Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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How to Kick-Start Your Weight Loss Program

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Hello Weight Loss Challenge participants! Congratulations on getting started with the $25,000 Lose Weight Challenge!   We had great results last year and are looking forward to even better results in 2013.  To get you started I wanted to give you some tips on how to get out of the gates.  Here are a few ways to jump out of the gates:

Use the tools available to you:  Log into your site and click on My Nutrition.  If you haven’t done this yet you will be prompted to register for a free nutrition program with Truestar Health.  Once you are in the site, click on Nutrition and begin the process.  It will ask you to enter some information and select a goal.  The goal is the most important part as you will be able to enter in your current weight and your goal weight.  Once you do this, it will allow you to create a custom nutrition plan and will tell you exactly how many calories to eat each day and you will be able to customize your menu.  Next, you should click on Vitamins and create a custom vitamin plan for you.  Make sure to take advantage of this tool as 70% to 80% of your results come from the foods you put in your mouth.

Supplements: Once you have your menu plan created and your vitamin profile done you will be given recommendations for supplements based on your goals and personal needs.  If you selected a weight loss program it will recommend a 10 day TrueDETOX and Cleanse product that will help you lose some extra pounds in week one.  You will take one packet 30 minutes prior to your three main meals per day.  You may lose up to 4 – 5 pounds in week one with the detox and exercise but don’t expect this number to continue.  You can plan on losing about 1.5 to 2 pounds of fat loss per week.  Two other products I would recommend are the TrueSTRENGTH organic protein for muscle repair and TrueBASICS multi-vitamins for the nutrients you need without the calories.  Use the protein as a post-workout drink for muscle recovery and take the vitamins with food in the morning.  Most importantly make sure you are following the recommendations the system recommends.

Enlist a Personal Trainer:  Engage with a professional to get you on the best program possible as early as possible.  A trainer will be able to recommend the best exercises for you based on your goal, in a safe and effective way.  They will show you how many sets and repetitions you should be completing and the proper form on all exercises.  For cardio, they will be able to recommend the best type of cardio for you and the exact heart rate you should be training at to hit your goal.  On top of the weight training and cardio, they will be able to teach you how to balance your workouts, meals, and supplements in a safe and effective way.  Consider taking the time and making the investment to educate yourself on effective training and gaining the knowledge to get you results now and for the rest of your life.

Ask the Trainer: My Problem Area is My Stomach!

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

This week's Q&A focuses on Chad's most frequently-asked question - regarding the mid-section!


Question: What are the best exercises for the stomach?


Answer: The best exercise for your mid-section is a combination of cardiovascular exercise to burn stored body fat, weight training (crunches, leg lifts, ab machines) to add muscle and increase your metabolism, and nutrition. That being said, nutrition is about 70% - 80% of the battle. Until you eliminate the fat layer over your abdominal area you will never be able to see the muscle. I would focus on working out your full body 3 times per week and get 5 days of cardiovascular exercise in for 30 minutes. Try cutting your calories back a little bit too and you will start seeing results!

Ask the Trainer: Toning the Chest

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: I have big "man boobs" that are a big problem for me. I bought dumbbells and tried doing chest flyes but instead of my "boobs" slimming down, they got bigger. How can I get rid of them?


Answer: This is normal. We all have a fat layer that sits on top of our muscle. When you lift weights and start growing more muscle the fat layer will move with the muscle. You are building muscle under the fat which is good but you need to be doing cardiovascular exercise and eating properly to lose the fat layer. I would make sure you are doing 3 – 4 days a week of cardiovascular exercise for 20 – 23 minutes. Keep lifting to speed up your metabolism but kick in the cardio to lose the stored fat. Best of luck!

Ask the Trainer: Weighing Yourself

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: Is there a best time of day to weigh myself to check weight loss progress? Also, would I get a more accurate weight right after a workout, or before?


Answer: It doesn’t really matter what time of the day you weigh yourself. It is more important to do it at the same time of the day every time. For example, if you weigh yourself one day prior to your workout you may weigh 120 lbs. The next day you weigh yourself after your workout and you are 115 lbs. In this example you just lost 5 pounds of water weight in one day. This is also a reason why you don’t weigh yourself each day. I would recommend weighing yourself either immediately after your workout or 1st thing in the morning and only weigh yourself once per week. Hope this helps!

Ask the Trainer: Timeline for Weight Loss

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: Is it possible to lose 20 pounds in 45 days?


Answer: It is possible to lose 20 pounds in 45 days but it is not healthy. The most amount of fat you can lose per week is 2 pounds. That being said you would be able to lose about 12 pounds of body fat over the 45 days. You may also drop some water weight if you are eating healthier and cutting out fats and salt. So realistically you could probably drop about 15 pounds over the next 45 days. Anything more than that is all muscle loss. If you lose muscle you will slow down your metabolism in the long run and diminish your results.

Ask the Trainer: Cardio and Weights Routine

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: I do about 30 minutes weight training, and 25 mintues running. If I do both workouts a day is it too much? I want to lose weight - like 30 pounds. I do this 6 days a week.


Answer: This is perfect for what you are trying to accomplish. The only advice I can give is that you might want to look at doing them at the same time. If you begin running immediately after your weight training your heart rate will already be elevated and you will burn more calories in less time. If you are working out all you can and you are still stuck in a rut you will need to look at your nutrition.  If you continue what you are doing right now and just lower your caloric intake a bit you will also see more weight loss. Best of luck!

Ask the Trainer: Temptations and Weight Loss

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: I really need and want to lose weight - but my biggest problem is giving into temptations. Any suggestions?


Answer: Temptations are a problem for all of us. When you have a food temptation and you consume more calories, it can be hard to lose weight. Here are a few things to try. First, make sure you are eating small meals throughout the day - every 3-4 hours. This will increase your metabolism and will make it so you are not as hungry when you tend to crave sweets. Another trick that works for some people is to simply not have tempting things around the house. If there is a bowl of candy out in the open, or a bag of chips in the pantry, it is easy to keep walking by and grabbing a few. Try to eliminate or limit the things you keep around until you break your bad habits. Best of luck with your goals!

Ask the Trainer: Calorie Cycling?

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: I have heard one strategy to break through a weight loss plateau is through zigzagging calories/calorie cycling (increase caloric intake at least one-twice per week.) What is your opinion on this?

Answer: I have heard of this too but I personally don’t believe in it. At the end of the day you have to take in less calories than you burn to lose weight. I believe this to be a true science. The only way that would work is if on the higher days of calories you are working out extra hard to make sure you are burning more calories. I would focus on making sure you are burning an excess of 1000 calories over what you are taking in on a daily basis - meaning you are consuming 1500 calories and burning 2500 calories. If 3500 calories equals one pound of body weight you would be able to lose about 1.5 to 2 pounds per week of body fat. My recommendation is to just be consistent with your exercise routine: 4 – 6 days per week and make sure you are taking in less calories than you are burning. Best of luck!

Ask the Trainer: Excess Skin and Building Muscle in Weight Loss

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: Love my local Snap in Medford, NJ. I am 60 years old and have lost 110 pounds, with clean eating and working out with my awesome personal trainer, Sue. We are now working on toning the loose skin, the result of being 100 pounds overweight for 30 years. I am interested in your opinion as to what I can realistically expect. From what I have read the odds are not in my favor.

Answer: This sounds more like a question for a medical doctor.  What has happened is you have stretched your skin and when you lost the weight the skin stayed where is was at. I do believe you can alleviate this a little bit by adding back muscle under the skin. However, the skin may have to be removed to be permanent.  Congratulations on your weight loss!

Question: Do you really gain weight when you are building muscle?

Answer: If you only gain muscle through weight resistance training you will gain weight. All you are doing is adding muscle to your body. However, you can build muscle and still maintain your weight by losing fat at the same time. This will take a combination of weight training, good nutrition, and cardio. Gaining muscle + losing fat = losing inches!

Ask the Trainer: Adding Exercise to Dieting

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: I started dieting two months ago and lost 10 pounds. Last month I added exercise and did a total of 40 hours and have not lost a pound. Some people have suggested I might have a thyroid issue. I can’t believe I haven’t even lost a pound. What is going on? I have the weight to lose. Help!

Answer: If you lost 10 pounds just through dieting in the first month it was probably a combination of fat, water, and muscle. However, when you added weight training to the mix you probably started putting on more muscle and losing fat at the same time. Many times this accounts for no weight loss but inches lost on the waistline. Take a look at whether you are losing inches more than weight. If this is not the case then I would recommend going to the doctor and getting your thyroid checked. If your thyroid is o.k. then you need to start looking at the amount of calories you are consuming versus the calories you are burning. If you are burning more calories than you are taking in then you have to be losing weight. Good luck with your workout program and your future fitness adventure!

Posts 31 - 40 of 60