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Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle Part 3: Your Metabolic Set Point

Welcome back to “Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle” a short series dedicated to providing tips for sensible adults who are looking to reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Part one of this series dealt with the concept of eating for nourishment versus eating for pleasure. Part two focused on avoiding the temptation of junk food by keeping it out of reach. In Part three, we will explore metabolic set point theory.

Although metabolic set point theory may sound complicated, the concept is actually quite simple. Basically, set point theory states that each individual has his or her own metabolic set point. This set point causes adults to maintain body weight at a relatively stable level for long periods of time through a variety of complex mechanisms. It operates very much like the thermostat in your residence. If you set the thermostat to 70 degrees and the temperature drops to 68, the thermostat will signal your furnace to fire up until the temperature reaches 70 degrees, at which point the furnace will shut off.  Interestingly, regulation of your body temperature is another set point mechanism.

Unfortunately, there is no direct way to measure an individual’s metabolic set point and there is controversy regarding what alters set point. Additionally, it has been theorized that it takes at least 12 months of consuming a “normal” diet and participating in moderate exercise to reach one’s ideal set point.

There is no denying that genetics play a role in determining body size and weight and therefore some individuals will have a higher set point than others. However, I firmly believe that it is possible to “reset” an individual’s set point over time by maintaining a consistent diet and exercise regimen. Consider that the average adult gains almost a pound per year. According to research by the Harvard School of Public Health, this weight gain is caused primarily by diet and lifestyle choices. In other words, the average person is slowly and steadily adjusting their set point (albeit in the wrong direction).

The key is to have a lifestyle that is congruent with your health goals. Diets simply do not work on a long-term basis for the vast majority of people who attempt them. I believe the primary reason for the failure of these diets is they are not sustainable and cause weight loss through caloric restriction. Once the diet is no longer being followed, the individual’s body simply goes to work bringing body weight back to its pre-diet set point. It is the same with people who exercise via boot camps or 90 day programs and burn off a ton off calories and speed up their metabolism for a short period of time. Once the boot camp is over it is back to their prior set point.

Not only are these methodologies for weight loss ineffective, they are dangerous. According to a study conducted at UCLA, evidence suggests that repeatedly losing and gaining weight is linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and altered immune function. And obviously, living with one’s body weight in a constant state of flux is not ideal from a lifestyle standpoint.

In the final installment of this series I will offer some tips on setting up some easy-to-implement nutrition and exercise “success rituals” to help maintain a healthy body weight and metabolic set point

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

P.S. Visit our website at to learn about our Academy and our programs.

February 24, 2014 Posted by | Karate Union County NJ, Kickboxing Union County NJ | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family Safety: Carjacking & Vehicle Safety


Thousands of unsuspecting motorists are car jacked each year. Carjacking is a violent form of motor vehicle theft. It is a serious threat to one’s personal safety because the perpetrator uses force to steal the vehicle. Sometimes the vehicle occupants are kidnapped during a carjacking. The worst case scenario occurs when victims are transported to a secondary crime scene, which is usually more dangerous than the original confrontation.

Many people mistakenly assume that carjacking crimes occur only in blighted areas. Carjackings can and do occur in all types of communities of varying socio-economic status. On July 19th, a couple was carjacked at gunpoint on Watchung Avenue in Chatham. And in May, The Cranford Patch reported on a carjacking that took place on Raritan Road in Cranford where the victim was threatened at knifepoint.

The recommended approach to remaining safe while driving is to remain cautious, use common sense, and educate yourself on techniques used by carjackers and what to do in a threatening situation. In any dangerous situation, you are going to fall into one of two categories: you will either have absolutely no idea what to do in order to protect yourself and your loved ones, or you will have some idea of what to do. Obviously, you want to have a good idea of what actions to take.

In order to form a plan of action, we must first understand some facts about carjacking crimes. According to a 9 year study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a weapon was used in nearly three-quarters (74%) of carjacking victimizations. Guns and knives were the most popular weapons chosen by thieves. Nearly one-third (32%) of victims of completed carjackings were injured.

