Juicing Your Way to Weight Loss

Photo credit: Ashlyn Paulsen (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

It seems that each new day brings a new weight-loss fad, and you can usually spot the fakes. They promote a pill, a powder or a belt that promises rapid weight loss without actually changing your diet or your lifestyle. Some of these fads may result in some weight loss in the short term, but you will most likely re-gain the weight you lost and then some more. You have to change your diet, get more exercise and drink healthier beverages if you want to lose weight and keep it off. Eating fresh vegetables and fruits is one way to change your diet to promote weight loss. If raw vegetables are unappetizing to you, consider getting more veggies in your diet by juicing. Juicing vegetables and fruits is one way to get all the benefits of raw, whole foods.

Juicing is not just squeezing fruit juice into a glass. A juicer blends raw fruits and vegetables into a cool, smooth drink that tastes great. Even if you don’t like vegetables, such as kale, spinach, or broccoli, you can combine these healthy greens with bananas, strawberries and apples for a delicious, refreshing and healthy drink.

Drinking your fruits and vegetables can help you to get more fiber and nutrients into your diet. Raw fruits and vegetables are the best way to get the nutrients, trace minerals and antioxidants your body needs to stay healthy. The raw fiber in fresh fruits and vegetables can help you feel full so that you do not overeat. Fiber also helps to regulate your digestive system and stimulate your metabolism for additional weight loss.

Invest in a high quality juicer for the best juicing. You don’t want your juice to be lumpy or contain chunks of raw vegetables. Find one that produces a smooth textured juice. Try juicing only the fruits and vegetables that you already love if you are new to juicing. Start with some sweet red apples, strawberries and a banana. You can blend these fruits with a cup of ice for a refreshing smoothie. Mix and match sweet fruits to find your favorite combination. Once you settle on a favorite flavor, add one green vegetable, such as a few kale or spinach leaves or one carrot. The rich flavor of the blended fruits will cover the taste of the carrot, spinach and kale, but you will still get all the benefits of these nutrient-rich vegetables.

Juice whole, unpeeled vegetables and fruit. Much of the taste and many of the nutrients are found in the skin. Replace your bacon, eggs and white toast with butter and enjoy a breakfast juice instead. Drinking juiced vegetables and fruits on an empty stomach will help you feel full faster and will keep you from getting hungry for hours. Take a thermos of juice to work for your lunch instead of a fast food burger. Your body will get the nutrients and energy it needs without the empty calories and bad carbohydrates found in most fast food. Even people who refuse to eat vegetables will enjoy a cold, fresh glass of juiced fruits and veggies.

 

What Is Weight Loss Resistance and How You Can Overcome It

There are many components to learn when implementing a weight loss regimen. Weight loss resistance is one of the more frustrating ones. With a barrage of information coming at you every day, it is difficult at best to sometimes try to find the system that works for you.

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Sometimes when you do find that system, it is met with frustration and disappointment because you were not even aware that such a thing as weight loss resistance exists.

What Is Weight Loss Resistance?

Have you ever had the experience wherein you have carefully weighed, measured, and watched every bit of food you intake and began an exercise program only to find that your weight has not budged?

This could be due to a factor known as weight loss resistance, which is a situation where a possible metabolic imbalance exists. Several metabolic imbalances can contribute to weight loss resistance.

  • Thyroid conditions
  • Chronic stress which raises cortisol levels
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Digestive imbalance

These are to just name a few contributing possible factors to weight loss resistance. Moreover, some of these conditions are combined making weight loss even more difficult.

Things You Can Do About Weight Loss Resistance

Of course, the first and most important thing to do is to seek out the advice of a professional. Some individuals prefer the counsel of their primary care physician, while others seek out the advice and help of a wellness counselor or nutritionist.

A combination of professionals, however, seems to be the best bet when it comes to overcoming weight loss resistance. The tests that a primary care physician can perform will sometimes be sufficient to indicate which, if any, of the issues you are incurring are due to a medical condition.

