You are what you eat! What’s interesting is that this applies to cows as well. Most of us have been forced into believing that meat is meat, regardless of the quality. However, recent research shows that grass fed beef is far superior to grain fed beef in terms of its nutrient content. The difference comes in how they are raised. Grain fed cows are force-fed grains and are kept in closely packed environments with other cows. Grass fed cows are allowed to consume grass freely on large areas – they’re much happier cows and their meat is incredibly nutritious. Recent research also indicates that red meat, whether grass-fed or grain-fed is not a source of heart disease. Phew. Keep reading to find out how grass fed meat trumps the conventional grain-fed variety:
1. Higher in good fats
Grass fed beef have 2 to 4 times the omega 3 fatty acids of regular grain fed beef. Additionally, the saturated fatty acid composition varies between both meats too. Red meat is composed of three different saturated fatty acids: stearic acid, myristic acid and palmitic acid. Research shows that stearic acid does not raise blood cholesterol levels and the good news is, grass-fed has higher levels of it. This also means that the potentially cholesterol-inducing palmitic and myristic acid proportions are lower in grass fed meat.
2. Higher in Vitamins and Minerals
Grass fed meat has a higher composition of the following minerals, vitamins and antioxidants:
Carotenoids give fat its yellowish hue. You’ll notice this while cooking grass-fed meat. Carotenoids are precursors to vitamin A found in green plants and orange and yellow vegetables.
b. B Vitamins
B vitamins are required for almost every function in the human body, including cognitive function, heart health, muscle health and fertility.
c. Vitamin D
Red meat is rich in bioavailable vitamin D which has a greater impact on our blood levels compared to vitamin D in dairy and synthetic varieties.
We aren’t strangers to the fact that red meat is among the highest sources of iron. Iron is especially important for pregnant women and people with iron-deficiency anemia.
4. Omega 3 and Omega 6 Balance
Most of us have become buddies with these, often labeled as good fats and better known as polyunsaturated fatty acids. However, it’s important that your diet has a balance between the two as greater levels of omega 6 fatty acids, which is a common problem among Americans, can increase your risk of chronic illnesses. The reason is that omega 6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory, while omega-3s are anti-inflammatory so the goal is to consume more of the latter. The good news for those who can’t afford grain-fed beef is that any type of red meat will have consistent omega-6 fatty acid levels. However, as mentioned earlier, grass fed has a league of its own because it is much higher in omega 3 fatty acids.
5. Conjugated Linoleic Acid
Conjugated linoleic acid is another type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that is found naturally in meat and milk products. Conjugated linoleic acid has powerful antioxidant properties, which makes it highly protective against chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Grass-fed beef, on average, possesses 2 to 3 times more conjugated linoleic acid than its grain-fed counterpart.
Many people choose to enhance their features, such as their breasts and butt through cosmetic surgery. However, unlike your breasts, your butt is a muscle and you can enhance it with exercise alone and save thousands of dollars you may have decided to spend on surgery. Although you cannot make your butt significantly larger with exercise, you can make it rounder and perkier and seriously lift it up with lower body exercises, the following being our favorite ones:
Squats performed as a bodyweight exercise or with dumbbells or barbells, work your entire lower body, including your glutes, quads and hamstrings.
With every squat you make, try to go deeper – the deeper, the better. Ensure that you are involving your butt as much as possible without arching your lower back. Your lower back and spine should be straight and slightly bent forward.
In order to perform a squat, stand shoulder-width apart with toes turned outward slightly. Engage your core, push your chest up and your hips back, bend your knees and squat low until your thighs are parallel or almost parallel to the ground. Practice hard and try to make it to a perfect squat. Perform as many repetitions as possible. If you’re a beginner, start with 10 and works work towards 20.
Squat pulses are also an excellent way to really make your butt and thighs burn. While performing your normal squats, try pulsing and by pulsing we mean going half-way up each time you squat. Do this at a fast-enough past and you’ll begin to feel some good exercise pain. If you’re able to do 20 squats easily, try doing 10 normal squats, 10 pulses and then 10 normal squats again.
