The Lifestyle

This blog is for those passionate about exercise and eating healthy as well as those who want and need motivation to work towards reaching their fitness and health goals by ditching the temporary diet and adopting a lifestyle that is both healthy and enjoyable.
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Posts tagged "health"

Its going to be a rough..long..week.

At least I have my meals made and my work out for the week planned. One less thing I have to think about!

Spot Training for Fat Loss…Don’t Waste Your Time!!

The “spare tire,” the “arm curtains,” the “love handles…”chances are you’ve used these clever nicknames to refer to your “problem areas” at one time or another. I get it, you want better arms! Now stop waiving those things in my face. Once again, we can blame a wide variety of things for our spot training misconceptions. Pick up the latest issue of Women’s Health, Cosmo, or Shape Magazine and you’re sure to find countless articles on targeting abdominal fat, toning your legs, and tightening your arms. “Lose abdominal fat with these new and exciting moves!” Please, you’d have a better chance selling ice to an Eskimo! The truth is that we’re all guilty of working a little harder on certain areas of our bodies, myself included. It was not until I became educated on the differences between fat loss and hypertrophy of skeletal muscle that I stopped wasting my time. Read on and hopefully you can learn from my mistakes.

First, we need to identify (and come to terms with) why we have “problem” areas. Everyone has at least one area on their body that they are not happy with. For men, problem areas seem to be centered around the mid-section and through the torso. For women, fat mass seems to be concentrated in the hips, thighs, and upper arms. Why? The number one culprit is genetics! Everyone is genetically predisposed to be shaped a certain way. I know this can be hard to hear, but it’s the truth. If you genetically have more fat cells in your lower body, you may never have the legs of the model pictured on the cover of Shape Magazine, and that’s ok! Don’t get me wrong – fitness models work very hard, but they are also “genetically gifted.” That’s why they get paid for it! They look great in pictures because they have very little fat mass, not because they did 8000 bicep curls to tone their arms.

Targeting a specific area on your body through resistance training exercises will work the underlying skeletal muscle; it will do nothing for the overlying fat mass. So what actually happens to the muscle when you “spot train” a certain area? More than likely, you will experience growth of that specific muscle group. The muscle is able to adapt to the stress of exercise by a mechanism called hyperplasia. Hyperplasia is essentially increasing the size and amount of contractile proteins within the muscle fiber, leading to an increase in size of the whole muscle. This muscle growth is a good thing! What people need to realize is that you can increase muscle mass from head to toe, but if you have an inch of subcutaneous fat on top of it, the only results you will see are larger girth measurements. In order to “tone up,” you need to LOSE THE FAT on top of those muscles.

As most of you know, fat loss comes from a calorie deficit. It does not come from crunches, curls, squats or push-ups – it comes from eating less energy (calories) than you expend during the day. Just because you have very sore arms after a workout does not mean you burned extra fat in that area. The burning sensation you feel in your arms while exercising is due to a lack of oxygenated blood getting to your muscle tissue. That burning is not a magic oven that melts fat away from your arms (in fact, the burning you’re feeling is the breakdown of carbohydrate, NOT fat, and the more burning you feel, the more carbohydrate you’re breaking down). The consequent soreness is due to the damaged muscle fibers and lactic acid that builds up during exercise.

If you are in a calorie deficit, you can expect to lose fat mass consistently from head to toe. This does not mean that you are going to visibly “tone up” from head to toe at the same rate. For example, if you have a 10mm triceps skin fold and a 40mm abdominal skin fold, you are going to notice a 3mm drop in the triceps site before you will notice a 6mm drop in the abdominal site. Here’s why: picture a snowman slowly melting in the sun. It always seems like the head of the snowman is melting at twice the rate of the bottom snowball. We know this is not true. They are melting at the same rate, but since there was less snow in the head of the snowman to begin with, it appears to be melting much faster. Same goes for your body. You are going to lose fat mass consistently, but the areas with less fat at the start are going to SEEM like they are changing at a faster rate. Make sense?

