Biggest Loser is being Called Out…FINALLY

25 May

biggest loserI knew it was a matter of time but it had to happen. I see this all the time. The Biggest Loser really is a big loser!

I have said it for years…this show is bogus. My professional opinion has always taken that stance – see previous posts about the show, search them on my site. You will see.

There is no quick way to weight loss. If you lose weight too fast you will send your body into starvation mode and your body will store whatever you do eat, when you eat again, as fat! PERIOD! End of story.

It is now coming out that contestants were encouraged to take pills. “Adderall and ‘yellow jackets’ — pills that contain ephedra extract. Ephedra is used to promote weight loss and boost energy, and was banned by the FDA in 2004.” This taken from the New York Post article on the scandal that rocks the Biggest Loser today. Click Here to read that article now.

This does not surprise me one bit. I have seen it happen so many times and I see it happening today. Biggest Loser has been accused of having contestants gain more weight to be on the show, making them sweat it out, forcing them to train like athletes immediately after a sedentary lifestyle, forcing them on below 800 calorie per day diets, forcing them to throw up to lose weight, sweat it out, and now having them take diet pills. All of the above lead to a guarantee of weight gain when the previous mentioned methods are not maintained for life. And it is impossible to maintain those methods for life. IMPOSSIBLE! Not only are they impossible to maintain but they are also lead to a lifetime of poor health and psychological illnesses as well as eating disorders.

This is one of my biggest pet peeves!!

I watched my ex-husband go on an extremely low calorie diet to lose 150# back in 1998. He looked great, back then, but he gained it all back and then some. He still, to this day, yo-yo’s on his weight. And he never achieved the 150# weight loss again. He also has health issues, probably will for a lifetime.

One of his favorite ways to lose weight was he would drink a diet coke, eat a bag of pretzels but he wouldn’t eat the pretzels. He would spit the remnants back into the empty diet coke bottle so he could get the taste of food. Oh my, that was lovely. NOT!

I feel so sorry for those contestants on that show. I always knew something was not right about it. I promote health. I have studied under some of the finest personal trainers. I have been a certified fitness trainer for 13 years now. It only works when you do it the right way and let me add this, for the right reasons.

Repost from September 23, 2010 about Biggest Loser

24 May


The Biggest Loser Premier was on the other night and I watched parts of it on my DVR yesterday and once again the show did not let me down in the crazy way they introduce fitness to severely overweight people!! Am I the only one who sees the danger in all this insanity? Please tell me!! Comments welcome.

I watch the show out of sheer interest to learn more about fitness which is my passion. And I truly love Jillian Michaels and think she is a great trainer. HOWEVER, the show lacks a true perspective on what is really at stake here and that is people’s lives. Ironic huh? Is it going to take someone dying for them to get this? Heck a gal almost did just that – and she did not make the show. “Lucky for her!” I say.

This season the show is all about “paying it forward” – so they say. The only thing I see them paying forward is leaving so many overweight people in the dust.  They went from city to city, picking 3 overweight people out of this huge crowd of people for the show. Then these 3 people  had to compete in a fitness challenge and only 2 people who won these competitions then got to be on the show. Hmmm – how is that paying it forward? I would think the most un-fit person would benefit most from being on the show but then again this show is called The Biggest Loser for a reason!!

I watched a couple of competitions in pain and agony as these poor people struggled!! And I fast forwarded through most of them because it was just too painful to watch.

But then there was one. And talk about painful, this one was agony!!! This poor girl was struggling to climb 500 steps and then started having an asthma attack. Oh but Jillian was there with her inhaler (*insert sarcasm here)! The poor girl then passed out. Paramedics were standing by. How convenient? And, get this, the competition continued!!! Yes it did!! The poor girl was back there dying – literally. And the two guys who were already going to win their way into the show still continued to climb the stairs, while the audience cheered. YES, The Biggest LOSER is in fact The Biggest LOSER!!

Mind you that poor girl had spilled her guts in the diary room on camera on national television about how she had been in an abusive relationship and how she had gotten into this condition in the first place. And now she was left behind – in a trail of dust. Is The Biggest Loser going to really help her? I doubt it. They did not pay it forward, they dropped the ball as far as I am concerned.

