Saturday, December 29, 2012
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Thursday, December 20, 2012
How and when you eat can impact your health—and your weight. Upgrade your eating habits to maximize fat burning and keep hunger at bay
Certainly what we eat has an enormous impact on our health and weight status. But did you know that when and how we eat also make a huge difference? Eating at the appropriate times throughout the day will help to maximize fat burning and keep hunger at bay.
Aim to eat every 3 to 4 hours: Most people eat three meals and one snack, while others may prefer four smaller meals; you're free to find the combination that works best for you. Timing your meals in this way will improve your fat loss by preventing excess insulin, allowing leptin to work its magic on appetite control and metabolism, and by balancing the stress hormone cortisol. You should also enjoy your meals at the same time every day.
Eat within 1 hour of rising: Your mom was also right when she told you breakfast was the most important meal of the day. When you skip breakfast, you lose its stimulating benefits on your metabolic rate. You also become more likely to eat unbalanced meals, more calories, and larger amounts of saturated fat throughout the day. Plenty of research shows that those of us who skip breakfast are actually heavier. Missing out on a healthy morning meal also increases stress hormones.
Never eat within 3 hours of bedtime: Eating too close to bedtime raises your body temperature, increases blood sugar and insulin, prevents the release of melatonin, and cuts down on growth hormone release. All these factors interfere with the quality of your sleep and the natural fat-burning benefits of a good night’s rest. Furthermore, sleep deprivation leads to more cravings and a greater likelihood of overeating the next day.
If you must eat before bed, opt for a light meal or snack that's high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fat, such as a protein shake made with berries and water, salad with grilled chicken, or a shrimp and veggie stir-fry.
Start the day with protein: For better appetite control throughout the day, try combining your starchy carbs at lunch, dinner, or after your workouts rather than at breakfast. Stick to eggs or whey protein smoothies for breakfast and you'll eat less throughout the day.
Always eat within 45 minutes of finishing your workout. This meal or snack is the only one of the day that should not contain much fat and should be higher in carbohydrates. For example, have a smoothie made with juice, fruit, and protein powder, but no flaxseeds or oil.
Never do your weight training on an empty stomach: You will need energy from your foods to perform optimally. You may, however, complete your cardio before eating if your session will be less than 30 minutes.
Focus on your food: Do not eat while you are doing anything else (i.e., watching TV, working, surfing on the computer, etc.). Focus on chewing your food and relaxing while you eat.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
We all know that there's no overnight solution to weight loss except that it's an on going process combined with a healthy diet. There are, however, tricks to looking slimmer in an instant with some quick fixes.
Go look in a mirror: See any problems? Fix them (and look 10 pounds lighter!) simply by using these posture-improving moves from physical therapist Bill Hartman.
The Problem: Droopy Boobs
A weak upper back angles your chest downward.
The Fix: Face Pull
Attach a rope handle to a high pulley and grasp it with both hands. Step back until you feel tension in the cable. Pull toward your face, elbows wide. Slowly return to start. Do two or three sets of 12 to 15 reps.
The Problem: Belly Pooch
Weak lower abs and a pelvis that tilts forward push your stomach outward.
The Fix: Kneeling Hip-Flexor Stretch
Kneel on your right knee, your left foot in front of you. Gently push your hips forward as far as you can. (You should feel it in your right hip.) Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides. Repeat three times.
The Problem: Thick Midsection
Rounded shoulders compress your ribs and abdomen, making your torso appear wider than it actually is.
The Fix: Lying Y Raise
Lie facedown with your arms overhead in a Y position on the floor. Raise your arms a few inches off the floor, pause, then return to start. Do two sets of 12 reps.