Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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The New Health Foods – or Diet Saboteurs in Disguise

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

Many food products on the market today have good-intentioned dieters losing BIG…but, not necessarily the weight.  Products are being touted as Healthy only in how they are marketed – the name on the box can mislead even a savvy shopper.  Here are some examples of “health” foods to avoid. 

 

Super Protein Drinks-
Many of us are looking for ways to keep our protein intake high – especially if you are trying to balance blood sugar,  or repair and build muscle post workout.  Convenience protein drinks have made this convenient, but it comes with a price.  These products contain soy protein isolate which is a heavily processed form of soy.  Dr Mercola recently published an article stating that soy protein isolates can suppress thyroid function, cause digestive problems such as diarrhea, and promote an increase in hormonal estrogen. 

Keep it simple, stick with protein from real, unprocessed foods: animal meats, beans, lentils, eggs and dairy.

 

Trendy Cereal-

Stroll down the cereal aisle of your favorite grocery store and you will notice some new items competing for your attention.  Since Greek yogurt has enjoyed a surge in popularity due to its high quality protein content, the cereal companies don’t want to miss out on the buzz and the bills (that is, dollar bills). Unfortunately, this means that they simply toss a pinch of heavily processed yogurt powder into the mix of sugar, wheat, oats and rice.  This yogurt powder is created by heat treating, killing the active yogurt cultures and is only a fraction of the “greek yogurt” product.  The rest is made up of non-fat dry milk solids…not yogurt.

Maybe enjoy some actual Greek yogurt (that is milk strained in a cheese cloth or muslin, retaining its creamy texture and high protein content) – then, add a little of your favorite cereal for crunch – or better yet, throw in some nuts, seeds, or ground cacao seeds to boost the nutrition without the processed junk.

 

Veggie Pasta-

Ok, I’ll admit I was a little tempted by this one…vegetables infused into my pasta, my kids will love it!  What I’ve learned is that you just need to eat and enjoy the actual vegetables – can’t blame a mom for trying!  Here’s the scoop:  Veggie pastas promote vegetables in disguise.  Their small amount of vegetables per serving turns out to be a ¼ cup of vegetable solids from dried carrot, tomato, and spinach.  Each heavily cooked serving leaves you with 4 percent of a day’s vitamin A….ummm, that’s one sixtieth of a carrot or three baby spinach leaves. 


Save your money, and eat real vegetables!

 

-Jodi Sussner

 

Final week of the 2013 Lose Weight Challenge!

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Hello everyone and congratulations, you have made it to the final week of the lose weight challenge. I’m sure you have all been through some ups and downs both physically and mentally so I would like to offer you some tips to give you that final push: 

Tip #1 - Limit your simple sugars. Try to stay away from candy or anything that is high in sugar. Sugar is a carbohydrate and excess carbohydrates tend to make you retain extra water weight. Limit your candy, fruit juice, regular soda, or anything that is full of empty sugar calories.

Tip #2 - Avoid heavy carbohydrates. Stay away from heavy morning cereals, pancakes, waffles, pasta, white bread, and potatoes. Think more green vegetables like broccoli, green beans, asparagus, and spinach. Try to focus on keeping your carbohydrates lower this week and adding higher protein foods.  If you do this you may see some additional water eliminated from your body.

Tip #3 - Don’t miss a workout day. You have made it this far in the challenge. Don’t allow yourself to miss a single workout at this crucial time. You may also want to consider adding in a second session each day.  Try doing 30 minutes of extra cardio either at night or early in the morning right when you wake up.  This will be tough but may get you to the finish line and in the prizes.

Tip #4 - Drink more water. Even though you might think that if you drink too much water, you’ll retain water, the opposite is true. When you drink more water, your body flushes excess fluid from your cells and maintains an ideal water balance in the cells. The result: Less bloat where you don’t want it.  However, when you are a day out from your weigh-in, you should cut your water intake so you can dehydrate prior to your weigh-in the next day. 

I appreciate everyone’s hard work in this lose weight challenge.  Try a tip or two to help you get over the finish line.  Keep your head up, turn on some motivation music this week during your workout, and finish strong!

How to break through a weight-loss plateau

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Hello everyone and welcome to week four of the Lose Weight Challenge.  It is at this point in the challenge that you may be experiencing a plateau.  You’ve probably lost the most weight in week one and have been slowing down ever since then.  You are probably losing anywhere from 1 to 2 pounds per week or you have stopped losing weight all together.  Now what?  What do you do to break the barrier and get through that weight loss wall? Here are some tips and tricks to get you through your barrier and to the end of the Lose Weight Challenge:

1) Do something different - When you hit a plateau your body has become used to the same workout or same routine and is not responding in the same way.  It has hit a “maintenance” level.  Most likely the amount of calories you are burning are equal to the amount of calories you are taking in.  You have to make a change in this equation.  You can either increase the amount of calories you burn through cardiovascular exercise and weight training or you can consume fewer calories through your diet.  Based on the law of thermodynamics if you are taking in less calories than you are burning you should lose weight.   Therefore, it should be a simple fix to make an adjustment on either end of the spectrum.  Eat less or work-out more!

2) Try a detox - If you didn’t begin your weight loss challenge with a detox, try doing a detox now.  It isn’t too late to clean your body out of all of the toxins and sodium that are making you hold on to excess water or fat.  Try TrueDETOX from Truestar Health.  This is a 10 day detox in which you take one packet three times a day prior to meals.  This should help “clean-out” your system and give you a 2 – 5 pound boost in your weight loss program.  Just remember that this isn’t a long term solution but only a plateau breaker if in fact you didn’t start your program with a detox.  Most people do a detox twice a year for weight loss or health reasons.  

3) Water - Drink water to lose excess water.   There are a lot of people who drink less water to dehydrate themselves to lose weight.  What really happens is your body holds on to excess water to survive instead of eliminating it.  Make sure you are drinking at least eight 8 oz. glasses of water per day and even more if you are exercising. The water you drink will actually flush excess water out of your system and will also eliminate toxins in your body. Try having water right next to you throughout the day so it is the main thing you grab when you get thirsty.  Drink a lot of water to lose excess water.

Try following the above tips this week and best of luck as you enter the final three weeks of the challenge!

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 mysnapfitness.com 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 caloriecounter.com 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 mysnapfitness.com site and click on My Nutrition, you can register for free on the Truestar.com 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 mysnapfitness.com 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: 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: 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!

Posts 41 - 50 of 106