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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                                August 15, 2008 
  • Start Your Day With a Good Breakfast
  • Bust These Weight Loss Myths
  • Free Active Adults FITT Testing Program
    for Current Clients
  • Sign-up... The Fall Whack-it League is
    Coming in September



Start Your Day With a Good Breakfast
To Eat or Not to Eat
Much like the great "should you drink water" debate, there is also the "should you eat breakfast" debate. Recently an article appeared on suggesting that eating breakfast was neither essential for good health nor did it improve brain function. Given the way your body responds to eating and the demand from the brain for a constant source of fuel, namely glucose, there are several compelling reasons why
taking the time for breakfast is good for your health, head and waistline.   

Skipping Breakfast is an Unhealthily Habit
If you decide to skip breakfast your biggest challenge is going to be overeating. Your body will have gone for a full 18 hours without food. This creates a strong demand for food and
overeating is the most common reaction to going that long without food. It is very stressful on your brain to be without an easy source of energy for that length of time. The research on brain function shows that without adequate energy supplies, your creativity, problem solving, test scores and decision making are all significantly reduced.  


How Your Body Works
The healthy choice is to eat breakfast. Making the choice is easier if you look at some body metabolism basics.
Promoting an active metabolism, keeping hunger in check and maintaining stable blood sugar levels means feeding your body optimally about every 4 hours. Past 6 and certainly 8 hours, your body starts a metabolic shutdown due to a lack of food. Low blood sugar levels signal the metabolic centers in the brain to slow down your body processes and conserve energy. The longer your body goes without food, the slower your metabolism gets. So if you eat dinner at 6 pm and don't eat again until 12 noon the next day, you are a full 18 hours past the beneficial eating time.

Starting The Day Off Right
If eating breakfast makes sense to you from both a metabolic and health standpoint; let's look at what constitutes healthy breakfast food choices. When it comes to sugar and insulin levels in the body,
the breakfast meal sets the tone for the rest of your day. A well balanced, low glycemic (food that converts to sugar slowly) breakfast energizes your body and helps your brain stay sharp. A poorly balanced, high glycemic (food that converts to sugar quickly) breakfast puts blood sugar and insulin levels in a hormonal tailspin. The rest of your day is spent playing catch-up trying to balance sugar, insulin and hunger levels.

High Glycemic Eating is Stressful
Eating a high glycemic breakfast (lots of simple carbohydrates) is probably worse than eating no breakfast at all. A good example of a high glycemic breakfast would be a sticky bun or a highly processed sugary cereal with a cup of coffee. This breakfast is going to quickly and significantly raise your blood sugar. Just as quickly, about 2 hours later, blood glucose levels will crash and you'll feel hungry, maybe even light headed and tired. On the other hand, if you had chosen an egg, ½ piece of toast with butter and a ½ piece of fruit,
you would feel energized, clear headed and satisfied 4 hours later. Choosing the right type of food for the first meal of the day really makes a difference in how you feel and perform. 

My advice to you; make time for a healthy breakfast. Spare yourself the mental and physical stress on your body and health that follows skipping the most important meal of the day. 

When it comes to healthier eating, having the right program makes all the difference  between success and failure. End the struggle with your weight once and for all. Contact us for more information on Fresh Start Healthy Weight or to schedule your free Fresh Start consultation. Call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to to learn more


Reach a Healthy Weight Faster


Bust These Weight Loss Myths

The struggle with maintaining a healthy weight comes mainly from clinging to outdated technology and mythical solutions that don't work. In the weight loss arena there are literally hundreds of myths. Today we'll take on several myths that are pervasive in the weight loss community. Follow these myths and you will NEVER and I mean NEVER reach and sustain a healthy weight. Remove these myths from your weight loss program and you can easily reach and maintain a healthy weight.     


Myth #1 Burn-off Those Calories
The weight loss community says you need to follow a special diet and exercise to burn-off those extra calories. I bet you have tried this approach more than once and it didn't work. They concoct special exercise techniques and discuss fat burning zones to melt away your body fat. The bottom line, exercise is a POOR weight loss tool and here is why. You can never burn off more calories than you can take in on a daily basis. It is a failed strategy if you say to yourself "I can eat this and then just go burn it off." Healthy weight loss requires eating a healthy portion of food and not overeating. Plain and simple, whether you are active or sedentary, if you are overweight then you are overeating. 


A Better Alternative

Exercise is an excellent health improvement tool. It reduces stress, builds stronger bones and muscles, rehabilitates painful joints and muscles, strengthens your heart and keeps you in top physical condition so you can play and have more fun. For best results, take every hour that you exercise and spend 15 minutes on strengthening your heart and lungs, 30 minutes lifting weights and 15 minutes stretching.


Eat Smarter
Let's say you eat 500 more calories than you need daily for a week. That is 3500 calories or about a pound of fat you have just added to your body. With all good intentions, you go to the gym and try to "burn off" those cookies, donuts and chips in an effort to lose weight. In truth, the average person burns about 250 calories an hour in a typical workout on a treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike. Do the math and you'll see that it takes about 14 hours of exercise just to keep from gaining weight. Even if you divide that by 7 days in a week, it's still a whopping 2 hours a day at the gym. What is wrong with that strategy? Few people can commit that much time going to the gym, most people will get hurt in the process and that kind of time commitment is not sustainable long-term.     


