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fitness Fitness on a Budget Food & Nutrition

12 Summer Recipes With up to 38 Grams of Protein

Warm weather is synonymous with barbecuespicnics and simple, no-cook meals. These delicious recipes take advantage of summer staples and are high in protein — they contain up to 38 grams per serving for less 425 calories.

1. GRILLED CHICKEN, LENTIL AND PEACH SALAD | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 258; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 44mg; Sodium: 465mg; Carbohydrate: 26g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 14g; Protein: 19g

2. STRAWBERRY AND SPINACH SALAD WITH ROTISSERIE CHICKEN | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 317; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 61mg; Sodium: 132mg; Carbohydrate: 18g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 10g; Protein: 28g

3. CURRIED CHICKEN SKEWERS WITH RAITA | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 175; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 62mg; Sodium: 204mg; Carbohydrate: 6g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 24g

4. STRAWBERRY AND TOMATO PANZANELLA SALAD | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 270; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 9g; Cholesterol: 25mg; Sodium: 374mg; Carbohydrate: 38g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 11g; Protein: 10g

5. SPICY CHICKEN BURGER | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 345; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 65mg; Sodium: 465mg; Carbohydrate: 40g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 34g

6. SWEET POTATO CRUST BBQ CHICKEN PIZZAS | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 383; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 91mg; Sodium: 425mg; Carbohydrate: 33g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 27g

7. CHIPOTLE BLACK BEAN BURGERS WITH AVOCADO SALSA | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 237; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 47mg; Sodium: 388mg; Carbohydrate: 27g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 2g; Protein 10g

8. NORWEGIAN SEAFOOD BURGERS | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 319; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 184mg; Sodium: 443mg; Carbohydrate: 11g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 38g

9. GRILLED HONEY-LIME CHICKEN WITH COWBOY CAVIAR | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 357; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 82mg; Sodium: 334mg; Carbohydrate: 38g; Dietary Fiber: 9g; Sugar: 13g; Protein: 37g

10. SPICY BURGERS WITH TAHINI AND HARISSA CARROT SLAW | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 423; Total Fat: 19g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 75mg; Sodium: 585mg; Carbohydrate: 36g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 32g

11. GRILLED CORN & ZUCCHINI FLATBREAD | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 246; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 7mg; Sodium: 309mg; Carbohydrate: 41g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 9g

12. FLANK STEAK WITH AVOCADO SALSA | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 232; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 64mg; Sodium: 340mg; Carbohydrate: 7g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 27g

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fitness Fitness on a Budget Food & Nutrition Healthy Meals Uncategorized

How To Actually Keep Your New Year Resolution

Happy new year 2021 background concept with clock, party hat, balloon, ribbon, 3D rendering illustration showing importance of keeping new year resolutions
Create a great future by achieving your new year resolutions. GETTY

We’re all looking forward to where 2021 will take us—and perhaps best of all it will take us out of 2020. If you’re like most of us, you’re full of starry-eyed hope and determination to accomplish a raft of new year resolutions. But statistically, you won’t keep them. According to a classic study, only 19% of people do. You can buck the trend, however, and keep your resolutions—following the guidelines below.

First, know you’re in good company setting new resolutions. Beginning in ancient Rome, renewed plans were part of festivals celebrating Janus (think: January)—who looked to the past and to the future—honoring home, family, friends and civil life. People worked only in the morning and had the afternoon off for parties, gift giving and offering blessings to each other for success in the new year.

For the 81% of us who have struggled to keep our resolutions, our brains are working against us. Research published in Current Biology found we are more likely to repeat pleasing activities because we get a hit of dopamine (the feel-good neurochemical) when we approach previously-positive activities. Even seeing a delicious dessert causes the release and can thwart your efforts to select the vegetables you’ve resolved to eat instead.

So how can you succeed where you’ve failed before? How can you finally achieve your new year resolutions? Here are 10 tips which can put you on a path toward a positive 2021:

#1 Make It Real

Distinguish between your overall vision and habits. Focus on your big bets but be specific about the daily habits which will accumulate toward success. Be sure your habits are specific and actionable. While your aim may be to ‘be a better person,’ a powerful habit will be to volunteer at your preferred agency for one hour per week. Perhaps you want to write a book. Great, but you’ll be more likely to achieve this desire by committing to writing for a half hour a day, five days a week. Be specific about the actions you’ll take, not just the end you want to achieve.

#2 Be Reasonable

You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: ensure your aims are attainable. If your goal is to play at Carnegie Hall and you’re only just learning the violin fingering for “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, you’re reaching too high. Set ambitious targets that are attainable and keep in mind you can build over time. This year, you may learn the rudimentary grammar for a second language and seek to spend an hour a week with a native speaker. Perhaps in subsequent years, you can seek to be truly fluent.

