Martial Arts for Life

On A Quest To Be The Best!

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.

Martial Arts for Life

Martial Arts New Providence, NJ

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

Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle: Part 1

Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle: Part One

“Eating for Nourishment vs. Eating for Pleasure”

Welcome 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 is the concept of “eating for nourishment versus eating for pleasure.” Many people fail to make a conscious effort to eat meals strictly for the nutrition and nourishment provided (After all, how much fun is that?!). Instead, they choose what to eat and drink based on the pleasure they get from the food or beverage.

An example of eating for nourishment is deciding to have a bowl of oatmeal, and half a grapefruit for breakfast. Eating for pleasure is grabbing a sausage McMuffin and a Frappe Mocha from McDonald’s. It is okay to treat yourself to this type of breakfast *occasionally* if it’s important to you, but it is with the understanding that it is strictly a pleasure meal.

Another example is choosing to have a bottle of water instead of a diet soda. The bottle of water may not give you the immediate sweet, bubbly gratification of the diet soda, but it is ultimately a far superior choice. Drinking the diet soda is choosing to have a beverage for pleasure, rather than for hydration. And just to clear up any confusion, diet soda is NOT a healthy choice under any circumstances.

We all eat and drink for pleasure to some degree. The challenge is disciplining yourself to eat and drink healthy and nutritious things a majority of the time (about 70%). Most folks fail to keep track of what they’re eating and if it is truly a healthy choice. They tend to remember the salad they had for lunch, but not the two cheeseburgers and slice of pie they ate for dinner that night. Truly the only way to keep track is to keep a written log of what you’re eating. Doing this for as little as one week can be life-changing.  Please Note: I didn’t say it would be easy, fun, or convenient.

Consciously eating healthy, nutritious meals is not just about weight loss – it is about quality of life. A poor diet (which is often coupled with poor exercise habits) sets the stage for serious health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke and other diseases. There is also growing evidence that a high-fat diet increases the risk of many deadly cancers.

By the way, if you’re choosing to eat those Sausage McMuffins, each one will provide you with 370 calories (207 from fat), 9 grams of saturated fat, 50 mg of cholesterol, 790 mg of sodium. If you chose to pick up a small Frappe Mocha to enjoy with your McMuffin, you would add an additional 450 calories (180 from fat), 13 grams of saturated fat, 55 mg of cholesterol, and 130 mg of sodium. There’s really no way to eat high calorie, high fat, fast food on a regular basis and NOT get fat and / or sick.

Remember if you eat sensibly 70% of the time, and eat for pleasure 30% of the time you will be far ahead of most people who do the opposite. 70% of the time you should be consuming lean protein sources, fruits, vegetables, whole grains. In other words, “more foods with less ingredients.” 30% of the time (or less) is reserved for eating for pleasure, with some self control. This when you may sanely indulge in the pizza, candy, cheeseburgers, cookies, ice creams and cakes. No binging!

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.

Martial Arts for Life

Martial Arts New Providence, NJ

Kickboxing New Providence, NJ

December 12, 2011 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Quick Tips for Weight Loss!

Here’s 5 Quick Tips for Weight Loss

1.) Don’t Skip Breakfast.Your body expects to be refueled a few times each day, so when you skip breakfast you may feel so hungry that when lunch time comes, you over-eat or maybe you choose foods that are not the healthiest choices.

2.) Stay Hydrated. We need to drink a lot of water to keep our bodies (and this includes our metabolism) working properly. We need about 6-8 eight-ounce glasses of fresh water each day. This will ensure that the 60-100 trillion cells in the body receive their daily-needed ration of water in order to maintain efficient digestion, metabolism and waste removal.

3.) Eat More! We’re talking three good snacks and three healthful meals. Skip the empty calories of chips and dip and substitute mixed nuts—especially almonds. This type of snack will satisfy your craving for something crunchy while helping to build muscle.

4.) Do Resistance Training. Lift Weights or use resistance bands. The muscles you build will not only improve your performance, they’ll stoke your metabolism so you burn calories long after your workout is over.

5.) Avoid Empty Calories. Pass on sodas, alcoholic beverages, cookies, cakes, candy, etc. Enjoy healthier alternatives most of the time – and when you do splurge – do so reasonably!

This article was written by Michelle Brugger.  She is a certified personal fitness trainer, a certified nutritional consultant and Black Belt Instructor. She co-owns and operates Martial Arts for Life in New Providence, NJ with her husband Rich (a certified Strength Conditioning & Weight Training Coach and Master Black Belt).

If you’d like to learn more about making a healthy transformation check out our Thai Kickboxing program which includes physical training and nutritional consulting to help you reach your goals and be your best!

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

Martial Arts for Life


August 25, 2011 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Get Healthy and Fit in 2011!

8 Ways to Promote a Healthy Lifestyle

1.) Exercise Regularly. There have been thousands upon thousands of studies confirming the positive benefits (both mental and physical) of getting regular exercise. The medical community has concluded that regular cardiovascular exercise is necessary to live a healthy lifestyle. The American Heart Association recommends 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise) for heart health. Exercise is proven to help keep body weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure, within normal ranges. Further, I believe it was the former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop who stated that being physically inactive was as detrimental to one’s health as smoking a pack of cigarettes every day.

2.Don’t abuse your body. This one sounds simple, doesn’t it? This refers to things like smoking cigarettes, over indulging in alcohol consumption, eating a poor diet, failing to get the proper amount of sleep on a regular basis and even recreational drug use. Chances are if you bought a $5,000 thoroughbred horse, you wouldn’t feed it a garbage diet and let it drink booze and smoke cigarettes. A healthy body is priceless, make sure you treat it as such.

3. Get regular check-ups. One of the keys to staying healthy is to get regular check-ups from a qualified physician. A thorough annual physical including blood work and whatever screenings are appropriate based on your age and family medical history are crucial to maintaining optimum health. If you are over 30 years old make your annual check-up a priority. Many medical issues can be successfully treated if they are discovered early – do yourself a favor and get an annual check-up.

4. Eat a balanced, healthy diet. A healthy diet must include generous servings of fruits and vegetables, lean sources of protein, whole grains and minimize fast food and processed foods. Take a multi-vitamin to make sure all your bases are covered, avoid foods that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, cut back on sodas and caffeinated beverages and avoid any sort of binge eating or drinking. We often talk about the 70 / 30 rule. This rule means that 70% of your meals are healthy and nourishing and 30% are things that you will enjoy in moderation, but provide little benefit to your health. Naturally, one can modify this ratio to 80/20 or 90/10 but the fact is most people do the opposite and eat garbage 70% of the time and healthy foods about 30% of the time.

5.Drink Water : Most people do not drink enough water and this results in chronic dehydration. Symptoms of chronic dehydration include: fatigue, constipation, abnormal blood pressure, digestive disorders, obesity, and even premature aging! The old rule of “drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day” is a good guideline – however recent studies indicate men need closer to 12 glasses of water and women need about 9 glasses of water for optimal hydration. Most people fall WAY short of this. Remember, this is plain water – soda, coffee, tea, Vitamin Water do not count towards this total.

6. Take time to relax and de-stress: Stress-influenced medical conditions include: depression, heart disease, hyperthyroidism, ulcers and much more. Take time out to do things you enjoy. Spend time with your family, go for a walk in the park, take a Yoga class, participate in a hobby you enjoy, meditate, take a day off from work – whatever it takes to maintain homeostasis and avoid chronic or extreme stress.

7. Get enough sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, there is no magic number here – but most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. A 2005 Harvard University study noted that adults who sleep less than 7 hours per night are more likely to be obese , had an increased risk of certain cancers, heart disease and diabetes. Turn off the television and get some sleep!

8. Maintain a healthy body weight. Obesity has been linked to a virtual laundry-list of serious health conditions including, but not limited to: heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, gallbladder disease and gallstones, osteoarthritis, and gout. According to an article on WebMd, “Doctors generally agree that the more obese a person is the more likely he or she is to have health problems. People who are 20% or more overweight can gain significant health benefits from losing weight. Many obesity experts believe that people who are less than 20% above their healthy weight should still try to lose weight if they have any of the following risk factors.” A good guideline for the average man or woman is BMI, or Body Mass Index. There are many websites that have BMI calculators.

One more quick word on the subject of living a healthy lifestyle…

Many people are quick to point out that they simply “Don’t have the time” to exercise. According to A.C. Nielsen and a Harris Interactive pole, the average American watches 4 hours of TV each day and spends 13 hours on the internet each week. That means that most people have more than the equivalent of a full time job (41 hours a week!) wasting their time watching “Dancing With The Stars” and playing on Facebook and YouTube. If the average person disciplined themselves to cut their TV and internet usage by 10% they would have 4 free hours to get some much needed exercise– think about it.

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

Martial Arts for Life

January 2, 2011 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment