Studio: 6809 Cascade Rd SE, Suite A, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Grand Rapids Trainer News: Can You Out-Train Your Diet?

November 2nd, 2015 by Debbie Martilotta

donutkickerGrand Rapids Strength Trainer Debbie Martilotta Explains Why Nutrition Has to Be Part of Your Plan

People often come to me saying they need to “work out more” to lose weight. And many of them shed plenty of pounds in two short half-hour weekly sessions with me. However, he truth is that you CANNOT out-train your diet, no matter how hard you work. You simply cannot burn enough calories to eat like King Henry. I know this from personal experience, and the science behind strength training! Strength training DOES elevate your metabolism, and replacing fat with lean muscle developed through a rigorous strength training program will certainly make you LOOK, and feel,  slimmer. But a good personal trainer will not leave nutrition out of the equation. I coach my clients to remember that “real food” doesn’t have an ingredient label!

Sometimes, even when your caloric intake isn’t the problem, there are other things that interfere with weight management. I help clients determine what’s beating them in the battle of the bulge. Here are a few things to consider:

Allergies – Are you having a difficult time shedding pounds? You may have some food allergies. To find out you can start by removing wheat, grain, and dairy (these are the biggest culprits) from your diet for two to three weeks. Also eliminate corn, soy and consider nixing additives such as food coloring and preservatives.

Bad Breakfast – Another habit that sets you up for failure is eating too many carbs at breakfast, which leads to spikes in insulin levels and sets you up for cravings later in the day. It’s best to have protein and healthy fats in the morning. An omelet (with the yolk), or a smoothie blended with healthy fats such as avocado, almond butter, coconut oil, or MCT oil would be a much better option than cereal or a muffin, even the healthy, whole wheat kinds.

Trans fats have been shown to raise bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower good cholesterol (HDL), factors that contribute to the risk of developing heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. Your best bet for avoiding partially hydrogenated oils:

  • Shop the periphery of the store. Stick to whole food items in the produce, meat and dairy departments. Bring home foods that are as close to their original state as possible.
  • Read the label and the ingredient list. Check for the grams of trans fats per serving, avoid anything over 0 grams (if it is within your power to do so) and even if the grams says “0,” ensure that the ingredients does not list any “partially hydrogenated” oils.
  • Cook your own foods from scratch. The best way to avoid trans fats is to prepare foods the old-fashioned way with natural ingredients like how your grandparents would have done. This is the only way to really control what goes into your body.
  • Select products with the fewest ingredients. More is not necessarily better.
  • Avoid processed foods that come in a box, bag, or can.
  • If it contains ingredients that you can’t pronounce, it’s probably to be avoided.

Looking for a personal strength trainer in the Grand Rapids area to help you navigate nutrition and get you working out in two half-hour sessions a week? Contact me to get started!

Grand Rapids Trainer News: Weight Training May Improve Brain Health

October 22nd, 2015 by Debbie Martilotta

cognitiveCan strength training with Grand Rapids Personal Trainer Debbie Martilotta twice a week actually fight the loss of memory and cognition attributed to “gaps” in the aging brain? According to an article published on the New York Times website, the answer could very well be yes.

By the time many of us reach late middle age, our brains have started developing small lesions or gaps within the white matter, which many studies claim to be the cause of lapses in recall or cognition. White matter fills the space between other areas of the brain, and is responsible for communication between these centers. These lesions only get bigger over time, but there are steps you can take to slow them down and keep the white matter intact. One of which is getting regular exercise. Usually when people hear this, they think of aerobic exercises, not necessarily strength training.

In a study performed by Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, it was discovered that strength training may also contribute to slowing down the growth of these gaps. Read the rest of this entry »

Staying Lean Over the Holidays!

October 12th, 2015 by Debbie Martilotta

gallery4Most people gain fat during the end-of-year holiday season. They eat anything and everything in sight. You don’t have to be “most people.” Find out how to start off the New Year lean!

You can either make excuses (we all do this easily enough, especially during the holidays) or you can take positive action. Which one is most likely to happen if you are prepared, have a goal and have a plan?

When you’re prepared, you can still indulge and enjoy your favorite holiday foods without your fitness goals falling apart.

A nutrition program high in fiber is a vital key to any fat loss plan. Fiber helps you to feel full, making it easier to eat fewer calories. In addition, more calories are burned from digesting high fiber foods. Good sources of fiber include lots of veggies and plant materials.

Getting enough of the good fats will help you lose fat, build muscle, and recover faster from your workouts.

2 Good fats include: polyunsaturated (especially Omega-3’s), such as those from fish and nuts (especially almonds), as well as monounsaturated fats, such as those from peanut butter, olive oil, egg yolks, and fish oil. You can also get them from:

  • Sunflower Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Walnuts
  • Avocados
  • Almonds

An increase to your protein intake will boost your metabolism and help to maintain your muscle mass, both key ingredients in losing fat and keeping it off.

3 Health Benefits of Strength Training Exercises

October 12th, 2015 by Debbie Martilotta


Even if you don’t plan on bulking up or competing in weight lifting competitions any time soon, strength training is a crucial part of any exercise regimen. Here are three great reasons to incorporate weight training into your workouts.

1. It promotes strong bones. Weakening bones is a concern that all people have to face as they age. The stress that strength training puts on your bones increases their density and prevents osteoporosis, keeping you strong and healthy as years pass.

2. It helps to control your weight. While you might relate weight loss with intense cardiovascular workouts, strength training is just as important if you want to lose weight. Gaining muscle increases your metabolism and causes your body to burn calories more efficiently.

3. It gives you more energy. Like all workouts, strength training increases your stamina and helps you to stay alert and focused. After a few weeks of regular weight lifting or body weight exercises, you’ll notice that you feel more energized throughout the day. Some scientific studies even show that years of regular strength training exercises help to sharpen your focus and keep your mind attentive as you age.

There are many other reasons to begin a strength training regimen, both for physical and mental benefit. To get started, Contact Us, and we can customize a plan that works for both you and your schedule.

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