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10 Ways To Save Hundreds of Calories This Weekend

by Kathy Smith

1 – GET NUTTY!

Instead of going for a side of potato chips at this weekend’s potluck, instead, help yourself to a handful of nuts. Although nuts can be high on the calorie scale, they’re rich in protein and fatty acids, which help balance your blood sugar and curb your appetite so you’re not constantly nibbling.

2 – JUST KEEP CHEWING

You already know that whole foods are at the top of the charts when it comes to best foods for your waistline. It turns out, people who ate foods that require you to chew had significantly leaner waistlines than those who generally consumed processed, easy to chew foods.

3 – EAT YOUR FRUIT JUICES

Compare this…drinking one cup of apple juice contains 117 calories, 27 grams of sugar, and zero fiber.  But, one whole apple 95 calories, 19 grams of sugar, and over 4 grams of fiber.  Fewer calories, and more fiber to slow the sugar flow into your bloodstream is a win-win combination.

4 – BE AN EARLY BIRD

Early birds, rejoice! A study found that people who exercise BEFORE breakfast burn between 260 and 280 more calories throughout the day than people who exercise at other times of the day. Set that alarm clock, and head outside for a walk!

5 – GET ON VODKA’S SIDE

When you do decide to indulge in a cocktail, it’s important to understand that your choices – right down to the mixer – can determine whether or not you’re adding dozens of empty calories to your day. Traditional margaritas are among the worst offenders, packing a whopping 700+ calorie count, and often much of those calories are coming from high-fructose-corn-syrup-laden sweet & sour mix. Instead, try a vodka with club soda and just a squirt of cranberry juice for a touch of sweetness.

6 – GET SASSY!

Jazz up a party with a few pitchers of infused water, or have a gallon in your refrigerator at home. I love drinking water, but sometimes get a little bored with the flavor. I like this recipe, when I keep a pitcher around, I’m constantly sipping on the water, and less likely to snack on empty calories.

Sassy Water
8 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 medium cucumber, sliced thin
1 medium lemon, sliced thin
12 leaves spearmint

7 – EAT MINDFULLY

Eating mindfully and with a purpose doesn’t need to be anything complicated, formulaic, or even religious. Simply inhale — express appreciation for the meal — and exhale with the same sense of gratitude. Rather than leap in to your meal, pause, be thoughtful, and purposeful. It will help you eat less.

8 – LET ZZZ BE YOUR FAVORITE LETTER

Yes, bedtime have does have an impact on eating. Research shows that the most detrimental snacking happens late at night. Also, lack of sleep causes stress, and is linked to greater weight gain. You can fight stress and eat less by getting to bed earlier.

9 – QUENCH YOUR APPETITE

Getting water into your system is the perfect way to slash your appetite in half. If you fill up on a glass of water at least 30 minutes before your meal, you’re virtually guaranteed to eat less.

10 – GIVE YOURSELF A LINE

If you’re tempted to break your healthy habits, sometimes all you need to stay on track is a repeating sound advice to yourself. Some of my favorite mantras to repeat aloud are:

“Progress, not perfection!”
“I can do hard things.”
“Slow and steady wins the race.”
“I may not be where I want to be, but I’m better than yesterday.”

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

By Collage Video | | exercise, Healthy, Kathy Smith, Motivation, practice, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Sneaky Little Trick To Blast Belly Fat!

by Kathy Smith

Sneaky Little Trick To Blast Belly Fat!

Shrinking the midsection is a common fitness goal, especially for women who are noticing a waistline thickening as they age. One effective way to burn abdominal fat is with high intensity interval training (HIIT).

HIIT adds short bursts of high intensity movement to a workout. For instance, you might spend 10 minutes alternating a minute of a moderate indoor walking workout with 30 seconds of quick, high knee pull-ups.

