How to Lose Weight and Get Back in Shape
The weight-loss journey is paved with physical and emotional hardships. For many, such difficulties begin with the lack of physical and emotional energy to start the fitness journey.
When it comes to lifestyle changes, your body and mind are in constant resistance to change. Many people have weight-loss aspirations, but not so many are able to work on their ambitions. This can be extremely frustrating, but there are ways to avoid such situations.
There are things you can start doing immediately that will propel you toward your weight-loss goal – this is what we will outline here.
After years of comfort eating and failed workout attempts, you may be thinking that weight loss is not really your thing, but this is not the case. In this post, we will discuss a few things you can do today to get your weight-loss journey going.
It is important to know that there is no perfect time to start your weight-loss journey. The ideal time never comes. Also, there is no perfect way to lose weight. Whatever you have right now is adequate to get you started.
So, instead of the usual procrastination of always starting tomorrow, or next week, or next month, we will discuss things you can start doing immediately. Today!
This is a good place to start. Why do you really want to lose weight? The answer to this question should be well defined because it will be a motivating factor in your entire weight-loss journey.
You will face a lot of challenges and obstacles in your weight-loss journey. You will need a lot of physical and mental energy to get you going and to keep you in this journey.
This journey requires you to be determined, dedicated and disciplined to get a shot at success. It requires you to make sacrifices such as giving up your favorite junk food and dedicating your precious time to workouts.
If you are going to do all these things, you would rather know why you are doing it. To gradually overhaul your lifestyle, you will need a more profound motivating factor than just “to lose weight”.
If you, for example, want to fit into a certain clothing size, ask yourself why you feel the need to do so. This will help you uncover the true reasons for your weight-loss aspirations.
When asking yourself this question, you will realize that your answer will be personal. In fact, most people want to lose weight because of intensely personal reasons.
Maybe you want to achieve a better physical appearance, or you want to have a better self-image. You may also want to lose weight so as to improve your health condition. All these are valid reasons, and they are important to you for that matter.
Having defined your reasons, you will have a deeper source of motivation that will be instrumental in your weight-loss journey.
Weight-loss apps can help you track your workouts and weight-loss progress. These apps provide a convenient way of calorie counting and weight tracking. The apps can also assist you in planning accordingly.
Weight-loss apps analyze your weight, age, and weight-loss goals to provide you with a customized weight-loss plan. They help determine your calorie needs.
They take into consideration your meals and help you come up with a suitable diet plan for weight loss.
These apps may also provide access to an online community of people who are working on losing weight. Such communities can help provide vital information, tips, and motivation.
Some of the apps are free while others are paid-for. Either way, look for a suitable app and sign-up today!
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Once you have your weight-loss goal clearly defined. It is important to write it down and have it displayed in a place or places where you can see it regularly. By doing so, you will constantly be reminded about the goal, and this will help keep weight-loss up there among your other top priorities.
Consider keeping the written down goal in strategic places such as sticking it on your fridge. By doing this, you will be reminded that you are on a weight-loss mission every time you try getting some snack from the refrigerator.
Writing down your goal conditions the mind and prioritizes your aspirations. Once you start winning in mind, you can easily get your journey going. This is a step in the right direction.
Your diet should include foods from all the essential food groups – vitamins, proteins, and carbs. Schedule your meals well in advance as this is likely to help you with sticking to the plan.
Make plans for what to eat and when to eat. Ensure that your meals provide you with the essential nutrients.
More importantly, keep track of the number of calories that you consume, as this is vital for weight loss. Your goal involves burning more calories than you consume.
Try to have your meals within five hours of each other. You may schedule a light, healthy snack within your main meals.
Do not skip meals and do not starve yourself. Staying hungry for too long exposes you to the risk of overeating or going for unhealthy foods.
When starting, you don’t have to create a very complex meal plan. All you have to do is ensure that the foods are healthy and that you strike a balance – you don’t eat too much or too little.
Make a flexible meal plan such that you can make adjustments to it as you observe yourself and get more knowledgeable about dieting. Don’t seek perfection; you can create an adequate meal plan today that will jumpstart your weight-loss journey.
Post your healthy weight-loss plan where you can see it regularly. The plan will be a reminder of your commitment to weight-loss.
Your diet is crucial to your weight-loss journey. Now that you have removed most of the unhealthy foods from your house, it is time to replace them with healthy foods. You can buy or cook a variety of healthy foods.
Cooking at home is one of the most effective strategies for eating healthy. This is because when you cook at home, you are in control of pretty much everything that goes into your food. You can also prepare a wide variety of your favorite meals, inexpensively.
But cooking at home can pose the challenge of time. This is why you should cook a lot of healthy foods today, to last you for at least a few days. Doing so will save you time while availing a wide range of healthy foods to eat for the next few days.
While cooking, try as much as possible to only cook food that you like. Healthy food doesn’t have to be unpleasant because there are many healthy and delicious meals out there. Go through healthy recipes online and identify the ones you love the most.
This is important because you are more likely to stick to a healthy diet if you like the healthy food you eat. Unpleasant foods can be discouraging and could lead to failure in jumpstarting your weight-loss journey.
Another important factor here is to ensure that the foods that you consider healthy are actually healthy. Double check to confirm that the foods you cook today are healthy.
If you can't manage to cook, all is not lost. You can hire someone to do it for you, or you can simply buy fresh, healthy foods from your local store.
If you go with the option of buying, confirm what ingredients are in the foods and in what quantities. Ensure that the food is well prepared and healthy.
Once you have your meals ready, have your first serving today, according to your meal plan. Follow your meal plan for the rest of the day. You are now on your way to a healthy lifestyle.
We have mentioned that you can start eating healthy today. You can also take some other small but worthwhile steps towards your weight-loss goal.
. Do not try to overhaul your lifestyle entirely as you will most likely fail. Instead, take some doable steps today and then proceed from there.
You could start by taking a 20-minute walk after lunch. You can also cancel the happy hour that you had planned for tonight. It is important to be realistic when planning the steps that you will take.
Ensure that they are doable immediately. Those small wins will motivate you and get your weight-loss journey started.
Creating a vision board with visual reminders of your weight-loss goal can be beneficial. On the vision board, you can include motivational quotes and pictures that will be constant reminders of what you seek to achieve.
If you were previously in a good weight that you would like to return to, you might stick a picture of yourself from that period on the vision board.
Put everything that is motivational on the vision board. You will add to this vision board from now henceforth as you go through your weight-loss journey.
The lack of enough sleep has been linked to overeating. Hunger hormones are more active when you are sleep deprived.
Getting enough sleep can, therefore, be helpful with sticking to a healthy diet. Also, getting enough sleep today will ensure that you rest enough for tomorrow's workout.
Having a clearly defined weight loss goal is another essential factor. Make sure that your goal is as specific as possible. For instance, instead of having “lose weight this year” you can have “lose 10 pounds by June” as your goal.
Also, while defining your goals, it would be helpful to have short-term and long-term weight-loss goals. You can have goals for the entire year and for each month. The short-term goals should work towards your ultimate goal.
Having short-term goals breaks down your journey into manageable tasks. This can help manage the overwhelming feeling you may get thinking about losing so much weight within a defined timeline.
Also, ensure that your goals are realistic.
As a beginner, you will definitely struggle while taking your first baby-steps in the weight-loss journey. It is therefore important that you be realistic about your abilities in the current moment.
Make your short-term goals pretty conservative. The crucial thing is to get started. Once you get going, you will have the chance to set more ambitious goals.
Over-ambitious goals may become a demotivating factor. If you set goals that are too high, you are likely to fail in reaching them.
This is how many weight-loss enthusiasts end up quitting. Understand that weight-loss is a marathon, not a sprint. Focus on making the appropriate baby steps, and the rest will follow.
It is good to know and record your starting. Get on a scale and weigh yourself. Also, have photos of yourself taken. Doing this will give you a reference point when tracking your progress.
Having pictures of yourself before you start working out will allow you to see your transformation as it unfolds, which is motivating. After this, commit to working on an incredible before and after story.
Think of how you got to your current weight situation. What have you been doing that has led to gaining the undesired weight? This could be due to things such as stress eating, dinners out, and such.
The first step is to be aware of the issues that have led to your current situation. This way, you will be in a better position to understand your mental processes and how to avoid falling into the vicious cycle again.
See what you can do to overcome the factors that have led to your current condition. This is something that you will have to do in every moment of your weight-loss journey – not just when getting started.
Go to your kitchen today. Inspect the refrigerator and every drawer where there could be food. Get out any food that you deem unhealthy.
Such foods include processed foods, high-calorie low-nutrient foods, and foods that contain unhealthy fats and additives. Remove the bulk of these foods from your house.
You can have your friends or relatives who are not dieting eat the food, or you can give it away. Just make sure that the bulk of it is gone.
Eating unhealthy foods hurts your weight-loss endeavor. Doing so also gives you a feeling of loss of control, which demotivates you from pursuing your weight-loss goals.
It leaves you feeling physically and mentally bad. Eating unhealthy foods robs you off the much needed physical and mental energy for a weight-loss routine.
You already knew all that, but you keep having junk food, right? Well, this has a lot to do with human behavior, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up for it.
. As long as you have those tasty but unhealthy snacks lying around, you will get the urge to eat some. But you have the power to change this situation, by removing the unhealthy foods from your house.
You don’t have to get rid of everything that you deem unhealthy. You just have to remove the excesses. Actually, most of the foods that are considered unhealthy, are so if taken in large quantities.
Small quantities may be healthy. In fact, small amounts of otherwise unhealthy foods may be beneficial in your weight-loss journey.
When you keep large quantities of unhealthy foods in your house, you risk over-eating and developing an unhealthy relationship with food.
This is definitely bad for your weight-loss aspirations.
Raid your kitchen and do what you know you have to do, today.
Develop a workout routine today. Having a workout routine can lead to weight loss and will also help you stick to a healthy diet. The workout routine should be suitable and adequate.
Look into your life schedule and how you operate on a daily basis. Write down everything you usually do and want to do in the future. Check whether you have free time between activities that is adequate for a full-fledged workout.
If you don’t have any free time (well, many of us don’t seem to have) look into how you can create time for your workouts. Be realistic with when you schedule your workouts.
For example, if you are not a morning person, avoid having your workouts planned in the morning. Also, you may not want to schedule your workouts after work if you think that you will be too tired. Remember that exercises do not have to happen at the same time every day.
Also, decide today where you will be doing your workouts. If you choose to join a local gym, sign up today. If you want to work out at home, choose a suitable space to do so.
Schedule the workouts that you will be doing each day. Such workouts will include cardio, upper body, and lower body exercises. Ensure that the workouts you schedule are all about weight-loss.
Check online for the most effective weight-loss exercises. You may also talk to your personal trainer to help with creating an effective workout schedule. Your weight-loss can also provide guidance.
Informing your close friends and relatives that you are starting your weight-loss journey today can be beneficial. The people close to you can motivate you and encourage you to stick to your plans. Also, doing so creates a sense of accountability which is beneficial for your journey.
It is important that you only tell people that genuinely care about you. Don’t tell people that will guilt-trip you when you take a bite of an unhealthy snack.
Let your friends know that you are serious with your mission – doing this can make them more supportive.
Informing your close friends and relatives will also make it easy for you to change your lifestyle, such as eating at home rather than going out with them. They will also avoid putting you in situations that can trigger a loss of focus on your weight-loss goal.
Having some nice workout clothes can be a motivation factor for working out. Good workout outfit makes you feel better about exercising, and you are therefore more likely to be extra motivated to work out.
Ensure that the clothes feel comfortable and they look good on you. You may shop online or visit your local sports clothing store.
The workout clothes you acquire should be a good fit for your current body. When you lose weight significantly, you will have the chance to reward yourself with smaller-sized workout clothes.
You are probably not the only one among your friends that has been postponing their weight-loss endeavors. Reach out to one or a few of your friends that you think can start their weight-loss journey today.
Discuss with them the preliminary steps you need to take together toward your goals. Talk to them about the things discussed in this post. Let them know that there is no perfect time to start their weight-loss journey – the time is now.
If they agree to join you, you can then work together in facilitating the things that need to be done today.
It is, however, important to stay focused on your weight-loss goal even if your friends fall off the wagon during the journey.
Today is the best day to start your weight-loss journey. You can take the various steps discussed in this post to get your journey going. Adequate exercise and proper diet are the two core factors for weight-loss. You can start working on these two aspects today.
Create a suitable workout plan and start working out today, even if it is by taking a 15 –minute walk. Create a good diet plan and start eating healthy today!
Different Types of Workouts to Help you Lose Weight and Get Back in Shape
Gym Workout Plan for Beginners-Men & Woman
If you’re like most people, then you understand the need to keep healthy. The only problem is that for many of us staying in shape, eating right, and remaining vigilant in our day to day workouts is more difficult than we originally anticipate.
New Year’s resolutions fade with the passing of time and the constant hustle and press of life makes us forget a workout here or there or can even allow us to lose our motivation for getting to the gym when we really want to.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to join a gym to work out, but if you’re seeking help to stay motivated and to discover new exercises and routines that could help you lose extra weight or develop a routine that can keep you moving, a well-structured gym workout coupled with a dietary plan that’s not too restrictive can help.
It’s hard to get started, but through firm dedication to yourself and your health you can find a way to make a well-designed workout routine produce the kind of results you desire. With that being said let’s get into just what it will take to plan a workout that can be useful for you.
This should be common sense for many people but if you’re just starting out then you’re going to want to be a bit selective since there are many different gyms out there and some of them aren’t exactly built to cater to beginners.
What this means is that you’ll want to find a gym that will walk you through the process and will feature several different ways in which you can create a workout program that will suit you and your lifestyle.
For instance, as a beginner you most likely don’t want to join a gym that’s going to be too advanced.
When selecting a gym take note of three core elements that will help you out:
Location: You want to find a gym that is somewhat close to home, perhaps no more than 20 to 30 minutes away, as this is a decent amount of time to travel. If you don’t drive, make sure you find a bus route that can get you to and from the gym without fail.
Or even better, find one that’s close enough to ride your bike, walk, or jog to as this is a great way to get warmed up so that by the time you reach your gym, you’re ready to go. Location is a big factor in keeping up your motivation.
If the gym is right next door you might find that you’ll take it for granted and adopt a “I can do work out anytime” attitude that isn’t particularly helpful. If it’s too far away however, you might lose motivation since the trip there and the trip home simply takes too long.
Cost: It’s not necessary to break the bank, as the saying goes, to get in shape. You should be able to find a gym, hopefully, that’s nearby and doesn’t cost a bundle to join.
Some gyms will even give you a trial run at a reduced cost so that you can see if it really works for you. In this case it might still be too expensive but at a reduced cost you can at least gain a basic understanding of what you’ll need to get started and benefit from the time spent in the gym.
What are you looking for?: In other words, what kind of workout do you feel that you need? This is an important question that you need to ask yourself since otherwise the moment you step into a gym, any gym, you’ll be doing nothing more than spinning your wheels and wondering just which machine to go to next or what exercise feels like it would be right for what you want to do.
Is your goal to get stronger? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to increase your endurance? These questions and many more are very important when it comes to deciding just which gym you should join and what your goal is for signing up. The main point of joining is that you want an experience that you can’t get from home.
Your Fitness Goals
So, you’ve selected your gym and have joined up, congratulations! That’s just the first step towards doing what you can to attain your fitness goals, as simply walking into the gym is sometimes the hardest part for anyone.
One word of advice: don’t be intimidated and don’t worry about those around you or what they’ll think once you get started. People come to the gym to work out and improve their health. There’s always a time to be social but do remember that a gym is supposed to be a no-judgment zone where everyone can feel secure about themselves.
You’re a beginner and that’s just fine, so was everyone else at one point or another. In other words, relax and just take it slow. Right away it should be evident that you won’t be taking on the hardest workouts and your results aren’t going to be immediate.
Once you find a gym and manage to join it might be their policy to determine your level of fitness and how hard you should be pushing yourself. No gym wants their members hurting themselves because of any lack of instruction on their part.
It’s bad for business and the safety of their members is a key component to keeping said members happy and satisfied. The trainers and/or staff can introduce you to the various ways that you can accomplish your goals and will, if requested, do a fitness evaluation of a new member in order to help them fashion a workout that will cater to their needs.
Some people just joining a gym might have been athletes or fitness buffs in the past and simply fell out of practice. These individuals often see the need to get back into the swing of things and might have the experience to get started on their own by using methods that worked for them in the past.
But true beginners that have had little to no experience in the gym will want to pay close attention to the staff and/or trainers that are there to help. It may even be wise to schedule an appointment with a personal trainer now and again, if your finances allow.
There are gyms that will provide personal trainers at a discount every so often, but if you feel the need to have a trainer at your side helping and motivating you every step of the way keep in mind that it will likely cost you a bit of money for this extra service.
A good rule of thumb is to utilize the services of a personal trainer when they’re offered at a discount or if your gym offers them for free to new members for a short period of time. Personal trainers are there to ensure that you get the maximum benefit of your workouts and find the experience engaging and altogether helpful.
In terms of your fitness goals your trainer or even the staff can give you several pointers when it comes to what you’re after. For many people it’s about weight loss, but there are some that want to increase their strength, endurance, speed, and even their overall health. There are many ways to attain all of these, but the most basic are those listed below.
First Things First, STRETCH
This can’t be said enough, and it isn’t done enough by many upon many of those that have had years in the gym and still don’t see it as a common practice.
As a beginner you are going to be sore after your workouts no matter what and stretching won’t help relieve every ache and pain you have.
But stretching before and after your workout will allow your body to loosen up and react in a much more positive manner when it comes to lifting and performing actions that you’ve never done before.
Without stretching there is a much greater chance of cramping, increased muscle tension, and even the possibility of injury since going into a workout cold is not a great idea.
Even when finished it’s necessary to stretch to avoid having your muscles bunch up painfully. So, stretch before and after your workout, as your trainer will hopefully instruct you.
Be ready for a lot of trainers to focus on strengthening your core muscles ahead of anything else, as a strong core is the beginning of a strong and healthy body.
What this means is you’re going to be doing a lot of work on your abs, meaning crunches, twists, planks, etc. Your core needs to be the strongest part of your body as it is what helps you stabilize the most and is therefore one of the most important parts to work on first. Expect your trainer to focus on this area constantly and attempt to make it as strong as possible.
You won’t just be doing ab work, so don’t worry, but within every workout there will be time set aside for abs and you will feel your stomach tightening and strengthening as the days and then weeks go by.
From that point on you might find that your balance starts to increase and the workouts you endure from that point forward begin to feel a bit easier as you find yourself able to add more and more weight throughout the coming weeks.
Always be aware of the signals your body is giving you however no matter how easy the weight might seem. Trembling arms and legs are a sign that your body is reaching or has reached its limit, so don’t feel the need to exceed those limits on a regular basis.
Your body will continue to grow stronger as time goes by, but you need to allow it time to relax and recover as well.
This type of training is more about burning calories and leading to weight loss while increasing the potential of the individual to endure longer and longer periods of exercise.
There’s not much emphasis on weights and there’s a great deal of emphasis on cardio exercises that will push the body to new limits.
If your goals are to burn calories and lose weight then this is the type of training that you’ll want to focus on, but many trainers will still suggest that you spend some time in the weight room just to keep your muscle mass from fading too much.
During endurance training you’ll be focused more on such machines as the treadmill, the stationary bike, the stair climber, and any others that will get your heart rate up and allow you to start burning calorie at an accelerated rate.
Stretching is necessary before and after these exercises however as in the beginning you might find that after a few minutes you’ll feel as though you’ve just run a mile when in all honesty it might have been only a quarter of a mile or less.
Endurance training is designed to strengthen your cardiovascular system and therefore allow a person to push themselves longer and harder than they did before.
One of the biggest downfalls of this however is that prolonged running or other similar activities can be hard on the knees and other joints, so it’s still advisable to visit the weight room from time to time in order to keep a well-rounded training regimen.
This type of training doesn’t involve a lot of weights, if any. In fact, weights might be used as an aid to this type of training and not much more since flexibility training involves more stretching than anything.
This type of workout is designed to increase the range of motion that your body possesses in order to keep you limber, agile, and overall more flexible.
The upside of course is that your increased flexibility can lead to increased overall strength within your core and your limbs, and it can also reduce the risk of injury as it makes the body more limber and able to withstand more physical stress.
You’ll also see the benefits of improved posture and overall health as this type of training improves the overall efficiency of your movements and your bodily functions.
One of the only real downsides of this type of training comes when it’s done incorrectly. For instance, holding a stretch for more than 30 seconds is not recommended as it can overtax the muscles and therefore cause injury either before or as soon as a person goes to exercise.
This type of training doesn’t use weights primarily, but as with other types of training it is usually recommended to integrate this with other types such as strength training and even endurance training.
Now that you’re off to a decent start there’s one other thing that you’re going to have to think about, and it’s one of the hardest things of all.
I’ll only go into brief detail about it since many of us can likely remember Health class and don’t need to be lectured over and over concerning what we eat and why it affects how we live.
In this case however it is important to note that eating foods that are at least halfway healthy before and after a workout is far more beneficial than if one heads for a fast food restaurant either before or after visiting the gym.
Whatever you do, don’t do what was just described above. Grease, salt, and any other ingredients you’ll find in a fast food bag aren’t your friends and they won’t help you in the gym.
If you must eat before going to a workout then try something that has some protein and stick to fruits and veggies if you can.
The energy boost you’ll need isn’t going to come from a soda or energy drink so leave those at home or, better yet, leave them on the shelf where they belong.
When going to the gym you’re going to need energy to perform, but that energy will be easier to access if your body isn’t bogged down by chemicals and other ingredients. Try chicken, fruits, veggies, even yogurt if you feel the need, but stay away from the junk food, it won’t help.
During the Workout
It’s usually best if you don’t eat while you’re working out, but if you absolutely feel the need or haven’t eaten in a while, packing a couple of protein bars isn’t the worst thing in the world.
Try to make sure that you read the ingredients carefully, and if you can avoid them then perhaps pack some fruit, or even trail mix in your gym bag.
Just be sure to not eat anything on the gym floor since most gyms don’t take kindly to this. Eat it outside or in the locker room, or perhaps in the common area if they have one. Just don’t fill up since working out on a full stomach isn’t the greatest idea.
A lot of people will make the mistake of thinking “I did good today, I deserve a treat.”. While that’s kind of true, the treat you want and are used to might not be the best idea since all that hard work you just did can be undone in an instant.
Instead of snacking on cookies, ice cream, cake, or any other sugar-laden treat try instead a healthy dinner and something that might still have a fair number of calories but is also designed to help your body recover after a hard session at the gym.
Now you’ve found a gym, decided what kind of training you want, and have at least reviewed what it might take to change your dietary habits, the hardest part is still ahead: managing your time and remaining consistent.
It’s obvious that things are going to happen in life from time to time that don’t allow you to get to the gym, but until such things occur you should plan on making time to hit the gym at least two to three times a week in the beginning.
These sessions should last at least 30 minutes or more depending on how you’re feeling and how things are progressing.
As your fitness level begins to increase, you’ll find that you might need more time to warm up and then more time to get a good workout in, so you’ll have to plan your time accordingly.
Here are just a few ways to do that:
For men and women alike getting to the gym is important for your health, as is finding the right gym, understanding what your goals will be upon joining, and what you want to get out of it.
This is your life remember, and your health should be an important factor to your lifestyle. Finding a gym and creating a workout that is catered to your style and your level of fitness is crucial to staying motivated.
No Equipment 30 Day Workout Plan for Beginners
If you're looking to get into shape, you may be tempted to run out and buy a full set of weights, one of those all-in-one gym machines, maybe even one of those belly burner bands or another gimmicky as seen on TV device.
Before you go out and break the bank, consider the possibility you can do a full workout routine without having to buy any extra equipment, just using what you have lying around the house.
With this guide, I'll outline an equipment free 30-day weight loss and exercise program for beginners. It'll give you a variety of workouts and an in-depth routine to keep you on track for losing weight and building muscle.
Before getting into exercises and workout routines, it's important to set goals for yourself, and make sure they're realistic.
Ask yourself what you want to get out of your workout routine. Are you looking to lose weight, tone muscle, improve your stamina and endurance, or a combination of the three?
Depending on your goals, you may spend more time on certain workouts or parts of your exercise routine than others.
Someone looking to lose weight and shed excess fat rather than build muscle, for example, will spend more time on cardio exercises and low resistance high duration exercises to keep the heart rate up and continually burn off excess energy.
Once you have an overarching goal of what you plan to accomplish, it’s time to set up a workout schedule.
We all have lives outside of our gym routines (unless you're a professional athlete or body builder), so it is important to find a schedule that won't interfere with other engagements like work or family life.
When planning a workout schedule, try to plan between 3 and 5 sessions per week, each session lasting around 1-2 hours. Also try to space them out a little if possible, giving your body one day of rest for every 1-2 days of working out.
Rest is important, and if you overwork your body you can cause strains and muscle damage, doing more harm than good. Once you have a goal and basic schedule set up, the next step is to organize a basic structure for each session.
When planning your workout, it is also important to take space into consideration. Clear out a small area, be it in your living room, your basement, or if the weather is nice go out in the back yard to work out.
Having an open floor space is essential for working out, as having a cluttered space increases risk for injury, as you could trip or fall, injuring yourself.
The goal of your pre-workout is to get your heart rate going, as well as to warm up your muscles and loosen your joints so that you have a better range of motion, and less risk of injury while working out. Getting your heart rate going will begin burning off the sugar stored in your system for energy.
This provides two benefits. First, breaking down stored sugars will provide a burst of energy, energizing your body. The second and more important benefit comes from depleting the stored sugars. When it comes to providing energy to your body, your body first breaks down sugars for energy
Once it runs out of sugars, your body turns to breaking down carbs and fatty deposits as the next source of energy. Finally, after it has run out of fatty deposits, it will begin breaking down the proteins in muscles into amino acids in order to provide ATP to power cellular function.
This second step is where our focus is when it comes to weight loss. In order to get to that point though, we have to deplete the sugar reserves stored in the body from our daily food consumption. That's where the 20 minutes of cardio really comes into play.
This ensures you burn off the sugar reserves before you get into the bulk of the workout, ensuring that you burn more fat. When it comes to the cardio exercises, there are a few great workouts that get the job done.
Running: Running is a great way to get the heart rate going, and all it requires is a little bit of space. When running, it is important to focus on your breathing. Taking deep, steady breaths is the key to keeping your pace and energy up throughout your run.
When running, try to keep your pace as consistent as you can. Don't worry about running as fast as you can, just keep a brisk and steady pace and run for anywhere between 3-5 minutes. Alternatively, you can also work sprints.
When sprinting, pick a set distance (for example from one end of your yard to the other). Sprints are high intensity, low duration workouts. When sprinting, set a timer for about 20 seconds, and sprint back and forth from your start and end position. Once the timer stops, walk back and forth for 10 second, then sprint another 20 second. Repeat this process for about 2-3 minutes.
Jumping Jacks: Jumping Jacks are another great exercise for cardio. They are best used mixed into a circuit rather than done for a straight 2-3 minutes. See the circuit routine section further down in the guide for other exercises that work best in a circuit.
Jumping Jacks: Jumping Jacks are another great exercise for cardio. They are best used mixed into a circuit rather than done for a straight 2-3 minutes. See the circuit routine section further down in the guide for other exercises that work best in a circuit.
Jump Rope: Jumping rope is another great cardio exercise. When jumping rope, start off slow and build up your speed over time. Focus on making tiny hops, leaving just enough room for the rope to pass under your feet.
The goal of jumping rope is to get your heart rate going while at the same time not putting too much strain on your muscles in the process.
Making exaggerated jumps will put more strain on your calves and knee joint from the repeated landing and launching off the ground. When jumping rope, either set a 3-minute timer, or do 300 jumps, whichever you think will take less time.
Once you're done with your cardio, it is important to spend about 3-5 minutes stretching before moving on to the next stage in your workout. Once you feel you're thoroughly stretched, grab a drink of water to re-hydrate.
Circuit Based Training
When doing circuit-based training, the goal is to rotate through various exercises either at timed intervals or when you finish a certain number of reps.
For example, you can set a circuit of push-ups, sit ups and jumping jacks, doing 10-30 of each. Alternatively, you can set timed intervals of 30 seconds and do as many of each exercise in the allotted time. Here are some great exercises for circuit training.
Push Ups: Push-ups are great for building upper body strength and posture and rely entirely on using your own body weight as resistance. Form is crucial for getting the most out of your push-ups.
To start you'll want to get into a basic plank position, your hands level with your shoulders. From there, bend your elbows and lower your chest to the floor. Briefly lift your hands from the floor, and when you plant them back down, push yourself back up to your starting position.
If you want to make your push-ups more difficult, you can modify them in a variety of ways. You can spread your hands further apart to work the shoulders more or make a diamond in the center of your chest with your fingers to increase the resistance and focus more on the biceps and upper arm muscles.
Sit Ups: Sit ups are great for working your abs, but much like push-ups, proper form is key. It is important to do proper sit ups and to not transition into doing crunches for a variety of reasons.
First of all, crunches do not activate your entire abdominal area, and work a different set of muscles. Second, pulling on your head as you do crunches, and not doing them properly can result in putting unnecessary strain on your neck.
To properly perform a sit up, fold your arms across your chest and place your hands at your shoulders. Lay flat on your back, bending your knees and planting your feet firmly against the floor.
From there, sit all the way up before lowering your body back down in a controlled manner. Keeping control as you lower your body ensures you're working your abdominal muscles both when sitting up, but also as you lower yourself down, doubling the effectiveness of the workout.
Jumping Jacks: As explained prior, jumping jacks are a great cardio workout to throw into a circuit routine. To perform a proper jumping jack, start standing with your hands at your sides.
Next, jump, and extend your arms and legs so you land with your feet just past your shoulder line and clap your hands above your head. Then jump again, reverting your arms and legs back to their starting position.
Bicycle Crunches: Bicycle crunches are also great for your abs. but work different parts of your abs than normal sit ups.
Start in a normal sit up position but put your hands behind your head instead. Sit up slightly and hold it there. From there, bring one knee up and turn your shoulders to touch your elbow to the opposite knee. Then switch, raising the other knee and moving your other elbow over.
Leg Lifts: Leg lifts work your lower abs and core. To start, lay flat on your back, legs straight. From there, keeping your arms at your sides and your upper body flat against the ground, lift your legs up until they are at about a 45-degree angle, keeping your legs straight the entire time. Next, slowly lower them back down the ground.
V-Ups: V-ups are amazing for your core, but they are also a lot of work. They're a bit of a hybrid between leg lifts and sit ups. Start flat on your back, arms extended over your head and your legs flat.
Lift your legs and sit up at the same time in one explosive motion in an attempt to touch your toes to your hands. Then let your legs and upper body lower back down to the ground to reset.
Squats: Squats are great for your leg muscles. To do a squat, start with your knees slightly bent, legs shoulder length apart. From there, bend your knees and push your hips back, as if you were sitting down.
Once your body is in a sitting position, stand back up again. For balance purposes, you can also keep your arms straight as you lift them in front of you as you do each squat.
While Circuit exercises are both good in a rotating circuit as well as being done as standalone exercises, these next exercises are a lot harder to work into a circuit due to the set up involved.
It is best to set a specific time in your workout routine for these exercises and plan your workout space accordingly. While you don't need specified equipment for these exercises, the architecture of your workout area may prevent you from performing these work outs.
Rows: in order to do rows without an actual pull up bar or suspended rowing cables, your workout area is going to need a door that opens on a hinge (so if you're outside, the sliding glass door won't cut it).
Open the door and wedge the door open using either a rolled-up foot mat, paper, books, whatever will work as long as the door will not move or close. Wrap a towel around both doorknobs and place your feet on either side of the door, just in front of the doorknobs.
Grabbing the towel, lean back until your arms are straight, keeping your body straight, using the towel to support your weight.
From there, pull yourself towards the door by bending your arms. Alternatively, you can close the towel in the corner of the door if it is long enough (say you're using a beach towel or something), and this exercise will have the same effect. The more you angle your body, the more resistance the exercise will provide.
Inverted Table Row: For this exercise, you'll need a sturdy table. Make sure it's not going to fall over or give way when pulling on it. From there, lay under the table with your knees bent. Make sure you can comfortably reach up and grip the edge of the table.
From there, keeping your back straight, pull yourself up, and lower yourself down. You can do both a forward grip (laying so your head and shoulders aren't under the table) or a reverse grip (laying so your legs and feet aren't under the table).
Putting It All Together
Now that we have a nice selection of exercises, it's time to set up an actual routine. Using a calendar or some kind of daily planner, make note of all the days this month you'll be doing your workout routine.
Pick a few pre-exercise cardio exercises for each day. They don't always have to be the same one, and you don't have to include all of them each day.
From there, pick three or four exercises from the circuit exercises, and if your space allows for it, pick one method of doing rows. Alternate these exercises each session, making sure you aren't doing the same sets every day.
This ensures that you don't overwork one particular area of the body. Once you pick your workouts for each day, take a highlighter and color in each box to make it stand out so you don't forget. Once you start
getting used to working out, or if you want more of a challenge, there's one more routine you can add if you really want to push yourself to the limit.
Tabata is a form of high intensity interval training that focuses on extremely high intensity training in short bursts of time. Not only is it great for burning calories during the workout itself, but also helps burn calories after the workout session has ended as well.
While this all sounds great, it still doesn't quite answer the question of 'what is Tabata'? The good news is you already know the exercises you'll need for it, but it just changes the flow of the routine a little.
It's still important to do your pre-workout routines like cardio and stretches. Once that's done, pick two or three exercises from the circuit training session, preferably two that work different muscle groups.
Set two timers, one for 20 seconds and one for 10 seconds (or just use a wall clock to keep track). For the first 20 seconds, do as many reps as you can in those 20 seconds. Go all out. Then rest for 10 seconds.
Once that 10 seconds rest period is over, try and beat the number of reps you just scored in the next 20 seconds. Repeat this process for 2 minutes per exercise.
The great thing about Tabata is you can squeeze it anywhere in your workout routine, be it in the beginning after your cardio, somewhere in the middle, or tag it on at the end for one last burst of endurance training.
You can also use it to kind of substitute for a missed workout day, since we all know things happen that might get in the way, like getting stuck late at the office. It only takes 4-6 minutes depending on how many exercises you pick.
With your 30-day workout plan all set, stick to a routine workout schedule, try to make up missed days elsewhere if you can, and don't get discouraged.
It's going to be hard work to start with, especially if you're not used to working out. If you can't do the full recommended reps per set or get through a full exercise, just do what you can and work your way up to it.
The important thing is don't overexert yourself out of frustration, since that can lead to injury, and don't give up.
You won't see a difference overnight, but by the end of the month, you'll definitely notice a change, be it in your actual appearance, or just your performance compared to previous workout sessions, being able to do more rows than you used to, or push-ups being easier.
Just because this is a 30-day plan doesn't mean you stop after 30 days either. Use the same guidelines each month to continue your routine, and you'll see continued improvement and great results.
