Healthy Tips Archives

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.

Should I Weigh myself and how often?

Should I Weigh myself and how often?

weight-scaleWhen your goal is to lose weight, most of the time, you can’t help but think about shedding the pounds as fast as you can. So you go ahead and spend more time at the gym, sweating it out with a bunch of cardio exercises. Of course, you also do your best to keep to your diet plan and avoid all sorts of high-carb temptations. And then you think and say to yourself, “I must have lost some weight now!” – only to discover that you are about to disappoint yourself.

The Rocky Road Ahead

On your own, you will realize that losing the pounds that you have gained over time is not going to be that easy. In the meantime, you would tend to check out the scale to see if you have made any progress. And what does the scale say to your face? You still weigh the same or worst case scenario would be that you have become heavier. Now, that is completely frustrating and you might feel like wanting to give up. What was it that you have done wrong? Didn’t you exercise enough? Should you be trying a different diet plan? Or should you just give up altogether and go back to your old ways and comfortable way of living?

Before you go nuts however and sulk in depression, know this truth: These feelings that you are actually having are pretty normal and mostly expected when you are trying to get rid of the unwanted and the undesirable. The weight loss business can be real tricky and the weighing scale can tell you things that you might not like. Because of this, it is important to understand how losing weight really works so that you don’t easily get distracted when it does not reflect the numbers that you have been wanting to see.

Weight Management Realities

The cycle of losing, gaining, and maintaining your ideal weight involves an intricate process that needs to be fully understood. So yes, you have to see beyond what the scale tells you and dig deep into what is happening to your body as you work on achieving your ideal weight. A number of factors are at play that influence how much you lose or gain along the way. Again, weight fluctuations are normal and realizing this alone can already help you think more positively about your weight loss goals, become less frustrated, and be able to persist until you are able to achieve physical transformation.

So what are these factors? The human body is such an efficient system that whatever you do with it, it will do everything in its capacity to maintain that healthy balance. Well, if it is to function accordingly, it has to ensure that not one element is askew – everything has to be just enough. While you are in the process of slimming up, you would tend to cut off on your usual consumption of solid food and liquids and this in turn signals the body of what it lacks and what needs to be compensated or replenished. Likewise, when you indulge in more exercise now than you ever did in the past, this will also have an effect on how your body will respond.

Accordingly, factors such as hydration, recent food consumption, bowel movement, and the energy expended for exercise come into play. Even the climate can have an effect on your weight. As a result, you will notice that each time you step on the scale, it would give you a different reading despite all the efforts that you have made. Needless to say, the weight fluctuations that you will experience will not always be because you have actually gained weight or you didn’t treadmill enough but is only the body’s way of ensuring that it is able to fulfill its physiological functions.

The question now is, how often then should you take that trip to the scale to check on your weight? Whether you want to shed off those pounds or gain a little bit of weight, it is very imperative to dissect the mystery of the scale first.

More questions to answer

Why weigh yourself in the first place? When you are trying to slim down, the happiest day of your life would be when you see a huge drop in the weighing scale. However, is it actually healthy to constantly check the scale? Is it helpful or more harmful to the individual in this sense? Should you be doing it everyday or in a weekly or monthly basis? There is no black and white answer to this question. What will be considered helpful or harmful depends on what will work out for you and what will be positively motivating for you. Yours is the power to decide as to the frequency by which you should be stepping on the most intriguing scale.

Keeping it going daily

Is it mortal sin to be visiting the weighing scale section each and every day of your life? If the purpose is to make it as a constant reminder of your weight management goals, then the answer is no. A lot of people need a tangible reminder of their health objectives and seeing what the scale will tell them on a day-to-day interval may work. It gives them a sense of responsibility for their own weight loss and renews their enthusiasm to continue doing what they are already doing. Their daily progress is important because it keeps them in the right direction.

Some people would even go as far as keeping a daily log or journal of their weigh ins so they are able to analyze the results and re-evaluate their efforts towards their ultimate health goals.