With many exercises, such as a moderate treadmill workout, calorie burn is concentrated during the time you are actively engaged in them. The longer you work out, the more calories you’ll burn. But with HIIT, you burn fat during as brief as a 10-minute workout and continue to burn calories for hours after your brief workout has ended.

How can that be? As you exercise, your body establishes a certain metabolic rate that matches the workout rate. When you add a surge of high intensity, you’re telling your muscles to increase that rate. It will take your body several hours to recover from these bursts of extra energy. During this time, your body will continue to burn calories at a higher-than-usual rate, a phenomenon called Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC).

In business terms, HIIT provides a huge return on investment. An Australian study followed two groups of women – one that participated in interval training and a second that participated in moderate 40-minute traditional workouts. Researchers discovered that the interval group lost an average of 5-1/2 pounds while the continuous workout participants gained a pound of fat.

That’s not all…another study out of Canada found that adults performing interval training for two weeks were able to increase their fat burn by 36%.

Let’s get clear – burning fat isn’t exactly the same thing as burning calories. Calories come from the foods we eat and are converted into energy the body needs. If we don’t use up all those consumed calories, then our bodies store them away in fat cells to be used later. In order to get the maximum fat burn from a workout, we have to tap into those hidden fat stores, and bursts of high intensity intervals do just that. The increased physical demand triggers the body to release a greater amount of fat-burning enzymes in the muscles than it would during moderate exercise.

The good news is that HIIT training not only shrinks your waistline, but it also is good for your heart!

Kathy

By Collage Video | | exercise, fitness, goals, Kathy Smith, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Stress Literally Shrinks Your Brain: 7 Ways To Reverse The Damage

by Kathy Smith

We all know that living under stressful conditions has serious emotional, even physical, consequences. So why do we have so much trouble taking action to reduce our stress levels and improve our lives?

Researchers at Yale University finally have the answer. They found that stress reduces the volume of grey matter in the areas of the brain responsible for self-control.

So experiencing stress actually makes it more difficult to deal with future stress because it diminishes your ability to take control of the situation, manage your stress and keep things from getting out of control.

A vicious cycle if there ever was one.

But don’t be disheartened. It’s not impossible to reduce your stress levels; you just need to make managing stress a higher priority if you want to reverse this effect. The sooner you start managing your stress effectively, the easier it will be to keep unexpected stress from causing damage in the future.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” –William James

Luckily, the plasticity of the brain allows it to mold, change, and rebuild damaged areas as you practice new behaviors. So implementing healthy stress-relieving techniques can train your brain to handle stress more effectively and decrease the likelihood of ill effects from stress in the future.

Here are seven strategies to help you fix your brain and keep your stress under control:

1. Say No

Research conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, shows that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. Saying no is indeed a major challenge for many people. “No” is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, avoid phrases such as “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.

2. Disconnect

Technology enables constant communication and the expectation that you should be available 24/7. It is extremely difficult to enjoy a stress-free moment outside of work when an email that will change your train of thought and get you thinking (read: stressing) about work can drop onto your phone at any moment.

Taking regular time off the grid helps you to keep your stress under control and to live in the moment. When you make yourself available to your work 24/7, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Forcing yourself offline and even—gulp!—turning off your phone gives your body and mind a break. Studies have shown that something as simple as a weekend email break can lower stress levels.

If detaching yourself from work-related communication on weekday evenings is too big a challenge, then how about the weekend? Choose blocks of time where you will cut the cord and go offline. You’ll be amazed by how refreshing these breaks are and how they reduce stress by putting a mental recharge into your weekly schedule.

If you are worried about the negative repercussions of taking this step, try first doing it at times you are unlikely to be contacted—maybe Sunday morning. As you grow more comfortable with this, and as your coworkers begin to accept the time you spend offline, gradually expand the amount of time you spend away from technology.