A primary care physician can always refer you to a specialist in a particular field according to those test results. For many individuals combining a holistic approach along with a traditional approach provides for a win/win combination, as well.

For example, if your current weight loss condition is due to high cortisol levels due to chronic stress, seeking the aid of a wellness practitioner may be the best bet for you. Practices such as massage, yoga, or reiki may be the missing ingredient in your weight loss resistance.

Things such as eating raw, organic foods, getting enough hydration through green teas and plenty of water, and getting the proper rest are all exceptional ways to help yourself along the way in fighting against weight loss resistance.

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Motivation – 3 Top Tips To Successful Weight Loss

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The best decision that you have made is to choose a better way of life for yourself. This may have been a choice that you came to on your own or on the advice of your doctor. However you have come to this point, you need to find all the ways that will help you to get the weight loss success that you want to achieve.

To keep you motivated, here are 3 top tips to successful weight loss.

Do Not Deny Yourself

It took a while for you to put on the weight and it will take a while to take it off. If you remove all the things that you enjoy from your diet, then you will only make the journey harder and this could end up causing you to fail. The idea of a balanced diet and weight loss program is to reduce your calorie intake while increasing your level of activity.

You’ll also find that if you eat more whole foods, calorie counting will become a thing of the past because you’ll get rid of your unhealthy cravings, balance your blood sugar and hormones, and have a lot more energy to do things you want to do. When you give your body what it needs, such as nutrient-dense leafy green vegetables, fiber-rich fruits, fish, lean meats, nuts, seeds, legumes and beans, your body will balance itself out and the weight will start to come off. And, you can still enjoy your treats as long as it is within reason.

Write Everything Down

A good way to track your journey is to write down everything you eat. You will be able to identify which types of food you are consuming and where you need to make adjustments. The great thing is that as the weeks go by you will notice a difference in the sort of foods you are eating. This is because as you start losing weight, you will begin to feel better about yourself and you will have more faith in your ability to succeed. This will spur you on to alter the things that you eat. You will be able to logically and routinely decide to replace that portion of French fries with a portion of salad and vegetables. It is a great feeling when you realize that the changes that you are making in your eating habits are happening naturally and without any pressure.

Gain Strength from the Experience of Others

There are so many people who have been in the same position as you and you should take some inspiration from their experiences and their success. If you love to read books, you will discover that there are lots of authors who have written on this subject. You will find plenty of celebrities who have also written about their own personal struggles with diet and weight.

If you are not a fan of books, you can choose to pick up one of the many slimming magazines, or research on the Internet, which feature stories about real people like yourself. Gather together information about people who have succeeded, then look at yourself in the mirror and repeat the words “I can do this”. If you can build up your strength and confidence and keep a positive attitude, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t succeed.

Failure to Lose Weight – Are These the Reasons You Lack Motivation?

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Motivation is the desire to get things done and to set targets that you want to achieve. However, maintaining that level of motivation can be difficult and the end result can leave you feeling like a failure. Here are some reasons why you lack motivation and ways in which you can turn things around to get you back on track.

You Can’t See Immediate Results

A perfect example of this is if you decide that you want to lose weight. You know exactly what you have to do in order to reach your desired weight. You need to eat less and exercise more. The first few days of your weight loss and healthy eating program go very well and you are happy. At the end of the week, you step on the scales and find that you haven’t lost any weight or you have lost less than you expected. You are disappointed and even though you know that if you continue on this path, you will eventually see the results you want, you give up. The thing about motivation is that if you do not see the results that you are after, it is pretty difficult to carry on.

Procrastination and Using Excuses

You are not motivated because you waste a lot of time procrastinating. You know that logically regular exercise and a healthy, balanced eating plan will result in weight loss. However, the procrastinator in you may decide that you can’t work on losing weight until you have signed up to a gym or have enough money to buy the right type of exercise clothes. With regards to food, well you decide that you can’t start cooking healthy meals until you have emptied your cupboards of all the bad foods. You are just putting off the starting date to changing your way of lifestyle and the more excuses you find, the less motivated you become.

