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Nutrition Tips & Strategies

November 9, 2010

Sneaky Weight Loss Trick #4

Sneaky Weight Loss Trick #4

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TRICK #4: DrinkGreen Tea

Green teahas been used as a medicine in China for over 4,000 years.

It aids the digestive system and can help ease an overly full stomach and it has been linked to a reduction in cancer risk.

But for weight loss, the main ingredient in green tea, EGCG, maintains high norepinephrine levels in your body to keep your metabolism revved up.

One study published in the Journal of Nutrition even reported that subjects who drankgreen teaduring their workouts lost significantly more belly fat than those who didn’t.

The health and weight loss benefits of drinking green tea are enormous and if you’re looking for optimum health and a body to die for, drink green tea throughout the day.


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November 8, 2010

It’s NOT Just About the Calories!

It’s NOT About the Calories!

Weight loss seems so simple.
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Eat fewer calories than you burn and you will lose that dreaded belly fat for good.
But ask any of the 50+ million individuals who are attempting to lose weight each year and they will tell you it is not that easy.
It’s not just changing what you eat and exercising.
It feels like a battle.
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After all, you are tackling the 10 year daily visit to the vending machine habit, the 20 year snacking while watching TV habit, or maybe the “dinner’s not complete unless I eat something sweet” conviction.
If you want to kick those bad habits that prevent you from eating fewer calories overall and few quality calories, than you need to be prepared to understand and change your behaviors.
To get you started, here are some pointers to keep in mind:

* Know Yourself:
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First, understand your motivation.
Why do you want to lose weight?
If you do not have a reason that is truly meaningful to you, than you will have a tough road to climb.
People who attempt weight loss because they feel they should, but aren’t invested, won’t be able to make the necessary permanent change in behavior.
If you can’t identify a reason, brainstorm.
Write down every possible reason why you want to lose weight, set it aside for a day or so.
When you return to the list, write down why that reason is important to you (what will it do for you specifically).
When you’ve identified your top 3 and you feel strongly about them, it’s time to get started.
If you still struggle, put the list away and return every couple of days, adding answers and revisiting old ones until you have identified your reason WHY.

* Motivate Yourself
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Once you have identified the very specific reason as to why, hang onto it.
Make visible reminders.
The reminders could be pictures of yourself, your kids, a swimsuit model hung in the kitchen, bathroom, etc., or the reminder may be a pair of pants you would like to fit into.
When you are feeling like giving up, try on the pants.
Notice how they fit, where they are still tight, where they have gotten bigger.
Now imagine what it will be like to fit into them again.
Take an index card and write one sentence summarizing your motivation.
Carry the card with you.
Read it when your motivation wanes.

* Coach Yourself
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We are our own worst enemy.
Despite working hard at changing our behaviors and making efforts to make it happen, we subtly tell ourselves things like “I hope I can do this”, “I’ve been good, I deserve to take a day off”, or “I blew it today, I might as well write today off and start fresh tomorrow.”
The problem with these thoughts is they are all negative.
Telling yourself you hope you can do this indicates uncertainty and that some element is not within your control. Remember weight loss is possible. Direct your thoughts positively and keep your motivation in sight.

* Reframe Your Mind

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Put exercise in the same perspective as the rest of your life. A lot of people think of exercise as something extra in their lives; something that happens when they have the time.
Treat exercise as though it’s obligatory.
When you wake up each day, plan your exercise as just something else that needs to happen.

* Celebrate You!

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Do you give your best to your job, your family, and your friends but never devote anything worthwhile to yourself?
Use these behavior changes as an opportunity to put yourself first. Remind yourself you are taking steps toward a healthier, leaner you. If you do not see changes in your body or on the scale immediately, be patient.
Fat loss WILL happen when you remain committed to your goal.
Calories DO matter, so you should have an idea of just how many you are eating if you want to be leaner, sexier, and stronger!


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October 22, 2010

3 Fruits And Veggies Tip (Important)

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It’s recommended that we eat 6-10 fruits and vegetables a day. Here in the States it is reported the actual average of fruits and veggies eaten each day is just 2.

Yup, just 2.

Now, I don’t know where you stand on this, but overall, it really is a sad state of nutritional affairs.

But do not despair! It’s not that tough to get more fruits and veggies in each day.

Here are some super simple tips to get you started:

1) Buy ’em pre-chopped

Look, I can be lazy, too 😉 There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to go through the hassle of having to chop up fruits and veggies. If you want to buy them pre-chopped go ahead. It’s much better for you than not eating them.

2) Carry ’em with you

Load up a plastic baggie with your pre-chopped veggies and bring them to work. Seriously, see how easy this can be!

3) Add real fruit to your yogurt

Have some yogurt for breakfast and add some fresh blueberries, raspberries or blackberries. It’s that simple!

Bonus tip: A great way to provide your body with the nutritional foundation you need each day is a Whole Foods based multi-vitamin. I’m a proud Prograde Nutrition partner and they have a terrific product called VGF 25+ that is made from 25 veggies, greens and fruits.

The best part is you can try Prograde’s VGF 25+ for FREE! (There’s just a small S & H charge)
Get Your Free Vitamins Here

Be sure to use these tips and comment below with some of your own tips.


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October 18, 2010

Causes of Weight Loss Plateaus

What REALLY Causes Fat Loss Plateaus
Guest Blog by Joel Marion

I got my friend and weight loss expert Joel Marion to explain what causes the dreaded weight loss plateau.

Joel is the author of Cheat To Lose and is considered by many (including me) one of the top authorities on the subject.

Enjoy!!!

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So, what REALLY causes fat loss plateaus to happen and why is getting exceptionally lean incredibly difficult?

Well, that’s two questions, so let’s address them one at a time 🙂

A general fat loss plateau or stall in weight loss can happen for many reasons, but they all basically come down to metabolism and hormones.

If you’ve read some of my previous writing, then you’re probably pretty familiar with leptin, so while I’ll save you the long science, I do believe a brief explanation is in order.

Leptin, AKA the anti-starvation hormone, is basic the “control” hormone when it comes to weight loss, particularly fat loss. Other important hormones with regards to metabolism and weight loss, such as the appetite regulating hormones neuropeptide-Y and ghrelin, and the metabolic thyroid hormones are all more or less dependent on leptin.

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As an analogy, Leptin is the “Sergeant” hormone from which all other hormones take commands.

Either that or leptin is just REALLY cool and the other guys simply base everything they do around what leptin’s doing.

Bunch of lame-ass follower hormones.

I digress.

The point is, if you hope to have any success when it comes to weight loss, then you need to understand and learn to manipulate leptin.

To make things extremely simplistic:

High leptin levels = Heightened fat burning and metabolism

Low leptin levels = Decreased fat burning and metabolism

Unless of course you suffer from leptin resistance, which we’ll talk about momentarily.

So how is leptin mediated? Two ways:

1. Leptin is mediated by body fat levels.

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Because leptin is secreted by fat cells, it makes sense that there is a direct, linear relationship between the amount of body fat you are carrying and the amount of leptin you have floating around. That is to say, the more fat you have, the more leptin you have, and vice versa.

This is THE major reason why losing those last few pounds is exceptionally difficult.

Oops, looks like we are answering the second question before we fully answer the first. I tend to do that.

But yes, low body fat levels unquestionably mean low baseline levels of leptin. Essentially, with every pound of fat you lose, the lower baseline leptin levels fall, making it even more difficult to lose the next pound.

Fun stuff, I know.

To recap:

Low body fat levels = low leptin

High body fat levels = high leptin

Uh oh. Now I have to explain why “fat” people, if they indeed have the highest leptin levels because of their large amount of body fat, aren’t the leanest people in the world if leptin is so metabolic.

Good question, my smart fellow, but there is indeed an explanation, and that explanation is called “leptin resistance”.

Similar to insulin resistance, if leptin receptors are constantly being bombarded by high levels of leptin, they start to become less sensitive to the hormone.

This is what happens with insulin in Type II diabetics. People eat crap food and loads of highly processed carbohydrates for years, flood their bloodstream with insulin every hour of the day, and gradually over time insulin receptors become so desensitized to the hormone to the point that insulin no longer “works”.

The same occurs with leptin. Overweight people, who have been overweight for years, become resistant to the hormone due to massive amounts of leptin (caused by high body fat levels and high calorie intakes, which we’ll talk about in a minute) slamming receptors for extended periods of time.

I won’t go into too much further detail about leptin resistance and sensitivity here, but for the sake of the conversation, we’ll just say that leptin is “broke” in these individuals.

Can it be fixed?

Yes. And I actually cover exactly how to do this in the Ninja Nutrition Tactics manual.

2. Leptin is mediated by calorie intake.

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In addition to leptin’s relationship with body fat, leptin is also pretty chummy with the amount of food you’re taking in on a daily basis. That is, your calorie intake.

High calorie intakes = high leptin levels

Low calorie intakes = low leptin levels

That said, that darned “common sense” does come into play here as well (i.e. you can’t eat 5,000 calories a day and expect your high leptin levels to cancel out the rules of mathematics).

The important thing to recognize is that typical dieting, in which you are restricting calories on a daily/weekly/monthly basis, derails leptin “fo’ sheezy” (as the kids say), and there’s no getting around that.

This means that with chronic dieting, you WILL screw with leptin and you WILL hit a fat loss plateau, period. It WILL happen-so whatcha gonna do about it?

Oh yeah, and I also talk quite a bit about the whole “getting really lean” thing, too, so let’s go back to that real quick.

As mentioned, the number one reason losing those last few pounds of fat is such a curse word is low leptin and the fact that your body does not WANT you to be single digit body fat-at all.

It’s all like “Noooooooooo, stay fat and keep me warmmmmm. I’m colddddd. And what are we going to do if we end up like Tom Hanks in that one movie-you know, the one with the volley ball. That could happen.”

And theoretically, your body is correct. But, being lean is way cooler than Tom Hanks (sorry, it’s true, I took a poll), so if you’re going to ever get exceptionally lean, you’re going to have to learn the ways of the Ninja.

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Bottom line, it AINT easy to figure out, but the good news is that you don’t have to since I already did it for you.

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