Blog Posts by Brett Blumenthal - Sheer Balance

  • Why losing weight is so hard and gaining weight is so easy


    You just went away for the weekend and you came back to find that you gained 5 pounds over the course of 3 days. In your disbelief, you quickly curse the Weight Gods for being so cruel. Sound familiar? This was me last weekend. A little jaunt to Montreal, eating at decadent cafes, packed it on quick. This inspired me to discuss the seemingly unbalanced equation of weight gain vs. weight loss, the facts that surround the issue and how losing the 5 pounds feels so much harder than gaining them:

    FACT 1 - It is Simple Math: To maintain your ideal weight, you need to eat as many calories as you burn in one day. The balanced equation looks like this:

    Calories Eaten = Basal Metabolic Rate + Physical Activity

    If what you eat equals more than what your body uses, you will gain weight. In the situation of a vacation, it is likely that you eat more unhealthy food than normal and possibly get less exercise, resulting in an imbalanced equation, with a higher number of calories

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  • Will Wii Fit REALLY Work?


    Nintendo's Wii Fit is revolutionizing the health and fitness industry, getting people of all ages off their butts and moving in a healthier direction. I don't own Wii...and there is a good chance I never will. However, about 4 months ago, I tried out a friend's Non Wii-Fit Wii Tennis game for a few hours (I don't feel the need to explain myself, it just happened).

    Throughout the game, I took it relatively seriously and found that I got quite a little workout. I held the remote and swung my arm as if I was holding a real tennis racquet. Feet in position...full strokes...both forward and back hands. After about fifteen minutes, I actually started to work up a small sweat. Not only did I have a ton of fun, I was really imprssed by how much 'exercise' I got.

    After a full night of Wii, I slept really soundly and woke up the next day with a really sore shoulder. I'm not talking a little sore, I was SORE. The soreness persisted for about 4 days and I promise you, it made me

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  • 5 Reasons to try a protein shake

    Protein ShakeThe concept of drinking a protein shake may have you conjuring up images of big, overly built body builders, with their muscles and veins popping in every direction as they chug some goopy, raw egg mixture.

    Protein shakes, however, aren't just for the Arnolds of the world. They have come a long way in the last five to ten years and can be a great supplement to any individual's diet, even those who aren't looking to 'beef up'. Personally, I have become a huge fan of Whey Protein, and have a Whey Protein shake every morning after I exercise. Granted, it is always better to eat 'real' foods as opposed to shakes, but here are a few good reasons to give them a try:

    1. Time Saver: The Protein shake is a great way to get some nutrition into your day without a lot of preparation. Most protein shakes, whether Whey, Soy, Egg or any other type, requires two ingredients: Milk or Juice and the protein powder.
    2. It's Cheap: At first glance, protein powders might seem very
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  • 8 Ways to Stay Honest for a Healthy Diet

    When it comes to food, I'm a creature of comfort...I admit it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not boring , I just appreciate the foods and places I know and love, and tend to be loyal to them. If I like a Japanese restaurant, I have no problem going back to that same restaurant everytime I want Japanese. Similarly, if I know that certain foods are easy to make and are healthy, I have no problem eating them day after day...week after week. Granted, when it comes to indulging, I do my fair share. On weekends, I have my wine, I have my cake (and eat it too!), and I have no problem indulging in a few extra calories or extra grams of fat. That's what my weekends are for.

    In reality, if you are a healthy eater 80% of the time, you can easily have your 'unhealthy' indulgences the other 20% of the time. How do you make this work for you? Here are a few tips:

    1. Become a Loyalist:
    2. Basically, if you can find healthy foods that you enjoy and can eat on a somewhat repetitive basis, you are
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  • 'Do I look Fat?' - What He's Really Thinking

    This morning, my husband and I went through a typical female/male exchange: I asked him if 'I looked like I was gaining weight.' Mind you, this is not a question I ask frequently, but once in awhile, if I feel bloated or my pants feel more snug than normal, I succumb to my insecurities and ask Dave for his honest opinion on how I look.

    Needless to say, his response was less than convincing…or for that matter, less than verbal. He kind of danced around the topic for a second or two and then finally blurted, "No, you don't look fat…you just don't look like you used to." What? What is that supposed to mean? And the discussion ensued.

    After a lot of back and forth, none of which really helped, Dave finally stated that women make it too difficult to be honest around this topic. It made me stop and think, and as a result, I asked him to partake in this blog entry to help women understand why men have such a difficult time being honest, and when they finally are, it comes out in a

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  • The Power of a Smile


    Unfortunately, there may be times that smiling can be difficult - when it might not be easy and might feel virtually impossible. Sometimes we get so caught up in the bad things that we forget that smiling is actuallly an option. Maybe your boss inappropriately yelled at you...maybe you had a fight with a loved one...maybe you lost a loved one...or maybe you just feel mildly depressed for the day. Whatever the case may be, there are always times when smiling just doesn't fit your mood.

    Even though you may very well have reasons not to smile, here are a few reasons to push through...focus on the positive...and yes, smile:

    1. It makes you Feel Better: Don't write this one off. Really. I know it sounds ridiculously idealistic and corny, but it is true. Next time you feel down or blue, smile. Just smile as big as you can. You might feel ridiculous forcing a huge grin when deep down all you want to do is sob your heart out, but if you do it, and you concentrate on it, you
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  • 10 Inexcusable Gym Behaviors

    It never fails. Every time I go to the gym, I'm amazed by some people's gym etiquette...or for that matter...the lack there of. Although everyone is entitled to their good days and bad days, there is no excuse for flat out bad behavior. Here is a top ten list of those that are most inexcusable:

    10. This isn't American Idol: Keep the singing, grunting and hyperventilating for the shower!

    9. Not Putting Equipment Back where it Belongs: No, the 50 lb dumbbell does NOT go back in the 5 lb weight spot. There is a ZERO after the 5.

    8. Chatting-Cathy and then Some: Chatty Cathy loudly regales her friend about her shopping spree at Target, her date with her dreamboat, her mani and pedi, her boss who she has a crush on, yada, yada, yada...

    7. Exercising while on your Cell phone: Unless a person is expecting some majorly important news, there is no need to hold their cellphone hostage on the treadmill. Further, the last thing anyone needs to hear is the new 'Baby Got Back'

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  • Exercise in a Pill...One more way to keep America Lazy


    Great. One more wonder drug for Americans to gobble up in order to 'fix' themselves. A recent research study on mice has revealed that a drug can produce the same kind of physical endurance that comes from exercise training, according to Ronald Evans, Ph.D., of the Salk Institute. The study tested mice for four weeks and showed that they burned more calories and had less fat than untreated mice. Further, when the doped up mice were tested on a treadmill, they could run about 44% farther and 23% longer than untreated mice. Even sedentary mice given the drug could run longer and further than those which had exercise training with no drug administration. Benefits other than endurance included: leaner body mass , even when fed a high fat diet that would normally have caused the mice to become obese, and improved insulin response, lowering blood sugar levels.

    As if people don't make enough excuses for not exercising . Do we really need to pop pills to get in our daily and weekly

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  • Why counting calories is overrated

    Our society seems completely obsessed with quantities of food, instead of quality of food. I have read several blogs and forums around the web where individuals will choose a product over another because it contains fewer calories. I'm not talking about major differences in caloric values...this choice is often made around two products that differ by 20 calories. This is not to say that the number of calories isn't important, but it needs to be looked at from a holistic perspective. In short, what do the calories represent?

    Understanding the ingredients, as well as the nutritional content of a product is more important than understanding the number of calories it contains. Let's take two products: Low-Calorie Product (100 calories) and Higher-Calorie Product (120 Calories).

    1. Ingredient Quality: If the calories in 'Low-Calorie Product' represent low quality ingredients that are processed (such as sugar, partially hydrogenized oils, bleached flour), and the 'Higher-Calorie
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  • Is Yogurt really a Healthy Choice?

    In light of Jessica Ashley's blog Entry "Is your LIGHT yogurt packed full of HCFS nastiness?", I had to post this entry. If you are searching for a healthy breakfast or snack, you may very well grab a yogurt. Yogurt has gotten a really great reputation for being healthy, even substituting ice cream as a 'healthier' option. Besides the fact that yogurt is a great source of calcium, iodine and phosphorous, among other vitamins and minerals , yogurt's biggest claim to fame is that it contains live active bacterial cultures which may help you to live longer and may fortify your immune system. Unfortunately, along with these great health benefits comes a ton of sugar. Refined sugar, otherwise known as simple carbohydrates, provide very little nutrition and a load of unnecessary, empty calories. Further, most traditional yogurts that don't have sugar are loaded with artificial sweeteners, which, as we know, are no good for you. Lastly, if you are interested in getting fiber and protein

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