Being Bruce -: June 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

9 "Healthy" Foods That Can Fool You

9 "Healthy" Foods That Can Fool You

Guest Post by Denis Faye
During my 1970s childhood in South Dakota, my mom used to order something called the "Diet Plate." Common in most Sioux Falls–area and greater-Minnesota region restaurants, it consisted of a scoop of cottage cheese, a couple of canned peach halves still dripping syrup, a hamburger patty, some iceberg lettuce, and a sprig of parsley. Hungry yet?

Fresh Fruit

While delicious by mid–20th century Midwestern standards, it wasn't nearly as calorie-restrictive as you'd think when compared to the chicken-fried steak and baked potato my dad was eating across the table. Still, the perception was that this was diet food, most likely because each element in the Diet Plate had a vague resemblance to another healthier foodstuff (except the hamburger, that is).
It'd be nice to think we've transcended the South Dakota Diet Plate. Sadly, this isn't the case. Even today, there are dozens of foods we fool ourselves into thinking are healthful when in truth they do nothing but pad our hips and arteries. Here are 9 of the worst offenders on your grocery store shelves.

1. Yogurt

It starts out as good stuff. Fat aside, there's the calcium and protein you find in all milk products, along with probiotics, which make it easier to digest for those with lactose issues. The only problem is that straight yogurt can be pretty bitter, so manufacturers load the stuff with sugar and masquerade those carbs as fruit in an effort to make the whole thing more palatable. Have a look at most flavored yogurt and you'll find the second ingredient to be sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. One container of Yoplait® Original Strawberry has 170 calories, with 5 grams of protein and 33 grams of carbohydrates, 27 of which are sugar. Oddly enough, these are the exact same nutrition facts for Yoplait's other, less healthy-sounding flavors, including Key Lime Pie and White Chocolate Raspberry.

Solution: Buy plain yogurt and flavor it yourself. You'd be amazed at how far a handful of raspberries or a tablespoon of honey will go to cut the bitter taste.

2. Wheat Bread

Slice of BreadWhole-grain wheat is better for you than refined wheat. By keeping the bran and germ, you maintain the naturally occurring nutrients and fiber. But, for some reason, manufacturers constantly come up with new ways to lead you back to the refined stuff. One of their latest tricks is to refer to refined flour as "wheat flour" because, obviously, it's made of wheat. But just because it's wheat-based doesn't mean it's not refined. The distracted shopper can mistake this label for "whole wheat flour" and throw it in his cart. Another loaf of cruddy, refined, fiberless bread has a new home.

Solution: Slow down when you read the label. That word "whole" is an important one.

3. Chicken

Just because you made the switch from red meat doesn't mean you're in the clear. Three ounces of raw chicken breast, meat only, has 93 calories, 19.5 grams of protein, and 1.2 grams of fat. Three ounces of dark meat (wings, thighs, and legs), meat only, has 105 calories, 18 grams of protein, and 3.6 grams of fat. It may not seem like much, but it adds up.

Solution: Go for the breast, and while you're at it, ditch the skin. It's nothing but fat.

4. Frozen or Canned Fruit

Pineapple RingsAny food swimming in juice or "light syrup" isn't good for you. Furthermore, most canned fruit is peeled, meaning you're being robbed of a valuable source of fiber. Frozen fruit is a little trickier. Freezing preserves the fruit itself, but some manufacturers add sugar during the freezing process to preserve color and taste.

Solution: Read that ingredients list! You want it to say fruit, water—and that's it.

5. Canned Vegetables

"What?!" you declare. "There's light syrup in canned string beans too?!" Nope—actually, they add salt to preserve this produce. A half-cup serving of canned string beans has approximately 300 to 400 milligrams of sodium.

Solution: Many companies offer "no salt added" options. If you can't find one to your liking, go frozen instead—many of these don't contain salt. Or better yet, buy what's fresh and in season.

6. Peanut Butter

Grind up peanuts, maybe add a little salt. How hard is it to make that taste good?

Apparently, it's so difficult that many companies feel compelled to add sugar or high-fructose corn syrup into the mix. Why? I don't know. Some manufacturers, such as Skippy®, are up front enough to admit this and call their product "Peanut Butter Spread," but many others still refer to this sugary concoction as good old "peanut butter."

Solution: Read the label. (There's a theme emerging here.) Considering real peanut butter has one ingredient—two ingredients, max—it shouldn't be too hard to figure it out.

7. Juice

Green SmoothieThe range in the nutritional value of store-bought juices is massive. On one end, you have "fruit drinks" with barely any actual juice in them. On the other end, you have fresh-squeezed, 100% preservative-free juices like Odwalla® and Naked Juice®. But no matter which you choose, it's important to remember that it's never going to be as healthy as whole fruit. And if you're trying to lose weight, it's a flat-out bad idea.

