Why is exercise important? Anyone who’s watched tv, or picked up a magazine in the past decade can answer this question. Go ahead… give it a go. What’d you come up with?
Exercise burns calories, helps you lose weight, strengthens muscles and bones, increases energy levels? All 100% true. However, the benefits of exercise are vast… as vast as our waistlines! It’s time to get movin’!
If you don’t start shakin’ your groove thing, there’s gonna be some serious consequences! Can’t remember what your groove thing is? Start exercising. It’ll all come back to you. Skeptical? (I knew I liked you.)
Check out this 73-page fitness report by the World Health Organization (including 13 pages of references to scientific studies). They’ve got my back on this one.
The report says that exercise stimulates cognitive function… and suggests that moderate physical activity can actually prevent or even delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Brings a whole new meaning to “jogging your memory” doesn’t it?
The truth is, improving your memory and dodging dementia represents a very small fraction of the health benefits connected with staying active. Check it out.
Exercise improves functional health and creates stronger muscles & bones, improves posture, helps with weight loss, increases energy levels, staves off depression, improves your quantity and quality of life.
Reduces the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, and heart disease
Reduces the risk of other major health issueslike hypertension, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, sarcopenia, high blood pressure, obesity, depression, metabolic syndrome, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, colon cancer, and breast cancer.
What Types Of Exercise Should I Do?
Canada’s Physical Activity Guide (developed by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology in 2002) recommends choosing a variety of activities that build endurance, strength, and flexibility. The table below was adapted from their guide.
How Much Is Enough?
Minimum recommendations for adults are 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 5-7 days a week (18-65 years). Individuals trying to manage body weight or prevent weight gain should shoot for 60 to 90 minutes a day. Sound daunting?
Not to worry. The current definition of physical activity is more inclusive than you think. The effects of exercise are cumulative. Doing short bouts of physical activity is sufficient as long as it’s in 10-minute chunks.
US Department of Health and Human Services 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity most days of the week. 60 to 90 minutes are recommended for individuals maintaining weight loss.
Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology Accumulate up to 60 minutes of light effort physical activity everyday – like strolling, or stretching or 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, four days a week)
World Health Organization WHO adopted the American College of Sports Medicine’s recommendations.
Couch Potato Protocol
If it’s been a while since you’ve broken a sweat, start off slowly. When you reach the 30-minute goal, continue to challenge yourself by increasing the duration and intensity of your workouts. After all, you can’t go from couch potato to exercise enthusiast overnight… at least not without some serious repercussions.
If you type in “which foods help you lose weight” in your favorite search engine I am sure that you will get millions and millions of different results. All of those will have their own assumptions and conclusions but few of them is going to have scientific proof, which is what I am trying to do in all of my posts. Anyway…
FAQ: “Can Eating Certain Foods Really Help Me Lose Weight?”
People often ask us if there are foods that help you lose weight. According to a decade of research – the answer is ‘yes’ with qualifications. Our top two choices for this category are almonds & grapefruit.
Read on and discover which of these “super-slimmers” boosts your metabolism, lowers your insulin level, and reduces your cravings… for up to four hours!
If nuts are classified as an energy-dense, high-fat food how can eating almonds actually help you lose weight? Good question – but be forewarned: the answer will challenge your fat myths – especially the one that says, “eating a low-fat diet will help me lose weight.”
Ask the women who participated in a seven-year low-fat diet trial. They reduced their fat intake without substantially reducing their weight. Ouch!
In contrast, McManus et al. showed that consuming a moderate-fat diet (including nuts, peanut butter, and olive oil) resulted in significantly greater weight loss than consuming a low-fat diet. It’s counter-intuitive… but it works! You have to eat fat to lose fat.
The key is consuming the right types of fat (such as, monounsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats). Almonds have plenty of both. They’re also full of micronutrients, antioxidants, and a host of other protective substances. But can they really help you lose weight, eat healthier, and control cravings?
That’s what the research suggests. Read it for yourself – but more importantly – put it to the test. We did, and that’s how almonds ended up on our foods that help you lose weight list!
Almond Research Suggests…
Almonds + Low-Calorie Diet = Weight Loss 65 overweight individuals placed on an almond-enriched, low-calorie diet experienced 62% greater reduction in their body weight, 50% greater reduction in waist circumference, and 56% greater reduction in their body fat than those on a low-calorie, complex carbohydrate diet.
Almonds Trigger Healthier Eating Habits For a period of six months, 43 men and 38 women were asked to add 1/3 cup of almonds to their regular diet. Scientists noted that participants ‘spontaneously’ ate less animal-based proteins (meat & diary), which significantly reduced their intake of saturated fat (aka ‘the bad fat’).Almonds helped these participants eat healthier and shed some pounds in the process! Also of note is a two-year study involving a whopping 8865 people. Participants who ate nuts at least 2x per week were 30% less likely to gain weight than those who rarely ate nuts.
