Myths About Female Fitness and the Actual Truths

female fitness

In the world of female fitness, there are lots of myths that have prevented lots of women from taking action to get the bodies they desire. Some of these myths are found in weight loss programs, fitness training, and resistance training.

These myths are usually propagated through online media, TV, or other sources of information that are trusted in society. In fact, many so-called gurus of female fitness and even some health and fitness publications have been complicit in spreading these falsehoods and lies that now limit many women from reaching their fitness goals.

In this article, we will take a thorough look at some of the lies and myths about female fitness that have been spread from time past and what is actually true in reality. Let’s get into it.

Number One Myth: Resistance Training Will Make a Woman Look Masculine

This is a very common one. Many women are scared to undergo strength training, and many female fitness gurus discourage women from even trying it out during fat loss routines because of this myth. Many women fear that by engaging in strength training, they increase the likelihood of growing masculine or bulky like men.

Thanks to modern-day exposure, many women are beginning to realize that this is a hoax. Women produce testosterone, yes, but not nearly enough to give them bulky muscles. The amount of testosterone produced by women is enough to give them better toned and strengthened muscles, but not big, bulky, Terminator-like muscles.

What strength training does, however, is to improve metabolism, increase bone density and prevent muscle loss, especially for women dealing with menopause and after. Engaging in strength training now will have huge benefits for you in the future.

Number Two Myth: Cardio is Enough to Help with Weight Loss

Another lie in female fitness is: “If you want to lose weight, then run. That’s all!” While cardio is important for everyone, it is not enough to help you burn weight and keep weight off. Cardio exercises like running, jogging, or brisk walking are good because they help exercise the heart, which is the muscle that needs exercise, like all the others in your body.

With all these benefits that cardio presents, it is not always sufficient to help with fat loss. In addition to about 30 to 40 minutes of cardio every day, you should also consider looking at your diet closely to make some changes. Also, you should incorporate some strength training into your weight loss routine if you want to see actual changes in your body.    

Cardio is great for the body, but it’s not enough to help you lose weight.

Number Three Myth: You Need to Eliminate Carbs for Weight Loss

This is a dangerous piece of advice, even though it is very common. Many women follow female fitness programs that create strict no-carb diets to eliminate calories for people looking to lose weight. They say that carbs and calories are the cause of extra belly fat, and they should be avoided. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), this is far from the truth.

It is true that if weight loss is your goal, you should try to cut down on your carbs; however, total elimination is not the answer. Carbs are more than just feel-good foods; they are also responsible for the required energy to burn weight. Calories can also be gotten from vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. If you are interested in fat loss, consume some amount of carbs to help you with the energy required to go through with it.

Now, don’t get it confused; refined sugar should be cut down as much as possible. Those are actually dangerous for any and everyone.

Carbs should be reduced but not eliminated.

Number Four Myth: You Should Train Harder During Your Menstrual Cycle

Although this is not very common in the world of female fitness, it’s still a myth that needs to be addressed. Many people say that women should train harder during their menstrual cycle simply because they can. Fortunately, this is a lie.

As research has shown, cramps and bloating can lead to inflammation of the internal organs of a woman’s body, leading to the shutdown of the Transverse Abdominal Muscle and pelvic floor. During menstrual cycles, women should be more concerned with resting and doing light exercise that won’t affect their abdominal muscles, as that could lead to more cramps.

Number Five Myth: You Need to Train for Long Everyday to Lose Weight

Many women are scared away from female fitness programs that tell them that they need to work out for one hour a day for 6 to 7 days a week to gain success in their weight loss program. Of course, this is far from the truth.

To shed some bodyweight, what is most important is quality workout and consistency. Working out for 40 to 50 minutes two to three times a week is usually sufficient for you to shed some weight as long as you work on compound movements that bring improvement. You can’t expect to see changes by focusing on cardio alone for 30 minutes, two or three times a week.

Compound movements that can have an effect on your body when done right include sit-ups, deadlifts, pushups, squats, and planks. Ensure to focus on these exercises, and coupled with a healthy diet, you will see the changes you want in your body.

Conclusion

Don’t let any female fitness guru or weight loss expert fool you. It doesn’t matter what they say they can help you achieve; if they follow these five myths, they’re probably not right for you.

If you want to achieve greatness in fat loss, focus on resistance training with some cardio and weightlifting incorporated into it, eat a balanced and healthy diet at all times, and rest when you have to. Also, remember to set your mind right, as the right mindset will help you better than unproven myths and drink lots of water.

Things You Should Know About Exercising During Pregnancy

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A very important part of female fitness is understanding how to keep fit during pregnancy. Many people wrongly view pregnant women as helpless women who cannot do anything for themselves. Of course, this perception is wrong. Pregnant women are fully capable of engaging in exercises – not weight loss or muscle building exercise – that can help them with good posture and lots of stamina for easy delivery when the time comes.

In this article, we will discuss why it is useful to engage in exercise during pregnancy, who should not engage in exercise during pregnancy, and the types of exercise you should do when you are pregnant.

The Importance of Exercise during Pregnancy

As stated before, exercising during pregnancy isn’t done for fat loss or muscle building, even though that is one of the benefits that come with it. Every part of a good female fitness program should be tailored towards making the woman fit and active, and exercising during pregnancy is not an exemption.

Some of the benefits that come with exercising during pregnancy are:

  • Exercise reduces pregnancy complications

Study after study has shown that women who exercise regularly during their pregnancy are less likely to develop complications like gestational diabetes and are also less likely to require a cesarean section than those who don’t.

  • Exercise allows for easier delivery

Expectant mothers who exercise at least three times a week gain less weight than those who don’t exercise regularly. Also, for the former, they are less likely to have macrosomic babies or babies who grow too big in the uterus. The normal size of a newborn baby should be about 7 and a half, but macrosomic babies are above 9 pounds. These factors make it easier for expectant mothers who exercise regularly to give birth.

  • Exercise allows for quick post-delivery recovery

Regular exercise makes it easy for you to return to normal after giving birth. It aids with weight loss and other aspects of physical recovery. You can get back to work faster or resume your household chores.

  • Exercise helps with back pain

Every female fitness routine for pregnant women is aimed at reducing back and pelvic pain as much as possible. The weight of the baby can have an effect on your back, but good and regular exercise will take care of that, especially during the late stages of the pregnancy.

Exercising during pregnancy can also benefit the baby in the following ways:

  • Exercise helps the baby’s heart

Research has shown that regular exercise can be effective in lowering the heart rate of the fetus, keeping the baby’s heart safe. Also, the effects of good and regular exercise can be seen in the baby’s heart condition even after birth.

  • Exercise leads to lower BMI for the baby

There is enough reason for researchers to believe that regular exercise by the mother during pregnancy can reduce the Body Mass Index (BMI) of the baby. This also means the baby is less likely to have diabetes or obesity.

Who Should Not Engage in Exercise During Pregnancy?

For some women, it is safe to follow a female fitness regimen when they are pregnant. For others, it shouldn’t even be considered. When should you not engage in exercise during pregnancy?

  • If you have medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease
  • If you have had recurrent miscarriage
  • If you have had early births before
  • If you have bleeding
  • If you have conditions like low placenta

If you have all these conditions, it’s advisable to stay away from exercise during pregnancy. Of course, the best way to know is to meet with your doctor and do what you’re told.

Which kind of exercise Should you Engage in During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, it’s not advisable to go through rigorous fat loss female fitness routines that stress you. Remember, your body is much different from when you were pregnant, so try to keep that in mind as you try out light exercises.

When you are pregnant, you can try out recommended exercises like walking briskly, slow jogging, plie, and so on. Light stretches are also recommended.

There are many exercises you can do, depending on the stage of the pregnancy, but it is important that you don’t overdo it.

Why Kind of Exercise Should You Not Engage In?

As mentioned earlier, most exercises in a female fitness program are safe to do during pregnancy. What is important is that you don’t overdo them.

However, some exercises shouldn’t be done by pregnant women at all. Some of those exercises are:

  • Any exercise that requires you to make contact with people like football, handball, and basketball.
  • Exercises like skateboarding or horseback riding where you can fall.
  • Exercises that require you to jump or hop constantly
  • Exercises that require you to lie on your back for long.

As important as exercise is during pregnancy, try not to go way above your head. Do not attempt to join women who are not pregnant for weight loss routines that will stress you excessively. Exercising during pregnancy is a good thing that could become dangerous if you do it wrong.

If you are an athlete, it is important that you contact an obstetrician before you continue your rigorous training female fitness training program during pregnancy. Also, if you are not a competitive athlete but have been involved in light exercise or weight loss programs before your pregnancy, check with your doctor so that you know which ones to stop and which ones to continue.

Conclusion

Exercising during pregnancy has a lot of benefits, but it shouldn’t be overdone. This is not the same as the female fitness routine you are used to or fat loss programs where you take unknown supplements and other stuff in your body. Now, you have a fetus living inside you, so you have to be careful how you treat your body, or the fetus will get affected too.

Also, remember to constantly consult with your doctor if you feel like it’s taking a toll on your physical and/or emotional health. You can never be too careful.

5 Ways to Avoid Weight Gain Post-Menopause

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As a female, menopause is something you will experience at the latter stages of your life. At this stage, you become physically incapable of getting pregnant naturally. But there’s more to it. Most of your weight loss and other female fitness programs will look like they aren’t working anymore, as you struggle to bring down the number on the scale.

Menopause is usually a very challenging time in a woman’s life, and fat loss can be very difficult during this period. Without the right guidance, it can be tough to manage. This article will go through what menopause means, how it affects weight loss, and what you can do to make your weight loss program work for you post-menopause.

What is Menopause?

Menopause is the stage where a woman’s menstrual cycles end. It is usually diagnosed after a woman has gone for 12 months without seeing her menstrual period. This usually happens in the late forties or early fifties of a woman. Many symptoms come with menopause, like vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and sleeplessness. These symptoms can lead to moodiness, anxiety, and depression.

One other important symptom that comes with menopause is weight gain that is difficult to combat, even with the most thorough weight loss and female fitness programs available. Why does this happen?

Why Weight Gain Happens During Menopause

During the stage of menopause transition called perimenopause (when women are typically around their mid to late forties), many women begin to see changes in their bodies, and these changes continue through menopause and even post-menopause. These changes are caused by hormonal changes in the body, which causes the bodies of many women to start to collect weight around the middle of their body. It is called android fat distribution, and it happens to men too.

Also, the woman’s body becomes insulin resistant as she ages, and this makes weight gain much easier. At this stage, all female fitness programs seem to lose their effect. The lack of sleep a woman also faces as she crosses over to menopause could also have an impact on the weight of the woman, just as the loss of muscle mass occurs due to aging and reduced physical activity.

When this happens, many women tend to feel sad and frustrated. Apart from dealing with hot flashes and restlessness, now they have a large piece of weight around them that won’t go away. Many of them start to blame themselves for not being successful in their fat loss endeavors and start to lose faith in their bodies.

Apart from the physical and emotional stress that weight gain can cause, as well as the appearance change, it is also unhealthy and unsafe to move around with weight in your middle. For that reason, if you are dealing with your menopause and the weight gain it brings, you need to focus on a female fitness weight loss program that works and helps you get your desired results.

Let us look at some of the things you can do to avoid weight gain post-menopause.

Avoiding Weight Gain Post Menopause

You may never go back to the shape you had in your early 20s, but you can take certain steps post-menopause that can help you keep weight gain in check:

Try to get some quality sleep

Good, quality sleep is more than sleeping for many hours on end. It is sleeping peacefully, without stress, in a comfortable bed with no light and no disturbing noise. It might be difficult getting some good rest because of hot flashes and the effects of low levels of estrogen in the body. However, as soon as you get an opportunity, get some quality sleep. Even the best female fitness weight loss programs in the world agree that good sleep is a necessity for fat loss, especially during menopause.

  • Make permanent lifestyle changes

You have to be willing to commit to weight loss over the long run. You should be willing to create a workable timetable that will allow you to eat healthily, rest well, and exercise as much as possible. Don’t work with weight loss programs that promise to handle post-menopause weight gain in a few days, and don’t eat weird supplements that claim to solve all post-menopause problems. They don’t work.

  • Eat Right

Try to avoid fatty diets and diets with heavy calories. Cut down on carbs, as lots of studies have shown that a high carb diet could lead to unwanted weight gain. On the flip side, post-menopausal women who undertake a low carb diet are more likely than others to lose weight and inches from their waistline. Good female fitness weight loss programs will contain low carb diets or even vegetarian diets that can help you reduce your weight and weight gain post-menopause.

  • Keep your emotional and mental health in check

It is easy to focus on your physical appearance and neglect your mental and emotional health. Don’t make that mistake. Talk to a therapist, if you need to, about insomnia you struggle with. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, for example, has been shown to help people who struggle with sleeplessness. If you can deal with the sleeplessness challenge, you have a good shot at dealing with weight gain post-menopause.

  • Get involved in Stress-relief programs

Weight loss programs may not be enough to help. Sometimes, you need to deal with more foundational issues, like stress. Stress relief can go a long way in enhancing fat loss, especially during menopause. Programs like yoga are very helpful in this regard. Also, you can try out guided meditation and light exercise to help you with the process. If you are unsure how to go about it, speak to a professional in counseling.

Conclusion

It can be very challenging to see that female fitness weight loss programs and workouts don’t work like they used to before menopause. However, all hope is not lost yet. If you take it easy and relieve yourself of unnecessary stress, you can avoid weight gain. Also, remember to avoid blaming yourself for the changes in your body, and you will be fine.

How to Manage Anxiety and Stress

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Anxiety and stress are two significant challenges a lot of people struggle to cope with and manage effectively. Male and female alike, everyone needs to work their fitness. Statistics show that up to 70% of grown-ups in the US admit to feeling stress or anxiety every day.

Stress can be any physical or mental demand on the body, compelling the body to respond. Frequently, the stressed may not know the feeling until an action or event triggers it.

For instance, you may only assume you’re tired until you snap at a colleague who’s asking a simple question. At other times, it may come as frustration, nervousness, fear, worry, unease, loss of appetite, and depression.

Unfortunately, that is not to say the rest of us are doing perfectly well in stress management. Some of us are just so used to it, while some will not admit it at all because they can’t find better ways. On the other hand, this management can help improve both male and female fitness.

For the sake of these last categories, this article will focus mainly on simple ways to manage stress and anxiety. Mind you, the solutions may seem simple and easy, but it demands some consistent effort from you.

Top 10 Ways to Manage Stress and Anxiety

1. Exercise

One of the easiest ways to start managing anxiety and stress is by physical exercise. This method is as crucial as it can relieve both material and mental stress at the same time.

However, this pattern requires consistency for it to yield notable results. Medically, people who exercise regularly have less tendency to feel stress than those who don’t.

You may begin by finding an exercise routine such as jogging, walking, climbing, or even yoga. Also, develop confidence in your exercise sessions while giving room to a good diet to help your heart. Besides, they enhance male and female fitness to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

2. Write Things Down

Another way to manage the feeling of anxiety and stress is planning by writing things down. Our hearts’ fear may arise from a cluster of things we hold in our hearts that becomes a burden.

Instead of carrying these things around, why not put them down on paper. When you do, it is a good step in planning out your time and resources.

3. Avoid Procrastination

Procrastination can be, they say, a thief of time. It also has a way of adding more burden to the future in that what you refused to do now adds up to what you should do later.

No one really wants to be in an overwhelming position about the necessities of life. Do at the right time whatever item is essential on your to-do list. Moreover, a procrastinated action creates a lingering memory, which may further increase your anxiety level.

4. Designate Time to Relax

In your daily, weekly, and monthly plan, give room for relaxation, even if it is a space of 15 minutes daily. The truth is, overworking the brain is unhealthy for stress and anxiety because it wearies your total body. More so, it affects the fitness of both males and females.

Another reason why you need to give time to rest is to help your hormonal imbalance. Certain hormones kick off into action when you are gathering stress. Only exercise or rest can suppress the activities of such hormones.

5. Listen to Relaxing Music

A good carefully selected music such as soul can have some relaxing effects on the body. Besides, music can reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and the synthesis of stress hormones.

Some other notable genres for these actions include Native American, Indian, and Classical music, as well as personal genres you love.

6. Sleep more

It is essential to also consider sleeping to relax and beat all kinds of stress. I practiced this as a student: whenever it gets challenging and physically demanding, I sleep it away.

Sleep doesn’t have to be lengthy to be effective. At the same time, it has to be deliberate and in a comfortable way. Furthermore, you can set a definite time to go to bed and be consistent about it.

7. Learn to Say ‘No’

Anyone feeling stressed must attempt to control specific responses. For instance, you need to turn down specific avoidable responsibilities. Both males and females have limits to what their fitness level can bear.

In some cases, you may first identify particular actions that trigger your stress or anxiety. Next is to weigh those things to see if they are avoidable and adjustable.

8. Laugh

Do you want to really deal with anxiety and stress? Then laugh more. At times, you may need to talk to a friend with a sense of humor and get reasons to laugh.

On the other hand, there are open channels, groups, and other platforms through social media. You can make use of your favorite radio or TV programs to get your spirits up.

9. Cuddle

It is also interesting that a simple hug, cuddle, and embrace can relieve you of any stress or anxiety. When issues of life start to weigh us down, all we need maybe someone dear to cuddle us.

This cuddling may be or without words; what is essential is that the hearts must resonate. In some cases, you may go out to make new friends, go to new places and try out new adventures. Your goal is to achieve wellness and fitness as a man or a woman.

10. Chew Gum

Sportsmen have found that there are particular gums to help you relax more than ordinary foods. At times, some of these gums may have medicinal values as they suppress complex anxiety disorders.

Other coping strategies for anxiety and stress include the following:

  • Study those things that trigger your anxiety and stress feeling to avoid them
  • Maintain a positive attitude about everything. It is less stressful to relax than to worry
  • Practice taking deep breaths each day
  • Talk to someone about your fears, worries, anxieties, and stress. At times, it may not be the one you believe can help but talking about you eases your burden.
  • Admit when you cannot control an outcome of a thing after you have done your best
  • Use the counting method to count from 1 to 10 or 20 back and forth slowly

Rounding off your actions

In conclusion, some of the other essential things you need include taking some time out and limiting your alcohol and caffeine consumption. Male and female fitness is critical to overall wellbeing.

Therefore, when you consistently do the needful about managing stress and anxiety, you can live a healthy life. Hope you could glean one or two things that can help you manage stress and anxiety.

Top 10 Indoor Workouts without Equipment

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Undoubtedly, the benefits of workouts and exercises go beyond male and female fitness to overall physical well-being. The mind is also rejuvenated in the process.

Experts have it that some specific biological activities services include better sleep with less snoring, reduced anxiety, fitness gain, and weight loss.

Besides, the person involved in these workouts also improves their overall health. Also, the exercises reduce the risk of death through ailments such as diabetes and organ-related illnesses.

Furthermore, there are diverse opportunities for any interested person to begin to work out. However, some of the personal sessions may involve acquiring certain materials or equipment for more effectiveness.

On the contrary, this article examines how we can still fulfill fitness needs without acquiring new equipment. Apart from the supply of equipment, other contingencies may include gym membership and other factors that influence male and female fitness.

Workouts and Exercises you can do from home without equipment

1. Dancing

Funny as it is, dancing is an exceptional exercise, including body parts’ movement to songs’ rhythm. It starts by playing your favorite music and flowing with the melody of the song.

Besides, dancing time may also be great as family time as it adds laughter for everyone in the hour. Again, dancing to your best songs forces some laugh out of you. Whereas it contributes mainly to both male and female fitness.

Medically, dancing for one hour has been found to burn between 250 and 500 calories, depending on the dance style and the music genre. Luckily, almost all tribes have their kinds of songs, and you should have a favorite artist.

2. Walking upstairs

If your apartment has stairways, you might have all the equipment you need to stay fit and safe. Walking up or down your stairs can help your body to stay in shape. As simple as it sounds, you can achieve a lot of weight loss and fitness if you keep at it.

For instance, if there is a restriction in movement due to weather or a disease outbreak, you can take advantage of the stairs. It may be raining or snowing out there, and you can’t leave the house, you can help yourself with somebody exercises.

Besides, as you walk up and down the stairs, you may add some sideways movements around your waist. You can also swing your hands front and back or sideways at regular intervals.

Moreover, you can engage in some step workouts and jumping jacks to gain more from the moments. You may also add some pushups as you return to the stairs at other intervals. In all, it is a great way to build or regain body fitness.

3. Plank

The plank style is a kind of workout that allows you to stretch out your whole body while resting on your elbows. It is a precise position to take, and it helps to facilitate your core and upper body parts.

Nevertheless, you can also try out a plank with bent knees or turn sideways while stacking your legs on top of each other. Continue to change these two types of the plank while even switching to the other at intervals.

4. Yoga

A yoga session is a common type of workout that can help you maintain excellent shape on time. Basically, every category of people has a specific yoga style that befits them. However, it may depend on what your exact needs are, whether weight loss or body fitness.

Ranging from simple body stretches, climbing, or riding to more relaxed ones like yin and Hatha, yoga is highly effective. And if you love to expend more energy, you can explore the power yoga version.

There are online videos on YouTube that can get you started with free online yoga. As you build your skills through practice, you can maintain better male or female fitness and shape.

Moreover, whether you have a yoga mat or not, what is essential is that you get a clean floor to begin your session. A simple carpet or a roll of paper towels may be all that you need.

5. Squats and Lunges

Squats and lunges complement the efforts of planks to develop the lower parts of the body. It can be challenging for a starter, but your consistency will help your body more as times go on.

In a squat, stand with your feet slightly apart and looking straight ahead. Then lower your body as though you want to sit but keep going until your thighs are parallel with the floor.

In that position, the upper body should lean towards the front as you bend the knees. You can then return to your previous work before you repeat it a couple of times.

When making a lunge, your standing pose will involve putting out one of your legs slightly forward. As you lower your body, keep the forward leg’s knee in the same line as the ankle. Afterward, you can keep your arms above your head or by the side.

6. Kickboxing workout styles

Kickboxing was derived from the once-popular Tae Bo, which is a combination of taekwondo and boxing. This work style can improve the heart’s strength, agility, balance, flexibility, and body fitness. Besides, you also get to improve your chances of weight loss and fitness.

This workout style also exercises your heart in pumping for better breathing. More so, you can use a punching bag and mat if you have, and if not, you may do it without any tool. What is most important is that we are advancing in our fitness journey.

7. Couch Potato Workout

As the name implies, a couch potato is a workout that practices standing and sitting on a couch in a sitting-to-standing repeated position.

Conversely, you can try the triceps dips, including backing the couch and holding it with both hands. Then, you slide forward to dip your butt in the ground with both legs closed and stretched forward.

