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Welcome to the FRF Health and Fitness Blog

At Final Results Fitness, we spend a lot of time thinking big thoughts about exercise and nutrition.  This blog contains some of our most recent musings. 

Stupid People Tricks

First off let me clarify. The "Stupid" in the title refers to the tricks and not necessarily the person performing the tricks.  Back in the day, David Letterman had a skit on his Late Night Show called stupid pet tricks.  During this skit, pet owners would trot out their animals and get them to perform some unusual and pointless trick like a back flip while biting their own tail.  People would chuckle.  Nobody got hurt.  And that was the end of it.  Now we have a certain segment of the fitness industry using their clients to perform their own human version of this skit.  They have them squatting on wobble boards, lifting weights on medicine balls,  doing pushups on upside down bosu balls, and all sorts of other stuff.  Are these activities tricky?  Sure.  Do they require great amounts of practice to master.  Certainly.  Can you demonstrate progressive mastery?  Absolutely.  Do they confer any other benefit above and beyond the demonstration of the trick itself.  Rarely.  If your goal is to get stronger, would you be better served squatting on the floor, lifting weights on proper benches and seats, and doing pushups on a stable surface.  Undoubtedly.  Most of these stupid people tricks masquerading as exercises were conjured up by mail order personal trainers who had no access to well designed exercise equipment and had to come up with something to do with cheap balls, bands and tubes they could carry around in the back of their car.    Don't get me wrong.  You can do meaningful exercise with balls, bands and tubes.   But your workout shouldn't look like a series of field sobriety tests and circus tricks.  

Got Milk?...No Thanks

Let me paint you a mental picture.  How bout a nice cold glass of dog milk?  Maybe monkey milk?  Elephant milk perhaps?  Seems pretty gross doesn't it?  Just doesn't seem natural?  OK.  If we want to be natural, how about a nice tall glass of mothers milk.  You know...  the kind babies drink.  How much more natural can you get?  Still seems gross?  Well then how is it that we have no trouble drinking milk from a cow?  In addition to the obvious "you're not a baby cow" argument, there are lots of other reasons to reconsider drinking cows milk.   Even though milk contains calcium, studies show it doesn't reduce the incidence of hip fractures or osteoporosis.   Even though milk is relatively low glycemic, it has an insulin index four times higher than it's glycemic index would predict.   When weight loss is the goal, it's not the glucose in the blood stream that is the actual cause of fat accumulation, it's the insulin production the glucose stimulates.  Milk consumption can raise resting insulin levels and insulin resistance.  Insulin resistance seems directly linked to the production of small LDL cholesterol particles which are highly correlated to heart disease.   So if you are overweight, have or may be developing heart disease, cancer or diabetes, milk may not do your body good.

For a fantastic review of some of the current thoughts on milk consumption, watch this video.

Why Do We Have So Much Trouble Losing Weight?

We Eat Too Much - To borrow a phrase from my kids... “Thank You Captain Obvious”.   To borrow another phrase from when they were a bit younger and less sarcastic “but why?”  That is the million dollar question, and the answers may surprise you.  We know that we get fat because we eat more than we burn, and the leftover calories get stored as fat.  But why do we do that?  
Counter intuitive answer #1 - We don’t eat enough fat.   In our quest to lose fat, we have cut out the very thing that keeps us feeling full and satisfied.   Now I’m not suggesting a full out lard fest, but having a substantial amount of healthy fats in your diet will reduce hunger.  And history shows that over time, if you can control hunger, you can control weight.  
Counter intuitive answer #2 - We rely on exercise too much.  Crazy gym owner says what? You heard me.  Trying to exercise your way out of bad eating habits is an exercise in futility and a great way to work up a hearty appetite.  Exercise does many miraculous things, and everyone should do it.   But exercise does not make you skinny unless it is accompanied by a proper eating plan.   And that’s the truth.

