Weight Loss Plateaus: How to Breakthrough

February 5, 2009

weightloss1Weight loss plateaus are one of the most frustrating things a person can experience, especially when you’ve been sticking to your diet and keeping up with your exercise routine. I know how difficult it is, because I see it etched on my clients’ faces everyday. You’ve kept up with your fitness regime and you workout on a regular basis, so why did the weight stop coming off?

The reason weight loss plateaus happen is, in a word, adaptability. Our bodies are amazing machines and they are built to adapt to any situation, and this adaptability includes caloric intake. So, if you started a fitness routine and put yourself on a diet lower in calories, you’ll see results in the beginning because it’s a change and your body needs time to adjust to it. But, once your body gets used to living on a restricted diet and adjusts to your exercise schedule, it will stop burning these calories, and in fact, it will begin to horde them in order to survive. That’s how a weight loss plateau happens, and it becomes especially problematic when you workout a lot. Because our bodies need calories for energy, it stands to reason that you need a bit more if you exercise. The good news is that it only takes a few minor tweaks to kick start your body and begin to lose weight again.

Add Calories to your Diet

Believe it or not, you want to add approximately 200-400 calories, depending on your body weight, a day for 2-3 days to your diet, in order to jump start your weight loss once you’ve hit a plateau. It sounds counter-intuitive, I know, but you have to fool your body into believing it doesn’t need to hold on to every piece of food you put into your mouth in order to survive. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should go off and grab a meal of burgers and shakes; you can easily add these calories by eating two small snacks a day. The healthiest way to go about this is to eat 10 nuts (any variety) and one piece of fruit twice a day. But it doesn’t stop there, because you will need to make a few minor adjustments to the types of exercise you do and the way you go about your workout, which is a good idea anyway because it helps keep your fitness routine from becoming stale and boring.

Adjust your Fitness Routine

Again, we are talking about fooling your body into losing weight, so you want to metabolically adjust your heart rate by changing the type of exercise you do. You only have to do this during the same 2-3 day period you are adjusting your diet, so don’t worry if you think you aren’t keeping up with the workout schedule you like, you can go back to it after this period of time. The easiest way to switch things up is to incorporate walking into your exercise routine. When you are going on these walks, you want to go fast than slow, than fast again than slow. This keeps your metabolic heart rate from staying at one level, and each time you speed it up, your body kicks into high gear. Remember, our bodies adapt to any situation, so if you stay on a constant pace, your body will adjust and stop burning as many calories.

it’s also important to keep in mind that you don’t want to severely limit your caloric intake on any diet. You may think you’re doing the right thing because you see results, but all you’re really losing is muscle weight, which is disastrous because muscle burns more calories than anything else. Of course you want to look at your diet and make sure you are eating healthy foods that aren’t too high in calories and fat, but that doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself. Maintaining a regular workout routine will help speed up your metabolism, so if you are incorporating exercise into your fitness plan, you need to eat more calories as well. But again, you don’t want these to be empty calories; your body needs the good stuff like protein and good carbohydrates, in order to keep up.

So, how about you? What have you done in the past to breakthrough a weight loss plateau? What have you found that does and doesn’t work? Please leave your comments, questions and suggestions, so we can all learn from each other.

If you want anymore information on how to start a new fitness and nutrition program, please visit us at www.newpfc.com

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What are Full Spectrum Probiotics and How Do They Help Improve Digestive Health?

February 5, 2009

I got so much feedback and so many questions regarding digestive health that I decided to write a follow-up to my earlier post titled Bloated and Gassy? How to Improve Your Digestive Health. In fact, “more than 70 million Americans suffer from digestive disorders that interfere with their work and lives,” according to the Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition. But there are ways to combat this annoying, and sometimes painful, problem. One of the best things you can do to help heal damage to your digestive tract is to take a full spectrum probiotic supplement.

Whether you have a chronic problem with digestion, or suffer from its affects on an occassional basis, you know how miserable it feels to live with poor digestive health. Taking a full spectrum probiotic can help heal the damage and alleviate or even eliminate the symptoms that plague you. Becuase they contain a combination of healthy bacteria and yeasts, probiotics help regenerate and repair damage that may have been done to your intestines, and restores the healthy balance of bactieria your body needs to digest and breakdown your food. This is how it’s described in an article by CBS Marketplace, “Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms, including Lactobacillus species, Bifidobaterium species and yeasts, which may beneficially affect the host upon ingestion by improving the balance of intestinal microflora.” So, who should take this supplement and why?

Anybody that has taken a course of antibiotics should absolutely go on a probiotic regimen. This is because along with killing off the bad stuff that’s making you sick, antibiotics destroy the good bacteria your body needs for proper digestive balance. In order to restore your body to optimal digestive health, you need to replace the good bacteria and repair the damage that has been done to your intestinal tract. You also may want to combine this with supplements of L-Glutamine. L-Glutamine is an amino acid that is essential for the health of the immune system and digestive tract that is very reparative and healing in the gut where it strengthens the mucosal cells and in turn helps leaky gut, sugar cravings and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Another supplement to consider adding is Folic Acid.

