May 22, 2008

Importance of water

"Water is the only drink for a wise man." -- Henry David Thoreau

Especially when you're exercising!! Water fuels the cells of your muscles to break down and build up properly. To determine how much water you need to rehydrate, weigh yourself before you begin your workout. As soon as you've finished exercising, weigh yourself again. You'll notice you've lost a few pounds. Start drinking water and continue to weigh yourself until you're back at your original weight. This ensures you've got the minimum amount of water for your body to recuperate. Continue to drink your 64+ ounces throughout the day.

Although it's nice to see that you've already lost a few pounds after your hard work, in reality you're starving your muscles of what is going to help them. In the long run it's more important to rehydrate than feel like you've instantly lost a couple pounds.

May 21, 2008

Calories are not the enemy

Most people think when trying to lose weight one must cut calories. This is true, but only to a certain point.

Drastic cutting of calories will encourage your body to lose lean body mass (LBM) -- which include your muscles, bones -- anything but fat. This is not good!!! You need your LBM to stay intact so your body works properly. Calories are the fuel that allow your body to function. Calories give your body the protein, carbohydrates and fats it needs to energize your muscles.

Remember that muscle directly effects your metabolism. If you increase your muscle (the strength/size) you increase your metabolism. The opposite is true as well; you decrease your muscle, you decrease your metabolism. (Again - this is not good!!!)

My suggestion mirrors some other personal trainers' suggestions; when you exercise (especially weight train), you need to eat more afterwards. You need to provide fuel to your muscles so they can repair themselves and build strength more efficiently.

One idea is to find out how many calories you need per day to achieve your desired weight (or maintain your current weight) and then add back either a portion of or all of the calories you've burned during that exercise session.

So for example, if you burn 300 calories on the treadmill during your workout, you should add at least 100-200 calories back into your diet (if not all 300). How does this help you lose weight? I swear I'm not crazy. By adding in those calories you are giving your body the energy it needs to continue to repair your muscles stronger, and those muscles continue to burn fat. Again, this is especially true after you've lifted weights. Your muscles crave those nutrients to help build themselves back up again. I'd suggest a protein snack or shake within 30 minutes of finishing your weight training.

You can take my word for it and try this, or you can ignore me. I get tons of weird looks when I tell people my opinion/thoughts about this. But I've seen people follow my advice and drop weight, and I've seen people ignore my advice (which really is fine; it doesn't hurt my feelings) and their body holds on to those last 15 pounds despite their constant efforts at the gym.

Keep in mind how tired you are after a workout. Would you want to workout again, right away, without any rest? That's how your muscles feel afterwards. Not only did you tear their little fibers apart when you lifted weights, but now they have to find the energy to repair themselves to be stronger than they were before. Give them an extra push by feeding them more calories, and they'll work more efficiently for you (increasing your metabolism).

May 14, 2008

Recipe time

The food you consume has SO MUCH to do with your overall health (or weight loss).

This recipe is from Weight Watchers:

Stir-Fried Chicken with Broccoli, Red Peppers and Cashews


  • 2 tsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 tsp sesame oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp ginger root, finely chopped
  • 3 small garlic clove(s), finely chopped
  • 1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet red pepper(s), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cup broccoli, florets
  • 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 20 items cashews, roasted, unsalted, roughly chopped


  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil, ginger and garlic; cook 15 seconds. Add chicken and stir-fry until starting to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes; remove to a plate.

  • Add remaining teaspoon of vegetable oil, pepper and broccoli to same skillet; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add chicken back to skillet, pour in soy sauce and cook, stirring, until chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes more; toss with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil. Sprinkle on cashews and serve. Yields about 1 3/4 cup per serving.


  • We chopped the nuts so we could cut back on the total amount used but still sprinkle a lot on the dish.

May 13, 2008

If you're not seeing results...


I'll say it again. If you want to see different results, take different actions. This applies to anything in life -- results from your workout, results from your job, results as a parent, results as a student, etc.

If you've tried everything you can think of to change your results and there's only little to no change, it's time to consult a family member, a friend, a professional; someone else to give you a different perspective or idea.

May 9, 2008

Calorie Counter

There's a website that'll help with your calorie counting called The Daily Plate. It'll count your calories FOR FREE!! I'll also put this link in the "Sites for You" section the right hand side of this blog for future reference.

Happy counting!