What Gets Measured Gets Managed!

I just read a management approach that applies very nicely to fitness. McKinsey, the management consultancy, teaches its junior trainees: “Everything can be measured, and what gets measured gets managed.”

Can you see how that applies to fitness? If we teach people to just measure their weight, that is what they will want to manage. That is what most weight loss companies do. By and large, they fail. I think they fail in the long run because when people stop measuring their weight regularly, they revert to past practises and do not “manage” their weight any more. In our business, we ask people to not focus on their weight when they first start. That is not what we want them to measure first.

Of course, everyone will weigh themselves first just to see where they start from. Then, though, we want them to move on quickly and measure their progress in strength development. Do the exercises. It only takes about 7 minutes! Chris and Joel remind us often during the workouts to count the reps and adjust the weights so we get to momentary positive muscle failure early. In other words, we measure how strong we are getting from one cycle to the next. We want to get stronger so we really focus and do the workouts correctly. Results are apparent. (Our muscle mass grows and that leads to greater calorie burning, even at rest.)

As we get used to the exercise routine, then we are advised to start measuring our food intake. Food Tracker is designed to show us what nutrients (protein, carbs, and fat) we are putting into our bodies and in what amounts. We can see what the ratio is after each entry so we can see if we are getting too much fat or not enough protein. Because that is being measured, we adjust and manage what and how we eat. That leads very naturally to changes in how we “manage” our food intake and that stays with us for life! It is not a diet!

So, let’s do what 7 Minute Workout is all about and by all means, measure the results. Just measure the results that really lead to life-long change. Measure what you want to manage. Weight will always be one element, but do not make it the sole element. Measure strength (and inches under Your Progress) and food intake (under Food Tracker). The tools are all there.

To your good health!

 

1 Pound of Muscle Burns 100 Calories!!

By the time we reach the age of 40 we have lost about 10 pounds of lean muscle mass. Have you noticed, like I have, that most of us have not lost any weight or size? In fact, most of us have gained weight and gotten bigger. Sounds like a bit of a paradox doesn’t it?

It is actually fairly easy to understand when you know a bit about metabolism. Muscles burn more calories than fat. What this means is that it takes more calories to maintain the lean muscle mass as it does to maintain body fat.

What’s going on? As we lose muscle mass, we need less calories on a daily basis to maintain our bodies. However, we usually do not reduce our intake. In addition, we tend to move a bit less because we are working more and “playing” less. Again, we do not need as many calories but we continue to take on the calories we have been accustomed to eating. Our bodies take this excess of calories and turns it to fat and stores it up in the event that we do not get enough food in the future. That is how we are designed. So, we gain more fat and lose more muscle mass. This leads to steadily increasing weight and loss of fitness. This leads, naturally, to health problems!

Time to take control! You know it and I know it. BUT, we just do not have the time or inclination to spend hours a week at a gym or running to burn calories. In fact, for most of us, we do not find any enjoyment in these sorts of activities. Further, we need to “eat better”. Maybe a diet! We have been told that we just need to increase our activity and reduce our intake of food. While that is essentially true, it is not that easy, is it?

If you think about that 10 pounds of muscle mass that we have lost by the age of 40, we  can understand that we would have to run for about an hour every day to burn the 1000 calories that the lean muscle mass used to burn. Who can or wants to do that? Why not just get the muscle mass back? That makes so much sense doesn’t it? Can we? Yes, we can!

Don’t want to spend time in a gym with the gym rats? Don’t know what to do and can’t afford the time or money for a personal trainer to “yell” at you to “work harder, more, more ….”? Well stay tuned. I will have some great answers very soon. 🙂

 

What to do about fitness!

It is a fact that overweight and obesity is a real issue for us to deal with, wether it is a personal issue or something we want to avoid. People who are overweight and/or obese stand a much greater risk of developing diabetes requiring massive change to life style. Some will develop heart problems restricting what they can do. Some will have a stroke.

Another risk factor is simple aging. That is primarily due to the fact that lean muscle mass decreases naturally (unless we do something about it). As that happens. we add fat to our bodies, thereby increasing the risks of the issues mentioned above.

How do we reduce the risks? Get more fit! Simple! Really!

What stopping us? We have tried lots of things and we still do not feel fit. Why is that? Frankly it is because we have been told to do things that just do not work for us. We do not have the time to spend going to, and,in the gym. If you are like me, you hate gyms. An hour of exercise is just torture. I also do not know what to do and how to do it. Personal trainers cost too much and, again, take too much time! I won’t even talk about the fad diets this time. I will save that for another issue.

So, what is the solution? Find a program that coaches, educates and guides you in exactly what to do to increase lean muscle mass (which leads naturally to reducing body fat). It has to be flexible enough to fit into any hectic schedule. There should be a strong community that is very supportive. A community that encourages and congratulates us on our progress. It should be a program that allows us to participate to the level that we are comfortable with and able to. We should not be made to feel like failures, ever.

Here are 5 points to follow:

1 Do not start with diet!

2 Redirect your calories. Aerobic only burns calories while exercising. When you stop, burning stops.Muscle mass burns calories all day long. (10x more than fat). Build strength.

3 Be proud and praise yourself.

4 Be open-minded to accept and try new ideas. Not diet but exercise!

5 Support each other.

All we need now is the site that will do these things.

 

Stay tuned! 😉

 

Fat prejudice spreads around the world

I was drawn to this segment of an article I was reading in our local newspaper this morning. It is not so much the headline about how prejudice is spreading around the world against "fat folk". Rather, it is the fact that there are huge health problems associated with being overweight.

 

 

According to a new study by the University of Arizona, many cultures that once associated curvy bodies with youth, fertility, wealth and beauty have gobbled up North Americans anti-fat prejudices and now associate obesity with laziness, lack of self-control and moral failure.The study reports that obesity rates are rising around the world except in sub-Saharan Africa, with developing countries now identifying obesity as a major public health concern. An obese persons life is, on average, nine to 13 years shorter than someone of normal weight, and obesity is linked with an increased risk of illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart attack and stroke.

via You shouldnt be eating that: fat prejudice spreads around the world.

So, never mind that there is a tendency to look on "fat folk" as lazy, or undisciplined or whatever other negative things pop to mind. The known reality is that is simply dangerous and life-shortening to be over-weight. I also want to tell you that it is not the fault of the "fat folk". They are not lazy or undisciplined. They are simply victims of industries that target them and get them addicted to foods that are harmful and activities that are not helpful.

The fitness industry has been focused on telling us to just work harder! Even if it is something we hate! Of course, if we hate something, do you think we will stick with it? Not for long. I have always enjoyed the oft quoted definition of insanity: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Why has the fitness industry not come up with help that will work? Simply put, it is not in their interests because money is made by charging on an hourly rate for the gym coaching and personal training.

A better way is about to be introduced to the world very shortly. It focuses on doing what makes sense and encouragement, rather than shouting and blaming.

Stay tuned. :)