Nutrition Tips & Strategies

Affording A Weight Loss Program

To me it is very important to understand my clients in order to help them reach their goals. When I interview them, one of the questions I ask is what they want to get from exercising. Many of them are shy about telling me the real reason. But I don’t blame them because I would be shy as well talking to a stranger and telling that person about my life or the real reasons I want to exercise.

As we warm up and start talking about their real issues, we discover many things. I have come to the conclusion that most of us are looking for almost the same goals, but we express them differently.

Let me tell you what I have found out…

maybe you can relate. We want to stay younger; be healthy, in shape (tone body and low body fat) and energetic; have stamina; enjoy longevity; be stress free; be independent; increase our sex drive; be sharper; be more self-confident; have a stronger body and fit into our clothes, among others positive things.

If you related to this and know how it feels (low self-esteem, not happy with the way our body looks, unhealthy, tired, embarrassed not to be able to do many physical activities, old, lethargic, weak, and not able to buy the clothes we like but instead what fits), you probably agree that it’s time to change.

This is why many of us look for help…

We are tired of the pain of those feelings, and that pain is stronger than the pain of changing. However, many of us don’t want to take the steps in life required to really experience such change.

Many of us spend $4 for a coffee at Starbucks, yet we think that a dozen organic eggs are expensive at $4 compared to the conventional ones that cost $2.99. Or we spend $100 in a night out every weekend or twice a week when we can cook at home and save $60 each time and we don’t want to spend $150 in a good exercise program. Or we buy a couple of drinks for $9 each plus tip, and we complain that organic is more expensive.

Many of us complain about how expensive healthy food, a gym membership or a personal trainer is, but we don’t pay attention to all the money that we spend on things that don’t contribute to our goal.

With this I am not saying that people should not buy a cup of coffee or go out and eat…

What I am saying is that many people don’t notice how their money is spent. Even when it’s about an investment to improve our life, we think it should be cheaper even though farmers worked hard to bring such healthy food to our tables. But, once again, we are willing to spend dollars in toxic things such as alcohol.

When I learned that conventional foods contribute to many diseases such as cancer and diabetes, I decided to start buying organic. The issue back then was that I was broke and in debt. I was at least $5,000 in debt, had no job and owned a business that was taking money instead of providing me with it. Also, my car was broken. But something just made sense to me, and if I wanted to save money and avoid diseases, I need to start buying the right foods. So even though I was in debt, I decided to put a couple hundred dollars more into my credit card.

When I was in that situation I learned a lot about saving money…

and investing it in the right places. That was when I paid a lot of attention to my spending habits. I got out of debt, bought an apartment and helped my business grow. This is what I learned:

Television only takes my time and money. I could save at least $80 a month from cable.

Back then the smart phone was the new thing, and everyone had one. Any plan with data was between $100 to $150 (compared with a plan for calling and texting that cost $40), plus the phone itself that cost from $800 to $1,000. I saved between $60 to $110 a month, and I kept my Sony Erikson i810.

I stop driving everywhere and taking unnecessary trips, which saved me a couple of tanks of gasoline a month from $20 to $0.

I stopped eating out, which saved me around $80 a week.

I stopped buying clothes because I liked them and bought only when I needed them. That saved me around $150 a month.

I stopped spending money on my car, which was one of my hobbies. I concluded that all the money I put into it will devalue just like the car itself. I can only estimate how much money I wasted, around $20,000. So I am guessing I also saved a good amount of money here.

Once I did some accounting, I was saving at least $600 a month. I can only imagine how much money someone who eats out every night and buys drinks at the bar can spend a week.

Even though there are some people who can’t afford a gym…

or personal training memberships, they should at least be able to invest their money in their food, buying the most healthy and organic food available. In the long run, they will save more money avoiding cancer and other diseases.

When someone comes to me and tells me they can’t afford a gym membership or a group training program, I can only think that they don’t want to afford it or they simply don’t see the value of it.

We are always going to spend money, either for bad habits or good habits. The problem is not spending the money; the real question to ask is, are you wasting your money or are you investing it?

So if you want to change your life and get any of the results I mentioned earlier, you have to ask yourself, is where I am putting my money helping me reach my desired goals or getting me away from it.

No matter how much money you end up making…

you always are going to find a way to spend it, and the truth is that many times what should be a priority is not and what is not becomes a priority. I see some people driving luxury cars and stopping in a fast food restaurant.

Nowadays I invest my money in seminars, courses, books (a lot of books), exercising, food, real estate, Custom Body Fitness, my family, charity, tools that I need for work and to help others, anything that is going to drive me closer to my goals and not farther away from them. For example, I would never spend $8 for a drink, but I would spend $30 for a book. If I buy a pair of pants that cost me $150 and I wear them very often, it is money well spent. But if I spend $15 for it and wear it only once, I have wasted my money.

So if you want to stay younger; be healthy, in shape and energetic; have stamina; enjoy longevity; be stress free; be independent; increase your sex drive; be sharper; be more self-confident; have a stronger body and fit into your clothes, invest your money in the right place.


Challenge Your Beliefs About Weight Loss

When it’s about losing weight, nothing superficial works in the long term…

though things might work for shorter periods. For example, a weight loss pill may work for a couple of weeks, but then people can’t lose any more weight and usually regain the weight they lost. Surgery works for a couple of years, but soon people start gaining the weight back.

The real problem is the habits that are still there. Those same behaviors will make the person regain the weight. When I sit with our members at Custom Body Fitness, I always listen to their stories. I can make a lot of conclusions from these stories and give our members feedback. One of the reasons why people can’t change their habits is because of their beliefs.

