Want to Lose Fat? EAT!

It is a common misconception that in order to lose weight, you need to deprive yourself.   As a society, we’ve been taught to restrict calories (or fat, or carbs, etc., etc.).

When you think of it that way, it’s easy to see why “diets” fail.  It is impossible to sustain a way of eating that is based on depriving your body.  Thousands and thousands of years of evolution guarantee that you will fail if you try.  Your survival instinct is much stronger than your “will” to stick with a deprivation diet and it always wins in the end.

(Exception to this rule:  sugar and highly-processed non-foods, i.e. food products.  While your body may be tricked into craving them, it doesn’t need sugar and other bad-for-you ingredients, and, in fact, does much better when they are kept to a minimum, while still enjoyed every once in a while.)

The best way to lose fat is to work with, rather than against, the will of your body by FEEDING it, OFTEN.  Yes, that’s right, eating food is how you will lose weight.  It seems counterintuitive only because we’ve been brainwashed by misinformation. Good-for-you foods

Each year during our New Year New You Body Transformation Challenge, we spend a lot of time talking to the participants about this concept, trying our best to drill it home.  Still, each year, the first couple weeks are filled with comments like, “I feel like all I do is eat! Are you sure I’m supposed to eat this much?!?!”

And, each year, we have a few challengers who just can’t overcome the deprivation mindset and eat way too little.  It’s not until their first InBody assessment, when they learn that they’ve not only not lost any fat, they’ve actually gained a pound or two of body fat, that they start to try it our way.  (The InBody assessment is a super-sophisticated “weigh-in” where we are able to pinpoint to the 10th of a pound how much body fat a person has.  Learn more about the InBody.)

Here’s the thing – if your body thinks it’s in a famine and could possibly starve it holds onto everything you eat in order to survive the ‘famine’.  “But I’m not in a famine!  I’m just on a diet,” you might say. Unfortunately for you, your body doesn’t know the difference between choosing to deprive yourself and an actual famine on the subconscious level – the level at which your heart beats without you thinking about it.  And your liver functions without you thinking about it.  And your metabolism functions without you thinking about it, etc., etc.

Reversely, when your body is constantly being fed nutrient-dense, real food, it operates as if it is living in a period of abundance and, therefore, has no problem burning through what it was just fed because it expects to be fed again real soon.

Most experts, including us, recommend eating every 2-4 hours, roughly 5-6 meals a day, usually 3 larger meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and 2-3 snacks.  If you consistently feed your metabolic fire, you’ll lose fat.  Starve it and not only will you stop losing fat, you’ll eventually gain it too.

It’s important to note two things with this:

  1.  It is imperative that the food you eat is mostly good-for-you, nutrient-dense food.  If you are eating a lot of junk, your body will actually become malnourished and operate under the same premise as if it was starving because, essentially, it is.  While you may be giving it a lot of calories, they are empty calories that the body will immediately store as fat and “save for a rainy day”.  So, our command to EAT! does NOT apply to junk food.  Definitely LIMIT the junk!
  2. If anyone is out there wondering, “Well, what about someone who is anorexic?  She/he is VERY skinny and he/she is living in EXTREME deprivation.” Here’s the thing.  When you starve yourself, the first thing your body uses as an energy source is its protein, i.e. its muscle.  It holds onto its fat, on the other hand, as long as possible.  Eventually, in order to survive, it will eat into that too, which is why an anorexic will sooner or later lose all his/her fat and become no more than skin and bones.  From the bottom of our hearts, we hope none of you ever go so far as that.  If you find yourself (or anyone you know) traveling down that road, please seek immediate medical attention.

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Co-Owner of Evolution Fitness, Danielle Kane, at the EXPY Awards Co-Owner, Danielle Kane, at the EXPY Awards

We all want to reach our goals and feel success. But it can be scary and many of us never take the jump. I jumped twice this past year and amazing things have happened.

The first jump was with the support of my business partners when we decided to seize the opportunity to co-author a fitness book called Get with The Program. Just months after taking that risk, our book reached best-sellers status on Amazon and we were on our way to Hollywood, California to accept a Quilly Award for it. That’s where I took my second jump – or should I say leap!

