Seven steps to a successful weight loss goal

8 April, 2014 (02:08) | health | By: admin

One of the best ways to change your body composition is to combine diet and exercise. A good weight-loss workout plan will include cardiovascular activity to burn extra calories with strength training to build and shape the muscles. So how do you get started? These seven steps will help you set up a weight-loss exercise plan that works.

1. Be sure you are healthy enough for exercise. It is generally a good idea to visit your doctor to be sure that you are healthy enough for vigorous exercise. If you have physical limitations or previous injuries, a physical therapist may be able to help. Or a visit with a personal trainer may be worth the investment, as well. A good trainer will assess your level of fitness, help you set goals and design a weight-loss workout routine for you to follow.
2. Don’t feel pressured to buy tools or gimmicks. What is the best exercise for weight loss? The answer is simple: the one that you do. At the beginning of a new exercise plan, focus on building a fitness habit. Once regular exercise is part of your daily schedule you can make adjustments to the type and intensity of your workout. But in the beginning, consistency is the key to success. So choose activities that you enjoy doing.
3. Grab a few friends for company and accountability. One of the best predictors of success in a weight-loss exercise plan is social support. If your friends make exercise more enjoyable, you are more likely to continue the habit. Would some co-workers like to join you for an aerobics class after the office? Perhaps you have neighbors that would be willing to put the kids in strollers and walk or run through the neighborhood.
4. Get equipped with exercise clothing. Neighborhood walking and running stores are great resources. Once you make the initial purchase, make new workout shoes or clothing an incentive for continued success. Set short-term goals and reward yourself with a new outfit that will make you feel more comfortable and confident during future workouts.
5. Write out a plan. It’s easy to decide that you want to exercise. Getting it done is the hard part. There will always be another task, job or priority that can get in the way of your workout. To be sure that your workout remains a top priority, get out a calendar and schedule each activity in advance.
6. Vary your workouts. Exercise for weight loss should include aerobic activity, which raises your heart rate, strength training that builds muscle, and flexibility training to increase range of motion in the joints and decrease stress. When you schedule your weight-loss workouts, try to vary the activity that you do every day.
7. Use active recovery days. Try to do something every day. That’s right, no days off! Remember that when you schedule your workouts you will vary the type of activities you assign to each day. If you know you are going to do a longer or harder workout one day, schedule an easy workout, an active recovery, for the day after.

How to stay fit for free?

27 March, 2014 (02:20) | health | By: admin

Living on a budget is no reason to forego your health and fitness level. Finding free fitness options can actually be a great way to create lifelong healthy habits, make new friends and relieve the regular stress. Here are some tips to start a new fitness routine for free.

1. Hit the local library for books and DVDs with fitness routines. The best part about using the library is that you can regularly change up your routine. You can make copies of routines you find in books and create a binder, alternating routines every few weeks.

2. Head for the pavement. Get a group of friends together and consider starting a running group so everyone stays motivated. You can run through the nearby park or find a local trail. Keep things interesting by selecting a new path or location each week. If you live by hills or mountains, try challenging yourself with uphill runs to mix things up.

3. Find your faves on YouTube. Using search terms like “home workout” or “body weight exercises,” you’ll find some great routines that can be done at home or outside. Subscribe to your favorite channels and keep your eyes peeled for fresh content. You could even consider making your own, which may increase your motivation and keep you excited about working out.paiyouguo tea

4. Find free workout websites. Similar to YouTube, there are now several fitness sites with videos that are completely free. The great thing about these is that you don’t have to sift through unrelated videos to get to what you want, yoga, body weight exercise routines or interval training.

5. Try it out. Many gyms and studios with fitness classes will let you try the fitness class for free. You may only get one week or one day, but depending on how many gyms and studios there are around you, it could take a while to use up all your freebies. This is also a great opportunity to figure out what you really like. Once you figure out what kind of classes you like use that knowledge to find other free resources online or at the library as mentioned earlier.

6. If you have a little extra to spend. If you’re willing to spend a small amount of money, sign up with sites like GroupOn and Living Social which offer discounted passes to local studios. You can also purchase used fitness DVD’s online at Amazon and sell them back when you’re ready to try something new. Last but not least, ask if your local rock climbing gym, yoga studio or golfing green offers some discounts.

How to follow a Mediterranean diet?

21 March, 2014 (07:56) | health | By: admin

Mediterranean diet is wellknown for being low in sodium and fat, high in protein, vitamins and antioxidants. How to follow a Mediterranean diet? Here are seven ways for you!
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1. Eat more olives. Olives — these tiny fruits add an explosion of flavor to any dish, or can be enjoyed as a snack all by themselves. In addition to their heart-healthy fat, olives and olive oil are a good source of iron and vitamin E. Plus, an Italian study found that women whose diets included a lot of olive oil had a 30% lower risk of ovarian cancer.
2. Dip into homemade hummus. Hummus, traditionally made with chickpeas, is rich and creamy without the saturated fat of dairy-based dips. Plus, it’s naturally high in fiber and protein—and delicious on a whole-grain pita or when served with crudités. You can also use peas or black beans and mixed with everything from red peppers to chocolate. For a true Mediterranean experience, however, try a traditional chickpea recipe flavored with garlic and sun-dried tomatoes.
3. Eat food on a stick. Kabobs are a fun way to add some variety to your meals. Let your family members thread their own skewers with olives, vegetables, and meat or seafood, grilling them to perfection—or serve meatless skewers of olives, cheese, and tomatoes as an appetizer.
4. Season with spices. Mediterranean dishes are rich in flavor, thanks to herbs like basil, parsley, and oregano. These ingredients add more than just taste, however they are the powerhouse of antioxidants. Using more herbs and spices in your cooking also means you can go easy on the salt.
5. Make a big batch. It’s not just the food that makes the Mediterranean diet so healthy; it’s also the way that Mediterraneans eat. Traditionally, they tend to gather around the table at meal time, spending quality time socializing and enjoying food together. Create this environment in your own home by making a double or triple batch of lentil soup and bringing the whole family together. Savor the food, the conversation, and, of course, the wine!super slim pomegranate
6. Drink more coffee. The secret to Ikarians’ famous longevity may lie in what they drink, not just what they eat. A study found that higher coffee consumption was associated with better blood-vessel function, a key factor in heart health. But it wasn’t just any type of coffee. The vast majority of study participants favored traditional antioxidant-rich Greek coffee, which is boiled in a small brass or copper pot.
7. Have fun with phyllo. You’ve seen phyllo dough in your freezer aisle—and if you’ve ever cooked with it, you know it bakes up into paper-thin, flaky deliciousness. For a quick and easy Greek-inspired appetizer, try filling a pack of pre-shaped phyllo shells with fig jam and goat cheese.

Five Ways to Eat Less Sugar

7 March, 2014 (02:17) | health | By: admin

We’re swimming in sugar, either by manufacturers, such as cookies and candy, or by you, like stirring sugar into your coffee. And all that sweet stuff is affecting our health. Fortunately, a few diet tweaks can help you quickly reduce your sugar intake, knock down your disease risk, and protect your ticker.

1. Nix sweetened beverages. Nearly 40% of the added sugar in Americans’ diets comes from sugary beverages like soda, sweet tea, lemonade, and fruit punch. Just one 12-ounce can of regular soda contains about 140 calories, all from added sugar. Kick the habit, and replace sweet drinks with good, old-fashioned H2O spruced up with healthy, flavorful add-ins like lemon, lime, fresh mint, cucumber, or a little mashed fruit.
2. Scope out hidden sources of sugar. Sugar hides in dozens of foods you might not suspect. The best way to scope out added sugar is to read ingredient lists. Look for words including brown sugar, corn syrup, maltose, fructose, dextrose, molasses, agave, brown rice syrup, cane sugar, cane syrup, and evaporated cane juice. By law, ingredients must be included in descending order by weight, so the higher up on the list you see one of these additives, the more sugar per bite. In addition, notice some form of added sugar in the ingredients: ketchup, salad dressing, soup, crackers, flavored yogurt, spaghetti sauce, bread, frozen dinners, granola, protein bars and shakes, and sushi.
3. Buy plain foods and sweeten them yourself. It’s becoming easier to find plain versions of many foods these days. If you need a little sweetness, add it yourself to control the amount and type you use. For example, someone prefer swirling a teaspoon of organic honey or maple syrup into yogurt or oatmeal at breakfast, both of which provide some nutrients and antioxidants, rather than buying pre-sweetened versions made with more refined sweeteners.
4. Trade sweetened foods for naturally sweet fruit. One trick is how to replace foods laden with added sugar for fruit which is naturally sweet and just as satisfying. Fruit—whether it’s fresh, baked, grilled, or pureed—makes a great replacement for sugar in lots of dishes, from cookies to coleslaw.
5. Limit sugary treats to once or twice a week. It’s not realistic for most people to go through life never having a sweet splurge. But setting some limits on how often you indulge in sugar-rich foods is certainly reasonable. Pick a day or two a week to enjoy can’t-live-without goodies like candy, baked goods, or ice cream. Just knowing that you have a pre-planned treat to look forward to can help you avoid giving into temptation more often, and can result in seriously slashing your overall sugar intake.

Seven Strength Training Tips for the Beginners

3 March, 2014 (02:31) | health | By: admin

Strength training is a crucial part of getting fit that just can’t be ignored. Not only does resistance training help build muscle strength, it increases your body’s resting metabolic rate, causing it to burn more calories throughout the day.

1. Do a cardio warming up. It’s important to get your heart rate up before starting your strength-training routine. Begin with a 5-minute warm-up of brisk walking, light jogging, or dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching uses controlled movements to loosen up your muscles and increase your range of motion. Try doing some walking lunges or butt kicks.

2. Learn proper technique. In order to prevent injuries, you must know proper form and technique. Proper technique will make sure that you’re working the right muscles without straining. If you’re a true beginner, it can be beneficial to invest in a single training session. A trainer can show you the correct positions, grips, and motions while also helping you create a basic strength-training routine. If you don’t want to spend the money on a trainer, there is a lot of free content online to help you learn proper form.

3. Know your options. You may associate strength training entirely with dumbbells, but they aren’t your only option. In fact, there are many modes of strength training at the gym, and even in your own living room! You can use resistance bands, weight bars, kettle bells, medicine balls, exercise balls, your own body weight… the list goes on! You can also take advantage of strength-training classes your gym may offer. Classes are a great way to learn how to use equipment that’s new to you while also keeping your routine fresh.

4. Determine the right amount of weight for you. Figuring out how much weight you should be using for a given exercise requires a bit of experimentation. Keep in mind that in the beginning it’s better to error on the side of too light than too heavy. If you’re doing 3 sets of 12 reps of bicep curls, your arms should feel fatigued by the last set, and extremely fatigued by the last few reps. Your arms should be working hard, they might even be a bit shaky, but you shouldn’t ever feel extreme discomfort. If you blow through your sets without any trouble, up your weight. If you’re done by the second set, drop down in weight.

5. Work on imbalances. Most people are stronger on one side of their body than the other. For this reason, you’d better isolate each side of your body during strength training so that they’re worked equally. For example, single-leg squats will ensure that you’re relying solely on the muscles in your working leg, instead of letting your stronger leg do more of the work. Having balanced strength on both sides of your body is a true indicator of overall fitness, so try out some isolated moves!

6. Allow your routine to evolve. As you become more familiar with strength training, it’s important to start incorporating new exercises and equipment into your routine. If you’re getting bored with your workout, your muscles are, too. Spicing up your sweat sessions will trick your muscles and ensure that they’re working to their full potential. You should also monitor your weight amounts and raise them as you get stronger.

7. Don’t forget to rest. Strength training causes tiny tears in the muscles, which then heal stronger than before. These tears are good, but only if you allow them time to heal properly. The average person needs 24 to 48 hours of rest to heal in between workouts so make sure you allot yourself that time. People are often more gung-ho at the beginning of their workout program and sometimes overdo it. Listen to your body. Soreness is fine, pain is not.

How to Feed Picky Eaters?

24 February, 2014 (02:10) | health | By: admin

The secret to winning over a finicky family? Don’t suddenly announce that you have seen the light and will be throwing out all the sugar in the house. Otherwise your family might run away screaming. These seven tricks will keep them at the table.

1. Know your role. Moms might be tempted to bribe or threaten picky eaters into consuming different foods, but this tends to backfire. So there’s no sense in playing food police. You can be in charge of what you offer your family, but let them choose what and how much to eat. This will help them cultivate a positive relationship with food.

2. Add, don’t subtract. It’s always easier to try something novel than say good-bye to an old favorite. So at first, try serving nutritious items along with not-so-great standbys. Once you find healthy foods your family likes, they won’t object when less nutritious fare is eliminated.

3. Throw it all in one pot. Healthful ingredients are harder to refuse when they’re integrated with the main dish. One-dish recipes also make it easy to amp up nutrients without arousing suspicion (say, by swapping some ground beef for black beans). Other good vehicles include chili, soups, stews, and stir-fries.

4. Coax with condiments. When kids are allowed to garnish, sprinkle, and dip, they gain a sense of control that makes them more likely to eat and enjoy the food. So if your 8-year-old balks at broccoli, serve it with a small bowl of low-fat ranch dressing or hummus and let him go to town.

5. Give meals the fast-food treatment. Family members might be more receptive to healthy dishes that resemble foods they already love, such as burgers, tacos, or milk shakes. For example, instead of trying to force your spouse to choke down a tossed garden salad, try serving whole wheat pizza layered with chopped veggies and skim mozzarella. The right delivery method can make all the difference.