Lunges are amazing when it comes to perking up your butt. When performed with a pair of dumbbells or a barbell, lunges can create a very grueling workout that actually works much faster than normal, weight-less workouts.
To perform a lunge, stand on a flat surface or a platform that is 4 to 6 inches above the ground with your feet together. Step your right foot back off the platform keeping your torso upright and bend your legs in lunging posture. For the leg on the platform, make sure the thigh is parallel to the ground and for the leg on the floor, the thigh should be perpendicular to the ground and the lower leg should be parallel to the ground. Engage your core and bring your rear leg back on the platform. Alternate legs and perform at least 12 repetitions per leg.
3. Kettlebell Swings
This is a potent exercise that lifts your butt and seriously enhances your hamstrings and lower back strength. If you don’t have kettlebell available at home, you can perform this exercise with a dumbbell or a reasonably heavy object such as a bag full of sand.
To perform this exercise, stand shoulder-width apart, holding the weight in front of your thighs. Slightly bend your knees while keeping your core engaged and bring the weight between your knees. Push your hip forward and drive the kettlebell or dumbbell up to shoulder-level with your arms straight.
Bring the weight back down and perform this exercise again. Avoid arching your back as this may cause an injury. Perform about 10 to 20 reps, depending on the weight you choose and the level of intensity you can handle.
We know what you’re thinking – is there anything exercise can’t do? There are plenty of reasons to work out from fitting into your old jeans to staying healthy. Regardless of what your goals are, we all can agree that the results you get from working out are almost always obvious – this includes exercise’s impact on your skin too.
1. Goodbye Acne!
Working out regularly boosts blood circulation, which increases blood and hence, nutrient and oxygen flow beneath the skin. In addition, increased blood circulation also elevates the skin’s ability to draw out toxins from the body, including those that clog your pores. Having a great sweat sesh pulls out the toxins, dirt and sebum from the pores, making your skin look clearer.
However, working out isn’t enough. You need to maintain a water, antioxidant and mineral-rich diet and make sure cleanse your skin properly, especially after working out to remove all that gunk. Pay special attention to acne-prone areas of your skin. Exercising can flush toxins from your skin but they’ll still remain on your skin if you don’t wash them off. If you’re using a prescription acne treatment, be sure to ask your doctor if it is safe to reapply the product after an afternoon or evening workout shower.
Another noteworthy benefit of working out that benefits the skin is the fact that exercise helps reduce stress. Exercise boosts endorphin release in the body and reduces cortisol, thereby countering one of the most common the effects of stress i.e. acne.
2. Delay Wrinkle Formation
We aren’t going to lie to you and say that you can prevent wrinkles forever. Wrinkles and fine lines are inevitable so it’s important that you learn to embrace them with age – however, you can slow their development by working out. As mentioned earlier, working out helps reduce cortisol levels in the body. Too much cortisol leads to collagen breakdown which can increase sagging and wrinkles. Exercise, on the other hand, supports collagen production and keeps the skin firm and elastic.
3. Glowing Skin
Increased oxygen flow also allows the skin to glow. In fact, you and your friends will notice that your skin keeps glowing for hours after your workout too. Your skin is being constantly nourished by blood vessels under the skin and this increases with a boost in blood supply from your workouts. When you exercise, your blood vessels dilate to release heat from the body, giving the skin a glowing, healthy appearance.
Made by honey bees using the nectar of flowers, honey is a gorgeous amber fluid that has been used as a natural sweetener for countless centuries. Although honey is considered superior to sugar in terms of its nutritional value, the latter is still consumed over 40 times more.
What’s spectacular about honey is that not only is it sweeter to sugar, it also comprises many trace elements and antioxidants required for the proper functioning of the body. Therefore, it’s more than just a flavoring for your honey cakes and breakfast cereals. Unlike in the case of raw honey, sugarcane undergoes a series of vigorous processing, which eliminates its vitamins, minerals, proteins and organic acids, which is why sugar, the end product, possesses no nutritional value – it’s just a mass of energy in the form of sucrose.
