelope please… all diets had people who lost and people who gained. The key was ADHERENCE. (As opposed to say, book sales that have to have the latest gimmick to attract buyers).

Dr Wyatt also compared low calorie to very low calorie diets to assess success with losing weight. Another surprise — while the very low calories dieters initially lost more weight, at the one year mark both sets of dieters ended up at the same place. Why? Because a very low cal diet is tough to sustain. Some of you have been there, yes? To put that Fit Fact another way, a greater rate of initial weight loss does not yield a better result at end of the year.
Which brings us to the next question:

Is dieting the BEST way to lose weight?

And the answer is “yes.” Not “yes, go on a diet that involves you feeling like you’re fighting against your food,” but “yes, eat foods that are good for you and eat fewer calories than you are now.” Of course, you could go on a crazy cookie diet and cut out 500 calories from your daily intake, but really? As exercise professionals and happy workout people, we were very curious how the exercise vs. diet results broke down. The last 20 years have seen percentages all over the place: 50/50 diet/ exercise; 90/10; 70/30. You get the picture. We were rooting for the exercise side of the equation as we know the benefits of an active life. Plus we like having people in our group fitness classes.

But DANG IT if current thought is saying loudly and clearly: To LOSE weight, it’s all about calorie reduction. Moving enough to achieve energy imbalance takes a lot of activity. A lot. As in, if you liked exercising and moving that much, you probably would not be needing to lose weight in the first place. As Dr. Wyatt and her colleagues point out, most people find it easier to cut out 500 calories a day than to exercise for the hour needed to burn that same number.  What do you find easier – cutting out one baked good or after-dinner snack per day oooorrrr hitting the gym for an hour?

Hold on though, because for MAINTAINING weight loss, it’s largely about moving.

The Human Hamster Wheel Looks Like Fun Exercise

The rest of your life. Moving as long as you want to stay lower weight.  Because at some point, you will achieve your weight loss goals. Then you have a lifetime ahead of you to maintain. Now we are talking EXERCISE.

Yes, physical activity is ultimately the MAGIC PILL to weight maintenance and a lifelong healthy weight. More than anything else, MOVE if you want to keep weight off. More specifically, chalk up (or the modern equivalent – Add up on your phone app) your daily activity minutes. To maintain weight loss, the minimum recommendation is 60-90 minutes of low to moderate intensity aerobic exercise most days of week. That was kind of key so to repeat:

You need to do something cardio most days of the week, for at least an hour a day, at a comfortable yet not too casual pace to keep from (re)gaining weight.

We never said a lifetime of low weight, health and fitness was easy.  We did say it could be fun though! And it can be. Check out prior posts that address the BEST workout, and how exercise, even when it sucks, can make you happier. Then get busy! (Did you click any of those links? Come on now. Do it if you want to lose or keep off weight).

Readers: What weight loss or weight maintenance tips do you have to share? 

Interested to lose weight? Stay fit? Learn and Laugh with us a bit? Subscribe to our YouTube channel. Subscribe to our blog. Follow us on Twitter: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Please also follow us on Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. We put all sorts of handy icons in the right sidebar for you to click on too.

Disclosure: Refuel with Chocolate Milk  provided us with a scholarship for the conference registration: FitFluential made it possible for us to be session speakers and panel moderators. Yes, we LOVE sponsors who help us get accurate, timely, good info to you!
Slides credit: Dr Holly Wyatt of the University of Colorado, Denver Anschutz Health and Wellness Center

 


 

30

Lose Weight or Maintain Weight Loss?

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Are you wanting to lose weight? Reduce body fat? Are you already in weight maintenance mode, not wanting to regain? Depending on your answer, the strategies to success could be as different as umm, well more different than identical twins, that’s for sure.

Twin sisters Alexandra & KymberlyHaving just attended the Fitness Health Bloggers Conference at the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center (part of the University of Colorado Denver Medical Campus), we had the privilege to hear directly from professors on the front lines of weight loss, obesity, diet, and exercise research.

A presentation on weight loss versus weight management from Dr. Holly Wyatt caught our well-toned ears in particular. One thing we knew before hearing her talk: the advice out there is confusing, overwhelming, seemingly contradictory, and — judging by the ever-rising obesity rates — not actually working. Yet, as Dr. Wyatt asserts, “people have the education and information they need to meet weight loss goals. It’s the motivation to get started and stick with it over time that is so challenging.”