#3 Tie Your Actions To Your Identity

Fascinating research has identified people have more success shifting their behaviors when they link them with their identity, rather than using willpower. Perhaps you’d like to take a Saturday afternoon nap rather than the long walk you promised yourself. If you simply apply willpower, you may be more likely to take the nap instead of the walk. But if you tell yourself something like, “I am not a person who shirks my responsibility to fitness,” or, “I am a person who keeps my commitments to myself,” or “I am a person who values action over slacking,” you will be more likely to make strides toward your new, preferred behaviors.

#4 Link Your Habits

Another powerful way to successfully adopt a new set of habits is to link a new behavior to an existing one. For example, if your big goal is to expand your knowledge and you’ve decided you want to listen to informative books more often, link your listening to another habit that is already part of your daily repertoire. Perhaps every day while you’re brushing your teeth and getting ready, you can listen to your Audible book selection.

#5 Establish Accountability

Write down your targets, this will help you be accountable to yourself. In addition, share your goals with others and ask them to check in with you and give you feedback. If your goal is to avoid procrastinating on your projects at work, ask your colleague to give you a friendly nudge when they hear you putting things off. Or if you want to do daily push-ups, ask your roommate to give you a gentle reminder if evening is approaching and you haven’t dropped for 10.  

#6 Share The Process (Or The Pain)

One of the best ways to keep your resolutions is to make them mutual. Partner with others who have the same aims. If your goal is to be more creative, find a buddy with whom you can craft regularly. Or if your objective is to run a marathon, find a friend with whom you can train daily. If you want to lose your Covid 15 weight gain, establish a small group of similarly-minded pals with whom you can commit and commiserate.

#7 Realize The Power Of Small Steps And Mark Progress

An important strategy in maintaining changes in behavior is to reduce your perception of effort. An interesting example, published in Sports Medicine, found people stuck with their exercise programs for longer periods of time when they drank coffee. The reason: because the caffeine gave them bursts of energy and reduced their perception of exertion. Incremental effort works this way as well. Take small steps. Also, track your progress over time. Use a calendar and mark off the days you’ve accomplished your new behavioral goals. Track yourself and make things visible to give yourself an important, tangible sense of accomplishment. Perhaps your goal is to find a new job. Plan to reach out to two new contacts or apply for one new job per day. Give yourself credit for every small step you take and reward yourself along the way.

#8 Take Breaks

As the saying goes, “Everything in moderation, even moderation.” Build in days when you can celebrate. For example, if your goal is to do intermittent fasting, plan for one day a week when you eat throughout the day. If you plan for small moments of reprieve from your new behavior, you won’t be cheating (read: you won’t have to beat yourself up). You can help ensure you give yourself time to take a breath and recharge for the next bout of following your new rules.

#9 Manage your Mindset

Changing behaviors isn’t easy. Your current ways of doing things have carved pathways in your brain, and establishing new linkages can be uncomfortable. Get comfortable with discomfort and reassure yourself you can do it. You have some exciting aspirations and if they were easy, they probably wouldn’t be worth doing. Those who achieve their resolutions are distinguished from those who don’t by the ability to put aside short-term satisfaction for long-term gain. Consider how you’ll feel immediately compared with the trade-off over time. The chocolate cake may be delicious in the moment, but the tightness of your pants (because we’ll have to wear button pants again someday) is an unfortunate trade off. Remind yourself you’d rather have the lasting goodness of health and fitness, than the quick hit of chocolate bliss.

#10 Remember Your Why

Perhaps most important for your ongoing motivation is to remember your overall purpose. You want to acquire a new skill, so you can make an awesome contribution at work and have terrific credibility in your field. You want to learn a language, so you can make a greater contribution in your community. Or you want to get healthy, so you can provide support for your family over the long term. The big picture is always motivational, so don’t just focus on laying bricks, keep in mind the cathedral you’re building.

The pandemic has been terrible and horrible, but it has provided the opportunity to learn, grow and become more resilient. Use the difficulty of 2020 as a jumping-off point for 2021 and all you’ll accomplish as you go forward. You can achieve your new year resolutions. You can succeed. You can make 2021 a year of progress and positivity.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tracybrower/2021/12/27/how-to-actually-keep-your-new-year-resolutions/?sh=67a05d3e32f6

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fitness Fitness on a Budget Food & Nutrition Healthy Meals Uncategorized

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

Source: MyFitnessPal

Small changes add up to big results over time, especially if you’re looking to lose weight with tweaks to your nutrition and fitness habits. Moreover, making simple changes gradually helps ensure it’s an overall lifestyle change and something that’s sustainable long term — preventing the likelihood you’ll gain the weight right back.

“People should plan to establish habits that they can follow indefinitely,” says Tami Smith, a certified personal trainer based in Williamstown, Massachusetts. “They should ask themselves this question: ‘Is this something that I can see myself adhering to forever?’ If the answer is no, then it’s not a great plan.”

The healthy habits outlined below are ideal for starting small, although if it’s still intimidating, don’t worry, you can always go at your own pace and implement two a week or even two a month. Find what works best for your lifestyle and build from there.

