Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Bad Attitude That Kills Diet And Exercise Programs

Self-improvement speaker and author Earl Nightingale described attitude as “The angle or bearing, including actions, feelings and moods,” from which you approach a problem or situation. That’s a great definition.  I like to say something similar; that attitude is the “lens” through which you perceive and respond to your world. Although attitude is mental, there’s no question it affects your life in very physical ways. In fact, the wrong attitude can sabotage even the best-designed nutrition and training plan.
There’s one particular attitude problem that kills the diet and exercise programs of millions of people every year, denying them of the health, fitness and vitality they deserve. In severe cases, it can be the cause of more serious problems like eating disorders. It’s called…
The “All or nothing” attitude. 
This is one big bad attitude that appears in many different forms. I’ve listed 7 of them below.  If you recognize any of these in your own life, you need to nip them in the bud fast, or they will surely kill your progress.
When you follow the suggestions in this article for changing to a new positive attitude, in no time at all, you will see (from your change in results), how true it is what William James wrote: “Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”
The 7 Types of “All or None Attitude.”
1. “I don’t have any time!”
People often say to themselves, “I’m so busy, I don’t have the hour (or 30 minutes, etc) that this workout program asks for, so what’s the use in doing anything? I’ll start later when I have more time to devote to doing the whole thing right.”
The irony is that the time never is “just right” because “life happens” and you’ll never have more time to “do it right,” because your schedule is always 100% full. In fact, ambitious people will never have enough time to do all the things they want to do in life.
Fortunately, you always have time for the things that are most important to you. And that’s the first step: If you want to do something, you must make it a priority and create a space for it.
That means pushing down something of a lower value or priority that’s currently taking up space in your schedule. That could include watching TV, surfing the web, reading magazines, gossiping with friends, taking long lunch breaks or even sleeping.
If someone watches any TV and says they have no time for exercise, they might want to question their priorities. Not to mention, that’s another case of all or none thinking: Why does it have to be one or the other?  If both are important to you, how about putting a bike or treadmill in front of your TV?
The second step is to remember that any exercise is better than no exercise. What’s more, there are ways to get more results in less time, and many trainers specialize in time-efficient training for busy people.
Also remember that what’s ideal for maximum results and what’s realistic when life is crazy may be very different. You may not be able to do the ideal workout, but you can still work out a little bit and at least maintain what you have.
If you don’t voluntarily set aside at least a small amount of time every day to take care of the greatest gift, asset and possession you own – your health and your body – then at some point in the future, news from the doctor may force you to do it involuntarily… if it’s not too late.
2. “I have physical limitations or injuries, so I can’t exercise at all.”
I truly feel for people who are struggling with orthopedic problems or injuries, especially when they have the sincere desire to get healthier and fitter, but they feel unable to do anything physical. Fortunately, while you may not be able to do everything, you can do something.
Naturally, some injuries can lay you up completely, and you should always follow the advice of your doctor. However, other injuries or conditions are localized to the knee, shoulder, ankle, elbow and so on, but they don’t limit what you can do for the rest of your body.
A single pain or injury often leads to all or none thinking such as, “My right foot hurts so I can’t work out at all.” Why do you believe that? What about your abs and core? How about your upper body… shoulders, biceps, triceps? Upper back? What about your other leg?
What’s even more damaging is the all or none attitude when all exercise truly is restricted (doctor’s orders) and you tell yourself, “Oh well, no sense in starting this diet since I can’t exercise for the next 6 weeks.”
The truth is, if you can’t exercise at all, then nutrition is more important than ever, isn’t it?
The remedy for this version of all or none attitude is “possibility thinking,” which means you think in CANS not can’ts.
Ask yourself, “What CAN I do,” (or “what can I do instead of”), rather than what can’t I do? If there is a health or medical issue involved, ask your doctor the same question: “Ok, I know I can’t do this, but can I do that?”
I’ve seen men and women with arthritis, knee replacements, in wheelchairs or even without a limb achieve remarkable success, including outstanding health, low body fat and excellent strength and muscle development. For some real inspiration about what’s possible, look up the Paralympic games.
 3.”I have to be perfect on my diet and eat 100% clean to lose weight.”
The idea that you have to eat 100% healthy, nutritious foods (aka “clean foods”) 100% of the time may be the most common of all the all-or-none attitudes when it comes to nutrition and weight control.
Weight loss is achieved by consistently establishing a calorie deficit, not by eating 100% clean.  Health food fanatics take note: You could eat 100% perfect – nothing but natural, unrefined, nutrient-dense foods – but if you eat too much (if you’re in a calorie surplus), you’ll get fat.
The truth – and you should take this as very good news – is that you don’t have to be perfect. As long as you hit your calorie goal, met your essential micronutrient needs and get your macronutrients in the right ballpark, you can include your favorite foods – anything – and still lose weight.
