4 Easy Health and Fitness Tips

The US has seen an enormous increase in the mumber of people considered obese by the medical community. In fact many call it an obesity epidemic. To combat this we find all sorts of pharamceutical companies selling the “quick fix” pills, powders, and lotions that do nothing to actually help people take the fat off and keep it off.

Of course the same could be said of the diet industry as well. There are so many different diets going around now you could pick one a month and in a years time still have more to choose from.

What is truely needed are some sensible proven weight loss tips that people can implement no matter what their present physical condition is. That said let’s dive right in.

1 Drink more water. All too often Americans are borderline dehydrated and so their bodies are working on the water starvation reflex and not flushing the toxins and junk out.

2 Eat more often. I bet you thought I was going to say eat less. While it is true that to lose weight you need to eat less calories than you expend…you need to eat more often to get the metabolic furnace stoked up and burning right. Get it out of starvation mode. So start the day off with breakfast. Even an instant breakfast drink and a piece of fruit as we head out the door in the morning.

3 Move more. Depending on your physical condition you need to be moving more. Use the stairs rather than the elevator, park farther out from the office or the store, go for a walk around the block, go dancing, play with your kids. Make it fun. Running is not the only way to burn more calories.

4 Finally, determine your “Why”. Decide why you want to discard fat. Make your reason big enough to motivate you through the slumps that invariably happen.

Personally my reason was to be able to live to see my great grandkids graduate college. My youngest kids are 4 and 6 now. Besides I wanted to get out and play with them without being out of breath all the time.

3 Lessons From The Biggest Loser

All over the world, night after night, millions of people are riveted to their TV sets – but not to watch the latest soap, or CSI. Not to watch Jay Leno or Sex in the City. Not to see who outwits, outlasts and outplays others in Survivor. No – they are spellbound by the efforts of a small band of obese people trying to overcome the effects of years of overeating.

It’s not surprising that for so many people this is compulsive viewing. Obesity is the new epidemic. Fat children lumber around school playgrounds while their overweight mothers fill shopping carts with wrong choices. Then… they sit down at night to watch The Biggest Loser. They see dramatic weight loss and startling new body shapes beginning to emerge. They want the same results – and they begin to think it might be possible.

But who has four or five hours a day to work out? Who can afford a personal trainer several times a week? And who has the luxury of their own personal adviser on calorie content and smart food choices? The answer is: not many people. But you have to remember that this is television: it’s a false situation. As the players keep reminding themselves and the viewers: “This is a GAME. You have to make the most of your time here – it’s going to be so much harder out in the real world.”

IS it harder in the real world? Probably. But you can take lessons away from watching this reality show. You can make it work for you, as well as for the contestants. Here are three practical and useful lessons you can put to use immediately.

  1. Put Weight Loss First.

In the Biggest Loser household WEIGHT LOSS COMES FIRST. Make it come first in your household, too. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? It is. In fact, so simple that many people just overlook it. They try to fit exercise and meal planning around everything else in their lives, instead of making it a priority.

Think: what is most important: getting the weight off, and becoming fit enough to put years on your life – or watching another TV show? Sit down with a pen and paper and allot at least one hour a day to planning meals, recording what you eat, and doing some form of exercise. You’ve still got 23 hours left to do everything else!

  1. E is for Exercise – and Enjoy!

What else do you notice in the Biggest Loser household? The more they exercise, the more they seem to enjoy it. Oh sure, they grunt and they groan; they sweat and they complain. But as the weeks go on, you’ll hear them say things like: “I never thought I’d say that I look forward to working out – but now don’t feel right if a day goes past without exercise!”

The secret to enjoying exercise is finding what’s right for YOU. If you don’t really enjoy the gym, look for other forms of exercise. You need a mix of cardio and resistance training – but it doesn’t have to be on machines. Walk, swim, dance, climb hills, push a wheelbarrow in the garden… there are endless choices that can be fun for you. Research what happens to various muscle groups – and to your heart – when you exercise, and pick activities that you will enjoy.

