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Finish Strong...
By: Jeff    on 6/7/2010
It's very common for people to get excited about something and jump straight into it with lots of motivation. This is certainly a good thing, because action inspires momentum which makes more action easier. It's much easier to continue taking action (such as exercising or eating right) than it is to start doing it.

Marketers are extremely good at persuading us to buy things that will fulfill our...

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Normal Weight Obesity: Exercise is Key
By: Jeff    on 1/25/2010
We all know that America is leading the world in obesity. You can see the super-sized problem every time you walk through a mall or down a street. Waistlines are expanding and keeping our doctors quite busy as this condition progresses into a variety of illnesses including heart disease and diabetes.

However, there’s a whole other class of individual out there who looks like he or she is of average...

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Can Exercise Prevent Swine Flu and Season Flu?
By: Jeff    on 12/7/2009
There's a lot of fear stirred up by the media and supported by the government over the H1N1 influenza virus that's been going around. As with any flu virus, there is a potential for serious complications, but generally speaking this flu is milder than the seasonal flu, except for certain individuals in risk categories.

There is a lot of evidence out that exercise can strengthen your immune system,...

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Reducing High Blood Pressure from Dietary Sodium
By: Jeff    on 11/23/2009
When it comes to diet, salt is one of my biggest weaknesses. I’m a saltaholic for sure. I think that most Americans are and they don’t even know it. Food manufacturers dump salt into their products by the truckload, and most people have no idea what they are eating and how much damage it could be doing.

Ever wonder why lunch meat tastes different than slicing the same meat off the bone? Because...

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Exercise Beats Surgery… Again
By: Jeff    on 9/7/2009
A new study has shown that regular cardiovascular exercise in those with heart disease has more of an impact on heart health than angioplasty procedures. Angioplasty is a procedure that involves inserting a balloon into an arterial blockage to open it and then keeping it open with a small tube called a stent.

Researchers believe that those waiting to get an angioplasty procedure would benefit more...

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Do you BELIEVE in your Ability to Change?
By: Jeff    on 8/24/2009
Recently I had a coaching client who said to me, "I don't understand why I just can’t lose this extra fat."

When someone wants to lose weight we all know to look for various factors. Primarily we look at the quantity and quality of foods and of course we look at the type of exercise and how active the person is in general. But there’s another factor that’s even more important. It's the mental conditioning...

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Test Results are In...
By: Jeff    on 8/3/2009
Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been nearly as prolific as usual with the blog entries and health articles lately. Aside from my 12 week old son, there's another reason I haven't been writing nearly as much.

Over the past few months I've been developing and testing a new weight loss program. It's a one week total immersion program called One...

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The Dangers of Health and Diet Science
By: Jeff    on 7/27/2009
There is no doubt that modern medical advances have saved, prolonged, and extended the quality of countless lives. This is certainly a good thing. However, there is a downside to our medical advancement.

As we delve deeper into how the body works we begin to gain confidence in our understanding of the body’s operation. Medical professionals start to get an ego and they start insisting that they...

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Lunch Meat for Additional Protein?
By: Jeff    on 7/2/2009
I’ve come across several programs that suggest a convenient way to get that extra little spike of protein is to add a slice or two of lunch meat to your meal. I’ve seen some texts suggest that ham is not the best source because it’s loaded with sodium.

This certainly seemed logical enough to me. Those exercising regularly definitely need additional protein to support muscular recovery. Ham is cured...

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Diet Pills- Works in Coordination with Proper Nutrition and Exercise
By: Jeff    on 6/22/2009
Have you ever noticed that diet pills and other fad diet-related items almost always have some sort of disclaimer message in addition to the usual FDA disclaimer. It usually says something like this:

To lose weight use these pills in coordination with proper nutrition and exercise.

It's funny that even the most popular weight loss supplements bear this same warning. Do you know why that...

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Cancer: Another Reason to Live a Healthy Lifestyle
By: Jeff    on 6/15/2009
Surprising research has shown that men are far more likely to get cancer and more likely to die from cancer than women are. This appears to be true even when adjusting for gender specific cancers.

The exact reason for this isn’t known, but researchers believe it is because generally speaking women take better care of their health. Men are more likely to smoke, drink to excess, and carry extra pounds....

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Exercise: The Cheapest Anti-depressant There Is
By: Jeff    on 6/8/2009
Did you know that exercise is actually a mild anti-depressant? It sure beats that prescription co-pay, since it’s… well, it’s free.

It’s certainly a lot healthier than taking drugs to regulate your mood. Clearly I’m not recommending your abandon your doctor prescribed medication with the hopes that a little jog around the block will ease your woes, but there is something to the uplifting qualities...

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What is Modified Palm Oil?? Trans Fat in Disguise?
By: Jeff    on 6/5/2009
It’s appearing in more and more goods, including granola and protein bars as well as spreads such as Nutella. But what is modified palm oil?

Palm oil is already mostly saturated to begin with, so why does it need to be modified and what on earth do they do it? Turns out it’s not such a simple answer.

We know that food manufacturers are trying to replace trans fats that have rightfully earned...

