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2/13/10 5:14 A

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Use smaller plates

~Nancy~

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STEVIEBEE569's Photo STEVIEBEE569 Posts: 9,790
12/13/09 9:35 P

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Get Killer Abs

Everybody wants defined abs. Good thing there are so many different abdominal exercises to choose from — you'll never get bored as you work your way toward washboard abs!

Here are three versions of the plank, a move that works the lower back, chest, and shoulders in addition to the rectus abdominis.

Basic Plank (beginner)
Start in a push-up position, but keep your hands directly under your shoulders instead of outside your chest. Legs are extended straight behind you, with feet together. You are balancing on your palms and the balls of your feet. Hold this position for as long as you can, working your way up to 1 minute. It's a lot harder than it sounds!

Plank Twists (intermediate)
Start in plank position. Maintaining this position, exhale and rotate your torso by bringing your right knee in toward your left armpit. Return to the starting position, then repeat, bringing the left knee toward the right armpit. Plank twists work not only the rectus abdominis but also the internal obliques.

Extended Plank (advanced)
Start in a basic plank position, but instead of placing your hands under your shoulders, bring your hands together and place them on the floor in front of you (about 3 inches in front of your head). This variation places much greater emphasis and concentration on the rectus abdominis because you're not able to use your arms as pillars to support your body weight.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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STEVIEBEE569's Photo STEVIEBEE569 Posts: 9,790
11/9/09 7:31 A

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Have a guilt-free Thanksgiving!

The game plan
Take some time before Thanksgiving to decide which foods you want to enjoy at your meal. It's important to do this before you sit down to eat.

Imagine yourself sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner, says Maria Walls, RD, manager of program development for Weight Watchers International. Visualize the spread and decide how you'll fill up your plate. Be sure to include your favorite items so that you don't feel deprived and overeat later.

Here are some more tips for creating a strategy that will work.

Decide how much of a favorite food will satisfy you
If you cannot conceive of eating just a small piece of Aunt Millie's famous pumpkin pie, cut out something else to account for the larger slice.



Select once-a-year foods
Choose to eat dishes that are just served on Thanksgiving; avoid those that show up at every meal. After all, do you really want sweet potatoes topped with melted marshmallows plus an ordinary baked spud?



Just say no
Practice creative ways to say "no" in case you get pressured by others to take seconds (or thirds).



There's always tomorrow
If the meal is at your house, remember that there will be plenty of leftovers. If you won't be able to sleep knowing that there's half a pie in the kitchen, "freeze leftovers immediately or give your guests doggie bags to take home," suggests Walls.



Stop when you're full
Push yourself away from the table when you've had enough. If you're not sitting within arm's length of the biscuits, you'll be less likely to overindulge.



All foods have benefits
Many Thanksgiving foods are packed with nutrients. For example, pumpkin pie is loaded with vitamin A (important for proper vision) and beta-carotene (a potentially powerful antioxidant). Green bean casserole and stuffing contain lots of folic acid (a B vitamin linked to the prevention of birth defects and, possibly, heart disease).



Broaden your focus
Make the holiday about more than just food. Focus on your friends and family and remember what you're thankful for, like wearing a smaller size, more comfortably crossing your legs or feeling more confident about yourself.

And if, despite all your efforts, you end up feeling like you're off the mark, put it all in perspective: "Don't worry about it, just move on." Tomorrow's a whole new day.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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STEVIEBEE569's Photo STEVIEBEE569 Posts: 9,790
10/22/09 9:11 P

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Create a Peaceful Place to Catch Your Z's

Getting the right amount of sleep is so important to your overall health and happiness! If you're having trouble falling asleep at night, you may want to take a look around your bedroom and make some changes. I'll help you create a peaceful place where you can fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world! For a great eight hours of slumber, try:

Cutting the Noise: If your bedroom isn't a quiet sanctuary, block out noise with earplugs or a source of "white noise," like a fan or an air conditioner.

Removing the TV: You may feel as if you have to watch TV to fall asleep, but watching it in bed or even on your couch might prevent you from getting a good night's sleep. A disturbing newscast could leave you feeling agitated or anxious rather than relaxed. Laughing at a funny TV show may wake you up, rather than help you doze off. So, shut off the tube and go to sleep in peace!

Putting Away the Laptop: "Just one more e-mail..." Does that sound familiar? Working on your laptop or Blackberry in bed can get in the way of your much-needed rest. Besides, do you really want to dream about work?!

Curbing Your Puppy (or Kitty) Love: If you're an animal lover, and you let your pet sleep with you. He or she might be to blame for poor sleeping patterns. Sharing your bed with a furry friend can be disruptive, and if you're already sharing your space with a partner, you're sleeping in some cramped quarters! Consider purchasing a pillow or pet bed for your four-legged friend.

Bettering Your Bed: Believe it or not, your mattress, pillows, and bedding can affect the quality of your sleep. A lumpy old mattress may not support your back or neck, while a an overly stiff mattress can do more harm than good (despite what most people think), causing back pain instead of alleviating it. If your pillow is synthetic rather than feather, it may hold five times as much dust mite fecal matter, which can aggravate asthma symptoms. As for your bedding, find something soft and comfortable, and make sure you wash your linens at least once a week.

With these simple improvements, you're sure to enjoy a much more restful night's sleep right away.


Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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STEVIEBEE569's Photo STEVIEBEE569 Posts: 9,790
10/19/09 8:54 A

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Lead by Example!

Whenever your willpower starts to wane, try shifting your focus from your negative thoughts to thoughts of your loved ones. Make it your goal to set an example for your family and be a role model for your kids or your friends! Think of how much they'll all benefit from learning and following all the healthy habits you've picked up.

Get everyone in your household accustomed to healthful snacking by ridding your pantry of sugary sweets and overprocessed chips and stocking up on the good stuff, like fresh, seasonal fruits and nuts. Invite family members to go grocery shopping with you and have everyone pick out one new, healthy food to try, like calabaza squash, Swiss chard, pomegranate, flaxseed bread, or quinoa.

To get some family fitness time, schedule weekend bike rides, or go hiking with your spouse once a week (pack a picnic lunch for some romance along the way!). And encourage your little ones to play outside so they're not sitting on the couch all day watching TV or playing video games. If they show an interest in sports, urge them to join a team! Knowing that people are looking up to you can be an excellent way to keep your spirits lifted too!



Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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STEVIEBEE569's Photo STEVIEBEE569 Posts: 9,790
7/23/09 5:46 P

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5 Tips for Beating the Heat

Summer is in full swing and the mercury is rising. When you're exercising or playing outdoors, it's important that you take care to keep yourself cool. My fitness plan is tough enough — you don't need to add heatstroke to the equation! Follow these tips to make sure you stay safe in hot or humid weather.

Time it right. The hottest part of the day usually falls between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Do your workout early in the morning or in the evening, when the sun isn't directly overhead and the temperature is a little cooler.

Dress for the weather. Your body cools itself in part by perspiring. You'll help the process if you wear lightweight, somewhat loose-fitting clothing that allows the sweat to evaporate from your skin. Choose lighter colors because they won't absorb as much heat from the sun, and consider a hat or a visor to keep the sun out of your eyes.

Wear sunscreen. The last thing you want is a sunburn — it'll keep your skin from cooling off and sap precious fluids. Choose a sunscreen free of oxybenzone, a chemical that has been linked to hormone disruption. Use Skin Deep, the Environmental Working Group's cosmetics database, to see if your sunscreen is safe, and apply it at least 30 minutes before you head outside.

Drink lots of water. Sweating can dehydrate you very quickly, so it's important to keep drinking water. Drink 4 to 8 ounces every 15 minutes while you work out. If you exercise for more than an hour, you may need a sports drink or a snack to replace the salt and other electrolytes you lose as you sweat.

Watch your heart rate. In reaction to heat, your body increases blood flow to your skin in an effort to cool you off. The result is less blood for your muscles and an elevated heart rate. If you're not used to working out in the heat, you might find that you'll reach your target heart rate with less intense exercise than usual. Take it slow at first, and gradually increase your intensity.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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STEVIEBEE569's Photo STEVIEBEE569 Posts: 9,790
7/16/09 11:48 P

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Burn Those Cardio Calories Outdoors!

Does doing the same cardio routine at the gym make you feel like a hamster on a wheel? If so, why not go outside and get a change of scenery? Exercising outdoors can be a hit-or-miss proposition depending on where you live and the season, but when the weather is decent, there should be nothing stopping you. Take advantage of summertime to enjoy the fresh air! Here are some great alfresco cardio options to get you out of the gym.

Hiking: This is an awesome workout that I happen to love. It allows you to spend time in nature and discover your surroundings. Also, because of irregular terrain, you'll work your core muscles more than you would on a treadmill.

Running: Getting off the treadmill and running outside might help you burn even more calories. Try performing intervals by running or jogging in quarter-mile bursts. You can also work different muscles in your legs by doing intervals in which you run backward.

Swimming: Cool off, tone muscles, and get your cardio in. If you're just beginning to exercise, the pool is a great place to get started. Water provides more resistance than air, so it can make your muscles expend more energy than they would on land. Use a kickboard if you have one: Hold on to the board and use your legs to power you across the pool. Run or walk across the pool, tread water, or hold on to the side of the pool and just do kick drills for as long as you can.

Biking: Why not ride your bike to work instead of driving? You can commute and burn calories (not to mention save gas money)! Biking is an excellent means of exploring and a good calorie burner. It can be a great option if you're dealing with an injury, because it's low impact, causing less strain. But remember, a road bike is a totally different animal from a stationary or recumbent bike, so take it nice and slow at first until you get used to being on the open road.

Don't forget your everyday sports either — basketball, soccer, and the like are fun activities that allow you to get together with friends, get a cardio workout in, and enjoy the great outdoors.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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7/15/09 3:21 P

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Rest Up!

When you're starting a new workout program — especially if you haven't been exercising in a while or you are stepping up the intensity of your existing one — you are probably really excited to begin! You'll probably experience the boost in energy that exercising can give you, or you'll notice your strength increasing and your muscles becoming more defined. That will help you keep up with your new program longer — and that's great! But don't forget to rest your muscles between workouts! It's so important that I even build in Rest Days into my Fitness Plan. You may feel as though a day off from working out is a day wasted, but it's actually a very important part of your fitness routine!

When it comes to strength training, for example, experts suggest working out two or three days each week, with a full day of rest between workouts to let your body recharge. Strength training actually works by creating small tears in muscle fibers, which then grow as the body repairs them. So time off is crucial to allow these repairs to be made!

Keep your program balanced, take the time you need to recover, and gradually work your way up to longer, tougher workouts. You can do it!

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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7/13/09 9:49 A

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Add Some Zest to Your Routine!

Following the same routine day after day can get boring; jazzing things up regularly with departures from the ordinary can keep you engaged and excited! Research has shown that new experiences activate the brain's reward system, flooding it with chemicals, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, that make you feel good. So what are you waiting for?

Try a new food! Pick up a new fruit or vegetable; one you've never sampled before from the grocery store or farmers' market. Try a new recipe from the Recipe Index, or swap a new veggie into a favorite old recipe. Either way, you'll end up with some new tastes on your plate!

