Tag: weight loss secrets

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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No matter what your goal, fitness is a lifestyle

No matter what your goal, fitness is a lifestyle

You are so excited! After months of hard work, you finally fit into those jeans you couldn’t button not too long ago. You can see those muscles that you always knew were hiding under that fat. You finally finished your first half marathon! No matter what the goal, it’s a great feeling when you put it in your sights and actually accomplished it.

During those months, you were diligent with your workouts (never skipping), prepared your meals in advance (so you wouldn’t make bad impromptu choices). But you decide to go out and “celebrate” for a drink. Then two. Then you say, “What the hell, bring on some nachos!” –you deserve it, right? After that, you have to satisfy that sweet tooth, right? So, you take the “Willy Wonka” train to the nearest frozen yogurt café and load it up with all the fixings!

You say, “Oh, there’s nothing wrong with one night of celebrating.” Except, you wake up the next morning and before you even realize what you’re doing, you find yourself rummaging through the cupboards for that box of Pop-Tarts you bought three months ago,. Once you find yourself staring at the bottom of an empty cardboard box that once was home to “God’s gift to the breakfast pastry” and say, “What did I do!? Well the day is shot, might as well go out with a bang, and start fresh tomorrow! Chinese for dinner!”

Bad move! One day leads to two…then a week. Then a month. Those jeans begin to get tighter. You get aggravated. You start to go in a downward spiral and you lose the motivation to work out and prepare your foods. Everything you worked so hard for and that made you feel so good isgone, and for what? A quick fling with some sweet tasting treats?

Here’s the thing…every day makes a difference. You cannot train hard and eat right only three days out of the week and expect to see a positive change. There is no five days on, two days off (more commonly known as the weekend) schedule that you can follow and still expect to see results. Fitness is every day. It doesn’t need to be 100%, but it should be close.

Though, one isolated cheat meal won’t affect you, what’s really going to get you in trouble is if you extend that meal through the weekend. Repeatedly. Then slowly let it leak into Monday, Tuesday, and the rest of the week. Pretty soon, your weight is creeping back up. Little bites are nothing, but added together they become something big. Just because I may steal a few of my kids M&M’s (please, don’t call DCYF), it doesn’t mean I’m not consuming calories. They add up, and, especially if I do it repeatedly, it can easily equal a whole bag.

Again, being fit is a lifestyle; it should be made a habit. Do you brush your teeth? Why? The answer isn’t because it so much fun and tastes delicious! It is because of the consequences of not doing it. What are they? Let’s see…gingivitis, bad breath, cavities, stained teeth, and ultimately decaying, loose teeth that might need to be pulled out.

Exercising is the same thing. Hopefully, you enjoy it more than brushing your teeth. But, more importantly, think of all the great things you get from exercising. Exercise makes every aspect of life better. And what are the consequences of not exercising? Let’s see…osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, tendinitis, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, decreased metabolism, lethargy, and weight gain.

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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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9 foods that destroys weight loss goals

9 foods that destroys weight loss goals

Quinoa Chips

This new-to-the-scene snack food features all the buzzwords that make it sound like the ultimate healthy snack: It’s a superfood! And gluten-free! There’s protein and fiber! The problem: They’re basically corn chips with a little quinoa thrown in, says Kelly Schmidt, a nutritionist and blogger at Paleo Infused Nutrition.

And the quinoa itself has been so highly processed that it’s lost the nutritional boost that made it healthy in the first place. Need proof? Just compare the stats of one cup of cooked quinoa (8g protein, 5g fiber) to one serving of quinoa chips (1g protein, less than 1g fiber)—and then listen to your stomach make noise because it’s still going to be hungry.

Microwaveable Popcorn

Nutritionists always say popcorn is a healthy snack, and it is, so long as it’s made right. “The microwaveable kind has cancer-causing chemicals in them,” explains Palanisamy. One is called PFOA, which the EPA says is likely a cancerous carcinogen that’s found in the plastic of the bag. The other is in the butter flavor, and it’s known as diactyl, an organic compound that’s been linked with breathing issues and lung disease, thus making “popcorn lung” a real—and serious—health concern.

