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14 Weight Loss Obstacles and How to Overcome Them

14 Weight Loss Obstacles and How to Overcome Them

weightloss obstacles

Losing weight is simply not easy and there are just so many obstacles that you have to deal with. Whether it’s as little as six pounds or a body-changing forty pounds, shedding them all will take so much from you including the mental, emotional, and lifestyle changes that you need to make. However, there is no other best time to keel over each one of them but right here, right now. It is really doable as long as you do not stop until you succeed and do not let anything get in your way. With perseverance, you will be able to finally achieve that ideal weight you so desire.

To increase your chances of weight-loss success, you need to reflect a little and think about the possible obstacles that you could face along the way. Then, you can come up with some strategies that will help you overcome them in the most practical way possible. Meanwhile, here are 14 common obstacles that individuals like yourself encounter in their weight management journeys and how to deal with them effectively.

1. No time for exercise

Time is one of most common issues that prevents most people from finally embarking into an exercise program. There’s just so much to do that you can’t find time to exercise. Thing is that, if you do not consider exercise to be top priority and of utmost importance, then you will never have time for it. So the first thing to do to overcome this obstacle is to change your mindset about exercise. Accept the fact that you will never lose weight safely and effectively if you do not make exercise a crucial part of your lifestyle. Exercise plays a major role in weight management that if you are serious about shedding those pounds, then you have to make time for it.

Fit exercise or gym time into your schedule. Besides, you will not only lose weight, but you will be healthier as well. A schedule that is too busy for exercise is unhealthy in a lot of ways. So make it a point to include it like you would a very important appointment for the day. There are also exercises that will give you the maximum in terms of results but require less time from you. High Intensity Interval Training, better known as HIIT, is one such exercise program. Compared to the regular, steady-state exercises, you will be able to burn bigger calories per day and some more in the following days after your workout. Beachbody employs the same principle in 22-Minute Hard Corps and Focus T25 where you can get the comparable benefits of an hour’s workout in just 30 minutes. What happens is that, with the varying of intensity levels, the heart also goes up and down, and then up-down again. Consequently, your oxygen consumption increases, post-exercise and more calories get burned even in the days after.

2. Exercise is a drag

An exercise program is typically done via a series of repetitions and the routine can be boring especially if you have been doing it for some time. But don’t let this stop you from hitting the gym because there are so many choices out there for you. Working out should never be a chore because once you feel that it is, then it is not the right one. You have to enjoy what you are doing in order to have the motivation to keep doing it until you reach your weight goals. You simply have to find those activities that you love, vary what you do weekly, or continue to explore various forms that may interest you. There’s the treadmill, kickboxing, line dancing, swimming, mixed martial arts, tennis, yoga, and so much more.

3. Pushing yourself too hard

While others do not really care about exercise, you on the other hand, may be working too hard. There is nothing wrong with working hard because it shows how determined you are to lose weight. However, overdoing it can have adverse effects and even result to injury. In the end, you will only feel frustrated to see that there seems to be not much change on the weighing scale despite all your efforts and everyday workout. Some people even hit a fitness plateau as a result of too much effort and too often.

You will only see desirable change when you do it right. And an effective exercise program includes time for you and your body to recover and regain its strength. It is actually when you rest that muscles build and grow. Consequently, as you go back to your intense workouts after a respite, you will notice a significant increase in your speed as well as efficiency. On the other hand, not resting at all can leave you feeling drained and unable to lift weights for more repetitions. So go ahead take time to rest, make up on sleep, or still workout but make it light and easy. A 3-Week Yoga Retreat from Beachbody can be perfect for some gentle exercises and full body stretches. Maintain balance and achieve maximum results by making recovery an inevitable part of your fitness program.

4. Pain and aching joints

When you are in some kind of pain due to an injury or a chronic problem, it is certainly hard to get out of your way and even think about exercise. But as long as you have your doctor’s approval, it is more helpful to make the smallest of movements compared to none at all. You just have to go low-impact and step it up a bit. Start with exercises that are doable for you such as walking, biking, or swimming, even just for a good half hour. These are more likely to help you burn those calories and shed those pounds than just sitting on your couch doing nothing.

5. Workout and nothing else

Some people think that working out is the only thing that can make them lose all the weight. Truth is that, maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes both exercise and a proper diet is what really makes the difference. Research has confirmed that individuals who start out with a healthy diet coupled with regular exercise are more likely to succeed as they are able to maintain this kind of lifestyle over time. Weight loss is mostly a result of dieting and about 40% exercise.

As such, you can workout intensively everyday but end up not shedding any pounds if you fail to follow a diet that will complement your exercise program. It is important to understand that exercise is just part of a whole and the other parts have to be done as well if you are to get to your weight loss goals. So do not rely solely on exercise to lose weight. Adopt healthier eating habits that are geared towards helping you achieve your most desirable body ever.

6. Exercise makes you hungry

If you have been following a strict diet or have been trying to cut on food to lose weight, you might not want to work out as it can cause you to crave for more food. However, the successful principle behind healthy weight loss has to involve both proper nutrition and exercise. As such, you do not have to worry about working out and eating more because what really matters is the amount and kind of food that you eat that will result in maximum weight loss. In fact, depriving yourself of food will take its toll sooner and will only make you go back to your nasty old eating habits.