Try a new activity! A great way to stay motivated in your exercise program or overcome a plateau is to change up your routine with a new activity. You can take a class in something you've always wanted to try (dance? a martial art? snowboarding?) or ask an adventurous friend to plan a surprise activity or outing for both of you. Even just changing the route of your regular walk or run can stimulate your mind with new scenery.

Change your mode of transportation! Try making short trips by foot or bike instead of by car; you'll be amazed at the details you notice when you're out in the open instead of watching the world go by through a windshield. Or if you use public transit, try getting out a stop or two early and finishing your journey on foot. You'll be treated to a new perspective and get some extra exercise into your day!


Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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STEVIEBEE569's Photo STEVIEBEE569 Posts: 9,790
7/7/09 8:25 A

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Five Tips for Taming PMS

Here's a statement I don't think too many women will disagree with: Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is a little slice of hell on earth. In the five to seven days before their period, up to 75 percent of women experience at least one unpleasant symptom in the constellation that PMS can cause — from the stereotypical cramps and moodiness to insomnia, fatigue, and nausea. One in 20 women experience premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a serious and often disabling condition that can cause persistent depression, marked anger or irritability, and severe aches and pains.

The good news is that there are ways to tame PMS naturally. Try these five tips:

Exercise! You may not want to, but get in your workout anyway. The endorphin rush will help relieve cramps and raise your levels of serotonin, a mood-lifting neurotransmitter.

Get some R&R. Adequate sleep and less stress will put you in a better hormonal position to handle the physiological imbalance that PMS brings.

Cut out most alcohol, caffeine, and salt. Alcohol can exacerbate feelings of depression, so steer clear. Reducing caffeine may minimize breast tenderness and irritability, and cutting salt can reduce bloat.

Minimize simple sugars. Ideally, you're doing this all the time, but it's especially important before your period. Simple sugars may increase inflammation, making cramps feel worse. Eating regular meals and snacks with fiber and protein will help keep your blood sugar stable, which is a lot better for those raw nerves than blood-sugar swings.

Consider supplements. Calcium may reduce symptoms of PMS, so shoot for at least 1,200 mg a day. Magnesium is also helpful, as are B complex vitamins. To reduce the inflammation of cramps and breast tenderness, try a primrose-oil supplement; it's a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory that may work in ways similar to ibuprofen.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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SONGS415's Photo SONGS415 SparkPoints: (21,168)
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6/17/09 8:43 A

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Good one! I am too easily controlled by my own negative self talk, image, etc.
patty

I already have, I already am because of Jesus!!!



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STEVIEBEE569's Photo STEVIEBEE569 Posts: 9,790
6/15/09 6:59 A

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Visualize Your Success!

You've heard it before: The mind is a powerful thing. But it's so true — you can train your mind to visualize success, just as you can train your body to achieve it! And when you're stuck in a rut, it helps to know you have the ability — however subconscious — to do something about it! Here are some ways to tap into your brainpower:

Put it on paper. Write down what you want. Is it to fit into your size 6 jeans? Reduce your cholesterol by 15 points? To complete five full push-ups or a 40-mile bike ride? Get it down on paper and then post it on your bulletin board or slip it in your wallet so you see it every day. It'll be a constant reminder of what you want to accomplish!

Say it out loud. Tell your relatives, friends, coworkers, and most important, yourself about your goal. Create a mantra (I will drop 10 percent of my body weight by spring!) and recite it often. Revealing your desires will give you the confidence to believe in yourself — and others the chance to encourage you along the way.

Shut off negative thoughts. When doubts start creeping in, stop them dead in their tracks by repeating your mantra, turning the negative into a positive (nope, you're not too tired to walk the final mile!), or simply finding a way to distract yourself (call a friend to chat about an unrelated topic like an upcoming vacation!). Next thing you know, you'll be faking it 'til you make it!

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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STEVIEBEE569's Photo STEVIEBEE569 Posts: 9,790
6/8/09 8:36 A

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Rise to the Challenge!

Ever wonder how professional athletes are born? Sure, they have tremendous talent that lets them run faster, jump higher, or hit the ball harder than the average person. But these men and women couldn't reach their level of success if they didn't push themselves — physically and mentally. And that's really the key to accomplishing any feat!

If your workouts aren't challenging enough, you risk getting bored and then losing interest altogether. And when you perform the same routine over and over again, your body gets used to these movements and eventually starts running on cruise control — and that's when you might notice that the scale isn't budging.

Never be afraid to turn things up a notch! Switch up your routine — in every aspect of your life! Do things you've never done before. Tired of the treadmill? Get in step with salsa dancing! Sick of cooking the same meals? Experiment with different flavors by using vegetables, herbs, and spices you've never tried before!

And when you meet these challenges, you'll see that the rewards are huge! You'll improve your body, expand your mind, gain self-confidence — and you'll be living proof that anything's possible! Give it a try!

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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STEVIEBEE569's Photo STEVIEBEE569 Posts: 9,790
5/25/09 8:37 A

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Shape Your Mind!

The wonderful thing about exercise is that is has countless benefits! The ones you often hear about are related to your physical well-being — it helps prevent chronic diseases like osteoporosis and certain types of cancer, improves heart and lung function, and is a key element in controlling and maintaining a healthy weight. But you should also relish the emotional benefits of exercise!

No matter your age or sex, exercise is a mood booster! Even moderate levels of aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, can raise the endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine in your brain (your body's feel-good chemicals). Working out regularly can also enhance creativity, reduce anxiety, and help combat depression. And meditative exercises like yoga are an especially powerful stress reliever!

So next time you need to blow off some steam, feel restless, or have trouble concentrating, hit the gym! It'll give you that much-needed natural high. Plus, after you see all the physical benefits of your hard work — your slimmer body and improved muscle tone — another thing that'll soar is your confidence!

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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5/25/09 6:54 A

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Get Checked Out

You feel great and are looking more fabulous each day, so why should you take time out of your hectic schedule to visit your doctor or dentist? No matter how old you are, staying on top of regular checkups is crucial to your overall well-being. Prevention is the ideal purpose of checkups, but they also afford the opportunity to catch a problem while it's in the early stages and can be easily treated — allowing you to live long and feel strong!

Mark your calendars! Here's a checklist of appointments you can't afford to miss:

Mammograms: Starting around age 40 (unless you have a family history of breast cancer and your doctor recommends you start earlier), women should undergo mammograms every one to two years. These tests are in addition to monthly self-exams, starting in your twenties.

Pelvic exam: If you are a sexually active woman or over 21, you should schedule an annual pelvic exam and Pap smear.

Cholesterol checks: If you're 20 and are a smoker or have a history of diabetes or heart disease, you should have your cholesterol checked regularly; otherwise you should start around age 45.

Dental cleaning: For many, a thorough dental cleaning may be at the bottom of the appointment list. Still, even if you have a healthy smile, you should visit the dentist at least twice a year.

Physical: Here's a general rule of thumb for having an overall physical, even when you're feeling fine: at 20, every three years; at 30, every two years; and at 40 and above, every year.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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5/23/09 6:28 A

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From the Biggest Loser's Jillian Michaels:

Visualize the Prize

The technique of visualization is intended to bring about major life changes by means of your thoughts and imagination. It's simple: Picture in your mind the object of your desire (whether it's a situation, an event, or an image of yourself) as vividly as possible. Spend time concentrating on the image, truly believing in it as if it were already real. Be detailed and comprehensive in creating the image, and be sure to include your emotional well-being in this vision as well.

The reason visualization is effective is that in some ways, your brain can't tell the difference between a real event and an imagined one — by using your imagination, you can create positive "experiences" that improve your self-image and your skills, help you release worry, realize your goals, and so on. The possibilities are endless.

You can now create an image of your body that fits your genetic type and potential. It must be an attainable vision, not one that will be out of reach. For example, I'm never gonna be able to slam-dunk like LeBron James — I'm five feet two! But it doesn't mean that I can't play one hell of a mean basketball game. I will be the best player that I can be, and at the end of the day that's what counts. Your imagination can be the source of your fear, but it can also provide the remedy.

By harnessing the power of your imagination and practicing visualization, you can make your mind work for you, not against you.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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5/4/09 7:20 A

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From Denise Austin:

Resolve to Plan Ahead!

When you're super-busy, it's easy to let your healthy-eating habits or workouts fall by the wayside. Then you get down on yourself for not sticking with the plan, or you feel like quitting altogether. Don't let this happen to you! There are so many things you can do to make juggling life's priorities more manageable — and one of them is planning ahead.

If late nights on the job are leaving you with zero time to prepare wholesome meals during the week, do the prep work in advance! On the weekends, go over the upcoming week's meals and figure out ways to limit the time you'll have to spend in the kitchen. For example, buy pre-cut, prewashed salad greens, frozen veggies, and thin (read: fast-cooking) cuts of meat. Or do most of your slicing and dicing at one timece, place the ingredients in storage containers, and then refrigerate until you're ready to whip up your meals when you get home.

As for your workouts, knock them out first thing in the morning. Then you can immediately cross off one oh-so-important thing from your to-do list! Plus, all that heart-pumping exercise will leave you feeling refreshed and energized — the perfect way to start your day and get you on the path to success!

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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3/29/09 7:22 P

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6 Smart Snacks for After Your Workout

Replenish your energy after your workout with these smart protein and carb snack combos.
By Lisa Kovalovich Whitmore

Whether you work up a sweat in the morning or evening, chances are you grab a little bite before you hit the gym. A snack before you work out helps give you energy and stamina to go the distance. But did you know that eating a snack after you work out is even more important? "You want to make sure you feed your body to help repair muscle tissues and replenish glycogen stores [which are depleted after a strenuous workout]," says Kristin Reisinger, MS, RD, a sports nutritionist and competitive figure athlete based in New Jersey. Here, six top snacks to fuel your body post workout (Reisinger recommends chasing each of these snacks with 8-12 ounces of water).

Protein Shake with Banana
"After a workout, you want ample protein combined with a carbohydrate," says Reisinger. A protein shake made from whey protein, water, and half a banana is a great choice, since your body quickly turns it into energy.

Recommended Serving Size: 2 scoops of whey protein powder combined with water and 1/2 banana, 250 calories

Peanut Butter & Banana on Rice Cakes
If you're craving something more substantial after a workout, a healthy peanut butter and banana sandwich will fit the bill. Instead of bread, smooth your peanut butter onto two brown rice cakes for extra fiber (without empty carbs). And while you may usually avoid bananas because they're too full of sugar, eating one after a workout is just fine. "This is one of the only times I recommend a high-glycemic carbohydrate source such as banana, because the uptake will be rapid," says Reisinger. Translation: It'll replenish your energy quickly.

Recommended Serving Size: 1/2 banana, 1 tbsp. peanut butter, and 2 brown rice cakes, 215 calories

Hummus and Pita
Another great carb/protein combo: Hummus and whole wheat pita. Hummus, a dip made from pureed chickpeas, gives you both carbs and protein. Coupled with the slow-release energy from the whole wheat pita, it makes for a snack that'll keep you fueled for hours.

