Entries Tagged 'General' ↓
November 18th, 2010 — General
Sleep is losing priority as we lead busier and more hectic lifestyle. Many people deprive themselves of a good night rest without realising the consequences of the lack of sleep.
Some of the benefits of getting enough sleep:
-reduce the risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other inflammatory diseases
-improved mental and physical performance
-stronger immune system
-prevent premature ageing
The persistent lack of sleep contributes to poor health and the effect is cumulative.
Here are 10 tips on how to sleep better…
1. Avoid caffeine.
Some people are more or less sensitive to caffeine. It takes about 6 hours for the effect of caffeine to wear off. If you really want to drink coffee or tea, have the last cup by 2pm.
2. Avoid intense exercise in the evening.
The pounding heart rate and elevated metabolism make it harder for your to fall asleep.
3. Avoid eating carbs and sugars before bed.
These cause blood sugar highs and lows that delay your sleep and wake you up sooner.
4. Protein snack
If you are feeling peckish before bed, have some protein foods such as cottage cheese, yogurt and nuts or even a whey protein drink. Protein contains trytophan, an amino acid that is used by the body to make relaxing neurotransmitters, ie. serotonin and melatonin.
Alternatively, you can try a natural sleep aid such as Sleepzyme that contains melatonin to help you fall asleep faster or get a better sleep.
5. Avoid going to bed with a full stomach.
You may have interrupted sleep when your gastroinstestinal system is actively digesting a heavy meal.
6. Sleep early
Try to go to bed early, preferably by 11pm.
Stick to your bedtime so you are sleeping and waking up at the same times every day.
Do something relaxing before bedtime. It could be listening to soothing music or sleep CD/audio or light reading.
8. No watching TV in bed
Turn off the TV at least 2 hours before bedtime. You may become too engrossed in a movie or programme without realising it’s your past sleeping time. In addition, a stimulated mind prevents you from falling asleep easily.
9. No handheld devices near bed
These include mobile phone, TV remote control, ipod, laptop and portable CD/DVD player. Any of these can be a distraction that prevents you from falling asleep.
10. Turn off all lights
If possible, sleep in total darkness. Even a tiny bit of light can interrupt your sleep.
In the latest study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that mice exposed to dim light during their sleep:
- gained 50% more weight than mice sleeping in total darkness.
- gained more weight than the mice sleeping in total darkness, even though they were on a calorie reduced diet and exercised more.
- developed glucose intolerance (a pre-diabetic condition).
Whether you want to lose (belly) fat or improved your overall health, make sure you are getting sufficient, quality sleep every night.
November 17th, 2010 — General
How do you feel when you don’t get enough sleep?
Hungry, unsatiated no matter how much you eat?
Numerous studies have proven that lack of sleep contributes to weight gain. Even without these studies, most of us know of this association from our experience.
The latest study, published in the October 5, 2010 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, suggests that insufficient sleep reduced fat loss and increase lean body mass in individuals who slept 5.5 hours while on a calorie restricted diet.
This is more bad news… Even if you are on a reduced calorie diet, you will still end up gaining weight. Insufficient sleep increases hunger and cravings so you end up eating more.
In an earlier study (published in the 7 Dec. 2004 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine) by researchers at the Uni of Chicago, they found that lack of sleep screws up the 2 hormones, leptin and ghrelin, that control hunger and appetite.
Both hormones are involved in regulating energy balance.
Leptin (satiety hormone) is released by fat cells. It tells the brain when you have eaten enough.
Ghrelin (hunger hormone) is produced by the stomach and stimulates appetite.
After 2 consecutive night of 4-hour sleep, the 12 participants in the study had decreased leptin and increased ghrelin levels, and increased hunger and appetite for calorie densed foods with high carb content.
Both exercise and nutrition are important for fat loss. But if you skimp on sleep, you’ll hamper your efforts at losing or even risk gaining more, fat.
Check out: 10 Tips on how to sleep better.
January 5th, 2009 — General, Interval Training
Stress creates an influx of catabolic hormones which can increase the amount of fat stored in the body, esp. the stomach area. Cortisol is a stress hormone that increases the amount of stomach fat that the body stores. This is due the number of receptor sites withing the fat cells in that region and their sensitivity to cortisol and another fat-related hormone called leptin.
