Monday, December 31, 2007

Top 10 Ways to Beat the New Year's Resolution Syndrome

As the New Year is quickly approaching, I know that you're eager to make the changes to change your body. I also know that you want to, yet again, make the New Year's Resolutions that hopefully will stick, for 3 weeks, 3 months or perhaps at least 6 months!?

Is something wrong about the New Year's Resolutions you made last year?

Did you make your Resolutions with right attitudes and healthy mindsets?

Were your Resolutions guided by healthy lifestyle and behavior changes?

Did you follow through your Resolutions with a master game plan and course of actions?

Did you adjust and fine-tune your mini goals as you moved along?

Did you find your inner motivation and and external support to keep you on track?

Did you find ways to overcome the challenges or derail quickly as soon as you saw the roadblocks?

Why did your Resolutions fail?

Here are my top 10 tips to beat the New Year's Resolution Syndrome.

1/10
Visit my website and my blog often and sign up for my monthly newsletter to keep you motivated, informed and supported all year around.

2/10
Investment in youself. Sign up with a wellness coach/trainer for at least 12 weeks and better yet commit to 6 months. Health and fitness is a lifelong commitment. Twelve weeks aren't going to make miracles, but are the "minimum" period of time to get into regular exercise routine, healthy lifestyle and eating habits.

Even just a few sessions with a trainer could be worth the investment to get you in the right direction. For those people who like DIY, I also offer on-line personal training and program design. I'll design a training program for you including two to four workout routines for you to rotate on a weekly basis.

3/10
Make multiple resolutions that reinforce each other. When you make a healthy resolution, you'll start to re-think about falling back to those not-so-good habits.

Make multi-week, multi-month and multi-year resolutions. Why makes "annual" resolutions that you can only follow for a month? Have a big picutre. Break it down into smaller, realistic, achievable mini goals. You'll feel better when you accomplish the mini goals. It gives you more confidence and momentum to stay on track towards your bigger goals.

If you're still smoking or eating junk foods regularly, why do all the cardio and strength training? It just doens't make sense. You won't transform to your dream body even if you train 7 days while staying on the unhealthy lifestyle and poor eating habits.

4/10
Know what you want. Do you really know what you want? I doubt. Many people want to lose 10, 20, 50 pounds. These are not the right healthy goals. And most people won't get it!

"Know what you want" is the #1 step to build your dream body. Why 10, 20 or 50 pounds, instead of 5 pounds? Where are these extra pounds distributed? Are these fat, muscle or water weight? What type of body shape do you want to be in? You're not so sure, right!?

5/10
Dream big but start small. Your old-and-never-worked resolution could be like "I resolve to start exercising 5 to 7 times a week, 30 to 60 minutes each time." If you haven't exercised regularly for the last 3 months, this resolution is bound to fail and you're doomed!

Start with small baby steps. You could start with a combination of walking, aerobic exercise, strength training, and other physical activities for 2 to 3 times for a total accumulation of 2 hours of exercise a week. The key is to be able to get into a regular exercise habit. Gradually increase the duration, variety, intensity and frequency. This is one of the reasons why a coach/trainer can be a really good source of professional guidance and accountability.

6/10
Food is your friend, not your foe. Make a good friend with your foods. Every year, or in fact evey day, you'll see new diet books on the market. You lose money but not your weight. Food is the source of energy to fuel your body so that you can function and perform.

In an earlier article, I touched the topic about stress eating, emotional eating, overeating, mindless eating and fat gain. Eating healthy foods is the choice you can make. Replace the poor choices with healthy ones.

Pick two of your weak areas and consciously replace them with healthy choices and stay on them for a month. Similar to exercise, too much too soon is going to backfire. When you can stick to the two healthy choices for a month, then you start to include more healthy choices.

7/10
Plan your exercise and plan your meals around it. If you don't plan, then you plan to fail. This is one of the reasons why many people skip exercise and make poor food choices.

One easy way is to book your appointments with your coach/trainer in advance. Then you'll prepare for your day and anticipate the training session. Pencil in your own workouts as if it's a date with yourself and it's the time for yourself. Prepare the meals and healthy snacks to support your training and fuel your body.

It's a good idea to prepare the meals for several servings at a time. Keep healthy snacks and water at home, in your office and in the car. So when you're hungry, strapped for time or on the go, whatever you reach is all good. It's tough to deny the high-sugar high-fat comfort foods in the vending machine or the drive-thru. You willpower doesn't count!

8/10
Get a good night sleep. Go to bed a half hour earlier. I know many people are eating late, snacking, drinking alcohols, watching TV shows in the evening to unwind their stress from the day. These poor habits disturbance your sleeping quality. They drain your energy and sabotage your resolutions if you want to lose weight and look good.

If you have followed the first three tips, you shouldn't be here. Your body releases growth hormones while you're sleeping that help you build muscle. Deprivation of sleep also makes you crave for sugary and high fat foods and make you wan to eat more to feel satisfied.

9/10
Schedule your downtime. This may be counter intuitive. Aren't we supposed to work out more and longer to lose weight? Yes and no.

Training is like a double-edged sword. Proper, consistent, progressive overloading with balanced nutrition and quality rest and sleep will make you strong, healthy and fit. Overtraining can break you and make you sick, injured with diminishing results. Please re-visit my earlier article on overtraining.

There is a fineline between overloading and overtraining. This is yet another good reason to hire a personal trainer to help you design a customized workout plan and change up your training routine.

It's also a good practice to periodize your training program into microcycle (daily/weekly), mesocycle (2 to 4 months) and macrocycle (6 months, seasonally or annually). The training cycle could coincide with a special event or function. So, you really need to plan the whole picture and break it down into mid-range, near-range and immediate actions.

10/10
Watch your enviroment. When you want to lose weight and stay fit and healthy, you need to watch out who you're associated with. You are the product of five of your closest friends.

In my earlier article on the power of friends, I cited a research finding that obesity is epidemic and contagious. Some people call it "sympathetic weight gain" with your friends. On the other hand, thinness could be contagious too. See who has the upper hand over the other.

So stay close to your fit and healthy friends. But don't break up with your overweight freinds as yet. Just be aware and stay conscious in your environments.

Stay away from sources that drain your energy and damage your health. Make friends with like-minded people who are positive, fit, healthy, high-energy and high-performance.

My Last Two Cents

Your New Year's Resolutions should be simple but challenging enough for you to follow through. Pick one or two things in each of the lifestyle, exercise and nutrition areas to work on and improve at a time. When you achieve them, add more gradually. Doing too much too soon is the #1 reason why almost all resolutions fail in the first month.

Remember, your health is wealth and it's invaluable. When you're healthy, you can create more wealth and enjoy your life. I wish all your resolutions and goals achieved by the year end or sooner.

Copyright 2007 www.careyforfitness.com by C. Carey Yang.
All rights reserved.


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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Eat Less Now To Pig Out Later?

A guest article contribution from Tom Venuto, CSCS, fat loss expert and author of the #1 best-selling e-Book, Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle.

Suppose you’re on a diet and you have a banquet or a holiday party coming up. You’re expecting a big meal to be served for dinner, and there will be open bar with lots and lots of “party snacks.” You’re not sure if there will be any healthy food there, but you are sure that you’re going to be in a festive, partying mood! What should you do? Should you cut back on your food earlier in the day to make room for the big feast?

What I’ve just described is commonly known as "banking calories," which is analogous to saving calories like money because you're going to consume more later, and it’s a very common practice among dieters. If you’re really serious about your diet and fitness goals however, then the answer is no, you should NOT “bank calories! Here's why and here's what you should do instead:

First of all, if you're being really honest with yourself, you have to agree that there's almost always something healthy to eat at any gathering. You know those tables you see at holiday parties that are covered with yards of chips, dips, pretzels, cookies, salami, candies, cheese, punch, liquor, and a seemingly endless assortment of other goodies? Well, did you also notice that there's usually a tray full of carrot sticks, cauliflower, celery, fruit, turkey breast and other healthy snacks too?

No matter where you are, you always have options, so make the best choice you can based on whatever your options are. If nothing else, you can choose to eat a small portion of "party foods" rather than a huge portion, thereby obeying the law of calorie balance.

