5 Kitchen Rules to Eating Right

5 Kitchen Rules To Eating Right

1. Season To Taste: Just because a recipe lists out the amount of certain spices and seasonings doesn’t mean you have to abide by that. Your mouth is going to tell you what you like best. So experiment a little and season to your taste.
2. Utilize the advice of others: Have you ever talked to your butcher or produce manager at your grocery store. If you haven’t you should be. They know about the best cuts of meat, the freshest meats that have just arrived or the freshest produce. Particularly the butchers can also tell you how best to prepare a certain cut of meat or fish. Utilize their expertise to enhance your dinner plate.
3. Create your own recipes: Recipes or ingredients aren’t set in stone. If you have some extra mushrooms in the fridge or a red bell pepper throw it into a recipe you think it would fit into. Don’t let good food go to waste. If you don’t like a recipe that has chicken in it and you think it would taste good with beef then switch it out. You will be amazed at how many new recipes you can come up with by adding or swapping out various ingredients. Expand your options and start experimenting a little and you just might come up with something amazing!
4. Shop for the best: Be picky with the quality of fruit and vegetables you buy. Inspect them and don’t be afraid to ask the produce manager for the freshest product. A fresh piece of fruit or quality vegetable can make all the difference in the taste of a meal or dish.
Same goes for meat or fish. Grass fed meat costs more, but you get a much healthier piece of meat richer in Omega 3 fats. If healthier food leads to a healthier body then why wouldn’t you spend a few extra dollars on higher quality food.
5. Utilize your local farms: Since we are on the topic of quality generally if you buy from local farms you will get fresher produce or meat and it is likely to taste better also. Not to mention if you buy organic or buy right after it comes out of the field you get a food with more nutrients in it.

If you implement these 5 Kitchen Rules To Eating Right your food will taste better and you body will thank you.

4 Slimming Aids from the Supermarket


REAL Slimming Secrets from the Supermarket:
“The Top 4”

This “negative” can be very positive.
Most of us don’t just want to lose “weight”. We want to lose body fat. This is what really concerns us, cosmetically speaking, at least.

Body fat, referred to by scientists as adipose tissue, is the stuff that can hide shapely, defined muscles from view, make your bikini fit awkwardly (or not at all), put rolls on your belly, and so on. To lose body fat and prevent it from finding you again, you must burn more of it than you store. When you achieve this scientists say you are in negative fat balance, and it can be a very positive thing. Indeed, if you stay in negative fat balance long enough, then you will unquestionably lose body fat.

The supermarket is a great place to go for things that can increase body fat. But it’s also home to some of nature’s most powerful tools for helping you lose it. In this exclusive report we reveal 4 natural “slimming secrets” that can immediately increase your calorie-burning rate, the first and most critical step toward achieving a negative fat balance and fitting into your swimsuit properly again.

1. Coffee (caffeine)
While the proportions may shift from moment to moment, your body always burns a mixture of three fuels: carbohydrate, fat and protein. Thus, if you increase your overall calorie-burning rate (a.k.a. metabolic rate), it’s pretty much guaranteed that your fat-burning rate will go up, bringing you that much closer to the negative fat balance territory where real slimming occurs.

About 75% of the caffeine consumed in the United States comes from coffee, a product that no supermarket can be considered complete without. Caffeine is recognized worldwide for its ability to enhance alertness and performance. However, it also displays fast-acting calorie-burning properties. For instance, a study involving lean and overweight (obese) subjects reported that a single 100-mg dose of caffeine (equivalent to a little over 1 cup of coffee) was enough to raise their calorie-burning rate by up to 4% for 2.5 hours.

While a 4% increase may not seem like a big deal, it can turn into one. The scientists who conducted the study explain, “…if it is assumed that there is no compensatory increase in food intake, the increase [in calorie-burning rate] after caffeine would represent an energy deficit of 75-110 kcal/day. These changes may be small but over several months could accumulate and lead to substantial changes in body weight.”

