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The Contour Belt – You Must Be Kidding Me!

Posted on October 28th, 2009 by Matt Schoeneberger

The Contour Belt: This product will not make good on the promises it makes. The reason we feel the need to tell you things like this is we don’t want you wasting your time on stuff that doesn’t work.  Stick to the S.P.E.E.D. principles and you’ll get the most efficient weight loss possible.

How Much Do I Need To Run For Weight Loss?

Posted on October 27th, 2009 by Matt Schoeneberger

How much do you need run for weight loss? Short answer: not at all.  Long answer: watch the video!

If you’re not on our mailing list, go to the S.P.E.E.D. home page now and fill in your information in the pop-up box!

What’s the deal with carrots?

Posted on October 21st, 2009 by Jeff Thiboutot M.S.

Can or should you eat carrots on a low-carb diet? This will largely depend on how low you are keeping your carbs. If you are keeping them in the 20-30 g/day range (ketosis) then probably not, but if you are keeping them in the 70-80g./day range then it is probably fine to eat some. Here is the breakdown of half a bag of organic baby carrots, which equals 2½ servings:


Serving size

Total Carbs


Net Carbs



Baby carrots

½ bag (8 oz)






 As you can see, a fairly large serving of carrots does not have a high amount of useable carbohydrates. For comparison, a 1 cup (8oz) serving of brown rice would have about bugs bunny40 net carbs.

A final thing about carrots is how fast the carbs in them get digested. This is referring to its glycemic index (GI) rating, which for carrots is about 40. 1 This is a low to moderate ranking (rankings run from 20 to 100).  It is typically thought that carrots have a high GI, but recent research has over turned this. 1 As we mentioned in S.P.E.E.D., it is good, for weight loss and health, to keep the overall GI of your diet low. So, the conclusion here is that eating some carrots is okay as long you do not go over you specific carb intake goal.

 1-Brand-Miller, J. (2008). International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2008. Diabetes Care; 31(12): 2281-283.

Choosing a Personal Trainer to Guide Your Weight Loss

Posted on October 21st, 2009 by Matt Schoeneberger

Accepting the fact that you might need some help exercising is not an easy thing to do. Maybe you’ve never exercised and you’re not sure where to start. Maybe you’ve exercised before but you’re looking for something new. Maybe, you know exactly what you should do, but you just don’t have the drive to get it done. A personal trainer may be what you need, but how do you know which trainer is right for you?

First, a trainer must be qualified. Look for at least a 4-year degree in an exercise related field, i.e. exercise physiology, kinesiology, exercise science. Next, look for certifications from one of the major certifying bodies, NASM, ACE, NSCA, ACSM. I like NASM for training the general population. They focus on rehabilitative exercise and proper progressions, correcting muscle imbalances through exercise and other modalities.

Second, it’s important to understand that every trainer has a different style of training. One style is not necessarily right or wrong. Instead, a trainer’s style may be right or wrong for you. Some trainers are laid-back and let their clients push themselves while providing support and guidance. Some trainers are drill sergeants, pushing their clients to the limit each and every workout. Some trainers are both, depending on the client or on the client’s mental state. Always ask a trainer for a small package to begin with, so you can tell if a trainer’s style is right for you.

Third, ask your trainer questions. Ask them questions before you begin training with them, and keep asking once you’re with them on a regular basis. You should always question why a trainer is having you follow a certain exercise routine, or a certain nutrition program. Ask them about everything. A trainer should be trying their best to know everything, but be humble enough to admit when they don’t.

If a personal trainer is not right for you, seek the help of a coach or support group, like the S.P.E.E.D. Weight Loss Club.

Wal-Mart, You Must Be Kidding Me!

Posted on October 19th, 2009 by Matt Schoeneberger

Watch the Wal-Mart video here.

Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the ingredients of the so-called nutritious breakfast products.