Now that we have established that you cannot target one specific area for fat loss, let’s talk about the potential dangers of spot training. Spot training can lead directly to overuse injuries. Take a teenage male for example, who does “curls for the girls” every time he steps into a weight room. Over time, he does not give his muscles the proper amount of time to rest and repair. This can lead to cramping, muscle strains, muscle tears, tendonitis, or even worse, the complete rupture of the biceps muscle or the surrounding connective tissue. An injury to this degree could potentially set him back months! Worth it? I think not!

Another thing to consider when trying to “spot train” is the size of the muscle group you want to work. If your goal is weight loss, the absolute best thing you can do is burn the maximum amount of calories in a specific timeframe. People often ask me, “Why so many squats?” or “Why are we doing more lunges?” or “Why do we do wall sits all the time?” The answer is to burn calories! The more muscle fibers you can activate during a workout, the more calories you are able to expend. You will not find a larger group of muscles than your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes (all of which are worked by squats, lunges and wall sits.) You can have two people side by side with the same height, weight, age and gender. Person #1 is doing bicep curls and triceps extensions; Person #2 is doing squats and lunges. They both appear to be working equally hard, but who do you think is burning more calories? Person 2! He/she is working a larger muscle group, which requires the body to use more stored glycogen and burn more calories.

In a nutshell, if your main goal is WEIGHT LOSS, spot training will not work for you. If you reach a point where you have no more fat to lose, you can spot train certain underdeveloped muscles to enhance their appearance through muscle growth. Until then, you are not doing yourself any favors by doing extra sets of curls, extensions, crunches, or the most notorious – hip adductor/abductor machines at your local gym. Want leaner arms? Try a squat! Need to blast that tummy fat? Try a lunge! Want to battle the bulge in your thighs? Eat less and move more… Sound familiar!?

Breakfast
Kashi Go Lean
banana

Morning Snack
Luna Bar

Early Afternoon Snack
Juice Plus Protein Shake

Lunch
4 oz. low sodium turkey lettuce wraps
steamed veggies

Dinner
2 pieces of pizza
steamed broccoli

Dessert
Small apple with cinnamon

Calories: 1625

Work Out

5 minute warm up

Cable Fly, 3 sets of 15
Decline Dumbell Press, 3 sets of 15
Dumbell BOR, 3 sets of 15
Lat Sweep, 3 sets of 15
DB Upright Row, 3 sets of 15
Standing BB Press, 2 sets of 15
BB Bicep Curl, 3 sets of 15
DB Kickback, 3 sets of 15
Shoulder shrug, 2 sets of 10

15 minutes jump rope
Jump 1 minute
mountain climbers 30 seconds
Jump 1 minute
Lunge Jumps 30 seconds
Jump 1 minute
Squat jumps 30 seconds
Jump 1 minute
Burpees 30 seconds
**Repeat 15 minutes**

Treadmill Sprints
Sprint 30 seconds
Rest 30 seconds
Sprint 40 seconds
Rest 30 seconds
Sprint 45 seconds
Rest 30 seconds
Sprint 1 minute
Rest 30 seconds
Repeat for 15 minutes

Calories Burned: 522

Breakfast
2 pieces of cinnamon toast (Sandwich thins toasted with lite butter and Truvia mixed with cinnamon)
1 egg 2 egg whites
1 cupish grapes

Snack 1
Luna Protein Bar

Snack 2
4 oz. low sodium turkey deli meat
apple

Dinner
lettuce wraps

Dessert
slice of banana oatmeal bread
glass of skim milk

Biiiiig Breakfast
2 pieces of toast, 2 TB peanut butter, banana
chocolate milk

Lunch/Snack?
1 egg and 2 egg whites, scrambled

Lunch/Snack?
Luna Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein

Dinner
Panera Asian Chicken Salad w/ extra chicken

Dessert
Small Apple sprinkled with cinnamon

Total Calories: 1550

I needed this right now..