6. Opt for under-the-radar upgrades. High-fiber whole grain versions of rice, pasta, and bread make easy replacements for their refined counterparts. But if your family has trouble adjusting to the taste, try going halves — for example, by mixing brown rice with white in a pilaf — and gradually phase out the refined stuff.

7. When all else fails, try trickery. In a perfect world, our loved ones would appreciate healthful foods for what they are. But stubborn cases call for stealth. To that end, try grating or pureeing vegetables such as zucchini, sweet potatoes, and carrots and hiding them in meatballs, muffins, casseroles, and sauces. Your family will be none the wiser.

Five Simple Ways to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

24 December, 2013 (02:50) | health&beauty | By: admin

This holiday season, take the proactive path, and adopt some strategies that will keep unwanted pounds at bay. Here are simple tactics to put into action today.

1. Select your splurges carefully. Whether it’s treats at the office or desserts at family gatherings, it’s easy to overdo the indulgences. Scan all of your options, then only reach for completely worthwhile can’t-live-without favorites. With this reasoning, you’ll probably eliminate hundreds of surplus calories–without at all feeling like you’re “dieting” or depriving yourself.

2. Bring a “safety” dish to gatherings. On holiday dinners you’ll attend as a guest, take a dish to share, but choose something that will help balance out heavier holiday cuisine, such as a roasted veggie platter with Mediterranean olives, or the good old standby raw veggies and hummus. Filling your plate with this healthy fare will easily allow you to take smaller portions of calorie-laden casseroles and side dishes.Paiyouguo

3. Ditch the liquid calories. This move is by far the easiest way to prevent weight gain any time of year. Beverages like soda, sweet tea, lemonade, and punch, which are often served at holiday gatherings, aren’t filling. To keep it festive and naturally calorie free, stick with sparkling water, doctored up with a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds, slices of blood orange, or sprigs of fresh mint. Compared to soda, you’ll save about nine teaspoons of sugar per 12 ounces, an amount that would require an additional 20 minutes on the treadmill.

4. Don’t “save up” for big meals. It may seem logical to skimp all day if you want to splurge at night, but that practice is actually a recipe for weight gain. So if your body needs fuel and you don’t eat, your metabolism will slow down to compensate. Then, if you eat more than your body needs in the evening, you’ll simply shuttle the surplus straight to your fat cells. To prevent this too little or too much dynamic, space your meals pretty evenly throughout the day. And when you do have a heavier meal, step up your activity a bit in the hours after eating.

5. Up your post-meal activity. Rather than sitting to socialize after dinner, grab a friend or family member you’d like to catch up with, and take a 15 minute stroll. In addition to burning off some of your meal, this technique help to normalize blood sugar levels for up to three hours after eating, even walks at an easy-to-moderate pace. If the weather is too chilly to go outside, get moving indoors, such as volunteer to do dishes, stand while you talk, or organize an active game.

Six immunity-enhancing foods prevent flu in winter

26 November, 2013 (02:42) | health | By: admin

The flu breaks out easily in winter, and everyone is possible to catch a cold. It decreases our immunity against the diseases. It’ s likely to cause a series of symptoms when it gets serious. However, we can nip it in the bud from keeping full body warm to changing eating and living habits,

1. Protein-rich foods. The lymphocytes in immune cells decrease greatly when our body lack protein, thus resulting in a decline in immunity. Lean meat is a main source of high quality protein. For those vegetarians or the aged, tofu, legumes, nuts and eggs are also great choices.
2. Iron-rich foods. Much of the iron in your body is found in your red blood cells, where it helps to carry oxygen to every cell. The scientists found in a study that old people with normal iron absorption have better immunity than the iron-deficient people. Due to the shortage of iron, our immunity fails to function effectively with the decrease of T cells — a key player in immune function. We can get enough iron from animal organs, meats, pork blood, duck blood, eggs, dark leafy veggies and so on.
3. Zinc-rich foods. Zinc is found in every cell in your body. This important mineral can activate more than 200 kinds of hormones and enzymes that can help the immune system to fight against the outside intrusion. We can get it from zinc-rich foods like oysters, carbs, legumes, red meats, dried fish, shellfish, pork liver, and wheat germs.
4. Selenium-rich foods. Selenium helps build up white blood cells—particularly those responsible for killing bacteria and viruses, even the flu. Just one serving of tuna, halibut, turkey or sardines gives you more than 60 percent of your RDA and provides you with mood-boosting omega-3 fatty acids.
5. Fermented foods. What do yogurt, kimchi (Korean cabbage), kefir (a fermented milk drink), miso and tempeh (made from fermented soybeans) have in common? They all contain beneficial bacteria, aka probiotics, which can help keep your immune system strong. Not into yogurt? Say cheese: Many aged raw-milk cheeses (such as Edam, Gouda or feta) are good sources of probiotics.
6. Vitamin A. Vitamin A is the VIP here, keeping mucous membranes moist and healthy so germs can’t get past them. You can get it from kale, spinach, yams, pumpkin, and carrots.

