Old Adage for the Size and Timing of Meals Seems to Be Correct for Weight Loss

Meal-Timing-and-Weight-LossIt appears the old adage to “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and supper like a pauper” may be good advice after all according to a new study by the International Journal of Obesity.  Of course many personal trainers, health coaches and nutritionists already knew and taught this but now we have scientific proof that it works.  As a health coach I would take it a step further and advise a client to surround the highest calorie meals around their workout.  Think of it as calories on demand nutrition.  I’m going to discuss this in a future article that will show you exactly how to spread out your meals, by calories and by macronutrients, i.e. protein, carbohydrate and fat.  Meanwhile take a look at the study below to see how timing is important to the success of weight loss.

Garaulet, M. et al. (2013). Timing of food intake predicts weight loss effectiveness. International Journal of Obesity.  


By Peter Marino, the owner and health coach of PoshFitness.com.

How to Get Your Abs Cut

Peter Marino

Peter Marino at 3% body-fat!

Most people want to look their best, especially during the warmer spring/summer months when people dress lighter. To look your best, many people focus on strengthening and tightening up their stomach muscles. If you look online you can find many stomach exercises to consider for your exercise program. So which exercises would be best for you whether you’re a beginner or advanced trainee?

There are a few things to consider before choosing the actual exercise program to strengthen and shape your midsection. Since no exercise program will yield results if you don’t consistently workout the first thing you need to do is pick a program you are willing to complete and stick with. The second thing to consider is to choose a set of exercises that work all the various muscles groups that form the abdomen from the obliques to the upper and lower abdominal muscles. Lastly, you must be willing to embark on a healthy but lower calorie diet that will help you reveal those abdominals you’re working so hard on from the fat tissue covering them up.

Crunches have always been a popular and effective stomach exercise. Regular crunches work the front stomach muscles while side crunches work the obliques more so. Crunches are not perfect though, and for some it can cause back and neck strain.

vacuumAn example of a crunchless stomach muscle exercise is called the vacuum which is practiced by many bodybuilders and yoga instructors but often overlooked by the mainstream. It is a lower abdominal and transverse abdominus core exercise (transverse abdominus is important at keeping your gut from protruding, especially as you get older). To perform the exercise pull the lower abdominal muscles at the belly button inward toward your spine and hold for 10-25 seconds performing 2-4 sets. This really works abdominal muscles that you probably weren’t even aware of. long-arm-crunchThis type of exercise is done while kneeling or when lying on your stomach. This exercise also eliminates the back and neck strain you may get with a normal crunch and is a great alternative to crunches when trying to prevent lower back pain.

A long arm crunch involves lying on your back and with knees bent and feet flat. Put your arms straight back as if to reach over your head and then contract your stomach muscles slowly and lift your arms head and shoulders off the floor to about a 30 degree angle. Hold this position for a few seconds and then slowly go back to your original position. Repeat 15-30 times for a set.

hip-raiseThe hip lift involves lying on your back with arms at your sides and palms up. Then lift your legs straight to about a 90 degree angle to your torso and hold. Now contract your lower abdominal muscles at your belly button to your spine. At the same time, lift your hips off the floor to a height of 2-3 inches and hold there, your legs still being held straight upward. Then lower your hips back to the floor and repeat for 10-30 reps (depending on abdominal strength) for a set.

Another good stomach muscle exercise is called the plank. Get into pushup position on the floor.  0910-single-leg-plankNow bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms (a high plank is staying in the pushup position, a low plank is performed on your elbows). Your elbows should be placed directly beneath your shoulders, and your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold the position for as long as you can. Your goal should be to hold it for one to two minutes. Once you can do this exercise for one to two minutes try raising one foot off the ground then switch feet every 20 seconds. You may also bring your knees off to the side and up to your waist for increased difficulty.

A Pilates workout is also great for the stomach muscles because each Pilates exercise focuses on strengthening the core of the body. Almost every movement in Pilates will work the stomach muscles directly or indirectly so Pilates is a good choice to consider.

russian-twistNo routine would be complete without mentioning the Russian twist. There are two versions of the Russian twist; one with feet touching the ground and one with feet off the ground. The latter is more advanced of course and should be performed by more advanced trainees. To perform the Russian twist sit on the floor with your knees bent at about a 45 degree angle. Lean slightly back but do not round your spine. It’s really difficult but very important to keep your back straight. Place your arms straight out in front of you if you’re not using resistance; if you are using a weight there may be a bend in your arms as to not fatigue the arms before the abdominals. Pull your navel to your spine slightly and twist at a slow to moderate speed to the left and then to the right. The movement emanates from the ribs rotating and not from swinging your arms. Perform 15-30 repetitions.

There are dozens of more stomach muscle exercises out there not mentioned here so I have inserted a great abdominal workout video by Jillian Michaels for more great abdominal/core exercises below. Next article will help you out with a diet plan that can help you reveal those hard worked abdominals.


By Peter Marino, owner of PoshFitness.com a Westchester NY in home personal training company.

High Intensity Interval Training and It’s Effects on Disease and Aging

High Intensity Interval Training I teach and implement High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for Westchester NY clients for a good reason; it decreases the possibility of getting metabolic syndrome, Type II Diabetes and the atrophy of muscle tissue that usually corresponds with aging. So what is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)? High-intensity interval training (HIIT<), as defined by wikipedia here: “…also called high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) or sprint interval training (SIT), is an enhanced form of interval training, an exercise strategy alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. HIIT is a form of cardiovascular exercise. Usual HIIT sessions may vary from 4–30 minutes. These short, intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition, improved glucose metabolism, and improved fat burning.”[1][2][3] High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has become a phenomenon in the sports and fitness industry it’s still very niche oriented.  Why is it still unknown to most? Well the drawback to HIIT is that de-conditioned or untrained trainees may not tolerate relatively high intensities because of their poor fitness level. Consequently, medical experts currently advocate progressively increasing intensity to reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications during exercise in order to improve compliance and minimize injury. The results of a recent study may challenge this philosophy. Norwegian researchers reported that a 16-week HIIT program virtually reversed metabolic syndrome in a group of 28 participants. Metabolic syndrome represents a collection of symptoms that include impaired blood glucose control, along with obesity, a poor lipid profile and elevated markers of cardiovascular distress. Participants were divided into 3 groups: HIIT, moderate continuous exercise (MCE), and control groups. The interval training group exercised at intensities greater than 90% HRmax, while the MCE group exercised at 70% HRmax. Both groups exercised 3 times per week and expended an equivalent amount of calories each workout. Though both exercise groups lost similar amounts of body weight/fat, interval training proved better at improving blood pressure, insulin resistance, fasting blood sugars and HDL cholesterol. In addition, interval training produced more than twice the increase in VO2max compared to moderate-continuous exercise, 35% vs. 16%, respectively. In all, the interval-training group experienced a greater risk reduction for metabolic syndrome in less time than the MCE group.

Tjonna, A.E., et al (2008) Aerobic Interval Training Versus Continuous Moderate Exercise as a Treatment for the Metabolic Syndrome. A Pilot Study. Circulation.ePub July 7.

By Peter Marino, owner of PoshFitness.com a Westchester NY in home personal training and health coaching company.

Monsanto’s Micro-Monster Could Kill Us All

Tell Sec. Vilsack to Heed Dr. Huber’s Warning!

Monsanto has unleashed a micro-monster that could kill us all.

That’s according to Dr. Don Huber, an agricultural scientist and expert in microbial ecology, who’s convinced that Monsanto’s genetically engineered “RoundUp Ready” crops are responsible for a new micro-monster that’s causing an outbreak of new plant, animal and human diseases.

Please read or watch (part1 & part 2) Dr. Mercola’s interview with Dr. Huber and then write USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, as Dr. Huber has, and urge him to place a moratorium on Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready crops until scientists learn more about this deadly micro-monster.

Learn more at Food Democracy Now.

Learn more at Food Democracy Now.

Are You A Fat Idiot?

The brains of obese individuals may be shrinking. According to a recent study completed at Boston University Medical Center the brain volume of overweight and obese individuals is significantly less than that of their normal weight counterparts.
Researchers tested over 700 individuals who were previously enrolled in the Framingham Offspring Cohort. Visceral and subcutaneous body fat was assessed via abdominal CT scan, while brain volume was measured using MRI. Total brain volume was then compared to the above body composition factors, in addition to Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference.
Interestingly the data indicated an inverse relationship between body fat and brain size. The most significant link was between visceral body fat and total brain volume. Simply, the higher the fat the smaller the brain.
Scientists are expecting to explore the underlying mechanisms and speculate hormones such as adiponectin, leptin, resistin or ghrelin may be responsible in part for the brain atrophy noted.
Why is this study important? Researchers have previously uncovered links between obesity and a greater risk for early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease and/or dementia. Until now, the underlying mechanisms behind such a relationship were only speculative. Although there is limited evidence to indicate cognitive impairment resulting from brain shrinkage, scientists hope to find a link that will allow them to understand the obesity-disease relationship.

Study Finds Fat Around the Abdomen Associated with Smaller, Older Brains in middle-aged Adults. Boston Medical Center. May 24, 2010.

The Irony of Health and Fitness

Why is it that undoubtedly the most valuable thing in the world to us all is more often than not, met with so much hesitation? I can even go so far as to say that we are even afraid of it in a lot of ways. We make every excuse in the book to justify why we can’t and don’t want to do it, and as a personal trainer and fitness professional I can say with confidence that this statement is not an exaggeration. We accept very excuse and every opportunity that enables us not to go to the gym, or not to get on that treadmill, and not to physically exert ourselves to work hard knowing full well that this is what needs to be done to maintain and improve our health and well being. So, why in the world are we so eager to avoid what we know is and will always be THE single most important thing in our lives? The answer in just one simple word is competitiveness.
That single most important thing in our lives is fitness and we are just flat out unwilling to COMPETE for it. We do it fairly easily for most other aspects of our lives, so why don’t we want to do it for our own health? We grow from being small children aware of the fact that if we want to get through school we need to listen, understand what we need to learn, and of course work as hard as we can to accomplish it. The same is true by the time we have to decide what’s best in terms of supporting ourselves as adults. We seek out and understand what has to be done to get the right job that will provide us with enough money so we can live up to the standards that we set for ourselves. And again, most of us are generally very willing to work hard enough at the necessary tasks to accomplish our goals. Sound familiar? Goals. Tasks. Hard work. These things are just as appropriate when talking about health and fitness! Just as they are with creating that good life with that great education, great job, comfortable lifestyle, and great social life, they are the foundation for building and maintaining what is supposed to be second to none on our priority list. Our health. All those other things are great and can definitely make our lives wonderful. But, our fitness IS our life whether we think so or not! I ask again why it is that we won’t compete the same way towards our fitness goals. The answer is in the difference between fitness and the other situations in which we are much more capable of self motivating. Fitness involves and requires PHYSICAL effort to a much larger degree than any of those other aspects of our lives. This is the key to it all. Other than that there are no differences. Any goal in life, no matter what it is, requires its own appropriate path of actions put together in a way necessary to achieve its end result. We have to know WHAT to do and HOW to do it, and if done correctly, the WHAT leads to success. This is the exact same principle necessary to achieve success in the world of fitness but we have nowhere near the same DRIVE to succeed as we do with so many other areas of our lives! We can’t afford to be so intimidated by a little bit of physical effort. That’s the only thing standing in our way! When I say COMPETE I don’t mean anything other than being more tough on yourself! Don’t think you have to be the most athletic, most fit, strongest, or anything like that. The beautiful thing about health and fitness is that it has nothing to do with ability or how you compare with anyone else. All it is is how you feel about challenging YOURSELF! And at YOUR own pace and ability level! As a personal trainer and strength coach with Posh Fitness, it is my passion to inspire any and everybody looking to improve, feel great about themselves, and be healthy because we ALL should want that for ourselves! Fitness should not be a chore and definitely should never be intimidating. It’s a challenge no different than the ones you’ve already been accepting. Reach to be great in whatever it means to YOU!

by: Jason Spencer

Celebrity In Home Personal Training