On the other hand, if you are the type of person who would be easily and extremely affected by the numbers you see, then forget about doing it everyday. You might weigh in one day and notice the 0.6 pounds of weight gain then get depressed about it for the rest of the day. Or, should you see the 1.10 pounds of weight loss and already feel like you can slacken off your efforts with that very minimal and even irrelevant success. Don’t forget that certain weight fluctuations like these can be attributable to the factors pointed out above so there is no reason for you to exaggerate. The scale is just giving you numbers and this should not dictate how you should spend your day and the rest of your life. So no, no daily scale checking for you in this case.

Making it weekly

So what about checking out the scale at least once a week? Weekly weigh-in could be the thing for you. You do not have to worry yourself daily with your goals. Instead, you can focus and put all your concerted efforts on what needs to be achieved today so that by the end of the week, you can take a look at the numbers. In this manner, the pressure is off but you are still able to track your progress and remain consistent with your efforts with something to look forward to after 6 days.

The best practice when it comes to making weekly tracks of your weight loss or gain is to choose a certain day to do it and have it done in the mornings. While doing so, assess how your efforts affect the numbers on the scale. However, keep in mind that just like daily weigh-ins, you do not have to pay attention to the minute changes or fluctuations. In addition, your assessment should cover a good number of weeks before you are able to pinpoint a pattern that is giving you more success for your goals and then make sure to implement the same. With this weekly habit, you can still feel that sense of accountability but with more space and time for the actual health-promoting actions.

The Advantage of Periodic Tracking

You can also choose to check in on your progress on an occasional manner. Say, if you happen to have the spare time at the bathroom where you have your scale or at the clinic when you have your medical exam. This works well for those who do not consider numbers that important but find noticeable changes in the fitness of their clothes or how they feel more energized when they exercise more significant. They are in for the big changes and feel very motivated when it is other people who would first comment on or notice their transformation. Health buffs who do periodic weigh-ins believe more in maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the long-term in comparison to short-term, and often fleeting weight management goals.

Forget the scale

Whoever said that the scale is the only way to go? Well, there are also those who simple do not care about the weighing scale. What is most important for these groups of individuals is their general well-being and that’s all there is to it. As long as they are eating a balanced meal, feeling comfortable with their clothes, and exercising regularly, then they are good.

So there you have it with four options to choose from. Keep in mind that whichever you pick, it should lead you to the sustainable achievement of your weight objectives. And whatever you do, never weigh in twice or thrice daily. Simply put, that is just too much and anything excessive is bad for you. Use the weighing scale as a tool to help you and not make you obsessive over numbers. This is the secret to a successful weight loss via the weigh-in.

Not liking what the scale says? Check out Hammer and Chisel for a great program.

67 Scientific Ways to Lose Weight

67 Scientific Ways to Lose Weight

food- weight lossHere is what you might have observed if you have been trying your best to shed off those unwanted pounds: It is not easy! Even more challenging is the part where you have to make an effort to be consistent in what you are doing in order to stay healthy. Where in the world are you gonna get the motivation and perseverance to achieve your ideal weight goals?

One step at a time or one day at a time is the popular adage to work on and employ in building healthier habits. Changing one little thing daily from your usual unhealthy routine can slowly help you make bigger changes in the long run. However, what works for one individual may not be as effective for the other and this is also true in your case. So here is a wealth of weight loss strategies to explore and discover as to which ones will be most effective for you.

1. Put contrast to your plate.

Have you noticed how the color of the plates in restaurants closely match the color of the food being served? Well, the main purpose is to make sure that you enjoy the food and yes, eat more. So what do you do when you are trying to lose weight? Of course do the opposite and use contrasting colors for your plate and food to distract you from eating too eagerly.

2. Keep snacking.

Enjoying your snacks in-between meals is not really a bad thing especially when you munch on the right stuff. You see, your metabolism can slow down if you keep a low calorie diet and skip snack time. Avoiding snacks altogether may be helpful for obese individuals but based on research, skipping meals during the day then gorging on a full meal during night time can spell disaster on your bodily system. This can wreak havoc on your insulin response and put you at risk for Diabetes. So forget about starving yourself and eat healthy snacks in between even healthier meals.

