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February 2010

February 27, 2010

Belly Fat Can Kill You

Belly Fat Can Kill You

Being overweight or obese surely puts you at a high risk for disease.
But even more important than simply reading the number on the scale is where you carry your weight.
Very simply, the size of your belly matters.

On the flipside, if you carry more of your weight in your hips and thighs, you’re at less of a risk.
Here’s the deal:
There are different types of fat in the bodyVisceral fat lies beneath the abdominal muscle, so is not visible.
On the other hand, subcutaneous fat is right underneath the skin, so can be seen.
We now know that those who have more belly fat, or visceral fat, are at a significantly higher heart disease and diabetes risk, among others.
The reason for this is that visceral fat surrounds the vital organs.
It also releases various hormones that have been linked to disease.
In a nutshell, belly fat is VERY dangerous!
In general, most women carry more of their weight in their lower body and men carry more of their weight around their middle…and that lower body fat may be actually somewhat protective.
We’re not suggesting gaining weight to protect you from heart disease, but when solely comparing the two types of fat, visceral fat is much more dangerous.
And, while it’s more common for men to carry their weight in their upper body, as women age, hormonal shifts tend to cause a shift in where body fat is stored.
It’s therefore not uncommon for women who go through menopause to gain more fat around their belly too.
So what can be done about this?
First, measure your belly and see if you’re at risk.
Run a tape measure around your midsection at about the level of your belly button.
Breathe normally, don’t suck in, or pull the tape so tight you lose oxygen.
Goal: < 35” for women, and <40” for men.
How do you fare?
Fortunately visceral fat responds very well to exercise … in particular, high intensity exercise.
A study published just a few years ago out of the University of Virginia —
“Effect of Exercise Training Intensity on Abdominal Visceral Fat and Body Composition”
— showed that those who exercised at the highest intensities
(of course that is relative, depending on your current fitness level)
had the greatest loss in belly fat!
Of course any movement is better than none, but this gives more reason to kick things up a notch!
And surely what you eat plays a big role too.

If you want to kill belly fat once and for all then I suggest trying our 6 Week Body Transformation

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February 26, 2010

What Are the Required Skills of a Nutritionist?

What Are the Required Skills of a Nutritionist?


by   Amanda Clary

Nutritionists provide valuable services for groups of people and
individuals who need to meet their nutritional goals. As a nutritionist,
you can also work in large health care facilities like hospitals and
nursing homes. You an also find jobs as a nutritionist in schools and
other institutions that need effective nutritional management.

The Needed Skills of a Professional Nutritionist

1. Deep Knowledge of Nutritional Science

First, a nutritionist should have a deeper grasp of nutrition science. So
it is generally expected of you to have exceptional knowledge on human
physiology and its relationship to nutrition. Having basic knowledge on
pharmacology, public health, and epidemiology is also ideal.


In order to get a grasp on these subjects, most state authorities will
require you to finish 4-year undergraduate studies on dietetics and
nutrition. In areas where there are strict standards for nutritionists,
you need to take special trainings and certifications in order to practice
your profession.

2. Exemplary Interpersonal Skills

To become a successful nutritionist, you need to have superior
interpersonal relationship skills. People skills are important so you can
effectively communicate with your clients to convince them to follow your
programs. You have to understand that the food habits of people are very
difficult to change.


If you want them to improve their health, you need to have superior
convincing power and sensitivity to change their food habits.
Nutritionists without exemplary people skills will experience difficulties
in implementing their nutrition and food programs.

3. Excellent Problem Solving Capabilities

Lastly, a nutritionist should have excellent problem solving skills. You
have to understand that the health problems of people are mainly caused by
improper nutrition. However, different people have different nutritional

So you need to solve their problems and guide them towards the right
nutritional direction. Before you can provide good solid advice on
people, it is necessary to know their problems first and find the right
nutritional solutions that will help them to become healthier.


As a nutritionist, your clients have big expectations from you. You need
to understand their nutritional problems and find the right solutions for
them. You must also convince them to follow your recommended nutritional
and dietary programs.

If you possess the right skills of a nutritionist, then you can ensure
that your practice will flourish. You will be able to help numerous
clients and institutions and you can become a trusted professional in the
field of nutrition science.

