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Secret to Weight Loss

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Hello Lose Weight Challenge Participants!  Congratulations on getting to week three of the challenge.  This week I want to share what I consider the secret to weight loss.??

To lose weight you have to take in fewer calories than you burn! – Period!

1. If you eat 2000 calories and burn 3000 calories, you lose weight?
2. If you eat 2000 calories and burn 1000 calories, you gain weight?
3. If you eat 2000 calories and burn 2000 calories, you stay the same

Most people are at a maintenance level when they begin an exercise routine. This means that in example #3 above, they are taking in the same amount of calories as they are burning. They have “plateaued” in their weight and need a way out.  Well, one great thing that is new to this year’s challenge is that we have a free custom menu plan that does the work for you. Log in to your site, click on My Nutrition and sign-up for your free account. This is very easy and the website walks you through the process step by step and tracks your caloric intake. Or, you can try to figure out your three day average.  Once you know this number you can do one of the scenarios below:

1.  You can eat fewer calories. When you eat fewer calories you will begin to lose weight as your caloric input number is lower than your output. However, by dieting alone, your body will adjust to this and lower your metabolism, eating away at your muscle. In the end you have lost weight, but most of it will be muscle mass. This is why DIETING ALONE DOES NOT WORK.

2.  You exercise more and eat fewer calories. This is the clear choice because you are creating a larger caloric deficit.  You add 20 minutes of weight training and 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise and the numbers start to move. (I.e. 1500 calories coming in with food and 3000 calories being burned through exercise).  Because you are at a 1500 calorie deficit you will begin losing pounds. Weight training will help you burn more calories and help you maintain lean muscle mass which increases your metabolism. Cardiovascular fitness will help you burn more calories and will help you begin burning stored body fat. To summarize this whole idea, it can simply be said to, "Eat less and exercise more." Don’t overcomplicate it. 

Here are just some basic daily habits that you can do to get in some extra movement to burn more calories.

Tip #1 - Don’t look for the closest parking spot. We all have the habit of parking in the closest parking spot.  Try parking on the far side of the parking lot. Imagine how many more calories you will burn if you make this a habit everywhere you go.

Tip #2 - Stop taking the elevator. Think of how many more calories you will burn if you take the stairs.  This also goes for escalators. Try to make it a habit to use the stairs everywhere you go and you will burn twice as many calories and speed up your weight loss.

Tip #3 - Make use of your lunch break. Instead of using your whole lunch break to eat, try limiting your eating time and spend 30 minutes of your lunch break walking outside. This is a great way to burn some extra calories and a great way to get an extra energy boost for the day. Try walking right after you eat to give your metabolism a kick and to avoid the blood sugar crash.

Tip #4 - Take your cardiovascular workout up one more level. If you are doing 20 minutes, go to 30 minutes; if you are at level 1, increase to level 2 or 3. You are already at the gym or in your workout, so just add a little bit at the end and you will see a difference.

Be consistent - especially during the weekdays when you are on a strict routine. Keep your eating clean and don’t let anything get in the way of your workout. It takes consistency and dedication to make the right decisions each and every day.??

Once again, hope the challenge is going well for you and best of luck in your finish.?

How to Speed up Your Metabolism

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Hello Lose Weight Challenge participants!  Congratulations on getting to Week 2 of the challenge. This week I want to give you some tips on how to increase your metabolism with exercise and nutrition:

1.   Lift weights to lose weight! – Lifting weights is crucial to keep your metabolism high on an ongoing basis.  Think about when you feel sore after a workout.  You have actually torn (micro tears) you muscle during your workout.  Your body doesn’t like that so it has to work on repairing the damage.  Therefore 2 – 3 days after your workout your body is burning more calories as it is repairing itself.  It is directing the protein you are taking in to repair the torn tissue instead of storing it as fat.  As you begin adding muscle you will increase your caloric output at rest by 30 – 50 calories a day for every pound of muscle gained.  Lifting weights helps you burn calories in the few days after your workout and is your ultimate long term goal to burn more calories.  If you are a cardiovascular exercise only person you are only burning calories for a few hours after your workout versus a few days with weight training.  This is where most people go wrong because they think they will “bulk-up” by lifting.  Lift weights, eat right, and keep your cardio consistent and you will see results fast!

2.  Supplements- Supplements are what they sound like.  They “supplement” your workout and your diet.  When you log into your site and click on My Nutrition, you can register for free on the site.  Once logged in, click on the Vitamin tab you can create a custom vitamin profile based on your goals and any medical issues you may have.  Two products you should pay attention to are TrueENERGY and TrueBASICS with Lean Extreme.  These products will help you burn fat at a faster pace and increase your energy prior to your workout.  TrueENERGY can be taken as a pre-workout to give you that extra energy boost to increase the intensity of your workout.  It will also raise your heart rate slightly so you are burning more calories during your workout.  TrueBASICS with Lean Extreme is taken with your meals and contains ingredients that will help you metabolize foods faster and increase your metabolism. Try these two products to kick-start your metabolism but remember that they are just a “supplement” to your good eating and exercise program.

3. Become a grazer- Eating too many calories at once or too many calories over a 24 hour period will do nothing but put more weight and fat on your body.  Your body can only take in so many calories at once and you need to take in fewer calories than you burn at the end of the day to lose weight.  Try spacing your meals out every three hours.  Make sure to start with a healthy breakfast that includes protein, not just carbohydrates like a bagel.  Two to three hours later eat a snack when you start feeling a little bit hunger.  Mid-day eat a healthy balanced lunch. Three hours later have a mid-afternoon snack.  For dinner, make sure you aren’t overstuffing yourself or eating right before bed.  It is harder to metabolize foods lying down and affects how you sleep.  The main goal is to eat small meals all day long so your body can metabolize it and not store it as fat.  If you starve yourself during the day, you will end up hungrier at night, putting yourself at risk for overeating.   

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!

Posts 31 - 40 of 62