Top 5 Dieting Mistakes To Avoid

While starting our fitness plan and regime – the first mistake we make is of becoming ambitious! We want quick results. However with some early success, sooner or later we come to a point where there is no progress at all; or on the contrary, we start to gain weight instead.

You might start to believe that the diet plan was not for you or you might just blame the equipments for not working on your body. But wait a minute, was it really the plan that didn’t work or was it YOU? It could also be some common mistakes people make while going on diets. Here are some common mistakes that render the dieting plans as ineffective, make sure you aren’t committing them! Here goes:

1. Avoiding Carbohydrates

Completely depriving your body of carbohydrates is not the right way to go on a diet. No doubt that carbohydrates are the new food demons (a status formerly reserved for fats and lipids), it is however not good to completely cut off carbohydrates from your diet.

Carbohydrates are important for your body as they help in energy production. They are necessary for the secretion of serotonin which evokes the feeling of happiness in our body. So, in other words, it is about eating smart. You can eat the good healthy carbs like whole grains and you can avoid the refined unhealthy carbohydrates on your way to weight loss & fitness.

2. Consuming Calories Unknowingly

Take a look at the food items which you are consuming. Some harmless looking food stuff contains a great amount of calories which you forgot or thought them as harmless and note down in your calorie counting book. Gulping that glass of orange juice in a hot afternoon or that coffee while you were conversing with your fellow workers might seem harmless, but they contain good amount of calories which can lead to weight gain.

Sweetened beverages are even worse in this context and one must avoid consuming these products.

The key is to be aware and alert about what you are having. Noted dieticians often comment that most of the people who come to them claim not having anything extra or unhealthy. But they’d be popping chocolates, drinking sweet – cold coffee and binging on potatoes chips and crispies. This is far from healthy! So be aware.

3. Depriving Yourself

Completely depriving yourself of certain food items can actually backfire to your diet program. Although your intention might be to control the intake of calories and get to that ideal weight, your body is not accustomed to the changes. If you have been regularly catering to your “sweet tooth” then a sudden stop on sweet intake may not go down well with your body. There can be the “withdrawal symptoms” and at times, you might even suffer from ill effects.

So instead of completely avoiding certain food items, here is what you could do:

  1. Decrease the intake frequency. For instance, don’t have dessert everyday!
  2. Decrease the quantity of intake. For instance, have a small helping of ice-cream for dessert instead of the regular bowl.
  3. Burn your calories. And this is irrespective of whether you have that dessert or not!

Exercise is important for weight loss. More so, it is important for your fitness.

4. Not keeping a tab on calories

If you are not monitoring your calories, there is a real problem. You must know what you are eating.

For starters, you should maintain a journal to keep a track on your calories. Not keeping one is also a reason for diet plan fails. For your weight loss plan to be a success, you must keep a tab on the calories you eat as well as on those you exhaust. It may be a bit hard and awkward to count the calories at first, but it will definitely pay off in the long run. Make sure that you shamelessly count each and every calorie which you ever consume and don’t even let the harmless looking candy slip off! It’s after all, for your health. At the same time, keep a tab on the number of calories you spent as the difference is what will tell you how much you have improved and how close you are to the ideal weight and figure!

5. Skipping Meals

You might think that to reduce weight one needs to reduce calories. Skipping meals can then reduce a whole bunch of calories, can’t it? Well, although the same might be true in a perfect world, ours sadly isn’t one. Skipping meals can interfere with your body’s digestion and lead to indigestion and render your body unable to utilize the food properly. Also, it is found that people who skip a meal overeat when they get a chance to in the next meal, which possesses a higher threat to weight loss.

So it’s all about being wise, eating well and doing the right amount of exercise. Get that discipline in your life – your body deserves it! Cheers!

The author is a writer in a blog which provides various health and nutrition related solutions. She has written blog posts in the subject of weight loss tips, prevention and cure of acne, prevention of early aging and HGH  to name a few.

5 Body-Toning Exercises for Women

I always say that the most important thing in life is having a healthy body. Your body is a temple and it’s the only one you’re ever gonna have, so you should take care of it! So, I decided to give you some tips on how to keep your bodytoned. I know most of you are probably very busy with work, family and the like, so I’m only including activities that are both quick and effective.

1. Jumping Jacks
Everyone knows how to do jumping jacks and you don’t need a gym membership to do them! These can be very effective, especially if you go to your local sporting goods store and buy yourself a pair of ankle weights to wear while doing them. You can also buy some free weights to hold in your hands. They should be on the lighter side though, as this is a toning and endurance exercise, not weight lifting.

