Sunday, February 19, 2012

One Key Habit of the Lean, Fit and Healthy

Just think of how much better your life would be and the world would work if you were truly committed to 100% excellence? Maybe you don’t think it would make a difference, or may be the difference is just not clear to you. You see one of the key habits of people who are always lean, fit and healthy is that they hold themselves to a certain standard. It is seen in their level of 100% commitment to; what they will eat, how much they will eat and daily exercise. They are completely unwilling to compromise on that pact they made with themselves. Ever meet someone like that?

There is no partial commitment, no forgetting about it because of rain, busy day, social event or any other thing that might try to de-rail their plans. No person, situation or event will stop them from holding to the 100% commitment they made within themselves! They know that a moment of question, even a 99.9% commitment, will open the door to rationalize, make excuses or de-prioritize their health priorities. Here is an example of what can happen when you soften your commitment even a drop. Did you know that if doctors only held themselves to a 99.9% commitment to excellence then; 500 incorrect surgical operations would be performed each week and 50 newborn babies would be dropped at birth each day…just for starters? Think about it, what if your heart took on a less than total commitment and worked only 99.9% of the time? Your heart would fail to beat 32,000 times a year! Does this sound hard?

Is it unreasonable to be 100% committed to something? Let me ask you, are you anything less than 100% committed to being faithful to your spouse or significant other, less than 100% committed to protecting your kids? When you think about it, you are that committed to a lot of things aren’t you? Remember 100% commitment is easy, 99% commitment is a bitch! If you give yourself even a moment of wiggle room then it can lead to an increase in excuses and rationalization. You will talk yourself out of it more and more, especially if this is a new habit for you. What if every day you had to decide if you were going to be faithful to your spouse, or whether or not you were going to protect your kids. Imagine weighing the options, the pros and cons, imagine the internal struggle. It would be a bitch wouldn’t it?

 That is why committing 100% is easy; there are no questions, no decisions, no room for excuses…you just do it. When it comes to your weight and health, being 100% commitment does not mean 100% abstinence from foods you enjoy. It means that you hold yourself to your rules and standard. It might be.. • Exercise daily for 1 hours...or • Exercise 3 times a week for 30 minutes…or • Ice cream one time a month. • Pizza once every two weeks • Healthy breakfast every day • Lean protein and vegetables every lunch mon-Friday. Take the time to design your health rules and then once decided, commit 100% to them! You will see your life and health change!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

To Lose Weight You Must Fill the Void

Everything we do is driven by our personal demand to fulfill some of our needs. One of our important needs is that all people have a need for variety or spontaneity. Unfortunately, there are a large number of methods that people use to fulfill this need that aren’t healthy; junk food or food in general, alcohol and drugs - these fulfill this need but could hardly be considered a healthy choice.

 How we try to fulfill our needs can be broken down into two different types of behaviors…
    • The first type is the most fulfilling:  the behavior fulfills our basic needs, it is good for us and it positively impacts others.  Exercise, contribution, loving   relationships and serving others are some examples.
    • The second type is not beneficial:  the action or behavior fulfills our basic needs, but it is bad for us and it is not beneficial for others.  Using food in this way or alcohol are examples.

Eating foods that we know is unhealthy for us; that make us gain weight, that make us feel bad about ourselves long after we are done eating, that leads to a low level of self-esteem and health – and that negatively impact people around us - are type 2 actions.  It is not a healthy choice for us but unfortunately it is fulfilling a human need.

Let’s say that you have decided that it is time to make a change, to lose weight and get healthy!

When you decide to take charge and make a change, what you must embrace is that this is not only an opportunity to change your diet, but to also change the method you are using to meet some of your needs.  It is a chance to change behaviors from type 2 to type 1. 

If you go on a diet and you don’t fill the void in the fulfillment of your basic human needs created by the diet, then you will quickly feel overwhelmed.  You can’t ignore the human need.  You will experience this loss or void as; feeling uncomfortable, feeling uncertain on how to feel good, and you will also feel like things are boring, a lack of variety in your life.   When you begin to sense that your needs are not being met you will sabotage your diet.

