Health and Fitness Articles

I have come across a new health and fitness articles directory.  While there are many article submission directories, this one focuses only on health, fitness and nutrition. While I think article marketing is great no matter what directory you use, I noticed that the bigger directories build page rank yet send very few visitors back to my blog.  I also found that many of the big article directories contain very spammy articles that don’t even attract readers.  I think niche article directories will be the new wave of article marketing since they can build page rank and send a stream of targeted traffic.

Basically article submission helps your promote your blog in two ways.  It builds a link back to your blog or website.  Most article directories let you do this by including links in the article you submit to them.  You can just have those links pointing back to your own site.  Building these so called back links is great for increasing your blogs search engine rankings which just means more search engine traffic.  Article submission also helps you get visitors to your blog or website.  Most article directories attract lots of traffic and many of the readers of your articles will click your article’s links and end up right back on to your blog or site.

The Inner Game of Weight Loss

Often when one wants to lose weight they focus on how to eat right and exercise more. While both are necessary to lose weight, they are the outer game of weight loss. There is a whole other aspect which is the inner game of weight loss. This aspect is often neglected and I believe it’s the reason most people never lose weight and keep it off.

If you take the average overweight person and magically make the extra 20-30 pounds he’s carrying disappear guess what will happen? Over the next year or two he will most probably gain back all that weight. How come? Because he still has bad eating habits and inconsistent exercising habits. So how do you replace bad habits with healthy ones? This is where inner game comes in.

The inner game has to do with building discipline. A practical example is exercising when you don’t feel like it. Understand that you wont always feel like going to the gym, so when you don’t feel like it just do it anyways push through it. The same with healthy eating. Often you wont feel like eating healthy foods yet you must do it anyways. After practicing exercising and eating healthy it will become habitual and will feel natural.

Use p90x to lose weight in less than 90 days.

Why You’ll NEVER Lose Weight & Keep it Off

Almost everyone focuses on the “outer game” of weight loss: dieting, eating right, exercising and so on.  This is why they never lose weight or if they do, they always gain the weight right back.  Many people have never even heard of the “inner game” of weight loss.

The “inner game” of weight loss is simply your thoughts, emotions, and attitudes that you need to work on to lose weight.  Say what? But I thought it was all about dieting…WRONG.  Here is a quick example.  Ever find yourself craving junk foods and reaching for them when you are depressed even though you’ve promised yourself to eat healthy?  I hope now you are starting to see how emotions can play a big role in permanent weight loss.

To deal with tough emotions you must do two things.  First you must try to eliminate the original source of those emotions if possible.  If it’s a stressful job, try looking for a new job, or talking to your boss about it.  Secondly you must find other relaxation activities instead of eating (taking a walk, calling up a friend, going to the movies etc.)

Another “inner game” factor of weight loss is your thinking.  Your thoughts are very important.  If you’ve tried to lose weight in the past and always failed, you’ve probably got lots of negative thoughts in your head.  You probably think the following “I’ll never be able to lose weight”, “What’s the point of trying when I failed too many times”, or “Maybe I should just give up and accept being fat”.

These thoughts are holding you back, they are causing you to doubt yourself and sabotage your weight loss efforts.  Each time you find a negative through going through your head, you need to stop, and rephrase the thought positively.  So if you hear your mind saying “I’ll never lose weight”, say to yourself “I will lose weight” etc.

Once you take care of the “inner game” of weight loss, the “outer game” (like exercise, eating healthy etc.) will take care of itself.  Not only will you lose the weight but you’ll also be able to keep it off.

Project Weight Loss Days 15-30

This Post is part of Project Weight Loss and a follow up to Days 9-14.

Well there is good and bad news to report. I will get the bad news out of the way first, and then focus on the good news.

The Bad News

I did have some struggles keeping up with my healthy eating and exercising efforts between Day 21 and Day 26. Due to some emotional stress and other factors I didn’t exercise those days and did overeat. I must clarify that I have no good excuse though. In that period I did resort to food for comfort. Of course this never works, and it’s just like abusing anything else including alcohol or drugs. It is my fault for getting off track and I take full responsibility. However I did not give up on my weight loss or fitness efforts, as I mentioned in 100 Weight Loss Tips and Tricks, the only way not to lose weight is to give up, and that’s certainly something I’m not willing to do.

