Tuesday, June 30, 2009
First of all, when eating, concentrate on your food. Eating in front of the T.V is called mindless eating, which basically means you are not conscious of what you are putting in your mouth and by the time you realize it, your tummy is bulging. Slow down, concentrate on the flavors of each mouthful. If you follow these instructions you will get much more satisfaction out of your food and you will be aware of when you reach fullness.
Second and most important of all, you need to understand the science of carbohydrates. Chips and apples are both high in carbs but one of these contains good carbs, I'll give you one guess...Chips are made up of what are called simple carbs (or bad cabs). These quickly digested which means they do not satisy your hunger and they quickly get stored as fat once digested. Try cutting out white bead, pasta and rice and keeping your intake of processed food to a minimum. I guarantee you will feel better, have more energy and see your waistline shrink before your eyes!
Complex carbs on the other hand are found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains which are crutial to a healthy diet. These carbs will fill you up on less, keep you full longer and prevent sugar cravings. The rule of thumb is to consume 55%-60% of complex carbs a day in order to get your 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in, the rest should come from protein and healthy fats (check out my post on healthy fats).
My final food for thought (pun intended) is beware of misleading food labels. Be the wise consumer you are by checking the nutrition facts making sure the product is 100% whole grain, or low in carbs if it is processed. Replace bread with low-carb wraps for sandwhiches, and stuff it full with spinach, tomatoes and other nutrient-rich veggies.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The stability ball transfer: Get into the position as shown and on the exhale lift both legs and arms up and transfer the ball from your arms to inbetween your legs. Lower down to starting position and hold, then repeat. Push yourself on this one and go for 20-25 reps.
Pike with ball: Start in push-up position with your feet on the stability ball and your hands on the floor, elbow under your shoulders. Move the ball towards your chest and pike your body in a V-position. This is probably the hardest because not only are you contracting your abs through the entire move you have to balance as well.
Stability ball roll out: Kneel on your mat with the ball directly in front of you. Roll the ball forward as you exhale contracting your abs through the entire move. Hold keeping your body straight without letting your belly sink or your butt in the air and pull the ball back in toward you as you sit back up to kneeling position.
Yoga abs: Start in a plank position on your mat. Pull your left knee in to touch your right elbow and hold for 3 seconds. Return to plank and pull your knee to your nose holding for 3 seconds. Return to plank and bring your left knee to your left elbow and hold for three. Return to plank and do three push ups and repeat for the other leg.
So start with those and let me know what you think. Other good ones are mountain climbers (which double for getting your heart rate up and blood pumping), regular crunches on a stability ball, ab machines, plank, and bicycle. Remember when doing abs on your back look up at the ceiling behind you and keep your elbows down when they are behind your head. Try to do these every other day and add a new one each time, you need to give your muscles time to recover in order to build and burn fat effectively. Happy crunching!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
1. Greenery- Choose a darker leaf like spinach or arugula. These are dense with essential vitamins and nutrients. Iceberg lettuce has no nutritional value and will not fill you up enough.
2. Dress appropriately- Stick to less creamy dressings like (extra virgin) olive oil or balsamic vinaigrette. Dressings like ranch and caesar are loaded with extra calories. And always ask for it on the side, restaurants always over-do it with the dressing.
3. Use the 50-25-25 rule- Your salad should contain 50% veggies and grains, 25% healthy fats, and 25% lean protein. Try and incorporate veggies that are rich in folic acid, vitamins and minerals such as broccoli, peppers and tomatoes. Healthy fats would be avacados and nuts.
4. Protien- Pick a protein that will fill you up, satisfy you and still taste good. I love to put salmon, grilled chicken, tuna or turkey sausages in my salads.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Running- One of the biggest mistakes beginner runners often make is that they start way too fast. Start slow, let oxygen get into your lungs and let your body adjust to the sudden change in motion. Use baby steps rather than long strides and keep your head up. Let your mind wander as you listen to music and before you know it, you will have run two miles! Running is total-body workout engaging your lower body, upper body and core. One hour= aprox. 720 calories
Biking- A very underestimated source of cardio is bike riding. Rather than driving to dinner, find an easy 4-6 mile route to a restaurant and make it a date or a fun girl night out. Biking is low impact which means there is little to no stress on your joints which is great for people with minor injuries. One hour= aprox. 840 calories
Pilates- strengthens abs, increases flexibility, tones muscles, maintains joint health. The only down side is you need a huge machine, a good instructor and a lot of mula! One hour= aprox. 300
Yoga- Strengthen and tones muscles while torching up to 630 calories per hour. (Try the Sculpt class at CorePower yoga if you really want a great workout. There are several locations and your first week of classes is free, I swear by this class!)
Swimming- Great workout, especially for summer! It’s a very underrated form of cardio. It’s fun, easy, and works almost every muscle in the body. It’s low impact so it’s great for those of you with injuries and you can burn around 400 calories in just 30 mins.
Elliptical- Not my favorite form of exercise. I feel like the machine does more than I do. But it’s a great way to warm up before a gym workout. I generally only use the elliptical when I’m not in the mood for working out but I want to do something. You can burn about 300 calories for 30 mins.
Treadmill- I personally can’t run on a treadmill but one of the best cardio exercises I do is walking on an incline. It sounds easy but trust me, you can get just as good of a workout (if not better). I change the incline every minute and sometimes throw in a sprint here and there and by the time an hour is up I’ve burned up to 600 calories.
Stair climber- This is a great choice for those who want to firm and tone their lower half. The stair climber can burn about 500 calories an hour and is a great way to get your heart rate going.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
So the moral of the story is, there is no diet pill out there that is worth trying. They do more damage to your body (and you pocketbook) than good. Turn to natural solutions to weight loss and management, that is the only sure-fire way to take it off and keep it off!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Now I look forward to a great run to alleviate stress, a bad day or just to clear my head and I always feel so great afterwards. Not only did my fear of not being prepared for race day get me off the couch several times, the fact that I was able to accomplish something that I never thought I could do was priceless. My mom and I crossed the finish line together and although our 2hr and 40 min time is less than impressive, we all stuck together and had a great time.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Even when it seems like nothing is changing, if you follow the rules and stick with it, results will follow….eventually. Staying in shape is hard work. It takes patience, self control, and a lot of motivation but that’s what makes you appreciate it that much more. Strive to get 4-5 days a week of strenuous physical activity mixing cardio, weight training, and stretching. The beauty of summer is your options are endless. Don’t be a prisoner to the gym like we are all winter long. Instead of meeting a friend for lunch get out and enjoy the sun. Go for a swim or ride your bike. Try your hand at tennis or golf. Staying healthy is a lifestyle, you don’t have to be on a diet your whole life, just learn to enjoy eating well and exercising. But be patient; never give up because you aren’t getting the results you feel like you deserve immediately.