Friday, December 16, 2011

Get Through That Lifting Plateau...

Found an interesting article on website...regarding muscle building/strengthening

The 28 Method: New Math For Major Muscle GainsThe 21s drill uses three variations (7 reps each) of a classic lift, but what do you do when three variations aren't enough?

Well, you try four. This is the 28 method.
More by Cory Gregory, Muscle Pharm Dec 14, 2011

Variations on exercise technique and reps shock the human musculature system. That's why we should switch routines, reps, and lifting order regularly. The 21s method for biceps shocked my system to a life-changing extreme, but the gains leveled off. Like any responsible bodybuilder, I made a slight change to a proven regimen to create variation and increase my gains.

You know the 21s drill - grab an EZ-Curl bar, perform seven reps going halfway up, seven more halfway down, and then finish it with seven full reps.

Well, I have something even better for you to tackle.

Like everyone else in lifting history, I took part in this great shock method, but I also started applying it to other muscle groups beyond my biceps. At a certain point, my body got used to this method and this technique. Then it no longer had the same impact. From that stagnation, my "28 method" was born; it takes 21s to an entirely different level.

If you're like me and find something missing when you do 21s, the "28 method" is certainly a step up. It might be precisely what you're looking for.

So, what exactly is the "28 method?"
Well, it's not complicated, but it just goes a step farther than doing 21s. To start, you do seven regular full reps with whatever weight you're using and whatever exercises you're performing.

The next step, though, is the most intense. With your muscles already fatigued, do seven slow reps. Slow in this case applies to both the eccentric and concentric part of the movement.

In your head, do a 5-count down and then another 5-count up, slowly lowering the weight and then slowly moving the weight back up. Believe me, this is the part that burns like crazy. From here, finish out the work with seven reps going halfway down with the movement, and another seven reps going halfway up - much like 21s.

So, it goes like this: Seven full reps, seven slow reps, seven reps at the top half of the movement, and then seven final reps at the bottom half of the movement, giving you 28 shirt-splitting reps.

Try three sets for each exercise and pick three exercises for a particular muscle group. Get ready for your muscles to scream in pain.

With just two minutes of rest between sets and the intense workload of the "28 method," you will obviously use significantly less weight for the movement.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

10 Fears That Keep People From the Gym


10 Surprising Fears That Keep People from the Gym
The gym is a portal to good health, but it can also be a scary place for a newcomer. Learn how to conquer your fitness fears with these expert tips

By: Mary Squillace

Scare Away Your Fitness Fears

Photo Credit:
A fear of flab might motivate many of us to go to the gym, but for some, fitness-related apprehension is a roadblock to starting a workout routine. According to a 2011 Mintel report, people who do not belong to gyms often cite “feeling out of place” as a reason for not joining. Jim White, RD, ACSM, owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios in Virginia Beach, VA, says gym jitters are normal, but not insurmountable. “At first [new gym-goers] are nervous, but after one month they start losing weight and building confidence it’s like they own the place,” he says.

Here, White and Ruth Frechman, RD, ACE-certified personal trainer share tips for conquering common workout fears.

The Fastest Way to Sculpt a Hot Bod


“I can’t do a single pushup”
For newbies who don’t yet have the upper-body strength to perform a single pushup, the thought of attempting the move in front of strangers can be daunting. “I know people who won’t go to a gym until they feel like they’re fit, so they work out at home just to get fit enough to go to the gym,” White says.

Solution: Start with beginner modifications and then build up to the regular version. For example, you can perform the move with your knees on the floor or at an incline. “I’d also recommend [seeking] the advice of a personal trainer,” White says. “Your trainer can help you find other exercises to build strength.”

Search: Modified push ups


“I don’t want to get too bulky”
One of the biggest myths among women is that they’ll build too much bulk if they start working out, White says.

Solution: “Women need to trust that building lean muscle speeds metabolism, burns fat, and will contribute to building a nice body,” White says. Most women don’t produce enough testosterone to bulk up from a few gym sessions a week. While you may gain a few pounds early on due to the fact that muscle weighs more than the fat, you’ll lose weight in the long run. Research at the University of Alabama Birmingham found that women on a strength-training program for 25 weeks lost significant amounts of belly fat.

Learn how to do 619 exercises the right way with the Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises


“I don’t have time to get results”
A busy schedule and the perceived time commitment of exercise can definitely dissuade a gym-goer. “People think that unless they work out for an hour they won’t see results, so they feel like they [shouldn’t bother working] out at all,” Frechman says.

Solution: Do shorter workouts, but make them count. “Even 30 minutes of exercise will make a huge difference,” Frechman says. A study published in the Journal of Physiology has shown that short bursts of exercise with short recovery breaks in between—high-intensity interval training—has the same effect as longer endurance exercise on performance and muscular adaptations that reduce the risk of diseases, like type 2 diabetes. On a stationary bike, try doing 10 intervals of 1-minute sprints followed by 1 minute of rest, three times a week, and you’ll reap the same physical benefit as you would biking continuously at a less strenuous pace for several hours.

Try this free 20-minute fat-burning workout!


“I’m going to get hurt on the treadmill”
Though most people run on the treadmill without incident, horror stories about friction burns—or worse—might be enough to put you off the belt for good. “The treadmill can be intimidating, if you start too fast,” White says.

Solution: “Using the elliptical or bike might be a good start,” he says. “And, of course, have someone show you what to do.” Begin walking on the treadmill at a low speed—White suggests starting at 3.0 miles per hour. He also recommends using the manual mode instead of a program. “A program could kick in high gear when you’re not ready,” he says. “You want to have control over the treadmill, rather than it having control over you.”

Video: Feel the burn while watching your favorite shows with this treadmill TV workout


“I’ll get bored”
Activities such as lifting weights or running and cycling in place can seem monotonous at the outset. “Some people are so afraid of getting bored that they won’t even try to exercise,” Frechman says.

