Liquid Disaster

Liquid diets can be disastrous! These diets work better for people who are morbidly obese and, for health reasons, have limited options. And even then, they should only be used under close medical supervision.

Some facts to consider prior to beginning a liquid diet:

If you choose a liquid diet, what will happen when you resume eating whole foods? The liquid diet is not helping you learn good eating habits, good nutrition, or how to control portions. You may be leaving your body short of vitamins, minerals and nutrients – possibly creating serious health hazards.

Some liquid protein diets have been associated with cardiac arrythmias, and many contain high amounts of sodium which can be especially detrimental to those with high blood pressure. They can also cause too much fluctuation in blood sugar levels for diabetics and cause loss of lean body mass in people who are mildly obese.

Beware of the claims that liquid diet programs make. They are rarely backed by scientific evidence and often fail to provide important information such as how much weight people tyically regain after completion of the liquid diet. They can also cause muscle cramps, dizziness, and other negative side effects.

Liquid diets leave you longing for the pleasure of eating. We were designed to eat – just not excessively and not in conjunction with a sedentary lifestyle. Liquid diets may also lead to binge eating later.

It is much safer to set up a regular diet and exercise plan that will be better for your body and provide longterm success.

Frank Thomas is the owner of Innovations Fitness in McDonough, GA. He & his staff at Innovations are available to help you find a healthy, longterm eating and exercise plan.

Oh, My Aching Joints!

Many people (including me) suffer from a variety of joint problems from stiffness and inflexibility to minor and major pain. If this is true for you, you may need to consult a doctor before starting an exercise program. However, if you want to gain movement in your limbs, exercise may be the best remedy.

The muscles that surround the joints actually protect the joints. Improving the joint muscles can help alleviate pain and stiffness.

Some tips from the Arthritis Foundation:

1) Before you exercise, apply heat or ice treatments to the area you will work.

2) Spend fifteen minutes warming up before you exercise.

3) Stop if you feel chest tightness or shortness of breath. Stop if you feel sick or faint.

4) If you have a muscle cramp or pain, gently rub and stretch the muscle.

5) After exercising, cool down for five minutes.

Check out other suggestions on the Arthritis Foundation website at, and get started today to improve your flexibility and decrease your pain.

Frank Thomas, Owner of Innovations Fitness


Break the fast!  Don’t Skip Breakfast!

Your pants seem to be squeezing your middle a little too much. The bathroom scales say you have gained weight. Like many people, your body has been shedding muscle and replacing it with fat without your awareness.

As we age we tend to become less active. The fat we formerly burned with activity begins to collect. Most of us can make some noticeable changes by being more active, but we also need to be smart about what we eat.

Start the day right by eating. Breakfast means to literally “Break the fast”. Your metabolism slows down during sleep when you are not eating so that your body can conserve energy. So you wake up your metabolism when you eat breakfast. You should not skip breakfast any more than you would expect your car to start in the morning without fuel. Don’t expect your body’s metabolism to start its work of fat burning without fuel either.

Some quick tips for a healthier breakfast:

Eat a fruit like grapefruit first. You will gain fiber and vitamins and eat less of other stuff.

Stay away from high-sugar foods like danish and doughnuts. The blood sugar dip that will occur a couple of hours later will likely result in you seeking out another sugar rush to perk you up.

Get some fiber by eating cereals that are low in sugar, toast with a sugar-free jelly, or oatmeal.

Think egg whites. It’s the egg yolk that is bad. Eat a three-egg omelet with two egg whites and one egg yolk. The taste will be the same, but you will save 10 grams of fat.

Try ham, not bacon. If you want meat with your eggs, ham is leaner than bacon and sausage. If you have to have bacon, try Canadian bacon. You can eat twice as much for half the fat.

Low-fat pancakes are frozen and ready for the toaster. They typically have 1-½ grams of fat per three pancakes saving six grams over those that are made from scratch. Top them with fresh fruit instead of syrup or butter.

Buy frozen hash browns, but skip the instructions on the bag. Brown in a nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Cook on medium heat for 12 minutes per side for crispness. You will save ten grams of fat over hash browns fried in oil.

“Break your fast” with healthy options. For other help with a healthy weight-loss plan, call us at 770-898-9691.

