Archive for June, 2011

10 ‘Commandments’ of Fat Loss

Hope you had a fantastic weekend.

Over at the Team Mohr HQ we were in full birthday mode … with back to back birthdays for Kara and Ella.  Of course no birthday is complete without cake, so we certainly had our share this weekend — from a homemade Elmo Cake for Ella (we even figured out how to create the colors with natural food dyes vs. dangerous artificial food dyes) to a Burnt Almond Torte shipped from Pittsburgh for Kara (it’s her favorite, so fortunately the bakery that makes them ships too!)

Both were hits … and Ella told us the Elmo Cake was her favorite part of the day yesterday.

I digress.

As we were thinking back about the weekend last night, we really did have a ton of fun — went out with friends Friday for drinks/appetizers to Churchill Downs for a night at the track, blueberry picking with friends Saturday morning, to the pool, dinner for Kara’s birthday Saturday night, then Ella’s party yesterday …

The ONLY thing that didn’t feel great was eating so far outside our normal diet for a couple days.  But you know what’s more important…

getting back on track.

Which brings me to today’s blog:

The 10 Commandments of Fat Loss (I’d suggest printing this as a daily reminder). 

  1. Thou Shalt Plan Ahead.  It’s a no brainer – to be successful in any area of life, including fat loss, you must plan ahead.
  2. Thou Shalt Eat Clean 90% of the Time.  This weekend we broke this "Commandment."  But you know what, it was part of our 10%.  The key is not that we enjoyed some cake (something people think we would NEVER touch) … the key is that we got right back to normal with the first meal this morning.  Eating cake, desserts, etc is fine … occasionally … as long as you bounce right back immediately after and get back to "normal."  Those types of foods become an issue when they’re more than "once in awhile" foods.  To make this more straightforward, if you eat 4 meals per day, 7 days/week that’s 28 total meals.  90% of 28 means 25ish meals are great choices and it leaves room for about 3 not so great meals. 
  3. Thou Shalt Eat Breakfast Daily.  Simple.  Straightforward, but a MUST to lose fat, preserve muscle, and maintain the fat loss.  The key is making the right choices, which means a lean protein, some fruit and/or veggies (see #6 and 9)
  4. Thou Shalt Eat Protein with EVERY Meal & Snack.  Protein helps fill you.  Protein helps you repair and recover from exercise.  Replacing junky carbs (white bread, sugar, cookies, pastries, etc) with lean protein is smart for permanent fat loss.
  5. Thou Shalt Lift Weights.  Let’s face it — if you to get in the best shape of your life, you MUST include some type of resistance training. Cardio won’t cut it so if you’re running or walking for exercise and think that will transform your body, it won’t.  Maybe to you that means body weight training.  Fine.  You can certainly challenge yourself with the TRX like we do daily. 
  6. Thou Shalt Eat Veggies with Each Meal.  Most people think you can only eat veggies at night … if at all.  Wrong.  Mix them into eggs like I do in this healthy breakfast video, add some to a wrap for lunch, use a wide variety for the base of your salads AND at dinner.  Not many foods in the diet provide more bang for your buck than veggies.
  7. Thou Shalt Not Eat Cereal with Cartoons on the Box.  So while the "2nd Commandment" says to eat breakfast daily, it doesn’t mean eating sugar filled junk … and that’s exactly what the "cartoon on the box" cereals are so avoid ‘em like the plague.
  8. Thou Shalt Move Daily.  While this may sound the same as the "4th Commandment" it’s not … this is in addition to training with weights.  Lifting weights is great, but let’s say you do that for 60 minutes per day (and that would even be pushing it for most people).  What are you doing the other 23 hours?  Usually sitting … all day at the office, all night in front of the TV.  If this is you, you’re an active couch potato.  Move as much as possible.  Take a walk at lunch time for half your break.  Get out after work, take the kids to the park, etc.  Just move.  As much as possible.
  9. Thou Shalt Eat Fruit with Each Meal.  We often hear that fruit has too much sugar or certain fruits are off limits.  Couldn’t be further from the truth.  No one became overweight from eating too many fruits.  The more colors you eat, the better, so mix in a nice variety of dark colored fruits regularly).
  10. Thou Shalt Only Eat Ingredients You Can Pronounce.  This means eating less packaged foods.  We had cake this weekend.  Kara made it.  From scratch.  And it was a pretty nice looking Elmo, if I say so myself!  This even goes for "energy" bars, shakes, or other pseudo health foods (yes, even the organic ones) that have a laundry list of ingredients. 

Print this list.  Keep it close to you and we guarantee that if you follow these "commandments" you’ll certainly be much better off with your weight, health, appearance, energy and pretty much everything else in life…

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Eat MORE to LOSE Weight!

I got off the phone with a friend the other day who had a few questions about losing weight.

She has been watching portions, swapping some snack foods, cutting out soft drinks. 

The basics.  But she’s hit a plateau and that’s where our "emergency" call came in.

I felt like I was the "phone a friend" yesterday … and after listening too all she told me, you know what I said?  You need to EAT MORE!

It’s true, eat more to weigh less.

Now, I didn’t mean blindly adding loads of calories … what I meant and clarified for her was to eat more QUALITY.

Weight loss is NOT just about quantity of calories.  It’s about quality.

In fact losing weight is simple.  I had a friend who used to say "since you want an overnight weight loss solution, cut off an arm.  You’ll lose a bunch of weight INSTANTLY." 

Not really the solution you’re looking for though, is it?

When people talk to us about losing weight, it may seem like an "instant" problem they want to correct but it’s not an "instant" solution.  And that’s where quality of the foods comes into play.  Because this will impact the quality of the weight lost — meaning coming from more fat and preserving lean muscle tissue.

That being said, here’s 7 foods you should eat MORE of when trying to lose weight. 

  1. Whole Eggs.  Whole eggs help fill you up more than an equal amount of carbohydrates.  They’re also loaded with a ton of nutrition.  Enjoy some daily and add some veggies to make them even better — better for you and better for weight loss.
  2. Pistachios. Some very cool data suggesting eating 2 servings of pistachios daily helps with weight loss.  Here’s a hint — enjoy the ones with the shell on because taking the time to remove the shell helps with portion control.  Even better … you get more pistachios (49) per serving than any other nut.
  3. Berries.  Loads and loads of fiber in a serving of berries — blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc — even more than most other fruits — yet super low in calories.  Lots of bang for your buck with these guys.
  4. Plain Greek Yogurt.  Greek yogurt has double the protein of "regular" yogurt and and half the sugar.  Add some berries and nuts and make your own mix because the fruit on the bottom comes with a lot of added sugar.  Our personal fav?  Chobani mixed with some coconut, raspberries and pistachios or pecans.  YUM!  You can even top a baked potato or anywhere else you may use sour cream.
  5. Whey protein.  Data suggests whey protein is more filling than soy or casein, so if you’re going to use a protein supplement, opt for whey … then add some fruit for a fantastic meal or snack on the go!
  6. Spinach.  More bang for your buck than most other "light" colored greens.  Use spinach as the base to your salads.  Add spinach to your eggs.  Throw handfuls into spaghetti sauce of soup.  Even blend it into your smoothie (and, no, you won’t even taste it — particularly when mixed with chocolate protein and/or berries!)
  7. Beans.  Fill you up, not out.  The fiber and protein will help fill you up more than many other carbs.  Open a can and add to salad, soup or wrap. 

There you have it — 7 simple foods to add to your diet NOW, but only if you want to lose more fat, look and feel better!

Any foods that we should add to this list?  Leave a comment.

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Can Sponge Bob Make You Train?

We took Ella to the zoo yesterday to see her favorite Gorillas.

Fun day, walking around, spending time with her, and checking out some animals.

But then something very sad happened.

We’re watching the sea lions swim around (there’s a cool part you can see underwater) and there’s a couple next to us with son, who looked to be about the same age as Ella — 2.  The mom said "look at the sea lions." And then turned to her husband and said "he doesn’t even care, he’s watching Sponge Bob" and I looked down to see the poor kid in his stroller with a pocket size TV "thing" and Sponge Bob on there.

sponge bob squarepants exercisingSeriously?

So my initial thought was — if THAT is what they do for him at the zoo, IMAGINE when he’s home.  It all starts with the parents.  If you’re active and show your kids that lifestyle, that’s what they know.  We’re living this now with Ella and try to lead that lifestyle for her.  We of course exercise ourselves, but then take her to the park, pool, or something else active every single day. 

And it reminded me of some scary statistics. 

  • A paltry 25% percent of the population is completely inactive.  Does NOTHING.  ZERO.  Scary.
  • A mere 21% of women strength train (arguably the most important piece to the physically active puzzle).

The list can go on.  None of this should be surprising to hear — although it doesn’t make it any less sad.

So what are we doing about this? Well, if you’re in the Louisville area, you can join Mohr Results Boot Camp.

And for those who aren’t (and even those who are), my colleague over at Livestrong.com just sent me an email about a very cool new contest their doing.  A fun challenge — men vs. women — trying to get people MOVING!  We’re on their Advisory Board so he had asked us if we could increase awareness of this awesome challenge …

The goal is pretty simple — be active at least 30 minutes/day — and when you are and login to their site to track your progress, you have the chance to get some cool publicity on one of the largest health sites in the world.