The key is to find the right kind of moderation. Eating 90% nutrient-dense, healthy foods is more than good enough to ensure good health while you also reach your fat loss goals.
You can forget trying to be perfect with your foods choices for the sole reason that it’s not even necessary for fat loss. But here’s a second reason:  It’s a psychological truism that you tend to crave what you cannot have. Therefore, trying to eat “clean” 100% of the time, or be “perfect” on your diet usually backfires.
The 10% (or whatever compliance rule you choose  for your “free meals”) is like a “release valve.” without giving yourself a little bit of nutritional flexibility, the pressure of missing favorite foods will build up and most people will eventually “explode” in the form of a binge.
4. “I cheated on one meal so my entire day is blown!”
If you get one flat tire, do you jump out of your car and slash the other three tires? Hey, you have one flat – might as well have four, right?
That’s ridiculous, yet many people’s brains are wired to think that if you screwed up one meal, your entire day is shot, or worse, “I might as well pig out the rest of the day.”
Here’s a novel idea: If you fell off track, why don’t you simply get right back on track?
Don’t wallow in guilt. Don’t punish yourself by skipping meals or doubling your workouts. You’re one meal or one workout away from being back on the program, aren’t you?
Get back on it! It’s that simple!
 5. “I messed up one day so my whole week is blown. I have to start over Monday!”
People who think that getting off track for one meal ruins an entire day are also likely to fall prey to the next level up: If you mess up one day, you think the entire week is shot. Might as well start over on Monday.
I would crack a joke about “Start over Mondays” – if it weren’t a serious problem.
Suppose your day really was the pits. Your diet completely fell apart. So what? Every day is a new day and every day is a great day for a fresh start. There is no better way to start your day than with a good workout or a healthy meal (or both). So there we are back to the same advice: you’re one meal or one workout away from being back on track.
A great reason for having a great healthy breakfast is because it sets a healthy tone for the day. With one good meal in the bag early, your behavior is more likely to stay consistent the rest of the day (not to mention, most people are less likely to have late day hunger or cravings that lead to binges).
Never wait until next Monday. Every day is a great day for a new start and that’s a great affirmation to remember…
“It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn, and I’m feeling good!” – Nina Simone
6. “I messed up [insert: a meal, day week] so my entire program is blown.”
You probably knew this one was coming next, didn’t you? How people make this kind of a leap – from messing up one week, one day or even one meal – to “My entire program is blown” is hard to fathom, but I see it every day.
I’ve lost count of the times that people have entered a 3-month transformation contest or begun a several month bodybuilding competition prep and dropped out mid way through, even after making great progress.
Why? Because in their minds, they thought that getting off track at all, whether for a week, a day or a single meal, meant the whole program was shot, all 3 or 4 months of it, so they had to start over from day one, or (more common), they might as well quit.
This is another example of how perfectionistic thinking can kill a program. It’s why flexibility is important – even in contest-level dieting – and why approaching your endeavors – even competition – as a part of your lifestyle, rather than a “12 week program,” or a contest prep, is a key to success.
A lifestyle is never something you go on or off, it’s something you live every day. The only difference during the pursuit of big goals is in the level of intensity and focus as you pass through the cycles and seasons.
7. “I didn’t reach my goal on time, so I failed (or I’m a failure).”
This one is especially dangerous because some people will take a single negative event that could be viewed as an important learning experience, and not only call it a failure, but also generalize it to their entire life or personal identity.
Failure is actually an essential part of success. Failure is feedback and the raw material for learning. As a matter of fact, you don’t have to accept your results as failure at all. You can reframe your attitude:
If you don’t reach your goal in the time frame you set for yourself – you didn’t fail, you just underestimated your completion date. It’s a delay, not a denial. Set a new completion date and carry on.
This is why I always advise my clients and readers to “Write your goals in ink, and your deadlines in pencil…”
It’s why football coaching legend Vince Lombardi famously quipped to his team (when the scoreboard showed them behind at the end of the fourth quarter), “We didn’t lose, we just ran out of time.” He knew that every man gave his best, and that’s a winning game, regardless of the score.
Attitude is a choice 
Your fitness journey is not a black or white, win or lose, pass or fail situation. All or none thinking creates unnecessary stress and doesn’t allow you to give yourself any credit for what you did right or to learn from your mistakes and experiences.
With a simple shift in attitude, you can change your entire world! If attitude is the “lens” through which you perceive your world, how do you see yours?
Two people can produce the same result or be faced with the same challenges and obstacles, yet each person can see something completely different, feel differently, react differently and attach totally different meanings to that same event. It all depends on your attitude…
The great news is that attitude is not something that happens to you, it’s a choice – one that you control completely and only you can make for yourself.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

3 Radical Weight Loss Tips

If you are struggling with your weight loss program, doing all of the conventional things like cardio and low-carbohydrate dieting, then this is the most important article you'll read all year. There are better ways to lose weight than restricting your fruit intake or spending hours on the cardio machine. In fact, you can achieve fast weight loss by exercising less and worrying less about your weight loss diet. Here are 3 radical tips for weight loss.

The first radical change to your weight loss plan is to stop dieting and start using, "Intermittent Fasting". Sounds crazy, right? Well, it isn't. It certainly is radical though, but that's what I've promised you. Diet expert Brad Pilon recommends using fasting to help with your weight loss program, and to overcome what is known as Obsessive-Compulsive eating habits, such as worrying if you don't eat every three hours, or obsessing over meeting the 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight rule set out by bodybuilders.

If you are sick of forcing six meals per day down your throat, or if your lifestyle has absolutely no way in heck of allowing you to eat that frequently, then you'll love using fasting for weight loss. It helps you create the essential calorie deficit by fasting one day per week, while drinking calorie free liquids of course, and then you simply eat normally, but not excessively on the other days of the week. No more worrying about hardcore dieting. No more obsessing about calories or protein or carbohydrate. Plus, you'll free up a lot of time and mental energy on your fasting day, so that you get more work done and spend less time in the kitchen.

Fasting is truly a liberating experience, and a radical change from what most people are used to. I know it sounds odd, but remember, religions have included fasting in their worship practices for centuries. Almost anyone can do fasting if they have the proper mindset. Many folks are reporting that their obsessive eating habits have been cured by fasting. It's powerful, and radical, information. I highly recommend you learn more about fasting for weight loss.

The second thing you need to do for weight loss is quit doing cardio and start focusing on short, burst exercise weight loss workouts that include interval training. Interval training involves alternating between short periods of hard exercise and short periods of very easy exercise. You do a regular warm-up and cool-down, and in-between you do about 6 intervals. This program takes only 20 minutes but works brilliantly to burn belly fat and help men and women with weight loss. Using an interval training program, most women can lose 14 pounds in 12 weeks, while men can achieve weight loss of thirty pounds in less than 90 days. There are dozens of ways to do interval training, and all of them will help you with your weight loss.

Finally, the third radical weight loss strategy is to stop going to the gym and start doing more bodyweight exercises to burn fat at home. Sounds crazy, considering we've been told over and over again that we need to go to a fancy, commercial gym for a weight loss workout, but you can work your body as hard, if not harder, at home with simple bodyweight exercises. And that's what weight loss is all about, short burst exercise sessions that burn calories and allow you to live a reduced-stress lifestyle. Bodyweight exercises save you time, money, and mental energy that you can devote to other components of your life, and help you reduce your stress. I truly believe that reducing your stress will help with weight loss.

Combine bodyweight exercises with interval training and fasting for weight loss, and you'll lose more weight faster than ever.

