Martial Arts for Life

On A Quest To Be The Best!

A Simple Plan: Control Your Calories!

A Simple Plan…

According to The Calorie Control Council (www.caloriecontrol.org) the average woman, who has a moderate level of physical activity needs an estimated 2,160 calories each day to maintain her weight. The average man (assuming the same level of physical activity) requires about 2,349 calories. Remember, this is for weight maintenance, not weight loss. Research by the Department of Agriculture tells us that the average American consumes around 2,700 calories per day. Consuming an extra 350 and 540 calories each day is one reason why many folks are deemed overweight.

Most health care professionals recommend gradual weight loss (up to one pound per week) for the best long term results. In order to lose one pound, a person must burn 3,500 calories more than are consumed (500 calories per day over the course of a week). This can be accomplished each day by eliminating 500 calories, burning an additional 500 calories or any combination of the two. For example, one could reduce calories by 300 per day and increase daily activity in order to burn 200 additional calories per day which adds up to the 500 necessary calories.

This is definitely not rocket science; however in my experience most folks grossly under-estimate the amount of calories in the foods they consume and at the same time over-estimate the amount of calories burned by physical activity.

Let’s start with the caloric value of some common snacks and drinks*:

Breakfast items:

(1) glazed doughnut: 350 calories

(1) plain 3 oz. bagel with cream cheese: 450 calories

(1) bacon, egg & cheese biscuit sandwich: 430 calories

(1) 12 oz. (tall) blended mocha cappuccino drink: 208 calories

(2) pancakes with butter & syrup: 520 calories

Beverages:

(1) 12 oz. can of cola: 150 calories

(1) 12 oz. serving of whole milk: 220 calories

(1) 12 oz. energy drink: 160 calories

(1) 12 oz. bottle of sweetened tea: 129 calories

Snacks

(3) Pre-packaged chocolate chip cookies: 160 calories

(4) chocolate / vanilla sandwich cookies: 180 calories

(1) average size candy bar: 275 to 450 calories

(12) potato chips: 160 calories

(1) cup of chocolate soft serve ice cream: 300 calories

*Caloric values courtesy of WebMD, Food-o-meter, fitwatch.com, livestrong.com, & calorieking.com

By the way, if you consume mixed drinks you should be aware of the extremely high caloric value of most of cocktails. A study by Forbes revealed the following cocktails as some of the most fattening: Long Island iced tea (780 calories), margarita (740 calories), pina colada (644 calories), gin/vodka & tonic (200 calories).

“Ok, no problem, I’ll just exercise a bit more to burn off those additional calories,” you say. Not so fast, my friend!

Here is a list of the average calories burned for physical activities (assuming a 150 lb. person). For accurate calories burned specific to your body weight use the free calculator at Healthstatus.com:

30 minutes of high impact aerobics: 238 calories burned

30 minutes of walking (3 mph pace): 148 calories burned

30 minutes of yoga: 297 calories

30 minutes of running (6 mph): 342 calories

30 minutes of vigorous weightlifting: 207 calories

30 minutes of cycling (12 to 14 mph): 297 calories

30 minutes of spinning (moderate): 238 calories

You can see it’s going to take about 30 minutes of walking just to burn off the can of soda you drank with lunch! The better option is to have a bottle of water and eliminate the calories from your diet rather than trying to burn them off every day.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, healthy adults should participate in 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activities each week.  So, assuming you spend 150 minutes each week running, you will burn 1,710 calories. Remember, we need to subtract or burn off an additional 3,500 calories to lose one pound. This means the other 1,790 calories must come from eliminating calories from your diet (around 255 calories per day).

If you spend 150 minutes each week walking at a brisk pace, you will burn 740 calories. Simple math tells us that you now need to eliminate another 2,760 calories from your diet that week to lose one pound!

There is a very small percentage of the population that exercises enough to burn an additional 3,500 calories each week. A healthy sustainable diet is always going to trump exercise when it comes to weight loss. You simply cannot gain weight from calories that you don’t eat! Exercise is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, however you cannot out train bad nutrition.

A Simple Plan

Many people can eliminate over 500 calories by simply adjusting their beverage consumption. For example if you consume:

Breakfast: medium café latte with whole milk (265 calories)

Lunchtime: 20 oz. bottle of non-diet cola (240 calories)

Dinner: 1 bottle of sweetened lemon iced tea (180 calories)

Assuming no other beverages, you are consuming 685 calories each day without eating any solid food!

By substituting a small café latte with fat free milk (125 calories) for breakfast and drinking water with lemon or seltzer water for lunch and dinner you can eliminate 560 calories from your diet each day (more than enough to drop one pound per week). Alternatively, you can run for 30 minutes and follow that up with 30 minutes of vigorous weightlifting every day to burn around the same amount of calories. Which seems easier and more doable to you?

Eliminating just one fast food meal per week can easily eliminate several hundred calories from your weekly total! A recent article by Jeannine Stein of the L.A. times indicates that over 34% of the people that eat at fast food restaurants order combo meals that average 1,000 calories of more!

