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Nov 5

Pick Up These 5 Great Items To Help Lose Weight Quickly – Men’s Journal

Mens Journal aims to feature only the best products and services. We update when possible, but deals expire and prices can change. If you buy something via one of our links, we may earn a commission.Questions? Reach us at [emailprotected].

With everybody being stuck at home for the majority of 2020, we have all needed to find ways to kill time. And for most folks, that means working out. Exercising at home so you can stay/get healthy and come out of the pandemic looking amazing. You just need to figure out whats the right process for you.

If youre looking to lose weight more than anything else, there are plenty of ways to go about that. Exercising and/or eating right. But for some folks, they need a little help getting over the hump. You just cant lose that weight. Which means you need to pick up some help where you can.

There are plenty of options out there to help you lose weight. Its a whole industry at this point and the options are so vast it can be hard to make a choice. Which is why we are here to help you pick the right items to get you to lose weight quickly. Unsurprisingly, these items can be found on Amazon.

Going over the supply at Amazon, we have found 5 amazing items that will help you lose weight quickly. Its a nice little variety there too. Supplements and cleanses and workout attire. All the things you could use in tandem or on their own to help kickstart the weight loss process in short order.

So if you are having any issues or are looking to avoid any issues with losing weight, you should check out these items we have picked out for you below. Youll have no regrets picking any of these bad boys up.

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Pick Up These 5 Great Items To Help Lose Weight Quickly - Men's Journal


Nov 5

Intermittent fasting: the best method – All4Women

ABOUT THE AUTHORThe Conversation

The Conversation Africa is an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community, delivered ...

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The appeal of these diets is that you dont need to count calories or eat certain foods. But there are so many versions, its hard to know which one is best. Heres what the research says.

This is a popular version of intermittent fasting where you eat a very low-calorie diet (about 500kcal) for two days each week (any two days). On the other five days, you eat as normal.

Research has shown that its possible to lose weight with this diet; it also improves several markers of health, such as reducing levels of glucose and cholesterol in the blood. But the 5:2 diet is unlikely to be more effective for weight loss than traditional methods of dieting. This is because 5:2 reduces calorie intake to a similar extent as traditional dieting.

There is some evidence that conducting the two days of very-low-calorie intake on consecutive days can improve insulin sensitivity a risk marker for type 2 diabetes to a greater extent than traditional dieting. This approach also leads to decreases in blood lipids (fatty substances found in the blood) compared with traditional dieting.

An important extra benefit of 5:2 is that you can consume some food during the fasting period, providing an opportunity to take in vital nutrients. Dieting often leads to losses in muscle and bone mass, alongside fat mass because consuming a balanced diet while reducing calorie intake is difficult. This can compromise long-term weight loss efforts as muscle is more metabolically active (burns more calories) than fat. Eating enough protein can help to reduce the loss of muscle mass while dieting, with a bonus of reducing appetite.

While 5:2 could be considered a lifestyle intervention, alternate-day fasting (ADF) is more likely to be used to lose weight quickly. ADF is often referred to as the every other day diet and requires you to alternate daily between unrestricted eating and consuming a very low-calorie diet.

Most research on ADF uses a similar approach to 5:2, allowing a small meal (usually about 500kcal) to be consumed on fasting days. Research has shown that ADF can lead to considerable weight loss in 8-12 weeks, but a big problem with ADF is that adherence tends to wane. Longer-term studies have shown that calorie intake on fasting days creeps up over time, which reduces the calorie deficit achieved and slows the rate of weight loss.

Randomised controlled trials (the gold standard of clinical research) show that ADF doesnt lead to more weight loss or improvements in health compared with traditional dieting when calorie intake is the same in both groups. Despite this, it is likely that ADF will result in a greater reduction in calorie intake compared with traditional methods of dieting, which should lead to greater weight loss, initially. But its doubtful that many people will adhere to ADF in the long term.

Time-restricted eating (TRE) involves complete fasting for long periods (16-20 hours) and consuming all calories within restricted hours, often referred to as feeding windows.