The key is to load up on foods that are filling but have low calorie counts such as lean protein, veggies, fruits, and whole grains. They have to be rich in protein and fiber so that you feel full longer as digestion is slowed down. Non-starchy vegetables are also very helpful in this sense and it can include squash, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. To make them more flavorful, you can add some spices and vinegar’s, or roast them if you like them caramelized and sweet. The fiber content and water is sure to fill you up. Plus, it can also give you lots of phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

7. Too busy to cook

One of the primary reasons why most individuals gain a lot in the first place is that, they are fond of consuming instant and processed food. However, if you want to be successful at losing weight, you have to do just the opposite and invest time in preparing your very own weight loss-designed food. It doesn’t have to take you hours though. You just need to plan ahead so that you can fit it right into your schedule and get into the habit of eating fresh, healthy food at the right proportions.

Plan your meals and snacks for the day or for the week before you go hungry and reach for a bag of junk food. Clear your cupboard and fridge from everything that will hinder your weight loss. Stock up on healthier choices and ingredients. Instead of ordering takeout, try tossing your favorite main course salad and enjoy a scrumptious meal without the guilt. Check out some recipes that are quick, tasty, and doable for you so that you can follow through on them.

8. Healthy food tastes bland and boring

Try eating leafy green vegetables for a week and you will soon feel like you’re turning into a goat. Healthy food can taste boring especially when you are used to savory, processed, frozen, or canned ones with high-salt or sugar content. However, you have two critical choices here: one is to continue eating those delicious, sinful foods and gain more weight; or two, do everything you can to make healthy food more palatable for you while losing weight at the same time. If you are more excited to see a sexier body this time, then it will take patience and some experimenting on your end.

Healthier food can taste different at first but over time, you will find that you can enjoy them too. This is especially when you are able to explore tastier ways of cooking them such as using spices to boost its natural flavor. So yes, how bland or delicious they taste is up to you as you try to learn the basics of cooking them tastefully, and then experimenting a bit till you achieve the flavor that suits you best. Keep trying new recipes and ways of cooking when you feel like you can’t take anymore of the healthier foods that you have been preparing. Who knows, broccoli might just become your next favorite thing.

9. Going healthy is expensive

The first thing that might come to mind after you finally decide to eat healthy is that, organic produce is expensive! Fortunately for you, it’s not your only choice. One smart move is to go for fruits and vegetables that are in-season because it would mean that plenty would be available and that they would be cheaper. Frozen veggies are also good options as typically, they are as nutritious as the fresh ones. Going vegetarian is another wise choice for those on a budget. You can consume more plant-based protein over meat, which can be costly. Moreover, preparing your own meals at home is far more budget-friendly compared to eating outside. In the long run, investing in your health today means tons of savings in the future. Paying for a fresh chicken salad over a fast food meal will save you tons in health-related expenses later.

10. Resisting temptation is just too hard

You know yourself better and if you are aware about how weak you can be in the face of temptation, then this is what you need to prepare for ahead of time. Your willpower and determination to stay true to your diet program is going to be constantly tested and you have to pass the test each time. Think about those times when you have to be outside of the house, with loved ones or friends, having a good time. Plan your defense before going out and know exactly what to order, gulp on a filling healthy shake beforehand, or bring some healthy snacks to munch on.

For support, tell whoever it is you’re meeting up with about your weight goals so that they can help you choose healthier choices instead of letting you give in to the temptation. For office birthdays, happy hours, and other tempting occasions, have the willpower to resist eating too much or just have a taste or a spoonful of your favorite food to satisfy your cravings but still stick to your diet program.

11. Lacking in follow-through

It’s easy to be excited and all pumped up at the start of a new endeavor especially when it involves losing weight to get a sexier body for a wedding or a high school reunion. But when the going gets tough, only the tough gets going while the rest fail to follow through on their weight loss agenda. As such, it is important to have the right motivation from the start and be able to set short-term as well as long-term goals. In this way, when the excitement wears off, you will still have more than enough reason to push through with what you have planned and not end gaining back what you have worked so hard for to lose.

Wearing that bikini for the summer is a good short-term goal but avoiding health problems encountered by other family members can be a source of strong and serious long-term motivation. To keep yourself motivated, it is also advisable to create daily goals with corresponding immediate rewards. Say for instance, if you are able to finish a cardio workout for a consistent 30 minutes for the whole week, you get to see your favorite movie for the weekend. If you are the competitive type, you can challenge yourself by joining marathons and ending the race with a gold medal. Losing weight in this sense, isn’t anymore your end goal but a start to a long-term lifestyle enhancement.

