Quick workouts from home

The No-Workout Workout
Easy exercises you can do virtually anywhere

Ah, the end of another busy day. Your workday is over, your errands are done, and dinner is slowly digesting in your belly. You sit back on the couch to take in the news of the day or the latest scores before heading to bed.

But what about your workout? At this stage in the game, it’s probably the last thing on your mind. Wouldn’t it be great to get home from a busy day and already have completed your workout? You bet it would. And RealAge can show you how to do it with our no-equipment workout. The key is to realize that exercise doesn’t have to have its own separate time slot. You can get your workout in just by adding a few quick and easy exercises or movements to your existing daily routine.

Simple actions, such as taking the stairs or lugging your groceries to your car, can help you tone muscles and burn calories on the go.

Learn how you can increase your activity levels at work, at home, or out around town with the RealAge No-Workout Workout. With these 7 easy exercises, you may discover that you’re already exercising without even knowing it!

The RealAge No-Workout Workout

Build up to 30 minutes of these activities and you’ll be meeting your minimum daily exercise requirements for good health.

Strengthen Your Stomach

1. Chair Crunches
Muscles worked: abdominals

Starting point: Seated, back straight, arms at sides, hands gripping the bottom of the chair, feet flat on the floor, knees bent and over toes, legs pressed together.

Action: Lift your knees straight up, keeping the bottom of your feet parallel to the ground. Exhale while you lift your knees, and inhale as you bring your feet back down to the floor. Complete one1 set of 10–-12 repetitions.

Tip: For extra workout points, keep your back off the backrest, and do not lean heavily on your arms.
Time: Aim for 4 minutes.

2. Chair Crunches with a Twist
Muscles worked: internal obliques

Starting point: Same as regular chair crunches, but instead of gripping the chair, clasp your hands behind your head and push your elbows out to the sides.

Action: Lift your left knee straight up. As you do so, twist your upper body to the left side until your right elbow meets your left knee. Return to your starting point. Repeat, only this time lift your right knee straight up and twist your upper body to the right until your left elbow meets your right knee. Complete one set of 5–6 elbow-to-knee touches per side.

Time: Aim for 4 minutes.
Firm Your Upper Body

3. Grocery-Bag Curls
Muscles worked: biceps (upper arms)

Starting point: Standing or walking, arms straight down at your sides, palms facing forward, grocery- bag handle gripped in one hand.

Action: As you walk, every time you step with your left foot, bend your arm at the elbow to lift your bag up to chest level; straighten and lower your arm back down every time you step with your right foot. Complete one1 set of 10–-12 reps. Switch hands and repeat with the other arm.

Tip: Keep your wrist straight and your elbow directly beneath your shoulder with each curl.
Time: Aim for 5 minutes.
4. Grocery-Bag Rowing

Muscles worked: deltoids (shoulders)

Starting point: Standing or walking, arms straight down at your sides, hands in front of your thighs, palms facing your thighs, a bag handle gripped in each hand.

Action: Pretend that there is a golf club connecting the bags in your hands. Lift the golf club up toward your chest, bending your elbows out to each side as you lift. Complete one set of 10–12 reps.

Tip: Keep your hands about 3 inches in front of your body as you lift.
Time: Aim for 5 minutes.
Tone Your Lower Body

5. Leg Lifts
Muscles worked: adductors (inner thigh)

Starting point: Standing, weight on left foot, right leg extended in front of you until the toes are resting on the ground about 10 inches in front of your left foot.

Action: Slowly sweep your right toes to the left, beyond your left foot. Use your inner thigh muscles to pick your right foot up and move it back to the starting point. Complete one set of 10–12 reps for each leg.

Tip: Keep your knees straight and your weight on your stationary foot.
Time: Aim for 4 minutes.
6. Hip Hiker

Muscles worked: abductors (outer thigh)

Starting point: Standing, weight on left foot, right knee bent with right foot setting on a stable 4- to 6-inch rise (such as a stair step or a sidewalk curb), hands on hips.

Action: Slowly straighten your right knee so that you are lifting your weight up onto the step or curb. Hold for 5 seconds and then slowly lower your weight back onto your left foot. Complete one set of 10–12 repetitions. Reverse legs and repeat.
Tip: When using a step, stand sideways so that your feet are parallel. When using a sidewalk curb, safety first! Choose a sidewalk curb that is not near traffic.

Time: Aim for 4 minutes.
7. Heel Raises
Muscles worked: gastrocnemius, or gastroc (calves)

Starting point: Standing, legs straight, feet 1 inch apart.

Action: Slowly rise up onto the balls of your feet, lifting your heels off the ground as high as you can, and then slowly lower your heels back to the ground. Complete one set of 10–12 reps.

Tip: Keep your legs straight, but don’t lock your knees.
Time: Aim for 4 minutes.
If you make it a habit of slipping these seven easy exercises into your daily routine — for a total of 30 minutes a day — you may begin to notice improvements in your strength and endurance after only a few weeks.

