PJ's Fitness Blog

A blog about a fitter you. Come find out what is on the cutting edge of fitness science and be a part of the ongoing conversation.

Is All Sugar Evil?

fat_devilI was recently asked by an X Gym member to post a blog on the different kinds of sugar and their effect on fat loss. He commented that while I am always on my soapbox about the evils of sugar, it can get confusing because sugar is listed on food labels without any explanation between the kinds of sugars.

I do claim to be “sugar free” but even broccoli has sugar, so what is the difference between that sugar and the sugar found in Sugar Daddy candy? There are indeed good sugars that can actually burn fat off your body as well as bad sugars that put you into a fat storing mode, so understanding the difference is vital.

It really comes down to the good old fashioned (more…)

Toxic Tuna

Got Mercury?

Got Mercury?

Some of you have wondered why a Seattle personal trainer like me writes so much about food and so little about exercise. I do in fact own the X Gyms, so wouldn’t it make more sense for me to talk about exercise more than food? The reason I write so much more on nutrition than exercise is because most people want to lose fat as their top goal, and this is accomplished mainly through eating right. In fact 70% of it is due to proper nutrition and only 30% to exercise!

In this post I want to talk about toxins in fish. The reason this is so important is because toxins are stored in your fat tissues, and that makes it harder for the body to empty them back out. Clean fat cells are liberated quite easily, so fat loss is many times over easier to achieve. Your liver must also be healthy to burn fat off your body, and this can only be accomplished if it isn’t kept busy processing toxins. I just talked with an X Gym member this morning whose only meat source is fish. Many people are in this same boat, and there are very important things to know about toxins that build up in large, old fish – especially mercury.

Mercury levels in the Northern Pacific have already increased a staggering 30% in about 15 years, and are expected to rise another 50% by 2050 if China continues to build more coal-fired power plants to fuel its industrial revolution. Asia is an important source of mercury in the Pacific not only because prevailing winds carry air pollution over the ocean where it rains down, but also because ocean currents carry the pollution throughout the basin.

About 40% of all U.S. exposure to mercury comes from eating contaminated tuna from the Pacific, and roughly 75% of all human exposure to mercury comes from eating fish, according to U.S. officials. Mercury poisoning, even very small amounts, early in life can lead to (more…)

The Side Effects of Fat

fatI always find it interesting that the drug commercials on TV seem to spend much more time listing the side effects of their medicine than its benefits. Well, if one of those commercials listed only the top 20 side effects of extra body fat, it would have to read somewhat like this blog below (this article is largely adapted from the Scientific Laboratory of Food Intolerance, so I wanted to be sure to give them their props right off the bat).

Carrying around excess weight is becoming an epidemic in North America. While one of the initial concerns with obesity is usually all about how you look and how you feel about yourself as a person, the longer the problem exists for you, the more medical problems are going to arise, some of which can be fatal.

Obesity is a growing concern especially because overweight rates have doubled among children and tripled among adolescents. This increases the number of years that they are exposing themselves to dangerous health risks associated with obesity. While it is difficult to truly predict the future impact of obesity, there is strong scientific agreement that (more…)

You’re Only as Strong as Your Peer Group

42-16917327Are your friends and loved ones sabotaging your fitness progress without even knowing it? They might be, and it’s not because they don’t care about you. It’s because they do care about you and they value the patterns they share with you. I have talked to many people who are very fired up about their fitness goals and have every intention to make wonderful progress, only to go back home or out with friends and have that motivation sucked out of them.

When your family offers you that cupcake after you have told them you are trying to get fit, it’s not usually malicious. It’s just that you used to say yes and enjoy it with them. They know your patterns and often just act them out on autopilot.

Sometimes friends, coworkers and family may sabotage you on an unconscious level when they offer you fattening foods, because they have failed over and over in their own fitness goals, and it would make them feel better about themselves to see you do the same. Again, this is typically not intentional. They usually don’t even know they are doing it.

Occasionally however, coworkers and friends (or enemies) will sabotage you on a conscious level. They do this (more…)

Shopping For a Personal Trainer

personal-trainer2Seattle personal trainers really are the best in the country.  X Gym personal trainers are the best of the best, so when X Gym members have to move out of the area, they always ask me how to find a good personal trainer in their new town. This doesn’t have to be as tough as most people make it, and I’m going to walk you through the 7 easy steps in finding just the right trainer who will help you reach your goals as fast as possible.

1.) Look online and see if any show up in a local search. Just type in your city and “personal trainer”. Don’t bother looking past the first 3 pages on the search results. If they aren’t creative and motivated enough to figure out how to get ranked well, they probably won’t be creative or motivated enough as your exercise coach either. A good rank means they are popular too. They might have a website or a blog. Look for YouTube videos of them or other things they might have done. Once you learn their name, do a separate search that way. Find out their education and/or certifications. See if their body looks like you would want yours to look – which brings me to my second point: (more…)

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