According to an article on the Today Show website, “Folic Acid is one of the B vitamins and B vitamins all work together to help our body’s metabolism; They are absolutely essential for the functioning of our nervous system, cardiovascular systems and our digestive tract.” So, you can see that combining these supplements with a course of probiotics is a powerful tool in promoting good digestive health. But you don’t have to have been on antibiotics to benefit or need this type of treatment. Anytime you get sick, or have been put on any type of medication, your body gets thrown out of whack and requires aids like these to restore proper balance to your system. And ladies, you are particularly prone to digestive issues during your cycle. This is because of hormonal fluctuations and a buil-up of blood in the uterus that presses on your colon. That’s why you may experience constipation during that time of the month. The good news is that probiotics are ok to take on a continuous basis

Poor digestive health is no fun, especially when it comes with painful constipation, gas, bloating and/or diarrhea. But you don’t have to let it interfere with your daily life. Taking a full spectrum priobiotic, and combining it with powerful supplements like L-Glutamine and Folic Acid can help ease the pain. I would like to hear what you have to say about this; what have you done to improve your digestive heatlh? Have you ever taken a full spectrum probiotic, and if so, did you find it helpful? Please leave your comments, suggestions or questions, and let’s continue the conversation.

If you would like more information about full spectrum probiotics and/or digestive health, please visit us at www.newpfc.com

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Bloated and Gassy? Ways to Improve Your Digestive Health

January 29, 2009

We’ve all experienced it, whether we want to admit it or not…gas and bloating. It’s uncomfortable and sometimes painful, especially when it’s accompanied by constipation. But these can also be signs of chronic health conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The good news is that with proper nutrition and a combination of the right supplements, you can alleviate, or even eliminate, these painful symptoms all together.

First and foremost you should consult with a doctor, to ensure the gas and bloating you’re experiencing aren’t signs of a more serious health problem. Once you’ve ruled out a medical condition that requires a doctor’s supervision and intervention, you need to take a look at the nutrition you’re feeding your body. To begin with, our muscles are made up of approximately 70% water, and slightly more for women, so hydration is key. Water is truly vital to our health, especially where digestion is concerened. One of the major functions of water in our body is to metabolize carbohydrates. Because gas is caused, in large part, by undigested food and water aids in metabolizing that food, it goes a long way in helping keep our bodies on track. The general rule of thumb where water is concerened is to drink 1/2 oz per pound of body weight. If you workout five hours or more a week, that amount should be doubled. There are also some guidelines, when it comes to nutrition as well as a combination of supplements you can take that will help ease the pain of gas and constipation as well.

Many people use supplements to improve their health in place of good nutrition. Instead, you should be looking at how a combination of the two can keep you at your peak performance and boost your body’s ability to heal itself. A diet in fiber-rich foods such as berries, which are not only the highest in fiber but also the lowest in glycemic index, are a great place to start. In fact, one of the things I recommend to clients of mine that have problems with gas, constipation and bloating is high-fiber cereal-no sugar added, berries and rice milk. I say rice milk because dairy is one of the worst things you can put in your body, if you suffer from any of these symptoms. There are so many alternatives to milk and dairy today that it isn’t difficult to replace them with healthier options such as rice milk. Once you implement better nutrition, you should start to see your condition improve. But if you have a tougher case, there is a combination of supplements you can take as well.

Used in conjunction with each other, Magnesium Malate, Lglutamine and Folic Acid are powerful tools in beating gas and constipation. Magnesium helps in the elimination process, Lglutamine-the largest amino acid-repairs damage in the intestine and Folic Acid is responsible for absorption in the large intestine, so taken together, you are covering the areas that may have been damaged by medications or poor eating habits. In fact, anybody that has been on a course of Antibiotics should follow it up with this combination. Antibiotics kill the good bacteria our bodies need to help prevent gas as well as other health issues. These supplements help restore the body back to the level it needs to be at, in order to function properly. This is also the combination I give my clients, whenever they are going through a bad bout of IBS, or any other issue that may be throwing their digestion out of whack.

Gas, bloating and constipation sound funny, but they can severly interfere with your life. Combining proper nutrition that includes a well-balanced diet, fiber-rich foods and plenty of hydration with the correct combination of supplements can improve your digestive health tremendously and give you back the freedom you need to go throughout your day. Please share your stories with us, and let us know what’s worked for you; and feel free to leave your comments, questions or suggestions.

If you want anymore information on digestive health, please visit us at www.newpfc.com

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Better Health for the New Year: Have You Given up on This Resolution Yet?

January 29, 2009

New Years has come and gone, and with it so have many people’s resolutions to implement a new health regime. Starting a new fitness routine is easy, but maintaining it is a different story. Just take a look around the gym, and you’ll see a lot more exercise equipment available now than you did the first couple of weeks of the year. One of the major reasons this particular resolution fails has to do with proper nutrition, or the lack there of.