And don’t forget to complement your RealAge No-Workout Workout by mixing in more moderate to vigorous activities, such as walking, swimming, biking, or jogging, whenever you can.

When you think of exercise as a separate activity, it’s easy to find a million excuses to leave your workout gear in the closet. You slept in a little. You worked late. Your commute was extra long. You didn’t feel motivated. You had to run to the post office, the bank, the store. Bad weather. Maybe tomorrow. But with our no-equipment workout, anytime is a good time for exercise. So wear comfortable shoes and take on your day and your workout at the same time.

A background about vitamins and why we need them!

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So vitamins what do we need them for and why do we need them?

Vitamins are organic nutrients found in foods and are essential in small quantities for both growth and good health.chemically vitamins are made from the same elements carbon,hydrogen,oxygen and sometimes nitrogen or cobalt, but there elements are arranged differently and so perform different functions in the body

Scientist studying deficiency diseases such as scurvy and pellagra discovered in the early 1900s that certain compounds were needed to prevent these diseases.they reasoned that the compounds were in the family called amines and they came up with the word vitamin (they dropped the “e” when the discovered that not all the substances were amines) also because they were not sure what the correct classification for the substances were

The have them letters such as vitamin B-1 and B-2 etc. then they found that some of the substances although important were not necessary for human health. One of those dropped was B-8 adenylic acid

Others such as H,M,S and X were all found to be biotin

As research progressed scientists began naming them by there structure or function, such as calling B-2 riboflavin. Scientist also developed techniques to reproduce the vitamins structure in the laboratory and so they are able to manufacture synthetic vitamins supplements with the identical chemical structure as those found in food.

The body cannot detect whether a vitamin is from a synthetic or a natural source.but some authorities maintain that other vitamins,trace elements and other substances the function of which is yet to be discovered accompany the vitamin in its natural state.

It is the concept of synergy. Although the synthetic vitamin is exactly the same chemically, as the natural vitamin it’s action in the body may be slightly different a similar argument is made from the original patented drug and it’s generic equivalent

The human body needs very small amounts of vitamins and very small amount are present In foods some vitamins are measured in IUS (internantional units) a measure of biological activity others are measured by weight in micrograms or milligrams

To illustrate how small these amounts are remember that one ounce is 28.3 grams ( about the weight of a box of matches ) a milligram is 1/1,000 of a gram and a microgram is 1/1,000,000 of a gram ( 1g = 1000 milligrams ) 1g = 1,000,000 micrograms

Most vitamins are obtained through food but the bacteria in the intestine produce a few and part of our required vitamin D is produced in the skin when when the skin is exposed to sunlight. So while we should be able to get all our nutrients from our food there is no single food that will supply all of them we have to consume a combination in the same way out ancestors did

Vitamins do not have calories so they do not directly provide energy to the body but the are involved on energy metabolism some of the vitamins in food are not actually required but are the precursor

Vitamins are molecules that are essential for the normal functioning of certain enzymes in many metabolic pathways in the body these are called co-enzymes others are directly involved in the synthesis of essential compounds in the human body

Vitamins are classified according to how soluble they are I either fat or water

The fat soluble vitamins ( A,D,E,K ) generally occur in foods containing fat they can be stored in the body

The water soluble vitamins ( vitamin C and B-complex vitamins ) are generally not stored in the body

Fat soluble vitamins

The fat soluble vitamins include vitamins A,D,K,E they occur in foods containing fats and they are stored in the body either in the liver or in the adipose ( fatty ) tissue until they are needed fat soluble vitamins are absorbed and transported around the body like other fats and while it may be considered a bonus to store it could lead to undesirable symptoms

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is found in foods in two forms preformed vitamin A ( also called retinoids or retinol ) and provitamin A ( also called carotenoids )
Th carotenoids are precursors of vitamin A and are converted to vitamin A in the body

Vitamin A plays a role on cell growth and development, healthy skin and hair as well as proper bone growth and tooth development in children.

It is needed by the immune system and to maintain the protective linings of the lungs, stomach,intestines, urinary tract and other organs

Vitamin A plays a part in night vision difficulty adjusting after seeing a bright light at night may indicate a vitamin A deficiency

Good sources of vitamin A include
Cheese
Eggs
Oily fish
Milk
Margarine
Yogurt

vitamin D

Vitamin D differs from other fat soluble vitamins In that it can be made in the body and it is metabolised by the liver and kidneys to form a hormone calcitriol maintains blood calcium levels and makes sure there is enough calcium and phosphorus present for building bones and teeth

Food sources for vitamin D include
Liver
Egg yolks
Fish oils

Only small amounts of vitamin D are found in food usually calcium supplements ave vitamin D added to assist the absorption of calcium

When ultraviolet rays shine on your skin a cholesterol like compound is converted into vitamin D and absorbed into the blood