The most common version of TRE uses a ratio between fasting and eating of 16:8 (16 hours of fasting and eight hours during which it is permissible to eat). Many people achieve this ratio by skipping breakfast thereby delaying their first meal until midday and consuming all food between midday and 8 pm.

Research has shown that calorie intake over a 24-hour period is reduced when people skip breakfast. But the number of calories expended through physical activity is also reduced, which will partially or completely negate the calorie deficit achieved by skipping breakfast. So skipping breakfast is unlikely to lead to meaningful weight loss. Skipping breakfast also reduces the effectiveness of insulin to regulate blood glucose levels after lunch, indicating a negative effect on insulin sensitivity.

But an alternative approach to TRE has shown promise. A recent study found that fasting from 2 pm improved insulin sensitivity in a group of pre-diabetic males. This could be due to an enhanced natural ability to regulate blood glucose levels effectively in the morning, due to daily variations in metabolism. So, restricting food intake to a morning feeding window and fasting in the evening may be a healthier version of TRE.

As with any diet, success will be dictated mostly by adherence. When it comes to weight loss, ADF is likely to lead to the most rapid success, but sustaining weight loss in the long term may be aided by the less intense 5:2 approach.

There is some evidence that adherence could be greater in TRE, as completely restricting food intake may be easier for some people than severely restricting it. In this sense, research suggests that skipping dinner may be better for health than skipping breakfast.

Its important to note that most research suggests that intermittent fasting is no better than traditional methods of dieting. But intermittent fasting regimens that have prolonged periods of fasting, such as TRE with shorter feeding windows and 5:2 with two consecutive very-low-calorie days, may provide additional health benefits.

David Clayton, Lecturer in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, Nottingham Trent University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.

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Intermittent fasting: the best method - All4Women


Nov 5

Combine cardio and strength training to boost weight loss: 5 best exercises to burn fat and flatten your tummy – Times Now

Combine cardio and strength training to boost weight loss: 5 best exercises to burn fat and flatten your tummy  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images

New Delhi: The benefits of daily exercise go beyond a trimmer waistline. It improves your heart health, lowers your risk of diabetes, helps you build muscles and strong bones. It increases your energy levels, keeps you sharp, and makes you feel happier. If you want to burn fat and build lean muscle more quickly, a healthy diet along with a combination of cardio and strength training can help accelerate your weight loss goals. So, are you ready to kick-start your flat belly journey?

Here are some of the best strength and cardio exercises that you can add to your fitness routine to burn belly fat and lose inches like never before.

Burpees

Burpees are effective workouts for weight loss as it involves training various muscle groups, including your chest, core and legs. It is a full-body exercise that can help you burn a lot of calories. The dynamic combination of squats, jumps, and pushups can help you burn fat from your overall body.

Jump rope

Turns out, jumping rope is a great calorie-burner. It is also a great exercise for the heart. Jumping rope also helps improve coordination and cognitive function. It helps strengthen the upper and lower body and makes your body burn a lot of calories in a short time. According to Multazim Shaikh, a fitness trainer and nutritionist with FamFits, you can burn about 1,300 calories per hour with a jump rope.

Cardio kickboxing

Cardio kickboxing is a high-energy workout that combines martial arts techniques with fast-paced cardio. It helps you burn fat, build lean muscle. This challenging workout can help you build stamina, improve coordination and flexibility. Muscle and Fitness Magazine reported that kickboxing can help you burn more than 800 calories per hour, as you tone up your entire body and rev up your metabolism with this fun, high-power cardio workout.

Pushups

Pushups are a great exercise to build upper body strength and increase muscle mass in your arms. It helps to stabilise the core and increase metabolism to burn more fat. It can also boost your heart health.

Lunges

Another great strength training exercise, lunges are a popular workout among those trying to sculpt and tone their bodies. It is an effective workout for strengthening legs and buttocks. Lunges target large muscle groups of your lower body, which improves your metabolism and boost weight loss. It is an effective workout for strengthening legs and buttocks.