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What About the Paleolithic Diet?
By: Jeff    on 5/29/2009
I recently got a very good question regarding the Paleo Diet. He wanted to get my take on it and find out if it could help him lose weight.

The paleodiet is basically a diet that mimics how a caveman would have eaten between 10,000 and 2,000,000 years ago. It's a diet mostly consisting of meat, uncooked vegetables, fruits, and nuts. They avoid everything else including grain, potatoes, beans, legumes,...

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What Motivates You to Get Healthy?
By: Jeff    on 5/18/2009
I'm back after a short break to welcome my new baby Trevor to the family. This past week has been very exciting.

As I stare into my newborn's eyes, I think about how cool it will be to teach him new things, like sports, fishing, martial arts, and all those fun things parents do with their kids. I think it’s very sad that there are many people out there who will not get to experience the joy of seeing...

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Running, Shoes, and Injuries
By: Jeff    on 5/4/2009
One of the simplest ways to get a decent workout is to step outside your house and just start running. The only potential hassle is really the weather. Just walking out the door and getting started does eliminate a lot of excuses.

It turns out that those who run barefoot tend to land on the balls of their feet. Those who run in running shoes tend to land on their heels. This is an unnatural adaptation...

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Hydroxycut Weight Loss Diet Pills Yanked by the FDA
By: Jeff    on 5/1/2009
One of the most popular diet pill weight loss supplements has been voluntarily recalled by its manufacturer MuscleTech after the US FDA warned consumers of the potential for severe liver damage from its use.

The "side effect" appears to be extremely rare, yet very serious to those who develop the condition. It can result in liver failure and even death. This is yet another example of dangerous diet...

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How Long Do You Want to Live?
By: Jeff    on 4/27/2009
On the outside this may seem like an odd question considering how little control we seem to have over the duration of our lives. But I want you to think about it and answer it honestly.

If your answer was anything other than "as long as possible" or some large significant number, then I suggest you might need to seek some help. It's hard to live a healthy life when you really don't like your life...

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Partner Exercise Programs
By: Jeff    on 4/13/2009
One of the keys to a successful exercise program is staying motivated to exercise. A great way to keep motivated is to involve a partner in your workouts. But an even better way to really engage a workout partner is to do partner exercises where you both interact. You can do these things at a gym, or even outside when the weather is nice.

You get to be a little competitive with your exercise partner,...

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Can Fat Make you Thin?
By: Jeff    on 4/10/2009
Is it possible that fat can make you thin and healthy? Of course the idea sounds preposterous, but there are actually two ways that fat can help keep you thin. One of these ways is a very new concept, and the other has been around for a while.

First of all, we need to define what type of fat we’re talking about. When it comes to your daily nutrition, certain fats are good for you and can promote...

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Losing Weight with Whey Protein Supplements
By: Jeff    on 3/30/2009
It’s quite often that people ask what supplements they need to lose weight. My typical answer is that you need to worry about your daily diet before you consider supplementing that diet.

One thing that continues to come up aside from potentially hazardous weight loss and diet pills is whey protein. I recommend whey protein for athletes, but what about those trying to lose weight? The answer is a...

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Spring is in the Air
By: Jeff    on 3/23/2009
Well it's officially Spring here in the good old northern hemisphere. That means swimsuit season is coming up. For some this is yet another motivator toward getting in shape. Ideally you would recognize the value of being healthy and learn to feel the positive effects on your mind and body.

It would be great to know what it’s like to live an energetic, vibrant, healthy life... but if you’re not...

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Fitness Secret: Living with Passion
By: Jeff    on 3/6/2009
I'd like you to ask yourself a question… Are you living with passion in your life? Are you working toward things that you feel strongly about? Are you pursuing fulfillment?

I find that most people are surviving instead of living a fulfilled life. This approach is one thing that makes fitness a struggle instead of a pursuit. If you’re living a fulfilled life, you would make every effort to lengthen...

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I Just Can’t Lose Weight … Something is Wrong with Me
By: Jeff    on 2/23/2009
This is an argument I hear all the time, "Something is wrong with me. I just can’t lose weight, no matter what I do."

It commonly comes from those who engage in short-term diet programs, or short-term exercise programs. Often the failure of those short term programs leads to a long-term struggle with excessive weight and obesity.

I understand that we all want immediate results, but the reality...

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Cleansing Rituals, Diets, and Practices – Don’t Buy It
By: Jeff    on 2/16/2009
Today's entry is based on reader questions about cleansing diets, fads, rituals and other practices being heavily marketed over the past couple of years.

The concept differs from program to program, but generally speaking the cleansing marketers want you to believe that your body is filled with toxins and your intestines are lined with gunk that is making you heavier, fatter, and less healthy. This...

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A Strange Time for Fitness
By: Jeff    on 2/9/2009
Here it is February already... well past the usual rush of New Year's fitness enthusiasts. Those are the people who get very interested in health and fitness for about 1-2 weeks in January, and then do a week in June, and then nothing else until the following year.

For many people fitness is just not a high priority. But there's a contradiction- losing weight may be a priority. Even living longer...

