Banish the belly fat

Belly Fat

Battle of the Bulge

Everyone’s looking to get rid of that embarrassing belly fat.  While there’s still no magic bullet, there are a few things you can focus on to banish the bulge in your midsection.

Of course, as you’d expect from an exercise professional, I’m going to tell you to move more and eat less. I’m going to tell you that if you’re like most exercisers, you’re probably not moving at a high enough intensity to elicit any response from your body.  Search this website and you’ll find many articles to help you overcome those problems.

But, today’s post is going to give you six more nutrition-based tips to shrink that expanding spare tire around your waist:

1. It’s not just about the carbs - Everyone vilifies carbs when carbs alone aren’t the enemy.  Carbohydrate is our body’s primary source of energy.  The wrong carbs, sugar specifically, can be the enemy though.  Processed sugar is in most commercially available foods and contributes little to nothing nutritionally.  Sure, sugar makes things taste good, but that comes at a cost of increased blood glucose levels and fat storage.  Read the label on everything to find out what’s really going in your body.  A few of the biggest culprits: soda, fancy coffee drinks, cereal, and milk.

2. Alcohol – Here’s another one that adds no nutritional value.  At six calories per gram ingested, it adds up pretty quickly too. Combine that with thye fact that as we consume alcohol, we pay less attention to what we’re eating.  Where there’s beer, there are wings and pizza.  Have you ever heard of anyone making better choices when they’re impaired?

3. Fruit juice – This one could have easily fit into the first bullet point but I thought it had value in spinning it off on it’s own.  I like fruit. I’ve got nothing against it.  In fact, if God put it on this green Earth, it’s probably pretty good for you as far as I’m concerned.  However, most fruit juice is laden with added sugars.

4. Artificial sweetener – Many of these fake sweetening agents have been shown to increase appetite, causing you to overeat later.

5. Excessive whole grain consumption – Eating an excess of whole grains is also linked to increased insulin production and fat storage along with inflammation of the gut.

6. Frozen yogurt – This one’s a bit more specific, but worth mentioning as more fro-yo stores are popping up around the nation.  Yogurt is good stuff. Frozen yogurt bears little resemblance to actual yogurt and carries little of it’s benefits.  Instead, it brings with it high amounts of added sugars.  It’s a sugary treat disguised as a healthy alternative.

I’ve seen the “eat this not that” argument spun many different ways.  Everyone has their favorite foods to hate on, but in the end it usually comes down to nutritional value.

  • Does the food that you’re eating offer nutritional value or is it empty calories with no value?
  • Are you trying to justify it’s value on some convoluted premise? For example, carrot cake is NOT a vegetable no matter how you look at it.
  • Is it going to help build your body?
  • Is it going to help fuel you for the activity that you’re about to perform?
Posted in Nutrition by John. 1 Comment

Crazy deal on the TRX Suspension Trainer and Rip Trainer

Many of you know I’m a big fan of the TRX Suspension Trainer.  I’ve only mentioned a few products here on this blog and only because I use them myself and believe they’re some of the best tools you can buy.

TRX is offering a great post-Christmas sale.  Buy your suspension trainer or TRX Rip trainer,  through the link below and you’ll get 20% off PLUS free shipping..  Make sure you use the code AFFILIATETRX or SALE20 at checkout to get the deal!   

20% off TRX HOME, PRO, FORCE & RIP + Free shipping Now At TRXTraining.com! Use Code: AFFILIATETRX or SALE20 – Good Through 12/31/12! Click Here!

The offer is only good through Monday, December 31.  Heck, I paid more for my own TRX, but it’s worth it.  

20% off TRX HOME, PRO, FORCE & RIP + Free shipping Now At TRXTraining.com! Use Code: AFFILIATETRX or SALE20 – Good Through 12/31/12! Click Here!

Posted in Core exercises TRX by John. No Comments

Remember when they just called it water?

Is it really worth it?

Is it really worth it?

Remember the old days when water was just water?  Today grocery stores dedicate space on their aisle signs just for a newfangled type of water called “fitness water”. They don’t even dedicate sign space for staples like salad dressing, so this stuff must be really important.

Fitness water? Seriously? What is Fitness Water and should you be drinking it?

Fitness water is, theoretically, supercharged water.  The idea is to take regular water, fuse it with vitamins and antioxidants, and voila, you get fitness water.  A bigger, better, faster, stronger version of good old water.  Sounds like something that makes sense.  Let’s dig a little deeper.

The primary ingredient in fitness water is, surprisingly, water.  In addition, the some of these products contains things like added flavoring, citric acid, sodium citrate, potassium citrate, sucralose, vitamn C, vitamin E, vitamin B3, calcium disodium EDTA, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, acesulfame potassium, and vitamin B12.

There’s nothing really bad in most of these ingredients, although personally I’d prefer to stay away from the artificial sweetener sucralose.  I’m no chemist, but I’d be willing to bet that the amount of actual vitamins in these fitness water products is likely just a trace.  You’re probably already taking a quality multivitamin (you are, aren’t you?) which means you’re getting significantly more of most, if not all, of these vitamins making the trace amounts irrelevant.  Do you really need the other stuff just to get a trace amount of the good stuff? 

Here’s the kicker.

While most have little to no calories, some products have a significant amount of sugar which means you’re now drinking something with a nutritional profile more closely related to soda than actual water.  Hey wait…I thought this was supposed to be good for me? Hmmm.

As a society, we already drink nearly 25% of our daily calories.  Personally, I don’t really want anything else that’s going to contribute to that total.  I suppose if you choose the product carefully and this is the only thing that’s going to keep you from downing another soda, go for it.  

For me, I’m sticking with good old ice cold water and saving those extra dollars to improve the quality of the food I eat. 

What’s your take on this stuff?

Posted in Nutrition by John. 1 Comment

A tale of two SUVs

A tale of two SUVs

A tale of two SUVs

Both tell a story.

One tells a story of parking spots claimed, coffee shops stormed, and journeys to Lowes and the grocery store.

One tells a story of family adventures, road trips, bike rides, kayak excursions, wildlife spotted, and mountains climbed. 

Do you measure your success by the size of the sky you view or the size of your car’s wheels?

Both tell a story.  Which will you tell?

A life lived rich or a life richly lived?

Posted in Goals by John. No Comments

Yet another push up variation

One of my past posts introduced an “exercise” I called the Pushback.  

 I’m giving you a variation on the pushback today, and this one’s a real exercise.  The push up is a classic old school exercise that many people overlook.  To many, it just sounds too simple to be effective.  However, sometimes the easiest solutions are also some of the most effective and the push up is no exception.  The Pushback Push Up adds a different twist by engaging the shoulders and upper back in a different way than the standard push up. 

Give this one a try and leave me a comment below to let me know how you like it.

Posted in Bodyweight exercises by John. 1 Comment