Posts Tagged ‘Boot Camp Scottsdale’

You must give up the entire concept of dieting on very low calories to lose weight. You’ll never lose weight permanently with low-calorie diets – it is physiologically impossible. Temporary dieting can only produce temporary results. You must use other methods. Let’s look at some strategies you can use to lose fat permanently while staying out of the starvation mode.

1. Adopt the “habit” mindset instead of the “diet” mindset

The first step towards losing fat permanently has more to do with your mindset than it does with nutrition or exercise. You have to change your entire attitude about nutrition and exercise.

Instead of adopting the mindset of short-term “diets,” you must adopt the mindset of lifelong “habits.” A habit is a behavior that you perform automatically without much conscious thought or effort.

Once a habit is firmly established – good or bad – it takes enormous strength to break it. It’s like trying to swim upstream against the current.

The entire concept of “dieting” for fat loss is flawed. When you say you’re “going on a diet”, the underlying implication is that it’s a temporary change and at some point you’re going to have to “go off” the diet.

With this type of attitude, you’re setting yourself up for failure right from the start.

2. Keep your muscle at all costs

The critical factor in turning your body into a “fat-burning machine” is to build and maintain as much lean body mass as possible. Muscle is the bodybuilder’s fat burning secret weapon!

Muscle is your metabolic furnace. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even at rest.

With more muscle, you burn more calories even while you sleep. With a higher lean body mass, you’ll also burn more calories during exercise. If you put two people side by side jogging on a treadmill, one of them with 180 pounds of lean body mass and the other with 150 of lean body mass, the person with 180 pounds of lean body mass will burn more calories from the same workout.

The most efficient way to burn more calories and lose more body fat is to gain more muscle. That’s why weight training is an important part of the fat loss equation.

3. Use a small calorie deficit.

To lose body fat, you must be in negative calorie balance (a calorie deficit). You can create a calorie deficit by increasing activity, by decreasing calories or with a combination of both.

The most efficient approach to fat loss is to decrease your calories a little and increase your activity a lot.

The most commonly recommended guideline is to reduce your calories by 500 less than your maintenance level. For example, if you are female and your calorie maintenance level is 2100 calories per day, then a 500-calorie deficit would put you at  1600 calories per day.

If you’re a male with a calorie maintenance level of 2900 calories per day, then a 500-calorie deficit would put you at 2400 calories per day.

A 500-calorie deficit over seven days is 3500 calories in one week. There   calories in a pound of fat, so (in theory), a 500 calorie per day deficit will result in aloes of one pound of body fat per week.

It follows that a 750-calorie deficit would produce a loss of one and a half pounds per week and a 1000-calorie deficit would produce a two-pound per week reduction but approach that carefully to make sure you’re not losing too much muscle.

4. Use exercise to burn the fat rather than diets to starve the fat

To lose body fat, there must be a calorie deficit. Such are the laws of thermodynamics and energy balance.However, there’s more than one way to create calorie deficit. One way is to decrease your calorie intake from food.

The other is to increase the amount of calories you burn though exercise.

Of the two ways to create a calorie deficit, burning the calories is the superior method. This is because large calorie deficits cause muscle loss and trigger the starvation response.

Ironically, most people do the opposite: They slash their calories to starvation levels and exercise too little or not at all. This causes a decrease in lean body mass and invokes the starvation mechanism.

Paradoxical as it seems, the most effective approach to fat loss is to eat more (keep the calorie reduction small) and let the exercise burn the fat.

You don’t have to starve yourself – you just have to choose the right foods and make exercise a part of your lifestyle.

Here are the reasons why exercise – not dieting – is the superior method of losing body fat:

1. Exercise – aerobic and weight training – raises your metabolic rate.

2. Exercise creates a caloric deficit without triggering the starvation response.

3. Exercise is good for your health. Dieting is harmful to your health.

4. Exercise, especially weight training, signals your body to keep your muscle and

Not burn it for energy. Dieting without exercise can result in up to 50% of the Weight loss to come from lean body mass.

5. Exercise increases fat-burning enzymes and hormones.

6. Exercise increases the cells sensitivity to insulin so that carbohydrates are burned for energy and stored as glycogen rather than being stored as fat.

5. Determine your minimal calorie requirements and never drop below them – ever!

One way to ensure that you never go into starvation mode is to determine the minimum amount of calories you can eat without slowing your metabolism.

Then, use that as your rock bottom calorie number.

Because nutrition must be individualized, it is difficult to set an absolute single figure for everyone as a minimal calorie requirement,  so it is imperative to sit down with a professional to help you get as close as you can to your target number.

6. Eat more frequently and never skip meals The body interprets missed meals as starvation. Let us suppose you eat lunch at 12:00 noon and dinner at 7:00 pm.

