90 Minutes of Exercise a Day Keeps the Fat Away

90 Minutes Of Exercise

You Need 90 Minutes Of Exercise A Day

90 minutes.

That’s the magic number to losing weight AND keeping it off.

Some years ago I was watching Dateline and they were following three people who had lost a significant amount of weight (30 pounds or more) and kept it off. What they had in common and what a medical study the show quoted showed: if you want to lose weight and keep it off, 90 minutes a day of working out is what it is going to take.


That’s very different then the 30 minutes a day that was recommended for decades and more in line with the new government guidelines that say 30 – 45 minutes of aerobic activity at least 5 days a week PLUS an additional 30 to 60 minutes of additional physical activity a day (walking, taking stairs, housework, yard work, etc) for weight loss.

So how do you get 90 minutes of exercise a day into a busy work and home schedule?

Well ask yourself this: Do I watch 90 minutes worth of TV a day?

If the answer is yes – then you have 90 minutes to work out.

I recognize that it is not that simple but my point is that 90 minutes represents an hour long drama and a sitcom or three sitcoms or a Lifetime movie, so it is possible.

5 Tips for Getting 90 Minutes of Exercise a Day

1. Take the stairs.

Stairs burn lots of calories. Instead of taking the elevator, hop on the stairs. Yes, even if you’re on the sixth floor. The higher the better.

2. Park far away.

You’ll be amazed at how much walking you do when you don’t park near the building you’re trying to enter.

3. Try That Lunch Workout

Take a page from Tracy’s book and work out on your lunch hour (or half hour). A brisk walk or weight workout will contribute to the 90 minutes you need to make each day.

4. Get It In Early

Get up early and walk, run or go to the gym. If you just don’t have the time during the day to work out, get up early and make it happen. Yes, I recognize that could mean 4 or 5 in the morning for some of you, but hey if you treat exercise like you do work then it shouldn’t be a problem.

5. After Dinner Burn

Go for a walk after dinner. It’s simple yet effective.


3 Things Black Women Can Learn From White Women

Black Women's Health

Black Women’s Health and Fitness

Since this is a topic that I was recently talking to a friend about and one that Tracy mentioned would be a future blog topic I decided I’d add my two cents to the topic:

I was in the gym last week and a friend of mine who is a personal trainer (and a stripper but that’s another story) said in his experience white women are more inclined to address a weight problem before it becomes a real problem. His exact words were:

A white woman will but on 5 pounds freak out, go to the gym and mess around and lose 10lbs. Black women will put on 5, 10, 30, 40 pounds and then say ‘Girl I need to do something about this.’

So the lessons are as follows:

1. Address Problems Early

When you see that your weight is a problem, deal with it EARLY don’t wait until you’ve gone from a size 8 to a size 14 before you address the issues at hand. Being Proactive is much better (and easier) then being Reactive.

2. Ask For Help

Lesson number 2 comes from a 2003 study that was published in the journal ‘Ethnicity and Disease.’ It states that:

A recent study has revealed that overweight or obese white women are more inclined to ask for dieting help than their African-American counterparts.

This is an important point to take note of. The article about the study further notes that:

We found that African-American women did not differ from Caucasians in terms of concerns about body shape and weight. But white women were more likely to be influenced by those concerns to seek help,” said lead author Dr. Rachel Annunziato, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

So what we learn is that for whatever reason Black women aren’t motivated by body image in the same way their white counterparts are and this lack of motivation (even though the concern is there) prevents Black women from seeking help regarding their weight.

The articles offer some suggestions why this may be the case from cultural factors to women being the primary caregivers of everyone but themselves.

3. It’s About Health Not Looks

My personal trainer friend also noted that for whatever reason White women are more inclined to invest in their health in a way that Black women do not. He elaborated that black women will invest in things to make them look nice (clothes, hair, nails, etc.) but won’t invest in the things that will make them healthy.