For a light skinned person about 15 minutes of the sun on the face and hands and arms two or three times a week seems sufficient a dark skinned person needs a few hours or more a week several months supply of vitamin D can be stored in the body so the lack of sunshine in the winter is not fatal

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Thank you

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In getting comments asking how you can get on touch with me. To ask me questions

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Kick start your metabolism

If you’re reading this, chances are pretty good that you don’t have a metabolism that lets you eat as much as you want without ever gaining an ounce. Maybe (like me) you’re even at the other extreme, where it seems like all you have to do is smell the foods you love to start packing on the pounds. Does this mean you’re doomed to a lifetime of munching on carrot sticks with fat-free dressing, while watching your hollow-legged friends enjoy their pasta Alfredo and chocolate cheesecake? Not at all.

There are lots of things you can do to turn your body into an efficient fat-burning machine, and they don’t include depriving yourself of foods you love, resorting to unhealthy gimmicks, or taking expensive “fat-melting” supplements that fail to deliver what they promise. All you have to do is avoid a few common mistakes, and include some simple ways to boost your daily calorie burn.

Metabolism DON’TS

Don’t reduce your calorie intake too low. The fact that you gain weight easily is proof that your body likes to shift into fat-storage mode at the drop of a hat, and going too low on calories is one of the easiest ways to trigger that reaction (often referred to as starvation mode). Don’t fall for the mistaken idea that the less you eat, the more you’ll lose—that’s just not how your body works. Staying within your recommended calorie range will keep your internal furnace stoked so that you have more capacity to burn stored fat.

Don’t skip meals. Going too long between meals affects your body chemistry in ways that can make weight loss more difficult. Most people can manage their hunger and avoid cravings and overeating by spreading out their calories into four to five small, well-balanced meals or snacks during the day. Try not to go more than four to five hours without eating something.

Don’t short yourself on shut eye. More research is showing that chronic sleep deprivation plays a significant role in weight gain. Your body needs plenty of “downtime” for the internal housekeeping that keeps your metabolism in good working order. The occasional late night won’t hurt you, but consistently sleeping just one hour less than you need may slow down your weight loss considerably.

Metabolism DO’S
Build muscle! This is the most important action you can take to maintain a high metabolic rate while trying to lose weight. Strength training prevents you from losing a lot of muscle along with the fat you lose when dieting. If you don’t strength train regularly, up to 30% of the weight you lose could be muscle tissue. Considering that a pound of muscle burns about 3 times more calories per day than a pound of fat even when you’re sitting still (and up to 15-20 times more calories per minute when you’re physically active), you can see the problems this can cause. If you lose 20 pounds of weight (and 30% of that weight loss is muscle—seven pounds), you’ll be slowing your metabolism and your fat burning capacity down by a significant amount. A simple strength training program twice a week can limit your muscle loss to almost zero, and keep your metabolism running high.

Stay as active as possible. The more you use your muscles, the more calories you will burn. Moderate exercise like walking can burn three to six times more calories per minute than sitting still, and high intensity exercise like interval training can burn more than 12 times as much. Likewise, the more you vary your daily activity and exercise, the more you keep your body on its fat-burning toes.

Don’t just sit there. If you’re watching TV or sitting at your desk, get up frequently to do a few exercises. Keep those resistance bands and dumbbells nearby at all times—you can fit a complete strength training workout into the commercial breaks of a one-hour TV show. Ditch your chair and sit on a stability ball (or a stationary bike) instead—even fidgeting can help!

Exercise in the morning or in frequent bouts. Both strength and cardio exercises boost metabolism by increasing your calorie burn even AFTER your session is done. You can get the most out of this perk by starting your day with a workout or by incorporating multiple exercise sessions into your day. Longer or intense workouts have a greater “after burn” but even a 15-minute walk will make a difference.

Try interval training. The harder you work, the more calories you will burn both during and after exercise—plus your fitnesslevel will really improve. Studies show that exercising as intensely as you can, for at least 10 minutes per day, produces the best results. Interval training is an effective way to increase the intensity and duration of your workouts without running yourself into the ground or risking injury.

Include mental exercises. One of the most important (but least recognized) factors in keeping your metabolic fires well stoked is managing stress effectively. Chronic stress disrupts the hormones that regulate everything from appetite to fat storage, and can defeat even the best exercise and eating plans. The more effort you put into recognizing and handling stress, the better off you’ll be. Include some time in your schedule every day for relaxation exercises, yoga, journaling, and other stress management activities.
And Most Importantly…

Make exercise and healthy eating FUN! Experiment frequently with new exercises and recipes, or anything that keeps you interested and adds some spice to your program. Well, don’t stop there. The more variety you can put in your diet and your exercise routine, the more stimulating it will be. That makes it easy to put your best efforts forward, and get a major metabolic return on your investment.for more info visit spark people.com

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Kick start your day with a healthy breakfast

Get in the Breakfast Habit
It has been said many times, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After a long period without eating your blood sugar levels will be low. Skipping breakfast can mean your body will start to crave something sweet and you’ll end up snacking on unhealthy foods.