Lift the body again and try the dip a couple of times. This exercise can strengthen both the thigh and butt muscles.

8. Barre

You will need to stand against a wall, a dining table, chair, or anything that can support your weight in a barre. Turn your back against the support and raise one leg towards on top of the support. You can fold the other leg forwards.

If you have a weight around, you can hold it. If not, support yourself with both hands on the forward leg. Follow the sequence while interchanging the legs, and you can feel the workout, and your weight loss or fitness journey might as well be on the way.

This particular exercise contributes mainly to the overall body fitness and well-being for both men and women.

9. Pilates

Pilates exercises are about sitting at ease on the floor, closing and raising both your legs, leaning backward, and stretching your arms in a straight line with your lower legs.

If you can get a mat to sit on, that’s fine. If not, simply use a flat surface with any other support. Also, you can find tutorial videos of this exercise online as a guide.

10. HIIT

HIIT refers to High-Intensity Interval Training is a sequence of exercises that should go hard and fast for at least 60 seconds. It may include jumping jacks, squats, and pushups.

At the beginning of training, the trainee may have a challenge coping. Still, going forward, research has shown that it works better than reasonable practices. You will also find helpful techniques online via YouTube.

On a final note

In conclusion, indoor workouts are essential for stay-at-home workers and can improve your chances of weight loss. Besides, it eliminates the excuse of not having popular training equipment such as dumbbells and kettlebells for training.

I hope you can utilize these opportunities to start or continue your weight loss journey and arrive at a favorable destination. All the best!

Simple Exercises for Every Pregnant Woman

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According to medical news today, regular exercise during pregnancy can enhance sound health, female fitness and lower excess weight risks towards safer delivery. During the pregnancy period, there is a lot of hormonal secretion, circulation, and uncommon biological processes in a woman’s body.

Despite all these benefits, research showed that only about 40% of women exercise efficiently and sufficiently during pregnancy. A medical guideline recommends at least 150 minutes of weekly exercises at a moderately intense level.

Besides, the exercise should be a slightly physical activity during and after the pregnancy period even. It does not have to be lengthy, too, but it should be consistent if it will be 10 or 30 minutes weekly. Therefore, female fitness is a matter of great concern for all-around sound health.

Recommended Workouts or Exercises for Pregnant Women

1. Prenatal Yoga

Yoga is such an innovative exercise style that is diverse for all categories of people, young and old, women and men. Therefore, pregnant women also have some peculiar yoga classes that can keep them fit and in shape.

A few benefits of prenatal yoga is flexibility, limber joints, pain, and stress relief. Other proven services include muscle strengthening, blood circulation, regulated blood pressure, better relaxation, and flexibility.

Precaution: some of the protection that pregnant women should take with this exercise includes avoiding overbalancing, resting on the abdomen, and overstaying on the back. Since female fitness and health is delicate work, it requires gentle care.

2. Swimming

Swimming is another fantastic opportunity for pregnant mothers to stay in shape and ensure the fetus’s well-being. Not only swimming, water aerobics, and walking inside water helps your movement without exerting force on your limbs and joints.

Another benefit of the water environment is the buoyancy that water offers swimmers, taking off your body weight for a period. However, pregnant women cannot experiment with any stroke that is uncomfortable or hurts any part of the body. Breaststroke is an excellent choice.

Precaution: a precautionary measure will be maintaining the right balance all through the swim. They should not assume their weight is the same as when not pregnant, so watch out to slip.

Besides, avoid driving or jumping inside water by all means, as well as hot tubs, saunas, warm and steam pools. Again, this workout has a lot to contribute to female fitness and health.

3. Brisk walking

The simplest of all exercises that a pregnant woman can try is walking around the neighborhood. A simple stroll can enhance the firmness and reduce any fatigue in your knees and joints.

Besides, the walk-about can also enhance your chances of better breathing to exercise your cardiovascular muscles. Walking is free and can be in the company of friends and family members.

Precaution: wear comfortable sandals and not heels while avoiding slippery or even smooth surfaces. Avoid rocky surfaces, potholes, and some other obstacles to sabotage the female fitness journey.

4. Indoor stationary cycling

Spinning or riding stationary bicycles helps pregnant women exercise the lower body parts. It is also a safe workout exercise as it is easy to try for the first time but may require some monitoring.

This exercise’s other benefits are stabilizing heartbeat rate, limiting weight on the pelvis and joints, and helping the body balance. Also, the stationary bike helps to keep up the body weight while reducing the risk of falling.

Precaution: pregnant women who may want to try this method should work with a doctor’s prescription to remain safe. Depending on the pregnancy stage, you may have to raise the handlebar to a comfortable height. All in all, make the best of the female fitness opportunities.

5. Squatting and pelvic leans

Squatting and pelvic leans are classic positions that should prepare a pregnant woman for labor. Therefore, they are recommended classes for pregnant women in later stages, such as the last trimester.

Particularly, squatting may exercise the pelvic region for labor, and a pregnant woman should exercise such. Ensure the back remains straight while the feet are should-width apart, flat on the floor.

Gently and slowly lower the butt with flat feet and in line with the knees. Stay at each end for at least 10 seconds before returning to the former position. Ensure your mind is set on improving your fitness as a woman.

As for pelvic lean or tilt, it focuses more on the abdominal muscles and reduces the possible back pain. Get on all hands and knees while tilting the hips forward a bit. Pull your abdomen and round the back a few times.

Precaution: you will need a professional to help you handle these last exercises, preferably a doctor. The workouts may not also be intense to remain safe. The sessions are simply meant to keep the body in good shape and prepare for the days ahead.

Benefits of Pregnant women exercises to their babies

Apart from the excellent fitness benefits that workout sessions have for pregnant mothers, the fetuses can also gain a good deal. Some of the baby benefits are outlined below:

  1. A lower fetal heartbeat rate. As the pregnant mother engages in moderate workouts and exercises, she helps the baby’s heart improve and exercise. The heart is one of the earliest organs to be formed in the womb, hence exercising it.
  2. Reduction in body fat of fetus. Due to the mother’s workout sessions, the fetus would have also beat down any excess fat in it. This reduction in fat makes the delivery less complicated on the day of labor.
  3. Healthier weight of a baby. A pregnant mother will influence the importance of the fetus by engaging in profiting exercises. While this goes on, the baby gains better health even before the final delivery.
  4. A more robust nervous development. The nervous system develops well while still in the womb if the mother engages in good exercises. More so, due to the circulatory and nervous system’s connection, the child profits a great deal from the mother.
  5. Baby’s stress tolerance level. When the baby from the womb is getting used to the mother’s stress level, it can also gradually develop some tolerance. As a result, on the day of labor, the child can survive any stress associated with the travail.

Conclusion

On a final note, some other benefits of fitness workouts and exercises in pregnant women include less back pain, more vitality, better body shape, and energy. In general, female fitness should be a paramount concern for all stakeholders in the health sector.

Pregnant should also note that the exercises work for both the mother and the baby. And as part of the medical council guideline, the activities can be every other day or weekly but consistent.

However, you need to always check with your doctor to know which of the exercises fits you. Trust you will have a great time and a safe delivery.

How to Develop and Maintain a Healthy Eating Habit

nutrition

Before you assume you have read this article before, take time to review how this particular article can really help you develop healthy eating habits. Not only so, but it will guide you on maintaining the formed habits towards healthy nutrition and lifestyle.

I agree that several articles out there bombard you with tips to living a healthy eating habit. But maybe not all of them have really helped you, hence the need to demystify the whole thing and break it down into digestible bits and pieces.

The first step to take is to first identify those healthy habits that you need to have. Perhaps, there are even some habits you tried for a while and dropped after some time. We also must admit that old habits die hard, hence the need to be deliberate and desperate for a change.

So, the golden rule someone taught me early is that instead of breaking an old habit, replace it with a new one. This rule is applicable mainly for nutrition and overall well being. Below are some of the critical practices you should cultivate and maintain towards a healthier life.

Healthy Eating Habits to Develop and Maintain in 2021

1. Eat a half plate of all colors of fruits and vegetables

As someone puts this idea: eat the rainbow! It merely means add color to your food. At least half of each plate should contain different colors of fruits and vegetables, including dark green, brown, red, orange, and yellow.

Besides, you can also try out the practice of fruits as part of the meal’s main course or the dessert. The more you add colors to your food plate, the better your chances of getting the essential minerals with fibers, and vitamins, that your body needs.

2. Half of your total grains should be whole grains

The next tip is to ensure that half of the total grain you take in your diet are whole grains. For instance, always choose a piece of wheat bread over white bread made of flour. When you check the ingredients of any food item, search for the whole grain terms.

For instance, you can find terms related to oats, brown rice, bulgur, quinoa, wild rice, and buckwheat. These all refer to the target food items that are most profiting in the grain category. Your nutrition is one aspect of life you cannot leave to chance, but you must take responsibility.

3. Try out a variety of proteins

You might know proteins are suitable for the body, but how much of them do you really take? Medical science also recommends plant-sourced proteins above animal-sourced protein-containing foods.

For example, protein sources such as meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood are on one side. On the other side, we have nuts, seeds, peas, and dry beans. Moreover, dieticians recommend leaner cuts of ground beef, chicken, or turkey breast.

4. Try out zero or low-fat milk

Zero fat or low-fat milk are great because they contain fewer calories and, therefore, safer for your health. Most people fear that this type of milk may not include other essential nutrients that different milk types have.

But that is not true: regular milk and low-fat milk contains practically the same amount of calcium, magnesium, and other essential minerals. These are all crucial ingredients of nutrition towards a healthy lifestyle.

5. “No” to solid fats

If you like to live a healthy life, you should stay away from food containing solid fats. Examples include cookies, butter, margarine, shortening, pizza, and cakes. Solid fats may also be found in sausages, portions of bacon, ribs, ice cream, and hot dogs.

The major disadvantage of solid fats is the residue they leave in your body that fails to completely oxidize even after digestion. These residues may cause health complications in the future.

6. Reduce your sodium intake

As you grow older, you should reduce your amount of sodium intake. Therefore, when you get an item from the store, such as bread and frozen food, compare the sodium (or salt) contents.

Also, check out the nutritional facts about canned foods and ensure it shows “low sodium” or “no salt added.” In other words, the salt content contributes so well to your nutrition.

When making soup, ensure you limit salt input as it affects many body functions, including perspiration and respiration.

7. Explore more seafood

Seafood contains essential minerals and amino acids that the body needs, including omega-3 fatty acids. The latter is a heart-healthy fat that should be prominent in adult food.

On the other hand, children may not need much seafood as their bodies can still do with the existing nutrients. Some of the typical seafood you should try to include salmon, trout, shellfish, tuna, crab, oysters, and mussels.

8. Go natural with more water over sugar-containing drinks

Can drinking water harm you? So, instead of causing health issues with sugar-containing drinks such as soda and other related ones, stick to water. No doubt, water contains all the nutrients that the body needs irrespective of age.

When you take enough water, it cleans up the system and washes off all unwanted excesses locking within the system. A healthy eating lifestyle is not complete until you explore the benefit of clean potable water in the course.

The 3 R’s of Healthy Habits

As good as changing your eating habits are, the changes may not be radical and may take gradual steps. These are essential steps to securing your nutrition lifestyle.

For instance, a sudden change can cause a sharp weight loss and not be successful eventually. Therefore, explore the three Rs below:

1. Reflect

The first step is to reflect on all your existing eating habits to weigh the good or bad ones. Besides, it will also help you to notice unhealthy ones to discard.

2. Replace

The second step is to replace the odd or bad ones with new and good ones towards better health.

3. Reinforce

After creating new healthy habits, it is essential to continue with the same reinforcement. This reinforcement may also warrant a level of consistency and passion.

Conclusion

In summary, I cannot but admit that it takes a lot of discipline to learn a healthy life. But the cost of not doing so outweighs by far the price of cultivating a healthy eating diet. I sincerely hope you can take advantage of all these tips to keep your body free of illnesses and diseases.

Hence, it is very wise to think of ways to adjust one’s eating habits, identify the dark areas, and develop healthier alternatives. Achieving a healthier life may take time and effort, but it will be worth it in the long run.

The Food Scale – Your Unfair Weight loss Advantage

Hey Angels and Alphas,

While we can all agree that a food scale weight loss tool is not as flashy or expensive as that new fitness activity tracker or some new workout gear, it still remains one of the strongest secret weapons in the weight loss world.

We always suggest everyone keep a food scale around and use it occasionally when they need to get an idea of how much they’re truly consuming of a given food.

Food labels don’t always come with the right calorie counts, and let’s face it, most of us are absolutely terrible at guessing portion sizes.

That’s why weighing your food remains the single best way to ensure you’re keeping an accurate and productive food journal and that you’re staying in the right calorie range for shedding pounds.

THE BENEFITS OF FOOD SCALES FOR WEIGHT LOSS

WEIGHT LOSS HAPPENS WHEN YOU KNOW EXACTLY HOW MUCH YOU’RE EATING

And using a food scale helps you eliminate the guesswork.

We’ve talked a lot about using food diaries, and how this is a science-backed method to lose weight consistently.

But one of the most common complaints I hear from people is that they’re not exactly sure how accurate their food logging is. And how could they be, considering calorie counts are often inaccurate?

With a food scale, however, you’ll always make sure you’re recording exactly the right amount of food for each portion. As you learn how much (or how little) you’re actually eating, you can then adjust your calories via changing up the grams of macronutrients so you can best support weight loss.

FOOD SCALES HELP YOU LEARN HOW TO PINPOINT PORTION SIZES (which helps weight loss, as well.)

If you’re just starting out your journey toward weight loss and fat loss, things such as food scales and measuring cups will help you learn how to eyeball portion sizes.

As a general rule of thumb, people often think they’re eating much less than they actually are. Oils, added sugars, salt, sugary drinks, and other additives and calorie-dense foods tend to rack up your calorie count pretty quickly without you having any idea this is happening.

That’s when food scales become an eye-opener. When you’ve had the experience of weighing 4 ounces of steak or 100 grams of veggies on your own, you will soon realize how easy it is to weight your food correctly, and you’ll become much better at eyeballing your portion sizes perfectly and avoid unnecessary calories.

FOOD SCALES OPEN YOUR EYES TO LIGHT FOODS

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’m going to lose weight if I focus on eating X grams of leafy greens.” And then tried to weigh 200 grams of leafy greens? It’s quite the kicker.

Food scales show you how hard it is for you to overdo it on healthy food. As long as you’re not adding a ton of high-calorie dressings, fruits and veggies are almost impossible to overdo. In this situation, food scales become a reminder that we should be enjoying more healthy foods whenever possible.

FOOD SCALES SKYROCKET YOUR COOKING SKILLS (which also helps you lose weight.)

When it comes to cooking for weight loss, getting the right measurement is vital.

Two packaged items can have the same volume but vastly different weights depending on how they’re packaged. Only by using an accurate measurement before cooking can you ensure that you’re putting in the right amount of every ingredient (and nutrient) inside your meal.

Using a food scale is a guaranteed way to ensure your recipes succeed, and a great way to realize you have more room to reward yourself with (healthy) treats.

HOW DO I FIND THE PERFECT FOOD SCALE FOR MY WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?

Here are a few things to look out for when searching for a food scale:

  • Affordability
  • A large surface area that can fit plates and bowls
  • Measurements in both ounces and grams
  • A tare weight button that sets the weight at zero (so you can place it in default when adding food to a container, so you’re not measuring the container as well)

And while I won’t go into personal recommendations, following these 4 simple guidelines will ensure you find the best food scale to get the job done.

USING YOUR FOOD SCALE FOR WEIGHT LOSS

All you have to do is place your new food scale on a *flat* surface. Give it a few seconds and press the tare weight function to zero-out before you put any food on top.

Weighing your food before cooking is the ideal way to go, but don’t forget that it’s much more important to be consistent with it than get it right down to the milligram.

When it comes to how often you should use it, that’s entirely up to you.

There’s no right amount, but generally, the more, the better until the point when measuring food becomes an obsession. Whether you’re looking for weight loss success or you just want to craft the perfect meal, make sure you’re using your food scale to your benefit.

Overdoing it will just make you start obsessing over everything you eat which isn’t an ideal scenario… don’t obsess over the scale; just use it as a resource to get to where you want to go.

Losing Weight with Carb Cycling

Hey Angels and Alphas,

It’s 2021, but carbs are still one of the most talked-about and debated topics in the world of weight loss and sports nutrition.

In recent years, carb-restricted diets such as no-carb or no-sugar diets have become prevalent and shown to be effective for many people. That being said, they still have their drawbacks.

If you haven’t noticed, other approaches that play around with carb intakes (instead of removing it altogether,) such as carb cycling and Keto have gained tons of interest, particularly in the weight loss community.

And while it’s true they were initially developed for more advanced athletes who want to reach past peak performance, carb cycling has recently gotten more and more popular among novice trainees that want to shed a few dozen pounds. Let’s talk about that.

HOW DOES CARB CYCLING WORK FOR WEIGHT LOSS?

Carb cycling, in the most basic sense, means alternating the number of carbs you consume every day, week, and even month, essentially creating cycles of low-carb and high-carb intakes. This means eating a lower amount of carbs on some days (or another time frame) and eating higher amounts of carbs on others.

High-carb days usually correspond to those days in which trainees participate in high-intensity workouts, while low-carb days are reserved for rest days or days of minimal activity.

On the days in which you’re killing it at the gym or you’re trying to push past a personal record, carbs are your best friend. This is because carbs are the favorite energy source for the body when it needs energy in quick bursts. Your body burns through them quickly, as well as fat (although burning fat takes longer), so it can utilize them instead of protein.

But on the days in which you barely get off the couch, eating extra carbs basically encourages the body to store that unused glucose in your fat cells. By eating fewer or almost no carbs on a rest day, your body turns to utilizing fat cells for energy.

In the exciting world of sports nutrition, low-carbohydrate availability training sessions have been suggested to create positive adaptations at a cellular level for endurance athletes. That being said, there’s still more research that needs to be done so we can see if this translates into actual performance benefits.

SO… CARB CYCLING IS LIKE KETO?

Far from it! Keto is very low in carbs, high in fat, and moderate in protein, and the goal of Keto is to turn your body into using your fat stores for energy (also known as ketosis.)

Carb cycling, on the other hand, is usually higher in carbs than the mainstream Keto diet, and does not involve the same high fat intake (thus it doesn’t really aim for ketosis.)

That’s not to say the two eating styles don’t have their share of similarities. They both put the emphasis on managing your carb intake, and because of this, some people loosely combine the two regimens and go into a spiral of Keto cycling that gets them nowhere.

If you’ve ever heard of the Frankenstein monster that is keto cycling, it involves following the Keto protocol for most days of the week, and then have one or two days at the end of the week in which you’ll “refuel” on carbs. But those refueling days basically break your ketosis, and offer dieters the benefits of carbohydrates such as fueling them for high-intensity exercise, adding more variety to their diet, and helping them get much-needed fiber.

WHY DOES CARB CYCLING AID WEIGHT LOSS?

The reason carb cycling is so good for weight loss isn’t necessarily because of the carbs themselves. Think in terms of calories, not carbs.

To lose body fat, you have to burn more calories than you’re consuming – that’s obvious. But all of this just happens to be much easier on a diet that prioritizes managing carbs, in which you burn more fat and consume fewer carbs.

Another great reason carb cycling helps you lose weight is that you can lose up to 10 pounds of water weight if you just cut out carbs from your diet. This is because carbs hold onto water in the body. But don’t get it twisted – as soon as you reintroduce carbs into your diet, you’ll gain water weight back pretty quickly.

But probably the best reason why carb cycling is so good for weight loss is that on the days in which you’re being a couch potato or playing desk jockey, you’ll be consuming far fewer carbs and, therefore, calories.

You definitely don’t need to be hoarding all these extra calories if they’re not going to be used, and unlike fat and protein, your carb needs vary vastly from one day to the next.

And finally, when you make the decision to swap simple carbs for protein and veggies, overeating becomes very tricky… because most of us don’t really binge on broccoli and chicken. This has a massive impact on your waistline.

The bottom line?

If you want to lose weight, we all know having a negative calorie balance is an absolute must.

Carb cycling helps you achieve this – especially on the days where it counts. Carb cycling involves eating fewer carbs on your rest days and more carbs when your body actually needs them. And while it’s not really a data-driven advantage over other weight-loss methods, carb cycling can be amazing for you if you’re one of those people that likes to binge junk food on a day off.

Losing Weight through Exercise Only – Fact or Myth?

weight loss

Hey Angels and Alphas,

To lose weight and burn fat, you must consistently use more calories than you take in – everyone knows this. And typically, the best way to do this is to cut calories from your diet, add more low-energy-density foods into it, or add more exercise.

A lot of people don’t like the idea that they should rely on exercise at all. But losing weight and burning fat via exercise is possible, too – it just requires much more time and effort.

SOME NEW RESEARCH ON WEIGHT LOSS

Recent research published inside the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise has suggested that you can lose through exercise alone. I mean, we all knew this already, but they did a great job at confirming it metrically.

The catch? You have to exercise a lot. In terms of numbers, we’re talking more than 300 minutes of exercise every week, which accounts to roughly 40 minutes a day.

I know what you’re thinking – that doesn’t seem like much at all. But we’re talking about high-intensity exercise in a heart rate range for weight loss… and that’s not as easy as it sounds.

Remember: The CDC recommends the minimum amount of physical activity for each week should be around 150 minutes. Here, we’re talking double that as a minimum.

Let’s dive a little bit deeper into the science of where that number came from and what it means for your weight loss success.

Here’s why it’s very difficult to lose weight through exercise only.

Any time you reach a calorie deficit, the foundation of fat loss, your body kicks in with a few compensatory mechanisms that are there to “balance the scales.”

One way your body achieves this is through slowing down your metabolism. This means you become more efficient at using calories, regardless of whether you’re at the gym or on the couch. This compensatory response is one of the reasons we’ve been able to survive famines and food shortages (not to mention running faster marathons.)

But if you’re trying to lose weight, compensatory mechanisms (such as a slow metabolism) become a massive roadblock.

On top of that, exercise also has a direct impact on the hormones regulating satiety and hunger. A control trial analysis done back in 2018 found that exercising for two weeks or longer is linked to a decrease in leptin, a hormone that prevents under and over-eating.

Exercise is also associated with increased acylated ghrelin in the body, a vital hormone for appetite control, as well as the decrease in insulin, a hormone that suppresses appetite. This all means you could be encouraged to eat even more.