Solution: Variety’s key, according to Frechman. “Use the treadmill one day, bike one day and then do the elliptical another day.” Another option would be to sign up for a class that you really enjoy. “Being around others makes exercising more fun.”

15-Minute Workouts for Busy People


“I look fat”
Maybe the extra weight you’re carrying moved you to join a gym in the first place, but it can also be a source of insecurity that keeps you from ever going.

Solution: Check your worries at the door. Going to the gym is a big step toward building a fitter, trimmer body, and other gym-goers recognize that. Once you take those first steps to start exercising, you’ll find solidarity among fellow active individuals—your workout should really be a moment of pride, not shame!

5 Exercises That Blast Fat Better Than Plastic Surgery


“I’m going to get an infection”
Though relatively rare, staph infections—which are uncomfortable and potentially dangerous skin infections—can be picked up at the gym, where you’re in close contact with others and potentially contaminated surfaces such as the shower floors. “They can get nasty. It takes some people up to 6 months to recover [from a staph infection],” Frechman says.

Solution: If you have an open wound, cover it. Take advantage of the gym’s sanitizing spray bottles and wipes or put a towel down on the seat before sitting on the machine, Frechman urges. These measures can protect against serious infections and also prevent the spread of germs in general.

Do You Need to Detox Your Gym Gear?


“I won’t be able to stick with working out”
It sounds counterintuitive, but some people don’t want to start exercising because they’re afraid they’ll fail to keep it up, Frechman says.

Solution: She suggests making an exercise calendar and committing to working out on specific days. “Once you make a commitment, you’re more likely to continue going,” She says. “Treat it like a doctor’s appointment, because your health is important.”

Track your runs in this 12-week training log


“I don’t know where to start”
A newcomer’s first few gym experiences can be overwhelming, between the labyrinth of machines and seemingly endless exercise options, so it’s not surprising that many people have no idea where to begin.

Solution: Educate yourself. Pick up a book or magazine that explains muscle groups or start at home using a video to bolster your confidence. When you’re ready hit the gym, begin with 30 minutes of cardio 3 days a week and 30 minutes of weight training 3 days a week, which you can split up over 6 days, or pack into fewer days by combining your cardio and weight lifting routines.

Get your workout started on the right foot with this free 2-week personal training plan!


“I’m going to be sore”
You want a better body, but you don’t want to walk like Frankenstein for days after your first workout.

Solution: “[When you first start exercising], limit your time to 30 minutes so you don’t overexert yourself,” says Frechman. “And stretch after working out.” You might be a little sore after your first few workouts, but you shouldn’t be in debilitating pain. If you’re not sure how much exercise is too much, make arrangements to work with a personal trainer who can teach you how to do exercises without hurting yourself and help you understand your limits. Also be sure to build recovery days into your workout routine.

5 Pain-Relieving Yoga Poses


Copyright© 2011 Rodale Inc. "Fitbie" is a registered trademark of Rodale, Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction, transmission or display is permitted without the written permission of Rodale, Inc.

Friday, October 14, 2011

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Protein Powders

Protein Powders (All You Ever Wanted to Know)
by Charles Poliquin
Date Released : 04 May 2011
Click here to comment on this article

One of the problems with American diets is a lack of high-quality protein. One reason is our obsession with poor-quality fast foods; another is lack of time. In a world where everyone is overwhelmed with a busy life, it often becomes difficult to find the time to prepare high-protein meals of fish, lean meats or eggs. This is especially true for bodybuilders and elite athletes who follow lifestyle programs that have them consuming five to six meals a day. One solution is to make health food shakes with added protein or to consume meal replacement products that are high in protein.

A great way to get a lot of high-quality protein quickly is with a shake with protein powder added. This product has an interesting history. The first type of protein powder was powdered milk, which has its roots in the Mongol people and their powerful leader, Genghis Khan. The Mongols would evaporate milk by allowing it to dry in the sun and would reportedly take the chalk-like substance with them on their long journeys of conquest. In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, author Jack Weatherford suggests that a low-carb, high-protein diet with an emphasis on milk protein was one of the reasons for Khan’s success in battle:

“The Chinese noted with surprise and disgust the ability of the Mongol warriors to survive on little food and water for long periods; according to one, the entire army could camp without a single puff of smoke since they needed no fires to cook. Compared to the Jurched soldiers, the Mongols were much healthier and stronger. The Mongols consumed a steady diet of meat, milk, yogurt, and other dairy products, and they fought men who lived on gruel made from various grains. The grain diet of the peasant warriors stunted their bones, rotted their teeth, and left them weak and prone to disease. In contrast, the poorest Mongol soldier ate mostly protein, thereby giving him strong teeth and bones.”

Henri Nestlé was a pioneer in developing infant formulas, which helped lead to the development of modern meal replacement powders. (Photos courtesy Nestlé Corporate Media Relations)

The individual responsible for inventing the modern form of powdered milk was most likely Gail Borden, nicknamed “The Father of the Modern Dairy Industry.” In 1856 Borden received a patent for condensing milk that involved boiling the milk in airtight vacuum pans. In the early 1860s, the American Civil War created a huge demand for Borden’s product, and another market opened up in 1867 when Henri Nestlé added flour and sugar to powdered milk to create the first infant formula.

With today’s powdered milk there is little risk of bacterial contamination because of the lack of moisture. However, you need to pay attention to the expiration date of powdered milk and protein powders, as the proteins eventually oxidize, reducing their quality.

One benefit of powders is that they enable you to precisely follow a nutrition program. For example, when someone reduces calories to try to lose weight, his or her protein requirements increase. If you don’t get enough protein during a weight loss program, you can experience a loss of muscle mass. In addition, protein tends to help with food cravings because it helps stabilize blood sugar levels and creates a sense of fullness. Sure, drinking milk and eating steaks will give you protein, but they also give you a lot of fat and calories you may not want during a weight loss program.

Does Your Protein Measure Up?

