Category Archives: Nutrition

Fat Loss Contest Returns to Williamsburg

Fat Loss Contest Returns to Williamsburg

Back by popular demand!! It’s the Lose to Win Fit Challenge brought to you by Kate Buenaflor and Mike Camarra.

There are only 3 requirements to participate:
1 – Pay the $40 entry fee.
2 – Participate in the first weigh-in
3 – Participate in the final weigh-in

DETAILS
- This is a 60 day competition.
- The first weigh-in will be on Saturday, January 11 from 1pm-3pm. The final weigh-in is Saturday, March 8 from 1pm-3pm. If you want to participate, but cannot make the first/last weigh-in, an earlier date can be arranged.
- There are 3 categories: Male BF % loss, Female BF % loss, and overall WEIGHT loss. Each category will have a cash prize. The more people who compete, the bigger the prize.
- You win the BF% loss contest by losing the greatest percent of your body fat. For example, if you are starting at 20% BF and drop to 10% BF, you have lost 50 percent of your BF and score 50 (that’s really good).
- Body Fat % will be measured with a special scale.
- Weigh-ins will take at Betz Method at 8 Berry Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211
- Betz Method is offering a free class to all non-member competitors. Beginner classes are at 8pm on Wednesdays and 10am on Saturdays.
- Click here to RSVP to the event on Facebook

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Eating Slowly and Only Until Satisfied

This post is an excerpt from The High Performance Handbook Nutrition Guide, written by Precision Nutrition’s Brian St. Pierre. The post appeared on Eric Cressy’s blog, which we highly recommend.

Many of us eat far too quickly.  And, at each meal we expect to eat to the point of fullness.  Unfortunately, eating in this manner – quickly and until full – will always present challenges to your performance, health, and body composition goals.  This is true even if you eat the right foods (though eating mostly whole, minimally processed foods makes it much easier to tune into these powerful appetite cues).

Learning to tune into and follow your hunger and fullness cues will be paramount to your long-term success.  It will teach you to slow down, to listen to your body and its needs and to stop eating when you are satisfied, not full.  This is actually one of the most important skills you need to build for long-term nutrition success.

Why is this so?  It takes about 20 minutes for our satiety mechanisms to work.  What this means is that the signal from our gut takes time to get to our brain.  So, if you eat quickly, it is more than likely that you will eat far more in that 20-minute window than you need, and before your brain can tell you that you have eaten enough.  Regardless of food quality and macronutrient composition, over-eating is over-eating.  Unless you are trying to gain weight, learning this skill is critical (and even then it is still critical, because you won’t be trying to gain weight forever).

An excellent goal is to aim for about 15-20 minutes per meal, at a minimum.  If this is too big of a change for you, simply aim to take a little longer for now, slowly stretching out your meals until you are able to reach that 15-20 minute mark.

To do this, simply utilize the following strategies:

• take a seat when you eat
• turn off the TV and eliminate distractions (though some light reading can be okay)
• take smaller bites
• chew your food more completely
• put your fork down after every few bites
• drink some water
• share some witty banter with your dining partner(s)

Slowing down your eating will help in many capacities.  When you eat slowly, you tend to eat fewer calories with each meal (because your brain has time to tell you enough has been eaten), drink more water (improving hydration status and health), improve digestion (because it starts in the mouth), and tune into your hunger and fullness cues more effectively.
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NYC Bans Sale of Large, Sugary Drinks

NYC Bans Sale of Large, Sugary Drinks

Seeking to reduce out-of-control obesity rates, the New York City Board of Health recently approved a ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, street carts, and movie theaters. The move represents the first restriction of its kind in the country.

The measure, which bans the sale of many sweetened drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces, is to take effect on March 12, unless it is blocked by a judge. The vote by the Board of Health was the only regulatory approval needed to make the ban binding in the city, but the American soft-drink industry has campaigned strongly against the measure and pledged to fight it through other means.

What are your thoughts about this measure?

Should government be permitted to dictate what and how much we can consume of certain beverages and foods?

If not, should government have any role in fighting the obesity crisis?

And if government shouldn’t play a role, what can private citizens do to make a difference?

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Can You Lose Weight Through Exercise Alone?

Can You Lose Weight Through Exercise Alone?

The short answer is yes, but…

You knew the “but” was coming so here it is. But it’s very, very, very difficult to lose weight through exercise alone unless you’re working out at a fairly high intensity for hours a day. The reason for this is that you can burn only so many calories through exercise and typically the more you burn the hungrier you get so you may end up pretty much right where you started.

I used to train beginning marathoners who were all excited about the weight loss prospects of running long distance. Now don’t get me wrong. They did train hard and they would occasionally burn upwards of 1,000 calories during a training session, but then they would go out and have a  couple of beers, some fries, and a piece of cake and lo and behold that caloric deficit suddenly became a surplus. You can easily wipe out a hard workout through mere minutes (seconds perhaps) of unhealthy eating.

That said, exercise is an enormous part of a weight loss plan, but it needs to be coupled with major dietary changes. And obviously if you want to keep the weight off you need to keep exercising and keep eating healthfully for the rest of your life.

It’s not complicated, just hard!

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Martin Kirwan Interview: Part 2

Martin Kirwan Interview: Part 2

This is the final part of our interview with Martin Kirwan, a former semi-pro soccer player, who hails from Ireland. Martin has 10 grandchildren and a great grandson. How many great grandparents do you know that are jumping rope?

You’ve created your own routine blending rope jumping with the TRX. Can you give us a snapshot of the routine?
Obviously the warm-up is very important, and I stretch my whole body, with particular emphasis on my leg and groin muscles. I do 3 minutes of jump rope, starting with the basic jump, then the jogger, straddles, playground hop, the skier, the boxer, and high knees to finish. With the TRX I focus on the abs. The first set I can do with no problem, but after my second and third sets of jump rope, my strength starts to falter. This is followed by a complete leg workout, which is also intense, then arms, shoulders, back, and core. All of these are done with very little recovery time. I then take a minute’s rest before my next jump rope set, which is the same as above. I have to remember I’m not the young stallion I was when I played semi-pro soccer.

What do you enjoy most about rope jumping? What do you find most challenging?
I would never have dreamed of doing jump rope as part of my routine, but I purchased a jump rope workout download from the TRX site, which features Buddy Lee (the rope jumping star), so I tried it and was amazed at how enjoyable the jump rope is. I like to push myself to my age limit, letting my body guide me on intensity so I don’t overdo it, but I never underdo it either. My heart is pumping near its maximum for my age. The jump rope is very challenging from set two to three, but I always manage to finish my routine. I might miss a few jumps, but hey I’m a beginner.

Do you listen to music while you workout? If so, any favorite tunes?
Not really. I start about 6:30am so don’t want to annoy the neighbors or the Rottweiler, but if you want to know my taste I am a big Doobie Brothers fan. I also like Steely Dan, James Taylor, Jimi Hendrix, and at the moment when working at my PC, Ludovico Einaudi. He really calms the system down.

Tell us a bit about your semi-pro soccer career.
I played for my hometown club — Club Drogheda United — from 1976 to 1985, having been part of their successful youth team that won the F.A.I. Youth Cup. My fondest memories are signing semi-pro forms, and then captaining the club in my final season. I always wore my heart on my sleeve for the club, and no matter how bad times were, the hairs on the back of my neck always stood up when I pulled the shirt on. My one regret was when Brian Kerr (who then managed the Irish national team) offered me a contract to play for Saint Patrick’s Athletic in Dublin, but I couldn’t commit as I had a young family, didn’t drive, and travelling to Dublin four times a week for training and matches would have been too much. The following year, on the last day of the season, we played St. Pats and they won the league at our ground. So I missed out on a League of Ireland Winners’ Medal. Also when I returned to Ireland from England I lost all my memorabilia from my soccer career, so I have no newspaper cuttings or anything to show my grandchildren, however my 21-year-old grandson is always telling me that he met this person and that person (he doesn’t remember names too well) and they always tell him how good a midfielder I was.

Anything else you’d like to share?
Yes Tim, I was really struggling to get a momentum going with the jump rope. As much as I watched videos on YouTube they never really showed the basics — just guys showing off their skills. Then one day Punk Rope appeared on the list and I viewed some videos, and these were very helpful to me, so I purchased your downloadable DVD. It takes me through the very basics of the skill, which is what I need to perfect it, and now I am doing 3-minute sets without hardly any breaks. It’s all on account of the attention to detail on your jump rope DVD so many thanks for that.

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How did this man lose 115 pounds?

How did this man lose 115 pounds?

The other day, we had the pleasure of chatting with Sean Reveille (pictured at far left in July 2009 and at far right in February 2012), a Punk Rope customer who happens to be a fan of metal and rope jumping, and who recently lost 115 pounds by making some very sensible choices. We were inspired by Sean’s story and think you will be too.

1) Most Americans struggle with their weight. How did you drop 115 pounds?
I tried a lot of different things as far as exercise went, but for a long time I wasn’t consistent about any one thing. I tried various video-based programs as well as basic workout programs I got off the Internet. But the big thing I did was change my diet, which I did in phases. The first month, I stopped drinking everything but water. The second month, I started preparing my own meals at home rather than eating fast food. I didn’t do anything to drastically change my eating habits as far as WHAT I was eating, but I prepared it all at home using low-fat ingredients, and that made a big difference. Messing around in the kitchen, I came up with ways to cook things like burritos, burgers, and other foods I was already eating in a way that was diet-friendly. All grains became whole grains, eggs became egg whites, etc. Then during month 3 I began completely cutting the foods I knew to be bad for me.  Honestly, I tried a lot of things and I wasn’t meticulously following any sort of exercise regimen until I had already lost a lot of the weight. But because I was strict about my nutrition, I could afford not to be serious about exercise, at least until I hit my plateau at about 250 lbs. One key thing to understand (and this is something I learned) is that no amount of exercise can make up for poor overall nutrition habits. A person who is strict about nutrition, but only exercises casually and not following any set program will get a lot closer to achieving their goals than one who works out like a beast but has poor overall nutrition habits.

2) Has it been difficult to maintain the weight loss?
I would say that keeping the weight off is easy. Once you’ve been doing it for a few months, the desire to go back to your old ways kind of stops, except for the odd treat meal, and that’s okay to indulge in.  I know that, on the rare occasion we go out to eat (which is once a month, if even that) I throw the nutrition rulebook out the window. And that’s okay.  It doesn’t get in the way of your progress when it is that rare.  I’ve noticed that most people who give up do it early on, and they do it for one of two reasons:
a) They don’t understand how the dietary changes they’ve made along with the sudden introduction of exercise will affect their weight in the short term. They weigh themselves constantly, not understanding how, in the beginning, water retention and muscle gain will throw off the scale. And since the scale isn’t showing progress, they give up.
b) They don’t give it long enough to become a routine. As I said above, sticking to it and keeping the weight off is easy once it becomes routine, and that can take anywhere from 3 weeks to a couple of months depending on the person.

3) You mentioned being an outlier in 2 different communities, Florida and Pittsburgh. Why do you think people perceive you as an outsider?
I grew up in Boca Raton, FL, a very upscale beachfront city in South Florida. EVERYONE there is thin, and quite a few people have had some sort of cosmetic surgery. Being that I was overweight, I was an outsider.  In 2002, I moved to Pittsburgh, PA, where obesity is more the standard thanks to lack of organized physical activities and local Polish-based cuisine.  In the beginning, I fit right in.  But after adopting a healthy lifestyle, I began to drift toward the opposite end of the spectrum.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our discussion with Sean, which will appear next week.

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