But wait. Regular coffee drinkers know all too well that you can become tolerant to its energizing effects over time. Won’t the same thing happen here? Fortunately, evidence suggests that caffeine’s calorie-burning effects persist with repeated exposure. Case in point: The subjects in the above study were all mild to moderate consumers of caffeine, consuming anywhere from 250-500 mg per day, equivalent to ~3-6 cups of coffee. Yet they all enjoyed a calorie-burning boost from the relatively small dose given to them.

2. Hot Pepper (capsaicin)
The waiter places a delicious meal in front of you that includes a spicy curry sauce. You devour it. For the next 30 minutes your calorie-burning rate is cruises at 10% above baseline, equivalent to burning an additional 129 Calories per day, or 27% of the caloric value of the entire meal. Sounds too good to be true? This fictitious scenario became a reality at Kyoto University in Japan when scientists gave young women a 481-Calorie meal consisting of a yellow curry sauce containing 3 mg of capsaicin.

Capsaicin is the compound responsible for the sharp, and for some of us, intolerably painful, sensation produced by eating hot red peppers. It’s also to blame for the beads of sweat that appear on your forehead as you do so. Thus, it may come as no surprise to learn that deep inside the body capsaicin can increase your calorie-burning rate by stimulating a process known as thermogenesis. Thermogenesis essentially involves the release of calories in the form of heat. Once released, they can no longer be stored as body fat. In addition to increasing thermogenesis, capsaicin has been found to improve meal satiety (i.e. how full you feel after eating), thereby reducing your risk of overeating. In animal studies it has been reported to increase calorie-burning rate and reduce body fat.

Of course, the single most powerful way to increase your calorie-burning rate and get into negative fat balance is to exercise. Here, too, capsaicin may boost your slimming efforts. When scientists gave healthy subjects capsaicin an hour before performing low-intensity exercise (stationary cycling), they burned more fat. The increase was impressive enough that the scientists suggested capsaicin be used as an adjunctive therapy in the treatment of elevated blood lipid levels and/or obesity.

3. Cinnamon
Cinnamon often serves as a flavourful addition to carbohydrate-rich meals. How great is it, then, to learn that it may help “push” more of those carbohydrates into lean muscle and away from fat cells (adipose tissue)?

Most of the carbohydrate calories you eat are eventually converted into glucose (a.k.a. blood sugar). The hormone insulin helps direct glucose into your body’s cells, including muscle cells. The more sensitive your muscle cells are to insulin, the more efficiently they can scoop up glucose and store it for later use, such as providing your muscles with energy during exercise. All other things held constant, this leaves less glucose available for your fat cells, which might otherwise use it to make body fat.

Of the many plants studied to date, cinnamon has been reported to be among the most powerful in terms of its ability to enhance insulin sensitivity and keep blood glucose levels in check. When added to a carbohydrate-rich meal, it reduces the rise in blood glucose normally experienced afterwards. While the effects on insulin sensitivity may take a couple of weeks to manifest, the improvements in blood glucose control appear virtually immediately.

So cinnamon increases insulin sensitivity and improves blood glucose regulation. Great. However, does this mean it can help you lose body fat more quickly? In fact, this ancient spice might help you do more than that. Dr Richard Anderson (Ph.D.) at the US Department of Agriculture has conducted numerous studies on cinnamon. He says that if cinnamon is consumed long-term, it can enhance lean body mass (muscle) and reduce body fat, something he and his scientific colleagues demonstrated in a study performed in 2006.

4. Green Tea
White, green and black varieties of tea all contain caffeine (anywhere from ~14-61 mg per 6-8 oz serving). But it’s green tea that seems to get the most attention from scientists when it comes to burning fat. And its fat-burning effects are due to more than its caffeine content.

In one frequently cited study, healthy young men were given a green tea extract three times per day. Their 24-hour calorie-burning rate was 3.5% higher than that of subjects taking a placebo. This was equivalent to burning an additional 200 Calories per day -more than enough to eventually produce substantial weight loss and reductions in body fat.

