Canadian-American trainer and nutritionist Harley Pasternak is a master of all things diet, exercise, weight maintenance, and diabetes. He rattles off statistics and facts about the above subjects with the authoritiy of a drill seargant and the expertise of a college professor. He informed us that both of his brothers were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during his childhood, prompting an interest in health-- particularly nuturtion. He got his degree in nutrition, and master's degrees in kinethesiology and nutrition. His professional gig was a nutrition and exercise scientist at the Department of National Defense, and from there carved out a niche for himself by getting Hollywood actors in shape when they came to Canada to shoot films. Harely's big break came when he got Halle Berry in tip-top form for the film Gothika. She was so pleased with the results that she asked him to work with her on her next project, Catwoman. Four books, one Oprah appearance, and dozens of star clients later, Harley is one of the industry's leading authorities on what it takes to stay in shape.
When asked how long he's been a personal trainer, he cheerfully replied, "I've been doing this about 21 years, which makes me 25 years old now!" When it comes to health and fitness, though, Harley is no joker. His insight into diabetes--one of America's most prevalent diseases is penetrating. He explained in detail how both type 1 and type 2 diabetes work on the body--the former is caused by a lack of production of insulin, the latter, chronic obesity prevents insulin from being delivered to cells. The net result is the same: blood glucose in the blood stream rises to dangerous levels, damaging organs causing things like blindness and limb amputations. The best method of exercise to combat those scary side effects is resistance training. It has an effect similar to insulin on the muscles, buring off the sugar that is in the bloodstream.
Instead of slogging to the gym every day, Harley's recommendation is simpler and far more doable: move more. Park your car farther away from the mall, walk up stairs, walk throughout the day. Harley also stresses the importance of a good night's sleep, and important component to maintaining a healthy weight. "Sleep is not sexy, [and] it's hard to market sleep," Harley explained. It's easier to sell a gadet geared toward weight loss than tell people to get more reast. There is a new fitness gaget called Fitbe that Harley uses for his clients monitors activity during the day and how much rest the client gets at night. The quality of sleep is very important, as it controls the release of hormones that regulate hunger. According to Harley, those who undersleep can eat as much as 20% more than those who get enough rest.
Harley doesn't waste his time on platitudes like "motivation" that don't work. "Being the one person in in the room who can't have a birthday cake on someone's birthday, that's not a fun thing to do," Harley said. In order to commit to a healthy lifestyle, surrounding yourself with others who have made similar choices makes the process more enjoyable. That way health becomes a journey you share, not a task you perform. This paradigm is an important one for results that last longer than swimsuit season.