Home » Posts tagged 'Fitness'

Tag Archives: Fitness


OVER-expecting Weight Loss Success: Why Your Effort Doesn’t Match What You See on the Scale

By Mark Rullo MS, CSCS, MES

In the previous article, “UNDER-standing Weight Loss Frustration” I discussed how it is easy to UNDER-report the calories you are consuming and give up in frustration. The purpose of that article was to reinforce the science that weight loss is simple, in that it revolves around calories in versus calories out. However, simple doesn’t mean easy, due to factors such as portion distortion, food label loop holes, accountability accuracy of nutritional labels, and Bites Licks and Taste’s that may cause you to miscalculate and UNDER-report the calories you are consuming.

This article is going to continue on that theme but now focus on the other side of the caloric equation: caloric expenditure (calories out).

We have been able to document with our clients here at My Fitness Kitchen that the UNDER-reporting of caloric input (eating) averages around 25-30% until they hone in on the factors leading to this error. Meaning if you report a 1500 calorie intake, in reality you could be eating 1875-1950 actual total calories. This equates to a daily calorie error of 350 to 450 from your daily deficit, or .7lb to .9lb per week you would be expecting to see on the scale but are not – VERY FRUSTRATING.

Now what about our caloric expenditure or “burn”?

First and foremost, let’s accept the fact that all methods used to measure caloric expenditure—such as the Exerspy™ armband (used here at the Kitchen), heart rate monitors, Fit Bits, Fuelbands, and displays on stationary cardio machines, to name a few—are only estimates. With that said, if you want to minimize frustration, choose a method that does not exaggerate your burn. It may be cool to see a large caloric burn from a device; but if it isn’t true, that is a cruel trip back to reality when you jump on the lie-detector, also known as the scale.

To document such a wide range of OVER-estimating caloric expenditure, I wore an Exerspy™ armband while doing a simple 30 minute steady-state cardio workout on an elliptical at a moderate level of intensity (level 14).

In the photo above, the exercise display on the machine reported 404 calories expended; whereas the Exerspy™ arm-band shows 192 calories burned in the 30 minutes of steady-state work. That is a 212 calorie difference in 30 minutes of work or 7.1 calories per minute difference! Imagine doing that 30 minute workout three days a week or every day. That is 636 or 1484 calories you believe you are able to eat. Again both are estimates; however it is better to err on the lower end so you don’t think you have more calories to eat than you actually do. It is no different than being told you will earn$404 dollars for doing something but in reality only get paid $192. Even worse is if you went out and purchased (ate) something that cost $404 but actually do not have the additional funds ($212) to cover the cost.

Another example happened when I was taking a Spinning class. A female next to me, no where near my size and weight (at least 60-70 lbs lighter), wore a heart rate monitor that reported she burned over 800 calories during the workout, whereas my armband showed only 380 calories burned. To understand this, the point is that mass (particularly muscle mass) plays a significant role on caloric expenditure; therefore even if I was dogging it and she was busting her butt, there’s no way there would be over a 400 calorie difference.

Another problem with calculating caloric burn of workouts is that it fails to account for the other 23 hours in the day (assuming the workout was for 60 minutes). This is where many info-commercials mislead people with hype of extreme caloric burns that are mostly impossible. Workouts with a 1000+ calorie burn are not happening unless we are talking about a large (300+ lbs.) individual who is extremely fit, exercising at a high intensity for 60 minutes.

By wearing an armband for 24 hours, I can see what the difference in one’s expenditure is while sleeping, sedentary, active (vertical/walking around), and exercising. For example, on average I burn about 4,000 calories per day. Typically I burn about 100 calories per hour sleeping, about 190 calories per hour being sedentary, and anywhere from 300 to 550 calories per hour during a workout depending on the intensity and type. Therefore to illustrate, if I would…

• …sleep 8 hours, that would be about 800 (8×100) calories

• …be sedentary for 15 hours that would be about 2850 (15×190) calories

• …and exercise an hour and average 425 calories burned for the workout

This example would total about 4,075 calories in 24 hours. The important take-away from this is that we burn calories 24 hours, not only when we exercise.