About the Author


Amanda Clary writes a non commercial blog focused on her experience on
helping her family and friends to eat healthy. She is a “Nutritionist for
Hobby” and writes on the
blog to help people learn how to get
certified and learn all the aspects related to this job (Skills,
requisites, everyday problems, upgrading, etc…).

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February 24, 2010

Rancho Cucamonga Personal Trainer Interviews Alycia

This is an interview with my awesome client Alycia. Her son Isiah is absolutely ADORABLE.

Dr. Saman Bakhtiar is a Rancho Cucamonga personal trainer.

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February 22, 2010

Foods That Turn to Fat

Foods That Turn to Fat



Part one of this special report listed the twelve foods that “burn fat.” This second installment in the series will teach you which foods “turn to fat.” One of the best ways to learn what you should eat is to learn what you shouldn’t eat. Then, by a process of elimination, you’ll be much more likely to eat the foods that will give you the best results.

In this report, you’ll discover that the foods that “turn to fat” all tend to have certain things in common:


X High total calories

X High calorie density per unit of volume X High total fat

X High in unhealthy saturated and trans fats X High in refined sugar.

X Low In nutritional value (low nutrient density) X Flavor enhancers, fillers and other chemicals X Artificial colors and flavors

X High sodium

It only gets worse. Many of these fat and sugar filled “junk foods” have negative nutritional value. They subtract from the good you’re doing when you pick the right foods. For example, anything high in white sugar is going to leach minerals from your body. None of the foods on this list should ever be eaten as a part of your regular daily diet. It’s wise to allow yourself one or two cheat meals per week, but save the “junk foods” on this list for the very occasional cheat day. If and when you do eat them, make sure you continue to obey the law of calorie balance (too much of anything gets stored as fat and small amounts of bad foods usually won’t get stored as fat)

1. Ice Cream


I’m sure a lot of people will be mad at me when they see their beloved ice cream as number one on the hit list of the foods that turn to fat, but here goes: Ice cream is Bad news with a capital B! Ice cream is loaded with fat, sugar and way more calories than you need; an evil fat-storing triad. Not to mention, the artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, emusifiers and stabilizers.

Now let’s talk about the fat. One cup (that’s a pretty small serving you know), contains approximately 350 calories and 20 grams of fat – mostly saturated. And that’s just regular premium vanilla ice cream. A cup of Haagen Dasz Belgian Chocolate has 660 calories and 36 grams of fat. But that’s nuthin I Ben & Jerrys has them all beat! A cup of wavy gravy ice cream has 660 calories and …. Gulp …. 48 grams of fat – 20 of them saturated!

There are so many delicious alternatives to ice cream like fruit sorbet or even sugar free, low fat frozen yogurt, it boggles the mind that more fitness conscious people don’t make the switch. Are you a Ben & Jerry’s freak? Skip the wavy gravy or chunky monkey and have the Cherry Garcia Yogurt instead (if you must) … it’s only 340 calories and six grams of fat. Healthy Choice makes a Low fat chocolate mint chip ice cream with only 200 calories per cup and just four grams of fat. Best of all, Kemp’s makes a sugar free non fat frozen yogurt that contains only 240 calories and zero grams of fat. It’s made with skim milk and is sugar free.

You can have your ice cream and eat it too, you just have to watch your portion sizes, read labels, choose your brand carefully, and go with a reduced fat or even a fat free version. Usually I hear, “but it just doesn’t taste the same.” Maybe true, but if regular ice cream is a regular item in your weekly or daily menu, you can rest assured that a lot of those calories will be turning to fat.

2. Fried Foods


All fried foods are really BAD NEWS! (with all capitals!) Fried foods are harmful in more ways than one. First of all, they are high in calories and mostly fat. Take a McDonald’s super size fries, for example. Polish off the whole batch and you’ve got yourself 610 calories and 29 grams of fat, 10 of them saturated. Large Burger King hash browns – 390 calories and 25 grams of fat, 15 of them saturated. KFC fried chicken breast (extra tasty crispy) – one serving alone sets you back 470 calories and 25 grams of fat.