While it’s a great plan to form better weight-loss in the new year, you can always start (or return to it) anytime.

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss
Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

Replace some of your caloric beverages with water. Keep a water bottle nearby to encourage you to drink regularly throughout the day. “Increasing one’s water intake is definitely an important tool in any weight-loss program since it can help fill you up,” says Keri Gans, RDN, a nutrition consultant based in New York City and author of “The Small Change Diet.” “If someone does not like the taste of water, I suggest flavoring it with fruit slices or herbs or pouring a glass of sparkling water.”

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

Adding short spurts of exercise to your schedule increases your step count and also helps counteract the negative effects of sitting. “Three 10-minute walks per day can eventually be condensed to two 15-minute walks per day, then one 30-minute walk,” says Smith. After that, you might want to continue to increase your distance, notes Smith.

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

Instead of eliminating certain items from your diet, gradually add more fruits and vegetables, which provide several important vitamins and minerals and nutrients like fiber that keep you full. Over time, you may find yourself gravitating toward produce, instead of processed foods, which saves calories and helps you shed pounds. “Choose to have one fruit per day, perhaps as a dessert with lunch, and then build to 2–4 servings per day,” says Gans. The same goes with vegetables; gradually build them into your diet, starting with breakfast. The more successful you are, the more likely you are to keep including more.”

Bodyweight exercises are awesome for improving strength and building lean muscle, which can help burn more calories.“I recommend starting with bodyweight exercises before attempting to add weights to the mix,” says Smith. Pick a bodyweight exercise (or two) to master such as lunges, burpees or pushups. Perform 4 sets of 12–15.

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

If mindless snacking is your downfall, consider what you’re eating and your portion sizes. “View snacks as mini-meals,” suggests Gans. “Focus on enjoying something that is less than 200 calories, contains under 6 grams of added sugar, more than 5 grams of protein, and at least 3 grams of fiber.”

You’ll be more likely to follow through long term if you stick with a pace that feels achievable.

“Start at a low intensity and build as your fitness levels improve,” says Sergio Pedemonte, a certified personal trainer based in Toronto. Go for a walk, do some gentle yoga or cycle at an easy effort, for example.

Writing down what you eat and drink can help you realize every morsel you’re consuming, including food you steal from other people’s plates or bites you sample while cooking. “Many people who are starting a weight-loss program benefit from food journaling,” says Gans. “It enables them to see exactly what they are eating and when, as well as mistakes they may be making.” Use an app like MyFitnessPal to help you notice trends and make healthy swaps.

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

“I recommend beginners start with 2–3 full-body workouts a week for one month before moving into split training — i.e., upper-body and lower-body workouts,” says Pedemonte. This can help you get the most bang for your buck at the start, and it doesn’t have to be super long, either. Try this 10-minute, no-equipment, total-body workout.

Think about the healthy changes you want to make to your diet — high-protein make-ahead breakfasts, more fruits and vegetables, fewer soft drinks — and map out the items you’ll need the next time you get groceries. “Planning meals ahead of time and shopping accordingly is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success,” says Gans. It’ll save you time, money and calories.

You might feel like pushing yourself, but avoiding too much too soon may keep you from becoming sidelined unnecessarily. “Starting slow minimizes the risk of getting injured the first week,” says Pedemonte. One way to make sure you’re not overexerting yourself is to calculate your heart rate zone (or use a monitor like Wahoo Fitness TICKR to do it for you) and aim to stay in zones 1–3 this week and progress until you can spend more time in zones 4 and 5.

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

Remember, consistency beats perfection for losing weight. If you’re eating healthily 80% of the time, you’re on target. If you slip up, don’t feel like all is lost — just be prepared to follow healthy habits again at the next meal. “Healthy eating does not mean choosing healthy foods 100% of the time,” underscores Gans. “One of the best things you can do to set yourself up for success is already be mentally prepared for some failure.”

Fitness challenges, like this 31-day squat, lunge and pushup plan can help you commit to moving your body daily. Building and maintaining a streak can be motivating and keep things exciting. “It’s a great way to connect with others, particularly during these times,” notes Smith, so be sure to get your loved ones involved.

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

Sleep is often overlooked, but it greatly impacts nutrition, fitness and weight loss. Aiming for quality sleep (at least 7–8 hours per night), can help curb cravings, allow your body to recover after a tough workout and keep hormones in check to support weight loss. “Setting a bedtime allows you to make better decisions about what you eat and when you eat it,” says Pedemonte. “[And] while the body is sleeping, it goes through a recovery process that allows the body to burn fat, repair tissues and build muscle.” Check-in with how much sleep you’re getting, and if it’s not enough, set your bedtime 15 minutes earlier each night until you hit your goal.

Source: My Fitness Pal

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HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO LOSE MUSCLE?