Yes, having knowledge of an individual workout burn is great and can be motivating, but it can be misleading, particularly for the devices that OVER-estimate the caloric expenditure. Equally troubling with individual workout caloric expenditure (even when the device doesn’t OVER-estimate) is that it fails to show the entire picture of weight loss. Regardless of what you burn in a workout, how will that help you determine what you can eat (in calories) if you do not know the other 23 hours or the complete total for the day?

Understanding that we burn calories all day can also explain and educate how we can influence our metabolism during rest, not just by exercising. Monitoring expenditure all day can show which workouts create the greatest EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption), which is a scientific term for “after burn” or elevated metabolism post workout.

As in the previous article “UNDER-standing Weight Loss Frustration” and in the few examples above on how people “OVER-expect weight Loss Success” is how we help individuals here at My Fitness Kitchen via technology and evidence-based science to eliminate the guesswork with weight loss and build programs around YOUR FOOD, on YOUR TERMS, for YOUR RESULTS.

For more information, please feel free to consult with any of the fitness professionals at My Fitness Kitchen®. Additionally, as an on-going thank you to Laurel Mountain Post and its readers, mention this article for a FREE, no obligation, personalized, metabolic nutritional formula and fitness program that will leverage the “Hierarchy of Fat Loss.” If you are serious about achieving a body transformation goal, then you need a program; as any goal without a plan is really only a wish!

As an added incentive for people new to My Fitness Kitchen®, by mentioning this Laurel Mountain Post article and after meeting with one of My Fitness Kitchen’s Fitness Professionals for a private consult as offered above, you will receive $50 “Kitchen Cash” to be used toward any program or service at My Fitness Kitchen®, as a courtesy of the Laurel Mountain Post.


Excuse or Reason?: Which Will Win in 2014?

by Mark Rullo MS, CSCS, MES

Here we go again: will it be a “New Year, New You” or not?  Truth be told, this is the time of year that the majority of people make a commitment to themselves to lose weight, get more fit and just become healthier overall. Statistically, weight loss is the number one resolution, with 45% of Americans citing it as their goal.  Unfortunately, only 8% of people who make the commitment to lose weight actually do.

Through the years, we have found two primary reasons why people either reach their goal or give up: Motivation and Direction.

Direction is making sure that your time, energy and even money are expended with a correct plan to achieve your goal.  Motivation is the emotional reason to actually want to see that goal become a reality.

An individual can be extremely motivated to lose weight; however if they are provided with the wrong information, more times than not, they will stop in frustration because the results do not match their efforts (check out my previous LMP article –Nov 2013 “Why Gyms Make You Fat”). On the other side, if an individual has the most scientific, evidence-based game plan for weight loss (Hierarchy of Fat Loss) but does not have a burning desire to see the change become a reality, more times than not, that individual will not follow the necessary behaviors to see the desired expected results.

I often explain Motivation and Direction using the analogy of wanting to see the sun rise. If your goal is to see the sun rise, it wouldn’t matter how motivated you were if you were told to look west every morning (wrong direction).  In a like manner, if you didn’t care to see the sun rise it wouldn’t matter if someone was telling you to get up early and look east. It’s good information but you just don’t have the motivation to see the sun rise.

As an Exercise Physiologist and weight loss expert, my goal is to keep individuals heading “East” relative to the weight loss goal; however to make sure individuals stay the course, we need some emotional “glue” to help with adherence to the program (directions). This emotional adherence is your Reason / Y-Factor.

Y-Factor (Motivation)

When individuals are highly motivated, the commitment and discipline of following through an effective exercise and nutrition program is not an issue, and RESULTS are achieved. However, when motivation is missing, individuals many times leave success up for chance.

It takes some soul searching and digging but most people find that their motivation stems from an emotional response to the avoidance of pain, acquisition of pleasure or a combination of both.  This is a term we refer to as the Y-FACTOR .

Your Y-FACTOR is not a specific goal (e.g., inches lost, %body fat, lean body mass, etc.) that can be measured, rather the reasons WHY you want this change.  To best explain the concept of the Y-FACTOR, I have provided an example of a former client.

A young female in her mid-twenties came to see me about losing weight.  The first thing I asked was why she wanted to lose some weight.  Looking a little puzzled and wondering why I was asking her this, she said because of her wedding coming up in six months. Having some fun with her, I joked that I was curious what religion she was because I am catholic and, as far as I know, we don’t have to lose weight to get married.  She laughed and said her religion doesn’t require that she lose weight to get married but she went on to explain WHY she wants to make a change.

To paraphrase her story, the young lady explained to me that since she was a little girl, she dreamed of her wedding day and wearing the wed-ding gown that has been passed to her from her mother. At the time, the gown didn’t fit the way she pictured it, and she knew that if she could lose some inches it would.  Also, she said, sticking her arms out in front of me and mentioning how fair-skinned she is, if she didn’t make a positive change she had a fear of walking down the aisle on the most important day of her life looking like a giant snowball!

Immediately with enthusiasm I said “GREAT!,” not because she may look like a giant snowball on her wedding day, but because she now had the ammunition to motivate herself and achieve her goal. I continued to explain to her that she now had her Y-FACTOR to help her through the tough days when she didn’t feel like staying with the program.  Her Y-FACTOR has both emotional responses, the fear of looking like a snowball on the most important day of her life, and the pleasure of fulfilling her childhood dreams of her wedding day.

The short-term goals, measurements, body fat %, etc were monitored every 1-2 weeks to assist with her accountability and make sure she was on track to reach her goal on her wedding day.  However, it was the Y-FACTOR, the fear of looking like a snowball and the pleasure of a child-hood dream becoming a reality, which provided her the personal self-drive, motivation, and discipline to follow through with the daily exercise and nutrition prescription.

This “Fear of the Snowball” ex-ample illustrates the power of emotion and how we do things out of emotional want well before any actual logic or need. The woman above logically knew that she needed to lose weight regardless of any wedding. Even though she knew she needed to lose weight she simply didn’t want to lose weight badly enough to stick with any program. Once she was able to identify that emotional factor it was only a matter of getting her on the right plan of attack.  Not every person I work with can identify their Y-Factor immediately, but those who do have always met and/or exceeded their targeted goals.

So how do you make sure you are part of the 8% who make a New Year’s resolution a reality when it comes to weight loss? First, identify why you want to lose the weight.  Identify what fear, pain or pleasure the extra weight you are carrying is causing you.  Once identified, get on a personalized plan that incorporates the “hierarchy of fat loss” to eliminate the guesswork and let the science work for you while leveraging your Y-factor for the days when you want to be the poster child for anti-exercise and poor nutrition.

Without an emotional reason, more times than not, the excuse (no-time, lack of energy, work, family, sickness, money, etc.) will win. How-ever a goal tied to an emotional reason and an effective plan of action will put you on the winning side of this year’s weight loss resolution.

For more information, please feel free to consult with any of the fitness professionals at My Fitness Kitchen®. Additionally as an on-going thank you to Laurel Mountain Post and its readers, mention this article for a FREE, no obligation, personalized, metabolic nutritional formula and fitness program that will leverage the “hierarchy of fat loss.” If you are serious about achieving a body transformation goal then you need a program, as any goal without a plan is really only a wish!

As an added incentive for people new to My Fitness Kitchen®, by mentioning this Laurel Mountain Post article and after meeting with one of My Fitness Kitchen’s Fitness Professionals for a private consult, as offered above – you will receive $50 “Kitchen Cash” to be used toward any program or service at My Fitness Kitchen® as a courtesy of the Laurel Mountain Post.

