Thursday, November 30, 2006

Beating the Freshman 15

It's a fairly accepted 'fact' among college age women that they will gain weight their first year away from home. It's so well accepted, in fact, that nearly anyone will know immediately what you mean when you refer to the 'Freshman 15'. The research doesn't quite bear it out, though. One study conducted 15 years ago found that incoming freshman did gain weight at higher rates than their peers who did not attend college, but the average weight gain for the stressful freshman year was 7 pounds, less than half the mythical 15 pounds they'd been told to expect.

Even more encouraging is that a more recent study of college weight gain monitored the weight and body fat of freshman women. More than half the students put on weight, but for most it was less than five pounds. One third of the students lost weight. Interestingly, those students who most worried about gaining weight believed that they had gained weight even when the scales showed that they hadn't.

If you're concerned about gaining weight in that first year away from home, here are some concrete suggestions that can help you avoid the dreaded Freshman 15.

Adopt a Healthy Attitude Toward Food.

Researchers place part of the blame for the Freshman 15 on the tendency to turn to food for comfort. In an unfamiliar setting, with new stresses and new worries, students may turn to the familiar foods that make them feel good to help them get through. Train yourself to eat when hungry - and deal with stress through other means.


The corollary to the statement above is that the less you allow changes and worries to affect you, the less stress you'll have to deal with. One of the best ways to stress-proof your body is by eating a healthy diet. Regular exercise and making sure you get enough sleep play a big part, too. When you're body is well-nourished and well-rested, you'll find it much easier to deal with stress without resorting to major snacking.

Watch out for the parties.

Away from parental supervision for the first time, many college age students give in to the urge to party. Try to keep in mind that beer, even light beer, has 100 calories per every 12 ounces that you drink. You're also a whole lot more likely to snack on high fat junk food like chips when you're drinking. As for other drugs - there are all sorts of reasons not to smoke. Add the fact that it's fattening to the list.


Take advantage of the gym facilities and any student privileges you might have by getting regular workouts. Swimming, tennis, aerobics - any sport that you play, any activity that you do will both burn calories, and help reduce the stress of your first year at school.


Find a group of friends and be a part of it. The more you feel like you belong, the less you'll be missing home, and the less you'll be snacking to make up for it.

The Freshman 15 isn't inevitable. Just remember to eat healthy, exercise, sleep well and have fun. The weight loss will take care of itself.

Taking Control of Your Subconscious for Permanent Weight loss

From the moment of birth your first emotional experiences establish your subconscious perceptions of the world. There is not a moment of the day or night that you are not affected by your emotions. More often than not it is your programmed emotional states, not logic that control your behavior. Therefore in order to apply the process of Burris MIND/FITNESS you must first understand how your subconscious mind works.

Your subconscious mind flawlessly records everything you have ever seen, felt, smelled, heard, or tasted. Unfortunately it is not capable of interpreting the true meaning of the information it records. It simply takes the information it accumulates, and organizes it into individual programs that determine how you will respond to recurring circumstances in your daily life. Once your subconscious mind has taken certain information and formed it into a program, it will devote its considerable power to the continuation of that program behavior or habit, regardless of the consequences.

Your subconscious programming can be useful. This is what allows you to do things automatically like drive a car, type a letter, or use a computer. If the subconscious did not store this information for you in the form of a program, you would not be able to do these things automatically. The disadvantage to this is that there are some subconscious programs that simply do not work.

At some point in your life you may have been programmed to eat poorly or to respond poorly to a certain situation or to link pleasure to things like smoking, drugs or alcohol. The dilemma later in life is how to change the behaviors that do not work for you.
The bottom line is that there are two subconscious components that activate an emotional state, which in turn determines your behavior.
1) You must talk to yourself which usually begins with a question and
2) By asking yourself a question your subconscious mind will always give you an answer, which in turn produces a correlating picture.
It is from this subconscious picture that your emotional state is determined and in turn determines your behavior. A good example of this process is when a person is overweight; they constantly ask themselves negative questions like: “Why am I so fat?” or “How did I get so fat?” or “Why can’t I lose this weight???”
By asking yourself these types of negative questions, your subconscious mind will produce negative answers such as: You are fat because you overeat or you overeat because you are stressed and for each of these negative answers the subconscious mind will produce a correlating picture of you as a fat person.

The mind now interprets these subconscious pictures, as how you should look, and devotes its tremendous power toward maintaining this body image. So you see, every time you ask yourself a question there is a correlating subconscious picture, which determines your emotional response. Through the process of Burris MIND/FITNESS you will learn how to Recognize, Access and Change these two subconscious components.
Unlike your conscious mind, your subconscious mind is always active, it never sleeps. An example of this is when you ask yourself the question: What is that person’s name? For the life of you, you cannot think of their name and then maybe an hour or two later or even the next day their picture and name pop into your mind. The reason for this is your subconscious mind was continuously working on the name, even though you had consciously given up.

If the subconscious does not already have a stored answer for a question, it will search through all of its available information until it formulates one. This is why you need to ask yourself any question you think may move you toward your weight goal because the subconscious will always find an answer.

It is estimated that your subconscious mind generates over 60 thousand thoughts per day. We refer to this thought process as talking to ourselves. The reason your subconscious mind is capable of generating over 60 thousand thoughts per day is because your inner voice continuously speaks to you at a rate of one thousand to twelve hundred words per minute. You can only speak however at about two to three hundred words per minute. This means your inner voice runs at a rate of about four times faster than you can speak and produces a correlating picture for each of these thoughts. In other words if your mind was the world, your conscious mind might take up the space of LA or New York but your subconscious mind would take up the space and activity of the rest of the world.

Regardless of weather your goal is a change in diet for weight loss, an increase in your fitness program or to take control of an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. In the end the question you need to ask yourself is…Am I completely happy with the mind running itself or do I need to take control of it? If your answer is I need to take control of it, then Burris MIND/FITNESS is the answer.

How Your Initial Programming Effects Your Permanent Weight Loss

During the first part of your life you had no control: your parents did the majority of your thinking for you and in doing so created the greatest part of your subconscious programming. This is especially true in your eating behavior programming. Your parents meant well but unfortunately they lacked the knowledge and the skills to instruct you on how to eat properly. They simply followed what their parents had taught them.

Does this sound familiar to you: “You are not going to leave the table until you finished everything on your plate.” or “Do you realize there are children in the world who are starving and would give anything for your meal?” or “If you do not finish everything on your plate, there will be no dessert.” It was these types of repetitive statements that programmed you to associate food with fear and guilt.

What was really ironic, was when you grudgingly did manage to finish everything on your plate and were completely stuffed, you always managed to find room for your ultimate reward....a well deserved dessert. With the consistent use of fear and guilt to control your behavior, eventually these two emotional states turned into anger, which also triggers emotional eating.

Now as an adult your worst eating behavior is perpetuated by the emotional states of fear, guilt and anger. The presence of these three emotional states also indicates the absence of your most positive and powerful emotional state, love.

Your parents used the reward of a dessert to control or program most of your emotional states. They knew that with the promise of something sweet, they could stop your anger, stop your crying, eliminate your boredom or stop your pain. If you want to train an animal, what do you use? You use food. Unfortunately human animals have full access to the very thing that was used to train many of their emotional states.

As a child you where unknowingly programmed to use eating as an outlet for practically all of your emotional states. Now that you are an adult you still emotionally respond to food exactly as you were programmed to do as a child. Your childhood programs still control why you eat, when you eat, what you eat, and how much you eat.

The reason you keep repeating your childhood behaviors or habits over and over is because you are bonded or anchored to them. Yes, anchored as in weighted down or held in place! The only difference between your anchors and a ship anchor is your anchors do not consist of steel but are derived from your emotions.

Your anchors originated from extremely strong repetitive memory associations, which are triggered by your five senses of hearing, vision, smell, taste, and touch. You are constantly being anchored in different ways through out your life. For example, when you hear a certain song and it brings back a memory of a certain person, or a place in time, this is an audio anchor or an anchor triggered by your sense of hearing.

Have you ever met someone for the first time and noticed that something about them reminds you of someone or something else? This is a visual anchor or an anchor triggered by your sense of sight. Until now all of your anchors have been installed in your subconscious mind by someone else or by accident and in most cases you were not even aware of them. Now for the first time through the process of Burris MIND/FITNESS, you can learn how to anchor a reaction or behavior you want on purpose and consistently get the results you want over and over, until you are assured of attaining your weight goal.

It is important to understand that your subconscious mind can be triggered into a negative anchored behavior without even pausing to consider what it is doing. It is this type of behavior that is responsible for your worst eating habits. I refer to this type of behavior as “No Thought Eating.” At the time of “No Thought Eating” your subconscious mind has given no consideration to what it is doing and your conscious mind is not even aware that anything is taking place.

A good example of this is when you are feeling fearful, guilty angry, or bored. You immediately look for something to eat, even if you are not hungry. In most cases you will look for what you refer to as your comfort foods, which is anything that is high in sugar, fat or both. Let us say you come across a bag of cookies, without any hesitation you eat one and before you realize it, you are eating the whole bag. Sometime during this “No Thought Eating” binge your conscious mind awakens to what is taking place. You stop your eating binge and now along with feeling fearful, guilty, angry, or bored; you are also probably a little nauseous. The first thought that pops into your mind is: “Why Did I Eat That? I wasn’t even hungry!” How many times have you asked yourself this self-defeating negative question “Why Did I Eat That?”

