Exercise and Weight Loss

10 Feb

“I’m going to start losing weight”

“Great, what’s your plan?”

“I’m going to the gym again, I will probably do 30 minutes on the elliptical a day”

I have had this very conversation more times than I can count.  It’s almost gotten to the point where I can predict the future as I always know what the person is going to say.  Heck, I used to be the same way!  I thought exercise was the end all be all of weight loss and the only way to really look the way I wanted to.  Or maybe I thought it was just easier to exercise and still eat really terrible food.  Guess what.  You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.  I’m going to say that again.  You can’t out-exercise a bad diet!

Exercise has many benefits, but there are problems with relying on it to control weight. First, it’s just not true that Americans, in general, aren’t listening to calls for more activity. From 2001 to 2009, the percentage of people who were sufficiently physically active increased. But so did the percentage of Americans who were obese. The former did not prevent the latter.

Studies confirm this finding. A 2011 meta-analysis, a study of studies, looked at the relationship between physical activity and fat mass in children, and found that being active is probably not the key determinant in whether a child is at an unhealthy weight. In the adult population, interventional studies have difficulty showing that a physically active person is less likely to gain excess weight than a sedentary person. Further, studies of energy balance, and there are many of them, show that total energy expenditure and physical activity levels in developing and industrialized countries are similar, making activity and exercise unlikely to be the cause of differing obesity rates.

A couple new studies (like the one mentioned above) have come out confirming that diet is FAR more important than exercise when it comes to weight loss.  The funny thing is, we all kinda knew this, and we just didn’t want to admit it.  Its way easier to eat that piece of cake and say you will work it off later than it is to consistently say no to these damaging foods.  Plus, people constantly misjudge how many calories they really burn when they exercise.  Part of that is their treadmill and elliptical probably lies to them and part of it is misjudging how hard they are actually working.

Don’t get me wrong, exercise is amazingly important for overall health and wellbeing.  But if you are trying to lose weight, you need to understand the effects exercise will have on you.  First of all, it will make you hungrier!  Realize that, and feed yourself accordingly.  Just don’t “reward” yourself with an unhealthy treat after doing 30 minutes of exercise.  It will severely hurt your ability to lose any weight whatsoever.  Healthy carbs like sweet potatoes and green veggies after a workout will give you energy AND help you lose weight.

In order to lose weight we must start with our diet and it’s best not to complicate it.  Eliminate all refined sugars and stick to healthy proteins, fats, and carbs.   Chicken, turkey, all veggies, sweet potatoes, and fruits in the morning should be staples of your diet.

Help us spread the word!  The next time someone tells you their plan to lose weight solely relies on exercise, educate them that changing their diet is far more important!  Tell them to supplement their diet with occasional exercise, not vice versa.  Most importantly, don’t forget the mantra:  You cannot out-exercise a bad diet!

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Weight Loss Tips – Portion Sizes

28 Jan

In keeping up with highlighting positive weight loss stories in the news (since there are soooo many bad ones) I’m going to discuss a recent CNN article centered around portion sizes.  There is some good and some bad in this article, but overall I think it sends a good message.

The article first starts off my talking about the importance of portion sizes for weight loss and mentions “when people overeat, it leads to irregularity in blood sugar.  It also leads to obesity…”  This is all very true, but are portion sizes the reason people overeat or are obese?  Maybe it’s more the food choices they make, the number of meals eaten per day, or the number of calories consumed via liquid to name a few.  Still portion size is a valuable discussion.

The article next mentions five talking points about portion sizes.  We will discuss two of them:

  1. Ignore the size of your plate.


This is an old wives tale that says the smaller the plate the less you will eat.  Really?  Or maybe I’ll just eat more platefuls?  This article cites a study that debunks this tale and mentions it’s better to learn what a proper portion size actually is.  I totally agree and think you should take it a step further and learn how many calories are in common portion sizes of chicken, steak, ground beef, eggs, etc.  Once you understand the basics, healthy eating becomes so much easier!

