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The 5 Factor Diet

Arguably the most sought-after trainer among celebrities, Harley Pasternak holds a masters of science in exercise physiology and nutritional sciences from the University of Toronto, and an honors degree in kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario. He is also certified by the American College of Sports Medicine and the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology.

Harley Pasternak is a leader in the fields of fitness and nutrition — well known for helping top Hollywood celebrities dramatically transform their bodies. Now he shares his “5-Factor” weight-loss secrets with the rest of us in two popular books!

5-Factor Diet

The 5-Factor Diet details a revolutionary plan based on scientific research. This unique eating plan will absolutely transform your body — and your life. You’ll be surprised to read that it doesn’t include weighing, measuring, or calorie counting. And it actually simplifies the way you eat! Plus, it requires you to cheat! Once a week, you can eat all your favorite foods (hello, dessert and pizza!). The best part? This is a realistic approach to weight loss that you can incorporate into your life.

>> Buy the book now!

5-Factor Fitness

5-Factor Fitness will help you achieve the body you’ve always wanted in five short weeks! This plan actually encourages you to work out less and eat more. That’s right — sweat less and never go hungry! If you don’t believe it works, just take a look at Harley’s client list, which includes some of Hollywood’s most beautiful bodies. Harley has brought science to the gym, and he’ll teach you how 25-minute workouts can be more effective than hours spent at the gym.

>> Buy the book now!

Today’s Health and Wellness

Today’s Health & Wellness magazine, official publication of the National Health & Wellness Club, gives you access to leading health practitioners and experts in nutrition, fitness and medicine. Through in-depth articles and step-by-step instructions, you’ll have everything you need to increase your energy, stamina and start enjoying life to its fullest.

Click below for your FREE issue & FREE Digital Pedometer!

10 Ways To Lose Muscle

When I first started working out (about 10 years ago), I was tall and skinny. My goal was to build muscle and get buff. After 6 months of training, I had gained considerable strength, but you wouldn’t know by looking at me. So what went wrong? I didn’t eat enough, and I didn’t get enough protein.

Men’s Fitness lists the 10 worst workout mistakes – Things you do that sabotage your progress and cost you muscle. Recognize a mistake as part of your daily routine? They also came up with some quick and easy fixes you can use to correct these problems and net truly awesome gains.

1. YOU DON’T EAT ENOUGH (FOR FEAR OF GETTING FAT)
Yes, extra calories can mean extra belly fat, but if you’re lifting consistently and correctly, most of what you’re taking in should be converted to muscle. The truth is your muscles will never grow without a surplus of calories. For a lean guy looking to put on muscle mass, 2,000 calories a day won’t cut it. In fact, this kind of restricted diet is actually the ideal recipe for losing muscle tis- sue and sparing fat, as it causes the body to shift into starvation mode and shed calorie-consuming muscle. It also makes you store fat for emergency energy. And the less protein you eat, the less of a chance you give your muscles to recover after a workout.

2. YOU AMP UP YOUR CARDIO
There are three ways that cardio typically cancels out muscle gains: doing it too often, doing it for too long, or doing it on an empty stomach. In general, daily cardio sessions simply burn too many cumulative calories to allow you the surplus you need for muscle mass, and the same can be said for sessions that last 45 minutes or more. Work out in the morning before breakfast and you only compound the problem. When you wake up, your body is already in a catabolic (muscle-burning) state, since a night’s sleep—time spent without eating—empties your tank. Working out immediately just reinforces this condition and costs you intensity—whether on the treadmill or with the weights. The end result: You burn muscle as fuel in place of calories you should have consumed at breakfast.

(I disagree on this point – Many experts say that it’s best to work out on an empty stomach, as you’ll force your body to burn fat to fuel your workout..)

3. YOU WORK TO EXHAUSTION
If the biggest musclehead in the gym has taught us anything, it’s that doing lots and lots of sets and reps to the point of total collapse (he can’t even muster his signature grunt!) is the best way to build muscle. Never mind that he’s a genetic freak and/or probably on steroids. More than 20 total sets per muscle group, or more than 15 reps per set, may leave your muscles swollen (hence the ego-enhancing “pump”), but it will be from inflammation, not actual muscle growth. Any weight that allows that much work is too light to cause sub- stantial growth, and you’ll reap no lasting gains.

4. YOU FAVOR BODY-PART WORKOUTS
Breaking your training down into chest days, back days, and arm days over- works some muscles and neglects others. It’s an old-school way to train—and it’s incredibly outdated. Most guys still do it, and many make gains for a while, but their progress eventually comes to a halt, usually due to injuries. Body-part routines also prevent your biggest muscles from ever learning to work together in the kinds of coordinated effort you need to lift really heavy weights—another major avenue for fast growth.