The bottom line is, a well-rounded exercise routinecombined with a healthy diet and other lifestyle changes can help you lose weight and keep it off. However, starting and sticking with a fitness plan can be challenging especially for beginners, so look for ways to help you stay active and make better food choices every day.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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Combine cardio and strength training to boost weight loss: 5 best exercises to burn fat and flatten your tummy - Times Now


Nov 4

5 Fat-Causing Ingredients You Should Stop Eating ASAP, According To Nutritionists – SheFinds

Losing weight can be an intimidating process, but eliminating high calorie and fat-causing foods from your diet is one efficient way of making this process more manageable.

With that in mind, make sure to take a close look at what you are eating and what kind of nutrients you are getting from your diet. Some foods that are considered weight loss friendly are actually the opposite, causing more cravings and eventually weight gain.

With that in mind, keep reading for the 5 fat-causing ingredients you should cut out of your diet asap for more effective weight loss.

Potatoes are fine in moderation, but you definitely want to limit how often you are adding these starchy foods into your diet.

According to Harvard Health, theres good reason to stay away from potatoeseven if theyre not fries or chips. Walter Willett, who chairs the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, wrote about these starches inEat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating.

He explains, Nutritionists and diet books alike often call potatoes a perfect food. But while eating potatoes on a daily basis may be fine for lean people who exercise a lot or who do regular manual labor, for everyone else potatoes should be an occasional food consumed in modest amounts, not a daily vegetable. The venerable baked potato increases levels of blood sugar and insulin more quickly and to higher levels than an equal amount of calories from pure table sugar.

Processed meats are another good ingredient to limit in your diet.

According to Dr. Oz, Not only are those meats packed with sodium, but processed meats (including lunch meats, corned beef, jerky, canned meat, even salted fish and meat-based sauces) could be causing weight gain.

The article continues, Onestudy that examined over 8,000 diets and incidents of diabetesfound that subjects who consumed any processed meats were thirty-eight percent more likely to develop diabetes. Swap these foods for organic meats or free-range proteins whenever possible, and consider processed foods a special exception in your diet, not the norm.

Choosing white flour over whole grain flour can be a problem for your diet.

White flour contains refined grains, which you digest more quickly and can lead to more cravings throughout the day. This makes eating in moderation difficult.

Plus, according to Livestrong, Choosing whole flours over refined versions may also make a difference in belly fat, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2008. Researchers told one group of dieters to make all of their grains whole and another group to completely avoid whole grains. Although both groups lost weight, the whole-grain group lost more fat from the abdomen.

Canned soups show up in quite a few recipes, especially now that the weather is getting colder.

However, picking any canned soup can lead to problems if you are trying to lose weight.

The Scientific American explains, Eating a lot of salt can cause your body to retain more water, which can show up on the scale as extra pounds. But were not just talking about water weight here. High salt diets appear to be linked to higher body fatin particular, the kind of fat that accumulates around your middle.

With that in mind, make sure you pick out a low sodium canned soup option next time youre in the grocery store.

There is nothing wrong with eating nuts and nut butters in moderation, but if you are turning to these foods for weight loss friendly snacking, you might want to reconsider.

Healthline explains, Nuts and nut butters are a perfect choice if youre looking to gain weight.Just one small handful of almonds contains over 7 grams of protein and 18 grams of healthy fats.

These foods are high in calories, which can make weight loss difficult if you do not keep them in moderation.

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5 Fat-Causing Ingredients You Should Stop Eating ASAP, According To Nutritionists - SheFinds


Nov 1

Weight loss: From having a well-earned belly to fitting into size XS, secrets behind Avika Gor’s weight loss transformation – Times of India

Avika looks completely unrecognizable in her latest photos. For Avika, there was one particular night which made her make the big change. In a very candid, emotional post, the actress said that she didn't like the way she looked and found it difficult to believe she was overweight, despite not having any health issues. A social media post reads:

"I still remember one night last year, when I looked at myself in the mirror & I broke down. I didn't like what I saw. Big arms, legs, a well-earned belly. I had let go too much. If it were due to an illness (Thyroid, PCOD, etc), it would be okay because that would be out of my control."

Although Avika is a proficient dancer and has a busy schedule, she realized the problems a bad lifestyle led her to have. Avika admitted that she had been negligent about her health, and it costed her heavily.