Beliefs are what make us…

For example, the other day I had a discussion with a friend about our different beliefs. She said that she had a thyroid condition that is genetic, and I told her that there is no disease that is predetermined by genes. She said that I was wrong. My goal was not to convince her about my beliefs versus her beliefs. So I told her that I do respect her opinion, and she is entitled to think what she believes is true.

I have another friend who had the same thyroid condition, and, after she did some research, she knew that her way of eating was bad and was a big factor in her thyroid condition. Even though her mom had the same thyroid condition and the doctor told her it was genetic, she opted to believe that the problem was under her control. She now has a healthy thyroid without medications and their side effects.

Based on their beliefs, friend number one decided she has no control over her thyroid problem, and therefore only medication can help her. However, friend number two asked for a second opinion from a different doctor and found out that she needed to change the way she eats to control her low thyroid, which she is successfully doing.

My point is not whether the disease is genetic or not…

My point is that based on their beliefs each took a different approach.

So many people come with a belief that a diet or any other superficial method for weight loss will help. For example, I interviewed one of our members who is doing the Keto diet. She said that she was eating more meat than veggies. She continued talking about this diet, and, according to her (because I do not know a lot about it), the diet is more meat, no sugar of any kind and no carbohydrates. She told me that fruits in this diet are out, and she also told me how cottage cheese is okay in this diet.

The Keto diet is now part of our new member’s beliefs…

and even though we have talked about healthy eating, she forgot about some very important points that this diet is not taking into consideration. For instance, fruits are not only sugar, and there is not a considerable amount of sugar in fruits that will make people overweight. As a matter of fact, I have not seen an overweight person who eats only fruits. I have eaten fruits all my life and never had an overweight issue. Also, I have a friend whose diet is fruits alone, and he is one of the skinniest guys I ever met. Steve Jobs ate only fruit, and he was not overweight.

And that’s because fruits are not refined sugars; fruits are whole foods that come in a perfect state for our body to digest. The biggest percentage of a fruit will be water, followed by fiber, vitamin and sugar.

When refined or processed sugar is eaten, it goes straight to the liver, where it needs to be processed into fat and stored. When a fruit is being eaten, the body needs to break it apart with fiber, which helps with digestion. Even the sugar is used for digestion, and no sugar is actually stored. Also, your body will allow you to eat only enough fruit. With refined sugar, usually the body does not how to handle it and you may end up eating more than what you can handle.

Another belief when dieting is that everything that is allowed in the diet…

such as nutrients (protein in this case), is okay to eat. For example, since it’s okay to eat foods high in protein in the Keto diet, it follows that cottage cheese is good. But one of the big factors of being overweight and having diseases is eating processed foods. Most cottage cheese brands have ingredients like grade A lactose, grade A whey, guar gum, carrageenan, locust bean gum, citric acid, lactic acid, phosphoric acid, potassium sorbate, natural flavoring, Vitamin D3 and enzymes.

Another example is when we hear the word vegan. We believe it’s healthy. Beer, alcohol, processed foods such as energy bars and McDonald’s french fries are vegan, but that does not mean they’re healthy.

So when we talk about beliefs, many people have different opinions: the doctor, the other doctor, the nurse, the dietitian, the guru … everyone. The reality is that to find what is true we need to step back from everyone’s opinion — because that is what it is, an opinion — and do our own research from various sources, take our time to meditate on it and make the most educated decision without persuasion.

Losing weight is not about a diet… 

or a specific exercise for the abs or a hormone treatment. Losing weight is about a lifestyle change, and this is why it is so difficult for so many of us to lose weight. We don’t want to pay the effort of getting off the couch or open time in our busy schedule to exercise, cook, buy whole foods, eat on schedule and make conscious, healthy choices. We want an easy and fast solution to our problems.

So to lose weight the first thing we need to take into consideration is our beliefs and to challenge our beliefs even though that makes us angry, sad or wrong. This will open a door to new solutions that will require action from us and yes, effort getting the real results that we always wanted.


You May Think That Being Overweight is Genetic: The Reality Behind The Genetic Theory

I have heard stories about people from other cultures who moved to the U.S. and started gaining weight. That generation and the ones that followed starting suffering from overweight problems including some of its diseases. Keep in mind that these immigrants had no overweight issues before moving. They adapt to the American life as they incorporate. After they move, it takes a couple of years before they start to gain weight.

The food they eat and the sedentary lifestyle they adopt are part of the problem…

We live in a first world country, and we are dealing with overweight issues even with all the resources we have to stay healthy. This leads me to think about other issues.

We live in a country with a lot of opportunities. The U.S. is one of the richest countries in the world. This is the land of opportunity. This makes me wonder: With so much opportunity, why do people still commit suicide? We have the highest rate of suicide, and we consume at least 80 percent of the cocaine in the world. This means that many people are not happy here, and they need to kill themselves or do some kind of drug to escape from reality.

Now, not everyone who comes to the U.S. or lives in the U.S. has overweight problems or kills themselves or does drugs. There are also many happy people. For example, my dad came to visit the U.S., and he was overweight. After 5 months he was in his best shape ever, losing 30 pounds.

When I moved to the U.S., I was lost. I was not happy. I was starting to get affected by the superficial messages television sends, society, and the lifestyle that many desire. I became jealous and found myself trying to fit into society. I started to buy things I could not afford such as brand-name clothes and went to restaurants that were out of my budget. The more I tried to copy other people’s lives, the more unhappy I became. To this add the lack of self-empathy and emotions from others. No wonder why people think about killing themselves and doing drugs. We feel unaccepted and out of place like there is something wrong with us.

