Sunday, June 25, 2017

Are You Walking, And Still Not Losing Weight?

Do you groan when you step on the scale and see you haven't lost any weight? It's frustrating when you've been walking to lose weight and you aren't seeing the results you want. Take a step back and examine why you may not be seeing the scale move in the right direction.

The Math: Walking and Not Losing Weight

The painful answer is that weight loss and weight gain are simple math:
  • If you eat more calories than you use each day, you gain weight.
  • To lose weight you need to eat fewer calories and/or burn more each day.
  • For sensible, long-term weight control and to reduce your health risks, you should both eat less and exercise more.
  • If you are having trouble, counting calories, or eating a healthy meal, a meal replacement of your choice may be the way to go.
  • A pound of fat equals 3500 calories. To lose 1 pound a week you will need to expend 3500 more calories than you eat that week, whether through increased activity or decreased eating—or both
  • To track what you eat, use a food diary or app to be honest with yourself.
  • To track activity calories, use a pedometer or fitness tracker, preferably one linked with a food diary app.
  • The American Heart Association recommends 30 to 60 minutes of brisk walking or other moderate-intensity exercise almost every day of the week to help lose weight. That amount of exercise is also associated with reducing your major health risks.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

What Is The Best Meal Replacement Shake? Part 3

Now that you know that meal replacement shakes are effective for weight loss, which one do you choose? Will any old shake do?

When it comes to choosing the right shake, there are some things you are going to need to consider:
  • Does it provide adequate vitamins, minerals, carbs, and protein?
  • Does it taste amazing?
  • Is it a good price?
  • Does it have some sort of hunger blocker to keep you from going hungry?
  • Is there any sort of guarantee with the shake or social proof?
If the shake you choose can answer all of these questions, chances are it’s a good fit.

At 1st N Weight Loss our personal favorite is the Vanilla flavor Meal Replacement Shake from AdvoCare

As a personal user, it met all my criteria for a delicious and effective meal replacement shake. 

Here’s why we love AdvoCare Meal Replacement Shakes:

Delicious and portable shake mix that delivers a blend of protein, carbohydrates and fiber to keep you fueled and ready to tackle your day. With 26 vitamins and minerals and 210-220 calories per serving, Meal Replacement Shakes are easy to digest and an excellent addition to your weight-management program. 

Meal Replacement Shakes provide 24 grams of easy-to-digest protein and support the body's ability to lower body fat when used as an alternative to high calorie foods. With a 1:1 protein-to-carbohydrate ratio, Meal Replacement Shakes support weight management and provides sustained energy for daily physical activity.
  • Balanced meal for optimal nutrition and weight management
  • 210-220 calories with 24 grams of easy-to-digest protein
  • High in dietary fiber (5-6 grams)
  • 26 vitamins and minerals
  • 1:1 ratio of proteins to carbohydrates

To order yours today, simply go here NOW.

Monday, June 19, 2017

What Is A Meal Replacement Shake? Part 2 of 3

Do Meal Replacement Shakes Really Work?

So how exactly do these shakes work? Do you just drink them and the weight magically falls off? Not quite. Like anything in life there is an explanation that makes sense.
When it comes to losing weight, you MUST burn more calories than you consume. This is best done with a combination of eating less and moving your body more.
Eating right can be extremely difficult in a world where McDonald’s and Dr. Pepper exists. The opportunity and temptation to overeat presents itself nearly every meal nearly every day.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have dieting which is really not any better for your health and waistline. Why? Because most diets fail. Backfire even.
Diets fail because they often restrict too much too quickly leaving dieters hungry, craving everything, and in a poor mood. Once you end the diet, you go right back to your bad habits, binge eating because you’ve been so deprived, and put the weight back on (or more).
It’s a vicious cycle, but meal replacements can help end it! Meal replacements are delicious ways to cut calories without starving or depriving yourself.

Interested in learning about AdvoCare Meal Replacements? Click here NOW.

Be sure to be on the look out for our final series, and learn what we considered to be the best meal replacement shake on the market today....and remember if you are considering losing weight,

"Why wait....when Today Iz The Day"

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What Is A Meal Replacement Shake?

