When you are dieting it can be hard to stick to your goals and shed your body of excess weight. The good news however, is that there are numerous thing you can do to help keep yourself on task. Make sure to reward yourself when you stay with your weight loss regimen. Rewards are a wonderful way to make yourself feel happy and good about the new lifestyle you are leading.
Some people find it useful to set short term goals such as promising themselves that they will lose a certain amount of weight in a set amount of time. The important thing is to make sure that you do not set goals that are out of reach.
You should view the fact that you even reach a goal as something worth rewarding yourself for. People of all ages respond well to rewards and being an adult on a diet is not an exception to this rule.
Rewards are a wonderful way to motivate you to keep going and working towards a healthy life. As you reward yourself you are far more apt to want to keep working so that you can receive the next reward that you have set for yourself.
Rewards work in so many different areas of a person’s life that it makes perfect sense to think that a reward system is a good way to keep you on the right diet track.
Rewards are designed to make you feel happy about something that you have reached. It makes you feel better about yourself and the effort that you have put in. A reward tells you that you have worked hard and deserve to be treated.
There are so many different ways that you can reward yourself for doing well on your diet, however, it is wise to choose a reward that is not food related. If you really do want to treat yourself with a dinner out or something along those lines, just make certain that you pick only healthy foods.
Rewarding yourself with sweets is not a good idea as it will just create a problem in allowing you to stick with your diet. You could opt to make your reward something such as new clothes or a day of pampering at a spa. Anything that allows you to feel good about yourself is a good idea as a reward.
If you choose clothes as your reward, it is a nice way to watch your wardrobe grow with clothes that are very flattering to your new body shape.
Rewarding yourself with other things that will improve your appearance such as a new hair cut or color will go so far in making you want to continue working out and getting in shape. Men who diet but are not interested in such things as cosmetics can always purchase something that they like for their rewards such as a new tool.
Couples who are working on a diet routine with one another could create a special weekend away as a reward for keeping consistent with their diet. Always keep in mind when choosing your reward that it should be something that you really like or want. An item that is special is seen as far more of a reward than something that is necessary or that you would have bought for yourself anyway.
A great idea is to browse around ahead of time and find things that strike your fancy that you can use as rewards for yourself in the future so that you have some wonderful treats to work towards.
Other than physical appearance weight affects a person in many ways. This could be the overall quality of life, self-esteem, depression, health risks, and physical incapabilities. There are a lot of positive changes once a person experience weight loss. It is for this reason why a lot of people are searching for a weight loss technique that will surely trim down those fats and get a super slim head turner body.
The first thing that an over-weight should do is seek a doctor to recommend the best weight loss regimen. This will be done after a full physical examination, which leads to the determination of proper weight loss technique. And to lose weight fast and effectively four aspects of life should be changed: what to eat, how to eat, behavior and activity level.
Here are fast tips that can change an over-weight’s life:
First: Fast weight loss composes of a multi-faceted technique that consists mindset, exercise, and in other cases, diet supplements. Begin by learning a diet food plan that can easily be accustomed with. Incorporate an exercise plan that allows even at least fifteen minutes a day like brisk walking, running, swimming, and dancing.
Second: Set realistic approaches. The ability to focus and have proper mindset enables someone on a diet to quickly lose those extra pounds. With discipline and proper mind set, a dieter will never be discouraged and lose focus.
Third: Listen as the body speaks. Each and everyone’s body metabolism reacts differently to different fast weight loss programs and plans. Try substituting one program for another to compensate the body’s reaction. Exercise program must be suitable to one’s body, as others are not able to exercise as rigorously as others can. If walking is all that can be done, then walk for this is proven the best exercise. Muscles burn more calories than fats so it’s also best to put on a little muscle and looking good too.
Fourth: Eat more fibers for it makes a person full sooner and stays in the tummy longer, slowing down the rate of digestion. A single serving of whole grain bread moves fat through the digestive system faster. Grains turn into blood sugar that spikes the body’s insulin level. Thus, making the body more energized and ready to tell the body when it should stop burning fats or start storing.
Fifth: Keep away from fried foods especially deep-fried as this contains a great amount of fat. Although fish and chicken appear leaner than beef, this white meat can contain more fat than when a beef is fried. It is recommended for those on strict diet to opt for grilled food as this does not have or contain less amount of fat after the food is cooked.
Sixth: Takes lots of fluid. Drinking at least six to eight glasses of water a day keeps the body refreshed. Since weight loss depends on how the body eliminates body wastes, the body must stay hydrated.
All in all, discipline and consistency is still the best practice and the key to a rapid weight loss success. Light dieting, workout, and right amount of supplementation applied in a regular way everyday will result in faster weight loss than having a massive action only to be followed a return to old habits as this would only lead to gaining more weight than when the weight loss plan has started.
Are you struggling to attain a perfect body fitness? Have you been exercising for months without any significant changes? To be physically fit, you need to eat well, exercise and sleep. It is all about leading a healthy, active, relaxed, and stress-free lifestyle that can help you achieve your goals.