If you skip meals or eat less earlier in the day to bank calories for a big feast at night, you are thinking only in terms of calories, but you’re depriving yourself of the valuable nutrition you need all day long in terms of protein (amino acids), carbohydrates, essential fats, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that come from healthy food, as well as the small frequent meals required to stoke the furnace of your metabolism.

Not only that, but eating less early in the day in anticipation for overeating later is more likely to increase your appetite, causing you to binge or eat much more than you thought you would at night when the banquet does arrive.

Eating healthy food earlier in the day is likely to fill you up and you'll be less likely to overeat in the evening. High fiber foods, healthy fats and especially lean protein, tend to suppress your appetite the most.

I don’t like the concept of "banking calories." Your body just doesn't work that way - it tends to seek equilibrium by adjusting your appetite to the point where you consume the same total amount of calories in the end anyway.

Even if it worked the way you wanted it to, why would you eat less (starve) in an attempt to burn more fat, then overeat (binge) and put the fat right back on? Why allow yourself to put on fat in the first place?

A starving and bingeing pattern will almost certainly cause more damage than an occasional oversize meal. Some dieticians might even say that this kind of behavior borders on disordered eating.

A better approach is to stay on your regular menu of healthy foods and small meals through the entire day - business as usual - and then go ahead and treat yourself to a "cheat meal," but sure to keep your portions small.

It should be a big relief to know that on special occasions, whether it's a party, restaurant meal, banquet or holiday dinner, you can eat whatever you want with little or no ill effect on body composition, as long as you respect the law of calorie balance. However, you CANNOT starve and binge and expect not to reap negative consequences.

To burn fat and be healthy, you don't have to be a "party pooper" or completely deny yourself of foods you enjoy, but you do need to have the discipline to stick with your regular meal plan most of the time and control your portion sizes all of the time.

About the Author:

Tom Venuto is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, an NSCA-certified personal trainer (CPT), certified strength & conditioning specialist (CSCS), and author of the #1 best-selling e-book, "Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle.” Tom has written more than 200 articles and has been featured in print magazines such as IRONMAN, Australian IRONMAN, Natural Bodybuilding, Muscular Development, Exercise for Men and Men’s Exercise, as well as on hundreds of websites worldwide.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Experience the #1 Antioxidant Power to Fortify, Replenish and Rejuvenate Your Body

Why Antioxidant?

By now, you should have known that the oxidative stress generates superoxide free radicals in your body. Millions of these dangerous superoxide free radicals are currently damaging your health causing all sorts of illness, disease, fatigue and pre-mature aging problems.

Read my last post in case you miss this critical health issue >>

It's becoming well known in health, nutrition and medicine community that it's possible to protect or reclaim your nutritional health, possibly reverse disease and prevent illness, by eating antioxidant-rich nutrients or supplements to absorb and neutralize the superoxide free radicals.


What's the Most Powerful Antioxidant?

No other functional drink delivers more Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD) neutralizing capacity than NingXia Red™.

NingXia Red™ is a naturally delicious, nutrient-infused wolfberry drink that will energize, fortify, and replenish your body.

Rich in wide-spectrum antioxidant activity, NingXia Red has the highest levels of naturally occurring, age-defying S-ORAC (Super-Oxide Radical Absorbance Capacity) activity to help support immune function, cardiovascular health, and nourish the eyes.

S-ORAC testing meaures a product's abilitly to detroy the most dangerous and prevalent free radicals - Superoxides.


Why NingXia Red™?

An independent lab test data tells the whole story ...

Here is a S-ORAC comparison chart of NingXia Red™ with several other popular drinks.



What Does It Mean?

NingXia Red's S-ORAC activity rated at 363 is well off the chart and far exceeding other brands by a wide margin. In order to get the same benefit as drinking just 1oz of NingXia Red, you would have to drink:

> One and a half bottles of Via Viente™ or
> Eight bottles of Xango™ or
> Nine bottles of Noni™ or
> A whole truckload of Himalayan Goji™ !!!

These popular "functional drinks" don't compare to NingXia Red's activity. This third-party S-ORAC comparison is one of many ORAC comparisons that prove NingXia Red is in a class of its own.


What's in NingXia Red™?

NingXia Red starts with the finest organic, whole NingXia wolfberries grown without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Only NingXia wolfberries carry legendary reputation, scientific validation, and delicious taste.

