Month: March 2014

Fad Diets Don’t Work!!

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As a follow up to the last post, I want to talk more about success.  Success is a very subjective word because it means completely different things to different people. Sometimes we think it can simply happen overnight or within a specific time frame.  More often than not it does not work like that. While overnight success may occur for a miniscule few, it is certainly not the norm. The majority of time we have to work hard to achieve our goals. As they say, nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort. In this day and age, so many of us are all about immediate gratification.  I am guilty of this as well.  I learned my lesson the hard way in certain situations.  Nothing comes easy and as WWE star John Cena would say, “Never Give Up.” While John Cena may not be my favorite wrestler, his simple motto and everything he is about in that regard truly resonates with me.

I’ll restate it again because I passionately agree. Nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort.  The key is sticking with it and not giving up even when the chips seem down.  This couldn’t be truer as it relates to my life and weight loss combined.  Through the years, we all come face to face with many different diet fads and new “miracles” that people will preach about. I know speaking for myself I have gone through tons such as Atkins, South Beach, Shakeology, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, and many others. I even tried these pills called “Alli” which did nothing but make my stomach upset which in turn always made me upset. These diets are horrible because they tell you to cut out important things such as carbs, calories, etc.  Once you wean off the diet and get back into regular life, more times than not our bodies are confused, cravings increase, and we put the weight right back on.  I have also tried the simple approach of watching my portion control.  As a natural big guy, I would say that this method worked the least for me. I was simply never mentally engaged in any of the diets tried. Not engaged to the point where you need to be and since I firmly believe this is a mind game, my chances of success was zero. Looking back, knowing what I know now, these diets may work in the short term but it is not the way to carry out your everyday life going forward.  I wouldn’t recommend ANY of these diets to anybody.  Not even weight watchers. I truly believe living a healthy lifestyle is the greatest attempt to control your weight and all other aspects relating to your health.  Every diet that I failed with made me believe more and more that being overweight was just something people as well as myself needed to accept.  I always knew though, even if it was subconscious, one day I will somehow make a grand transformation and shock the world. I didn’t know how, when, whom it would be with or anything like that.  I sort of just knew.  Just remember; failing is the key to success.  Every failure is part of the journey.  You can’t be where you are without making mistakes.  Mistakes allow you to make corrections because they expose your flaws. This is great news because once we know our flaws, we can attack them head on.

I would like to abruptly end this post here by thanking all of my supporters and followers to date.  It is literally because of you that in only two months of being fully up and running, we have over 100 happy followers and are constantly growing by the day.  We are ahead of our trajectory.  Your feedback, comments, personal critiques and more have been invaluable to us. We would also like to invite you to submit any topics that you want me to cover in any facet of the website. Please continue to enjoy everything the site has to offer including the ever changing One Sweet World tab.  We look forward to digging deep and giving you our unique perspective on various topics.  This is only the beginning.  Thank you again.

Episode #4 – Emotional Eating, tips, more

Today I go solo to discuss emotional eating and how it relates to both my own weight loss journey and yours.  I also recap some things from the post earlier in the week.  Enjoy.

Emotional Eating: Make Your Own Momentum

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Emotional eating can happen for a variety of reasons.  Maybe you are celebrating a great accomplishment or coping with a sad occasion.  Perhaps you are dealing with a bad day at work or having the best day ever.  The problem is this.  If you are off to a hot start in your attempt to lose weight or you’re right in the middle of your journey, different meals during these emotional times can either be your worst enemy, or a real treat to reward all of your successes. While it may be ok to treat yourself (if you must), developing a strategy on how to attack this cheat meal will benefit you greatly into the next few days that follow. This is crucial because this is the time when we are most vulnerable. Sticking to your original game plan will be proof to yourself that you can do this for the long haul.  It will show discipline and provide encouragement that you are serious about losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle.  A game plan may include something simple like eating slower to savor your food, cutting down portion size, cutting the dessert course out of the meal, or simply picking and choosing to cut out sauces and dressings.  You may decide to use one or all of those tactics. Each strategy will differ because each person has their own tendencies. All of these necessary moves you make will give you so much confidence going forward. Since I truly believe weight loss is a mental game, every single positive thing you do is a building block and will serve as enormous momentum factors.  Of course, momentum is everything.