Here are 5 Ways to Improve Your Fitness
Make sure that aerobic activity is a major part of your fitness routine. Some people make the mistake of spending all of their time on strength training. However, in order to make your muscles stronger, you have to get rid of the fat which is hiding them. That is where cardio activity comes into play. So make sure that you engage in at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity each and every day.
If you want to tighten you muscles be certain that you engage in strength training. This will help you tighten up all of those lose areas once you get rid of the body fat.
Remember to keep things fun. Fitness should not be something that you dread. It should be something fun, so go ahead and engage in an activity that you enjoy. If walking on a treadmill at a gym is not your thing, try running or rollerblading outdoors.
Exercise is the key to improving your body fitness. In fact, people who have an active lifestyle are seldom seen with unattractive figures. If you can manage simple workouts on a daily basis at home, or go to a gym regularly, then you will notice visible changes in your body fitness within a month. Exercise helps in protecting your body from muscle loss. It increases the metabolism, improves blood circulation, and revitalizes the entire system. Yoga is a perfect way to achieve a perfect body fitness, and to relax your body. It helps you in overcoming the stiffness of your muscles and produces great agility in your body. If you want to trim specific areas of your body like tummy, thighs, biceps, then you can consult your trainer to guide you about the relevant postures, and exercises.
Finally, keep off from stress. Stress factor does not directly affect our body fitness, but it alters our attitude towards life. It also affects our eating patterns. We neglect our exercise, proper diet, and stop thinking positively in life. We tend to starve either, or glutton on anything and everything especially on caffeine, chocolates, and colas.
For most people, running is exhausting, boring, and sometimes painful. However, you see today so many people running as if their lives depended on it. (That is actually true to a point.)
There are many reasons why people engage themselves in running these days. Foremost of which is to stay in shape or to reach their ideal body weight. Studies show that the potent combination of correct diet and the right exercise is the most effective method in losing weight.
For all its boring features, running is very effective in allowing a person to burn an average of 100 calories for every run mile. Biking and walking, on the other hand, only burn a fraction of these calories in the same amount of time.
While we burn around 2000 to 5000 calories every day doing nothing, running 5 miles a day burns an additional 500 calories.
The speed in running has little or no effect on the number of calories burned. Rather, it is weight that counts. A 220-pound person running an 8-minute mile burns 150 calories. A person weighing 120 pounds running the same pace burns a measly 82 calories.
Understand that a person needs an excess of 3500 calories in order to gain a pound. This means you need to burn that much number of calories in order to lose a single pound.
Another motivation that drives runners is the health benefits they get. Running helps lower blood pressure by maintaining the elasticity of the arteries. During a run, the arteries get exercised as well, what with all the blood moving about.
Running also maximizes the lung’s potential, keeping it strong and powerful. Deep breaths force the lungs to use more tissues, but half of both are unused. Running makes the lungs use almost all of its tissues.
Running also strengthens the heart and helps prevent heart attacks. During a run, the heart muscles are exercised, thus keeping it fit and strong by itself.
The heart of an inactive person beats 36,000 more times every day compared to that of a runner. The reason is simple – the runner’s arteries are wider and blood flows smoother.
Most runners keep this secret to themselves: running gives an intense exhilaration and euphoria right after a run. And they are addicted to the feeling and it motivates them the most.
Science had already found out the nature of this natural high: beta endorphins. These are released by the body’s neurons intended to relieve the pain after a run. It creates a feeling of extreme happiness and exhilaration and can be so intense it often can replace other addictions to drugs, alcohol, including appetite for food.
There is a trend for doctors now to recommend to their patients suffering from clinical depression and other psychological disorders to try running. This is based on studies that show running as a natural tranquilizer. Patients are reported to be less tense, less confused, less depressed, and less fatigued.
Whatever your reasons for running are, it is a safe bet that it is one of the best natural disease-fighters man had discovered. What’s more, it’s free and it’s delirious as well.
You know you should be getting some sort of exercise, you know of all the health benefits that come with a more active lifestyle. You’ve tried the whole Gym thing, but it just wasn’t for you. The temptation to just sit in front of the TV, to curl up with a good book, or to spend a little extra time at your computer is just too big. Who wants to head to the gym right now anyway?
There are many other options to get more active that don’t include jogging, weight lifting or other “traditional” ways to work out. Here are a few ideas to get you moving
1) Chase your Kids around the Yard
You’d be surprised at how much of a work out you’ll get playing catch with your kids. Time will fly while you are having fun and your children will enjoy the extra time with you. Just get out there and play.
2) Turn up the Music and Dance around the Living Room
While you’re dusting, putting up dishes, straightening up the kids’ rooms, or after you’ve been sitting around for too long, just play some of your favorite upbeat music and dance around in the house. Not only will you get your heart rate up, but you’ll also have more fun doing some of those chores.
3) Plant some Flowers
When the weather is nice, just get out there and plant some flowers. Or you could start a little vegetable garden, trim some hedges, cut the grass, or plant a tree. You get the idea. Just get out there, enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, and play in the dirt. Yes, this actually counts as exercise in our book.
