The Exercise Diet (Book)

The Exercise Diet is my first book that I am currently working on that is slated for publication in 2013. The project has been taken on by New Street Communications.  Part of the Introduction of the book can be read below.

“…the writing of the book should destroy the writer. If there is anything left, he has not worked hard enough. The writer himself does not matter: the book is everything.”       Ernest Hemingway


During the 1970s, the youth-obsessed Baby Boomers began the health and fitness craze.  Today, they buy more fitness books and products than any other demographic and according to the International Health Racket and Sports Club Association, are the most likely to visit emergency rooms for sports-related injuries.  At 78 million strong, they will represent nearly one-third of the entire population in the United States by the year 2030.  What Boomers are currently doing on the exercise and diet front, however, has not worked which is evident of the growing obesity epidemic in this country.  Part of the problem may be that we have become a society that worships instant gratification in just about every aspect of our life.  When we want a new car we buy it and when we want a new house; some of us have an option to build it.  When we want to lose weight or change something about our body that we don’t like, we have the option to go under the knife and remove it.  For example, liposuction for both men and women currently ranks third on the cosmetic surgery list according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  For those who do not choose this course of action ultimately venture off into the world of fitness gimmicks. You know, the world of the late night infomercial where you try every new fitness gimmick and/or fad diet that comes your way and it all ends up fueling a 30 billion dollar a year industry.

How would you answer the following question?  If there was an exercise program that has been proven to work, and could help you lose inches and body fat while gaining muscle, would you give it a try?  The Exercise Diet Plan is a program that has actually been changing lives long before it was ever published as a book.  The exercise prescription component of this plan is an updated version of the program that appeared in several fitness publications and even a peer-reviewed scientific journal back in 2001.  That’s right!  The program is an updated version that was originally published more than a decade ago.  The original program was actually developed in the late 1990’s for my personal training clients who worked with me at my private training studio in Harvard Square, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Every client in the program had their body composition measured by skinfold calipers.  This took place at baseline and again at the fourth and eight week of the program and everyone experienced a loss in body weight, percent body fat and girth (total inches from arm, waist, hips and thigh).  In addition, clients experienced a decrease in fat weight and witnessed an increase in muscle mass, strength and aerobic capacity following training.  During that same time I was invited to New York by the editors of Women Sports and Fitness Magazine to see if I could demonstrate similar results with their entire editorial staff, over an 8-week period, which of course I did. On my initial visit to their offices in Manhattan I took baseline measurements of 12 women who were starting the program the following week.  I went back to New York upon completion of the program for the follow-up assessment a few months later.  The results were inspiring and a cover story by writer Laurel Naverson followed and The Exercise Diet was born!

Now that you have some background on the program, let’s fast forward to present day.  A great deal has changed since that visit to New York; Americans have become among other things, older and heavier.  For the first time, starting in 2012, we have more than 10,000 Americans turning 65 each day.  If you are wondering about the math, it equates to about 3.5 million birthdays a year.  In addition, we have another set of Baby Boomers (born between January 1, 1946 and December 31, 1964), who like me, are turning 50 every 17 seconds.  If you take a moment and look real hard, you can probably see America aging right in front of your eyes!  One of the problems that this subset has experienced from aging and a sedentary lifestyle is they have become deconditioned.  Let’s take this a step further and combine both age groups mentioned with the remaining U.S. adult population and you end up with approximately 72% of the men and 64% of the women classified as overweight or obese!  The obese segment constitutes approximately 34% of the U.S. population.  When I mention obese, I’m referring to someone with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater while overweight refers to a BMI of 25 to 29.9 kg/m2.  Barry Popkin, PhD, author of The World is Fat, and Director of the University of North Carolina Interdisciplinary Obesity Center, notes in in his book that 5% of Americans actually have a BMI above 4020 while the CDC National Center for Health Statistics says that number is closer to 6%.  The latest research places the growing obesity number at 73 million in the United States alone and 1.6 billion worldwide.  Nearly 75% of Americans will be overweight or obese by the year 2019, according to a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.  If that number does not shake you up a bit, another government agency reports that the obesity number could grow even higher with 65 million more obese people and eventually include 86% of the population by 2030.  Finally, research from Wang and his colleagues report that if our obesity rates continue to increase at the current speed, 100% of the U.S. population will be overweight or obese by 2048.

Now that I hopefully have your attention, let’s take a look at the facts.  When it comes to exercise, I believe the majority of people do not want to work at it consistently or they do not understand that to reap the benefits of exercise, it must first become a habit.  Once it becomes a habit it will have a better chance to become part of your life-style.  Many individuals, however, are not able to grasp this concept.  Did you know that 30% of the U.S. population does not even exercise and that less than 5% exercise vigorously during a given week?  After years of watching people fail on their own at trying to lose weight, I said enough is enough.  I have been very successful over the course of my career with helping people change the way they look and feel and now you can do the same with my easy to follow 8-step plan.  The number one reported reason why people do not exercise is lack of time.  The Exercise Diet eliminates this barrier with short, efficient, exercise sessions that can fit into your busy schedule and includes nutrition principles that are easily integrated into your busy lifestyle without the need for ever counting calories again.  In addition to the exercise and nutrition component, the Exercise Diet will show you how to increase your daily activity level beyond the time you spend exercising.  Many believe that exercise alone is their ticket for weight loss; and this why most of them are unsuccessful.  I want you to begin to think of exercise more as a weight maintenance tool or as a way to prevent weight gain.  When you factor in the nutritional principles and increase your non-exercise activity level (known in the research world as N.E.A.T or non-exercise activity thermogenesis) your appearance, mood and energy levels will begin to improve.

The genesis of the Exercise Diet actually started back in 1988 in the city with the world famous zip code of 02138 (Cambridge, MA).  Did you ever see the movie, Good Will Hunting with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon?  Remember the scene where they walk out of the bar and Damon walks over and starts banging on the window showing the Harvard University student that he in fact just got the co-eds phone number and yells out “how do like them apples” – well, right above that location was where I had my personal training studio.  I was fortunate enough to work with some of the biggest names in the entertainment, business, and medical industries during that time.  Years later, I had an opportunity to come back to work in the same area and throughout that time period I continued to refine my exercise protocols that combined both circuit training on the strength side and interval-based training on the cardio side for all of my private clients.  When I initially started working with clients all sessions were an hour long.  Over time, however, I learned that the key component was quality of training not quantity of training and continued to do more research on the effects of circuit strength training on body composition.  I eventually transitioned all my clients to 30-minute circuit-training sessions instead of 60-minutes and had more success!  Not only did our clientele love this new format, they also experienced dramatic improvements in both their fitness level and physical appearance with the shorter, more challenging training protocols.  Needless to say, clients had a renewed sense of interest with this type of exercise training and most importantly, made it part of their life-style.  The 8-steps that make up The Exercise Diet are designed to boost motivation and undermine several scientifically identified “youth robbers,” such as poor cardiovascular fitness, age-related loss of muscle, decreased flexibility and poor nutritional habits.  This 8-step approach to improving health and longevity is built upon the foundation of a healthy “diet” of exercise and daily activity.  The net result is a more efficient workout, in less time, with better results.  Now you have the opportunity to achieve the same results that my private clients have experienced.  With that said, let me make one point crystal clear from the start, The Exercise Diet is not a diet; it is an innovative, science-based, exercise-driven, lifestyle intervention.  Travis Stork, MD, author of the Lean Belly Prescription offers this definition of the word diet: “going on a diet is another way of saying you’re going to fail.”  There is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates diets do not work long term and you end up gaining back all the weight and more within a year.  It is now time for me to stand up and give you a round of applause because you have taken the first step towards getting the “old” you back.  So let’s get started!

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