Also if you eat lunch at work, take the same Pyrex everyday!  That way you know the portion sizes that fit in there and how many calories you are having for that meal.  Once you figure everything out once, you have it figured out forever.  No more guessing or wishy washy meals from that food truck across the street.  Unless it’s a cheat day of course…..

  1. Serve yourself some bad foods


I don’t like this one.  Even though I literally just mentioned a cheat day in my previous paragraph, I feel like the way this was worded allows people to think it’s ok to eat something bad every meal.  I totally disagree with this strategy and think it will really hinder your weight loss goals.  I’m much more a fan of 90/10, meaning you eat healthy 90 percent of the time and unhealthy 10 percent of the time.  For you wise guys out there, that doesn’t mean you can have 9 healthy meals and then a 10,000 calorie meal (or does it? Read more about the Tim Ferris diet here).  If you are following 90/10, 90 percent of your calories should be healthy!

One last little hack that CNN mentioned was regarding focusing on your eating.  They say that the unfocused eater is more likely to overeat than the focused eater.  They mention eating with your opposite hand since it will take more concentration than normal thus reducing your chances of overeating. It’s an intriguing hypothesis.  Another way to focus more is to really challenge yourself on the meals you cook yourself.  If you try and taste the ingredients that you know are in there, you might become more focused.  Plus, if you are trying new challenging recipes, you can make them healthy from the get go!

All in all portion sizes probably plays a fairly minor role in obesity as the food choices you make are much more important.  Still, some of these tips put forth by CNN in this article are helpful and might make that little bit of extra difference you need to lose weight.  So go out there and try one of these today and be sure to report back here on how it worked!

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What is the best weight loss diet pill?

22 Jan

What is the best weight loss pill?  According to the Great Google Machine, that exact phrase is searched over 5000 times a month!  And if take the time to do that search you are presented with things like Alli (scary side effects) and articles from Forbes and the great (note: sarcasm) Dr. Oz.  Dr. Oz has a new greatest weight loss pill pretty much every week, yet somehow still manages to get excited about each and every one.  We, on the other hand, prefer tried and tested weight loss pills that have been reviewed by actual customers and have proven success.

When looking to find the best weight loss pill you might first look to the FDA, since they “oversee” the diet pill industry.  They don’t approve or disapprove every weight loss pill, but they have approved a couple recently, and when they deem a weight loss pill too dangerous they will disapprove it.  We won’t rehash this arbitrary system in this article, but you can read more about the banning of effective weight loss pills and the approval of not so effective ones here and here.


Unfortunately, if you go with one of the FDA approved weight loss pills you might not be happy with the outcome.  Alli has some embarrassing side effects (let’s just say don’t wear white pants) and Belviq/Qsymia have a lot of questions on their potential side effects as well as their actual effectiveness in aiding weight loss.

What are we looking for from the best weight loss pill?

In our opinion there are three main components that make a top tier weight loss pill.

Effectiveness in Weight Loss – This boils down to how much extra weight a diet pill helps you lose.  That’s the main reason most people take weight loss pills, to lose weight.  So our first criteria is a pill that increases our metabolism and potentially decreases our appetite which allows for the maximum possible weight loss.  We aren’t huge fans of Alli, because it’s more of a fat blocker than a fat burner.  So let’s cross it off the list.

Lack of Side Effects – Many of the best weight loss pills can also be associated with some severe health risks which rule them out of the discussion.  Phen-Phen comes to mind as one pill that was amazingly effective, but was highly questionable in terms of side effects.  Another is ephedra alkaloids, which many believe shouldn’t have been banned, but regardless both phen-phen and ephedra alkaloids are banned so they are off the list.  We need a weight loss pill with no severe side effects and that only cause minor issues in some people, because all effective pills may create issues (headache, nausea) with a small percentage of the population.