4) Go for a Walk with a Friend
Take a walk and invite a friend to come along. I’ve had some of the best conversations while on a walk. Getting to chat with a friend makes the time fly by and before you know it you’ve been walking for 30 minutes.
5) Listen to some Music or an Audio Book while You Walk
Again, keeping your mind on something else will make the time fly by and you’ll get some extra fun out of your walk. You may even want to consider getting an MP3 Player. You can easily add what you want to listen to and go for your walk.
6) Sign up for a Yoga or Pilates Class
Consider starting a yoga or Pilates class. Both of these workouts are pretty low impact and won’t leave you sweaty and sore (mostly). You may also enjoy meeting some new people in the class.
7) Take some Dance Lessons with your Partner
Ok, here is the tough part: Convince your partner to take some dance lessons. Dancing will give you quite the workout and it’s just plain fun and of course romantic. Think about all your options here. You can pick from anything from Ball Room Dancing, to Line Dancing, to Latin etc. Pick something that sounds fun to you and go for it. You’ll enjoy the extra one on one time with your partner as well.
8) Go for a Swim at Your Local YMCA or Aquatic Center
Swimming makes for some great exercise. It is low impact and easy on your joints. Start by swimming a few laps, or play in the pool with your kids.
9) Go for a Bike Ride
Take the entire family on a bike ride. You can ride through your neighborhood in the evenings or plan a longer trip for the weekend. Pack a picnic for extra fun and start peddling.
10) Go for a Hike
Look for some hiking trails in your area and go for a hike. This could be a fun activity for you and a friend, or take the entire family along. Start with some easy trails and work yourself up to some longer or steeper trails.
Go ahead, pick one or two of the activities and get moving. I’m sure you’ll come up with plenty of versions of your own. The most important thing is to find something you enjoy, so you’ll stick with it. Get out there and get moving today.
Are you sick and tired of reading an online article or picking up that latest body building magazine off the shelve, opening it to the latest program on the current, big bodybuilding star and discovering that he is using a six day split program that has you in the gym for four hours and day!!
What it won’t tell you is that the guy is a professional and probably doesn’t have to hold down a steady job, pay off a mortgage or raise a couple of kids.
The thing is you don’t have to train like an athlete to put on muscle, all you need to do is follow these action ideas below and you will start making big gains fast without spending all your time in the Gym.
Lets have a look:
1. Back to Basics – To build muscle you must train short and with intensity, you only have a limited amount of energy per session. Tests reveal that blood sugar levels drop dramatically after 20 minutes, so exercise selection is crucial.
Compound multi-joint movements have to be used as these offer more training stimulus, are more functional and heavier loads can be lifted. Examples of compound movements include squats, bench press, dips, and chin-ups. Performing three to four exercises with high intensity during a session are what is needed.
All the main structures of the body are worked hard during this time, remembering that as you get stronger in your upper body exercises i.e. Dips, Lat Pull downs, you will also add size to your upper arms as well as your shoulders.Working on these big compound movements has a knock-on effect throughout the whole body; there is no need for specialization techniques or isolation movements.
The thing is, the whole body is worked hard, rest and recuperation is allowed to take place and at the next exercise session we push out a few more reps than before with the same weight, then we have gotten stronger i.e. more muscle.
2. Perform One Set Per Body Part – Having performed one set of an exercise to total failure then it should be near on impossible to generate the same force and intensity for another set.
If you are able to generate the same force and intensity for this second set then the first set was not worked hard enough.If you give the first set 100% effort and work it to total failure (You cannot move the bar after the last rep) there is no more requirement for further stimulation.Therefore you need to do one set per exercise, remembering to complete the training session in 20 – 30 minutes so to have the most stimulus as possible and then move on to the next exercise.
Current research shows that single set training is as beneficial as multiple set training, decreasing the chances of over training and saving energy for other lifts required during the workout. Because you are doing one set per exercise, you will have to work it hard and to total failure.
3. Cycle Your Strength Training – The development of muscle and strength is interrelated so the exercise session will have to be designed so that increases in strength are equal to increases in functional muscle. Cycling intensity through changes in repetitions and poundage’s throughout your training program is an effective way to maintain progression and avoid training plateaus.
4. Don’t Train To Long – Training itself causes the breakdown of muscle tissue. When a person trains very intensely cortisol is released into the blood stream, which causes the breakdown of muscle tissue.
The amount of cortisol released is highly dependent upon the length of training time.
Therefore to minimize this effect training should be completed in the absolute minimum time required which is no longer than 20 to 30 minutes max. Your blood sugar levels are also dropping by this time, so do what you have to do in this time and get out of the gym, go home and grow.
5. Don’t Cheat – Do not cheat on your reps! Every strength-training trainee runs into this problem sooner or later and it will grind your gains to a stand still. There are many ways to increase the intensity of your sets and the weights used in order to maximize results.
Cheating to increase your weights actually takes strain off your muscles and places it on your joints, which is counterproductive.
Now that you are armed with this information, you wont need to spend all of your time in the gym, by all means workout hard while you are in there but when you are finished go home and grow and enjoy life.
If dieting were easy, I suppose we would all be thin. As we are not, here are 11 tips that successful people use to lose weight. They can help you succeed too.
