Lanza Blog


Sound familiar? It should. About forty per cent of you have been through this scenario. Another twenty per cent might have only lost fifteen days, but when the diet ended the fifteen days came back. It’s a hard thing to go through. It can be de-motivating, it can cause added stress, and it usually ends with the scale telling you that added pounds have appeared. Winter is almost over, Spring is coming, and you’re searching high and low in your closet for those pants with the extra room. So what’s a person to do? Let me start by relating a story I once heard.

This guy was walking along, minding his own business. All of a sudden he falls into a giant hole. He looks around and tries to get out but he finds he can’t. He starts to worry when all of a sudden a Priest walks by. The guy asks, “Father, can you help me? I can’t get out.” The Priest makes a sign of the cross, says a prayer and walks away. The guy looks worried now when a doctor walks by. Again, “Hey doc, can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription, throws it in the hole and walks away. Now the guy is really scared. Then, he sees his friend walk by. He yells”Hey Phil! Can you help me? I’ve fallen in this hole and I can’t get out!” To his amazement, Phil jumps in the hole with the guy. The guy asks “What did you do that for? Now we’re both stuck!” Phil looks at his friend and says “No, we’re not. I’ve been here before and I know the way out.”

Well, I’ve been there as well. And I know the way out. It’s not easy. It is hard work. But the payoff in the end is worth it. So, if you’ll follow me, I’m going to show you the way out.

The first step is portion control. Understand it, know it, embrace it. Each meal should have no more than four to six ounces of lean protein (chicken, turkey, fish etc.), which is about the size of a deck of cards. Six to eight ounces of carbohydrate (vegetable or salad), and a good fat (avocado, olive oil) in a salad dressing. And that’s it! That’s all your body needs for survival. If you eat at a restaurant, automatically divide the plate and take half home. I don’t know any restaurant that serves controlled portions. Although it’s probably because people wouldn’t eat there.

The next step is moderation. “Don’t eliminate, moderate!” Putting on weight, especially fat, is cumulative. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. So, if you like deserts eat them in moderation. You can still have them, but not every night. If you want a candy bar, have one. But not every day. You don’t have to give up the guilty pleasures. Just cut back on the frequency.

And of course, the final step is exercise. Resistance training two to three times a week is the most effective. You have to build muscle to burn calories. I know quite a few body builders who eat their cheesecake, chocolate covered nuts and cheeseburger and fries. They don’t do it often, but they do it. And the muscle on their bodies just burns it up. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn. Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps eats about twelve to fifteen thousand calories a day during training. And swims about 600 Olympic speed laps a day. And trains in the gym with weights. Speaking of laps in the pool, you also have to put in some time doing cardio training. Thirty minutes a day, three to five times a week. It builds stamina, lung capacity and burns a few extra calories as well. Keep your target heart training rate at about seventy-five per cent of your maximum heart rate. How do you know what your maximum heart rate is? Simple. Deduct your age from 220. That would be your maximum heart rate. And then multiply it by seventy-five per cent. O.K. let’s go through it again. If I’m fifty years old, I subtract 50 from 220 and I get 170. I then multiply 170 by 75 per cent and I get 127.50 which I round up to 128. There you have it. In my thirty minutes of cardio my heart rate should stay around 128 beats per minute. Going to 130 to 135 is okay but no higher. You’ll start to burn muscle. And how do I find my heart rate some of you are asking? Heart rate monitors, fingers on your carotid artery, the silver handles on the treadmill. Call me, we’ll talk.

So, there you have it. You’re out of the hole. Now find your way here to Lanza Fitness and let’s get started! Summer is right around the corner. I can show you how not to fall back into that hole!

Thanks for listening and have a healthy day!!!

