Category Archives for "Fitness Tips"

My Old Workout Routine Was Keeping Me Fat

It was January of 2014 and I had just hit a new milestone birth year! Yes, I left my 30’s and entered into my 40’s. However, I had also reached a new milestone that I was less excited about. After being away from coaching/training and the fitness arena I had reached the highest weight in my life. I was tipping the scales at 214 lbs. I had only been close to this weight one time before in my life and that was when I was a freshmen in college.  Most of us know about the “freshman 15.” So, to say I was a little depressed and not feeling very great about myself is an understatement. With that being said I made a decision that I was sick and tired of being overweight and I needed to do something about it. That frustration started me on the journey of Fit Over 40!

Dave McGarry Fit Over 40

Now that I made the decision to make a change I decided to use all my fitness knowledge that I had preached so many times to previous clients and set a S.M.A.R.T goal for myself. Once I had my goal it was time to come up with a plan action. I knew I needed to make some lifestyle changes but I also came to the realization that I needed to change up my workout routine. You see, it wasn’t like I was completely sedentary and doing nothing. I was still working out upstairs on my treadmill and elliptical with occasional weight training, but I was making a mistake that most people make. I am sure you have seen that person at the gym whom seems to never see any results although they are working out several days a week. The reason they don’t see results is because they are  constantly doing the exact same exercises over and over and not stressing the body any different. And I was following into the same trap with my old workout routine.

So what was the new plan of action and change in my workout routine going to be? Well, I had just recently been introduced to Orange Theory Fitness. OTF, as us tribe members call it, is a one hour 5 interval heart rate based training program or also known as a form of HIIT training ( aka high intensity interval training.) This type of training and programming allows you to experience EPOC, which is a big fancy word for “after burn.” Meaning you burn calories 12-36 after the workout. A completely different type of workout then what I was currently doing!

If you would like to read a previous post I wrote where I talk about why I believe it really is the #1 interval training workout out you can.  In that post you will find the detail of why I believe it is such a great workout.

Once I started doing the workouts I began to see a significant difference in my weight loss and body physique. The workouts changed the amount of time I was spending in the “fat burning” zone and also allowed me to get my hear rate up so that I was burning more calories 12-36 hours later as I previously mentioned. Plus, I was doing a different workout every time so my body was continually being pushed and stressed differently. That is a big key and unfortunately most people get a workout routine they like and stick with it while never changing it up and taxing their body differently. If there is one piece of advice I can give you is that regardless if you do HIIT training or not make sure you continuously change up your workout.

Changing my workout routine made all the difference as you can see from the photo of my weigh in. However, I am not done as my goal is to get down to get lean and tone, so I am continuing to increase my weight training as well as change my nutritional habits by increasing my daily protein intake. The sky is the limit and I am not going to let myself get to that dreadful point I was at in January of 2104!










If you are like I was and doing the same workout routine over and over again I highly recommend you switch it up. Now I know I am biased and I would suggest finding an Orange Theory Fitness studio in your area as it can be a game changer for you.  If that is not possible then find a gym that is offering HIIT workouts ( High-Intensity Interval Training). And if that is not possible then you can try P90X or Insanity at your house, but just make sure before you attempt to do any such exercise routine you are medically cleared by a doctor or have no physical restrictions.

One more thing before I go that I believe is extremely important to having success with your workout routine and that is an accountability group. I don’t care how great my new exercise routine is now if it wasn’t for having an accountability partner I would not have had the success I had. So, I highly suggest you get your spouse/partner/friend/family member or if you can’t find anyone you can join our FB Fit Over 40 Challenge accountability group here.

So, as I wrap this up the biggest takeaway for you is to change things up and quit doing the same exercise routine over and over. If you start to challenge yourself and do workouts that combine high-intensity intervals you will start to see results.

I believe in you and now it is the time that you start believing in you!

P.S. I did not mention anything about my nutrition and I would be remiss not too but I am going to save that for a future post.

To your success,

Coach Dave

Need a jump start? Check out my  7 day Jump Start Program. Just fill out the information and you can start right now!

16 Reasons You Need More Spice In Your Life

Spicy food, that is, because PAIN IS PLEASURE.