A majority (68%) of carjacking incidents occurred at night (6 p.m. – 6 a.m.). 44% of carjacking incidents occurred in an open area, such as on the street or near public transportation and 24% occurred in parking lots or garages or near commercial places such as stores, gas stations, restaurants/bars, etc.

Some of the most common techniques employed by carjackers include:

1.) The Bump: The attacker bumps the victim’s vehicle from behind. The victim gets out to assess the damage and exchange information. This is the tactic that was used to carjack the victims in Chatham.

2.) Good Samaritan: The attacker(s) stage what appears to be an accident. They may simulate an injury. The victim stops to assist, and the vehicle is taken.

3.) The Ruse: The vehicle behind the victim flashes its lights or the driver waves to get the victim’s attention. The attacker tries to indicate that there is a problem with the victim’s car. The victim pulls over and the vehicle is taken.

4.) The Trap: Carjackers use surveillance to follow the victim home. When the victim pulls into his or her driveway, the attacker pulls up behind and blocks the victim’s car.

Awareness and avoidance are always the first steps in remaining safe, so let’s go over some common sense tips to reduce your risk of being carjacked:

– Drive with your doors locked and windows rolled up. Keep your cell phone within reach.

– When stopped in traffic, look for possible escape routes. Leave enough room between your vehicle and the car in front of you to maneuver easily enough to escape.

– When stopped at a red light, use your rear-view and side mirrors to monitor your surroundings. This makes it less likely for an attacker to surprise you.

– Always keep your cell phone close by and have emergency numbers pre-programmed.

Be wary of panhandlers or people asking for directions and handing out flyers.

– If you are bumped in traffic, be suspicious of the accident. Contact the police immediately.

– Don’t pull over in any isolated area. Get the other drivers attention and motion to him to follow you, and drive to a gas station or busy parking lot before getting out.

– Be cautious of the Good Samaritan who offers to repair your car. It’s okay to get help, just be alert and cautious.

If all else fails and you find yourself confronted by an armed carjacker, do not resist! Give up your keys or money (if demanded) without resistance. Never argue, fight, or chase the carjacker. You can be seriously injured. In a vast majority of carjacking scenarios, the vehicle is the primary target. There is a good chance that the victim might not be harmed. However, if you cannot escape in your vehicle, it is imperative that you get out of the vehicle right away. Remember, non-confrontation is often the best response. The object is not to thwart the criminal, but to survive!

In the wake of a carjacking, get to a safe place and call the police immediately to report the crime and provide detailed information.

*Statistics and tips compiled from various sources including: U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Apex Self-Defense, C. McGoey  (Crime Doctor ).

Martial Arts in Union County, 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 to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Karate Union County NJ – Martial Arts for Life

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July 25, 2013 Posted by | Personal Safety | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Show Up For Yourself


“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” – Woody Allen

Do you have anyone in your life who you can count on…to come up with excuses? You know the type of person I’m talking about. These folks seem to have absolutely the worst luck in the world. When it’s time for them to show up for you they have a flat tire, a sprained ankle, or a sewer pipe that broke and flooded their basement. If you made plans a month ago to get together, some minor calamity will befall them hours before you’re supposed to get together. These folks always seem to contract a mystery illness, have automotive problems, or random commitments that pop up at the last minute. I’m going to guess that we all have had experience with these types of people and eventually we come to the inevitable conclusion that we cannot depend on them to show up for us.

It is certainly disappointing and frustrating to find out that you can’t depend on a friend to come through for you, even if it’s just engaging in purely social things. However, it’s even more unfortunate when we fail to come through for ourselves.

Much like our flaky friends, we can become experts at making up lame excuses to avoid taking action. We tend to do this by justifying our reasons with logic, when deep down we know we are letting ourselves down. Naturally, this can occur in any area of life and I find it is a major challenge when it comes to health, fitness, and proper diet.

