Archive for the ‘Weight Loss’ Category
Okay, I know exactly what you are thinking, “Here we go again, there’s something else I have to give up in order to lose weight.” It’s no wonder the weight-loss industry is booming as fast as our collective bellies are growing — sucking you into the latest diet fad or weight-loss product promising to shrink your belly once and for all. Gismos, gadgets, pills, and powders may have caused more harm than good. They are that “something shiny” that distracts our attention away from a common sense approach to losing belly fat. Let’s see if we can bust a few myths along with a few unwanted inches.
As a teenager, I had my share of traumatic moments…haven’t we all? My most devastating moment came was when I asked my mom for my first 2-piece swimsuit. My ultra-conservative father would only agree to it with his prior approval. There I stood in the glare of fluorescent department store lighting awaiting a thumbs up or down. Finally, my over-inflated teenaged humiliation was replaced with jubilation when I was approved for my first bikini. Unfortunately, for most of us, men and women alike, the burgeoning summer season creates its own grown-up trauma when a slip into our swimsuits reveals more belly than brawn. This week, we’ll explore some surprising ways to banish our bellies.
Are you one of those perky morning people who wakes up refreshed and ready to take on the day with a smile on your face, a head full of ambition, and a can-do attitude? If you had met me several years ago, you would have agreed that I was the polar opposite: grumpy, crabby, sleepy, sneezy…my own little version of the seven dwarfs! My family and co-workers knew to keep their distance until I came to life, which was usually around 10am. If you make more enemies than friends in the morning, maybe it’s time to look at better ways to fuel your day which may lead to a sunnier disposition and a slimmer you.
Before Columbus, the world was flat. But that crazy Italian just didn’t buy it. He went against “common” knowledge of his day and sailed unchartered waters…literally!
Well, just like any solid idea it sometimes takes a little bit of time for “common” knowledge to be overturned and then for it to rock established guidelines. It seems like the value of sports training being embraced by our military. In a recent news article it was reported that Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Madigan Healthcare System have begun setting up a clinic that will enhance the care of soldiers.
I’ve always been a fan of clever marketing — you know those commercials that get your attention with funny lines, edgy graphics or memorable characters? My favorite spot lately is the guy who goes around telling people to feed their lawns. The hook is that he’s got a really cool, thick Scottish accent that gets your attention when he says, “Feed you’re lawn, Feed et!” Now, instead of the mundane spring task of seeding and fertilizing your lawn, you feel like Braveheart rallying his troops to slay the enemy in an epic battle of grass versus dandelions. With that image in mind and summer weather on its way, maybe it’s time we “burn the fat…burn et!”
One of my favorite classic skits from Saturday Night Live was when comedian, Billy Crystal, played Fernando, a superficial and overtly sexual latin night club performer who greeted everyone with the phrase, “Dahling, you look mahvelous.” His character lived by a personal credo that it was always “better to look good than to feel good.” Maybe we all have a little Fernando in each of us with our desire to look good. While I don’t believe we are all vain and self-absorbed like Fernando, could it be that we put a bigger price tag on our outward appearance than our inner health? This month, let’s focus on ways to feel good from the inside out starting with our body composition.
Here is an article from a friend of mine after having this discussion at a conference a few weeks ago on nutrition for military, police, fire fighters — our tactical athletes. The need for more carbs for highly active people but it goes deeper than that:
Nutrition and the Tactical Athlete
As a firefighter understands fire, the warrior must understand war. Maintaining combat effectiveness via proper training and nutrition is a big part of this.
Nutrition is the one factor affecting each person multiple times per day and therefore has the greatest impact on a person’s overall health and fitness level. Scientists agree that 70+% of diseases known to man are caused by lifestyle factors and many can be treated via lifestyle changes. Nutrition being the number one approach.
For the tactical / endurance athlete this fact does not change. Being fit does not mean being healthy and the level of proper nutrition should address both of these factors.
The level of combat readiness literally translates into life and death. This fact makes the tactical athlete an extreme endurance athlete. Long hours of high stress from limited sleep, MRE’s and massive physical demands provide very unique nutritional demands.