There are many theories about what exactly the term “genetic” means…

While I believe that many of our behaviors, diseases and traits may be genetic, I also believe that all these are also affected by environment.

Genetic is a term that many of us misunderstand. The term has become dangerous. We think that genetic means that we are predetermined to a certain disease, behavior or even destiny because of our genes. There are many studies done now that show that genetic is something different than what we believe. To those who study genes it usually is a biological term to define how life is being affected. In other words, environment affects a gene at all times. So genes can be altered by environment, and to some degree environment affects our lives.

My point is that many people come with healthy genes to a different environment and start developing health and behavior issues. But not only that, our environment also affects the decisions we make. For example, acceptance is a human need, and for us to be accepted, we are willing to do anything it takes. This is one of the reasons why gangs exist, teens start drinking, we spend a lot of money on cars and clothes, we give up to sexual pressure and we make many decisions that go against our beliefs.

While it is true that many people who are affected by environment are predisposed to diseases or behaviors, it is also true that some are not. But that is another story.

The truth is that environment plays a big role in people’s lives…

and you can notice this if you have had the opportunity to observe how all cultures behave differently throughout the world and throughout time. They have different beliefs and problems to deal with.

I used to be very egocentric thinking only about my own benefit. My life has changed, and I now think about others. I think about the generations to come such as your children, animals, and whoever and whatever is going to inhabit this place. My goal does not have to be your goal, of course. But if you care about the health of others, it is very important to start thinking about each decision we make and understand that these decisions do affect the environment, which in turn will affect others’ lives.

I could tell you that I do this only for everyone else and our earth, but I would be lying. Even though I am not as egocentric as I used to be, I still think about me. Each time I help someone else, I feel better, I help my business and my health improves. In addition, each time I have problems the solutions come to me very easily because I think about everyone.

I am not sure if the psychology of it is real, but I have proven that the law of do unto others like you want to be done unto you is true. When I was egocentric and never helped with money or my time, it seemed like negative things were always happening. My car would break down when I needed it the most, and I had no money. I was broke most of the time. I did not like my job, and I was not happy. I never had a sense of progress.

My conscience is aware about the many decisions I make. I won’t feel successful or at peace if I see people suffering and don’t do anything. I can’t just be a spectator, buying an expensive car just because I want to feed my ego. I am not saying that buying an expensive car is wrong. I think many people deserve it because of the value they have put into this world, and my plan is to get a nice car one day, but I won’t get it until I feel I deserve it for helping so many animals, people and the earth overall.

My goal is to improve the environment where I live to improve other people’s lives…

It will not only help the generation to come, but it will also help me by making me feel great and leaving a legacy.

I come from a very poor family, and I raised myself starting from age 14. I used to sleep in cardboard. I used to make less than 5 dollars a day and survived on that. I wouldn’t think about buying a taco because I was afraid of the money I would have to spend. I had two sets of pants that I wore for more than 2 years. I never really had money. I was poor. But I was happy.

I moved to the U.S. and became rich. I had it all, things I never thought I would have. Back then the CD was the hot trend. I would buy all my favorite CDs, I could buy clothes, as many tacos as I wanted. I even bought a car. I had money. I literally became rich. The problem was that even though I did not have anything before, I still wanted more than what I had. I got a better job, made more money and get more material things, better trips, a better car and I would still feel empty.

No matter how much money I made and how many things I got, I would always want more.

Once I understood that I could decide what to think about the environment, I could take control of my thoughts, my actions and therefore my life. Many times my belief was that cancer could just strike anyone, and I was no exception. I thought that my body would adapt to chemicals and toxins and things that I was not supposed to eat or drink or be around. I was not responsible for my actions and usually blamed someone else for my situation.

One day, it just happened. I started to study human behavior, the environment, psychology, the power of the mind, cultures and I found out that yes, the environment affects everyone, but by the end you decide how you let the environment affect you. I was 28 when I made the realization.

However, it can be difficult for younger people…

who don’t have this knowledge and take adults as authorities — to control their thoughts and understand that the world they live in is not a set reality. Reality is what they decide to think about the environment. This is why so many young people can’t be successful in their lives and feel rejected, commit suicide or do drugs.

The better the environment we create for the next generation, the better our next generation will be, avoiding some suffering along the way and improving this world in general.

Let’s help the next generation to succeed by changing the environment for them and by changing ourselves, we change the environment.


Take This Into Consideration For Amazing Weight Loss Results

I have been conducting research about foods and many professionals such as George Aisman (RD), Colin Campbell (biochemist  and author), Jane Plant (PhD and author) Anthony Robins and Michael Pollan  recommend usually the same pattern of eating to prevent cancer and of course obtain the desired weight you have always been looking for.

Here I am going to summaries a couple of important points for your weight loss…

Oxygen is necessary to be able to keep the metabolism high and keep our cardiovascular and lymph systems clean. To deliver the necessary oxygen needed by our body, cardiovascular and muscular training, meditation and breathing properly is important.

Water is a nutrient that the human body needs to survive and stay healthy…

The body is made of 80% water.  A 5 to 8% decrease of water can cause fatigue and dizziness. Over 10% can cause physical and mental deterioration. When the body loses more than 15% to 25% of water it can be fatal. To hydrate the body, drink water free of any chemicals or man added minerals. Listen to your body in regard to hydration. The best way to stay hydrated is to eat foods high in water content which are also good cleansing foods. Fruits, Vegetables and sprouts are foods high in water content.