Recommended Serving Size: 1/4 cup hummus with 1 whole wheat pita, 275 calories

Yogurt and Fresh Berries
Protein makes sense after a workout, since it contains amino acids that help build muscle. "Your muscles are depleted of amino acids after a workout, so you need an adequate supply of protein to help build them up," says Reisinger. Low-fat yogurt can pack nearly 15 grams of protein; add some berries for carbohydrate-driven energy.

Recommended Serving Size: 1 8-ounce container of plain, low-fat yogurt with 1/2 cup berries, 180 calories

Tuna on Whole Wheat
What could be more filling after a workout than half a sandwich? And when you choose its filling wisely, you'll be building muscle while you eat, too! "Research shows that carbs and protein together have a better response to post-workout recovery," says Reisinger. Tuna drizzled with a little lemon juice and olive oil spread over a slice of whole wheat bread is an ideal protein/carb mini-meal.

Recommended Serving Size: 4 ounces water-packed tuna and 1 slice whole wheat bread, 220 calories

Turkey and Cheese with Apple Slices
If you're not in the mood for a sandwich, skip the bread and eat the fillings on their own! Spread a soft-cheese wedge over two or three slices of lean deli turkey, then roll up for a quick, high-protein, eat-on-the-go snack. Add a sliced apple for some energy-boosting (and glycogen-replenishing) carbs.

Recommended Serving Size: 4 ounces deli turkey, 1 soft cheese wedge, and 1 apple, 240 calories

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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3/29/09 7:18 P

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What kind of body do you really want?
Think about it for a second. Ask yourself, “What kind of body do I really want?” Women often say something like, “Oh, I just want a nice, toned body. Not TOO muscular, but firm.” Toned and firm, you say? Okay, sounds good to me. Men usually say something like, “I want to be big – muscular and strong.” Or, “I want to be lean, with fully defined abs.” Well, I’m with you. Both noble goals.

Whatever that ideal body is for you, the point is, you know what you want to look like. You can picture it in your mind. You know exactly what kind of body you want. Now brace yourself and ask yourself honestly: “Why don’t I already have the body I want?” “Why don’t I look the way I want to look, right now?”

Ask yourself:

“What’s holding me back?”
Let’s consider the possibilities . . .

Is it a lack of motivation? Maybe. In my experience, however, the people who actively seek out solutions to their problems have motivation enough. You don’t need to move mountains to get in the best shape of your life; you just need to get started, and everyone can do that. If you can start, you can finish – as long you start doing the right things! You see, once you’ve started to change your body, you don’t need motivational slogans and pep talks. What you need are results. Results are the true motivation. When you’re doing something that works, you just look in the mirror and say, “Damn, I look good – this stuff really works.” That’s it. It’s positive reinforcement of what you’ve been doing, and so you keep doing it. So the problem isn’t lack of rah-rah inspiration. It’s something else.

Poor exercise habits? Sometimes, especially if you’re completely sedentary. If your daily activity involves nothing more than moving from one piece of furniture to another, you’re simply not going to get the body you want. Looking good naked requires intense exercise, and probably more than you’re told is necessary. (30 minutes three times a week? I don’t think so.) But even so, in my coaching program I see lots of people who are already exercising with highly skilled trainers and coaches – and many times even they aren’t getting the results they’re looking for. So in my experience, the limiting factor is almost always something else. But what else could it be? What’s really holding you back?

Bad genetics? Look, this is a definite NO. A complete cop-out. You know what bad genetics are? Being born without legs. A propensity to gain fat around your midsection is NOT bad genetics. Sure, each of us has certain genetic limitations; for instance, you may not be equipped to play quarterback for the Patriots, play center for the Celtics or win the Boston Marathon – in other words, you may not have the genetic makeup to reach the upper limits of human performance. But you can always lose fat or gain muscle. In ten years of working with people of all stripes, from office managers to elite athletes, I’ve yet to see a single case where we couldn’t make significant body composition change – and that’s what you really want, isn’t it? So if you’ve been using the old “bad genetics” routine, stop shaking your fist at the heavens, and look a little closer at the real problem.

So what IS the real problem? Ask yourself again: “Why DON’T I have the body I want?”

What’s really holding you back.
Look, it’s not your lack of inspirational posters. It’s probably not the set/rep scheme you use in the gym, and it’s definitely not your genetics. Make no mistake about it, your limiting factor nearly always resides in the 160+ hours per week that you spend outside of gym.

And what do you think is the most important factor in those 160+ hours? What, in that time, has the greatest impact on your body composition, health and performance? Answer: Nutrition.

Whether you want to gain muscle, lose fat, or just live healthy, the limiting factor is almost always nutrition.

Poor nutrition is what holds you back. And good nutrition is what will move you forward. Good nutrition is what will feed muscle and shed fat. It’s what will improve nearly every health marker you can measure. It’s what will drastically improve recovery and mood, so you can work harder, longer. Good nutrition is what will get you the body you never thought you could have.

Change your nutrition, and you’ll change your body entirely. Change your nutrition, and you’ll quite literally change your life.

Just look at people who have made major changes to their body – and I mean major changes, the type of changes that make people take notice when you enter the room. The common denominator is that they all completely changed their nutrition.

“Well, great,” you say, “I understand the importance of nutrition to my body – and I do want to change – the question is how!”

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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3/17/09 4:31 A

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Find the Middle Ground

What's your favorite treat? Come on now — if you could eat your way out of a room filled with one kind of food, what would it be? Cake? Potato Chips? Chocolate? Cheese? Ice cream? When you know that you can never have just one potato chip, it's tempting to swear off that food forever — especially now that you're focused on improving your health, diet, and physique. But as many of us have found out from experience, labeling something as "forbidden" makes it all the more appealing!

A critical step in renouncing the destructive, all-or-nothing mind-set is knowing how to walk the line between self-denial and self-indulgence. It is the middle ground that offers the best foundation on which to build your new life. Denying yourself little pleasures such as an occasional glass of wine or a chocolate truffle will only make you feel deprived, frustrated, and ultimately hopeless about maintaining your discipline. A temptation is a lot less powerful if it isn't totally forbidden. This is where moderation comes in.

There is room for all foods, no matter how "bad" they are; it's just a matter of being conscious and careful of how often and how much. It's fine to have a piece of cake now and then, just not every day, and not the whole cake.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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3/15/09 10:31 A

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Identifying and Addressing Saboteurs

You've identified your weight-loss goals. You've declared them to others. You've talked the talk, and now you're walking the walk by exercising regularly and making healthy changes to your diet. Your efforts are starting pay off — you've lost some pounds, feel energized, and are committed to staying the course.

Why then, does your loved one not seem as excited about your self-improvement as you? Maybe he or she is always trying to persuade you to skip a workout or always suggests pizza when it's his or her turn to cook. Is your partner subtly sabotaging you on your journey to total health?

If you feel this might be the case, ask yourself why. It doesn't mean that the person doesn't care about you. It could be that he or she is feeling insecure and threatened at the prospect of your transformation for the better. Your partner might be worried that if you lose weight and get healthy, you'll leave and find someone better. More likely than not, this person has no idea that he or she is undermining your resolve. Sit down together and assure him or her of your love and then talk about what's going on. Give examples of behavior he or she's exhibited that has sabotaged you in the past. Keep reassuring this person of his or her value and importance in your life.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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3/9/09 6:47 P

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Pamper Yourself
You've been working hard lately, and now it's time to take a little pampering break. That's right, guys: I want you to take a break from your life! Forget about whatever it is you think you have to do and give yourself some TLC. To hell with the laundry, the dishes, the accounting, the errands, and even the Internet! Turn your cell phone off and try these tips for some tender lovin' care:
Take a bath. Nothing feels quite as decadent as a warm bath. Add bubbles or essential oils — such as lavender and rosemary — or just set some candles around the bathroom while you soak.

Take time out to read. Whether it's a book, your favorite magazine, or the newspaper, set yourself up in a quiet place and indulge yourself without interruption.

Set up a pampering appointment. Get a new haircut, go for a manicure and pedicure, or get a professional shave at the barber.

Order takeout. Splurge and order dinner in so you don't have to cook — but make sure to choose something that won't kill your diet.

Take yourself out to a movie. Think you don't have time to catch the latest flick? Think again. This is your downtime, kiddo. Go ahead and enjoy Hollywood!

Sleep in. Seriously, sometimes it feels so great just to turn the alarm off before you get into bed and let yourself sleep, sleep, sleep the morning away.

Enjoy it while you can — because tomorrow, it's back to work!



Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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3/9/09 6:42 P

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Celebrate the Small Victories!

When was the last time you watched a movie with your kids after dinner? When was the last time you and your spouse had an adults-only night out? When was the last time you ran yourself an old-fashioned bubble bath — just because you felt like it?

Life is too short not to celebrate the many wonderful reasons we have to be happy! We're all too ready to get down on ourselves for cheating on our diets or skipping a night at the gym, but we forget about celebrating the many positives in our lives, as well as the small victories we achieve all the time. Congratulating yourself along your weight-loss journey — every time you complete a difficult workout, lose a pound, or stay strong and stick to your diet during a tempting situation — will help keep you motivated, and it's a great habit to share with your family and friends. If your son gets an A on his social studies test, why don't you celebrate? If your spouse has an especially good day at work, celebrate!

Promise yourself that you'll congratulate yourself on some of the smaller achievements you make on the way to reaching your goals, as well as some of the smaller but just as important day-to-day reasons to be happy. Celebrations don't have to be big and elaborate. They can be small surprises that say, "Job well done!" or "Good for you!" (or "Good for me!"). Try to take time from your busy life to be happy and to share your happiness with others. Do something fun and unexpected, and the day will be twice as memorable!

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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3/5/09 3:58 A

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Plan It to Get It Done

You want to lose 50 pounds, and you want it bad! You can even envision your inner, svelte self wearing impossibly hip clothes. Yet, year after year, the pounds stick around. What's going to be different this time? You're going to have a plan!

Without a plan, reaching long-term goals may seem overwhelming or too distant. Setting smaller short-term goals will help you stay on track. Do this right now — identify and write down small goals to achieve on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis that will help you meet your long- term goal. Examples include preparing healthy snacks to take to work each day, working out three times a week, and learning five new healthy recipes a month.

While setting and reaching a goal in itself is rewarding, sometimes a little external motivation is needed. So, as you write down short-term goals think of incentives to keep you going and list them right next to each goal.



Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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2/27/09 6:06 A

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FRIDAY: IT'S YOUR BODY, BABY

Stay the Course

So you're well on your way to achieving your weight-loss goals. Feels good, right? Remember, though, my program is about total health. Those changes you're implementing in your life? They've got to be PERMANENT, baby. You might get into a size 8, or have a six-pack to show off, but that doesn't mean you can cheat, get lazy, or stop counting your calories.

Keep in mind, all this work — mental and physical — is helping you look at your life in new ways, with deeper insight and understanding. The bottom line is this: You can never go back to your old way of life if you want to maintain your new physique. You're on the wagon, my friend. As with any kind of recovery, just because you're rehabilitated doesn't mean you can't relapse.

All that soul-searching and honest examination has to continue. All those behavior modifications and healthy, life-affirming habits you learned have to stay in place every day for the rest of your life.

