How To Lose Body Fat

How To Lose Body Fat

Every day someone asks one of the staff how you lose body fat. Losing weight is not rocket science, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. If you want to shed one pound, just burn 3500 more calories than you eat and the pound disappears. However, losing fat is more specific than just losing weight. It requires a few extra steps. Aerobic exercises will burn fat, but it also burns muscle tissue, too. That makes it even harder to burn more fat.

The more muscle tissue you have, the easier it is to burn off calories.

If you’re overweight and flabby, you’ll have a harder time shedding pounds than you would if you’re muscular and overweight. You’ll also look thinner because muscle tissue is denser. That means it takes a smaller container—think of your body as that container—to hold carry the same number of pounds of muscle tissue as fat tissue. You’ll look bigger the more fat you have. Muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat tissue does, so you burn more calories too.

Use strength training exercises rather than aerobics to shed weight.

While you need both types of exercise to be your fittest, aerobic exercise burns both fat and muscle. The less muscle tissue you have, the harder it is to lose weight. Strength training builds muscle tissue, making it easier to burn the fat. In fact, you’ll specifically burn fat.

Get plenty of sleep.

That may sound counterproductive, but in reality it’s true. During the day, while you’re eating, your body converts all types of foods to energy; carbs, fats and proteins. If you’re short on caloric intake, it converts both fat and muscle tissue to energy. At night, your body exclusively burns fat. Too much sleep slows the energy burning process, but too little does also. Get a good night’s sleep to get rid of excess fat and look your best. It also helps prevent the urge to grab a sugar filled snack for extra energy.

  • Drink plenty of water. Often people think that they’re hungry when they’re really thirsty. Water also fills you up without filling you out and helps flush out toxins.
  • Try some fat burning foods. Some foods burn more calories than they contain, yet they still provide extra nutrients. Celery is probably the best known, but there are others, which include lean protein.
  • Cheat on your diet occasionally. Don’t be tied to calorie counting, but focus on healthy eating. There’s no falling off a diet when you eat healthy and feeding your body more at a meal every week or two can keep your body burning calories full force.
  • Track your inches instead of your weight. Since muscle tissue weighs more per cubic inch, you need to check both weight and inches to get the best picture of your progress.

Build Muscle Mass Naturally

Build Muscle Mass Naturally

As a fitness trainer, I find that most people want to lose weight or just feel better, so I tend to focus on those things. However, there is a portion of the population that have problems gaining weight and building muscle tissue. They don’t get very much sympathy from the rest of the world and often don’t get much help. This is for the skinny guy or gal that wants to put on muscle and build muscle mass naturally. It’s a few tips to getting the look you want in a healthy manner.

Eat more frequently to gain weight.

You may be trying to force feed yourself at two or three big meals during the day, but you can increase your calorie count and gain weight by eating five or six healthy meals throughout the day. Skinny is hard to overcome and doesn’t leave a lot of calories to build muscle tissue if your metabolism is already running at full force. Make eating a priority. Ask any skinny person when they ate last and they’ll often have to think about it, since it’s an afterthought. Eating every two to three hours gives your body something to metabolize so it can use that energy to build muscle tissue.

Get more out of a shorter workout.

You may think you’re doing yourself a favor by spending endless hours at the gym, but what you’re doing is actually counterproductive. The excess workout beyond an hour burns more calories and doesn’t really help you develop more muscle tissue. Work hard while you’re working and limit rest periods to less than a minute. You’ll get more muscles than you would casually working out for hours and taking longer breaks.

Limit supplements to protein powder and a sports drink like Gatorade.

You’ll see a lot of hype about muscle building supplements that contain everything you need for building muscle tissue and getting ripped. However, what you probably only need is healthy eating and maybe a bit of protein powder and a sports drink to replenish the fluid and minerals lost when you sweat. You can even get muscles without these, but if you feel the need to do something extra, those two are my recommendation. Even though I said you don’t need much beyond protein powder, another natural supplement that helps build muscle tissue is creatine. Creatine does help build muscles, but also aids in muscle recovery.

