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.

The Do and Don’ts for Avoiding Exercise Burnout

images[1]Burnout is a psychological term that refers to long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in work. Thanks Wikipedia!

We all experience burnout whether it’s at work, home, with family, friends, diet, and even exercise, maybe especially exercise.

Consider how many gym memberships purchased in January go unused in July, or how all you can think about is a cheeseburger two weeks into a new diet plan. Burnout can happen over years or in a matter of days.

Certain habits or lack of certain habits will accelerate the burnout process.

 

So if you don’t want to suffer from exercise burnout….

DO NOT Wing It

Failing to plan is planning to fail, as the saying goes, and creating lofty, long-term goals without establishing checkpoints along the way is failing to plan. Shoot for the moon, but include intermediate and short-term goals to assure that you remain on track to achieve your long-term goals.

Example:

Long-term goal: I will finish a marathon this year.

Intermediate goal: I will finish a half marathon within the next six months.

Short-term goal: Within the next week, I will jog three times for a minimum of 10 minutes each run.

Writing goals down (on paper, using a smart phone app or online software program) is an absolute must.

DO NOT Forget to Self-Assess

Your goal-setting process should include assessing weak links in the chain and how to address them. Using the example above of planning to finish a marathon, short-term goals could include completing some form of a fitness test, such as a one-mile run for time, gait analysis, nutrition consultation, body composition analysis, etc.

Example:

Short-term Goal No. 2: Within the next two weeks, I will complete a one-mile run for time to assess my current fitness status.

Intermediate goals should re-evaluate these tests every few weeks to validate your exercise regimen and determine what tweaks you may need to make. Modifying goals along the way (to account for “life”) is a  key to achievement and  sustained motivation. Altering your long-term goals can also be critical; for example, switching from the full marathon to the half marathon two weeks before a race is better than not showing up at all.

DO NOT Skimp on Sleep

Research suggests those who sleep less than six hours per night are at greater risk for burnout. Too little sleep can cause fatigue, impaired mental function and increased sensitivity to stress, as well as decreased motivation and physical performance. In a busy world, we seem to prioritize so much at the expense of ZZZs. There are usually enough excused to go around for not exercising, don’t add “too tired” to the list.

DO Take Time to Truly Relax

Multiple experts agree that a key to avoiding burnout from your job is being able to turn off work when you get home. Likewise, tuning out from exercise from time to time is essential to maintaining a long-term fitness program. Expert coaches suggest taking at least one day per week completely off from structured exercise and including another day or two of restorative activities (yoga, hikes, naps and Sunday football couch potato-ing all count as restoration). Every few months, take an entire week off, and just relax.

DO Find a Sport You Enjoy

Some people hate running – I would not suggest a marathon training program for those individuals. The key to longevity of an activity or fitness program is enjoyment; sometimes you must ignore what your friends are doing or the most popular class at your gym, and simply do what makes you happy. If it makes you sweat and also makes you smile, it’s the right activity for you. I still have a Groupon for 4 Pilate’s classes hanging over my head, because my friends think Pilate’s is great…. I am a gym rat and always will be.

DO NOT Overdo It

A fine line exists between what fitness experts call over-reaching and over-training. Over-reaching involves applying the overload principle to exercise, i.e. increasing the intensity, duration and/or frequency of exercise to create positive stress on your body that will gradually result in fitness gains. When over-reaching, you should feel tired and sore, but two to three days of adequate recovery should cure that.

Over-training occurs when the increase in physical activity is too much and recovery is insufficient. It can involve loss of sleep, lethargy, injury and a lack of fitness gains despite an increased workload. When in doubt, listen to your body – go hard when you feel good, and rest up when you feel overworked.

DO NOT Live for Repetition

Imposing the exact same stress demand on our bodies habitually does not result in positive gains. Doing the same activities each day or the same exercise routine will lead to a physical plateau and eventual mental burnout. Not to mention it gets really boring! Even if you’re a creature of habit, add variety to your favorite activity… it may be a change of scenery, faster or slower run times, switching up the free weights for machines, taking a Zumba class instead of Yoga, or whatever.. A change of pace and scenery may keep your muscles honest and your mind fresh.

The path toward burnout is can be averted. Self-assessment, goal planning, adequate sleep and recovery, variety and, most importantly, enjoyment can keep you pointed in the direction of lifelong fitness and goal accomplishment.

Dress For Success: The Clothing – Mood Connection

Its no secret that I am a stay-at-home mom, but I also run a few family businesses. Luckily all these “jobs” require a very casual wardrobe. And by casual, I mean sweats, tee shirts, jeans, tennis shoes, baseball caps on days when I don’t have time to do my hair… etc.

Fridays are generally my day off from my project management role, so I will run a few errands and get sh*# done.  This Friday, I had an appointment so I dressed fairly professionally. After the appointment I ran a few errands. It was the strangest thing. Every person I encountered was really nice. Not to say that people aren’t usually nice, but each store clerk was more than friendly and helpful. Strangers were saying HI, it was a great day. Maybe because it was Friday??? Maybe because I didn’t look like homeless person or gym rat casing the joint.

images3XIS1VVB

Okay, so I am a little obsessed with Robin Wright and House of Cards

Clothes have their own way of communicating, and how a person dresses can speak volumes about self-identification, image, and personality.  Clothing choices can inspire confidence in others, and play a part in that oh so important first impression (no flip flops on the job interview).

We hear it all the time, don’t judge a book by its cover, but clothes make the man (and woman),so dressing for success may be the winner in this debate, and a great excuse to go buy something new.

Clothing is important for self-esteem, since it can allow us to feel more assertive, confident, and comfortable in a given situation. And research suggests that individuals with low self-esteem can use appearance to help restore their self-confidence .

Because clothes and mood are inter-related, different types of clothing can be either positive or negative, so a wardrobe can be the secret to looking good and feeling great. Emotions are attached to clothes, and what we wear can be a great mood boosting tool, or even a mood masking one (feeling blue, a bright red shirt may be just the way to go).  

Whether a millennial or octogenarian, clothes can gear up a person’s mood with a new style, comfort factor, nice fabric quality, print, color, brand, and even a great fit.  Dressing for success can not only boost self-confidence, but can even make an individual seem more trustworthy; no one wants to be greeted by a doctor in shorts and a tank top.  And women are more likely to remember a man’s attire, so men take note; it’s time to polish up that look in order to meet the hottie at the bar, the gym, or the next cubicle over.  

Dress for success to boost self-confidence and take control of the message that those clothes are sending.  And as Mark Twain says — naked people have little or no influence on society.

Be The Love Of Your Life

 

 

images[3]We all face a variety of challenges that can beat us down, but when we have the courage to embrace ourselves, accept ourselves, and love ourselves despite our faults, imperfections and challenges, we also open the door to connecting in a more caring, empathic, intimate way with the ones we love. My wish for you on Valentine’s Day is to LOVE YOURSELF. Become more mindful of how amazing you are; know your vulnerabilities as well as your strengths and achievements, and learn to love yourself for both.

A PURSUIT

You obviously take care of your body. From conditioning your hair and doing your nails nails to all matters of personal hygene. So physical fitness should be no different than combing your hair every day. Of course exercise isn’t as easy as hair care. It’s strenuous and there’s no shortcut to being fit. It requires constant commitment and you’ll have to work at it before there are any visible benefits. Being physically fit is not just about getting a toned body or ripped muscles from pumping iron at an up-scale gym. Fitness is a lot more. It’s a lifestyle improvement which, if you stay faithful to it, will reap countless benefits.

What is fitness?

Fitness is going through the day with a sense of confidence that you can handle whatever the day has in store for you. It gives you peace of mind that you are better equipped to handle the physical challenges of daily life, as well as the mental challenges. Physical fitness is not a race, it’s a pursuit. There is no finish line to look for, but a new starting line to cross everyday. The only real “goal” is to never finish.

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