Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

February 28, 2013

Getting to the root of the weight-loss issue

On Fitness
The Andover Townsman

---- — ISSUE: WEIGHT LOSS: How do we make sense of the hype over calorie-counting, carb-protein-fat ratios, and balanced food-group plans. What matters most?

Expert: Cara Green

Member Advancement Director

Andover/ North Andover YMCA

Answer: Getting caught up in the hype and trying to make sense of it all can cause you to throw in the towel before even a pound is shed.

Losing weight is about burning more calories than you eat. It’s true that all calories are not created equal and eating too few of them will slow the weight-loss process. Long-term success requires committing yourself to choosing healthy foods more often than not, eating the correct portions and staying active.

Start by making small changes: cut down on soda; eat more natural, less processed foods. Be active for at least 30 minutes every day.

Feeling good about what you’ve started and seeing results will encourage you to do more. Continue to focus on what works for you and your body and what keeps you motivated. Before long, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight will not seem so confusing.

Expert: Tony Ferrao

Manager of Get in Shape for Women

Former director of Andover/North Andover Y

Answer: The sense should come from research, not hearsay. There is a lot of research that disproves the calorie theory. Weight regulation has more to do with hormones and enzymes, like insulin and AMPK, respectively. Jeff Volek down at the University of Connecticut has done some good research on macronutrient combinations in the diet. Also, Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Robb Wolf, Ph.D., Mark Hyman, MD, Michael Eades, MD and Mark Sisson are all great resources who have books and blogs highlighting research on this topic.

Expert: Art McDermott

Owner, Matrix Strength & Fitness

CSCS, CISSN

Answer: This topic is the single greatest source of confusion, misinformation and frustration for most dieters. Based upon the science and observing hundreds of people over the years, here is what I have seen.

Calorie counting will work for some. Many people enjoy tracking numbers and prefer this type of accountability. I do not recommend it. The calories don’t matter quite as much as the source of the calories.

If you are deriving your calories from protein, veggies and good fats, you will have success with weight management. By default, this addresses the “balanced food groups plan”, with one major exception. If you are looking to lose weight, you MUST avoid grains – even “whole wheat/grain” products. Many out there will disagree, but it simply works. “If you can’t pick off a tree, pull it from the ground or hunt it down, don’t eat it.” Breads do NOT meet any of these criteria.

ISSUE: RESISTANCE TRAINING: I keep hurting my shoulder when I lift weights but know the importance of strength and weight training. What should I do?

Expert: Cara Green

Member Advancement Director

Andover/ North Andover YMCA

Answer: If you are hurting yourself, something is not right. You are not giving a minor injury enough time to heal; doing something incorrectly or you have a more serious injury that requires a doctor’s care. Do not continue to work through the pain. Take the time and make the effort to fully recover so you can get back to strength training as quickly as possible instead of being sidelined for the long haul.

Expert: Tony Ferrao

Manager of Get in Shape for Women

Former director of Andover/North Andover Y

Answer: The first step is to seek the advice of a qualified fitness profesional who can access and coach form and technique to ensure the biomechanics of the shoulder are correct. After that, if the pain persists, an evaluation by a qualified orthopeadic medical professional is warranted to make sure the structure of the shoulder is intact and there is no tear or inflammation present.

Expert: Jamey Lachiana

Yang’s Fitness Center

ACSM certified, local exercise physiologist since 1996

Answer: In my experience, many people stop exercising because they have suffered an injury, because they “don’t have the time”, or because they aren’t sure of what exercises/machines to utilize at the gym if they did go. Quite often, the people who injure themselves while exercising aren’t performing the motion correctly, which can lead to weakness or an injury. However, if you stop exercising, you will become less healthy and weaker, and that can lead to many other injuries or health issues.

I suggest not using the injured muscle or joint until you meet with someone qualified to assist you. Meanwhile, there are many other areas of the body you can train while you rehabilitate. If a bird breaks its wing, it still runs around, right?

ISSUE: MOTIVATIONAL TIPS: What quotation do you love? Why?

Expert: Cara Green

Member advancement Director

Andover/ North Andover YMCA

Answer: “...the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way,” by Viktor E. Frankl.

The only thing we can control is our own attitude and I believe attitude is everything. You have the choice to approach things from a negative place or a positive one and whichever you choose makes a huge difference in the outcome.

Expert: Tony Ferrao

Manager of Get in Shape for Women

Former director of Andover/North Andover Y

Answer: “Those who do not make time for exercise will have to make time for disease,” by the Earl of Derby.

It’s the hard hitting truth!

Expert: Art McDermott

Owner, Matrix

Answer: Those who read my newsletters know that I am a huge fan of quotes. One that pops immediately to mind is: “You become what you think about most of the time.” I believe this comes from the man who created the self-help industry, Napoleon Hill. He wrote “Think and Grow Rich”, an essential read.

If you truly desire to be lean, to get a certain level of success in school, sports or work, and dwell upon this goal constantly, you will create the correct circumstances to make it so. Subconsciously or not.