7 Things To Lose 20 Pounds

Losing weight sounds easy, but we all know the truth. We have all tried the quick fix diets that end with you weighing more than when you started. Here are 7 things you can do to lose 20 pounds quickly and then keep on shedding weight.


CREATE A WORKOUT JUST FOR YOU

Not all body types are the same. Your friend might have lost 20 pounds with a great workout, but that will not guarantee you will too.

Get to know your body and work with an expert trainer to figure out what you want to target first and how to achieve long lasting results.

Spice it up by changing your routine or the type of exercise you do. Summer workouts are not the same as winter workouts. Run, swim, hit the gym, walk or climb. The choices are endless and the right combination for you could be just around the corner.


WORK OUT AT THE SAME TIME

Your body gets used to the routine and will crave exercising if you do it always at the same time.

Best time to workout is in the morning. If you think you are not a morning person, give it a go. It might surprise you.


KEEP A FOOD DIARY

Keeping a food diary is a good idea, but you have to be careful.

It can be very helpful to track what you eat so you can face the reality of what you are putting in your body. We tend to minimize the unhealthy foods we ingest, those tasty treats. Or, beat ourselves up over the smallest slip up.

It is vital that you not go overboard with the diary. It is a way to learn about your body, nutrition and your meals.


CREATE A VISION BOOK WITH HEALTH AND WELLNESS IMAGES

A vision book is a great way to keep you motivated. Unlike vision boards, a vision book can always be expanded.

For example, your first goal might be to lose 5 pounds and work your thighs. Once you accomplish this, you can add new goals with inspirational quotes and images. In the end, you’ll have a great record of the whole process. Whenever you feel unmotivated, you can just look back on everything you have achieved.


MEDITATE

Including meditations into your day will help you lower your stress levels and therefore eat less.

It is a great way to connect with your body and mind. Learn to detect when your stress and anxiety levels go up and what kind of situations and thoughts lead you there.

Getting to know yourself this way helps you achieve your goals.


SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE

Having friends and family tell you to try the dessert, or have a tiny piece of cake, it’s hard to say no.

Keep your friends and family in the loop. They can become part of your tribe, as a great support system. Sharing with like-minded individuals is important and will make it that much easier to achieve your goals.


NOURISH AND DETOXIFY YOUR BODY

Learning to maximize your intake of nutrients and minimizing your calorie ingestion (in a healthy manner) will help you lose pounds fast.

Detoxify your body with a few simple tricks. Drink water with lemon juice. Always eat your greens and sprouts.

Toxins will leave your body like never before.

10 Best Fitness Tips for Good Health

Everyday habits are as important as a good exercise routine and diets. It is vital, in the long run, that you include these 10 fitness tips to achieve, and keep, good health.


PUT YOUR HEALTH FIRST

It is the first step and the most relevant. You must make a conscious decision that you are and will be healthy. If you make your health a priority, you will live your life fully, without any restraints.

Learn about your body, how it works, what agrees with you and what doesn’t. Learn about food and cooking. Choose to live a healthy lifestyle and have it be an excuse to express yourself and evolve as a person. It will be fun!

 


UNHEALTHY FOODS IN MODERATION

We all struggle with being good and following a healthy diet all the time.

Usually, it is the beginning of the end. You eat one cupcake, one pizza, have one beer and its a slippery slope to unhealthy town. How to avoid that? Easy!

There are two rules to follow. First, the 90/10 rule. 90% healthy, 10% unhealthy. You should follow this if you want to lose weight and just started your new healthy lifestyle.

After you are on your way and have gotten used to this tough lifestyle, move on to the 80/20 rule: 80% healthy and 20% unhealthy.


LIVE AN ACTIVE LIFE

If you want to be an active person and have a healthy lifestyle, you need to move.

Forget about watching TV every night for a couple of hours. Keeping the weight off, feeling fit and full of energy requires you to be on your feet. Whether it is going out with your friends to dance or going out for a run, take advantage of it all!


ENJOY

If you are serious about a change in lifestyle,  you cannot force yourself to be someone you are not.

Your new lifestyle must be sustainable, long term. Get to know yourself in this new role. Choose a sport, a workout routine that you enjoy. Do NOT force yourself to run if you hate running, for example. This can only need to failure.