Posted in Baby Boomers, Cancer, Carbohydrates, Cardiovascular, Childhood Obesity, Dieting, Exercise, Fast Food, Fats, healthy body, Healthy Lifestyles, Heart Disease, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Holidays, Muscle Growth, Nutrition, Prostate Cancer, Protein, Senior Exercise, Stress, Uncategorized, Vitamins | Comments Off


Ah yes. The age old question. “Are you a good witch? Or a bad witch?” Is gluten good for you? Or bad for you? Here’s another question. Do you know what gluten is? Apparently not many of you do. So much so, that late night talk shows make fun of it. Jimmy will go out on the street and ask people if they are on a gluten free diet. Most will say yes. When asked why, they respond with “I don’t know” or “Because it’s healthier” or “My friend is gluten free” or “My friend lost thirty pounds on a gluten free diet.” Well let’s get to the nitty gritty.

Gluten is the protein that is found in grains, such as wheat, rye, barley, durum, semolina, etc. It is the bond that holds the grain together and gives it its shape. So, you’ll find gluten in breads, pastas, cookies, cakes, cereals, etc. It’s actually not a bad thing. As you’ve heard me say before, we are a nation of carbohydrate junkies. Most of our eating is made up of carbs. Some good, most bad. So getting rid of the protein that is found in the wheat and rye family is not such a good thing. Unless. Yes, unless you have Celiac disease, a very serious autoimmune disorder that affects about one in one hundred people worldwide. The ingestion of gluten can cause serious damage in the small intestine. Apparently over two and a half million Americans are undiagnosed with the disease and this can cause great discomfort and major health complications. Celiac disease is also hereditary. It runs in the family. People with a parent or sibling have a one in ten chance of getting the disease. These are the people that should be gluten free.

Now, there are some people that are gluten sensitive. They don’t have Celiac disease but eating breads and cereals may cause a little discomfort. Bloating, gas, cramping. Again, these people should be gluten free. The rest of us?? Eat the damn protein. Getting back to the “My friend lost thirty pounds eating gluten free.” Well, before everything was “gluten free” people stopped eating processed carbs. Breads, cereals, cakes, cookies. Guess what? They lost weight. But no more. Food companies are preying on the weak and uninformed. Everything is “gluten free” today. And much more expensive. They are charging you more for the breads, cookies, powders, drinks. I saw a meat product that said “gluten free”. Really?? People, you are not going to lose weight being “gluten free”. You are going to spend more money buying “gluten free.” You are not going to be healthier, live longer, have better skin or keep your hair from falling out. Get back to gluten. It’s good for you. And exercise. (You knew I had to get that in.)

Thanks for listening and have a healthy day!

Posted in Baby Boomers, Cancer, Carbohydrates, Cardiovascular, Childhood Obesity, Dieting, Exercise, Fast Food, Fats, healthy body, Healthy Lifestyles, Heart Disease, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Holidays, Muscle Growth, Nutrition, Prostate Cancer, Protein, Senior Exercise, Stress, Uncategorized, Vitamins | Comments Off


Incredible? Unbelievable? Maybe it’s an urban myth. Maybe it’s an old legend or wives’ tale. Maybe, just maybe, it’s an old “Ed Wood” movie, circa 1959. (You millennials will have to google that name). You baby boomers will have to ask how to “google”.

Picture it. Ed Wood directing. A mad scientist develops a machine that can send a ray that will literally make the head explode. Or, a mad scientist creates an ear worm that can carry a tiny explosive on its back and will burrow into..never mind. Too gory. How about a frustrated, angry wife that screams at her low life, alcoholic and abusive husband so loud that his head just goes “puff”. I like that one.

But it’s not a myth, a legend or a bad “B” movie. It’s real. It’s a real thing. And I have never told this to anyone  before but I actually have this syndrome. I can freely admit it now because it has a name and it has been researched and it has been diagnosed. For years I thought I was crazy, a lunatic or even special in a freaky kind of way. But it’s been happening to me my whole life.