While not ideal, many of us have to pause our workout routines from time to time. Whether you’re stressed, sick, injured, going on a holiday vacation or just need a break, there are plenty of reasons to take time off from exercise.

But, no matter how badly you need the break, you may worry about losing all your hard-earned muscle before you’re ready to start training again.

72 HOURS …

If you don’t train at all, you may start losing muscle mass after 72 hours, says Michele Olson, PhD, a professor of exercise science at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama. Even your heart, which is also a muscle, will show a decrease in the amount of blood it can pump per beat after 72 hours off from exercise.

You’ll notice the effects on your heart a lot sooner than your biceps or quads. “If you work out on Monday and miss three days, returning to a workout on Friday, you will feel a bit more breathless than typical, because less oxygenated blood is being sent out from the heart per beat,” Olson says. “It’s not training-breaking, but it can be noticeable.”

Although you start losing muscle mass after 72 hours, you probably won’t notice any losses until you’ve gone 3–4 weeks without training. One small study found that trained men could take three weeks off from exercise without any noticeable muscle loss.

FACTORS RELATED TO LOSING MUSCLE MASS

However, there are a few factors that determine how quickly you lose muscle mass, including:

HOW LONG (AND CONSISTENTLY) YOU’VE BEEN TRAINING

The longer you’ve been lifting, and the more muscle you have, the better off you’ll be if you decide — or have — to pause your routine. “If you’re fit with developed muscles, you will still have a baseline of muscle that others will not have after a period of inactivity,” Olson says.

YOUR DIET

Adequate protein, in particular, is key for building and maintaining muscle mass. If you skimp on it, your body won’t have enough amino acids (the building blocks of protein) to keep up with the constant breakdown and rebuilding of cells (muscle, red blood, hormones, etc.) that goes on all day, every day. Eventually, your body pulls from your muscle stores to get the amino acids it needs to keep your other cells and tissues functioning. The result? Muscle loss.

For example, in one stud, sedentary to moderately active elderly women who ate a low-protein diet (1.47 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day) lost roughly 14% of their muscle mass after nine weeks. (However, it’s worth noting this amount of protein falls within the range of 1.2–2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day recommended for older adults.)

So, even if you’re not training, you need to make sure you’re getting enough protein to prevent muscle loss.

Protein needs vary from one person to the next, but as a general guideline, the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests active people aim for an overall daily protein intake between 1.4–2 grams per kilogram of body weight (older adults may need to aim for the higher end of the spectrum). To put that in numbers, a 150-pound active person needs roughly 95–136 grams of protein per day.

YOUR CHRONOLOGICAL AGE

Many age-related changes can make it harder to build and hold onto muscle. One of those changes relates to the nervous system.

As we age, we begin to lose motor neurons. Studies suggest there’s a drastic decrease between ages 60–70. Motor neurons transmit impulses from the spinal cord that tell our muscles to contract. When you lose motor neurons, it becomes harder to recruit muscle fibers, Olson says. If you can’t recruit muscle fibers, the fibers won’t break down and rebuild to grow back bigger and stronger.

Strength training can help reverse these changes to the nervous system — and other age-related changes — but once you stop training, the benefits gradually disappear.

YOUR SEX

Males have a slight advantage when it comes to muscle. “Men have more natural testosterone, which is anabolic to muscle tissue development and maintenance,” Olson says. (Anabolic refers to the process of building larger molecules out of smaller molecules, like building protein out of amino acids.)

THE BOTTOM LINE

How quickly you’ll lose muscle once you stop training depends on different factors, but in general, you’ll notice losses in 3–4 weeks.

If you have to cut back on exercise for whatever reason, and you don’t want to lose any hard-earned muscle, you may be able to get away with doing only two strength workouts per week, according to Olson. Target every major muscle group (back, chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves), and do at least 1–2 sets of 8–12 reps per exercise.

But even if you can’t — or don’t want to — train for a few weeks, you won’t have to go back to square one once you restart your routine. So long as you’ve been training consistently up until your break, you should be able to rebuild muscle and strength fairly quickly.

 Source: BY LAUREN BEDOSKY OCTOBER 7, 2020 

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fitness Fitness on a Budget Uncategorized

Your Fitbit is largely inaccurate when counting calories, Stanford researchers say

Calorie counting is a useful way to lose weight, but a new study suggests a fitness tracker could sabotage your efforts.

The devices are overwhelmingly popular. For instance, since its inception, the leading brand, Fitbit, has sold at least 30 million of them. The company promises on its website that the devices “track steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes & hourly activity.” Others, such as PulseOn, Apple Watch, Basis Peak, Samsung Gear S2 and Microsoft Band, promise the same.

A team of Stanford researchers, however, recently called foul after testing these trackers. The scientists said in a paper published Wednesday in the Journal of Personalized Medicine that though the devices purport to help users track their calories – daily energy expenditure -the number is often markedly incorrect.

