Fitness Flash

Fitness Flash
Blogcritics Magazine

Writer for Blogcritics Magazine

Writer for Blogcritics Magazine
Since March, 2009

The MY DIVA DIET mission E.C.L. Empower -- Challenge -- Legacy

"To empower women (and young girls) so that they can get into great shape, to challenge them to be better women, and to ensure a legacy of good health for the next generation!"

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Diet Book Review: The Secret to Skinny: How Salt Makes You Fat, and the 4-Week Plan to Drop a Size and Get Healthier with Simple Low-Sodium Swaps


Book Review: The Secret to Skinny: How Salt Makes You Fat, and the 4-Week Plan to Drop a Size and Get Healthier with Simple Low-Sodium Swaps

The Lakatos Twins (no relation) expose sugar’s “evil white dieting twin”, salt, in their brand new “get skinny” diet book.

Author: Christine Lakatos — Published: Sep 28, 2009 at 9:38 pm

There have been tons of diet books focusing on the evils of sugar in our diet, how it wreaks havoc on our health and makes us fat, and you will find diet books that highlight high-sodium intake as a culprit to dieting woes. But rarely will you come across an entire book on sugar's “evil white dieting twin” — salt. The Lakatos Twins, Lyssie and Tammie, AKA The Nutrition Twins, have just released their new diet book, The Secret to Skinny: How Salt Makes You Fat, and the 4-Week Plan to Drop a Size and Get Healthier with Simple Low-Sodium Swaps.


The Nutrition Twins are world renown nutritionists and certified fitness trainers, and this past April I reviewed their last diet book, Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever, here on Blogcritics.



Just a few weeks ago, the Nutrition Twins released another diet book in which they expose the dismal realities of too much salt in your diet: “The truth is that chronically over consuming salt damages your heart, brain, kidneys, and arteries.” The Nutrition Twins cover these health issues as well as electrolyte imbalances and bloating that occurs from this common diet pitfall. They address how excessive consumption of salt not only makes you unhealthy, but is a major contributor to obesity –– something most of us know. As a fitness expert, I've always been a strong advocate of low-sodium diets, yet this diet book enlightened me further on the perils of "salt toxicity"; the damage it does to your fat cells, metabolism, and insulin resistance –– a topic you should know more about and secrets (truths) you will have to discover by reading this diet book.

Sodium is an important mineral that helps our nerves and muscles function properly, aids in the absorption of major nutrients, and helps maintain an adequate water and mineral balance. However, the typical American diet includes three to five times more sodium than we need, and it largely comes from salt (primarily sodium chloride), as opposed to natural, wholesome foods. It’s no wonder we are bloated, fat and sick. And it’s not just from that "criminal saltshaker" –– it's in fast food, junk food, so-called diet foods, packaged and processed foods, in our cooking and at our restaurants –– it’s everywhere.

The Nutrition Twins, with some fun and effective “food group” titles; a variety of menu plans; tasty, low-sodium, healthy and fit recipes; plus more, will guide you on how to overcome that bad four letter word in your diet, S-A-L-T, and keep it in check.

Eliminating the “evil white dieting twins,” sugar and salt, from your diet, will ensure you lose weight, gain health, increase energy, and look and feel your best forever. On the other hand, there may be “evil white dieting triplets” lurking in your diet that you will need to conquer –– sugar, salt and white flour!

Since the Lakatos name is synonymous with sound nutrition and results, adding the "amazing twins'" The Secret to Skinny to your diet library will most certainly put you on the right track to a lean and healthy body. Follow the plans outlined in this diet book and watch your weight fall and sizes drop, while experiencing extraordinary health levels that you never imagined you could.
Review first on Blogcrtics

And I got my signed copy...Thanks Girls!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Diet Book Review: Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever


Back in April of 2009 I reviewed the Nutrition Twins diet book and am in the process of reading and reviewing their brand new diet book, The Secret to Skinny: How Salt Makes You Fat, and the 4-Week Plan to Drop a Size and Get Healthier with Simple Low-Sodium Swaps.

In case you missed it, here is my review for Blogcritics: Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever
A genuine diet book that will "fire up" more than just your metabolism.
Review in Books — by Christine Lakatos — on Apr 06, 2009

If you want to lose weight, sifting through the thousands of diet books on the market today is quite a task. I've seen diet books come and go, some offering healthy and long-term solutions to weight loss while most are just "fad diets" that leave dieters unhealthy, less energetic, fatter than before they started their "diet", frustrated, and desperate — only to seek out another quick-fix diet again, resulting in chronic dieting with no real results.

So when you find a diet book that is authentic (one that works and is based on sound nutrition), its significance can't be ignored. Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever, is such a diet book.

Lyssie Lakatos and Tammy Lakatos Shames, registered dieticians, nutritionists, personal trainers, and identical twins (we will get to that later) are the authors. Their main focus in this diet book is one of the most important aspects of losing weight — metabolism (BMR). BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate. BMR is basically the amount of energy your body needs to maintain normal body function. This includes the function of vital organs like the heart, lungs, brain and nervous system, liver, kidneys, sex organs, muscle, and skin, and accounts for about 60-70% of calories burned in a day. The amount of energy required by these processes must be met before any of those calories can be used for food digestion and physical activity. As the authors put it, "metabolism is the way your body uses calories from the food you eat. The speed at which it does so is called your metabolic rate." Why focus on metabolism for weight loss? Because the higher the metabolic rate the leaner you will get!

The authors provide and prove nine principles that will speed up your metabolism: 1) never skip meals, 2) eat at the right times, 3) choose a diet rich in the best carbs, 4) appropriately time intake of lean proteins, 5) drink appropriate amounts of certain beverages at specific times, 6) eat a diet low in bad fat, 7) get enough sleep every night, 8) find surprising ways to stay active, 9) incorporate muscle strengthening in your exercise routine.

As two authors with such an extensive background coupled with their experience in the health and fitness industry, and two women that are very healthy and fit, we can agree that they are knowledgeable enough and qualified to write a diet book. It's one thing to have "head knowledge" but having "experiential knowledge" allows ones expertise to take on a deeper meaning and increase its value. These young women (known as The Nutrition Twins ) did something I've never seen in any other diet book — "twin trials". They set out to verify their principles through experience — thus the word "proven" is very relevant to the subtitle of their diet book.

There's an old saying from the 1600s, "the proof is in the pudding" (actual line "the proof of the pudding is in the eating"), and metaphorically, means "seeing is believing", "don't believe things without proof", or "the true value or quality of something can only be judged when it's put to use or tried and tested". In this case the proof is in the twins! The Nutrition Twins' theories about weight loss (the nine principles) are rooted in their nutrition expertise and intensified by their desire and tenacity to actually test them — on themselves! They took each principle and did an experiment, lasting anywhere between three weeks and three months, and used the appropriate approach, methods, and instruments to track their starting point and final results. With a toss of a coin, one ended up being the "guinea pig" while the other remained active and on their normal healthy diet (eating and drinking), sleeping, and exercise practices.

The Nutrition Twins' bravery must be admired because how many fitness experts, especially those that enjoy the fruits of their own labor, would test a theory using themselves as "guinea pigs" knowing that the affects would be a slower metabolism (although temporarily), and would alter their body, energy and health in a bad way. It may have been a worthwhile endeavor because their technique enabled them to confirm how some commonly used diet plans, diet habits (food and liquid), activity level, exercise, and sleep impact results when trying to lose weight (enhance or hinder). It also produced a very educational, useful, and motivating diet book. I'm sure at this point The Nutrition Twins probably have a better appreciation of what dieters go through when they choose a poor diet plan, incorporate a few bad dieting habits, ignore exercise, don't consume enough water, and/or are sleep deprived!

As a fitness expert it was fun to analyze their experiments and I was quite entertained by some of The Nutrition Twins' reactions toward "gaining weight". Their "twin trials" confirmed their nine principles and the "loser of the coin toss" ended up with a slower metabolism. In summary these nine trials (separate or combined) resulted in higher body fat, extra body weight, bloating, tighter clothes; showed a significant decrease in health, energy, muscle tone and definition, and lean body mass; demonstrated a loss of strength and endurance; and displayed a negative impact on temperament, moods and overall self-confidence!

Within each "twin trial", The Nutrition Twins include expert information while offering practical solutions to help the reader make better choices in that particular area. The authors also incorporate helpful segments like myth busters, tips, client stories (testimonials), sample daily menus, and more. The only thing I would change about this diet book is their way of listing their recommended daily nutrient amounts (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) from servings to actual grams — but that is just "me" — I like my food in grams!

Although we're not related (but do have a lot in common, including our last name), I give Lyssie and Tammy Lakatos five stars for Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever. It's comprehensive enough to get the results you want yet it is presented into a simple but powerful list that you can put on your frig, in your Blackberry, or on a Post It note!

I'm sure you will "fire up" your metabolism, as well as your fitness, health, energy, knowledge, drive, and confidence and you'll end up looking and feeling your best with this genuine diet book.
Stay tuned for my review of their brand new book––The Secret to Skinny: How Salt Makes You Fat, and the 4-Week Plan to Drop a Size and Get Healthier with Simple Low-Sodium Swaps.

Great last name by the way
Christine Lakatos: www.MyDivaDiet.com
Check out their review of MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book

Friday, September 25, 2009

Exercise: Four Things for Women to Embrace


The wide-ranging health benefits of regular exercise include:
  • Reducing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, and obesity
  • Helping keep joints, tendons, and ligaments flexible
  • Helping increase metabolism, energy, and endurance
  • Reducing some of the effects of aging
  • Contributing to mental well-being (including alleviating depression, stress, and anxiety) and ensuring better sleep
  • A properly designed and executed exercise program can improve or protect posture, help keep bones and muscles stronger, and maintain joints, tendons, and ligaments injury-free.
  • Exercise can help improve your skin and enable your internal organs to function better.
  • Exercise helps you lose body fat by:
  • Burning calories when you are exercising and increasing your metabolism for many hours afterward
  • Increasing your lean body mass, which:
  1. Equals a higher sustained metabolic rate
  2. Leads to a firmer, more sculptured physique
  • Exercise makes you healthier, feel better, look younger and more alive—it’s sexy!
An exercise program should consist of the six components shown in the following chart. Each workout should fit your age, current fitness level, and any medical or physical limitations you may have. Your goals, lifestyle, exercise interests, and commitment level should also be taken into consideration when your exercise program is designed.

But an exercise program should include

"Diva Six Components to an
effective exercise Program", of which I have covered in the last six blogs....
As a fitness expert, I get all of the excuses on why women choose not to exercise and there are a few concerns (myths) that are also attached to exercising....Four of which I want to address...
#1 Sweating
  • Sweating is good for you, so don’t be concerned about how you look when you exercise—get moving and sweat when you work out!
  • Sweating:
  • Speeds up metabolic processes of vital organs
  • Makes the heart pump hard, producing a drop in blood pressure
  • Strengthens the immune system and inhibits and kills bacteria and viruses
  • Relieves pain and speeds healing of joint injuries and other problems
  • Moves fluids through the body, thus cleansing the body and improving skin and cell function
#2 Muscle mass
  • Muscle mass is great for your metabolic rate and makes you firmer.
  • It is difficult for women to gain extreme amounts of muscle mass because we don’t have the same hormonal make-up as men, so don’t fear gaining too much muscle mass if you weight train.
  • If your exercise program is designed and executed properly and you are losing fat at the same rate of your muscle increase, you will not get bulky.
#3 Veins
  • Veins are the blood vessels that carry blood to your heart. Visible veins (except for varicose veins) are a sign of good health, a signal of low body fat and lack of subcutaneous fluid. Don’t consider them ugly but rather view them as a health & fitness measuring tool.
#4 Rest
  • The health benefits of sleep include reducing inflammation, depression, and stress and increasing alertness, memory, immune function, and more.
  • Sleep also helps repair muscles after exercising, damage caused by stress, and harmful exposure to ultraviolet rays.
  • Don’t be extreme in your exercise program and be sure to get plenty of sleep and relaxation time. Take some time off of your exercise program every 6 weeks, providing you are on a steady program.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Exercise: Functional Training


#6 Functional training
According to ACE (American Council on Exercise), functional training is... "Functional strength training involves performing work against resistance in such a manner that the improvements in strength directly enhance the performance of movements so that an individual's activities of daily living are easier to perform. Simply stated, the primary goal of functional training is to transfer the improvements in strength achieved in one movement to enhancing the performance of another movement by affecting the entire neuromuscular system."
  • Purpose: Improves functional movements that the body is engineered to do in everyday life—walking, running, climbing, lifting, bending, etc.— through a complex series of motions by several of the body’s systems, including the nervous system, the muscular system, and the skeletal system.
  • These movements are important because they give us the ability to perform a variety of tasks—at work, at home, for recreation—now and in the future.
  • Types of activity:
  1. Functional training should be a part of your exercise program so that your body can do all the things it was meant to do—even at age 80!
  • Frequency, duration, and intensity: You can fit your functional training into your weight training sessions.
This is Blog #6 of SIX BLOGS to cover the Diva 6 Components to an Effective Exercise Program: Core and balance training
  • Cardiovascular conditioning
  • Strength and endurance training
  • Flexibility training
  • Core and balance training
  • Corrective exercises
  • Functional training

Click her to see the other 5 components:
  1. Cardiovascular Conditioning
  2. Strength and Endurance Training
  3. Flexibility Training
  4. Core and Balance Training
  5. Corrective Exercises
www.MyDivaDiet.com

I am an ACE Certified Fitness Trainer with over 27 years experience in the fitness industry! Stay tuned for "Four Things for Women to embrace with exercise"...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Exercise: Corrective Exercises


#5 Corrective exercises
  • Purpose: Help improve posture and target ideal posture, defined as “that state of muscular and skeletal balance which protects the supporting structures of the body against injury or progressive deformity.” It is during ideal posture that the muscles function most efficiently.
  • Types of activity:
  1. Exercises that help offset any muscle imbalances you may have developed through work injuries, sports, a poorly designed exercise program, or simple neglect. Corrective exercises help put your body back into its proper postural alignment so you not only function better but look and feel better. You can use weight training and flexibility techniques as well as a Swiss ball, foam rollers, and other modalities.
  • Frequency, duration, and intensity: You can incorporate corrective exercises within your regular exercise routine, as long as they are tailored to your particular postural issues.
Check this website to learn more about Common Postural Deficiencies

An exercise program should consist of the six components shown in the following chart. Each workout should fit your age, current fitness level, and any medical or physical limitations you may have. Your goals, lifestyle, exercise interests, and commitment level should also be taken into consideration when your exercise program is designed.

This is Blog #5 of SIX BLOGS to cover the Diva 6 Components to an Effective Exercise Program: Core and balance training
  • Cardiovascular conditioning
  • Strength and endurance training
  • Flexibility training
  • Core and balance training
  • Corrective exercises
  • Functional training

Click her to see:
  1. Cardiovascular Conditioning
  2. Strength and Endurance Training
  3. Flexibility Training
  4. Core and Balance Training
www.MyDivaDiet.com

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Exercise: Core and Balance Training


#4 Core and Balance Training
  • Core: Supports the supports the balanced and development of the deep superficial muscles that stabilize, align, and move the trunk of the body, especially the abdominal and muscles of the back.
  • Balance: Maintaining balance means having the centre of mass within your base of support, ie with your trunk aligned over your feet.
    • Core and balance training improves athletic performance and can help prevent injuries.
  • Types of activity: Core and balance training can be done with weights, exercise bands, medicine balls, or a Swiss ball. Consider using other balance equipment like pads, beams, discs and boards.
  • You can also train core and balance via yoga and Pilates
  • Frequency, duration, and intensity: Core and balance training can be incorporated into your exercise program (either with your weight training or in a class setting)
Check out this DVD: "Foundations of Core Stability and Balance Training" which was produced in cooperation with the ACE (American Council on Exercise), of which I am certified.

Here are some other blogs to help get you going!
Exercise Tips: The Swiss Ball
Six Pack Abs–Small Waistline: The Smart Way
!

An exercise program should consist of the six components shown in the following chart. Each workout should fit your age, current fitness level, and any medical or physical limitations you may have. Your goals, lifestyle, exercise interests, and commitment level should also be taken into consideration when your exercise program is designed.

This is Blog #4 of SIX BLOGS to cover the Diva 6 Components to an Effective Exercise Program: Core and balance training
  • Cardiovascular conditioning
  • Strength and endurance training
  • Flexibility training
  • Core and balance training
  • Corrective exercises
  • Functional training

Click her to see:
  1. Cardiovascular Conditioning
  2. Strength and Endurance Training
  3. Flexibility Training
www.MyDivaDiet.com