Stress is a “silent killer” that slowly creeps up to you and yet, you may not pay much attention to it. If you still have stomach fat while you are following a fitness program and eating a clean diet, then take a look at your stress level. “Are you over-stressed in your day-to-day life?” If the answer is yes, this is not good news.
Stress inhibits fat-burning and triggers binges and cravings.
Craig Ballantyne offers tips on how to take control of stress in the following article “Your Job May Be Killing You!”.
If you want to lose stomach fat, you have to lose stress.
Your Job May Be Killing You!
By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Do you hate your job?
One of my clients does.
And it is killing him.
At the very least, it is contributing to depression, frustration, and inflammation – hitting him both physically and mentally.
So not only does this stress beat him up at work, but in the gym too.
Work stress prevents him from losing stomach fat, and contributes to the pain in his knees and back.
The worse his days at work are, the tighter his muscles and the more inflammation in his knees. Work also contributes to poor eating choices, because he just works so darn much. And that makes the inflammation even worse. It’s a vicious cycle. Inflammation is associated with many diseases, including arthritis and an increased risk of heart attacks.
So he needs to get out of this situation, ASAP. But easier said than done, right?
And ladies, don’t think this doesn’t apply to you…as quoted on Men’s Health.com the other day, “In a recent study at Yale, women who were most susceptible to stress had both higher levels of cortisol and greater abdominal fat than non stressed women. And the ladies under stress stored fat primarily in one place: their bellies.”
You must exercise to control your stress hormones. My client always feels better after the workout. Yes it takes time, and that can add to your stress, but if you do your workout first thing in the morning, you are set. There’s no doubt that early morning workouts is the #1 workout time for busy people.
What type of workout is best? First of all, just start with anything you can stick to. That’s the best advice for you or anyone you know that “hates exercise” but needs to do it. Simply find something you like and do a little bit of it this week. Next week, you can do a little more. And so on.
That’s a good start, but a structured exercise program will give the greatest health improvements.
For structured workouts, the best, most efficient exercise approach would include strength training, interval cardio, and some meditation time. You can get all 3 components in Turbulence Training, if you make sure to include meditative static stretching at the end of your session.
One other benefit of the morning workout - It allows you to start the day with a sense of accomplishment.
So keep the TV off at night and get to bed early. Then get up early and get your workout done. Your exercise is one of many ways you can lower stress and the stress hormone cortisol.
Lowering cortisol should help to control food cravings over the course of the day, and following Dr. Mohr’s nutrition guidelines will also help you stay on track. Eating the right fats, as outlined by Dr. Mohr, will also help you optimize your hormone levels to fight fat and stress.
High-fat, high-carb meals increase inflammation…adding to the physical stress on your body. Avoid processed foods and fast foods at all costs…and just eat whole, natural foods.
Good nutrition is that simple.
So spend some time on the weekend preparing your food plan for the week, so that you don’t have to make any rush decisions for fast food meals or snacks.
Don’t eat anything with trans fats, don’t eat any processed carbs, and don’t drink any soda. And stay the heck away from fast food.
So nutritionally, there is a lot you can do to make your day go better. Same with exercise, be consistent and it will help reduce your stress and improve your health.
As for your job, if it is something you want to change, then you need to talk to the right person. You might need to find a career coach.
Is a lack of time stressing you out?
“No time to exercise” is the #1 reason most people don’t exercise consistently. In fact, a lack of time stresses most people out for many reasons – whether it’s a lack of time to prepare good food, exercise, or be with your family.
That’s why I created Turbulence Training to be the most efficient and effective fat loss program out there.
The warm-up is applicable to your workout, not some 5-minute waste of time on the treadmill.
The strength training supersets shave minutes off your wait time.
And the intervals cut your cardio in half, or more.
January 1st, 2009 — General
Thank you for taking time to read my website.
May the brand new year brings you happiness, love, good health, prosperity and success.
December 5th, 2008 — General, Motivation
Why wait to start a great new year? Why have new year’s resolutions when you can start NOW and DO… today?
I think new year’s resolutions are just a load of rubbish… they are just reasons to procrastinate…. to postpone what can be done today. I can hardly remember the last time I made my NY resolutions… but I sure know that after making them, I never followed thru’. How many of us really commit to realising their resolutions? Hmm… I wonder…
A few days ago, I received a special email message (see excerpt below) from my friend, Craig Ballantyne. It reminds me that time waits for no one, so make healthy habit changes NOW.
Today is the day to get started!
Why wait till January 1st to change your habits?