5. YOU SHUN STRETCHING
Boring? Definitely. But stretching has been shown to speed up recovery and increase a muscle’s range of motion, making more room for muscle fibers to grow. Simply lifting weights will increase your risk for injury and se- verely limit your ability to move athletically—so no matter how big you are, you’ll probably be picked last for teams.

6. YOU ONLY EAT SPORADICALLY
It’s true: Eating infrequently is nearly as bad as not eating at all. When you go more than three hours without food, your metabolism slows significantly.When that happens, every time you do get a meal, there’s a good chance that a large percentage of it will be stored as fat. Why? Blame your body. Without food, it slips back into starvation mode and starts to think it needs to hold on to every calorie it can get.

7. YOU RARELY ALTER YOUR ROUTINE
Doing the exact same workout week after week will, at best, prevent new gains, and, at worst, lead to burnout. Failing to impose any new challenges on your muscles—such as by increasing the weight you use or the number of reps you perform—simply helps keep them the same size, whereas pushing yourself harder than you’re accustomed to will actually spur new muscle and strength.

8.YOU ONLY TRAIN WHAT YOU SEE IN THE MIRROR
Focusing your workouts on trophy muscles such as the pecs and biceps may be more fun, but it won’t do much for your overall development. Since 70% of your body’s total musculature is located in your legs and back, your main potential for muscle gains will remain untapped. Furthermore, this kind of trainingwill leave you with muscle imbalances that lead to injury—and that can keep you out of the gym permanently.

9. YOU DON’T DRINK SHAKES
Chugging a protein-and-carb mixture after your workout starts the recovery process immediately, replenishing lost glycogen (your muscles’ energy stores) and providing the nutrients your body requires to repair muscle and grow more of it. Skipping the shake and casually waiting an hour or more for your next meal is like ignoring a cry for help.

10. YOU DON’T GET ENOUGH REST
Sleep is when muscle repair happens, so getting six or fewer hours of shut-eye a night limits your body’s natural production of crucial muscle-building chemicals, such as growth hormone. Too much activity outside of your workouts, such as playing sports, all-night dance parties, and extra stress—all of which are permissible now and then, but dangerous in excess—also cut into muscle gains. And if you’ve been working out seven days a week, we’ve got another pleasant surprise for you: You’ll lose muscle for sure. Such a high frequency won’t allow for regeneration, and your efforts will be wasted. And no, it doesn’t matter if you’re training different muscle groups each day—you still have the same central nervous system, and it still gets tired of having to deal with major physical exertion every day.

The Summer Fresh Diet Plan

eDiets has one of the best new diets specially tailored to the season and related activities such as grilling. The Summer Fresh Diet Plan has combined the best of summer fruits and vegetables to give you a healthy way to work towards looking great in a bathing suit! The diet combines lean protein along with seasonal fruits and veggies to give you an easy way to eat balanced meals that provide hydration and complete nutrition during these hot months of the year.

Eating Out and Staying Healthy

Healthy Dining Screenshot

A typical restaurant meal contains 1000 to 2000 calories, and up to 100 fat grams (more than a stick of butter!) – Which makes eating out while eating healthy a hard combination. But thanks to a new helpful tool that lets you research nutritional and healthy meals in your own neighborhood, it’s no longer a problem. Healthy Dining Finder does the hard work by evaluating the nutritional content of restaurant meals across the United States.

Type in your zip code and the site generates a list of restaurants in your area with a nutritional table of each restaurant’s menu items that meet Healthy Dining’s requirements:

1. Entrées (or full meals) must include at least one of the following:

  • Fruits and/or Vegetables
  • Lean Protein (eg. skinless white meat poultry, fish/seafood, tofu, etc.), with no more than two red meat dishes per restaurant
  • 100% Whole Grains

2. Menu items must meet the following criteria:

  • Entrées (or full meals):
    1. 750 calories or less
    2. 25 grams of fat or less
    3. 8 grams of saturated fat or less
  • Appetizers, side dishes and desserts:
    1. 250 calories or less
    2. 8 grams of fat or less
    3. 3 grams of saturated fat or less

3. Deep fried items (egg rolls, chicken fingers, tostada shells, etc.) are excluded from the website, except for very small amounts of garnishes, such as wonton strips.

Whether or not you have a computer to check out restaurants before dining, knowing what nutritionists look for when choosing a healthy menu can be helpful in making smart food choices.

Calories: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses 2,000 calories per day as a reference level for nutrition labeling. Healthy Dining’s upper limit of 750 calories for one meal represents about 37% of total calories for the day – reasonable, because a restaurant meal is generally the largest of the day.

Fat: The USDA’s 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend that total fat be limited to 20 to 35% of calories. Assuming 2,000 calories per day, the recommended fat intake for a full day is between 44 and 78 grams. The Healthy Dining fat guideline for one meal is 25 grams or less.

