Wonderfully Fit

Meditation for Better Sleep

Meditation is a great tool for better sleep and there are many different ways to meditate. You might think that meditation is all about the mind but this is not so.

People who have practiced sport and dance know that physical meditation is a part of a successful exercise program.

Meditation

It is important to learn how to relax the body and this knowledge can truly help you when you need to sleep well. To begin with you should find a sleep meditation which fits your personality. You can try a local Yoga class. Check that it includes techniques for meditation. This type of class will usually be able to supply you with audio help to continue your meditation at home.

You can also get help with meditation by borrowing a CD from your library. Just pop the CD into your stereo and then let yourself drift off to sleep with help of the meditation. If you already are familiar with physical techniques to relax you might enjoy special mind projections like The Little Workers Meditation. This type of meditation is easily available online for free.

The best thing about meditation for sleep is that it helps you clear your mind while letting your body relax. This is why you will sleep good and wake up refreshed and ready to start a new day of thought processes. In fact, some find it quite enough to just run through the events of the day in their minds before they go to sleep. It clears out the thoughts of the day and make room for the rest of the night. If you are tired and not sleeping well you should definitely give some type of sleep meditation a try!

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Best Protein for Weight Loss and Healthy Living

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Macronutrients are the major nutrients required by the human body. There are three types of macronutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. In this article we will answer the questions:

What is protein?

protein

Why do we need protein?

What is the best protein for weight loss or for all around healthy living?

Protein is a necessary part of our diet. Protein is part of every cell in the body. It makes up the building blocks for our hormones and neurotransmitters. It is needed for muscle health, growth and recovery. A diet lacking in protein will result in illness and breakdown of the body.

Protein breaks down through the process of digestion into amino acids. There are a total of 20 amino acids. 12 of the amino acids can be made from carbohydrates, fats and other acids in your body. The other 8 amino acids are known as essential amino acids and you MUST get them from the food you eat – your body can’t make them.

Symptoms of a lack of protein and therefore a lack of essential amino acids can include:

  • muscle loss
  • hair loss
  • depressed immune system
  • low energy
  • decreased bone strength

There are two categories of proteins. Complete proteins provide all 20 amino acids. When you eat a complete protein the body can absorb 85-99% of the protein. Examples of complete proteins are beef, poultry, fish, milk cheese and yogurt. Sources for vegetarians include soy, hemp, tempeh and seitah. Incomplete proteins lack a variety of amino acids. These are plant-based proteins. Combining incomplete proteins can give you all 20 amino acids. Unfortunately, not all of it is digestible so the body cannot absorb as much of this type of protein.

How much protein should I eat?

According to Jonathan Bailor of The Calorie Myth: How to Eat More, Exercise Less, Lose Weight, and Live Better, “It’s important to aim for a minimum serving of about 30 grams of protein at least 3 times a day. When we eat 30 grams or more of protein it provides enough leucine to rebuild our muscle tissue. Without adequate levels of leucine we risk losing muscle tissue. 100 – 200 grams of protein a day is needed depending on your body’s needs. A smaller sedentary person needs less protein than the person who is actively bodybuilding.

Best Protein for Weight Loss and Healthy Living

The following are high quality sources of complete protein:

  • Grass-fed, organic beef – Grass-fed beef is cleaner, healthier and more flavorful than beef that is grain fed or grain finished.
  • Pastured chickens – this meat is rich in essential fatty acids and is a great source of protein. This can include any type of pastured poultry or wild game.
  • Pastured eggs – provides Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Omega-3, Vitamin E and Beta Carotene in higher levels than store-bought eggs.
  • Wild salmon is rich in Omega-3 and is a nutritious source of fat and protein.
  • Other seafood – protein in fish and shellfish is very easy to digest and the amino acids are more bioavailable (easier to absorb and use). Rich dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA.

For those that enjoy that sort of thing – reptiles and amphibians are good protein sources and provide vitamins and minerals.

  • Greek yogurt – avoid yogurts with added sugars.
  • Shellfish – clams, oysters, mussels, snails – rich in iron, zinc, selenium, iodine omega 3, proteins.
  • Whey protein isolate – high protein concentration, good if you cannot get enough protein with whole foods.
  • Liver (from grass-fed or pastured animals) – a rich source of protein that also provides vitamin A, copper, choline, and B vitamins.

So eat your protein and enjoy eating real food! Stay tuned for future articles on fats and carbohydrates.

How Much Cardio Should You Do To Lose Weight?

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In this article we’ll talk about how much cardio to lose weight and how this effects your diet and other workouts. Losing weight can be surprisingly simple. When it comes down to it it’s all about the amount of calories in vs. the amount of calories out.

Whenever trying to lose weight, much of your focus should be on your diet. Assuming you are eating few enough calories, the next step is to focus on your cardio training.

cardio

Cardio is probably the most effective type of exercise to do when your main goal is weight loss. And of course, Visual Impact Cardio is the most effective cardio you can do. The reason that cardio is so effective for for weight loss is because you can perform these types of workouts for quite a long time and by doing so you will burn quite a few calories. What not all realize though, is that the answer to how much cardio you do depends also upon the type of cardio you do.

We are going to look at two different types of cardio that can be used to lose weight.

When done correctly, you can use a combination of these two to burn an ideal amount of fat and calories. Here is a 1/2 – 1 hour cardio workout that will not only burn calories, but they will mostly be from fat.

  • 5 – 10 minutes warm up
  • 10 – 20 minutes of HIIT
  • 20 – 30 minutes traditional cardio

Why This Cardio Workout For Weight Loss?

So, why should you do this workout instead of a full hour of traditional cardio? By doing cardio with this structure you will end up burning much for fat. How so? It all starts with the HIIT portion.

By starting your cardio workout with some form of high intensity interval training you force your body to release fatty acids into the blood stream. HIIT is what releases the free fatty acids from your bloodstream by creating a higher level of HGH (Human Growth Hormone). So why not do only HIIT and burn more fat?

Here is an illustration of the effects from doing HIIT cardio: HIIT Cardio

Effects of Doing HIIT Cardio

Looks good, right? The problem with this is that HIIT is not ideal for using those fatty acids after they get released. After your cardio workout is done many of the released fatty acids will return back into your blood stream.

This is where the traditional cardio comes into play. Here is an illustration of the effects from doing steady state cardio after your HIIT cardio:

By strategically doing traditional cardio directly after your HIIT workout you burn all (maybe not all, but a lot) of the released fatty acids. This is how you can limit how much cardio to lose weight.

How Often Should You Do This Cardio?

The truth is that you may need to workout somewhat frequently. Even though you can cut the time of your cardio sessions down by doing HIIT along with a traditional style of cardio, you still need to do these often.

Depending upon how much weight you need to lose, you should do a cardio session like this anywhere from 3-5 times every week for maximum weight loss.