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.
Consumers (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.
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!
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?
Kymberly Williams-Evans, Ma and Alexandra Williams, MA
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:
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?
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:
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
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Having 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.
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
And this was what her weight loss resolution said:
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:
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.”
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 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.
As our parents (and grandparents) age, they tend to lose a lot of their strength, mobility and balance. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Sarcopenia (progressive decline in skeletal muscle mass…that may lead to decreased strength and functionality) is common among older adults, but exercise can help prevent muscle wasting (yup, the article in the link is by OUR Alexandra).
In honor of Father’s Day, and all fathers (mothers can do this workout too) who need more strength and mobility, we have created a functional, achievable mini-workout. Have your favorite fairly inactive older adult try it and let us know how it goes![youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ordMc5oBDM[/youtube]
Cardio: 10 minutes
* Lower body – foot movement
* Upper body – arms and torso movement
If you use music, 150-160 bpm is ideal for really working up a sweat in this seated workout
* Sit to Stand – 10 reps – leg & core strength
* Wall Push-ups – 10-15 reps – upper body & core strength
* One- arm reach and rotate – 10 on each side – core strength, flexibility and balance
Heck, why not try it out yourself? It’s effective! May all our dads be around to enjoy good health for many years!
Clothing: Top by YMX Yellowman
Workout pants by Nike
Hiking/ Running shoes by Vasque Footwear
We talk about QiDance by Qignition a lot for two reasons: 1) we love it; 2) people are curious. These are the most common questions, with our uncommon responses:
What is QiDance?A pre-choreographed group fitness program that has music and moves that take you on a tour around the world. For example, one song could be disco (see how we put that one first? There’s no denying the rumor that Fun and Fit are disco queens beyond compare. Way beyond), the next jazz, another funk, then Latin, followed by Bhangra. We love the variety and the fact that it’s just plain fun. And just in case you missed it, did we mention our love of disco?
Do you have to have dance skills? Er, well, if you saw us trying to do the “snake” move, you’d know the answer is “no.”
What makes the music so enticing and entrancing? – (Okay, no-one has worded the question quite like that. Mostly they say, “what kind of songs?”) All of the songs are written specifically for QiDance by Kike Santander, a superstar songwriter who has won numerous Grammys creating and producing for artists such as Carlos Santana, Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, and and and….. He’s also trained as a medical doctor, so everything at Qigntion is geared toward “turning on” your life in a holistic way.
How do you actually pronounce “Qignition?” – On a phone call with our colleague Linda McHugh, the director of Qignition’s operations, we had to ask her to say it three times before we got it right! So it isn’t just you asking. All is revealed in this interview with Kike, including the proper way to say his name!
Where is it offered? “I don’t live in Santa Barbara, but I really want to take the class.” – The fine, busy folks at Qignition are working to get instructors trained as quickly as possible, as the demand is so strong around the country. If your club doesn’t offer it yet, ask for it. The training is free for instructors and clubs, so it really is as easy as asking for it. Of course, we encourage you to come to Santa Barbara and take OUR class. We are awesomely, astonishingly fantastic. Except for that snake move.
In the meantime, this video “sizzle” reel will give you a good feel for the spark and style that is QiDance.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L21UfXD4WqU[/youtube]
Will I ever get to meet Kike Santander in person? Maybe, if you live in Florida. But don’t get any ideas; he’s married. We know, due to
our efficient groupie behavior good research.
We love your comments and questions. They help us convince our children that we have friends, no matter how imaginary!
And a shout out to BlueFish Sport for the cute outfit they provided Alexandra in the picture above.
Kymberly: We hear your cry, louder than a baby’s and are here with good news/ bad news. The good news: we wrote a post called Wave Bye Bye to Baby Weight on this very subject that is loaded with help for your exact situation. Start by reading that and trying those exercises. More good news: We created a video with a super tummy tightening abs exercise that is a waistline definer plus all-over core strengthener. Try the Side Lying Plank Rotation Move and feel the challenge right away.
As for the bad news: You’ve got to get a move-on as summer is fast approaching. You are going to need to add more mid- to high-intensity cardio activity to your routine to burn the extra fat you may still be carrying.
Alexandra: Your tummy weight is probably two things – muscles that haven’t paid rent in a long time (possibly with stretched skin on top), and extra fat. The muscles can be toned via the video we made just for you, as well as via these other posts: Fab Abs 1, Fab Abs 2, and Fab Abs 3 (do those sound like 3 seasons of Absolutely Fabulous)?
