KISS Method for Eating Clean

Soft Boiled Eggs in Avocados

Healthy Eating

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to lose weight with greater ease than others? Or why some “Diets” fail shortly after you attempt them? Some diets are so complicated that extensive research and meal prep and Pinterest perusing is a must before diving into it. I’m not trying to say that meal prep is a bad thing, because it can be very beneficial, especially for those who lead very busy lives. What I am trying to get at is a lifestyle of eating that requires no brainstorming or overthinking.

Concept #1

Keep your foods SIMPLE! try to eat foods in their original forms. For Exaple, instead of eating pre-packaged pre-sliced banana bread, eat a whole banana. If you are eating whole foods, there will not be an ingredient list to have to worry about.

Concept #2

Eat at HOME! Eating out means you risk sabotaging your clean eating lifestyle. When you prepare your own meals, you are capable of controlling how much salt, sugar, etc you consume. A good rule of thumb is to incorporate a leafy green vegetable (ex: arugula salad), lean protein (ex: ground turkey/chicken) whole grains (ex: brown rice), a healthy fat (ex: avocado, olive oil)

Concept #3

Take your TIME! Eating is not a race, rather a time of fellowship with those whose company you enjoy (it really helps when you have a toddler you are feeding at the same time!) Try putting your utensil down between bites and actually carrying a conversation with someone, it really helps!

Concept #4

Listen to your BODY! Eat only when you are hungry and do not wait too long in between meals. Stop eating when you feel satisfied, rather that over stuffed. Waiting until you are ravenous means you are more likely to eat something processed and full of ingredients you do not want and will leave you feeling immediate regret.

Concept #5

Do not Live to Eat, rather Eat to Live. This is key! Do not eat out of boredom or stress; nourish your body with foods that it needs to thrive, and with foods that are easily digestible.


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Never Have Joint Pains or Another Injury Ever Again!

Never have joint pains or another injury ever again? “No way!, Not possible!” is what your brain is telling you and 100’s of my clients tell me every time I explain this to them when we first meet. While it may not be 100% likely you can escape every future injury or eliminate nerve damage from past injuries, it is possible to eliminate most aches and pains and chances for future injuries with these tips:

Several Types of Postural Deviations

Several Types of Postural Deviations

Identify Your Problem Areas First

This is a blind spot for most people including personal trainers, chiropractors, massage therapists, and physical therapists these days. While most people understand some of the basic fundementals, very few can connect the dots or see all the blind spots and angles they are missing right in front of them. The blind spots I’m talking about are postural deviations in the way you walk, move, sit, sleep, and the list goes on. While most people think of their posture as something that is static or constant, this is false! Your posture is evolving daily around your movements and even non-movements.

How is this possible you might ask? Posture is how we hold ourselves and the alignment and position of our limbs, joints, and bodies as a whole. When our posture is bad or misaligned, this can be identified in the way we hold ourselves, aches and pains we feel in our bodies, and range of motion we have or don’t have either standing, sitting, or performing any movement. When our muscles are shortened, this in turn causes a change to the position and range of motion around joints. When your muscle tissue is altered in length or shortened, this will cause you your joints to not properly line up and expose these very tight areas and muscles that need to be addressed.

Attack Your Tight Muscles and Problem Areas 

Once you have identified these problem areas, you must attack these adhesions or knots in your muscles with pressure through fascial release whether through various forms of massage therapy, Self-Myofascial Release (SMFR) also known as foam rolling, or other forms of soft tissue release. You cannot proper or fully lengthen a muscles until you have done this step first.  According to Michael Clark, MS, PT, PES, CSCS and founder of the National Academy of Sports Medicine “By performing Self-Myofascial Release techniques on a simple piece of foam, your clients can improve flexibility, function, performance, and reduce injuries. In a nutshell, your clients use their own body weight to roll on the round foam roll, massaging away restrictions to normal soft-tissue extensibility. And your clients can perform this program at home, maximizing their recovery time.” I have been doing SMFR techniques for almost 10 years with clients helping hundreds of clients rehabilitate from sports injuries and major trauma to helping everyday people and athletes both perform and feel better.

In order to fully understand how and why this works so effectively, you must first have a basic understanding of the Kinetic Chain and how it works. The kinetic chain is made up of the soft tissue system (muscle, tendon, ligament, and fascia), neural system (nerves and the Central Nervous System), and articular system (joints). The kinetic chain works as an integrated functional unit. All components of the kinetic chain exist interdependently. If one component is not functioning efficiently, then the other components must compensate, leading to tissue overload, fatigue, faulty movement patterns, and finally initiates the Cumulative Injury Cycle.

Cumulative Injury Cycle

Cumulative Injury Cycle

How the Cumulative Injury Cycle breaks down is muscle tightness restricts the range of motion that a joint may be moved. When muscle restriction occurs (tightness, soft tissue adhesions, and neural-hyperactivity), joint motion is altered, thus changing normal neural feedback to the CNS (central nervous system). Ultimately, neuromuscular efficiency is compromised, which leads to poor movement patterns, inducing premature fatigue and causing injury. The SMFR (Self-Myofascial Release) Program helps you and your clients improve muscular balance and performance.

There are two basic neural receptors are located in skeletal muscle tissue. These receptors are the Muscle Spindles and the Golgi Tendon Organs (GTO). Muscle Spindles are located parallel to the muscle fibers. They record changes in fiber length, and rate of change to the CNS. Golgi Tendon Organs (GTO) are located at the musculotendinous junction. They are sensitive to change in tension and rate of tension change. Stimulation of the GTO’s past a certain threshold inhibits the muscle spindle activity, and decreases muscular tension. This means your muscles are inhibited by their own receptors or this is also known as Autogenic Inhibition.

What is a foam roller?

A foam roller is, what a lot of fitness professionals refer to as, “the poor man’s massage.” When choosing a foam roller, product density is very important. Foam rolling simulates a deep tissue massage by working out the tension in your hard working muscles and providing a release for the outer sack of your muscles, also known as the fascia; hence the technical name for foam rolling: self-myofascial release (or SMR). If the foam is too soft, less than adequate tissue massage is applied. On the other hand, if the foam is too hard, bruising and more advanced soft-tissue trauma may occur, leading to further restriction, initiation of the inflammatory process, decreased range of motion, pain, and decreased performance. I use a combination of tools with my clients from soft and firm foam rollers, to Lacrosse balls and PVC pipes you may find at your local hardware store.

How does a foam roller work?


Demonstration of How to Foam Roll Your Calves

Start by either laying your body on the foam roller or placing the foam roller below you on the ground on the specific muscle group you are targeting. Resting 30-45 seconds on painful areas will stimulate the GTO and autogenically inhibit the muscle spindles; reducing muscular tension and will help regulate fascial receptors. Make sure you hold that pressure for the entire duration or it will not be effective. You don’t have to put pressure directly on the sore or tender area, near the area will also do. If you have a hard time applying enough force to release tight muscles, either change your tool to firmer or smaller object, add additional force yourself, ask your trainer, a friend or family member to help, or change your body’s position to apply more pressure as needed.

Once you have broken up all your knots and tight spots in your muscles, you need to stretch and length those targeted muscles back out to a proper length with static stretching. Hold each stretch for approximately 20-30 seconds. This allows you muscle time to relax and fully lengthen out.

Work on Correcting Your Form and Every Day Movement Patterns

Ankle Positioning

                        Ankle Positioning

After identifying your postural deviations and eliminating tights spots, the next step is correcting your movement patterns to ensure you aren’t repeating the same mistakes. The first step is learning what proper form and postural alignment is and then what deviations you are making in your everyday movement from walking and squatting with your feet and knees turning in or out or hunching over your phone or computer all day. You can also have tightness caused by inactivity, such as sitting down for long durations of time which compromises your hips by keeping them in a flexed position.

Think of every action having a reaction in the body or as “cause and effect.” If you think of every movement you from your feet to your head and vice versa as a ripple effect, this will better help you understand your connection between with your upper body and lower body and the effects have on one another. This awareness helps me daily identify tight muscles in my clients in the gym immediately before we start training or receiving any verbal feedback from them. While most of my clients don’t realize I’m looking at their posture and movement pattern the second I say “hi”, while they are warming up, and every exercise and repetition after that. My goal with most clients is teaching more mind body awareness and proprioception, meaning “one’s own”, “individual,” and to take or grasp, is the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement. This is achieved through constant verbal feedback asking them to explain how and what they are feeling to non-verbal or other external feedback such as performing exercises in front of the mirror.

For more information and tips, please Contact Us for a Free Consultation with one of our experienced and certified personal trainers TODAY!

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Pregnancy and Weight Gain: Balancing Weight That is Needed Vs. the “Extras”


Everyone knows that pregnancy changes a women’s body, it is inevitable.  Weight gain, those dreaded stretch marks, and sometimes certain body parts don’t sit as “Perky” as they used to.  But don’t worry, the end result makes all those changes worth it; when you are holding your precious bundle (or bundles!) the last thing on a mother’s mind is her pre-pregnancy body.

Here are a few tips to ease into your expected pregnancy weight gain, without gaining weight too quickly:

1. Get the notion out of your head that you are “eating for two”

Yes, you do need more calories, but not until the second and third trimesters.  In the first trimester your baby does not get any bigger than a plum, or a small apple. The calories needed to support this fetus are sustained by a normal 1500-2000 calorie diet provided by the mother.  When your baby has substantial growth spurts in the second and third trimesters, that is when you need an additional 300 to 500 calories per day.  Yes, you technically have two bellies to fill, but remember, one of them is very, very tiny!

2. Find an activity that keeps you moving every day.

For most, this can mean a brisk walk around the neighborhood with your spouse or family member.  Finding someone who will go with you and keep you accountable really helps. Also, keep in mind- three ten minute walks are just as beneficial as one thirty-minute walk.  Just because you are pregnant does not mean you have the excuse to sit around and be lazy. Many pregnant women find it beneficial to hire a Certified Personal Trainer that has experience with pre-natal women. Having the accountability of a trained professional can really help with unwanted and unnecessary weight gain.


Be conscious about what you are nourishing your body, and consequently, your baby’s body with.

Those extra calories needed in the second and third trimesters do not mean a bowl of ice cream every day! Rather, focus on eating extra raw fruits and veggies with every meal, along with a good source of lean protein at least once a day.  Not every pregnant woman is fortunate enough to have healthy cravings; it is ok to indulge every now and then, but try to always be aware that what you consume fabricates itself into your developing child.

3. Drink plenty of water.

This is beneficial for everyone, regardless if you are pregnant or not.  Drinking water during pregnancy helps your body to cope with the demands of your changing body. Keeping hydrated regulates all functions of your body and keeps headaches, nausea, and edema at bay.

Disclaimer: These are the opinions and experiences of the author. As always, consult your OBGYN before undertaking any new diet or workout routine and always be under the supervision of a trained professional.

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3 Tips to Becoming a Successful Trainer


What makes a successful trainer these days? Is a successful the trainers who have the largest followers on Instagram, Facebook, etc. or is it the personal trainers making over 6 figures a year? The answer, depends on your definition of “successful”. The answer should be none of the above, but this unfortunately is not the case if you ask most people in the fitness industry these days.

The most popular fitness trends and fads are exactly what is wrong with my beloved fitness industry and in need of a desperate change. Personal trainers have stopped truly caring about their clients best interest and overall health, and more about making money off promoting garbage and unnecessary supplements in addition to cookie cutter nutrition plans that are being recycled and peddled to the masses. Want to become a successful trainer, then start with not selling out your integrity. Want to be successful and help thousands of people better their quality of life, then start by following these simple steps.

1. Educate Yourself

One of the best decisions you can ever make for yourself and others is educating yourself.  When I first was debating on entering into the fitness industry over 8 years ago, I first wanted to know more information about health and fitness besides from what I had learned reading Men’s Health magazines. I started my journey by walking into several local gyms in my area asking what I needed to do to become a trainer. The very first question every manager asked was, “are you certified?” Obviously, being brand new my reply was “no.” So, I asked every manager I spoke which certifications they recommended or they thought were the best. Several pointed me towards the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

So, anxious to learn more, I went online and researched NASM and along with other certifications to make sure I didn’t waste my money or time. In the end, I ordered my NASM course material and book and would say this was by far the best investment I would ever make in my future. Once certified, I was offered several jobs at local gyms and was lucky to pick a great gym with amazing mentors. I have since received several other certifications, read hundreds of books on health and nutrition, and while each have taught me a lot, I would say NASM is the best structured and most scientific certification I have come across to date.

beebs carbsSince becoming a trainer and working for years mastering my craft, I have watched my industry go from bad to worse when it comes to education. The majority of personal trainers these days are not only certified, they don’t even have the slightest clue as to proper nutrition or even basic exercise science. To top that off, they are using Bro-Science which by definition according to Urban Dictionary ” is the predominant brand of reasoning in bodybuilding circles where the anecdotal reports of jacked dudes are considered more credible than scientific research.” Not only does this way of thinking not work with most individuals, it is actually dangerous when working out with improper form or writing meal plans and recommending supplements that have toxic and untested chemicals you can’t even pronounce in the ingredients, yet explain why you should be consuming them. This equities to you basically paying to be a walking science experiment.

2. Always Be Prepared

The First Meeting, Consultation or Session

Next tip, is to “Always Be Prepared” which is also the Boy Scout motto. What does “being prepared” mean? First, this starts with your first meeting or consultation with your respective client. This is your best time to gather as much information about your client before starting your fitness program with them. While asking a lot of questions is important, knowing which ones to ask and what to cover is even more important.

Best advice I can give you on this, is you can’t help someone if you can’t identify problems before you even step out on the workout floor with them. While there is a lot of subjective feedback you can get from your potential clients verbally, you can also identify as much if not even more by objective feedback from doing posture assessments, weight, body fat, and other measurements. If you client has postural imbalances or from a previous injury, you are increasing the chances of having that client injury themselves with you or worst if you don’t fix or address the problem.

During Your Sessions

image“Success is where preparation meets opportunity.” Having a plan and building your clients workouts in advance before you meet with them increases you likely hood for success. First thing you should do with a client before starting your workout is making sure your client has warmed up, foam rolled and has stretched any tight muscles or problem areas that may be bothering them. Your client may be coming into a session tight from work, have been sitting at a desk all day or still tight from your last workout, so it’s your job to make sure they take care of tight muscles and you identify and address any problems before you start to train them. Leaving any altered, shortened, or tight muscles constricted before exercising is not only dangerous, but drastically reduces your clients ability to efficiently and effectively train or get the most out of each workout.

Once you have ensured your client is warmed up and ready to work out, it’s time to start your workout. When training a client, always start with light weights and slow controlled movements with either dumbbells or light machines. When spotting a client, always watch the movement around their joints which indicate what muscles are being targeted, proper movement patterns, and range of motion around a joint. If a client is feeling pain in a joint or muscles other then the specific muscles you are targeting, stop immediately, get feedback from your client and either reduce the weight or intensity, or change exercises completely. If the pain continues after doing all the above, stop the workout.

When working out with clients, you should make sure you are being efficient and effective with your their time, energy, and money. Use circuits and supersets to optimize your time. If your client wasn’t sore for a day or two after your last workout, it is time to change up your workout. If your client is still sore in the muscle group you were planning on hitting, Use F.I.T.T.E. (Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type, Enjoyment) principles to ensure your clients don’t plateau and continue to progress and enjoy their workouts.

3. Don’t Sell Out!

Too many trainers are quick to sell out their clients to supplement companies in order to make a few extra bucks or jump on the latest popular fitness fads from selling their clients body wraps or starting a cross fit gym because they don’t cost much to start and have high profit margins if you can get enough members. You don’t have to be up-selling your clients if you need to make more money. If you really and truly help your client feel better, enjoy themselves while being active, and improve their overall quality of life you will be both monetarily rewarded through them referring you to everyone they know, to ensuring they will most likely stay with you for many years to come. The biggest killer in the fitness industry is turnover and client retention. If your clients trust you and you actually deliver results and not at the cost of their health or happiness, then you are truly a successful trainer.



Body By Dave 30 Day New Years Challenge

David Troupin - Owner and Founder

David Troupin Owner & Certified Personal Trainer

I Challenge To You To Make The Best Choices in the Next 30 Days!

With the new year in full swing, I know many of you are looking for that fitness challenge and meeting your resolutions of gaining better health, losing fat, building the best body you, etc. With this in mind, Body by Dave staff challenges you to commit to these 3 simple tasks. We believe that with these simple lifestyle changes you will see much better results and develop healthier habits!

THE CHALLENGE: Do All 3 of these Tasks:

1. Nutrition. Track your food in a journal, a mobile application, or calorie counting website for 30 consecutive days.

WHY: This will not only help you identify blind spots in your diet, but also help you stay on track and accountable to yourself.

2. Exercise. Commit to walking 30 minutes a day. You can split it up into multiple time increments or smaller cardio sessions to equal 30 minutes per day. If this is too easy, feel free to add intervals in such as jog or run for a minute and then walk for two.

WHY: This improves your cardio vascular health, burn more calories, improve circulation, blood flow and improve brain function by releasing endorphins that will relieve mental & physical stress.

3. Meditation. 10 minutes of meditation per day. If you are feeling adventurous, try and add in stretching during your meditation.

WHY: This allows you to not only relieve stress mentally and calm your mind and breathing, but also helps lengthen tight muscles and improve your range of motion around your joints.

Best of luck on this 30 day challenge! We look forward to hearing about your results!

To take your challenge to the next level, call us at 619-723-7421 or signup for a Free Consultation with one of our certified personal trainers for more information or to setup a customized workout/nutrition program for you.



3 Simple Tips to Conquer Your New Years Resolutions


New Years 2015

It’s that time of year again, when we all start looking back on our lives and reflecting on all our accomplishments, hopes, dreams, failures, lessons learned, victories, defeats, and what you plan to achieve this upcoming new year. I always love this time of the year. Today, I looked back on all my previous goals from last January, and while I was extremely happy to see I had achieved many of them for 2014, I am looking forward to setting and accomplishing even more goals in 2015.

Since becoming a certified personal trainer almost seven years ago, I have learned so much about setting and attaining many things that at first glance would have seemed impossible. I have had the pleasure of helping hundreds of clients lose thousands of pounds from all ages and athletic abilities. I wake up most mornings around 5 a.m. to meet with my clients. While most people find this to be crazy, I absolutely love it. I wake up every morning with a purpose to help others feel better about themselves both physically and emotionally. I believe that anyone can achieve whatever goals they set. While most great things in life don’t come easy, they won’t come at all if you don’t visualize yourself attaining it.  Below are 3 simple yet life changing tips to help you start your New Year of right.

1. Write down your goals. Too many people set goals, but don’t record them. Your likelihood of succeeding increases dramatically just by writing them down. In 1979, a Harvard MBA program asked graduate students, “have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” The result -only 3% had written down their goals and plans, 13% had goals, but they weren’t in writing and 84% had no goals at all. Ten years later, the same group was interviewed again and the result was absolutely mind-blowing.

The 13% of the class who had goals, but did not write them down, was earning twice the amount of the 84% who didn’t have any goals. The 3% who had written their goals were earning an average of ten times more than the combined total of the other 97%!

Whenever I meet a client for the first time I start by asking them several simple questions to help identify what they hope to accomplish. First, I ask them, “what are your goals?” For example, let’s say a client says they want to “lose weight and reduce my body fat.”

Example: My goals are to lose weight and reduce my body fat. 

2. Create a Clear Vision. The first step to creating a goal is to figure out what you want. Be specific. The more detailed you are with your vision, the more easily you can set a course of action.

The next question I ask, “do you have a set goal weight or body fat you would like to see yourself at?” This enables them to set a quantifiable or measurable goal.

While the first two questions answer the core objective which is to identify a specific goal, I ask one more question to sum this up: “Why do you want to achieve x, y, and z?” By asking my clients to identify their why, they are reminded about what their ideal body composition. This comes handy when many obstacles arise (birthdays. holiday parties, vacations, etc.), which may slow them down along their journey to accomplishing their goals. It is a good reminder to remember why when you hit a plateau.

Example: My goal is to lose 20 lbs. and reduce my body fat by at least 5% by my birthday trip to Cabo. 

3. Set Specific Deadlines/Benchmarks. Start setting an attainable long term goal. Then, break big steps into smaller steps until goals seem less daunting and achievable. Benchmarks are a great way to keep you on track. You may find you are moving more quickly or slowly than you expected. That’s not a problem – you can adjust! Alter your expectations and timeline as you gather more information while achieving your benchmarks.

My clients and I set daily and weekly goals for their caloric intake and their exercise. If you break up these goals into smaller, measurable steps, and assign realistic time frames to each, you are more likely to stay on track and hold yourself accountable along the way!

Example: My daily goal is to consume 1500 calories daily, burn 600 calories every day from exercise, and have a caloric deficit of at least 500 calories each day.

Cheat Sheet

1. Ask yourself what goals you would like to accomplish for 2015? 

First, start by setting some board goals. Ex. I want to lose weight, travel more, make a career change

2. How much weight would you like to lose? How many would you like to take this year? What other careers would you like to pursue? What do I need to enter into those careers/industries?

Break down your broad goals into more specific goals with set numbers or metrics to help you give you set benchmarks to measure and track your progress. Try and set somewhat realistic goals, but don’t be afraid to still be somewhat aggressive and take some long shots. Michael Jordan missed many more shots then he made when the game was on the line. The only ones most of us remember are the times he succeeded. Ex. I need to lose 20 pounds. I will take 4 trips this year. I’m going to become a personal trainer. I need to become certified with the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

3. When do you need to lose 20 lbs. by? How much do I need to lose each week? Each month? When would you like to go on each specific trip? What are the dates of each trip? When do you need to have them booked by?

Once you have identified you specific goals, you need to map out what you need to do in order to accomplish these goals. Set micro or smaller goals that help build up to you achieving or accomplishing goal or goals. State your goals as definitives such as “I will” not “I hope to”. Be confident in your decision and any obstacles you may come across will melt away with your persistance. Ex. I will weigh 20 pounds. less by my birthday trip to Cabo, Mexico by May 27th, 2015. I will be in Cabo by May 27th. I would like to go to Peru by June 28th. I will be in Greece by September 21st. I will be in Australia by December 15th, 2015. I will study until March and take my NASM certification by March 28th. I will start interviewing for personal training jobs by May 1st and be employees by June 1st.


3 Simple Tips to Help Keep Your New Year Goals On Track


The New Year is here which means many of you will be looking to hit your local gyms and start working towards your fitness goal(s), which may be to lose weight, six pack abs, or fit into an old pair of jeans. Most people tend to fall off the wagon by the end of February, but it doesn’t have to be that way! I encourage you to take a few minutes and truly visualize what changes you want to make and write them down. Writing down both short term and long term goals will help you visualize each goal. Are you ready to begin conquering those goals? Here are 3 simple tips to help you accomplish your New Year fitness goals.

1. Large changes don’t happen overnight. Small daily changes add up to larger changes. Start by writing down both your short term and long term goals on a checklist, if you haven’t already, and post it somewhere you can’t ignore them. Next, define what you will need to do each day/week to accomplish those goals:

• Schedule out your workouts and time to prep your food each week.
• Start tracking your food and exercise daily in a journal or on your smart phone with one of thousands of applications available to do just that. One of my favorite apps is MyFitnessPal.
• Start removing obstacles that may trip you up by cleaning out junk in your kitchen.

2. NEVER EVER, EVER give up on yourself! Good things take time. Be patient and if you hit a plateau. Identify what the problem or obstacle is. Not enough time to hit the gym every day? No problem. Split up your workouts or cardio throughout the day. Get up 15 minutes earlier and go for a walk then do another 15 minutes whenever you get home from work or after dinner. Do you work at a desk all day? Get up and walk 5 minutes every hour or every other hour. Boom! You just added another 20-40 minutes of cardio and gave yourself a mental break as well. Don’t have enough time to go grab lunch and get in a walk or workout? Bring your lunch and save time you lose commuting back and forth getting fast food or waiting at a restaurant. For every problem you encounter, I promise you there is a solution!

3. How To Get Started. Hire a professional. I’ve been training for over 6 years and have helped 100’s of my clients reach their fitness goals by helping them identify blind spots. I’ve write customized meal/workout plans, keep my clients accountable for workouts, cardio, and nutrition. I also constantly challenge them with personalized workout programs catered to their fitness levels and goals.

You can find certified professionals by looking online or at your local gyms. Next, do your research. Do your research! Make sure your fitness professionals are certified, offer a consultation in the gym, and cover a posture assessment and teaches SMFR/corrective stretching. If they don’t offer these basic need-to-knows up front, you should keep looking!


Are Supplements Becoming The New Snake Oil?

Snake Oil

I’m not sure when it began, but I can tell you that supplements have crossed over from being beneficial to more similar to snake oils and placebos. For over 6 years, I’ve been personal training. Prior to this, I worked for Walgreens and several other pharmacies for a couple of years; I have watched the industry go from bad to worse.

Originally, supplements were designed to fill in the gaps regarding where to obtain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that you weren’t able to get from your food. Now, they are being peddled as miracle cures from everything to fat loss, increased energy, and the list goes on. There is little to no oversight when it comes to developing, producing, and selling items labeled as dietary supplements. In 2011, congress pushed to implement the Dietary Supplement Labeling Act of 2011 to attempt to fix this problem. It was never enacted due to the several hundred billion dollar industry that would drastically have suffered from this bill being instituted.

Supplements vs. Whole Foods

Any whole food you purchase has gone through FDA approval. However, dietary supplements do not have any regulation – ZERO!  Whole foods are more complex. For example, eating whole foods, such as lean meats, fish, eggs and dairy, have the appropriate ratios of amino acids to make complete proteins; they actually satisfy all the essential amino acids (protein) needed by the body. Conversely, a non-FDA approved dietary supplement, such as protein powders, can claim they have the same effect, yet no proof is required what-so-ever!

SupplementsDo You Really Need Supplements? 

If you are a healthy individual who consumes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy products, lean meats and fish, you most likely don’t need supplements. There are some cases where even healthy individuals may require supplements or fortified foods, such as women who are pregnant, adults who don’t consume over 1,600 calories daily, vegans or vegetarians who eat a limited variety of foods, and adults over the age of 50. If you have a medical condition that effects how your body absorbs nutrients or have had recent surgeries on your digestive track, supplements may be one of the only ways you can consume the nutrients your body requires.

What to Look at When Choosing a Supplement:

Should you choose and have a doctor recommend you taking a supplement, you should look at the following things:

Check the Label – Read over each active ingredient and make sure you don’t have any know allergies and check with a pharmacists for any potential reactions to prescription medications you may be taking currently.

Read Serving Sizes – Many supplements are deceptively marked, misleading, or false. The nutritional label and ingredients may be listed, but may require 2,3, or more scoops, capsules, packet, etc. and may only have 6-12 servings which means they may only last a week if taken as directed requiring you to purchase more often. Some multivitamins and other supplements may boast having 500-1000%+ of the daily value(DV) based or the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA’s). This usually is unnecessary since your body can only absorb some much at one time, or can be even toxic if you over consume certain vitamins and minerals. Also, if you are already consumed your RDA’s through food, consuming more through supplements may put additional strain on your body as well.

Check Expiration Dates – Supplements can lose potency over periods of time and even become toxic, so if there isn’t an expiration date on the product, set it down and look elsewhere for it.

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