Not only did green tea cause the subjects to burn more calories, but a larger proportion of the calories burned were determined by the scientists to have come from fat. That is, green tea was pushing them closer towards negative fat balance territory, if not pushing them right into it. Based on the scientists’ comments (they used the term “remarkable” to describe green tea’s effects), they seemed to be quite impressed. Indeed, green tea’s thermogenic effects in this study were as powerful as much larger doses of caffeine.

4 Great Tips to Prevent Overeating

4 Great Tips To Prevent Overeating At Any Meal

I talk a lot about eating the proper nutrients
Eating more protein…
Eating much less processed carbs…
Staying away from sugar…

And all those things are important.

But these 4 tips are really, really simple and very, very powerful.
Eating fewer calories is going to go a long way in helping you keep the fat off.

I especially love tip #4

Top tips to avoid overeating:

1) Drink a full glass of water before your meal

2) Serve yourself on a side plate instead of dinner plate to control portions

3) Wait 20 minutes before getting seconds.

4) Use a blue colored plate
(blue decreases appetite, red and yellow increase it)

jax allen fitness solutions uk 081210 ©

3 Rebel Tips for Fat Loss

3 Rebel Tips for Fat Loss

Einstein, Mozart, and Picasso were all rebels. Not that I’m putting myself
into their category of genius … but I love their approach to
life problems and reaching goals, revolutionary thought or lateral thinking.


This life it too short for anything less than being bold.

That means taking some risks here and there.
That means taking action while the others are content to sit on the couch being the same person they were yesterday.

And the day before…

And the month before…

And even the year before. Just like a haircut that has been the same since you were at school… its very easy to decide not to change.

Do you want to live your years like that?
Or do you want to dive into life?
Be the greatest “you” possible?

Then be a bit of a rebel.

Here’s some “rebel tips” for fatloss I think you’ll enjoy…

Flip The Food Pyramid Upside-down

The Food Pyramid is joke

Just think about this for a moment:

It suggests you to eat MORE starch than vegetables?
More bread than fruits, lean meats, and hormone-producing fats?


It makes more sense to turn it upside down….

It would look roughly like this:

40% of your cals from healthy fats
30% of your cals from protein
30% of your cals from carbs

Sounds… rebellious, right? Well it is.

Too bad we have the science to back it up.

Slow Cardio Is Not Smart

At least the way the so-called “experts” want you to do it.

Walk into any gym…take a look at the people who only do cardio work for 45-60 minutes every day.

Do they look any different from year to year?

NO. They do not.

Cardio (unless you are into endurance sports) is a waste of energy done this

First, it increases your carbohydrate cravings. For most people that’s not
a good thing.
Why? Because cardio at this pace burns mostly SUGAR, not bodyfat.

What do you want to burn?


Finally, slow, steady state cardio is much less efficient than resistance training at
dissolving bodyfat… and not even CLOSE to resistance training when
it comes to shaping lean muscle and getting the look all cardio bunnies
are chasing.

3 Hard but short metabolic cardio sessions with me each week.
That’s it. And you get ALL the benefits heart-wise of long-session cardio.

Combine that with some brisk, regenerative walking once or twice each week.

Train like this just 3-5 days a week and you can kiss boring cardio goodbye.

Do Not Overwork Your Abs

Here’s a mistake I see most people make in the gym: They do endless sets of
crunches, leg raises, and sit-ups… all geared toward seeing the toned abs they want.

Guess what? It turns out to be a waste of time.

In fact, it’s worse than that… it can shut down your recovery ability. You’ll slow your progress … and your fat-burning too.

And you may give up your plan entirely because of it.

Here’s the brutal truth: Ab ‘muscles’ are easy to build. It only takes about 3
minutes 2-3 times a week… that’s it. You may have noticed the changes I’ve made to the Core training we do in sessions this year. Lots more planks, bridges and mini ball work.

