Frequently Asked Questions

Will weight training give a woman big muscles?

Strong women really do stay young…with strength training. Women build up their muscles in response to weight training, but it is usually seen in the form of firmness and muscle definition. Very few women can build huge, bulging muscles through a weight training routine, even if they want to. They don’t have the right hormones or testosterone levels. But they’ll increase their health and fitness levels, and look younger!

What is the difference between cardio and aerobics?

Cardiovascular (cardio) exercise refers to exercise that strengthens the cardiovascular system. Aerobic just means in the presence of oxygen, and aerobic exercise refers to exercise that lasts long enough to require oxygen. The same type of exercise satisfies both of these qualifications, and the terms cardio and aerobic exercise are used interchangeably. Aerobic/cardio exercise uses large muscles, usually the legs, in a rhythmic fashion. Examples are running, walking, bicycling, swimming, cross-country skiing, rowing, skating, and machines such as stair steppers and elliptical trainers.

How does exercise affect the brain?

Exercise may help keep your mind young. Studies with mice showed that mice that ran on a wheel daily had more newly formed neurons and memory enhancing connections in their brains than sedentary mice. Human studies on aging and exercise have found an association between physical activity and maintenance of cognitive ability in older people.

Do I need fat in my diet?

Don’t fight the fat when it comes to sports nutrition. Between 20% and 30% of your caloric intake in your sports nutrition diet should be fat to aid metabolic processes as well as for energy. Favor monounsaturated fats, which do not have the negative cardiovascular effects attributed to saturated fats.

Is it true that you should’t eat past a certain time of day (late at night) because this will cause you to gain weight?

One reason for your weight gain or loss is determined by the amount of calories you consume versus the amount your body uses. Take in more calories than you burn off and the excess calories will be stored primarily as body fat. Burn off more calories than you take in and you will lose body weight. The time of day the calories are consumed does not factor into this exchange. The problem with eating late at night is that it can disrupt your sleep and most people usually eat late at night for reasons other than hunger. The choices many people make when selecting a late meal or snack are not usually nutritionally sound. They are more emotionally driven or out of convenience. When deciding whether or not to eat a late night snack make sure your are actually hungry and that the choice you make is nutritionally sound. Light foods like green fruits, carrots and apples (polyphenols) make good snack choices. If you want to add some more muscle as well, go with slow release proteins that can feed your body throughout he night. If your metabolism is finely tuned, you can lose a few pounds while you sleep. I personally lose about 2 – 3 pounds overnight while I sleep.

What is the best diet pill or supplement on the market to help me lose weight?

There are no magic pills or supplements to help you lose body fat and keep it off. I absolutely do not recommend the use of any pills or supplements for weight loss. The way to lose body fat is to burn more fat and sugar based calories than you take in. This is done through well-planned exercise programs, proper nutrition, and portion control. Good nutrition includes lots of fiber, protein, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats. You need to limit the intake of highly saturated fats and refined sugars.

Drinking between 2.5 and 3.2 litres of water a day, why is it important?

Here are some facts about water:
Water plays a major role in preventing constipation. It encourages
bowel movement and softens the stools.
Water moves food?s nutrients through our bodies and ensures that
nutrients are available when we need them.
Water promotes healthy skin and hair.
Our kidney system depends on water to help it work properly. More
water is the first and foremost treatment when kidney stones occur.
Drinking sufficient amounts of water can help prevent them.
Athletes and coaches have long recognized that even mild
dehydration can produce cramps and encourage poor performance.
Dehydration can be avoided by monitoring your water intake. Both
mental and physical performance may be impaired with even mild
Water helps in regulating temperature and in balancing
Water carries oxygen through the body and is involved in billion of
chemical reactions that take place.
You simply can’t survive without it.

I am a bit overweight from my desk job. Two months ago I began strictly working out. I am stronger but my problem now is that despite strong abdominals from lots of crunches and lower body fat, I still haven’t lost my “love handles.” I have a very strict diet and I am keeping away from fatty foods. What can I do to lose these love handles?

Your problem is very common and so are the myths many people believe about losing body fat, especially when it comes to losing body fat off of specific areas.
You cannot “spot reduce” any area of your body. To lose body fat off of this area (your “love handles”) you must lose body fat. The areas where fat is deposited are genetically predetermined. Some people are predisposed to depositing excess fat on the buttocks and legs, some in the abdominal area, some on the sides, etc.
You can tighten the abdominal muscles beneath the body fat, but in order to see these muscles, you must eliminate the fat over them. Standard crunches
will work the muscles in the front abdominal area (rectus abdominis), but in order to tighten the muscles on the side area of the abdominals, exercises for the oblique abdominals must be done. Understand that even the best set of abdominals can be covered with body fat and therefore, not visible. Abdominal exercises will tighten your middle so that when you do lose your excess body fat you will have a nice, tight waistline that is exposed.
To lose excess body fat, do so through proper nutrition, portion control, and participation in regular, well-planned exercise. Remember that calories
do count and just cutting back on fatty foods will not necessarily result in the loss of body fat. The number one thing I do with my clients to help them with the mid-section is cut down on the carbohydrates especially refined carbs. With almost certainty, I can look at someone and tell if they are eating too many carbs and not enough protein or good fats. I have them keep a food journal log and then we evaluate how they are “really”eating.

Is it true that regular exercise helps reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches?

Medical research does show that regular exercise reduces the frequency and severity of migraines in those who experience these debilitating headaches. We have also found this to be true in the cases of some of our clients who have migraines. This is yet another great benefit of exercise!

Does your stomach really shrink as you eat less and less food?

No. Your stomach does not “shrink” if you do not eat much. This is a myth that is very pervasive, but untrue. What people likely feel that they think is the shrinking of their stomach is most likely the awareness that their stomach is full and that they do not need to eat beyond this fullness. It takes about twenty minutes for your brain to signal your stomach that it is full. Eating slowly will help prevent you from eating too much and eating beyond fullness.

Isn’t it true that your metabolism is in your genes and that if your parents were fat that you are destined to be fat?

This is actually false. Most of what makes us fat is due to our lifestyles, not genetics. If your parents were fat, you are at risk for being fat, but you are not destined to be fat. Most research finds that the reason fat parents have fat children is because they have, by example, taught their children to have poor eating habits and to be sedentary.
It is never too late to alter your destiny with good eating habits and a sound, well-planned exercise program.

What is polyunsaturated fat?

Polyunsaturated fat is a type of unsaturated fat. It is much better than saturated fat (which should be limited) but not quite as beneficial as mono unsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated fat lowers both the LDL (bad) and HDL (good,) cholesterol. Corn oil, sunflower seed oil, and safflower oil are polyunsaturated.

I know that protein is important part of a healthy diet but what exactly does protein do for our body?

It is important to have protein in our diets. People who eat a vegetarian diet use beans, soy, nuts, etc. to ensure an adequate protein intake in their diets. Protein is vital to our bodies. It aids in the growth and repair of all body tissues. Make sure that your diet includes an adequate intake of lean protein sources. To ensure your protein intake is adequate, the Food Guide Pyramid recommends two to three servings from the Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nut Group.

What is the best food to eat post-workout?

When you complete a workout, your muscles are literally starving for nutrients and foods that will provide energy and replenishment. The first thing your body requires is amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are used by your body for making muscles, hormones, bones, neurotransmitters, etc. Exercise depletes these amino acids (glutamine, leucine for example) and you replenish them by consuming protein centric foods within one hour after your workout. Different types of protein include fish, chicken, eggs, almonds, etc. The second food group you require are carbohydrates as the level of exercise will deplete your glycogen stores and energy reserves to get you through the workout. This sugar deficit can be restored by fruits, vegetables, whole grain foods, oatmeal, etc. Then end result is a balance of proteins for repair and muscle growth and carbohydrates for energy levels.

Why are squats so good for your legs and body in general?

We have been doing this exercise since we were infants and if you watch a toddler pick an object up, they tend to have better form than most adults. Squats have been a standard exercise in gyms for a long time and the reason is that it activates more than 200 muscles with the primary ones being the quads, glutes, hamstrings and core (abs, lower back). It also produces a testosterone rush that not only helps with leg development but also your upper body. Make them a staple of your program.

What is the difference between fruit sugar and refined sugar?

Fruits contain fructose and they have not been stripped of their nutrients which are so vital to your day to day productivity. Fruits are also slower digesting and do not cause a massive insulin spike like a refined product would. Refined sugar or sucrose have been completely devoid of nutrients and also cause a major insulin spike for a short period of time.

How much caffeine is good for you?

The truth is that a little caffeine does not hurt but rather it can provide a short term boost and level of alertness by stimulating the neurotransmitter dopamine (feel good). An acceptable level would be 180mg or less. The reason is that too much caffeine can over stimulate the Central Nervous System (CNS) and can cause anxiety, nervousness and digestive problems.

I can’t lose this belly fat, why not?

Lets cover some of the main reasons why. First and foremost is excessive carbohydrates and refined sugar. The Glycemic Index (GI) spike created when you eat these foods causing an insulin rush in which excess sugar is carried to the cells and stored as fat. These foods have no nutrients and are simply empty calories carried mostly around the waistline and glutes. The second reason is hormones and an imbalance in them. This could relate to an over active thyroid, inefficient insulin hormones, leptin irregularity, etc. There are various tests you can run to determine if the glands and corresponding hormones are in balance and functioning optimally. The third and final reason can be a parasite infection. It has been documented that up to 90% of people with abdominal pain or discomfort have a parasite infection. The scary part is that most clinical tests can only identify 15% of the total population of parasites out there. Many holistic practitioners can perform more thorough testing and screening.

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