Lack of Support from Others

It is a sad fact that a person’s level of motivation can be affected by the people around them and their attitude. It only takes one negative comment for self-doubt to creep in and for you to give up on the goals you have set for yourself. The solution is to find people that share your feelings and can help to keep you motivated. A good way is to either find the right friend or family member who will give you the support you need or you can look at support groups within your community or online. By getting the positive support you need, your motivation level will be right where it needs to be in order for you to start on target.

 

Important noteIf you’re not reaching your weight loss goals through diet and exercise, then you may want to look at other possible reasons such as lack of sleep, blood-sugar imbalance, too much stress, thyroid issues, or maybe a *hormone imbalance. As you can see, there is a lot more to weight loss than just eating less and exercising more. So, when you feel like giving up, remember the reasons WHY you want to lose weight and get healthier. Is it to avoid expensive medical bills down the road? To live a better quality life? Is it to live long enough to see your grandchildren? Whatever the reason, make it stick so you can stay consistent and focused until you reach your goals.

 

Weight gain: Are your emotions to blame?

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Photo Credit: Bill Branson

What is Emotional Eating?

We all know the feeling of eating just because we are feeling a certain way and not necessarily because we are hungry. Eating to fill a void or to make us feel better is the simplest way to explain emotional eating.

Emotional eating happens to all of us, at one time or another. Emotional eating is a double-edged sword. We may initially eat something unhealthy because we are feeling blue and then feel doubly guilty afterward.

Emotional eating feels good while we are doing it, but may wreak havoc on our diets, our health, and our minds. As the underlying problem goes unresolved, we simply cannot undo the overeating. There are deep underlying feelings behind emotional eating. Without delving into what is behind those emotional feelings, the continuous pattern of eating to feel better will continue.

How Emotional Eating Can Affect Your Weight

Eating can be a distraction to what you have on your mind. Emotional eating can occur for various reasons:

* Stress

* Emotional Upset

* Boredom

* Guilt

For some, the only way to relieve stress is by eating. Have you ever noticed that you are really stressed about something and you turn to comfort food for soothing? A comfort food may be in the form of a favorite childhood dessert or a really gooey bowl of macaroni and cheese. In any event, soothing stress by eating is all too common and can be the cause of some serious weight gain if this becomes an all too familiar habit.

Many individuals that turn to comfort food for support never learn to trust themselves to get the help and support they need whether in the form of family or friends or even the help of a professional. Therefore, their only means of support is food, which can start an emotional overeating cycle.

Emotional eating also has an adverse effect on your health. More often than not, emotional eating includes choosing mostly foods that are not good for you such as fast foods, desserts or foods that are high in carbohydrates. What makes it even worse is the fact that once you have gone into emotional eating mode, and then feeling guilty, a vicious cycle begins. Weight gain will only compound the problem and contribute to it further, leaving you in a lose/lose situation.

If you feel you are caught in the emotional eating cycle, then it is important to reach out and get the help you need and deserve.

 

Fun Runs for Fitness

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Theme races have exploded onto the fitness scene, and people of all ages have gravitated and embraced this craze. In previous years, the most popular fun run has most likely been the annual Thanksgiving 5k Turkey Trot in your neighborhood. While Turkey Trots everywhere will no doubt remain an integral part of Thanksgiving Day for fitness inspired families, here are some races that will not only keep you active, but also allow you to have a blast doing it!

Color Run

Also known as the Happiest 5k on the planet, the color run is an untimed race where participants are covered with different colored cornstarch-based and toxic-free powder at each kilometer. A rainbow of colors then explodes onto everyone in celebration of the finish line. This race is extremely family- friendly in that it is walk and stroller friendly, but can easily accommodate any running enthusiast.

Electric Run

The electric run boasts a similar foundation of color and enthusiasm as the Color Run, but with an added nighttime twist. Contestants walk, run and even dance through various light displays that are coordinated with music along the course. Colorful and eccentric costumes are highly encouraged, and due to time-of-day, this race caters to spunky adults.