Actual Reviews from Customers

This is the toughest one.  Sifting through the mountains of misinformation on the web it’s easy to get sucked in by clever marketing copy.  I’m guilty of it and I’m guessing you are too.  Marketers know we can get entrapped by the latest greatest invention that promises us never seen before results.  But after trying the latest greatest, or taking the time to research it, we realize most of the time it’s a lot of fluff and no substance.  That is why we feature 100% actual reviews from our customers to help other customers determine what the best weight loss pill is.

So what is the best weight loss pill?

For our money, it’s Green Stinger or Lipodrene.  We don’t think you can go wrong with either.  They have been our #1 and #2 products for at least five years which means there is no need for fancy new marketing copy.  They sell themselves, and customers feedback helps sell them.   They meet all the criteria we mentioned above by providing effective weight loss with almost no side effects, and have been highly reviewed by past customers.   They are also rarely returned and often reordered.

To us it’s a no brainer, don’t rely on marketers whose only job is to sell to tell you what the best weight loss pill is.  Rely instead on the best customers ever, found at  They want the same awesome weight loss success that you do, and they have already nominated Green Stinger and Lipodrene as the two best weight loss pills.  At the end of the day, the best weight loss pill is the one that gives you the best chance to succeed at losing weight.  We think following in the footsteps of people that have lost weight using a weight loss pill helps make that decision easier.  There is no better testimony of a weight loss pill than someone that is living a new life thanks to losing weight, being healthier, and living longer!

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Clean house, lose weight?

19 Jan

Imagine coming home to a spotless home that has just been cleaned to the max.  No dishes to be washed, no clothes to be washed, and everything put in its proper place.  And not only is everything clean, but it is organized in a sensible fashion.  Sounds pretty awesome right?  Well, according to a recent book, it might even help you lose weight!


ABC News interviewed Peter Walsh, author of “Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight: The Six-Week Total-Life Slim Down” and discussed a couple case studies as well as shared a preview of the book.  Apparently he didn’t think slimming down the title of his book was necessary, but we won’t hold that against him.  The core concept behind the book is that there is a link between three things:  a messy home, stress, and weight gain.  I don’t know about you, but this makes a lot of sense to me.  I’m probably the messiest person alive, so when I come home to a clean house it feels amazing!  I definitely feel less stress when coming home to a spotless house and I could see how that could lead to losing weight.  A. I wouldn’t be stressed and as likely to eat crap food to deal with that stress and B. I would have more time to work out or cook a healthy meal, and much more likely to as well.


The ABC News article details a case study that Waslh went through with a woman who had tried a bunch of diets, but was unsuccessful in losing weight.  They completely organized the refrigerator and pantry:


The refrigerator was divided into zones for storing different types of products. This makes it easier to cook at home, rather than order take-out, Walsh said.

“When you step in here I want you to feel like every single thing in here I love, it fits me and people compliment me on it,” Walsh told Rothschild.


The woman reported feeling significantly less stress after her house and kitchen was overhauled into a simple organized system.


The book isn’t just about losing clutter and organizing your house.  Walsh goes into detail about eating plans, workouts, and of course the overall decluttering plan.  He wants you to get away from living your life in a rote fashion, i.e. doing things like buying random junk or watching TV almost without thinking.

I’m going to be experimenting with this plan over the next six weeks and will report back with my successes and failures.  I already know that it will lead to lower stress levels, so let’s see if it also helps with weight loss!   Have you experienced less stress thanks to a clean house?  Or are you super stressed because your house is a disaster area and you have no organization in it at all?  Join the discussion and let’s help each other out!

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How to Keep the Weight Off (No More Yo-Yo)

01 Sep

Congratulations! You have just lost 25 lbs due to hard work and dedication. Now you ease off your diet and maybe even have a party for yourself, a piece of cake here and a couple glasses of wine there. When’s the last time you had pizza? Mmm. It’s been a long time since you had a big, greasy breakfast, dig in! What can it hurt?! This pattern continues until you have gained 25 pounds back in the blink of an eye and barely remember that feeling of being 25 pounds lighter. This happens to so many people! They put in all that time and dedication to losing weight and then gain it all back and usually more in record time. The numbers are murky, but researchers estimate that up to 85% of people that lose more than 20 pounds gain it all back in one year! This is crazy talk, and it’s time to step off the weight loss roller coaster.

You have already proven you can lose the weight and now you need to prove you can keep it off, which will probably take a slightly different strategy. A lot of this strategy depends on what you did to lose weight in the first place. If you were on a very restrictive diet, you need to reintroduce foods slowly. Don’t immediately go back to eating everything you did when you were overweight. It won’t end well. Introduce one new food or food group a week, and see how your body reacts.
If you took a more moderate approach to weight loss, you will have an easier time maintaining it. Simply boost your calories up about 200-400 per day and see how that affects you. The important thing, the first couple weeks after getting to your goal weight, is to not go crazy. Keep monitoring your weight at least once a week and keep working out! Getting to your goal weight allows you to eat a little more, but for your overall health, you should still be exercising at least a couple times a week. Hit the weights or do some sprints for the best results.

Consistency is key for maintaining weight loss. Stick to your workout plan, eat healthy at least 85% of the time, and you will be seeing the body you want in the mirror for years to come. Get off that weight loss roller coaster for good. Not only will you look better, you’ll feel better too!

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Make the holidays your Boo!

17 Oct

Look, let’s get one thing out of the way. I am not ready to call Mid-October “The Holiday Season” either. I’m not ready to walk into a Target and be surrounded by songs about Christmas piping through the speakers and Christmas decorations everywhere I look. It’s happening though, whether we are ready or not, and one very important thing to take note of: we’ve already started eating like it’s the holidays.

This makes sense, our ancestors didn’t get to watch the snowfall from their hot yoga class, or head to work from their nice warmed home, to their nice warmed car, to their nice warmed office. These are (in the grand scheme of things) fairly new to us. So when the temperature starts to dip our normal human cravings for fat, sugars, and carbohydrates goes from bad to downright ravenous!

Take a deep breath…take one more…and put the candy corn DOWN. Despite your pesky desire to pack on weight this time of year, you can maintain a workout schedule, and eat the amazing bounty of winter fruits and vegetables available to you at your local market.

Craving something sweet? Oranges are about to be the best they are all year, and the vitamin C boost is going to keep your immune system running strong during cold and flu season!

Wanting all the pumpkin spice lattes? Find better ways to use this awesome squash! I recommend a pumpkin curry served over brown rice! Savory, sweet, and a little bit of spice this is a great way to pack in the pumpkin flavor.

Cruciferous vegetables like Kale, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, and broccoli that are available year round lend themselves perfectly to your holiday feasts! Season them and roast them up! Served with your turkey this is a high protein, high fiber, nutrient rich meal that can’t be beat! While everyone else is jumpstarting their heart after eating their weight in gravy, you’ll be ready to go caroling!

When you’re at holiday parties (of which you will probably be at no fewer than 5) instead of starving yourself until you can’t take it anymore and gorge on holiday cookies and cream cheese pumpkin roll, breeze in there like you own the place and move right to the almost untouched fruit and vegetable plate. Fill up on this stuff first and after a few servings where you’ve curbed the hunger pangs from going straight from work to a party then you can reward yourself with some tasty carby treats. It’s OK to try everything, just remember hors d’oeuvre’s aren’t meals! Your body needs real food if you’re hungry – not sugary salty carbs!

This year, forget your New Years weight loss resolution; keep your body in shape right now! By keeping real whole foods at your disposal, you’ll be able to have a taste of all the holiday treats without going overboard. So, it may not even be Halloween yet, but….HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYBODY!!!

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When life hands you lemons – make yourself into a super fit hottie

03 Oct

Bad break up? Financial woes? General malaise and bummed out feelings? Time to wakey wakey eggs and bacy and get yourself to the gym, the trail, the bike, the yoga class, the ACTIVE LIFESTYLE you see on yogurt commercials.