The muscles are not what make your stomach flatter… it’s the nutrition plan

You’re just building muscle underneath layers of bodyfat… shame!

I do very little direct ab training. When I do it’s usually 3-5 minutes tops 2
days a week. I do core stability and core strength together with back mobility (Pilates Style) work. My abs are… better than they’ve ever been in over 25 years of training.

Be a Rebel Too !

Jax 24/3/11©

4 Staples for Your Cupboards

100 Club
Staples for your Cabinets:
· TEA Various antioxidant-rich teas – green, oolong, white, rooibos (red bush) are some of the healthiest.
· OATS Oat bran and steel cut oats – higher fibre than those little packs of instant oats, which are typically loaded with sugar. If I’m trying to reduce body fat and get extra lean, I make most of my breakfasts based on eggs and veggies.
· OILS The only healthy oils I have in my cabinets are virgin coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. Macadamia oil may also be a reasonable choice as long as it’s not “refined”. But other than that, all “vegetable oils” (which is usually soy and corn oil) are total junk and very inflammatory. Never use soy or corn oils! Also, always avoid canola oil, it is not a healthy choice.
· COCONUT MILK Cans of coconut milk (loaded with healthy saturated MCT fats) – to be transferred to a container in the fridge after opening.
· RICE Brown rice and other higher fibre rice – NEVER white rice
· TOMATO SAUCES Tomato sauces – delicious, and as I’m sure you’ve heard a million times, they are a great source of lycopene. Just watch out for the brands that are loaded with nasty high fructose corn syrup. You also want to make sure that the tomato sauce is made with olive oil instead of unhealthy soybean oil or canola oils. Also get tomato sauces in glass jars instead of cans, as canned tomatoes can be high in the dangerous chemical, bisphenol-A (BPA) due to the acidic leaching of BPA from the can lining.
· SWEETENERS Stevia – a natural non-caloric sweetener, which is an excellent alternative to the nasty chemical-laden artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharine, and sucralose.
· HONEY Raw honey – better than processed honey… higher quantities of beneficial nutrients and enzymes. Honey has even been proven in studies to improve glucose metabolism (your efficiency in processing carbohydrates). I use a small teaspoon every morning in my teas. Yes, I know that even honey is pure sugar, but at least it has some nutritional benefits… and let’s be real, a teaspoon of healthier raw honey is only 5 grams of carbs… certainly nothing to worry about, and a better choice than refined sugar.
· Organic REAL maple syrup – none of that high fructose corn syrup crap…only real maple syrup can be considered real food. The only time I really use this (because of the high sugar load) is added to my post-workout smoothies to sweeten things up and also elicit an insulin surge to push nutrients into your muscles to aid muscle recovery.
· Organic unsweetened cocoa powder – I like to mix this into my smoothies for an extra jolt of antioxidants or make my own low-sugar hot cocoa by mixing cocoa powder into hot milk with stevia and a couple melted dark chocolate chunks (what a delicious treat!!).
· Cans of black or kidney beans – I like to add a couple scoops to Mexican dishes for the fibre and high nutrition content. Also, beans are surprisingly one of the best sources of youth enhancing antioxidants! Did you know that black beans and kidney beans have more antioxidants than blueberries…it’s true!
· Dark chocolate (as dark as possible – ideally more than 70-75% cocoa content) – This is one of my treats that satisfies my sweet tooth, plus provides loads of antioxidants at the same time. It’s still calorie dense, so I keep it to just 1-2 small squares after a meal… but that is enough to do the trick, so I don’t feel like I need to go out and get cake and ice cream to satisfy my dessert urges.
https://jaxallenfitness.wordpress.com info@fitnesssolutionsuk.com