And finally, exercise can also serve as a trigger for reward-driven eating behaviors. If you’re someone who likes to treat themselves after they finish a tough workout, you’re risking quickly chocking up the calories you just burned. Not to mention, you’re likely missing out on countless healthy and productive nutrients that could have made it to your post-workout snack.

Depending on the number of calories you burn via exercise, the cumulative effects of all the body’s compensatory mechanisms can bring your total calorie expenditure to null.

In fact, research in the past has found that these mechanisms compensate for a total of 1,000 calories daily in the lives of sedentary adults… regardless of how many calories they burn throughout the week.

This means if you’re burning 2,000 calories through exercise in one single week, all these compensatory mechanisms can quickly add up those calories back into your body without you even realizing it.

So… why exactly 300 minutes of exercise for weight loss?

Kyle D Flack, head researcher on the 300-minute study, found that 300 minutes is roughly how much exercise sedentary adults need to do if they want to out-run the body’s compensatory mechanisms.

To find that 300-minute number, he and his fellow researchers brought together 44 overweight, sedentary adults and put them into 3 groups. Then they tracked how many calories they’ve burned through exercise inside a 12-week period.

  • The first group was instructed to exercise anywhere between 40 and 60 minutes a day, six times a week.
  • The second group was told to exercise for about 90-120 minutes twice a week.
  • The third group performed no exercise.

All exercise groups performed aerobic activities at a minimum intensity of around 50-59% of their maximum heart rate. (To find your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220.)

The first group burned close to 500 calories per workout, for a weekly total of 3,000.

The second group burned about 750 calories per workout, for a weekly total of 1,500.

What researchers found is that both groups compensated about 1,000 calories. This means the first group burned 2,000 calories and compensated 1,000… still ending the week at a deficit of 2,000.

However, the second group achieved only a 500-calorie weekly deficit.

The result? The first group lost almost 4 pounds (of body fat) by the end of these 12 weeks.

Bringing it all together…

In an ideal scenario, you always want to be combining exercise and a healthy diet so you can achieve weight loss success.

And while you can still lose fat only through exercise, just be warned… it takes a lot to out-run your body’s natural compensatory responses. If you don’t want to go on a diet or keep eating junk for some reason, you need to expend at least 3,000 calories a week, or roughly 300 minutes of exercise, to see actual weight loss results. You will see progress, but it will be much, much slower.

Anxiety and Stress: Causes, Symptoms, and Relief

Perhaps, no one is entirely free from anxiety, stress, and worry, only that the levels differ. For instance, people experience stress from time to time, telling on their body and brain. Hence the need to identify the pattern and take appropriate steps such as weight loss programs.

Moreover, anxiety is not necessarily bad in the short term because it can propel you to overcome challenges. Nevertheless, it can also help you think outside the box to get out of challenging and dangerous situations.

However, when you feel that these feelings affect your daily life, then it is time to pay more attention to them and deal with them once and for all. If worrying is becoming constant and anxiety is becoming severe, then you need help.

Some of the day-to-day challenges may include finding a job, facing an exam, public embarrassment, and social functions exclusion. These all contribute to our need for weight loss programs that can also enhance our health.

Common Causes of Anxiety and Stress

Can we identify some of the common causes of stress and anxiety?

1. Switching Jobs or School

When you just switch jobs or school, it may demand adjusting to some schedule, indicating physical stress. Besides, one will have to start learning to cope with the new colleagues at school or work.

2. Moving Residence

Any change to the place you live may require moving a few things here and there. This movement that comes with physical stress can also exert some mental focus to adapt to the new environment.

3. Sickness or injury

After suffering from a sickness or an injury, the body starts to recuperate to fully recover. But this process might become stressful, both physically and mentally. In some other cases, it may be a journey of physical recovery from an injury that poses some stress on the body and brain. However, it is essential to consider some weight loss or recovery programs as part of the health restoration.

4. Trauma like the Death of someone

When anyone suffers a trauma, a case of anxiety and stress can emerge. The brain also seeks a logical explanation for the occurrence. Conversely, the departure of the loved one can become a really prolonged matter. The stressed will just have to find a way to cope with such stress and allow time to heal the rest.

5. A sick friend, family or loved one

The stress of running around for a loved one who is sick can be daunting. It affects us physically in many ways, including loss of weight. While taking care of a loved one admitted to a hospital, it may demand some physical presence or running errands. An accruement of such physical action could mean stress to your body, including your brain.

6. Marriage

Funnily enough, marriage is another cause of stress in some people. The new world, as it were, is something new couples find overwhelming to cope with. Besides, marriage brings about certain adjustments from both parties while influencing almost all of your decisions. A wedding may be a totally new uncharted territory that requires you to develop some skills.

7. Having kids

Both the prospect of having a baby and the baby’s actual arrival is the reason for some people’s stress and anxiety. This case primarily arises for new couples who have their first and have to cope with their latest status. The preparation for the arrival of the child will demand making adjustments to their lives. And when the baby finally arrives, they will need to make room for its part from the mother’s recovery from weight gain or loss.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety and Stress

The signs and symptoms that may suggest stress and anxiety may include physical and psychological causes. Besides, these signs may differ from person to person, but more specific ones call for a need to journey for weight loss or gain (recovery).

Some of these physical signs and symptoms in the body include the following:

  • Severe headache, especially on the forehead
  • Faster heartbeat than normal
  • Quick unnecessary breathing
  • Sweating profusely after a little task
  • Stomach ache after regular meals
  • Muscle tension
  • Uncontrollable shaking of hands and body
  • Low sleep quality or inability to sleep altogether
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Frequent urination
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite

On the other hand, in addition to physical stress, one may feel the following emotional or mental stress-causing actions:

  • Restlessness
  • Absent-mindedness
  • Loss of short term memory
  • Irrational anger and tension
  • Loss of focus or concentration
  • Nervousness or panic
  • A feeling of impending doom or disaster
  • Fear of Death

Medical Solutions to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Several solutions suggest many ways of combating and overcoming stress. But the real deal may be a medical or psychological perspective of relieving one of them once and for all. An option of relief may be to engage in weight loss or gain programs.

The medical explanation of some causes of anxiety and stress may include certain disorders for prolonged feelings. On the other hand, these medical prescribe a professional solution to these feelings. For instance,

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is an effective method for managing stress and anxiety over the years. It recognizes thoughts that could trigger these feelings and influences the decisions before the time of need.

2. Exposure Therapy and Systematic Desensitization

These two methods are applicable in the case of anxiety and fears in terms of psychological phobias. Also, it attempts to stimulate the patient’s triggers to the feelings and help them overcome such phobias. Besides, these can all compliment your physical recovery, such as weight loss?

3. Medications

When medical care providers identify and diagnose that a patient suffers from an anxiety disorder, he prescribes medications. The options may include Selective-Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).

Apart from addressing the disorder strictly, the care provider may prescribe certain anti-anxiety medications (benzodiazepines). However, these solutions are only temporary and are not recommended for a long time due to side effects.

Another reason for reservation on continuous use of these drugs may also include the risk of addiction to the drugs. It is always better to consider other options such as weight loss/gain programs alongside the medical treatment, but only with the doctor’s approval.

Conclusion

On a final note, when dealing with stress and anxiety, it is essential to identify such feelings’ possible causes. Besides, victims should study specific symptoms that may also indicate a need for concern. A quick response may also be to enroll in any of the weight loss or gain programs.

However, in finding a solution, there are many simple ways to combat these problems in this article. In all, when any of the identified symptoms persist, it shows it is time to seek help from a medical professional.

10 Signs that Shows You Need to Lose Weight

Most of us still have fond memories of when our shapes were perfect; we wanted nothing more nor less. But right before your very eyes, even with all your preparations, you continue to pile up weight.

Weight gain may not happen very quickly, just as weight loss may also be a slow process. Some people totally ignore the indications that their bodies are changing. Others know but chose not to talk about it at all. And when people tell them, it feels awkward.

But whether you monitor your body changes or not, it is happening – you are either gaining or losing weight. At the same time, you may sincerely have a lot going on right now that you pay little attention to the reflection in the mirror.

As a guide and a much-needed help, this article exposes the standard signals that show that you are gaining weight. And what next? You may need to actively engage in weight loss programs, including dieting and exercise if need be.

How can you know if you are adding weight?

1. You just know it intuitively

Your gut may be the first and easiest indicator that you are adding more weight to the body. However, this sign is not dependable; neither is it scientifically explainable. Nevertheless, it could provide the reason to explore other concrete and more quantifiable indicators.

This clearest indicator may come in a whisper form while trying to put on a particular cloth. For instance, you seem to have skipped the gym for 3 consecutive weeks, that you took a lot of junk food the previous week.

Therefore, if you pay attention to this tiny voice in the head, you will be saving yourself early from the hectic journey of weight loss.

2. It is difficult to do exercise,

Suppose instead of going for an exercise, you find an excuse not to do it. In that case, that’s an indication that more pleasure is creeping in. in other cases, you may be convincing yourself of how busy you have become.

The effects of these excuses may include more careless and unplanned meals, meeting up with work-out schedules. These excuses, no matter how rational, are only temporal and make us feel relaxed.

However, they don’t allow us to see how to manage our weight and improve our health. It may take a close person, such as a spouse or intimate friend, to point out some of these issues. In all, you should know when you need to enroll in some weight loss programs.

Typically, feeling heavy complements your body’s weakness, and you feel less fit than usual. Whereas common obstacles to fitness may also include obesity, sedentary living or working, body stiffness, and other muscle-flexing difficulties.

3. Your clothes don’t fit anymore

Another easy way to know if your body weight is becoming problematic is your inability to fit in your clothes anymore. When it seems clothes you wear consistently don’t work anymore, it is a call for concern.

You wonder why your favorite jeans, all of a sudden, doesn’t fit anymore. Inelastic jeans, t-shirts, and otherwise provided clothing are good indicators in this way. Therefore, it is time to check your weight and see if your fears are valid.

4. Your joint aches after walking a little distance

When you are approaching some adult weight, you need to take care of your body weight for gain or loss.

For instance, if you feel some pains in your joints after walking a little distance, it may indicate that you are adding some weight.

For instance, any pain in the elbow, knee, hips, and even the back may result from the extra weight.

This excess weight may put more pressure and bring about uncomfortable pain feeling in the joints. It is also essential to look into this feeling because it may wear out the joints’ tissues.

5. The doctor says your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are rising fast

Your doctor’s diagnosis is perhaps the most critical report that is worth taking seriously. Not that all other indicators are unnecessary, but a doctor’s information is an outcome of some tests.

Many observations may bring about the doctor’s conclusion. For instance, excess fat, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure all contribute to heart diseases, according to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

But when you actively engage in weight loss following the doctor’s advice, then you are on the right path. All the medical risks just when the condition has newly been diagnosed are avoidable.

6. You suddenly begin to snore

When your partner or roommate complains about how much you snore at night, it is a call for weight loss.

Snoring may result from excess fat that blocks the free flow of air through the lungs and nostrils.

In medicine, these sleep apnea may be loud or come with gasping sounds when normal breathing pauses. WebMD suggested that it is caused by excess weight or outright obesity.

Therefore, after a weight-loss session, you stand a good chance of recovering and remaining healthy.

7. You notice a steady increase in weight consistently over the years

If you notice that your weight increased steadily in the previous years, it indicates that you may continue still.

These changes are often a result of certain habits that may still be in place. And unless there is a deliberate effort to carry out weight loss activities, there might not be any different.

A few extra pounds that you add every year accumulates in the same direction to become a big deal. Therefore if your weight only goes up and not down, there is a need for weight loss.

8. Breathing heavily after using the stairs

If you often wind up after little work, such as walking up the stairs, it may indicate being overweight. Medical experts also show that the more weight you gain, the less capacity you have to respire.

Besides, breathing heavily that way may indicate overworking your heart and lungs. Therefore, you may need to consider some work out to further exercise these organs towards better health.

9. Your BMI is off the mark

Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is another indication that you gained some pounds and the need for weight loss. BMI uses your body weight with your height to estimate your level of body fat.

The significant categories you may fall in include underweight (less than 18.5), standard (18.5 to 24.9), or overweight (greater than 30). The CDC categorizes that people in the overweight category stand at risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

10. Your health doesn’t feel good due to a lack of energy or fatigue

Finally, compelling fatigue and a general lack of wellness indicate that you carry a lot of weight around. Therefore, it also indicated your need to consider weight loss.

In some cases, you may discover you quickly feel like there is no energy in your system even though you’re not hungry.

On a final note

Finally, we just discussed some of the essential indicators that should motivate you to drop some weight. When you get two or more of these signs, you may need to do some tests to affirm your body weight changes.

In that case, you need to engage in some strategies to lose some weight and stay fit and healthy.

11 Positive Signs on your Weight Loss Journey

weight loss

Weight loss has its benefits and challenges, and you don’t have to wait a long time before knowing how you’re faring. Each weight loss program should have a way of tracking the progress of your efforts.

Also, you need more motivation as you journey on to lose more weight towards better health. Obviously, when you see the numbers drop on the scale, you get inspired to do more on your diet and exercise plan.

In other words, you can determine your fitness as you progress through several signs on your body. You should also closely follow the changes in your body even without a scale to measure body weight changes.

11 Positive Signs that can motivate you on Your Weight Loss Journey

Below are some of the positive signs you can watch out for:

1. You’re usually less hungry

One of the first few things to notice when your weight loss strategies are working is less hunger. Significantly, if your weight loss plan is through diet, it usually affects your appetite for some foods.

For instance, if you now take more proteins but lesser fat and carbs, you lose the desire for fat over time. Besides, you also get full on time because of amino acids’ action to trigger the brain accordingly.

2. Easy workouts feel tougher

As you lose more weight, primarily through work out, you get more used to previously more challenging exercises. In other words, your body quickly begins to adjust to the physical demands of your practice.

In another way, daily workouts can only be challenging at the beginning of the session. As you consistently proceed with different exercises, it gets better, and you gain more fitness.

3. Loosely fitted clothes

It is easy to first notice your weight loss through the looseness of your clothes. When you begin to see that your favorite jeans now fit differently, then it’s a positive sign that your weight loss is working.

As you continue to do what you plan to do, your cloth fitness will encourage you to do better. Not only does weight loss help people, but it also gives room to gain more fitness with clothes.

4. Improved sense of well-being

Ideally, when your weight loss plan begins to work out, it gives you a sort of emotional and psychological satisfaction. A 2013 study showed that people on the journey of weight-loss felt more vitality and self-control.

On the other hand, they had less anxiety and less depression than before the weight loss. Mind you, in some cases, it may take up to 6 months before the changes become apparent.

5. More muscle definition

Depending on the kind of work out you engage in and frequency, the muscle strength improves as you gain more fitness. Also, a weight loss plan for workouts can influence physical strength positively.

As both men and women remain consistent with their workouts, their muscles begin to take more shape and strength. In addition to resistance-type exercises, experts also recommend eating enough protein to augment the process.

6. Physical changes in body measurements

As expected, weight loss is also observable in your physical body measurements such as the waist size, hip, and chest. These improved outcomes also influence overall health more positively.

Medical experts confirmed that there is a link between the risk of cardiovascular disease and waist circumference. It implies that a looser waistband implies better health.

7. No more chronic pains

Weight loss also improves the relief from pain, especially in body areas used in bearing weights during workouts.

For instance, the lower back, shoulders, and lower legs have less pain with time.

In other words, physiologists use this strategy to ensure that people who enroll for a workout to improve fitness can feel less pain over time.

Other areas where chronic pains can reduce include knee pain due to arthritis and other similar body parts.

8. Fall in blood pressure

As you continue your weight loss plan through diet or workout, you begin to experience lesser blood pressure until it reaches normalcy.

Similarly, exercising the heart helps to remove the harmful effects of blood pressure and similar ailments.

No doubt, more movement with the right diet can help reduce your blood pressure and keep you healthier.

As you lose weight within the normal range, you reduce your heart’s strain, and the blood pressure becomes stable.

9. Going to the bathroom more (or less) than usual

As you change your diet, it may affect how often you go to the restroom through bowel movements.

For instance, if you take more vegetables and remove meat, you may experience more constipation.

On the other hand, more animal proteins subject you to more constipation. Diet becomes an integral part of the journey to weight loss.

And if you observe that your bowel movement has changed, perhaps it is in response to your weight loss program.

10. Better mood

Your eating habits changes can improve your mood over time, as different food items contain different substances. Some food contains stimulants, while others contain blood regulating substances.

On the other hand, sugar-containing foods can also affect mood and blood sugar. The research revealed that there is a relationship between mood and weight loss.

11. Better sleep with less snoring

While you were adding weight, you will more likely snore. But whenever your weight loss plans begin to work out, you will experience more quality sleep and less snoring.

Although snoring relates to weight loss is complicated, researchers still believe there is an indirect relationship. And results have shown that weight loss was an effective therapy for people who suffer from sleep apnea and snoring.

Side Effects of Weight Loss Diets and Exercises

Depending on the method of weight loss that you employ, some strategies may have some side effects. This observation is common to weight loss programs that involve the use of a specialized diet.

Therefore, if you observe a sudden loss of weight within a short period due to diet, you need to watch out for the following:

  1. Hair loss over a short period
  2. Body fatigue persistently
  3. Gall stones as a kidney complication
  4. A weaker immune system against common diseases and illnesses
  5. Muscle cramps during work out exercises
  6. Slower metabolism that may include incomplete digestion

 

Final words

On a final note, not all weight loss regimes are effective and healthy. However, when you see the healthy signs, you can be confident that the plan is working. On the other hand, if you feel any uncommon discomfort or side effect, kindly reach out to a medical practitioner immediately.

Wish you all the best!

These 8 Ways Will Help You Lose Weight Quickly… Perhaps In Days!

weight loss

Losing weight becomes quite burdensome when you recognize that your stomach has started to bulge, and you can’t fit into that little dress any longer. The journey to weight loss can be stressful to begin at first. Yet, the impact is felt much later as you age.

Contrary to some people’s beliefs, you can’t lose fat by starving yourself of food for days, depending on very little or nothing for nutrients. What may happen is quite the opposite of what these people think. When you starve your self continually of food, your body triples its efforts to make more energy and adipose reserves at the sight of any food. So when you take in food that is different from your hungered ration, your body is quickened to decrease usage, storing up fat in the process. So to lose weight to a good extent quickly, you have to pick up new habits and follow them up in moderation and consistency to yield results.

To lose weight in days, these habits will be necessary to impose and followed with diligence. Some essential strategies to achieve your fat loss plan quickly include:

  1. Exercise

To lose massive weight in a short duration, exercising always is necessary. You will not record a quick improvement if exercising is not included in your routine. Not just any kind of exercise – intense training has been confirmed to produce immediate outcomes. Workouts and the right diets, of course.

To accomplish this feat, you’ll need to work intensively. Do cardio exercises, sit-ups, and run a great distance. Run on a treadmill if one is available. Exercise first thing every morning.

  1. Diet

Can a fat loss be achieved without a change in diet? No way. If it ever happens, it’ll take a very long time.

Dieting involves strictly following a controlled regimen of foods to mainly increase weight loss, influencing your health in the long run. Also, you need to ensure every meal you eat is healthy and free from calories.

When dieting, the kind of foods embraced should be foods rich in fibers (vegetables and fruits), whole foods rich in carbs should be ruled out. As much as you can, stay away from foods with a high amount of calories. Foods like white bread and the greasy burger will do you no good if you seek to lose fat hastily.

As you eat, stopping when you start to feel satisfied helps you cut down on your food intake by preventing overeating.

  1. Drink Water Always

I’m sure you’ve heard the popular maxim depicting that a cup of water keeps the doctor away. I can’t agree less with this theory.

Drinking water has no effects on adipocytes but usually goes a long way in helping one attain fat loss. Drinking water keeps the body active. When water is taken some minutes before eating, it keeps one full, limiting the quantity of food you’ll consume as you’re already full. So you must take a glass of water or its equivalent 15-30 minutes before every meal.

  1. Involve High Protein Foods As Often As Possible

To alleviate fat, you’ll need to add more proteins to your diet. Not just all kinds of proteins as low protein diets would work oppositely, causing an excess build-up of belly fat, or have no effect on your quest. Foods high in protein work the best.

Eating foods high in protein increases your chances of weight loss success rapidly as time progresses. By replacing carbohydrates and fatty foods with these classes of proteins, you reduce getting hungry as high protein diets trigger the satiety center of the brain, keeping you full for a longer time. This makes you eat fewer calories by default, making fat loss possible within days.

  1. Avoid Processed Foods

I know doing this may be tough because these foods are usually the tastiest. To lose fat, you need to avoid eating processed foods as much as possible.

Processed foods contain an erroneously high amount of calories and sugar, which are not a bit good for your health. These calories build up, and apart from causing a continuous rise in your size and weight, they may clog your blood vessels too. You will need to limit your intake of sugar, which are integral parts of processed food. Cut off processed foods if you want to see improvement.

  1. Sufficient Sleep

Having adequate sleep every time you need rest is a great way to attain fat loss. Credible sources have linked an increase in weight to insufficient sleep and rest when needed. So to hasten your efforts on the weight loss game, you need enough sleep for hours. Though requirements for different people exist, an average human will need about 7 hours of sleep to remain healthy. The same is recommended if you hope to lose weight as soon as possible.

Sleep and get as much rest as you can.

  1. Drink Unsweetened Coffee

Drinking unsweetened coffee has other benefits than keeping you sound and active throughout the day. Research has shown that an increased intake of coffee leads to the release of fatty acids from adipose deposits. Caffeine, the ingredient in coffee responsible for this, raises the epinephrine level, speeding up metabolism. One needs to be careful about taking caffeine as taking too much of it could make you build up a tolerance, reversing its effects. Remember, moderation is applied to lose weight that will last.

  1. Taking Supplements

Taking weight loss supplements and extracts help in losing ample fat quickly. Supplements such as Glucomannan is a wonderful example of working supplements. When these supplements are combined with other methods of losing fat, you’ll lose pounds faster than you can imagine.

In conclusion, to lose weight healthily within a short duration is possible, but applied steps should be taken in moderation to avoid a breakdown of your health. Remember that we exist to help you achieve a healthy physique to keep you beautiful. Allow us to keep you fit and cute.

These 6 Exercises Will Help You Burn That Belly Fat In 3 Weeks!

weight loss

Belly fat can cause anxiety for everyone who notices a bulge that doesn’t seem to melt down there despite all medications and prescribed directives to lose fat around the abdomen. Forget all that they tell you. No one can ever lose fat at a particular spot or area of the body alone. To efficiently reduce abdominal fat, you should work on weight loss over all the areas of your body.

