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Sep 20

Coping with the myths of losing weight – Vanguard

weight-lossBy Bunmi Sofola

Most people struggle to lose weight and their efforts are not helped by the numerous myths surrounding losing weight. Here are some of them:

Myth 1: Missing breakfast is a good way to lose weight youll have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and its true. When youre asleep you are fasting, and its important to break this fast by eating when you wake up. If you dont, youll miss out on much-needed vitamins and minerals. You could also end up feeling hungry later in the day and start snacking on bad foods, therefore increasing your calorie consumption.

Myth 2: You always gain weight when you quit smoking: Nicotine can increase your metabolism, but only slightly. The problem occurs when people who give up smoking replace a cigarette with bad food. However, if you chew sugar-free gum or snack on vegetables, this can prevent weight gain. You could also try keeping your hands occupied or having a bath to distract yourself.

Myth 3: Working out on an empty stomach burns more fat: The idea that exercise without eating will make your workout more efficient isnt true. In fact, research shows that youre more likely to burn fat throughout the day if you can eat something before you hit the gym. Try having a piece of fruit or yogurt 30 minutes before your workout.

Myth 4: Low-fat and fat-free foods are better for you: However, tempting it is to opt for reduced-fat items, they are no better for you, and can sometimes be worse. To make for fat being removed from foods, other ingredients are used such as sugar, flour, thickeners, and salt, all of which can add calories. Low-fat and fat-free versions can also be less satisfying, meaning you could end up eating more food in its most natural form is best and portion control is key.

Myth 5: Yo-yo dieting will wreck your metabolism. While low-calorie and a yo-yo dieting can have an effect on your metabolism, its not true that these changes are permanent. Your metabolism will naturally go up and down throughout life, but if you stop dieting, it will eventually return to normal. Its not wise to try out fad diets all the time. They are hard to maintain and once you stop dieting, its likely the weight will return.

Myth 6: Cutting carbs will help you lose weight. Stopping eating carbohydrates all-together isnt good for your health. Carbs are a necessary part of your diet and provide vital energy. In the short term, eliminating them can result in the loss of water weight rather than fat. Furthermore, carb-free diets can lead to bad breath, fatigue, and headache. Eating a small portion of bread, pasta, or potatoes with a meal will not make you put on weight.

Myth 7: Eating before bed causes weight gain: People used to say that having a big meal before going to bed would cause you to pack on the pounds. But timing wont make a difference. A calorie is a calorie no matter when you eat it. The problem arises when people snack late in the evening to overcome stress or boredom, or to satisfy cravings. After-dinner treats tend not to be controlled and are often unhealthy foods such as chocolate or crisps. Try giving yourself a cut-off time each evening when you tell yourself to stop snacking.

Myth 8: Eating little and often will make you burn more fat. Many dieters think that eating small meals throughout the day is key to shedding pounds. Some claim that it keeps your metabolism going and starves off hunger, but theres no actual evidence of this. A study found that switching from three daily meals to six didnt help weight loss. In fact, it made people want to eat more. You are better off cutting down on your number of calories per day, regardless of when and how often you eat.

Myth 10: No pain, no gain. Ever heard the rumour that when exercising you have to feel pain for it to be working/ Experts are adamant that this is untrue as well as harmful. Its normal to expect some soreness a day or two after exercising, but not to feel pain during your workout. If you do, youre probably doing it incorrectly or may already have an injury. Stop, rest, and see if the pain disappears. If it doesnt, consult your doctor.

Vanguard

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Coping with the myths of losing weight - Vanguard


Sep 20

5 Easy Things to Do at Dinnertime to Help You Lose More Weight – LIVESTRONG.COM

Nix screens at the dinner table and use conversations to slow down the pace of your eating.

Image Credit: monkeybusinessimages/iStock/GettyImages

If you're watching your weight, the choices you make throughout the day whether they deal with food or exercise make a difference when it comes to the number on the scale. But making healthy decisions at dinnertime can really propel your progress.

These five dietitian-approved, simple supper strategies will help set you on the road to weight-loss success.

While dining at the same time every evening may not seem convenient (especially during the chaos of busy weeknights), it can encourage weight loss. That's because when you stick to a nightly routine, you're more likely to plan out your dinners versus wandering into the pantry (or ordering takeout) when hunger strikes, Carissa Galloway, RDN, registered dietitian and certified personal trainer, tells LIVESTRONG.com. The latter often results in unhealthy food choices since we tend to pick whatever's readily available when we're feeling ravenous (think: chips, microwave dinners, fast food, etc).

In fact, people who eat dinner (and other meals) without a regular schedule appear to have a greater risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiometabolic risk factors, including a higher BMI and blood pressure, per a November 2016 review published in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society.

