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Ten Weight Loss Tips To Ensure Victory In The New Year


Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

Ten Weight Loss Tips To Ensure Victory In The New Year’s “Battle Of The Bulge” was written by David Petersen from bossfitness.com

With millions of people making New Years resolutions to participate in the “Battle of the Bulge” here’s some useful ammo to help you adhere to your weight loss plan, keep you motivated and ensure victory:

1. Enlist

Just as new enlistee signs a contract that commits him/her to their military task and duty, similarly, if your goal is to lose weight, you too should sign a contract with yourself, your trainer, a friend or a loved one. Essentially a contract cannot be broken and there is usually a penalty to do so. A contract places the commitment to paper and the responsibility on you, which will increase your resolve and motivation to the task of losing weight. If you need to, assign a reward for the satisfactory fulfillment of the contract rather than a penalty. For example, if you attain your target weight, write in the contract that you will take a spa vacation to show off your “new” body. This is a form of positive reinforcement, which gives you an eventual goal to work toward and tends to work better than negative reinforcement like punishment.

2. Recruit backup

For many people the “battle of the bulge” is exactly that. Give yourself a leg up right from the start and recruit the services of a well-qualified (check credentials) personal trainer or exercise physiologist. These “officers” are experienced in their field and will offer the correct guidance, training and motivation to conquer the enemy (fat). If you cant afford this service, recruit the assistance of a friend or family member to offer moral support and motivation.

3. Know Your Enemy

To go into battle with no knowledge of the enemy is guaranteeing defeat. With the guidance of your “officer”, or on your own, find out information on fat loss. This may involve doing some homework on fat metabolism and basic nutrition. Learn about how to “identify” the enemy by being able to recognize fattening foods and bad carbohydrates and research topics like how to shift the scales toward negative caloric intake. Don’t be afraid of exploring a little of the science behind weight loss – the web is essentially a free of source of information – use it!

4. Know Thyself

Just as it is important to know and study the enemy, you must also know some information about yourself. Make a list of possible obstacles that may derail the successful implementation of your upcoming battle plan and jot down proposed solutions on how to deal with them. Forecast where you may weaken in your resolve. For example, if you have a weakness for scoffing Ding Dongs at midnight or certain situations make you more likely to eat junk food or drink alcohol uncontrollably like at parties. It may also be very helpful at this point to find out your EAR or Estimated Average (Caloric) Requirement. Your EAR gives an indication of the number of calories your body needs to maintain its current mass, taking into account the subjective estimation of your daily activity levels – for example, exercise participation and physical activity associated with your work. (Click here for a handy caloric calculator)

5. Develop a “battle plan”

With the help of your “officer” or with your own “top secret” information from your research, carefully devise a strategy to follow. Like many successful battle plans, attacks should involve multiple strategies. An obvious battle plan would be to begin a sensible “diet” to restrict caloric intake, yet does not border on starvation levels. This is decent single strategy attack, but if you really want the enemy on their heels, you need a multiple-strategy attack. Consider using the combined forces of diet and exercise to shift your energy intake levels to less than your expended energy levels. Resistance training will not only greatly add to your energy expenditure, but will also increase your lean muscle mass and as a result, increase your resting metabolic rate. A multiple-strategy approach such as this will greatly increase weight loss over dieting alone. Make a chart using colored pens to designate the multi-strategy attack plan. This will provide you a tactile image of your battle plan and help you stay motivated and in control. Remember the battle may continue for several months or possibly indefinitely, so adjust your plan accordingly and consider making permanent lifestyle changes concerning exercise and eating habits.

6. Set strategic and realistic goals

A successful battle campaign will involve setting goals of smaller victories to result in eventual victory. Setting goals will increase your motivation and adherence to the task and allow for assessment of progress. Sit down and strategize with your trainer or your partner and decide on achievable weight loss goals. Assign a time frame to achieve your “mini victory” and write them down on a chart. Check off every “mini victory” as you attain them. A rule of thumb for gradual weight loss that will stay off is to aim to lose about one percent of your body weight a week. The human body does not simply “let go” of its fat stores – it gradually releases them when caloric expenditure is greater than consumption. For example, if you weigh 225 lbs, you can safely lose about 2.3 lbs a week. A pound of fat contains 3 500 calories, so 2.3 lbs contains 8 050 calories. So in this case, look to cut about 1 150 calories from your EAR using a combination of diet and energy expenditure from exercise. If your battle plan involves resistance training (it should!), do not place a high priority on scale readings as this may lead to frustration. Resistance training will increase muscle mass (muscle weighs more than fat) and may confound scale readings.

7. Arm yourself!

At this point you will already be armed with a powerful array of non-tactile weapons – knowledge, moral support and guidance. Now, arm yourself by financially committing to either purchasing quality exercise equipment or a long-term gym membership. Buy a sensible diet book (for example, South Beach Diet) and a journal to write down your feelings, experiences on a daily/weekly basis if possible. Keeping a journal of the types of foods you eat and your feelings/attitude toward eating and exercise will help provide concrete evidence to identify signs of progress or regression and keep you on track.

