Motivational Tips to Achieve Weight Loss

missing-motivationYes, even I have trouble staying motivated at times. It’s very easy to just ‘fall off the wagon’ and get back into our bad habits. It’s always easier to do nothing but sit around watching TV or to order out or make a meal from a box. It’s just easier…and that’s why we go back to it.

So what can we do to make it worth it to stay motivated? Here are some ways to help you get started or get back on track. Remember, sometimes all you need to do is take baby steps…

1. Set a goal. Just one goal. Set a deadline for that goal and when you achieve it, set another…remember, I said baby steps. By setting a goal, you know in your head what it is that you want. You should put it down on paper and read it daily and maybe even a couple times a day. Eventually it will be a part of you and all you will be able to think about is achieving that goal!

2. Set a Reward. How do you want to reward yourself when you reach that goal? A new dress? A new hairstyle or some new jewelry? Whatever it may be, make sure its something special, not something you do for yourself all the time.

3. Find a “workout buddy”. Do you have a friend that lacks motivation as well? Get together and plan times during the week to workout or help each other plan meals for the week ahead. Knowing that if you don’t meet your friend, you will let them down is a great way to stay motivated!

4. Don’t give up. If you feel your self slipping or you do slip, don’t have the ‘all or nothing’ attitude. Just because you had a piece of chocolate cake after you promised yourself you wouldn’t is no reason to eat the whole cake! Move on…promise yourself you will do better tomorrow.

5. Always be positive! If you didn’t reach your specific goal that you set, look at what other accomplishments you have made in that time period. There is always something that you can find that was positive about what you have done, so think about that and not about  what you didn’t do.

 Have some tips of your own that keep you motivated? Please share with us! 

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Are You Self-Sabotaging Your Fat Loss?

healthy eating wordleWe have all been there at some point in our lives, when just one small slip turns into another and another until we just don’t know how to stop!

We miss a meal or two and then are starving and eat anything and everything in sight! We don’t eat enough at each meal, so then we overeat at the end of the day to make up for it. We don’t properly prepare our meals for the day ahead and then eat whatever we can find, usually something quick and easy or processed.

So why do we do this? Myself, I do it when I skip meals, I am stressed or bored. There are some days that I get so caught up with my computer work that I just forget to eat. What happens then?  I get over hungry, over eat and eat junk, resulting in weight gain and body fat gain…. Not exactly what I want.

So how do we get ourselves out of this rut? By PLANNING! Planning is the key! In the past, when I have sat down for 20 minutes the night before and planned out my meals for the next day, not only do I know what and when I will be eating my meals, but I also know what calorie range I am in and if I need to adjust it a bit. Prepping your meals for the week ahead, so that there are healthy options for you to grab.

Easy enough, right? It can be, once you make it a habit. Make the decision that YOU and YOUR HEALTH will come first! That pile of laundry that needs to be folded can wait until tomorrow or that email you wanted to send out can wait. Find the time to plan ahead, make it a part of your day and you will no longer get in this self sabotaging rut!

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Training for Fat Loss

cardio-vs-strength-training

You have set your fitness goals and now need to decide which exercises you want to add to your fitness routine to help you burn away that unwanted fat. The best way is to add a combination of both strength training and cardiovascular.

Strength training is the most beneficial methods of fat loss. By building muscle, you are in turn increasing your metabolism and helping your body to burn even more calories. Also with strength training, your body begins to burn a large number of calories even after you have finished training.

With strength training you have many options. For beginners or someone who doesn’t have access to a gym or equipment, bodyweight exercises are a great option for fat loss. Another option is using the push/pull split. This is a great way to get in a total body workout that allows you to perform more exercises per workout and get more recovery time.

Some key points when doing strength training are make sure to warm up and stretch before your workout, lift the weights in slow, steady movements and don’t forget to breathe.

Cardiovascular exercise is the 2nd part of your fat loss fitness routine. Cardio can be done following your strength training or as separate training on the opposite day of strength training. Cardio is not only a great aid to fat loss, but also to help you to maintain a healthy heart. The best form of cardio is HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT involves intervals of varying intensities, some very high. Interval training can be as simple as doing an all-out sprint, jogging to lower your heart rate, and then sprinting once again. This should be done anywhere from 15-30 minutes. The advantage to HIIT is that you are burning more calories in a shorter period of time. You can perform HIIT on almost anything, such as bike, treadmill, elliptical, or even bodyweight circuits.

It is best to perform strength training workouts at least 3 times per week and also perform HIIT 3 times per week. Make sure to change up your workouts every 6-8 weeks to avoid a fat loss plateau. Changing your workouts also keeps your workouts fresh and new and makes you less likely to stop doing them and gives you a better chance of reaching your fitness goals!

Circuits for Fast and Effective Fat Loss

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Are you lacking the time to exercise?  Are you short on money and can’t afford a gym membership? Do you lack workout equipment?

Then bodyweight circuits are the answer to all your exercise excuses!

When using body weight circuits, you are getting in a total body cardio workout. All you need to do is pick 2-3 lower body exercises and 2-3 upper body exercises that you do using only your body weight. Alternate the upper and lower body exercises, doing 10-15 repetitions per exercise, with no rest until you have completed all the exercises one time through. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat the circuit up to 6 times. There you have a perfect fat burning circuit in less than 25 minutes!

Not only do body weight circuits burn fat, but they help to boost your metabolism. By using  bodyweight training, you are incorporating both interval and strength training all in one workout and your body will not only burn calories while you are doing your circuits, but long after you are done!

Bodyweight exercises also help build muscle, which helps not only to increase your metabolism, but also makes you look sexy.

