Friday, August 14, 2009

"Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin" - ...Sans Proper Diet!

TIME Magazine recently published a very controversial article on the effects of exercise on weight loss.

The article was called “Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin” (to read the article in full:,8599,1914857-1,00.html)

Not exactly a sweeping promotion for fitness!

Though there were a lot of things within the article that I found misleading or flat out incorrect, the article does bring to light some very important concepts that are critical for the general population to understand:

1.) Exercise WILL make you hungrier

There is no question here. Exercise, especially intensive exercise, ramps up metabolism and our body’s natural response to energy expenditure (calories burnt from activity) is to increase energy consumption (food intake).
However, being hungrier from exercise is not the culprit- choosing the wrong type of food following exercise is!

In other words, if our diets focus on lots of lean protein, healthy fats, and high-fiber fruits and veggies every 2-4 hours, then we will be able to squash our exercise-induced hunger and build muscle and burn fat from exercise like we intend to. These foods are proven to promote optimal health, performance, and body composition.

However, if you are are a carb addict (think lots of refined grains and sugars), exercise will only make you crave more carbs leading to intense feelings of insatiability throughout the day due to unstable blood sugar levels. Make no mistake about it- in this case, exercise will not only cause you to NOT lose weight, but most likely will cause weight gain.

Here’s the line we tell most people who come to us to lose weight for them to understand they key to the success they crave:

“If you want to bulk up, add size, and gain weight, be sure to eat plenty of starches and sugars. But if you want to be lean and muscular, swap the starches and sugars for high fiber fruits and vegetables, with a special emphasis on green veggies.”

It’s really that simple, which brings us to point #2…

2.) Exercise sans proper nutrition WILL NOT cause significant weight loss

Nutrition is without a doubt 80-90+% of the equation when it comes to weight management. Hormones govern fat loss and both exercise and nutrition impact your body’s hormone levels- positively or negatively depending on what type of exercise and diet plan you follow.

However, you can never wipe out poor nutritional habits with exercise- NEVER! In terms of diet, the hormone we must be most concerned about is insulin, a storage hormone that’s released in large amounts when consuming refined starches and sugars.

Not matter how hard you workout, if you are releasing insulin through the day with a high carb diet, you will be helpless to its fat-storing effects.

On the other hand, lean proteins, healthy fats, and high-fiber fruits and veggies do not significantly impact your insulin levels thus allowing you to preferentially burn fat and build muscle in conjunction with the right exercise plan, which brings me to point#3…

3.) Not all exercise is created equal

The aforementioned article failed to distinguish between different forms of exercise. It misleadingly uses the word “exercise” to refer to aerobic activity or any form of exercise of low to moderate intensity.

Well, we already know that aerobic training has zero effect on fat loss over dieting alone- many studies support this.

So this article should not be using aerobics as the marker for “exercise” and it’s impact on weight loss… it’s like taking a dull knife to a gun fight!

Furthermore, we know that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) burns 9x more fat than ordinary exercise (aerobic training) and actually builds lean muscle and elevates metabolism for up to 24-48 post-workout (please reference our most recent blog posts for a ton of interval workouts that fit the bill here)

In conclusion, study after study proves that when it comes to exercise for fat loss:


So this TIME magazine article missed the ball on the big picture here: When it comes to being lean, muscular, and healthy, the key is an integrated and research based diet AND exercise regimen- exercise alone simply doesn’t cut it!

PS- What are your thoughts about this article? Does this hurt or help the weight loss cause? Please share your mind by making a comment to this blog post below, thanks!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Locally Grown/Raised...Grassfed...These Things Just Taste Better?!

If you were in Denver this weekend, you know that Saturday morning was an amazing 70 something degrees, sunny, idyllic. The perfect kind of day to be outside, for sure. Some bootcampers may have headed on over to the Local Farmer’s Market to do some research...and of course buy a few items not currently available in our garden;-) There were vendors hocking their sauces, veggies, meats, pottery – Some vendors may have been demonstrating a culinary cooking utensils, etc. There is nothing quite like getting out and going to see what’s local and in season – with the "people watching" which provids added entertainment.

Anyhoo, onto the point of this blog. The place was hopping at 9am, with vendors passing out samples of homemade bacon, locally grown organic tomatoes, and of course the bread people were there, with the longest line, passing out their samples too.

Why are we such proponents of grass fed meats? Well, in case you don’t remember, check out these links: Grassfed basics, you are what your animals eat, choose grassfed! And YES, we are realists, and know darn well it’s not always available or accessible or even affordable to go grassfed, in which case just do the best you can.

Now the BEST part?

If you have not heard the buzz on the street about the incredible new fruits and veggie mart let us be the first. It's called Blazer Street market, located at 15550 E. 6th Avenue, Aurora CO 80011. Located off of 6th and Chambers in the old Cub Foods store. One bootcamper states, "I was able to purchase 27 of our Fathers most divine earthly pleasures for under $25.00: The juiciest of juicy heart shape black cherries only $.99 a pound...gtfoh!!! 3 pink lady apples for $1.00, WHAT! And 2 bunches of spinach for $1.00, mustard greens for $.69 a bundle....SHUT UP! So check it out my fine friends in fitness. It's only open from Thursday to Sunday, 10am to 8pm-it's what's up!!!"

Next weekend we strongly encourage you to go check out these Farmer's Markets - the assortment of locally grown veggies they have available this time of year is fantastic (that is of course if you aren't harvesting such things from your own garden source!)...

PS - There are markets all over the metro Denver area. (i.e. near Cherry Creek Mall, Tiffany Plaza Parking Lot.) If you know of more locations, list them in the comments section of the blog for all to enjoy!