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fitness Fitness on a Budget Motivation, Inspiration and Encouragement Uncategorized

10 Simple Things to Do Every Day to Lose Weight 

You’ve made the decision to lose weight, and you are so pumped right now! Great — so how do you begin? What should you eat? How should you work out? Here are the 10 healthiest, most effective things you can do to lose weight . . . and keep it off.

Set Small, Realistic Goals and Have a Plan

Even if you have big weight-loss goals, set mini weekly or monthly goals to act as stepping stones to get there. “Lose one pound this week” or “exercise five times this week” are great specific goals you can work on every day. Get out a notebook, your calendar, or your laptop and set a weekly plan. Write down your meals for the week and include your workouts, too.

Eat These Three Things Every Time You Eat

In order to feel satisfied and stay full longer, aim to eat protein (20 to 30 grams), carbs (40 to 75 grams), and healthy fats (six to 25 grams) at every meal. Go for lean or plant-based protein, such as grilled chicken or tofu, and choose complex carbs like baked sweet potatoes rather than processed carbs. And eat whole grains and unsaturated fats like nuts and avocado.

Keep a Food Journal

It’s important to know how many calories you should be eating each day so you can figure out how many you need to stick to in order to lose weight.

Just remember to tally every single thing you eat for accuracy — taking photos of what you eat can help you remember. It’ll not only allow you to track your calories and your macros, but you’ll also be able to see if you’re eating healthy most of the time.

Do These Two Types of Workouts

Commit to exercising every single day. Five days out of the week should be 45- to 60-minute workouts that include a mix of calorie-burning cardio (especially HIIT!) and muscle-building strength training. And the other two days of the week can be active rest, like some light yoga or going for a walk.

While cardio will burn fat, weightlifting boosts your metabolism and will allow you to gain more muscle mass, which lets you burn even more calories. Aim to strength train three to four times a week.

Drink Mostly Water — and Drink a Lot of It

Skip the soda (yes, even diet!), juices, and milk, and make your go-to beverage plain, refreshing water. With zero calories, it not only hydrates you and prevents bloating, but it also fills you up. Many times thirst can be mistaken for hunger, so aim to drink water throughout the day, around 70 to 100 ounces. If you hate plain water, add fresh lemon or grapefruit slices for flavor.

Eat Veggies at Every Meal

Certified dietitian Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD, of Whole Health Nutrition says there’s one simple thing you need to do to jump-start your weight loss and start seeing results: “eat more veggies.” Aim to eat them at every meal, even breakfast. Since they’re low in calories and high in fiber, they’ll fill you up without using up a ton of your daily calories.

Get Enough Sleep

Not getting enough sleep can contribute to weight gain. It lowers levels of the hunger-regulating hormone, leptin, while raising levels of ghrelin, which stimulates appetite. Studies show that women who don’t sleep enough eat an average of 300 more calories than those who get enough sleep. So snuggle into bed early and get at least seven hours of sleep.

Keep the Hunger Scale in Mind

Counting calories is one way to lose weight, but this is going to be a lifestyle for you, and you can’t always count calories 100 percent of the time. That’s where the hunger scale comes into play when it comes to practicing portion control. Don’t eat unless you’re hungry, and eat until you’re satisfied but not stuffed.

Live by the 80/20 Rule

Eating healthy most of the time and allowing indulgences every once in a while, known as 80/20, is a lifestyle you can maintain forever. This means that 80 percent of the time, you eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats, and that you cut down on the sugar, processed foods, and alcohol. Then, 20 percent of the time, you get the green light to enjoy some chocolate, a glass of wine, or some french fries. Knowing you can indulge a little satisfies cravings so you never feel deprived.

Monitor Your Progress

Find a way to keep track of your progress. The scale can be a great measure of how much weight you’ve lost, but don’t rely on it as your only method. Take photos of yourself every month, have your body-fat percentage measured. How you feel is also an excellent judge, so if you feel great and your clothes are fitting better, you might want to ditch the scale entirely!

For more information on Meal & Workout plans, send us an email:  bricksbybk@gmail.com.