First off, it's been stripped of fiber, so you absorb it faster, which makes it more likely to induce blood sugar spikes. Secondly, you consume it faster and it's less filling, so you're more likely to drink more.

There are a few instances when juice is okay. For example, a home juicer can make predominately veggie-based drinks that are loaded with vitamins and minerals and lower in calories. If you're using this as part of a supervised juice fast, or you're trying to target a particular nutrient while concurrently not trying to lose weight, go for it. Otherwise, it's simply not worth it.

Solution: If you must buy it, go fresh-squeezed, but you're usually better off just skipping it entirely.

8. Canned Soup

As is also the case with canned veggies, you're entering a sodium minefield. Half a cup of Campbell's® Chicken Noodle Soup has about 37% of the recommended daily allowance—and who eats half a cup?

Solution: Read those labels carefully. Most companies make low-sodium versions.

9. Fat-Free Salad Dressing

Dressing by definition is supposed to be fatty, and thus, highly caloric. You use a little bit of it, and in doing so, you get a healthy hit of the fats you need for a nutritionally balanced diet. Unfortunately, people prefer to buy fat-free versions so they can drown their greens while avoiding excess fat. Nothing's free. All this stuff does is replace the fat with carbs and salt, so you've basically gone from pouring a little healthy unsaturated fat on your salad to dumping on a pile of sugar.

Solution: Make your own salad dressing. One part vinegar and one part olive oil with a blob of Dijon mustard makes an awesome vinaigrette. And here's another trick: Make your salad in a sealable container, add a tiny bit of dressing, and shake it up. It'll coat so much more than tossing will.

And finally, make that salad with romaine lettuce, spinach, or some other nutrient-rich leafy green. As far as we're concerned, nutrient-poor iceberg lettuce should have gone the way of the South Dakota Diet Plate.
Note: Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Big Announcements from Summit - Vanilla Shakeology and Focus T25

The Beachbody Coach Summit is our national Team Beachbody convention.

Summit is awesome this year. You couldn't fall down anywhere in the MGM Grand without hitting a Team Beachbody Coach. There are 7,000+ of us here, about double the number from last year and this place (which if you've never been here is totally huge, like you can't believe how huge - 6,852 rooms and it's the largest hotel-resort complex in the United States), anyway, this place is SEETHING with Team Beachbody Coaches.

There are so many of us that the typical Vegas hotel clientele just stop and stare at so many fit and healthy folks walking through - usually at a brisk pace - off to one event or another in the complex. From parties, to training workshops to team meetings (go UFT!) to general sessions in the MGM Grand Arena, there is loads going on.

Two big announcements - and we're promised by Tony, Jeff, and Michael that these will be the primary announcements so that everyone can focus on them for the summer- the launch of Shaun T's Focus T25 (which we all knew was coming) and, the big surprise, Vanilla Shakeology!!!

Focus T25

I had kinda thought (before) that Focus T25 would be a condensed, extreme version of Insanity - not so! Focus T25 is for everyone - there are three phases and each can be modified. The base Focus T25 package comes with Alpha and Beta phases. Alpha teaches the basic moves and techniques (including low impact) and Beta takes it up a big notch in speed. There's also a Gamma phase upgrade that goes crazy. Most people will be challenged enough to get great workouts from Alpha and Beta, I believe.

So check it out and learn about it - Focus T25 may be the best recommendation for many people.

Here's a link to a video that tells all about Focus T25. CLICK HERE.

Special Promotion - Focus T25 Challenge Pack So also, one last biggie about Focus T25. Starting Monday, June 24 through the end of July the Focus T25 Challenge Pack will be available at a special launch price of $180 (August 1st it goes to it's normal price of $205). You can see it starting on June 24 at

Vanilla Shakeology

The big surprise yesterday was the announcement of Vanilla Shakeology. For years Beachbody has been trying to find a good source of real vanilla (not fake GMO crap) that is strong enough to mask the flavors of the other superfoods in Shakeology. They almost launched a version in 2010 but canned it because the proposed 'natural', 'FDA-approved' flavoring was horse pucky (oops, I meant 'not good' stuff). Now they've got the real deal, with organically grown, handcut vanilla from Madagascar. This will be huge for our Shakeology business. Gonna try some today at the CORE (the mega Beachbody store that's part of Summit).

Here's a video that tells the story of the brand new Vanilla Shakeology: CLICK HERE.

So those are the two biggies from Summit. Wish you were all here!!!

In fitness and health,


Monday, June 10, 2013

How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

Ask the Expert: How Much Protein Do You Need?

By Denis Faye What's with all the obsessing over protein lately? It seems like half the western world thinks too much protein will destroy their kidneys, make them pee ammonia, and rot their insides. The other half shovel down tons of the stuff, believing massive protein consumption is the only path to achieving epic hugeness.