One question we have to ask in any discussion about protein powders is “Why use milk as a source for protein in the first place?” There are many good reasons. The first reason to use milk in protein powders is simply because it contains a lot of protein. Beef, chicken and eggs are considered very concentrated sources of protein, but just one cup of milk contains as much protein as one ounce of beef or chicken – whereas a whole egg contains 6.5 grams of protein.

Another reason to use milk as a protein source is that it’s very digestible. Just because the label of a protein powder says it contains a certain amount of protein, that doesn’t necessarily mean your body can use all that protein. Of course there are protein powders made from soy, rice and even hemp seeds, but those proteins are of inferior quality. Let me explain.

There are several methods of ranking the quality of a protein, and one of the most recent is called the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAA). The highest value that a protein can receive in this type of measurement is 1.00. Milk and whole eggs earn a perfect score, and beef looks good at .92, but Mr. Peanut has no reason to smile, as he only earns a .52 score.

Of course, there are other ways to judge the protein quality of food, such as a measurement called biological value (BV) that looks at nitrogen retention and absorption. With this measurement, milk earns a score of 91 compared to whole eggs, which max out at 100; but milk still wins out over beef, which achieves a score of only 80. And with the plant proteins, you have to consider that these are considered incomplete proteins in that they must be combined with other sources of amino acids to be used by the body. For example, to make a complete protein source you can spread peanut butter on a rice cake.

Although this discussion has been primarily about powdered milk, I’d like to take it a step further and talk about whey protein. Milk contains two types of protein: casein and whey. Whey protein is higher in quality than casein; whey is equal to milk in PDCAA scoring and higher in BV, and during the separation process its lactose can be removed.

Lactose is a sugar that causes gastrointestinal distress in much of the world’s population. The enzyme that breaks down lactose is called lactase. If an individual is not producing enough lactase, the result is lactose intolerance. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include bloating, gas, cramps, diarrhea and even nausea. Lactose intolerance is one reason for the popularity of soy protein powders, but I have a laundry list of problems with using soy products, including its potential to reduce testosterone in men. It’s rare that a child is born with complete lactose intolerance, as the problem usually develops after adolescence. Taking a lactase supplement can help, but it’s easier to avoid lactose intolerance altogether by using whey protein powders.

When you go shopping for whey protein powders, you’ll see that they come in categories such as concentrates, isolates and hydrolysates. Isolates contain more protein and less fat than concentrates, and hydrolysates contain digestive enzymes. Isolates cost more than concentrates, and hydrolysates cost more than isolates.

With whey protein, the axiom “You get what you pay for” often holds true. I’ve always said that if you buy supplements from a discount store, you’re probably buying an inferior product that could be tainted with things you don’t want in your body – consider the recent lawsuit filed in California after high levels of the toxins known as PCBs were found in popular brands of fish oils. The best whey protein powders should be independently lab-tested for the following: whey protein authenticity, protein potency, melamine, solvent residue, heavy metals, herbicide and pesticide residue, stability, bacteria, yeast and mold counts.

The Case for Meal Replacements

Extending our discussion beyond protein powders, meal replacement shakes offer quality food ingredients in various combinations of the three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fats. And despite the name, meal replacements should only replace some meals – not all of them.

There are many reasons to use meal replacements, and there is legitimate scientific research to support their use. Two frequently cited studies looked at weight loss with meal replacements.

The March 2001 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association published the results of a yearlong study of 64 overweight women, ages 18 to 55, who expressed an interest in losing between 20 and 40 pounds. One of the unique characteristics of the women involved in this study is that all claimed they had been unsuccessful in changing their eating habits. The women were divided into two groups and were placed on 1,200-calorie diets. The control group was given a standard diet, while the other group consumed three milk-based, 220-calorie meal replacement drinks totaling 680 calories (meaning that the remaining 520 calories consumed were from whole foods, primarily fruits and vegetables). The result is that after three months, both groups lost 3-6 pounds, but at the end of 52 weeks the group that used the meal replacement product kept the weight off while the whole-food group regained the weight they had lost. Discipline in a can!

Published in October 2004 in the International Journal of Obesity were the results of a six-month study with 63 overweight subjects, 50 female and 12 male, with an average age of about 49 years. Their daily nutrition consisted of one whole-food meal per day and two milk-based meal replacement drinks, with a total daily intake of 800 to 1,800 calories. The subjects were instructed to walk three times a week for 30 minutes each session. Six months into the nutrition program, there was a mean decrease of seven percent body weight.

The meal replacements used in these studies were commercially available and had a high amount of sugar (220 calories and 34 grams of sugar); the ingredients in one brand consisted primarily of milk, cocoa and two types of sugar. But before getting into what constitutes a good meal replacement, let’s look at the origins of this type of product – which, incidentally, falls into the category of infant formulas.

The first infant formula was developed in 1867, consisting of cow’s milk, wheat flour, malt flour and potassium bicarbonate; the first soy formula was introduced in 1929. The most famous developer was Henri Nestlé (yes, that Nestlé, of Toll House cookie fame).

Born in Frankfort, Germany, Nestlé came from a family of 14 children, half of whom died before reaching adulthood. In the mid-1860s, Nestlé used his training in pharmacology to address the issue of infant mortality due to malnutrition by developing a healthy, economical alternative for mothers who could not breastfeed. With the help of nutritionist Jean Balthasar Schnetzler, Nestlé made the formula easier to digest by removing the acid and the starch in wheat flour. Nestlé called the new product Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé.

The early days of infant formula eventually involved into meal replacement powders for athletes, primarily bodybuilders. One of the most popular formulas among bodybuilders in the ’70s was called Blair’s Protein, developed by Irvin Johnson (who changed his name to Rheo H. Blair on the advice of an astrologer). It was a delicious mixture – described as having the taste of soft ice cream – and was reportedly the favorite of six Mr. Olympias. However, because it contained approximately 25 percent lactose, it often caused gastrointestinal distress.

The two major types of meal replacement formulas manufactured today use whey or soy as their primary protein source. One reason that soy was introduced to infant formulas was to deal with infants who are allergic to cow’s milk; however, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that infants who are allergic to cow’s milk should not be given soy milk because 50 percent of those who are allergic to cow’s milk are also allergic to soy milk. Soy can be bad news, especially for men due to its effect in decreasing serum testosterone. To learn why soy is such a poor choice for a meal replacement, pick up a copy of Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s book The Whole Soy Story .

Although not as well known, one other option is pea protein. Pea protein has excellent digestibility (98 percent) and has an excellent array of amino acids, including high levels of BCAAs. It is particularly high in leucine, lysine, arginine, phenylalanine and tyrosine. And because pea protein has ACE inhibitory activity, it may have a positive effect on the maintenance of normal blood pressure levels. It has also been shown, in rat studies, to have a positive impact on total cholesterol and very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) by stimulating bile acid formation and excretion.

The concept behind using meal replacement powders is a good one, as they can be quickly and easily prepared and can provide precisely the nutrients you want. When you use nutrition/lifestyle protocols that involve several “feedings” a day, adequate food preparation becomes very difficult and time consuming.

I recommend that the majority of your calories come from whole foods, but this is a fast-paced world, so meal replacements and protein powders have a place as convenient ways to ensure you receive the highest-quality nutrition.

Daniel, K. T. (2005). The whole soy story: The dark side of America’s favorite health food. Washington, DC: NewTrends Publishing.

Frantz, J. B. (1951). Gail Borden: Dairyman to a nation. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.

History [of Nestlé]. (n.d.). Retrieved from .

Huerta, S., Li, Z., Li, H. C., Hu, M. S., Yu, C. A., & Heber, D. (2004). Feasibility of a partial meal replacement plan for weight loss in low-income patients. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, 28 (12), 1575-1579.

Rothacker, D. Q., Staniszewski, B. A., & Ellis, P. K. (2001, March). Liquid meal replacement vs traditional food: A potential model for women who cannot maintain eating habit change. The Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 101 (3), 345-347.

Weatherford, J. (2004). Genghis Khan and the making of the modern world. New York, NY: Crown Publishers.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

9 Foods Not To Give Your Kids (or Yourself!!)

I found this article on website (originators of Brazilian Buttlift and P90x)


9 Foods Not to Give Your Kids
By Joe Wilkes
If you've followed the news on childhood obesity lately, you know the state of affairs is pretty grim. Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the past two decades, and most signs point to the next generation being the first whose life expectancy will be shorter than their parents'. Much of the blame for this trend has deservedly been laid at the feet of the producers and marketers of unhealthy food aimed at our youngest consumers, whose parents face an uphill battle: trying to pit fresh, healthy foods devoid of mascots or sidekicks against superheroes and cartoon animals in a struggle to tempt their children's palates and stomachs.

Since most kids have hummingbird metabolisms that adults can only envy, it's often easy to give them a free pass and let them eat whatever they want. But eventually those metabolisms slow down and the pounds settle in. Also, as physical activity decreases and processed food intake increases annually, kids aren't burning calories the way their parents might have when they were their age. And even if the kids aren't getting fat, they are establishing eating habits they'll take into adulthood. As parents, you can help foster a love for healthy eating and exercise that will last your kids a lifetime—hopefully a long one!

Eating can so often be a classic power struggle where kids try to finally locate their mom and dad's last nerve. (I can remember family dinners with my brother and parents that could teach Hezbollah a thing or two about standoffs.) There are a number of strategies you can use to mitigate this type of deadlock. One is to let your kids help with the selection and preparation of the food. If they picked out the veggies at the farmers' market and helped cook them, they might be less inclined to feed them to the family pet. Another is to frame eating vegetables and healthy food as being its own reward. Otherwise, by offering dessert as a reward for finishing vegetables, you create a system where unhealthy food is a treat and healthy food sucks. With these thoughts in mind, let's take a look at some of the unhealthiest foods being marketed to your kids today, and some healthier alternatives you can offer to replace each of them.

Note: The following recommendations are for school-aged children. Infants and toddlers have different specific nutritional needs not addressed in this article.

Chicken nuggets/tenders. These popular kids' menu items are little nuggets of compressed fat, sodium, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and some form of chicken. Depending on the restaurant, chicken might not even be the first ingredient. Oftentimes, the nuggets or tenders are made of ground pieces of chicken meat and skin, pressed into a shape, flavored with HFCS and salt, and batter-fried in hydrogenated oil (the bad, trans-fatty stuff). Then, as if that weren't unhealthy enough, you dunk it in a HFCS- or mayonnaise-based sauce. With all the fat, salt, and sugar, it's easy to understand why they're tasty, but the nutritive value weighed against the huge amount of calories and fat consumed is incredibly lacking. Even healthier-sounding menu items can be deceiving, like McDonald's® Premium Breast Strips (5 pieces), which pack 640 calories and 38 grams of fat—and that's before you factor in the dipping sauce. (By comparison, a Big Mac® with sauce has 540 calories and 29 grams of fat.)
Instead: If you're cooking at home, grill a chicken breast and cut it into dipping-size pieces either with a knife or, for extra fun, cookie cutters. Make a healthy dipping sauce from HFCS-free ketchup, marinara sauce, mustard, or yogurt. Let your kids help make the shapes or mix up the sauce. Try and go without breading, but if you must, try dipping the chicken breast in a beaten egg, and then rolling it in cornflake crumbs before you bake it. It'll be crunchy and delicious, but not as fatty.

Sugary cereal. I can remember as a child, after going to friends' houses for overnights and being treated to breakfast cereals with marshmallows that turned the milk fluorescent pink or blue, feeling horribly deprived when faced with the less colorful and sugary options served up in my home kitchen. But now I can appreciate my mom and her unpopular brans and granolas. True, they didn't have any cartoon characters on the box or any toy surprises, but they also didn't have the cups of sugar, grams of fat, and hundreds of empty calories that these Saturday-morning staples are loaded with.
Instead: Read the labels and try to find cereal that's low in sugar and high in fiber and whole grains. Remember, "wheat" is not the same as "whole wheat." Also, avoid cereals (including some granolas) that have hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, or chemical preservatives. Add raisins, sliced bananas, berries, or other seasonal fruit to the cereal for extra flavor and nutrition. Again, letting your child help design a healthy bowl of cereal from choices you provide will get you a little more buy-in at the breakfast table.

Lunch meat and hot dogs. Kids love hot dogs, bologna, and other processed meats, but these are all full of potentially carcinogenic nitrates and nitrites, sodium, saturated fat, and artificial colors and fillers. A study in Los Angeles found that kids who ate 12 hot dogs a month had 9 times the risk of developing leukemia.1 And more health risks are being discovered all the time. Leaf through any research about kids' nutrition, and you're bound to read about the bane of the cafeteria—Oscar Mayer's Lunchables®. These and similar prepackaged lunches are loaded with processed meats and crackers made with hydrogenated oils. These innocent-looking meals can boast fat counts of up to 38 grams. That's as much fat as a Burger King® Whopper® and more than half the recommended daily allowance of fat for an adult.
Instead: Get unprocessed meats, like lean turkey breast, chicken, tuna, or roast beef. Use whole wheat bread for sandwiches; or if your kid's dying for Lunchables, fill a small plastic container with whole-grain, low-fat crackers, lean, unprocessed meat, and low-fat cheese. This can be another great time to get out the cookie cutters to make healthy sandwiches more fun. For hot dogs, read labels carefully. Turkey dogs are usually a good bet, but some are pumped up with a fair amount of chemicals and extra fat to disguise their fowl origins. Look for low levels of fat, low sodium, and a list of ingredients you recognize. There are some tasty veggie dogs on the market, although a good deal of trial and error may be involved for the choosy child.

Juice and juice-flavored drinks. Juice—what could be wrong with juice? While 100 percent juice is a good source of vitamin C, it doesn't have the fiber of whole fruit, and provides calories mostly from sugar and carbohydrates. Too much juice can lead to obesity and tooth decay, among other problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests 4 to 6 ounces of juice per day for kids under 6, and 8 to 12 ounces for older kids. Juice drinks that aren't 100 percent juice are usually laced with artificial colors and that old standby, high fructose corn syrup, and should be avoided. Your best bet is to make your own juice from fresh, seasonal fruit. You won't have to worry about all the additives, and it's another way you can involve your kids in the cooking process. Let them design their own juice "cocktail."
Instead: Water is still the best thirst quencher. Explain the importance of good hydration to your kids, and try to set a good example yourself by carrying around a healthy reusable hard plastic or stainless steel water bottle. Get your kids used to carrying a small bottle of water in their backpack or attached to their bike. If they're very water averse, try water with a splash of fruit juice in it. But just a splash. The idea is to get your kids used to not having things be overly sweet, overly salty, or overly fatty. Another great beverage is milk. Growing kids need plenty of milk (or fortified nondairy milks, like soy or almond)—which is filled with nutrients, calcium, and (in the case of dairy and soy) protein—but they don't need too much fat, so choosing low-fat or nonfat options will help ensure that they get their milk without actually beginning to resemble a cow.

French fries. High in calories, high in fat, and high in sodium—and unsurprisingly the most popular "vegetable" among kids. Fries offer virtually none of the nutrients found in broccoli, carrots, spinach, or other veggies not cooked up in a deep fryer, and the fat they're fried in is often trans fat, the unhealthiest kind for the heart. To top it all off, studies are beginning to show cancer-causing properties from acrylamide, a toxic substance that is created when starchy foods like potatoes are heated to extreme temperatures. In some tests, the amount of acrylamide in French fries was 300 to 600 times higher than the amount the EPA allows in a glass of water.2
Instead: Vegetables like baby carrots, celery sticks, and other crudités are great options, but if potatoes must be had, there are some options that don't involve melting a brick of fat. A scooped-out potato skin with low-fat chili and a little cheese can provide lots of fiber and vitamins, with even higher amounts if the chili has beans. You can also try making baked fries, using slices of potato with a light brushing of olive oil. Or the classic baked potato could be a hit, with plain yogurt or cottage cheese instead of sour cream and butter.

Potato chips, Cheetos®, Doritos®, etc. These are full of fat, oftentimes saturated, and way more sodium than any child or adult should eat. Some chips also have the acrylamide problem discussed in #5, French fries, above. Also, watch out for innocent-seeming baked and low-fat chips that contain olestra or other fake fats and chemicals that could present health issues for kids.
Instead: Kids gotta snack, and in fact, since their stomachs are smaller, they aren't usually able to go as long between meals as adults. Cut-up vegetables are the best thing if your kids want to get their crunch on, but air-popped popcorn and some baked chips are okay, too. You can control how much salt goes on the popcorn, or involve your child in experimenting with other toppings like red pepper, Parmesan cheese, or dried herbs. Try making your own trail mix with your kids. They might be more excited to eat their own personal blend, and that way you can avoid certain store-bought trail mixes, which sometimes contain ingredients like chocolate chips and marshmallows that aren't exactly on the healthy snack trail.

Fruit leather. Many of these gelatinous snacks like roll-ups or fruit bites contain just a trace amount of fruit, but lots of sugar or HFCS and bright artificial colors. Don't be misled by all the products that include the word "fruit" on their box. Real fruit is in the produce section, not the candy aisle.
Instead: If your child doesn't show interest in fruit in its natural state, there are some ways you can make it more interesting without losing its nutritional value. For a healthy frozen treat, try filling ice-cube or frozen-pop trays with fruit juice, or freezing grapes. Or buy unflavored gelatin and mix it with fruit juice and/or pieces of fruit to make gelatin treats without the added sugar and color (let it solidify in big flat casserole dishes or roasting pans—another good time for the cookie cutters!) Try serving some raisins, dried apricots, apples, peaches, or other dried fruits that might give you that chewy, leathery texture without the sugar.

