Category: Fitness Secrets

The Truth About Avocado and Weight Loss

The Truth About Avocado and Weight Loss

Avocados manage to be both timeless and trendy. The green fruit (yup, it’s a fruit) is used in classics like guacamole and Cobb salad and it’s currently popping up in countless restaurant dishes. But, could the ubiquitous avocado also be good for your weight loss game?

The most common claim that avocados are good for dropping pounds comes from their high content of healthy fats, which are known to suppress appetite, leading to weight loss.

Also, studies show that high-fiber foods, like avocados, boost feelings of fullness. Those feelings of satisfaction mean you’re less likely to overeat which can lead to weight loss.

There’s even evidence that healthy (or unsaturated) fats help prevent blood-sugar spikes, which tell your body to store excess calories as fat in your midsection. That means avocados may be good for controlling belly fat.

Healthy fats and dietary fiber are linked to satiety. Satiety can result in a reduction of excess eating. Eating less often leads to weight loss. But those attributes aren’t exactly unique to avocados.

While avocados can be a healthy addition to your diet, it’s important to be aware of the fact that they are fairly calorie dense. A small avocado (about four ounces) has around 180 calories and 17g fat. And there absolutely is such a thing as too much fat — even the healthy kind.

Just because avocados are healthy and satisfying doesn’t mean you should eat them with complete abandon.

Not only could that prevent weight loss, it could actually lead to weight gain. Definitely enjoy them — just in moderation!

When in Doubt, Weigh It Out

For the most accurate info, weigh out your avocado portion with a food scale. Each ounce has around 45 calories, 4g fat, 2.5g carbs, 2g fiber, and 0.5g protein.

Kitchen scales are inexpensive and they’re great tools for weight management. If you’re not able to weigh out your avocado, here are some shortcut estimates:

1-ounce avocado is equal to:

about 2 tbsp. mashed avocado
about 2 tbsp. chopped avocado
about 1/4th of a small avocado

Tips on Adding Avocado to Your Diet

Spice and spread. You can mash and season them to make a spread for whole-grain toast, high-fiber crackers, sandwiches, or even apple slices. One of my favorite little snacks is high-fiber, flatbread-style crackers topped with seasoned mashed avocado and sun-dried tomatoes.

Egg Addition. A little chopped avocado brings so much flavor to an egg scramble. Mashed avocado is also surprisingly tasty in hard-boiled egg white halves. Top it with chopped lean bacon for a tremendously satisfying snack.

As a salad topper. A bit of avocado on your salad will make it more filling and more delicious. You can even blend up some avocado with fat-free yogurt for a flavor-packed dressing.

Creamy guac dip. Guacamole is delicious, but it’s way too easy to overdo it with the traditional dense dip. Combine 1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt with the same amount of mashed avocado. Toss in 1/8 tsp. each of salt, garlic powder, and chili powder and you’ve got a guac fix with a seriously slashed calorie count.

For more guilt-free recipes, food finds, tips ‘n tricks, and more, visit Fitness and Weight Loss.

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How much exercise offsets a burger?

How much exercise offsets a burger?

How much sex is equivalent to a slice of cheese? And how hard is it to make up for a donut? How much exercise is needed to offset your favourite snacks?

The gym bunny’s equation is simple enough: calories in versus calories out. After you’ve worked up a sweat in the gym, you should have gained the licence to treat yourself to a snack afterwards.
In practice, the maths is difficult to get right: it’s all too easy to overestimate how much we’ve burnt in a session, and underestimate the calories in a snack. The depressing result is that many people (up to 68%, in one study) hoping to shed pounds actually put on weight during their exercise regime.

Fortunately, BBC Future has scoured Harvard Medical School’s comprehensive table of the calories burned during everything from sex to long-distance cycling. Using this information, we equated exactly what it would take to burn off your favourite snacks. (The exact figures will vary from person to person – all the data here assumes an 11-stone, or 70kg, frame.)

Compared to sleeping (which itself burns some calories), even something as simple as sitting at a computer, chewing gum or reading a book is equivalent to eating some modest nibbles. You may be surprised, however, by just how little you have earned during seemingly energetic everyday activities, such as sex – or how far you have to travel before you have burnt off a burger and chips. Exercise offers many benefits besides weight loss, of course. But if you are aspiring to a trimmer, more toned figure (or simply want to remain a stable weight), it’s worth knowing the facts before you hit the gym or raid the pantry.

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The best time of day to work out to lose weight

The best time of day to work out to lose weight

You’ve committed to squeezing in a workout between your commute and your desk job, but before you embark on this new regimen, you want to know: When’s the best time to exercise to ensure you’re getting the most out of it?

