Exercise Basics

Author: Dr. Robert Osgoodby

WARNING!! Always seek the advice of a Medical Doctor before starting, or making changes in your diet or exercise program.

If you want to build a strong healthy body, proper nutrition is a keystone for your success. What constitutes proper nutrition? Great question! Unfortunately for John Q. Public, the greatest challenge is not a lack of information, but too much information. If you study the "experts" you will find endless contradictions and false conclusions that create uncertainty, and leave most people confused and clueless. We are in an information frenzy that makes it hard to know which way to turn.

On any given day you can walk into a bookstore and find several books on the best-seller list, prescribing totally different solutions for proper nutrition. One expert tells you to cut out carbs, another tells you to eat more carbs, the next tells you to eat more protein, while another tells you to eat less protein.

With this nightmare of mixed messages, no wonder why millions of people are left in the dark on which plan to follow. This month's newsletter is dedicated to share some basic fundamental truths for optimal nutrition for decreasing body fat percentage, increasing energy and building muscle. Let's get started.

  1. Don't Starve Yourself - This is one of the most common misconceptions and mistakes most people trying to lose weight make. If your trying to shed fat, drastically decreasing your caloric intake in an effort to lose weight or get "cut" is almost as destructive to achieving your goals as eating large amounts of ice cream and fried foods for every meal! Studies show this type of dieting actually decreases your basal metabolic rate, which is the last thing you want to do if you are looking to lose weight and decrease your body fat percentage. On this type of diet, most of the weight you lose is not fat - it's lean body mass. You are actually keeping your fat and burning your muscle!

  2. Eat At Least Four Meals A Day - By eating four to six small healthy meals a day, properly spaced, you will burn fat at a faster rate. The traditional "three square meals" is antiquated advice that will slow down your metabolism and increase body fat storage. Studies have shown, eating four to six small meals a day promotes optimum food absorption, stable blood-sugar levels, and increases your metabolic rate. A meal can be as simple as a serving of fruit or vegetables, a small baked potato, a cup of yogurt, or a meal replacement shake.

  3. Monitor Your Portion Sizes - Instead of worrying about what ratio of protein, carbohydrates and fat you should be eating, concentrate on portion control. Most people's focus has been distorted by the huge emphasis placed on cutting fat intake. Fat is a necessary component in a healthy diet. The fact is, most people just eat too much. A good rule of thumb is that a portion should be no lar
    er than your clenched fist.

  4. Design An Eating Schedule - Most people eat when it's convenient, not on a schedule. This type of behavior slows your metabolism and sabotages your body transformation efforts. To get optimum results, you should eat four to six small meals a day, spread three to four hours apart. Your initial reaction to this principle may be there is no way this can be incorporated into your busy schedule. With a little bit of pre-planning and commitment, it can be done. You can cook up to one week's worth of food on the weekend and refrigerate and freeze it. Broil your chicken breasts, put them in a food storage bag and throw them in the refrigerator. Make a huge salad! Take your Tupperware out of storage and pack several small meals to take to work with you. Another thing you can do is make sure your cupboards and refrigerator are overflowing with quality sources of protein, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. This will also help you stick to the plan and not cheat during the week.

  5. Drink 8 To 10 Glasses Of Water A Day - Believe it or not, water actually helps you control your appetite. If you find that a portion of food has not satisfied your hunger, drinking a large glass of water will help alleviate those nagging hunger pangs. The vast majority of your body is comprised of water. Water is an essential transport vehicle for an array of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It also helps eliminate waste products in your body including uric acid, ammonia, and toxins. Another misconception is that if you are retaining water, you should decrease your water consumption. This is just not true. One of the best ways to get rid of water, is to drink more water. Just like starving yourself decreases your basal metabolic rate, water retention is another example of your body's survival mechanism.
If a golfer or football player's performance decreases, getting back to the basic fundamentals can help them regain their edge. The advice in this month's newsletter is simplistic and fundamental, but sometimes you have to go back to the basics to get back on track.

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Dr. Osgoodby was a finalist in the "EAS Body for Life" Contest. Stop by his web page at http://bestbodyever.com to see his before and after pictures and subscribe to his monthly newsletter.