  • Increase reps or weights rather than the amount of time you spend working out. Making the workout more difficult as you progress is top priority.
  • Eat after your workout. If you’ve done the appropriate strength training for building muscles. Eating right after a workout will help ensure the calories are used to build those muscle tissues.
  • If eating five meals a day is too much, supplement two of the meals. Use a shake that contains high calories. Even something like Ensure Plus added to a smoothie or homemade smoothies of protein powder and fresh fruit can help you bulk up in a healthy manner.
  • Don’t fall prey to the easy fixes in your desire to build muscles. Stay far away from steroids, which are known to do more harm to your body than help. Testerone boosters and other supplements have little effect.

How To Push Through A Plateau

How To Push Through A Plateau

I often get a question from new clients about how to push through a plateau. The answer I always give is to avoid plateauing in the first place. That’s easier done when you workout with a trainer, but even then, it occasionally occurs, so I’ll address both avoiding plateauing and pushing through it if it occurs. Plateauing often occurs when the body becomes too efficient at doing an exercise or specific group of exercises. While efficiency is good in everyday life, when it comes to workouts, it’s not good at all. It means the body adjusts to the workout and burns fewer calories. To avoid it, trainers provide a wide variety of workouts so your body is always working at the max to accomplish your goals.

It’s easier to lose weight when you first begin a fitness program.

It just makes sense that your body has to move harder and burns more calories when you weigh 160 pounds than it does when you weigh 130 pounds. That extra weight is like carrying a 30 pound barbell continually. Your body requires fewer calories to maintain that lower weight. You either have to work harder or eat less. It’s one reason I constantly assess your fitness level and adjust the workout accordingly. The fitter you are, the harder you work and the more calories you burn.

If you’re still plateauing, rethink your goal.

You may be literally working your bottom off, but not seeing any weight loss on the scale. Here’s where you have to remember that it’s not always about shedding pounds, but also about being healthier and looking better. This is the point where inches do count. You probably are finding your clothing is loser or doesn’t fit at all. That’s good and exactly the reason you started on a fitness-weight loss program. Muscle tissue weighs more than fat tissue does, so when you lose inches, but not pounds, you’re building more muscle tissue.

Are you eating healthy but taking too much leeway in your diet?

Healthy eating allows you to eat high calorie foods occasionally and in small amounts. Occasionally doesn’t mean every day or twice a day. Healthy eating also includes what you drink. If you’re following a healthy diet to the letter, but washing down the food with a soft drink, you’re pounding on extra calories that you don’t need. Re-evaluate your eating pattern before you start believing that you’re never going to shed those pounds.

  • Keep the faith. If you’re doing everything right, you’ll lose weight. Sometimes water weight makes a difference. That’s one reason you shouldn’t weight yourself every day. There are fluctuations that have nothing to do with actual weight loss.
  • Stay active outside the gym. Take the stairs, ride a bike to work and keep moving. That adds to the number o calories you burn on a daily basis.
  • NEVER hate yourself for not losing weight. In fact, NEVER HATE YOURSELF AT ALL. It’s counterproductive. You should be your own best friend, no matter what you weigh.
  • Learn to enjoy working out and all the energy you get from exercising. You’ll eventually shed the pounds, but in the meantime, enjoy all the benefits a more active lifestyle brings.

How To Build Muscle Naturally

How To Build Muscle Naturally

There’s a lot of information on the danger of using steroids, but there’s no need to use them when you can build muscle naturally. Avoiding dangerous steroids and using natural techniques keeps you healthier while giving you the body and muscles you want. You need a combination of a healthy diet and the right type of training to do this. Including some supplements in your diet can also boost the effect without the side effects of steroids.

Start with a good fitness program.

Training for hours every day won’t do the trick. In fact, it could even slow your progress. Instead, focus on the quality and intensity of the workout, which should be accomplished in less than an hour. Do high intensity training and move quickly from exercise to exercise with limited rest in between the two. Focus on building strength rather than building muscle tissue. It’s a goal that’s easier to measure and achievable.

Make every workout count.

Do exercises that work more than one muscle group. Strength training is imperative to building muscle tissue, but varying it can help build all muscle groups. Kettlebells, weights and body weight exercises should all be part of your workout program with a variety of workouts. That ensures that all muscle groups are worked. You also need to give your muscles a chance to rest, so training each muscle group three times a week is enough. You can alternate between groups to get in more gym time.

Watch what you eat and add to it.

What you eat is so important for building muscles. People who are naturally thin not only have a naturally faster metabolism, they also don’t find food that important. Eating is an afterthought rather than a driving goal. To change that, you need to eat more frequently and keep your meals on a schedule. A schedule of six meals a day every two to three hours and the proper foods can help you build faster. Our nutrition program provides a complete list of the foods to include. Making certain they’re healthy choices with extra protein is important. You also may want to supplement with protein powder, the only supplement I recommend.

  • Focus on the number of reps and amount of weight lifted at first. Don’t extend your hour at the gym to get more reps into your workout.
  • Adjust your reps and workout every three to four weeks to avoid plateauing and keep your body working hard to build muscle tissue.
  • Supplement your diet with a calorie rich shake that also contains all the nutrients you need.
  • Get more sleep. Go to bed earlier and help your muscles recover more quickly from the workout.

Does Exercise Help You Lose Fat?

Does Exercise Help You Lose Fat?

Does exercise help you lose fat? According to some experts the answer is that exercise alone won’t shed those pounds. However, that answer is wrong. It’s a matter of simple science when it comes to weight loss. If you eat 3500 fewer calories than you expend, you lose one pound. If you don’t change your diet one bit and were maintaining your weight, not gaining weight, exercise boosts the amount of calories you burn. That increase will eventually add up to 3500 calories and you’ll shed a pound. Of course, a more prudent method of weight loss is to combine exercise with healthy eating.

Exercise gives your metabolism a boost.

One problem with most diet plans is that they burn lean muscle tissue, while it burns fat. That can slow your efforts to lose weight. Exercising boosts the development of muscle tissue, so when you cut your calories, you’ll burn fat instead. Muscle tissue also requires more energy for maintenance than fat tissue does, so the more you have, the higher your metabolism. It boosts your energy level so you’ll be more active, too.

Exercise blasts away at stress hormones.

Have you ever reached for a bag of crunchy chips when you’re frustrated or some soft yummy ice cream as a nurturing partner? You’ll be able to avoid these thigh thumpers if you workout first. Exercise not only eliminates the hormones of stress, it also stimulates the brain to create ones that make you feel good. It’s a great way to block the blues or get rid of that angry pent up emotion you want to direct at your boss. That tension relief can prevent you from overeating or eating high calorie foods and be a great aid in weight loss.

You’ll look thinner when you exercise.

The whole idea of weight loss is to look thinner. Sometimes, when people workout they don’t lose weight, but they do lose a clothing size or two. That’s because they built muscle tissue and muscle tissue weighs more than fat tissue does per cubic inch. It’s like comparing the size of a container to hold exactly a pound of feathers with a container holding exactly a pound of steel. The container holding the pound of steel will be smaller. Looking great and thinner is the goal. After all, nobody goes around with a button that says, “You may not notice it but I lost two pounds.”

  • The best type of exercising for weight loss is strength-building resistance exercises.
  • One study showed that women who lost weight while using resistance training, maintained muscle mass and their metabolic rate. Those who didn’t, lost muscle mass and ended with a lower metabolic rate.
  • No matter how much you exercise, if you increase your caloric intake, you won’t lose weight. Exercise is not a miracle worker if you eat a big plate of fries and a burger after your workout.
  • Exercise reduces the amount of ghrelin—the hunger hormone—in your body, which can suppress your appetite.

What Are Your Least Favorite Things About Winter?

What Are Your Least Favorite Things About Winter?

It’s easy to find a lot of least favorite things about winter, but finding your favorite reason to love the season may be harder. In Boise, winter, snow, slush and cold weather are facts of life here, but while each of them could be negatives, they also can be positives. When I see slush on the sidewalks, I know that the weather is a bit warmer, which can raise my spirits a bit. Whatever you hate about winter can also have a positive side.

Cold weather can make you have more energy and fewer aches and pains.

The cold weather actually can boost your energy. Think of those crisp winter mornings—when the wind isn’t blasting at you—and how great and invigorating it feels. It makes your skin tingle and gets your blood circulating. In fact, the cold temperature is the basis for cryotherapy, which is used for relieving aches and pains. It not only improves circulation, it also stimulates the production of norepinephrine that is a natural pain reliever.

Trudging through the snow and staying warm burns calories.

Just facing the cold outdoors can help you burn calories, so the more time you spend, the more calories you’ll burn, while just doing ordinary tasks. Your body needs the extra fuel to stay warm and trudging through the snow burns more that walking on grass. Keeping upright when walking on ice takes some doing and balance. That will work your core muscles and help flatten your abdomen. So, if you normally run to the store to get supplies, running there in cold snowy weather now becomes part of your exercise regimen.

It’s a great time for soup and delicious warm dishes.

You won’t want ice cream nearly as much when the temperature sinks below freezing. However, healthy soup is sure to be a favorite. Not only does it fill your house with delicious smells, the evaporating water of the simmering soup adds humidity and warmth to the air. I love the health benefits of bone broth—made from grass fed beef bones or free range chicken bones—and all the vegetables I can add. It’s far to hot in summer for it, so I look forward to the colder months when I get to enjoy the whole day making it.

  • The improved circulation from the cold weather does wonders for your complexion. It can help you stay younger looking.
  • If you’re up with the rooster, even on weekends, the darker mornings allow you to sleep in a bit by adjusting your internal clock.
  • There’s nothing prettier than the sight of gentling falling snow. If you focus on that, rather than the fact that the roads will be bad or that it’s cold, you can at least enjoy the beauty of the moment.
  • If you want a winter workout, shovel your sidewalk. It’s hard work, particularly if the snow is heavy and wet. Take time to do a good deed and shovel the walk of an elderly neighbor, too. You’ll be burning calories and feel great about what you’ve done.

How Do You Feel About Snow?

How Do You Feel About Snow?

How you feel about snow makes a difference in your mental attitude toward winter. These can be great months or ones you’ll barely get through, eating every comfort food available and often gaining weight in the process. It’s time to take a positive look on the health benefits of all that snow. Half the battle is the mental hurdle of learning to appreciate the wintery snow. The other half is keeping alert on the roads for novice winter drivers! For those who often burn the candle at both ends, winter can be the perfect time to catch up on your sleep since it stays darker longer, particularly if there’s a snowstorm and you’re stuck at home.

Use the snow as your outdoor gym.

Frolicking in the snow with the kids or going for a day of cross country skiing can get you into shape fast, without leaving you freezing cold. Of course, you have to dress right and have loads of layers, since once you start working out, you’ll heat up fast and have to take off a layer or two. Just walking in deep snow can be quite a workout and far more difficult that walking in the warm summer sun.

Cold weather is an energy booster.

You’ll burn more calories when you’re cold, but also get more energy. Think about how tired you’ve been before going outside, only to feel invigorated after walking for a short time outside. Sometimes just going to the car can give you an energy boost to keep you going the entire day. Driver’s who have been on the road too long often roll down the windows when it’s cold, just to wake up a bit. While you should pull over and get rest, it’s an example of how the cold weather can boost your energy and keep you going.

You can have the time to cook a healthy meal, particularly if the snow closes the roads.

There’s nothing better than a big pot of soup on a cold day and you can make it a super healthy one with little effort. If you have the full day, making homemade bone broth and filling the broth will loads of fresh veggies, herbs and spices can fill almost all your nutritional needs, plus keep the house more humid and warmer. A snowy winter day is a good time to stay indoors and try new recipes. Get the kids or spouse involved for a fun family time.

  • Have a workout you can do at home that doesn’t require a lot of equipment, just in case you can’t make it to the gym. The two most versatile items and easy to store are a yoga mat to exercise on and resistance bands.
  • Cut down on aches and pains by walking in the snow. It improves the levels of the natural pain killer norepinephrine.
  • If it’s super snowy, you may have to take a vacation day. You can use it to catch up at home or just enjoy the relaxing mode and the stress-free time.
  • If you find you can’t tolerate winter and get depressed as soon as it starts until it ends, you may have SAD—seasonal affective disorder. Talk to your doctor. Sometimes, light therapy makes a huge difference.

How Do You Conquer Cabin Fever?

How Do You Conquer Cabin Fever?

When the weather is bad and you have to stay inside, a little of it goes a long way to getting you into the groove of cabin fever, especially if you’re normally on the go. You can conquer cabin fever and learn to enjoy every minute of being stuck inside when you have an armory of things to do. Some of those things are the little tasks you’ve been putting off for a while, like cleaning a drawer or two…maybe even the closet. The sense of accomplishment will make you forget all about the bad weather outside. It’s easier to do this if you have a special list created of jobs that you’d like to do if you had extra time.

Working out doesn’t have to take place in the gym.

You can workout at home on those nasty days and you don’t need any equipment. Body weight exercises and calisthenics are good for all types of fitness, strength, flexibility, balance and endurance. If you want to keep a handy tool available that doesn’t take much storage space, consider getting resistance bands. They’re good for strength building, but can be used many different ways. A yoga pad or even a thick area rug you keep specifically for workouts can also make the workout more comfortable. Ask your trainer for a workout you can do at home, just in case, or for those days that going to the gym is impossible.

Get a workout moving furniture or shovel the walk.

This is one of my favorites to do when I have time. I enjoy changing things up a bit and sometimes it’s just a matter of moving a sofa or a chair. When you move things around, get the vacuum out and clean the area thoroughly. That is also good exercise. If the roads are bad, you can still go outside and shovel the walk. While it may be snowy in the morning again, it won’t take as much to clean them again.

Look for healthy recipes and try a few.

This could be the time you’ve been hoping to have to tackle some healthy cooking. If you have a favorite dish, find a way to make it healthier or learn new healthy recipes and experiment with them. You don’t even have to go to the grocery, make it a challenge to use the ideas and create a dish of your own with food you have available. It can be quite challenging and if the dish doesn’t taste that great—you’ll know what doesn’t work!

  • Frolic in the snow. Remember when you were a kid and the snow meant snowball fights, snow angels and snow forts. Have fun and enjoy the winter wonderland outside.
  • Set new goals. Take a long look at where you are and where you want to be. Use the time to create some new goals that are well thought out and not rushed.
  • Try out a new hobby. If you have yarn on hand and knitting needles, it’s time to start learning. Painting furniture or even doing online games can get you excited and out of the funk.
  • Call a friend or family member you haven’t had time to connect with for a while. That contact can help both of you.

Learn To Move More

Learn To Move More

Losing weight and getting fit doesn’t start and end in the gym. People often workout and then return home to be a couch potato or have their faces glued to a computer screen, remaining sedentary the rest of the day. While the workout will help, it’s not the total answer. You need to learn to move more throughout the day, not just for weight loss but for a number of other reasons. Use the muscles you’ve built at the gym and you’ll find that every workout becomes easier and weight loss is a snap.

A sedentary job requires special consideration.

If you spend your time at front a desk, you face some special problems. It often doesn’t allow you to get very physical. You can solve that problem in a number of ways. The first is to take the stairs instead of the elevator to your office if you work on a higher floor. When your at work, take a break every half hour to move around for five to ten minutes. Of course, that’s not always part of the boss’s plan so you have to plan around that. Try a standing desk. It’s simple to make for under $30 and sits on your desk. You can lift the monitor up and stand for a while as you work. Do at the desk exercises, such as leglifts. A personal trainer can give you the help you need to create more movement while your at work.

Don’t take shortcuts or use labor saving devices.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some labor saving devices you can’t do without. Nobody wants to take their laundry down to the creek and pound it clean on a rock. Scrub a floor on your hands and knees. Paint a room by yourself rather than hiring it done or just wash the walls. Walk a few blocks for an errand rather than starting the car. These are just few ideas. If you’re parking in a mall or grocery lot, park further from the door rather than circling the lot for a closer spot. You’ll get more exercise and save gas.

Have fun with the kids.

When was the last time you were active with your kids having fun? If it was recently, congratulations. Not all parents can say that. Play a little round ball or even tag. Take the kids for a walk or go to the zoo or botanical gardens and walk around the area. Those with little ones probably already get plenty of lifting in their life, but those with older children may not. Do a yard project with the children such as plant a garden or a tree. Work can be play too.

  • Dance through the house while you’re cleaning up the mess. Extra movement burns calories and adds to your fitness program. The music makes the work more fun.
  • Wiggle and jiggle when nobody’s watching. Watch a very thin person that has problems gaining weight. They never seem to sit still. They’re constantly moving even when sitting. Move your legs and stretch your back while you sit. It’s a small amount of expended calories, but every little bit helps.
  • Get physical when life gets tough. Run up and down the stairs until you’re exhausted if you’re stressed, rather than reaching for a martini or beer. Making love burns of stress and calories, so don’t forget romance.
  • Enjoy every minute of activity. It’s precious and can be short lived. Getting fit is all about being able to use your body and more often for more than just work. It’s about enjoying playtime too. If you’ve been limited because of inactivity, as you get fitter, you’ll understand the joy of movement.

Hula Hoop For A Slimmer Waist

Hula Hoop For A Slimmer Waist

If you want to have fun, while you get fitter, try remembering the things you did as a kid and do them again. You can Hula Hoop for a slimmer waist, jump rope for weight loss and ride your bike for stronger bones. Active children never seem to have a weight problem. However, today with all the electronics, you see more and more obesity. When you were growing up, most kids ran all day playing dodge ball and tag, built leaf forts and played hide and seek. It’s time to get back to the play of yesterday and make it a great exercise to trim your waist.

Hula Hooping burns calories.

You’ll burn about six calories every minute you twist and twirl with a hula hoop. That’s one of the top calorie burning exercises. While spot exercises won’t take weight off just one area, it does take it off from the whole body, including that area. The more calories you burn, the more belly fat you lose and the thinner your waist will become.

You’ll tighten and tone your abdominal muscles.

You can target specific muscle groups, particularly if you have a weighted exercise hula hoop. By putting your body into different positions as you gyrate, you’ll be able to work all the abdominal muscles, including the obliques. When you tone those, you pull your waistline tighter, making it smaller in the process.

Hula hooping is a good full body aerobic exercise.

Do all the leg lifts you want, but you’ll only get less aerobic benefit from it compared to Hula Hooping. You also won’t get the flexibility workout you’ll have with a hula hoop. If you’re using a weighted Hula Hoop, you’ll be able to keep working out longer, but the lighter weight traditional it takes more energy (calories) to keep it going. It’s your decision as to which you like, burning more calories in a shorter time or doing the exercise longer. Try out both types.

  • You’ll tone more than your waistline with a hula hoop. You can change your position and work other areas of your body from your arms and legs to your buttocks.
  • Hula hooping is relaxing. Your mind goes on autopilot while you’re doing it, which is almost a meditative state.
  • When you hula hoop, no matter how good the exercise, it’s just plain fun. The fun aspect is one of the reasons it became so popular initially.
  • Even though hula hooping is safe for most people, those with back problems, blood clot problems or who are pregnant shouldn’t participate or should consult their health care professional if there are anything in your medical history that makes you unsure or uncomfortable about its use.