Beginner Workout That you Can do at Home Without Equipment
For beginners, increasing your physical activity and developing healthier eating habits will take some time to adjust to.
As you progress to reach your health goals, don't be discouraged if things aren't working exactly as you want them to.
This is not about just losing weight, this about changing your entire lifestyle, so don't be surprised if it takes some getting used to.
Additionally, many newcomers to fitness routines might be confused about how to start such an amazing journey.
Should they join a gym, fitness class, or take up running? Should they invest in home fitness machines? Are free weights a good choice?
These are all valid questions, and the answer to all of them is, yes, but in time. Choosing the right fitness plan isn't an exact science, but it's good to be flexible and try a variety of things, especially when you first start making exercise a part of your daily life.
A good way to start incorporating exercise into your daily routine is to perform these exercises at home. All of these are beginner workouts that you can perform at home and require absolutely no equipment.
These exercises will help you with all of your fitness goals including burning fat, building muscle, and increasing flexibility, all you need is a few minutes and open space.
It's All About That Body Weight
While cardio is certainly helpful in burning calories, body weight training can be more efficient when it comes to burning both calories and body fat.
Not only does bodyweight training burn more calories, the "afterburn" from your workout means that your body will continue to burn more calories even hours afterward.
In fact, body weight training is so effective it not only burns calories, certain exercises have a cardio benefit in addition to their strength training properties.
With a regular bodyweight training program you can transform your body for the better, and the best thing, it's all without expensive gym memberships or cumbersome home equipment.
Here are just a few moves to help get your body in shape, without the use of equipment. All of these moves can be performed in lieu of a cardio routine or as a workout when combined together. Each movement should be performed for 30 to 60 seconds with 2 to 3 reps per each set.
It might sound similar to the popular dance move, but it looks nothing like it. The inchworm is an exercise that focuses on the shoulders and core, but which still increases strength and endurance throughout the body.
In order to perform this move, simply stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Make sure your core is taut and tight.
As you bend from the waist, place your hands on the ground and walk forward using your hands. Keep your legs straight, and you should find yourself in a high plank position.
Once you reach this position, quickly walk your hands back toward your feet into your initial stance.
If you want to make this move more challenging when you are in the plank position add a push-up or two.
Mountain Climber Twist
This is a fun, and great cardio/body weight workout, that many people enjoy. Well, maybe not many. This dynamic exercise works for several muscles groups while simultaneously increasing your heart rate. Mountain climber twists boost aerobic fitness and improve agility and flexibility.
To perform this maneuver, first get into the high plank position. Holding your core tight, bring your left knee in toward your right elbow.
Return your left knee into position and now bring your right knee in toward your left elbow. Continue this motion as fast as possible for 30 to 60 seconds.
Sure, plenty of us remember this move from gym class in school and yes it hasn't changed much at all. That's because what's tried and true is effective and high knees is a tried and true exercise.
High knees exercises work several different muscle groups in the body. This exercise is able to strengthen your inner thighs and outer hip areas high knees tones the calf, quadriceps, hamstrings, and buttocks areas.
In order to perform this maneuver, stand with your feet hip-width apart. As if you're running in place begin by pulling your right knee up high toward your chest, then repeat the same motion with your left knee. Continue this movement alternating knees as fast as you can.
One of the best ways to develop core strength and alleviate lower back pain is the plank. To keep things interesting fitness gurus have been devising new variations of this wonderful exercise to excellent results.
Here we have plank jacks, which sounds exactly like they are, a combination of plank and jumping jacks.
With the addition of the jumping jacks movement, this exercise is transformed from a simple strength training exercise into a cardio workout.
To do plank jacks, get into a high plank position. Keeping your core tight, jump your feet apart and then jump them back together. Repeat these motions as quickly as possible.
Can't get enough of the plank, and all its core benefits? The plank-to-knee tap focuses primarily on the chest and abdominal muscles. The knee-tap motions increase the level of resistance to the traditional plank.
To perform this maneuver, begin in a high plank position, keeping your core tight. Shift your hips upward and use your right hand to tap your left shin/knee.
Return your hand to position and do the same motion with your left hand, tapping it to your right shin/knee. While attempting to maintain good form, perform this exercise as quickly as possible for the added cardio benefit.
Another twist on the hit classic, the plank-to-shoulder tap, focuses on your core, arms, glutes, wrists, and shoulders. So many muscles groups targeted in so little time.
Much like the plank-to-knee tap, this exercise is executed using similar movements except the focus is on your shoulders.
Beginning in a high plank position, make sure your wrists are positioned directly under your shoulders. Plant your feet hip-width apart.
Now, touch your left shoulder with your right hand, return to plank position and repeat the move with your left hand. Continue doing this exercise for 15 to 20 reps.
A classic move that elevates the heart rate and burns calories. Jumping jacks are an amazing way to warm up before a workout.
For those unfamiliar with a jumping jack, here's how you perform this age-old move. Standing straight with your feet together and your hands at your side, beginning jumping your legs apart while bringing your arms overhead. Keep your core tight and knees bent during this exercise. Repeat this motion as quickly as possible.
Boxer Squat Punch
Here's a great way to make you feel as if your training like the champs. Boxer squat punches are an amazing way to strengthen your glutes, quads, abs, hamstrings, and calves, in addition to being a wonderful full body workout. This exercise is also a great cardio workout that works well as a warm-up routine.
To perform the boxer squat punch, begin in the squat position. Keep your feet shoulder width apart with toes pointing forward.
As you stand up, shift your weight to your right leg and punch forward with your left arm. Return to squat position and repeat the same movement with your left leg and right arm.
Be sure to keep your hips back and your chest up. Never let your knees extend beyond your toes with this exercise.
Perhaps the best workout for calves, glutes, and hips, squat also provide benefits to several other different muscle groups. Squats are great at strengthening the knee muscles while also improving flexibility and balance.
To do a proper squat be sure to maintain the alignment of your back. In order to do this, keep your chest up and your hips back. Standing straight, place your feet shoulder width apart.
Pressing your hips back, bend your knees and stop moving downward once your hips are slightly lower than your knees. Again, never let your knees extend beyond your toes, you don't want to put added pressure on the heels of your feet.
Now pressing your heels into the floor, return to your initial standing position. Remember to breathe in as you perform the squat and breathe out as you start to move upward.
Similar to tricep dips, butterfly dips have an additional benefit, it not only strengthens your triceps and upper body, but it also works on your inner thighs and glutes as well. It's an amazing full body workout.
In order to execute this move, sit on a mat with your feet together. Now place your hands behind you, but keep your fingers facing forward.
Now bend your knees and let your thighs fall open. As you straighten your arms, raise your hips up and bring both knees together. Now bend your elbows and begin lowering your body back to the starting position.
Remember to breathe out as you press your hips up and extend your arms. 2 or 3 sets of 10-15 reps is a great way to add this exercise to your fitness routine.
It doesn't take a fancy gym membership or expensive at-home fitness equipment to have an effective workout routine. In fact, it's perfectly possible to reach your fitness goals without the use of either.
Is it great to have those options, sure, especially for variety within your routine. But working out at home is a great way for beginners to gain footing in a world that can often feel intimidating.
Engaging in some of these exercise moves to create a wonderful fitness routine will help you build up endurance, strength, and stamina, while also helping you feel comfortable getting your body active and keeping it that way.
In fact, many of these exercises incorporate a cardio component that will help you burn fat, shed pounds and tone up with better results than traditional cardio workouts.
Remember that as a beginner it's important not to push yourself too far too soon. The last thing you want when embarking on this life-changing journey is to suffer fatigue or discouragement.
When you push yourself too far too soon, it's easy to give up, because you haven't made the gains you hoped to accomplish. The best way to do this is to be sure that you are setting realistic expectations about your health goals.
Don't feel discouraged if you don't meet your goals at first, the key is to first find a fitness routine that you can enjoy.
A routine that is enjoyable and doesn't feel like a chore is a routine that you'll be more willing to stick with. Lots of these at-home exercises are not only great for the body, but they're also interesting and fun.
Getting in shape doesn't have to be all work and no play, in fact, with the right moves working out can be downright enjoyable.
Pushing yourself to the limit physically is rewarding in itself, but pushing yourself and achieving success is the ultimate reward.
Give a few of these exercise routines a try, mix-and-match moves or try them all together. The key is to find a great way to incorporate bodyweight exercises into your routine that will help you reach every fitness goal possible.
Achieving a healthy lifestyle isn't an easy task, and it certainly isn't impossible. With dedication, hard work, and discipline, you'll find yourself a pro at fitness before you know it. Good luck on your fitness journey!
What Is Zumba Fitness & What Are the Benefits?
Zumba fitness is a cardio workout program centered around dancing. It is inspired by Latin culture and combines a multitude of dance styles into its routines, including hip hop, Merengue, Cumbia, Salsa, Reggaeton, Mambo, Rumba and Flamenco.
The program’s music is normally Latin, or international and can vary from fast paced, to slow depending on the routine and the experience level of the class.
Zumba was created by a Latin choreographer named Alberto Perez during the 1990’s and since then it has grown to be one of the most popular dance style workout programs.
Zumba is known for being a fun and social workout program, but it isn’t just dancing. The routines are carefully choreographed to target specific muscle groups, while incorporating interval and resistance training.
Interval training helps ramp up your bodies calorie burning potential, by completing a series of movements followed by a brief rest period your body is able to use its energy more efficiently.
Interval training is also used in other popular cardio workouts like HIIT. Resistance training builds strength and helps tone muscles, helping you to reach your fitness goals.
Why Is Zumba Fitness So Popular?
Zumba gained its popularity because, it is an effective cardio workout, that doesn’t feel like a workout and can be done by almost anyone.
Everyone wants to be healthy, but for most of us the word workout is associated with negative feelings.
It’s hard to get excited about the typical cardio exercise routines, they’re repetitive and leave you to focus on each individual move.
But, Zumba is different. From the time you start, until the workout is over you won’t be focused on the fact that you’re exercising.
The music and dancing divert your mind from the “work” part of the workout and the hour of exercise is over before you know it.
Who Can Do Zumba Fitness?
Anyone can do Zumba, unlike most cardio workouts Zumba can be adapted to fit the needs of every individual.
Zumba class age groups range from young children, to the elderly and it can even be done by those who can’t do most exercises.
Zumba is also handicap friendly and can be a fun, effective workout for those with mental, or physical disabilities. This flexibility gives it the upper hand on most fitness routines, not many workout programs can say they will work for everyone.
Zumba classes designed specifically for the elderly, children and people with special needs, or limited mobility can be found. The instructors that hold these classes are specifically trained to deliver a workout that meets the needs of the individuals, while still providing an effective workout. Anyone can dance.
What Should I Expect If I Go To A Zumba Fitness Class?
Most Zumba fitness classes are an hour long, they begin with a warm-up and end with stretching. The workouts are broken down by songs, each featuring a different routine. Between the songs you will have a rest period.
The routines can be pre-choreographed, but more often than not, the instructors will add their own dance steps, or even create entirely new routines.
The routines can be pre-choreographed, but more often than not, the instructors will add their own dance steps, or even create entirely new routines.
Zumba isn’t like other aerobic classes, or workouts, where you have to learn the moves before you can do the workout.
Instead Zumba utilizes the different parts of each song as the foundation for its choreography. It does take some learning though and it can be frustrating for beginners, but the steps are simple and repetitive, so you’ll catch on quickly. You don’t need to focus on being perfect.
The instructors are usually laid back and the goal is having fun, not making the casting call for the next dance orientated reality show.
Zumba instructors don’t speak much, so no one will be counting, or barking directions at you. Instead the instructors rely on hand gestures and things like clapping to direct which way to go, or when to switch dance moves. This can be refreshing for people who are put off by the drill instructor style aerobic routines.
What Should I Wear To A Zumba Fitness Class?
The best clothing to wear to Zumba classes, or while doing Zumba at home is anything comfortable. As long as the clothing is loose, or stretchy enough to provide you a free range of motion, that’s all you need.
From leggings, to sweat pants and t-shirts to tank tops everyone has something in their closet they can Zumba in.
You will want a good pair of athletic, or fitness shoes that provide support. Zumba is dancing, so you’ll want your shoes to be comfortable and protect your feet.
Depending on where your class is held, or if you choose to do Zumba at home, Zumba can also be done barefoot. Some people find that this is more comfortable and allows them better control over their movement.
If you choose to do Zumba barefoot, make sure it is on a padded surface, such as carpeting, a mat, or grass to reduce the stress on the balls and arches of your feet.
Some gyms require that shoes are worn, for health safety reasons, so it may not be possible for you to participate barefoot in an indoor setting. If you’re in doubt, ask about the dress code.
What Are the Benefits of Zumba Fitness?
Like all fitness routines Zumba primary goal is to help you become healthier. Whether your goal is to get in shape, stay in shape, or you just need some inspiration to be more active Zumba is a good choice to help you achieve that goal and have fun doing it.
Zumba also offers some pretty great benefits that you may not know about. Below are all the things that Zumba Fitness has to offer.
One of the primary benefits of Zumba fitness is weight loss. The high intensity interval style that zumba uses is scientifically proven to boost the rate at which your body burns calories and breaks down fat. This makes your workout more effective and you’ll see results sooner.
The average person can burn 600 - 1,000 calories in a single hour of Zumba, if they're putting their all into it and pushing their limits.
This is a big deal considering 1,000 calories is half the recommended daily intake for a woman and a little under half for a male. Burning 1,000 calories is a great way to maintain your weight or boost your weight loss efforts.
If your body does not have an excess of 1,000 calories to burn, it begins burning fat stores and that’s where the results happen.
Interval training is intense high energy workout bursts followed by a brief period of rest. Working out this way cause a few things to happen.
First, you’ll feel that familiar burning in your engaged muscles, and then you’ll feel out of breath. Exerting yourself causes your muscles to accumulate lactic acid, which is where that burning feeling comes from and your bodies oxygen becomes depleted.
Your body then has to work harder to replenish its oxygen stores and it will continue to build these stores for up to 24 hours after you’re finished working out. This results in your metabolism being boosted, and ultimately burning calories at an accelerated rate, even after your workout is over.
In addition to boosted metabolism effects, the Journal of Applied Physiology has also published a study showing how interval training can increase the capacity for fat oxidation in women.
Weight loss by itself is great, but when you can tone your muscles while you’re losing weight the results you want appear even faster.
The body toning dance moves of Zumba Fitness target specific muscle groups, integrating moves like squats and side twists into the routine without you even realizing you’re doing them.
Body toning doesn’t just help you show off your hard work, it also strengthens your core and other important muscle groups.
This strength has benefits outside of looking great, with a stronger core you’ll have better posture, breathe better, have more stamina and you’ll feel better overall.
It won’t help you build muscles in the way that weightlifting would, but it does engage your whole body, allowing you to fine tune every muscle group.
Zumba includes a lot of different arm movements that help strengthen your arms, chest, shoulders and upper back. It also requires you to use your core in every move, which targets your abdominal, oblique, and lower back muscles.
It is dance, so of course you’ll be using your legs and your glutes, calves and hamstrings will be reaping the benefits too. If you’re looking to get stronger, but not necessarily bulk up, Zumba is a great way to do it.
Zumba can help increase your coordination and motor skills. Dance requires coordination to successfully execute the required moves, without tripping over your own feet.
Repetition and practice will help train your coordination capabilities over time and allow you to have better control over the various muscle groups in your body.
The more you practice, the better you will get. Coordination is extremely important, even more so as we age and things like slips and falls become a bigger risk to our health.
A well-coordinated individual is less likely to lose their balance or be unable to catch themselves if they do fall, resulting in a lower chance of accident related injuries overall.
Improved Mood and Reduced Stress
Zumba can help you improve your mood and combat depression. Sadness, anxiety and depression can be caused by a lack of happiness inducing chemicals in your brain called endorphins, sometimes referred to as a neuro-chemical imbalance.
Research has shown that regular exercise helps your brain in releasing endorphins that make you feel good, like serotonin. Serotonin is one of the endorphins responsible for feelings of joy, relaxation and happiness.
Studies, like the one published in Sage Journals support that cardiovascular activity, like dance cause your brain to release the highest levels of these endorphins when compared to other workouts and Zumba Fitness is all about dancing.
Better Cardiovascular Health
Zumba is a moderate to fast paced form of exercise. The pace of exercise varies from beginner, to intermediate, to expert classes, but even in beginner classes you can expect to be moving pretty fast and working up a sweat.
This intensity gets your heart pounding and you breathing. This is beneficial to you, exercising your heart and lungs leads to a healthier cardiovascular system.
Cardiovascular exercise helps lower your resting heart rate, preventing your heart from working harder than it has to.
It also helps regulate and lower your blood pressure, reducing the stress your heart is submitted to on a regular basis.
Overall, it will reduce your chances of suffering from arterial and heart diseases which can be fatal. It will also reduce your chances of suffering a heart attack, or stroke and it can increase your physical capacity.
Zumba benefits your lungs by training them to be more efficient. Because our lungs are muscles, they can be improved through repetition.
Zumba will make you breathe hard and over time this will train your lungs to absorb more oxygen, so they can effectively deliver that oxygen to your organs and muscles.
Have a more efficient heart and lungs leads to increased endurance. The more blood and oxygen that reaches your muscles the longer and harder they’ll be able to work before you feel exhausted. This leads to better performance in many areas, as well as day to day life.
Anyone Can Zumba
Zumba is a very versatile workout routine. In addition to being easy enough for children to do, it is fun. You can attend classes, or purchase a Zumba DVD and do it from the comfort of your own home.
There are routines designed for everyone, from beginner routines for people who have no idea what Zumba is and are just starting their fitness journey, to advanced routines for people who already know the moves and are well versed in Zumba.
