Try a Free Class!

Tom’s Fitness & Paris Martial Arts


Posted: January 28, 2008

It was another interesting week for our Biggest Losers (Season 3). We had some great numbers at the Friday night weigh-in, and almost everyone was there for the workout. The fact that most people came back after last week’s boot camp reflects their desire to make some changes.

I deliberately made the first one tough to weed out anyone who’s not committed. Last group, I took the group running down Main St. on the first night. You should have heard the comments behind me.

“He’s going to do what???” “You’ve GOT to be kidding.” And some other choice ones! But I figure that if you’re worried about what other people are going to think, you’re really not ready. Let’s get past that right away. It’s about you. What you need. How your life is going to change.

Sadly, it’s too cold to take them outside right now, but wait until March J. So, we started with 50 body squats, 50 pushups, and 50 crunches (5 sets of 10), all in a row, without stopping. I thought it set the tone nicely.

Then we moved on to walking lunges, hops, sprints, pilates crunches, banana rolls and finished them off with wheelbarrow walks. Those are where you hold someone’s feet up and walk behind them while they are walking in pushup position on their hands!

I was so proud of them—they kept pushing, even when it got tough. My goal is to teach them how to put intensity into their exercise and know how it feels. Then, when they’re on their own, they’ll know if they’re taking it too easy.

If they can get to where my workouts aren’t any harder than the ones they do, they’ll be just fine. They’ll continue to progress and get what they want.

Sure, they’re going to be sore for awhile, but it’s worth it. Remember, they’re changing their bodies. Things don’t change when you’re comfortable. Why would they?

Before the workout, I had a chance to talk to them about food, and how to prepare a balanced diet and what each plate should look like. We also talked about how important it was for them (especially the women) to hit what I call their minimum—which is the minimum amount of calories they need to survive.

I always go by American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) standards, and according to them, women should never get less than 1,200 calories, and men should never go below 1,800 calories a day.

In my experience, 9 out of 10 women don’t hit their minimum. Many diets are under 1,200 calories. This will cause your metabolism to slow down making it very difficult to burn fat for fuel.

Once we know someone’s minimum we want to give them a little extra to cover the activity they’re engaging in. This means most women end up around 1,650 calories.

Just this morning, I was on the phone with a nutritionist with one of the hospitals in Terre Haute. She makes sure that the women she counsels never go below 1,500 calories. Sometimes, you’ve got to eat more to lose.

On the other hand, guys are usually over-eaters. We need a visit from the portion control police. “STEP AWAY FROM THE TABLE…!”

Once you know how much you should eat, you need to look at the quality of what you’re eating. Every meal should have a source of Protein, Starch, and Fruits & Greens. If you’re doing fats correctly, you don’t even need to think about it, so let’s spend a moment on fats.

· Eat low fat dairy—it has the same protein without all the extra calories from fat.
· Eat more fish—it’s the best source of Omega-3, a fatty acid that actually helps you burn fat.
· Eat more olives and cook with Olive Oil—never use vegetable oils.
· Eat more nuts—they’re very high in Omega-3, especially walnuts and almonds. Even peanut butter is good for you (just don’t eat the whole can).
· Eat more avacados—they’ll help you burn more fat.
· Eat dark chocolate—I’m serious—it’s another one of those fat foods that helps you burn fat. Just don’t go crazy with it.
· Avoid fatty cuts of meat—eat lean cuts and trim the fat.
· Take an Omega-3 (fish oil) supplement.
If you’re doing all those things, then your fats are taking care of themselves, and you can focus on Protein, Starch, and Fruits & Greens. Basically you’re dividing the plate up into three equal sections, each containing one of those three food sources:

(For Building Muscle & Bone)
· Fish
· Poultry (chicken or turkey)
· Lean cuts of Beef
· Nuts
· Lo-fat Dairy Products (cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese, milk, eggs)
· Pork
· 3-4 oz portions for women, 5-6 oz portions for men (about the size of your palm)

(For Long Fuel & some Vitamins & Minerals)
· Whole Wheat or Whole Grain Cereal
· Whole Wheat or Whole Grain Breads, Bagels, etc…
· Oats or Oatmeal
· Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes
· Corn
· Whole Grain Pasta
· Long Grain Wild Rice
· Some Beans

(For lots of Vitamins & Minerals, Fiber, & Quick Energy)
· These are pretty obvious. Choose fresh or frozen if possible, then canned.
· Try to get as much color on your plate

At the weigh-in, the winner of Week 2 was Tony Haupt, who has been working out at home. While that may not be as good for business, it clearly demonstrates that you can do this even if you can’t get to the gym. He’s getting it done at home!

Tony won with a weight loss of 7.6 lbs and -2.94% of his body weight, just ahead of the 2nd Place finisher. He received a $25 Casey’s Gas Card from Dimond Brothers Insurance, but it was so close that we had to go to the hundredth percent to eliminate a tie this week.

2nd Place went to Kathy Hurst, who lost 6.0 lbs and -2.93% of her body weight. 3rd Place went to Tiffany Gann, who also lost 6.0 lbs and -2.76% of her body weight. That’s two gals in the top three!

4th Place went to Bill Lewis, our oldest in the group (age 67) who lost 7.0 lbs and -2.61% of his body weight. I like Bill. He lets you know that anyone can do this, regardless of age.

Next week, we’re turning up the heat. Their assignments were to do extremely slow reps on the weight machines (much harder—they’ll feel the burn), doing a 15 count going up and 15 count going down. Then, doing the rest of the reps with a 5 count up and down.

They’re also supposed to continue improving their cardio, and recording what they eat in 3 healthy meals and 3 healthy snacks. By writing it down, they will be educating themselves about the caloric value of different foods. If you don’t know, you’re guessing, and guessing makes you fat!

It will also hold them accountable, and that’s another thing we need—accountability! More on this next week. Until then, I’ll see you in the gym!