America is a nation dedicated to looking physically good all while not having to do anything to gain that fitness. In fact, I have friends that would starve to look "hot" rather than eat well-balanced meals and do some physical activity. Why? The ADA says that we are spending $33 billion on weight loss aids, yet we are facing an obesity "epidemic." Ironic? Maybe, maybe not, I like to call it the effect of the "Obesity Cycle:"
Breaking the Cycle
The obesity cycle is dangerous, but many Americans will go through it (not just overweight persons, skinny people too). First, people fail to eat nutritiously, claiming that they don't have time, so they settle for fast food or junk food. Many reasons for this, mainly depression or lack of nutritional knowledge. Then after a while, they open their eyes, look in a mirror, (or overhear some guy say, "look at the jiggle," and realize that they WANT to be skinny. They don't think about being in shape, just skinny like the girl in history whose legs are the size of ones arms. So they buy some "100 calories snack packs" and chocolate Slim fast, along with diet pill like hydroxycut or alli, and they are ready to go. After two weeks of dieting (no exercise), they crave a Whopper or something, feel that they cannot do this and succumb to their pitiful desires, thus repeating the whole cycle again.
Why Are Diet Pills Dangerous?
Let's face it, it can be hard for people to know how to eat healthy and do physical exercise with zero nutritional education and lack of proper models (i.e. parents/guardians). And with marketing so gung-ho on advertising junk food in one commercial and diet pills in another, it teaches people that they can have their cake and eat it too. Recently, a diet pill has breached the market claiming that it is a fat buster- Alli. Alli, or Orlistat is a fat blocker that claims to block the absorption of 25% of the daily fat intake as long as certain requirements are followed.
This pill is SO dangerous I cannot believe that it is FDA approved. It is the ultimate "make me skinny" pill because it claims you can still eat fat-filled diets, so long as you take this pill. And the side effects? Think about it like this, you might pass gas and instead your pants will be stained with unabsorbed fat globules...and we all know that grease doesn't come off clothes too easily . In addition to the slimy side effects, it prevents the much-needed absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K . Now this would not be terrible if most American took a multi-vitamin; according to USA Today, 59% of Americans do not consume a vitamin . I guess what I am trying to get at is that the pills that are put on the market are not manufactured with the person's best interest in mind, but they know the desperation a person can feel when they want a "quick fix." There is no regard to safety, and they can avoid blame for somebody's death because they put disclaimers on these bottles, but fail to see that Americans lack the initiative to educate themselves, thus creating the possibility of really hurting somebody who lacks the knowledge to make diet choices in the first place.
What If Interventions Are Necessary?
After reading Brandon's review about getting surgery to reduce his obesity, I am proud of him, yet my opinion (feelings) on obesity remains the same. Adults that are obese allow themselves to fall into the category because of many reasons: depression, low self-esteem, lack of discipline, etc... But I feel that it is a choice or lack thereof.
Children on the other hand, I feel sympathy towards their wellbeing. They don't buy the groceries or make the choices of what their parents claim to be food. But kids have a choice. I grew up in a VERY Irish family (both parents came from the meat and potatoes generation) and I became a vegetarian around the age of eight. I chose not to eat certain foods, which forced my parents to change their lifestyles and start serving more veggies.
But look at today's generation...many children are "glued" to the TV especially if their parents work a lot or don't provide enough outdoor activities. City children are more obese than rural children are (from personal experience, I came from the "sticks" to the "city" and there is a HUGE difference in the activity levels).
So, do I agree with obesity surgery for a 13yr old, heck no. Get that kid outside. Nobody needs surgery to lose weight at that age (or any age really). I feel that obese children are a direct product of the failure of parents to teach their children valuable lessons. I feel that the child should put on a nutritious eating plan and eased into daily activities like walking, weight lifting, and playing at the beach.
Surgery is a quick fix that often leads to failure. Example- There was a boy on my brother's baseball team (6-7yrs ago) whose entire family was morbidly obese. Why? Fast food, and when they were not eating fast food, they were eating junk food in extreme proportions. All six family members underwent gastric bypass surgery. They all lost about100-250 pounds, including the 14yr old. Within two years of the surgery, every single one of them managed to gain the weight back! This is a very common situation. Many undergo the surgery as Brandon stated, but do not really want change their lifestyles, just their looks. I think people need to be better qualified for these surgeries. They need to go to "ANCs"(anonymous nutritional classes) for a year before undergoing the surgery as well as make every attempt to start a better lifestyle BEFORE the surgery, not after...
