Thursday, November 22, 2012

Battle of the Bulge : How to Enjoy Thanksgiving AND Stay Slim
   by Bob Wells, CPT, PES

Thanksgiving is seen as a time to get together with family and friends, and celebrate with a festive meal. This meal can probably best be described as excessive. The inordinate amounts of turkey, stuffing, and desserts that we intend to, and eventually do consume, often send us into a downward spiral of poor diet choices, culminating with our 'completely falling off the wagon'.

We subsequent rely on the turning of the calendar page and the accompanying New Year's resolutions to shed the excess weight and get back into the swing of living a healthier lifestyle.

Such fallacious thinking can have dire consequences, both physically and psychologically. As our weight creeps up, we feel powerless to stop it, resulting in the vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting. However, the‘Battle of the Bulge’ requires proactive and sensible strategies that ensure compliance and success.

Here are a few tips from some successful personal trainers:

1. Cheat yourself. Dave Meza, a trainer in California, says that one strategy he uses with his clients is to make “[Thanksgiving] a cheat day.” Meza also advises his clients to “keep caloric intake under 4,000 calories and avoid seconds and alcohol.”
2. Go slow. “Just eat slow,” says Jared Glenn, a former professional boxer. Glenn explains that, “If you eat slowly, you end up eating less, since you feel fuller sooner. By using this strategy, you don’t have to eliminate foods, and can enjoy all of your favorites.”
Courtesy: The Guardian
3. Empty the tank.  Herman Soto, a Tier 3+ trainer at Equinox, advises his clients to work out before their meal. Soto says, “…by depleting energy reserves and simultaneously ramping up your metabolism, you will need to replenish the depleted stores." This is where your Thanksgiving meal, in all its glory, comes into play. You can eat guilt free, knowing you've earned this meal.

Holidays, like Thanksgiving, should be about spending quality time with family and loved ones, not fretting over what you can or can't eat. Use the strategies of these great trainers, and this Thanksgiving can be one of your best--devoid of guilt, and full of good memories and good times.

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!!!

For comments and questions, you can reach me at bob@bobwellsfitness.com.






Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Childhood Obesity : A Growing Problem
   by Bob Wells, CPT, PES

Death. Taxes. Childhood obesity?

Each day we are confronted with the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. The percentage of obese children has tripled over the last 30 years, and it currently stands at an incredible 17% (nearly 1 in 6 children), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Each day, nearly 55 million school-aged children are bombarded with ads showcasing the joys of cheap, fast food. This constant exposure, designed to appeal to children, helps to render them incapable of making healthy food choices.

Instead they opt for the tastier, trendier food options featured in those cool commercials. You could call it the McDonaldization of our children.

Obese children face a myriad of psychological and physical problems. Teasing and name calling lead to lowered self esteem and social withdrawal. This negatively impacts their quality of life.

The physical side effects of obesity are insidious. They literally cut short lives. Obese children have a high rate of remaining obese as adults. In adulthood, they face a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or hypertension (high blood pressure). They are also at a greater risk for getting cancer and diabetes and suffering strokes.
Courtesy: Fit For All 5K

Preventing childhood obesity requires maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle is primarily understood to be physically active and to eat healthy. (For more information about eating healthy, check out "Sculpting the Perfect Body : One Bite at a Time")

Events that promote physical activity, such as the Fit For All 5K, are a great way for children to be active and have fun doing it. (Check out the video for the 2012 Fit For All 5K)

For adults, it is a great way to support a worthy cause and set a positive example of healthy living for children.

For more information about the causes of childhood obesity and to find out how you can fight this terrible epidemic, check out the CDC and the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality (NICHQ).