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December 15, 2010

10 Tips for Controlling Your Inner Cookie Monster

10 Tips for Controlling Your Inner Cookie Monster

By Mark Nelson from Beachbody

Face it. The deck is stacked against your waistline at the holidays. And there are scientific reasons for that. But the good news is, knowing why you crave those delicious holiday cookies can help you resist them. So what’s behind the cravings?

It starts with serotonin.

Produced by your brain, serotonin is the "feel-good" hormone. When your brain produces enough of it, serotonin can help you feel calm, confident, and relaxed. Several factors encourage its production. A primary driver is sunlight. In the bright days of spring and summer, sunshine stimulates our brains to produce plenty of serotonin. But during the short days of fall and winter, our brains need extra stimulation to produce enough serotonin. Now here’s the bad news, and you can probably guess what it is.

We crave sugar and carbs because they stimulate serotonin production.

It’s not enough that grandma’s decadent holiday calorie-bombs are insanely delicious. No. At this time of year, our impulses drive us to attack holiday desserts like brain-dead cookie monsters, just to get our serotonin fixes.

Does this mean we’re hardwired to add holiday heft?

Not necessarily. That’s because we can spur serotonin production in other ways. For example, did you know that exercise supports serotonin production? It’s true.

When you look at the big picture, most of the steps we take to avoid gaining weight happen in our head, not our stomach. That’s why we can think our way out of weight gain, regardless of how our brains encourage us to be bad around fattening foods.

Here are 10 tips for managing your inner cookie monster.

  1. Treat yourself. Ever notice how denying yourself something only makes you want it more? According to researchers, dieters who were told not to even think about chocolate ate twice as many candies as people who weren’t. The solution? Have a taste instead of eating the whole treat—or make smart substitutions. Instead of Fritos®, have some edamame. Or trade a bowl of ice cream for an ice-milk fudge bar.
  2. Think 25 minutes into the future. It takes 12 minutes for a thin person’s brain to register that he or she has eaten. But it can take 25 minutes for an overweight person to know this. So set a timer, have a sensible meal, and know that 25 minutes after your first bite, you’ll feel a lot less hungry.
  3. Skip the dip and gravy. Gravy is made of flour, salt, turkey fat, and broth. Do you really need all that? And dip? It’s just a lot of goo. You’re better off nibbling on fresh veggies. Besides, skipping these temptations will help you leave room for a little dessert.
  4. Flip your script. You slipped and ate two of Grandma’s killer chocolate chunk cookies? Rather than say, "I blew the diet, so why not keep eating," take a breath. Smile and say,"No big deal. I can stop now and feel good about myself."
  5. Sleep to avoid holiday stress. You know the holidays are hectic. So give yourself a chance to heal. Studies show that when we are sleep-deprived, the stress hormone cortisol is released at a higher level. That will help you feel hungry, even when you’re full. And who needs that?
  6. Say no to the nog. Egg nog, that is. An 8-ounce glass contains 343 fatty, high-carb calories. And that’s without the rum. Think about how long it takes to burn all those calories and saying no to the nog gets easy.
  7. Walk and talk. It’s harder to fill your mouth with sweets and carbs when you’re talking. Well, OK, a little harder. But it’s worth it, because you’ll be the life of the party. And that could keep you from eating everything on the buffet.
  8. Work out. Bet you didn’t see that one coming. Sure, it’s a crazy time of year. But if you think of your workout as an essential way to stay grounded, you’ll do it. And here’s a hint that will give you more time to fit in your workout.
  9. Shop online. With all that you have to do, stay home instead. Eat healthy things you have in the fridge, instead of grabbing fast food or sweets. Put on holiday music if you must, and save your energy for a good, sweat-soaked workout.
  10. Try tag-team weight control. See if you and a friend can look out for each other. If one of you begins to blow your diet, a little friendly peer pressure could help you step back from the cookie. If you don’t want to burden a friend with this job, try a FREE 30-Day Team Beachbody Club VIP Pass. Team Beachbody Club members reach their health and fitness goals 3 times faster than people who don’t join, in part because of the online peer support they get to keep going with their diet and exercise programs.


Now’s the time to plan ahead.

Remember that a holiday is just a day. Even if you give in for 24 hours, it’s not the end of the world. Also, take a breath and think when you’re within striking distance of holiday goodies. You don’t really want to undo weeks of sensible eating with a day of crazed eating, do you? Try these helpful tips and you will be able to keep a leash on your inner cookie monster. Happy Holidays!

We look forward to seeing you at the Fit Club workouts in Charlotte!

December 9, 2010

Goal Setting and Your Fitness

Wow, it’s been a crazy busy couple of weeks.  My new saying is, "Full Plate, Full Life" and I truly believe in it.  I used to resent my busy schedule and lack of time.  I now realize that I’m very lucky to have my life, my family and my responsibilities.  Once I realized that, I knew that there were ways to make it work just by changing my attitude.  Alisha and I went to a 4 day PSI (Personal Success Institute) seminar in Phoenix last weekend.  Completely changed our lives.  I met some amazing people and heard some amazing stories and realized how lucky I am to have what I have.  But I also realized how much improvement I could do on myself and my attitude toward my life and my goals. 

