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5 Weight Loss Advice You Haven’t Heard Before May 10, 2012

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A Sneaky Way to Eat Less at Work

Take meal breaks away from your monitor. “What if I told you that eating in front of your computer makes you eat twice as much? It does! New research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that when participants were left in front of a computer video game with snacks for a 30-minute period, they ate twice as much as those who weren’t at a computer. What’s more, they remembered less about what they ate and were more likely to eat excessively as the day wore on. Step away from your computer, phone or TV to really savor what you’re eating, and stop when you’re truly full.”

A Revelation About How Corporations Trick Us into Gaining Weight

Beware of food-labeling loopholes that can cause you to lose track of calories or fat grams. “The makers of Pam cooking spray state on the can that a single [“fat-free”] serving size is a ‘1/4 second spray.’…The manufacturers of Pam aren’t trying to be funny. Instead, they’re taking advantage of what amounts to a ‘fat-free’ loophole in food-labeling regulations. As long as there is a half a gram or less of fat (or trans fat) per serving, manufacturers can label a serving as having 0 grams of fat! A can of olive oil spray, even when it contains 100 percent olive oil (which certainly has fat) can take advantage of this labeling loophole if the listed serving size is small enough. Coffee creamers that claim to have zero fat per serving may actually contain 40 percent fat, but if the serving size is listed as a teaspoon (which has less than 0.5 grams of fat)—an unrealistic serving size for many—it’s perfectly okay to claim zero fat. If one teaspoon has 0.4 gram of fat and you use a tablespoon, that’s 1.2 grams of fat—when you thought were getting none.”

The Calorie-Burning Trick to Practice After Every Lunch Meeting

Fidget in your seat. While annoying to coworkers, squirming and tapping can burn calories and even prevent them from turning into fat. “[In one study where 16 men were given 1,000 extra calories for 8 weeks, some gained as few as three pounds, some as many as 16.] Neither the volunteers’ basal metabolic rates nor prescribed activity levels could explain the observed differences in fat deposition among their volunteers. Instead, the Mayo Clinic researchers concluded that the differences in fat deposition must have been due to what they called non-exercise activity thermogenesis, abbreviated NEAT and known commonly as fidgeting. NEAT, the investigators explained, includes thumb twiddling, standing as opposed to sitting or lying down and other kinds of nervous twitching. They measured the calorie contribution of NEAT activities before and during the overeating trial … and found that the volunteers whose NEAT expenditures increased the most during the overeating phase deposited the least amount of body fat.”

The Advice on What to Do When Everybody Else’s “Safety Snack” Becomes Your Trigger Food

Identify which nutritionist-recommended, diet-friendly snacks are your weight-sabotaging downfalls—and dump them (a tip learned the hard way by David Kirchhoff, who’s not only the president of Weight Watchers but also a long-term member). “I have spent some time thinking about my triggers, and [here’s one] I’ll pull almost every time: hummus. I can pack away a third of my day’s calorie allowance in about five minutes of mindless munching. So how can I keep my finger off the trigger foods? For the most part, I need to say no—not because they’re bad foods, but because my brain has a bad interaction with them … I had to find a new crew of snack-food friends to keep me out of trouble. Here are some basic criteria: 1. They should take a while to eat. 2. They should look larger than life—that is, the food should occupy a significant amount of space and create the illusion that it is a boatload of food. 3. They should taste good and stay in my belly for a long time. So let me introduce you to [my replacement for hummus]: bean dip. [It] has a scary-good calorie value, because most brands are processed without oil. [And I] never, ever eat directly from the container.”

A Strategy to Outsmart the Nighttime Munchies

No carbs after lunch. “Carbs are forms of sugar, and sugar cues the pancreas to make more insulin, which in turn triggers appetite. The later in the day that you consume sugar, the more likely it is that you will get food cravings late at night. Late-night cravings are not a good thing! [So] aim for lots of protein and fiber after lunch. Snack on fiber, protein, vegetables and fresh fruits (not dried fruits). No or very low carbs, and those only if offset by even more fiber. Eat lean and green at night.”

5 SNEAKY WEIGHT LOSS TRICKS – You Could Lose Up To 5kg In 2 Weeks If You Do All Five! April 30, 2012

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Do you have 5kg or more that you need to lose? Have you been trying to achieve weight loss success, but it just seems too difficult and/or stressful for you to get the results you’ve wanted for so long? Well, in this article here I have for you 5 sneaky little tricks you can use that could help you easily and consistently drop stubborn pounds like crazy! Continue reading to learn more.

