This book contains a collection of articles by Ben Greenfield from http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com - you'll learn everything you need to know about maximizing fat loss, health and physical
This book contains a collection of articles by Ben Greenfield from http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com - you'll learn everything you need to know about maximizing fat loss, health and physical performance through natural methods.
Ben Greenfield’s E-Health
Diet & Fitness
D iet &
S ecret s
Congratulations. By downloading Ben
Greenfield’s E-Health Handbook, you
now have access to 30 cutting-edge ar-
ticles that cover a broad array of lifestyle
wellness topics, such as nutrition, meal
recipes, grocery shopping, optimal exer-
cises, cardio fitness routines, efficient
workouts, fit traveling, and personal
training. Ready to get started? Turn to
page 4 for an quick article index.
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B e n G reenfield resides in Liber t y Lake, WA, where h e i s a c t i ve l y
i nvo l ved as a fitness and wellness consultant, stre n g t h a n d
co n d i t ioning coach, and exercise physiologist. He g ra d u ate d
f ro m Universit y of Idaho with bachelor ’s and maste r ’s d e g re e s i n
s p o r t s science and exercise physiology, and is cer t i f i e d a s a p e r-
s o n a l trainer and coach by the National Strength Co n d i t i o n i n g
A s s o c i ation. B en runs Pacific Elite Fitness at w w w. p a c i f i c f i t. n e t,
a n o n l ine por tal for personal training and triathle te co a c h i n g. I n
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s p o r t testing, coaching, and program design, welln e s s a n d d i e t
l i fe s t y le advising, an d corporate consulting for wo r kp l a ce f i t-
n e s s p rograms. To learn more, visit w w w.pacific fit. n e t o r e - m a i l
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•The Metabolic Key to Weight Loss Success 6
•Five Life Changing Nutritional Myths 10
•A Lean Body Grocery Shopping List from A-Z 13
•How Sugar Makes You Fat 20
•Cardio - Long Easy or Slow Hard? 23
•Ten Fat Burning Tips 26
•The Ultimate Fifteen Minute Workout 31
•Functional Training That Gets Results 34
•Eat Right For The Holidays 38
•Ten Snacks That Melt Fat 40
•Lose Twenty-Six Pounds a Year With TV 42
•Exercise Diet Right For Your Body Type 44
•Six Ways to Get The New Whole Grains 48
•The Low-Down on Sugar Sweeteners 51
•A Thirty-Minute Lean Body Exercise Plan 54
•Five Simple Ways to Boost Workout Intensity 57
•Cardio - Get the Most Bang For Your Buck 59
•All About Overtraining 62
•Five Rock Solid Reasons to Eat Your Fiber 66
•How Alcohol Makes You Fat 69
•Ten Tips to Complete a Road Run 72
•Food Combining - A Powerful Nutrition Tool 75
•Three Body Toning Outdoor Workouts 78
•Five Quick Practical Ways to Burn Fat 81
•How To Lose Weight During a Road Trip 83
•The Ten Rules for Getting Fat 85
•Five Fit Party Recipes 89
•Seven Late Night Snacking Tips 91
•Top Ten Reasons for Your Expanding Waist 93
•What Good Is a Personal Trainer? 96
Ar t i c l e 1 : Th e M e tabolic Key to Weight Loss Success
BMR stands for “Basal Metabolic Rate”, which is the number of calories
your body burns at rest to maintain life. While we like to think that
our hardcore gym routine burns the most calories of the day, it actu-
ally doesn’t even come close. Instead, the BMR is responsible for 60-
70% of the calories expended, through activities such as the beating
of the heart, respiration, and body temperature maintenance. Here
are some key factors that affect the BMR:
• Genetics. The one factor we can’t directly change. Some individuals
have fast metabolisms, and some have slow metabolisms.
• Gender. Due to greater muscle mass and lower body fat percentage,
men have a 10-15% faster BMR than women.
• Age. Because a younger person has a higher rate of cell division,
once you are 20 years old, your BMR drops about 2% every 10 years.
• Weight. Due to increased body tissue volume, an obese individual
actually has a higher metabolism than a thin person.
• Height. Tall thin people have a higher BMR than short people of
equal weight. If both are on the same diet, the short person will gain
much more fat.
• Body Fat %. A lower body fat % means a higher BMR.
• Diet. A strict diet or severe calorie restiction can reduce BMR by up
to 30%. This is one of the reasons why people on a crash diet lose up
to 20lbs of water weight, then plateau.
• Body temperature. For every 0.5 degree celsius increase in internal
body temperature, the BMR increases approximately 7%. Physical
activity significantly increases body temperature.
• External temperature. Prolonged exposure to extremely warm or
very cold environments increases the BMR. People who live in these
type of settings often have BMR’s that are 5-20% higher than those in
• Endocrine function. Thyroid glands that produce too much thyroxin
can double the BMR, while BMR can drop by 30-40% in individuals
with hypothyroidism, or inadequate thyroxin production.
• Exercise. In addition to increasing body temperature, exercise in-
creases lean muscle mass, which burns more calories than fat - even
when you’re not exercising.
The actual number of calories burnt by the BMR averages around
2000-2100 calories per day for women and 2700-2900 per day for
men. The total day’s energy expenditure can dramatically increase
this number, with very active athletes burning up to 6000-8000 calo-
ries per day.
So how do you determine what your personal BMR actually is? While
there are advanced technologies, such as measuring heat output or
expired gas exchange (if you’re interested, I actually run a lab that
offers this option), there are also several different formulas. Here are
• Multiply. Take your body weight in lbs., and multiply by 15-16.
This will give you an approximation of your BMR. If you want to lose
weight, multiply by 12-13, and if you want to gain weight, multiply by
18-19. This method is very simple, but doesn’t account for body fat %,
and will overestimate caloric needs for someone who is obese (30%
body fat or more).
• Harris-Benedict formula. This formula uses height, weight, age and
sex factors to determine BMR. It is more accurate than the multiply-
ing factor, but also does not account for body fat %, and may also be
prone to calorie overestimation for obese people. Remember, 1kg is
2.2lbs, and 1 inch is 2.54 cm.
o Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 X wt in kg) + (5 X ht in cm) - (6.8 X
age in years)
o Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 X wt in kg) + (1.8 X ht in cm)
- (4.7 X age in years)
• Katch-Mcardle formula. This formula is the most accurate, and ac-
counts for body fat %. To find “lean mass in kg”, simply multiply your
weight in kg by your body fat %.
oMen and Women: BMR = 370 + (21.6 X lean mass in kg).
Remember, the BMR does not take into account your activity levels.
This is where activity multipliers can be used to determine your total
daily energy expenditure.
• Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)
• Lightly active = BMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)
• Mod. active = BMR X 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)
• Very active = BMR X 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)
• Extr. active = BMR X 1.9 (hard daily exercise/sports physical job or
2X day training, i.e marathon, contest etc.)
An alternative to using activity multipliers is to use a heart rate moni-
tor or personal calorie measuring device like a bodybugg arm band
(www.bodybugg.com), both of which can approximate calories burnt
during daily activities.
The last step in using this information to lose body fat or gain weight,
depending on your goals, is to adjust your caloric intake so that it
falls above or below your total daily energy expenditure. Let’s say
that you determine your BMR is 1800, and your additional energy ex-
penditure is 700, for a total of 2500 calories. By decreasing your total
caloric intake to 2000 calories per day, you will be at a 500 calorie per
day deficit. Since a pound of fat is 3500 calories, this simple change
can result in a loss of 1 pound of fat per week. A good place to start
for caloric restriction is to consume about 15-20% less than the total
daily energy expenditure.
Remember, if you consume too few calories, or decrease caloric con-
sumption significantly, you can depress your metabolism, decrease
thyroid hormone production, and lose lean muscle. A good guideline
is to never consume more than 1000 calories per day less than your
total energy expenditure. General health recommendations recom-
mend that women never consume less than 1200 calories per day,
and men never consume less than 1800 calories per day. Listen to
your body! If you are constantly sluggish, fatigued, depressed or non-
motivated, you may be overly restricting calories. But if you use your
BMR to accurately adjust your energy intake levels, you can unlock
the metabolic key to weight loss success.
Ar t i cl e 2 : Fi ve Life Changing Nutritional M yths
We are constantly bombarbed by “cutting-edge” research that often
causes dietary confusion. Several years ago, eggs were “bad”, but
now they’re “good”; diet soda was a great way to lose weight, but
now is correlated with obesity; chicken was considered a lean protein
source, but now might be laced with unhealthy hormones. Often
it’s enough to make your head spin. In this article, I’d like to dispel 5
nutritional myths - this may help clear some confusion and put you
one step closer to achieving perfection in your weight loss or fitness
Myth #1: Fat-free yogurt is a great tool in a weight loss diet.
Much of the yogurt at the grocery store is basically a sugar smoothie.
Key lime pie, kiwi-raspberry, strawberry-banana - you name the flavor
or the fruit, and usually it means that heavy doses of sugar were
added to generate that particular flavor. Often, the actual “fruit-at-
the-bottom” is a low-quality fruit that was too damaged or over-ripe
to sell for raw produce. Your body’s reaction is a hormonal response
10 that induces fat storage and an increased appetite! Instead, use plain,
no-sugar added, fat-free yogurt, and add your own fresh fruits, ber-
ries, or nuts. Never feel pressured to finish the whole container - that’s
what the lid is for! Often, a small container of this healthy yogurt can
extend to 2 or 3 separate snacks.
Myth #2: Cholesterol in eggs is bad for your body.
Cholesterol is an essential component of our cells, as well as a crucial
element of the anti-inflammatory response, which we know is high
in the presence of stress, alcohol, injury, and even exercise. Natural
sources of cholesterol actually *contribute* to your body’s overall
health! A good egg contains enough of a compound called lecithin
to help breakdown most of the cholesterol present in the egg itself.
Unfortunately, an egg is often accompanied by a huge slice of frying
butter, a couple strips of bacon or sausage, or even an evil breakfast
pastry. Instead, try this for breakfast - fry an egg in just a few drops of
olive oil, and eat over a bowl of oatmeal - you’ll elevate levels of good
cholesterol, increase fiber intake, and start the day with a great surge
of protein. And if you’re on a lower fat percentage diet, ditch the yolk,
and eat the egg white only.
Myth #3: Saturated fat is the primary contributor to heart disease.
Actually, saturated fat in the form of animal meat was around long
before the surge of heart disease in modern man. During the time
that heart disease has become prevalent in America, consump-
tion of saturated fat from animal sources actually decreased, while
consumption of trans-fatty acids and hydrogenated fats in the form
of margarine, shortening, and refined oils increased! This pattern,
accompanied by a sharp rise in sugar intake and a gradual decrease
in exercise levels, is the real culprit for the modern day heart disease
Myth #4: Drinking diet soda and using artificial sweeteners helps to
Artificial sweeteners still stimulate your digestive system receptors,
causing the brain to go into “eating mode”. However, with no food
present, the body is not satisfied and the appetite powerfully craves
real calories. Not only do artificial sweeteners actually *increase*
your appetite in this manner after consumption, but they often are
accompanied by many of the acids and chemicals in soda that can
cause intestinal distress, and even brain and nervous system damage.
Instead of using artificial sweeteners or consuming diet compounds,
try using honey (preferably natural), herb sweeteners, fruit, or natural,
raw sugar to sweeten your food. But regardless of what you choose
for sweetener, remember that the hormonal response to any sweet
compound switches your body into fat storage, appetite-increasing
mode, so everything in moderation!
Myth #5: You should never eat before bed.
Some individuals rapidly burn carbohydrates, and if they are fol-
lowing the “don’t-eat-2-hours-before-bed” rule, they often become
hypoglycemic during the night, which can disrupt sleep patterns,
growth hormones, and the immune system, causing them to wake
up grumpy, hungry, starved, and in maximum fat-storage mode! Test
yourself - if you don’t eat 2 hours before bed, do you lie awake hun-
gry at night, or tossing and turning as your appetite plows full speed
ahead? Are you ravenous upon waking? If so, try a light meal before
bed that mixes protein and fat. This will slow carbohydrate metabo-
lism and leave you satisfied for a longer period of time. I recommend
a small handful of almonds, walnuts, or sunflower seeds, or if you’re
allergic to nuts, try a few avocado slices, olives, or lean turkey breast
Ar t i c l e 3 : A Le a n B ody G rocer y Shopping List A-Z
I’d like to give you a lean body grocery shopping list. These are foods
that need to appear in your pantry or refrigerator if you truly be-
lieve that a healthy nutritional plan goes hand in hand with a smart
exercise plan! Each food is picked because of it’s capacity to offer
maximum fat-burning, lean-muscle building, and recovery-enhanc-
ing results. By having quick access to the right kinds of foods, you can
fill your body with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and good doses
of fiber - all essential components of a lean and healthy diet. In addi-
tion to burning fat, you’ll reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer,
reduce blood pressure, and live longer!
When shopping for the perfect foods, look for items that fall into one,
or a combination, of the following 4 categories: 1) high in recovery-
boosting, immune system strengthening antioxidants, vitamins, and
minerals; 2) low in animal and saturated fats while offering a good
source of monounsaturated fats or omega-3 fats; 3) high in fat-fight-
ing fiber; 4) good source of lean and complete protein; 5) stabilized
energy in the form of complex carbohydrates.
Remember - this is not a diet plan, and simply because a food is not
included doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat it. But choosing the right
type of foods reduces your likelihood of eating the wrong type of
foods, so use this list to assist in making good decisions!
Apples. Recovery is enhanced with antioxidants and vitamin C, while
the soluble fibre (pectin) can lower blood cholesterol and keep your
digestive system working smoothly. Apples are consider low glyce-
mic index food, meaning your blood sugar will stay more stabilized
when eating apples, as opposed to some other “sweeter” fruits. Over
7,500 varieties of apple are grown throughout the world, so be sure
to try out several varieties. A bowl of apples on the kitchen table will
help you grab a quick and healthy snack!
Bananas. Bananas, contrary to popular belief, are not fattening.
Quick and convenient for fueling the body before and after exercise,
bananas also contain recovery enhancing antioxidants, vitamin B6
for healthy skin, and a good dose of potassium, which keeps your
muscles firing and can also lower blood pressure. Keep one in your
exercise bag for a convenient pick-me-up during a workout.
Beans. Full of vitamin B, folic acid, copper, zinc, magnesium and
potassium, beans also contain a good dose of protein, fiber, and
complex carbohydrates (the stable, low glycemic index energy form).
Beans can lower cholesterol and contribute insoluble fiber to the
diet, which reduces the risk of colon cancer. Try tossing a few table-
spoons of red, white, or black beans onto a salad or into a stir fry.
Berries. A great alternative sweetener for many recipes, berries con-
tain high doses of fiber, minerals , vitamins, and antioxidants. Blue-
berries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries can help prevent
cancer, heart disease, and other effects of aging. Add them to yogurt,
smoothie, and your morning bowl of oatmeal or cereal to help dress-
up your menu!
1 Broccoli. Lutein, one antioxidant in broccoli, can enhance vision,
while sulphoraphane, another antioxidant, has powerful anti-cancer
properties. The high levels of folic acid and beta-carotene in broccoli
will help combat heart disease. Other compounds in broccoli include
indoles and isothiocyanates, which protect cells from damage by
carcinogens, block tumor formation, and help the liver to inacti-
vate cancer promoting hormones. Recover from exercise faster and
prevent chronic disease by steaming a handful of broccoli with your
dinner or by tossing a few sprouts over a salad.
Brown Rice. Brown rice is a complex carbohydrate that includes a
healthy dose of fiber, zinc, protein, minerals and other compounds
that don’t appear in white rice. Cook a batch with chicken breast on a
weekend and have it for lunch during the first few days of the week!
Carrots. The powerful antioxidant beta-carotene, also found in beets,
sweet potatoes and other yellow-orange vegetables, provides pro-
tection against lung, bladder, breast, esophageal and stomach can-
cers, heart disease, and the arthritis. Cooked carrots are even higher
in cancer fighting antioxidants! Munch on a handful of baby carrots
for an afternoon salad.
Chicken. Versatile, quick, and convenient to cook, chicken meat
(especially white) is low in fat and high in iron, protein, niacin and
zinc, making it a great post-workout meal, lunch or dinner. Slap 1/2 of
a sauteed, baked or broiled chicken breast over a sliced tomato and
one piece of whole grain bread for a juicy snack!
Eggs. Fast and inexpensive, eggs contain all the essential amino acids
(complete protein source). Boil an egg for a quick snack later in the
day, or crack a couple eggs with a handful of spinach and a teaspoon
of olive oil for a power breakfast. If you’re concerned about choles-
terol, opt for the egg white instead, which cuts cholesterol by about
Garlic. Contains high amounts of antioxidants, boosts the immune
system, has strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects and helps 1
lower cholesterol and blood pressure while reducing the risk of blood
clots. If you don’t like the taste, you can take it in cap form. Roast
whole heads of garlic for several minutes, then puree in a blender
with a handful of red peppers for a great whole grain bread dipping
Hot Peppers. High in capsaicin, which boosts the immune system
and has a strong anti-viral effect, as well as possibly reducing the
risk of stomach cancer from barbecued foods. Hot peppers have also
been suggested to have body temperature raising and metabolism
boosting effect, which makes them a great choice for throwing into a
sandwich, salad, or stir-fry.