Second, the type of fat is highly saturated and/or trans fat. Frying destroys essential fatty acids (EFA’s) by twisting their molecules from the cis-configuration in which they’re normally found to the unnatural trans shape. To make matters worse, shortening and margarines have replaced the lard that was traditionally used for frying. These contain large amounts of chemically altered trans fatty acids to begin with, so you get a double whammy of artery clogging, health destroying “funny fats.”

According to Udo Erasmus, the world’s foremost expert on fats, there is no such thing as safe frying. “Safe frying is a contradiction in terms,” says Erasmus. “When foods turn brown, they have been burned. The nutrients in burned material have been destroyed. Proteins turn into carcinogenic acrolein. Starches and sugars are browned through molecular destruction. Fats and oils are turned to smoke by destruction of fatty acids and glycerol.”

Folks, stay the heck away from anything fried! (By the way, did you know that “saute” is the French word for “fry?”)

3. Donuts & Pastries


Like ice cream, doughnuts are one of the all time no-no’s when body fat reduction and good health are your goals. Doughnuts contain that king of fat storing combinations: refined sugar and saturated fats.

A small plain or powdered donut contains about 170 calories and 10 grams of fat (by the way, that’s over 50% fat by calories). Your larger donuts contain anywhere from 200 to 420 calories and up to 22 grams of fat – much of It saturated.

The flour in donuts, of course is white flour – stripped of any nutritional value with no trace of the original whole grain left intact. And heaps and heaps of sugar are added on top to add insult to injury.

Donuts also contain chemical agents designed to keep them soft, mono and diglycerides, propylene and glycol mono and diesters, coloring agents including FD & C yellow, number 5 and preservatives such as BHT and BHA.

If you want a chemical cocktail loaded with fat, sugar and calories, donuts fit the bill nicely. By the way, did you know they deep-fry those things? And one more thing; did you know a Cinnabon has 670 calories and 34 grams of fat? Stay away from Cinnabons, pastries, eclairs and anything else in the “donut family.”

4. White Sugar, Candy. Chocolate & Sweets


One of the biggest misconceptions in weight loss is that carbohydrates make you fat. This is an incorrect statement. A correct statement would be; refined carbohydrates make you fat… and that means white sugar, candy and sweets. Of course, calories are the bottom line … it’s not necessarily sugar that makes you fat, it’s too many calories that make you fat. But guess what? Refined carbs are incredibly calorie dense, making it extremely easy for you to eat too many calories.

Even if you could “get away with” eating sugar because your calories were below maintenance, you wouldn’t want to. You see, sugar is “empty calories.” No vitamins, no minerals, no fiber, no nothing … just calories.

Refined sugars wreak havoc with your blood sugar levels and they increase insulin levels, which can also increase fat storage and prevent stored fat from being released.

It only gets worse. Nancy Appleton, author of “Lick the sugar habit,” has compiled a list of over 100 reasons that sugar is disastrous to your health and fitness endeavors. Here’s a shortened version:

1) Refined sugar can be a contributing factor to gaining body fat

2) Refined sugar can increase the bad LDL cholesterol

3) Refined sugar can decrease the good LDL cholesterol

4) Refined sugar can increase triglycerides

5) Refined sugar can suppress your immune system

6) Refined sugar can deplete your body of important minerals

7) Refined sugar can contribute to the development of numerous types of


8) Refined sugar can cause hypoglycemia

9) Refined sugar can decrease growth hormone

10) Refined sugar can contribute to diabetes

11) Refined sugar can cause food allergies 12)Refined sugar can increase serum insulin

If you made only one change to your nutritional habits today … that is, to reduce your sugar intake … the difference in your health, energy levels and body composition would absolutely blow your mind. Get the sugar out’

5. Soda


It was 1767 when British Scientist Joseph Priestly discovered how to carbonate water. Quite simply, pressurized carbon dioxide gas is pumped through the liquid and that’s what creates the bubbly fizz so many people have come to love.

Since then, soft drinks have become a multi-billion dollar industry all around the world. In fact, Coca Cola is one of the most valuable and recognized brands in the world. According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, the total consumption of carbonated beverages in 2001 was 10.3 billion cases. The average person consumes … get a load of this … 55.7 gallons of the fizzy stuff every year. But what’s good for the cola companies definitely isn’t good for what ails you.

