Psst. Want to learn my not-so-secret secret?

My secret isn’t about how to get through the holidays without gaining a pound.  (I don’t want to read another one of those articles, much less write one).  It’s not about how to get through the next month without COMPLETELY losing your mind due to stress.  (Here’s that article in a nutshell: deep breaths, don’t try to be perfect, bottle of wine).  Nope.  This post is my not-so-secret secret to getting the most out of your workouts.

Ready?  Here it is ladies:

LIFT WEIGHTS.  OFTEN.  HEAVY ONES.

That’s it.  Short and sweet and totally doable.

Here’s an example: the exercise is a weighted walking lunge for 40 seconds.  One woman picks up 10 pound dumbbells and another woman picks up 20 pound dumbbells.  At the end of the 40 seconds, the woman carrying the lighter weights has completed the exercise easily.  Her heart rate hasn’t increased, her respiratory rate has remained constant, and she hasn’t broken a sweat.  The second woman, by contrast, needed to stop before the 40 seconds was up because she had fatigued her muscles to the point of (almost) failure.  Her heart rate has increased, her respiratory rate has accelerated, and she is sweating.  Who accomplished the most during the 40 seconds?

This is important for two reasons.

First, most of us don’t have the time to spend hours at the gym.  We want to get in, get our workout done as quickly as possible, and get out.  If this sounds a lot like you – LIFT HEAVIER WEIGHTS.

Second, all of those markers (increased heart rate, respiratory rate, and sweat) means you are forcing your body to work.  And the harder you work inside the gym, the more results you will see outside the gym.  Lift heavier weights.

And let me stop you right there.  I know what you are about to say.  “But, I don’t want to get bulky.  I want to be lean.”

Women can’t get bulky by merely lifting weights.  We do not have the testosterone necessary to do so.  The women you see in magazines and in competitions are taking supplements to look that way.

For those of you interested in losing weight, resistance training has proven to be more effective than cardiovascular exercise in burning calories.  COOL!

For those of you who love to eat, (I fall squarely into this category), the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism, and the more calories you can eat.  HURRAY!!!

For those of you who think women rule, I really enjoy it when I am lifting heavier weights than the men in my class.  Be a badass and lift heavier weights.

Questions?  Thoughts?  I’d love to hear from you!

Eat well.

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Top 5 Nutrition Myths

MILK DOES A BODY GOOD?

For years we were all told that if we wanted strong bones, we should drink milk because milk contains calcium and calcium=strong bones.  Wrong!  Science is now proving that there is NO RELATION to calcium intake and bone density.  In fact, a recent study from Uppsala University in Sweden suggested that consuming more milk could actually be associated with higher risks of fractures.  The vitamins more important to bone health are Vitamin K and Vitamin D.  Vitamin K is found in vegetables like kale, spinach, mustard greens, parsley, broccoli and Brussels sprouts – just to name a few.

EATING FAT CAUSES HEART DISEASE?

Thanks to an erroneous conclusion made back in the 1950’s by Ancel Keys, we have all been told that there is a direct relationship between saturated fat intake and coronary heart disease.  Turns out his study was severely flawed and there is no link.  However, don’t go reaching for the butter just yet!  Fat is a macronutrient and a crucial component to a balanced diet, but that does not mean you can eat it with abandon.  The basic tenants of a good diet remain the same: balanced meals eaten consistently throughout the day. And incorporating butter as well as those healthy monounsaturated fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds accomplish that balance.  If you want to read more about fats, click here to read a more in depth discussion regarding fats in my recent blog.

BREAD IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL?

Probably one of the most frequently asked questions I get from clients is, “Do I have to stop eating bread?”  My answer is, “Absolutely not.”  Humans have been eating gluten for thousands of years, so it is not gluten that is inherently the issue.  What is the issue is how processed and refined most breads have become, rendering them physiologically akin to eating sugar.  Unless you have been diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, eating whole grain bread OCCASIONALLY that contains a minimum of 3 grams of fiber is perfectly okay.

YOU CAN SUPPLEMENT YOUR WAY TO HEALTH?

Supplements are an increasingly popular and incredibly lucrative industry that has NO regulating body.  As a result, I call the supplement business the snake oil industry of old.  When you go to buy any kind of supplements (including multi-vitamins) there is absolutely no assurance that what you think you are buying is actually what is in the bottle.  Additionally, our bodies don’t have tanks to store all those excess vitamins, minerals, amino acids, protein, bee pollen, that-herb-you’ve-never-heard-of-but-sounds-amazing that we are ingesting.  As such, Americans have the most expensive pee in the world.  What’s the answer?  Get your vitamins and minerals from food.  Whole food.  Real food.  Food you prepare at home.

EGGS SHOULD BE AVOIDED?

This is probably the second most popular question I am asked by clients.  The answer is a resounding NO.  Eggs are the protein most easily assimilated by the human body and contain numerous vitamins essential to a balanced diet.  Yes they are high in cholesterol, however it has been proven in study after scientific study that eggs and dietary cholesterol do NOT adversely affect blood cholesterol.  “In fact, eggs raise HDL (the good) cholesterol.  They also change LDL cholesterol from small, dense LDL (which is bad) to large LDL, which is benign.” Conclusion?  If you like eggs, eat them!

And, because sometimes talking about food just gets to be a drag, here’s something to make you laugh:

Questions?  Thoughts?  I’d love to hear from you.  Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Eat well.