Overeating shortens a person’s lifespan. Overeating is a factor of obesity, diabetes and other metabolic problems…

Portion control is an easy habit to practice when people understand the reasons why they overeat. Overeating can be a side effect from not eating at a regular schedule, eating emotionally or state of mind.

Processed sugars are a contributor to obesity and other metabolic diseases…

Fruits are natural sugars that contribute to good health. Fruits are the best form of sugar that can be eaten. Fruits have many positive effects in the body, including helping the individual achieve a healthy body weight.

Animal protein is not needed for the human body to stay healthy…

However, many people like meat. I think it is okay to eat meat, but with the awareness of the portions that we eat every day. Eating meat once a day is what I recommend. In addition, find local meat, free of hormones and antibiotics. If it is beef it should be grassfed.

Now it is time to talk about the last point. Buy real food. Everything else has the potential to develop a disease in your body and increase your body weight. Real foods are everything closest to the natural state, fruits, vegetables, grains, sprouts and meats. Keep in mind that these products can be manipulated by humans by using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and other harmful substances. Most packaged food has preservatives, chemicals, high fructose corn syrup, and other ingredients that are not meant to be eaten. One of the recommendations I give is to cook at home. When you cook at home, you know what ingredients you are using; you don’t use high fructose corn syrup or any other preservatives or chemicals, right? I don’t think it is bad to eat a pastry or piece of cake on special occasions (Once every week or so) if you make it at home or you are sure that the ingredients are natural which it will lead you to buy locally. Mother Earth has provided us with the nutrients that we need. Real foods are not harmful. The problem is when we eat things that are not made to eaten.

Following these recommendations will aid you in achieving your weight loss goals and have a healthier lifestyle. I’m only one source to your health. There are many professionals that are available to help you have a healthier lifestyle. Continue with your own research and don’t forget to meditate any information you.


The Protein Myth: Fat Burning Food

When I got into exercise, weight lifting, in the year 2001, one of the first things I learned is that if I wanted to grow muscle, I needed to eat foods high in protein…

In fact, most people know about protein shakes. I used to take at least 2 shakes every day. I did not know much about the subject. Like many people, I followed the flow and believed the myths that others told me. Back then, I used to order my protein online. It was cheaper than buying locally. So I ordered protein for other friends as well. A particular friend, who I ordered for, said that protein would give him pimples. Sometimes we don’t use common sense. I had many pimples on my back, but I did not put the dots together. Back then one of my desires was to gain a lot of muscle, be big. So I did not care about any consequences of anything I ate. I used to eat 2 Big Macs at MacDonald’s for lunch often. I used to buy processed food and eat anything because the myth was to eat as much as I could to acquire a lot of protein to build muscle.

At one point in my life, I deeply suffered, but not from the junk food or protein intake. However, that pain opened my eyes. I noticed many things I was doing wrong, such as believing the protein myth. I started a deep research into foods. This led me to study the protein shakes’ ingredients which are full of chemicals that are not made to digest. I continued studying foods and found out that junk food has a lot of chemicals and it was not made for nutrition, but for profit.  I stopped drinking protein shakes and eating junk food, as well as fast food. My muscle mass did not decrease, nor did my strength. My energy levels increased, my skin cleared up from the pimples, my stomach problems stopped and I didn’t get sick anymore. It has now been almost 5 years since this specific change.

The protein myth is what I’m going emphasize today…

We tend to believe what the masses believe. If the masses, including school, tell us that diseases are genetic, we believe it. If they say that the economy is bad, we believe it, and if they said that the world is flat, we believe it. This is also true for the protein myth. We believe we need a high intake of protein, either from meat, milk, shakes, tofu or other products. However, many professionals now claim that we can get all the protein we need without eating meat and drinking other mammals’ milk.  The reality is that many people are conscious about their protein intake. Even vegetarians look for some source of protein to meet their belief.

As a matter of fact, many people believe that toddlers need a good amount of protein to grow healthy. I read several researches that concluded that formulas weaken the infant immune system, cause stomach discomfort and are a factor for later cancer. The real food that Mother Nature provides for a toddler is the mom’s milk which makes the infant’s immune system stronger by protecting the infant against many diseases, infections and allergies; it helps with the developing of the brain and it decreases the baby’s predisposition to become overweight. In other words, babies who are breastfeeding are healthier than those who are not. Mother’s milk is 2.38 percent protein reducing to 1.2 percent six months later. In other words, when according to society we need the most protein is when we get the least and yet, we grow healthier. So, why is the myth so credible?

No one has an idea about how much protein we need…

Just as any other nutrient, including water, every body is different. Many people think that we need one gram of protein per each kilogram. But it is not only the size of the person, but the physiological needs of the person that determines the protein needed. In addition, Dr. Mark Hegstead’s research suggests that most human beings adapt to whatever protein intake is available to them. Also, new research shows that people do not need to combine foods to get complete proteins from vegetables and legumes. A report by the International Union of Nutritional Science claims that adult males consume 39 to 110 grams of protein. There is more research that claims that we don’t need animal protein to survive, be healthy and strong. In fact, much research shows that meats contribute to obesity and cancer among other disease. My point of view is that most meats are grown with hormones, antibiotics, certain grains and other products that are harmful for us. This is the reason why there is a link to health problems. However, the more I read about food, the more I found that protein from animals is not needed to have a healthy life.

The truth is the Western diet is loaded with animal protein and many of these products have been produced with hormones and other harmful ingredients…

I have cut my animal protein intake by more than fifty percent. I usually only eat meat at my dinner. People who have significantly cut their animal protein intake do lose weight drastically. Our success stories are good example. He cut his meat intake, started to exercise at CBF and lost just over 10 pounds on the scale in his first month, additionally increasing his energy and muscle mass.

Here is my recommendation, if you like animal protein and want to live a healthier life and lose weight, start reducing your meat intake. Eat animal protein, including milk, fish and eggs, only once a day. If you are worried about your calcium intake, you can find calcium in vegetables, such as the turnip greens which have more calcium than milk. Also, calcium is not the only mineral that you need to keep your bones strong; you will find the rest of most minerals in vegetables. In addition, buy local grassfed cattle.  Artificially induced hormones do contribute to cancer and obesity. Find a competent dietitian who can help you understand your body needs. There are many people who have gone to a competent dietitian who has helped them to understand their bodies’ needs and they usually ended up cutting meats, especially industrialized meat.


Fruits Are Part Of A Healthy Diet Plan

The other day one of my clients asked me if fruits make people gain weight…

I told her that fruits are part of a healthy diet plan.

She said that she and her coworker were eating a banana and her manager told them that fruits make them fat because they’re high in sugar.

There are many myths about foods and one of them is that sugar makes you fat…

Let me clarify this myth. Fruits are not a contributor of the obesity epidemic. However, processed refined sugars are the real problem.  These sugars are high in calories, don’t have a nutritional value, don’t make people feel full, easy to access, cheap, and they are addicting. Now, can you see why these sugars contribute to obesity?

However, sugars from real fruits are not high in calories; they have nutritional value such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and antioxidants; they are from Mother Nature; they make people feel full; there are a variety of fruits; they increase ones energy; they decreased heart attacks and they are not addicting.

I read that fruits are the most perfect food to eat. If fruits are eaten right, they do not require a lot of energy to digest. Fruits are made of a carbohydrate chain called fructose, but the body can be easily converted into glucose. Glucose is what the nervous system (brain, spinal cord and the peripheral system) needs to function properly. Also, fruits contain 90 to 95% water, not high in calories, and they hydrate the body easily. In addition, a high water content fruit is good for cleansing the body.

The myth of fruits making you fat is truly a myth, or a lie to be more specific…

I have yet to meet a vegetarian person (whom has a high intake of fruits) that is fat. No research has proven that fruits make people fat. Refined and processed sugar does.

So next time you go buy your groceries, fill up your shopping cart with fruits.

To take full advantage of fruit consumption one recommendation is to eat fruits in an empty stomach. Fruits are not primarily digested in the stomach. They are digested in the small intestine. However, if there are other foods in the stomach, such as meats, the fruits are fermented losing some nutritional value. It is okay to juice fruits, but not to buy juice from concentrate. Most bottled juices have been processed and have lost nutritional value. A juicer is a good investment. Someone told me that I should sell my car and buy a juicer instead.

Add fruits to your diet and get the best out of eating fruits. Make it a lifetime behavior, safe money in the long term, avoid diseases, lose weight, feel energetic, and enjoy a good meal or snack without the worry that you will gain weight.


Stay Hydrated

Everything that is alive, has a high percentage of water.

The earth is 70% waterSixty percent of our bodies are made of water. Water is very important to survive. A 5 to 8% decrease of water can cause fatigue and dizziness. Over 10% can cause physical and mental deterioration. When the body loses more than 15% to 25% of water it can be fatal.

I have read that 8 glasses of water a day are recommended. However, others say you should follow your thirst. And some say that if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Everyone’s body is different. Some people are taller than 6 feet and others shorter than 5. Some people are muscular built and others have excess of fat. It is obvious that 8 glasses of water is not truly a proper need for everyone. To drink when one is thirsty is obvious. However, sometimes we don’t have access to water. Drinking water when one is not thirsty is also uncomfortable for some people. Personally, I don’t want to force my body to drink water.I monitor my body and drink when I’m starting to get thirsty or I drink water when I’m not thirsty but I’m aware that I have not drink water. I make sure that I have access to water most times. This can be done by easily carrying a bottle of water.

I recommend buying the 5 gallon jug of filtered water to have at the house….

Let’s face it, faucet water contains many unpurified, toxic products that harm your health including, chlorine, fluoride, minerals, and other substances. And if you are close to a fracking area, you may also have some natural gas on it. Anyway, plastic also contains chemicals that harm your body. Therefore, the glass and metal bottles are recommended that. They are more expensive but more safe. By the way, alcohol is not water and can’t substitute water. It does the opposite; it dehydrates the body (sometimes I get this question or comment).

In addition, to drinking clean water and drinking enough, I recommend you get hydrated by another important intake which will help you more than water. Fruits, vegetables and sprouts are foods high in water. These products are more effective in hydrating one’s body than drinking water alone. Plus, they are also good for cleansing.

Many people eat low or no water content foods…

Guess what processed foods are? No or minimum water content foods. To keep the body hydrated, people should eat 70% of water content foods. Long time ago, before I put some common sense to work, I used to feed dry food to my dogs. They used to drink a lot of water. Every day I needed to refill the jug. Now that they eat high content water foods, they don’t drink much water. Have you checked your diet? Are you eating 15%, 30%, 50% or 70% of high water content foods? There is a saying that states, “You are what you eat.” This is complete true. If you eat unhealthy foods, you will become unhealthy. Organic and natural grown foods are the healthiest foods on earth.