And what time you nosh at night matters too, according to a June 2020 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Researchers found that adults who dined at 10 p.m. burned less fat and experienced higher blood sugar peaks compared to early bird eaters who dined at 6 p.m.

The takeaway: To promote weight loss and overall health, establish a daily dinner schedule, and the earlier you eat the better.

2. Ditch the Distractions (Yes, Including Netflix)

While eating dinner in front of the tube is super common, it's not doing you any favors in the weight loss department. If your brain is preoccupied by the TV or your phone, you may not process taste and satiety the same way you would at a table without distraction, Galloway says.

And the science backs her up. An August 2020 study published in Appetite found that you're less likely to realize when your stomach feels full if you're engrossed in a highly engaging task. In other words, while you scroll through IG or binge-watch that true crime docuseries, odds are you'll unintentionally overeat.

Not to mention you'll enjoy your grub less. Think of it like this: How can you savor all the flavors on your plate when your attention is elsewhere?

Conversely, practicing mindful eating (where you focus on your food, eat without distractions and take the time to relish every bite) can be a helpful weight-loss strategy, according to a June 2018 study in the Journal of Family Medicine & Community Health.

What's more, mealtime minus the interference of screens can be an opportunity to connect with family and nurture your relationships, Galloway adds. And having a strong support system and a healthy, balanced lifestyle are also key factors to success on your weight-loss journey.

3. Gulp Down a Glass of Water First

You've probably heard that drinking more water can help with weight loss, and for good reason. Sipping on H2O before and during dinner saves calories, Galloway says. This is especially true when you substitute water for other high-calorie, sugar-packed beverages like soda.

Indeed, a February 2010 study published in Obesity (Silver Spring) found that middle-aged and older adults who were overweight and obese who consumed 500 milliliters (about 2 cups) of water before each meal lost 44 percent more weight than those who didn't drink water.

That may be in part because the water in your stomach can increase your feelings of fullness, which leads to eating less, Galloway says. As a matter of fact, that's what a small study of non-obese young adults found. When participants drank water prior to a meal, they consumed smaller amounts of food, and, despite eating less, still reported adequate satisfaction and satiety, per research published in the October 2018 issue of Clinical Nutrition Research.

"Bonus points if you gulp down a glass of water 30 minutes before dinner and then eat your vegetables and higher-fiber foods first," Galloway says. "The goal is to fill up on better-for-you foods, so you're less likely to reach for seconds of higher-fat foods or refined carbs."

Need a way to easily track your daily water intake? Download the MyPlate app to do the job, so you can stay focused and achieve your goals!

One of the simplest strategies to support your weight-loss goals is to chew your food slowly. Case in point: Eating slowly resulted in reduced food intake, decreased hunger and increased fullness in non-obese individuals in a March 2014 study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

And an April 2015 study in the Journal of Epidemiology found that fast eaters tend to have a larger waist circumference and a greater incidence of metabolic syndrome.

If chewing your food into a lump of mush sounds too tedious, you can still reduce your eating speed with a few simple tweaks. "Put down your silverware between bites, sip water or have a conversation to lengthen the meal and allow your body to recognize fullness cues," Galloway says.

What you put on your plate matters too, of course. Galloway suggests aiming to fill half of it with vegetables, which will help you feel full on less calories.

After a big dinner at the end of a long day, most of us prefer to plop our butts on the couch. But if you want to drop a few pounds, a post-dinner stroll is a stellar idea.

"Walking after dinner has a special magic, as it helps to stimulate your metabolism, which in turn can help you burn calories and lose weight," Galloway says.

Plus, we're the "least active at night, so walking can help sneak in a little extra movement, which increases our daily caloric expenditure," she adds.

What's more, a leisurely walk after dinner is "great for anyone at risk of diabetes or who's diabetic, because activity can help naturally lower your blood sugar," Galloway says.

She's right. An October 2016 study published in Diabetologia found that a 10-minute walk after each meal, but especially post-dinner, reduced blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

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5 Easy Things to Do at Dinnertime to Help You Lose More Weight - LIVESTRONG.COM


Sep 20

The #1 Worst Carb to Eat if You’re Trying to Lose Weight – Yahoo Lifestyle

If you choose the right ones, carbohydrates can help you banish belly fat, feel satiated, and score energy. After all, carbs are the body's primary source of fuel. But when it comes to weight loss, not all carbs are created equal.

The worst carbs for weight losssimple, processed carbshave actually been proven to slow your metabolism, plummet your energy levels in the long run, and divert you from scoring those hard-earned weight-loss wins.

Keep reading to learn exactly which carbs you need to stay away from if you want to lose weight and why they'll not only ruin your diet in the short term, but also how they can cause lasting health issues.

