Thursday, December 31, 2009

Alcohol & Weight Loss

Negative Effects

One drink may be protective, but not everyone has the same response to alcohol. Those who have the genetic make-up that predisposes to alcohol abuse, those who don't metabolize alcohol well, those who have certain diseases, have existing liver problems, or are taking medications that cause side effects when alcohol is consumed, and those who are pregnant should avoid drinking alcohol. And although alcohol may raise HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol), there are better ways to do this - how about reducing body fat and exercising to raise HDL levels? In addition, drinking alcohol can raise triglyceride levels, which is another risk factor for heart disease, so the effects of alcohol vary from one person to another.

Alcohol and Weight Gain

For those who want to gain body weight, you need to increase calorie intake, but there are much better choices than alcohol to do this. Alcohol is very high in calories, but because alcohol is converted to fatty acids when it is metabolized, the extra calories are more likely to be stored as body fat. Healthy gains in weight come from a carefully planned diet, balanced in nutrition, not by the addition of low-nutrition calories like alcohol, sugar and low-nutrients snacks and desserts. Enjoy these foods occasionally, but don't use them for gaining weight!

Alcohol and Weight Loss

For those trying to lose body fat, drinking alcohol is going to slow down your weight loss progress, and again, because it converts to body fat more readily than most other nutrients, it's not the best choice for improving body fat percentage.

An Occasional Drink

If you want to add an occasional alcohol beverage to your weight loss or weight gain plan, you can add it your plan and consider that these are extra calories. Again, for weight loss, it will add up to extra calories that may slow your progress. You will need to increase your physical activity to make up for it!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Getting Started On A Fitness Plan

1. Schedule your workout as an appointment
Just like you wouldn't miss a scheduled doctor's appointment or
work meeting, you'll be more apt to fit in your workout if you set
aside time in your schedule.

2. If your time is limited, try to do something physical for at least
10 to 15 minutes
Any amount of physical activity is better than nothing! You never
know -- once you get started you may just keep going.

3. Add variety to your fitness regimen.
Don't bore yourself with the same type of physical activity over and
over again. Workout with a friend one day, take a walk one day,
and an exercise class the next. Mix it up!

4. Keep old photos, clothes in a smaller size or a picture of a how you
want to look to remind yourself of your goal.
Having visual reminders will help you to stay on track and remember
what you've set yourself up to accomplish.

5. Make sure your fitness plan is convenient
Join a gym or work with a personal trainer that is on your way home
from work or close to where you live. Or, if you plan to work out at
home, make sure the necessary equipment is easily available.

6. Avoid the expectation of immediate results
It is part of the American culture to assume results can be achieved
quickly. Avoid falling into that trap. You will see results if you
stick with a plan but give it time!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Benefits Of Eating A Healthy Breakfast

Studies show eating a healthy breakfast improves health by lowering cholesterol levels and aiding weight loss.

While skipping breakfast may seem like a good idea when in a hurry, studies show the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast are worth taking a few minutes to eat. There are many benefits of breakfast, including:

Boosts metabolism: Skipping meals causes the metabolism to become sluggish, but eating speeds the metabolism up because the body is burning calories when its digesting food. Breakfast is the first opportunity of the day to fuel the body and get the metabolism running.

Increases Energy: Studies indicate that those who eat breakfast have higher energy levels than those who skip breakfast.

Lowers cholesterol levels: Soluble fiber found in foods such as oatmeal, oat bran, citrus fruits and strawberries has been shown to lower cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.

Improves concentration: Research shows that those who eat breakfast have better concentration, memory, and problem-solving skills than those who skip breakfast.

Aids weight loss: Those who eat breakfast eat fewer calories throughout the day and lose more weight compared to those who do not eat breakfast. Also, those who opt out of eating breakfast are usually famished by lunchtime and tend to overeat.

Keeps blood sugar levels stable. Eating a breakfast consisting of sugary cereal or a doughnut causes blood sugar to spike, leading to hunger and carbohydrate cravings. A healthy breakfast keeps blood sugar levels stable, thereby decreasing cravings and hunger throughout the day.

Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas
A nutritional breakfast should always consist of complex carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Some quick and healthy breakfast ideas include:

•Oatmeal with fresh fruit and whole-grain toast
•Scrambled eggs with a slice of whole-grain toast and a pat of butter
•Veggie omelet with a sprinkling of cheddar or mozzarella cheese on top
•High fiber muffins with fresh fruit and a glass of juice or low-fat milk
•Whole grain waffles or pancakes and turkey sausage or bacon
•Cold cereal that is high in fiber and low in sugar with low-fat milk, and fresh berries
•Whole-grain toast with peanut butter and a piece of fresh fruit

Sometimes eating actual food in the morning isn't always an enticing thought. Another option is to drink a smoothie made up of fresh fruit, low-fat milk or juice, yogurt, and a scoop of protein powder. Another option may be drinking a meal replacement shake, but make sure to read the label and make sure that any meal replacement shakes has a well-balanced ratio of carbs, protein, and fat.