We’ve got a perfect, Monday, December 1st to get a full month’s head-start on your fat burning goals.
If you are a beginner and don’t know where to start, simply make one mall baby-step change to your nutrition. Add one serving of fruit and one serving of vegetables, and cut back on the sugar, bread, and junk food in your diet.
Then try to get a little bit more exercise today than yesterday. If that means 5 minutes, then that is good! That’s fine. It is better than what you did yesterday.
If you are more advanced but have started to slack off because of the holidays, turn that mindset around and use the holidays as a reason to “tighten things up”.
Plan out your holiday treat meals in advance, and focus on sticking to your fat burning meal plan at all other times.
Do your job and earn your rewards. You’ll feel much more satisfied his way than throwing all caution to the wind for the next 4 weeks.
So everyone, everywhere, let’s all proclaim December 1st to be the REAL New Year’s Day, and make all of our healthy habit changes NOW, not later.
Let’s get pumped up to lose weight over the holidays. Let’s do the impossible and show the world that not everyone has to gain five or ten pounds every December.
Get a head start on your 2009 fat burning plans today.
Start creating one new healthy habit every day in December.
There is NO reason to wait.
PS – Want to lose 17 pounds in 4 weeks with Turbulence Training?
“In 4 weeks I have lost 17 pounds and reduced my waist measurement 4
½ inches, increased my energy levels throughout the day, got back
into clothes I haven’t worn in months, and reduced my cholesterol
to normal levels again. The most satisfying result is the comments
I’m receiving from friends and family members on my transformation.”
“In the result of the last 12 weeks on Turbulence Training I have:
- Lost 21.8 lbs, not by starving but eating an average 1600+
calories per day
- Lost 4.25″ from my waist, 3.5″ from my hips and 2″ from my thighs
- Dropped 7.7% bodyfat down to 16.9%
- Revealed abs, never seen before. Thanks!”
Click this link to get started with:
=> Turbulence Training
What a powerful message! Thanks, Craig.
July 7th, 2008 — Ab Training, General
I’m feeling sore after trying out 2 new workouts in the last 2 days. So, I gave myself a break from weight training and attended my favourite cardio class – body combat – today.
I change my workouts regularly to avoid weight loss plateau. These new workouts really left me huffing and puffing. That’s what I wanted. The higher the intensity, the higher the heart rate and the more fat you burn.
The new workouts encompass free weights and bodyweight exercises that work every part of your body. They are just 2 of the several workouts designed by Vince Del Monte in his new “Your Six Pack Quest” program which will be released to the public very soon.
Thanks to my buddy, Vince, I’ve had the opportunity to view the whole program (before anyone else does) …
Want to know the pros and cons of this program? Stay tuned…
February 12th, 2008 — Cardiovascular Training, General, Nutrition, Weight Training
Today I’m posting an excerpt from one of two recent teleseminars featuring fat loss expert, Tom Venuto. Tom had them transcribed and turned into ebooks and MP3 audios that he’s actually giving away for free as part of a 3-day special promotion ending February 14th. Go to Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle for more information on that.
I wanted to share this excerpt from the seminar with you in particular (I got permission from Tom to reprint this). I think you’ll find it fascinating because it explains the real reasons why people hit fat loss plateaus. It happens especially when you get down to that “last 10 lbs” or when you drop a lot of weight, and you hit the “good” body fat category, but you’re an “overachiever” and you still want to get even leaner… all the way to “ripped”, or at least lean enough to see your abs.
Breaking through plateaus is a challenge, but there IS something you can do about them… read on and see what Tom says about it.
EXCERPT FROM THE “SUPER LEAN” SEMINAR
QUESTION: “Our first question says, “Tom, I know you often say that to get to the point to be able to see your abs, you need to get to single-digit body fat. What if I hit a plateau at about 12% body fat? What do I need to do to break the plateau and get my fat% down to single digits? Should I do more cardio, more weight-training, manipulate my diet somehow?”
ANSWER: “You could do any of the above. You could manipulate your calories, change type of cardio, add cardio duration or frequency. You could increase cardio intensity. You could change your weight-training. You shouldn’t limit yourself.
One of the problems I see with quite a few programs is that they’re too dogmatic. If you hit a plateau, the person with the most flexibility in their approach is the person who’s going to be most likely to get through that plateau.
The first thing though is to understand what a plateau really is. This is important, because if you were losing weight, but now you’re not, there’s only one thing that that could mean; you were in a calorie deficit but you’re no longer in a calorie deficit.