The second you asked yourself this question, your subconscious mind is triggered into action to find an answer, which in turn produces a correlating picture. Surprise, surprise what did it find in your subconscious eating behavior program? It found you ate the cookies because you were feeling fearful, guilty, angry, or bored. Of course it did because that is exactly how you were programmed as a child to react to fear, guilt, anger, or boredom. Once again your subconscious mind will take this answer and the correlating picture of you being overweight and use it to anchor you even deeper to your childhood program.

Here is where the fun starts, what do you have to do in order to change your existing negative anchored behaviors of “No Thought Eating?” You simply restructure your question from its negative form of “Why did I eat that?” to a positive form question of “How can I stop this no thought eating when I am feeling fearful, guilty, angry, or bored?” Your subconscious mind will now produce a positive answer to your new positive question such as: When you are feeling fearful, guilty, angry or bored, find an activity you enjoy in place of eating. Once again these new answers will produce empowering correlating pictures that will move you toward your weight goal. It is truly that simple, positive empowering questions = positive empowering results.
From this time on, it is essential that you are always conscious of your inner voice, thereby insuring that all of your self-questions are positive ones and insuring that you always maintain a positive emotional state.

Regardless of weather your goal is a change in diet for weight loss, an increase in your fitness program or to take control of an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. In the end the question you need to ask yourself is…Am I completely happy with the mind running itself or do I need to take control of it? If your answer is I need to take control of it, then Burris MIND/FITNESS is the answer.

Permanent Weight Loss and Your Subconscious Pictures

The second component of Burris MIND/FITNESS is your subconscious pictures. I will explain how to replace your negative subconscious images into positive images through the practice of controlled visualization. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, visualizing is the fourth most frequently used form of alternative healing. You are now about to learn how to change your existing subconscious pictures that keep you anchored to your poor eating behavior.

Several studies have shown that the body makes little distinction between a vivid mental experience and an actual physical one. Your subconscious images are simply corresponding pictures of your self talk. Choosing to think in pictures may seem strange at first, but it is a powerful way to cut through the chatter in your head and a realistic source for communicating with your subconscious mind. It is surprisingly easy to develop your own weight-goal imagery. Through regular practice you will become more and more comfortable in delving into your imagination. Just think of it as creative constructive daydreaming.

Most people are not aware that there is always a corresponding picture for their thoughts or self-talk; the fact is they take place so fast you are not aware of them. If you did not use pictures, you would not be able to answer the simplest question. Think about it. If I were to ask you: “What did you have for breakfast this morning?” You immediately repeat my question to yourself which in turn triggers a picture in your subconscious mind of what you had for breakfast. It is only after you have triggered this picture that you are capable of answering my question.

You will find that your subconscious more clearly defines its pictures from questions than from statements. As an example, say to yourself body relax. You can see this has little or no effect. Now turn this statement into a question: What do I need to do to relax? The subconscious mind will now produce an active picture. For example, you might see yourself relaxing in your favorite chair or taking a warm soothing bath or possibly getting a massage. You are able to see the masseuse’s expert hands gently soothe the tension from you body. You can feel the wonderful sensation as your body begins to relax and you feel as if you are floating on air. Now I am sure you understand the power of visualization and how you can use your self-questions to bring it about.

The most important picture you will ever change in your subconscious mind is the picture you now have of your body or how you perceive your self-image. All people with a weight problem have accepted a picture of themselves as being overweight. Until you change this picture, your subconscious mind will use this existing body picture as a guideline for how you should look. This is why it is imperative that you change the image you have of yourself before you begin a weight loss program.

You will start your training in recreating subconscious imagery by recreating your existing body picture. Before starting your imagery training, it is important that you become totally relaxed in order to focus your mind. Once you have accomplished this, you will find it is quite easy to engage all of your senses, making it possible for you to create a new body image. Once you feel you are completely relaxed, I want you to see a picture of your body in your subconscious mind.
When you have your body in focus, I want you to reshape it, to exactly how you want it to look.

See your new body down to the smallest detail; make it become so real that it seems that you have already accomplished your weight goal. Once you have your new body picture completed, place yourself in a physical activity that you know you would enjoy and will be beneficial in helping you attain your new weight goal. This activity can be anything from a brisk walk to an aerobics class, to playing tennis, to completing an unfinished task. Your new body is now capable of performing any activity that you find enjoyable.

Earlier I spoke about the emotional states that drive you to overeat or eat when you are not hungry. Fear, guilt and anger are responsible for the emotional states of depression and low self-esteem. When creating your new self-image, you must exchange these negative emotional states for your most powerful emotional state. Love is your most powerful emotional state especially when directed to your new self-image. It is essential that you practice reproducing your new active body imagery on a daily basis. It is only through daily practice that your new body picture will become a permanent part of your subconscious, thus allowing you to reproduce this picture without a moments thought. The power of Burris MIND/FITNESS is in the ability to change programmed emotional states that do not work for you, for programmed emotional states that DO work for you.

Regardless of weather your goal is a change in diet for weight loss, an increase in your fitness program or to take control of an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. In the end the question you need to ask yourself is…Am I completely happy with the mind running itself or do I need to take control of it? If your answer is I need to take control of it, then Burris MIND/FITNESS is the answer.

Diets Fail Let s Get Back to The Basics

There are basically thousands of diets out on the market today. Most of them are promising quick weight loss. However it may be true that some diets work, most of them fail. What’s worse is the more diets we have, the heavier we get. To put it another way. There is more fat people today than there was yesterday. It’s getting worse. The one thing most of us haven’t gained is the knowledge it takes to lose it. What we have done is complain and blame other things for our own situation.

I’m sure your just like most people. I bet you think of your weight all the time. If you are thinking about your fat, then you may be more justified. There really isn’t a simple way to say it. We don’t want to concentrate so much in losing weight as much as we need to focus on losing “fat”.

It may be time to take apart each diet and see exactly what is wrong with them if this is the road we prefer. I have a better way though. Before you start looking at the problem with the diets, it may be time to you start looking at your environment and your habits.

If you are a baby boomer, chances are you grew up with only 3 channels on the television. I’m fairly sure that you were told to play outside. If not, you preferred it. Times have really changed. We now have over 100 channels to watch on television. We have computers with unlimited time. We also have some of the greatest video games around.

Lets look back again. We had movies to go to. We had video games to play in town. We also had computers back then. We also had to leave the house to see a good movie, or play a game on a video.

Lets take this one more step. When you were young, chances are you only got to go to the store on rare occasions. Personally, I had to walk for about a mile to get there. By the time I got back, I am sure, I burned the calories completely up from the candy I got. If you look now, you see quick food places popping up everywhere. It doesn’t take much to stop and get a fix.

What’s is worse, we are teaching our kids to do things indoors. We don’t spend our time with them. We’d rather have them watch television. Some of the problems today is fear of our children being stolen, raped, killed, or hurt in some way. I have to admit, my parents worried more about the strangers coming to town in my neighborhood.

We can fix this. The first step is to realize the problems I’ve just discussed. Once you are aware of it, we have to stop blaming these circumstances. Then we must change ourselves to deal with it. Our environment may get worse, but we don’t have to get any fatter.

The second step to any weight loss is to educate yourself. I mention fat several times instead of weight mainly because you really can be at your normal weight and still be fat. To take this one step further, we don’t want to lose muscle in our diets. It’s my opinion that this is actually what most people lose when they are on the Atkins diet.
There is a real good chance, you’ve already started your education. It may have started when you failed on several diets. I can personally testify, that I’ve tried so many diets and gave so much money, I should be a genius on diets.

What’s worse in this episode is the fact that a lot of fat people are depressed. They are also treated for depression. This treatment sometimes makes them gain weight faster. Well, it was hard enough just to maintain your weight, now you are fatter. Here is a quick tip. Did you know that some of these people that take omega 3 is losing weight?

The first thing I realized is the fact, that diets don’t work. Everything I’ve tried only made me hate diets more and more. I also felt like if something tasted good, it was purely unhealthy. I also found that the people telling me to take some pill and eat anything I want is nothing short of garbage.

Now, lets look back in history again. Naturally you didn’t play on the computer all day, so get up and go for a stress free walk. Also, you more than likely ate at the table 3 times a day. Mothers are in a hurry today and in our fast paced life, we feed our kids on the run. We need to slow down.

I’m sure more women work today than when I was a child. It presents a problem. Is it easier to stop off and get something for the kids from Mcdonalds? You bet it is. We can stop this too. Who ever gets home first can start dinner. It doesn’t have to focus on the woman. Fixing dinner can also take an effort. Make it a family effort. Have the kids set the table like we did.

Now, look at everything we discussed and start changing your life. You don’t want to deal with any more diets. Can we agree that diets don’t work. If so, then we need to change our way of living.

Now, here’s the hard part. You have to make a decision. You most likely found out that you are not going to lose weight with pills, patches, or liquid only. If you are as lazy as I am, you have to decide if you are happy with being fat, or if you are willing to do the responsible actions it takes. Basically it is easy if you were taught this as a child.

Eat three squares like you’ve heard before. Sit at the table and not in front of the television. Go to movies more often. Stay away from fast food places and plan your meals for the whole family. When you shop, be very aware of what you are buying. Last, keep educating yourself on nutrition. I’m sure you’ve heard that losing weight fast is a sure sign that you’ll more than likely gain it back. I’m not telling you anything you didn’t know. You are a smart person. You just have to decide what is more important.