2. Dead Lifts
The Dead lift is considered by many to be the greatest exercise ever invented and for good reason. This one single exercise works your entire body. Just make sure you practice with less weight at first, because it can be easy for a beginner to lose form and pull a muscle. You can look up tutorial videos on YouTube or just have someone at the gym coach you.

3. Leg lifts
Leg lifts are very important for toning your lower abdominal region. This can be a difficult area to tone even if you are doing sit ups, so I would recommend this activity to almost anyone. Leg lifts enable you to fully stretch out your stomach, unlike flat ground sit-ups.

4. Balance
Instead of standing on the flat ground during your whole workout, it is much more effective to stand on a trampoline or on a bosu ball for part of it. This will engage your core and give you a full body workout, instead of just focusing on your upper body. Do a simple Google search for great balance exercises. There are literally countless options out there.

5. Plyos
The plyo is similar to a squat, except you use the motion of a squat to jump up to a higher level, and then back down to the ground. Do these over and over again. Really feel the burn and you will notice your legs and glutes transforming like never before.

6. Push Ups
Do these often, but make sure you do them while balancing on your toes, not your knees (unless you have to, then don’t worry about it – just do what challenges you). When push ups are done correctly, they will engage your entire core so that you are not just working your arms and chest, you are working your entire torso. This is a kind of “body weight workout” – these are great because they require no equipment, and your bodyweight is usually a good amount of weight for a beginner to start out with anyway.

Remember that none of these workouts are going to be effective unless you commit yourself to doing them all the time and never skipping out. You will also need to have a healthy diet too, because exercise can only do half the job of looking good. You can build as much muscle as you want, but if you have fat over it, it won’t do you any good. That means cutting out all fast food and soda. Study how the body metabolizes its food to get the most bang for your buck. A lot of knowledge can be obtained online and in magazine, so it’s not hard to learn this. Lastly, remember that it’s not always about who trains the hardest. It’s about who trains the smartest.

Tanner Lovely writes about fitness, wellness & saving money on healthcare at www.dentalinsurance.net.

Working Mom’s Guide: What to do When Not Making Progress

All good things must come to an end; or at least that is how it feels sometimes. But in the realm of fitness why is this? We are in an amazing age of information where you can easily and quickly find just about anything you want on the internet. There are countless articles about fitness routines, diet options, and more; yet tons of people are still not meeting their fitness goals.

Why is this?

A Bit of Philosophy

Yes we are going to talk philosophy for a minute, but it is necessary. Far too often people accept things as they are and only react to the situations that happen around them. It is very rare that people take the time to enact or create change. Why? It boils down to a lack of specific goals and the all important focus.

The mind is an amazing thing. When we focus our minds on a given task it is very rare that we will not accomplish it. That is because with a clear goal in mind we are more prone to do everything we can to reach that goal. People don’t like to fail. But that is also the reason why people do not take the time to create specific goals. If you have a general goal of ‘getting in shape’ it is so arbitrary that how can you define if you meet it or don’t?

You can’t, which is why so many people use that for a New Year’s resolution; it is hard to fail at an arbitrary goal. But if you don’t have a finish line in mind how can you run the race?

Continue reading “Working Mom’s Guide: What to do When Not Making Progress”

Over-the-Counter Health Supplements: Hype or Hope?

You probably wish you could turn back the clock to a mystical past in which you felt younger, stronger, and more vital. Whether you ever actually lived in that past is another story, but the folks responsible for marketing and distributing the growing array of over-the-counter health supplements sure are good at bringing it to life. If you’re considering buying one or more of the products you see on TV, online, or on the shelves at your local health-foods store, take a moment to consider whether these supplements are anything more than hyped-up sugar pills.

Defining Health Supplements

Also known as “dietary supplements,” most of these products come in pill form and are readily available on the shelves of your local supermarket or health food store at a variety of price points. Some, like “B-complex” and “immune booster” pills, are little more than cocktails of everyday vitamins that retail for a few dollars per bottle. Others are more complex, containing a variety of obscure herbal compounds, and are correspondingly more expensive.

In any event, the Food and Drug Administration defines the “dietary ingredients” in these supplements as anything that can be considered a vitamin, mineral, amino acid, or “extract.” As you can imagine, some perform their stated functions better than others.