Eat a little smarter, don’t drink your calories, exercise a little bit of self discipline and you will be well on your way to shedding a few unwanted pounds.

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

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June 25, 2012 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Drink More Water!

Courtesy of Coach Bronek of Extreme Fitness Bootcamps London.

Most people don’t get enough water. Though inadequate water intake doesn’t always present with obvious symptoms, an increase in water intake can resolve symptoms that you’d never connect to insufficient hydration.

For instance, do you struggle with regular elimination? Increase your water intake. Do you often feel faint when rising from a seated position? Drink more water and see if there’s an improvement.

How much water a day you should drink is open to debate. Many exercise enthusiasts swear by one gallon a day. The average person does not need more than this amount. Crystal clear or very light yellow urine means you are well-hydrated. Dark yellow or yellow-orange urine means you’re dehydrated.

Ways to Increase Water Intake

#1. Have a tall glass with your main meals. Deciding you’ll drink a glass before meals is less inviting,
since drinking water with no food, and without thirst, isn’t always easy. Ideally, you should drink before or after your meals. However, sometimes, it’s better to have something than nothing at all. And since eating
triggers a need for fluid; a tall glass of water will go down quickly when it’s consumed with meals.

#2. Place a small covered glass of water by your bed stand before going to sleep. In the morning before you exit the bed, drink the water.

#3. If you’re at a desk for long periods, keep an icy glass of water with you and sip periodically.

#4. Get a water purification system. This will improve the taste of tap water, and encourage you to drink
more water since you’ll know that toxins are filtered out.

#5. Drink homemade lemonade. Squeeze fresh lemons into a glass—filling about 3-6 ounces (we
squeeze a half of lemon into 1.5l bottle of water). You can add a few drops, or tablets of the natural
sweetener Stevia (you can also find it in a powdered form AND you can get it in some super markets and
health stores). Mix very well. Add chilled water. Or add ice and keep this with you while working at a desk.

#6. Use a straw. Fluid intake goes very rapidly when you drink with a straw. A tall glass of room-
temperature water can be gone in seconds, thereby eliminating any drudgery of having to take many sips to finish the glass.

#7. Remind yourself that chilled water makes the body expend calories to warm it to body temperature. Knowing this fact will motivate you to drink more water.

#8. Fill a pitcher with water every morning and place in the refrigerator. Make sure that by bedtime, the pitcher is empty.

#9. Create water milestones. For instance, have paper cups handy in the bathrooms of your house.
Every time you finish using the facility, fill the cup half-way or all the way with water and drink.

At the workplace, if you must pass a drinking fountain on the way to your department, commit to getting in
a few gulps every morning, and every evening on the way out, even if you’re not thirsty.

#10. Eat watermelon, tomatoes and cucumbers, which are water-rich. Coffee, soda and juices do
not count towards your daily water quota. In fact, carbonated drinks have a dehydrating effect.

#11. Order water with your restaurant meals. Get a slice of lemon with it – it will go down even easier.

#12. If you take supplements or prescribed drugs, drink water to swallow them. Fill a glass with more
than what you’ll need. After the last pill goes down, take the extra gulps.

Drinking eight glasses of water a day (the standard recommendation) is easier than you think, once you put these practices to use. To find out more about why water is so important for good health, call us today.

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

June 7, 2012 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Everything Counts!

As featured on the New Providence Patch: Read our Blog on The New Providence Patch

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” – Tony Robbins

When it comes to your exercise and eating habits – everything counts. Research in the area of human behavior indicates that over 90% of our daily actions are habitual. Everything that you decide to do (or not do) on a regular basis adds up to shape your level of health, fitness, and well-being.

In his book, “The Compound Effect,” Darren Hardy uses the example of a person who chooses to eliminate just 125 calories per day from his or her diet and in 31 months loses thirty-three pounds. The math works like this:

31 months = 940 days

940 days x 125 calories/day = 117,500 calories

117,500 divided by 3,500 calories per pound = 33.5 pounds!

Is this a bit of an over simplification? Perhaps, but the principle is sound. The calories that you consume (and burn) according to your daily habits will compound over time.

By the way, a 12 oz. can of cola has 150 calories. By simply substituting one bottle of water for one can of soda each day, you would instantly eliminate 150 calories from your diet. Do you work in a place where co-workers take turns brining in doughnuts or doughnut holes each morning? Two of those little doughnut holes contain between 120 and 140 calories. Half of a glazed doughnut contains about 125 calories. Caloric values of almost anything you eat can be found by doing a quick internet search.

You can now see how making a very small improvement in your diet could easily lead to cutting 125 calories. Now just imagine if you combined that change with a regular exercise routine – your results would increase exponentially.

“The things that are easy to do are also easy not to do.” – Jim Rohn

The best way to make this simple, healthy change is to track what you eat every day for a week. Keep a small pad and a pen with you and jot down everything that you eat or drink. This is not fun or easy, but it is educational. You will uncover hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of empty calories in your diet that are the result of mindless snacking and poor food choices. Armed with this information you can then take a step towards making small (or even large) changes in your daily eating habits and start your own positive compound effect.

