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August 31, 2010

The Two Q’s to your Nutrition

I absolutely love Chris Freytag’s articles on nutrition and exercise.  Here’s one about the 2 Q’s of nutrition.  Great read.

When it comes to making long-lasting lifestyle changes, I have a few basic, easy-to-remember guidelines. In the May issue of SUCCESS magazine, I spoke of the three C’s as the basic questions to ask yourself when embarking on a new exercise program. In addition, when it comes to eating healthy and weight management, I would like for you to think of the two Q’s: quantity and quality.

It’s no secret that Americans are fat and that the obesity rate is going up every year. More than a third of the American adult population is obese. The “bigger is better” way of eating is creating huge health consequences. And, in addition, low energy and high stress lead to unhealthy eating habits like late-night gorging, mindless eating, calming yourself with food and crazy diets followed by binges. These behaviors do a number on your mood and your waistline!


Portion control says it all. “Would you like to add another 600 calories to your food order today?” Nobody would answer yes to that question, but, unfortunately, that’s what so many of us are doing when we say yes to bigger portions. “Bigger” does not mean “better value” if it means increasing your waistline and your risk for disease. From coffee drinks to fast food and snack foods, Americans are eating huge portions with too many calories.

By being accustomed to platefuls of pasta and 20-ounce steaks, we can no longer eyeball what a healthy portion size looks like. So what is the difference between a portion and a serving?

A portion is the amount of food you choose to eat. There is no standard portion size and no single right or wrong portion size. A portion is what you dig from the bag or plop on your plate. A serving is a standard amount used by food companies to help give advice about how much to eat or to identify how many calories and nutrients are in a food. Portion size is printed right on the nutrition label.

So the question of the day is: How many servings are in your portions? If there is one takeaway from this blog post, it is to spend a full day or two figuring out just this. Are your portions bigger than one serving?

Here are a few tips for cutting back on your portions:

  • Use your salad plates as dinner plates—less food fits!
  • Eat an apple, carrots or celery before each meal to help fill up and satisfy your need to crunch.
  • Read nutrition labels on all packaged foods, especially snack foods. Often the package is really two servings, not just one.
  • Don’t eat directly from the bag, the container or the box—this mindless eating can sabotage your daily calorie control.
  • Identify trigger foods and don’t buy them


I cannot tell you how many times I have heard clients and friends say, “I totally cheated and had a piece of birthday cake.” We’ve all heard it, right? And actually, we have probably all said it. But, there is a fundamental problem with this line of thinking that works against each and every one of us.

Food and eating are not ethical issues! You are not good or evil because of what you eat. If you allow yourself to attach such negative values to certain foods and to yourself for eating them (i.e., “I’m a cheater,” “I failed,” “I can never have another brownie”), you are setting yourself up for failure. And when we think we have failed, we feel guilty and tend to give up.

Remember, a healthy lifestyle is about balance, calculated choices and motivation. No more all-or-nothing attitudes and no more reasoning like “I blew it with one cookie, so I might as well have six!” Choosing to eat one cookie isn’t blowing it, and I personally couldn’t live without a good oatmeal-raisin cookie every so often.

Therefore, the key to good and sustainable health is to make your lifestyle about choices, not about cheating. We make choices every day, some good and some bad. And when it comes to eating, a few small changes in the way you cook and eat could start you on a whole-new path to better health.

I have been talking about “clean eating” for the last two decades. My definition of clean eating is choosing foods that come from plants, animals or trees. In other words, real foods as close to their natural state as possible—things like fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean meats, poultry and fish. In addition, much of clean eating is about preparation, because it’s not always what you eat as much as it is about how it’s prepared. For example, chicken is one of the healthiest protein sources when grilled or broiled, but dipped in the deep fryer is a different thing.

When my kids were young, I took the approach that knowledge is power. The more I could educate them about food, the better off they’d be to make healthy choices as they got older. I sounded like a broken record, but during every meal, I would point out the protein, the carbs and the fats. I would talk about the value of eating fruits and veggies. It doesn’t mean that I never let them eat junk food, but the key word was and is occasionally and not on a daily basis. And now, as teenagers, their friends ask them about how to eat healthy, so I guess it worked.

A few tips for eating clean:

  • Eat five fruits and veggies a day. Start your day with one or two to make sure you hit your quota by the end of day.
  • Shop often. Make time for a few more stops so that you can pick up fresh produce, low-fat dairy and lean protein.
  • Be a brown-bagger. Don’t get caught without healthy options at the office or on the go. I’m always equipped with an apple, yogurt or baggies of nuts.
  • Skip the extra stuff. Ask for sauces and dressings on the side when eating out. Avoid breaded, crispy or fried.

Call to Action: Week Two

Cross-Training Tip: Swap out an endurance run once a week for an interval workout. You will find that doing intervals will help you strengthen your heart, strengthen your lungs, increase your endurance and help burn calories at a faster rate.

Chris Says: You can create interval workouts with using the ratio of speed to recovery. Basically, sprint for a while, then slow down and keep repeating. By breaking up your workout and adding some high-intensity bursts, you are able to train your body to run at race pace or faster, churning through the calories and getting you Race Day ready!

Food Tip: Add a recovery meal. Use your two-hour window after your workout wisely, and eat a protein/carb snack (1 gram/3–4 grams). Think of protein as your repair food. By consuming protein with carbohydrates during recovery, you will improve your subsequent endurance performance. (Carbs let protein do its job, and protein helps repair and build muscle.)

Chris Says: Go for nonfat Greek yogurt topped with blueberries and almonds (quality protein, carbs and even some healthy fat). Or try a few hard-boiled eggs sliced on a piece of whole-wheat toast— two of my favorites!

For more on Chris Freytag click here. http://blog.success.com/category/experts/chris-freytag-experts/


August 31, 2010

Beachbody Hits 30,000 Coaches!

This is why I love being a part of this company.  Amazing people.

August 21, 2010

Water Helps with Body Fat!

Here’s a great read I found from Success Magazine’s own  Christopher Guerriero on your body fat and the importance of water.  Enjoy!

Would you like to finally be in control of your body fat level? Yes? Then read this lesson very carefully. The formula is revealed herein.

As one of the most important elements of the human body, water makes up approximately 70 percent of our muscles and about 75 percent of our brains, playing a vital role in the proper functioning of the body and making it an essential part of a healthy diet.

Drinking water also forces fat to be used as fuel, making it one of the main keys to success in shedding any extra pounds. Without adequate water, kidneys are unable to function properly—prompting the liver to pick up the slack. This causes additional problems for dieters because the liver cannot properly metabolize stored fat as energy, resulting in more fat being stored in the body.

Furthermore, water effectively suppresses appetites, aids in proper digestion and acts as one of the vehicles for circulating nutrients and oxygen through the body, as well as assists the body in eliminating waste. Water lubricates joints, protects organs, helps maintain a normal body temperature and is absolutely necessary for exercise and even day-to-day performance. With this in mind, it’s easy to understand why drinking enough water—a minimum of 10, 8-ounce glasses a day, every day—is perhaps the single most important step in determining diet and fitness success.

However, because the average body loses 8 to 12 cups of water a day, this can be a challenge. Start by trying to drink 10 glasses each day, and work up to one full gallon per day.

Sound tough? Don’t get discouraged. With the following suggestions, you’ll find drinking enough water is not hard, and will be well worth the initial effort by quickly bringing into your life all the positive changes you’re looking for, including fat loss; healthier skin, hair and nails; increased energy and alertness and far more.

Start tomorrow by drinking a glass of water when you wake up. For a nice morning pick-me-up you might even add a few tablespoons of lemon juice and a small pinch of cayenne pepper to your first glass. Then prepare a large water bottle to take with you on your drive to work or to school. You can even try putting the bottle in the freezer the night before and filling it with water right before you leave to start your day. This keeps the water cooler longer and ensures it will be a good drinking temperature during your morning commute.

Drink a glass of water between every meal and a glass in the evening, but not too close to bedtime. Take a filled water bottle with you wherever you go.
This makes getting the water you need easy and ensures you will look better (and feel better). At work, keep your water bottle filled and with you at your desk. Reach for it instead of unnecessary, high-sugar, high-fat snacks. Sip on it all day, adding ice cubes and additional water as needed.

Next, change from caffeinated coffee, tea and soda to decaffeinated alternatives. Caffeine depletes your water supply and can make it difficult for your body to get all the water it needs. For every caffeinated beverage you drink, drink an additional glass of water. This small step can make a big difference.
Keep in mind that exercise, hot weather, low humidity, altitude, a high-fiber diet and consumption of caffeine and alcoholic beverages all increase your daily water loss. During these times, take extra steps to ensure you offset the increased water loss with increased water consumption.

Keep up the water intake.

To see more from Christopher click here. http://www.successmagazine.com/Dont-Be-a-Slave-to-Your-Body-Fat/PARAMS/article/74/channel/221

August 21, 2010

Frustration with “Un-Fit” Family Members

 So this is something that is near and dear to my heart.  But unfortunately, it’s one of the biggest frustrations I live with….because I can’t do anything about it!  What you say?!  You’re a Team Beachbody Coach, you’ve sold P90X, Insanity and a bunch of other “stuff” to hundreds of people and helped change their lives….you’ve helped start 6 Fit Clubs in Charlotte and have coaches all over the country running Fit Clubs…you got all the answers to help people….or so you might think.

The problem is, yes, I can motivate people who I may not even have met before they bought a program from me or came to my Fit Clubs….but I can’t seem to get through to certain family members that Alisha and I have.  And that hurts the most, because they’re family.  Family always comes first right?  Of course.  It’s because of the love that I have for certain people in our families that I struggle so much with the decisions that they make.  I want my family members to be around for a long time.  I want them to see Carly grow up, get married, have kids, all that stuff.  But the path that some of them are on, truly isn’t going to allow that to happen.  And here ensues the problem.  It’s the same problem that I run into with strangers or good friends but the difference is that I feel that because they’re family, I should have more influence.  You can’t make people change.  They have to do it themselves.  It’s just a cold hard fact that I struggle with daily.

The hardest thing I’ve come to understand is that with family members or friends, they have to have what I call the “ah-ha!” moment.  Oprah may have coined that, I can’t remember.  But it’s the moment where they look in the mirror and realize that it’s not about 6 pack abs or tans or any of the superficial stuff.  It’s about blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes…just to name a few.   It’s about the fact that the country seems to be in denial about the obesity trend that’s going on.  Have you ever really looked around yourself when you’re in public?  Seriously?  If you haven’t, it may be because you don’t want to acknowledge what you see, or it could be because you’ve become numb to it.  I find myself doing this a lot.  We’ll be out to eat at a restaurant and I’ll look around and survey not only the people, but what they’re eating.  The first thing I almost always notice is how “fat” a majority of the place is.  I don’t say that to be critical or judgemental….but it’s true.  At the age of 35, I can’t remember a time that I was in a room surrounded by fellow dads of my age where 95% of them didn’t have the “beer belly”.  The next thing I notice is what they’re eating.  I saw a man the other night with a waste so big that he was a good 4-6 inches away from the table and he’s chowing down on steak, fries and some other yellow or brown food.  His entire plate was yellow and brown.  What’s the problem you may ask?  I think you know the answer, but if you don’t here it is.  THERE’S NO FRUITS AND VEGETABLES!  And when I say vegetables, I don’t mean fried squash.  I mean grilled veggies, fresh fruit or God forbid a salad.

People, you need to get serious about your health.  If for no other reason than for your family.  I plead to you to think about what I’m saying.  The reason why I feel so justified to make these comments and yell is because of the picture to the left.  I was one of them.  I was the fat dad going to Sonic and eating like crap.  I remember the joke used to be that I would break a sweat going to check the mail.  Sound familiar?  I also remember trying to workout and failing miserably.  I’d lift weights for a couple of days and nothing would change so I’d quit.  Or I would have every excuse as to time and reasons why I couldn’t do it.  Then one day it took me laying in bed after a serious fall I had and flipping on the TV and seeing the P90X infommercial.  And for some reason, it just caught my attention.  It was also compounded by the fact that every time I went to the doctor my cholesterol was high as was my blood pressure.  It was the fact that my dad’s side of the family has serious heart disease cards stacked against me.  I watched my grandfather die in his hospital bed due to cancer from smoking.  My other grandfather died when I was 5 due to a heart attack.  Then I would look in my daughter’s eyes and ask myself “Is she worth it?”.  Of course she is.  I had my “ah-ha!” moment.  If I could ask God for any power or ability, it would be to induce the “ah-ha!” moment on people who need it and haven’t had it before it’s too late.  But that’s never going to happen.

So what do you do?  First you don’t get discouraged because you’re not in shape.  You accept where you are and you begin the journey.  You do what you can and make it a priority.  You don’t come up to me and tell me that you don’t have time to workout 30 minutes a day for 3-5 days a week….right after you just told me you have 2 hours of Soaps to watch.  Seriously?  Your Soaps are more important than your family and living a healthy life?  The 6 packs of Little Debbie snacks I see you put in your buggie are more important than discovering the use of olive oil with sauteed vegetables?  These are things I’ve observed in my own family people.  It literally drives me crazy.  I want my family members and you to make yourself a priority.  I want you to realize that yes the junk food taste good, but it’s not worth the cost of not seeing your child or grandchild grow up.  It’s not worth the cost of being able to run, bike and play with your kids.  It’s not worth the joy you get when you can live a healthy active lifestyle.  I went from being one of them to slowly becoming one of the most active, fit people I can be.  I’m in love with Karate, hosting Fit Clubs, and working out.  I love the way it makes me feel and you know what?  The superficial stuff is pretty freakin’ cool too.  See that’s like God’s reward for “treating your body like a temple”.  When you take care of yourself, you feel more confident.  You become the “FIT” dad.  Do you know how cool it is to be the 35 year old dad at the pool and feel good about how I look?  That’s not why I did it, but I’ll take it!

The other thing that you have to remember is that it takes time to get from point A to point B.  Instead of stressing and dwelling on your immediate results, enjoy the ride.  Enjoy the experience of learning from your new habits and take in the changes as they slowly happen.  Because as they do, it’ll excite you for what’s to come.  It keeps you motivated to push on.  So that’s my tangent or my passion for fitness.  I prefer passion although I can come across as preaching.  I can’t help it, I feel like I’ve found a meaning in my life and if it helps one person to change their life….then it’s worth it.

August 16, 2010


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  • Cardio Power & Resistance. Build lean muscle and upper-body definition with strength-training and power moves. (40 min.)
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  • Cardio Abs. Do explosive intervals of cardio and core moves for rock-hard abs. (20 min.)
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  • Max Interval Circuit. With MAX Interval Training, this circuit is more intense than anything you’ve ever done before. (60 min.)
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August 15, 2010

So What’s the Secret to Success with Weight Loss?

 So as a Team Beachbody Coach, I meet people all the time who ask me about the programs and one of the biggest things I get asked about is the “diet” part of it.  Or I’ll meet someone (a customer) who’s been assigned to me by Beachbody who’s struggling or did the program and didn’t get the results they wanted.  I hear things like “yeah that sounds great but I can’t give up insert here” or “yeah, I tried it but it didn’t work for me” or “I can’t live like that!”.  I got news for you people, if you don’t get the nutrition under control and wise up and eat right….you can workout all you want and you’ll spin your wheels and get no where.  I had to learn that lesson the hard way myself.

Now first off, I’m not a nutritionist and will never claim to be.  But I have over the last 2 years surrounded myself with people (some of which were nutritionist) and I’ve picked their brains and asked the questions I needed to ask in order to make sense of it all.  And the results are working.  In this post, I’m hoping to help some of you figure out what it is you need to do to make the most of your fitness regimen.  Whether that’s P90X, Insanity, or you’re a runner or yoga freak or whatever.  First off congrats on being something other than a couch potato.  I’m also going to introduce you to some cool people Dave and Monica Ward who are business partners with me in the Team Beachbody Coaching business and have been a great resource for nutrition tips for P90X, Insanity, Shakeology and much more.  I’ll have a link later that Dave has on his site that’s a great source of info for all you P90X’ers who might be struggling with the nutrition guide.

As you can tell when I started this journey, it was nothing for me to go to Sonic Drive In and order a double cheeseburger, fries, Dr. Pepper and THEN….still not full…order an extra long cheese coney and a milk shake.  There’s the reason I ballooned up to 240-250 (jury’s out on how large I really got).  It’s funny, we looked through some old pics this weekend and my wife and I couldn’t believe how fat I got.  I saw pics in that box that make the before pic here look skinny.  So when I started Power 90 I followed the nutrition guide pretty much to the T and it shaved 35lbs or so off and I was feeling better.  Then I graduated up to P90X and it has it’s infamous nutrition guide (that’s really good) and it dives into things in more detail and you have to get pretty serious about what you’re eating….after all, it’s a serious program.  Now what the P90X nutrition guide did for me was ween me off the crap and shred the fat off and then ease me back into the carbs and which kind of carbs and fats that I should be eating.  Basically by the time you get to phase 3 of the program, you’re on phase 3 of the nutrition guide and should have a pretty good sense of how to eat smart from there on.  So this goes on for about a year.  Now by this time I’m down to about 198.  I felt pretty good about what I had accomplished and I knew I was on the right track, but something still didn’t feel right.  I was wearing the P90X shirts and talking the talk but not hadn’t convinced myself that I really had it all together.  On second thought, do we ever?

So then I hear about this “P90X Bootcamp” that Tony Horton aka “the Man” was hosting in Phoenix.  Which happened to be where my good friends Dave and Monica live.  So bam…I’m on the plane heading out to spend the weekend with Tony.  After all I was a P90X grad!  So I get there and I realized something real fast.  The other 40 guys there….were in MUCH better shape than me.  So I walked up to Tony and asked him “What gives man? I don’t look like these guys?”.   So he proceeded to quiz me and the result of that quiz was that I was eating on a 75/25 plan.  Where 75% of what you eat is healthy and 25% isn’t.  He told me that if I switched to a 90/10 ratio that I would see a big change.  He then showed us, as did his nutritionist Melissa Costello (http://www.karmachow.com/) that if we cut out dairy or limit it drastically and cut out red meat that we would also see a big difference.  So I made a bet with Tony that day that when he saw me in April at the Beachbody Coach Summit, that I would be down to where I wanted to be.  He held me to that.  I came home so pumped up and exploded through the door and began to overwhelm my wife Alisha with all the changes we were going to make and how we were going to do this….this….and this….and she was like “Ok….sure”.  I knew I married a great lady.  So we proceeded to cut out things like bacon (even turkey bacon) and 95% of our dairy.  Why dairy?  As Melissa puts it, we’re the only creature on the earth that consumes the milk of another animal all their lives.  You can get calcium from a lot of different places.  Plus it gums up your intestines and bogs down your digestive track as well as makes your body create more mucus (which if you have sinus issues can be bad).

So over the next 3 months, we began this journey and sure enough….by the time we went to LA in April I was down 18lbs and had more definition than I had before and was on track to getting closer to where I wanted to be.  Alisha has also lost around 10lbs and has maintained her goal weight of 124 since then.  You see the secret is your nutrition.  I hate to even use the word “diet” because people associate that with a diet fad or something temporary like Weight Watchers or Nutrisystem.  Those programs are great, but you can’t live off of them the rest of your life.  You have to exercise on a regular basis and you have eat smart.  Don’t make it rocket science either.  If you’re using the nutrition guide from P90X or Insanity, don’t over think it and make it complicated.  Because if you do….you’ll never stick with it.  You’ll get frustrated and give up.  Keep it simple and make it work for your life and what you have going on.  Tony preaches that…do what works but don’t let that 10% creep up to 25%, 30% or higher.  Trust me I know how hard it is.  Dark Chocolate is my kryptonite and there are weeks that I struggle.  But I refocus and get back on track.  You won’t be perfect, you’ll stumble.  I promise you will.  But the question is what do you do when you stumble?  Do you give up?  Or do you brush yourself off and remind yourself of the goals you have set for your health and life?  All the stuff you’ll learn is easy to do, but that’s where the problem lies….it’s also easy not to do.  And that my friends is why this country is so fat.  Because we all know what we should do….but fast food and reality shows and all the other easy distractions have allowed us to slip into a slippery slope that we feel like we can’t climb out of.

As promised here’s a great link to Dave and Monica’s site that helps all you P90X’ers out there out with the nutrition guide.  http://www.thefitclubnetwork.com/2009/01/p90x-nutrition-plan-made-easy/

August 2, 2010

I have no time OR I hate exercise. 60 minutes a day?

7B7C7041-F6A7-1A92-59D38EFC18C0F95E_1The 60-minute suggestion is based on the National Academy of Science’s recommendation for people who are trying to prevent weight gain, or keep themselves from regaining after weight loss — not for people who are trying to increase or maintain their cardio-respiratory fitness or health. There’s plenty of research to show that 30 minutes of physical activity a day will help you gain lots of health and fitness benefits.

Both guidelines will help improve your health and fitness. Following the more vigorous ACSM recommendation will make you more aerobically fit, and its strength-training component will make you stronger and more toned. The Surgeon General guideline, meanwhile, may be easier to fit into your lifestyle — not replacing the ACSM guideline, but complementing it.

If you already exercise vigorously at the gym several times a week, there’s no reason to quit. But if the ACSM recommendation is too much for you, the Surgeon General’s report offers you an alternative.

The most important thing is that you do something.

August 2, 2010

Lost 140 Pounds

Source Code


Testimonial From Earl on Power 90  & P90X




August 2, 2010

NBA Star Jerry Stackhouse of Milwaukee Bucks Uses P90X

Jerry Stackhouse Interview & P90X


NC Fit Club