Category: healthy weight

Mesomorph, Ectomorph, or Endomorph – YOUR GENETIC DECK of CARDS

Mesomorph, Ectomorph, or Endomorph – YOUR GENETIC DECK of CARDS

Today at the gym there was someone new. Since I work out at the same time and see the same people every day, it is easy to spot a new person. This girl definitely stood out because she was ripped. Her muscle definition is awesome. Boy, I wish I looked like that.

We’ve all done it: checked out the girl (or guy) next to us on the peck deck or treadmill and compared our bodies to theirs. (I wish I had those biceps, or Why doesn’t my butt look like that?) It is human nature to compare and obsess about our own “perceived” physical inadequacies.

As I continued to check this new girl out, I started to notice that her body type was completely different from mine. Even though she has an amazing body that I wish I had, my body could never look like that – ever. Not because of lack of trying, but because of genetics.
I started to appreciate my own physique as well as hers, but my feelings of inadequacy went away.

It is really important to recognize and embrace the genetic deck of cards you’re shuffling. Once you realize what you can and can’t change about your body, it will become easier to positively visualize your physical potential.

First, know your body type. You’ve heard it before: There are three body types: mesomorph, ectomorph, and endomorph. Ectomorphs are thin, mesomorphs are more muscular, and endomorphs tend to be on the overweight side. Most people straddle two categories, such as a meso-endomorph, or meso-ectomorph. You might think you can figure out what body type you are simply by looking at yourself, but it’s never really that easy. Next time you are at the doctor’s office, ask your doctor which body type you fall under and you might just be surprised.

Another factor that affects your figure is bone size. Get a quick general assessment of your bone structure by wrapping your hand around your wrist. If your fingers don’t touch, you’re probably big boned; if they just touch, you’re medium-boned; if they overlap, you’re likely small-boned. Obviously, you can’t change the size of the bones you were born with, but you can let your bone size be a guide to your body weight. In general, if you’re smaller-boned, you should be at the lighter end of the weight range for your height; bigger-boned people may fall at the top weight range for their height… and this is okay.

Now that you know what you’re dealing with physiologically, here are some ways to boost your mental body image:

1. Pick appropriate body role models. Men who grew up hoping to have Arnold’s buff build—but ended up slightly smaller—should work towards a more reasonable (but still healthy) body, like Lance Armstrong. If a woman were big-boned, she’d be setting herself up for certain disappointment by aspiring to look like Jennifer Anniston. Instead, she might want to aim for a body more like Tyra Banks, who’s body type may be more similar to hers.

2. Separate how you feel about your body from how you feel about other things that are going on in your life. Feeling dissatisfied with your career or relationship can make it easier to feel negatively about your body.

3. Look at your parents and grandparents for a guide to your body’s potential. If you come from a long line of jockeys, football may not be your best sport. Pick an activity that reflects and highlights your talents.

4. Ask yourself if you’ve ever been attracted to or fallen in love with someone who doesn’t have the “perfect” body. It’s important to challenge yourself when you get into the train of thought that you have to look perfect; you attract people and are attracted to people not because of perfection but because of a number of things.

5. Give your self-esteem a boost. Self-esteem isn’t about men and women talking about how special they are. It’s about success. Can you successfully handle your emotions, your goals? The better we can handle life, the less we make our body an exaggerated issue. It’s easy to project the bad feelings you have about yourself onto your body.

6. Determine your body image by the positive body behaviors you engage in each day. Recognize the things you do that make you feel good about yourself. That might be buying a healthy lunch instead of opting for junk food, exercising, moisturizing your skin faithfully, taking some quiet time for yourself, anything that makes you feel good about yourself.

BABY STEPS: EASY and EFFICIENT WEIGHT LOSS

BABY STEPS: EASY and EFFICIENT WEIGHT LOSS

A healthy body works more efficiently, and here is the best part…a healthy body loses weight more easily and more efficiently than an unhealthy body.

This is why nutrition is so important for weight management as well as general health. There is a definite difference between a healthy diet and a weight loss diet. However, if you want to take baby steps, start on a healthy diet and don’t worry about calorie counting. You will actually feel fuller because of the healthy foods your are eating, so your calories will naturally be lower. Once you get in the habit of healthy eating and you make a conscious effort to reduce your calories, the weight will fly off.

It’s worth remembering that 20 minerals, 13 vitamins and fiber (none of which contain any calories) are essential for health. Their presence or absence can also change the rate at which energy is produced or calories burned. When foods cannot be metabolised properly because they lack the necessary minerals and vitamins, their energy becomes unavailable to our body and is stored as fat until we get the necessary minerals and vitamins at some later time. In the meantime we feel hungry and eat more. This too turns into fat unless minerals and vitamins are also provided.

When you choose NutrientDense Foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, oily fish, oats, beans, nuts and seeds, and avoid wasting your daily calorie allowance on “empty-calorie-foods” (which contain calories but no nutrition), like regular sodas, alcohol, sweets and candy, you will get enough vitamins and minerals in your diet which creates a healthy body which makes weight loss easier.

Keepin It Simple – 4 Easy Ways to Stay on Track in 2015

Keepin It Simple – 4 Easy Ways to Stay on Track in 2015

keep it simple

Happy New Year! and Happy New Year Resolutions! What will it be this year? Losing weight, gaining health, getting fit, building muscle, exercise more, eat less. Whatever your goals, one of the best strategies for success is  to Keep It Simple.

Here are my four favorite tips for any health and fitness related goals –

1.  Don’t Stress Out!  Stressing out about “how bad” you ate over the last 4 days, or how little you exercised is NOT going to help you lose the weight.  Nope, in fact, stress can make you hold onto more fat and pounds.  So stop it!  Move forward and don’t look back at what you did or didn’t do last week or weekend.

2.  Exercise with intensity!  Workout hard!  It doesn’t have to be long, it just needs to be intense.  And who wants to spend hours exercising anyway? I was so busy with kids this week, I only got 10-20 minute at the gym each day. I made sure my intensity was maxed out, and I feel like I got a good, all be it short, workout.

3.  Drink water like it’s your job!  Yes, down that water to flush out what you are retaining from any over-indulgent eating.  Salt, alcohol, and excess sugar can lead to a lot of bloat, so drink your water to flush it out! Who cares if you go to the bathroom 12 times a day?

4.  Just eat sensibly.  Eat your lean proteins, high fiber foods, fruits, veggies, and healthy fats.  It won’t take many days to see the changes.

Self-Compassion Keeps Us From Eating The Entire Pie

Self-Compassion Keeps Us From Eating The Entire Pie

Learning girth control takes practice, and overindulging during a meal can trigger a downward spiral of unhealthy eating. Unfortunately, part of dieting is falling off the wagon every so often, but depending on how people view themselves, one incident of busting a grub can be the beginning of the end. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Negative self – thoughts may lead to even more pigging out after blowing your diet, as a way to cope with feeling upset about over eating. I sometimes fall into this category, and I call it the “go big or go home syndrome”. This is deciding to eat the entire pie because I think I ruined my diet by eating one slice.

I’m not big on talking about studies, because it seems like there is a study out there for everything and every angle. For every study that says black, there are two more that say white. However, this one is very compelling.

The study (Self-compassion and reactions to unpleasant self-relevant events: The implications of treating oneself kindly) looked at 84 college women who were asked to participate in research where they had to each eat a donut, and then they were offered one piece of candy. 31% of these women were on a diet, but each group was made up randomly.

After eating the donuts, researchers encouraged self-compassion by telling the first group that even though they may feel guilty, they should not be hard on themselves. Everyone eats unhealthy from time to time, and there is no reason to feel bad. The second group was told nothing, no words of encouragement, nothing.

Both groups were then asked to taste one piece of candy, but the candy bowls were left in the room after the researchers left. Guess which group chowed down on the most candy? The group that was told nothing and given no words of compassion ate more additional pieces of candy. Did they feel like they already blew it, so they might as well really blow it?

Self-compassion can buffer us against negative self-feelings in all sorts of situations. When we are kinder to ourselves by showing self-compassion, we become less self-critical when we blow our diets (or even dealing with other stressful life situations). A little self-love will help us to cope with negative feelings about our weight by NOT gobbling, gorging, and guzzling everything in site. Self-compassion is caring. Caring about making healthy choices not harmful ones. If that doesn’t work, embrace the inner Dalai Lama where self compassion = happiness.

 

The Foolproof Way To Get Back On Track When You Blow Your Diet

The Foolproof Way To Get Back On Track When You Blow Your Diet

I was at the gym today on the treadmill listening to the two guys next to me lament about their ups and downs of weight loss. One of the guys had lost over 100 pounds several different times, which also means that he has gained over 100 pounds several times.

There is nothing as overwhelming as seeing that scale start to creep up. It happens to everyone, but how far you let the creep continue is up to you.

Scale creep happens because of the small, daily decisions, ones that you thought were just a big dinner, or a skipped workout were explained away in your mind as isolated incidents. But they are not. The little things add up, and they can add up fast if you don’t pay attention.

Gaining weight back is a similar path to how you took the weight off. When you lost one or two pounds a week, you made daily accountability decisions and choices that resulted in weight loss. Maybe it was your daily or weekly weigh-in on the scale, maybe it was your big salad for lunch, or pulling out your jeans to see if they fit yet. All of those little changes, those small decisions added up to your weight loss.

Gaining weight back follows a similar pattern. Remember, you didn’t lose the weight in a measured exact way of three pounds per week every week, and you don’t gain it the same way. It usually starts with one little trigger.

The Fourth of July bash and your birthday only a week apart … YIKES. One little trigger, for example an over the top meal: a big steak, baked stuffed potato, a little of the crab appetizer and the chocolate cheesecake, topped with drink after drink in celebration. You feel so lethargic the next day, which I call a food hangover, that you break your normal oatmeal/blueberry morning and you have a cup of coffee and a croissant just to function the next day and curb your food withdrawal.

Since you “messed up” breakfast, you say “screw” it to lunch and have the pizza you’ve been missing. Once you’ve had the pizza for lunch, you think, might has well have the fried chicken for dinner because I’ve totally blown it. What’s one more meal?

Maybe your scale ran out of batteries and you don’t have that accountability that you’ve been so diligent about when you lost weight. You just stop weighing in because you no longer have your scale. Two weeks go by and you’re so scared of seeing what that number will be, you go another week without weighing in. Three weeks turn into four and the pounds continue to pile on.

It can be as simple as wearing comfy sweats for 4 days in a row. They feel so big and roomy, that you eat an extra muffin and you think, wow, I must be doing great because everything still fits! (I’ve done that one myself, many times, then I finally “wake up”, pull up my jeans and say, ughh!!!! What was I thinking!?!??).

It’s all those little decisions, the same daily decisions you made when you were losing weight, that result in adding the pounds back.

The most FOOLPROOF to get back on track is to commit to one good day.

If one good day seems overwhelming , commit to one good meal. Just one. If you have already blown breakfast, then make your lunch your “on track” option … something that will give you energy, make you feel great, and give you the confidence that you can do it. Often, just one positive decision, one good lunch, one good run, can give you the jolt you crave to shake it up and get you back on the track of losing the weight. You don’t drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there. Get out of the water and get back on track!

Low Fat – Good For Marketing, Bad For Health

Low Fat – Good For Marketing, Bad For Health

The other day, Samantha set up a tea party for us – just the girls, as she likes to say. She was explaining each of the plastic food items, and when she showed me the muffin, she declared that it was even low fat.

I was a little surprised that she was using the term low fat. Had I inadvertently mentioned something about that? I try to be very careful when I talk about food. Had she heard it at school from one of her friends?

I don’t buy low fat food because low fat means high in something else (usually some kind of crap). The terms low fat and light have no doubt been a marketing gold mine for most food manufacturers. But low fat doesn’t mean low calories, and nine times out of ten, it doesn’t mean healthier. Light is just a marketing term with really no meaning at all.

Low fat = low taste. Manufacturers must add stuff to make it taste good, like extra salt, extra sugar, msg, etc.

Light=scam. The term light is used when foods don’t meet the FDA requirements to be low-fat. For example, Light Philly cream cheese has less fat than the original, but it has 35% more sugar. Yikes.

So if your goal is to eat healthier, don’t buy anything that says low fat or light. If your goal is to lose weight, don’t buy anything that says low fat or light. If your goal is to enjoy food, don’t buy anything that says low fat or light. I think that about covers everything.

Are there exceptions? Yes. So be sure to read the labels, and make sure your low fat, light options are not hiding high calorie, high crap ingredients.

As for Samantha’s low-fat remark, it probably came from Sponge Bob.

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