Thursday, April 30, 2009
By Dan Beckwith
Good carbs, bad carbs, protein, nutrients...It can all get
pretty heavy duty. Healthy eating facts abound and can get
Today, let's put away the latest calorie counting charts and
discuss a tactic that is incredibly easy and is guaranteed
to help you lose weight, and eat more healthy. It is truly
one of the best healthy eating facts around.
Consider this, when was the last time you ordered a pizza or
went through the drive through at the local fast food place?
You know the super deluxe pizza, or the hamburger and fries
are bad for you... so, why? Why did you go there?
I'm sure there are exceptions, but my guess would be that
most of you grabbed the burger or pizza for no reason other
than - you didn't know what to fix for dinner. The fast food
place was on the way home, and it offered a simple solution.
To a surprising extent, our unhealthy diets exist for no
reason other than convenience. It's a fact - but, not one
of the healthy eating facts. The last thing we want to do
after a long day at work, is create a menu for our dinner.
We are tired! Then, when you consider the minefield of good
carbs, bad carbs and so on... it's even worse. BTW - it's
just as bad to toss a frozen pizza into the oven as it is to
Here's how to solve that problem...On your next day off (or
whenever you can) set aside a couple hours and plan your
dinner menu for each day in the coming week! Go two weeks if
you are feeling ambitious.
Put each meal plan on a separate sheet of paper in a 3 ring
binder. If you want to go all out, you can even separate the
days with pretty, multicolored tabs. Eventually, you will
probably want to laminate the pages.
Every night, when you get home, open your binder to that
days menu and prepare it. Here's the important part, we want
to make this a habit so never deviate from this daily plan.
You will totally stop the impulse buying from the local fast
food place, save a lot of money, and never have to worry
about what to fix for dinner.
It may seem overly simple, but it works and it will save you
quite a bit of money too!
If you had a personal chef, and their job was to fix you
healthy, nutritious, low-calorie meals, you would expect
them to pre-plan the menu. If they always waited until the
last minute for inspiration, you would most likely fire
them. Think of yourself in the same way, pre-plan your
meals. Then, don't change your plans during the week.
Right now, it may seem like a boring chore, but once this
becomes a habit you will learn to truly love your binder.
If you plan all your meals to be healthy ones, it MUST
eventually improve your health. It has to!
At the end of your first week, sit down and do it again.
Make up a new meal plan for the next week. Try to make them
all different recipes than the ones you had before. By the
end of the first month, you will have a months worth of
different recipes you can call on.
Every meal, for four weeks, will be different. This way you
will never get tired of eating the same meals over and over
again. They will all be tasty, nutritious and low calorie.
Once you've gotten this far, you can stop your weekly
planning and just continuously rotate the recipes in your
I think that's one of the best healthy eating facts out
there, and it will help you save a bundle at the grocery
Check out my website for a bunch of additional information
and a free subscription to my " Fast Weight Loss" mini
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"Fast Weight Loss Tips" mini-course, check out his website
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The goal setting is one thing that I've often been excited
about, but I haven't always kept up with it the way I should
have. I've recently decided that I need to become more
consistent, and I've been reviewing my goals carefully. I
started to think about what it would take to achieve these
goals, and they got me thinking about what it really takes
to reach your fitness destination.
After reading quite a bit about the subject, I've realized
that desire and passion are essential components of reaching
your goals. In addition, you have to ask yourself if you are
really ready to work hard. Ask yourself what level of
sacrifice you're prepared to make in order to reach your
What does this have to do with building muscle? Well, I hope
you realize that building muscle is not a new one day or one
week thing. It takes a long commitment and diligence to
reach your goals, including building a muscular frame. So if
you really want to build a more muscular body, you're going
to have to give some things up in exchange for this.
You may think that you've heard all this before, and maybe
that's true. But hearing something a number of times and
actually putting it into practice are two completely
different things. Without action, that knowledge is
Whether we're talking about a strength training program or
anything else in your life, achieving a big goal is going to
require a long commitment. It isn't going to happen
overnight, and you're probably going to have to give up some
other activities in order to achieve that.
So are you willing to do what it takes to reach your fitness
goals? Which do you prefer, watching that favorite TV show or
working on a solid strength training program? Can you give
up the incredibly tempting ice cream sundaes you eat every
day in exchange for a healthier and better looking body?
As much as we may try to deny it, you won't reach your goals
overnight with one single action. It's going to be a series
of small choices, probably hundreds or thousands of choices,
that decide whether or not you will be successful..
Remember that a little bit at a time is far better than a
big change all at once. Stick with your plan step by step
and you'll soon reach your muscle building goals.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Muscle growth is not just about lifting weights and going to
the gym everyday but there is a science behind it. You have
to remember that the body has certain ways of dealing with
stress. Every person also has different metabolic rates,
and because of this, they may need different exercise
When it comes to body building, you should be able to know
about the different theories concerning it. By knowing about
the theories, you will be able to apply it in your exercise
regime and get the results you want at a much faster rate.
For building muscles, you have to remember that resting is
very important if you lift weights at the gym. Never ever
exercise the same muscle group everyday unless you are
concentrating on fat loss. However, if you want to gain
muscle, resting the muscles is a very important part of it.
For example, if you exercise your chest today, don't
exercise it tomorrow. This means no bench presses tomorrow.
You have to consider the fact that whenever we lift weights,
we injure our muscles. Therefore, the body will react by
fixing it with bigger and much stronger muscles. And, in
order to promote muscle repair, we need to get some sleep
and let the muscle we injure rest for at least two days.
Diet is also an important factor when you want to gain
muscle mass. Always remember that protein is very important
when it comes to muscle growth. Protein helps in rebuilding
muscles and promote muscle repair. So, how much protein
should you eat? Basically, the rule of thumb is that for every
pound you weigh, you need at least 1.5 grams of protein.