There's a thin thread of truth to both of these assumptions, but for the most part they're oversimplifications. Let's set the record straight.

Meal Replacement

What is protein?

Protein is made up of amino acids, the body's primary building blocks. Muscles, bones, skin, internal organs, and enzymes—and much more—are all made of protein. Protein also regulates fluids and pH.
For your body to function at its best, it needs 20 different amino acids, 11 of those your body makes. The other nine—known as "essential amino acids"—come from your diet. (There used to be eight, but it was recently discovered that adults can't synthesize histidine.) Any protein that contains all nine essential amino acids in adequate levels is called a "complete protein."

Complete proteins are important because amino acids work as a team. If you're low on one essential amino acid, the rest of them can't do their jobs at an optimal level.

How do I know if my diet contains all nine essential amino acids?

Beans and Brown RiceThe easy answer—and some of you aren't going to like it—is to eat animal products. Just like us, animals are made of protein, including the nine essentials. (We're made of them too, technically, but we need to continually replenish them via diet.)

Luckily for those of us who aren't into the whole "animal hostility" thing, there are plenty of complete protein sources out there that are plant based. Hemp and soy contain all nine essential amino acids. You can also eat a combination of legumes (beans and peas) and grains to get all the essential amino acids. The classic example of this is rice and beans. (For the record, you don't need to eat them together. Just get them both at some point during the day.)

Of course, there's also the middle road. Eggs and dairy are both good complete protein sources.

But, what's the best source of protein?

EggsFrom a dietary perspective, any complete protein will get the job done. It's what comes with the protein that you need to consider.

Eggs are a perfect example. Egg whites are about the purest source of protein you'll find in nature. No fat and minimal carbs. (Very few vitamins or minerals though, if you're keeping score.) Sometimes, that's pretty useful. You'll find egg whites in the P90X® and INSANITY® Nutrition Plans because we're trying to target exact macronutrient amounts.

The yolk, however, changes the game considerably. There's a little protein in yolks, but they're mostly fat—and they're loaded with micronutrients. So if you're looking for the maximum health benefit, your best bet is to eat the whole egg. But when you do that, it's important to note that you're getting a protein and a fat source.

In fact, most animal products will have a balance of fat and protein—and some of that fat is super-valuable. Fish, particularly salmon, anchovies, and sardines, are loaded with good, essential omega-3 fatty acids.

Plant-based protein tends to go the opposite direction. They're loaded with carbs. That's why a high-protein, vegan diet is almost impossible unless you want to fill up on isolated protein powder the whole day. I don't know about you, but I prefer getting most of my nutrition from real food, as opposed to a bunch of tubs.

Whatever. What proteins should I eat to maximize my workout?

Protein DrinkHold on, tiger, I was getting to that. When you get into sports nutrition, choosing specific sources of protein matters more. In fact, you're generally better off looking to supplements as opposed to whole foods.

When considering sports performance, dairy cows don't generally come to mind (unless you're a cowboy or you're just weird), but whey and casein—the two proteins derived from milk—are terrific supplements.

Whey protein is the fastest absorbing, making it great for quickly delivering protein into muscles after a workout so they can begin the recovery process. Before bed, casein is best. Because your muscles absorb casein slowly, it will feed them all night long. While the musclehead theory that the body catabolizes muscle in sleep unless you eat protein before bed is silly, current research shows that a little sleepy time casein can aid recovery.

You might also want to consider branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) if you're an exerciser on a P90X or INSANITY level. BCAAs appear to be the go-to amino acids for energy production in muscles during strenuous exercise. Also, a number of studies show that they inhibit muscle breakdown during intense exercise.1

Rad! So I should consume tons of those proteins all day, right?

Um, no. Unlike carbs and fat, the body has no way of storing protein. We are not protein camels. Excess amino acids are not turned into bonus muscle, nor are they "peed out," so emulating Eric Cartman is not the way to go, even if you want to look like beefcake. If you eat more protein than you need, it's converted into either glucose or adipose tissue (fat). In order to convert protein to glucose, it goes through a process called deamination, which produces ammonia, which is toxic to our cells, so it's converted to a substance called urea and excreted through urine. We don't pee out excess protein, just its stinky byproduct.

Dude, you're still not telling me how much I need.

You're right. I'm geeking out. The general scientific consensus is that you can use about 30 grams of protein (for amino acid functions) in one sitting. That's about 4 ounces of meat. Of course, if you're larger than average, that number increases.2

Over a day, you need about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. (Plenty of Internet "experts" confuse kilograms with pounds on this one. Pesky metric system. To determine your weight in kilograms, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2.) If you're a heavy exerciser, that number climbs, peaking at 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, according to International Society of Sports Nutrition.3

Odds are, if you exercise regularly, you're somewhere in the middle, somewhere around 1.5 grams. If you're injured, sick, or really broken down, eat more protein. You need raw materials to repair yourself!