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Resistance for Home Workouts – Stretch Bands, Dumbbells or Kettlebells?
By: Jeff    on 2/2/2009

I’ve had a few people ask me what the best kind of resistance is for working out at home. The choices are basically stretch bands, barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells.

For beginners I think stretch bands are a really nice option because you can do virtually any exercise and they don’t cost much at all. The stretch band system I would go with is Bodylastics....

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Gym Etiquette – A Little Courtesy Please?
By: Jeff    on 1/26/2009
One of the founding principles of FitDaily is that while you should have a place that is dedicated to exercise, that place does not necessarily need to be a gym. You can do well at home with some very simple tools. However, many of us choose to go to a gym for motivation, open space, camaraderie, or because we want more equipment choice.

In any case, if you use a public gym then certain rules of...

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Coping with Stress: Is Exercise the Cure?
By: Jeff    on 1/19/2009
I’m sure there’s a LOT going on in your life right now. All that "stuff" has most people stretched as tight as a guitar string. The stress from our daily lives is often used as an excuse to skip exercise (too much work to do), to eat poorly (no time to shop for and prepare healthy foods), and to generally be lazy (I’m tired from all the work).

This behavior tends to compound the problem. We use...

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The Best Place to Exercise and Train
By: Jeff    on 1/12/2009
The answer I normally give to this question is you should workout wherever it’s most convenient for you. By convenient I don’t just mean "easy access" but also a place that will keep you motivated and not seem like a huge hassle every day when you want to exercise.

For example, don't pick a gym that's off your normal route. Stay away from places where you need permission to be there, such as a...

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Fitness in 2009 – Dealing with Financial Turmoil
By: Jeff    on 1/5/2009
First of all, allow me to welcome you to 2009. It’s time for a fresh start for many people. It always amazes me how much motivational power there is in the concept of a fresh start in January.

I’d urge you to capture that power and use it throughout the year. You don’t need to see the year digit flip over to start taking control of your life and living healthier. Just make a decision, set a goal,...

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Fitness in the New Year – Do as I Do
By: Jeff    on 1/4/2009
As the New Year sweeps over us many people turn to the advice of fitness celebrities to help shape their health and fitness goals for the coming year. Unfortunately many of these "Do as I say, not as I do" personalities create programs filled with unsustainable advice that can ruin even the best of intentions.

It all sounds good, but in the end no one actually follows through. The simple truth is...

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Another New Year Approaches… How is your Health?
By: Jeff    on 12/29/2008
The year 2008 is quickly slipping away, and we all know that brings about a time of year when many people think of new beginnings. They resolve to live healthier and lose weight. This often launches short-term diets that last a matter of days and typically result in even more weight gain over the long term.

This year I suggest you resolve to live a healthier lifestyle by practicing moderation. Forget...

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This Year's Christmas Fitness Poem...
By: Jeff    on 12/22/2008
It was Christmas season, and there I sat

Watched everyone eat, but I’m too fat

I skipped the gym, having a chat

My sister made cookies, damn her for that

My son swimming in candy, silly little brat

Yet I can’t eat any, I’m a miserable rat

If I had FitDaily, I’d know where I’m at

I could use moderation, stretch like a cat

I’d exercise daily, wearing a Santa hat.

It may not rival last...

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Ye Olde Holidays Approacheth – Party Fitness?
By: Jeff    on 12/15/2008
It's that time of year... time to eat, drink, and be merry right? I don’t want to ruin your good time, because I’m sure you deserve it, but... could you for just one moment put yourself in the January timeframe and consider how you’ll be feeling? Or just picture yourself the day after a big holiday party where you consumed too much food, too much alcohol, and got no exercise.

This is a busy time...

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The Best Time to Workout – Is Morning Exercise Best?
By: Jeff    on 12/8/2008
There are essentially two questions here:

  1. What are the advantages to an early morning workout?
  2. Is peak athletic performance somehow linked to time of day?

The answer to these questions is fairly complex, but most of you will be relieved to note that the answer is not all that important to you. Here's my simple answer:

The best time of day to exercise is the one...

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Turkey Depression, Turkey Motivation
By: Jeff    on 12/1/2008
Here in the United States Thanksgiving was last Thursday. It's a day of families and feasts... very often Turkey. The holiday, like many others here, is known for people stuffing themselves. The next day is Black Friday, our insane Christmas shopping holiday.

But Black Friday is about more than just shopping for most. It’s about recovering from the feast the prior night. Often you’ll hear, "Did...

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Acai Berry Weight Loss – Are you Serious??
By: Jeff    on 11/24/2008
The online fitness marketplace has been absolutely flooded with advertising for Acai Berry products in the past couple of months. Apparently Oprah endorsed it, and now everyone is trying to cash in on it. I mean come on... if she endorsed a politician, do you think he’d just suddenly become President? Ok, maybe that’s a bad example...

We all know the power of Oprah in the market, but what about...

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Nutritional Supplement Confusion
By: Jeff    on 11/17/2008
I get a lot of questions from readers asking about various nutritional supplements. I think it's important that before I address this specific question, I point out my position on nutritional supplements in general.

You can lose weight and accomplish your fitness goals without the aid of supplements. You can do it if you eat a natural, healthy diet. But, at the same time I do believe there are...

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Fitness and Married Life
By: Jeff    on 11/10/2008
There’s no doubt that things change once you get married or decide to co-habitate with a new partner. Suddenly there’s a need for family time, and your refrigerator is filled with foreign substances. You and your partner may not share the same taste, nor the same eagerness to live a healthy lifestyle.

This is where things get the most tricky. Your partner may fill the cabinets with things you’ve...

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Happy Halloween… Fitness for Ghosts and Goblins
By: Jeff    on 10/27/2008
This Friday is All Hallows Eve, where our children dress up in scary (more like trendy) costumes in a door-to-door saga for sugary treats. Children (and adults) just adore their Halloween candy. But these holiday treats might play tricks on your careful nutrition plan.

So what can you do to keep yourself from eating the Halloween stash? What about your children and all that tooth-rotting candy?...

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Ten Things the Food Industry Doesn't Want You to Know
By: Jeff    on 10/21/2008
I just saw this great article about the food industry. It digs into the marketing and political sides of some of the major food producers in the US.

Here's the link:

http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/2008/10/17/10-things-the-food-industry-doesnt-want-you-to-know.html

If...

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Learning to Love Water
By: Jeff    on 10/20/2008
As human beings we like things that bring us pleasure and dislike things that bring us pain. This, of course, is an over-simplification of complex psychological processes, but for our purposes we can boil our decisions down to this pain/pleasure response.

So when we take a drink in our modern society, we often find the most pleasure in sweet beverages, such as soda, and find little pleasure in a...

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Stressful Times
By: Jeff    on 10/13/2008
How’s your motivation today? Times are pretty tough right now, with the US economy in shambles, and the world markets following suit. It may seem unrelated, but this takes a tremendous toll on your body.

When your stress level is high, you get sick more often, and are at greater risk for health issues. And, very commonly… we don’t want to exercise. It happens to me too. I get so engrossed in an...

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Omega-3s and Pregnancy
By: Jeff    on 10/6/2008
In normal human brain tissue there is a high concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids. This leads researchers to believe that Omega-3s play an important role in the brain function of all healthy adults.

But when it comes to developing fetuses, the role is even more crucial. During pregnancy and the first two years of life, the brain accumulates DHA or docosahexaenoic acid, a specific type of Omega-3...

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Do as I say, Not as I Do...
By: Jeff    on 9/29/2008
Is this the motto of your fitness trainer, guide, or coach? If so, then you need to find a new one. This attitude of "Do as I say, not as I do," is all too common in fitness and many other industries.

The so-called experts learn what exercises can strengthen the body and extend life. They know what foods to eat and which ones to avoid. So they preach this knowledge without really considering how...

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Is Gastric Bypass Surgery the Answer to Obesity?
By: Jeff    on 9/22/2008
There are many quick-fix products and services that advertise weight loss, but what if one of them comes directly from a group of well respected medical doctors and surgeons? Would it be more convincing if the doctors paraded success stories in front of you and told you that this same fix could cure some diseases such as type 2 diabetes?

Don’t get excited yet. I’m referring to gastric bypass surgery....

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Dried Fruit – Good Snack?
By: Jeff    on 9/15/2008
Last week we discussed fiber and the formation of uncomfortable gas. Today I want to briefly discuss dried fruit as a snack. I mention last week’s blog entry because it does apply particularly to dried fruit. Certain fruits that are commonly dried, especially raisins, apricots, prunes, and apples have both soluble fiber and difficult to digest sugars that can lead to gas in some individuals. Read last...

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High Fiber Diets – Does Fiber Cause Gas?
By: Jeff    on 9/8/2008
By now you've probably been told that it's important you increase your fiber intake for a variety of reasons. Generally speaking fiber is not something that you can digest like normal food, so it helps to slow down the early parts of the digestion process and speed up the process in the later stages.

All of this sounds good, but what about gas (flatulence)? You may observe that if you increase...

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Calisthenics for the Brain
By: Jeff    on 9/1/2008
There’s a lot of research out there that says brain function is improved by brain exercises. For example, a retired person who keeps his or her brain active through puzzles or other thinking activities is much less likely to develop dementia, Alzheimer’s, and similar conditions leading to cognitive decline.

But beyond working the brain, there’s more and more research indicating that not only is...

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Did you Watch the 2008 Olympics?
By: Jeff    on 8/25/2008
As the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing China draw to a close, we’ve seen some amazing athletic feats from the athletes at these games. Most notably Michael Phelps, a native of my hometown of Baltimore, who went an unprecedented eight for eight in his quest for gold in the swimming competition. Congratulations to Michael and his US teammates who helped him achieve this marvelous accomplishment in Olympic...

