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#Fitness Friday: Koons “Biggest Loser” Challenge Results!

Happy #Fitness Friday,

Drumroll, please! After 13 weeks of blood, literal sweat and tears, the Koons “Biggest Loser” challenge has come to a close. Every Koons employee who participated in the challenge did an outstanding job! Before we get to the winners, here are some brief – but outstanding – statistics from the challenge:

  • Overall contest spanned 13 weeks
  • 474 Koons employees participated
  • Average weight loss of all participants: 6.25% of body weight
  • Combined weight loss of the organization: 5,603.10 POUNDS!!
  • Our ‘biggest loser’ lost 79.1 pounds and our largest percent of weight loss was 25.87%
  • Our winning dealership team had 29 contestants with an average of 14.04% weight loss and a total of 957.30 pounds!

We couldn’t be more proud of all the participants in the challenge – they did a great job and the hard work paid off. Now, for the winners…

  • Congratulations to Koons Baltimore Ford for being the #1 team for highest % of Weight Loss
  • Congratulations to Mike Victor from Baltimore Ford for being the #1 weight loss winner at 25.87% Weight Loss!
  • The runner’s-up include Rick Kirchhausen, Dano Pasaretti, Julian Golmakani and Blake Young to round out the Top 5

Members of the Koons "Biggest Loser" Challenge

We definitely can say this challenge was a HUGE success! It not only rallied the entire Koons team around a healthy cause, but it also made our organization healthier in the process. As we all know, healthy lifestyle choices are a lifelong initiative that require daily maintenance! But, in the end, will allow us to live longer – and healthier – lives.

Here’s to a happy and healthy rest of 2012!

-KK

Final Koons "Biggest Loser" Challenge Statistics

#FitnessFriday: Tips To Get You Moving!

Photo courtesy of the USDA
We know it can be hard to get energized right out of bed. But your daily commute doesn’t have to be a drag and you definitely don’t have to walk through the day like a zombie. To help you get moving, we’ve listed out some tips to help you through your day.
  1. Start your day with breakfast.
    Breakfast fills your “empty tank” to get you going after a long night without food. And it can help you do better in school. Easy-to-prepare breakfasts include cold cereal with fruit and low-fat milk, whole-wheat toast with peanut butter, yogurt with fruit, whole-grain waffles or even last night’s pizza!
  2. Get Moving!
    It’s easy to fit physical activities into your daily routine. Walk, bike or jog to see friends. Take a 10-minute activity break every hour while you read, do homework or watch TV. Climb stairs instead of taking an escalator or elevator. Try to do these things for a total of 30 minutes every day.
  3. Snack smart.
    Snacks are a great way to refuel. Choose snacks from different food groups – a glass of low-fat milk and a few graham crackers, an apple or celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins, or some dry cereal. If you eat smart at other meals, cookies, chips and candy are OK for occasional snacking.
  4. Balance your food choices – don’t eat too much of any one thing.
    You don’t have to give up foods like hamburgers, french fries and ice cream to eat healthy. You just have to be smart about how often and how much of them you eat. Your body needs nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, fat and many different vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C and A, iron and calcium from a variety of foods. Balancing food choices from the Food Guide Pyramid and checking out the Nutrition Facts Panel on food labels will help you get all these nutrients.
  5. Eat more grains, fruits and vegetables.
    These foods give you carbohydrates for energy, plus vitamins, minerals and fiber. Besides, they taste good! Try breads such as whole-wheat, bagels and pita. Spaghetti and oatmeal are also in the grain group.
    Bananas, strawberries and melons are some great tasting fruits. Try vegetables raw, on a sandwich or salad.
  6. Foods aren’t good or bad.
    A healthy eating style is like a puzzle with many parts. Each part — or food — is different. Some foods may have more fat, sugar or salt while others may have more vitamins or fiber. There is a place for all these foods. What makes a diet good or bad is how foods fit together. Balancing your choices is important. Fit in a higher-fat food, like pepperoni pizza, at dinner by choosing lower-fat foods at other meals. And don’t forget about moderation. If two pieces of pizza fill you up, you don’t need a third.

Be Healthy! Be Happy!