Almonds Satiate Your Hunger Longer In a study conducted by the Glycemic Index Laboratories of Toronto, participants reported feeling satiated up to four hours after eating a meal containing carbs and almonds versus carbs and animal-based proteins (note: meals were balanced in carbohydrate, fat, and protein).According to the researchers, it’s the high protein and fat content in almonds that help satiate your hunger longer.
I confess… I’ve spent most of my years avoiding grapefruit. When my high school friend told me she was going on a grapefruit diet I’m not sure which disturbed me more… the word ‘grapefruit’ or the word ‘diet.’ Maybe you can relate…
Recently however, I’ve gone from ‘grapefruit loather’ to ‘grapefruit keener.’ My family still gives me open-mouthed stares when I buy, peel, and eat one like an orange. So, you ask… why the change?
It’s simple. I read the research and found myself – the grapefruit skeptic – being swayed (not to diet… but to eat more grapefruit). Here’s the scoop…
Since the 1970’s, grapefruit’s been called a “super slimmer,” “calorie burner,” and a “wonder fruit,” but until recently, there’s been limited research to support these claims.
In 2006, the Journal of Medicinal Food featured a study examining the effects of grapefruit on body weight and metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic Syndrome Defined: “a cluster of the most dangerous heart attack risks: diabetes, pre-diabetes, abdominal obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.” (Also referred to as “insulin resistance.”)
The results showed that consuming half a grapefruit or a glass of fresh grapefruit juice before meals may help you shed pounds. According to Dr. Ken Fujioka (Director of Scripps Center for Weight Management in San Diego), participants who consumed the fresh grapefruit experienced the greatest weight loss over the 12-week period (1.9 kg or 3.6 lbs).
Not impressed… put it in perspective. The participants in this study were obese & not on a restricted diet.
In fact, they ate what they normally ate (you know, the stuff that made them fat to begin with). Yet, instead of gaining weight (their normal cycle), they actually lost weight!
Read the research to understand why grapefruit made it on our foods that help you lose weight list!
Grapefruit Research Suggests…
Grapefruit’s Chemical Properties Promote Weight Loss 100 obese individuals were randomized into four groups: placebo capsules + 7 oz. apple juice, grapefruit capsules + 7 oz. apple juice, placebo capsules + 8 oz. fresh grapefruit juice, and placebo capsule + half of a grapefruit before each meal. [3 – International Journal of Obesity].Participants who consumed the fresh grapefruit experienced the greatest weight loss over the 12-week period (an average of 1.9 kg or 3.6 lbs) with some losing up to 10 lbs. According to Fujioka et al, grapefruit contains chemical properties that lower insulin levels and promote weight loss.Recap: eating grapefruit lowers insulin levels, minimizes blood sugar spikes, and facilitates fat burning… instead of fat storing! Yet another reason why grapefruit made it on our “foods that help you lose weight” list!
Grapefruit Reduces Cholesterol & Risk Of Heart Disease According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, red grapefruit contains chemical compounds that significantly lower cholesterol, and serum triglycerides (a red flag for heart disease).The study included 57 post by-pass surgery patients who weren’t responding to traditional cholesterol-lowering medication. Their grapefruit supplemented diet reduced their cholesterol by 15.5% and their triglycerides by 17.2%… and better yet, reduced their risk of disease!
CAUTION: DRUG INTERACTION WITH GRAPEFRUIT! If you are taking medication, ask your doctor about possible drug interactions with grapefruit.Not able to add grapefruit to your diet? Choose a fruit that’s nutrient dense, high in antioxidants, and polyphenols – pomegranates, blueberries, and acai are excellent options!
There are countless of weight loss myths and facts and personally I have heard all kind of crap that promises you to lose weight easy and fast.
There are especially four of them that caught my attention and still today these myths are actually trusted by many people as a serious way to losing weight!
I feel like it’s time to start throwing new light onto these old myths. Weight loss is such a huge goal with so many people, and having the right information makes all the difference.
When you go off myths, you get frustrated when the weight doesn’t come off. So, here they are my personal four myths about losing weight…
Starving is The Ideal Method for Losing Weight
This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard and still today I daily hear people saying that they will skip over the lunch because they want to lose weight!
Don’t be one of these people! When you skip over meals you will switch your body into something I like to call “starvation mode”.
What happens in this starvation mode is that your body starts to consume your muscles instead of fat stores. Yes, that’s true; your body will use your muscles as fuel to start with. So, when you burn your muscles you’ll indirectly burn less fat because more muscle means less fat.
Read that paragraph loud and realize how ridiculous it sounds! Yet, people are convinced that this is the ultimate way to lose weight but it’s so wrong! Muscle is actually your friend when it comes to weight loss. Ever wonder why athletes consume so much food and yet aren’t fat?
They have so much muscle mass that they need a higher amount of caloric intake just to compete in their sport. Michael Phelps can power through 8,000 calories – but I promise you that you wouldn’t be able to do the same thing and expect weight loss. Always think about your goals and no one else’s.
Now, at this point, you might wonder: Why do people use this method?
Well, this is the fastest method for seeing instant results. You see, people measure they results by standing on the weight scale and trust the numbers shown there.
I could rant and rave about the scale all day, but I’ll keep this short :
The reality here is that the scale isn’t always your friend. Just because the scale shows a loss of 10 pounds doesn’t necessarily mean that you have actually lost 10 pounds of fat.
What I am trying to say is that up to 60% of your body is water which means that when you are starving to lose weight you are consuming a lot of water. So, when you check your scale, it might show you 10 pounds lost but in reality you have just consumed your body’s excess water.
Once you start to eat regularly and hydrate your body you’ll soon see these numbers on your scale increase gradually. After a while you’ll be at the same number and you’ll repeat the same process again.
Fat is Bad, I Must Avoid it at All Costs
Nothing can be more incorrect than the statement above. I will only repeat this once; you need to eat fat in order to lose fat, period. Yeah, I know what you think, how can I tell you to eat fat while you are at the same time trying to lose it?
Well, you see there are different types of fat and the key is to eat right type while avoiding the bad ones. The most dangerous type of fat is the one called trans-fat and is the standard ingredients in fast food. Yeah, your French fries are all filled with trans-fat.
The main problem with this fat is that your body doesn’t actually know what to do with it as it is artificially generated. Trans-fat will raise your dangerous cholesterol (LDL) while at the same time lower your good cholesterol (HDL).
The saturated fat is also the one you should consume as little as possible. This one is not generated artificially but it’s still not healthy. The ideal sources of saturated fat are butter, cheeses and ice cream.
So, what type of fats should you actually eat? Well, go for the unsaturated fats. These can be found in nuts, fish and vegetable oils. My personal favorite is cashew nuts, I simply love these. The problem is that most nuts contain a lot of energy (calories) so you need to be careful when consuming them.
I usually limit myself to 30-50 grams per day. A fun fact is that 100 g of cashew nuts (natural, not roasted) contain 500 calories which is equal to 100 gram of milk chocolate!
Carbohydrates are Evil! No, They are Not!
One of the most popular discussed topics today is the LHCF (Low Carbohydrate, High Fat) diet. While there are people who claim that this type of diet is great my personal opinion is that I don’t believe in these diet trends.
In fact, I am against all kind of diets as you can’t live a life by having a diet controlling you all the time.
It’s more likely that you will fall into same bad habits and gain more weight after you stop with your diet than if you just tried to cut off your bad nutrition habits (e.g. eating fast food).
Carbohydrates are not evil, the key is to select good carbohydrates. Great sources for good carbohydrates are whole grains, fruits and beans. The bad ones are found in white bread and rice; sodas filled with sugar and processed foods. 
My recommendation is to use common sense and try to pick the right carbohydrates as often as you can. You don’t need to get stressed out just because you have consumed two slices of bread! Getting yourself into the “health food mode” state of mind doesn’t occur over night.
You need some time to adjust yourself to the new changes but you have to do it gradually, not just jump instantly on it as the risk is that you’ll lose motivation and fall into the same habits again!
I Don’t Eat After 8 P.M Because I Will Gain Weight
This is a myth that I hear often when I discuss weight loss topics. One day when I arrived at the work one of my friends asked me if we could eat lunch a little bit earlier. Sure, I said, when do you want to go?
He replied: well how about 10 AM? Um, isn’t that a little too early, I said. Well, I didn’t have any dinner yesterday because I came home at 9 PM and I don’t eat anything after 8 PM so I am kind of starving now.
So, my friend has not eaten anything in the last 20 hours because someone told him that eating after the magic eight will gain him extra pounds! How silly isn’t that? Listen, without any doubt, there is no chance of gaining weight if you eat after 8 PM! I have been doing it for twenty years, heck, I am still fit!
What determine whether you will gain weight is how much calories you consume during the day and how much you exercise. This is the secret to whether you will gain or lose weight — not the time of the day!
There are countless myths about weight loss but I have chosen to pick the ones I found most disturbing. In fact, there are new myths born every day and keeping track on them all is hard work.
However, make sure you use common sense when you hear something that sounds like a myth and do your research steps before you incorporate it into your daily routine. If not, you’ll end up like my friend above and walk around hungry!