Unlike exercises that are fitness, or age group specific, men, women and children of all ages and fitness levels can benefit from and enjoy Zumba.
Zumba Can Be Done at Home
Zumba doesn’t require any special equipment, so it can be done easily in your own living room. It doesn’t take much space to dance and as long as you have a 5 ft. X 5 ft.
space you should be able to comfortably Zumba in your home. Most of the movements are done while staying in one area.
This makes zumba convenient for people unable to go to classes, due to lack of classes, lack of transportation, lack of child care, or any other reason that prevents you from being able to attend a class.
There is an endless supply of inexpensive Zumba instructional material, including books, DVDs and online videos.
For some of us the thought of working out in front of other people can be enough to refrain from exercise, Doing Zumba at home makes it easy to avoid a crowd until you’re ready to participate in a class.
It’s an Opportunity to Get Out and Meet New People
Zumba offers a great opportunity to get out of the house and socialize. On top of getting a good workout, going to Zumba classes will allow you to meet new people in a friendly and welcoming environment. Unlike gyms, Zumba classes don’t have a stereotype, there’s no expectations of fitness level, or ability. You’ll be having fun, getting healthier and making new friends before you know it.
You don’t have to get out and go to a Zumba class to enjoy the group benefits though, you can zumba at home with friends, or family members.
Working out with a partner can make the workout more enjoyable. We are social creatures by nature, and it is a fact that we enjoy doing tasks more when we are accompanied by other people.
Even if you’re not going to classes, doing Zumba with a friend will give you someone to talk to about it and it will make keeping your fitness goals a priority, as well as helping to keep you motivated. It’s harder to put off working out if you have another person relying on you to join them.
Zumba Fitness Is Inexpensive
Or even free, Zumba instructional videos on sites like YouTube allow people to partake in Zumba for free, while DVDs and more in-depth material like books can be acquired for next to nothing.
Zumba requires no machinery, weights, or special equipment and you can do it in your own living room. Zumba classes vary in price and can be one-time things or come in package form.
Most gyms and even local YMCAs offer Zumba classes, making this workout routine highly affordable and accessible to anyone.
Zumba Teaches You to Dance
In addition to getting an awesome workout, Zumba doubles as a dance class. Zumba utilizes various dance styles in its routines, so before long you’ll not only be healthier, you’ll have some dance skills too.
Popular dance moves in Zumba are focused around Cumbia, Merengue, Salsa, Reggaeton, Mambo, Rumba, Flamenco, and Hip Hop. So at the least you’ll get a basic understanding of some classic dances.
It may not turn you into an award-winning dancer, but you’ll have something to show off the next time someone asks you to dance.
The dances are not only set to latin music either. Depending on the routine and instructor you could find yourself cha cha chaing to some 90’s inspired hip hop or dancing the salsa to a more modern tune.
Rules in Zumba are flexible and often times there are few rules, as long as you're breaking a sweat and having fun, you’re doing it right.
Is Zumba Fitness Worth Getting Into?
Overall Zumba is a great aerobic exercise program. It can be tailored to suit anyone and offers some health benefits that can’t be argued with.
If you’re looking to get in shape, you enjoy dancing, or typical workouts aren’t your thing Zumba can be a great way to get motivated.
Even if public settings aren’t your idea of fun, or you’re not confident enough to try something new in front of people you can give it a go from your own house.
There’s no investment when you first start out and you can choose to do it for free forever, so you have nothing to lose.
You can also add Zumba into a workout regimen you already have, just to add variety and keep things interesting. You can do it once a week, or once a day.
No matter what your fitness needs are Zumba can work for you, so yes, we definitely thing getting into to Zumba can be worthwhile and beneficial, not only to your health, but to your confidence level too.
In the world we are living in today, people are finding it convenient to spend their time idling on their couches watching movie and TV series and playing video games.
Watching the latest TV series is not a problem at all but being inactive for too long can lead to life-threatening problems that can be prevented by being active.
If you want an all-natural way to improve your memory, lift your mood and protect your brain against the decline associated with aging, being physically active is the way to go.
When you decide to get active, one of the most common exercise programs you’ll hear is cardio. But what exactly is cardio? If you’ve been asking yourself this question or you want to get active, you have come to the right place as we will tell you what cardiovascular fitness is & what are the benefits.
What Exactly is Cardiovascular Fitness?
Cardiovascular (cardio) fitness often called aerobic exercise is the ability of the heart, lungs, and blood cells to supply blood rich in oxygen to the working muscles and other organs and tissues in the body.
As a result, cardio fitness improves how your heart and lungs work which results in a lower resting heart rate. In the simplest terms, cardio fitness stimulates the heart rate to beat faster than normal and this increases the rate of breathing in a sustainable way for the duration of the exercise session.
Cardiovascular fitness is improved by various activities that employ large muscle groups to work dynamically and some of them include jogging, walking, skating, stair climbing, running, and swimming.
Therefore, there are various choices to choose from based on what you like doing, what fits your personality, what’s accessible to you and what feels comfortable fitting in your life.
Scientifically, the human heart is just like any other muscle which becomes more efficient and stronger with exercise and how your heart works can be determined by the heart rate.
At rest, a healthy heart beats roughly 70 beats in a minute while a conditioned heart at rests beats 40-50 beats in a minute or less in severe cases.
For a healthy heart, experts recommend a moderate aerobic exercise of not less than 150 minutes or vigorous activity of not less than 75 minutes every week.
If you’d want to start a cardio fitness, one of the question you’d be asking yourself is how to differentiate between moderate and rigorous activities and because we care so much about you, we will tell you.
If you love swimming or brisk walking, you will comfortably be engaging in a moderate activity but if you want a vigorous activity, cycling or running will sort you out.
Benefits of cardiovascular fitness
Now that you already know what cardiovascular fitness is and examples of cardiovascular activities, let’s look at the benefits and why doctors recommend them for healthy living.
Improves cardiovascular health
The human heart is a muscle that requires being worked for it to remain strong, failure to which it becomes weak over time which can lead to various negative health effects.
During cardio exercises, the heart becomes stronger to pump more blood throughout your body with each beat and continues to work at maximum level without much stress.
In addition, cardio fitness helps to keep your artery clear and lowers blood pressure lowering LDL (‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein) and raising HDL (‘good’ high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol level in the blood.
If you’re looking forward to lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, do a moderate-to vigorous-intensity cardiovascular exercise for at least 40 minutes for about 3 to 4 times a week and have a healthy heart all your life.
Most importantly, instead of using a lift to get to your office, work your heart muscles instead by walking up the stairs.
Promotes Brain Health
Aging is inescapable and comes with various health problems such as memory loss. Interestingly, cardio fitness has been found to improve the health of the brain.
According to researchers, a sweaty and heart-pumping cardiovascular exercise increase hippocampus size, which is related to learning and verbal memory.
In addition, cardio exercise, whether long term or short term boosts a person’s memory and brain health. Therefore, if you want to have a sharp memory as you age, engage in a cardiovascular exercise plan that you’d be comfortable doing.
Everybody desires to remain fit all their lives. Well, this may or may not be possible depending on how seriously you engage in exercise. Cardio exercises increase your ability to use oxygen by increasing the capacity of your heart to send oxygen-rich blood to your muscles.
Basically, ventricles, which are the heart’s pumping chambers are increased which eliminates the need for your heart to beat faster when delivering the same amount of blood.
That way, you experience a slower heart rate and a slower resting heart rate even for the same intensity of exercise and as you get fitter, other activities such as jogging or walking become easier for you and this shows that your fitness has improved.
If you are a couch potato, chances are that you have extra weight in your body which you could otherwise reduce by being active. Overweight may lead to obesity and with so many life-threatening diseases associated with being obese, you have a reason to get active.
Cardio exercise plays a huge part in burning up energy (calories) in your body and keeps your weight in check.
If you are struggling with extra body weight, experts recommend a regular low-to-moderate intensity cardio exercise to be done between 30 to 60 minutes which will do wonders in helping you lose weight.
Improves bone and muscle health
As people age, the risk of osteoporosis increases and the good news is that your bones can remain strong by engaging in regular weight-bearing cardio exercises like brisk walking.
According to experts, cardio exercises stimulate the growth of tiny blood vessels in the muscle tissues. It also reduces the pain people with chronic back pain or fibromyalgia experience by improving the supply of oxygen to the muscles and at the same time removes waste products efficiently.
People suffering from diabetes are advised to maintain a healthy diabetic meal plan and maintain the level of their blood glucose through medication. Interestingly, physical exercise like cardio can be very effective in managing diabetes.
Regular cardio exercises increase the ability of the muscles to utilize glucose especially to those with type-2 diabetes.
In its simplest, type-2 diabetes is a condition distinguished by too much glucose in the blood due to the inability of a person’s body to utilize insulin efficiently, or inability of the body to produce enough insulin to be processed.
During cardiovascular fitness, you reduce the glucose in your blood simply because your muscles can utilize glucose without insulin. Whether you don’t have enough insulin or you are insulin resistant, your muscles will get enough glucose during aerobic exercise which will, in turn, lower the levels of blood glucose.
Decrease the risk of chronic disease
Lack of physical exercises is the leading cause of chronic diseases and in most cases, it leads to a belly fat gain which has been associated with premature death, heart diseases, and type-2 diabetes.
Fortunately, chronic diseases are manageable especially with cardiovascular fitness which improves the sensitivity of insulin, decrease blood pressure and reduce body composition.
If you have excess belly fat, enroll in a cardio exercise program and it will excellently help you to lose it and reduce other serious diseases it’s associated with.
Improves the quality of sleep and relaxation
There’s a perception that exercise leads to sleeplessness but on the contrary, it helps you to relax and improves sleep quality.
What happens is that as you exercise, you deplete a lot of energy which stimulates the process of health restoration when sleeping, and this ensures that you sleep soundly and wake up the next day refreshed.
One research found out a more than 65% improvement of sleep quality to those that performed 150-minutes cardio in a week. Another study found out that cardio activity increases the sleep duration in people suffering from insomnia and the same results are experienced to people with sleep disorders.
Aerobic exercises are safe for most people
Aerobic exercises are fit for most groups of people such as the young, the old and those with chronic health conditions.
If you want the exercise to benefit you, consult your doctor who will recommend an exercise program based on your lifestyle and situation.
Boosts your energy
Cardiovascular fitness involves becoming physically active which improves your stamina and ensures that you don’t get tired quickly.
Research has it that aerobic exercise is beneficial to healthy and unhealthy individuals including those with serious illness and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). In other words, aerobic exercise boosts your energy and stamina and reduces fatigue.
Improves your Recovery Ability
After spending quality time in the gym, cardiovascular exercise is the most appropriate exercise that excellently improves your recovery ability. A walk around your neighborhood or a light jog can do wonders in removing some of the by-products created when lifting objects.
In addition, cardiovascular fitness reduces your delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS) and plays an important role in supplying oxygen-rich blood to the muscles tissue which in turn enhances the process of repair and rebuilding.
Therefore, if going to the gum is in your blood, you can engage in cardiovascular fitness between gym sessions and continue working your muscles again without being fatigued.
Cardiovascular Fitness has a Positive Impact on your Gut
Aerobic exercise has been scientifically proven to change the makeup of the microbes found in the human gut. Microbes play a huge role in the levels of inflammation which could be an early sign of diseases.
Participating in a regular aerobic exercise for 3-5 times a week for a period of 6 weeks increases the concentration of fatty acid famously known as butyrate which keeps the gut in control as it presses down inflammation and produces energy.
Reduces the Symptoms of Asthma
If you are suffering from asthma, researchers have good news as you can lessen the severity and frequency of asthma attack by an aerobic exercise but choose an exercise with shorter bursts of activity such as baseball or tennis.
However, you should consult your doctor before beginning a cardiovascular routine for professional recommendations and guidance.
Strengthens Immune System
Pennsylvania State University researchers conducted research on sedentary and active women and examined the impact of exercise on their immune system. In their research, one group of women conducted a vigorous activity for more than 30 seconds, another group conducted an exercise for 30 minutes on a treadmill and the last group conducted no exercise.
The blood of these women was taken before the exercise, at various intervals within the days and weeks of study and after the exercise. The researchers found out that regular and moderate aerobic exercises increase immunoglobulins in the blood which strengthens the immune system.
They also found no improvement in the immune system to the group of inactive women meaning that aerobic exercise strengthens your immune system.
Important Tips when Choosing a Perfect Cardio Exercise for your Lifestyle
There’s no best cardio exercise: It is likely that your workmates tell you about how great their cardiovascular fitness is until you are tempted to try the same. However, you must understand that what works for your friend may not work for you. There’s no best cardio exercise and you should avoid any exercise that makes you weak and consider anything that increases your heart rate, even if it means washing your car.
Cardiovascular fitness is not about what you do but how hard you do it: There is no exercise that’s too hard or too easy – it all depends on how you take it. For instance, walking is easy, but you can make it a bit challenging by speeding it up, pumping your arms, and walking up the hills.
Do the exercise you enjoy: There are various aerobic exercises and you should choose the one that you enjoy, or rather something you could tolerate. If you don’t like gym workouts, don’t force yourself just because your friends or family members are into it. Instead, jog, walk or go biking and you’ll keep fit as you enjoy outdoor scenery. If you’d want to make new friends, consider walking or jogging with friends around your neighborhood or join your favorite sports and your body will benefit just like the person who goes to the gym.
Choose something that will fit your weekly schedule: An exercise program is a commitment that requires discipline in order for it to be effective. Aerobic exercise should be done three days a week and if you wish to start up and experience the benefits it’s associated with, you should do the exercise as recommended and not less. Therefore, choose an activity that will be convenient for you to do constantly until it becomes a habit.
Be flexible: Doing the same thing over and over again leads to boredom, and exercise is no exception. Fortunately, cardio exercise allows you to choose any activity as long as it can raise your heart rate. This means that it’s not mandatory to force your body into doing the same workout every week or every workout session, as you can change and do the ones you are flexible with.
Keep the activity simple: When starting a cardiovascular fitness routine, people are confused about what to start with and how long it should take. What you need to understand is that your body is not used to exercise and as experts recommend, start with basic then advance as your body adjusts.
For instance, allocate at least 20 minutes of your time on three different days a week and choose something you’ll be comfortable doing, such as walking, jogging, running, or vigorous yard work. Make it a habit and later work on your intensity and time.
There are various forms of exercises but what makes cardiovascular fitness different is that it enhances the ability of the lungs and heart to supply blood rich in oxygen to the working muscles.
It also enhances the ability of the muscles to use this oxygen to provide enough energy for movement. Aerobic exercise has tremendous benefits to the body as it improves cardiovascular health, promotes the health of the brain, improves fitness, controls weight, has social benefits, improves muscle and bone health, regulates diabetes, eases depression, decrease the risk of chronic disease, helps you to sleep soundly, boost sex life, promotes a glowing skin, its affordable and safe for people of all age group, reduces the risk of falls,
Different Types of Diets to Help you Lose Weight and Get Back in Shape
How to Start a Diet and Stick to It
Starting and sticking to a healthy diet can be useful for healthy weight loss, increased body energy, and general health improvement.
Eating healthy can improve your mental health and boost your immunity. Adopting and maintaining a healthy diet can be a challenging process, but there are various ways through which you can overcome such challenges.
In this post, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to start a diet and stick to it.
Create a Game Plan and Follow It
Making concrete plans and goals for your diet can help in keeping you motivated. Once you have a game plan in place, do as much as you can to stick to it throughout the planned period or until you achieve your goal.
Consider the types of healthy foods accessible to you, and then develop a healthy and practical eating plan. Make sure to include only foods you enjoy. Unprocessed foods such as fruits, veggies, and nuts are great for dieting. They have a high ability to satisfy, and they are low on calories.
Your game plan should involve gradually cutting down on the unhealthy foods you have been consuming while adopting healthier meals. Your plan should be flexible enough to allow the introduction of new healthy foods.
Changing diet ought to be done slowly but gradually. Don’t attempt to overhaul your entire diet within a week as this may lead to failure.
Avoid having general plans and goals, but rather make them as specific as you can. For instance, having “lose weight” as a goal is too general.
Instead, create a specific diet plan and a specific goal such as ‘to lose 30 pounds in 9 months. Working with specifics is likely to make you more motivated.
First, set realistic goals about what you want to achieve, e.g., lose 20 pounds within six months. Having an end-date that is specific and significant to you can be an additional motivation. For instance, your end-date can be your wedding day, your birthday or the start of a new year.
Understanding where you currently stand is an important factor. You may seek the services of a fitness trainer so that you get a fitness assessment.
This will help you understand your starting point which you can use as a reference point to gauge your progress. The fitness assessment may involve taking measurements such as waist and hips.
Have a concrete plan for each week. For instance, you could have a figure for how much weight you want to shed in a week. Set a day when to weigh yourself. Avoid weighing yourself every single day because it could lead to an obsession with your weight.
Keep a log of what you ate and how you have progressed with your body goals – this helps with sticking to the plan. However, ensure that you don’t obsess with the figures and with every single thing you eat.
You may also record your dieting thoughts in a dairy, analyzing what worked for you and what failed. Doing this helps to keep in touch with your inner self.
Have realistic expectations so as to remain motivated and avoid frustrations. This way you are more likely to stick to a healthy diet.
Stay Mentally Strong: Metal strength is perhaps the most crucial factor for success in dieting. As you probably already know, sticking to a diet is challenging, and sometimes it is just mentally overwhelming. You may feel like you are constantly working against what your mind is telling you to do.