Warrior Dash

This is a traditional mud-run where participants race through mud pits, tunnels, slippery hills, cargo climbs and more! The obstacles provide for an added challenge that appeals to runners, fitness enthusiasts and 5k novices alike. While there is certainly a competitive edge to the nature of this race, the ability to modify and adjust to each obstacle is there for those who desire the adventure with slightly less intensity.  Participants must be at least 14 years old to compete due to the slightly chaotic nature of the course and obstacles.

Run for your Lives

This run puts an eccentric twist on your traditional mud run! Here, the motivation behind your run is that you are literally “running for your life”, and this is fueled by the extremely popular Zombie trend. Zombies are chasing you as you are running through mud and working around various obstacles. Flag-football comes into play as participants have 3 flags around their waists, throughout the race. The object is to make it through the race without the zombies getting all 3 flags.

5k Foam Fest

Think mud run meets car wash, and add various costumes and limbs to the mix for an extremely fun finish line. Obstacles on this course are a mix of traditional mud pits, climbing walls, tunnels and rope courses that are followed by inflatable bouncy slides and contraptions covered in fluffy white, soapy foam. This race focuses more on the silliness of the obstacles, and running only adds to the mix, so if you’re looking for a more traditional running-oriented 5k, a different race might be worth looking into.

Hot Chocolate 5k and 15k

Geared toward a wide variety of varied-level runners, this race is referred to as America’s Sweetest Race. The actual race itself is a traditional road race, but what lies at the finish line is what creates the stand out—upon completing the race, each participant receives a hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and various dipping treats. Talk about a reward!

Want to Lose Weight? Eat More!

If you have been on the diet roller coaster, you know how difficult it can be to lose weight and keep it off. There is no magic pill. You might think cutting calories alone is enough, but it isn’t. A healthy diet combined with exercise is the best recipe  for permanent weight loss. You should not sacrifice nutrition for weight loss. The average person needs about 2000 calories per day, but what are you getting from those calories? Don’t deprive yourself of nutrition or energy, but change your eating habits for weight loss.  You can eat more food without packing on the pounds — if you eat the right foods. In addition to eating more fruits and vegetables, eat more often. Instead of 3 big meals each day, eat 5 smaller meals. More frequent eating stimulates your metabolism to keep your body burning calories all day long.

Fruits and vegetables are powerhouses of nutrition. These delicious foods contain vitamins, trace minerals and fiber, which helps you feel fuller faster and longer.  An apple contains about 4 grams of fiber, as well as vitamin C and potassium. Green beans are loaded with fiber and vitamin C, too. Sweet potatoes can help satisfy a sweet tooth while providing your body with more than 200% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A. You’ll also get some vitamin C, vitamin E and the trace elements iron and magnesium. You get all this nutrition (not to mention delicious flavor) at the cost of about 100 calories. Strawberries have 3 grams of fiber and a full day’s dose of vitamin C. Eat more whole grains, too, and switch from white flour processed pasta and bread to whole grains. You can eat more of your favorite grain foods without adding more calories. You’ll enjoy the benefits of more fiber, too.

When snacking between meals causes you to add the pounds, trade your chocolate, cookies and cheese crackers for fresh or dried fruits. Avoid canned fruits which are often packed in high-calorie syrup. Grapes, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries contain plenty of fiber, vitamins and cell-saving antioxidants.  You can also take fresh or dried fruits to work for a snack during breaks. Check the labels on dried fruits to make sure that they are natural without sugar and preservatives.

Beware of liquid calories! You probably don’t realize how many calories you add to your day in beverages. Plain coffee has only 2 calories but adding only one teaspoon of whipping cream adds more than 50 calories. One teaspoon of table sugar has 49 calories. Half and half is an addition 20 calories. Even fat free milk adds 5 calories. Have a look at the WebMD website to see how many calories your favorite beverage adds to your diet. Opt for flavored drinks, unsweetened tea and plain coffee instead of sweet drinks and soft drinks.