The least accurate, PulseOn, as off by an average of 93 percent. The most accurate device, Fitbit Surge, was off by an average of 27 percent, the Guardian reported.

In a statement to NPR, PulseOn said the extremely high level of inaccuracy may “suggest that the authors may not have properly set all the user parameters on the device.”

The consequences of such large margins of error could, of course, be significant.

“People are basing life decisions on the data provided by these devices,” Euan Ashley, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford and coauthor of the study, said in a news release.

Let’s say, as a hypothetical, some users check their device at the end of a long day and discover to their delight they burned 1,000 calories when they actually only burned 730. They might have an extra dessert or glass of wine since they think they’ve met their goal.

Over time, that adds up. In this scenario, that’s 1,890 extra calories each week the users don’t know about. Each pound of fat is composed of 3,500 calories.

“It’s just human nature,” Tim Church, professor of preventive medicine at Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University who wasn’t involved in the study, told NPR. “People are checking these inaccurate counts and they think they’ve earned a muffin or earned some ice cream and they’re sabotaging their weight-loss program.”

Of course, some margin of error when using a device like this is inevitable, but the scientists said it should be far lower.

“For a lay user, in a non-medical setting, we want to keep that error under 10 per cent,” Anna Shcherbina, a Stanford graduate student and study coauthor, said in a news release.

One of the key issues, Shcherbina hypothesized, was the difference in users’ body compositions.

“It’s very hard to train an algorithm that would be accurate across a wide variety of people because energy expenditure is variable based on someone’s fitness level, height and weight, etc.,” Shcherbina said.

The study participants included a “diversity of ages, male and female, and then also we looked at diversity of skin tone, and then size and weight to try and represent the population generally,” Ashley told the Guardian.

The devices proved most accurate for white women who were already fit, meaning “for those for whom it might matter the most, who are trying to lose weight, the error was actually greater,” Ashley told NPR, speculating that perhaps the companies only test the devices on a narrow group of people.

While the energy expenditure numbers were woefully off, Shcherbina pointed out that it’s much easier to assess heart rate, which can be measured directly and not through proxy calculations.

Indeed, Ashley said, “The heart rate measurements performed far better than expected.” Most were off by only about five per cent.

There have long been hints that these devices aren’t useful for weight loss. A multiyear study published last September in JAMA split into two groups almost 500 people hoping to lose weight. One used fitness trackers, while the other did not.

Those with the trackers lost about 50 per cent less weight than those without.

At the time, the study’s lead author John Jakicic, a researcher of health and physical activity at the University of Pittsburgh, thought it had to do with people incorrectly interpreting the fitness trackers.

“These technologies are focused on physical activity, like taking steps and getting your heart rate up,” Jakicic told NPR. “People would say, ‘Oh, I exercised a lot today, now I can eat more.’ And they might eat more than they otherwise would have.”

The Stanford study, though, suggests that perhaps the participants were merely working with faulty data.

Soure: The Washington Post

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fitness Food & Nutrition Uncategorized

11 Ways to Prevent Weight Gain During Shelter-At-Home

11 Ways to Prevent Weight Gain During Shelter-At-Home

As countries around the globe attempt to “flatten the curve” of the novel coronavirus pandemic, many of us are hunkering down in accordance with shelter-at-home orders. While losing weight is certainly still doable during this time, a smart goal to focus on instead is maintaining your current weight.

“It’s normal to feel high stress and anxiety in the face of so many uncertainties, and you might even feel tempted to go into survival mode and toss your healthy food and lifestyle choices out the window,” says Dr. Richa Mittal, a weight-loss specialist based in Frisco, Texas.

The good news: It’s possible to combat stress-eating and couch-sitting to maintain your weight and come out of this experience even stronger — you just need the right strategy.

SET A DAILY CALORIE GOAL

Similar to when you’re focused on losing weight, “maintaining your weight requires keeping track of how many calories you’re putting into your body,” says Gerald E. Nissley, PsyD. One of the simplest ways to do that is to set a daily calorie goal and keep track of your intake of food and drinks with an app like MyFitnessPal. Even if you don’t log every day, regularly checking in can help you stay on track and make sure you’re not over- or under-eating to maintain your weight.2

ESTABLISH A MORNING AND EVENING ROUTINE

Deviating from your typical routine during the pandemic can make your mood tank, but the reverse is true, too: Re-establishing a routine can help raise your spirits and ward off stress. Pro tip:Frame your day with a wake-up and wind-down routine, suggests Molly Carmel, a licensed clinical social worker. “This can bring comfort and normalcy at a time that feels so abnormal and uncertain,” she says. What’s more, getting enough sleep also helps keep your metabolism healthy, which can support your weight-maintenance efforts.

Creating healthy routines doesn’t have to be complicated. For example, consider a brief meditation or brisk morning walk to help energize you in the morning, and an easygoing stretch routine or hot bath to de-stress before bed.

