Archive for August 2014 | Monthly archive page

posted by | Comments Off on Beware of the these 7 Dieting mistakes

It’s a common problem. You’ve been on a diet for weeks and aren’t losing weight like you thought you would.

It may be because you’re consuming more calories than you think.
Keep reading to discover seven sneaky habits that may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

Mistake #1: Forgetting Liquid Calories 

It’s easy to forget that the things you drink have calories—some more than you’d think. In fact, some beverages have more calories than an entire plate of food.

It is estimated that around 20 percent of your daily calories come from what you drink. So as you drink your juice with breakfast, rehydrate with a sports drink at the gym, or drink a glass of wine at dinner, think about the calories you’re adding.

For calories’ sake, it’s best to avoid all sweetened sodas, sweetened or flavored coffee drinks, sweetened tea, and smoothies. Replace these high-calorie drinks with water, skim milk, and unsweetened herbal tea. Because while they taste great, liquids generally don’t satisfy hunger, so they are just empty calories.

Mistake #2 Meal Skipping

Many dieters think they’ll cut their calorie intake by skipping a meal, usually breakfast.

But this is a mistake.

Research has shown that those who skip breakfast actually weigh more than those who eat three meals a day. Skipping a meal usually causes you to eat more calories during the day because you will end up eating even more food later in the day because you’re so hungry.

So aim to eat three (or more) meals a day. A healthy breakfast that will keep you feeling full all morning contains protein and fiber. An example would be whole-wheat toast and an egg.

Mistake #3: Oversized Portions

Just because restaurants load your plate with a mountain of food doesn’t mean you should eat that much at home for a normal meal.

Remember that your stomach, like your heart, is the size of your fist. Don’t think you could fit much food into your fist? You’re right. And contrary to what mama taught you as a child, you don’t have to eat all the food in front of you.

To eat a little less, use smaller plates and eat slower so you know when you’re full. Also, remember that portion control also applies to healthy foods, as they, too, contain calories.

Mistake #4: Too Many Extras

A salad is a healthy, low calorie option. At least until you add dressing, bacon, cheese, and croutons.

These add extra calories fast.

One tablespoon of dressing contains 75 to 100 calories. With that in mind, it’s no wonder grilled-chicken salads at a fast-food restaurant can have more calories than a hamburger.

Mistake #5: Blaming Your Genes

Many people give up on dieting or think there’s no hope when it comes to meeting their goal weight because of their genes.

Just like you may share your father’s hair color or your mother’s eye color, there is a small chance you also share your parent’s body type. However, this is no excuse for doing nothing about trying to lose weight.

Stick to your diet and exercise plan and you should definitely see results.

Mistake #6: Eating Without Thinking

It happens to everyone. You’re tired after a long day and you just want to veg in front of the television or read a good book. Unfortunately, mindlessly eating is often involved. You may think that since it’s not on a plate it doesn’t matter, but every bite you take counts.

When it comes to a successful diet, make rules for appropriate times to eat. And don’t always feel the need to eat when relaxing. Try sipping on water or tea, chewing gum, or simply don’t put anything in your mouth.

Mistake #7: Eliminating All Treats

Dieters often become overzealous in their plan and completely rid the house of all the food they enjoy, whether chips, sweets, snacks, or any high calorie food.

This commitment may last a few days until you can’t tolerate it any longer and you overindulge on what you deprived yourself of.

A better plan is to allow yourself a treat every once in a while.

Remember that everyone makes mistakes, but be smart and don’t let these common pitfalls keep your from meeting your weight loss goal!

posted by | Comments Off on The Habits that shape you

The habits that make you.
Do you eat the same thing for lunch, go through the same exercise routine, and fall into bed at the same time each night?

Or maybe you’ve made a habit out of eating whatever looks good, avoiding the gym, and staying up as late as possible.

John Dryden famously said, “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”

Confucius said, “Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.”

And Aristotle noticed that, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

It’s pretty clear that the habits you adopt will shape who you are.

When it comes to your body, the two habits that define your physique are your eating and exercise habits. In fact, everyone that you know who is in great shape has dialed in these two important habits.

If you aren’t happy with your body, then simply adjust your eating and exercise habits. Here’s how to adopt a habit:

Making a Habit 
Use these seven steps to create a life-improving habit.

1) Decide on the ONE habit that you would like to develop. It’s tempting to pick up 3 or 4 healthy habits, but choosing just one new habit is realistic and doable.

Here are some healthy habit ideas:

  • Do not eat after 7pm each night.
  • Bring your lunch to work instead of eating fast food.
  • Exercise 4 times a week after work for 45 minutes each time.
  • Only eat fruits and veggies as your afternoon snack.
  • Get up early and exercise for an hour each morning.
  • Work with a personal trainer 3 times a week.

2) Write your new habit down on paper. Also include your 3 main motivators for developing this new habit, the obstacles you’ll face, and your strategies for overcoming these obstacles.

Here’s an example:

  • My new habit is to work with a personal trainer 3 times each week.
  • My 3 main motivators are 1) to feel confident in my bathing suit this summer, 2) to have more energy, and 3) to fit into my skinny jeans.
  • The obstacles I will face are 1) not having the energy to go to my session after work, 2) not having enough money to pay for sessions, and 3) not having my spouse’s support.
  • I will overcome these obstacles by 1) doing my workouts before work instead of after work, so I have more energy, 2) cutting down on frivolous spending to ensure that I can afford it, and 3) asking my spouse to join me so we can get in shape together.

3) Commit fully to your new habit, in a public way. This could mean posting it on facebook, or simply announcing it at the dinner table. Put yourself in a position where you’ll be embarrassed to give up on your new habit.

4) Keep track of your progress. You could keep a detailed journal or simply make a check mark on each calendar day that you successfully exercise your new habit.

5) Keep yourself publically accountable. This means either status updates on facebook or verbal status updates at the dinner table. Your friends and family are in a position to offer you support, so don’t shy away from those close to you.

6) When you fail, figure out what went wrong so that you can plan around it in the future.

posted by | Comments Off on Some fitness myths just don’t die

Certain fitness myths just won’t die.

These lies are passed from one person to the next, a little piece of misinformation that sets you up for failure.

Maybe you’ve heard one or two…

There’s the one about sit-ups melting off belly fat. Nope its just not true. (Sorry, guys, spot reduction is a myth. You’ve got to burn the fat from your body as a whole.)

Then there’s the one that says that the faster you perform an exercise the better, even at the expense of form. (Ouch! This is an invitation for injury. Never ever sacrifice form for speed.)

There’s even one about recovery days not being necessary. Nope, its not true!  (It’s actually vitally import to your recovery and fat loss to take rest days.)

But of all the fitness myths out there, the one that offends me the most is the idea that long, slow cardio sessions are the way to lose fat.

So many people waste their time and effort on this one. Do you?

In reality, short intense workouts that incorporate resistance training with challenging bouts of cardio will burn fat much quicker than a long, steady cardio session.

Who doesn’t love to save time?

If you are still plodding away on the treadmill 60 minutes at a time then you are spending more time to get half of results.

Allow me to introduce you to a little technique called HIIT.

High-Intensity Interval Training is an exercise strategy that improves performance with short training sessions. These sessions involve a warm up period, several short, maximum-intensity efforts that are separated by moderate recovery intervals, and a cool down period.

The addition of explosions of speed into your comfortable pace will increase your power, muscle tone, speed, strength, endurance and best of all it allows you to burn more calories.

There you have it—all you need to know to take your workouts to the next level.