Archive for the ‘General Articles’ Category

Workout Techniques To Smash Through Any Plateau

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

treadmill-photo-520x345Suffering from a weight loss plateau? If so, chances are you are mighty frustrated by this point – and possibly even considering giving up altogether.

But, before you do, it’s vital that you think about a few of the simple yet highly effective things that you could be doing instead to get through this plateau and back onto greater success.

There’s no sense tossing away all the hard work you’ve put in when by making a few adjustments, you can accelerate your progress forward.

Let’s have a quick peak at a few of the top workout techniques that you should try out if you’re stuck in that dreaded weight loss plateau.

Introduce Interval Trainingmaia9_a

The first and probably most effective way to bust through a plateau is to introduce interval training. If you’ve been slugging it out on the treadmill, bike, or elliptical, doing moderate paced sessions for what seems like hours on end, this has got to change.

These types of workouts are just not going to produce the high level of results you’re after so really should be avoided in the first place.

Instead, try out interval training. Substitute periods of very high intensity work with periods of lower intense workout for 30-60 second intervals. Repeat this 6-10 times and add a five minute warm up and cool-down.

Do that two to three times per week and watch your results soar.

Change Weight Lifting Formats

letöltésNext, also consider changing around your strength training program. If you’ve been using free weights for quite some time, think about switching it up and using weight machines instead.

Or, try kettlebell training.

There are so many different ways that you can go about putting together a strength and conditioning program for yourself, so there’s no reason to ever allow your body to adapt.

Even just changing some of the exercises you’re doing around can be enough to totally renew the program and get you seeing faster results.



Take A Week Off

Finally, last but not least, consider taking a week off your workout program. As odd as it may seem, the-importance-of-rest-days-and-why-you-should-take-1-2-days-a-week-off-from-working-out-3526sometimes rest is the key.

If you’ve been pushing hard for a very long time, chances are your body is quite exhausted and could use the break. Give it some rest and as soon as you come back and start training again, don’t be surprised if results start moving along far more quickly.

Plus, this will also help to re-energize your mind and help enhance your motivational level as well, both of which can be excellent for keeping you going with your program.

The important thing to remember about busting through a plateau is to avoid getting too frustrated and instead to think rationally. Try making a few changes here and there and see what results come about.

Usually all it takes is just one or two small adjustments and you’ll be back on track again, seeing great results. 



Why You Should Toss Your Scale Today

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

788061If you’re on the quest for successful fat loss, one of the best things that you could do right now, contrary to what most people believe, is chuck your scale.

“But how will you know if you’re progressing?” you might think.  The truth of the matter is that there is really no reason to have a body weight scale in your house.

Let’s go over why this is and present you with some smarter strategies for faster success.


The Problem With The Scale

The big issue that occurs with the scale is the fact that the scale will not account for fat or muscle mass the_scale_isn_t_the_problem__part__5__by_adamflys-d6qil5llost, or will it take into account you gaining water.

If you eat a high salt meal the night before, it’s highly likely and probably that you could be two to three pounds heavier the next day.

Did you gain body fat?

Definitely not.

Your body is just retaining water from the extra sodium you took in.  Most people don’t realize this, thus it instantly causes disappointment and frustration to set in, which then may lead them to pack their diet in entirely.

Additionally, if you’ve been working out hard and gain lean muscle tissue, this could make your scale weight go up, which you would then view as a negative thing. But really, it’s a very positive thing.

More lean muscle mass means a firmer, fitter body, plus a higher metabolic rate. It’s really a win-win, yet few people would celebrate the scale going up.

The Better Approaches

Close up of a slim beautiful waist with measuring tape.So what’s the better approach? How can you measure your progress if you aren’t using a body weight scale?

The first great strategy is to simply use the mirror. Let the mirror be your guide.

Do you look leaner? Look more defined? Can you see your waist size decreasing? If so, these are all great indications of progress.  Chances are, you will be moving in the right direction.