Fat-Free Cheese or Greek Yogurt

The obsession with low- and no-fat products we had in the ’90s still lingers, but reaching for them isn’t better than grabbing the full-fat kind. Researchers found that people who ate full-fat dairy tend to have lower body weight, less weight gain, and a lower risk of obesity compared to those who continued the fad.

They think it’s likely because when you remove fat from dairy, you also strip away beneficial fatty acids that can help you feel full, so you end up eating more in the long run. Plus, a lot of people opt for flavored yogurt, which has tons of sugar that, once again, put your blood sugar on a crazy roller coaster ride.

Pretzels

These salty bites may sound like a smart snack since they’re lower in fat and calories than potato chips, but they actually won’t do your waistline any favors. “They don’t contain any nutrients,” says Palanisamy. “They’re basically all carbs and loaded with sodium,” so they’ll put your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride, spiking your levels sky-high only to make you hungry as soon as it drops back down.

Vegetable Chips

Chips made with sweet potato, beets, or parsnip—those ought to be healthy, what with vegetables being the primary ingredient and all. But Palanisamy says they’re pretty high in fat—around 9g per serving—and it’s not the good kind. The oils used range from canola to sunflower or safflower, all of which contain omega-6 fatty acids, which promote inflammation that’s been linked with autoimmune diseases, heart disease, cancer, insulin resistance, and weight gain. Plus, the whole reason you’re eating them—because you want those good-for-you nutrients from the veggies—is a farce. Palanisamy says the chips have been stripped of those benefits, and they provide no protein and little-to-no fiber.

Rice Cakes

These have the perpetual stigma of being a smart, low-cal “diet food,” and sure, they’re not the worst idea in the world. “Rice cakes can make a good snack for people who are transitioning toward a gluten-free diet if it’s a smart health decision for them to do so,” says Schmidt. But since they’re high in carbs, they’re high on the glycemic index, and a recent study found a potential link between high-glycemic foods and lung cancer. Not to mention high-glycemic foods tend to cause your blood sugar to spike, then crash, which makes you hungry all over again shortly after you snack.

Cereal

The breakfast staple usually plays a major role in taming mid-afternoon hunger because it’s fast, convenient, and you can eat it straight from the bag. But therein lies the danger—it’s super easy to eat a reasonable portion, and then some more, and more after that.

Then you’ve blown over 200 calories on an unsatisfying snack, because most of the time it’s made from refined grains that aren’t rich in nutrients, says Palanisamy. Another problem: Boxes tout being “high in fiber,” but it’s usually insoluble fiber that’s been shown to cause irritation in the gut, bloating, and other GI issues, he adds. Healthier, soluble fiber is what you find in foods like barley or beans.

Popped Chips

Sadly, “popping” chips instead of baking or frying them doesn’t make much of a nutritional difference, says Palanisamy. Yes, they slash the fat content in half compared to regular potato chips, but they don’t offer any micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals, and their paltry fiber and protein quotas (1g of each)—not to mention calorie count—is comparable to what you find in a serving of the regular stuff.

100-Calorie Snacks

Seems like a genius idea: Grab a bag and you have a pre-portioned, calorie-conscious snack at your convenience for those times you’re craving dessert. But you’re better off grabbing a more caloric snack that has tons of nutrients to actually keep you full. “When you’re eating a small 100-calorie bag of cookies or crackers, you’re not really getting what you want,” says Schmidt. And that makes you much more likely to reach for another, and another, and another.

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Three diet mistakes that can make you fat

Three diet mistakes that can make you fat

Decadent dips ruin the benefits of healthy choices like raw veggies.

Sometimes a carrot stick is just a carrot stick. But for many of us, it’s a crunchy, bright orange vehicle for decadent dip—blue cheese, perhaps, or a nice herbed ranch. And as you dunk your sixth or seventh spear into that delicious dressing, you might tell yourself, Well, at least I’m eating a hearty serving of veggies right now. True–but you’re also consuming quite a lot of salt, fat, and calories.

Wrecking our otherwise healthy food picks along with our waistlines is often beyond our control. In his book The End of Overeating (Rodale), former FDA commissioner David Kessler, MD, explains that when you smell, see, or even think about “highly palatable” foods–ones that are high in fat, sugar, or salt–your brain can trigger the release of dopamine, the reward-seeking neurotransmitter. So in a way, you can blame the dopamine surge for forcing you to eat that glazed doughnut. The fact is, it’s possible to stop your pleasure-seeking brain from making menu decisions.

You dunk veggies into fat traps

While it may seem like a good idea to watch Parenthood with a plate of crisp crudités on the coffee table in front of you, that jar of peanut butter sitting right next to it can spell trouble. Sure, peanut butter provides healthy fat and protein, but it also has 94 calories per tablespoon–so this seemingly healthy snack can tip the scale in the wrong direction. And 2 tablespoons of creamy dressing can pack 145 calories and 15 g of fat. “Eating just one hundred calories more each day can translate to about a ten-pound weight gain over the course of a year,” says Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think.

The healthy move: If you’re dying to dip, mix fat-free plain Greek yogurt (it has about twice the protein of regular yogurt) with salsa or zingy seasonings such as horseradish or curry powder. Prepared hummus or black-bean dips coat raw veggies with protein, fiber, and flavor; just check the labels because fat and calories can vary among brands. Finally, beat boredom by introducing new vegetables into your rotation, such as crunchy jicama or radishes that offer a naturally peppery bite.

You go for fried sweet potatoes

Besides the beta-carotene (a disease-fighting carotenoid that our bodies convert to vitamin A) that’s responsible for their vibrant color, sweet potatoes provide vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, and fiber–all for about 100 calories in a medium potato. But when you fry these and other vegetables (hello, broccoli bites and zucchini sticks), the fat and calorie counts skyrocket. Not only that, but a study in the Journal of Food Science found that certain vegetables, like zucchini, actually lose some of their antioxidant power when fried.

The healthy move: A baked sweet potato is the worry-free choice (mash in 2 tablespoons of a creamy fat-free dressing for extra flavor); eat the skin and you’ll also get at least 4 g of fiber. If you’re just not satisfied with a baked spud, buy a bag of oven-ready frozen fries at the supermarket. Compare labels and choose ones that have no trans fat and no more than 0.5 g saturated fat per serving. See the packaged sweet potato “fries” that Prevention likes best.

You drown your food in olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is high in “good” monounsaturated fat–the kind of fat that can help lower LDL cholesterol–but it also has about 477 calories and 54 g of fat per 1/4 cup. If you don’t measure the amount of oil you use to sauté, grill, broil, or roast, you can end up with way more than you need.

The healthy move: When grilling or broiling, use a pastry brush or nonaerosol pump to lightly glaze food with oil, says Jennifer Nelson, RD, director of clinical dietetics and nutrition at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. If you’re making a stir-fry, wipe a paper towel dipped in olive oil around the wok before adding ingredients–or better yet, use a nonstick skillet. You can also make your sautés sizzle with wine, soy sauce, chicken broth, or 100% carrot, tomato, or vegetable juice.

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Foods that do the weight-loss work for you

Foods that do the weight-loss work for you

Increasing your fiber intake is an easy way to encourage your body to shed nagging pounds.

Do you want to lose weight for good in the new year? Try increasing your daily fiber intake in the form of nutrient-rich high-fiber foods. Why fiber? Recent research in the Journal of Nutrition suggests eating more fiber as a way to prevent weight gain or even encourage weight loss. Over the course of the two-year study, the researchers found that boosting fiber by 8 grams for every 1,000 calories resulted in about 4 1/2 pounds of weight lost.

Try it for yourself. If you’re consuming 2,000 calories per day, aim to increase your fiber by 16 grams. Here are 7 fiber-rich foods that help do the weight-loss work for you.

1. Apples: A medium apple (3-inch diameter) contains 4 grams of fiber; a large apple (3 1/4-inch diameter) has 5. Apples also offer a bit of vitamin C and potassium.