They do this in the name of health? Yeah right! I’m sorry but as a Certified Fitness Trainer I see the lack of help and concern for true fitness on this show. You simply cannot throw an unfit person into a gym and make them start working like an athlete after they have been sitting on the couch for years. You have to condition the body into fitness and slowly get the heart back into shape. You run the risk of heart attack right then and there. This show does not teach this concept and therefore, we have unfit people hitting the gym and pushing the limits in gyms all over America and having serious health issues, including heart attacks. I know CPR and we have to be certified in CPR for this very reason. But I tell you I really do not want to perform it!! Jillian and those trainers on that show have a slew of doctors standing by ready to jump on any condition that arises – I don’t.

Please take it slow when entering a fitness program. You can lose weight and it will drop off fast if you weigh a lot even if you start off slow.

If you like this article you will also like: Losing It with Jillian Michaels (this article tells you how to calculate your heart rate)%

Tips on What NOT To Do

21 Mar

do-not-sign-md“We all could do this, it takes disclipline. Just put your mind to it!” -One of my clients


A crash diet will come back to bite you. Starving a body of essential nutrients to lose weight quickly is counterproductive. Instead of burning off pounds, this strategy burns muscle. Less muscle means a slower metabolism, which is precisely the wrong outcome. Plus, this type of weight-loss plan can’t last. Weight will evaporate quickly (most being water weight), but then what? Fans of this approach are doomed to regain the weight once normal eating resumes. I have seen this happen many times. Same thing with diet pills….mentioned later.


Many dieters turn to shakes as a snack or meal replacement. But if a serving contains less than 10 grams of protein — the minimum needed to build muscle mass — any lean muscle developed by working out will wind up eating itself. Weight may disappear quickly with a shake diet, but it isn’t the type of weight to lose. Check the ingredients carefully and choose a brand that’s low in carbohydrates and sugar and loaded with vitamins, as well as enough fiber to maintain a healthy digestive tract. Spurn anything with trans fats or saturated fats. Brands such as Pure Protein and Atkins meet these criteria, but a little sleuthing for online recipes to make at home can save money.


Like some other weight-loss gimmicks, diuretics focus on loss of fluid, which is anything but a long-term solution. Taking a diuretic creates an imbalance in body chemistry. Along with water, essential minerals such as potassium and magnesium are lost. Counter intuitively, diuretic pills can work against the body by causing it to swell from dehydration.


It’s possible to shed pounds with diet pills, yes, but ongoing use — and expense — is necessary to keep the weight off. Moreover, experts at Mayo Clinic note that research about the pills’ effectiveness is slim, express qualms about the ingredients, and caution that they can have unpleasant side effects, such as irregular heartbeat, upset stomach, loose stools, and insomnia. Only a handful of weight-loss pills have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Bottom line: Diet pills are no substitute for lifestyle changes like the ones Shawn and Christine put into effect and still work on to this day without a contest.


There’s no question that losing weight takes time that’s not always available, which makes working out for a mere seven minutes particularly appealing. But experts say that just isn’t enough. A small amount of exercise is certainly better than nothing, but any significant benefit from this workout routine requires several consecutive repeats. Suddenly, a seven-minute workout mushrooms to a commitment of at least 21 minutes. Don’t be fooled by the hype.

Keep Your Heart Healthy

14 Mar

4368380893_0e1b04fc85The secret of getting ahead is getting started. -Mark Twain

My point to you today is about the most important component of your fitness – which is your heart. You have to exercise your heart to be fit. Your heart is a muscle. Well, how do I go about doing this? The main thing you want to do is get your heart pumping. You can do this by climbing stairs, walking briskly, dancing, jogging, taking an aerobic class, etc.

There are some very important things you must know about exercising your heart before you begin. First of all, you heart rate should never exceed 220 minus your age in beats per minute. So if you are 40 years old your heart should never exceed 180bpm.

Resting heart rate is about 60-80bpm for most adults. Ideally you want to warm up your heart a bit then take it to a number of about 85% your max and then bring your heart rate back down. This number would be about 160bpm for hard work and about 130bpm for rest work for our 40 year old example.