Whatzzat? We know what to do but we just don’t do it? Well, wave your hands in the air as if you just DO care, because we distilled the absolute most cutting edge, verified, helpful highlights on diet and exercise to say sayonara to extra weight once and for all.

First, define whether you are in loss or management mode.

Doomed I tell you

Pack My Kibbles Stat!

Apparently past strategies have not distinguished between these two phases, which spells doom worse than the last place finisher in a spelling bee. (Alexandra beat Kymberly in the famous North School 4th Grade Twin Challenge Spell Off. All for the lack of a vowel in the word “vacuum.” No Kymberly is not bitter about it. Still. After all these years. Vacuums suck suck suck).

Key differences between Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance:

  1. Weight Loss (WL)  requires a Time Limited “Diet” vs Lifelong Lifestyle for Weight Maintenance (WM).
  2. You need to achieve negative energy balance vs retain energy balance at the reduced body weight (or body fat).
  3. For WL create a deficit of 500-1000 kcal p/day) vs WM which needs you to Fill Energy gap (300-500).
  4. With WL it’s hard to achieve sufficient levels of activity to create energy deficit vs. Hard to maintain caloric restriction with WM.
  5. Easier to LOSE WEIGHT because it’s easier to reduce caloric intake; To maintain loss requires bigger effort of physical activity.
  6. With WL the composition of the diet is not particularly important (more on this provocative statement later) vs Diet Composition is important with WM.
  7. Losing weight is exciting. Everyone wants to know what you are doing and talk about the loss with you; Maintaining loss is rather boring. No enthralling conversation was ever centered around “Yup, still the same weight as yesterday and last week.”

Ok, so you have put yourself in the correct phase of your journey. Now what? Well, you have to wait for the Cliff Hanger Notes in our next post as this post is getting rather long. Bazinga neener neener. However, we’ll leave you with a few tantalizing tidbits and memorable quotes to tide you over.

    • “If you are trying to lose weight do you want the method that is the EASIEST? FASTEST? BEST? You have many ways to drop pounds successfully, depending on your individual priorities,” claims medical doctor Holly Wyatt.
    • “You can’t lose weight forever. No one can go to zero pounds. So you have to look at maintenance strategies no matter what.”

To lose weigh, what is the best diet?

  • And lastly from researcher Wyatt, who is in the thick and thin of things, “What is the most important aspect of a successful weight loss diet?”

Come back next time to hear, ya hear?

Readers: Which phase are you in? Weight Loss? Weight Maintenance? Weight Gain? Fat Gain? (Yes, people with those last two goals do exist. Somewhere.) Are you thinking, “This is all very research-y and so on, but I just want to lose 10 pounds in 4 weeks?” Or possibly you’re nowhere near maintenance, and have a weight loss goal to lose 100 pounds before you consider anything that comes after that. Let us know. 

Disclosure: Refuel with Chocolate Milk  provided us with a scholarship for the conference registration: FitFluential made it possible for us to be session speakers and panel moderators. All opinions are our own though we are free about sharing them! 

Get edu-tained on your way to better fitness. Subscribe to our YouTube channel. Subscribe to our blog. Follow us on Twitter: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Please also follow us on Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

Photo credit for kitty: Cheezburger
Slides credit: Dr. Holly Wyatt

22

Lose 2 Pounds in 2 Days

Alexandra and I went to the Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference last week and I lost weight! Yup– two pounds gone in two days.  And I wasn’t even trying. Hiking up a mountain and eating healthy food all weekend can do that for a person. And if YOU are a person with a weight loss goal, then the info below is for you.

Alexandra hitches a ride from Dr James Hill

Dr. Hill tried to lose 140 pounds, but Alexandra jumped back on!

Alexandra and I culled the key exercise and eating points from a presentation from Dr. James Hill, Executive Director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, University of Colorado. Dr Hill is a high falutin’, cutting edge, biggie wiggie PhD researcher in the weight loss, overweight, and obesity world. You can see how intimidated Alexandra was when we got to meet him up close at dinner*  the evening after his talk. (see note at end of post)

Follow along with us via the twitter stream to catch the highlights direct from the most current studies on weight loss, diet, exercise, and weight maintenance. For those of you unfamiliar with twitter, just ignore the hashtags (pound signs #) and the letters or words that come after them. Go for the high fiber, nutrition dense, calorie burning main points in each tweet.

