Fitness Hub


If you’ve made it this far, giving up your Diet Coke must not be a deal-breaker. After I suggested everyone eliminate soft drinks, I was worried I may have lost a few addicts out there unwilling to make that first “small” change.

I also wanted to point out that this is not about starving yourself or even calorie-reduction specifically. This is about eating and drinking healthier than you were before, which in turn, will lead to fat melting off of your body in a healthy way.

Now for the myths that keep us eating food that is making us fat:

  1. A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Most of you hopefully know this already, but if not, it is NOT true. If you consume 100 calories of pure sugar, 100 calories from a medium rare filet mignon, and 100 calories from McDonald’s french fries, your body will process each of these very differently. This should give you a hint as to why you shouldn’t have to starve yourself to lose body fat. And remember: the only calories that count are the ones that make it to your bloodstream.
  2. If it says “Diet”, “Non-Fat”, or even “low Fat”, it must be good for you. “Diet” usually means they’ve replaced the sugar with some chemical like Aspartame, Stevia, Saccharin, etc. created to taste sweet but without the calories. The problem with this is the effect these chemicals have on the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel. Some studies have shown that aspartame can actually stimulate weight gain. Google it.Dangers of Drinking Soft Drinks
  3.  If it’s 100% fruit juice, it must be good for you. Did you know that a small glass (8 oz) of pure orange juice has 112 calories and 21 grams of sugar? Apple juice has 117 calories and 27 grams of sugar! If you want fruit, eat raw fruit, skin and all (ok, not the banana peel). While I’m on the subject, for the first few weeks, try your best NOT to drink calories. For example, try to drink ice water with your meals (I prefer limes over lemons in restaurants). For you tea lovers, try it unsweetened with lemon. I’ll address dairy later.
  4. Egg yolks are bad for you. In the last few years several studies have shown strong health benefits from eggs. If you have cholesterol issues, you should limit your yolks to no more than two a day, but otherwise they are an excellent source of protein, as well as a host of vitamins and minerals. Also, eggs have a biological value of 93.7% compared to 84.5% for milk, 76% for fish, and 74.3% for beef. Dollar for dollar, they are your best source of protein. One more thing, cook them. Do NOT eat them raw like Rocky Balboa. Can you say Salmonella?
  5. Red meat is bad for you. During my research for Body Change Part 1, I ran across study after study about how GOOD beef is for us. Notice I said GOOD not bad. I don’t have the room or the time to reference all of them here, but I did reference some of them in the Body Change blog post. You can also Google the subject of “beef” or “red meat” health benefits. And everyone I know loves a good lean steak. And keep it lean.
  6. If I exercise enough I can eat whatever I want. Maybe when you were a kid, or even a teenager, but if you are over 30, odds are you’ve already figured this out. Most experts say that a truly effective fat loss program is 70-80% nutrition (what we put in our bodies) and 20-30% how we move each day (not just the formal exercise routine program we are doing, but our lifestyle in between workouts and sleep). We burn 300-400 calories an hour, depending on your weight, walking at 3.5 miles/hour. A 20 oz bottle of Coca Cola has 240 calories (all from sugar by the way). You do the math and see how far you need to walk to drink all of the soft drinks you consume in a week.

This is definitely not a complete list of all of the myths we have believed at some point in our lives, but it should get you started.

Small change #2 (remember #1 was eliminating soft drinks) – EAT a Healthy BREAKFAST every morning (donuts don’t count!). People who skip breakfast are 4.5 times more likely to be obese.

Eat within 30-45 minutes of waking up if possible. If possible you should eat 30-35% of your total calories for the day in the morning. But make sure it consists of at least 15-20 grams of protein. To help me prepare eggs I bought a microwave two-egg poacher at Wal-mart for less than $5. Works great!

Which of the above myths have you been believing?



Do you have close friends that you can trust completely? Not just people you hang out with, go to football games with, or shop with, but real friends you know you can rely on when things get really tough?

Last summer I went through one of the most spiritually dry periods of my life. I felt overwhelmed, filled with anxiety, and truly afraid of failing my family. I felt like I was in a deep dark well, and when I looked up I saw nothing. Nobody looking down at me. Not even God.

Not that God wasn’t there, I just didn’t feel like He was there while I was going through this.

The problem was I didn’t have any close male friends to share my struggles with. And I have no one to blame but myself. My pride wouldn’t let me share my fears and anxiety. That would be admitting weakness. Heaven forbid!

Unfortunately, most men I’ve talked with about this have the same problem.

But God taught me through this that everyone of us needs these types of relationships not just for the tough times, but to do life with.

We were not created to do life alone.

Jesus modeled this for us with his “Inner Circle” of men. Peter, James, and John were allowed a closeness the other disciples weren’t (the Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-12); in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-44), just to mention a few).

There are at least three things to consider before choosing our “Inner Circle”:

  • ASK: I have to willing to give my inner circle permission to “ask” the tough questions about what’s going on in my life, and also be willing to be completely honest with my answers, even if it makes me look weak or stupid.
  • CARE: I have to truly care about these men at a deeper level than our culture is accustomed to–I need to love them more than brothers. Bottom line: if I don’t truly care about them, how will I know when they are really hurting.
  • ENCOURAGE: I have to commit to taking the time and energy needed each day to not only pray for them specifically, but find ways to encourage them individually. Maybe it’s a text or a phone call or an email. And it definitely needs to be face-to-face a couple of times a month if possible.

There are definitely other things to consider before building yours, but this should get you started.

I’m working on mine now because I want to be prepared for the next “wilderness”. How do I know another wilderness is coming? Because Jesus tells us it is. But he also reminds us in the very next sentence that there really is a happy ending…

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NLT)



I have been planning to do a post on the myths we believe about cardio, specifically LSD (long slow distance) running, and why it is detrimental to the body. And then I found this excellent article by Ryan Faehnle. Check out his blog at The Fat Loss Solution.

What comes to mind when you think about good fat burning workouts?

What about jogging and other long-duration cardio methods like exercise bikes and ellipticals? After all, they’re proven to burn loads of fat right?

Well, if that’s what you think, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, over 36 million people turn to jogging every year in the hopes of getting a lean and attractive body.

But unfortunately, those folks are in for major disappointment. And so…

I would personally like to say “I’m sorry” to you on behalf of the entire fitness industry. If you’ve been on the cardio-craze band wagon, please accept my sincerest apology for the myths and tall-tales that have been leading you down the garden path.

And if you were thinking of taking up a cardio routine to shed a few pounds, make sure you read this entire page to discover exactly why that’s a very, very bad idea that will end up making you even fatter!

There’s no sugar coating it. You have been lied to, plain and simple. Every magazine you’ve read, every website you’ve visited, and every local trainer you’ve met who has told you that you need to do steady-state cardio to get lean has been wrong.

I’m talking about those hard 45 minute distance runs, the tough marathon sessions on the elliptical, and the brutally hard aerobics classes. Please ditch those right away if you want to accelerate your fat loss and keep the weight off permanently.

But you might be thinking…“I sweat like crazy, my heart is racing, and I’m exhausted after those cardio sessions, so they must be helping me strip off my body fat, right?”


Unfortunately, relying heavily on steady-state cardio (where you keep the same pace for the duration of your workout) in the so-called “fat-burning zone” to get leaner is a recipe for actually getting FATTER.

Here why…

The 3 Ways Your “Cardio” Is Making You FATTER

1. You’re increasing the “gas mileage” you get out of your calories

Humans aren’t cars. Getting 70 miles per gallon in your new hybrid car is awesome. But, when you’re looking to lose bodyfat, the last thing you want is to be fuel-efficient.

You want to be a gas-guzzling — calorie burning — machine! You want to be more like a high-octane, powerful Lamborghini that burns through fuel faster than the cast of The Jersey Shore burns through hair gel!

If you do a lot of traditional cardio (going for a 40 minute jog 4-5 times per week), you’re actually teaching your body to burn FEWER calories to fuel your activity. That’s because your body adapts quickly to this kind of workout and gets very efficient at it. This means that despite your best efforts, your long runs are putting more thunder in your thighs and more love in your love handles!

2. You’re boosting fat-storing hormones

Traditional cardio not only makes you burn less fat for fuel over time, it increases the activity of hormones that make you STORE fat.

There are several culprits, but the main one I’m talking about is cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that your body relies on for energy during periods of fatigue. While cortisol does some important things in your body, chronically high levels cause increases in the size of that pouch of fat that hangs off the bottom of your belly.

I’m here to break the bad news to you that traditional cardio actually causes cortisol to run rampant in your body.

Going for an easy walk is fine and good for your health, but those hard distance runs, long elliptical sessions, and aerobic dance classes cause your cortisol to make deposits of fat around your belly button at a rate greater than Donald Trump makes deposits at the bank!

3. You’re taking fuel out of your metabolic furnace

Think of your metabolism like a wood-burning furnace. The more wood you have on the fire, the hotter it will burn.

The wood in your body’s metabolism is lean muscle tissue. Higher levels of lean muscle create a huge demand for calories, even when you’re not exercising at all!

Traditional cardio eats away at muscle mass, which then decreases the amount of calories you burn on a day-to-day basis.

So if jogging ain’t so great, what the heck should you be doing instead?

Forget about “cardio” and turn to “energy system training” instead.

Technically, you could still call energy system work “cardio,” because it does train the cardiovascular system, but in a VERY different way. Unlike cardio training, energy system training actually stimulates fat loss, while SIMULTANEOUSLY maintaining muscle mass so that you can keep the furnace hot!

So what can you do to shift towards energy system training and avoid the 3 problems with traditional cardio? The answer is really quite simple.

1.) You need to make sure you’ve got a good strength-training program.

Too many people make the mistake of ignoring their metabolically active muscle mass. This is the base of your fat burning metabolism. Don’t ignore it. Whether you are a woman or a man, a well designed resistance training program is a must.

2.) You should do your energy system training 2-4 times per week, but utilizing high intensity intervals instead of your standard 30-45 minute boring jog.

High intensity intervals burn more fat than steady-state cardio, they boost your metabolism, and they increase your fat-burning hormones.

Here’s a sample plan for you:

For each workout, choose whatever method you want whether it is sprinting, kayaking, cycling, rowing, etc. The principles remain the same no matter what you’re doing.

Workout 1: 6 rounds of 30 seconds as hard and as fast as you can go followed by 1 minute and 30 seconds of low intensity activity or complete rest.

Workout 2: 8 rounds of 1 minute as hard and as fast as you can go followed by 2 minutes of low-intensity activity or complete rest.

Workout 3: 20 rounds of 10 seconds as hard and as fast as you can go followed by 30 seconds of low-intensity activity or complete rest.

Make these quick and easy changes to your workout plan and kiss your body fat goodbye forever!