1. Have A High Protein Food With A Glass Of Water Before Meals – Doing this will firstly accomplish two things in regards to your overall health. First, you will be supplying your body with one of the best fat burning nutrients on the planet… and that would be protein. Second, you are supplying your body with the number one resource every human body needs… and that would be water. That being said, having protein and water before you eat your meals will also help you in being able to lose weight…

The way this will help is that protein not only helps in burning off fat and building lean muscle tissue, it also helps in curbing your appetite and making you feel fuller longer. Also, protein helps deter the absorption of bad fat from foods.

One recommendation I have for you in regards to protein before a meal is a protein shake. If you have one scoop of whey protein and an 8 ounce of glass of water before your meals, you’ll be amazed at how more satisfied you’ll feel, how much more energy (instead of feeling tired and sleepy) you’ll have after you’re done eating, and how much quicker you lose weight and fat!

2. Have At Least 3 Servings Of Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar (or ACV for short) is a very powerful drink that I highly recommend you include into your diet. The health benefits of this miracle drink is just nothing short of astounding! ACV is great for:

A. Quick energy boost.

B. To help with common illnesses.

C. Decrease inflammation.

D. Decrease pain.

E. Increase your metabolism.

F. Decrease hunger pangs.

G. And so much more.

For best results, I recommend that you have at least 3 servings every day (preferably before meals).

3. Add Salba To Your Meals – What the heck is Salba you ask? You know, I asked the same question when I first heard of this stuff! Salba is an amazing super food which is basically fine granulated seeds. You can add it to just about anything. The great thing about it (besides the amazing health and weight loss benefits) is that there is no taste to it, so you don’t have to worry about it taking away flavor from your favorite foods.

You can add it to oatmeal, yogurt, pasta, salads, and so much more.

What are the health benefits?

A. Improves heart and cardiovascular health.

B. Improves joint function and mobility.

C. Improves digestion and natural detoxification.

D. Reduces hunger pangs and cravings.

E. Provides natural energy.

Once I started using Salba, I noticed a pretty significant difference the first day… especially with having more energy and curbing my appetite.

4. Surprise Your Metabolism – As soon as you awake in the morning, roll right out of bed and do a quick high intensity circuit training routine for just 5 minutes. This quick 5 minute circuit training routine will shock your metabolism and get it running strong for the day.

An example of a circuit training routine you could do is 5 push-ups, 10 body-weight squats, 10 lunges, 10 jumping jacks, 10 burpees, and then jog in place for one minute.

5. Annoy Your Metabolism – To successfully lose weight and burn fat, your metabolism must be jump-started (as mentioned above), increased, and then it must be kept running strong throughout the day and night. So, what you want to do is to “annoy” your metabolism!

How do you do that?

Well, to keep pushing your metabolism to stay running strong, you have to consistently do the right things throughout the day in regards to nutrition. The best way to do this is to rotate your calories from the meals you eat around. By flipping your nutrients around, you are preventing your metabolism from recognizing a specific pattern. Because of this, your metabolic rate will not just increase, it will stay running strong throughout the day.

If you follow all 5 of those tips above, you could easily drop up to 5kg in 2 weeks time. All that’s left is for you to go on a natural program based around #5 above, incorporate a resistance training and cardiovascular training routine into your plan, get no less than 7 hours of rest every night, drink plenty of fresh filtered water daily, and stay 100% consistent!

Happy Mothers Day! April 23, 2012

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The Key To Diet Success April 21, 2012

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Better understand the one factor that is vital to losing weight and keeping it off

What comes to mind for you when you hear the word diet? If you’re like most people, you probably imagine eating carrot sticks, going to bed hungry, and giving up your favorite foods—and that’s why so many diets fail. Most people just can’t tolerate those kinds of restrictions for very long.

The more you try to eliminate your favorite foods, the more feelings of discomfort, deprivation and resentment build up. This can result in bingeing on all the foods you’ve been denying yourself, undoing all your hard work in a single day. But even if you can avoid that problem, are you willing to eat like a rabbit for the rest of your life?

Studies show that 95 percent of people who follow a highly restrictive diet to lose weight will put the weight back on when they return to “normal” eating again. So what’s the alternative? How do you manage to lose weight without eliminating the problem foods and problem behaviors that made you overweight to begin with?

The alternative is moderation —in your eating and, perhaps most importantly, in your thinking.

