Thursday, October 11, 2012


By now the group has had another week to get used to tracking their food consumption with their daily food diaries or on their smart phones. Most people have no idea how much they are eating so they either eat too much or too little.

Food diaries help you get just enough food to keep the fires burning and fuel part of your activity during the day. Then, if you exercise enough, you’ll create a calorie deficit that lets you start burning fat for fuel. That’s how you take the weight off.

It’s also important to spread your calories out during the day. Some experts call it grazing. The main thing is to avoid eating too much at any one time, because anything you can’t use is stored as fat in the body.

By spreading it out into 3 smaller meals and 2-3 healthy snacks, you’ll tend to always use or burn everything you eat, which is a huge advantage. It also keeps you from getting hungry and maybe overeating later in the day.

For most people, this means you need to eat a little more in the morning, and a little less at night. Some need to eat a lot less in the evenings! If you miss breakfast, a morning snack, and maybe even lunch, you’re setting things up for a disaster later in the day.

Every time we talk about this I remind people never go to below 1,200 calories (women) or 1,800 calories (men). This is your baseline which I call your “minimum.” If you routinely come in under your minimum, several things start to happen.

You’ll start to feel run-down, and just have an overall lack of energy. Often, your body won’t recover as well from little things. What’s worse, your body thinks you’re “starving” and causes you to hold on to that fat in case you might need it.

But as soon as you start hitting your minimum, your body will have what it needs to operate correctly, and then starts letting you burn fat for fuel. I’ve seen this hundreds of times. It’s counter-intuitive, but it works. You’ve got to hit your minimum.

Most women need around 1,650 calories to lose weight and feel good doing it. Most guys need around 2400 calories. This breaks down to three 400 calorie meals and three 150 calorie snacks for the gals. The guys need to shoot for three 600 calorie meals and three 200 calorie snacks.

In the gym, their goals were to continue to hit their cardio workouts and push ahead with the interval training I talked about last week (run a minute, walk two minutes, etc…). As it gets easier, they should start increasing their speed. They can also run a little further, or take shorter rest breaks.

For their group workout, I had them do 10 pushups, 10 body squats, and 10 sit-ups (5x). Then we went to the weight room where they learned a new way to use the machines. We took the first two machines (Chest Press and Seated Row) and did them back-to-back, three times, without a break. In this case, they had a partner on the other machine, so they switched back-and-forth.

Then they would take the next pair of machines (Pec Deck and Lat Pulldown) and do those back-to-back, without a break, a total of three times, and so on. These supersets continue until you get through each pair of machines. If you try it, you’ll see this will greatly increase the intensity of your workouts, burning lots more calories.

This week’s Biggest Loser was Jeremy Whitaker, who lost 1.8% of his body weight and 4.6 lbs. Jeremy’s lost 14.8 lbs in the first two weeks! Second place went to Johna Todd, who lost 1.6% of her body weight and 3.4 lbs. Third place went to Sheryl Bennett, who lost 1.5% and 3.4 lbs.

Next week we’ll take a look at the quality of foods we eat. Feel free to contact me through Facebook at if you have any questions or comments.

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