  1. Identify the Triggers.

Emotions run high when the contestants have to face their demons. Weight gain is rarely from just a physical cause. If you keep a food diary, and faithfully record not only what you eat but when (and why) you eat it, you’ll soon see a pattern of emotional eating. What are YOUR triggers? Boredom? Tiredness? Family arguments?

Once you have identified these triggers, you can start working on strategies to defeat them. This can be as simple as challenging yourself every time you want food. (“Am I hungry – yes or no? If I’m not hungry, then why do I want to eat? Am I really just thirsty? If I’m running to the fridge because I’m upset, is there something else I can do to feel better? Is there a long-term solution that will fix this forever?” and so on.) If you’re not yet ready to deal with the root cause, then be prepared with food that won’t add to your problems with the resulting rolls of fat. Make sure that you have ‘good’ food at hand – but also food that you LIKE.

These are just three of the lessons that anyone can take away from watching The Biggest Loser. And you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you did it all by yourself.

3 Blunders To Avoid on Your Weight Loss Journey

There are times on your weight loss journey when progress can come to a halt. Days or weeks can go by without you seeing movement on the scale, and it can get downright frustrating. After working with thousands of clients, Iíve noticed certain patterns that can cause this weight loss stoppage. Here are 3 of those patterns.

1) Eating more than you think you are.

Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Zone Delivery Service, and other diet systems have one undeniable benefit to them ñ they define for the average person how large an actual ìservingî is. Most of us underestimate the volume of food we eat (and consequently, underestimate the number of calories we consume in a day).

By fixing in your head what a serving size or ìportionî of food looks like, we can better estimate (and consequently, evaluate and calibrate) the amount of food we eat at each meal. Keep in mind, when it comes to weight loss, you need to take in less calories than you burn each day.

Two good rules of thumb:

A portion of meat (3 oz.) is the size of a deck of cards.
A portion of carbohydrates (1 cup) is the size of a tennis ball.

Please remember to fill up on non-starchy vegetables ñ they are full of nutrients, have very little impact on blood sugar, and contain little in the way of calories.

2) Not eating frequently enough.

It is a social custom to eat ìthree square mealsî a day. While this may do for social purposes, for weight loss, you will want to aim for more frequent feedings. It is recommended that you consume a minimum of 5-6 small meals each day. By doing so, your body gets the signal that food is abundant, and there is no need to conserve energy.

Additionally, frequent feedings maximize your metabolism, as your body is constantly busy, burning calories by digesting your meals. By not letting too much time pass between meals, you stabilize blood sugar levels since they never really get the chance to drop. By keeping your blood sugar stable, your hunger levels are minimized, decreasing the chances that you will be tempted to overeat at your next meal.

3) Choosing to drink your calories instead of eating them.

This is a very common problem among those attempting weight loss, due to the abundance of ìhealthyî diet smoothies, protein concoctions, and weight loss shakes. There are 2 factors to keep in mind when relying on these liquid meal replacements.

First, many of the liquid diet shakes on the market and all fruit smoothies have an abundance of sugar in them. This causes an immediate surge in energy followed by a huge crash due to the release of insulin to control the blood sugar rise. This dramatic shift in blood hormone levels (particularly insulin levels) is something you want to avoid, both for health reasons and for weight loss.

Secondly, most weight loss shakes are devoid of fiber. Fiber is one of your most precious allies when you are dieting. It helps you feel full and blunts the rise in insulin levels when all that sugar hits your bloodstream. While fruit smoothies do contain some of the fiber from the pulp of the fruit, a better strategy would be to eat the actual fruits contained in the smoothie.

Lastly, the amount of calories that can be concentrated into a shake or smoothie is far greater than the equivalent volume of actual food. A 16 oz fruit smoothie may contain as many as 600 calories, and will not fill you up all that much! On the other hand, eating 600 calories of fruit will prove to be much more than the typical person can manage in a single sitting (at least, I personally donít know anyone that can eat more than 2 pounds of bananas at a single sitting!).

Think about it- when making major dietary changes, you want to get the most out of your calories. Wouldnít you rather fill up, rather than drink something and be hungry again soon after?