If you are aware of counting calories, you should know that cutting back 7000 calories per week is by far enough to cut back on. A pound is equal to 3500 calories by what I’ve read. If you don’t lose enough weight to see it on a scale for a few days, don’t get discouraged. You have changed your life and eventually you will be where you want to be. Relax. Quit worrying about it. Just change your life. Good luck.

How To Maintain Your Weight Loss

Once you have started losing weight, it is crucial to think of how to maintain that weight loss in the days ahead.

It may seem hard to believe, but taking the weight off is the easy part. Maintaining weight loss for good is where the real challenge lies. If you are like me, you have tried countless diets only to gain the weight back. People lose lots of weight on diets everyday, but 95% of them gain it back because they have focused only on the weight loss. They follow the diet until they get to a particular number on the scale and then shortly after, they go back to the old lifestyle that made them overweight in the first place. Of course, over time the weight comes right back.

The truth is, almost everyone can lose weight but only 5% keep it off. These are the Weight Loss Registry's figures, not mine. The WLR followed highly successful dieters and came up with seven reasons why people were able to keep the weight off.

Here are the seven reasons the dieters were successful.

1. The dieters accepted failure and kept on trying.

2. The dieters did not deny themselves--they indulged from time to time.

3. They weighed themselves often.

4. They exercised one hour a day.

5. They added little bits of activity into their daily life.

6. They followed a high carb and low fat diet.

7. They ate 5 meals a day.

When I compare my own weight loss success to the list above, I would say I learned how to maintain weight loss due to the following: I do the best I can with what I have available. Sometimes I am not always in a perfect situation with the healthiest choices, but I make do with what is there and I stick to the plan. If I make a not so healthy choice, I don't beat myself up for it.

I eat YUMMY and whole foods. Using the finest ingredients makes the most delicious meals and has helped me stick to Living Well. If I wanted to indulge, I would make it from scratch using the healthiest ingredients possible. To me, indulging does not mean eating junk.

I use a tape measure to keep tabs on my weight and occasionally weigh myself.

I really struggle with exercising regularly and I have NEVER exercised for one hour a day consistently. I will do heavy housework and other activities around the house to get my heart rate up and I try different forms of exercise all the time because I get bored easily.

I think it is vital to get moving every day, somehow, and it doesn't always mean you have to be in an aerobics class or on some sort of machine to get your heart rate up.

I eat organic whole foods and healthy oils. I am not sold on the idea that low fat and high carb is the way to go. High fat is not the answer either, but healthy oils are not the enemy. The rights oils will actually speed up the metabolism.

I eat only 3 meals a day and rarely snack. I do better when I don't snack or graze on food all day. BUT, you may be different. You have to do what works best for you and your unique body.

This is the MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL I think of the health I have now and my future health EVERYDAY. I really want to enjoy my older years and I want to be healthy. I don't want to sit in a rocking chair, talking about all my symptoms and the things that ail me when I am in my golden years.

The Weight Loss Registry tips and my maintenance tips are not the only path for everyone, but instead are some ideas you can use to come up with your own way to keep the weight off once you have lost it.

Ultimately, I think it is crucial to focus on your health when changing over to a healthy lifestyle. So many people are in a hurry to lose weight. They spend their entire lives putting on the weight, losing the weight temporarily on diets and just want to get rid of it as fast as possible not taking in consideration their state of health. I know you have heard this many times before but if you don't have your health, you don't have much. Being thin will mean nothing to you if you compromise your health along the way.

Even if you are losing weight slowly, good for you! The idea here is to take off the weight and keep it off for good. Even just a couple of pounds a month adds up over the course of a year. And for those that were doing everything they could and continuing to gain weight, just stopping that weight gain is a measure of success.

With these tips, you now know how to maintain weight loss. Give yourself time to adjust to a new and healthy lifestyle and enjoy yourself along the way. A year from now your body will be thanking you for it!

How To Lose 20 Pounds REALLY REALLY Fast

Back “in the day” when I used to be a full time personal trainer and I met with clients in person at my New Jersey Health Club, the first thing I would always ask my clients during the initial consultation was:

"Tell me exactly what you want... and I'll show you how to get it."

Typical reply from client:

"I want to lose 20 pounds fast."

My reply:

"Are you SURE that's what you want? If I can show you how to lose 20 pounds REALLY, REALLY fast, will that make you happy?"

They nodded their head affirmatively as their eyes lit up in anticipation of the quick weight loss secrets I was about to reveal...

Their face went white when - with a totally straight face – I pulled out a hacksaw and started walking towards them.... menacingly.

Not sure whether to laugh or to run away in sheer terror, they said,

"What the heck are you doing?"

"You said you wanted to lose 20 pounds fast. This is the easiest, surest, most effective way I know to take 20 pounds off you FAST! In fact, I figure that right leg of yours might even weigh 25 pounds!"

I kept walking closer and started to get into sawing position, wielding my fast, effective and guaranteed weight loss tool...

"Bear with me because this IS quick, but sometimes it takes a few minutes for me to cut through the bone."

By this time, my client and I are either completely cracking up, or I have seriously scared the living you know what out of them, or they just think I'm a complete lunatic... (it depends on whether I was able to keep a straight face or not).

Finally, the light bulb goes on, and my client would see where I was going with this:

"Okay, smart alec," I get it... I don't want to lose WEIGHT, I want to lose FAT."

Sometimes I would be having so much fun, I would just keep on playin'...

"But why not? This is easy, fast and guaranteed - just what everyone wants these days... it's even better than taking a pill! Come on... let me hack it off! You'll be my next testimonial: 'I lost 20 pounds in 5 minutes!' Imagine what that will do for my business!"

"Very funny. I told you, I get it, I get it! I want to lose FAT, not muscles and bones. I need my leg!

Naturally, of course, I didn’t always have to pull out my trusty blade. Every once in a while... about as often as a total solar eclipse... a client answers my question like this:

"What do I want? Tom, I want to lose 20 pounds of body fat in the next 12 weeks. I want to do it slowly, safely and healthfully and then keep it off permanently. I want all the fat around my hips and thighs completely gone and I want a firm flat stomach. I want muscle all over my body while still looking feminine. I'd like to see myself at about 16% body fat and maintain all my muscle or gain a few pounds of lean mass if I can, especially in my arms. This is important to me because I want to set a good example for my kids, I want to be healthy and live to at least 90 and I want my husband to look at me and say, "I love your body, honey," and I want to be able to *honestly* say back to him, "me too!"

It is on these rare occasions that I know there is still intelligent life on this planet.

If you could answer the question, "What do you want" with the degree of clarity that this woman did, I don't think you would ever have any difficulty reaching your health and fitness goals... or any other goal in your life, for that matter.

This answer is what you call a very "well-formed" goal, backed up with lots of emotional motivation-inducing "reasons why."

"I want to lose weight" is a poorly-formed goal.

"Weight" is not the same as "fat." Weight includes muscle, bone, internal organs as well as lots and lots of water.

If you only get ONE thing from this article, get this:


FAT LOSS is what you want, not weight loss.

If your body was 100% rock-solid muscle, with absolutely nothing that jiggled (unless it was supposed to), would you care how much you weighed?

I bet you wouldn't!


By measuring your body fat, you take the guesswork out of your health and fitness plan and you get an accurate picture of what's really happening in your body as a result of your diet and exercise program.

Instead of worrying about whether you are losing muscle, or wondering if you are losing fat, you can measure it and KNOW for sure. (I always get a good chuckle when someone tells me they're worried about losing muscle when they don't even measure how much muscle they have!)

Instead of being confused by all the "opinions" from weight loss and exercise "experts" who are all telling you something different, you can MEASURE your body composition and based on the results, you can KNOW for sure whether your program is working.

A very wise man once said,

"A single measurement is worth a thousand opinions."

So, how do you measure body fat?

There are many methods. Thanks to technology, there are some methods today that are so accurate, they can tell you whether your left pinky has more fat than your right pinky! Unfortunately, many of them are either too expensive or they are inaccessible, being found only in hospitals or research facilities.

Instead of boring you with a lecture about all the various body fat testing methods, let me give you three quick and easy, practical suggestions:

Suggestion 1: Have a trainer or fitness professional measure your body fat if this service is available at your local health club. Sometimes, there's a charge - usually $15 - $25, although some clubs offer the service for free to all their members.

Suggestion 2: Purchase an Accu-measure skinfold caliper. The Accumeasure was designed to allow you to measure your own body fat in the privacy of your own home (you don't need someone else to measure you). Do a google or yahoo search to find a reseller.

Some people wonder if this is really accurate. Truth is, it's not quite as accurate as a multi site skinfold test from an experienced tester, but it's better than nothing. Besides, what's most important is not the "accuracy" per se, but the reliability and consistency of your measurements so you can track your progress. Skinfold calipers in general are not accurate or inaccurate, it's the person doing the test that is accurate or inaccurate.

Suggestion 3: If you have a spouse, roommate, or friend who can measure your body fat, you can purchase a “Slim Guide” body fat caliper. The Slimguide is the best inexpensive (about $20), caliper available for multi-site testing, but it wasn't designed for you to measure your own body fat like the Accu Measure. Other models of body fat calipers (if you want to splurge), range from $150 to $450. (At our health clubs, I use the electronic "SKYNDEX" caliper with the 4-site "Durnin formula.")

The calipers come with instructions, or you can use these formulas, which I have used and found to be very accurate:

4 Site formula for men (abdomen, suprailiac, thigh, tricep)

% fat = .29288(sum of 4 skinfolds) - 0.0005(sum of four skinfolds squared) + 0.15845(age) - 5.76377

4-Site Formula for women (abdomen, suprailiac, thigh, tricep)

% Fat = (.29669)(sum of 4 skinfolds) - (.00043)(Sum of four skinfolds squared) + .02963(age) + 1.4072

Source: Jackson A S, Pollock, M (1985) Practical assessment of body composition. Physician Sport Med. 13: 76-90.