"...But, it happened because I ate anything & everything, and I didn't work out at all. Our bodies deserve to be treated well, but I didn't respect it.

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Weight loss: From having a well-earned belly to fitting into size XS, secrets behind Avika Gor's weight loss transformation - Times of India


Nov 1

Liberty Park drive-thru trick-or-treating was spooktactular – Clarksville Now

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (CLARKSVILLENOW) The City of Clarksvilles annual Halloween walk-thru celebration, Fright on Franklin, was a new experience this year due to the ongoing pandemic as it became a drive-thru trick-or-treating event at Liberty Park.

There was no doubt the community enjoyed the fun as vehicles, each one of course with any number of children, lined up throughout the park to collect treats from close to 40 vendors and sponsors of the event. At one point traffic was backed up on Cumberland Drive outside the park, as well as on Riverside Drive reportedly to Commerce Street waiting to get treats.

No figures were immediately available on how many vehicles passed through the Trick-or-Treat line.

The Clarksville Parks & Recreation Department organized the event again this year with the health and safety of citizens being a top priority. A contest was held for the best decorated Halloween booth with Once Upon a Child taking 1st place, 101st Adult Dentistry won 2nd place, and Fat Shack took 3rd place.

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Liberty Park drive-thru trick-or-treating was spooktactular - Clarksville Now


Oct 30

Want to speed up your weight loss? Try these tips to rev up your metabolism and burn belly fat – Times Now

Want to speed up your weight loss? Try these tips to rev up your metabolism and burn belly fat  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images

New Delhi: Youve probably heard people say that theyre not seeing desired results despite efforts to lose weight, because they have a 'slow metabolism'. Its a common belief that having a higher metabolism can help you burn more calories and shed pounds faster, while also providing your body with more energy. Its true that some people have a faster metabolism than others, however, how fast your body burns calories may depend on several factors. Yet,theres little evidence to support the claim that a sluggish metabolism is a reason for your weight gain.

If youre concerned about your weight and slow metabolism, there are steps you can take to help you get a flattummy and feel better. Basically, metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical processes going on continuously inside your body to keep you alive and all organs functioning - such as repairing cells, breathing, digesting food. Some factors such as your age, gender, sex, genes, amount of physical activity, and diet may affect the speed of your metabolism. Wondering what you can do to boost your metabolism? Read on.

Here are a few tips to increase your metabolism to help you reach your weight loss goal much faster:

Making simple lifestyle changes and sticking to them can increase your metabolism and help you achieve your weight loss goal.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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Want to speed up your weight loss? Try these tips to rev up your metabolism and burn belly fat - Times Now


Oct 30

Weight loss: can your ‘settling point’ prevent you from losing weight in the long term? – T3

Each day, we learn more about how to lose belly fat efficiently through research and while many people believe in the positive effects of diets such as the keto diet and intermittent fasting, evidence suggest that in the long run, people will put the weight back on that they lost initially.

When we try to lose weight, we work against our bodies, which likes to hang on to fat reserves as it expects bad times to come. "Human preferences for energy-dense sweet and high-fat foods may have evolved for reasons of survival", as this 2010 paper on Human Perceptions and Preferences for Fat-Rich Foods suggest. Our bodies are happy to reserve some fat because it knows that at some point, it will have to use it to keep us alive. So in theory, more fat reserves equals to an increased chance of survival.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

One of the issues is that we live in a world where energy-dense food is abundant so there is no need for us to store fat. We can buy avocados and watermelons all year around and we also have access to a variety of supplements. As well as that, we also created an environment around us that preserves energy: we live in warm houses, move less and so on.

The Health Survey for England 2017estimates that "28.7% of adults in England are obese and a further 35.6% are overweight but not obese".Despite all this, a good chunk of the population is still not obese. If we would crave all the food in the world all the time, surely everyone would become fat in no time? There must be other forces at play than just sheer will that regulates how much we weight.

