Five Amazing Tips to Help You in Long Term Weight Loss

longterm weightlossYou are a new mother, your new promotion keeps you working long hours or your course schedule is hectic, the first things that gets compromised is weight loss goals and routine. In fact, often people turn to unhealthy eating habits which results in further weight gain. It may seem hard to find the focus and time for losing weight. It is easier to grab any kind of fast food and skip the gym all together. However, if you look at the larger picture, it is essential for you to maintain a healthy weight to continue catering to your responsibility. Weight gain results in multiple health problems and is detrimental to your self-confidence. It is easier to lose weight or maintain it when you know how to go about it. Here are some tips to help you in your efforts to lose weight.

Maintain a Food Journal

foodjournalIt is helpful to write your daily food consumption to give you a visualization of how much you are eating and what you are eating. When you are trying to lose weight, it all comes down to calories. Tracking your food allows you to understand the habits and patterns which lead to overeating and inactivity. In addition, you know how much calories you are consuming so that you can reduce them and work it off through physical activity so that there is nothing to store as fat. The National Weight Control Registry refers to food journaling as one of the most powerful tools used by successful dieters.

Exercise Daily

exercise2Exercise burns calories that you consume and suppress your appetite. It also improves your metabolism, which is essential for weight loss. The National Academy of Science recommends 60 minutes of exercise per day. You can divide this time in 30 minutes of vigorous exercise and the remaining 30 minutes in your usually daily activities. A study in the Journal of American College of Nutrition shows that 10 minute incremental exercise is equal to 30 minutes of continuous exercise.

Increase Calcium Intake

calciumResearch by the University of Tennessee has shown that three servings of calcium rich dairy products a day can speed by weight loss by 50%-70% as well as strengthening your bone and preventing osteoporosis. It is recommended to opt for low fat version of yogurt, cheese and milk.

Protein at Every Meal

proteinAccording to a research in the Journal of Nutrition, consumption of more high quality protein can help your maintain muscle mass and reduce body fat. Protein rich foods contain leucine, an amino acid, which prevents the loss of muscle proteins during weight loss and you only lose fat. It is essential to maintain muscle during weight loss as it helps the body burn more calories.

Eat Breakfast

breakfastEating breakfast is an important step in losing weight. The National Weight Control Registry considers breakfast as one of the key factors in long term weight loss and management. In fact, people who skip breakfast have been seen to be heavier than those who eat a healthy breakfast. Eating healthy food items in the morning, after you wakes up, maintains the levels of blood sugar and insulin in your body as well as jump start your metabolism, hence burning more calories.

These helpful tips can go a long way in your weight loss program, even if you are a busy bee. Achieving and maintain a healthy weight provides you with more energy, increase your alertness and prevents many health problems.


4 Great Workout Tips for Beginners

exerciseAs a beginner, you’re going to be confused. You will read lots of tips on the Internet. You will watch videos, take advice, and try out all sorts of crazy things. None of it will make sense in the beginning, but that’s OK because you’re still learning. In this article, we give you four universally good training tips to get you started. Obviously that’s not going to be enough, but we feel that if there’s four things you should know, those these are the four. At the end of the day, these are the things that might be most detrimental to your progress if you do them incorrectly.

1. Do not over-train

We get it. You’ve just signed up for your gym membership and you’ve already developed an unhealthy obsession over your body. Of course you’re going to want to train as much as you can. However, you shouldn’t. Your body needs time to recover. Over-training is one of the biggest mistakes most newbies make. Don’t be the guy who goes to the gym every day, does one set, spends 10 seconds looking at himself in the mirror, and then starts training again. That’s not how you get results.

2. Make sure you have a strict form

Form is everything in the gym. It’s the difference between getting those sweet, sweet gains we all work so hard for, or getting injured and being out of the gym for a long time. Start with lower weights and try to understand each exercise and how to do it correctly. Watch videos on proper form and try to understand why this is so important. Don’t be ashamed of doing it even with just a bar if you have to –this is a small price to pay for an injury-free body.