What is Moderation?
On the surface, moderation simply means avoiding extremes. It involves finding strategies and habits that can be maintained over the long-term, without cycling between one extreme and the other.
At a deeper level, moderation is a commitment to balance and wholeness. It is rooted in the recognition that each person has many different (and often competing) needs, desires, abilities, and goals. Living up to your full potential means finding ways to incorporate all of them into your decision-making processes and choices.
Practicing moderation in your weight loss program begins with practical strategies, such as counting calories, measuring portions, learning about your nutritional needs, and planning healthy meals. Achieving a reasonable rate of weight loss (about 1-2 pounds per week) by combining a tolerable calorie restriction with exercise is the moderate way to go. Fad diets, eliminating food groups, severely cutting calories and using diet pills are just as extreme as completely denying yourself foods that you enjoy.
The idea is to follow a healthy, balanced, and enjoyable nutrition and fitness plan that you can stick with—for life. There’s no “ending the diet” or going back to “normal” eating or anything that will cause you to regain the weight you’ve lost. When you reach your goal weight, all you need to do is gradually increase your caloric intake to a level where you can maintain your weight loss.

Sounds simple, right?
Like many things, it’s not quite as easy as it sounds. Chances are…you want results quickly. And you probably know that your current routine is problematic in one or more ways—too much fast food, sugar, or fat and not enough physical activity. Your natural inclination is going to be making big, sweeping changes to your diet and activity level right away.
In short, everything in you is clamoring for a very anti-moderate approach. You’re primed to play the extreme diet game, even though your odds of winning are less than five percent.

Moderate Your Thinking
To rescue yourself from your own impatience (and the clutches of the diet industry that feeds on it), you need to moderate your thinking. Here are two core concepts that will help you do that:

Concept #1: Food is not the enemy. There are no “good” or “bad” foods. True, some foods offer you a better nutritional deal than others. Refined sugar, for example, provides calories for energy but no other nutrients, while fruit is sweet but also provides vitamins and fiber in a low-calorie package. But refined sugar isn’t evil or bad—it can have a place in a healthy diet. It’s important to know what you need nutritionally and where you can find it, so you can take charge of balancing your needs for pleasure, nutrition, and fuel.

The Payoff: When you stop labeling foods as good or bad, diet or non-diet, you won’t feel guilty when you eat a food that isn’t on your “approved” list. Instead you’ll have more energy to learn about nutrition and improve your ability to make informed choices. And you won’t have to give up your favorite treats if you find ways to work them into your meal plans so they don’t interfere with your health goals. Without the guilt and deprivation, you’ll be able to break the pattern of cravings, emotional swings, and binges that defeats so many diets. Without all those “diet” rules to follow, you’ll learn to trust your own instincts and make good judgments.

Concept #2: Progress—not perfection—is important. To be successful, you don’t have to always make perfect decisions and have perfect days where things go exactly as you planned. If you eat more or exercise less than you wanted to one day, you can make up for it over the next several days if you want, or you can just chalk it up to experience and move on. Remind yourself that what happens on any one day is not going to make or break your whole effort. This is not a contest or a race, where every little misstep could mean the difference between winning and losing. It’s your life—and you’ll enjoy it a lot more when you can keep the daily ups and downs of your eating and exercise routine in perspective.

The Payoff: By refusing to be a perfectionist, you can take most of the stress out of weight loss. You’ll see small problems as what they are—very small problems, not major calamities that mean you’ve blown it. You’ll be able to find pleasure and satisfaction in the fact you’re learning as you go and doing a little better all the time. No more making things worse because your perfectionism caused you to write off the rest of the day or week after one little slip.


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Hopefully your program is off to a smooth start, and you’re happy with your progress so far. But for others who aren’t seeing results yet, it’s been a little more frustrating. Many dieters tend to make similar mistakes when trying to lose weight. But being aware of these mistakes—and making small physical and mental changes—will help you lose the weight and keep it off for good.

Here’s how:

Slower is Better
The first mistake dieters make is having unrealistic weight loss expectations. The SparkPeople program is set up to help you safely lose between half a pound and two pounds per week. Studies show that individuals who rapidly lose weight are more likely to gain it back. So if you’ve lost a few pounds this month—excellent! Don’t discount that because you see someone on T.V. losing 15 pounds in two weeks.

Everyone is Different
While some people lose a lot of weight in the first few weeks, others might not lose any weight for a few weeks. Although this can be frustrating when you’re doing everything right, it’s not a reason to give up. Sometimes it just takes a little while longer to see the results of your hard work reflected on the scale. Remember, eating right and exercising regularly have positive impacts on your health in many other ways, such as more energy, less stress, better sleep, and reduced risk of many diseases. You’ll receive those benefits—regardless of the number on the scale.

Weight Loss is Rarely Constant from Week to Week
Many people lose a lot in the first few weeks, and then their weight loss slows down considerably. It’s totally normal to have weeks when you lose more than expected, and weeks when your weight remains the same despite your consistent efforts. Our bodies are very complicated and don’t always cooperate with the estimates of how much we should expect to lose. People rarely lose a consistent amount of weight each week. Measuring your weight loss on a monthly basis can be a more accurate gauge of how well you are doing.