Start the day with a filling and nutritious meal and you will give your metabolism a kick start. You’ll feel full until lunch time with no temptation to snack your way through the morning. Some studies have also shown that eating breakfast (high carbohydrate/low fat) can make you more alert and assertive to face the day.

Get In the Habit

Overcome the reasons not to have breakfast and make it part of your day. If you’re too busy in the morning, prepare as much as you can the night before. If you can’t stomach anything first thing try just a glass of pure, unsweetened fruit juice, a banana, yoghurt or slice of toast. Get into the habit of trying different dishes at breakfast and enjoy it!

Breakfast Cereals

Go for a low-calorie muesli (no added sugar or salt) or a high fibre cereal – such as Weetabix or Shredded Wheat with semi skimmed or skimmed milk. Add some fresh fruit – a sliced banana or dried apricots – to add natural sweetness and help you resist the sugar. (They also count towards your daily fruit and vegetable quota

Fresh Fruit Salad

Fresh fruit salad will provide a slow release of energy to get you through until lunchtime and also give you a healthy top up of vitamins and minerals. This healthy choice will motivate you to make healthy choices throughout the day. Peel and slice a few of your favourite fruits, top with a dollop of natural bio-yoghurt and enjoy with a slice of bread and honey. Alternatively, if you’ve got a blender, pop the peeled and cored fruit in with the yoghurt and teaspoon of honey and make a delicious fresh smoothie.

Egg and Soldiers

Egg and soldiers isn’t all bad. Eggs are an excellent and compact source of nutrients, are relatively low in calories (75kcals each if boiled / poached) and contain very little saturated fat. Use wholemeal bread for the “soldiers” and resist the butter / spread – try marmite instead! Accompany with a glass of fruit or vegetable juice.

Traditional English
You don’t have to miss out on your traditional Sunday breakfast. There’s nothing wrong with a cooked breakfast as long as it’s a “grill up”, not a “fry up” – fried foods hold the fat! Lean bacon is a good source of protein, trim the fat and grill. Eggs contain iron and calcium – to get the benefits poach or boil. Add some low-sugar, low-salt baked beans and a grilled tomato. Accompany with some toasted wholemeal bread and a glass of unsweetened fruit juice. Let your breakfast digest and then enjoy a Sunday morning walk (depending on your weight you’ll burn between 90-190kcals walking moderately for 30 minutes).

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Veg food diet plan ideas

Veg diet plan

If you cut your calories by 500 a day you should approx lose 1 pound per week.i suggest you keep a track of how many calories you are eating before your diet to work out how to cut 500 per day

Suggested meals for a veg diet

Breakfast
1 poached egg and tomato on toast (195 calories)

Cream cheese and tomato bagel (250 calories)

Shredded wheat and banana (255 calories)

Bran flakes and fruit (255 calories)

Fruity muesli (260 calories)
3tbs of sugar free muesli 3 dried apricots strawberries and skimmed milk

Milkshake and fruit salad (260 calories)
Blend 150ml of skimmed milk with 1 pot of fat free banana yogurt and 1 banana and a bowl of fruit salad

Fruit salad with yogurt and oats (345 calories)
Bowl of fruit salad 1 pot of low fat natural yogurt and 3tbs of oats

Lunches

Jacket potato with cottage cheese
(295 calories)
1 jacket potato 6 tbs of cottage cheese and salad and fat free dressing

Tropical fruity salad
(330 calories)
Iceberg lettuce topped with 6tbsp low-fat cottage cheese, 2 chopped dried apricots, 1tbsp raisins, 1 chopped apple, 1 slice fresh pineapple and 5 crushed walnut halves.

Egg mayo and tomato sandwich (340 calories)
2 slices wholegrain bread filled with 1 hard boiled egg, 1 tomato and 2tsp reduced-fat mayo. Plus 1 pot fat-free fruit yogurt.

Italian salad (345 calories)
Large salad made from ½ small ball reduced-fat Mozzarella cheese, 2 tomatoes and ½ small avocado with salad leaves, basil and balsamic vinegar. Serve with a 5cm piece Granary bread.

Lentil soup and oatcakes (355 calories)
½ carton fresh lentil soup and 2 oatcakes topped with 2tbsp low-fat soft cheese and tomato. Plus 1 orange.

Greek salad wrap (365 calories)
1 large tortilla wrap filled with chopped lettuce, cherry tomatoes and cucumber, 50g crumbled feta cheese, 5 sliced olives and 1tbsp tzatziki.

Beans and cheese on toast (370 calories)
2 slices wholegrain toast with 1 small can baked beans and 1tbsp grated reduced-fat Cheddar. Plus a slice of canteloupe melon.

Cottage cheese and avocado on rye (385 calories)
2 slices rye bread topped with 6tbsp cottage cheese and ½ small avocado. Plus 1 bowl fruit salad.

Mixed bean salad (435 calories)
3tbsp each of red kidney beans, chick peas and cannelini beans with spring onions, cherry tomatoes, green pepper and fat-free dressing. Serve with mixed leaves and 1 wholemeal pitta.

Dinners

Creamy mushroom pasta (285 calories)
Fry 1 small onion, garlic and 1 small pack button mushrooms in a spray oil until brown. Add 150ml veg stock and 50ml dry white wine. Simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Stir in 2tbsp low-fat soft cheese with herbs and 150g cooked tagliatelle. Mix, heat and serve with salad and fat-free dressing.

Veggie stir fry with rice (390 calories)
Stir fry made from a spray oil, 1 small pack of stir-fry veg and 1tbsp reduced-salt soy sauce. Serve with 8tbsp cooked brown rice. Plus 1 slice canteloupe melon.

Roasted vegetables (380 calories)
Place ½ red pepper, ½ green pepper, 4 thick slices aubergine, 1 sliced courgette and cherry tomatoes in a roasting tin. Brush with 1tsp olive oil and sprinkle with fresh basil. Roast until the vegetables are soft and browned. Top 1 thick slice wholegrain bread with the veggies and ½ small ball reduced-fat mozzarella cheese. Place under a hot grill until the cheese has melted. Serve with salad and fat-free dressing.

Stuffed peppers (425 calories)
Mix 4tbsp cooked brown rice with 1tbsp pine nuts and chopped spring onions, cherry tomatoes and 50g feta cheese. Cut 1 red pepper in half lengthways, deseed, then fill with the rice mixture. Cover with foil, bake until cooked and serve with salad and fat-free dressing.

Jacket potato with cheese and beans (440 calories)
1 medium jacket potato with 1 small can baked beans, 2tbsp grated reduced-fat Cheddar, salad and fat-free dressing.

Moroccan salad (475 calories)
Mix 8tbsp prepared couscous salad with cherry tomatoes, red onion, coriander, 3tbsp each of chick peas and kidney beans, lemon juice and 1tsp olive oil.

Cheese omelette (510 calories)
Omelette made from a spray oil, 2 eggs, skimmed milk and 4tbsp grated reduced-fat Cheddar. Serve with a 10cm piece Granary bread and salad with fat-free dressing.

Veggie fajitas (515 calories)
Slice ½ red pepper, ½ green pepper, ½ red onion, 1 small courgette and 1 carrot. Fry in 1tsp sunflower oil with cajun seasoning until soft and brown. Top 2 large flour tortillas with the veg and 2tbsp each of salsa and grated reduced-fat cheese. Roll up and serve with salad and fat-free dressing.

Egg Florentine (515 calories)
Top some lightly-steamed spinach with 2 poached eggs and 4tbsp grated reduced-fat Cheddar cheese. Place under a hot grill until the cheese has melted and serve with a 10cm piece Granary stick.

Vegetable chilli (530 calories)
Make a chilli using a spray oil, 1 small onion, 1 red pepper, ½ courgette, chilli powder, 1 small can tomatoes, 1 small can kidney beans, 1tbsp tomato puree and 150ml vegetable stock. Serve with 8tbsp cooked brown rice, 1tbsp soured cream and salad and fat-free dressing.

You can even have a desert

Healthy fruit pavlova (100 calories)
1 meringue nest filled with berries and 3tbsp low-fat natural yogurt.

Pick a choose foods from the plan breakfast lunch and dinner but remember you must cut 500 calories a day and you should lose 1 pound per week.keep a food diary and weight diary log everything that you eat so you can track your progress

My blog is all about giving tips and advise I will tell you what your doing is right or wrong if you need help with a diet plan or have any questions you can email me swanseadietandnutrition@yahoo.co.uk

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Diet plan and workout routine

Living a healthy lifestyle involves making healthy choices. On top of choosing not to smoke, drinking alcohol only in moderation and keeping your stress levels low, your diet and exercise regimen is an integral part of maintaining a healthy body and mind. Your diet should include the right combination of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and other nutrients. Similarly, a well-rounded workout routine develops all elements of physical fitness including strength, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness.

BREAKFAST

At breakfast, do your arteries a favor and avoid the traditional plate of fatty bacon, eggs, sausages, grits and pancakes soaked in syrup. Instead, choose a lighter breakfast that will give you energy to get you through the morning. Your breakfast should ideally include whole grains, low-fat proteins, low-fat dairy products and fruit. A typical meal might be a whole grain bagel with peanut butter or hard-boiled eggs, a low-fat yogurt and a small bowl of fruit.

LUNCH

If you take sandwiches to work for lunch, use whole grain bread with lean meats such as turkey or chicken with salad and a light dressing rather than full fat mayonnaise. If you eat out with colleagues, don’t betray your diet. When possible, opt for a salad with a low-fat protein source, such as chicken, and always get the salad dressing on the side. In general, though, avoid eating out, as restaurant food is typically high in fat, salt and sugar.

DINNER

When you are cooking at home, you have a wealth of methods to prepare healthy food. Include a protein such as fish or meat and at least two vegetables. A healthy dinner could be salmon with brown rice, broccoli and asparagus or a grilled chicken breast with a baked potato and salad. If you eat out, avoid calorie-dense sides such as French fries, loaded mashed potato and salads covered in full fat dressings.

CARDIO WORKOUTS

For optimal health, exercise daily. Alternate between cardio and strength workouts, and spend three of your six days focusing on your cardiovascular fitness. Aerobic exercise improves your heart’s health by helping to lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease. It also helps you shed pounds, improve stamina and improves your mood through the release of endorphins. Aim for 50-minute sessions at a moderate intensity or 25 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise. Aerobic exercise includes running, walking, bike riding and swimming.

STRENGTH AND FLEXIBILITY

Your other three days should focus on strength and flexibility. If you are new to resistance training, begin with either low weights or resistance bands. Body-weight exercises are also highly beneficial. The bulk of your resistance workout can consist of just five or six moves. Pushups and pullups work the upper body while squats and lunges work your lower body. For core strength, perform crunches and other exercises on a stability ball. Stretch before and after any workout in order to prevent injury and improve recovery.

Diet myths

Diet Myths

In a society that is becoming increasingly health conscious, more and more information is constantly coming out on how to lose weight, how to get fit, how to eat, sleep, breathe—everything under the sun that will help you get healthy! It’s a wonder that before this information was available people were able to survive—let alone live healthy lives!

The fact is, people did survive, and were—and are—still healthy without all the weird, scientifically suspect practices that people get tricked into. Nutrition is one of those fields that is inundated with quacks who will try to sell you the latest secret to weight loss. A basic myth-spotting motto: If it sounds too good to be true—it is.

Don’t Be Tricked

Here are some common diet myths that people futily follow in hopes of losing a few pounds.

Eating late at night will cause you to gain weight

Eating late at night, or at any particular time of day, will not cause you to put on more weight than what is normal for what you ate and the activity you did. Weight gain occurs when you consume more calories than you expend, whether that occurs in the middle of the day, the morning or at night. However, in reality, people who eat a lot of food late at night tend to consume more calorie-dense foods and thus eat more calories—which can cause weight gain.
You should eat each food group separately for optimal digestion
Your digestive system is made to handle more than one type of food at a time. It is true that carbohydrate, protein and fat are all digested by different mechanisms, but they can all work simultaneously. Keep in mind that few foods are purely carbs, purely protein or purely fat—so it doesn’t make sense that you can’t mix them.

Low-carb/high-protein/no-fat diets are optimal for weight reduction

A type of diet consistently shown to cause weight loss is a low-fat diet. The key is that you have to eat fewer calories to lose weight, and fat has the most calories per gram, so it’s easiest to cut calories by trimming the fat. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 20 to 35% of dietary calories come from fat, 10 to 35% from protein, and 45 to 65% from carbohydrate. All of these macronutrients, as well as micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are essential in the proper amounts for optimal health.

Carbohydrates are bad for your health and cause weight gain, and therefore should be avoided

As far as weight loss goes, the proportion of macronutrients—carbs, fat and protein—consumed is not as important as the total caloric intake versus caloric expenditure. However, foods rich in fiber and protein tend to be the most filling, which in theory would lead to a reduced intake of food and calories compared to high-fat foods and low-fiber carbohydrates. From a heart-health perspective, the healthiest overall meal plan appears to be a Mediterranean-type eating plan, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids from fish, and low in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and added sugars.

Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight

In theory, skipping one meal while keeping everything else in your diet the same will help you lose weight. But when you skip a meal, your eating pattern changes and you tend to overeat and overcompensate later—which will likely lead to weight gain.
The number of meals eaten each day
Three square meals or five or six small meals—has a huge impact on weight management—Because weight control is achieved by balancing the number of calories consumed with the number burned, it doesn’t really matter if the calories come in the form of three large meals or five or six smaller ones.

However, some people find that they’re better able to control their intake one way or the other. In the end, it’s a matter of preference.

Grapefruit will speed up your metabolism

We’ve all heard of the grapefruit diet, the lemon juice diet and a number of other diets that focus on the “secret ingredient” or “magical compound” found in certain foods. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet to weight loss. There is no food that will help you burn more calories. The only surefire way to speed up your metabolism is to exercise and build muscle.

Rapid weight loss can be maintained
There are many diets out there that promise rapid weight loss, even 10 to 20 pounds in a week. This amount of weight loss is possible on extremely restrictive diets, but it can’t be maintained. A large portion of the weight lost on these types of diets is water and lean tissue, so the minute you get off the diet and go back to eating normally, you’ll gain the weight back—and probably more.
You have to stop eating your favorite foods to lose weight

The most successful approach to weight loss and weight-loss maintenance is to make permanent lifestyle changes that include a healthful eating plan and ample physical activity. A “diet” is not the answer. A healthy lifestyle allows for all foods in moderation.

The Truth

Losing weight and achieving health-related goals requires effort and commitment. Lifestyle behavior changes are typically required to maintain weight loss. Anything above a weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is difficult to maintain. For healthy weight loss, follow these science-based tips:

Plan and track your diet and activity

Get moving! Increase your physical activity with an exercise program, or do simple things like take the stairs, park farther from your destination or walk to do your errands.

Surround yourself with support. Encouragement from friends and family is essential when you find yourself unmotivated. If you know someone with similar goals, make him or her your diet/workout buddy and keep each other accountable.

For more info visit acefitness.org

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How to prepare for a diet

How to prepare for a diet

Here are some tips on how to prepare for a diet

Starting a diet can be daunting, especially if you have not mentally prepared yourself for the change. When you’re in the right place mentally it is easier to begin a diet and health program that you will follow. By preparing yourself you can have more luck following the correct diet for you and avoid falling off the wagon.

Understand why you want to or need to begin a diet or lifestyle change. Make a list of all the things you want to change and why you want to change them.

Research the various diet options and decide which method will realistically work for you and your lifestyle.

Just because a diet works for a friend doesn’t mean it’s the correct plan for you.

Consider your schedule. Figure out what eating plan and exercise plan will be logical and easy for you to stick to.

Running everyday may be great but if you’re too busy to keep it up you may want to consider running some days and doing other activities that you can squeeze into your schedule

Keep it simple. The diet and exercise plan that is the easiest for you will probably be more successful than a plan you don’t have time for or don’t fully understand.

Schedule time to speak with a physician, trainer or nutritionist. If you talk to them now you have a better chance of starting your diet on the right foot.

These meetings will help you find the motivation you need and you’ll be able to make smarter decisions.
Make informed decisions about the direction of your plan instead of deciding as you go.
Talking to the professionals early will help your plan to be successful from the start.
Be honest with anyone you speak with. If you hate jogging, can’t cook or have other issues it is better they know so they can advise you of alternate options. Plan your diet on the options that work best for you.
If they give you a generic plan that would work but isn’t for you, let them know. Remember, you’re paying them to help you and not to regurgitate the standard diet plan.
Your insurance or work place may cover the cost of visiting health or fitness professionals. Ask. Many hospitals and health clinics offer free consultations with nutritionist or other health specialist during fitness and health campaigns. #*If nutrition and portion control is your weakness, meeting with a professional can help you understand how to select and prepare your food. The cost up front will be worth it if you are finally able to understand. Think of it as an investment.

Make sure you’re speaking with a real trainer or nutritionist. Ask about credentials. Beware of the minimum wage, sales-based “trainer” that gyms have on staff. If their goal is to sell you a membership you should consider them a sales person and not a real trainer.

Make sure this is someone you enjoy speaking to, who understand and who will motivate you with either knowledge or enthusiasm. If they’re too pushy, you can’t understand them or they don’t offer a custom plan you should look for someone else.

Take notes and keep them in your calendar. You can refer back to these to notes if you need motivation or to refresh your memory on the instructions.

Buy a calendar to dedicate to your diet and exercise plan.

Keep a diary of your eating habits now. You’ll be motivated by your change once you get started.
Use it to keep appointments with trainers, nutritionist and other exercise or diet professionals.
There is software available that can be downloaded to your PDA and your desktop for recording your progress.
Look for a planner or calendar with room to write the details. Check discount centers and dollar stores for a good buy. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Buy something that will be easy for you to carry around daily.

You should record your food and exercise every day. Include calorie, fat or carb count. Take a calculator to keep a running tally.

Sit down with your calendar and decide a good start date for your new diet and exercise plan

Give yourself time to purge the junk from your refrigerator, freezer and pantry
Plan ahead so you can be successful from day one

Plan a shopping trip the days before your diet begins to pick up the foods, protein supplements, vitamins and water you’ll need to have stocked.

Take a good list to the store so you can see your meal plan and get the necessary ingredients.

Check health and fitness magazines or cook books for healthy alternatives to your favorite recipes.
Keep your meals colorful. The more color in your diet the healthier it usually is. Buy most of your food from the produce section.

Stock your your kitchen with the tools you’ll need. Buy storage bowls and containers for your fresh and healthy food to keep it fresher longer. You should have purged your refrigerator and pantry of junk food so you’ll have room to store the good foods. Make sure you have the pots and pans, steamer baskets, etc. to prepare your healthy foods. A grill pan is a great option if you don’t have access to an exterior grill.