SCHEDULE YOUR MEALS AND SNACKS

It’s no surprise following a consistent schedule of healthy eating and exercise can help you maintain your weight over time, according to a study in Obesity. “When you have a set schedule, you’re more likely to incorporate healthy routines and habits on a daily basis — and consistency gets you closer to your goals,” says Carmel.

On a paper calendar or with an app, schedule meal and snack times throughout the day. Then, set reminders to help take the guesswork of when you should be eating and use the alarm bell as a cue to log your intake.

COMMIT TO MOVE EVERY DAY

Another way to reduce stress and maintain your weight: Get moving at least once a day. “Our bodies crave movement and the feel-good endorphins that come with it,” says Carmel. As such, make it a point to put daily workouts on your calendar, too. With multiple YouTube videos, Instagram tutorials and free apps, there are plenty of ways to add variety to your new at-home workouts, she says.5

FIND A VIRTUAL ACCOUNTABILIBUDDY

It can be a struggle to stick with your workout schedule if you don’t have someone to keep you accountable, so partner up with a friend for a FaceTime workout, suggests Dr. Mittal. Even if it’s only a text check-in before and after you workout, you’ll get some much-needed social connection, a mood boost and added motivation. Plus, research shows working out with someone can compel you to push yourself harder than you would if you were solo.6

ACCEPT THAT SETBACKS ARE A POSSIBILITY

Sticking with a healthy eating plan and exercise routine is especially difficult when so much is going on in the world. “Times are hard, so remember that you don’t have to manage this perfectly,” says Carmel. Rather than getting down on yourself when you skip a workout or consume extra calories, be compassionate with yourself. Remind yourself of the times you showed up to sweat it out and better controlled your portions in the past. Then, commit to getting back on track.7

COMBAT STRESS

Stress can threaten your weight-maintenance goals by dialing up cortisol levels which in turn can trigger cravings for comfort foods. The fix: Find ways to de-stress by soothing yourself and leaning on others, suggests Carmel. For instance, you might include diffusing essential oils and playing your favorite music, listening to a guided meditation or podcast, taking a walk outside (while social distancing, of course), reading a book or calling a friend or family member.

CLEAN UP YOUR GROCERY LIST

During shelter-at-home orders, trips to the grocery store have to be more intentional, especially if you’re eating on a budget. Now’s the perfect time to cut down on processed foods and stock up on healthy staples like fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables as well as whole foods with long shelf lives like dry lentils and beans, recommends Mittal. Focusing on healthy eating choices and reducing temptations is more likely to help you maintain a healthy weight.

MEAL PREP SNACKS

In the midst of such high-stress times, some impulsive eating is to be expected, but you can plan ahead by stocking up on nutrient-dense, low-calorie snacks. Where and how you store your snacks can make a difference, too, says Nissley. For instance, if you know you’ll eat a bag full of chips or a package of cookies in no time, opt for pre-portioned snack packs instead. “Keep them on an out-of-reach shelf or inside a cabinet instead of on your countertops or kitchen table,” suggests Nissley. This way, you have time to ask yourself first, “Am I really hungry?”

SEPARATE FOOD FROM ENTERTAINMENT

To cut down on grazing and avoid reaching the bottom of the chip bag in one sitting, make it a point to only eat when you’re free of all distractions, says Dr. Mittal. That means shutting off the TV, putting your phone down and stepping away from your laptop before you sit down to eat. Eating more mindfully and engaging all five senses, helps you recognize when you’re actually full and prevents overeating.

CELEBRATE THE WINS

“Any step in the right direction is a reason to pat yourself on the back,” says Carmel. Stick with your workout? Prepare a healthy dinner? There are plenty of non-scale victories that can indicate improvement to your overall physical and mental health. Make sure to take a moment to celebrate steps forward and acknowledge your progress.

Source:  BY LAUREN KROUSE APRIL 30, 2020 

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fitness Fitness on a Budget

Taking Fitness to the Digital Age

WhatsApp pings 10am …”Hi, this is your gym, due to coronavirus the gym has been shut down until further notice”.

If you’re like me, and you need that runner’s high to keep your body and mind in check, then the above message was the doomsday scenario. Forget the toilet paper, I need my weights!

That’s for me, a gym goer…what about the personal trainers, the MMA fighters, the wrestlers, the boxers that earn their livelihoods on everything that Covid-19 forces us not to?

These professions may not be an “essential service” like ambulance drivers and supermarkets, but these professionals are an essential service for the days to come for the mind, body, and soul of everyone, especially during an epidemic are becoming more and more essential by the day, even by the hour.

The good news is…digital communication of physical arts is NOT a new thing. Workout videos, wrestling and MMA fighting have all been digitized starting from TV spots, YouTube and just about anywhere you can find a screen.

First step is to ask yourself, how have you been offering your services until now?

Now, can you replicate that in front of a camera? 