3. Find a good program

Once you’ve gotten used to training after a couple of weeks at the gym, it’s time to find a program that suits you. This will allow you to progress much faster than just doing random things. However, pick only one program (preferably an acclaimed one) and follow it. Don’t combine ten different programs thinking that you’ll get ten times more gains this way. You won’t. At the very least, you still don’t know what you’re doing so odds are it’s better to stick to something that’s been well-proven, rather than experimenting. That comes later.

4. Tailor a good diet

Tailor a good diet for yourself and stick to it like your life depends on it. Well, your life doesn’t literally depend on it, but your progress does. Never cheat on your diet. You can allow yourself to get a couple of snacks here and there for doing a good job, but only if you’re really doing a good job and working out hard. Diet is very important and you won’t get far gym-wise without it, and many people are either too doubtful about that or too lazy to make a list or count calories. Either way, you will find out this truth when all your crunches produce a hernia instead of a chiseled six-pack and the fat still lingers. Half the battle is in the kitchen.

4 Reasons to Lift Lighter Weights

weight liftingIf you want to get stronger, then you definitely need to lift heavy weight with low repetitions. What that means is lifting 80-90% of your 1 rep maximum, and doing about 3 to 6 reps with longer breaks. However, that doesn’t mean that you should completely exclude high rep, light weight lifting from your training as there are benefits from it, as well. By high rep, light weight we mean 10-12 reps or more 60-80% 1RM, or more than 15 reps under 40% 1RM. Here’s four reasons why you should consider it.

1. Learning proper form.

If you want to see some progress in the context of the gym, then you will have to work properly. That doesn’t mean walking in, grabbing a pair of dumbbells, waving them around for a few minutes and calling it a day. This will definitely not get you the results you’re looking for. In order to train your muscles well, you need to learn proper form, or how to do the exercise correctly. This will not only yield better results, but it will also ensure that you don’t get injured due to bad form once you get the manly weights. Do not underestimate the importance of form. It may be the difference between training for the years to come, or never setting foot into a gym again because of an injury.

2. Intensifying your sets.

You can intensify your sets by adding light weight, high rep count to your workout. This means that you do a normal set of 3 to 6 reps with 80-90% of 1RM, and then immediately start doing reps with a lighter weight, taking it to failure (meaning that you can’t continue). This way the set becomes much more intensified. Also, this technique is more effective at increasing muscle protein synthesis.

3. This type of training increases endurance and volume.

Needless to say that this type of training increases endurance. While you’re training, you’re forcing your muscles, and actually your entire body to adapt to certain conditions. The good thing is that you’re in control of those conditions and you can (more or less) pick and choose what you want to develop. This sort of training is also good at increasing the size of your muscles, without necessarily increasing the strength. This is closely tied to the endurance, because as the cells get bigger, they can hold more energy in the form of glycogen.

4. Burning fat.

High rep counts with lower weights allow for a more intensified workout with shorter rest periods. This means that you burn more calories through your workout, which consequently means burning more fat. If you combine this sort of workout with a proper diet, you can easily cut fat and lose weight. Using this method will allow you to burn that pesky fat while stimulating your muscles at the same time. However, don’t underestimate the importance of diet. You can’t lose weight if you don’t have a caloric deficit, so you should be aware of your goals before you begin.

Tips on Health Supplements

dietary supplementsToday, there are a number of dietary supplements available in the market which can prove to boost the diets of individuals with added minerals, vitamins and any other substance that the body may require in a quantity greater than what is provided by the normal nutritional diet.

Use of a dietary supplement can prove to be greatly beneficial to the body, however, it must always be considered that dietary supplements must always be taken only after recommendation or only if an individual makes an informed and an intelligent choice. Improper dietary supplements can prove to have adverse effects on the health and may pose unnecessary risks.

Some of the basic points that must be kept in consideration regarding dietary supplements include:

  • Dietary supplements are meant to be added to a normal and balanced diet. Replacing a part of a diet with dietary supplements is always a bad idea. Too much of a particular type of nutrient in the diet can also prove to be harmful.
  • It is wise to consult a medical practitioner or a dietician before choosing to take up dietary supplements. Under some special circumstances, supplements may prove to pose some risk, such as in individuals suffering from heart problems or diabetes. A pharmacist or a doctor’s consultation must always be taken before thinking of supplements in case of such medical conditions.
  • Some prescription medications and over the counter medications can prove to interact with dietary supplements and this may lead to side effects being experienced. It is important that individuals learn about which drugs and dietary supplements may prove to interfere with each other.
  • Dietary supplement can prove to cause unwanted complications during surgery and other medical procedures. It is important to consult a professional physician when to stop taking supplements in case of an upcoming surgery.
  • While the manufacturers of the dietary supplement brands are responsible for their products, it must be kept in mind that the effects of these products are exhibited in an individual’s body. As such, individuals must take utmost care in choosing their brand of supplements after carefully considering reputation, customer loyalty, user ratings and product reviews.

There are many resources online that can help educate individuals about the different types of dietary supplements and the health benefits and potential risks that they pose.

Today, there is fierce competition in the market amongst dietary supplement brands and most companies try to heavily market their products, often offering unnatural claims. Users should always remember that supplements are not magical products and if a claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is much exaggerated.

It is also important to gain as much information about a product and its manufacturer before making a choice. Most of the health supplement brands have a helpline and users must not hesitate contacting the company to obtain more information about the specific product that they are looking to purchase. Amazon is a good place to shop as you can read reviews and you will have their support if you have a problem with the seller or product.

Research is of prime importance and must be given a lot of consideration. Most dietary supplements in the market are safe to be tried; however they may pose some side effects. Dietary supplements should always be chosen with caution or under the recommendation of a licensed professional.

How Depression Affects Us

depression_1Before looking at how we can keep ourselves as far away as possible from falling into the pit of gloominess and sadness, we need to have at least a rough know-how of what depression is.

Depression is a crippling mental illness. It comes in several forms ranging mild episodes of episodes to persistent serious ones to psychotic and eventually if left untreated drives a person to commit suicide. Depression can be caused by environmental, psychological, neurobiological or genetic factors.

What makes it difficult for people with depression to seek help, besides the stigma surrounding them, is manifestation of symptoms vary from one individual to another. There is a wide array of signs and symptoms and people don’t exhibit all of them. The frequency, severity and duration of a particular symptom or set of symptoms might also be different from one individual to another. Common symptoms include feeling empty, hopeless, worthless, losing interest in an activity you used to enjoy, tired all the time, sleeping problems, changing eating habits, unable to concentrate on something etc.

These methods of prevention may work for some people but not for others. Some can be used for both primary and secondary prevention of depression. Primary prevention involves prophylactic measures taken before getting the illness whereas Secondary prevention aims at preventing relapse or reducing the frequency or severity of symptoms.

Avoid doing too much too quickly: While the hustle and bustle in life is well tolerated by our body, every now and then, we need a minute, a day to just think about what we are doing and where it is leading us to. We all have our limits. Once you start losing sleep over a feeling you can’t understand or experience unexplained fear or anxiety even in its mildest forms, then stop, slow down and thwart it by paying attention to yourself. You can talk it out to a friend or a therapist before it gets out of control.

Knowing yourself: Spend time understanding your life and yourself. Know what triggers an emotional breakdown. Take stock of all the masks you wear to disguise yourself when people or things around you bog you down.Learn how to anticipate recurring bad events e.g. death anniversaries of loved ones or lost relationships.

Take control over your thoughts: When you find yourself drifting from a positive or neutral attitude to life, you need to develop a strategy to handle these thinking patterns. We all have flaws and we have all experienced failure, when it comes to depression however, we tend to magnify our failures and flaws.Psychotherapists use mindfulness-based interventions to teach you how to restructureyour thinking patterns so that you can manage how to view different events through a reasonable lens.

Compliance with treatment:Depression is a chronic illness and so is the length of therapy. Following doctor’s order on taking prescribed medication, attending therapy sessions etc. is crucial in preventing relapse. If you’re experiencing some symptoms with the medication you’re on, and then feel free to tell your doctor about it. Don’t miss therapy without telling your therapist why. Acknowledge the milestones because treating depression, like treating other longstanding illnesses, requires a lot of time, commitment and management strategies. Appreciate and celebrate the steps you make in your recovery and let them inspire you to redefine and rescale your life.