Friday, December 16, 2011

Old Sayings: Cliché or Truth?

We all hear people quote old sayings from time to time or maybe you can remember quoting one yourself not too long ago, but have you ever thought about how the saying came to be?  Why was it said in the first place?  Was it to make a group of people chuckle or are some of these sayings words of wisdom that were meant to be passed down from generation to generation?  I hear people say things such as, "you are what you eat" or you're eating "empty calories", but I wonder if they know what they are referring to.

Take my example of the famous "you are what you eat" saying.  Many people don't realize that this is actually a true statement and we literally are what we eat.  If you don't know what I mean, stick around.  The tissue in our body is made up of everything we put in our mouth.  Every ounce of food and drink contribute making our muscles, tendons, ligaments, cells, etc...  That is why it is so important that we eat good, high quality, organic food.  A lot of people talk about the price of organic food, but what price can you put on your health?  If people were to cut out the unhealthy snacks, frozen dinners, cupcakes and other crap (just to name a few) and replace those items with some high quality food, they would be shocked at how much better they would feel.  Also, remember that even though the food costs more (who cares if it's better for you) you wind up eating less of it.  Why?  Becuase organic food has quality not quantities of crap, additives and preservatives.  Ahhh, there's another saying, "it's about quality, not quantity" (but I think I covered that).

Now let's take a look at "empty calories".  I think this is most commonly used when referring to alcohol.  Working at a bar in college, I heard this from time to time.  Someone would be on a diet and say they didn't want a drink because it was "empty calories" and they didn't want to waste them, but then they would order a soda and fries.  That clearly shows right there that this person probably heard that saying somewhere, picked up on how to use it in a sentence and never looked back.  I'm not saying they should have had a drink, but don't use a perfectly logical saying (and in the right context) like "empty calories" and then order a soda and fries!  An "empty calorie" is something that takes more nutrition for our body to process than it gets back in return.  Not only are you not giving the body what it needs, but now the brain tells the body to keep eating because it doesn't have enough nutrition, which leads to over consumption of food. 

It's like going to the bank everyday to get change for a $20, but you only get $10 in ones - you're giving more than you're getting.  Well, if do that everyday for a few months guess what, you're going to go bankrupt.  It's the same with nutrition!  Unfortunately, people are going nutritionally bankrupt from putting "empty calories" in their body and they are becoming... "what they eat".  A perfect example is the guy from Super Size Me (by the way, great movie and if you haven't seen it, rent it).  He would chow down a Big Mac, a Super Sized soda with fries and an apple pie and still be hungry!  Why, cause there's no nutrition in that garbage and his body wanted him to keep eating to accumulate something it could use.  

Eating right and staying healthy shouldn't be a chore, it should just be.  Since when is it cool to be unhealthy and unfit.  We only get one shot at life and we are all lucky to be here.  There are plenty of healthy foods and treats out there that taste good!  Let's live the best life we can, the healthiest life and the happiest life.  When your healthy and happy, you're not bouncing from doctor to doctor, worrying about going on a fad diet for beach season or trying to remember if you took this or that pill.  We need to start making better food choices and make sure we are taking responsibility for our own health because after all, we are the ones that can make a difference.

Thanks for reading and stay healthy!


Flatten Your Abs!

People in gyms across the country are struggling with loosing excess fat in their midsection.  Everyone wants to flatten their tummy and the first two things people think they need to start doing is… more sit ups and go on a diet!  I’m sorry to say, but this is not the answer.  Today you can walk into a gym and watch someone do sit up after sit up for months and nothing changes.  Also, you can see someone go on some cookie cutter diet and not lose a pound.  So, why is this?  Because there is no lone secret exercise or a one size fits all diet.  We are as different on the inside as the outside, which means different foods and proportions will affect certain people differently.

The first step to flattening your abs is to start eating right for your metabolic type.  As part of my program, I show you how to determine your metabolic type.  A person’s metabolic type will determine the amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates that are needed with each meal.  Do you really think the diet of an Eskimo would be the same as someone from the Caribbean?  Of course not!  An Eskimo will have a diet high in fats and protein (whale blubber, fish, and seals) with very little carbohydrates.  The opposite will be true of the person from the Caribbean.  They will have a diet primarily of fruits and vegetables with much smaller amounts of animal proteins and fats.

The second step is to start moving.  Humans are designed to move and be active, not sit at a desk in front of a computer screen.  Our primal ancestors would climb trees, hunt and carry their food along with jumping and lunging over obstacles.  My point is we need to be a little more primal than high-tech.  I guarantee you will get a greater overall benefit from doing pushups than using a chest press machine.  Next time you’re at the gym, see which one gets your heart pumping more.  Doing dynamic and compound exercises is the key to having a healthy, lean and strong body.  Recruiting multiple muscle groups at once will burn the most overall calories and keep the body in a fat burning state for hours after the exercise.

So, how does all this tie in with flattening your abs?  A proper diet (designed for you) along with exercises (if done correctly) such as pushups, wood chops, squats, lunges, pull-ups and deadlifts all help to strengthen the core musculature.  By doing these types of primal movements (pushing, pulling, bending, twisting, lunging) you will be able to burn more calories and start building a stronger, healthier and more stable body. 

Thanks for reading and stay healthy!