1. Chili peppers can improve your heart health.

Chili peppers can improve your heart health.

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578foot/ Shutterstock

Peppers have proven to lower the effects of LDL (or, the “bad cholesterol”), which can lead to heart issues. Studies also show cultures who eat a lot of spicy food have lower rates of heart attack and stroke.

2. It also jumpstarts your metabolism and helps you lose weight.

It also jumpstarts your metabolism and helps you lose weight.

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Capsaicin, a huge component of chili peppers, has thermogenic qualities that can boost your metabolism by 8% after a meal.

This temporary boost can help suppress your cravings.

3. Eating spicy food puts you in a better mood, says science.

Eating spicy food puts you in a better mood, says science.

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It releases endorphins and increases serotonin levels. The hotter, the better.

4. And certain spices, like turmeric, can help alleviate depression.

And certain spices, like turmeric, can help alleviate depression.

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Often called a “spice of life,” the ingredient found in a lot of South Asian cuisine has profound anti-inflammatory properties, among other health benefits, like improving your mood.

5. Turmeric also helps to clear your airways, allowing you to breathe better.

Turmeric also helps to clear your airways, allowing you to breathe better.

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Its yellow pigment has properties that protect your lungs from outside pollutants and proteins that cause inflammation. Studies show it can lower risks of acute lung injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and allergic asthma.

6. Research has found spices have the ability to kill cancer cells.

Research has found spices have the ability to kill cancer cells.

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Flickr: alessandro_giangiulio

The same component, capsaicin, can kill certain cancer and leukemia cells by attacking its mitochondria. Our familiar friend turmeric has also been found to slow the spread of cancers and growth of tumors.

7. And lower blood pressure while strengthening your cardiovascular system.

And lower blood pressure while strengthening your cardiovascular system.

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Flickr: wstryder /Creative Commons

The heat of a pepper increases and relaxes your blood flow throughout. Studies directly link capsaicin with lowered blood pressure.

8. Although it can induce a little bit of pain, it can alleviate a little bit of pain as well.

Although it can induce a little bit of pain, it can alleviate a little bit of pain as well.

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Flickr: 42931449@N07 /Creative Commons

This same compound, capsaicin, releases a strong pain-relieving quality when ingested. Other antioxidant components also relieve pain by reducing inflammation.

9. Dried red peppers have all the flavors without the added calories, fat, or sugar.

Dried red peppers have all the flavors without the added calories, fat, or sugar.

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Using red pepper flakes is one of the healthiest flavoring alternatives when you cook. There are only 6 calories and 1 gram of carbohydrate in a teaspoon.

10. It’s also packed with Vitamins A and C.

It's also packed with Vitamins A and C.

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Flickr: glowform /Creative Commons

In that same teaspoon, you’re looking at approximately 15% of the recommended daily intake.

11. Its mouth-numbing acidity prompts you to drink more water. And we should all drink more water.

16 Reasons You Need More Spice In Your Life

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12. But facts aside: it turns boring, bland food into super amazing, super awesome food.


13. Like cheap eats into fancy feasts.

Like cheap eats into fancy feasts.

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14. Or lame, plebeian protein into powerful and punching jerk chicken.

Or lame, plebeian protein into powerful and punching jerk chicken.

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15. Or a bowl of nothing into a bowl of spicy and satisfying self-torture.

Or a bowl of nothing into a bowl of spicy and satisfying self-torture.

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16. And when your tongue is left tingling, sweets are a magical experience thereafter.

And when your tongue is left tingling, sweets are a magical experience thereafter.

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Sure, building a tolerance is a slow, gradual, painstaking process…

16 Reasons You Need More Spice In Your Life

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Cartoon Network / Via

But once you graduate to badass heat levels, your taste buds will expand to a whole new variety of foods.

16 Reasons You Need More Spice In Your Life

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Logo TV / Via

It’s time to upgrade your life. Because nothing will ever quite be the same.

16 Reasons You Need More Spice In Your Life

View this image › 16 Reasons You Need More Spice In Your Life

View this image › 16 Reasons You Need More Spice In Your Life

View this image › 16 Reasons You Need More Spice In Your Life

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Breaking Habits That Drain Energy

Everyone has a few bad habits and let me tell you I have plenty myself. But some habits are worse than others, and can actually drain your energy. In a day and age when we are constantly on the go and always “on” we are self sabotage ourselves. So, it is time to take stock of some of the most common bad habits most of us are doing to sabotage our energy.  Let’s take a look at some of the bad habits that could be draining your energy.