In addition to this, you might also consider getting your body fat test taken. This is the true way to measure your progress as your body fat will represent how much actual body fat you have on your body – which is what you want to decrease.

It gives the complete picture of what’s going on so that you know that your body fat is in fact changing.

Finally, the last method to use is the clothes trick. If you’re losing body fat, chances are your clothes will fit looser, even if you are gaining muscle mass since muscle tissue is such dense tissue altogether.

If you are now fitting into jeans you never used to, this is a very good sign and you should keep on doing what you’re doing because you’re on path to success.

So there you have the main things to consider about the scale. It really doesn’t work in your favor in any way, so choose otherwise.  Use a different measurement and you’ll likely have more success because of it. 



Why Weight Loss Plateaus Occur

Monday, March 9th, 2015

weight-lossIf you’re on a fat loss plan and have been doing your workouts religiously while following an intense diet program, you are likely hoping for nothing but the best of success.

So when you see your results start to slow down, you may seriously begin to wonder what’s up and get frustrated over the fact that you just don’t seem to be getting results.

What gives? You were making excellent progress and now you are hardly moving forward at all.

It’s frustrating to say the least.

If this is the situation at hand, you are definitely in what’s known as a weight loss plateau.

Let’s take a look at what weight loss plateaus are and why they occur.

What A Weight Loss Plateau Isatkins-weight-loss-plateau

First let’s take a look at what a weight loss plateau is.  Simple stated, a weight loss plateau is any point in time when you’re following a reduced calorie diet program and workout where your weight loss comes to a halt.

Basically, just as the situation described, what you were doing was working but now it’s not. It might almost feel like your body is trying to fight you.

Often, you’ll be miserable, you’ll be hungry, and you’ll be so irritated that your friends and family may not want to be around you.

You are not a happy dieter – that is for sure.

Why Weight Loss Plateaus Occur

03505f2d2e4967d6ee8d4ad830ed539fSo what causes a weight loss plateau to occur in the first place? Understanding this can give you insight so you know how to resolve it.

The primary reason why weight loss plateaus occur is because your body begins to adapt. Your body does not want to be on a diet plan.  In fact, your body loves excess body fat – to it, it means that should a famine occur, you have plenty of resources to stay alive.  It’s not exactly willing to part with your body fat tissue.

But yet, here you are, giving it less food than it wants and basically forcing it to starve. As such, it takes measures against you.

It’s going to cause your metabolism to slow down so now you’re burning fewer calories each day. Since you’re consuming fewer calories, it tries to match this consumption so no further weight loss will occur.

When this happens, that’s when you reach the weight loss plateau. Now you’re hardly eating any food and Woman_Scales7_Syour body weight is staying constant. Your body has now adapted.

So to bust through the plateau, you’re going to have to shock your body with something new so that its’ no longer adapted. When you do that, that’s when you’ll finally be able to start seeing results again.

There are ways to do this on both the diet as well as the workout front, so it must be a comprehensive approach when really trying to tear through that plateau in record time.

So there you have the main factors to know about a weight loss plateau. As frustrating as they may be, you can get out of them if you use smart strategies and a sound approach. 




Why Stretching Is Important For Workout Success

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

2013-10-21-HayleyImage21If there’s one thing that many people neglect when it comes to their workout plan, stretching is it.  They devote a high amount of time and energy to performing their cardio and resistance training, but as soon as that’s finished, they’re getting out of the gym as quickly as possible – they have a life to lead!

But, if you’re skipping the stretching component of the workout, you’re really missing out on a number of key benefits that it provides.

Let’s take a quick peak at the main reasons why stretching is so important to workout success.

It Enhances Your Range Of Motion

The very first reason why stretching is a must is because it’s going to help to enhance your range of 83253405motion so that you can move throughout your exercises better.  If you want to see the full benefits that any exercise has to offer, it’s important that you work the muscles through the full movement pattern.

It would be like performing a squat but only going partially the way down.  If you really want to see maximum benefits, you must go as low as possible as this is when the glutes will really be called into play.

If you’re very inflexible though, this will be next to impossible therefore you won’t see the benefits you could be.

We do tend to lose range of motion with age, so if you aren’t stretching, it’s only going to get worse from here on in.

It Keeps You Injury Free

hurtThe next important reason to add stretching to your routine is because it keeps you injury free.  If you’re not stretching after a workout, your muscles are going to be tight and tense and any force that acts upon them could end up pulling or straining a ligament.

Those who are more flexible often find they do suffer injuries a lot less frequently as they are quite limber and able to accommodate to forces acting on them.

An injury will quickly sideline you from all workouts and really hinder your progress – in fact, it’ll put a temporary stop to all progress entirely.


It Reduces Post-Workout Muscle Soreness

Finally, the last reason why you must be sure to add some stretching to your routine is because it will helpiStock_000002941236XSmall.preview_0 to control post-workout muscle soreness.

Stretching is going to help remove the lactic acid build-up from the muscle tissues that’s responsible for that high level of pain and discomfort you often experience the next morning when getting out of bed, so by stretching at the end of the session, you can curtail this.

Stretching will allow the muscle fibers to relax and lengthen so that you don’t feel quite so tense and sore later on.

So as you can see, stretching is really a must-do for success.  It only takes ten minutes total at the end of your workout but this is some of the best ten minutes you could spend if you want to see success.  Get in the habit of doing it now and you’ll never think twice about skipping it again. 



What To Look For In A Workout Buddy

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

beautiful-girl-working-outAs you get geared up to start your workout routine, one thing that you must do is take into account the benefits of having a workout partner.  Having someone there alongside you is great for motivational purposes and will also help to keep you on track and using the right form.

Workout buddies are a very powerful way to stay committed so if your motivation often lags behind and that’s why you fall off your program, you’ll definitely want to get yourself one.

But, as you go about the search for a workout buddy, it’s important that you keep a few things in mind so you can make sure that you and that workout buddy are a good match.

Just like dating, you don’t want to be workout buddies with someone who isn’t right for you.  Let’s look at what you want to know.

Assess Your Skill Levelworkingout2

The very first thing to look at is the skill level of you and your potential workout buddy.  While it’s highly motivating to workout with someone more fit and in better shape than you, it may not be quite as rewarding on their end.

Likewise, if you’re much more advanced than the person you have in mind, you may find that you start to get frustrated during the session as you want to advance quicker than they’re able to.

The best case scenario is that you’re at the same skill level, and then obviously working towards the same goal.

It’s going to be best if both of you are focused on fat loss as then your workouts will be very similar already.

Determine Common Workout Time Preferences

workouttimeThe second thing that you absolutely must do is confirm that you are able to get together at a time that works for both of you.

If your potential partner likes to workout when the sun rises and you can hardly crawl out of bed without a cup of coffee at your side, there may be trouble ahead.

If you’re going to have a workout buddy, you must make sure that the workout buddy is going to show up on time for each of your workouts.  Otherwise you’ll just get doubly frustrated as they’re not present and it feels like too much work to even schedule a session in.



Check For Personality Match

Assessing for a good personality match is important as well.  Are you someone who likes to push really fitness-motivationhard during your workouts, moving quickly from set to set with little to no rest?

Or do you prefer to take your time and go at it using a slower pace so you can socialize and enjoy the process?

If you’re someone who likes the fast paced, down-to-business style of workouts and you pair up with a workout buddy who wants to chat between sets, you will be beyond frustrated in no time.

Your workout styles must match each other or one person is never going to feel fulfilled from your sessions together.  This is also going to play a key role in the type of program you choose as well as those intense personalities tend to gravity to more intensive programs, so it will determine whether you’re even using a similar workout approach also.

So there you have the key things to note about choosing a workout buddy.  When chosen correctly, this will definitely have a good impact on your success and allow you to stick with that workout long-term. 






Top Diet Trends To Jump On This Year

Friday, March 6th, 2015

With the New Year now underway, many of you may be looking at little things that you can do to improve the nutrition of your diet.  Constantly staying on the lookout for the latest research regarding what works and what doesn’t when it comes to your diet is important if you hope to see success.

top-3-diet-trends-of-2014Recently a study put out by Pollock Communications listed a few key points that you should keep in mind. If you can start to incorporate these into your very own diet program, you should see progress coming your way.

Think Greenvegetables

The first trend is to think all natural. The more natural you can make your diet, the better says dieticians of this research group.  Much focus in today’s world will be placed on eating foods that come in their completely natural state while turning away from all the processed foods that line the supermarket shelves.

Use Herbs More Often

DLFreshHerbsH8_2The second trend that you’ll see being mentioned more often in 2012 is using spices to add flavor to your foods rather than condiments and sauces.  Many spices have their own unique benefits as well, so this further adds to the benefits you’ll receive from having them in your diet plan.

Just be on the lookout for high-sodium spices and make sure that you stay away from this variety.

Focus On Micronutrients31942

Micronutrients will be another large focus for many people moving into the coming year.  Rather than strictly looking at how many grams of protein, carbs, and fats you’re consuming, more people will be looking at fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

More awareness is being raised about just how important these nutrients are to form a healthy diet so people are starting to make sure that their diet doesn’t have any weak spots where nutritional density is low.

Seasonal Produce Is Bigsummer fruit

More focus is also going to be placed on all the seasonal fruits and vegetables that you can buy.  Far too many people are getting in the habit of consuming the same foods day in and day out and this is having a very negative impact on their nutritional standing.

Start experimenting with new options when you see them at the supermarket.

Use MyPlate As A GuideMy-Plate

The old food guide is now being replaced by a new guide – the MyPlate guide, which has a brand new set-up to consider for your food consumption.  With this set-up, you’ll be having half your plate divided between protein sand grains, with the other half consisting of vegetables and fruits.  Dairy will be a small serving on the side to add extra protein and calcium.

This much smaller dedication to grain products is going to help to combat diabetes along with many other negative health conditions associated with a very large carb intake.

So there you have the primary points to consider as you move into 2012. Follow these and you can feel confident your diet will be better because of them. 


Tips To Avoid Burnout

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

1226014085ACAI300x250As you move along with your weight loss diet plan, one of the most frustrating things that you might come to experience at times is burnout.  You’ve been following the plan, eating your scheduled meals as you should and frankly, you’re sick and tired of it.

You want a break.  You want to finally give in to your cravings and experiment with new foods that you haven’t tried before.  You want dessert!

What do you do when you’re at a point of burnout and uncertain if you’re going to be able to continue?  By using the following helpful tips, you can combat burnout head on so that you can stick with your diet and carry on to see the success that you’re after.

Let’s look at what you should know.

Re-Evaluate Your Approachbefore-and-after-4

First things first, in some cases the cause of burnout is simply because the plan isn’t structured properly.  Are you taking in sufficient calories? Are your carbs too low that you have energy lows at all times?

A poorly planned diet will lead to burnout because you’ll feel miserable on it.  If this is the case and you’re experiencing burnout after a very short time following the diet, you should assess to see if these factors could in fact be coming into play.

If they are, it may be time to try an alternate approach.

Incorporate New Healthy Foods Into The Plan

stock-footage-attractive-caucasian-family-sitting-at-home-sharing-a-healthy-meal-togetherThe next thing to do to avoid burnout is to try and incorporate new foods into the plan that are healthy.  Who says you have to eat the same thing day in and day out? There are plenty of healthy recipes that you can use that will fulfill your diet and satisfy your taste buds.

Start experimenting.  Make it a ritual every Sunday night to prepare a new dish.  This will give you something to look forward to so the week doesn’t seem so dreary eating the same thing over and over.

Assess If A Cheat Meal Is In Order

Another factor to consider is actually giving in and having a cheat meal.  When planning properly, cheatcheat-meal-burger meals can definitely be incorporated into a successful diet.  You really can eat foods you crave and continue to lose weight if you plan it wisely.