Research covered by Gretchen Reynolds in The New York Times suggests that working out early in the morning — before you’ve eaten breakfast — helps speed weight loss and boost energy levels by priming the body for an all-day fat burn.

The No-snooze Payoff

One of the reasons working out first thing in the morning helps us lose weight — or at least protects us from gaining it — is that it pushes the body to tap into its fat reserves for fuel, as opposed to simply “burning off” our most recent snack or meal.

In one recent study, 28 young, healthy men spent six weeks eating a hefty diet of 30% more calories and 50% more fat than they had been eating before. But while some of them spent the six weeks stuffing themselves and barely exercising, the others started working out every day. Of those who worked out, half did so first thing in the morning; the other half hit the gym (and did the same workout) after a high-carb breakfast. The fasting exercisers ate the same breakfast; they just did so after working out.

At the end of the volunteers’ month-and-a-half eating fest, the ones who hadn’t worked out at all had, unsurprisingly, packed on the weight — about 6 pounds each. The ones who had been exercising after breakfast gained weight, too, but only about half as much.

In comparison, the people who worked out daily but hit the gym before breakfast hadn’t gained any weight at all. They had been able to eat a lot of extra food — just as much as their fellow volunteers — without paying the price in additional pounds.

The study was small, short term, used a specific eating plan, and involved only men close to age 21, so it’s hard to extrapolate much from the results. And the fasting exercisers didn’t lose weight; they just didn’t gain weight. Still, the experiment provided some of the first evidence that “early morning exercise in the fasted state is more potent than an identical amount of exercise in the fed state,” the authors write.

Another smaller study helps point out why timing could be so important. In it, two groups of men ran on treadmills until they burned 400 calories (about the equivalent of a small meal, or three to four slices of toast). While one group ran on an empty stomach, the other ate a 400-calorie oatmeal breakfast about an hour before their workout.

All of the runners burned fat during their workouts and remained in a heightened fat-burning state after they had gotten off their treadmills. But both results were more intense for the runners who had skipped the oatmeal. In other words, exercising after a long period of not eating could be setting us up for a longer, more intense fat burn.

Set Your Clocks

Another component of the early-morning workout regimen can help with weight loss: daylight. Aligning our internal clocks, or circadian rhythms, with the natural world helps give our metabolisms a boost. One recent study showed that people who basked in bright sunlight within two hours after waking tended to be thinner and better able to manage their weight than people who didn’t get any natural light, regardless of what they ate throughout the day.

So next time you think about hitting snooze, remember this: An early-morning workout might not just help you meet your fitness goals, but it could even give you more energy than those few extra minutes of shut-eye.

Related: View more Fitness and Workout secrets

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Weight Loss – Feel Motivated

Weight Loss - Feel Motivated

It feels good to be thin!
Keep your goals and motivation in mind – it will keep you on track especially if times get a little hard.

For years overweight women have had numerous types of diet/weight loss plans to choose from when attempting to lose weight. Neglected underweight women never had any type of instructional information which would them lose weight in systematic, scientific, step-by-step fashion. Losing weight isn’t easy and does take effort and dedication, but as your clothes start getting looser and you start feeling healthier, I think that you will find it easier to feel motivated. You won’t be happy making any changes until it does.

It’s just plain and simple– we don’t like to do what we’re not ready and willing to do. You really shouldn’t be trying to lose weight if you’re not prepared to do the hard work it takes to maintain that weight loss. You’re just setting yourself up for failure and the dieting blues! Because how depressing is it to have lost 50 pounds only to gain back 60?! And it’s probably better if you think of it as ‘getting healthy’ instead of ‘losing weight’, but to my shame, I’m not quite there yet!

I have one incentive/motivation or whatever you want to call it: Health. I want to be healthy and you cannot be healthy and obese. Just want to feel happy and enjoy life.

Remember keep to basic, simple things you can do each day to help you – drink lots of water, try to eat at least 5+ portions of fruit and vegetables a day and be as active as possible.

Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence- that will enable you to attain the success you seek. Sooooo… you have no motivation huh??? How about you work out today and I will too? Look at your goal weight hun… you are closer than you think. Summer is here again… and… you are going to hit that goal. I know that you can.

Stick with your calorie quota and I can ensure that you will lose weight. It is important to stick to your daily calorie quota to achieve weight loss. I can assure you that if you fill in your food diary with everything you eat and drink you will lose weight. If you set yourself small and achievable goals it will motivate you to go further when you reach them.