I know, it sucks and it's hard. Whatever. It's the truth. The good news is that it will get easier. You'll get accustomed to how awesome it feels to treat yourself well, not to mention how awesome you look every time you catch your reflection in a store window or look in the mirror! Eventually, behaviors and choices you've had to think through will become gut instinct.

You can do this. Remember, you're doing it right now.



Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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2/26/09 6:46 A

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Handy Portion-Control Guide

By Debbie Siebers, creator of Slim in 6®
To achieve weight loss, it's crucial to really understand what a portion is. Here's a trick: use your hand as a guideline to portion sizes.

Palm = Proteins
Make protein portions the size of your palm. Protein is found in animal products, like fish, meats, and cottage cheese. Some veggie sources include legumes (beans, etc.), tofu, tempeh, and wheat glutens.

Thumb = Fats
Fats are important but also very dense, so match portions to the size of your thumb. Good fat sources are avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds.

Fist = Fruits, Grains, etc.
Your bread, fruit, cereal, rice, and grain portions should be about equal to the size of your closed fist. Remember that whole grains are always preferred.

Hand = Veggies
Open your hand and spread your fingers as wide as you can. That is a good vegetable portion. Raw vegetables are loaded with fiber and nutrients, and contain very few calories.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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2/26/09 6:19 A

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Turn Frustrated into Firm.

My secret to bust a plateau and lose inches fast
By Chris Freytag , Fitness expert Chris Freytag is the author of Shortcuts to Big Weight Loss and Move to Lose. Read her blog for more healthy living tips, or check out her Prevention fitness DVDs.

Jennifer e-mailed to ask, "Why am I not losing weight even though I'm working out?" This is one of the most common questions I hear. Exercise is key to weight loss, but it's only part of the equation. In one study, overweight adults who exercised and cut calories shaved up to 66% more inches from their waistlines than those who exercise or diet alone. To pinpoint what's making your scale stick, ask yourself these questions.

Am I working hard enough? Exercise should be enjoyable, but to blast fat, you need to challenge yourself. At the right level, you'll be breathing through your mouth (not just your nose) and be able to say just a couple of sentences without gasping for air. For an even bigger burn, try intervals--every 2 minutes, speed up for 30 to 60 seconds.

Am I snacking more? Working out can increase your appetite. To keep your energy up and still achieve weight loss, have a 100-calorie snack before or after your session or exercise right before a meal.

Are my portions oversized? Studies show most of us consistently underestimate our food intake. To keep tabs, write down everything that goes in your mouth, and for at least 1 day actually measure your portions. I tried it and was shocked at how many servings I poured into my cereal bowl!

Am I in a workout rut? Doing the same exercise routine day after day guarantees stalled results--and boredom! Muscles get used to the same movements, so it takes less effort and burns fewer calories. Instead, add some hills to your walk, switch up your speed or distance, or try a new toning DVD.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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2/20/09 11:03 P

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Give Yourself a Fitness Makeover

Are you bored with your exercise routine? Do you dread taking the same walking path around the neighborhood or hitting the treadmill at the gym for the zillionth time? Always doing the same thing can zap your motivation. That's not good! Exercise should be fun, invigorating, and energizing! If it's not, it's probably time for a fitness makeover!

A fitness makeover is simple and fun. All you have to do is find different ways to get your heart pumping and your muscles working. Here are some ideas you can try:

Get a partner. Everything is more fun when you do it with someone else! Plus, having a partner increases your accountability — you're less likely to break an exercise date if you know someone is counting on you. Enlist your spouse, a neighbor, or a friend and work out together. Go for a walk, pick each other up for the gym, or just lift weights together in your basement — it doesn't matter what you do, as long as you are moving!

Sign up for a class. If you're used to working out alone, a workout class will make exercise exciting for you! The music is upbeat, the other people in the class motivate you to push yourself, and the instructor is there to direct you and correct your form. Check out the class offerings at your local community center, park, or gym.

Take a walk to the library or video store and browse the workout section. So many types of workout videos are available — from kickboxing, dance, and Pilates to step aerobics, Tae Bo, and bootcamps — the possibilities are endless! And best of all, you can try these new routines in the comfort of your home, return them, and borrow new ones so you can constantly vary your workouts.

Put on your explorer's hat and go on an adventure! Call up the parks department in your city or town — or look online — to locate beautiful walking or biking trails. Then hit a new locale each week. Walking tours are also a great way to get to know a place.

Dress the part. It may sound silly, but a new workout outfit can freshen up your fitness routine! The right shoes make all the difference, so treat yourself to a new pair. If you don't want to splurge right now, pick up fun and affordable workout clothes at local discount stores.

Kick up your heels on the dance floor! Go out with your significant other or friends and dance the night — and the unwanted fat — away. You can burn around 300 calories an hour by dancing fast or line dancing. Or just turn on some music in your living room and dance to get your heart rate up. Why not sign up for that dance class you've been interested in? It'll help you stay fit and have fun!

Starting next week, challenge yourself to take your workout to the next level by trying something new. Remember to choose activities you enjoy — or you'll just be working against yourself!


Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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2/18/09 11:37 A

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Curb Mindless Eating

Okay, you've all heard the term "grazing" — you know, picking at food throughout the day instead of (or in addition to) eating regular meals. This constant, indiscriminate eating — especially when you're focused on another task, such as talking on the phone or watching TV — is the downfall of many a committed dieter, but it doesn't have to be.

If you're piling on pounds because you eat when you're distracted or bored, rather than when you're actually hungry, try the following tactics to break the habit.

To curb daytime grazing:

Don't eat while you're standing up, in the car, or on the go or when you don't have time for a full, proper meal. If you sit down at mealtime and pay attention to every bite, you will be more relaxed, you'll notice when you're satisfied so that you won't overeat — and you'll actually enjoy your food!
Don't skip meals. I mean it. You might think you're saving yourself calories, but it will only leave you famished and more likely to consume extra calories later on to feel full.

To curb nighttime grazing:

Why do most people graze at night? Because they're bored. If you've been thinking about taking up knitting, crossword puzzles, Ping-Pong, or some other hobby that will keep your brain busy in the evening, now is the time to do it.

Brush your teeth. Food never seems quite as appealing when you have that fresh, minty toothpaste taste in your mouth.

Try a cup of hot tea; the warm liquid in your stomach can help you feel satiated.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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2/13/09 8:24 A

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planks are wonderful workouts and so hard. I was sore for days from doing planks after taking a yoga class at thr gym. We did planks several times and held it and brought ours knees up to opposite elbow or tried to.
patty

I already have, I already am because of Jesus!!!



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2/12/09 11:44 P

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I love reading these, thanks so much for sharing them! =)

"The spirited horse, which will try to win the race of its own accord, will run even faster if encouraged."
--Mary Ann Herman-Bogle


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Get Killer Abs

Everybody wants defined abs. Good thing there are so many different abdominal exercises to choose from — you'll never get bored as you work your way toward washboard abs!

Here are three versions of the plank, a move that works the lower back, chest, and shoulders in addition to the rectus abdominis.

Basic Plank (beginner)
Start in a push-up position, but keep your hands directly under your shoulders instead of outside your chest. Legs are extended straight behind you, with feet together. You are balancing on your palms and the balls of your feet. Hold this position for as long as you can, working your way up to 1 minute. It's a lot harder than it sounds!

Plank Twists (intermediate)
Start in plank position. Maintaining this position, exhale and rotate your torso by bringing your right knee in toward your left armpit. Return to the starting position, then repeat, bringing the left knee toward the right armpit. Plank twists work not only the rectus abdominis but also the internal obliques.

Extended Plank (advanced)
Start in a basic plank position, but instead of placing your hands under your shoulders, bring your hands together and place them on the floor in front of you (about 3 inches in front of your head). This variation places much greater emphasis and intensity on the rectus abdominis because you're not able to use your arms as pillars to support your body weight.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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2/11/09 5:02 P

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Smart Habits That Will Slim Your Stomach

Start working out.

Regular heart-pumping exercise is one of the most effective ways to get fat off your middle. "Diet alone may reduce your weight, but it probably won't change your body's shape the way exercise can," says Tongjian You, PhD, now an assistant professor in exercise and nutrition sciences at SUNY Buffalo and lead researcher for the groundbreaking Wake Forest study on fat-cell size. "Abdominal fat may be more active and responsive to exercise than fat in other areas," he says. So get moving!

Start eating healthy fats.

To lose flab around your middle, you don't have to cut every bit of fat out of your diet. The key is to get about 30 percent of your daily calories from fat, primarily heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, which could help you live longer (plus, you'll be less likely to crave the unhealthy kinds). New research from the Harvard Nurses' Health Study found that women who ate a diet rich in healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocados, and nuts, slashed their risk of heart disease -- the number-one killer of women -- by as much as 33 percent. Try adding some almonds to your afternoon yogurt and cook with olive oil as often as possible.

Start getting at least seven hours of shut-eye a night.

James Gangwisch, PhD, a researcher at Columbia University Medical Center, has the most compelling lights-out research we've heard. In his review of thousands of women, he found that those who slept five hours a night were almost twice as likely to be obese as women who got seven hours. Studies show that lack of sleep can make you hungrier -- it knocks the appetite-regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin out of whack, so you crave sweet, salty snacks. And it can increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which may be associated with abdominal fat.

Start playing your cards right.

"Think of your genes as the hand you're dealt in a game of poker," says Dr. Hensrud. "It may not be as good as you'd like, but it's how you play that matters." This is particularly true if you're apple shaped (meaning that you store fat around your abdomen) rather than pear shaped (fat goes to your hips and thighs first). "For optimal health, we should all eat less junk food, exercise regularly, drink in moderation, and not smoke," says Dr. Hensrud. "But these steps are even more important for people who are apple shaped, because they are at increased risk of diabetes and heart disease." By staying at a healthy weight and keeping your waist size well under 35 inches earlier in life, you're setting yourself up to stay trim as you get older, when your risk for developing many diseases increases.

Start loving your body.

Research shows that when women feel bad about their weight and themselves, they're more likely to give up on their diet goals and eat too much. So do things that make you feel good -- and that are good for you. Take a walk. Treat yourself to a massage. Before you know it, that extra ab flab will be nothing but a fleeting memory.


Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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2/11/09 5:00 P

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Bad Habits That Make Your Belly Bigger

Now that you've got a clear picture of the enemy within, it's time to fight back -- and win. That means getting rid of as much abdominal fat as possible, no matter which type it is. "Subcutaneous or visceral, all fat in the abdomen can have negative effects on your health," says Dr. Hensrud. "It's important to target both."

The lifestyle choices you make every day directly influence the size of your tummy -- and we're not just talking about food. So...

Stop being quite so happy at happy hour.

If you drink in moderation -- no more than one cocktail a day -- the calories from the alcohol will likely burn off. But when you overdo it, they end up turning into fat in your abdomen. Experts say this is because alcohol inhibits fat-burning in the stomach, although no one fully understands how or why. As a result, calories from alcohol are more likely to become part of your visceral fat layer, making the possibility of developing a beer (or margarita or wine) gut all too real.