NingXia Red is made by Young Living's "Nutrient Guard" preparation to protect complete wolfberry benefits and activity.

It's then blended with clinically and historically proven super fruits (e.g., blueberry, pomegrante, red raspberry, dark grapes, apricots).

Finally NingXia Red is fortified with lemon and orange therapeutic-grade essential oils rich in the powerful antioxidant d-limonene to promote healthy liver function.

  • Ningxia Wolfberry puree (50%) - the world's highest antioxidant food, rich in immune-stimulating polysaccharides, ellagic acid, cerebrosides, pyrroles, and other unique phytochemicals.
  • Blueberry juice - rich in proanthocyanidins. Tufts University studies show that it protects blood cells against free radical oxidation and slows brain aging. University of Mainz studies shows that it protects cell DNA.
  • Pomegranate juice - 3 times the antioxidant activity of green tea or red wine, reduces oxidized cholesterol by 40%.
  • Raspberry juice - high levels of ellagic acid (cancer fighter)
  • Apricot juice - revered for longevity support, contains beta carotene and vitamin C.
  • Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils - Lemon (citrus limon) and Orange (citrus sinensis) both high in d-limonene which combats cell mutation.
  • Nutrition Values (one serving = 1 oz)
    Calories: 19 per serving
    Total Carbohydrate: 4 grams per serving
    Dietary Fiber: 0.2 grams per serving
    Sugars: 3.4 grams per serving
    Sodium: 15 mg per serving
    Protein: 0.65 grams per serving
    Vitamin C: 180 mg per serving

What's Good in NingXia Red™?

Essential nutrients in NingXia Red help support normal cardiovascular function, normal eye health, normal cell growth and healthy live function.

The all-natural, powerful, nutrient-rich ingredients in NingXia Red help you provide:

  • Dynamic energy and stamina without harmful stimulants (e.g., caffeine, refined sugar, ephedra)
  • Key glyconutrients that fuel vital energy systems
  • Unique protein-polysaccharides that help sustain proper immune function
  • Highest levels of naturally occurring, age defying S-ORAC and ORAC activity
  • Great taste with no sugary "junk-juices" (e.g., apple, white grape, pear)
  • An amazingly low glycemic index of only 10.6 that does not spike blood sugar levels. (The glycemic index of table sugar is 83.)

Extensive medical research confirms that the wide-ranging and impactful benefits of NingXia Red's powerful nutrients. These nutrients support healthy liver function, increase immune activity, promote cellular health, encourage healthy eyesight, support healthy cholesterol levels and improve cellular energy production.

"When one understands that there are only a few basic mechanisms underlying all diseases, then it is extremely simple to see why NingXia Red is so effective for practically all ... organ systems." - Hugo Rodier, M.D., Adjunct Nutrition Professor, University of Utah

The wolfberry also has a high concentration of the branched chain amino acidL-leucine, that we can only obtain from our diet. Inside the body, L-leucine is converterd into a powerful compound called HMB (betahydroxy beta-methylbutyrate). To date, four human clinical studies have been completed, including a double-blind study at the American College of Sports Medicine in Minnesota. Test subjects who used only 3 grams of HMB a day gained up to 300% more lean muscle mass and experienced 295% gain in strength.


Experience the Power of NingXia Red™ NOW >>
Product # 3003, 3023, 3043




These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Get Rid of Damaging Superoxide Free Radicals

"What Your Doctor Doesn't Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You" by Dr. Ray D. Strand

When Dr. Ray Strand found himself in a losing battle, unable to successfully treat his wife who had suffered chronically with pain and fatigue, he agreed to try the regimen of nutritional supplements that a neighbor suggested.

Much to his surprise, his wife's condition began to improve almost immediately. That amazing turn of events led him to dedicate himself to researching alternative therapies in medicine, particularly in the arena of nutritional supplements.

Dr. Strand's illumination of the body's silent enemy, oxidative stress, will astound you. The oxidative stress generates superoxide free radicals in your body that cause all sorts of illness, disease, health and aging problems.
  • Elevated levels of superoxide are linked to nearly every major killer and chronic disease.
  • Superoxide is the body’s most aggressive source of destructive oxidation and inflammation, which destroy vital cells.
  • Superoxide levels dramatically increase with age.