Honey, particularly the raw, unpasteurized kind offers a set of unique benefits that may be enough to make you replace sugar with honey in your diet for good.
1. Rapid energy source
Following a nutrient-dense, wholefood diet is vital for increased energy levels, improved metabolism and overall health and wellness. If you’re looking for a quick energy boost, for example, before starting work or a workout, honey may do a much better job than a sugar-laden drink. Firstly, it’s because it contains more calories, with one teaspoon of honey containing 22 calories versus 16 calories per teaspoon sugar. This shouldn’t be worrying for weight-watchers because even though honey has more calories, you’ll actually consume less of it because it’s sweeter and denser than table sugar.
In addition, table sugar is essentially just sucrose – a product of one fructose and one glucose molecule bonded together. Therefore, your body has to use its own enzymes to split the two. In the case of honey, fructose and glucose are already kept separated by an enzyme added by honeybees. Honey is beneficial because it releases fructose gradually into the bloodstream, thus providing sustained energy that lasts for hours.
2. Low glycemic index
Honey has a lower glycemic index (GI) than sugar, which means it is absorbed at a much slower rate than table sugar. Sugar’s high GI indicates that it increase blood sugar levels rapidly, causing sharp insulin spikes. This may contribute to weight gain, obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and heart disease.
3. A great cough remedy
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), honey is a demulcent – a substance that relieves irritation and soothes the throat and mouth by creating a protecting film.
Research also shows that honey functions similar to dextromethorphan, which is commonly found in over the counter cough medicines to improve cough and related sleep problems in children.
4. Prevents allergy symptoms
Consuming locally produced honey introduces pollen spores carried by the bees from local plants into your system. The allergen in honey activates your immune system and helps the body build immunity against it naturally. Having a tablespoon of honey per day before pollen season can help your body be prepared for allergy season. However, it’s important here that you get locally produced raw honey.
Some researchers state that honey has potent antibacterial properties that may be handy in fighting different types of bacteria in the body. Furthermore, some may choose to treat burns and wounds with honey because it prevents infections and promotes healing.
Apart from being incredibly sweet and delicious, honey can have a remarkable impact on our overall health. The key is to remember that not all honey is going to be the same. While certain honeys may have antibacterial properties and a nutritional value that are a hundred times more pronounced, others may just be clear, sparkling fluids that are just visually pleasing but not strong competitors against sugar due to their lack of nutritional importance. To get the most out of your honey, stick to purchasing the least processed, raw types.
Think you need expensive equipment or a gym membership to get an awesome, well-defined, thick chest? Well, think again. Fortunately, gravity is on your side and it can help you work your chest, arms, abs, legs… anything! Utilizing the force of gravity by performing body weight exercises for resistance can help you amplify muscular strengthen, definition and flexibility. But here’s the secret: You need to get out of the couch and get moving. Move at least for 2 minutes and you’ll get hooked!
When it comes to working your chest, the first thing that comes to any person’s mind is pushups.
Pushups are versatile and can be performed to work your entire upper body which includes the arms, shoulder and chest.
Start by getting into a basic plank position by supporting your bodyweight on your hands and the balls of your feet. Make sure that you position your hands right under your shoulders but are slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
Engage your core and form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Lower yourself to the floor by bending both arms by the elbow at the same time. Stop when your chest is just above an inch above the ground. If you are unable to perform a normal pushup, place your knees on the ground and form a straight line between neck, shoulder, hops and knees. Pause for a second and return to original plank position. Perform as many reps as you can and focus on increasing reps every week.
Get into plank position just like you did with the normal pushup. Instead of forming a straight line from shoulder to ankles, stick your butt into the air and perform a pushup.
Lower your body just as if you would with a normal pushup but instead of going down straight, dive forward using your chest while lowering your butt to the ground. Pause for a second and repeat after returning to initial position.