The relevance of losing fat around the abdominal and waist region, which accounts for belly fat, cannot be overemphasized. People should be more concerned about losing fat around that region than fat loss around other regions of the body. This is because having a build-up of weight around the abdominal region increases the risk of dying from diabetes, stroke, cancer, and other related ailments. It has also been proven that fat around that region increases one’s mortality. So really, this should be a battle you should engage in to get that fat away.

Contrary to popular opinion, fat loss around the belly cannot just be achieved by every workout acclaimed to be trusted. Yes, they might tone those abs and strengthen your oblique muscles, but sadly, they won’t kick that belly fat away. So to get rid of those fat, well, you need to put in some cardio exercises to strengthen your heart rate and a bit of dieting. Not to worry about the exercises you should include. I highlighted some important ones below.

  1. Walk, Jog, Run!

Hey, I know how surprised you might be to find this popping up as the first exercise to weight loss in the belly region and the whole body but trust me, it is an easy, common, and proven remedy.

Walking and running a distance has proven to be a very effective step to weight loss. If you are consistent and intense about following this up, you will surely notice changes after about seven days.

If you walk or run for more than 15 minutes, your body must have used up its glycogen reserve to produce the needed energy, so the next energy source becomes the adipose reserves in various areas of your body, including that around the stomach and waist.

Scheduling to walk for more than 30 minutes consistently would work magic, and more effects would be noticed if you take this further by running or jogging a good distance daily. If you keep to this trick along with other helpful exercises I’ll mention, you’ll see changes in less than three weeks, I assure you.

  1. Crunches

Regardless of the type of crunches employed, the crunch exercise and its variations work wonders for abdominal fat loss.

Guess what? It is relatively easy to carry out, as well.

To carry out a type of crunches called the reverse crunches, all you need to do is lay down flat on a mat with your arms beside you. Then, raise your feet and thighs till they’re upright. You’ll need to bend your knees at an angle pointing towards your face as far as you can comfortably go without lifting your back off the ground. However, your buttocks and hips need to be elevated slightly to support the position you’re in.

Ta-da! Easy to do.

You need to repeat this exercise consistently to see marvelous results.

  1. Planks

Doing the plank exercise is effective for general fat loss, as much as it tones your oblique muscles. To carry out the plank exercise, you’ll need to lay on your elbows and hands with your body parallel to the ground but not touching the ground. Straighten your feet and lift your entire body to be slightly elevated, without changing your resting position. Hold on for a minute, and go another round.

Working the plank exercise for 5 minutes is fine. But if you can work for more minutes, the better. Yes, the more, the merrier applies here to get rid of the not so cute fat.

  1. Burpees

If there is an exercise that reflects on every single muscle of your body, it is the burpee exercise. It is a fierce exercise that hastens metabolism and sends heat to every area of your body, triggering weight loss. Burpee is an exercise that involves jumping and squatting. It is called the four-step exercise. It is one of the best ways to lose belly fat faster.

The steps to follow to complete burpee include:

  • Stand straight with your feet a shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your knees to squat, place your hands on the floor, and jump, kicking your legs backward to be in a plank position.
  • Reverse the motion, this time, beginning from the plank position.

You can feel the heat travel up your body already. For quick results, repeat consistently.

  1. Russian Twists

This exercise enhances your oblique abdominal muscles the most as you rotate your body from side to side as you sit up with your feet up.

To do the Russian Twist, you should sit up straight, leaning on a tall spine to support your slightly bent body as you rotate. Hold a ball some centimeters away from your chest, then turn your body to the left, squeezing your abdominal muscles and ribs as you do so. Repeat the same motion to the other side with your feet still elevated.

Russian twists visibly affect your abs as you carry out the exercise. It helps a great deal in weight loss.

  1. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

If you have ever engaged in cardio workouts for weight loss, chances are you have heard the HIIT exercise been mentioned a good number of times. As the name implies, HIIT consists of short and intense anaerobic bouts of exercises done at alternated periods. It combines many exercises like push-ups, pull-downs, heel touches, jackknife, squats, etc., to enhance metabolism quickly, losing fat in the process.

These workouts are intense with resting periods, which are longer and alternated with the training. The exercise can take about 15 minutes for a session or more for the pronounced difference in a shorter period.

If done religiously, this training could be your ticket out of the belly fat team. So yes, HIIT should be followed intensely to lose fat in every area of your body as well.

Remember, exercising hard may not be effective if you do not change other habits that may contribute largely to your weight gain. To balance your efforts, you should get rid of these habits to see the effects.

Till I come your way next time, remain fit!

Quit Using The Scale: These 8 Ways Will Help You Check Your Weight Loss Progress Instead!

Using a scale can be a method of determining your weight loss progress, but it could get discouraging if you keep checking, and the fluctuations happen by just a few pounds after your weeks of dieting and intense exercise. A scale is an accurate means to this end, no doubt. But then, they’re other proven methods you can use without slipping right back into depression due to the indifference your scale may show on your fat loss journey.

One truth is, you may lose fat without a distinct remarkable difference in your weight. By this, I mean you really will shed some adipose as you stick to consistent dieting and intense exercising. This is due to your exercises. Your muscles will begin to get mass as you lose the fatty tissues. This doesn’t mean you haven’t progressed on your journey to fat loss. Your scale might not show the difference, but these methods I’m going to show you will most definitely show it. Some really helpful methods are enumerated below.

  1. Your Weekly Selfie Shows It

Checking your weight loss progress with photos or selfies taken is advised, so you can see how far you have journeyed on this road. You begin to notice slight changes for a start from these photos. It could be a slight reduction of the fat around your abdomen and a decrease of the fat on your upper arm. Whichever way the loss may present itself, taking photos will help you notice these changes and appreciate your efforts.

  1. Your Clothes Fit Loosely

Ever worn your cute clothes, and then you notice they no longer fit as tightly as they used to? If your answer is yes, chances are, you’re shedding fat at a very healthy rate. Believe me; this is a wonderful milestone for weight loss.

When you start your journey to shed some weight, your scale might not tell you how much progress you have made. Once you begin to zip up your shorts and wear your once tight clothes with ease, you’re definitely on the right track.

  1. The Measuring Tape Shows Your Progress As Well

Using a measuring tape to check if there’s a reduction around some parts of your body is a good way to know if you’re shedding off that adipose.

A slight loss or increase in inches will show when you use a measuring tape. This can be done at your preference. It can be once in two days, weekly or fortnightly, to check your progress.

All you need to do is to take the measuring tape around your torso if belly fat is what you’re looking out for.

  1. Your Energy Level Increases

Sometimes, a change in the body might not be what you need to access growth on the fat loss journey. Instead, evaluate your energy and activity level. Did you notice a change?

Every time, an increased energy level shows a decline in fat levels, as too much body fat decreases the body’s metabolism. So, when the rate of metabolism is increased by workouts and certain diets, activity levels increase as well.

This explains why you feel like touching the sky at every chance you get, even if you’re usually not hyperactive. An increment in energy level shows progress.

  1. You Notice Muscles Instead of Fat

As you progress on your journey to a healthy body, you notice that your muscles begin to take shape, replacing the fat that was predominant in that area. Using your stomach as an example, you begin to notice your oblique muscles taking shape, gradually becoming those cute abs.

As it happens with your abdominal muscles, the same happens around other parts of your body. Be careful to notice the gradual fat loss. You will not immediately see toned six-packs, but a difference exists.

  1. You Visit the Bathroom More or Less Often

Have you been visiting the bathroom more frequently than you always had? That is it. You’re right on track.

You may be wondering how, so I’ll explain it the best way I can.

Every time you lose the slightest amount of fat, your body gets rid of that fact via sweat and urine. So as you embark on this weight loss journey with progress, you tend to use the restroom continually because your body needs to get the fat out of it.

You don’t have to worry about having an issue with your kidney if your urine color is not darker than normal. Continual urination and sweating mean improvement.

However, your kind of diet may affect the frequency of urine. High protein diets make you use the restroom less, as more veggies and fruits make you use the restroom more.

  1. You Feel Healthier Generally

Though this method doesn’t exactly measure anything, a healthier-feeling indicates tremendous growth when you pursue weight loss consistently. You feel light, and if you have an existing ailment, you notice a significant improvement.

It has been proven that being fat increases the risks of killer ailments like stroke, diabetes, and cancer, leading to mortality. However, when you begin the journey to shed some of these distressing tissues, you feel way better and healthier – symptoms you had of underlying ailments decrease. You don’t need a scale to know you lost a considerable amount of fat if you feel this way.

  1. You Sleep Better

As you record a headway on the fat loss journey, notice how much your sleeping pattern improves. Pay attention to how long you sleep without tossing on the bed due to distress. Having an excessive amount of body fat has been shown to impede proper sleep whenever affected persons try. This is an accurate reason why they may appear worn out often.

When one loses weight, sleep becomes more enjoyable. Reduced body fat has also been shown to reduce snoring while sleeping. This is a great indicator.

There are several ways to ascertain that your efforts to lose weight are not futile. Using a scale is one, but not a concluding factor. You’ll need to reduce your use of a weighing scale as a parameter for your weight loss mission solely. A scale won’t always tell you what you need to know.

Need To Keep Your Mind Active? Try These 5 Exercises

Keeping your body fit, weight loss, and muscle building are all great, but a fit body with an unhealthy mind is totally useless. This doesn’t mean you have to become Einstein or Leonardo Da Vinci; it just means that you need to have a mind that is alert enough to understand basic concepts, make the right decisions and keep good communication.

Due to the ever-changing world that has made it possible for people to become more anti-social as they work from home, as well as other factors like the global pandemic, which has kept people farther away from each other than ever before, most people do not engage in exercise (both physical exercise like fat loss programs and mental exercises like reading) to help their body and mind grow.

In this article, we will consider some of the most important forms of exercise that can help keep your mind active at all times, but first, let us study what the brain is and why brain health is important.

What is Brain Health, and why is it important?

The brain is a complex organ of the human body that is located in the head. It is very complex and controls intricate patterns, behavior, body movement, and human intelligence. Without a brain, the human body cannot function.

Brain health is the ability of the human brain to perform all these functions without problems. Since the brain is such an important organ that nobody can live without, brain health is, therefore, more important than weight loss, muscle health, etc.

Focusing on your brain health will reduce the chances of getting a degenerative brain disease like Alzheimer’s. It also helps you get the best out of your brain so that you are the sharpest you can be at every time.

Now that we understand some of the reasons why brain health is important let’s proceed to study some exercises that can help boost brain power and keep you active.

  1. Cardio

Running, Jogging, cycling, and other exercises that help the heart pump blood faster are good for brain health too. This is because they ensure blood supply to the blood and reduce the chance of stroke and other diseases.

For a long time, cardio exercises have been known for their ability to help people in fat loss programs achieve their goals, but it’s bigger than that. Cardio exercises not only help the heart but also the brain stay sharp and active. They are a big boost to the brain when done early and consistently, and they help produce endorphins, feel-good chemicals in the brain that help improve your feeling of positivity and allow you to go about your day with energy and vigor.

  1. Reading

Reading might not seem like an exercise because it doesn’t contain high intensity, weight loss regimens that make you break a sweat. However, reading is a very powerful brain exercise that can help improve your brain connectivity and brainpower. Reading also improves your brain memory capacity so that you remember stuff better than you used to.

If you want your mind to stay active, sharp, and remember a lot of important stuff, then you should seriously consider dusting that book on your shelf and opening it today.

  1. Sleeping

It sounds funny to say that you want to stay active by going to bed, but sleeping actually helps keep your mind active. If you have stayed awake all night before, you understand this concept. Not resting your brain properly will make you moody and irritable, and you will forget a lot of stuff easily. It also impairs your decision-making function, so that you make horrible decisions throughout the day.

Ensure to sleep for a good number of hours every day in the right condition – low light, no noise, comfortable bed, etc.

Sometimes, the best way to make your brain active is to let it rest.

  1. Meditation

Just like reading, meditation is not an exercise that will help you with weight loss or muscle growth, but it will help your mind become more focused and alert. When you meditate, you train your mind to focus on a particular thing at a point in time, and that is excellent training for the mind. It also helps you improve your mental power this way.

Meditation also comes with a calming of the mind, something required for you to make good decisions when you have to.

  1. Solving puzzles and playing board games

Puzzles and board games require focus and loads of patience to play them right, and this process will help train your brain that way. If you doubt the importance of board games and puzzles, remember that there is a reason why some of the best chess players in the world have incredibly high IQs. Now, you don’t have to become Einstein, but you can become smarter, more alert, and more focused when you solve more puzzles and play more board games.

Conclusion

The brain is more important than we think it is. If your physical body is fit and your brain is inactive, you won’t be able to move your body. Now, that’s extreme, but there are lots of people who don’t get just how important it is for you to at least make your brain more alert than it currently is. If you want your brain to be more active, work it!

One extra tip will be to eat the right foods, as foods impact not only your muscle growth or weight but also your brain. Too much sugar is not a good option if you are trying to fire your brain up. Ensure you take the right fuel that will help make your brain active throughout the day.

Finally, remember to sleep a lot. Sleep does wonders on our brain as it does on our body (it really helps with weight loss and muscle growth). Sleep will help you stay refreshed to make the right decisions when the time comes.

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Natural Foods To Help You Lose Weight

Weight loss programs have gained more notoriety in the past few years than at any other time in history. The importance attached to fat loss is due to the growing number of overweight people all around the world, mostly as a result of poor food choices (fast food with high fat) and bad habits (sitting in front of a TV all day and eating junk food). For this reason, many people pay hundreds of dollars every month to a personal trainer with the hope of burning the excess fat in their body.

Since the problem is caused by lack of exercise and poor food choices, it is therefore commonsense that the solution should come from reversing these bad habits. For this reason, the best way to achieve weight loss is to eat right and exercise constantly. In this article, we will focus on the former.

If you exercise properly and constantly, you have a good shot at losing weight. However, the formula is only complete when you eat right as well. If you keep eating those junk and processed foods you are used to eating, it doesn’t matter if you get involved in HIIT or other heavy weight loss programs; you’re always going to struggle with excess fat. If you want to see results, and quickly too, you should combine regular exercise with eating the right kinds of food.

There are many artificial supplements in the market that promise to give you a snatched waist, lower belly fat, and muscle growth. Some of them are good, and some aren’t. Some are outright dangerous. If you want to achieve fat loss the right way, you should be informed of the right kind of nutrition you are taking. For safety purposes, it is better to take in natural foods that will help you achieve your goals without any side effects.

Some of those foods are:

  1. Whole Eggs

For some time, eggs were notorious for the presence of cholesterol within them, but now they are gaining the trust of the public. Eggs are loaded with nutrients, and they are very satisfying. They contain a high level of protein within them, and they can cause you to eat less over the next couple of days. This nutrient-dense food is one of the best and trusted foods to check out if you are interested in weight loss naturally.

  1. Boiled Potatoes

Like eggs, boiled potatoes can be highly satisfying, and allowing them cool is important in allowing them to form a high amount of resistant starch, which helps fight off excess fat and regulate metabolism in the body. In addition to this, potatoes contain a healthy amount of potassium and fiber. It also has a low hypoglycemic value, so it is very helpful for diabetic people.

  1. Peas

In just a cup of peas, you can get up to 8 grams of protein and a lot of other nutrients that help reduce bloat in the body. Peas also contain iron, magnesium, vitamin C, and potassium if you need that daily to help counter sodium in the body. Peas are small but very important in helping you hit your weight loss goals.

  1. Beans and Legumes

Legumes, in general, are rich in protein and fiber, two nutrients that promote satisfaction in the body when eaten. Beans, kidney beans, lentils, and black beans all fall into this category. They also have low calories within them. It is important that you prepare your legumes properly to avoid problems with digesting them. To do this, you can soak your legumes overnight before boiling them properly with high heat to deal with the anti-nutrients contained within them that make digestion difficult.

  1. Avocados

Avocados are special fruits because they come loaded with fat, as opposed to other fruits that are loaded with carbs. The kind of fat found in avocados is called monounsaturated oleic acid, which is also the kind of fat found in olive oil. In addition to that, they contain fiber and potassium, and a lot of water, making them one of the healthy natural choices to go to for fat loss.

  1. Nuts

While they are high in fat, nuts are not fattening. As a matter of fact, they are one of the best options for weight reduction. This is due to their protein, fiber, and healthy fat composition, making them filling enough to prevent you from eating unnecessary carbs. They are also an excellent snack, meaning they are not so difficult to enjoy while you are on your weight loss journey. However, you have to watch out and be careful of eating too much of them, as they are still relatively high in calories. Nuts should not be overeaten.

  1. Whole grains

It would have been disrespectful to conclude this list without adding the trusted group of food for heart health and weight loss: whole grains. Brown rice, white rice, quinoa, and oats are foods that are loaded with fiber and some amount of protein, meaning that, like many other foods on this list, they are satiated. Brown rice and white rice also contain a good amount of resistant starch when it is boiled and allowed to cook, which helps with weight loss. Oats contain some soluble fiber that helps with better food metabolism as well, meaning your food digests quickly, and you don’t worry about storing fat.

Conclusion

While dark chocolate and other types of foods and snacks picked up from the store can help with fat loss, it is much better to try out natural foods for your weight loss programs. Natural foods usually come with other benefits attached to them and little to no side effects. They are usually filling and satisfying and safe for your heart.

It might be difficult switching your diet to pure natural foods because artificial foods can be addictive, but that is a battle you must be willing to fight if you must succeed in this weight loss program. Also, remember to get a lot of sleep.

6 Stay-At-Home Tips To Keep Fit Without Hitting The Gym

Nowadays, it has become cool to talk about weight loss, hitting the gym, or building muscle. Many people feel left behind because they haven’t gotten around to sparing some time and money to go to the gym, hire a personal trainer, or follow a strict fat loss regimen. For many of us, due to current situations in the world like the global pandemic that has lasted for a while now, we may find it impossible to visit gyms or go to places with a number of people to work out.

Fortunately for these people, all hope is not lost. You don’t have to go to the gym or spend hundreds of dollars hiring a personal trainer for you to keep fit, stay healthy, or build some abs and muscle. You also don’t have to slip back into old habits of not exercising and accumulating lots of weight because gyms are closed now. In this article, we will go through some stay-at-home tips for people who are interested in hitting the gym but don’t have the time or resources to do so.

  1. Create a routine for yourself

One of the benefits of going to a gym is that it helps you stay focused on a set goal by creating a structured routine around your workout. For example, if you have to be in the gym by 7 for weight loss exercise on Monday and at the same time on Tuesday for aerobics, you are more likely to be consistent with that commitment. However, in your house, you can get distracted easily, decide to do start with something else in the morning, and never really get around to working out the whole day.

If you wish to make home workout work, you must block out a certain time of the day for your workout and stay disciplined. You will achieve consistency that way.

  1. Find accountability partners

The fact that you can’t go to the gym with other people doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to work with them to achieve your fat loss, muscle growth, or fitness goals. Find one or two people who are willing to undergo the same process as you and work with them to achieve your goals. You all can have the same routine and call each other to keep yourselves accountable every day. You can also decide to facetime and workout in real-time so that you are sure that everybody is involved in the process.

Doing this will help you build a sense of community with these people so that you don’t feel alone in your endeavor.

  1. Watch tutorial videos online

If you are not sure of what to do, watching some videos online can help you with the process. There are home workout tutorials on muscle building, weight loss, aerobics, HIIT, and whatever you want to focus on. Most of these content creators online are personal trainers and gym coaches, so they are quite experienced in the kinds of exercise that works and how to follow a strict routine to help you achieve your fitness goals.

Watch these tutorials, or buy tapes if you are more comfortable watching on TV and training along with DVDs. If you don’t know how to build a routine for yourself, you can also search online for help and resources to guide you through the process.

  1. Take it easy

Many people make the mistake of trying to do it all at once. They want to work on their arms, chest, and legs at the same time. It may feel like the right thing to do on the first day, but it gets exhausting pretty fast. Decide what goals you wish to achieve at the end of the process and create a routine that can slowly help you get to that goal. Workout slowly and increase the intensity of the workout as you get more comfortable with the routine.

If your focus is fat loss, don’t try to do all the fat loss exercises at once. Save some for other days of the week and slowly increase as you get more comfortable.

  1. Do some outdoor exercise too

Don’t focus on just stretching, pushups, and other exercises you can do at home alone. Try out other exercises like walking, jogging, running, cycling, etc. These exercises help keep you in shape and can also be good for your emotional and mental health. However, remember to stay safe, follow safety procedures for the COVID-19 pandemic, and workout when the traffic flow is less.

  1. Keep track of your records and success

Keeping track of your progress is a good way to motivate you to do more. Tick your calendar every day you work out. If you couldn’t work out for a day, record it down and why you couldn’t so that you can avoid the cause next time. Also, write your goals down and how far you’ve come so far. If your goal is weight loss, write down how many pounds you plan to lose and record your new weight every week when you check it on the scale.

Journaling the entire process can be fun in itself, and it will keep you focused on the target so that you don’t slack and fall too far behind.

  1. Be cautious of your eating and sleeping habits

The easiest way to destroy your good work in a workout is to eat junk and sleep little. Ensure you eat healthy foods, reduce fats, sugar, and alcohol, and go for whole grains, fruits, and veggies. Also, aim to get at least 6 hours of sleep every day (more, if you can).

Remember that fitness is not a one-time thing. You must be consistent with exercising if you want to see any reasonable result. Setting goals, keeping yourself accountable, and keeping track of your success will help you stay consistent working at home until you can afford to go to a gym.

5 Ways To Keep Your Heart Healthy

Everyone knows that exercise is good for weight loss and helping you build muscles, but it is more important than that. Apart from fat loss and muscle building, exercise is one of the most important activities that can help a person’s heart stay healthy.

However, exercise is not the only way to keep and maintain a healthy heart. There are other ways you can get into today that can help you preserve and keep your heart healthy as long as you live.

In this article, we will go through some of these ways to keep your heart healthy after understanding the function of the heart and why it is important for you to have a healthy heart.

The Function of the Human Heart

The human heart is an organ in the body that is responsible for pumping blood to all parts of the body through a network of veins and arteries. It is just about the size of a fist and is located behind and to the left of the breastbone.

Why is it Important to Have a Healthy Heart?

In many parts of the world, heart disease is a leading cause of death. For this reason, it is important that you take steps to keep your heart healthy at all times. Nobody is too young or too old to start working on keeping a healthy heart, and it’s always better sooner than later.

The most common heart disease is called Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) or Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). It happens when the coronary arteries or tubes meant to take blood to the heart are blocked by fatty materials or cholesterol (this is why exercise is important for fat loss in the body). These fatty materials, called plaques, can also be caused by high blood pressure and smoking. When they block an artery, it makes it difficult for blood to flow to the heart, leading to chest pain or heart attack.