If you exercise like this for about 30 minutes a day 5-7 times per week your heart will work better for you and you will feel better because blood is circulating better in your body.

Here are some important points about your heart rate:

  • You can get a heart rate monitor at Academy or online for under $50. The best kind of heart rate monitor is one that straps onto your body and then you also have a watch that you wear on your arm that displays your heart rate. Precor makes a great one and this one will also display your heart rate on Precor fitness equipment (at most gyms). I like this one because it is the most accurate and it keeps up with you. Most equipment you use in the gym takes a few seconds to catch up.
  • 220 beats per minute is not a random number. 200bpm is a healthy baby’s heart rate when born. Children also have a higher heart rate, both resting and while at work, than adults.
  • Medications you take can affect your heart rate. If you are on any type of medication that affects your heart rate you will most likely have to adjust your actual beats per minute by decreasing this number about 20-50%. For example our 40 year old on medication would have to adjust their max heart rate to about 140bpm. Some medications that affect your heart rate include blood pressure medications and beta blockers.
  • If you do not have a heart rate monitor you can always account for your activity by the way you are breathing. When working very hard you should still be able to carry on a conversation, even though you may be winded, you can still talk.
  • If you have difficulty talking or you are too winded, do not just stop the activity. This can cause a serious health condition. You simply slow down your exercise and take one or two deep breaths amidst the shallow breaths and your heart rate and shortness of breath should return to a more normal rate quickly – within a minute.

Your cardio vascular exercise should include exercising your heart – always! This is the main component of your fitness. Your body will work better if you do this one thing. And because your heart is working efficiently you will also burn calories. Remember calories in must be calories burned. If you are consuming more calories than your body burns you will gain weight.

Train Like a Champion!

Why I Don’t Do Crossfit

07 Mar

Female doing squats at gym

Please read this article on Huffington Post by Erin Simmons on why she doesn’t do crossfit. My favorite line is at the bottom where she states how crossfit people are brainwashed into a mentality of “us vs them” Okay go for it… I like to say “Physical therapists and chiropractors everywhere are thanking the inventors of crossfit for their vacation homes.”

Click Here now to read this great article.

Benefits of HIITs

27 Feb


Just about everyone I train MUST do HIITs (High Intensity Interval Training) because everyone can benefit from HIITs. If you are not working hard enough during your 30 second (or whatever time frame you are working on at the time) intense training you are NOT doing HIITs. You can do HIITs anytime, any place. For example, while walking in your neighborhood warm up for a few minutes then go into a brisk walk for a few houses or blocks, then slow down and rest walk. Continue this type of pace throughout your walk. If you need to jog for a bit to make your interval intense enough I recommend doing that. You can also jog and run full out during your interval if you are fit and/or a runner.

I do not recommend using the Interval program on cardio equipment, unless of course you cannot pay attention to the time and need to be reminded that it is time to interval train. But know there is a huge chance you will not work hard enough to hit your peak heart rate.  Simply train yourself to work very hard during your interval cycle and continue your rest work long enough to bring your heart rate down . 

In a nutshell, short term, the benefit of low volume HIIT programs are:

  1. Cause metabolic adaptations as longer term, higher volume endurance training. This means that you build stamina and improve your metabolism.
  2. Improve heart function
  3. Reduce the severity of Type II Diabetes
  4. Aid in weight loss in as little as one or two workouts per week.
  5. Improve aerobic fitness, heart function, blood glucose levels, fat loss, and overall fitness levels.
  6. The rest interval is the important part of interval training.  If you aren’t resting between intervals, you’re not doing HIIT! I cannot stress this enough.
  7.  Without adequate rest, the body is unable to recover from the short bursts of higher intensity work, which eliminates the possibility to sustain a high level of intensity for the entire length of the exercise session (Seiler, 2009)
  8. Generally speaking, the higher the intensity of the interval, the shorter its duration, and the longer the recovery period. Interval training sessions usually last less an hour including rest periods and more intense sessions can be less than 25 minutes.

hiit chart

Train Like A Champion!