Rev Up!

Getting fit doesn’t have to be a major production. Try these simple ideas to rev up your lifestyle:

1) Walk the dog 2-3 times daily.

2) Walk the mall. It can be fun in all types of weather. Some malls even give incentive to walkers.

3) Walk during your lunch hour.

4) Jump rope.  It is one of the top fat burners.

5) Get outside and ride a bike.

6) Use a fitness professional for a couple of sessions to teach you routines that are right for you.

7) Try simple exercise equipment like a body bar, mini trampoline, tubes and bands.

8) Lift weights 3 times per week. It can increase your metabolism as much as 20%.

9) Don’t get stuck in the same workout rut. For fun, do that favorite routine in backwards order.

10) Exercise during TV commercials at a high intensity. Try to do 8-10 commercial sessions in a day’s TV viewing.

Need some other ideas or some accountability to get you going?  Come see us!

Drive-Through Eating – Ouch!

We live in a world where we are so busy that we often zip into fast food restaurants, grab a bag and zoom off to tackle the next item on our agenda. With instant meals available from 24/7 grocery stores, an abundance of fast food restaurants, and convenience stores on each corner, we fill our bodies with fast food that is full of fat, cholesterol, and processing chemicals. A typical meal of a hamburger, french fries and a soft drink usually contains more than 1,000 calories.

Though we may not be able to slow the pace of our daily lives considerably, we can choose wisely when it comes to fast food. For instance, if you are craving a hamburger, choose one with one patty rather than two, and you may save as much as ten grams of fat.  Many hamburgers are cholesterol-choking heart attacks waiting to happen. If you are just craving the taste, try a kids-size meal and supplement with something healthier. Choose fruit, salad, or vegetable as a side instead of fries. Leave off the cheese, mayonnaise, and special sauces!

Try lean roast beef or turkey for a change. Chicken that is grilled, baked or broiled is much better than fried chicken. When trying to choose a healthier option such as a salad or a wrap, be sure that you don’t defeat your efforts by adding salad dressings, cheeses, and other additions that significantly increase the fat and calories. Don’t let your salad option be compromised by high-calorie additions such as buttery croutons or a tortilla shell bowl. If you must have pizza, choose thin crust and lay off the fattening toppings.

A good alternative to traditional fast food is fresh fruit, salad, and low-fat yogurt that can now be found in many convenience stores. Avoid upsizing when you are ordering your meal! Look for low-fat, great tasting sandwiches available at a number of fast food restaurants. And avoid empty calories associated with many soft drinks by choosing water, diet sodas, or unsweetened tea instead.

Though our schedules don’t always allow for making healthy meals at home, with a little thought, we can find good-tasting fast food that is also good for us. Do some research on-line to find some healthier fast food options at your favorite restaurants so you won’t be tempted to fall back on bad choices when you arrive.

Come into Innovations Fitness today, and let us get you started toward making healthier choices!

Frank Thomas – – 678-632-1496

The Too Busy Squeeze

Many people just can’t find the time for fitness. Many feel exhausted and overwhelmed by hectic schedules. What would surprise most of the people who are caught in the too busy squeeze is how much better they would feel and how much more energy they would have if they made the time for fitness.

A hectic schedule is exactly the reason you should work out. Some tips to help overcome the too busy squeeze include:

1) Schedule your workout time. Make an appointment with yourself. Yes, set a regular time and date, and do it.

2) Find a workout buddy. A workout friend helps both to follow through.

3) Reward yourself. Buy yourself a new outfit. Splurge on a movie or some other non-fattening reward after a set number of completed workouts.

4) Join a health club or fitness class that is convenient to where you work or live. Don’t put it off. Now is the time.

5) Treat yourself to a few sessions with a personal trainer. Many have very reasonable rates and can energize your exercise routine.

6) Consider what else is in your regular routine that could be eliminated to make time for fitness.

Even if all you can find time for is 10 minutes of physical activity a day, you will likely find yourself re-energized and relaxed when the too busy squeeze hits.

To set up a workout routine that will fit into your schedule, contact Innovations Fitness in McDonough, GA,  @ 770-8989691.