Now I’m not saying my personal trainer friend’s word is the end all be all on the topic but much of what he says is backed up by other sources such as the article ‘Black Women Confuse Beauty With Health’ which touches on the issue of black women striving to look good instead of being healthy.

Health and Beauty are not synonymous and Black women need to learn and understand the difference if they want to be successful in having a fit and healthy lifestyle.

Just some things to think about this post 3-day weekend morning.

Today is a new Day. What are you waiting for?

Is Your Hair Keeping You From Losing Weight?

Hair Weight Loss

Barriers To Weight Loss: Hair

Alright ladies. Let’s talk hair. In studies that are done about what’s preventing African American women from working out, hair often comes up. From the Baylor College of Medicine:

Most of the women who participated in the study reported that managing their hair made exercising a challenge.

From: Cultural Factors Keep Some Black Women Away From The Gym

Also, to get black women to exercise and adopt healthful lifestyles, you must take hair and appearance into consideration, Railey says.

“If a woman spends hours in a (salon) chair and spends $60, she’s out of the gym for at least two days,” Railey says.

So as you can see hair is a problem. A Big problem. My take on this is this: If it comes down between a a nice hairdo and heart disease/diabetes/cancer/hypertension and a slew of other illnesses. Which would you choose? That should be a no-brainer. But apparently it’s not.

I’m a black woman so I understand how a lot of BW’s confidence is tied up in their hair (and a myriad of other things) but at the end of the day your hairstyle shouldn’t dictate your health.

The way I see it there are only 2 options to the hair dilemma:

1. The Wrap

When I had hair (I’m currently a member of what I like to call: The Happy, Nappy, Natural and Free, Club) I used to wrap it before I went to the gym and slapped a scarf on it. Any Black woman worth her salt knows a well-executed wrap can secure salon style straightness with minimal effort.

What wrapping your hair also does is prevent a lot of the excess moisture (read sweat) from wreaking havoc on your do. I know that for many Black women the worst thing that can happen is to have their freshly relaxed hair “turn” and those edges not be a s straight as they were when they left the hairdresser.

Wraps help to cut down on the “turning” and once you’re ready to leave the gym if you have somewhere to go, comb out the wrap, apply a light bump with a curling iron or flat iron (optional) and you’re good to go. Just as fly as when you left the salon.

Now obviously if you’re working our regularly and you sweat profusely you will need to up how many times a week you wash your hair. Once a week to twice a week (three times a week is pushing it with relaxed hair ’cause it dries out so easily) should do the trick and be prepared to wrap it again.

If that sounds like it is too much work for you then there’s Option 2:

2. Go Natural

Yeah I said it. Go natural. Black women are the only women on the planet who are told that there is a problem with their hair being in its natural state. White women may dye their hair (we do it too) but the texture of their hair remains the same.

To sistahs I say:

Get out of bondage. Stop letting your hair rule you and wear (and love) the hair that God gave you.

With natural hair the issues Black women have with their hair and the gym disappear. Natural hair is wash-and-go hair. As a kid I used to envy White women and other non-black women for their wash and go/less labor intensive hair. It took me to get older to realize I had wash-and-go hair too; it’s just when you chemically alter your hair it doesn’t do what it’s naturally supposed to do.

I’ve been natural before. I had a min-afro for awhile and then at my mother’s insistence, I relaxed it. Then after a bad chemical burn that took out part of my hair and countless breakages and dryness I said, “Enough is a enough,” and chopped it all off.

So now I have a very low boys haircut. And when I say low, I mean low. There are men running around with more hair on their heads than I have.

And here’s a secret: Men LOVE it. Black men ladies. I get complimented on my natural hair ALL of the time. Young black men. Old black men. Rich, poor. Professional, blue collar. Compliments all of the time.

When I first cut it I was worried that I was completely ruining my dating life. I just KNEW brothers weren’t going to pay me any mind. Big butt aside I didn’t have any hair and all you hear (and see) is how a black man wants a woman with long flowing hair, whether it’s hers or not.