The worst carbs to eat for weight loss are those that are highly processed, "simple" carbs that have a high glycemic index (high-GI): rice cereal, white bread, sweeteners, and commercial pasta. What exactly is a high-GI? It means that your body metabolizes them quickly, sending your blood sugar levels soaring, resulting in an energy crash. On the other hand, eating low-GI foods won't spike your blood sugar as much and these levels will fall at a much slower rate, helping you stay fuller for longer.

Decades of studies show that your body's response to consuming high-GI carbs increases hunger and is more likely to promote overeating compared to eating lower GI foods. Unsurprisingly, that has an effect on your weight; In one The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, women who followed a high-GI diet were more likely to experience increases in weight, body fat, and waist circumference compared to those with a low-GI diet over the course of six years.

And that's not all: Another eye-opening study found that increasing your intake of refined carbs, and the lack of fiber that these stripped grains are associated with, can increase one's risk of type 2 diabetes.

The reason why simple carbs can cause weight gain is simple. It's because these carbs are all are void of satiating amounts of fiber. "Fiber slows digestion, which wards off blood sugar spikes and hunger and helps maintain blood sugar controlall-important keys to weight loss and management," explains Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition, and New York City-based dietitian and fitness expert.

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That's exactly why high-GI refined carbs are the worst kind of carb to eat and they're the type of starch that gives carbs a bad rap!

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Of course notjust give up the worst carb to eat for weight loss, as your body requires complex carbs for energy! Whether we consume fruits and legumes or Italian bread and pastries, your body uses up the food's glucose to carry out essential life functions and help you power through your workout. When we deplete our diet of carbs (like on the keto diet), we are often overcome by lethargy and get bombarded with cravings. (If you have been following the keto diet and are experiencing these symptoms, you should read more about the 7 Warning Signs You Should Stop the Keto Diet Immediately.)

Instead of depriving your body of its main source of energy, rid your kitchen of nutrient-void empty carbs and choose good-for-you carbs that are full of immunity-boosting antioxidants, minerals, and body-loving nutrients such as slimming protein and fiber.

Complementing your meals with complex carbsincluding whole-grains such as quinoa, oats, and farro as well as legumes and starchy vegetableswill provide you with lasting energy because the body burns these foods more slowly.

How's that? Besides for nourishing your body with essential phytochemicals and plant-based protein, whole-grains contain the entire grain kernelwhich includes the bran, germ, and endosperm.

On the contrary, refined grains are stripped of their fiber- and nutrient-dense bran and germ in order to lend the grains a longer shelf life and arguably more palatable texture. And that's exactly why those ubiquitous loaves of white bread you spot in the supermarket are enriched! Manufacturers add the mood-boosting B vitamins and anemia-fighting iron that have been stripped in the milling process back into the grain productbut leave the belly-filling fiber out.

And while nutritious foods such as fruits and dairy products contain quick-burning simple sugars, these natural carbs aren't refined and come packed with a slew of healthful nutrients you shouldn't ignore. If you want to reach or maintain a healthy weight, skip the worst carb balance your diet and fill your plate with these 28 Carbs That Won't Make You Fat.

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The #1 Worst Carb to Eat if You're Trying to Lose Weight - Yahoo Lifestyle


Sep 20

What is carb cycling and why some athletes use it – Business Insider India

When it comes to dieting and carbohydrates, everyone seems to have an opinion.

While some diets, like the keto diet, seek to cut nearly all carbs from your diet, there are other options worth exploring.

If you're considering carb cycling, here's what you should know first.

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The idea behind carb cycling is straightforward: You plan on eating more carbs on active days when your body can best utilize them as energy. Meanwhile, scaling back carbs on days when you're less active makes it so your body burns fat for fuel instead of carbs.

There are two forms of energy reserves for your body:

Alternating carb intake days, then, allows your body to better manage these energy reserves.

When you restrict carb intake, that means less excess glucose is stored in your fat cells. Instead of using glycogen, the body turns to burning fat, instead.

Given its flexibility, carb cycling is considered by some to be not as restrictive as other low-carb diet plans like the ketogenic diet and Atkins diet. Generally speaking, there are two main groups that could benefit from this eating plan:

A 2010 study in the Journal of Sports Medicine found that the amount of carbohydrates a person eats after an intensive workout can help replenish glycogen in the body. When there is a lack of glycogen on active days, athletes feel it as a state commonly called "hitting the wall."

For example, strategic high-carb days are designed to pair with highly active periods, like high intensity interval training days. The primary goal is to give the body ample fuel for the strenuous exercise in the form of glycogen. It also ensures your body gets enough carbs to refuel after the workout, which means better muscle recovery.

An example five-day carb cycling program might have you eating around 100 to 125 grams of carbohydrates for three consecutive low-carb days, then consume 175 to 275 grams for two high-carb days, when they're more physically active.