6 Ways to Lose Weight Quickly

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There are healthy and unhealthy ways to losing weight quickly. Relying on quick fixes like appetite suppressants, liquid diets, herbal formulas and weight loss supplements will not produce long-term healthy weight loss. Although these methods might help a little, the best approach is make some big changes to your exercise and eating habits. As you begin your healthy weight loss journey, it’s imperative that you stay focused, consistent, motivated and disciplined to reap the best weight loss results.

Lose weight quickly by first eliminating foods that are high in sodium, fat and sugar, such as white flour products, deep fried foods, processed meats, fast foods, candy, chips, commercial baked goods and high-fat dairy products. Instead, select foods that are abundant in nutrients like lean meats, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, fruits, seeds and beans.

Reduce your total caloric intake and increase your activity level to lose weight fast. To lose one pound of body fat, you need to cut 3,500 calories per week through diet and exercise. For example, you could burn 250 calories through exercise and then cut 250 calories from your diet per day. The key is to reduce your daily intake by 500 calories to lose one pound per week. Safe weight loss is one to two pounds per week. Losing more than that is not healthy because more than likely you’re losing muscle and/or water weight. And if you lose weight too quickly by not consuming enough calories, it can cause your body to go into starvation mode, causing your metabolism to slow down and store more fat.

Avoid high calorie, sugar-laden beverages, such as sweetened tea, sodas, flavored coffee drinks, milk shakes, and fruit juices. Liquid calories can add up fast and can easily sabotage your weight loss efforts. Instead, drink water and other healthy beverages like green tea or vegetable juice.

Eat more often to burn extra calories throughout the day. Every two to three hours during the day, eat a small, well-balanced meal. Combine a healthy balance of complex carbs and protein, and make sure you eat breakfast every morning. For example, a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries is an ideal way to start your day. Add soy milk, walnuts and yogurt for an extra dose of balanced nutrition.

Boost your metabolism and burn more calories all day long by building lean muscle. You will burn calories even while you’re at rest because muscle is metabolically active tissue. Weightlifting workout routines that target all of your major muscle groups will help you to build muscle. For example, you can do chest presses, back rows, shoulder presses, bicep curls, triceps dips, squats, hamstring curls and calf raises. Start with one set of 12 to 15 repetitions, two to three non-consecutive days a week.

Lastly, do some calorie-blasting cardio interval training to really ramp up your weight loss efforts. The harder you push yourself, the more calories you will burn. First, do a 5-10 minute warm up and then begin your workout. Here’s an example of a 20 minute cardio interval routine on a bike: 1 minute of pedaling as fast as possible, and then 2 minutes of slow, recovery pedaling. Continue this pattern for a complete 20-minute workout routine. Finish by cooling down for 5-10 minutes. Do your cardio routine 3 non-consecutive days a week. For example, you can do your cardio on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and your weight training on Tuesday and Thursday. Choose a form of exercise that you enjoy such as cycling, walking, running, swimming, stair stepping, jumping rope or elliptical training.

5 Best Ways to Lose Body Fat and Keep It Off

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Reducing your body fat can provide many health benefits. Not only will you improve your physical appearance and energy levels, but also decrease your chance of developing chronic inflammatory diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. As you read this article, remember that positive lifestyle changes take time to implement, so take it one step at a time and soon you’ll be on your way to a healthier, lighter you!  

 

 

 

Increase Lean Muscle

Tackle weight loss head on by incorporating both cardio and resistance training into your daily fitness routine. Many people overlook the fact that you can increase your metabolism and burn more calories all day long by simply increasing your lean body mass with regular resistance training. According to the American Council on Exercise, muscle tissue will burn nearly 10 calories daily per pound, but fat only burns about 3 calories daily per pound. Staying consistent with both cardio and strength training along with a healthy eating plan will definitely help you reach fat loss goals for the long-term.

