Welcome to the Biggest Loser - Turlock's 12 Week Weight Loss Challenge.

Biggest Loser Turlock begins a new 12-Week Individuals Challenge on January 7, 2014! You’re making a commitment to lose weight, and we’re looking forward to supporting you along the way. Check in on our blog often for weekly results, mini - challenges, and tips to help you stay on track and lead a healthy lifestyle!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

7 Smart Ways to Stay Active This Winter

Don't Let Cold Weather Destroy Your Efforts

Baby, it's cold outside. And, if you're like me, winter weather can sometimes make working out seem less than desirable. After all, who likes to dress like a mummy to go for a run, or risk slipping on ice when out for a walk? Even heating up the car in the wee hours of the morning to get to the gym for your favorite Spinning class can be quite tough!

Although you may want to stay snuggled up in your warm bed, winter shouldn't be a time that your fitness plans hibernate—especially with all of those holiday treats around. With the right attitude and mix of exercises, winter can actually be a fantastic time to mix up your workouts, get creative and even reignite your love of fitness by trying new, fun activities. Not to mention, exercise can help you beat those winter blues!

How to Make the Most of Winter Workouts

  1. Change your mind. Winter isn't just about cold weather, it's a whole new season! Embrace the time of year by sitting down and revisiting your goals, then plan out what you'd like to accomplish during the next few months. We're all so busy these days that time seems to fly, which is why it's important to reflect on our past accomplishments and current goals. It can help you see winter in a new, inspired light.

  2. Go out and play! If you can't seem to muster the energy to work out this time of year, try "playing" instead. You can burn quite a few calories playing indoors or out. The best part about playing is that it doesn't feel like working out—though you can still get your heart rate up and have an excellent cardio session. Have a blast in the winter wonderland outside by making snow angels (214 calories burned per hour on average), having a snowball fight (319 calories burned per hour), or even building a snowman (285 calories burned per hour). No snow in your area? Try ice skating—an activity you can do indoors or outdoors. Ice skating can burn more than 450 calories per hour—and it's a blast!

  3. Take up a winter sport. If you're a competitive type, why not try a new winter sport? From skiing to snowshoeing, there are many great options that burn mega calories and put a whole new twist on your cold-weather workout plans.

  4. Get creative at home. Sure, getting to the gym can be more of a hassle when it is cold outside, but never use snowy weather as an excuse to miss your daily exercise. Instead, work out at home, where's it's cozy and warm. Whether you pop in a new workout DVD, invest in a few pieces of fitness equipment or even just use your body weight for a killer workout, exercising at home can be a convenient (and fun!) solution to staying on track. And the best part about working out from your own home? You don't have to worry about sharing a TV with fellow gym goers or possibly catching an illness at the gym. Home really is where the (healthy) heart is.

  5. Try something new. There's nothing like signing up for a new class or joining an indoor sports league to get you up and moving during chilly months. By trying something new, you reignite your motivation for fitness, cold weather and all! Whether it's indoor volleyball, a dodgeball league, a bootcamp class or even tennis lessons at a local indoor racquet club, participating in a regular activity that you've paid for (or have teammates counting on you to play in) is a fantastic way to stay active in the winter time. You might even make some new friends or learn some new skills.

  6. Set a big goal—and some little goals. If winter weather leaves your motivation to exercise colder than an icicle, heat things up with a challenging, new goal. It can be anything from losing those last 10 pounds, to running a 5K (yes, you can still run outside in the cold) or even doing a full pull-up, but choose a goal that you really want and that will stretch you beyond your comfort zone to reach it. Setting a smart goal that you then break down into smaller, achievable action steps is a great way to start. Instead of focusing on simply working out this winter, this type of goal-setting allows you to focus on the bigger picture—your dreams.

  7. Get excited. If you've never been a winter fan, start focusing on what you do love about it and how this time of year provides new opportunities for your fitness and health. From eating delicious in-season produce (oranges, kale, and chestnuts, oh my!), to curling up with a big mug of sugar-free hot cocoa in front of the fireplace after a long workout, there is much to love about winter when you embrace and appreciate it.
While there are many great workout options this winter, be sure you always stay safe no matter what you do—especially if you decide to enjoy the winter weather outdoors. Here are some safety tips to follow. But most of all, have fun out there. It's a wonderful time of year—enjoy it!
-- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor

Monday, January 30, 2012

FREE WORKOUT MUSIC from the Biggest Loser & Subway!

The Biggest Loser and Subway are offering FREE Workout Music designed to get you motivated to work out!
The songs are: “Forget You_” by Cee Lo Green, “Just a Dream” by Nelly, “The Time (Dirty Bit)” by Back Eyed Peas, “We R Who We R” by Ke$ha, “DJ Got Us Fallin In Love Again” by Usher feat. Pitbull, “What’s My Name” by Rihanna feat. Drake
CLICK HERE to download your free songs!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Shed Pounds, Get Strong

Turn your workout into a calorie-blasting routine.
Don't settle for ho-hum fat burning! Trick your body into melting off more calories with techniques that have science on their side.
No matter if you're new to exercise or an experienced gym-goer, these simple tweaks can help you speed up weight loss, push through plateaus, and get more muscle-toning benefits out of every workout.
Best of all, many of these easy moves work to jumpstart a lagging metabolism so you continue to burn extra calories throughout the day—even while you sleep!

1. Quench with Cool Water

Chill your water pre-workout for a bigger burn.
A fresh-out-of-the-fridge water bottle may energize you for warm-weather exercise, finds a British study. Exercisers who drank refrigerated water (39°F) worked out about 25% longer than those who consumed the same amount of warmer water—and they said their exercise sessions felt easier too.
Whether you're indoors or out, sipping chilled water both before and during exercise may help keep your body temperature down and your energy up for maximum calorie burn.
Stay hydrated during workouts with these 6 water bottle winners.

2. Swing Those Arms

Perfect your walking form.
Turn your walking into a calorie-torching workout by bending your elbows 90 degrees and pumping your arms as you stride. It not only automatically speeds up your pace but helps you burn up to 15% more calories every time you work out.
For proper pumping: Trace an arc from your waist to your chest as you swing. Your thumbs should come close to touching your waistband as your elbow goes backward. Also, make sure to keep elbows in and don't let hands cross past the middle of your chest (in front of your sternum). Too much side-to-side motion drags down your pace.
Walk stronger and longer with tips from walking coaches.

3. Pop in Your Headphones

Fight flagging energy with music.
Working out to your favorite fitness playlist can help you to go up to 20% longer and burn more calories, finds a study from West London's Brunel University. Music blocks fatigue, produces feelings of vigor, and helps you keep pace by synchronizing your movements, says study author Costas Karageorghis, PhD.
For workouts set to music, go to prevention.com/podcasts.

4. Put on Some Weight

Slim down, not bulk up, with a little heavy lifting.
To really rev your calorie burn, it is not about the number of reps, but the size of the weights. Even when exercisers lifted identical volumes (such as 10 pounds 10 times or 20 pounds 5 times), those using the heavier dumbbells burned about 25% more calories when they were finished. "Heavy weights create more protein breakdown in the muscle, so your body has to use more energy to repair and recover--that's how lean muscle tissue is built," says researcher Anthony Caterisano, PhD, of Furman University.
Bonus: Working out with heavy weights even for as few as 3 to 6 reps increased exercisers' sleeping metabolic rate--the number of calories burned overnight--by nearly 8%. That's enough to lose about 5 pounds in a year, even if you did nothing else!
Lose weight and firm your trouble zones with this super-speedy sculpting routine.


Monday, January 23, 2012

The Three Most Important Questions to Ask Before You Eat

Every time we open a magazine, a menu, or even our own refrigerators, we are confronted by conflicting messages between what we could eat and what we should eat. Is it possible to find balance between eating for enjoyment and eating for nourishment?

Not only is it possible, it is essential for making permanent lifestyle changes.

When you’re hungry decide what to eat by asking three simple questions: “What do I want?” “What do I need?” “What do I have?”

What Do I Want?
The first question, “What do I want?” may come as a surprise—but what happens when you try to avoid food you really, really, really, really want (the Four Really Test)—like those Girl Scout Cookies that were delivered after you started your new diet? Perhaps you decide they’re off limits and put them in the freezer. Two days later they whisper to you from their hiding place, “Pssst. We’re in here!” You manage to resist them, instead munching on some cut-up fruit, rice cakes, celery, leftover turkey. You may even feel full, but not quite satisfied.

“Hey! We’re in here and we taste great frozen!” You finally give in and have two Thin Mints®. Blew it again! Might as well eat a few more—they come in a sleeve for a reason—and start over tomorrow. Sound familiar?

Thinking about what you really want to eat without judging yourself will keep you from feeling deprived and out of control when you choose to eat certain foods that pass your Four Really Test. You might be worried that if you ask yourself what you’re really hungry for, you’ll only want “unhealthy” foods. At first this might seem true, since cravings tend to get stronger when you’ve tried to ignore them for too long.

It is critical to learn to trust yourself. When guilt is no longer a factor, common sense prevails. You’ll soon discover that you want a variety of foods to feel healthy and satisfied.

What Do I Need?
The next question to ask yourself is, “What do I need?” While I don’t believe making foods “good” or “bad” is helpful, clearly some foods offer more nutritional benefits than others.

As you consider what food to choose, ask yourself, “What does my body need?” Consider your personal health issues, your family history, what else you are eating that day, how your body responds to certain foods, and nutritional information. Keep in mind that the basic principles of variety, balance, and moderation will address most nutritional questions. Be sure to enjoy your healthy choices by focusing on fresh foods, appealing combinations, new flavors, and interesting recipes.

What Do I Have?
The key to the final question, “What do I have?” is planning. If you feel hungry and the only thing available is a vending machine, you’re more likely to choose a snack food that may not be very healthy, may not taste very good, and may not really be what you were hungry for anyway.

Instead, strive to have a variety of foods available that are healthful and appealing but not overly tempting. These are foods that you enjoy when you’re hungry but won’t be calling out to you from their storage place saying, “Come eat me!”
Of course, you’re not always in control of which foods are available. At a restaurant, office potluck, or friend’s house, simply see what’s available and ask yourself, “Is there a healthy choice that will meet my needs without leaving me feeling deprived?” For example, could you be happy with frozen yogurt instead of ice cream this time?

Eating food that you truly enjoy while taking good care of your body is the best way to make long term changes that you can live with. 

Michelle May, M.D. is the award-winning author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle. Download chapter one free. Dr. May is also the founder of the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Workshops and Facilitator Training Program that helps individuals learn to break free from mindless and emotional eating to live a more vibrant, healthy life.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

8 Things You Always Wanted to Know About Dieting

Your friend at work advises against eating after 8 p.m., a girl from your yoga class swears by the grapefruit diet, and your best friend warns that mixing carbs and protein can pack on the pounds. Sure, you've been hearing diet tips like these from well-meaning people for years, but is there any truth to them? To set the record straight on the most oft-repeated advice, we consulted a team of nutrition experts. They revealed which strategies you should forget and which live up to their get-slim promise.

Q. Will chewing low-cal foods like sugar-free gum and celery help me burn calories?
A. It might, but hardly enough to trigger weight loss. Gum and certain veggies are often called "negative-calorie" foods because they supposedly take more energy for your body to chew or digest than they contain.

The negative-calorie myth was put to the test when researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, asked people to chew sugarless gum at a rate of 100 bites per minute. After calculating the energy expended (about 11 calories per hour), they concluded that a person who chomped on a piece every waking hour of the day for a month would lose less than a pound. As for celery? All that crunching does burn energy, but it amounts to less than the 6-calorie stalk contains. The bottom line: If you really want to shed pounds, give your jaw a rest and start moving your body.

Q. Can coffee really rev up my metabolism?
A. It's true: Java can stoke your calorie-burning furnace—provided you drink it black. A study in the journal Metabolism found that the caffeine in two cups of coffee may cause a 145-pound woman to expend up to 50 extra calories over the next four hours. "Caffeine stimulates your nervous system, signaling the body to release a small amount of energy from its fat stores," says lead researcher Paul Arciero, Ph.D., an associate professor of exercise science at Skidmore College. "But stirring in milk, cream, or sugar can cause your insulin levels to rise, which diminishes that metabolic effect."

Don't try to accelerate the weight loss process by sipping black coffee all day, though. Arciero recommends not exceeding three cups in a day, as too much caffeine can cause anxiety, nausea, and headaches.

Q. Will eating after 8 p.m. make me gain weight?
A. That all depends. Contrary to popular belief, the snack you have before bedtime won't automatically be stored as fat. "The most important factor affecting your weight is how many total calories you eat each day, not what the clock reads when you eat them," says Suzanne Farrell, R.D., a Denver nutritionist and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. That said, skimping on meals during the day may set you up to overeat at night, which can pack on pounds. A recent study in the Journal of Nutrition found that the less food people ate for breakfast and lunch, the more they ate after sundown-and the higher their total calorie intake for the day.

"Our brain's satiation mechanism—its way of telling us we're ready—tends to become weaker as the day progresses," says John de Castro, Ph.D., lead study author and a professor of psychology at Sam Houston State University. "That means you may have to eat more in the evening in order to feel full." His research suggests that have having a larger breakfast, a moderate-size lunch, and a smaller dinner can help you consume fewer calories and reduce the temptation to nosh at night.

Q. Would eating carbs, fat, and protein separately help me lose weight?
A. No. While the concept of "food combining," or eating certain nutrients at specific times (and excluding others), has fallen in and out of vogue for decades, there are no proven benefits. The theory is that different food types (proteins, fats, starches, sugars, and acidic foods) require their own digestive enzymes in order to be metabolized properly. Some claim that mixing these groups or eating them at the wrong times could cause digestive issues or weight gain. For advocates of this eating style, having orange juice and scrambled eggs at a sitting, or even a turkey sandwich, is forbidden.

To determine if a food-combining diet could confer any health or weight-loss benefits, researchers at University Hospital Geneva in Switzerland put two sets of obese patients on low-calorie diets for six weeks. The first group followed a food-combining plan (eating carbohydrates at one meal and fats and protein at another), while the second ate meals that contained all three nutrients. While both groups took in the same amount of calories, those on the balanced diet actually lost about 3 pounds more than the food-combining group—and lowered their blood pressure to boot.

Q. Should I eat a doughnut at morning work meetings, or have nothing at all?
A. Doughnuts are the better choice, but just marginally. "Not only are they excessively high in fat, but doughnuts are also made with sugar and white flour, carbohydrates that are quickly absorbed into your bloodstream," says Farrell. "You may feel satisfied during your meeting, but you'll probably start feeling hungry shortly thereafter." Over time, these breakfasts may lead to weight gain: A Saint Louis University study found that women who chose carb-rich meals over higher-protein ones ate about 400 more calories and had stronger cravings over the next 36 hours.

The next time your boss calls an impromptu brainstorming session, go for a French cruller (169 calories, 8 grams of fat) or a glazed doughnut (190 calories, 10 grams of fat) and skip the cream-filled (307 calories, 21 grams of fat) and cake versions (303 calories, 17 grams of fat). And while muffins may seem like a healthier bet, keep in mind that some pack nearly 700 calories and 33 fat grams!

If you expect things to wrap up within an hour or so, eat breakfast after the meeting. Keep an emergency stash of options, like whole-grain cereal and high-fiber energy bars, at your desk.

Q. Will blotting my pizza cut down on calories?
A. It won't soak up all of the fat and calories in your lunch, but it can make a dent. "If you're eating a medium slice of cheese pizza, swabbing it first with a napkin can remove up to 45 calories and 5 grams of fat," says Farrell.

But all the mopping in the world won't help if you're ordering the wrong kind of pie. A report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, D.C., found that stuffed-crust and meat-lovers varieties, which can clock in at 800 calories per slice, contain more than a day's worth of fat and sodium.

If you really want to improve the nutritional profile of your pizza, skip the meat toppings and order your pie with extra veggies—like mushrooms, spinach, or broccoli—and half the cheese (which saves about 80 calories and 6 grams of fat per slice). Switching from deep-dish to thin-crust can also slash up to 200 calories and 6 grams of fat.

Q. Does exercising on an empty stomach burn more fat?
A. Yes, but you might not be able to work out as hard as you would if you'd eaten first. Researchers at the University of Ottawa in Canada asked two groups of people to hit the treadmill in the morning until they'd blasted 400 calories. The joggers who skipped breakfast burned 58 percent more fat than those who had eaten a meal before their run. But pre-workout fasting won't necessarily translate into weight loss. "People incorrectly assume that if you're using fat for fuel, it equates to losing body fat," says Nancy Clark, R.D., a sports nutritionist in West Newton, Massachusetts. "But what affects weight loss most is how many calories you've depleted during your workout and if you've sustained a deficit by the day's end."

It may sound counterintuitive, but having a 150- to 200-calorie snack at least 30 minutes before your sweat session could help you get slimmer in the long run. A study from Pennsylvania State University found that women who had a mini-meal before their workout were able to exercise up to 16 percent longer than those who drank only water beforehand. Plus, says Clark, women who exercise on empty become so ravenous after they finish that they often end up making poor food choices. Eating a banana or a granola bar before lacing up your sneakers can give you the energy you need to crank up the intensity.

Q. Can foods like cabbage soup and grapefruit help me flush fat?
A. Despite long-standing rumors to the contrary, "there's no science proving that any particular food can burn, melt, or flush away fat," says Donald Hensrud, M.D., an associate professor of preventive medicine and nutrition at the Mayo Clinic. "If a woman loses weight on a grapefruit or cabbage soup plan, it's likely because she has cut calories by restricting her intake to a handful of foods."

Hensrud's colleagues at the Mayo Clinic (which is often incorrectly credited with creating both the cabbage soup and grapefruit diets) estimated that people who follow either plan faithfully eat 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day. "You'd almost certainly lose weight eating 1,000 calories of anything, whether it's bananas or potato chips," he says. "But it will be pretty tough to keep the pounds from returning once you return to your normal diet."
- Shape Magazine

Friday, January 13, 2012

Creatures of Habit: Do You Eat Just Because?

There’s a very famous eatery I go to every time I visit family in Chicago. It’s a part of the nostalgia, so I allow myself this treat knowing full well it’s not the healthiest option calorie-wise. The trouble is, it no longer tastes as good as it once did. The last time I visited my mother-in-law commented mid-meal that the taste had changed. As I took another bite, I had to agree. Yet, before she said something, I was perfectly content with my usual dish. What’s wrong with me? Had I truly become so used to going to this place that I stopped paying attention to the taste of the food? I read the findings of a new study and it seems to corroborate my experience perfectly. In that situation, I was eating purely out of habit.

Stale Popcorn

Published in the November 2011 issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the study, led by researchers from the University of Southern California, UC-San Diego, and Duke University, conducted two studies on about 100 participants. The first study served up fresh or week-old popcorn to two types of people: one group regularly ate popcorn at the movie theater, while the other did not. In the movie theater, regardless of whether the popcorn was fresh or stale, those who regularly ate movie popcorn ate the same amount of food, while the non-habitual ate less stale popcorn. When participants were presented the same food in a conference room, both habitual and non-habitual popcorn eaters ate less of the stale stuff.

Change Your Environment

Slowing down your cravings for unhealthy food may be as easy as changing where you eat. Brian Wansink, who has studied mindless eating extensively, shared his advice to “mindlessly eat better” with attendees of this past year’s conference of the American Psychological Association saying, “The secret is to change your environment so it works for you rather than against you.” If you’re used to eating in the break room or your desk at work, try some place new. At home, resolve to only eat at a dining table, not a tray table in front of the television. You might also switch to a smaller plate, or stop eating directly out of packaging. Turn off distractions and you may find that you enjoy that peach or plum much more than you do your regular candy bar.

Are You Hungry or is It Lunch Time?
Has your lunch break become as automatic as checking your work email first thing in the morning? Additional findings of the study showed, even when the habitual eaters were less hungry, they ate similar portions of popcorn. The non-habitual eaters ate less. If you can help it, only eat when you’re hungry. This may be difficult for families with children on a tight schedule or those who have to eat lunch at a set time, but your breakfast and snacks are all up to you. Think about ways you can shuffle the time so that you’re not just eating out of habit.

Switch Hands
The second study the researchers conducted had participants use their dominant or non-dominant hand while eating the movie popcorn. Habitual eaters ate less stale popcorn when they used their non-dominant hand. In a press release, co-author of the study, Wendy Wood of USC, had this to say, “It's not always feasible for dieters to avoid or alter the environments in which they typically overeat. More feasible, perhaps, is for dieters to actively disrupt the established patterns of how they eat through simple techniques, such as switching the hand they use to eat.” It might get messy, but I think I’ll be testing out my left hand fork skills when I go back to Chicago.

from calorie count

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Make a Better Choice

The winner of last weeks mini-challenge is Suzie Q! She one a copy of Coach Yourself Thin! This week's mini-challenge can be found in the box to the left.

IMPROVE YOUR SELF-TALKBelow you will find many of the excuses all of you use when it comes time to allowing yourself to make bad decisions around your health. Whether it has to do with food, or exercise, we justify our response to suit what we think we need at the moment. Well, next time you feel one of these excuses coming on, try one of the alternate responses you've supplied. You came up with these, let's put the more thoughful responses into action next time around!

EXCUSE: Just a little bit more isn't going to hurt me!
Nope, I don't need more. I'll have a healthy snack later.
God wants more for me and he can help me through this moment.
Every single choice makes a difference.

EXCUSE: I'll write it down in my journal later.
I am worth the extra time! Take the time for yourself and write it down!

EXCUSE: I'm too busy on the computer.
From now on exercise BEFORE i get on the computer!

EXCUSE: I'll just start on Monday.
If I start now I'll be further ahead!
Nope, I'll start right now!
Today is the right time!

EXCUSE: I don't want the kids leftovers on their plates to go to waste.
My kids need me healthy to take care of them and be around for them!

EXCUSE: It's too HARD!
One day at a time.

EXCUSE: I'm stressed and need to eat.
Drink water instead.

EXCUSE: I'm too busy right now.
I need to start earlier and prioritze. It's more important than anything else I'm busy doing!
Who said my workout has to be an hour? I'll do what i can.
Set aside the time because I am worth it!

EXCUSE: I'll take care of it later.
There's no time like the present.
Make time Now!
No time like the present!
I will take the time to work out sinstead of watching TV

EXCUSE: I'll do better tomorrow.
Make every day count!

EXCUSE: But it tastes soooo good!
It's killing me.
I'll find a healthy alternative instead.
It's not worth the taste.

EXCUSE: I'm too tired.
Wake up a little earlier and exercise in the am.
Go to bed earlier.
Exercise will improve my overall stamina.
Just GET UP!
Suck it up and get up! or just go to bed earlier!
You won't be soooo tired if you just DO IT!
Yes you are , but you can still make a choice.

EXCUSE: I'm hungry and this is all there is.
Don't eat it!. Plan ahead!

EXCUSE: I'm too stressed to exercise.
Exercise will help my stress!

EXCUSE: But my favorite show is on.
Exercise during commercials!

EXCUSE: Genetics...what's the use

EXCUSE: I don't FEEL like it.
I don't like how I feel in my clothes...so do it!

EXCUSE: The baby is sick so I can't get out to exercise.
Find something to do here at home.

EXCUSE: I'm my own person, i can do whatever I want.
Think about your future. Think about your wife and kids.

EXCUSE: I don't have time.
Make time!
Make time for what's important.
Plan ahead - You're worth it!
Schedule the time!

EXCUSE: I don't want to face my problems and this will halp me feel better.
Food doesn't fix problems. YOU fix problems.

EXCUSE: I'm too busy to cook. It's easier to eat out.
I need to eat healthier. It's worth the time to cook.

EXCUSE: I exercised so I can have this.
You don't NEED this.

EXCUSE: I like myself no matter what I look like.
Yes, I like me, butI'll live better and longer if I'm healthier.

And Finally.... I need chocolate.
No You Dont!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Week One is in the Books!

We had a great 1st week! We officially have 100 participants for this 12-week round which ensures that the TOP 10 Losers will walk away with a cash prize! Newcomers are allways welcome and can join in next Monday as well.

As a group, we lost over 300lbs last week! More than a 3lb per person average! GREAT JOB! You will find the TOP 10 in a box to the left, and all participants results are located further down the page in a box on the left side of the screen as well!

Watch this space later in the week to see who our mini-challenge winner from Monday's weigh-in is, as well as see the most popular excuses compiled....along with our new ways of handling those excuses. Remember, No MORE EXCUSES!

Look to the box on the left for info on this weeks new mini-challenge!

Our workouts have been FANTASTIC! Hope may more of you will join us in the mornings (Monday-Friday) at 5:30-6:30am in the gym at Monte Vista Chapel for our FREE workouts.

Beyond Pounds: The Rule of 3

There’s no shortage of information about how to lose weight, but when you choose what to do, don’t forget about YOU. If you’re looking to get to and maintain a healthy weight in 2012, changing your diet, exercise, and sleep habits will help you reach your goal. However, above pounds lost, behavior modification, which allows you to maintain your weight loss long-term, should be your ultimate objective. Before you place too much stock in a new regimen, explore the psychological aspects of why you act the way you do to reduce the risk of falling back into bad habits over time.


Despite knowledge, resources, and the ability to lose weight, many are not able to translate their weight loss to a healthy lifestyle. Many times the reason for weight regain is due to an experiment mentality. We set a time limit, a weight goal, and attempt to create controls of what we will and won’t do, all while obsessing over our jean size. Is this any different than treating yourself like a rat in a maze? You are not only body, but mind and spirit. Yes, you should desire a healthy weight, but seeking overall health is key. Analyze what may be behind bad eating habits and lack of exercise and address those issues as you come up with your weight loss plan. Observe and write down certain circumstances, attitudes and habits in your life that may threaten your maintaining a healthy weight. As you create a diet and exercise plan, consider changing certain variables that may be a hindrance to you, or come up with coping mechanisms for things you can’t control.