>>> Livestrong Physical Activity Challenge <<<<

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Is Your Thyroid Making You Fat?

I’ve got a funny … and sad story to tell you today. 

We were flying home from a trip and had a layover in Las Vegas.

Fortunately we were coming back from working at Red Mountain Spa (tough gig, I know)…so we had a bunch of fantastic food packed for the trip.

We’re enjoying what we prepared in the airport and happened to notice the woman next to us.

She was reading a book: "Is Your Thyroid Making You Fat."  (shown here) ===>>>>

That’s not the problem.

The problem … and I wish I had a camera at the time … was that she was reading this book while eating what looked like a chili dog, had a large side of fries, and an extra large cup of something that looked like coke or pepsi.

I WISH I could make this stuff up.

Did this woman have a thyroid problem?  Or did she have an overeating problem?

And the more we talk with people, the more we realize how common this is…or, better said, how common this excuse is.

Do people TRULY have thyroid issues?  For sure.  And does the thyroid absolutely play a role in metabolism?  Absolutely.

But, looking at the big picture — it is suggested that just 2-3% of the population have hypothyroidism, which is when the thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone.  One of the possible symptoms of hypothyroidism?  Weight gain.

BUT, and this is a HUGE BUT…

This is cut and copied directly from the American Thyroid Association’s Website:

"Hypothyroidism can cause a mild weight gain of 5 to 20 pounds, but does not cause obesity. People who have gained a lot of weight should find the real cause." (bold is my addition).

So to the woman eating the chili dog, large fries and extra large soda.  NO, your thyroid is NOT making you fat.  Please throw that book away…along with your meal.

Eating 2000+ calories full of junk in one sitting is the culprit. 

The problem is too often people are looking for the easy way out. 

"It’s my thyroid." 

"I have ZERO metabolism."

"My family hates vegetables, so I can’t eat them."

"Why should my kids suffer if I have no food in the house — it’s not fair."

"I have no time for exercise."

"I NEED 3 pieces of cake … 1 certainly isn’t enough because it is homemade and I NEVER have this."

Trust me, we’ve heard them all … and more. 

It’s time to look in the mirror. 

Figure out the TRUE cause of being overweight, or obese, if that’s the concern.  Maybe it’s neither, but you’re simply "too busy" to exercise.  Remember, thin and inactive is less healthy than overweight and active.

Stop it.

The only person you’re fooling is yourself.  It’s time to get serious.

Remember change isn’t overnight, but every baby step made towards the big picture goal is one step closer.  And even if you DO truly have a diagnosed thyroid "issue" — the same nutrition rules apple.  Eat clean 90% of the time.  Train hard and regularly.  It’s not a reason to throw your arms up and give up.  It simply means it’s time to "fight" harder.

Let us know how we can help you achieve ALL of your goals.  Maybe this will help you start — 21 Day Fat Loss Jumpstart.

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12 Fruits and Veggies With the MOST Pesticides!

Last year we published a blog about The Environmental Working Groups "Dirty Dozen" list … well, they’re at it again with an update … with the 12 fruits and veggies you SHOULD make sure to buy organic, as these 12 are highest in pesticides.

We’ve talked about organic vs. conventional foods in previous blog posts. 

Basically the "Dirty Dozen" list are the 12 foods that have been found to be highest in pesticides when a random sample is taken from a the grocery store shelves.  In other words, since these are highest in pesticides, it’s suggested that if you’re picking and choosing which foods should be organic, focus on these 12 first. 

This shouldn’t come as a surprise with the recent headlines suggesting the pesticides in foods, namely many berries, like blueberries, are linked to ADD in children

That being said, here is the updated Dirty Dozen list of foods from the Environmental Working Group.  Again, these are the 12 foods you should go organic with if you’re picking and choosing.  As an easy rule of thumb, notice all of those are ones you’d eat the skin/leaf. 

As a general rule of thumb, if you peel it (banana, avocado, melons, etc) there’s less concern over pesticides since you’re not eating the part that would be sprayed. 

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Strawberries
  4. Peaches
  5. Spinach
  6. Nectarines – imported
  7. Grapes – imported
  8. Sweet bell peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Blueberries – domestic
  11. Lettuce
  12. Kale/collard greens

Maybe even a MORE important message, though, even more than focusing on those 12 higher pesticide foods … is that conventionally grown fruit and veggies is STILL better than none. 

Next, if you ARE picking and choosing organic or not, focus on these 12 to spend the extra money.

Do you choose organic?  Let us know!


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