Fat Loss By Eating Your Fruit & Vegetables

Fat Loss By Eating Your Fruit & Vegetables

As your Shape-Up For Summer (SU4S ) 2019 challenge is underway, and the Memorial Day weekend around the corner, I will be sending healthy tips and articles I feel are helpful and worth your time to purview. Below is an article by Sophia Ruiz from InBody that gives important facts about why eating fruits and vegetables are so important for our health and our ability to lose unwanted and unhealthy levels of body fat.

I have condensed this long article and but a link on the bottom if you have an interest in greater details. In bold will be thoughts I feel more important to take note of and is not the authors.

May you see a wonderful improvement in the next 5 weeks. See what you can accomplish.

Robert Burns

The Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
A condensed version of article by Sophia Ruiz, InBody, USA

With the modern prevalence of cheap fast food and the standard American diet, it’s no surprise that most Americans don’t hit the daily recommended intake of 2 to 3 cups of fruits and vegetables. (Robert recommends 5 or more servings for great results!)

Between restrictive diets that deteriorate the quality of life, fast food, and the inherent flaws of the Standard American Diet, many may be missing out on the amazing health benefits that fruits and vegetables have to offer. These profound health-promoting qualities lie in the high antioxidant, fiber, and water-soluble vitamin content.

Fiber Is Your Friend!

Fiber has a wide array of health benefits including lowering the risk of developing diseases like diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and more. It may also be beneficial for those who already have diabetes in its proven ability to improve insulin sensitivity — a major issue for diabetics.

For those seeking to improve body composition, research shows that adding fiber to your diet can amplify weight loss goals. Although the exact mechanisms behind the benefits are not all defined yet, studies show a clear association with high fiber intake and markers of health. Considering fruits and vegetables are the highest-fiber foods available to us, they are a huge contributor to fiber intake.

Fiber and Gut Health

To add to the list, the friendly bacteria that live in our gut also thrive off of fruit and vegetable fiber. Because our body doesn’t absorb fiber, it becomes readily available to these bacteria that ferment it. Anti-inflammatory short-chain fatty acids are released as a by-product of this process and are key to protecting the health of the gut. They may also have metabolic implications, including appetite regulation and correlation with lower insulin levels.

Fiber-Rich Fruits and Veggies

Fiber is exclusively found in plant foods, which is just another motivating reason to boost your vegetable and fruit consumption. The level of fiber is dependent on the individual vegetable or fruit.

Fiber Content of Fruits and Vegetables

  • Lentils 11.7g/3.5 oz
  • White Beans, raw 17.7g/3.5 oz
  • Kidney Beans, canned 6.3g/3.5 oz
  • Kiwi 3.39g/3.5 oz

NOTE: To protect the high fiber content of these foods, avoid peeling which can reduce fruit and vegetable fiber content.

Folate, specifically, also plays a critical role in energy production. Folate is essential to the Folate Cycle which assists in converting homocysteine to methionine in the Methionine cycle. ( Note from Robert: Folic Acid is not the same as Folate. folic acid is a synthesized version of vitamin B9 that is added to processed foods and the common version used in supplements. Folates are found in vegetables and fruit! ) With the help of other B-vitamins, methionine is eventually converted into ketobutyrate, which is a key contributor to mitochondrial energy production in the Krebs Cycle.


The well-known health benefits of fruits and vegetables due to their high antioxidant, fiber, and water-soluble vitamin content, like the B-complex and vitamin C, are the basis for the encouragement of including them in your diet. Government bodies currently recommend 1 and ½ to 2 cups of fruits and 2 and ½ to 3 cups of vegetables per day, depending on your sex and age, for optimal health. (Note from Robert: More produces great results)

Restrictive diets that exclude or significantly reduce plant consumption may result in deficiencies of these nutrients, specifically and most likely, vitamin C and fiber. It’s best to discuss a plan for implementing these diets in detail with your doctor after blood work, making sure adopting one of these diets won’t lead to deficiency.

You can include more of the plant foods mentioned above in your diet by consciously planning your meals. Try substituting your snacks for fruits or veggies or include a vegetable in every meal. If you meal prep, it’s really easy to prepare your fruits and veggies in bulk for easy access and consumption!

With the amazing health benefits of fruits and vegetables, abundant availability, and easy preparation, it’s so easy to get these beneficial foods into your diet and achieve optimal health and nutrition.

For the full article go to FULL ARTICLE
Sophia Ruiz is a health and wellness freelance writer & blogger. As an Instagram influencer, she uses her platforms to promote consumer empowerment through education.

Robert’s comments and notes:

After 50 years of working with members on losing weight through exercise and various diets, I have learned that weight loss and fat loss is accomplished through proper eating and nutrition, and your shape, tone, and fitness levels are accomplished through a proper exercise program (of cardio, resistance and strength training, flexibility and posture.)

The most effective way I have found to lose body fat and NOT muscle is eating enough vegetables and fruit (not juices), drinking enough water (about eight 8-ounce glasses), and quality protein (not too much or too little, about 1 gram per 3.lbs of body weight for the average sedentary person and more for highly active persons.

Stay Healthy. Long term fitness!

