Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Weight Loss and Sleep

Can skimping on a good night's rest affect your ability to maintain a healthy weight? 

Experts are now convinced that it can.

"Women who slept 5 hours per night were 32% more likely to experience major weight gain (an increase of 33 pounds or more) and 15% more likely to become obese over the course of the 16-year study, compared to those who slept 7 hours a night." *

Why does not sleeping make you gain weight?

1 - Not getting enough sleep makes you prone to overeat. "Two specific hormones are involved," says Michele Silence, MA for The Diet Channel. "Ghrelin is responsible for feelings of hunger. Leptin tells the brain when it’s time to stop. When you’re sleep deprived, your ghrelin levels increase at the same time that your leptin levels decrease. The result is an increased craving for food and not feeling full." **

2 - "Sleeping less may affect changes in a person's basal metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn when you rest)." Sanjay Patel, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH * 

3 - "Interference with carbohydrate metabolism may cause high blood glucose levels. Excess amounts of glucose encourages the overproduction of insulin which leads to the storage of excess body fat and insulin resistance (a significant sign of adult-onset diabetes.)" Tracee Conforth ***

4 - The body regenerates during sleep, which will help build muscle tissue and help you lose weight. "While we sleep the body repairs and rebuilds organ tissue, ligaments, tendons and lean muscle by burning the calories we take in as food during the day. And if that is not enough, sleep will burn excess fat." Rick Hendershot ****

Well, I'm a believer. I'll just explain to my boys that they can't climb into bed with me anymore because it's making me gain weight. That should convince them there aren't monsters in the basement. 

If you're having trouble getting enough sleep, check out the suggestions at - One of the suggestions is to get moving. Loving that!

Sleep More, Lose Weight

Getting Enough Snooze Time May Be The Best Diet Secret of All

By Mary Shomon



**** How To Lose Weight While You Sleep

By Rick Hendershot

Friday, April 24, 2009

Light Weights vs. Heavy

I wanted to expound on the subject of strength training making women bulky. As I said Wednesday, many women are afraid of lifting heavy weights. The problem is if you lift too light of weights you're wasting your time. Hugo Rivera says this about the subject, "As far as the lifting of very light weights, this is just more nonsense. Muscle responds to resistance and if the resistance is too light, then there will be no reason for the body to change." *

Paige Waehner explains why you have to lift heavy to increase your muscle density and thereby increase your metabolism. "You know that losing fat involves increasing your metabolism. What you may not know is that muscle plays a huge role in raising metabolism. A pound of muscle burns about 10-20 calories a day while a pound of fat burns 5 calories. That means any growth in your muscle tissue is going to help you burn more calories all day long. In fact, strength training has all kinds of great effects on your body like:

  • Increasing resting metabolic rate so you burn more calories, even while at rest.
  • Making you lean and slim--muscle takes up less space than fat so, the more you have, the slimmer you are
  • Strengthening bones and connective tissue, which can protect your body from injuries in daily life
  • Enhancing balance and stability
  • Building confidence and self-esteem

However...this only works if you're using enough weight to stimulate that muscle growth. In other words, if you can lift the weights you've chosen (for most exercises) more than 16-20 times, you might not see the kind of fat loss you would if you increased your weight." **

If you need more convincing, read the articles below. If you're hooked, try to increase the size of your dumbbells next time you lift. You should be tired after 6-8 reps and unable to complete more than 10-12 reps with good form. Make sure that the weight you are lifting is manageable, you can keep good form, lift without jerking, and lower the weight slower than you raised it.

* Myths of Women's Weight Training and Female Bodybuilding By Hugo Rivera -

** Are You Lifting Enough Weight?

Use it or lose it! By Paige Waehner,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Will Strength Training Bulk Me Up?

Will strength training bulk me up? 

I hear this question a lot. Women are afraid to lift weights and women are terrified to lift heavy weights. But all the research points to the fact that without testosterone or chemically-altering drugs it is impossible for women to bulk up. When women lift weights their muscle density increases therefore making them appear lean and toned. If you don't believe me, please read this article. 

Top 10 Reasons Heavy Weights Don’t Bulk Up the Female Athlete By Tim Kontos, David Adamson, and Sarah Walls -

I have to share reason #3 with you (in case you don't click on the link).  "For women, toning is what happens when the muscle is developed through training.  This is essentially bodybuilding without testosterone. Since the testosterone is not present in sufficient amounts, the muscle will develop, but it won’t gain a large amount of mass.  The “toned” appearance comes from removing the fat that is covering a well-developed muscle."

If you haven't been strength training because you're afraid you'll bulk up you can change that today. Go to my website - - click on the links page and print out "Cami's Strength Training Guide." If you want a good chuckle you can also watch the You Tube videos. You can choose an exercise for each of the major muscle groups twice a week and do 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps or for more detailed programs (and no guesswork from you) follow my blog-  

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Incidental Exercise

The amount of movement you accumulate in a day is a huge factor to being healthy and keeping the weight off. 

The best advice I can give - buy a pedometer. The average American walks 3000-5000 steps a day. Experts recommend at least 10,000. Where are you at? Wear a pedometer for a few days. It's amazing how mine motivates me to run down the stairs rather than yell over the banister.

I wrote an article once, "Why FedEx Drivers Don't Get Fat." The main reason? Those dudes move. Some of the men who wore pedometers for me logged almost 20,000 steps a day. Pretty hard to keep weight on when you're moving that much. 

This article on has some good information about pedometers -

An article on incidental exercise by Ultimate Weight Loss explains why it's important to move more.

"Incidental exercise, or the exercise we get doing daily activities, can make a big difference between being overweight and losing or maintaining weight. 

Engaging in more incidental activity can help boost our daily calorie expenditure and keep our metabolism (fat burning engine) fired up through the day and in doing so help us reverse the trend and 
lose weight."

Here are some ideas to get you moving.

  • Take the stairs whenever you can. 
  • Park at the end of the parking lot instead of driving around to find a good spot. The other day I drove around the gym parking lot twice and had to laugh at what a loser I am!
  • Go on a walk or bike ride with your family
  • Put your weights and bands next to your t..v. couch and do a workout while you watch The Biggest Loser (If Jillian doesn't guilt you into moving nobody will!) 
  • Dance around your kitchen
  • Play tag, kickball, or any fun sport with your kids. 
  • Jump on the trampoline (if your bladder can handle it, think I've had too many babies)
  • Walk or do squats or calf raises while you talk on the phone
  • Balance on one foot or do glute presses while you brush your teeth
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator

Everything you do will make a difference in being more healthy and burning off those extra pounds. 

Cami Checketts