Weight Loss is Not Immediate
Cutting calories today (through diet and exercise) will not necessarily show up on the scale at the end of the day or even by tomorrow. Your weight can fluctuate from day-to-day for reasons that have nothing to do with your diet and exercise program. Much of this fluctuation is due to water and food intake. While your scale may show changes throughout the day, fluctuations that could be due to food & water alone are not permanent weight losses or gains.
Weighing yourself immediately after wearing a “sweat” suit, getting into a sauna, or finishing an intense workout might (or might not) show a loss on the scale. But that is temporary water loss that will come back after you rehydrate yourself by drinking. Remember—you’re trying to lose fat, not simply “weight” or water weight.
This is a good reason to not weigh yourself more than once a week.

Setbacks Are Normal
No one is perfect. You can expect to hit some bumps in the road, no matter how hard you’re trying. The important thing is not to let those bumps get you totally off track, but to learn from them and move forward.
The article ”1 Step Back, 2 Steps Forward”, located in the Motivation Resource Center, offers tips for dealing with setbacks, and Coach Dean’s message board post about staying motivated includes even more helpful advice.

Eating Less Isn’t Always Better
A lot of people assume that the less you eat, the faster you will lose. One of the biggest mistakes dieters make is not eating enough. Your calorie range is based on your current weight, goal weight, how aggressive your goal is (whether you want to lose weight quickly or slowly) and how much exercise you are doing. Your recommended calorie range might seem like a lot of food—especially if you are accustomed to fad, restrictive diets.

But if your body is not getting enough nutrients and calories (especially if you eat less than your recommended calorie range), your metabolism will slow down. This is called “starvation mode” because your body thinks it is experiencing a famine, so it starts holding onto every calorie you give it, making weight loss much slower or impossible, and weight gain more likely. That’s why it’s so important to eat within your calorie range. If you aren’t, you could be doing more harm than good.

Hopefully these tips will help you avoid many of the common pitfalls dieters face, and deal with the ups and downs of weight loss more easily. Hang in there! It’s not always easy, but you can do it!

Surprising Reasons You’re Gaining Weight April 4, 2012

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Find out common mistakes to avoid when you are trying to slim down.

Overdoing Artificial Sweeteners
If you want to lose weight, you should drink diet soda, right? Well, not necessarily…too much may have the opposite effect. Research shows that people who have diet drinks regularly may be more likely to gain weight and develop metabolic syndrome, a condition that includes having excess belly fat, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and insulin resistance. One theory why: Taste signals how many calories are in a particular food and helps your body judge how they should be used, explains Terry Davidson, PhD, director of the Ingestive Behavior Research Center at Purdue University in Indiana. Loading up on sweet drinks with no calories interferes with that signal, making it difficult for your body to determine how much you really need to eat.

Avoid It: Water is always an ideal choice, but you don’t have to go cold turkey on the diet soda. Limit yourself to one a day, and be careful not to compensate with high-calorie beverages like fruit juice or sports drinks.

Judging Fullness with Your Eyes, Not Your Stomach
One difference between the French (whose obesity rates are low) and Americans (whose obesity rates are rising) is that the French say they stop eating when they’re full. “We see the food in front of us, and we eat it.“We tend to eat for volume, not to be full.”

Avoid It: Use smaller plates—you won’t be able to fit as much on them, and chances are, you’ll eat less. Never eat from a carton or a bag, because you can’t gauge exactly how much you’re having. At meals, take a break when your plate is half empty, and think about whether you want to continue.

Not Recalibrating Your Eating Plan
As you lose pounds, your body needs even fewer calories to keep going (or maintain the weight loss). Unfair, we know, but the lighter you are, the fewer calories you need.

Avoid It: For every 10 pounds you lose, go to CalorieControl.org, type in your new weight and find out how many calories you need to either keep losing or maintain that weight. Also take a look at what you’re eating to see if you can get more caloric bang for your buck. Replace low-fiber foods and sugary snacks with high-fiber fruits, vegetables and whole grains; they’ll help you feel fuller longer for fewer calories.

Giving Up Fat and Replacing It with Carbs
“Over the years, our caloric intake has gone up almost exclusively due to carbohydrates,” says Jeff Volek, PhD, RD, a nutrition and exercise researcher at the University of Connecticut. “We’ve lowered the amount of fat we eat, but we’ve replaced it with simple carbohydrates—foods that are typically high in sugar and calories but lacking in other nutrients.” Simple carbohydrates like white breads and white pasta are digested quickly and stimulate your body to produce insulin, which can lead to weight gain.

