Archive for October, 2010

The Weight Loss Obsession – Maybe Not Obsessed Enough!

The title, “The Weight Loss Obsession”, was an original title for a piece I wrote in one of my books, over a decade ago. It was during a time when we, the experts, were pretty confident that the combat against fat was being fought and being won. Here we are, over a decade later, and not only have we Americans been beaten down by obesity, but it seems to be beating the entire world and it’s not about to stop its bullying anytime in the foreseeable future.

Do you know why this is? How could it be, that we, one of the most advanced, high tech and savvy countries in the world have now become known as the fattest country in the world? I believe it’s because we are also our own worst enemies! We Americans are non-stop and many of us unfortunately take little time to exercise and even less time to think about what we’re putting in our mouths. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Positive Effects of the Challenge

By now the Alphas out there know how important resilience is and what it takes to learn it as a skill.  We know that things never go perfectly, that the secret is to try and try again and it is facing the challenge and the resulting perseverance that makes us stronger and more effective.  Well, it is always a good thing when science tells us we are on the right track.

A recent study found that the most resilient and adaptive among us – those with lower levels of distress and higher levels of satisfaction – were also those who had faced some level adversity in life.  They reported the classic U-type function we see in many relationships, such as anxiety and performance;  wellness and resilience are maximized at moderate levels of adversity.  A life that offers little challenge or adversity or one in which the adversity is beyond a certain level that allows for adaptation can both lead to lesser resilience and impaired functioning.

So seek challenge, do not run from it, but also remember that we all need time away from it as well, time to recuperate, regroup and re-commit.

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Obesity drugs … or freezing away your fat?!

There’s no doubt that diet and exercise are the best path to major changes in your body composition — from flab to fab!  But the popular demand for an effort-free “magic bullet” solution to a better body will always keep medical researchers busy, as two recent news stories demonstrate.

First the bad news: after about a dozen years of effort and $1 billion of investment, Arena Pharmaceuticals announced that the FDA had rejected its application to market a new “anti-obesity” drug based upon “marginal” effectiveness in clinical trials and concerns over studies showing extremely high doses were linked to increased cancer rates in rats.  So, for the time being, lorcaserin (Lorqess) won’t be an option for the 1 out of 3 Americans currently categorized as obese.  Given the side effects historically associated with other weight loss drugs (e.g., fen-phen, rimonabant, sibutramine), I think the smart approach to transforming your body is a sound eating plan and exercise prescription like the one we created in Alpha Male Challenge.

Now … what could be good news for those who’ve reached fairly lean condition with diet and exercise but have a little bit of stubborn fat in a problem area they just can’t get rid of: FDA has just approved a non-invasive procedure to literally freeze away your fat cells! Read the rest of this entry »

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Weighing the Pros and Cons of HRT for Men

Interesting article posted in the Health Section of the New York Times debating as to whether or not hormone replacement therapy can help or harm men.

You can read the article here —> Hormone Replacement for Men? Perhaps

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The “Act As If” Principle – How The Right Mind-Set Will Get You In Amazing Shape!

Just over a year ago, I began training a 38 year old male who weighed 310 pounds. When I met him in person, I could see that he was hungry to make positive changes in his life. He had gotten to a point in his life, where he was clearly not happy about the way he looked and felt.

This was obviously having a major impact on both his personal life and his career. Although I saw his desire to change, I still wasn’t sure that he’s  have the ability to truly buy in to the True Alpha program. I pull no punches and I expect my clients to give me their all. I wasn’t sure that he could give that to me.

Well, we began the program and as I expected, it was slow going for the first week. He had been sedentary for a while and I certainly didn’t want to rush into things, as I didn’t want to do any physical harm to my client by rushing the process.

We started off and again, Read the rest of this entry »

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What Not to Eat!!

As the obesity epidemic continues to plunge America into deeper doo-doo, along comes KFC to add insult to injury with their new “Double Down.”  They take a heaping helping of bacon and cheese and shove it between … are you ready? … two deep fried pieces of chicken!  The misbegotten sandwich thingy is replete with 32 grams of fat and nearly 1,400 milligrams of sodium.  It’s for the people out there who say there’s no such thing as high cholesterol or hypertension.  Jenny Everett of SELF magazine “had to try it.”  She admits “that first bite was tasty.  But by bite three my hands were completely coated in grease and I was nauseous.  Game over, Colonel.”  Check out her full report, along with some tips, at this Shine.Yahoo link!

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Fuel For A True Alpha Workout

If your stomach can handle it, it’s always a good idea to fuel up before a strength training workout. This is true, especially in the morning, when you’re a little groggy. It’s vital that you stay focused and have enough energy to sustain a high intensity, True Alpha Workout.  It’s always good to include come complex carbohydrates, as these will convert to glucose. This is vital, as your body will often have very low glycogen levels and the glucose will provide a quick energy boost and the fuel you need to get you through that tough workout.

Your body may already have some stored glycogen AKA your muscle fuel, but this fuel source may only last for 30 minutes or so, especially when you’re muscles are working to the max. The carbs you eat, will make sure that you’ve got two fuel sources and will act as your fuel backup. Make sure you choose carbohydrates that are healthy and not filled with the wrong fats or sugar.  Something like steel-cut oatmeal with maybe some Banana pieces and a few walnuts is a great source of carbohydrates that is good for you and can help you with filling you with energy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Esquire: “Are Your Pants Lying to You?”

I’m not a regular visitor to Esquire.com, natch, so I missed Abram Sauer’s September 7 “Style Blog” post on the subject of “vanity sizing.”  An excerpt:

The devastating realization came in H&M. Specifically, in a pair of size 36 dress pants. I’d never bought pants at H&M before, and suddenly asked myself: how could a 36-inch waist suddenly be so damn tight?

Read the rest of this entry »

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The New Manliness

The September 27th issue of Newsweek features an article by writers Andrew Romano and Tony Dokoupil entitled, “Men’s Lib.”  “What’s the matter with men?” the authors ask.  “For years, the media have delivered the direst of prognoses.  Men are ‘in decline.’  Guys are getting ‘stiffed.’  The ‘war on boys’ has begun.  And so on.”  They cite Hanna Rosin’s declaration about “The End of Men” in The Atlantic (fiercely dissected in this blog not long ago).

Without doubt, there’s a lot of confusion today about what a guy needs to do and be.  Romano and Dokoupil criticize what they call displays of “throwback masculinity” such as rich urbanites strutting around in hunting gear.  They’re right: we can’t retreat into the woods in deference to “some musty script” of manliness.  The man for our times must be a man of our times, and changing gender roles can’t be ignored.  We need to look forward, to evolve, to redefine our gender.  But in ultimately suggesting that the solution lies only in embracing “girly jobs and dirty diapers,” the authors miss the point.  Sure, men with children should strive to be good breadwinners and good parents.  I can’t agree more!  But so should women.  Gender roles have neutralized in many ways and nobody should be afraid to change a diaper or do the carpooling.  But that doesn’t help us define what masculinity is.  If anything, by focusing on genderlessness, it just tells us what it’s not. Read the rest of this entry »

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