What You Should do to Keep your Heart Healthy

As stated before, the focus on keeping and maintaining a healthy heart should start early. You don’t have to wait until you are in your late 50s or 60s before you start keeping an eye on your heart health. Some of the ways you can start keeping your heart healthy are:

  • Exercise

Exercise helps you with weight loss, but that’s not the only thing it is good for. Since your heart is an organ that pumps blood every second, it needs to do so efficiently, or you might have serious problems. Exercise strengthens the heart as it does to other muscles of the body, making it efficient to pump more blood through your arteries for every beat. This helps ensure that your heart beats slower and your blood pressure is kept under control (remember, high blood pressure is a major cause of CHD).

Another thing that exercise does is to cause fat loss in the body, making it difficult for your blood vessels to get clogged by fatty materials or plaques.

Exercise also helps create stronger networks and connections between blood vessels, making it easier for blood to flow through your system even when some of them may be clogged.

There is more good news: You don’t have to work as hard as you think. You don’t have to register in a gym or get intricate workout routines. All you need is 30 minutes of light exercise every day (walking, for example), as long as you are consistent with it, and you will have a healthier heart.

  • Healthy Eating

Nowadays, people are more concerned about eating healthy because of the weight loss benefits it offers, but there is more to eating healthy than keeping your weight under control. Healthy food helps prevent plaques from growing rapidly to clog arteries and other blood vessels so that your heart can pump blood more efficiently. Exercising can be a waste of time if you keep eating foods that are detrimental to your heart health and your health in general.

Some foods you should avoid are fried foods, gravy, butter, processed meat (and all kinds of processed food for that matter), pastries, and other kinds of junk food like sweets, chocolates, and chips.

Healthy foods you should eat include foods that are low in sodium, added sugars, and saturated fats, for example, veggies, fruits, whole grains, and certain fats (like the one in fish). The fat loss you enjoy from healthy eating is also another reason you should consider doing it.

  • Reduced Alcohol

Alcohol intake increases your risk of heart disease tremendously. If you have to take alcohol, then take it in moderation. This usually means about one or two glasses a day (usually one a day for women and two a day for men).

  • Regular checkups

It is important you know your family medical history and present this information to your doctor when you go for regular checkups. These checkups have your doctor checking your cholesterol level, sugar level, and blood pressure. These are numbers you should know and work on keeping at a healthy level.

  • Good Mental Health

As you focus on weight loss, muscle growth, and other parts of your physical health, try to pay attention to your mental health. Anxiety can cause high blood pressure if it is not managed well and even with your physical body in the best of conditions. See a therapist if you feel like your anxiety or depression is getting out of control.

Conclusion

If you want to live a long and fulfilling life, you must pay attention to your heart health, whether you like to or not. Balance your emotional and physical health as well as you can. That means focus on fat loss, but at the same time, make sure you are not stressing yourself to death. Most importantly, know your family’s heart history, visit your doctor regularly to check your levels, know your heart numbers (cholesterol, blood pressure) and do everything within your power to keep them at a healthy level.

5 Food Myths Sabotaging Your Healthy Dieting Efforts

Hey Angels and Alphas,

Nowadays, everyone and their brother is trying to give you weight loss advice, as well as advice on eating healthy and achieving your fitness goals. But only a fraction of that advice is really true, let alone *good* advice for the situation you’re in right now.

Research in the fitness and nutrition community is constantly developing and improving, always discovering new things.

Yet still, all people seem to care about are sensationalistic headlines that plague the social media world (which haven’t really stayed up to date with the latest research.)

And while a lot of people will give you that same advice and allow you to make bad, misinformed decisions about what to do… I won’t do this to you. Today, I want to zero in on 5 food and healthy eating myths you *have* to stop believing.

Let’s get right into it.

WEIGHT LOSS MYTH #1 – SALAD IS ALWAYS GOOD.

Salad is always healthy for weight loss, right? Wrong. Before you start patting yourself on the back for choosing a salad from that fast-food menu over the burger you wanted, consider this:

The Apple Pecan Chicken Salad from Wendy’s clocks in at about 600 calories, 27 grams of fat and 1600 grams of sodium… while the Jr. Hamburger and fries combo contains about 550 calories with ½ the amount of sodium.

Does this mean the burger is healthier? No. But it does mean that salads have become another mainstream food packed with sugar and sodium. Always make healthier choices whenever possible – opt for the grilled chicken over breaded, skip the high-fat dressings that are creamy and salty, and mix toppings in efforts to save calories.

Stay away from toppings such as bacon, cheese, croutons, and dried fruits. Watch out for avocados (which are fantastic in small portions, but usually get served in massive portions.)

If you want safe, healthy salad ingredients, choose dark, leafy greens, healthy fats, and lean protein. Everything else just creates a calorie bomb salad.

WEIGHT LOSS MYTH #2 – COFFEE DEHYDRATES YOU.

Coffee is a diuretic – everyone knows this. But not everyone knows it’s such a mild one. Pretty much unnoticeable. Plus, it has a ton of water in it. It actually counts toward your daily fluid intake!

You would need to intake a bazillion gallons of coffee if you want to dehydrate yourself from it. But that being said, coffee dehydration is one of the most common nutrition myths you can come across. Let’s put it to rest.

WEIGHT LOSS MYTH #3 – PASTA RUINS YOUR DIET.

Ever heard the myth that you can’t be eating pasta when you’re on a weight loss diet?

Look, if you’re trying to slim down, don’t be so quick to outlaw every carbohydrate in your kitchen (especially pasta.) Pasta is a low G.I. carbohydrate (low glycemic index,) so it breaks down slowly in your body and does not spike your blood sugar levels rapidly and significantly. Not to mention, it’s also a great source of folic acid, a vitamin from the B category.

The key to healthy pasta is in its sauce. Try out tomato-based marinara rather than the creamy alfredo so you can easily cut fat. And remember to pay attention to all your portions. It’s okay to eat 2-4 servings for a whole meal, but don’t exceed the recommended 6-7 servings a day of grain products.

WEIGHT LOSS MYTH #4 – EGGS ARE BAD FOR YOU.

Dietary cholesterol has a pretty bad rap in the mainstream weight loss and fat loss community since it is often accused of boosting our cholesterol levels. Through time, it has become clearer and clearer that saturated fats and trans fats are more influential when it comes to raising blood cholesterol levels. And while eggs are usually high in cholesterol, they’re very low in saturated fats.

For years, nutrition experts have cautioned people that eggs are unhealthy. Mostly because they’re one of the richest sources of cholesterol you can get your hands on. And since cholesterol plugs up the arteries, eggs must naturally raise the risk of heart attacks, right? No!

Only 25 percent of the cholesterol in your blood actually comes from food. The other 75 percent is manufactured by the liver, which products lots of cholesterol when you eat sources of saturated fat… something eggs are very low in.

The bottom line? Eggs are actually healthy and don’t impact cholesterol levels in any significant matter.

WEIGHT LOSS MYTH #5 – FRESH FRUIT IS HEALTHIER THAN FROZEN FRUIT.

You might believe that choosing fresh veggies and fruits from your local market is the only way to go if you want healthy weight loss options. That being said, the foods you find in the produce section will often have had a long journey from the moment they were packed into crates to the point when they reach the farmer’s market. From the time it’s picked to the time it finally lands on your kitchen counter and in your meal, your produce will have lost a massive amount of its nutrient value.

By contrast, food processors flash-freeze their produce, which actually helps preserve a lot of its vitamin and mineral content. A University of Illinois study found, for instance, that frozen beans retained twice as much vitamin C as fresh beans purchased in a grocery store.

THE BOTTOM LINE…

When we’re talking about losing weight and staying healthy, food myths will always be there to haunt us and halt our progress.

And if we don’t put them to rest, they will continue to sabotage our efforts to lose weight and stay healthy. That’s why we have to make an effort to stay up-to-date with the latest information inside the fitness and nutrition community… if not, we are doing a disservice to our health and our bodies. By staying informed and not trusting sensationalistic headlines, we’re getting the right type of education that will push us forward toward the bodies we want… and that’s what I’ve been aiming to do for you all along.

Fat Loss vs Weight Loss – What Should You Strive For?

Hey Angels and Alphas,

Do you want to lose weight?

If the answer to this is YES, you’re under a misapprehension. You’re not wrong, but what you *actually* want is to lose fat.

Anyone can pretty much lose weight. You just have to stop eating. You will lose weight, however, you will lose both muscle and fat.

The goal of successful weight loss is to preserve as much muscle as possible… or to even gain some. While at the same time lose as much body fat as possible. Your body fat percentage should be your indicator of success, not the number on the scale. In fact, you can achieve even better results by staying off the scale.

LOSING WEIGHT = LOSING MUSCLE

Muscle is vital to your success in burning fat. Muscles contain fat-burning powerhouses known as mitochondria, which are cellular power plants responsible for the production of energy.

It’s in the mitochondria that fat is eventually metabolized. There is a positive correlation between the number of mitochondria in your body and the muscle you have, and proportionately, the amount of fat your body burns at rest. The more mitochondria you have, the more potential you have to burn fat.

WEIGHT LOSS & GETTING MORE MITOCHONDRIA

How do we get more of these little powerhouses working in our bodies? A better question might be, how do we give our bodies more reasons to create them?

This is most easily done by performing high-intensity exercise. This doesn’t mean just limiting yourself to HIIT, as any exercise can become high-intensity if done a certain way.

By creating a massive demand for energy in your body (above what the body can already produce), the body is forced to create newer mitochondria so it can be prepared for the next time your muscles partake in that activity.

The great thing about mitochondria and muscle is that they essentially work as active tissue. Unlike fat, they need that constant energy in order to maintain themselves… energy such as fatty acids.

What does this mean for you?

It means that your body will be burning more fat throughout the day. Yes, even when you’re sleeping.

IF YOU WANT TO FAT LOSS, STOP STRESSING ABOUT YOUR WEIGHT

Weight isn’t something you should be ignoring, but it’s definitely something you shouldn’t be stressing over. More often than not, successful dieting is sabotaged because of a meaningless number on a scale.

And what does this number mean? It’s just a measure of the force of gravity on your body. Why should this matter? How is this indicative of health?

It can’t tell you if your clothes fit better. It can’t let you know if your body fat percentage has changed. And It definitely won’t tell you whether or not you’re looking better.

That’s why when you start dieting, it’s absolutely crucial that you track your progress using methods other than the scale. You need to combine different measuring tools so you know you’re losing fat – not weight. Tape measures, pictures, and people’s comments are all going to be useful alternatives for you.

Don’t worry about your weight – even if it goes up.

If you’re looking better, feeling better, and training better, weight does not matter. The only time it matters is when you’re explaining to someone the difference between fat loss and weight loss.

HOW DO WE PRESERVE MUSCLE WHILE LOSING FAT & CHASING WEIGHT LOSS?

If your goal is to ultimately lose fat, look better, and stay healthy, you need to focus your attention on preserving muscle while you’re working on burning off fat. Many people sabotage their diets by eating small amounts of food and too few nutrients… resulting in muscle loss, which they don’t want.

Once you start losing muscle, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle to fat loss.

Here are a few vital & effective tips for preventing muscle loss.

Follow these basic guidelines, and you’ll have a much easier time losing fat.

  • Aim for calories in the range of 10-12 times your body weight.
  • Get in 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, and do your best to divide that evenly among 4-5 meals.
  • Intake enough carbohydrates to support your current level of activity and training. Start with 100-150 grams and adjust from there.
  • Use the rest of your calories for fat – mostly essential fatty acids and healthy fats.
  • Make sure the calories you’re consuming are coming from low-energy-density sources such as fruits, veggies, tubers, legumes, dairy, grains, and lean meats.
  • Give your muscles a reason to create mitochondria – and do it by progressively overloading your training and pushing yourself to perform better in the gym every day. If you’re not someone who exercises, your body is going to shed that unneeded muscle… so force yourself to preserve it (and even grow it) through consistent training.

If you follow these simple guidelines, you will reach that true and ultimate goal you have of burning off fat, “losing weight”, looking better, staying healthier… and keeping all your hard-earned muscle.

High-quality Calories – The Not-so-secret Secret to Weight Loss

Hey Angels and Alphas,

When it comes to weight loss, the concept of the British Nutrition Foundation Quality Calorie (QC) has gained prevalence as a very important one in the fitness world.

It’s a concept that basically encourages us to not just look at the number of calories we’re consuming but also the quality of those calories (and of our diet as a whole) to help us on the road to getting enough of all the nutrients we need.

Not just protein, carbs, and fat, but vitamins, minerals, a fiber, as well.

It’s a concept that encourages us to limit our intake of concerning nutrients such as free sugars, salt, and saturated fat… all while increasing our intake of low-energy-density foods, quality nutrients, and wholesome vitamins and minerals.

It’s a concept that aims to help us think about the big picture of our diet, and create simple swaps that turn our diet into a much more healthy and effective one, all while remaining on the same calorie count.

Today, we’re going to explore that concept in a little bit more depth, so you can learn to leverage it in your day-to-day fitness and dieting efforts.

WEIGHT LOSS IS ABOUT CALORIES. BUT NOT ALL CALORIES ARE CREATED EQUAL.

When it comes to nutrition and weight loss, there are a couple of blatantly obvious factors that everyone watches out for. You know – the number of calories you consume, how much you exercise, how many meals you munch on every day, all of that.

But I hope we can all agree when we say – all calories are not created equal. There are factors *way* more crucial beyond just a plan calorie count and the number of macros you consume on a daily basis.

To quickly identify whether or not a source of calories is indeed high-quality, ask yourself:

  • Where does this food come from?
  • How was this food processed?
  • What’s added to it?
  • What’s the density of energy (calories) inside a gram of this food?

4 CATEGORIES OF CALORIE QUALITY FOR WEIGHT LOSS

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) did a study a couple of years ago in which they dove deep into exactly the questions I mentioned above and tried to find out what’s the healthiest food option category out there for people looking to lose weight.

Here’s what they found out:

For starters, they decided to classify foods into 4 major groups, based on the extent to which they’re processed.

Here are those 4 groups:

  • Minimally processed/unprocessed foods – vegetables, beans, meats, eggs, whole grains.
  • Processed ingredients – salt, butter, oil.
  • Processed foods – canned foods, bread, cured meat.
  • Highly-processed foods – sweet snacks, packaged foods, poultry, chips, cake, etc.

All of the study participants spent two weeks on a diet consisting of highly-processed foods, then spent the following two weeks on a diet of foods from the first category (that are minimally processed.)

They found out that the people who ate highly-processed meals ate an extra 500 calories every day, even though both of those diets *initially* contained the exact same amount of proteins, carbs, fats, and fiber.

They concluded that the reason this happens is that eating processed foods results in feeling less full, and therefore ultimately leads to eating more total calories throughout the day compared to a diet of unprocessed foods.

WHAT MADE THE DIFFERENCE WHEN IT COMES TO WEIGHT LOSS?

The study concluded that this happened because of two very important factors – protein and fiber. Protein and fiber tend to be very common in unprocessed foods, with the addition of helping you feel fuller for longer.

Highly processed foods tend to be high in sugar and salt, both of which are not only useless calories, but also tend to stimulate cravings and make you want to eat more of that specific food.

But unprocessed foods are chock-full of protein and fiber, both of which add to satiety, make you feel fuller, and are both low in calorie-density.

Researchers concluded that this is the reason why even when other factors are matched, study participants still had a higher calorie intake when their diet consisted of largely processed foods.

SO IF YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT…

Just remember it’s not just about calorie counts. Even though it’s difficult, you can technically achieve a calorie deficit on a diet consisting of processed foods.

But it will be much harder, you’ll be having salt and sugar cravings throughout the day, and you’re much more likely to end up in a calorie surplus (not to mention throw your blood sugar levels off balance.)

Instead, if you want to not only lose weight but stay as healthy as possible, focus on quality calories.

If you want to base all your dieting efforts on one concept, let it be this one. (It’s on par with 80/20.)

When you start choosing unprocessed food options, you’ll find yourself feeling much fuller, you’ll feel much better, and you’ll lose weight sustainably and effectively.

Most Profitable Workout Exercises At Home

weight loss

Exercising has home has tremendous benefits, especially in these days of social distancing. However, you need to know which of the regimes can help you achieve your fitness or weight loss dreams.

Besides the simple workout styles, you can also get exercise kits such as dumbbells, suspension trainers, and kettlebells. As you achieve more effectiveness in your results, you can progress to other tools and advanced styles.

Perhaps you have also heard that bodyweight workouts are only essential in building muscles; it is true. Many studies have established that a simple press up can effectively build muscles and add strength.

The bottom line of workout sessions at home is to prove that you don’t need a gym to stay healthy and fit. Even if you aim to lose some weight over time, you only need to know which of the workout styles to engage in, and you’re right.

Many of these work out that you can practice from home effectively, especially for weight loss around specific body parts. Below are some of the most profitable workout exercises that you can try out at homes:

1. Press-Up

A press-up or a pushup is a common exercise position that builds multiple muscle groups for the highest growth and strength. It focuses on the power in your shoulders while enhancing your chest as well.

How: Get on the floor in a straight position. Then, place your hands on the bottom, separated by your shoulder width. Ensure your back is flat so that your body forms a straight line from head to toe. Begin to lower your body until it almost touches the ground and then raises it up again.

Depending on your training regime, you can repeat this process a couple of times. Note that there are various versions of the press up that we are still going to explore soon.

2. Skipping

I’m sure you must have seen this tool before since everyone uses it. This method is most useful for cardio workouts since it directly influences your breathing and body weight. Based on research, 10 minutes of skipping per day is equivalent to 30 minutes of jogging each day.

How: To do this exercise, firmly hold both ends of a skipping rope and flick it around the body. Follow it by a jump so that the string passes through underneath you. Over time, you learn the right timing and fling while improving the speed or allowing the rope to pass twice.

3. Crunch

The crunch is targeted at developing your abs through leg lifting in a way that puts extra weight on the stomach. Depending on the chosen momentum, you can control how easy this will be and continue to improve on it.

How: To go about crunching, try to lie on the ground with a flat back and bent knees at 900 angles. With your hand at either side of the head, attempt to push your lower back to the floor and lift it back. Repeat for the other leg as well.

4. Lower back curl

As much as it is vital to train your frontal parts, it is also great not to neglect the backside. Back workouts help to keep you upright and because they hold many other muscle groups together. This style is also significant to deal with back pains that may arise from sitting at desks.

How: lie down flat with arms close by your sides. While the arms are still down, then raise your chest upwards. Ensure to keep your head still during the process until you make a reasonable count.

5. Pike pushup

The pike pushup is an alternative to handstands, but this type helps build bigger ones without weights. Besides, it tests your shoulder strength and flexibility of body parts for unique control. More so, you can create more fitness or lose fat around your upper body part.

How: From a press-up position, just make your hands on the floor more sweeping this time, bend at your waist such as it lifts you off the floor. Now, bend at your elbows a little and lower the heels but keep a straight back.

6. Diamond press-up

In doing a diamond press up, it is quite similar to the regular media up. Only the hand’s shape now forms a diamond. Try this out and see if your body responds better than when you are on the regular push up. This exercise can build triceps, chest, and thrust sermons.

How: at a pushup position, let your both hands form a diamond shape with the floor. But the body, especially the back, must remain straight while you push in and out of the position.

7. Thrusters

Anyone who thinks he can try just any exercise session should try out the thruster. This style pushes your heartbeat with stronger glutes and can really help your body muscles. Moreover, thrusters help you to shed excess weight from your arms.

How: the thrusters require two kettlebells or dumbbells to handle conveniently. Start by holding each kettlebell or dumbbell in each hand. Then bend your knees at intervals while keeping your legs in line with your shoulders. You can further add the part where you raise the dumbbells above your head along with the raise.

8. Shadowboxing

Depending on the available tools at home, shadow boxing is another strategy that can help you exercise your arms. The style helps to consolidate all the stretches, extension, and relaxation of your muscles. If you so desire, you can add jogging to enhance your fitness or fat loss in the arm.

How: take a fighting position with one leg slightly ahead of the other. Raise and throw punches at an imaginary partner. Also, you need to continually bounce on your toes to keep your own inner processes intact.

9. Plank

The plank is an exercise regime that modifies the crunches with more pressure on your spine. This regime also focuses on your abs, which will have to take proper shape. In other words, the plank can help with core injury-free recovery mode. Weight loss is practically effective with the right training session and devices in place.

How: From a press-up position, rest on your forearms and not your hands. With a straight back, hold your body to prevent any sagging. If you want to go on for a while, you can think of modifying it into a side plank or combine the two effects.

10. Bench dips

Bench dips usually require a chair, table, or a stair while building your arms, shoulders, and chest. This workout improves the shape and strength of your triceps as well as joints and abdomen. This particular workout can achieve weight loss, especially in the upper body part.

How: hold the bench or chair at shoulder-width while backing the bar. Then, stretch out your legs while lowering your body slowly through elbow flexing until you make angle 900 with your arm and forearm. You can then regain your previous position by lifting your triceps.

Conclusion

On a final note, now that you know at least 10 workout methods that you can try out at home and get the best, why wait any longer?

Hope to hear from you on how much you achieved with these workout sessions from home.

Best Ways to Remain Healthy While Working from Home

weight loss

Working from home is a more prominent culture among professionals in the past year, no thanks to COVID-19. And one of the implications of working from home is adding more weight, hence the need to engage in weight loss regimes. Moreover, the social interaction barrier resulting from the virus forced many companies to improvise with new strategies to achieve their goals.

Simultaneously, social distancing adds to the regular day-to-day vocabulary while it creates an unfamiliar territory. Moreover, it is easy for workers from home to develop some unwanted habits and become less productive.

However, it is not impossible to prevent bad habits and still maintain an excellent work-life balance. In other words, while working at home, workers can always keep a healthy living with high productivity.

How then can it be possible to stay healthy even while working from home? What are the things to learn, and what are the new habits to form? How can you prevent unhealthy work habits from home? What are the best weight-loss strategies to employ for a healthy life? This article illustrates some of these helpful strategies through the discussion below.

Healthy Habits while Working from Home

Working from home may not actually be new to some, while it may be entirely new. In any case, if you stick to the right things, you can remain productive even amid all sorts of distractions.

Some of the common distractions you may want to avoid include family members, pets, TV, and a comfortable sofa. In addition to the work from home innovation, workers can still control their time and other resources. The following cultures can help you form productive habits:

1. Create a workspace at home

The first step in preparing for a work-from-home session is to prepare a dedicated space with the least distraction and interruption. If you don’t already have a standard study room, then you can develop a small corner.

After the designation, you may want to inform every member of the family of the new development. As a result, they will make all necessary adjustments to allow some privacy. In light of that development, staying there will later bring a need to lose the gained weight.

Mind you, the privacy will allow you to own your own space that can enhance your creativity. You may also add some items such as a study table and a comfortable chair, and a few office utensils.

Remember that this space is now your office, so feel free to add whatever gives more ‘office feeling’ while minimizing distractions. We will discuss other essential things you need to put in place to achieve much more wellbeing while working from home.

2. Seek comfort by avoiding pain

Personally, I discovered that working from home largely depends on how comfortable you are with work. Starting from your sitting position to computer view angle and other postures.

Remember, you may have to be in this position for an extended period. Hence, avoid every place that unnecessarily stretches your neck, shoulder, or other static body parts.

When you feel any pain in your body due to strain or stress at work, take time to stretch that body part. It may be your leg, neck, fingers, wrist, or other supposedly mobile parts. All in all, you will need to work off any accrued weight in these simple weight loss exercises.

Medically, sitting sedentary for an extended period is directly related to diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Whether your work requires standing or sitting, enhance your health changes in a better way by increasing your mobility.

For instance, if you have to be attending to calls, you can also do that while walking around the space. Furthermore, you may have to stand against the wall to straighten your back or do some back exercise for better positioning.

3. Organize your schedule for a routine

Having a routine is another way to establish your chances of getting much more from your home office. One of the things that office work does for you is regressing all your timing to get the best.

Therefore, learn to always start work at the same time every day and maintain healthy boundaries as well. Part of that is also having a daily schedule and appointing each item on your list. As you achieve each listed item, you draw closer to your weight loss goal.

Also, organizing your day helps your mind to also focus on the necessary things while suspending others. Finally, have a specific time that all office work ends when you shut down the system.

4. Stay connected to the world

it is quite imperative to stay in touch with the world while working from home. This fact helps you to service your social needs despite the limitation of physical interactions.

There are many essential office tools that companies now employ to engage one another. Some of these tools include Zoom, Skype, Slack, Telegram, WhatsApp, and WeChat.

If you lead a team at work or you are responsible for scheduling regular meetings, Zoom can be a convenient tool. Ensure you factor these meetings into your daily schedule while maintaining discipline in other areas.

Staying in touch with the world removes the feeling of isolation that could otherwise capture the soul. However, keep your focus on the goal, which includes staying fit or losing weight.

5. Take a break

You know how the saying goes, that “all work and no play makes…”, hence the need to designate time for rest. While working from home and organizing your schedule, input the break times, whether for a walk or lunch.

The psychological essence of taking breaks during work is to take your mind off work for a while to rest the brain. Besides, you may take the time to take some nourishing foods the same way you will eat at regular work.

However, it is a bad habit to eat at your office desk except if you just need to keep a bottle containing water close. By the way, drinking a lot of water while working enhances your health by hydration.

Conclusion

On a final note, whenever you feel anxious or tired, take a few moments to relax to regain focus. Don’t force yourself on the work at hand. Instead, bear in mind that the work at home adjustments may not be quick. But at last, you will reach your desired goal, both personal (such as weight loss) and corporate.

Therefore give room for the little but constant adjustments until you get into the desired shape. Besides, stay in touch with the necessary quarters on the schedule to not lose touch with the overall goal.

Wishing you the very best!

How to Stay Fit During Winter

weight loss

You are not the only one finding it difficult to keep to your exercise routine during winters. Even the most exciting of all of us with exercising still find it a bit more challenging to wake up and jump right into the hands of the cold. Whether towards weight loss or staying fit, you need to keep up your schedule irrespective of the weather condition.

The winter season’s long nights and cold days tempt us to stay a bit longer in bed. But then, you will need to resist the urge to keep up with your fitness regime and achieve your goals. By the way, the bigger goal or target may be weight loss or staying fit.

During winter, fitness can be a bit trickier and involve a lot more planning, traveling, and training. But at the end of the day, it will still bring out all the fun you look forward to after overcoming the initial resistance.

In terms of the needed equipment to stay safe during winter, the necessary equipment will do, coupled with some creativity. The rest will be the motivation to cope with the frightful weather out there and keep up with the plan.

Jack Raglin of Indiana University School of Public Health agrees that there tends to decrease in physical activities when approaching winter. He further added that it could disrupt people’s exercise routines and prevent them from reaching their goals, such as weight loss.

Furthermore, he identified light as another contributing factor to the total hindrance that people have to overcome. For instance, if people live in homes that quickly become dark, it can become a demotivation for exercises.

Therefore, our shared goal is to deal with all obstacles, even if it requires tweaking in a few adjustments here and there. At the end of all the activities, you will cope just fine with your exercise until the spring returns. Below are some of the top helpful tips you can apply.

Tips to stay fit during winter

1. Plan ahead

Prepare needed items, including clothes and other materials, while getting familiar with the weather forecast for outdoor sessions. In other words, know if you have to prepare for a cold blast of heavy snow. You need the motivation to stay true to your plans if you achieve your weight loss goals.

In response to the information, get the required clothing such as stockings, gloves, and the usual gym stuff. You may also need to ask someone for standard plans or download helpful apps. Ally’s angels can help you structure a plan that fits into your daily and weekly schedule.

2. Get a partner or a team

Getting a partner for difficult exercise times during winter is an excellent way to go. When deciding to quit as a lone ranger, you only have one person to convince, and you are out.

But when working as a team or in partnership, it becomes more difficult to persuade everyone to give up. As a result, you inspire one another to go a step further.

As you move hand-in-hand, it also promotes the emotional and social warmth you need to carry on. Even if you decide to stay indoors for appropriate sessions, you can still connect with others in a live session through a social media channel or an app.

3. Engage a committed trainer

Here is a somewhat familiar step in starting and sustaining any physical exercise; you need a trainer. When you have someone who speaks the right words into your ears, you can usually go a step further. Also, let your trainer be familiar with your goal (such as weight loss) from the start.

By the way, your trainer may not have to be physically present all the time; you can still stay active. Ally’s angels can boast of professional fitness trainers who know their onions regarding health and well-being.

4. Set a goal to reach the gym

Not everyone can work out their own motivation while staying indoors. Hence, the need to set your number one goal as reaching the gym. Getting to the gym already achieves more than half of your overall goal. All you may have to do now is to stick to the other plans.

And for those who prefer to job in the gym, that is an exercise on its own. In some cases, you may have to sleep in your exercise clothes to save time and stress the following morning. Experts even approve that the rest is way more comfortable if you show up at the gym daily.

5. Exercise during lunch break

When you find that it gets too dark at night or early in the morning, there is an alternative. The other option is to create time during the day to work out, say during lunch. Remember to check how you are faring in the pursuit of your fitness of weight loss goal.

If you find better weather during the day, you can take a long brisk walk during lunch break. As a result, you can bring extra benefits to your body and even enhance your work focus. On the other hand, you may get to the nearest mall for an indoor stroll or walk-about.

6. Stay true to your alarm

I personally learned that the best way for your alarm to inspire you is to choose a sweet song for the wake-up sound. In other words, choose a theme that starts slowly but can gradually get your heart to start beating faster.

Also, you need discipline not to press the snooze button but to get up right away. Muster all the strength you have to get up and hit the gym. Whatever it costs, you must reach your goal to achieve fitness or shed some weight.

7. Swim in a warm pool

Swimming on its own is an exercise, and when you do it in a warm pool, you just made a great environment. If you do not like to do outdoor exercise sessions during the cold times, consider a swimming cardio option.

A warm pool is the next perfect place to a workout if you consider the weather outside as totally unfriendly. On the other hand, you will still have to stay faithful to your planned sessions.

Conclusion

In conclusion, physical exercises form one part of what you need, the mental alertness and development are another. For instance, when all the required materials are in place, you will still need an inner motivation, which depends on your mental strength.

In all, the winter period is not all about the chilling cold, discouraging weather. If you know what to do, you can also make the very best of the rare opportunity that nature brings to your doorstep.

How to Break your Soda Habits in 2021

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Trust me, you are not the only one looking to break the bad habit of excess soda in your diet. And if you assume that it is easy to just quit the practice, you need to rethink it. Medically, high soda consumption can significantly add to the body weight and is not recommended if you target weight loss.

If it were that easy, perhaps it won’t even be a topic of discussion today. In other words, it takes strategic and diligent efforts to make you altogether quit drinking soda. Some people who have tried so hard to quit still find these drinks almost everywhere around.

For instance, vending machines, fast food joints, supermarkets, and other stores sell all soda. The options range from Coke to Pepsi as well as other standard soda drinks that definitely excites sugar-lovers.

This fact brings me to some reasons why you should quit taking soda immediately, mostly if you have never felt so. But before then, you may disagree that you have a soda habit until you find out that you usually take a can or bottle per day.

As a weight loss expert, Ally’s angels is a dependable partner to achieve great fitness. However, the fitness journey depends on breaking certain habits, which may include soda intake.

In making matters worse, some can practically go out late at night because they could not find any more soda in the refrigerator. Or you can flare up just because you could not take your daily dosage of coke or Pepsi.

Why do you have to stop taking soda?

Let us get back to the starting point, why do you have to kick out the strange habit of depending on soda. Truth is, soft or diet drinks are of themselves, not a wrong choice. However, when we consume much more than average, we are harming our health.

Tracey Halliday, the spokesperson for the American Beverage Association, supports this stance in a statement. She agrees that consuming diet soft drinks at a moderate level is part of a balanced lifestyle.

However, not all consumers stop below the average level; many Americans, for instance, shoot beyond this limit. For example, medical research in 2004 found that Americans above age 2 get up to 21% of their total calories intake from beverages (https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/calories-chart ).

Furthermore, the article discovered that Americans triple their calories from sweetened drinks between 1977 and 2001. Imagine what you stand to gain in weight loss while breaking challenging habits such as soda intake.

The very harm of soda drinks is through the high-fructose corn syrup found in them alongside ordinary sugar. Also, excess calories from the intake of soda contribute mainly to the possibility of obesity, according to Barry Popkin in an interview. Barry is the director of the University of North Carolina Interdisciplinary Obesity program.

How then do you really stop taking in soda once and for all?

While many experts have lashed at the need to stop the bad habit, the work’s nitty-gritty lies in the process. How can you kick this habit out of your life and replace it with healthy ones? Experts came up with four significant ideas of how to quit drinking soda and break the addiction:

1. Make a decision

Every habit started with a decision and, funnily enough, will end with a decision as well. Many factors may have contributed to the growth of the tradition. But with gentle and diligent steps, you can also untie this gridlock.

However, this decision may not also be as easy as it sounds. But just like other serious decisions that affect your life and career, such a decision directly impacts your health, and indeed your life requires some seriousness.

So, if your usual style is to present yourself with the pros and cons before making a sound judgment, by all means, do. Conversely, if you need a friend to help you stick to your decision, that is only fine. What is essential is to make the decision and stick to it.

If your goal is to lose weight, you need to start by breaking those habits that add to your weight. No doubt, one of such practices is soda, containing fructose syrup and sugar.

2. Go for diet sodas as alternatives

Instead of outrightly putting soda and soda-related drinks out of your refrigerator, you may consider some diet sodas instead. Paul Rozin, a University of Pennsylvania professor, suggested that a gradual switch to diet sodas can help overcome real soda intake.

In other words, if you take more than one bottle of soda per day, switch gradually from one bottle while the rest is diet soda. The next step is to reduce further from one can/bottle to less. Then as time goes on, you will still eventually reduce the diet soda intake as well.

3. Target quitting all caffeine food content

While kicking out soda from your diet and your body system, you must also consider dealing with caffeine-containing foods altogether. By reducing caffeinated foods, you are invariably dealing with the need to take in more soda.

The mild addiction to soda intake is basically because of the caffeine content, making it relatively harder to break. However, when you focus on the bigger enemy, you are doing a lot of good. Little by little, you draw closer to achieving the bigger goal, which may be weight loss.

Experts agree that the work of reducing caffeine and soda is a gradual one and requires you to work at it each day. Depending on your consumption times and days, you may have to adjust some stuff about your day. For instance, carefully select what you have for breakfast and lunch.

4. Stock up alternatives to soda instead

Instead of worrying about soda in your refrigerator, why don’t you deliberately replace these drinks with their alternatives? For instance, you can stock up your store with plenty of non-soda drinks, including water.

Some of the alternatives you should consider are soy milk, skim milk, green tea, and black tea or water. By the way, coffee cannot be an alternative to soda because of caffeine. Besides, there are other unique ways to take in these alternatives to nourish your body perfectly.

Conclusion

On a final note, focus on the goal to altogether remove soda intake from your diet while building a healthy life. Apart from a healthy lifestyle, you can also reduce your body weight, especially if you are tending towards obesity. Many experts agree that the most-effective way to quit a tough habit is to replace it with a good one.

Therefore, as you focus on the advantages that non-soda drinks give you, you get more encouragement for better health. On the other hand, achieving your dream also boosts your self-confidence in health and in different walks of life.

Effects of Anxiety and Stress on Weight Loss

weight loss

No matter how little, the state of mind, including physical and mental conditions, is affected by stress and anxiety. Consequently, it affects weight or gain for the involved person and depends on the situation at hand.

However, many factors may be responsible for weight gain or weight loss. These factors may also change from one person to another, as well as the environment. Anyone who overworks him or herself may lose the appetite for food and begin to lose weight.

Particular unusual behavior can also add to body stress and make it difficult for the body to adjust. For example, staying up late at night to meet up with a deadline or skipping lunch due to work disrupt the body’s ability to cope with stress.

However, not all weight or fat loss is permanent, especially if they are due to stress factors. When the stress is removed, the body may be restored, and the symptoms may varnish. Besides, there are ways to detect if the experienced weight loss is due to the stress of not.

10 Symptoms that show that weight loss is due to stress

  1. Chronic incessant headaches
  2. Body aches and chest pain
  3. Increased heart rate
  4. Reduced sex drive
  5. Low sleep quality or total loss of sleep
  6. The low short-term memory
  7. Mood swings
  8. Tense muscles
  9. Mood changes and persistently feeling on the edge
  10. General fatigue

Do you need to see a Doctor?

The loss of a few pounds may not immediately become a matter of concern. When there is a drastic change with a negative toll on the body, there is a need to adjust. If you discover there is room to make a few adjustments here and there, it is better and safe to do it.

However, only a medical expert can ascertain if the symptoms you feel are due to stress or not. Experts say that if you add up to 5% or more of your overall body weight over 6 to 12 months, you need to see a doctor.

Once a doctor diagnoses that the drastic bodyweight loss is due to stress and related matters, there are a few possible solutions a doctor may prescribe:

  • Develop healthy coping strategies for the period, such as some kinds of meal, reorganizing work and rest periods, fun activities to relax, and so on.
  • Prescribe medication that can enhance your immune system and energy levels
  • Physiotherapy solution that includes exercise to beat the stress

Later in this article, we will share a few possible solutions that are generally applicable to weight loss due to stress. But before then, let us review the possible causes of body weight loss.

How does anxiety or stress cause weight loss?

There are some complex processes in our body that the body fails to adequately cope with the effect of stress. Some of these processes force the body to enter a ‘fight or flight’ mode to survive.

The ‘fight’ mode refers to the ability to deal with and overcome a threat. In contrast, ‘flight’ refers to the body avoiding such intrusions altogether. Therefore, what are the typical activities that lead to bodyweight loss?

1. The Stress response

As earlier discussed, the body’s emergency response to stress is the fight or flight response. As a result, the body stimulates certain hormones to help adjust to the new development. For instance, the body releases adrenaline to prepare for more physical activities and cortisol to suppress less-needed activities.

2. Hyperstimulation of the stress responses

As the body stimulates the hormones continually in the fight and flight response, it can lead to another gastrointestinal discomfort. Some of the common symptoms include heartburn, stomach pain, diarrhea, and constipation.

If these conditions continue for a while, they may lead to other chronic stress syndromes such as irritable bowel syndrome. The result of this condition is eating less and, subsequently, weight loss or fat loss.

3. Change in the HPA axis

Any change in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis controls the body’s response and influences cortisol. The hormonal secretion can also lead to the secretion of both glucose and fatty acids from the liver.

4. Excess nervous energy

Under nervous energy, the changes in the body cause the system to consume more power. As a result, it becomes much more difficult for the body to relax after the day’s work. Also, people who don’t have a designated rest time will keep their nervous system on edge.

5. Sleep disorder

Chronic stress can also cause a sleep disorder where the sleep clock of the body is disrupted. This condition is often a result of cortisol’s over-secretion, which is a stress hormone stimulant that keeps the body continually active.

The more active the body gets, the more difficult it is to shut down when you need to sleep. As a result of this disruption, the affected person will continue to shed more weight. Therefore, the more stress your body accrues through anxiety, the more likely you will lose more weight.

Recommended remedies to weight loss due to stress and anxiety

Some of the short-term remedies when you notice stress in your body include the following:

  1. Actively reduce your stress as much as you can. In other words, adjust your schedule of activities to accommodate a more regularized eating and resting.
  2. Increase your intake of protein and carbohydrates with a lot of water. Don’t just rely on your regular meals, but rather try out some snacking to enhance your appetite.
  3. Use a nutritional supplement to also boost your body system functions, including immunity. This action can also help to control your body’s demand for fuel
  4. Slow down all metabolic processes of your body through more rest and actual sleep. This activity will help to slow down the rate at which your body consumes ‘fuel.’
  5. You may need to consult a nutritionist who can guide you on the kinds of foods you need to control your body’s response to stress and anxiety.

Conclusion

On a final note, no doubt, anxiety, and stress can affect the body’s weight and fat loss. Therefore, it is imperative to note how the body changes when undergoing stress. On the other hand, you can respond by some of the suggested solutions here when experiencing this stress.

See you on the other side!

Easy Ways to Maximize Healthy Living through Body Exercise

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There are two common reasons people engage in body exercise and dieting: weight loss or staying fit and healthy. However, the strategies to achieve these goals can become confusing over time. Hence the need to simplify the recommended methods that can complete them with evidence.

Besides, these wellness tips are according to experts’ views that are based on years of research. Find the expounded details below:

1. Stay away from sugar calories

This rule is particularly golden to everyone who plans to achieve a healthy life without worrying about weight loss. One significant effect of sugar is fats’ addition to your body, which will require you to seek weight loss regimes.

Due to the way the brain works, it measures calories from liquid sugar differently from other sugar sources. Therefore, when you take soda and other sugary drinks, you ingest more calories than usual.

Research has also shown that these sugar-containing drinks relate to obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other health problems. Besides, don’t let anyone deceive you that these drinks contain antioxidants because the latter isn’t enough to overcome all the sugar effects.

2. Coffee isn’t that bad

I know that you have heard so many things about coffee and how you need to avoid it. I agree that coffee is not meant for everyone; however, not everything about coffee is terrible.

Coffee is one of the most vital antioxidants anybody can have – and this is a research-proven fact. So, contrary to sugar-containing foods, coffee can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease, as well as other illnesses.

3. Set a 5-meal-daily routine

What you eat determines your energy level as well as the rate of metabolism in your system. As a result, if you set a goal such as a 5-meal course, it will drive you to manage your health with only the essential nutrients.

Depending on your dietary goal of losing weight or remaining fit, you can trust the plan to get you there. It also has a way to help you manage your weight while maintaining focus.

4. Eat lots of nuts, vegetables, and fruits

The most significant benefit of taking in nuts is that it can help both obese and average-weight people. Therefore, nuts remain incredibly benefiting to your health due to vitamin E, magnesium, and another essential nutrient it contains.

Medical and nutrition experts proved by research that nuts help with weight loss, type 2 diabetes, and heart-related diseases. Other pieces of evidence proved that nuts can even boost your metabolism. Almonds could even help increase weight loss by up to 62%.

5. Take vegetables and fruits too

Fruits and vegetables contain prebiotic fiber, vitamins, minerals, and several antioxidants, potent biological effects. Research also shows that they help combat type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other related illnesses. Moreover, people who eat lots of vegetables and fruits can live longer.

6. Stay away from processed junk foods

Research kept showing over time that processed junk foods are a capital ‘NO’ in dietary choices. The engineering that produces such foods essentially toys with the brain’s pleasure part while adversely affecting your essential health needs.

It may get as bad as getting addicted to certain processed food types such as can foods for some people. As an alternative, cook and eat real food instead of these junk.

7. Don’t overcook your meat

Overcooked or burned meat is not as healthy as a dietary choice because it destroys the protein structure. It also tampers with the other essential nutrients in the flesh. As a result of these chemical changes, it forms somewhat harmful chemical compounds and increases cancer risk.

8. Drink lots of water

There is never anything terrible with taking lots of water every time you have the chance. In the least sense of it, water enhances metabolism, including the burning of calories. When trying to lose weight, ensure you take a lot of water, increasing your chances by up to 44%.

Studies showed that in less than 2 hours, you can achieve up to 24 to 30% metabolism rate. And if you drink up to 2 liters of water daily, you can burn up to 96 calories of fat. What a quick way to weight loss!

9. Sleep well

By sleeping, you engage your body to recuperate naturally and remove all stress or anxiety. Besides, sleeping has its own techniques which you cannot afford to ignore. For instance, before bedtime, try to stay away from bright lights for some hours.

On the other hand, lousy sleep can reduce physical and mental performance and disrupt your appetite hormones or increase insulin resistance. Research also showed that poor sleep is one of the strongest contributors to obesity and weight gain as a single factor.

10. Eat fat-containing fish

The fats in these fishes are not harmful at all. In fact, they are healthy fats, coupled with high-quality proteins for good health. Examples of such fishes include the salmon, which contains Omega-3 fatty acids alongside other nutrients.

People who consume these types of fishes have a lesser risk of heart conditions, depression, and dementia.

11. Take in a lot of fiber and probiotics for your gut health

In case you don’t get enough of these nutrients and minerals from the regular foods, feel free to take food supplements. Bacteria that live in the gut help your overall health conditions.

Research has shown that any disruption to the gut bacteria balance can lead to chronic diseases, including obesity. The solution is an intake of food items that contain probiotic foods such as sauerkraut and yogurt. Alternatively, you can use food supplements with a lot of fiber to enhance the gut bacteria balance.

12. Practice aerobic exercise

Finally, a healthy lifestyle is not without the right aerobic exercise that helps you to stay fit. Aerobic exercise, otherwise known as cardio, is one of the best practices for physical and mental health living.

These aerobic exercises not only helps your breathing but also reduce belly fat that may otherwise build around your organs. Besides, a reduction in belly fat may lead to a significant increase in metabolic health.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the above are simple strategic, but highly effective ways to establish a healthy lifestyle through dieting. Some of these methods can also be very effective in weight loss goals while maintaining sound health. Hope you can find them highly helpful. And if you need more further help or information, feel free to contact Ally’s Angels.