Friday, December 4, 2009

What Is My Body Shape?

Do you ever look at someone whose figure you admire and wonder why you can’t look like that?

I have women come up to me all the time with statements like "Can you help me get some hips" or "I want a butt like so and so." The reality is you have to be realistic in your goals and know that your body is shaped the way it is because of your genetics. No matter what you do, you just seem to have a body that will never look like that person. You might even have a very nice figure but it isn’t the same.

The reason is because your body type is different and it is impossible to change your bone structure.

To make the most of the body shape you have, you need to know what body type you are and which exercises will help to make your body look its best.

There are three basic body types and most of us tend to fit one type or another.


Ectomorph
This body type is charactized by long lean muscles and a slim body with hips and shoulders the same width.

Ectomorphs do not find it easy to gain muscle mass and often have a difficult time keeping their weight maintained.

This body type is also more prone to injury. Some great exercises to help an ectomorph get and keep the optimum shape are lifecycle, treadmill walking, martial arts and kickboxing as a maximum workout.

Planks, step-ups and pushups are also very beneficial. Basic stretches will round out a good exercise routine for this body type.

Endomorph
This body type is often referred to as the pear shape. Its shape is rounder, curvier and softer than other body types with a large bone structure.

Putting on muscle is not a problem for endomorphs but losing weight, particularly fat, is not easy. Because they fear putting on too much muscle, women with this body shape will often shy away from weight training or only use very light weights.

However, the best exercise for endomorphs to do is moderate weight training.

This is enough to make the most of this body shape without making it too muscular while giving the metabolism a boost at the same time.

Some of the best exercises for endomorphs include walking on a treadmill with an incline, interval stepping, uphill walking at a fast pace, kickboxing and cross training.

Mesomorph
If you are a mesomorph, you are considered to be rather broad shouldered and have either a medium to large frame.

You find that losing fat and weight are not especially difficult problems and gaining muscle mass is easy.

A fitness boot camp workout is a good option for you as well as moderate weight training. A few other good exercises are stairmaster and crosstrainer intervals, running workouts, step exercises, the pilates system and yoga.

Jump rope is also a very good choice for mesmorphs to help maintain a good shape.


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No matter what your shape is, you can get it into its best shape and keep it there with the right combinations of exercises for your particular body type.

Just remember that, if you are a mesomorph, you are not going to have the same figure as an ectomorph or an endomorph and vice versa. You will have no choice but to accept that. You can be just as beautiful whatever body shape you have been born with.

Exercising For Your Body Shape

Everyone has a certain type of body shape. You might be a pear shape, an hourglass shape, a ruler shape, or an apple shape. Let’s take a quick look at what these shapes mean.

For Men:

Pear Shape – Before you accuse me of calling you a fruit, read on! A man with this type of body shape is usually larger in the hips and thighs than in the chest and arms. He is usually petite in the arms and chest. A lot of men with this body type have an athletic type build.

Hourglass Shape – No, guys. This doesn’t mean you’re girly. This is actually the shape many football players have, with small waists and hips, and broad shoulders and muscular thighs.


Ruler Shape – You are probably pretty thin, with minimal muscle build up.


Apple Shape – This type of body shape means that the man has a larger chest and arms, with a small waist. Men with this body shape usually have a small butt and legs, and may look top heavy.



For Women:


Pear Shape – You have larger hips, with a smaller chest and arms. Most women with this body type have flat stomachs and chests.



Hourglass Shape – This is one of the favorite shapes of a woman. Your shoulders and hips are about equal in width, and you have a small waist and normally flat tummy.



Ruler Shape – You have a thinner body, with minimal curves.



Apple Shape – You have larger shoulders and larger breasts, with smaller thighs, and thinner or smaller hips and butt.


Unfortunately, we all get our body shapes genetically, which means “tough cookie,” if we want to get rid of them. However, we can utilize targeted exercises to shape up our bodies, and this will help us look great, no matter what body shape we are. Here are some great targeted exercises for each shape.



Pear Shape – For this shape, you need some great exercises that will balance out the difference in the bottom part of your body, and the upper part. Do aerobic activities that target the lower body, and resistance exercises for the upper body. You will be slimming the lower part, and building the upper part. Some great ones for you are push ups, chin ups, leg lifts, jumping rope, and elliptical training.



Hourglass Shape – Cardio is great for this body shape, along with resistance exercises. Try things like swimming, stationary biking with a bit of resistance, jumping jacks, bicep curls, shoulder presses and squats. This kind of exercise will help keep your weight in check, ensure a good balance between upper and lower body.



Ruler Shape – You don’t really need to do much extra. Your regular and balanced routine is fine, and ensuring that you get a healthy diet and nutrition. Some people with shapes like this want muscle building, so go for resistance training that targets the upper and lower body.



Apple Shape – Most likely, if you have this shape, you want to focus on losing weight. Losing weight all over will balance out your larger upper body. Do low resistance exercises with lots of repetitions, such as stair climbing, running and incline walking.