Why don't I just pile on the protein just to make sure?

Remember, the body doesn't convert excess protein into giant muscles. And there are other issues that come up with overdoing protein for a prolonged period. This is one of the reasons we typically suggest people don't want Xers to go past six weeks on the Phase 1 Fat Shredder.

When you eat a protein-centric diet, you're also eating less carbs and fat, both of which tend to be the primary transports for vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and a host of other goodies. Also, going protein crazy can cause metabolic acidosis, when the body's fluids become overly acidic.4 So a brief high-protein phase for weight loss is okay, but don't go too far beyond a month or so. Finally, if you have existing kidney issues, a very high-protein diet can be harmful as the kidneys play a huge role in processing protein.

Protein is neither a magic muscle elixir nor a toxic kidney killer. If you're trying to get huge, realize that those tubs of targeted amino acids will only benefit you if they're part of a balanced diet. If you're trying to lose weight, stop avoiding fruits and veggies because they're "carbs" and eat less junk food (i.e., refined carbs). As is the case with most things, a good diet is all about balance.






Friday, June 7, 2013

Beachbody Literally Saved Janice's Life

Beachbody home exercise programs helped Janice lose weight and get in better shape than when she was in the military! Along with Shakeology her doctors credited her exercise with saving her life from dangerous blood clotting.

In Janice's own words:

"They say that once you get married you’re supposed to live “happily ever after.” Well, after getting pregnant soon after tying the knot, gaining 60 lbs., and ballooning up to 200 big ones, I was the farthest thing from happy. But thanks to the inspiration from a late night Brazil Butt Lift infomercial, I lost 45 pounds. Then I got pregnant again and gained it all back, plus 10 more.

I was so depressed that I wanted to cover all the mirrors in the house and barricade myself inside. Nothing fit, my joints hurt, and I kept my husband away from me with a 10-foot pole. All I did was sleep, eat, and mope around. But when my son was 3 months old I decided that enough was enough. I was tired of being the lazy mom whose kids had to stay inside all the time. I wanted energy. I wanted to look and feel great. And I wanted them to look up to me and realize that exercise is good, and being healthy is the right choice in life! So I dusted off my Brazil Butt Lift DVDs, added Shakeology to my diet, and pushed harder than I ever had in my life.

But I gotta say, sticking to a daily exercise routine and eating healthy was a huge challenge. So I used my anger of being overweight to push myself, and soon I really started to like the burn and soreness from the routines because I felt like I was doing something right! Brazil Butt Lift was great because it shaped and toned my thighs. Plus, I lost a LOT on my arms and waist. The program was super easy to follow, even for someone who weighed 186 lbs.

After Brazil Butt Lift, I moved on to P90X, which gave me abs as well as some nice arm muscles. Next up was Turbo Fire, which significantly decreased my “Mommy Pouch.” These programs have changed my life and made me feel extremely proud of myself and helped me love my body again. It's been awesome to hear compliments on my transformation after being in a dark depression from being overweight. But I can’t give all the credit for my transformation to the workouts because Shakeology played a HUGE role in my success. It gave me energy, lowered my cholesterol, decreased my chronic migraines, made my hair and nails stronger, and fixed my chip and sugar cravings. Now I wake up before my kids and complete my To-Do list twice as fast as I used to.

Even though I’m so thankful that I lost 58 lbs., I’m MOST thankful for the fact that Brazil Butt Lift and Shakeology saved my life—literally. One day I ended up in the ER due to chest pain and shortness of breath. After a few tests they discovered blood clots in both lungs and said that if I wasn't in such good shape and hadn’t been getting all my vitamins and minerals from Shakeology that I could have been the “one in three people” who DIE from this! But I was in such great shape that I fought off what could have killed me. So Beachbody, you really did save my life. Thank you!

In about a year and a half, I went from a 38” waist to a 26. Lost 4” in my chest, 3” in my arms, and 8.5” in my thighs. My body fat dropped from over 35% down to 16%, and I’m in better shape now than when I was in the Military. I’ve exceeded every expectation and feel great! "

For more info about Beachbody home exercise programs and Shakeology, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Quinoa Burgers - First Attempt Fail, Second Try Awesome!

My first ever cooked quinoa burger. Read on to see how I made it.

After I posted a photo of one of our quinoa salad recipes last week our daughter sent me a recipe, or rather an ingredients list, for quinoa burgers she'd had at a restaurant in southern Maine.

Here's the original ingredient list:
black beans
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese
bread crumbs
sauteed onions and peppers

When I asked her about amounts she said the proprietress said she didn't measure, she just put in "enough". She also said that some recipes she saw called for egg whites to help bind it all together but she didn't use them because it seemed icky to her.