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Even If You're Not Hungry...
By: Jeff    on 8/18/2008
Food manufacturers want you to eat. In fact, they want you to overeat. The more calories you consume, the more money you put into their pockets. I was reminded of this a few minutes ago as I was making dinner. I looked down at the counter at a leftover jar of salsa. Printed on the top in big bold letters was the phrase “EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT HUNGRY.” This manufacturer is making a bold statement that their...

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Food and Water Abroad
By: Jeff    on 8/11/2008
Every time I travel outside the United States I’m amazed at how many other countries have adopted American eating (and drinking) habits. American fast food chains are especially prevalent in tourist areas, even in poor or less commercialized countries. I can't think of any benefits these habits convey, unless of course you own stock in a company like McDonald's or Coca-Cola.

In my last trip to Mexico...

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Genetic Obesity – Do Bad Genes Lead to Large Jeans
By: Jeff    on 8/4/2008
This is a subject that could easily fill volumes of scientific and medical literature. But I want to give you just a few tidbits of information on genetics and its relation to your body weight.

First of all, I want to assure you that YOU are in control of your health. No matter what your genetic disposition is toward illness or obesity, you can improve your health through exercise and a better diet....

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Training and Injuries
By: Jeff    on 7/28/2008
One of the most frustrating things that can happen in your exercise program is to have an injury interrupt your training. It’s a terrible setback that can really damage your motivation to continue working out and even engaging in fun activities. This is not mention other potential problems such as being unable to work and so forth.

It’s vital that you always learn proper technique when training...

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How Much Weight? How Many Reps?
By: Jeff    on 7/21/2008
One of the more common questions I get from those unfamiliar with resistance training is how much weight to use and how many sets and reps of each exercise they should do.

Clearly this is not a simple question to answer in a generic way. It depends a lot on your goals, your current fitness level, and what you are trying to accomplish in that specific workout. I would say first of all, start fairly...

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The Healthy Heart
By: Jeff    on 7/14/2008
Let's talk briefly about your heart... that tireless muscle contracting and releasing in perfect sequence throughout every minute of every day for your entire life. It's at the very core of your being, pumping blood throughout your body to keep all those organs and the cells that comprise them alive.

I think it's obvious if you can read this that your heart takes care of you, and in turn you should...

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Why, Oh Why Do they Use BMI?
By: Jeff    on 7/7/2008
There's quite a bit of research in the health industry studying the effects of obesity on various factors, such as fertility/sperm count, brain function, heart health, cancer risk, and so forth. But there's one major flaw in almost all of these studies… they all use BMI (Body Mass Index) as their measurement to determine obesity.

If you've kept up with my writing over the years, you may already...

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The Last Fitness Program...
By: Jeff    on 7/3/2008
I've been talking about it for a long time, and now it's finally here. The long-awaited Three Weeks to Thrive is open at long last.

Are you ready to live a healthier life? If so, this is the program for you. It's a well-rounded program, broken down into step-by-step, day-by-day fitness advice to help you lose weight and sustain a healthy lifestyle. No roller coaster weight loss. No dangerous pills,...

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The Most Important Meal of the Day – Breakfast
By: Jeff    on 6/30/2008
You've heard how important breakfast is, but now there's even more research proving it. Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain weight, or be more active, you need to eat a good breakfast each and every day.

Those seeking to lose weight often find the best results by eating the bulk of their calories (including whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) in the morning. By eating most of your daily...

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More Research on Low-Carb Diets
By: Jeff    on 6/23/2008
It seems like I get questions about so-called low-carbohydrate diets almost daily. Some people are confused. Some people are frustrated. And some are just plain wrong.

First of all, let’s clear up one point. Carbohydrates are not bad. The term carbs does describe some foods you should limit your intake of, but it also includes foods you should continue to eat with every meal if possible (such as...

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Are you Gaining Too Much Muscle from your Exercise Program?
By: Jeff    on 6/16/2008
Though muscular gains should be the goal of most any exercise program, including those directed toward weight loss, there are some concerned with looking overly muscular. This is often for aesthetic reasons, but carrying around very bulky muscles can also use a lot of energy. For a person hoping to lose weight and thus burn more calories than he or she consumes, this would be good. For an athlete hoping...

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Health Benefits of Sunshine – More than Brightening your Day
By: Jeff    on 6/9/2008
With today’s hyperawareness of cancer, many people avoid the sun or slather themselves with layers of chemical protection. But did you know that sunlight is essential to your health? A few minutes per day of moderate sun exposure can actually improve your quality of life.

It is certainly true that too much sunlight can cause burns and even skin cancer. As with most things in life, the problem occurs...

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Where is the Last Fitness Program You'll Ever Need?
By: Jeff    on 6/2/2008
The fitness industry is teeming with programs and schemes to get you in shape, but what’s wrong with most of these approaches? First of all, there’re lots of scams out there. I talked a little about the scams in last week’s entry where I referred you to the Dirty Health Secret to learn more.

Today I want to talk about legitimate, well-trained fitness...

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The Dirty Health Secret
By: Jeff    on 5/26/2008
If you’re struggling to lose weight and finally get healthy once and for all, there’s some information you need to know. Most of the fitness industry doesn’t want you to learn this secret, but it just may be the missing piece of your health puzzle.