Combat is high stress. The modern day tactical athlete often operates night and day for months without rest. This massive amount of stress not only results in mental breakdown leading to PTSD but also physical breakdown leading to physical injury and less combat effectiveness. This high stress results in elevated cortisol levels. Elevated cortisol causes 3 main problems in the warrior. One, lowered immune functions thus making the warrior more susceptible to illness, two, protein breakdown from muscle to keep blood sugar steady which leads weakness and to number three, increased body fat.
The three issues can be offset with proper nutrition in the field. For years ultra-endurance athletes have developed techniques and products for maintaining endurance days on end during a race. Polysaccharide gels, powders and liquids aimed at keeping blood sugar levels steady along with hydration and electrolyte balance are the key. A tactical athlete must maintain steady blood sugar, water and electrolyte balance. MRE’s do not do this and often have the reverse effect of maintaining combat readiness.
How does a tactical athlete maintain steady blood sugar? First, start by figuring your personal caloric needs. Google is full of BMR calculators. Second, plan to eat 65–70% of your diet from a polysaccharide source. (whole grains, sweet potatoes, brown rice, beans). Third, calculate your caloric intake of starchy carbs. 1 gram of carbs is 4 calories. Finally, use an online resource to calculate the carbohydrate intake from your food.
Example: BMR = 2000cals per day. Add 600 calories per day for moderate activity levels = 2600 calories per day consumed. 2600 x .65% of carbohydrate = 1690 calories from starchy sources. Each gram is 4 calories, 1690 / 4 = 423 grams of carbohydrate consumed per day. Finally to calculate how much carbohydrate is in the food you eat I suggest the online resource myfitnesspal.com.
There is much more to understand regarding nutrition. But, much like a firefighter studies and understands fire those whom wish to become or are tactical athletes must study and understand nutrition. We will further expand on this topic in the next edition.
Dr. Stephen Erle is the training director for the civilian BUD/s program, SEAL Training Adventures, as well as the Strength and Conditioning Coach and team physician for a Virginia University. In addition Dr. Erle instructs tactical athletics, sports medicine, sports nutrition and tactical combat casualty care medicine (TCCC). He can be reached for comment at Steve@SEALTrainingAdventures.com.
Sports training involves various conditioning methods like a speed training program, endurance training, or strength training. Each
has a purpose based on the desired outcome.
You might have an upcoming sports event or want to stay fit for military, special ops, or Seal training. Or, you might be training for an event such as the Marine Marathon and you want to learn how to run faster.
I’ve been working on a number of home improvement projects lately. This weekend I tackled the kitchen, walk-in pantry and guest bathroom — Ugh! What astonished me in cleaning out cabinets was all of the stuff I’ve accumulated from wedding gifts, to inherited treasures, to just plain junk. The hardest part of de-cluttering for me is letting go of things. It is a family characteristic to keep things if they pass two basic tests: could it be worth money or will I potentially need it someday. Forget the fact that just a minute ago I didn’t even know I owned it! Maybe you’re guilty of the same behavior especially when it comes to your health. You may not know what your health is worth until you lose it. As we close out April, let’s do some spring cleaning of our own and find out what your health is worth, now and later.
If you’ve put on a few pounds since bootcamp and want an easy way to lose weight, then this is perfect for you. If you’ve got something coming up, a sports event, a fitness test, a class reunion, or beach vacation where that gut you’ve been sucking in will be unleashed (or unbuckled), then this is for you too.
Losing weight doesn’t have to be a losing battle. And as they say, starting is the hardest part. Sure, some people say sticking with it is harder, but when you see results and you feel those results, then sticking with the workout plan becomes very easy…and we’re going to talk about how to easily burn those calories, lose the fat, and get in better shape in just weeks.
Good questions with answers below…
(1) How long is a workout? Should it be a half-hour or a full hour?
Depends on your goals and current fitness level. 30 min is great for a beginner / maintenance plan or high intense workout. 60+ min is needed for longer events like marathons, triathlons, spec ops training, but fine for a body building workout. Like I said — all depends…
Mine are usually 2–3 hours long full of calisthenics, running, swimming mix in the summer and shorter with weights and light cardio in the winter — see how
According to scientists at the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory of the Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition of the University of Pittsburgh less body fat improves physical and physiological performance in army soldiers.
According to results of this study soldiers meeting the Department of Defense (DoD) body fat standard and those exceeding the standard were subjected to a Wingate cycle protocol to test anaerobic power and capacity, an incremental treadmill maximal oxygen uptake test for aerobic capacity, isokinetic tests for knee flexion/extension and shoulder internal/external rotation strength, and the Army Physical Fitness Test.
Results showed that group 1 performed significantly better on 7 of the 10 fitness tests. In Soldiers with similar amounts of FFM, Soldiers with less body fat had improved aerobic and anaerobic capacity and increased muscular strength.
Here is an interesting discussion topic on the Paleo Diet. Many love it — some hate it. Decide for yourself…
Over the past few years, I have been asked about the Paleo Diet Plan. Having not tried it myself and only reading reviews by critics and previews from the authors, I did not have enough information to make a good judgment on the Paleo Plan. After researching information for a recent article on Health Screenings for Military.com, I met with several doctors and the author of The Paleo Solution, Robb Wolf and have found the Paleo Diet to be a viable solution for many people (typical Americans) but it may not be for everybody. This article gives some of the PROs and CONs of the Paleo Diet.
You read articles, watch videos and listen to the experts. But 100% of what you hear isn’t necessarily accurate. We often get channeled into a mindset that certain aspects of health and/or fitness work or don’t work. Here are five of the most common myths busted!
There is one key component to reaching your fitness goals, regardless of your current fitness levels. Consistency.
That may sound oversimplified but that doesn’t make it any less truthful. However, most people have lives that make this one component very difficult to obtain.
If you’re serious about your fitness goals, if you’d like to transform your body from the state it is in now to that of a modern day Spartan on the inside and out than what I’m about to share with you can help you achieve your goals.
If you’ve ever traveled around Maine in the early spring, you may be puzzled by the sight of buckets, bags and assorted tin cups attached to the trunks of trees. No, it’s not lawn art. It’s actually a tell-tale sign of spring — the tradition of tapping maple trees. In fact, this past weekend we celebrated Maine Maple Sunday when sugar shacks pop up all over the state to boil down the collected buckets of sap into sweet nectar of the pancake gods. While we may think of maple syrup as a delectable indulgence, it is chock full of health benefits.
Growing up I never had a nickname. It was always Chris or Chris Anne and, of course, the occasional “Christine!” when I was in big trouble. When my brother was born he got the nickname Tiger which I thought was a really awesome name because he sounded so tough. Guys always have the coolest nicknames like The Duke, Maverick, Indiana, and even The Babe. Occasionally they can be less flattering especially if you find that a certain protruding part of your anatomy is becoming name-worthy in it’s own right. If so, it may be time to banish that belly.
Is Cortisol bad? Is it only related to stress and gaining weight? In this article we’re going to discuss why athletes and trained soldiers have and need higher cortisol. We’ll also talk about the role of recovery supplements.
So what are recovery supplements and why are they needed for physical and emotional stress? For most people, when you mention the word “cortisol” they think about stress and gaining weight. This is because main stream media often links the two. This leads everyone to believe that cortisol and stress are bad and should be avoided. But is that really true? And…is avoiding stress even possible for someone that actually gets out of bed in the morning?
Stress is not all bad. It’s unmanaged stress that causes all sorts of problems.
Did you ever see the movie Signs? I’m not usually into scary movies but this one sucked me in! The writer/director, M. Night Shyamalan was able to weave drama, suspense, science fiction and family tragedy into a faithful message of hope. It all begins with crop circles on a family’s farm and ends with our heros battling for their home and survival from alien invaders. Fortunately, the signs we usually encounter aren’t extra-terrestrial in nature. From flashing road signs to beeping message lights on our smart phones, signs are designed to get our attention. Your body is filled with them — maybe it’s time to pay attention to our internal signs.
When I was living in Texas, I toured the Johnson Space Center near Houston. It was remarkable to see that iconic image of the Mission Control Center, NASA’s command center for Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle missions. It is a surprisingly tiny room considering the magnitude of the accomplishments of both man and machine over the last 50+ years. Today, NASA, the US Military and other private organizations continue to innovate. The image here is an artist’s concept of an adaptive or “morphing” aerospace vehicle that can change their shape in flight to adapt to conditions and enhance flight performance. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could adapt on the fly as well? We can with the latest nutritional advancements for the 21st century.