ELEVATED WALL PRESSES
This is similar to a regular pushup but instead of placing the balls of your feet on the floor, place your feet on the wall (make sure they are clean!) and allow your chest and core to balance you.
Make sure you are forming a straight line from shoulder to ankles and lower your body by bending bot arms while ensuring your feet are in contact with the wall at all times.
Pause for a second when your chest is just an inch off the ground and lift yourself up to plank position by using the muscles in your arms, shoulders and chest. Repeat until you can’t take it anymore!
People who go to a gym often use a dip machine for this movement but a couple of chairs at home can do a terrific job too. Stand between two chairs and place each hand on each of the top backs of the chairs. Make sure your chairs are sturdy or else you might get hurt. Lift your feet off the ground, supporting your entire bodyweight with your arms.
Bend both your arms together and lower your body toward the ground. Stop when your upper arms are parallel to the ground.
Pause for a second and straighten your arms to return to initial position. Rest and repeat.
Warning: if you experience any severe pain during or after these exercises, see a doctor ASAP.
You’ve spent hundreds of dollars of the most modern workout high-techy equipment and there they are, lying in the dust like the rest of them. It’s time you look around the house and save huge amounts of dough you might otherwise be spending on equipment that claim to provide quick (mythical) results.
Do you have a set of stairs at home or anyway nearby? If you do, perfect, because this is all you will need to get into uh-mazing shape!
Stairs are not only ready-made cardio blasters; they can also be effectively used for bodyweight exercises such as calf raises, lunges, step-ups, dips and even pushups. Use your imagination and get wild – but just don’t get hurt. Just 30 minutes of stair climbing every week can help you achieve immense cardiovascular benefits, as stated by a study in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine in 2007.
How many calories will you burn?
For all the calorie-junkies out there, here’s the good news: you can burn up to a whopping 500 calories per 30 minutes of running up and down the stairs. This is for a 150 pound woman, so the number of calories you burn can vary. Walking the stairs will help up burn up to 250 to 290 calories and is thus, more effective than walking on a flat surface.
You may have already tried stair climbing and running and we bet you also know that it can be super exhausting. Therefore, it can be incorporated into a circuit workout which can be used to develop a killer HIIT workout.
Before you start any exercise, it is important that you stretch and warm up. Warm up for about 3 to 5 minutes by walking up and down the stairs.
Sprint up and down the stairs for 30 seconds. Go beast-mode!
At the base of the staircase, put your hands on the third step which should be at chest level and get into pushup position. With your core engaged and spine neutral, lower yourself and then ascend just like you would during a normal pushup. Perform as many pushups as possible – we recommend at least 12. If you aren’t a pushup-pro, you can do this exercise with your knees on the ground.
Get a resistance tube and run it around the bannister of your staircase. With the handles in each hand, go back far until you feel enough resistance on the resistance tube. Pull the handles towards your body with your spine neutral and core engaged and return to starting position. Perform at least 12 reps.
By holding one handle of the tubing in each hand, pull the handles up to shoulder level by bending your elbows. Elbows should be in contact with your body. Slowly return to initial position and perform at least 12 reps.
With feet flat on the floor, sit down on the second step of your stair case, keeping your hands on the step behind. Keep your knees at a 45 degree angle and lower your body by bending your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Push your body back to starting position, making sure your shoulders are away from your ears at all times.
Walk up and down the stairs for 2 to 3 minutes.
Perform a squat while pushing your elbows behind your torso. While you ascent, extend your arms overhead. This is one overhead reach squat, get ready for as many as you can do for 60 seconds.
This should be done like a normal step-lunge. Step your right foot on the first step with your left leg behind you. Lower into a lunge and let your left knee bend to 90 degrees. Use your butt muscles to return to standing position. Repeat by putting your left foot forward. Keep alternating for 60 seconds.
Walk on a flat surface for 60 seconds and repeat the entire cycle twice more so that you have 3 in total.
Perhaps the last thing you’ll ever want to do is go on a diet. Gasp. Fortunately, experts show that there are many ways to shrink your waistline without having salad all the time or even trying, for that matter. Keep reading to find out how.
1. Drink More Water
You’ve probably heard the “8 glasses per day” rule a hundred times by now but do you really think you’re hitting 8 or even 5 every day? Chugging on a glass or two of water before every meal can help you eat much less. You won’t feel hungry so it’s a foolproof approach that you can stick to without failing. A study published in the journal Obesity which involved two groups, one that drank water before a meal and the other that didn’t, showed that the group that drank water lost roughly three more pounds than the other group. The more these people loaded up on water, the better the results. Water isn’t only refreshing; it fills you up and helps you achieve satiety before you even finish your food. To avoid wasting food, place smaller portions on your plate – chances are you won’t reach for seconds.
2. Clean Your Kitchen
A messy kitchen can make an already stressed mind even more stressed. Stress is one of the main reasons people eat more than they should. You’ll think that if your environment is not in control, why should you be? One study showed that when 100 women were split into two groups, one with a clean kitchen and the other with a dirty one, the latter consumed 65 more calories in 10 minutes than the clean kitchen group. If you have newspapers all over the table, a phone that doesn’t stop ringing, sticky notes all over your fridge and dirty dishes piling up in your sink – making a major makeover into your de-cluttering routine may make a huge change to your eating habits as well.
3. Exercise in the AM
Exercising in the morning helps boost your energy and metabolism throughout the day and curbs your appetite. For best results, throw in some activity throughout the day. After your morning workout routine, simply taking the stairs, parking further away from your office and doing some jump squats or crunches when you’re free can help.
4. Load up on Protein & Fiber
Protein is a slow-digesting macro nutrient and fiber is indigestible matter that adds the bulk of plant-based foods, making both effective in filling you up fast. Protein takes even longer than carbs and fats to digest so your best bet would be to have more protein, such as chicken, fish, beans or quinoa on the plate than rice or boiled potatoes. In addition, your metabolism elevates to about 20 percent to digest protein. Therefore, if you’re having a fiber-rich green leafy salad, add in tofu, cottage cheese or chicken to increase its protein factor or if you’re having a banana, pair it with peanut butter.
Other easy weight loss tricks include:
1. Skipping margarine for breakfast. Add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to your wholegrain waffles instead of butter or margarine to save 110 calories.
2. Avoid anything “candied.” Swap a small candy apple for a medium apple to save 118 calories.
3. Whole fruits instead of juice. Have a medium orange instead of 12 ounces of orange juice to save 106 calories.
4. Thin over thick. Instead of ditching pizza completely, have thin crust over thick to save up to 106 calories.
5. Marinara instead of Alfredo. Craving for pasta? Replace 5 ounces of Alfredo sauce in your dish with 7 ounces of marinara sauce to save 129 calories.
6. Frozen yogurt for dessert. Have a one cup of low-fat frozen yogurt instead of ice cream to save 121 calories.
There used to be a time when women were advised not to exercise during pregnancy due to the risk of miscarriage. However, research doesn’t back this claim. In fact, not only is exercise safe during pregnancy, it can also lead to significant benefits to mother and baby.
During pregnancy, your amount of blood increases by about 50 percent. This means that your heart has to work harder to circulate the blood around the body – including your extra new organ, the placenta. Stress to your heart is greater when you’re pregnant than when you exercised before pregnancy. Therefore, you can do less exercise and work just as hard as you did before pregnancy.
However, note that pregnancy isn’t the time to lose weight or push yourself to your maximum level. Focus on improving your cardiovascular and overall fitness level instead.
What to expect when you exercise during pregnancy?
You’ll feel out of breath much faster when you workout during pregnancy. ome women may feel that they’re out of shape because of this but you’re actually breathing about 20 to 25 percent more air to remove more carbon dioxide from your blood and your baby’s (the baby doesn’t breathe in the womb, his/her carbon dioxide is simply released into your blood). This shows that your body is adapting normally.