Monday, October 25, 2010

7 Ways To Get Motivated For Your Workout

There will be days (everyday?) when you don't feel like doing your workout.

Sometimes you don't want to get out of bed.

Sometimes you don't want to leave your office because you feel like there are too many deadlines (but this is when you need a workout the most!).

Sometimes you don't want to end story time with the kids only to head down to the basement gym.

It even happens to me.

But I knew how I'd feel like a million bucks after the workout.

And in the end, I know I can't let myself become "soft" and start skipping workouts. I have to lead by example.

But if you are set on achieving a goal, then when it's workouttime, come heck or high water you've got to bear down and do the job.

So here are 7 ways to get motivated for your workout and to get you inspired to get through your workout.
1) Reward yourself. Finish your workout and treat yourself to a magazine, a TV show, some extra time with your family, some new songs for your IPOD, or even a little extra time for yourself.

2) Or set up a punishment for missing workouts. Skip the workout, put $20 into a jar to spend on home repairs. Make sure your spouse controls the jar.

3) Review your goals everyday and every night. Keeping your goals fresh in your mind will help you stay on track.

4) Realize that the hardest part of the workout is often getting your butt to the gym. Once you get 5 minutes into the workout, you will be over the hump. So tell yourself, "I'll just go in and do 1 set of the first 2 exercises, then I can go". Next thing you know, you'll have done the entire workout.

5) Visualize yourself doing a great workout and finishing strong. Get yourself mentally prepared and you will literally have better workouts each time.

6) Crank the tunes. Seriously, nothing motivates like music.

7) Get social support. If you have a workout partner, you'll feel like crap if you let them down. Or become accountable to everyone in the Turbulence Training workout forums...if you don't post your workouts, they'll track you down and demand to know why you've fallen off track! So online or offline, get everyone on your side!
Now get out there and kick the fat to the curb!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

3 Ways to Burn Belly Fat

There are only 3 ways to burn belly, and supplements, diet pills, cleanses, and detox diets are not the ways to do it. Instead, I'm going to give you three advanced strategies to help you burn belly fat and get a flat stomach in less than 90 days, even if you have to lose 30 pounds of weight.

The first secret to burning stomach fat is to eat a weight loss diet of whole, natural foods, eliminating any high-calorie foods in modified forms. Start building your fat burning diet around fruits (yes, you can lose fat while eating a lot of fruit), vegetables, nuts, and a wide-variety of protein sources.

Avoid all foods in a bag or box. This even means cutting back on pasta, bread, and definitely breakfast cereals. There are very few breakfast cereals that can survive on a belly fat burning plan. Too many breakfast cereals are loaded with added sugar, and contain a lot of calories for small portion sizes. As a result of the small portion sizes and added sugar, you end up hungry soon after you eat breakfast cereals and this will not help you burn belly fat.

Eat whole, natural foods at every meal and you will be full and satisfied, and you'll have a lot of physical and mental energy for exercise. You don't have to become a vegetarian, but you need to avoid the hidden calories and sugar in all carbohydrate foods. In fact, if you eat lots of fruits and vegetables, you can eat a lot of protein to help you burn belly fat. Finally, eat raw nuts, not nuts that have been roasted in oil and covered in salt.
Nutrition is the most important part of a belly fat burning program, in fact, it's probably going to be responsible for more than half of your fat burning results, so don't skip step number one. But once you have your nutrition under control, you can focus on increasing the intensity of your exercise program.

To burn belly fat, I want you to stop doing cardio, and focus instead on interval training. If you don't know what interval training is, let me show you how this modified cardio workout can help you burn belly fat. First, you start off with a warm-up, as you would any cardio workout. Second, you alternate between periods of hard exercise and easy exercise. Your hard exercise intervals should be 10-20% harder than a normal cardio intensity, but should last only 30-60 seconds to burn belly fat. Follow each work interval with an easy recovery interval for twice as long as the work interval. The pace in your recovery interval should be so easy you'll think you are doing the cool-down portion of your workout. Repeat the hard-easy interval sequence three times if you are a beginner, and up to six times if you are fit. Finally, finish off with 3-5 minutes of easy exercise as the cool-down portion of your belly fat burning workout.