Good luck, and remember, we might not be able to change our body shapes completely, but we can change them for the better.

Weight Loss For Heart Health

Obesity puts a strain on your heart. Exercise and fitness improve your heart health and constitute weight loss support, but some dietary adjustment is usually also called for if you want to lose weight. To lose weight, improve cardiovascular health, and lower cholesterol, cut back on calories from saturated fat, eat more fiber, and stock up on fruit and veggies.

The Best Pregnancy Exercises

It is important to maintain a healthy, pregnancy fitness program throughout your pregnancy. The following exercises are considered the best for pregnant women who want to remain fit.


* Swimming-Water supports your weight and gives you added resistance to strengthen your muscles and joints.

* Yoga-This exercise is great for reducing stress and helping you remain flexible.

* Low-impact Aerobics-There are many aerobic classes and tapes that are specially designed for pregnant women.

* Walking-This is the easiest exercise to add to your fitness routine.

Always check with your doctor before engaging in exercise programs, or if you experience any problems.

When You May Need To Limit Exercise During Pregnancy



In normal pregnancies, exercise is safe and often recommended. However, some complications during pregnancy may cause you to limit your exercise or, stop it altogether:




*Vaginal Bleeding
*High Blood Pressure
*Placental Problems
*Heart Palpitations
*Premature Labor
*Incompetent Cervix

It is always important to keep your doctor informed of your exercise routine. He or she will decide whether continuing an exercise routine is safe for both you and baby.

When To Avoid Exercise During Pregnancy
If you should develop high blood pressure during your pregnancy, it is probably best to put your exercise program on hold. Exercise in this instance can actually worsen the condition. ALWAYS check with your doctor, throughout your entire pregnancy. Let him/her know you are exercising.

Yoga During Pregnancy

Yoga is an excellent way to stay fit during pregnancy. This safe, low-impact workout offers an array of benefits to women who are expecting:

• Improves posture and muscle flexibility without putting excess stress on your joints

• Helps you master meditative breathing exercises that can be used during childbirth

• Allows you to practice birthing positions that can be used during delivery

• Reduces back pain, as well as other aches and strains

• Aids in overall relaxation and physical well-being



Ideally, you should look for a yoga program that is designed specifically for pregnant women, as these will avoid exercises that could pose a danger to your unborn baby. During the second and third trimesters, you may need to use a chair or wall to ensure that you don’t lose your balance when assuming yoga positions. After the first trimester, be sure to avoid poses that require you to lie flat on your back, as this can restrict the flow of blood and oxygen to the fetus.

Weight Training During Pregnancy



If you wish to continue or begin weight training while pregnant, keep the weight light. First, you do not need to strain which can dangerously increase your blood pressure. Second, if the weight is too heavy you will be more likely to hold your breath while lifting. This, again, can increase your blood pressure but also decreases the oxygen supply to the fetus. Lastly, your joints are lax as a result of the hormone relaxin thus heavy weights are likely to cause you to injure yourself.

Pregnancy And Fitness

Is it really important for you to exercise while you are pregnant? What are the true benefits of pregnancy fitness and exercise? The answer to the first question is an emphatic yes! Exercising will make you feel better during your pregnancy. The benefits include the following:



* Exercising improves balance which can be disrupted because of changes and weight gain in your body.

* Exercising stimulates the right hormones in your body leading to a better emotional health.

* Exercising helps to get your body in shape so that you are more prepared for labor.

* Exercising strengthens your heart, which is already working overtime to support you and your baby.

* Exercising also strenthens your muscles and your joints, getting you into better shape for labor and delivery.



Pregnancy fitness exercises are important to your health and the health of your baby! Always check with your doctor before engaging in exercise programs, or if you experience any problems.

Fitness Precautions During Pregnancy

While pregnancy fitness is important to the health of you and your baby, there are some precautions that you should keep in mind.

* If you haven't been regularly exercising already, see your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen.

* Avoid rigorous bouncing, arching of your back, and any exercise which involves even mild abdominal trauma.

* Maintain even, steady breathing while exercising.

* During pregnancy fitness, do not lift your feet over your hips.

* Do not do sit-ups that are past 45 degrees.

* Don't do fitness exercises that require precise balance.

* Be sure you always stretch before and after your fitness regimen.

* Don't overdo it! Cut back on your exercise levels as your pregnancy progresses.

Always check with your doctor before engaging in exercise programs, or if you experience any problems.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Macronutrients

If you eat more calories than your body burns, then the excess will be stored as body fat. Making healthy food choices is important so I want you to see how you benefit from the following macronutrients.

Protein. Protein is a metabolically active macronutrient that encourages muscle building. For those who are weight-training, it is beneficial to provide your body with a steady stream of amino acids in the form of dietary protein. That way, your body can make use of the amino acids for all the muscle-building and recovery processes that your body is undergoing during this training phase.

For best results, consume at least 20 to 35 grams of protein (depending on your total calories) at each of your six or so meals a day.

Complex Carbs. These are the slow-digesting carbohydrates found in such foods as oatmeal, brown rice, yams, and whole-grain bread products. They provide a slow yet steady release of energy to help fuel your full day. In the evening or later, they are less beneficial because you need less energy to fuel activities at this time of day. At this point, these calories are more likely to be stored as body fat, so reduce consumption of them.

The list below shows some food products that contain a large percentage of simple carbohydrates. Foods containing lots of added table sugar can also be added to the list. These foods contain lots of added sugar and most are high in calories. These foods should be limited to lose weight.

Table sugar

Cakes

Biscuits - plain

Jam

Chocolate

Fudge

Candy

Toffee

Gums

Boiled sweets

Mint Sweets

Liquorice

Honey

Soft drinks

Tinned fruits

Chutney

Pickle

Puddings - some


Simple Carbs. Simple carbohydrates are usually considered to be "bad" carbs, but these are those that have been processed and broken down before being put back together again in an unnatural way such as to produce a sweet product like chocolate. Natural simple carbohydrates are the best carbs to include in the diet, especially if trying to lose weight.

The most common example of simple carbs is sugar. It's quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, and if it's not used for energy in the short term, it's likely to be stored as body fat, particularly when you consume a great deal of it in a short period of time. However, consuming sugar before and after your workouts can give a big boost to muscle building. Simple carbs-sugars-help drive nutrients and amino acids from protein to your muscles to help them recover and grow after they're trained. Simple carbs have their place before and after workouts; at other times of day, they're much more likely to be stored as body fat.

Following is a list of some natural foods made up of mostly simple carbohydrates. These foods are low in simple sugars and do not promote weight gain.

Apples

Blackberries

Blackcurrants

Cherry

Cranberries

Grapefruit

Kiwi

Lemon

Melon

Oranges

Peach

Pear

Plum

Raspberries

Strawberries

Good Fats. Despite low-fat fad diets, fats are essential for optimal body function. Fat is crucial for numerous body processes and is key for the anabolic, or muscle-building, process. Consuming fats also helps promote healthy joints, hair, and skin. While many fats are considered unhealthy-especially trans fats (hydrogenated fats, found in margarine and baked products such as crackers and cookies)-others, such as mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, are good for you. These can help reduce cholesterol levels and protect the heart. Good sources of healthy fats include olive oil, canola oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, and fatty fish such as salmon. Flaxseed and fish oil supplements are also beneficial. Consume healthy fats at most meals, but avoid them directly before or after workouts, as they slow digestion and the workout recovery process, which will cost you some muscle.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Exercise And Smoking




















Exercise can help you quit smoking. And quitting smoking can improve your exercise and sports performance. If you crave a cigarette, go out for a walk or run or bike ride instead, and let the craving pass.
If you can't quit cold turkey, try a fitness break from nicotine. One week of not smoking doesn´t allow your lungs to recover from the effects of smoking, but it does improve your muscle fitness and exercise performance. And that may make it easier for you to quit for good.

Body Mass Index

Body Mass index, or BMI Body Mass Index is the ratio of weight to height. Your BMI can be calculated by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by the square of your height (in meters). A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal for most adults.

A BMI of over 25 is considered overweight and a BMI of over 30 is considered obese.

Sugar & Weight Control

Sugar and sugary foods should be eliminated when dieting. Eating sugar causes a spike in insulin production in the body thus increasing appetite and cravings.

In the long run, peaks in insulin level lead to decreased insulin sensitivity, which then leads to depositing excess fat in fat depots around the waist. These depots are indicators of high risk factors of diabetes and heart disease.

Detox Diet

The term detox generally means removing any toxins from the body. Depending on the kind of toxins, there can be different or combined approaches to dieting. Toxins can include cosmetics, alcohol, cigarette or psychoactive herb smokes, pesticides, mercury, food additives, oral contraceptives, and household chemicals.



Removing them with urine takes diuretics. When we are talking about detox dieting, we usually want to use diuretic foods rather than drugs. Here are some examples of diuretic foods:



Cucumbers

Water melon

Melon

Celery

Parsley

Dandelion greens

Asparagus

Artichoke

Watercress

Coffee

Tea (green or black)



Herbs include (but are not limited to):



Juniper berries

Linden flowers

Stinging Nettle

Yarrow

Uva Ursi



Another area to remove the toxins is gastro-intestinal tract. It is usually done using laxative foods or herbs



Here's a sample list:



Spinach

Banana

Sesame

Prune

Peach

Apple

Apricot

Red beets

Seaweed

Cabbage

Coconut

Bran

Flax seed

Psyllium husk

Rhubarb



It is also important to take care of the friendly bacteria because they help to remove the toxins from our intestines. The major source is live-culture yogurt and fermented foods generally, like sauerkraut, vinegar-free pickles, etc.



The third important area is bile-moving enhancement that help the gallbladder and liver. The most common measure is a tablespoonful of warm olive oil taken first thing in the morning. There's also a tea recipe to manage liver congestion:



Dandelion root 1 part

Artichoke leaves 1 part

Oregon grape root 1 /2 part

Licorice 1 /4 part

Turmeric 1 /4 part

Ginger root, fresh 1 /8 part

Gentian root 1/8 part



Simmer the herbs in a covered pot 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep, covered, for 10 minutes. Drink one cup morning and evening and one more if desired. Persist as long as you experience benefits (Source: Herbs for the Liver; Natural Liver Therapy, 1986).

Monday, November 30, 2009

Weight Loss Tip

To lose weight, you must burn off more calories than you take in. Here’s the simple equation: 3,500 calories equals one pound of fat, so you need to burn 3,500 more calories than you eat to lose one pound.

Obviously, you can’t do this in one day. And everyone’s metabolism is different. But consider this: If you cut 500 calories from your diet each day for a week, you could lose one pound (7 days times 500 calories equals 3,500 calories).

To lose weight safely, most health experts recommend eating no fewer than 1,200 calories per day diet for women and 1,500 calories per day diet for men. If you eat fewer than these amounts of calories over the long-term, you can send your body into starvation mode, which may slow your metabolism and sabotage your weight loss program.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Grocery Shopping List

Eat a meal prior to going grocery shopping to ensure that you don't end up buying junk foods. Naturally, you do not need to purchase all of the items on this list. This is just a reminder of the types of food that your actual list should contain.

CARBOHYDRATES

Rice (Brown)
Yams (not in a can)
Whole Wheat Bread
Shredded Wheat
Plain Oatmeal (Old Fashioned, not Quick)
Corn
Baked Potato
Whole Wheat Pasta
Peas
Fruits
Fresh Green Vegetables

PROTEINS

Chicken Breasts (avoid deli meats, they are high in sodium and low in protein)
Turkey Breasts (avoid deli meats, they are high in sodium)
Ground Turkey
Tilapia
Salmon
Turkey Sausage
Water-Packed Tuna
White Fish
Halibut
Cod
Round Steak
Eggs

FATS

Flaxseed Oil

SUPPLEMENTS

Vitamin and Mineral Formula
Vitamin C
Chromium Picolinate
Fish Oil Capsules (If you don't use flaxseed oil)
Meal Replacement Powders
Whey Protein Powders

DAIRY

Skim Milk
Non-Fat Light Yogurts

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

Garlic Powder (for flavoring)
Onion Powder (for flavoring)
Balsamic Vinegar
Crystal Light
Water
Any sugar-free and salt-Free seasoning


(Research any item on the list that you are unfamiliar with and would like more information on)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Do You Really Want To Starve Yourself To Lose Weight?

If you ingest too many calories, you gain weight, but if you restrict your calorie intake too much, it's a surefire way to keep the pounds on. That may sound strange, but what your body is doing is entering into survival mode. Your body is programmed to defend itself. If you suddenly drop a bunch of calories from your diet, your resting metabolic rate will slow down, because your body makes the assumption that your are starving. Granted, you might lose weight, but it will be lean muscle mass. And remember lean muscle is the key to a fast metabolism and a toned physique!

Depending on your level of activity, you can safely lose anywhere from half a pound to two pounds a week without sacrificing your lean muscle. The easiest way to figure out your needs is to multiply your current weight by 11. So, if you're 150 pounds, aim for around 1,650 calories a day. Unless you're less than five feet tall, don't let your daily calories dip below 1,200. Research shows that women who consume less than this amount see their resting metabolic rate plummet by as much as 45 percent.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Reducing Stomach Fat




















To reduce the fat on your stomach and abdominal area, do cardio exercise and adjust your diet so you eat less fat. A variety of crunches and other ab exercises will build up the muscle, which will be easier to see when you lose the fat.

What Size Dumbbells Do I Use?

To start with dumbbells, you should have more than one set, or some adjustable dumbbells where you can change the weight. You need lighter dumbbells for smaller muscles, and heavier ones for large muscles. Typically starting weights for women would be five or eight pounds for biceps, five for triceps, ten for one-arm rows (for back), and eight for bench presses. For squats or lunges, you could start with five pounds, but will be up to ten soon. Men will use heavier weights. You should choose a weight that makes your muscle tired after 12 repetitions, but be ready to move to something heavier when that gets easy.

Sample Weightlifting Routine




















Sample Exercises

If you want a streamlined weight lifting workout, here are some examples of free weight exercises for different muscle groups.

Legs: dumbbell lunge or squat.

Chest: bench press.

Back: dumbbell rows.

Shoulders: military press or lateral raises.

Biceps: curls.

Triceps: extension.

Abs: crunches.

These exercises will give you a good full-body workout, and there are dozens more,as well as variations of these, to choose from. You can learn from a book, a video, a friend, or a trainer (who you could hire for a few sessions).

Do:
6-10 Reps Heavy To Build Muscle Mass and Growth
12-15 Medium But Challenging Weight for Toning and Endurance

Applying Nutrition Basics To Your Life

Once you know what the basics are, it is up to you to use that knowledge in your everyday eating habits. Here are some pointers to help guide you.

1. Every meal divide your plate into thirds. Two of the thirds should be a carbohydrate source, e.g. brown rice, sweet potatoes, or veggies and one third should be a protein source, e.g. meat or fish. Don't worry about getting enough fat. That is rarely a problem.

2. Eat foods that are unprocessed as much as possible. When foods are processed they lose nutritional value. Eating foods close to their natural state will give you the most benefits. Try to stay away from junk food. You know what constitutes junk food. Reducing the amount that you eat will have a huge impact on your health and well-being.

3. Limit your eating of refined foods that have fat, salt and sugar in them. You don't have to give them up completely, just eat them in moderation.

4. Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day and drink plenty of water.

5. Breakfast should be your largest meal of the day. This gives your body the whole day to burn those calories. Dinner should be the smallest meal. Eating large amounts at night invariably leads to fat gain as your body doesn't have time to burn the calories before shutting down for the night. Eating then going to sleep is how sumo wrestlers attain their great size!

6. Eat protein. This is not to recommend that you go and eat a steak everyday but be aware of your protein intake. Your muscles live on protein and muscles are where the majority of your calories are burned. Eating lean protein every day supports your muscle tissue, especially when exercising.


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Conclusion:
Most people intuitively know what constitutes good nutrition, they just fail to practice it in their everyday lives. Making an effort and planning meals ahead of time will pay off with better health and longer life.

To prevent binging late in the day:

-Eat 5-6 small meals a day every 3 hours starting with breakfast. You have breakfast, lunch, and dinner with 2 snacks in between.

-Just like starting a fire & frequently putting logs on it to keep it going, breakfast will kick start your energy and metabolism for the day. And by eating every 3-4 hrs, your metabolism will stay fired up! Isn't that exciting!

See my nutrition blog to see how to divide your meals properly and eat the right thing.

Tone Shoulders, Obliques, & Thighs With This Move

video

Nutrition Basics

There are three major nutrients that you eat every day. This following will show you what they are, how many calories are in one gram of each, what their primary function in the body is and what foods they are found in.

Nutrients

Protein has 4 calories per gram. It is the body's main structural nutrient.
All muscles and tissues are made from protein.
The immune system uses protein.

Sources: Eggs, meats, fish, beans, dairy products, soy.

Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram. This is preferred energy source of the body.
Carbs supply fast energy to the muscles for activity.

Sources: Grains, pastas, cereals, breads, vegetables, fruits, corn syrup, anything with sugar in it.

Fat has 9 calories per gram. This is the energy storage nutrient in the body.
Fats are also used as a source of energy for low-intensity activity.

Sources: All oils (e.g. olive, peanut, canola, vegetable), butter, margarine, meats, junk food.

Water:

Water is not often thought of as a nutrient but it is essential to all bodily functions and processes. Without water you would die. It is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day. The amount of water you need will depend on your body size, bodyfat percentage, activity level, climate and more.

Fiber:

Fiber is an essential part of your diet. It is an indigestible component of many natural-state carbohydrate foods such as grains. Fiber helps to move food through your digestive system as well as keeping you regular and helping you feel full after eating.

The Basics Of A Healthy Breakfast


The basics of a healthy breakfast
Even though you know a healthy breakfast has many benefits, you may not be sure what exactly counts as a healthy breakfast.

Here's what forms the core of a healthy breakfast:

■Whole grains. Options include whole-grain rolls, bagels, hot or cold whole-grain cereals, low-fat bran muffins, crackers, or melba toast.
■Low-fat protein. Options include hard-boiled eggs, peanut butter, lean slices of meat and poultry, or fish, such as water-packed tuna or slices of salmon.
■Low-fat dairy. Options include skim milk, low-fat yogurt and low-fat cheeses, such as cottage and natural cheeses.
■Fruits and vegetables. Options include fresh fruits and vegetables or 100 percent juice beverages without added sugar.
Together, these core groups provide complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein and a small amount of fat — a combination that packs big health benefits and that also can leave you feeling full for hours.

Try to choose one or two options from each category to round out a healthy breakfast.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Holiday Eating Tips


The holidays can be a stressful time for those who are weight conscious. Tempting high-calorie, high-fat foods are commonplace at holiday parties. Try some of these survival tips to help you eat less during this holiday season.

•Find a friend who is also looking to lose a few pounds or maintain their weight over the holidays. Use this partner to help you stick with your healthy eating plan.

•Eat a small, healthy snack such as a bowl of cereal, soup or some fruit before your holiday get-togethers.

•Make sure to eat a large salad with one serving of dressing before most of your meals.

•Limit your alcohol intake. Enjoy one or two drinks at your party and then switch to water or diet soda.

•Get rid of all unhealthy leftovers. Give them to your children, relatives, and friends or throw them out.

•Take a healthy entrĂ©e to your holiday party. This way you’ll have at least one thing you can feel good about eating.

•Don’t use the holidays as an excuse to overeat. There are only a few "days" within the season that are actually celebrated. If you were only to indulge during these days, you probably wouldn’t gain weight at all. It’s all of the days in between that can blow it for you.

•Finally, be sure not to forget what holidays are truly about – spending time with family and friends. Find creative, family-oriented activities that don’t include food.

Family Support In Weight Loss

If you are to succeed in losing weight you must have your family onboard. They must be your biggest cheerleaders. Below are several important things your family should do and avoid as they assist you along this process.

Things to Avoid


•Threats: Using threats will only serve to anger the overweight family member. Nothing positive can come from it.
•Don’t conceal food.
•The overweight family member will find the food sooner or later and be resentful.
•Don't attack or lecture.
•Avoid talking down to the overweight family member. This will make them feel worse about themselves not better.
•Don’t expect perfection.
•Weight is something that’s managed not cured. Be patient and compassionate if there is a setback.
•Don’t avoid social activities due to the overweight family member’s weight. This will cause the person’s self-esteem to plummet and create resentment towards the family

Things to Do

•Be positive: Always be willing to provide an encouraging word and pat on the back.
•Keep a relaxed atmosphere at home. This allows plenty of time for the overweight family member to devote to eating right and exercising more.
•Be an exercise partner.

•Forgive lapses. The overweight family member feels badly enough as it is, no need to make them feel worse by coming down on them. Stay positive and move forward.

Set Your Fitness Goals


Write down specific goals with dates. Goals can be lost inches, lost weight, feeling better, better attitude etc. Next, write down your plan on how you will achieve those goals. If you don´t reach your goals by the date specified, either your goals were unrealistic or your plan didn´t work. You may need a better plan; a personal trainer can help you.

Fruit And Weight Loss

Adding fruit to your diet as a snack in place of typical 'junk food' snacks is a great way to increase your overall health and reduce your caloric intake.

Fruit does so many positive things for your health and tastes wonderful. When you are craving something sweet, have a piece of fruit or a fruit salad. Drinking fruit juice instead of soda pop can satisfy your thirst and your sweet tooth.

Fruit contains so much vitamins and fiber that if you eat it on a daily basis you will most likely shed extra pounds and inches as well as feel healthier and more energetic.

Low Sodium Diets

Though sodium is a very necessary part of the diet, taken in excess, it can be harmful because it leads to water retention and increased blood pressure. Avoiding salty foods or cooking with excess salt allows you to experiment with more flavorable spices in your dishes

Emotional Eating


Emotional eating, or stress-eating, can be due to several reasons calling for different ways to fight it.

1. If you crave sweets, go on a low carb diet. Research and anecdotal evidence show that on a low carb diet, the 'sugargolics' stop eating sweets during stress or boredom

2. If you are reaching for any piece of food, ask yourself: is it really food that you want? Can a hug or a phone call do the trick?
Take a warm aromatic bath, watch your favorite movie, go shopping for pleasant things like perfume or flowers.

3. If you MUST eat, have healthy snacks read: baby carrots, string cheese, celery sticks, sliced apples with a pinch of cinnamon and vanilla, plain yogurt or even sugar-free dark chocolate.

A Few Reasons You've Hit A Weight Loss Plateau

There are many reasons why people can hit the weight loss plateau. To name just a few:



- You were losing weight too fast and your body started resisting by slowing down the metabolic rate, even at rest



- You might be doing too much of aerobics and too little strength training



- The most common reason. You might be spending too little energy because you've forced your body into starvation mode and it resists your efforts to move around.



- You might be not having enough nutrients - consider good multivitamins and minerals.

Fat Burners

There are many types of fat burners on the market, and you should be leary of using any of them without first checking out what is in them and talking it over with your doctor. Fat burners are made to help elevate your body´s metabolic rate. Many of them contain ephedrine, or any number of other stimulants which can elevate blood pressure, heart rate etc. Especially be careful if you have any type of heart issues or high blood pressure, as these will only exacerbate those problems. You should make sure you know what you are taking and how it can affect you before taking it."

Shei Atkins Demonstrates Dumbbell Curl For Toning Arms

video

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Shei Atkins Demonstrates The Basic Crunch and The Reverse Crunch

video

Trimming Abdominal Fat


Follow these simple steps to lose fat around your middle.

1. Completely exclude sugar from you menus

2. Switch form white bread to whole grain bread

3. If the first two steps don't work, further limit your simple carbohydrate intake by cutting down on potato, pasta, and rice

4. Increase intake of olive oils, tree nut oils, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds

5. Start doing or increase the intensity of your strength training workouts

6. If you eat just three square meals a day, have more but smaller snake-like meals, up to six ones a day

7. However, if you eat more than five meals a day and it doesn't work for you, reduce the number of meals to three but bigger meals.

Meal timing is an individual thing and it makes sense to change the timing that currently doesn't work for you.

As far as working out is concerned:

Aerobic exercise burns off abdominal fat, but if you're not overly heavy you don't want to do too much because it will interfere with muscle development. The best approach is to do 30-45 minutes of cardio three times a week and do weight training two or three times a week. Work your entire body, and do abdominal exercises every other day. If you can do more than 20 reps with crunches, make them harder by holding a weight on your chest. Do three or four sets, and a few sets of another ab exercise.