If you skip breakfast the next day, that is 17 hours without food. This sends an unmistakable signal to your body that you are starving, even if your lunch and dinner are large meals.

Your goal should be to eat approximately every three hours. Establish scheduled meal times and stick to them. Regularity in your eating habits is critical.

By eating smaller portions more frequently, you’ll be able to eat more food than you’ve ever eaten before without being deprived or starving yourself.

Most people say they eat more on this program than they’ve ever eaten yet they get leaner than they’ve ever been before.

7. Don’t stay in a negative calorie balance long

The chances are good that you know at least one person who always seems to be on a diet. The odds are also good that although these habitual dieters may achieve some small weight losses, they are among the 95% that always gain it back.

Then, discouraged with the failure of their last diet, they quickly embark on the latest “diet of the month” and repeat the cycle.

When fat loss stops or begins to slow down after being in a substantial calorie deficit, most people panic and cut their calories even further. Sometimes this works and it breaks the plateau.

More often than not, it digs you into an even deeper metabolic rut. The best thing you can do is to raise your calories for a few days or sometimes even for a few weeks.

Your body’s weight regulating mechanism works both ways: It can decrease your rate of energy expenditure when there is a calorie deficit, or it can also increase its rate of energy expenditure when there is a calorie surplus.

When you eat more, your body burns more. A temporary increase in calories when you have hit a plateau will “spike” your metabolic rate.

It sends a signal to your body that you are not starving and that it is ok to keep burning calories.

This practice of raising your caloric intake up and down is known as “cycling” your calories (also known as the “zigzag” method).

In general, the lower you go with your calories, the more important it is to take periodic high calorie days.

We’ll take a closer look at “cycling” your calorie and macro nutrients intakes in later posts.

8. Make your goal to lose weight slowly at a rate of 1-2 lbs. per week. Be patient.

The best way to lose fat permanently without muscle loss is to lose weight slowly with a focus on exercise rather than severe calorie cutting.

We already made the suggestion to lose no more than two pounds per week. Let us take a closer look at the logic behind that recommendation.

This two-pound figure has become almost universally accepted as the standard guideline for safe weight loss.

Why? Because you can lose more than two pounds of weight per week, but you’re highly unlikely to lose more than two pounds of fat per week.

Even at two pounds per week, it’s difficult to lose 100% body fat with no loss of lean body mass!

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Clarence Ferguson RTSM/CMTA
Fysiques By Ferguson/Fit Body Club


With the fall and Winter Holidays right around the corner I thought I’d discuss some of the ways you can beat  emotional eating.

Understanding emotional eating and the triggers are just the first part. Now it’s time to break those habits. When you start to reach for food in response to an eating trigger, try one of the following activities instead.

Look elsewhere for comfort. Instead of unwrapping a candy bar, take a walk, treat yourself to a movie, listen to music, read or call a friend. If you think that stress relating to a particular event is nudging you toward the refrigerator, try talking to someone about it to distract yourself. Plan enjoyable events for yourself.

Don’t keep unhealthy foods around. Avoid having an abundance of high-calorie comfort foods in the house. If you feel hungry or blue, postpone the shopping trip for a few hours so that these feelings don’t influence your decisions at the store.


Snack healthy. If you feel the urge to eat between meals, choose a good-fat, and fresh fruit and, vegetables with humus or Guacamole dip .

Eat a balanced diet. If you’re not getting enough calories to meet your energy needs, you may be more likely to give in to emotional eating. Try to eat at fairly regular times and don’t skip breakfast. Include foods from the basic groups in your meals. Emphasize whole grains, vegetables and fruits, as well as full fat raw dairy products and lean protein sources. When you fill up on the basics, you’re more likely to feel fuller, longer.

Exercise regularly and get adequate rest. Your mood is more manageable and your body can more effectively fight stress when it’s fit and well rested.

Try alternative healthy strategies. Sometimes simply distracting yourself from eating and developing alternative habits is not enough to manage the emotional distress that leads to excessive eating. To more effectively cope with emotional stress, try relaxation exercises, meditation, yoga and individual or group counseling.

These techniques address the underlying emotional problems which are causing you to binge and teach you to cope in more effective and healthier ways.


For more information on these techniques, contact your me.

Clarence Ferguson Scottsdale Lifestyle Coach always taking a personal interest in each client!

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Binge eating disorder is characterized by compulsive overeating in which people consume huge amounts of food while feeling out of control and powerless to stop.

A binge eating episode can last an hour or more, or happen periodically throughout the day. Binge eaters are not eating because they are hungry; they are eating as a reaction to an emotional issue. This is why binge eating as well as any over indulgence is tied to emotional overeating.