 In addition to the Golden Gala Awards Ceremony in Hollywood, there was a two-day Summit where we learned from business experts from all over the country. About two months before the trip to California, I received an email from the organization hosting the Summit and Awards Ceremony about an opportunity to speak at the event and possibly win Thought Leader of the Year. The first step was to send a video that briefly explained the talk I planned to give. Then, if enough of the attendees voted for my video, I would have 10 minutes live at the Summit to speak on whatever topic I chose. As soon as I saw the email, my heart jumped in my throat. I knew immediately I wanted to challenge myself to do it, but the fear set in just as quickly. I decided to do it anyway. After all, I had some reservations about writing a book and look at all the amazing things that had happened. Yes, this time I was stepping out completely on my own, without the safety net of my friends and business partners, but I knew it was time. I decided to not let my fear – of rejection, of not being good enough, of failure – to hold me back. I filmed the video and sent it in.

The time was approaching when the Thought Leaders would be selected. I’ll never forget the phone call from my agent. I was completely surprised that I was chosen to speak. I was also scared because now I had to actually give the talk. The fear started to take hold of me. I even contemplated backing out. But, I thought about it and knew I could do it. I knew how passionate I was about my talk because it was about the steps I had taken to change my life to be happy. When preparing for my speech, I decided to add something special to the end which was to sing the song “Suddenly I See” by KT Tunstall. It’s something that comes naturally to me and the song was a perfect fit. It was a great tie in to my story and a fantastic way to sum everything up.

When we arrived in Hollywood, all I could think about was giving my speech. I was very nervous for a number of reasons. First, I was a little intimidated about speaking in front of 250 best-selling authors, entrepreneurs and millionaires. The fearful voice inside my head doubted, “Do I deserve to be up there?” Plus, there was the whole 10 minute time limit thing and, to top it all off, the dry California air was making my throat really dry – not so great when you have to sing.

I walked on stage with sweaty palms and butterflies in my stomach. “I got this. I got this. I’ll be fine. I got this,” I repeated over and over. It had been my mantra all day. I am proud to say the speech turned out great! I felt alive, on fire and totally connected to the audience. I loved doing it! Was this my next calling? Overall, the speech was well received by the audience. I even got a standing ovation! And, everyone really loved the song. I was glad I followed my creative intuition.

Having the courage to do this speech led to the final amazing thing, the EXPY Awards. The EXPY Awards are hosted by the National Association of Experts, Writers and Speakers in which experts are recognized for their achievements for 2014. When my agent informed me that I was selected to receive an EXPY for the speech I had given, I was definitely surprised. I had not expected this. As I got up to accept my award at The Hard Rock Cafe in New York City, I thought back to when I decided to go for Thought Leader of the Year. I never thought that one decision would have taken me this far.

My biggest take away from all of this is that anything is possible. The people that succeed are the ones that take the risk and jump. Jump and the net will appear I always say. Starting my own business was scary. Writing a book was scary. Giving my speech was scary. But I didn’t let the fear stop me and amazing things have happened.

EXPY collage

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Top 10 New Year’s Health Resolutions

Health-related New Year’s resolutions are among the most popular in the nation. Unfortunately, the statistics for people who successfully accomplish their resolutions are pretty low. At Evolution Fitness, it is one of our missions to turn that all around and set you up for success.

The first essential component to a successful New Year’s health resolution is to choose wisely. We advise focusing on process goals, rather than “end” goals. For instance, the resolution to lose 10 lbs of body fat is a wonderful goal to have, but what will you do to accomplish that? Maybe, for instance, you will drink more water, eat a healthy breakfast every day, and commit to working out 3x/week. These process goals, then, should be your New Year’s resolutions, not the end goal of losing 10 lbs of body fat.

The next essential component is to go slow. Don’t try to change everything overnight, it is a recipe for failure. Instead, incorporate one new behavior at a time, waiting until you become more comfortable with the new habit before you move on to the next. The third and final component to a successful New Year’s health resolution is to avoid the dreaded Flat Tire Syndrome. The Flat Tire Syndrome is when you allow a small misstep to convince you that you’re a complete and utter failure and it’s hopeless to think you’ll ever change, so you might as well just give up, eat yourself into a coma, stop working out and trash the whole resolution thing because success just isn’t in your cards and it’s too hard anyway. We call this phenomenon the Flat Tire Syndrome because it is sort of like slashing all the rest of your tires when you get a flat, rather than just simply fixing the one flat tire. Don’t allow mistakes to get the better of you.  Fix them and keep moving forward.

Below is Evolution Fitness’s Top 10 New Year’s Health Resolutions. These resolutions are designed to set you up for success and give you the most “bang for your buck”:

  1. Eat a healthy, protein rich breakfast every day.
  2. Eliminate processed foods.
  3. Commit to a daily stillness/mindfulness practice.
  4. Foam roll daily.
  5. Get a good night’s rest.
  6. Find a workout buddy with similar goals.
  7. Drink more water.
  8. Commit to at least 3 workouts / week.
  9. Visualize the NEW YOU every night before you go to sleep.
  10. Eat often, every 2 – 3 hours.

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RMJ 2013Evolution Fitness congratulates their 2013 Rock My Jeans / Cut My Gut challengers on their great success!  The Rock My Jeans / Cut My Gut Challenge was an 8 week challenge, with the goal being to lose 2 jeans sizes by the end.   The participants were advised to workout 4 times per week at Evolution Fitness, either in one of the group coaching classes or working their own individualized exercise program.  They were also given nutrition guidance, along with a nutrition journal to help them track what they were eating.  The coaches and staff at Evolution Fitness checked everyone’s journal on a weekly basis to help the challengers stay compliant with their nutrition and to make tweaks and adjustments as necessary.

All the Rock My Jeans / Cut My Gut challengers tried on their dream jeans just before the challenge began, as well as throughout the challenge to track progress.  The jeans were kept on site at Evolution Fitness for the entire length of the challenge.   At the first try-on, most of the participants couldn’t even zip their jeans up, but by the end, nearly everyone fit comfortably into their jeans and were able to ‘rock them’ on the night of the celebration party at Evolution Fitness.  The coaches and staff are so proud of all the challengers for all of their hard work and dedication.  “If you trust the process and commit to it, you will succeed,” said David Duzenski, co-owner of Evolution Fitness.  “We had so many challengers who were surprised that it actually worked but we believed in them the whole time.  We could tell by their commitment that they would be a success,” added Danielle Kane, fellow co-owner.

Evolution Fitness plans to run the challenge again next year.   It will begin sometime in late September or early October of 2014.  In the meantime, they will soon be holding their New Year, New You challenge for the second year.  This is a 6-week challenge that focuses on burning and losing fat, utilizing their state of the art body composition analyzer, the InBody 520, to track the participant’s progress.  And this year, Evolution Fitness is taking the challenge to a whole new level by offering a $2,000 cash prize to the winning team!  For more details, please visit www.EvolutionFitnessNow.com.

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IMG_1356On November 16, 2013, Evolution Fitness hosted two charity workouts benefiting MANNA, a non-profit organization that cooks and delivers nutritious meals to people in the South Jersey and Philadelphia area who are battling life threatening illnesses.  Evolution Fitness raised $1,700 for MANNA that day – a combination of the donations from the workout participants & other members who donated even though they could not attend, the Evo Fit Shake Café smoothie sales, & raffle prizes that were generously donated by local businesses.

The charity workout was a celebration of Evolution Fitness’s recent expansion.  The new fitness facility is located just a couple of doors down from their previous location.  Still in the same shopping center, the Tuscany Marketplace on Route 70 in Cherry Hill, they are in the rear of the center now, next to Huntington Learning Center and across from the School of Rock.  Evolution Fitness gained 2,000 sf in the recent expansion, going from a 3,000 sf fitness facility to a 5,000 sf one.

“We are so grateful to everyone who helped us to raise money and awareness for MANNA.  We couldn’t be happier to donate to such a worthy organization,” said Helena Duzenski, co-owner of Evolution Fitness.  “We want to thank our staff too, for their help in organizing and running this event,” added David Duzenski, fellow co-owner.

Lydia Cipriani, Director of Development & Communications at MANNA attended the charity workouts to speak about MANNA and thank the participants for their donations.  “Lydia was wonderful,” said Danielle Kane, co-owner of Evolution Fitness.  “We are so glad she took the time to come out to our event.  I know our workout participants greatly appreciated her presence. “

“The workout itself was really fun,” added Brian Kane, fellow co-owner.   “The participants worked hard, we were proud of them.  And, they were all pretty excited about the fact that they not only contributed to a great cause, but they got a great workout in that was designed to keep their metabolic engine humming at high speed for the next 24 – 48 hours.”

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Evolution Fitness Has Expanded

IMG_1420Evolution Fitness in Cherry Hill, NJ has expanded!  On November 16th, 2013, Evolution Fitness officially moved into their new, bigger, and better location – just a couple of doors down from their previous fitness facility.  Still in the same shopping center, the Tuscany Marketplace on Route 70 in Cherry Hill, they are in the rear of the center now, next to Huntington Learning Center and across from the School of Rock.

“We are so excited to move into our new location after just 2 years in business!” exclaims co-owner, Danielle Kane.  “Our new space offers so much more to our members.  It is what we always envisioned.”

Evolution Fitness’s new facility is roughly 5,000 sf, which is 2,000 sf larger than the original.  “The extra space we gained really allows our gym to flourish.  We train in groups here – small group training that is individualized and customized for each member, and larger, ‘class style’ group training.  Our new facility allows both to happen simultaneously in a way that just wasn’t possible before,” says Brian Kane, co-owner of Evolution Fitness.

“Beginning in December of 2013, we will be rolling out some new classes and times,” adds David Duzenski, fellow co-owner.  “With all this extra space and fun new equipment, the classes are going to be elevated to a whole new level!”

Not only did the gym expand, but the Evolution Fitness  smoothie & shake bar, now aptly named the Evo Fit Shake Café, has also expanded.  There will soon be even more delicious smoothies to choose from.  “The Evo Fit Shake Café is open to the public as well as our members. Our smoothies are all-natural, made from whole foods.  There are no added sugars or preservatives.  The protein we use is top quality and is also available for purchase,” says Helena Duzenski, co-owner of Evolution Fitness.

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The four co-owners and authors, David & Helena Duzenski, Danielle & Brian Kane, with their best seller, Get With The Program at the National Academy of Best Sellers Quilly Awards Ceremony.

Helena Duzenski, David Duzenski, Danielle Kane and Brian Kane recently hit four Amazon.com best-seller lists with the new fitness book, “Get With the Program.

Helena Duzenski, David Duzenski, Danielle Kane and Brian Kane, owners of Evolution Fitness, recently joined a select group of leading fitness experts from across The United States and Canada to co-write the book titled, Get With The Program: The World’s Leading Fitness Experts Reveal Their Best Workouts to Help You Get Lean, Happy and Healthy in No Time Flat! The book was released on September 19, 2013 by CelebrityPress™ – a leading business book publisher.

Get With The Program showcases a stellar group of fitness experts offering the reader information on proven programs that their clients use, and, without exception, discuss healthy living within the confines of fitness, nutrition, accountability and mindset. The team at Evolution Fitness contributed a chapter titled “The Evolution of the New You.”

The publisher, CelebrityPress™ describes the book:

In this book, the title Get With The Program has a particularly important meaning for readers. The Celebrity Experts® who have written this book all wish you to enjoy great health. With time at a premium for the typical reader, they show you various programs and methods to follow in order to improve or maintain your good health.

Working with clients who come to them in varying states of health and conditioning, these health and fitness coaches, the very same Celebrity Experts® have developed successful programs. Their clients range from professional and student athletes, as well as busy executives and retirees, all the way to pregnant-moms.

On the day of release, Get With The Program reached best-seller status in four Amazon.com categories – reaching as high as #1 in the “Quick Workouts” category.  The book also reached best-seller status in the “Exercise & Fitness,” “Weight Loss Diets” and “Diets & Weight Loss” categories.


L-R Danielle Kane, Brian Kane, David Duzenski, & Helena Duzenski, co-authors of the best seller, Get With The Program, and co-owners of Evolution Fitness, with their Quilly Awards.

After such a successful release, Helena Duzenski, David Duzenski, Danielle Kane and Brian Kane were recognized by The National Academy of Best Selling Authors™, an organization that honors authors from many of the leading independent best-seller lists, receiving the Quilly Award.  The four also received Editor’s Choice for their chapter, entitled “The Evolution of the New You.”  Their chapter focuses on the 7 main elements necessary to successfully change your lifestyle from unhealthy to healthy and includes nutrition, exercise, and mindset advice and information.  It follows the success story of Evolution Fitness member and Cherry Hill resident, Christine Rohr and we learn how these 7 elements were instrumental to her success, just as they will be for the readers.

To order a copy of the book, please go to: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0989518701/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0989518701&linkCode=as2&tag=dicksnantonag-20

The royalties from this project will be given to Entrepreneur’s International Foundation, a not for profit organization dedicated to creating unique launch campaigns to raise money and awareness for charitable causes.

To learn more about Evolution Fitness, visit www.EvolutionFitnessNow.com or call (856) 751-1300.

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On Sunday, June 2nd, Super Bowl Champion, MVP Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens and Evolution Fitness of Cherry Hill, NJ joined forces to raise money for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) with a charity workout.  A “kids-only” workout, it was open to 50 children ages 8 – 15 with a minimum donation of $20.  All the participants were encouraged to collect donations from family and friends to help raise money for the cause.  The youngster who raised the most got to partner with Flacco during the workout.

The winner, Julie Weikart, age 15, hit the ground running as soon as she found out what the prize would be.  She held a muffin sale, did chores around the house and at her mother’s church, sold some of her clothes, and donated some of her own money.  Because of her efforts, she raised $644 for CHOP!  “It was really cool working out with Joe,” said Julie.  “He’s so nice and easy to talk to and funny! It was one of the best experiences I have ever had!”