SUCCESS TIP NO. 1: DRINK 8-10 GLASSES OF WATER A DAY
Okay, for many people this is a big problem. Water doesn’t taste all that great generally because water doesn’t really taste like anything. Drinking water 8 to 10 times each day gets easier the more you actually do it. It is simply a matter of conditioning your taste buds, and yourself, so that it becomes easier to do. Once you get started, you will begin to crave water. To begin with, you should drink a glass of water in the morning first thing, before you eat. This is probably the easiest glass you will drink all day and it will help you remember to drink water all day long. Better yet, why not drink two glasses? If you really cannot bear the taste of water, try using a water purifying pitcher or filter. You can also add a few drops of lemon or lime to your water, but no sugar or sweetener! Ice also helps. Check out flavored waters on the market, too. Just keep an eye out for additives.
SUCCESS TIP NO. 2: EAT BREAKFAST
Do not skip breakfast. If you need to go to bed a little earlier so that you can get up 20 minutes earlier each morning, do it! Breakfast is so important to your good health and to weight control. According to Dr. Barbara Rolls a professor of nutrition at Penn State University, “Your metabolism slows while you sleep, and it doesn’t rev back up until you eat again.” Eating breakfast is not only good for overall weight loss, it will help you stay on track with your diet the rest of the day. You are more likely to binge on something sweet, if you skip breakfast. You can always keep a couple of hard-boiled eggs in the fridge or some high-fiber, low starch fruit around. If you plan to eat fruit at all during the day, breakfast is the perfect time to do it.
SUCCESS TIP NO. 3: EAT AT LEAST 3 MEALS AND 2 SNACKS EACH DAY
This can be one of the hardest adjustments to make. After all, you are busy! You already have a full-plate. When do you have time to worry about filling your plate with more frequent meals?
Just like eating breakfast will increase your metabolism, so will eating more often. This will also help you curb your bad-carb intake by making sure that your snacks are planned and occur regularly throughout the day. Really, it will just take a minimal investment of planning time at the grocery store and at home each morning before you head out for the day to make some healthy food choices and prepare a few healthy snacks and meals. For suggestions, just see the handy list of snacks and appetizers listed later.
SUCCESS TIP NO. 4: AVOID WHITE FOODS
This is one easy way to remember what not to eat. If it is made from sugar, flour, potatoes, rice or corn – just say no. Remembering this rule of thumb will make it easier to recognize those rice cakes as an unhealthy high-carb snack. Always look for colorful fruits and veggies to substitute for the white ones. Buy broccoli, lettuce, bell peppers, green beans and peas, brown rice in moderation, leafy greens like kale and spinach, apples, melons, oranges and grapes. These foods are not only colorful they are also high in fiber, nutrients and important antioxidants. Eating colorful fruits and vegetables will give your diet variety as well as give you added health benefits.
SUCCESS TIP NO. 5: EAT YOUR VEGETABLES
It is so easy to use a low-carb diet as an excuse for poor nutrition. Resist this temptation. If the only vegetable you have eaten in the last 5 years has been the potato, now is a good time to begin experimenting with other vegetables. This is important for your overall health and to avoid some nasty side effects of not getting enough fiber in your diet. If you try hard enough, you will find vegetables that you enjoy eating. Experiment with grilling vegetables and cooking with real butter to add flavor. You can also search for new recipes on the Internet or in cookbooks. Remember, if you are only eating 40 grams of carb a day or less, two cups of plain salad greens contain only about 5 grams of carbohydrate. You have no excuse not to eat your vegetables.
SUCCESS TIP NO. 6: PREPARE YOUR OWN FOOD AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
While more and more restaurants are offering low-carb friendly menu items, many of them are still not ideal low-carb fare. There are many recipes for quick and easy meals that you can prepare yourself at home. Try to do this as often as possible. If you cook your own foods, you know exactly what the contents are and you will be able to better control for hidden sugar and otherwise processed foods. Another benefit is the cost savings over the long run. Even if you must go to the grocery store more often, you will save a significant amount per meal as opposed to eating at restaurants and fast food establishments. It will also be easier to maintain your diet with your own favorite fresh food selections on hand.
SUCCESS TIP NO. 7: INVEST IN A GOOD SET OF FOOD STORAGE CONTAINERS
Having food storage containers of various sizes on hand will make it so much easier for you to plan your meals and snacks. When you buy nuts, fruits and vegetables in bulk you can simply prepare, separate and store them for easy use later. For instance, you can pre-slice your apples and snack on them over several days. Simply cut them, rinse them in pineapple or lemon juice and store. This will make a quick and easy snack for later. Fix your lunch and take it with you to work. Better yet, fix your lunch and 2 snacks for work.
SUCCESS TIP NO. 8: EAT SOME PROTEIN AT EACH MEAL & AS A SNACK
In addition to everything that’s been discussed before, eating protein helps you burn more calories. Protein is made up mainly of amino acids, which are harder for your body to breakdown, so you burn more calories getting rid of them. Just think, eating a protein rich snack can help you lose weight. How about a few slices of turkey or ham or some string cheese? Eating protein will also help you feel full so that you are less likely to crave unhealthy snacks.
SUCCESS TIP NO. 9: DRINK A GLASS OF WATER AFTER EACH SNACK
This will help you get in your 8 to 10 glasses of water each day but it can also have other benefits. Ever feel hungry after eating a handful or standard serving of nuts? Try drinking water afterwards. The water will help you feel full and prevent overindulgence. Drinking water after a snack will also help remove the aftertaste from your mouth and can help curb your desire for more.
SUCCESS TIP NO. 10: EAT SLOWLY & ENJOY YOUR FOOD
You will feel full and more satisfied if you take the time to savor your food and chew it slower. Don’t get in the habit of eating while standing or eating quickly. Sit down and chew. Eating slower will help you enjoy your food more, pay attention to what it is you are actually eating and get a better sense of when you are actually full.
SUCCESS TIP NO. 11: EAT YOUR LARGER MEALS EARLY AND SMALLER MEALS LATER
You will feel better and lose weight quicker if you eat a large breakfast and eat a smaller dinner. You may also want to eat the majority of your carbs earlier in the day, saving a salad and lean meat protein for dinner. Eating larger meals during the part of the day when you are most active will help you to feel satisfied throughout the day and curb cravings for unhealthy snacks.
Despite what many may think, working from home takes a lot of time and a lot of work. I’m sure you’ve heard someone say, “They don’t really have a job, they just work from home.” That statement couldn’t be farther from the truth! Running a home business takes almost all of your time. Therefore, many other things drop down on your priority list. Probably one of the first ones to drop is fitness.
When you have a never-ending to-do list, a house that never seems to get clean and family and/or friends who demand attention, it’s understandable that exercise can take a back seat. But, it shouldn’t.
Exercise offers so many important benefits that it should always be part of your weekly routine. Of course, we all know that exercise can help you stay slim and fit. But, do you also know about all the other great results of exercising? Daily physical activity reduces stress and can help you sleep better – two things that are especially beneficial to busy at-home workers and business owners. Fitness helps keep you healthy and has been linked to reducing the risk of some diseases and to warding off depression. Researchers also believe that strength training can help prevent osteoporosis. If that still doesn’t convince you to get moving, then keep in mind that exercise also improves self-esteem, increases stamina and ultimately helps you be able to do continuous work for longer. What more could you ask for?
It all sounds great, right? But you still don’t think that you can find any time in your hectic schedule for staying in shape. Don’t worry. There are a lot of creative ways to fit it in. Below are some tips to help you get started.
Schedule time for working out. When you work at home it’s so easy to work around the clock. To help avoid this think of yourself as having a traditional “office job”. In most “office jobs” when you go home for the night you leave work behind and concentrate on personal things. Even though going home for you may simply be walking down the hall, you need to set boundaries in order to find time for you.
During working hours, take several 5-10 minute breaks and run up and down the stairs (or even just walk). This will also help rejuvenate your mind.
Sitting in front of a computer can be hard on your body, especially your posture. So, find a comfortable place where you can occasionally stand to do your computer work.
It’s not necessary for you to find 30 continuous minutes for working out. You’ll get just as much benefit if you break your exercise into small chunks. Try 10 minutes before you start work, 10 minutes at lunch and 10 minutes after work (re-read # 1 above if you just said you have no “after work” time).
If you don’t won’t to spend a lot of time in the kitchen but still want to eat healthy, cook large portion meals on the weekend that you can freeze. Then simply defrost and warm for dinners during the week. This saves you the time of having to make dinner and you don’t have to compromise calories as you would if you instead opted for take-out.
One great advantage of working at home is that you can workout over your lunch hour while never leaving your office plus you don’t have to pack your workout clothes and toiletries to take with you to work. This saves you travel time, which you can instead spend on grabbing a healthy bite to eat. And, if you don’t have any face-to-face meetings scheduled, then you don’t have to worry about looking perfect after your workout.
If you haven’t already done so, invest in a good hands-free headset for your phone. This is a great way to multi-task because your hands are free to do other things while you concentrate on your conference call. You can even do some simple (but worthwhile) exercise moves. Some good choices are squats, triceps dips, lunges, wall push-ups, etc.
Keep healthy snacks available for when you need an energy boost or simply just need something to chew on to help you get through some tough work. Don’t forget to keep water on hand and sip some all throughout your day.
Purchase an exercise stability ball. While there are dozens of great toning exercises you can do with the ball, it’s also beneficial to simply sit on it. Try sitting on it instead of a chair for even short periods throughout your day. This will help build your core strength (your trunk area).
Don’t forget the importance of stretching. Take a couple of minutes every hour to stand up and stretch your entire body.
As you can see, exercise offers huge benefits even with just a small amount of effort. And if you have kids, by exercising you also set a great example. So, to help you, your business, and your family it’s time to stop making excuses and just start moving!
Do you want to improve the quality of your life? Do you want to look and feel better than you have in years – maybe better than you ever have before? Do you want to protect yourself from disease and injury? And do you want to live a longer, more vital life?
I’m confident that you answered YES! to each of those questions, just as the hundreds of individuals I’ve counseled, coached, and trained in my career as a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and Nutritional Coach.
I’m now going to reveal to you the 16 essential strategies that have enabled my clients to achieve the health and fitness goals they always wanted!
16 Essential Weight Loss and Fitness Strategies
In the beginning, your fitness program should not be overly aggressive. One of the biggest problems people encounter when starting a fitness program is rapidly depleted motivation after only a few weeks due to an overly ambitious fitness program. Attempting to do too much too fast is worse than doing nothing at all! Because then you feel like exercise is too hard and it’s just not for you. Start out slow, maybe just shooting for 1 or 2 workouts a week. Once you have successfully added that to your normal routine, then attempt to slowly add to your fitness program. Plus, most people don’t need to exercise more than 3-4 times a week. That doesn’t mean you can’t exercise more; it’s just not necessary.
Always have a detailed plan! In order to reach your health and fitness goals, you must have a road map to follow. I can’t stress this enough. If you are unsure of how to put together a fitness plan, or if you’re uncertain of the effectiveness of the one you have, I highly recommend you consult a professional fitness trainer. With a well thought out plan you are much more likely to be successful!
Set realistic, attainable goals. You must have tangible, quantifiable, short and long-term goals so you can measure and assess your progress. Too many people have totally unrealistic expectations of what to expect from an exercise and nutrition program. The best way for you to understand what is realistic and attainable is to talk with a fitness professional – not to buy into the “hype” of infomercials and diet and fitness products that are blatantly misleading.
Keep a journal! This is one of the most important things you can do. If you’re not tracking what you’re doing, how will you know what worked? There are quite a few great exercise and nutrition logs I’ve come across. You should keep track of all your exercise and also each day’s food intake.
You must be accountable! Set exercise appointments with yourself if you’re not working with a personal fitness trainer. Use your appointment book to set aside times for exercise, just like you do for meetings or events. Don’t let things get in the way. Nothing is more important than your health! If you don’t have your health you can’t effectively do anything. I often have mothers tell me that they can’t find time to exercise because they have to take care of their children. I have 4 daughters myself, and a baby on the way, so I know exactly how hard it is. Whatever your situation is, making the commitment to exercise and your health IS possible, and very important. Plus, it sets a great example for the children!
Remember the benefits of exercise. Being physically fit affects every aspect of your life: you sleep better, eat better, love better, overcome stress better, work better, communicate better, and live better! Remember how good it feels to finish a workout, and how great it feels to meet your goals!
Exercise safely and correctly. So much time is wasted doing, at best, unproductive exercise, or at worst, dangerous exercise. Educate yourself on how to exercise correctly. The best way to do that is to hire a personal fitness trainer. It could be for just a few sessions to learn the basics, or it could be for a few months to learn everything. It’s completely up to you. But statistics prove that those who understand how to exercise correctly get better, faster results. And that’s what you want, right?
Enjoy your exercise! For example, if you hate doing strength training, try to find ways to make it more enjoyable. Circuit training might be a more fun and exciting way to fit this important part of fitness into your program. The key is you should enjoy it, and if you don’t you need to look for other exercises or activities to replace whatever it is you don’t enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it, how do you expect to stick with it?
Make time to stretch! It has so much benefit and takes very little time. So many people suffer from various aches and pains of which most can be eliminated by basic stretches! Try to spend at least 5 minutes after each workout stretching.
Don’t think you need to exercise 5 days a week! I touched on this earlier. Many people feel they’re getting fat because they’re not exercising. Totally not the case! Exercise is not the answer! It’s all in your eating habits. However, exercise can aid in burning body fat, plus there are numerous health benefits. Think of exercise as a bonus. How many people do you know who exercise 3-5 times per week, but still fail to meet their weight loss and fitness goals? I’ve met hundreds! First look at your eating habits, such as: when you eat, what you eat, how much you eat, where you eat, and how often you eat.
Never skip breakfast, or any meal! If you want to maximize your fitness or fat-loss efforts you’ve got to eat breakfast! So many people skip breakfast, and it’s the worst thing you could ever do when it comes to fat-loss. Skipping meals throws your blood sugar all out of whack and it sets you up to store your next meal as fat, almost guaranteed!
Eat fat to lose fat. Healthy fats are necessary to your body for numerous reasons: regulating hormonal production, improving immune function, lowering total cholesterol, and providing the basics for healthy hair, nails, and skin. The key is to eat the right types of fats. The “good’ fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, and avocados, to name a few. The “bad” fats are partially hydrogenated oils, and trans fats. Most processed foods contain large amounts of these bad fats.
Drink plenty of fresh, clean water. Yes, I know that you have probably heard this one over and over again. But there’s a reason for that – it’s that important! The recommended daily intake of water is 8 glasses, or 64 oz. You should even be drinking even more if you are active or exercise regularly. And no, soda, juice, coffee, and tea DON’T count! Nearly every chemical process place in your body, takes place in water! Proper blood flow and digestion are both affected by how much water you drink, and poor blood flow and digestion can be linked to numerous health conditions.
Stabilize your blood sugar! If you want to burn fat and prevent your body from putting it back on, you must stabilize your blood sugar. In order to do this you need to eat small, balanced meals or snacks every 2-3 hours. Fasting, skipping meals, and overly restrictive diets will enable you to lose weight – in the short run. The weight you lose is primarily water weight and muscle tissue, and in the long run has opposite effect of what you want. When you restrict your diet, your body instinctively thinks it’s being starved and shifts into a protective mode by slowing down the metabolism and storing nearly all calories as body fat. Plus, losing muscle tissue is the last thing you want to do. Muscle burns calories, even while you sleep. You should be focused on increasing, or at least maintaining muscle tissue.
Focus on increasing muscle tissue. As I mentioned previously, muscle burns calories, so if you want to increase your metabolism, you have to increase your muscle. The best way to do that is with progressive strength training. That doesn’t mean you have to join a gym, buy expensive fitness equipment, or follow some bodybuilding workout program; it simply means you need to challenge your muscles! You can do that at home in just 15-20 minutes, 2-3 times a week.
Get the help of an expert! Obviously, meeting your health and fitness goals is important to you, so why not eliminate the guesswork and start seeing the results you have always wanted? With the help of a qualified professional you can!
If your car breaks down, where do you take it? Mechanic, right? How about if you have a cavity? Dentist. So why is it that so many people attempt to solve their health and fitness problems without consulting an expert? I don’t know exactly, but I encourage you to make the investment in yourself- in your life- by hiring a professional to educate you and help you meet your goals.
So there you have it. The 16 essential strategies for an effective weight loss and fitness program that will have you looking and feeling great!
Establishing clear expectations while working out to get in better shape, often can be the difference between success and failure. Too many people try to do too much and get frustrated. Instead of “lasering” in on a few great strategies, they try to do as many things as possible. As they say, “Jack of all trades, master of none” applies here.
To help renew your spirits of why proper diet and exercise is important for the New Year, I’ve compiled a somewhat comical list. See how many apply to you:
• Because it costs you (or your loved ones) over 5 million pennies in future health care if you aren’t
• Because feeling better tomorrow starts today
• Because torture is a bad persuasion technique
• Because studies show that fit people make more money
• Because if you don’t, you suck
• Because movie stars do it
• Because performers do it
• Because everyone that is cool in your life, does it
• Because you CAN commit 1.5 hrs/wk out of 176
• Because avoiding a wheelchair is a good thing
• Because hugs are better when you can actually wrap your arms around someone
• Because your kids really don’t want to put you in a rest home
• Because no matter what you keep telling yourself, thick is not sexy
• Because feeling grandpa’s muscles at Thanksgiving can be a yearly ritual
• Because cottage cheese is for fruit
• Because squeezing into a size 6 means you’re not a size 6
• Because love making is much more fun without the extra rolls
• Because being able to see your toes……hmmmm
• Because bigger clothes cost more money
• Because shopping for smaller clothes raises spirits
• Because hitting the State Fair and observing everyone shouldn’t be the only thing that puts a smile on your face
• Because having the woman in your life open a stuck jar of pickles for you is embarrassing
• Because no matter what anyone says, women are always in competition with each other. You do want to win, right?
• Because you had to ask your 10 year old son to take out the trash…..after all you couldn’t lift it
• Because beer makes everyone else look better while making you look worse
• Because weight training makes you look better while making everyone else look worse (see competition in women)
• Because yelling at the gym is a lot better than yelling at work (unless you are a cheerleader)
• Because “Shut your mouth or I’ll kick your ___,” now actually has meaning
• Because being told you look 40 when you are actually 60 does something strange to self confidence
Again, make sure to renew your sense of self worth this holiday season and strive to become a healthier you. Great information is always key but watch out for the dreaded “information overload.” Get equipped and make ’06 the best year of your life.
Picture this: It’s 5:27 PM. You’re hungry after a busy day at work, itching to get home to see your family, and now you’re stuck in traffic. Frustration sets in, thoughts of just going home and straight to sleep comes to mind. But you’re used to it since this is an every day occurrence.
So you finally stroll into your house at 6:04 PM, your 2 young children are clamoring for your attention, and they’re hungry too. You pop some frozen dinners in the microwave knowing full well they’re not healthy, but also knowing that you just don’t have time to think, much less cook. After a quick dinner consisting of Salisbury Steak you’re day’s not even close to over.
Now it’s time to do laundry, read with the kids, and of course a day’s work left over from the office. When do you have time to rest? At night you keep telling yourself.
But every night it’s the same old story. You flop into bed past 1 AM and close your eyes. Your mind is still racing from the day that just passed and the busy day ahead. So you toss and turn, hoping that you’ll be able to get at least a little shut-eye before your 6:00 AM wake up call (an annoyingly loud alarm clock
you’ve had for 15 years).
And the next day it starts all over again. You’re tired at work, you don’t have time to eat, you’re stressed, and you can’t get out of the vicious cycle.
So what do you do?
First thing’s first: take a deep breath. You’re probably stressed out just reading this far.
To get a more restful sleep tonight do the following:
1) Get a notebook and take 5 minutes right before laying down to free write. What you want to do is get every thought from the past, present, and future out of your head and on paper where it’s safe and secure. This will free the clutter from your head and allow you to rest easier.
2) Get a new alarm clock that wakes you up gradually with classical music. This will do absolute wonders for your morning routine. What you want to do is set the alarm to go off 15-20 minutes earlier than you usually wake up. It will turn on very quietly and slowly bring you out of your slumber.
3) Add a few very healthy snacks to your daily routine. One of my favorites is a 2 oz pre-packaged bag of baby carrots. They taste good, they’re good for you, and they take no prep-time. When you’re hungry at work or on the way home, munch on these. Another great snack is raw almonds. Eating healthier works
amazingly well to help you sleep better.
Please use these 3 simple tips to enjoy a more restful sleep tonight.
Strength training is exercise that uses resistance to strengthen and condition the muscular-skeletal system, improving muscle tone and endurance. “Strength training” is used as a general term synonymous with other common terms: “weightlifting” and “resistance training.”
Physiologically, the benefits of consistent strength training include an increase in muscle size and tone, increased muscular strength, and increases in tendon, bone, and ligament strength. Lifting weights has also been shown to improve psychological health as well, by increasing self-esteem, confidence and self-worth.
Improved Physical Appearance and Performance
One important result of strength training is increased physical performance. Muscles quite literally utilize energy to produce movement, functioning as the engine or powerhouse of the body. Strength training increases the muscles’ size, strength, and endurance, which contribute to improvements in our work, favorite sports hobbies, and our general day-to-day activities.
Another benefit of a good strength-training program is its effect on our overall appearance and body composition. Which can directly influence self-esteem, self-worth, and level of confidence. Take, for example, a 170-pound man who has 20 percent body fat; 34 pounds of fat weight and 136 pounds of lean body weight (muscle, bones, organs, water, etc). By beginning an effective strength training program, he replaces five pounds of fat with five pounds of muscle. He still weighs 170 pounds, but he is now 17 percent fat with 29 pounds of fat weight and 141 pounds of lean body weight. Although his body weight remains the same, his strength, muscle tone, and metabolism have improved, giving him a fit appearance.
Both our physical appearance and our physical performance can be improved by muscle gain or hampered by muscle loss. Research indicates that unless we strength train regularly; we lose about one-half pound of muscle every year of our lives after age 30. Unless we implement a safe and effective weight lifting program, our muscles gradually decrease in size and strength in the process called “atrophy.”
Lifting weights is therefore important for preventing the muscle loss that normally accompanies the aging process. A common misconception is that as we reach the age of senior citizens, it is normal to stop being active and to start using ambulatory aides like canes and wheelchairs. Many people think we have no choice; they think this is normal.
But this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is absolutely no reason why all of us can’t be physically, mentally, socially, and sexually active, living a healthy vibrant life until our last day on Earth! The reason many elderly people rely on ambulatory aides and become slower and fatter is simply that over the years their muscles have been wasting away, so their physical performance and metabolism also decrease, becoming less efficient.
Increased Metabolic Efficiency (your ability to burn excess calories)
That one-half pound of muscle loss every year after age 30 produces a one-half percent reduction in basal metabolic rate (BMR) every year. A reduction in BMR means that our bodies are less able to use the food we consume as energy, thus more gets stored as body fat. “Basal metabolic rate” refers to the energy used by our body at rest to maintain normal body functions.
Our muscles have high-energy requirements. Even when we are sleeping, our muscles use more than 25% of our energy (calories). When you implement the principles of effective strength training and you are consistent in your program, you will achieve an increase in lean muscle mass throughout your body and increase your BMR. In other words, you can actually condition your metabolism to work better and more efficiently even when you are at rest.
An increase in muscle tissue causes an increase in metabolic rate, and a decrease in muscle tissue causes a decrease in metabolic rate. You can see that anyone interested in decreasing body fat percentage and their risk of disease as well as in increasing physical performance and appearance, should be strength training to help condition their metabolism (BMR).
One of the biggest mistakes people make when starting a weight-management program is not including a strength training routine with their cardiovascular exercise and low-fat eating regimen. This is unfortunate because when we cut calories without exercise, we can lose muscle as well as fat.
Decreased Risk of Sustaining an Injury
Our muscles also function as shock absorbers and serve as important balancing agents throughout our body. Well-conditioned muscles help to lessen the repetitive landing forces in weight-bearing activities such as jogging or playing basketball. Well-balanced muscles reduce the risk of injuries that result when a muscle is weaker than its opposing muscle group.
To reduce the risk of unbalanced muscle development, you should make sure that when you are training a specific muscle group, the opposing muscle groups are being trained as well (though not necessarily on the same day). For example, if you are doing bench-pressing exercises for your chest, you should include some rowing exercises for your back muscles as well.
By now you have probably realized that weightlifting should be an important part of your exercise routine. Weightlifting provides many important benefits that cannot be achieved by any other exercise or activity. When you begin achieving great results, the excitement and fun you experience will make the change well worth the effort. Good luck; I hope you enjoy all the wonderful benefits of an effective strength training program.