Thursday, 20 November 2014

10 Weight Loss Tips

1. Burn more calories than you consume. If this makes you go: "D-uuuh!!", snap out of it and consider that this elementary aspect of dieting excapes countless clueless -- and doomed -- dieters. Tabloids may claim to have the "miracle foods" that'll allow you to eat like a pig and have the pounds melt off, but it's a load.

2. Establish your base metabolism, and set a target calorie goal approx. 500 calories below it. I wrote an article dedicated to establishing your metabolism earlier, so look it up in the article archive if you need a refresher.

3. Keep an honest log. Make estimates of how many calories you stuff yourself with every meal and tally up the total to make sure you stay within your target calorie goal. Convenient "mistakes," under-estimates and forgetfulness allows you to eat more now, but you're defeating the whole point of dieting.

4. Actively choose good sources of fat. This may sound like stupid advice -- shouldn't you AVOID fat when dieting? Well, yes and no. You have to keep consuming some fat, just not going overboard. Avoid butter, bacon, whole milk, coconuts and such like the plague. Instead, make use of olive oil (virgin) and fatty fish. Peanut butter is an interesting topic. I used to put it in the same category as the "bad" fats. It belongs there, packing saturated fat as well as artery-clogging trans fatty acids. However, based on highly unscientific testimonies by others as well as personal experience, it seems like a handful of peanuts once in a while when dieting can do wonders in keeping energy levels up while not wreaking havoc with your overall diet. Strange and illogical? You betcha. But it just so happens to work anyway, kind of like bumblebees flying though they technically shouldn't be able to.

5. Eat small but frequent meals throughout the day. You've heard it a million times, I'm sure, but facts remain: In order to keep an even level of blood sugar, you have to eat small, balanced meals.

6. Don't go wimpy on the weight training. When you diet, you're in the danger zone for losing muscle mass most of the time. To avoid this, keeping pumping iron, and be diligent about it!

7. Avoid alcohol. Given that barbeque-season is upon us, this can be tough when your friends bring out the ice-cold brewskis. The solution is simple: Only associate with other bodybuilders, so you at least won't be the lone dweeb sipping a diet soda! For those of you who have the ridiculous idea that your life should not revolve around bodybuilding: Snap out of it.

8. Do cardio in moderation. Doing 45 mins on the stairmaster every day is a great way to get the pounds off quicker. 2 hours is not so great, since you're bound to start losing muscle mass. When and how much is individual (and depending on what you've had to eat earlier in the day) but avoid cardio sessions in excess of 1 hour. If you need the punishment do one session in the morning and one in the evening. Also remember to stay in the 65%-70% heart rate zone for optimal fat burn.

9. Schedule "cheating" days to stay sane. Dieting is no fun. No matter how gung-ho and motivated you are when you start out, you'll have days when everything is darkness and the world is out to get you. Make sure to get a treat once a week on a set day (Saturday is good) as it gives you something to look forward to. A juicy burger is fatty and calorie-dense, but if you prepare by doing extra cardio for three days in advance you'll come in right on target for the week.

10. Don't be afraid of soy. I used to avoid fake-meat products, but having been married to a vegetarian for 3+ years I've tried soy hot dogs, burgers, chicken patties, even riblets that taste just like the real thing. And here's the kicker: Soy products is mostly protein! Granted, soy protein is not the highest quality out there, but if you drink a glass of milk or have some other high-quality protein source with it you can bump up the overall quality in a hurry. Besides, soy has a number of great health benefits when eaten in moderation and contains very little fat.

10 Tips On Losing Weight Fast

Before jumping into a diet, you must determine your ideal weight. This will be your guide on your weight loss journey. “Fast” weight loss doesn’t imply that you drop 50 pounds overnight; a few pounds can take months to shed and for obese individuals, it can take years to lose the desired amount of weight. How fast you lose weight will depend on how focused you are on your diet.

Here are some simple steps to help you lose weight:

1.Before dieting, you must know how many calories you normally need in a day. If you are sedentary, multiply your weight (in pounds) by fifteen. If you are moderately active, multiply your weight by seventeen; if you are active, multiply your weight by twenty. This will give you the average calorie intake you need per day.

2.Remember to eat your fruits and veggies! You need at least five servings of them per day – doing this will put you on the right track to a healthy body, because fruits and vegetables have beneficial fibers, vitamins and antioxidants. They also fill up your stomach fast so that you don’t overeat and take into many calories.

3.Monitor the quantity of food you eat. Avoid high-calorie foods and eat in small portions. A helpful tip is to chew your food slowly because this makes digestion easy on your body and you will also be less likely to overeat.

4.Don’t skip meals. When you want to lose weight it may be tempting to starve yourself – but eating small amounts of food frequently can help you maintain a healthy, balanced calorie intake throughout the day. Also, your blood sugar level will be adversely affected if you don’t eat often. You can even divide the standard allotment of three meals into five or six smaller meals.

5.Fresh fruits and vegetables are ideal – packaged and processed foods have high sodium and fat content. You are more likely to lose weight if you eat naturally fresh foods.

6.Don’t limit your food intake too much. Go ahead and indulge yourself; eat your favorite treat. It’s okay to have that slice of birthday cake at the occasional party. Just make sure to eat in moderation and use those special desserts as rewards, instead of enemies, to your weight loss experience.

7.Don’t always believe everything you read on a food label. “Fat free” does not necessarily mean low calories. The same wisdom goes for foods that boast “low sugar” or “low carbs.” Glance over the nutrition label – there you’ll find the calorie count.

8.Try to limit the number of juices and sugary beverages you drink. Instead, drink eight glasses water a day – this flushes out your body’s toxins and waste.

9.If possible, keep a food journal. This will help you keep track of your calorie intake and will be a daily reminder of the types of foods you need.

10.Don’t forget to exercise! Thirty to sixty minutes of physical activity a day will ensure your health and help you lose weight (and not to mention, firm up those muscles). Weight-bearing exercises are especially great ways to burn those pesky calories.

10 Tips for Rapid Fat Loss!

The Fitness Consulting Group

Are you looking for that “jump start” to rev your metabolism and get you bathing suit ready? The following ten tips will improve your workouts and ignite your metabolism. Try some or all of these tips, but beware, the result may be a number of admiring second glances and stares when you don that bikini or pair of trunks.

1. The majority of your workouts should be composed of free-weight or cable exercises.

Compared to machines, free-weight and cable movements often require more skill, create muscular balance, and have a greater metabolic cost. For example, it is more difficult to balance the weights, and to coordinate muscles when performing free-weight exercises. Although this may sound like a disadvantage, it is actually a benefit. By balancing and stabilizing free-weights or cables you are working more muscles through a greater range of motion resulting in more muscles developed and more calories burned.

2. Use mostly compound (multi-joint and multi-muscle) exercises.

When focusing on improving body composition, you can't worry about “detail” exercises, so you should use exercises that'll get you the biggest bang for your buck. Isolation exercises can be used at the end of a workout to work on a specific weakness, but only do the bare minimum.

Virtually every savvy fitness professional is privy to the fact that compound exercises recruit the most muscle groups for any given body part.

If you seek lean muscle and the increase in metabolism that comes with it, you must choose exercises that allow for the greatest load. One of the main reasons why squats are superior to leg extensions for quadriceps development relates to the fact that the load you can expose the quadriceps to is much greater with squats. That’s why presses and dips will give you great triceps development, while triceps kickbacks will do little for triceps development and even less for the metabolism.

A good rule of thumb is to use lifts that will allow you to use the most weight. These will have a systemic effect on your body that'll help maintain or increase your muscle mass, and in turn ignite your metabolism.

3. Super-set or group exercises.

Perform either non-competing muscle group training or antagonist training. Non-competing muscle group training would involve doing a set of a lower body exercise, and following it up with an upper body exercise Antagonist training is executed by alternating exercises that target opposing muscle groups (e.g. chest and back). The list of benefits includes: quicker recovery, greater strength levels and shorter workout times.

This design can be a huge advantage in your mission to burn fat. If you alternate exercises for opposing or non-competing muscle groups, you’ll be able to keep your heart rate elevated and burn calories like a blast furnace!

4. Keep rep ranges, in general, between 8 and 12.

Through research, it has been determined that the best range for hypertrophy (muscle gain) is roughly between 8-12 reps. Since the main focus of your resistance training efforts is to gain lean body mass and stimulate your metabolism, this rep range fills the bill perfectly. “High reps for tone and fat loss” is the “big kahuna” of all training myths! Somehow the aerobics, yoga and Pilate’s community have convinced us that when we perform bodyweight exercises or light resistance training for high reps, our muscles magically take on a beautiful shape without growing or bulging. On the other hand, if you challenge yourself with moderately heavy weights, your body will take on a bulky, unflattering appearance. If you believe this, you probably still believe in the Tooth Fairy!

5. Rest only 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

When you keep the rest periods under one minute, it’s easier to stay focused on the task at hand and keeps your heart rate elevated. In addition, it forces your muscles to recover more quickly between sets, along with keeping your nervous system revved up.

If your first movement in an upper/lower body superset is squats, you might want to rest 60 seconds before attempting your second movement. However, if your first exercise is a fairly "easy" exercise, like lat pull downs, you might only wish to wait 30 seconds before doing the second part of the superset.

6. Every session should consist of approximately six to eight exercises.  Why? Because empirical evidence has shown that normal trainees can consistently maintain six to eight exercises per session without burning out.

It’s imperative to base your exercise selection around compound, multi-joint exercises. Seventy-five percent (75%) of your exercises for each session must be compound exercises. Six single-joint isolation exercises are not going do the trick. Sure, you can perform a few isolation exercises, but the majority of your exercise choices should be multi-joint.

7. Perform Total Body Workouts

First and foremost, you must drop the notion that a muscle group can only be trained once or twice a week. Fitness enthusiasts from the past didn't train that way and you shouldn't either. The more frequent muscle producing / fat burning sessions you can have, the better.

8. Cardio is not the cure-all for Obesity

Cardiovascular exercise aids in the creation of a caloric deficit, but the caloric expenditure during cardio is temporary. Strength training addresses the core of the problem by permanently increasing the rate at which the body burns calories by adding muscle. The best programs will include both strength training and cardiovascular training, but the core or the programs effectiveness is resistance training.

9. When you do cardio, do it first thing in the morning.

Do your cardiovascular training first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.  You’ve gone 8 or more hours without eating, so your blood sugar levels are at their lowest when you first wake up.  After about 10-15 minutes of cardio training on an empty stomach, you’ll have burned up all your remaining blood sugar.

Once your blood sugar is used up, the only remaining source of fuel your body has to continue with your cardio exercise is your stored body fat.

10. Vary your pace during your cardio training sessions.

Don’t maintain a constant steady pace while you’re on the treadmill or elliptical machine.  Numerous studies have shown you’ll burn more calories and more fat if you train in intervals.

Start out by going for 1 minute at your normal walking pace.  Then, for the next 30 seconds, speed it up to a run.  After the 30 seconds at an increased pace, slow back down to your original pace for 1 more minute.  This is known as an interval.  Repeat this interval style cardio for 10-20 minutes.

Performing your cardio in this “interval” fashion will allow you to burn more fat and calories in less time than just keeping a nice steady pace.  This will increase the results you see while reducing your time on the treadmill, stationary bike, or whatever form of cardiovascular training you do.

10 Steps to Fat Loss

1) Calculate how many calories you body needs to consume to maintain your existing weight. This is called you maintenance calories.(Search Google with "calorie needs" and you will find a few different calculators to help you with this)

2) Initially deduct 10%(to a maximum of 500Kcal)off the total maintenance calories. Drastically reducing your calories will result in muscle and water loss - not fat loss.

3)Divide you calories over 5 or 6 meals rather then 2 or 3. You should aim to eat every 3-4 hours.

4)Cut out all simple carbohydrates (except straight after exercise, eat whole grain, high fibre foods.)

5) Exercise at least 3 times a week, doing 30 minutes of cardio to a reasonable level of intensity. This will help to create the calorie deficit and encourage your body to lose fat.

6)Make simple replacements in your diet, Sweetener in place of sugar, diet drinks in place of full sugar drinks, use leaner cuts of meat etc. At first these changes may be difficult but you will get used to them and make vital calorie savings every day.

7) Drink plenty of water - at least 2 litres of water every day - if you are dehydrated you body will be less efficient and will make fat loss more difficult.

8) Try to eat low carb(complex only!), low fat and moderate protein. From my experience the South Beach Diet is excellent.

9)Keep a food diary to monitor how many calories you are consuming - it is very easy to over eat.

10) Supplementing you diet can make fat loss easier. A diet high in protein can help preserve muscle (more muscle means an increase in metabolism). There are also some fat loss supplements available which help boost your metabolism, this is useful as your metabolism may slow during extended periods of dieting.

This article is written from my own experiences. I have lost 20lbs of fat and gained 20lbs of muscle. My body fat is 11%. Please consult a doctor for proper medical advice.

10 Secrets to a Fit Family

It's no secret that many parents and their children are overweight. These 10 simple ‘secrets’ can help you change your family's lifestyle so that you can all become fit and healthy.

1) Eat Whole Grain Foods

Processed and refined grains, such as white bread, white rice, cereal, pasta, and other foods made with white flour have a high glycemic index, low amounts of fiber, and less vitamins and minerals as foods made with whole grains. Making the switch to whole grain foods, including whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta, brown rice, and cereals made with whole grains, are an easy and healthy way to make your family's diet more nutritious.

2) Limit Soda and Fruit Drinks

Soda and fruit drinks have low nutritional value and a lot of calories. At about 150 calories per 12 ounce serving, your kids will gain an extra pound about every 3 weeks if they drink just one can of soda each day.
Cutting back or eliminating soda, fruit drinks, and even fruit juice, can be a good way to get rid of a lot of extra calories and leave room for your kids to eat more nutritious foods.

3) Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Most children don't eat enough fruits and vegetables and that usually means that they are eating other less nutritious foods. With a high fiber content and lots of vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. And because they have lots of water in them, eating fruits and vegetables can help you to feel full and satisfied so that you don't overeat.

4) Eat More Foods with Calcium

A common mistake people make when trying to lose weight is that they stop drinking milk, eating cheese and yogurt. Calcium is important to build healthy bones and to help you lose weight. You should encourage your kids to drink low-fat milk, eat portioned amounts of cheese and yogurt to help lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.

5) Be More Active

Everyone knows that part of the cause of the current obesity epidemic is that people are much less active then they used to be. Getting kids involved in organized activities, which can be either team or individual sports, and cutting back on the amount of time in front of the TV, computer and playing video games will burn calories and improve fitness levels.

Family activities are also a good way to be more physically active. Even simple things, like walking across a parking lot, using stairs, and going for short family walks or bike rides, can make a big difference.

6) Know Where Calories Come From

While you don't necessarily need to do daily calorie counts, keep a diary of what your family eats for a few days can help you see where extra calories are coming from. Are your kids overweight because of the calories they get from a bedtime snack or those two glasses of Kool Aid or soda he drinks? Or maybe because his portion sizes are too large?

If you know where your kids' calories are coming from, you will know where to make changes and how you can cut back, especially on foods that have a lot of empty calories.