12. Past failed attempts holding you back

Failure can wear you down. Numerous failed attempts can literally make you feel ashamed of yourself. But if you just dwell on how much you have failed in the past, then it is going to continue to haunt you down and success will never be a part of you. On the other hand, you can turn those failures around and turn them into stepping stones for success. Besides, you cannot really call it a definite failure unless you have given up and quit for good. So the key is not to quit, but to keep trying until you have succeeded. To ensure your success this time, check back and reflect on what specific obstacles you have encountered previously and think up some strategies to counter each one as you plunge into a new attempt. There are no guarantees, but you can choose to be stronger with each failure, get back up, and fight another day.

13. Punishing goals and impossible deadlines

You can only lose a certain number of pounds each week or each month and you are already punishing yourself unnecessarily if you push beyond that. This will be bad for your motivation and self-worth. Weight loss is certainly not an overnight thing and you should remember too, that you spent years of unhealthy habits to gain that much weight in the first place. Be a friend to yourself and set only realistic goals and reasonable deadlines. Don’t wait too long before you start on a program when your sister’s wedding is just a month away.

Plan at least a year ahead to help yourself and your body adjust to the new activities and eating habits. Do not lose hope when you don’t get to a certain weight at a specific date. Instead, make your progress slow, but steady and sure. It is no use going yoyo with your weight because that can pose serious damage to your health. Do research as to which kinds of food and exercise routine can help you lose weight effectively according to your individual characteristics. Consult a weight management expert if you have to so you can help yourself.

14. Getting stuck in a plateau

A plateau can be equally frustrating as gaining more weight than you desire. It’s like sacrificing so much and working hard for nothing. Come to think of it however, there must be something to what you are currently doing that has made you reach that point. Impatience over a plateau will certainly not help in this case. Health experts believe that reaching a plateau is part of the weight loss cycle. It could be the body’s natural reaction or it could be that you have slackened in following your program to the letter. Whatever the reason may be, this is no cause for quitting but a signal to recheck your current activities and see where you might need to improve. Extend your patience and just focus on your goal.

As a whole, obstacles are there for you to overcome. Take them as a challenge, work hard to overcome them, and you will find success to be your sweetest victory ever.

7 Ways to Overcome your Fear of Working Out

7 Ways to Overcome your Fear of Working Out

fear of working out

It’s easy to fear the unknown, that is human instinct. When trying to learn something new or starting new feats that you have never done before, fear is sure to set in. However, if you just focus on that fear, then you might end up stagnating in your comfort zone and achieving less. The fear of working out can attack you in the same way. You may feel like exercising or going to the gym is not something you can be good at and so you end up feeling conscious of yourself or anxious. Just looking at those weights can be intimidating and you might fear getting hurt or simply doing it wrong. It’s like being forced to dance and looking awkward in front of so many people. The fear of failure can really stop you in your tracks.

Most often that not however, all that is just in your head. Because you will never know how it will really turn out if you haven’t even tried, right? Besides, working out and the fear of it is worth overcoming with all the physical, emotional, and mental health benefits that it can give you. Who knows, you might actually enjoy it! But first, here are some tips to help you cross over and overcome the fear of working out.

1. Focus on yourself

The gym is the most bustling place you can get into and it can be very intimidating especially when it’s your first time to enter it’s jungle-like environment. You will see highly confident individuals lifting weights or running on the treadmill like they have been doing it all their life. If you are not into loud music, rotating disco lights, and hardcore athleticism, the multi-sensory atmosphere at the gym can overstimulate you instead of pump you up. You might end up asking yourself, “What did I get into?” At this point, it would be easy to just bail out. However, the goal is for you to overcome your fear and the best way to do it is to tune out all the distractions and just focus on yourself. Turn on your kind of music or listen to an audio book or podcast on your headphones so you can put everything else in the background. You can also focus your attention on the TV while on the elliptical or treadmill. Lastly, if you feel a bit intimated by how good others around you seem to be doing, divert your attention away from them. Focus on your own development, follow your own pace, and enjoy every moment of your workout.

2. Jazz up your work out

It’s true, working out can be difficult and exhausting. And so, if your fear is having to deal with all that then just end up quitting in the middle, then you’ve got to find a solid motivation. Marit Weikel, owner and licensed professional counselor at Weikel Health and Wellness, recommends doing something that you actually enjoy in terms of exercise. As an adult, you are best motivated to consistently do something when you like and want what you are doing. In this way, your workout routine won’t be a boring or straining one that will make you give up easily. Work with your instructor on exercises that you prefer or combine spinning, boxing, and swimming to your usual routine depending on what will make it more fun for you. You will notice that every effort you make will go beyond just burning calories and more about feeling good about yourself. Realizing that simply moving your body is already beneficial as a health mindset, and in this case, you can give dancing a shot with Beachbody’s CIZE or Country Heat. If you enjoy the outdoors or nature, you can do your workouts there for a refreshing change. Practically anything and everything to jazz it up and make you happy is great to help see you through your long-term workout program.