For perspective, the FDA recommends that someone on a 2,000 calorie diet should consume about 300 grams of carbohydrates daily. But many factors influence a carb cycling plan, including workout intensity, a food's glycemic index, nutrition composition, and quantity.

Those who want to cut back on carbs while still having the leeway to indulge sometimes might be attracted to the idea of carb cycling. The thinking is that their carb intake will "even out," says Liz Weinandy, a registered dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Studies on the effects of carb cycling have mostly been theoretical, Weinandy says, since the concept is still relatively new. It might be that carb cycling can help with weight loss in the long run but even when people do lose weight cycling carbs, it's possible that simply reducing calorie intake is playing a role, too.

Weinandy says some people do have an easier time losing weight on low-carb diets. "But it doesn't necessarily mean that it's the best or the healthiest approach for them," she adds.

Weinandy says she sometimes hears from patients that in order to cut down on carbs, they've cut out eating fruit, which misses the point.

It's important to note that once you switch to simple carbs for complex ones, it becomes harder to overeat, which helps your bottom line.

If you're a serious athlete or a moderately active person, carb cycling may help with weight loss, enhanced training, and better recovery. But like other restrictive eating plans, it requires planning and due diligence.

One incredibly useful tool: Write down everything you eat. According to Weinandy, that's a research-supported way to get in touch with your habits, especially mindless snacking you might not even realize you're doing, and understand what foods (and restrictions) work best for your body.

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What is carb cycling and why some athletes use it - Business Insider India


Sep 20

Lockdown weight loss story: I lost 14 kilos in just 2.5 months with my husbands support! – Times of India

Pregnancy can be a life-altering journey and brings a host of changes in a woman's body. When 30-year-old Rakhi Meniya realised that she was rapidly putting on a lot of weight after giving birth to her little one, she decided to do something about it. With the support of her husband, she did the impossible and lost a whopping 14 kilos in a span of 2.5 months. Her story is an example that anything is possible if you remain committed to your goals.Name: Rakhi MeniyaAge: 30 yearsHeight: 5 feet 2 inch

Highest weight recorded: 74 kgs

Weight lost: 14 kgs

Duration it took me to lose weight: 2.5 months

The turning point: I had put on a lot of weight after my pregnancy and I wasnt able to work out or monitor my diet soon after that. Hence, within a year, my clothing size went from S to XL and I found it quite tough to digest this huge change. My confidence had also begun to waver due to all the unsolicited pieces of advice. However, my husband acted as my pillar of support and gently nudged me to start working out and take care of myself. That was the turning point in my life and I have never really looked back after that.

My breakfast: I keep my diet simple and fuss-free so that I can follow it on most days. For my breakfast, I choose anything from a bowl of oats, a portion of sprouts with strawberry or banana smoothie. I completely avoid cheat meals or cheat days.

My Lunch: 1 chapati, 1 bowl of vegetable curry or a portion of sprouts with buttermilk. Occasionally, I have a bowl of brown rice with dal.

My Dinner: I make sure to finish my dinner by 7 pm every day, without fail. I have boiled vegetables like broccoli, carrot, cucumber etc. Sometimes, I have one chapati with a bowl of dal or vegetable curry.

My Workout: My workout routine is fuss-free. I run for 3 kilometres in the morning for six days a week and do Tabata workout at home. Tabata workout is an excellent choice for working out at home, given the current circumstances where we cannot hit the gym.

Pre-workout meal: Any fruit of my choice, including apple, orange and kiwi

Post-workout meal: I have a glass of almond milk with a handful of nuts

Fitness secrets I unveiled: If you want to lose weight and get back in shape, it all boils down to consistency. It does not matter what workout routine you follow, you have to keep doing it to see results. I have realised that losing weight is not rocket science, you have to watch your diet and continue working out as per your body type.

How do I stay motivated? Undoubtedly, one of my biggest motivators has been my husband, who gave me new targets every week to ensure that I kept going. When I started seeing the results, I kept following the same schedule for my work out and dietary plan. Also, when I saw that I was able to fit into size S/M clothing again, it further motivated me to continue my journey.

How do you ensure you dont lose focus? In the beginning, it was really tough to make up your mind to follow a strict schedule and make rapid lifestyle changes. However, after I maintained my routine for the first 15 days, I slowly became focused. Whenever I felt that I was straying from goals, I would watch my old photographs to motivate myself to keep going. It wasnt easy, but it was certainly worth it.

What shape do you see yourself 10 years down the line? I see myself as a healthy person, who loves to work out, no matter what.

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Lockdown weight loss story: I lost 14 kilos in just 2.5 months with my husbands support! - Times of India


Sep 20

Want to get big arms and improve grip? This 3-move kettlebell arm workout is what you need – T3

If you want to get big arms there are plenty of ways to do so. Improving grip a common health metric that could theoretically have beneficial effects on everything from lifting weights to living longer is more difficult. But if you have a kettlebell ready, this simple, three-move kettlebell workout can help with both getting big arms and having better grip strength.

