Podcast – Check out Rich Weil in the exercise section!

The Calories

Fiber For Weight Control

Fiber for Weight Control
Betty Kovacs, M.S., R.D.

There is some evidence that “bulking up” could lead to slimming down. In a recent study of more than 1700 overweight and obese men and women, those with the highest fiber intake had the greatest weight loss over 24 months. Results from the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII) from 1994 -1996 also supported the relationship between a high-fiber intake and lower body weight. One of the reasons that fiber may have an impact on body weight is its ability to slow the movement What’s your take on juice fasts?Actually fasting is not the best way to detox as it is important to nutritionally support the body’s own natural detoxification system during the process. of food through the intestines. The gel-like substance that soluble fibers form when they dissolve in water causes things to swell and move slower in the intestines. This increase in time that foods stay in the intestines has been shown to reduce hunger feelings and overall food intake. It has also been shown to decrease the number of calories that are actually absorbed from the ingested food. One study showed an increase in the number of calories that were excreted in the stools when high-fiber psyllium gum-based crackers were given in comparison to low-fiber crackers. Whenever fewer calories are taken in, or more are excreted, weight loss will generally occur.

For a complete article on fiber by Betty go here: http://www.medicinenet.com/fiber/article.htm

Good Form For Walking

And you thought you knew how to walk! Check out this form for exercise walking.

1. A common mistake for beginners when trying to walk fast is lengthening the stride (overstriding). Overstriding is biomechanically inefficient and can slow you down. It will burn more calories because it is inefficient (which might be a good thing), but you may burn fewer calories overall because you don”t walk as far due to fatigue.

2. Instead of overstriding to walk faster, concentrate on a powerful push off while the front foot lands closer to the body. This is what elite walkers do.

1. Walk heel to toe and not flatfooted to increase speed.

2. Contact the ground with your heel.

3. Roll the foot forward over the center of your foot.

4. Push off with your toes.

1. Rotate your hips forward and backward as you walk.

2. Your waist should twist. Racewalkers can look funny because of the hip rotation. Restricted hip decreases your speed.

1. Keep your torso upright. Leaning forward or back will slow you down.
Arm work

1. Keep your elbows at 90 degrees.

2. Keep your hands relaxed.

3. Swing your arms forward and back and keep them close to your body. Your hands should not cross the midline of your body to maintain efficiency.

4. Speed up your arm swing to increase your speed and your legs will follow! This really works!

Head, neck, and shoulders
1. Keep your shoulders and neck relaxed. Head should be upright, eyes looking forward.


10 Really Good Reasons To Walk for Exercise

Rich Weil, M.Ed. CDE

1. Walking prevents type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Prevention Program showed that walking 150 minutes per week and losing just 7% of your body weight (12-15 pounds) can reduce your risk of diabetes by 58%.

2. Walking strengthens your heart if you’re male. In one study, mortality rates among retired men who walked less than one mile per day were nearly twice that among those who walked more than two miles per day.

3. Walking strengthens your heart if you’re female. Women in the Nurse’s Health Study (72,488 female nurses) who walked three hours or more per week reduced their risk of a heart attack or other coronary event by 35% compared with women who did not walk.

4. Walking is good for your brain. In a study on walking and cognitive function, researchers found that women who walked the equivalent of an easy pace at least 1.5 hours per week had significantly better cognitive function and less cognitive decline than women who walked less than 40 minutes per week. Think about that!

5. Walking is good for your bones. Research shows that postmenopausal women who walk approximately one mile each day have higher whole-body bone density than women who walk shorter distances, and walking is also effective in slowing the rate of bone loss from the legs.

6. Walking helps alleviate symptoms of depression. Walking for 30 minutes, three to five times per week for 12 weeks reduced symptoms of depression as measured with a standard depression questionnaire by 47%.

7. Walking reduces the risk of breast and colon cancer. Women who performed the equivalent of one hour and 15 minutes to two and a half hours per week of brisk walking had an 18% decreased risk of breast cancer compared with inactive women. Many studies have shown that exercise can prevent colon cancer, and even if an individual person develops colon cancer, the benefits of exercise appear to continue both by increasing quality of life and reducing mortality.

8. Walking improves fitness. Walking just three times a week for 30 minutes can significantly increase cardio-respiratory fitness.

9. Walking in short bouts improves fitness, too! A study of sedentary women showed that short bouts of brisk walking (three 10-minute walks per day) resulted in similar improvements in fitness and were at least as effective in decreasing body fatness as long bouts (one 30-minute walk per day).

10. Walking improves physical function. Research shows that walking improves fitness and physical function and prevents physical disability in older persons.

Flat Belly Diet Falls Flat

Flat-Bally Diet claims: The idea to this diet is that by consuming certain foods you do not need to exercise and belly fat will fall away!!!
Betty says: Ha!

Flat-Belly Diet claims: The diet is 32 days long, which is how long the creators of the diet say a person needs to convert dietary changes into lifestyle changes.
Betty says: It can take a person longer to make dietary changes permanent, and this is OK. Thirty-two days is an arbitrary figure, which may work for some people but not all.

Flat-Belly Diet claims: The diet presents a way for a person to eat healthy foods and change their lifestyle without feeling deprived. The idea of eating a monounsaturated fat at every meal, or every four hours, makes some sense. These foods are often considered “treats” and so a dieter may feel that she is getting something special every four hours.
Betty says: Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are necessary in a healthy diet.

Flat-Belly Diet claims: eating every four hours will stave off your hunger.
Betty says: This has not been proven by research and not true for everyone. Some people can eat just three meals a day and not have any hunger in between meals.

Flat-Belly Diet claims: Dieters are told to take a four-day, 1,200 calorie “pre-diet”. Betty says: this low-calorie start to the diet may not be a good idea for a diet that is supposed to be promoting a healthy lifestyle. By consuming so few calories, dieters are prone to burn muscle, not fat.

Betty sums it up: There is no quick fix to your diet to achieve long-term success with weight loss or a flat belly!

For a comprehensive review of the Flat-Belly diet, check out the following article by Betty here: www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=88098


Tubing and Bands For Resistance Exercise

by Rich Weil, M.Ed., CDE

Resistance exercise is any activity that causes your muscles to contract against external resistance. It could be free weights (dumbbells and bars), weight machines, calisthenics (like your own body weight), and simple devices like elastic tubing or bands. The benefits of resistance exercise is increase strength, tone, shape of your physique, better control of blood sugar, improved body image and self-confidence, fall-prevention, increased bone density, an increase in metabolic rate, and more. Muscle burns calories, so you want as much of it as possible. Plus, when you lose weight, you can lose as much as 35% of your weight from muscle (e.g., lose 100 pounds, you can lose 35 pounds from muscle). Resistance exercise while you’re losing weight helps preserve muscle.

Check out tubing or bands if you are looking for a simple way to do resistance exercise at home. They are inexpensive and versatile (you can do lots of exercises with them even in a chair) and a great way to get started with resistance exercise. You can start with a set of three for about $20, and come in colors to denote the tension. If you have not been working out and are feeling like you are weak then start with the lightest and the next two levels up, since as you get stronger, you will need the stronger resistance. If you order them make sure to order the strap that allows you to attach the tube or band to a door (very important), and if you want to work your legs, ask for leg straps. Here are some vendors that sell them (there are many online so shop around).


I prefer tubing with handles. It is sturdier and does not shred or rip as easily or frequently as the bands. But both work.

Here is an article I wrote with more information than you will ever need to know about tubes and bands! http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=78846

Pump yourself up! (:->)


Exercise and Weight Control

Exercise and Weight Control
Rich Weil, M.Ed. CDE

Exercise is the single best predictor of keeping your weight off once you lose it. How much is not exactly clear, but somewhere between 30 and 40 minutes of vigorous exercise a minimum of 3 days per week, or 45 to 75 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five or more days per week is about right. I also recommend resistance exercise 2-3 days per week to build muscle. You can lose as much as 35% of your weight from muscle when you lose weight; for example, lose 100 pounds and 35 pounds of it can be muscle. That is a problem since muscle burns fat and sets your metabolic rate. Resistance exercise will help preserve muscle while you lose weight.

Your mileage will vary with exercise and weight control, and so once you get to your goal weight the bottom line is that you will need to experiment with different amounts of exercise until you find the one that works for you.

Good luck with your training!


I’m Hungry After Exercise

    Rich Weil, M.Ed., CDE
    Exercise Physiologist

    Are you hungry after exercise? That is a problem if you are looking to lose or maintain your weight and don”t want the extra calories, but know that exercise is a must. After all, what is the point of exercising to control your weight if all you are going to do is be famished afterward? Studies are mixed if exercise increases appetite. Some show it increases appetite, some show it decreases it, and some show no change. Your own experience is your best bet. If you are hungry after exercise, consider the following:

    1) When was your last meal or snack before your workout? If it was more than 3 or 4 hours, and your workout is an hour, then it has been 4 or 5 hours since you last ate anything so you will naturally be hungry. Then add calorie-burning exercise to the mix and your body will crave calories, making you hungry to satisfy the need and desire.

    2) Are you dehydrated? You may go in search of food when all you really are is thirsty. Of course, if you are dehydrated to begin with, and exercise dehydrates you more, then matters will only get worse. Have 8 ounces of water right after your workout before you reach for food. That will help.

    3) If you’ve eaten or snacked within 3-4 hours of your workout, and you are hungry after working out, then check the nutrient content of your food. If all you had is lemon ices, then you are going to be hungry. Your snack or meal should contain some carbohydrate and
    protein. Protein increases satiety, the carbs will boost your energy for the workout.

    Watch your hydration status and experiment with the timing and content of your snacks and meals in relation to when you work out if you are hungry after exercise but you do not want to be. Of course, if you don”t mind the extra calories after a tough workout, then by all means, enjoy it!

Does caffeine help with weight loss?

From our own Betty Kovacs, M.S., RD

The weight-loss industry is estimated to be a $50 billion a year industry. Many people are looking for a way to get their piece of the money-making pie without a lot of credibility behind what they are promoting. The supplement industry is constantly promoting a new product to enhance weight loss by increasing satiety or burning fat. The claims are convincing, but the research backing many products is often lacking. To make matters worse, supplements often contain combinations of ingredients in the hopes of enhancing each one”s effect without safety or efficacy tests. Caffeine is one of the ingredients now being included in many of the weight-loss supplements. It’s added for its energy enhancement, appetite suppressant, and “fat-burning” properties.

The scientific evidence about caffeine as a weight-control agent is mixed. In a study done to monitor the impact of a green tea-caffeine combination on weight loss and maintenance, participants were divided into those who consume low levels of caffeine (<300 mg/day) and high-caffeine consumers (>300 mg/day). Weight loss was significantly higher in the high-caffeine consumption group, but weight maintenance was higher in the low-caffeine consumption group. The conclusion was that the caffeine was related to greater weight loss, higher thermogenesis, and fat oxidation, while the tea was responsible for the greater weight maintenance. Other studies have stated that caffeine actually contributes to weight gain by increasing stress hormones. It appears that caffeine”s role in weight loss is as inconclusive as the efficacy of the majority of weight-loss supplements on the market!

For Betty”s entire article on caffeine, click here: www.medicinenet.com/caffeine/article.htm


Cold-Weather Exercise Clothing

By Richard Weil, M.Ed., CDE

It is never too cold to exercise outdoors if you have the right stuff!

What you need to know:
1. Cotton Kills! When it gets wet it stays wet. In cold weather that is a problem, because…

2. Water conducts heat much faster than air (as much as 25 times faster), so when your clothes are wet you lose body heat quickly.

3. You can sweat as much as two liters of water per hour, even in cold weather.

4. Hi-tech garments made with fiber like polypropylene solves the problem. Polypro is a synthetic fabric that wicks moisture from your skin, and unlike cotton, it dries very quickly (it holds less than 1% of its weight in water compared with 8% for cotton). It also breathes exceptionally well.

5. Layers work! Heat generated by your muscles during exercise gets trapped between the layers.

6. Layers also work because you can remove one when you heat up and put it back on if you get chilled. If you wear one heavy winter coat you have no options except to unzip it and then you will get cold.

7. Wear layers of heat-trapping, wicking fabrics that dry quickly, and you’ll be toasty all winter!

What to Wear
1. Start with a base layer of polypro (can be short or long sleeve, silk weight to expedition weight). You can wear a second layer, and even a third layer, if it is very cold.

2. Fleece is a type of polypro that is exceptionally warm, wicks moisture, and dries very quickly. Fleece comes in many densities (thickness), but it does not block wind (unless it specifically is designed to do so with a built-in liner), so if wind bothers you then purchase fleece with a wind-blocker liner built in.

3. Wear a Gore-Tex shell on top for extra warmth. Gore-Tex is water proof, wind proof, wicks moisture, breathes well, and traps body heat inside. In a pinch you can wear a nylon-type windbreaker; it just will not breathe as well and so you will end up trapping sweat inside.

4. Some shells have zippers in the arm pits called pit zips. You can unzip these to let the heat out without removing the shell, and zip them up when you get chilly. This really works.

5. Wear a hat made of Thermax (by Wigwam), polypro, or wool. You lose the most heat from your head (as much as 40%). But avoid very thick hats that will cause you to overheat. Remember, you are trying to regulate your temperature.

6. Wear a neck gaiter. It is indispensable. Do not leave home without it!

7. Wear gloves or mittens. Fingers do not adapt well to cold. Glove liners under a thicker pair of fleece gloves will keep you warm. Also, some fleece gloves have built-in wind blockers to trap the heat and keep the wind out.

8. Mittens are warmer than gloves. Down mittens are warm, but when they get wet they dry slowly. Polypro and other synthetics will dry quicker than down. Some people wear nylon or polypro mitten shells over their mittens or gloves. Mitten shells keep out the wind and trap heat.

9. Do not wear cotton socks. They dry very slowly and when they are wet they: a) compress and lose cushioning; and b) they get rough and cause friction blisters.

10. Wear synthetic or wool hiking or walking socks instead of cotton. Sock liners can be worn under a heavier pair of socks. Liners wick away moisture, dry quickly, and prevent blisters.

11. Underwear comes in polypro. It works!

12. Leggings made of polypro or other synthetic fibers (check out Sport Hill) dry quickly and do not restrict movement. If you tend to get very cold, you can wear Gore-Tex pants over your leggings. Gore-Tex pants are waterproof, breathe well, break the wind, and trap heat.

13. Some substitutes for polypro are silk, wool, blends of synthetic fibers, and down (down is very warm but does dry quickly). Like food, learn to read the label.

14. Leather loses! It looks great, but it is a poor insulator, does not keep out the cold, and takes forever to dry. It only works when it is on the animal!

15. NEOS Over-shoes rock!!! They are the modern version of old-time galoshes. You wear them right over your shoes and they are completely waterproof. They come in different heights for all of your outdoor needs!

Getting Started
1. Do not overdress. Start your outdoor workout a little chilled. You will heat up once you get started.

2. If you start and end your workout at home (walk, jog, bike, etc.), then you will not need to bring any extra clothing because you can get right back inside when your workout is done.

3. If you drive to a location to exercise, or you are out hiking for the afternoon, bring an extra shirt to change in to when you are done. Even though polypro dries quickly, it will still retain some water, so you’ll appreciate changing into a dry shirt after your workout, especially on a cold day.

What Polypro People Wear To Stay Warm During Workouts In The Cold
В· Hat
В· Gloves or mittens
В· Glove liners
В· Shirts in layers
В· Leggings
В· Neck gaiter
В· Walking or hiking socks
В· Sock liners
В· Gore-Tex shell

Buying Stuff
All of the products I mention on these pages perform well, and the retailers are all reputable. Make your selections based on style, size, fit, and price. Note: some companies brand their own polypro fabrics. For instance, EMS calls it Bergelene, Patagonia calls it Capilene, SportHill calls it Sensatech, and CoolMax by Coolmax. It all performs similarly.

Online Retailers In No Particular Order
Most online retailers are generous with returns, but check their policy before purchasing. Check for sizes on all products. Sizes vary by garment for both men and women.
В· Junonia.com (sizes up to 6x)
В· Sport Hill www.sporthill.com/ (sizes up to 4x)3
В· Plus Size Athletic Wear www.plussizeathleticwear.com/index.php (sizes up to 6x)
В· Team Estrogen www.teamestrogen.com/Default.asp (sizes up to 4x)
В· Enell Sports Bra www.enell.com (sports bras in every size)
В· L.L. Bean www.llbean.com/ (sizes up to 4x; Coolmax is one of their wicking fabrics)
В· Mile Marker Sports http://milemarkersports.com/ (sizes up to 4x)
В· See Jane Run http://shopseejanerun.stores.yahoo.net/index.html (sizes up to 4x)
В· Eastern Mountain Sport www.ems.com/
В· REI www.rei.com/
В· NEOS www.overshoe.com/ The greatest galoshes ever!
В· Campmor www.campmor.com/
· Land’s End www.landsend.com/ (sizes up to 3x or 4x)
В· Backcountry.com www.backcountry.com
В· Moving Comfort www.movingcomfort.com/ (up to 3x in some fleece)
В· Altrec www.altrec.com/
В· Moosejaw www.moosejaw.com/
В· Patagonia www.Patagonia.com
В· Marmot www.marmot.com
В· Outdoor Research www.orgear.com/home/
В· Mountain Hardware www.mountainhardwear.com/
В· North Face http://www.thenorthface.com/
В· Paragon Sports www.paragonsports.com

Don”t forget about socks! Here are some of the major brands to look for (not an inclusive list): Thorlo, Wigwam, Smartwool, Fox River, Columbia, Dahlgren

Enjoy your cold-weather workouts. Defeat the winter!