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Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle: The Importance of Habit

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The definitive keys to maintaining a healthy body weight are to exercise on a regular basis and make smart food choices. These are certainly not secrets and most people are well aware of their importance. Unfortunately, without implementing the proper habits, most folks will know what to do, but will fail to do what they know.  

Ultimately, everybody who succeeds at maintaining a healthy body weight and fitness level makes exercise and healthy eating a lifestyle. In other words, they have habits that they practice on a regular basis that lead to health and fitness. Their success is not achieved through occasional bursts of activity like crash dieting and short-term exercise programs.  It is through small daily disciplines that they succeed.  

It has been well documented that the key to success in almost any field is mounting a consistent effort in critical impact areas. For example, businesses that succeed are consistently excellent in critical impact areas such as marketing, providing an above-average product or service and managing cash flow. These businesses identify the areas that are most important to their success and become excellent at them. We must do the exact same thing if we are to achieve our weight loss and fitness goals.  

“Success Leaves Clues.” – Jim Rohn 

There is an excellent book by Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit, I highly recommend. The author has pored through research, conducted interviews and intensively studied the psychology and physiology behind our habits as human beings. As a corollary of his studies, Mr. Duhigg uncovered two habits that dramatically increase one’s chances of succeeding to lose weight and become fit. He refers to these as “keystone habits,” or habits or small changes that have a ripple effect on multiple areas of a person’s life. 

If you’ve followed my blog for any period of time, you will discover that I have discussed both topics ad nauseam. However, I feel it is useful to get a fresh perspective from someone who is grounded in academia. I find it is sometimes necessary to hear the same message from different sources before accepting its validity.  

Habit #1: Exercise   The Power of Habit:  “When people start habitually exercising, even as infrequently as once a week, they start changing other, unrelated patterns in their lives, often unknowingly. Typically, people who exercise start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. It’s not completely clear why. But for many people, exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.” (p. 109)  

If you just get out and exercise once per week it can literally change your life. This conclusion is based on multiple studies in publications such as Public Health Reports and Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health. I firmly believe the habit of regular exercise is the keystone habit for healthy and fit adults.  

Habit #2: Food Journaling   The Power of Habit: “It was hard at first. The subjects forgot to carry their food journals, or would snack and not note it…Eventually, it became a habit.  Then something unexpected happened. The participant started looking at their entries and finding patterns they didn’t know existed. Some noticed they always seemed to snack at about 10 a.m., so they began keeping an apple or banana on their desks for mid-morning munchies. Others started using their journals to plan future menus, and when dinner rolled around, they ate the healthy meal they had written down, rather than junk food from the fridge…Six months into the study, people who kept daily food records had lost twice as much weight as everyone one else.” (p. 120-121)  

Much like the exercise habit, study after study concludes that food journaling is a keystone habit that leads to weight loss success. I believe that even if this habit is discontinued after 6 to 12 months, most successful participants have developed the habit of keeping a mental food journal as they go through their daily lives, which leads to continued success.  

1+1 = 3  

If you truly want to get fit and maintain a healthy body weight start exercising just once per week and start carrying a food journal right away. Starting both keystone habits at once will provide a  powerful synergistic effect that you will pay almost immediate dividends. Plus, you will be light years ahead of anyone who is “spinning their wheels” on a crash diet or exercise program.

Kickboxing Summit 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 http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

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March 28, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kickboxing Berkeley Heights NJ | 908.464.2836

Kickboxing Berkeley Heights 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 Berkeley Heights NJ, New Providence 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 http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our

February 10, 2014 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 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.

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

Soda & Heart Disease

By J. Yaworski – originally featured by Men’s Health.

You already know soda is a big fat problem for your waistline. But new research finds that it’s not too sweet for your heart, either. Just one sugary drink a day increases a man’s risk of a heart attack by 20 percent, according to a study in the journal Circulation.

Harvard researchers analyzed 22 years of data gathered from almost 43,000 men. During that time period, 3,683 men suffered from heart attacks. The men who consumed the most sugary beverages—like soda, sports drinks, and energy drinks—were at a higher risk of having a heart attack compared to non-drinkers. This increase persisted even after the researchers accounted for other risk factors like smoking, family history of coronary heart disease, and physical inactivity.