If you don’t want this to happen, then…

…to lose weight - you must fill in the void.  Replace it with a positive, type one behavior.  Find your variety, your spice of life in other ways…exercise, books, conversation, living fully and outrageously.  These are the things that increase your quality of life.  Let’s face it,  when we die…we only get to take our memories with us.  Do you really think that you will remember the dumb T.V. show you watched or the fattening meal you ate while watching it because you were sad or bored?  No!

So fill the void by doing things that enrich your life, increase your health and create a better version of you. Those types of behaviors will fulfill your needs, are good for you, and will affect others around you in a positive way.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Why People Fight For Their Right to NOT Lose Weight!

Many people who are overweight, feel the pressure to lose weight from outside influences, but fight for their right not to do so, why?  Is it ignorance because they don’t know what the repercussions of their weight will be on healthcare and life expectancy?    Or is it that they aren’t self aware enough to evaluate the cost of their weight as it relates to; their self-esteem, their self-image and the effects it is having on themselves, others, and their relationships?

If it is ignorance, then for these rare few there is but an awareness of discontentment, and that discontentment is pushed deep into the recesses of their mind. It is usually not ignorance that has someone fighting to stay overweight, but protection. It is common for overweight people to hide behind a defensive veil, aggressively standing up for their right to be themselves and to be accepted by others for who they are.  Watch out if any of these loved ones suggested losing weight or a healthier lifestyle to these people. It is unfortunate that it is not clearer to these people that any change that their love ones are suggesting comes from wanting the best for them.   It is not non-acceptance that drives a loved one to want the person they care about to be healthier, be more confident and live a fuller more rewarding life… but love.

This defensive veil is their protection,  it is the outer shell that hides their true feelings.   Take the veil and draw it back and you come face to face with a person that wants to change, and who in fact struggles with accepting and loving themselves.   But, with an inability to know exactly how to change, a  self-protecting mechanism kicks in and they stand vehemently up for their right to be any weight they choose and that they should be loved and accepted as they are.

Some use weight as the ultimate protection, a way to push others away.  Some use it specifically to push away opposite sex or the interests of others.  There is no threat of rejection if you don’t make yourself available to being rejected.  By staying overweight and unattractive to others they protect themselves from others.  It is not unusual for people in unhappy marriages to keep their spouses at bay by holding on to excess weight, for them it is easier to push their husband or wife away with how they look then by working through the relationship problems.

It might have become apparent, that being overweight is a selfish thing that affects everyone, it is also a thing that can be manipulated and can be used to push others away. Regardless of whether someone is defensive because they are hurting inside and wish terribly that they could lose the weight, or if they feel that way but have learned to use their weight for their own manipulation and protection, it is very sad.  People should never fail to realize that the love and acceptance they fight for from others is not what they want.  That love and acceptance is and always will be there from the people who love them… but this will never take away the pain they feel inside.

The love and acceptance they really desire, the one that can take away all the pain is not from any of the outside sources they look to, but is from within themselves. The second they take responsibility for their feelings, their attitude and their self-esteem they will be on their way.  They will stop looking to others for acceptance and start taking the steps necessary to create the love and acceptance they so very much need from themselves.

It is only when we love and accept ourselves does one’s relationships with others soar to new heights and does our own self-mastery begin to blossom!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Protein Benefits: Real or Hype?

Protein has been shown to benefit people in a number of different ways, from increasing metabolism (thermogenic effects) to de-greasing and repairing a fatty liver.  One of the important benefits that increasing your dietary protein seems to deliver is the benefit of increasing lean muscle mass.  Even in a calorie deficit, it has been suggested that increasing your protein will preserve your lean muscle so that the majority of weight will be lost from fat.    You see when you go on a diet, eating less than your body needs, then “what” you are eating will result in you losing certain amount of muscle and a certain amount of fat.

An ideal diet, has you burning the greatest amount of fat, but preserves as much lean muscle as possible.  Many people go on diets eating anything that they want (including junk food) but just less of it.  What they do not understand is that they could be losing as much if not more muscle than fat, a fact that they will not be aware of simply by looking at the scale.  Do you think that that would make a difference in your body composition and how you looked? Imagine if you were to lose 50 pounds of weight, but in one scenario you lost 50 pounds of fat compared to another scenario where you lost 25 pounds of fat and 25 pounds of muscle?  Which scenario would you prefer?

A study that was just conducted this year, looked at the effects of dietary protein content on weight gain, energy expenditure and body composition during overeating. This was an excellent study because it was all performed in a controlled setting.  This means that all the participants were observed, monitored and fed under the control of the researchers.  Basically they were under house arrest for the duration of the study so all food eating was accurately recorded.

The results were interesting.  This was an overfeeding study so all subjects, who were between the ages of 18 and 35, were fed more than their daily energy needs. One group was fed a calorie surplus that had 5% protein (low group), another had 15% protein (normal group) and the last group was fed a diet that had 25% of its calories coming from protein (high protein group).  All groups were overfed an average of a thousand calories over their daily requirements.

The results proved that you can gain weight regardless of the macronutrient profile, of course.  But it also proved that the higher the protein intake the greater the acceleration of fat burning and the increase in lean muscle mass. The low protein group gained the least amount of weight, the normal protein group gained more weight, and the high protein group gained the most. But, the interesting thing is that all 3 groups had gained the same amount of fat.

  • The low protein group experienced no increase in energy expenditure (thermogenesis) and no increases in lean muscle mass.
  • The normal group had an increase both in lean muscle mass and energy expenditure.
  • The high group had even a greater increase in both!  

The bottom line just looking at calories is that eating more than your body needs will increase your weight.
But, more importantly, this study proves the benefit of protein as it relates to thermogenic properties and retaining or increasing lean muscle even in a calorie deficit diet!  Said differently if you want to have the body of your dreams it involves losing fat and retaining or increasing your lean muscle.  To do that protein in the right amounts are key.

1)Bray, GA.  Effect of dietary protein content on weight gain, energy expenditure, and body composition during overeating: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Key to Achieving Your Health Goals

Sitting up straight or lying down, close your eyes for a moment and imagine what you would feel like, if you had your ideal body and perfect health. Really take a few moments to let yourself imagine this. Let go of your current self, your present self-image, health and body... and imagine the new you.

Imagine yourself with toned arms, flat 6-pack abs and legs and butt to die-for.

What would you do with all that extra energy, how would you dress differently, how would you feel about yourself?

Experience the confidence you would have, how your self-esteem would soar and how others would perceive your attractiveness and confidence! Imagine the limitlessness to all the activities you could participate in with your healthy, fit body. Imagine an evening of feeling sexy, sexually confident and attractive with your significant other. How would that affect your relationship or your ability to attract your ideal soul mate? Envision your perfect body and the way it would make you feel! Think of it like this: This vision is the “authentic” you – the person you have always wanted to be with the body and health that you have always known you should have!

Do you ever say to yourself, “If I just lost the weight, got healthy and took care of myself, then I would feel like […]”

That is the person you should be …the True or “authentic” You.

Now, open your eyes and realize where your health truly is. How much weight could you stand to lose or how much farther do you have to go before you have the lean, flat stomach of your dreams? Take a look at the harsh reality of what your body has become and consider the effect it has had on your self-esteem and self-image. Think about how your poor body image has negatively impacted your life.

Has your confidence become less than it could be?

Are you less sexually confident and is your sense of attractiveness diminished?

Do you feel great in a swimsuit or revealing outfit or do you hide from your mate or from yourself?

This is an excerpt from 'Mindset for Weight Loss' by Michael Mountain. The answers to these questions and more can be found by opting in to the free diet in the right hand sidebar.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sorry Dr. Oz… You Missed This Important Part to Weight Loss!

I was recently watching a part of Dr. Oz’s show, this particular episode was on weight loss, and something he said caught my attention.  It immediately registered as a red flag phrase because in its simplicity it was at best only partially correct. Dr. Oz’s statement was on will power.  He said, “will power cannot compete with biology.”  Let me explain that further so that it makes sense because I agree with this.  What he was saying is that people’s will power cannot compete against food cravings from falling blood sugar or chemical messengers like the fat hormone leptin and the gut hormone ghrelin.  These two hormones sends messages to tell our brains when we are hungry and full.  When they aren’t working properly they make us hungry all the time.

And in this he is right… but, here is my problem.