So, as you can tell, the recipe was kinda loose. Here's my ingredient list:
1 cup of dry organic red quinoa with two cups of water - yields about 4 cups cooked
1 cup of mixed dry black beans and pinto beans - soaked overnight and cooked
1/2 cup of frozen corn cooked
1/2 cup of chopped onions and 1/2 cup of chopped green bell pepper, sauteed in extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup of Progresso plain bread crumbs
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
3 egg whites
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

So I mixed it all up and then used a cup measure to create each burger. Basically I got a cup full and then compressed it with a spoon and popped the somewhat tight burger onto a piece of wax paper. This ended up with seven good-sized burgers.

The next step was to cook them. I was a bit leery about grilling them as is, which is what the restaurant owner said she did, but maybe a restaurant grill is different from our gas Weber. So I tried with just one burger. Here's what it looked like on the grill:

So it looks like it's maybe OK, right? Well, flipping it was a challenge. After cooking for about 3 minutes on a side (medium high heat), I took it off the grill and it was a mess.

Here's what the grilled burger looked like (after a bit of reconstruction):

And here's what the grill looked like:

So, even though the direct-on-the-grill quinoa burger actually TASTED DELICIOUS, it wasn't something we'd ever serve to guests and it really was kind of a mess.

So next we decided to wrap the remaining six burgers in aluminum foil:

And put them in a grill top cooker we bought years ago (I forget its original purpose, maybe for grilling shrimp).

We eventually decided to cook just three of them so we'd get two meals from the six burgers (figuring we'd each have one and a half). Here they are on the grill:

Again we cooked them about three minutes on a side, with the grill top closed about half the time.

Here's the final result:

So maybe it doesn't look like a burger, and it doesn't taste like beef, but I gotta tell ya, it was fabulous (is it OK to use that word?).  We served it with Roasted Root Medley (a combination of sweet potatoes, carrots, white potatoes, and onions) and with cantaloupe with fresh strawberries. And guess what? Neither of us had room for the extra half of the third burger, so we saved it for another meal.

Bottom line, GREAT veggie burgers. Can't call 'em vegan because of the egg whites, so try it without if you'd like (maybe with a bit more olive oil to held bind them together?).

The Rock n Roll Lifestyle Nearly Did James In

In James' own words:

"All I ever wanted to be was a Rock Star. So after high school, I hit the road to make my dream come true. The ups: meeting people, traveling, and performing. The downs: terrible eating habits, dollar menus, and massive amounts of booze. But then I gave it all up when my daughter was born. What I didn’t give up were my bad eating habits. And since I was no longer jumping around a stage like a madman every night, I quickly ballooned up to 240 pounds! Not only was disgusted with myself, I was exhausted all the time and couldn’t keep up with my kid—so I turned to P90X.

Sure, P90X was hard. But what was even harder was giving up the donuts and cheeseburgers. Pathetic, right? Because I didn’t change my diet at first, I barely saw any results. Of course I blamed it on the workouts. Then I found my Beachbody Coach, the P90X nutrition guide, and the Beachbody message boards—and those three things are what got me in line. After plowing through P90X and getting in shape, I had no choice but to do the sequel.

I thought I got great results with P90X, but after doing P90X2, I was blown away. P90X2 was great because it really strengthen my core, which was my weak link (which isn't so weak anymore). My abs are now so much more defined and my stability has greatly improved.

Throughout my transformation I used three Beachbody supplements. Energy &Endurance Pre-Workout Formula®—which gave me a good kick in the pants early each morning. It lit my fire and helped me focus on the task at hand. I also took Results and Recovery Formula®. Man, this stuff is DELICIOUS—and effective! I remember trying to do a Chest and Back workout without it and it was brutal. Then there’s Shakeology®. If I had to choose one supplement to use for the remainder of my journey, Shakeology would be it. After just the first week, I’d wake up in a better mood and full of energy. Finally, my body felt fueled. Now I'm more upbeat and much happier. I can't imagine a day without it.

Thanks to Beachbody, I'm no longer the person I used to be. Gone is that guy who used to walk into a convenience store and head straight for the hotdog rack. Now I'm a product of the product. Friends and family have noticed my change and want to know how I did it, so I tell them. I've developed a passion—no, an obsession for this lifestyle and for helping others. I know I’m setting a great example for my daughter, my friends, and my family—and it feels amazing. Every day I look in the mirror and marvel at my progress, which makes me push even harder. I’m so excited to see where I can take this body of mine. Thanks Beachbody. And my daughter thanks you too!"

We have a P90X and Shakeology Challenge Group starting June 17. Let me know if you'd like to join us for this virtual workout group. For info on the combined P90X Challenge Pack, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Jessica lost 45 pounds in 3 months with TurboJam and Shakeology!