Body fat percentages vary based on age and gender, but 20-25% body fat is average for women (15-19% is ideal), while 15-20% is average for men (10-14% is ideal).

Once you know your body fat percentage, then weigh yourself and record your weight and body fat on a progress chart. You can also calculate your lean body mass (muscle and other fat free tissue) very easily just by crunching some numbers:

For example, if you weigh 200 pounds and you have 10% body fat then you have 20 pounds of fat (10% of 200 = 20). That means you have a lean body mass (LBM) of 180 pounds. Now we're talking! With this data, you can get a really clear picture of how your exercise and nutrition program are affecting your physique.

Losing weight is very easy. Losing fat - and keeping it off without losing muscle - is a much bigger challenge. If you simply wanted to lose weight, we could just chop off your leg. Or, (slightly less painful), I could show you how to drop 10 - 15 pounds over the weekend just by dehydrating yourself and using natural herbal diuretics. Bodybuilders and wrestlers do it all the time to make a weight class. But what good would that do if it’s almost all water and you’re just going to gain it all back within days?

You don't have to "throw away your scale" like many "experts" tell you to. By all means, keep using the scale, the tape measure and even photographs and the mirror - the more feedback the better, but body fat is where it's at.

By the way, I recently bought a chain saw and a shiny new axe from Home Depot, and I've been practicing my "American Psycho" and Jack Nicholson, "The Shining" impersonations... so if you want to come to my office any time soon for personal consultation, you'd better have the right answer to my question, "What do you want?"

Three Ways Music Can Help You To Lose Weight

Music is the key to the soul. It can lift you up and put a smile on your face or alternatively it can bring you down and reduce you to tears. Music is powerful and fortunately you can use it to help with your weight loss.

The interesting thing about music is that the same track or song can induce different emotions in different people. If you met the love of your life during a particular song, then you probably enjoy it and feel happy when you hear it played on the radio. Another person may have been cruelly dumped by their boyfriend during that same song, played at the same time somewhere else in the world, chances are this song brings back all that pain and hurt the breakup caused.

Have you ever played upbeat music loudly when working out or been to a nightclub and found yourself dancing all night because the music was so good? Music not only generates positive emotions but it can also help to motivate you. Music can bring out the best in all of us, it makes you feel good and encourages us to move or dance. So how can music help you to lose weight?

Here are my top three tips to use music with your diet.

1. Choose your favourite music album and as soon as you wake up in the morning put it on. Listen to it as you have breakfast and get ready for your day. It will put a spring in your step and help you to be positive, you will feel capable of anything and that feel-good feeling will carry you through the day. Being positive and happy makes you much more motivated and you will find sticking to your diet easy.

2. Put music in your car. Listening to the radio can help to relax you after a hard days work. If you get home stressed out and grumpy, you are much more likely to go to the cupboard and overeat. Play music in the car, as loud as you like and have a good sing. Putting all your frustrated energy into singing will help you feel relaxed and give your mood a much needed boost. You will get home refreshed and energetic rather than exhausted and feeling down.

3. If in the evening you are bored watching television you will find yourself going to the cupboard to snack on foods. This is a really bad time for all dieters. Turn off the television and put some music on, do your household chores, have a dance with your children, play games or invite friends over for coffee. Not only are you not overeating but you are also spending quality time with your family or friends.

I cannot tell you which is the best song to listen to or even which album motivates people the most. The choice is yours. It will be different for everyone and will probably depend on many factors, age, taste in music, life events, lifestyle, etc. What I can say is have a good look through your music collection and choose several albums, this way you won’t get bored too easily and will enjoy the music. Try listening to songs you used to love when you were younger, it brings back happy memories and encourages you to lose those extra pounds

Think about buying a personal walkman or an MP3 player, both are small are portable ways to listen to music when you out and about. It might even motivate you into going for a long walk.Get some fresh air into your lungs and enjoy it. Don’t look at it as exercise, it is simply getting out of the house to stretch your legs.

Good luck with your slimming and I hope the music tips help you with your weight loss.

If You Can Balance Your Checkbook You Can Lose Weight

The process of losing weight and monitoring your food intake has many things in common with balancing your budget. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the elements that are found in both. Sometimes, just being able to visualize the weight loss process in a new way can bring clarity and help you in achieving your goal.

Daily Metabolism = Daily Budget

Your daily metabolism is the amount of calories you are allowed to consume each day without gaining weight. For the average female, the typical daily metabolism is 2000 calories a day. For a male, the typical daily metabolism rises to 2500 calories a day.

It may be useful to think of your metabolism as your daily budget. It is the amount of money you are allowed to spend each day. If you go over this amount, you’ll have to borrow money and go into debt. If you spend less than your budget, then you will have money to save for purchases (eating food) or payment toward any existing debt (excess body fat).

Calories Consumed = Money Spent

Calories represent the amount of energy that is contained in food. The more calories that you consume over your daily metabolism, the more weight you will gain.

In our comparison, we can visualize calories as the equivalent of money. Each time you consume calories, you are spending money from your daily budget (metabolism). So the primary goal is to not overspend more than you are allowed each day, otherwise, you will go into debt (gain weight).

Your Excess Fat = Your Debt

The excess fat that you have is the result of overeating, consuming more calories than your daily metabolism has allowed.

There is approximately 3500 calories in a pound of excess fat. What this means is that if you are 50 pounds over weight, you have essentially consumed the equivalent of 175,000 calories over the amount you were allowed by your daily metabolism (over an extended period of time). As a result, you have created a debt of 175,000 calories of fat on your body.

The only way to get rid of this debt is to either decrease your spending to less than your daily budget (consume less calories than your daily metabolism)…or…to get a job and earn more income (exercise).

Eating Food = Making a Purchase

The more you eat, the more calories you consume.

In many ways, this is the equivalent of making a purchase. You do not want to spend more than what your daily budget (metabolism) will allow. Otherwise you will begin to accrue a debt (gain weight).

Not Eating Food = Earning Money

Each hour that you spend not eating, your body is hard at work burning the calories that you consumed from your previous meal. When your body finishes consuming the calories from that food, it then gets to work on burning the calories from the existing fat that you have on your body.

One way to picture this is that each hour you spend not eating, you are earning money for the purchases that you made earlier in the day (food consumed). If you’ve paid off all your purchases from the day, then you can begin paying off your debt (your excess fat).

Exercise = Earning Money

Exercise is the most important aspect of any diet. It is like earning extra money to spend each day. It allows you to spend more money on making purchases (eating food) or you can use the extra money to pay off your existing debt (your excess fat that you are trying to lose).

This is why exercise is such a marvelous supplement to any diet. It allows you more freedom, because you have more to spend.

There are dozens of other similarities in losing weight with balancing a budget; however, these are the fundamental elements to focus on. The real challenge now is applying the discipline that’s necessary to monitor your weight and make sure you don’t over spend the calories that you are allowed each day.

Weight Loss Helped By Mind Over Body

To increase the success rate of any weight management program, we have to shift our thinking of “weight loss” as something that suggests deprivation, hunger or loss to something that suggests growth, development, and gain. Weight loss is not loss, but the building of a lean, powerful body. Losing weight is not losing at all, but gaining a newly reconfigured body. The best way to do this is to enlist the power of your mind. Visualize yourself at your ideal weight. Focus on your slim and slender body, your well-shaped legs. Imagine yourself living a powerful, dynamic life. Would you be bingeing yourself to death? Make this positive visualization of your ideal self a daily practice until you find it actually easy to see yourself as lean, strong and beautiful. Next time you feel like wolfing down a whole chocolate cake, shift your mind to that slender body and well-shaped legs.

‘Hunger” is another word we need to reclaim. We think that we have to be hungry to be slim. That is not so at all. We just need to be able to differentiate between real hunger and emotional hunger. Take time out and ask yourself, ”Am I really hungry?” Think twice before putting anything in your mouth. If you decide that you are indeed hungry, then eat, but make sure that what you eat honors your body. Make sure it is nutritious food and not empty calories. If you decide the sense of deprivation you are feeling is emotional hunger, then the searching has to go deeper. Are you lonely? Angry? Stifled? Resentful? What is bothering you? Decide if you will take this anger out on your body or take the more courageous route: have it out and come to terms with it. Speak out what it is that makes you mad, sad, uneasy. Don’t be afraid to dig. The best things have come from the darkest pits of the earth.

Know yourself! Know when your most vulnerable moments are. Know when you are most susceptible to being sabotaged by your partner’s sneer, your mother’s disbelief, your sister’s insistence that you don’t have it in you. (Families are so supportive, aren’t they?) Understand that your decision to change challenges their status quo and families are known to resist change (Don’t rock the boat!). Once you understand where your Achilles’ heel is, develop a list of strategies to deal with the issue when it rises. Arm your mind: if you understand where they are coming from, it is easier to be less defensive and submissive. Arm your fridge: should you be swayed by these difficult moments to binge, have a whole fridge of allowable snacks so that even though you indulge in 2, 3 items, there is no harm done.

Plan your day ahead. If you must have a snack before bedtime, make sure that you have low-fat, high protein snacks accessible in the fridge so that you do not opt for what’s left over from dinner instead. There is less likelihood that you will sabotage your weight loss program if you have nutritious and allowable snacks available at all times.