You don't need the the best dumbbells or best barbells to get big arms. In fact, for this fast 3-move kettlebell arm workout, you'll only need a pair of the best kettlebells or just the one if that's all the best home gym equipment you've got. Arm workouts won't get much faster, simpler or more efficient than this one; as long as you put the effort in yourself.

The best kettlebell workouts build functional muscles as well as improve flexibility and agility. The mighty 'bell is also great for losing weight and following a regular kettlebell workout regime any type of resistance training, for that matter can effectively help you boost metabolism too.

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Kettlebell workouts come in many shapes and sizes: we already wrote about a 2-move full body kettlebell workout as well as a 4-week, 10,000 swing kettlebell workout that build muscles and melts fat before. In this workout, however, we'll focus on sculpting big guns and we'll try to do it as simple as effective as humanly possible.

We'll use three compound exercises, each focusing on the three big parts of your arm: biceps, triceps and delts (or shoulders). We didn't include a separate exercise for the forearm: holding the kettlebell will improve grip strength and therefore increase forearm girth as it is. If you want to enhance the forearms even further, try the aforementioned 10,000 swings kettlebell workout.

After a few minutes of warm up, perform each exercise continuously for 30-40 seconds with 15-20 seconds break in between exercises. At the end of the 3-exercise cluster, give yourself a 30-60-second break and repeat. For best results, do 3-4 clusters per workout.

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In depth: Overhead press how to

Much like the standard overhead press, double kettlebell overhead press will strengthen your delts the most but also the triceps, the pecs (chest muscles) and the traps too. Standing overhead press will also strengthen your frame and especially the core which you will use quite a lot for stabilisation.

When performing kettlebell overhead presses or any 'push' kettlebell moves make sure your wrist is in line with your forearm, just like in the video above. If you can't hold the 'bells without dropping your wrist, you might want to consider using a lighter kettlebell until you build up the strength.

If you only have one kettlebell, do single kettlebell overhead presses: do one side for 30-40 seconds then switch over to the other side without a break.

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In depth: how to do upright rows

Upright row is the perfect pull move for shoulders as long as you do it right. Kettlebells are especially well-suited for upright rows as you can shift the position of the hand in the highest position, reducing the strain on the wrists.

One important thing to keep in mind when doing upright rows is not to pull up the kettlebell too high. You won't gain anything from pulling the weight up until it's in line with your forehead; instead, try to lift it up to a level where it feels comfortable to your wrist and use a slow, controlled movement.

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In depth: how to do bent over rows

Finishing of the cluster we have the double kettlebell bent over row. If you only have one kettlebell, much like in the case of the overhead press, feel free to perform this exercise unilaterally, doing one side first then moving onto the other side without a break.

Bent over row works the biceps and the back of the shoulders as well as the upper back, not only helping you sculpting big arms but a broad back too. When using kettlebells, use mainly neutral grip (palms facing 'in') or if you prefer some extra bicep activation, switch to underhand grip (palms facing 'up').

Keep your back straight (neutral spine) and bend over as far as your hamstrings let you. Really squeeze the shoulder blades as you lift the kettlebells but don't drop your shoulders even in the lowermost position. Chest should be open and shoulders wide all the way through. Feel free to bend the knees a bit too, no need to lock the them.

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Want to get big arms and improve grip? This 3-move kettlebell arm workout is what you need - T3


Sep 18

Weight loss: How to lose water weight fast – Times of India

Water makes up 60-70% of our body functions. There are processes which support water excretion (like peeing and pooping) but certain foods you eat could also lead to water retention, courtesy, the carbs and sodium levels in them.

Carbs and sodium are stored in the body for energy, in the form of glycogen. These nutrients can seldom attract the water present outside your cell linings and cause "swelling". Now, think of all the times you eat loads of fried stuff with high sodium content and how they made you feel bloated and heavy.

While the water weight differs from one person to another, it is said that on an average, a person carries 2-5 kilos of water weight. They are also the first kilos you slash in any weight loss journey, especially when you adopt a low-carb diet. In fact, diet experts say that up to 70% loss in the first week is due to the water content you are losing out on.

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Weight loss: How to lose water weight fast - Times of India


Sep 18

Lose weight the fast and healthy way with Ideal You – WZZM13.com

What if you could lose weight, do it the healthy way, and see results fast? Ideal You may be just what youve been looking for.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich When it comes to weight loss everyone is looking for a quick fix. But what if you could lose weight, do it the healthy way, and see results fast? Ideal You may be just what youve been looking for.

Dr. Geri Williams said people see results the first week of the program and can lose up to 40 lbs. in 40 days. Ideal You Health Center uses whole foods, all-natural supplements, and daily coaching to help people burn unneeded fat.