The Good News

Overall I have learned a lot of doing this 30 day challenge, and I did lose some weight, however as you will see from the numbers, getting off track for a few days did influence my results.

Day – Weight (pounds) – Body Fat Percentage
Day 15 – 196.8 – 21.40
Day 16 – 196.8 – 22.80
Day 17 – 196.8 – 21.60
Day 18 – 195.2 – 22.00
Day 19 – 195.2 – 22.40
Day 20 – 195.2 – 22.40
Day 21 – 26 – Didn’t check weight or body fat percentage, also got off track
Day 27 – 200.6 – 22.50
Day 28 – 199.2 – 22.20
Day 29 – 197.8 – 23.30
Day 30 – 197.8 – 23.30
Day 31 – Couldn’t check weight or body fat percentage due to being away from home

My weight was highest on Day 2 where I was 203.4 pounds. So overall, it looks like by Day 30 I lost 5.6 pounds. I’m certainly happy about that ;)

More importantly since I have been exercising a lot more often and eating healthier, I’m noticing I’m slowly building up both of those habits. Going to workout isn’t a big deal for me anymore it’s just like going to the store and buying groceries. I also really enjoy the energy boost and great feeling I experience after doing a hard workout. Additionally my taste buds are starting to favor healthy foods over junk foods.

My skin has been looking much healthier, I’m guessing this is due to the healthier food I’m eating and my higher consumption of water. I certainly have been more energetic and getting a lot more things done in other areas of my life which is great.

What I’ve learned

  • I need to focus more time on dealing with stress. I’m noticing that when I’m stressed out I’m tempted to resort to food. At this point, working on healthier ways of dealing with stress is just as important as eating healthy and exercising.
  • Making a public commitment certainly did help me stick it out, at least for the first 20 days. While I didn’t have perfect 30 day performance, I’m still feeling great about this small achievement, and wanted to thank everyone who has left an encouraging comment or linked to my project weight loss posts :)
  • I need to build more leverage or stronger reasons to stick to my weight loss efforts. A public commitment is a form of leverage however in my case I now know that I need more leverage.
  • While there are many tips and tricks to losing weight, what it comes down to is hard work. A lot of the times I ate healthy and exercised even if I didn’t feel like it. Eating healthy and exercising might have not provided me with immediate gratification, however, it certainly was building up long term gratification.
  • It’s okay to try and get off track, even if you write about many personal development topics like myself. It’s actually a bit freeing for me to admit that I’m not perfect ;)

Future Weight Loss Efforts

I’m certainly still exercising and eating healthy. I’m feeling great about my slow yet steady results. I will keep you updated on my weight loss progress in future posts. I might also do another 30 day weight loss challenge in upcoming months. Thanks for everyone’s support.

Project Weight Loss – Days 9-14 & Meal Photos

This Post is part of my Project Weight Loss and a follow up to Days 6-8.

Meal Photos and Nutritional Information

The following are photos of some of foods/meals I’ve been eating. I’ve included the nutritional information to the best of my knowledge for each food/meal.

Lowfat Cottage Cheese & Strawberry Topping
Calories: 130
Fat: 2g
Carbs: 17g
Protein: 11g

Salmon Steak Sandwich (Made with Light Wheat Bread)
Calories: 250
Fat: 5g
Carbs: 20g
Protein: 30g

Fiesta Grilled Chicken – Lean Cuisine
Calories: 250
Fat: 7g
Carbs: 27g
Protein: 19g

Fruit Salad

As you can tell I like to keep my meals nice and simple ;)

Weight & Body Fat Percentage Check

Day 9 – 195.2 pounds – 22.8% Body Fat
Day 10 – 197.6 pounds – 22.6% Body Fat
Day 11 – 197 pounds – 22.6% Body Fat
Day 12 – 197.6 pounds – 22.8% Body Fat
Day 13 – 197 pounds – 22.5% Body Fat
Day 14 – 196 pounds – 22.1% Body Fat

I’m guessing that the slight weight gain between day 9 and day 12 is due to recovering from my mild flu. It seems that I gained back a couple of the pounds I lost too quickly on days 6-8 due to catching the flu.

The slow weight loss and the small decrease in my body fat percentage looks great for days 12-14. It indicates that I’m minimizing muscle loss and maximizing the burning of fat.

Exercise & Workouts

Days 9-10 and 13-14: I did my regular 20 minutes of cardio followed by 20 minutes of weight lifting and strength training.
Day 11-12: These were my off days, I skipped exercising

Cheat Meal

One of my cheat meals during this period was a greasy Reuben Sandwich with Fries from a nearby diner. It was delicious and satisfied my cravings for fast food. Once I was done eating it I also realized that by avoiding fast foods I’m not really missing out on much. I will still have an occasional cheat meal every couple of days since I don’t expect myself to eat 100% healthy meals for the rest of my life. Having such great expectations would require a very restrictive diet that I don’t think I can realistically live with. Occasional cheat meals also boost the body’s metabolism, because the human body requires a lot more energy to burn their high caloric content.

Project Weight Loss – Days 6-8

This Post is part of Project Weight Loss and a follow up to Days 3-5.

Hunger & Energy

Since I’ve been trying to eat 4-6 small meals throughout the day, I’ve noticed that I get hungry every 2-3 hours. The smaller meals are great and leave me feeling light and energized.
I have also noticed that my sleeping is much better. If I only get 5 hours of sleep on a night or two, I still wake up in the morning feeling very energized. It seem that with the healthier eating and exercising, my body has been much more efficient even during my sleeping hours.

Friends & Flu

I had some friends over yesterday who were going through my fridge trying to find some food, I knew I’m eating healthy when they made fun of the foods I had ;)
I recovered from my mild flu rather quickly, I think this is mostly due to taking one full day of rest and then gradually increasing my workout intensity in the following two days. In the past when I’ve had a flu, and decided to mostly rest for a few days, I never recovered this quick.

Weight & Body Fat Percentage Check

Day 6 – 197 pounds 23.9% Body Fat
Day 7 – 197 pounds 24.2% Body Fat
Day 8 – 195.8 pounds 23.2% Body Fat

It seems that I’m losing weight a bit too quickly, I think this is mostly because I’m still in my first week of adjusting my eating and exercising habits. I’m also a bit concerned about how I’m losing pounds while keeping a somewhat stable body fat percentage. This means that I’m not maximizing the burning of body fat and minimizing the burning of muscle tissue. If this pattern continues I will have to decrease cardio training time and increase weight lifting time.

Exercise & Workouts

Days 6-7 : I did my regular 20 minutes of cardio followed by 20 minutes of weight lifting and strength training.
Day 8 : This was an off day.

Project Weight Loss – Days 3-5

This Post is part of Project Weight Loss and a follow up to Day 2 & Before Photos.

Value of the Public Commitment

Making a public commitment on here to lose weight has been very motivating especially during moments of weakness. Over the past couple of days I caught a mild flu. As a result, I took some time off relaxing. While I did skip working out for a day, I was tempted to skip my workout the next day. Being reminded of my public commitment on here, helped me to get the workout done anyways. It was a much lighter workout, just a few minutes of walking, however afterwards I felt much better. While making clear specific goals is motivating, sharing those goals and making them a public commitment is even more powerful. This is why I recommend that you make your goals public commitments because during moments of weakness you will remember that if you give up you are not only letting yourself down but also others that you told.

Weight Check

Day 3 – 201.8 pounds 23% Body Fat
Day 4 – 198.2 pounds 23.6% Body Fat
Day 5 – 197 pounds 24.2% Body Fat

It seems that I’m losing weight a bit too quickly, this is probably due to my flu. The next few days will clarify if the weight change was actual burned fat or just water loss as result of catching the flu. Catching the flu generally cause fluctuations in the body’s water levels. While it might seem that someone with the flu is losing a lot of weight, most of this weight is water instead of fat. As a result, usually when a sick person is recovering, their body will start putting back some of the water weight slowly.

Exercise & Workouts

Day 3 – This is the first day I felt I was getting sick however I was feeling fine physically so I performed my regular 20 minutes of cardio followed by 20 minutes of weight lifting.

Day 4 – Due to my flu, I skipped exercising on this day. Since I’m planning to workout 5 days a week, this also made a great off day. Off days, or days that you don’t exercise, are important because they allow your body to recover. Additionally off days are good psychologically because they prevent exercising from becoming a boring everyday tasks. Taking an off days is like taking a short vacation, where you come back feeling more refreshed and focused.

Day 5 – I just walked for 20 minutes. Afterwards, I tried lifting weights, however due to my flu, I felt a bit too week and decided to skip the weights.


I have been taking a daily multivitamin. One thing that I noticed on day 3 of taking the multivitamin is my skin looking healthier, and feeling softer. This is why I recommend that anyone take a daily multivitamin.

Overall Feeling

Even with my flu, I have been feeling a bit more energized as a result of eating healthier foods and exercising. I also have this great 2-3 hour window after each workout where I notice I’m very productive.

Project Weight Loss – Day 2

Thanks Everyone

I wanted to thank everyone for their support and comments on my Project Weight Loss introduction post. Your support has been very encouraging.

Weight Check

I weighed myself first thing in the morning on an empty stomach – 203 Pounds with 22.6% body fat. This is a bit strange and a rough start since on day 1, I weighed 201 pounds, however it’s normal since I’m just starting out. I will be weighing myself right after waking up every morning. This is recommended because it minimizes the weight fluctuations that result from the body’s water and sodium levels throughout the day.


Here is a quick list of what I’ve been eating for the last couple of days:

  • Low fat cottage cheese (or yogurt) with fruit (strawberries, blueberries etc.)
  • Lean meats and fish including grilled chicken, salmon, tuna
  • Eggs (boiled or scrambled)
  • Mixed Nuts (in moderation)
  • Lean cuisine microwave meals for when I’m feeling lazy or short on time ;)
  • Fruits (apples, oranges etc.)

Exercise & Workouts

I’ve been doing about 20 minutes on an elliptical machine, followed by 20 minutes of weight-lifting.

Overall Feeling

Overall I’m feeling great. I know I have a long way to go which is tough yet motivating because I feel that I’m taking on a bigger challenge. Of course the bigger the challenge the bigger the reward and payoff.

Emotional Eating – Most Common Cause of Weight Gain

I’ve found that emotional eating is the most common cause of weight gainEmotional eating is charactrized by consuming comfort food or junk food. Here is a great resource for emotional eating.  I highly recommend you check it out even if you don’t think you’re anemotional eater yet wonder why you haven’t been able to lose weight.

Emotional Eating Exposed

I’ve found that emotional eating is the most common cause of weight gain.  Here is a great resource for emotional eating.  I highly recommend you check it out even if you don’t think you’re an emotional eater yet wonder why you haven’t been able to lose weight.

Coming home from a long day at work. Feeling tired and stressed out. You were planning to finish a couple of chores, yet you have had a long day. You aren’t really hungry however you feel a craving for a certain snack. You know you shouldn’t eat it since you are trying to implement healthier eating habits. However your mind rationalizes that you deserve it, besides it’s just one snack right? how bad could it really be? So you find yourself reaching for the snack and consuming it. Afterwards you find yourself feeling a bit lazy, and instead of doing your chores you decide to just relax, watch some tv or surf the web. You rationalize that you have had a tough past couple of days and deserve a break.

Emotional Eating Defined

Emotional eating is motivated by emotions instead of real hunger. For me, usually negative emotions including fear, anger, stress, or disappointment have triggered emotional eating. Sometimes emotional eating is triggered in anticipation of a future event that you perceive will be tough, stressful or scary. Emotional eating is where the phrase comfort food stems from. Comfort foods might differ from one person to the next, but they are those foods and snacks that you tend to reach for to deal with stress or to reward yourself. Some common comfort food include ice-cream, cookies, fried food, pies/pastries, pizza, and potato chips. It’s normal to eat comfort foods occasionally, or as a planned cheat meal if you are on a strict nutritional regiment or are trying to lose weight. However for an emotional eater, reaching for a comfort food isn’t voluntary it’s rather uncontrollable behavior. Usually an emotional eater has a very tough time saying no. Also most emotional eaters only become conscious of indulging in comfort foods after already consuming them.

