30Sep
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Self Love, Is it required?

Self love is not a new trend. It isn’t a hippy or yoga ideal. Self love is a requirement for one to achieve their goals in life. Without true self love and appreciation, there can be no real happiness. So what is self love exactly?

Self love is accepting yourself exactly as you are right now. That is not saying to yourself, “oh, I’ll love myself when I am 10 pounds, 20 pounds or even 100 pounds lighter.” That is not self love. Self love is loving who you are right now. Self love is looking fast your flaws and accepting yourself anyway.

Self love is knowing your worth and enforcing it in your relationships. What this means is not accepting or participating in toxic relationships. This is a huge problem for most people. People make excuses for the ones they love. You will often hear, “Oh, she’s like that”, or “ Once you get to know him, he is nice”. These are excuses to still participate in a toxic relationship. Self love would require that if you truly love yourself, you will separate yourself from those friendships.

Self love is falling in love with you. It is possible to fall in love with yourself. It is ideal according to the Buddhist teachings in fact. Think about it this way, when you fall in love with someone, you love everything about them. You vow to care for them. You will fight for them. You will do whatever it takes to be there for them and make time for them. Now, put that into practice for yourself. Do all those things for YOU.

Self love is a requirement to be successful in losing weight. One thing many overweight and obese people have in common is they do not love themselves. If they truly did love themselves, they would not feed themselves in such a way they gain so much weight or would they not care for themselves properly. In fact being morbidly obese in a very real sense is slowly killing yourself. That is not self love, in fact it is self hatred.

To practice self love, be kind to yourself. Learn to be your own best friend. Accept your flaws as part of what makes you unique. Most of all, praise yourself. Many people are in the habit of when receiving a compliment, they refuse to accept it. Learn to accept compliments. To go a step further, learn to compliment yourself without feeling guilt about doing it. If you follow these practices, you will learn to love yourself, genuinely.

26Sep
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Keep the Course

There is a group of people rarely addressed in many articles. They are the group that have been in the journey for some time, but lost their way. I am one of those select few. I have struggled for what seems like many months. I have developed a few tips to get you back to losing weight again.

Water, Water, Water

I cannot stress enough. Water. I will not tell you to avoid diet soda, as I struggle with this daily but, I do try my best to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. As a whole, dehydration is a big problem in this country. Many of us, myself included, will eat instead of drinking. This results in overeating instead of remedying the original issue, dehydration. My advice is if you eel hungry; first try to drink a glass of water. Wait, a few minutes to see if you are still hungry, and you are then eat something light.

No Food After 8 PM

I struggle often with eating late. I am a writer, so my hours can be very irregular. If I am not able to write in the day, I will write in the evening or night. This leads to me eating at the computer. I noticed it the other day after eating 10 chewy cookies. Yes, no typo ten cookies before I even noticed I was eating them. So I have implemented a rule, no eating after 8 pm. I am on day three.

Live by the 80/20 Rules

This is a rule, I have based my whole weight loss journey on. I promise to myself to eat well, 80% of the time. I allow myself to mess up 20% of time. This not only helps the cravings but, helps the guilt when I slip and eat junk. I have noticed much of my failures are impractical ideals I placed on myself. I have come to a place, 2 years in my journey, I need a sense of realism. I have to be real with myself. I have to figure out how to eat for the rest of my life and be able to maintain it.

I am confident in these rules. They are the basics of all weight loss program. I believe that if you would live by these rules, while being active, you will see at least one pound loss per week. I will continue to work at my journey. I will attain my goals. My main goal to inspire myself by achieving things I never dreamed possible and inspire others to do the same. Reach within yourself. You are so much stronger than you ever dreamed of. To quote the famous Shaun T “Dig Deeper”.

23Sep
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The Truth About Cardio

Many women and men fall into this trap of killing yourself in the gym or outside doing heavy cardio. Many women admit to doing up to two hours of solid cardio yet always feeling fat. They claim to eat a balanced diet; however cardio alone was not enough to change their body. So what is the correct way to use cardio?

Everyone need some cardio.

Cardio is great for you. It works your heart and makes you feel great afterwords. Its no wonder that women get nearly addicted to cardio sessions. We all need cardiovascular exercise to help keep our bodies healthy and working well. Cardio helps release toxins from your skin and sweat glands. It is a great tool but, is almost useless without using strength training as well.

How often should you do cardio sessions?

The general recommendation is cardio sessions to be at the most of 20 minutes three times a day to get the most out of cardio sessions and weight training. There is a term in the fitness world for those who only participate in cardio sessions. It is skinny fat. This is because their muscles are not toned or enhanced by using weight resistance. When you weight train, you are able to sculpt your body to look toned, lean and firm.

High interval training is best

The two news cardio crazes are High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or Cross-training. These allow you to get a workout, complete workout, in very little time. HIIT allows you to burn as high as 200 calories per 15 minutes depending on your weight. Most experts agree that short concentrated cardio sessions are best.

Cardio is great for you and is needed in order to stay healthy. However , too much of any exercise is not good for you. One must learn to balance their life evenly between a proper diet, cardio sessions, and strength training. When you get this figure out, the result is a toned, healthy, and fit body that you can be proud of.

19Sep
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I am Plateaued, WHY?

It happens to all losing weight. You are losing weight and suddenly, it stops. The scale may stay the same or even show a gain. You may be upset thinking, I am working hard, why would I gain? It is not time to panic, yet. It is however; time to look at your routines to see what you can change to start losing again.

Repeated Exercises

The body gets used to an exercise if you do it or longer than 6 weeks. This is why most of the exercises change ‘phases’ every few weeks. When your body gets used to the exercise, then you will no longer burn the same amount of calories. This applies to food as well. If you constantly eat the same foods, at some point, your body will not absorb the nutrients from the food. It is important to change your diet often.

Not eating enough or too much

This is dangerous zone. You must eat enough for to be able to feed your muscle growth. Not consuming enough is the number one cause for you to experience a plateau. Usually, it is enough to get out of the plateau to eat a few hundred more calories or not exercising as hard. This will get your body the signal to start burning fat again. At the time time, another reason for plateaus is eating too much. This is so easy to do. One reason this happens is because you don’t measure your foods. Studies have claimed people underestimate their calories by 500 and sometimes more. It is very important to measure, so the calories you log are accurate.

Over-Training

Overtraining is a big problem. Exercising to much puts unneeded stress on your body and signaling it to stop burning calories. It will also cause you to feel tired, lethargic, feel depressed, and maybe even injury yourself. The way to avoid over training is to exercise 5-6 times a week for one hour a time max. This will not put your body at risk for over training and will give you enough activity that you can burn enough calories to change your body.

Not Enough Sleep

Sleep is so important for all people from infants to elderly adults. It is especially important for those trying to lose weight. They need sleep to be able to build muscle and lose fat. In fact, studies have shown that those who have trouble with reoccurring plateaus may have the problem as a result of not getting enough rest. Experts’ advice all adults to aim to get from 7-10 hours of sleep each and every night.

Plateaus are very frustrating. Many times, you will feel like you don’t know why you are plateauing. Another reason it can be frustrating is you may be doing all the right things but still your weight does not change. If his happens the answer may be in the measuring tape. Measure your waist, arms, hips, and legs often so you know when there is a change. Plateaus do not last forever, if you experience one, hang in there, eat well, exercise and you will see a loss eventually.

16Sep
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Paleo Diet, Is it the newest Trend?

It seems lately everywhere you turn, someone is telling you about their new way of eating. They may refer to this way of eating as the Caveman Diet or Stone Age Diet. This way of eating on paper is simple. If the food is something that would have been available to a caveman, you can eat. If not, you have to pass on the food. A panel of experts examined this diet and found the diet to be a good sound diet, but may be hard to maintain long term. Simply put, it is not practical in modern times. So why are thousands, maybe even millions of people worldwide gravitated to this way of eating?

The reason this eating plan is so successful now is because it implements natural whole foods into the the diet. We can all benefit from more natural foods, however; where this diet lacks is not using grains. Grains if chosen wisely are not only a great choice to receive fiber but is a healthy way to receive carbohydrates. The fact that the creators of the eating plan removed many carbohydrates from the plan is why it is classified as a low carb diet, yet the creators claim is not low carb.

This diet is probably not great for someone who does not like fish. Sure, you could eat chicken or lean meat instead, but may not have the whole nutritional benefit. The point of using mostly fish is that this is what early cavemen ate mostly. Killing a cow or other animal was a lot harder work than fishing or gathering fruits or vegetables.

In conclusion, this way of eating is not for everyone. The way the eating plan is set up, it could lead to binging. The lack of complex carbohydrates may temporarily give the person a feeling of lethargy. Once they get used to eating less complex carbohydrates, the energy will return. This way of eating is for the dedicated and highly disciplined because it is hard to maintain. The best way to know if this diet is right for you is to try it out. Try the way of eating for three weeks. If it is not easy for you to follow or doesn’t fit in your lifestyle, try something new. Trying new things is a very healthy behavior.

12Sep
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Fail Proof Diet Tips

The fact is over 60% of Australians are overweight or obese. Because of this, the weight loss industry is one of the most successful industries in the country. Another fact is most diets do not work. The reason is, they only address the weight problem temporarily. Once the dieter returns back to her old eating behaviors, the weight will creep back on. So what will work to lose weight once and for all?

Water

Water is the key ingredient. Most Australians are chronically dehydrated. Many people confuse hungry with thirst. A person needs a minimum of eight glasses of water a day. This figure is actually based on the average person weighing about 70 kilograms. If you weight more, you would require more water. A good estimate of your water needs is to take your body weight and divide it in half. This is the amount of water in ounces you need to drink each day.

Protein

Protein is very important for those trying to lose weight. It will help you stay fuller longer and will help energize you during your workout. Protein is very important to consume after your workout to rebuild your muscles. Consuming enough protein will help relieve any muscle soreness. A well balanced diet includes a ratio of about 30% protein, 50 % carbohydrates, and 20% fat.

Move more

In order to lose weight, you do not need to train for a marathon. Walking even at 2.5 MPH is exercise. Another misconception is you need to exercise daily. It is true regular exercise is very important. Rest is also important. Without rest, your body will not be able to repair and build muscles. Not resting will lead to overtraining. Exercise smart. A good plan would include exercising two day in a row then a rest day.

Food Journal

Food journals are a vital part of being successful in weight loss. Often you hear someone saying, ‘I barely eat, whyam I fat?’ Once they start journaling, you see they eat cookies, cupcakes, granola bars, very little protein, and no water. No wonder they are not losing weight. Food journaling will help you figure out why you are not losing or why you are doing well. Journaling your food is one of the most important weight loss strategies out there.

Cheat Meals

Cheat meals can be so beneficial if planned into your weekly calorie goals. They can help keep you focused and reduce your need to binges and reduce your cravings. A planned cheat meal is very different than a binge. A cheat meal would be pizza hut or maybe Boston Market. A binge would be pizza, plus brownies, and more. Binges are not healthy. It involves losing self-control. A planned cheat meal with help keep you focused and leave you excited for your next cheat meal the following week.

Losing weight does not have to be difficult. Much of the journey is reprogramming your mind to not participate in bad behaviors. For example, choosing to drinking water instead of Coke, and fruit instead of cookies. Once you win the battle in your mind, the weight will easily fall off.

Is Strength Training Right for You

Nowadays, you get to find people doing a lot of aerobics and cardio training just to keep them fit and equally maintain good health. Engaging in these activities for the sole purpose of staying fit and healthy is very good, but have you ever asked yourself if that is all it takes to stay healthy and still maintain a perfect body. Would these activities alone help you achieve that perfect body you are looking for? Do you think there could be something you are not doing? As an answer to these questions, results arrived from research conducted by health specialists have indicated that strength training is and should be a part of staying fit and staying healthy

Strength training helps you maintain your weight

This is one fact not too many people are aware of. When you engage in strength training, you gain muscles obviously, the muscle gain enables you have a much bigger body surface mass, which in turn makes you burn calories faster. In other words, you are able to lose more weight and control your added body mass when you do strength training.

Strength training increases your energy

Strength training helps you gain lean and toned muscles. The more your muscles are toned, the easier it will be for you to carry heavy loads and still maintain your balance. Your muscles are more compact after a normal workout, giving you a better stamina, which is always evident in your outward appearance.

It reduces the risk of sustaining injuries

When you engage in strength training coupled with other muscle toning exercises, your joints receive repetitive strain which helps them stay flexible. This way, you are more balanced, thereby reducing the risk of falling at the slightest push and sustaining unnecessary injuries.

Your bones get stronger

When you do a typical strength training workout or muscle building as the case may be, you give your bones the opportunity to increase in density. The continuous strain and stress laid upon the bones and muscles during strength training, helps to make the bones a lot stronger than normal. The more you do this, the more you reduce the possibility of increased dependence when you eventually become old.

The fact is strength training will compliment any exercise routine. It will help you attain your fitness goals faster and help you gain muscle tone. You will not appear to be just skinny or thin, you will look fit, toned, and let’s face it sexy.

Simple Steps to Lose Weight

Many people are trying to lose weight. In fact, the weight loss industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. It generates billions of dollars in revenue each year. From diet pills to exercise videos, it seems everyone wants to try the newest trend. So how can one go about losing weight not only simply but for good.

Water is so important. One of the most common issues that obese people have is not drinking water. Many of them will only drink juice or carbonated drinks. Our bodies are mostly composed of water. People need a minimum of eight glasses a day. The correct way to figure out how much water you need is to divide your current body weight by two. The result is the amount of water you need in ounces.

Processed foods are another big issue for those trying to lose weight. They will often get sucked into the fat free or sugar free scams. They will believe diet coke must be good for you after all it is calorie free. They often will use chemicals and toxins in the food to replace fat or sugars. The bottom line is that if the food doesn’t come from the ground, have a mother, or a natural product, do not eat it. Processed foods are the number one reason that people are obese according to the experts.

Portion sizes are a big issue amount most overweight people. They have no idea that there ‘serving’ of cereal is actually two, three, or even four servings. Getting the right serving sides takes just a few minutes of your time. All you need is a measuring cup. Measuring the cereal, rice, potatoes, and other foods is critical to your weight loss results.

The last step is to be more active. You can start small and build on it. For example, start walking or taking stairs. If doing push ups are to hard, do wall push ups. If complete sit ups are to difficult, try crunches. Everyone starts somewhere. There is a famous quote from Jillian Michaels, the American celebrity trainer that states, “you do not have to be great to start, but in order to be great, you first must start.”

If you implement these simple steps to your life, I am sure you will see the pounds come off. Losing weight is a simple equation of calories in must be less than calories burned. However, it is still up to use to chose those calories we eat wisely. You cannot fuel your body to run well unless you eat the right natural foods. Eating healthy is not a trend, fad, or diet. It is a lifestyle. The truth is you will get out of it what you put into it.

The Skinny on Heart Rate Monitors

Heart rate monitors are a very neat little device. They can tell you exactly how many calories you have burned. There are so many models that there is one for everyone. They can be a great tool for losing weight or blasting fat off your body.

Heart rate monitors come in chest strap models and touch models. What this means is you can have continual monitors through a chest strap or just touch the watch to get your heart rate. To apply the chest strap, you simply apply water or a lubricant to the electrode side of the strap and wrap around your pectoral area. The monitor will pick up your heart rate constantly. The touch heart rate monitor is used by touch the metal part on the front of the watch. After a few seconds the watch will give you your heart rate. It will use this information to calculate the calories burned.

In order to set a heart rate monitor up you need to input information about yourself in the watch so it can accurately display the calories burned. You will need to put your height, weight, age, gender, and target heart rate zone. There are some models that will let your input a VO2Max. Those models are suppose to be the most accurate.

Heart rate monitors are not required to lose weight, but they sure do help. They will tell you if you are working hard enough in your workout. It will tell you the estimate of calories you need to add to your diet for that day if you eat your calories back after exercising. Some models will also tell you your steps you take each day. This will assist you in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The most popular heart rate monitors are Polar models, Timex models and Reebok Models. They all feature back strap and touch models. Timex has a model that is a pedometer and heart rate monitor in one. It will tell you your total calories burned through out the day, which is neat feature. Another popular device which is not technically a heart rate monitor is a Fitbit. This device will track steps, stairs, and sleep patterns. It also will sync will Myfitnesspal website.

In closing, a heart rate monitor or pedometer is not required but does help make losing weight a little easier. It takes the guesswork out of calories burned in exercise which help you not over estimate or under estimate your calorie burned. If the price of about 75$USD is to steep for your budget, consider giving yourself 50 cents to 1$ each time you exercise. It could only take two months this way to save for the water/pedometer.