  • Frosted Flakes (3/4 cup, 11g sugar): 2nd and 4th ingredients are sugar, and high fructose corn syrup, respectively
  • Raisin Bran Crunch (1 cup, 20g sugar): 2nd ingredient: sugar, 5th ingredient: oat and honey cluster (which includes sugar and corn syrup, then more sugar and high fructose corn syrup… high fructose corn syrup and sugar are both listed 3 different times.
  • Nutri-grain bars (12g sugar): crust: 4th: high fructose corn syrup, 5th: sugar, 6th: honey filling: 1 and 2. high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup, 4th is sugar

S.P.E.E.D. Weight Loss for Dogs

Posted on October 13th, 2009 by Matt Schoeneberger

I’ve noticed my dog has an incredible sense of self-discipline. She’s been following the recommendations in S.P.E.E.D. since before S.P.E.E.D. was written. She exercises a little every day, gets plenty of sleep, doesn’t allow distractions while she’s eating, eats 1-2 meals every day or sometimes throws in a day of fasting. She eats a low-carb diet and only has ice cream (Frosty Paws) vary rarely. If you follow the checklists at the beginning of each chapter of S.P.E.E.D., she follows almost every rule… and it shows:

Mocha, aka the Bean
Mocha, a.k.a. “The Bean”

Ok, maybe it’s not self-discipline. Maybe she’s just been trained to eat only what is given to her and I don’t feed her junk. She’s my best friend and I want her to be around a long time. I don’t pretend I’m caring for her by giving her treats every time I leave the house to make myself feel better about not spending time with her. *climbs off soapbox*

The ingredients in her food are better than what you’ll find in most things humans eat. This and the walks/runs we go for are all she needs to stay healthy. It’s probably most of what you need, too!

The point is we could learn a thing or two about what we see with dogs. Feed them good quality food and they regulate their appetite well, maintaining a lean, muscular physique. Feed them processed junk they weren’t meant to eat and they’ll gain unwanted fat and become tired and sluggish. So, maybe the title of this post shouldn’t be “S.P.E.E.D. Weight Loss for Dogs.” Maybe it should be “Mocha’s Weight Loss Plan for Humans.”

Building a Balanced Weight Loss Workout

Posted on October 13th, 2009 by Matt Schoeneberger

Lots of people work very hard at the gym. Lots of people have no idea what they’re doing while they’re working hard. They put tons of effort into exercises that don’t matter, aren’t good for them, or even worse, may be harmful. This article will explain the basics behind creating a balanced, efficient workout so you can stop wasting time in the gym and get on with your life.

First, a few thoughts on the word “balanced.” In this case, when I say balanced, I mean equal work will be done amongst the muscle groups of the body. This may not be appropriate if you have pre-existing muscle imbalances, since you’ll just be making imbalances stronger by doing equal work. This is exactly why you should seek the help of a professional when you begin. Look for a Corrective Exercise Specialist (NASM) in your area for a good start.

Ok, now on to building a balanced workout. First, you will divide exercises into three categories; upper body, lower body and total body. Let’s discuss upper body first.

You’re going to break up the upper body into two movements; push and pull. Examples of push exercises are push-ups, dips, chest press, bench press, over-head press. Examples of pull exercises are pull-ups, pull-downs, rows, inverted rows, face-pulls.

You’re going to generalize lower body and consider it all one movement system. Examples of lower body exercises are squats, lunges, step-ups, dead lifts and any variation of these.

Total body movements involve the entire body, or are aimed at integrating the whole body. There is some cross-over between exercise selections since most exercises actually challenge the whole body, but we make divisions to organize our workouts more efficiently. Examples of total body movements are planks, cable twists, wood chops, and Turkish get-ups.

Pick one upper body push, one upper body pull, one lower body, and one total body exercise. Arrange them in this fashion:
Upper body pull
Lower body
Upper body push
Total body

Perform in a circuit fashion for 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps and you’ve got yourself a great basic workout. An example would look like this:

Pull-ups (assisted if necessary)
Squats (bodyweight or with weight)
Plank Hold (20-60 second holds)

A workout like this should take no more than 30 minutes and you’ll hit every major muscle group. This is a great, and very easy to assemble, weight loss workout just like we recommend in S.P.E.E.D. – The Only Weight Loss Book Worth Reading!

Bodybugg – is it worth it?

Posted on October 12th, 2009 by Matt Schoeneberger

Metabolism is a complex phenomenon. So complex science does not fully understand it.

