What Is A Fitness Tracker?

Technological advancement has given rise to many smart applications that not only improve efficiency
but also make tracking and monitoring of different activities easier. It’s always important to monitor
your progress as far as your health and fitness regimen is concerned. A fitness tracker is therefore that
application or device used in tracking and monitoring fitness goals.

It measures metrics such as distance run or walked, rate of heartbeat, calories consumed and sometimes even the quality of your sleep. Most of these tracking devices are wirelessly synchronized to a smartphone or computer for the purposes of regular data tracking and reporting.

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In many cases, people have fitness goals or targets, whether monthly or on a daily basis, that they hope
to achieve. Monitoring the progress of your fitness regimen can be a challenge especially if you are not a
certified fitness trainer or health practitioner. Fitness tracking devices give you the capability to monitor
your progress and determine how far you are from meeting your targets, or if indeed you achieved or
exceeded them.

Most of them are wearable and can also serve as regular digital watches. Some people wear them as accessories because of their fashion forward designs. These devices have become so main stream that some firms have decided to use them in encouraging consumers to live healthily.

The electronic fitness trackers are basically an advanced version of pedometers. Apart from counting
steps, they also use accelerometers to determine distance covered, graph general physical activity and
calculate calorie usage. In some cases they also keep track of and graph quality of sleep and heart rate.

As you go about your fitness routines, there are various activities that you engage in such as walking,
running, swimming, jogging, bike rides and normal house chores. It is important that you stay true to
your goals and monitor your progress because that is the only way you’ll be able to achieve your
objectives.

A fitness tracker is an ideal way to easily monitor your activity with great accuracy. You can imagine it to
be an electronic finger on your pulse, measuring your vitals on a regular basis. These trackers have made
use of the latest technology to enable fitness enthusiasts monitor their activities and keep track of their
progress. Most people spend so much time on their smartphones or tablets which is why fitness trackers
are synchronized with these devices for report displays.

Trackers can also be connected to social media apps like Facebook but one has to be careful since there are some instances when private information has ended up in the internet and public domain. There are different trackers available in the market and people can therefore make buying decisions based on prices, functionality and personal style.

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Muscle Fiction

If you’v been training, here’s a short list of bodybuilding fiction.

1. 12 Rep rule

Most weight training program include this much repetitions for gaining muscle. The truth is this approach places the muscles with not enough tension for effective muscle gain. High tension e.g. heavy weights provides muscle growth in which the muscle grows much larger, leading to the maximum gains in strength. Having longer tension time boosts the muscle size by generating the structures around the muscle fibers, improving endurance.

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The standard prescription of eight to 12 repetitions provides a balance but by just using that program all of the time, you do not generate the greater tension levels that is provided by the heavier weights and lesser reps, and the longer tension achieved with lighter weights and more repetitions. Change the number of reps and adjust the weights to stimulate all types of muscle growth.

2. Three Set rule

The truth is there’s nothing wrong with three sets but then again there is nothing amazing about it either. The number of sets you perform should be base on your goals and not on a half-century old rule. The more repetitions you do on an exercise, the fewer sets you should do, and vice versa. This keeps the total number of repetitions done of an exercise equal.

3. Three to four exercises per group

The truth is this is a waste of time. Combined with twelve reps of three sets, the total number of reps amount to 144. If your doing this much reps for a muscle group your not doing enough. Instead of doing too many varieties of exercises, try doing 30 to 50 reps. That can be anywhere from 2 sets of 15 reps or 5 sets of 10 reps.

4. My knees, my toes

It is a gym folklore that you “should not let your knees go past your toes.” Truth is that leaning forward a little too much is more likely a cause of injury. In 2003, Memphis University researchers confirmed that knee stress was almost thirty percent higher when the knees are allowed to move beyond the toes during a squat.

But hip stress increased nearly 10 times or (1000 percent) when the forward movement of the knee was restricted. Because the squatters needed to lean their body forward and that forces the strain to transfer to the lower back.