Avoid It: Stick to healthy carbs and fats. That means complex carbs (including whole grains, fruit and vegetables) and monounsaturated fats (the kind found in fish, avocado and nuts, rather than the saturated fat found in butter, ice cream and mayonnaise). Pasta’s not off limits; just keep it to two or three times a week, limit your portion size (making it with lots of veggies helps make the serving look bigger) and go for the whole-wheat kind.

Having Syndrome W
When Harriette Mogul, MD, associate professor and director of research of adult endocrinology at New York Medical College in Valhalla, evaluated patients who were gaining weight at midlife despite dieting and exercising, she found they had elevated insulin levels. Several studies later, she has identified Syndrome W, a set of symptoms (including elevated insulin) that cause changes in your metabolism that make it hard to lose weight even if you’re active and eating healthy. “Women with Syndrome W usually have normal blood glucose levels but elevated insulin—and doctors don’t routinely test insulin unless you ask them to.

Avoid It: Women who have the classic and common version of Syndrome W are usually thin for most of their lives, but as they age, they start to put on weight only around their waists. (Some women with lifelong weight struggles also have it.) If you suspect you’re at risk, ask your doctor to test your insulin levels in addition to doing a blood sugar/diabetes/fasting glucose test. Dr. Mogul treats her Syndrome W patients with the diabetes drug Metformin, and a diet high in fruit and vegetables that limits carbohydrates to late in the day.

Expecting Too Much From Exercise
Who hasn’t thought, I just walked for 30 minutes, so I can have that piece of chocolate cake tonight. But remember this: “It’s much easier not to eat a candy bar than to burn 300 calories exercising,. “People frequently overestimate the calories they’re burning during exercise,” she says. For example, let’s say you walk for an hour each day (for the average 150-pound woman, that burns about 200 calories). That’s about half of the calories in a piece of chocolate cake—which you could all too easily eat.

Avoid It: “Focus on cutting calories, and think of exercise as a way to help you do that instead of looking at it as, ‘I did this much activity, so I can eat this many calories.

Always Doing the Same Workout
“Muscles have memory: They get used to your routine and don’t work as hard each time you do it, “This means that over time if you don’t change things up, you’ll burn fewer calories.” Another thing to add to your workouts: resistance training, whether it’s resisting your own body weight, or using resistance bands or free weights. It’s key to building muscle and boosting your metabolism, since muscle burns more calories than fat.

Avoid It: To boost your current workout, walk faster for 1 minute, then return to walking at your regular speed. Repeat this every 5 to 7 minutes. Also add resistance training to your usual routine two to three times per week.

Being a Motivated Eater
What would you do to get a snack? Get off the couch at 10 p.m., change out of your pajamas and drive through a frigid night to buy ice cream at the grocery store? Then you’re a motivated eater and it can be harder for you to resist indulging your cravings. “Non-motivated” eaters would rather not eat anything and just stay put on the couch.

Avoid It: Stop, drink, reevaluate. Next time you find yourself craving Ben & Jerry’s at midnight, have a tall glass of water (or seltzer or decaf iced tea) first. If you’ve still got a monster craving, have a small serving of your treat. Better yet, make it a lower-in-calories-and-fat version: ½ cup lowfat ice cream, one granola bar or cookie. And if you want to drive through a blizzard for ice cream, at least make yourself wait until tomorrow!

Eating Too Much Sugar
Sounds like a no-brainer—eat too much sugar and you’re sure to gain weight. But what if you don’t even realize how much you’re eating? It’s a real possibility these days, since so many foods—even ones you wouldn’t think need to be sweet—contain added sugars. The problem is that the more sugar you eat, the more you crave. Sugar can cause your blood sugar to spike; when it drops down again, you want more of the sweet stuff and can end up eating more calories.

Avoid It: Carefully read food labels before you purchase a product, and limit the ones with predominantly added sugars. Some of these include corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, honey and molasses. The higher up on the ingredients list the sugar is, the more of it there is in the product.

Women Weight Loss Tips March 28, 2012

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Are you tired of carrying around those extra pounds and looking for women weight loss tips? It seems like every time that you try to lose weight and look great more weight just comes right back on you. I understand that you may be feeling frustrated but there are some simple tips that you can do which will help you lose weight and make sure that it doesn’t keep coming back.

Many times it is very easy to get on a diet and then get right back off the diet. Whenever you get too extreme you may find yourself feeling as if you haven’t eaten in months and wishing for your favorite piece of cake or maybe even the whole cake. Therefore keep reading these women weight loss tips.

