Tag Archives: weight loss

Is your job killing you?

19 Feb

I know it’s been far too long since I last posted anything, but the holidays ate me up and spat me back out and then work has just been nonstop. So apologies! Speaking of work, I want to focus today on the thing most Americans find themselves doing for prolonged periods of time everyday…SITTING!!!

Our body was designed for movement!

Our body was designed for movement!

I, like many Americans, work a “standard” 8-hour/day desk job that involves sitting for hours on end at your desk with little to no movement.  This is especially bad because linkages have been drawn between prolonged periods of sitting and an increased risk for many health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol etc.

The human body was designed to move…a lot.  So while it’s great that you may be exercising for 30 minutes to an hour every day, if you then proceed to plop down on your couch or chair post-workout for majority of the other 12 hours you’re awake, you could be counteracting all that good you just did.  So how do you continue to move while at work or home?  Read on for what I do to keep moving on the job!

Don't let your day start like this!!!

Don’t let your day start like this!!!

If you live within a safe walking or biking distance of your office, job, kids’ school, etc., instead of wasting  gas (did you know that Americans waste 1.9 billion gallons of gas per year in traffic?), leave a little earlier and hoof it to your destination.  It’s a great way to keep moving and you don’t have to waste hours of your life stuck in traffic!  In 2007, commuters in urban areas spent an average of 47 hours a year stuck in commute traffic, imagine what else you could do with those hours!!

Walking or biking is also a great option for those who take public transit, especially if you’re cash-strapped (like yours truly), it saves a heck of a lot in metro fares and helps you avoid the sweaty crush of rush hour on public transit.

Bonus– if you are able to walk/bike your kids to school, you will be instilling positive lifelong habits in them.  Now I get that in this modern age, having the ability to walk or bike everywhere is probably not practical or safe for everyone, but if you can, isn’t it worth the extra time?  I sure think it is!


Wouldn’t you just love if you were able to walk all day? I know I would!

Now, let’s say you’re at work and you’re not lucky enough to have a super health-conscious organization which would provide you with a treadmill desk, then how do you stay moving?  I use several tricks to get moving throughout the day.  Firstly, I ditched my desk chair and bought a cheap 75cm stability ball from Amazon and use that to sit on throughout the day.  The minor movement helps me from feeling like a bump on a log, but doesn’t’ interfere with my work productivity.

I spend a lot of my day reading health reports and studies, so when I’m doing that, I like to jerry-rig a standing desk by stacking some large books under my monitor and stand while reading.  I will also stand or pace while on phone calls.

Take your meetings outside!

Take your meetings outside!

Another way I get moving is instead of calling or emailing a colleague who is just down the hall, I take a walk to see them, not only is it nice to have some face to face interaction, it’s a good opportunity to stretch the legs.  When the gang just needs to get out of the office, we try to do walking breaks instead of coffee runs.  When we just to need to vent or gab outside of the office, we much prefer to take a nice stroll around the White House (weather permitting of course) instead of spending 5 bucks for a calorie-laden Starbucks.  It’s a great opportunity for bonding, fresh air, and getting the blood circulating again!

When the drama ends, your movement begins!

When the drama ends, your movement begins!

The movement doesn’t end once you get home!  Next time you’re watching your favorite TV shows, get up and move during the commercials. Do whatever you feel like, but some good ones are push-ups, sit ups, marching in place, jumping jacks, or squats.

These are just some easy changes that I use in my life every day to stay active all day, long after I’ve finished my workout.  How about you? What things do you do to keep moving all day?


The Weight-Loss Drug You Really Don’t Need

3 Jul

Are those pills really helping you see a change? Or is it the diet and exercise?

Don’t run to your doctor and demand a prescription just yet. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved a new weight-loss drug, Lorcacerin, its first in more than a decade. But what exactly does this mean for those dreaming of a smaller body? Is it really it? Let’s find out…

You’ve heard me say it before, but I’m going to say it again. There is no such thing as a magical pill, you can use pills to supplement weight loss, key work supplement. You have to stick to a health, low-cal diet and exercise religiously to see strong, long-term weight loss.

Lorcacerin, or Belviq as it will be marketed as, helps to curb the signal your stomach sends to your brain to say “I’m hungry! Feed me!” The drug is approved for adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or over – which indicates obesity – or overweight individuals (BMI of 27 or greater) who have at least one weight-related health problem such as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol.

The FDA cited multiple studies totaling approximately 8,000 overweight and obese patients were treated for a year with the drug or a placebo, along with exercise and diet counseling. The studies found that patients lost about 3-3.7% of their body weight on average over the year. Doesn’t seem like much of a magic pill does it? Let’s do the math shall we?

Let’s say a female is 5’5″ and weighs 200 lbs. that puts her at a BMI of 33.3, squarely in the obese category. So her doctor puts her on this pill and she sort of keeps to the diet and exercise plans. A year later, she’s lost on the high end of the average, or 3.7% of her body weight. That means in a year she got down to 192.6 lbs or 7.4 lbs of weight loss. HUH? That means in she lost about .11 lbs per week. Even is we pretend she’s one of the 47% without Type 2 who lost 5% of her body weight that still only translates into 10 lbs in a year.

I understand why the FDA approved it, the tests show that it was somewhat effective with minimal side effects (migraines, depression, and memory lapses, you know the usual!), but what I won’t get is if doctors actually prescribe this nonsense! Why would you take yet another pill to go with the rest of your cocktail, when exercise and diet work better?

I hate to break it to you (again), but there is no such thing as a MAGIC PILL! (sorry)

Let’s be honest here, losing weight is HARD WORK! There’s no easy fix, it’s going to take blood, sweat, and tears, but it is still the most effective form of weight loss. I don’t understand why you’d shell out more in co-pay fees and doctors visits for a pill that only results in 3.7% of weight loss over the course of the year, if you’re lucky. The FDA advises that you quit the drug after 3 months, if you don’t see any weight loss.

Maybe there is a real medical use for this drug, but many who are overweight suffer from emotional eating and this pill cannot block that signal. That ones in your head boys and girls. My advice? Save the money you’d save on ridiculous co-pays for a drug that, in my opinion, only sort of works, and instead get some killer gym clothes and buy organic produce.

What do you think about the new drug?

Keep on sweating!


12 Jun

It does more good for you than just replenishing your heart

It accounts for 69% of our entire body. The brain is 80% H20.  The blood? 83%.  Our liver amazingly enough is 90% water. It’s our life force.  Without it, we’ll die within 3 days.  Here are some factoids that you may not know about water and your body, borrowed from The Watershed Blog:

  • 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. (Likely applies to half world pop.)
  • In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.
  • Even MILD dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as much as 3%.
  • One glass of water deters hunger pangs for 98% of the dieters observed in a University of Washington study.
  • The biggest trigger of daytime fatigue is lack of water.
  • Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
  • A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
  • Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, breast cancer by 79%, and develop bladder cancer by 50%.

Staying well-hydrated helps to flush out toxins, beat back fatigue, creates glowing skin, and most importantly, helps to regulate hunger.

You’ll rarely see me without my CamelBak

You read it right: reduce food cravings.  We often mistake dehydration with being hungry.  So before you reach for those Doritos, drink a full glass of water (at least 8 oz), wait 15 minutes and see if it goes away.

So how much do you actually need? Most recommend you need half your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 200 lbs, you need to drink approximately 100 oz of water.

Filter for Good

This translates into 12.5 cups or 5 20-oz bottles a day.  Now this does not take into account all the hard exercising you are doing, so make sure you drink a little more than that to account for the water loss through sweat!  This may seem like a lot, but there are simple things you can do to increase your water intake from morning to night.

  • Drink a full glass of water in the morning.  After I weight myself every morning, I drink a full glass of water, you are super dehydrated in the morning and it’s a great time to rehydrate, especially before heading to the gym.
  • Carry a water bottle with you!  I always lug a water bottle with me and refill it at every opportunity.  If it’s sitting at your desk at work, it’s an easy reminder to stop and take a few sips every once in a while.  Plus you’re helping out the environment and your wallet!I take free water any day over Dasani!
  • Drink a glass before every meal.  The fuller your stomach is on water, the less you’re going to eat, plus it’ll help aid the digestion process and keep you from getting dehydrated!
  • Bored with water? Snazz it up a bit. Add a bit of lime or lemon to it! Looking for something a little sweeter?  Right next to my Brita pitcher in my fridge is a pitcher of whatever crystal light I have whipped up for the week. When I need to mix it up, I drink Crystal Light. They’ve got great flavors, and at only 5 calories per 8 fl. oz., it’s totally worth it.  But don’t go overboard!  You can also drink fizzy water, but if you buy store bought, make sure it doesn’t have any added sodium!
  • Carry Crystal Light To-Go packets when you’re out and about. They’re easy to add to your water bottle when you need a snazz on the road!
  • Bring a water glass to bed.  I try to drink enough to not be completely parched in the morning, but not so much that I have to get up in the middle of the night.

    Crystal Light is a great way to snazz up your water

Those are my favorite tips to adding more water to your day.  I hope they help!  What are your favorite tips to stay hydrated?

Keep Sweating!

~Coach Lindsey

Reestablishing the Fitness Routine

8 Jun

Sometimes the couch sings its siren song…

So today I want to focus on exercise ruts or trying to get back into one.

The two months I took off after quitting my first one and starting my current one in DC was a period were I was in the best shape of my life I think (outside my high school years and 2 varsity sports).  I got up every day and was able to work out for 90-120 minutes. I ate great and felt well-relaxed and most importantly strong and healthy.  Then life came back to bite me in the ass and my carefully crafted routine went out the window, along with my athleticism.

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my new job, but when I started the process of moving, I didn’t have time to work out (or so I told myself).  Then came the transition from CA to DC and the stress of that move threw me into a tailspin.  I left everything I know and love to move to a city that I knew (I went to college here in DC) and still had people who I’m still close with, but still…it has been a tough and at times lonely transition.  So with the stress (cortisol), unhealthy eating (comfort food is NOT good for the waistline), and lack of exercise I felt my clothes suddenly getting a bit tighter.

I started to feel like this! (less the beer)

So I got “fat and lazy”, not good for anyone, but for someone like me I saw myself turning into the very people I’m trying to motivate to get back out there.  I knew I had to get myself back!  But it’s been harder than I anticipated.  It’s hard to get up at 5am to get a workout in, have a full day of work and then go home and make dinner and try to decompress from my day.  But you know what’s even harder? Working out after work when the TV sings its siren song and is so much more inviting than a hard workout.  It’s tough, but I know it will be worth it in the end.

I’ve decided that AM workouts work best for me, they leave me full of energy all day and then I don’t feel guilty when I get home and don’t head to the gym.  But waking up is still killer.  I am my only obstacle, it may be constant fight every morning between my “i want to sleep” side and the “you’ll feel so much better” side. But I know that slowly the “I want to sleep” side will fight less and

Keep at it!

less and it will get easier to get up instead of hitting the snooze.  So as I begin my uphill battle to reestablish my fitness routine, I thought I’d give some tips and pointers that I’m applying to help get my fitness back on track.

Don’t Break the Habit

I know for some it may be too little, too late.  But for those already in a habit, don’t drop it!  That was my number one mistake, I let myself fall out the routine and as a result it’s so much easier to hit snooze instead of getting up to get that am workout in.  How long of a road are you looking at if you’re trying to reestablish a fitness habit? About 66 days.  That’s a lot of mornings to debate with yourself!

Make it Fun

If you hate being in a gym then get outside! Hate solo activities?  Take up a new team sport!  Find ways that make it fun for you!  Don’t force yourself to lift weight if you’d rather gorge your eyes out, there a plenty of other ways to get “weight training” in!

Reward Yourself

And I don’t mean with a pint of Ben and another pint of Jerry’s.  Pick a goal (workout 5 days a week for 4 weeks) and a reward (like getting a massage).  If you set a goal that’s tough but achievable and a reward that you really want (like that new pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing).

A buddy is a great way to pass the time

It’s so much harder to bail on a workout when you know your friend is waiting for you!

X is for Success

Find someway to track your workouts on a calendar.  This will give you quick representation of how diligent you are working out!  It is also is a gentle reminder when you’ve been a little lax.

Measure Fitness

Pick any measurement, it can be weight, inches, how your clothes fit, etc.  Use that to motivate you to continue to workout.  I can’t tell you how sad, yet motivating it was when I stepped back on that scale after nearly a two month hiatus from exercise.  I was so disappointed to see what I’d work so hard for had slipped away from me. I knew how hard I’d worked and just how much effort it was going to take to lose that weight again.  But it was the kick in the pants I needed.  I had no one to blame but myself, and I knew it.

Figure Out Your Issues

What causes you to stop being motivated to exercise? Find that and find a way to fix it and your weakness shouldn’t be an issue anymore.

Baby Steps

Don’t expect to run 10 miles your first day back after a long break.  You need to start small.  Every time you take a break from exercise, you reset your fitness and you have to start at zero…again.  This is why it’s so important to not break a fitness routine. As I sorely learned.

The scale can be your best friend…or worst enemy!

Don’t go for Superficial Reasons

If you go to look hot in a bikini what happens when you reach that goal? Or swimsuit season ends?  You need to work out for reasons beyond the short-term, although those are good too, as long as you have a solid long-term goal too.  How about, I want to feel strong or I feel healthiest when I’m working out consistently.

I hope this helps kiddos.  Feel free to add your own tips and tricks below!

Keep on (or start) Sweating!

The Simplest Thing You Can Do TODAY To Improve Your Health

2 May

So it’s been a while since I wrote my last blog entry and I have a very good reason for it.  The past month I’ve been moving 3,000 miles  to our nation’s capital in Washington DC to start a new job working on global health policy.  It is a fantastic opportunity for me to get on the ground with health and see what’s really going on it our world.  So if I’m MIA for a bit it just means I’m in some really cool (and remote) place.  But I’m not here today to fill you in on my really cool job, but to talk about the simplest thing you can do to improve your health: WALK!

I was inspired to write this post after my wonderful boyfriend sent me a link to a funny or die video starring the cast of West Wing (we’re huge fans…who isn’t?).  They got back together one more time, this time for promote the importance of walking to improve your health.  See the video here:

As you can see it’s funny, but has a very serious point.  Walking for some combination that adds up to 30 minutes a day reduces your risk for many cancers, heart disease, diabetes, among others.

Now this is not new news to anyone, but hopefully through this fun and creative medium people will actually do it!  On top of daily exercise, it is a mile for me to walk to work (takes about 12 minutes), so I walk to and from work. It saves me the hassle and cost of public transportation, I get to be outside, and I know I’m helping my health.  If at all possible I encourage you to walk to work.  So what are waiting for? Get up and start walking, just like President Bartlett!

Keep Sweating!

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