3 Staples for Your Freezer

100 Club
Some Staples for the Freezer:
· Frozen berries – during the local growing season, Get fresh berries, but during the other months of the year keep a supply of frozen blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, etc. to add to high fibre cereal, oatmeal, cottage cheese, yogurt, or smoothies
· Frozen fish – Try a different kind of fish each week. There are so many varieties out there, you never have to be bored. Just make sure to ALWAYS choose wild fish instead of farmed versions, as the omega-3 to omega-6 balance is MUCH healthier in wild fish.
· Frozen chicken breasts – very convenient for a quick addition to wraps or chicken sandwiches for quick meals. Organic if you can but always Free Range.
· Grass-fed steaks, burgers, and ground beef: Grass-fed meats have been shown to have as high as, or even higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than salmon (without the mercury). Also, grass-fed meats have much higher levels of fat-burning and muscle-building conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) compared to typical grain-fed beef that you’ll find at your grocery store
· Frozen game – buffalo, ostrich, venison, and other “exotic” lean meats – These are some of the healthiest meats around, and if you’re serious about a lean healthy body, these types of meats are much better for you than mass produced, hormone-pumped beef, chicken, and pork that’s sold at most stores.
· Frozen veggies – when the growing season is over and you can no longer get local fresh produce, frozen veggies are the best option, since they often have higher nutrient contents compared to the fresh produce that has been shipped thousands of miles, sitting around for weeks before making it to your dinner table. Choose fresh frozen.

5 Staples for Your Larder

100 Club
Some Staples for the Freezer:
· Frozen berries – during the local growing season, Get fresh berries, but during the other months of the year keep a supply of frozen blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, etc. to add to high fibre cereal, oatmeal, cottage cheese, yogurt, or smoothies
· Frozen fish – Try a different kind of fish each week. There are so many varieties out there, you never have to be bored. Just make sure to ALWAYS choose wild fish instead of farmed versions, as the omega-3 to omega-6 balance is MUCH healthier in wild fish.
· Frozen chicken breasts – very convenient for a quick addition to wraps or chicken sandwiches for quick meals. Organic if you can but always Free Range.
· Grass-fed steaks, burgers, and ground beef: Grass-fed meats have been shown to have as high as, or even higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than salmon (without the mercury). Also, grass-fed meats have much higher levels of fat-burning and muscle-building conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) compared to typical grain-fed beef that you’ll find at your grocery store. I recently found an excellent on-line store where I buy all of my grass-fed meats now (they even deliver right to your door in a sealed cooler) – http://www.healthygrassfed.2ya.com
· Frozen buffalo, ostrich, venison, and other “exotic” lean meats – Yeah, I know…I’m weird, but I can tell you that these are some of the healthiest meats around, and if you’re serious about a lean healthy body, these types of meats are much better for you than the mass produced, hormone-pumped beef, chicken, and pork that’s sold at most grocery stores.
· Frozen veggies – again, when the growing season is over and I can no longer get local fresh produce, frozen veggies are the best option, since they often have higher nutrient contents compared to the fresh produce that has been shipped thousands of miles, sitting around for weeks before making it to your dinner table.