Regulation and Fact-Checking

Since their active ingredients have the potential to cause serious harm when not taken properly, prescription medications are tightly regulated by the FDA. Not so with health supplements: the companies that market these products are not required to disclose the results of studies that test the efficacy of their constituent compounds. In other words, you’re taking the supplement at your own risk.

Cellulite Solution

What Works, What Doesn’t

Most health supplement ingredients are not actively harmful; more often, it’s merely a question of whether or not they work. A quick rundown of some effective and not-so-effective supplements follows.

  • Joint health. The two most common joint health compounds are chondroitin and glucosamine, both of which occur naturally in human cartilage. Although initial claims that they actually help rebuild joint cartilage that wears down due to rheumatoid arthritis have been proven false, they do appear to reduce pain and inflammation in sufferers of the disease.
  • Heart health. These supplements contain everything from Vitamin E, garlic extract, and Omega-3 fish oils to green tea and red yeast rice. Only red yeast rice has been proven to reduce “bad” cholesterol, but that’s only because it mimics an active ingredient in popular prescription medications like Altoprev.
  • Memory. Most of the supplements that claim to improve cognitive function contain gingko biloba, a naturally-occurring plant extract. It has been conclusively proven to improve the memories of dementia patients and increase blood flow to the brain, but it carries the risk of side effects including bleeding, dizziness, and vomiting.

Even the most effective over-the-counter health supplements, like gingko biloba, have drawbacks that should not be taken lightly. Many more simply don’t do what they claim to. Before buying any non-prescription supplements, do your research, talk to other users, and make an informed decision on your own terms.

Tamera Mulkey is a freelance blogger, who writes about health topics. If you want to make a career in the health industry, Tamera recommends getting a master of science in nursing online.

Stretching and Warming Up Before Sports and Exercise

Stretching before sports and exercise is one of those things which is sorely underestimated in terms of importance and which has often dire results when ignored.

Stretching before exercise is a highly important way to avoid injury and it achieves this by helping to increase the elasticity of the muscle fibers and ligaments.

How Stretching and Warming Up Prevent Injury

Basically when we exercise we are always going to cause some microtears in the muscles and this is a completely normal and expected result. This is in fact necessary in order for muscle growth to occur – and it is when the body repairs these tears using the amino acids that come from the protein in your diet that it manages to improve the thickness and the strength of those fibers.

Unfortunately though a sudden movement or too much strain can have a negative result, and this is to cause too many of the muscle fibers to tear to the point where it can result in severe pain and the muscle going out of action. This is in fact what we call a pulled muscle. Worse, if you should move too suddenly without the proper preparation this can also cause the ligaments and other connective tissue to tear resulting in what we know as a sprain which leaves the limb too weak and too uncoordinated to be used properly.

Stretching and warming up helps to avoid this problem significantly by gradually increasing the elasticity of the muscle fibers and the connective tissues allowing them to become more flexible and to move more easily without tearing. This is actually very important, and if you ignore this preparation then you will greatly increase your chances of pulling a muscle or causing other damage to the limbs.

Other Benefits

But that is not the only benefit of stretching and warming up. While many people think of it as purely a way to avoid injury, it is actually important to bear in mind that you can also use stretching and warming up in order to improve circulation to the muscles. This then will help to encourage your body to deliver your muscles with the all important nutrients and vitamins they need, as well as with ATP (energy) in order to improve function. In short by doing a brief warm up you can ensure that your muscles are more energetic and more ‘ready to go’ when you begin.

Further, stretching will also help to improve your flexibility and this will help you to improve your performance in a range of sports and exercises. In most sports games increasing your reach is very important and it’s highly useful that you can do this with stretching and increased flexibility. However at the same time you will find that you improve your training this way too – as by increasing flexibility you increase the range of motion through which you can train muscles resulting in a more complete growth in muscle size.

How to Warm Up and Stretch

Warming up is a simple matter of getting your blood flowing around your body without exerting yourself too much. A light jog here can work great, as can gently bouncing up and down or even doing some shadow boxing.

For stretching it’s possible to find lots of exercises online, but it’s important to ensure that these are all stretches that involve gradually increasing your reach – rather than ‘bobbing up and down’ into the movement as some people recommend which can actually result in injury and damage themselves. Stretching should be a slow and gradual process.

Meanwhile make sure that you stretch every muscle group and don’t leave any out which can further result in injury. That means you need to include twisting and back exercises – even if there is no use for the back in your chosen activity or sport.

Chad Moreau is very good at giving online hockey training programs on his blog. He is also involved with one of the sports club and likes to share his training skills with fellow members.