This means that if you weigh 200 pounds, you need to take in
300 grams of protein a day. That is if you work out
There are supplements that you may want to try. Some are
rich in amino acids that also promote protein production and
muscle growth, while there is also whey protein that
directly introduces the needed daily protein intake in your
If you want to gain muscle, another key is proper execution
of exercises and the right exercises.
The right exercises for muscle gain are usually free weight
exercises. As much as possible, you should do free weight
exercises and minimize the use of machines. Although
machines do lower the risk of injury, you have to remember
that free weight is much more effective in promoting muscle
growth. Always remember that in order to promote muscle
growth, you also need to strengthen the supporting muscles.
For example, if you want to promote muscle growth on your
biceps, you also need to strengthen the muscles that
surround the biceps.
And, only free weight exercises can do this. Machine
exercises virtually does not put any strain on the
supporting muscles, which means that it will not promote the
growth of your primary muscles as well as free weight
Proper execution of the exercise is also very important. By
doing the exercises slowly and in a controlled and smooth
motion, you will promote maximum muscle contractions which
means that it will promote muscle growth.
These are just some of the many body building muscle gain
tips that you need to keep in mind. There are quite a lot of
techniques that will be able to help you gain muscle. With
these tips, you will be able to get the body you want in no
time at all.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Being concerned with the causes of childhood obesity is a
very good idea for any parent. It's only when you
recognize the true causes of this condition that you can
truly work toward fixing it. Dismissing the situation will
not make it disappear. And when a youngster grows up heavy
or obese it's far more difficult to control the weight
as an adult. So, what are the common causes of childhood
obesity and what may a family do to come to grips with these
Think of the typical lifestyle that many people lead today
and you may get your first clue as to the typical causes of
childhood obesity. Children just don't go outdoors and have
fun anymore. They usually spend their free time playing
video games or computer games or watching the television
set. Physical inactivity is one of the reasons for
childhood obesity. The body must burn the calories it takes
in from eating. Any extra calories not burned off are stored
Today people also typically drive everywhere rather than
walk. Children ride the bus to school and are often driven
to the bus stop itself. They're driven to their friend's
house and to the corner store. And when it's time to do
chores around the house we have many labor-saving devices
that limit physical activity as well. Power lawn mowers,
snow blowers, and leaf blowers mean that even when doing
work around the house there is very little exertion
expended. All of this lack of activity and lack of physical
exertion is another one of the causes of childhood
The diet that many people follow is another part of those
causes of childhood obesity. Most food that people consume
is very unhealthy. It is commonly cooked with added oil,
butter, and sugar to heighten the flavor. Unfortunately, this
also enhances the calorie count! Fast food and junk food are
two prime culprits. Hamburgers, fries, potato chips, and
items like these are very calorie heavy, meaning they have a
lot of calories for the amount of food you get. Fast food
restaurants are definitely a large part of the common causes
of childhood obesity! Enclosed in this are the numerous
vending machines that are just about everywhere, including
the schools. Most of their contents contain sugary foods and
sodas. It's not strange for youngsters to eat literally
thousands and thousands of surplus calories every week.
This, even if it doesn't appear as if anyone is overeating.
These common causes of childhood obesity can be treated by
any responsible parent. There's no need to go to extremes
or to never have a hamburger again. But being balanced and
moderate can go a long way in this respect. Addressing these
causes of childhood obesity may be as simple as walking
after dinner as a family or going for bike rides on a
regular basis. Serve healthy and nourishing foods at home to
balance out the excess calories children consume when on
their own, and your child should maintain a healthy weight.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
If you experience heartburn, easing your symptoms might be
as simple as changing a few habits. Read on for a few ideas
to stop heartburn in its tracks.
Lots of people experience heartburn discomfort while they're
trying to sleep. But just by cutting out your bedtime snack,
you can get a lot of relief. Aim to keep from eating for at
least two hours before you go to bed. This can be hard if
you're inclined to be a late-night snacker. But keep in mind
that you won't have a restful night if you give in to
When you eat is important, but what you eat is equally
critical. For example, foods that are acidic like coffee,
alcohol, citrus juices and tomato products all raise the
chances of experiencing heartburn. Excess production of
stomach acids can be caused by even seemingly harmless food
items. Foods that are highly spiced or high in fat will also
set off an incident of heartburn.
Another factor in warding off severe heartburn is to limit the
amount of food that you eat. This means that you shouldn't
overeat during a meal. If your stomach becomes too stuffed,
the food is forced back up into your esophagus. And since it's
already absorbed some of the acids in your stomach, it fuels
that burning pain in your chest.
If you're overweight, try dropping a few pounds. If they do
so, a number of heartburn sufferers experience a reduction
in their symptoms. They often discover that there's less
pressure on their stomachs and they have more space in which
to digest their food. Therefore it isn't quite as likely
that it will be returned up the esophagus.
Occasionally you might give in and eat too much or choose
the wrong foods. When that happens, it's critical that you
stand or sit upright and avoid lying down. This makes it
easier for the food to stay in your stomach and not in the
esophagus, and speeds up digestion.
It's not just those who are overweight who need to make some
lifestyle changes to avoid heartburn. Smokers are also at
higher risk of experiencing this condition. The esophagus
muscles of those who smoke aren't as efficient. This means
it's more difficult to prevent food from leaving the stomach
by way of the esophagus. Also, the chemicals that smokers
ingest make their stomach acids even more toxic. Each puff
of a cigarette raises your chances of experiencing
Keep in mind that changes to your lifestyle might not be the
cure for severe heartburn. Some will still require a visit
to their physician before they get any relief.
Just about everyone experiences heartburn at one time or
another. Learn more about the symptoms, prevention and
treatment of this uncomfortable condition at
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Saturday, April 25, 2009
If you're hoping to lose fat, there's a pretty good chance
you've tried a lot of methods. Unfortunately, the vast
majority of people who are unhappy with their bodies don't
succeed in their fat loss goals. That's because they're
often using gimmicky weight loss plans that can actually
damage their bodies! If you're in this boat, and you don't
know how to get rid of the fat while staying healthy, here
are a few tips that might get you on the right track.
1. Go easy on tea and coffee. Tea and coffee are harmless by
themselves. It's when you add the cream and sugar that they
become fattening. Did you know that having a cup of tea or
coffee that has cream and at least two cubes of sugar is as
bad as having a big piece of rich chocolate cake?
2. If you must have your tea and coffee, try to drink it
black. Black tea or coffee actually has health benefits to
it as long as you counteract the caffeine in your body with
a nice big glass of water. Caffeine is also not good for you
because it affects functions in your body, like your
metabolism. Another type of tea that you can drink freely is
green tea. Green tea has been used as a medicine in China
for over 4,000 years. It aids the digestive system and can
help ease an overly full stomach and it has been linked to a
reduction in cancer risk.
3. Calculate the calories when you eat, however do not
overdo it. It is a sound idea to know the calories that most
food items contain. Whenever it's a packed thing then the
label is certain to give the calories it has. Just don't
become obsessed about it.
4. Be sure to burn out those extra calories by the end of
the week. If you feel that you have consumed more calories
than you should have during the week, it happens you know,
then make sure that you work off those extra calories by
the end of the week.
5. Stand back from deep-fried things. These are a complete
no-no. The more deep-fried things that you ward off, the
lesser pounds you'll gain. Deep-fried things are called so
as they're fried in oil or fat. And even when the external
oil is drained off, there's still lots of hidden oil in it
therefore avoid it.
6. Do not skip meals. The worst thing you can do while
watching you diet is skip a meal. It has just the opposite
effect of what you want. You need to have at least four
regular meals every day.
7. Just like fruits, fresh vegetables are better than those
that are canned. It is even better if you can eat your
veggies raw. When you cook them, you cook away the
nutrients. If you must cook them, try to boil them to the
point that there is still some crispness to them. Also,
don't soak them in butter. If you can buy organic and
pesticide free veggies, that is even better.
Friday, April 24, 2009
By Greg McNaughton
Millions of people buy various acne products each year in
the hopes that they can say goodbye to their acne forever.
Sadly, hardly anything actually works and many people are
left worrying that they will never get rid of pimples.
Fortunately, there are natural acne treatments that will
clear your skin completely - you just need to make sure they
follow the "special rule" of treating acne.
Ever wondered why the acne products you find in the stores
don't work? It's actually quite simple - they are not designed
to treat your acne at the actual root of the problem.
Rather than treating the causes of acne, they try to "zap
zits" that are already on your skin. However, they don't do
anything to prevent new acne breakouts from happening.
What's the point in getting rid of one pimple if you know
another one is just around the corner?
There's only one way to truly cure your acne - you have to
treat all of the causes of acne. It's a simple "secret" that
hardly any of the acne products seem to follow.
It's important to know the major causes of acne breakouts -
let's take a quick look:
1) Specific Acne-Causing Bacteria
2) Excess Oil on your Skin
3) Clogged-Up Skin Pores
4) Skin Inflammation
In order to get rid of pimples for good, you need to make
sure you are treating all of these causes. To do this you
will need to find an acne treatment solution that works as a
system to address each one.
If you have tried acne products in the past that didn't
work, don't let that get you down. Almost everyone who has
had acne has tried something that failed to clear their
Just make sure that from now on you are using a treatment
that treats all of the causes of acne. It's amazing how
quickly you will see results once you are treating your skin
It's a great feeling to look in the mirror and see clear
skin when you wake up. By looking for natural acne
treatments that attack acne at the root of the problem, you
will clear your skin quickly and say goodbye to acne once
and for all.
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Thursday, April 23, 2009
The recommended amount of exercise determined by fitness
gurus and physicians is 30 minutes to 1 hour per day. This
may be more than you have time for, especially if your job
is demanding or you have children.
Identify New Opportunities
Exercising is always possible provided you just squeeze it
into your schedules in a more resourceful manner. Get off
your couch and start moving around, advises fitness guru Ann
Grandjean. Every bit of chore inside your house is an
opportunity to get fit. The trick is to get yourself moving
- clear out the attic, do some gardening, walk to the
grocery store. Any activity that expends energy also burns
Don't Waste Your Mini-breaks on Coffee
If you are thinking that short spurts of exercise wouldn't
affect your fitness level, you're in for a surprise. One
recent study showed that participants who spread out their
exercise throughout the day into 10-minute blocks are
disposed to exercise regularly, and shed more pounds in 5
months, compared to most women who'd rather work out
straight for an hour.
What the Professionals Have to Say
In Virginia, exercise physiologist Glenn Gaesser recently
conducted a study in which subjects exercised for 10 minutes
at a time. He determined that 15 sets of 10-minute workouts
caused those who did them to essentially turn back time.
Participants who followed this regimen were rewarded after
one month when Gaesser found that their levels of fitness
matched those of men and women 20 years their junior.
Splitting exercise into smaller blocks during your busy days
can build your confidence, says time management consultant
Harold Taylor. Missing out on regular gym sessions shoots
down your momentum and motivation. You may surmise that
fitness training isn't worth pursuing anymore because you
just don't have the time for it. However, if you can manage
to squeeze in some exercise opportunity any way you find it,
however small it is, it somehow encourages you to hang in
there and stay on.
Not a Replacement
Remember, however, that short exercise blocks are intended
to make use of available free time; it should not take the
place of your existing fitness program. Here are some
practical tips to squeeze exercise in your daily routine
even if you "don't have the time." Don't tackle all of them
in one day; simply choose the ones that work for you.