Dieting to Achieve Weight Loss: Pros and Cons

weight loss

Perhaps the most common way to go about weight loss is through special dieting. But as accurate as that is, the decision can become dicey at some point. It so happens when you only focus on the benefits or advantages of weight loss through dietary programs.

You must also weigh the options for the disadvantages of weight loss regimes through special diets. This article expounds on the pros and cons of achieving weight loss using diets.

Pros of Weight Loss through Diets

1. Dieting can help your feeling

A significant advantage of going on a special diet to achieve weight loss is the feeling of setting an achievable goal. Several others only weight they drop their weights, they are not really ready to do the needful.

On the contrary, the unwillingness to control one’s weight always breeds uneasiness and perhaps obesity. But when you maintain good health with the right diet, it fosters self-confidence and motivation.

When people feel the motivation, they can invariably achieve much more than they would ordinarily do. Besides, a better feeling will improve the overall quality of life.

2. You can actually lose weight

Just as the primary goal of dieting in this case, you can effectively lose weight over time from special diets. Since people start diets to lose weight, it becomes the right decision that favors one’s health and well-being.

Another exciting thing about this decision is the feeling of accomplishment it gives you. Also, you can monitor bodyweight loss and get the needed motivation to do more. Also, as you achieve your weekly or daily goals, you receive more reason to pursue other life goals.

3. Dieting can get you better jobs

It looks as if our society tends more to favor those who appear not only smart but fit. Dieting not only help your personal well-being, but it also allows people’s perception of you. And that perception can earn you favor in different ways, including relationships and jobs.

On the other hand, people generally have a funny feeling about people that are overweight. And in the case of job interviews, some employers consider fat people ‘careless’. You don’t want that.

4. The right diets can positively influence your fitness

Health is a significant beneficiary of a change in diet to achieve weight loss. However, it can also help you build some fitness if you are committed to staying in shape. Besides, if you consider enrolling for some gym sessions for fitness, you should accompany it with correct diets.

In other words, obesity pushes away your chances of becoming healthy and fit. On the other hand, the right diets and exercise ensure you return to a healthy shape and recover the real you. Moreover, your fitness level will improve as you lose weight while other physical challenges slowly varnish.

5. Dietary plans can improve your health and overall life expectancy

We cannot overemphasize the advantage of improving your health and life expectancy by eating the right diets. In a professional health recommendation for heath weight, being overweight does more harm than good.

As a result, one sure way to prolong your life is to eat the right diets. The suitable diets are recommended to anyone who is getting to a certain age, whether overweight or not. Generally, if you want to live and sustain long and happy life, you need to pay attention to what you eat.

Cons of Weight Loss through Diets

1. It is hard to finish a diet

It is sweet and easy to draw up a plan or identify a diet that can help your weight loss. Moreover, it can even be easy to begin the dietary regime, but to go all the way and finish it is the real work.

In other words, people get the motivation that diets can enhance your weight loss. But they hardly consider the long walk to achieving that feat, bearing in mind that stimulation reduces as the days go by.

It is hard to finish up your diet without mincing words without building the right mental strength to see it through. Therefore, you will need to keep believing in yourself to overcome all obstacles and discouragement.

2. Failure at dieting can cause depression

It is funny how depression can easily set in during the period of dieting. For one, it may be a result of one’s inability to eat favorite foods. On the other hand, it may result from a failure of not meeting the set goals.

People may also have lost confidence in the procedure, especially if there had been an initial failure. This loss of motivation may make the system harder by falsely prolonging the days of the diet.

3. It can cause social isolation

Social isolation can result from not being able to join others to take the same typical meals. For instance, when a person on a diet can no longer partake of the regular meal in a social gathering, it may cause a sort of isolation.

Subsequently, the person on a diet may no longer go out often, and with time, disconnection will happen. If this social circle comprises friends and colleagues, it becomes harder to cope with one’s special diet.

4. Dieting can altogether affect your overall appetite for food

When you start to diet, you are influencing your interest in other kinds of food. As you achieve more weight loss through the special diet, you grow resistant to different types of delicacies. This dieting period can also pose some threat to your overall well-being.

In the long run, if the challenge persists, it can affect the quality of life. But then, you will need a lot of discipline not to cut corners or get annoyed due to the failure.

5. Some diets can cause other long-term effects

Like drug use over time can breed addiction, the love for special diets may also leave some other effects. Some of the outcomes may include a feeling of hunger, a drop in physical fitness, and reduced mental capabilities.

Another common effect is the deficiency in some essential nutrients. On the other hand, the body and brain of the person on a diet may tend to suffer from sudden changes.

Conclusion

On the overall view, you can now weigh your pros and cons on weight loss through dieting and decide if to proceed. However, dieting plus exercise is a way to go if you are becoming overweight or obese. Whereas, you will need to prepare for the challenges that may come up later.

Mastering Healthy Habits: 7 Tips for Achieving New Year’s Goals

Hey Angels and Alphas,

The New Year is here, and with it, countless new resolutions and goals have been set by gym-goers around the world – probably by you, too!

And whether your fitness goal right now is to drop a few extra pounds of fat, gain a few extra pounds of muscle, or just be fitter and healthier overall, you know the best, most sustainable way to achieve any of those goals is to create lasting habits that lead you to the right type of lifestyle. 

But as we all know, this can be particularly challenging during times of stress, especially when our usual routines go haywire and we’re forced to wreck our sleep schedule, diet, work hours, gym routine, and more. 

That’s why we’re here today to learn 7 tips that you can implement in your life right now to set yourself up for fitness success during the new year – regardless of how stressed or busy you are. 

Let’s get right into the 7 habit-building tips that will skyrocket your progress and help you crush your new year’s goals and resolutions…

#1 FINDING YOUR WHY

We can’t *not* mention this – it’s the first and most vital step to achieving anything you set your mind to. Weight loss, strength gains, or better health, are the most achievable when you have a meaningful reason behind setting that goal (beyond the simple aesthetic goals of having a six-pack, for example.)

Start by asking yourself – why *do* you want to lose weight? Why do you want to get stronger, leaner, faster, healthier? Is it so you can have more energy and run around with your kids? Is it to manage a chronic condition? Or is it so you can get the thrill of entering a physique competition? 

Writing down your big goals and putting your biggest why next to them will not only help you keep track of the big picture and boost motivation, but also keep yourself dedicated to developing the healthy habits you’re looking to start in the new year. 

#2 SAYING GOODBYE TO PERFECTIONISM

 

I know, I know. Perfectionism is in the blood of so many of us, but the perfection mindset is often solely responsible for massive amounts of action paralysis. 

While consistency with your new healthy habits is the most vital part of achieving lasting changes, the pressure you put on yourself to be perfect can only make you entirely give up when you eventually slip up – because you will, it’s just natural!

To avoid this, you have to remember that it’s what you do *most* of the time that matters, not some of the time. Focus on the 80/20 principle instead of going 100/0. Focus on viewing every day as an opportunity to make healthier decisions, and just know that the lapses you have are not a sign of failure but just a part of a healthy growth process. Consistency beats perfection every time.  

#3 LEARN EVERY DAY

Anytime you see a great resource or some information you think will be helpful for you (like this e-mail, for example), save it and bookmark it. Listen to podcasts, pick up a new fitness-related book, read blogs (by proven authorities,) and always make sure you’re learning new ways to optimize your efforts. 

Staying up to date with the latest health and nutrition info isn’t just an extra time investment that pushes you toward a better lifestyle subconsciously, but it’s also a great way to weed out myths and make sure you’re really doing what you should be doing to achieve the goal you set for yourself. 

#4 FOCUS ON ABUNDANCE, NOT SCARCITY.

Why dwell on what foods you shouldn’t be eating? Instead, focus on trying new healthier foods in your day-to-day life. Maybe you can try some new (new to you) veggies from the farmer’s market, try adding a new exercise into your routine, try a new hobby like swimming or cycling, joining a new class, you get the idea. 

Don’t focus on all the bad things you have to give up… turn your attention to new and healthy alternatives. 

#5 MAKE EXERCISE ENTERTAINING!

If you haven’t already. Whether you’re taking a walk alone in the park or you’re doing high-intensity intervals on the track, finding movements and exercises you enjoy and look forward to is one of the best things you can do for your health and body. 

Don’t shy away from new activities or from getting creative with things you already love doing. For example, if you’re someone who loves doing bodyweight exercises at home, why not spend a few days incorporating resistance bands? Exercise will bring you feel-good hormones like endorphins that all contribute to your journey… but you have to make sure it’s something you can stick with and enjoy. 

#6 MANAGE STRESS.

The connection between weight gain and stress is real, and it’s massive. When you’re stressed, the stress hormone cortisol builds up in your body, instantly leading to more inflammation, more sugar cravings, more weight gain, more processed foods, all things you don’t want in your life. 

Try to cut yourself some slack… find ways to reduce stress – meditate, do yoga, take walks in nature, call a friend when you’re feeling down, whatever you can to just let the stress off and keep your mind in check. 

#7 MEASURE YOUR SUCCESS BEYOND THE SCALE.

The number you see when you step on the scale does NOT provide an accurate picture of your health and fitness. For this reason, you cannot let it become something you’re fixated on. 

Instead, find new ways and metrics that matter to you and track them. 

And I’m not even talking about lifting PRs, treadmill time, or other fitness metrics. How do your clothes fit? How much energy do you have throughout the day? Do you feel more or less stressed every day? Ask yourself these questions instead of attaching your happiness to a number that is *guaranteed* to go up and down.

Are New Year’s Resolutions Just Procrastination?

Hey Angels and Alphas,

We all know that New Year’s resolutions are notorious for being the most quickly-forgotten goals most people set. Plus, they’re infamously difficult to stick with in the long-term! Surveys show that almost 50 percent of people give up on their New Year’s resolution by the end of January.

There are many ways to combat this trend that people have thought of – such as pre-resolutions. Pre-resolutions allow people to let go of the false beliefs that delaying the start of your health journey is somehow beneficial to achieving their goals. 

Can pre-resolutions help you achieve your goals faster?

Let’s get one thing straight – setting goals is always a good idea. That being said, most people are unsuccessful with their New Year’s resolutions because they simply don’t have a clear plan and path they can follow to work toward them. 

Big-picture, massive-change, vague resolutions such as eating clean or getting in shape are not helpful in the least because they don’t give you any specifics as to how to move toward that goal. They don’t create the sustainable change necessary to facilitate a lifestyle change.

Beyond this, if you’re just someone who wants to lose weight or maintain your current weight, you’re much better off starting before January. 

According to surveys, holiday weight gain accounts for about 1 pound per year… and most people don’t lose it, which makes this big stretch form Thanksgiving throughout the Christmas holidays a massive contributor to weight gain.

That’s why starting right now with a list of pre-resolutions will help you walk out the holidays as fit as you came in (and actually gain some momentum for the New Year.) 

Here’s how to get started with pre-resolutions.

Start with a vision of your best self. 

Don’t gravitate toward vague statements like “I have to lose 10 pounds” which is what most people do when creating resolutions. Instead, work on imagining your best self and ask yourself questions…

How would you like to look, feel, and perform a year from now? What steps are you going to take to make that dream body a reality or crush that personal record? Write it down and create a vision board that helps you organize and put the pieces together in your mind. 

Get as specific as possible, including categories such as nutrition goals, new fitness habits, self-care practices, all the good stuff. 

Write everything down, and then spend some time writing why you actually want to get there. What does performing well, looking good, or staying healthy mean to you? Who else – besides you – is going to benefit if you live out your vision? 

Begin self-tracking. 

If you’re looking for easy ways you can automatically improve your training and eating habits… just start tracking them! Whether it’s with a smartphone or watch, all you need to do is bring a higher level of consciousness to every choice you make toward the day. When you put everything into numbers, every chocolate square you take starts to weigh a lot more (figuratively.)

Many resolutions fail precisely because they’re not realistic in relation to the actual metrics and numbers you want achieved. Don’t make that mistake and you’ll be well on your way to gaining massive momentum for the New Year. 

Focus on the process – and trust it. 

After you’ve imagined the ideal outcome for your new mini resolutions, and set that as your starting point, focus on what you need to do to make them a reality. By doing this, you’ll take the power out of this arbitrary endpoint and put the power in your hands and your ability to adopt new healthy practices.  

Transform that pie-in-the-sky goal into a SMART goal – one that’s specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Don’t focus on losing 40 pounds, focus on losing 4 pounds a month… a safe and productive weight-loss target.

Frame your days with reflection and intention. 

If you want to make your resolutions something to stick with in the long term, make your pre-resolutions simple things such as adding a healthy morning breakfast or new evening routines to your day. For a positive start of every day, making a brief list of your intentions and reading it to yourself will boost you with energy and gratitude. 

At the end of your days and weeks, take time to reflect on your daily progress and celebrate your successes. Progress is not linear – that’s why you have to check in with yourself every single day and acknowledge the steps forward. 

Remember to treat yourself…

One of your little pre-resolutions can be to treat yourself whenever you achieve something meaningful – or whenever you just successfully check off all your boxes for the day. Reprogramming your mind is an effective way to change your life, and if you’re truly honest with yourself, you deserve some accolades. 

Don’t be afraid to celebrate your milestones, rewarding yourself with new fitness gear or gadgets that make your journey easier. I don’t recommend treating yourself with food as this will only lead to putting the wrong labels on things.

Strive for the balance!

The biggest and most common reason resolutions fail is because they’re mostly created with an all-in mentality. And if you add the challenges of the holidays such as stress, travel, social demands, and food and alcohol temptations, it’s no wonder most of them fail.  

That’s where pre-resolutions come in to help. They’re not about being perfect, they’re about slowly and gradually creating the change you want instead of going all-in on a new training variant or diet. They’re about following the 80/20 rule and making healthy strides toward a better outcome every day.

They’re about creating balance without overindulging and depriving yourself, and that’s the best advice you could ever get when it comes to achieving your fitness goals. 

Getting Back to the Gym After Christmas and New Year’s Break

Hey Angels and Alphas,

With Christmas and New Year’s right around the corner, it’s time we take a step back, reflect on the year that just passed in front of our eyes, and enjoy the holidays.

But while we’re spending time with our family and friends, cooking and enjoying delicious meals, or just relaxing all throughout the holidays…

It’s important that we remember that the New Year is right around the corner, and with it come an entire new year of setting and achieving fitness goals.

That’s why today, we’re going to talk about the 4 most vital steps to getting back on track to our fitness goals after the holidays, and learn how to walk out of the holidays motivated, inspired, and ready to crush your goals in 2021.

EMBRACE WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED THIS YEAR

While you have some free time during the holidays, I suggest you sit down, grab a pen and paper (or your phone), and start venting.

  • What did you learn this year about your health and the goals you have for your health?
  • Did you find new, more effective, and more sustainable ways to train, diet, and live?
  • What are the 3 biggest lessons you learned this year?

And don’t just write about your successes – write about your failures. Embrace failure as an important part of your journey, and write down the mistakes you honestly feel you make (or the things you think you could have done better.)

The answers to these questions, as well as the lessons you’ve learned throughout the year, will serve as the catapult that will skyrocket your progress in the future.

SET THE RIGHT GOALS FOR 2021

Whether you’re someone who likes to set New Year’s resolution or you’re a downright goal-setter and goal-chaser, you still have to make sure you’re setting SMART goals.

SMART goals stand for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-sensitive

This time of year is a great opportunity to revisit your goals and make sure they’re still following the SMART model. Many people tend to set goals that, with time, get more vague, unrealistic, unattainable, and downright irrelevant.

But you’re a smart, savvy goal-chaser. You’re going to set a list of practical, smart goals for 2021, and you’re going to follow this blueprint until you achieve the physique you want.

The goals you set are going to give you the initial motivation and willpower you need to jump back into your routine. From then, you can optimize your goals based on how fast you can get back to pre-holiday shape (and what results you achieve.)

EASE BACK INTO YOUR ROUTINE, DON’T RUSH IN

The more rest and time off you take during the holidays, the more careful you have to be when you’re trying to restart your routine.

Remember to ease into it. If you’re all about strength training, act as if your first week back in the gym is a de-load. If you’re all about cardio, don’t rush into high intensity training or long marathons as soon as you come back.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to go all in as soon as you step inside the gym.

You’ve given your body time to rest, and with good reason. And while picking up where you left off might sound empowering and exciting, it’s only going to cause you trouble, pain, overtraining, and even possible injury.

Instead, when you ease into your routine, you’re going to build the momentum you need to bring back your pre-holiday shape, and you’re going to be back to peak performance in only a few weeks.

KEEP YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE

Getting back on track to your fitness goals, or taking the first step on a fitness journey, always requires accountability. Not only because motivation is not enough, but because keeping yourself accountable is a beneficial process that shines light onto other parts of your life.

Here are two of the most powerful ways to generate endless accountability in your life.

Write down your progress in a journal.

If you’re someone constantly juggling career, school, family, and countless other things, you might find yourself constantly lost in thoughts. But journaling, and writing things down, helps us organize and structure our thoughts.

Studies have shown that writing your goals down not only increases your chances of achieving those goals, but brings you more motivation every single day by keeping you accountable.

(Especially when it comes to new goals. If you finish off the year and you’ve achieved everything you wanted to achieve in the gym this year, you’ll likely develop a new set of goals for the New Year. Writing down these new goals helps you visualize and organize your thoughts, track your progress, create checklists that keep you productive, and so much more.

Get back into the gym with a friend.

Getting back to your pre-holiday form is easier said than done, but having a friend along who has the same goal as you helps a ton.

When you have a friend to keep you accountable for your progress, your exercise form, and your dedication inside the gym, you’ll both have a much easier time reaching the performance you had before the holidays.

Friends will be there to keep you in check so you’re not doing too much too soon (or so you’re not doing too little.) Plus, it’s a ton of fun!

Preventing Yourself from Derailing on Christmas Q&A

THE RIGHT MINDSET TO APPROACH CHRISTMAS (or any other Holiday)

Here’s the truth:

You’re not going to be able to out-train this. You’re not going to get away with just doing some extra cardio.

Here’s the problem:

Every holiday is just a 24-hour window, and every calorie you eat in excess turns into adipose tissue. Since your body doesn’t resort to using calories from fat when you first walk in the gym, trying to out-train the Christmas day calories is useless.

Christmas and New Year’s are two holidays notorious for heavy eating and alcohol consumption. And whether you’re going overboard on food and you’re getting extra calories from that, or you like to enjoy an extra glass of wine at dinner, everything above your daily calorie threshold will be stored as fat.

Here’s the solution:

What you should be doing instead is finding smarter ways to approach your day.

Since you can’t out-train these extra calories and there’s no point in feeling guilty, what you should be trying to do is make good, informed decisions. If you make the conscious decision to take a rest day or enjoy a snack, you won’t walk out of it feeling puzzled, guilty, or ashamed.

The whole concept about feeling ashamed of eating too much has nothing to do with food. It has to do with you, and the labels you’re using and the way you’re viewing things.

It’s not that you “didn’t need to eat that extra piece of cake.” It’s that you could have stopped yourself from doing it, or at least approached it with mindfulness. It’s not about food, it’s about you.

Here’s what you should do:

Always go back to these three tips…

  • Eat and chew your meals with thoughtfulness so you’re registering fullness and satiety.
  • Sit down with a plate and think about the maximum number of calories you’re going to eat that day.
  • Never eat past the point of feeling full – there’s simply no point.

(Eat mindfully. Eat with purpose. Stop when full.)

If you’re worried about going overboard with calories on a holiday, construct a plate that starts with protein, add plants, and finish off with the holiday treat you’d like to enjoy. Focus on the 80/20 principle and leave that 20 for the delicious holiday snacks.

If you’re going out with family or friends, plan accordingly. Always focus on having protein be the first thing on your plate, else you will walk around looking for carbs and fats to munch on for the rest of the day. If you want extra carbohydrates, you have to make sure they come from somewhere else – decrease your fats a bit.

And remember, don’t lie to yourself – be honest with your tracking and logging, and log everything. Even that one single little spoon of nut butter.

If you’re juggling multiple homes or your schedule is just chaotic, train first thing in the morning and then allocate your food toward your biggest food sitting for that day.

Start your day off with protein, healthy carbs, and fiber, and then allocate the rest of your calories to things you’d like to indulge in.

You can’t just be careful with food – be careful with your headspace. If you feel like you’re out of track on the holidays, this can derail you for weeks to come and create a yo-yo effect of feeling guilty and ashamed.

Just realize that indulgences will bring you back, there’s no outrunning them, and there’s no outworking them.

Just make informed decisions and weigh the odds mindfully so you can (1) not feel guilty later and (2) actually enjoy that decision.

Contrary to popular belief, you can approach your day in a way that suits you, your family, and your commitments.

If you’re willing to accept that you’ll plateau or maybe even gain weight for a week or two, your headspace will be clear and you’ll be free to enjoy the holiday moments and get back on track to your progress much more easily.

Question from Hillary: What’s the best way to allocate for your wine or alcohol on Christmas?

Take from fats. If you’re going to be drinking, go heavy on plants and protein and minimize your fat intake.

As a golden rule of thumb, if you have alcohol, you get no dessert. Otherwise, you’re creating a sugary mess inside your body.

Remember: Inhibitions go down with alcohol. While alcohol isn’t going to make you fat per se, the inhibitions and the struggle that the body goes through to process it will result in extra storing of calories. A lot of the time, you’re not going to regret drinking, but you’re going to regret getting lost in the moment and eating something just because you feel like you’re hungry for a moment.

Question from Alana: about activity on Christmas morning…

If you’re planning to go train, go train. But you don’t have to do it to offset your eating. If it’s in your program and you feel like ticking boxes is good for you, get up and do it.

If you’re just want to make the day a comfortable and relaxed holiday with family, do that.

What you shouldn’t be doing is saying “I have to go do it, I have to get ready, so I can earn my food.” Don’t get up and try to burn off. Don’t prepare for it or make up for it. Just make a mindful choice, then wake up the next morning as if you’re going straight back into your routine.

It’s okay to indulge – it’s NOT okay to shame yourself for it. Make an informed decision. Enjoy the day for what it was (because that’s why you made the choice.)

Then, after you go back to the gym, you can put to work that break into getting some bigger lifts or getting better recovery.

Question from Josh: For high-allergenic diets, is it okay to switch meals with protein, for example, to get your macros on the day in which the food options aren’t good enough?

You can find yourself in situations in which you can’t just have anything straight off of a table at an event or a function.

You can either (1) create a you-friendly portion of the table or (2) you’re in a situation where you can’t, take your own stuff. Take the essential things and bring them in large portions.