Energy TriggersAlways saying “yes”

Do you always help a friend or coworker in need? Want to know a little secret? Everyone knows this, and they are taking advantage of you. Your own life and responsibilities are hard enough to handle. So when you consistently say yes to everyone else’s requests for help, you end up drained and frazzled. Learn to say no. Not only will it feel good, but you will experience a calming peace that revitalizes and energizes you.

Not exercising consistently

You know you should exercise, so why don’t you? Rocket science is not at work here. It is very easy to understand. When you physically stress your body, your bones and muscles become stronger. The stronger you are, the more energy you have. Get started today exercising on a consistent basis, 3 to 5 moderate to intense 20 minute sessions a week for starters. The rewards of consistent exercise are many, and plenty of energy is just one of them.

Not drinking lots of water and green tea, and drinking soda

When you are hydrated properly, your natural body systems work at the peak of efficiency. This helps oxygen travel efficiently through your body, and you are energized. So get lots of water in your diet, starting today. Also, green tea is a natural provider of energy. It tastes great and hydrates you while delivering healthy antioxidants. And green tea does not let you crash after your energy boost like unhealthy sodas and sugar-filled drinks, which you should avoid at all times.

A lack of the ‘B’ vitamins in your life

The 8 ‘B’ vitamins contained in most B complex supplements promote healthy oxygen delivery, red blood cell growth, proper digestion and a strong immune system. B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12 and Biotin are the wonderfully natural vitamins a B complex supplement delivers that virtually guarantee you have all the energy you need every day.

Too much sugar

You’ve probably heard this a million times before… but it’s worth repeating. Added sugars (like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contain a whole bunch of calories with NO essential nutrients. For this reason, they are called “empty” calories and although you may get a quick burst of energy after your sugar crash you are left sometimes more tired than before!

There are lots of bad habits that can sabotage your energy and maybe one or two of the ones listed above happen to be yours. If so, make it your goal to eliminate those bad habits from your daily routine and I promise you will begin to feel different and have more energy throughout the day.

If you would like to learn how you can make some simple hacks to get more energy I have put together a special report that you can download for Free and start feeling more vibrant and full of energy today!

To your success,

Coach Dave

P.S. You will see down below this post where you can get your Free Energy Triggers report.

The Best Interval Training Workout to Lose Weight

The Best Interval Workout

Orange Theory Fitness has the best Interval Training Workouts

Over the last year I have been researching and studying ways to make sure that as I start my journey into my 40’s I find the right nutrition and exercise workouts that are going to get me the best results. I have done just about every type of workout and training that is out in the marketplace and I have finally found one that is the best exercise workout to get results. This short video introduces you to the Orange Theory Concept!

So after taking this workout a few times I was hooked and I loved it so much that I decided to become a certified coach and trainer. I know that makes me a little biased but I have never felt this way about a workout then I do about this one and here is why!

What makes Orange Theory Fitness the Best Interval Workout

First of all a lot of science and research has been put into each and every Orange Theory Fitness Workout. The workout is based on a 5 zone heart rate based interval training approach. The goal of each workout is to experience all 5 heart rate zones but also get you to spend 25 to 35 minutes in the fat burning/carb burring zone along with 12- 20 minutes in the upper zones, which contributes to epoc. Epoc stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, which essentially contributes to caloric burning at a higher rate 24-36 hours after the workout is completed. This is the single biggest reason why this type of workout is so beneficial to getting optimal weight loss results but there is still more.

The second reason I find the OTF workouts the best is the community that you get surround by. There are all different levels of participants in the class and each and everyone of them brings energy to the class. Plus, as you start to develop relationships and friendships then it adds a level of accountability because people will start to ask where have you been and are you sticking to your healthy habits. This is not unique as most other bootcamps and group exercise classes offer this kind of community but having this part of the workouts is essential for success.