The key features of binge eating disorder are:

* Frequent episodes of uncontrollable binge eating
* Feeling extremely distressed or upset during or after binging
* No regular attempts to “make up” for the binges through vomiting, fasting, or over-exercising.


People with binge eating disorder struggle with feelings of guilt, disgust, and depression. They worry about what the compulsive eating will do to their bodies, especially the weight gain, and beat themselves up for their lack of self-control. They feel as if they can’t stop and don’t think it’s a serious enough problem to get help.

According to the National Institutes of Health, two percent of all U.S. adults suffer from compulsive overeating-making binge eating disorder more common than bulimia or anorexia. Unlike other eating disorders, which primarily occur in women, binge eating disorder also affects a significant number of men.

Though emotional eating and binge eating are related, they are very different. A binge eater may eat because the food is there and they have no control to stop eating it. An emotional eater reacts from an emotion they are having.

If a binge eater happens upon a box of donuts in the break-room, they can react by eating several in one sitting for no apparent reason other than the fact they see the food there. An emotional eater would react to the food only if an emotion leads them to feel the donuts will numb their feelings.


To determine if binge eating is the cause for weight gain, examine the emotional reasons for it. Processing these emotions are hard and takes time, but there are some good techniques that can help you modify behavior and combat binge eating while working on the underlying issues. Here are a few:

Stay clear of binge foods. Don’t buy or let into the house anything that triggers a binge– whether it’s cookies, chips, pretzels, cheese, or ice cream. If it’s not there, it won’t be there for a binge. Avoiding binge foods at work and other social situations may take some patience, but if that includes avoiding break-room goodies and missing out of social events, do whatever it takes to protect your health.Decorate the fridge with images that motivate you. Clip pictures of fit bodies from your favorite magazines and keep them right where you can see them before you grab some food. Even having a picture of your fit self (or unfit self to stay motivated) will keep you from binging on some of your favorite foods.

Call a friend. Instead of grabbing that bag of chips (which should not even be in the house) reach for the phone a call a friend. Distract yourself with lively conversation. If you really want the chips, pour out a couple and put the bag in a location where they cannot be ready seen.

Grab your journal. Write about all the good things you have been doing for your health lately. Write about all the positive comments others have given you. Jot down notes on what you can do better with adjusting to a new healthy lifestyle. Take a Walk! Anything that gets the mind off eating saves inches off the waist.


Go pamper yourself. Do something positive versus destructive. Paint your toenails, take a bubble bath, get a massage or facial, Go to the gym and burn up a sweat. There are many places to go and healthy activities to take part in can lead you away from the temptation of food.

It takes time to break a bad habit. The weight did not appear over night and it won‘t disappear that way either. Each day is a new learning experience, so there are no slip-ups, back-slides, falling off the wagon, or do-over’s. If you do have a binge, don’t beat yourself up about it, pick yourself up, and work even harder to finish the day strong.

Clarence Ferguson Scottsdale Personal Trainer always takes a personal interest in each client!

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Besides “Carbs” , Sugar has to be the second biggest thing I’m asked about!

There are over 30 names for sugar…

…turbinado sugar, raw sugar, agave syrup, fruit paste, raw honey, malt syrup and many more.

Hey Clarence what’s the best type of sugar to get lean?

Is there such a thing?  A “healthy” sugar?

Remember, sugar is readily used for “immediate short term energy” which means that if you are trying to burn fat for energy then eating any kind of sugar will “delay” the fat burning process.

Sugars also release a hormone called “insulin”. Insulin is a lipogenic hormone which means that it encourages body fat storage. That’s why people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. There body releases too much insulin due to their cells insensitivity to insulin. The only way to increase one’s insulin sensitivity is by losing weight and exercising.

 Arizona’s best  Boot Camp

Clearly, when burning belly fat is a goal, sugar (all forms) need to take a back seat.  But let’s Go a little deeper to find out what’s the best and the worst.

After all, with teens eating nearly 100 lbs of sugar per person, per year, we have some headway to make.  It should be no surprise that research shows belly fat has skyrocketed in this age group.


But adults aren’t much behind.  And the obesity epidemic we’re facing around the world is a tell-tale sign that we’re overfed, yet undernourished.

Let’s get to the good stuff.

First, just because something is organic, doesn’t mean it’s healthy.


Organic sugar isn’t a magical health food like it’s often considered.

It increases belly fat just like plain old table sugar.

Let’s cover a few of the most commonly questioned poisons in the fight against belly fat.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)


This one was invented in the 1970′s.  It’s in nearly every food and beverage in the super market – from breads to ketchup, fruit juice to cereals.  Some have claimed it’s caused obesity saying, this one sweetener is preventing us from losing belly fat permanently.  Interestingly, its use has skyrocketed the same way the obesity epidemic has over the last few decades.  And research has suggested there is a correlation.

