When I was traveling recently on my holiday break, when people asked me what I do, I told them that I make people’s lives happier by helping them lose weight and be healthier.
Most people with whom I talked had a point of view about weight loss, and some others wanted advice. Some told me that Zumba, running, shakes, or diets are effective for weight loss. But what really got my attention was that these people were overweight and out of shape. If all those great ideas really worked, why weren’t these people really doing them? Go figure.
A paradigm is a belief about what the world is like. You can tell what people believe by watching what they do, because they always behave consistently with their deeply held belief. It is not necessarily what they say they believe, but what they really believe that counts.
While is true that many of the methods people mentioned work, what is important is to take into consideration that people need to be consistent and do them regularly.
“Weight loss can be simple,” I explained to some of my fellow travelers. “But I don’t recommend focusing merely on weight loss. My clients and I get healthy results and toned bodies using varied routines and techniques. None of the methods people list works alone. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that people don’t want to lose weight just for the sake of losing weight since they often end up with a sloppy body when they are only focused on the scale. The reality is that they want to look their best and hopefully amazing. They want legs and arms toned, flat abs, a nice straight back, and overall an attractive body. This is where my being an expert comes in. I give my clients all the techniques, routines, motivation, and encouragement they need to get the results that they are looking for.
No one I had a conversation with on my trip mentioned weight lifting as being important for weight loss, but a large part of my fitness plan is weight lifting for people of all ages and body types. It surprises me that many people are not aware of the importance of weight lifting. Let me enumerate a few of the benefits. It lifts the gluts, tones arms and legs, makes flat abs, and makes the waist look smaller and over all shapes the body and increase the metabolic rate among other benefits. It also prevents bone loss in older men and women, which helps them stay agile and fit.
So I recommend getting a weight lifting plan incorporated into your weight loss program. You will notice the difference after two weeks. But don’t forget to be consistent. Persistence pays off.
One of the best tools that a weight-loss program has is a follow-up system or assessment. Assessment gives specific information about the unique needs of the individual. This can include but is not limited to injuries, stress, lifestyle, exercise experiences, fears, beliefs and food perception. With this information, an individual approach can be taken. Here is where I can empathize with my clients.
Talking to new members during the assessment is exciting. I always encourage people to talk. Many people have the perception that I’m perfect, I must be on a diet, and I don’t eat certain foods, such as hamburgers. So when I say, “We need to work on your eating habits. It seems like you have a lot of improvements to make,” a common response is, “I know: no hamburgers, no fried foods, no tamales and no carbohydrates.”
I like people to feel comfortable around me, so I start telling them the truth. And the truth is that I do eat hamburgers. However, I clarify what is behind the hamburger myth.
I don’t see what is wrong with eating a piece of red meat with organic wheat bread and veggies (tomatoes, onions, lettuce, avocado and peppers). Usually I eat hamburgers once a week. However, not all hamburgers are the same, and here is where people need to be aware of the myth.
When I eat a hamburger, I make sure it has real meat and veggies. There are a couple of local places that use organic ingredients in their burgers. And when I say to make sure it’s “real meat and veggies,” it’s because many corporate hamburgers don’t have real ingredients. Here is what I mean:
One of my colleagues did an experiment. He bought a hamburger from a famous chain restaurant and left it on top of his desk for one year. The hamburger was intact! Only drier. The reason is because the hamburger is nothing more than junk. Michael Pollan puts it in other words. He says that bacteria are living organisms that need nutrients to survive and, of course, only eat foods that have nutrients. Therefore, they are not interested in the hamburger. There are processing steps that this type of hamburger goes through before they’re sold. These steps remove the nutrients from the hamburger and add chemicals so it will last longer and be cheaper. This is one of the reasons why people suffer many disease and digestive problems.
So the conclusion is that many people are eating only trash with no nutrients. These “foods” are a big factor in obesity, diabetes, cancer and other diseases. People eat because they need energy to survive, and many of these “foods” are not providing them with it.