His research will equip you to protect or reclaim your nutritional health, possibly reversing disease and preventing illness by eating antioxidant-rich nutrients or supplements to absorb and neutralize the superoxide free radicals.

>> Learn more about the most potent #1 S-ORAC (Superoxide Radical Absorbance Capacity) rated nutrient for anti-aging and disease-fighting (# 3003, 3023, 3043)>>

>>> Sign up for FREE monthly e-Newsletter to receive insider training tips, workout routines and check out your FREE bonus e-books to help you build muscles, lose fat and uncover your six pack abs.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Peppermint Oil for Curbing Appetite and Losing Weight

Peppermint in History

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) belongs to the Labiatae (mint) botanical family. It's one of the oldest and the most high-regarded herbs for healing and remedy. The essential oil of peppermint has been used in medical treatments for anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, soothing digestion and pain relieving.


Peppermint Studies in Modern Days

Peppermint oil and fragrant influence has been studied scientifically in recent years. Dr. William N. Dember of the University of Cincinnati found that inhaling peppermint oil increased the mental alertness, focus and accuracy by 28%.


Peppermint Oil to Improve Athletic Performance

Dr. Bryan Raudenbush and his research group of Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia found that peppermint oil and vapor can enhance overall athletic performance:
  • Decrease in Fatigue by 25 %
  • Decrease in Perceived Temporal Workload by 22 %
  • Increase in Vigor by 13 %
  • Decrease in Perceived Frustration by 13 %
  • Decrease in Perceived Effort by 12 %
  • Increase in Perceived Performance by 9 %
  • Decrease in Perceived Physical Workload by 8 %
  • Increase in Strength by 6 %
  • Increase in Number of Push-Ups by 6 %
  • Increase in Speed (400 Meter Run 1.5 Seconds Faster)
Ref: JOURNAL OF SPORT & EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY, 2001, vol. 23, pp. 156-160.

Wow, that's really powerful, isn't it?

You can inhale peppermint oil before and during workout to help boost your mood and reduce fatigue. You can also diffuse the peppermint oil for improving energy and mental clarity.

But what can peppermint oil do for the non-athletic average folks or overweight population?

A recent research study by Dr. Bryan Raudenbush and his colleagues at the Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia confirmed a known effect of peppermint oil on reducing hunger level and curbing appetite.

Their study evaluated hunger levels during peppermint inhalation vs. non-inhalation, in addition to actual food consumption and dietary evaluation (e.g., fat intake, caloric intake, vitamin and mineral intake, etc.) over a period of two weeks.

Results indicate participants who were exposed to peppermint consumed nearly 3000 fewer total calories from saturated fat, total fat, and sugar each week. That's about 23% less calories based on 1800 calories/day diet for 7 days. Participants also rated their hunger level significantly lower during peppermint inhalation.
"Research partipicants who were exposed to peppermint oil regularly ate nearly 3000 fewer calories each week. That's about 23% less calories a week!"

Whether simply inhaled or eaten, peppermint increases activity in the area of the brain responsible for alertness, according to researchers. Inhalation of peppermint oil helps trigger a sense of fullness after meals, enhance your sense of taste and smell, and improve concentration and mental activity.

This is a good news in that peppermint can be used as a natural aid to help people curb appetite, decrease hunger cravings, and eat fewer calories. As a result, the use of peppermint may help in weight loss and better overall health.

But not all peppermint oils are created equal. Only the true organic peppermint grown without chemical fertilizers and pesticides offers the most active nutrient levels. The therapeutic-grade essesntial oil of peppermint has to be extracted by steam distillation under strictly controlled conditions and handling.

>> Learn about true, pure therapeutic-grade essential oil of peppermint and start enjoying its health and fitness benefits (product # 3614) >>

Before you decide to try peppermint oil in your weight loss program, you need to get the basics covered first: healthy lifestyle changes, regular weight training and cardio exercise routine, and balanced diet and macronutrition.

As I pointed out in my earlier post, there is a place for vitamins and nutritional supplements. They are meant to "supplement" your macronutrition or certain deficiencies, instead of becoming your major meals.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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