In Jessica's own words:

"Teenagers should NOT weigh 180 pounds. Especially girls. But I did. I wasn’t happy about it. I just accepted it as who I was, and who I’d always be. I figured that I couldn't lose weight even if I tried—so I didn’t try. Instead, I laid around, ate junk, and avoided exercise. I was hiding from the world, didn’t want to talk to people, make friends, or express my opinion. I felt like a prisoner in my own body and hated it. I absolutely hate it!

But then I got tired of not being able to fit into clothes. Nothing in my closet fit anymore and when I did go shopping, all the sizes were too small. I so badly wanted to look good in clothes so I could feel like myself and have my own style. I wanted to be skinny and have abs like the fitness trainers on TV. But I knew that the longer I waited to lose the weight, the harder it would be to get rid of it. Then one day I flipped the channel to a Turbo Jam infomercial and instantly became inspired. I heard the testimonials and thought: They did it, so why not me?

The first time I did Turbo Jam it was so much fun that it didn't feel like exercise at all! And sticking with the workouts was easy because I didn't have to go to a boring gym and could do it in the privacy of my own home. I also liked how the program incorporated dance, fitness, punching, and kicking—which made me feel powerful and strong. The music matched the workouts and Chalene’s energy gave me energy. Her tips were useful and she was so motivating that each time I worked out, I was inspired to do better than the last. With Turbo Jam, I had found my soul mate. But it wasn’t just exercise that helped me shed the pounds, it also had a lot to do with Shakeology. Because Shakeology is sweet like dessert, it curbed my cravings and helped me put down the junk. Plus, it’s so nutritious that my body finally got what it needed to function properly.

I’m so proud of myself for losing 45 pounds when I was so young. Turbo Jam completely toned my body and gave me more muscle than I ever thought was possible. And the best part—I entered High School with a new body, tons of confidence, and a wonderful wardrobe. Because of everything I learned, I now make healthy food choices and don't miss eating junk food one bit because it makes me feel gross (and I’d rather feel light and fantastic).

I started working out to lose weight and to fit in clothing, but now I do it to have energy, feel confident, and get pumped up for the day. Now, I truly believe that I can do ANYTHING and nothing can stop me. Since completing Turbo Jam in ‘08, I’ve done Turbo Fire, INSANITY, and P90X and can’t believe how much my life has changed. It makes me feel so good knowing I’ve inspired friends and family to become healthier, too. It just goes to show you that anything is possible if you're determined to get there! Thanks Beachbody—for the new me."

If you'd like to try it yourself (with a 30-day money back guarantee), Beachbody offers a TurboJam Challenge Pack with both TurboJam and Shakeology at a discounted price. For info, CLICK HERE.

Get Back to Pre-Baby Weight!

Would you like to get back to your pre-baby weight? Kattlaya did just that with TurboFire and Shakeology. Real people, real results with Beachbody.

In Kattlaya's own words:

"After I first got married, every night became date night. We had so much fun, but that’s when the weight started to pile on. By the time I got pregnant with my first baby, I was at my heaviest—167 pounds. But I wasn’t worried. Everyone said nursing would take care of the weight.

But it didn’t. And by the time I was pregnant with my second child, my husband and I were living in Okinawa and I was a mess. I shot up from a size 4 to a size 12 and I felt horrible, sick, embarrassed, ashamed. Even worse, I felt like a bad mother because I was too obese to do anything. I was living in paradise, but too fat to enjoy it.

When my child’s teacher took maternity leave, I friended her on Facebook and watched as she shared her post-baby TurboFire® transformation. I was amazed. And so inspired, I decided to give TurboFire a try.

And am I glad I did! TurboFire is SO fun and addicting, I can’t stand to miss a day. Chalene makes it so much fun. Every time I was ready to quit, Chalene would say, “YOU’RE NOT TIRED!” and I would just keep going. But the best part is the “after burn effect”—it felt like the weight was just melting off. And it was. I lost 29 pounds and 25 inches! I went from a size 12 to a size 4. I never, ever thought I would be that size again.

My life is so different. At one point, I was eating fast food once—okay, maybe two times a day. But Shakeology changed that. Shakeology curbed my cravings for sweets—especially chocolate.

Losing the weight was great. Dropping sizes was awesome. But here’s the best part of my transformation—before I started, my doctor said I had to make major changes if I didn’t want to go on cholesterol medication. That was a real wake up—at 27, I didn’t want to be on medication for the rest of my life.

Thanks to TurboFire and Shakeology, my cholesterol levels drooped so far my doctor is amazed. At my last checkup, he said to keep doing what I’m doing.

And that’s exactly what I plan to do. As a TurboFire fanatic. As a Beachbody Coach. And as a mom who’s so thankful she can now be the kind of mom she always wanted to be—active, healthy, and fit enough to play with her kids. Thanks Beachbody!"