Focus on your upper body position and less on the knee. Keep the torso in an upright position as much as possible when doing squats and lunges. These reduces the stress generated on the hips and back. To stay upright, before squatting, squeeze the shoulder blades together and hold them in that position; and then as you squat, keep the forearms 90 degree to the floor.

5. Lift weights, draw abs

The truth is the muscles work in groups to stabilize the spine, and the most important muscle group change depending on the type of exercise. The transverse abdominis is not always the most important muscle group. Actually, for most exercise, the body automatically activates the muscle group that are needed most for support of the spine. So if you focus only on the transverse abdominis, it can recruit wrong muscles and limit the right muscles. This increases the chance of injury, and reduces the weight that can be lifted.

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Top Exercises to Use With HIIT

HIIT is high intensity interval training. By now, most of us will know what this term means and be familiar with how to go about using it. Simply put, it means that you are going to be alternating between periods of high intensity (normally at around 90-100% of your MHR) and periods of relatively low intensity and recovery (at around 70% of your MHR).

What this does, is to deplete your stores of glycogen and ATP, so that the only way your body can get the energy it needs to carry on with the low intensity training is to burn fat. You thus burn more fat both during the workouts and also continuously after the workout has finished! 

But HIIT doesn’t just have to mean running. Actually, there are a number of different exercises you can use in order to burn more fat and build more muscle and these work perfectly when combined with a HIIT workout.

Here are some great examples:

Kettlebell Swings

The kettlebell swing is an exercise that involves swinging a kettlebell up in the air and then letting it fall back down again. The momentum generated by this allows you to continuously exert yourself and ultimately, it’s a great way to provide a cardio challenge that burns fat while at the same time challenging and building up your muscles as well.

This is the perfect example of ‘concurrent training’ and will not only burn more fat but also tone and build muscle and generally help you to see amazing results.

Pull Ups

Pull ups are very well suited to HIIT, as long as you can perform enough of them with good technique. When you start to tire, you can always try to use a bit more momentum, at which point they become ‘kipping pull ups’ like those taught in CrossFit classes.

High Knees

If you can’t get outside to run, then another way to burn a lot of calories with a similar motion is to perform high knees. Stand on the spot, hold your hands up high and then run so that your knees hit your hands.

Tuck Jumps

Jump up in the air and then hug your knees in toward your chest each time you reach the apex of your jump.

Jack in the Box

Here, you squat down into a huddled position and then jump straight up in the air and kick your hands and arms out like a starfish. This not only challenges your legs to deliver a lot of explosive power but also involves your entire body in the movement!

Clapping Push Ups

HIIT works best when you involve your fast twitch muscle fiber. Fortunately, clapping push ups are a type of exercise that do exactly that thanks to their plyometric nature. These are much harder and more ballistic than regular press ups and can be used to burn through calories as a result.

Other CV

Of course running is just one example of a CV workout. Just as good is rowing, swimming, bike… Try them all and see what works best for you!

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What Not to do if You Want to Lose Weight

Nearly everyone you speak to wants to lose weight. This is not to say that they are necessarily obese or seriously overweight – but just that most of us are less active than we should be and possibly overindulge on the sweeter things in life.

But if so many people want to lose weight, why are so many of us still not in the shape that we would really like to be? The answer comes down to a number of very common mistakes that tend to hamper our performance. In this post, I’m going to break down a number of those mistakes and demonstrate which behaviors you should look to change in order to make your next diet successful.lose weight

Be Overly Ambitious

One of the biggest mistakes that we will often make when trying to lose weight is to be overly ambitious in terms of our diet plan and our exercise.

A common example of this might be planning to exercise 5 times a week for an hour at a time. This is a big mistake because it is unsustainable. Even if it works for the first few weeks, the reality is that it is going to eventually become too much at which point you’ll return to your old shape.

When looking at any diet plan, ask yourself whether it’s something you can realistically do forever. If not… what’s the point?

Forget Drink, Butter and Others

Another common mistake is to overlook the role that certain less obvious things have in your diet. That is to say that it is easy to remember to eat the right dinner or to avoid cake… but less obvious things like soda drinks, butter on your sandwiches and more can all also have similarly disastrous effects.

Wait

When I speak to people who want to lose weight, they will often tell me that they’re planning to use a certain diet plan or a certain exercise regime but that they’re waiting until life is less busy, until they have bought a fully-written training program from a fitness guru etc.

The point is that losing weight is really not complicated. There are some methods that are more effective than others but ultimately, as long as you are eating a little less and exercising a little more, you will begin to improve.

If you want to lose weight and you haven’t already started, then it suggests that you are putting it off or procrastinating – that you don’t have the motivation. That’s what you should focus on.

Overlook Lifestyle

What’s the best way to lose weight? Quit your job! Imagine it: you’d suddenly have much more time, much more energy and much more inclination to train and to eat correctly.

Of course most of us don’t have the luxury of being able to walk out of our offices, but what we can do is to pay more attention to the role that our work plays. Likewise, focusing on sleep, on our emotional state and on our routine is also important if you really want to make a big difference in your health.

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The Best Diet and Supplement Regime to Combine With HIIT

So you just discovered HIIT? No doubt you’re loving just how easy it is to get a fat burning, calorie melting workout in now and you’re getting a kick out of pushing yourself so hard.

But while you’re probably feeling great, you should know that fat loss and muscle gain do not happen in the gym or on the track. Rather, they happen in the kitchen. If you really want to make the very most of HIIT, the you should combine it with the right diet… hiit

The Basics – Calories In, Calories Out

The great thing about HIIT is that it is a form of MetCon – metabolic conditioning. That is to say that it doesn’t just burn calories while you’re training, it also increases your calorie burn at rest by making your cells more efficient at burning through fat stores and sugars. Thus, even when you’re resting, you’re going to lose more weight.

But you still need to try and calculate this as much as you can and to do that, you need to figure out a rough ‘AMR’ – the total number of calories you burn in a day (this stands for ‘Active Metabolic Rate’). Likewise, you should track the calories you’re taking in with an app like MyFitnessPal and what this will then allow you to do, is to make sure you are consuming fewer calories than you are burning off. If you do this, then you should lose weight – and especially with the metabolic benefits.

Carb Backloading

Some people will tell you that it is important to reduce carbs – at least the simple kind. That’s because carbs spike the blood sugar and your body responds by producing insulin, absorbing that sugar and then storing it as fat.

If you’re concerned about this, you can try something called ‘carb backloading’. Here, you simply consume carbs only immediately following a workout. This wouldn’t work with aerobic training but HIIT will deplete the glycogen stores in your muscles. Thus, the priority of your body will become refuelling those glycogen stores, meaning that you’ll be less likely to store the excess energy as fat!

This way, you can still enjoy your carbs but without the guilt!

Supplements

One supplement that makes a lot of sense in conjunction with a HIIT workout program is creatine. That’s because creatine allows you to recycle ATP in your system, which in turn means you can rely on the ATP-CP energy system just a little longer. This in turn means that you can go all out for a second or so more when performing the high intensity portion of your workouts. That’s a big difference and it will result in better results. All that and creatine has also been shown to add muscle (by increasing water retention in the muscles) and to boost IQ!

Meanwhile, you can also try other supplements that will enhance your cellular energy. Popular choices include l-carnitine, CoQ10 and omega 3.

You don’t need any supplements, but adding a little l-carnitine and creatine can only help you see results faster!

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Weight Loss Tips That Will Work Well for Women

There is a lot of information out there on how to lose weight. Unfortunately, this information very often does not take into account our individual differences or our unique biology. If you are someone who has a slow metabolism, then you will burn fewer calories than someone who has a very fast one.

If you are someone who is very tall, then the amount you need to eat is different than it is for someone very short. Even more extreme though are the differences between men and women and the strategies that work best for each. If you are female and you are trying to lose weight, then here are some tips that you might not have read before…weight

Lift Weights

The biggest tip that every woman should know when it comes to weight loss, is that they should try weightlifting or another form of ‘resistance’ training.

In other words, women should drop the over-reliance on cardio exercise and start lifting weights!

Many women worry about this because they think that they are going to get ‘too bulky’ and that the resultant look will be unattractive.

In reality though, it is actually very hard to become bulky and especially for a woman. What’s more likely is that added muscle mass will simply speed up your metabolism (muscle is what we call ‘metabolically active’) and that will allow you to burn fat at a faster rate.

In fact, this is one of the main reasons that men lose weight faster than women!
At the same time, lifting weight will help women to gain the right proportions, to tone up and to increase their tone and definition in order to get rid of things like cellulite. It will even increase the production of fat burning hormones!

The fastest way to get a more attractive body as a woman is to lift weights.

Consider Other Lifestyle Factors, Medications and Conditions

Hormones play a large role in fat burning and muscle mass and the biggest drivers here include testosterone and estrogen.

So, women are at a disadvantage already when it comes to burning fat but things get more complicated still when you consider the other factors involved: things like the menstrual cycle for instance which causes hormones to fluctuate at different times of the month.

More of an issue is the role of contraceptive medication which can cause weight gain or weight loss depending on how the body reacts.

Then there are conditions like polycystic ovaries which only affect women and like hypothyroidism which is more common for women. If you find it very difficult to lose weight, consult your doctor.

And make sure that you are eating well and getting all of your nutrients in order to support your body’s metabolic function and hormone balance.

Finally, note that these hormones also impact on emotional eating – which studies confirm to be a larger issue for women versus men. Keep this in mind and try to maintain your emotional state while avoiding temptation as far as you can.

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Some Exciting Training Methods You Probably Haven’t Heard of….

There are several new training protocols out there at the moment that have captured the imagination of the web’s fitness enthusiasts. These include concepts like HIIT and tabata. Kettlebell workouts are big at the moment too.

But these are just two types of training that you can use to mix things up and see better results. And actually, there are many more exciting and alternative ways to train like this that simply haven’t made it into the mainstream. training

The great news is that the more of these you learn, the more options you’ll have for your own training and the easier it will be to meet your precise goals. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting options then…

Cardio Acceleration

Cardio acceleration is similar to HIIT in that you’re combining a form of high intensity exercise with something a little more slow-paced. In this case, you are going to combine intense CV with resistance training. In that way, your routine will be just like any other weight lifting routine but in between sets – when you would normally be resting – you will instead engage in high intensity cardio, whether that’s sprinting or tuck jumps. It’s highly effective at burning fat but it’s also brutal!

Fasted Cardio

Want to get even more bang for your cardio buck? Then try ‘fasted cardio’. This is simply cardio that you perform first thing in the morning – before you have even had breakfast. This way, you train before you have given your body any food and that means you’ll have low glycogen stores and low blood sugar. You’ll therefore be in a much more catabolic state and your body will have no choice but to use your fat for energy. Combined, these factors result in much greater fat burn!

Cardio Finishers

One way to combine cardio and weightlifting is to finish a resistance training workout with a cardio ‘finisher’. A finisher is simply and intense burst of cardio exercise tacked onto the end of your weights work. This is enough to blast a few more calories and to ensure that you’ll use up all the juice left in the tank before you head home from the gym.

Fartlek

HIIT usually means switching between different combinations of rest periods and intensive exercise. Normally, this follows a steady pattern but in fartlek training – which translated literally as ‘time play’ – you have more freedom to try different combinations. You can switch between more than two levels of exercise (sprinting, walking and jogging for example) and you can decide to mix and match them how and when you want to.

MetCon

MetCon stands for ‘metabolic conditioning’ and is essentially what you get when you combine a relatively basic form of resistance exercise with a high intensity approach. The idea is to train your metabolism as much as your muscles, which you accomplish by performing short and focused bursts of exercise in a structure manner.

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Top Tips That Will Make Eating Healthily Easier

If you want to lose weight, then you need to start eating less and more healthily. Many of us are not the size we want to be and the primary reason for that is that we eat too much and we eat too much of the wrong things.

The problem is that it isn’t as easy to fix your diet as you might initially expect. Eating right means that you need the money to spend on fruits and vegetables (that tend to go off in no time at all) and you need the time to prepare all the food and clean up afterward.healthily

If you’re going to start eating healthier then, the smart thing to do is to think ahead and to make this as easy as possible so that you don’t get caught out by a lack of time, motivation or space. Here are some ways to do that…

Get the Right Appliances

If you want to make cooking in the kitchen easier, then there are a ton of appliances and gadgets that can help you to do just that.

A great example is a blender or a food processor. This can be used to mix fruits into a smoothie, or to mix vegetables into a soup.

Either way, this will give you a ton of highly beneficial nutrients in an easy-to-eat form factor that will only take a few minutes to prepare.

Another good example is a dishwasher. This will wash up your plates and dishes for you after you’ve eaten, meaning you’ll need to spend less time washing up after you have finished and can spend more time cooking and preparing your food as a result.

Learn the Right Recipes

Of course being able to cook quickly also comes down to having the right recipes. This is why it’s very much spending some time to learn meals that are quick and easy to prepare while still containing lots of highly beneficial nutrients and being low calorie.

Cook in Bulk

Common advice is to cook at the start of the week and then simply heat it up to eat during the week. This is a nice idea but the reality is that most of us don’t want to give up an entire Sunday to cooking.

A better solution then will often be to cook at the usual time but to prepare larger batches. This way, you’ll have spare food that you can enjoy on other evenings.

You can even freeze some for further in the future. Crucially, this process doesn’t take any longer than cooking the usual portions.

Eat Consistently

One particularly important tip is to try and eat more consistently during the day. That means eating a relatively samey breakfast and lunch. While this isn’t as exciting as eating fresh and original meals every day, you’ll still have the evening to do that.

For breakfast and lunch though, you’ll now be able to get your food faster without having to count calories or learn new recipes.

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How Your Body Uses Energy As You Continue to Train

When you first start working out, your body will go through a number of changes. These changes are designed to provide you with more energy and your ability to recruit that energy as and when you need it, is one of the biggest factors in determining how fit you are and how well you’re able to train. It’s also what controls the amount of fat you’re able to lose in any given amount of time!

Let’s see how this works and what you can do to improve it… body

The ATP-CP System

Essentially, the body finds its energy using three separate systems and it goes through these three systems in order.

When you first start exercising, you will begin using what is known as the ‘ATP-CP’ system. This stands for adenosine triphosphate creatine phosphate system. Catchy!

Adenosine triphosphate is the most fundamental form of energy known to biology. This is what glucose must be broken down into in order to be used by the body and a fair amount of it exists inside your muscles at all times. As soon as you start exercising, you utilize that ATP and this provides up to a couple of seconds of power. CP – creatine phosphate – allows us to recycle ATP and is also stored in the muscles ready to use.

The ATP-CP system is the most energy efficient and provides us with energy without making us gasp or feel unwell.

The Glycogen Lactic Acid System

The glycogen lactic acid system works by using glycogen stored in the muscles. This is the second most energy efficient source but has the unwanted side effect of producing lactate and other metabolites as a by-product. Lactate makes us feel unwell if we keep pushing ourselves and correlates with other metabolites that can make the muscle feel like it’s burning.

We can usually use this system of energy for a couple of minutes before the lactate becomes too much or the burn becomes too much. It is possible to improve your tolerance to this however, with training.

The Aerobic System

Finally, we switch to the aerobic system. This is the energy system most of us are most familiar with and it works by utilizing oxygen in the blood in order to burn fat stores for energy. This is why it makes us start breathing more heavily and increases our heart rate.

The aerobic system is the least energy efficient and it takes time for the energy to be delivered. Thus we are forced to slow down once we reach this state. However, it is also the type of energy system that we are able to sustain the longest. In fact, we can continue with this kind of exercise indefinitely or until we collapse from a complete lack of body fat!

HIIT

HIIT (high intensity interval training) is so effective because it involves switching from the first two types of energy (anaerobic energy) to the last kind. This enables you to deplete both your glycogen and your fat stores and thus does both more effectively.

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Terrine Pearsall

Top Hacks for Weight Loss

Looking to lose weight fast? Then unfortunately there is no substitute for simple exercise and healthy eating. While this is true though, it’s also true that you can make life a little easier for yourself with a few smart tricks to speed up the process and help you lose weight more efficiently.

Read on and we’ll take a look at some of the best hacks out there for more rapidly melting away fat…weight

Cut Out Sugary Drinks

Did you know that a soda drink like 7Up has as much sugar in it as multiple Cream Eggs? Too often we forget about what we drink but actually, this is often responsible for a lot of additional calories.

Just as important as this are creamy coffees like cappuccinos which are also very calorific and of course alcoholic beverages like beer.

Switch to water and you’ll instantly burn a lot more calories!

And the Rest

There are other sources of calories that are very often overlooked. These include things like butter on your bread and sugar in your tea.

Make sure that all calories are accounted for!

Eat More Slowly

Eating more slowly can help you to feel fuller and digest your food better meaning you get greater vitamin and mineral absorption.

If you struggle with this, make a conscious effort to chew a certain number of times on each mouthful.

Drink More Water

Drinking more water will accelerate your metabolism and once more help you to digest your food better and break it down more.

Exercise First Thing in the Morning

While you sleep, you are not able to eat. This means that you are essentially fasting and when you wake up, you will have very low blood sugar and a high amount of fat-burning hormones like adrenaline.

If you exercise during this time, then your body will have no choice but to burn fat. Studies show that as a result, fasted cardio helps you to burn more fat and more calories than regular exercise. Try going for a run first thing in the morning.

Eat Carbs After Exercise

Another reason that fasted cardio works well is that it lends itself perfectly to carb backloading.

This is a system where you consume carbohydrates only after intensive exercise. By doing this, you are able to ensure that the calories you consume are used to replenish depleted stores of glycogen in your cells – rather than being stored as fat.

Double up on these strategies by running early in the morning before breakfast and then eating something with complex carbs when you finish.

Take Cold Showers

A cold shower will not only burn calories directly (as the body uses energy to try and heat itself back up) but will also increase the release of adrenaline and not to mention testosterone.

Sleep More

One of the times we burn the most fat is when we sleep, so make sure you are getting enough and that the quality is high too.

Walk

Finally, note that one of the very best ways to burn fat is to walk more. Look for ways to fit more walking into your routine and you’ll burn fat without tiring yourself out!

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The Importance of the 12 B Vitamin

The 12 b vitamin is one of the b vitamins that are essential to maintain a healthy body. Otherwise known as Cobalamin, the 12b vitamin is needed for the processes to convert the carbohydrates, fats and proteins from food into energy.

12 b also, more importantly, helps keep the red blood cells healthy and therefore prevent heart disease as well as keeping the immune system functioning at its maximum level. In addition, 12 b is used to create the protective covering of all nerve cells in the body.vitamin

The most important function of 12 b is to form healthy red blood cells. However, all cells need 12 b to keep them healthy. It is the white blood cells, amongst others, that need 12 b to help ensure that the immune system functioning properly. All of the nerve cells in the body also need 12 b to form their protective fatty layer. This is essential for all of the nerves but is especially so for those in the brain. If there is not sufficient 12 b to create this protective layer then the brain will not be functioning properly.

Interestingly, the amount of 12 b that the body needs is relatively small but is needed on a regular basis. However, 12 b on its own is not enough as the body cannot absorb it easily. To help the body absorb 12 b the stomach produces intrinsic factor which enables more of the 12 b to be absorbed. 12 b is only found in animal foods such as liver, eggs, fish and meat but most people consume far more than their recommended daily amount of 12 b.

This is not a problem as the body can only absorb about half of the 12 b that is consumed. It is also worth noting that the body can recycle the 12 b which cuts down on the impact of a 12 b deficiency. However, strict vegetarians or vegans are likely to require 12 b supplements if they do not eat any animal products that contain 12 b.

