Quote of the Week – 5 Jun

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Bill Gates, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr

Probably the most common excuse I hear preventing someone from exercising is they don’t have enough time to workout. In this quote, it’s brought up that we all have the same amount of hours in a day, but some people, such as the successful icons in this quote, still accomplished extraordinary feats. The same can be applied to everyday health and fitness. Any time you set a health goal and feel like you don’t have enough time, just remember there is someone out there that had the same goal and the same time constraints, but still managed to achieve it. Try to learn from the people who have already achieved the goal you want to achieve, because they too struggled in the beginning, but their mental toughness was too strong not to succeed. If they can do it, you can too.

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5 Surprising Reasons That May Prevent You From Losing Weight

2 Weeks to Health recently surveyed 226 people who have attempted to lose weight. Of the 226 people, 38% claimed they reached their weight goal and were able to keep the weight off for at least a year. The other 62% were unable to reach their goals and keep the weight off. 2 Weeks to Health analyzed the differences between those who were and were not successful and found 5 surprising methods that actually hurt your chances of reaching your weight loss goals. All of these methods have worked for many people under certain conditions, but based on our survey doing any one of these make you at least 10% less likely to achieve your weight loss goals.

1. Signing up for a gym membership

percentage-of-successful-weight-losers-that-had-a-gym-membership
Only 29% of people who successfully reached their weight goals had a gym membership.

We all know that there are tremendous benefits to buying a gym membership. However, our survey showed that you are 10% less likely to reach your weight loss goal if you have a gym membership. Only 29% of people who achieved their weight loss goals had a gym membership. Why is this? Usually one of the first things people will do when they decide to lose weight is to purchase a gym membership. Whether or not the gym membership is used is a different story. By just owning a gym membership, statistically you are less likely to lose weight, but consistently using what the gym has to offer will inevitably help your weight loss goals.

2. Going on a low-carb diet

Percentage-of-people-who-sucessfully-lost-weight-on-a-low-carb-diet
Out of everyone who successfully kept their weight off for a year, only 18% claimed to have lost weight using a low carbohydrate diet.

Besides purchasing a gym membership, when someone decides to lose weight they usually choose 1 of 2 diets, the low-carb diet or the low-calorie diet. The low-carb diet has become popularized by diets such as the Adkins diet, and are also on par with most ketogenic diets. While low-carb diets have been proven to help people lose weight, a crash low-carb diet is never sustainable. Our bodies and minds need energy from carbohydrates to function normally, which means people who lose weight on a low-carb diet are usually unable to keep it off for a full year. While many people would benefit from a reduction in how many carbs they eat, a strict low or no carb diet is usually unnecessary.

3. Going on a low-calorie diet

percentage-of-people-who-used-a-low-carlorie-diet
44% of people who were successful in losing weight used a low-calorie diet, while 55% of people who were unsuccessful used the same technique.

This is the one that surprised me the most. Out of everyone who attempted a low-calorie diet to lose weight, a higher percentage of the unsuccessful people tried this diet than the successful people. Overall, roughly half of people on a weight loss mission try this, but out of everyone who was successful, only 44% of the success stories incorporated a low-calorie diet. But how? Calories in, calories out, right? Well, yes, the basics of weight loss are that you must use more calories per day than you consume to lose weight, but you don’t particularly need to go on a strict low-calorie diet to achieve this. Instead of going on a low-calorie diet, you can try exercising more often and promising yourself that you remove soda and/or dessert from your diet. You can set a standard for yourself to eat only whole foods with plenty of lean meats, fruits, and vegetables. It appears that most people who successfully lose weight and keep it off for a year don’t specify a low-calorie diet, but focus on eating good foods and exercising, which in return leads to a calorie deficit that leads to weight loss.

4. Being a woman

percentage-of-men-and-women-who-sucessfully-lost-weight
According to our recent survey, 62% of males achieve their weight loss goals and keep the weight off for a year while only 38% of women achieve their goals.

Almost 2 out of every 3 men who attempted to lose weight reported they were able to achieve their weight goal and keep their weight off for a year. Meanwhile, only 1 in every 3 women reported they were able to do the same. Unfortunately for women, human physiology makes it easier for men to lose weight than women. The average man has less body fat and more muscle than the average woman. This means the man’s metabolism is going to run faster than the woman’s, and the man will burn more calories. Men can naturally eat more and burn more calories than women, which means if you are a woman, you are automatically 33% less likely to reach your weight goals as compared to men.

 

5. Adopting a diet that requires a strict program such as Weight Watchers

Success-rate-of-weight-watchers

Compared to the successful group, the unsuccessful group was 10% more likely to attempt Weight Watchers to lose weight. Of those who tried Weight Watchers, only 19% were successful. Taking on a strict and quantitative meal and exercise plan like weight watchers may work for some, but the majority were unable to reach their weight loss goals using this plan.