Stop lighting up.

Like alcohol, nicotine prevents fat-burning in the abdomen. So smokers are likely to have a greater amount of visceral fat than nonsmokers do, even if they're not overweight, says Dr. Hensrud. "Studies have found that smokers tend to have a lower body-mass index than nonsmokers do, but the dangerous abdominal fat they often carry cancels out any positive effects."

Stop eating trans fats.

According to a new study, these artery-clogging fats are more likely to go straight to your belly than other types. Wake Forest University researchers fed monkeys the same amount of calories, but one group got some of its fat from trans fats and the other got all of its fat from heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. The monkeys on the trans-fats diet gained nearly four times as much weight and had 30 percent more fat in their abdomens than the primates who ate the healthy fat. "One theory is that the body doesn't know what to do with this man-made fat, and the abdomen is a quick place to store it," says lead researcher Kavanagh. "Another idea is that trans fats interfere with insulin and its job to distribute fat throughout the body." The American Heart Association recommends eating as little trans fats as possible -- less than two grams a day. Easy ways to do that:

Read the ingredients list on snack foods labeled "0 grams trans fats." One serving of these products may contain 0.49 grams of this unhealthy fat. "The higher that partially hydrogenated oils are on the ingredients list, the more likely it is that a product has close to 0.5 gram of trans fats a serving," says Lona Sandon, RD, an American Dietetic Association spokesperson in Dallas. So dole out just one portion of crackers or cookies and then put the box away.

Make your own muffins -- or cake or cookies. The baked goods sold at convenience stores and coffee-and-doughnut shops are likely full of trans fats, says Ellie Krieger, RD, host of Healthy Appetite on the Food Network. When you bake your own, using healthy ingredients such as canola oil and fresh fruit, you eliminate these fats.

Hold the fried foods. "It's not necessarily the oil that's unhealthy, but that the frying process changes the chemical structure of it, leading to an excess of trans fats," explains Sandon. Unless a restaurant boasts that it's serving trans-fat-free foods -- as do Wendy's, KFC, and Arby's -- you can assume you're getting a substantial side of it with those onion rings.


Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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SONGS415's Photo SONGS415 SparkPoints: (21,168)
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2/11/09 9:57 A

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Great advice! My problem is I need to keep going over my goals to keep them foremost in my mind. Doing that I know will keep my motivation up. I need to take time out several times during the day to go over them, visualize them, etc. How will I feel 1 or 2 weeks from now if I keep eating right, exercising, next month, summer, etc.
patty

I already have, I already am because of Jesus!!!



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STEVIEBEE569's Photo STEVIEBEE569 Posts: 9,790
2/10/09 6:47 P

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Here are some great tips for you on how to set goals and measure your fitness success.

Tip #1: Decide on a goal

Assess yourself and decide from the get-go what it is specificallythat you want to accomplish. Do you want to gain strength, speed, and endurance? Shed the extra pounds while developing leanmuscle? Improve performance in your particular sport? Whatever your goal, work out exactly what it is you're workingtowards. Without a specific goal, you can't measure your results.

Tip #2: Plan your workouts

Avoid wasting time by planning your workouts ahead of time. This simple step will make a HUGE difference in the results you get.

Tip #3: Stay committed

When you start to actually see results and improvements, it's much easier to stay committed to your training program.

Don't put your fitness goals off any longer. No moreexcuses. Start today.

Edited by: STEVIEBEE569 at: 2/10/2009 (18:56)
Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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STEVIEBEE569's Photo STEVIEBEE569 Posts: 9,790
2/6/09 11:54 A

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Beat the Bloat

You know sodium best as table salt, but salt and sodium are hidden in all kinds of products, including packaged foods, fast foods, frozen foods, canned foods, and condiments, to name a few.
When you eat sodium, the excess sodium is deposited just beneath the skin where it attracts water, which is retained in your cells. This makes you look puffy and feel bloated.

You don't have to make yourself crazy over this, because there is sodium in everything! But here are a few tips:

Read labels to check the sodium content of what you're eating.
Replace processed foods with fresh.
Avoid prepackaged and canned foods.
Be wary of salt-laden condiments and use very little soy sauce, mustard, and table salt.
Go easy on dairy, and avoid processed meat (hot dogs, jerky, bologna, corned beef), anything pickled (pickles, capers, sauerkraut), relish, ketchup, and butter.

Here are some sodium-free substitutes you can use instead: Here are some sodium-free substitutes you can use instead: garlic, lemon, olive oil, vinegar, pepper, basil, cayenne, chili powder, cilantro, cumin, curry, dill, garlic powder, ginger, lemon, lime, mint, onion powder, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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STEVIEBEE569's Photo STEVIEBEE569 Posts: 9,790
2/6/09 11:48 A

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Feel Great!
Improve Your Mood With a Bath

Bad day at work? Fighting with family? When you're stressed out and not feeling your best, it's all too easy to find excuses to skip your workout and drown your sorrows in a pint of ice cream. Don't do it! When bad days hit, walk away from the fridge and instead treat yourself to a mood-boosting bath!

Taking a nice warm soak is such a great way to relax and have some time alone — two things you probably need if your day hasn't gone too well! Try these tips to make it enjoyable:

Soak in water that's warm, not hot; water that's too hot can dry out your skin.

If you have normal to dry skin, drizzle a few drops of sweet-smelling bath oil in the water.

If you have oily, blemish-prone skin from the neck down, oils of any kind are not the best idea — try a yummy scented shower gel instead!

Adding bath salts is an inexpensive way to create a spalike experience.

Light a scented candle or two and dim the lights.
Prop a towel or bath pillow behind your head and get comfortable!

You shouldn't bathe longer than 15 or 20 minutes — any longer can dry out your skin. Wrap up in a cuddly towel when you're done. Now, don't you feel much better?

Edited by: STEVIEBEE569 at: 2/6/2009 (11:54)
Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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TAYLOR-MADE's Photo TAYLOR-MADE Posts: 95
2/2/09 12:53 P

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I had my son in December of '07. In the middle of '08, I decided I was going to *try* and lose weight. Well, needless to say that didn't happen. I was gungho off the get-go and burned myself out within a week each time. I was guilty of MOST of those 'excuses'. This time things are TOTALLY different. Yesterday marked one month for me of healthy habits in regards to food and exercise. And I'm proud to say that I am 10lbs lighter than I was a month ago!! But I'm not stopping here...

Thanks for sharing these tidbits, they're full of great info.

Edited by: TAYLOR-MADE at: 2/2/2009 (12:56)
"The spirited horse, which will try to win the race of its own accord, will run even faster if encouraged."
--Mary Ann Herman-Bogle


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STEVIEBEE569's Photo STEVIEBEE569 Posts: 9,790
1/27/09 9:12 P

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THE 8 REASONS YOU FALL OFF:

1. NO FOCUS: you didn't set goals, you didn't put your goals inwriting, and or you didn't stay focused on your goals daily(by reading them, affirming them, looking at a vision board, etc.).

2. NO PRIORITIES: you may have set a goal, but you didn't put it on or near the top of your priorities list. For example, your goal is six pack abs, but drinking beer and eating fastfood on the weekend is higher on your priorities list thanhaving a flat stomach.

3. NO SUPPORT SYSTEM: you tried to go at it alone; no buddy system, training partners, family, spouse, friends, mentors or coaches to turn to for information and emotional supportwhen the going got tough.

4. NO ACCOUNTABILITY - you didn't keep score for your own accountability - with a progress chart, weight record, measurements, food journal, training journal, and you didn'tset up external accountability (ie, report to someone elseor show your results to someone else)

5. NO PATIENCE: you were only thinking short term and had unrealistic expectations. You expected 10 pounds a week or5 pounds a week or 3 pounds a week, so the first week youlost "only" 1 or 2 pounds or hit a plateau, you gave up.

6. NO PLANNING: you winged it. You walked into the gym without having a workout in hand, on paper, you didn'tplan your workouts into your weekly schedule; you didn'thave a menu on paper, you didn't make time (so insteadyou made excuses, like "I'm too busy").

7. NO BALANCE: your diet or training program was too extreme. You went the all or nothing, "I want it now" route insteadof the moderate, slow-and-steady wins the race route.

8. NO PERSONALIZATION: your nutrition or training programwas the wrong one for you. It might have worked for someoneelse, but it didn't suit your schedule, personality, lifestyle, disposition or body type.

So there you have it - 8 reasons why most people to fall offthe wagon! Have you been making these mistakes? If so, the solutions are clear and simple: focus, prioritize, get support, be accountable, be patient, plan, balance and personalize.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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STEVIEBEE569's Photo STEVIEBEE569 Posts: 9,790
1/22/09 2:11 P

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15 Ways to Eat Healthy

1. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
We love carbs as much as the next person, and there've been occasions when I've walked several blocks out of my way to get meat on a stick. But research shows that eating a rainbow of fruits and veggies provides a boon of benefits, including protection against cancer, heart disease, and the effects of aging -- something that probably couldn't be said for devouring copious amounts of shawarma.
"Ultimately, the food pyramid recommends a total of nine servings of fruits and vegetables," says Lisa Young, PhD, author of The Portion Teller Plan and adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University. "However, if that seems daunting, rather than fixate on a fixed amount, make sure to have just one vegetable or fruit with each meal." Whether that means adding a banana to your morning cereal or putting tomato and lettuce on your lunchtime turkey sandwich, it's an easy way to get your greens in without keeping a tally sheet.
Or practice the "50 percent rule": aim to have half of your lunch or dinner plate covered in veggies. Not only will this help you get your nutrition fix in, but you'll also likely shed some weight: "Each bite of vegetable has 3 to 4 times fewer calories than any other bite of food on your plate," says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

2. Limit Liquid Calories
Soda is essentially sugar water, which packs a caloric punch. Diet cola, though clocking zero calories, also tallies zero nutritional value. And smoothies and fruit juice, though healthier than soda, packs about the same number of calories. (If you're craving fruit, go with whole fruit instead, which has fiber to keep you full.)
But the healthiest choice? Go with water. Eight glasses are recommended per day, but if you hate drinking plain water, pick up flavored water or flavored seltzer. Unsweetened tea and coffee are good runners-up.

3. Eat More Fiber
Not only can fiber keep you full, it can also help you lose weight as well as lower your risk for cancer.
An easy way to fit more fiber into your diet is to swap out white bread for whole grains. When reading the ingredient list on, say, bread, "make sure the first ingredient reads 'whole' grain," says Blatner. "Whole grains have 3 parts -- bran, germ, endosperm -- which work together to prevent disease and may also help keep you at a healthy weight."

4. Go Natural
Choosing natural foods instead of processed foods is a health no-brainer. Without additives, non- or minimally processed foods -- lean meats, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables -- mean you won't ingest excessive amounts of manmade chemicals. (Just read the ingredient list on a package of Twinkies and see if you can pronounce all those words.)
Better yet, choosing organic food means you'll be eating foods that were cultivated without pesticides, which have been proven to be toxic in the human diet, and are often linked with cancer. Plus, some studies show that organic foods have higher levels of nutrients and antioxidants.
It's a simple switch to pick the organic apple over the conventional apple, or the whole wheat loaf over the Wonder bread. But it's a simple swap that could mean a big nutritional difference.