7) Learn About Carbs

Carbs get a bad wrap, especially with all of the proponents of high protein diets, like the Atkins and South Beach Diet. Not all carbs are created equal. While it is a good idea to avoid foods that have refined such as white bread, foods made with white flour, and foods and beverages sweetened with sugar, other carbs should be part of a balanced diet.

Instead of avoiding all carbs, just learn about how to choose foods with ‘good’ carbohydrates, which includes fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grain foods.

8) Learn About Fats

Like carbs, there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fats. Instead of making the mistake of trying to stick to a low fat diet, and simply substituting other foods that are often just as high in calories, you should eat foods that have ‘good’ fat in them. This includes foods with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. On the other hand, you should avoid saturated fats and trans fats.

9) Choose Healthy Meals when Eating Out

Even if your family eats healthy at home, if you eat super-sized fast food meals a few times a week, they are probably still at risk for becoming overweight. If you eat out a lot, review the nutritional facts of the restaurant's menu and watch your portion sizes. Calories and fat quickly adds up when eating out!

10) Stay Motivated!

Most people know what they need to do to be healthier however, eating healthy and exercising is not easy.   Education about the specifics of a healthy diet, getting the whole family involved, and setting goals, can help your family stay healthy and fit.  Hire a personal trainer or seek the counsel of a dietitian to keep you on the healthy track.

10 Real Life Diet Tips

Are you tired of diet tips handed out by someone with apparently unlimited income and time? For some of us, it may just not be practical to spend half of our Sunday preparing carefully portioned meals for the rest of the week, or financially feasible to buy all our meals prepackaged in just the right portions. And there are those of us who cringe at the thought of weighing food to achieve 'optimal portion sizes'. Here are ten real life diet tips for the rest of us.

1. Eating out? Restaurant portions tend to be enormous, and if it's on the plate, we tend to eat it. If it's possible, order from the kid’s menu, where portions are more reasonably sized.

2. Keep healthy snacks around and easily accessible. A bowl of fruit on the kitchen table, a container of celery or carrot sticks in the refrigerator, or a couple of pop-open cans of fruit salad in your desk at work will help you grab for something healthy when those first hunger pains begin. In other words, you'll be more likely to grab something low-calorie and good for you if it's easy to eat.

3. Substitute frozen vegetables for canned. Canned veggies tend to be high in sodium, which you don't need, and low in real nutrition, which you do. Buy economy size bags with zip closures to make it easy to pour out a single serving for a meal.

4. Buy a vegetable steamer. Steaming is one of the healthiest ways to cook vegetables. The food retains nearly all of its natural nutrients instead of leaching it out into the cooking water. Even better, it makes your veggies taste great - which means you'll be more likely to eat them instead of filling up on fatty foods that pack on weight.

5. Never eat standing up. One of the easiest ways to sabotage your diet is to 'eat without thinking'. Treat eating with the respect that it deserves. Fix yourself a plate. Sit down and eat properly. You'll be less likely to just pop food into your mouth without paying attention.

6. Spread your meals out. When you eat three meals a day, your body tends to store whatever it doesn't need right that moment. By adopting a 'grazing' habit, you'll keep your metabolism working throughout the day. Have a small breakfast, a piece of fruit with crackers or toast at mid-morning, a light lunch and an 'after school snack' mid-afternoon. Just remember that you're breaking up the same amount of food into smaller meals, not ADDING more food into your daily diet.

7. Grab a fruit juice or flavored water instead of soda. Soda is nothing but empty calories. No nutrients, lots of sugar. Instead, grab a bottle of 100% fruit juice, or water flavored with a spritz of fruit.

8. Drink water. Even the FDA recommends at least 8 full 8 ounce glasses of water a day to keep your body working right. When you're dieting, you should drink even more. It's not just that full feeling - water helps your body digest foods properly and cleans out your system.

9. Can't afford a gym membership? Make a pact with friends to exercise together. Make a date at least three times a week to play volleyball, take a walk or spend half an hour doing something active.

10. Skip the potato chips. Fatty snacks fried in hydrogenated oil like potato chips contribute fat and calories and not much else. Instead, grab a handful of dried fruit or a cup of yogurt for the same amount of calories and a lot more nutritional benefit.

10 Killer Tips For Rapid Weight Loss

In order to make the most of your weight loss program, finding the most effective ways to burn fat will maximize your results and minimize your waistline! Follow these 10 tips for fat burning if you want to lose weight and lead a healthier way of life.

1.) Drink More Water

One of the best weight loss secrets is to ditch the sodas and stick to water! Experts say you should drink approximately eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated and healthy. Instead of turning to calorie-laden or sugar-rich drinks, grab a refreshing glass of water. In addition to flushing toxins out of your system, drinking water encourages you to build muscle.

2.) Eat More Meals

A traditional three-meals-a-day plan just will not cut it if you are in the market to burn fat. Your body is not able to metabolize large meals and will quickly turn any excess into fat. Many experts believe you should eat six small meals a day. Be sure you cut back on your food consumption at each meal, or else you will be doubling your intake—and doubling your fat storage!

3.) Work Out with Weights

One great way to maximize the amount of fat you are burning is to add a weight program to your work out routine. Weight training will not only tone your physique, but will strengthen your body and improve your general health. Lifting weights will also burn calories and fat more quickly than traditional exercising, and it will also boost your metabolism.

4.) Choose Protein

Choose protein-laden foods for boosting your metabolism and enabling your body to burn fat rapidly. In addition to burning fat, consuming a protein-enriched diet will help you rebuild muscle after work outs and maintain leanness of that muscle. Wisely choose proteins for your diet. Take great care to pick proteins low in fat so you do not consume extra calories.

5.) Cut Calories Wisely

It may be tempting to drastically cut your calorie intake when starting a healthy lifestyle. Instead, use a step method when cutting your calorie intake to minimize risk. Reducing calories too quickly results in your body rapidly burning all available calories, which will lower your metabolism. Furthermore, you are more likely to maintain your healthy lifestyle through this step method.

6.) Reward Yourself

When it comes to successfully dieting to burn the most fat, be sure to reward yourself. Everyone has temptations and favorite treats—so allow indulgence. You will be less likely to cheat on your new diet if you grant yourself small rewards. If you are a chocolate lover, treat yourself to a small square of chocolate or single chocolate kiss each evening.

7.) Avoid Marathon Work Outs

The biggest mistake people make when looking to burn fat and lose weight is to have one long, extensive work out session. Instead, break up your work out plan into small chunks throughout the day. Take a brisk walk in the morning, enjoy a work out at lunch, and then exercise more in the evening. In addition to staying active all day long, breaking up your work out will better maintain your metabolism.

8.) Mix It Up

Choosing to engage in a variety of quality exercises will keep your interest and best allow you to maintain your goal of burning fat. Instead of doing the same exercises each day—mix it up! Opt to swim laps one day, jog another, and bike the next. Rotating your activities will not only allow you to experience a variety of athletics, it will also allow you to better tone your body.

9.) Skip Happy Hour

For those individuals who want to burn fat quickly, avoid alcohol. Rich in sugars and carbohydrates, alcohol is a calorie-rich substance. These empty calories can add up quickly and take away from necessary nutrients that should be included in your daily diet. Furthermore, alcohol acts as an inhibitor for burning fat, allowing your body to store it more quickly.

10.) Try a Low GI Diet

A low GI diet is an excellent method of burning fat quickly. This diet encourages individuals to consume high amounts of foods with low rankings on the Glycemic Index. These foods are nutritious and will aid your body in burning fats and calories at a quicker pace. This diet includes many of your favorite fruits, vegetable, meats, dairy, and grain products.