Doughnuts. These little deep-fried gobs of joy are favorites for kids and adults alike, but they are full of fat and trans-fatty acids, and of course, sugar. Toaster pastries, muffins, and cinnamon buns aren't much better. The worst thing about doughnuts and these other pastries, aside from their nutritional content, is that they're often presented to children as acceptable breakfast choices. These delicious deadlies need to be categorized properly—as desserts, to be eaten very sparingly. And you can't have dessert for breakfast.
Instead: Honestly, a slice of whole wheat toast spread with sugar-free fruit spread or peanut butter isn't going to get as many fans as a chocolate-filled Krispy Kreme® doughnut, but at some point, you have to stand firm. Be the cop who doesn't like doughnuts. Doughnuts—not for breakfast. Period.

Pizza. In moderation, pizza can be a fairly decent choice. If you order the right toppings, you can get in most of your food groups. The problem comes with processed meats like pepperoni and sausage, which add fat and nitrates/nitrites (see #3, Lunch meat and hot dogs, above); and the overabundance of cheese, which will also provide more calories and fat than a child needs.
Instead: Try making your own pizza with your kids. Use premade whole wheat crusts, or whole wheat tortillas, English muffins, or bread as a base. Then brush on HFCS-free sauce, and set up a workstation with healthy ingredients like diced chicken breast, sliced turkey dogs, and vegetables that each child can use to build his or her own pizza. Then sprinkle on a little cheese, bake, and serve. If your child gets used to eating pizza like this, delivery pizzas may seem unbearably greasy after awhile.

Someday your children will come to realize that caped men in tights and sponges who live under the sea might not have their best interests at heart when it comes to food. Until then, however, why not involve them in the process of selecting and preparing healthier alternatives? Some of these cleverly disguised wholesome foods might become their favorites. Who knows, they may even tempt some of the overgrown children among us!


1Peters J, et al. "Processed meats and risk of childhood leukemia (California, USA)" Cancer Causes & Control 5: 195-202, 1994

2Tareke E, Rydberg P, Karlsson P, et al. "Analysis of acrylamide, a carcinogen formed in heated foodstuffs" J. of Agri and Food Chem. 2002;50:4988-5006

Friday, September 16, 2011

10 Fat Burning Foods

10 Fat-Fighter Diet Foods For Cheese-Grater Abs

Freakishly Perfect Foods to Get You Shredded

by Pauline Nordin Aug 04, 2011

I'm convinced that you digest foods you love way better than foods you hate. Maybe that's why fatty, greasy and sugary foods stick to fat cells like rubber cement. The link between us is strong, and the fat attachment is even stronger. But what do we all want? Let me give you a's not fat.

That's why the Fighter Diet has worked for me like nothing else. Food is important to my body and to keeping my look all year round. And I can eat. So my diet has to give me foods I can eat a lot of without packing around extra weight.

Dieting is all about consistency. If you can't sustain your diet, then what's the point? You must enjoy the foods you eat on a daily basis. And I LOVE the foods in this list.

Here are 10 of my favorite Fighter Diet foods I want to share with you. It's not a huge list, but all of the items combine nutrition, taste and variety. You should try all of them and decide which foods can become your favorite diet staples.

These foods are ready to kick some serious butt—are you?
#1 Wheat Bran - Putting the "B-R-A-N" in "BRAINY" Foods
Wheat bran is a "free food" in the Fighter Diet. That means you don't count it as a source of calories - Score! According to the nutrition label on wheat bran, it's a different story with calories, just like any other grain. I'm a walking experiment with this, the Franken-Pauline of wheat bran, and my experience is that wheat bran goes through my body mostly intact. Count that as a free food, ladies and gents.

My advice is to eat wheat bran for breakfast instead of cereal or oatmeal. In fact, wheat bran creates a bigger serving size of "porridge" but with less calories. But don't eat it for every meal! You could end up robbing your body of important micronutrients like calcium and iron.

But take a quick look at some real nutrition info to back up this argument:

■1 cup of wheat bran: 120 calories.
■1 cup of oat bran: 230-245 calories.
■1 cup of oatmeal: 300-380 calories.
The choice is yours, but you'd be pretty dumb not to pick wheat bran, just saying.

Are those oats? I pity the fool!
#2 Cabbage - This Patch Is Not Just For Babies Anymore
This unassuming head of leafy goodness is actually an extremely nutritious member of the cruciferous vegetable family with siblings like broccoli, cauliflower, and bok choy (Chinese cabbage). With a nutrient profile that includes vitamin A, B6, C, thiamin, folate, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium - I mean, seriously, that is just ridiculous.

An entire cup of shredded cabbage only has 16 calories and 2 grams of fiber. Cabbage is also a hidden agent of helping to prevent cancer and reduce estrogen, and I'm betting that it also helps block the effect of xenoestrogens as well.

Some people even stick to a whole diet of cabbage soup, by choice and not because of budget. Of course I would never recommend that, but I can see why people love it! I like to eat mine shredded and mixed with mustard and stevia.

#3 Pistachios - Squirrel Away Your Time with Healthy Fats
Pistachios contain monounsaturated fats just like olives, which is reason enough to eat them! And, oh yeah, they are delicious. But the real reason I love them is that you can usually pick these puppies up in the shell, forcing you to take the time to get the food out of there! This slows you down, and you can enjoy eating each nut for a little longer.

It's best to eat them raw and unprocessed. And although I do love them roasted and salted, I almost never eat them that way. Heating nuts destroys some of the healthy fats and can increase nasty free radicals. Also, salted and/or roasted foods tend to trigger my appetite and cravings.

