– Curtis Schwab, TAC Personal Trainer
I’m a fitness professional with 35 years in the industry in California, New York City, Aspen as well as Europe and the Middle East. Let’s talk about Americans and the huge issues we’re facing with obesity, diabetes, joint, and breathing problems. I hate to say this, but even with all of the knowledge and information that is out there about ways to live a healthier lifestyle, Americans are getting worse – not better. More than one third of all Americans are considered obese (at least 30 lbs overweight!). And this stat will really get to you – one third of all middle school students are obese. Scared yet for America and Americans? I certainly am alarmed! Being obese takes an average of 9 years off of your life, and the quality of life you do have suffers, with increased joint issues, breathing problems, aches and pains, as well as social stigma. One more awful fact, for each pound of body fat, which is approximately the size of a small loaf of bread, your body has to pump blood through an extra MILE of blood vessels and capillaries! And you wonder why heavy people have shortness of breath!
Daily calories are important for the body to function, rebuild, and give us energy. Excessive calories get stored as body fat until you’re starving and your body needs it. We don’t starve in America, we just eat poorly! Fat isn’t genetic. I repeat – fat isn’t genetic – it’s caused by poor eating habits and a lack of activity. There are different body types, but all react well to proper nutrition and movement patterns.
None of these stats mean anything if you’re not ready to make a change – it has to be important to you in order to keep the commitment. IF you are ready to make a change, let me share the EASIEST, extremely efficient, and most effective way of getting started. Having been in the fitness industry for so long, I’ve seen many exercise fads come and go. Many diets also! Diets don’t work because you go off of them and return to old eating habits, thereby returning to the problem you started with.
So here’s the answer in a nutshell…
The oldest saying in the gym is: Eat like a king in the morning, a prince in the afternoon, and a pauper in the evening. What and WHEN you eat is 70% of weight loss.
Your biggest meal and most calories should be taken in the morning… Why? Because you have all day to use it and burn it off. Most Americans (many in my family included) eat their big meal at dinner. Then what happens? Americans sit on their butts and watch bad t.v. shows until bedtime. Now, we won’t get into the sitting issue in this report, but sitting is proving to be horribly unhealthy in its own right! Sitting and watching television burns very few calories, so where does the big dinner go that you just ate? It gets stored as body fat. You can’t ‘make up’ your eating for calories already burned. If you starve yourself all day, your body will use muscle tissue instead of body fat for energy. It’s not fair, but true. Also, overweight people don’t need more food than thinner people. They need less food, actually, as they have tons (not literally hopefully) of food stored needing to be burned. Fat doesn’t require sustenance, just muscles and body systems in general.
All of that being said, here’s the answer, and it’s so simple it will blow your mind!
At dinner, which everyone should eat before 6:00 p.m., don’t eat ‘white food’. There is nothing good for you in it despite what big corporate food producers tell you. White pasta…bad. White bread…bad. White rice…not as bad, but not as good as brown rice. White flour has very few nutrients, but it’s cheap and plentiful. However, that’s part of what got us in this mess, eating this food which is mass produced by giant corporations for profits – not health. Stick with fruits, veggies, meats (some would debate that also), poultry, beans, salads, etc. at dinner. No carbs – eat those early at breakfast and/or lunch. And all of your carbs should be whole grain! Real food that your body can use! Yes it’s a habit to change, but change is the only thing that will solve the problem! The other part of this is simpler still.
Exercise… do you hate it? Then don’t exercise, just go for a walk. The American Medical Association (AMA) and American Psychiatric Association (APA) both state the advantages of walking nonstop for a minimum of 30 minutes a day – this will do amazing things for your mind and body! The whole trick is consistency. Do it every evening, after dinner. Daylight savings time is here so there are no excuses for people afraid to walk in the dark, just go for a walk! That’s all it takes! Skip one bad television show at night, and walk instead for 1/2 an hour. You will get over a mile finished in that 1/2 hour, and maybe 2 miles once you’re faster! Really, that’s all it takes. It will not only burn your dinner calories, but boosts your immune system, helps your balance, works your heart muscle as well as all of your lower body muscles. Now some say that they walk all day so they don’t need the walk in the evening… Hah! You’re in this fix aren’t you? So evidently what you’re doing isn’t working for you. You need nonstop dedicated time for your walking system to mesh and get your systems to function together. I had a client who couldn’t bear to give up his beer at night, so I made him walk while drinking it! Funny thing, that lasted for about a week, then he switched to water as the alcohol made him thirsty before he was finished with his walk. He now rarely drinks and goes for an hour walk every night before bedtime… 35 pounds later, he’s in amazing shape and he feels as good as he’s EVER felt.
Just walk it out you guys, change your dinner habits, go for a walk in the evenings, and drink water – lots of it! A simple, extremely effective, and low cost answer to fitness in America!
Please feel free to contact me through the ‘That’s Natural’ website for any questions you may have about health and fitness. I’m happy to help, and will choose a couple of questions/issues each month to answer publicly as well.
Categories: Health & Wellness