While on the program, participants communicate with a weight loss coach every day. Dr. Williams says Ideal You helps people get to their goal weight whether they just need to lose 20 or 100 lbs.

For more information about Ideal You visit http://www.idealyou.us.

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Lose weight the fast and healthy way with Ideal You - WZZM13.com


Sep 18

‘I Did An F45 Training Challenge Ahead Of My Wedding And Got In The Best Shape Of My Life’ – Women’s Health

My name is Hannah Mitchell, and I am 31 years old. Im originally from Australia, and I moved to New York City four years ago. I fell in love with F45 Training and joined one of the gym's F45 Challenges and lost 20 pounds before my wedding. I now feel like my strongest self ever.

Growing up in Australia, I was very athletic. I have always had a more athletic build and had to work hard and work out to manage my weight. In college, I was on the rowing team and competed at a national level. I trained 10 times a week, and it was always really intense. After college, I gave up rowing and I entered the corporate world. However, I was eating the same amount and exercising less.

In 2016, I made the move to the U.S. I got into the gym and fitness scene in New York City to stay active. I would go a couple times a week to a bootcamp or cycling class and I ran outside a few times a week. I did my own thing for a year.

F45 is a mix of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), circuit training, and functional movements, and there are studios all over the globe. I absolutely loved the 45-minute group workouts.

No class was the same, and I quickly developed a fitness family relationship with people there that made exercise more enjoyable. Everyone pushes and encourages each other, and it becomes a social thing as well. We have all become really close, which has been the best because in a city like New York City, it can feel really lonely.

The Challenge was an eight-week program with a meal plan. The thing was, I wasnt totally dedicated at the time. However, I had a new fitness goal in mind: My fianc Ryan and I were getting married in Mexico in September of that year. So three months out, I started to really tune into my diet and I *officially* did an F45 Challenge.

The program was set up in a way that has you in different phases throughout each week. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday were cardio days, with meals and snacks best suited for cardio workouts. Tuesday and Thursday were weight/strength days, and the meal plan had more protein on those days.

Throughout the F45 Challenge, I did try to follow the meal plan closely during the week, and on weekends I was more relaxed. I reduced my drinking and desserts as well, and found sticking with portion control worked for me.

The meal plan wasn't about cutting out particular things, but about striking a balance between food groups with the workout type. I realized I was eating way too much protein and carbs. The meal plan came with grocery lists and recipes, which was super helpful. It was packed with lots of anti-inflammatory veggies and fruit.

Pre-pandemic, I would go to F45 classes at least six times a week, and maybe do a cycling class or two a week. With COVID-19, as you can imagine, everything changed. But I was able to keep doing F45 workouts with my husband through their app and live Zoom classes as well.

In June, they also started doing outdoor bootcamps in Central Park. (Studios are still closed in NYC.) Theyre called track classes, and they've been amazing. I have been going one to two times a week. I love the community vibe and seeing other people participating in the workout.

Working out with friends is so motivating to me. Everybody is different and is going to have different goals. Yes, I lost 20 pounds in 10 weeks before my wedding, but I kept going with my workouts because they made me so happy.

Since 2018, I have been maintaining, and it has changed the way I work out and eat. I now understand my body better and what it needs nutritionally. Ive kept a healthy weight and found a lifelong fitness routine that continues to push me.

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Sep 18

22 effective tips to lose belly fat, according to experts – Netdoctor

Visceral fat, also known as abdominal or belly fat, is fat that develops around your mid-section, surrounding vital organs like your liver and pancreas. Its different to subcutaneous fat, which you can pinch with your hands.

In healthy amounts, subcutaneous fat has several important functions it insulates and regulates the temperature of your body, for example. Belly fat, by contrast, promotes long-lasting inflammation, which can increase your risk of chronic diseases.

We asked Dr Samantha Wild, GP at Bupa UK, and Clarissa Lenherr, nutritionist at Bioniq, for their tips on how to lose belly fat for good:

Fat cells dont simply store energy, they also produce hormones and secrete inflammatory substances into the body. For this reason, having high levels of any type of body fat is bad for your health but this type of belly fat is the most villainous.

Whether youre overweight or not, carrying more visceral fat around your stomach can increase your risk of health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart and circulatory problems, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnoea, Dr Wild explains.

Since this kind of belly fat wraps around your internal organs, its hard to tell how much you carry. Were all at risk of developing visceral fat, so its really important we manage our lifestyle by making small, sustainable changes to help keep us healthy, says Wild.

Heres how:

If you arent already eating a source of lean protein such as salmon, eggs, or lentils at every mealtime, nows the time to start. Not only is it incredibly satiating eating protein stimulates the hormone PYY, which reduces appetite and promotes fullness but it also protects your body composition as you lose weight.