8. Get out there and fight!

By now you will be prepared enough to face the enemy. Realize that the battle of weight loss is just that and that it will sometimes have to be fought tooth and nail. Use your weapons and resources to stick it out when your resolve begins to wane. Remain committed to yourself and your personal campaign and realize that others “back home” are supporting you.

9. Monitor your Campaign

Use your resources and the tips in this article to monitor the progress of your weight loss plan. Use a combination of body weight, waist/hip circumference changes and the results of your journal to get the “big picture”. See if there are any aspects of your battle plan that need “tweaking” or revision. A highly effective way of objectively monitoring your fat loss and lean muscle tissue gain is to monitor your body composition (% body fat, % lean muscle tissue and bone). Try to find a local personal trainer or fitness service that offers body composition tests. Body composition can be measured by a variety of different methods depending on the sophistication of the service. The simplest and least expensive method of determining body composition is by means of skinfold measurement. Other more sophisticated (and accurate) methods involve the use of Bioelectrical Impedance Assessment (BIA) equipment. For more information on BIA, click on the link at the bottom of this article.

10. Integrate a “new government” for your lifestyle

Once you have achieved victory and attained your weight loss goal, consider the lifestyle changes that you will need to make to maintain your goal weight. You may need to make exercise a part of your daily routine or continue to follow a sensible eating plan that restricts certain foods, or both. If your campaign was an extended one, you will most probably already have made some permanent changes to the way you deal with eating and physical activity. Also, if your battle plan involved resistance training, you will find it much easier to maintain your desired weight because of an increased muscle mass and metabolic rate. Realize that it was an uphill battle to get to the point where you are and plan to “do whatever it takes” to keep or even improve your physical condition.

This article has highlighted some basic strategies to help make your weight loss goals more attainable. Use these pointers and you are virtually guaranteed “victory!”

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The Best Weight Loss Exercise: Interval Training


Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

The Best Weight Loss Exercise: Interval Training was written by David McCormick from weightlessproducts.com

If you have read my article called Exercise: Essential, then you can skip down to the next section, called How to do Interval Training. Read on if you need a reminder of the basic principles of exercise for weight loss. Skip to the bottom to find a link to the whole article on Exercise.

Aerobic exercise is fat burning exercise. As you do some activity using large muscles (legs, especially) that raises your heart rate but still allows you to breathe normally, your body will burn fat with the oxygen you’re breathing. However, your body will only burn blood-sugar at first, because it’s easily available. So, to get to the fat-burning stage, you have to exercise for at least 20 minutes, preferably 30 minutes or more. Walking and bicycling at a gentle pace are examples of aerobic activities. Read more in my article on Aerobics.

Anaerobic exercises are high-intensity exercises that get your muscles working hard, and you will have trouble breathing. The word “anaerobic” means “without air”, meaning that you will be breathing fast, but still not getting enough oxygen to properly fuel your muscles. This leads to muscle strengthening, but it also means that you’re burning blood-sugar only, not fat, and you end up with lactic acid that will make your muscles feel like they’re burning. Weight training and sprinting are anaerobic activities.

You can keep doing aerobic exercise longer than anaerobic exercise, and you’ll burn about equal amounts of calories overall doing either. Aerobic exercise burns those calories from fat during the exercise. Anaerobic exercise only burns blood-sugar, but burns a lot of fat later (the rest of the day) to replace the energy. Is it possible to combine the two, so that you can burn fat while exercising, and keep burning the rest of the day? Yes, with Interval Training.

How to do Interval Training

The “intervals” in Interval Training are alternating periods of high-intensity exercise with low-intensity rest periods. This allows a person to keep exercising for at least 30 minutes to kick in the effects of aerobic activity, but it is also intense enough to strengthen the heart and provide the long-term fat burning of high-intensity exercise. The idea is simple, but ingenious, and amazingly effective.

You can do interval training using a time-measure or a distance-measure. If you prefer to run indoors in a gym’s track, then there is probably a clock to watch while running, so time would be more convenient to keep track. If you prefer to train outdoors, it may be inconvenient to look at your watch every few seconds, so going by distance will probably be easier. If you use time, you should run as fast as you can for one full minute, then walk for two minutes. After that, run again for one more minute and rest by walking for two minutes. Keep repeating this three-minute cycle until 30 minutes have elapsed overall. If you prefer to chart distance, you will want to run about a half-mile, then walk for one-quarter mile, and keep alternating that.

Benefits of Interval Training

World-class athletes already know that Interval Training is the best way to improve almost every aspect of running performance. The fist effect is that high-intensity leg exercise, like running, will make your legs stronger. That means more muscle mass, and each gram of new muscle will burn that much more fat every minute of every day. The second effect of high-intensity training is what people call “cardio”. That’s short for cardio-vascular training, meaning that your heart as a muscle will grow stronger. This will prevent many forms of heart disease, as well as improving circulation, which has benefits for many aspects of life.

The most important benefit of Interval Training is that it is the single best way to improve your VO2-Max. That is the volume (V) of oxygen (O2) that you take with your deepest breath (max). VO2-max is the best measure of fitness and endurance. Increasing your VO2-max with interval training will give you greater endurance for everything you do, and the higher your VO2-max, the less you will feel that heat or pressure on your lungs when you exercise. Believe me, after interval training for a week, you will know without a fancy test that your VO2-max is improving, and soon you’ll feel the improvement with every training session. It’s a great feeling.

Improving Intervals

Drink a little water during every rest period. If you forget your water bottle one day, you will definately notice that you cannot run as fast or as long. The difference is really remarkable.

Using the time method is better than distance to keep yourself honest, because as you get faster, your half-mile will turn out to take less and less time. So, to keep improving your performance, and keep losing weight, you should either get a stopwatch, or else keep making your running intervals farther and farther (to make sure they still last a whole minute).

As your VO2-max increases, you may be tempted to make your workouts last longer overall, or to make the high-intensity periods last longer. You should do neither of these things. Your goal should be to keep intervals of 1-minute of running separated by 2-minutes of walking, and keep increasing the intensity of each running interval. If you make every interval a sprint for one full minute, and keep that up for 40 minutes, you are already a superhero. Longer workouts risk breakdown of tissues and a high burden on your kidneys and other organs. And if you make each interval longer, you may not be pushing your speed the most you can, which is where the benefits are.

At the other end of the scale, if you’re just starting interval training, go easy. Too many men start off too fast and burn themselves out within 10 minutes. That will not benefit you. Warm up with a fast walk or a gentle jog for 10 minutes or so. Then, try your first interval. It should be for one full minute, but just try for a pace a little faster than a jog. Then walk for two minutes. For your next interval, just try to maintain that fast jog pace for another full minute. Then walk again for two minutes. Don’t sit down or stop if you can avoid it, keep walking to recover. On your third interval, try just a little faster. If you can’t make it for the full minute, you have just found out where your zone is. The key isn’t to try to sprint right away and only be able to go for 20 seconds. You have to do the full minute at a constant pace, as fast as you can sustain for one whole minute. I guarantee that it will be pretty slow your first time. But try it again the next day, and you will be better. By the end of two weeks, you’ll be amazed how much more fit you’ve become. I promise.

If you don’t think you’re up for Interval Training yet, read my article on Exercise which you can find on the Mr. Weightless Site.

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What You Need to Know About Caralluma Fimbriata


Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

Caralluma fimbriata is a succulent plant, in the cactus family, that has been used as a natural appetite suppressant in India for centuries. It’s a new arrival in the family of cactii and succulent plants that are becoming increasingly popular for their appetite suppressant, and weight loss properties, as well as their ability to lower blood sugar. Supplements made from the popular hoodia gordonii cactus from the Kalahari Desert in Africa, are, for example, growing in popularity and usage in the U.S. and Europe. Like hoodia, caralluma fimbriata has been used to suppress appetite, and as a portable food for hunting. It is used to suppress hunger and appetite, and enhance endurance throughout India. It is also sometimes considered a “famine food,” used during periods of famine to suppress appetite. For centuries, people in rural areas of India have eaten Caralluma fimbriata, which grows wild over various parts of the country. Caralluma fimbriata is cooked as a vegetable, used in preserves like chutneys and pickles, or eaten raw. Caralluma fimbriata is believed to block the activity of several enzymes, which then blocks the formation of fat, forcing fat reserves to be burned. Caralluma fimbriata is also believed to have an effect on the appetite control mechanism of the brain. Ayurvedic (traditional Indian medicine) experts have noted that there are no adverse effects when using Caralluma fimbriata, and the plant has no known toxicity. A patented, tested extract of Caralluma fimbriata has been developed and standardized by a company called Gencor. Known as “Slimaluma,” the extract delivers the plant in a concentrated form. One of the only products available in the U.S. that uses the Slimaluma formula is Country Life’s GenaSlim supplement, which combines the patented Slimaluma extract of Caralluma fimbriata with EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) from green tea. Together they reportedly have a synergistic effect on appetite control and weight loss. In several clinical trials Slimaluma was shown to be effective in reducing body fat through appetite control. If you’re interested in trying this product for weight control, you can compare prices now from various online vendors. SourcesKhan B, et. al. “Hypogylcemic activity of aqueous extract of some indigenous plants.” Pak J Pharm Sci., 2005 Jan;18(1):62-4. For more information visit: Our Store.

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