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Category: Weight Loss 101

Fat Loss #1

Fat Loss #1


Hi Everyone!

Before I start telling you about the first hormone it’s important for you to understand what hormones do.    Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs. They work slowly, over time, and affect many different processes, including:

  • Growth and development
  • Metabolism – how your body gets energy from the foods you eat
  • Reproduction
  • Mood

Adiponectin is a protein hormone produced in and sent out from your fat cells to tell your body to burn fat for fuel.  It can also decrease inflammation and help regulate glucose levels when high levels of it are maintained in the body.

This hormone sounds great, right?  It is, as long as you can keep producing enough of it.  Here’s the problem, as you start to gain weight, your adiponectin levels lower which is one of the reasons why it can be so challenging to lose weight.  Don’t worry, the good news is this hormone can be trained!! 

How do you increase your adiponectin levels?

  1. Exercise: Consistent strength training and cardio
  2. Eat more monounsaturated fats from foods like: almonds, macadamia nuts, peanuts, avocados and olive oil
  3. Eat more magnesium rich foods like:  brazil nuts, almonds, coriander, chives, basil, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, green leafy veggies like Kale and spinach.
  4. Sprinkle some Tumeric:  According to Natasha Turner, N.D., turmeric fights inflammation, which, at high levels, contributes to weight gain. As well as working at the fat cell level, turmeric increases adiponectin production, improving your insulin sensitivity.  It works by reducing the hormones in your fat cells that cause inflammation (primarily resistin and leptin) and boosts adiponectin.
  5. Combine fiber and omega 3: After Clinical Nutritionist Byron J. Richards reviewed 52 studies and 220 articles he found that adding fiber supplementation with a daily intake of fish or omega-3 supplements can increase adiponectin levels by 14-60 percent.

Below are two articles about adiponectin if you’re interested in learning more.

Email me with any questions 🙂

Yours in Health and Wellness,


Fat Loss Series

Fat Loss Series


Hi Everyone!

Losing fat can not only be tricky, it can be downright frustrating.  One of the reasons for this is a “One Size Fits All” weight loss plan simply doesn’t exist.  It’s easy to get caught up in the next popular weight loss diet plan thinking “It worked for them so it should work for me”.  Honestly, it might work for you because a lot of these weight loss plans work – as long as you can maintain the maintenance plan 🙂.  There are valuable pieces of information that you could take from these popular weight loss diet plans, however, your success with fat loss depends on you making a lifestyle change which means you need to take a balanced approach to whatever plan you choose.  So, you don’t need to restrict your diet to just protein, or just vegetables because you’re body NEEDS protein, fat and carbohydrates.  You also don’t need to run 50miles weekly or spend 8-10 hours in the gym weekly to be successful.  You need balance.

Naturally, the desire to look good and feel good in our clothes tends to be our motivation to lose weight and more specifically fat.  However, changing your eating habits and adding exercise to your routine does more than improve the way you look, it reduces a large number of health risks such as:

  • Reduce blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Raise good cholesterol levels, lower the bad ones
  • Improve how your body uses insulin
  • Reduce the odds of having a stroke or developing heart disease
  • Promote a strong heart and strong bones
  • Provide more energy
  • Reduce stress levels

This is the first of a series of emails that will be titled “Fat Loss #1, #2…” and will be coming out over the next 6 weeks.  In the first three emails you will learn about 3 important hormones your body produces that directly effects your ability to lose fat…and gain it 🙂.  In the last three emails you will learn about 3 important habits that will not only increase you fat loss potential, they will improve your overall health!!!

Have a great day everyone!

Yours in Health and Wellness,


An Apple A Day Does More Than Keep The Doctor Away :)

An Apple A Day Does More Than Keep The Doctor Away :)

Good Morning McKinley!

We’ve all heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the Doctor away”, right?   The benefits actually go beyond avoiding a visit to the Doctor.  Some of these benefits you may already be aware of.  For instance, the fiber in the apple can keep you feeling fuller longer and the sweetness of the apple can satiate a sugar craving that may have led you to indulge in a piece of cake or hand full of cookies :).

I’m sure the last time you ate an apple you weren’t thinking about the fat burning effects it was going to have on your body, were you?   Well, according to a study conducted by scientist at the University of Iowa, apples can actually help you burn fat and hold on to lean muscle mass because of a pentacyclic triterpeoid (a natural chemical) called ursolic acid which is found in apple peels.  Here are a few of the benefits:

  •   Helps burn fat.  How?  Increases brown fat cells.  You might be thinking “Yikes” but this is actually a good thing.  I’ll keep this simple…there are 2 types of body fat, white fat and brown fat.  The purpose of white fat is to store fat.  You could refer to this fat as inactive.  The purpose of brown fat is to burn calories and keep you warm.  You could refer to this fat as active.  To gain a better understanding of the these fats, click the link below:

  • Reduce muscle atrophy and stimulate muscle growth.  This will also lead to greater fat burning potential…the more lean muscle you have, the more fat you will burn throughout the day 🙂

  •   Reduce blood sugar levels, cholesterol and triglycerides!!