Nuts. All nuts are full of essential vitamins, minerals and fiber, and a
handful of nuts a day can help reduce heart disease, lower choles-
terol, and quell the appetite. Full of monounsaturated fats (the good
kind of fat!), nuts can improve your body’s fat burning efficiency. Top
choices include brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, and soy nuts. Calori-
cally dense, they should be a healthy part of your daily routine, but
consumed in moderation!
Oats: Not only are oats considered a top-notch whole grain food and
blood sugar stabilizing complex carbohydrate, but the beta-glucan
in whole oats can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, while the
soluble fiber can lower blood cholesterol. Make sure to get the real
stuff, not the sugar and cream powder filled instant packets - and if
you can find them, steel-cut oats are by far the best!
Olive Oil: As a monounsaturated fat, olive oil is great for the heart,
and can lower levels of bad cholesterol while increasing levels of
good cholesterol. Monounsaturated fats, found in most vegetable
based fats and oils, are more easily burned by your body as a fat fuel
source and less likely to be stored as fat on the waistline. Olive oil is
also rich in antioxidants, making it a great recovery compound! Just
be careful - one tablespoon contains 120 calories, so a “healthy” olive
1 oil based salad dressing can turn a low calorie salad into a big meal.
Papaya: Papaya provides significantly more vitamin A and C than
most other fruits, and is teeming with recovery enhancing and im-
mune system boosting phytochemicals. Remove the seeds, slice into
small pieces, then combine with cilantro, onions, bell peppers, diced
tomatoes, and lime juice for a tasty whole wheat pita dipping salsa!
Red Grapes: You’ve heard all the hype about red wine, but many of us
simply can’t afford the empty calories provided by the alcohol. Red
grapes contain resveratrol and quercetin, the two potent antioxi-
dants that make red wine a heart healthy source of anti-inflammato-
ries and plaque blocking compounds. Red grapes can also reduce the
risk of gastric ulcers, stroke, osteoporosis and tumor formation. Grab
a bag and stick it in the freezer for a quick and healthy dessert!
Salmon: A great source of lean, high-quality protein, vitamins, miner-
als, and especially omega-3 fats, which can reduce blood clotting,
inflammation, depression, dementia and coronary artery disease,
while stabilizing blood sugar levels, increasing brain power, and pro-
viding high levels of antioxidants. Seafood, especially coldwater fish,
is low in bad cholesterol, and helps raise levels of good cholesterol.
Tip: don’t like fish? Try flaxseed instead, which contains high levels of
alpha-linoleic acid, the plant based source of omega-3s. Flaxseed also
contains high amounts of lignins, powerful cancer fighting antioxi-
Soy: Soy is a high-quality protein that is low in saturated fat and high
in omega-3 fats. It has been associated with reduced cancer risk, low
cholesterol, and decreased risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, and
ovarian, breast and prostate cancers. Soy’s cancer fighting proper-
ties are due to the presence of a compound called genistein, as well
as other compounds called isoflavones, which resemble the body’s
natural estrogens. Soy is no longer limited to “health food stores”, but
can now be found in soy milk, soy burgers, soy bacon, soy tofu, soy
nuts, and other tasty sources. Try marinating soy tofu with olive oil
and a dash of your favorite spices, then toss over a salad! 1
Spinach: Lutein, a major compound in spinach, is not only a potent
antioxidant, but also can protect your vision by providing valuable
eye pigments. It has also been suggested to reduce risk of heart
disease. Spinach is a convenient and affordable way to dress up many
meals, and one of my favorite salads is a spinach salad with sliced
strawberries, walnuts, and olive oil - heart healthy and lean body
Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are tasty and easy to cook, with high
levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium and
beta-carotene. They’re low on the glycemic index, meaning stabilized
blood sugars levels and a solid source of energy.
Tea: Not only can the caffeine in tea help keep you alert and moti-
vated, but tea is also a great source of catechins, an antioxidant that
can protect artery walls from inflammation and prevent blood clot
formation. Try a cup of green tea before a workout for quick pick-me-
up, or poach your chicken or fish dish in brewed tea!
Tomatoes: A great recovery source of antioxidants, due to the pres-
ence of lycopene, which can also decrease cancer risk for the bladder,
colon, prostate, and pancreas. Another antioxidant in tomatoes, glu-
tathione, can boost immune function. After a workout, for a quick re-
covery meal, I’ll often eat a handful of cherry tomatoes with a boiled
egg or two. Cooked tomatoes will release even more antioxidants
- try sauteeing a few diced tomatoes with basil and olive oil, then toss
over whole wheat pasta or slice of whole grain bread.
Water: Of course. Not enough people drink water, so follow this rule:
divide your body weight in pounds by half, and drink that many
ounces of water per day. In addition to providing the H2O necessary
for normal body function, like burning fat, water is also necessary for
crucial minerals, including sodium, potassium, calcium, and phos-
phorus. Remember - if you’re dehydrated, your metabolism will be
Whole Grains: The low glycemic index of whole grains provides a
stabilized sugar that keeps your body from producing high levels of
insulin, which can increase fat deposition and depress the metabo-
lism. Whole grains can stabilize the appetite, protect against heart
disease, and offer high amounts of weight-controlling fiber, which
helps keep food efficiently passing through the gut. Whole grains are
high in phytochemicals and antioixidnats, which them an immune
boosting, disease fighting necessity. Any good exercise routine needs
a quality fuel - and whole grains provide a perfect source.
Yogurt: While providing a more quickly absorbed form of calcium
than a multi-vitamin, yogurt can also improve intestinal health and
speed digestion. Fat-free, plain yogurt is a great source of both
protein and complex carbohydrates, and is a good post-workout
recovery meal source. Just be careful - regular, sugar-filled yogurt can
do more harm than good!
Time to start shopping! Remember, this list is not comprehensive, but
by filling your cupboards with the right kind of food, you’ll be more
likely to make smart and healthy decisions, even when you’re busy.
You may even find that your grocery bill drops as you find natural
and affordable foods that stabilize blood sugar levels and leave you
eating less every day. Remember, nutrition is just as important as
exercise in maintaining a lean body - so prioritize eating the proper
Ar t i c l e 4 : How Sugar M akes You Fat
Look at how many grams of sugar are in what you’re eating (on the
nutritional label). Now divide that number by 4. That’s how many
teaspoons of pure sugar you’re consuming. Kinda scary, huh? Sugar
makes you fat and fat-free food isn’t really free of fat. I’ve said it
before in multiple articles, but occasionally, I’ve had someone lean
over my desk and say “How in the heck does sugar make you fat if
there’s no fat in it?”. This article will answer that puzzler, and provide
you with some helpful suggestions to achieve not only weight loss
success, but improved body health.
First, let’s make some qualifications. Sugar isn’t inherently evil. Your
body uses sugar to survive, and burns sugar to provide you with the
energy necessary for life. Many truly healthy foods are actually bro-
ken down to sugar in the body - through the conversion of long and
complex sugars called polysaccharides into short and simple sugars
called monosaccharides, such as glucose. In additions to the break-
down products of fat and protein, glucose is a great energy source
for your body.
However, there are two ways that sugar can sabotage your body and
cause fat storage. Excess glucose is the first problem, and it involves
a very simple concept. Anytime you have filled your body with more
fuel than it actually needs (and this is very easy to do when eating
foods with high sugar content), your liver’s sugar storage capac-
ity is exceeded. When the liver is maximally full, the excess sugar is
converted by the liver into fatty acids (that’s right - fat!) and returned
to the bloodstream, where is taken throughout your body and stored
(that’s right - as fat!) wherever you tend to store adipose fat cells, in-
cluding, but not limited to, the popular regions of the stomach, hips,
butt, and breasts.
As an unfortunate bonus, once these regions are full of adipose tis-
sue, the fatty acids begin to spill over into your organs, like the heart,
liver, and kidneys. This reduces organ ability, raises blood pressure,
decreases metabolism, and weakens the immune system.
Excess insulin is the second problem. Insulin is a major hormone
in the body, and is released in high levels anytime you ingest what
would be considered a “simple” carbohydrate, which would include,
but not be limited to: fruit juice, white bread, most “wheat” bread
(basically white bread with a little extra fiber), white rice, baked white
potato, bagels, croissants, pretzels, graham crackers, vanilla wafers,
waffles, corn chips, cornflakes, cake, jelly beans, sugary drinks, Ga-
torade, beer, and anything that has high fructose corn syrup on the
Two actions occur when the insulin levels are spiked. First, the body’s
fat burning process is shut down so that the sugar that has just been
ingested can be immediately used for energy. Then, insulin takes all
that sugar and puts it into your muscles. Well, not quite! Actually,
most of us, except those random Ironman triathletes and 8000-calo-
ries-per-day exercisers, walk around with fairly full energy stores in
the muscles. As soon as the muscles energy stores are full, the excess 1
sugars are converted to fat and, just like the fatty acids released from
the liver, stored as adipose tissue on our waistline.
But that’s not all. After the blood sugar has been reduced by going
into the muscles or being converted to fat in the liver, the feedback
mechanism that tells the body to stop producing insulin is slightly
delayed, so blood sugar levels fall even lower, below normal mea-
surements. This causes 1) an immediate increase in appetite, which is
usually remedied by eating more food; 2) the production of a stress
hormone called cortisol. Cortisol triggers the release of stored sugar
from the liver to bring blood sugar levels back up, which, combined
with the meal you eat from your appetite increase, begins the entire
“fat storage, metabolic decrease” process over again.
This process of destabilizing blood sugar levels and sending your
body on a roller coaster ride can occur throughout an entire day,
week, or month. The excessive cortisol that accumulates in the body
eventually distresses your hormonal system and results in other
problems, including a further decrease in metabolism, obesity, de-
pression, allergies, immune weakness, chronic fatigue syndrome and
other serious side effects.
So what kind of carbohydrates can you eat to avoid de-stabilizing
blood sugar levels, constantly sabotaging your weight loss, and
spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in health care as you get
older? Here is a list of carbohydrates do not trigger such a strong
insulin response and instead provide long-term, stabilized energy:
apples, oranges, pears, plums, grapes, bananas (not overly ripened),
grapefruit, oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat spaghetti and egg
fettuccine, whole-wheat pasta, bran cereal, barley, bulgur, basmati,
Kashi and other whole grains, beans, peas (especially chick and
black-eyed), lentils, whole corn, sweet potatoes, yams, milk, yogurt
(preferably low-fat or fat-free) and soy. Stay away from processed and
packaged foods as much as possible, because they are highly likely to
include artificial sweeteners (which basically have a similar effect as
sugar), as well as simple and refined sugars. Keep your eye out for in-
gredients that include sucrose, maltose, dextrose, fructose, galactose,
glucose, arabinose, ribose, xylose, deoxyribose, lactose, and other
fake names for sugars. Even “healthy” juice and many health food
products will need to be avoided if they contain high levels of sugar.
It may be tough to cut the sugar, but I guarantee that making this
one change will give you noticeably better energy, drastically im-
proved health, and a more satisfactory diet. Get started today – begin
reading those food labels!
Ar t i c l e 5 : Ca rd io - Long Easy or Slow Hard
Even if you’ve got the greatest abdominal workout in the world, it’s
not going to slim your waist unless you also burn off the fat. Trust
me...there are many of people out there who have great muscular
tone and balance in the mid-section, but don’t even know it because
those nice abs are covered in a layer of fat. Remember, a combination
of three factors is necessary for a slim waistline: a good abdominal
workout, smart cardiovascular exercise, and proper nutrition. In this
article, I’m going to explain how to choose the proper cardio workout
structure for burning the most amount of calories and burning the
proper ratio of carbohydrates and fat.
When it comes to cardio, the question I probably receive most is:
long and slow or short and fast? This question actually reflects the
most important concept behind a good cardio routine. The truth is, it
depends. Let’s begin by looking at total amount of calories burnt.
Say I ask you to travel a mile on foot. I don’t care how you do it – walk,
jog, or run. Many exercise professionals will tell you that you’ll burn
the same number of calories any way you do it, as long as you’re cov-
ering the same distance. This is simply not true. Studies have shown
that the faster you cover that distance, the more calories you burn,
period. There is a higher metabolic cost to moving quickly than to
moving slowly. So you’re going to burn the most calories by pedal-
ing, running, rowing, swimming, or doing any other cardio you do
as fast as possible. The added bonus is that the faster you move, the
higher your post-exercise metabolism becomes, meaning that you
burn more calories throughout the day after your workout than if you
had moved at a slower pace.
Here’s the catch – the faster you “move” across that mile, the more
you rely on carbohydrates for energy, and the less you rely on fat.
Although burning carbohydrates is beneficial, your body should
also be learning how to efficiently use fat as an energy source. The
“fat-burning” zone varies from person to person, but a good rule is
that when breathing becomes labored or the muscles begin to burn,
you’ve crossed the threshold to utilizing carbohydrate as a primary
energy source. The basic science behind this is that it takes more
oxygen to burn 1 calorie from fat than it takes to burn 1 calorie from
carbohydrate, so as your body begins to work harder and get lower
on oxygen, it turns more to carbohydrate as an energy source.
So here’s the application part. If you are pressed for time in your
workout, go short and fast (i.e. 10-20 minutes, at an intensity level of
8-10). You will burn more calories, both in your workout and through-
out the rest of the day. Ideally, however, if you have the time, you
should also be incorporating long and slow cardio workouts into
your routine (i.e. 20-60 minutes, at an intensity level of 6-8), essen-
tially “training” your body to burn fat as a fuel. Often, I have my clients
work in both zones by performing their short and hard cardio efforts
prior to weight training on their “difficult” days, then performing their
slow and long cardio efforts on their “easy” days. The added bonus is
that the slow and long cardio efforts allow the body to recover more
quickly from the previous day’s difficult efforts, which means better
Let’s finish with a sample workout that will keep you in both zones
during the same workout. This is an “interval” routine. Here’s how it
• 5 minute graded warm-up, gradually working up to a hard intensity
by minute 5
• 1 minute hard-fast effort (labored breathing)
• 2 minutes easy-medium effort (conversation possible)
• 2 minutes hard-fast effort
• 1 minute easy-medium effort
• repeat 1x
• 3 minutes hard-fast effort
• 3 minutes easy-medium effort
• 4 minutes hard-fast effort
• 4 minutes easy-medium effort
• repeat 1x
• 5 minute cool-down, gradually working down to a very easy effort
by minute 5.
Congratulations - you’re yet another step closer to slimming the
waist, burning maximum calories, and achieving optimum health.
Just remember - a good lifestyle wellness routine must include not
only cardiovascular exercises, but also weight bearing movements
and a healthy diet.
Ar t i c l e 6: Ten Fat Burning Tips
I’m going to give you 10 practical tips to turn your body into a
fat-burning machine - information that you can take with you and
implement on a daily basis, both in and out of the gym or workout
environment. Rather than quantify specific amounts, I’ll be giving you
some simple ideas. Let’s get right to it:
#1: Eat Fiber
A high-fiber diet decreases fat and cholesterol absorption in your
intestine (preventing fat storage), slows glucose absorption in the
bloodstream (meaning more sugar gets burnt as energy, less gets
stored as fat), stabilizes insulin levels and delays stomach emptying
(both of which decrease your appetite), and makes you full faster
(so you eat less). Research has shown that a low-fat, high-fiber diet re-
sults in nearly three times more weight loss than a low-fat, low-fiber
diet. So how do you get your fiber? Here’s an example: 1 fully loaded
salad, 1 bowl of oatmeal, and 2-3 raw fruits every day (fruit bonus:
vitamin C in citrus fruit can also help burn fat).
#2: Eat Calcium
Research shows that three or four daily servings of low-fat dairy
products can help reduce body fat. Higher levels of calcium stored in
the fat cells may help enhance fat breakdown, as well as induce an
increase in thermogenesis (the body’s core temperature). The best
calcium should come from dairy products like low-fat milk, yogurt
and cottage cheese (and not from a calcium supplement). Other
good sources, especially for those who are lactose intolerant, include
dark leafy vegetables, salmon, almonds, and oats (notice the extra
#3: Eat Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Studies have shown
that people who include a large and healthy breakfast in their diet
lose significantly greater amounts of fat than those who avoid break-
fast. Skipping breakfast will not help you shed extra pounds, but
may instead result in muscle loss and metabolism decreases, both
of which hinder your fat-burning ability. A great breakfast example
is a large glass of water with a bowl of oatmeal and a couple slices
of whole grain toast, a fresh fruit smoothie, or a handful of mixed
nuts in a container of yogurt. Just remember: breakfast can also work
against you if it’s not healthy: fried meats, sweet muffins and crois-
sants, sugar loaded cereals, or processed packages do not count as a
#4: Eat Frequently
You’ve heard it a million times before: 5-6 small meals a day is better
than 3 large meals. I?d like to step that up a bit: as high as 10 times
a day or more may be necessary, depending on your energy con-
sumption and needs. Here?s an example (from my personal nutrition
log): 1) banana 7am; 2) oatmeal w/ raisins 9am; 3) handful almonds
10:30am; 4) three turkey slices 12pm; 5) one yogurt 1 pm; 6) apple
2pm; 7) large salad 4:30pm; 8) one protein bar 7:00pm; 9) handful
raisins 8:15pm; 10) 1 scramble egg with spinach 9pm (bed at 11pm).
The philosophy behind eating frequently is that the physical act
of digestion has a metabolic cost, and by continually feeding, you
are maintaining a higher metabolic rate. As long as your grazing is
healthy, this results in more calories burnt throughout the day. On
the flipside, eating too infrequently causes your body go into starva-
tion mode and conserve energy, which results in increased fat stor-
age and lower digestive and overall metabolism.