After consuming comfort foods, an emotional eater might feel guilty and as a result be tempted to eat more in an attempt to numb negative emotions. On a logical level, an emotional eater knows that they need to stop doing it. However on a practical level, when an emotional eater experiences negative emotions they are tempted to indulge in consuming comfort foods to deal with those emotions. In a way an emotional eater is like an alcoholic who gets drunk to avoid stress or other problems they are experiencing in their lives. To clarify, I’m not judging emotional eaters, and I’m not trying to label them. I would guess that the majority of people have indulged in emotional eating at one point or another whether or not they realize it. I myself have to work on my own emotional eating tendencies, and realize how tough it can be. I would also guess that emotional eating is one of the reasons why the majority of Americans are overweight.

Consequences of Emotional Eating

Weight Gain – Emotional eaters tend to overeat and therefore add on extra body weight. Some emotional eaters are overweight. Others develop eating disorders in an attempt to avoid gaining weight, which introduces the next consequence.

Eating Disorders – In an attempt to combat weight gain, some emotional eaters develop eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. Some emotional eaters become addicted to exercise, and exercise for several hours at a time following a binge or an overeating episode to avoid future weight gain.

Light Depression – Usually an emotional eater feels really guilty about their overeating and occasional binges the next day. As a result an emotional eater will often promise themselves not to do it again, however sooner or later they do, and as a result feel helpless. Going through this cycle often leaves an emotional eating feeling a light depression that’s always clouding over their life.

Loneliness – Since an emotional eater can’t stop engaging in the habit, they often start thinking there must be something wrong with them. They tend to make emotional eating a secret, they don’t talk about it with others. They feel that they aren’t normal, that maybe they aren’t a disciplined enough person. An emotional eater usually has good friendships, even at times a significant other just like everyone else. Even if an emotional eater is very honest about their lives, they will often keep emotional eating a secret from all their friends, relatives and significant others since they are ashamed of it. This often leaves them feeling lonely and maybe not understood.

Lack of Progress in Life Goals – An emotional eater often indulges in food as a way to numb out bad emotions. As a result when they are working on life goals whether they are financial, career or relationship goals and encounter a roadblock they often consume comfort foods in an attempt to distract themselves from having to deal with the real problems. They of course don’t do this consciously, for many emotional eaters it’s an automatic response, just like how after a bad day at work an alcoholic might just stop by the bar instead of considering finding a different job.

There are many other consequences of emotional eating, however these are the most common and serious ones. I’ve experience this myself when dealing with emotional eating and as a result this is a bit of a difficult topic for me to write about. As I’m a writing this I’m remembering past emotional eating episodes and consequences and as a result feel a deep sympathy for other emotional eaters.

Payoffs of Emotional Eating

So if there are many tough consequences of emotional eating why would anyone engage in it? or why would they keep engaging in it after experiencing the consequences? Well there are payoffs of emotional eating, just like they are payoffs of being an alcoholic, or a drug addict.

Never Having to Face the Real Problems – Usually emotional eating is a cover up for emotional, and psychological issues a person needs to deal with. For example, a big issue for me was constantly seeking other’s validation and having a tough time saying no and establishing personal boundaries. As a result when a friend would invite me to go to a boring or uninteresting event, I would often go along for the ride. The next day I would be feeling a bit depressed and might indulge in eating comfort foods to numb out those bad emotions. If I would of paused and asked why am I depressed or feeling down, I would of probably discovered the real problem, and realized that I need to set firm personal boundaries. However in a way discovering the real problems is tough because it often requires one to take tough actions and make tough choices. In my case that meant having to end some friendships and start new ones from scratch.

An Easier More Passive Lifestyle – Never having to face the real problems allows an emotional eater to live a very passive relaxing and comfortable lifestyle. An emotional eater will often resort to food instead of having to say step out of their comfort zone. As a result an emotional eater can live life in a sort of daze where they are breathing, walking, and talking yet not really alive. For example, an emotional eater will never really experience fear, they will tend to consume comfort foods to numb it out. And after they are done consuming the food they will usually keep putting off that scary action or choice they know they should take care of.

