Archive for April, 2010

The Ingenuity of Food Journaling

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010









Like so many people out there, I have done my fair share of diets preaching to get me to my “best body yet”. Yet none of them ever did. Why? At the core, they were all fundamentally the same. I was either depriving myself of delicious and often perfectly healthy food  and/or counting calories. Seeing that I am good at neither and actually despise both of those things, I gave up dieting for good and opted for literature that outlined healthy eating habits instead.

If ever I’ve had a brilliant idea in my life, it was that one! My research eventually led me to a book I adore called “French Women Don’t Get Fat” by Mireille Giuliano. Initially, I was engaged by the bold title. “I want to be a chick, skinny, French girl too!” I thought to myself. But, the book struck a deeper chord with me. It wasn’t just another diet book; it was the author’s memoir on her relationship with food, which made it both an easy read and a stimulating one. Through her memoir, Giuliano teaches you to be conscious of the food you put in your body in a way that both satisfies your senses and keeps your heart healthy (no food deprivation or calorie counting!). 

An abundance of great tips on portion control and delicious recipes can be found throughout the book, but it also brings to light the ingenuity of keeping a food journal: the perfect solution for non calorie-counting, food conscious people. If you’re not familiar with a food journal, it’s just a small notebook that is used to track everything you eat throughout the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks…etc). The book instructs you to use a food journal for three consecutive weeks in order to find patterns in your eating habits i.e. you drink soda every day at lunch or you drink a beer every night with dinner. Unlike many diets that instruct you to cut out all forms of carbohydrates and sugars from your daily meals (so hard!!!), the food journal is used to eliminate bad habits one week at a time (after the initial three week observation period) i.e. the first week you might stop drinking soda everyday at lunch, the second week you add on and stop drinking a beer with every dinner and so on and so forth. The results take time, but they are long term. Teaching yourself to cut out bad eating habits and incorporate healthy, nutritious foods into your diet avoids the stresses of yo-yo dieting and allows you to easily maintain not only a stable weight, but a stable lifestyle. 

According to Giuliano, the goal of the food journal is to get you to be food conscious without having to use a journal. And, that’s awesome, if that’s also your personal goal. However, I think food journaling is actually a tool that can be used continually ( says Carry Underwood’s been using a food journal to keep her health in check forever!). So, grab a pen and paper or your Iphone and start journaling!

Written By: Delfina Bonilla-Cassel (Ann Arbor CMF Intern)


Brian’s Success Story

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

By:  Amber Tebeau, NASM CPT, Manager and Trainer CoachMeFit West Bloomfield


Brian S. has been a client of CoachMeFit since the summer of 2008.  Brian began working out at the CoachMeFit studio in Birmingham, then after 6 months he transferred to the West Bloomfield studio because it was closer to where he works.   When Brian first came to CoachMeFit he weighed over 300 pounds, had many health problems and he reported being very tired no matter how much he slept. Brian’s blood pressure was as high as 170/105, for which he was taking medication, he was also taking cholesterol medication, kidney medication and he was injecting his body with insulin for his Type II Diabetes.   

Brian had tried to lose weight many times on his own without success.  He tried several diets and he would lose some weight, however he would always gain it back.  Brian stated that he came to the point where the insulin he was injecting was not helping to bring down his sugar and he knew he had to make a big life change in order to regain his health.  At his heaviest Brian weighed 313 pounds and he set the goal of losing 70 lbs.    Due to his failed attempts at dieting, Brian knew that he needed a lifestyle change not another diet.  Brian decided that he wanted to weigh 240 pounds and he started eating the amount of calories that a 240 pound man should eat to maintain his weight.  He also made sure he was eating the proper ratio of carbohydrates, protein and fat.   Brian then started working out with a trainer at CoachMeFit three days per week and doing cardio exercise five to six days per week.  Brian immediately started to see a decrease in his weight and an increase in his energy.

Brian’s journey began almost two years ago and his weight is now holding steady around 240 pounds and the only medication that he takes is a pill for his diabetes.  His blood pressure is 117/72 and all of his blood tests are normal.  Brian states that currently his goal is to maintain his weight, and to stay healthy.  Brian’s story is a testament to hard work and dedication.  Brian has worked hard to become healthy and regain control of his body.  Brian is a great example to anyone who desires to turn their life around, lose weight, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.


7 Truths About Exercise

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

By: Amber Tebeau NASM CPT, Manager CoachMeFit West Bloomfield

There are many myths when it comes to exercise. Take this short quiz to assess your level of exercise knowledge. Review the following statements and determine if they are true or false.

1. When you are doing a workout, it is most effective to be in the “Fat Burning Zone”.

True False

2. Cardio exercise on a machine is most effective for weight loss.

True False

3. Doing abdominal exercises is the best way to get rid of belly fat.

True False

4. It is just as effective to do six, 10 minute bouts of exercise, as it is to do one solid hour of exercise.

True False

5. Doing circuit weight training is as effective or more effective than doing cardio exercise on a machine, for heart health and weight loss.

True False

6. Exercise is hard work and is not supposed to be fun.

True False

7. The secret to successful weight loss is simply to burn more calories than you consume.

True False

1. False: The “Fat Burning Zone” is a myth, it does not exist. In a workout calories are burned not fat. It is important, when thinking in terms of weight loss, to understand the Law of Thermodynamics. The Law of Thermodynamics says that if more energy is expended than is consumed, weight will be lost. Thus, a weight loss will occur if more calories are burned than consumed.

2. False: Cardio exercise IS effective for weight loss, however ALL exercise is effective for weight loss.

3. False: Doing abdominal exercise is good and it will tighten and strengthen your core muscles. However, this does not remove fat from your midsection. The best way to get rid of fat around your middle is a total body fat loss. It is a myth that you can spot treat your body for fat loss.

4. True

5. True

6. False: The best type of exercise for an individual to do is the type of exercise that they WILL do. All exercise is effective to burn calories, so the exercise that is enjoyed is the best because it is the exercise that is most likely to be accomplished.

7. True