When youre in a calorie deficit, you risk losing muscle as well as fat. Eating adequate amounts of protein staves off hunger while preserving muscle mass, a University of Illinois study found. Recommended intake varies from person to person the reference intake in the UK is set at 0.83 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, Lenherr explains.

Keeping well hydrated is important for many reasons but did you know that drinking a pint of water three times a day before mealtimes could also help your weight loss efforts? In a 12-week University of Birmingham study, obese adults who drank 500ml of water half an hour before eating their main meals lost 3.5kg more than a control group who did so once or not at all. Aim to drink around six to eight glasses of water each day, says Wild.

When you eat soluble fibre, it forms a gel-like consistency that slows digestion, promoting fullness and decreasing the number of calories your body absorbs from food. Its also linked to lower levels of belly fat. For every 10g increase in soluble fibre eaten per day the equivalent of eating two small apples, 130g green peas and 85g pinto beans belly fat was reduced by 3.7 per cent over five years, an observational study by researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre found.

The recommended daily intake of fibre is 30g, while the average UK individual consumes just 18g, according to the British Dietetic Association, says Lenherr. Fibre plays a huge role in digestion, cardiovascular health, balanced blood sugar, weight management, hormone health and more. To increase your fibre intake, include whole grains, nuts and seeds, pulses and fruits and vegetables into your daily diet.

Cortisol is a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands. It affects fat distribution by causing fat to be stored centrally as belly fat rather than peripherally, at the hips. The more cortisol you release, the greater your levels of this type of fat, a Yale study found. Think about your lifestyle where you can, try to reduce your stress levels, says Wild. Your mental wellbeing is just as important as your physical health, so take some time to focus on yourself. Make sure you spend time relaxing, too.

The type of fat you eat determines where it will be stored in your body. In a seven-week study by Uppsala University, participants gained weight by consuming excess calories from either muffins made of saturated fat (palm oil) or polyunsaturated fat (sunflower oil). Those who ate the saturated fat muffins gained more body fat, more belly fat, and three times less muscle than the group who ate muffins made with polyunsaturated fat. Additionally, monounsaturated fatty acids found abundantly in olive oil, as well as peanuts and avocados have been shown to have beneficial effects on belly fat.

Soft drinks appear to be even worse for belly fat than consuming high sugar foods, since your brain is less efficient at registering liquid calories (this is true of fruit juice, too). Studies have consistently shown a correlation between sweetened beverage consumption and an increase in belly fat. In a six-year observational study by the American Heart Association, among those who drank one soft drink daily, belly fat volume increased by 852 centimetres cubed.

They may be free from sugar, but diet drinks packed with artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, saccharin, or sucralose also play havoc with your waistline. Another observational study, this time by the University of Illinois, found that drinkers of diet soda compensate for the absence of calories by eating greater quantities of discretionary foods such as cookies, ice cream, chocolate, fries and pastries.

People who pay a high degree of attention to their present thoughts and feelings known as dispositional mindfulness are less likely to be obese and have less abdominal fat than people who do not exhibit as much awareness, a study from Brown University found. Dispositional mindfulness is more like an inherent personality trait, the researchers said, rather than mindfulness meditation, which is a focused and deliberate awareness of the present moment. However, it can be learned by regularly practicing meditation.

While physical inactivity leads to a significant increase in belly fat, a randomised clinical trial by Duke University Medical Centre found, high amounts of exercise can lead to significant decreases relatively quickly. Participants who did not exercise had an 8.6 per cent increase in belly fat after eight months, while those who exercised the most saw a 8.1 per cent decrease in belly fat in the same period.

Interval training may shed more pounds than a continuous moderate intensity workout, according to analysis published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, with sprint interval training the most effective for fat loss. HIIT high intensity interval training is a great option for those with a busy lifestyle, as youll increase your heart rate and burn fat in a short amount of time, says Wild. Your body will reap the benefits of a HIIT workout for hours after your workout, too.

High intensity interval training is a great option for those with a busy lifestyle, as youll increase your heart rate and burn fat in a short amount of time.

And if high intensity workouts arent for you? No sweat. Even moderate amounts of exercise can reduce the amount of inflammation in belly fat, according to a rodent study by the University of Illinois, helping to safeguard your health. Belly fat produces inflammatory molecules that enter the bloodstream and increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Ditch refined grains such as white bread, white rice, and white pasta for their healthier whole counterparts. People who consume three or more daily servings of whole grains for example, whole wheat bread, brown rice and oats while limiting their daily intake of refined grains to less than one serving per day, have around 10 per cent less belly fat than those who choose refined grains every time, research from Tufts University found.