Maintaining One’s Pride & Ego - Admitting that you might have an emotional eating problem requires lots of humility. Often times an emotional eater’s pride and ego will prefer keeping emotional eating a secret even if it means never seeking treatment, or having to face the issue.

Solutions That DON’T Work

In order to protect his/her pride, an emotional eater will usually rationalize that they don’t have an eating problem instead will try to treat the obvious consequences of overeating.

Better Eating Habits – Since an emotional eater will notice that they are gaining weight as a result of indulging in comfort foods, they assume they need to eat healthier foods. They will try to change their eating habits, and might be successful for short periods of times. However once they experience a negative emotional spike, any kind of sadness, fear, worry etc. they will usually go back to indulging in their comfort foods.

Exercising – Just like an emotional eater might try to improve their eating habits, they will also try to exercise regularly. They reason that they don’t have an eating problem and just added a few extra pounds that they need to loose. An emotional eater might be successful at dropping a few pounds with exercising. However once they experience any negative emotional spikes, they will usually go back to indulging in their comfort foods.

Steps to Dealing With Emotional Eating

  1. Admitting and Accepting The Problem – There is nothing wrong with being an emotional eater. In fact it’s pretty common in our culture that we came up with the term comfort foods. Accept that emotional eating is something you need to deal with. None of us is perfect. Being an emotional eater doesn’t define you. So there is no need to feel guilty about it. Accepting that you have a problem is the first step to dealing with it.
  2. There is No Magic Pill – I have to work on my emotional eating tendencies and believe me I’ve looked and tried every solution out there, and still haven’t found the magic pill. By magic pill I mean a solution that you can immediately implement that will take care of the problem once and for all. You will have to work on your emotional eating one day at a time.
  3. Identify Triggers – You will need to identify what triggers your emotional eating.  This can slightly differ from one person to the next.  Start journaling about every emotional eating incident you experience.  Whenever you overeat, pause and think about the series of events or negative emotions that lead to it and make notes.  After doing this for a week or two you will get a good idea on what specifically triggers your emotional eating.  This step can be tough, especially if you feel really guilty after you overeat.  Forgive yourself, don’t judge your overeating, and just assess the situation from a logical perspective instead of an emotional one.  In a way you are acting like your own therapist.
  4. Be Conscious of Your Emotional State – After you identify your triggers, you have to start being more aware of your emotional state at all times.  Occasionally start asking yourself how do I feel right now?  This will help you break down the automated response of resorting to food for dealing with tough emotions.
  5. Accept Negative Emotions – If you are feeling down, accept that.  Realize that you will hopefully live a long life and there will be other times where you will feel a light depression.  Don’t try to fight it, accept it.  Once you accept it you can deal with it.
  6. Ask Questions – Once you accept a negative emotional state you need to pause and ask the following questions.  Asking these questions will help you slow down instead of automatically resorting to food for comfort:
    • What lead to my current emotional state?  What sequence of events occured earlier?  Is there a stress or problem that’s causing this?
    • If I overeat right now, will this make that stress or problem go away?
    • If I overeat will I really feel better? or will I just be running away from a stress or problem that I’ll have to deal with eventually anyways?
    • What if I DON’T overeat? will I regreat making this decision later?
  7. Act Anyway – No matter what kind of an emotional state you are in, you need to take the right actions.  This is a very common trait of successful people.  Read my post I don’t feel like it to learn more about this idea of right action.
  8. See a Therapist – If after trying to deal with emotional eating on your own you aren’t seeing any progress see a therapist.  You should be able to find one who specializes in overeating and emotional eating issues.  However realize that seeing a therapist isn’t a magic pill, while a therapist might help, you will still have to put in the work.

I’ve found that emotional eating is the most common cause of weight gain.  Here is agreat resource for emotional eating.  I highly recommend you check it out even if you don’t think you’re an emotional eater yet wonder why you haven’t been able to lose weight.