And just like in school when we were young, some people goofed off and passed funny and off-topic “notes.”  So pay attention and read along to get the insider scoop as if you were in class with us — Laughing, learning the latest and most accurate info on obesity, fat, weight management, diet, and … seeing pictures of men in kilts.

If any tweet is hard to read, just click on it and it will pull up bigger. Just be sure to come back to this page to read, learn, comment, get smarter and more fit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch for our radio interview of Dr James Hill coming in July. We ask him to share his research results on the BEST way to manipulate diet and exercise to decrease obesity.

* Dinners at the conference were sponsored by Chipotle, and the Anschutz Center‘s very own Bistro Elia. Breakfasts were also provided free and de-licious-leee by Attune Foods, Choose Cherries, and Driscolls Berries with Love  Grown Foods and Better Whey of Life  contributing food-food-glorious food as well. They are a big part of how I managed to come home 2 pounds lighter and in such a good mood!

Disclaimer: Thank yous to Refuel with Chocolate Milk who provided us scholarships to attend the Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference. We hearken to anything with the word “Scholar” in it; though “ships” are another matter.  All opinions are our own.  Gotta go as our chocolate milk is waiting! Glug and chug post workout.

Get edu-tained on your way to better fitness. Subscribe to our YouTube channel. Subscribe to our blog. Follow us on twitter: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Please also follow us on Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

5

How to Create a Weight Loss Mantra

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Guest Post from Stephanie Mansour, Step it Up with Steph, Fitness and Body Image Expert

We encourage you to pop over to Stephanie’s site and check out what she can do for you.

Step It Up with StephDo you have a weight loss goal? Have you created a positive statement or mantra to help you achieve that goal? If so, has it worked? If not, why not?

One of my clients came to me recently regarding her New Year’s Resolutions list, which included wanting to lose 10 pounds. At halfway through the year, she was successful with all her resolutions except weight loss. She was baffled. I asked her to read to me the resolutions she had written out. They included:

  • “I will spend more time with my husband because I love him;”
  • “I will get a raise at work because I am a good, hard worker;”
  • “I will get seven hours of sleep most nights because I want to feel well rested.”

And this was what her weight loss resolution said:

  • “I want to lose 10 lbs because I hate my body.”

Obviously, this statement was in a totally different form than her resolutions which had already come true. According to her weight loss statement, the reason she should lose weight was because she hated her body. How could you possibly do good things for your body to lose weight (i.e. exercising regularly, eating healthfully, and taking care of your body), if you claim to hate your body?

Here are some guidelines for writing a successful weight loss mantra such as the one that has now totally transformed my client’s life:

1. Write down your goal.

If you’ve written down a goal in a negative context, such as “lose weight, stop hating my body, avoid being seen in a bikini, etc.,” then turn this phrase into something positive.
Example: “I want to lose 10 lbs because I hate my body” becomes: “I am healthy and fit because I love my body and want to take care of myself.”
Example: “I’m working out, so I can stop hating my body” becomes: “I work out because it makes me feel good about myself.”
Example: “I’m being healthy and fit because I don’t want to avoid being seen in my bikini” becomes: “I am healthy and fit because I love the way my clothes fit and look on me.”

2. Turn your goal into a positive one

3. Write it in the present

You are then reprogramming your subconscious to start acting like your goal is already happening in your life. As well, include a relevant, motivating reason that drives that goal. Link your goal to the benefit it brings you, such as feeling well rested or being a worker who deserves a raise.

What weight loss or fitness statements have you tried? What was the motivator that drove that goal?

Stephanie MansourStephanie Mansour, CEO of Step It Up with Steph, is a nationally known Health & Fitness Expert and Body Image & Confidence Coach. She’s a reality TV show trainer, helping her client lose 80+ lbs in 12 weeks on NBC Chicago’s “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.” Her workbook and One Day Intensive program are a hit among women. She combines yoga, Pilates, personal training, and body image & confidence coaching for a holistic approach to health & fitness and also gives corporate presentations. With her no diets/no guilt mentality, she’s dramatically changing the way women everywhere view food and exercise.

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