3. Examine the perimeter.

Look over the entirety of the grocery store first before finally deciding to go down and up the aisle to choose which ones to buy. This way, you’ll see the corners for the healthier choices. The nooks of these stores typically are for meat, fish and fresh produce while the aisles on the inner part are for the processed food items. Scanning them first can help you locate these corners so that you can limit the unnecessary pre-packaged food in your basket.

4. Fill up your fridge.

Make it a point to stock your refrigerator with healthier produce, grains and meat. Fill your freezer with frozen vegetables mixes or mixed berries. If you have all these readily available, you might think twice about dining out because you already have ingredients for a healthy meal in your home. Also, this will enable you to save money.

5. Don’t skip breakfast.

If you skip breakfast, chances are you will binge-eat later in the afternoon or in the evening during dinner. Adhere to a schedule that includes eating a breakfast filled with protein to ward off the unhealthy mid-morning snacking.

6. Make your own meal.

If you eat out in a restaurant, chances are you will be served a meal in huge portions and when it is all finished, it can lead to increase caloric intake. It would be wiser to make your own meal at home so that you can control the ingredients and the sizes. You can gradually make the change by starting off with those healthy meals in just 12 minutes or less, like a healthy quesadilla.

7. Organize your pantry.

Arrange your pantry to show the healthier items more than the pre-packaged and processed food. Put those at the back ends of the cupboard and showcase the healthier ones, like the pasta from whole grain, nuts and beans. Remember, just smelling or seeing food can already stimulate your cravings!

8. Do the restaurant style serving.

Changing the style on which you serve your food can do wonders in reducing those calories. Instead of piling up all the casserole, salad and breadbasket on the table, leave some food out of reach in the kitchen. Once you’re done with eating, pause and think first if you do want another helping.

9. Make use of those small plates.

The logic behind this is that if you have smaller plates, it will lead to smaller portions. Conversely, using 12-inch plate will make your brain associate that the white unoccupied space with being less satisfied, thus prompting us to eat more.

10. Snack a bit before you dine out.

Dinner with friends? Have a light snack like an apple or probably a cup of yogurt just before heading out so that you don’t tend to eat more while enjoying with your peers. Make it sure to grab for good kind of protein as research reveals that an afternoon’s small snack of say, Greek yogurt, could bring about increased satiety and reduced hunger, and thus, less eating during dinner.

11. Freeze up those that you will not be serving.

Out of sight, out of mind—holds true for food as well. Once you’re done preparing your meal and have served yourself with a hearty portion, pack the rest of it right away and store in your refrigerator. Research shows that once food is not in sight, you will less likely try to have that second serving.

12. Think twice before you grab a second helping.

The faster we eat, the lesser time we are giving our brain to realize that we are already full, so pause before you reach out for that second serving. It would be best to stand up and go for some short walk before deciding to have that second helping or move to that sinful dessert.

13. Chew your food slowly.

It may not be suitable to your fast paced profile, but chewing slowly can do wonders. Eating slowly gives your brain and body time to realize you’re already full, thus preventing you from eating more.

14. Don’t eat while you are watching television.

Eating while getting hooked on your favorite series can bring about unmindful eating, which in turn makes it easier to just forget about how many cookies or chips you’ve already eaten. Watching those commercials of fast food, sugar-laden drinks and fried food will also stimulate hunger and prompt you to go to the fridge or dial the delivery number.

15. Include vegetables in your diet.

For a long time now, eating vegetables has been a recognized way of living in the pursuit of protecting oneself against obesity. Not only are these nutritious, but they add bulk and fiber to the diet. Add vegetables to your ordinary meals, like using spaghetti squash as a substitute to the typical grain pastas, or mixing pureed veggies to your casseroles or oat meals.

16. Resist all kinds of temptation at any cost.

Like literally. If you see tempting food, you are more likely to gobble it up. Seeing that cookie jar even if you’re not hungry can prompt you to grab a cookie. Making it a habit to veer away from sight of food if you’re not hungry can train your brain to decide rather than letting your eyes call the shots.