#5: Eat Water
Your body constantly uses water to create energy, build muscle, and
burn fat, and without adequate water, studies have shown that the
muscles are less active, the metabolism drops, and your body burns
fat less efficiently. This slight decrease in metabolism can add up to
over 10 pounds of fat a year! Water also assists in suppressing the
appetite and giving you a “full feeling”. So drink several glasses of
water each day, drink a glass of water at least 30 minutes before your
workout, sip water regularly at the gym, and drink a glass of water af-
ter your workout (speeds up recovery too!). Many naturally occurring
foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are also high in water content
(as well as fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, etc.), so this is
another great way to get your H2O.
#6: Eat Carbs Early
Meals that contain larger amounts of carbohydrates should be eaten
earlier in the day. This means that much of your whole grain and fruit
consumption should occur before noon. The body’s metabolism is
highest earlier in the day, so this is a great time to be supplying your
muscles with energy in the form of glycogen (carbohydrates), while
also ensuring that many of the carbohydrates you consume will be
burned for fuel, rather than deposited as fat stores. Many families
tend to have the biggest meal of the day in the evening, ironically at
the time when the body is least in need of energy and the metabo-
lism is lowest. The practical application would be to make breakfast
bigger and dinner smaller. So try it out - prioritize eating carbohy-
drates early in the day, and focus on decreasing carbohydrate portion
size as afternoon and evening approaches.
#7: Eat Carbs Right
While carbohydrates are important for providing energy and giv-
ing your body the ability to burn fat, you must choose the right
carbs. Simple carbs like sugar and processed flour tend to be rapidly
absorbed by the digestive system, which causes a release of the hor-
mone that encourages fat deposit - insulin. Furthermore, the quick
energy release that is followed by a rapid decrease in sugar levels will
cause you to crave more food, which is why many people on a typical
American diet are *always* hungry! So no matter what percentage
of your diet is made up of carbohydrates, you must choose complex
carbs that are slowly absorbed and digested, thus producing a long
term source of energy that keeps you fuller for a longer period of
time. Whole grain flours, vegetables, oats, and unprocessed grains,
such as brown or wild rice are great choices, and also include many
other compounds important in maintaining a high metabolism and
proper digestive function.
#8 Eat Fat
For the past several decades, mainstream Americans have been shift-
ing to low or no fat diets, with the general result being an *increase*
in obesity and chronic disease, and a decrease in health and fitness.
In the meantime, world populations such as Eskimos, that consume
as much as 70% of their diet from fat calories in whale blubber and
fish, have one of the lowest rates of heart disease in the world. While
this may seem ironic, there are some very good reasons. Typically, to
replace calories that are not provided by dietary fat, carbohydrate
consumption increases. Increased carb consumption leads to a faster
burning energy source, which tends to contribute to cycling blood
sugar levels, use of muscle tissue as fuel, low energy, and decreased
metabolism and hormone production. In addition, many Americans
will replace saturated fat, such as butter, with a trans fat, such as mar-
garine. Trans fats are *much* worse for the body than saturated fat.
So it is important to choose the right kinds of fat. Most animal fats,
and many vegetable oils, are high in cholesterol, which contributes to
heart disease. However, mono-unsaturated fats, such as those found
in olive oil, nuts, fish oil, and various seed oils, can help lower choles-
terol, reduce risk of heart disease, and enhance your body’s ability
to burn fat as a fuel source. So try to eat fish several times a week (or
supplement with fish oil), cook with olive oil, and try to eat at least a
handful of a healthy nut (like almonds or walnuts) once per day.
#9 Don’t Eat Sugar Substitutes
Artificial sweeteners, such as Aspartame, still taste sweet (that’s
why they’re sugar replacements!). When the taste receptors on your
tongue taste this sweet substance, your digestive systems begins to
produce compounds that prepare your body to use the “food” that
your brain thinks you are consuming. The hormones produced in
the digestive process are still present once this fake food enters your
small intestine, but no actual energy release or satiety occurs, which
leaves you with a gut full of digestive hormones that need food to
break down and make the brain crave even more food, this time the
real stuff. This is why studies have shown that consumption of diet
soda products are associated with obesity! If you’re really serious
about burning fat, ditch any sugar substitute foods or diet drinks
that you currently consume. I guarantee that once you overcome the
initial addiction withdrawal, you’ll feel a hundred times better.
#10 Eat Like a Car
Your body runs on fuel. If you put too much fuel into the gas tank, an
overflow occurs, and in the body’s case, this means fat deposition. I
realize that the idea of limiting calories is very simple, but sometimes
the approach is wrong. Never give yourself a certain “number” of
calories per day. You’d never take your car to the gas station and fill
up if you didn’t plan on driving it, and the same goes for your body.
If you have a light day of activity (“low mileage”) or a sedentary day
(sitting in the garage), you should sometimes not even be consum-
ing 50% of the calories you’d normally consume, because your body
doesn’t need them. For instance, on a typical day, I consume 5000-
6000 calories (based on my metabolism and amount of activity), but
on a weekend of travel, where I am either sitting in a car or airplane, I
often consume as little as 1000 calories per day! If your body doesn’t
need the fuel, there’s not a necessity to put it in your mouth. On the
other hand, there will be some days where I consume up to 8000
0 calories, simply because that is how many I actually burn through
with my activities! So if you’re on a set diet of, say, 2000 calories per
day, don’t be afraid to vary as needed.
I’d like to finish by encouraging you to keep at it. Switching to a
healthy diet can be unbearable at times, but the longer you stick
with it, the easier it gets. It’s just like exercise - you can bring yourself
to a maintenance phase where moderate to high physical activity
becomes easier, but the initial work is pretty difficult.
Ar t i c l e 7 : Th e Ultimate Fif teen M inute Workout
So you don’t have time to exercise. It happens to everyone - those
hectic periods in your life when time is so valuable that spending an
hour in the gym is simply not a reality. Unfortunately, many indi-
viduals cannot achieve a full-body, metabolism-boosting workout
without giving at least 60 minutes to their workout.
Guess what? It’s completely possible, for as many as 2-4 weeks, to
maintain and even improve your fitness with just one 15 minute
workout. How is that even possible? The key is in the effectiveness
of the individual exercises. I’m going to introduce you to an exercise
that will use 85% or more of your body’s muscles, while inducing
a fat-melting metabolism boost and a lean muscle tissue growth
response that will put your workout through the ceiling! Combine
this with another exercise that works the other 15% of your body...
and you’re good to go! While your friends are trying to combine a
marathon workout with holiday shopping, social events, kid’s bas-
ketball games, and bad weather, you’ll be fit, trim, and completely
So now for the magic exercise. I call it The Burner, because it burns
out just about every muscle in your body. You’ll understand why if
you get a chance to try it! Essentially, it’s a combination of a deadlift,
squat-thrust, and overhead press. As a matter of fact, next week’s
Trainer Challenge, the weekly kick-butt exercise routine posted at
HYPERLINK “http://www.pacificfit.net” www.pacificfit.net, will be this
same 15 minute routine.
Choose two dumbbells that you’re able to press overhead 15 times.
You’re going to be near or at failure by the 15th rep, and your shoul-
der strength is going to be the limiter for this exercise, so make sure
you choose your weight carefully. Most beginners for this exercise
will be in the 10-30lb range.
Set those two dumbbells in front of your feet, with both feet about
shoulder width apart. This is the starting position for The Burner: with
your arms extended down to the ground and hands holding on to
the dumbbells, in a deep crouching position with knees bent, back
straight, and *very importantly*, weight back behind you, on your
heels. That’s right, stick your butt out.
From this position, kick your feet out behind you, thrusting both feet
into the air and out to a pushup position, with your shoulders and
wrists over the dumbbells and your hands still attached to the dumb-
bells, which should still be resting on the floor.
Kick back up to the starting position, then stand up straight with
the dumbbells, while maintaining good form. This is easier said than
done - your back needs to stay straight, so your knees and hips will
have to do most of the lifting. As you stand, you will transfer the
dumbbells from the floor and up to your shoulders, so that they are
ready to press overhead when in the standing position. Then do it.
Press the dumbbells overhead, hold briefly, then bring them, under
control, back down to your shoulders.
Return the weight to the floor, again easier said than done, by
maintaining the back-straight, knees-bent, weight-on-heels position.
You’re now ready to kick out again.
That’s one rep. You must complete 15.
Move *directly* from your fifteenth Burner to a pull-up bar or assisted
pull-up machine. Complete 15 pull-ups - ideally switching from a
front grip to a reverse grip to a narrow grip. If neither of these ma-
chines are available, do standing rows with a cable apparatus.
Go back and forth, from The Burner to the pull-ups, 4 times OR for 15
That’s it. You’re done.
By combining The Burner, which works 85% or more of your body’s
muscles, with the pulling motion, which works the other 15%, you’ve
completed a full body workout that is a perfect combination of both
cardiovascular and lean muscle building effort.
For those of you with very little time to exercise during a hectic time
of year, like the holidays, swing by the gym at some point during the
day and finish this workout. Trust me - you’ll stay in shape until you
can get back into your routine. While I don’t recommend 15 min-
ute workouts for an extended period of time, this will definitely be
enough to keep you fit and trim for while you go through your busy
Remember, there are literally dozens more fat-burning, metabolism-
boosting secrets that you can have access to in my exercise book
– Shape21: The Complete 21 Day Lean Body Manual. With this book
of guidelines, meals, and workouts, you can achieve results that far
surpass what you can get on your own. As little as 3 weeks of the
manual can expose you to an entirely new workout scheme that
changes the way you view exercise and takes your body to entirely
new levels. Get the book today at www.pacificfit.net, and you could
be started on a brand new, customized program - complete with
tips and tricks to literally melt pounds off your body - as early as this
Ar t i c l e 8 : Fu n c t ional Training That G ets R esults
Many people spend the majority of their workout time building non-
functional muscles that rely on hinges and bolts to function properly.
That’s right - I’m talking about working out on weight machines.
Weight machines have a strong application towards: 1) helping to
provide stability and support for a weak muscle (i.e., just starting into
an exercise routine or coming off a long break); 2) helping to provide
a safe motion when balance is a factor (i.e., individuals with neuro-
muscular deficits); or 3) assisting in fitness maintenance during an
injury (i.e., performing leg extensions when rehabilitating a sprained
ankle). The rest of the time, people who work out on weight ma-
chines are simply building muscle that has no significant functional
application. By this, I mean that none of the small, stabilizing muscles
have to work to support the major muscle groups that are exerted
during a repetition on a weight machine, because the machine is
providing the stabilization. Therefore, the major muscle groups are
strengthened, but when an individual is no longer supported by
the weight machine, they simply have a muscle that can provide a
strong contraction with little to no support from the other stabilizing
muscles. While this is completely counterproductive for an athlete, it
can also cause injury to the average fitness enthusiast.
Take, for example, the machine shoulder press, an exercise in which
you sit your butt in a back-supported chair and press overhead two
handles attached to a lever. Normally, in an everday situation, if you
were to press a weight overhead, or exert a force in that direction,
you would not be in a seated position and the item you are press-
ing overhead (i.e., a milk crate, a child, a basketball, etc.) would not
be supported by a lever. Furthermore, the machine moves straight
up and down, whereas a free object moves in countless planes of
motion (i.e., up and down, side to side, around, etc.). The absence of
multiple ranges or planes of motion basically means that you are get-
ting a very strong contraction from the deltoid (the main “overhead
presser”), while completely ignoring the rotational muscles (i.e., the
rotator cuff ), the stabilizing muscles (i.e., the neck), and the support-
ing muscles (i.e. the feet, legs, hips, torso, etc.). So let’s say you’re out
playing catch and throw a baseball. The deltoid is able to produce a
very strong force, but if the rotator cuff, or other supporting muscles
such as the low back, are not in the same shape, you’re either going
to tear your rotator cuff or throw your low back out. And that, my
friends, is why weight machines can often cause more harm than
good (not to mention the fact that they burn up to 1/4 the calories of
the exercises I’m going to talk about next).
I’d like to briefly introduce you to functional exercises, the alternative
to working out with machines. The best way to think about func-
tional exercises is to picture the primal man or woman (we’re talking
caveman type). Functional movement patterns simulate many of the
same movements our “primal ancestors” would have had to perform
in order to survive in an unpredictable environment, whether track-
ing a wild animal (or being chased by one!), lifting objects such as
logs and rocks, or fighting via swinging, throwing, and pulling (such
as a bow). Let’s split these functional movement patterns into seven
-Squatting: Involves bending at the knees and the hips, while keep-
ing the back straight, and lifting a weight from the ground or push-
ing a weight that is placed on the back or chest. Imagine your primal
ancestors squatting down and lifting a heavy rock to dig for grubs, or
using the legs and hips to lift a heavy log up onto a primal structure.
Exercise examples: Barbell or Dumbbell Squat, Squat to Press.
-Bending: Involves flexing and extending at the waist, preferably
in a standing position. Often, this type of movement would have
been combined with a squatting, lifting, or rotating motion, such as
hoisting a heavy rock out of a field. Exercise examples: Medicine Ball
Overhead or Side Throw, Deadlifts.
-Lunging: Involves stepping forward with just one leg, and bending
that leg down. This motion would have been used for either travers-
ing terrain (i.e., carrying hunted game over a log), or stepping into a
throw (such as hoisting a spear). Exercise examples: Walking Lunge,
Barbell or Dumbbell Weighted Lunge, Medicine Ball Lunge with Twist.
-Pushing: Involves using the arms, chest, and shoulders to force a
weight out and away or up from the body, an action that might have
been used, for example, when herding animals, pushing a plow, or
hoisting a weight overhead. Exercise examples: Standing Cable Chest
Press, Push-up, Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press.
-Pulling: Involves using the arms, chest, and shoulders, as well as the
legs, to drag or pull a weight towards the body. This type of motion
would have been used to pull heavy game animals, row a watercraft,
pull a bow, or quickly pull onto a tree branch for safety. Exercise ex-
amples: Standing High, Mid, and Low Cable Rows, Pull-ups.
-Twisting: Involves turning and rotating with the torso to apply a
force, and would have usually been combined with most of the other
primal movement patterns for actions such as pulling, pushing, or
lunging. For instance, a twist combine with a lunge and push would
comprise a throwing motion, such as hoisting an object like a spear
or heavy rock. Exercise examples: Medicine Ball Throws, Cable Torso
Twists, Medicine Ball Woodchoppers.
-Gait: Involves moving over terrain, whether walking, jogging, or
sprinting. This action would often have been interspersed with other
movement patterns, such as walking to track a wild animal, sprint-
ing to hunt it down, then twisting, lunging, and pushing to throw or
thrust a weapon. Exercise examples: Sprint to Medicine Ball Throw,
Dumbbell Lift and Press to Power Skip.
As you can see, there are countless ways that these movement pat-
terns can be combined to design a workout routine, but there are
only a few *optimum* choices. You must become equipped with the
knowledge to put these movement patterns together into a routine
that allows for the ideal balance between muscle groups, efficient
caloric burning, fat utilization, and metabolic boosting, and injury
avoidance. Imagine how much fitter you could be by incorporating
all these patterns into your routine, while only using weight ma-
chines now and then for some of the reasons mentioned in the be-
ginning of this article. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org about getting
set-up on a personalized exercise program, or go to www.pacificfit.
net to look into online personal training.
Ar t i c l e 9 : Eat R ight For the Ho lidays
Here’s some quick tips on getting through holiday style feasts, like
Thanksgiving or Christmas, without completely sabotaging your
weight loss efforts.
1) Eat as much vegetable and pumpkin as possible...*before* the
turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Pumpkins, onions, celery, sweet
potatoes, yams, squash, green beans, and fruits such as cranberries
and apples are high in fiber and tend to make you fuller faster. The
presence of these foods in your gut will also decrease fat absorption
from the other more fatty foods such as the meats and cheeses as
the food moves through your intestines. So prioritize consumption of
these foods, and get them on your plate before the others.
2) Eat slow. Eating slowly allows you to feel full *before* you’ve eaten
more than you actually need. By taking smaller bites, enjoying the
conversation around you, and focusing on the meal as just a small
part of the celebration, you’ll be more likely to spend 20 minutes on
one plate, rather than starting on thirds inside of 15 minutes (you’ll
thank me when you don’t have the post-meal stomach-ache this
year!). Try taking 20 C/B (Chews per Bite).
3) Choose your pie wisely. You will literally save hundreds of calories
by choosing a fiber-rich, lower sugar pumpkin pie over rich, buttery
apple, or even worse, pecan pie. The pumpkin pie takes up just as
much room in your stomach, which will still satisfy your appetite.
4) Take a walk. The post-meal physical activity will boost your me-
tabolism, and keep those fatty acids circulating in the bloodstream
so that they’re less likely to get deposited as fat on the waistline, butt
and thighs (note: save the backyard football for *before* the meal
- you don’t want to get tackled with a belly full of turkey).
5) Snack beforehand. Don’t fast all day because you know you’ll be
eating a big meal later on. The last thing your body needs is to be
in starvation, fat-storage mode when the feast arrives. Instead, eat a
healthy, complex breakfast (like a bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit),
and snack throughout the day on 100-250 calorie meals, like a piece
of raw fruit, a handful of nuts, or a small salad. You’ll be less likely to
overeat at any big meal if you practice this habit.
6) Don’t overdo exercise. I know those Thanksgiving day exercise
classes and early morning workouts feel great and make you feel less
guilty, but just don’t overdo it. A 3 hour marathon of lifting, cycling,
and running is only going to increase stress on your body and raise
the level of fat storage hormones, just before the food goes in. Follow
this rule: don’t exercise any more than you would on a typical day.