“It was a blast working out alongside Julie and with all the kids who participated.  I think it’s so important that children are encouraged to be active and this charity event for CHOP did that,” said Joe Flacco, quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens.   “I am so proud of all their efforts to raise money for this worthy cause.”

“We would like to thank all the children who participated in the charity workout for the effort they put forth to raise as much money as possible for CHOP,” said Danielle Kane, co-owner of Evolution Fitness, the gym in Cherry Hill, NJ that organized and hosted the event.  “We would also like to thank all those who donated that day, as well as the friends and family members of the children who contributed to the cause.  And, of course, a big thanks to our member, Joe Flacco, who was so instrumental to the success of this charity event.  We can’t wait to deliver the $3,700 check to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia!”

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Motivating with Positivity!

“Motivate with Positivity” is one of our five core values at Evolution Fitness.  There are no drill sergeants allowed here.  We do not believe in beating people down to motivate them to achieve.  It doesn’t work, not in the long run anyway.  Lasting success only comes when people feel empowered; when they believe they can.

Changing your life and your lifestyle takes getting out of your comfort zone, which can be scary and hard.  When members first join our gym, they are sometimes intimidated.  They see all these people performing exercises they never in a million years pictured themselves doing with any kind of success, often times with equipment they’ve never even seen before.   That new member doesn’t need to be bullied into trying things they don’t think they can do.  They need to have people around them who support them, encourage them, and believe in them.  They need positive motivation.

The importance of positive motivation doesn’t end once you are no longer a newbie.  Exercise is a sport like any other.  In order to succeed and get results, you need to push your body to new limits, you need to finish those last reps even when you feel like you can’t do one more, you need to maintain quality form when your body feels like it can barely get through the exercise, and you need to constantly improve.  Just like any other athlete in any other sport, motivational coaching and mindset training are key to your success. Without that positive motivation and support, it’s all too easy to get discouraged and give up, or to get complacent and lazy with your workouts.

At Evolution Fitness, it’s not just the coaches who motivate with positivity.  We foster an “in it together, as a team” culture and community at our gym.  Everyone cheers each other on and helps each other bring their best to their workouts.  More than that, they are there for each other to lean on when the chips are down, to share in each other’s successes and victories, and to just have fun together while they work out. The combined positive energy of our fitness community at Evolution Fitness is a force to be reckoned with.  It’s the x-factor to our success here, and we value it highly.

So, the next time you work out, bring this core value with you, front and center.  If you are working out with others, help motivate them with positivity and encouragement.  If it’s just you, motivate yourself with positivity.  Do this regularly over time and you won’t need to be told the importance of positive motivation. You will have experienced it firsthand.

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Make Energy Snacks At Home!

One of our members, Taylor Ng, has a great recipe for energy snacks that we just had to share with you. Taylor is not only a devoted member of the Evolution Fitness team and a hard-working athlete  — she is  a varsity lacrosse and tennis player, and last year won the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association’s High School Singles Championship for tennis and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Open Tournament in Minneapolis, Minnesota — she’s also a creative cook. Now Taylor is sharing that creativity with us!

“One of the many things I love about Evolution Fitness is the positive attitudes of the coaches and team members when it comes to working hard every day to achieve a healthy lifestyle,” Taylor said. “Sharing this is just a small way to say thanks.”

Give Taylor’s recipe a look. We think you’ll love these easy-to-make, delicious energy snacks!

Taylor Ng

Taylor’s Energy Balls

  • 1 cup whole grain oats
  • 1 cup organic dried cranberries
  • ½ cup organic crunchy peanut butter
  • ½ cup organic ground premium flaxseed
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup light agave nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all of the ingredients into a mechanical mixer and mix until there is a uniform look throughout. Use a medium cookie scooper, scoop out one equivalent of batter and roll into an approximately 1-inch energy ball.

Place energy balls on a plate with one sheet of waxed paper and put plate into refrigerator to stiffen the energy balls once all of the batter has been used. Store the energy balls in a sealed container and keep them refrigerated until they are ready to be enjoyed!

Note:  Recipe makes about 20 energy balls.  Organic coconut flakes or any dried fruits can be substituted for dried cranberries.  Whole roasted flaxseeds may be substituted for ground flaxseed.  Semi-sweet chocolate chips may be substituted for dark chocolate chips.  Honey may be substituted for agave.  Variations of this recipe may contain extra cinnamon or added mocha flavor.  Feel free to experiment!

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