#4 Shirataki Noodles - The Perfect Pasta Replacement
Let's get one thing straight: I love pasta. But pasta loves me back, so if I were to eat it I'd need a huge bowl of it, saddling me with thousands of calories! Yes, I have a big appetite, and I love food. So I don't even like being within 10 feet of pasta. It's just not an option. That's why Shirataki noodles have come to my rescue.

What in the world are Shirataki noodles? Well, they look like regular rice noodles but they are actually made from Konjac flour, which is processed from a yam-like plant that grows in Asia. Konjac is full of glucomannan fiber, which basically means that Shirataki noodles are a calorie free food in the Fighter Diet!

I eat these darling noodles daily. Recently, my favorite dinner idea is to mix Shirataki noodles with melted fat-free cheese (I'll talk about this amazing food later on). I swear it feels like I'm in cheesy-noodle heaven. Needles to say, it's been on my dinner menu for 10 days straight.

#5 Non-fat Greek Yogurt - Helping You Get Spartan-Like Abs
Yes, it does matter that this yogurt has a nationality. There is a big difference between regular non-fat yogurt and plain, non-fat Greek yogurt. Let's do a quick comparison. One 6 oz container of Chobani plain, non-fat Greek yogurt is only 100 calories, 7 grams of carbs and 18 grams of protein.

Run that up against 8 oz of Nancy's plain, non-fat yogurt with 120 calories, 17 grams of carbs, and only 12 grams of protein. I'm going to call that a KO. Sorry Nancy, your yogurt does not cut it for the fighter diet. My favorite brands of non-fat Greek yogurt are Chobani or Danone.

Okay people, I know a lot of you are terrified of any sugars, especially dairy. But listen up, because carbs do not make you fat all by themselves. Carbs help you recover, rebuild, and maintain your lean muscle mass! The key is to make sure you choose plain yogurt and watch your servings. Greek yogurt is not a free food by any means.

Dairy may also release insulin more than some other proteins like chicken and meat. But that means it's great for a post-workout snack. Do not fall for the fruit or flavored versions! Those demons have plenty of added sugars, and yogurt already contains milk-sugars when it's plain!

Eat Greek yogurt, get the body of a Greek Goddess.

#6 Winter Squash - Sweet Post-Workout Bliss
A variety of starchy vegetables fall under the name "winter squash." Carrots, butternut squash, Kabocha (Japanese winter squash), beets, turnips and jicama all have more carbs and calories than the other vegetables. Why are they included in the Fighter Diet? Because they are perfect for re-feeds or those wonderful days when I treat myself to higher carbs. They also replace potatoes really well.

I love these goodies, especially when I bake them and smother with cinnamon and Truvia (my preferred brand of the zero-calorie, natural sweetener Stevia). Winter squash veggies also tend to be fast carbs. Therefore, naturally they are great for post-workout nutrition.

#7 Pink Salmon - A Billion Times Better Than Tuna
Tuna and bodybuilding usually go hand in hand, but not for me. Pink salmon is a better option. It's not as chock-full of mercury as canned tuna, because pink salmon are caught when they're younger. Hence, way better for your liver while still providing all the protein and healthy fat.

Don't confuse regular salmon with pink salmon. They don't have the same nutritional value at all. Red salmon is fatty and calorie rich, while pink salmon is closer to tuna in nutrient breakdown. I choose canned, normally, but it's even better when pink salmon comes in pouches-so very convenient! Even on airplanes you can sneak one in, open it up, and nobody will nag you about the smell.

My favorite brand is Rainforest Trading. Three oz of canned pink salmon has 106.8 calories, 21.3 grams of protein and 2.3 grams of fat. Tuna, on the other hand, has 91 calories, 21.7 grams of protein and 0.7 grams of fat.

When it comes to eating fish, always think PINK.
#8 Fat-Free Natural Cheese - Best Guilt-Free Cheat Food
Yes, I know the old myth about dairy, which is that it promotes water retention. I also know that many competitors stop using dairy when they diet down for a show. I beg to differ! I like my fat-free dairy, and I love fat-free cheese.

I stay shredded 365 days a year, and yes, I get bloated now and then too - Hello, PMS, it's not ever nice to meet you - and I never blame fat-free cheese for that. If it was a full-fat, fried camembert then I could admit it was the cheese that fattened me up.

However, the fat-free cheese I buy from Lifetime Cheese has no crazy fillers, no hidden trans fat and it actually melts! Have you ever tried to melt Kraft's fat-free cheese? It's a hideous experiment but kind of entertaining to watch the "cheese" particles curl up into off-color, plastic-like strings. Ew.

I use Lifetime fat-free cheese with my Shirataki noodles, put it in the microwave oven, and voila - homemade mac & cheese. And you can eat this stuff without getting cheese on the thighs! A pack of this one gives you 63 grams of protein and very few carbs.

(Fighter Diet discount 15% for orders of 24 or fewer bars, and a 25% discount for orders of 24 or more bars! Write "FD" in the shipping field.)

#9 Mustard - The 6th Food Group
Mustard is not just a condiment, not for me. I eat it like a sauce or even like it is its own food group. Mustard is another free food in the Fighter Diet concept, so when you pour it over your cabbage like I do, you just skip counting the calories!

Here are some tips on buying and using mustard. First, do not buy anything labelled "honey mustard" and always read the ingredients list! Some companies try to fatten us up by adding sugar to mustard and calling it "sweet & spicy." Instead, I make my own sweet 'n sour mustard by mixing it with some Stevia. It is delicious! Right now I'm on a kick with Woeber's jalapeno mustard.

More reasons I love mustard: It's an excellent immune system booster and gives you some of the benefits of curcumin. Ever heard of the anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin? Well, it's increasing in popularity as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. Anybody who takes training seriously will be fighting free radicals inside their body. Doesn't it just blow your mind that mustard can help? It's naturally rich in curcumin, which comes from turmeric and gives mustard its yellow color.