The third secret to burn belly fat at home is to use bodyweight and dumbbell resistancde training exercises in supersets, so that you get a short, but intense belly fat burning workout that might increase your muscle mass (if you want that) or increase your metabolism (everybody wants that!).

You only need to do 4 resistance training exercises in a belly fat burning workout. One exercise needs to work the legs, another exercise needs to work the pushing muscles, a third exercise needs to work the upper back pulling muscles, and the fourth exercise needs to be a total-body ab exercise. By doing this routine, you've hit all the major fat burning hot zones of the body to help you burn belly fat. Do your resistance training workout before the interval training for maximum muscle results and to burn belly fat fast.

Eat To Lose Weight

Not sure what to eat to lose weight? Well, today you are going to get my politically incorrect advice! I’m known for telling it like it is, and most people (the lazy ones) don’t want to hear it, and they get mad at me. But the folks who do listen often lose 5-10 pounds in 2 weeks.

First, let’s talk about what you must not eat to lose weight. You have to toss any foods from your pantry that contain added sugar or hydrogenated oils (also known as trans-fats). These types of foods are processed, refined junk foods that contain a lot of calories.

You’ll even find both of those nasty ingredients in most breakfast cereals. In fact, breakfast cereals are often a bad food to have if you want to eat to lose weight. Many have added sugar and hydrogenated oils, even the so-called healthy cereals.

I also recommend cutting out most modified carbohydrate foods, from granola bars to muffins, from white flour pasta to most breads. You are much better off eating more fruits and vegetables and raw nuts. You also need to increase your protein intake, but nearly as much as most bodybuilders will tell you.

In fact, the last thing you should do is take fat loss advice from a bodybuilder. Most of those folks use drugs to get bigger and drugs to lose fat, and that’s politically stupid advice. So stay away from anyone that lives an unhealthy lifestyle to get a good body.

Your focus should be on making baby steps every day to improve your diet. Take my client Katherine for example. She started off 15 pounds overweight and eating a bad diet, but wanted to eat to lose weight. At first, she only ate one apple and a small salad per day, with everything else being processed foods.

Her first step – like yours will probably be – was to rediscover how GOOD real food tastes. She added a banana and an orange to breakfast, replacing her high-sugar cereal. She added the fruit to a plain yogurt and added 11 chopped almonds (half an ounce) in the mix. She also had a Green Tea instead of coffee with cream and sugar.

Katherine found that she wasn’t hungry again till lunch time, and didn’t experience mid-morning drowsiness with that plan. At lunch, she started to add more vegetables to her salad.

After a week, she cut out her tuna sandwich and added chicken or salmon to her salad in what we called, “her power lunch salad”. She’s now up to 10 different vegetables in her power salad, and she doesn’t have after lunch sleepiness anymore. Now that’s how to eat to lose weight!

Since Katherine exercises with Turbulence Training right after work and while she watches Oprah, she needed a late afternoon snack. In the past, she had given in to the vending machine (on bad days) and even on good days was eating a granola bar filled with sugar and trans-fats. But the granola bar rarely, if ever, filled her up.

So we made her afternoon snack an apple, 11 almonds, and more Green Tea. This kept her full until dinner time. In fact, it kept her so full she moved her dinner time back almost a full hour (and this allowed her husband to do his Turbulence Training workout before dinner as well).

By moving dinner to 7pm, she had fewer urges to eat at night while she relaxed in front of the TV for her favorite show at 9pm. Before she knew it, it was bedtime and she didn’t have any desire for late night binging. Now that’s how to eat to lose weight!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How To Get Six Pack Abs At Home

If you rely on boring, back-breaking abdominal crunches and sit-ups to burn
belly fat, you'll never lose the ugly belly fat covering your abs. To get
more fat burning results in less workout time, use fat burning interval
training and total-body abdominal exercises instead.

You don’t even have to do ab workouts everyday to get six pack abs at home. In fact, one of the secrets of top fat loss trainers is to drop boring, repetitive ab exercises and replace them with total-body abdominal exercises you only need to do for a few minutes three times per week.

The best way to lose belly fat isn’t ab training or even long, slow boring
cardio in the “Fat Burning Zone”. In fact, in a recent study, subjects did
40 minutes of slow cardio three times per week for 15 weeks but didn't lose
a single inch of stomach fat. However, only 20 minutes of interval training
helped subjects significantly reduce belly fat.

So the truth is, you don’t need hundreds of ab exercises, or even expensive
fancy ab machines down at your local gym. In fact, research shows that most
abdominal machines in gyms are extremely DANGEROUS for your low back! But
you can do simple, safe, and effective abdominal bodyweight exercises and
interval training at home to flatten your stomach.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

5 Biggest Ab Workout Mistakes

Why is it that everyone is working out to get 6-pack abs, but almost no one has a flat stomach or defined abs? It's because most people are making big mistakes in their ab workouts. Here are the 5 biggest ab workout mistakes that you are making that lead to injury, ineffective workouts, and little results. If you fix these mistakes, you'll double the effectiveness of your ab workouts and you'll be a lot closer to getting the abs you want.

Mistake #1 - You have no intensity in your ab workouts.

Don't get me wrong, it's hard to do hundreds and hundreds of crunches in an ab workout and you can get a burn in your abs, but that doesn't mean the ab workout is intense. What you need to do to get more 6-pack abs results in less workout time is to increase the intensity of the ab exercises you use.
For example, most folks do hundreds of crunches in an ab workout but don't get results. On the other hand, if you increase the intensity of the ab exercises you use, therefore decreasing the number of repetitions you can do in each set, you'll put more stress on the muscle and force more change in your abs.
So get rid of the crunches and add exercises like Stability Ball Rollouts to your ab workouts, which you can't do hundreds of times. Get rid of lying reverse crunches and use hanging knee raises - with good form - instead and do sets of 8-12 repetitions rather than sets of 30-50 reps.

Mistake #2 - You do too many crunches with bad form leading to a pain in the neck.

At first I thought this was just an occasional rookie ab workout mistake, but I've found more and more people are searching the Internet looking for pain relief because their necks are sore from doing too many crunches the wrong way. The best way to avoid neck pain from crunches is to avoid the exercise in the first place. Crunches are a waste of your ab workout time. For all the time people spend doing crunches, they don't get a proportional improvement in their 6-pack abs. Don't spend any more ab workout time doing crunches. Instead, use more effective exercises such as Cable Abs, Stability Ball Rollouts, Stability Ball Jackknives, and Hanging Knee Raises.

Mistake #3 - You do too many exercises where you round your back in spinal flexion

Have you or a friend ever injured your back by bending over? That movement is called spinal flexion, and can lead to herniated discs because every time your round forward, bend over, or round your back, you compress the intervertebral discs between the vertebral bones in your spine. It's like squeezing down on one side of a giant hamburger and having the condiments come out the other side. Essentially, that's what happens when you herniated a disc or get a bulging disc. So you need to avoid exercises that require spinal flexion, such as crunches or sit-ups to protect your back.

Mistake #4 - You do not brace your abs in every exercise.

When training clients, I tell them before each and every exercise to "brace their abs as if someone was about to punch them in the stomach". Bracing your abs protects your back, and also works your abs, so that every exercise in your workout becomes an ab exercise and every workout becomes an ab workout. It is a simple, easy to remember tip that will help you strengthen your back and sculpt your abs.

Mistake #5 - You don't train your abs for endurance to help your low back.

While it is important to add resistance and intensity to the exercises in your ab workout, research also shows that you need to build endurance with basic abdominal exercise holds like Planks and Side Planks. Dr. Stuart McGill, a leading expert in low back fitness and performance, has found that the more endurance men and women have in these ab exercises, the lower their risk of back problems. Surprisingly, these exercises are also helpful in building a set of 6-pack abs and you can do the Plank exercises on a daily basis in ab workouts to build your endurance. Beginners should start with 10 second holds, while advanced fitness levels can do longer holds (up to 2-minutes for the Plank) or a series of repetitions of 10 second holds for each exercise. Both are effective ways to build abdominal muscle endurance.
Avoid these 5 ab workout mistakes and you'll double the effectiveness of your ab workouts. Add interval training and resistance training and you will soon have a flat stomach and visible abs.