5. Be a Smart Shopper
You already sidestep the Pop-Tarts and Entenmann's -- great! But if you assume that your breakfast granola or stand-by frozen dinners are healthy, but think again: Many processed foods have more saturated fat, sodium, or sugar that you might've previously thought.
When shopping, do what nutritionists do. Check out the nutrition content for things like no (or low) saturated fat, low sodium, and high fiber.

6. Superfood (not Super Size)
Guacamole may be the most perfect food -- not just because of it's deliciousness, but also because of the cancer-fighting lycopene and immune-boosting beta-carotene. Superfoods -- think blueberries, broccoli, salmon, walnuts, and even dark chocolate -- pack a nutritional punch. But when you pair certain components together, the benefits are enhanced even further. Strength in numbers, my friends, strength in numbers.

7. Snack Smart
Snacking is a good way to tide oneself over till the next meal, but making healthy decisions when you're delusional with hunger isn't something we'd bet on. Prepare yourself with smart, portable choices: a whole fruit, a granola bar, or small yogurt are all great picks for their antioxidants, fiber, and calcium content, respectively. But if you're in the mood for a slightly more indulgent snack -- say, a wedge of gouda or a handful of almonds -- be mindful of your intake. "High-fat dairy foods such as cheese are high in calories and artery-clogging saturated fat, so keep portions to less than one ounce per day," says Blatner. As for nuts, "keep it to just one ounce per day because they can be high in calories if you over do it." A guideline: one ounce of nuts is 24 almonds, 18 cashews, 14 walnut halves, 20 pecan halves, or 49 pistachios.

8. Indulge Socially
We're not ones to tell you not to eat dessert. But how frequently you eat it (not to mention what kind of flaky, buttery, or sugar-laden treat you choose) can drastically affect your diet.
Since many desserts are for the most part nutritionally devoid (we're looking at you, chocolate molten cake), consider instilling a rule where you only indulge outside of the home -- say, a slice of birthday cake at a party, or splitting dessert at a restaurant with your dining companion. "This helps to cut back on overindulging on cookies while watching TV on the couch or eating ice cream out of the container after a long day at work," says Blatner.
Not like we've ever done that before, of course...

9. Fat Is Back
Well, at least one kind is: monounsaturated fat, which is found in olive oil, walnuts, and avocados, among other foods. Unlike saturated fat, which clogs arteries, monounsaturated actually helps you metabolize fat and lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), while possibly raising HDL cholesterol (the good kind).
"Choose healthy fats such as olive or canola oil instead of butter," Blatner suggests. However, "make sure to measure oil when cooking since just 1 tablespoon has 120 calories."
Somewhere in the world, Paula Deen just groaned.

10. Curb Your Sweet Tooth
Candy, cookies, and cakes, oh my! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that excessive sugar consumption can mean buying a larger pants size. But sugar -- the simplest form of carbohydrate, found as lactose (milk sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), and sucrose (table sugar) -- is also part of an addictive cycle, and consumption causes peaks and valleys in your blood sugar level and leaves you craving more. Research even shows that a lifetime of overindulging in the sweet stuff can lead to dull, wrinkled skin.
Try to limit how much refined sugar you eat -- not only is it high in calories, but it's also almost devoid of nutrients. White, brown, and powdered sugar are all culprits, as well as honey and syrup, so choose low-sugar breakfast cereals, opt for fresh fruit for dessert, or simply cut out your daily can of Coke. It may seem like a big sacrifice, but it'll make a big difference.

11. Eat by the Clock
Rather than having three large meals a day and feeling hungry in between, Blatner suggests eating smaller portions every five hours to curb hunger and stabilize sugar levels, not to mention ingest less. "People who eat on schedule tend to eat about 80 calories less per day than those people who eat at erratic times and skip meals," she says.

12. Take Your Vitamin
When you can't fit an array of healthy foods into your diet, "a multivitamin is a good idea," says Young. Vitamin B can boost your energy, vitamin E helps stave off heart disease and breast cancer. Vegetarians and women over 35 are at risk for iron deficiency, and all women can benefit from calcium.

13. Size Matters
When it comes to food, size matters. Some general guidelines for what one "portion size" is:
• Starch (like noodles, potatoes, rice, and cereal): the size of a fist
• Protein (like meat or tofu): the size of two palms
• Fruit: the size of a tennis ball
• Vegetable: the size of a fist
"Use these as guide to be aware of how much you're eating," says Young. "Or it can be as simple as stopping when you're full. You don't necessarily need to finish the plate. Think before you eat."

14. Plan Ahead
Say your afternoon meeting runs late, or you have to pick up your kid from daycare, or you just don't have time between classes to get something to eat. It's time to make like a Boy Scout: Be prepared.
When you're making on-the-fly picks, choose something filling and portable. "You can always get fruit or yogurt on the run," says Young, "or a chicken wrap or hummus wrap on whole wheat pita." If you know you probably won't have time to pick something up, whip up a quick sandwich at home, and bring fruits and veggies to snack on -- stashing a Ziploc of baby carrots or an apple in your bag will be your saving grace when 3 p.m. hits.

15. Pace Your Eating
If you tend to Hoover up your meals in five minutes flat, try to stretch each meal to 30 minutes. "People who eat slowly tend to eat 70 calories less per meal than people who rush through in under 10 minutes," explains Blatner. Sipping water between bites, chewing thoroughly, and just being mindful of what you're eating can help you slow down.


Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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SONGS415's Photo SONGS415 SparkPoints: (21,168)
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1/22/09 7:47 A

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Good ones! Thanks Stevie!
patty

I already have, I already am because of Jesus!!!



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STEVIEBEE569's Photo STEVIEBEE569 Posts: 9,790
1/21/09 10:01 P

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5 Key Rules for a Better Body
To help you out, I’ll show you the exact rules I use, both in my own diet and in those I’ve used with people around the world for years with phenomenal results. For more on how I arrived at these rules, and on how to apply them daily, pick up a copy of Precision Nutrition.

Here they are:

1. Eat every 2-3 hours.
Now, you don’t need to eat a full meal every 2-3 hours – some of them can be smaller snacks. But every few hours you should be getting a dose of good food that follows the other rules below.

That may seem like a lot, but understand a) that each meal will be smaller than the ones most people eat, and b) that eating this way can drastically reduce your body’s inclination to store the calories you eat as body fat.

2. Include lean protein in each meal and snack.
Complete, lean protein generally is food that, well, was an animal or comes from an animal. Things like chicken, beef, fish, dairy, and the like.

“Lean” means low fat. So you want food high in protein but low in fat (e.g., leaner cuts of meat, low fat dairy, etc.).

Are you getting protein in each meal? If not, make the change.

Note: If you’re a vegetarian, this rule still applies – just like for the non-vegetarians, I discuss your needs in Precision Nutrition.

3. Include vegetables in each meal or snack.
One of the best and easiest things you can do to improve your health is to include veggies in each meal or snack you eat – every 2-3 hours, right?

Psychologically, that’s a big change for most people. But it makes such a difference physically that it’s well worth it. To show you that eating veggies isn’t the frightening proposition it used to be, most of the meals contained in Precision Nutrition use veggies in their preparation – and we show you how to make them taste good!

4. Save carb-heavy meals for after exercise.
This includes things like things rice, pasta, potatoes, etc. You can eat them all – but wait until after you’ve exercised. Plenty of research shows that the body is better able to process carbohydrates in the 3 hour period following a bout of intense exercise.

It’s true that starches, grains and sugars are dietary staples in North America, but remember that heart disease, diabetes and cancer are medical staples in North America – and there’s a relationship between the two!

To stop heading down the heart disease highway, reward yourself for a good workout with a good carbohydrate meal right after. For the rest of the day, stick to lean protein and a delicious selection of fruits and veggies.

To make this rule easy on you we label the meals in the Precision Nutrition program as Post-Workout (good carb-containing meals to be eaten within a few hours after exercising) and Anytime (good meals for any other time of the day).

5. Include a good balance of healthy fat in your diet.
For a long time, dietary fat was vilified in the media. The truth is that dietary fat is absolutely essential! There are 3 types of fat: saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Eating all three kinds in a healthy balance can dramatically improve your health, and actually help you lose fat.

Your saturated fat will probably already be covered. Most foods containing lean protein also contain some saturated fat, and that’s okay. You can even toss in some butter or coconut oil for cooking.

Your monounsaturated fat should come from mixed nuts, olives, and olive oil.

Your polyunsaturated fat should from flax seed oil, fish oil, and mixed nuts.

Working healthy fat into your meals is easy. The meals contained in Precision Nutrition offer a good variety of healthy fats and teach you why they’re important.

Summary
Good nutrition can seem complex, but it starts out with a few simple rules. We get into the more advanced stuff in the Precision Nutrition System, but the 5 rules above alone will have you eating better – and looking better – than 85-90% of the population.



Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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STEVIEBEE569's Photo STEVIEBEE569 Posts: 9,790
1/12/09 8:59 A

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From Weight Watchers:

28 Small Changes That Will Make a Big Difference

Hey, slow down! Weight loss is no sprint, it's a marathon. So abruptly and drastically changing your routine is only going to leave you breathless and worn out. A more realistic approach to weight loss is to take it one step at a time, one day at a time. Little by little, it'll make a big difference.

… About Small Eating Changes

1. Water, water, water, water. (Your skin will look great, too!)

2. Order half portions at restaurants, or share a full portion with somebody. Or ask for a "to-go" container when you order your food, and pack up half the portion before you even start eating.

3. Cut back on butter and mayo.

4. Limit fried foods to once or twice per week.

5. Use less or no sugar in your coffee or tea.

6. Replace ground beef with meatless products or ground turkey.

7. Try at least one new food every week. If you're bored with what you're eating, you're more likely to give up.

8. Eat fresh, raw veggies with sandwiches instead of chips.

9. Measure your portions until you're sure you know what a cup, a half-cup, and a tablespoon look like. This will help you practice portion control, an essential key to weight-loss success.

10. Try not to drink high-calorie beverages.

11. Dip your fork in a side of salad dressing before each bite instead of pouring it directly on your salad. You'll find that you are satisfied with much less than you usually put on.

12. Find healthy alternatives to all your favorite foods.

13. If you don't really love it, don't eat it.

14. Never eat out of a bag or box. Take out a measured/counted quantity of food and put it in a bowl. This way, you know exactly how much you're having.

15. Always eat something for breakfast.

16. Read food labels. Check serving sizes.

17. Add vegetables to everything.

18. Plan meals in advance; use that information to make out a complete shopping list.

19. Give food to guests to take home.

20. Write down everything you eat and drink, without fail.

21. Plan ahead for special occasions by accounting for higher-calorie foods before you eat them.

… About Small Exercise Changes

1. Take the stairs every single time they're an option. No more elevators or escalators.

2. Make exercise a priority, not an inconvenience.

3. Park far from your destination so you're forced to walk. This works at the supermarket, the mall, wherever. (This also helps you waste less time looking for a parking space!)