As my sister mentions above, you will need to do some intense cardio to burn off the extra weight. I don’t know if you gave birth via the Big C or the Just Right V, but if it was the latter, you probably don’t like jumping activities, right? I pushed out two big-headed boys and hate to jump ‘cause it feels like I’m going to pee my pants. (Men, don’t read this bit…jumping actually does make me pee my pants. I hate that, and yes, I do my Kegels. And my kids are teens now. They had BIG heads). We have a post called “Move Your Duff if You Want to Get Buff,” which goes into the “short time frame, big fitness goals,” but you might wish to do your high intensity in the pool or stick more with moderate-intensity and lose the excess weight a wee bit slower. Me, I prefer that path to buff glory! Try Step, stroller-based classes or our group fitness classes.
Readers who have given birth and fought that “baby” weight after at least a year: What worked for you?
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Yet that is what we see from a lot of stairstepper and treadmilling exercisers. Ouch and WTH?! (“What the Heck” – we don’t cuss ‘round these parts much).
At any given moment we can go into the cardio equipment area of a gym and see people working super hard. Yet their form denies them cardio benefits while stressing joints. Don’t let this be you!
Three major no-nos we see involve:
Take a look at our priceless video demo.
Then check your form next time you hit the climber or treadmill. Go for natural arm swing, not death grip on the machine. If you can let go of the side or front bars and stay vertical you are probably doing it right! If your hair looks good when you are done, you are probably doing it light! Ahh ahha. For the record, we shot this footage before Kymberly’s new haircut. You’ll have to return to see the new do. Did “the do” do or didn’t it?
Dear Climber-Stepper buddies: Are you a wrist leaner? Horse reins grabber? Do you even know what Alexandra is talking about relative to “Lost in Translation?”
by Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Alexandra: Yes, or no – Do you think working out sucks?
Before you answer that, ask yourself a few other questions:
These are some of the questions Chuck Runyon, the CEO and co-founder of Anytime Fitness poses in Working Out Sucks. Whatever we’ve been doing over the past few decades to get fit and healthy, it isn’t working. We are less fit and less healthy, and our children are expected to have shorter life spans that we are. I don’t want that for my kids.
The mind tells the body what to do and Runyon and his co-authors, Rebecca DeRossett, a therapist and registered dietitian, and Brian Zehetner, a conditioning professional, share a lot of expert information about ways to train yourself out of bad habits and into better ones. I thought the book would be “in your face” and it is, but not in a blaming, name-calling way. More in a sincerely concerned, “Save your own life and money” kind of way.
Kymberly: Bottom line — the main message of the book is that the consequences of NOT working out suck more than exercise. Yes, inactivity super suckity sucks the most.
If you are someone who needs a boot in the booty; motivation and information to get your giddy up a goin’; a straight shot of “no excuses” advice, then take a read. But move as soon as you put the book down for goodness’ sake!
Fair warning given — the three authors have oodles of personality and do not mind sharing opinions. Are you someone who needs a “no more lame excuses” smackdown to get started on the journey to better health and all around fit-tastic-ness? Do you like stats and quotes that rouse you? Most controversial and misunderstood example: “Money is allergic to fat people.” You will then respond to the opening chapter-ettes that are designed to get you out of your snuggie and into the gym or outdoors.
The later sections help you change any sabotaging behaviors and set a plan for your eating and (dare we say) workouts. “Move a muscle; move a feeling,” is one side benefit of being active. Yes, you really will feel better if you follow the authors’ advice.
Alexandra: Most people hate exercise because it seems like punishment, Even though we at Fun and Fit are all about finding ways to make fitness fun, Runyon’s perspective is more like, “Hey, so exercise might be punishment, but the alternatives are far worse, so get going.” He’s the nagging mom; we’re the teen who knows we should be doing our homework but have procrastinated till it’s almost too late. If you want to get an “A” in life, lace up your shoes, dust off your sweats and do your push-ups!
K and A: Why do we mention push-ups? Because Anytime Fitness puts their money where their LOUD mouth is, and are giving a free one-year membership to one of the participants in our Push-ups for Patriots challenge. To find out why 212 push-ups a day for 31 days does NOT suck, read the post.
And if you want to be entered to win your own copy of Working Out Sucks. you just have to ‘fess up in the comments about an excuse you’ve used to avoid working out. You can also enter to win by tweeting about the giveaway using the hashtag #WorkingOutSucks. Then link to this post or either of us on Twitter so we’ll know you tweeted. We have four copies to give away, so comment at will! While jogging in place! We’ll announce the winners on January 30th, the same day as the #WorkingOutSucks tweetchat.
If you do not win one of our giveaway copies and can use a solid, thorough, easy-to-follow guided tour to start on the path to a better and more active life, buy the book. It includes a 21-day nutrition and fitness plan, AND two coupons in the back for a free 30-Day Anytime Fitness club pass or a one-year Anytime Health online membership. These are worth more than the price of the book, but hey, if you win one, it’s worth waaaaaaay more than the price you paid! Even sweeter, 100% of book proceeds go to support Limbs for Life, a non-profit organization that provides prosthetics to those in need.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Readers: Did working out ever suck for you? If so, did you overcome that feeling? How?