Trying To Lose Weight? You Must Eat Right First!

Food portions

If you are trying to lose weight, you must understand that it’s really all about what you are eating.  Let’s forget about exercise for second and discuss the simple most important thing you must do to lose weight….eat good!  You absolutely need to feed your body with good healthy foods, with the right quantity of food, for long-term success maintaining your weight and overall well being.  With that being said, in order to have this success, you will really need to think about what/when you are eating and plan your meals and the timing of your meals daily.

When I think about food and maintaining my weight/body fat percentage, I do what works best for me in just about everything in life, and keep this process as simple as possible.  So first off, you need to know what you are feeding yourself.  How do you this?  It’s easy, you read the labels of the foods you are eating and/or drinking.  You also must understand and pay attention to the amount of food you are eating in any one particular setting or meal.  Remember what I said earlier, to have long-term success with this, you need to control the type of food you eat and the amount of food you eat at every meal throughout the entire day.  It’s amazing how many people I talk to that think they can just not eat anything all day long and lose weight.   They struggle with this “diet” and never really get anywhere with their weight loss.  Not only does starving yourself not work for weight loss, it’s extremely unhealthy and flat out dangerous.  I’ll say it one more time….you need to eat to have success with maintaining your weight!

At my work, people see me constantly going to the microwave to warm up another meal.  They wonder, “how can he possibly eat all day long and never gain any weight”?  The funny thing is, If they actually looked at what I’m eating they would be surprised that I don’t eat a lot of calories in any one setting/meal.  I do however, eat a lot of small meals throughout the day.  This brings me to my next subject, which is meal planning.  In order to have success with your weight management you need to plan your meals and daily schedule, as best possible.

As I said earlier, I like to keep things simple, so I plan my meals daily.  At home, we always do our cooking on Sunday to prepare for the work week.  We cook up portions of proteins, vegetables and carbohydrates in large quantities.  We cook up protein sources such as chicken, turkey, fish, beef or eggs and either roast or steam large quantities of fresh (or frozen) veggies.  For carbs, I really like to use brown/wild rice or sweat potatoes most of the time.  After we cook up large quantities of these three categories of foods, we store them in containers for easy access to create our meals every day.  Every morning I package enough food for three meals and a mid-morning snack to get me through the day at work.  Each meal will have one portion of each of these categories of foods.  I also add a small portion of good fats, like almonds, a teaspoon of sun flower seeds, or maybe a tablespoon of either almond or all natural peanut butter.

For example, I will have one chicken breast, a good serving of veggies, 1/3 cup of brown rice and a small portion of good fats.  I try and eat one meal every 3 to 3.5 hours throughout the day.  I work 10 hour days, so I need to make sure I bring enough food to give my body good energy all day long.  It’s very important to not go without food (especially if you are active and/or exercise a lot) for more than 4 hours during the day.  This constant source of energy will keep your food cravings to a minimum, without making you feel too full all day long. It will also help keep your muscles and brain fueled and functioning at full capacity during the day.  Once you get used to eating regularly during the day and understand how to maintain a routine of meal planning, you will start to see results AND you will be able to maintain a healthy weight level long term.

Obviously, there is so much to know about different types of foods and how they can effect your “diet” that far exceed the scope of this article.  But, if you start to really understand food and track your eating habits daily you can see results quickly.  First things first, start by understanding what you are feeding yourself.  My first recommendation is to eliminate sugar (simple carbs) from your diet.  Read the labels of products before you consume them.  Not only food, but all beverages as well.  Keeping things as simple as possible by first eliminating sugar, you will lose weight AND you will feel a lot better.   Have you ever wondered why you or your family members are sick a lot?  Take a look at sugar consumption in your household.  Not only does sugar promote weight gain and multiple serious health issues,  it also contributes to many other diseases, even cancers.  I see people that I work with everyday that are constantly sick.  Some are sick regularly, maybe even as much as two to three times a month! Then I look at what they are feeding themselves and it’s easy to see why their body struggles so much to fight off germs or even a common cold.  Fast food, soda, cookies and candy all day long, no wonder they are sick!

Overall good health and weight management starts with food.  Eliminate sugar and simple (fast digesting) carbs in any/all meals and drinks, plan meals daily with portion sized quantities, and eat often throughout the day.  If you do this you will be able to lose weight and maintain a healthy life style.  The goal for all of us should be to keep body fat down to a minimum and consistently work on adding and maintaining lean muscle mass.  That’s where exercise comes in!  Eating right and exercising….wow, you get the best of both worlds, plus you accelerate the fat burning ability.  That will be a subject for a whole different article.

For more information and tips or examples of healthy foods and eating habits, go to  It’s our goal and passion to maintain a healthy lifestyle and overall well being.  Join us in our own personal mission for long term health and longevity.

Barbell Complex Workout

Looking for a total body workout that boots the metabolism?!! Try this one one for size!! Barbell Complex with whatever weight barbell you choose. First round you do 5 reps of each, second round 9 reps and last round of 12. Rest about 30 -60 seconds in between. Could even add on 15 reps to the end if you you want more of a challenge! 

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I felt this wasn’t too bad today. Mainly it was my forearms that were struggling to hold onto the 45# bar, but the weight wasn’t bad nor was my breathing. Next time we do it, I think we will start at 9, then 12, then 15 and see how that feels! We did end up adding some finishers at the end though, which helped get the heart rate up!

BB Complex

Give it a try and come back and let us know how you did! 

Getting Rid of Dreaded Belly Fat!

how-to-lose-belly-fatThe dreaded belly fat! It seems so much easier to lose weight anywhere else when compared to losing the belly fat. However it does not have to be that way!

There are a lot of mistakes that are made when people are trying to get rid of belly fat. Although losing body fat quickly is possible, it generally takes people much longer than it actually should if you avoid simple mistakes.

Here are some simple tips for being successful. These will get rid of belly fat and will also give you a super great workout.


#1 – Exercise with a lot of intensity!

Your workouts must be intense if you want to get rid of the belly fat. If you train with intensity you will elevate your metabolism and you will be burning calories even after you are done with the workout. The trick to losing belly fat is to have more muscle mass and burn more calories. Here is a great example of interval, “metabolic strength training”.

20 lunges

10 overhead squat presses

10 pushups

Try doing this for as many rounds as you can in a fast pace in a 10 minute time frame and only rest when you need to. This will surely rev up that metabolism and get your heart pumping!

#2 – Do interval training after circuit training.

Interval training is by far the best method to get rid get of belly fat utilize your time. It is more effective, more engaging and a whole lot quicker to do. If you would like faster results and a better metabolic result then interval based cardio is the way for you.

Intervals are done by doing high intensity followed by low intensity and repeating. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, to get the most out of a workout like this.

#3 – Combine your interval training, Cardio and weight training into one for a  shorter period of time. 

You can do squats, jump rope, sprints, push ups or whatever you wish!


20 Jumping Jacks

10 Squat Thrusts

20 Squats

10 Mt Climbers

I recommend finding a min of 4 exercises and a max of 8 so as not to get bored and add weights. You can also do these timed, such as 3o seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for up to 10 minutes. Great metabolic booster workout!

Now go burn some belly fat!

Challenges Of Long Distance Runs

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What do blisters, muscle cramping, and acid reflux have in common? For me, the Cheyenne Mountain 50 k on April 25th. It was a day, and a race, to endure. I found myself taping blisters and experiencing a burning throat all before 25 k. Somehow I had let myself wear a double layer of socks that insisted on providing blisters and a hydration and fuel plan that offered me heartburn. I was certainly better prepared than that…regardless, we all must experience days with unforeseen challenges and take each challenge in stride. The race was well supported with great volunteers; I just chose to have an off day. I found muscle cramping hiding behind just about every big rock and tree the last 10 kilometers. Yes, I finished, and have learned from my journey. Be careful with things you have been offered and don’t be too curious on what’s behind that next tree or underneath that rock you have overturned. All kidding aside be sure to train, prepare and do practice runs with everything.

One hundred and sixty eight hours or 7 days later it was time for redemption. The Collegiate Peaks 50 mile! The Blisters were healed (almost), the hydration and fuels for energy were in check and my curiosities were subsided. Buena Vista and the Collegiate Peaks trail were under submission and I was in control. The race started smoothly and the weather was ideal. The course was pretty tough with a wide range of terrain and elevation change. I was still in control at mile 15 with no health issues or lingering curiosities to find a cramping rock or tree. Then, at mile 17.9, I had a psychology lesson. During this lesson, 7.1 miles in distance time, I was taught through an inner conscious dialogue about the “1001 reasons to be happy with a 25 mile time and finish” and how that second 25 miles was just not in the cards for today. Well, I am here to tell ya, in ultra running you can be in the best of shape and willing to endure great pain, but if you don’t have Zen in check, it is all over. The mind is a powerful thing. It is worth mentioning that in many distances or any challenge for that matter, your body can get you half way and it’s all Zen after that. Although my training and body was still up for the task, my mind provided me a 25 mile time for Collegiate Peaks this season. No matter what went on during that psychology lesson, my 25 mile finish was decided at 17.9.

Three hundred and sixty hours or 15 days later, with my Zen fully in check, I will toe the line for the tenth annual Colfax marathon in Denver. I look forward to the people and the fun, and maybe even a PR.

Breakfast Is Important for Fat Burning


Do you wake up in the morning and the first thing that you do is eat? Or do you wait a few hours and then eat, or even wait until closer to noon and eat your first meal?

I wake up and am hungry. My body has not had food in about 10-12 hours and is screaming for food! So what do I do? Usually my go-to is eggs with veggies. I need to fuel up for my morning and get my “engine” running! But if I had planned to workout first thing in the morning, I would probably choose a protein shake. It’s quick and easy to digest and allows me to be able to workout sooner than later. I have even told my clients that even a banana is better than nothing! Some people don’t do well eating before their workouts and I understand that. BUT immediately following their workout they should eat breakfast. Do not wait!

Why is it important to have breakfast? While sleeping, your metabolism slows down, as your activity level is minimal (guess depending how restful you sleep). What your body starts to do is to act as a fat storage, which is not going to help you with your weight loss goals. So the best thing you can do when you wake up is eat!

For some people who have not eating breakfast in years, this will be a hard thing to do. Start slow and pick things that you enjoy, just to get your body used to having the meal first thing in the morning. Some suggestions would be some fruit with some nuts, yogurt, cereal such as Kashi or even a piece of toast with some almond butter. After your body has adjusted and you start to wake up hungry, then you can add things such as oatmeal, eggs with veggies or protein pancakes.

Jumpstarting that metabolism first thing in the morning is the best way to ensure you start burning calories early! 

Are you a breakfast person? Let us know what things you eat for breakfast to help burn fat!

Intervals to Burn Fat and Increase Your Metabolism

97d97caf676c0140_shutterstock_114580993.xxxlarge_2xThere are so many things today that we can use to get in our cardio workout. There are elliptical machines, stationary bikes, stair climbers, treadmills, bodyweight circuits, jumping rope, and the list could go on and on…. There are even fitness videos that do some form of intervals in their videos, such as Turbo Jam -Fat Blaster My preferences are the treadmill, elliptical and bodyweight circuits.

Whether you are trying to lose fat, increase your metabolism, give your body an amazing sexy shape, or just trying to work up your cardio endurance, make sure you are doing intervals.

What are intervals? Interval training involves alternating short bursts of intense activity with what is called active recovery, which is typically a less-intense form of the original activity performed for a specific amount of time. Intervals also cause your body to continue burning calories and fat long after you have finished your workout! Now who wouldn’t want that benefit?

An example of an interval on the treadmill:

Warm up for 2-3 minutes at a moderate intensity (about 4 out of 10). Then increase speed to high intensity (about 8 out of 10) for 30 seconds, then low intensity (about 3 out of 10) for 60 seconds and do this 6 times. Then cool down for 3-5 minutes at low intensity (about 4 out of 10). When you reach interval number six, you should be thinking to yourself “I don’t think I can do this”, but you WILL! That is how intense these intervals should be. If you are not dragging yourself off the machine when you are done, then you didn’t work hard enough. You should never have to do intervals for longer than 30 minutes. If you are just beginning, start at an easy pace and do shorter durations of intervals until you have built up your endurance, then increase your intensity!

You can also change up your intervals in many different ways. You can change the incline of the machine or change the duration of the high intervals. You can do 30, 60, 90, all the way to 120 seconds and then just make sure your recovery interval is equal to or double the high intensity intervals.

Sometimes, my intervals last only about 10 minutes long, but I go hard during this time and definitely know I burned some serious fat! So there should never be an excuse that you don’t have time to workout…just remember intervals…SHORT AND SWEET!

Here is and OLD video of myself, talking about how to get the most out of your intervals.

How To Acheive Those Strong Sexy Triceps

kickbackI get the same question from my female clients, “how can I get rid of this flabby skin that hangs under my arm?” While spot reducing is not possible, using these exercises will help to tone or build the muscle and reduce fat. I put together some of my favorite tricep exercises that will help you get those strong sexy arms you have always wanted!

Make sure you are performing 3 strength training workouts per week. You should add 2-3 of these tricep exercises per week to your strength training workout. Perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions for each exercise you choose.

  1. Dips – When doing dips, make sure to keep your elbows tucked in and keep your body as close to the bench as possible. Lower your body down slowly.

  2. Dumbell Kickbacks – Again, keep your arm tucked close to your body and position your elbow a little higher than your shoulder. Make sure not to move the upper part of your arm.

  3. Standing Cable Tricep Pulldown -Use slow, controlled movements and keep your back straight. Squeeze the triceps at the bottom part of the movement.

  4. Overhead Dumbell Extension -Try to keep your elbows as close to your head as you can during this lift in order to maximize the stress on your triceps. Also remember to use a full range of motion by fully stretching your triceps at the bottom and locking the weight out completely at the top.

  5. Lying Tricep Extension-Use slow and controlled movements and keep your elbows in.

Make sure that intervals and good nutrition are included your fitness routine. These are equally important and will aid in fat loss, therefore helping you to achieve those sexy triceps.


Preparing For My Upcoming 50K

After watching the eclipse this morning I am gearing up for my last “long run” before tapering for some upcoming races. I will cut my weekly mileage by about 40% each week in preparation for the Cheyenne Mountain 50k on April 25th with the Collegiate Peaks 50 mile in Buena Vista the following weekend. I believe tapering the last two or three weeks before a race is good practice. This can take sincere commitment and discipline due to the fact your body wants to keep training. I have found this taper help me stay injury free and show up fresh at the start line.

Tips On How To Stay Motivated

images (3)We always hear people make excuses for why they can’t get in shape or why they don’t exercise, so here are some tips to help keep them motivated to accomplish their fitness goals.

  1. Get a workout buddy or support buddy. Find someone with similar goals for support and keep you on track with your fitness goals. I have a friend I communicate with daily, she helps me stay motivated so I can achieve my fitness goals.
  2. Set a goal for yourself. Whether it be to lose 10 lbs or fit into those size 4 jeans, set a time frame and then when you reach that goal reward yourself with some new clothes or your favorite free meal.
  3. Take pictures. Take a picture of yourself in swim suit or shorts and after a couple weeks of workouts, take another picture and compare. It’s a great motivational tool when you see the results!
  4. Cut out a motivational picture. Look in magazines or online and choose a body type that you would like to have. Hang it on your fridge and look at it every day. Envision yourself looking like that picture. When you are on the treadmill and getting tired, think of that picture and push yourself to work even harder to reach that goal.
  5. Plan your workouts. When you make a plan to go running or lift some weights, you are more likely to actually DO them.  Print off a monthly calendar and add your workouts for the week ahead or month ahead and cross them off when you complete them.
  6. Hire a personal trainer or join a fitness group. Most of the clients I get say that the reason they have a personal trainer or attend a fitness group, is to provide them with support and motivation. They say that having to be accountable to someone keeps them motivated and determined.

Use these tips and after time you won’t need these to help you stay motivated. You will be so impressed with the way your body is transforming and that will be motivation enough to keep working hard to achieve your fitness goals!

Update From Last Week’s Marathon


Our guest blogger and extreme runner Mike Hartley, highlighted in our Runners Corner page, sent me an update from the marathon he ran in Salida, CO last week.

First of all, can you even imagine running a marathon of 26+ miles in the mountains on snowy, muddy, rocky trails?  Well…I can’t either (the 26+ miles on flat dry ground is hard enough for me to imagine actually running).  But, for Mike it was just simply another marathon to add to his collection of accomplishments.  I think he’s completed around 45 marathons now, but I lost count.  The picture showcases some of his bling framed!

He sent me the update below of the Salida marathon for your reading pleasure.  I believe it took him around 5 hours to actually complete the race, with the conditions of the trail dredging through deep snow along the way.  I know he has several other races planned this summer, so for all of you running fanatics, stay tuned for more updates…..

A Salida running experience

I was blessed and fortunate enough to enjoy the outdoors and a wonderful foot race this last weekend in Salida, Colorado. The Run Through Time Marathon was a great challenge of mind and body. Although the weather was perfect on race day Mother Nature and father time provided for some grueling course conditions. By this I mean miles of snow (in some areas knee deep) and mud. This provided to what was already a technical course to downright…well, crazy fun!

It was not a day to debate with one’s ego or pride and attempt that course personal record or worry about who was in front of you. It was more about remaining safe, having fun with fellow runners and finding the finish line. Isn’t it always? This is what I love most about the running community, especially long distance trails and ultras, the camaraderie and spirit is second to none!

A few useful/useless notes that you can ponder:

Race day and course conditions have no forecast. Be prepared for your adventure whether it is a long training run or a race. But, remember to have fun and enjoy the experience. Chat with your fellow trail blazers, absorb the spirit of the outdoors and witness the freedom of running.

If you ever find yourself in an argument with your ego or self-pride while in training or at a race just ask yourself “why you so serious” and follow that up with a “let’s put a smile on that face”! These phrases or mantras should bring you back down to earth and help you remember your doing this for the fun, personal challenge and the health of it!