The facilitator was a P90X grad and kept referring to us (about 8 coaches there) as the "P90" crew.  Several people there were wanting to change their lives and get in shape, some were wanting to work on their inner problems and some on their businesses.  But what was funny was how Jeff (facilitator) kept referring to P90X and how it compares to our lives.  He mentioned how when you want to get in shape, you have to eat right and workout.  There’s no magic pill that will fix it for you.  He then went on to talk about the pain your body goes through during the changes it experiences and how it relates to life and the pains we go through when we just live life.  There’s the pain we experience when we lose a loved one, like Alisha did when her grandmother died last week, or maybe it’s the pain of losing your job….or maybe you have goals you set in your life that aren’t coming true.  The obstacles you’re facing seem too big to conquer.  That’s when most people give up.  That’s especially true with your fitness.

So what do you do?  Here’s some tips that I learned over the weekend that I wanted to pass on.  First and foremost be excited!  Excitement creates EVERYTHING.  If you can think it, you can create it.  Think about what your fitness goals are and be SMART.  What do I mean by smart?  This:  S-specific (be specific w/ your goal), M-Measurable (make it a goal you can track as you go), A-attainable (make it a realistic goal but don’t be afraid to aim high), R-risk (take the risk of failing, or you’ll never succeed) and T-time (be patient and enjoy the journey).  Visualize your goal.  Is it a dress you want to fit in?  Is it to be the dad who can take his shirt off next summer and be OK with it?  In the end it’s you that has to be happy.  Don’t worry about what other people think, worry about what you think and do it for yourself and your confidence.  Don’t do it for other people, because you’ll never stick with it.

Last thing, remember that age has nothing to do with it!  It doesn’t matter how old you are, you’re always growing and becoming a better person.  Commit to be better.  Beachbody’s motto has never been more true.  Decide, Commit, and Succeed!

If you have any questions or need help, please contact us with any questions that you may have.  We’re here to help.


December 1, 2010

4 Supplements to Watch Out For

A phenomenal article by a very smart guy!  Beachbody’s own Steve Edwards on what the do’s and dont’s are when it comes to supplements.

4 Supplements to Watch Out For

Steve Edwards

This month, four of the major weight loss supplement manufacturers were fined 25 million dollars because science does not support their statements about the supplements. We’ve been warning our customers about false claims for years and, basically, these are just the tip of the BS iceberg. Let’s take a look at the major offenders and what to look for when evaluating a supplement.

It’s important to keep yourself informed because these supplements will still be on the market. The Federal Trade Commission, who handed down the verdict, has only stated that the manufacturers need to change the product claims, not the products. And, well, since the FTC cited that a placebo had outperformed one of the offenders, it will be interesting to see what the manufacturers come up with. If we don’t buy the supplements, then, of course, they won’t be on the market, but these folks can be very clever.

Let’s use Bob as an example. He’s that guy on TV who’s thrilled over his "male enhancement." However, when analyzing the product he’s used, we see that it’s little more than what’s normally sold as a mild stimulant. Yet Bob seems to be insinuating far greater lifestyle enhancements than a cup o’ joe will ever provide. This little exaggeration has allowed his marketing team to spend 181 million advertising dollars since 2003, according to Nielson Monitor-Plus, so we may assume that Bob’s become a wealthy man. Last year, however, 112 charges of fraud, money laundering, and mislabeling of product were brought against six executives at Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, marketer of Enzyte, Bob’s key to newfound self-esteem. In spite of this, the company took out a full-page ad in The Cincinnati Enquirer on September 5th that read, in part, "The future of Berkeley looks bright as we hope to work through our setbacks and continue providing great brands to the world . . ."

So let’s take a look at those recently fined and learn how to protect ourselves.

  • CortiSlim. These marketers were fined 12 million bucks and I’m using them first because I had a personal run-in with ’em at the Natural Products show a few years back. A guy essentially accosted me in the aisles, handing me a pamphlet of information that informed me of dangers of chronic inflammation and how this product would reduce it, leading to massive weight loss. Being familiar with the product, since we get plenty of questions on the Message Boards, I fired a few stats at him about studies involving CortiSlim’s ingredients. The guy looks at my identifying badge, turns away from me like a dog being submissive, and looks for someone else to engage. I throw one more tidbit his way and he refuses to even acknowledge me with a glance, keeping his eyes averted even though we were a foot apart. I didn’t find this to be a particularly strong endorsement of faith in their products.
  • Xenadrine EFX. The two companies that market this will pay between 8 and 12.8 million dollars. Xenadrine has been in the industry spotlight for a long time, at least since a popular fitness model, and one of their "success stories," was caught trying to gain weight for her "before" picture after she had shot her "after." In this case, the studies they provided showed that their product did nothing that it claimed. In fact, in one of the studies they provided, the group taking a placebo actually lost more weight than those using the product.

    One-A-Day WeightSmart. The Bayer Corporation will pay 3.2 million dollars for claiming that their multivitamin can increase your metabolism.
  • TRIMSPA. They will pony up 1.5 million dollars for their unsubstantiated claims. There was no word on whether Anna Nicole Smith would have to pay the money herself.

Click here to read what the FTC had to say about these products.

While we’re getting smarter—since sales of weight loss supplements have dropped half a billion in the last three years—we’re still being duped regularly. I was recently talking shop with a graphic designer whose job is to Photoshop "before" and "after" pics for an unnamed supplement that you’ve heard of. I’m not telling which, because she didn’t inform me on the record and also because I’m going to tell you how to not buy useless supplements anyway. If you read below, I assure you that you’ll never buy the unmentioned or any other highly hyped placebo.

 Rule 1: Never buy a supplement that promises body transformation without lifestyle transformation.
No supplement can offset your lifestyle. If you eat poorly and don’t exercise, you will not look good. Supplements can’t build muscle and they can’t make you lose fat. All they can do is assist with this process. Some initiative must come from you.
Rule 2: Read the fine print.
Many of these companies write "legal" with fine print saying something along the lines of, "Will work if you follow a healthy lifestyle" or something similar that gets them off the hook when studies show their supp isn’t as advertised. Generally, if you lived the healthy lifestyle they’re describing, you wouldn’t need the supplement anyway. I analyzed a carb-blocker supplement that had a tiny insert, with, like, size-4 font, that was an exercise program and low-carb diet that you needed to follow to get the claimed results. The obvious question then was, "Why do I need a carb-blocker if I don’t eat carbs?" And, of course, the answer is that you don’t.
 Rule 3: Read the ingredients.
Most of these use the same ingredients and these will be listed on their Web site. They have to by law. They may try and hide them—they almost always do—but click around and you’ll find them. If you don’t, then you’re dealing with a company that’s completely under the radar and you should not trust them. If you do, then do a quick Internet search on the ingredients or ask us on the Message Boards. There are many watchdog agencies that test everything. Bogus supplements are pretty easy to identify.
Rule 4: Use common sense about how the supplement actually works.
Hoodia, the main ingredient of TRIMSPA is one of my favorites. The TRIMSPA Web site tells you that you need it because African tribesmen would use the stuff on long hunts to keep thin and alert, as if anyone walking through the savanna hunting large dangerous animals with a spear needs any help in this department. Most of us would be so wide-eyed we’d be burning a thousand calories an hour with fear alone. Sure, those guys were probably fit. But before you go looking for some dietary secret, you might want to consider the fact that they were hunting large animals, on foot, using spears! Don’t you think that there might be another reason for those ripped bodies?

Another good example is the study that used displaced cultures in an attempt to show how something from their prior diet was the key to their former state of health. They never mention the fact that, using one common example, these people used to live on an island where they ate fruits, veggies, and fish and exercised daily to gather these things, and now they’re poverty-stricken factory workers who smoke, drink, and eat junk food in a polluted city. You don’t need to be a scientist to see that somebody besides those factory workers is blowing smoke.

Supplements are nothing more than a piece of the puzzle of creating a healthy lifestyle. Used correctly, they can aid with diet and exercise and greatly enhance results and performance. But they are not magical cures. They’re just targeted nutritional products, like a dense food, which is why they’re called nutritional supplements and not drugs.

 If you’d like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, just email us at [email protected].

December 1, 2010

P90X One on One’s for 1 PENNY in December!!!

Start your P90X One on One subscription for 1 penny this month!!!  For all you P90X lovers, a subscription to the P90X One on One’s will take you to the next level and get you ready for P90X MC:2 next year.  Here’s all the details.

You may recall the coveted P90X ONE on ONE penny promotion. This December, we’re bringin’ it back for another spin—and just in time for the holidays.

If you’re new to the penny promo, here’s how the offer works:
Anyone who subscribes to the P90X ONE on ONE series (it’s our only Home Direct workout program!) this December will receive their first DVD for just $0.01.* And seeing as how the average turn for a customer is roughly five months, that’s some serious commission potential for you. So get the word out while the X is hot.

Tip: Get five friends or family members to try it while New Year’s resolutions are on their mind. It’s the perfect complement to P90X® and delivers a challenging new workout to your doorstep every month. What’s better than that?

About the December Workout
"Even Tony was scared of this lineup. Get ready for moves that are just plain cruel like jack-in-the-box knee tucks. Or Think Drills that’ll make you think twice about your coordination. This is plyo to the Nth degree. Let the sweating begin."

"Feed on a steady diet of plyo for an hour with (thankfully) a few iso moves thrown in for dessert. You’ll be spinning, jumping, squatting, lunging, frog hopping and more. Work on your balance, vertical jump and just plain staying alive."

Here’s a sample of what you get!!!!


NC Fit Club