Holiday Health

A common theme the past few weeks for most of my clients is how we are going to attack the holday season without putting on extra weight. This is a challenging tim eof year as there are lots os parties and yummy treats going around. That and the cooler weather has us craving more junk food :) When going out to different events it is hard to control what is being served. What we CAN control is our serving size and how much of this delicious, calorie filled food we consume.

Here is an interesting article outlining how important serving size is… enjoy!


“For 10 weeks, Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, ate one of these sugary cakelets every three hours, instead of meals. To add variety in his steady stream of Hostess and Little Debbie snacks, Haub munched on Doritos chips, sugary cereals and Oreos, too.

His premise: That in weight loss, pure calorie counting is what matters most — not the nutritional value of the food.

The premise held up: On his “convenience store diet,” he shed 27 pounds in two months.

For a class project, Haub limited himself to less than 1,800 calories a day. A man of Haub’s pre-dieting size usually consumes about 2,600 calories daily. So he followed a basic principle of weight loss: He consumed significantly fewer calories than he burned.

His body mass index went from 28.8, considered overweight, to 24.9, which is normal. He now weighs 174 pounds.

But you might expect other indicators of health would have suffered. Not so.

Haub’s “bad” cholesterol, or LDL, dropped 20 percent and his “good” cholesterol, or HDL, increased by 20 percent. He reduced the level of triglycerides, which are a form of fat, by 39 percent.

“That’s where the head scratching comes,” Haub said. “What does that mean? Does that mean I’m healthier? Or does it mean how we define health from a biology standpoint, that we’re missing something?”

Haub’s sample day

Espresso, Double: 6 calories; 0 grams of fat

Hostess Twinkies Golden Sponge Cake: 150 calories; 5 grams of fat

Centrum Advanced Formula From A To Zinc: 0 calories; 0 grams of fat

Little Debbie Star Crunch: 150 calories; 6 grams of fat

Hostess Twinkies Golden Sponge Cake: 150 calories; 5 grams of fat

Diet Mountain Dew: 0 calories; 0 grams of fat

Doritos Cool Ranch: 75 calories; 4 grams of fat

Kellogg’s Corn Pops: 220 calories; 0 grams of fat

whole milk: 150 calories; 8 grams of fat

baby carrots: 18 calories; 0 grams of fat

Duncan Hines Family Style Brownie Chewy Fudge: 270 calories; 14 grams of fat

Little Debbie Zebra Cake: 160 calories; 8 grams of fat

Muscle Milk Protein Shake: 240 calories; 9 grams of fat 1,589 calories and 59 grams of fat


Despite his temporary success, Haub does not recommend replicating his snack-centric diet.

“I’m not geared to say this is a good thing to do,” he said. “I’m stuck in the middle. I guess that’s the frustrating part. I can’t give a concrete answer. There’s not enough information to do that.”

Two-thirds of his total intake came from junk food. He also took a multivitamin pill and drank a protein shake daily. And he ate vegetables, typically a can of green beans or three to four celery stalks.

Families who live in food deserts have limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables, so they often rely on the kind of food Haub was eating.

“These foods are consumed by lots of people,” he said. “It may be an issue of portion size and moderation rather than total removal. I just think it’s unrealistic to expect people to totally drop these foods for vegetables and fruits. It may be healthy, but not realistic.”

Haub’s body fat dropped from 33.4 to 24.9 percent. This posed the question: What matters more for weight loss, the quantity or quality of calories?

His success is probably a result of caloric reduction, said Dawn Jackson Blatner, a dietitian in Chicago, Illinois.

“It’s a great reminder for weight loss that calories count,” she said. “Is that the bottom line to being healthy? That’s another story.”

Blatner, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, said she’s not surprised to hear Haub’s health markers improved even when he loaded up on processed snack cakes.

Being overweight is the central problem that leads to complications like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, she said.

How well are you managing your diabetes?

“When you lose weight, regardless of how you’re doing it — even if it’s with packaged foods, generally you will see these markers improve when weight loss has improved,” she said.

Before jumping on the Ding Dong bandwagon, Blatner warned of health concerns.

“There are things we can’t measure,” said Blatner, questioning how the lack of fruits and vegetables could affect long-term health. “How much does that affect the risk for cancer? We can’t measure how diet changes affect our health.”

I was eating healthier, but I wasn’t healthy. I was eating too much.
–Professor Mark Haub


On August 25, Haub, 41, started his cake diet focusing on portion control.

“I’m eating to the point of need and pushing the plate or wrapper away,” he said.

He intended the trial to last a month as a teaching tool for his class. As he lost weight, Haub continued the diet until he reached a normal body mass index.

Before his Twinkie diet, he tried to eat a healthy diet that included whole grains, dietary fiber, berries and bananas, vegetables and occasional treats like pizza.

“There seems to be a disconnect between eating healthy and being healthy,” Haub said. “It may not be the same. I was eating healthier, but I wasn’t healthy. I was eating too much.”

He maintained the same level of moderate physical activity as before going on the diet. (Haub does not have any ties to the snack cake companies.)

To avoid setting a bad example for his kids, Haub ate vegetables in front of his family. Away from the dinner table, he usually unwrapped his meals.

Haub monitored his body composition, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose, and updated his progress on his Facebook page, Professor Haub’s diet experiment.

To curb calories, he avoided meat, whole grains and fruits. Once he started adding meat into the diet four weeks ago, his cholesterol level increased.

Haub plans to add about 300 calories to his daily intake now that he’s done with the diet. But he’s not ditching snack cakes altogether. Despite his weight loss, Haub feels ambivalence.

“I wish I could say the outcomes are unhealthy. I wish I could say it’s healthy. I’m not confident enough in doing that. That frustrates a lot of people. One side says it’s irresponsible. It is unhealthy, but the data doesn’t say that.”

Thank you


What is Your Summer Activity?

Now that it’s FINALLY turning into summer around Vancouver I think it’s appropriate to discuss what activites you will all be doing to keep active and healthy. Although I love spending 40 hours a week in the gym it’s also very important to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Not only will it boost your vitamine D but you’ll also always leave feeling energized and alive. Here’s a list a few things I suggest to do as a healthy gym alternative:

1. Yoga at kits beach with Eoin Finn –

2. Climb the Chief –

3. Kettle Valley Rail Trail –

4. Get out and do some rock climbing/bouldering-

5. Hike the Grind-

6. Relaxation time at the beach (I know it’s not very active but mental health is a top priority)

7. Hit the roller blades – My fav is rolling down to Granville Island for breakfast and then going around the sea wall. Yes I get made fun of for this one, but I love it!

8. Whistler white water rafting –

9. Wakeboarding season is here!!!!!

10. Pitch and putt Golf at Amblesdie park-

And no better way to plan for these activites than to come in for a one on one personal training session :)

The list is incomplete so please add some of your favorite things to do in summer time!

Terry and Kyle at the Chief

Playing around atop the Chief

Terry at Pitch & Putt

Cleanse Wrap Up

Total weight lost: 6 lbs

Total Body fat lost: 3.4%

I finally finished over the weekend! There was no better place to kick the cleanse than a Canucks playoff game followed by a trainers night out. So that’s what I did. To be quite honest, I was a little sad it was over. My energy was good, my skin looked clean and fresh and my body felt great.  It’s nice to have strict rules for a certain amount of time, just so you can see the finish line. For a girl who loves carbs, a finish line is necessary. I’m going to keep the main rules of the cleanse during the week and as per usual, allow myself to cheat on the weekends. After all going back to the 80/20  rule keeps me happy and healthy. Depending on your goal this may not be the best strategy for you. My goal was to cleanse my system. Let me know what your goals are and we can go organize a suitable approach for you.

Looking forward to hearing all of you results!!

12 Day Cleanse

Starting yesterday I have committed to a 12 day cleanse. If you know me, you know that I workout hard so I can also have the liberty to eat some foods that may not be on the top 10 healthiest foods list :) This cleanse includes:

1. Eliminating all sugars (including fruits, except for berries with a low GI index)

2. Eliminating gluten, this means breads and grains

3. Eliminating dairy

My diet will be confined to vegetables, proteins, and fats (nuts and oils). I will be keeping a log of my energy and my digestive inflammation (through waist measurement). I am doing the cleanse with a partner to help with motivation and accountability. We are committed to ourselves and each other to stay strong and not to cheat. Yesterday he told me that he was at Safeway and almost bought a chocolate easter egg. After being overwhelmed with the guilt of letting me down he gave the chocolate to the checkout woman. Just one example of why it’s helpful to do these things together!

I would also like to add that my cleanse partner has mentioned many times, that although we are calling this a “cleanse” it is really the way we are meant to eat. With all the refined and genetically modified foods on the market today it is difficult to eat how we did 10 000 years ago (when diabetes and obesity wasn’t an epidemic). So we’re going back to our roots and calling it a cleanse.

Is anybody interested in joining? Please leave comments and questions as always!