Women Weight Loss Tips – Get a Healthy Eating Plan
Dieting is extremely overrated and you should not go on a diet. I know that you must be thinking that I am crazy. Everyone seems to think that you have to go on a diet to lose the weight that you want to lose. This is not true.

If you really want to lose weight you need to get a health eating plan together. Diets take away things and forbid you from eating things. Healthy eating plans show you the good alternatives and don’t totally cut out your ability to eat some of the things that you used to love. Yes women, that means that you do not have to give up chocolate.

Whenever you are thinking about the different things that you could be doing better you need to make sure that you are giving yourself kudos for the things that you are doing good. If you are constantly beating yourself up you are going to get depressed and you will stop working on your healthy lifestyle.

Women Weight Loss Tips – Have The Right Attitude
As you are working to lose weight you should make sure that you have the right attitude. You need to talk to yourself and tell yourself that this is something that you enjoy doing and you are not being deprived. You also should not let your friends talk you out of your healthy lifestyle either. Many times people are jealous and will say things that will make you discourage. Don’t listen to anyone that is not giving you positive feedback about your healthy lifestyle.

As you are trying to think about things to eat you should eat things that are all natural. You shouldn’t go for all those processed foods. I understand that this can be difficult since there are so many processed foods that are available to us but you should keep a good look out for things that a healthy and haven’t been processed.

Women Weight Loss Tips – Drink Plenty Of Water
Drinking plenty of water each and every day is very important. If you do not consume enough water you may find yourself feeling sluggish and you could even pass out from this. If you are exercising you need to make sure that you take in even more water. Many people fail to do this because they forget that they are sweating out fluids.

These simple women weight loss tips will help you reach your women’s weight loss goals.

10 Tips On Maintaining Weight Loss….. March 19, 2012

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Have you recently lost weight and have questions on how to maintain weight loss? Congratulations, you should be very proud of yourself! Losing weight takes a lot of planning and discipline and MAINTAINING the weight loss can often be just as hard as it is to lose it. Here are ten Tips on how to maintain your weight loss and preserve the sexy!

1. Feed Your Habit
You probably learned how important it is not to skip meals and to eat small healthy meals or snacks every 5-6 hours to keep your metabolism going, right? Same rule applies here; you might be tempted to eat less often since you want to maintain your weight loss, but skipping meals can lead to overeating later.

2. Hide The Scale
There’s nothing more discouraging than hitting your goal weight only to step on the scale and see your weight go up. Your body weight fluctuates for a variety of reasons and it’s not fair to you to constantly weigh yourself and get frustrated. Instead of weighing in daily, keep a food and exercise diary to track your input and output and limit yourself to weighing in around once a week.

3. Keep Your Taste Buds Guessing
You might have certain foods you turned to for meals for convenience or preference but an important part of maintaining weight loss and health is to eat a variety of foods. Be an adventurous consumer and try out new foods like kale chips or goji berries. Try or make new healthy recipes to prevent boredom and to keep from turning to junk food. Check fitness blogs or websites like AWS for fun and healthy ideas!

4. Don’t Be Afraid of Commitment
Commit to your new way of eating and exercising to maintain weight loss. Even if you initially lost weight for a special event like a wedding, don’t let that event be your finish line. Continue eating right and exercising consistently and you’ll not only maintain your weight loss but you’ll feel the difference. Make a contract with yourself to eat healthy and exercise on regular basis, it really works!

5. Seek Support
Losing weight is hard to do solo and it can be doubly hard to maintain weight loss by yourself. Your friends and family have seen the result of all your effort and hard work, so get your best cheerleaders together to keep you on track. It’s easy to skip workouts or overeat and that’s an easy way for the pounds to creep back.

6. Get Moving
Don’t let workouts go to the bottom of your to-do list! Make sure you that you carve out time for workouts or find a way to incorporate short workouts during the day that adds up to 30-45 minutes of physical activity. In order to maintain your weight loss, make sure that your workouts are fun and include a variety of activity like cardio and weights. Try out a new class at the gym or play a new sport.

7. Limit Meals Out
It’s perfectly fine to go out for a meal occasionally, just don’t make it a regular habit. Restaurant meals have way more fat, sodium, and unhealthy carbs, not to mention much larger portions than a meal you would make at home, so keep your meals out to a limit. With meals at home, you know exactly what goes into your food and you can control portions so keep this in mind next time you’re debating getting take-out.

8. Beware of Cocktails And Mocktails
Alcoholic drinks, smoothies and fruit juices are high in calories plus have little nutritional value and won’t satisfy you like a healthy snack or water. You don’t have to swear off all alcohol and juice, just be sure to limit your intake and choose wisely. Swap your regular mixed drink for a white wine spritzer or regular beer for light beer; it’ll make a huge difference in calories!