* When you pick up the morning paper, take a quick 5-minute
walk up the street and back again.
* If you're stuck at home to care for a sick child, work on
the exercise bike or Stair walker while your "patient" is
* Set aside a few minutes to do jumping jacks. You can burn
90 calories in just 10 minutes this way.
* Do a few sets of upright push-ups while standing at the
kitchen counter. This works your arms and shoulders.
* Go outside and shoot some baskets or play tag with your
children after dinner.
* Take a moment to do a few dumbbell exercises before going
to bed each night. Sheila Cluff, a professional exercise
instructor at The Palms in Palm Springs, CA, leaves a set of
dumbbells in her bathroom.
* Join your kid at baseball or football practice and walk
laps around the field.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
By Brian Moor
A cancer diagnosis is still a terrifying event in anyone's
life. It's easy to lose all hope and just give up then and
there, but it is important to keep in mind that the number
of cancer survivors has increased over the last few years,
and with proper treatment, it is possible to be one of them.
There are several types of cancer, and even in a smaller
subset such as skin cancer there's more than one type.
Skin cancer can take either the form of a carcinoma or
melanoma. As the name suggests, the melanoma is a form of
skin cancer that begins in the melanocytes. Melanomas can
metastasise (invade other parts of the body) unlike
carcinomas, but luckily are rarer than the other types of
skin cancer. The most common forms of skin cancer are basal
and squamous cell carcinomas.
So what are basal and squamous cells and melanocytes? The
epidermis (top layer of the skin) is composed of three types
of cells: Squamous cells - An upper layer of thin, flat
cells. Basal cells - Round cells just under the squamous
cells. Melanocytes - The makers of melanin, the pigment that
gives skin its colour.
Factors that increase the risk of skin cancer include having
fair skin, chronic inflammations or ulcers, scars or burns,
having had radiation therapy and being exposed to a lot of
either artificial (as in tanning booths) or natural UV rays.
Remember that just because one of the risk factors applies
to you, it doesn't mean that you will certainly get skin
cancer. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true and people
who don't show any of the risk factors may also get skin
One of the best ways of preventing skin cancer is by
minimizing damage to the skin through overexposure to
sunlight, so wearing sunscreen is recommended. Also, the
quicker a cancer is caught and treated, the higher the
chances of success. Skin cancer looks different depending on
which type it is, and a professional opinion can be
invaluable in diagnosing the disease in its early stages.
For those diagnosed with skin cancer, there are several
organizations out there that provide support and
information. An excellent source of information is the
National Cancer Institute, which has a comprehensive and
clear website, and reliable professionals available to
assist by telephone, email, post or chat.
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Everyone wonders how all those Hollywood celebrities diet
and maintain their weight. Sometimes they do look good for
the camera. However there are many times they look sickly
and ill. No matter how they brand their name. Starvation is
starvation, no matter what face you put on it.
There are always stories of celebrity weight loss in the
newspapers and in magazines. Celebrities also come up with
fictional diets to explain how they shifted the weight,
whereas in reality they just starved themselves, not only of
food but of the essential foods and fluids necessary for the
body to properly function.
Sure, losing a great amount of weight in short periods of
time may be somewhat the norm for some who are overly obese,
since they are carrying large amounts of stored fat along
with them. However, for those who are just a few pounds
overweight, losing 40 pounds in a month is terribly
unhealthy. It can lead to more serious problems for some
individuals. The first thing to know about successful
dieting is that it does take time. All those extra pounds
will not disappear overnight or even within just a few days.
Our bodies fluctuate daily.
Without a maintenance diet program, to keep your weight
stabilized after a large weight loss, you will put the
weight back on. Dieting involves self-discipline and
willpower in addition to knowing what foods to eat and when.
Many of the celebrity diets are actually starvation type
diets that are not healthy or worth risking other side
Hollywood diet juice is an example of a celebrity diet
program and this diet means you only drink juice. You do
not eat or drink anything else. This is a type of starvation
and is an incredibly boring diet. Once you stop drinking the
juice and star eating again all the weight you lost will come
back. It makes no sense to drink a juice and then stop drinking
it and return to being overweight.
Just like many of the popular diets in Hollywood, when your
body considers that you are actually starving yourself to
death, it will rebel. It rebels by putting a stop to the
process of losing that extra weight, just to keep you alive!
A long term alternative is called for when dieting properly.
The Hollywood hottest diets are no long term answer to
weight loss and maintaining your target weight.
The biggest secret of the best celebrity diets is that these
celebrities do not really have a secret when it comes to
dieting. They are just normal people just like the rest of
us. Only we do not have all the extra individuals working
for us to make us look so appealing. Celebrities hire others
to help them lose weight or get some kind of kick back for
advertising a particular product, which includes any number
of quick weight loss programs.
The best celebrity diets are the same ones a normal person
uses, that takes self-discipline and willpower, and sticking
with a balanced meal plan, and proper portions.
Monday, April 20, 2009
With a huge percentage of the population of Western
countries overweight and out of shape, it's no wonder that
the demand for fitness products is as strong as ever. Diet
pills, protein shakes and exercise gadgets are selling like
crazy as people try to lose weight and have a better quality
As the culture of fast-food spreads across the globe, an
increasing number of people are falling prey to the
temptations of high-calorie junk food. Obesity is on the
rise and together with it other diet-related diseases like
diabetes and high-blood pressure.
In their quest to lead healthier lives and find the fastest
fat loss method, overweight people embrace the newest fad
diet that comes along. The word 'fad' precedes 'diet'
because that's just what they are - popular for a while then
as folks realize their effects aren't sustainable, these
over-hyped diet plans are quickly dropped for the next one
that comes along.
