Friday, May 6, 2016

Diet or Exercise for Weight Loss

Diet and exercise go hand in hand for a healthy body.  However, researchers have recently gone so far as to determine when diet and exercise are most important in the weight loss process.  

The key to weight loss is to consume fewer calories than you burn.  That deficit needs to be between 500 and 1000 calories per day.  For most people, it is easier to decrease calories consumed than it is to increase calories burned to that great an extent.  This is why cutting calories through diet is often most effective for weight loss.  However, doing both, cutting calories through diet and exercise, can give you a weight loss advantage.  Exercise will help you burn more calories than diet alone.  This New York Times article illustrates the importance of diet in weight loss.

Studies also show that exercise was the most important component in weight maintenance after weight loss.  People who lost weight and were successful in keeping it off long-term were those who got regular physical activity.

If weight loss is one of your goals, make sure that a proper diet accompanies your physical activities and exercise.  Without diet, you will still reap the many other health benefits of exercise, improved body composition, increased longevity, decreased risk of diabetes, decreased incidence of high blood pressure, decreased depression, etc.  Weight loss, however, may be elusive. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cardio (or) AND Strength

I recently found a great quote from Younger Next Year, written by Chris Crowley and Dr. Henry S. Lodge:  "Cardio may save your life, but resistance training makes it worth living."  This means cardio is keeping our vital organs healthy, for example, heart, lungs, circulatory system, etc.  Resistance training keeps our limbs, muscles, and joints healthy.  Although these are less vital for survival than our heart and lungs, the health of our muscles and joints is essential to having a good quality of life.

Cardiovascular and resistance exercise do share some benefits, but also differ in the merits they provide.  I've compiled 5 of the many benefits of cardio and strength training.  Keep these in mind as you follow your workout program to appreciate the many ways you're improving your health and fitness.

Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise:

  • Improved hormonal profile: ease symptoms of depression and fatigue and release hormones that decrease appetite
  • Increased metabolism: can lead to weight loss
  • Improved heart health: decrease in blood pressure, decrease in bad (LDL and total cholesterol, increase in good (HDL) cholesterol
  • Improved recovery ability
  • Diabetes management: increased insulin sensitivity
Benefits of Resistance Training:

  • Increased bone density: decreases the risk of osteoporosis
  • Increased strength of connective tissue, muscles, and tendons: improved motor performance and decreased injury risk
  • Increased muscle mass:  decreases risk of sarcopenia, increased metabolism at rest because muscle maintenance requires greater caloric expenditure
  • Improved body mechanics: improved posture, balance, and coordination; reduces risk of falling
  • Improved appearance: greater muscle definition, increased tone
Make sure to incorporate both cardio and strength into your workout program!

Full Body Workout with Fit Athletic Carmel Mountain's PT, Viktoria Braut...

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Decoding the Nutrition Label

Sometimes we need to take it back to the basics and review the good old nutrition label.  It can be an invaluable guide to helping us eat healthier by providing portion control as well as nutrient limits and goals.

Nutrition Label Powerpoint

Fuel Metabolism

Fuel metabolism can be a confusing subject.  There is a lot of misinformation in popular culture, gym equipment, and gym myths about the "Fat Burn" zone.  The fuel source used at different workout intensities is not as important than the number calories burned.

Fuel Metabolism presentation

Muscle Mass

The following study proves that body composition and not body mass index (BMI) is the a more important factor in determining mortality, or death.  BMI has for decades been the simple measurement used by life insurance companies and doctors to determine a person's expected health outcomes.  This study, however, found that relative muscle mass was a better predictor of how long the subjects lived.  The subjects with greater relative muscle mass lived longer than those with less muscle mass.

This is why measuring body composition (body fat:muscle mass ratio) is an important part of being involved in an exercise program.  If you're trying to lose weight, make sure your body fat percentage is going down along with your weight so that you don't lose too much muscle mass.  If you're trying to gain weight, make sure you're gaining predominantly muscle, and not fat.

DiscoverSD's Top 10 Trainers

I'm excited to announce that I've been named one of DiscoverSD magazine's Top 10 Trainers.  It's an honor to represent Fit in this citywide publication.