If you think you’re alone, think again. In an article for The New York Times online, Alex Williams writes “research shows that about 80 percent of people who make resolutions on Jan. 1 fall off the wagon by Valentine’s Day,” according to Marti Hope Gonzales, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota. But before you beat yourself up for being part of that 80 percent by giving up your new health plan, take a look at some of the reasons this happens.

I don’t have anymore energy to exercise

Like many other people, you probably cut back on your caloric intake and stepped up the exercise you do, in order to lose weight. While you will see weight loss in the beginning by doing this, it will quickly taper off and you will gain it all back and than some very fast. This is because the weight loss you experienced was muscle tissue, which weighs four times more than fat. On top of that, muscle tissue is vital in burning actual fat, so you do yourself no favor embarking on this rollar coaster of weight gain and loss.

When you work out you actually need to increase your caloric intake, because your muscles need this to repair themselves and provide your body with the energy and nutrition it needs to keep up with your new fitness routine. Eating three well-balanced meals a day and two snacks consisting of 10 nuts (of any variety) and one piece of fruit, will maintain the energy level you need to keep up your workouts. This nutritional combination of protein and carbohydrates not only helps with your energy level while exercising, it will also help repair the muscle tissue you’ve broken down while working out. This cycle is what helps build your muscle tone, which in turn, helps burn fat.

I want to keep exercising, but I injured myself

So your will to workout is still there, but your health won’t cooperate. This is very common and goes back to nutrition as well as implementing a proper exercise schedule. To begin with, your muscles need protein in order to repair tissue damage caused by working out. Secondly, you have to take a look at what your fitness level was in the months leading up to your resolution. You have to build up your exercise slowly, so if you didn’t work out at all in Nov and Dec, walking 30 minutes a day three days a week is plenty to start off with. You also have to rotate the body parts you concentrate on. For example, if you’ve worked out your upper body on Monday, switch to your legs on Tuesday. This gives your upper body a couple of days to rest and repair itself. If you don’t allow for this rest period, you can experience what is called catabolism.

Catabolism happens when muscle tissue is broken, which is what you are doing when you work out, and you don’t give it the proper amount of time to heal. Furthermore, if you throw yourself into a hard core workout routine too fast and don’t allow the correct amount of rest time, the weakened muscle tissue can no longer support your ligaments and tendons. That is when injuries occur and your health goes down the tubes.

Improving and maintaining your health is a great goal to have. But without following the proper steps, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and failure. Good fitness involves proper nutrition as well as exercise, and setting up the right plan ahead of time will help you stay on track. Have you experienced anything i’ve discussed here? Have you fallen off the fitness wagon, and if so why? Please leave your comments, questions or suggestions, and let me know how exercise and nutrition have impacted your life.

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January 19, 2009

Corporate Wellness

January 19, 2009

What Would You Do to Gain a Healthy Competitive Advantage?

Would you take advantage of an opportunity to:
> Increase productivity
> Boost efficiency
> Reduce absenteeism
> Cut insurance premiums
> Improve morale
> Grow the bottom line

These are among the benefits possible through a Corporate Wellness Program. NEW PERFORMANCE provides Individual Nutrition Programs specially designed for your corporate setting.

You know what needs to be done. You might not know, however, that the health of any company is dependent in large part on the health of its employees. One research study showed that a healthier workforce produces as much as a 25 percent increase in productivity.

NEW PERFORMANCE’S Corporate Wellness Program can help your employees achieve peak performance through better nutrition, fitness counseling, and pharmaceutical grade and homeopathic supplements

NEW PERFORMANCE can help your company’s employees become healthier, and as a result more productive.

If employee health is not a “front burner” issue for your organization, then consider that the rocketing costs of health care are echoed in the costs of health benefits and insurance plans across the nation. Ignore the health of your workforce and you are taking your chances in a world where:

Ø       According to the U.S. Surgeon General more than 130 million Americans are overweight, another 60 million are obese and 9 million are severely obese. Obesity is linked to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, depression, sleep apnea, arthritis and dozens of other serious health conditions. Related care costs are $120 billion annually and rising.

Ø       Cardiovascular disease is the county’s top killer, according to The American Heart Association.

 

Ø       40% of women and 25% of men are dieting.

 

Ø       About $33 billion is spent annually in the US on commercial weight-loss programs and products.

Ø       Combined with medical and workday-loss costs, this number rises to over $100 billion annually.

 

These health problems have consequences that go well beyond medical costs. The economic and financial consequences should have employers screaming for help.

Working with highly regarded and experienced medical and nutrition professionals, NEW PERFORMANCE has developed a program that includes on site, one-on-one counseling and educational seminars for your employees on simple, yet effective, lifestyle changes that can profit everyone. Better nutrition based on sound medical information is at the core of NEW PERFORMANCES approach. We provide consultations and workshops in a professional, relaxed and friendly atmosphere that encourages participants to choose healthy lifestyle changes for lifelong benefits.

To learn more, please contact corporate@newpfc.com.