Human beings can justify almost anything within our own minds. Whether it’s purchasing some gadget or toy we don’t really need (and won’t use more than once) or parking next to a fire hydrant because, “it’s just going to be for a minute.” These are small things with minor consequences, but the habit of justifying laziness and apathy is invariably fatal to success.

For example, let’s imagine that as part of my New Year’s Resolution to get in shape, I committed to go the gym and exercise three times per week. And today, when my alarm clock went off at 6:00 a.m. I went through a series of reasons why it was definitely not a good idea to go to the gym today.

Perhaps my inner dialogue could go something like this:

“I did not sleep well at all last night and it would be pointless to even try to work out. I’m just not going to be into it at all. I’ll just go tomorrow instead.”

“Plus, I’m still a little bit sore from my last workout and I don’t want to overdo it. After all, if I hurt myself I won’t be able to train at all.”

“And, I think I’m starting to feel a little bit of a cold coming on, and working out will only make it worse.”

“Oh, and last time I went to the gym on a Wednesday it was way too crowded! I don’t want to have to wait to use any of the equipment. I’ll be there all day.”

The challenge is the potential truth in all these statements and that’s why it becomes easy to justify laying in bed. However, deep down I know none of those reasons is serious enough to keep me from training if I really wanted to keep my commitment to myself. The reality of the situation is I want to lay in bed because it is a lot easier to stay in a warm, comfortable bed than it is to drag myself to the gym in freezing weather so I can punish myself with cardio and weights for 90 minutes. However, admitting that I just want to sleep in makes me a lazy bum, while skipping because I am sleep deprived, sick and sore does not.

Way too often that’s how it is with the reasons we give ourselves. We have the reasons that “sound good” that we tell ourselves and then we have the real reasons that we dare not admit. And the problem is it becomes easier with each time we make excuses and don’t show up for ourselves. It becomes a habit. Pretty soon any old excuse will do and our health, fitness, and goals in all areas of our lives suffer because of it.

“The truth is, there are only two things in life, reasons and results, and reasons simply don’t count.” – Dr. Robert Anthony

I believe successful people have an uncanny ability to be honest with themselves. I encourage you to make a real effort to be honest with yourself next time you plan on ditching your workout, straying from your healthy diet, or failing to show up for yourself. Ultimately, no one is going to force you to take care of yourself, no one is going to pursue your goals for you, and no one can make you show up for yourself. It’s up to you.

Martial Arts in Union County, 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 to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Karate Union County NJ – Martial Arts for Life

February 27, 2013 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family Safety: Home Invasion Prevention | New Providence NJ | Summit NJ | Berkeley Heights NJ


Family Safety: Home Invasion Prevention

One of the most frightening crimes that can occur is a home invasion. A home invasion is defined as “the act of illegally entering a private and occupied dwelling with violent intent for the purpose of committing a crime against the occupants.” The main difference between a simple burglary and a home invasion is intent. Residential burglars typically target homes that appear unoccupied and seek to perpetrate their crime in the absence of the homeowner. Conversely, the home invasion robber targets homes when they are most likely to be occupied (nights and weekends for example).

How do home invasion robbers pick their victims, and how do they get into your home? According to security consultant Chris McGoey, “Some home invaders might have been in your home before as a delivery person, installer or repair vendor. Home robbers rarely work alone and rely on an overwhelming physical confrontation to gain initial control and instill fear in you. The greatest violence usually occurs during the initial sixty seconds of the confrontation…”

While it is true that some home invaders violently enter the residence by kicking in the door, many home invasions begin by the homeowner simply answering their front door when someone knocks. Some common phrases used to get you to open your door are:

“I have a delivery I need you to sign for.”

“I’m sorry. I think I just backed into your car outside.”

“I think I just hit a dog and I’m looking for the owner.”

Home invaders have also been known to pose as maintenance or public utility workers, delivery men, or even police officers.

Once an intruder gains access to the home, various demands are typically made to gain possession of jewelry, cash, and other valuables. Some invaders will tie their victims up while they ransack the home. Others will force one or more of the victims to leave with them, driving them to an ATM machine to withdraw cash.