From a personal aspect, when it comes to eating healthy, discipline is something I have not been able to commit to for a sustained period of time all my life. However in this go around, as time rolled on in my weight loss journey, every single minor act of discipline that I followed through on was monumental for me.  Finally, I started doing little things more and more such as not eating after 7PM (except water) and eating a protein meal in the morning.  It’s small victories like that which made a significant difference in weight loss results.  It also gave me the confidence to tackle more aspects of weight loss, and the ball just kept on rolling from there.  In the past after one cheat meal, all the momentum I had would be completely shattered.  The reason why is because had zero strategy going in.  It always bleed into the next meal and days that followed.  Again, it may not be shocking news but most diets go wrong not because of the cheat meal in itself, but because of the next few days since we are most vulnerable at this point. This is why I stress that if you develop a simple strategy going into a given meal, your cheating will begin and end right there.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it on social media. New podcast episode is coming later this week. Thank you for your support!

Episode #2

Marla and I are back with episode #3.  We recap last week and talk about various topics like chia seeds, weight training, intervals, and more.

Send in any questions you may have and we’ll be happy to talk about it on the show.  Hope you enjoy as we continue to get our feet under us.

Interval Training: My Greatest Ally

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May 3rd, 2013

The picture above is a snapshot of an actual interval session on the treadmill, recorded by me, using the Nike-plus app on May 3rd of 2013.  Smack in the middle of my weight loss journey.  As you can see it is a consistent line of my pace going up and down.  Here’s what it all means.

What is interval training?  How will it help you lose weight faster or live a healthier lifestye? Prior to delving into the actual meaning of this, I have to say that intervals are probably my best friend in the world as it relates to weight loss.  I’ll also start by saying that it’s impossible to achieve weight loss or upping your fitness game by just doing one thing.  It takes a variety of tactics and discipline.  However, if I were to endorse one specific exercise leading me to where I am today, it would without question be interval training via the treadmill.  Without intervals, I wouldn’t be here, period.

Interval training is the act of alternating between high and low intensity efforts during a workout.  Here is an example of intervals as it relates to running. You start out on the treadmill walking at slow pace for about 2 minutes as a warm-up.  At that point, we crank it all the way up to a fast running speed for a full minute.  I’m talking about an all out sprint.  This is then followed by walking slowly again for about a minute and a half.  This start and stop action keeps your body guessing, which burns calories during, and long after a workout is complete making it optimal for weight loss.  The best part is when you get home and are relaxing on your couch thinking about your awesome workout, these intervals are still working for you by continuing to burn fat!  How great is that? The method I use the most for interval training is the treadmill.  You can chose to do intervals in other ways that makes you most comfortable whether it is on an elliptical, cycling, swimming, and much more.  When I was introduced to this, like anything new, it was very tough.  Not only tough, it was pretty discouraging.  Here I am a month in with all the momentum in the world.  Marla shocks my world by introducing something called intervals to me. At the time I hated running more than I can ever express on paper.  I was just so focused on my ultimate long-term goal, it didn’t phase me after 2-3 gym sessions.  I soon became better and better at this and it is still something I do to this day.  Even though I am not in fat burning mode anymore, interval training is still key to keep improving my cardiovascular health, increase my stamina (as I think about a marathon), and building muscle by increasing my lactate threshold.

Next lets talk about the term HIIT.  This stands for High Intensity Interval Training.  This involves very intense rounds of exercise going from high intensity to low. Once Marla introduced me to HIIT I never looked back from there.  High Intensity work is definitely my thing.  As I said in the opening paragraph, interval training has been my best friend throughout this process. When all else fails and you are having a mental block on what to attack in the gym, go ahead and do some intervals while you think about it.   HIIT can be used for both cardio and weight training.

At the end of the day, interval training or HIIT is the best cardio you can do to burn fat, up your stamina, or keep up a healthy lifestyle.  Experts used to believe that a steady round of cardio, such as running straight through, as opposed to intervals, catapulted weight loss more because in theory you are doing the exercise longer and more fat would be burned as fuel.  If you asked me at the beginning I would have thought the exact same thing.  It seems logical that doing something longer would be more beneficial then going fast, slow, fast, slow.  The fact of the matter is when you are running at these different intensities, your “total fat burn” is much greater.  Again, not only are more calories burned but you will also receive major cardiovascular benefits almost right away.  At this point, thanks to all the interval training I’ve done, I’m doing straight runs of 4-5 miles at a time, averaging 9 minutes 30 seconds per.  I’ve even reached six once.  This does not mean intervals are done for me.  It can’t be because the NYC marathon is a consideration so upping my stamina and distance remains crucial.  I do intervals now on high inclines.  For a little bit more on this topic, stay tuned for the next episode of the Adam’s Angle podcast tomorrow coming to you in a slightly tweaked format. Also keep checking back under the One Sweet World tab for random updates and quick notes.

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