You may be wondering why that happens.
There are four primary reasons you hit a plateau:
The first reason you hit a plateau is because your metabolism decreases. While this does not completely stop fat loss, it does slow down fat loss. If you’ve been cutting calories, especially if you cut them severely, your body adapts by decreasing the metabolic rate. That’s sometimes known as the “starvation response” or “Adaptive thermogenesis.”
The second reason is that you need fewer calories after you lose weight. Calorie needs are directly tied into your body weight. One problem is that after people lose a lot of weight, they tend to keep eating the same way they were eating when they were heavier.
So they’re feeding a smaller person the way they were when they were a bigger person, but when you’re a smaller person, you don’t need as many calories, even at rest (your basal metabolic rate is lower).
A third reason is that when you move that smaller body, you’re not burning as many calories. If you strap on a weighted vest or heavy backpack and go out and hike up a hill, you can tell, obviously, that if you’re lugging around extra weight, you’re burning more calories. So now can you see why, after you lose weight, you burn fewer calories?
The fourth reason is that most people either cheat on their diets or they forget to record part of their food intake. This one requires a little bit of honesty with yourself. Even if you don’t do it intentionally and you don’t “cheat” per se, unconsciously, we’re all terrible at estimating how much food we eat.
Some studies have even showed underreporting calorie intake as much as 50%. In other words, you say, “I’m only eating 1,200 calories a day, but i’m stuck at a plateau!” but you’re really eating 1,800 calories a day which doesn’t give you much of a deficit.
All of these reasons for plateaus get amplified in the later stages of a diet, because biologically speaking, your body is doing everything it possibly can to get you to go off your diet and to get weight to stabilize.
After a long period of dieting and after a large weight loss, your body cranks up the appetite, stimulates cravings and tries to trick you into eating more.
The leaner you get, the longer you’ve been dieting and the more aggressively you cut calories, the more your body tends to defend its weight, and hold on to remaining body fat.
So it’s really common to hit that plateau when you’re dieted down and leaner. Usually it’s nowhere near as difficult for the overweight person to start losing weight as it is for the lean person to get even more lean. The last 10 lbs is usually a lot harder than the first 10.
If you think about it, it’s pretty unnatural from a biological perspective to walk around with really low single-digit body fat. It’s not beneficial from a survival-of-the-species point of view to have low body fat. So this metabolic adaptation becomes more pronounced the leaner you get.
You’re also at a higher risk of losing muscle, because extra muscle is not econmical when there’s a calorie shortage. Having extra muscle is like having an engine that’s bigger than you need – It’s like a gas guzzler.
The ultimate answer to why you plateau, why that last 10 pounds is so hard to lose and why it’s hard to break into those single digits is that you were in a calorie deficit but for all of the reasons mentioned above, you’re no longer in deficit.
The way to break the plateau then is to:
(1) re-stimulate metabolism and re-set fat-burning and starvation hormones, and
(2) re-establish the deficit.
(3) KEEP AFTER IT!
The question was, “How do I do that? More cardio, more weight training, manipulate my diet?”
You could do all of the above. Eating less or exercising more can both increase a deficit. But one thing you might want to do first, is give yourself a little break. Take your calories up to maintenance level, maybe for a week.
The idea there is not to try to accelerate fat loss, because what you’re actually doing is removing your calorie deficit for a short period of time. What you’re trying to do is facilitate the fat loss when you jump back into it.
It gives your body a physiological break from the stress of dieting; it resets some of those starvation hormones and stimulates your metabolism so when you go back to the calorie deficit, your body responds again.
You also get mental break from the diet as well, which makes it easier to stick with the program when you go back to it.
You could also use a calorie cycling approach, to help prevent yourself from hitting another plateau, and we already covered calorie and carb cycling in the last call.
I also recommend, because so many people underestimate how much they eat, don’t take any chances. Count your calories, or at least become really aware of the portion sizes and maybe even consider keeping a journal.
You’ve probably been told many times by a lot of different “experts” that you don’t have to count calories. But when you’re in a plateau, I’d recommend that you stop guessing and really get serious about what you’re taking in.
Then what you need to do is reestablish that calorie deficit using every tool at your disposal.
Use nutrition by pulling back your portion sizes. Or use cardio. And by increased cardio, I mean increasing energy expenditure. You could increase your frequency. You could increase your duration.
