Friday, 7 December 2012

What is Cellulite And What Can I Do About It?

Cellulite is a change in the appearance of the skin, generally from the stomach down and it occurs in most women. The look of the skin is altered due to fat deposits collecting under the surface of the skin. These fat deposits are contained within chambers and separated by collagen fibers underneath the skin. These chambers can can form for a number of reasons, such as:

Genetics - There is an inherited likelihood of cellulite;

Becoming overweight - Too much fat in each chamber;

Age - The fibers shrink and tighten pulling the skin downward;

Hormones (Oestrogen) - Stimulates the storage of fat for purposes such as menstruation, pregnancy and breastfeeding;

Poor blood circulation - The fibers shrink due to lack of oxygen and the accumulation of waste products resulting in the tell-tale cellulite look;

Poor lymphatic drainage - The waste products can not be drained from the area and increase the fat cells;

Exercise - Or lack of, can be a cause as there is no increased blood flow to the areas;

High fat foods - An increase in fat intake can cause the excess fat to be stored in the problem areas;

Sun - Lengthy exposure to the sun accelerate the skin aging process,

Dieting - On and off dieting causes the body to store fat in the problem areas in preparation for the next 'starvation period', and

Stress - A highly stressful lifestyle causes the release of hormones which are associated with cellulite formation.

How can I avoid cellulite?

You can't. Yes, I may sound like the voice of doom but it's true. Even the biggest, most glamorous celebrities (with personal chefs, trainers and the option of surgery!) have cellulite. Stop pursuing this skewed image of perfection - it doesn't exist. Celebrities have their photographs airbrushed way beyond reality so learn to accept yourself for who you are. The only people who care about cellulite is women, I promise you that your boyfriends and husbands don't care an iota about it. In fact, the majority don't want to snuggle up to a bony, nobbly boob-less and bum-less twiglet of a woman. They want curves! We women need to be kinder to ourselves and each other and stop comparing ourselves (and each other!) to this skewed version of perfection.

Ok, rant over! I had better keep to the promise in my article title and tell you what you can do about your cellulite. As we know, you can't get rid of it completely but here are some tips to marginally improve the appearance of your cellulite:

Diet - Eat a healthy diet consisting of vegetables, fruits and lean meats. Avoid high fat, sugary and processed foods.

Dry brushing - dry brush your skin (towards the heart) to increase blood circulation to your problem areas.

Exercise - Have a regular exercise regime consisting of at least three sessions per week.

Slip, Slop, Slap - Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat when in the sun for long periods.

Avoid stress - Easier to say than do but there are numerous calming techniques that can be used.

For those of you who are flagging with your healthy lifestyle as Christmas approaches, here's one more reason for the ladies out there to stick to it!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

How To Get A Flat, Firm Stomach

First, it's important to point out that we all have abs.  Honestly, they are there but for most, they are hidden under a layer of fat.

The two key things that you need to focus on is Diet and Exercise.  This is nothing new I hear you cry!  Ok, so if you're reading this you're either struggling to get results with your current diet and exercise routine or you're looking for advice on how to start.    Read on to find out the way to get great results...

The Diet

Now since I don’t know your body type and or exactly how your individual body works. You have to listen to your body and work on managing what you need to make it work for you.

Drink lots of water  

This is one of the most important things to do. Drinking water will keep you hydrated and help you to flush out all of the toxins in your body.  A good indicator of this is your skin - you will see an improvement in the condition of your skin. Drinking water will also help to suppress your appetite so it should help to stop you snacking in between meals.   You can tell if you are drinking enough by simply looking at the colour of your pee. If it’s a dark yellow, you need to drink more. The clearer the more hydrated you are.

Eat lots of fibre 

You can find fiber in fruit and veggies.  Making sure you get enough fiber will also help clean out your body by keeping your system regular. It can also help lower your cholesterol. 

Eat 5 meals a day

Try and eat something every 3-4 hours. This will keep your metabolism going. 2 of the 5 meals should be snacks.  Keep the snacks light and healthy. Good snacks are apples and peanut butter (great on a cracker bread to stave off sweet cravings), fruit salad, granola, fat-free yogurt anything small and healthy will do. 

Get rid of all of the junk food from your home.  If it isn't there then you're far more likely to stay on track.  It doesn't take a genius to work out that if you want to lose a layer of fat off your stomach and uncover those precious abs then you can't continue to eat junk.  

One mistake people often make is not eating. This won’t work and it’s not good for your health. It's true what they say - breakfast is the most important meal of the day so make sure you eat some. You should be hungry in the morning if you are eating light before bed and working out.

The Exercise

Cardio. Cardio, cardio, cardio...  You can't avoid it I'm afraid!  You can do anything just get moving for 30 mins a day, do more if you can. More is better. Any activity that raises your heart rate will help.  Mix it up to keep it interesting - you could play squash one day and go jogging the next.  If you are new to cardio start walking and eventually start jogging.

Ab workouts. After doing a cardio workout is the ideal time to do some abdominal exercises. You are in the workout mood and your body is warmed up and ready to go. There are so many ab exercises out there but I really like the exercises in the video below.

Really push it. That’s how you get stronger. When you feel like stopping do just a little longer.

Uncovering your abs is not going to be an easy task - stick with it!  Don't stop! You have to keep working on it. Once you get into the habit things get a lot easier.  Good Luck!

If I get enough comments on this new post, I'll post a pic of my own abs to show you that this really works!!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Do You Know What To Eat To Lose Weight

Do you have the following ideas of taking diets when trying to lose weight?

*I should not eat too much carbohydrates.

*I should cut out all the fats.

* I should eat less everyday.

If you want to know more about these ideas, read on.

Many people do not understand what to eat to lose weight. They think that in order to lose weight they must take extreme measures to do so. Sadly, the only thing extreme measures do in most cases is cause the person to fail. The good news is that there are simple changes you can make in your diet that will lead to weight loss in a much healthier way. A person who loses weight by eating healthy instead of taking extreme measures will most likely keep that weight off longer than a person who loses weight through extremes.

We all know that what we put in our mouths directly affects our weight, and therefore our health. If we want to lose weight the healthy way, we have to learn to eat a sensible diet with a balance of food groups such as fat, protein and carbs.

For the same reason, you must eat a balanced diet that will fill your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs. It is unwise to cut out complete food groups from our diets. This type of dieting usually does not lead to prolonged weight loss and can actually hurt our health rather than help our bodies become healthier.

With the South Beach and Atkins trends in the past several years, many potential dieters are under the assumption that in order to lose weight, they must cut out all carbohydrates. In reality, it is the type of carbohydrate you eat that makes a difference. While simple carbohydrates such as sugar and white flour can spike the body's blood sugar levels and leave the dieter feeling lethargic, complex carbohydrates give our bodies its energy. Consuming whole grains is an excellent way to consume carbohydrates that benefit our bodies.

The same rules apply to fats. The truth about fat is that our bodies actually need it in order to survive. The key is eating good fats such as nuts, olive oil and flax seed instead of animal fats.

By doing simple things such as reading food labels before dec iding what to eat to lose weight can make a huge difference in the amount of calories a person eats in a day. Many foods have hidden calories in them that you may not even realize your are consuming them if you do not read the labels.

What to eat to lose weight is a question many of us have. There are foods that are healthier for us than others, and if eaten in moderation, can help us lose weight.


Monday, 12 November 2012

Lose Weight Responsibly

Unlike muscle building, fat loss is usually a much quicker process. You can expect to lose one pound of fat a week, this will depend on how lean you are to begin with. You may also lose a small bit of muscle while dieting due to the calorie deficit, this is more prevalent in more advanced bodybuilders who have a larger amount of muscle.

1.  Calorie Deficit is Key

You must be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. If your body isn't in a deficit it has no reason to use stored body fat as fuel. You should start out with a daily deficit of 500 calories. The higher the deficit the more fat AND MUSCLE you can expect to lose, so don't go too low. If you drop your calories too low your metabolism will slow down so keep it at a mild deficit.

2.  Push Up The Protein

Your diet should be high in protein to preserve muscle. Protein also increases your metabolism because your body uses more energy to digest it. Protein is also the most satisfying macronutrient, meaning it will keep you fuller longer, so you don't end up cheating and ruining your diet. Keep protein 1-1.2 grams per pound bodyweight.

3.  More Weights Than Cardio

When people think about fat loss they look to the treadmill or bike. While cardio burns more calories, weight training elevates your metabolism for hours as your body has to repair the muscles. Weight training helps preserve muscle while your dieting and cardio does the opposite, a combination of both is best.

4. Be a Cheater

Once a week you should have a cheat meal, not a cheat day, just a meal. You should use this to go out and have a meal with your friends or family. Eating in a restaurant will help control portion sizes. Cheating will motivate you for the week to come and it will raise your metabolism. Your cravings will disappear so CHEAT.

5.  Diet Slowly

If you want immediate results then you are destined to fail.  You didn't put the weight on overnight an you can't lose it overnight.  Your diet should be slow and not too aggressive. Aiming to lose 15 pounds in a month is unrealistic and you will definitely lose a lot of muscle in the process. You should aim to lose just one pound of fat per week. Instead of losing 7 pounds of fat and 7 pounds of muscle in a month, lose 4 pounds of fat. Think of how much better you will look.

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Thursday, 8 November 2012

Three Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Weight Loss

Losing weight can be a very tough and frustrating process. But with the right mindset and attitude it doesn’t have to be that way. One very important thing to do before you start your weight loss journey is to learn about common mistakes people do, and then don’t do them your self!

These are three of the most common mistakes that people do when it comes to weight loss:

1. Quitting to soon

2. Expecting weight loss overnight

3. Having the wrong attitude

Quitting to soon

Many people quit with their diet and exercising programs to soon. It could be because they got to little time to exercise one day so they miss one training pass. And then they lose motivation, and then they skip a few more training passes, and before you know it they quit training all together.

If you don’t have enough time to do your usual exercise, then use all the time that you got. If you only got 10 minutes over, great use that to train then, it’s better to train for 10 minutes then nothing at all.

Same thing with the diet, lets say around Christmas and you eat a bit too much and a bit unhealthy one day. Many people feel very tempted to stop the diet and go back to their old food habits after that. You have to learn to stick to it even after one of those nights.

And remember that just because you have broken your diet or exercising plan once or twice doesn’t mean that you have failed. Just make sure that you step it up and do the right thing next time.

Expecting weight loss overnight

When you start with your weight loss don’t expect that you’re going to see results in the first few days, maybe even in your first week. Many people when they start out they keep going for like a week and then they look at the scale and maybe they haven’t lost anything or just not as much as they expected. And they get frustrated because of it, and maybe keep going for a few more days and still they don’t lose as much as they want, so they stop because they lose all motivation. You didn’t gain all of your weight overnight, and neither will you lose it overnight. You need to understand this before you start your weight loss. 

One thing to remember about this is that you shouldn’t only be watching the scale when you start your training and diet. You should start to feel more energetic, you can begin to feel less stressed during the days, maybe even sleep better! So don’t just focus on the scale, focus on everything else that also comes with eating healthy and training.

Having the wrong attitude

When you start out and you get a training program that you plan to stick to, and it says that you’re going to train maybe 4-5 times a week. You can get very discouraged because most people feel that exercise is like a punishment, a chore, which has to be done.

And with that attitude towards training, chances are that you will lose all your motivation for training quite quickly.

Training should be a fun thing to do. Something that you should look forward to. And if you don’t feel that about your training you should consider changing your training and start doing something else. If you’re out jogging 3 times a week, and you really hate jogging, then change it. Start with power walking 4 times a week, or start dancing or something that you enjoy.


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Are You REALLY Hungry?

Here are 12 tips to suppress your cravings and eat less.  Numbers 1, 5, 10 and 11 work best for me.

1.  Drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes.  Do you still hungry?

2.  Chew some gum.

3.  Chew gum while you cook.

4.  When you have a craving, go on a walk or do something to take your mind off it.

5.  Eat a piece of fruit.

6.  3 bite rule.

7.  Brush your teeth after meals and snacks.

8.  Don't eat standing up.

9.  Don't eat the kids leftovers.

10.  Kitchen closes at 6pm.

11.  Don't keep unhealthy food in the house - if it isn't there, you can't eat it!

12. FOOD LOG - log EVERYTHING you eat!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Free Tips And Advice

One recent study from Kaiser Permanente found that people who received weekly e-mails about diet and fitness for 16 weeks substantially increased their levels of physical activity and intake of healthy foods like fruits and vegetables while cutting back on trans and saturated fats.

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