Women:  Lift Weights

Regularly when I stop and talk with our female members about their fitness goals, I hear that they wish to firm and tone, lose body fat, and lose inches in certain areas of the body. Ladies often tell me that they have concerns that strength training will bulk them up and that they don’t want big muscles.

However, I would like to put to rest this notion that lifting weights will make women bulkier and bigger. Women that you may have seen on TV or in a magazine who achieve such results from strength training are typically taking supplements and lifting at a professional level far beyond what is recommended for the average woman.

Strength training done properly will help you lose inches, gain muscle that burns more calories, and will help you maintain a healthier body for living life. One pound of muscle burns ten times more calories than one pound of fat but occupies only one tenth of the space on your body.

By age 60, the average woman has lost 60% of the natural muscles she had at age 25. This process begins in the age 30-35 range so if you are at that age or above you are already experiencing natural muscle loss.

Ladies, don’t resist weight training. It will help you achieve your goals for fitness and for firming and toning your body. Stop by Innovations Fitness so we can help you get on a program of cardio and strength training that will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and combat the natural loss of muscle.

- Frank Thomas

Finding Motivation

People in this country spend billions of dollars each year to lose weight and get fit. Yet statistically, there are 72.5 million clinically obese people in the U.S.

My gym and others should be packed to the bursting stage, but that is not always true. Why, then, when we live in an age when so much is known about getting and staying fit are so many people overweight?

As a gym owner and trainer, I think it is because so many people want to depend on someone else to solve their fitness and nutrition issues. We want a magic pill, a magic diet, someone to hold our hands, a recipe to cook, etc. The truth is that it is ultimately up to us.

Maybe you are missing that passion that is necessary to get fit. To help you gain a passion for exercise I suggest that you start with writing.

1) List the things that get in the way of your getting fit. Beside them list solutions to overcome them.

2) List three bold fitness goals. Working toward them may ignite the “I can!” in you.

3) Before you work out, write down the things that bother you – those things that give you negative energy as you work out. Concentrate on burning off those negatives as you exercise, and afterwards write down the positives.

Work on developing a stronger, more fit body, and watch as your passion increases and transforms your life. Your old negatives will become positives. You can transform your life as well as your body.

- Frank Thomas

Not So Resolute

Some of us ate way too much over the holidays. Many of us were in trouble even before the holidays though, and our bulging waistlines have us thinking we need to do better now that the holidays are behind us.

Yes, you can make a resolution to do better, but you probably didn’t get out of shape only during the holidays. Our bad habits are ongoing. Dont’ just make a resolution that you forget about by the second week of the new year. Take time to sit down and develop a plan to correct longterm behavior. People who take the time to make a plan typically have more success.

Some tips:

1) Regular physical activity is an essential component of any weight-loss program.

2) Set aside time for yourself. You deserve a little time each day for your personal health and well-being.

3) Set small, attainable goals and build from there. Try a goal of losing 5 pounds to start with rather than focusing on the 30 you need to lose. Do it in small chunks. Realize that your longterm goals won’t be met overnight.

4) Avoid excuses. Anticipate difficulties and overcome them. Solicit the moral support and accountability of family and friends.

5)  Get going now! What are you waiting for? Start slowly and build. Make your health and fitness a priority – not just for 2011 but for life.

Ho! Ho! Whoa!

As we end the year and head into the holiday season, many of us will find that we are gaining weight. By mid-January many gyms won’t be able to handle the New Year’s resolution crowd. Don’t wait until January to make smart choices. Start now. Try these helpful holiday tips to control that bulging waistline:

- Eat breakfast. Choose fiber such as oatmeal. Start your body’s metabolism by eating in the morning. That way you won’t be as famished at lunch and can eat in moderation then.

- Exercise. Join a gym or get in some other fitness routine like walking your neighborhood. Take the time to at least exercise in 10-15-minute bursts several times a day.

- Add fruit and leafy, green vegetables to your diet.

- Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. Water aids digestion, metabolism, and excretion.

- Realize that you will be eating holiday treats and back off on food quantities so you can splurge a little later.

- Put a gym membership on your Christmas wish list and/or give a gym gift certificate to a family member or friend. Then you can have a workout partner while giving a gift that will make the recipient healthier.

Finally, visit us at Innovations Fitness and let us help you get in gear for a great holiday season.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Innovations Fitness!!