This is no easy task, when life is kickin you while you’re down, the urge to lay in bed and watch Lifetime movies with a pint of double fudge brownie ice cream is pretty strong. What does it actually give you though? Think about it? If you need that for a few days go for it and go HARD, but maybe there is something that will make you feel genuinely better.

The first day is hard. Getting out of bed to put on your workout gear is like pulling teeth, you’re going to work out and you’re mad about it. I get it; we have all been there before. Half the time fitting a workout into your day when you’re feeling just fine is hard enough, doing it when you feel like a bum? Unheard of! Trust me though! This is when you NEED it the most!

When you work out, your body releases endorphins, and these guys are the secret happy cocktail you need to wrap your brain in warm fuzzies. Not only that, but you’re doing something good for yourself; lowering your cholesterol, improving your flexibility, burning calories. This is like a retail therapy trip for your body!

Days 2 through 4? No picnic either. One good workout does not bring the boyfriend back, nor does it pay your insane Verizon bill, and it certainly doesn’t fix whatever existential crisis you’re experiencing at this particular juncture. Give it time, get up and do it again, make it your ritual, give yourself this! Seriously, change the way you view it, you’re giving yourself something awesome! You’re doing this for you, and you deserve it.

The longer you keep with it, the better you’re gonna feel. Not saying you won’t have slumps where you don’t work out for a week or two, but you’ll remember that high you felt when you ran faster on the treadmill than you ever have before, or the upward dog you did in yoga that stretched you in all the right ways, and you’ll get back up and do it again!

Oh and when you run into that jerk ex of yours out? You won’t get the satisfaction of watching his jaw drop at the site of the hot new worked-out you. You’re too far ahead of the game at this point to even be bothered with that, besides, isn’t there a cute guy checking you out at the other end of the bar? Yeah, I’d say go talk to him…

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Laughter, Joy, and Weight Loss

18 Sep

A lot of the time when people start a new diet or exercise routine it’s because they are really dissatisfied with their current weight. They berate themselves day in and day out, and deny themselves some of the greatest pleasures like eating out with friends or being active outside of the gym setting.

If this isn’t your first rodeo with dieting you probably know what I’m talking about, and because this isn’t your first time you probably realize that this tactic of self blame and impossible standards didn’t help you actually reach any of your goals.

You may have heard about the chemical cortisol, which the body uses to regulate insulin and blood sugar, but it is also released when you are stressed out. Too much cortisol has been proven to cause weight gain! Not only does it cause weight gain, it causes weight gain in your abdomen, an area where too much fat storage has been known to have a direct correlation to heart attack and stroke. (Yikes! I know, my stress levels increased just typing that, but take a breath and calm down, there’s good advice right around the corner!)

When you beat yourself up and force yourself into rigorous diets and exercise routines you are often adding undue stress into your life and actually working against your goals. Now that doesn’t mean some lifestyle changes aren’t a good idea, of course they are, but moving forward with JOY is a huge step in the right direction.

Watch your calorie intake but never deprive yourself meals or the social aspects of meal time, if you are going out to eat, many restaurants offer lower calorie suggestions that are just as delicious. Plus, sometimes it’s OK to order that awesome cheeseburger on the menu, but maybe skip the soda, alcoholic drinks, and dessert that time around.

Sure spend some time at your gym, but don’t forget just being more active can change your life! On a sunny day ride your bike to the store, or take a stroll with friends. Get out and swim! Changing your life doesn’t have to be misery UNTIL you’re the size you want to be.

You’re beautiful now! A goal is great, but don’t forget you’re as awesome now as you will be a few sizes smaller, so don’t turn your life upside down to achieve a smaller size! Make changes towards a healthier happier you every day and I think you’ll be very pleased with the results!