But increasing energy expenditure is not necessarily doing longer workouts, just burning more calories. You could also take the same amount of time that you’re spending right now and increase your intensity.
The whole idea is just burn more calories and stimulate metabolism, which gives you your deficit back again or you can pull back your food intake and give yourself a deficit again from the food side.
There’s more than one way to do it and I don’t think that you should lock yourself in. Use all of the variables and remember that there are TWO sides to the energy balance equation, not one.”
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt, and mostly, I hope you put the information to good use!
This was just one short excerpt from almost two hours of audio in Tom’s new “Super Lean” seminar. Tom is giving away the entire seminar for free with the purchase of his ebook Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle, but only until February 13th.”
You can get more information on Tom’s Burn The Fat program AND his new “Super Lean” seminar at:
Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle
November 20th, 2007 — General, Interval Training, Nutrition
At this time of year, we can use every last tip to help avoid holiday weight gain.
So here are 5 more fat loss tips for beginner & advanced readers.
1) No liquid calories (with the exception of a post-workout drink).
Get rid of all the juices, the sodas, and the sports drinks. Liquid sugar is the last thing you need when you are trying to lose fat.
You must also limit your alcohol intake – especially if you are adding mix to drinks…that is a double calorie bomb! A single “Jackand Coke” is over 200 calories (100 calories from booze and 100 calories from mix).
2) No fast food.
Do not eat at fast food restaurants. Even if you choose what you think is healthy, remember this:
Fast food restaurants are all about profit.
And in order to profit while giving you cheap, quick, and easy to prepare foods, the quality of the food ingredients will be poor – especially the protein.
Now you might have read that you can still make healthy choices at fast food restaurants. But you know what, that’s just politically-correct opinion. If it’s fast food, it’s poor food.
Walking into a burger joint and grabbing a chicken breast on a white bread bun with a piece of old lettuce and a half-green, half-pink tomato is “barely” healthy eating.
The politically-incorrect truth is that it’s going to take time and effort to eat properly. You will have to plan, shop, and prepare healthy meals. You will have to spend time cleaning, cutting, and cooking your food. That’s the truth.
But believe me, it will taste so much better than fast food, and healthy eating will make you more alert. Eating fast food will make you feel terrible, and will make you want to have an afternoon nap at your desk.
Make one small improvement to your nutrition everyday for the rest of your life.
3) Eat more fruits and vegetables.
If you are eating 2 servings per day, then go up to 4 servings per day by the end of the week. And even if you think you are doing great by having 5 servings per day, you still need to double that (take 2-3 weeks to work your way up to 10 servings per day).
Stick with fiber-rich fruits and vegetables – organic if possible.
4) Eat 1oz of almonds or walnuts per day (1/2 oz in the AM, and the other half in the afternoon).
Most nuts are roasted in oils (possible source of trans fats), so stick to natural or dry-roasted nuts.
Don’t panic…this small amount of nuts won’t make you fat, but will fill you up and help you lose weight.
5) Be consistent with your workouts.
And make sure the workouts are efficient and effective. To make it easy for you to follow, stick with the Turbulence Training fat burning workout system.
It doesn’t matter if you train in the morning before or after breakfast, or at night before or after dinner, or at 1pm on days when the moon is in line with Saturn…don’t worry about the details, just train consistently.
Click here to get Turbulence Training.
6) BONUS TIP: Go for a walk after lunch or dinner (or anytime you eat a big meal). Research shows this will help you control your cholesterol and triglycerides, plus any movement is better than sitting around watching the TV and snacking.
Improve your lifestyle everyday,
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training
PS – Change your workouts to beat a fat loss plateau.
“The constant shakeup is amazing. I look forward to my workouts. I feel so much better than I did 6 weeks ago. I had almost given up on fitness as I was becoming very frustrated with my plateaus. I started out at 233 lbs and am already heading for 225 in only a few short weeks. Thank you for developing this truly amazing program and for sharing with the rest of us. It’s very refreshing to enjoy working out again!”
“Turbulence Training is AWESOME! I started working out in 2004 first time in gym at 39 yrs. Then I discovered T.T. in 2006 and started receiving unbelievable info on xercises/nutrition. Immediately I started incorporating T.T. in my busy schedule which is improving my strength, definition, flexibility and nutrition. Craig is quick to reply to questions and supportive. My confidence and strength has definitely improved. If I only knew of Turbulence Training in 2004. The gym crowd is really checking me out now.”