A third reason I believe Orange Theory Fitness workouts are the best interval workouts is because of the combination of utilizing the treadmills, seated rowers and the weight training. As I already mentioned the workouts are designed to have you maintain your heart rate in all 5 zones but they also incorporate different workout modalities such as strength, power and endurance. This is exactly how athletes train and it is important for everyone to train this way if they want to gain lean mass and lose weight. One other aspect that the workouts have is the variety. Everyday a new workout is presented so in “theory” you could do an OTF workout everyday of the week. I don’t recommend it but you could!

Finally, the last component that I feel that makes Orange Theory Fitness the best interval training workout is the competition that is created amongst current participants and even classes. Earlier I mentioned the science behind OTF and because each participant wears a heart rate monitor everyones caloric burn and even the classes total burn is tracked which leads to some fun competition amongsts those in the class and even from class to class. Another really cool competition part to OTF classes are some of the programing. For instance they do a “Dri Tri” and even a “Hell Week” program. When you enter one of these speciality programs and if you win you are rewarded with prizes. This is a great way for members to have fun and be competitive at the same time.

I know I may be a little biased but I am telling you I have not seen a structured program like this that can get you the results you are wanting. Sure there are other interval training workouts out there but the Orange Theory Fitness workout is the best interval training workout in the market right now!

See what some of the members of the Orange Theory Fitness Plano, TX location have to say about it!

In health,

Dave McGarry

Top Five Questions in Regards to Weight Loss

Over the years I was continually asked questions in regards to weight loss. Finally, one day I had the bright idea to go ahead and start documenting the most common questions and come up with a detailed response to them. I realize there are probably two dozen more questions that you might have but here is five most common I received throughout the years!

Wieght-Loss11.) What is an easy change in diet to reduce calories?

The first thing that anyone seriously wanting to lose weight should do is start a food journal. A food journal will give you more insight to your habits and caloric intake. What I find to be true after a week or two of tracking your food is that you start to see patterns and areas that you can change your choices. Now, you can either create a paper food journal or with technology and smart phones find an app to download and immediately after you eat something log it into your program. Follow this for two weeks writing everything down and see what you can change in your diet.

2.) Not so much how to lose the weight, but how to keep it off?

Weight Loss Maintenance is what I refer to this question as. Probably the number one issue in regards to weight loss that majority of us struggle with is how we keep it off once we lose it. We seem to believe that once we attain something then we can move on. Unfortunately, with weight loss that is not the case and weight loss is a life long process for most of us. One thing that has really helped me over the years with my weight loss maintenance actually came from someone who once told me that their goal was to never wear a pant size bigger then what they were currently wearing. This set off a bell for me and I made it my “life” goal never to have to wear a pant size higher than what I am currently wearing. Now, do I fluctuate and go up and down. Yes, but I refuse to go buy pants any bigger and when they start to feel snug I refocus my efforts to lose those few pounds. The point to take away from this is, make it your life goal to stay at the weight you feel you are healthiest at. This will be different for everyone but believe it or not there is a weight your body believes is the best weight. We will address this more throughout the six month membership, so stay tuned.

3.) How much should a person strive to lose per week?

On average, most experts would agree, and suggest that 1 to 2 lbs of weight loss is the best and healthiest way to lose weight. Obviously, every person is different and it can vary from week to week in terms of how many pounds one might lose. Part of the reason that crash diets don’t work for the long term is because our bodies are not made to go through starvation or extreme shock. You see, the body has its natural protection and will gravitate back to a natural state. One final note here is that by taking a long-term approach to weight loss (6 – 12 months), you will ultimately be better off and will be less likely to regain the weight you lost initially.

4.) How to lose weight in a specific area?

I get this question a lot. I know that commercials and even some people in the fitness industry will tell you that doing a specific exercise will help lose weight in that area and unfortunately, they are incorrect. Unless you get liposuction, which I do not recommend, weight loss occurs throughout the entire body and not in one specific spot. Now, that does not mean you cannot work or target a specific muscle to tighten and tone it, but as your body loses weight from exercise the fat deposits are taken from all over. Typically, for women you will see weight loss in your upper body first and your thighs and midsection last.

5.) Why isn’t easier?