I know you must be curious about how I decided that mustard is calorie free. Well, I tried to eat a bottle of it every day for months just to see what happened. I got leaner! Day after day I downed about a bottle, which equals an estimated 300 calories, according to the label. The mustard seemed to boost my metabolism and some of it came out the natural way. Yes, there's a TMI for you, too much information, but you asked for it and I delivered.

CondimentsAdd some healthy pizzazz to your meals! Our sugar-free and low-fat condiments taste great and won't ruin your diet!

Add some guilt-free condiments today #10 Cocoa Powder - Get Your Chocolate Fix with Antioxidant Benefits
Cocoa powder is known to be rich in antioxidants. But hello, we don't eat chocolate for that! We indulge in it because chocolate is cocaine to the soul. So the challenge is to make it healthy. Really, it's pretty easy.

I mix cocoa powder with vp2 chocolate protein powder, fat-free quark (a super low-calorie substitute for cream cheese or sour cream), nutra fiber (made from sugar beets and a great source of fiber) and stevia. It's my choco-treat, and I eat it for dessert pretty much daily until I get fed up with chocolate, which really only happens once every blue moon.

Start Your Feeding Frenzy and Rev Your Metabolism
If you can't tell, the foods on my Fighter Diet list (this isn't all of them) not only taste amazing but they also help you burn fat and build muscle. They can help kill that feeling like you're cheating on your diet, while you get shredded. Start adding these foods to your diet and you'll never want to go off this diet.

For more FD foods, check out the FD Pyramid ebook!

Recommended Articles
Cabbage Soup Diet: Controversial In Promising Quick Fat Loss
8 Ways To Prepare Tuna: Never Be Bored Again
Turmeric: Is It The Next Miracle Herb?

About The Author
Pauline Nordin
VIEW AUTHOR PAGEWhen I work out, my ambition is to push my body harder and harder every time to see how much it can take how much pressure it can stand Pauline Nordin
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Secrests to Getting Motivated

A great article from

7 Secrets to Get Motivated for a Workout
Pete Williams September 6, 2011

Dave Cruz

Maintaining motivation in a training program can be a challenge no matter your experience level. There will be days when you just don’t feel motivated to train and periods where it’s tempting to slack off. Here are seven secrets to get motivated to work out.

1. Be accountable
It’s easy to blow off a workout when nobody is expecting you to show. It’s a lot tougher to do so when you have a workout partner or training group expecting you. “The social aspect of working out helps for a lot of people in general,” says Kevin Elsey, director of the performance innovation team at Athletes’ Performance. “But it also can provide the accountability you need to stay motivated.”

2. Downsize your workout
As an endurance athlete and coach, Jessi Stensland knows what it’s like to face an ambitious workout on a day when the drive and energy level isn’t there. Rather than punt completely, she suggests downgrading your plan to something shorter or less strenuous. “Maybe you were planning a long run,” Stensland says. “Why not do Movement Prep instead of nothing? At least you’ll have that benefit and a sense of accomplishment.” Once you’ve started, you might find the energy level kicking in and be able to tackle your original workout. Stensland draws an analogy between this phenomenon and interval training. “There are times after one hard interval where you cannot imagine doing another,” she says. “But after your heart rate comes down and you’re relaxed, you’re ready to go again.”

3. Plan ahead
It’s easy to rationalize missing a workout because you forgot your clothes or don’t have time to rush home to get workout gear. Stay motivated and on course by laying clothes out the night before and keeping extra gear in your car or under the desk. “What can you do to remove as many barriers as possible to staying motivated?” Elsey says. “Whether it’s bringing a gym bag with clothes or having proper nutrition planned, do all of the prep work when you are sufficiently motivated.”

4. Attach a deadline
Training for a specific race or competition brings about a sense of urgency, keeping you motivated and less likely to skip a workout. By signing up for an event well in advance, you’ve also made a financial commitment, no small consideration given the ever-escalating costs of running, triathlon, and other events. Once you’ve signed up, let everyone know. This keeps you motivated since you’ve publicly pledged to do it. “Sports becomes a social-tribal kind of thing,” says Jerry Napp, an exercise physiologist and certified USA Triathlon coach in Tarpon Springs, Fla. “It’s always motivating to see how you’re going to do within your tribe.”

5. Mix it up
One of the biggest trends in participatory sports in 2011 is the popularity of obstacle mud runs. Races such as the Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, and Warrior Dash draw thousands to participate in races that include a dozen obstacles spread out over a 3- to 12-mile course. Athletes do not know what’s coming next. The last thing you want to do is make your training routine. Be sure to vary your training to constantly stimulate your body. If you follow one of the online Core Performance training programs, use the “exchange movement” button in your workout to swap in an alternative exercise to continually challenge yourself and keep your training fresh.

6. Track your progress
The growth of children is more evident to a relative who sees them only a few times a year than it is to a parent. By the same token, it’s easy to overlook incremental progress. That’s one of many reasons it’s important to track your progress over weeks, months—even years. Like investing, seeing that progress helps keep you motivated and on track. Here are four ways to track your progress.

7. Find your rhythm
Maybe you’re not lacking motivation, just timing. Some people will never be “morning people” while others know that if they don’t do their workout in the morning, it will never happen. Some people can’t imagine training after a long day at work while others need that time to de-stress before heading home. “Once you discover when you’re most motivated to train, that’s going to knock down another barrier for you and help you stay motivated,” Elsey says.

About The Author
Pete Williams – Pete Williams is a contributing writer for and the co-author of the Core Performance book series.

Read Full Bio

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Here we go again! Another RBS 8-week challenge with the emphasis being on fat-loss compared to body weight. On this blog you'll find ideas, links, etc. that can help. I also am recommending the Zone Diet to most can get the book or do an internet search to get more ideas--also, I have a simplified print-out I can give you if interested.

Good luck and check your e-mail and this website for updates and discussions!