17. Grab only a portion.

Instead of grabbing a whole bag of those yummy but unhealthy chips, try getting only a fistful or go ahead and measure out one serving size and then sealing and storing the rest. This way, you will see what you were planning to shove to your mouth, making you mindful. Or better yet, try those snacks which only have 100 calories that will enable you to enjoy the whole thing with lesser calories.

18. Choose protein.

More protein in the diet equates to greater sense of fullness, so it would be wise to increase one’s protein intake. Also, it provides building blocks for muscle growth. Don’t limit yourself to animal sources though as there are many plant sources of protein as well.

19. Get packed up on the fiber.

Not only will fiber enable you to feel fuller longer, but it adds bulk to the diet, enabling you to have healthier motility. So seek out at least 5 grams per serving of fiber and practice snacking on some high-fiber food like baked apples and oatmeal.

20. Go for the healthy fats.

Yes, there are healthy fats and to make a balanced diet, one should allot a portion, albeit small, for this kind. Instead of using butter and oil, try replacing them with avocado, banana or applesauce. Acquire the healthy fat—the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated —from fish, nuts, coconuts, coconut oil and olive oil.

21. Stay away from simple carbohydrates.

The ones considered as simple carbohydrates are found in most food available in the market today— pastries, white bread, refined sugars in carbonated drinks and candies. They are called simple because they provide energy readily but do not have vitamins plus minerals and fibers. They cause an immediate rise in blood sugar but the feeling of fullness do not last, making you grab another serving, and another and another. Instead, choose the complex carbohydrates like whole grains that give you energy and fullness for a longer time, cutting of extra cravings.

22. Stay away from added sugar.

If you add another heap of sugar to your everyday drink like on milk or coffee, it can increase your risk for obesity and cardiovascular disease. Try avoiding added sugar and stick to ones in their natural forms, such as sugars in vegetables, whole grains or fruits.

23. Go for simple swaps.

Simple substitutions can do wonders in cutting calories. Try replacing sour cream with Greek yogurt, prunes instead of butter or an Americano for your favorite latte.

24. Forget about frying and slow down on the oil.

Instead of pouring cooking oil, you can try using non-stick spray or rubbing oil with the use of paper towels to give it a lighter coating.

25. Eat fruits more than drinking your usual fruit juice.

Don’t be deceived. Eating a fruit is a far cry from drinking fruit juice. You not only miss out on the vitamins. Apparently, you do not get the same amount of fiber as eating the real fruit. An apple fruit juice, for instance, has twice the sugar but 7 times less the fiber than the actual fruit. Or try some Lemon water.

26. Chew a mint-flavored gum.

Chewing a minty gum will not necessarily lessen your big appetite, but it will indeed keep yourself busy while preparing your food or socializing amidst a tempting array of appetizers. Research show that even though this practice has limited effects on weight reduction, it can lessen one’s cravings for sweets and minimize hunger in between meals. Also, chewing a mint-flavored gum has added benefits of waking you up as well as decreasing anxiety.

27. Spice it up using cayenne pepper.

Adding cayenne pepper on everyday food such as scrambled eggs will definitely boost metabolism by increasing fast oxidation. Likewise, it can decrease one’s craving for salty, fatty or sweet food.

28. Satisfy your cravings from time to time or occasionally.

Yes, you heard it right, but there is emphasis on the word, “occasionally”. Affirm the cravings you have instead of exhausting all means to push them away, as this can just lead to binge eating in the latter part. Veering away from a food will just make it even more enticing. After a few bites and you still can’t stop? Try using imagery like thinking about a satisfying activity to quell those desires to continue eating. Studies show that these can actually minimize the intensity of the food cravings.

29. Don’t eat all of it.

As mentioned, restaurant portions are bigger than what you cook when you eat at home. So before you make that first bite, make a deliberate effort to cut the portions in half and save it for tomorrow. You’ve not only cut down on your calories for that meal and but you will also have something to look forward to.

30. Have a sip before grabbing a bite.

Drink at least one glass of water before starting a meal. This will make you feel full faster, cutting down on those would-have-been added calories. Gulp down on a mid-meal break to give your brain some time to sense satiety.