4. View tiring chores (shoveling snow, cleaning the house, weeding the garden, taking the garbage out, grocery shopping) as a chance to get in some activity.

5. Take the grocery cart back to the store when you're done loading your bags into your car.

6. If you take public transportation, get off one stop early.

7. Work out with a buddy.


Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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1/12/09 8:55 A

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Pillow Primer for Perfect Sleep

Ease aches overnight with the right bonus bedding. Sleeping in the right position is key to waking up well rested and free of aches and pains, says Dawn Underwood, DPT, OCS, a physical therapist at the Mayo Clinic. Her advice: Place pillows (or rolled towels) in crucial spots to keep your neck, back, hips, and legs properly aligned. "The pillows take pressure off your spine and allow the disks to recuperate overnight," says Underwood.

If you sleep on your: Side
Place a pillow: Between your knees
Put a rolled towel (optional): Under your waist
This will: Relieve pressure on lumbar joints and adjust alignment, says Underwood (especially ideal for people with osteoarthritis of the spine)

If you sleep on your: Back
Place a pillow: Under your knees
Put a rolled towel (optional): Under your lower back
This will: Cause knees to bend slightly and keep your spine naturally curved, according to Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource

If you sleep on your: Stomach
Place a pillow: Under your hips
Put a rolled towel (optional): Under your shins or ankles
This will: Help those who are suffering from painful bulging disks in the lumbar region of the spine

If you sleep on your: All of the above
Place a pillow: In proper place for starting position; adjust upon waking
Put a rolled towel (optional): Skip it
This will: Allow a "flopper" to maintain healthy spine alignment as much as possible

Final pillow rule: Use only one pillow under your head, suggests Underwood: Multiple ones tend to be too thick and cause painful misalignment. Make sure it's supporting only your head and neck and isn't under your shoulders. Consider going pillow free if you sleep on your stomach to minimize stress on the spine.

81: The percentage of Americans who have had morning neck, back, or shoulder pain in the last year.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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1/6/09 9:55 P

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Here are some tips with respect to eating clean that a Sparkpeople member sent to the Eat Clean team! This may help some of us who are trying to eat clean.

Here you go!

1. Eat 5-6 small meals EVERY DAY! That means one meal every 2-3 hours. This is essential!

2. Do not skip meals. The blood sugar will plummet and you will grab the first thing you find to fill that hunger. Eat up!!

3. Lean protein (25 g) at each meal. Chicken breasts, tuna, salmon, tofu, pork tenderloin, bison, fat free dairy, whey or soy protein, etc.

4. Eat complex carbs with your protein. Together, carbs and protein are a potent force! Complex carbs: whole grains, veggies, and fruit.

5. Plan out your meals weekly (before you go grocery shopping); then plan out your meals daily. On Thursdays I plan out my weekly meals; then I hit the store on Friday, before the weekend attacks me. I'm trying to cook in bulk now: grill or bake several chicken breasts for the week; cook oatmeal in big batches; protein pancakes freeze well, etc. Then, every nite, I plan out my daily meals for the next day. See my page for details.

6. Drink 8-10 cups of water every day. I try to drink 500 ml (1 bottled water) with each meal. Seems to help me remember to drink up!

7. Use a cooler, if you can, to carry your meals. If you are on-the-go, a cooler will SAVE YOU!! Invest in some ziploc containers and cooler packs, and start packing! Everynite, load up the cooler with apples, almonds, yogurts, cottage cheese, cooked chicken and canned tuna, corn tortilla or whole wheat wraps, salads w/lemon juice, etc. You'll thank me, really!

8. Eat good fats everyday. Yeah!! Fats that come from fish (salmon, tuna), nuts, nut butter, flaxseed meal or oil are all excellent sources of Omega 3's and omega 6's. Make yourself eat them everyday in place of your butter or sat fats.

9. Include lots of veggies and fruit with your meals to fill you up.

10. Portion control is in the palm of your hand. Look down at your hand right now. There's a typical portion of food staring back at you. Get used to what it looks like. I also like to use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to measure my food. 1/2 c. of cooked oats, 1/2 c. of cooked brown rice, 1/2 c. chopped chicken...pretty much a palm -size.

11. 80/10/10. This is straight from Tosca Reno's book. Your ideal body is 80% nutrition, 10% cardio, and 10% strength training. You WILL NOT achieve the body you want if you don't feed it what it needs, when it needs it.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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1/1/09 9:00 P

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Tip from Tom Venuto of Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle:

5 Excuses For Not Getting In Shape That Won’t Fly In 2009
Tom Venuto

It’s 2009. Your old excuses for not getting in shape won’t work. As Dr. Evil (Austin Powers) said, ZIP IT! I don’t want to hear them anymore! Read em’, then haul your excuseless butt to the gym right now, bucko!

1. I have no time

According to a story in a recent issue of Men’s Health magazine, Barack Obama works out for 45 minutes a day, 6 days a week. Obama doesn’t just play basketball either. Our new president stays fit to lead with cardio and weight lifting. He also says he wishes he could train 90 minutes a day. Have you ever seen what the daily schedule of a U.S. president looks like? If the busiest man in the world can train every day for 45 minutes a day, then what’s your excuse? ZIP IT! You ain’t got one!

2. It’s too expensive

Getting in shape certainly is expensive… if you keep wasting hundreds of dollars, month after month on worthless “miracle” weight loss pills, internal cleansing gimmicks and “magic” potions that all claim to make you slim. Deceptive advertising and slick marketing for bogus diet aids is more rampant than ever. 2008 was the year of the wu-long scam and acai berry scam and of course the ubiquitous “cleansing” and “detox” gimmicks. Unless you put on your critical thinking cap and learn to investigate before you invest, then you’ll get scammed by 2009’s flavor of the year as well. Your quest for those elusive “6-pack” abs will not only continue to be expensive, you’ll go broke. Walking, jogging, calisthenics and body weight exercises are FREE. If you want to know what’s really expensive, tally up the cost of legitimate expenses like natural food, gym memberships, fitness education, dumbbells and so on, and compare that to your doctor’s bill when you’re sick.

3. No one will support me

Experts on social influence say your income will be approximately equal to the average of your 5 closest friends. Not only do I think that’s pretty darn accurate, I also believe that your health is your greatest wealth, and your physical condition will be about equal to the average of your 5 closest friends. It’s a real challenge to stay positive, focused and active when you’re surrounded by critical people and negative influences. However, in 2009, lack of support is no longer a valid excuse. Online social networking is exploding (check out Twitter and Facebook) and more IN PERSON friendships and associations are being made from an internet connection than ever before. Training buddies can be found online. Connect with them. Mentors and coaches are easily found online. Hire them. Support forums have been around for years. Use them. No support from your current friends? Stop whining, start reaching out and go make new ones. In 2009, support partners and new friends are just a click away.

4. I can’t lose weight because of my genetics

The marvels of modern medical and biological research are astonishing. Our top scientists have mapped the human genome! In the past few years, numerous genes linked to obesity have been discovered. However, the obesity epidemic we’re facing today has only developed over the past 50 years and genetic mutations that lead to serious obesity are extremely rare . Genetic predisposition only means that you have a tendency. It’s when the genetics meet lifestyle and environment that the genes express themselves. If you have a family history of heart disease, is it smart to smoke, eat junk, be a stressed-out type-A maniac and a couch potato? Well of course not, and it’s the same with obesity. If you have a tendency predisposing you towards obesity, you’d better be the person doing the MOST exercise not the least. You’d better be the person paying the MOST attention to your nutrition. You’d better be the person with the healthiest lifestyle. But unfortunately, it’s usually the opposite. Most people throw up their arms in frustration saying, “what’s the use, I was dealt a bad hand.” Sorry. That won’t fly in 2009. The latest research says genetics are a factor, but a tendency is not a destiny!

5. I don’t know how

The lamest excuse of them all in 2009 is “I don’t know how.” NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO DO ANYTHING UNTIL AFTER THEY HAVE ACTUALLY DONE IT! Ponder that for a while. You don’t need to know how at first. To get started, you only need to know WHAT… what is the goal? Setting well-formed goals is the master skill of success. Not wishy-washy resolutions that have no resolve behind them, but real goals. In writing. With emotional ooompf! As you continue to affirm, visualize and focus on your goal with clarity, belief, and expectation, your new goal or intention will be received by your subconscious. Once a goal is accepted into your subconscious mind, your brain, being a goal-seeking mechanism, will turn on your attention filters to seek out all the information you will ever need to reach your goal. It will also turn on an infallible navigation system to guide you to your goal like a torpedo to its target. As your brain guides your attention, your direction and your behavior, you will discover that today, in 2009, there is more good information, coaching and instruction available than ever before. And when you’ve activated that “success radar” in your brain by setting goals effectively, it’s not as hard to find honest, accurate and helpful HOW-to advice as you might think. In fact, you found this webpage, so you’re doing pretty good right now aren’t you?

No more excuses.


Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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12/31/08 6:02 A

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Here's a tip from Denise Austin:

Eat Right!

Find the Hidden Calories

Who doesn't love fast food? And if you're like me, you got really excited about the new "healthy" menus at the big chains. Keep in mind, though, that these "healthy" foods can hide a lot of extra calories!

But don't worry — it's easy to tell the difference between the really good stuff and the health food impostors once you get the hang of it! Just use some common sense when ordering, and you'll be a fast-food pro in no time! Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Ordering a salad? Skip or limit the dressing! It can add hundreds of unwanted calories. And those croutons? Toss them!

Order chicken sandwiches without mayo or other fatty sauces.

Keep an eye on portion sizes. In many cases, a small cheeseburger might have fewer calories than an entrée-sized salad with dressing! Likewise, a deli sandwich is only a good alternative to a burger if it's a sensible size. If it's not, consider splitting one with a friend, or take half home for later!

Always go for grilled chicken rather than fried or breaded. That little detail can save you 100 calories.

Avoid cheese on burritos, tacos, and baked potatoes.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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12/31/08 6:00 A

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One more from one of my favorite trainers: Jillian Michaels

Wednesday December 31

Missing The Biggest Loser?
If you're eagerly waiting for the new season to start on January 6, why not catch a marathon of past episodes on Bravo? Check your local listings and tune in on New Year's Day to get inspired!

Healthy Options at Asian Restaurants

Too tired to cook? Asian food is some of the healthiest (and most delicious!) food on the planet. Unfortunately, many of the dishes we know and love are Americanized — and more fattening — versions of traditional Asian cuisine. To help you make the best choices when eating at Asian establishments, check out these recommendations before you grab those chopsticks!

Chinese
The best rule of thumb is to choose a dish that isn't breaded and deep-fried (goodbye egg rolls!). Avoid rice and noodles and steer clear of sugary sauces like sweet and sour. Opt for kung pao chicken (go light on the peanuts), beef and broccoli dishes, shrimp and snow peas, garlic chicken, Mongolian beef steak, or dishes that have meat and a vegetable. Ask for the chef to go easy on the oil.

Thai
Any of the satay dishes (chicken, shrimp, beef, or tofu), any protein or vegetable stir-fry, steamed fish, chicken or beef lettuce rolls are delicious and nutritious! Avoid fatty coconut milk curries, noodles, and rice.