It goes like this…when you are lying in bed, ready to fall asleep and you’re just about to drift off, all of a sudden…BANG! You open your eyes and bolt upright because someone just fired a gun next to your head. You look around, frightened, waiting for the next shot. But there’s no one there. You’re alone (or next to your spouse, ext.), you sit for a moment trying to figure it all out. Now you’re wide awake, a little sweaty, a little scared. But you’re safe. Doesn’t happen often, maybe two times a year, maybe three times in two years. It’s infrequent. At least for me. I haven’t met anyone who has ever talked about it. Including myself. This is honestly the first time in my life. I had no idea. Until now.

Doctors have given it a name. “Exploding Head Syndrome”. It is a sleep disorder that researchers thought only occurred in adults. But now research has shown that about one in five college students experience this. About eighteen per cent and it has become one of the largest studies of its kind.

The study was done by researchers at Washington State University and published in the Journal of Sleep Research. Researchers studied 211 undergraduate students because apparently they thought that this syndrome occurred in people over fifty years old. Exploding head syndrome was considered rare and happened to people in middle life. But the occurrences happen more often than previously thought. I think it’s because people don’t talk about it. Even to the doctors.

According to Brian Sharpless, a Washington State University assistant professor and director of the university psychology clinic, Exploding head syndrome is one of several conditions described as hypnagogic, or occurring in the transitional state between sleep and full wakefulness. Apparently the nerves in the brain mis-fire between the transition of alertness and asleep. Somewhat of a neural hiccup. He compares it to a computer shutting down, with the brain’s motor, auditory and visual neurons turning off in stages. Once in a while, instead of shutting down properly, the auditory neurons fire all at once.

There’s no danger, no long lasting effect on the brain. Just some momentary stress. Maybe unclean sheets. Just kidding. It’s fine. It’s been happening to me for many years. Now that I know what it is, and that I’m not being abducted by aliens from “Plan 9 From Outer Space” I can sleep better.

Thanks for listening and have a healthy day!

Posted in Baby Boomers, Cancer, Carbohydrates, Cardiovascular, Childhood Obesity, Dieting, Exercise, Fast Food, Fats, healthy body, Healthy Lifestyles, Heart Disease, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Holidays, Muscle Growth, Nutrition, Prostate Cancer, Protein, Senior Exercise, Stress, Uncategorized, Vitamins | Comments Off



I was invited to a gathering a few weeks ago. It was a seventieth birthday party for a client. It wasn’t called a birthday party because she doesn’t have “birthdays” or “birthday parties” anymore. So, it was called a gathering. Kind of like the animals on the Serengeti. At the watering hole. A gathering. We all gathered. Whatever you want to call it, it was interesting.

She’s been a client for many years. I don’t have many clients over the age of seventy. The one’s I do have certainly don’t look or act like they’re seventy. As I always say, seventy is the new fifty. When you exercise, you give your body the opportunity to do the things you did at fifty when you’re seventy.

Anyway, I say the gathering was interesting because of the conversations I heard. I knew some of the people there because I’ve been her Fitness Professional, AKA, “Fit Pro” for many years. Most of the guests I had never met, so I was introduced as the Fit Pro. And of course, the questions start. “How do I lose weight?” “How do I get six pack abs?” “What’s the best diet to be on?” I politely excuse myself to use the restroom. I think I used the restroom fourteen times that night.

So, when I wasn’t getting fitness related questions, I listened in on the other conversations. One group was debating the effectiveness and side effects of high blood pressure meds. One group was comparing the cost of cholesterol meds. One group was trading the names of companies that make generic as opposed to top shelf. Another, and I didn’t spend too much time with this group, was one upping each other on how many friends they lost and how many funerals they’ve been to in the last year.

No talk of politics, (thank God), no talk of the current state of affairs, no talk of shootings, nuclear bombs, the stock market, movies, T.V., cars. Nothing. What I heard was “medications”,” cramps”, “ailments”, “evening trips to the bathroom”, “cataracts”.  Is this what I have to look forward to?

Hell no!  As I said in previous articles, we will get old. Nothing you can do about that. But we don’t have to get old! Exercise will keep the body young. Your muscles will stay strong. Your blood will travel easier and more efficiently throughout your body. Will you get gray? Sure. Will your skin sag a bit? Sure. Will your eyesight diminish? Sure. That’s all a part of the ageing process. But you don’t have to get old. Keep yourself moving. Walk, run, bike, play with the dog. Do some resistance training. It builds muscle which in turn will keep away Sarcopenia, Osteoporosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and all of the conversations I heard at “the gathering”.  Eat right and don’t diet, it doesn’t work. Eat clean, natural, organic, unprocessed, and NO FAST FOOD! Keep sugar and processed carbs to a minimum. Eat lean protein, good fats and complex carbs. And move! Keep the body moving. It’s important for your heart, circulatory system, joints, muscles and bones. It works. I promise. My client just turned seventy and she is active and can do more than most fifty year olds. Bottom line…you’re going to get old. But you don’t have to get old.

I’ve been invited to a retirement party for a client next month. Can’t wait. I’m going to bring my “Every Medication Explained” reference book, a list of all of the drug manufacturers in the Northern Hemisphere and a list of every mortuary in Southern California.

If you have any questions or would like to chat about an exercise program, feel free to contact me.

Thanks for listening and have a healthy day!

Posted in Baby Boomers, Cancer, Carbohydrates, Cardiovascular, Childhood Obesity, Dieting, Exercise, Fast Food, Fats, healthy body, Healthy Lifestyles, Heart Disease, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Holidays, Muscle Growth, Nutrition, Prostate Cancer, Protein, Senior Exercise, Stress, Uncategorized, Vitamins | Comments Off

A Personal Thought.

Are you a good witch or a bad witch? At the end of every year I ask that question to the New Year coming in. It’s a line from my favorite movie of all time. I sit in my living room and ponder what I’ve done all year long. How I’ve treated people, my family and friends, my clients, the lady at the checkout counter. The wonderful people at the grocery store who come up to me and ask if I need help? Oh, what a question to ask me. They don’t know what kind of can of worms they’re opening with that question.

As the New Year comes in and I go through my thoughts of this year, I ask the New Year “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” Did I mention it’s a line from my favorite movie?

Is it enough to want the year to be better for us because we think we deserve it? Or is it up to us to make it a good year? Are there things we can do to make it a good witch or should we go about our business and let it be a bad witch? As we go along the yellow brick road and we encounter people in need of a helping hand, whether it be some love, a good hug or a slap in the face, do we stop to help? Should we, in 2017, make it a point to even try to attempt to take a journey and follow the yellow brick road to wherever our hearts take us? And maybe pick up some friends along the way? Don’t be afraid of the ghosts and goblins in the forest. Or the lions and tigers and bears. Oh my! They can’t hurt you if you have the Good Fairy watching over you. Just keep your faith and go on the journey. Run like hell through the poppies and eventually you’ll get to where you’re going. Help a few people along the way. It’s been said that the size of a man’s heart is not measured by how much he loves, but by how much he is loved by others.

I think 2017 should be a good year. Our nation is still a little shaky. The economy is still in the toilet. I guess the new President will try his best. There are people trying their best to do what they can to stay afloat. Some are getting hit with little green apples with worms. Some are getting hit with fire balls. I thought I saw some flying monkeys the other day. Turns out they were the IRS on their way to an audit.

I certainly am trying to find the man behind the curtain. My life took a little detour in 2016. It wasn’t such a good year but I did my best. I lost my stuffing for a bit. But some friends helped me stuff it back in. I knew I had a heart because I felt it break. And I once heard that hearts will never be practical until they’re made unbreakable. My courage was challenged. But I refuse to surrender. I ran the road. I traversed the poppy field. I made it through the forest.

And at the end I found that there’s no place like home.

Happy New Year.

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