Friday, 30 December 2011

5 Lifestyle Improvements to aid Weight Loss

We have talked about how you can lose belly fat before, but this is a topic that just keeps coming up. So many of our readers ask us the simple question:

"How can I lose weight quickly?"

The truth is that there is no good way to quickly lose weight. The desire to lose weight fast leads to crash diets, starvation, catabolism, muscle wastage, over training, lethargy and usually ends in the fat coming back again.

However, it is certainly possible to speed up healthy weight loss by taking exercise to the next level and modifying and perfecting your diet.

Firstly it is important to understand a little about body fat though.
There are two main types of body fat, visceral fat that surrounds the internal organs, and subcutaneous fat that accumulates under the skin (there is also the third type of fat, intra-muscular fat, which surrounds muscle tissue).

For most people the biggest problem is the visceral fat, also called stomach fat (and beer bellies, belly fat). This is a very unhealthy form of fat.

The stomach starts to grow due to a build up of visceral fat around the internal organs. In small quantities, fat protects the organs. However, as people accumulate more weight, the fat starts to cause problems, leading to disease, cholesterol problems and other obesity related issues.

Belly fat is a very stubborn form of fat. For many people shifting belly fat is the hardest part of losing weight.  For those that wish to build a 6 pack, it is vital that the fat is lost.

So, how do we go about losing weight, and what is the most effective way to lose weight fast? The answer is simply to use a combination of diet and exercise. However, the procedure is not so simple. You need the mental discipline to ensure that you follow these rules properly. Cheating on the rules is cheating on yourself, and failure will result.

1. Ditch the Junk Food

It is a common misconception that fatty foods lead to weight gain. The real problem is sugar, and junk food is full of it.
Stop eating all junk food such as takeaways, candy, ice cream, cakes, cookies, donuts and sugary drinks like cola. These are full of calories and contain no nutritional value, leaving you feeling hungry while also putting on weight!

2. Healthy Carbs Only

Junk food is not the only problem, bread and pasta also leads to weight gain. If you are not active, then consuming high energy foods like bread and pasta will mean you put on weight.

Avoid refined carbohydrates and eat more fresh fruits, vegetables and pulses as these contain more fiber, and leave you feeling full for longer. Mixed salads are an excellent choice.

Follow a low GI diet to ensure that your carbohydrate intake does not trigger the insulin / fat accumulation response.

3. Give up the Alcohol

Alcohol is a form of energy. Also when people drink, they feel hungry and eat more. And on top of that, when you have alcohol in your system, your body stops burning fat and sugar for energy. Stop drinking completely for a month and see how you progress.

4. Plan Your Meals, Keep a Food Diary

If you plan your meals, you are less likely to snack. Also keeping an honest food diary means that you can quickly spot problem areas and deal with them. However, you have to be truthful to yourself. Write everything down, no cheating! Also learn how many calories you really need.

5. Exercise the Whole Body

To lose weight quickly, exercise really is the key. However, this does not mean performing crunches every day. There are two ways to burn fat through exercise:
  1. Building muscle with weight training, which increases your metabolism
  2. Intensive cardio exercise, which raises the heart beat and burns fat
Both of these methods must be used to successfully lose weight quickly. Free weights are ideal, so get some dumbbells and a weight training bench, and start pumping iron.

Body-weight exercise is also very effective, so press ups, crunches, jumping jacks, burpies, squats, lunges and box / vertical jumps are all good.

The Two Rules of Exercising:

The key thing to remember when exercising is that two things must happen while you are exercising:
  1. You exercise so hard that you CANNOT hold a conversation. Short bursts of intensity work better to lose weight than just plodding along at the same pace for 45 minutes.
  2. You must work up a SWEAT. Sweating heavily is a good sign that you are working hard. If you are not sweating, then it is likely that you are not putting in enough effort.
Running for fitness and cycling workouts are also excellent ways to lose weight, but ensure that you follow an intensive interval training routine, i.e. incorporate sprints into your workout.

Raising your heartbeat throughout your workout will help you to burn more fat. This is now known as Tabata Training.

Please note that the "fat burning zone" is a myth of the gym, if you exercise in the so called fat burning zone, you only make your job of losing stomach fat much harder, simply because it encourages you to work to a lower intensity. OK, if you can exercise for 90 minutes a day it can work for you, but who has 630 minutes a week spare just for exercise?
Stick with the plan, stay focused, and you can do it. If you have any questions please feel free to ask below. Losing weight is not rocket science, but it does require you to master your own mind!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Low GI Jane Diet Plan - What?

Most people associate GI with the armed forces, such as GI Joe, GI Jane. In these cases it is short for Government Issue. But GI is also a term used to describe a tool used in weight management by nutritionists and dieticians.

In these situations GI is short for Glycemic Index. This is a scale which rates how much readily available sugar there is in food by measuring the speed at which blood sugar levels rise after eating.

High GI foods raise blood sugar (also called glucose) quickly, whereas low GI foods raise levels slowly.

Blood sugar has two important impacts on our body: 
  1. it increases the released rate of insulin which facilitates sugar storage as fat and also in muscle
  2. its rise and fall affects hunger
The index has been around for ages, Dr. Atkins was a fan of it, also many NHS dieticians use it to help overweight patients lose weight.

It works. It is a scientific tool that helps people to manage their diet in such as way that it aids weight loss.

Why it is not more popular is a mystery!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

How To Lose Fat Tummy

Hang on! I hear you say. Isn't Belly Fat and Stomach Fat the same thing? Well, yes, sort of. No, not even sort of, it is the same thing.

Both belly fat and stomach fat are indeed the fat that sits in your midsection when you eat too much. Unlike the fat on your thighs, butt, chest, arms etc. it is visceral fat, which is a type of fat that surrounds your organs. Internal fat.

Belly fat is really unhealthy, some scientists have even suggested the subcutaneous fat (the fat under the skin) is not really all that unhealthy at all. Some fat is needed to protect you, both from the cold and from injury. It is a natural layer of insulation and padding.

But when it surrounds your internal organs, that is when things go wrong. Not only does the fat literally strangle organs by reducing blood flow, it also releases hormones that play havoc with your metabolism and fat storage systems.

Having more belly fat actually leads to more fat accumulation as increased insulin results in more sugar in the blood being converted to fat. So, it really is time for you to learn how to lose belly fat once and for all!

So, How to get rid of this nasty belly fat?

Well, quite simply, you need to exercise and go on a diet. Not really "go on a diet", more, change your eating habits permanently. Managing your weight does not get any easier as you get older, in fact, the opposite is true. So you need to learn to moderate your food intake. Eat smaller portions, use a smaller plate.

Eat less refined and processed foods to reduce intake of sugars and saturated fats. Eat more fruits, vegetables and lean proteins to increase fiber and protein (both have shown weight loss potential in studies). One good way to manage your weight is through a low GI diet plan. This involves eating carbohydrates that are not so quickly digested. This reduces the blood sugar spikes which decreases fat accumulation and increases fat burning. But, you still have to control those calories!

Then get more exercise, ideally 30 minutes 7 days a week, or 60 minutes 4 days a week. Suggested belly fat blasting workout:

  • Monday - Power walk 20 minutes, 10 minutes of push ups, leg raises, squats, lunges, jumping jacks, the plank and mountain climbers
  • Tuesday - 45 minutes weight training session
  • Wednesday - 60 minute walk at a reasonable pace
  • Thursday - 30 minute circuit training
  • Friday - ower walk 20 minutes, 10 minutes of push ups, leg raises, squats, lunges, jumping jacks, the plank and mountain climbers
  • Saturday - 30 minute walk
  • Sunday - 60 minutes of some type of activity - walking, cycling, swimming. Family time too.
A plan like that is manageable by most people. So hop to it! Go on, burn that belly fat now!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Vera de Milo Video Workout – Jim Carrey’s Aerobics Video Spoof

Just stumbled across this Jim Carrey workout video. See Jim Carey workout in cycle pants, a bikini top and then dislocate has shoulder while stretching.  This originally featured on the TV show In Living Color which ran from 1990 to 1994.
Don’t try this at home.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Pete Ajello's Amazing Weight Loss Story

We spoke with Pete Ajello about his weight loss story (ok, exchanged emails across the pond). His story is really great, not just because he lost 200 pounds, but because he did it off his own back. He started by himself.

He did build up a support network, with personal trainers and nutritionists, but he took those first steps to freedom.

The result is amazing. The guy was on the brink of death, suffered a diabetic stroke, and through diet and exercise reversed his medical condition and got healthy again.

Sometimes a weight loss story just simply breaks through new barriers. If weight loss was an Olympic sport then Peter Ajello would certainly be a contender for a gold medal.

Peter Ajello lost 200 pounds in the last 16 months. Not only did he lose a lot of fat, he also trained hard and has built a pretty good physique, certainly something to be proud of on a beach.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Burn Off Chicken Wings - Get Slim and Toned Arms

lose arm fatIf you under-arms are getting a bit saggy your need to start losing weight and working out. Build some muscle, stretch that skin and reduce body fat.

"You must use low-insulin nutrition like I recommend in all my books, including Fit Over 40, to lower your bodyfat. For ladies, the back-of-the-arm body fat is often the last bit to go. This type of diet is also a great way to lose belly fat.

But I promise, it will go. I can go for anyone. Marty Web and dozens of other ladies in Fit Over 40 prove that in living color, and they share how they did it.< Low-insulin nutrition means eating more protein-rich foods, foods that are not processed, and plenty of tasty veggies. But it does not mean you cannot have your pizza and burgers here and there. I do every week and my body fat is low."

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Eat Watercress to Lose Weight!

The humble watercress is suddenly a superfood. British researchers have discovered that watercress contains a property that blocks breast cancer.

Watercress is also a very low GI salad leaf which is fantastic if you are trying to lose weight. Eating watercress everyday will help you to lose weight and also will help women fight breast cancer.

Until now yams have been the food of choice for women who wish to try to prevent breast cancer from developing. The news that watercress may help prevent breast cancer makes it a new superfood.

One of my favorite dishes is salmon baked in butter and wholegrain mustard served on a bed of watercress and rocket. A fantastic yet simple recipe that will help you lose weight and lower blood sugar levels.