Make Your Cardio Sessions More Intense

Another common mistake people make when trying to burn body fat is taking the time to exercise but not using that time wisely. They decide to do 60 to 90 minutes of cardio every day, but then they spend the whole time cycling on an exercise bike or walking at an easy pace on the treadmill without putting any real effort in. This results in very limited weight loss and very unproductive cardio workouts.

So if you’ve made the commitment to cardio, make sure you’re giving it your all during every session and working out to the best of your ability. If you’re not sweating and not feeling physically tired, then you’re not trying hard enough and need to increase the intensity. Remember: the harder you push yourself, the more calories you’ll burn for greater fat loss results, and you won’t have to increase your workout times. 

Spice Up Your Meals

Adding a little spice to your meals will help to increase the amount of body fat you burn because spices contain thermogenic properties, which will raise your body’s temperature and require the body to burn additional calories to regulate. So if spices aren’t currently part of your diet, start adding them to some of your meals today and give your fat loss efforts a small but notable boost.

Decrease Processed Food Intake

Processed foods are not only bad for your health but they generally contain a lot more calories than nutrient-dense whole foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lean meat, fish, nuts and seeds. Another reason to avoid processed food is they contain harmful chemicals, preservatives and fats, such as food coloring agents, trans-fats, nitrites, excess sodium and sodium compounds that preserve and enhance flavor. Therefore, by reducing your processed food intake and consuming natural foods the majority of the time, you’ll cut down substantially on your total caloric intake and improve your health without having to decrease the amount of food you’re eating.

Reduce the Calories You Drink

Many people unknowingly sabotage their weight loss efforts by drinking too many liquid calories. Therefore, if you’re serious about losing weight, make an effort to stick to natural low-calorie drinks such as water, black tea, green tea, yerba mate tea or vegetable juice. In fact, many studies have shown that green tea and yerba mate tea are very beneficial for weight loss. Sticking to low or zero calorie beverages can instantly cut hundreds or even thousands of calories from your daily intake and have a hugely positive effect on your overall fat loss.

These five fat loss tips may seem simple but they’re highly effective. So if you’ve been struggling to lose weight for some time, make sure you start implementing them today and watch the pounds melt away.

 

Further reading:

American Council on Exercise: One of the more common perceptions in some fitness circles is that strength training individuals lose weight because one pound of muscle can burn approximately 30-50 calories per day. Is this claim valid?

http://www.acefitness.org/fitnessqanda/fitnessqanda_display.aspx?itemid=358

 

 

 

 

 

Safe Weight Loss

You can see television commercials for the next best weight loss pill every day on most every channel. The truth is there is no magic weight-loss pill. Some diet pills may even be dangerous to your health. Forget the fad diets. Don’t even think about starving yourself. Diet pills often have harmful side-effects. Most diet pills cause you to lose weight because they are a diuretic or have a laxative effect on your body, which can cause you to lose water weight. You will re-gain water weight as soon as you rehydrate your body. Dehydration can be dangerous, too. Other diet aids contain stimulants, such as caffeine, that speed up your heart and can increase your blood pressure. The safest way to lose weight is to see your doctor and ask her to help you design a weight loss program that includes sensible, healthy nutrition and exercise.

In order to lose weight, you have to create a calorie deficit. That is, you must burn more calories than you consume so that your body burns fat for energy. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, an eating plan that contains between 1,000 and 1,200 calories per day can help women lose weight safely. Cut back on simple carbohydrates and fats and replace those sugary fat foods with complex carbohydrates and fiber. Take cake, candy, cookies and white flour out of your diet. Replace those  calorie-laden foods with whole grains, such as bran, wheat, oats and brown rice. Eat more raw vegetables and drink water instead of soda. Eat a balanced diet with foods from all the food groups and keep track of your caloric intake if you want to safely lose weight.

Exercise is an essential part of any weight loss plan. As you use more fat for energy and start to lose weight, it’s important that you build muscle. Building muscle will also help you burn more calories since muscle tissue burns more calories than other tissues in your body. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn. Your basal, or resting, metabolism will also increase when you build more muscles. This means you will burn more calories sitting on the sofa in front of your television if you increase your muscle mass.