Saturated Fat: The USDA’s 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend that saturated fat be limited to 10% of total calories. Assuming 2,000 calories per day, the maximum recommended saturated fat intake for a full day would be 22 grams. Healthy Dining’s saturated fat guideline for one meal is set at 8 grams or less of saturated fat for the meal, again assuming the restaurant meal accounts for the largest of the day’s meals.

Of note is that most of the menu items featured on the site do not meet the FDA criteria for “healthy.” The criteria for the website focus on calories, fat and saturated fat, whereas the FDA’s criteria for “healthy” also include cholesterol and sodium. However, values for sodium and cholesterol are posted, so that consumers can make informed choices.

Happy 4th of July!

4th of July

I hope everyone is enjoying their Fourth of July! I used today as my cheat day, but it’s back to the gym bright and early tomorrow morning! I’ll post my update early next week..

Trimlife

I ran into an old friend at the mall last week, and she looked remarkable, having easily lost 30+ lbs since the last time I saw her. I asked her what she was doing (diet, exercise, etc), and she talked about TrimLife.com. I had never heard of TrimLife before, so I did some research on the web to see what they were all about. I plan on losing my weight through good-old diet and exercise, but I figured others might be interested in what TrimLife has to offer.

Trimlife offers a 90-Day program designed to support, motivate and educate customers on how the body oxidizes fat while taking Trimlife Advanced. In addition, the program also includes a complete individualized food and exercise program, which is delivered by email daily. The web site offers access to recipes and diet tips, as well as a weekly newsletter for members.

While Trimlife Advanced is far from the most sophisticated supplement available, the program may provide much-needed support to the fitness novice.

Trimlife Advanced contains: Green Tea, which has been shown to be effective in increasing the thermogenic process; Maca Force, also known as the Peruvian Ginseng, which has been used successfully for centuries to increase energy; Bitter Orange, which may enhance the bodies responses, by increasing the metabolic rate.

Caffeine in the form of Yerba Mate and Guarana Extract may raise body temperature, which in turn burns more fat and provides additional energy; Calcium Pyruvate, is the most basic of mineral salts that in the body is known to strengthen bones; and The Botanical Energy Complex, which is made up of herbs with specified properties to possibly provide energy for increased physical activity and a overall well-being.

This so-called “Peruvian Ginseng” is from South America and is rapidly gaining attention in the United States for it’s success in supporting energy, stamina, libido and with hormone balancing for men and women. In Inca society, Maca was used like ginseng to impart strength. It acts as an energizer and anti-stress agent. In a study, Rodents fed Maca Force demonstrated greatly increased energy and stamina. Although lately, most of the attention it has received is for its potential in treating erectile dysfunction.

According to Trimlife, its weight-management specialists are experts in nutrition and obesity. They are very well attuned to the ramifications of unhealthy eating and how it affects our physical health and mental well-being. In addition to being certified personal trainers, all of them have several years of weight management experience.

Trimlife users may log into the web site and have their questions personally answered. This may provide welcome support to those who have never taken supplements before, and could use advice on how to adjust their lifestyle to yield the best possible results. However, the information may be too basic for more experienced fitness enthusiasts.

Review courtesy of TheThinReport.com

As far as Trimlife’s ingredients are concerned, this is a fairly standard blend. While some may also benefit from an additional appetite suppressant, others may find that the support offered by the program is enough to keep eating habits in check.

After completing the 90-day Trimlife Advanced program, users then have the option of continuing with a maintenance program, which offers special instructions and helpful tips for continued results. This sounds like an excellent strategy for long-term weight maintenance, although the Trimlife web site is unclear about exactly what kind of costs will apply.

TrimLife Online Marketplace

Cutting Back on Bad Fats

Cut Back On Bad Fats Ten Ways To Get Lean The Right Way.

We’ve come a long way nutritionally from the days when all fat was bad. Today researchers and doctors recognize that there’s no reason to tar every fat with the same brush. Instead, they’ve now identified the “good” fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and the “bad” fats (saturated and trans fats).

The good news is that we can now eat certain fats and still be perfectly healthy. And let’s be honest – Fats often taste rich and wonderful. The downside? To make smart choices, you have to be conscious now of four types of fats. But there’s an easy way to figure this out. Basically, if a fat is a solid when at room temperature, chances are it’s a bad fat. That would include most animal fats, butter, shortening, and some nut oils. Good fats are usually in fish and plant oils. Remember that, and you are well on your way to choosing the right fats.