In case of a slip-up, which happens quite often, remembering why you are dieting helps a lot. Most people start dieting for fitness and health purposes. Remind yourself what your goals are and why you are determined to stick to the dieting plan. Having a mental image of where you want to be could be helpful.
When you feel like giving up, reading motivational quotes and watching motivational videos can help overcome the feeling. You can also have some of your favorite motivational quotes stuck on your computer or work desk. This can help in keeping you focused on why you are dieting.
If you were once at your desired weight, you could stick a picture of yourself during that period on your fridge or desk.
Have a list of the reasons for your dieting. This list should be readily accessible for reading when you feel overwhelmed. You can list them on an index card and keep it in your wallet or purse. You can also keep a picture or a screenshot of this list on your phone.
Reward Yourself for your Progress: Sticking to a diet is mentally challenging, and that is why it is good to pat yourself in the back when you make progress. Rewarding yourself for what you have accomplished so far keeps you motivated to stick to your diet.
Set up a reward system based on how far you’ve gone towards your goal. You could reward yourself with clothes or treating yourself to a massage or pedicure.
If you succeed in sticking to a healthy diet all through the week, consider rewarding yourself on the weekend. Your rewards don’t necessarily have to be food.
Also, reminding yourself of the progress you have made so far is a great mental reward. It keeps you motivated and helps achieve happiness, which in turn helps with sticking to a diet.
Don’t Diet Alone: Having a dieting partner can make the process much easier. Having people around you that you can share your dieting success and challenges with can also be helpful.
Such people can be a support system, and they can go a long way in encouraging you to stick to your diet. When the going gets tough, supportive people can come in handy in incredible ways.
If you know someone else that’s already dieting, or that could start dieting, approach them and see whether they can be your diet buddy. Sharing diet tips and motivating each other can be beneficial. You may also plan your meals with your diet buddy.
Join offline and online groups of people that are also on a diet. Knowing that you are not alone in the dieting journey can be encouraging. Also, such platforms can be a rich source of tips and new ideas that could make dieting easier and more effective.
Confide in someone that is close to you about your dieting plan, goals and challenges. Seek their emotional support when you are facing difficulties with your dieting. Let them know how important your dieting is to you so that they take it seriously.
Avoid an “All or Nothing” Approach to your Dieting: An ‘all or nothing’ approach is a sure way to failure in your dieting endeavors. If you slip up and eat an unhealthy snack, don’t consider your day ruined - many have done this and gone ahead to overindulge in unhealthy foods. This is a bad mindset that you should avoid.
If you slip up, put the past behind you and focus on your future decision. An unhealthy snack at a party is not reason enough to throw it all away for the day.
Don’t be a perfectionist with your dieting. It is virtually impossible to be a perfectionist as most people do make mistakes from time to time. Your task is to avoid making mistakes, but when they happen, let it go and focus on your goal.
A few slip ups will not ruin your diet goals, as long as you stick to your diet as much as you can.
Avoid labeling days as good or bad depending on how you performed with your diet plans. This may lead to frustration and loss of motivation. Instead, watch what you eat in the present.
Stick to your Diet While Traveling: Traveling can pose a challenge to a healthy diet because you are in a new environment, but there are ways of dealing with this difficulty. Sticking to a healthy diet while traveling is achievable.
Before you start traveling, learn about the restaurants and food stores in the area you are traveling to. Consider packing and carrying some non-perishable healthy foods. Commit yourself to stick to your diet for most of the trip.
Practice Mindful Eating: Eating mindfully can increase your chances of success with your diet. Eating mindfully means enjoying your food in the moment and appreciating its tastiness and nourishing effect. Don’t turn food and eating into a means to an end.
Instead, focus on enjoying your food and the process of eating in the moment. This can be very helpful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and creating sustainable behavioral changes.
Mindful eating can be instrumental in developing an improved relationship with food. It can also help to reduce instances of overindulgence.
Respect the Learning Curve: You should realize that making significant changes to your eating habits usually takes time. Don’t be frustrated if sticking to your diet takes much longer than you initially expected. Instead, endeavor to attain higher levels of focus and motivation. With time, sticking to a healthy diet becomes more natural.
Eat three meals a day: Skipping meals makes you feel hungry and lethargic , which could lead to a loss of motivation. Prioritize on foods such as oats for breakfast because they keep you satisfied for longer periods, therefore reducing the desire for unhealthy snacks before lunch. Have your dinner as soon as you get home to avoid a pig out before the main meal.
Note that breakfast is a very important meal in your dieting. Skipping breakfast makes you more likely to overeat during lunch and dinner.
If you slip up with your dieting on one day, don’t skip meals the following day, as this is likely to make you lose track even more.
Plan for your three meals well ahead of time, especially if you are a busy person. Proper planning can help you stick to your diet.
Remove the bulk of unhealthy foods from the house: Reducing the unhealthy foods in the house makes it less likely to consume them. You don’t necessarily have to get rid of everything in your fridge; the point is to eliminate the excesses. You can give away the food or have family members that aren’t on a diet eat them.
Most foods are only unhealthy if consumed in excessive quantities. For instance, a bowl of peanut butter could be unhealthy, but a spoonful of peanut butter is healthy.
You may also decide to face out the unhealthy foods in your house by only buying healthy foods going forward. When going shopping, it would help if you made a shopping list of the healthy foods you want to buy, and make sure you adhere to the shopping list. By not adding any unhealthy foods, the reserves of what is already in your house will get depleted with time.
If possible, substitute the unhealthy foods you have been consuming with healthy alternatives. For instance, you can face out ice cream and have it replaced with yogurt or fruit popsicles. Keep healthy snacks in your home and get rid of the unhealthy ones.
Stick to the diet when you're out: When heading out for a night, don’t adopt the mentality that you can drop your diet and then resume the next day. Such a mindset will likely be detrimental to your dieting endeavors.
It is good to acknowledge that going out exposes you to temptations of breaking your diet rules, but you don't have to fall into these mind traps.
When going out to a party, ensure that you have a solid, healthy meal before heading out. Doing so will help overcome the temptation of consuming too much of the unhealthy snacks going around in the party.
The point here is that you are less likely to eat much when you are already full. Take a meal that will keep you full for a longer period.
Carry healthy snacks with you if that is practical. For instance, if you are heading out for a movie night, you could carry healthy snacks such as grapes or a bag of almonds. This will help you to avoid unhealthy snacks in the movie theater successfully.
If you are out for dinner where a variety of foods are on offer, always go with the healthiest of the options. Check the menu carefully to identify the healthier items. You may be surprised how much healthy choices you can get while eating out. Also, if there is a wide range of snacks on offer, prioritize the healthy ones over the unhealthy ones.
Eat at home as much as possible: Eating at home is a very effective way of avoiding temptations. While at home, you are pretty much in control of everything – you have control over what food you cook and how you cook it. This may not be the case when you are eating out – you have less control over the healthy foods availed to you. There are various ways of making the most out of eating at home.
Becoming a better cook can be very helpful in your dieting. When you develop a love for cooking, you are likely to cook more at home because you will feel motivated to do so. You are also likely to cook better and tastier food - this will make you enjoy your healthy foods more.
With better cooking skills you will be able to find and try new healthy recipes, which can lead to a wider variety of healthy meals at home – you are more likely to stick to a healthy diet if you have a variety of healthy options to choose from.
Instead of going out, consider inviting your friends to eat in at your home. Once you become a great cook, your friends will be more willing to accept your offer of staying in the house and cook instead of heading out. With time, you all will realize that it is a more intimate way of eating healthier food. It is also cost-effective.
If you can't have your lunch at home, consider packing and carrying lunch to work. Doing this will help you to avoid junk food or skipping a meal.
Not Punishing Yourself
Eat what you love: A healthy diet does not have to be a diet that you dislike. There is a wide variety of healthy foods you can choose from. It is important that you choose what you enjoy eating. By doing so, you are more likely to stick to your diet. Eating foods that you don’t like is demotivating and difficult.
Be keen on trying out different recipes as you may come across more recipes that you love. Being on a healthy diet should involve discovering new and healthier foods, rather than struggling with foods that you dislike.
To discover tasty and healthy foods, consider checking out your grocery store for new fruits and vegetables. Try introducing new fruits and vegetables in your recipes on a regular basis. Find ways of including these new ingredients in different delicious recipes.
Discover the foods you dislike and avoid them. There is no point in forcing yourself to eat a particular type of food while there are so many suitable options. Eating should be a pleasant process; keep it that way. If you can’t stand the taste of a particular type of food or ingredient, steer clear of it.
Find new ways of creating different recipes from your favorite ingredients. Doing this will avail even more suitable food options for you.
Develop a workout routine: Adopting a workout routine can help you stick to a healthy diet. Find a workout that is most suitable for you and that you enjoy, so that you won't have to struggle doing it. Your workout routine doesn’t have to be intense, it just needs to be adequate.
Don’t go hungry: Allowing yourself to go hungry exposes you to the risk of indulging in unhealthy foods. When you are hungry, you are likely to find any food appealing even when it's unhealthy.
Hunger is a recipe for bad decisions in regard to dieting. Being hungry also makes you feel demotivated to sticking to your diet.
In between meals, ensure that you have a healthy snack every few hours. Avoid staying for many hours without eating anything.
If possible, carry healthy snacks with you when heading out. This helps with avoiding unhealthy snacks.
If you realize that your meal will be late, get yourself a snack so that you don’t go hungry while waiting.
Do not starve yourself. Make sure that your calorie intake is sufficient. It is important to note that your body consumes a lot of energy while performing basic functions. You ought to provide it with enough calories for enough energy.
Check the level of calorie intake that is suitable for your body size, and make sure that you do not go below this level. Lack of sufficient energy will make you sluggish, and it can expose you to other serious health risks.
Indulge once in a while: To avoid feeling trapped in your new healthy diet, consider having your favorite non-healthy snack once in a while. Be careful with the indulgence to avoid making it a routine. Avoid getting into a vicious spiral with these non-healthy snacks. Also, indulge lightly – don’t overdo it.
Indulging kills the cravings and helps you to stay focused on your diet. If your friends are heading out for a meal, this would be a suitable time to indulge a little bit while you enjoy their company. Once you have the craving out of the way, resume your diet until the next indulgence time.
Adopting and sustaining a healthy diet may be a challenging issue, but it can be done successfully. Success in dieting requires mental strength, and strategic planning and execution. This guide has outlined various strategies that can help you start a healthy diet and stick to it.
How to Eliminate Sugar From your Diet
That excess sugar in the diet is detrimental to the body and the overall health of humans is certainly not in doubt.
From high blood pressure to diabetes to inflammations to teeth decay, the sum total risks of excessive intake of sugar is endless.
It is for these reasons that you definitely want to eliminate all sugar from your diet if you can. We are here to help you out.
We have identified and are going to explain some of the top strategies you might employ to achieve this noble objective.
Adequate sleep is absolutely essential if you ever hope to keep the sugar levels in your blood to manageable levels. Inadequate sleep has been observed to trigger more foods and with it, more calories and sugars.
By staying awake for a prolonged duration of time, you also get to increase the likelihood of taking in more food than when you sleep. You are advised to sleep for no less than eight hours on a typical day.
Avoid Shopping when you are Hungry
When people are hungry, they tend to be led by their emotions rather than logic. It is under such circumstances that they tend to make decisions which may not necessarily reflect their best interest. You should avoid this trap by refraining from shopping when you are hungry.
You do not want to fill your basket with less healthy foods and too much food you would generally do without. Instead, go for shopping when you are full and healthy.
Get rid of All Sugar in your House
Move on now to get rid of all the sugar in the house. The reason here is that you will most likely eat the sugar you keep in the house even if you do not like those kinds of foods anyway. Skim your pantry, fridge, cabinets, and shelves to achieve this.
While at it, be sure not to leave any stone unturned. Remove the table sugar, cakes, sweetened milk, soda, snacks and any other ‘safe food’ which might contain sugar in them.
Switch to Natural Sweeteners
Even after getting rid of all sugars, you will still need to take in some sweeteners somehow. You have the natural sweeteners for your taking. They contain low calories and are hence less likely to inflict on you the dangers of the ordinary artificial sugars.
Some of the alternatives to consider leveraging are raw honey, stevia herb, blackstrap honey, real maple syrup, Erythritol, Xylitol, Yacon Syrup, and coconut sugar. You will still obtain the same level of satisfaction, their natural nature notwithstanding.
Take in More Protein and Fat
One of the reasons why many people resort to sugar is due to insufficient fat and protein in the diet. The sugar they take is largely intended to cater for the shortfall of these two vital ingredients. To counter this problem, it is a wise idea to take in more protein and fat in the diet.
Proteins reduce cravings which sees to it that you eat less. Fat, on the other hand, contains plenty of energy. By taking it in sufficient amounts, you will not develop the feeling of hunger every quite often and will subsequently eat less.
Read the Labels Carefully
Before purchasing any canned or processed foods, be sure to read the labels carefully. This is because some food companies have clever ways of concealing sugar in their processed foods.
Check out the list of ingredients and their corresponding percentage compositions. Some of the terms to watch out for and avoid at all costs are:
Refrain from Taking Breakfast Foods which Contain High Sugar Levels
The breakfast cereals are generally designed to be healthy. With regards to this, they generally comprise less fat and sugar. However, some unscrupulous food processors do sneak in some sugar in them. The breakfast cereals are by far the worst affected by this particular issue.
It is therefore in your best interest to shy away from such kinds of foods. Switch instead to these breakfast options which contain low-sugar levels:
Take Note of the So-called ‘Healthy’ Processed Snacks
Most of the snacks which are considered to be healthy like the granola bars, dried fruits, and protein bars may also contain high sugar levels.
You should therefore not take it for granted that they are healthy to consume. Apart from scrutinizing the nutritional information, you may also want to try out other alternatives like:
Loom out for Any Sugar in your Canned Foods
Some foods which ordinarily would contain no sugar may, in fact, be enriched using some sugar. Those that are preserved using syrup are by far the worst affected. The same also applies to those which contain some sugar in the ingredient list.
To get round this issue, settle only for those that are clearly labeled “no sugar added,” or “in own juice.” Alternatively, if you buy fruits and vegetables that are canned and also contain some added sugars, rinse them thoroughly in water before cooking.
Eat Only Whole Foods
Whole foods are those which have hardly been processed and as such, contain almost no additives, preservatives and other artificial substances.
They are by far the best kinds of foods to consume as they will hardly disparage or compromise your health in any shape or form.
Some examples of whole foods are lean steak, raw nuts, fruits, vegetables, baked potatoes, pears, brown bread, and brown rice. They are also rich in fiber and will, therefore, keep you full for longer. That way, you will not see the need to take in more food every now and then.
Consume Plenty of Full-fat Foods
Full-fat foods are those which contain all of the fat they originally have with none removed. Such kinds of foods have been noted to contain less sugar than their counterparts which have some of the fat removed. Consuming them regularly is, therefore, a sure way of reducing your intake of sugar.
Some of the foods you might want to try out are avocados, cheese, dark chocolates, whole eggs, fatty fish, nuts, chia seeds, extra virgin olive oil, coconut, coconut oil, and full-fat yogurt.
Desist from Taking Sauces which Contain High Sugar Levels
Sauces are also not spared in the ongoing craze to add more sugar to processed foods. Indeed, some sauces like sweet chili sauces, barbecue sauce, and ketchup are particularly vulnerable to this particular problem.
Apart from steering clear of them, you also want to try out a couple of fresh sauces. Below are some examples to consider using instead of the processed sauces above:
Avoid Desserts that are Loaded with Sugars
At the end of your meal, you definitely always want to take some desserts. You should yet again be careful to avoid those desserts which contain high levels of sugar. Watch out particularly for ice cream, doughnuts, pies, and cakes as they contain the highest levels of sugar. Opt instead for the following:
Reduce the Intake of Sugar-filled Drinks
As part of your attempt to eliminate sugar from your diet, consider also reducing your intake of sugar-filled drinks. They too infuse plenty of sugar in your body and bloodstream. The sodas, energy drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks are particularly a ‘no-go zone.’
Even some supposedly ‘healthy drinks’ like fruit juices and smoothies may contain some high sugar levels. Try out the following alternatives to go about this issue:
Take a Breather
While undertaking this therapy, you might also want to take a breather. Find a quiet and isolated spot to retreat to. Such an initiative will reduce your cravings and prevent you from getting tempted to eat more. In the long run, you will also take in less sugar in your body.
Breathers are also great in that they allow your body to break the ingredients more effectively than you would in a congested and squeezed environment.
Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetable
Considering that cravings are for a large part unavoidable, you just have to prepare for them somehow. Perhaps one of the best ways to handle the cravings is to take in plenty of fruits and vegetables. Stick only to those which are low in sugars and are less likely to raise your blood sugar levels.
Some of the ones to give a topmost priority are berries, oranges, avocados, pineapples, and pawpaw. While confronted with these cravings, eat; not drink the fruits. It is only then that your urge to eat will be effectively suppressed.
Drink Plenty of Water
Needless to say, it is important that you incorporate plenty of water into your diet regime. The benefits of drinking clean water are too many to be completely enumerated. It flushes out excess toxins, aids in the excretion of unwanted substances, cools your body and aids in the breakdown of complex sugars.
You should take in no less than two liters of water each day. Even in the extremely cold winter months, struggle to take in the same amount but in warm rather than cold form.
Be Wary of the Sugars in Disguise
Some foods are supposedly safe under normal circumstances. However, in the course of their preparations, they are bound to be added some sugars. Pasta, bagels and whole wheat baking flours and bread are some of these kinds of foods.
Be wary of such kinds of foods. You may wish to tone down your consumption of them or completely eliminate them from your diet altogether. Try those completely natural or unprocessed forms as they are more likely to be free of these sugars.
