One of the biggest fitness myths revealed!

I get so fed up with so called fitness experts. There was one on a talk show yesterday. She has annoyed me for years. Her voice and insincerity drive me insane, but that is not what I want to share. I want to share one of the biggest myths in fitness.

Anyhow, Miss Fitness Expert was on this talk show, because she has a new exercise video coming out. As she was demonstrating the exercises, she mentioned your waste can get thinner by twisting your upper torso. Here is the TRUTH! There is no such thing as spot reduction! Your waist will not whittle away just from twisting from side to side.

I have had many questions over the years about spot reduction:

  • Will doing the thigh machine make my thighs smaller?
  • What exercise will get rid of my stomach fat?
  • My butt is so big, what exercises will make it smaller?

If it was that easy, we would all have thin thighs, six pack abs and a rock hard booty! We all carry our weight in different areas. While doing the thigh machine will make you abductor and adductor muscles stronger, it does not guarantee you will lose weight from your thighs first or ever have thighs the size you would prefer.

So what do I do?

  • Weight train all muscle groups a minimum of once per week. As you develop muscle and lose fat, you will become more happy with your appearance and your problem area will improve as you increase your metabolism and take fat off from all over your body.
  • Keep doing cardiovascular exercise for heart health. A lot of trainers are pulling overweight people from doing cardiovascular exercise, because it does not have the long term affect on your metabolism that cardiovascular exercise does. This is not a good idea in terms of overall health.
  • Eat healthy 80% of the time. It truly takes both Exercise and Nutrition.
  • If you can afford it, hire a coach or trainer. You will be amazed how much quicker you see results.
  • Lastly, ignore so called fitness experts. Make sure they have a degree and certification. Do not hire a trainer based only on how buff or fit they look. They may just be a genetically gifted moron that has not injured themselves from improper training yet.

Now go out there and get fit!

There is no such thing as Overweight and Healthy

Lately, I have been hearing something that scares me. I just met a gentlemen yesterday that reminded me of it. He said, “Children can be overweight and healthy”. My apologies if you too have bought into this, but unfortunately it just isn’t true. Whether you are a child or adult you are at a greater health risk if you are overweight and/or obese.

The Centers For Disease Control lists the following:

Research has shown that as weight increases to reach the levels referred to as “overweight” and “obesity,”* the risks for the following conditions also increases:1

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
  • Stroke
  • Liver and Gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
  • Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)

Carrying extra weight is also very hard on your body. For example, every extra inch of fat around your waist adds 10 extra pounds of pressure to your back, which not only can cause back pain, but can also cause hip, knee and foot pain, when you change how you stand and walk, because of the back pain.

I am not saying this to make people with a weight problem feel bad about themselves, I am just concerned people will start buying into this myth, especially when people in the media slant the truth about excess weight.  Be aware that there are health consequences from being overweight.  Good nutrition and regular physical activity can help.

If you need direction or support you can contact me directly at karen@karenhummel.com

PlayPlay

6 Ways to Cut Back on TV and Computer Time

Yesterday evening, I had a first date. I won’t go too far into that. I mention it, because it was the first time I met this person and a found my self admitting to a new bad habit… I have started watching way too much TV. I venture to guess many of my readers could probably admit to the same bad habit. Too much time on the computer would be a similar bad habit.

I remember back in the day when I was a kid we actually played outside. I never sat for long periods of time watching TV and there was no computer. Now both children and adults are logging in hours at a time sitting at a computer or sitting on the sofa watching TV. And chances are, you are sitting on that sofa with a can of coke in one hand and a bowl of chips in the other.

I have decided to decrease my time watching TV and thought you might want to do the same. Here are a few things you and your family members can do instead.

1. Get out of the house and go for a walk. If you have have a dog, they will love you for it.

2. Jump Rope – Yes, I said jump rope. Instead of sitting around being lethargic, get moving. Jumping rope is also fun for kids in the family.

3. Turn up the music and rock out. Dance around the house or get some housework done to the beat.

4. If the weather is nice, get out to a park or other social venue, a walking path for example.

5. Play a game other than a computer or Internet game. It can be an outside game like two square or kickball if you have children or on indoor game, like scrabble or pictionary.

6. Read a good book. Yes, I realize this isn’t very active, but it pulls your eyes away from a screen and gets your brain chemistry working differently. It’s also important to get children in the family, excited about reading. If Mom and Dad call a reading time and stick to it, the child will more than likely pick up the habit and grow to love books. One day they will be able to leave a movie and say, the book was so much better than the movie. Those are words I personally love to be able to say.

Good luck pulling yourself and/or your family away from the TV and computer. Cutting back on anything can be a challenge! Bad habits aren’t limited to over eating and not exercising.

Are you suffering from "Diet Mentality"

One of the most challenging things I will ask you to do is to forget everything you have been told or think about dieting. I call it the “Diet Mentality”. A diet is a short term program that may cause weight loss in the present, but will hinder future weight loss. Diets typically have a nasty side affect of slowing ones metabolism, making it that much more difficult to lose weight.