How many apples do you really need to eat to experience the benefits?  Well, it really depends on the person.  In the article I’ve linked below, a woman went from eating no apples daily to eating one apple daily and gradually lost 20lbs.  She did not disclose the rest of her weight loss regimen, but did attribute some of her success to eating an apple a day.  Click the link below to read her story:  

There are some ursolic acid supplements on the market today, but I don’t know enough about them to say a supplement would be better than consuming it from a natural source.  For now, I would recommend getting your daily dose from foods that naturally contain it.  If you are going to try an ursolic acid supplement, PLEASE check in with your Doctor before you start taking a high potency supplement.


Other foods that contain ursolic acid are cranberries (with skin), prunes, basil, bilberries, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, sage and oregano (the pictures above are in the order of the foods just listed).  Ursolic acid is potent in apple peels, but according to, sage holds the greatest concentration of extractable ursolic acid.  I personally don’t eat sage leaves daily so I will probably stick to an apple or 2 a day 🙂. 

If you’re interested in reading more about apples and the benefits of ursolic acid, click the links below:

Yours in Health and Wellness,



Cardio, Strength or Diet…What’s Most Important?

Cardio, Strength or Diet…What’s Most Important?


Good Morning Everyone!

We are 1 week into the Plank Challenge and I know many of you are already stronger!!!  We are also just past the half way mark for the Biggest Loser Challenge!  How’s everyone doing?  Are you where you thought or hoped you would be at this point in the challenge?  I wanted to share something that I hope will be useful to all of you whether you’re participating in the challenge or not.

Below is a visual aid to help you understand how to prioritize the 3 major components of your exercise/wellness program. 

The vast majority of people do just the opposite of what this illustration shows.  More often than not, people will say that Cardio is the most important aspect of their training program and they spend limited time with weights. In order for your body to burn fat it needs two things….lean muscle mass and a caloric deficit.  As you see in the illustration, Diet is the foundation and biggest priority in a successful fitness program.  You can’t expect to burn fat and/or lose weight if after a 600-800 calorie deficit workout, you choose to refuel with a Big Mac, fries and a coke🙂.

The second most important part is Weight Training.  Lifting heavy and lifting hard is crucial to building lean muscle mass.  The more of it you build, the faster your metabolism runs and the leaner you become.

Cardio is the third most important part of your program.  If you’re physically able, most of your Cardio should consist of short durations of high intensity followed by short durations of recovery.  Naturally for people new to exercise or those with health limitations, a slower and less intense Cardio plan should be in place. 

To put some numbers to the sections of the triangle above, think of Diet being 70% of what you do, Weight Training being 20% of what you do and Cardio being the remaining 10%.  The weight training and cardio percentages may fluctuate depending on where you are in your journey or if you are training for a specific event.  The most important percentage that should never fluctuate, is your diet. 

If your current routine only consists of cardio, you will lose weight.  However, when you are burning calories you are burning fat AND lean muscle mass.  Unless you do strength training with your cardio (focusing more on strength), you will continue to lose lean muscle mass. We want lean muscle mass so we can stay strong, protect our bones and burn more calories throughout the day.

Metabolic training is a very effective way to burn fat, build and keep lean muscle mass.  P90X, Shaun T’s T25 and Jillian Michael’s Body Revolution are all good examples of Metabolic training.  I will send an email out next week with a more in depth explanation of the benefits of Metabolic training. 

Below is an example of what a weekly workout plan would look like following the program above:

Sunday = Rest

Monday = 30min strength training : 15min intense cardio intervals

Tuesday = 30min strength training : 15min intense cardio intervals

Wednesday = 30min steady state cardio (walking or steady jog) or less intense cardio intervals

Thursday = Rest

Friday = 40min strength training : 10min steady state cardio : 10min intense cardio intervals

Saturday = 30min strength training : 10min steady state

If you can reprogram your thinking to understanding this formula, you will be more efficient than ever before and will see progress at a much higher rate.

This past weekend I attended a Fitness Convention.  Our keynote speaker was Todd Durkin who was in the Top 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness for both 2012 and 2013!  I learned so much from him but the thing that stuck with me was his motto “10 In – 10 Out” which can be applied to anything in life.  If you’re effort is a “10” in the gym, at work or at home, you can expect your results to be a “10”….Success!!  You’re goals are worth it…10 In – 10 Out!!!!

Yours in Health and Wellness,


Be The Change You Want To See!

Be The Change You Want To See!

Happy Thursday All!