Eat 5-6 smaller meals a day (3 meals plus 2 snacks). Make your body think "abundance", and it will expend more calories. Do not skip meals as this makes you body go into “starvation mode” and your body will respond to that by shutting down your metabolism.

Measure yourself before you start your weight loss program and once a week after that. Measure your upper arms, chest, waist, hips, upper thighs, ankles, wrist. Record your measurements faithfully. If you are following your weight loss program carefully, you will notice a change in measurements very quickly. You will lose in inches; your clothes will feel looser. This will give your mind positive re-inforcement. Do not weigh yourself everyday. Your weight is not really an accurate measure of your progress because weight is dependent on time of day and hormonal fluctuations.

Exercise 4-5 times a week. Work towards doing 30 minutes of cardio (walking, running, cycling) and 15 minutes of weight training. Use visualization to make exercise an active part of the New Beanutiful You.

Reward yourself in ways other than food. Buy a new dress. Go see a movie. Take a weekend trip. Go dancing. Enjoy the new lifestyle you have created for yourself. See it not as a short term goal; instead focus on making the changes lifelong habits. You will forever be eating well, exercising well, taking care of yourself so that you will look great, feel great, be great!

10 Killer Tips for Rapid Weight Loss

In order to make the most of your weight loss program, finding the most effective ways to burn fat will maximize your results and minimize your waistline! Follow these 10 tips for fat burning if you want to lose weight and lead a healthier way of life.

1.) Drink More Water

One of the best weight loss secrets is to ditch the sodas and stick to water! Experts say you should drink approximately eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated and healthy. Instead of turning to calorie-laden or sugar-rich drinks, grab a refreshing glass of water. In addition to flushing toxins out of your system, drinking water encourages you to build muscle.

2.) Eat More Meals

A traditional three-meals-a-day plan just will not cut it if you are in the market to burn fat. Your body is not able to metabolize large meals and will quickly turn any excess into fat. Many experts believe you should eat six small meals a day. Be sure you cut back on your food consumption at each meal, or else you will be doubling your intake—and doubling your fat storage!

3.) Work Out with Weights

One great way to maximize the amount of fat you are burning is to add a weight program to your work out routine. Weight training will not only tone your physique, but will strengthen your body and improve your general health. Lifting weights will also burn calories and fat more quickly than traditional exercising, and it will also boost your metabolism.

4.) Choose Protein

Choose protein-laden foods for boosting your metabolism and enabling your body to burn fat rapidly. In addition to burning fat, consuming a protein-enriched diet will help you rebuild muscle after work outs and maintain leanness of that muscle. Wisely choose proteins for your diet. Take great care to pick proteins low in fat so you do not consume extra calories.

5.) Cut Calories Wisely

It may be tempting to drastically cut your calorie intake when starting a healthy lifestyle. Instead, use a step method when cutting your calorie intake to minimize risk. Reducing calories too quickly results in your body rapidly burning all available calories, which will lower your metabolism. Furthermore, you are more likely to maintain your healthy lifestyle through this step method.

6.) Reward Yourself

When it comes to successfully dieting to burn the most fat, be sure to reward yourself. Everyone has temptations and favorite treats—so allow indulgence. You will be less likely to cheat on your new diet if you grant yourself small rewards. If you are a chocolate lover, treat yourself to a small square of chocolate or single chocolate kiss each evening.

7.) Avoid Marathon Work Outs

The biggest mistake people make when looking to burn fat and lose weight is to have one long, extensive work out session. Instead, break up your work out plan into small chunks throughout the day. Take a brisk walk in the morning, enjoy a work out at lunch, and then exercise more in the evening. In addition to staying active all day long, breaking up your work out will better maintain your metabolism.

8.) Mix It Up

Choosing to engage in a variety of quality exercises will keep your interest and best allow you to maintain your goal of burning fat. Instead of doing the same exercises each day—mix it up! Opt to swim laps one day, jog another, and bike the next. Rotating your activities will not only allow you to experience a variety of athletics, it will also allow you to better tone your body.

9.) Skip Happy Hour

For those individuals who want to burn fat quickly, avoid alcohol. Rich in sugars and carbohydrates, alcohol is a calorie-rich substance. These empty calories can add up quickly and take away from necessary nutrients that should be included in your daily diet. Furthermore, alcohol acts as an inhibitor for burning fat, allowing your body to store it more quickly.

10.) Try a Low GI Diet

A low GI diet is an excellent method of burning fat quickly. This diet encourages individuals to consume high amounts of foods with low rankings on the Glycemic Index. These foods are nutritious and will aid your body in burning fats and calories at a quicker pace. This diet includes many of your favorite fruits, vegetable, meats, dairy, and grain products.

The secret to reaching your ideal weight

There are many books and internet articles written about weight control. However, if you already know the stuff you should be doing, you might want to skip past the next section of this article. For those of you who are starting at the beginning, here’s some useful information:

Energy is measured in units called calories or kilojoules. If you want to lose weight, then the total calories that your body absorbs through eating and drinking must be less than the calories that your body expends throughout the day. And of course, if you wish to gain weight, the opposite is true.

You can also help your weight control along by participating in regular daily exercise, because this helps your body burn more calories. It does this not only during the exercise session, but also for hours later, by raising your body's metabolic rate. When you exercise, you produce feel good chemicals in the brain which are called endorphins, and these often help to stop you from reaching for those high calorie snacks such as cakes, donuts and chocolate. Also, exercise changes the fat and muscle ratio in your body. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so make sure you enlist all the help you can get by exercising!

So if we have all this information at our fingertips, then why do so many people have such difficulty reaching their ideal weight? Well, I must tell you that a lot of it has to do with your subconscious belief systems. Do you know all the basics, but still find yourself unable to stick to a healthy eating and exercise regimen? You're definitely not alone.

At this point, I would like to say that if you want to lose weight, then I strongly suggest that you reframe the notion of “losing weight”. So instead of saying you want to lose weight, I would like you to think of your goal in terms of “gaining control of your weight”, or, as the title of my article suggests, “reaching your ideal weight”.

The reason for this, is because your subconscious mind can be a fickle beast…and when you “lose” something, what do you automatically (and subconsciously want to do?

***You want to find it again! ***

So it’s really important to focus your mind towards what you want, instead of what you want to lose, and this is because your subconscious mind works best with positive language. And speaking of which, how is YOUR body image? Do you continuously criticize yourself , or berate yourself for indulging in that triple choc milkshake? If so, STOP right now. If you want to reach and maintain your desired weight goals then you need to make permanent but manageable lifestyle changes, while at the same time allowing yourself the odd indulgence...without feeling guilty!

So, be realistic and work at a steady pace towards reaching and maintaining a body shape that is achievable for you. If you’ve always had a pear shaped body, then you will not be able to slim down to a straight-up-and down shape, even if you starve yourself! Don’t fall into the trap of unhealthy eating habits; depriving your body of essential nutrients is every bit as damaging as overeating.

Begin by working WITH your natural body shape, not against it. Send your subconscious mind the message that you love and respect your body. One of the ways you can help yourself along is by using daily affirmations. Start today; write down any negative beliefs you have about your body, and then replace these negative statements with positive ones. Remember:

You can achieve anything if you enlist the help of your subconscious

Dangerous Weight Loss Methods

We’re all looking for that magic pill. You know - the one that we can take and lose weight without really trying!

What would you give up to be skinny? How about your health? Well, some of the methods of weight loss may cost you exactly that. Before you decide that the way to lose weight is to follow one of the below regimens, take a second look. Do your research and be sure that you understand the risks.

Are you considering one of these dangerous weight loss methods?

*Prescription diet pills

Amphetamines are available only by prescription, and most doctors are leery of handing them out these days. While they do suppress appetite, you learn nothing about healthy eating, you don’t change your eating habits, and you are likely to gain the weight back the moment you stop taking them. In addition, they can be habit forming. The side effects include high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, sleeplessness, hallucinations and delusions.


This all natural Asian herb is found in many herbal remedies and weight loss powders. It has a powerful appetite suppressant effect, but has been implicated in over 70 deaths.

*Phentermine Fenfluramine-phentermine (fen-phen)

Fen-phen was a popular weight loss supplement in the 90’s until it was implicated in deaths due to heart-valve damage. Phentermine alone is still sold in many weight loss aids. The side effects include headaches, dizziness, heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure and insomnia.


One of the popular home remedies, used for purging. Regular use and abuse of laxatives can result in low potassium, arrhythmia, and pancreatic damage.

*Artificial Sweeteners

Aspartame, the most commonly used artificial sweetener, has been implicated in multiple lawsuits alleging damages that include blindness, seizures and brain damage.


Afraid you’ll gain weight if you quit smoking? The National Institute of Diabetes says that you’d have to gain 100-150 pounds to match the health risks you invoke by smoking. Instead, set up healthy strategies to help you deal with food cravings and put down the cigarettes.


Like laxatives, purging by forcing oneself to vomit or taking emetics can have very damaging effects on health. Depletion of nutrients like potassium and vitamins, damage to the esophagus from stomach acids, and esophageal rupture are all possible side effects.


Taking diuretics encourages your body to rid itself of fluids - including vital electrolytes. The depletion can lead to dehydration, and cause your body to start retaining water, starting a vicious cycle. Repeated or prolonged use of diuretics can lead to kidney damage and serious electrolyte imbalances, which may result in kidney or heart failure.

*Herbal Remedies

We have a tendency to equate ‘herbal’ with ‘harmless’, but say nutritionists, this isn’t always the case. Remember that many medications are derived from herbs, and because of the lack of regulation, dosages of active ingredients can vary widely from one manufacturer to another. Below is a list of some of the most common ingredients found in herbal weight loss powders, along with cautions about their effects in certain conditions.

Ephedra (ma huang, ephedrine, ephedra extract, epitonin, ephdra sinica and sida cordifolia) should not be taken by people with heart, thyroid or kidney disease, or with hypertension

Cascara and Senna should not be taken by people taking diuretics (both are often found in herbal weight loss teas)

Selenium and Capsaicin should not be taken by people with bowel or digestive disorders

Kava should be avoided by people with mood disorders who are taking mood altering medication, and people with Parkinson’s disease.

Gingko biloba, licorice root, and dong quay should not be taken by people who are taking blood thinners or anti-coagulants.

While weight loss is a worthwhile goal, guarding your health is an even more important one. Be sure that whatever weight loss method you choose it won’t lead to other serious medical conditions.

The Glycemic Index Key To Weight Loss Or Just Another Diet Gimmick

The glycemic index (GI) is a scale that measures how quickly carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose. The original purpose for the glycemic index was to help diabetics keep their blood sugar under control. The glycemic index has recently attracted a lot of attention in the bodybuilding, fitness and weight loss world and has even become the central theme in numerous best-selling diet books as a method to choose the foods that are best for losing weight.

According to advocates of the glycemic index system, foods that are high on the GI scale such as rice cakes, carrots, potatoes, or grape juice are "unfavorable" and should be avoided because high GI foods are absorbed quickly, raise blood sugar rapidly and are therefore more likely to convert to fat or cause health problems.

Instead, we are urged to consume carbohydrates that are low on the GI scale such as black eye peas, old fashioned oatmeal, peanuts, apples and beans because they do not raise blood sugar as rapidly.

While the GI does have some useful applications, such as the use of high GI foods or drinks for post workout nutrition and the strong emphasis on low GI foods for those with blood sugar regulation problems, there are flaws in strictly using the glycemic index as your only criteria to choose carbs on a weight loss program.

For example, the glycemic index is based on eating carbohydrates by themselves in a fasted state. If you are following effective principles of fat-burning and muscle building nutrition, you should be eating small, frequent meals to increase your energy, maintain lean body mass and optimize metabolism for fat loss. However, since the glycemic index of various foods was developed based on eating each food in the fasted state, the glycemic index loses some of its significance.

In addition, when you are on a diet program aimed at improving body composition (losing fat or gaining muscle), you will usually be combining carbs and protein together with each meal for the purposes of improving your fat to muscle ratio. When carbs are eaten in mixed meals that contain protein and some fat, the glycemic index loses even more of its significance because the protein and fat slows the absorption of the carbohydrates (as does fiber).

Mashed potatoes have a glycemic index near that of pure glucose, but combine the potatoes with a chicken breast and broccoli and the glycemic index of the entire meal is lower than the potatoes by itself.

Rice cakes have a very high glycemic index, but if you were to put a couple tablespoons of peanut butter on them, the fat would slow the absorption of the carbs, thereby lowering the glycemic index of the combination.

A far more important and relevant criteria for selecting carbs - as well as all your other foods, proteins and fats included - is whether they are natural or processed. To say that a healthy person with no metabolic disorders should completely avoid natural, unprocessed foods like carrots or potatoes simply because they are high on the glycemic index is ridiculous.

I know many bodybuilders (myself included) who eat high glycemic index foods such as white potatoes every day right up until the day of a competition and they reach single digit body fat. How do they do it if high GI foods “make you fat?” It’s simple – high GI foods DON’T necessarily make you fat – choosing natural foods and burning more calories than you consume are far more important factors. Although it’s not correct to say that all calories are created equal, a calorie deficit is the most important factor of all when fat loss is your goal.

The glycemic index is clearly not a "gimmick" and should not be completely disregarded, as it is a definitely a legitimate nutritional tool. Is it a good idea to eat low GI foods in general? Sure. Is eating high GI foods after your workouts a good idea? Absolutely. But diet programs which hang their hats on glycemic index alone as the “miracle solution” are just another example of how one single aspect of nutrition can be used as a "hook" in marketing and said to be the "end all be all" of fat loss, when it's really only one small piece of the puzzle.

Eating Low glycemic index foods alone does NOT guarantee you will lose fat. You have to take in the bigger picture, which includes calories/energy balance, meal timing and frequency, macronutrient composition, choice of processed versus refined foods as well as how all these nutritional factors interact with your exercise program.

The causes of excessive weight

If you eat more nutrients containing energy than you need for your daily activities, for the internal processes of your body, and for the burning process that maintains the body temperature, the excessive nutrients can be transformed to fat and stored in the fat depots in your body. The causes of this occururing, and thus of overweight, are one or more of these factors:

1. Consuming too much fat: Fat is the most energy-rich nutrient, and over-consume will cause the eccessive fat consumed to be deposited in the body.

2. Consuming too much sugar, starch or other carbohydrates: Carbohydrats are also important energy sources. Over-consume of carbohydrates will cause the eccess to be converted to fat and stored in the body.

3 Consuming too much alchohol: Also this substance contains energy, and eccessive consume results in fat stored in your body.

4 Consuming too much of preprocessed products with added, and often hidden fat or sugar, like sweet beverages, cakes, ice-cream, fast food and snacks.

5. Eating too much alltogeather: Perhaps your food is not fat- or sugar-laden, but you simply eat too much alltogeather. Also protein will be converted to fat if it is overconsumed.

6. Irregular eating, like eating much at one time, little at another time, wait long between some meals, cunsuming huge doses of sugar at some times, no sugar at other times: If you eat irregularly, you can get an uncontrollable appetite, a swinging blood sugar level, and an abnormal physiology that makes you deposit fat in your body.

7. A still sitting life with little exercise so that you burn little fat and sugar.

8. Boredom in your daily life: If you do not have much hobbies, or leasure activities, or isolate yourself from other people, you may suffer form boredom, and eccessive eating may be your way of getting entertainment.

9. The body has some capacity of burning some extra amount of sugar or fat. This capacity may be decreased because of lack of vitamins and minerals, and because of an unsound diet.

10. An abnormal appetite that urges you to eat far more than you need: This abnormal appetite may originate from psychological causes, an onsound diet or lack of exercise.

Analyzing your obesity problems

Before beginning your weight reduction program, go through every possible obesity causing factor listed above, to find out what factors contribute to your over-weight problem. Go down to details. For example: If you find you consume too much sugar, find out the exact food types contributing to your eccessive sugar consume. Write everything down.

Make a plan

With the performed analysis in hand, make a plan for your weigh reduction. Decide a goal for your weight. Decide one or more measures for each component contributing to your problem. Write down your plan.

How to reduce weight

In order to successfully lose weight, you must attack every component you have found to be a causing factor of your obesity problem. Here are the concrete mesures you can use, and put into your plan:

1. Eat less fat

If you eat much fat, you must reduce the daily intake of fat, to do so:

* Choose fat poor fish, fat poor meat/beef, chicken, turkey, mushrooms and other food sources with law fat content as the main components for dishes.

* Cut away visible fat from meat or other food sources.

* Do not add much margarine, butter or oil to your food.

* When you fry something, try to use as little fatty smear in the pan as possible.

2. Eat less sugar

If you eat much sugar, reduce your daily inntake of free sugar, or bounded sugar as in flour, potatoes and the like:

* Do not add much sugar to your food.

* You may also need to consume less bread, potatoes, peas and beens, if you eat very much of it, but do not stop eating these kinds of food, since they contain valuable nutrients. However, use bread made of full corn.

3. Avoid eccessive alcohol consume

Alcohol contains energy, and will be transformed to fat, if you consume too much of it.

4. Avoid preprocessed food with added and often hidden fat or sugar

Some food contains a great amount of hidden fat or sugar, espesially fast food, snacks or preprocessed food.

* Therefore you should avoid eating much of products like: cakes, sweet drinks, snacks, choclate, icecream or fast-food.

* You should also buy all the food you use in a natural form, and make your dishes yourself. Then you achieve an absolute controle over the amount of fat and suger in your dishes.

5. Eat less alltogeather, but do not starve yourself

Having reduced the amount of sugar and fat from your diet, you may fall to the temptation of eating more than before, beacuse the new composition of your food does not satisfy your hunger. You should be aware of, and avoid this trap.

* When trying to loose weight, you should reduce the total amount of the food you eat.

* However, you should not starve yourself. To starve will only make you tired and sick, and then make you interrupt your efforts to get slim.

6. Eat regularly

Regular eating habits will give you a stable blood sugar level, help you control your appetite and normalize your fat burning physiology.

* You should eat three or four meals each day.

* Each meal should contain the same moderate amount of sugar and fat.

* Each meal should contain some protein sources like fish, meat, eggs, mushrooms or proteine-rich seeds, and in every means be as nutritionally complete as possible.

7. Increase your daily physical activity

Physical activity increases fat burning and will help you control your appetite.

* Do some daily exercises of a kind that increases energy consumption: Jogging, cycling, swimming, ball play, skiing, and so on.

* Do also som exercises to increase your muscular volume, since muscles will burn fat, for example weight lifting.

8. Find some new hobby or interest

If you find yourself some new hobby or leasure activity, you will avoid boredom and the temptation to over-eat because you are bored. Try also to do interesting activities together with other people. The new activities will also give you less time to only sit eating.

