Welcome to the seventeeth edition of "Ask Paul," where I answer a few of the questions I receive on the site. I get literally hundreds of questions every month from people all over the world, and a lot of them follow a pretty common theme. I've picked quite a few from the last few months and done my best to provide people with some insight and assistance.
If you have a question for me, click here and fill out my online form. I can't answer them all, but I'll try my best to get to yours.
One of my favorites of X-weighted is when you go into homes and look at what is in the fridge. I agree with most of what you thrown out but at the same time agree with the people that say "well what the heck do I eat?"
Can you do a video of your fridge and maybe tell us why you eat what you eat?
Thanks, I'm a big fan
Aaron from O’Leary
I will look into doing a video of my fridge. I will post it on my public facebook page. Great idea. Thanks
You've been a huge inspiration to me on my weight loss journey and i've lost 15 pounds. 🙂 my question is, how long does it take a fit person to do 20 lay-down standups? I did it in 1:10 minutes, is that good?
Jadine from Prince Albert
There is no standard I know of that measures fitness based on the lay down stand ups. I would say in my experience that a fit person should be able to do one rep every two to three seconds, so that would mean a time of 40-60 seconds to do twenty reps. Make sure you stand up completely straight after each repetition.
Now you have a goal, good luck
I currently teach Physed to a wonderful group of junior high girls. I strive to empower them with the knowledge to lead healthy, active lifestyles through modeling, engaging in a variety of activites in our classes, exposing them to different types of fitness (ex. Zumba) and having them personally reflect on their own fitness challenges/achievements. I was very fortunate to bring a group of my girls to the Season Premiere of the latest season of X-Weighted in the Fall of 2010...we were all inspired! My question to you is two-fold, do you have any suggestions as to what I can do to further inspire my girls in regards to their health/fitness (I worry constantly about their future health) AND do you have any suggestions as to what I could do for a fitness test with them at the beginning of the school year (I love the ones that I see on X-Weighted) that I could repeat with them throughout the year to show them how their fitness has improved?
Brianne from Edmonton
The best way to inspire I find is to show a genuine interest in other people’s lives. Ask questions, share stories, share quality life moments and be a good example yourself. For the fitness test try this one:
- 20 side to side bench jumps with hands supporting body on bench
- 20 lay down stand ups, chest and hips touch to full standing position
- 20 reverse lunges per leg (lunge jump lunges)
Total time it takes to complete all three.
Excellent is under 2min
Very good is under 3min
Average is under 4min
Needs work is over 4min
CI am moderately active (exercise 4-6 times a week). I am currently having problems with my lower back (it tends to go into spasms causing me to put aside working out until it gets better). Obviously this is a lose lose situation...I know my core area is weak and also having the excess weight does not help, but once I get myself in a good routine (regular running, love the trx training system my back tends to cease on me)....are there any moves I should completely avoid doing or ones that I should make as a priority? I am trying some yoga moves but once I feel a "pull" in my back, it frightens me...
Conney from Calgary
I recommend getting a postural or kinetic chain assessment from a qualified trainer. This identifies any joint dysfunctions you may have due to muscular imbalances. Sometimes stretching the right tight muscles, strengthening the right weak ones plus integrating your nervous and muscular systems with good movement patterns can alleviate back pain. There should be many trainers in private personal training studios in Calgary that can do this. You may want to try Talisman Center.
How are you, your looking good. I wrote you several years ago and I guess you wrote me off. I told you about how I needed both knees replaced. Well I didn't get it done instead my Orthopaedic surgeon told me to get Bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery he said it was a last resort so I' m getting myself ready for this surgery.He told me I was to pretty to just let my life go and I got great upper body cardio strengh so I'm hoping all works out. Let me know what you think and I will keep you posted. Your admirer Betsy.
Betsy from Toronto
Doing great thanks. Generally I am against any kind of surgery for weight loss unless someone’s life is in immediate danger because of their weight. Most people have not exhausted all resources and methods of lifestyle change that is needed for long term weight loss success. Don’t get the quick fix that comes with many complications unless absolutely necessary. If you have good cardio and upper body strength it does not seem like you are sick enough to get the surgery.