9. Be Aware And Exercise Caution
Be aware of what foods trigger you to overeat and exercise caution when it comes to portions. If you know that you can’t just have one bite of dessert or you go nuts eating pasta, make a plan of attack. Eat one serving and wait 15 minutes before going for seconds. Eating slowly and waiting will help you differentiate between hunger or a craving.

10. Plan for Success!
Having a plan is imperative for success in weight loss maintenance. Your plan should include an eating plan, workout plan, and goals. Remember you lost the weight, you can definitely maintain it! Identify goals, reward yourself and keep focused on your new lifestyle, not just a number on the scale. You can do it!

Weight loss maintenance can be hard but definitely not impossible. You put a lot of hard work into your initial weight loss so don’t let life’s little curveballs deter you from reaching your goals and MAINTAINING your weight loss! You can do it!

10 Easy Ways to eat less without noticing March 11, 2012

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What you eat is important, but even healthy food can stop you from losing weight if you eat too much of it.

I never recommend extreme calorie restriction (most people aren’t very good at it anyway), but there are some tricks you can use to slightly reduce the amount of food you eat without feeling deprived, or even really noticing.

Your brain is easily fooled by shifts in perspective. It’s also more responsive to external cues like an empty plate, than internal cues like a full stomach. Understanding these influences can show you how to tilt them in your favor.

Usually we eat more than we should because of the mindless margin, but you can use the same principles to subtly influence your behavior and mindlessly eat less.

Over time this calorie difference can help you drop weight. It’s slow, but it’s steady. And best of all, it’s painless.

1. Use smaller plates

A full plate sends the signal that you’re eating a full meal and a partially full plate looks like a skimpy meal, regardless of the actual quantity of food.

Using smaller plates and filling them up is a proven way to eat less without noticing.

2. Serve yourself 20% less

The mindless margin is about 20% of any given meal. In other words, you can eat 80% of the food you’d normally eat and probably not notice, so long as no one points it out to you. You could also eat 20% more—not a bad idea if you’re scooping vegetables. If you have those smaller plates mentioned above, serving yourself a little less should be just as satisfying.

3. Use taller glasses

Just like less food looks like more food on a smaller plate, height makes things look larger than width, even when the volumes are the same.

You can cut down on your liquid calories by choosing taller glasses rather than shorter, fatter ones.

4. Eat protein for breakfast

People love to hype breakfast eating as a miracle weight loss cure, but only breakfasts high in protein have been proven to suppress appetite and reduce subsequent eating throughout the day. Skip the waffles and head to the omelet station instead.

5. Eat three meals a day

I bet you thought eating many small meals was better than eating three bigger ones throughout the day, but the data tells us otherwise. Though skipping meals can make controlling your appetite more difficult, eating more than three meals a day has not been shown to have any benefit, and may even be worse for appetite control.

Eat when you’re supposed to and you shouldn’t need any extra food.

6. Keep snacks out of sight or out of the building

Study after study have shown that people eat a lot more when is food visible rather than put away where it can’t be seen, even if they know it is there. Research has also demonstrated that the harder food is to get to, even if the extra effort is just removing a lid or walking to the cabinet, the less likely you are to eat it. The work extra forces you to question the value of your action, and this gives you the opportunity to talk yourself out of a decision you may regret later.

To avoid extra snacking keep tempting foods out of sight, or better yet, out of the house. On the flip side, keep healthy foods prominently displayed and easy to reach.

7. Chew thoroughly

Since I’ve been paying more attention to eating speed, I’ve been horrified to observe that most people don’t chew. If you’re one of those guys who chews the minimum number of times before swallowing or shoveling in another fork full, chances are you’re eating substantially more at every meal than your thoroughly chewing peers.

Slow down, chew each bite (counting your chews can help develop the habit) and watch as you fill up faster on fewer calories.

8. Don’t eat from the package

Your stomach can’t count. When you can’t see how much you’re eating you’re more than a little likely to lose track and consume double or even triple the amount you’d eat if you took the time to serve yourself a proper portion. Use a plate, or a bowl, or even a napkin, just make sure you get a good visual of everything you’re going to eat before taking your first bite.

9. Don’t eat in front of the TV

For the vast majority of us, distracted eating is overeating. The end of a show or movie is another powerful cue signifying that a meal is over, so parking in front of the TV with your plate for a Battlestar Galactica marathon is probably not the best idea. With the invention of DVR, there’s no reason you can’t take twenty minutes to sit down and have a proper meal before enjoying your shows.