“I lost 14 pounds this month and the weight is just falling off me. My wife says I now look like when we first met and I still have more to go. I can fit into my old jeans again which is a big deal or me. I just cut back on starches and bread and do your routine 2-3 times a week. I never thought in a million years that just 10-20 minutes of weight training followed by some cardio would get me such steady results. I even cheat a bit on the weekends.”
Turn your health around with Turbulence Training.
About the Author
Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit Turbulence Training website.
August 14th, 2007 — General
By Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS
“Battle Your Biology? Fat Chance,” proclaimed a headline recently in the health section of the New York Post newspaper. Quoting new research and citing psychologists, dietitians and physicians, the article says that more and more evidence proves that your weight is genetically determined, and if you’re fat, “it’s not your fault.” “We’ve known for a while that genes – more than environment and behavior – explain obesity” argues Dr. James Rosen, an eating disorder specialist and professor at the University of Vermont.
While genetics are definitely a factor, believing you are destined to be overweight for life because you’ve inherited “fat genes” is the most disempowering and self-defeating attitude you could ever adopt. The only way you’ll lose weight permanently is to accept total responsibility for yourself and acknowledge the fact that you have the power to change, regardless what mother nature has given you to work with.
There’s no denying that heredity plays a major role in how difficult it will be for you to lose fat. You inherited a body type, a predetermined number of fat cells, a metabolic rate and body chemistry just as you inherited your eye color and hair color. In the 1930′s, Harvard psychologist Dr. William H. Sheldon developed a classification system for these different body types called “somatotyping.” While there are no absolutes, Sheldon identified three basic somatotypes: ectomorphs, mesomorphs and endomorphs.
Ectomorphs are the lean, lanky types. They are usually very thin and bony, with fast metabolisms and extremely low body fat. An ectomorph can eat like a horse without gaining an ounce. Mesomorphs are the “genetically gifted.” They are lean, muscular and naturally athletic. Mesomorphs lose fat and gain muscle with ease. Endomorphs are the “fat retainers.” Characterized by round features, excess body fat and large joints (“big bones”), endomorphs usually have great difficulty in losing body fat. They have slow metabolisms, they are often carbohydrate sensitive, they gain fat quickly if they eat poorly or don’t exercise, and they lose fat slowly – even on a healthy diet.
The tendency of endomorphs to store fat easily can be partly attributed to metabolic problems. For example, endomorphs often metabolize carbohydrates inefficiently. Normal people can eat lots of carbohydrates – up to 60% of their total calories – and they still stay lean. Endomorphs produce too much insulin when they eat carbohydrates and this leads to increased fat storage and difficulty in losing existing fat. This condition is known as “insulin resistance” or “Syndrome X.”
Scientists claim that the tendency to gain weight easily may also be due to chemical imbalances in the brain that cause people to overeat. Researchers at Johns Hopkins recently announced the discovery a compound called C75 that blocks an appetite-regulating hormone in the hypothalamus. In mice injected with the substance, 30 percent more weight was lost because the drug caused the mice to eat less. More research is planned to develop a similar appetite-suppressing drug for humans. Unlike Xenical, which blocks fat absorption in the intestine, this new drug would affect the brain’s chemistry so that people feel full sooner.
Many physicians and health professionals consider these metabolic disorders and chemical imbalances as genetically transmitted “diseases” that require medical treatment. “Obesity is a disease and should be treated like one” says Jackie Newgent, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association . This idea should be viewed with a great deal of suspicion however, because weight loss is potentially the biggest market in the world for drug sales.
According to Justin Gillis, a staff writer for the Washington Post, more than 45 companies worldwide are trying to develop new obesity drugs, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Gillis writes, “In world where a blockbuster drug is worth $1 billion a year in sales, analysts give $5 billion as the low estimate for sales of an important obesity drug. If a company developed a truly safe, effective weight loss drug, and sold it for $3 a day to one quarter of the 97 million American adults estimated to be overweight, sales would exceed $26 billion a year in this country alone.”
Basically, what the medical community is trying to tell you is that if you are overweight, it’s not your fault; you were born fat, so don’t feel guilty – and don’t worry, we have a drug that can “cure” you. Sounds like there’s an ulterior motive at work here, wouldn’t you agree? Before you run to get a prescription for the next “miracle” drug, you’d better wonder whose interests are being served; yours or the pharmaceutical giants.
