Category Archives: Diets

Reward yourself this Thanksgiving

By David Tepera – Posted: Tuesday, November 24, 2015

By now, you’re aware that if you’ve been dieting for a period of time, that I recommend to reward yourself with foods desired.

Well my friends, it’s Thanksgiving holidays and it’s reward time. I always indulge myself on vacation and Thanksgiving holiday.

Hopefully, you’ve been a good girl and boy and have been training consistently and frequently. This is the one time of year I’m going to tell you to throw the diet out the window. Enjoy every moment with family and friends and all the wonderful tasty foods.

I truly hope everyone is as fortunate as I with the blessing of an enormous holiday feast. It’s the biggest event of the year for my family, and we are going to nanna’s house for a major grub fest.

I will be pouring extra gravy on the turkey and dressing along with all the fixings, extra butter on steamy bread rolls, two scoops of vanilla ice cream on hot apple pie and pumpkin pie engulfed with whipped cream.

Later on in the day, after watching and sleeping through football games, I’ll take a little walk through the neighborhood to help digest my overstuffed belly. It helps create more room to shovel down more helpings of delicious homemade foods.

You and I should not feel any guilt for all the extra calories and the few pounds gathered.

To truly enjoy and embellish the rewards, you know that within two days, it’s back to a healthy diet and fitness training. It usually takes me about five to six days to lose the extra pounds.

Now that I’ve rang Pavlov’s bell and you’re salivating all over this paper, get ready to make an eating fool of yourself.

Most importantly, take the time to sincerely thank everyone who helped participate in the feast and express love for all.

As I’m getting older, my heart has grown softer and I emotionally love all the wonderful people around me.

Life is getting shorter my friends, so don’t waste time on unnecessary hate. There are others who love you, just show them love back. It’s a life changer.

What’s the secret to stay trim and fit?

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Just know this article is not a “look at me” moment. There’s a reason and purpose, so keep reading.

I am 54 years old, 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weigh 195 pounds. I have a very low body fat percentage with six pack abs on most days. If you need proof, go to my blog —

I eat at our local doughnut shop Saturday mornings and McDonalds for lunch on Sundays. I usually eat seven to eight times a day and never go hungry. Typically, I have two breakfast sessions each morning before heading out the door. Also, I eat a handful of chocolate every night before bed.

I rarely drink or eat anything fat and sugar free, except sweet-n-low in coffee and tea.

So, what’s my secret? If you’ve been reading my column during the past year, then you know the answer. It’s as simple as consistency and frequency. It’s really all the little adjustments I do throughout each day.

For example: I work in multiple hospitals and use many parking garages each day and week. I rarely use the elevators and walk with a faster pace than most people.

When eating fast foods, I order grilled chicken wraps or sandwiches with no sauce or fries and take off the top bun.

All my meals throughout the day and evening are of moderate portions. I only eat to be satisfied, not full stomach. I carry a gallon of water in my car and chug on it all day.

I keep my carb portions to a minimal and almost none by dinner. My protein intake is at least 200 grams a day which is important to maintain muscle mass.

I created my own bag of raw nuts and fruits to snack on each time hunger strikes.

You need to keep your metabolism constantly working. When you stuff your face, your metabolism will shut down because all your body’s energy goes into digesting food. That’s why you get sleepy and lazy.

I stopped exercising with extreme intensity almost 15 years ago. But, I do lift weights four to five times a week and cardio-train five to six times a week.

Because of my age, weightlifting is more on the heavy side and targets every muscle group in the body.

Around 35 to 40 years of age, men’s testosterone levels decrease each year, and hanging on to muscle mass becomes a challenge. Heavy weight lifting will help.

My cardio training mainly consists of bike riding in the gym or through neighborhoods. I only keep a moderate pace and rarely with heavy breathing. It depends on the song in my headphones.

Bottom line, I’ve been doing this with consistency and frequency for over 10 years. Of course, I tweak the diet and exercise periodically, but really never taking time off.