Make sure you have measuring cups, and a dietary scale, if possible, so you can get a grasp of your portions. Practice measuring serving sizes and portions before you start your diet so you won’t be slowed down with the new process of preparation. With a little practice you will be able to judge the portions by sight but it’s great to measure for the most accurate result. Of course, you’ll need measuring cups to prepare those new and healthy recipes.

Find your motivation! People diet and exercise for different reasons. Decide what your reasons are and act.

If you’re wanting to lose weight and inches you can hop on the scale. Try on those “skinny” clothes in your closet. Remind yourself what you want to change and how you can go about changing it.

If you’re wanting to have more energy, have better heart health, etc. You should take a good inventory of your current habits and what’s wrong.

Reward success! Think of ways you can reward yourself when you meet small goals.

Avoid buying clothes until you reach your target weight. If your cholesterol drops or you can run 20 minutes longer you can reward yourself with a new bicycle or running shoes.

Think about your reward system before your diet begins. Write your goals on your calendar and stay motivated to meat those goals. By mentally preparing now and scheduling your plan you’ll have a better chance of starting strong.

If you can make it all week without cheating you can reward yourself with a facial, massage or other health improvement. Avoid using a successful week as an excuse to cheat.

Plan your “Cheat Meal” ahead of time. When you decide on a whim that you’ll cheat on a certain meal you’ll likely continue to cheat that week. Know which meal of the week will be your meal to cheat. Brunch on Saturday? Dinner with your family on Thursdays? Decide a day that will be consistent most weeks. In case of a special event, wedding, holiday meal, just adjust your cheat meal for that week and return to normal the next week.

The occasional cheat meal is a way to keep cravings under control and keep your morale in check.
A cheat meal and not a cheat day will allow you one meal per week to go nuts and eat the meal you crave. When a craving starts, just add that food item to your cheat meal wish list. It makes coping with the craving for specific foods easier. By using a whole day to eat poorly you could ruin your progress or set yourself back by weeks. Limit it to one meal per week.
Perhaps plan your cheat meal on your day off, a weekend lunch or if you gather with friends weekly, allow that meal to be your cheat meal.
Having a “Cheat Day” can ruin your progress.

Be as consistent as possible. Plan them for a specific meal on a specific day. It’s easy to plan too many or plan them too often when you don’t have your calendar.

Try out some gyms in your area if you don’t already have a membership.

Consider if you will be traveling there from work or home and look for a gym that makes going easy
Look at gyms around the time you will be attending. If it’s too crowded, a meat market, poorly staffed or too difficult to reach in traffic you may want to consider another location.

Call and schedule an appointment with someone at each of your gym options. Consider what is important to you. Weigh your likes and dislikes.

Most gyms offer you a free visit and a session with a “house trainer”. Take advantage of the complimentary offer but remember these “trainers” are usually sales people with limited training in exercise.

Weigh your options and decide on a gym that is right for you.

Get signed up and make a few low pressure trips to get familiar with the equipment and facilities before your diet start date. When you do start your diet you’ll be familiar with the gym, less lost and can keep your motivation to continu

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Late night snacks on a diet

Now that the winter is almost upon us and we tend to stay in the conform of our homes not to brave the weather

This is the worst time for people on diets because we crave comfort food and the diet goes out the window

Here are some ideas for some late night snacks that you could have while watching a movie on a cold and damp night or just as healthy late night snacks

Whole-grain crackers, pretzels or tortilla chips consumed with low-fat cheese or sour cream dip make a delicious healthy snack. Three cups of air-popped popcorn make a filling, fiber-rich snack under 100 calories. The National Institutes of Health also suggests 1 cup of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk as a nutritious late-night snack.

Fruits such as blueberries, sliced strawberries or bananas, grapes or dried fruit such as raisins can be eaten alone or as a topping to whole-grain cereal or low-fat yogurt. A medium apple, a medium banana, 1/4 cup raisins or a cup of blueberries or grapes contains around 100 calories or less. Vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, cauliflower or celery can be eaten with low-fat dips for a nutritious late-night snack. One cup of carrots at 45 calories, broccoli at 30 calories or bell peppers at 30 calories eaten with 2 tbsp. hummus or low-fat salad dressing or dip makes for a 100-calorie snack.

Protein-based snacks can be filling and prevent overconsumption of excessive calories during snack time. Two tbsp. of sunflower, pumpkin or flax seeds or 3 tbsp. of almonds, peanuts, cashews or pecans makes a healthy snack for around 100 calories. One large hard-boiled egg at 75 calories, 1 cup of low-fat yogurt at around 100 calories, 1 oz. of low-fat cheese at around 80 calories, or 1/2 cup of fat-free chocolate milk at around 75 calories make protein-rich, low-calorie late-night snacks.

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