3. Establish a sound mind-body connection

For some people, the idea of exercise in general can cause severe anxiety. If this is true in your case, then a more serious approach is likewise called for. Typically, severe anxiety, like all other extreme types, will need the intervention of a mental health professional who can help you deal with it effectively. Meanwhile, you can do exercise routines that help sync the body with the mind so that when the psychological issues have been resolved, the body will be able to execute its desired goals. Mind-body classes such as Pilates, tai chi, and yoga do not only give you relaxation but help you get comfortable with your body as well. Janelle Railey, an Ashtanga teacher, espouses that yoga allows you to understand yourself better from the inside-out. It develops a sense of self-awareness where you become mindful about what is beneficial for your body at a given moment. For those who are afraid of exercise, this can prove to be empowering.

Beachbody has a yoga series that has been specially designed for beginners. It is a 3-week yoga retreat with 3 experts who will guide you through the basic fundamentals of yoga right at your own home. In this way, it will be easy for you to just relax, breath, stretch, and explore different yoga moves without feeling conscious about other people around you.

4. Do it one-step at a time

When you think about exercise and everything that you need to do that is outside of your usual routine, it can make you feel afraid of getting injured in the process. But if you just think about all the bad that can happen to you, then you will never be able to develop to your fullest potential. As such, it is better to go and brave the waters, but to do it gradually and wisely. And so, to avoid injury, work with the basics and the less intensive ones to start. If you haven’t been doing any sort of exercise lately, slowly introduce your body to the gym with the simplest of exercises such as walking, instead of getting into running right away. Railey, also a psychotherapist with a practice base in Asheville, N.C., suggests that walking is great for starters because it makes you feel in control. You can walk at your own pace – walk slower or faster as you see fit. And when you are in control, the less you will feel afraid that something might go wrong that will end up in an injury.

As for classes you can attend, start with the less intense ones. As you enroll in a gym class, work with your instructor as to the level of difficulty that you can take. In fact, your instructor already knows where to put you as a beginner but it is also good to communicate your apprehensions so that you can be guided accordingly. Do not try too hard to keep up with the rest of the class because your fitness needs and development are different from theirs. If you do what they do, then that will only increase the likelihood of you getting injured. So go for a class where you belong for now such as Beginners or Level 1, including the 3-week Yoga Retreat by Beachbody. As for classes labeled Extreme or Bootcamp, you can save them for later.

Another way to conquer your fear of injury is to make sure that you are doing proper form as you execute your routines. Good form will never result to injury because proper execution is the safest for your body. For instance, Beachbody has a mixed martial arts CORE DE FORCE video program that will teach you good form to ensure that you are doing it right with zero to minimal injuries. Make sure to warm up with some jumping jacks or a light jog to prepare your muscles for more rigorous movements ahead.

5. Start with a home workout

One of the reasons why people work out in the first place is that they desire to look good and feel good, aside from wanting to stay healthy. So what if, you are at that point where you are not that confident with your self yet and you are afraid that you might look awkward in the eyes of other people in the gym? Besides, not everybody is born with that natural coordination in executing those various workout moves. It’s definitely not a crime to build that confidence first, right at the comforts of your own home. In this way, you will know what to do and how to do it properly when its already time to go to a public gym. So spend those first-timer awkward moments at home where no one can criticize you or throw you that what-in-the-world-are-you-doing look. Beachbody On Demand has put together a streaming service that can jump start your home workouts. You will be able to access hundreds of enticing workouts that match your particular fitness level. The best thing about it is that, you do not only do it in private, but at your own pace, duration, and time as well. You can workout when it is most convenient for you, without feeling rushed or pressured in any way. Enjoy it with a trainer of your choice and at an intensity level that’s right for you.

6. Consider creating a support group

In any endeavor, the fear of failure seem to be always looming at a distance. Once you go to the gym, people will have expectations and what they will say if you fail with your fitness goals? Would you opt not to go because you are not really sure if you’re going to make it? The fear of failure can have this devastating effect on you, but if you can ensure your success then there is no reason for you to feel this kind of fear in the first place. You have to be strong in your conviction, believe in yourself that you can do it, and do everything that you can to succeed. What would really help in this case is some outside motivation that a support group can give you.

Your support group can consist of your family, friends, and other loved ones whom you know are always full of positive and encouraging things to say to you. Let them know about your goals so that they can boost your morale when needed. Some gym buddies can provide you with such accountability boosters directly so you can get one or two for yourself as well. You can motivate and push each other to persist in your gym objectives.

7. Cultivate trust

If you just think about it, and sometimes, even overthink, you will never be able to cross over and finally work out at the gym or join that class you have desired in a long time. Most of the time, just letting of go all your fears and everything else that is stopping you is the only way to go. Just going ahead with it and actually doing it will make you realize that it’s not that bad after all. In fact, it can even be great! You just got to trust yourself and the people around you that it will all fall into place no matter how bold and new this feat may be to you at this time.

Trust in your coaches, trainers, or instructors. They are there to provide you with the support that you need, just when you need it the most. If they tell you to push harder, then do so because they know what you are capable of and like you, they want to see the greatest progress that you can achieve. Should you experience failure from time to time, trust that failures are there as learning stepping stones that will eventually lead you to your goals.