Besides, drugs can never be the solution if they treat the symptoms and not the cause. Drugs should be considered a last resort for the morbidly obese who have already tried everything else without success and who will face serious health consequences if they don’t lose weight. The editors of obesity.com said it best: “Weight loss drugs do not take the place of diet, exercise, patience, and perseverance.”
“Dieting can be an uphill battle against your genes.” says Post writer Joyce Cohen. Unfortunately, if you’re an endomorph, Cohen is right. Losing weight is definitely easier for some people than for others and that doesn’t seem fair. But that’s the way life is. Life isn’t fair. Let’s be honest; not everyone is going to become an Olympic Gold medallist, a Mr. America or a fitness model. But don’t despair – you are not doomed to live a life of fatness if you don’t have “athletic genes.”
Obesity is the result of many influences. Genetics is only one of them. Like it or not, the primary cause of obesity is your own behavior. Most of the factors that affect body composition are entirely under your control. These factors include how much you eat, what you eat, when you eat, what type of exercise you do, how frequently you exercise, how long you exercise and how hard you exercise.
If you have the genetic predisposition towards obesity, you can lose fat like everyone else, you’re just going to have to work harder and longer at it than other people. “There is a genetic component to weight,” Says Dr. Thomas Wadden, a psychologist from Syracuse University, “but no one is destined to be obese. If weight has been a major problem in your family, you may not be able to become as thin as you’d like, but you can lose weight.”
If you find losing weight to be a slow and difficult process, the empowering thing to do is to look at it as asset, because overcoming this obstacle will force you to develop discipline, determination and persistence. These traits will carry over to other areas of your life and make you a stronger person all around. Arnold Schwarzennegger said, “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strength. When you overcome hardships, that is strength.”
The first thing you must do if you want to lose weight or succeed in any area of your life, is to accept complete responsibility for your situation. In a short but powerful little book called “As Man Thinketh,” the author James Allen wrote, “circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him.” What he meant was that we are not products of our environment or our heredity (our “circumstances”), instead, we products of our own thinking and belief systems.
We create our own circumstances through positive thinking and positive action and we create negative circumstances through negative thinking and lack of action or wrong actions. In other words, we are responsible for where we are, what we have and how our bodies look.
Some people get very angry with me when I tell them this: They say, “Wait a minute. Are you trying to tell me that when bad things happen to me, it’s my own fault? That I brought unemployment, financial hardships, failed relationships, weight gain or even health problems onto myself? Because if that’s what you’re saying, that’s totally unfair!”
Well, my friend, with very few exceptions, (some things really are out of your control) that is exactly what I am saying.
If you refuse to accept the fact that you are 100% responsible for your weight, you will never be successful. When people find themselves in undesirable situations or they aren’t getting the results they want, it’s all too easy to make excuses: It’s my genetics, I have big bones, I have a slow metabolism, I don’t have enough time to exercise, etc. etc., etc. Making excuses is relinquishing control. It is conceding that you a victim of circumstances instead of the creator of your circumstances. Stop blaming and start taking responsibility for your life. Take action! Start working out. Eat better. Do something – do anything – but don’t just sit there on the couch and curse your chromosomes.
So, are you a frustrated “endomorph?” Do you feel like dieting is an uphill battle against your genes? If your answer is “yes,” please don’t just quit and chalk in up to “bad genetics,” and don’t believe that drugs are the answer either – they’re not. Your genetics will largely dictate your athletic ability and how easily you will lose weight. That doesn’t mean you can’t get lean; it only means that you’re going to have to adjust your diet and training to fit your body type and you may have to work harder and be more persistent than the “genetically lucky” ones.
Maybe obesity really should be classified as a genetically inherited “disease.” But frankly, if you have a “disease” that forces you to learn more about exercise and nutrition, to eat nutritious foods, to adopt a healthier lifestyle, to develop a strong work ethic and to become a more persistent person, that sounds like a blessing in disguise to me.
About the Author:
Tom Venuto is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, an NSCA-certified personal trainer (CPT), certified strength & conditioning specialist (CSCS), and author of the #1 best-selling e-book, “Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle.” Tom has written more than 200 articles and been featured in IRONMAN, Australian IRONMAN, Natural Bodybuilding, Muscular Development, Exercise for Men and Men’s Exercise, as well as on hundreds of websites worldwide. For information on Tom’s Fat Loss program, visit: www.burnthefat.com