To make a high content water foods diet is simple. Eat fruits as breakfast; snack on fruits and add a high percentage of vegetables to your main dishes, and cut all processed foods.

To conclude, drink water as your body asks you to. Don’t dehydrate yourself before you drink water. Drink clean water and keep pollution out by drinking filtered water and out of a glass container. To further increase your hydration, health and weight loss,eat foods rich in water, such as fruits vegetables and sprouts.


Effective Weight Loss: Understanding Nutrition

What should I be eating?

It’s easy for me to tell you to eat healthy, but for many of us we don’t really know what “healthy” looks like. I remember back in my pre-Custom body Fitness Days I thought that I was eating healthy. But in reality I was 30 pounds overweight. Let me tell you what I would typically be eating. Breakfast I would make protein pancakes. This consisted of banana, oatmeal, eggs, and protein powder. Then I would have an apple and a protein bar for snack.

Lunch would consist of ground turkey, quinoa pasta, and spaghetti sauce. Then I would have another afternoon snack – maybe some crackers and hummus and then dinner would be the same thing I had for lunch. Now, this was if I followed my “meal plan”. Often times there would be a doughnut, cookie, or some other tempting snack readily available at my office.

Also, I ate out for many meals a lot of times as well. If I had documented everything I was eating back then and read it today, I am sure I would be appalled.  This is what you should be eating. The number one staple in your diet should be vegetables. Shoot for 50% veggies in all your meals. And by vegetables I don’t mean 50% potatoes, although they are a wonderful food, keep your plate full of veggies like kale, spinach, brussell sprouts, cauliflower, zucchini, squash. and carrots. Now that being said, be conscious of how you are cooking your vegetables.

Raw is always a great option in salads and other dishes. But if you prefer to cook them you should use healthy oils like coconut and avocado oil. You may also steam, bake, and dry sauté them. Another energy source for your body (because food is fuel) is carbohydrates such as fruit and other grains. Some of these carbohydrates are going to keep you fuller longer. Fruit is a fast acting carbohydrate and is going to burn much more quickly and is going to give you instant energy. Grains are going to metabolize slower than fruits and keep your blood sugar stable for longer. Therefore, it’s important to eat both depending on the situation.

The next energy source for your body is healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, dairy, nuts and seeds. These are going to help keep you fuller longer. It takes the body longer to break down fats than it does carbohydrates. The last energy source to burn is protein. Good sources of protein include organic meat, organic dairy, nuts, and many plants have protein as well. These should be incorporated in your diet as well. As you can see many foods contain a variety of the macro nutrients (proteins, fats, and carbs) usually with one primary macronutrient.

The combination of all these energy sources, or foods, is what you should be consuming. Again, eating a variety of foods but also being conscious of which foods are higher in calories. Also, some people enjoy eating more protein and fat for energy, others enjoy less protein and fat and a higher carb diet. Some like to balance out the macronutrients a little more evenly. The point is again, watch the amount of high calorie foods you are eating and eat foods that grow on a tree or in the ground is a good rule of thumb for the majority of your diet.

Is exercise really that important?

In addition to eating a clean diet it is also recommended to exercise for weight loss. But what is more important, eating or exercise? Now if you really want to lose weight and tone your body there are three things that you need to be doing. I call it the weight loss triad. You must eat healthy, lift weights, and do cardiovascular exercise. All are very important; however, it is very difficult to out exercise a bad diet.

As I mentioned before, weight loss at it’s most basic level is calories in and calories out. So, if you are eating more calories than you are burning you are not going to lose weight. It’s not that diet is more important than exercise; they both have very important health benefits, it is simply the fact that if you eat too many calories it is impossible for the average person to reach a caloric deficit by going to the gym and exercising for an hour a day. I am going to give you an example of exactly what I mean in the following example.

How much sugar are you drinking?

For this example we are going to focus on sugar added drinks but this can also apply to processed and packaged foods as well. Make sure to read the label to find out how much sugar and how many calories you are consuming.

We have all heard that sugar-added drinks are bad for our health and lead to weight gain and even obesity. When I say sugar added drinks I am talking about soda, juice, teas, energy drinks, powdered mixers and even the so-called “healthy drinks” such as Gatorade, Powerade and Vitamin Water.  So the question on my mind is “Why do we still drink these beverages that are so bad for our health in the first place?”

The answer is clear to me- addiction. That’s right, we are so addicted to the feelings we get from drinking these sugar laden beverages that we lack the willpower to ditch these dirty drinks once and for all. Or, perhaps we have heard these drinks are bad for our health but we don’t really understand the actual consequences of ingesting them on a daily or frequent basis. So what exactly are the implications of drinking so much sugar?

Well many of you are reading this because you want to lose weight. Therefore, I am going to explain to you just how your sugar consumption is affecting your weight loss or contributing to weight gain. As I mentioned before, weight loss is basically calories in and calories out. All you have to do is burn more calories than you eat and you will lose weight? Well that sounds pretty darn easy to me! I’ll just eat less and run more.  Ok, great, we have a plan. Now let’s talk how many calories a typical person will burn each day.

Being a woman of 140 pounds and 5 feet 7 inches tall I will burn about 1200 calories a day without any additional movement. If I have a very active job I will probably burn more, but this is what I would burn if I were rather sedentary.

Earlier we talked about exercise being one of the key to weight loss due to the fact that it helps you burn extra calories as well as provide many other additional benefits. If I run a mile I would burn 100 to 110 calories and weight lifting burns anywhere from 400-500 calories an hour.