 

Categories
Food & Nutrition Motivation, Inspiration and Encouragement Uncategorized

The Most Dangerous Fat Is the Easiest to Lose

The Most Dangerous Fat Is the Easiest to Lose

It’s every weight loss enthusiast’s dream to zap belly fat but, far from pure vanity, there’s actually a reason why having a lot of fat in the abdominal region can be dangerous. Fat is stored all over our body, but how does an expanding waistline grow your risk for chronic illness?

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Your body’s fat impacts your health differently depending on where it’s stored. While most fat found on other parts of our bodies (think arms, legs, buttocks) are considered “subcutaneous fat,” belly fat is more likely to be “visceral.”

PINCHABLE VERSUS PRESSABLE

“Subcutaneous fat” is the pinchable, squishy fat right between your skin and muscle that helps keep you warm, cushions you against shock, and stores extra calories. “Visceral fat” stores calories too, but isn’t as pinchable because it is located in and around your organs. It’s hidden deep within the belly region, which is what makes it firm (rather than squishy) when you press it.

PROXIMITY

Fat doesn’t just store calories—it’s a living tissue capable of producing and releasing hormones that affect your other organs. Because visceral fat sits near our organs, its release of these chemicals is poorly situated. Having more visceral fat can raise your LDL (a.k.a. “bad” cholesterol) and blood pressure. Visceral fat can also make you less sensitive to insulin, which increases your risk for Type 2 Diabetes.

TELLING BAD BELLY FAT APART

Even if you’re thin, you can still have visceral fat around the abdominal region—being “skinny” doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy. There’s no sure-fire way to tell visceral from subcutaneous fat short of an expensive CT scan, but it’s important for you to get a rough idea of what your visceral stores are. Here are a few tricks to figure out where your belly stands:

APPLES AND PEARS

You’re probably wondering, “What does fruit have to do with it?” These two fruits give a quick visual of where most of your fat is stored on the body. Pears tend to store fat in the lower extremities (hips, thighs, buttocks) as subcutaneous fat while apples tend to store fat in the upper region (belly, chest) as visceral fat. It takes a quick inspection, but this is an imperfect way to tell these two fats apart.

WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE (WC)

Feel for the top of your hip bone (it’s at the same level as the top of your belly button) and circle a tape measure around this point. Remember to relax and don’t suck in your gut (be honest!). Take 2-3 measurements and figure out the average. Men should have a WC of less than 40 inches (102 cm) and women should have a WC of less than 35 inches (89 cm).

WAIST-TO-HIP RATIO

The waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) takes the circumference of your waist (see above) and divides it by the circumference of your hips. To measure your hips, stand in front of a mirror then figure out the widest part of your butt and measure that circumference. Then use this formula:
WHR = (Waist circumference) / (Hip circumference).
Men should have a WHR of less than 1 while women should have a WHR of less than 0.8.

KNOW YOUR FAMILY HEALTHY HISTORY

If your parents or siblings have insulin resistance, heart disease or non-alcoholic fatty liver, you may be at a greater risk for storing visceral fat. Keeping an eye on your visceral fat may be beneficial, but know that the causes of these chronic diseases are complex. If you’re in doubt, it’s best to speak with your healthcare provider.


READ MORE > ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO FAT


BANISHING VISCERAL FAT

If you fall in the normal range for WC and WHR, that’s great! Keep working at your weight goals as you see fit. If you’re not there, don’t despair. Because of its proximity to the liver, visceral fat is usually the easier fat to burn. It’s the less risky subcutaneous fat that likes to stick around.

Unfortunately, you can’t forcefully spot reduce fat around your belly no matter how many crunches you do. The next best thing is to live a healthy lifestyle:

  • Go beyond weight tracking. You can track your waist, hip and even neck circumference in the app. Use this feature to see how your measurements change over time as you lose weight.
  • Sweat for 30-60 minutes each day. Visceral fat responds well to regular endurance exercises, such as running, biking, rowing, swimming, that elevate your heart rate. As your body uses fat to fuel exercise, it’ll start using up your visceral stores.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet. Eat a diet high in whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean protein with calories set for gradual weight loss (e.g. about 1-2 pounds per week). Cut way back on added sugars and alcohol since these nutrients will more likely end up as visceral fat.
  • Sleep more, stress less. It’s easier said than done, but in order to take care of your physical body, you have to take care of your mental state. Sleep loss and stress can sabotage your health and fitness goals, so learn more about getting a quality night’s rest and use meditation or yoga to calm your mind. Remember, it’s not just about your health; it’s about your happiness, too.
BY TRINH LE, MPH, RD
Categories
Holiday Fast Track Uncategorized

In Crisis Mode? Here are 5 Tips to Handle Holiday Weight

In Crisis Mode? Here are 5 Tips to Handle Holiday Weight

Did this headline strike a nerve?