-TK

Fitness Friday: Mind Over Munchies

Photo courtesy of the Food & Drug Administration

Tempted to dive head first into your plate when stress hits the fan?

Try this: Visualize your negative thoughts riding by on a conveyor belt. Label each one “5-K tomorrow” or “First Date Jitters!”, then imagine it chugging off into oblivion. Research subjects at Temple University’s Center for Obesity Research and Education say this method of chunking has helped them avoid emotional eating.

Did you also know that if you eat slowly, you’ll probably eat less? This the finding from a recent report from The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. People who lingered over ice cream for 30 minutes produced more of two hormones that signal fullness than those who ate the same amount in 5 minutes.

“Eating slowly lets food interact longer with the intestinal cells that produce these hormones,” says lead study author Alexander Kokkinos, M.D., Ph.D. Put the brakes on speed eating by avoiding dining distractions (like the T.V.) and focusing on food.

So just remember, it’s all a matter of mind over munchies. Put your mind to it, you can do it!

Be Happy, Be Healthy!

-TK

Fitness Friday: Lose That Belly In 2 Weeks

Abs are built in the kitchen. How much we weigh, very much depends on what we eat.

Instead of three large meals, break your daily routine into 5-6 smaller ones. Remember the aim is to provide your body with just enough calories for what it needs. Eating a large meal will leave your body flushed with more calories than it actually needs. It’ll also slow down your metabolism, which is why many people go to sleep after a heavy meal.

Don’t skip meals. Starving yourself is the worst possible way to lose weight. Your body will fight back by holding on to the fat that it already has. Do not forget to eat breakfast. An early breakfast is the best way to kick-start your metabolism. Eating breakfast will also ensure that you have enough energy during the day. Statistics show that most people who skip breakfast end up overeating later on in the day.

Quick Food Guide:

Proteins: The human body burns more energy processing proteins than it does processing carbs and fat. That’s why diets high in protein work great for burning your belly fat. You can add lean meat, fish, poultry and nuts such as almonds into your daily routine to truly benefit from these important nutrients and lose weight. 

Vegetables & Fruits: Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber and nutrients. They make us feel fuller and reduce our food cravings. Try to eat vegetables and fruits that are unprocessed. Canned food can have additives which can cause weight gain unknowingly.

Fats: Stay away from trans-fats present in products like margarine. You can substitute butter for olive oil or fish oil, which are lighter and healthier. You can also go for low-fat versions of dairy products such as skimmed milk and cottage cheese to reduce fat in your diet.

 Carbs: Avoid potatoes, pasta, white bread and rice. You can always adopt their unprocessed healthier versions such Brown rice, oats, whole grain pasta, quinoa. This way you can keep can not only reduce fat but also keep it fat at a distance in the future too.

Water: No article on weight loss would be complete without water being mentioned. Water helps to take away the toxins from the body. It increases the metabolic rate of your body which, boosts fat loss from the belly area and other parts as well.

Be Happy, Be Healthy!

-TK

Fitness Friday: Reducing Your Caloric Intake

If you’re serious about weight loss, then you simply must change your current eating habits. Until you do so, you’ll find it that much harder to lose weight.

When it comes to weight loss, calories are the enemy. After a meal, your body converts the calories that it needs into fuel and then stores the rest. The body requires at least 1,200-1,500 calories to carry out its everyday activities.

Your mission (now that you’ve chosen to accept it) is simple. In order to lose weight, you’ll need to ensure that you’re eating just enough food to fuel your body. This way, your body will be forced to turn to its fat reserves to make up the deficit.

Reducing your daily caloric intake doesn’t mean that you need to starve. In fact, it’s possible to eat five meals during the day without ever going hungry. To achieve this, you’ll need to change your diet to healthier foods.

Eat More Fruits & Veggies

Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grain meals. Complex carbs take a lot longer to digest and don’t have as many calories as processed foods.

Avoid Refined Foods

Avoid refined foods. They’re stripped of most of their nutrients and contain nothing but carbs. Instead of eating a biscuit or chocolate as a snack, try eating fruit. You’ll lose weight faster. You can also start a food journal to track what you eat daily. If you reduce your daily caloric intake by 500 calories, you could lose as much as 8 pounds in a month!

Be Happy, Be Healthy.

-TK