One theory is that your body has a 'set point' or 'settling point': a bodyweight it likes to keep and return to most of the time. According to a research paper titled Set points, settling points and some alternative models: theoretical options to understand how genes and environments combine to regulate body adiposity, published in 2011, "the set point model...suggests that there is an active feedback mechanism linking adipose tissue (stored energy) to intake and expenditure via a set point, presumably encoded in the brain" while "the settling point model is based on the idea that there is passive feedback between the size of the body stores and aspects of expenditure."

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Both theories suggests that our bodies have a preferred weight it likes to keep whether we like it or not. This would explain why we pile the weight back on once we are finished with the latest 4-week diet-fad. The theory also implies that once we stopped forcing our bodies to do something it really doesn't like doing (i.e. getting rid of fat storages), it will return to point it thinks will serve your survival the best.

Bad news is, this system can not only be flawed but also abused by people. For example, our bodies can suffer from leptin-resistance, leptin being a hormone often referred to as the 'starvation hormone'. A study called Leptin resistance: underlying mechanisms and diagnosis suggests that "a decrease in tissue sensitivity to leptin leads to the development of obesity and metabolic disorders, such as insulin resistance and dyslipidemia".

Bad diet can also influence these theoretical set points, especially strict calorie restrictive diets. When we force our bodies to lose weight through starvation, it tends to reduce our energy expenditures as a response. After we return to our usual diet, the body will happily restock the fat it lost and does it even quicker since it already reduced its energy expenditure by lowering resting basal metabolic (BMR) rate, as explained in this research paper titled Reduced Metabolic Rate after Caloric RestrictionCan We Agree on How to Normalize the Data?

(Image credit: The Protein Works)

This could also explain why people put on more weight when they return to the normal food intake levels after low calorie diets. Since the body lowers its BMR, eating the same amount of food you used to eat will result in an even greater calorie surplus and therefore quicker fat reserve replenishment.

An article called Does Metabolism Matter in Weight Loss? and published by the Harvard Medical School mentions that "our bodies are also programmed to sense a lack of food as starvation. In response, our BMR slows down, which means fewer calories burned over time. That's one reason why losing weight is often difficult."

The more often and longer you go on extreme calorie restricted diets, the more likely you will damage your metabolic-system and sustain the 'losing weight-putting more back on cycle'.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Is it pointless to diet? Of course not. Normal BMI is associated with better health prospects in general, so it is worth losing some weight if at all possible. But how?

One solution might be to keep a somewhat calorie restricted diet all the while boosting metabolic rates. Metabolism can be boosted just by walking a bit more and including certain food items in your diet.

This might be more challenging to some than others leptin-resistance can be at play in some cases but in non-extreme cases, it is more than achievable to drop some weight through the combination of moderate exercising and a balanced diet. Resistance training is also said to help keeping the weight off, as noted in a paper aptly titled Resistance Training Conserves Fatfree Mass and Resting Energy Expenditure Following Weight Loss.

An important thing to keep in mind is time, as in letting your body adjust to changes. Your body is extremely adaptable but also slightly pessimistic, so it can change quickly in response to negative stimuli such as a lack of food, but reacts slower to positive ones as it expects that lack of food to happen again in future...

A gentle decrease in calorie intake and moderate increase in exercise levels can help put the body on a more sustainable and healthy bodyweight trajectory in the long run.

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Weight loss: can your 'settling point' prevent you from losing weight in the long term? - T3


Oct 30

Gym not working? Here’s how to train according to your body type – Metro.co.uk

Could your body type be affecting your progress in the gym? (Picture: Getty Images)

Have you ever followed the exact same training regime or diet as a friend but ended up with completely different results? It could be down to your different body types.

A body type, or somatotype, is the concept that our bodies can be classified into three categories based on build: endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph.

The idea was created by American psychologist Dr WH Sheldon in the 1940s and, while some of his work has been debunked (he theorised incorrectly that people with certain body types tended to exhibit specific personality traits), somatotypes are still broadly used by the fitness industry today to say whether you are fat, muscular, or tall and thin.

Lots of PTs put their clients on the exact same exercise regime and diet, even though they have different body types and fitness goals, says female fitness expert, Rachael Attard who trains according to somatotypes.

