Source: BY KATE CHYNOWETH
I know I’m not the only one who struggles to walk past the free break room donuts. When I was younger I would joke about how a “food coma,” the dreaded side effect of overeating, was my favorite part of social events. Now, I actively avoid it because learning my limits was key for getting me into my favorite skinny jeans again.
Since overeating is a concept that most of us understand and experienced first-hand, I wanted to break down what actually happens in your body when you do overeat. After all, your body is well-equipped to let you know you’re getting fuller — you just need to listen!
Note: While the digestion process can take on average of 50+ hours, for this article, we are going to stick with the earlier parts of the process.
Let’s be realistic here. You won’t drop two jean sizes in one day. You won’t lose fifty pounds in one month. You’re going to binge every now and then. You will go a day or two without working out. Your weight is going to fluctuate here and there. You’re going to try new techniques and they’re not going to work, You’re a human being. You’re going to fail. But nothing great is ever accomplished without a few obstacles. JUST KEEP GOING!!!!!”
What do you do? Continue with the exercise and healthy eating plan? Throw in the towel, and go back to what you were doing before? Start restricting your eating even more as an effort to make weight loss happen faster?
These are all completely normal and reasonable reactions to a lack of success on the scale. Weight loss, maintenance or gain can be tricky to navigate. Put more plainly: The scale can be tricky to navigate.
Weight fluctuations are common because your weight is determined by a variety of factors. These include but are not limited to how hydrated you are, what you recently ate, your bathroom habits, the climate and your exercise routine. A few pounds of weight fluctuation here or there are usually not a result of fat gain but a result of your body doing exactly what it needs to do to regulate its physiological functions. So, how often should you weigh yourself? Whether your goal is maintenance, loss or gain, let’s talk about the scale.
The very first question you need to ask yourself is: “Will weighing myself (daily, weekly, periodically, etc.) help me or harm me?” Since there’s no magic answer for how often to weigh yourself, figuring out what is helpful and motivating for you as an individual is how you decide.
Many people find weighing in daily provides a sense of accountability and is helpful for having a good idea of where they are with their progress. For many, it helps to keep progress on track. If you’re able to look at the overall trend and not stress about the fluctuations, then by all means, weigh yourself daily.
Does a 0.4-pound weight gain sour your mood? Or, are you absolutely elated to see that you’re down 1 pound? If the daily weigh-ins powerfully affect your mood and behavior, then you might want to reconsider how often you weigh yourself. The number on the scale should not have the power to dictate your mood, the events of the day or your overall quality of life — it’s just a number.
Weighing weekly can have its advantages — it allows you to track progress while still having six whole days to not focus on your weight.
For best results, pick a consistent day each week, and weigh yourself in the morning. Look for trends, but don’t get caught up in the minutiae. Recognize that it will take a few weeks to get a picture of where the trend is heading. This can be a good tool to help you feel accountable without making you ride the daily emotional roller coaster that is (or can be) the scale.
Some people opt for the occasional weight check-in. People may do this at home or rely on the scale at the gym or doctor’s office to get an idea of where they are. People who opt for the occasional weigh-in often have alternative ways of identifying weight shifts, like the way their clothes fit or how strong they feel while exercising.
There are many people out there who smash their scale and never look back. Some people find it helpful to focus on how they feel in their clothes, the balance of their meals and snacks and how they perform with their exercise rather than focusing on the number. This can be a valid way to approach health — there’s much more to health than a number on the scale!
If you are weighing yourself multiple times per day, stop! With rare exceptions, you should not weigh yourself more than once per day. Obsessing over a number on the scale can turn into a very problematic pattern that can disturb the peace and happiness in your life. If you decide to weigh yourself, the scale should be a tool that helps you, not harms you.
Overall, ask yourself about what is most helpful for you. For some, daily weigh-ins are the best route. For others, weighing less often is better for overall health. Each of us has different ways of experiencing things and inviting motivation and positivity into our lives. Find what works for you and stick to it!
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Before we get into the best workouts for weight loss and how to use exercise as a tool in your weight loss journey, let’s make two things clear. First, there are a huge number of reasons to work out that have absolutely nothing to do with losing weight. From mental health benefits to better sleep to boosted immunity, regular exercise is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise doesn’t have to be about losing weight, and for a huge number of people, it isn’t.