This caused a negative spiral of media ads pointing the finger at this one ingredient.

And the Corn Refiners Association fought back.  They created commercials saying that HFCS is no worse than sugar.  What they didn’t say is both are junk, why eat them at all?


My first “problem’ with HFCS is that it was “invented.”  You shouldn’t be eating anything that’s invented anyway.”Its far superior to eat foods as close to the ground as possible.  You can avoid HFCS, just like you can avoid other sugars.  Sure, it is metabolized a bit differently than sugar, but you know what, the foods that are loaded with HFCS are junk – regardless of the form of sugar.  Soda = junk.  Fruit juice cocktails = junk. Popsicles = junk.

It will still make you Fat

If you buy organic options of these same foods, they’re all junk and will prevent you from losing belly fat, put a halt to losing fat from your hips and thighs, or getting back into shape.

Agave Syrup

This natural sweetener recently became popular.  Agave nectar is produced from a plant and is popular in organic markets and with vegans.  It is touted for its low glycemic index, meaning it won’t cause much of a spike in blood sugar.  But no studies are available showing how it compares to other sugars in terms of blood sugar control.

It is primarily made up of fructose, which is in fact lower on the glycemic index.  One important note – if you try this, look for USDA-certified organic products. Most agave comes from Mexico and there have been issues with recalls because of excessive pesticides in the products.

Raw Honey

Often sold at Farmer’s Markets, supporters of this sweetener love that it’s not processed.  I’m there too.  And because it’s not processed, it IS higher in a few nutrients (mainly B Vitamins).  With that said, honey wouldn’t be my first choice for getting in any vitamins and minerals. I DO like that you can use less of it than table sugar because teaspoon for teaspoon, it’s sweeter.

There’s also some very interesting data showing eating local honey may reduce allergies, it can be used as an antiseptic, and much more.  (NOTE: I don’t recommend pouring it on an open wound).


But in the end, will too much honey prevent you from getting the body of your dreams and slashing belly fat?  Sure, it’s still empty calories when you compare it side by side with fruit, for example (which also is high in a form of sugar, but nothing I’d worry about).

 So what do I use Clarence?


All sugars have relatively the same number of calories per gram.

Organic sugars will still prevent you from losing belly fat.


Non organic sugars will prevent you from losing belly fat.


If you are going to use a sweetener, opt for local honey and use it sparingly.  Still, the best way to eat foods is in their natural state – fruit is sweet, enjoy that as dessert.  Grill it to bring out the sweetness.  Add balsamic vinegar to a pan and heat it up to create a calorie free “syrup” that’s great with fruit.


Avoid foods with ingredients that have been “invented” – the closer to the ground they are, the better off you will be.

Enjoy your weekend

Clarence Ferguson RTSM,CMTA

Did you hear it directly, or did you over hear someone talking about you? Was it someone’s child they can be brutal!

Of course you know what a muffin top is right? When your belly pops out over your jeans just like the top of a muffin.

For us men it just is what it is a Beer Belly, or simply noshoesatall” or you can see your shoes because your belly impairs your vision. No matter what it just makes you look bad but FEEL even worse.

Believe me I know as I was pushing a 40” waist for quite a while. Sometime even tying my shoes was an effort.

I did everything I could to hide my ever-growing midsection from drawstring shorts to giant t-shirts. So I truly know what you are going through. NO more partying like a rock star

Now with work, family, kids and life in general I know you can feel like you are just losing control of your body as the scale seems to constantly creep up on its own.

So if you dread having your picture taken, or avert your eyes when you pass a mirror, or if the dreaded “muffin top” has popped up around your waist I’m here to tell you…


A fast, efficient and affordable program that guarantees results.

As you may know we run  16 group fitness classes (Boot Camp) a week which will help you drop 13-19 pounds and drop 3-7 inches from your waist – in only 4 weeks.

It is a simple program of personal training and nutrition with one simple purpose:  getting you lean & firm with a tight and toned midsection in record time.  You will not believe the changes you will see in your belly by only coming 3 x per week for 45 minutes.

And the best news offs all? I am almost giving it away.

This is only open for the next few days, and I only have 5 slots left.   Again, only until Sunday, and there are only 5 openings left

When you call me at 602-615-8019   or Email me now I will hold  your spot. I will also answer any questions you might have about how well this program will work for you.

See you on the lean side,


PS:  Feel free to call  Email me with any questions.  Just think in 4 short weeks your body and life could be completely transformed or you could keep on doing what you are doing.  Now is your chance to make a change for the better. 602-615-8019