So when we set up eating habits, I help people understand what the best choices are. I don’t prohibit foods. Like I tell them, “I’m nobody to stop you from eating what you want. I only give you information and set the path to achieve your goals.”
Food is the energy we need to survive, and I think it is OK to enjoy our foods. However, it is responsible to be conscious about what we put into our body to achieve a healthy body weight. The decision is always up to you.
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Meron speaks about how exercising has improved her life and how all the hard work, sore muscles, and the pain is worth the results. Meron shares with us her personal story about her weight loss and the changes she has made in her life that have helped her to accomplish her weight loss goals. She has made drastic changes in her diet and in turn her diet and her exercise habits have increased her energy and given her the ability to lead a more active life.
Recently I assessed a new Custom Body Fitness member who had lost 13 lbs in 15 weeks. It reminded me of another member four months ago who had lost 15 lbs. in the same amount of time. Both of these members were overweight, and most heavy people lose between 2 to 4 lbs a month. Therefore, I was surprised to see people lose more than 10 pounds in the first 5 week assessment. Another sort of member Custom Body Fitness have are those who fall into the “fit” scale. They were active before they walked in the door. This people can put into an “athlete” category. Fit people generally cannot lose 10 lbs in four months, because they are already in the most healthy weight level. However, they also impress me when they lose 2 lbs or lower their fat levels by 1 percent, since few do that. This raises a question: Why do some people, in the same “fat level category” lose a significant amount of fat and others don’t? After assessing hundreds of Custom Body Fitness members, I have found a pattern: Different sorts of habits and behaviors get us different results.
- People who get results are usually open to change. They listen to my suggestions, learn about healthy eating and exercise, and then they put this new knowledge into practice.
- They find a balance between work, family, exercise, and other activities in their lives.
- They change their eating habits by cooking at home, cutting meat intake, adding more vegetables and fruits, eating organic, substituting added beverage for water, and eat five times a day.
- They have an active lifestyle; they come to Custom Body Fitness 3 to 4 times a week, and hike, walk, run, or bike on their own.
- They find support by seeking out active people like themselves who are striving for the same goals.
- They take time to analyze their life—they meditate.
- They figure out their goals, write them down specifying each one, and work towards them.
Some people come to CBF with some knowledge of healthy ways already and just need to be reminded; others simply don’t know how to start they journey to health and weight loss. My hope for all members is that they learn to find a balance in their life in order to accomplish their desires. I want them to feel less frustrated about losing weight and concentrate on their habit changes, not on the weight they are trying lose. So if you want to lose weight in a healthy and fun atmosphere that fits your lifestyle, think about the suggestions above. These pointers have been proven to work, so why not let them help you.
Last week I assessed one of my clients. He had lost 12 pounds in 2 months. He said that he recommends me to his group of friends. He enjoys our sessions, feels healthier, has more energy, is stronger, and — the most important reason he talks about CBF to his friends — he’s happier. When he refers me to his friends and shows them my website, some of them expect to see a picture of a bodybuilder.
He was telling me that he knows a couple of guys who are huge; they use drugs to increase muscle mass. Some other guys he knows use supplements. Since I advocate “natural fitness,” he assumes I don’t take any drugs or supplements.
While it is true that 6 years ago I used protein shakes and creatine, I now know that these products don’t really help me perform any better or add value to my health. Also, they are likely to do more harm than good. In my experience, acne and lack of oxygen at night were only two side effects of these products, which is why I stopped taking them. When it comes to drugs everyone seems to have a different opinion about them. My opinion is that drugs simply don’t contribute to health even though they may increase muscle mass, endurance or some other facet of human performance.
Even though it sounds sad, many professionals nowadays don’t distinguish between fitness and health; but being fit does not mean being healthy. Someone taking drugs or using supplements may be able to run fast, have tremendous lean muscle mass or lift incredible weights and can be classified as fit. However, this person may not be healthy. Such a person may suffer or develop side effects such as sex impotency, osteoporosis, high blood pleasure, cancer and others.
