Gilad's New "Ask Gilad" blog is now posted.
Find it HERE.
Question: Is counting calories a good way to lose weight?
Answer: I, personally don't count calories...but I do believe that you should be knowledgeable about calories. If you understand that calories are not created equal it can steer you in the right direction when you are deciding what to eat. Some foods are rich in calories and poor in nutrients and others are just the opposite.
Question: I started an exercise program last week and I can't see any improvement. How will I know when it is working?
Answer: There are several things to look for to see if your fitness level is improving. Often when you are in the middle of something it is difficult to see the small changes that are occurring. That's why record-keeping can really help you. It gives you written
Question: In your fitness programs you always recommend getting plenty of rest. Why is rest so important?
Answer: The three most important elements to your fitness program are healthy eating, a regular exercise program and REST! Rest is often overlooked! Making sure you get enough rest and a good night's sleep becomes even more important if you are exercising vigorously. A good night's sleep is essential to our physical as well as mental health and positively affects our memory, creativity and overall well-being.Many processes happen during our sleep time. Growth hormone, which is essential for recovery and improving fitness levels, is released during our sleep. Melatonin which is known as the 'sleep hormone' is often taken to recover from jet lag. Melatonin is released during sleep. It is an important and powerful antioxidant that plays a crucial role in maintaining good health and helping to reduce cell damage.
Question: After reading your suggestion about a 'knee-friendly' swimming workout, I started to swim. I can hold my own with your aerobics workouts but I find myself getting winded much more easily when I swim. Why is this?
Answer: Swimming laps is a great form of cardiovascular exercise. However, even people who exercise regularly and think they are in good shape are often surprised to find that they can only swim a few continuous laps of the pool before feeling very out of breath. Part of the reason is that swimming, unlike cycling or running, involves working the whole body, and particularly the upper body. Also, more than other exercises, swimming requires the conscious control and coordination of breathing with motion, something that swimmers often find exhausting. However, as you spend more time in the water, your breathing will become as natural in swimming as it is in land based sports.
Question: Do you have any exercises that you can recommend for bone building?
Answer: The best exercises you can do for bone building are resistance exercises with weights. Outside of some of my DVD's such as 'sculpt and tone' 'cuts and curves' I would highly recommend getting into the gym and incorporate free weights into your regiment.
Question: I have been doing your aerobic workouts (the TV shows) for about 3 months now and like the results. However, I think I am ready for the next step. What do you suggest?
Answer: I suggest you mix it up a little. Jog, ride a bicycle, even start doing some weight training. This is what is referred to as cross-training. I find that cross-training is the best way to balance a good workout program. It eliminates the typical 'burnout' or 'boredom' syndrome of doing one single activity over and over. It is also more versatile and therefore easier for anyone with a busy schedule. It keeps your fitness activities more healthy, fun and alive. It also allows your body more rest between repetitions of the same activity.
Question: Why do we crave foods that aren't good for us?
Answer: That is a complex question with many different answers based on each individual. Let's just look at one all encompassing answer for now...advertising. We have been exposed to advertising our entire lives. We have seen so many commercials and print ads that advertise fast foods, sugar, cigarettes and alcoholic beverages that they have to affect us. They show beautiful people with beautiful bodies photographed in exotic locations holding in their hands cans of...you know the rest.
Question: I love meat....but I love fruits and vegetables too. I trim as much fat as I can from my steak whenever I eat it. If you make an effort to eat your steak as lean as possible, is it still bad for you?
Answer: You have probably heard that all calories are not created equal. It's true. Calories from fat are actually more fattening than calories from other sources. Carbohydrates and proteins (including fat-free steak) both weigh in at only 4 calories per gram while fats weigh in at a whopping 9 to 11 calories per gram! (Please note that it is impossible to trim ALL of the fat off of steak.) This means that you are getting 2 ½ times more calories from fat than from equal amounts of carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables) or protein. As you can see, it is a lot smarter to get your calories from carbohydrates. Not only can you eat more with less calories to worry about, but the calories you get from carbohydrates are a lot more efficient and easily used by the body.
So keep trimming as much fat as you can from your steak and consider substituting fish or skinless chicken more often...and don't be afraid to eat large servings of vegetables.
Question: I am making a concerted effort to avoid sugar. I have quit drinking soda and I avoid ice cream, candy, cookies and all other pastries. Are there any other sources I should be aware of?
Answer: First of all, good job! You seem to be avoiding the main culprits. But most people don't realize how much sugar they are getting from other sources. Sugar is the number one additive in processed foods. It is used in bread, catsup, crackers, cereals, spaghetti sauce, bouillon cubes, non-dairy creamers, cured meats....you name it. AND, it goes by many hidden names such as fructose, dextrose, honey, maple or corn syrup, molasses, etc.... Watch for these names on ingredient lists.