Mix Fitness's Blog

Healthy Body Fat Percentages

Posted in Uncategorized by mixfitness on January 20, 2010
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I just read an article that was promoting a workout routine in which a client had “literally lost 100% of their body fat.”  This is not only extremely unlikely, but completely irresponsible of the author!  Please, I beg you, if you see these programs being advertised, run.  We’ve all heard the message that fat is bad.  So, now we’re pursuing ways to lower our body fat percentages.  And, with the obesity rates in America, we should be concerned about losing fat.  But, to the point where you have none is ill-advised.  Having some fat is good.

Lots of research is being done about the benefits of having fat.  What we know is that fat cushions the organs, helps regulate body temperature, contributes to metabolism, and provides an energy source for the body.  Fat also is the home for the hormone adiponectin.  Adiponectin is a beneficial hormone which reduces cell inflammation and improves HDL, the good cholesterol.  It’s when there is too much fat that it causes problems.

So, what is a healthy body fat percentage?  Well, it differs between men and women.  The American Council on Exercise (ACE) provides this table.  Women should be in the range of 21-31%.  Men, 14-24%.  Notice the classification of “essential fat.”  Yes, some is essential.  Even athletes are encouraged to have body fat.

Please look to reputable sources like ACE and the American College of Sports Medicine for recommendations about fitness.  For more information about fat and losing weight, read these posts.

Diet: A Four-Letter Word

Interesting Facts About Fat

10 Weight Loss Tips


The End of Overeating

Posted in Uncategorized by mixfitness on January 16, 2010
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Last night, I finished reading the book “The end of overeating.  Taking control of the insatiable American appetite” by David A. Kessler.  This 250 page read is interesting for sure.  Part One is titled “Sugar, Fat, Salt.”  The author, who is a former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, spends a lot of time explaining how sugar, fat, and salt are layered into the foods we eat.  He reveals conversations with food industry executives who state that they understand how to manipulate these three ingredients to make food more palatable.

What’s more interesting is how our brains respond to foods that are high in sugar, fat, and salt.  Our brains interpret these foods as rewarding and can override the voice inside that says stay away.  Several studies on mice are described.  In most cases, the mice learn where and how to find the best food.  The best food is almost always the one that has the most sugar.  Then, that becomes their preference…their habit.  Sound familiar?

The good news is that Dr. Kessler and other doctors present a treatment.  A way to overcome our learned eating behaviors.  But, I must warn you.  It won’t be easy.  If you follow my blog, you’ve heard me say many times that there is no quick fix for losing weight.  And, that losing weight effectively comes from eating right and exercising regularly.  I will highlight the solutions here, so if you want to discover them by reading the book, stop reading now.

It’s important to tell you that success will entail breaking habits you may not be aware of.  That’s step number one.  Be aware of your emotions when you eat and where you are when you eat.  The environment and memories of yummy food experiences can cue you to overeat.  Step number two involves finding alternate thoughts.  When you’re presented with a stimulating food, you must be able to direct your thoughts – and body – away from it.  Another critical component is having support.  Finding someone to help you through the behavioral changes will make the process easier.

In the book, there are more details about how to retrain your brain.  At the end of the day, that’s what it really comes down to.  So, if you’re battling with weight or struggling with food choices, read this one.