Related Link: View more Fitness and Weight Loss articles

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All That Dieting – And No Results

All That Dieting - And No Results

Clearly, a healthy person of ordinary common sense will not choose to deplete his vitality, lower his resistance to infection, and court anaemia among other complex ailments merely in order to face himself more cheerfully in a full-length mirror. Well, there are serious reasons to worry about overweight. Its health hazards are well enough known to cause that same sensible person to take thought when his scale starts inching upward.

But-you’re overweight. You have taken thought. You’ve tried starving, calorie-counting, exercise. In each case the results were the same–either there were none, or a few pounds slipped off only to be immediately replaced the moment you returned to anything like a normal diet. In addition you almost lost both your job and your marriage as it became impossible for any individual, however well adjusted, to get along with you. Yet still you waken to each new day aware that for another twenty-four hours you are going to ask your heart to service a plant that may be five, ten, or with really bad luck even twenty pounds heavier than it is efficiently equipped to manage. What to do?

First, if you haven’t already done so, check with your doctor. Second (and contingent upon the outcome of that interview) read the rest of this book. The low carbohydrate diet may be your answer.

Suppose that you are fortunate enough to have a doctor whose concern for your health outweighs his verbal tact.

He gives you a thoughtful look, puts down his pen and says, ‘My friend, we are speaking not of overweight, but of obesity.’ In that case, forget this book, or give it to a friend.

Obesity-gross overweight-is a medical classification, not a cosmetic one. If you are truly obese, neither this diet nor any other should be self-applied. You belong entirely in your doctor’s hands, a slave to the letter of any regimen which he, after careful tests, tailors for you. It is possible that you are one of those individuals whose bodies, for reasons not yet fully understood, do not deal in the normal way with food.

The oldest cliches in the folklore of dieting are type A, who cannot look at a slice of beef without gaining four pounds, and type B, who remains underweight on a steady intake of heavy cream, French toast, and chocolate cake.

The next time you overhear a luncheon conversation in which these two unfortunates are exchanging complaints, don’t assume that A has been sneaking down to midnight feasts of fried pork chops and sweet potatoes, or that B is merely trying to endow herself with a touch of the piquantly peculiar. It is entirely possible that they are telling the truth. Any doctor numbers among his patients some who accumulate weight on very reasonable diets, and others who cannot cover their bones no matter how hard they try.

The answer may be metabolic, psychological, glandular, or a complex combination of some or all of these; it may lie along biochemical lines yet to be explored. The one certainty is that in individuals at these extremes, body chemistry does not perform in the predictable manner.

Raleked: View more Healhty Life, Diet and Fitness Secrets

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Fitness: Why is it so important?

Fitness: Why is it so important?

Fitness. A simple word whose meaning is far-reaching and occupies almost every corner of our lives. Be it physical, emotional or mental, our fitness dictates how we function, and all aspects of it are intertwined – with one consistently affecting the other.

Physical fitness is about more than just losing weight or gaining muscle – it’s about laying down a foundation upon which your life can be built. A body in a positive physical state becomes a tremendous asset to draw from both inside the gym and out when it comes to issues such as alleviating stress, the promotion of healthier personal and professional relationships, learning how to better manage your time (and follow through on commitments) by way of scheduled activity, and an overall sense of mental clarity.

The “why” of fitness and its importance is easy to answer – but the “how” can be arrived at in a number of ways. You might enjoy participating in a sport-related activity (tennis, squash, golf), or you could get together with your friends to take part in a group class (aerobic, yoga, spinning). Of course, there are also individuals that prefer to simply grab a pair of dumbbells and have at it or jump on a treadmill and run the day away. Everyone is unique in how they pursue their fitness goals – but we all share a common purpose: to make tomorrow better than yesterday.

Let us help you with your fitness goals – however you choose to pursue them. We know that you will come to realize the Ottawa Athletic Club is more than a fitness centre – it will ultimately be the center of your fitness.

Related: View more fitness secrets

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The new, diet-friendly fast food items for hungry girls

The new, diet-friendly fast food items for hungry girls

There have been so many healthy developments at fast-food restaurants, it can be hard to keep track of ’em all! I’m making it easy with this list of new additions that make it worth hitting the drive-thru…

Chick-fil-A’s Superfood Side with Kale

Just 140 calories for this blend of broccolini, kale, dried cherries, roasted nuts, and maple vinaigrette. Ummm… Yummm! This actually replaced the extra-fatty coleslaw on the menu. (No word on how the coleslaw-loving regulars feel about this switcheroo.) And the latest from Chick-fil-A? The chain is test-marketing gluten-free buns. Nice!