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

June 3, 2012 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Should You Eat Organic Foods?

By Natalie Digate Muth. As featured on The Ace Fitness Blog

Organic food choices fill supermarket shelves – and it’s not just at the Whole Foods and other natural food stores where you would expect to find them. Even Wal-Mart now offers organic selections. Many people happily cough up the almost double it sometimes costs to go organic whereas others balk at such a high price for a food that usually tastes no different than its conventional counterpart. So who’s right? Well, it turns out that it depends.

To get the USDA organic seal, foods need to have been grown, handled and processed by certified organic facilities. These facilities must be wholly organic. Meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products need to be produced from animals that have never been given antibiotics or hormones and who have been fed organic crop. Organic crops must be grown free of conventional pesticides, free of fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge, and without bioengineering or use of ionizing radiation. The USDA is careful to note than an organic seal does not mean that a food is healthier or safer than its conventionally grown equivalent.

In fact, a 2010 review looking at studies of organic foods and health benefits over the past 50 years determined that there’s not enough good data to say one way or the other if organic foods are healthier. Of the studies that had been done, the only one that found a health difference showed that the risk of eczema was decreased in infants who ate strictly organic dairy products. Overall, there just isn’t enough good information to say.

As for safety – a study of preschool children in Seattle found that kids who ate conventional diets had significantly higher levels of urine pesticides than the kids who ate organic. But higher urine pesticides haven’t been connected to real health outcomes, although intuitively it seems like a good idea to minimize consumption of toxic chemicals. (See the sidebar for a list of the highest and lowest pesticide-containing produce.)

Ultimately, it may not be the health and safety for the consumer that will tip you one way or the other with organic foods, but many consider the broader health and environmental outcomes including the working conditions of farm laborers and their exposure to pesticides which can contribute to serious health outcomes including birth defects and cancers. Furthermore, some consider the extraordinary amount of environmental resources and energy go into shipping a crop from halfway around the world to your local grocery store. Though, honestly, these days it’s not unusual to see organic food that was grown abroad. This becomes more common as an increasing number of companies jump on the organic bandwagon.

At the end of the day, everyone has to make their own decision whether or not to buy organic based on the limited information we have on whether or not organic foods are worth it. It may be that the spirit of organic foods (which you can often tap into at a local farmer’s market or by nurturing your own garden) — like good use of natural resources, minimal use of toxic compounds, sustainable farming and supporting local business — is more important than whether or not the food is actually grown organic.

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

May 19, 2012 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Self-Discipline: A Pearl Which Grows Slowly…

As featured on the New Providence Patch: Read our Blog on The New Providence Patch

“Self-discipline is a pearl which grows slowly.” – Chinese Proverb

In nearly two decades of working with adults looking to gain health and fitness, I have found that most people are generally well-meaning but easily overwhelmed. Many men and women start out with over-ambitious workout and meal plans, only to give up on their goals within weeks of starting. I believe the key to avoiding joining the masses with unused health club memberships, basements filled with dusty workout equipment, and shelves stocked with unopened workout DVD’s  is simply to practice small daily disciplines.

Small Daily Disciplines

Small daily disciplines are seemingly minor actions that relate to one’s diet or level of physical activity. For example, when approaching a weight loss goal, instead of drastically altering your diet and slashing your calorie intake (the “cold turkey” approach), start by committing to just having a healthy and sensible breakfast each day. Besides being a very doable goal, it can help build momentum leading to healthier choices of snacks and meals throughout the rest of the day. Even seemingly marginal improvements in eating habits can add up quickly.

Here are some examples of small daily nutritional disciplines that can be easily implemented:

–          Have a glass of water with lunch each day instead of a sugary soft drink

–          Eat oatmeal for breakfast instead of an over-processed breakfast cereal

–          Replace white flour products with whole grain products

–          Drink a glass (or two) of water before meals so you will consume less calories

The same philosophy is highly effective for beginning an exercise routine. Rather than jumping into a hardcore four day per week workout program right away, begin with easier, less intimidating steps towards physical fitness. You can always add more daily disciplines or increase the intensity of your exercise regimen if things are going well.

Here are some examples of small daily fitness disciplines that can be easily implemented:

–          Begin a workout routine by going to the gym or taking a class just one day per week

–          Park further away and take the stairs when possible

–          Commit to taking a walk around the block after dinner each night

–          Start a weight training routine by doing just one set of each exercise

The whole concept here is to remember that a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing! In addition, as your self-discipline improves you can tackle bigger daily disciplines which lead to better results.

As an aside, the small daily disciplines concept can also be applied to folks who are already highly disciplined with their exercise and eating habits. By disciplining yourself to add incrementally more mileage to your runs, do one more set of exercises, or eliminate processed snacks from your diet, you can continue to take your health and fitness to a whole new level!

Martial Arts for Life

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

May 3, 2012 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment