Category: fat blast

Detoxing Your Body While Losing Baby Fat

Detoxing Your Body While Losing Baby Fat

I am so excited to welcome Mansi as my guest poster this week. Read on for realistic tips and strategies for detoxing and losing fat.

 

Two days back, while having my usual fruit salad I wondered what could be the difference between fasting and dieting, since I call my monthly detox diet a “fruit fast”.

Just to bring things into perspective, let me tell you, I’m not allowed to fast and considering my present weight, dieting is something I don’t need.

“Fasting is where you shun all kinds of food items and eat only once a day, but in dieting the food items in every meal are restricted to a few basic ones.”

When I think of days like Ramadan, Lent, Yom Kippur, etc. I realize that there is a spiritual element associated with fasting. But that’s not the case with dieting.

We do it just to lose weight.

However, I do it to flush toxins out of my body every month. Beginning each month with a clean slate feels amazing.

That brings me to the nine months of pregnancy, where you get a free ticket to eat whatever you want and are exempted from any kind of judgment on your weight or shape. That’s certainly a bliss.

Although, my source of worry is the toxin build up in the body.

Ideally, one should wait for a 6 month period to begin the postpartum weight loss schedule. And that does make sense. After all, breastfeeding helps you lose weight too.

Still, we want to work on dropping pounds from the day one and get back the body we once owned.

So ladies! Sit tight, for I’m about to tell you three simple steps to get there without having to compromise on your baby’s nutrition or your own health.

Step 1: Get Real

Yeah, you heard me! Get real!

Gulp in this fact that you will not get your pre-pregnancy body back in the exact same measures, unless you are Kim K. So, are you?

I knew it.

Hence, do not push yourself physically or mentally. Keep calm, because what might not happen in 6 months postpartum, will happen in the coming year when you’ll be running around the house to feed your toddler.

Step 2: Go for a Fruit Fasting

As I already told, that’s my personal detox ritual. I stuck to this one after having tried a lot of others like the lemonade detox or green smoothies which always, just always left me craving and lethargic.

How I fruit fast every month, for three consecutive days –

  1. Take fresh seasonal fruits and cut them into cubes. The colorful the platter, the better.
  2. Sprinkle a little salt for taste.
  3. Poke in fork, smell each cube and relish it.
  4. If I feel thirsty, I go for coconut water, which is again detoxifying and nourishing. Plus, it does wonders for my skin and hair. I completely avoid milk or any kind of fats during this time.
  5. I also make it a point to drink at least a big glass of pomegranate juice or ABC miracle drink.

If you try this out, remember not to mix sweet fruits like banana with sour ones like orange and grape, as these interfere with each other’s digestion and end up producing more toxins.

Step 3: Boost the detox and weight loss

I pride myself in calling a yoga devotee and practice it five times a week. Working out regularly would not only make you fitter but would also aid in the elimination of toxic substances.

Here, I’m listing five yoga poses that specifically work towards this.

Pose 1: Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanmuktasana)     Wind Relieving Pose

  1. Begin by lying down on your back. Keep your arms on your sides and body relaxed.
  2. Slowly lift up one leg and bring your bent knee close to your abdomen. In an attempt to do so, if your other knee bends a little bit, it is okay.
  3. Now, raise your arms to hug your bent knee and bring it closer to your chest. Hold your breath and this position for 5-10 seconds. Exhale and release.
  4. Repeat the above steps with the other leg too.

Benefits other than detox – reduction in belly fat

Pose 2: Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) Cobra Pose

  1. Lie down on your stomach and relax till you are able to breathe normally.
  2. When you are comfortable, fold both your arms to place your hands just below your shoulders.
  3. As you inhale, push down the floor and lift up your torso in air like a snake. Remember to keep your toes lying flat on ground with soles facing up.
  4. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, exhale and release.
  5. Perform it twice every day on an empty stomach.

Benefits other than detox – toned back and stronger arms

Pose 3: Half Lord of fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)Half Lord of fishes Pose

  1. Sit with your legs stretched out in front, back straight, shoulders relaxed and arms on the sides.
  2. Fold your left leg and rest your left foot beneath your right hip.
  3. Now fold your right leg and place your right feet close to your left hip. Your sole should lie flat on floor with knee pointing upwards.
  4. Twist your upper body towards left and try to grab hold of your right ankle with your right hand. Feel a stretch on your right abdomen. Enhance this by taking your left arm back to touch your back.
  5. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds. Exhale and release.
  6. Repeat it on the other side too. Practice it twice every day.

Benefits other than detox – disappearance of love handles

Pose 4: Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar)surya-namaskar-sun-salutation

Sun salutation is an intense yet incredibly helpful sequence of 12 yoga poses. It is not possible to list all its steps here, so follow this link for complete steps and breathing technique.

Benefits other than detox – a full body stretching and strengthening workout in 5 minutes

 

Pose 5: Corpse Pose (Savasana)Corpse Pose

This is a relaxing and rejuvenating pose which helps eliminate all the ‘mental’ toxins which get accumulated inside our minds. All you need to do is lie down on the floor in a relaxed position and focus on your breathing. Turn your head towards a side, close your eyes and relax.

Must practice – Bellows breathing or Bhastrika pranayama

This breathing technique cleanses up sinuses and helps exhale toxins out from the respiratory system. However, those with migraine or blood pressure issues should not perform it.

Initial position: Sit in a comfortable position, either cross legged or on a chair. Keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Bend your elbows to bring your fists closer to your shoulders. This way your fists face up the sky and elbows towards the floor.

  1. Inhale deep on a count of 3 and raise your arms in the air spreading your fingers apart.
  2. Now exhale in a short quick bursts on just one count and forcefully bring your hands back to the shoulders making a fist.
  3. Do this 20 times in a row. Discontinue immediately if you feel light headedness.

Well, that’s all for the postpartum detox – A diet you can follow and a fast you are allowed to do, plus a simple yoga workout to leg up your weight loss plans.

Try them out and let me know how it felt.

 

Author Bio:

Hi! I’m Mansi, an ashtangi at home and an Editor at an online health magazine. Dabbling with health and fitness news is my work while playing around with poses and poetry my passion. Reach out to me at @iam_mansi or add me to your Google circles and stay in touch.

 

5 Signs You Need a Shakeup to Your Shapeup

5 Signs You Need a Shakeup to Your Shapeup

SONY DSCWhen it comes to exercise, it’s always good to mix it up a bit, but there are also times when your exercise routine may be ready for a more major overhaul. Because exercise is a personal thing, and your workout results (and problems) can only be recognized by you, here are a few things to be on the lookout for to determine if you need a shakeup in your shapeup. No matter if you’re a novice to physical fitness or an expert, here are 5 signs that you need to switch up your exercise regime ASAP! –

  1.  If you’re working out and eating properly, you should be seeing results. If you aren’t seeing anything noticeable in the mirror, or if your clothing sizes haven’t changed (or gotten tighter), it’s likely that you need a new exercise routine. With the right routine, you should be able to watch your body transform, even if it is only a little bit. Inches should be coming off and you should start to see more tone to your body.
  2. If in the beginning you wanted to lose weight and improve your endurance, so you did a lot of cardio exercises, such as running on the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, etc. However, now that you’ve lost weight and built-up your endurance, you want to focus more on gaining muscle, which requires lifting weights. When your fitness goals change, your workout routine should change with them.
  3. Exercising releases hormones within the brain that are supposed to induce a happier mood. If you’re unhappy with your exercise routine, you rush through your exercises, you cannot wait to get out of the gym, or you find yourself losing focus when you work out, you may be bored. A boring workout is never a good one, and it only makes sense to change it. Being unhappy with your workouts means that you aren’t doing exercises that make you feel good. You should be enthused (okay if ‘enthused’ doesn’t quite describe you, let’s just say you shouldn’t dread your workout), and by the end of it all you should be happy with the physical activity that you do.
  4. You could do your workout routine with your eyes closed. You don’t sweat nearly as much as you used to. You don’t have to put forth a lot of effort to complete your workout. When your workout becomes a walk in the park instead of a challenge, it’s definitely time to change things around. You want your workouts to challenge you and to cause you to push yourself to the limit. If you are going to take the time to exercise, you might as well make it count.
  5. Since the day you’ve started working out until now, you’re been doing the same exact exercise. Even though you’re comfortable with this routine, it’s always helpful to switch up your routine at least every couple of weeks. Doing the same workout for months at a time could not only lead to boredom, but your body get used to the workout and you may find that your exercises are now completely and ineffective.
October-Think Pasta!

October-Think Pasta!

The next October fact is about pasta. October is also Pasta Month. We eat a lot of pasta, and I only buy whole wheat or whole grain varieties to sneak some extra nutrients and fiber into our meal. Todd is not a huge fan of whole grain noodles, and the kids don’t know any better, but since I am the pasta boss, we are sticking with whole grains!

In response to dietary guidance urging Americans to include more whole grains in their diets, manufacturers have introduced nutritionally enhanced pasta varieties such as whole wheat, whole grain and pasta fortified with omega-3 fatty acids and additional fiber. Some varieties of whole grain pasta can provide up to 25% of daily fiber requirements in every one cup portion. There are now more options than ever for consumers to enjoy healthy and economical meals the whole family will love. Enjoy these pasta recipes.

I recently wrote an article for The Greatist on the benefits of choosing whole wheat pasta. Here are some of the highlights.

Whole wheat doesn’t contain a single magical nutrient that fights disease and improves health, but it’s the entire package that’s important. Eating at least three one-ounce equivalents (1/2 cup of whole wheat pasta counts) of whole grains per day can reduce the risk of several chronic health conditions including cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, cancer, and digestive issues .

The main difference between white and whole wheat pastas lies in the processing.  Whole wheat contains 3 parts of the grain— the bran (the outer layer and protector of the grain), the germ (the actual seed embryo that sprouts into a new plant), and the endosperm (the largest part of the grain providing the food source and energy for the plant).  During the refining process, the nutrient-rich outer bran shell and inner germ layer are removed from the grain, as the wheat is heated until they fall of, leaving white pasta with just the starchy endosperm.

The bran and germ are home to the vitamins, minerals, appetite-squashing f fiber, protein, and healthy fats, so even though the stripped down white pasta has a longer shelf-life, and therefore  may be cheaper , the process robs the wheat of almost all of its health benefits, leaving a nutritionally weaker noodle.

Although some nutrients, including iron and B vitamins, are added back during manufacturing, making the product “enriched”, these represent only a fraction of what is removed from the grain.

Whole wheat pasta may take time to catch on; so many restaurants don’t yet have a whole wheat noodle option. (And Italian restaurants may never embrace whole wheat pasta), but the pasta aisle at the supermarket is filled with noodles having all sorts of different shapes, sizes, colors, and ingredients.  And from a nutritional standpoint, this is great news for shoppers as another opportunity to add whole grains to the menu.

True whole wheat pasta will list 100 percent durum whole wheat flour as the first or only ingredient. And check the front of package for “100 percent whole-wheat,” or look for products that contain the orange WHOLE-GRAIN stamp.

Getting used to the taste of whole wheat pasta may take a little time, as it often has stronger flavor and a grainy consistency. Cooking time is key with whole wheat pasta, so it doesn’t get too gummy— be sure to follow the directions on the package. But with the right sauce or topping, adding whole wheat pasta is an easy way to enjoy a healthy meal and sneak those whole grains into the diet.

Easy Ways to Reduce FAT-SALT-SUGAR from Your Diet

Easy Ways to Reduce FAT-SALT-SUGAR from Your Diet

Lowering the saturated fat from your diet and reducing added salt or sugars is an easy place to start on your way to a healthier way of eating. If you have been in the habit of eating packaged foods, your pallet has been trained to crave all the “wrong” things. So it is important to find a way to make healthy foods taste great, so they become your “go-to” foods. Make them delicious without all those addictive additives that often resemble a science experiment gone awry. Here are some great tips from Dr. Seymour Weaver.

FIVE Tips for Reducing Fat in Your Diet Without Compromising Taste:

1.Use water, wine or low fat, sodium free stock in place of oil or butter when sautéing. You will not miss the flavor since the oil or butter is usually only used to keep whatever you are cooking from sticking to the pan. If the liquid evaporates just keep adding a little more until the food is cooked.

2.Instead of putting butter or margarine on your potatoes, top them with a dollop of fat free sour cream instead. Sprinkle with a little chives or your favorite herbs or spice blend and you will never miss the butter.

3.Skip the butter when making sandwiches and go with fat free condiments like your favorite mustard or fat free mayo instead. Most of the time we reach for the butter by habit rather than necessity and you will never miss it.

4.Replace cream or whole milk with skim milk in all of your favorite recipes. If the recipe calls for butter, substitute it with a healthier alternative such as olive oil.

5.Buy only the leanest cuts of meat and trim away any fat and skin from chicken. Marinade the meat to tenderize it and replace the flavor of the fat. Whenever possible, bake instead of frying and if you do have to pan fry something, use non-stick cooking spray or brush the meat with lightly with olive oil rather than adding oil to the pan. Making sure you pre-heat the pan will keep the food from sticking.

FIVE Tips for Reducing Sodium in Your Diet Without Losing Flavor:

1.Replace the salt shaker on your table with a sodium free spice blend. Most of the time we reach for the salt shaker out of habit rather than because our food needs it. A spice shaker on the table will satisfy that “shake” habit and add flavor to the food. There are tons of ready-made spice blends available or you can create your own custom blend using your favorites.

2.Trick your pallet. Sour and salt are recognized by the same group of taste buds. Instead of adding salt to your foods while they are cooking, try adding a splash of lemon or lime juice or flavored vinegars instead. Balsamic vinegar is particularly good to cook with as it adds a ton of flavor.

3.Read the labels. If you must purchase any packaged or canned goods, get in the habit of comparing labels for sodium levels. Chances are pretty good that a different brand may be a healthier alternative to the brand you are used to buying.

4.Add aromatics such as finely diced raw onion, scallions or shallots, roasted or raw garlic, fresh ginger or fresh herbs to foods as a hit of flavor instead of salt. Not only do these add flavor, they also bump up the nutritional value of your foods.

5.Make your own salad dressings. These are super easy to make and they taste much better than store-bought dressings. Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Italian spices and minced garlic are a sodium free dressing that is packed with flavor. Experiment and find combinations you and your family will love

Isometric vs. Isotonic – The Need To Know

Isometric vs. Isotonic – The Need To Know

Iso…what? 

Sometimes I feel like I need to carry around a dictionary with me while I’m at the gym.  There are so many different terms for things. For now, I am going to give you the 411 (does anyone even use that term anymore?) on ISO…. metric and tonic.

The most common type of muscle contraction is called isotonic, which refers to the shortening of the muscle as it contracts.  For example, during biceps curls,  the biceps muscles contract against gravity and shorten, drawing the forearm toward the upper arm.

Isometric contractions occur when a muscle contracts against an immovable object. For example, when you push against a brick wall, the muscle in your legs and upper body will contract but no shortening occurs.

Every weight training exercise involves a combination of both types of contraction. The muscle being exercised contracts isotonically, while many of the stabilizing muscles contract isometrically. In the biceps curl, the biceps exhibit isotonic contraction, while the lower back and thighs contract isometrically to support your body.

Whether it’s isometric or isotonic contracting , as long as you are working your muscles and challenging your muscles, they will reward your efforts by making your body look strong and tone. Watch out bikinis, here we come!

A Beginners Guide To Exercise

A Beginners Guide To Exercise

Remember that feeling of your first day of school, your first day at a new job, or showing up to a party not knowing anyone? Well, beginning a new exercise routine can feel similar.  Whether you are going to the gym for the first time, taking an exercise class, doing Wii in your family room or even just walking around the neighborhood, it can feel a little intimidating.

 
Not to worry! Here is a guide for you newbie exercisers or those of you who are trying something different. Whether you are looking to increase endurance, lose some weight, build muscle, or just get healthy, it all starts with a goal and a plan.

Getting Healthy: Aerobics vs. Anaerobic

 Aerobic training, or cardio, is any type of exercise that occurs while the body is continually using oxygen. Think running, biking, walking, and at the gym this translates to the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, or aerobics class. These are the exercises that make you huff and puff and really get your heart pumping.

Anaerobic training is any type of exercise that requires a rapid burst of energy. With anaerobic exercise, the body creates energy without oxygen, and no, this doesn’t mean we stop breathing. This is because the burst of activity is short and sweet (okay, sometimes not so sweet), and the oxygen from the lungs doesn’t have time to reach the muscles. Think about exercises that cause that grunt and groan where the burst of energy lasts less than 60 seconds, like weight lifting, sprinting, jumping or any rapid burst of activity

The best recipe for increasing endurance and improving general health is a dash of aerobic training and a pinch of anaerobic exercises.


Building Strength and Toning Muscles: Resistance Training

Tapping into that layer upon layer of dormant muscle takes a different kind of approach. The most powerful muscle fibers are also those that grow the most. The best way to stimulate growth is by lifting weights. Lifting weights, also called resistance training, equals bigger muscles. Look around the gym. There are usually not any buffbarbies or Arnolds in a Zumba class. They are all pumping the iron.

The three most important words to remember for muscle building are resistance, resistance, resistance.

Shedding The Plump: The Perfect Mix

The best exercises for losing weight will contain a cardio aspect and a toning aspect. Things like rowing, aerobics class, spinning class or stationary bike, and the elliptical.  Walk/running in the neighborhood or run/sprinting is a great alternative too. These exercises work the muscles and the heart, a duo that makes it easier to leave those pounds behind. Throw in a few weight lifting exercises, and you have a well-rounded routine.

Starting that journey toward health, fitness, and well-being can be scary, but there is something for everyone, and it just takes a little time to figure out what works best for your time schedule and your goals. The best part is that just like going to a new school or starting a new job, you feel at ease before you know it and friends and fun ensue. So get going.

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