McDonald’s Breakfast Bowls (Southern California Only)

Mickey D’s is currently testing out two b-fast bowls. One is made with eggs, chorizo, cheese, and hash browns; skip it. But check out the egg white & turkey sausage bowl: It features spinach, kale, Parmesan cheese, and a slim 250-calorie price tag. Here’s hoping this baby goes nationwide soon. In the meantime, let’s all enjoy an Egg White Delight McMuffin (250 calories).

The new, diet-friendly fast food items for hungry girls

Chipotle’s Getting Into the Burger Game

The company behind the mix-n-match Mexican chain is looking to enter the burger market. The brand recently filed a trademark application for the name “Better Burger,” which gives a pretty good idea as to what angle they’re working — and I’m all for it. Plus, if they offer a nutritional calculator as helpful as the one on the Chipotle website, that’ll be a huge bonus!

Taco Bell Revamps Dollar Menu: Now Featuring Breakfast!

Fast-food breakfast and dollar menus are both places where you need to beware of fat traps. But Taco Bell actually has a few solid Dollar Cravings b-fast items! The Mini Skillet Bowl has just 180 calories; You get egg, potatoes, cheese, and pico de gallo. Think of it as an on-the-go version of my egg-mug recipes! And the Breakfast Grilled Taco isn’t a bad choice, either – order it without cheese, and it clocks in at 210 calories.

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Low-carb diet: Can it help you lose weight?

Low-carb diet: Can it help you lose weight?

Could a low-carb diet give you an edge in losing weight? Help you keep weight off permanently? Here’s what you need to know about the low-carb diet.

A low-carb diet limits carbohydrates — such as those found in grains, starchy vegetables and fruit — and emphasizes foods high in protein and fat. Many types of low-carb diets exist. Each diet has varying restrictions on the types and amounts of carbohydrates you can eat.

A low-carb diet is generally used for losing weight. Some low-carb diets may have health benefits beyond weight loss, such as reducing risk factors associated with diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Why you might follow a low-carb diet

You might choose to follow a low-carb diet because you:

Want a diet that restricts certain carbs to help you lose weight
Want to change your overall eating habits
Enjoy the types and amounts of foods featured in low-carb diets
Check with your doctor or health care provider before starting any weight-loss diet, especially if you have any health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.

Low-carb diet: Can it help you lose weight?

Diet details

As the name says, a low-carb diet restricts the type and amount of carbohydrates you eat. Carbohydrates are a type of calorie-providing macronutrient found in many foods and beverages.

Many carbohydrates occur naturally in plant-based foods, such as grains. In natural form, carbohydrates can be thought of as complex and fibrous such as the carbohydrates found in whole grains and legumes, or they can be less complex such as those found in milk and fruit. Common sources of naturally occurring carbohydrates include:

Grains
Fruits
Vegetables
Milk
Nuts
Seeds
Legumes (beans, lentils, peas)

Food manufacturers also add refined carbohydrates to processed foods in the form of flour or sugar. These are generally known as simple carbohydrates. Examples of foods that contain simple carbohydrates are white breads and pasta, cookies, cake, candy, and sugar-sweetened sodas and drinks.

Your body uses carbohydrates as its main fuel source. Sugars and starches are broken down into simple sugars during digestion. They’re then absorbed into your bloodstream, where they’re known as blood sugar (glucose). Fiber-containing carbohydrates resist digestion, and although they have less effect on blood sugar, complex carbohydrates provide bulk and serve other body functions beyond fuel.

Rising levels of blood sugar trigger the body to release insulin. Insulin helps glucose enter your body’s cells. Some glucose is used by your body for energy, fueling all of your activities, whether it’s going for a jog or simply breathing. Extra glucose is usually stored in your liver, muscles and other cells for later use or is converted to fat.

The idea behind the low-carb diet is that decreasing carbs lower insulin levels, which causes the body to burn stored fat for energy and ultimately leads to weight loss.

Typical foods for a low-carb diet

In general, a low-carb diet focuses on proteins, including meat, poultry, fish and eggs, and some nonstarchy vegetables. A low-carb diet generally excludes or limits most grains, legumes, fruits, breads, sweets, pastas and starchy vegetables, and sometimes nuts and seeds. Some low-carb diet plans allow small amounts of certain fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

A daily limit of 60 to 130 grams of carbohydrates is typical with a low-carb diet. These amounts of carbohydrates provide 240 to 520 calories.

Some low-carb diets greatly restrict carbs during the initial phase of the diet and then gradually increase the number of allowed carbs. Very low-carb diets restrict carbohydrates to 60 grams or less a day.