Five Ways to Shut Down Emotional Eating

13 November, 2013 (01:52) | fitness | By: admin

After a bad day, do you seek solace in ice cream, cheesecake, or whipped cream straight from the can? You may keep eating fatty foods when you’re feeling down because you’re less likely to taste the fat in food. However, it might dramatically transform your health, and your waistline. Here are five ways to nip emotional eating in the bud.
1. Let it out. Whether you’re walking around with anger, sadness, or anxiety bottled up inside, allowing it to fester ups the chances that you’ll use food to detach, or stuff it back down. Find some healthy ways to release your feelings, like watching a tearjerker to have a good cry, or furiously scrubbing the tub to let out aggression.

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2. Don’t multi-soothe. Inside your comfort cocoon, it’s easy to lose track of how fast and how much you’re eating, or that you’re even eating at all. Uncoupling these behaviors and just eating is like turning the lights on, which can lead to eating far less, or realizing that eating really isn’t the best way to cope. Powerful.
3. Distance yourself. Unless you live alone, it can be impossible to completely banish all “high risk” foods, especially when we are emotional. One thing that may help, however, is making them harder to reach for. Stashing candy or cookies on a higher shelf, wrapped in another bag or inside of a sealed container, really does diminish the chances of eating it. It also provides the opportunity to consider other options.
4. Prevent the spiral. One of the biggest challenges many people face is not letting a small indulgence snowball into a big binge. This all or nothing tendency is especially common among people with a history of dieting, and ending it can be incredibly transformative, both emotionally and physically. But never give up, it is possible to get right back on the road, rather than getting lost.
5. Structure your time. For most people, the risk of eating emotionally is greater on the weekends, when they have hours of unstructured time. If you’re in the same boat, plan a project or activity you enjoy, and build in a deadline. And once you’ve finished a project, start another. This lifestyle chang will benefit you in a numerous ways.

Nine whole grains that can help you stay slim

31 October, 2013 (01:50) | health | By: admin

When it comes to stay slim, packing super slimming foods into your daily diet is the easiest way. In addition to getting slim, they can also build bones, prevent chronic diseases, improve your eyesight, and even keep your mind sharp.

1. Black beans. A cup of black beans packs a whopping 15 grams of satisfying protein and doesn’t contain any of the saturated fat found in other protein sources, like red meat.
2. Kidney beans. One of several varieties of beans to make the list, red beans offer protein and fiber, more than 5 grams per serving! Kidney beans are also rich in Resistant Starch, and a 1/2-cup serving packs nearly 2 grams of this slimming carb.
3. Lentils. Lentils are a great source of satiating protein and fiber. A half-cup serving delivers 3.4 grams of Resistant Starch, a healthy carb that boosts metabolism and burns fat.
4. Garbanzo beans. Also known as chickpeas, these slimming beans pack more than 2 grams of Resistant Starch per half-cup serving. They’re also a great source of fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
5. White beans. One-half cup of these fiber-packed beans contains almost 4 grams of fat-blasting Resistant Starch, a healthy carb that boosts metabolism.
6. Oats. Oats are rich in fiber, so a serving can help you feel full throughout the day. Just a half cup packs 4.6 grams of Resistant Starch, a healthy carb that boosts metabolism and burns fat.
7. Brown rice. Brown rice is a heartier, fiber-packed alternative to less-than-super white rice. A half-cup serving contains 1.7 grams of Resistant Starch, a healthy carb that boosts metabolism and burns fat. Plus, brown rice is a low-energy-density food, meaning it’s heavy and filling but low in calories. One study found that women who ate a higher-energy-density diet gained three times as much weight over six years than women eating a low-energy-density diet.
8. Pearl barley. This starchy side makes a slimming complement to a low-cal meal by adding some satisfying fiber and nearly 2 grams of Resistant Starch in just a half-cup serving.
9. Quinoa. Another diet-friendly whole grain, quinoa is rich in hunger-fighting protein. You’ll stay full longer on fewer calories and avoid overeating at other meals.