Start today by making one healthy adjustment to your routine, then each week — add another. Within a few months, you’ll notice not only the physical change, but mental well-being as well.

Reprogram your brain to change your life

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Since birth, your brain is programmed and develops thinking through life experiences.

Your current status is from all decisions you’ve made to date. This includes your health, income and living conditions.

Now you’re an adult and can choose experiences to reprogram your brain. According to many studies, it takes a minimum of 21 days to develop good habits. This means 21 days consecutively, not every other day or some days.

We have all experienced failure with diets and exercise. I know people who eat a clean diet one day, then reward themselves with greasy or sugar foods the next day.

Eighty to 90 percent of people quit an exercise program or stop going to the gym within a month or two.

I always crack a smile at the beginning of each year when New Year’s resolution people come back to the gym. I typically see the same faces each year for a month then they disappear.

I’m sure they are paying for that membership all year with intentions to go each week, but it never happens.

It’s normal to get disgusted with ourselves for a lack of discipline. We know our own bad diet and fitness habits.

Some of you are looking forward to cold weather so you can hide underneath all the clothes. I’m sorry, but you’re not hiding anything.

It’s time to reprogram that lazy complacent brain of yours. Start off with at least one healthy meal a day and a brisk walk in the evening.

Then, continue developing better habits by choosing more healthy meals and increasing workout intensity.

My best advice is to choose breakfast as your first healthy meal. Now you’ve already accomplished your goal for the day and will feel good about yourself.

There are many choices. Try a cup of oatmeal with fruit or egg whites and one slice of wheat toast.

Start drinking a glass of water before each meal to give a more full stomach feeling. Plus we typically don’t drink enough water anyways.

Look, we are all beautiful people and others love us just the way we are. I just want you to develop more energy, have a better quality of life and to live much longer.

Swing for the fences and have a great life

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 

Have you not reached your diet and fitness goals? Are you still not making enough money?

What’s the problem and why are you still giving excuses?

Just know people around you know the truth. You can fool people and yourself for a while, but after time, your current occupational and health status is obvious.

Be honest, the only thing holding you back — is you. The best investment you can ever make is in yourself.

When it’s for better health, get a gym membership, hire a trainer or take cooking and nutrition classes.

If it’s time to increase income, then maybe you should take night classes, become an apprentice or research the path for the occupation you most desire.

What skill or skills are you good at? It could be sports, music, puzzles or a particular hobby. You should apply that same intense excitement to improve other areas of life.

Write down your income and health goals because they are important to reach quality and longevity. Be clear and realistic in order to be obtainable from your current position.

I’ve been following the baseball playoffs watching players make millions of dollars by only hitting the ball 20 to 30 percent of the time. How much more could they make by increasing batting averages?

Maybe your low wages and bad health is because you only give 30 percent effort. How would your life change if you increased focus and effort by an additional 50 percent? Only you can answer that question honestly.

We are all born with the capability to become successful. Embrace life and take full control of your destiny. Laugh at the challenges and turn them into opportunities.

Now, let’s all swing for the fences and have the life we truly deserve

Who is the hero saving your life?

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2015

If you’ve been following my column, you’re familiar with my work in the medical industry. I’ve been involved with well over 1,000 knee replacements, plus I work with some outstanding medical professionals.

Recently, there was a situation where a patient went into cardiac arrest and my friend Ramon, who is a physician assistant, performed chest compressions for about 15 minutes and saved this man’s life.

Ramon was very humble over the situation and thought of it as another day on the job. 

Of course, we commend all other non-doctors who save lives like firefighters, EMS, nurses, policemen and women, and many others.

But, since this column is about “Simple Fitness,” it made me think about other professions that help save lives.

Let’s take nutritionists and personal trainers who do their best to change lives, but for some people, they’ve saved them or at least prolonged their lives.

There are people with diabetes, obesity and unhealthy lifestyles that are on the brink of catastrophe. They desperately needed guidance, planning, training and education to start or return to a healthier lifestyle.

But really, who is the biggest hero when it comes to saving your life? That person is you.

You’re the one who recognized that there’s a problem with what’s happened to your body. You realized that you no longer have control and a quicker death is inevitable. And now, you’re taking positive steps in seeking help.

You only have one life, take control for not only you, but for all the people who count on you. They deserve it and so do you.

Be aware of ‘the zone,’ take life to a new level

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 

If you’ve ever played sports or at least watched sports, you’ve seen players get into what is called “the zone.” It’s the pinnacle of achievement for an athlete to perform at his or her best.

This phenomenon happens in all sports, but lets’ take basketball for our example. 

There were many instances during the basketball playoffs in which a team was down by 20 points, then all of sudden, they would get into the zone, and make a run for a lot of points. Typically, the opponent’s coach would call a timeout to get the other team out of the zone.

There have been multiple studies about the zone, and they all have a common explanation. First, an athlete must have mastered the basic fundamentals then clear their minds for all body senses to synergize together and become one. This is usually temporary but will take an athlete to their top performance. For an athlete, there is not a better intrinsic feeling and reward. 

Now, think about if we could tap into the zone in other areas of our lives. 

What would happen to your income if you could learn with consistency to tap into the zone at work? I’m sure raises and promotions would be in the immediate future. 

We’ve all experienced being in the zone — like house projects, studying for a test, cleaning house or cars, athletic events or even spiritually. 

What’s important is to become conscious of the zone then concentrate on getting your mind and body into it when it’s time to focus on something substantial. Imagine how productive and successful you’ll become. 

I once had a photo shoot for my abdominal invention and needed to lose substantial fat weight to dial in a ripped stomach. I consciously tapped into the zone and lost one pound a day for almost two weeks. 

We all have different needs and wants. Consciously tap into your zone and find a way to accomplish those needs. The reward of accomplishment puts you into a euphoric state of mind. 

Be aware of the zone and take your life to a whole new level.

If you want to lose weight, stop dieting

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, July 1, 2015

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, stop dieting. It seems like I give diet and fitness tips almost daily, but the problem is our definition of dieting.

Most people think of diets as a temporary reduction of food in order to lose weight. This definition is true except for the word “temporary.”

When it comes to losing weight, it should be a permanent change. Almost all of us have tried the many fad diet trends, but they don’t keep the weight off. There seems to be a diet war between all the choices. 

Remember Oprah Winfrey and the liquid diet? Her goal was to fit into a small size pair of Jordache jeans. She accomplished her goal, but we all witness the end results. Oprah said when she went back to her dressing room, she scarfed down a whole big bag of potato chips. Everyone I know who tried that diet became more overweight shortly after.  

When it comes to losing weight, you should be making a lifestyle change. Sometimes, my family thinks I’m kind of strange because I order grilled chicken salads when we are out to eat at a nice restaurant. I explained how much better and energetic I feel after a light, healthy dinner compared to the heavy, saturated meals.

Recently, my 14-year-old daughter decided to order the same light meals as me. To her surprise, the food was tasty, she felt full, and had a better overall feeling. 

The process of losing weight doesn’t have to be a burden. I find pleasure eating nature’s fresh foods. 

Without going into detail, here are a few quick lifestyle diet tips: avoid sodas and junk food, eat healthy snacks between meals to ward off hunger, eat breakfast, choose whole foods over processed, and, most of all, change your environment. 

Remember, if you don’t change lifestyle, the weight will always come back.

A clean diet doesn’t mean doing the dishes while eating chocolate cake.

Are you training according to your body type?

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2015

For those of you who train regularly, are you frustrated that goals are coming way too slow or not really at all? The problem could be that you’re not training properly according to body type. 

So many of us read fitness magazines or celebrity fitness books, and then try to emulate those workouts. Even though it works for some people, it might not be best for you.

You need to understand we all have different body types, and according to your type, workouts should be more specific. 

Understanding your body type will help get the results you want.

There are basically three body types – ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph.