The Dirty Health Secret is what keeps you fat, and keeps the diet companies rich. This is the secret they can’t let you uncover. But I’m bringing it...

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How to Eat What you Want and Never Get Fat
By: Jeff    on 5/19/2008
At first eating what you want without getting fat seems impossible, and from your current perspective this might not even be plausible. But if you listen to the signals your body gives you, cutting through all the chemicals and toxins in our modern diet, you’ll hear the intelligence there.

What I’m talking about is an innate fitness intelligence that dwells within each one of us. You need to listen...

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Weight Loss Maximum - Two Pounds Per Week
By: Jeff    on 5/12/2008
For those trying to lose weight, the general rule of thumb is you should set a goal of one to two pounds per week. This means creating a calorie deficit of around 500 calories per day. Many products claim that you can lose 20 or more pounds in a month, but this simply isn’t healthy.

The question is… why?

First of all, to lose a great deal of weight in a short period of time you need to either...

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Can Fitness and Fatness Coexist?
By: Jeff    on 5/5/2008
I’m sure you’ve talked to some people who are clearly overweight, but they still manage to stay very active either through exercise, work, or other methods. The question is: if they really are very active, is there a significant health benefit to losing weight? Is being physically active enough to reduce your risk of heart disease, even if you are overweight?

Research, including a newly released...

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A Very Cool Piece of Fitness Equipment
By: Jeff    on 4/28/2008
If you know me, you know that I spend a lot of time telling people that you don't need fancy equipment to get into great shape and stay that way. In fact, that's much of the reasoning behind the whole FitDaily site. But, I still do like playing with all the latest fitness toys.

So today I want to discuss one of my new favorite pieces of equipment that I've been using. It is a bit pricey, but it...

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Salt of the Earth
By: Jeff    on 4/21/2008
Humans crave salt. It’s that simple. Food manufacturers know that we crave salt and that by adding mega-quantities of sodium to their foods, we’ll keep gobbling it up. Most people in the US eat huge massive amounts of salt, far exceeding the recommended daily value of around 1 teaspoon of salt per day (2300mg).

As a fitness coach and a health conscious person, I make efforts to eat a healthy diet...

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Do you really need all those vitamins?
By: Jeff    on 4/16/2008
The simple answer is: probably not. Let’s not forget that it’s the supplement companies job to sell you things. It’s not their job to make you healthier. They’re most important task is to make you think their products make you feel better and live longer, and they want you to buy lots of them for long periods of time.

This isn’t to say all supplement companies are evil, because many were at least...

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Do you have a Fitness Success Story?
By: Jeff    on 4/7/2008
Perhaps you can provide motivation to the FitDaily community by sharing your story of fitness success. Even small victories can deliver a vast amount of motivation. That motivation is what you need to say no to cartons of ice cream and say yes to regular exercise.

If exercise and nutrition are the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle, motivation is the crane that lifts those stones into place and...

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Should you Use a Weight Belt?
By: Jeff    on 3/31/2008
In last week’s blog entry I discussed an important tip for protecting yourself when exercising with heavy resistance or rapid movements. That tip was to practice perfect posture at all times.

Today I want to discuss weight belts. These are the heavy leather or nylon lifting belts that fit against the lower back. Most people think the only purpose of the belt is to directly support the lower back....

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Jeff's Number One Exercise Safety Tip
By: Jeff    on 3/24/2008
It’s critically important that you exercise in the safest possible manner. Regardless of your specific goals, sustaining a workout-related injury is going to cause setbacks and decrease your motivation. That’s not even accounting for the physical pain associated with even short term injuries.

More severe injuries could cause permanent damage and lifelong pain. I’m not saying this to discourage...

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Corn Syrup versus Sugar
By: Jeff    on 3/17/2008
Today’s reader question is about corn-based sweeteners, specifically corn syrup. There’s been some media reports lately discussing our corn-based food economy and its health implications. There are experts warning of the dangers of having a diet too heavily dependent on corn products.

So is this all true, or is it hype aimed at selling more books and products? The answer is a little bit of both....

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Can Yoga Really Help me Lose Weight?
By: Jeff    on 3/10/2008
This question came to me because it was a source for debate among several people at an aerobics class. They watched the slow pace of the yoga class and wondered if it really could help a person burn fat, or if it was just another trendy way to waste some time.

The simple answer is yes, yoga can absolutely help a person lose weight. I wouldn’t recommend it as the only form of exercise you do, but...

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Isolate or Compound?
By: Jeff    on 3/3/2008
The question I want to address today came to me from a person who has access to a gym and already has a strong cardio element to her workout, but she wants to add a resistance training element. She asked what kind of routine she should do, and if she should use the machines at the gym or free weights.

At FitDaily I typically focus on those who want to workout from home, so I suggest stretch bands...

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Smoking and Fitness
By: Jeff    on 2/25/2008
At first I'd think that today's blog entry barely even needs to be written. But yet just the other day I saw a man come out of my gym after attempting to workout, get into his car, and light up a cigarette. This is far from the first time I've seen this same course of events. It's always different people too, since this is probably one of a very few trips to the gym these folks make each year.

