Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Abs are made in the kitchen: how to get a 6-pack.

  One of the hardest aesthetic accomplishments to achieve is without a doubt 6-pack abs.  However, there is a common misbelief about how to achieve a 6-pack.  In fact it is a relatively simple thing to do in theory.  If you want get a 6-pack you must shed the layer of fat covering the abdominal muscles; but how does one do this? Most of the population believes that doing endless crunches and waist twists will burn belly fat however it is not that simple.  In fact it is impossible to spot reduce fat on the body and training a specific area of the body will not burn fat in that area.  The only way to burn belly fat is to lose fat all throughout your body.  It just so happens that for most individuals this is the last place that fat is taken from and is the hardest to eliminate.  However, it is very possible.  If you want a 6-pack you must be in a caloric deficit so your body burns fat for energy.  In order to achieve a caloric deficit you should mainly focus on your diet. Eating at a caloric deficit will result in fat loss and then if you wish to enhance that fat loss you should exercise to create a larger caloric deficit.  This is where the quote “abs are made in the kitchen” came from, because weight loss begins with eating proper nutrition.  In fact, some people who have 6-packs have never done an abdominal exercise and have a 6-pack simply because they have such a low body fat %.  So if you want to have a 6-pack focus on overall diet and fitness to achieve fat loss and not on doing exercises for your abs.     

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.

Video - Foods to Eat to Lose Weight

Interested in seeing which foods to eat to assist in losing weight?  Watch my newest video!

 
Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Targeting the Chest & Hips





QUESTION:

Tony,

First of all congrats on your awesome weight loss. I lost 135 pounds myself down from a high of 318. I now run ultra marathons for fun. Anyway, I have maintained my weight loss for 2.5 years now and still have a flabby stomach. I lost about 18 inches on my gut so I am not surprised. BUT, my question is, what would be a good weight / fitness routine for targeting between the chest and hips for someone who has lost weight and wants to tone up. Admittedly I don't do much weight training because I am such a running nerd!

ANSWER: 



First off congratulations on your tremendous weight loss and 2.5 year weight maintenance.  In my opinion the best way to reduce loose skin is to weight train with a rep range of 8-12 where the last rep is at failure.  If your goal is to firm up skin in the stomach I suggest doing a routine that targets the abs and back 1-2 times per week with at least 3 days of rest in between each workout.  


This is the routine I personally do and I have found that it helped firm up my loose belly....

1 minute rest periods between all sets except Deadlift which is 2 minute rest periods between working sets



Back:
-Deadlift: 2 warm up sets 10-12 reps, 4 working sets 8-12 reps.
-Bent-over Row- 4 sets 8-10 reps.
-T-bar Row: 4 sets 8 reps.
-Wide “Lat” Pulldown: 3 sets 12 reps.
- Close Underhand Grip “Lat” Pulldown: 3 sets 12 reps.
-Seated Cable Row: 3 sets 8-12 reps.

abs
4 sets of weighted captain chairs 8-15 reps
4 sets of weighted leg raises or  weighted decline crunches 8-15 reps.

This is all done in one day and can be done 1-2 times per week as long as there is at least a 3 day rest in between the workout.

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.




Friday, July 27, 2012

Video - Cardio vs. Weight Training to Lose Weight

Please visit my video on u tube for more information on the differences between Cardio and Weight Training to lose weight!

 
Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Meal Plans & Protein Powders





QUESTION:  

Hey!

    Let me start off by saying your video is an inspiration and I hope you realize how many people you have helped. Now, onto me.

I am an 18 year old, 6 foot, 220lbs. I work at a gym and have recently started utilizing my membership. I run about 1.5 miles a day. Here is my plan for now-

Since my willpower isnt the strongest, I have a bit of an odd approach. I don't have the willpower NOT to eat unhealthy food infront of me, but I DO have the willpower to not buy unhealthy food at the grocery store. Since starting in september I am living alone, I wont have to worry about having unhealthy food around. Like I said, as long as there isnt unhealthy food in the house, I wont crave it.

I am trying to get used to working out now. Running ~3 miles and lifting. Then when I move in september, I can change my diet. Basically getting used to working out now, changing my diet later.

What meal plans do you recommend? Also, did you use protein powder when you were losing weight?

Thanks for the help and the inspiration!





ANSWER: 



Hey man.
As far as meals go I always suggest sticking to a complex carb, healthy fat, high lean protein diet.  For examples of these foods please see my blog.  A few suggestions of meals would be Oatmeal with splenda and egg whites for breakfast (fat free cheese optional in the eggs), a turkey sandwitch on whole wheat/grain bread with carrots or broccoli on the side, cottage cheese and ½-1 serving of almonds (snack), whole grain pasta/brown rice with chicken or  lean beef, and beans with brown rice and chicken.




I used protein powder while I lost weight only after I lifted weights in order to aid in the muscle recovery process.  I only advise 1-2 servings of protein per day on a regular basis as whole food sources of protein are better at meal times in my opinion.  Protein powder is one of the cheapest forms of protein and it definitely has a place in a weight loss plan (it is a cheaper protein source than boneless skinless chicken breast.)  Protein powder is absolutely not necesary to lose weight but it is a quick and cheap source of protein that is always readily available.

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.

 


Monday, July 23, 2012

All About Flabby Skin





Question:

I have almost same history of yours.

I have seen one of your video and I still have a question about your skin.

What did you do to tighten it up??? because I lost about 35 kilos and my skin is horrible at the moment.

PS.
nice transformation, keep going....


ANSWER: 



After I lost the 85 lbs I had a lot of extra flabby skin in my stomach because I lost the weight so quickly.  After seeing that vitamin E lotions were not working I discovered weight training was my only option.  If you add muscle to the area where the loose skin is as well as the reverse area (so if the stomach would be the area of loose skin and the lower/middle back would be the reverse area) it will stretch the skin and make it tighter.  The best way to add muscle to the areas is by weight training with a 8-12 rep range for the loose area.  This will take time to do however.  

For those of you going through a transformation right now I suggest using vitamin E lotions on your skin a few days a week to help reduce loose skin at the end of weight loss. The best way to prevent loose skin after weight loss is by losing weight at a rate of 1-2 lbs per week.  If weight is lost slowly then the skin will have adequate time to adjust and stretch.

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.
 

Friday, July 20, 2012

How To Keep Your Motivation





QUESTION:
I saw your video in YouTube then I went from link to your site.Your story inspired me and gives me strong motivation.I am from Russia,please forgive for my English.I am 70 KG now,and 168 cm height.I want to be 57 KG,but I don't have enough motivation and willpower like you.Half year ago I started my weight loss journey.I have read many articles,so i started to except junk food from my nutrition.Also i started to make a simple exercises every morning and evening.So by the road i lost 8 KG,and really was very happy.But then i lost all my motivation and slowly get rid from all my healthy habits.Now i am 70KG again.It is shameful,but i don't now how to plan my nutrition and sport exercises.I cannot to run,because it very hard for me,All the cardio exercises are very difficult for me.Now i am working on a factory 10 hours every day,and i don't now what should i eat to keep energy,we have to drag heavy boards.I also don't have enough strength to do the exercises after work.Can you help me,give some advice - what could help me first to lose weight keep motivation and lost weight for a long time?How many exercises must i do,and what must i eat?Thank for reading my letter,you are awesome,dude,i think you and your girlfriend will have a good family,and you will be good father!

Answer:  



If you are working at a manual labor job for 10 hours a day then i would not worry too much about exercising during the first few months of your weight loss because your job alone will provide adequate calorie burn for you to lose weight.  If you are finding that you do not have enough energy to perform the tasks at your job i advise you to eat carbohydrates because they are your body’s primary source of energy.  Eat complex carbohydrates like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, whole wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, and even fruit.  These foods should provide you with enough energy to perform at your job.  


Also try drinking a few cups of coffee in the morning because the caffeine will give you energy and it will also stimulate your metabolism to burn more calories.  Drink your coffee black without any cream or sugar because these are unnecessary calories.  Only eat healthy fats such as nuts, peanut butter, fatty fish, and healthy oils like olive oil.  Control your portions of these however because they are high in calories.  Also, i advise you to eat a direct source of protein with each meal in order to fill you up.  Chicken breast, lean beef/pork, white meat turkey, and fish are great sources of protein. Pack your lunch everyday for work so you can eat healthy and stay away from fast food.  Include a lot of green vegetables in your diet because they are full of fiber which will keep you full throughout the day.  


You have to find a very strong reason to want to lose weight and be able to think about that reason every time you want to give in and eat unhealthy food. I could never stick to a diet because i didn't have a strong reason to lose the weight.  The only reason i was finally successful was because i found myself to be very unhappy being overweight and i wanted a girlfriend and a family in the future.

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.
 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

On Starting Your Diet Plan





QUESTION:

I am 175lbs and I get made fun of a lot about my size and it's summer and I want to look good enough or loss a good amount before I go back to school but I need a good weight loss plan and motivation please help me!!! Thanks a lot for making your blog and videos.  

ANSWER:  



Well the easiest way to lose weight is to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy and low calorie diet.  Try lifting weights for 1 hour 5 days a week or do cardio for 30-45 minutes 5 days a week.  Being active in this way outside of your normal active life should significantly help put you in a caloric deficit.  If you do not like to exercise i suggest playing a sport for a few hours a day that you enjoy.  


As far as diet goes stay away from sweets, fast food, fried foods, chips, junk food, overly processed food, sauces, gravies, refined sugar, and beverages that contain calories.  Instead of consuming these foods try to stick with whole wheat/whole grain complex carbs, healthy fats, and lean proteins.  Every meal you eat throughout the day should include some kinds of lean protein like chicken breast, egg whites, lean pork/beef, or turkey.  Eat fruit and vegetables for snacks in between main meals in order to curb hunger and try to drink 1-2 gallons of water throughout the day in order to help metabolism, keep hydrated, and stay full.  If you find that you are not losing weight then begin exercising longer or 6 days a week.  You can also cut back on your carbohydrate intake in order to further stimulate fat burning and achieve a greater caloric deficit.

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.
 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Q & A - More About Starvation Mode

QUESTION:  


I don't know Tony, I think you have one of those bodies that can lose weight easily and swiftly. I mean if my body were to go into starvation mode...and if I were to EAT more...my body wouldn't go right back into burning calories, I'd just gain more weight.


ANSWER: 



In my opinion and by what i have seen, if your body is in starvation mode and you slowly increase your calories over time (or have a cheat day where you eat 1000’s of calories more than your maintenance) your leptin levels will be restored and this will signal your brain that it is acceptable to burn fat for energy.  However you cannot continue to bump up your calories forever. As soon as you have stopped losing weight this means that you are at your maintenance and you should not continue to eat more calories than you are burning because you will gain weight.  

I assure you that i do not have a body type that does not lose weight easily.  I ate many thousands of calories under my maintenance and exercised for hours every day in order to get my results.

scientifically speaking, if you go into starvation mode and you are eating so few calories that your body breaks down muscle tissue instead of fat for energy and you begin to eat more you will lose weight.  once you stop losing weight do not continue to increase calories weekly.  instead maintain your weight for a few weeks then slowly increase calories by around 50 a week and see if you do or do not gain weight.


Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.
 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Q & A - Alternate Veggies

QUESTION:

hey man ive been following your blog and your videos
and im really desperate to lose my moobs so is it ok to workout every day?

I also want to know what should my diet consist of cuz here in india brocolli,celery and asparagus is rare and really expensive.  Can u please help me out?

ANSWER: 



As long as you are in good health and feel like you are capable of working out every day then i say it should be fine.  In my opinion you should not lift weights  more than 5 days a week and on the other two days you should only do cardio.  In my opinion you should take 1 day at the very least each week to rest.  Unfortunately i do not know what type of vegetables are available to you so the best suggestion i can give to you is to eat green leafy vegetables as they are very low in calories and very high in fiber.  This fiber will keep you full throughout the day so you do not feel the urge to eat as often.
Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.
 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Q & A - Protein in Nuts

QUESTION:


I guess I should increase my weight lifting training. I feel like I have some sort of thyroid problem or something. I'm trying hard, eating healthy, reducing my calories, I do cardio EVERYDAY; I hardly do any weight lifting though. I'll increase that and see what happens. I was told (in passing) by one of the nutrition professor in my university that nuts were not actually a real source of protein. I didn't ask her to elaborate, but that really surprised me. She said something about the quality of "nut protein" is not actually effective as the quality of...say egg protein. Whats the difference? And what's this quality thing she meant?   


ANSWER:  A protein molecule is a very complex unit made up of many amino acids.  Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and muscle. There are 20/21/22 ( depending on who you talk to they will say there are 20/21/22 different ones) different amino acids however they are not all created equal. Our body can create 12 of these amino acids; these are our non essential amino acids.  The rest of the amino acids that our body cannot create must be ingested from food; these are our essential amino acids. 



The proteins found in carbohydrate rich foods such as grains and legumes and fatty foods like nuts, contain proteins that are made up of many non essential amino acids (if our body already makes that amino acid why would we want to consume more of them.) This fact makes these foods an “incomplete” protein source on their own because they do not contain the proper amino acids to make a “complete” protein source(or a protein that contains essential amino acids).  Meat and dairy products however contain the essential amino acids that are required for a complete protein therefore they are more beneficial for humans to consume especially when exercising (because we need to repair damaged muscle tissue.)  Although meat and dairy are two of the few complete protein sources on their own you can create a complete protein source by combining different foods.  One major example of this would be beans and rice.  The combination of these two foods does create a complete protein source.

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.
 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Q & A - More On Fruits

QUESTION:


Tony, I do enjoy fruit and I have cut down on those old delicious Wunderbars and Kit Kat's and opted for fruit instead. However, my sweet tooth is still just as strong as it was before. I'm afraid I'm eating too much fruit. (I do calorie count though) but I'd like to just have a general rule of thumb when it comes to fruit. How much is too much and which fruits are better to eat in abundance compared to other fruits?


ANSWER: In theory as long as you are burning more calories than you are consuming you will lose weight and fruit is very healthy.  In my opinion i would limit fruit to 3-5 pieces/servings a day.  Great fruits to eat are strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and apples.  This is because the berries are low in calories ( especially strawberries) and are high in fiber which will keep you full.  Apples are good because they contain a good amount of fiber and they have a high water content which is also good for satiety.  Although i believe 3-5 pieces/servings of fruit a day is ideal, if fruit keeps you from eating junk food then i say do not limit yourself and simply ensure that you do not go over your calorie intake for the day so you can lose 1-2lbs a week.

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.
 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Q & A - Working Through the Pain



QUESTION:


Wow....13 pounds in one month. How do people seem to lose it so fast?

I've been doing cardio and some (but very little) weight lifting. I was sore maybe...the first day after the workouts? But haven't gotten sore since just that one day...and I read your "no pain, no gain" post in which you basically said..."yes, you need pain for the workouts to be beneficial."
I don't know if I'm not pushing myself enough, but I thought that slow and steady will gradually work as well. Is this not true? When I DO push myself to the point where my muscles ache the next day, I absolutely DREAD going back to the workout and I usually don't because...the pain just isn't worth it I guess. I go back to slow and steady, but I worry it's not actually benefiting me.

ANSWER:  



I think you have to challenge yourself to a certain extent.  Pain is a good indication of a successful strenuous workout.  Strenuous workouts result in a large amount of calories being burned which is great for weight loss.  Pain after workout out is simply the buildup of lactic acid in the muscle from fatigue.  This pain will eventually subside regardless of how hard you workout in most cases.  Your body will get used to the strain put on the muscle and will not be as sore over time with the same amount of strain.  The more you workout the less painful it should be.  


If you are in severe pain the day after workout out DO NOT work out in a way that involves that area (if your legs hurt do not do strenuous cardio or lift weights with your legs.  Instead lift weights with your upper body, do low intensity cardio, or take the day off and get back to the gym the next day. Everytime you go to the gym i believe you should push yourself because it will strengthen your muscles so they can handle more strain, and to burn more calories during and after the workout.  You do not need to be in a state of pain to see results; this is simply a good indicator that you have pushed yourself and that the workout was strenuous ( depending on how advanced you are with working out you can burn the same amount of calories and not be sore as someone working out and being very sore.)   A workout without pain afterwards will be beneficial just like a workout that involves pain.  During a workout try to elevate your heart rate because this will burn more calories.  A workout that is easy is not worth it in my opinion; I try to push myself every time I step into the gym in order to see results.

As with anything on my blog, this is my opinion and you should never do anything to the point of severe pain.  See a doctor before strenuous exercise and to get a medical opinion.

Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what  to do.  Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.

Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him.   He lists general guidelines and suggestions only.  He is NOT a professional.