If so, you are not alone. I’ve been there. Confession: I’m actually close to there now as I managed to put on a few pounds this fall — and it hasn’t all been muscle. This time of year is especially tough for hitting weight-loss goals (read: holiday parties, hot chocolate, sweet potato pie and love handle-hiding puffy coats). Studies have shown Americans gain the most weight between Halloween and New Year’s adding about 0.7% to their frame on average.

For an average man weighing 195.7 pounds, that equates to 1.4 pounds (which is actually lower than I expected). So if you’re already above your goal weight, be realistic with yourself: Instead of focusing on trying to lose weight during the holidays, focus on not gaining additional weight. If you wind up dropping a few pounds with this mindset, great! Consider it icing on the cake.

When it comes to weight loss, maintenance is a victory in itself as it can sometimes be harder than losing in the first place. Here are some tried-and-true weight-maintenance tips I use during the holiday season:

1. ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT CAUSED YOU TO GAIN THE WEIGHT

Knowledge is power and the best way to prevent repeating past mistakes is to reflect on where you may have gone offtrack. Did you fail to prioritize your workouts? Did you start eating dinner later? Have you been snacking more than usual? Did you stop logging your food?

The key here is not to beat yourself up but use this reflection as an opportunity to make better decisions going forward.


READ MORE > WHAT THE FAFH? 5 KEYS TO EATING ON THE ROAD


2. MAKE YOUR HOME AND WORK A SAFE SPACE

In most cases, you’re in control of the food in your home, so get rid of potential landmines in the kitchen! My former trainer, Errick, always says, “If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food.”

So, if you know you have a propensity to snack on candy at night, keep it out of your kitchen. If you find yourself constantly raiding a coworker’s junk food jar (which was totally me at my last job!), then start bringing in healthy snacks to keep at your desk or in the communal snack area. I️ started bringing in clementines, Trader Joe’s Omega Trek Mix and dried seaweed. Bonus: Healthy habits are contagious, so your coworkers will probably appreciate it, too! Plus, if you have healthy food at home you can start meal prepping and bringing lunch to work or school, making it much easier to log your meals and stay on track.

3. GET MOVING (EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS)

It’s sounds super basic, but whenever you have the opportunity to add activity to your day, take it. Take the stairs, set up a walking meeting, go to the coffee shop that’s a couple blocks further and walk around the building (in the hallways or hit the streets) instead of spending 10 minutes on Instagram or Facebook at your desk. Schedule workouts on your calendar so they don’t fall by the wayside. The holidays are NOT the time to stop exercising altogether.

4. MULTI-TASK

Next time you are watchingThis Is Us(Beth and Randall are #CoupleGoals) or any TV show, do some pushups or crunches. The workout will go by faster because you’ll be distracted and it will also prevent you from wanting to snack.


READ MORE > FEELING STRESSED? FIVE REASONS TO MAKE SELF-CARE A PRIORITY


5. GO INTO HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES WITH A GAME PLAN

Be proactive in prepping for holiday festivities by scheduling a morning workout, hydrating throughout the day and eating filling, high-fiber foods during the day so you don’t do a face-dive into the holiday spread when you arrive.

Something I always do is grab a healthy snack before I head to a party. (Did you know a single apple has 5 grams of fiber?) I’ve even been known to Uber to a party while eating an apple in the backseat because I knew there’d be temptations like pizza and chocolate cake. Being proactive with a game plan can help keep you in control.


READ MORE > AIR TRAVEL ADDING INCHES TO YOUR WAISTLINE? 5 TIPS TO BEAT THE BLOAT


And remember, the holidays should be fun! They often come with travel, food and family, so don’t forget to enjoy this time … but they can be a tough time to focus on losing weight, so if you find yourself starting at a disadvantage, shift your focus to maintenance mode, which sets you up for less frustration and more success.

