10 Ways to Battle Those Lingering 10 Pounds

Monday, November 29, 2010

By: Chere Lucett, NASM-CPT, PES, CES
You have left the gym floor drenched every day since last week. You have denied yourself the tiniest of tasty morsels to get yourself over the hump, and all of your hard work, what has it amounted to? Ten lousy pounds left taunting you, reminding you that you are not done yet. Those last ten pounds are sticking to you like glue and short of a hunger-strike; you don't know what your next move should be to rid yourself of them. Well we have the solution that adds up to blasting those ten pounds and keeping them away, never to bother you again!

1. Get on the ball! If you are not already using a stability ball during your workouts - trade in your machines for one. This is a small change that can make a big difference for your body and your weight. According to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research [2006; 20(4):745-50], stability ball training can almost double activity in the abdominals and external obliques. More muscle activity means more calories burned during the exercise session and who doesn't want more bang for their buck?

2. Pick up the pace. Changing your routine can be as easy as adding in some intervals and picking up your pace a bit. Interval training can help you work harder without fear of overtraining. In addition, fifteen minutes of interval training can burn more calories than fifteen minutes of regular cardio and improve your cardiovascular health by challenging your heart to peak and recover. Not to mention, interval training has been linked to increased caloric burn after the exercise session is completed - so you are burning more calories at rest. Those ten pounds have met their match!

3. Fidget more. Yes - the pencil tapping and knee bopping can be distracting during a meeting, but in the end, research shows that those who tend to fidget more burn more calories. A few extra calories burned a day can lead to larger weight loss gains over the long run - so try swinging your feet or drumming your pen while you work. If you want those ten pounds to budge, you need a little extra burn to pry them away!

4. Quit fussing over the scale. The old wives' tale - "a watched pot never boils" applies to the weight scale as well. Incessantly stepping on the scale each day can create disappointment or even dampen your exercise motivation, especially if you do not see results. Take a break from the weight scale and instead, use a food scale to help you through. Measuring your exact quantities of food may help you determine the cause of the ten pound stand-off. Remember that weight loss occurs when you eat less than you move. Measure your food each day and head back to the weight scale once a week to see your progress.

5. Take a stand. Did you know that by standing during a ten minute phone call you can burn up to 20 extra calories? Try standing during a few more phone calls during your workday and that can add up to a big calorie burn each day - helping you increase your calorie deficit. This is one way to lose weight that doesn't even seem like you are working hard!

6. Make it count. Your body has a calorie budget and it's your job to stay within it. You may be measuring the calories that go in, but how do you know how many calories you burn every day? Using a helpful device like a calorie counter can help you determine your calorie expenditure allowing you to monitor your activity to make sure you are staying within or just under your daily budget. The program will let you know and then it's up to you to get out a get moving!

7. A little goes a long way. If you haven't already done so, break up your meals into smaller meals spread approximately 2-3 hours apart. Food is fuel and your body's metabolism burns calories helping you digest that food. While what goes in matters (you want to keep your calories within the appropriate range for weight loss) keeping the fires of your metabolism stoked can help in burning a few extra calories along the way.

8. Add an additional ingredient. Whatever your weight loss solution is - adding an extra variable can help to get you over your ten-pound hump. If you are an avid cardio enthusiast, try adding in 10-15 minutes of resistance training. If you love to lift but can't stand those cardio machines, take to the road and walk or run for a few minutes a day. The perfect weight loss combination balances nutrition, cardio and resistance training - if one of those variables is missing from your current routine - add it in and watch what a little extra oomph can do for your waistline!

9. Take a time out. Exercise fanatics may not want to hear this, but yes - there comes a time when you must take a vacation from your routine. I can hear the gasps! It is okay to take a break and allow your body time to recover and rejuvenate. Often, people who want to lose weight can overdo it, over-train and exhaust their bodies. Stepping away from your exercise routine can help you focus your exercise strategy and work harder when you begin your routine again. This doesn't mean you need to stop watching your calories though! You will have to adjust your calorie intake to match your activity levels, but give your body the break it deserves and when you head back into your routine, you will be ready to attack exercise with the voracity you began with! This break can mean big changes in the end!

10. Forgo the workout and follow your folly. Sometimes the best exercise is the exercise you don't know you are doing. If you are having fun being active and not focusing on burning calories, you might find that you burn more calories overall and your weight will adjust accordingly. Take a day each week to make fun a part of your routine. Go out dancing, or walk around a museum - shop for a few hours or play with your kids in the yard. The more you enjoy being active, the more likely you will stick with it and those ten pounds won't stick with you!

Think Lean Protein

When dining out, white fish and skinless chicken breast are typically the leanest of the lean protein sources. Look for grilled seafood, chicken, or lean cuts of beef, as they will help you minimize your calories and fat. Avoid meats prepared with butter, cheese, and cream sauces. And try to avoid fatty cuts like prime rib. As for sauce-based entrees, generally avoid curries, stews, etc., and instead opt for stir-frys, which use minimal amounts of oil and also contain a healthy serving of veggies. Of course, you should always opt for meals with colorful fresh veggies, but that's another tip.

The Perfect Salad Dressing

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A delicious and nutritious salad dressing that's full of good fat, low in salt, and simple to make. Once you try it, you won't want to use anything else. It's that good! Every time I serve a salad with this dressing, people ask what I've used and make sure to write it down. Experiment with proportions and don't be afraid to use a fair amount of lemon and olive oil. Enjoy!
  • Sea salt—shake liberally
  • Pepper (preferably fresh ground)
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice (1/2 lemon for a solo salad, 1 whole lemon for 2 people)


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cook-Share-Eat Day 
Friday December 10

Get your aprons and cookbooks out!  Friday Dec 10th all who would like to participate can bring in their favorite healthy dish to share with the staff for lunch. 

Why?  Eating Clean is not always easy with busy schedules, and the idea of chicken/rice for lunch everyday can get old fast.  This will give everyone an opportunity to learn new, delicious recipes and will encourage a feeling of camaraderie for the entire staff. Eating clean will lead to elevated mood, energy, and self esteem in addition to reducing anxiety and stress levels!

Your dish can be as simple or complex as you desire, but a few things to keep in mind:
  • Recipes should avoid using pre-packed or processed ingredients.  A good rule of thumb is to only eat food with 3 or less ingredients on the package.
  • ·         Instead of less healthy toppings like butter, margarine, gravy, or salt try using new seasoning. Fresh or dried herbs (basil, oregano, parsley) and spices (lemon pepper, chili powder, garlic powder) or lemon will flavor your food without adding unnecessary calories.
  • ·         Steaming, baking, grilling are healthier cooking methods that eliminate the need to use fattening cooking oils.
  • ·         Stay away from anything with saturated fat which can lead to high cholesterol and heart disease.  Unsaturated fats (like olive oil) are essential to a well balanced healthy diet.  Can’t tell the difference? Saturated fats are solid at room temperature while unsaturated fats are liquid.
  • ·         Extra lean ground turkey is a good substitute for ground beef.
  • ·         You should use 100% whole grain breads, pastas and rice.  Always check the label! Companies can be tricky and misleading with their labels, and the product could not contain the same nutritional value.
You can bring in an appetizer, entrée, or healthy snack option.  If you need some recipe ideas, eatcleandiet.com or cleaneatingmag.com are good references.  Starting Monday, there will also be recipe books available to peruse. 
Make sure you write your name and type of dish you are bringing on the sign-up sheet!  Bring your dish along with a copy of the recipe to add it to the Mr. John Recipe Book so others can recreate your masterpiece!

Recipe Ideas for Thanksgiving Leftovers!

Forget the soup and sandwiches! Never underestimate the potential of leftovers! Check out these inspiring turkey recipes that turn extras into extraordinaries!

White Turkey Chili
Compliments of Chef Ben D’Amico
Serves: 6 Prep Time: 20 min. Cooking Time: 50 min

  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2-3 diced poblano or Cubanelle peppers, seeds removed (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1-1/2 cups diced yellow or white onion (about 1 large onion)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 cups Market District® chicken stock
  • 19 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb. diced leftover turkey (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges, optional
In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add peppers, garlic, and onion; sauté for 5-7 minutes until tender and browned. Add flour, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir constantly to make a roux and cook for 2-3 minutes until a thick paste is formed. Slowly add chicken stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Cook on high for 2-3 minutes, then lower to simmer. Add beans and turkey; simmer for 35-40 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally. Ladle chili into individual bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro, Cheddar cheese and a lime wedge on the side, if desired.

Lots of Leftovers?

Count your containers and make sure you have enough to store leftovers safely. Purchase disposable or give-away/take-home containers to share the abundance with your guests.

Turkey Tacos
Compliments of Chef Ben D’Amico
Serves: 6 Prep Time: 15 min. Cooking Time : 10 min.
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
  • 1 Tbsp. minced jalapeño pepper*
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1-1/2 – 2 lbs. leftover turkey, diced (about 4-5 cups)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • Kosher salt and black pepper for seasoning
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Nature’s Basket® salsa, optional
  • Sour cream, optional
Heat canola oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add red onion, garlic and jalapeño; sauté for 2-3 minutes until tender. Next, add corn, turkey and spices; cook for about 8 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant. Drizzle with lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Warm tortillas in microwave or on a hot skillet, according to package directions. Make tacos by topping warm tortillas with a spoonful of turkey mixture, a sprinkle of cilantro and dollops of salsa and sour cream, if desired.
*Use caution when handling hot peppers. Wear disposable gloves and wash hands thoroughly in hot, soapy water afterward. Avoid contact with face and eyes.

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie
Compliments of Chef Ben D’Amico
Serves: 4- 6 Prep Time : 20 min. Baking Time: 40 min.
  • 2 Tbsp. Market District® olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery (1 small stalk)
  • 1/2 cup peeled and chopped carrot (1 small)
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1-3/4 cups turkey stock
  • 2 cups shredded turkey (about 8 oz.)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 large beaten egg
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika, optional
Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, onion, celery and carrots; sauté until just tender, 5-8 minutes.
Stir in flour and cook for another 2-3 minutes before adding cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition.
Slowly stir in stock, then add turkey, thyme and sage. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to medium, simmering for 5 minutes.
Remove from stove; stir in peas and corn. Season with salt and pepper, pour mixture into a 1-1/2 quart, oven-safe casserole dish and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine leftover mashed potatoes with beaten egg and mix well; spread mixture over top of casserole and sprinkle with paprika, if desired.
Bake uncovered for 40 minutes, until top is golden brown.

Jingle Bell Walk/Run

2010 Jingle Bell Run/Walk®
Pittsburgh, PA
10 am
Saturday, December 11th
McFadden's, North Shore -- Pittsburgh, PA

Get in the spirit this holiday season at the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis®. Be one of the thousands of runners and walkers who hit the nation’s pavements, pathways and parks this winter to fight arthritis, the nation’s most common cause of disability.

Jingle Bell Run/Walk® is a fun and festive way to kick off your holidays by helping others! Wear a holiday themed costume. Tie jingle bells to your shoelaces. Run or walk a 5 kilometer route with your team members and celebrate the season by giving.

2010 Jingle Bell Walk/Run

Metabolism=Key to Weight Loss

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Beautiful Body= 80% nutrition 10% training 10% genetics

Ok, lets talk....I've only been in the office for a week, but it's been long enough to know that everyones eating schedules are a) haywire b) nonexistent c) in SERIOUS need of revamping.
No one needs to fuss up to not eating until 2pm, but STOP IT!!
It may seem counter intuitive that eating more throughout the day will actually help you lose weight, but it's true and there is science to back it up. 
Increasing the frequency of meals causes your metabolism to be stimulated while preventing you from those awful hunger pangs.  Think about how often a baby eats...every 2-3 hours....These intervals not only keep the baby properly nourished and content, but the regular and consistent nourishment ensures that all metabolic processes are running efficiently.
It is natural for us to require sustenance every 2-3 hours, even in adulthood.  Keep in mind that just because you should be eating every few hours does not mean you have permission to eat everything in sight!  Make your portions smaller and with the right kinds of nutrient dense foods.

An Ideal Eating Schedule would look something like this:


That means you will be eating 2190 meals a year. With so many meals, you would think we would learn to get it right! Each one is essential to your health, critical to your happiness and will lead to your success! 2190 meals seems like a lot to plan for, but if you break it down day by day and prepare your meals its a lot easier than you may think!

Ok so we know WHEN to eat, how about WHAT you can eat...

Your diet should be comprised of 55% complex carbs, 27% lean protein, 18% healthy fats. (This is just a guideline, but you can download calorie counters on your phone that will give you the break down of what you are eating just in case you are really out of whack).
Water is crucial for cellular function at every level, from regulating body temp, to keeping joints mobile and and maintaining tissue health.  Try to drink about 10 cups of water a day to keep your systems running at an optimal level.

You should eat 6 servings of protein a day, 2-4 servings of complex carbs, 4-6 servings of fresh produce, and 2-3 servings of healthy fats.

Examples of good lean proteins:
Beans of all kinds
Beef Tenderloin
Chicken Breast
Lean Ground Turkey
Low Fat Cottage Cheese

Complex Carbs:
Brown Rice
Cream of Wheat
Wheat Germ
Sweet Potatoes

Healthy Fats:
Nut Butters
Olive Oil
Safflower Oil

Following the schedule above, here is a sample menu of clean healthy foods all throughout the day (most of which you can prepare at the beginning of the week or the night before):

7am Breakfast:
  • 1/2 cup oats cooked w 1 cup water (opt. top with 2Tbs ea ground flaxseed, wheat germ, bee pollen, 1/4 cup berries)
  • 4 eggs whites
  • 1 cup black coffee or clear green tea
  • 1 liter water
10am Mid Morning:
  • 1 apple w 2 Tbs natural pb or 1 handful raw almonds
  • 1 glass of water

1pm Lunch:
  • 5 oz tuna or chicken over 2 cups spinach leaves, 1 grated carrot, 1 tomato, 1/2 chopped bell pepper dressed with oil/vinegar or lemon juice, 2Tbs flaxseed
  • 1 glass of water
4pm Mid-afternoon:
  • 5oz grilled boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup steamed veggies
  • 1 glass of water
7pm Dinner:
  • 5 oz salmon
  • 1/2 baked sweet potato w chopped chives
  • 1 glass water
  • 1 cup plain green tea
9:30pm Evening:
This meal is optional, you can include it if you are still hungry or chose to skip it.
  • 1/2 cup kefir with 1/2 chopped apple or mixed berries
  • 1 apple with almonds
  • 1 rice cake with 1 Tbs natural peanut butter

It is not always possible to eat this many meals throughout the day, but a good start would be to at least make sure you eat SOMETHING for breakfast!
You should always make sure to eat a lean protein with a complex carb so other breakfast ideas would be a protein shake with shake with strawberries or eggs whites with spinach and tomato.