7) Have fun! For those of you on a strict diet-exercise regimen, this is
one of those times of year to really enjoy yourself. Everybody needs a
break once in a while, and one piece of pumpkin pie, or a tablespoon
of gravy, is not going to sabotage your routine and make you fat. As
a matter of fact, occasionally indulging yourself is a great way to feel
mentally and physically excited about getting back into your routine.
So try to follow the simple rules in this article, and at the same time,
break loose and have fun!
Ar t i c l e 10: Ten Snacks That M elt Fat
Whether lying awake in bed at night when hunger pangs strike, or at
a social gathering where snack plates are circulating, most of us have
experienced food cravings that are just too hard to resist. When the
time comes to choose your snack, are you prepared to make the right
decision? More specifically, are your prepared to reach for a food
that will actually burn more calories than it contains? These types of
foods, called negative calorie foods, are purported to have so little
energy that your body uses more energy to digest and absorb the
nutrients than the food actually contains! Switching to negative
calorie foods for the majority of your snacking, combined with a solid
exercise program, can enable you to literally watch fat melt away!
This article is going to give you a jump-start on your nutrition with
10 negative energy snacks that will boost your metabolism and burn
loads of calories.
1. Cabbage. I suggest supplementing a daily salad with sliced cab-
bage strips, or finding a healthy cabbage salad recipe.
0 2. Celery. Drenched in peanut butter and raisins does not count.
3. Cucumber. Sliced cucumbers make a great addition to any salad or
4. Carrots. Again, sliced on salad, or eaten raw, if you prefer.
5. Tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are great snacks, or stack them on a
healthy sandwich with lettuce (another negative calorie food!).
6. Blackberries/Raspberries/Strawberries. Great for snacking raw, or
throwing into a blender or a bowl of oatmeal.
7. Grapefuit. A bowl of fresh grapefruit on the breakfast table is a
8. Watermelon/Honeydew/Canteloupe. Again, good for smoothies,
nice for breakfast, great for snacking.
9. Peaches. Throw into a ziplock bag for a convenient snack at work or
travel. Just remember napkins.
10. Mandarin oranges. Wonderful on salads, or with a meat such as
So how does it work? Basically, your body’s response to the presence
of these foods results in the production of digestive enzymes, which
act like small engines to break up carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
However, because of their specific vitamin and mineral content, the
enzyme response to these foods is so great that there are enough
engines to not only break down the negative calorie food, but also
additional calories that are present in digestion. So a 5 calorie piece
of celery may take 30 calories to burn, resulting in a negative 25 calo-
rie intake. Amazing! I haven’t seen the research that actually shows
the science, but I know it’s worked with dozens of people that I train,
so try it out!
Ar t i c l e 1 1 : Lo s e Twent y-Six Pounds a Year With T V
If you fall into the same category as most modern people, you watch
TV at least once a week. Truth be told, you probably watch TV much
more than that, if you’re average. Most of us have *at least* one pro-
gram that we watch during the week, whether it be sports program-
ming, a drama, the nightly news, or the Saturday morning cartoons
(you know who you are!).
Furthermore, if you fall into the same category as 100% of the people
on the planet, your body adapts to the demands that you place on it.
What this means is that the more random your exercise becomes, the
more favorably your body responds to exercise. This is why individu-
als who change their exercise routine every 2-8 weeks see more ben-
efit than those who do the same weekly workout routine throughout
the entire year.
So where on earth am I going with this? Here it is: I’m going to teach
you how to use the randomness of your television programming to
design your own home TV workout routine or gym cardio routine.
Since you never know what’s going to happen, this type of training
will keep your body guessing. And if you watch, say, just 2 hours of
television per week, this type of training could allow you to burn as
much as 600-1600 extra calories, leading to as much as 26 pounds
of fat in a single year! I’m going to give you three workout examples
that are arranged according to television genres (by the way, this
could work with radio as well if you’re creative):
Choose a Team A and Team B. Ball possession by Team A signifies a
superfast interval, so every time Team A has the ball, you go hard,
whether it be pedaling faster (bringing the RPM up), increasing the
treadmill speed, or raising the elliptical strides per minute. Anytime
Team B has possession, you decrease to a moderate pace. Commer-
cial breaks represent superhard intervals, so every time a commercial
break shows, you increase the resistance or incline for the first com-
mercial, decrease for the second commercial, increase for the third,
and so forth. To continually challenge your body, you can see that
this workout would dramatically change for a football game versus,
say, a basketball game.
Let’s use an abdominal workout example. Choose an exercise for 5
major characters in the show. Character 1 would be a crunch, Char-
acter 2 could be a side crunch, Character 3 a bridge, Character 4 a
bicycle crunch, and Character 5 a reverse crunch. Or, for example, for
the legs you could use double leg squats, reverse lunges, side lunges,
forward lunges, and calf raises. Every time a character associated
with an exercise appears, you perform that exercise. The commer-
cial breaks represent cardio intervals, where you can either perform
jumping jacks, step-ups, or jog in place. Use the opening and closing
credits for stretching.
As you can guess, a movie workout could be fairly long. A good
way to approach movie exercises is to associate certain exercises
with genre objects in the movie. For instance, during an action film,
a police car would represent 10 overhead presses, gunfire would
represent standing 10 shadow punches, explosions would represent
10 lunge jumps, and aircraft would represent 10 side planks. Depend-
ing on how many “objects” you choose, this can be a very challenging
workout. Be sure to choose exercises that allow you to keep your eyes
on the screen (primarily standing, seated, or back lying exercises).
I realize that this type of exercise is unconventional, but if conven-
tional routines aren’t working for you, or you just want to try some-
thing new, a television based workout could be the answer! Try it out
for just two weeks (I dare you!) and see if you get results. If anything,
it’s a great excuse to watch more TV.
Ar t i c l e 1 2 : E xe rc i se D iet R ight For Your B ody Type
Let’s face it - there is no “magic” exercise routine that provides won-
derful results to every person who tries it...just like there is no “magic”
diet and no “magic” weight loss pill. Humans are like snowflakes, and
our biological diversity needs to be taken into account when plan-
ning a fitness or nutrition routine. At the same time, much confusion
and frustration can be eliminated due to the fact that most individu-
als fit very nicely into three different categories. In anatomy terms,
these three categories are called “ectomorph”, “mesomorph”, and
“endomorph”. As you read through this article, see if you can place
yourself into one particular category. Like any classification scheme,
you may not fit perfectly, but you will find that you match up with
one category more than the other two, and this information will be
especially helpful in forming a plan to achieve your health goals.
Ectomorph: You’re skinny. You have been for most of your life, or as
long as you can remember. For the most part, you can eat whatever
you want and not gain too much weight, although you might sacri-
fice tone if you don’t watch your diet. You are told by most that you
have a “high” metabolism, and you love long and slow cardiovascular
exercise. Weightlifting is hard for you, and never seemed to make you
very muscular. At the same time, when you look in the mirror, you
would like to see a more toned body, with tighter curves and a more
Fitness Recommendations: Lung capacity and endurance is easy to
maintain, so your body isn’t getting optimal benefit from long and
slow cardio. You would benefit more from fast and explosive cardio
interval training, much like a sprinter. Your body can actually be
trained to increase the number of fast-twitch, muscular, sprint-type
fibers, so in the weightroom, choose exercises that are multi-joint
and allow you to use a heavy weight, such as benchpress, squat, and
deadlift. Attempt to reach muscular fatigue within 6-10 repetitions.
Your body type tends to overtrain very easily, which can depress
the metabolism and lead to increased fat deposition, so don’t worry
about working out much more than 30-75 minutes a day, and include
frequent recovery days.
Nutrition Recommendations: You burn through carbohydrates like
crazy, so sugary foods will not be as bad for your figure as the other
two categories. To maintain energy stores, make sure to consume
adequate carbohydrate, typically as 55-70% of the diet. To assist with
muscle growth, increase consumption of lean protein sources, like
whey, egg whites, turkey breast, chicken, and nuts.
Mesomorph: Traditionally muscular. You’re pretty good at sports,
especially forceful activities like football and wrestling, but seem to
get injured quite often. If you don’t watch what you eat, you get fat
quickly, but can lose it right away with a controlled diet. You’ve never
had any trouble with gaining muscle in the weightroom, but car-
diovascular exercise is difficult, especially longer efforts. As you age,
you’ve maintained fairly muscular arms and legs, but have noticed
increased fat deposits on the butt and thighs, a bulging waistline, a
Fitness Recommendations: Unlike the “fat” endomorph category, you
have sufficient lean muscle mass to keep the metabolism boosted.
However, your body is fairly sufficient at storing fat, and it’s been
piling up over the years. To see good results, you need to put your
body in a state where fats, not blood sugars, are being utilized as an
energy source. Long, moderate intensity cardiovascular efforts in the
morning, preferably before breakfast, will make your body turn to
these fats as an energy source. Try for 30-60 minutes, every day. If you
have the extra time, just 20-30 minutes of circuit style weightlifting,
3-6 days a week, in the 12-20 rep range, will be sufficient to maintain
Nutrition Recommendations: Fortunately, you have enough lean
muscle mass to allow your body to efficiently burn carbohydrates.
But you need to be especially careful to avoid those foods for which
you probably have the highest craving: saturated fats and non-lean
proteins. Steak and cheese are among the biggest culprits for your
body type. Limit consumption of fats to natural plant or nut sources,
such as avocados, sesame seeds, almonds, or olive oil. Avoid non-lean
proteins such as red meats, sausage, eggs, or butter. Make sure to in-
clude frequent intakes of healthy fiber, vitamin, and mineral sources
- fresh, raw fruit and large, complex salads should be a major part of
Endomorph: You have always struggled with weight. No matter what
type of diet or fitness routine you do, it always seems like there are
pounds to be lost. It seems like you gain weight just “looking” at food.
You may also encounter frequent knee or hip pain due to your extra
mass. While exercising in general is not hard for you to commit to, it
can be mentally discouraging because of seemingly limited results.
Fitness Recommendations: Unlike the other two categories, you
have neither sufficient lean muscle mass or metabolism on your side.
Therefore, your exercise routine must both build muscle and boost
the metabolism, while chipping away at accumulated fat stores. Your
best bet will be a combination of short and intense, metabolism-
boosting cardiovascular intervals before weightlifting, and long,
moderate efforts in the morning before breakfast, as well as in the
evening after dinner. Your weightlifting routine should be in the
10-15 rep range, and should incorporate full-body, multi-joint efforts.
Because of your slow metabolism and propensity to store food as fat,
you may need to put more hours into your fitness routine than the
other two groups. This means that a “two-a-day” routine may be nec-
essary - with one workout that include intense cardio and weightlift-
ing, and another workout that is long and steady.
Nutrition Recommendations: Limit the majority of carbohydrate con-
sumption to morning, and pre/mid/post workout meals. Attempt to
control blood sugar as much as possible with small, frequent snacks,
and slow-digesting, non-sugary carbs. Like the mesomorph category,
consume only lean proteins and natural fats, and include several
good fiber sources in your diet. Drink as much water as possible, and
preferably include a large glass with each meal or snack. Do not suc-
cumb to the temptation to “starve” yourself, as this will only depress
your metabolism. Instead, eat smart and frequently, providing your
body with adequate energy for frequent exercise.
This article only briefly touches the surface of body type specificity
considerations for exercise and nutrition. To have a customized pro-
gram designed for your exact body type, I recommend visiting with a
Ar t i c l e 1 3 : S i x Ways to G et the New Whole G rains
In 2005, the FDA issued guidelines for whole grains, recommending
that Americans consume at least three one-ounce servings on a daily
basis. Whole grains have been proven to lower heart disease and can-
cer risk, and are an important addition to any fat-burning, lean-mus-
cle building diet. Unfortunately, many food manufacturers jumped
on the “whole-grain” bandwagon and advertised an assortment of
foods that claim to possess whole grains, but actually don’t! With no
official definition of whole-grains, it can be tough for consumers to
realize that cracked wheat, stone-ground wheat, most wheat flour,
and other foods stamped with a whole-grains label aren’t the real
thing, but are instead predominantly a less healthy refined grain, and
often a highly processed food with just a trace of whole-grain.
In 2006, however, the FDA issued an official definition of whole
grains. According to the new definition, whole-grain food must con-
tain three major parts: 1) Bran, which is the fiber-rich outer part of the
grain kernel; 2) Endosperm, which is the inner part, and typically the
only part of the grain found in most processed foods, and 3) Germ,
which is the heart of the grain kernel. If a grain has been processed, it
can still be defined as a whole-grain food, but only if it still contains
these essential components.
So now what can be categorized as whole-grain food? Some of the
more popular whole-grains include oatmeal, popcorn, shredded
wheat, and brown rice. Other less common foods include barley,
buckwheat, bulgur, wild rice, whole wheat, and whole rye. Then
there’s amaranth, quinoa, sorghum, and grano, most of which are
tough to pronounce and even tougher to find at the average grocery
Here’s 6 great whole grain ideas to include in your diet as slow-di-
gesting, fiber-rich carbohydrate sources, full of essential vitamins and
minerals like magnesium, potassium, selenium and zinc, as well as a
good portion of protein. Try and enjoy!
1. Barley: barley is great in soups, because it soaks up the broth flavor,
, and is also a wonderful side dish alternative to wild rice. Try cooking
in broth or water for about 45 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.
Then add a teaspoon of minced garlic and a teaspoon of curry pow-
der, sauteed onions, and a handful of raisins, parsley and almonds.
Salt and pepper to taste. Delicious!
2. Brown rice: Cook 45 minutes in chicken broth, then add chopped
onion and sliced mushrooms that have been sauteed in olive oil.
Serve with chicken, and save the leftovers for a healthy snack the
3. Oats: steel cut are preferable, but regular are still OK. Add boiling
water, a teaspoon of natural peanut butter, a teaspoon of plain, fat-
free yogurt, a pinch of cinnamon and brown sugar, and a handful of
diced apples. Heat and serve!
4. Wild Rice: twice the protein and fiber as brown rice, but less cal-
cium and iron. Cook in chicken broth until the juices are absorbed,
then add handful of almonds and raisins. Serve with a lightly sauteed
fish cooked in olive oil and red wine. Or, for an Azteca version, mix
with a handful of diced tomatoes, a can of minced chipotle chili, a
teaspoon of ground cumin, and a handful of minced fresh cilantro.
5. Whole Wheat Pasta: 25% more protein, three times the fiber, and
less calories than white pasta. Cook according to package directions,
then add a sauteed blend of chicken, red peppers, zucchini, onion,
mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, and garlic. Serve with spaghetti sauce.
6. Bulgur: a quick cooking form of whole wheat that’s been ground
into particles. Boil a cup in water or broth until the liquid is absorbed.
Add a can of black beans, the grated rind and squeezed juice of 1
orange, 2 teaspoons vinegar, 2 teaspoons olive oil, a teaspoon of
ground cumin, and a handful each of chopped green onion, chopped
red pepper, and chopped fresh parsley. Chill in the refrigerator and
serve as a salad!
By consuming whole grains and utilizing whole grain based recipes,
you will experience increased energy levels, more intense exercise
sessions, and a more well-rounded diet. It could change your life,
your waistline, and your energy levels forever!
Ar t i c l e 1 4 : Th e Low-Down on Sugar Sweeteners
Most people don’t mind sweets. For many of us, that’s the under-
statement of the century - the majority of us can’t live without them!
In one form or another, whether it be a tablespoon of brown sugar in
the morning oatmeal, a packet of artificial sweetener in each coffee,
a small dessert after dinner every night, or a tasty protein “candy-bar”
after the workout, most of us have a propensity towards a sweet at
least once a day. When you stop to look at the data, there is an enor-
mous amount of food that is sweetened, and an enormous variety of
compounds, both natural and artificial, that can be used as sweeten-
ers. Unfortunately, many of these compounds directly oppose many
health and fitness goals, and lead to increased appetite, fatigue, de-
creased metabolism, obesity, or even just upset stomachs. The bright
side is that there are several completely natural compounds that can
be used as sweeteners, with none of the aforementioned side effects.
Let’s look at the major sweeteners, not including the handful that are
still pending approval by the FDA: 1
Acesulfame Potassium: A synthetic chemical that is 150-200 times
sweeter than sugar, it is found in dry beverage mixes, instant coffee
and tea, gelatins, puddings, gum, candy, baked goods, soda, des-
serts, and sweetener packets. Rumored to cause tumors in laboratory
animals and a possible carcinogen.
Aspartame: AKA NutraSweet. About 180-200 times sweeter than
sugar, it is found in thousands of everyday products, including tooth-
paste, breakfast cereal, multivitamins, sodas, yogurt, etc. It has been
strongly linked with cancer, and complaints that have been raised to
the FDA include anxiety attacks, headaches, mood swings, nausea,
dizziness, hyperactivity, arrhythmia, tinnitus, insomnia, stomach
problems, seizures, blurred sight, muscle cramps, nervous twitching,
joint pain, fatigue and slurred speech. There are also a number of re-
searchers who blame this group for a growing number of neurologi-
cal disorders. Of course, these concerns aside, a main problem with
Aspartame is that consumption can lead to an increased appetite.
Basically, your body recognizes the sweet taste of Aspartame and
begins insulin production, but since there are no actual calories in
Aspartame, the blood sugar that *is* in your body is lowered (that’s
what insulin does!) and your appetite increases. Insulin can also act
on the thyroid gland to depress your metabolism. As a sort of double
whammy, the primary components of Aspartame, phenylalanine and
aspartic acid, can stimulate further secretion of insulin. Not willing to
take any chances, I make a habit of checking the nutritional label for
NutraSweet before I consume any “health” or “low/no-calorie” foods.
Saccharin: AKA Sweet N Low. An organic compound that is about
300-400 times sweeter than sugar, and found in soft drinks, gum,
toothpaste, and several diet foods. Although the FDA recognizes sac-
charin as safe compound, it has been determined to cause caner in
laboratory animals. I’m not taking any chances.
Stevia: BINGO! This is a no-calorie herbal sweetener that is derived
from a daisy plant that grows in South America. It has been associ-
ated with lower blood pressure and inhibited fat absorption, and
does not adversely affect blood sugar, so it’s safe for diabetics. Many
time sweeter than sugar, it has been labeled as a dietary supplement
by the FDA, but accepted as a common sweetener for decades in
countries like Japan, Thailand, China, South Korea, Paraguay and Bra-
zil. No side effects have been reported, *but* no major corporations
can make any money off Stevia because it is natural and cannot be
patented. Therefore, we consumers don’t have it pushed our direc-
tion very often. But if I had to pick a sweetener from this list, I’d go for
Stevia. If not purchased at a health food store, it can be gotten from
various online distributors, including stevianow.com, steviva.com
Sucralose: AKA Splenda. About 400-800 times sweeter than sugar
and found in soda, yogurt, baked goods, coffee and tea, fruit spreads,
syrup, sweetener packets, gum, frozen desserts, and salad dressings.
Probably not a carcinogenic, but is linked with diarrhea and abdomi-
nal cramping, which is why I avoid it. I’ve had several clients have
stomach problems disappear after cutting this compound from their
Sugar Alcohols: These actually have the same amount of calories as
regular sugar, but your body processes them differently, only partially
utilizing the energy. Look on the nutritional label for words ending in
“-ol”, like sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol or xylitol. They can be found in
many energy and fitness products, as well as toothpaste, nasal spray,
and gum. Unfortunately, like Splenda, they’re strongly associated
with abdominal cramps, gas, diarrhea, and bloating.
Sugar: Of course it’s listed! Commercialy refined sugar is strongly
associated with tooth decay and obesity, but has been suggested to
also suppress the immune system, reduce good cholesterol, increase
bad cholesterol, cause hypoglycemia, hormonal imbalances, varicose
veins, food allergies, high blood pressure, depression, food cravings,
and addiction to sweet foods. Probably not the best choice.
At the end of this list, I’d like to mention one other healthy sugar
alternative: blackstrap molasses. It contains heavy doses of calcium,
iron, and B vitamins, with about a quarter of the calories of regular
sugar. You can find it at health food stores, and might recognize it
as the same flavor used to sweeten various bean dishes and ginger-
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but that’s a handful of
choices! Ultimately, there is one form of natural sweetener that com-
pletely beats the rest. I consume it at least two times a day, use it as a
sweetener alternative in yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, and a variety of
other dishes - and the amazing and well-researched health benefits
are too long to list.
It’s called fruit. Try it! I think you’ll like it.
Ar t i c l e 1 5 : A Th i r t y-M inute Lean B ody Exercise Plan
So you can make it to the gym almost every day...but you just don’t
have the time when you’re there. To really get optimum fat-burning
and lean-muscle-building results, you have to devote at least an hour
every time you show up, right? Not necessarily - with the following
program, you can achieve great results with just a half-hour workout.
This program is perfectly designed for the individual who can easily
devote 30 minutes a day to exercise - no more, no less. The goal of
this workout program is not necessarily muscle mass or sports perfor-
mance - just a lean body with impressive muscular tone – think Brad
Pitt in Fight Club or Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider.
The workout is based on a recovery concept. Your body actually
responds to a workout during the rest and recovery period following
exercise. It is during this time that the muscle rebuilding and repair-
ing response takes place, as well as the cardiovascular adaptations
that boost the metabolism and allow your body to more efficiently
use oxygen and maintain fitness. By using a push-pull cycle com-
bined with a light-heavy pattern, this workout allows for optimal
recovery and maximum results.
Each lifting day is completed as a circuit, moving from one exercise
to the next with minimal rest. Every circuit is completed a total of five
times. Five sets, which may seem high for volume, will fatigue the
muscle to a much greater extent than fewer sets, which is one of the
reasons this routine achieves results with a relatively small number of
exercises. To allow for good lifting form, a 45-60 second rest is recom-
mended after each circuit. Your heart rate will stay very high during
For the cardio on lifting days, attempt to maintain as difficult an ef-
fort as possible for 10 minutes. Several examples would be a hard run
on the treadmill, sprint or hill climb on the bike, or fast feet combined
with high resistance on the elliptical trainer. On the days that incor-
porate 30 minutes of high intensity cardio intervals, use a 1:2 work/
rest ratio, which means you push at a very hard effort for a certain
period of time, then recover at an easier effort for half the time of the
hard effort. For instance, perform a treadmill sprint for 2 minutes, and
slow to a jog for 1 minute. As long as you go for 30 minutes, you may
adjust the length of your cardio intervals as desired. Typically, the
longest interval you should complete is 5 minutes long (which would
be paired with a 2.5 minute recovery effort). Warm-up/cool-down is
recommended for the cardio, but not completely necessary, since
you’re trying to get this workout done with quickly and moving on to
more exercise afterwards.
For the purposes of this workout, the core abdominal routine is
treated as an entirely different movement, since it is difficult to
classify torso work as pushing or pulling. Instead, abdominal work
is divided into upper, lower, and rotational torso routines, retained
the 5 set theme and spaced with optimal 48 hour recovery periods
between each workout.
The entire program is completely outlined here - remember to com-
plete 5x circuits for each lifting day:
Day 1 - Heavy Pull + Upper Abs: (begin with 10 minutes high intensity
Barbell Clean or Bent Row - 8 reps heavy weight
Pull-Up - 8 reps heavy weight
Barbell Deadlift - 8 reps heavy weight
Upper Abs - 5 sets of 12 incline crunch and twist with medi
cine ball or weighted crunch
Day 2 - Light Push: (begin with 10 minutes high intensity cardio)
Dumbbell Chest Press - 10 reps medium weight
Dumbbell Shoulder Press - 10 reps medium weight
Barbell Back Squat - 10 reps medium weight
Day 3 - 30 High Intensity Cardio Intervals with 1:2 work/rest ratio
Lower Abs - 5 sets of 15 hanging leg raises, reverse crunches
or flutter kicks
Day 4 - Heavy Push: (begin with 10 minutes high intensity cardio)
Incline Chest Press - 8 reps heavy weight
Barbell Push Press - 8 reps heavy weight
Dumbbell Walking Lunge - 8 reps each leg heavy weight
Day 5 - Light Pull: (begin with 10 minutes high intensity cardio)
Lat Pulldowns or Light Pull-ups - 10 reps medium weight
Seated Row or Standing Narrow Grip Row - 10 reps medium
Low Back Extensions or Leg Curls - 10 reps medium weight
Rotational Abs - 5 sets of 20 cable torso twists or seated
torso twists to each side
Day 6 - 30 High Intensity Cardio Intervals with 1:2 work/rest ratio
Day 7 - Rest or 30 Cardio with 1:2 work/rest ratio
Like any new exercise routine, your body will adapt to a different
workout within 4-8 weeks, so make sure to continually change your
choice of exercises, and do not simply rely on the exercises provided
in this article. If you enjoy this routine, you may be interested in simi-
lar workouts that a personal trainer can provide, or may just want to
learn more about exactly how to perform the outlined exercises. Be
sure to check out the online personal training website Pacific Elite Fit-
ness at www.pacificfit.net. Remember - the fastest, most easily main-
tained results occur with an exercise program that is tailored to your
personal health and exercise history. Working with a personal trainer
is the best way to get fit, and scheduling is flexible, inexpensive, and
easy with online personal training solutions, so try it out!
Ar tic l e 1 6 : Fi ve S i m ple Ways to B oost Workout I ntensit y
There is a term in exercise science called the SAID principle. It stands
for Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands. This means that the
body will eventually adapt to the exercise demands that you place
upon it. As this occurs, the body becomes more efficient at per-
forming those exercises, and the results seen from those exercises
become less noticeable. That explains why you can obtain excellent
results with a perfectly designed 6 week exercise program, but then
become disappointed when you stay with the program for another
6 weeks and see no additional results. Sometimes, rather than re-
designing your entire training program, it can help to introduce a
few simple variations to keep your body guessing and continually
responding to exercise. Here are 5 basic strategies to infuse some
1. Combine exercises. This strategy works especially well when com-
bining upper and lower body exercises. For instance, if you currently
are in a full body routine that includes a squat and a shoulder press,
then combine those two exercises into a single exercise in which you
perform a squat, stand, and perform a shoulder press. Other exam-
ples include a lunge and curl, vertical jump and pushup, or medicine
ball lift and throw. The caloric and performance demands placed
upon the body will increase as the number of multi-joint combina-
tion exercises increase.
2. Cardio boosts. These can be infused into any exercise program.
Rather than resting between sets, perform a set of 30, 60, or 90 sec-
ond cardio boosts in your downtime. For example, if your program
requires 4 sets of 10 benchpress, then run to stationary bicycle and
do a 1 minute sprint between each set. You’ll burn more calories,
make the benchpressing harder, and increase the metabolic demand
of your entire workout.
3. Take it outside. Any of those long, slow cardio workouts can
become exciting and more intense when you turn them into an
outdoor adventure. For instance, instead of your usual 45 minute
jaunt on an elliptical trainer, grab a set of dumbbells or a weighted
backpack and hit the hiking trails. The new angles and movements
will be sure to throw a curveball at your body. Don’t know any trails?
Try www.hikingandbackpacking.com, then visit your home state.
Other options included mountain bicycling, rollerblading, or a local
4. Change the center of gravity. Do you currently use a barbell for
your lunges? Try holding a set of dumbbells or a medicine ball
instead. On a leg extension or curl machine, change the location of
the pad on your legs. For a cable exercise, try moving the cable up
or down a few notches. By simply altering the angle of force applica-
tion or the shape of the weight used, you can place your body in an
entirely new situation.
5. Work out at a different time of day. The body can even adapt to
become more efficient during specific time periods. Have you been
strictly a morning exercise individual for the past few years? Throw
your body for a loop and hit the gym an hour after dinner. You will ex-
perience an entirely different exercise feeling. For even more benefit,
if you currently exercise after lunch, turn lunch into a nap session and
hit the gym for an early morning workout instead.
This list is by no means comprehensive. There are dozens more ways
to keep your body from adapting to imposed demands. Try to fol-
low this rule - do not go for more than 4 weeks without significantly
changing a specific aspect of your exercise program. As a matter of
fact, this is the same approach used by professional athletes to allow
their bodies to continually become better, faster and stronger. Try it
for yourself and experience rewarding results!
Ar t i c l e 1 7 : Ca rd i o - G et the M ost B ang For Your Buck
There’s one question I frequently get: which cardio exercise or “ma-
chine” burns the most calories? In this article, I’d like to not only com-
pare the calorie burning effects of various forms of popular cardio
exercise, but also consider the pros and cons of each.
1. The Bicycle: Since the pedaling motion incorporates the big and
powerful muscles of the leg, bicycling is a great choice for calorie
burning. Many individuals, however, do not choose a resistance that
is high enough to involve these muscles, and instead let the bike do
the work for them. To get maximum benefit, choose a resistance that
makes it very difficult to achieve 90RPM. RPM stands for “Revolutions
Per Minute”, and most indoor stationary bicycles show this number
on the computer display. For RPM on an outdoor bicycle, simply
count the number of pedal strokes you take in a minute. While the
back rest on a recumbent bicycle can relieve stress on the lower back,
neck, elbow and wrist, this type of bicycle should only be used if you
have pain in these joints while seated on an upright bicycle, since it
is more difficult to achieve a high intensity on a recumbent. Depend-
ing on your intensity, bicycling can burn 500-1000 calories per hour.
On the other hand, the arms and core do not get much benefit from
2. The Run: Running is a full body workout that burns 600-1200
calories per hour, and technically requires no additional equipment.
Even when using a treadmill, you will burn more calories running
than most other forms of exercise in the gym (but using a treadmill
burns slightly less calories than running outdoors). However, running
can be much more difficult on the joints than a non-weight bearing
exercise like swimming, bicycling, or the elliptical trainer - inadequate
recovery can therefore lead to injuries and chronic joint pain. Listen
to your body, and do not run through pain.
3. The Walk: Walking is much easier on the joints than running, but
burns far less calories - about 300-400 per hour. The primary rea-
son is because humans are very efficient at walking, as most of us
have done so since an early age. Any exercise at which your body is
efficient should be avoided when trying to burn calories. However,
walking can be beneficial and convenient. If using a treadmill, avoid
the common mistake of choosing a high incline, then holding on to
the handrails to keep up. The rails should only be used if you have
extreme balance difficulties, or must stabilize yourself to change a
setting. So pump those arms instead!
4. The Swim: Swimming is a great full body exercise that is easy on
the joints and can burn about 800 calories per hour, depending on
your intensity. Individuals with chronic joint pain, arthritis or mus-
culoskeletal injuries, as well as pregnant mothers, can benefit highly
from aquatic exercise. However, swimming cannot increase factors
such as bone density, does not elicit as high a muscular contraction
as weight bearing exercise, and is often not convenient.
5. The Elliptical Trainer: Most elliptical trainers overestimate the actual
amount of calories burnt, especially in individuals who lean against
the railing. You can generally burn about 600 calories per hour on
0 the elliptical, and slightly more on an elliptical that includes arm
resistance. However, the elliptical is a relatively non weight bearing
exercise that offers a bonus of assisting with upright balance, arm
movement, and adjustable ramp settings to target different muscles.
The two most common mistakes made on the elliptical trainer are:
1) excessive leaning against the rails on the trainer with no arms;
2) inadequate resistance on elliptical with arms. So to get the most
benefit, try to use the rails as little as possible, and challenge yourself
with the resistance settings (the same goes for the stairclimber)!
6. The Rowing Machine: An incredible upper and lower body cardio-
vascular challenge, the rowing machine can burn over 1000 calories
per hour, but can also be uncomfortable and boring for long peri-
ods of time. To make time go by faster while still maintaining a high
intensity, incorporate short periods or distances of very hard pulling
combined with easy pulling. For instance, row for 250 meters as hard
as possible, then 100 meters easy, and repeat 6-8 times. Be sure to
use as many body parts as possible when rowing, including the torso
and the legs - not just the arms.
There are many additional forms of cardio, including rollerskating,
rock climbing, jump roping, basketball, racquetball...the list goes on.
For maximum calorie burning benefit, be sure to choose a form of
cardio that is inefficient or unfamiliar to your body. If you constantly
walk, try switching to cycling or elliptical, or if you constantly run, try
the rowing machine. If you want to avoid a fitness plateau, don’t let
yourself get in a cardio rut. Most importantly, have fun and maintain
frequent and consistent exercise!
Ar t i c l e 1 8: All About O ver training
Many people engage in what I would call “under-reaching”. Individu-
als who “under-reach” typically arrive at the gym and perform light
exercise at an intensity that is insufficient to achieve weight loss or
boost fitness levels. However, there is a truth to the mantra “Some-
thing Is Better Than Nothing”, and even under-reachers are doing bet-
ter for their bodies than if they hadn’t shown up to exercise at all.
On the other hand, there are “over-trainers”. Over-trainers work out
at a very high intensity, sometimes accompanied by a high volume
that may include multiple exercise sessions in a single day. While
high-intensity and high-volume training is not necessarily harmful,
long periods of time (weeks or months) spent training in this mode,
especially in non-elite athletes, can lead to inadequate or incomplete
recovery, which can not only be very dangerous and detrimental to
the body, but can also work directly against weight loss or fitness
goals. If overtrained for long enough, an individual can completely
crash, become chronically ill and fatigued, and be forced into com-
plete rest for up to 3 months!
Let’s look at three variables: 1) how overtraining occurs; 2) common
signs of overtraining; 3) what to do if you’re overtrained.
1. How overtraining occurs:
• Inadequate recovery between training sessions
• Too much high intensity training, typically for too long
• Sudden drastic increases in distance, length, or intensity of
• Daily intense weightlifting
• High volumes of endurance training
• No vacations, breaks, or off-seasons
• For athletes, excessive competition at high levels (i.e. trying
to win every race)
• Inadequate nutrition, typically in the form of caloric and
• Insufficient sleep
• High amounts of stress and anxiety
2. Common signs of overtraining:
• Excessive fatigue/lethargy, especially outside of the gym
• Loss of motivation, energy, drive, and enthusiasm to train
• Loss of sex drive
• Increased stress, anxiety, irritability and feelings of depres-
• Insomnia, sleep problems, or nightmares
• Poor concentration, hyperactivity and an inability to relax
• Large fluctuations in weight
• Loss of appetite
• Constant excessively sore and/or weak muscles
• Increased susceptibility to sickness and injury
• Lower performance in competition, such as racing
• Higher resting heart rate and elevated resting blood pres-
• Longer periods of time for heart rate recovery to normal
levels after exercise
• Diarrhea, nausea, or headaches
• Menstrual irregularities
If you experience just one or two of these symptoms, it does not
mean you are overtrained. However, several symptoms taken togeth-
er should be strongly indicated with overtraining, and you should
take immediate action.
3. What to do if you’re overtrained:
•Stop exercising. This is easier said than done for most
people who are prone to overtraining. By setting aside a few
days, and sometimes up to two weeks, to allow for the body
and mind to recover, you will enable yourself to return to
an exercise program even stronger and more focused than
•Reduce the number of sets and reps, length of time, or
intensity of training. For example, if you currently do 45
minutes of cardio before your weightlifting routine, lower to
20 minutes. If you perform 5 sets of an exercise, perform 2-3
instead. If you sit in spinning class at 180 beats per minute,
try not to let the heart rate exceed 160 bpm. Continue to
adjust variables until your overtraining symptoms subside.
• Introduce recovery days and weeks. Every fourth week, for
example, lower both the volume and the intensity of each
workout. Or choose two days of the week, such as Sunday
and Wednesday, in which you perform only light recovery
exercise. This type of strategy is common among athletes,
who call it “periodization”.
• Relieve tension and stress. There are many ways to manage
muscular tension and mental anxiety, including massage,
meditation, yoga, hot baths, aroma therapy, and soothing
music. Try to include a time during the day that involves a re-
laxation component, even if it is just 10-15 minutes of gentle
breathing and light stretching in the morning.
• Identify nutritional deficiencies in your diet. Inadequate
restoration of the body’s fuel needs after a workout can lead
to a state of overtraining. Directly following any exercise, ad-
equately refueling the body with a mixture of proteins and
carbohydrates should be a priority. As a basic component of
the body’s hormones, cells, and tissues, healthy fat should
not be avoided, but consumed in moderation. Consume
high quantities of fruits and vegetables to avoid vitamin and
mineral deficiencies, and be sure to drink water before, dur-
ing, and after exercise.
• Listen to your body. An excessively sore or weak muscle
should be given rest. A good rule of thumb is to allow 48
hours before working the same muscle group. If that muscle
group is still sore, you may need to wait even longer - some-
times up to 5 days! This may mean that you need to change
your training schedule, but sometime the body needs a
break from the normal routine!
Often, overtraining is a gradual onset. An individual who begins an
exercise routine may be given the impression that if “some is good,
then more is better”. Typically, when starting into an exercise pro-
gram, it is easy to lose high amounts of weight almost immediately.
When this weight loss levels off (or “plateaus”), the temptation is
to work even harder to continue to achieve the same results that
initially occured. In doing so, more and more time is spent not only
exercising at high intensities for long periods of time, but also fret-
ting and worrying about the apparent lack of results. Overtraining
commonly occurs in such a situtation - which just makes the problem
worse, since it is even harder to get results when the body is broken
down and overtrained!
The body does not grow stronger, fitter, or leaner while you are work-
ing out. Instead, rest and recovery outside of exercise allows for re-
pair of damaged muscle fibers, restoration of glycogen stores (muscle
fuel), and restoration of hormone levels that are essential for normal
bodily function. Proper balance of these components is essential to a
healthy body, a high metabolism, decreased levels of fat storage.
So remember to allow yourself to rest. The regeneration that occurs
during recovery will allow you to see better results from your training
and avoid injury, excessive fatigue, and lack of motivation to exercise.
A personal trainer can be a great source for receiving a customized
training plan that includes the perfect exercises to achieve the results
you desire, with optimal work and recovery ratios. So if you want the
best results, consider talking to a fitness professional!
Ar t i c l e 1 9 : Fi ve R ock-S olid R easons to Eat Your Fiber
Not that you have to stock your refrigerator with wood chips, dump
a gallon-size ziplock bag of flax seed on your morning cereal, or
stroll around chewing on a crumpled wad of paper, but proper fiber
intake *is* important - and offers free health benefits that shouldn’t
be ignored. If you can decrease how much you spend on health care,
increase the benefit of your exercise routine, and feel more energy
and less stress, then you should take that extra step to hunt down
some fiber! In case you want some pointers, at the end of this article,
I’ll explain how I get mine.
• Your Heart - increased fiber intake means decreased cardiovascular
problems. A Harvard study found that for every 10 grams of fiber
eaten daily, heart attack risk drops by 14 percent, and the chance of
dying from other cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes, decreases
by 27 percent. To give you an idea of what 10 grams of fiber actually
is, think 1 apple and 1 banana. While it is recommended that we con-
sume over 20 grams of fiber per day, the typical Western diet usually
offers about 15 grams. In comparison, countries with a lower rate of
heart disease actually can average over 100 grams of fiber per day
(not recommended unless you really enjoy your bathroom)!
• Your Blood Pressure - Hypertension is a big problem, especially with
the amount of stress most individuals experience in a hectic daily
routine. Soluble fiber, which is the type of fiber that partially dis-
solves in water and forms a gel in your digestive tract, slows the rate
of digestion and absorption. Since food is digested more slowly, the
pancreatic release of insulin occurs more slowly. If you read my article
on the health risks of sugar, you learned that sugar results in an enor-
mous and quick release of insulin, which can increase blood sugar! In
slowing this process, fiber assists in controlling blood pressure. More
specifically, fiber lowers the systolic blood pressure, which is the pres-
sure exerted as your heart beats. Since high blood pressure is one of
the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, adequate consump-
tion of fiber can help your heart live longer and healthier!
• Your Waistline - Soluble fiber also binds to “bile acids” and removes
them from the small intestine. Since bile acids aid in fat digestion,
this means that your body is less likely to absorb and use fat, and
more likely to simply pass it through. Bile acids also transport cho-
lesterol, so reduced bile acids in the small intestine results in lower
cholesterol! Since soluble fiber also regulates blood sugar levels and
controls insulin levels, it assists in maintaining a high metabolism
and a greater utilization of fatty acids as a fuel. Insoluble fiber, which
does not dissolve in water (i.e. roughage), increases the bulk in your
gut. As a result, digested food sits for a shorter period of time in the
intestine, and less starches and sugars are absorbed into the body.
You also feel fuller faster! But while increased fiber intake can greatly
assist in weight control, be warned that too much fiber intake will
result in inadequate nutrient absorption - which can decrease energy
levels and lower the metabolism. So hold back on munching down
that giant bag of spinach, and space your fiber out evenly through-
out the day.
• Your Colon - Let’s face it: many of the foods that we consume
contain carcinogens and toxins, whether from processing chemicals,
pesticides, or cooking. These potential cancer causing agents, espe-
cially when consumed in high concentrations, can remain in contact
with the colon wall for long periods of time. A high fiber diet will not
only reduce colonic pressure by reducing constipation, but will also
produce a large and bulky stool that passes through the bowel more
quickly. That means less exposure to toxins, lower risk of pressure
related health problems like diverticulitis, and decreased risk of colon
• Your Diabetes Risk - I’ve already explained how a high-fiber diet
reduces that absorption of glucose into the blood, thus slowing the
insulin response and stabilizing the blood sugar levels. This reduces
stress on the pancreas, and lowers the risk of developing insulin
resistance, which is one of the chronic problems that can arise with
“roller-coaster” blood sugar levels. This decreases your chance of
developing diabetes, which can occur when the body becomes
resistant to insulin due to constantly fluctuating levels. As a bonus,
whole grains (a big source of fiber) contain magnesium, which can
also control the body’s glucose and insulin response
So how do you ensure that you’re taking advantage of these health
benefits by consuming sufficient fiber? Here’s my strategy: a bowl of
oatmeal in the morning, consumed with sliced fruit, like apples or
strawberries; a large salad for lunch or in the afternoon, usually with
3-4 different types of vegetables or fruits, like carrots, alfalfa sprouts,
diced cucumbers, tomatoes or pears; one handful of whole, raw
almonds every day as a snack; and one large serving of vegetables
with dinner, such as sauteed asparagus, a handful of mini carrots, or a
bowl of steamed broccoli. The impact of diet on performance, weight
control, and health can parallel or even surpass the benefits of an
exercise program, so remember…small changes can make a huge
difference. Eat smart!
Ar t i c l e 2 0 : How Alcohol M akes You Fat
If you glanced at the title of this article, you might have cringed.
When it comes to fitness, nutrition, weight loss, and overall health,
many of us have trouble areas. There are some individuals who have
a glass of red wine with dinner every night. Others skip the drink-
ing completely on the weekdays, then start throwing a few back on
Thursday or Friday night, and keep it up until Sunday. Still others
won’t drink for two to three weeks, then have a weekend binge of a
few dozen drinks or so (you know who you are!). Finally, while there
are scores of individuals out there who don’t drink any alcohol at all
and really won’t find this article personally useful, I encourage you (if
you are one of those people) to read it anyways, and share the infor-
mation with someone you think it might help.
So...how does alcohol make you fat, especially when it doesn’t have
any fat in it? To understand how this process occurs, let’s examine the
consumption of a 5 ounce glass of red wine by a fictional character
Vinny takes a drink. As the alcohol enters into Vinny’s digestive
system, it is split into two compounds: fat and acetate. The fat is
taken through the bloodstream and stored wherever Vinny tends to
deposit fat. The acetate is taken into the bloodstream and used as
Vinny’s primary energy fuel.
If you take anything away from this article, read that last sentence
again. The acetate is used as Vinny’s primary energy fuel. This means
that rather than burning carbohydrates, protein, or fat as a fuel,
Vinny’s body relies on the acetate for energy. It completely stops
burning anything else. Suddenly, Vinny has a surplus of carbs, pro-
tein, and fat circulating in the body with nowhere to go. So where
does it all end up? You guessed it...it is converted to fat and deposited
on Vinny’s waistline.
But that’s not the only effect on Vinny. Alcohol also acts as a potent
appetizer. Ever heard of an apertif? It’s an alcoholic drink taken before
a meal to increase the appetite, and many restaurants realize that
this is a great way to get you to order more food! Several studies exist
that show a sharp increase in caloric intake when an alcoholic drink
is consumed before a meal (compared to a glass of water, or even a
soda!). So now Vinny wants either: A) another glass of wine or B) food
(typically something salty or greasy).
That’s not all! Let’s say that Vinny succumbs to his appetite and
finishes the whole bottle. Just a single bout of heavy drinking will
vastly increase his levels of the hormone cortisol, while significantly
decreasing the levels of the hormone testosterone. In addition to his
headache, here’s why Vinny should be concerned: cortisol causes the
body to breakdown muscle and suppresses recovery from exercise,
while low testosterone makes the body less likely build lean muscle
or to burn fat as a fuel. So now Vinny’s getting a big belly, and skinny
arms and legs.
Let’s consider the actual caloric content of the glass of red wine.
Before we begin, bear in mind that at most parties, social gather-
0 ings, and restaurants, a typical glass of red wine is really more like 6-8
ounces. But we’ll be conservative. So Vinny’s glass of wine contains
about 110 calories. Contrary to popular belief, there are very few
carbohydrates in the wine - only about 5 grams. This is because when
grapes are made into wine, most of the fruit sugars are converted
into alcohol. For purposes of comparison, this glass of wine has about
the same amount of alcohol and calories as a 12 ounce light beer or
a shot of 80 proof spirit (yes, that means a shot of tequila = about a
whole glass of wine). A regular, non-light beer, is even higher in calo-
ries, since it contains over twice as many carbohydrates as light beer.
But realize that alcohol itself contains about seven calories for gram,
making it almost twice as calorie-laden as carbohydrates or protein,
which contain only four calories per gram. However, these calories
contain no beneficial nutrients, vitamins, or minerals. Sure - Vinny
gets some benefit from the compounds present from the grapeskins
and grapejuice, butif he drinks a big glass of red wine every night
with dinner, he consumes over 1000 additional calories per week,
and gains a dozen extra pounds of fat a year!
I haven’t really discussed mixed drinks and won’t say too much about
them. In another article, you can read about sugar’s potent effect on
fat levels in the body, and if you’ve read the label lately on any soda
or mixer, you know how much sugar it contains. A ton! Basically, you
can take everything I just illustrated in the case of Vinny, and multiply
by 4-5. Margaritas, Long Island Iced Tea, Mudslides, and other sweet
mixed drinks can do more damage to your diet than a Big Mac with
So let’s be practical and assume that you are not going to completely
give up drinking but want some tips for your next social event. Here’s
• Dilute alcohol with diet soda. While there are health problems with
the artificial sweeteners and chemicals in diet soda, this will reduce
your overall caloric intake.
• Use lots of ice. It makes your drink seem bigger without adding 1
• If you have to choose between fruit juice and soda in a mixer,
choose fruit juice.
• Avoid the salty snacks. They’ll make you want to drink more.
• Spend money. At the bar, restaurant, or grocery store, try to find a
top shelf product or good wine that you enjoy, then pay those extra
bucks and sip it slowly. Savoring a drink will reduce overconsump-
• Drink as much water as possible. Try to have two drinks of water for
every one drink of alcohol.
Now you know more about what to do to get the results you desire.
What are you waiting for? Start making changes! Remember, the defi-
nition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and
expecting different results. I don’t know who said it, but think about
that next time you consider implementing a lifestyle change.
Ar t i c l e 2 1 : Te n Tips to Complete a R oad Run
Training for and racing in a 5K run can be a perfect way to add moti-
vation to a stale workout, spend more time outside in the spring and
summer months, and shed a few extra pounds for shorts and t-shirt
season. But it can be intimidating to know exactly what to do to get
ready and what to expect during the race. Here are ten tips for com-
pleting your first 5K event:
1. It’s about 3.2 miles. Depending on how fast you walk or run, expect
the 5K to last anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes in the event (although
very fast individuals can complete the race in under 15 minutes!
2. Register for the race. It may sound simple, but if you reserve a spot
and pay for the race, you will automatically gain more incentive to
train. Knowing that your name is on the registration sheet will make
you want to be ready, so take the first step and find a race. Depend-
ing on how fit you are rightnow, 1-3 months is sufficient time to
3. Train 3 times a week. One day should be your “fast day”, in which
you either walk or run a short distance at a very fast pace. Begin with
1/4 mile at a fast pace, and gradually add to the distance until you
can run or walk very fast for a mile. Another day should be a “tempo
day”, in which you walk or run the 5K distance at a moderate intensi-
ty, at about a 7-8 on a scale of 1-10. Begin with 1-2 miles, and gradu-
ally work yourself up to 3.2 miles at a moderate pace. Finally, include
an “endurance day” in which you go long and slow, without pushing
yourself too hard. On these days, begin at about 2 miles, and gradu-
ally work yourself up to 3-4 miles.
4. Combine walking and running. If you feel completely exhausted
during your training, then attempt a brisk walk instead of a jog or
run. Use a landmark, a telephone pole for instance, and walk one
pole, then jog the next. You’ll eventually increase your endurance,
and this can make the training easier, both mentally and physically.
5. Crosstrain. You’ll improve your endurance and oxygen capacity,
and allow your joints to have a break from the impact of fast walking
or running. Try adding one bike ride and one swim or elliptical trainer
workout into your routine, preferably in between your walking/run-
6. Lift weights. Resistance training is a great way to strengthen the
supporting ligaments and tendons while building up resistance to
injury. Try a full body program, with 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions, per-
formed 2-3 days a week.
7. Stretch. Anytime you increase walking or running volume, certain
muscles in your body tend to get tighter. Your primary flexibility
focus should be on the muscles of the upper leg: the hip flexors and
the hamstrings. While a yoga class will do a great job stretching these
muscles, you can also stretch them yourself with this simple two step
stretch: 1) get into a lunge position, with one leg back and one leg
forward. Straighten the back leg to stretch the hip flexors. Return
to the starting position, then straighten the front leg to stretch the
hamstrings. Hold each stretch about 15 seconds.
8. Warm-up before the race. If you feel like performing at a faster
pace, this becomes very important, since it allows your body to attain
a higher intensity without as much “burn”. Perform an easy jog for 2-3
minutes, then a few short 20-45 second efforts at a fast pace. Try to
finish your warm-up within 5 minutes before the race begins.
9. Don’t eat too much before the race. A simple meal of 200-400
calories about 2-3 hours before the race will allow you to sufficiently
digest your fuel, but still have energy for the event. If you tend to get
hungry directly before exercise, try a small pick-me-up, like half a ba-
nana or a small handful of cereal, just 5-10 minutes before the race. If
you tend to get the butterflies in your stomach, avoid excessive fiber,
like apples and oatmeal. You don’t want to be on the toilet when the
10. Don’t feel performance pressure during the race. Many individu-
als simply walk their first 5K. Others combine walking and running.
Nobody expects you to go a certain speed, so relax, have fun, and
perform at a pace that is comfortable for you. Usually, it’s best to
complete the first couple miles at steady pace, then increase your
intensity at the finish line gets closer.
Most newspapers do a great job listing local 5K events, and many
gyms have postings on an event board or local racing magazine. It’s
easy to find a race, and even easier to register. So what are you wait-
Ar tic l e 2 2 : Fo o d Co mbining - A Power ful Nutritional Tool
I do not endorse fad diets. I also do not make a practice of recom-
mending health and wellness habits that are not backed by sound
scientific studies and data. However, in my constant quest to help my
clients and readers achieve optimal health, I’ll occasionally stumble
upon an amazing diet or fitness tidbit that is so interesting and po-
tentially beneficial that I just can’t ignore it. So I’m going to share with
you a powerful method to enhance nutrient absorption and decrease
toxin and fat levels, while decreasing heartburn, bloating, gas, and
other negative reactions to food. I was skeptical at first, but after
trying it for a week, I’ve enjoyed significantly more energy, less post-
meal sluggishness, better workouts and even more clarity of thought!