That said, the Bodybugg system boasts greater than 90% accuracy for reporting calories burned. Pretty cool.

The system includes an armband that you wear each day. This is the device that measures how many calories you burn through the use of multiple sensors. This is combined with a computer-based food journal system, which allows you to compare calories burned with calories consumed. Again, pretty cool.

Apparently, Bodybugg has been featured on The Biggest Loser. I wouldn’t know, I don’t watch it. (Why sit around watching other people achieve things when you could be out achieving your own goals?) The system is sold through 24 Hour Fitness and Apex Fitness. If you do decide to use Bodybugg, it is my recommendation to steer clear of most Apex Fitness products.

The reality of the situation is this; the Bodybugg’s best use is as an accountability tool. If finding out how many calories you’ve burned each day helps you stick to your diet (and it very well may) then Bodybugg may be a useful tool for you. But, by far, the most important aspect of weight loss results is the calories you consume. A food journal is great for this. There is one included with the Bodybugg (for the first 6 months) and you can find these free on the internet. We like and

I view the Bodybugg as a cool toy, but definitely not a necessity for weight loss. If you have some extra cash and you’re the type of person who would enjoy analyzing your caloric balance, Bodybugg is for you. If you’re just looking to lose weight, use an online food journal and get to work following the recommendations in S.P.E.E.D.

Yogurt, whey protein and a Clif bar: Another quick and fairly low carb meal.

Posted on October 9th, 2009 by Jeff Thiboutot M.S.

Here is another quick meal; 1 cup organic whole milk plain yogurt (Trader Joes brand), 1 scoop of whey protein (Jay Robb brand), ½ of a blueberry crisp Clif bar adn 1tbs flax seed meal (I blended the protein powder and flax meal with the yogurt, and broke up the bar (1/2 the bar) into small pieces and through it into the mix). I had this for lunch today.

Here is the meal breakdown. It is a bit on the higher side for carbs, but for a low-carb, non-ketogenic eating style it should fit in fine. 



Net Carbs(g)



½  Clif bar (blueberry crisp)





1 cup organic whole milk yogurt (Trader Joes)





1 scoop whey protein (Jay Robb)





1 tbs flax seed meal (Health from the Sun)





Meal total





An additional note about convenience; you could have made an additional serving of this (using the other ½ of the bar) and had it for another meal in the same day, dinner for instance. Having this twice in one day would give you about 68 grams of carbs. As long as your other meal (if you had one) is a low carb meal, say less than 10 grams (i.e., a big piece of grilled salmon and a big salad or a few cups of steamed broccoli with butter), your daily carb total would probably be in a good weight loss range. Having the same meal twice in one day is fine and it can make food preparation easier.

Grass-fed animals: Why what animals eat affects your health.

Posted on October 7th, 2009 by Jeff Thiboutot M.S.

We mention in S.P.E.E.D. that there are weight loss and health benefits from ingesting  a certain amount of omega 3 fats. However, we did not mention that grass fed cows can be a good source of omega 3’s. Grass-fed cows and their resulting milk and meat will also have more CLA (more about this nutrient in a latter post), vitamin A & E, and less overall fat per serving (not that we are advocating a low fat diet) than conventional (grain-fed) cows. There are also health benefits for the cows and some environmental benefits as well.

You can get grass-fed beef and dairy at some health food stores. There are also a number of places on the web. One good source that we have used for grass fed meats is U.S. Wellness Meats. A good directory for finding grass-fed animals, as well as the benefits of grass-feeding, is The one drawback is that this type of meat and milk is more expensive. But, this is one place to spend a little extra if you can because the overall benefits to your health seem worth it. In fact, a recent review of this subject concluded:

“The scientific literature supports the hypothesis that grassfed beef contains higher proportions of healthful lipids [fats] and antioxidants important to human health as compared to conventional [grain-fed] beef.” (Abbott et al)

If you want to learn more about grass-fed animals see the reference paper listed as well as the website.


Abbott, A. et al (n.d). Enhanced nutrient content of grass fed beef : Justification for health benefit label claim. Retrieved on October 1, 2009  from