And that brings us to the second thing: If your goal is to lose weight, you should know that working out isn’t enough on its own to actually make that happen. There’s so much else that goes into weight loss and body fat loss; in fact, exercise isn’t even technically necessary to lose weight for most people. We wouldn’t ever recommend a weight loss regimen that doesn’t include exercise, though, because exercise is good for you and it’s a healthy way to live. And on that note, even if you are doing everything “right” — working out regularly, eating appropriately — lifestyle habits like sleep and stress, and health conditions (think thyroid issues, to name just one of many) can get in the way of your weight loss efforts. Weight loss is an extremely personal journey that doesn’t look or work the exact same way from one person to the next.
With those disclaimers out of the way, however, it’s also true that there are certain exercises and workouts that can be particularly useful in helping you lose weight or burn fat or change your body composition as you please (and, on that token, there are certain mistakes you might be making in your exercise routines that can get in the way of your weight loss goals). The best workouts for weight loss, as we explore below, all have certain elements in common: They’re generally high-intensity and they burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.
BEFORE YOU GET STARTED
1. Your food choices — how you fuel your body — are even more important than your workout choices. I covered this above, but it’s worth reiterating: healthy eating habits are even more important than your exercise routine if your goal is to see permanent changes on the scale. Here are 27 tips from registered dietitians on how to eat healthier this year.
2. Exercise should become part of your routine in a meaningful way. In order to see results, hitting the elliptical for 30 minutes while you catch up with the Kardashians once a week just isn’t going to cut it. Instead, aim for three workouts if you’re just getting into a routine again, or five to six sessions if you’ve been at it for a while, says Holly Rilinger, a master Flywheel instructor and star of Bravo’s “Work Out New York.” “And keep in mind that rest is key to reset mentally, physically, and emotionally, so make sure to build in at least one full rest day.”
3. You’ll need to really push yourself in every workout you do. It’s kind of a big deal that you bring your A-game to each and every workout. “I’d rather see you do balls-to-the-wall workouts three times a week than see you give 50 percent for five days,” says Rilinger. “Decide when you walk through that door you are going to give it 100 percent the entire time, and check in throughout your workout with one simple question: Can I give more?”
4. You’ll need to find a workout you genuinely enjoy if you have any hope of sticking with it.“Finding a trainer or workout that makes you happy is actually really important to weight loss,” says Rilinger. When you enjoy doing it you’ll be more likely to stick with it. Below are 10 workouts that will help you reach your weight loss goal. If you’ve tried one of the classes here and there and didn’t really love it, don’t give up on the sport or practice altogether. You may not have found an instructor you love yet, and that can make or break your goals.
1. Interval Training
The number one training method the experts turn to again and again for weight loss: interval training. What’s that? “Any form of exercise where your heart rate spikes and then comes down repeatedly,” says Rilinger. This type of training keeps your heart rate elevated, which in turn keeps your metabolism humming. When that’s happening, you burn more calories.
One of the many styles of interval training is indoor cycling, though this workout leans heavily toward cardio over strength training, Rilinger explains. She also notes that cycling requires you to use various muscles in your body — quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core, for starters — which once again translates to weight loss. “The more muscles you have to incorporate, the more calories you’re going to burn because those muscles all require energy in order to work,” she says. “And the more energy you use, the higher those calorie-burning numbers climb. It’s all a cycle.”
Try it: Here are 4 fat-burning stationary bike workouts that you might like. If you’re more of a treadmill person, this 20-minute treadmill interval workoutwill kick your butt in the best way. And if you want to skip the equipment altogether, this 10-minute lower body bodyweight interval workout is a good place to start.
2. Weight Training
Consider weight training “the mother of all weight-loss techniques, the highest in the workout food chain, the top of the totem pole,” says Rilinger. Resistance training, whether it’s with your bodyweight alone or with added weights, is an effective method to help you drop pounds, if that’s your goal. Lifting weights has been shown to increase your resting metabolic rate, which means you’ll continue to burn calories even after you finish working out. It’s called the “afterburn effect,” and you can read all about it here. Rilinger suggests adding weight training to your routine at least three times a week. And since your body adjusts to workouts after being exposed to the same moves at the same intensity, becoming less effective over time, she says to mix it up about every three weeks to keep your body guessing.
Try it: First, if you’ve never done it before, be sure to read these strength training tips for beginners before you get started. And check out this primer on how to choose the right weights for your workout.
Now here’s a quick 10-minute total-body dumbbell workout and another 10-minute living room dumbbell workout to get you started. Here’s a 20-minute strength workout for when you have a bit more time. (Just be sure to use actual dumbbells, not the adorable dessert dumbbells above.) Here’s some info about how to superset at the gym. And if you’re going to use kettlebells and barbells in your strength workout routine, be sure to work with a personal trainer to make sure you’re using proper form. You’ve got this!