Although few statistics are available on the crime of home invasion, because it is not defined as a crime in its own right in most jurisdictions, recent statistics have indicated you are eight times more likely to be involved in a home inva­sion attack than you are to be involved in a house fire. Below are ten tips to help you and your loved ones avoid the horror of a home invasion.

Top 10 Home Invasion Prevention Tips

1.) Secure your home with strong doors and locks. Research indicates the most common point of entry is the front door. Properly securing your front entrance will make it more difficult for an intruder to simply kick the door in. At the very least, a secure front door will slow down an intruder and buy you some time to contact the authorities or escape. Proper security includes solid core doors, heavy duty locks, and window security devices. Chain latches are considered ineffective as a barrier.

2.) Never open your door to strangers or solicitors. A majority of home invasions start with a simple knock on the door. Demand identification from anyone who you do not know. This includes utility workers, delivery persons, repairmen and even police officers who are in plain clothes. Verify the identification by calling that place of business (or the person’s employer). If someone claims to be in distress or needs assistance or directions, tell them you are calling the police to respond.

3.) Develop an escape plan for your family and rehearse it. Train family members on where to go and what to say. If someone can escape, the invaders will have lost their advantage of privacy and time. Children are often overlooked as potential rescuers and sometimes are not as well guarded. If the opportunity presents itself, a trained child can dial 911, activate an alarm panic button, or escape to the neighbor’s house to summon the police. Remember, the best defense against home invasion is education and planning.

4.)  Maintain good relations with your neighbors, and keep an eye on each other. Get involved with your community. If you see something suspicious at a neighbor’s house, contact them or the police immediately.

5.) Lock all doors, windows, and garages at all times. Fortification of rear doors, sliding glass doors, and garage doors are also important.

6.) If you have a home security system, set the home perimeter alarm at night. If someone attempts to gain entry, the alarm will sound, giving you time to respond.

7.) Keep porches and all entrances well lit, i.e., driveways, garages and alleys.  Check bulbs regularly.

8.) Senior citizens or women living alone might consider leaving items such as a pair of men’s boots or other garments laying about, giving the impression that other persons reside there.

9.) Consider owning a dog for protection. If this isn’t possible, an empty dog bowl left on the porch gives the impression that there is a dog on the premises.

10.) Don’t fight over property with an invader. Let them have the property; it is not worth your life and can be replaced. Never follow the intruder from scene, call 911 immediately and give the best description you can.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Educating yourself, preparing your dwelling and forming a well thought-out plan with your family is the first (and perhaps most effective) line of defense against a home invasion.

*Statistics and tips compiled from various sources including: J. Frankle (GSE, Inc.), Torrington Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, C. McGoey.

January 16, 2013 Posted by | Personal Safety | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Well folks, it’s official, the Holiday Shopping Season is here! Holiday music can be heard in all your favorite stores and “Black Friday” has come and gone! It’s at this time of year we like to share some safety tips to keep families safe while shopping.

1. Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you have to shop at night, go with friends or other family members. Avoid shopping alone at night.

2. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry or anything that would attract unwanted attention from a potential mugger or thief.

3. When approaching your car check to see if anyone is hiding underneath your vehicle. It is possible for someone to hide under your vehicle and grab you as you get in. There have also been cases of assailants using a knife or other weapon to slash or attack a victims leg from under the vehicle making it difficult to run or fight back.

4. Develop the habit of checking the back seat of your car to make sure no one is hiding there. Statistically, a great deal of attacks and/or abductions occur from someone hiding in the back seat.

5. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay with a check or credit card instead.

6. Don’t carry too many packages at once. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom to move to avoid mishaps.

7. Be cautious if a Van or SUV is parked next to your vehicle. Abductors use this tactic to grab people as they are getting into their vehicle.

Here’s to a safe Holiday Season!

Martial Arts for Life

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 to learn about our Academy and our programs

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November 27, 2010 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment