Category Archives: Exercise

The Art of Walking for Weight Loss

The Art of Walking for Weight Loss

When  I weighed in at over 300 pounds I couldn’t exercise much except for walking. But it turns out walking is a great for weight loss. Of course, you have to eat the right foods in addition to walking. You can’t just eat Big Macs with Fries and Vanilla Shakes and then walk some and lose a lot of weight or any weight at all. But if you ate the right Primal foods and walked some you could start losing weight.

First, Start Eating Primal

Once you start eating Primal you will train your body to start burning fat instead of relying on carbohydrates to fuel your activities.  When you’re eating lots of carbs your body burns the carbs first. If you’re not doing any exercising whatsoever (like me for a while) the carbs you’re eating gets stored as fat.

Above, Wedge Salad with Pork Belly! Primal lunch!

Sedentary Lifestyle Problems

If you don’t do any exercise whatsoever, your muscles and liver will never get rid of their glycogen stores. That means insulin will only be able to store excess carbs as fat! And if you eat any fat with those carbs, it’ll store that in your fat cells too! Double whammy!

Here’s my favorite example. I like pro football. When that starts up I’m mesmerized in front of the TV watching my favorite sport. So when Sunday rolls around, there are three games to watch! In the old days, I would just sit in my lazy boy watching the games only to get up to go to the washroom, or make a drink, or eat some terrible snack like potato chips and dip. So how did I change?

Secondly, Start Moving

I started DVRing the games! I’d actually go for a walk while the games were still on! Which actually works out kind of nice because I can fast forward through all those stinking commercials! There’s a lot of commercials! I also started watching a lot of the action standing up and moving around and I also stopped drinking and started eating good Primal snacks! (I now have a drink occasionally)

So start eating Primal like I mentioned above. Then you got to start moving. No more lazy boy! Here’s my second favorite story… My wife and I went on a week’s vacation to Seattle in 2018. We took a taxi from the airport to where we were staying, which was close to downtown Seattle. So we didn’t rent a car. We walked everywhere! We ate (and drank) pretty good. When we got back home we found that we both lost weight! Gotta love that!

So now you’re eating Primal and picked up your movement. You’re walking a lot and when you watch TV you move around a bit. Even if you sit at work, get up every half hour, stretch and walk around, even if its just circling your desk.

Kick it Up a Notch!

So now you’re eating right and you’re moving and walking. What else can you do for your weight loss goals? How about a bike ride? Play tennis? When my wife and I “play” tennis, we don’t keep score and actually try to keep the volley going for as long as we can! We also play frisbee, badminton and play a game of IT! Remember IT? I’m not talking about Information Technology. I’m talking about the old schoolyard game of tag, you’re IT!  If you’re not there yet, try walking after every meal even if its only for 5 or 10 minutes. It will help with your blood sugar control.

Welcome to Expert Status

OK, so now you’ve been eating Primal for a while and walking regularly and every now and then you “play”. Great! How about going for a walk in a fasted state?! That’s right! So when you get up in the morning, go for a walk before eating anything. You’re now a fat burner (because you’ve been eating Primal for a while), so if you don’t have any ingested fat to use for fuel, you will start to burn the fat off your body! And if you’re eating Primal and walking and exercising and if you’re not stressed out all the time, guess what? You’ll be getting better sleep and because you’re a fat burner, you could even lose weight while you’re sleeping! That’s right! While your body is healing itself at night while your sleeping, it will use the fat on your body to fuel the process! Fantastic!

That’s the Art, Now the Science

Its all about your heart rate. Subtract your age from 208. Take that number and multiply it by .55 (55%) to get the low end of your fat burning zone and then multiply it by .75 (75%) to get the high end of your fat burning zone. So if your 60 years old, 208 – 60 = 148. For the low end 148 x .55 = 81. For the high end 148 x .75 = 111. So if you keep your heart rate between 81 and 111 beats per minute, you are BURNING FAT!

To find out more about being Primal, subscribe to my blog and I’ll give you my free eBook entitled “Being Primal” for free! And if you really want to dive in, sign up for my Intro to Primal Paleo Challenge. You can also check out my success story on Marks Daily Apple. It could be your success story too! See you on the skinny side!

No More Chronic Cardio to Get in Shape, Just Go Primal!

Chronic Cardio

A lot of times people think “I’ll just exercise more” to take care of the food and calories they just ate. But no amount of exercise can fix a bad diet! And what do you get from chronic cardio? Burn out, sore muscles and still overweight!

Primal Exercise

As you can see in the Primal Blueprint Fitness Pyramid, its not just jogging and getting that heart rate up high. Its a little bit of everything, but what worked best for me was the PEMs, walking and sprints mixed in with a lot of play! And play for me included swimming, tennis, badminton, frisbee and riding the bike!

I did sprints once a week to 10 days. I also did some HIIT Pit and weight lifting, but not much. Just a couple times each a month. I did do a lot of walking. My FitBit said at one point that I walked the length of India. I was thinking of changing my name to Forest Gupta! Just kidding, take it easy.

Have Fun

The main thing is to have fun! Team sports is a good one for that with a lot of people involved. If you can’t get enough people for two football teams or even basketball teams, play IT. Not information technology. I’m talking the old classic kid game IT!

I actually quit my health club because of all the free things that I started doing. The money I saved there, went towards better food! Organic vegetables and grass fed beef doesn’t grow on trees you know!


Low Carb Eating Does Not Have to Waste Muscle Tissue

We’ve heard the story spouted by serious athletes, experts and supplement makers for years: carbohydrates (converted to glucose) are the preferred fuel for working muscles. After hard workouts, you must replace this fuel right away or suffer negative consequences, namely gluconeogenesis—the conversion of muscle tissue and fatty acids into glucose in the absence of ingested calories.

The truth is that gluconeogenesis is only a bad thing when you catabolize muscle tissue. When gluconeogenesis is triggered, your brain, muscles and other organs obtain a steady supply of glucose to function normally, but often at the expense of lean muscle.

You can easily prevent this catabolic effect by eating Primally. Ample consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds supplies all of your carbohydrate needs for a busy, active lifestyle. Ample fat calories will promote high satiety levels. Consume an average of 0.5 grams of protein per pound of lean mass, and your lean muscle tissue will be preserved.

If your muscles become deficient in glycogen, because of a chronic training regimen or other extreme circumstances (a growing, athletic teenager; a physically arduous job, etc.), your body will utilize ingested protein, and even fat to a lesser extent, to restock muscle tissue through gluconeogenesis. And this will happen on an as-needed basis. Your body will manufacture just enough glucose to meet metabolic needs. In contrast, obsessively fueling and re-fueling with carbs will often deliver excess glucose, which is then converted into fat and stored.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking gluconeogenesis necessarily requires muscle breakdown, or that dietary carbs are essential for muscle recovery or any other bodily function. We can function quite well on extremely limited carb intake, even if we exercise heavily. Consider Grok, who went for long stretches (as in, “seasons”) when carbs were scarce or completely unavailable, when physical activity was strenuous, and did just fine without depleting muscle mass. One more reason to eat like our ancestors!

Making Smart Workout Decisions

Take some time daily to reflect on your present condition and how your workout choices might best align. If you feel energized and motivated in a resting state—chomping at the bit to get out there and challenge your body—by all means go for it. If that little voice of reason inside you is begging for rest or to exercise caution about an area of weakness or injury risk, listen carefully and back off accordingly. Exercising intuitively is truly the most effective way to develop and preserve your fitness. Consistency and regimented schedules work on a very basic level but bring a high risk of burnout when followed over the long term, particularly as your fitness goals increase in sophistication and your workouts get more difficult.

Give yourself a daily score for Energy, Motivation and Health, and then score the degree of difficulty of your workout to see if they align, or if you pushed yourself too hard or too little. Make your workouts open-ended appointments in case you need to cancel at a moment’s notice, curtail them partway through based on negative biofeedback or extend them significantly when you’re feeling top notch. With careful attention, you will develop the ability to sense whether you’re feeling normal, exceptional or below par after just few pullups, pushups or sprint warm-up strides.