2. Green Beans: One cup boasts 4 grams of fiber, plus a healthy dose (30% daily value) or skin-helping vitamin C.

3. Sweet Potatoes: A medium-size baked sweet potato (2 inches wide, 5 inches long…a little larger than your computer mouse), skin included, offers 5 grams of fiber-for just 103 calories. It’s also a nutrition powerhouse: providing 438% daily value of eye-healthy vitamin A (eat these foods to help you see more clearly), 37% daily value of vitamin C, plus some potassium, vitamin E, iron, magnesium and phytochemicals like beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

4. Raspberries: Raspberries are a great source of fiber-some of it soluble in the form of pectin, which helps lower cholesterol. One cup of raspberries has 8 grams of fiber. Raspberries are also an excellent source of vitamin C.

5. Strawberries: One cup of strawberries has a respectable 3 grams of fiber and more than a full day’s recommended dose of vitamin C-an antioxidant that helps keep skin healthy.

6. Chickpeas: Just 3/4 cup of chickpeas has a whopping 8 grams of fiber! You also get a good amount of vitamin B6 and folate, both of which play a role in forming healthy new cells.

7. Pumpkin: A cup of cooked pumpkin contains 3 grams of fiber. You also get vitamin A (245% daily value), vitamins C, E and potassium.

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Nine foods that could outlast you

Nine foods that could outlast you

Honey may get grainy or change color, but it’s still delicious and safe to eat.

Most weeks, you do a big shopping list and head into the store ready to buy loads of fresh food to make meals for your family. We often do not give a thought to stuff sitting in the kitchen cupboard where we discard anything that has been there longer than we can remember.

But Janice Revell said: “Look in your pantry and your cabinet and check if the items really need to go. You will be surprised by what you do not really need to throw.”

So before you lay out the sugar years or replace the bottle of vanilla that was gathering dust, check out this list of “food forever.” You might be surprised how many of your staple foods have a shelf life of several decades – even after being opened.

1. Sugar

No matter if your blood sugar is white, brown, or powdered, it will never spoil, because it does not support bacterial growth.

The challenge is to prevent sugar from hardening into pieces. To keep sugar fresh, store it in an airtight container or plastic bag. If your blood sugar is more like a brown rock, you can revive it with just one minute in the microwave at low temperature.

2. Pure vanilla extract

If you have pure vanilla extract to the back of the cupboard, it is not necessary to discard because it lasts forever. It may be more expensive than its counterpart imitation, but his life certainly outweighs the extra costs.

Keep this in vanilla flavor at its best sealing the botttle after each use and store in a cool, dark place.

3. Rice

White, wild, jasmine, arborio and basmati rice to keep them all forever, so there is no need to discard. Brown rice is the only exception because it has a higher content of oil for storage in the refrigerator or freezer to maximize its lifespan. Once you’ve opened a bag or box of rice, move it in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag to maintain freshness.

4. Corn starch

You can thicken gravies and sauces for years with one box of cornstarch because it keeps indefinitely. Store this staple of cuisine in a cool, dry place and be sure to reseal after each use.

5. Honey

Whether you use it in your tea, on your toast or as a sweetener substitute, this jar of pure honey is good forever. It can get grainy or change the color, but it’s always good to eat – and delicious – because its antibiotic properties prevent it from spoiling.

You can help keep it fresh by storing them in a cool, and you can improve the quality of crystallized honey by placing the pot in hot water and stir until crumbly dissolve the parties.

6. Salt

The content of the salt will never spoil, regardless of whether it is the basic table salt or sea salt. Simply store in a cool, dry and salt will keep indefinitely.

7. Corn syrup

If you come across a bottle of aged corn syrup in your pantry, do not discard. The sweetener keeps indefinitely as long as you keep it sealed and store in a cool, dry place.

8. Maple syrup

What good pancakes or waffles without maple syrup? Fortunately, this flavored syrup will never spoil if you refrigerate or freeze. For long term storage, seal it in an airtight plastic container and freeze.

“The freezer is a useful tool that can really save you money because there are very few foods that do not freeze well,” says Janice Revell.

9. White distilled vinegar

This miracle product can be used for everything from marinades and vinaigrettes to clean the house and do laundry. But the best thing about distilled white vinegar is that it lasts for years. Just close it tightly after each use and store the bottle in a cool, dark place.

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