If the body does not have enough 12 b then anemia is the most obvious symptom. Obviously, this is due to the fact that there is not enough 12 b to make healthy red blood cells. Anemia can also be caused by the body not creating enough intrinsic factor to help absorb the 12 b that is available in the food consumed. The body tends to makes less intrinsic factor once a person reaches 50 and this will lead to less 12 b being absorbed and supplements of 12 b may be required.

Kids are also at risk from anemia because they may not eat the food that contain 12 b. Pregnant women need more 12 b because the baby is absorbing 12 b during the pregnancy to grow properly.

 

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Losing Weight the Healthy Way

Almost 108 million Americans were over weight or obese in 1999. Until now, obesity continues to be a serious problem and is predicted to reach epidemic levels by the year 2020.

One way to prevent this scenario is to make people aware of the risks of being overweight or obese.weight

Here are some diseases that you are putting yourself in risk of if you are carrying a lot of extra pounds:

  1. heart disease
  2. stroke
  3. diabetes
  4. cancer
  5. arthritis
  6. hypertension

Losing weight helps to prevent and control these diseases.

The quick weight loss methods which have spread like fire these days do not provide lasting results. More often than not, dieting methods which involve dietary drinks, foods and supplement or pills do not work. If they do, the results are just temporary.

It is better to rely on a healthy weight loss option which will provide lifetime results. You have to set realistic goals and not expect to lose a lot of pounds in a short span of time.

Here are some tips on how you can lose those unwanted pounds the healthy way:

1. Do not starve your self.

The key to a healthier way of losing weight is: Do not diet.

You may seem happy and feel that you are losing those unwanted flabs on your belly and thighs by skipping meals. But remember that this would not last long. Your body cannot tolerate having insufficient food to fuel the energy that you use up everyday.

If you get used to skipping one or two meals a day, your stored calories will be used up instead of the energy that should have been provided by your meals. So if you just eat one huge sandwich in one day, it will end up straight to your problem area (i.e. highs, buttocks, hips).

2. Start your day right.

Mothers always say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Have a healthy meal in the morning to jump-start your metabolism.

Your food intake after you wake up will be used to burn fat all day long.

3. Eat small, healthy meals frequently.

Five small-serving snacks per day is better than three hearty meals. Eating more frequently, and in small servings, can prevent over-eating. This will also increase your metabolism and make calories burn faster.

4. Decide on how much weight you want to lose.

Keep your goals realistic. In the long run, it is virtually impossible for you to lose 40 pounds in 2 weeks. Have a mindset that you want to eat healthy to stay healthy for the rest of your life.

Once you have decided on a weight loss plan or program, stick to it and make sure that you follow your own set of dieting rules.

5. Drink lots of water.

Your body needs sufficient water to burn fat and keep your cells hydrated and healthy.

6. Avoid too much sugar.

Plan your meals around lots of fruits and vegetables, some bread, rice or pasta for that carbo fix that you need, plus lean meat and protein rich-foods. Sweets, sodas and pastries should be once-in-a-while indulgences only.

7. Watch your fat intake.

Fat is not the culprit to being overweight. You need this to keep your weight at the proper level.

There is such a thing as healthy fats. Olive, peanuts and canola oil have them. Tuna, salmon and mackerel have omega-3 fats which is good for the heart.

8. Exercise.

Leave your car if you are only going a few blocks from home, take the stairs instead of the elevator, jog, cycle or skate. Use these activities and other home chores if you are too lazy to go to the gym and take exercise classes. Make sure that you do this regularly and you will not even notice that you are already shedding pounds with these mundane activities.

It does not matter how much weight you plan or need to lose. What is important is that you set realistic goals for yourself.

Go slow. If you have already lost 5 or 6 pounds, give yourself a break then try to lose the next 5 pounds.

Eat healthy, drink lots of water, have enough sleep and exercise. This will give you a higher chance of losing weight and improving your health, which would result to a new, healthier you.

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