Myth #2 The Fat Burning Zone
You have read that for best results when going to the gym, work in the "fat burning zone" to maximize weight loss. This "fat burning zone" supposedly consists of keeping your exercise intensity in the 55 to 60% of your maximum heart rate so you just burn fat for energy. This is all fine and good but at this reduced level of exercise intensity, even though you burn a greater percentage of fat, your total energy burned per hour is cut in half. Now you must take that 2 hours a day at the gym and increase it to 4.


A Better Alternative
When exercising, safely work as hard as you can for your ability and conditioning level. For most people this is in the 80 to 85% of your maximum heart rate. Design your exercise program to efficiently build muscle to increase metabolism, maximize both muscle and bone strength, improve circulation and cardiovascular conditioning, improve balance, stabilize painful joints and reduce stress. If designed properly, higher intensity training produces faster results in less time spent.  


Myth #3 Do Lots of Repetitions to Tone and Not Bulk

When weight lifting, some experts tell you to use light weights and do lots of repetitions to "tone and sculpt." They suggest that light weights and high repetitions are beneficial so that you don't build bulky muscles. Unfortunately this is bad advice when it comes to losing weight. Lifting light weights and doing high repetitions don't provide much stimulation for the muscle tissues to grow.


A Better Alternative
The faster you can build muscle the easier it will be to increase your metabolism, lose excess body fat and keep your blood sugar and weight stable. When lifting weights, safely lift as much as you can for your conditioning levels. For weight loss, lower repetition (8 to 12) weight training is much more effective than high repetition (15 to 20) toning. If you are a woman, don't worry about bulky muscles. Women only get big and bulky muscles if they are taking some kind of performance enhancing drugs.


Try and bust these weight loss myths and you will be amazed at how easy it is to reach a healthy weight.   

Staying active and physically fit is the best way to avoid chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, alzheimer's, osteoporosis and depression. Commit to Getting Active, Eating Healthier and Reducing Stress while living a healthier lifestyle. No matter how old you are, Fresh Start provides the education, motivation and accountability necessary to improve your health while helping you feel and look your best. For a free Fresh Start consultation, please call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to    


Sign-up for Fall Whack-it League Starting in September

Fall is fast approaching and we are starting our first 8 week Whack-it league. Each team will be playing an hour a week of doubles and/or singles. Find a partner and sign-up now. Wew ill have a whole lot of fun and there will be prizes for the winning teams.
Whack-it is a fun and active way to: 

  • Reduce excess body fat
  • Improve muscle strength and bone density
  • Promote balance and body coordination
  • Develop eye hand coordination 
  • Increase your stamina with a stronger heart and lungs

For reservations or more information please contact:

Woody McMahon or Sigrid Jackman at 703-464-5171 or email to



Free Active Adult FITT Testing Program
for Current Clients

Your Conditioning is Important to Your Health
Research continues to show the positive effects of good physical conditioning on maintaining your heath and independence. You noticed I said physical conditioning not exercise; there is a big difference. Physical conditioning is a broader measure of fitness. It includes stamina, balance, flexibility and strength as its important components. Just going to the health club or Yoga studio is not enough to put you in good physical condition!


The Signs of Poor Physical Conditioning
The body will tell you when you're not paying enough attention to it. Stiff and sore muscles and joints, back and neck pain, shortness of breath walking up stairs, headaches, difficulty getting out of a chair, sleep trouble, arthritis and difficulty tying your shoes or putting on your pants are all signs of lack of physical conditioning. The best way to maintain your independence as you get older is to have a conditioning program that keeps your body in top condition.     


Testing for Physical Conditioning
We are offering FITT, the physical conditioning testing program affiliated with the Presidential Physical Fitness Awards program for adults. Once you complete the tests, you'll receive a conditioning score. You can compare your score with a national ranking system to see how well you did. For those interested in improving their score, we are offering an assessment fof your current fitness program; improved program design and conditioning classes specifically designed to improve your scores.    

The Time to Start is Now

It is easier than you think to improve your physical conditioning and your health.
Dedicating as little as three hours a week can make a significant difference in how you look and feel. Health problems don't need to slow you down or keep you from enjoying life unless you let them. Besides, getting active, eating healthier and reducing stress significantly improves most medical problems. Remember, it takes being proactive now if you want to be an Active Adult in the future.


Become An Active Adult Today
Testing is free for current clients and $39 for non-clients. Give us a call at 703-464-5171 or email to schedule your FITT test today.

You can also click on the link to take our
Health Investment Questionnaire, a great way to learn what it takes to stay independent and healthful for the rest of your life. 

Continued Good Health,


Woody McMahon

The Sequoia Advisor

Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.
483A Carlisle Dive
Herndon, VA 20170  

Required Disclaimer: The material provided herein should not be construed as a health-care diagnosis,
treatment regimen or any other prescribed health-care advice or instruction. The material is provided with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in the practice of medicine or any other health-care profession and does not enter into a health-care practitioner/patient relationship with its readers. The publisher does not advise or recommend to its readers treatment or action with regard to matters relating to their health or well-being other than suggesting that readers consult appropriate health-care professionals in such matters. No action should be taken based solely on the content of this publication. The material and opinions provided herein are believed to be accurate and sound at the time of publication, based on the best judgment available to the authors. However, readers who rely on material in this publication to replace the advice of health-care professionals, or who fail to consult with health-care professionals, assume all risks of such conduct. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions. 

Copyright (c) 2006-2008 by Sequoia Health and Fitness
, Inc.

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