Just in time for the holidays, our team is offering our BEST packages to you at reduced rates. We really want you all to succeed and sometimes that means giving you something that will change your lives forever at the best rate possible.
Our nutritionists and fitness experts are ready to help you make a real change. All of our packages offer one-on-one support, customized plans, and the inspiration you need to be your best self. If you order between 10/15 and 12/31, you will get the best bang for your buck! Aren't you ready for a change?
Most people gain 1-3 pounds of fat every year at Thanksgiving. And guess what? Most of those folks make it a permanent weight gain. Thanksgiving used to be a meal with friends and family, but now it's a overstuffing of the body with unhealthy sides, mains, and desserts.
This year, we challenge you to go against this American tradition of Thursday football and 3500-6500 calorie meals. What should you do instead? Have a Fitsgiving!
A Fitsgiving is an active way to celebrate Thanksgiving. You can still have your roasted turkey, potatoes, salad, and pumpkin pie, but we invite you to take an adventure this year and have it to-go. Make your dinner table around a campfire. Yep! You heard us -- turning your Thanksgiving into a backpacking trip. Since you get Thursday (and for some of you Friday) off, you could make a hell-of-a-trip out of four days. You could fly to a hike that you've been dying to do, or hike something near home that you've been meaning to complete.
We are proud to announce that our pre-order for the Kindle edition of our "8-Week Guide to Shred Body Fat without Cardio".
You can find in on Amazon!
OctoberWe are super excited to tell you that we will be releasing a fitness and nutrition book this June. A preorder will be available shortly. The book is perfect for folks who want to lose a little or a lot of weight, and it comes with kick-ass food and butt-smashing workouts!
We love brownies, but those boxed ones are terrible for you, and even homemade ones like grandma used to make will have you eating too much sugar and too much fat. The video above is a great way to have your brownies and eat them too! Enjoy.
Don't Have Everything You Need?
Sometimes you want to make brownies or cake, but you don't have everything you need. We recently discovered FoodStirs, a company that delivers baking kits to your house! The coolest part about this company is that you can set yourself up on a subscription and receive new kits monthly. So far, we've tried the cupcake kit, brownie kit, and the chocolate chip cookie kit. All of them were easy to use and just fun. If you want to try them like we are, you can use the code: SMORES20 to save 20%.
Digestion is key to healthy eating and feeling good throughout the day. According to Science in the Kitchen., by Mrs. E. E. Kellogg, here is how long it takes to digest some of the most widely eaten foods:
Rice 1 hr
Beans, pod, boiled 2.5 hours
Bread, wheaten 3.5 hours
Bread, corn 3.25 hours
Apples, sweet 1.5 hours
Parsnips, boiled 2.5 hours
Cabbage, boiled 4.5 hours
Eggs, hard boiled 3.5 hours
Salmon, salted, boiled 4 hrs
Beef, lean, rare roasted 3 hours
Pork, roasted 5 hours
Fowls, boiled 4 hours
This is important because the the longer the digestion time, the longer you feel full.
A ketogenic diet seems all the rage these days, but it's really just an amped up version of a paleo diet.A "keto" diet is a ultra low carbohydrate diet that relies primarily on fat as the fuel source. At Skinny2Strong, we don't ever recommend this type of fad diet....because that's what it is...a fad and it should be used. Don't let doctors and other "nutrition experts" fool you.
If you look it up, many people begin their transition into a keto diet by eating a block of cream cheese for three days! The notion behind this diet is to reduce carbs low enough so that they body has no choice but to use fat to provide the body with energy.
How Low Carb?
Yes, you read that right. Most keto diets say that 50 is the highest, but really 20 should be the goal. This means that you will be doing a lot of macro counting. Fat should make up at least 70% of your diet with only 10% coming from carbs. Well, one cup of broccoli has 6 grams in it. If you're a vegetarian or a vegetable lover, this diet can be a real life suck.
Carb cycling is a dietary choice where you alternate the amount of carbohydrates you have on each day. The idea is to have higher carbs on heavy lifting or cardio days and lower carbs on low energy days.