Part 1 Of A 3 Part Series On Meal Replacements

Everyone knows a meal replacement shake is well, a shake to be used in place of a meal. Doesn’t take much brainpower to figure that one out.
However, ask someone what’s inside a meal replacement shake or how it’s different than a protein shake and you’ll get more confused looks.
A meal replacement shake is NOT a protein shake. A meal replacement shake can and should have an adequate amount of protein, but a meal replacement shake is much more than that.
Meal replacement shakes help you replace high-calorie or unhealthy meals with a lighter, more balanced option. They make the nutrition part of losing weight simple.
Since meal replacement shakes are meant to replace a meal they contain essential nutrients, carbs, fats, and protein equivalent to a balanced meal. Meal replacement shakes designed for weight loss should also contain hunger blockers to keep cravings and appetite under control.
A meal replacement shake:
  • Turns an unhealthy meal into a healthy one (Replaces breakfast, lunch, or dinner)
  • Includes a healthy balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates
  • Comes fortified with vitamins and minerals
  • Includes fiber and other ingredients to block hunger and reduce cravings
To be continued.......

Friday, June 9, 2017

Women And Weight Gain After 40 - Part 4 - Final Part

The following post is the 4th in a 4-part series about hormones and weight gain after age 40. Parts one, two and three can be read by clicking on the links below. 

Part 4: Weight gain and sleep

After hot flashes and night sweats, what are the two most common complaints of peri-menopausal women? (other than husbands who can’t seem to clean up the counter or put the toilet seats down after themselves…)
I’ll give you a hint; one tends to go up and the other, down.
Weight gain (especially around-the-belly poundage) and sleep (or lack thereof).
Did you answer correctly? And did you know that the two might be related?
Study after study of sleep duration and body mass index show an inverse relationship between the two; people that get less sleep also tend to be overweight.
When we eliminate the participants whose disordered sleeping is a consequence of being overweight (recall that correlation can’t, by itself be used to infer causation; check out my post on understanding the results of human health studies if you’re unclear on the concept), we find that moderate sleep deprivation disrupts a number of hormonal systems, several of which are involved in appetite, carbohydrate metabolism and fat storage.
  • Cortisol. Production of cortisol varies rhythmically throughout the day, being highest upon waking and declining to its lowest levels of the day at the time you typically go to sleep. Chronic, moderate sleep deprivation interrupts this diurnal cycle, causing end-of-the-day cortisol levels to remain high. Over time, elevated cortisol levels can lead to insulin resistance (the body’s inability to respond to insulin’s message to store nutrients), obesity and diabetes. Elevated cortisol levels are of particular concern to menopausal and peri-menopausal women, as the combination of high cortisol and low estrogen contributes to middle-of-the-body weight gain (aka the “muffin top”).

  • Leptin. Secreted by fat cells, leptin is the satiety hormone, telling your brain when you’ve consumed enough calories and reducing appetite to prevent overeating. Leptin regulation is markedly affected by sleep duration. Chronic sleep deprivation results in lower circulating levels of leptin, increased appetite and higher caloric intake, even in the absence of increased physical activity (i.e., short duration sleepers have potentially more wakeful hours to be physically active; in the studies cited above, they weren’t, either because they chose not to be or their activity was restricted by the researcher). Given that many menopausal and premenopausal women experience insomnia and middle-of-the-night awakening, even those that attempt to get an adequate number of hours of sleep each night may not.

  • Ghrelin. Working in opposition to leptin, ghrelin is secreted by the stomach and stimulates appetite. Short sleep duration is associated with elevated ghrelin production and increased hunger and appetite, in particular an appetite for foods high in carbohydrates (hello chocolate!). Similarly, declining estrogen levels (both during the period leading up to menopause and during the second half of the menstrual cycle in regularly cycling women) also trigger an increased appetite for sweet and starchy foods.

  • Glucose tolerance. The sweet and starchy carbohydrates you consume are broken down, by the gut, into smaller, glucose molecules, to be used as fuel by our muscles and brain. Excess glucose is stored as fat, a process triggered by the release of insulin by the pancreas. Chronic short sleep duration results in a marked reduction in acute insulin response; glucose remains in the blood stream for a much longer period of time after consumption leading to a pre-diabetic state after as little as a week of sleep restriction.
So ‘yes’, in answer to the question posed in the title of this post, sleep does play a role in weight gain after 40. In particular when short sleep duration is frequent, consumption of starchy carbohydrates is chronic and estrogen levels are in decline.
The bottom line? In addition to paying attention to nutrition (less processed please) and adding strength training to your fitness schedule (build muscle to burn fat), developing good sleep habits appears to be key to long term health, happiness and quality of life during the midlife years. How are you going to improve yours?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

How Veterans Gain Weight After Service

As much as some of us may love or hate our time in the military, eventually our time ends. And for many of us, losing the military means gaining too many pounds (I myself was one of them). 
Dwight (USAF Ret.), "1st N Weight Loss" Owner 
***Note: The above results show a 35 pound weight loss using the AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge, while maintaining my results using AdvoCare Spark for energy, and AdvoCare Meal Replacements. Results may very for each individual user depending on their diet, and exercise.

That’s not just perception or stereotyping — it’s a documented fact. A U.S. Army article released last year reported in 2014, “Approximately half of the retirees whose height and weight were measured at medical appointments in military treatment facilities that year had a body mass index that classified them as obese. Obesity rates for these retirees are significantly higher than the general population of the same age.”
Many of us who once called out others for being lazy, and overweight had become, or will become exactly that once we leave the service

Heres how it happens;
Someday, by choice or by force, everyone gets out. Once out, we say to ourselves, we’re tired of getting up early. We’ve given four years or 20 years of hard work to serving our country, and we decide we want to take it easy for a week or two. We treat ourselves to a few more beers than usual. 

But then that week or two of indulgence becomes a month or two. Then it’s too hard to start running or lifting again, so the month or two becomes a year or two, and soon the only way to recognize that person as a veteran is a crazy looking retiree baseball hat or military retiree bumper sticker.
It really doesn’t have to be that way. Fitness doesn’t have to be accompanied by pain, despite what some of others might lead us to believe. All you need to reap major health benefits is 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. And “moderate” includes walking. 

That’s five 30-minute sessions a week. If you can’t find that time, you’re probably lying to yourself. And if you think that’s taking away from your family or significant other, then take them with you on one or two of those walks — it can be a good way to connect with them after years of too much time away serving.
Walking isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it requires no equipment and is completely free. On the other hand, many service members love to worship at the iron church — the base gym. That can quickly become an excuse for laziness once out of the service. Gyms in the civilian world can either be too expensive or not close enough. Civilian jobs often require long hours or travel, just like the military. Driving to the gym before or after work becomes the first thing to go when time gets tight.
You really don’t need to go to some commercial gym, though. Unless you are training for serious mass or competitive athletics, getting in great shape and getting pretty damn strong requires little to no equipment. If you have a few square feet in your garage or can slide over your kitchen table, there are a number of programs to get you on the road to fitness. Blogs like “1st N Weight Lossby Dwight Obey (Ret. USAF) offer great ideas for working out, along with other useful information with no frills. These tips are handy even on active duty.
For those who don’t like to read, or who need a trainer’s motivation and can’t afford it, there are endless videos available to motivate you. Fitness videos can have some stigma in macho military culture from their association with aerobics videos of the 1980s and 1990s. Well, they aren’t your mother’s Jazzercise anymore. For example, the Insanity or P90X series of programs will challenge just about anyone, regardless of fitness level. For those without $100 or so in their pockets to spend, plenty of video programs are available for free online and via devices like Amazon Fire TV. Add just a pull-up bar and a couple of kettle-bells or dumbbells, and almost any fitness goal is within reach.
Home programs do have a weakness, though — they don’t get you out of the house. You’re out of the military now. Unless you resettled in either a military town or your hometown, you need to get out and meet some new people. There are a million ways to do that, but fitness events are a great way to do it.  Putting such an event on your calendar gives you a goal and provides focus to your training. 

Most of these events also have substantial pre- and post-event social components. There are even groups that exist to help vets connect to their communities through fitness events. Getting outdoors and meeting people is pretty good medicine for anyone, veteran or not.
All of this is basically a long way of saying that there’s no excuse for sitting on your butt and getting fat. Working out is good for you. It’s fun. And besides, you can no longer make fun of others you considered being fat, lazy, and undisciplined when you, yourself have become one of them, can you?

This post was inspired by, and is dedicated to the thousands of vets who follow my blog (Active and Retired), and have requested an article as such. I understand, and have been there. I was so concerned about ensuring the numerous businesses in which I ran were successful, that I forgot about myself, and eventually let myself go from a fitness stand point. Luckily for me I got back on track, sooner then later, and now Im able to travel the world, while helping thousands of others become successful, from both a professional, and fitness standpoint.

It is my hope, this post has inspired you to get up and move......."Today Iz The Day"

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Women And Weight Gain After 40 - Part 3

Way back on May 21st I started a 4-part series about Women and weight gain after 40.
In that post, I highlighted the physical changes that many women experience during pre-menopause and the menopause transition itself. The picture I painted wasn’t pretty and many of you wrote to say that you’ve experienced the changes I described, including muscle loss, weight gain, insatiable food cravings and a belly or ‘muffin top’ that won’t go away
outlined what I believe (based on research, my experience training many 40+ female clients and what I know works ) to be the four most effective strategies for dealing with hormonally-induced mid-life weight gain; (1) nutrition, (2) exercise, (3) sleep and (4) stress management and promised to write a post about each, in turn.

Exercise for hormonal balance

We all know that exercise is good for us.
It strengthens our heart, our lungs and our muscles. It helps to regulate blood sugars and fat storage. It improves bone density and stimulates the production of ‘feel good’ hormones. It’s essential for weight loss and weight maintenance.
Indeed, many women experiencing premenopausal weight gain increase their frequency and duration of exercise in an attempt to ‘out run’ middle-age spread.
The thing is, exercise also creates stress on the body. Not just mechanical (wear and tear on the joints) and muscular stress (aches and pains as muscles repair the micro tears created by exercise), but hormonal stress as the adrenals increase their production of cortisol to keep energy levels high and the body’s various systems running effectively.
While chronically high cortisol levels are never desirable (resulting in extreme fatigue, reduced immune response and low blood pressure, among others), they’re even less welcome in a premenopausal body whose production of progesterone is at an all-time low.
Why? The adrenals cannot make cortisol without progesterone. The more cortisol they’re required to make to offset stress, the less progesterone will be available to balance estrogen and testosterone. Without the balancing effects of progesterone, excess estrogen often leads to weight gain, in particular, an increase in the body’s central fat stores. Hello muffin-top.
Clearly we need to balance the benefits of exercise with the potential costs of elevated stress. I call this ‘exercise for hormonal balance’ and suggest the following:
  • Lose the ‘more is better’ mindset. Shorter, more intense workouts will stimulate cortisol production less than longer, less intense workouts. Think cardio intervals rather than long, slow runs. If you’re having a hard time letting go of this mindset, think of how many over-40 women you know who’ve trained for a half- or full-marathon and failed to lose or maintain weight despite the volume of their training.
  • Practice efficiency in exercise. Choose compound, whole body movements rather than isolation exercises. Involving more muscles in your workout not only burns more calories (both during the workout and later), it also reduces the length of your training session. I prefer metabolic circuits over body-part splits for myself and my 40+ female clients.
  • Add more non-exercise movement to your day. As cliche as it sounds, taking the stairs, parking farther from the mall, carrying your groceries rather than pushing a cart, hanging the laundry to dry and washing floors all help to increase your metabolism without causing hormonal stress on your body.
  • Engage in formal exercise 4 or 5 days per week. For best results, alternate strength and cardiovascular training days, keeping each workout between 30 and 45 minutes in length.
So what might this look like in practice?
(Recall that although I am a certified personal trainer, the following program is a general one, and may not be appropriate for all individuals depending on their fitness goals, current fitness level and physical abilities).
Monday: Cardio intervals on the elliptical. 30:60 s work:recovery intervals for a total of 20 minutes. Cool down and stretch.
Tuesday: Metabolic strength circuit. 12-15 repetitions of each of the following exercises, in rapid succession, 2-3 times through. Dumbbell squats, pushups, walking lunges, TRX inverted rows, barbell dead lifts and Russian twists on the stability ball
Wednesday: Active recovery. 60 minute leisurely walk and chat with a friend.
Thursday: Cardio intervals on the treadmill. 60:60 s work:recovery intervals for a total of 20 minutes. Cool down and stretch.
Friday: Metabolic strength circuit. 12-15 repetitions of each of the following exercises, in rapid succession, 2- 3 times through. Weighted squat jumps, chest press on the ball, alternating lateral lunges, assisted pull ups, single leg straight leg dead lifts and Bosu abdominal curls.
Saturday and Sunday: Active time spent with family and friends. Perhaps a yoga class for relaxation and meditation.

To read the first part in this series go here >>> Woman and Weight Gain After 40

Remember"Today Iz The Day".