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Entries in exercise (5)


I work all day in an office and can only exercise over my lunch hour so I really only get 45 minutes in. Other than that, I sit most of the day. I feel like I am not doing enough. Is there anything I can do in the office setting to increase my calorie burn?

Great question! When we sit for long periods of time we increase our risk of heart attack by over 50%! One of the easiest ways to make a change is to elevate your work space so you stand instead of sit. When you stand, you will “dance” back and forth between your feet and this will help you burn more calories. Also take every opportunity to walk around to speak to your coworkers rather than calling or e-mailing them. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. 


I know salmon and avocado are good for us, but are they good protein sources? Do they build muscle? Are there any other advantages to these two foods?

Salmon is high in protein, high in vitamin D and is considered an 'oily fish' because it is high in Omega 3 fatty acids. Avocados are high in mono-unsaturated fat and loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Avocados are high in fiber and have a slow release of energy  so they are very good for athletes.  Avocados and salmon are great foods to eat if you wish to fuel your body. The other advantage these two foods have is they are good, clean sources of healthy fats, protein, carbohydrates and fiber. Salmon, avocado, leafy green vegetables, colored peppers and other colorful fruits and vegetables in a salad will provide a person with all the nutrition we need.

To build muscle you need to lift weights to the point of muscle fatigue. If you simply consume these foods but do not engage in weight training, you will put on pounds in the form of fat, not in the form of lean muscle.  


What is the best exercises for women over 50 in pretty decent shape. Is it strenuous types or yoga/pilates. Want to know best way to just tone.

The best exercise is the one you will do and do consistently. Cardio exercise is important to maintain a healthy weight and to support our cardio-vascular health. However, as we age, we lose muscle mass so strength training with fairly heavy weights is highly recommended. Heavy weights mean you use enough to challenge and fatigue your muscles – at least 10 lb dumbbells. I teach weight training classes and too many women gravitate to the lightest body bars and weights. If the weight you use isn’t a challenge, it won’t do very much for you. Toning usually means we don’t want to bulk up which you won’t. Women don’t have enough testosterone to bulk up. The best way to tone is to lift weights that challenge your muscles and do numerous reps (12-20) for each exercise.


I have a very overweight friend who makes me feel guilty when I order healthy or go to the gym. I lost 40 pounds the hard way & she feels like I "rub it in" by making healthy choices. Help!!

Your friend, unfortunately is an enabler of bad behavior. What you are seeing here is not uncommon.

Whenever we succeed at almost anything, we are likely to encounter friends or others that either can’t or won’t succeed in the same way. Your success reminds your friend of his/her failure to deal with her weight issues. As long as you were “just like her,” you weren’t a threat in any way. She could discuss with you how hard it is to lose weight, that she’s tried everything and nothing works, that you are both “genetically designed” to be overweight, and so on as both of you commiserate about your inability to do anything about your problem. This is all just so much denial. Anyone can succeed at weight loss, it’s just that too many of us won’t make the real commitment. It’s difficult.

Actually your friend is trying to make you feel guilty and with any luck, get you to join her once again in the hopelessness of weight loss. Hopeless only because she is unwilling or unable to make the commitment. You remind her of her inability to do what you have done. You remind her of her failure to deal with weight loss.

I  wouldn’t expect her to change so hold your ground. You can and should try to encourage her to do what you have done. Gentle coercion works best! Remind her that it can be done and tell her to change things a little at a time. Tell her to give up that bedtime snack, stop drinking a couple of sodas a day, maybe give up that before or after dinner drink, start ordering meals that are more lean, revisit and re-do that grocery list, skip that dessert for a while, add an exercise class; these are all things that can be done over time and will work for her.

Don’t feel guilty about your success. Help her to find the same success!


I have vertigo and am unable to do sit-ups laying down. Is there another way of doing a sit-up?

Since you are asking about sit-ups, I am assuming you wish to develop your abdominals or core muscles. Core muscles are the muscles that make up your entire torso plus your gluts and shoulders. Sit-ups are not that effective of an exercise for the core, so there are plenty of things you can do instead. Exercises that have you stationary in a plank, either in a prone position or a supine position will strengthen the core including the ab muscles. Since you are constricting the muscles in an isometric way and not moving, you should not experience vertigo.  For an alternative to sit-ups, try the Roman chair or hanging rings. The Roman chair is done by supporting yourself in an upright position with the forearms and bringing the legs or knees to the abs. Hanging rings are suspended from the ceiling to provide support. The plank can be done in a prone position from the rings or the same movement mimicking the Roman chair can be done using a rolling platform, towels or gliders on the floor.

 I would recommend investing in yourself and asking a personal trainer to work with you for just one or two sessions so you can do these exercises safely and correctly.