Archive for June, 2010

How Many Calories Do I Need To Eat To Lose Weight?

To lose weight you simply need to eat less calories daily. This video shows you exactly how many calories your body needs and how to calculate the number of calories for weight loss. This video is for male and female alike and gives a precise number of food calories that you need to starting burning belly fat and love handles today.

How To Do Sit-Ups on The Exercise Ball

Lean body mass means automatic fat burn. Use a simple exercise ball and do this everyday and you will get your body burning its own fat. Weight loss is not about thinking about dieting or exercising all of the time. It is about getting your body to do the work for you. Belly fat and love handles are typically two places that we male put our body fat. Try this out.

Diet – The Four Letter Word in Weight Loss

Fitness – The More Pain, The Less Gain!

Working Too Hard at Male weight lossI pity the guys that still think that fitness needs to be hard work. The old locker room maxim, “no pain, no gain” has caused a lot of us to shy away from the exercise that our bodies need to be healthy. We are physical beings that require motion for us to operate properly.To lose weight, the male body must be utilized, but not punished.

Thanks to our military men and athletes, they have cultivated a strong sense of attention to taking care of our bodies. It is through the discipline we learn in sports, defense, and play that we already know how to condition our bodies. But for a vast majority of us, we do not exercise like we need to. Why?

We have equated exercise of fitness with pain. This is a gross misunderstanding of the “no pain, no gain” mentality. What we learned in gym class in school was to cultivate ourselves to achieve peak functioning to develop the most capable guys in class. Isn’t that the way a school needs to work? The curriculum is developed to challenge everyone to achieve. For the rest of us, though, that education was a bit “over the top.”

Training for sports and military takes this thinking to an even more intense level. Coaches know that in order to “harden” you for a game, match or combat, you need to be trained past the level at which you will see in the heat of the moment. This is where the “no pain, no gain” found firmer footing.

Before I go further, I want to remind you why exercise, and specifically strength training, is important to weight loss, just in case you may have forgotten. Given that your body has a lot of stored fat, you need to somehow expend this unwanted store of fat usually takes the form of belly fat and love handles for us men.

The good news is that you can use your body to burn its own fat. How? Metabolism is the technical term used to refer to the burning of energy in your body – fat, calories etc. One of the biggest determinants of how fast you burn fat is increased by a high percentage of lean body mass.

Lean body mass is basically the “you” minus all the fat. It is the weight of just your bones, muscle, organs, blood and fluids. The higher the percentage of lean body mass of your total body mass, the faster you will burn fat. Every time you exercise (and I mean every time), you build a little more lean body mass. The little additional body mass you build in exercise translates directly into more stored fat calories burned per hour.

I want to tell you right here and now, that to lose weight and get fit, there is no reason to be in pain in order to get fit. Let me tell you the reasons pain is actually an obstacle to losing weight:

  1. You Won’t Show Up – think about it, if you know that something is going to be painful, how often will you really show up to do your daily activity? Whether it is running, lifting weights, climbing stairs, or floor exercises, most of us won’t even show up because of the pain. I don’t blame you. Who wants pain. The better path is to work in a routine that does not hurt and then actually do it.
  2. Your Form Will Suck – now that you are doing your routine, first of all, congratulations on showing up! If for whatever reason you are doing a routine that requires a lot of pain, it is most likely that the form you utilize will be sub par. You will likely lift more weight than you should and then screw-up your face, writhe, decrease your range of motion, do far too few reps, and execute an overall poor isolation of the muscle group your are intending to work. I see it every day at the gym. Usually it is young guys that are trying to show off to other people what a man they are. The fact is that nobody in the gym really cares what anyone else is doing except themselves (and they are hoping you watch them).
  3. Can’t Do This Forever - many young guys can take a lot of pain and still keep motoring through their workouts. You may even enjoy the idea that working heavily into your pain zone can create incredible results. For those guys who are getting amazing results, I am not writing this. I am talking to you. In order for a fitness program to help you lose weight, it needs to be sustainable through many years. You cannot beat yourself to death doing painful exercises for years. Stick with a reasonable path and I guarantee you will get results.

OK, so here is what to do.

Whatever fitness routine or exercise program you are doing is just fine. If you want suggestions on a routine, check out my fitness routine and see if you might be able to adapt it for yourself.

Do some kind of cardio exercise. Cardio does not necessarily burn stored fat, but rather uses up “todays calories.” However, most cardio exercises build tone, which is a good basic starting point to build further muscle mass. If you have ever swam, walked, run, climbed stairs for a few days you will notice a good general firmness in the legs (and arms if you swim).

Do some type of strength training. You need to work the major muscle groups…abdomen, chest, bicep, triceps, back and shoulders. If you do not like going to the gymn, you can get a fitness ball and some hand weights to build lean body mass. Start basic and do 15 minutes of training at first and keep the amount of weight you lift low.

Don’t let pain get in your way. Get your exercise. Get muscle. You will lose weight. It is only a matter of time.

Wake Up! It’s Time To Lose Weight

Alarm Clock Wake Up and Lose WeightI know you probably already know these basics for weight loss, but just in case, let me repeat them.  If you want to lose weight you need to do only two things:

1. Eat less calories daily so that your body stops the continuous storage of more fat


2. Exercise daily so that your body continuously uses the existing excess fat .

Note a couple of carefully chosen and  important words in what I wrote above. Daily - when you are eating and exercising in a healthy manner every day, you get results. These daily routing eventually turn into habits. The other important word here is continuous. What I am emphasizing here,  is that when you eat and exercise right, it is not you that is burning the fat… is your body that will do it for you….continuously. This is good news, because when you think that you need to do the work of weight loss, that is a huge job.  I am talking about letting your body do the work for you. All you have to do is show up. And that is what I am writing about today.

I am certain that you understand all of  this. But today, I want to focus on the exercise part. Intellectually, I know that you know you need to exercise. Many of the guys I know have a real hard time sticking to an exercise schedule on a daily basis.  If you find it hard to find time to exercise, you are not alone. If you are not used to exercising, it is a big change in your life. But given the above two facts, do you really have a choice?  In case we males do not recognize it already, we already follow routines. Why not create some healthy routines?

To get the daily habit of exercising, you need to do the following five things:

1. Decide that you are important enough to be able to lose weight. Sometimes we men think that other people are more important in our lives than we are. Yes, wives, girlfriends, children, and friends are important. And since they are important, you are already making time for them, right? But unless you realize that you cannot be your best unless your are putting your health first, you will not be able to serve them 100%. So decide right now… your health important enough to you, so that you make the decision to lose the gut. Seriously!

2. Pick a time to exercise. Now that you have decided that this is important, you need to choose a time to exercise. Early mornings usually have the least activities to compete with. I used to workout at lunch time at work because it got me more energized to finish the second half of the work day after a good workout. My brother likes to go to the gymn in the evening. Pick a time.

3. How often? You need to get in at least 3 to 4 workouts per week. In the early part of your exercise program, I find that it is better to increase the number of workouts to 5 or more per week, and keep the workouts very light. Do some walking, light weights, pushups, situps. Just get busy and do something. Do not over think what you should do. Just do something. Choosing both some cardio exercise and strength training is wise.

4. Just Do It. This is the hairy part. When the moment rolls around and it is time to start working out, guys get distracted easily. Perhaps it seems like the first step of a journey of a thousand miles that makes it seem impossible. (By the way, you will be pleasantly surprised that you can lose weight everyday. Once you are in the habit you will see the progress).  Or, maybe it’s just laziness. And let’s talk about laziness. That is not character assassination on my part. Laziness is only a pattern that we fall into. It’s a choice not to participate. It is so highly changeable, guys. You already have the desire to participate as a healthy, energetic and handsome man by the fact that you are reading this. If you can think, you can do it.  Just Do it!

5. Put Systems in Place – when it comes time to exercise, get technology or people working for you. In the morning, there are many ways of getting your ass out of bed to exercise:

  • Alarm clock
  • Cell phone alarms
  • Have someone you know who is awake in the morning to send you a text message or call you
  • Have your wife or girlfriend nudge you out of the covers
  • Have a workout buddy that depends on your to show up

At other times of the day, you have all of the above options and more:

  • Electronic calendars of all types – iPhone aps, Google Calendar, Miscrosoft Outlook
  • Family calendar on the refrigerator or kitchen wall. When you have negotiated time to exercise, make sure that everyone knows about so that you get the exercise you need.

I care about you and want you to live a long healthy life, be energetic and get what you want. Please do your workout. I promise that you will feel great everyday.
weekend warrior challenge

Update: Weekend Warrior Challenge – June 2010

On a separate but related topic, here are my result for the Weekend Warrior Challenge of June 2010. I completed the following things:

1. Walked 5 times last week for 5 miles each time. I only signed for 4 times, so I actually exceeded my goal for the week.

2. I did 3 strength training sessions last week, even though my goal was for 4. So I am under plan here.

3. No dessert for the weekend. I technically did not have dessert, but I did have dinner rolls with honey on them at my Dad’s house on Sunday. So this is a technical victory.

My friends below also participated in the challenge:

Tara at 263 and counting
Brandon at So Long Fat Ass
Rinn at Ring Around Rinn
Frank at Male Weight Loss Now
Joe at Joe the Runner
Vinny at Fat to Fit Diary
Molly at Fluffy Girl
Shelli at Shelli Belly
Jeremy at Stellar Path

Weekend Warrior Challenge – June 2010

seven of nine Hey Everyone! It is again time for the Weekend Warrior Challenge. Thanks to the capable Jeremy Logsdon, my buddy at Stellar Path for filling in for the traveling Brandon at the So Long Fat Ass blog. The goal of the Weekend Warrior Challenge is to establish outstanding healthy and fitness habits for the weekend in addition to the weekdays. Many of my friends and I have strayed from the magnificent creatures we are, and the challenge is a way of resetting our habitual set-points.

Jeremy has chosen Star Trek as the theme for this months challenge. What better reason than to put a picture of the easy-on-the-eye Seven of Nines on this wondrous blog.

Here are my goals for this weekend:

1.  Complete 4 strength training sessions this week. I am already at 2 as of this writing. The plan is for one this afternoon and another yet tomorrow.

2. Complete 4 walks of 5 miles each this week. I am again at 2 as of now. The left knee has a big fluidy bump on it presently, but I will complete.

3. No sweets this weekend. This has become suprisingly more simple as time progresses, but everyday is a new challenge.

That’s it. I will report back on Monday. I wish you all great health and abundance.

10 Snacks To Lose Weight

Woman and man snackingI just wish that someone had told me how I could lose weight by eating snacks. It is a fact that  if you don’t know what you’re going to eat, you will overeat. It isn’t really a mystery why you’re overweight, is it? Another fact – food creates people. Unless you are made of gravel or ball bearings, you cannot live without food, you will not grow and will die. On the other hand, if you eat, your healthy well prosper. And taking this just a little bit further, the more food, the bigger the male you will become. Weight loss happens when you systematically eat on plan a known amount of food. Period.

What I have found is that when I plan my snacks, there are two important things that are solved that are essential to lose weight. Without these two things you will go astray and end up a little rounder than you like.  In order for a snack to help you lose weight, it must have or be:

1. Known calorie count - when you know what are going to eat, you know exactly how many calories you will ingest. When you command your daily calorie total, your body will begin to take over the controls and will lose weight on your behalf. Be read to count,weigh or measure to pack only a predetermined number of calories with you .

2. Planned snack time – as strange as it might seem, you do need to eat to lose weight. If you don’t eat regularly, your metabolism takes a siesta.  Although your metabolism never really stops (unless you’re dead), it does get lazy when you do not give it fuel. Also when you go hungry all day, you are going to binge and think that it is OK. It isn’t OK. You should eat every 3 to 4 hours to keep your motor running.

Here are ten snacks that I have used that I would suggest you consider:

1. Sliced Vegetables - carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, or anything else. In the early days of losing weight, I would carry a resealable bags of baby carrots with me. Maybe not your first choice for a snack, but you cannot beat vegetables for nutritional value. It surprised me how quickly I got accustomed to eating carrots. The one aspect about is that I can eat more vegetables without worrying about calories, so that I get satisfied by “filling up.”

2. Fruit - apples, oranges, pears, grapes or whatever you like. The advantage of fruit is that there is nothing you need to do to prepare it. You just grab it and take it with you…ok, well you will need to put grapes in a bag of some kind otherwise they will roll around on the car floor.

3. Yogurt - either guys love or hate yogurt. I love it, because I like sweets and yogurt is a good proxy for something sweet that I shouldn’t be eating. There’s a lot of good stuff going on in yogurt. The best thing about yogurt, is there isn’t any preparation required. All you need is a spoon. Or better yet, just shake it and drink it!

4. Raisins – being nothing but dried grapes, I could have included them in the list under fruit above. But, there is one aspect of raisins that I believe deserves special mention. Raisins are really easy to carry around and can go places (like in your pocket) that most other food cannot. They’re nearly indestructible but make sure you count them in advance so that you know how many calories you’re getting. It would be very easy to eat fists of these things with the heel of your hand.

5. Snack Bars – these can range from granola bars (on the lower end of the calorie scale) to energy bars on the high end. Snack bars rank the easiest of snack foods because they are manufactured specifically for the on-the-go eater. This is the first choice of many of my clients for snacks.

6. Hard Boiled Egg - the great thing about a hard boiled egg, is that it is about the nearest thing to being as satisfying as meat. A hard boiled egg is easy to transport, you do not need to worry about breaking it, because you will break it. Carry a little package of salt, if you so desire.

7. Rice Crackers – usually you can find these in the “healthy eating” section of the grocery store. These crackers are sold in a bag and come in plain, cheese, caramel corn flavors and probably more. The brand I buy has about 70 calories for 9 cheese flavored crackers. The good and bad news is that these crackers really taste good. You MUST (I repeat must) separate yourself from the bag, otherwise you will eat the whole thing. Ask me how I know!

8. Nuts – almonds, peanuts, cashews are good choices, but make sure that you know how many calories are in these guys before you take them with you. Remember to count how many you pack. Don’t go hog wild with a big bag.

9. Trail Mix – although intended as a high energy snack for high country people, trail mix is a healthy alternative to binge eating. Although trail mix tends to be very high in calories, all you need to do is read the label, measure it out and put it in a baggie.

10. Pretzels – without the beer.

So, there you have it, 10 snacks. These should give you plenty of reason to make sure that you do not skip meals. Take these snacks with you. You need to realize that these snacks will work for you to lose weight, if you make a habit of eating on cue. Whichever snack you choose, make sure that you have it available for where you are going for the day. Put them in your briefcase, lunch box, or in a bag in the car seat next to you. Better yet, buy snacks that you can keep in the car and do not even have to remember to take with you. Please do not skip meals. You’ll get fat.

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