10. Don’t pay attention to health claims

But wait, isn’t healthy food supposed to be better for you? In theory, yes. But truly healthy food—vegetables, fruits an other unprocessed foods—rarely have labels at all. Instead foods with health claims tend to be processed junk repackaged as better for you alternatives.

Even worse, research from Wansink’s lab has shown that people drastically underestimate the calories in foods with visible health claims on the packaging. People also tend to eat more food overall as a result of this miscalculation. He refers to this effect as the “health halo,” and it’s a recipe for packing on the pounds. For real health, stick to humble foods without labels.

Bob Greene Reveals the Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Workouts February 28, 2012

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Starting to feel like your workouts aren’t working? Here’s what you might be doing wrong.

You’re De-Stressing Between Sets

Chilling out between weight sets is one of the most common mistakes Bob spots at his boot camps and the gym. To increase strength, you need to do your second and third sets of 8 to 10 reps with slightly fatigued muscles. If you have enough time to vent to your workout partner, then your muscles have enough time to recover. Instead of taking a break, Bob suggests, take a brief “pause” that lasts for just 15 to 30 seconds. “Any more than that and you’ll lose the benefit you gained from the previous set,” he says.

You’ve Devoted Yourself Exclusively to Bikram Yoga

Since ditching the gym for the yoga studio, you may have improved your flexibility, but Bob says your cardio has probably slipped, and your overall fitness level may not be as high as you think. Bikram can’t provide the perfect workout—and neither can running, cycling, swimming or any other activity you do exclusively. In his book 20 Years Younger, Bob found that the people in the absolute best shape were those who switched between three to five different exercises each week. That’s the best way to work as many muscles as possible and avoid injuries from overuse, he says.

You’re Obsessing Over Your Biceps

Bob often sees people lingering over super-slow biceps curls and then complaining that they don’t have time to work other parts of their arms. “Biceps are one of the least functional muscles for real life,” he says, pointing out that we rely more on our triceps for putting boxes on shelves, pushing up out of an office chair or reaching into the back seat of a car. He recommends mixing popular biceps exercises with moves that work the triceps, shoulders and back.

You’re Not Obsessing Over Your Abs

Although everyone covets a six-pack, Bob says that the core tends to be the most underexercised part of the body. After 30 minutes of cardio, 20 of weights and 10 more of stretching, who has the time? But Bob says the abdominal muscles stabilize the body and protect the back, and they’re key to preventing injuries and taking a workout to the next level. Experts estimate that as many as 80 percent of us will experience back problems at some time in our lives, so it’s worth making time for planks and other core exercises.

You Think That Taking the Stairs Replaces the StairMaster

Bob is always fielding questions about getting fit on the go or maximizing calorie burn during the workday. While he strongly recommends squeezing in activity whenever and wherever we can, it’s important to remember that small changes like standing while talking on the phone are meant to help compensate for our increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Walking up one flight of stairs can’t replace 30 challenging minutes at the gym. Bob says that to lose weight and get in great shape, you need to squeeze in at least five vigorous workouts a week.

You’re as Addicted to Your New Fitness App as You Are (or Were) to Angry Birds

Tracking your workouts can be highly motivating, but with advanced apps that let you monitor every step, bite and sip and then compare your progress with your friends’, this can turn into an addiction where the goal is to get the best score, not necessarily the best workout. Bob suggests taking a look at your fitness goals (to lose weight? to finish a race? to develop more muscle?) and making sure that your app is actually the best tool for achieving them.

You’re Counting Bars and Sports Drinks as “Energy” Instead of Food

You may not realize that the high-carb energy bar you stashed in your gym duffel has 250 calories. Bob says it can take as much time and effort to work off one of these sports snacks as a candy bar. Adjust your total calorie consumption and your workout time—or eat half the bar.

15 Minutes into Your Workout, You Still Feel Fantastic

One of the best ways to break out of a plateau is to increase the intensity of your workouts, says Bob, but this may not be easy. To find out if you’re working hard enough, imagine a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 being how you feel at rest, and 10 being an all-out sprint to the finish line. Aim for a 7 or 8, where you’re breathing heavily and not able to comfortably carry on a conversation. So if you feel as though you could keep going forever, it’s time to crank it up.

Your Favorite Machine May Be a Slacker

Not all machines are created equal. For example, Bob says, you get the most challenging elliptical workout from machines that force you to lift your knees as if you were running (instead of letting you slide your feet back and forth) and that have arm handles with at least the same amount of resistance as the pedals. Other machines that take your workout to the next level: stair climbers with real steps, spin bikes that are sturdy and offer a smooth ride as well as a wide range of resistance settings, and stationary bikes with moving arm handles and wind resistance.