Granted, we have to consider inertia here. If you’re not a morning person, feel mentally exhausted at the end of a long workday or are cuddled up on the couch in front of a warm fire on a winter day, you may argue that you’ll never feel like exercising intensely at these times. Under these kinds of circumstances, when you don’t feel like exercising but really think you should get out there, I recommend stepping out the door, getting started and seeing how your body reacts once it’s set in motion. You might be surprised by how much it wants to move!

Sprint… Once in a While?

Sounds kind of wishy-washy, huh?

The title is indeed purposeful and reflective of some important guidelines for sprinting and other maximum intensity exercise efforts. You truly only need to do maximum intensity workouts once in a while to enjoy excellent fitness benefits. Sprinting once every 7 to 10 days is ideal for most people.

Sprint workouts challenge your body to promote fitness breakthroughs. It’s essential to conduct these workouts only when you feel high levels of energy, motivation and immune function. Sometimes, despite careful preparation and preceding rest days, you might commence a sprint workout and notice that after the first repetition you’re not quite at full strength. We suggest curtailing the session and trying again another day. It’s far better to “nail” all of your sprint workouts with true peak performance efforts than it is to fill your calendar with mediocre sessions that should never have been conducted in the first place. Make your sprints a special occasion; rest beforehand, get psyched and go for it, then recover carefully afterwards.

I’ve been doing sprints on my bike to reduce the impact. Works great! You could do swim sprints too!

Keep it short, speedy and strong!

Food for Thought – There’s More to Being Primal than just Eating the Right Food!

There’s more to being Primal than just eating the right food!
The “other” Primal things I do besides Eating!

Get up and move
  • Walk – 3 to 4 hours of walking a week would be nice
  • Sprint once every 7 to 10 days. Six 20 second sprints followed by 30 seconds of rest. 5 minute warm up and 5 min cool down before and after. I do sprints on my bike to lower the impact. Sometimes I do them in the pool! Swimming sprints, not running sprints.
  • Play – Bike, play Tennis, swim, frisbee, badminton, basketball, tag, pickle ball, hike every now and then
  • Don’t sit and watch TV. Stand for a while. Move around. I’m a pro football addict! I’ve started watching the first game standing up and moving around. I record the second while I go for a walk or swim. Then DVR skipping the commercials. Better use of time!
  • If you have a desk job, get up once a least every 30 min and move around. Take a 10 minute break and walk in the parking lot. Or walk at lunch time. The point is, do something!
Sleep 8 hrs – And that really is sleep, not just time spent in bed! A FitBit Charge HR will not only track your heart rate and exercise, but it will also track your sleep! How do you get a good night’s sleep?
  • Eating right is a good start and that’s what this challenge is all about!
  • Staying up late watching TV or working on a computer is not good. The blue light from these devices emulate sunlight and your body will get confused and it will be harder to get a good night’s sleep. If you have to watch TV or work on the computer late, I suggest buying a pair of blue blocker sunglasses and wearing them while doing these types of things. I wear a pair over my regular glasses!
  • Don’t eat after 8pm. You want to give your gut time to digest, work and repair itself. It needs 12 hours to do this. If you sleep for 8 hours, you’ll need to not eat 2 hours before you go to bed and not eat until 2 hours after you get up. So, if you go to bed at 10pm, don’t eat anything after 8pm and don’t eat anything until 8am. The longer you can go, the better off your gut will be. As you get fat adapted, you’ll be able to go for longer periods of time without eating. So you may even be able to skip breakfast. Or you may be able to eat dinner at 5pm and not eat anything until 10am the next day. That’s 17 hours without eating anything! Sounds crazy, but I’m able to do that all the time and so will you! And you won’t be hungry! As you become fat adapted, the meals you eat will be more satisfying and, if you eat only when you’re hungry, there may be long periods of time between meals. So, you won’t have to eat 3 meals a day. Eat just when you’re hungry. Just not after 8pm!
  • Wear a sleep mask when going to bed to make things pitch black, it helps!