2 Staple Foods for Your Fridge

100 Club
2 Staple Foods for the Fridge:
· NUTS Walnuts, pecans, almonds – delicious and great sources of healthy fats. Try to get raw nuts if possible as the roasting process can oxidize some of the polyunsaturated fats in some types of nuts making those damaged fats slightly more inflammatory. Overall, nuts are still healthy even if they are roasted, but raw nuts are optimal.
· DAIRY Cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, and yogurt (grass-fed and organic if possible) – Mix cottage or ricotta cheese and yogurt together with chopped nuts and berries for a great mid-morning or mid-afternoon meal.
· SEEDS Chia seeds and/or hemp seeds – I add these highly nutritious seeds to yogurt, smoothies, or salads for a great nutty taste and loads of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins and minerals. Don’t use pre-ground versions of these seeds as the omega-3 polyunsaturated fats are highly unstable and prone to oxidation, creating high levels of free radicals. No grinding is necessary to properly digest these seeds.
· EGGS Whole eggs – one of nature’s richest sources of nutrients (and remember, they increase your GOOD cholesterol so stop fearing them).
· SALSA – Be creative and try some of the exotic varieties of salsas.
· Avocados – love them…plus a great source of healthy fats, fibre, and other nutrients. Add them to wraps, salads, or sandwiches.
· BUTTER – don’t believe the naysayers; butter adds great flavour to anything and CAN be part of a healthy diet… just keep the quantity small because it is calorie dense… and NEVER use margarine, unless you want to assure yourself a heart attack. Most important — choose organic butter only, since pesticides and other harmful chemicals accumulate in the fat of the milk which is used for butter. Also, choose grass-fed (pastured) butter if you can find it as it will contain higher levels of healthful omega-3 fats and the fat-burning conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
· NUT BUTTERS – Plain old peanut butter is estrogenic and if your fat stores are stimulated this way – avoid peanuts and their bi-products. Be creative and mix together almond butter with pecan butter, or even cashew butter with macadamia butter…delicious and unbeatable nutrition! Using a variety of nut butters gives you a broader range of vitamins and minerals and other micronutrients, and gives you variety instead of boring old peanut butter all the time.
· SALAD Leaf lettuce and spinach along with shredded carrots – for salads with dinner. Don’t bother eating Ice berg lettuce it has little or no nutrient value.
· DRESSINGS Home-made salad dressing – using balsamic vinegar, spices, extra virgin olive oil. This is much better than store bought salad dressing which usually use highly refined canola or soybean oil (canola and soybean oil are both very inflammatory in the body). Learn more over at the blog.
· Sprouted grain bread for occasional use — My personal belief from years of nutrition research is that we’re not really meant to consume the massive quantities of grains (not even whole grains) that we do in this day and age… a small amount may be okay, but our digestive systems are still primarily adapted to a hunter/gatherer type of diet with only a very small amount of grains, therefore try to only have breads and other grain-based foods on cheat days/ meals.
· Rice bran – If we’re going to have some grain-based food, we might as well have the most nutrient dense part, and rice bran is one of those parts, since it includes the germ of brown rice too. Rice bran is loaded with vitamins and minerals but without the large amount of starch calories that rice has… and it actually adds a nice little nutty, crunchy taste to yoghurt or smoothies, or can be added when baking to add nutrients and fibre to the recipe.

So – What Foods Should I Buy?

100 Club Basics
1 What foods should I buy?

Remember, if you don’t have junk in the house, you can’t eat it!
If all you have is healthy nutritious foods around the house, you’re forced to make smart choices. Basically, it all starts with buying the right foods to avoid temptation when you do your food shop. Now these are just some of my personal preferences, but perhaps they will give you some good ideas that you’ll enjoy too.
Some of these will be obvious healthy choices, such as fruits and veggies… however, others on these page I think will surprise you!
Let’s start with the fridge. Each week, try to make sure you’ve loaded up with lots of varieties of fresh vegetables. During the growing season, try only to buy local produce, but obviously in winter, resort to the produce at the grocery store. Make sure you have plenty of vegetables like onions, courgettes, spinach, fresh mushrooms, red peppers, broccoli, etc. to use in morning eggs. Or chop up some lean chicken or turkey, along with some hard or goat cheeses (preferably organic grass-fed when you can find them).
By the way we’re talking about whole eggs, NOT egg whites. Always remember that the yolk is the most nutritious and nutrient dense part of the egg, so only eating egg whites is like throwing away the best part… and no, it’s NOT bad for you because of the cholesterol… whole eggs actually raise your GOOD cholesterol. Try to get free range organic eggs for the best quality.
Coconut milk is another fridge staple. Use it to mix in with smoothies, or yoghurt. Coconut milk adds a rich, creamy taste to lots of dishes, but it’s also full of healthy saturated fats. Yes, you heard right… I said healthy saturated fats! …Healthy saturated fats contain lauric acid, which is vitally important for your immune system.
If the idea of healthy saturated fats is foreign to you, you need to discover the role of fats in your diet. In the 80’s fats were painted as the ‘bad guy’ in weight control. You may still be following a ‘low’ fat diet… you may still think that th low fat is is a healthy choice? That belief may be why you are STILL o a diet!!