Indian
Best bets include chicken, lamb, beef, or shrimp tikka (grilled marinated meat skewers); any of the veggie dishes such as bhagan bharta (whipped eggplant), saag paneer (spinach with cheese), aloo gobi (marinated steamed cauliflower), vegetable jalfrezi (mixed vegetables). Avoid curries, rice, and naan bread.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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12/29/08 5:51 P

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More on Omega-3s from Jillian Michaels:

There's Nothing Fishy About Omega-3s

Fat is an essential part of any healthy diet. But before you start adding wheels of cheese to your grocery list, make sure you know which fats are the healthiest. Omega-3s are some of the best!
Omega-3 fats, a form of polyunsaturated fat named for its multiple pairs of double-bonded carbons, are unsaturated fats. This type of fat is found predominantly in cold-water fish such as salmon, as well as flaxseed, walnuts, and almonds.

Like monounsaturated fat, omega-3 fats improve heart health by keeping cholesterol levels low. They can also aid in stabilizing an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and reducing blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids act as natural blood thinners, reducing the "stickiness" of blood cells (or platelet aggregation), which can lead to blood clots and stroke.

In numerous studies over the years, participants suffering from inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Raynaud's disease have reported less joint stiffness, swelling, tenderness, and overall fatigue when taking omega-3s.

This fat may inhibit the production of carcinogens within the body, thus aiding in cancer prevention and treatment. It turns out that even your brain — which is 60 percent fat — needs omega-3 to function properly. This wonder fat has even been shown to improve depression and symptoms of other mental illness!

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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12/24/08 10:55 A

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From Denise Austin:

Eat Right!
Try Some Mean, Lean Protein!

Stumped about what to make for dinner? No problem! Fish can be a great way to add some variety to your meals!

Fish is a good source of protein without the saturated fat found in meats. And many types of fish are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can boost heart health. Mackerel, herring, sardines, lake trout, albacore tuna, and salmon are all rich in omega-3s. The healthiest way to prepare the latest catch is to bake or grill it with olive oil, spices, and lemon wedges.

Shrimp (boiled, broiled, eaten hot or cold in a salad) is ideal to help you get out of a dinnertime rut — and scallops, too. And did you know that canned salmon is a slammin' way to add extra calcium to your diet?

Fish and shellfish — it's all good!



Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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12/24/08 10:46 A

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Okay Ladies,

Here's a treat you may want to try when you do a good job or for the holidays. It's from Jillian Michaels from the Biggest Loser fame:

Flourless Chocolate Torte

Scared about the sweets that will be on the table for Christmas dinner? You can stick to your diet (and indulge!) when you create this healthier version of something I never expected you to go cold turkey on — chocolate!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Serves 8; 261 calories per serving, 6 g of fat

Ingredients:
1/2 cup matzo meal
1/3 cup walnuts
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup grated peeled apple
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ounces semisweet chocolate
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine matzo meal and walnuts in a food processor; process until nuts are finely chopped. Spread on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

Whisk eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until blended. Stir in the matzo mixture, apple, cocoa, and chocolate.

In a large, clean bowl, beat egg whites and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy. Increase speed to high and beat until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until glossy, stiff peaks form.

Stir one-quarter of the beaten whites into the batter. Then gently fold in remaining whites with a rubber spatula. Scrape the batter into an ungreased 9-inch springform pan, spreading evenly. Tap pan lightly on counter to release air bubbles.

Bake torte until top springs back when touched lightly and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. With a knife, loosen edges of torte. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. (Torte will sink in center.)

Remove torte from pan and place on a serving plate. Dust lightly with confectioners' sugar and serve.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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12/22/08 6:58 A

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Here's an article from a friend about boosting his metabolism:

"How do I increase my metabolism?" is a question I hear a lot from people looking to lose weight.

They want to know all about metabolism boosters, metabolism secrets and a diet to increase metabolism.

But does your metabolism really decrease as you age?

Is this lower metabolism something you'll just have to learn to live with?

The bad news is that you metabolism does decrease as you age. The good news is that it's completely preventable.

You see, starting around age 25 to 30, most people lose 5 to 10 pounds of lean muscle every decade.
And lean muscle is metabolically active.

So all you need to do to boost your metabolism or keep it from slowing down is to focus on a workout program that preserves the lean muscle you have or adds a few pounds of lean muscle to give your metabolism a boost.

Let's take a look at the four components of your metabolism.

* Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

Your resting metabolic rate makes up most of your daily calorie expenditure and includes everything your body needs to do to survive, such as thinking, repairing tissue and anything else it needs to do.

* Thermogenesis - the thermic effect of eating.

Your body burns calories when you chew, swallow and digest the food you eat.

* Lucky Thermogenesis - the calories you burn based on your genetic makeup.

* Physical Activity - these are the calories you burn from physical activity via exercise such as biking, playing tennis, weight training and cardio.

If you want to boost your metabolism you need to focus on these different aspects of metabolism.

Your resting metabolic rate can be increased by adding lean muscle.

Will 5 to 10 pounds of added muscle dramatically increase your resting metabolic rate?

No, but it will increase it and every little bit helps.

In addition, if you add 5 to 10 pounds of muscle, as opposed to lose that much each decade, the difference will be quite dramatic over time.

There's another huge positive metabolism boosting advantage to weight training or high intensity interval training and that's the post-workout metabolism increase.

After an intense weight training session (or high intensity interval training session), your metabolism will stay elevated for up to 39 hours AFTER the workout!

With an intense weight training session you also burn calories during the workout.

You can boost your thermogenesis in a couple of ways.

First, your body burns calories to digest your meals. This increases your metabolism.

Thus, by eating more often you elevate your metabolism more times during the day.

Consider eating 6 small meals a day instead of 2 or 3 big one's.

Another way to boost your metabolism is by increasing your protein intake.

Eating more protein to burn fat was confirmed in a study published in the American Journal of Physiology.

The thermic effect of the RDA group was elevated 16% after eating.

However, in the high protein group the thermic effect increased 42% after eating, almost 3 times that of the RDA group.

This thermic effect of digesting your food peaks approximately one hour after eating.

Spreading your daily caloric intake over 6 meals a day, eating every 2 to 3 hours, helps to take advantage of the increased metabolic rate
that accompanies eating.

In other words, the more often you eat, the higher your metabolic rate, i.e. the number of calories your body burns each day.

In addition, by adding more protein to each meal, you also increase your metabolism.

Your body requires more energy (i.e. calories) to process protein than it does carbohydrates.

Your lifestyle will determine how much exercise you need for the metabolism boost you need to start burning fat.

If you sit at a computer all day you're going to need more exercise than someone who does construction work all day.

That's just the way it is.

Here's a sample metabolism boosting exercise program.

Monday - High Intensity Interval Training

Tuesday - Weight Training Session

Wednesday - Active recovery cardio training

Thursday - Weight Training Session

Friday - High Intensity Interval Training

Saturday - Weight Training Session

Sunday - Rest or Active recovery cardio training

Active recovery cardio is low intensity longer duration cardio that you see most people do in the gym.

You can also do something simple like taking a long walk outside. This type of session should last 45 - 60 minutes.

Put all these pieces together into a cohesive plan and you'll attack a slowing metabolism from all different angles.

You'll not only prevent your metabolism from decreasing as you get older but you'll increase it, leading to greater fat loss, more muscle and a healthier, sexier, more energetic you.

No BS, No Excuses,

Gregg


Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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12/15/08 6:51 P

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Motivational Monday
Visualize Your Success!

You've heard it before: The mind is a powerful thing. But it's so true — you can train your mind to visualize success, just as you can train your body to achieve it! And when you're stuck in a rut, it helps to know you have the ability — however subconscious — to do something about it! Here are some ways to tap into your brainpower:

Put it on paper. Write down what you want. Is it to fit into your size 6 jeans? Reduce your cholesterol by 15 points? To complete five full push-ups or a 40-mile bike ride? Get it down on paper and then post it on your bulletin board or slip it in your wallet so you see it every day. It'll be a constant reminder of what you want to accomplish!
Say it out loud. Tell your relatives, friends, coworkers, and most important, yourself about your goal. Create a mantra (I will drop 10 percent of my body weight by spring!) and recite it often. Revealing your desires will give you the confidence to believe in yourself — and others the chance to encourage you along the way.
Shut off negative thoughts. When doubts start creeping in, stop them dead in their tracks by repeating your mantra, turning the negative into a positive (nope, you're not too tired to walk the final mile!), or simply finding a way to distract yourself (call a friend to chat about an unrelated topic like an upcoming vacation!). Next thing you know, you'll be faking it 'til you make it!


Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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12/10/08 2:25 A

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Another Tip from Denise Austin:

Eat Right!
Eat Food That's Fast — But Not Fattening!
Can fast food be healthy? The big fast-food chains are trying to answer yes by introducing new menu items. Look for some of the following foods the next time you're visiting your favorite chain. Keep an eye on your portion sizes and ask about nutrition if you aren't sure what's best.

Try one of these smart choices when you need to eat on the go:

Skinless grilled chicken sandwiches
Whole-grain bread and buns
Fresh fruit
Breakfast sandwiches made with scrambled egg whites
Yogurt-based snacks
Low-fat ice cream
Skim and low-fat milk
Entrée-size salads (without dressing or croutons)
Grilled chicken or steak wraps
Deli-style sandwiches
Baked potatoes (without toppings)
Chili
Tacos and burritos (without cheese or sour cream)

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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12/8/08 4:04 A

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From Denise Austin:

Rise to the Challenge!

Ever wonder how professional athletes are born? Sure, they have tremendous talent that lets them run faster, jump higher, or hit the ball harder than the average person. But these men and women couldn't reach their level of success if they didn't push themselves — physically and mentally. And that's really the key to accomplishing any feat!

If your workouts aren't challenging enough, you risk getting bored and then losing interest altogether. And when you perform the same routine over and over again, your body gets used to these movements and eventually starts running on cruise control — and that's when you might notice that the scale isn't budging.

Never be afraid to turn things up a notch! Switch up your routine — in every aspect of your life! Do things you've never done before. Tired of the treadmill? Get in step with salsa dancing! Sick of cooking the same meals? Experiment with different flavors by using vegetables, herbs, and spices you've never tried before!

And when you meet these challenges, you'll see that the rewards are huge! You'll improve your body, expand your mind, gain self-confidence — and you'll be living proof that anything's possible! Give it a try!

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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12/6/08 3:55 A

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25 TIPS FOR A BETTER LIFE in 2009

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.

3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to __________ today.'

4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.

6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

7. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

9. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

11. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

12. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to
disagree.

13. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

14. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no
idea what their journey is all about.

15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words:
'In five years, will this matter?'

17. Forgive everyone for everything.

18. What other people think of you is none of your
business.

19. GOD heals everything.

20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

21. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick
or dying. Your friends and family will. Stay in touch.

22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

23. Each night before you go to bed complete the
following statements: I am thankful for __________.
Today I accomplished _________.

24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

25. Please share this to everyone you care about.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

No one can do what you are called to do, but you!

Great works are performed not by strength but by perserverance. - Samuel Johnson


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