If I naturally burn 1,200 calories a day and I exercise for an hour or so I can burn anywhere from 1,600-1,700 calories in a day. This is the amount of calories I would need to consume to maintain my weight. If I want to lose weight then I need to consume less.

Here is what an average American’s day looks like when consuming sugar added drinks:

While at the gym they drink their 12oz Gatorade and that Gatorade is packed with 21 grams of sugar.

Then it’s time to eat breakfast. A meal replacement shake is awesome! For many that is breakfast and it has 7 grams of sugar, but a lot of people are still hungry so they have two eggs and a glass of Juicy Juice. The juice is a is a whopping 27 grams of sugar.

Then a peach tea with lunch because tea is healthy- 26 grams. Three pm crash rolls around and you need a cup of coffee in the afternoon, however, you must have creamer. But you only use a little, so it’s ok. When in reality many people don’t realize that they add around 3-5 table spoons of creamer to their cup of coffee- and this adds up to 15- 25 grams of sugar.

With dinner a nice glass or two of Chardonnay – which adds up to about 3 grams of sugar.

Now, let’s look at the amount of sugar consumed in a day. That totals up to 130 grams of sugar!! Just in what was drank!

The recommended intake of sugar for many people is 25 grams per day. Not to mention that 130 grams of sugar is 520 calories!!

This many grams of sugar would take an hour in the gym to burn off. Why not just ditch the sugary drinks and save some hours in the gym?

Use fear as your motivator

Emotional eating: We all struggle with it and we all wonder why. What are the some of the reasons that we eat? We are hungry, tired, bored, stressed, celebrating something, sad about something, out with friends, we are being peer pressured by our friends, our beliefs, it’s readily available, or we don’t want to make someone else feel bad. Now, I could stand here all day and give you superficial and silly ideas that will help to stop yourself from eating an entire bag of chocolate M&Ms when you are feeling the slightest bit of stress or sadness.

Here are a few examples I have come across over the years:

1. Pamper yourself:  wear soft, comfortable clothes, take bubble baths, read a book with some hot tea.

That’s great and all but I know how busy you all are and when you’re running around during the day the last thing you can do is stop and take a bubble bath.

2. Create a “hunger scale.” Now when I saw this I wasn’t sure what that meant exactly.

I’m guessing it’s like a pain scale. You get vicoden if you’re at a certain level, if you’re a certain number on this then you can eat the potato chips.

3. Keep a food journal. I believe this does raise awareness and holds you accountable for what you are eating.

But is it sustainable long term?

4.Snap your wrist with a rubber band.

I have tried this one. I ended up taking the rubber band off of my hand after just one day.

5. Smell the food but don’t eat it. I will do this sometimes. Especially cake and doughnuts!

This is somewhat fulfilling, but it can also make it more tempting for someone who has no reason to not eat it other than weight loss.

6. Play with your dog.

I do love to play with my dog, but I found out that she enjoys potato chips just as much as I do! And she would probably encourage me to buy them! Alright, back to emotional eating. We have six primary emotions:

Anger

Disgust

Fear

Happiness

Sadness

Surprise

Out of these six emotions, which do you think is the strongest? Any marketing executive today will tell you that it is fear; fear is the most motivating emotion. Fear trumps all other emotions and when we are feeling fear our other emotions are no longer as powerful.

Fear is an emotion that has a bad reputation. We think fear and we automatically assume something negative, but do we ever consider that we can use fear constructively within ourselves?

Let me tell you my story. I was diagnosed with hypothyroid disease over ten years ago. I had an enlarged thyroid and my Mother noticed one day. She was concerned so I went to the doctor to get it checked out. I went in and the doctor told me that it was my thyroid. We ran some tests and I had an ultrasound done to confirm that it was not cancer. Turns out it was not cancer which is a blessing. However, I did have a very significant case of hypothyroidism.  He gave me a pill and told me that I would have to be on this thyroid hormone the rest of my life. I wasn’t upset at all. You see, I had a very different mindset back then. It was, “oh poor me, I have this disease and there is nothing I can do about it” I’ll just get progressively worse. I will just have to live with these symptoms, and I did. Eating the Standard American Diet and continuing blindly on this path to self destruction. I figured I was just going to have to live with acne, weight gain, hair loss, mood swings, exhaustion, and brain fog. The majority of my early twenties were spent this way. I never once tied all my symptoms or my disease to the lifestyle that I was living.

If you remember earlier I told you I used to be 30 pounds overweight. I really began my health journey three years ago when I joined Custom Body Fitness. I call it my health journey because it has not been just about weight loss for me. I look back now and realize that I was a miserable shell of a human being and when I came to Sandro (the owner of Custom Body Fitness) he challenged my beliefs and he really pushed me to find a better solution and to improve my health. Not just with exercise but with lifestyle changes. At first I was resistant and even angry with him for questioning something that I thought he knew absolutely nothing about. But slowly I came around. I started doing my own research and little by little I changed my own way of thinking.  I began realizing that when you accept something the way that it is, you have given up. Given up on yourself and the people that you love and who love you.

I began researching and finding alternative treatments. It wasn’t more than a year after I began my healing journey that I was diagnosed with Hashimotos, which is the autoimmune thyroid condition. I believe I had this condition all along but was never diagnosed. This was a huge setback for me! All of my effort and I get more bad news. I could have rolled over and given up right then, but no. Something inside of me wanted to fight. I knew there was a way to heal and improve my health. So I researched more and more. I became obsessed about my health. I finally found a hormone specialist who did IGG food sensitivity testing. I found out 35 foods including dairy, wheat, soy ,and corn were exactly what was causing all of my symptoms. I cut out all of these foods and started to feel much better. But then much to my dismay my symptoms started to reappear, so I did more research and tweaked my diet even more.