Now, can you use a computer and put things on a membership site?
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Almost any educational based service, even physical can be digitized and presented. No, it’s not going to be AS good as the real stuff and no, you can’t expect your clients to have the equipment that the gym does…

…But here’s the tricky part and here’s the difference between a successful campaign and one that isn’t…

First thing to understand is, people will pay for value, especially in this era when spending has to be done well. So let’s do it well

Option A: The tone down. Equipment is mostly inaccessible, so change up your training program to not need those fancy pieces. Ask yourself, what can you swap in or out of the routine and still get the impact you’re looking for?

A stairmaster can be replaced by stairs, weights can be replaced by stones (carefully).

If you make your training videos with these toned down equipment, making it something that everyone can do, on any budget, you got yourself a winner.

This is also the opportunity to combine in other services that work together such as nutrition during isolation. An endless level of opportunity, perhaps even more than normal.

Option B: The Upsell – People don’t have these equipment, why not get it to them. All stores are suffering. Reach out to these stores and factories and strike a deal that you will help facilitate sales for them.

In turn, you advertise a special discounted deal on the best equipment. All the while you begin earning commission points on these sales. A true win-win for everyone.

Keep in mind your audience, its demographic and how it’s marketed. 

I know these are new-age types of marketing tactics for the down to earth gym goer, these are the times we have to learn to adapt and change…or disappear.

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fitness Fitness on a Budget Uncategorized

The 5 Top Brands for Spring Sports Gear

If you’re new to spring sports, you may be a bit overwhelmed by all the gear and lingo that gets thrown around by the more experienced athletes. You may wonder if you really need everything people to talk about, or if it’s OK to start out with a few basics. Nike, UnderArmour, Puma, Reebok, and Adidas all offer spring sports gear. One of the easiest ways to save money on sports equipment is to check online for Adidas deals before heading out to the store or ordering online. 

Baseball

Having a baseball player in the family can be an exciting time, yet it can also be a little confusing when it comes to buying equipment. The biggest question that needs answering is “What equipment is really important to have?” For starters a glove is essential. Baseball cleats are important to prevent injury. A mouth guard would be more for the infield positions. Even if your baseball player isn’t an infielder, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have one just in case they were asked to play an infield position. A batting glove is good to have during adverse weather conditions like cold or light rain. 

Lacrosse

Regardless of your level of play, there are a few essential pieces of lacrosse equipment that every athlete will need in order to be successful. Lacrosse helmets have traditionally only been worn in the men’s game, but women recently introduced a soft version to make the game safer. There’s only one piece of equipment that will touch the ball, and that’s your stick. Players will need shoulder pads to protect them from checks and balls. The fastest game on two feet requires players to cut quickly, so cleats are required if you plan to play on grass or turf. Many players go with mid-level cleats, similar to the models worn in football. All players wear gloves to protect their hands, fingers, and wrists on the field. Mouthguards are required to be worn at all times when you’re on the field and help to prevent concussions. 

Tennis

There are two basic things you will need to buy or borrow for your first tennis game. A tennis racket and tennis balls are essential items you will need. If you have some sports shoes, shirts and shorts you are basically covered in terms of clothing for your first tennis experience. But later on, you will need to buy shoes or shirts for particular court surface or weather conditions.

Shoes are the most important thing (after a tennis racket and balls) in your tennis career. Different surfaces need different shoes for better movement on the court and preventing unintentional slides resulting in injuries.

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fitness Fitness on a Budget Uncategorized

How to Make Your Own Home Fat-Burning Workout

So if you’re ready to do a fat-burning workout, but don’t can’t go to the gym or studio because of covid-19, there is a way you can do combined cardio and resistance training at home. Try this workout:

  • Do 10 push-ups or knee push-ups,
  • Then stand and do 15-20 jumping jacks.
  • Next to 10 squats or lunges,
  • Then do 15-20 more jumping jacks.
  • Next, move on to 10 crunches, again followed by 15-20 jumping jacks.
  • Finally, pick a set of dumbbells off the floor and lift them overhead up and down a total of ten times, and
  • Then finish with a final series of 15-20 jumping jacks.

How to Burn Fat Faster

To ensure that reap the greatest fat-burning benefits, remember to also follow these simple rules:

Don’t exercise hungry. A fed body will burn more calories.

Warm up first. Warm muscles will be able to burn more fat.

Use good form. Doing cardio before a resistance exercise makes that exercise more difficult to do properly, so don’t injure yourself. It’s tough to burn fat if you’re laid up on the couch with a thrown out back.

Eat after your workout. Post-workout nutrition will help you build metabolism-boosting fibers of lean muscle.

When Shouldn’t You Combine Cardio and Resistance Training

So when wouldn’t you want to combine cardio with resistance training? If your focus is not to burn fat, but to build strength, you’d be better off doing your resistance training as a separate workout. Similarly, if you’re training for endurance, then you should focus on a high-quality cardio workout that isn’t interrupted by strength training. But if your focus is pure fat loss, then you should absolutely follow the recommendations in this article and combine your weight lifting and cardio in one workout.