Depression and Anxiety: Exercise Eases Symptoms

Depression and Anxiety: Exercise Eases Symptoms

During these last 3-4 months, anxiety and depression have grown as our overall activity and exercise levels have decreased. People are eating more, eating more often and choosing poor choices of food. With motivation down, members are taking less healthy nutritional products. Boredom is certainly a factor, less social time with friends and loved ones also a factor, and then the break in many of our healthy routines are leaving many of us in poorer health than at the beginning of the year. Shape-Up members have told me of their concerns about gaining fat and losing muscle tone these last few months. Well, do not wait longer to take action, start now, get back into healthy life patterns!

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that many chronic diseases could be prevented, delayed, or alleviated, through simple lifestyle changes. The CDC estimates that eliminating three risk factors – poor diet, inactivity, and smoking – would prevent: 80% of heart disease and stroke (about 800,000 deaths each year); 80% of type 2 diabetes (about 80,000 deaths each year); and, 40% of cancer (about 600,000 deaths). Chronic diseases are the leading drivers of the nation’s $3.5 trillion in annual health care costs. And as stated above, many these deaths can be prevent with basic lifestyle changes.

The article below by the Mayo Clinic staff in 2017 states it well. And this is even more true now. Get more active daily with exercise or even walking, eat better (much better) and eat less, watch less news, have happy and grateful thoughts. We want you coming back to Shape-Up, one day soon, healthy.

Robert Burns and Staff

By Mayo Clinic Staff Sept. 27, 2017

When you have depression or anxiety, exercise often seems like the last thing you want to do. But once you get motivated, exercise can make a big difference.

Exercise helps prevent and improve a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. Research on depression, anxiety and exercise shows that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can also help improve mood and reduce anxiety.

The links between depression, anxiety and exercise aren’t entirely clear — but working out and other forms of physical activity can definitely ease symptoms of depression or anxiety and make you feel better. Exercise may also help keep depression and anxiety from coming back once you’re feeling better.

How does exercise help depression and anxiety?

Regular exercise may help ease depression and anxiety by:

  • Releasing feel-good endorphins, natural cannabis-like brain chemicals (endogenous cannabinoids) and other natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being
  • Taking your mind off worries so you can get away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression and anxiety
  • Regular exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits, too. It can help you:
  • Gain confidence. Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance.
  • Get more social interaction. Exercise and physical activity may give you the chance to meet or socialize with others. Just exchanging a friendly smile or greeting as you walk around your neighborhood can help your mood.
  • Cope in a healthy way. Doing something positive to manage depression or anxiety is a healthy coping strategy. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on how you feel, or hoping depression or anxiety will go away on its own can lead to worsening symptoms.

Is a structured exercise program the only option?
Some research shows that physical activity such as regular walking — not just formal exercise programs — may help improve mood. Physical activity and exercise are not the same thing, but both are beneficial to your health.
Physical activity is any activity that works your muscles and requires energy and can include work or household or leisure activities.
Exercise is a planned, structured and repetitive body movement done to improve or maintain physical fitness.

The word “exercise” may make you think of running laps around the gym. But exercise includes a wide range of activities that boost your activity level to help you feel better.
Certainly running, lifting weights, playing basketball and other fitness activities that get your heart pumping can help. But so can physical activity such as gardening, washing your car, walking around the block or engaging in other less intense activities. Any physical activity that gets you off the couch and moving can help improve your mood.

You don’t have to do all your exercise or other physical activity at once. Broaden how you think of exercise and find ways to add small amounts of physical activity throughout your day. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a little farther away from work to fit in a short walk. Or, if you live close to your job, consider biking to work.

How much is enough?
Doing 30 minutes or more of exercise a day for three to five days a week may significantly improve depression or anxiety symptoms. But smaller amounts of physical activity — as little as 10 to 15 minutes at a time — may make a difference. It may take less time exercising to improve your mood when you do more-vigorous activities, such as running or bicycling.

The mental health benefits of exercise and physical activity may last only if you stick with it over the long term — another good reason to focus on finding activities that you enjoy.

How do I get started — and stay motivated?
Starting and sticking with an exercise routine or regular physical activity can be a challenge. These steps can help:
Identify what you enjoy doing. Figure out what type of physical activities you’re most likely to do, and think about when and how you’d be most likely to follow through. For instance, would you be more likely to do some gardening in the evening, start your day with a jog, or go for a bike ride or play basketball with your children after school? Do what you enjoy to help you stick with it.

Get your mental health professional’s support. Talk to your doctor or mental health professional for guidance and support. Discuss an exercise program or physical activity routine and how it fits into your overall treatment plan.

Set reasonable goals. Your mission doesn’t have to be walking for an hour five days a week. Think realistically about what you may be able to do and begin gradually. Tailor your plan to your own needs and abilities rather than setting unrealistic guidelines that you’re unlikely to meet.
Don’t think of exercise or physical activity as a chore. If exercise is just another “should” in your life that you don’t think you’re living up to, you’ll associate it with failure. Rather, look at your exercise or physical activity schedule the same way you look at your therapy sessions or medication — as one of the tools to help you get better.