For the best deal on a Challenge Pack including TurboFire and Shakeology, CLICK HERE.

Save Big on Combat! This month only

Les Mills Combat home workout program from Beachbody is one of the newest exercise programs and already one of the most popular. From the awesome variety of martial arts moves and routines to the great music Les Mills Combat rocks!

Check out this sale, available for this month only!

Check out this sale, available for this month only!

Act now to take advantage of our best offer ever
on the LES MILLS COMBAT Challenge Pack!
This is everything you need to achieve your best results:
7 calorie-blasting and muscle-defining mixed martial arts workouts.
A 30-Day supply of Shakeology®, the Healthiest Meal of the Day®, delivered
through Home Direct, our monthly autoship program.
A FREE 30-day VIP Trial Membership to the Team Beachbody® Club.

For more info, or to order, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

5 Ways to Boost Your Willpower and Beat Temptation

by Kara Wahlgren

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm the first person to curse my weak willpower when I find myself polishing off a bag of tortilla chips or skipping a Piloxing class. But I may have to find a new excuse, because apparently I—and maybe you too—have gotten the whole idea of willpower completely wrong.

Most of us believe that willpower is some innate, magical quality that only a lucky few are born with enough of to reach the goals they set for themselves. But according to scientists and psychologists who specialize in this sort of thing, what we call "willpower" is actually just a one-two punch of self-control and smart decision–making strategies.

On one hand, that's bad news for anyone—ahem, me—who likes to use lack of willpower as an excuse for falling off the weight loss wagon. On the other hand, it's good news because it means you can hone your willpower like any other skill. And, just like doing push-ups, it gets easier the more you do it. Here are five easy ways to tap into your willpower (or whatever you want to call it).

1. Change how you define willpower.

You have it or you don't, right? Wrong. Instead of thinking of willpower as a genetic gift, think of it as a game plan. "Instead of saying, 'I have no willpower,' ask yourself how to handle the situation," says registered dietitian Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D., and author of Diabetes Weight Loss—Week by Week. Think you just can't give up your soda habit? Can't stick to a gym routine? Can't make yourself eat veggies? Think again. "When my patients say, 'I can't,' they usually mean, 'I choose not to,' or, 'I haven't yet figured out how to,'" Weisenberger says. "There is a solution to most problems. You have to look for it and then practice that strategy." Another fun fact? Through his research, willpower expert Roy Baumeister discovered that those who believe willpower is finite tend to run out of it. Those who believe that willpower is not a limited resource continue to be able to tap into it when they need it. Believe in your willpower, find a few strategies that work for you to set yourself up for success, and voilá, you'll have the willpower you need.

2. Set yourself up for success.

Woman Eating Chips

You've probably heard the adage that luck is where preparation meets opportunity. The same can be said for willpower—a little prep work can help you make healthy choices. "One of the best things you can do is create an environment that will help you be successful," says Mitzi Dulan, R.D., coauthor of The All-Pro Diet. "Avoid buying chips and cookies. If you buy chocolate, buy bite-size." Look at it this way—if you can resist buying chips at the grocery store, you only have to resist temptation once. If you buy the chips, you'll have to resist temptation every single time you walk past your kitchen.

3. Respect your R&R.

In House of Cards, Kevin Spacey's character Frank Underwood quips, "I never make big decisions so long after sunset and so far before dawn." Sure, Underwood is a manipulative villain, but it's not a bad strategy—lack of sleep can impair your ability to make smart decisions. "Both stress and sleep deprivation affect hormones that may impact our appetite and food choices," Weisenberger says. "Adequate sleep and appropriate stress management aren't optional—they are as critical as eating your fruits and vegetables and being physically active." No matter how busy you are, make sure you get a good night's sleep and carve out a few minutes each day to de-stress. It can make a world of difference to your willpower.

4. Keep your sugar in check.

Bowl Full of Jelly Beans

It's harder to stick to your diet when you're hungry—not exactly breaking news, right? But it's not just pure hunger that's getting in your way, or else you'd be just as satisfied with a handful of carrots as a handful of cookies. The real problem is that glucose levels seem to play a big role in self-control, so the hungrier you get, the harder it becomes to choose healthy foods over calorie-laden comfort foods. Last year, Baumeister wrote in the APA Monitor on Psychology that low glucose levels can reduce self-control—so eat before you're famished if you want to improve your odds of resisting junk-food faves.

Oddly enough, Baumeister found that it also works the other way around—exercising self-control can actually lower your glucose levels. It's possible that the more decisions you have to make, the more your glucose levels dip, and the harder it is to make a healthy choice the next time. In other words, resisting that donut on your commute to work might make it harder to walk past the candy dish in the office, or turn down greasy takeout at lunch. So rather than relying on sheer self-control, see if you can find ways to avoid tempting situations—for example, find a route to work that doesn't pass your favorite bakery. That way, you'll have plenty of willpower left for the temptations you can't avoid.