If you start to eat certain healthy foods, quickly and I mean within 3-5 days for most, some as long as a week, those craving go away.  It is the reason I created the Ultimate Fat Loss Solution Diet; to give people the direction in their food choices so that they quickly get rid of these annoying cravings. You know what it is like to always be thinking about food or struggling with these misunderstood desires for salt, chocolate or a gallon of ice cream; it doesn’t help you with your goals and in fact nothing will sabotage your diet faster.

It is also the reason that people who instead of actually going on a diet of healthy food choices, just try to eat less of fast food and other processed junk, fail…the cravings will be turned on to overdrive.  Their battle will be a perpetual craving to eat more and more of the same crap that will fight their will power every moment of every day.  It is a recipe for disaster, so if you have not read it, down load the Ultimate Fat Loss Solution Diet now, from this blog and find out how to end those cravings.

So part one of what I didn’t like about what Dr. Oz said was because the solution to the biology question is an easy fix.  The second part was where the good Doctor completely missed the boat.  By far the number one challenge for people’s will power does not come from our biology, but comes from ourselves, our sub-conscious habits and our emotional connection to food…our food addictions. Having been on seven different diets over the course of a lifetime before discovering the secret to permanent weight loss, and having helped countless people end their own struggle with weight, I can tell you that our mind is where the battle is won.
The battle with biology, cravings and repairing hormonal imbalances is the easy victory, unfortunately this victory does not lead to automatic six-pack abs, toned arms and legs and great health.

The development of the Mindset for Weight loss Transformational program is the blueprint for winning your own war against unhealthy eating and lifestyle choices.   If you want a body to die for and the health of a 20 year old athlete, then you need both…diet and a shift in your mindset. Speaking of athletes…even elite athletes recognize that success is part preparation (diet, rest, training) and Mindset (sports psychology), a winners belief, attitude and resolve.  They need it to win and you need it to experience permanent weight loss!

So, with all due respect for Dr. Oz, don’t ever forget that successful and permanent weight loss is found in changing both your psychology and your diet!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The "F" Word: FEAR

These are the Top 4 fears that stop people from taking the road to success.

Fear of Failure – “What if I can’t lose the weight?” Ultimately, some people would rather not try to lose the weight due to the looming possibility that they might fail. Previous failed attempts only strengthen this fear! They can become so overwhelmed and fearful of letting themselves or others down that they never actually start.

Fear of Success – You’re thinking, NO WAY, why would anyone fear success?! Because people with this fear think, “If I lose the weight, my life might change or friends might judge me and not want to hang out with the new thin me.” Some people have friends and family that are overweight and they fear that if they are successful that it might negatively affect their relationships. This leads us into the next fear people have…

Fear of Rejection – These people fear being judged or rejected by the people they love the most. Some peoples’ lives revolve around food and social situations; they can feel that if they change how and what they eat, then their friends might not enjoy their company because this person is not participating in the usual and customary way. They also can fear that their friends might not like to hang out with them if they are fit and healthy because their friends might feel uncomfortable or feel compelled to change themselves.
We so often don’t realize that those who love us, who genuinely wish us well, want us to be happy and most of the time are prepared to join us on our journey!
And then, there's...

Fear of Limitation or Restriction – These folks can feel like they are going to somehow miss out; they often say things to themselves like, “I don’t want to deny myself life’s pleasures like Friday Pizza Party, Saturday Beer and BBQ, Sunday Nachos & Margaritas!" They even justify it, “I work hard and this is some of life’s simple pleasures,” or some people feel that life is already full of restrictions or limitations. These feeling can come from many issues - big ones especially, such as money struggles - and these folks commonly feel that food is the one thing that they can go crazy with, without limits.

Yes, these are all head games, but fear is the number one reason people fail to even start to lose weight. These people can be terrified into inaction. Please be aware... these fears are NOT REAL, and otherwise known as "Inauthentic Fears"; friends and family will not run away because you are getting healthy…
These fears do exist in some people's heads, and they do hold people back. You may recognize yourself in some of these fears or situations. And that's OK. But what you need to understand is that this is your psycho-cybernetic mechanism messing with your head! Remember the weight gauge we talked about towards the beginning of this book? … That gauge will resist change by sending you these feelings of fear! That thermostat is kickin' in!

To read more about how to beat fear in your weight loss program check out Mindset for Weight Loss by Michael Mountain. You can also opt in for a free diet from Michael right here by filling out the form to your right!