Soft drinks are mostly water, but the amount of sucrose and high fructose corn syrup used to sweeten regular soda is more than enough to do its share of damage.

We’ve already talked about the ills of sugar, but liquid sugar is even more insidious when it comes to throwing a wrench in your fat burning machinery. Several studies have shown that when you consume liquid calories, you tend not to compensate by cutting back on the food you eat. The result is that you drink excess calories in addition to all the food you normally eat.

Liquid calories of all types are best avoided on fat burning diets.

6. Fruit “drinks” & Other Sugar Sweetened Beverages


Ditto (same as for soda) … don’t drink your calories, especially if they’re full of sugar!

And don’t be fooled by the labels that say, “Contains real fruit juice.” Do your homework and read the ingredients list.

If you see sugar, sucrose, corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup on the label, STAY AWAY’

7. Bacon &  Sausage


Bacon has almost become a standard feature in the typical American breakfast. Too bad’ The Center for Science in the Public Interest says that Bacon and Sausage are one of the worst foods you could possibly eat. One strip of regular pork bacon has 130 calories and 13 grams of fat, five of them saturated. By the way, that’s 93% fat by calories – Yikes!

Even if you choose turkey bacon, or a reduced fat bacon, you’d better check the label carefully. “Reduced fat” doesn’t mean much. If the fat is reduced from 90% fat to 70% fat or even 50% fat, that’s not much improvement.

Suppose you find a really, honestly lean bacon or bacon substitute. Still not a good choice. Why? Because it’s a processed food. The same warning that goes for processed fats and processed carbohydrates go for processed meats. You’re not eating pure, real pork my friend! You’re eating a “meat product” that contains some pork in a mix of fillers, sodium, sugar and nitrites that are used to cure the meats. Stay away from all fatty meats and all processed meats and stick with lean proteins like chicken breast, turkey, fish and egg whites. Your body will thank you.

8. White bread


The average American eats 54 pounds of bread each year. Most people think bread is fattening. This is largely due to the popularity of low carb diets. The problem is they’re eating the wrong kind of bread. White bread is treated in the body the same way as white sugar. White bread is a refined carbohydrate with no nutritional value. Whole grain breads (100% wheat, rye, etc) are another story.

Some breads are made from 100% whole grains with all the vitamins, minerals and fiber left intact. Other breads are all or mostly refined white flour. These breads have been stripped of most of their nutrients. The milling and grinding of the whole grain reduces the particle size while increasing the calorie density and turns the whole grain (a complex carb) into a simple carb that’s no better than pure sugar.

When proponents of low carb programs “flame” dieters for eating “too many carbohydrates,” what they often fail to mention is that the problem is not carbohydrates per se; the problem is refined carbohydrates. What most people miss is the fact that refined carbohydrates include not only white sugar and its derivatives (like corn syrup), but also white flour as well.

That’s riqhtl This means that anything and everything made from white or enriched flour is a food that will more readily turn to tat: That includes, cereals, pretzels, bagels, breads, pitas, crackers and anything else made from white flour. If you’re not sure whether a food is whole grain or not, simply read the ingredients list on the label. If the food is whole grain, then the first ingredient will say something like “100% whole wheat.”

If you want to burn fat, give up the white flour completely and go with the grain whole grain that is.

9. Potato Chips, Nachos, & Corn Chips


In Robert Kennedy’s book “Rock Hard, Supernutrition for bodybuilders,” he wrote, “far too high sodium content makes potato chips almost lethal, especially if you are predisposed to high biood pressure. One popular brand contains 680 milligrams of salt, compared to the 4 miiligrams of sodium one finds in an average baked potato.”

Sodium’s not the only thing chips have against them. Let’s see … we’ve got lots of calories, tons of fat, flavor additives and the refined oils that are used to fry/cook these buggers. The potato chip is not even ciose to the nutritional value of the raw potato, sodium and fat notwithstanding. The nutritional value that was in the raw potato has literally been “fried right out.” What’s left is mostly calories from fat from the refined oil used in the cooking process.

Oh, by the way, Nachos and Dorito-type chips are on the out list too (sorry).

These days you can find fat free potato chips at a health food store, which are definitely an improvement, but keep one thing in mind: packaged and man made foods are NEVER as good as foods eaten the way they’re found in nature. Pretzels are better because you’re losing the fat, but since they’re made from white flour, pretzeis are NOT as big of an improvement over potato chips as many people think they are.