I wish I had a real simple answer to this question but when it comes to burning calories the body requires work. For every 3500 calories burned a pound of fat is used and in order to burn those calories heat needs to be produced, i.e. some form of exercise performed to challenge the body. Some people are genetically blessed to have a metabolism constantly burning calories, while others are not so fortunate. The other factor that I will leave you with is a saying you have heard and probably used. “Rome was not built in a day” and neither will your new body and total weight loss. Keep working everyday to get better. Make this a lifestyle change. Set small goals and see them add up to large ones. I believe in you, but you need to believe it is possible!

I hope these FAQ’s and answers help debunk and give you better insight into weight loss. Remember no one said it is going to be easy and no one said it will happen overnight but really think about the answers to these questions and put some of that to work in your daily lifestyle routine.

If you need anything please don’t hesitate to ask.

In health,

Coach Dave

5 Simple Tips to Eating Out

I remember when I was a kid and if my mom and dad said we were going to go out to dinner it must have been something really special we were celebrating. Going out to eat was a treat for us. Today, if we don’t go out to dinner my kids are asking me why are we not going out to eat dinner. Times have changed and listen I could probably go off and make a strong case that because we eat out so much that a large part of our obesity problem is because of that. Now, I am a strong believer in limiting the amount of times you go out and eat but when those times do come. And you should go out and enjoy a nice dinner with your significant other and family from time to time but when you do make sure you don’t go overboard on eating bad. With that being said I want to give you some basic tips to follow when you are eating out.

IMG_16861.) Drink Water – Alcohol, sodas, lemonades, and sugary drinks can rack up the calories fast. I am not saying avoid them completely but limit yourself to one. Drinking water will also help with your hydration.
2.) Don’t fill up on bread and chips – Being from Texas this is extremely hard but by over eating chips and bread you fill up on way too many carbs and ruin your appetite for the meal, which should have protein in it. Set a set number of chips or pieces of bread and don’t eat more than that!
3.) Lighter options – Restaurants are now offering options that provide less calories and less trans fat in their meals. Choose those menu items and if they are not listed ask to see if they can cook it healthier.
4.) Portion Size – In my opinion this alone can make the difference. My wife and I have been splitting meals for years now and not only does it save us money it saves us a ton of calories. Most restaurant meals today have portion sizes twice to three times of what we are required to eat. If you don’t have anyone to split with or they don’t offer a half size request a to go box once you get your meal and put half of it in it.
5.) Skip Dessert – I know easier said then done but typically restaurant desserts have a lot of calories and unless you made room somewhere in the day or earlier in the meal your best bet is to skip the dessert and get some fat free yogurt somewhere else!
Remember eating out does not have to be stressful or painful. Make some different choices and limit the amount of food and calories you consume.

Listen, life is too short not to enjoy it so don’t think I am saying not to eat out. All I am saying is when you do go out to eat try to focus on all five of the tips I provided in this post. Shoot, if you were to just implement one of the five tips to eating out you would do yourself a tremendous benefit. So, next time the kids or your significant other asks to go out to eat don’t fret that all the hard work you have been doing to reach those fitness goals will be completely wasted because you now have several tips to making eating out a whole lot healthier.

In health,

Coach Dave

The Power of Changing One Thing

Every week I want to bring you a short actionable tip that you can implement right away into your lifestyle to make a powerful change. This week the title of the tip is “The Power of Changing One Thing.” What do I mean by the power of  changing one thing? Well, sometimes we think that in order to make a change in our habits or lifestyle it needs to be drastic. Contrary to the point my friend. A lot of times what happens is when we make a change to our daily habits or lifestyle that is so dramatically different than what we are used to the tendency is to fall right back into the same old bad habits and routine. So instead of getting too crazy all at once I want you to think of one thing that you are currently eating or consuming that you could cut out of your diet, which would help lead to cutting out extra calories.

You see the secret to losing weight is simple, make small changes and losing weight starts to compound over time. The Power of just “One Thing” can make a huge difference. Let’s look at an example:

pumpkin spice latteLet’s say you stop off at Starbucks every morning and you buy a Grande Latte. Now, depending upon how you get it prepared the calorie content will vary. See below.

Starbucks Cafe Latte prepared with nonfat milk, about 160 calories
Starbucks Cafe Latte prepared with soy, about 210 calories
Starbucks Cafe Latte prepared with whole milk, about 260 calories
*based on calorie content (Grande Size) Provided by Starbucks web site

Okay, now we will make a small change and do some math. The small change we are going to make is we are going to cut out the Café Latte that is prepared with Whole milk. A grand total of 260 calories.
260 x 7 = 1,820 a week
Multiply 1,820 a week by 26 weeks (six months) = 47,320 calories
Now divide that by 3500 calories, which is one pound of fat and you could potentially lose:

You would lose around 13 and a half pounds just by changing one thing!

Find your one thing and start seeing some change!

In Health,

Coach Dave



5 Things that you can do to Speed Up your Results

Let me ask you this question, “how many times have you started an exercise or diet program and did not see results?” For some of you, results came quickly, but if you are one of many who are having trouble seeing results then today’s lesson is going to help. I am going to outline 5 things you need to do to start seeing results quicker.

11360674_blogThe 5 things that you need to start doing today to speed up your results are as follows:

Focus on Nutrition

By far the single most important component to losing weight is to focus on your nutrition. Now, contrary to what you might believe this does not mean to start starving yourself and stop eating all together. Actually, quite the opposite, your body needs food as fuel and your muscles need that fuel to develop.

For some of you this is going to be difficult and for others you will have no problem, but you need to start eating every three to four hours throughout the day. I am not talking about full blown meals at each sitting but what I am suggesting is you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then in between those meals you eat a snack. Try and space it out so that you go no longer than 3-4 hours without having consumed food. This will help keep insulin levels in check and help speed up your metabolism.

Resistance Training

Now, right after nutrition comes resistance training. If you are looking to lose weight and drop body fat then you need to focus in on your resistance training. Most people always believe that cardio is the best way to lose weight, but I am here to tell you that resistance training is a far better approach to dropping weight fast.

How do I know this? Well, studies have proven it, but I like to use a real world example. Several years ago my wife wanted to lose weight because the same old cardio routine was not getting it done. I suggested a resistance training routine for her to do each week. Now, you would have thought I told her to jump off a cliff when I first told her this by her reaction. However, after finally agreeing to my suggestion of working strictly on a resistance-training program, she saw some amazing results. Her body fat dropped 3 % in the first six weeks and she lost a dress size. After six months she had lost almost 6% in body fat and three sizes. From there she was sold.

Cardio and Heart Rate Training

For the next week I want you to find 3 separate times you can do 15 minutes of cardio. It could be one day you do 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night with one more day in the week of 15 minutes. Or, you can space it out and do it 3 x during the week. The key here is to get a total of 45 minutes of cardio with the resistance-training program in this coming week.

Now, once you determine the days I want you to spend the majority of the time working out in the range of 6-7 out of a scale of 10 on the Rating of Perceived Exertion scale. This might mean a faster walking pace or if on a treadmill add some incline.

Just make sure you get your heart rate going for a good portion of the fifteen minutes. Remember, if at any time you feel you need to slow down stop and rest.

Find a support group

In my experience people who have a support group lose weight quicker and maintain that lost weight longer. We have set up the Fit Over 40 fan page on FaceBook as one means of social support.

Other options can be your spouse or child depending on the kid’s age. The key is to find someone you can share your goals, concerns, and feelings with. If you can get someone to participate in the journey with you that is even better.

Reduce Stress

Most people do not realize that stress can actually cause you to gain weight. Cortisol, which is an important hormone in the body can be a culprit in increasing body fat. Cortisol, which is also labeled as the “Stress Hormone” is important part of maintaining proper Insulin release and maintaining proper glucose metabolism.

So, when the body experiences chronic stress, Cortisol is released in higher and prolonged levels that cause the following:

• Blood sugar imbalance (Hyperglycemia)
• Decrease muscle tissue
• Lower immunity

I capitalized and bolded increased abdominal fat because I want to make the point that too much stress in your life is going to prevent you from losing weight. I know sometimes with everything going on it is hard to relax but if you want to see the weight come off easier find ways to reduce stress in your life.

If you can make the above 5 tips a priority for the next 30 days I can guarantee you that results will start to happen faster!

In health,

Coach Dave

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