31. Enjoy a cup of green tea.

Green tea has been recognized for its most sought-after ability to metabolize unhealthy fat. Couple this with weight training and this can very well be a powerful duo for potential fat loss. You may add slices of lemon to pump up the flavor, and you’re good to go.

32. Drink plenty of water.

Instead of reaching for that sugar-laden energy drink, dry plain water. It not only helps one feel full thus eat less, but it significantly increases the resting energy consumption, the amount of calories one burns if he sat around and do nothing all day. Conversely, lower intake of water is linked to increased body fat and blood pressure.

33. Be more conscious about your liquid calories.

Make healthier choices on the fluids you take by being mindful of what you put on your glass. Instead of airing carbonated drinks with a hearty meal, try gulping on plain water. Drinking these sugar-laden beverages increases one’s risk for obesity.

34. Watering down on your favorite drinks.

This may sound like its undesirable to some, but it can actually help. Slowly adding in more water to your juice can help keep the flavor but not the added sugar. Also, increasing water consumption instead of drinking sweetened beverages is linked with smaller chances of weight gain.

35. Say goodbye to the booze.

Alcohol has plenty of calories and drinking inhibits healthier eating habits, such as ordering pizza and other greasy food to combine with beer.

36. Use those sexy, thin, and tall glasses.

Looks are everything on this one. If you have a craving for juice or maybe a cocktail, then ask for it to be served on a thin and tall glass instead of a short one. Studies show that people tend to pour less on tall or narrow glasses when compared to their short counterparts. In this way, you will have more chances of drinking less.

37. Brush after eating.

After dinner, immediately brush your pearly white teeth. Wanting to keep that fresh breath will ward off pre-bedtime or midnight snacking.

38. Plan and succeed on your goals.

Impractical and far-fetched weight loss goals can actually slow down the long term ones, so make realistic objectives first to usher in those fitness transformations for real.

39. Keep a positive attitude.

Don’t punish yourself if you took a bite of that sinful cake. Instead, prod yourself to stand up and continue working on your weight loss goals by saying positive statements. “ I’m proud to say that I chose healthier food choices today, “ or “ I have the power to control my eating,” can change our way of thinking towards food.

40. Its all about portions and control

Portion control is a very dependable strategy in weight management, but it has never been easy. One tip is to use visuals to imagine portions, like 3 ounces of chicken is like the size of one deck of cards or a 2 inch circle of pasta that is uncooked will make a whole cup if cooked.

41. Think before you eat.

Be mindful of what you eat because how satiated we become after a good number of hours of having eaten does not just depend on how much you have ingested, but how much you “think” you have actually eaten.

42. The importance of meditation.

Stress eating can surely break your weight loss objectives, but one way to ward this practice off is to do meditation, employing techniques such as breathing and muscle-relaxation. This can help stress eaters deal with their own emotions rather than immediately taking it out on food.

43. Mantras to motivate you.

Remind yourself constantly with motivating statements such as, “You can do it!”, “ Push yourself harder!”, or “ A thousand miles begins with a single step!”. They do not cost a dime and they get an important message across.

44. Add, don’t subtract.

So instead of focusing on decreasing your intake of pre-packaged food and sweets, try putting your energy into adding more vegetables, eating more fruit and drinking more water. If you make a habit of this, in just a few weeks’ time, your brain and body may actually just crave for healthier choices without you having to exert so much effort.

45. Ward off stress.

Apparently, stress can indeed induce imbalances and will set you out to satisfy your cravings to make you feel better. Instead of instantly taking it out on a big chocolate bar or a box of honey-glazed doughnuts, think about effective but healthy ways you used to de-stress before. May it be going out for a run or listening to music, resort to approaches that will not lead you to destructive behaviors.

46. Have your end in mind.

The maxim, “What your mind can perceive, the body can achieve,” also holds true for weight loss, so spend time visualizing what you desire to attain. Studies show that repeatedly thinking about achieving your exercise goals, such as running a 21k or increasing your weights by 2 lbs, can actually boost performance.

47. Change your habits one at a time.

Concentrating on less can help one achieve more. When you want to change a habit, having several ones to alter can be overwhelming, so start with one and exhaust all your energy towards achieving it. Make clear cut guidelines on how this can be achieved.

48. See the bigger picture.

Don’t punish yourself if you ate one too many sweets after several months of being on track with your desired diet plans. Do not focus on your error but on those changes that you already achieved. Derive every learning you can on your mistake and start anew tomorrow.

49. Have adequate amounts of sleep.

Research show that lesser hours of sleep is associated with increases in appetite as well as slower metabolism of sugar. So, bank up on sleep and do away with distractions in the evening that can ward of sleepiness.

50. Connect with others.

It’s always better to start on a goal with support from family and friends.

Connecting with others via online communities, such as in Facebook and Twitter, can help you motivate yourself. Sharing goals online can help one feel that you are actually accountable for these plans, thus providing an impetus for adherence. Becoming a Beachbody Coach is an amazing was to stay accountable, get and provide motivation and stay surrounded by like minded individuals.

51. Write it down.

This will enable you to monitor what you eat, like using a journal or food diary. Seeing it written down also helps people adhere to their healthy practices as well.

52. Utilize some health apps to monitor your progress.

This can be a better alternative to just plain writing it down. You can use different applications to help track calorie intake and daily activities. Again, having these can help people be more mindful of their choices and regulate behavior to work to their desired end.

53. Wear it too!

Having a wearable is a convenient and effective way to help you track your steps every day and adjust your movement as the need arises. Go get one for yourself.

54. Take a photo of your food.

This will help you in remembering your meal for your food diary. A recent study conducted show that documenting your food by taking photos of it has a greater effect on developing good food choices as compared to written diaries alone.

55. Pump up the volume.

Research shows that listening to upbeat music can increase your pace and movement. It can also serve to distract you if you are on that intense grueling gym routine.

56. Prevent injuries.

Don’t be too overzealous to start exercising and forego with warming up. This practice will likely lead to injuries that may prevent you from continuing your exercise.

57. Go for the free weights.

Choosing free weights like doing squats with a pair of those dumbbells can activate more muscles effectively, which can help increase the calories you burn.

58. Functional fitness routines.

Doing functional exercises is associated with increase in balance and strength. It also helps decrease the risk for injury. Moving more muscle adds to its growth which increases metabolism and help burn more fat.

59. Don’t be limited by your limitations.

You don’t have to enroll in a weight training gym or maybe run a track to have a good workout. You can use a one set of dumbbells, your own body weight and a neighborhood playground to get you going.

60. Have caffeine before exercising.

Sipping on coffee before working out can actually slow glycogen depletion and encourage breakdown of fat as fuel first, thereby boosting exercise endurance.

61. Find a fitness buddy.

Having a partner, may it be a friend, a coworker, or a family member, not will make exercise more fun, but his or her presence will increase accountability. Having or becoming a Beachbody coach is a great way to have some workout buddies.

62. Don’t rely on monitors.

Exercise machine monitors may not always be all that reliable since they can sometimes reflect a higher value for calorie burned, giving you false sense of accomplishment and can even lead you to become lax on your workout regimen.

strength training results63. Strength Training to the rescue.

Strength Training will not only give you muscles. More often that not, it can increase your resting metabolism as well. It will just take a number of weeks and you will already get to see the results of your hard work. Hammer and Chisel is a great program.

64. Do High-intensity interval training (HIIT).

This is a combination of periods of training that is very intensive with some periods of low to moderate training. It boots metabolism and burns even more calories than a steadied stream of workout of longer duration.

65. Pump up your bedroom adventures.

Intense bedroom activities can burn up to sixty calories in a quick 30 minutes. Add to that, it can reduce stress levels as well as reduce your blood pressure.

66. Stand up more and enjoy it.

Sitting more hours during the day has been associated not only to obesity but as well as poor body mechanics and chronic pain. Instead, try standing up on your workstation to get that circulation going smoothly and burn those unwanted calories.

67. Move more.

Indeed, the equation for weight loss is moving more and eating less. Moving more is not just limited to time spent in the gym, but it also means deciding consciously to take the stairs or parking farther from the entrance.

 Page 1 of 2  1  2 »