10 Steps for
Successful Fat Loss
If you are going to watch the
calories you eat, it's important to learn how to eat those
calories appropriately. Here are 10 steps for
successful fat loss according to Nancy Clark's Sports
- Write it down.
Keep accurate food records of every morsel and drop for
three days, if not more. Research suggests that
people who keep food records tend to lose weight
In addition to what you eat, record WHY you eat. Are
you hungry, stressed, or bored? Include the time and
amount you exercise as well. Evaluate your patterns
for potentially fattening habits such as skimping at
breakfast, nibbling all day, overeating at night because
you've become too hungry, entertaining yourself with food
when you're bored, or rewarding yourself with chocolate
when you're stressed.
Pay careful attention to your mood when eating. If
you eat for reasons other than to obtain fuel, you need to
recognize that food should only be fuel. Like a
drug, food should not be abused. Food becomes
dangerously fattening when it is eaten for entertainment,
comfort, or stress reduction. And no amount of food
will solve your problems.
- Frontload your calories.
If you eat lightly during the day and excessively at
night, experiment with having a bigger breakfast and lunch
and a lighter dinner. Many people think that diets
are supposed to start at breakfast. However, diets
should really start at dinner. It is more important
to get the energy you need to get through your active day.
- Eat slowly.
Overweight people tend to eat faster than their
normal-weight counterparts do. Because the brain
needs about 20 minutes to receive the signal that you've
eaten your fill, slow eating can save you many calories.
No matter how much you consume during those 20 minutes,
the satiety signal doesn't move any faster. Try to
pace your eating time so that you eat less and avoid the
discomfort that often occurs after rapid eating. A
good tip is to choose a broth-based soup for a first
course before dinner at a restaurant. Hot soup takes
time to eat and decreases the appetite for the entree.
You'll be content to have a lighter meal.
- Eat your favorite foods.
If you deny yourself permission to eat what you truly want
to eat, you are likely to binge. But if you give
yourself permission to eat your desired foods in diet
portions, you will be less likely to blow your reducing
plan. If chocolate-glazed doughnuts are among your
favorites, then have one once or twice a week.
Simply determine how many calories are in the doughnut,
and spend your calorie budget accordingly. When
eating this treat, remember to chew it slowly, savor the
taste, and fully enjoy it. You'll free yourself from
the temptation to devour a dozen doughnuts in one sitting.
Eating bigger meals also help abate the cravings. By
preventing yourself from getting too hungry, you can cut
your interest in sugary treats.
- Avoid temptation.
Out of sight, out of mind, and out of mouth. If you
spend a lot of free time in the kitchen, you might
consider relocating to the den when you want to relax,
where food is less likely to be available. At
parties, socialize in the living room, away from the
buffet table and away from the snacks. At the
market, skip the aisle with the cookies.
- Keep a list of nonfood
activities. When you are bored, lonely,
tired, or nervous, you need to have some strategies in
mind that have nothing to do with eating. You might
want to call a friend, check email, take a bath, water the
plants, listen to music, go for a walk, whatever.
Food is designed to be fuel, not entertainment, and not a
reward for having survived another stressful day.
When you overeat because you are stressed, you are only
trying to be nice to yourself. Food alters your
brain chemistry and may put you in a happier mood -- for
the moment, that is. In the end this inappropriate
coping skill will leave you even more stressed and
depressed from the weight gain. Learning how to
manage stress without food is the obvious solution.
Many people find meditation to be a helpful activity.
- Make a realistic eating
plan. You don't have to lose weight every
day. Rather, every day you can choose to lose,
maintain, or even gain weight. For example, if you
face a hectic schedule and wonder how you will survive the
stresses of the day, give yourself permission to fuel
yourself fully and have a maintain-weight day.
You'll need energy to cope. If you are going to an
elegant wedding and want to enjoy the full dinner, go
right ahead. A gain-weight day from time to time is
part of normal eating. Your body will simply be less
hungry the next day, and you'll be able to compensate by
eating a little less. Planning on a treat once a
week or looking forward to going out to eat on Friday
night helps people to stay on their reducing program the
rest of the week.
- Schedule appointments for
exercise. If you are a serious athlete
who is trying to lose weight, you likely have a regular
training program. But if you are a fitness exerciser
who has trouble following a consistent exercise program,
you might be helped by scheduling the time to exercise in
your appointment book. You want to exercise
regularly to tone muscles, relieve stress, and improve
your health, but you should not overexercise. If you
exercise too much, you will likely end up injured, tired,
People who punish themselves with extra-hard workouts can
end up so hungry that by the end of the day they
inevitably replace those calories burned, plus more.
Exercise only contributes to weight loss if it culminates
in a calorie deficit at the end of the day.
How much exercise is enough? The American College of
Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends accumulating at least 30
minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the
week (about 150 calories per day, or 1,000 calories per
week). Lowest death rates from cardiovascular
disease occurred among those who burned more than 1,000
calories per week. The Institute of Medicine
recommends 60 minutes each day of moderate physical
activity (2,000 calories per week) to prevent weight gain
and optimize health.
- Make sleep a priority.
Getting too little sleep can make you feel hungrier.
When you are tired, the signals to your brain to stop
eating are very quiet, and the signals to eat more are
very loud. By learning to go to bed earlier and
practicing the "snooze to lose" mentality, people are
typically less tired and hungry at the end of the day.
- Think fit and healthy.