7 Tips for Serious Muscle Building

7 Tips for Serious Muscle Building

Beachbody Muscle Building

What is the best way to build muscles? If you have been wanting to see progress but have been mostly disappointed, then there’s must be something that you need to do right this time. Whatever your fitness goals may be – get bigger, stronger, or more powerful, muscle building has to be done efficiently. Typically, this takes more than just spending time lifting weights. There are must-do resistance training strategies to include in your overall muscle-building program.

1. Introduce variance into your program

Because you desire visible muscle growth right away, you may initially think that lifting heavy weights is the only way to go. Explosive exercises such as sprints and heavy weight-lifting can indeed give you the most, in terms of growth potential, as it targets Type II muscle fibers. Studies suggest, however, that your Type I muscle fibers do have growth potential as well. Better known as the slow twitch, Type I fibers are those often utilized during endurance activities and are not to be ignored. Thus, it would be great to work them out once a week or every 2 weeks via high repetitions and low weight. For instance, you can do 15 reps (or more) with 3-4 sets per exercise. You can also choose among the Beachbody programs that adopts this kind of variation such as the 22-Minute Hard Corps, Master’s Hammer and Chisel, P90X, 21-Day fix, or the Body Beast.

2. Achieve that balance in your lift

You have to mind the way you lift weights and be able to lift responsibly. Yes, your muscles do need to be challenged to activate growth, but there is a smart way of triggering the same. Sometimes, you may tend to shift to heavier weights too quickly that you also increase the chances of injury. However, doing it too slowly can result to a growth plateau or you, shortchanging your growth potential. The key then is to strike that balance by paying close attention to the efforts that you exert. Once you are able to lift in perfect form and you feel that the last few reps seem similar to the first ones you did, then you know that it is time to shift to a heavier weight.

3. Gorge on more protein

Protein is essential to muscle growth, repair, and recovery. Amino acids, or the protein building blocks, are what’s needed to build muscle tissue. You have to eat more protein to make all these happen as you lift weights. For a protein-rich meal, the optimal amount is 20 grams of protein as an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study has shown that the body only uses up 20 grams of protein to build muscles in one sitting.

For the whole day, about 80 grams – equivalent to 4 meals with 20-grams of protein contained in each meal – is just right for an average individual. To compute the amount of optimal protein that’s suited for you and your fitness goals, it is recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine that the ideal consumption range should be between 0.5-0.9 grams per pound of your body weight per day. For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should consume about 75-135 grams of protein in one day.

In this case, you can split the 80-gram allowance for protein each day by having 3 meals with 20-gram protein content and a post-workout drink which contains the last 20 grams of protein you need, like the Beachbody Performance Recover that provides you with that exact amount per serving conveniently. Meanwhile, if you are the ambitious type and want to build more muscles than that, much like those who are into Beachbody’s Body Beast program, then aim higher and go for the highest grams in the 75-135 range, then add 1-2 additional 20-gram protein snacks to your day. Just make sure you don’t go overboard and go beyond the 135-gram cap. The more you exercise though, the more protein your body will need to consume for muscle building and maintenance.

4. Cover multi-joint exercises

Florida State University Interim Director, Dr. Michael Ormsbee, from the Institute of Sports Science & Medicine, recommends that while all kinds of moves can help build muscles, spending some time doing multi-joint exercises provides for a strong base. When you load your workouts with multi-joint or compound exercises like bench press, squat, pull-up, and lunge, you are tapping the most efficient way in resistance training to build lean mass. Science purports that compound moves trigger the highest increase in testosterone levels which plays a major role as the hormone responsible for muscle building.

5.Sleep some more

When you sleep for less than 7 hours each night, you build up a sleep debt that eventually halts muscle growth or protein synthesis. A study conducted by Brazilian researchers show that sleeping for less than 7 hours on a regular basis increases protein degradation equivalent to muscle degradation. As such, it is best to get 7 hours every night or even sleep some more so that you can activate that muscle growth that you desire. Besides, adequate sleep also gives you other equally-important benefits as the human growth hormone levels are at its peak when you are sound asleep.

6. Minimize cardio exercises

Calories are needed to build muscle and when you burn most of your calories doing cardio exercises, such as biking or running, then your body might have nothing much left for muscle building. To build muscles more quickly, minimize your cardio or use it only for short warm-ups of up to 2 to 5 minutes, and then spend your calories more on the weight training.

7. Give it time to recover

Recovery is crucial in muscle-building because it is actually when muscles grow and not during your workouts. Recovery includes eating healthy with more protein and taking time to rest instead of over training. Over training your muscles at very high intensities too frequently may hurt, cause injury, and put your efforts to waste. On the other hand, rest and recovery days that you spend in between at 1-2 days per week, allows your muscles to recover fully and grow. To maximize your rest days and downtime, you can do light cross training such as cycling, hiking, or yoga. Patience, focus, consistency, and recovery are what you need to achieve your desired results.

Understanding the 21 Day Fix Containers

Understanding the 21 Day Fix Containers

21  Day Fix Containers

21 Day Fix Containers

Portion control is a critical aspect of any successful nutritional or diet program. However, figuring it out can be tricky without the right tools to guide you along the way. The 21 Day Fix containers provide you with a color-coded solution to help make portion control a breeze and allow you to focus on your fitness goals. This means, no more calorie counting for you because if it fits on the containers and it is on your list of approved foods, then you can go ahead and simply enjoy it.