Getting rid of excess fat is only a matter of burning more
calories than our body takes in each day. Office work and
commuting takes up most of our hours and this means we're on
our butts for most of the day. Losing weight then by just
cutting back on food intake won't be very successful without
regular workout sessions.
Fat loss happens faster when we exercise and use up a larger
amount of caloric energy than we get from our daily
consumption of food. Aside from improving our physique,
working out regularly also conditions the cardiovascular
system and produces endorphins which improve our mood.
Trying to cut back on calories by passing-up breakfast or
lunch can also lead to a feeling of self-deprivation. This
only serves to make us vulnerable to loss of self-control
and pigging-out the next time we go to a party or a buffet
table. Eating too much in one meal if done regularly results
in an ugly potbelly after a while.
Experts say it's more effective to eat small portions
whenever we get the munchies rather than stuffing ourselves
every meal. Doing this can also keep our metabolism high and
lets us burn calories more efficiently. It's been discovered
that our metabolic rate slows down considerably when our
body senses a shortage of food.
Having healthy eating habits and sticking to regular
fat-burning exercises (cardio and strength training) will
help speed-up fat loss and keep metabolism high. Raising the
body's metabolic rate means less calories transformed to
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Weight loss advice is everywhere. You'll hear all sorts of
advice if you go onto the internet and read blogs and health
articles. Everyone seems to think that they have the most
important weight loss secret ever. The fact is that the
principles of losing weight are not a secret! They are
simple things you can do to really make a change to your
Below you'll find some of the main 'weight loss secrets' you
should know and master. This is not an all-inclusive list,
but if you can master these things you'll be off to a great
This is one of the weight loss secrets that a lot of people
don't pay enough attention to. You have to find a way to
keep yourself motivated. One way to help with this is to
take a before photo, and then find images that represent a
realistic goal for you to reach for.
2- Get Frequent Exercise
Any exercise is better than nothing. Do some body weight
exercises or lift weights. Get out for a walk, jog, or other
type of cardio workout. For you to really lose weight and
keep it off you're going to need to build more muscle. This
doesn't happen on it's own, you have to get out and get some
3- Watch Your Carb Intake
A lot of people put on extra weight because they simply eat
too much. And of all the macro nutrients you eat the one
that is probably the most abused is carbs! If you want to
lose weight, you need to control your carbs. Cut out the
unhealthy snacks and eat less carb dense snacks.
4- Eat More Frequently
I'm sure you've all heard this before, but don't go for the
old idea of 3 or 4 square meals a day and that's it. You
should be eating 6-8 smaller meals a day to keep your
metabolism going all day long.
5- Cheat From Time to Time
Cheat meals are a great way to give yourself something to
look forward to during the week. Here's an example of how
this works: if your next cheat meal is planned for Friday,
you can be stronger when you're tempted to eat something out
of the plan on Wednesday. Just write it down as an option
for your cheat meal. When you do have a cheat meal, don't
let it turn into a cheat week!
I could add more to this list, in fact you'll find lists of
100+ tips on the internet. Start with these 5. If you can
master these you can master your body!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Have you recently been told by your doctor that you had to
go on a low-sodium diet? You are probably finding this to be
quite difficult as you discover that sodium seems to be
everywhere? Well you are certainly not alone as the typical
American eats way too much fast food when away from home and
at home they tend to gravitate towards those high sodium
comfort foods. Processed foods such as frozen, canned soups
and vegetables, boxed noodles, salsas and chips are all
loaded with sodium.
Those on a low-sodium diet are usually told to consume
somewhere between 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams (mg) of sodium
per day. That is the equivalent of about one teaspoon of
salt or approximately 2,300 mg of sodium.
So how can you cut back on your sodium intake? Here are
some tips to get you started on the correct path. As with
all major lifestyle changes the most important thing is to
just get started. As Confucius said A journey of a thousand
miles begins with a single step. By following these simple
rules you will learn to master your new low sodium lifestyle
in no time. Keep it simple, don't stress and remember:
1. Don't beat yourself up. The goal is not to
eliminate all the salt entering your system, it is to reduce
your sodium intake down to the level your doctor prescribed.
2. Stop adding salt to your food. Don't add it when cooking and
remove the salt shaker from the kitchen table. While these
old habits are hard to break you also have to not feel like
you are depriving yourself of wonderful taste. So instead
learn to experiment. Fill the old salt shaker with some
salt-free herbs and spices " basil, cayenne pepper, garlic,
lemon pepper, onion oregano and parsley are all great
options. Begin with small amounts until you find a
combination that you enjoy.
3. If you dont already own a peppermill go out and buy one. The
flavor and aroma of freshly ground peppercorns is not only
amazing but there are also so many varieties to choose from.
The most recognized is a common black peppercorn which is
typically a variety like Lampong. A more upscale black
peppercorn is the gourmet quality Tellicherry. For those
that really want to embrace exotic taste sensations try
Pink, Green or Sichuan peppercorns. For a milder peppercorn
with a European twist go for a white peppercorn as these
tend to have less bite than the black peppercorns.
4. Learn how to analyze food labels. when you are comparing
products side-by-side you will soon see some amazing
differences between products that may at first glance seem
identical. A good rule of thumb is that all packaged food is
going to have higher levels of sodium than fresh foods. But
when you know what to look for you can still make healthier
5. Go fresh. Typically you don't have to worry about high
sodium levels in fresh fruits and vegetables and as an added
bonus you can eat about as much as you would like and not
have to worry about packing on the pounds. Fresh lean meat,
fish and chicken tend to be low in sodium as well.
6. Learn how to fully experience herbs. Before adding herbs to
your dish crush them in your hand to bring out the full
taste. Also most herbs provide the most flavor when added
towards the end of the cooking process.
While it will be difficult to change your eating habits,
remember to start small. Begin with just one meal a day.
Once you always eat that one meal as low sodium as possible
then add a second meal. This approach will have you on the
right path before you know it. While it may take weeks
before you have a solid understanding of low-sodium foods,
you will learn to adjust. And eventually you will hardly
even miss the salt and your taste buds will come alive as
they are exposed to a world of mouthwatering new tastes and
Friday, April 17, 2009
Efficient food production in the world's top economies has
caused a glut of quick, irresistible food that's more often
than not cheap and loaded with calories. Fast food tends to
be unbalanced and is deficient in fiber and other nutrients
found in fruits and vegetables. It's not surprising then
that a high percentage of the populations in the Western
countries are living on an unhealthy diet and suffering from
The only thing that can counter the nutritional quagmire
that we're in is constant exercise. Sadly, a lot of people
find it a challenge to stick to a regular exercise program
and thus are suffering from all sorts of health problems
from diabetes to high blood pressure and heart disease.
A lot of those that manage to find time to squeeze in
exercise programs into their hectic daily schedules
eventually get bored and stop after a few months. Reason for
this is loss of motivation that comes about from inadequate
workouts and insignificant results.
A majority of gym goers or fitness aficionados start workout
programs to lose body fat and get flat six pack abs. When
results come too slow, this results in boredom and because
they become disheartened, a lot of people give up exercising
To speed-up the effects of working-out and see something
come out of your fat-loss efforts in a shorter amount of
time, modified exercises that isolate the core muscles
should be done. A program that develops core strength
together with body-fat busting cardio exercises is the key
to fast abs and a lean physique.
The core or center of the body is our midsection and these
are made-up of the upper and lower abdominals, the obliques
and the muscles of the lower back. A lot of people only
focus on conventional ab isolation exercises like sit-ups
and crunches and neglect the lower back region. This causes
an imbalance of core muscle strength and can result in back
A faster abs workout that can give you a stronger core in
less time can be attained through the use of tools like a
Swiss ball or a Bosu ball. Both of these have round surfaces
which when used as support for the body when executing
abdominal or other resistance exercises will force the core
muscles to work harder. The effort of trying to keep steady
while working out on an unstable surface means more calories
burned and improved core strength faster.
The amount of calories burned while doing abdominal
exercises on an exercise ball or other round surface is
increased significantly compared to doing sit-ups and
crunches flat on one's back. Studies show that more muscle
fibers are engaged in activity when a person is lying on a
round surface. The wider range of motion means more calories
spent and hence a faster abs workout.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
There's no such thing as an anti aging exercise because
there is not just one particular training activity that can
fight aging. Rather, getting yourself into any regular
exercise plan can help you develop good health, maintain a
youthful lifestyle and age gracefully.
You won't be able to achieve anything if you're not going to
get off the couch. Aging means not being able to do the
things you like, whenever you want to. Incorporating
strength, aerobic and flexibility training in your exercise
program could just be your answer.
Including strength training in your anti aging exercise
regimen has been known to reverse the aging process. When
you are strength training, you improve bone density and
muscle mass. By not exercising enough, the body loses muscle
tone, and when this happens your muscles become unable to
effectively support your skeletal frame. This means
developing age-related problems like bad posture and chronic
The benefits of strength training include toned muscles,
tighter skin, prevention of arthritis and a higher metabolic
rate. A raised metabolic rate enables our bodies to burn
energy effectively even at rest. Strength training could be
done by lifting weights (as in weight training), through
resistance training (resisting opposing forces), and
isometric training (training requiring no net movement). It
is advised to do strength training 2-3 times a week.
Isometric training is good for those who are just starting
an exercise program because it is low impact. All you have
to do is tighten and loosen your muscles in a repetitive
Slowing down the progression of aging is easy with aerobic
training. Because it has more to do with endurance than
bursts of power, individuals from any age bracket can do
this type of training. Anyone can run, brisk-walk, and do
most other types of endurance training.
Aerobic training is also known as cardiovascular training
because it aids in the healthy circulation of blood in the
body. Healthy circulation helps bring sufficient amounts of
oxygen to different parts of the body. It is responsible for
your coordinating skills, responsive mechanisms and mental
clarity. When blood circulation is weak, you may become
easily faint, develop migraines and acquire severe problems
like heart disease and dementia.
To have superior endurance, de-stressing capabilities and
blood health, start getting into any regular aerobic
activity. At least 20 minutes of aerobic training everyday
Whether you're already doing cardiovascular or strength
training, there's no excuse for not incorporating
flexibility exercises in your regimen. Stretching and
flexing is important before and after every workout session
because it preconditions your body so you are less prone to
joint, bone and muscular injuries.
There's a good reason why stretching and flexing is called
flexibility training. Those types of activities can greatly
recover joint troubles so that you're able to have a wider
range of movement.
Merging strength, aerobic and flexibility workouts in one
exercise program can give you the anti aging effects of
strength, speed, balance and alertness.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
We hear them preached everywhere, every time.. Eat good
cholesterol foods and reduce your figure. When it comes to
cholesterol, we all know that there are "good" ones and
"bad" ones, with HDL being the good type and LDL the bad
type. The problem is how to stick with the good one and get
rid of the bad one? It's a rather complicated subject, so
Cholesterol is essential to human life, but high levels in
the bloodstream are associated with heart disease and
stroke. Specifically, high levels of LDL and low levels of
HDL are dangerous. LDL becomes hardened and forms plaque
that builds up in the arteries, slowing blood flow. HDL has
the ability to gather up excessive amounts of LDL and carry
it back to the liver.
We don't exactly eat HDL or LDL, it forms in the body. Some
of the foods that we eat do contain cholesterol, such as
eggs, dairy and animal fat. Plant oils and fats contain a
cholesterol-like substance called phytosterols. They help
lower blood cholesterol levels. Saturated and trans-fats
contribute to high LDL, as do simple carbohydrates, such as
sugar and white flour.
In general, good cholesterol foods are foods coming from
plants, because of the phytosterol they contain. Most animal
meats are not good when it comes to cholesterol, except fish
(especially deep sea fish) because they contain Omega-3
fats, which are found in canola oil as well.
One good plan to control LDL levels is including a lot of
vegetables, fruits, whole grain foods (such as oatmeal) and
fish into your daily diet. One daily bowl of oatmeal has
been shown to reduce LDL levels.
It's a healthy decision to use olive or canola oil when you
cook or bake, rather than lard or saturated fat. It has been
determined that eating certain nuts decrease risk of heart
disease. So, eat some of them every day when you can:
hazelnuts, walnut, almonds, pecans, pistachios and peanut.
An ounce a day is recommended, provided you're not allergic
to them, of course.
Another thing you can try is replacing your coffee or soda
with green tea. Green tea has many benefits related with
health, and one of them is its LDL lowering capability. If
you can't stand the original taste of green tea, don't use
processed sugar. Use honey or raw cane sugar instead.
Try taking lots of different antioxidants in your daily
diet. When cholesterol in your body becomes oxidized, they
form hard plaques in the arteries, which are very dangerous.
Antioxidants such as green tea, vegetables and fruits help
preventing this process from happening.
If you have to eat meat or poultry, make them lean cuts.
When you have to take dairy products, make sure to choose
reduced fat products made with skim or low-fat milk.
All in all, it's not difficult at all to switch from your
regular diet to good cholesterol foods. It's just a matter
of taking the right decision on what you eat.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Figuring out the best diet that reduces blood sugar can at
first seem to be a bit overwhelming and confusing. There
are so many different diets and books that claim they are
the most effective diet when it comes to lowering blood
sugar. Some diets say to eat high protein and low carbs
while others tell you to do the complete opposite.
Although there are variations in these low blood sugar
diets, one thing is common among most of them. Most of
these diets tell you to eliminate certain foods such as
white flour, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco. In
addition, they probably speak about the portions of your
meals, to consume 6 small meals rather than the traditional
However, the secret to a successful diet for a hypoglycemic
is personalization, which happens to work in any type of
diet program. Each person is different and has unique
nutritional needs so the diet must be customized to meet
those specific needs.
One of the most important parts of a diet book or doctor
advised diet plan is the section where they tell you what
foods to cut out. Although it is unrealistic for you to not
eat anything on that list, it is a great resource for you to
use when changing your lifestyle to fit your health needs.
In addition, listen to your body because it will give you
signs should you take in food that lower blood sugar that it
Having a food diary is another part of your diet you may
want to implement. Recording what you eat for about 7-10
days can give you vital information about how your body
reacts to certain food which can help you decide what best
to eat in the future.
Start eliminating the hazard food that lower blood sugar. Be
careful in doing this and seek the guidance of a health
professional before proceeding. You can choose a slow but
Another little tidbit is to keep your blood sugar stable at
all times. Keep foods readily available whether you are at
home or on the go.
Using these tips as well as others from diet plans and your
doctor can help you maintain a stable blood sugar with no
need for confusion or frustration. Create the best diet
plan for your specific needs.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Do you want to lose fat? Have you tried different diets and
failed consistently? If you answered yes to these
questions, you are in good company. There are a lot of
people who have been trying fat loss diets over the years
and have failed. The reason they have not succeeded is that
they used gimmicks and lose-weight-fast diets that do more
damage than good. Here are some sensible things to keep in
mind when you try to lose weight.
1. Why are you overweight? Do you have a problem with
emotional eating? If that's the case you need to teach
yourself to turn to solutions other than food when you have
an emotional difficulty. If you are just not eating right,
learn how to eat well and nutritiously. Check with your
doctor if you suspect a hormonal imbalance. When you find
out what is causing you to gain weight, you can go ahead and
find a solution that will encourage fat loss.
2. Decide that from now on you control your food intake.
Look for a long term healthy diet that will allow you to
live a healthy life. Do not let friends and family pressure
you into eating something you shouldn't eat. Do not let
restaurant menus or food in your fridge influence what you
will be eating. Eat only what you decide you will be eating
in order to attain a healthy lifestyle.
3. Eat every 2-3 hours. The recommendation used to be to
eat 3 big meals. However, today we know that eating
frequently is better for your metabolism. Beware of snack
foods that are high in fat and calories. Instead, choose to
eat healthy snacks and stay away for high-fat processed
treats or sugary sweets.
4. Chew your food well. If you eat slowly and enjoy the
taste of your food, you will get more pleasure out of
eating. You will also end up eating less because it takes
your body some to to register that it is full. If you eat
too fast - you will end up eating more before you realize
that you are full.
5. Don't make major changes in your lifestyle. It is much
easier to follow a fat loss diet when you don't need to make
huge changes in your eating habits. Choose a plan that will
allow you to make small changes, allowing time for yourself
to get used to each change. You should not feel that you
need to starve or eat food that you are not familiar with.
6. Stay away from processed food and eat a balanced diet
instead. Processed foods are high in sugar and fat, and
eating it will make it harder for you to lose weight.
Processed food is also unhealthy and can cause heart disease
and other health problems. Instead, eat a lot of fruit,
vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
7. Remember to hydrate. Water, unsweetened teas, and other
relatively calorie free beverages that provide good
hydration (diet beverages often have caffeine, which can
reduce their hydrating ability) are a must. You'll feel
fuller, your body will be able to keep itself cleansed, and
the flavor of teas and similar drinks keeps you from having
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Ask any gym buff what the most difficult part about
working-out is and chances are they'll say it's losing fat
quickly. A major detriment to working-out consistently is
boredom brought about by lack of motivation. Of course,
results will come even slower by skipping workout sessions
In muscle development and fat loss, how fast we achieve
results have less to do with body type (ectomorph,
endomorph, etc.) than how we eat and exercise. Losing weight
from body fat reduction really depends on how much excess
calories we have when we hit our pillows at night.