However, fitness is a factor that contributes to health just like eating nutritious foods and controlling thoughts and emotions. But many people put their health in jeopardy to be fit.
Weight loss has also taken the same path. Many people have heard from their doctors that they need to lose weight because of their high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, knee problems, etc. Many look for the easy exit, taking pills, using hormone therapies, taking supplements or undergoing surgery.
Even though weight loss is the goal, the purpose can get lost while trying to attain the goal. The purpose of weight loss is to be healthy. While some people are looking to lose weight for a better appearance (and there’s nothing wrong with losing weight to be physically attractive), they, also, miss the real purpose. Losing weight in an unhealthy manner won’t help an individual become more attractive.
Getting to know the difference between fit and healthy helps us a lot with the habits we need to practice. It helps us be aware of our health while we get fit and to remember that we get fit to contribute to our health. Weight loss is not about being fit only. It is about being healthy by incorporating fitness in our lives.
I have learned that the first thing people need before starting a weight loss program is to unleash their desire to lose weight. This could be a doctor’s call, a divorce, a true look at the mirror or the inability to perform physically.
After the wakeup call, action is required to lose weight. Some people take imperfect action, and others hire a professional to help them. But what matters most is that action is taken.
While many people get distracted, discouraged or busy in life and drop their program, others continue perfecting their actions.
For those who drop their weight loss program, nothing changes, they just go back to their precontemplation stage. In contrast, for those who continue, something magical happens. After a while, the body starts changing. As they continue getting results, they notice that they need to modify their program according to their needs, and they do.
A walking-and-small-eating-habit program can be effective for you if you need to lose 100 pounds: Walking every day and cutting out some junk food may lead you to lose pounds of fat monthly. However, results can come faster if a professional designs a program for you.
If you are only 20 pounds overweight, the same approach may not work. It will help, but you need to work deeply on your exercise and eating habits. For example, you may need to find a more intense exercise than walking and work on your eating schedule and start getting into a cleaner diet.
Now, if you don’t need to see a difference in the scale, but you want to tone your arms, get rid of the muffin top or inner thigh fat, lose inches on the hips and get a flat stomach, you need the deepest and most advanced exercise program. This will help you get rid of the fat by getting muscle instead. You may not lose pounds, but your fat levels are decreasing. Walking, running or eating on time won’t do it for you. At this stage you need a periodization weight lifting program.
This means that you need an exercise program that is constantly challenging you. You may need to have clean eating habits. This doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to eat the foods that you like. This means that you need to understand that there are things that are not made to be digested. This may get you into weighing the short-term pleasure of eating the wrong foods versus the damage they cause to your body.
In whatever phase you are make sure you continue taking action and improving your actions to get the body that you deserve. Yes, it’s true. Not many people have the desire to pay the price (time, effort and what the program requires) to be in their best shape. Be honest with yourself and find out how far you want to go. But don’t defeat yourself by thinking that it’s impossible.
Remember that the key is to continue taking action to get the body you want. And when you get there all you need to do is maintenance.
There are different exercise tips that need to be fulfilled in an exercise session to reach your fitness goals. Attending an exercises session is the first step; however, it is not all it takes. You could compare this to attending a lecture class and not paying attention to the teacher. Nothing good will come of just showing up. There should be a sense of concentration, taking notes, reading, participating, actively asking questions, etc. The same goes with exercise, engaging our muscles and our minds. Here are six exercise tips that you should follow if you want to see results:
- Be in discomfort: Any well designed program made to give results should not keep you in a conform zone. You should feel some sense of challenge all the time. If you don’t feel any challenge, the body is accustomed and will not change to meet the demand. Therefore, you will not see results.
- Don’t go backwards: Many people think because they pushed last week, they don’t need to push in the present. Remember that the body becomes accustomed to the resistance given. In other words, if instead of increasing your weight lifting from 15s pounder dumbbells to 20s and go down to 12s, or if you run less or slower than most times, the body will get used to the new resistance. This means that either you get more toned and lose weight by increasing your weight lifting or running distance, or you get gain fat and lose muscle by decreasing your weight lifting or running distance.
- Have a “progression” mentality: Think “what can I do better today?” Some examples could be, increase your weight lifting, increase your intensity of the exercise, try to do your entire program in less time, add other exercises and so on.
- Live the moment: Concentrate in your exercise and forget about everything else. This is your time to get in shape. Everything else will have its own time.
- Find people who are more motivated than you: People who do what it takes to get results usually motivate us, both by personal encouragement and by inspiring us. These people will help you get to your goal.
- Enjoy the exercise: Exercise should be challenging, but you must have in your mind that you love it. If you think the opposite of it, you will drain all your energy and you will not get results.
Take these six exercise tips into consideration and get results. My goal is to give you tools to continue your fitness journal. Exercise is a need to stay and live healthy. I think we all want to do it right, enjoy it and get the most out of it. Don’t waste your time and start this week!
By the way, please check out our website. Go –> here <– to see more successful stories.
If you don’t belong to Custom Body Fitness yet and are wondering what type of workouts and training we provide, here’s a short introduction. You can learn this program and take it with you on your summer or other travels. This program designed are for those who’ve been with us a while and for you who just started on your fitness journey. Keep in mind that this program designed is for people who have no physical limitations. Warm-ups:
Run, bike or do some other cardiovascular activity from 6 to 10 minutes. You can also do the following:
Jumping jacks x 1 minute, mountain claimers x 1 minute, jump rope x 1 minute; then repeat the sequence. .
Once you are warmed up, you may begin doing the program. Rest one minute every time you finish an exercise sequence.
- 10 Push ups
- 20 Alternative lunges
- 20 Double crunches
- 1 minute Jumping jacks
- Rest one minute
Repeat the sequence three times.
- 10 Inverted pulls ups
- 10 Romanian death lift
- 20 Alternative curls
- 1 minute Mountain climbers
- Rest on minute
Repeat the sequence three times.
- 10 Overhead triceps extensions
- 10 Military presses
- 1 minute Plank
- I minute Jump rope
- Rest one minute
Repeat the sequence three times.
To cool down, develop a series of appropriate stretches for 5 to 10 minutes.
If you have any question about these exercises, email me @ email@example.com. If you aren’t sure what some of the above exercise are, look online, Google Images or YouTube. Have fun, challenge yourself, and make working out part of your life routine, wherever life takes you.
While I still believe that the best tools for you to lose weight are commitment, discipline and the desire to lose weight, there are many other useful tools that you may use to help you stay on track and monitor your progress.
It is important to check your progress for many reasons. It helps you stay motivated by releasing dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical released by the brain that is highly addictive. Alcohol and drugs also release dopamine, which is why people become addicted to them. Once you have the feeling of accomplishment by checking your progress, you will become addicted to your new behavior.
It also helps you understand that you are not wasting your time with your program and that all the hard work is paying off. It helps you psychologically. Plus, you can always go back and find out if you are moving forward or not. Maybe your plan is not working and you need to change the approach, such as your exercise intensity or the exercise itself, or your way of eating.
Here are some of the tools I use myself and with our members to help them stay on track to deliver the results I promised.
Skinfold to track your body composition…
This tool helps me to find out how much muscle and fat our members are gaining and losing. It’s not uncommon for our members to lose up to 15 pounds of fat yet gain 12 pounds. The scale does not tell you how much fat you’ve lost; seeing the change in your body composition is more convincing than going with the scale and thinking there is no progress.
Periodization assessment to check your weight lifting progress…
As with anything, you would like to know if there is progress. You may know how much muscle you have added and how much fat you’ve lost, but how do you know what is helping you add muscle and lose fat? Weight lifting periodization does help you understand how your muscles are becoming accustomed to the new resistance and therefore increasing your muscle mass and metabolism. Going over your weight lifting progress and testing each big muscle group can give you an idea what you should be expecting or lifting next month, or the months to come.
Goal setting revisit or resetting to make sure you are hitting your goals or at least are close to them…
It is important that you know you are on track by reaching your goals or at least being close to them. Going over your goals every week, month or three months is a good idea. You will find out if you either are wasting time or doing the right things to reach your dream.
Belief check to discard myths
There are all types of information. You can get information from the personal trainer who believes in myths or did not do research, or you can get information from a well-trained personal trainer. You can get information online from any deceiving website or from a credible one. You can get information from your friend who listened to another friend who listened to another friend, and the information may get distorted, or you can get information from a well-informed friend. Many times everyone has good intentions, but they don’t have the right information. It is good to question everyone (including me, of course) and make sure everything makes sense to you, so you can end up doing the right thing for you.
PH strips to test your alkalinity…
To find out if you are eating the right foods, there is a good tool that you can use: pH strips. Your body will turn alkaline when you are eating healthy foods and will turn acidic when you are eating the wrong foods. Being acidic contributes to many diseases and being overweight. So if you want to know if you are on track, use this tool. I test myself every weekend to make sure my body is alkaline.
These are very useful tools to meet and continue with your health and weight loss goals. If you use these tools you can stop worrying if your program is working or not or if you are making the right decisions for your health or weight loss.
I have heard many stories about women who were anorexic or overweight, men who used to drink, or do drugs who have changed their habits to exercise. Even though exercise is a good habit, it can become negative.
After these people found a better way to cope with their negative behavior, they start going to the extreme. Now they do almost anything to get a perfect body. They take steroids; they start doing unhealthy dieting and spend an unhealthy time exercising. Now, if you research, you will find many testimonials from these people and how they got lost in the other end. When they find out that their lives were not sustainable and realistic, they start looking for a balance.
There is nothing wrong with wanting a nice body, lose weight and tone your body.
My fat levels are 11% and I am happy how my body looks and how I feel. Back in the past I wanted to be like the guys on the magazines. Then, I found out that they are not natural and they health is in risk. Also, I am not willing to be a fit only by season. Many of these magazine models are fit only for the season and when they are in off season usually are out of shape and overweight.
I am not against their decisions and desires or I don’t think what they do is wrong. However, I don’t know how someone can sustain that lifestyle and stay healthy.
This is what I teach my clients., to be healthy, look great, have a balance and have a happy lifestyle.
Everything has a price. The more you want the more you need to pay.
What would you like to do? Lose a 5, 10 or 20 pounds? Or tone your body? Anything is fair, but you need to make sure what is that you want because your program depends of this.
I know I am not going to look like Arnold looked in his best because I am not taking the extra help with steroids. But that is okay because I am happy the way I look. I keep a balance.
The same you should take into consideration. Before starting your weight loss rutting, it important for you and your trainer to know how far you want to go.
If you want to increase some strength and lose 5, 10 or 20 pounds, almost any exercise and eating healthy can do it. You can do zumba, you can run, hike, swim, bike or light weight lifting. However, if you are planning to tone your body, you need more than just any exercise. You need a structured weight lifting program that allows you track your progress with periodization.
The body accustoms to the resistant you put it into it. For example, according to NASA, if astronauts don’t exercise, their bodies start losing bone and muscle, bone and muscle loss mean decreased size and strength. Once they land on Earth, weakened muscles and bones would make walking difficult.
This is because the body is adapting to the gravity in space which is much less than the one in earth. In other words, if you give minimum resistant to your body, your body will accustom to it. If you want your muscles to tone you must increase your weight lifting as you progressing.
One more factor, we are fighting against aging, as we age we lose muscles mass and the only way to regain muscle is by strength training.