Not all calories are created equal, says Lenherr. The calories in an avocado might be the same as a portion of fries, but the impact and nutritional intake of these two foods are definitely not the same, she says. Calorie counting is a popular way of losing weight, which may work for some individuals, but there is a significant difference between a low-calorie diet of plant foods versus a diet filled with refined carbohydrates and sugars.

We know this deep down, but now science has confirmed it: snacking on high-fat and high-sugar foods is independently associated with an increase in abdominal fat. According to a study published in Hepatology, eating high-calorie snacks in addition to three main meals a day increases the accumulation of abdominal fat and fat in the liver, whereas eating larger balanced meals at mealtimes does not.

Omega-3 fatty acids are a family of fats that are essential for human health. Theyre found in high amounts in fatty fish like salmon and herring, and also in algae supplements. Theres scientific evidence that getting adequate omega-3s either through your diet or as a supplement helps to reduce your appetite, increase your metabolism, and amplify the number of calories and amount of fat you burn during exercise. Multiple studies of patients with fatty liver disease have shown that fish oil supplements can significantly reduce abdominal fat.

Good news for your morning cup of joe. Women who drink two or three cups of coffee a day have lower total body and abdominal fat than those who drink less, a study by Anglia Ruskin University found, with drinkers between the ages of 20 and 24 having 3.4 per cent less belly fat than those who did not consume coffee. Our research suggests that there may be bioactive compounds in coffee other than caffeine that regulate weight and which could potentially be used as anti-obesity compounds, wrote lead researcher Dr Lee Smith.

There are so many reasons to mix up your workouts with a range of activities not least because it makes exercise more interesting. But when it comes to burning belly fat, cardio is king. Researchers from Duke University Medical Center compared aerobic exercise, resistance training, and a combination of the two, to find out which was best for fighting belly fat.

Aerobic exercise performed as the sole exercise method or alongside resistance training was found to be more efficient and effective than resistance training alone, significantly reducing belly fat, liver fat, liver enzyme levels and fasting triglyceride levels, and improving insulin resistance. Plus, it was found to burn 67 per cent more calories than hitting the weights.

While you have most likely heard or gluten-free or dairy-free, many popular diets are also calling for people to be nightshade-free, sugar-free, lectin-free or grain-free, says Lenherr. There are a number of problems with eliminating whole food groups unnecessarily, especially without the support of a nutritionist, she says from risking nutritional deficiencies to missing out on essential protein and fibre.

On top of this, a reductionist way of eating can leave people feeling unmotivated and bored, which increases the likelihood of unhealthy cravings and giving up on the diet altogether, Lenherr continues. For those still wanting to cut out whole food groups, make sure you speak with a nutritionist to ensure you avoid any unwanted health implications.

A lack of shut-eye has long been associated with a wider waistline. A poor nights sleep has an effect on your hunger hormones causing levels of appetite stimulant ghrelin to rise, and appetite suppressant leptin to fall which can make you feel especially ravenous. And unfortunately, many sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, are worsened by weight gain.

A meta-analysis by the University of Warwick Medical School found that short sleep duration increased the likelihood of obesity by 55 per cent in adults. And there have been controlled studies, too when 16 adults were allowed just five hours of sleep per night for five nights, they each gained an average of 0.82kg.

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that alternates between set periods of eating and fasting typically eating all your food in an eight hour window, and abstaining from eating for 16. In a review of studies on intermittent fasting by the University of Illinois, people experienced up to a 7 per cent decrease in abdominal fat within 24 weeks. This approach to eating doesnt suit everyone, and for people with certain health issues such as diabetes, it may even be dangerous. Seek advice from a healthcare professional before attempting this approach.

Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide a wealth of health benefits when eaten. Certain probiotics, such as those from the Lactobacillus family, inhibit the absorption of fat from your diet. They also stimulate the release of a hormone called GLP-1, which helps to burn calories and fat. A strain called Lactobacillus gasseri has been found to have impressive anti-obesity effects. In a Japanese study spanning 210 participants, taking this supplement for 12 weeks reduced belly fat by 8.5 per cent on average.

Theres a reason its called a beer belly. As well as being high in calories, alcohol decreases leptin levels the hunger suppressant making you want to eat more. It also interferes with your bodys ability to process carbohydrates and fats from food, and several studies have shown that drinking too much alcohol may encourage fat to be stored as belly fat, so limiting your intake is advised. Unfortunately, a study by the University of Verona found that even moderate alcohol intake is linked to carrying more belly fat.

Theres no quick fix to lose your belly fat, so make sure you find a healthy lifestyle that works for you, says Wild. Vary your exercise routines and find a few exercises that you enjoy. Swapping for healthier food habits doesnt need to be boring, theres lots of tasty alternatives to your favourite meals, she says. Its important to make healthy habits that you enjoy to help keep you motivated to achieve your health goals. Set yourself small, achievable goals each week and write them down it will help you to stick to them.

Last updated: 17-09-20

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