Do not Switch to Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners, just like the ordinary table sugar, also contains high amounts of sucrose. Switching to them is thus to some extent an exercise in futility. The reason here is that they will do almost nothing to alter your desire for sweets.
Other than that, they too will intensify your cravings besides bringing in plenty of sucrose in your body. Consuming them for a prolonged duration of time will hence predispose you to the common dangers of taking in more table sugar.
Find Out the Root Cause of your Crave for Sugar
In many times, your craving for sugar is normally as a result of some inherent emotional or even health problems. It may not necessarily be the result of a shortfall in your dietary needs.
It is, therefore, a great idea to investigate the root causes of your cravings for sugar as a way of getting round this issue completely. By so doing, you will be able to root out the problem rather than respond only to the signs and consequences.
Exercises aid in the burning of fat, digestion, and breakdown of sugars. You should, therefore, incorporate exercising in your sugar reduction campaign. Moreover, by exercising, you also get to distract your mind from the temptation of eating too much or more frequently.
Jogging, running, walking, strolling, press-ups, squats, and rope jumps are some of the exercises you might want to try out. As you go about the business of exercising, drink plenty of water too to get rid of unwanted toxins from your body.
Jogging, running, walking, strolling, press-ups, squats, and rope jumps are some of the exercises you might want to try out. As you go about the business of exercising, drink plenty of water too to get rid of unwanted toxins from your body.
Consider Taking in Multivitamin and Mineral Supplements
Even though this is strongly misadvised, you might also want to consider taking in sufficient amounts of mineral supplements and multivitamins. They will furnish your body with essential nutrients which in turn will reduce the cravings and the need to take in more food.
Magnesium, Vitamin B3, and chromium are some of the nutrients which must never miss in your diet. They have the ability to improve blood sugar and keep the same to manageable levels.
Body cleansing is the practice of ridding the body of toxins which do accumulate in the body over a prolonged duration of time. If left in the body, they do pose some long-term effects on the health of the individual concerned.
Cleansing also resets the body to its ‘factory settings’ and kills the desire to take in more sugar. This, in turn, leads to a comparatively low intake of sugar in the diet.
When you skip a meal, your blood sugar level drops which induce a sense of hunger. This arrangement triggers the craving for sweets and other sugary snacks. The only way to reverse this trend is to eat on a regular basis.
Such a plan suppresses the likelihood of cravings arising and in turn, prevents the temptation of taking in more sugar in your diet. Moreover, you are also more likely to eat healthy by eating regularly. This guarantees you of other long-term health benefits.
From the foregoing discussions, it is quite clear that eliminating sugar from the diet is no mean feat. It requires great patience, strict disciplines, and the incorporation of many factors. This is a battle you want to enlist a qualified healthcare practitioner to help you fight. Best of luck in your next attempt to rid your diet of excess sugar.
How Does the Military Diet Work, Is It Safe and How to Get Started?
Every day on the internet there are millions of people worldwide looking for quick ways to lose weight. The search results speak for themselves.
How do I lose weight in a short time, quick weight loss, meal plan for fast weight loss, the list goes on. The Military Diet is one that will almost always show up near the top of the list and for good reason!
This weight loss regime is touted by anybody who wants to lose weight without exercising and in a very short time with little or nearly no effort.
The question is, does it really work. Here we will look at what the Military Diet can and cannot do for anybody looking to shed weight at lightning speed.
The Military Diet is a popular diet which claims that you can lose weight fast by eating an extremely low-calorie diet.
This may be true but keeping it off may be quite difficult. Often diets like the Military Diet are known as fad diets and could possibly lead you to gaining more weight than you had originally lost.
It is based very loosely around intermittent fasting which is not necessarily a bad thing if done correctly.
Despite its name, the Military Diet does not have anything to do with the military and as stated by experts, does not have the nutrition or balance required that leads to good military performance.
It has been stated that the diet in the military is totally opposite to this diet. They eat nutritional and often calorie packed meals due to the nature of their job.
This diet is not for the faint hearted, it gets tough and requires anybody undertaking it to have a lot of persistence. Such a restrictive diet has numerous risks associated with it and we will look at this more in depth further down the page.
How Does the Military Diet Work?
The calorific intake on the Military Diet is dramatically reduced and it is a very strict, short term weight loss plan. It is claimed that you can lose 10 lbs in one week.
For a three-day period, you stick to the restrictions then you have a four day "rest period" from the diet. There have been reports of people doing this diet 3 days on and 4 days off for a complete month and losing up to 30 lbs. This can be detrimental to your health, with dietitians and nutritionists strongly advising against it.
During this diet, weight loss is not due to the number of calories burned but rather calorie deficits which are caused by severely restricting the foods that you eat. Between 1000 and 1400 calories is the intake recommended by the Military Diet website for the first 3 days.
Even over the 4 days, you have off, you are still advised to eat only 1500 calories or less. Water loss is also one of the biggest causes of losing weight.
Supporters of the diet claim 3 days on, and 4 days off will effectively help with weight loss while at the same time not messing about with your metabolism. There is no promise that you will not give in to cravings during the three days though!
In saying all of the above, there have been some very positive results with people who did need to lose weight fast, not for vanity but for health reasons.
Sometimes it is essential that people get their weight down before undergoing surgical procedures or can begin a certain exercise program.
There are a lot of people who claim this diet have worked wonders for them and swear by it. Some have lost weight and kept it off, others have discovered a whole new way of living by better food choices and exercise.
There are others who have not been so happy with it. They either felt unwell during the dieting, with others reporting that they felt unwell even during their four days off. Some people said they gained weight back very fast and even put on much more weight that they had actually lost.
Where Did the Military Diet Originate?
When you look for the Military Diet on the internet, you will find tips, pictures and a detailed diet plan. All the normal information is there that people look for when researching something, FAQ, a blog, substitutions, a calorie counter and reviews.
However, the homepage of the Military Diet does not have a nutritionist, expert or author giving any credibility to this diet.
This is concerning because a diet plan needs to have the support of somebody who is credible. This could be an organisation, resource or person. Having nothing or nobody to vouch for what they are putting on the site does not inspire confidence.
CNN tried to call the number provided and email the address given but there was no response from either of these, not a good start at all and immediately raises red flags.
Why Do People Try the Military Diet?
It is common for people to try this diet as it is touted as the “secret diet of supermodels and celebrities”. Seeing all the beautiful people looking trim and fantastic drives people to try and reach this often-unattainable status.
Also known as the grapefruit diet, the Mayo Clinic Diet, American Heart Association Diet, the Birmingham Hospital Diet and the Kaiser Diet, the Military Diet is exactly the same but with nobody reputable backing it and none of the other names above support it!
Many of the celebrities who tout this diet have personal chefs, personal trainers and do not even need to worry about if they are getting the correct calories or nutrition due to somebody else organizing that for them. Having a nutritionist on hand is another plus!
Should You Try the Military Diet?
If you already have health conditions such as people with high cholesterol, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes or are a pregnant woman, you need to speak to your doctor. This diet is very restrictive and could be dangerous.
It is claimed that this diet is a weight loss plan for people who need to lose weight quickly. Not everybody can fight the hunger pangs or deal with the low energy which is part and parcel of such a low-calorie diet.
There is an upside to the Military Diet. Because you are not eating processed foods (although not too how the hot dogs or ice cream come into this) or taking supplements and you are eating only real foods, it is quite affordable.
This diet is not seen as sustainable or realistic due to eating a lot more calories once the low-calorie period has finished; meaning gaining back the weight that has been lost. For people over 50 years of age, the Military diet could be dangerous due to the low calorific intake.
If you are going to start this diet, it would be a good idea not to do it when you have plans to go out to a dinner party or a restaurant as it is such a limiting diet. On the four off days, you may be able to work around it but other than that it is a no-no.
Benefits and Risks
When a person restricts themselves from certain food, there is a risk that you will miss out on essential nutrients which often can't be replaced by a multivitamin.
Binge eating due to having been restricted to such an extreme is one of the short-term risks that are associated with this diet. Constipation is also something else that many people suffer from due to the restriction of certain foods.
Possibly, one of the biggest benefits is weight loss, due to a lot of countries in the world having a massive obesity issue.
Studies show that people who began with a loss of 15-25 percent of their body weight within six months of starting the diet, could possibly maintain a 5 percent weight loss over 4 years.
The issue though is that the lack of exercise involved in the Military Diet as well as lifestyle could make it difficult to keep any of the weight off. There would need to be lifestyle and dietary changes for this to be of any use.
The Military Diet Shopping List
Let's take a look at what needs to be your shopping list if you are planning on following the Military Diet Plan for three days.
Apparently, there are reasons for each of these foods, they are listed below.
Acceptable and Unacceptable Food
Here we take a look at what foods are considered acceptable and unacceptable while undergoing the Military Diet.
Even though this goes against normal weight loss advice, low in fibre foods are on the recommended list. To be able to stay full for longer, high fibre foods need to be consumed. The coffee and tea which are listed must both be caffeinated. Non-caffeine drinkers may have issues here.
An Example of a Three-Day Military Diet Plan
Note that one cup of broccoli is included and a valuable source of insoluble fiber but nowhere near enough.
To achieve the results that the diet claims, complete adherence is recommended. This diet is like a bank in the sense that you can “borrow” food from another meal if you feel like you need a snack but you will be paying back the bank by missing out at that particular meals.
Can You Substitute Food for Vegetarians or Vegans?
For those who have food allergies, are vegan or vegetarian or have other dietary requirements, anything on this meal plan is able to be replaced by food with a calorie count similar to the one being replaced, as long as it provides the same nutrients.
Two-thirds of a cup of tofu will replace half a cup of tuna and for breakfast, one cup of soy milk is a great substitute for egg. Cottage cheese substitutes are 15 to 20 almonds.
They are the same calorific and nutrient value as eating a slice of cheddar cheese. Sunflower or almond butter is an amazing substitute for peanut butter when you are enjoying your slice of toast on day one.
What Dangers Are There in The Military Diet?
There are dangers involved with losing weight so rapidly. You could possibly experience any or all of the below:
What Precautions Should You Take During the Military Diet?
Many people use this diet for a special event. This will surely lead to binge eating and weight gain. To lose weight safely and keep it off, it is important to make lifestyle and dietary changes. Fad diets put you at risk of regaining all the weight you have lost plus a lot more.
Keep up your water intake, you will be tired, and water helps! Multivitamins can help but they do not make up for what you are missing out on by following this diet.
If at any time you feel unwell, stop the diet. Contact your medical professional if you have any concerns at all.
What Do Experts Say About the Military Diet?
Experts are calling it “crazy”, and “ridiculous” which in itself should be a red flag. Dietitians are there to help people with their diet, but this is one they would not recommend!
You are sending your body into starvation mode, storing your calories, by what is essentially fasting. Your body then slows down your metabolism but when you start eating normally again you gain back the weight and more.
On this diet, you also burn minimal fat but lose water weight and lose muscle which is not a good thing!
There are medical professionals who have called it dangerous, particularly when it comes to teenagers who are still developing mentally and physically.
The lack of nutritional value and calories in this diet can be detrimental to young people. Of course, they all want to look like their favorite person off YouTube, but chances are they never will!
Adolescents need to be guided if they are worried about their weight, this could be due to peer pressure more than anything else. They need to know that everybody is different and are all amazing just as they are.
If there is a weight problem, helping them with a structured routine, healthy diet and exercise is what needs to be done. Yes, it sounds easy and no, it definitely isn’t, especially with moody teenagers.
If there are concerns, a visit to the doctor may be called for. There have been cases where 3 days of this diet have turned into much longer and have had devastating consequences.
The Military Diet is a fad that that is highly restrictive and dangerously low in calorific value. Even though it is stated that there are no processed foods, many can be seen in the meal plan.
Hot dogs and ice cream are sugary and processed and are totally deficient of any of the minerals and vitamins that are needed to keep us healthy.
There is a growing consensus that the Military diet can be a factor in diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, gallstones and even cancer.
There is no scientific evidence that this diet can boost your metabolism and has the potential to be dangerous as well as totally unsustainable. There is also the chance of eating disorders due to the nature of this diet.
Everybody is different and what works for one person does not work for another. Fad diets are not the best way to lose weight. There needs to be a change in physical activity, switching to a healthy, more plant-based diet and regular exercise to see the weight drop off and stay off.
People always want to lose weight and look their best, which is the most natural thing in the world. The only way to do this is to change your eating lifestyle and exercise habits.
There is no use in doing the Military Diet if after a week you have gained more weight than you have lost. It is all great to lose 10 lb and look great but when you gain it back, things can then become a vicious cycle.
There is a very real chance of eating disorders due to the nature of the diet. This can be exacerbated by the fact that everywhere you look in the media today, whether it is social media or mainstream media, there are beautiful, slim people everywhere. It pays to remember that it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice (as well as filters) to stay looking like that.
To look and feel your best, it cannot be repeated enough that a healthy lifestyle is key as is a good dose of self-confidence.
There is no denying the Military Diet is extremely useful in some cases such as in a medical situation when a patient needs to lose weight quickly before an operation.
There are other times that Military Diet may be helpful in giving somebody that boost that they need to make the lifestyle changes needed to lose weight the healthy way. There are pros and cons but unfortunately, there seem to be more cons.
Unfortunately, this diet screams fad diet and is an all-round bad idea. If you do choose to go ahead and give it a try, seek advice from your medical professional and listen to your body. If you experience anything that doesn't feel "right", go straight back to your doctor immediately.
What is Gluten Free Diet & Why is Gluten Bad?
here is virtually no limit to information in the media on foods, diets, and health. We are always hearing something new and different, and some information contradicts what we heard before.
While much of what we hear is hype, others are actually valid. If you are puzzling over the question "What is gluten free diet & why is gluten bad?" some facts can help you make smart decisions for your own health.
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a natural protein found in certain seeds. While it is most often associated with wheat, this protein also exists in rye, barley, and triticale.
Some oats contain gluten, while others do not. Oats do not naturally contain gluten. When gluten is present, it is because the oats were grown too close to wheat, barley, or rye.
Some People Must Avoid Gluten
For some individuals, avoiding gluten is not simply a matter of personal choice. There are numerous disorders associated with gluten.
Depending on a person's specific condition, consuming gluten can have consequences ranging from minor and bothersome to symptoms that are actually life-threatening.
One category is autoimmune disorders. The most common example is celiac disease. Although it usually develops in early childhood, individuals of any age can develop it.
Affecting the gastrointestinal system, celiac disease can cause the abdomen to expand, chronic diarrhea, appetite loss, fatigue, and the inability to properly absorb nutrients from the diet. Children who have this disorder may not grow properly.
Gluten ataxia is a second example. It can destroy cells in the brain, and cause intestinal damage. Dermatitis herpetiformis is a third autoimmune disorder that can be caused by gluten. The itchy blisters can appear anywhere on the body.
A second category is non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Although it is not an autoimmune disorder, NCGS can cause a wide range of symptoms and complications. Bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, GERD, nausea, or mouth ulcers may occur.
A third category of disorders connected to gluten is food allergies. There are different types of food allergies, with health effects ranging from acute asthmatic reactions to skin rashes.
If you have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, your doctor should have advised you to avoid gluten. However, if you have been experiencing any of these symptoms, ask your doctor for diagnostic testing. You may have a condition that makes consuming gluten unwise or even dangerous, but are not yet aware of it.
Should Everyone Avoid Gluten?
With all the diet fads in the media, you may have heard gluten is bad for everyone and that you should eliminate it entirely from your diet.
Numerous studies have shown there may be a link between gluten and a variety of health issues, even in people who do not have disorders directly related to gluten.
Studies show gluten may increase the risk of both Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes, autoimmune liver disease, fibromyalgia, inflammation in the body, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune thyroid disorders, and autoimmune skin conditions. For these reasons, parents are often advised to keep gluten out of children's diets even during infancy.
The effects of gluten on the brain may increase the risk of mental health issues in some people. Anxiety, depression, and even mood disorders may be caused or worsened by the compounds in wheat gluten.
Obesity carries its own health risks. Even if you do not weigh enough to be classified as obese, extra pounds and body fat can also increase your risk of serious health problems. If you have difficulty managing your weight, gluten in your diet may be the cause. It is another reason gluten is bad for you.
First, it has a negative effect on your blood sugar levels. While spikes and drops in blood sugar levels can result in fatigue, headaches, and other health issues, it can also cause hunger.
You do not have a normal sense of fullness after eating, and want to eat again not long after a meal. You are likely to consume more food, and more calories, if gluten has a place in your diet.
Second, foods containing gluten can actually be addictive. This is a special problem with wheat gluten. You should not be surprised if you cannot stop eating cookies after eating one, but have no trouble at all eating only one piece of fruit. It can be quite difficult to stop eating wheat gluten, because it can increase your appetite.
There is another factor to consider when you want to know why gluten is bad for you. Whether you lead a very active lifestyle, are rather sedentary, or somewhere in between, all people need energy for good health and an enjoyable life.
If you have had the habit of choosing foods with gluten, you are not obtaining the results you want and deserve. That burst of energy may be fast, but it will quickly drop away. You will be less energetic, and more tired, than you were before.
For healthy natural energy that lasts long enough to be useful, avoid all of those products containing gluten. The proteins in gluten are not beneficial, and may lead to health issues you do not want.
Instead, choose a healthier form of protein for natural energy. Examples can include some lean beef, poultry, fish, or whole eggs. You can have plenty of energy for a productive day without any of the complications caused by foods containing gluten.
As diet fads come and go, you may recall when whole wheat products were presented as ideal. When products contain gluten, there is no real difference between whole wheat and processed foods.
Whole wheat bread, for example, may seem healthy and natural, but it can be just as harmful as bread made from bleached, processed wheat. Even if you do not have a specific medical condition, consider a gluten free diet.
Is A Gluten Free Diet Healthy?
As there are so many complications associated with gluten, you may be wondering if you should eliminate it entirely. As you may have heard gluten provides certain nutrients and health benefits, you may think it is worthwhile to keep it in your diet.
Although there are indeed nutrients in gluten, and these nutrients are good for your health, it is still sensible to avoid it. You can obtain all the nutritional benefits without any of the complications by choosing other foods that provide the nutrients instead.
There is an important point to keep in mind when you are considering a gluten free diet. You may find many foods listed as gluten free that are not in their natural state. They are only gluten free because they have been processed and refined. Many essential nutrients and health benefits are lost in this process.
For the best results, choose foods that are naturally gluten free. Base your diet on lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and gluten free grains.
What Are The Health Benefits of A Gluten Free Diet?
Even if you do not have any health issues related to gluten, you can look forward to health benefits when you choose a gluten free diet. Better health can start when you stop eating foods containing gluten.
You can have healthier cholesterol. Gluten actually elevates cholesterol levels. You can have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. As gluten affects the blood vessels, a gluten free diet may decrease your risk of many different heart conditions.
You can have a healthier digestive system. You will be less likely to be bothered by diarrhea, constipation, gas, and bloating.
You will have more energy, and long-lasting energy with a gluten free diet. Equally important, your energy levels can be stable and consistent when you choose healthy forms of protein instead of gluten.
You can have a lower risk of diabetes, some cancers, and obesity. You can have better health even if you currently have certain medical issues.
Arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome are only two conditions that may improve with a gluten free diet. It will be much easier to lose unwanted weight, and keep your weight within ideal limits.
All of these direct benefits may be enough to convince you to eliminate gluten from your diet, but there are a number of other ways you can benefit from gluten free choices. Changes in your eating habits will also result in better health.
The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in gluten free foods can reduce your risk of many diseases and viruses. You can have better general health because you will not be eating processed foods. When you no longer eat gluten, you will be more likely to choose foods that are good for you.
For all these reasons, gluten free is a sensible choice. For a healthier body and a healthier lifestyle, consider the harmful effects of gluten and the benefits of a gluten free diet.
How To Start A Gluten Free Diet?
When you want a gluten free diet, you need to know what you are buying and what you are eating. You can ask questions in restaurants, but the best place to start is with labels on products you buy to consume at home.
Check all the products you currently have in your refrigerator, freezer, and cabinets, and take time to read labels when you shop for groceries. You may be surprised at the wide range of products that contain gluten.
One category covers most baked goods. Breads and rolls, cookies, cakes, pies, crackers, seasoned snack foods, and croutons almost always contain gluten. Snacks and treats with gluten are not limited to baked products. It is also found in many candies.
There are many products you might normally include in meals that have gluten, too. Vegetables with sauce, French fries, seasoned rice mixes, gravies, cereals, soy sauce, salad dressing, pasta, imitation seafood and imitation meats, soup, soup bases, processed meats, self-basting poultry, and matzo usually contain gluten. While some of these products can be found in gluten free varieties, plan to make significant changes in your diet.
You can successfully create and maintain a diet that is completely free of gluten. It starts with awareness of the foods you are choosing, and the willingness to make changes.
Good Health with A Gluten Free Diet
A healthy diet is a balanced diet, and you can create it with gluten free foods. You need grains and starches in your diet for fiber and other nutritive value. Some gluten free products in this category include tapioca, rice, quinoa, gluten free flours, cornmeal, flax, soy, and hominy.
You can also have beans and a wide range of other legumes. If you like oatmeal, be sure to choose products that are labeled gluten free. You have many options for incorporating these foods into your diet.
Be creative and take advantage of a wide range of recipes. From main dishes to side dishes, you can have tasty, nutritious meals without gluten.
In their natural state, all vegetables and fruits are gluten free. You only need to be concerned if they are prepared or served in other forms. Popular flavorings, dressings, and sauces often contain gluten.
As fresh fruits and vegetables are among the healthiest foods you can eat, it is definitely your best option. If fresh produce is out of season, or too expensive where you live, buy frozen fruits and vegetables that do not contain any additional ingredients.
Vegetables and fruits are naturally low in calories, too, so you can enjoy them whenever you wish even if you want to lose weight. They make excellent snacks as well as meals.
Meat, poultry, fish and other seafood are gluten free options for protein. However, these products are often prepared and served with additional ingredients that do contain gluten.
If you are accustomed to gravies or breading, it should not take long to appreciate these foods in their natural form. Plain meats, poultry, and fish are much healthier, and they are also delicious.
If you have always had gravy on your meat and breading on your fish, try the simple, plain alternative. You will not miss the gluten or the extra calories. You can also choose whole fresh eggs as a gluten free source of protein.
Most dairy products are gluten free but develop the habit of reading labels. Some yogurts and ice creams contain added gluten. Keep the same point in mind for non-dairy alternatives. Soy milk and other soy-based products should be labeled gluten free.
Nuts are naturally gluten free. Similar to other foods, there is only a problem when nuts are processed and contain additional ingredients.
Nuts can be a nice snack if you choose raw, natural nuts, instead of nuts that have been processed, roasted, or flavored. Brazil nuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, pecans, peanuts, and almonds have no gluten unless it has been added. Plain, unprocessed seeds can be good for snacks, too. Read the labels on packages of sunflower seeds, Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and any other seeds you enjoy as snacks.
Grains and other fiber, fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and dairy products are the foundations of a healthy, balanced diet. It is not extremely difficult to make sure the foods you eat do not contain gluten.
It is essential to read labels, though, because many foods you would not expect to contain gluten actually do. This includes foods that are otherwise healthy, such as some veggie burgers and some soy products. When you develop the habit of reading labels before purchasing food, you will know you are not eating anything that contains gluten.
Make A Gluten Free Diet Work for You
Whether you like plain food or variety, a gluten free diet can meet your personal preferences. Nearly all gluten free foods can be eaten plain.
You can also find many recipes online and in cookbooks. Every meal and snack you prepare at home can be tasty, nutritious, and gluten free.
To gain the most benefits, set a reasonable balance between preferences and trying new things. The healthiest diet in the world will not be useful if you force yourself to eat foods you truly dislike.
While you should be open to trying different foods, do not feel obligated to eat foods you hate. There are so many options that your meals can be a genuine pleasure.
There can be occasions when eating at home is not an option. This does not mean you must give up your gluten free diet.
When you dine out in restaurants, it should not be difficult to ask the waitress or cook for gluten free foods. As this diet is becoming quite popular, you may even see listings on the menu.
On other occasions, you can simply take food from home. If your workplace only offers vending machines, or a cafeteria with unhealthy food, do not feel embarrassed over taking your lunch to work in a brown bag or lunchbox. Food from home can even work in social settings.
If you plan to attend a party, or visit someone's home, you may not know in advance what will be on the menu. It should not bother you at all to take some small containers of gluten free foods. Your host or hostess will not be offended when you say you have decided to avoid gluten for health reasons.
Gluten free can be easy in recreational settings. If you are going to see a ballgame, ride your bike, or spend time at the gym, you do not need to wait and see what is available.
Some fresh fruit or vegetables, and a container of fresh juice will keep you satisfied while you have a good time. You can enjoy any activity, and not leave your gluten free diet behind.
It is always wise to talk to your doctor before making any major changes in your diet. Although gluten free is appropriate for most people, ask your doctor's opinion.
He may advise you to take dietary supplements to ensure you do not lack essential nutrients or have a different recommendation altogether.
Your doctor's advice is also important if you are considering a gluten free diet for others in your household. Whether you have small children, an elderly relative, or a family member who has a medical condition, ask your doctor's approval before eliminating gluten from their diets. In most cases it is suitable and beneficial, but only your physician knows for sure.
After you have obtained approval from your personal physician, you have two options for making a gluten free diet a part of your everyday life.
Unless your doctor has a specific recommendation, simply choose the option that suits you the best. The approach you take can make a difference when you want the diet to work for you.
One approach is to eliminate gluten totally and immediately. Some people find it easiest to take this "cold-turkey" approach. If this option does not appeal to you, and you feel you would miss certain foods too much, you have another option.
You can take a slow, steady approach, and eliminate gluten little by little. You can start by cutting out some foods containing gluten, and then cut out more and more foods that contain it. There is no right way to go gluten free, so choose whichever option works for you. It can be a positive experience, and you will love the results.
Dietary Changes for Your Health
You had been wondering "What is gluten free diet, and why is gluten bad?" You now have the answers to make an informed decision. While some people must avoid gluten due to serious health issues, a gluten free diet is best for almost everybody.
There is nothing in gluten that you actually need, and no real benefits to consuming it. As long as you have a balanced diet, there is no reason to eat gluten. You are better off without it. Even if you are thinking about foods you like, it is easy to find healthier alternatives.
A gluten free diet can be an exciting adventure. There are many new foods to try, and different versions of your favorite foods. Recipes for gluten free cooking are almost limitless.
When you start noticing health benefits and how good you feel, you will be happy with your decision. With your doctor's approval, your entire family can have these benefits, too.
Ketogenic Diet: A Beginner's Guide to Keto
Losing weight is an undertaking that a lot of people struggle with, this is because the mostly recommended method of losing weight; exercise, is unachievable for most of them.
. However, there is hope in a diet known as ketogenic diet commonly referred to as ‘keto’.
What Is a Ketogenic Diet and How to get started?
A ketogenic diet is a low-carb high-fat diet that reduces intake of carbohydrates and replaces it with fat. The reduced carbohydrates in the body place it in a metabolic state that is referred to as ketosis.
In this state, the body efficiently burns fat instead of carbohydrates and turns it into energy and the fat in the liver is turned into ketones that supply the brain with energy.
What are Ketones?
Ketones are molecules that are formed out of body and diet fat when the body is unable to extract glucose from the food you are eating.
Ketones are another source of fuel for the body that results in you going into ketosis which is a key mode of weight loss. You are said to be in ketosis when ketones are at 0.8 millimoles/l.
Types of Ketogenic Diets
Standard keto: this is where one eats less than 50g net carbs in a day; other take as little as 20g per day.
Cyclical keto: this involves few carbs in a day; at least 50g and high fat diet 5-6 days in a week. You can have more carbs on the seventh day; about 150g.
Targeted keto: this entails following the average keto diet but you eat more carbs about 30 minutes before engaging in high-intensity workout. The extra glucose in the extra carbs boosts performance where your body returns to ketosis after exercising. This is an ideal strategy if your energy is suffering during workouts.
Moderate keto: consists of high-fat diet with 100-150g net carbs daily. The diet is ideal for women as reduced carbs messes with hormonal function.
High protein keto: similar to a regular ketogenic diet but with more proteins
Can Ketogenic Diets Help You Lose Weight?
Ketogenic diets help in weight reduction. When the body is fed on more fats and less carbohydrates, you stop craving for sugar and experience less blood sugar swings thereby reducing your intake of the sugars.
When your body starts to run on ketones, it already has a constant supply of energy as body fat. Ketones control satiety and hunger hormones making you feel full and satisfied.
A study in Australia revealed that obese people can lose up to 15kg in a year when on a keto diet. Further research has shown that a ketogenic diet is above the popular low-fat diet as one can lose weight without necessarily tracking food intake or counting calories.
Cholesterol and triglyceride levels also improve when one is on the diet. Also, those on a keto diet lose 3 times more than those on the Diabetes UK recommended diet.
What are the Health Benefits of Keto?
Being on a keto diet is beneficial in a couple of ways; they include:
Reduce Appetite: When most people are on a diet, one thing that challenges them is hunger. When on a keto diet, ketones suppress your hunger hormone (ghrelin) and raise cholecystokinin (CCK) making you feel full.
The feeling of being full means that you will reduce the number of times you eat, and since most people gain weight out of excessive eating, you will start losing weight in the process.
Your body will use the fat stored in your body for energy as there are no carbs for that purpose resulting in a reduction in body fat.
Fuels the Brain: Ketones provide more energy than glucose as they have the ability to supply up to 20% of what your brain needs.
Since the brain is constituted by more than 60 per cent fat, it therefore requires more fat to keep it working efficiently. The goods fats on a keto diet not only fuel your body but your brain as well.
The brain is also able to burn ketones when there is low intake of carbs or during starvation. The same mechanism has been used over time to treat epileptic children whose condition does not improve on drug treatment.
One study revealed that half the children on a keto diet had reduced seizures by more than 50% while 16% of them became seizure free. Studies have now commenced to establish if the diet can be used in other brain conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Increase Energy: When the body gets its energy from ketones, you experience less energy slumps as you would when consuming carbs. The body turns into a fat-burning mode where taps into its fat stores for its energy needs.
Also, during ketosis, the brain makes more mitochondria which are the cells’ power generators. When your cells have more energy, it translates to more energy to carry out your daily activities.
Reduced Insulin and Blood Sugar Levels: A ketogenic diet drastically reduces insulin and blood sugar levels as a result of reduced carbs intake. However, people with diabetes who wish to embark on a keto diet should first consult their doctor for adjustment of their insulin dosage.
This is because; a keto diet has been seen to reduce insulin dosage by over 50% once they start the diet. A keto diet has been proven to reduce or eliminate 95% of glucose-lowering medication in a span of 6 months.
Lowers Blood Pressure: A low carb diet lowers blood. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for diseases such as stroke, heart disease, and kidney failure.
Efficient Against Metabolic Syndrome: Metabolic syndrome is highly associated with a high risk of heart disease and diabetes. Metabolic syndrome presents as a combination of symptoms that include:
A low carb diet eliminates most of these symptoms.
What Foods to Eat/Avoid
You should eat the following foods when on a keto diet
The following foods are high in carbs and should therefore be avoided
Sample Keto Meal Plan for 1 Week
This is a one-week keto menu that is adjustable to individual needs.
What are Keto supplements/pills and how can they help you with your Keto Diet?
As a result of eliminating some foods from your diet, you end up losing on some of the nutrients found in the foods that your body needs. You therefore have to take supplements to ensure that your body is not deficient of important body nutrients. These include:
Losing weight is not as easy as most people think. One has to be committed to the task and stick to the keto diet they have decided to follow. You should be aware that it may take some time to achieve ketosis.
If you do not have the patience to wait for the diet to achieve ketosis, you can quicken the process by using some of the supplements above which work the same way.
At the end of this process you will have eaten a healthy diet and gone through the natural way to lose weight. You will not have other side effects that are brought about with other ways of losing weight.
This is why this is a most followed process as it is beneficial. Another thing is that is cheaper compared to other processes.
You just have to follow a certain routine and you will eventually achieve what you want, and you will also love your physical appearance that will make you stick to the keto diet. With this you can maintain that weight for a long time.
Apps and Website to Help you Lose Weight and Get Back in Shape
Best Meal Planning Apps and Websites to Save You Time
One of the best ways for you and your family to eat healthier, lose weight, cut calories and get the whole family fed fast is to plan out your meals.
It can be pretty difficult to do, but the right app or website can help make your meals a lot easier to shop for, prepare, and create. With that in mind, here are the best websites and apps to make your life a whole lot easier and save you a lot of time.
Cozi Recipe Box & Dinner Planner
The Cozi Recipe Box & Dinner Planner (an offshoot of the Cozi Family Organizer) is available both as an app and online. Either way, there is an import feature that lets you search the internet for recipes, and then directly connect them to your profile.
It also helps you create shopping lists for the recipes on your profile, and put them on your weekly calendar. This makes it the perfect app for meal planning.
The app itself has a feature called "Cooking Mode," which keeps your screen lit so that you can prepare dinner without touching the screen. You can download Cozi on multiple devices, including Android, IOS and Windows desktop or phone.
eMeals is a meal planning service that works through subscription. Unlike other services like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron or Plated, there is no food being delivered.
Only the recipes. However, groceries can be delivered through eMeals' partnerships with local grocers and Amazon Fresh, but it may not be available where you live.
On the bright side, sometimes there will be curbside pickup available where you live. There is a choice of at least fifteen different food types, which include budget friendly, clean eating, kid friendly, quick and healthy, slow cooker, paleo, vegan, diabetic, vegetarian, and gluten-free just to name a few.
There are different options for families of all sizes. The weekly plan gives you seven new ideas for meals, and lets you switch between food styles as much as you want. Then a "smart shopping" list is created and fills out as you pick your meals every week.
If you decide you like eMeals, here is how much it will cost after the trial period:
You can find the app on iTunes and Google Play, but only after you have subscribed.
$5 Meal Plans
To begin, you can choose to solely view the recipes, print them out and then shop. However, another thing you can do is to sign up for their $5 meal plan.
For a mere five dollars a month, the company sends you a meal plan where each meal costs around two dollars a person--but often much less. This plan includes recipes and organized grocery lists. It even has free coupons. They offer gluten-free and classic meal plan options.
Along with their standard meal plans, they also offer you six-week specialty plans that are at a notable discount to their regular price. Each specialty plan follows a theme, and they send the recipes to you altogether rather than over six weeks.
As of now they are offering four specialty plans: 30-minute meals, vegetarian meals, slow cooker meals and paleo meals. You can only find this service online.
Mealime was created for planning family meals or meals with guests in the simplest way possible. It is truly personalized, meaning you can create profiles for each person you cook for.
You can list everyone's likes and dislikes, allergies and general eating habits. You can also personalize a profile for whole families and couples to make things a little easier.
Then you can search for recipes that meet all of your requirements. After you select one, not only does it give you the full instructions for the recipe, it automatically adds all the ingredients to your grocery list.
This app focuses on fast meal prep time, so you can expect to only have to spend thirty minutes or less preparing dinner.
You can also tell the app which kinds of recipes you are interested in, which include classic, soy free, flexitarian, keto, pescetarian, paleo, vegetarian, low carb, vegan and gluten-free. You can find Mealime on iTunes and Google Play.
Yummly is a recipe finding and food sharing app that has many photos and a rating system that helps you find the most talked about and popular recipes online.
When you are ready to make the recipe, Yummly supplies video guides as well as recommending foods for your mealtimes. It has one of the most extensive recipe collections available and will match your food preferences and dietary restrictions.
What you will find most unique though, is Yummly's partnership with Instacart. Instacart is grocery delivery service that works with local stores and delivers in one day.
All you have to do is put your zip code into their database, and the ingredients you need are automatically put into a grocery list that is placed in the your selected store.
You can also choose to have your items delivered. There is also a link for coupons that are applied directly to the stores you have chosen so you can apply them to your order.
Yummly also has an algorithm that will generate recipes depending on your likes just by tapping their "yum" button. All nutritional information is included in your recipe. You can find Yummly on iTunes and Google Play.
Allrecipes Dinner Spinner
This awesome app connects social media to the kitchen by showcasing its collection of recipes (over 50,000) created by home cooks. Being social media, you can follow your favorites!
You have a personalized feed that gets smarter with every dish you make and recipe you save, as well as the cooks you follow. You can even rate dishes.
You can search by cuisine, dietary restrictions and keywords. Another great feature is that you can enter your zip code and find on sale items at your local grocery stores that are relevant to the recipe you are looking at. You can download this app on Google Play, Kindle, iTunes and Windows.
Pepper Plate allows you to login using social media and email, and even share recipes that way. You can sort and import all sorts of recipes by pasting in a URL.
What is truly unique is that you are able to cook using multiple timers--nothing will be overdone ever again! Also, Pepper Plate's cook mode prevents your device's screen from dimming.
It also allows you to scale your recipe, so you make the right amount. You can also add your menus and recipes to your shopping lists, and even arrange it the way you usually shop in the grocery store.
Pepper Plate can be downloaded on Google Play, the Amazon App Store, iTunes, Windows Store, and Nook.
Meal Planner Pro
Save Time. Save Money. Eat Healthy. This is the tagline of Meal Planner Pro. This app encourages healthy eating and helps you incorporate it into meal planning routine by having you set up a profile for each member of your family.
Their database isn't limited to just dinner. It also includes healthy breakfast and lunch options. You don't get that with most meal delivery services.
It has a ProScore System is like having your own personal nutritionist. It highlights both the bad and good nutritional aspects of each item, and then assigns the recipe a score between 1-100.
There are also support and personalized meal planning for important things such as diabetes, weight management or loss, lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, anemia, digestive health, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Save your most favorite recipes and put them on your calendar for not just a week, but even months! It even gives you nutritional information, images and warning labels for all ingredients.
Plan to Eat
Great for the health conscious, this webpage has some great assets. For instance, once you bookmark the Plan to Eat webpage you can then search sites like Pinterest or Delish.
Once you find a recipe you like, click on it, and it will be added to your meal plan automatically. The user interface is easy to use in order to drag and drop items into the meal planner for the week.
It is also helpful if their are differing diets in the family. It also lets you add leftover days on the planner. Also helpful is the staples list, which is a place to add common items that are often forgotten to your grocery list without having to re-enter it repeatedly. Plan to Eat also has awesome customer service. Plan to Eat is available on Google Play, iTunes and online.
This app has over 350,000 recipes to offer you. Even better, it has a "snapshot" feature where you take pictures of your family's recipes and the app will upload them into your personal recipe collection.
You can comment on any recipe and get notified that your feedback has been received. The grocery list you create can be shared among members of your family. However, the best feature has to be cooking with leftovers. Choose three leftover ingredients and it will tell you what you can make.
Deals to Meals seems to be one of a kind. It claims to be the only meal planning service online that creates its weekly meal plans based on the best grocery deals in the stores in your area.
Every meal will be planned around what is on sale, which will save you hundreds each month. Each weekly meal planner will give you a week's worth of main dishes, desserts, side dishes, and food storage recipes. You can make your own grocery list, or have one created for you.
A separate service gives you options to save up to seventy percent on your groceries, all without having to use coupons. Every week you are given comparison breakdowns of each major grocery stores' deals.
This includes Walmart, Sam's Club and Costco. Deals to Meals then tells you where the best deals are locally which will save you the most money. They promise you will save at least a hundred dollars a month for a one-dollar fee. If you don't save more than your membership fee, the company will refund you.
FoodPlanner is focused on recipes, and gives you the opportunity to browse the web for many healthy recipes and then download them on the app.
It also gives you the nutritional data for each meal and allows you to instantly generate your shopping list. There is also an inventory management system that helps you keep track of the ingredients you have.
You can also make any recipe from scratch. FoodPlanner provides sharing features, but they are limited to Android.
If you are the type of person who loves to customize everything, then this may be the right app for you. It performs like many of the other apps on the list, including having a search function for meals you have found on the internet, the ability to use a calendar to plan out meals, and of course the ability to create a grocery list. However, there are some very unique features.
The interface is easy to use and pleasant to look at and customize, and there is a built in pantry that you can move ingredients in and out of when you buy them and when you run out. Mealboard is available on iOS.
Eat This Much
This app has an entirely different approach. If your current goal is to lose some weight, then Eat This Much has you enter your food preferences, your schedule, your budget, and the amount of calories the meal will contain.
It then creates meal plans and gives you a grocery list for all of the ingredients. If you want to have healthier eating habits and like cooking, this app will prove to be very helpful. Eat This Much is available on iOS and Android.
Lose It! is also an app that helps you with weight loss, but with it's own spin. Instead on having to input the number of calories you desire for every meal, you just give it a body weight target and general goals that you want to attain.
Then as long as you are accurately tracking what you are eating and what sort of exercise you are doing it will help with your progress.
Lose It! includes a food database that has millions of options, the ability to scan purchased foods, and photo recognition of basic foods. It's great for combining planning with tracking. Lose It! is available on iOS and Android.
Paprika Recipe Manager
Paprika is an interactive type of meal planner. You will find the essential features such as finding recipes online, planning your family's meals for the week and building your grocery list, but they have great tools for doing even more.
You can scale ingredients, cross items off as they are added, add photos to the recipes, and customize the grocery categories according to how you shop. There are many ways to ensure everything is just how you want it. Paprika Recipe Manager 3 is available on iOS and Android.
PlateJoy provides an unlimited amount of meal plans for any course you like--not just dinner. You can also personalize your meals based on food allergies and dietary restrictions, as well as being able to change your preferences at any given time for free.
All recipes are tailored to what you prefer. They have also paired with Instacart, allowing you to automatically upload your grocery lists and giving you a $20 credit if you are using Instacart for the first time.
At the beginning of your subscription, PlateJoy will ask you to fill out a questionnaire. In it, you will give them information such as your dietary preferences, information about family members, and your time constraints.
You will also tell them how many meals you want to make each week, including snacks. All the input helps to customize your menus. For each meal you will also receive nutritional information as well as contact with a personal nutrition coach. You can also easily sync the nutritional information to your Fitbit if you choose.
The Fresh 20
The Fresh 20 promotes twenty minutes and twenty ingredients to complete your shopping. That's twenty fresh, unfrozen, unprocessed ingredients to keep your family away from preservatives, and keeping your family's meals that much healthier.
Not only that, the website provides a one-hour prep session in the beginning of your week to save you time during the busy weeknights, making it much easier on you when you have to cook.
The meal plans are given on Fridays, giving you plenty of time to prepare for the following week. The Fresh 20 offers many different meal plans including meals for one, gluten free, paleo, classic, and many more.
The site says that all recipes are great for families of four, and there may be enough for lunch the following day if you have small children. You will probably find the five meals offered in their weekly plan enough if you don't like to cook every single day.
The Dinner Daily
This planner is unique because it says that it creates meals by following your store's sales. The Dinner Daily follows 11,000 stores in forty-eight states and checks their sales flyers, but they also have an "any store" selection if your store of choice is not listed.
This just means your menu selection will not be based on sales. You can also look at and pick menus from two stores. There are two meal plans you can select from. There is family, which will server four to six, or meals, which serves two to three.
The menu is posted online and emailed based on a schedule on the flyers of your chosen grocery store. You can set your dietary and meal preferences on the account settings page.
The Dinner Daily also gives you links to coupons to help you save more. There are even more benefits to this service, including make ahead menus and party planning.
They also won't repeat the same recipe any earlier than two months after you first saw it. You will have many choices and won't get exhausted of the same meals that repeat themselves. You can also use the "favorites" feature in conjunction with the "switch it" feature just in case you don't want to make one of the meals that were selected or want something to appear sooner. The Dinner Daily is available on iOS and Android.
There are many great meal planning apps out there, and it will take some trial and error to find one that best suits your needs. Regardless of the one you select, look out for these features:
Meal planning is great for both your health and wallet, and many of the apps and websites listed are free, so check them out until you find one that works best for you. They are made to make your life easier and healthier, and in some cases even teach you or coach you. Your family will thank you for it!
Best Running Apps to Help you Run Better
Running is a great exercise that can help in staying fit and in good health. Running can also be a challenging exercise that needs a lot of strength and motivation.
Fortunately, technology can be of help in providing you with an effective means of collecting and analyzing crucial running data that can be used to run better– this is done through running apps.
Running apps can present tremendous benefits to your running workouts. In this post, we will outline the best running apps that can help you run better.
Best Overall Running Apps
Runkeeper, Endomondo, MapMyRun, and iSmoothRun are some of the best running apps overall. Let us look at their functionalities.
Enter yRunkeeper provides you with incredible features that can go a long way in enhancing your running experience and results. The app tracks, records and presents vital stats such as distance and pace. It has high levels of accuracy.our text here...
This app can use GPS technology to provide you with your running map. With this app, you have the option of setting a customized voice that can be motivating and helpful with performance.
The app also provides you with personalized schedules and reminder functionalities – this can help you to plan and attend your running promptly.
Runkeeper offers a comprehensive record of your workout history which you can refer to for benchmarking, motivation and planning. Your running history can also help you identify the areas where you need to improve.
The app provides an avenue for performance comparison among running mates which can be an effective motivator and discipline factor.
The app can be very instrumental in enhancing your running performance and reaching your fitness and health goals.
This app provides you with an efficient means of tracking distance, calories burned and running routes. With this app, you can also schedule exercises and set goals.
This is a multipurpose exercise app that can track over 30 exercises other than running. The app supports Google Fit, Samsung Gear and Android Wear to avail more functionalities.
Endomondo offers training and coaching plans. You can get feedback from a virtual audio coach.
It provides a variety of training plans to choose from. The app can also create a customized training plan based on your current fitness level and goals.
You can use this app with a heart rate monitor to get your heart rate data as well. The heart rate data can show the time you spent in various heart rate zones, information that can be important if you are looking to intensify your training.
You can compare your running performance with other runners. You can also send and receive pep talks. Through its social functionality, you can share pictures, experiences, and ideas with the running community.
The audio coach provides you with a coaching guide appropriate for your running and analyzes your performance once you complete the run. This app will offer deep insights beneficial to your running and can help you achieve your goals more readily.
Map My Run
This app is used all over the world by both amateur and professional runners — it has proven to be very helpful with workouts. MapMyRun is one of the most effective running apps available. It provides great features that will help your running.
The app offers audio performance feedback available after you complete a GPS-tracked run. MapMyRun also has an impressive Gear Tracker feature that tracks the use of your running shoes with time (Shoe mileage). It also advises on when to change the shoes.
It has a Route Features that saves your favorite running routes and helps in discovering new routes. You may also use this feature to share your running routes with other runners.
This app is suitable for both amateur and professional runners, and it can tremendously improve your running.
I Smooth Run
This app has a user-friendly uncluttered interface. You can track various running metrics such as speed, pace, distance, elevation, and splits. This app is also capable of monitoring the maximum heart rate. It presents the data in straightforward graphs.
This app is suitable for coaches and runners alike. It was created by runners, and that is why it is designed so effectively. This app is an excellent option for serious runners.
You can also use this app to track your cycling, hiking and walking. It is compatible with Apple Watch, and you can export your running data to other platforms. You may also share your data on social media.
This app provides you with a variety of training plans that come with audio coaching. The app can also track your shoe mileage and let you know when to replace your shoes. It is compatible with both Footpod and GPS watch when being run on iOS.
You can customize your interval workouts with iSmoothRun. The app also has a metronome. The data provided by this app can be used for benchmarking and making improvements.
Beginner Running Apps
If you are just getting started with running, Google Fit, Runtastic, and Nike+ are the best running apps to consider.
This app has a user-friendly interface. This app will track your running exercises and calories burned. It presents data in straightforward charts so that you can easily analyze your progress. This app is very accurate in tracking your running speed, pace, and elevation.
It also provides you with your running route. It is compatible with most smartwatches allowing you to track other aspects such as heart rate.
This app provides you with exercise recommendations customized to your goals and data. These recommendations can help improve your stamina and performance.
this app can be allowed to take information from other running apps such as Strava and Runkeeper and combine it for more helpful centralized running data.
Rantastic is an ideal app for tracking various exercise activities such as running, jogging and walking. This app will provide you with vital and well-organized performance info including distance, speed, time spent, and calories burned. Rantastic has an incredible inbuilt coach that will assist you to improve your performance.
This app tracks and keeps a comprehensive record of your real-time running performance. It also maintains extensive records of your past running details. This way, you will be able to analyze and see how you have improved and what performance aspects you should work on harder.
This app provides you with weather forecasts so that you can plan your running routine appropriately and prevent weather interruptions.
The Rantastic leaderboard is a convenient means of performance comparison with other runners. The feature promotes competition between running mates.
The app features a music player so that you can listen to your favorite music tracks as you run. This helps with improving concentration, providing entertainment and motivation. It also features live tracking and cheering functionalities which enhance your running experience.
Rantastic is a great app that will keep a complete record of your running which you can use for planning, record tracking and benchmarking.
Nike+ Run Club
If you want to track your running performance effectively, then you should consider using the Nike+ Run Club. This app can improve your running through the provision of critical running data and other relevant running information.
The app has an in-run audio feedback that provides you with performance reports in real-time.
This apps accuracy is excellent. You get as accurate running stats as possible.
The app’s leadership charts promote competition among running mates, while also promoting motivation and discipline. Improved performance is encouraged by this feature.
This app offers an online training program and coaching that can help you achieve your workout goals faster and more conveniently.
The vital running starts and support provided by this running app can help to enhance your performance. This app also enables access to an online community of fellow runners where you can get support, knowledge, and motivation.
Social and Competitive Runners
If you are the competitive kind and you would love to share your running stats with other runners, Strava, Pumatrac, and RaceRunner could be suitable running apps for you. These apps provide incredible features that can be very supportive of your social and competitive running.
Pumatrac provides you with the necessary tracking tools such as speed and distance tracking, plus other information relevant to your running, such weather and time of day.
This app collects your running data, analyzes it and then gives you a quality score for your run. Pumatrac also looks into your running behavior and provides you with insights based on that. This app accumulates your running information over time to help it learn more about you and thereby provide customized insights with more accuracy.
The app interface is straightforward and clutter-free to ensure that you don’t have any difficulty using it. Pumatrac is also minimalist such that it doesn't use much of your system’s resources or drain your battery.
This is a multipurpose and versatile app.
You may also use this app to track over 25 other fitness activities.
You can access your favorite Spotify playlist through this app allowing you to listen to your favorite music as you run.
the built-in social news feed provides a great platform to connect with other runners. This promotes motivation and the sharing of insights and ideas.
The app offers an internal leaderboard which is instrumental in promoting friendly competition and sharing of real-time insights among runners.
You can share running routes with fellow runners in your area and compare performance data.
The app provides a social media sharing option allowing you to share your running performance with your social media friends.
The most active runners are rewarded on this app. This app will provide you with crucial insights regardless of your running performance
This app makes running more fun by providing additional features such as Free Run and Buddy Run. This is an ideal running app if you are a competitive runner. You can sync your running with other runners around the world, in real-time. This app allows you to send
race invites to your friends, wait for runs or even start your own race. You can compare your progress and performance with other runners around the world. RaceRunner has achieved success in bringing runners together for friendly competition that promotes running performance.
It provides in-run voice prompts that inform you about your performance such as speed, time and position in the race. This app is even capable of telling you the distance between you and the runner in front of you.
With this app, you receive points for every run you complete – you can redeem these points for rewards. This app is fantastic for tracking running progress. It keeps a straightforward log of your stats, and it has a run tracker. You can do time trial runs with this app, without connecting your phone. If you want to push yourself and compete with other runners, you should consider this app.
This app provides you with vital information about your running activities. It is widely used all over the world and is definitely one of the best running apps.
This incredible app provides you with top-notch features that help in performance tracking with various performance metrics such as interval timing and pace distribution.
This app displays your personal records so that you can know how you are progressing. It can be used by amateur and professional runners as well. It is suitable for runners who would like to focus a lot on their performance.
Strava provides you with running stats including speed and distance covered. With this app, you will also be able to see elevation and calories data –how much elevation you gain and how much calories you burn. Strava also provides you with an interactive map of how you ran.
It provides you with a means of following other runner’s performance and activity which is good for motivation and pace making.
Through this app, you can share your running data and details on your social media accounts.
Strava provides compatibility with most of the GPS running watches in the market. It is also highly compatible with GPS activity trackers.
As we have seen here, running apps can help simplify your running process and enhance your running experience. It is essential that you choose a suitable running app depending on your needs and features offered.
Last update on 2020-08-13 / This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API