Monday, February 9, 2009

I’ve Finally Found the Missing Link!

Every other Saturday morning we offer a 90 minute nutrition workshop to help shed light on the importance of eating in a manner that supports our client’s health and fitness goals.

And occasionally a clients might say, “oh, thanks, but I already eat healthy”, declining to attend the presentation. So I usually ask, what do you typically eat?

And the answers are so varied that it’s impossible to capture them in a single blog posting, but they often reflect the massive confusion about “eating healthy”.

And let’s assume that someone is consuming the right foods. Is it possible to eat the right stuff and not achieve your health, fitness and weight loss goals?

Absolutely. In fact, I see it all the time.

Where did we learn our eating skills? Mom & dad? Advertisers selling food? From a friend who lost tons of weight? News reports that consistently contradict? From a book that told us to eliminate carbs, eat cabbage soup, eat a special berry, eat for our blood type or to just get into the “Zone”?

Nutrition is critically important to your health and fitness success. And the application of proper nutrition is the missing link.

Although I tirelessly tout the never-ending array of incredible benefits to regular exercise, people often find themselves frustrated without a system to eat in a way that allows them to achieve their goals.

Yes, you can be fit and healthy by consistently following a progressive exercise routine while not having much concern for nutrition.

However, people who exercise consistently yet fail to achieve their weight loss targets, do so because they are poorly equipped to accurately monitor what goes in their mouths. That’s not a judgment on my part, it’s the sobering reality in our culture.

And often these are the same people who work hard with their trainer, at boot camp, in the gym or on their own. I have total compassion for the effort; it's just that we were never taught healthy eating skills in school, and as a culture we just don’t have a clear understanding of what and how much to eat.

Here’s a quick example: Last year I had the rare pleasure of watching a good friend complete an Iron Man event where he had to swim 2.4 miles, cycle 112 miles, and then finish this grueling affair by running 26.2 miles. Ouch! And cool enough for me, my friend just happens to be a Ph.D. dietitian, so he thoroughly understands the whole calories in, calories out thing.

To complete the Iron Man, you use approximately 14,000 calories!! That’s enough calories for an entire week!

Here’s what struck me as extremely intriguing: About 25% of the IronMan competitors were overweight! I couldn’t believe it. These athletes are fit enough to swim, bike and run hard for 15 straight hours, yet they have a significant amount of excess body fat! How could this be, I remember thinking?

Simple. If these athletes were burning 7000 calories in a day, they’re eating 7500.

I then recounted the hundreds of conversations I’ve had with clients that have been working hard with their exercise, yet disappointed with their fat loss results. Then it hit me, out-eating your exercise can happen to anyone.

Hey, if it can happen to a guy that burns 14,000 calories in a single day, it can certainly happen to you! I know it's happened to me. I’ve watched it happen to way too many well-intentioned exercise enthusiasts.

Nutrition application has been that proverbial “sword in my side” over the years. As a trainer dedicated to our clients' success, I can teach others everything they need to master their health, fitness and body, but I cannot monitor what and how much a person consumes.

Until now…

In December I stumbled upon Stacey, a very cool, high energy woman who lost a lot of weight recently.

Of course, I asked her how she lost so much weight. No surprise to me, she said that she’s been working with a personal trainer.

But she admitted, even though she knew what types of foods to eat, she had know way of knowing when she consumed more calories than she expended.

The key to losing weight is understanding when and how much of a caloric deficit your body is in. It wasn’t until she got a cool device called the bodybugg that she knew exactly where she stood on her weight loss journey.

A bodybugg?

After picking Stacey’s brain, I was very intrigued. I learned more. And I have been truly impressed! In fact, the bodybugg is being used right now with the participants on the Biggest Loser and last week it was featured on Oprah.

We’ve been so impressed that Leigh in our office became a certified practitioner of the bodybugg. We were compelled to bring this cool device to Cincinnati (as of right now, HealthStyle Fitness is the only licensed practitioner in Ohio) in an effort to support our clients. This is the missing link I’ve been searching for.

The bodybug tells you exactly where you are, all the time. How many calories you’ve burned, how many you’ve consumed, and whether you’re on track to achieve your goals (whatever they may be). It’s by far the greatest gadget I’ve ever found when it comes to health and fitness (with the heart rate monitor and my Garmin running computer a very close second).

I can tell you with 100% confidence, if you are exercising consistently and not achieving your body fat reduction goals, you’re eating in a manner that is sabotaging, or at the least, minimizing your success. Eating the wrong foods or eating too much, or a combination of both happens to all of us.

If you’re serious about losing unwanted body fat, the bodybugg will give you the missing piece.

It’s like having a dietitian and trainer with you 24 hours a day. Yes, it’s that good in terms of what to do and what to eat to achieve your goals.

Check out the bodybugg here – you can watch a short video showing you this incredible new tool.

Click here for a related article: Calories and Fat Loss!

Your friend in fitness,
Brian Calkins - Cincinnati's HealthStyle Fitness, Inc

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