The process begins with an understanding of how the body digests
food. Different types of food require different types of digestive
enzymes for proper food breakdown. For example, carbohydrate
foods require carbohydrate enzymes, whereas protein foods require
protein enzymes. While the carbohydrate enzymes will only prop-
erly function in a non-acidic, or alkaline, environment, the protein
enzymes will only properly function in an acidic environment.
Therefore, it is believed that when you eat a protein food with a
carbohydrate food (i.e. steak and potatoes), digestion becomes
impaired, since these two compounds cannot fully digest in their
competing environments. Without complete digestion, nutrient
absorption is incomplete. This incompletely digested food can also
sit in the gut and become fodder for bacteria, which can ferment
and decompose the food, causing a build-up of toxins and gas in the
digestive tract. I like to call it P.U.F.E. – Putrefaction and Fermenta-
tion. Furthermore, as nutrient absorption decreases and digestion
slows, the metabolism becomes less efficient, and fat and cholesterol
become more likely to accumulate.
While such a scenario has not been proved by science, the concept
of “Food Combining” may allow you to avoid this potentially fat-gain-
ing, metabolism-slowing, immune-depressing process. If your results
are similar to mine, you may find that you have better endurance and
stamina, increased focus, leaps in energy, more comfortable diges-
tion, and an improved overall feeling. By following several rules, you
can achieve less hindrance to your body’s natural digestive process.
Here are the basic rules (think of it as a game...that helped me). There
are more details to the rationale behind the rules, but I thought I’d try
not to make this too complicated.
1. Don’t eat fruit, especially melons, with any other food (including
vegetables). They’re too acidic, and likely to sit and ferment while
slowing digestion of the other foods. So use fruit as a snack, served
alone, and preferably raw, whole, and organic.
2. Don’t combine proteins with starchy carbohydrates. They interfere
with each other’s digestion. So pancakes and eggs are out!
3. Only drink milk by itself, because it requires a unique environment
4. Drink only pure water before, during, and after a meal.
5. Do not add accessory fats to proteins (i.e. cooking fish and chicken
in excessive butter, or serving meats with a cream-based sauce).
6. Do not consume starch and sugar foods together, like jam on toast,
honey on oatmeal or syrup on pancakes.
7. Eat predominantly protein-only or carbohydrate-only meals. For
example, breakfast might be an egg omelet with turkey bacon, or
a fruit smoothie with a banana, whereas dinner might be a plate of
whole wheat spaghetti with a lettuce salad, or a fillet of salmon with
roasted red peppers.
Based on these rules, food combinations to avoid would include
bread or potatoes with butter, rolls or toast with bacon, cereals with
cream or milk, steak, chicken or fish with potatoes, bread, or rice, rolls
and hot dogs, ice, whipped cream or any cream on starchy desserts,
pork with baked beans, or vinegar and oil dressing with chicken on a
Sound tricky to accomplish “food combining” without some serious
dietary juggling? It is! Here’s what I recommend: a 90/10 approach to
diet or lifestyle changes. This means that 90% of the time, you make
a conscious and intense effort to implement positive changes, and
10% of the time you just let things “flow” and allow yourself to mess
up or break the rules. For example, at breakfast you might have a
bowl of oatmeal with a slice of whole grain toast, perhaps a raw ap-
ple in the mid-morning, a salad with avocados at lunch, and a hand-
ful of nuts in the mid-afternoon. Then, for your company potluck,
you get your “10%” and load a plate with corn-on-the-cob, cabbage
salad, chicken, a roll, and a brownie (whereas food combining would
be just the cabbage salad and the chicken). This allows you a mental
break from constantly attempting to achieve dietary perfection, and
I find that most individuals who follow this rule are far less likely to
completely lose control and go on a 2 week binge of sugar, alcohol,
processed or packaged foods, and grease. You’ll even find that some
recipes I’ve written don’t food combine, and if you’re following this
approach, such recipes would be allowed on occasion.
A final benefit to food combining may be a longer life. It has been
suggested that the body has a certain amount of reserves that, if
carefully conserved, will allow us to live longer and healthier lives.
There have even been studies that observe a correlation between
longer lifespans and lower caloric consumptions! The depletion of
the body’s reserves can occur much quicker if our bodies are con-
stantly overtaxed in the process of food digestion. Like any dietary
or health practice, the concept of self-control, avoidance of giant
smorgasborgs of buffet food and alcohol, and a general decrease in
gluttony just seem to make good sense!
Ar t i c l e 2 3 : Th re e B ody Toning O utdoor Workouts
If the warm weather has arrived and being outdoors is no longer a
cold and wet experience, it’s a perfect time to hit the park or back-
yard to get a quick, metabolism-boosting break from your weekly
gym routine. You’ll not only feel fantastic after a fun, body-weight
only exercise routine, but you’ll also get healthy doses of sunlight
(think tan!) and fresh clean air.
The key to these exercise routines is that as the body performs a
circuit, the heart rate and body temperature remain elevated, which
results in a greater amount of burnt calories and a higher post-work-
out metabolism. That means better and faster muscle tone. Although
you shouldn’t neglect including external weight like dumbbells or
barbells in your program, body weight exercise will still induce a
significant increase in strength, lean muscle, cardiovascular health,
and fat loss. There are three basic circuits in this article - a beginner,
an intermediate, and an advanced.
Remember, there’s no perfect exercise routine for everybody, so if
you feel any joint pain or experience any distressing symptoms while
performing an exercise or exercise routine, it’s probably not the best
workout for you.
Haven’t exercised much, feel like you’re out of shape, or just don’t
want to push yourself too hard? Try this beginner routine. Perform 15
repetitions of each exercise, and rest just long enough to catch your
breath following each set. When you get to the end, return to the
beginning and complete two more times.
1. Jumping Jacks - everybody is familiar with this old-school favorite...
2. Knee Push-Ups - just like a regular push-up, but from your knees...
3. Half Squats - squat down halfway, keeping your back straight, your
knees behind your toes and your weight on your heels...
4. Kickouts (15 reps per leg) - get in a crawl position on your hands
and knees and kick out behind your body with one leg, extending
from the hip as far as possible...
Too easy? Give this a try, following the same instructions for the
1. Vertical Jumps - pretty straightforward. Just jump as high as pos-
sible (swing the arms if it helps) and land as soft as possible. Remem-
ber - that’s for 15 repetitions.
2. Push-Ups - perform a regular push-up, keeping your wrists under
your shoulders, and pressing down as far as possible...
3. Deep Squats - squat down to at least 90 degrees (thighs parallel to
the ground), keeping your back straight, your knees behind your toes
and your weight on your heels...
4. Crawl Extensions (15 reps per side) - get in a crawl position on your
hands and knees and kick as far out behind your body as possible
with your right leg, while reaching as far out in front as possible with
your right hand. Now return to the start position and perform the
same movement for the opposite side.
If you still don’t feel challenged, I guarantee the following workout
will fix that problem. Again, follow the same instructions as the previ-
ous routines. You may just need a bit more rest!
1. Lunge Jumps - get down in a lunge position with one leg forward
and one leg back. Jump by pushing through your front leg, switch
legs in mid-air, land in the opposite position, and then jump again,
performing the same movement. Perform 15 repetitions for each
2. Narrow Grip Push-Ups - perform just like a push-up, but keep your
hands about one inch apart and the elbows tucked into the side as
you push down as far as possible...
3. One Legged Squats (15 reps per leg) - that’s right; do a standard
squat, but standing on one leg only. Your knee must stay behind
your toe, and you must get as close to 90 degrees as possible. This is
4. Squat-Thrust-Jumps - squat down, place both hands on the
ground, thrust your legs out behind you, thrust your legs back into a
squat position, stand and jump. That’s one repetition (have fun with
If you enjoyed these workouts, or want to get your hands on over 60
more similar routines, my exercise and diet book, Shape21, includes
21 days of similar workouts that can be performed anywhere, with
minimal equipment, as well as an accompanying exercise DVD that
shows you exactly how to perform each exercise. You can check it out
at www.pacificfit.net, and download it to your computer, or have the
book and DVD on your doorstep within just a few days by ordering it
Ar t i c l e 2 4 : Fi ve Q uick Prac tical Ways to Burn Fat
Usually, I’m not this specific in my articles, but I’m going to give you
the exact details on 5 very efficient methods for maximizing your me-
tabolism and boosting your fat burning levels. These are strategies
you can use that don’t incorporate long workouts or calorie counting
diets – just practical methods of achieving results. Throw just 1 or 2 of
these tips into your daily routine, and you’ll notice changes. Try all 5,
and you’ll be able to literally watch the fat melt away and a lean body
begin to appear.
#1: 10-15 minutes of light exercise before breakfast every morn-
ing. You may have heard that you shouldn’t exercise on an empty
stomach before breakfast because by the time that you finally do eat
the morning meal, your body will be in fat-storage, starvation mode.
While this is true for longer exercise sessions, a brief bout of exercise
will give your metabolism a boost and ensure you start the day off
right. Here is a sample routine to complete 1-2x.
• 25 knee or regular pushups + 25 jumping jacks
• 25 crunches+ 25 jumping jacks 1
• 25 body weight squats+ 25 jumping jacks
• 25 toe raises+ 25 jumping jacks
#2: Park at least ½ a football field from the front door of anywhere
you go – grocery store, shopping mall, health club, church, video
rental – everywhere! If you have a hard time gauging ½ a football
field, take about 50 long strides. For most individuals, that will be
close to 50 yards.
#3: Eat one of the following every single day (I call it the ABS group): 1
Apple, 1 Banana, 1 Salad. Whole, raw, and with as little dressing, pea-
nut butter, croutons, cheese, and other fancy additives as possible.
#4: Perform 20 body weight squats every time you use the restroom.
Don’t laugh - I told you I’d be specific! Make sure to keep your weight
on your heels, your knees behind your toes, and your back straight.
And get those thighs parallel to the ground.
#5: Do not eat any food that contains High Fructose Corn Syrup
(HFCS). I dare you. Since HFCS is extremely soluble, mixes with many
foods, is cheap to make and easy to store, it’s used in everything from
bread to dressing to processed meats to beer to health bars to soda.
Because HFCS doesn’t activate the hormones in the body that regu-
late weight and appetite, fat burning and metabolism are suppressed
after its consumption – even more that other sweeteners!
OK, now that you’ve got the 5 secrets, let’s review tomorrow’s plan:
10-15 minutes of light to moderate exercise followed by a healthy,
complex breakfast; park far away everywhere; eat ABS; squat when
you squat; nix HFCS. Got it? Good! Our bodies weren’t meant to sit
quietly the entire day and be fueled by liquid candy and processed
foods, so eat smart, live smart, and train smart!
Ar t i c l e 2 5 : H ow To Lose Weight D uring a R oad Trip
• Before traveling, make sure you pack healthy snacks, including fruits
(apples, bananas, etc.), vegetables (sugar snap peas, mini carrots,
etc.), good carbohydrates (low-sugar/hi-fiber cereal, whole grain
breads, etc), and lean protein (fat-free turkey breast, nuts/legumes,
etc.). This will keep you from eating unhealthy airplane food or pack-
aged and sugar-laden convenience store foods.
• Be sure to bring exercise clothes and shoes. The simple act of pack-
ing the right gear will be more likely to make you work up a sweat at
• Use the internet or call a friend to find out where the local gyms or
parks are located. If you know where to go, you’ll be more likely to
actually go there.
• Purchase and pack an elastic exercise band. It’ll be a great invest-
ment in your fitness, and it’s much more light and portable than a set
• Write down your workout *before* you leave on vacation. Make a
list of 6-10 body weight exercises, and complete them as a circuit,
15 repetitions, 3x through with minimal rest. You’ll be more likely to
complete it if it’s written down. Here’s a sample workout that would
take 20-30 minutes, and could be accomplished in the morning when
you wake up:
1. Body Weight Squat
2. Wide Grip Pushup
3. Elastic Band Side Raise
4. Elastic Band Front Raise
5. Elastic Band Bicep Curl
6. Body Weight Reverse Lunge
7. Elastic Band Tricep Extension
8. Narrow Grip Pushup
9. Glute Squeeze Crunch (a crunch with butt cheeks squeezed to-
gether as hard as possible)
• Have realistic expectations. You will not be able to maintain your
normal fitness regimen, so don’t set yourself up for feeling despaired
about breaking your routine. It’s OK to change it up every now and
then, and you might actually find your body responds favorably to
• Enjoy the scenery. Make your travel destination a part of your work-
out, by touring your environment via jogging, walking, bicycling,
swimming, skiing, etc. The more you places you can get to by foot,
the better (and that includes the stairs instead of the elevator!).
• Perform mini-workouts. If you simply never have the time to exer-
cise, supercharge your metabolism by throwing random pushups
crunches, squats, or stair sprints into your daily routine.
Above all, remember to enjoy yourself! If you want to learn some new
exercises to throw even more spice into your travel workout routine,
you grab a copy of my book: Shape21. You’ll learn Row Squats, Dive
Bomber Pushups, Scissor Squat Jumps, 6-Inch Stomach Flatteners,
Corkscrew Pushups, Grasshoppers, Mountain Climbers, Saxon Bends,
and a ton of other exercises that will give you enough variety for
a new and quick workout every single day the week. Get the book
today from www.pacificfit.net.
Ar t i c l e 2 6 : The Ten Rules for G etting Fat
So much emphasis these days is placed on the best way to boost the
metabolism, gain lean muscle, and avoid fat storage. But what if you
wanted the opposite? I’d like to give you some key rules to follow
for expanding your waistline. Of course, if you actually want to lose
weight, burn fat, and increase the amount of calories that you burn
every day, you’ll want to break every single one of these rules!
Rule 1: Don’t Strength Train
Unlike cardio, which can actually cause your body to burn up muscle,
strength training builds lean muscle. For every fiber of lean muscle
that you put into your body, you burn a few extra calories. Further-
more, a metabolism boosting weight training workout keeps you
burning extra calories for hours afterwards. So if you want to de-
crease your body’s ability to replace fat with calorie-burning lean
muscle, stay away from the weights and do long and slow cardio
Rule 2: Exercise 3x A Week
There are 7 days in a week. If you do at least a little bit every one of
these days, your exercise frequency and consistency will go up. You’ll
actually lose weight quicker by working out every day – even if it just
means 20 minutes of morning calisthenics – than if you do a long
workout 3x a week, and rest on your off days. So avoid working out
every day if you really want to gain weight and build fat stores.
Rule 3: Don’t Eat
Eating is one of the best ways to lose weight. But a severely restricted
caloric intake actually slows the metabolism, resulting in a rapid
weight gain, and an especially rapid fat storage. On the other hand,
eating small and frequent meals every 2-4 hours speeds up to the
metabolism and keeps you burning fat all day long. So if you want to
gain weight, restrict calories and put yourself on a diet that constant-
ly keeps you hungry.
Rule 4: Keep It Sweet
Sugar is a great trigger for fat storage. Not only do sugary foods and
quick digesting carbohydrates (white flour and bread, Powerbars,
Gatorade, etc.) cause release of fat storage hormones, but they also
make you hungry for even more! Healthy fats and lean proteins have
the opposite effect – stabilizing blood sugar and keeping you satis-
fied for a longer period of time. So make sure to keep it sweet if you
want to gain weight!
Rule 5: Skip Breakfast
To expand your waistline, run out the door to work or school with
half a bagel or a cup of coffee. You’ll be able to watch the fat pile
on from the increased stress levels and body starvation fat-storage
mode. People who eat a healthy, complex, and wholesome breakfast
stay skinny, kick-start their metabolism at the beginning of the day,
and have higher energy and productivity levels. You don’t want that,
Rule 6: Never Eat Spicy Foods
The hot peppers in spicy foods have been suggested as metabolism
boosters, while the type of ethnic foods that contain hot ingredients
include Thai, Chinese, and Japanese cuisine, much of which can
be low in fat and high in fruit, vegetable, or lean protein content.
Blander foods often require excess levels of butter, creamy dressing,
or gravy – all great ways to gain weight!
Rule 7: Stay Away From Tea
Look at all those skinny tea drinkers. Green tea can stimulate the
metabolism, and actually keeps you wide awake and alert even more
than coffee, with fewer dependency side effects. On the other side,
a can or two of Diet Coke a day will increase your appetite and keep
you hungry – a great way to put on fat.
Rule 8: Don’t Drink Water
Your body uses water to burn fat. If you let yourself become even
slightly dehydrated, you can depress your metabolism, and gain up
to a few pounds a month. Ice cold water has even been suggested
as a way to make your body burn a few extra calories to maintain a
warm temperature. Lean-body water-drinkers should decrease body
weight in half, then try to drink that many ounces of water per day.
But if you want to get fat, try to drink just a couple glasses day.
Rule 9: Don’t Ask Advice
A certified fitness professional constantly reviews the latest exercise
research, nutritional products, and fitness tools to determine the
best way to achieve and maintain fitness. Practical, hands-on advice
is invaluable – and can be as customized as possible. However, for a
barely adequate program that isn’t personalized to your body, just
search for “fast ways to lose weight” on the internet. That should
Rule 10: Stay Up Late and Get Up Early
Research has shown that lack of sleep not only increases stress hor-
mone production, but also leads to weight gain. Recovery and build-
ing of lean muscle actually occurs while you sleep, whereas too little
sleep causes production of cortisol, a metabolism-slowing hormone!
So for a lack of lean muscle and a fat-storage prone body, make sure
to burn the candle at both ends.