3. Boot Camp
For a workout that’s going to keep your metabolism elevated all day, turn to boot camp, as these classes (think Barry’s Bootcamp) combine two of the most effective styles of training: interval and resistance. “You’ll perform exercises, some more cardio-focused and others strength-focused, full-out for short bursts of time, coupled with short periods of rest,” says Adam Rosante, certified personal trainer and author of “The 30-Second Body.” But if it’s your first time giving it a go, speak up. He says a good instructor will help you determine when you need to crank up the weight or intensity (tip: if you can cruise through 10 reps without any trouble, it’s too easy), keep your form on par, and can always provide a modification for any move that might be too tough or irritates an injury. If you can’t make it to a studio, though, you can virtually sweat it out with Rosante in his 20-minute C9 Challenge, or try this bodyweight-only 16-minute routine.
“At its essence, boxing is really another form of interval training,” explains Rosante. But it also makes you feel insanely badass. Here’s the trick to remember: it’s a common mistake for beginners to punch using only their arm strength, but the majority of your power is going to come from your core and you’ll use muscles that are typically ignored in other workouts (hey there, obliques).
It’s best to log this type of workout in a class, as Rosante says it’s crucial for beginners to learn proper form from an instructor who can help keep your intensity level high. Here are 15 boxing gyms worth visiting. But if you want to brush up on your skills at home, try this beginner-friendly video from Milan Costich, founder of Prevail boxing gym in Los Angeles.
All you need is a pair of sneakers before you head out the door. But if weight loss is the name of your game, the lackadaisical head-out-for-a-light-jog style of running isn’t the way to go. Instead, find a hill you can sprint up, or crank the incline on that treadmill. “Running up hills forces you to work your glutes and legs — two of your body’s biggest muscle groups — even more, which requires smaller muscle recruitment and more energy expenditure,” explains Rosante. As noted earlier, the more energy you’re using, the brighter that calorie-burning fire burns. But proper form here is key. “Lean into the hill, and drive your knees as high as you can, striking the ball of each foot down directly under your body,” he says. “Keep your hands open and arms bent at 90 degrees, and drive your arms straight forward up to face level, then backward to the top of your back pocket.” And try not to let your arms cross over your body — that’ll just waste the precious energy your muscles need. If you’re training indoors, here are a few fat-burning treadmill routines to get you started.
Try it: You can do these 4 fat-burning workouts on a treadmill. Or you can take them outside if you’d like — for incline work, just fine a good hill.
There’s a reason CrossFit has become such a booming part of the workout industry — it works, so long as you don’t overdo it. Workouts are varied — you may be doing anything from kettlebell swings to rope climbs and box jumps to front squats — and the routines are designed to be short and intense. The most important thing to find when looking for the box (CrossFit slang for “gym”) that fits you best: a well-informed coach who can explain and modify the moves, and make sure that you don’t push yourself to the point of injury. Here are a few things to keep in mind before every WOD, and here are 11 of the best CrossFit gyms in America.
If your biggest excuse for skipping a workout is being crunched for time, Tabata is your dream come true. It’s designed to be four minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that consists of 20 seconds of all-out effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times, explains Shanon Squires, an exercise physiologist and human performance lab coordinator at Colorado University Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. And you can use this protocol with different exercises, including the battle rope slams above. You’ll spike your metabolism and heart rate in four minutes, but Squires warns against making this time frame a habit if you’re trying to lose weight. “Your body will quickly adapt to that interval, and you’ll need to increase the volume or intensity to continue getting a benefit from it,” he says. To do that, Rosante suggests extending your session to 20 minutes and following the same format. Simply pick four exercises — think jump rope, squats, mountain climbers and squat jumps — then do each for 20 seconds as hard and fast as you can (while maintaining proper form, of course), then recovering for 10 seconds and 10 seconds only. Repeat for eight rounds on that one move (so, four minutes of work) before resting for one minute and moving on to the next exercise.
Try it: Here’s a 4-minute Tabata you might want to try.
OK, so yoga alone isn’t a great workout for weight loss. But Rilinger says it can be a secret weapon in your weight loss arsenal because it keeps you flexible and healthy for your other, more intense workouts (like that boot camp class). But that’s not all. “Yoga requires balance and stability, which promotes functional strength, and it helps our mental health,” she says. Aim to squeeze it in at least once a week. And if you can’t make it to the studio, there are plenty of flows you can do at home.