When you do have allergies, taking a friendly plate for yourself is seriously advisable. And even if you do happen to run into something that triggers inflammation, just remember you’ll be fine. And you do have a slight reaction to something, don’t panic. You’ll be okay in a few days.

The bottom line…

You’re going to have countless more birthday parties, Christmas parties, and events throughout your life. That’s why the most important thing is to get yourself in a head space where you feel comfortable and you don’t feel angst about your food choices. Instead, you’re making informed decisions, so you don’t have to feel bad about the consequences, and you’re always, always focusing on the 80/20 principle.

Have another question?

If you’re worried about something, just send me a message and say: here’s what the situation is, these are the parameters, this is what I see as my challenge, and this is the conversation I’m having with myself about it.

Send it to me, and I’ll be here to help.

Explaining the “Fat-Burning Zone”

Hey Angels and Alphas,

If you’re someone who is on a journey to losing fat or just getting leaner and slimmer overall, you’ve likely people telling you things like:

“If your goal is to lose fat, prioritize forms of exercise that burn the most fat.”
“If you want to lose fat, focus on workouts that get you into your fat-burning zone.”

Sound familiar?

These statements basically summarize the entire argument behind exercising in your “fat-burning zone.”

But what we call the “fat-burning zone” is nothing more than a sustained period in which your heart rate is moderately elevated.

It’s not this magical number of heartbeats per minute you’re supposed to reach in order to burn fat.

At your supposed “fat-burning zone”, you should still be able to effortlessly carry on a conversation with a friend sitting right next to you.

Let’s get one thing out of the way – your body has 3 primary sources of fuel that it turns to during exercise: protein, carbs, and fat. When you’re exercising at your low-
intensity, conversational pace (which will be approximately 60 percent of your maximum heart rate), about 55-65 percent of the calories you burn will come from fat.

Once you start increasing your intensity, or turning your easy jog into a high-intensity run, your body makes an instant shift into burning carbs in the form of sugar and
glucose, which are the body’s primary fuel for more energy-taxing movements (because sugar turns into energy QUICK.)

Fat takes a much longer time to break down and requires more oxygen to do so. This means that low-impact increases in activity are likely going to cause using fat
instead of your body’s carbohydrate stores.

To determine whether you’re training in that special fat-burning zone, the first thing you should do is determine your maximum heart rate (which can be easily done by
subtracting your age from 220.)

Then, multiply that number by 0.6, and voila, you have your fat-burning zone. If you’re, for example, 25 years old, you’re going to have a maximum heart rate of 195. So if you want to be training to burn fat, you should keep your heart rate at about 115-120 beats per minute while training.

Does this mean the “fat-burning zone” is the best way to burn fat?

(Short answer: No.)

While it is true that you’re going to burn a greater proportion of calories from fat if you keep your exercise in the fat-burning zone. That being said, you are going to likely burn more total calories if you exercise at a higher intensity. (Depending on the duration of your workout.)

If you, let’s say, burn 100 calories during a 15-minute session in your “fat-burning zone”, this means that 60 of those calories, or approximately 60 percent, came from
burning fat. Hurray!

But by contrast, if you’re performing a 15-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session, you could essentially burn up to 200 calories, with 30-40 percent of them coming from fat. (So you’re burning 70 calories from fat.)

Do the math, and you’ll see how high-intensity training beats training in your “fat- burning zone” even though that’s effective, as well.

And while our numbers are totally ballpark, they’re here to give you a real example of how the slow, steady approach to fat-burning is less effective than the high-intensity, short-length training.

Think about this:

Sprinters are known for their explosive training. They do nothing but spring training cardio for an hour a day and have limited access to fat.
On the other hand, marathon runners do nothing but long-duration, slow and steady cardio for 1-2 hours a day and also have a little fat.

But which of the two has the overall more athletic physique?

Bringing it all together…

The “fat-burning zone” does exist. And while steady-state, low-intensity cardio may not be the most effective or productive way of burning calories from fat, there are still a ton of good reasons why you might want to exercise at a lower intensity.

If you’re someone just starting out, you should be keeping your regimen slow anyway. But just know that if you like this low-intensity approach to training, you
don’t have to feel like you have to push yourself into HIIT.

Don’t force yourself into embracing something that’s not sustainable. The best form of training for weight loss, ultimately, is the one that you will enjoy and do
consistently. If you hate HIIT, you’re not going to want to do it. That’s why you might as well focus on exercises you actually enjoy. It’s the desire to move and go train
that gets you out of sedentary habits and lifestyles.

But if you’re experienced, driven to achieve the highest result in the lowest amount of time, or just love HIIT, go for it.

Even if you love it, though, you can’t do it every day. You risk overtraining and burning yourself out, not to mention stalling your weight loss or injuring yourself.

Make room for low-intensity cardio sessions in your regimen, and you’ll see how quickly you can start busting through plateaus and burning more calories in-between
your usual HIIT sessions.

The 6 Healthy Flavors That Fuel Our Bodies

Hey Angels and Alphas,

When we think about fueling our body properly for a sport or a workout, we often become fixated on the correct number of macronutrients – proteins, carbs, and fat.

But somehow, we forget that our bodies must be functioning at their best in a variety of other places in order for us fuel properly.

For thousands upon thousands of years, our bodies have been guiding us as we navigate what’s poisonous and what’s nutritious.

In ancient Ayurvedic medicine, each of the six major flavors we taste is associated with a nutritional value our bodies not only want, but require.

That’s why it’s helpful for us to understand what our bodies are longing and asking for, what we’re tasting and intuiting as we’re consuming food, and how each food
that has a place in our diet is benefiting us in the long-term. Meals give us all the tools our body requires to hydrate, digest, detoxify, recover, grow, and balance.

And each of the six tastes – sweet, sour, bitter, salty, pungent, and astringent – have their own functions in both traditional and ancient medicine.

Let’s explore the 6 tastes in depth and discover what they’re doing for us and our bodies.

SWEET…

Healthy foods that taste sweet include fruits, veggies, and natural sugars. They help us calm our nerves and rebuild body tissues. And that’s why after a long day of work
or adrenaline-pumping sports and exercises, when we challenge ourselves physically and emotionally, our bodies start craving a sweet flavor.

Most often, when you experience a sweet craving, you’ll relate it to desserts, candy, and other sweet treats. But if you look beyond that and start choosing healthier alternatives such as fruits and grains, as well as veggies such as pumpkin, carrots, and beets, you’ll realize that sweetness doesn’t have to be unhealthy – far from it.

SALTY

If you’ve ever experienced dehydration, you know how badly that can make you crave salty foods. This is also true when our bodies are full of lactic acid. These salty flavors can also help us completely change the taste of a food.

Foods that are flavored salty not only help lubricate and re-hydrate your tissues, but they also help digestion, as well. The foods that quickly come to mind when we desire salty foods include salty chips and processed fries and snacks, but like we saw in our sweet example, healthy alternatives are always there to be enjoyed. Think in terms of sea veggies, salads with flaky salt, don’t forget that even French fries can be okay in moderation.

SOUR…

Sour foods have been related to detoxifying the body, increasing the absorption of vital minerals from the food we eat, as well as aiding the lymph system.

You don’t really see anyone “craving” sour foods all of a sudden, likely because this craving is hard to detect most of the time. However, when we add sour flavors inside our diets, we start to notice when they go missing. Yogurt, sour fruits (like lemon and lime), and fermented foods are great examples of super healthy foods that can quench a sour thirst. Sour is very important to our foods and drinks, which is why only a few squeezes of lemon can change the entire taste of a meal for the better.

PUNGENT FLAVORS…

Have you ever found yourself craving spicy food? If the answer is yes, what you were really craving were pungent flavors. These flavors stimulate your digestion, eliminate waste and toxins from the body, and they may be linked to boosting metabolism.

Chili peppers, herbs, and garlic are all pungent, and they’re all staples in a healthy diet that has you performing at your best inside the gym and outside of it.

BITTER…

Bitter flavors can be great for helping you detoxify. They’re also linked to reduced inflammation. This flavor isn’t really one people crave, but if you ever find yourself just wanting to grab a salad, this could be one reason – all the leafy greens, herbs, and spices in salads are often associated with the bitter flavor.

Moreover, any leafy greens become nutritional superstars when they can be topped off with other flavorful herbs, simultaneously exciting and calming your nervous system.

ASTRINGENT TASTES…

Are also great examples of tastes not often craved, but this doesn’t mean they’re less valuable. Raw fruits, legumes, veggies, and some herbs are all astringent in their flavor, and they help our bodies absorb water, remove waste, and reduce inflammation in the body.

Bringing it all together…

When you’re putting together your plans for each week, just be conscious of the proportions of tastes you’re putting in your food. The more tastes you can fit in one plate, the better. Go for ingredients that can calm you (sweet), rehydrate you (salty), help you digest (pungent), and more.

On top of that, if you’re able to provide enough protein, carbohydrates, and fats to keep yourself going and growing, you’re doing it right.

Adding some almond butter on top of a cookie might sound a little too out there, but that’s one way of giving your body exactly what it craves. It’s not only the ingredients in our food that are keeping us going, but also the tastes and flavor experiences they’re creating in our bodies. Flavor can help turn your meal – whatever it looks like – into an adventure.

What’s The Right Macro Mix For You?

Hey Angels and Alphas,

You know just as well as I do that following a healthy, well-balanced diet requires sustainability and flexibility when it comes to the long-term. And when you’re trying to achieve a specific health or fitness goal, tracking macros seems to be one of the best ways to make sure that your diet is indeed balanced and healthy.

The process of setting a fitness goal begins with calculating a calorie intake target based on your current height, weight, physical activity, age, past training history, and so on.

Once determined, this calorie intake is further broken down into proportions of the three main macronutrients – protein, carbs, and fat.

And that’s why today, we’re taking a look at what proportions of macros you should be striving for based on your fitness goal!

To start, we need to understand the three big macronutrients – and the purpose they serve in our diet.

What are the three main macronutrients?

Protein

Protein allows your body to build, repair, and grow tissues, as well as protect your lean body mass. Protein is composed of amino acids, which come in 2 types: non-essential and essential. Essential amino acids are acquired through your diet. Non-essential amino acids are not required to be consumed through your diet since your body can produce them on its own. By eating a rich variety of veggies, fruits, nuts, grains, beans, lentils, and other foods abundant in protein, you’re getting the amino acids your body needs to build and repair itself.

Carbs

All carbohydrates are eventually broken down by the body into glucose, the body’s main energy source. In fact, organs such as your brain need glucose so they can function properly. Your body can create glucose out of a necessity by using proteins through a process called gluconeogenesis. Not only are they your primary energy source, but they also help synthesize specific amino acids. They provide you with energy and help your body get rid of waste by keeping your intestinal tract healthy. Carbohydrates can be simple or complex, depending on the difficulty your body has with breaking them down into glucose.

Fat

Fat basically allows your body to store energy, create specific hormones, absorb fat-soluble vitamins, cushion organs, and helps with the integrity of your cell membranes.

Fat comes in three main forms: trans fats, saturated fats, and unsaturated fats. Trans fats are the only type of fat that should be totally eliminated from your diet.

Saturated and unsaturated fats are essential to a healthy diet and a healthy body.

That being said, now that we know what the main three macronutrients are and what their purpose is, what proportion should they follow in our diet?

Here’s how to calculate them. Every example is given with a person with a 2,000-calorie target intake as a baseline.

If your goal is to maintain weight…

If you want to stay in maintenance mode and keep your weight steady, a good standard to follow is 50 carbs / 30 carbs / 20 protein.

Then just multiply your target calories by ratio by calories per gram. Keep in mind that carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram, fat contains 9 calories, and protein contains 4 calories per gram.

Which means…

2,000 calories X 0.5 = 1,000 calories / 4 calories per gram = 250g carbohydrates

2,000 calories X 0.2 = 400 calories / 4 calories per gram = 100g protein

2,000 calories X 0.3 = 600 calories / 9 calories per gram = 67g fat

If your goal is to build muscle…

If you’re trying to build muscle as hard as possible, and enhance your performance in and outside the gym, you will want to prioritize protein.

Use the example above, but keep the proportions 45 carbs / 35 protein / 20 fat.

If your goal is to lose weight…

In this case, you will need to put yourself at a calorie deficit. This means reducing your overall target calorie range by 10-15%, basically depending on the amount of weight you wish to lose.

In the example we shared above, the person with a baseline 2,000 calories will shift down to 1,800 calories. Then, based on the result they see in the next couple of weeks, they’ll either bump up their calorie intake or decrease it even more.

For this goal, proportions should look something like 45 carbs / 30 protein / 25 fat.

If you want to reach ketosis…

Many people are trying the keto diet right now, so it’s important that we address this. For people looking to lose weight and emphasize the calories from fat, proportions should look like 10 carbs / 20 protein / 70 fat.

That being said, there are many things you should know before trying out keto, so make sure you’re going in with an educated approach.

If heart health is your goal…

If you want to improve your heart health, you’ll likely want to put a special focus on limiting refined carbs and reducing saturated fat. If you exercise about half an hour a day, try a macronutrient breakdown of about 40 carbs / 30 protein / 30 fat.

The more active you are, the more you’re going to want to emphasize complex carbs instead of fat.

To conclude…

Regardless of the proportion of carbs, fat, and protein in your diet, what’s more important is maintaining a balanced diet with high-quality, energy-dense foods. A good rule of thumb is that you should always prioritize whole foods over processed foods, whenever you can.

When it comes to carbs, go with nutrient-dense starchy veggies and whole grains over the more processed, refined carbs and sugar out there on store shelves.

When it comes to fat, choose the most heart-healthy options you can find such as nuts, fatty fish, olive oil, and avocado.

Once you find your macro mix, stay consistent with it, and you will see the results you’re looking for. You’ll see your body change and adapt to your goals as you progress with developing your macro mix and finding the most optimal and sustainable proportion for you.

How Cooking Impacts Nutrients in Food

Hey Angels and Alphas,

Ever since we first discovered fire, we humans have LOVED cooking. Throughout our long history, fire basically expanded our diets, allowing us to consume softer, tastier, and much safer foods.

To this day, cooking plays a massive role in how our body will digest, absorb, and use the nutrients we consume – and that’s what we’re here to discuss today.
How does cooking change our food? How can different cooking methods improve our health – or worsen it? How should we be cooking meat, veggies, and different types of food?

We’ll answer all these questions, but let’s start at the beginning…

What does chemistry say about how cooking changes the food we eat?

When we heat food, we change its texture and flavor… more often than not, for the better. As you can see with any example from the perfectly seared steak and the roasted veggies to delicious cakes, heating is at the center of every cooking endeavor.

When you cook food, you’re usually allowing for it to become a more easily digestible and readily absorbable source of nutrients. For example, the protein in cooked eggs is about 4 times more digestible than raw eggs (regardless of what you may have seen in movies like Rocky.)

And there’s always the issue with safety. Fruits and veggies, as we know, are all fine to eat raw with some exceptions. But when it comes to animal products like meat and eggs, cooking food is a must because it eliminates the bacteria that may cause foodborne illness. Cooking is absolutely essential when it comes to the safety of the food you eat since undergoing thermal processing is the best way for food to become safe and digestible.

What about the various cooking methods out there?

It’s a fact – not all cooking methods are created equal. You have boiling, steaming, frying, baking, all of which viable options for a variety of foods. Steaming is perhaps the best way to preserve nutrients when cooking food. Boiling, or poaching, are similar in the sense that they all require immersing the food in water (meaning it will retain the majority of its nutrients.) According to experts, vitamin C and some B vitamins can be lost in the water while cooking, but calling this a significant loss would be a stretch.

When you’re cooking with dry heat, when you’re broiling or grilling, some minerals can be lost when juice drips off the food while cooking. Grilling meat at extremely high temperatures can also form carcinogens, which should be avoided at all costs.

Then you have roasting and baking – both great ways to preserve the nutrients inside of whatever you’re cooking. But the longer something is being cooked, the greater the chance it will lose something in the process. Stir-frying is also known to be a great option for preserving nutrients.

Fun fact: when you’re cooking with fat, like olive oil, you’re improving the absorption of many plant compounds and antioxidants in veggies.

Microwaving is another form of “thermal processing”, and it’s actually a quick, safe, and easy way to cook food. Short cooking times, along with the reduced exposure to heat, allows the food to preserve most of its nutrient (and actually preserve more than it would with other cooking methods.)

When should you leave food raw?

For the most part, you want to be keeping your fruits and veggies raw. If you like them cooked, that’s fine, but most of the time, you won’t have to worry about having to make them easier to digest and enjoy.

When it comes to fruits and veggies, cooking can also improve the absorption of many antioxidants such as beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene. This means you’ll basically get more of the nutrients when your veggies are cooked, and that includes tomatoes, carrots, and other orange and yellow produce.

Moreover, it’s a known fact that cooking asparagus and spinach allows their nutrients to become more bioavailable.

Raw (or very undercooked) legumes may contain a dangerous toxin called lectin, which can be easily eliminated by soaking and cooking.

And let’s not forget, the starch in potatoes is basically indigestible until it’s cooked.

So yes, cooking is a great option, even when you’re talking about all-natural fruits and veggies. But while it does produce many positive changes in the food we eat, there are definitely some ingredients that are healthier if you leave them untouched.

When it comes to raw broccoli or cabbage, they contain higher levels of antioxidants when consumed raw. Same with raw garlic – it includes anti-cancer sulfur compounds that degrade once they’re heated. That’s why raw onions are healthier than their cooked alternative.

The bottom line is…

That when it comes to fruits and veggies, cooking is mostly a choice. You won’t have to make your food easier to digest and absorb, which remains one of the main goals of cooking. Whether you prefer your veggies steamed, boiled, or raw, they’ll still be as healthy (with some exceptions.)

But when it comes to meats, cooking is not only an absolute necessity in terms of safety, but also a great way to add flavor in many different ways – be it grilling, frying, or baking.

Your best bet then, naturally, is to eat a varied diet that includes plentiful amounts of fruits and veggies, all prepared to your taste and fashion. Fortunately, with all the countless different heating methods, self-starting fire sources, and cooking options in front of you, you’ll have it much easier than our ancestors, and the food you eat will be much healthier and more delicious.

Why Your Weight Is Always Fluctuating Up & Down

weight loss

Hey Angels and Alphas,

If you’ve made a habit of getting on the scale every morning, or you just weight yourself every day, you’ll probably see the number on the scale change every time you step on it – from day to day. 

Maybe you gained weight, or lost it, or your weight increase is reflective of something that’s less impactful. The fluctuations you’ll see on the scale from one day to the next are all completely normal. 

If, for example, you always ate, drank, and exercised at the same time every day, then weighed yourself at the same time, then your weight would be relatively balanced over time (granted you drank the same amount of water and ate the same amount of food.) However, that’s just not realistic. 

That’s why we’re here today to talk about the many reasons standing behind the day-to-day fluctuations you see in your weight… so you can get a better idea of when you should be weighing yourself for the most effective tracking.

#1 – THE PHYSICAL WEIGHT OF FOOD AND DRINKS

Foods and drinks are essential for supplying the body with nutrients and calories that obviously influence weight gain. But they also have a mass completely unrelated to their calorie count which also influences your body weight – in the short term. 

Let’s say you drink two cups of water and immediately step on the scale – we’ll, you’ll be a pound heavier due to the mass of the liquid. But this has nothing to do with gaining a pound of fat or muscle. 

This is why most people choose to weigh themselves early in the morning, before they have consumed anything. But even if you ate a big meal at dinner, you haven’t given your body enough time to digest it, so in the morning the number on the scale will likely be bigger than usual. 

#2 – SWEAT

Water loss is a massive factor when it comes to snap weight fluctuations. This is one of the reasons why many athletes succumb to dehydration during intense, long workouts. Dehydration of only 2 percent of body weight, that then isn’t replenished before weighing in, results in a 3-pound “loss” for the average 160-pound adult. 

Pro tip: weight yourself before and after workouts so you can get an idea of how much water you sweat out and how much fluid you should replenish.

#3 – CARBS… AND SODIUM

A lot of quick jumps in weight are just changes in fluid balance. Sweat and dehydration can create losses of fluids, but water retention from sodium and carbs can cause the opposite.  

When an athlete is carb-loading, for example, they’re consuming a lot of carbohydrates to load the muscles (and the liver) with glycogen for energy to burn during training. And while this is great for energy availability, each gram of carbohydrates stored basically needs 2-3 grams of water to go along with it. As the carbohydrates are burned off, this water will be lost, but the weight gain is there – although temporary.

Moreover, sodium is another mineral responsible for fluid balance. Taking on a very salty meal can cause a slight imbalance in fluid levels between your vasculature and your gut, leaving you feeling bloated and puffy (as your body is trying to regulate fluids.) Managing sodium remains a tricky task for most athletes, and variables often vary from person to person. 

#4 – HORMONES…

Even stress can cause short-term weight gain. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is usually elevated after workouts or other periods of intense physical or mental stress. This hormone increases inflammation around the body, leading to fluid retention, hunger, and changes in digestion and metabolism.

While there isn’t much we can do about our hormones and the way they impact our weight loss efforts, the best thing you can do is to work to reduce the stress you experience on the daily. With less stress and less general inflammation, more relaxation techniques, and a high antioxidant diet, we can alleviate the negative effects of hormonal changes on our weight.

#5 – THE DAY OF THE WEEK

People are not stationary, and neither are their eating habits. Our eating habits tend to change throughout the week. Many people find that, for them, the week starts off healthy and with motivation and then declines as the week goes on, where the happy hour and cheat meals take over. Studies have shown that this exact eating cycle is reflected on the scale – people weighed more between Saturday and Tuesday before their weight decreased again as the body processed everything and adjusted to the intake of the new week.

This is, again, completely normal, and is not attributed to long-term weight gain. If you want to just reduce this weekly fluctuation, aim to stay consistent with your eating habits. Just know this likely won’t make or break your efforts.

Bringing it all together…

Weighing yourself every morning will open your eyes to the fluctuations our bodies experience on a daily basis. Then, you can easily connect the fluctuations on the scale to your workouts, stress, eating habits, and so on… by doing this, you’re getting a much better understanding of how your body reacts in a more holistic, full-spectrum sense. 

Even though seeing this constantly changing number can be really stressful by itself, and even demotivating, research has documented that obsessing over this can lead to a negative mindset. Whether you are looking to gain weight or lose weight, just remember the day-to-day matters much less than the long-term trend.

Weigh yourself each morning, write it down, and do that for 7 days. Then combine the numbers you got and divide by 7. Keep that as your average weight for the week, and do that for 8 weeks. You’ll see a clear trend toward gaining weight or losing weight, instead of focusing on the day-to-day, full of its fluctuations and ups and downs that do not translate to real weight changes.

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