How do you stay on track (or get back on track) during the holiday season?

BY KIRBY BUMPUS, MPH

Categories
fitness Fitness on a Budget Holiday Fast Track Uncategorized

6 reasons why it’s even more important to exercise in winter

Winter is here and it’s starting to get cold and when it’s cold it’s really hard to stay motivated about your health and fitness!!

We tend to take on a “Snuggle up” mentality, we eat more and we do less – human hibernation! But we are not bears, we don’t need layers and layers of fat. And for this reason whilst our overindulgence feels good it also feeds negativity, too much chocolate, too many roast potatoes… the need for a baggier top, the avoidance of the mirror it can be a 12 week spiral and then we hate our spring bodies!

Winter brings the cold, illness, the blues and isolation.

So consider the following.

Exercise in winter can provide more benefit than exercise during the rest of the year, because it specifically answers our winter body needs.

Here are the top 6 reasons to keep exercising when the temperature drops.

1. THE SUN IS MORE OF A FRIEND THAN YOUR HEATER

There’s a reason it’s called the sunshine vitamin. While there are a limited number of foods that can provide your body with vitamin D, the easiest source is from exposure of bare skin to sunlight.

During summer a short exposure of 10-15 minutes is plenty, but in winter, sunshine can be harder to come by, especially if you are snuggled up indoors. So that’s why its VERY important to get outside and get moving and smile at the sun!

Sunshine makes strong bones, and keeps your immune system strong. It can also boost positivity, help prevent high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.

yoga in winter

2. KEEP WARM

Save electricity and an expanding waistline by heating your body up naturally with a workout. The rise in your body temperature, during a work out, has a soothing, calming effect on your body, not unlike a long soak in a warm bath or lying in front of the heater.

Yes, its cold when you first step outside, but if you layer up (daggy doesn’t matter) and get moving you will be hot within no time at all! And we mean HOT!

Exercise in winter

3. STAY HEALTHY

Research has shown time and again that regular exercise strengthens your immune system so it can fight off bacterial and viral infections. This becomes particularly important in winter when colds and flu rear their ugly heads.

When you exercise and get your blood pumping, immune cells circulate through your body more quickly helping them seek and destroy infections. But this boost only lasts for a few hours, so exercise needs to be regular for long-term effects. (book into one of our camps now and get down to the park!)

4. BEAT THE WINTER BLUES

Whether it’s the usual winter blues or the more serious SAD (seasonal affective disorder) putting a gloom over the colder months. A daily workout releases feel-good, de-stress brain chemicals, gives you a break from the daily grind and helps ease depression. Plus, if you combine exercise with the great outdoors you can cheer yourself up even more!

We know that after exercise, the brain releases the “feel-good” chemicals serotonin and dopamine, which can help to reduce anxiety and depression while boosting wellbeing,”

45 minutes in the day could change your whole outlook on winter!!

boxing in winter

5. TAKE A DEEP BREATH

Being cooped up with nothing but heaters to keep the air moving means fresh air is much harder to come by in winter! Generally, the air outside is healthier then that inside so going for a walk or run outside gives your lungs a chance to detox and breathe deeply without concern for breathing in other people’s bugs (at home or from the office!)

Fitness camp in winter

6. AVOID WINTER WEIGHT GAIN

In the colder months it is so easy to turn to comfort food, because its so satisfying and it makes us feel good, well for a little anyway, and then we feel guilty. Its so easy to become a hibernating bear! No wonder it’s known as the ‘winter weight gain’ period. The average person puts on up to 4 kg! The only way to make up for those added treats is to increase the amount of exercise you’re doing. Try and balance your energy in and energy out then the shredding of clothes in spring wont be such a shock!

We hope we have inspired you. Getting up and out and moving with Live Life Get Active is easy. We are in the park Monday to Friday and we always have fun. So if you are looking for a bit of motivation and a buddy to push you on in these winter weeks, then register today, book in and say goodbye to the hibernating bear!!!

 

Posted on Thursday, July 13, 2017

Written by Live Life Get Active
Category: Motivation

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