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11 Benefits of Doing Lunges Regularly

woman doing a lunge

Lunges are a popular strength training exercise among people wanting to strengthen, sculpt, and tone their bodies, while also improving overall fitness and enhancing athletic performance.

This resistance exercise is popular for its ability to strengthen your back, hips, and legs, while improving mobility and stability. Lunges are ideal for those wishing to get stronger and for current athletes, including runners and cyclists.

Continue reading to take a look at the benefits of lunges along with what muscles they target and a few variation options.

Benefits of performing lunges

1. Weight loss

Lunges work the large muscle groups in your lower body, which builds leans muscle and reduces body fat. This can increase your resting metabolism, which allows you to burn more calories and trim excess weight.

If you’re looking to lose weight, push yourself to your outer limits by including lunges in a high-intensity circuit training routine using heavy weights.

2. Balance and stability

Lunges are a lower body unilateral exercise since you work on each side of your body independently. The single-leg movements activate your stabilizing muscles to develop balance, coordination, and stability.

Working one leg at a time causes your body to be less stable, which forces your spine and core to work harder to stay balanced.

3. Alignment and symmetry

Lunges are better than bilateral exercises for rehabilitation since they can correct imbalances and misalignments in your body to make it more symmetrical.

If you have one side that’s less strong or flexible, spend a bit of extra time working on this side so you don’t overcompensate or overuse the dominant side.

4. Stand taller

Lunges strengthen your back and core muscles without putting too much stress or strain on your spine. A strong, stable core reduces your chance of injury and improves your posture, making common movements easier.

Benefits by type of lunge

5. Stationary lunges

Stationary lunges target your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. You’ll put most of your weight on your front leg and use your back leg to balance, stabilize, and support your entire body.

You’ll want to get the form down since stationary lunges are the foundation for all the lunge variations.

6. Side lunges

Lateral lunges develop balance, stability, and strength. They work your inner and outer thighs and may even help to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Side lunges train your body to move side to side, which is a nice change from your body’s normal forward or twisting movements. Plus, side lunges target your quadriceps, hips, and legs at a slightly different angle, thus working them a little differently.

Pay attention to the outsides of your legs and work on activating these muscles as you do these lunges.

7. Walking lunges

To do walking lunges, you’ll need balance and coordination. The walking variation targets your core, hips, and glutes, and improves overall stability. They also increase your range of motion and help to improve your functional everyday movements.

To make walking lunges more difficult, add weights or a torso twist.

8. Reverse lunges

Reverse lunges activate your core, glutes, and hamstrings. They put less stress on your joints and give you a bit more stability in your front leg. This is ideal for people who have knee concerns, difficulty balancing, or less hip mobility.

Reverse lunges allow you to be more balanced as you move backward, changing up the direction from most of your movements and training your muscles to work differently.

9. Twist lunges

You can add a twist to stationary, walking, or reverse lunges to activate your core and glutes more deeply. Twisting lunges also require balance and stability as you twist your torso away from your lower body while maintaining the alignment of your knees.

You’ll also activate the muscles in your ankles and feet.

10. Curtsy lunge

Curtsy lunges are great for strengthening and toning your derrière, which is excellent for your posture. Strong glutes also prevent and relieve back and knee pain, all of which help to improve your athletic performance and lower your risk of injury.

Curtsy lunges also sculpt and strengthen your hip adductors, quadriceps, and hamstrings as well as improve hip stabilization. Use a kettlebell or dumbbell to up the intensity of this variation.

11. Lunges and squats

Lunges and squats both work your lower body and are a valuable addition to your fitness regime. You may favor lunges if you have low back pain since they’re less likely to strain your back. Consider focusing on squats if you feel more stable in this position.

Since this pair of exercises will work your body in similar ways, it’s a matter of personal preference to see if either exercise feels better for your body or brings you the best results. Of course, adding both lunges and squats to your routine is beneficial.

Muscles worked 

Lunges increase muscle mass to build up strength and tone your body, especially your core, butt, and legs. Improving your appearance isn’t the main benefit of shaping up your body, as you’ll also improve your posture and range of motion.

Lunges target the following muscles:

  • abdominals
  • back muscles
  • gluteal muscles
  • quadriceps
  • hamstrings
  • calves

How to get results 

Lunges are simple, making them accessible to people who want to add them to part of a longer routine or do them for a few minutes at a time throughout the day. You must stay on track and be consistent to maintain your results over time.

If you do lunges regularly as part of a larger fitness routine, you’ll notice results in terms of building muscle mass and shaping up your body. You’ll likely feel the results before they are visible.

You may develop tight, toned, and stronger muscles and start to lower your body fat percentage within a few weeks. More noticeable results may take a few months to develop.

For each lunge variation, do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. If you feel yourself starting to plateau, up the intensity by doing more difficult variations, adding weights, or increasing the amount you do.

Source: https://www.healthline.com/