“The sugar-sweetened beverages and coronary heart disease is probably due to the large amount of easily digested sugar in these drinks,” says study author Lawrence de Koning, Ph.D. These cause higher levels of inflammation and harmful lipids in the blood, which are both indicators of heart disease.

The more you consume, the more your risk increases. For each additional serving of sugary beverages per day, the associated risk of heart disease increased by 19 to 25 percent. And that’s a problem for Americans. According to the American Heart Association, sugar-sweetened drinks made up 3.9 percent of our daily calories in the late 1970s to 9.2 percent in 2001 in the United States.

Don’t ditch all sugar, though. Natural sugars found in foods like fruit and milk are fine, since these foods offer plenty of nutrition (plus, in the case of fruit, fiber to blunt blood sugar spikes).

“Sugar-sweetened beverages should be treated as a rare treat,” says de Konig. Having a sugary drink less often—such as twice weekly or twice monthly—didn’t increase the participants’ heart attack risk, researchers found. Diet versions weren’t linked to cardiovascular disease either. (But choosing no-calorie diet over the regular sugary soda might not be the smarter choice. Research shows that diet soda drinkers have larger waistlines than non-drinkers.

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.

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March 27, 2012 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

High Intensity Training: 10 Minute Workout

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.

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January 19, 2012 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle: Part 2

Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle: Part Two

“Get Rid of Junk Food”

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.” In Part Two we will be focusing on avoiding the temptation of junk food by keeping it out of reach.

Listen, when you’re in the process of cleaning up your diet and losing weight, there are certain things that are going to be outside of your control. For example, a co-worker brings in doughnuts, a friend bakes you a cake for your birthday, etc. What you can control, however, is what you place in your shopping cart and your cupboards.

Trust me, if it’s in your home you will find a reason and a way to eat it. Think about the Halloween candy you purchase. If you’re like me, passing by the bowl of mini candy bars is temptation enough to eat one (or two!) and I don’t particularly like candy bars. The point is, if there’s a bag of Oreo cookies in your house or a gallon of ice cream in your freezer 99% of people WILL justify eating it at some point. You know the reasons:  you’ve had a rough day, you’ve been sticking to eating healthy and deserve a reward, having just one cookie won’t hurt, or maybe you’re hungry and there’s no better options. Whatever the reason is, you (and everybody else) will eat that junk food.

But it’s for the kids!

I know, I know, the cookies, ice cream and candy are for the kids! Here’s some food for thought (pardon the pun): A study published in the Health Education & Behavior journal looked at six middle schools over a two year period. In three of these schools the snacks offered did not change, but did so in the other three schools in Connecticut. Snacks that did not meet the nutrition standards set were removed and replaced with water, 100 percent fruit juice, baked chips, pretzels, granola bars and canned fruits.

The train of thought was that when these junk food items disappeared from the schools, the kids would naturally miss them and then go home and eat more. However, the result was actually the reverse — the study showed that when pop and fatty snacks were taken out of schools, the kids did not make up for them at home. Instead, they ate no worse at home and even better at school.

When healthier options are presented, everyone wins. Just as junk food is not good for kids, it is not good for adults. Removing junk food from your home benefits your whole family. Our bodies were not designed to live off unhealthy food. You do not need ANY junk food. Junk food makes you fat, destroys your health, and simply makes you feel bad. Trust me… you don’t need it.

What is “Junk Food”?

Just to clarify, for the purposes of this article I’m  talking about the cookies, sugary drinks, cakes, ice cream, frozen pizzas, and other highly processed foods that most people have in their homes. I’m not talking about a white flour free, dairy free, vegan, organic, “sticks & dirt” type diet. At this time, we’re speaking strictly about getting the empty calories that have virtually  no nutritional benefit out of your home.

Healthier Alternatives: Substitution is the plan

Guess what? It’s a bad idea to cut out unhealthy snacks and replace them by starving yourself. Our goal is to substitute healthier alternatives for chips, candy, cookies, etc. FYI, the less junk food in your diet, the less you will crave it!

Protein Bars: When you’re craving something sweet, a protein bar is good alternative. Most major grocery stores and even places like Target and Wal-Mart sell boxes of all-natural bars (Cliff bars, Zone Perfect, Pure Protein, etc.) These bars are always a better choice than cookies to satiate your appetite.