5. Focus on tomorrow's goal, not today's mistakes.

When you're on a weight loss regimen, it's easy to obsess over the occasional slip-up—a high-calorie snack here, a skipped workout there—and lose sight of your long-term goal. But the ability to rally after a setback may be more important than the ability to make virtuous decisions all the time. Angela Duckworth, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, coined the term "grit" for people who stay focused on a long-term goal, come hell or high water. "The gritty individual approaches achievement as a marathon," Duckworth said in a 2007 study. "Whereas disappointment or boredom signals to others that it is time to change trajectory and cut losses, the gritty individual stays the course."

So the next time you're tempted to curse your lack of willpower, remember that self-control is a skill—and like any skill, you'll screw up a few times while you're learning it. What's important is that you keep going. "Determine your weak areas or obstacles and make a plan to overcome them. Put your plan into practice, evaluate it and adjust it if necessary. And expect to stray from the plan and know that you can keep moving forward," Weisenberger says. "Eating fast food doesn't make you bad at following your diet any more than having a fender bender makes you a bad driver."

Body Beast Success Story - Rui

Rui went from mush to ripped with Beachbody's Body Beast.

In Rui's own words:

"My days of eating whatever I wanted and it NOT impacting my body are long gone. At 29, my metabolism is very different now than what it was even a few years back. Not wanting to let my body turn into complete mush, I decided it was time to clean up my eating as well as adopt a fitness routine that would give me that extra edge. I hunted around for a while and was bummed that I couldn’t find a workout that gave me the kind of results I so badly desired. Then one day an old college buddy (who’s now a Beachbody Coach) showed me his Body Beast® transformation video and I was hooked—he looked AMAZING! The second I saw his results I said, “That's EXACTLY what I want! And I’m going to get it, no matter what. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is going to get in my way.”

I chose Body Beast because I really wanted to bulk up, not slim down. And unfortunately, it’s really hard for my body to gain muscle; but when it comes to packing on the fat, I gain that like nobody’s business. Early on in the program I quickly realized that my biggest hurdle was making the right meals choice to support my workouts. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition—it really makes you or breaks you—and I wanted it to make me. So I joined Coach Charlie’s Body Beast Facebook Group where we shared recipes that are guy-friendly, as well as shared ideas on how to prepare our meals by doing things like cooking in bulk on the weekends so you have healthy options throughout the week.

The other key player in my transformation was drinking Shakeology® every single day. And since I'm always on the run in the mornings, instead of grabbing some empty calorie junk at a deli on the way to work, I drink my Shakeology and it sets me up for success throughout the rest of the day. Shakeology’s awesome. It’s fast, it’s healthy, and it fights off hunger between meals. I’m hooked.

But the best part of Body Beast is its overall mentality of BEAST UP! That attitude really gets me going. Plus, Sagi’s a great trainer. He's motivational and he has the perfect beast mentality. Overall, I feel so much better now that I beasted up with this program and changed my diet. I have so much more stamina, and feel healthier and sexier. You name it, I feel it. To sum it up, I feel like The Terminator: Stronger, faster, smarter! Before Beast, I hadn’t seen my abs since I was in high school. I thought it was a lost cause. When I started seeing them again I was super proud of myself. I still can't believe it. Are they still there? (Checking now) OK. They’re still there—WOW!

When I look in the mirror and see the way my clothes now fit, I know I lost a ton of fat; I just replaced the flab with a ton of rock-solid muscle. I even beefed up my biceps by 2 inches and my body fat went from 13% to the single digit of 9%.

But I couldn’t have done it without my amazing Coach, Charlie. He’s been there for me every step of the way. From motivating me to do my workouts on days I felt lazy, to driving home the point that the nutrition is the MOST important part of the formula. Charlie has definitely played a huge role in my success—thanks buddy. And thanks Sagi and Beachbody. Because of you guys, I am now—The Beast."

For more info on Body Beast, CLICK HERE.

You can change your life, too. Take The Beachbody Challenge™, for the ultimate motivation to get fit! Select any Beachbody® program and once you complete it, share your results for your chance to win cash and prizes.

For more info on The Beachbody Challenge, CLICK HERE.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Beachbody Summer Sale June 3-10!

Take advantage of these great prices!! Quantities limited.

To access these great prices, CLICK HERE.

Let us know if you're able to take advantage of these great deals by commenting below.

Can a Gluten Free Diet Help with Weight Loss?

Have you ever wondered about this? I get asked this question fairly often. Here's a short video that answers the question.

What's your experience? Comment below, we're love your input.