Diet Mentality believes the following:

  1. Weight loss is a by product of dieting. In actuality, weight gain is usually the by product of dieting. I always find it funny that people will say they were successful on a diet, because they lost weight and then gained it all back + ten pounds. How is that success? Success is maintaining the weight.
  2. I will start on Monday, after my birthday, after Halloween, after the Holidays, in the New Year. When I was a kid my family loved starting a diet on Monday. One of us would screw up the diet by Wednesday, leaving the weekend open for ice cream and candy. Of course we had to eat during the weekend, because we would be starting a diet again on Monday. The key to healthy weight management is to do your best everyday.
  3. There are good and bad foods. Yes, there are healthier options, but all foods can become part of a healthy diet.
  4. Wants to reach a certain weight on the scale. This is not always the healthiest weight for the individual.

People who are able to manage their weight know the following truths:

  1. Food is fuel and boosts your metabolism.
  2. All food can fit
  3. Whole foods are optimal
  4. Focus on lifestyle management techniques to maintain a healthy weight
  5. Physical activity is necessary and it can be fun

I know you can shift away from the diet mentality. It may take time and you may have lapses and relapses. You are not a failure when this happens; it is all part of learning a new lifestyle.

Are you taking diet advice from Oprah or Kirstie Alley, Really?

Okay, don’t get me wrong, I like Kirstie Alley. I would definitely ask her about business, as she is a savvy business women. I may even ask her how she keeps that smile and great sense of humor, being under the public eye, but the one thing I would never ask her is how to lose weight and keep it off, but with her new weight loss business on the horizon I know millions will. I know you are probably thinking, no, not me! So, I have a question for you. Have you ever taken or read diet advice from Oprah?

Uh oh! Don’t mess with Oprah. I LOVE Oprah, but come on people. Oprah is the person to ask about how to brand, become a business mogul, make millions, start a philanthropy, but she is the very last person you should be taking diet advice from. Yet, I see magazines and shows spreading her diet advice weekly. That means people are buying right into it. The main reason I suggest not going to Oprah for diet advice is because she can never maintain a healthy weight for any length of time. You want to take your advice from people who have taken it off and maintained a healthy weight for five years or more.

Okay, back to Kirstie. As I stated earlier, Kirstie is one savvy business women. She has created business’ based on her weight gain and I applaud her for that. She has a new show coming out to coincide with her new weight loss company, which I don’t have applause for. Here is the link if you would like to get more information http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/2010/02/08/2010-02-08_inner_tube_kirstie_alley_weighs_in__again__with_aes_big_life.html.

So what is the point of today’s rant. Please, stop taking diet advice from celebrities that lose weight, but are not successful at keeping it off. In fact stop taking diet advice from people that have no clue what they are talking about. Stop dieting all together! Just start making healthy lifestyle changes and things will start to happen. And, guess what? Most of what you lose will stay off.  If you have been trying diet after diet I suggest you slow down and take some time to think about your health and what you want for the long term.

I know the truth is hard to hear, but diets just cause future weight gain. It’s time to focus on eating to be healthy, happy and full of energy. Change your mindset and a future free of dieting can be within your grasp!

I wish you the best!

Update on free teleclass for parents of overweight kids

Hi Everyone,

My apologies, I had promised tips all through the Holidays and then disappeared for a few weeks. I had a pretty nasty respiratory infection and have not really felt well until yesterday. Just in time for Christmas!

I also had to move my free teleclass:

7 keys to helping your overweight child lose weight and keep it off for a lifetime!

It will now take place on January 5, 2009 at 5:00 PST, 7:00 CT, 8:00 EST.

Click here to sign up for this free teleclass! I am looking forward to the call.

Last, but not least. Here is my last minute Christmas tip. Focus on family, friends and the true meaning of the Holiday and teach your child to do the same. Taking the focus off of the food helps!

Merry Christmas!

Karen

December is here! Time to plan your families 2010 Healthy Weight Revolution!

Wow, December is here. This year was a complete whirlwind. I remember when I was a little girl and thought it took so long to get to December. I was always excited for December, because it contains my three favorite Holidays, my Birthday, Christmas and New Years Eve. Yes, I do consider my Birthday a personal Holiday and you should too! Well, your birthday. I’m not expecting you to take the day off for mine, unless it is your birthday too!

I particularly love New Years, because it gives a sense of a new beginning, a chance to start over, become a better person, accomplish goals we have been dreaming about the previous year, etc… I know it is only December 1st, but I am going to ask you to plan for your resolution today, in fact I want you to plan your families’ revolution, because 2010 is going to be the year your family begins living a healthy lifestyle, loses weight, and stops dieting for good!  Start goal setting for the New Year today! Many of us wait for New Years Eve to set our big resolution for the New Year. This will be the year our family starts exercising, this will be the year our family starts eating right, this will be the year we lose the weight… Here is the grim news. On average 45% of us set a New Years Resolution, 92% of those fail.

Why do 92% of New Years Resolutions fail?

Candidly, I think most people fail, because they do not have a clear concise plan in place that includes short and long term goals and rewards for reaching those goals. So that is what I am urging you to do today. Make sure your goals are not based on weight only and do not make weight loss goals for your child. You child will lose weight naturally as the family eats healthier and becomes more active.

FREE Teleclass to help parents of Overweight Children

Another reason people fail at reaching their New Years Resolution is that they do not seek out support from a professional. I have a free teleclass coming up to help you get started on the right foot for 2010. Here are the details:

  • Are you worried about your child’s weight?
  • Are you scared your child is being bullied at school, because of their weight problem?
  • Are you concerned your overweight child’s lack of self confidence will lead to suicide?
  • Are you fearful for your child’s health?
  • Are you afraid your child will go through the same turmoil you experienced growing up and feeling guilt like you could be the one to blame?

If you have experienced some or all of these concerns, you won’t want to miss this free teleclass!

7 keys to helping your overweight child lose weight
and keep it off for a lifetime!

December 15th at 5:00 PST, 7:00 CT, 8:00 EST

Click here to sign up for this free teleclass.

Happy Thanksgiving! Here are a few last minute tips.

Happy Thanksgiving! As your coach I am treating this as your final pep talk before the big day, so here we go. Before the party:

  • Review tips from the past couple of weeks.
  • Don’t go to dinner hungry. Make sure you have a good breakfast and lunch. Many people starve all day thinking this gives them the right to cheat. Skipping your other meals will do nothing, but add to a slowing metabolism and probably cause you to eat more calories and fat at Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Drink plenty of water. Alcohol and caffeine can cause dehydration.
  • Don’t hoard leftovers. Send food home with guests when possible.
  • Don’t let family members push food on you. It is not rude to say you are full or request a smaller helping of something if you are being served. Watch for grandparents and other relatives over serving your child. If you are a parent that uses food to show love, I urge you to work on stopping that habit immediately.
  • Don’t forget to take the skin off of the turkey.
  • Don’t forget the 80/20 rule. Do your best to eat 80% healthy and treat yourself 20%.
  • Last, but not least. Never feel like you blew it! If you have a lapse and overeat a little or let your child overeat, you are human and it is Thanksgiving… Nobody is perfect. Candidly, I know I am going to have some mashed potatoes and gravy. It’s a once to twice a year opportunity and I’m taking it. But I will control my portions and hope that you will do the same. Remember to stay mindful and present to why and what you are eating. You can do it!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

One more week until Thanksgiving and one more important tip!

One more week until Thanksgiving! I am thrilled and can’t wait to decorate for Christmas. I may even decorate before Thanksgiving! Why not, the stores were decorated long before Halloween?

Have you been watching your portions, planning for Thanksgiving, and keeping active? If not this is a reminder, it’s never too late to start. If you have not read my other tips, you may want to look over the past couple of posts on Holiday tips.

Today’s tip to prepare you for the Holiday is to practice being mindful of what you eat on a daily basis. Often times we just shovel food into our mouths, because we have went to long without eating, it’s a scheduled meal time, so why not, or some of us emotionally eat. The Holidays create so many different types of emotions (ranging from joyous to depressing) as there are so many memories tied to the Holidays.  More often a food or foods are tied to our emotional memories of Holidays, leaving us helpless to overeat. But are we really helpless?

If you know you or your child is an emotional eater there is no better time than the present to start thinking about why and when you are eating. The more you practice being mindful or completely in the present, focused on the food, your hunger and why you are eating, the easier it will get.

This is a great tip to use year round, as many overweight adults and children use food to feed their emotions.

If you feel you or your child is emotionally eating year round, I highly suggest you talk to someone about your emotions and find other ways to deal with them. If your child is closed off you may need to seek additional support from a parenting coach and/or therapist. This is nothing to be ashamed of. We all have bad habits. If someone tells you they don’t, they are not being honest. It’s what we do to improve our families’ lives that show the true measure of who we are.

More Tips to get your family through the Holidays

We have two weeks until Thanksgiving, so my tip today is to start planning. Most of the year, I get push back from clients about planning ahead. Maybe they think it will ruin their fun! But this time of year, most people are planning anyway, so why not plan to eat healthy and take care of your family this Holiday. I’m not asking you to give up all of your Holiday favorites and chew on a celery stick. If you have gotten to know me, that just is not my style. I believe we need to treat ourselves sometimes, but here are a few tips to ensure you don’t over do a good thing.

  • What special Holiday foods are your family’s favorites? Limit these favorites to 20% of total food intake.
  • Plan 80% of your dinner to be healthy. Prepare a fresh vegetable to go along with the Turkey and try to encourage family members to stick to the white meat.
  • If you read last weeks tips, one was about portion control. Use your new knowledge of portion control when serving your family members. Only allow seconds after 20 or so minutes of rest. Sometimes it takes the head awhile to know the stomach is full.
  • AND THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP! Come on you know Thanksgiving is coming and what day it will be on, so have your family eat healthy and stay active the entire week prior, so you have earned the opportunity to have a cheat day!

I am so excites about the Holidays this year and truly enjoying sharing my tips!