SLEEP

Sleep is vital for your body. You can’t have an active lifestyle if you don’t give your body time to recuperate.

All areas of your life will be affected if you don’t sleep enough. Your mood, your concentration, your productivity, you name it. Get 7 or 8 hours every night.


DO NOT DIET

Diet is a term widely misused. It is important to know the difference between going on a diet and making a lifestyle choice.

A diet is short-term, a quick fix. That is not a healthy lifestyle. If you really want to  make a change in lifestyle, you need to consider every aspect of your life. That is why it is so important to take into account these great tips we have for you. They will make  the difference between a long-term solution and another failed diet.


VEGETABLES, YOUR NEW BEST FRIENDS

Here is the truth: if you usually do not eat vegetables, they are not appetizing. Here is where it is important to have taken a conscious decision to make a change in your lifestyle.

It will take some time to get used to every flavor and texture. There is a learning curve to get to know vegetables, learn to cook them, what to mix and what not to eat together.

Try things out, enjoy and have a laugh when it turns out awful. You know they give you fibre, antioxidants and lots of vitamins that your body needs to keep up with your new active lifestyle. Get to know your new best friends and include some with every meal.


HEALTHY SNACKS

We are all so accustomed to snacking that not doing it anymore isn’t really an option.

Here is how to turn this source of unnecessary calories into a source of nutrients that will help you keep an active and healthy life: fruit, nuts and raw vegetables.

Your body is probably just looking for something to chew on. it is so used to it! So give it something that will tire it out, like a carrot or nuts. Have something sweet, like strawberries, to fight that sweet tooth. Never mind the calories, these are healthy and most will be used up digesting your snack anyway. Keep your snack a snack, and not a meal.


LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE

Your mindset will affect every part of your life. Every decision you make, every situation you face and problems you will need to confront.

If you are serious about a healthy lifestyle, you need to do one simple things.

Be grateful. Be thankful of your body and all of the amazing things it does every day so you can enjoy living. Be thankful of the seasons that give you such a great variety of foods to taste. Be grateful for the rain and the sunshine.

Be grateful for all the obstacles that allow you to learn and evolve as a person. Be grateful for this chance to change your life.


SMILE

It might look like a crazy, stupid idea. But it isn’t.

Smiling has many effects over your body. It takes far less muscles to smile than it does to frown. So stop making such a big effort to frown, relax and smile.

Smiling affects how you bond with people, how they react to you and how you perceive them. It is an expression of how good you feel inside and with your life because you had the courage to change your life and stick with it.

7 Exercises Fitness Experts Wish You Would Stop Doing

Joining a gym and learning how to take advantage of all the equipment can be tricky at first. After a while, you might feel like an expert. We checked with real experts, trainers, and found the 7 most common mistakes we make at the gym.


CRUNCHES

We all want to have great abs. You work hard to keep them in shape, but they have their risks.

The main problem with crunches is how they affect your spine. To put it simply: it is easy to do crunches wrong. This leads you to overwork other muscles and under work your abs.

It can also be a risk for your spine. If you overcompensate or do too many crunches without also strengthening your back, you will start to wear it out.

Make sure you check with a trainer on how to do crunches properly. It might be better to strengthen your abs with other type of exercises altogether. Especially if  you have a bad back.


THE SEATED-HIP ABDUCTOR (ADDUCTOR) MACHINE

When exercising, it is always important to focus and concentrate on what you are doing. According to our experts, many people don’t pay much attention when using the seated-hip abductor machine. It’s easy to see why: you are sitting down chatting to your friend next to you.

This machine only targets a small group of muscles. Your time could be better spent doing lunges: walking lunges, cross-behind lunges or even step ups. This way you will tone and strengthen  your inner and outer muscles.


BEHIND-THE-NECK LAT PULLDOWN

Certain machines at the gym are for everybody. Others are not. The behind-the-neck lat pulldown is one of the latter.

Because you lower your arms behind your neck, your shoulders need to be very flexible. If they are not, you risk damaging them.

Luckily, there is a simple way to avoid this: turn the behind-the neck lat pulldown to a in-front-of-head lat pulldown. That’s right, simply lower your arms in front of you, not behind. This way, you still work out all the right muscles, but avoid risk of injury.


AMERICAN KETTLEBELL SWINGS

The american kettlebell swing is actually a new version of the russian kettlebell swing.

In the russian variant, the kettlebell is held just below the groin and lifted until your arms form a 90 degree angle with the rest of your body. It is a very effective exercise because it used most muscles in the body. It builds up strength but is also dynamic.

The american way,however, the kettlebell is raised all the way above your head, until you are completely stretched out. If this isn’t done properly, it is easy to injure your back and shoulders because you overcompensate due to the weight and overextend your back.

If you are not sure whether you are doing it correctly, check with an expert. If you cannot or don’t feel comfortable with this exercise, avoid it.


CURLS IN THE SQUAT RACK

Stop. Don’t curl in the squat rack. It is unnecessary.

To put it simply, you can curl anywhere because curl weights are light. The squat rack needs to be used if you are squatting because the weight is higher. It is a safety precaution in case something goes wrong.

If you are doing curls in the squat rack, you are probably irritating everybody else at your gym. Especially the experts. In fact, many trainers have an inside joke about new gym users curling in the squat rack.


THE LEG EXTENSION MACHINE

To really take advantage of the gym, it is as important to know what not to do, as it is to know what to do.

The leg extension machine, our experts say, is one of those examples. It is vital to have your workout routine be as effective and efficient as possible. Including exercises that works on a small group of muscles is never the best choice.

Even worse, if there is a risk of injury, as there is with the leg extension machine, you might be better off just forgetting about it.

The leg extension machine places stress on the back of the kneecap and only works on a few muscles in a very unfamiliar sort of movement. If you have any predisposition to knee problems, it is better to exercise your quads in other, more adequate ways.


THE SMITH MACHINE

The Smith machine can be very dangerous if it is not understood and used properly.

This machine specifically makes it easy by balancing and stabilizing you. This means that you do not work on your small, stabilizing muscles. It could lead you to believe that you are stronger than you think and hurt yourself when lifting a much lighter object.

Exercising should be about using as many muscles in as many planes of motion as possible. Keep your body guessing. The Smith machine will not do that and could even cause injuries due to the overuse of certain muscles.

The alternative is easy: free weights. Take your time, start small and stay motivated.

5 ‘Fitness Foods’ to Help You Get in Shape Faster

Starting a new exercise regime can be hard. Here are 5 foods that will help you adjust to the changes and improve your results.


BEET JUICE

Drinking beetroot juice is a powerful way to increase your stamina. Research shows that it might even be better at raising your energy levels than caffeine.

Researchers in the United Kingdom got a group of athletes and separated them into two groups. One of the groups received a placebo and the other, 16 ounces of organic beetroot juice. The results were fascinating.

The athletes who drank beetroot juice improved their performance by over 15%.

Beetroots are available all year-round and are easy to prepare. Go get some right now and start taking advantage of this powerful gift from nature.


HONEY

Honey will help you improve your endurance.

Researchers at the University of Memphis concluded that honey steadies your blood sugar and insulin levels over a long period of time if consumed before exercising.

It also improved athletes’ endurance, speed and boost power. For best results, look for organic honey.


PEA PROTEIN

Pea protein powder is the latest must-have in every athletes’ nutrition plan.

During exercise, it delays fatigue because it is filled with branched chain amino acids. It is also rich in arginine, which enhances your immunity system. And it contains lysine, helping you absorb all the calcium you need.

All you need is one spoonful of pea protein powder. Which is roughly about 25 grams of lean protein. It is great in smoothies or your milk and cereal.


BLUEBERRIES

Blueberries had long been suspected of being a natural anti-inflammatory.

Researchers at Appalachian State University decided to test its effects on athletes. They were given 9 ounces of blueberries every day for six weeks and 13 ounces an hour before they ran for two and a half hours.

Researchers were startled by the results. Not only did it reduce inflammation, reducing recovery time. It also increased the number of natural killer cells, strengthening their immune system.

Blueberries are easy to include in your diet. they can be eaten fresh, frozen in smoothies or dried once to carry with you as a snack.


TART CHERRY JUICE

We all ache after a good workout. Tart cherry juice have been found to be a great supplement to reduce pain and regain strength.

Scientists a the University of Vermont’s Human Performance Laboratory designed an original experiment.

They chose two groups of male athletes. One of the groups was given 12 ounces of tart cherry juice and the other received a placebo twice a day for eight  days. On the fourth day, both groups had to complete a tough strength-training workout.

A couple of weeks later they repeated the experiment, but this time the placebo group took the tart cherry juice and vice versa. The conclusions were astonishing. Pain was significantly reduced and and strength loss was reduced by almost 20% on average.

Fresh tart cherries are delicious. Frozen and dried options might be easier to come across all year round. Juice is a good option too.

10 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight

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You seem to be doing everything right. You exercise, you diet but you are not losing any weight. This can be frustrating. Here are 10 reasons why you are not losing weight. Once you are aware of them, it will be easy to get you to your ideal weight!


YOU OVERCOMPENSATE

It’s a simple cycle: you eat healthy; you workout and then you reward yourself with a treat.

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The truth is, you never know how many calories you have worked off with your exercise routine. You might even be undoing it all and putting on more weight.

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It’s important that you reward yourself in other ways, or in a controlled manner.


YOU DON’T SLEEP ENOUGH

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Adding an exercise routine to your busy day is hard. It is common to make that time by sleeping less. Add to that, the extra time to prepare healthy meals and you might be looking at a significant lack of sleep.

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Your body needs time to recuperate from the workout. It needs rest. When you are sleep deprived, your body’s performance is affected. It slows down your metabolism. Your body looks for ways to compensate for the lack of rest, so it craves more food. It needs to fuel itself.

Make sure you get a good night’s sleep.


YOU’RE DRINKING TOO MANY SUGARY DRINKS

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We all like to feel like an athlete when working out. You go out for a run, exercise and drink a fruit juice, smoothie, soft drink or even a Gatorade. You think you are replenishing all the minerals you lost through sweat. That is not what you are doing.

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You are ingesting a lot of sugar and other substances that your body doesn’t need. Athletes need extra minerals because they work out so hard. You are trying to lose weight, to keep fit. All you need is some water with a few drops of lemon (natural!).


YOU’RE EATING LARGE PORTIONS

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You are taking the time to prepare healthy, colorful and fresh meals. But you are still not losing weight.

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Here’s the trick: control your portion sizes. There is no point in putting so much effort in preparing tasty dishes, don’t waste it all. Moderate your portions so you control the amount of calories.


YOU’RE EATING TOO LITTLE

Yes, it seems like a contradiction. Our bodies are very complicated. Here is how it works.

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If you eat too little, your body thinks there is no food around. In order to protect itself, it starts to accumulate all the fat it can. The little fat and all the calories it can get, it will store them.

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Make sure you eat enough.


YOU’RE NOT CONSISTENT

Your body has many defense mechanisms. It always looks for ways to protect itself.

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Everything you eat, or don’t. The exercise you do. All of it sends messages to your body. That is why you need to be consistent. If you eat too little and then too much, you are saying to your body: “Times are tough, there isn’t much food around. Let’s accumulate fat. Here is a lot of food: our opportunity to gather calories in these hard times.”


YOU DON’T VARY YOUR WORKOUTS

Doing the same workout day in, day out is not also boring, but you also lose less weight.

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As you get better and better in the areas you exercise, you get better at them. It gets to a point where you either need to do A LOT of reps, or you need to change the workout.

Target different areas. Vary the sets of exercises so you don’t do the same routine throughout the week. Keep your body guessing.


YOU DON’T NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT

We seem to be obsessed with losing weight nowadays. Yes, there is a problem with obesity in this country. But, what is your ideal weight?

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It is important for you to have a goal in mind. Check with your doctor to see what your goal should be and help you keep track of your progress.


YOUR WEIGHT ISN’T A TRUE REFLECTION OF BODY FAT

Remember that a number might not be what you are looking for. Muscle weighs more than fat. If you are looking to tone your body and shed a few pounds, you might end up gaining a few and still look better than ever.

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Track your measurements and your water retention levels. Make sure you check these no more than once every two weeks. Constantly measuring yourself will only make progress seem slower.


YOU HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION

There are many reasons why you put on weight and cannot get it off.

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If you have followed a diet and exercised for a while – be honest with yourself! – and have not lost weight, it might be worth checking with a doctor. There are many conditions, hormonal imbalances for example, that could be causing your weight problem.

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