In contrast, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that carbohydrates make up 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calorie intake. So if you consume 2,000 calories a day, you would need to eat between 900 and 1,300 calories a day from carbohydrates or between 225 and 325 grams of carbohydrates a day.

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Celebrity style fitness and workout secrets

Celebrity style fitness and workout secrets

By now, it feels like we made our health and fitness New Year’s resolutions about a lifetime ago. While we may have slipped up and splurged on the occasional heaven-sent macaron, or ditched our workout for a Netflix marathon, we’re still committed to making 2014 our fittest year yet. Just like we have inspiration boards both on Pinterest and in real life, we’ve also taken to creating FIT-spiration ones to keep us on track.

Part of a good workout is having a good time, and some of our favorite celebrities know the most fun ways to keep in shape. Below, we’ve rounded up three celebrities who’ve revealed their fitness secrets so that we can all get a little more fun into our routines. Amanda Seyfried, Jessica Biel and Mila Kunis reveals fitness and workout secrets in achieving a stunning physique.

Amanda Seyfried fitness and workout secrets

Amanda Seyfried

While many actresses follow a strict diet, Amanda confesses that she eats whatever she wants. But how does she maintain a healthy physique? She prefers to workout 45 minutes daily and her exercise includes pilates, cardio exercises and yoga. She is also fond of doing her workout doors like jogging,cycling and dancing.

For celebrities and Hollywood stars, it is not easy to get in shape especially in their busy schedule but they still managed to find time to get their body to work. Just like them, it is not impossible for you to achieve a gorgeous body. Make this celebrity fitness routines an inspiration and you can have an amazing body if you work hard enough and follow proper fitness training.

Jessica Biel fitness and workout secrets

Jessica Biel

Jessica Biel is very strict when it comes to her fitness routine. When it comes in maintaining her gorgeous physique, she loves to do it outdoors where there is minimal equipment. Whether it is an outdoor run or walking her dog, Jessica make sure that her outdoor activities can help her stay fit. She is also fond of doing circuit training and to find balance she makes sure she does yoga for at least twice a week.

Mila Kunis fitness and workout secrets

Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis fitness routine is much talked about. This 31-year old mom is known for its very extreme Black Swan fitness routine and diet to get her into her professional dancer shape. This famous routine led her to lose 20 pounds but it wasn’t without sacrifice. She was constantly exercising and dancing. That’s seven days a week and five hours a day. Now that she has a baby, she is balancing her life between her fiance, Ashton Kutcher, her baby and herself. She never forgets to have a time to relax, exercise and eat right.

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Get up and jump start the healthy lifestyle

Get up and jump start the healthy lifestyle

Today, let’s learn to do the impossible. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to lead a healthy lifestyle while in college. You can even get a head start on this process by creating this healthy lifestyle now, before you move.

Firstly you have to reach your full potential! By taking care of your body, you will feel better and be more apt to get other things done. Here are a few pointers to jump-start the healthy living college lifestyle.

Drink water.

This seems basic and elementary. Clearly, everybody knows that water is essential to the body. What I’m saying is to switch out one of those Dr. Pepper’s (AKA sweet nectar from Heaven) for a bottle of water every now and then. The sugary drinks that we all enjoy will inevitably result in sugar crashes, making it harder to focus on your assignments. Also, dehydration can cause a number of problems that will get in the way of your academics. Keep your body cleansed, hydrated and refreshed with something as simple as drinking those 64 oz. per day.

2. Scope out your options and choose wisely.

Most campus cafeterias have a large variety of food for each meal, and they also offer ways to access the nutritional information of the food they are serving. Be mindful of the choices you make every day. I’m not saying don’t ever indulge in that delicious piece of chocolate cake, but living a healthy lifestyle is literally at your fingertips. Don’t take it for granted! Instead of heading straight for the pizza bar every day, check out your school’s salad bar or produce section. You will be surprised at how much better you can feel by eating well!

3. Realize that 30 minute workouts are possible.

This is an easy step that is often skipped because of the classic “lack of time” excuse. Give up one episode of KUWTK to hit the gym, and you will be amazed at what 30 minutes of exercise can do. A half hour of activity can be effective in more ways that most realize.

Not only will you gain more energy, but you will also be refreshing your mind. A study break filled with productive physical activity can recharge your mind and help you regain focus when it’s time to get back to work. You don’t have time to make it to the gym? Not a problem! There are tons of workouts available online that you can do at home.

Start living the healthy lifestyle now and you won’t regret it. Carrying these healthy habits into your college life will help you feel better and perform better. Get up and get going! You’ve got this!

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