Get some Vitamin D
  • Sunbathing – 15 minutes and that’s in a bathing suit. Not just walking around outside with everything covered except your face! Hard to do in the winter!
  • Or take a Vitamin D supplement as directed when you can’t get direct sunlight. I live in Arizona and sometimes even here its hard to get sun day in and day out! Almost!
Reduce stress
  • Breathe deep, meditate, sit down and relax with no distractions, by yourself, chill out, look at the sunset, take a leisurely walk after dinner with your spouse, but don’t talk to each other, especially about work! Just take in the sights, sounds and smells of where you are at, you can talk to your pet because your pet won’t talk back! (Unless it’s a parrot!) Point is, you just want to relax and not think too much!
  • Play a board game or dominoes or chess with the TV off!

Exercising – Sorry, you do have to at least move!

When I started out I was over 300 pounds and couldn’t exercise much because all that fat jiggling around actually hurt! So I lost some weight simply by eating the right foods! Primal! Then I did a lot of walking and also some swimming because its low impact. So I lost some weight. Then I did some biking. Lost some more weight. I was now able to do in home Primal workouts using body weight. The four Primal Essential Movements are push ups, squats, pull ups and planks. I bought a Frisbee. Played tennis. Lost some more weight and now I was able to do sprints! I never thought I’d be able to run again! I did some crossfit in the local HIIT Pit! All the while I was still walking. Mostly around the neighborhood and some on forest trails. The point is have fun! Do fun things! Get your spouse involved. Get the neighbors together to play basketball or baseball. Do things. Get out there. Socialize. Just do it!

Wait! Lets talk about watching TV. You have to get up and move every now and then. If its football Sunday, if I watch one game sitting down, I watch the next game standing up and moving around. I got some hand weights and a kettle bell and have been known to use them while watching a game! Self control! Don’t throw them at the TV if something bad happens to your team!

And as always, check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Four Week HIIT Program for Beginners

I’m going to do this! I have done the HIIT Pit at our local health club, but you can do this in your home! So I’m all on board! This is from the Myfitnesspal people, so don’t forget to put on your Fitbit before starting! I use myfitnesspal to enter all the food I eat to get my macros! Here’s the link for this HIIT Program for Beginners.

To Health Club, or Not To Health Club? That is the question!

I went to the heath club today and it probably will be the last time for the foreseeable future. I was thinking about joining a health club for a long time. I thought that working out with weights would help me build up some muscle and that would be a good idea. Then I saw that a local health club had a HIIT Pit and it was a done deal! The HIIT Pit is like a cross training area where you hit a tractor tire with a big sledgehammer, do the ropes with your arms thing and a variety of other crazy movements that work every muscle in your body! I had great fun and great workouts in the HIIT Pit, I spent time in the weight room and some time in the pool. But the cost of this was starting to wear on me, especially considering you could do all this outside of the health club. I was amazed at how many people there would be on the treadmills and the elliptical machines when right outside the building are great trails going through the hills of Sedona and, if not a trail, lots of sidewalks meandering around golf courses. So why pay for a health club to walk inside? Rainy days? That’s when you do your indoor workout!

There was a machine in the weight room that helps you do pull ups. Even as a teenager I had trouble doing pull ups. This machine has a counter weight that you set so it offsets some of your weight to make it easier for you to do the pull up. Right now I weigh 230 and I set the counter balance to 160 pounds. So, in effect, I’m doing pull ups with a 70 pound body and I can barely make it to five! Nice to know, but I could do the same pull ups in my house with the bar I installed on a bathroom door. I have a little foot stool so I can do “leg assisted” pull ups. Point is anything you can do at the health club can be done outside the health club. Do body weight exercises that use your own body weight as resistance. Squats, pull ups, planks and push ups is pretty much all you need. Add in some bar bell and kettle bells and a band or two and your set. Why pay health club dues? Use that money to buy better quality food!