 

These 5 reasons that may prevent you from losing weight can all be very useful for certain people in certain conditions and when used correctly. Next time you set a weight loss goal, ask yourself “does this work for me”. If the answer is no, then you have 2 options, change yourself or change your methods. While changing yourself by increasing your discipline and motivation is always a good option, it is even better to look at your methods for losing weight and ensure they are sustainable. Just because you bought a gym membership and put yourself on a diet does not mean you will see results, and based on statistics you are less likely to reach your goals. You must always put in the work and adapt your strategies to fit your needs.

Weight Loss FAQ

I get a lot of questions about weight loss. Some are more legitimate than others as you will soon see, but I want to share with you some of my favorite and most common questions I receive. These questions are based on energy consumption and energy use. The human body is amazingly complex and I receive a lot of questions about very specific diets or foods and their physiological effects.

What is the Best Diet Plan to Lose Weight?

The best diet plan for anyone to lose weight is to simply count calories! The only way to lose body fat is to have a sustained calorie deficit, meaning you consume fewer calories or burn more calories than your body needs for the day. You can start figuring out your diet plan by using this calculator to estimate how many calories you should be eating Calorie Calculator

When you calculate your calorie values, pay attention to the Calories/day to maintain your weight, Calories/day to lose 1 lb per week, and Calories/day to lose 2 lb per week. The Calories/day to maintain weight is just that, the calculators estimate for if you eat more than that amount of calories for a day, then you will begin to store fat and gain weight. Notice that to lose 1 lb per week all the calculator did was subtract 500 calories from the amount you need to maintain weight. To lose 2 lb per week it subtracted 1000 calories. This is based on the 3500 calorie rule. It’s estimated that it takes a calorie deficit of 3500 calories to burn 1 pound of fat. This divides out to be 500 calories per day to lose 1 pound of fat per week, or 1000 calories per day to lose 2 pounds of fat per week.

So why doesn’t it list 3 pounds of fat per week? Anything more than 2 pounds lost per week begins to become an unhealthy amount of weight loss. This is about when you begin to have a calorie deficit lower than your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the amount of calories you need for your body to function if you were sleeping all day. Having a deficit below your BMR will make your body run inefficiently and cause you to feel weak and your mind cloudy. So the best diet plan is simply having a calorie deficit of about 500–1000 calories per day.

This deficit can come from either eating less, exercising more, or both. If your body needs 2000 calories to maintain weight, then to get a 500 calorie deficit, you can consume 1800 calories and burn 300 calories. Or you can consume 2000 calories and burn 500 calories. Or not exercise and just consume 1500 calories. It doesn’t matter how you get to your goal calorie deficit as long as you get there.

Weight loss is all about calorie deficit, so the actual foods you eat to get there doesn’t matter much for weight loss, friend.you but does matter for your overall health. So on your path to a sustained calorie deficit resulting in fat loss thus weight loss, try to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, limit your fatty meat consumption, and keep in mind that carbs are not what causes weight gain, so whole grains are your friend.

What is the Best way to Lose 30 Pounds in 60 Days?

The easiest way to lose 30 pounds in 60 days is to amputate your least favorite appendages. Other than that it is nearly impossible and here’s why:

The rule of thumb is in order to lose 1 pound, you must have a 3500 hundred calorie deficit. So to burn 30 pounds, you need to burn or not consume 105,000 calories over those 60 days. You will need to have a calorie deficit of about 1750 calories per day to lose 30 pounds in 60 days. Considering the average male needs to eat about 2500 calories per day to maintain weight, and the average female needs 2000 calories, you will need to be eating in the 500–1000 calories range per day to lose weight that fast. Or you can eat 2000 calories and burn 1000 calories through exercise. Regardless the sum of what you eat and what you burn while exercising needs to be well below 1000 calories.

I would not recommend this. Your body needs a certain amount of energy through calories to properly function. Getting such little nutrition for 60 days is essentially anorexia, and is not healthy by any means. So, if you want to lose that much weight, you will need to lose it through other methods rather than just burning fat, of which none are healthy and I do not recommend them. However, high protein low carb diets can decrease your water weight and cause very quick weight loss, dieting pills on top of a diet may help (but you’re still essentially starving yourself), and of course there is liposuction.

TLDR: There is no fully healthy way to do this, but essentially the only way is to nearly starve yourself on a low-calorie diet.

What are some possible reasons as to why I’m gaining weight when I’m not even eating a lot, I’m on a low-carb diet, and I have a desk job?

A sedentary lifestyle, depending on your weight, age, and gender, can bring the amount of calories you need to consume to maintain weight down as low as 1300 calories per day. Even if you’re not eating a lot, you are still eating higher than what your body needs to maintain its weight. Also, a low carb diet isn’t helpful if you aren’t also watching your proteins and fats. All of them together make up your caloric intake, so focus on eating a low carb, low fat, and low protein diet. Choose foods that are filling but low calorie to eat, these will typically be fruits and vegetables.

If you are already eating lower than your recommended calorie intake, which can be calculated here Calorie Calculator , then you may have a thyroid issue which could be excessively be lowering your metabolic rate. If you think this is the case then contact your doctor.

How can I Count my Daily Calories Gained from Food? Is this Possible?

You can get pretty close to calculating your calorie intake by keep track of what you eat, how many servings you eat, and then referencing that with the nutrition facts on the packaging. Look for the label like this one:

Notice this label states that for every 172 grams you eat, then you gained about 200 calories. You can buy a scale to weigh your food, although most servings will have an easier measurement such as number of crackers, or 3 cookies, or something like that. If you keep track of everything you eat, just add up how many calories you consumed from each item that day, and you will know how many calories you gained from food for the day.

Follow up question: “Ya, but it is really a difficult one to weight your food & count while at the office. There is no app for it?”

If you go to Computational Knowledge Engine they have a really good database of pretty much every type of food that can offer nutritional estimates. Just search for the food you are eating and they will give estimates. But you will still need to do portion control, which will involve possibly measuring your food. I would suggest taking your lunch to the office and have it pre-made and measured so you can do all that at home.

Will Swallowing Glass Marbles Make me Less Hungry and Lose Weight?

Oh jeez no. In a similar Quora post I saw about someone asking what to do when swallowing a glass marble, some of my favorite answers were “unswallow the marble”, “it’ll pass and come out the other end”, and my favorite was a comparison how everything will be fine because the hungry hungry hippos do it all the time. But real talk, one glass marble should pass through your system, multiple glass marbles will win you a trip to the emergency room. The quote “play stupid games, win stupid prizes” comes to mind. Please refrain from eating any objects that aren’t food. If you want some real weight loss tips then ask me anything, just don’t swallow marbles.

The Difference Between Being Fat and Overweight

I was recently asked what the difference between being fat and being overweight is. Below is a picture I got from Pinterest, there are many like it. Notice the woman on the right looks skinny and fit, while the woman on the left looks like she may be carrying a few extra pounds. This is the same woman at the exact same weight.

Let’s assume this woman is an even 5 feet tall. At 5 feet 130 pounds her Body Mass Index (BMI) would be 25.4. BMI uses your height and your weight to assign your body a numerical value. Any value from 25 to 30 is considered overweight. Above 30 is obese while below 25 is the normal range and eventually the underweight range. If you are the woman in the picture below, assuming a height at 5 feet, you would be considered overweight in both pictures according to your BMI.

The difference is BMI doesn’t take into account how your weight is distributed. Muscle is more dense that fat, meaning a pound of muscle takes up less space that a pound of fat. If you are carrying 5 pounds of fat then it will have a noticeable difference in the way you look while 5 pounds of muscle may be barely noticeable. That is how it is possible for both of the pictures below to be the same person at the same weight. But even though they are both considered to be overweight, the body time on the right would not be considered fat. This is because of the muscle difference. This is common among people who lift weights. People who lift weights may be very healthy, fit, and skinny, but will often be considered overweight due to all of their lean muscle mass.

 

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Fitness on a Budget

I remember when I was growing up it was always difficult to convince my parents to buy me new things. They were incredibly disciplined in what they invested their money in, and if it was something they didn’t see as “valuable” or “worth the money”, it was an almost certain “no”. Dreams of buying 30 dollar dumbbells, a treadmill, or even some gym memberships were never going to be reached. If it wasn’t for the local YMCA offering a 12 dollar monthly membership, I do not know if I would have ever been part of a gym! Now I don’t want to throw my parents under the bus, they gave me everything that I wanted that I truly needed, but the point is there millions of people who struggle financially and still want to get healthy. I am now a college student, and I know what it feels like to live off of 100 dollars for a month; I see it with my friends and in myself every day! Breaking the bank isn’t an option for me or for many of us, and that is a sad but true reality. However, this reality does not inhibit our ability to live a healthy lifestyle. In fact, we can still get in tremendous shape and look amazing with the use of extremely cheap equipment. In particular, the following presents my five favorite exercise modalities, all which can be found at sporting good stores or online for under $20!

Your Own Body

As cliché as it is to use in this article, do not underestimate the power of bodyweight exercise in shaping an amazing physique! There are several successful exercise programs that use only your own body to change and get dramatic results. I personally prefer to use bodyweight exercises as opposed to weighted exercise just because of the lean and clean cut look it elicits. Whether it be push-ups, dips, squats, lunges, running, or jumping, there are hundreds of exercises out there that are incredibly effective, and they are completely free. Here is a sample body weight workout that will challenge you for free!

Exercise Bingo: Create a slip of paper for each of the spaces (i.e B1, N2, etc.), and put them in a hat. Pull out a slip of a paper, and conduct the exercise on that respective space for 1 minute. After the exercise is completed, pull out another slip. If you pull a free space, rest for one minute and drink water. The goal is to get two bingos on the same card.

B I N G O
1 Wide Push Ups Jumping Jacks Mountain Climbers Sit Ups Squats
2 Military Push Ups Burpees Free (1 minute break) Jump Squats Calf Raises
3 Plank High Knees Lunges Hip Bridges Arm Circles
4 Free (1 minute break) Butt Kickers 360 degree jumps Superman’s Free (1 minute break)


Speed Rope

A speed rope is very cheap item that will bring a hell of a lot of intd0c73dd1-e269-4b28-a360-57a2d7074ccf_1-89a1581b98b87ba35a057d771ef1ece7ensity into your workout. I would like to make the distinction between a jump rope and a speed rope, one is used for recreation and the other exercise. Don’t get discouraged, jumping rope is difficult at first, especially at high speeds. However, after practicing it for a few workouts you should pick it up quickly. You can find this modality for as cheap as $2.97 at your local Walmart. Check out this sample speed rope workout below!

15 Minute Speed Rope Circuit

Regular Jump (1:00) High-Speed High Knees Jump (1:00) Regular Jump (1:00)
High-Speed Jump (1:00) Regular Jump (1:00) Double Jumps (1:00)
Regular Jump (1:00) Single Leg Jump Rope (1:00) left Regular Jump (1:00)
High-Speed Side-to-Side Jump (1:00) Regular Jump (1:00) Scissor Jumps (1:00)
Regular Jump (1:00)(left) Single Leg Jump (1:00) right Regular Jumps (1:00)
  • Regular Jump– Normal jump rope at a regular pace.
  • High-Speed Jump– Jump as fast as you possibly can.
  • High-Speed Side-to-Side Jumps– Jump side to side with both feet as fast as possible while jumping over the rope.
  • High-Speed High Knees– Perform high knees while jumping over the rope.
  • Single Leg Jump Rope– Jump over the rope with only one leg, while the other is lifted off the ground.
  • Double Jumps– Jump high enough where you can perform two full revolutions of the jump rope before touching the ground.
  • Scissor Jumps– Put one foot in front of the other, jump, and then switch feet. Continue this process.

Medicine Ball

A medicine ball is yet another relatively cheap item that provides a lot of versatility when it comes to the amount of exercises you can perform with it. These can be found for anywhere between fifteen and thirty dollars. With its versatility nearly unmatched, here is three of the hundreds of moves you can perform with a medicine ball.

Medicine Ball Push-Ups are my personal favorite. The move is simply performing a push-up, but now there is a medicine ball under one of your hands. Medicine Ball Push-Ups have tons of versatility in their own right, and can also be performed with several balls, each placed on a different limb. It adds a balance and core component to boring old push-ups, and thus intensifies the move.  

Jump Squats are another already difficult move that Medicine Balls can intensify to push your body even further. This move is when you perform a normal squat, bending your knees to 90 degrees, and once you reach this point, explode straight up and jump in the air. Do all of this while holding the medicine ball in your hand.

Medicine Ball Burpees are another extremely challenging move that I love to use in both my workouts and the workouts of my clients. Start standing straight up, and then kneeling down and touching the medicine ball to the floor. Once the medicine ball reaches the floor, jump your legs back into Push Up position, and perform a Push Up with both hands on the medicine ball. Once the Push Up is completed, jump your feet back up to the ball, and stand up.

Agility Ladder

The Agility Ladder is my favorite thing that I mention in this entire article! It allows for workouts that challenge the coordination of the neuromuscular system, have high intense cardio components, and just provide for a fun and unique workout experience. All these benefits are only coupled when you realize it only costs eleven dollars at Walmart! Check out this Video with 30 speed ladder movements to see what it is all about!

Resistance Bands

Resistance Bands are the perfect replacement for weights for anyone that is on a tight budget. Not only do they serve the same practical purpose as dumbbells, but the difference in cost is absolutely astounding. While a pair of thirty-pound dumbells will cost around $40, the resistance bands will cost only $10! There are plenty of videos on YouTube that will take you through resistance band workouts from start to finish. 

All of this exercise equipment is a staple for the workouts I use for both my clients and myself. Not only are they all incredibly cheap and a perfect way to ensure proper intensity for your workouts, but they are extremely fun and challenging ways to workout. I promise that even if I had a billion dollar budget, these are exactly the things I would use to change my client’s lives!

This article was written by Alex Perelló.