It’s been an exciting year so far and I’ve had the privilege of being on a wonderful journey, along with many of you who are changing your lives, getting fit and eating right. The only way to achieve a goal is to commit to it. And the only thing that will ever stop you is you.
With BodyKey by Nutrilite, many of you are seeing real results in your effort to remake yourselves. In this month's blog, I'd like to get a bit more specific with regard to weight loss, eating right and proper exercise. One of my most important core beliefs is that the key to weight loss is to not focus on weight loss. I know that may sound confusing but let me explain.
The food going in should equal the energy going out! By doing all the things necessary to become healthier, the focus should be on changing your body’s composition, turning fat into fat-burning muscle. That said, it’s very important that you feed your body the right nutritional healthy foods which will allow you to see results. A gluten-free/wheat-free lifestyle, whether you are gluten intolerant or not, can have a major effect on how your body reacts. I found my last year’s gluten-rich diet slowed the whole process and definitely made it more difficult to achieve the goals I set for myself. It doesn’t matter what food you use as fuel, all will create some sort of energy, but you need to understand that some foods are a better sources of fuel than others. When you eat foods that contain gluten, the gluten clumps enzymes within your system and slows the flow of oxygen, which inhibits the transmitting of signals for memory and recovery. I really feel the difference by omitting the stodgy white meals of pizza, pasta, breads and pastries. Trust me this is a hard statement to make, my career as a chef with a back ground in classical French cuisine; it pains me to remove all the wonderful, pastries, sauces, and desserts from my cooking repertoire! But not once have I felt limited for choice.
As I have said before I’m not a fan of the word diet. I prefer the term lifestyle change, especially since weight loss, permanent weight loss, is not about a diet; it’s about a mindset, behavior and lifestyle change. That change and embarking on the journey of good nutrition, exercise and a positive attitude, will ultimately lead to good health for both mind and body.
Getting specific about your exercise is also key. Most exercises concentrate on what I call the "show muscles." The biceps, the triceps, etc., all those muscles you see when you look at a bodybuilder for example. To really change your body’s physiology, especially when your goal is to burn fat and lose weight, I believe you need to focus on the functional muscle groups; those muscles we use in our everyday lives. I also believe this is where a personal trainer is absolutely invaluable. A personal trainer, whether hired by you or provided as a service of your local gym, is key to making sure you design the right exercise and workout routine, to strengthen and change the makeup of your body. Now be careful, the biggest guy at the gym who now "trains" others, may not be the way to go unless your are striving to look like Mr. or Mrs. Universe.
You need a trainer who is hands on, can be creative and who knows how to change up your routine so your muscles don’t become lazy. Simple repetition of the same exercise over and over again, adding weight or repetitions as you go, may not necessarily mean you are getting the best workout. These type of workouts simply work the show muscles. To really change your body makeup you need a trainer that will show you how to work the functional muscles; those we use everyday. By strengthening these groups, our bodies work better and burn more fat, or turn that fat into energy. And kids, if you can’t afford a trainer, Google it! Today, you can get just about any information you need. Just make sure you use a reliable source. One of my recommendations is to check out my good friend, Sean Foy.
To help you out, below is a list of the muscle groups.
Major Functional Muscle Groups
Abdominal: Located in the Stomach, these muscles are directly responsible for sitting up, and proper postural alignment.
Biceps: Located in the front of your upper arm, their function is lifting and pulling.
Deltoids: Located at the top of your shoulder and they help you lift things over your head.
Erector Spinae: Located in your lower back and they help when you extend your back.
Gastrocnemius & Soleus: Located at the back of the lower leg, calf, these help you push when you walk and stand on your tiptoes.
Gluteus: Located in the buttocks and they help with climbing stairs, walking and standing up.
Hamstrings: Located in the thigh and the back of the lower leg, these are your walking muscles.
Latissimus Dorsi & Rhomboids: Lats are the large triangular muscle in the mid-back. Rhomboids are between the shoulder blades. They are both important for proper postural alignment, and they function when we do things like pulling open a door.
Obliques: Located at the side of body and they are responsible for rotation and side flexion of body.
Pectoralis: Located at the front of the upper chest, these muscles help us push up from lying position, or push open a door.
Quadriceps: Located on your thigh in front and are used when climbing stairs, walking, or standing up.
Trapezius: This is the large muscle in upper and mid-back responsible for moving your head sideways.
Triceps: Located at the back of the upper arm and help you push.
With a good mindset, proper exercise of the right muscles and a balanced eating plan, you can all achieve that lifestyle change that you have been looking for. Remember when it comes to food, "eat the rainbow." Eat as many colors as possible and you can still produce good food fast, which doesn’t necessarily mean it will be “fast food.” Do vary your exercise; don’t be that person with a built upper body and chicken legs as your legs can be your biggest fat burning asset! I hope that this helps, and be sure to reach out and let me know how you’re coming along.