Beginners can start out with this bodyweight circuit, going through each exercise, resting at the end and then repeating 4-6 sets

  • Wall Ball Squat – 15 reps
  • Kneeling pushups – 10 reps
  • Hip Extension – 15 reps
  • Plank on Hands – 20 seconds
  • Bird Dog – 5 reps per side hold for count of 5 seconds

Intermediates can start out with this circuit, going through each exercise, resting at the end and then repeating 4-6 sets.

  • T-Squat – 15 reps
  • Forward Lunges – 12 reps each leg
  • Decline Pushup – 15 reps
  • Mt Climber – 15 reps
  • Close grip Pushups – 15 reps
  • Side plank – 30 seconds each side

You can use the bodyweight circuits in place of your interval training or added to your regular training. Add 1 or 2 cardio based exercises, such as jumping jacks or burpees and start blasting that fat!

10 Changes to Make to Your Diet Better

10 Changes To Your Diet That Will Instantly Make it 90% Better

The Small Change Diet_2Most individuals do not eat like they are supposed to. Out of those individuals 95% of them don’t realize that by making 10 simple changes to their eating lifestyle they can improve their diet by 90% along with improving their health and overall well-being.

Apply these changes to your diet today and you too will be experiencing an increased benefit to your health, probable weight loss, a leaner body, and likely improvements to your blood profile. This all equals a longer healthier life.

Now let’s get started so you can benefit from these 10 simple changes that everyone can make immediately.

1. Hydration: Is there a difference
Consume Green Tea or Water instead of calorie filled drinks such as soft drinks. Green Tea has many health benefits and is a powerful antioxidant. You should be drinking 1ml of non-caffeinated fluid for every calorie that you consume. This works out between (8-12) 8oz glasses of Green Tea or Water a day.

2. Benefits of Fiber
Recommend consuming 25-35 grams of fiber per day. Since the average diet contains only 14 grams we could all use more fiber. Fiber will help satisfy hunger pangs as well as control insulin and blood sugar levels which tend to promote fat storage when they are elevated. By simply eating at least 1 serving of fruit and vegetables at every meal should get you to the goal of 25-35 grams of fiber per day.

3. The Importance of Protein
Eat lean protein sources which include; lean beef, chicken breasts, turkey breasts, salmon, low-fat cottage cheese and other low-fat dairy products, and whey protein powders, at every meal. This will also help control insulin levels and satisfy hunger pangs which tend to promote fat storage. You will find yourself naturally eating less food throughout the day if you eat some type of lean protein at every meal.

4. Frequent Meals: Why?
Eat 4-6 small meals day a day instead of the usual 2-3 large meals. Eating frequently will help regulate and boost your metabolism to burn more calories. By also including your protein and vegetables at these meals you will tend to eat less overall thereby reducing your calorie intake.

5. What are Whole Foods?
Consume whole foods that are high in fiber and low in sugar such as lean protein (lean beef, chicken, fish, and whey protein), fruits & vegetables (oranges, apples, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, peppers, asparagus, carrots, nuts (almonds, cashews, & walnuts), and whole grains.
Try to minimize processed foods that come in a box or a bag. Instead choose whole grain choices such as whole wheat foods, oatmeals, and vegetables.

6. Healthy Fats: Yes, there are healthy fats
Consume adequate amounts of healthy fat foods such as olive oil, walnuts, almonds, or other Omega-3 products. Healthy fats are great antioxidants as well as help with brain function and many other essentials processes that take place in the body on a daily basis. Essential Fatty acids also help prevent certain diseases.

7. Superfoods
Include what I call “Superfoods” into your meal plan on a daily basis. These include but not entirely lean meat, salmon, low fat plain yogurt, tomatoes, spinach, mixed berries, whole oats, mixed nuts, olive oil, flax seeds(or flax meal), green tea, and various beans. These are just some of the “Superfoods” you should be incorporating into your daily meal plans.

8. Fat
Keep total fat intake under 30% for the day. This can be accomplished by not adding too many extra fats such as butter, sour cream, mayonnaise, etc. This doesn’t mean you have to completely eliminate these items, but do not eat them as a regular food item every day.

9. Food Log: Yes, this is the most important step
Record what you eat and drink. You will be amazed at what you consume and not even realize you did it until you right it down and reflect back on the day. Keeping a food log is critical to your success because if modifications need to be made you need something to be able to evaluate and analyze. If changes aren’t happening like you had hoped the answer can usually be found in your food and or exercise journal.

10. Food Labels
Review food labels. Avoid foods packed with excess sugar, calories, or foods that contain any trans-fats. You should be looking for more natural foods and not overly-processed foods. Ingredients to look for and avoid or minimize if they are one of the top ingredients listed in the ingredients list: Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup and Hydrogenated or Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil.

If you see these ingredients listed at the top then that means the product is made up of that ingredient as it’s largest source.

Now I don’t expect you to make every change in one day. What I do expect is that if you are serious about living a better life and a healthier life then you need to make these changes over the next 4 weeks. The best way to accomplish this task is to map out your plan. Create meal plans and have a plan of attack in place in regards to what you are eating and when.

You will start to see just how easy it is to live a healthier life and achieve the goals that you desire.

About the Author:

Jayson Hunter, RD, CSCS, is a registered dietitian and fitness professional with more than 10 years of experience. He has worked with 1000’s of individuals in achieving their ideal body and has been published in numerous magazines. He is also co-creator of Meal Plans 101 nutrition software. For more information on how you can utilize Jayson’s expertise go to www.mealplans101.com