Ectomorph bodies are lean and long like marathon runners. They typically have trouble gaining weight and muscle. If your goal is to gain lean muscle mass, then lift heavy weights with compound movements and cut back on cardio because you already have a fast metabolism. You will also need to eat 6-7 times a day with a proper balance of proteins and carbs. 

Mesomorph bodies are naturally stocky, more athletic and gain muscle easily. You have the body most people are seeking. Your downfall might be from taking your body for granted. If you’re not making gains, it’s from lazy workouts and sloppy diets. Mesomorphs should train like an athlete, and you’ll be surprised how fast goals are met. 

Endomorph bodies are pear shaped and hold body fat easily. I feel endomorphs have the biggest challenge of all. Your emphasis should be lots of cardio to boost metabolism. You need to train with intensity and watch your carb intake. Eat carbs in the morning for energy then drastically reduce with each meal. 

So, it’s important to identify and understand your body type. Each one requires different training methods and diet plans. 

Just know, once you recognize body type, you can get the ripped muscular body desired.

Control obesity with smaller food portions

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2015

There’s no secret, America is the fattest country on earth. Our obesity rate is skyrocketing, and it’s one of the many reasons medical insurance is costly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third or 78.6 million U.S. adult citizens are obese. It’s estimated that the annual medical costs of obesity was $147 billion in 2008 and has now climbed to $300 billion.

Now, I’m not going to list the variety of reasons for this atrocity, but will focus on one aspect all of us can control.

For some reason, Americans are obsessed with large food portions. We search for restaurants known to dish out oversized platters. Look around and you’ll see the explosion of buffet restaurants. Typically, for less than $10, you can stuff your face and feel like you ate your money’s worth. But, what really happened? You overloaded your body with probably low-quality food cooked in large amounts of sodium, unhealthy grease, and saturated in butter.

When tourists from other countries visit America, they are shocked on the size of our food portions.

What’s happened is we are all programed from childhood to finish off the food put on our plates. Our parents taught us not to leave or waste food. This thought process has been passed down since the Great Depression of the 1930s. And now, through current era, we are all accustomed to overloading our plates with the learned pattern of finishing it.

I’m not one who measures food portions and more than likely, neither are you. If you question yourself about food portions, then lift up your shirt. There’s your answer.

Here are a few tips:

1. Use smaller plates, bowls and cups

2. Eat salads, soups and veggies first, meats and proteins second, and carbs last.

3. When eating out, ask for an extra plate and share meals. It’s cheaper, plus you can have dessert.

4. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when satisfied. I eat six to seven times a day.

How many of you have heard the words “wow, have you lost weight?” If not, it starts with smaller food portions.

Seek a mentor and accomplish your goals

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 

Do you want to lose weight, start a business, write a book, or accomplish something completely out of your knowledge?

We all have a specific set of goals needing attention. The problem is, sometimes, we really don’t know how to get started.

I found the best path to reaching my goals was to find a mentor. There’s always someone who’s been down your path that has mastered your goals. 

Seek out that person, tell them your passion, and ask for advice. I promise, everyone enjoys feeling like the expert, and will gladly give tips and pointers. 

Now, don’t make the mistake and ask someone to take you under their wing and show you the ropes. That old “saying” needs be thrown away. Nobody has time for that. You should only ask a mentor for a few tips or one big piece of advice. Make sure, your very next step is exactly what they advised you to do. Otherwise, don’t bother them again. No one wants to keep giving advice to someone not putting their words into action. 

I desperately needed help when first starting my column for The Daily News. Sports editor James LaCombe became my mentor. He helped adjust my writing skills to format a newspaper. Believe me, in the beginning, he had to correct plenty of mistakes. Now, he barely has to correct any, if at all.

James told me it takes lots and lots of practice, so that’s what I do. I practice writing my columns every day. I’ve actually written many others that may never get published.  

How passionately do you really want to accomplish your goals? Seek out a mentor and pursue your dreams. Get out of your comfort zone and have the life you want and deserve.