Here’s the other secret. The other thing I learned from this year of no hair: Men like women. Period. If they think you’re hot then it doesn’t really matter what’s going on with your hair as long as it’s neat and looks nice on you.

Oh and the bonus for those of you who want to date interracially: White men love it. I mean you’d think I was Halle Berry or something with the way they react.

My point is that you shouldn’t let your hair determine your health. AND whether or not a man likes your hair isn’t important, even though I know appearing attractive to the opposite sex is important to just about everybody.

While I’m trying to start a weight revolution maybe it’s time we start a hair one too. It’s time to stop ladies. Stop letting you hair rule you and time for you to rule your hair. Take back your life.

3 Steps You Can Take To Control Your Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating

Gaining Control Of Emotional Eating

So I was searching the web for some practical solutions to emotional eating but kept coming up short. So I thought well, I can offer what (little) advice I have on how to deal with the problem.

1. Run

Or simply put find some other way to channel whatever energy you have that you’d rather put into a pint of Haagen-Das, a bag of oreos or whatever you favorite comfort food is.

I used to be a really angry person for a lot of different reasons. Eating was one way to deal with that anger, sex was another (that’s another conversation) but EXERCISE was the best. Nothing mellowed me out faster then doing 20-30 minutes on the treadmill or punching a heavy bag or running. The idea was to exhaust myself so that I wouldn’t have time to worry or stress about what upset me.

2. Bargain With Yourself

Like I said in the last post I made a deal with myself. Eat all of the good stuff (fruit, veggies, whole grains, etc.) during the day and then ice cream is my reward. And let me stress to you how much I Luuuuuvvvv ice cream.

3. Wait It Out

What I mean about this is that if you find that you’re craving something to eat but know you’re not really hungry give it 10-15 minutes before you indulge and most importantly go do something else. Call a friend, hit up a blog (preferably this one:-) ), clean something…whatever it takes to let the craving pass.

Final Thoughts

That’ s all I have for now but if you have other suggestions feel free to post them. This is a subject I will come back to a lot ’cause I suspect that many of us are eating for reasons that have nothing to with hunger and for us to lose and keep the weight off it is something we will have to understand and work on.

My Plan To Conquer My Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating

Overcoming Emotional Eating

My name is T.S. Johnson and I am an emotional eater.

Seriously, I eat for many reasons that have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with hunger.

I eat because I am sad, lonely, bored, depressed, angry, horny (yeah I said it) and for a host of other reasons that have nothing to do with satisfying a biological need. I wish I could sit here and tell you that I have conquered this issue and that’s why I’m currently losing weight but I’d be lying.

I don’t have any good answers for it. For me my emotional eating is usually not a problem. Since I turned 18 I have worked out regularly. So worst case scenario I wouldn’t lose any weight but I wouldn’t gain any either.

The problem would come when I wouldn’t be exercising as often or as hard as I should be then I would gain weight. Lots of it. This is basically what happened after I had my daughter. I was 130lbs right after and within a year I was 160lbs. SMH.


Emotional Eating

While I still passed what I call the “jeans test” ( I still looked good in a pair of jeans and plenty of people let me know it.) I went form a size 4 to a size 10 and just thought I was the size of a cow. And much of the weight stemmed from a mix of depression, frustrations, stress and much more sedentary lifestyle then I was use to.

So what do I do now? Well I still eat for various non-hunger reasons but I made a deal with myself that if I eat most of the right things during the day (fruit, vegetables, whole grains, etc.) then I can indulge in a little ice cream.

I also decided I wouldn’t have any guilt about what I was eating anymore. If I had a bad day and indulged a little more then I should have then I’d say okay and I’d do better the next day. My system isn’t perfect but it works for me.

So my question for those of you who fall in the emotional eating category is: what do you do? What are your strategies for dealing with it? What are the reasons behind why you eat?

For those of you who read this and are thinking, “I have no idea what she is talking about it. I just don’t get it,” feel free to play armchair psychiatrist and offer your insight.