Being overweight or obese is a problem in so much that it is a major risk factor for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. Instead of obsessing about getting to an “ideal” weight, let your motivation be to realize the health benefits that can contribute to a longer, more abundant life. Two separate studies, one on diabetes, the other blood pressure, found that a weight loss between 5% and 15% of baseline weight can have significant health benefits. So while 50 and 100 pound success stories are real, don’t let the scale be your only predictor of success. As you lose weight, keep track of every aspect of your health, including body measurements, biological tests such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Consider testing your fitness as well. Last, consider stress and mental health tests. Monitoring each of these will help you see how healthy habits effect the whole you, not just the scale.


While it’s true that you should not have French fries daily, think realistically about your ability to completely cut out certain foods as you lose weight. Too much restriction may cause binge eating later on. Understand that healthy eating is about monitoring your portions and creating a caloric deficit if you want to lose weight. To that end, change your mindset from what not to eat, to what "size" certain foods play in your lifestyle. Large portions of veggies, medium portions of fruit and whole grains, and small portions of meat, fats and processed foods will generally create a nutritious meal. While the site does give you specific daily calorie counts to stick to, over time, learning to instinctively choose the right portion sizes is what will keep your healthy lifestyle on track.

from CalorieCount

Thursday, January 5, 2012

6 Flimsy Excuses for Not Losing Weight

Enjoy this newest article on excuses and then remember to check out the mini-challenge for this week located in the box to the left.

The reality is healthy eating and regular exercise are not as labor-intensive--or wallet-busting--as we make them out to be. Here, 6 of the most common excuses that get you off track.

1. "I'm too busy."
You have work deadlines this week, sick kids, and your husband is out of town on business--you eat what's handy; you can barely bring home takeout, nevermind gathering enough veggies for a decent salad, right?

Wrong. Sticking to healthy behaviors--like making time for meals and squeezing in exercise throughout the day, even when your life feels like it's going 100 miles a minute, is actually the key to long-term success, says Keri Glassman, RD, CDN, author of The O2 Diet (Rodale). Try Glassman's eat-right strategies for when your day is crazed: Set an alarm to eat on your phone or computer so you don't forget and overindulge later; keep certain foods in your freezer for go-to makeshift meals, like a frozen turkey burger you can microwave or grill and frozen veggies; and try to always keep healthy food on hand, like apples and a good-for-you bar containing fruit and nuts such as Kind.

Devin Alexander, a health food expert and the author of I Can't Believe It's Not Fattening!: Over 150 Ridiculously Easy Recipes for the Super Busy, says that creating healthy meals when you're busy comes down to planning. Buy frozen lean meats so they don't spoil and make a habit of taking something out of the freezer each night for dinner the next day. Alexander recommends that as soon as you return from the grocery store, clean and chop veggies with a ceramic knife, which helps prevent oxidation, making food last longer. If you have all of the fixings for a fast, healthy meal at your fingertips--be it a stir-fry, veggie-topped pizza, or salad--you won't have to resort to greasy takeout.

We all have 24 hours to divide up, says fitness expert Chris Freytag, author of 2-Week Total Body Turnaround (Rodale) and Shortcuts to Big Weight Loss (Rodale). Make exercise a priority--especially on your craziest days--and you'll be able to handle tasks and stress better. Treat your workout like you would any other appointment--it has to be planned, specific, written down, and communicated to your family. "Don't just say, 'I'm going to exercise today,'" says Freytag. "Be clear about what you're actually going to do, meet a friend, or sign up for a class."

2. "Healthy food is too expensive."
Sure, it's often cheaper to purchase three items for lunch off the Dollar Menu at McDonald's than to buy a big salad with healthy add-ins, but new research shows that getting your daily recommended allowance of fruits and veggies may be less expensive than you think.

The Economic Research Service used 2008 Nielsen Homescan data and found that an adult on a 2,000-calorie diet could satisfy recommendations for vegetable and fruit consumption in the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans at an average price of $2 to $2.50 per day, or approximately 50 cents per cup equivalent. That's probably less than your afternoon skinny latte!

There are plenty of ways to make healthy food--and your budget--go further, says Glassman. Frozen vegetables and fruits are cheaper and just as healthy as fresh because they're picked at the peak of ripeness. She recommends buying seasonal produce from farmers' markets, purchasing whole grains in bulk, and not buying food in individual packages.

3. "Diets make me hungry."
If your diet is making you hungry, it's probably not a good diet--or sustainable in the long term. Cutting calories the healthy way--trimming portions from meals, skipping caloric beverages, and putting the brakes on mindless eating--should not leave your belly rumbling. Learn to listen to your body's hunger signals to determine if you really need to eat or are just bored, and eat approximately every 3 to 4 hours so you never become ravenous, says Glassman.

Alexander recommends stocking your fridge with low-calorie healthy foods--like celery and light dips--for when you just want to munch.

4. "I don't have time to cook."
"When people say they don't have time to cook, I tell them 'You don't have time not to cook,'" says Alexander. Twenty minutes of cooking healthy meals will save you excess calories you'd be taking in from oversized restaurant portions and time on the treadmill working that off.

Studies show that people who cook meals at home tend to eat more healthfully and weigh less than those who don't. Use these healthy packaged foods to cut down on kitchen time and arm yourself with the proper resources, such as a healthy cookbook for fast meals or easy recipes from your favorite Web site.

5. "Exercise makes me too tired."
No kidding--that's why they call it a workout! "Jokes aside, exercise generates energy. The more energy you have, the more you'll get done every day!" says Freytag.

"You recharge your body through food, sleep, and exercise. Movement creates energy. It gets your heart pumping, blood pumping, cleans out toxins, and gets your engine started. It also gets confidence levels up so you feel better about yourself," she adds.

Squeeze in movement wherever you can to get an energy boost. Even light stretching throughout the day will help your body feel more energized.

6. "I always gain back the weight."
Starting a new weight loss plan can be daunting when you've dieted before, only to gain back the weight. The reason your prior plan didn't work was because it wasn't a diet you could sustain and enjoy for life.

Only make the changes that you can stick with, says Alexander. "Really sit down and analyze your diet. Figure out, 'What are my cravings, what do I really love, what am I not willing to give up?'" Then build your meals around that and cut calories from other places--like skipping butter on your bread at dinner so you can have a 100-calorie treat that you truly want. "Even if you give up only 200 calories a day, you'll lose 20 pounds a year," says Alexander.

"Keep track of the habits that make you successful and kick your weaknesses up a notch," says Glassman. Be consistent with your strongest healthy habits, like always having a nutritious breakfast, and be prepared for your weaknesses, like having healthy foods at the ready for when you know you'll want to pick in the afternoon.

By Diana Kelly - Prevention

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What's Your Excuse?

Biggest Loser Season 13 (TV) contestants have a common bond--excuses

Read the information below and then take a look at the challenge box to the left to see your first Biggest Loser Turlock mini challenge!

There are 20 new contestants arriving at The Biggest Loser Ranch for the newest Biggest Loser on CBS (Tuesdays @ 8pm), and they've all got a gazillion excuses for not losing weight. They don't know how to eat healthy; they don't have time to eat healthy; they don't have time to work out; they're intimidated by gyms (the ranch will fix that); they're too old, they'll never each their goal...etc.

You know the story. In fact, you've probably got a few of your own. This season we'll take a look at an excuse each week and blow it to smithereens. As trainer Bob Harper has reminded us over and over, weight loss is about "can," not "can't."

In the meantime, we offer some words of encouragement for you to get around your excuse-making mechanism from our beloved Biggest Loser Club experts Greg Hottinger and Michael Scholtz, authors of the recently published Coach Yourself Thin.

Reclaim Power
Only you can make this happen. Act as if your life depends on meeting your weekly goals. It feels great to be in control!

You can't fail unless you quit. Feeling frustrated? Make sure you are not under-eating, over-exercising, or expecting too much from the scale each week.

With the right mindset, you can overcome any excuse—from injuries to metabolism to medications. Focus on the things that are in your control.

Look Ahead
Clearly plan each day ahead and think about WHAT you will eat and WHEN you will eat your meals and snacks.

Give Up Guilt
Nothing's worse than working hard on your program and having a treat followed by guilt. Take responsibility for your choices and don't play the guilt game.

from Biggest Loser Daily Mail

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Challenge Monday, January 2nd!

CLICK HERE to download our flier and share it with friends, family and coworkers!
Be at MKonte Vista Chapel between 4pm - 6pm to weigh-in!