I Joined Planet Fitness

22 Jan


So back in November I joined Planet Fitness. Crazy, I know but I needed a gym that had a stair climber <-my favorite cardio, and the Y does not have one nor does the gym I run. I know why….a rolling stair case is a tricky piece of equipment. They break easy and require a lot of maintenance. Having said this, one of the four stair climbers has been broken in the gym since the beginning of December. Who knows if they will fix it either.

Planet Fitness is a cheap gym, prices are very cheap at $10 a month, who can’t afford it? So because it is cheap it is very crowded (at least in January) and misused!!

They claim to be “home of the judgement free zone”, meaning you can’t be a “meathead” or “gym rat” and work out there. Kind of stupid in my opinion because they claim to be non-judgemental but they will turn on a siren and call out someone for dropping their weights or grunting in the gym and even discontinue their membership. BTW grunting is sometimes necessary to get through that rep as it is necessary for the tennis player to grunt to get that hit just right. Not that I do it but for the serious athlete it is necessary. Dropping weights is another story but sometimes necessary as well, but use discretion and be courteous to those in the gym.

Like I said I only use the stairs and I get my workout done in as little as 20 minutes. I have enough time to watch people in the gym though. Let me say this….if you want to know what NOT to do just watch those working out in the gym. Entertainment at it’s best!

Here are a few things to watch for:

  • POSTURE. Posture is one of the most important things to focus on when working out whether that be cardio or strength training. I see so many people slouching on machines – this is just wrong! And when lifting weights they do not focus on standing or sitting correctly. This leads to posture imbalances or injuries.
  • INTERVAL TRAIN CARDIO. You must interval train to get results, no matter what your goals are. If you jump on the treadmill (any equipment for that matter) and go the same speed the entire time you are never going to overcome that plateau. An interval should be so hard that you barely reach a minute, slow down/rest work for about 2 minutes or the rest of your workout depending on your stamina and go fast again. Intervals build endurance and also strengthen your heart and lungs so oxygen moves through your body better. Your heart and lungs are the most important part of your cardio fitness and you must make them work more efficiently to benefit from all the sweat and tears.
  • NOT CLEANING EQUIPMENT AFTER USE. The gym is one of the dirtiest places in the world. It is full of bacteria and germs. Imagine holding onto someone else’s sweat or sitting in their butt sweat. GROSS!!!! I carry around a cleaner and wipe the equipment before and after use. All gyms have antibacterial wipes and towels nowadays for this very reason.

I joined the gym in November and once January hit it was packed with new year resolution fools. It is already slowing down a bit but I really dislike working out with so many people in the gym. It is gross and  full of people doing their workouts wrong. So many people jump into a fitness regimen and end up hurting themselves. Take it easy, slow start and work your way up to the “all-out” work out. There is a reason we fitness trainers are CPR certified. As I like to say, “I know CPR but I really do not want to have to perform it.”

Take it easy and happy training!! Kathie

Gym Rules

21 Oct
  1. To avoid getting sick, clean off machines and equipment before you use them. Even though the person before you is supposed to do it, they may have forgotten.
  2. Don’t trust the calorie count on the machines. Use a heart rate monitor for more accuracy.
  3. Since class descriptions are often vague, watch a fitness class before you take it to avoid having to walk out of a class you don’t like or that’s too advanced for your fitness level.
  4. Try out different instructors to find one who challenges and motivates you the most.
  5. Preregister for classes when available to save time before class.
  6. Show up for a class at least five minutes early to get a good spot, shake off any stress from the day, and chat with the instructor if you need to let them know you have an injury.
  7. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned exerciser, anyone can benefit from a session with a personal trainer. Schedule one every few months to ensure you’re continuing with proper form and to learn new moves to keep your fire for fitness alive.
  8. To ensure your shoelaces don’t come undone during your workout (which could be bad news when using gym equipment).
  9. Wear your exercise clothes underneath your everyday or work outfit if possible. Not only will it save you time in the locker room, but if you’re already wearing your sports bra and capris, you’re less likely to skip that noon SoulCycle class.