Counter intuitive answer #3 - The Government Food Pyramid is Just Plain Wrong.  Before the 1960’s, medical textbooks and Grandma’s wisdom all recognized that sugary foods and starchy carbs that turn into sugar make you fat, diabetic and hungry.   Fast forward to today and we have a food pyramid built on a base of starchy carbs.   Ever since the push for low fat, high starchy carbs (whole grains) went mainstream, the rates for obesity and diabetes have skyrocketed.   And yet we’re still told the pyramid is the answer.

Counter intuitive answer #4 - It’s NOT just about calories - I know that by saying this I will be accused of ignoring the laws of thermodynamics, but give me a chance to explain.   What you eat can influence what your body does with the calories it has on hand.   Eating protein increases metabolic rate.  Eating high glycemic carbs can increase insulin production which can ramp up fat production and storage.   Drinking milk can increase insulin in a process independent of the carbs or sugar it contains. Studies show that people will lose fat faster eating a diet higher in protein and fat than eating the same number of calories from high glycemic carbs and fat.  If it was just a game of counting calories, it shouldn’t matter where the calories come from, but it does.
Counter intuitive answer #5 - All this processed diet food has our normal metabolic regulation system all messed up.  Remember when they told us margarine was supposed to be better for us than butter because it came from corn?  Remember when saccharine was better than sugar?  How about fat free Entenmann’s pound cake? All this diet food with hydrogenated this, artificially sweetened that, high fructose corn syrup ( trust us, it’s NOT the same as sugar. it’s worse!),  and other nearly impossible to pronounce ingredients, designed to make the foods more addictive and cheaper to produce have thrown a monkey wrench into the finely  tuned machine that was our metabolism.   We are all born with natural feed back loops between our gut and our brain that tell us when we need to eat and when we’ve had enough.   By subjecting our guts and brains to years of highly processed funny foods, we’re left walking around with our wires crossed, fat and hungry, wondering “why did I just eat that?”.
What Can You Do?
The obvious answer is to eat and exercise in a way that allows your body to burn fat and control appetite.   We like to call it “creating a hormonally permissible environment for fat loss”.  The problem is, the rules to do this aren’t as obvious and are probably not what you expect.  Hopefully we’ve shown you that the right stuff to eat isn’t fat free diet food.   And by learning the theory behind the rules, you can apply them in every situation, and not be bound by a pre-scripted diet.  By choosing to eat the right foods, you will allow your body to burn fat all day long, and you will rarely be hungry.   You’ll be eating more than you ever imagined you could or should.   And over time, your body will return to a naturally healthy weight, your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol  and triglycerides will normalize, and you’ll feel great.  
Let us show you how to reach your weight loss goals by treating your body right through smart exercise and healthy nutrition.  Register here to find out more.

You Take Too Much Vitamin D!

I recently had a client who had her 25 OH Vitamin D3 level tested by her doctor.  Her results were fantastic.  A blood level of 72 ng/ml put her square in the middle of the range we recommend.  To the doctors credit, they recognized 72 as a desireable level.  My client commented that she had been taking 10,000 iu of D3 daily for the past two years, to which the doctor exploded "Oh my God that's too much".   Cue the buzzer.  Wrong answer.  Different people require different levels of sunlight or vitamin D supplementation to produce an effective blood level of Vitamin D.   A young person from European heritage living in the southern US who works outside year round probably requires no additional vitamin D.  As we get older, fatter, and farther away from the equator, it becomes more and more difficult to meet our Vitamin D requirements without supplementation or UV exposure.   If you don't get enough healthy sunlight on your skin to maintain healthy Vitamin D levels, you can take Vitamin D3 gels.   Because there is substantial variation in Vitamin D requirements between individuals, it's best to have a baseline test of your 25OH Vitamin D3 ordered by your doctor.  If your levels are between 50 - 80, you are good.  If lower, begin by taking 2000 units per day and have your levels retested every 3 months and adjust levels up until you reach goal levels.   Find out more here.
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