3. Neutralize Toxic People

Dealing with difficult people is frustrating, exhausting, and highly stressful for most. You can control your interactions with toxic people by keeping your feelings in check. When you need to confront a toxic person, approach the situation rationally. Identify your own emotions and don’t allow anger or frustration to fuel the chaos. Also, consider the difficult person’s standpoint and perspective so that you can find solutions and common ground. Even when things completely derail, you can take the toxic person with a grain of salt to avoid letting him or her bring you down.

4. Don’t Hold Grudges

The negative emotions that come with holding onto a grudge are actually a stress response. Just thinking about the event sends your body into fight-or-flight mode, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. When the threat is imminent, this reaction is essential to your survival, but when the threat is ancient history, holding onto that stress wreaks havoc on your body and can have devastating health consequences over time. In fact, researchers at Emory University have shown that holding onto stress contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease. Holding onto a grudge means you’re holding onto stress, and emotionally intelligent people know to avoid this at all costs. Letting go of a grudge not only makes you feel better now but can also improve your health.

5. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a simple, research-supported form of meditation that is an effective way to gain control of unruly thoughts and behaviors. People who practice mindfulness regularly are more focused, even when they are not meditating. It is an excellent technique to help reduce stress because it allows you to reduce the feeling of being out of control. Essentially, mindfulness helps you stop jumping from one thought to the next, which keeps you from ruminating on negative thoughts. Overall, it’s a great way to make it through your busy day in a calm and productive manner.

 6. Put Things In Perspective

Our worries often come from our own skewed perception of events. So before you spend too much time dwelling on what your boss said during the last staff meeting, take a minute to put the situation in perspective. If you aren’t sure when you need to do this, try looking for clues that your anxiety may not be proportional to the stressor. If you are thinking in broad sweeping statements like “Everything is going wrong” or “Nothing will work out” then you need to reframe the situation. A great way to correct this unproductive thought pattern is to list the specific things that actually are going wrong or not working out. Most likely you will come up with just one or two things—not everything. The key to keeping your cool is to remember that your feelings are exaggerating the situation and the scope of the stressor is much more limited than it might appear.

7. Use Your Support System

It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To be calm and productive you need to recognize your weaknesses and ask for help when you need it. This means tapping into your support system when a situation is challenging enough for you to feel overwhelmed.

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

By Collage Video | | exercise, fitness, goals, Kathy Smith, Motivation, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Total-Body U-Turn Workout

by Kathy Smith

IT’S TIME TO U-TURN YOUR WORKOUT with this 15-min density circuit to tone every inch of your body.

What’s a “density circuit?” It means that you include just a few moves in your circuit, so you can pack a lot of movement into your 15 minutes!

Doing this lets your body train longer with less fatigue and more movement quality. And you know what that means…the more moves you can fit in during a 15-minute pre-shower workout, the better your metabolism-boosting results.

What makes the workout a U-Turn?

You start the workout off by doing 5 moves in sequential order. For the next round, you reverse the order, or in other words, you U-Turn.

Here’s how it works..

  1. Complete 15 reps of each move
  2. Do two rounds. Here’s where the U-Turn comes in…For the 1st round, complete moves #1-5. For the second round, do the sequence backwards and complete moves #5-1
  3. Repeat for 15 minutes!
  1. Start in plank position, but this time, rest on your elbows instead of your hands. Be sure to keep the shoulders depressed back and down and the neck nice and long throughout the movement.
  2. Keeping your abs engaged, slowly swivel the hips underneath you to the right. Feel your obliques driving this motion as you swivel to the other side with a slow, controlled motion.
  1. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, step your left foot directly behind you, taking a wide stance, and bend your legs, lowering your torso down into a lunge. Be sure and maintain that core stability to prevent injury.
  2. While in lunge position, keep your shoulders over your hips, back knee slightly bent, front knee in alignment with your front toes, shoulders back and down.
  3. Feel your weight in your right (front) heel as you push yourself to standing.
  4. As you return to standing, do a tricep kickback: Reach your arms back behind you and extend, feeling a squeeze in the tricep.
  1. Stand with dumbbells in each hand in hammerhead position, with palms facing each other.
  2. Step out to the right side, with a wide stance. Bend the right leg and lower your hips down as you keep the left leg straight out to the side, feeling a slight stretch in the left inner thigh.
  3. Pressing off the right foot, keeping your core engaged, push yourself back up to standing.
  4. As you return to standing, curl the weights up toward your shoulders, squeezing the muscles on the front of the arms for a bicep curl.
  1. Rest dumbbells on your hips as you place your left foot behind you. Instead of stepping directly back, the left foot should move diagonally back, with the back knee bending down directly outside the right foot
  2. Fire up the core muscles as you squat down with the right leg, feeling the emphasis on your right glute (weight placed firmly in the right heel) as the left foot lightly supports you.
  3. As you return to standing, bring the left foot forward, landing with a wide stance.
  4. Punch the right hand across your body, toward the left wall, allowing your right foot to rotate as your torso twists to the left, engaging your right glute.
  1. Squat down to rest both hands on the floor, similar to the Mountain Climber move. But instead of lunging one leg back behind you, jump both legs at the same time into a plank position.
  2. Return to standing, and reach up to the sky.

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

Achieve Your Goals

by Kathy Smith

3-Second Technique To Achieve Your Goals …Big Or Small!

 

This week in the Washington Post, my daughter Kate Grace spoke about how over the past six months while preparing for the Olympic trials, doubt would unexpectedly pass through her mind….doubt that she couldn’t qualify for the Olympics.

Each time she met with this thought, she greeted it with the same three words….

“I’m an Olympian.” She would repeat it aloud to herself.

And here she is, an Olympian, through years of hard work and practicing techniques to break free from negative thought patterns.

As Kate has experienced, shifting your mind-set is a powerful choice. And because it doesn’t always look like a choice, people often miss it.

To be successful, it’s important to adopt the proper attitude to react to ever-changing circumstances. Knowing how and what you picture in your mind will create the mood you’re in and the kind of behaviors that follow.

Remember, the quality of life is determined NOT by what happens to you, but rather by what you do about what happens.

My attitude has always been that you need to pay attention to the chatter in your mind, and when it starts bad-mouthing the world, respond accordingly.

(To learn more about how to shift from negative to positive thoughts, listen to my podcast with Dr. Patrick Porter!)

I also like to use affirmations to shift my mindset and keep me on track.

Here’s the affirmation from Destination Satori that I’ve been saying lately. Sometimes I just recite “I am impactful” out loud, and sometimes I’ll rehears the whole affirmation.

I Am Impactful
I carve a path that impacts the vibration of others
and makes a difference in the world.
As I move through time and space,
I am influencing the course of everything
in front and behind me. By going forward,
I leave behind a changed environment
that ripples out in all directions.
I choose to make a positive impact on the world
with my thoughts, words and actions.

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

By Collage Video | | Abs, cardio, exercise, goals, Healthy, Kathy Smith, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Think You’re FAT?

by Kathy Smith

Think You’re FAT? You Might Just Be BLOATED

QUESTION: Every once in a while I get bloating and gas. It’s uncomfortable and embarrassing. What can I do to get rid of it?

Here’s what Anne Fabiny, MD and Editor in Chief of Harvard Women’s Health Watch says…

“Gas and bloating are tough to talk about, but we’ve all have had to deal with these afflictions at one time or another. Although they’re not pleasant, there are things you can do to prevent and treat them.”

“Most gas and bloating stem from your diet. When you eat, bacteria living in your gut feast on the carbohydrates your body can’t digest. They release hydrogen, methane, and other gases, which swell up your belly. Eventually your body expels the gas in the form of flatulence.”

“Gas also can be caused by air you swallow. Try eating smaller meals and chewing slowly, so you don’t inhale extra air. Avoid carbonated drinks, which can increase belching. Most of the time gas is more of an annoyance than a health issue.”

If you want to maintain a flat tummy, it’s IMPORTANT to keep your gut in a healthy zone.