Of course, even good fats have their limits. All fats provide your body with 9 calories per gram, more than twice as much as proteins or carbohydrates. And in the end, weight gain and weight loss are about calories. For good health and weight, keep your total fat intake to 30 percent of calories or less, and keep saturated fat intake to less than 10 percent of calories in a day or less. Trans fats? Try to keep them to zero. Here are ten ways to get lean the right way:

1. We’ll start with the easiest: Choose low-fat products over regular: Do not accept the argument that low-fat versions don’t taste as good. It’s not true! Low-fat versions may not taste the way you or your family is used to, but after a week or two of using the new version, you’ll stop noticing the subtle decline in richness. Here are the places to start:

  • Milk: You need not jump all the way tono-fat; 1% milk is perfectly healthy, but still has that rich milk flavor. Use 2% as a stepping-stone from whole milk, but don’t stop there–35 percent of the calories still come from fat in 2% milk.
  • Ice Cream: Most “light” versions taste as rich and creamy as the full-fat versions. We particularly like the Breyer’s line of light ice creams.
  • Yogurt: Given that most people eat their yogurt flavored, it is hard to notice the difference between regular and low- or no-fat versions.
  • Ground Beef: Don’t think that buying fatty ground beef and pouring off the grease makes it fine. Much of the fat is bound in with the meat. Good quality, 90-percentor-more ground sirloin is leaner and healthier for you.
  • Cheese: Particularly mozzarella cheese for pizza. Low-fat versions still have all the taste and texture you so desire.

2. Keep your spreads soft. That means choosing soft margarines, and leaving your butter out of the refrigerator. The softer the spread, the less you’ll use on your toast or bagel, thus the fewer saturated fats you’ll get. Also, remember this: The softer the margarine is at room temperature, the lower the amount of trans fats it contains.

3. Choose sat-fat-free spreads. It’s amazing what manufacturers can come up with when they put their minds to it. Today you can find butter-like spreads in your refrigerated sections that are low or even free of all saturated and trans fats, and that actually taste good. Good brands to try include Benecol (which will also help lower your cholesterol when used regularly), Canoleo, Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread, and Blue Bonnet. All except Blue Bonnet are transfat-free; Blue Bonnet has 0.5 mg trans fat per serving.

4. Buy a pretty bottle, fill it with olive oil, then top it with a liquor stop. You know, the kind you use to pour out shots of liquor. Now keep the bottle on your counter in plain view and use it for everything short of frying (olive oil burns at high temperatures). Olive oil is the best oil to use because it contains high amounts of monounsaturated fats and low amounts of saturated fats (all oils contain a mixture of the three: mono, poly, and saturated;the key is the ratio), isn’t too strongly flavored, and is affordable. Buy the deepest green, extra virgin olive oil you can find–the darker the color, the greater the amount of phytonutrients, potent little plant-based cancer fighters.

5. If you can’t go without your butter, mix it with olive oil. Let a stick of butter soften at room temperature, suggests Barbara Morris, R.Ph., a pharmacist, speaker, and anti-aging expert and author. Beat the butter smooth, then slowly beat in 1/4 or 1/2 cup olive oil. You’ve just significantly cut the amount of saturated fat while adding loads of healthy monounsaturated fat.

6. Eat the right meats. Sure, meat is one of the primary forms of saturated fat. But meat–whether red or white–is also an excellent source of protein and trace minerals like zinc and iron. The key is choosing the right meats. For instance, of the 19 cuts of beef that meet the USDA’s labeling guidelines for lean, 12 have only 1 more gram of saturated fat on average than a comparable 3-ounce cooked serving of skinless chicken. The best choices include top sirloin beef, with 2.4 grams saturated fat, and chuck pot roast, with 3 grams saturated fat.

7. Don’t be taken in by the “other white meat” slogan. Put simply, lean chicken is much less fatty than lean pork. A 3-ounce serving of broiled chicken breast (no skin) provides 140 calories, 27 from fat, and only one-third of that fat is saturated. The same serving of roasted lean pork loin delivers 275 calories, 189 of them from fat, half of which is saturated. To top it off, the chicken has 6 more grams of protein than the pork.

8. Once a week, eat an exotic meat in place of beef or pork. We’re talking emu, bison (buffalo), venison, wild boar, or ostrich. All have less than 1 gram of saturated fat per 3-ounce serving, are super rich with protein, and taste extremely good.

9. Rinse ground meat under hot water after cooking. This rinses away a good deal of the fat.

10. Find ways to cook your steak with other ingredients. The goal: Stop putting whole slabs of steak in front of you. Instead, slice the raw beef and sauté with peppers and onions, fajita style. Or cook steak pieces in a wok with lots of vegetables (pepper steak, beef and broccoli). Or top a crunchy, robust salad with steak slices. Or make shish kebab with steak cubes and veggies. Why? You almost always eat less meat when you prepare it as part of a nicely integrated dish. Hold off on the whole steak for very special occasions.

— From Reader’s Digest Stealth Health.