Know Your Zone

After working out with a heart rate monitor, I will NEVER go without. This tool is one of the most important, yet simple devices I have found when it comes to exercise. Not only does it help gauge your intensity, but it also can tell you how many calories you have burned. This information is useful because it is important to workout at the proper intensity and makes weight loss a simple math equation. Calories are simply energy or fuel for the body. If you want to lose weight, the goal is to eat less than you need to maintain your current body mass.

We are a detail orientated society, yet so many people choose to exercise blindly. If you keep a food log and use a heart rate monitor you will be able to tell with accuracy your calories in vs. calories out. Doesn’t seem hard, right? Take this advice to heart. Get one today, strap it on and prepare to be amazed!

Recommended brand: Polar (www.polarusa.com)

Recommended Model: FT4

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The Dreaded Scale

The scale… sometimes its our worst enemy, others times its our best friend. Before you let your routine weigh in get the best of you and control your entire day, I think its important to separate fact from fiction. With a history of striking people with despair, the scale has been causing folks to give up on themselves since it was invented in 1874. We all have been personally affected by the scale at one time or another. Years ago while in my prime, competing in soccer at the college level I saw my weight constantly fluctuate 2 pounds or more in a day! All I did was practice, compete, lift and run like it was going out of style, this depressing news would baffle me every time. After some research here is what I found:

The body can hold up to 15 pounds of extra water and waste depending on any number of variables. Changes in food habits, increases in exercise, not drinking enough water, lack of sleep, sodium intake, women’s cycles, medications, illnesses, etc… Things all started to make sense.

This is the important thing to remember:
We have to eat 7,000 calories over our natural metabolism to gain 2 real pounds of stored fat, AND we have to burn 7,000 calories over our natural metabolism to lose 2 real pounds of stored fat. If you are 176 lbs at the first weigh in and the next day you are at 171, that is almost all going to be attributed to water and waste release, AND if you are 178 the next day the same principle applies. The scale is just an indicator. Make sure you are taking into account other factors as such as how your jeans fit, your body fat percentages, and what you are putting in your mouth.

Considering the facts, there are some tips I would recommend. First, don’t weight in everyday. Pick one day a week and weigh in on your specified day. If you can weight in around the same time each day it is also advised for maximum accuracy because your body hydration levels and weight fluctuates as the day progresses. Second, use body fat as the prime indicator for results. Body fat is a best choice when it comes to indicating health and progress than weight, any time of the day!

DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THE SCALE. Understand the science and set yourself free!