Weight training is answer to losing fat, looking good

Brianne Carlon

John Henry Creel, owner of Mind and Body Fitness in Beachwood, was named one of the top 100 personal trainers in the nation. Here, two of his students lift weights in his gym.

Credit: Jason Hall

You’ve heard of them all: South Beach, Atkins and The Zone. Results of these fad diets are questionable and almost never permanent. However, there is a plan that works to keep the fat off and the body healthy.

John Henry Creel, owner of Mind and Body Fitness in Beachwood, said weight training is the answer to getting rid of body fat and keeping it off.

Creel became a personal trainer in 1990. He was named one of the top 100 personal trainers in the nation by Men’s Journal in 2002 and began traveling the country giving lectures about his theory.

“What people don’t understand is that muscle is the main catalyst to your metabolism,” he said. “Weight training is the most effective way to stimulate your muscles.”

About 75 percent of the body’s ability to convert fat to energy happens during sleep, Creel said.

“Properly activating your metabolism allows the body to burn calories 24 hours a day,” Creel said.

Laura Savarin, freshman dance performance major has been working out with Creel for about two months.

“I’ve lost body fat and am a lot more toned,” she said.

Aerobic activity, on the other hand also is important but should not be done in excess, Creel said.

“It will increase metabolism but it will return back to normal after the activity is finished,” Creel said.

It is important people realize what truly makes them unhappy about their body, he said.

“The reason people are not happy with the way their body looks is because they have too much body fat, not because they weigh too much,” Creel said.

Muscle weighing more than fat is just a myth, he said.

“It doesn’t weigh more because five pounds is five pounds,” Creel said. “However, fat takes up eight times as much room in the body as muscle does.

“There is no need to be afraid of muscle. It is the solution to having a firm healthy body,” Creel said.

It also is important to know the body stores fat because it is convinced it is deprived of nutrients or the right foods. The body’s response to “starvation” is hoarding body fat.

Creel recommends eating five small meals every day.

“Pre-plan your meals the night before,” he said.

To reverse the process and decrease body fat, the right combination of food and overall calories is necessary, Creel said. This allows the body to feel comfortable releasing fat instead of storing it for survival purposes.

The body only wants certain types of food, he said. They include: starchy carbohydrates that are grain-based, fiber-based carbohydrates, proteins and essential fatty acids.

“Every single meal should possess a type of each nutrient,” Creel said. “This helps muscles repair, rejuvenate and transform how the body looks overall.”

A few sample meals are:

  • Fruit and a protein drink
  • Fruit and cottage cheese
  • Whole grain bread turkey sandwich with romaine lettuce and tomato
  • Natural peanut butter on rice cakes.

All meals should include 10 to 16 ounces of water, Creel said.

“I am more confident and feel a lot better about myself because I am being more conscious about my diet,” Savarin added.

The body also needs enough calories to operate properly, he said.

“A computer needs a certain amount of electricity to power up. The body is the same way – it needs the proper amount of muscle to operate.

“We must remember the whole process starts because of weight training-which is the only thing that turns on metabolism so it can last 24 hours a day.”

Savarin said weight training has made her a healthier person.

“It taught me to think about everything I eat and do,” she said.

Creel said he wants everyone to learn more about weight training, nutrition and eating habits.

“Every person needs to do some sort of weight training because if you don’t work and protect muscles you will lose them when you get older,” he said. “The body will get less firm and more flabby.”

Contact features reporter Brianne Carlon at [email protected].