A single cheat meal could really mean the difference between sticking with your diet or not for many people, so factor this in.

Cheat meal provide much psychological relief as well, which is something you definitely need when facing burnout.

Remind Yourself Of Your Goals And The Benefits Of The Diet

fa5a26a9689ca22e_weight-loss.previewFinally, the last way to beat burnout is to remind yourself of the benefits you’ll get from the diet.  Think back to how you really felt when you weren’t eating healthfully.  Chances are you didn’t feel that great.

Do you really want to go back to that? If you stop and think about it, you’ll realize you don’t and that can help propel you forward.

So there you have a few important points to keep in mind at all times.  Burnout is common so don’t feel like a failure if you’re experiencing it but instead, use a proactive strategy to overcome it.

Sneaky Tricks To Outsmart Your Body And See Faster Success

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

body-words-e1381594743698If you’ve been going about your workout and diet program for a while now, seeing so-so results, but wondering why you just aren’t getting that remarkable level of fat loss you crave, it may be time to do an assessment of your approach.

There are certain things that you can do as you go about your diet and workout that will really increase the chances that you see faster results, but that few people ever make use of.  If you aren’t taking all things into account, you could be missing out on small parts of the picture that will really have that dramatic influence on how you progress at the end of the day.

Let’s take a bit of time right now to go over some of the top sneaky tricks that you should be using to outsmart your body and see faster fat loss.



Add A Cheat Day

The very first thing that you can do to quickly outsmart your body is to add a cheat day into the mix. The Cheat-Mealreason this works is simply because of the fact that a cheat day will give your body the impression that it’s coming off your diet, thus it will speed up its daily calorie burn for the few days following.

This additional boost can often be enough to get fat loss moving along at a faster rate, so if you do this any time you feel like your progress is getting sluggish, then it may just save the day.

Just do be aware of sluggish progress and your desire to just eat the foods you want.  Don’t let yourself use the cheat day as an excuse, doing it far more often than you know you should.

Use More Than One Mode Of Exercise

Exercise (1)Next, to change up things on the workout part of the equation and outsmart your body, make sure that you never do the same mode of exercise two days in a row.

For example, if you’re going to do a session on the treadmill one day, do a session on the elliptical the next.

Hitting the gym? Go to the pool the day after.

Adding more variety like this makes sure that your body is never going to adapt and instead, continually keeps responding day after day.

Diet In Two Week Stages

 Finally, in addition to tossing in the odd cheat meal here and there, consider using a two week diet plan. buy-green-coffeeThis is one of the best ways to outsmart your body because just as your body is getting used to the process of dieting, you come off the plan and give it a break.

This goes a long way towards preventing the adaptations that often take place when dieting, that could leave you head first into a plateau.

Diet for two weeks, and then take one week off. Repeat the cycle as many times as necessary until you reach your goal weight.

So there you have some quick and simple ways to outsmart your body. Use these and watch your success skyrocket. 





How To Maintain A Healthy Relationship With Food While Dieting

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

670px-Maintain-a-Healthy-Relationship-With-Food-While-Dieting-Step-2-Version-2If you’re on a fat loss diet plan, there may be a chance that you could come to ‘fear’ certain foods after so long.  You’ve been conditioned to know which foods are ‘good’ and which foods are ‘bad’ and do everything you can to stay away from the bad ones and only eat the good ones.

The big problem with this good and bad thinking however is that it forms a negative association in your mind regarding certain foods in the diet.  If you’re not careful, this could lead to eating disorders over time, which are very serious and could require extensive treatment to overcome.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the important things that you should remember that will help you maintain a more positive relationship with food while dieting.

Think In Terms Of Healthy Or Not Healthy


The very first thing that you should be doing to maintain a healthy relationship with  food is think in terms ofhealthy or not healthy rather than good or bad.  This shifts the perspective and allows you to focus on the health benefits that certain foods provide, which is a much healthier association.

Try filling your diet with the most nutritious foods that you can, not because they are low in calories but because they will do the most for you from a nutritional point of view.