10. Hot Dogs &  Fast Food Burgers


Hamburgers and hot dogs are as American as Chevrolet, baseball and apple pie. Unfortunately, America’s love for fast food has turned it into one of the most obese and unhealthy countries in the world.

Out of the two, hamburgers are the lesser of the evils (but they’re still pretty evil). Hot dogs are not pure meat – they are a “meat product” consisting of some meat, mashed up with fillers, stabilizers, sodium, preservatives, artificial coiors and artificial flavors. They’re a veritable mish-mash of chemicals and additives … a “fake food” so to speak. A three-ounce regular hot dog has 16 grams of fat – seven of them saturated.

If you simply must have a hot dog, these days, you can find low fat hot dogs or turkey dogs by companies such as Healthy Choice. However, keep in mind that ail hot dogs – low fat or not – are processed meats. The same rule that appiies to carbohydrates applies to proteins as well; that is: Natural foods are aiways better than refined foods. Stick with natural iean proteins like chicken breast and egg whites and avoid the refined and processed meats as much as possible.

Hamburgers, while they may be made from real meat, are made from some of the fattiest meat available. There’s no such thing as “lean ground beef.” Even the leanest beef is still relatively high in fat. Read the labels and do the math for yourself.

Oh, one last thlng .. .The nitrites used to cure the hot dogs have been linked to cancer.

11. Cookies, Cakes &  Pies


Cookies, cakes and pies fall into the same categories as donuts – fat and sugar joined at the hip (and they’ll end up on your hips too, if you’re not careful!) Just because they’re baked and not fried doesn’t mean they’re any better.

Fat and sugar is the worst of all food combinations and they’re both found in abundance in cookies, cakes and pies. They also harbor untold amounts of dangerous trans fatty acids.

Save the cake for once a year on your birthday (okay, maybe a slice of pumpkin pie for thanksgiVing). The rest of the year, avoid these like the plague.

12. Sugary Breakfast Cereals


According to the book “Cerealizing America,” by Scott Bruce and Bill Crawford, The cereal Industry uses 816 million pounds of sugar per year. Americans buy 2.7 billion packages of breakfast cereal each year. If laid end to end, the empty cereal boxes from one year’s consumption would stretch to the moon and back. 1.3 million advertisements for cereal aired on American television every year, or more than twenty-five hours of cereal advertising per day, at a cost of $762 million for air time. Only automobile manufacturers spend more money on television advertising than the makers of breakfast cereal.

Most of the boxed cereals found in supermarkets contain large amounts of sugar and some contain more than 50% sugar (sugar smacks have 53% sugar). Cereal manufacturers are very clever in their marketing, making many cereals appear much more healthy than they appear by “fortifying” them with vitamins and minerals. Oh, lovely – you now have vitamin-fortified suqar!

Before you eat any cereal, read the ingredients list and see how high sugar appears on the ingredient list. Then check the “Nutrition facts” panel.

There are actually only a small handful of national commercially branded cereals that are made from whole grains and are sugar free. Shredded Wheat is one. If you shop at a health food store instead of in your local supermarket, you are much more likely to find a healthy, whole grain, sugar free (or very low sugar) cereal. But watch out some of the health food store boxed cereals are sweetened with fruit juice or fructose. Although this may be an improvement over refined white sugar, this can really skyrocket the calories.

Although there are some good boxed cereals available, you may find it interesting that bodybuilders and fitness models – among the leanest athletes in the world almost never eat boxed cereal – even the better brands. Instead, they opt for unsweetened old fashioned oatmeal (not the flavored, sweetened packets). This might surprise you, but most commercial breakfasts cereals, with their hidden sugars and clever marketing, are foods that turn to fat. Leave em on the shelf!

By Author:

Tom Venuto




Dr. Saman Bakhtiar is a Riverside Personal Trainer and Boot Camp Instructor.

If you know anyone looking for personal training in the Inland Empire, send them to Fitness Concepts.

We will take good care of them.

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We offer Boot Camps, Fitness Training, Nutritional Consultations and a friendly awesome staff ready to take on all weight loss and fat loss challenges.

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