2010 The Year of the Tiger and The Taco Bell Diet

According to Chinese Astrology (I have my sourcesJ) the Year of the Tiger is traditionally associated with massive changes and social upheaval….this explains why I saw a TV ad for the Taco Bell Diet! Yes the words Taco Bell and Diet are in the same sentence.  The same Taco Bell where you can roll up to the drive thru to buy Volcano Nachos (1000 kcals) is now offering a diet menu and a spokesperson named Christine who has lost weight on this diet (Just like Jared for Subway!) This calls both for massive changes and social upheaval!

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)  American adults are gaining an average of 1-2 pounds a year by eating an extra 1-200 calories a day. And it is no surprise that over a third of our population is obese…..blahbety blahbety blahhhhh

Since it is January and everyone just gorged themselves over the holidays, I say it is time to visit the topic of weight loss.  Clients/boot campers are constantly wondering how to shed pounds/body fat especially at this time of year.  According to the ACSM-“Wanting to lose weight” and “practicing the behaviors necessary to lose weight” are two very different issues. So I dug up an ACSM Fit Society Publication just for you…..it addresses the topic that is on the minds of most Americans this time of year. For those of you who are truly interested learning about the behaviors necessary to make some real, long-term changes please read Establishing Eating Essentials for Weight Loss.  Also if you are interested in learning about exercise and it’s relationship with weight loss I would recommend Maximizing Metabolism for Weight Loss and Caloric Expenditure: Losing Weight by Increasing the Daily Caloric Deficit


While it has become popular among fitness professionals to say that you must weight train to build muscle to increase your resting metabolic rate (RMR) and subsequently lose weight, this point is highly exaggerated and not supported by scientific research. The article Does Exercise Affect Resting Metabolism discusses this topic.

If you want to lose weight the old tenet is still true: expend more calories than you consume.

They recommend a minimum (we are boot campers we don’t do minimum!) of 200 minutes per week of cardiovascular exercise, 2-3 days of ‘resistance/weight training, and to consume approximately 1500 kcals a day if you are trying to lose some body fat.  The average woman burns approximately 500 kcals at a typical boot camp workout.  Remember that factors such as weight, and fitness levels can change the equation.

The good news about boot camp is that many of the workouts we do are on the list of

“7 Programs that Burn a lot of Calories”  by Len Kravitz Phd,  Those include:

  • HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
  • High Volume Continuous Circuit Resistance Training
  • Sprint Interval Training
  • Fartlek Training
  • Near Maximal Interval Training

Just starting?

For those of you who are new to fitness I would recommend starting to incorporate 200 minutes a week of cardio/strength training.  Those of you who have been doing camp and your goal is to lose body fat or increase your endurance, strength and overall wellbeing I suggest you BUMP that number up.  Focus on incorporating both strength and cardio workouts and continue to ask yourself “am I pushing myself hard enough?”

Moral of the story

Health, weight control, emotional and physical wellbeing is a long-term project and hard work. If it was as easy as going to Taco Bell everyday I would be out of a job.  So let’s make 2010 not only the Year of the Tiger but the year of hard work and commitment!

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