But that's nice. What does that really mean for you? The idea behind adding carb cycling into your life is that it trains your body to burn fat on low-carb days. Since you aren't giving your body a rich stream of carbs throughout the day, your metabolism is forced to turn to fat for energy.
Now, the reason carb cycling may be more beneficial than a strict all-low-carb-every-single-fucking-day diet is because the high-carb diets remind your body to replenish important hormones like leptin and human growth hormone...among others. When you dive into a low carb diet, you do get better insulin sensitivity, but your body also turns down certain hormones that are activated by carbohydrates in the blood stream. Ultimately, the high-carb/low-carb strategy burns fat without decreasing your metabolism. It also keeps you from turning into a raging a-hole because you didn't get your pancakes with whipped cream and syrup. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration...or is it? I'm pretty much an a-hole when I don't get my Sunday pancakes.
If you want to try carb cycling and see if it helps you lose weight or get you over a rough spot in your progression...or hell, if you just want to change up your diet, follow our 2-week carb cycling program, featured below.
Let's get something straight, the food pyramids created by the USDA for Americans, whether meat-eating or vegetarians (or vegans) suck. They are funded by big agriculture and recommend that you eat large amounts of the food that they want to sell. Plain and simple.
I know this because I worked for the USDA for a brief time (but left because I couldn't handle the fact that they allowed their pockets and politics to influence the information they provided to us). I watched as the dairy or beef or wheat guys would totally influence how the pyramid was designed. That consumers were told to eat more grains or dairy because it was important to them to boost those economies...it had nothing to do with your health.
This is something that has been sitting on me for a long time and part of my mission to get you from skinny to strong is to make you the most informed on nutrition as possible. I aim to provide honest, no-agenda nutrition information that doesn't appeal to fads or policy. It just appeals to the human body and your physical (and sometimes emotional) needs.
To start, I have created a food pyramid that is the center of our nutrition program. And because many of you are meat eaters or are vegan, I made sure to create this pyramid to accommodate your dietary choices. Of course, you will not find dairy on this pyramid because it is not a legitimate food group for humans. We are not going to talk about this here, but let's just remember that another animal's milk isn't created for other species...we don't see baby cows being fed human milk, do we? No, it doesn't make any sense and it is purely a commercial product.
Protein: 3-4 servings per day
Fats: 1-3 servings per day
Fruits: 1-3 servings a day
Vegetables: 5+ servings per day
Grains: 0-3 servings per day
Scrambled Eggs with Fruit
Spray a medium pan over medium heat and scramble 3 eggs and 2 egg whites together. Season with salt and pepper. Add ½ chopped red bell pepper to the pan and cook until the eggs are cooked through. Serve the scrambled eggs with a banana sprinkled with 1 tablespoon flaxseed and a dash of cinnamon.
Super Citrus Smoothie
Blend together a frozen banana, 1 orange, a pinch of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon protein powder, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, and 2 teaspoons hempseed.
Blueberry Spinach Smoothie
Blend together 1 cup spinach, 1 ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup blueberries, ½ frozen banana, 1 tablespoon flaxseeds and a pinch of cinnamon.
In a cup, spoon 1 cup nonfat yogurt into the bottom. Add 1 cup blueberries, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, ½ cup Old Fashioned oats, and a pinch of cinnamon. Stir and eat.
Oats, Apples, and Almonds
In a bowl, mix together 1 cup cooked oats with 1 diced apple, 1 tablespoon flaxseed, 1 tablespoon chopped almonds and a pinch of cinnamon.
Apple Banana SmoothieBlend together 1 Granny Smith apple, ½ frozen banana, 6 almonds, 1 tablespoon protein powder, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, a pinch of cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon hempseed until smooth. Add more liquid if needed.
Guess what just happened? Beach Body is offering ALL of their workouts through video streaming!!! We are super in love with this streaming program at Skinny2Strong, and we had to tell you about it. Now tons of cable channels and even YouTube offers workouts (if you follow our site, you know that we post YouTube workouts). But the beauty of this is that you can dedicate yourself to a fitness program and always have your workouts available to stream from any device.
We think that having access to the workouts is going to make it easier to stay on track and get yourself in tip top shape. Since we work directly with Beach Body, they gave us this link to share with our clients. The link gives you 30 days free access to their streaming channel...if you like it, keep it. If not, dump it!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X9 square baking pan.
2. In a small pot, heat the almond butter and mashed bananas. Stir until combined; set aside.
3. In a food processor, coarsely chop the almonds. Coarsely chop apricots, cranberries and cherries.
4. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the seeds and oats. Fold in the almond butter mixture. Press the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
5. Let cool before cutting into bars/squares. Wrap individually in cellophane and store in fridge for up to 1 week.
Diet usually has something to do with you not meeting your fitness goals. Many of you do not have a lot of spare time, and while the team recommends living a stress-free life that allows you to cook all of your meals and spend more time with your family, we know it isn't always going to happen.
We don't want any of you slipping up on your progress. And we definitely don't want any of you slinking to Papa John's for a cheese pizza because you didn't have time to cook. We've partnered with Balance by bistroMD, a meal delivery service that prepares amazing meals with fresh ingredients. And guess what? The meals are delivered to your home for free if sign up for the service through the links in this post.
Now, we didn't want to promote a service unless we tried it ourselves. Two of our nutritionists signed up at their own expense to test it out. Let's see what they had to say:
The average American drives 33 miles per day. They get in the car to go down the street to the grocery store. They whiz through the drive-through for their 500-calorie lattes. They drive to pick their kids up from school. They drive to work. For the most part, Americans drive everywhere.
On the other hand, Americans usually walk less than 3 miles per day. That's less than 5,000 steps per day. Our team thinks that is backwards; many of us have sold our cars or only use them for long-distance trips because the human body was built to walk long distances. It was built to carry a backpack on its back and a 30-lb kid on its hips. The body is stronger than most people realize.
For the sake of ease, let's say that walking one mile burns around 60 calories, more if you weigh over 140 pounds. If you walk five miles a day just getting to the places that you have to be, then you burn 300 calories. This presumes a 2.5 MPH pace. Move faster and you will burn more. If you are piggybacking a kid or carrying a heavy backpack, burn even more. These are the miles that it takes to get places...work, home, school, store...it doesn't count your weight lifting or circuit training and it doesn't take into account the walking you may do at work or elsewhere. It's an extra 5 miles of physical movement added to your day.
Now you may think that this is impossible, but it isn't. One of our nutritionists has been without a car for SEVEN years. She walks with her now 6-year-old everywhere. The nearest grocery store is 2 miles from her house. She only uses the public bus when it's more than 5 miles from her house. And guess what? She's got a six pack. She has minimal body fat. And even better, she doesn't run or do extensive chronic cardio.
We bet that if you tried this method of living, you'd lose unwanted fat, build muscle and get closer to a "zen" happiness. After all, that's what we're all about here. Give it a try. Just a week.
Building muscle and burning fat is easy once you get the hang of it, but there are things that you can do to accelerate your progress or even shed a few pounds of body fat (you know the ones we're talking about!).
There are also tons of things that you can do to maintain your weight once you've reached a good place.
One of the hardest things for most people on a fitness journey from skinny to strong (or fat to fit) is staying on track. Some days are harder than others. Sometimes you just want to eat ice cream. And sometimes you want to eat ice cream while watching people work out at the gym.
But that doesn't mean you have to stay off track once you've goofed up. As soon as you slip, aim to recommit to your goals immediately. And if you think that you can't keep yourself on track using independent tools, then it may be time to invest in a fitness coach or mentor.
A mentor is a professional who can help you stay on track. A mentor supports you in your goals and keeps you accountable. For fitness and nutrition goals, you may want to invest in a personal trainer and a nutrition coach to keep you on track. These mentors may request your weekly schedules, help you develop meal plans, go shopping with you, cook your meals for you, and workout with you. They will do whatever you need them to do to help you.
And a GREAT mentor will know how to get you from baby steps to full-blown autonomy. How do you find one of these miraculous people? Lucky for you, Skinny to Strong has a team that is happy to help. We can provide a fitness and nutrition coach to help you meet your goals. Simply contact us and we can talk about what you need.
And if you can't afford to hire a coach, then read this website that gives you tons of FREE resources.
Sites We Love
The Baker Chick
The Candida Diet
Super Healthy Kids
Wake Up World
No Meat Athlete
American Nutrition Assoc.
Lean it Up
Muscle and Fitness
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”
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