You now have all the information you need if your goal is to gain
weight and increase fat stores. You also know what it takes to do the
opposite. A personal trainer is a great way to get exactly what you
need for a fitness program, including motivation and encourage-
ment. Set-up your own customized personal training program today
by shopping for fitness at www.pacificfit.net!
• Have realistic expectations. You will not be able to maintain your
normal fitness regimen, so don’t set yourself up for feeling despaired
about breaking your routine. It’s OK to change it up every now and
then, and you might actually find your body responds favorably to
• Enjoy the scenery. Make your travel destination a part of your work-
out, by touring your environment via jogging, walking, bicycling,
swimming, skiing, etc. The more you places you can get to by foot,
the better (and that includes the stairs instead of the elevator!).
• Perform mini-workouts. If you simply never have the time to exer-
cise, supercharge your metabolism by throwing random pushups
crunches, squats, or stair sprints into your daily routine.
Above all, remember to enjoy yourself! If you want to learn some new
exercises to throw even more spice into your travel workout routine,
you grab a copy of my book: Shape21. You’ll learn Row Squats, Dive
Bomber Pushups, Scissor Squat Jumps, 6-Inch Stomach Flatteners,
Corkscrew Pushups, Grasshoppers, Mountain Climbers, Saxon Bends,
and a ton of other exercises that will give you enough variety for
a new and quick workout every single day the week. Get the book
today from www.pacificfit.net.
Ar t i c l e 2 7: Five Fit Par t y R ecipes
Ahh…Super Bowl Sunday, that festive time of year when we settle
down into the easy chair for 6 solid hours of seven-layer bean dip,
fried tortilla chips, chili con carne, buttered popcorn and buffalo
wings. At an average of just a couple servings per quarter, the aver-
age American can easily consume 700 calories per hour during the
big game. For many of us, that’s the past 2 weeks of workouts down
the drain, or more specifically, down the esophagus.
Whether you’re throwing your own party or crashing someone else’s,
here’s 5 healthy recipes that will leave you fit, trim and satisfied long
after the game has ended, without feeling like you have to complete
a marathon workout on Monday morning. Of course, these recipes
can be used for any party setting where you have to show up with
1. Low-Fat Crab Dill Dip
In a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup plain fat free yogurt, 1/4 cup fat
free mayo, 3oz fat free cream cheese, and 1 package of a dill dip mix.
Then add two 6oz cans of chopped crab (preferably fresh, but artifical
is OK too), 1 chopped celery stick, and 1/2 of a whole chopped onion.
Refrigerate for 2 hours, salt pepper to taste, and serve. Use carrots,
celery, cauliflower, or whole wheat crackers for dip.
2. Eggplant Dipping Platter
Dice an eggplant and boil it for 7 minutes. Then throw the diced
eggplant in a blender with 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, 1/2 a lime,
1 small diced shallot, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 red chile (deseeded).
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with broccoli, carrots,
baby corn, celery, and red cabbage for dipping.
3. Griddled Smoked Salmon
Use a couple packets of sliced smoked salmon (or smoked trout for a
less expensive option). Cook the salmon on a griddle for 2 minutes,
on one side only. Meanwhile, whisk together 1 teaspoon Dijon mus-
tard, 1 crushed garlic clove, 2 teaspoons chopped dill, 2 teaspoons
sherry vinegar, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season to taste with salt
and pepper, and drizzle over the salmon. Fold the salmon like an ac-
cordion and serve over a bed of mixed salad greens with toothpicks.
Grate 2 cucumbers and stir into 2.5 cups of plain fat free yogurt, 3
crushed garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon chopped dill, 1 tablespoon olive
oil and salt/pepper to taste. Cover and chill for 3 hours. Top with sesa-
me seeds and cayenne pepper. Serve with whole wheat pita strips.
5. Vietnamese Rice Wraps (my personal favorite)
On a large plate, arrange in sections: 2 cups small shrimp, 2 sliced
avocados, 8-10 asparagus tips (preferably boiled), 1 small sliced red
onion, 15-20 sliced scallions, 15-20 sliced olives, 15-20 halved cherry
tomatoes, 1-2 cups fresh cilantro leaves, and 1 lime cut into small,
very thin slices. Provide rice paper wrappers available at any grocery
store, and make sure to briefly dip them in a bowl of warm water to
soften. Let your guests fill their own wrappers with a mixture of any
ingredients from the plate. Serve with fresh, raw honey for dipping or
There you have it – non-traditional Super Bowl and party fare per-
haps, but in a traditionally obese country, that might not be a bad
thing. And remember, beverages have just as much (and sometimes
more) calories as most food – so go easy on the booze, and if you
must have it, go diet on the soda, although I recommend a naturally
flavored sparkling water as a great diet soda alternative.
Ar t i c l e 2 8 : S even Late N ight Snack ing Tips
Unless you’re a serious athlete who is fueling for a 2-3 hour morning
workout, it can completely sabotage your fat loss efforts to engage
in late night snacking. Metabolically, this is the time when your body
is least in need of calories, and preparing for a significant decrease in
energy expenditure. But for many of us, increased caloric consump-
tion in the evening is a lifestyle habit, whether winding down from
the daily stress with a bowl of ice cream, or chomping on pretzels
during a weekly evening card game. Breaking this habit is simply
a matter of empowering yourself with the knowledge and means
to make better choices. To get you started, here are 7 tips to avoid
1. Choose a non-caloric alternative. Diet soda is definitely not a
recommended choice, due to it’s appetite increasing effect, but non-
caffeinated tea comes in a broad variety of flavors, and a cup of warm
tea can be a great evening sedative before bed. A quick cup of tea is
virtually effortless to make, and can quell the appetite immediately.
2. Avoid boredom. Find an activity, such as walking, reading a short 1
story or magazine, or researching a new hobby. Often, late-night
snacking is a result of boredom more than caloric need, so keep your
mind and body occupied!
3. If you must eat, choose snacks that are low in carbohydrate and
high in protein, such as a few thin slices of low-fat turkey breast, a
handful of fresh soybeans,a hard boiled egg, or 1/2 a container of
plain, fat-free yogurt. These foods will be less likely to spike your
blood sugar, but will keep you satisfied with less calories. It’s OK to
also include a healthy fat, such as a few olives, avocado slices, or
4. Identify snack triggers. For many people, watching TV is synony-
mous with a bowl of popcorn, a can of soda or beer, or a bowl of ice
cream. A good alternative is to put a stationary bike or exercise ball
by the television and exercise at a low intensity. Or multi-task by
folding laundry, reading the mail, or writing in a diary. Anything that
keeps the hands busy and away from the pantry.
5. Don’t overly restrict calories at dinner. You might end up double-
dosing on a snack later on if you leave the dinner table too hungry.
Instead, make sure to eat a dinner that includes a large serving of
vegetables, a moderate portion of whole grains, and a lean meat or
6. Don’t sit down at the dinner table hungry. Snack on a piece of
fruit or handful of healthy cereal while dinner is being prepared, and
you’ll be less likely to overeat or pack you plate too full. Make sure to
graze on healthy snacks and foods during the rest of the day so you
aren’t too hungry when you get home from work or finish your daily
7. Eat the majority of calories early in the day. During this time, your
metabolism is highest and you will be more likely to use calories as
fuel for your activities. Your appetite will be less high later in the day
if you consume a complex carbohydrate (such as oatmeal) with a
healthy fruit (such as strawberries) and a bit of protein and healthy
fat (like natural peanut butter).
Remember, often we can get hungry simply because the body is
used to a certain eating habit, and not because we actually have a
nutritional need. To achieve a lean body, learn to identify these “crav-
ings” and eliminate them from your diet!
Ar tic l e 2 9 : To p Te n R easons For Your Expanding Waist
On Monday, July 3rd, an editorial appeared in the Milwaukee Journal
Sentinel. The author of the article decided that there must be more
to the growing obesity problem in America than the simple fact that
people don’t exercise enough while eating too much. To back this
statement, the editorial cited research from the International Journal
of Obesity, which recently reported 10 other possible reasons that
people get fat. Ready for the top ten countdown on why Americans
are getting fatter by the minute? Here it is:
1. Not sleeping enough. Lack of sleep has been show to decrease lev-
els of the hormone leptin and increase levels of the hormone ghrelin.
So inadequate sleep can trigger your body to increase food intake
and store fat. Research has shown that people getting six hours of
sleep per night are 27% more likely to become obese than those get-
ting seven to nine hours, and people who get only two to four hours
of sleep are 67% more likely to become obese. Since just one hour
can make a big difference, try hitting the sack a bit earlier, and you
might not have to hit the gym quite as hard.
2. Endocrine disruptions. Basically, this refers to pollutants, toxins
and chemicals in the Western diet that can decrease the body’s
metabolism and increase fat storage. The answer to this problem is
simple - eat as naturally as possible, attempting to avoid frequent
consumption of processed or packaged foods. I would also recom-
mend choosing organic foods for any product in which the outer skin
is consumed, such as apples or cucumbers.
3. Temperature controls. The argument here is that technologies like
air conditioning and central heating have replaced people’s natural,
calorie-burning temperature responses such as shivering and sweat-
ing. Not sure about this one - but here’s a thought: if your house were
more sweltering in the summer, would you be more likely to get “out
and about” and engage in activities like swimming, boating, visiting
the beach or going to the gym? And if you were colder in the winter,
would you move around more to stay warm?
4. Less smoking. Cigarettes are an appetite suppressant. This is an
interesting observation, but please - don’t take up a chain-smoking
5. Medicines that cause weight gain. Certain prescription drugs used
in the treatment of mood disorders, seizures, migraines, diabetes,
and high blood pressure, as well as steroids, hormone replacement
therapy, and birth control pills can cause a weight gain of up to 10
pounds a month. Common culprits include antidepressants Paxil
and Zoloft, the antiseizure medication Depakote, diabetes drugs like
Diabeta and Diabinese, the high blood pressure drugs Cardura and
Inderal, and heartburn drugs like Nexium and Prevacid.
6. Demographic changes. As we grow older, our metabolism slows.
The increase in middle-aged people has increased obesity rates, as
has the increased diversity, since research has observed some ethnic
populations have been higher obesity rates. This shouldn’t be used
as an excuse...just a reason to show more self-control and engage in
7. Maternal age. Older birth moms tend to have heavier children.
This is probably a much smaller problem than what the children are
actually being fed as they age. If you’re unhappy with your weight,
and feeding your kids the same food you eat, they’ll eventually be
unhappy with their weight, and unhealthy too!
8. Assortative mating. The reasoning goes something like this: an
overweight or obese person is more likely to choose a similarly built
individual as a mate, resulting in a higher percentage of big-boned
children. This makes some sense, since the diet and lifestyle of an
obese man or woman would be suppoted by an obese spouse or
partner. But this should make it that much easier to go on a diet or
exercise plan together, right?
9. Natural selection. This theory claims that a fat individual is
equipped to outsurvive a skinny individual in times of need, such as
famine. Unfortunately, the Western lifestyle doesn’t experience too
much famine, and obesity is accompanied by many life threaten-
ing problems such as diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease, so I don’t
think this is a valid reason.
10. Genetic influences on pregnancy. An obese ancestor could result
in an obese grandchild through a mechanism such as a “fetally driven
positive feedback loop”. The next person who walks into my personal
training office using this as an excuse will be doing some treadmill
time. All kidding aside, I acknowledge that many individuals are more
genetically prone to weight gain and obesity. The problem is that I
often observe these people using this as an excuse or crutch, and
subsequently consuming large amounts of fatty and sugary foods,
while spending very little time in active health pursuits.
Based on this top ten list, I’d like to sum up in one sentence how you
can fight your expanding waistline: “Get an adequate night’s sleep,
then stay active throughout the day while increasing consumption
of natural foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts, and
decreasing consumption of pharmaceutical medications, processed
and packaged foods.” There you have it!
Ar t i cl e 3 0 : Wh at G ood Is a Personal Trainer?
WOW! It’s been a busy 4 months during the Lost It for Life: Weight
Loss Challenge 2006 – the first annual weight loss competition at
a gym where I personal train. We kicked off at the beginning of the
year with 96 people signing up, and 87 actually showing up for the
first weigh-in, before photo, circumference measurements, and body
fat testing. Every few weeks, participants were scheduled to weigh-
in and re-test body fat. Of the starting 87 participants, the average
body fat percentage was 32.7, with an average weight of 200 pounds.
That’s a lot of weight - about 17,400 pounds! And almost 5700 of
it was pure fat, which figures to almost 20 million calories; a huge
amount of energy.
I’ve noticed some very interesting patterns during the course of the
challenge – patterns that anyone with weight loss aspirations or
fitness goals will find quite intriguing. Let’s take a look at how things
finished up this last week. Pay close attention towards the end - it’s
Of the 87 folks who participated in that first weigh-in, only 41 actu-
ally showed up for the final weigh-in. That’s only 47% of the individu-
als who started!
The total starting weight of those 41 individuals was 8081 pounds,
and based on their starting body fat percentage, the total number
of fat pounds was 2626. Those 41 people combined for almost 500
pounds of weight loss, with nearly 400 of those pounds as fat! They
burnt almost one and half million fat calories!
All said and done, these individuals, on average, went from 200lbs to
190lbs, and 32.7% body fat to 29.5% body fat. That’s a 10lb weight
loss and a 3.2% body fat loss. Obviously, some did better than oth-
ers, so these numbers don’t reflect the important individual differ-
ences. As a matter of fact, the top three individuals lost 61, 47 and 55
pounds, with body fat losses of 8%, 9%, and 7.5%, respectively. So
what did the “big losers” do differently to achieve such significantly
superior results? There are, in my opinion, 3 important answers that
can drastically change your body and life.
1. Frequent metabolism boosting. The most successful participants
raised their metabolism and their body’s core temperature through
frequent daily exercise. Many performed “two-a-day” routines. For
instance, one of my clients would do a 60 minute morning walk every
day of the week, but perform an additional evening 45 minute of
resistance training on four days of the week. Research has shown that
running for 10 minutes, three times a day, results in a more signifi-
cant weight loss than running for 30 minutes, once a day. So take
every chance you can to get the blood flowing – even if it just means
several simple stretches and body weight exercises per day.
2. Lifestyle nutrition patterns. That’s much different than a “calculator”
based diet. Instead of following a magic formula or extensive math
based routine, the successful participants simply made sure to fill
their refrigerator and pantry with fresh fruits and vegetables, com-
plex whole grains, lean protein sources, and healthy fats. And then
they simply grazed, throughout the day, on several small servings
of these delicious and wholesome foods. This resulted in stabilized
blood sugar levels, avoided “starvation” mode, and kept the body’s
metabolic fire constantly burning. So don’t fret about food! Just sur-
round yourself with the proper items, show a moderate amount of
self-control, and the rest takes care of itself. ..continued on back…
3. A personal trainer. This was probably the most staggering statistic
that I observed among successful participants. The presence of a
personal trainer made an enormous positive difference that simply
cannot be ignored. Let’s take a look:
A special discount on personal training was offered at the begin-
ning of the challenge. Out of 87 people, 25 took advantage of this
discount, and made an investment in fitness to work out with a
trainer on a weekly basis. During their training sessions, they received
exercise advice, learned new fitness moves, performed prescribed
workouts, and gained nutritional advice, grocery lists, and suggested
Now, like I said, 25 of 87 chose to work with a trainer. That leaves 62
that did not work with a trainer. Of those 62 individuals who did not
have a personal trainer, only 18 remained at the end.
That’s a 71% dropout rate!
How about the 25 people who had a trainer? Only 2 didn’t make it.
That’s only an 8% dropout rate! So…of the final 41 participants who
were left at the end, 23 of them had a personal trainer. That’s 56%.
Of the 46 others who did not make it to the final weigh-in, only 4%
had a trainer. And we haven’t even looked at results…this is simply
adherence to exercise. The powerful message is this – if your trainer is
waiting for you at the gym with an awesome workout, a motivational
message, and exciting wellness and lifestyle advice, you’re going to
be more likely to show up!
So how did the results differ between people who finished the chal-
lenge with a trainer versus those who finished without a trainer?
Check it out:
Individuals who worked with a personal trainer lost an average of 17
pounds, while those who did not have a trainer only lost an average
of 5.5 pounds.
Individuals who worked with a personal trainer decreased body fat
by an average of 3%, while those who did not have a trainer de-
creased by 1.1%.
The total pounds of fat lost with a trainer was 11.6 pounds, or 40,600
calories of stored fat. Over the 88 day course of the challenge, that’s
about 462 calories lost per day. People who did not have a trainer lost
3.8 fat pounds, or 13,300 calories of stored fat. That’s only 151 calories
What about circumference measurements? If you had a trainer, you
lost an average of 7.1 inches from the waist, but without a trainer,
only about 3.6 inches. For the butt, 7.1 inches were lost with a trainer,
versus 5.5 inches lost without a trainer. That’ll make a difference in
how those pants fit!
The numbers speak for themselves. One of the best investments you
can make in your fitness and your body is to work with a personal
trainer. Even if it’s just from meeting for a week, a month, or half a
year, a personal trainer can forever change your view on nutrition, ex-
ercise, and life. Pacific Elite Fitness offers a range of convenient online
personal training options. Visit www.pacificfit.net to learn more.
The author of this entire article series is
available to you as a personal trainer. There
are many training options from Pacific Elite
Fitness at www.pacificfit.net, including one-
on-one diet fitness coaching, monthly per-
sonal training, nutritional evaluations, group
and club consultations, and corporate wellness
program design. As a convenient, thorough,
and affordable alternative to in-person meet-
ings, online personal training is the wave of