“Be The Change You Want To See In The World” – Gandhi

I’m sure you’ve all seen or heard these 10 words at some point in your life, whether it was on facebook or on a billboard…somewhere.  There is a music video/song by Kat Edmonson called “Be The Change You Want To See”.  In the music video there are people of all walks of life holding a cardboard sign with what they want to see “Changed”.  My favorite sign was one that read “Empower Ordinary People To Do Extraordinary Things”.  We all have something be it big or small that we would like to see “Changed”.  For some of you, it’s making a lifestyle change so you can be healthier for years to come. This is the change I want to “Empower” you to make happen in your life!

The hardest part about making a lifestyle change is STARTING!  I can’t MAKE you start something you don’t want to or think you’re not ready to start. Well,  if not today…when?
Find your reason why:
~ I want to look better
~ I want to feel better physically and feel better about MYSELF
~ I want more energy to run around with my kids, nieces, nephews or grandkids
~ I want to run a 10k or 5k
~ I want to grab life by the horns and be the BEST me I can physically be 🙂

Oddly enough, when you do what it takes to look and feel better physically you’ll start to experience success in other parts of your life because of the disciplines you have learned and applied to your physically body.

Once you have found your reason why and have decided you are going to start TODAY, you need reminders of this reason posted in several different spots until you have created a steady routine.  On your computer, on your phone, on your fridge, on your steering wheel… you get the point.

Next, you need to commit to at least 3 days of activity for a duration of 45min.  If you need some help with effective ways to spend that 45min, please email me….I have LOTS of suggestions 🙂

I would also like to suggest you start a food journal, but before you do that, click the link below to figure out how many calories you personally need:

Now you can start keeping track of your food by hand or if you have a smart phone there are several helpful apps to choose from.  Click the link below to view some of those apps:

Feel free to email me your food chart so I can review it and help make some suggestions…don’t forget to record your cheat days 🙂

Make the choice to be extraordinary and forget the past (we don’t drive our car looking through the rear view mirror, so we shouldn’t steer our lives with our focus on our past), start fresh TODAY…not tomorrow.  I’m here to help you navigate your journey towards a healthier lifestyle so don’t hesitate to email me with any questions :).  Enjoy the rest of your day!!

I hope most of you were able to check out the link Albert M. sent out this morning.  Robert Brown, who lives at the Villages of Taylor, started The Villages of Taylor Youth Program.  He felt something needed to change and did something about it!  So Cool!!

Yours in Health and Wellness,


Apps and Gadgets to Help Lead a Healthier Lifestyle

Apps and Gadgets to Help Lead a Healthier Lifestyle


~ Jawbone UP is a wristband that tracks your movement and sleep patterns.  Currently the ap only works with iPhone 3GS or later, iPod Touch 3Gen or later, iPad.  The cost is $130.00 and can be purchased online or at Best Buy.  Here is a list of things it will track for you:

–          Sleep and nap tracking.  Intelligently tracks hours slept, light vs. deep sleep and waking moments.

–          24/7 activity tracking. Tracks every move, including distance, calories burned, active time, and activity intensity.

–          Food & drink tracking.

–          Mood tracking.  Log your moods and discover connections that affect how you feel.

–          Insight engine.  Discover hidden connections and patterns in your day-to-day activities.

–          Idle alert.  Reminds you to move when you’ve been inactive for too long.

–          Smart alarm. Wake up feeling refreshed—at the right moment in your sleep cycle.

–          10-day battery.  Track every last step (and nap) without running out of juice.

–          Water resistant design.  Able to withstand thousands of showers, and the occasional snowball fight.

–          Day and night form factor.  Designed for comfort. Because the more you wear it, the more you’ll track.

–          Power nap.  UP will wake you up at the optimal time (around 26.5 minutes) after you fall asleep.

–          Simple sync.  Simple and easy connectivity. Just plug it in.

For more info click the link below:

~ Body Media Fit is an armband with a patented body monitoring calorie counter.  It is connected to my fitness pal (see below), so when you update what you eat in my fitness pal the app and armband will track your food.  The cost is approximately $120 and can be bought online or at Best Buy.  Here is a list of what the armband will track:

–          Steps

–          Calories burned

–          Calories consumed

–          MET’s

–          Sleep duration

–          Will summarize the types of food you ate and will let you know what % came from fat, protein and carbs

For more info click the link below:

~ Fitbit One is a clip you can wear on your clothing and comes with a wrist band to wear while you sleep.  The cost is approximately $100 and can be bought online or at Best Buy.  Here is a list of what it will track:

–          Steps taken or stairs climbed

–          Calories burned

–          Sleep patterns

It will sync your stats automatically to your computer or select smartphones.  For more info click the link below:

Calorie Tracker for your phone, tablet or PC

~ Tap and Track:

~ My Net Diary:

~ My Fitness Pal:

~ Calorie Count: