11Feb
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Dangers of Eating too Few Calories

Many people fall victim of eating too few calories. They think it is the right thing to do to lose weight. After all, less calories in have to be a weight loss on the scale, right?  They reduce the calories to around 1000 a day. Then, when they see results they think if 1000 calories mean I will lose four pounds a week, then 500 means eight a week. Then, when reducing to 500-600 a day, they plateau. This is known in the fitness community as the Starvation mode. Some claim it is a myth others swear it is true.

Not debating if starvation mode is a myth or true, one thing is true, and that is when you eat to few calories, you will have a difficult time losing weight. Many people will notice once they increase their calories, even by 100-200 calories per day, they will start to see a loss.

Experts suggest the best method to determine just how many calories one needs to eat in order to build muscle yet lose weight is to use your basal metabolic rate(BMR). To find this number, one can find a calculator online.

Once you find your BMR number, you can either eat this many calories a day plus your activity calories or you can eat you BMR plus 10% for sedentary activity or 20% for active lifestyles. You should eat the same amount of calories each and every day.

The nutrition ratios should be 40% protein, 40% carbohydrate and 20% fats. This is also known as the zone. This macro nutrients ratios allow you to have a clear mind, yet reduce the carbs and increase protein to keep you full and satisfied.

Many people who claim they have been plateaued for one, two or even six months with no weight change, the answer is either to few calories or not enough activity. It takes some experimenting to get that perfect calories for your body. All it takes it a starting point and increasing or decreasing from there until you lose weight well.

Losing weight can be a frustrating, yet rewarding experience. You will learn things about yourself you never knew. You will learn that you are so much stronger than you ever thought you were. One thing is certain, if you truly change your diet, you will never go back to eating poorly again.

10Dec
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Kickboxing: The Ultimate Cardio Workout

Kickboxing is one of the newest trends. The reason it is so popular is it is so much fun. Who doesn’t like punching, kicking, twisting and getting out aggression build up through our daily lives. Experts claim that kickboxing can also help you burn tons of calories, up to 700 per hour for the average 150 pound woman. This number will go up if you weigh more. So the question is, how do you begin a kickboxing workout?

Technique of Kickboxing

Kickboxing combines the techniques of boxing and all forms of martial arts. It uses jabs and counter punches like in boxing. It uses front and side kicks, you would see in martial arts. Completing these exercise will deliver a total body workout. It will place your heart rate in the zone which will cause you to burn a lot of calories.

Shadow Boxing

Shadow boxing is when you visualize an opponent in front of you. Kickboxing classes use this technique often. You would deliver punches, jabs, and kicks to the opponent. The most commonly used shadow boxing routine is a jab, punch, cross punch, and front kick. The classes usually will have music in the background. It will be high energy music that will encourage you to move.

Heavy Bag Workout

Another way to develop your kickboxing skills is to use a heavy bag. You would punch, jab, kick the bag as you would an opponent in the ring. In order to use a heavy bag, one must first use the right athletic shoes and gloves to protect your hands. During the workout, you can deliver a series of kicks or jabs. You can practice the roundhouse kick to the bag or a front kick. The bag will help you see if your technique needs improvement as well as improve your footwork and endurance for a fight.

Strength Training

One cannot ignore the importance of strength training if you want to be a successful kick-boxer. Most kick-boxers will use pushups to tone their shoulders, arms and chest. Another exercise used very often in kick boxing class is a squat combinations. It is common to see a squat punch combination be used. Squats will help tone gain strength in your legs and glutes. In fact,many say squats when combined with weights for your arms, are a total body exercise. Another way to implement strength training in your kick boxing routine is to use weighted gloves when doing heavy bag workouts. This will add one more pound of resistance to each one of the jabs and punches.

Kickboxing is a fun exercise that for some will help shed weight, tone their body, and be a source of almost therapy for a highly stressful life. Kick boxing techniques will take time to master however , once you master them, it will be a sport you love. You may feel odd and awkward at first, but keep practicing, you will love it once you master the moves. Kickboxing can truly change you life in getting into shape and teaching you self control.