9. Eat healthy food to increase your fat burning capacity

It is not possible to loose weight without sticking to the above mentioned basic fat reduction principles, but you will also benefit from applying some measures that will increase your ability to passivly burn fat:

* Eat as natural food as possible, avoid food that has been heavily cooked, heavily fried or chemically processed. Natural food has its content of protein, vitamines minerals and anti-oxydants intact, and these are necessary for the fat burning abilities.

* Eat some raw fruit and vegatables to each meal, since these contain vitamins, minerals and anti-oxydants you need.

* You may benefit from supplements of vitamins, minerals, herbs, anti-oxydants, as these will make your body more capable of burning fat.

* The little fat you use in your diet, should come from sources like olive, peanuts, canola, fish, nuts, sun-flower, etc. Then you will get a good balance between mono-unsaturated fat (olive, canola, peanuts), poly-unsaturated fat of the omaga-3-type (fish) and poly-unsaturated fat of the omega-6-type (sunflower).

* Consume whole cereals or bread made from whole unrefined cereals.

* There are also natural products on the market you can use to increase your break down and burning of fat.

10. Bring your appetite under controle

Many of the measures allready listed, will also help you to controle your appetite. If this still is difficult, this problem may be attacked by specific means:

* You can use some medicines to reduce appetite for some time or to reduce the uptake of fat or carbohydrates in your inestines. There are both natural medicines based on herbs, vitamins and minerals and pharmachological products to achieve this.

* Daily meditation can help to relaxe your mind and gain controle.

* Psychological counseling may be necessary.

11. The ratio between fat and sugar in your diet

The total mount of fat and carbohydrates combined, is a key factor in causing obesity, not fat alone or carbohydrates alone. In some weight loosing regimes, one eats very little carbohydrates, and fairly much fat. In others one eats fairly much carbohydrates, and very little fat. The proponents of each type of regime claim that their approach helps the body to burn fat better.

Probably people are different, and react differently when trying to manipulate the diet in these ways. As a first approach, it is probably not wise to try such extreme approaches. However, if you have brought your eating habits under controle, and still not achieved a satisfactory result, you can try to manipulate the fat/carbohydrate ratio to see if this will help. But do not stop consuming fat alltogeather. You will allways need some essential fatty acids in your diet.

Carrying out your plan

Having made your plan for your weight reduction, the time has come to carry it out. After each week, go through the points in your plan, and evaluate how well you did. Also check your weight. Write down for every point in your plan how well you did.

How to Lose Weight with an Exercise Bike Program

Your pants are a bit tight, you can't seem to stop eating junk, and you're tired all of the time. It's time to get healthy and lose weight. Combined with a more sensible diet, an exercise bike can help you achieve the results you want.

Ugh, the Diet.

So many people go wrong here. Forget fad diets, forget starvation. Slow and steady wins the race. Try changing one thing about your diet. Limit yourself to one soda a day. Stop skipping meals. If you always clean your plate, start leaving one or two bites. A total change in diet is work. If you go for a radical change, you are setting yourself up for failure. You'll be surprised how well small changes work.

The Right Bike Determines Your Success

This is a critically important part. There are literally hundreds of exercise bikes available. You have to be honest with yourself to discover the one that will work best for you. If you talk yourself into some fantasy world where your exercise plan is going to work this time even though there's nothing different, you're going to be disappointed. If you think ahead, you will buy the right bike for your needs. You will end up with a successful long-term exercise routine.

Think back to your last exercise routine attempt. Why did you stop? Did you suffer an injury? Did you get bored? Was it just too hard to do every day? Was it hard to find the time? Answer these questions truthfully. If you don't figure out where you went wrong, you won't be able to come up with a solution.

Avoiding and Working Through Injuries

If an injury caused you to stop working out, how did you sustain your injury? Becoming physically fit is supposed to help you prevent injuries, not cause them. There is an exercise bike for someone who has been injured working out. It's called a recumbent exercise bike. It's the kind found in a lot of health clubs. It has a large, bucket seat, and you sit back and low to the ground. It is perfect for people beginning a new exercise routine. It's also very good for back problems as it forces you to keep good posture. It puts no pressure on your joints, and you can keep working out even if you have minor injuries.

Overcoming Boredom

Did you get bored the last time you tried to workout on a regular basis? If you did, you are likely to get bored again. With exercise bikes, the solution is usually a bike with several different levels and riding programs. You can get bikes with different difficulty levels. This means that when it becomes too easy for you to pedal, you simply move up to the next level instead of having to ride longer (which just isn't likely to happen for the person who is easily bored). You can also get different programs. Programs give you variety and goals. They make you pedal harder, simulate conquering hills, and even sprinting for short periods.

Riding programs might not be enough for you. You might need a bike that you can hook up to your television that simulates riding through different courses. You can take a leisurely ride through a park or compete with other computer riders on a difficult obstacle course. These bikes might cost more up front, but if you don't invest in a bike that will let you sustain your workout, you're wasting money on anything less.

The coolest thing for game addicts who get bored is an interactive bike that plugs into a Sony Playstation or Playstation 2. It makes over 50 games interactive. Whatever is happening on your bike happens on the screen in bike, car, and similar games. There are all types of similar bikes available.

If you plan on listening to music or watching TV while you cycle, be sure to pay attention to features that will make the exercise bike quieter. It's also a good idea to get a quieter bike if you live with other people. For all you know, your workout time is going to be 5AM or midnight. A quieter bike won't disturb other people in your home.

Don't Try to Be Lance Armstrong Yet…

People beginning exercise programs are sometimes too ambitious. It's good to be excited, but you have to remain realistic. If your last exercise program failed because it was just too much work, don't make the same mistake again. Fight the urge to overdo your first workouts. It is critical to your long-term success that you start out slow. If you go from no exercise at all to 5 to 10 minute exercise bike workouts with little resistance, you are much more likely to avoid injury, soreness, and most of all, early feelings of defeat. If you aim too high - expecting to go from a sedentary lifestyle to 45 minute workouts immediately, for example - you are setting yourself up for failure. When you don't reach your unattainable goal, it is more likely you'll quit altogether to alleviate the feeling of failure that much sooner.

The perfect bikes for people who get a bit over-excited are exercise bikes with built in riding programs. You simply start out at the lowest level, and the bike determines your workout. You program in a small goal (10 minutes, 50 calories, or .25 mile) and when you reach that goal, your workout is over.

Finding the Time

You do have time to burn fat and calories on an exercise bike. No matter how intense your schedule is, there are people busier than you who find time to make an exercise routine work. They are not better than you. They don't have more than 24 hours in a day. They simply figured out how to make it work. You can, too.

It can be as simple as the time of day you chose to workout in the past. There is scientific evidence that people who are "morning people" or "night owls" are physically different. Different people have energy at different times. Think about when you work best. If you wake up without an alarm clock ready to go, you should exercise first thing in the morning. If you are a night owl, you should consider working out at night. You might find that you are one of the people who tire yourself out enough with a night workout to sleep like a baby.

You Can Do This!

Losing weight is not a punishment. You are smart enough to know how to eat a little better and become more active. If you are honest with yourself, you will choose the proper bike. You want to look forward to the workout itself. Don't get caught up in which bike burns more calories. Find an exercise bike you will enjoy riding. Figure out the time of day that's best for you to exercise. Make it like getting dressed or bathing - it's just something you do every day. You don't have to train for the Tour de France. You just have to get on and do something every day. Ten minutes a day will yield results. Bookmark this article for future motivation, find your exercise bike, and get busy!

Diet Pills A Lot Of Risk For A Little Loss

There are a number of products on the market - both prescription and non-prescription - which claim to be effective weight loss aids. Many of these have been associated with serious medical risks, including heart attack, heart abnormalities, tachycardia, stroke, seizures and death. The side effects can be daunting, but how realistic are they?

Diet pills fall into several different classes. Most are appetite suppressants of one kind or another, generally stimulants with effects similar to those of amphetamine. They are approved for treatment of obesity, where it's considered that the health risks associated with gross overweight outweigh the risks associated with the medication.

For someone who has less than 30 pounds to lose, the risks are far less cut-and-dry. While the FDA and manufacturers closely monitor the effects of prescription weight loss medications, over the counter medications and their risks are far less documented. Herbal supplements are even less documented still, especially those whose makers don't officially make weight loss claims for them.

While makers of pharmaceuticals must meet stringent labeling requirements and tests for safety and effectiveness, those who make weight loss 'supplements' are not regulated in the same way. As long as they don't contain a 'new' ingredient, or one that has never been marketed for weight loss purposes, they are not subject to FDA review. Instead, the manufacturer is held responsible for the safety and effectiveness of their products. Often, that means unregulated dosages, unhealthy additives and ineffective ingredients.

In an effort to encourage improvement in the reporting standards and the pharmaceutical standards for weight loss medications, the United States Pharmacopoeia has introduced the Comprehensive Dietary Supplement Verification Program. Currently voluntary, it involves certification by the USP of certain labeling and practice standards, including that the product contains the ingredients stated on the label in the strength declared, that they are within limits for impurities like metals, pesticides and bacteria, that the medication will be absorbed by the body according to USP criteria, and that it has been created with all safe precautions.

Until the day that all over the counter medications and herbal preparations marketed as weight loss supplements and aids are labeled and tested by impartial researchers, there are some things that you can do to lessen the risks associated with using diet pills.

Research is your best friend. There's a lot of information out there about drugs and herbs like ephedra, ephinedrine, phentermine and sibutramine. Know what you're taking and what the risks are so that you can watch for side effects.

Always talk to your doctor before you start taking any drug or herbal supplement. Many of them interact poorly with other medications, or have an adverse effect on chronic conditions.

Follow dosage instructions. Overdoses of stimulant medications, which are a component of most weight loss preparations, can be serious and severe.

Don't take any weight loss pill or supplement for more than a few weeks without it being prescribed by a doctor.

Check with your pharmacist when purchasing over the counter weight loss preparations to be sure that the ingredients don't interact with other medications you may be taking. Include both prescription and nonprescription medications in your questions.

Ideally, don't take weight loss pills. The effectiveness of most have not been proven at all. It's an awful lot of risk for such a little loss.

Weight Loss and Sleep Deprivation Is There a Connection

How can sleep deprivation affect weight loss? Surely the reverse is true! If we’re tossing and turning all night, aren’t we burning a few more kilojoules?

Perhaps, but it’s more complicated than that. When we don’t have enough sleep, our energy is very low. This can trick the brain into thinking it requires more food to replenish our energy stores.

So we tend to eat more. Not only that we tend to crave high energy foods such as ice cream, cakes or sugar laden soft drinks.

To make matters worse, the effects of sleep deprivation can lessen the body’s ability to process glucose efficiently leading to an increased tendency to put on weight. This could also lead to an increased risk of diabetes.

Lack of sleep also produce higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol and lower the metabolic rate which means we burn less kilojoules.

A simple way to increase the metabolic rate is to exercise every day. But we don’t feel like exercising when we’re tired do we? No, a seat in front of the telly is far more appealing, preferably with our favourite comfort food!

So if we’re trying to lose weight or simply maintain our weight, the amount of sleep we have is super important. Sometimes all we need to do is increase our awareness.

First here’s what not to do. Don’t nap for long periods during the day. This will upset your natural circadian rhythm and lead to wakefulness at night.

Late night snacks? The body simply can’t digest these and they will be laid down as fat! If you must eat late make it a lite yoghurt, herbal tea or milky drink. Forget the coffee and black tea as these contain stimulants.

Here’s a few tips:

Increase your exercise. This can be done without enrolling at the gym! Simply walk more. Get of the bus one stop earlier and walk the remaining distance. Take the stairs instead of the lift.

If the above is not for you, go shopping! Large shopping centres are wonderful walking tracks. Have a look in the stores as you sail past (stay away from food stores though!)

Taking more exercise increases the metabolic rate significantly and enables us to have better sleep at night. It is also proven to reduce stress which is the enemy of restful sleep.

Plan your day better. Start winding down in the evenings and use the mornings for energetic chores. This will enable you to relax better and you’ll fall asleep quicker.

If you have a sleep problem, get help. There are web-sites and books that will increase your knowledge on safe and natural ways to get a good night’s sleep.

So don’t help your body to put on weight through poor sleeping habits. Eat healthy foods, get rid of stress, exercise more and sleep your weight away!

Eating Chocolate Ice Cream Every Full Moon Promotes Weight Loss

Are these the kinds of stories that we as health professionals are trying to write to enlighten the public or gain fame and notoriety? I read this story several days ago about some doctor who claims if you limit your flavors and pick a flavor of the day you will lose weight and has the case studies to prove it. C’mon!! First we have the Atkins diet, then the cabbage diet, and now this. I mean if you really want to prey on the many people who are so desperate to lose weight then do a case study on the above title. I’m sure you will sell some copies for that book as well.

Now, if someone didn’t read the story very carefully they're going to say, “Hmmm, I’ll start with a bowl of cherries, that’s healthy. Then move on to cherry ice cream, then some cherry pie, and let’s wash it down with some cherry coke.” Laugh, but trust me those people are out there. They are the same people that think a French fry is a vegetable.

I shouldn’t be too hard on this guy because most of the time the health professionals that have these wacky new fads at least go for something that is usually considered a sin. The Atkins diet lets you eat bacon and hamburgers, just set that bun down okay. This diet still suggests that you eat fruits and vegetables, except eat one particular fruit for the whole day. Yummy, I think I’ll eat apples today. I’ll have Fuji apples for breakfast, red ones at lunch, and those green ones for dinner. Is that really going to attract a whole bunch of people to buy this book?

Here’s my point. It is almost getting to the point where eventually there will be a book called, “The Sit Down With Remote in Hand Weight Loss Diet.” This is what people want and as a personal trainer, I’m getting sick of reading these articles. What was that recent book called, “The French Diet???”

Look do you really want to lose weight?? Then, I’m going to tell you the bad news; you are going to have to work at it. Yes you are going to have to watch what you eat, and exercise. If you notice all these articles on these new diet trends, even this last one on the flavors, they all have a one or two line blurb saying, “oh by the way you might want to exercise as well.” I’m tired of seeing my clients try the latest new diet that has them lose weight only to gain it back and then some.

America wake up and smell the coffee. There is not going to be some magic pill that will make you lose weight. If there were, someone would be making money off it. Right now the only people who are making money are all the authors of these so-called diets that are lining their pockets with your hard earned cash, while you follow diets that don’t work. Or if they do, it only works for a small percentage.

Suck it up people. Take charge and control of your destiny. Accept the fact that you will have to exercise for the rest of your life. You will have to watch what you eat, even though you can splurge once in awhile. If you have to lose weight, yes it might take some time, but it will come off (it didn’t come on in a day did it?). If you accept these facts and implement them right now, I guarantee you will have a very fulfilling life that will be so much better than wondering how many peaches you have to eat today.

Fat Loss

Performing lighter weight with more repetitions (15-20 reps, 20-30 reps, or 20-50 reps) does not burn more fat or tone (simultaneous decrease of fat and increase muscle) better than a heaver weight with moderate repetitions (8-12 reps). Weight training utilizes carbohydrates after the initial ATP and CP stores have been exhausted after the first few seconds of intense muscular contraction. Typically a set's duration is 20 to 30 seconds. For the average fit person, it requires 20 to 30 minutes of continuous aerobic activity with large muscle groups (eg. Gluteus Maximus and Quadriceps) to burn even 50% fat; fat requires oxygen to burn. Performing a few extra repetitions on a weight training exercise is not significant enough to burn extra fat and may in effect burn less fat. If intensity is compromised, less fat may be burned when light weight is used with high repetitions. The burning sensation associated with high repetition training seems to be the primary deterrent for achieving higher intensities.
For individuals attempting to achieve fat loss for aesthetics, the intensity of weight training can be a double edge sword. When beginning an exercise program, muscle mass increases may out pace fat losses, resulting in a small initial weight gain. Significant fat loss requires a certain intensity, duration, and frequency that novice exercisers may not be able to achieve until they develop greater tolerance to exercise. If an exercise and nutrition program is not adequate for significant fat loss, a lighter weight with higher repetitions may be recommended to minimize any bulking effects, although less fat may be utilized hours later. If an aerobic exercise and nutrition program is sufficient enough to lose fat, a moderate repetition range with a progressively heavier weight will accelerate fat loss with a toning effect. If a muscle group ever out paces fat loss, the bulking effect is only temporary. For a toning effect, fat can be lost later when aerobic exercise can be significantly increased or the weight training exercise(s) for that particular muscle can be ceased altogether. The muscle will atrophy to a pre-exercise girth within months. Higher repetitions training may be later implemented and assessed.
Higher volume weight training (ie 3 sets versus 1 set of each exercise) with short rest periods of approximately 1 minute can stimulate a greater acute growth hormone realease (Kraemer 1991, 1993; Mulligan 1996). Growth hormone is lipolytic in adults. It is hypothesized that maximal effort is necessary for optimizing exercise induced secretion of growth hormone. Growth hormone release is related to the magnitude of exertion (Pyka 1992) and is attenuated with greater lactic acidosis (Gordon 1994).
Intense weight training utilizing multiple large muscles with longer rest between sets may also accentuate body lipid deficit by increasing post training epinephrine. Intramuscular triacylgycerol it thought to be an important energy substrate following repeated 30 second maximal exercise with 4 minute recovery intervals (McCartney 1996, Tremblay 1994). Rest periods lasting approximately 4 minutes between maximal exercises exercise of very short duration is required for almost complete creatine phosphate recovery required for repeated maximal bouts (McCartney 1986).
It still may be recommended to perform high repetitions (eg 20-30) for abdominal and oblique training. It has been theorized muscular endurance may be more benifitial for low back health than muscular strength. Furthermore, moderate repetitions with a greater resistance can increase muscular girth under the subcutaneous fat, particularly in men, who have greater potiential for muscular hypertrophy. Increasing the thickness around the waist with existing abdominal fat may further increase bulk, particularly in men who typically have greater intra-abdominal and subcutanuous fat in this area. The abdominal muscularture is composed of relatively small musclemass as compared to the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, chest, and upper back. Performing high reps with a lighter resistance should not compromise metabolism or muscle increases as would performing high reps with light resistance on larger muscle groups. See Spot Reduction Myth above.
It is plausible that the high repetition myth was originated and later propagated by bodybuilders that used calorie restrictive diets to shed fat before a contest. Because of their weakened state from dieting, they were unable to use their usual heavier weights. When inquired about their use of lighter weights, they explained they were "cutting up" for a contest. This is merely a theory, but it is easy to see how it may have been misunderstood that the lighter weight was used to reduce fat instead of actually being a result of their dietary regime.
Typically with weight training alone, fat loss is similar to muscle gain, give or take a few pounds. Certain dietary modification can have much greater impact on fat loss than weight training alone. The ideal program for fat loss would include the combination of proper diet, weight training, and cardio exercise.