Fruits & Vegetables: You really can’t beat fruits and vegetables for a healthy snack. Nearly all major grocery chains sell containers of fresh cut fruit that’s perfect for a snack. In the past there has been some debate about the sugar content of some fruits, but trust me that no one has ever gotten fat from eating too much fruit. :0)

Flavored Seltzer or Water with Lemon: As a much healthier  (and zero calorie) alternative to sugary soft drinks, try flavored seltzer or water with lemon (or lime).

Yogurt with fruits & nuts on top: Ice cream can be replaced by non-frozen yogurt. It is highly likely your body is just craving something cold and sweet–so make it extra-refreshing with some generous chunks of real fruit.

These are just a few suggestions to get you started. For additional ideas you could Google a phrase like, “Junk Food Alternatives” or “Healthy Snacks.” As a a reminder, any kind of “Low Fat” or “Reduced Fat” cracker or cookie is still probably high in sugar and highly processed – skip these.

As always, Fit or fat? The choice is yours.

This article was written by Rich Brugger. He holds a Strength Conditioning and Weight Training Certification from ISMA and is Black Belt Master Instructor. He co-owns and operates Martial Arts for Life in New Providence, NJ with his wife Michelle (a certified personal fitness trainer, a certified nutritional consultant and Black Belt Instructor).

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.

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January 1, 2012 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marcelo Garcia: Sweep from Butterfly Guard

Great techniques from 5-time World Champion Marcelo Garcia. Marcelo is considered by many to be one of the best pound for pound no gi and gi submission grapplers in the world. Please visit his new instructional website for more videos from one of the best in the world! Marcelo Garcia In Action

 

Marcelo Garcia and Master Brugger at the 2011 MMA Expo in New York City. 

 

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.

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December 19, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Marcelo Garcia: Sweep from Butterfly Guard

Martial Arts for Life: Discipline at the Plate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Don’t dig your grave with your knife and fork” – English Proverb

Having “discipline at the plate” is a key trait of successful hitters in baseball. It refers to having the self-discipline to only swing at quality pitches that can be put into play and lay off pitches that are poor quality or out of the strike zone. Hitters that have this characteristic are coveted by major league teams and often enjoy great success.

Of course, we’re talking about another type of discipline at the plate here, one that leads to success with regard to one’s health and longevity. This is the act of exercising discipline when eating. According to the TIME Magazine article, “Eat Less, Live Longer?” decades of calorie-restriction studies involving organisms ranging from microscopic yeast to rhesus monkeys have shown that reducing the amount of food consumed has extended the life spans of these organisms by as much as 50%.

One of the healthiest countries in the world is Okinawa. Nearly 30% of Okinawans live to be 100!  The Okinawans have a saying that goes like this “Hari Hachi Bu”, which roughly translated means “80 percent full.” The idea is that you never stuff yourself. Instead of eating until you’re full, you eat until you are not hungry. This takes practice and discipline but the benefits are significant.

It should also be noted that the traditional Okinawan diet consists of portions made of a bowl of cooked food and a fruit. According to author Stefan Anitei, “Okinawans eat daily seven portions of vegetables and fruits, seven of cereals and two of soy products. They take various portions of fish weekly and very sporadically meat and dairy products. Overall, their diet is low in calories and contains a lot of vegetables.”

To put this discipline into practice,  try using a smaller plate for all your meals. This makes it seem that there is more food on the plate. Research shows us that by doing this, you will automatically eat less.

Most entrées at restaurants are oversized. Try sharing one entrée with someone else or only eating half and taking the rest to go. Replace a 12” sandwich with a 6”, etc. Remember, instead of eating until you are full; eat until you are no longer hungry.

When it comes to your health, a little bit of a discipline goes a long way.

“If you take care of your stomach the first 50 years of your life, your stomach will take care of you the next 50…” – Unknown

 

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

Martial Arts New Providence, NJ

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December 6, 2011 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Interval Training at Martial Arts for Life

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

Martial Arts New Providence, NJ

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December 1, 2011 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Benchmark Workout

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

Martial Arts New Providence, NJ

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November 15, 2011 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Benchmark Workout