Five common Mistakes New Dieters Make

We’ve all been there. You decide you are tired of being fat. You are tired of nothing ever fitting you. You are dedicated to the change in your diet. You think it has to be successful. I am trying very hard right. There are things you may be doing that can harm your chance that the diet will be successful.

Skipping Meals

It is NEVER a good idea to skip a meal. Many people will skip either breakfast or dinner. They will say they can sacrifice the food in order to lose weight. What this does it triggers you metabolism to slow down and INCREASES the fat production. The best thing you can do is to eat every three to four hours throughout the day. When choosing your foods, it is a good idea to pick foods that are not only low calorie but are good whole foods.

Drinking fruit Juices or Soda

Let face it, many people believe drinking fruit juice is a healthy choice. Most commercial fruit juice is loaded with sugar. They are also packed full of added ingredients. Most of the time drinking a fruit juice is no different than drinking a regular soda. Many people also fall into the Diet Soda trap. They believe it is good for them because it has no calories. The complete opposite is true. It is terrible for you. It is full of fake nutrients and chemicals. Oddly enough, the better choice would be regular soda.

Changing Your Diet to Fast

This is one of the most common mistakes. You are excited. You decide I will lose 20 pounds this month. After all, on The Biggest Loser they lose 40 pounds a month average. You throw away all the junk food. You eat salads, veggies and fruits only. Then it happens. Late at night you binge eat. You will likely eat a lot of calories. The cause of this is changing your diet to fast. The way to avoid this is to first stop eating sweets or quit sodas. After you do that, tackle exercise. After implementing exercise, add more fruits and vegetables. Remember, losing weight is not a sprint race, it is a marathon.

Not Eating Enough Calories

Not eating enough calories is just as bad as eating to many. It is. What happens is if you live on say 600 calories a day for a extended time, you body will begin to breakdown. Not even debating the Starvation Mode myth, the fact is no one has a Basal Metabolic Rate of 600. It would be a minimum of 1200 most likely. In fact, a 9 month old baby needs more calories than 500-600 per day. The trick is learning which calories to eat and finding a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.

Choosing the Wrong Foods

It is not possible to feed a active body on junk foods. You would not be able to run a marathon if you eat pizza, cakes, and all the wrong foods. It is important you start feeding yourself as you are an athlete. Eat lean meats, beans, brown rice, spaghetti made with whole grain, and all the fresh veggies and fruits you can eat.

Changing your diet is never easy. It is best if done slow to insure a life change is completed. Stick with it and expect set backs. If you are consistent, you will reach your goal weight and be so much healthier when you get there. The three main focuses should be eat less junk food, eat more natural, whole foods and move your body much, much more often.

29Oct
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Non Scale Victories

When trying to lose weight, the scale victories aren’t the only one’s that matter. The non scale victories are just as important, possibly even more important than the weight dropping. The non scale victories are you feeling better, looking better, and fitting better in your clothes. So what is a non scale victory.

Losing inches

When you measure monthly, weekly or every few months, you will notice you are losing inches. Sometimes you may gain weight or even just lose a few pounds. This can cause some concern for person watching their diet unless they are measuring and seeing the numbers changing.

Clothes fit better

Your clothes will just fit better. Not only will they look better, they will look great on you.  You will look radiant in them and feel much more confident. It will show through. People will feel drawn to you and not be able to know what it is about you that is changed.

 Endurance is longer.

You are able to run longer. That impossible mile turns into two miles then three or five miles. This is a much bigger deal than losing five pounds. Running five miles without stopping is a huge step towards endurance and health.

 More Energy

You are no longer winded taking your kids to the park. You can run with them while playing. Now you can out run your dog in the walks. These are all great non scale victories. Having more energy is a health advantage. This is often a goal for people to have when starting the weight journey’s.

 Happiness

Finding yourself, and challenging yourself brings inner peace and happiness. You find you feel calm and peaceful about life in all areas, not just weight loss. Weight loss just becomes an added benefit. When you start thinking that health is the main focus and then weight loss becomes the added benefit then that’s when it becomes much easier to lose weight. No more watching the scale each day. Just become who you were meant to be, and watch the weight come off, it becomes effortless.

Life should be effortless. Breathing, laughing, loving, and being active should all be part of life. Life is all about loving yourself and and others. Part of loving yourself is learning that the weight loss journey is not about the actual scale but about non scale victories as well. When you learn to celebrate those victories, you are half way there.