I have found that body-type distinction gives you a good starting point for adjusting your workout and diet if youre not seeing results.

For example, if youre an endomorph (typically curvier and with shorter limbs) and your goal is to lean down your thighs, you will most likely not achieve that result with sprinting and heavy lifting.

Whereas for an ectomorph (naturally leaner with longer limbs), that approach would give great results.

A body type is not a life sentence and your somatotype can change depending on an array of things such as environmental and social influences, genetic variations, geographic locations, and the personal decisions you make.

Studies suggest that while your genes may determine up to 80 per cent of your weight and body type (your physiology), environment and personal choice still play a significant role, adds Rachael.

However, dont be confused by the apple, pear and hourglass terms you commonly hear to describe a womans figure. Normally, these are references to visual appearance, says Rachael.

Some women fall into a mix of two or more body types, ie a 65 per cent mesomorphs and 35 per cent endomorphs would classify a woman with an hourglass figure (which maintains the slim waist of a mesomorph but has more curves).

All bodies are not created equal, so diets and training sessions shouldnt be either. Identifying your somatotype could help determine the success of your goals, so Rachael explains the best ways to train and eat for each.

Generally short, round and curvy with larger midsection and hips. You are predisposed to store fat, but you also gain muscle fast and have good strength and endurance.

You tend to be bottom heavy so up your reps and use lower weights. Combine low-intensity cardio sessions with at least 2-3 moderate-high intensity ones.

Running at a steady pace and on a flat surface will work best for your body type. Try to do as much power walking as you can at least five times per week for 45 minutes per walk. It helps reduce fat on your legs and burns more calories than you think.

Thanks to a slower metabolism, you should stick to a low-carb diet. Make sure most of your carbs come from fruit and vegetables and skip starchy carbs like pasta, bread and rice.

Healthy fats will keep you feeling fuller for longer think lean meats, oily fish, nuts, seeds and avocado. No diet should be restrictive, but if you must have treats, keep them healthy, like protein balls.

20-25% carbohydrates, 30% protein, 45-50% fat

Naturally muscular with broad shoulders, solid torso and a narrow waist. You can lose and gain weight quickly, but see results quickly, too.

You tend to be more athletic and gain muscle easily so choose your weights carefully. Focus on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to burn calories and build muscle simultaneously and incorporate this 1-2 times a week.

Also include regular steady pace cardio sessions. High-intensity cardio, such as running on a flat surface and at a steady pace, works best for fat loss. To really challenge yourself, make one of your cardio days high intensity.

You do best with a balanced macronutrient ratio so try and have all three in your meals and snacks.

You tend to gain weight quickly if you eat too many high sugar foods so stick with the 80:20 rule. If your fat loss is being stubborn, try a low carb/high protein diet for four weeks, then switch it back to balanced macros.

30-35% carbohydrates, 35-40% protein, 30% fat

Usually tall and slim with long, thin muscles and limbs. You look athletic and have a good metabolism. You generally find it difficult to gain weight or muscle and are naturally low in body fat.

Up your strength training (ideally three times a week) to build muscle mass (lower reps at a higher weight) and include longer rest periods so you dont elevate calorie burn.

Cardio is optional, (unless you love it of course) or if youre trying to get rid of excess fat. Aim for one rest day per week or an active recovery day (that might involve some light walking or stretching).

Your body will gain muscle and strength very slowly so do not be disheartened if you dont notice improvements straight away.

You are the only body type that thrives on carbohydrates and does not gain weight, so embrace a high-carb diet.

Avoid sugar and focus on healthy carbs such as fruit, brown rice, whole grain pasta, quinoa and veggies. High levels of protein are good for muscle growth plus good fats will help you recover you recover from workouts faster.

40-50% carbohydrates, 30-35% protein, 20-25% fat

Not sure what type you are? Rachael has created a free online quiz to help women figure out where they fit.

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MORE: Plus-size dance instructor fights to make bigger bodies more visible in the world of fitness

MORE: Socialising helps improve our brain health, study says

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Gym not working? Here's how to train according to your body type - Metro.co.uk


Oct 22

The health risks of intermittent fasting: It’s not for everyone – CNET

Intermittent fasting is a popular health trend -- but is it safe for everyone?

If there's a "golden child" of the wellness world from the last several years, it's intermittent fasting. The trend quickly took hold of the wellness community, and everyone from doctors to bloggers and fitness trainers began to talk about the seemingly miraculous effects it can have on health.

Those effects include its potential to help people lose weight, decrease risk for cancer and disease and even improve longevity, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

With all of these benefits and promising research, it's hard to think that intermittent fasting wouldn't be worth the challenge of restricting food for periods of time. But some experts and researchers have questioned whether the benefits of fasting diets and intermittent fasting are worth the potential problems and challenges of maintaining a fasting diet.

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Intermittent fasting involves avoiding eating and snacking for certain periods of time (for some that's hours, and others a day or more) which makes insulin levels go down, requiring your body to use the energy stored in the fat cells for fuel. In addition to burning fat, there are animal studies and some human studies that show fasting can help lower blood sugar, quiet inflammation and improve other health issues.

But as promising as the research is, it's important to keep in mind that a lot of it has been done on rats, which limits what we really know about what it can do for humans. According to Harvard Health, much of the research done on fasting in humans are shorter studies with small groups of people, so the results of those studies might not apply to most people. And there's not much research on what the potential effects of doing intermittent fasting can have on your health in the long term.

The safety and potential challenges of intermittent fasting varies based on each individual and health factors including age, gender, underlying health conditions, lifestyle and their overall health and well-being. Keep in mind that before you make drastic changes to your diet (like with IF or other diets), you should consult your doctor or health professional. Below are a few reasons you might want to reconsider if intermittent fasting is right for you and your goals.

Fasting can interfere with female hormones, exacerbating issues like PMS or period pain.

Intermittent fasting requires you to restrict food for periods of time, which overtime, can make your body more sensitive to insulin. Insulin sensitivity is a good thing, it means your cells can use the energy (sugar) from the food you eat more efficiently, which ultimately helps lower your blood sugar. But for some, low blood sugar and hunger means more stress on the body. Going through long periods of fasting, resulting in low blood sugar and stress on the body, can mean bad news for your hormones and fertility.

"I don't recommend [intermittent fasting] if [women] have a lot of stress, aren't sleeping enough, are exercising a lot, are trying to get pregnant, have a history of disordered eating or have hormone imbalances or thyroid or adrenal issues...which pretty much excludes most women," says Melissa Groves Azarro, an integrative and functional medicine dietitian specializing in women's health and hormones.

Studies performed on young rats showed that fasting negatively affected reproductive health for male and female rats. "Women's hormones are super susceptible to perceived stress and scarcity, so intermittent fasting can worsen existing hormone imbalances. I do think it may be a useful tool in menopause, if sleep, stress and exercise are balanced," Azarro says.

While some people find intermittent fasting helps them succeed in their weight loss goals, some studies show that it is not much better (or about the same) as restricting calories in general. For many people, going for long periods without food is really difficult, and can cause them to overeat once the fast period is over. So if you end up eating the same or more calories than if you had just followed a calorie restriction plan with normal meal times, it may not be worth it if weight loss is your goal.

A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that overweight adults who fasted for 16-hour windows didn't lose much more weight than the control group that did not fast, and most of the weight they did lose was from muscle loss.

"The benefits of fasting are really more around longevity and improving insulin sensitivity and some gut conditions. I don't view it as a tool for weight loss," Azarro says. If weight loss is your goal, you may be better off trying less restrictive or extreme weight loss programs, if it seems more realistic that you'll be able to stick to them.

There are certain groups of people who should not try intermittent fasting, especially without talking to their doctor first, due to real risks and dangers to their health. This includes people with diabetes, people who are on medication for blood pressure or heart disease, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.

People who have blood sugar issues or are underweight could also be at risk. Anyone with preexisting medical conditions of any kind should reconsider fasting and consult their doctor before changing their diet.

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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The health risks of intermittent fasting: It's not for everyone - CNET



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