Plan For Cheat Meals

cheat-mealsNext, another thing that you should be doing is planning some cheat meals into your program. Cheat meals are great because they give you psychological relief from strict diets and help you see that eating a food that’s ‘off’ your diet list won’t automatically make you gain all the fat you’ve lost right back.

This is key for maintaining that healthy relationship with food.  Cheat meals should be scheduled once every week or two for maximum benefits.  More frequently may not be a good idea as it could hinder progress, but making sure to get them in every so often is important.

Periodically Take Diet Breaksveggiesalad

Finally, the last thing to keep in mind is that you should periodically add some diet breaks as well.  This is key for helping you learn your new maintenance calorie intake so you don’t start thinking that you must maintain a very low calorie intake in order to succeed with keeping the weight off.

Often what occurs is that as you progress on the diet, your metabolism slows down so you start decreasing your calorie intake further to spark more fat loss, but over time, this leads to a very low calorie intake.

Before you know it you’re scared of eating more again for fear all the weight will come rushing back on.

Diet breaks will not only help to reset your metabolism but also teach you that you can eat more food and still maintain your body weight.

So there you have the most important things to note about maintaining a healthy relationship with food while dieting. For your psychological health, this is a must. 


The Most Common Reasons People Gain Weight: Stop Making These Mistakes

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

article-2583598-1C648B5E00000578-204_306x423If you’re interested in experiencing fast fat loss, it’s vital that you come to learn some of the biggest mistakes that many people make as they go about their plan and often completely steer them right off track.

It’s easy to overlook the smallest of things that could in fact be having a big impact on your overall progress, so by discovering what you must watch out for, you’re one step ahead of the game.

Let’s have a look at the most common mistakes that cause weight gain in others, so you can be sure they don’t hinder your results.




Neglecting To Plangirls-neglected01

The first and most important reason why people gain weight is because they simply don’t have a plan in place.  It’s an absolute must that you know precisely what you will be eating at every point in the day if you want to see the greatest success with this goal.

If you can come up with a plan and follow it, you know precisely how many calories you are taking in and can adjust this based on your real world results.

If you have no plan then you’re leaving weight loss up to chance.  If you don’t plan for meals away from home and bring appropriate food items with you, you’re counting on the fact that you’ll be able to find something healthy while out and about.

More often than not this is not the case.

Plan to succeed and you will.

Neglecting To Account ALL Calories

icecream_grandeThe second big problem is neglecting to factor all calories.  You know how it goes, ‘Oh, but I was standing when I ate that, so it doesn’t count’.

Yes, it does.  If you want to succeed with weight loss, everything will count.  Beverages included.  Don’t forget to tally up those 300-500 calorie smoothies or gourmet coffee that you down each day as well.

If you aren’t including these, you won’t see weight loss and will question why you aren’t moving forward. It’s due to the high intake of these beverages.

Neglecting To Factor In Individual Preferences

Another mistake to avoid is neglecting your individual preferences.  Try and avoid going on a diet that youfoods-to-loose-weight hate. If you do this, you’re setting yourself up to fail from day one.

Yes, you will have to make some changes and may have to give up the junk food that you do enjoy, but if you can’t stand the thought of cutting out carbs or using a low fat diet plan, don’t.  There are plenty of diet approaches that can work well so you should easily be able to find one that you will enjoy.

Dieting really doesn’t have to be as torturous as so many people make it out to be if they just invest in some quality research finding the right plan for themselves.


Neglecting Physical Activity

Long-BeachFinally, last but not least, make sure that you don’t neglect physical activity.  It’s very important that you stay active all the time as this will help you maintain a higher metabolism and help to give you more freedom with your diet.

One mistake is thinking that only diet matters.  While it’s true that diet is the most important factor for losing weight, it’s the exercise that goes along with it that allows you to really change the way your body looks while you lose weight.

If you want a complete transformation, adding the workouts will be a must.

So there you have the top mistakes that some people make as they go about their weight loss journey.  Do you see yourself in any of these?