Monday, September 6, 2010

Let's Get Started!

September is a great month for a lifestyle change! With daily routines setting in, we are easily able to map out when to eat and our best times to work out. The weather is on our side this month with comfortable temperatures allowing us to walk, run, or bike outside at almost any time of day. Need help to get you started? Check out This link will take you to almost all of the charity runs/walks in NJ. Keep your eyes open for posters up in your downtown area for local runs/walks too. Gyms also hold charity events where non-members are welcome to take a class for a small fee, which goes to a designated charity. The exercise benefits you and the money you raise benefits others. I can't think of a better way to get motivated!

After you pick out which run/walks you'll be participating in, it's time to figure out your personal workout schedule. First, figure out your availability. What days and times fit your schedule best? When that is done, pick out what you like to do the best. Is it running, strength training, yoga, Zumba? Even if you don't belong to a gym, there are many private studios that offer classes without a membership fee. Remember to keep variety in your workouts. At least 30 minutes of cardio should be done everyday, but don't forget about strength training. Two to three times a week is needed to develop and maintain lean tissue, which will burn double the calories than fat tissue even at rest.

Next think about what classes might interest you. Perhaps some friends are trying the new Bar Method or Core Fusion classes. Why not give it a try and see if it's for you? I always suggest trying a class two or three times, and with different instructors, before deciding you don't like it.
Last but not least, let's not forget stretching. Stretching is important for muscles to stay pliable, especially with chillier temperatures on their way. Before you work out, walk for a few minutes at a low to medium intensity, then do some light stretches before breaking into high intensity cardio or strength training (this goes for classes too). Stretching after a workout is most important! This creates a permanent elongation of the muscle. If you are in a group fitness class that does not stretch afterwards or does not stretch enough, take a minute or two to continue stretching after class, concentrating on the hip, glutes, and hamstrings.

Now it's your turn! Tell the Body by Kelly community what charities you'll be running or walking for this fall. Also tell us what your favorite classes are, both new and old.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Brawn AND Brains...Exercise Gives Us The Total Package!

We all know that exercise helps us get the body we desire, but did you know it could also help us increase our brainpower too? The article entitled, "Your Brain on Exercise"  ( explains how.
In the late 1990's, it was discovered that exercise increases neurogenesis, which is the production of new brain cells. How exercise affected the brain was a mystery until a recent study discovered that exercise countermands some of the numbing effects of a protein called BMP and may cause an increase in a brain protein aptly named, Noggin. The more Noggin in your brain, the less BMP activity exists and the more stem cell divisions and neurogenesis you experience. Exercise, through a complex interplay with Noggin and BMP, helps to ensure that neuronal stem cells stay lively and new brain cells are born. My favorite quote of this article is, "If ever exercise enthusiasts wanted a rationale for what they’re doing, this should be it." The article goes into detail about the studies performed to get these findings. It's a short article and an interesting read.

As we all know, exercise and good nutrition go hand-in-hand. If you're looking for some healthy options for summer salads for a bbq or just for you and your family to snack on, check out This article was just published two days ago so I haven't had a chance to try any of these recipes myself yet.
If any of you give them a try, please leave a comment after this posting for the Body by Kelly community to read. We'd love to know what you think!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Worst Drinks in America for 2010

In April my blog covered the topic of fast food sandwiches that are worse than the Double Down from KFC. Now it's time to look at what we're drinking! This month we take a look at the 20 Worst Drinks in America What's great about this article is the "sugar equivalent," and if you look at the article, you'll see exactly what's going into our bodies. (My favorite: the 12 Dunkin Donuts Bavarian Kreme Doughnuts piled up around the Dairy Queen Caramel MooLatte). The upside is that this article also lists what we should drink instead.

I'm going to pick what I consider to be the most surprising finds of the 20, but I highly suggest you read the full article to make sure you're not drinking any of these on a regular basis.

Snapple Agave Melon Antioxidant Water is 33 grams of sugar and 150 calories. It's equivalent? Two Good Humor Chocolate Eclair Bars. If you're not crazy about the taste of water, slice up a lemon or lime and throw it in the bottle. A little vitamin C never hurt.
SoBe Green Tea. Sounds healthy, right? It's equivalent to eating 4 slices of Sara Lee Cherry Pie. Honest Tea Green Dragon is the way to go with 180 less calories and 45 less grams of sugar than SoBe's Green Tea.
Arizona Kiwi Strawberry is deemed the "worst juice imposter" having 81 grams of sugar and 345 calories making it the equivalent of eating 42 sugar cubes! Try Fuze Slenderize Strawberry Melon with only 20 calories and 2 grams of fat.
The worst energy drink goes to Rockstar with one 16 oz can being the equivalent to 6 Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnuts! It has 60 more calories the same amount of Red Bull and 80 more calories than a can of Monster. Your best option is a can of Monster Lo-Carb with 260 less calories and 56 less grams of sugar with the same amount of caffeine and B vitamins in the same 16 oz can.

And the number one worst drink in America is the Cold Stone PB&C (Gotta Have It size, 24 fl. oz). It is the sugar equivalent to eating THIRTY chewy chips ahoy cookies and saturated fat equivalent to eating 68 strips of bacon. Our saturated fat intake should be no more than 20 grams per day...and this drink more than triples that. OK, so maybe you're not getting the Gotta Have It size when you go to Cold Stone, but did you know that no regular shake at Cold Stone has less than 1000 calories? Next time, go for the "Sinless" options instead.

Be sure to read the article for the worst bottled coffee, worst smoothie, worst drive-thru shake, worst frozen fruit drink, worst float, worst margarita, worst frozen mocha, worst hot chocolate, worst lemonade, worst espresso drink, worst kids' drink, worst beer, and worst soda in America for 2010.

Many of you have shared with me your ways of enjoying your favorite Starbucks drinks for less calories without sacrificing taste. If you have a favorite drink that you just can't live without, share it with the Body by Kelly community. Let us know how you've managed to not sacrifice your favorite drinks while losing weight or maintaining your goal weight.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Motivation & Self-Control

The purpose of my blog is to have us examine the reasons we make decisions to sometimes eat poorly and remain inactive when we know it's not good for us. I recently came across an article entitled, "Obesity, Motivation & Self Control"  that does just that. For those of you who majored in Psychology, this article should be a breeze. For the rest of us, we may need to focus a bit.
The article is based around a study that examines how obesity and eating disorder symptoms are related to the four facets of impulsivity in a clinical sample of overweight and obese women. Researchers used the results of the study to identify techniques to combat the self-control problems that characterize impulsive behaviors.  
One technique used in these interventions is mindfulness, which encourages patients to understand the thoughts and negative emotions that trigger problematic eating and to observe their feelings of hunger and satiety. I'm sure my yoga and meditation fans out there are happy to hear about that one. ;)
Another way is by using imagery techniques which aim to strengthen thought-control abilities. The imagery technique is when people are trained to form images that interfere with images of food. Basically this is when you would read visual and olfactory cues unrelated to food and maintain the imagined scene or smell by focusing exclusively on the picture or smell brought to mind. Researchers have found that this procedure reduced food desire. They suggest that this is because the visual and olfactory images interfere with food-related images. An example they give in the article is imagining the smell of cut grass. Imagining this smell will reduce your desire for food.
The third and final are implementation intention techniques. The idea behind this one is that planning in advance when, where and how a person will complete a self-assigned goal (‘‘If situation x is encountered, I will perform behavior y!’’) leads to effective and automatic goal initiation and pursuit. Basically, we have to prepared for how we will react in a situation where there are choices involved that may lead to poor eating or inactivity. For example, if it rains tomorrow, I may be less inclined to go for a walk outside. Therefore, if it rains tomorrow, I will plan to use the treadmill in my house or at the gym. Or, because of time constraints, I may have no time to cook dinner tomorrow night. I may be tempted to stop for fast food on the way home. Instead, I will prepare something tonight and heat it up for dinner tomorrow.
Throughout the article, the term "obese and overweight persons" is used. Keep in mind, that this is only because of the study used in this article. We are all guilty of eating poorly at times so I believe these techniques apply to all of us, no matter our weight.
Now it is your turn! Which of these techniques do you think will work best for you? Are you already using one or more of these techniques with success? Share your thoughts with the Body by Kelly community!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Looks May Be Deceiving

Recently, KFC's "Double Down" sandwich has gotten a lot of press. For those of you who don't know, the Double Down takes two pieces of fried chicken fillets and use them to sandwich two slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese, two slices of bacon, and a special sauce.
A friend of mine posted an article on Facebook last week entitled, "10 Common Fast Food Sandwiches Way Worse Than KFC's Double Down." ( I was instantly intrigued.
Now while I don't expect anyone of you to be ordering burgers from fast food joints, I was surprised to see some of the sandwiches on the list. My biggest surprise? Ruby Tuesday's Avocado Turkey Burger. Sounds healthy? I thought so too. Here are some numbers:
Ruby Tuesday's Avocado Turkey Burger: 1,234 calories and 2,691mg sodium
KFC's Double Down: 540 calories and 1,380mg sodium
I urge you to read the full article. It's a quick read and some of the facts may surprise you! (Who knew a Big Mac was healthier than the Au Bon Pain Southwest Tuna Wrap?!)
I hope this posting and it's associated article will encourage you to read the nutritional facts restaurants are offering their guests. If you know where you're headed then check out this website before you go:  Don't let the URL fool you. A variety of restaurants are listed here, not just fast food. Click on the restaurant, the menu will pop up and then you just need to click on the item to see it's nutrition facts.
Now it's your turn! I would love to hear your comments on this article. Is there a sandwich listed here that you've eaten before under the impression it was good for you? If you are short on time and need to eat at a fast food restaurant, do you think you know what the healthiest foods to order are? Share your thoughts with the Body by Kelly community!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Why Weight Loss After 40 Is So Hard...And What To Do About It

I often have clients come to me after a hiatus from working out regularly and tell me they are doing the exact same thing that worked for them before, but they are not seeing any results. And while I've had people in their early to mid twenties tell me this, I hear it more often from clients in their late 30's and older. Provided there isn't a medical issue at play, many of these changes happen as a result of the natural aging process.
However, there are ways to understand and overcome these challenges.
Taken from the article, "Weight Loss After 40: Why It's So Hard -- and What Works" (, here are 10 steps to follow:

1. Get to know your body's new biological rhythms -- and adjust to them
Interesting fact: eating just 100 extra calories a day (100 more than what your body burns), will lead to a nine- to 10-pound weight gain over the course of a year. We need to balance our food intake with our activity to avoid this increase.

2. Eliminate underlying metabolic conditions
Thyroid problems affect 1 in 5 adults over age 40. The most common is hypothyroidism and it is one of the primary reasons many people over 40 can't lose weight. You can ask your doctor to give you a TSH (a thyroid blood test) if you think this may be a factor in your weight gain. 

3. Adjust your eating habits for maximum energy  
This is advice I give all of my clients and friends who have questions about weight loss, regardless of age: eat more frequently, but consume less at each sitting. Don't go more than three to four hours without eating. If you're on the go, then bring a healthy snack with you. This will also keep your blood sugar steady, avoiding peaks and valleys that contribute to fatigue.

4. Time your eating to take advantage of your body's natural rhythms
What you eat in the mornings, when your metabolism is revved up to its optimum operating speed, is much more likely to be expended efficiently. One of the only factors those who've lost more than 30lbs have in common is that they eat breakfast.

5. Trick your metabolism with fat-fighting foods
It's really not just about how much you eat, but how much of which foods. Make a few simple tweaks to your diet, incorporating foods that actually fight fat instead of those that trigger it. Then eat other foods in moderation, and you should be OK.

6. Make muscles an ally in your weight-loss campaign
If you've ever asked me why strength training is important to weight loss, then you've already heard this! The more muscle mass you have, the more effectively your metabolism burns calories. But sad to say, a natural tendency of aging is to lose muscle, gradually replacing it with fat. So in order to enlist the calorie-burning abilities of muscle, we do have to work at it.

7. Get more sleep to burn more calories
Oh, I can hear my moms laughing now! However, here is an interesting fact: significant research has shown that lack of sleep is directly connected to weight gain because of the actions of two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, that control hunger and satiety, or feeling full. When you're sleep deprived, your ghrelin levels increase at the same time that your leptin levels decrease. The result is more craving, less feeling full. Add to that the fact that sleep-deprived people often crave "energy" foods, which tend to be sweet or salty, and you can see how small changes in your routine can add up to big weight gain.

8. Strike up a healthy relationship with your sweet tooth
Who knew we had to trick our brains? Cut what you're craving in half, before you start eating, carefully wrapping the second half up to "save for later." You may or may not want it -- sometimes if you eat the first half slowly and consciously enough, you'll feel satisfied. But knowing it's there if you do plays a nice trick on your brain, which tends to crave things it perceives as being in short supply. Also, don't try to substitute artificially flavored sweets. Researchers have recently discovered that artificial sweeteners fail to trigger the body's natural satisfaction response.

9. Forget dieting. Instead, focus on your fuel-to-energy ratio
Have you ever had a week where all you eat is junk food, followed by two weeks of eating well and working out, only to find your weight hasn't changed? Frustrating! Here's why: if you've gradually gained weight over time, your body has adapted to the new weight and now does its best to hold onto it. So here's what you do: You make slow, gradual adjustments to each end of the equation. And you -- and only you -- decide which end of the fuel-in, energy-out equation to emphasize and when. In other words, eat to live, don't live to eat.

10. Make slow, realistic changes in tune with your lifestyle
For all of you who've been to a nutritionist, we know "it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change." Set out to lose one to two pounds a week for the next five to ten weeks, instead of 10lbs in two weeks. It's up to you to find that balance between intake and how you'll be burning the extra calories you consume.

Remember: "Your primary goal should be making small, gradual lifestyle changes that you can incorporate into your daily routine and stick with over time. That's the ultimate secret to combating over-40 weight gain."

Now it's your turn! Have you been trying to lose those last few pounds without success for too long now? What changes do you plan to make to lose them? Maybe you've lost those pounds and you have some great advice for others looking to do the same. Share your questions, resolutions, and advice with the Body By Kelly community. Remember, you can post anonymously. I look forward to reading them!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Never Blow Your Nose When You Have A Cold?!

While perusing one of my favorite websites for health and well-being (, I came across this headline, "Really? The Claim: Never Blow Your Nose When You Have a Cold," and was instantly both curious and skeptical. Interestingly enough, it turns out to be true!
It is a quick article I highly encourage you to read, but if you're short on time, here are some important points raised:
  • Tests run by researchers at the University of Virginia proved that "coughing and sneezing generated little if any pressure in the nasal cavities. But nose blowing generated enormous pressure — 'equivalent to a person’s diastolic blood pressure reading' which propels mucus into the sinuses every time."
  • It was unclear whether this was harmful, but during sickness it could shoot viruses or bacteria into the sinuses, and possibly cause further infection.
  • So what do I do?! The proper method is to blow one nostril at a time and to take decongestants.This prevents a buildup of excess pressure.
  • Bottom line: Blowing your nose can create a buildup of excess pressure in sinus cavities.
Read the full article at

I hope all of my friends are staying healthy in this new year and new decade. Start the year off right by taking time to take care of yourself. Make sure you devote at least one hour a day to yourself, whether it be a walk, a training session with your favorite personal trainer ;), or quiet time to enjoy reading a good book. And don't forget about those appointments!
Make time for check-ups with your primary care physician once a year including blood work, as well as yearly appointments with your OB/GYN, urologist, or proctologist, eye doctor, and those twice yearly dentist appointments. Unexplained recurring pains? Time to get those checked out too! We both know they're not going to fix themselves and the longer you wait, the more work it will take to solve the problem.
Sound like a good idea? Good! Before you close out of this website, grab your Blackberry or your planner and write a note in it to remember to book your appointments ASAP!

Now I want to hear from you! What are your resolutions for the new year? Share your resolutions with the Body by Kelly community and let's encourage one another to start fresh and stick to our promises!