Every morning before you get out of bed, visualize
yourself being fitter and leaner. This picture will
help you start the day with a positive attitude. If
you tell yourself that you are eating more healthfully and
are successfully losing weight, you will do so more
easily. Positive self-talk is important for your
Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook
Remember when you had to go to a
printer or publisher to make copies of a newsletter that you
created, and then, in order to get it distributed, you had
to find your target audience...create a mailing list... and
then go to the post office to send them out? We have
seriously come a long way from those times!
Once my eNewsletter is complete,
I simply publish it to
my website, and then email
it to my distribution lists (currently over 350 people) that
includes all of you. Between those simple tasks, and
throwing the link out there on Facebook, it can't get much
easier. It certainly makes it less difficult to
justify your existence and provide people with information
without a lot of cost or trouble!
Then you have websites,
podcasts, and YouTube. This opens your audience up to people that
you've never even met! People that are searching for
the type of information that you are providing, no matter
where they are located. I even have people from other
websites that provide links back to my stuff. Talk
about a small world... I've received emails from people in
Australia, Italy, India, UK (hey Lloyd), and other
countries, as well as various states around our nation.
How cool is that?
I check out the usage reports
for my site every so often, just to get an idea of what
people are looking for and how traffic is coming to
With all the effort that I put into exercises and various
research articles, it seems that most of the searches that
come to me are still people looking for the do-it-yourself
equipment ideas. Check out
this article on the Fitness
Black Book website that I recently found one of my clips in.
Ah well... I'll take the free press
At any rate, thanks for your
continued support and keep the
article ideas coming!
It always helps to know what people want to read about and
gives me some direction so I don't bore you too much.
Bodyweight Exercise of the Month!
I really enjoy the burn that the
Mason Twist gives me at the end of the P90X Ab Ripper.
This core exercise involves a brisk trunk twisting motion
while maintaining a balanced V-sit position and really
challenges the muscle endurance of your abs and obliques.
This is a high rep exercise for which I typically try to get
over 50 repetitions to each side. Ouch!
Target: abs & sides (rectus abdominis,
Description: Start in
a seated position with your hands clasped in front of you.
Balance on your butt and lift your feet off of the ground.
Alternate touching your hands to the ground on one side of
your butt and then the other. Be sure to look where your
hands are going to ensure that you are adequately twisting
your body and not just moving your arms. Keep a brisk
pace throughout the set for maximum reps.
The carpal tunnel is the passageway in the
wrist and is made up of the arching carpal
bones (eight bones in the wrist) and the
ligament connecting the pillars of the
arch (the transverse carpal ligament). The
median nerve and the tendons that connect
the fingers to the muscles of the forearm
pass through the tightly spaced tunnel.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when
the median nerve becomes pinched due to
swelling of the nerve or tendons or both.
The median nerve provides sensation to the
palm side of the thumb, index, middle
fingers, as well as the inside half of the
ring finger and muscle power to the thumb.
When this nerve becomes pinched, numbness,
tingling, and sometimes pain of the
affected fingers and hand may occur and
radiate into the forearm.
While there are many possible causes of
carpal tunnel syndrome, the vast majority
of people with the condition have no known
However, we do know that excessive
repetitive movements of the arms, wrists,
or hands can aggravate the structures of
the carpal tunnel, triggering the symptoms
of carpal tunnel syndrome. Untreated, this
can become chronic, but when detected
early, carpal tunnel syndrome can be
treated more easily and recovery is
possible in a few months. Severe carpal
tunnel syndrome can also be treated, but
recovery may take up to a year or longer
and may not be complete.
What Are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel
Usually, people with carpal tunnel
syndrome first notice that their fingers
"fall asleep" and become numb at night.
They often wake up with numbness and
tingling in their hands. The feeling of
burning pain and numbness may generally
run up the center of the person's forearm,
sometimes as far as the shoulder. As
carpal tunnel syndrome becomes more
severe, symptoms are noticed during the
What Happens in Severe Cases of Carpal
When chronic irritation occurs around the
median nerve, it becomes compressed and is
continually pushed against the ligament
above it. When the nerve is continually
constricted, it can become compressed to
the point that it begins to deteriorate.
This results in a slowing of nerve
impulses, which may cause a loss of
feeling in the fingers and a loss of
strength and coordination at the base of
the thumb. If the condition is not
treated, it could result in permanent
deterioration of muscle tissue and
Do Certain Medical Conditions Make People
More Likely to Develop Carpal Tunnel
People with rheumatoid arthritis,
diabetes, or other metabolic conditions
like thyroid disease may be more likely to
develop carpal tunnel syndrome. These
conditions affect the nerves directly,
making them more vulnerable to
compression. Pregnancy may also cause
carpal tunnel syndrome but it usually
resolves within a few months after
It's Go Time!
Ok... I love the spring weather
and getting back outdoors... mostly. I can't say that
I've been as excited with mowing the lawn, weeding, or any of
the other labor intensive exercises. I'm not sure why.
I just push mowed my lawn for over an hour, and sweated
buckets doing so. That's a pretty good workout in my
opinion! I guess it comes down to mind over matter and I
should be embracing these tasks as their own workout... making
the most of them both mentally and physically! All
things considered though, if I had to choose an outdoor
workout, I'd much rather mow the lawn than shovel snow : )|
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God had wanted us to be weak, He wouldn't have given us iron
youtube of the month -->
Carpal Tunnel Stretches
Video 2 in a 5 part series of Carpal Tunnel Stretches