1) My boyfriend is a saboteur! He knowes im trying to eat healthy, yet he will buy chocolate bars and put them on my desk for me. He buys candy and while were watching TV he will continuously offer me some. Most of the time i say no but if the shows really good i stop thinking and end up eating the candy. What is your advice on dealing with people like this? 2) I was wondering if you ever indulge in unhealthy foods? Ever go to Mcdonalds for breakfast? or go for wings and beers an odd evening? Or are you so dedicated to your healthy lifestyle that cheating doesn't cross your mind?Thanks!P.S. You should move back to Hinton and become a personal trainer here. We don't have any private personal trainers in town. You'd make a killing! (i'd totally be your first customer!)
Lizz from Hinton
Sometimes people in our lives are like “weeds”. If you fall into a pattern of letting that “weed” grow by influencing the choices you make it is like you are watering it. Don’t water “weeds” instead you have to yank them. What that means is you have to make a decision in your life about what you are going to do about it, don’t let it spread.
I never do any fast food, especially McDonalds. My indulgence is pizza but good quality pizza made from scratch on site, with fresh ingredients. I also enjoy organic dark chocolate almonds as my sweet for the day.
Thanks for the invite to Hinton. I have to get back for some Gus’s Pizza real soon.
I have a great personal trainer who's helped me drop 24 lbs since January and I feel much better. My question is now he wants me to go running outside and I have really bad knees. One's been operated on twice and the other one is bad now too. Can I get the same benefit from running outside as I can with running on the treadmill that doesn't hurt as much as pavement? I've found if we do too many squats I can hardly walk the next day after our training session. Also he wants me to eat more eggs won't this raise my cholesterol count? Thank you
Debbie from Thornhill
I never recommend anyone take up a running program unless they have a postural assessment of their joint mechanics plus a run gait analysis. There is a technique to running that makes it more efficient plus decreases your chance of injury. If you can not perform that technique for some reason then you will eventually get injured. If you already have bad knees that is a caution you must take and get assessed first.
Running outside is better for you than on the treadmill. The treadmill causes an incorrect muscle firing sequence because the ground is moving from underneath your feet. It can possibly cause muscular imbalances in your body if used too much.
Eggs won’t raise your cholesterol. That is a myth.
I am a fitness trainer.. LOVE YOU !!
Question.. How old are you ?? My husband hates that I love you.. I love your thinking ..He doesn't always agree with you.. so that is funny.. he thinks your old .. I say No way.. In early 40's ? He says your 50 or so.. Do tell ? And tell me when you will be in Vancouver ??
Tammy from Port Coquitlam
I am actually 68yrs old. Just goes to show with the proper diet and training anyone can look good. Ha
I am 43
I am one of those people that sweats alot when I work out, especially intense cardio. Is it ok to drink a G2 (gatorade 2, 591ml) after to replenish the salts I need because I sweat so much? The G2 is only approx 50 cal in the one bottle and I usually only drink half after a big workout. I am worried if I just drink water I will flush out too much salts so I have both. Should I be drinking G2?
Allison from White Rock
Most fluid replacement drinks are just water, sugar, electrolytes and coloring. The rule is if you are training for more than 90min continuously in a hot humid environment then they can help replace some of the minerals lost through sweat better than water. Water without the extra calories is your best bet if controlling fat levels are important to you.
When you say "customized exercise and food programs" how customized do you mean? I'm very interested in getting back my post baby bod (post as in from my first child, 2 years ago!). I'm currently nursing and have a 2 year old and a 6 week old to look after. I need major customization!!!!
Thanks Paul! Love the show, wish you would come to Nova Scotia!
Jan from Wolfville
When someone orders an exercise or food plan from me I design all of them myself. I look at all the answers you provide to the questions I ask you and make up a plan that meets your weight loss, nutrition and fitness goals realistically long term. The other benefit is I encourage people to email me with any questions that arise as you begin to implement the plans. Once you sign up I am with you along the entire journey. I do not send you a plan and leave you on your own.