22Oct
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Review of Calorie Counting Websites

Many of us are busy and use calorie counting websites or apps to either save time or save sanity, possibly both. Some of these sites with track your macros, or just calories.  Some of the sites will have a community that will have a friendship, that will help you along your journey. Challenges also help engage you and keep you going. The three main sites are Watchfit, Myfitnesspal, and Sparkspeople.

MyFitnessPal

We love MyFitnessPal. We’re there daily. I have a love hate relationship with the forums but the actually program is great. The mobile app is wonderful with a bar scanner that will scan mostly anything. The news-feed option is great. It will give a personal touch to the weight loss journey. Myfitnesspal has a data base of foods, exercise calories, and weight lifting activities. It is by far the most popular weight loss website.

Watchfit

The site is new and easy to navigate. The site has a place for personal trainer to advertise their services which is a added bonus for professionals. You can track you food, macros, create and participate in challenges, and create a blog. You can hire a nutritionist or personal trainer on site as well. The site is amazing. Our only suggestions is a mobile app and a bigger food database.

Sparkspeople

Sparkspeople is a much like Myfitnesspal with forums and a good app but the app is not as complete. The Sparkspeople site and app is not as popular and easy to navigate. One reason is it gives people to many calories to eat to lose more than 1 pound a week, experts claim.

There are other calorie counting websites like Livestrong, Calorie counting, Beachbody, and bodybuilding.com. The only way to see which one will work for you is to try it, and see. For me, a busy  person on the go, I need a mobile app to add food on the go or even at night when I am ready for bed, so a mobile app is a must. Try the one’s listed and let us know what your favorites are.

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”.

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.

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.

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.

22Aug
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Key factors in losing weight

Losing weight can happen with baby steps. There is no need to totally over haul your life in order to get healthy. There is no need to not indulge in your favorite foods once in a while. Losing weight does not mean you cannot have fun. It doesn’t mean you become someone else. Follow these simple steps to lose weight, easily and for good.

Drink More Water

One thing that is always true in the surveys is that obese people do not get enough water. The truth is most people today will confuse thirsty with hunger. The general recommendation is to water one to two glasses of water, and if still hunger after ten to fifteen minutes, then eat a small snack. Human beings need at least eight glasses of water a day. This is the minimum and the standard for an average sized person. The best way to know how much water to drink is to take your body weight and divide by two. That is how many oz you need daily.

Avoid Artificial Sweeteners, White Sugar, and Refined Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the foundation of most of the World’s diet. They should make up only 40% of our diet, yet in most parts of the world they make up at least 60 if not 75% of the diet. Think of the typical breakfast. One may see pancakes, syrup, hash browns ( or some other potato), oatmeal, and maybe eggs. In order to lose weight it must be balanced. A better choice would be eggs, turkey bacon, and oatmeal. Artificial sweetener is another bad idea. We have gotten used to the fact it is calorie free so we think it is okay to use it. Many people drink diet soda thinking it is healthy. A new study suggests that regular soda is much better for you than diet soda. Artificial sweetener is also a typical migraine trigger. This is important to know for those of you (myself included ) that suffer from migraine disorder.

Stay active

Exercise does not have to be hard. It can be fun. If you do not enjoy it, true is you will always find a way not to do it. Find an activity you enjoy. There are so many options. One can choose from jogging, aerobics, kick boxing, marital arts, walking, weights, circuit training, cross training, and bicycling. These are just a few of the options. I have used my daily activity by playing in the park with my kids. Or walking my dog. The options are endless. The important part is just being active. Get your heart rate up and keep it up.

Let’s face it, we all have reasons to quit. We have busy lives. What separates the dedicated from the others is they keep pushing through when life gets out of control. They keep trying new things. They will get up when knocked down. They will never quit trying even if they tried one million times. They believe they can succeed, the faith in themselves will help them achieve their goals.

Just for today say to yourself, “ I can do this”. Just for today believe you are a warrior. Just for today thank God for all that you have. To quote Buddha “ In order to choose the path to walk, you must first become the path”. Become that path, control your destiny. Become a fit person inside and out!