If you can’t stand the thought of running, or just want to work out without a ton of pounding on your joints, do a few laps in the pool. Rosante says you can burn over 750 calories in an hour of swimming and you’ll work all of your major muscle groups. As with most workouts, it helps to go in with a plan. Try this one, from Rosante: Tread water for as long as possible by standing upright in the deep end and using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Then rest for two minutes. Now swim 10 sets of 100 meters (that’s back-and-forth lap in an Olympic-sized pool), resting for one minute in between sets. By the time you climb out of the pool, your muscles will be pleasantly worn out.
10. Jumping Rope
It’s time to kick it back to the good ole’ days of P.E. class, when you first learned how to swing a jump rope. This tool is cheap, portable (it’ll fit in the tiny parts of your suitcase!), and can be used just about anywhere. After just a few minutes you will feel your heart rate racing!
Try it: Here’s a speedy routine to try from Rosante:
- Warm up with a light 3-minute skip with the rope
- Do 100 traditional jumps (both feet leave the floor at the same time, and no extra hops in between)
- Once you finish, immediately do 100 jump rope sprints (think regular jumping rope but at an even quicker pace)
- Repeat steps 2 and 3, but follow this format: 50/50, 21/21, 15/15, 9/9
- If you want more, work your way back up the ladder until you reach 100/100 again
Oh, and whatever you do, don’t do it barefoot. “Few things compare to the pain of missing a skip and smacking the tip of your toe with a jump rope,” says Rosante. Noted. You can do this entire sequence mock-style, though, if you don’t have a rope handy.
You got this!
We’re entering vacation time for many and wedding season, and food usually plays a big part in both. It’s a time that can test even those with strong willpower. There are also many other reasons people may reach for food at any time of the year. I consider myself to have moderate willpower when it […]
Keep this in mind whenever you think about what you are now and what you are aspiring to be in the future.
Being yourself is something that only you can do and be on a daily basis. Despite the fact that there is at least one person who wants to be you and have at least a portion on what you have, there is nobody like you in the world. Whether you can see that now or not depends on how you see your life at this point.
Today’s inspiration is about learning to appreciate what you are and how to keep on fighting for what you want to be. There will be times where it is not easy to do either one or both, but if you apply the tools that will be given in this post, you will be able to overcome such moments and keep the fight going for yourself.
WHY ARE YOU NOT THANKFUL FOR WHAT YOU ARE NOW?
The answers to this question will vary depending on the circumstances. Here are three facts for you to consider:
- What you are in your life is a result of the decisions that you, your parents, and other people whom have received permission to do so over time have made from birth until today.
- If you are constantly finding faults with what you are, you can never find the positives to be appreciative about.
- There is at least one person in the world who is thankful for what you are and/or who wants to be what you are right now.
It may not be at times to appreciate what you are to yourself or someone else, but know that there no price tag you can place on what you mean not only to yourself, but to at least one other person in the world.
WHY SHOULD YOU BE THANKFUL FOR WHAT YOU ARE NOW?
As I have mentioned in the last question, there is no price tag you can place on your value to yourself and at least one other person. You may or may not have a variety of reasons to be thankful for what you are right now, but I want to share with you why I know you should be thankful for what you are now:
- Because you are always one bad decision from not being what you are right now, yet you continue to make enough good decisions to be where you are right now.
- Nobody else could have gone through the ups and downs that you have and still be standing like you are today. In my eyes, your life story is a true inspiration!
- Being that you are not one of the 151,600 people who die each day, you are given the chance each day to keep on living and striving to be what you want to be.
For whatever reasons you may come up with, you can see that there is at least some reason to be thankful for what you are now.
WHAT ARE FIVE STEPS TO HELP YOU FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU WANT TO BE TOMORROW?
Right now, you have the opportunity to keep the fight going and be the person you want to be tomorrow. Here are five steps that will help you accomplish this goal:
- Execute your plans and reach your goals to the best of your ability.Starting with today, execute your plan exactly the way you developed it and accomplish as many goals as you can do today.
- Accept the person that you are right now as your foundation.Look at the person that you are now and thank everything that comes with being you.
- Develop plans and goals that will put you closer to the person that you want to be tomorrow.Come up with plans that are realistic for you to execute and goals that are reachable for you.
- Reflect on your accomplishments for today.When the day is done, look back on what you have done and be thankful for everything that you have accomplished.
- Do it again tomorrow.Start all over again tomorrow with steps 1 through 4 and continue the process each day until you become the person that you want to be.
If you can follow these five steps, you will always be in the fight to ultimately be what you want to be.