Sunday, June 29, 2008

There is no Magic Bullet

That’s right, but it is a simple process! You can exercise till you are blue in the face, day in and day out but if you are eating too much then you will never reach your goals. I see it too often, people work hard and they are diligent about coming in often but do not apply that same amount of effort to their diet. Let me tell you, working out is easy, diet is the hard part. Anyone can drag themselves into the gym for a few hours a week but very few can make the 24/7 commitment to their diet they should. There are a few steps that I use with clients I work with on a regular basis and you are in for a treat as I am going to summarize it for you!

Step 1: calculating calories. I know I can hear it now, “I don’t want to count calories, and it’s too hard!” Well then I hope you are comfortable with the body you are in now because unless you make the extra effort, you will always look that way. It’s a harsh reality, but that is what it takes! The good news is there are plenty of websites out there that will count calories for you, for free. You simply type in what you ate for the day (from your nutrition journal which everyone should be doing anyway) and it will calculate it for you. So that step is pretty simple. But first we have to know how many calories you need. There are several different formulas you can use but again we are after simplicity so I will show you the easiest one to use.
Males: bodyweight x 12 = the total amount of calories needed for a day (very broad estimate but a good starting point)
Females: bodyweight x 10 = the total amount of calories needed for a day (females generally have a lower metabolism because of lower muscle mass hence the difference.)

Step 2: keep your food journal. At the end of the day type in the foods you have eaten for the day on either:, or, they will each add up your intake for free. That will give you a really good idea of how many you are taking in. If you want something a little more advanced you can go to www.myfooddiary .com (requires a subscription of only $10 per month and gives you a great breakdown.) Your choice, but again a very simple process. You CANNOT lose weight if you are eating too many calories plain and simple.

Step 3: monitor your weight. I will weigh and measure most clients every two weeks. This way I can tell where they metabolism is at. For example, if a male client comes in and we estimate he needs 2200 calories and after two weeks he is not losing weight, then we know we have found what he needs to maintain his weight. But he wants to lose weight, so I would then drop his calories by 250 per day and that will get the ball rolling. Same process for females, monitor and if there is no difference start a SUBTLE drop of 250 calories to increase progress.

Step 4: FOOD CHOICES: this is the easy part! Stick to the “Neanderthal Diet” which means:
· Eat 5 times a day
· Eat every 2.5 hours
· Never Skip breakfast

Neanderthal Food Choices
-proteins (from animals)
-fruits, nuts, green vegetables,
-if it comes in a box don’t eat it!

Each meal should include some form of protein, veggies or fruit, and fat.

Your rule should be: if it didn’t jump, run, swim, or fly, or I can’t find it in the ground then don’t eat it!!

That should give you plenty of variety. Let me know how it turns out. Results thus far, I gave these general recommendations to two people and they were both diligent in their exercise and nutrition and ended up losing almost 20 pounds each. They were both focusing entirely too much on exercise and not enough on diet. Your order of importance should become; nutrition, strength training, then cardiovascular training. Good luck!

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