It...

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The Quickest Recovery Methods
By: Jeff    on 2/18/2008
I've recently gotten some questions about speeding up muscle recovery. The question is basically, "I want to workout more often, but I’m too sore. Is there something I can take to help me recover more quickly?"

The answer to the question is, "Yes, there are things you could take. But the real question is should you be taking them. Perhaps your body is sore to slow you down so you don’t develop a...

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Ouch! Knee Pain Following Exercise
By: Jeff    on 2/11/2008
It’s very common to experience knee or other joint pain after exercise. Knee pain is especially common after running or other high-impact activities to compress the knee joint repeatedly. The best solution to combat this is to run on softer surfaces such as a padded track or grass. For bicyclers try raising the seat or standing when you pedal up hills.

Knee pain can be a sign of serious injury to...

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Alcohol and Exercise
By: Jeff    on 2/4/2008

Clearly they don't mix, but that's not the point of this. I think you already know that much.

Recently there was an article on CNN that’s about the most ridiculous, irresponsible thing I’ve read recently that was written by a doctor. It actually suggests that a person could possibly substitute moderate amounts of alcohol for exercise, because it has “similar” cardiovascular benefits.

It quotes...

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“Trans Fat Free” versus “0g Trans Fat”
By: Jeff    on 1/28/2008
Simply put trans fats, or trans fatty acids come from hydrogenated oils. These are natural oils that are chemically altered to take an unsaturated fat and saturate it. In other words, they take oil that is a liquid at a given temperature and turn it into a solid at the same temperature. This is done using hydrogen to change the consistency of foods and extend their shelf life.

Trans fats are not...

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Where Can you Turn?
By: Jeff    on 1/21/2008
One of the things I stress the most with regard to getting healthy and undertaking a serious venture toward lifelong fitness is finding ways to get motivated and stay motivated. The second major thing I focus on is living a life of moderation that is sustainable and enjoyable.

Today I want to briefly discuss how you can get support for your fitness goals. The obvious way is to hire a coach or a...

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Mid January Bright Spot
By: Jeff    on 1/14/2008
I hope that right now you’re experiencing a bright spot in your fitness pursuits. You’ve had a chance to wipe the slate clean and start over. Even if you haven’t started yet, it’s not too late now.

I hope you’ve experienced some motivation to get healthier and you’ve taken action on your motivation by exercising and modifying your nutritional habits. If that’s the case I want you to take a quick...

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Welcome to FitDaily in 2008
By: Jeff    on 1/7/2008
At long last, 2007 is gone and 2008 is upon us. Time for fresh starts and fitness plans. If you haven't read it yet, be sure to read last week's entry on setting goals for fitness-oriented New Years resolutions. Today I want to build on that and discuss a little about what's going on at FitDaily lately.

No matter how hopeless it may seem, I know that you can accomplish your fitness goals with...

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New Years Resolutions...
By: Jeff    on 12/31/2007
It’s New Years Eve today and as a fitness coach I am obligated to bring up those dreaded New Years Resolutions. Perhaps the resolutions themselves aren’t dreaded so much as acting on them. At FitDaily we specialize in fitness motivation just as much as we do modern exercise science.

I want to stress that you don’t need a “New Years Resolution” to get in shape. The beginning of a new year is really...

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The Day Before Christmas
By: Jeff    on 12/24/2007
'Twas the day before Christmas, when all through the gym
not a person was exercising, not moving a limb.

The weights were left stacked by the treadmills with care,
in hopes that someone would lift them in the air.

All were out shopping or partying with friends,
with cookies and liquor swimming through their heads.

They ignore their bodies and leave them to rot,
as their mothers-in-law...

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Staying Motivated
By: Jeff    on 12/17/2007
Very often I see people get motivated to change their lives by adding exercise and refining their diets. But then after a week or two they are already missing workout days and indulging in periodic unhealthy meals or snacks. Within a month they're lucky to see the inside of the gym or their workout room once per week and their diets have gone back to how they were the month before. Within three months...

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Holiday Treats
By: Jeff    on 12/10/2007
As the holidays are upon us, many decide to take a little break from their nutrition plans and indulge in some holiday treats. The holidays can be quite stressful and there are often tempting amounts of cookies, candies, and other treats around at this time of year.

One of the biggest nutritional enemies on the market today is trans fat. Trans fatty acid content is gradually being reduced and eliminated...

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Holiday Motivation
By: Jeff    on 12/3/2007
As the holidays approach, many will decide to take a break from the fitness and nutrition plans they've worked so hard on throughout the year. This will not only cost them progress but motivation to continue after the holidays are over.

Everyone must decide for themselves how dedicated they are to their health and fitness goals. Very often I see people give up on them temporarily because they convince...

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What Supplements Do I Need?
By: Jeff    on 11/26/2007
Supplements fall into many categories and different people will have very different desires and needs. Diet and fitness goals are major factors determining what types of supplements might be useful to individuals, as well as the individual's age and sex. For example, older people need more calcium because their bodies cannot absorb it as readily as younger people. But this need can be fulfilled through...

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Healthy Snacks
By: Jeff    on 11/19/2007
More and more people are coming to understand that snacking on limited portions of healthy foods throughout the day is a great way to increase the metabolism and work toward losing body fat. I'm often asked for some ideas for healthy snacks, so here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Almonds. Look for whole, unsalted almonds.

  2. Fresh Vegetables. Whenever possible cut up fresh vegetables for...

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What on Earth is Interesterified Oil?
By: Jeff    on 11/12/2007
In the US the term interesterified oil, such as interesterified soybean oil, doesn't come up on too many food labels. But now that trans fats must be labeled, this is becoming more popular. It's nothing new. This process has been around for a long time, and interesterified oils have been in use extensively in Europe for over 15 years. In some cases these oils may not be labeled as such.

Basically...

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The Deadliest Foods
By: Jeff    on 11/5/2007
There's a myriad of things we eat that are not optimally healthy, but today's question is what are the deadliest common foods or food ingredients? Rat poison doesn't count, nor do contaminated items. This is just a general prioritization from my perspective of the three biggest health risks in what we commonly eat.

1. Aspartame - the ever-abundant artificial sweetener found in NutraSweet and Equal....

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How to Rest
By: Jeff    on 10/29/2007
From the title, you're probably wondering why you're even reading today's entry, because you are a master of resting. But what I really want to discuss today is how to give your body the proper care and rest it needs as part of a rigorous health program.

Proper rest is very important because rest time is when your body is working to rebuild muscle tissue. It's also time to recoup mental energy...

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What is Missing from a Healthy Life?
By: Jeff    on 10/22/2007
In a very healthy lifestyle, what things are truly devoid? Fast food may come to mind, but I contend even that can have a part, though admittedly a very small part. Unfortunately eating on the go is part of a hectic life. There are many things that can be done to plan ahead and thus avoid the need to rely on convenience foods, but there are always exceptional situations. So what else? Ice cream? Coffee?...

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The Secret to Fitness Success
By: Jeff    on 10/15/2007
There are lots of gimmicks out there that offer instant success in the fitness arena. Anyone that offers a quick fix for your healthy is probably akin to a snake oil salesperson. If you ask me what the secret to achieving your fitness goals is, I'd have to say it's conditioning yourself to want to be healthy. You have to learn to enjoy exercise and healthy foods for them to really manifest a lifestyle...

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What is your Favorite Exercise?
By: Jeff    on 10/8/2007
This is a great question because it not only focuses on the positive aspects of exercise but also the joy an individual can receive from doing the exercise itself (much less the results it brings). Enjoying the journey toward fitness is really a key to a happy, healthy lifestyle.

So for me there are lots of exercises I do like, but the ones I really enjoy are activities that give me a great workout...

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How Much Protein is Enough?
By: Jeff    on 10/1/2007
I hear this question a lot, especially since I advocate higher protein diets. I've had some anti-protein nazis fight me on this one, saying that we get way too much protein in our American diet as it is. Well guess what? The vast majority of Americans get way too much of EVERYTHING in their diets, so this isn't a surprise. But if you're going to target macronutrients to cut down on, protein is the...

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The Ultimate Sweet Tooth
By: Jeff    on 9/24/2007

I've met some people who've basically convinced themselves that they'll die if they don't get their sugar fix. Some even think a diet soda is a good solution for curbing their sweet tooth, because it gives that sugary taste. Personally, I can't stand the taste of artificial sweeteners, so that's never been a problem. But what about those sweet treats so many people crave?

Well my advice is that...

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I Truly Hate Running
By: Jeff    on 9/17/2007

It's true, I despise running. Despite that fact, I can actually think of a couple of good things about it, but for the most part I find it only a solution to being chased by vicious dogs. I keep getting the question, “do you need to run to be in shape?”

The answer is NO! You do not need to run to stay in excellent shape, unless you plan to run as part of your sports training. However, many people...

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I Love White Foods...
By: Jeff    on 9/10/2007
A friend of mine recently told me a story about how her son said out of the blue, "I love white foods."

So true for most of us, indeed. White foods are usually bleached or refined starches and sugars. They are heavily processed so the important (and sometimes bitter or strong tasting) nutrients are lost, such as the bran in wheat, leaving only empty calories. Yet, they have a strong appeal in today's...

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But I Adore Sweets!
By: Jeff    on 9/3/2007
So you've been told to avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners, so where does that leave us when we just have to have sweet foods? First of all, if you really are living a healthy lifestyle with good whole grain foods, you can have the occassional sweet treat, as long as it's in moderation. When you're very healthy, I suggest you listen to your cravings, as they may reflect a real need in your body.

But,...

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Welcome to the FitDaily Blog
By: Jeff    on 8/27/2007
This is the FitDaily blog where you'll find various tidbits on health, wellness, fitness, exercise, and nutrition. This is also where I will post the answers to the many questions I get on fitness and nutrition topics from members, clients, and friends.

If you have a question or a brief topic you'd like addressed here, please feel free to send me an email at jeff@fitdaily.com. ...

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