Avoid these Weight Relapse Mistakes

Avoid these weight relapse mistakes
One piece of good news is that the reasons for weight re-gain are not a mystery. We know why weight regain happens and it’s not difficult to predict. Weight relapsers have been studied in great depth and their behaviours are quite distinct from maintainers. Take a look at which regainer behaviours you engaging in and then avoid these mistakes in the future, you can avoid relapse right from the source of the problem.
Relapse mistake #1: Choosing the wrong diet to lose the weight.
Maintenance begins with choosing the right nutrition program during the fat loss phase. The first mistake that leads to relapse is following a fad diet or any diet so extreme or restrictive that it triggers binging or is simply too difficult to stay on for long. This includes not only the eating plan itself, but also any other weight loss methods, such as supplements or drugs.
One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that far more relapsers had lost weight by fasting or taking appetite suppressant pills than maintainers. Apparently the fasting helped take some weight off and the pills helped curb hunger, but neither helped keep the weight off.
Relapse mistake #2: Unrealistic Deadlines.
Many authorities say that unrealistic weight goals are one of the biggest causes of failure and relapse. There’s truth in that, but provided that body composition is kept in mind, I think the real problem is unrealistic deadlines, more so than unrealistic goals.
Most people sell themselves short and don’t set their fitness standards high enough. Puny goals and low standards are set for one main reason: fear. By setting low standards, you don’t risk disappointment. You can play it safe if you choose, but if you do, that’s the same as accepting mediocrity. We all have genetic constraints and we can’t change our inherent body structures, but as long your goals aren’t so outlandish that they’re merely wishful thinking, I believe you should set big, ambitious goals. You simply have to be smart about choosing deadlines.
To calculate the time frame, divide your amount of weight loss desired by the ideal weekly weight loss target of two pounds per week. If you want to drop 30 pounds, at two pounds per week, that’s 15 weeks. If you factor in some water weight loss or above average fat loss, you might get there in 12 weeks. But if your goal is 30 pounds in 30 days, you’d better think twice about that deadline. Even if you met that deadline by dropping large amounts of water and lean tissue, it would have been counterproductive because there’s a direct correlation between speed of weight loss and relapse.
Relapse mistake #3: Abruptly stopping a nutrition or exercise program.
J was a 40+ mother of two, working in the UK. I remember her well because she experienced some of the best results I have ever seen. Her motivation was driven to an all time high by a planned trip to visit her family and rebuild her life again. She hired me to train her in Bootcamp, help her with her diet and monitor her progress. She did EVERYTHING I asked…
If you looked up “motivated’ in the dictionary, you would see a picture of J. She trained her butt off every day and got leaner every week, shedding a total of 4 dress sizes without losing any lean body mass. At the end of the 12 weeks, she took her “after” photos in the best shape of her life. The last day I measured her body fat, her jeans were almost falling off her as she was literally jumping up and down for joy. She left for her trip wither new confidence and new wardrobe.
Then the strangest thing happened. She stopped training and dropped out of the gym overnight. I figured she had stayed abroad and was busy rebuilding her life with her family.
Months later I heard that she had returned to the UK – she was heavier than before and very depressed about it. J had not thought or planned a day beyond her 12 week goal, so when the contest ended, her reason to continue had ended.
She took for granted that the physique she developed from 12 weeks of serious effort could not be maintained without continued effort. You’d think this would be common sense, but research says otherwise. One study on long term maintenance sponsored by the Kaiser Permanente HMO organization said that the relapsers seemed to assume that their lost weight was “permanently gone” and they were surprised when they found themselves heavy again.
Relapse mistake #4: Returning to your previous caloric maintenance level without increasing activity.
After a large weight loss, your calorie maintenance level is lower than it was when you started. With a 50 pound weight loss for example, an average guy will have a maintenance level about 400 calories lower than when he started his fat loss phase. Do you see the conundrum? If he goes back to his old maintenance level, and all else remains equal, he is guaranteed to regain the weight. The math equation has changed!
Even if you’re aware of this potential pitfall, permanently reducing your calories to accommodate your new energy requirements is one of those “easier said than done” propositions. If you become accustomed to eating a certain volume of food for years or even for an entire lifetime, it’s not always an easy adjustment to make. You have two choices. One, you can get used to eating less than you did before your weight loss. Two, you can get used to exercising more. Ideally, you’ll do a little bit of both and that will make life easiest.
This reduction in calorie needs after weight loss explains why increasing exercise has always been the single most cited success strategy for long term weight maintenance. The increased activity offsets the lower maintenance level and it’s easier for most people to stay active than it is for them to eat less than they were previously used to.
Relapse mistake #5: All or Nothing thinking.
Relapsers see situations in black or white terms without shades of gray. For example, they insist they have no time to train, rather than making efficient use of what little time they have. They’re either on the program completely or off completely. If they have one bad meal, they feel as if their entire week has been completely ruined. If they miss a deadline, instead of just pushing back the date, they think they blew an entire 12 weeks.
Relapsers also have very rigid ideas of what success means. For example, they might define success as weighing 125 pounds and anything other than 125 pounds is seen as a failure. Fitness is not a win or lose, pass or fail situation. Fitness is a journey of learning and self improvement. All or none thinking creates unnecessary stress and doesn’t allow you to give yourself credit for what you did right or to learn from your experiences. Cut yourself some slack and avoid this mistake in thinking at all costs.