Analyze your barriers. Figure out what’s stopping you from being physically active or exercising. If you feel self-conscious, for instance, you may want to exercise at home. If you stick to goals better with a partner, find a friend to work out with or who enjoys the same physical activities that you do. If you don’t have money to spend on exercise gear, do something that’s cost-free, such as regular walking. If you think about what’s stopping you from being physically active or exercising, you can probably find an alternative solution.
Prepare for setbacks and obstacles. Give yourself credit for every step in the right direction, no matter how small. If you skip exercise one day, that doesn’t mean you can’t maintain an exercise routine and might as well quit. Just try again the next day. Stick with it.

Do I need to see my doctor?
Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program to make sure it’s safe for you. Talk to your doctor to find out which activities, how much exercise and what intensity level is OK for you. Your doctor will consider any medications you take and your health conditions. He or she may also have helpful advice about getting started and staying motivated.

If you exercise regularly but depression or anxiety symptoms still interfere with your daily living, see your doctor or mental health professional. Exercise and physical activity are great ways to ease symptoms of depression or anxiety, but they aren’t a substitute for talk therapy (psychotherapy) or medications.


  1. Cooney GM, et al. Exercise for depression. JAMA. 2014;311:2432.
  2. Peterson DM. The benefits and risks of exercise. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Sept. 15, 2017.
  3. Greer TL, et al. Improvements in psychosocial functioning and health-related quality of life following exercise augmentation in patients with treatment response but nonremitted major depressive disorder: Results from the TREAD study. Depression and Anxiety. 2016;33:870.
  4. Schuch FB, et al. Exercise as treatment for depression: A meta-analysis adjusting for publication bias. Journal of Psychiatric Research. 2016;77:42.
  5. Understand physical activity, exercise and your heart. Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. http://www.secondscount.org/healthy-living/physical-activity-exercise#.WbGhPWeWzRF. Accessed Sept. 7, 2017.
  6. Physical activity and health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm. Accessed Sept. 7, 2017.
  7. Exercise for mental health: 8 keys to get and stay moving. National Alliance on Mental Illness. https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/May-2016/Exercise-for-Mental-Health-8-Keys-to-Get-and-Stay. Accessed Sept. 7, 2017.
  8. Exercise for stress and anxiety. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety/exercise-stress-and-anxiety. Accessed Sept. 7, 2017.
  9. Zschucke E, et al. Exercise and physical activity in mental disorders: Clinical and experimental evidence. Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health. 2013;46:512.
  10. Anderson E, et al. Effects of exercise and physical activity on anxiety. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2013;4:1.
    Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 19, 2017.

SU4S – Week Five – Top 3 Performers

Can you see the finish line, challengers? A shout out to Greg Farinsky, Hillary Jones, Linda Ellis, and Teresa Ontiveros for a great week of effort! 7 days. 168 hours. 10,080 minutes. Time left in the 2017 SU4S Challenge. Stay focused!

1st Place

Greg Farinsky, Hillary Jones, Linda Ellis, and Teresa Ontiveros
Workout Effort 100%
Nutrition Effort 100%

2nd Place

Kristin Ridge
Total Effort 92%

3rd Place

Hayley McConnville, Kathy Hoffman, Robert Burns Rene Rimlinger, and Melane Barney
Total Effort 83%

*The weekly top 3 is based on the ‘Greatness Board’ self-assessment points.

FOOD 101: Free Lecture On Navigating The Grocery Store

FOOD 101: Free Lecture On Navigating The Grocery Store

REVISED Date: Thursday, May 25th
Time: 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Where: Shape-Up Health Club // SPIN Studio
Speaker: Christina Ratusznik
Cost: FREE

Christina will take you through the different departments of the grocery store, what you should buy and what you should avoid. She will discuss the things you should always have on your grocery list and what to leave off.

Learn how to shop, prep, and make meals for a healthy lifestyle. Learn the benefits of different food. Learn what you should be putting into your body and why.

SU4S – Week Four – Top 3 Performers

SU4S – Week Four – Top 3 Performers

Great job last week Melane Barney! There are 2 weeks left in this year’s Shape-Up For Summer Challenge. A caterpillar takes approximately the same amount of time to turn into a butterfly. Let’s Work!

1st Place

Melane Barney
Workout Effort 100%
Nutrition Effort 100%

2nd Place

Kristin Ridge
Total Effort 92%

3rd Place

Tina Murphy, Rene Rimlinger
Total Effort 83%
*The weekly top 3 is based on the ‘Greatness Board’ self-assessment points.

SU4S – Week Three – Top 3 Performers

We have officially arrived at the SU4S halfway mark! A major shout out to Linda Ellis who has been giving it 100% every week. If you’ve been slacking, it’s time to get cracking! 21 days down, 21 days to go.

1st Place

Clarissa Butler, Anita Chaitin, Linda Ellis
Workout Effort 100%
Nutrition Effort 100%

2nd Place

Rene Rimlinger
Total Effort 84%

3rd Place

Tina Murphy
Total Effort 75%

*The weekly top 3 is based on the ‘Greatness Board’ self-assessment points.