Here are 4 foods that are easy to digest and will keep your gut lining on track.

1 – Liquid Gold (aka Bone Broth) – When made from scratch, bone broth is almost deceptively simple….water and animal bones simmered for hours into an immune-boosting, protein-rich stock. The benefits of the brew seem to be endless…from strengthening the gastrointestinal tract, while giving your body amino acids and important minerals such as potassium, proline and glycine.

2 – Good Fats – Don’t be afraid of fat! Eating avocado each day keeps the doctor away! Okay, maybe I made that saying up, but in moderation, healthy fats promote gut healing. My favorites are avocado, coconut oil, and salmon. 

3 – Fermented Foods – Foods that are fermented (such as sauerkraut, kimichi and kombucha) contain probiotics that help destroy bad bacteria (like candida), which helps your gut health. Probiotics are actually the “good” bacteria — or live cultures — just like those naturally found in your gut. These active cultures help change or repopulate intestinal bacteria to balance gut flora. This functional component may boost immunity and overall health, especially GI health. They also help balance the pH of your small intestines and stomach.

4 – Steamed Veggies– You already know by now that eating a hearty amount of vegetables is forefront in getting fit and staying healthy. But, steaming non-starchy veggies such as asparagus and kale is also an essential part of having a healthy gut lining. Try steaming a few pieces of asparagus and wrapping it with a lean slice of turkey. This will help curb your hunger throughout the day and keep you satisfied.

Eliminate These 4 Inflammation-Boosting Foods:

1 – GMO – Research from the Journal of Environmental Sciences shows that GMO foods cause organ inflammation and  destroy the probiotics in your gut.

2- Gluten – It’s tough to digest, unless it’s gone through a sprouting or sourdough process.

3 – Dairy from Cows  – Go for unsweeteened almond milk instead!

4 – Sugar – “Sugar, not fat, is the real villain that steals our health and sabotages our waistlines!” – Mark Hyman

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

INSTANT Ab Cinching

by Kathy Smith

Try Just 3 Reps Of This Move For INSTANT Ab Cinching!

I have a brand new move for you today for summer abs, called the Hollow Body Ball. Try just 3 reps, and you’ll be SHOCKED how effective it is!

It looks deceptively simple, but when you perform the move without using your arms, legs, or momentum, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results. This move is a must-try no matter your fitness level. If you’re a beginner, you will feel the challenge almost immediately. And, if you’re a brick house from head to toe, you’ll soon discover that it’s one of the most intense ab moves out there!

More Tummy Trimming Exercises Here!

Here’s How To Do The Hollow Body Roll:

  1. Lay on the ground with your hands above your head and your legs straight out. S
  2. Slowly lift your legs and your arms, keeping your abs contracted. This is called “hollow body” position… a challenging position, because it requires your entire core to activate at once.
  3. With a controlled motion, slowly lift your back while bringing your knees to your chest and your hands to your knees.
  4. Hold this position for 2 seconds.
  5. Lower your back and your legs to hollow body position (step 2) and repeat 10 times.

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

Effective Butt Workout

by Kathy Smith

#1 Most Deceiving Butt Workout (But It’s Super Effective!)

Ready to defy gravity and tighten your backside?

I have the PERFECT solution…When you get started with today’s 8-min video, it doesn’t seem like an intense routine. But don’t be deceived… these barre-style glute moves will perk up your backside, especially when you focus on the small, concentrated movements.

Buy the entire Barre Body Lift Workout Here!

With celebrities such as Natalie Portman and Madonna joining the barre craze, it’s no wonder why barre studios are sweeping the nation. But this ballet-style workout is more than just a Hollywood hype. Barre workouts are the perfect way to improve balance and range-of-motion while developing lean muscle mass…especially in those hard-to-reach areas.

The best part is, you can reshape your glutes and get that beautiful curve without any weights. All you need is a chair, and you’re ready to work your rear! Remember, the key is to maintain proper form…keep your core activated, your abs pulled in, and your posture lifted.

Follow these 5 techniques to make the most of this lower body barre-tightening routine:

  1. Tap into your inner ballerina as you practice the exercises, and it will reflect in your movement patterns.
  2. Check your posture – if you catch yourself hunching over or leaning to one side, re-align your positioning. You shouldn’t feel tension in areas that you’re not targeting.
  3. Think and focus, and the body will follow. Imagine trying to pinch a coin or a dollar bill in-between your cheeks. In other works, squeeze your buns toward the midline as you move through the routine. With each pulse, contract just a little harder.
  4. When you’re all done, remember to stretch to help counteract the intensity of the workout!

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

4-Min Jump Rope Routine

by Kathy Smith

This 4-Min Jump Rope Routine Takes Your Bones, Calves & Cardio To The Next Level

Entire Workout Available Here

The New York Times referred to a study about why high-impact exercises (such as jumping rope) are good for your bones, and important as you age, saying, “Bones should be jarred, for their own good. Past experiments have definitively established that subjecting bones to abrupt stress prompts them to add mass or at least reduces their loss of mass as people age.”

Today’s 4-min jump rope video from my Cardio Knockout DVD isn’t complicated…in fact, you don’t even need a jump rope…just use your imagination!

But, be prepared…this routine will take your calves, cardio and coordination to the next level. And, it will amp up your metabolism.

Plus, it’s fun.
Here’s what some women on Facebook shared with me about this workout…

I love love love this video, I own it and still do it a lot!!!!!” – Robin
Love the full jump roping section! Did it this morning!” – Ella
I used this workout to get back in shape after having children. It helped me get my absence back.” – Colleen
 

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

How Dieting Destroys Your Metabolism

by Kathy Smith

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 11.31.37 AM

Left: Biggest Loser contestant Chris Haston/NBC Universal via Getty; Right: Trae Patton/NBC Universal, via Getty


With Summer just around the corner, the season for dieting has officially begun. But new research shows that dieting can actually destroy your metabolism!

The study in the New York Times followed contestants from The Biggest Loser (Season 8), and shockingly showed that out off all the participants, only one had kept their weight off.

In fact, the winner of the season ended up regaining more than 100 lbs.

“It has to do with resting metabolism, which determines how many calories a person burns when at rest. When the show began, the contestants, though hugely overweight, had normal metabolisms for their size, meaning they were burning a normal number of calories for people of their weight. When it ended, their metabolisms had slowed radically and their bodies were not burning enough calories to maintain their thinner sizes.

“What shocked the researchers was what happened next: As the years went by and the numbers on the scale climbed, the contestants’ metabolisms did not recover. They became even slower, and the pounds kept piling on. It was as if their bodies were intensifying their effort to pull the contestants back to their original weight.”

But with your body being a genetic warehouse, is dieting destroying more than just the metabolism? Yes. In fact, it can damage one of the body’s key hormones…leptin.

“Slower metabolisms were not the only reason the contestants regained weight, though. They constantly battled hunger, cravings and binges. The investigators found at least one reason:plummeting levels of leptin. The contestants started out with normal levels of leptin. By the season’s finale, they had almost no leptin at all, which would have made them ravenous all the time. As their weight returned, their leptin levels drifted up again, but only to about half of what they had been when the season began, the researchers found, thus helping to explain their urges to eat.

But, simply gradually cutting calories isn’t the final answer for weight loss success.

“There are no doubt exceptional individuals who can ignore primal biological signals and maintain weight loss for the long term by restricting calories,” [Dr. Ludwig] said, but he added that “for most people, the combination of incessant hunger and slowing metabolism is a recipe for weight regain — explaining why so few individuals can maintain weight loss for more than a few months.”

“The difficulty in keeping weight off reflects biology, not a pathological lack of willpower affecting two-thirds of the U.S.A.”

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

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