How I Lost My Mojo (and Got it Back): The Importance of Testosterone, Sex Drive, and How to Preserve Both

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Information | Posted on 15-04-2013-05-2008

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By John Romaniello

There’s a problem that men facing across the world—a problem that few people are talking about, but a great many are experiencing. This problem needs a solution, but more than anything, it requires awareness. The problem, very simply, is that men are dying; at least, metaphorically. Their manhood is dying.

Men are less manly. That’s not an opinion; it’s a fact. If you want to be a little more scientific and a little less dramatic about it, testosterone levels are dropping—rapidly. And not just in older men; whereas decades ago, this was thought only to affect men in their late 30’s and beyond, it’s now beginning to affect men as young as 22. It’s so bad that researchers from Massachusetts found that the average man’s testosterone (not just older men) has dropped 22% in the last 20 years, and that one out of every four men has below average testosterone. If those facts don’t scare you, if the fact that it’s very possible that you’re suffering from low T doesn’t scare you, then you may not know all of the devastating effects this condition can have.

To help explain why this issue is so important, and help illustrate just how impactful it can be, I’d like to tell you a story—and a very personal story at that. It’s the story of how I lost an important part of myself, and eventually got it back. It’s a story about how I had work around a common medical condition, and take matters into my own hands to solve it. It’s story about how I lost one of the defining characteristics of my masculinity, and about my journey to reclaim it. And this is the first time I’m sharing it publicly.

Despite all the content I’ve written and all of the articles I’ve published, one of the things I’ve never really discussed is how, at 25 years old, in the prime of my youth, I personally struggled with low testosterone—and the way it manifested itself was with low sex drive. Today, I’d like to share the story of how I fixed it; and how in my journey to do so, discovered how epidemic this problem truly was—how my passion for this issue led me to write a book about it. During the course of this story, you’ll learn how this devastating issue might be affecting you; how it’s potentially responsible for lack of energy, or depression, or the nagging feeling that you’re aging faster a bit too quickly. And, of course, you’ll learn what you can do about it.

Let’s Begin at the Beginning

I was 25 years old and had spent the majority of my adolescent and young adult life as a very sexual being. Like most young guys, to an extent, I defined myself by my aspects of sexuality—my virility, desirability, and performance all factored into my assessment of who I was as a man. Before you judge me too harshly, I blame evolution for this. Feeling actualized as a sexual being is a factor in self-esteem; this is just one of the idiosyncrasies of being human. While it certainly applies to women, for men, the relationship between self-esteem and sexuality is especially strong. It’s been shown that this is just one of the (many) complications that comes of being born with a penis. Put another way, from the perspective of evolutionary psychology, your manhood and your, um, manhood are indelibly tied together.

Evolution and psychology notwithstanding, speaking purely personally, my sexual identity was part of my overall identity. And then one day it was gone. It may have been a gradual decline that I didn’t notice, but it felt like stepping off a cliff. I simply woke up one morning and didn’t want to have sex. And, I don’t just mean with my girlfriend (which I could have written off as relationship boredom), but with anyone.

Sex was no longer interesting to me. Not just uninteresting, but also unappealing to the point of revulsion. The thought of a woman touching me made my skin crawl. If you’ve experienced low sex drive, you can relate; all of the people I’ve spoken to in my interviews for the book reported a similar feeling. (If you’ve never experienced it, the best way I can describe to you is the feeling of being really full to the point of nauseous, and then someone you care about trying to feed a home cooked meal…and then getting really upset when you didn’t want to eat it.) These subjects also discussed the feelings of shame and guilt associated with low sex drive—shame for not wanting sex, guilt for the way it made their partners feel.

At first, I was bothered by the void—the hole left by not wanting sex, and all the extra time on my hands from not having it. For a time, I wanted to want sex. Eventually, it stopped bothering me. Then, in moments of reflection, in the early hours of the night when I was pretending to be asleep in an effort to avoid another conversation about it, I was bothered about not being bothered about it. And then that stopped too. From that point on, I watched with a strange sort of detached bemusement as the ramifications of my condition tainted piece after piece of my life.

Needless to say, my relationship was one of the casualties. After nearly eight months of incredibly infrequent and probably lackluster sex, my lady and I called it quits. A dearth of sex is dangerous in any relationship, is it leads to lack of intimacy and a widening fissure between partners. Some relationships can survive that; mine couldn’t. She’d had enough of feeling unwanted and unattractive, and I’d had enough of feeling guilty about making her feel that way.

This happens more than you can imagine, and as covered in a 2009 piece in a New York Times blog, psychologists see over and over that when stops in a relationship, the couple begins to struggle with lessening intimacy—and the longer that relationship goes without sex, the harder it is to reclaim intimacy. For many couples, that starts with testosterone. For this reason and a host others, low T can cause depression, lack of ambition, and even thoughts of suicide. It didn’t go quite that far for me, thankfully, but it certainly wasn’t fun.