5 Common Fat Loss Mistakes

17 Jun

mistakesI preach this stuff every single day! And it seems I cannot get this across enough to my clients. If there was one article on my website that I would rank Top 10 this would be one of them!! So here you go 5 common fat loss mistakes:

  1. Focusing on body weight instead of fat. If you want success, focus on fat, not weight. You may actually gain weight during a training program due to muscle growth. Muscle weighs more than fat. Remember, weight loss is not the issue, loss of body fat is. Use a more expansive check on your progress like body measurements, body fat percentage, or the easiest way checking how your clothes fit. My clients tend to gain weight during the first few weeks of workouts because they are gaining muscle mass. The scale is a better check during your later progress. This is where The Biggest Loser goes wrong too!
  2. Believing carbohydrates are a bad thing. You know the rave? The low carb diets and such.  But you must know – your body NEEDS carbs. Many important nutrients are found in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide energy. Low carb plans are simply a short term tool and should never be regarded as a long-range dietary approach. Read my blog post about Low Carb Diets.
  3. Ignorance of the enemy’s hiding places. One of the biggest problems in losing fat is failure to realize where the fat is coming from. There are a couple of primary sources – trans fats and sugars. Another enemy is sodium. Read nutrition labels thoroughly to determine precisely what’s in the food you are consuming.
  4. Failure to prepare ahead. One of the biggest traps in the war on fat is the time trap. When most people get rushed, they turn to fast food. Planning ahead will allow the foresight to prepare or purchase healthy food items that can be eaten on the run. Sign up for my email newsletter and get your Free Food Combo Guide now.
  5. A diet that is too restrictive. A tight diet leads to fat loss yes. But a regimen that is too rigid leads to too much temptation to break the diet. That in turn leads to binge on forbidden foods. Also I have noticed the body can  produce a withdrawal effect of certain foods. The result is typically a collapse in the entire plan. Use a variety in food choices, and occasional allowances of foods not on the plan, to ensure success in the long term.

What do you do to ensure fat loss success? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment. Happy Training!! Kathie 🙂

Train Like a Champion

04 Jun

Every Monday the CEO of OCuSOFT, Cynthia Barratt, sends the entire company a motivational email from Boaz Rauchwerger. The emails are always very informative and motivational. What a great way to start the week!

I found this past week’s email very informative and I thought I would share it with you as this month’s fitness tip. The main point I’d like to get across is what it is like to be a Champion. A champion does what has to be done, when it has to be done, whether they feel like it or not. And Napolean Hill who wrote the book Think and Grow Rich states that the people who achieve the most do just 10% more than the average person. They go the extra mile, whether they feel like it or not.

What will it take for you to give that extra 10%?

One More Shot Today?

I was watching some of the NBA playoff games. The finals are starting this week between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors.

Basketball, at this level, is obviously a tough game. A number of players have been injured in the finals to the point of not being able to play. Others have played hurt and yet kept on going.

It was late in the fourth quarter and the Chicago Bulls had tied the game. The Cavs had 1.5 seconds on the clock and they would get the final shot. James hit it from the left corner and Cleveland won the game.

Napoleon Hill, in the book “Think and Grow Rich” stated that the people who achieve the most do just 10% more than the average person. They go the extra mile, whether they feel like it or not.

In fact, that is the definition of a Champion. A Champion does what has to be done, when it has to be done, whether they feel like it or not.

Champions, like all of us, get down. They just have a way of boucing back quicker

Attitude is Everything! 

So, how can we improve our attitude when we don’t feel like it? Here’s one way I suggest to my audiences. Post the following sign where you can see it every morning and just touch it!
Don’t analyze it. Just touch it every day and see what happens in the next month or two. You may just have an opportunity to take a winning shot by paying attention to a loved one, to exercising when you don’t feel like it, to watching your money more carefully, to going the extra mile at work or in your career.

The video in this newsletter, “The First 15 Minutes of Each Day”, will further help you get each day started like a Champion.

The ball is in your hands. How about taking just one extra shot today?

A Champion’s Affirmation:

“Every day I play like a Champion!”

You are special. You are unique. You are destined for greatness. You are a Champion! Have a powerful week!

From Boaz Rauchwerger