How to MEND your Broken Heart

Heartbreak is a term for crushing grief, anguish, and distress, often due to the pains and strains of love. The experience of heartbreak can be so powerful that some scientists suggest it feels the same as physical pain. In one study, people showed similar brain activity when they viewed a photo of a former love and when they felt extreme heat on their arm.

There are a few basic techniques for coping with the pain of a lost love. We reached out to Athena Staik, Ph.D., LMFT and Julie S. Lerner, Psy.D. for professional advice on healing a broken heart.

When a relationship ends, Athena Staik:

  • Understand the past. Recall your emotions and thoughts during the romance— from its early stages, to when things began to get rough, to when it ended. Think of other past relationships and look for patterns.
  • Prepare a self-care action plan. Lift yourself up emotionally, mentally, and physically. Exercise. Eat super healthfully. Cut out sweets and alcohol as much as possible.
  • Connect. Practice deep breathing, yoga, and meditation. Connect with people you trust.

When a loved one passes away, Julie S. Lerner:

  • Allow yourself to cry. “Being strong,” a phrase often heard during the grieving process, can mean letting go. Remember that no one ever died from crying.
  • Make space for the loss. Don’t fully immerse yourself in work or other activities. Loss is a part of life, so create time to grieve.
  • Self-soothe. Don’t feel guilty about enjoying life. Keep your house organized or buy yourself flowers. Take a bath or connect with pets!
  • Take it easy. Experiencing waves of exhaustion is normal. Try to get extra sleep, or talk to a doctor about taking sleep medication. Exercise is important, but don’t push yourself—long walks are good, too.


I’m so excited to try thiiiiisssss!

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Serves 2; Adapted from Your Lighter Side.

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp garlic salt
olive oil (optional)

pizza sauce, shredded cheese and your choice of toppings*

Directions:

To “Rice” the Cauliflower:
Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-do pulse or you will puree it. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the whole head with a cheese grater). Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes. There is no need to add water, as the natural moisture in the cauliflower is enough to cook itself.

One large head should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

To Make the Pizza Crust:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic salt, stir. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 9” round. Optional: Brush olive oil over top of mixture to help with browning.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven. To the crust, add sauce, toppings and cheese. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes).

Enjoy!

*Note that toppings need to be precooked since you are only broiling for a few minutes.

If you struggle with emotional eating try to be as “in touch” with yourself as possible. Be proactive. Constantly question yourself. For example, “Am I really hungry? When was the last time I ate? Was it enough? Am I bored? Am I stressed? Am I feeling emotional?”
If you’re not hungry, get out of the kitchen.

If you struggle with emotional eating try to be as “in touch” with yourself as possible. Be proactive. Constantly question yourself. For example, “Am I really hungry? When was the last time I ate? Was it enough? Am I bored? Am I stressed? Am I feeling emotional?”

If you’re not hungry, get out of the kitchen.

It IS important to stay hydrated..but listen to your body. Give it what it needs.

It IS important to stay hydrated..but listen to your body. Give it what it needs.

Your Goal: Lift More Weight 

The Solution: Work your Grip
One of the biggest mistakes most people make in the gym is also one of the easiest to fix. When performing exercises where you are holding a weight, make sure that you grip the barbell, dumbbell, or kettlebell tight. Not only does this create more stability (which makes it easier to move the weight), it also creates something known as radiant tension. That is, the tension you create in your hand moves from your wrist (through your forearms), to your elbow, and into your shoulder. This tension creates more neural activation, which can help you move more weight or perform more reps or sets.  
Your Goal: Eat Fewer Calories
The Solution: Watch your snacking habits
There are many diet strategies that work for weight loss. Recently, the most common trend has been to eat 5 to 6 smaller meals during the course of the day. While we could argue the benefits and detriments of this approach, the small meal strategy can work—as long as you’re wary of the timing of those meals. According to recent research, those who snack between breakfast and lunch are more likely to gain weight than those who spread out their meals more often. This isn’t a hard-written rule (morning eating doesn’t guarantee weight gain). But it does show that people need to learn to separate real hunger from boredom. Most people eat because they think they have to—not because they need to. Remember, eating every 2 to 3 hours is not necessary to boost your metabolism. So set a plan that works for you, and then eat on your time. 
Your Goal: Fight off hunger 
The Solution: Eat More (drink less)
Protein shakes and smoothies are popular, oftentimes delicious, and very convenient. But they’re also very unfulfilling. In fact, every time you drink your calories—whether it’s a sugary soda or a healthy shake—you are less likely to feel satisfied and more likely to continue eating or drinking to satisfy your hunger or thirst. As a rule of thumb, the more solid foods you eat the fuller you’ll feel. So leave liquid calories as a backup option or a minimal part of your diet for the best results. That is, of course, unless you like feeling hungry and eating more. 
Your Goal: Find a Supplement that Works
The Solution: Fish Oil 
There are very few supplements that I think should be included in everyone’s diet. Fish oil is one of them. Among its numerous benefits, fish oil has been linked to improved cardiovascular health, better brain functioning, and reduced inflammation. But recent research has also suggested that fish oil can improve muscle growth (via muscle protein synthesis), and might even help fat loss as well (via improved fat oxidation)—although don’t anticipate anything dramatic. If you’re looking to add this to your routine, try to consume a combination of around 3 grams of EPA/DHA.  
Your Goal: Stop Feeling Tired in the Morning
The Solution: Time your Sleep
Ever wonder why some days you wake up feeling refreshed and ready, and other days you can’t pull yourself out of bed? The issue could be your sleep cycle. After all, while the amount of time you sleep is important, so is the timing of your sleep cycle. Here’s a quick primer, according to the Center for Applied Cognitive Studies: 
“Studies show that the length of sleep is not what causes us to be refreshed upon waking. The key factor is the number of complete sleep cycles we enjoy. Each sleep cycle contains five distinct phases, which exhibit different brain-wave patterns.”
We could dig into all the details, but each sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes. Therefore, it’s best for you to time your sleep in 90 minute intervals to guarantee that you don’t wake yourself during your deeper stages of sleep, which will leave you craving your bed and desiring more rest, instead of being ready to take on the day. That means sleeping 7.5 hours (5 complete cycles) instead of exactly 8 hours (5.3 sleep cycles) could leave you more refreshed. 
Your Goal: Stay accountable on your Fitness Plan
Your Solution: Use Your Cell Phone
For years accountability has been identified as one of the key factors attributed to success on a fitness plan. (whether weight loss, muscle gain, or sports performance) But establishing a network that keeps you on task is always easier said than done. Turns out, your mobile device could be your savior. Recent research at Temple found that people who used accountability networks that provided feedback from Facebook and text messages 3 times per week lost more weight than those who just used Facebook or received no extra help. By receiving texts and Facebook feedback, the individuals not only shared their goals (accountability) but also received real-time feedback, which improve self-monitoring and helped created behavioral change. 
You Goal: Jumpstart your Workout
Your Solution: Pour a cup of coffee
I don’t drink coffee. Or Red Bull. Or any other energy drink. But I’d be doing a disservice if I didn’t point out that numerous studies have highlighted the benefits of caffeine. Research shows that it can boost your mood, help you fight off fatigue, and improve your overall gym performance. So if you’re looking for a boost, caffeine appears to be a solution. The caveat: Some people do build up sensitivities, so start slowly. And research hasn’t identified the ideal dose, so tread lightly and don’t use this as your excuse to start each day with four, double-shots of espresso. 
(note: adding cream/sugar to your coffee is not part of the performance-enhancing benefits of caffeine. But it is a nice way to gain unwanted weight).
Your Goal: Make Time for a Workout
Your Solution: Buy a stopwatch 
The most common complaint about fitness always revolves around a lack of time. So instead of worrying about creating more time in your day, just make less time for your workouts—with one tiny exception. Your workout intensity needs to increase. Fast-paced timed workouts (oftentimes called metabolic conditioning) are great for anyone who wants to get back in shape in a short period of time. But the key is adhering to timing of the workouts. Most of these fat-burning plans consist of timed sets (doing an exercise for a given period of time, instead of counting for a goal number of reps), and following a short, specific amount of rest. If you’re going to follow these types of programs, do it right and don’t cheat. Bring a stopwatch and you’ll be surprised how long 30 seconds can feel (when doing an exercise), and how short it feels when you recover. 
Your Goal: Break out of a Diet Rut
Your Solution: Break the Rules 
Try something new. And when I saw new, I mean really new. About 6 months ago I tried intermittent fasting. It sounded crazy, but had just enough research behind it that I felt safe giving it a go. The result? Despite being busier than ever, I’ve maintained my weight, dropped body fat, and increased my strength. Best of all? I no longer deal with hunger issues (or overeating), which was always my issue. It’s not that intermittent fasting is the end-all solution. Far from it. But it’s a technique that fit much better with my schedule, and that made compliance much easier. The more compliant you are, the more likely your will succeed on your diet (regardless of the plan). It’s so simple that even scientists agree it’s true. 
You Goal: Eliminate Aches and Pains
You Solution: Foam roll. 
Just do it. It won’t feel good during, but it will change your life after. One of the best decisions I’ve made is foam rolling. Your body needs it, so what are you waiting for?
Your Goal: Eat more carbs
Your Solution: Carb cycle 
Nowhere does it say that in order to lose weight or be healthy you need to restrict all carbs. You just have to be smarter about your approach. One technique that works is called carb cycling. There are many variations, but the simplest form to try out consists of altering your carb intake based on the days you exercise. That is, on the days you work out, take in more carbs and enjoy some of your favorite foods. On the days you don’t train, just taper the carbs and keep it mostly to vegetables and maybe a few fruits. Yes, it’s a sacrifice. But you won’t be hungry on the low carb days (loading up on proteins, fats, and veggies will keep you very full), and you’ll be surprised at how much you can still eat some of your favorites (like bread and cereal) and still lose weight.
Your Goal: See More Results from Training
Your Solution: Stop changing your workouts so often. 
Most people worry about becoming bored or enjoying their workout. You know what I find enjoyable? Real, visible results. If you have a good workout and stay consistent, that’s what you’ll see. But it won’t happen as fast or as effectively if you are stricken with workout ADD. That’s not to say weight training is the only exercise that counts. I believe that you should find the type of activity you enjoy and do it. But when it comes to resistance training, too many people haphazardly exercise rather than follow a plan. And that alone is the reason why so many people fail.  
Article by: Adam Bornstein (livestrong.com)
You will not lose the weight you want over night. You will not eat perfectly clean or always have good work outs. There will be set backs (plenty of them). Just remember the progress that is maintained..comes slowly. Just continue to live your life and include those healthy options along the way. Be patient!

You will not lose the weight you want over night. You will not eat perfectly clean or always have good work outs. There will be set backs (plenty of them). Just remember the progress that is maintained..comes slowly. Just continue to live your life and include those healthy options along the way. Be patient!

My dessert I’m bringing to the Super Bowl Party! I also made a low calorie dip to go with it that is sooo good.

If you’re going to a Super Bowl Party or any party for that matter..follow these simple rules to avoid a food (or alcohol lol) hang over the next day:

1.) Do NOT fast before the party. You’ll end up eating way more calories then you intended. Don’t try to say you wont, you will.

2.) Treat yourself. Remember..this is a healthy LIFESTYLE. The way you eat must be healthy but also something you can live with. Does your healthy lifestyle never allow you to have another cookies or piece of cake for the rest of your life??? I sure hope not! At a party, when you’re around a ton of people, is the perfect time to try little indulgences. The risk of “eating the whole box of cookies” is gone because you don’t have the dessert in bulk in your home or apartment. My suggestion is..for the main course items..have a small portion to taste a little bit of everything. For the desserts, choose one. If the portions are huge, have half. Offer to split with a friend.

3.) Do not go back for seconds. Once your plate is empty. You’re done.

4.) Eat slow. (This is another reason NOT to fast before the party..I guarantee if you arrive starving you will absolutely inhale your food.) Enjoy every bite. You will get full on less and you will smile and watch every one else get up for seconds while you’re still on your first plate!

5.) Drink lots of water. Match every alcoholic drink you have with a glass of water. Limit yourself to 3 drinks.

6.) This is the most important one, remember..you’re not there to eat. You’re there to enjoy your friends/family. The food is just an added bonus. Keep your priorities straight and you’ll be fine :D

Take focus off “looking better”…Focus on feeling better..the rest will fall into place.

Take focus off “looking better”…Focus on feeling better..the rest will fall into place.

Leg Exercise #1:

Name: Squats
Gym Equivalent: Barbell /
Dumbbell Machine Squats
Area Targeted: Thighs/Front
Of Legs

Resistance Bands QuadricepsResistance Bands Leg Exercise 1 - Squats


Leg Exercise #2:

Name: Lunges
Gym Equivalent: Barbell /
Dumbbell Machine Lunges
Area Targeted: Thighs/Front
Of Legs

Resistance Bands QuadricepsResistance Bands Leg Exercise 2 - Lunges


Leg Exercise #3:

Name: Laying
Hamstrings Curl
Gym Equivalent: Machine
Laying Hamstrings Curl
Area Targeted: Back Of Legs

Resistance Bands HamstringsResistance Bands Leg Exercise 3 - Laying Hamstrings Curl


Leg Exercise #4:

Name: Standing Leg
Adduction
Gym Equivalent: Cable / Stationary
Machine Standing Leg Adduction
Area Targeted: Inner Thigh

Resistance Bands AdductorsResistance Bands Leg Exercise 4 - Standing Leg Adduction


Leg Exercise #5:

Name: Calf raise
Gym Equivalent: Stationary
Machine Standing calf Raise
Area Targeted: Calves

Resistance Bands CalvesResistance Bands Leg Exercise 5 - Standing Calf Raise


Leg Exercise #6:

Name: Seated Leg
Adduction
Gym Equivalent: Cable / Stationary
Machine Seated Leg Adduction
Area Targeted: Inner Thigh

Resistance Bands AdductorsResistance Bands Leg Exercise 6 - Laying leg Adduction


Leg Exercise #7:

Name: Seated Leg
Abduction
Gym Equivalent: Cable /Stationary
Machine Seated Leg Abduction
Area Targeted: Outer Thigh

Resistance Bands AbductorsResistance Bands Leg Exercise 7 - Laying Leg Abduction


Leg Exercise #8:

Name: Seated Leg
Extension
Gym Equivalent: Seated Stationary
Machine Leg Extension
Area Targeted: Thighs/Front
Of Legs

Resistance Bands QuadricepsResistance Bands Leg Exercise 8 - Leg Extension


Leg Exercise #9:

Name: Standing Hip
Extension
Gym Equivalent: Cable / Stationary
Machine Standing Hip Extension
Area Targeted: Butt

Resistance Bands Gluteus MaximusResistance Bands Leg Exercise 9 - Hip Extension


Leg Exercise #10:

Name: Standing Leg
Abduction
Gym Equivalent: Cable / Stationary
Machine Standing Leg Abduction
Area Targeted: Outer Thigh

Resistance Bands Abductors

Resistance Bands Leg Exercise 10 - Standing Leg Abduction