Any fitness expert will tell you that the problem of
fat-loss comes down to creating a calorie deficit- burning
more calories than we take-in through food each day. Due to
the sheer number of novelty diets and workout schemes out
there however, they will not always tell you the fastest way
of getting lean and forming a shredded six pack.
Core-strengthening exercises have recently been recognized
by experts to bring about faster gains in toning-up the body
and losing excess fat. The upper and lower abs, lower back,
the obliques and buttocks make-up our body's foundation- our
core. Strengthening our foundation will inadvertently
improve our strength, endurance and balance also.
The simultaneous activity of the core muscles translates to
more caloric energy being consumed, leading to fast and
effective weight-loss. Adding exercises that improve core
strength to normal workout routines is a good option for
frustrated folks who want results yesterday.
Doing typical workout routines are quite ineffective in
developing core strength. Normal gym routines leave-out
certain muscles of the midsection because of their limited
movement.The same applies to all those traditional cardio
machines, never my favorite weight loss method.
Incorporating Pilates sessions into your weekly workouts
will let you reap the maximum benefits of core exercises
and ensure rapid gains.
The wider range of motion and balancing efforts involved in
Pilates and core exercises recruits more muscle fibers
around the midsection. This entails further usage of stored
calories from body fat, toning-up the body and giving you
faster results and increased motivation.
Increasing the efficiency of your exercise sessions by
maximizing calorie burn can shorten the hours you spend in
the gym- letting you focus on other priorities. Improving
your core-strength will also lessen back pain and injuries
from bad posture at the same time giving you a lean,
Saturday, April 11, 2009
If you ask women what they consider the most attractive part
of a male body, the most likely answer you will get is
their six pack abs, those abdominal muscles with beautiful,
So, it isn't surprising to see every gym full of men doing
every exercise routine possible to get that much-prized
killer abs. Crunches, leg raises, sit-ups, and all other
kinds of body twisting trainings, these are what keeps these
men busy. Unfortunately, not all of these men end up
successful in making their abdominal muscles visible. What
is the reason?
Fallacy #1. To develop killer abs, you have to do
abs-specific exercises. You have to do many repetitions of
crunches, leg raises, sit-ups, and other similar exercises
in order to develop those rock solid muscles faster.
The truth is, no matter how many repetitions of these
exercises you do, it will never be possible to develop rock
solid muscles in your abdominals if there are layers of fat
covering your belly. The flabs of fat have to be removed
first before you can work out on your muscles. Otherwise,
your waistline will even become bigger while love handles
will become thicker because the muscles developed add to the
layers of fat. What do you need to do? Burn the fat by
taking care of your diet, making it the healthiest possible
and one that provides your body with all macro-nutrients
Fallacy #2. Gadgets, machines, electronic gizmos, slimming
pills and supplements are what you need for speedy
development of killer abs.
The truth is the makers of all these things claim they work
because they need revenues from their products. However, it
is not a good thing to rely on these machines because as
mentioned over and over again, you need the right
ingredients in order to develop rock hard ab muscles. These
three ingredients are proper nutrition, cardio interval
workouts, and quality strength training combined with
Fallacy #3. You can eat whatever you want as long as you are
rigidly working out.
To show your abdominal muscles, you have to reduce or lose
fats deposited around the belly area. To do this, you have
to lose fat permanently by having a mild-deficit caloric
restriction diet. Therefore, it is totally not a good idea
to eat whatever you want even though you are burning the
calories as you are working out your body. When you are not
careful with what you eat and drink, all your workouts will
be useless. Those unwanted fats and calories will still
stubbornly stay. To avoid that, your nutritional needs must
There are three things you need to remember: have a mild
calorie deficit diet, frequent cardio interval training, and
quality weight or strength trainings to permanently burn
fats away and develop muscles so six-pack abs will show up
on your body.
Friday, April 10, 2009
If you've spent any time in the bookstore browsing through
magazine articles on bodybuilding, you've no doubt come
across some pretty strong claims about how the latest
supplement fad can provide you with unbelievable results.
You may have also seen some recommendations on improving
your workout technique and other such advice.
What was probably missing from the discussion is the
importance of a solid recovery phase when embarking on a new
strength training or bodybuilding program. If you seem to
spend all your time in the gym without making any progress,
or if your initial muscle gains have reached a plateau, take
a moment to think about your recovery plans (or lack
First of all, what exactly is the recovery phase? Well,
let's review how muscle is built in the first place. In
order for your body to build muscle, you first have to give
your body a reason to build it. You see, on a basic
biological level muscle is an expensive asset to have, and
the body would rather not have to maintain it. The only way
to stimulate new muscle growth is to give the body a reason
to build it, and the way to do this is to take advantage of
our basic biological need to survive.
When we lift a heavy weight that the body is not used to,
the muscle is damaged on a microscopic level. Because the
body does not want to be put under this same stress ever
again, the muscle will be rebuilt bigger and stronger
(provided there is enough material for growth in the form of
protein and other nutrients).
So how does this tie in to the importance of resting during
the recovery phase? Simply put, the muscles must be given
time to rebuild before they are put under heavy stress
This means that we must limit the frequency of our workouts
in order to maximize their effect, and this is why many
bodybuilding experts recommend only a few hours of training
per week. You may have heard them refer to this concept
with the motto Less is More.
In addition to carefully planning your workouts to avoid
over training, you must make sure that you're getting plenty
of sleep in order to experience the best possible muscle
Sleep is, after all, when the body tends to repair. As we
discussed above, the body does have to repair itself and
build your muscles bigger and stronger than they were
before. That's why resting, and yes sleep, are crucial to
your success if you're serious about maximum muscle gain.