Here’s the truly scary part: I didn’t actually know I had low testosterone. I had no idea what was causing the issue; all I knew is that I wasn’t who I had been. I had lost not just one part of myself, but several—because the fact is, sex drive is strongly tied to all drive. When it drops, so too does your ambition, and your motivation to achieve that ambition. For me, it felt like I’d become a different person, a lesser man. Without exaggeration, ever part of my life was negatively affected: my relationships, my sleep patterns, and my physique—even my productivity and business were all hampered.

Eventually, I spoke to a friend of mine who suggested I get my testosterone levels checked. They were low, in a relative since—certainly lower than they should have been at my age. I measured less than 400ng/dl. This is right about the point where research suggests many men begin to experience to symptoms of low T. Unfortunately, that still fell within the range of “normal”, because that range of is so vast. Depending on which lab you get tested at, “average” can be from as low as 260ng/dl (nanograms per decaliter) to as high as 1080ng/dl). Meaning, that if you’re at around 800ng/dl and your testosterone falls by 50%, you’re still within the “reference range”, and therefore, not be considered low. (As a related aside, this is something I humbly suggest needs to addressed by the medical community.)

The problem for me personally became that I was in a strange grey area—I was low enough to be experiencing a ton of symptoms, but too high to qualify for treatment of any kind. My doctor advised me that while my levels were low for my age, they were still technically normal, and I just had to deal with it. Very rarely has stupider medical advice been given. I had to take matters into my own hands, and had two choices: I could either simply procure illegal testosterone and start injecting it, or figure out a way to increase T levels naturally. Although I’d be lying if I said I didn’t briefly consider the former, in the end I’m happy to report I went the latter.

Over the course of the next several months, I dove into all the literature I could find and started making a lifestyle overhaul. My sex drive returned—rather rapidly. In 6 weeks I felt different. After 12, I got tested again, and my testosterone levels had literally doubled—doubled! I was productive again. I started dating. I reclaimed my physique and liked the way I looked again. I felt ALIVE again.

As you might imagine, I was struck by how well it worked, and how simple it had been, once I knew what to do. And I decided that eventually, I would write a book about it—because I felt that men truly needed it. In the process of my research, for both my personal use and the book, I came to realize just how much men need it, how epidemic this problem really is.

The goal of Man 2.0 has been, from the outset, to not only provide a solution to a huge problem, but also to create awareness of it. This article will certainly create some awareness, but I’d like to use this platform to provide a solution. While I can’t be as starkly informative as I am in the book, below you’ll find three high-yield tips to naturally increase your testosterone and improve your sex drive.

How to Increase Testosterone Naturally

Reduce Carbohydrate Intake

More and more, it’s becoming obvious that high carbohydrate diets are a pretty bad idea for the majority of people. In this specific case, as usual, the reason is insulin; although insulin is produced when you eat any food, the insulin response to carbohydrates is significantly greater than the response to fat or protein. Insulin affects your testosterone and sex drive in a number of ways.

Firstly, production of insulin halts secretion of growth hormone, which potentiates testosterone production. Secondly, chronically elevated insulin levels have been show to increase the likelihood of erectile dysfunction.

Limiting carbohydrate in helps to reduce the production of insulin, and help avoid the sexual issue that can arise.

Reduce Your Body Fat

As if you really needed another reason to bring your body fat down—because, you know, diabetes and heart disease just aren’t scary enough—men with lower levels of body fat are consistently tested with higher testosterone. Conversely, men with higher body fat have greater levels of estrogen. This piece mentions the relationship between testosterone and body fat, but suffice it to say that getting leaner will improve your T levels and sex drive. But, since you’re going to follow the first tip and lower carbs, losing body fat won’t be an issue, so you’re set.

Increase Dietary Fat Intake—Especially Saturated Fat

For years, people have been afraid of fat and cholesterol, despite the fact that avoiding them seems not to be slowing the growth of the obesity epidemic at all. Gripes aside, fat isn’t just “not that bad” for you—it’s far healthier than you’ve been led to believe.

Further is study is needed to confirm this, but seems likely that the “health issues” that are sometimes thought to be correlated with high dietary fat and cholesterol intake are probably more do to other lifestyle factors. For example, despite the fact that high fat intake has been linked to heart disease, the recent popularity of the Paleo diet has produced a tremendous amount of anecdotal evidence that people on higher fat, lower carbohydrate diets do not seem to experience a radical increase in cholesterol—particularly when this diet is combined with exercise.

In fact, often times cholesterol levels go down. Most importantly, the ratio of HDL:LDL tends to improve, as do other markers of health, like total triglyceride count, which decreases.

More importantly, concern about “high cholesterol” is generally overblown, because cholesterol is largely misunderstood. Something to consider is that cholesterol is actually a pre-cursor to all sex hormones—including testosterone. And so, for men looking to increase testosterone and sex drive, avoiding dietary fat and cholesterol is a bad idea. In fact, it’s been suggested that increasing cholesterol increases testosterone.

Wanna safeguard your sex drive? Bring on the bacon!

Final Thoughts

As I mentioned above, low sex drive is a harrowingly trying problem to deal with, and it’s more common than you think, because low Testosterone is truly epidemic. And while deceased libido is, for most men, an unavoidable consequence of low testosterone, what’s not inevitable is the drop in T.

The first thing you need to do: get tested. Even if you’re not currently experiencing any of the symptoms, you should at least know your T levels so that you have a baseline of comparison for the future. From there, follow the above tips to start taking control of your body and creating a hormonal environment that will facilitate a healthy, well-balanced life—one that includes sex.

5 Signs Your Weight Loss Is Damaging Your Relationship

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Fitness, Information, Relationships | Posted on 20-02-2013-05-2008

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Losing weight can be a frightening time, particularly when you are in a relationship. Naturally, most of us fall in love because we share common interests, like watching the same things on TV, heading out to a restaurant, playing pool or video games together. But when somebody in the relationship changes their Monday night TV programme for a run instead, chooses to order grilled chicken and vegetables because it’s a far better alternative than a curry, going swimming instead of playing pool or decides that Wii Fit is more fun than Mario Cart? I sense trouble is a comin’.

Weight loss and adjusting to a healthier lifestyle requires a great deal of change? Change that your other half is probably not ready for at the moment. The truth is, it’s easy to see that weight can play a heavy part in your relationship.

If you think your relationship could be under strain due to your weight loss plans, there are several common warning signs to look out for during this time. Usually, most of these actions are part of something larger than the direct problems, so it’s essential to understand them fully to be aware of exactly where your partner’s or even your feelings are coming from. Usually, the “why” of a behaviour stems from deep-seated emotion of which you or your partner may not even be aware. For just that reason, I’ve included an “emotional why” to each warning sign exploring the emotion that might be behind these behaviours. Because we know how important support is to reaching your goals, I’ve also included some action tips on “how to improve the situation” you may be facing. This way, you can find a way to maintain your healthy lifestyle without sacrificing the health of your relationship.

Here’s 5 signs your weight loss is damaging your relationship.

1. Your partner makes negative statements about you changing

You start losing weight and becoming healthy but you still get comments from your partner and their family that you’re “skinny” and need to stop losing weight. Your significant other may make other negative comments about your weight loss or changing body because it signals change. And change is scary for your other half.

Emotional why: Fear is behind this type of behaviour. Your partner is afraid of losing you and life as they know it. While you may be ready to change, your partner may be afraid and reluctant to take the first step, and may be insecure that you will leave them, so they comment negatively about your changing body in the hope that things will go back to the way they once were.

How to improve the situation: Create new rituals together so that your loved one is involved with your new lifestyle. You don’t have to give up Friday date night. Try dinner at a restaurant with healthier options, or when you go to the movies, order a smaller size of popcorn (no butter) and a diet soda. See if they will walk around the block with you (take the kids if you have them) to catch up after dinner. Be sure to include your partner in as many ways as you can, and reassure them that you love them for who they are. If the behaviour becomes overwhelmingly negative, do not be afraid to talk to your partner about how those comments make you feel. After all, a relationship is a two-way street and open communication helps prevent a head-on collision.

2. Your partner makes you feel guilty

Does your partner make you feel guilty about the success you’ve had with weight loss? Do they complain that you’re not around as much or give you the guilt trip when you skip cuddle time or dessert to hit the gym? Whether your partner makes you feel guilty on purpose, or you just feel guilty for taking time for yourself, it’s not a good feeling to have, and it can be detrimental to a relationship if it goes on too long.

Emotional why: Nostalgia. Your partner loves you and wants to spend time with you. They may miss what used to be rituals in your household and relationship. These comments may also reflect some of the fear of change mentioned above.

How to improve the situation: Compromise. Don’t be afraid to compromise when you can! However, remember that you deserve to be healthy and happy. If your loved one is putting a guilt trip on you, encourage them to join you. Couples workouts allow you to spend time together and exercise at the same time. And if it’s just you feeling bad, then remind yourself that being fit is what you worked for and you deserve to feel good about your accomplishments.

3. Your partner tries to sabotage you

Sabotaging behaviour can run the gamut, from your partner picking up your “favourite” fast-food burger on the way home (even though she knows you’re trying to cut back) to begging you to sleep in when you have a date with that Spinning bike at 6 a.m. One very common example is having a partner who brings junk food into the house and then eats it in front of you, especially if the junk food is your favourite and one you have trouble avoiding.

Emotional why: Jealousy and fear. Although it may not seem like it, your partner may actually be very jealous of your progress and is sabotaging your efforts to keep you exactly as you are. He or she may be afraid that if you lose weight, you’ll get more attention from the opposite sex and possibly leave the relationship for someone else.

How to improve the situation: Reaffirm your partner that you’re still the same loving person you were before.

4. Your partner starts gaining weight as you’re losing weight

If you’ve noticed that your partner has gained a few pounds during the time you’ve lost weight, this could be cause for concern. Your partner may be upset with your weight-loss success and may be rebelling against you by eating more, higher-calorie food. If this is the case, tread lightly. This will probably be a very touchy subject for your partner. They may also be eating emotionally for comfort as a way to deal with the deep-rooted emotions (fear, anger, jealousy) about your positive changes.

Emotional why: Resistance and guilt. Your partner is probably feeling resistant to change and guilty about his or her own body and unhealthy habits. They may even be worried that as you get healthier, you won’t love him or her as much anymore. Especially if your partner has been self-destructing and views all of your positive changes are threatening to them.

How to improve the situation: If you’re in this type of situation, talk to your partner openly and regularly. Your partner may be very, very sensitive about this issue, so you may not want to bring the weight gain up directly, but rather ask how they are feeling during this time of change. Reassure your partner that you’re still the same person and still love them. And invite them to join in some of your small changes.

5. You look down at your partner

If you’re a few pounds into your weight-loss journey and overhauled your lifelong habits, yet can’t understand why your partner hasn’t done the same, then honestly ask yourself: Do you look down on your partner? Do you feel like the changes you’ve made are going to create lasting friction between the two of you? Whether you indicate these feelings to your partner (directly or indirectly) or keep them to yourself, they can probably sense how you’re feeling. Everyone wants their partner to be proud to be with them. When you stop being proud of your other half, it can really hurt your relationship.

Emotional why: Pride and fear. Right now, you may be very proud of yourself for your changes—and you should be! But it’s important to respect everyone’s journey and realize that you can’t force someone else to change. You may also find yourself being harsher on your loved one because they may remind you of where you started (a place where you don’t want to return).

How to improve the situation: You may not agree with all of the choices your partner makes, but try to be as understanding as possible. Remember how hard it was for you to change in the beginning! Remember how you had to decide to do it for yourself, not for someone else? Revisit that time in your past and treat your partner how you would have liked to be treated then. Recognize the reasons for your emotions. You don’t have to encourage unhealthy habits, but try to be as understanding and encouraging as possible.

If you’re faced with many of the issues above, don’t despair. A relationship may get rocky from your new dedication to a healthy lifestyle, especially in the beginning of your weight loss journey, but many couples say that getting in shape and eating right actually helps their relationship in the end.

At the end of the day, your partner should be one of the biggest and most supportive allies you have in getting healthy. Even so, you can’t expect others to change overnight. Becoming healthy and losing weight is an incredibly personal journey, and it has to start with the person wanting to change and not by telling someone what to do. So be as nice and supportive to your partner as you’d like them to be to you. Follow the tips above and recognize what’s really behind you and your partner’s actions to continue on your weight loss journey and keep your relationship strong. After all, leading by example is one of the most powerful ways to influence others in a positive way!

Dedicated to your success,

–Nigel

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Okay folks – Tell us your stories!  Have you had relationship problems during your weight loss journey? What did you do about it—let’s get 20 COMMENTS, and we’ll be back soon with another awesome post.

27 Foods That Fight Fat

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Diet, Information, Nutrition | Posted on 06-02-2013-05-2008

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Are you always struggling to lose fat and never know what foods to eat?

Fuel your gym session and fire your metabolism with the right food.  These 27 foods fight fat and should be on your shopping list.

1. Oats

Soluble fibre makes this the perfect slow-digesting, full-for-longer breakfast on gym days.

2. Mackerel

It’s very high in taurine, which research has shown helps inhibit fat growth.

3. Cinnamon

Research has shown that the spice lowers your blood-sugar levels.

4. Pork Fillet

It’s as lean as chicken but with more flavour, helping you stick to your goals.

5. Basmati Rice

It’s not all about brown.  Of all the rice varieties, basmati has the highest levels of amylose, fat-fighting starch

6. Green Apples

The soluble and insoluble fibre slows the movement of food through the gut, so you’re full for longer.

7. Skirt Beef

Quality protein slows digestion, preventing fast blood-sugar rises that can cause fat gain.

8. Lentils

These fibre-rich pulses are digested slowly, reducing your appetite.

9. Beef Jerky

It’s high in protein, plus research shows that chewing often helps you lose weight faster.

10. Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms in particular are full of B3 (niacin), an essential factor in the breakdown of fats for energy use.

11. Espresso

While its caffeine can raise your metabolism, recent research shows its most potent effect is to increase performance in training.

12. Tinned Tuna

One of the leanest fish in the ocean, opt for tuna in spring water, not brine.

13. Quinoa

A good source of fibre and complete protein, this grain-like seed is also high in manganese, which is vital for blood-sugar control.

14. Sweet Potatoes

It has a lower GI than the white option, to keep hunger at bay, and is packed with health-boosting carotenoids.

15. Rocket Leaves

Load up your plate to increase fullness for minimum calories.

16. Veal Steak

Veal is one of the best sources of leucine, to protect lean muscle when calorie-cutting.

17. White Vinegar

Research found that vinegar inhibits the breakdown of starch, to slow blood-sugar rises and lower fat storage.

18. Oysters

This fish market staple is rich in zinc, which helps to regulate the appetite hormone leptin.

19. Black Tea

Black tea leaves contain theaflavin, a potent fat-burning phytochemical that steadies your energy levels, ideal after a heavy meal.

20. Salmon Fillet

It’s full of Omega-3 fats, which increase the rate of bad fat-use in your body.

21. Peas

Research found that proteins in peas control CCK, a hormone that reduces your appetite.

22. Red Onions

Chromium, found in onions, is used by your body to remove sugar from the blood, so less is converted into lard.

23. Boiled Eggs

Not only are eggs high in protein and nutrients, but studies show they decrease calorie intake during the day when eaten for breakfast.

24. Parmesan

Research found that people on high-calcium diets excrete 2.5 times more fat, so less ends up on your love handles.

25. Rye Flatbread

Flatbreads are the best low-sugar bread choice.  Rye is loaded with more gut-shrinking fibre than wheat breads.

26. Chicken Liver

It has the highest concentration of B5 found in any food.  This vitamin is a catalyst for fat-usage in the body.

27. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt increases healthy bacteria in the gut – good for reducing your fat mass.

Dedicated to your success,

–Nigel

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Have we missed any of your favourites? Tell us what they are and how they’ve help you fight fat—let’s get 10 COMMENTS, and we’ll be back soon with another cool post.

6 Signs Your Personal Trainer Is Wasting Your Money

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Fitness, Getting started, Information | Posted on 11-01-2013-05-2008

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Getting A Personal Trainer?

 

Don’t Waste Your Hard Earned Money!

 

Yes, It’s True, Isn’t It?

 

Finally, you’re serious about losing weight and getting fit, so you decide that you’re going to hire a personal trainer to help motivate you and move you towards your goal.

When you hire the services of a personal trainer, you would expect that they will provide you with a high value for your hard earned money. You expect to get expert instruction on how to safely and effectively use proven training methods and tailor-made exercise routines that will fit your specific training goal.

That’s your dream anyway, right?

The reality is that many of the common raining trends that personal trainers use are based more on misinterpretations, myths and misconception. That can result in you paying out good money for poor results.

You’re about to discover 6 signs your personal trainer is unknowingly misguiding you, and how you can work with your trainer to get the results you really want.

1. Your Trainer Uses Their Favourite Exercises Instead Of Designing A Personalized Program To Help You

You will often find that your trainer will have their own philosophy type; they may follow Kettlebells, Pilates, Bodybuilding or any other type of workout routine. This can easily lead your trainer to give you a private lesson in their chosen philosophy type and speciality instead of designing a personalized program you help you towards your goal.

Ensure you find a trainer based on the RESULTS they’ve gotten for other people like you.

2. Your Trainer Doesn’t Motivate You To Reach Your Goals

After a while, your body will get stronger and you will need new workout routines to challenge your body and keep you motivated and moving closer towards your goal. If your trainer isn’t monitoring your progress, they will not be in the right position to give you new workout routines. Your trainer should be keeping track of the exercises you’re doing, the weight you lift, and the number of reps and sets you perform, you’re heading for real trouble.

You need to know that this is a process and it’s up to your trainer to keep everything organized and keep you continuously progressing.

3. Your Trainer Isn’t Strict Of Form

The main reason you hire your personal trainer is to help you train in an effective and safe way.

Does your trainer ever stop you exercising to correct your form?

The best way to test this is to by doing one of your exercises incorrectly to see if your trainer notices you and is actually willing to correct you.  If they do, cool…their doing a great job.  If they don’t you should make this your last training session together, they’re not doing their job properly and putting you in danger of causing yourself serious injury, especially if you’re using weights.

4. Your Trainer Gets Distracted

Have you been to the gym lately?

It can be a really distracting place for your trainer.  Good music blaring from the speakers, TVs on everywhere, beautiful girls walking around, and looking around for other potential clients. It’s difficult enough to be distracting to you and may make your workout less effective, but if your trainer is distracted it doesn’t just harm your workout routine, but it is also a waste of your money.

If you’re not getting the full attention from your trainer, you’re not getting a good return on your investment. Find a trainer who will give you the best service possible.

5. Your Trainer Offers You Sport Specific Exercises To Improve Your Sport

This is one your trainer can really get wrong.  If they have you using a resistance band on the end of a golf club or hockey stick and swinging it or having bands that are strapped around your back while you practice your boxing moves or even using a medicine ball instead of a basketball you will have to use extra force than you would normally for your chosen sport.

Why is doing this a mistake?

The movement skills required in your sport are EXACT, not similar, EXACT.

The Answer?

Strength and conditioning workouts will give you the physical fitness to do what you need to do when you practice for your sport.

In reality, any and all athletes can benefit from adding strength and increasing explosive power, which can help you to run faster, jump higher and also transfer more force to an implement, like a swinging bat or tennis racquet or golf club or simply throwing a punch. General strength training can also help athletes better protect their connective tissues, which could help decrease risk of injury.

6. Your Trainer Doesn’t Teach You Anything You Don’t Already Know

Again, one of the main reason you hire your personal trainer is to help you train in a way that is going to challenge you and teach something you don’t already know.

If your trainer isn’t teaching you any new training routines are you really going to continue paying them?

Surely you could do those workout routines and get the exact same results by doing them yourself?

If your trainer isn’t providing high value for your money, find yourself another trainer!

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO FIND A GOOD PERSONAL TRAINER

Do your research, then go and interview them – and don’t hold anything back here!

Arm yourself with a set of informed questions you can ask trainers before you even train with them:

a) Here’s my goal. What’s the best way to achieve it?

b) Why is that method better than other fitness training methods for helping me to achieve my goal?

c) Do you use the same basic training method for everyone you work with? Why or why not?

d) Have you ever worked with others like me (similar age, sex, body-type, medical history, etc.) who have similar goals? And if so, did you use this training approach with them?

e) If so, please show me some before and after pictures of these clients or at least provide some testimonials from them?

This should ensure that you get only the best trainers in your area!

WARNING: Don’t Blame Your New Trainer for Your Poor Habits

I have to make it clear that you cannot blame your trainer for you not losing body fat if you go home and eat like a lazy teenager. It’s also unfair to blame your trainer for not helping you make drastic muscle gains if you are only going to work with them once or twice a week and do absolutely nothing the rest of the time.

Training is not something a personal trainer does TO you, it’s something they do WITH you.

In other words, the trainer provides you with the best direction to take, based on your needs and goals. It’s up to YOU to keep moving in that direction throughout each day.

Dedicated to your success,

–Nigel

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Okay folks – tell us your stories!  Have you had a bad experience with a personal trainer and what did you do about it—let’s get 25 COMMENTS, and we’ll be back soon with another awesome post.

Video: 6 Signs Your Personal Trainer Is Wasting Your Money

Top 50 New Year Resolutions For You To Consider

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Getting started, Information | Posted on 30-12-2012-05-2008

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Are you ready to make 2013 your best year yet?

 

New Year’s Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes you want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. Did your New Year’s Resolutions make our Top 50 list?

1. Lose Weight

2. Get In Shape

3. Eat Healthier

4. Spend More Time With Family

5. Save More Money

6. Eliminate Credit Card Debt

7. Drink Less Alcohol

8. Quit Smoking Now

9. Get More Education

10. Get A Job or A New One

11. Read More Books

12. Manage Stress

13. Travel More

14. Volunteer to Help Others

15. Get Organized

16. Learn Something New

17. Run A Marathon

18. Fall In Love

19. Get Married

20. Get Pregnant

21. Move Out

22. Learn a New Language

23. Get a Tattoo

24. Dress Smarter

25. Learn To Play The Guitar

26. Stop Biting Your Nails

27. Be Less Shy

28. Bungee Jump

29. Jump Out Of A Plane

30. Drink More Water

31. Stop Procrastinating

32. Be Happy And Content

33. Write A Book

34. Buy A House

35. Take More Pictures

36. Make New Friends

37. Get To Know Your Neighbours

38. Get Your House Under Control

39. Organise The Pictures And Photo Albums

40. Get More Sleep

41. Call Your Parents More

42. Pursue Your Dreams

43. Get Up Earlier

44. Remember Birthdays

45. Be More Selfless

46. Listen To Some New Music

47. Take Golf Lessons

48. Dig The Garden

49. Buy Something You Need

50. Socialise More

If I can recommend three of these above all others they would be:

1. Take Care of Yourself Physically (do whatever you need to do)

2. Spend More Time With Your Family

3. Be Happy and Content

Time flies. Before you know it, ten more years will pass. If you invest in most of the things on this list they will give you the ability to check them off a list. If you invest in the three highlighted areas you will look back with gratitude and satisfaction instead of frustration, a lack of fulfillment and regret.

Maybe you had a good year. Maybe you want to have a better one this time around. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. Wishing you the very best in the New Year!

–Nigel

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Okay folks – sound off!  We want to hear what YOUR New Year Resolutions are and WHY—let’s get 35 COMMENTS, and we’ll be back later this week with another awesome post.

5 Ways to Survive Christmas and New Year

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Information | Posted on 04-12-2012-05-2008

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I can’t believe it’s nearly Christmas already…

…this year has gone REAL FAST!

With only a couple of weeks to go I wanted to give you some tips to help you through the festive season.

For those of you that look forward to having several different Christmas dinners with family, friends and work colleagues, I’m going to show you how you can enjoy each and every one of them and still stay lean.

Here are 5 Ways to Survive Christmas and New Year

1. Use Christmas Dinner As Your Weekly Cheat Meal

If like me you’ve just had your first dinner of the season, great.

However, if have 3 or 4 big dinners planned, that doesn’t solve the problem. So we need more solutions.

2. Pick Your Treat

If your 2nd big dinner doesn’t fall on a cheat day, then you need to prioritize your preference for tasty pleasures.

At the meal, you get to choose just ONE of the treats. It could be…

– extra potatoes with gravy
– Auntie Mary’s yule log
– a glass of Uncle Bob’s hard-core eggnog
– Grandma’s famous homemade cookies

But only have ONE of the above. Pick your treat and enjoy it guilt-free.

3. Be Perfect The Rest Of The Day

From breakfast to lunch focus on protein, fiber, fruits, and vegetables. Then enjoy your big dinner. It’s that simple.

Okay, now that you know how to survive your Christmas dinners let’s take a look at how you can approach the New Year.

I could tell you not to drink alcohol at all. That would be the sensible thing to do for sure.

It doesn’t do anything for your diet, it can make it harder to lose weight, and it can throw off your workouts the next day.

But come on. We all do it! We go out, we have drinks with friends and family, and sometimes one or two drinks become several.  Just a few little things could make it all the easier to avoid hangovers, keep working out, and lessen the sometimes brutal impact that too many alcoholic calories can have on your diet.

4. Here’s My Pre-Hangover Cure

Make sure you eat something with sugar and carbs, and drink lots of fluids.  This will prevent your hangover before it starts.

5. The Secret Is To Hack Your “Buzz”

You do this by constantly ordering a pint of water along with your beer.  Drink your beer, then drink the pint of water as quickly as possible.   Then repeat the process, your buzz won’t be affected at all and you’ll still feel as drunk as any other time you go out.

You’ll have to hit the bathroom a little more often, and you may drink at a slightly slower rate, depending on how much you can take. But drinking water will allow you to:

– have a slightly more normal sleep
– go to work the next day without a splitting headache
– and most importantly, get back to your diet or exercise program

What Have You Got Planned?

Tell us about your plans for the festive season and if you have your own ways to survive Christmas and New Year?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

–Nigel

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Video: 5 Ways to Survive Christmas and New Year

Facial Liposuction – Lose Your Face Fat Rolls

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Information | Posted on 11-10-2012-05-2008

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Before considering facial liposuction, or any kind of plastic surgery for that matter, make sure you thoroughly research and find a board-certified plastic surgeon that you are comfortable with. Ask for references and to be shown before and after photos of patients they have performed the surgery you are interested in having on. Your face is the first thing people see and you really do not want any mistakes to be made. Choose your doctor wisely.

For most of us, as we age we put on weight. Some would say it is inevitable. Whether your weight gain is due to overeating, a slower metabolism, menopause, or what have you, it doesn’t matter, fat is fat. You know you should eat healthier and get some exercise but truthfully, in the real world, it is very difficult to stick to a routine because life always gets in the way.

So who do you turn to? How do you get the look you want without killing yourself in a gym? Why not consider the option of facial liposuction?

The use of lasers has become the procedure of choice for many due to the fact that it is much less invasive and there is a shorter recovery time associated with it. Find a surgeon skilled in the use of lasers to fix those saggy jowls, double chins and fat rolls on your neck.

Called SmartLipo, laser-assisted liposuction is a great way to refine the look of your face. No big incisions and no stitches to close them mean way less scarring, bruising, swelling and pain. The laser gets passed over the loose skin, shrinks the fat cells and tightens the targeted areas. 

Traditional liposuction for those saggy jowls or double chins is performed by making a tiny incision either under the chin or inside the mouth and then removing the excess fat by inserting a tube, called a cannula, into the incision and suctioning out the fat. The excess skin is then stretched tight, trimmed, and the incision stitched closed.

If liposuction is performed on the face, you may choose to combine it with some neck work, too. Called cervicoplasty, this part of the surgery will take care of that double chin you have.

When the surgery is complete your head will be wrapped in a compression dressing that will need to be worn throughout the recovery process to help keep the healing tissue supported. Your doctor will tell you that you may return to work in about a week but expect a full six weeks to fully recover. Avoid looking at yourself in mirrors during this time. Wait until you are completely healed, no sense in scaring yourself half to death.

Plastic surgery is not for everyone but if you have done all you can by way of diet and exercise and still have areas that need work, like your face, by all means, talk to a board-certified plastic surgeon about facial liposuction. It may just be the self-confidence booster you need.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and we’ll get back to you. Thanks for reading.

–Nigel

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Hoodia Does It Work

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Information | Posted on 09-09-2012-05-2008

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Many of us have struggled with our weight at some point in our lives. We all know that it takes discipline to eat right and get enough exercise.  The problem is that knowing and actually doing are two different things.  There can be many reasons why it’s tough to get all the exercise we need and / or eat right, difficult but not impossible.  If you were looking for something that may be able to help you achieve your goals and were thinking of using a supplement, your next question would probably be: Hoodia does it work?

As with most things, everyone has their own opinion. If you ask 100 people you’d probably get about 100 different answers.  The fact is that most people will get some help with their weight loss efforts by using Hoodia, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do anything, which is the mistake that many people make.  No matter how great a supplement is you will still need to get plenty of exercise and eat properly.

There are three main things that Hoodia can do to help you lose weight:

1. Hoodia has a compound that sends a signal to your brain telling it that you are full and don’t need any more food.  That trigger can help you eat far less without feeling like you are being deprived.  A recent study took a group of obese people, half who were given Hoodia and the other half were given a placebo, to monitor the effectiveness of the Hoodia supplement.  

The patients were told they could eat as much as they wanted and they weren’t exercising, just eating and relaxing.  After about 2 weeks the patients who were taking the Hoodia supplement were taking in an average of 1000 calories less per day and had lost weight compared to those who were only taking the placebo.

2.  The second benefit of Hoodia is that it has been reported to stop food cravings altogether.  Many people will say that any supplement that helps control hunger really won’t work for them since they eat because they are bored, feeling down, or something just looks good… in other words they eat even when they’re not hungry. If that describes you than you’ll be pleased to know that Hoodia can help lessen your desire to eat all the time and not just control your hunger.  Of course, this effect hasn’t happened to everyone so you would have to try Hoodia first to see if it will work for you too.

3.  If Hoodia can help you stop ‘binge eating’ or just grabbing the closest thing because you are either hungry or bored, than it will be easier for you to limit your food intake to just those things that are healthy.  That is the one component that can make a big difference in your weight loss goals.

If you want to lose weight you might as well get all the help you can to make permanent, healthy changes.  So if you’re asking : Hoodia does it work, the answer would be yes, for most people it works very well and it will very likely work for you too.

You should consult your personal health care provider, prior to taking any weight loss supplement.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and we’ll get back to you. Thanks for reading.

–Nigel

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Fitting Weight Loss Into Your Work Week

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Information | Posted on 03-08-2012-05-2008

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Losing weight can be difficult if you hold a full or part time job. Finding the time to exercise, as well as to eat properly, can be stressful. For working weight loss success, you must make time for yourself as much of a priority as possible.

Use these tips to fit weight loss into your busy work week:

Schedule Time for Working Out:

Make an appointment in your calendar, and stick to it. You’re meeting with your most important client, after all – yourself. If you struggle with being consistent, make an appointment at the gym with a trainer, or work out with a friend. This gives you a real deadline, and helps you to stick to your goal.

Plan Your Meals:

Take time once a week to plan your meals and snacks. Choose snacks that are both healthy and easy to pack. Pack your lunch instead of eating out for better control of your calorie intake. Fast food calories add up quickly, so if you must eat out choose a salad or grilled sandwich.

Cook Ahead:

Make time once a week, or even once a month, to cook large batches of food in advance. Brown ground turkey, chop lettuce and veggies for salads and snacks, grill chicken breast. Any preparation that you can do ahead of time will save you hours in the kitchen later in the week.

Exercise at Work: Many companies are beginning to offer fitness clubs on campus as an employee perk. If yours does, be sure to take advantage. If you’re not so lucky, take time to walk on your lunch break. Getting up and moving around will also help you to avoid that afternoon slump.

Keep an Exercise Video for Backup: We all have those super stressful days where there’s simply no time to squeeze in a trip to the gym. Keep an exercise tape or two that you enjoy at home – some are as short as 15 minutes. This will allow you to squeeze in your exercise before or after work, without setting foot outside your door.

Fitting weight loss into your work week can be accomplished with a bit of prior planning. Take the time to plan ways to reach your fitness goals this week. You’ll find that you’re more productive and feel better, because you’re doing something for yourself. After all, you will still be living in your body long after retirement – make sure it’s a healthy one!

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and we’ll get back to you. Thanks for reading.

–Nigel

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Finding Your Perfect Weight Using Your Body Mass Index

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Information | Posted on 02-08-2012-05-2008

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As you look at the photos in fashion magazines, it’s easy to dream of how nice it would be to be the “perfect weight”. However determining the perfect weight for your individual body is no easy task! Factors such as your body composition, your genetics, and your own personal comfort all come into play when deciding your weight goal. As you begin your weight loss journey, it’s important to figure out what weight is best for your individual situation, and work towards this goal.

You can begin determining your perfect weight by calculating your BMI. Body Mass Index is a tool widely used to determine your body fat percentage. It is based on height and weight. There are many calculators online to determine your BMI quickly and easily. Your doctor can do this for you, as well. A normal BMI runs between 18 and 24. Obesity begins at 25. By determining your Body Mass Index, you can set a target for your goal weight. Play around with the calculator, and see how much weight you need to lose to get your BMI within a healthy range.

When setting a goal weight, you should also keep your genes in mind. If your grandmother and mother were both rounded individuals with ample padding on their hips and thighs, chances are your genes are working against you. There are generally two body shapes – apple (extra weight around the middle) and pear (extra weight around the hips). Apple shaped body types are at a greater risk for health problems, as excess belly fat is linked to high cholesterol and heart disease. You can work within your genetic makeup to a certain extent, but it pays to be aware of where your body type comes from.

The last factor that influences your choice of the “ideal weight” is personal preference. Your BMI may show you as being average weight if you weigh 105 pounds. But will you be comfortable? There is such a thing as too skinny, as well as too heavy. Take your personal comfort with your appearance into account as well when setting a weight loss goal. If you have lost weight and feel comfortable and healthy, you may want to begin maintaining – even if you’re not at the weight suggested by the charts, graphs, and media. It is important to be comfortable in your own skin. Keep looking in the mirror – chances are you will recognize when you reach the perfect weight.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and we’ll get back to you. Thanks for reading.

–Nigel

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