I've seen you use outdoor stairs to train people multiple times on X-weighted and I think that it is awesome! Stairs are such a great work out and really help get you that nice butt! I'm just wondering where these stairs are at in Edmonton and if there is any other outdoor workout "playgrounds" you recommend? I used to do the stairs in my apartment building but have since moved and why not take advantage and enjoy the outdoors when you work out right?
Thanks! Hope to hear back from you!
Megan from Edmonton
I find walking or running stairs as one of the best workouts you can do for the time spent exercising. You can get great cardio, calorie burning, leg endurance/strength/power (depending on how you do them) without excess impact on the body. The ones I use in Edmonton are by the Glenora Club just underneath the High Level Bridge.
Enjoy them but if you are then you are probably not doing them right.
I am an active member of my 5 person and 2 dog family. I walk my dogs almost every single day on my lunch (30 Minutes) and have just completed my first ever 5k in the Navy 5k in Halifax on August 21st with a clock time of 36:11. In this event, my husband pushed the stroller with my 30 lb 2.5 year old son in it, and I just ran. we did 10 minutes running with 1 minute walk. We were so happy to finish with such a great time. we are doing another 5 k on September 25th and the debate is weather to try to run each k faster or to try and get rid of the 1 minute walking. I know both are important to improve, but which one should we elimate or work or first?
Can't wait to see you in Sackville in September!
Liesje from Dartmouth
I would recommend trying to run each km faster and keep the one minute walk break. Running faster makes you move horizontally to the ground with more efficiency decreasing vertical running impact forces on the body. You will be faster and less prone to injury. Also try to increase the speed of your walk break. You will not lose that much time, you can recover enough to do your next run interval more quickly, have a chance to drink water and it breaks up your race into segments making it more manageable mentally.
First of all I love your contribution to the X Weighted series. I admire your direct tell it like it is non nonsense approach. I need to challenge you on your disdain for Peanut Butter though. Why are you so against it ? I use PB and mix it up with raw rolled oats for breakfast or a snack. I use 1 tbsp and .25 c of oats. I also spread it around a half banana and roll it in oats as well. It's satisfying and I thought healthy. I know it has a high fat content, so I wick the oil away by storing a papertowel in the jar and putting in a new one (to wick away more oil) each time I open the jar. The result is that the PB is much drier but still is tasty. Is PB really so bad ?
Kimberlee from Edmonton
The only reason I remove peanut butter from people’s homes on X-Weighted is that there are too many calories (100 in 1tablespoon) for the quantity of food you get in return. If you do not have weight issues and exercise regularly then peanut butter is fine to have daily in small amounts. Women who are only allowed up to 1500 calories per day metabolically shouldn’t waste 100 of them on something so little in quantity unless they absolutely love it and can’t live without it.
My husband and I have been having the same "discussion" over and over again. I enjoy walking (high speed, getting my heart rate up, 45-60 minutes a day). He enjoys the elliptical (I watch your show and I know that you don't care for this piece of equipment!). He always tells me that walking is NOT a form of exercise and that I'm wasting my time. Can you straighten him out please? Thanks Paul. I love your shows!
Lee from Calgary
Walking is a good form of exercise. It can even be an intense form of exercise if you walk up steep inclines or do sets of stairs. I like it better than the elliptical because it has a functional purpose to the body – it makes you a better walker-
There is no practical benefit to be better at the elliptical. A note of caution, if he is using the elliptical in a public gym chances he likes it is because it gives him a nice high perch to watch all the hot girls workout. You might want to have a talk with him about that.
I my name is samantha and i weigh 240 pounds and i am 5 foot 4 inches i was wondering how you can change your lifestyle so you lose weight i recently started a diet and i am taking fat burning pills and a lot of exercise i was just if this is the right move for me or do you have any advice for me because what ever i try to do it just dosent seem to work? Liesje (Lee-Sha)
Samantha from Saskatoon
Fat burning pills loaded with caffeine and amphetamines can help you lose fat but the long term consequences are not worth it: seizures, high blood pressure, stroke and even some deaths have been associated with taking these pills. In addition once you stop taking them your metabolic rate returns back to the original level and may be even suppressed further. NOT recommended.