My diet is very restrictive, and it is difficult at times, but I always remember my motivation. My point here is that I have motivation to eat healthy due to all of my intolerances, but more than that what drives me is fear. What will my future look like concerning my thyroid if I don’t do the best I can every single time I chose to eat something?

We all fear something whether we like to admit it or not. What I have found to be the most powerful influence to make better choices is living through fear-at least in the beginning. Allowing the fear to consume you to the point that no other emotion is capable of taking it’s place in the arena of healthy eating. If we allow our fears to surface and use them as or reasons for wanting a healthier lifestyle then maybe we can consistently make better decisions.

Perhaps you have a health condition and you have never really thought about the implications or what you are consuming. Or maybe you have and are simply choosing to ignore that fear until you have to face it. Maybe you have a family member who is suffering from an illness, or maybe a friend. Maybe your fear is that you won’t be able to physically do the things you want to do. I focus these fears on health because ultimately that is what a poor diet and excess weight leads to, health issues. You’re probably thinking, wait a minute this is about weight loss not disease prevention. Well I think that we all know that obesity and poor health usually go hand in hand. Also, once you find the motivation to eat healthier for whatever your reason is, weight loss will automatically become a part of that.

I know this works because I have lived it and it has taken me many years. I was never able to make a permanent change until I allowed myself to want to be better and at first that was driven by fear. It is interesting though, sometime our fear can turn to hope and that is just as powerful. If you have found yourself in a situation similar to my own I want tell you right now that I live in one of the two places at all times. Fear or hope, fear for what could happen if I make the wrong choices and hope for what will happen if I continue to make the right choices. Our mind is amazingly powerful and the things that we choose to focus on are the things that we can control.

Weight loss is about knowing the best actions you can take for your health, caring enough to contemplate those actions, and controlling yourself enough to take those actions.


Follow These Tips To Avoid Overeating

Overeating is a behavior that many people can’t control. Many people overeat for many reasons. Some eat emotionally. When they are depressed, as an example, they overeating as an easy way out of it. Others overeat because they wait until they are extremely hungry to eat. For instance, they skip many meals during the day and when they sit down to eat, they find themselves unable to control their appetite. Many others are trigger for environmental events. For some people, to illustrate, some smells or some areas at home or some restaurants make them overeat.

Many people think that overeaters lack willpower. It is true that overeating is a choice, but this choice come with some desires that sometimes people are not aware of. Therefore, before start changing this compulsive behavior, people need to acknowledge to themselves that they are overeaters. Once this trait has been admitted, people may then be able to think about taking some small steps to control their overeating. Remember that eating five times a day will help many people to eat less at each meal. Also, the body takes around 20 minutes to send a message to the brain to turn off one’s appetite. Therefore, eating slowly is a helpful habit as well.

Here is what you can do to avoid overeating:

  • After food your food is placed in front of you, wait five minutes before you eat it.
  • Place small bites of food on your fork.
  • Complete swallow food before another bite goes to your mouth.
  • Put your utensils down between bites.
  • Pay attention to the flavors and enjoy them. Think that is your last bite.
  • Make your meals last longer.
  • Serve yourself small portions and if you still hungry, serve yourself more.
  • Leave the table after you finished eating.
  • Eat only on the table.

Use these recommendations to eat healthy portions. Overeating is under your control. However, mere willpower does not work. You need consciousness, support and a set of step to follow to defeat overeating. And don’t forget Custom Body Fitness is here to help you achieve your fitness and weight loss goals.


This Diet Is Easy To Follow

Changing your eating habits is not following a diet. It is listening to your body and eat the right foods. It should be eating the way you supposed to eat before you got into a busy life without thinking about the consequence that the busy life will bring to your life.

Here I’m going to share with you a good and easy way to change your eating habits to healthier ones; habits that will help you lose weight and feel better.

Make sure you make time to eat real food and seek out the best foods for your body. Remember that a machine will only perform as well as the fuel it takes in. So if you want your body to burn fat efficiently, you must feed it the good food, which as you probably know mean whole foods, as fresh and organic as you can find.

Here’s a useful schedule to follow in your new, improved diet:

Eat breakfast within a half an hour of waking up. By doing this, hunger will not take you off guard; you will have made a healthy choice if you eat before you leave the house. I recommend grains such as old-fashioned oatmeal made with water, raisins, banana, and perhaps some honey, but don’t add refined sugar. You could also make yourself a smoothie with fruits and veggies or have a bowl of fruit with kefir. Find other good breakfast ideas and put them into practice.

Eat a fruit thee hours after breakfast to keep your hunger distracted until your lunch.

To make lunch preparation easier, eating the dinner leftovers from the night before.

Four hours after lunch, eat a piece of fruit or a fist full of nuts.

Eat your dinner when you are ready. Since eating meals high in veggies promotes weight loss, I recommend you create lunches and dinners with 60%-70% vegetables, 20%-30% grains, and 10%-20% animal products.   If you don’t eat animal products, even better, don’t you worry about adding it.

I recommend you drink only water during the day, except for morning tea. Remember to avoid sugar, and of course avoid those artificial, “food product” non-dairy creamers. They are all sugar and fatty emulsifiers.

Give yourself the opportunity to eat healthy for a couple of weeks, and you’ll find yourself losing fat and enjoying many other positive benefits. After you see such positive results, it will be difficult to go back to the old bad habits.