The Whys

So why is it worth giving a shot? The 21 Day Fix Container is a system that works in a very practical manner. It understands how counting calories is extremely important to you but can be likewise a daunting task. And so with this container system, you do not have to tediously count calories because you would only need to count containers. Its evidently easier keeping track of 3 enticingly green containers compared to counting calories.

Moreover, it ensures that you get all the nutrients you need for the day by eating a little portion from each of the container. You might find, as you begin the program, that you will tend to feel full even when you haven’t finished all of the containers yet. Well, this is because nutritious food has got a lot more in it than junk food food so it has also has more volume. So the key is to be able to eat a little portion from each container from your favorite to your least-liked.

The best part about the 21 Day Fix Containers is that it doesn’t take away the fun out of eating by making you feel aware of what you eat and empower you to practice moderation. By the end of the 21 day program, knowing how many and enjoying your vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and lean proteins will be second nature to you as you go through your wellness regimen each day. To make it even more exciting, Autumn Calabrese, 21 Day Fix creator, has put together a FIXATE cookbook for enticing meal plans you can try.

The What 

The 21 Day Fix Containers are all about color and nutrition. Six colors correspond to 6 types of food. Green means vegetable container which can include raw or cooked, and chopped or sliced veggies. This goes for vegetables like kale, lettuce, pepper, squash, onions, and mushrooms. For a voluminous and scrumptious salad, squeeze in as much lettuce as you can in there!

Purple is the container for your fruits. Berries, grapes, or cherries are great as they fit as is, but you can cut larger ones like watermelon, apples, or peaches. Red is the designated container for your protein-rich foods such as shellfish, tofu, eggs, yogurt, and chicken breast. Let the food list guide you for other protein sources. Yellow is the color for caloric carbs and starches. Foods like whole-grain pasta, sweet potato, beans, and rice fit in here. In case there are foods in the list that don’t fit like tortillas and waffles, the guide will specify the portions that you can consume.

Blue is the container for healthy fats that includes hummus, cheese, nuts, and mashed avocados, to name a few. For dressings and seeds, they are to be placed in the orange container. The dressings are those recommended in your 21 Day Fix program together with calorie-dense foods such as coconut, olives, and seeds.

To make measuring easier, a teaspoon measurement is included as well and to be used for butters and oils, like in the case of peanut butter and olive oil.

The How

Here’s the most exciting part – learning how to use those colorful containers! First step is to go to Page 4 of your 21 Day Fix guide and check the calorie count that you will need each day. After that, go to page 19 and see the 21 chart to determine the number of containers for each color you should be consuming for the day based on your calorie range. Looking at the macro-nutrient percentages, it is evident that the plan is about 30% fat, 30% protein, and 40% carbohydrates.

To make it more fun, you can mix and match the foods in one container as long as they belong to the same category. So if you prefer not to have all spinach in one green container, then you can mix it up and fill one half with some carrots in there. You may enjoy your favorite food straight from the containers especially when you need to be outside or simply empty the contents into a bowl whenever you’re at home or however you want to enjoy them.

12 Benefits of Walking for Exercise

12 Benefits of Walking for Exercise

benefits of walkingFrom simple to complex, there are many forms of exercise that you can choose from. You can run, jog, lift weights, do aerobics, yoga, or even high intensity training. However, should you want to make it more doable and easier for you, then there is one exercise that you can succeed in pursuing and that is walking. Yes, walking is the simplest exercise that you can definitely do and naturally at that. Besides, walking is free. You do not have to pay for anything to join or register and this is the best part.

With the right program, walking is likewise known to help you shed the extra pounds or to maintain your ideal weight. What most people do not realize however is that, walking can bring a host of other benefits that you too can avail of. Here are 12 of the most significant ones:

  1. Brain booster

Whether young or old, walking boosts brain functions. Meanwhile, it is most helpful as people age. Walking as an exercise becomes more important with age because it tends to lessen the risks of brain disorders including dementia. Aging brings about deterioration in the whole body and the brain is likewise affected.

Walking however has the ability to reverse the signs of old age. Based on a study issued through the Annals of Neurology, it was discovered that those participants aged 55-88 years old who made an effort to meet the exercise guidelines established by the American Heart Association were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

If you are looking at improving your cognitive abilities though, then there is this one essential trick: Walk backwards. Yes, that’s right, walking in reverse was found in a Dutch study to have significant effects on the brain as it helped participants think more speedily while they were on their feet. Also, try to incorporate some brain-enhancing movements to your walking exercise as this intensifies the benefits that you will be getting. For instance, you can move in a determined pattern then couple it with coordinated movements of the arms.

  1. Bone strengthening

Walking is friendly to the bones. With every step, your bones strengthen and this reduces the risk of you developing osteoporosis. Specifically, walking exercises contribute to the strengthening of the hip bones. This was confirmed in a Nurses’ Health research in which the women participants who walked for at least 4 hours in a week’s time were found to have reduced their risks of suffering from hip fractures.

You can also do the more rigorous forms of exercising such as jumping, weight lifting or running but the benefits for your bones will actually be the same. And so if you would like to start light and easy, go for walking. It will not demand as much from you but it will strengthen your bones just the same. Besides, walking can be such a leisurely activity that it would be like hitting two birds with one stone. This is likewise highly recommended for those who have joint issues as this is a low-impact exercise that is safe for them.

  1. Mood enhancer

Like most physical activities, walking can also enhance your mood. It is perfect for those rough days when you have a lot of negative feelings bottled up inside. Walking it off can really help to let off steam. Stressful situations can really bring you down and walking can help lift your spirits up again. There have been a number of studies that have established the high correlation among improved mood, lowered stress levels, and walking as an exercise.

What would be best in this case is to take a nature walk. The great outdoors with its lush greenery can be very relaxing especially when it is spent with someone who is able to lend a helping hand or a listening ear. Walking alone can also be a meditative venture. Just make sure that you do so in safe areas or parks.

  1. Keep your circulation going

Walking is very heart-friendly. Most physical activities, including walking, actually does the heart a lot of good. In particular, it makes your body’s circulation run smoothly, enhancing it with every effort made. Because of this, it helps keep your blood pressure levels at bay and reduces any risks of a heart attack. And as you know, this simple exercise does not demand a lot from you. Brisk walking for as short as 30 minutes daily, already qualifies you to these circulation benefits. So the next time you feel too lazy to walk, remember how you can help your heart if you just walk the extra mile.

  1. No more Humpty-Dumpty

Aging cannot be avoided, but there is definitely something that you can do to steer clear of falling or tripping disasters as you age. Making strong powerful strides as you do your walking helps keep your balance and strengthens your muscles especially when it is done consistently. When muscles start to weaken in the shins or when you experience a loss of balance, this causes a shuffling gait and sooner or later, you will find yourself falling or tripping. Walking regularly helps resolve this problem by providing strength for the lower body and improving balance.

So the next time you take a walk, make exaggerated actions – giving emphasis to the heel-to-toe movement as the foot moves towards the shins, better identified as the dorsiflexion. Walk it bravely so you won’t end up like humpty dumpty.

  1. Sharpen your memory

The more you walk, the more you remember. When you are able to perform your walking exercises on a regular basis, you do not have to worry about things that you might forget or trying to recall something important. Walking targets the hippocampus part of the brain that is in charge of learning and verbal memory. As observed in a study made by the researchers from the University of California in San Francisco, those women aged 65 years and above who made walking as part of their health routine experienced lower age-related decline in memory in comparison to those who didn’t.

  1. Pain relief from arthritis or fibromyalgia

If you find yourself crippled by pain, then there is more reason for you to move, get up, and walk. Making frequent walks can help ease the pain as well as minimize the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, arthritis, and other similar conditions. With this exercise’ low-impact and moderate nature, it can certainly help in lessening the pain. For most individuals, it can even improve their body’s functions. Like any other exercise program though, it is best to pay your doctor a clinical visit before you proceed so as to make sure that it is safe and approved for you.

  1. Stabilize blood sugar levels

Fluctuations in the blood glucose levels can spell disaster for the body’s internal system. To avoid the serious consequences including developing Diabetes, take a walk during the day or at night – whichever is most convenient for you. However, should you want to maximize the health benefits of walking, doing it after eating can be more effective. Through a study found in the Diabetes Care journal, it was shown that walking after meals for a quick 15-minutes is as effective as walking for 45 minutes when your goal is to lower your blood glucose levels for a 24-hour period.

  1. Bolster immunity

Walking makes your body stronger inside and out. You do not only become physically strong, but more importantly, it builds your resistance against diseases. With a solid immune system, you can guard yourself against life-threatening cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, and other debilitating conditions. Make walking a daily habit or do it at least 3 to 4 times a week. You will slim down and look good on the outside as well as become impregnable from the inside.

  1. Sleep soundly

There is nothing like a good night’s sleep. It gives you the positive motivation as you wake up each morning. Otherwise, you will feel groggy and unable to deal with your daily tasks competently the next day. So what do you do to get that peaceful, uninterrupted slumber that your body deserves every single night? Morning walks are best recommended for those who find sleep hard to hit. Surely, you will be able to catch some Z’s faster than when you did not make an effort to exercise at all. Get outdoors, walk in the morning, and bask in the sunlight. Exposure to the early morning sun allows you to remain in sync with the natural circadian rhythm of your body, paving the way for you to sleep heaven.

  1. A ball of energy

So where do you muster the energy to face the world everyday? Be your best and more energized self daily by keeping to your walking exercise routine. Brisk walking is one of the most potent natural sources of energy that you can count on to help you finish the job efficiently and speedily. With each step, you are increasing the supply of oxygen to every single cell of your bod and making yourself feel fully alert, alive, and enthusiastic. Walk during your break or lunch time and have the energy to accomplish more for the next half of your day.

  1. Pump up the bum

What do you leave behind as you turn your back? Yes, it is your buttocks and you don’t want to leave without making a good impression. Walking is the best exercise to keep your behind fully engaged with the human world. If you have been sitting around all day and have to keep doing it the rest of the week, then you are causing your glutes atrophy and inactivation. Walk as much as you can and you will transform that rear in no time. In specific, you can power up your bum while walking by placing your hands on both glute. It will tense up for a bit as your hands do the pushback. Keep going and you will walk your way through those sexy bottoms.

And if you’re ready to do a little more than walking then check out our Beachbody On Demand FREE for 30 days where you can do workouts like P90X, P90X3, Insanity, T25, Hammer and Chisel, TurboFire, Turbo Jam, P90, Yoga Retreat and many many more. (This is an awesome value)

Is Coffee Good before you Workout?

Is Coffee Good before you Workout?

coffee before workoutShould you be enjoying a cup of Joe before you hit the gym? Is it actually recommended to drink coffee before heading out for an intensive weight training? These questions must be answered if your health is of utmost importance to you. It is estimated that more than half of the American adult population dependably consume coffee every single day.

They do so for a variety of good reasons and most adults drink coffee for the jolt it gives early in the morning or later during the day. And then some would consume it to provide a boost of energy before working out. This will be logical if you are already tired and just need something to perk you up, right? But one dare asks, “Is this a good practice to do routinely?”

Coffee has been one of the most studied beverages, but when it comes to elucidating on its benefits with regards to exercise, it mostly zeroes in on the caffeine content that is found in it.

Caffeine: What is it?

Caffeine acts as a stimulant. It primarily targets the brain, signaling it to be awake and alert. It also decreases your brain’s awareness of the effort you give out. This means that you feel more invigorated and you don’t feel as much discomfort or pain. This will translate not only to an increase in the time spent in exercising, but it can also give an upsurge of energy that will sustain a tougher regimen. You become a Captain America or a Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. Black Widow for an hour or two there. Now, isn’t this something that you would desire while working out?

Fatigue and Coffee

Studies show that caffeine delays exercise fatigue, and this mostly benefits aerobic endurance. It has also been shown to increase the number of sets and the weight one can carry when it comes to strength training. While it has been said that caffeine can help you sustain a tougher work out session, this will also mean that it may mask the symptoms of fatigue and can lead to over-training and concomitant injuries and this is the part that you should be very concerned about. So while it does its purpose while you are working out, it has after effects that you must be ready to face. Keep this mind as you sip on your coffee.

Fat Burning Abilities

While it has been widely stipulated that caffeine can burn fats during exercise because it can support the release of fat stores, studies have not backed up this claim. On the contrary, studies show that caffeine cannot help with fat-burning, especially on the long term. So, if this has been your motivation for drinking coffee before working out, this is not a good reason to do so.

Caffeine Does Not Give Energy

People mistakenly think that caffeine gives energy, but it is not. It is a stimulant for its’ efficient release from food ingested. It actually does not provide the energy, per se. This means that if you have not taken any food for more than three hours, or if you feel your energy draining, it may be a sign that your glucose is actually low. It would be wise to eat a balanced meal or a healthy snack before you drink a cup of coffee and head out to the gym. This will provide the energy that the caffeine can effectively release.

Do’s and don’t s in caffeine consumption

While any amount of caffeine affects everyone differently, it is recommended that non-players and the general population take in 0.9 mg per pound or 2 mg per body weight (in kg) of caffeine an hour before working out. However, this is not a hard and fast rule, and it would be wise to start with a smaller dose first and see how it works for you.

It would be beneficial to have a chart to guide you into the amount of caffeine in each drink. It’s also important to note that these guidelines were made for the adult population, so its use is not for minors. Also, ingestion of caffeine for the young has yet unknown effects, so if you are part of this age group, it would be best to shy away from products containing caffeine, such as sports drinks.

Drinking more is not always better

If you are a professional athlete, then you have to take note of your caffeine intake as too much amount of this controlled substance can cause disqualification. Even if you are not an athlete, it is still imperative to check your caffeine intake as it can cause a rise not only in heart rate and blood pressure even at rest, but also can cause gastric irritation. Caffeine can also bring about insomnia since it takes 8 to 14 hours for the body to fully metabolize and excrete it. Due to this, it is not recommended to ingest a cup of coffee in the late afternoon and evening because it can bring about this condition. If ever you feel like you need coffee in the afternoon, consider first if you are just thirsty or hungry, because being so can make you feel lethargic as well.

To drink or not to drink

The question remains—would it be wise to drink coffee to help in working out? While it is true that it indeed help in enhancing performance, and it is generally safe for consumption for the adult population, this does not spell out that caffeine is imperative for one to have a great exercise session. Instead, it is best to ensure that you first drink lots of water, eat a balanced diet and have ample amount of rest before exercising. If there are days when you feel very sluggish even though you have taken all the above measures, then ingested of small amounts of caffeine can help, just as long as it is not during the later afternoon or evening when it can also cause sleeplessness.

If coffee is just not your thing and you are looking for a top of the line pre-workout drink be sure to check out our Beachbody Performance Energize.  Or get the Performance Energize in the 10 Pack.

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