Lunging Properly


Lunges are perfect for targeting your quadriceps (front of thigh), hamstrings (back of thigh), glutes (buttocks, and calves. To prevent injury you want to make sure you lunge properly.

When doing lunges don´t bring the front knee past the toe. When lunging don´t bring the trailing knee all the way to the floor; this will help keep the tension on the muscles throughout the movement.

Do about 3 sets of 12-15 alternating legs to get started. As you advance you can add weight, reps, and start doing walking lunges.

Same Body...Just A Smaller Version

Cardio exercise will not reshape your body. That is what strength training does. Cardio will just make your body a smaller version of what it already looks like. So if you want to truly reshape your body muscle building is the way to go, with moderate cardiovascular exercise.

Strict Protein Diets :-/

High protein diets will probably help you lose weight initially, BUT you will more than likely lose muscle weight, not fat weight. Additionally, you will more than likely not be able to stick to a high protein/very low carb diet for long, because you will fatigue quickly since your body runs optimally on carbohydrates for energy, not protein. These diets are fads, and you won´t be able to stick to them. The old adage still holds true: extremes in any direction are not good for you. The same holds true with eating where balance is the key!

Don't Forget To Stretch


Always do some type of warm-up for 5-10 minutes before stretching. It is acceptable to stretch before and after exercise(time permitting). I recommend stretching after the exercise to decrease soreness and improve flexibility as well as prevent injury.

In between sets is a good time to stretch. Not only does it allow you to do something productive while you are resting, it will also enable you to perform the next set in a more optimal fashion. This is because stretching the muscles after a set helps to remove lactic acid which is what causes the burning sensation when training, thereby helping you to recover for the next set.

When your goal is to build muscle, flexibility is also important for several reasons. Flexibility in your muscles and joints will allow for optimal flow of blood and nutrients into the areas being worked. This will help to repair muscles and get rid of waste products produced during exercise.

Never bounce while stretching. Go into the stretch until you feel a mild pulling(no pain)sensation and hold that position for 15 seconds initially, trying to work your way up to a 60 second hold.

There are certain muscle groups which are notoriously tight in a number of people. They are hamstrings, calves, low back, pectorals, neck extensors, upper trapezius.

Building Muscle



Building muscle requires strength training of some type. This may include weight training with free weights or machines, or doing bodyweight exercises.

Basic Exercises
Basic multi-joint exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, bench press, squat etc. are the foundation exercises for building muscle.

Benefits Of Exercise

Exercise has many health benefits, both physical and mental, including:
Reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, more energy, delay aging process, reduce risk of injuries, relieve tension, stress, depression, better sleep pattern and better overall sense of well-being.

Be Patient

Love yourself as you are. Be patient with yourself.

Remember: it will take time to lose weight, just as it took time to gain it.

You need to create new healthy habits in order to lose weight. Take it day by day.

How To Eat During Pregnancy


If a pregnant woman means "diet" as a way to lose weight, the answer is, it is not advisable. It's OK to lose weight before and after, but not during pregnancy. Weight loss during the first month of pregnancy can harm your baby!



However, the term "diet" is not only about losing weight. It should be about nurturing the mother and the baby. Here are a few basic recommendations.



1. It is recommended that pregnant women have 60 grams of protein a day. You can get this amount from just 1.5 ounces of meat or 1.25 cups of milk. Most women will not need to consciously increase their protein consumption during pregnancy.



Recommended protein foods are: lean meats, poultry, and fish - they are good sources of iron, B vitamins, and trace minerals.



2. The calcium recommendation during pregnancy is 1,000 mg/day for women 19 to 50 years of age, and 1,300 mg/day for teens.



3. The iron need doubles during pregnancy and reaches the doze of 30 mg/day. Foods rich in iron are: red meats, fish and poultry, whole grain, green leafy vegetables, legumes, eggs, and dried fruits.



4. Recent research suggests that taking folic acid before and during early pregnancy can reduce the risk of spina bifida and other neural tube defects in babies. Mothers-to-be should eat plenty of leafy dark-green vegetables, legumes, citrus fruits and juices, peanuts, and whole grains.

Diabetic No No's

Diabetics should avoid sugary sweets, as these foods will cause a diabetic's blood sugar level to spike.

Diabetics should count the grams of carbohydrates that they ingest with each meal, and have an idea of how quickly these carbs will affect their blood sugar. To be able to do this, get the list of Glycemic Index of common foods, which is widely avialable online. On the list, be careful to choose the foods with Glycemic Index below 60.

Adding some of the "good" fats, like olive oil ot tree nut oils, to a meal can help to reduce the amount of carbohydrates that will be absorbed to the blood.

Simple Diet Tips For The Diabetic


Diabetic Diet Plan
Here are a few simple tips for managing your diabetic diet:

• Eat whole grain bread and cereals up to six servings a day;
• Increase the number servings of raw vegetables;
• Try to completely avoid sugars, sweets and pastries made of refined white flour.