Thursday, March 24, 2011


As some of you may know, I recently was hired as a free lance writer for
Livestrong is a great site that features a ton of useful health, fitness and nutrition information.  It gets over 6 million hits a month!  I figured that I’d share my last 3 articles that were published on as this blog post.
#1) Why is week 2 of weight loss so hard?  In this article I detail some of the reasons that week 2 of weight loss is not as successful as week 1.
#2) The best all around exercise machine? In this article I declare one exercise machine as the king of them all.  Spoiler alert: it’s the elliptical trainer.
#3) Why aren’t I losing weight on my gazelle?  This article explores how to use the Gazelle Exercise Glider optimally for weight loss.
I hope you enjoy the articles and the site and let me know what you think!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Top 5 Items To Include In Your Home Gym

Going to the gym can be a fun and motivating way to stay in shape.  When I was a doctoral student, it was one of my favorite parts of the day because school was both demanding and sedentary and I really needed to release some stress.

Now that I’m working, getting to the gym is a lot more challenging.  I rarely have a chunk of time in my day when I can get to the gym, get changed, workout and then travel home.  The huge crowds before and after work at most gyms have always turned me off.  A great solution for me and many of my clients is to work out at home.  You don’t need to have a lot of space or spend a lot of money.  In fact, if you took 1 years worth of gym dues, you can set yourself up with a great space saving home gym that will last you a lifetime, or close to it.

By working out at home you save money and you save time and who couldn’t use more of those two things?  Therefore, I am dedicating this post to The Top 5 Items To Include In Your Home Gym.

#1) Gazelle Edge Glider: This is a portable, inexpensive glider (very similar to an elliptical trainer) that will totally take care of your cardio needs.  It folds up for easy storage, costs around $100 with free shipping from, and is all around awesome!  I’ve been using one for my cardio for years and love it.  I’d say about 80% of my clients also pick it up and love it too.  I dedicated an entire blog post to the Gazelle.  Here it is

#2) Free weights:  Nothing beats these, period!  For the ladies, pick up a set of 5’s and 8’s.  For the guys, pick up some adjustable free weights that are plate loaded.  They sell these at sporting goods stores.  I’d say get a set that will allow you to go up to 40 pounds or so.  If you want to spend the money, you can also get the spin lock weights from Bowflex or Powerblock.  These can be a bit pricey and they don’t really do anything more for you than free weights but are definitely more convenient and take up less space.

#3) Exercise bands: The one body part that is difficult to exercise at home is your back.  While there are a variety of free weight exercises that target the back, nothing beats the pulling exercises of the lat pull down machine.  A good set of exercise bands takes care of this nicely.  I have Bodylastics bands that come with a door anchor.  This allows your bedroom door to become a high or low back machine.  They are a bargain at $45 on Check them out here

#4) PT Pro Portable Fitness Bench: This bench is awesome.  It pops up for incline exercises, folds down for decline exercises and the legs fold up for easy storage in a closet.  I have one and love it.  It’s a bit pricey at $299 but it is totally worth it if you are pressed for space. 
#5) Door mounted chin up bar:  You’ve probably seen these on TV.  This chin up bar requires no permanent installation.  It fits on your door frame and you can take it off when your not using it.  I use it with arm slings for ab exercises and it’s also great for chin ups and pull ups.  It is also a bargain at $24 on amazon.  Here's the link

Friday, March 4, 2011

Research Update: Protein, Glycemic Index, And Maintenance Of Weight Lost

Diets With High Or Low Protein Content And Glycemic Index For Weight Loss Maintenance
Larsen TM, et al.
New England Journal Of Medicine 363:2102-13 2010.

Objective: To examine whether manipulating dietary glycemic index and protein consumption has an impact on maintaining weight loss.

Study Population: 773 men and women from 8 European countries that had lost at least 8% of their body weight on an 800 calorie diet.

Methods:  All participants were put on a low calorie diet prior to the study and had lost 8% of their initial body weight.  After this point they were randomly assigned to one of 5 diets:
1) Low protein (13% of calories) and low glycemic index
2) Low protein (13% of calories) and high glycemic index
3) High protein (25% of calories) and low glycemic index
4) High protein (25% of calories) and high glycemic index
5)  A control diet

The goal of the glycemic index variable was a difference of 15 units of dietary glycemic index.  Subjects were monitored for 26 weeks to see which group was able to keep the weight they lost off.

Results:  1) Subjects who were in the low protein, high glycemic index diet intervention were the only ones to gain a statistically significant amount of their weight back. 2) Subjects in either high protein group regained significantly less weight than subjects in either low protein group. 3) Subjects in either low glycemic group regained significantly less weight than subjects in either high glycemic group.

Take Home Message:  First of all, this was a really tightly designed study that made it into the #1 journal in the world, The New England Journal of Medicine.  That alone says a lot about the methods and overall validity of the study design.

This study shows that if you focus on lower glycemic carbohydrates and add a bit more high quality protein to your diet, you’ll have an easier time maintaining your weight loss.  If you’ve read my book or work with me privately, this is old news to you.  I have seen this for years with my own clients. 

Another really interesting finding is that the investigators also watched the subjects for additional weight loss.  Both the high protein and low glycemic groups were more likely to achieve an additional weight loss of more than 5%.  It appears that in this group of subjects, a higher protein and lower glycemic approach improved both the ability to lose weight and the ability to keep it off.