Sugar Can Spoil Your Season

by Hayley Chemski, MSN, CRNA and Certified Fitness Trainer



Summertime picnic desserts turn to Halloween candy and fall festival treats. The weather changes, and although the beauty of the Laurel Highlands can be breathtaking as leaves turn majestic colors, our activity level drop when we come indoors from cooler temperatures. As mundane as seasonal changes may seem, one must realize that adverse activity and dietary changes can lead to an increase in disease incidences. Moreover, what you choose to eat and what you choose to ‘do’ are two of the leading contributors to your risk of developing Type II diabetes. Disease is lurking in the shadows, and you may be able to control its onset.

Diabetes (known to some as “sugar”) affects 25.8 million Americans, nearly 1/10, while upwards of 7.8 million have not been diagnosed. In one year, diabetes is either the cause of death or a contributor in over 230,000 deaths in America. Diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure (hypertension), blindness, circulation dis-orders (amputations), poor wound healing, kidney disease (resulting in kidney failure), and nerve disorders (neuropathy). As estimated in 2012, diabetes costs $245,000,000,000 (billion) each year!

The leading causes of Type II diabetes (non-insulin dependent type) are sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits. By creating a healthy living pattern, you may be able to decrease your chances of Type II diabetes.

Fitness, such as the modalities offered at Building Bodeez Fitness and Wellness Center, can level your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. In addition to leveling your blood sugar by burning sugar for fuel (in several ways), exercise has been proven to make insulin more effective in the blood stream. Examples of exercise or physical activity can include, but are not limited to, walking (Walk/Run club), aerobic dance (Zumba/Hip Hop), strength training (Silver Fitness/Jam n Tone), swimming (Aqua Zumba), biking (Bike Club), and Yoga (Yoga Basics)—those listed in parentheses are available at Building Bodeez. Aim for activity of 30 minutes daily, at least 5 days/week. Keep track of your activity. You might find that writing every-thing down helps keep you on target and helps you to evaluate what works for you. Finally, find a buddy to exercise with you. Personal trainers are great ‘buddies’ and will keep you accountable and safe when trying new activities, but at fitness centers likened to Building Bodeez, you will find many clients are friendly and helpful, they will promote your activity through their welcoming and inclusive behavior.

In addition to fitness, a sensible diet is one of the best ways to decrease your risk of Type II diabetes. To revamp your pantry, shop on the outer perimeter of the grocery store where most foods are fresh or refrigerated (produce, deli, low-fat milk products). Limit your access to processed foods by scaling back on purchasing potato chips, boxed foods, and high-sugar snacks. Stock up on fresh vegetables/fruits, lean (non-processed) white meats, and whole-grain breads/pastas.

Next, spend time planning at least half of your meals weekly. As our Building Bodeez nutritional expert, Janine Koutsky, MES states, “failing to plan is like planning to fail.” She goes on to point out a nutritional plan (beginning with a few of your meals each week) will alleviate daily stress, avoid repeated trips to the grocery store, and decrease binge eating when ‘the cupboard is bare’ and you are ravenously hungry. Maintain a consistent blood sugar and avoid ‘inhaling’ wasted calories by eating regularly throughout the day; be-tween snacking and breakfast, lunch, and dinner, one should eat 5-6 times/daily.

Find time for your health this fall as you celebrate the change of sea-sons. Involve your family and friends in the choice to eat a healthy diet and to live an active lifestyle. Consult your physician for more information regarding your risk of diabetes, and read more online at www.diabetes.org.

* * * * *


HCHHayley is a Certified Fitness Trainer and the co-owner of Building Bodeez Fitness Center, located at 154 Pandora Rd in Derry, PA, as well as a full-time Nurse Anesthetist with the University of Pittsburgh Physicians, currently based at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Fox Chapel, PA. Hayley offers a wealth of fitness and health knowledge, serving as the Group Fitness Coordinator and Wellness Programs Director at Building Bodeez. She has developed several programs at Building Bodeez including initiation of the first ZUMBA classes in the area, as well as AerobaDANCE and Yogilates (her unique creations), and the wildly successful Building Better Bodeez weight loss intensive program.

She has also been a nurse for eight years, and obtained her Masters Degree in Nursing Anesthesia in 2008. Hayley has been recognized by the Westmoreland County YWCA as Sportswoman of the Year (2010) for her dedication to women’s’ health, as well as philanthropic work through Building Bodeez. She also recently won the prestigious 2012 Westmoreland County Winners’ Circle Award sponsored by the YWCA for exhibiting early professional success as well as the potential to obtain marked achievement. Hayley recognizes the marriage of fitness with healthy living and disease risk prevention, and offers suggestions for holistic wellbeing through her blog at Laurel MountainPost.


As the weather changes and your fitness goals for this summer evolve, consider the following!  The key to weight loss is burning more calories than you consume. 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.5 kilogram) of fat, so you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. If you cut 500 calories from your typical diet each day, you’d lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories).

While you can lose weight without exercise, exercise plus calorie awareness can help give you a weight-loss edge. Exercise can help burn off the excess calories you can’t cut through diet alone. Exercise also offers numerous health benefits, including boosting your mood, strengthening your cardiovascular system and reducing your blood pressure. Exercise can also help in maintaining weight loss. Studies show that people who maintain their weight loss over the long term perform regular physical activity.

How many calories you burn depends on the frequency, duration and intensity of your activities. One of the best ways to lose body fat is through steady aerobic exercise — such as brisk walking — for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Any extra movement helps burn calories, though, and regular, daily activities may be easier to fit into your day. Think about ways you can increase your physical activity throughout the day if you can’t fit in formal exercise on a given day. For example, spend more time in the sun during a brisk walk at Legion Keener or Twin Lakes parks, or swim a few laps in the local pool, park farther from the grocery store, play outside with your grandchildren, and even consider planting a garden!  

Ultimately, increasing your overall activity level and observing your caloric intake and find that your fitness goals are matched this season.  






Let’s first think of this new year as an opportunity to start anew…to a new YOU.  Consider your resolutions to be revolutions and consider yourself COMMITTED to making several small changes become big changes in your life!  Here’s how.

*Enlist HELP. Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Nutritional Consultant, Colleague, Friend, Family, Gym Buddy…get the HELP you need and the ANSWERS you need by seeking professional help.  Enlist the RIGHT KIND of help (do your research).  

JOIN US for our professional weight loss/maintenance challenge known as BUILDING BETTER BODEEZ PROGRAM that begins January 21st!

Also, review the Nutrition Seminar with Janine Koutsky, MS on January 19th at 1030am at Building Bodeez ($5/$10 non-members). 

*Set ‘Reasonable’ Time-Oriented, Measurable Goals.  “I want to lose 50 pounds by February 1st” is not reasonable. “I want to lose some weight” is immeasurable and not time oriented.  “I want to lose 2 lbs by next Monday” is measurable, reasonable, and time-oriented. 

*Write it down! Want to remain accountable for your goals and choices in attaining those goals? Write them down. How do you feel today? Why didn’t you exercise today? What did you do today that was successful? What type of caloric intake did you have today? Did you complete your goal for the week? A simple notebook will work, getfitbook.com sells a comprehensive notebook that guides your journal, fitness magazine.com/bestbody is a free program that offers online documentation.   At Building Bodeez we also utilize http://www.myfitnesspal.com (FREE) which has been noted as one of the most up-to-date and effective weight loss tools in 2013!

*Start with small changes.  Become active twice a week, and increase activity 1x/week for 4 weeks. The National Institute of Health recommends 3-4 sessions of activity/exercise (30 minutes-60 minutes) per week, with 2 visits including 20 minutes of strength training.  Be sure to rest at regular intervals as to recover your body and decrease injury risk and sore muscles.

*Mind your peas and q-cumbers. Nutrition plays a major role in your wellbeing (as much as 80%).  Eating regularly throughout the day, with a diet mostly comprised of lean meats, fiber, and fresh foods will prove beneficial in aiding your wellness goals.

*Find something you ENJOY to do! Not a fan of the elliptical  treadmill, or mundane resistance training?  Shop around!  Building Bodeez boasts an amazing array of fitness modalities to choose from.

Like to dance? Find fitness in Zumba, Zumba GOLD, Jam n Tone. 

Like to push yourself to new levels? Try SPINNING, MAXX OUT, Kickboxing, STEP, Agilities and Performance, Sizzler.

Like to feel the burn? Try BODEEZ ON THE BALL, Absolute Abs in 30, CORE, Jam n Tone. 

Need some ‘me’ time? Try Yogilates, Yoga 101, “Hot” Yoga. 

And that’s not all, we offer a multitude of equipment to keep boredom at bay!

Want a clear-cut plan that is ALL ABOUT YOU? Hire a personal trainer!

*MIX IT UP! Finding yourself hitting a plateau? It may be time you need to create some muscle chaos to climb the mountain of weight loss.  Try something new and challenge your body in a whole new way!

Never set a goal without a plan — failing to plan is like planning to fail.  Enlist help and get started on your life resolution for 2013.

Get Moving…TODAY!

5 Reasons to GET MOVING…TODAY!

1. Activity boosts endorphins!  Struggle through your first workout…but walk out feeling GREAT!? This is an endorphin ‘rush’ or a ‘runners high.’ An endorphin rush may be likened to the after feeling of a funny conversation or a warm embrace.  Those who exercise regularly have found that this ‘high’ can nearly be addictive! With a mild, sustained elevation in your heart rate, endorphins (natural hormones) are released in the body, which trigger a euphoric sensation! A great reason to be active…a natural ‘pick me up!’

Avid exercisers have reported in clinical research that YOGA and ZUMBA are two of the greatest ‘endorphin’ endorsers around!

2. Activity decreases your risk of disease and need for prescription medication!  Although the decrease of disease risk seems too logical to discuss, just remember that your body was meant to be active…we were NOT meant to be couch potatoes. Among ailments and diseases that have been repeatedly proven to lessen with activity are diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, headaches, vascular disease, heart disease, heart attacks, obstructive sleep apea (OSA), dementia, high cholesterol, and more! Although medications may be necessary for many individuals we have proven time and time again, that regular activity can markedly reduce the need for prescription medications (esp. Lisinopril, Lopressor, Lipitor, HCTZ, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Insulin, Glucophage, and more).  The studies are out there! And the proof is in print (http://buildingbodeez.net/proven-results.html).

3. Activity increases the likelihood of healthy relationships! A regular endorphin rush, as well as less aches and pains, and ultimately more energy will likely reduce depression, and increase your relationship satisfaction! Moreover, if you pick the right activity, with healthy folks, you may just find a new friend or a new community to enjoy.

4. Activity leads healthier joints!  Natural range of motion and aches and pains slowly come about with age and sustained workload.  Therefore, activity is imperative to keep the joints lubricated and functioning at a high level.  Stretching after exercises is a fantastic way to decrease aches and pains! Try a JUMP STRETCH band for stretching post-workout or even at the end of a long day of yard work.  You will be surprised that aches and pains lessen AND your range of motion will increase over time.

5. Activity doesn’t mean long hours on a treadmill!  With recent wordlwide focus on fitness and wellness, activity no longer means mandatory hours spent walking on a treadmill! Daily chores is activity. Walking the dog is activity. Chasing your grandchild around the yard is activity. Fortunately, fitness centers are now renowned for a wealth of differing activities including group fitness, circuit and crosstraining, personal training, buddy training, outdoor training, and much, much more. Just ask us how to find ‘your fancy’ at Building Bodeez Fitness.  (http://www.buildingbodeez.net).

Activity shouldn’t be thought of as a chore…its a priority. Put down the laptop, and get yourself moving…TODAY!


%d bloggers like this: