Week of Oct. 23


Boot Camp Schedule

This week, it’s class as usual. Monday and Thursday from 6:30-7:30pm. Enter through the High School entrance and turn right and you’ll see the gym at the end of the hallway.

Next week is another schedule change due to Halloween. Since the holiday is on a Monday, boot camp is Tuesday and Thursday next week.

For class changes, please check the Location & Schedule page.

Don’t forget that we started the Sunday Fun Run/Walks again. They start at 4pm at the church next to Foothills Bakery in Fairfax. We run/walk River Rd. (Egg Run 5k route). Today we had babies, dogs and children with us . . . it was great!!

Week in Review

Last week was a special one. The second 100 Day Challenge was kicked-off, we benchmarked our standard metrics and saw many new and old faces.

Lynn Finn brought her boot to “boot camp”. We were glad she stopped by to see that she really had foot surgery, she wasn’t pulling our leg (er, our foot). She’s planning on coming back soon! Jennifer Bishop’s gang from the Lamoille area jumped right into the craziness. Jen is the owner of Waiora Farm Store on Route 15 just outside of Jeffersonville. Her business has signed on as a program partner for the 100 Day Challenge. Thanks Jen!

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Lynn Really does wear a Boot for Boot Camp . . . I know, bad joke . . .

Everyone is excited to welcome the Challengers, especially their mentors. Thank you Jill, Sam, Laura, Kathy, Paula, Lisa, Beth, Betty and Amy. Your experience and energy is a perfect match for the Challengers.

On Monday, around 50 people benchmarked themselves on three main movements (sit-ups, push-ups and squats). Several Boot Campers shattered their personal best records and the newcomers established their starting scores. We’ll do this again in another month. However, I’m going to set up a different record keeping system. To facilitate the entry process of scores/times and to provide each boot camper the ability to quickly see their performance scores, a filing system will be implemented.  

On Wednesday, we had a barn burner . . . after a refreshing run outside, we started off with a 300 core series, then quickly moved to stations where we pushed, stepped, jumped, squated, burped, lunged, then capped it with football drills, that was repeated again and again and again and again and again . . . whew! At the end the 100 Day Challengers were awarded with locally grown carrots from Sweet Clover Market in Essex. I am bringing the carrots to class this Monday for Challengers who didn’t pick theirs up.

This week will be full of more laughs, sweat, & swears . . . See you Monday!

Why Counting Calories Doesn’t Work

By Dr. Len Lopez
Nutrition and fitness expert

 The typical school of thought for losing weight is a matter of burning more calories than we eat. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works!

There are too many people who are stuck on their same weight, even though they have been eating right and exercising. The reason is simple: They are not taking into consideration how stress and the hormones they produce control their metabolism.

Not All Calories Are the Same

We would like to think that when we burn calories, we are burning calories from stored body fat from around our waist and bottom. That simply is not always the case. The body burns calories from either fats, carbohydrates, or proteins (lean muscle). To assume that the body is always burning calories from stored body fat is simply wrong.

It’s easy to say that a 30-minute jog burned 300 calories, but it doesn’t tell us if we burned 300 calories from the breakdown of fats, carbs, or muscle. We could have easily burned 300 calories from the breakdown of carbohydrates or worse — we could have burned 300 calories from lean muscle tissue (protein), which is the last thing we want to do.

The body is designed to burn calories throughout the day from fats, as opposed to carbs and proteins. But most people who struggle with their weight are usually burning more calories from the breakdown of carbs and proteins, not fats. In other words, they are not staying in their “fat-burning zone” throughout the day. Yes, they are burning lots of calories, but they’re not burning calories from stored body fat. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any carbs in your system. Your body will then break down lean muscle.

The reason people aren’t efficiently burning stored body fat has nothing to do with the amount of calories they ate or burned, and more to do with what regulates their metabolism.

Hormones Regulate Metabolism

As we said before, the body can either burn calories from fats, proteins, or carbs. Our metabolism is predominately controlled by our hormones. Some hormones burn fats, some hormones store fats, and some trigger our body to burn carbs and protein. So to automatically assume that the 300 calories you burned came from the stored body fat around your tummy and bottom is wrong.

The hormones we are talking about are cortisol, adrenaline, insulin, and glucagon, which are stimulated by stress and diet. Too much stress in your life will cause an over-production of cortisol and adrenaline, which can trigger your body to burn carbs and proteins instead of fats. The same is true about insulin and glucagon. Too many carbs and you produce more insulin, which stores fat, whereas glucagon burns fat and is produced when you eat protein.

The Calorie Burning Test

So how can you tell if you are burning carbs instead of fats throughout the day?

  1. Do you struggle with cravings and low blood sugar?
  2. Are you irritable if meals are missed or delayed?
  3. Do you skip meals or only eat one or two meals a day?
  4. Do you eat lots of refined, processed food and drink?
  5. Do you have a hard time concentrating and staying focused?
  6. Do you struggle with midmorning/afternoon slumps?
  7. Do you have difficulty “staying” asleep?
  8. Do you have to eat every few hours?

If you answered ‘yes’ to a few of these questions, it is a good indication your body is constantly burning calories from carbohydrates and proteins instead of stored body fats.

Stay in Your Fat-Burning Zone

Here are some simple steps you can take to ensure your body is staying in its ‘fat-burning’ zone throughout the day.

Examine the amount of stress in your life. If stress is constant, you could be producing too much cortisol and adrenaline, which is throwing your metabolism off. If you want to be more scientific, have your cortisol and DHEA levels measured through a saliva test to determine if stress is impacting your metabolism. FYI: Not everyone’s cortisol is too high! Many people under long-term stress make too little cortisol and adrenaline, which is referred to as adrenal exhaustion.

Take a look at your diet. You cannot skip meals or eat refined, junk food. It causes your blood sugar to drop and stimulates your adrenals to make additional cortisol and adrenaline.

Make sure you eat breakfast and it includes good protein and fats. A predominately high carb breakfast, like cereal or bagels, will throw your blood sugar off for most of the day. Good protein and fats at each meal will help reduce the surge of insulin and will stimulate the production of glucagon, which aids in the breakdown of fats.

Check your digestion. If you struggle with bloating, gas, indigestion, heartburn, or other irritable bowel problems, it is causing irritation and inflammation. This triggers further production of cortisol. Therefore, add some digestive enzymes, look at food combining, and consider possible “hidden” food allergies.

Deep breathing exercises for one to two minutes or longer throughout the day can lower cortisol and adrenaline. This is important because the more cortisol and adrenaline you produce, the more insulin you produce. It’s a vicious cycle because cortisol makes your body resistant to insulin, which in turn causes even more insulin to be produced.

Playing the calorie counting game doesn’t work. It overlooks and ignores the impact stress and diet have on your hormones. Cortisol and insulin are not bad for you, but if you overproduce them, they throw all the other hormones out of whack.


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