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Green Tea may be the best date you’ve ever been on

12 Sep

I know you’ve heard about the power of Green Tea, it’s all over the place these days. A Google search will turn up massive results, with claims like WEIGHT LOSS! HELPS YOU RELAX! LOWER YOU LDL (BAD) CHOLESTEROL! REDUCE CANCER RISKS! GREEN TEA IS A GREAT BOYFRIEND WHO WILL NEVER CHEAT! OK I made that last one up…but you get the point, lots and lots of praise is being heaped upon our grassy flavored friend right now.

So a lot of this information is speculation, as in not a ton of clinical trials have been conducted and the research on Green Tea has largely been inconclusive. What is known, is that Green Tea contains antioxidants known as catechins, and no doctor is going to tell you that antioxidants don’t have benefits; just the extent of what they can do is what hasn’t been tested enough to slap a “FDA approved to treat the following conditions” label on it.

I like to work from the framework that science has proven the benefit of antioxidants already and that the catechins found in Green Tea are known to be good for you. It is the extent of their abilities that still need more testing. Green Tea is also in a unique position to help with weight loss due to its scientifically proven metabolism boosting and appetite suppressing qualities.

It’s recommended that you drink at least 1-2 mugs of this stuff a day, and up to 10. If you are caffeine sensitive 10 is a lot, but 7 can give you a big metabolism boost for weight loss, and a chemical called theanine found in Green Tea, which can lower stress and anxiety, can help with those caffeine shakes. Regardless, never drink more than your body feels comfortable with, I am VERY sensitive to caffeine and can’t do more than 2 cups before I’m unable to sleep at night!

So while Green Tea may not be the best boyfriend of all time, it is a fantastic way to add some healthy stuff into your daily routine! Just making a pot of tea is relaxing and a nice way to start your day! Get on the Green Tea train, and let me know how it works out for you on Twitter, or in the comments!

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Lose weight, boost your metabolism, and feel better in 20 minutes or less!

30 Aug

Wow! That is a lofty claim, in fact, I am glad you continued reading cause lets be honest: the internet is full of claims like the one above and more often than not the secret is under wraps till you shell out $$$ for the latest and greatest fat loss system.

It’s true though, and it can be backed up! Ever hear of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It’s freakin’ fantastic, and can change your life. Let me start with the basics:

HIIT is a method of exercise where you alternate short bursts of aerobic exercise with a recovery period. The best part is you can have an awesome workout in 20 minutes!

Take a look at this treadmill workout:

Set the incline to 3 and begin with a 2 minute warm up at the lowest speed that will still get your heart rate up so lets say 4.5 mph (where I started)

at the start of the 3rd minute move your speed up .5 miles per hour (so 5 mph)

on the 4th minute go up .5 miles per hour (5.5 mph)

move up another .5 on the 5th minute (6 mph)

on the 6th minute, you guessed it – one more .5 (6.5)

on the 7th drop down to your lowest speed (4.5)

from minute 8-11 bring it up .5mph each minute

12th minute. drop it back down to your lowest speed (4.5)

13-16 bring it back up .5/mph per minute!

Now for your 17th and 18th minute CRANK IT UP another .5 mph (7 mph) go ALL OUT!

For your last two minutes drop back down to your lowest speed and cool down!

This workout is AWESOME SAUCE all around, start slower than 4.5 mph and work your way up, even at it’s most excruciating I KNOW you have 2 minutes of no holds barred all out running to give, even if you’re not going to make it up to 7.5 mph!

Another great HIIT workout? Go 2 minutes at your lowest speed then kick it up to your fastest speed for 30-40 seconds, drop back down to your lowest for another 2 and then crank it back up to your highest for 30-40 seconds. Repeat this cycle for 10-12 minutes or as many as 12 cycles, whatever pushes your body to where you can’t do another cycle, and you have crammed a whole days worth of metabolism boosting, calorie burning, hot body makin’ cardio into less time than it takes to watch a repeat of Friends!

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