Relapse mistake #6: Perpetual dissatisfaction with body weight and shape.
Relapsers express great dissatisfaction with their new body weight and body shape, even when they’ve made huge strides in progress. They tend to make comparisons of themselves to others and when taken to an extreme, this turns into perfectionism where no achievement ever seems good enough. Relapsers also tend to make judgments about themselves as a person based on strictly on their physical attributes.
The pursuit of constant improvement is clearly a virtue. Some of the healthiest and fittest people in the world credit their success to never becoming complacent and always striving for better results. This seems to be in conflict with body dissatisfaction as a cause of relapse. We can reconcile this paradox by understanding that you can strive for continuous improvement while also liking yourself at every step along the way — it’s not one or the other.
It’s also important to get very clear about how far you want to take your physical development and how much time and effort you’re willing to invest. Not everyone wants or needs the washboard abs of a figure model.
Use 80:20 rule. Suppose you can get 80% of the way to what you consider your physical ideal with a fairly modest investment of time and effort. To capture the next 10% takes more effort than the first 80%, and the final 10% takes a monumental full time effort. How far to you want to go and how much are you willing to pay?
Relapse Mistake #7: Poor coping and stress management skills.
High levels of stress, unexpected life events and negative emotions can all lead to weight regain if you don’t have strong coping mechanisms to deal with them. Maintainers experience the same non-health stresses that relapsers do: financial difficulties, family issues and work stress. The difference is, relapsers use food to distract themselves or escape from bad feelings rather than confront their problems head on and develop alternate coping mechanisms.
Women need to be more on guard then men. According to the Styles survey, which was conducted to identify characteristics of weight maintainers, more men (35.5%) were successful at maintenance than women (27.7%). The most likely reason for this difference is women are usually susceptible to emotional eating.
Regardless of your gender, to maintain your weight, you have to continue reminding yourself that food is for fuel, for nourishment and body-building material, not for coping with stress. If you haven’t mastered stress management and developed good coping skills during the fat loss phase, then even if you manage to reach your weight goal, it will be a struggle to maintain it.

Jax © 3/4/11