Make sure you exercise after talking to your healthcare about it. Exercising 20 to 30 minutes, 3 to 4 days a week can lead to substantial results, including improved blood flow. Other benefits include increased energy levels, reduction in constipation, swelling and backaches, better mood and posture and improved strength, muscle tone and cardiovascular health. Additionally, you may sleep soundly in the night and even manage your labor better.
Avoid contact sports and sports that may cause you to fall, be hit in the stomach or be thrown out of balance. Examples include rugby, football, squash, tennis, diving, gymnastics, water skiing, horse-riding and skating.
If you have never exercises before, be sure to consult your doctor or midwife before you start. This isn’t the time to jump into a high-intense workout. Start with gentle or moderate exercises for 10 minutes and increase it to 30 minutes per day as you progress. You have to ensure that you’re comfortable with your workouts.
Many women who aren’t used to physical activity tend to start after the first trimester – when unpleasant symptoms such as fatigue and morning sickness have subsided. It’s fine and even beneficial to perform some gentle exercises such as swimming, walking and prenatal yoga if you do not have any problems related to your pregnancy but avoid starting any strenuous workouts your body isn’t used to yet – leave these for your post-pregnancy fitness routine.
If you experience any unpleasant symptoms, stop and see your healthcare provider immediately.
Everything that you eat is not only used as fuel for activity but it also becomes the building blocks for your cells. So you literally are what you eat. Unfortunately, most of our diets are packed with sugar, trans fat and chemicals, which explains why we are so sick all the time. If you want to take your lifestyle to the next level, you have to try clean eating. The concept behind it is eating whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible. The benefits? Keep reading…
1. Stress-Free Weight Loss
This is pretty obvious but weight loss is always the first thing on our mind when we talk about health – at least for most of us. Many people struggle to lose or maintain a healthy weight. If you focus on consuming real, natural, whole foods, your weight will naturally go down because most of these foods will be rich in protein, fiber, water and minerals and vitamins. In addition, you don’t even have to count calories or macronutrients.
2. Better Sleep
You’ve probably noticed that you wake up in the middle of the night with an unbearable stomach discomfort if you eat something unhealthy. Eating clean doesn’t only prevent these tummy aches and GERD symptoms but it also ensures that you fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper sleep.
3. More Energy
People who start eating clean cannot stop for a reason. One of our favorite outcomes of clean eating is that it energizes us better than coffee does! You will understand how low your energy levels were when you were on your junk food diet once you go clean.
4. You Don’t Get Sick
Eating clean involves having a large amount of fruits and vegetables, packed with antioxidants and minerals vital for your immune system. If you do get sick, your illness will only last for a very short time and won’t be as severe.
5. Fewer Medicines
The benefits of clean eating include:
a) Reduced inflammation
b) Improved nutritional deficiencies
c) Improved cholesterol levels
d) Improved blood sugar levels
e) Lowered blood pressure
And these are just a few of them. You can only expect yourself to reach out for fewer medicines while following this diet.
6. Clearer Skin
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. With clean eating, you’re feeding your skin more nutrients it needs to repair and re-grow. Some of these nutrients include, zinc, omega-3s, protein and vitamin C
7. Improved Bowel Movements
Consuming more plant foods means that you’ll be taking in more fiber and water that is important for regular bowel movements. Constipation doesn’t only feel uncomfortable but it also causes an unpleasant belly bloat and other health conditions such as anal fissures, colonic conditions, fecal incontinence, hemorrhoids and urologic problems.
We know you’ve had enough of the whole “sitting disease” hype because you have to sit for 5 to 12+ hours of your day to pay the rent and feed your family. Sitting several hours a day at a desk can be challenging alone and fitting in healthy eating habits and exercising may seem like too much on your plate. However, ignoring positive habits like these can be harmful to your long-term health, putting you at risk of many chronic illnesses – heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes – you know the drill. Keeping in mind the challenges associated with a desk job, we’ve compiled our top tips to boost your health and fitness without disrupting your work routine.
1. Improve your Posture
You don’t have to leave your desk for this. Most office folks are prone to poor posture therefore, it’s strictly something you should take into consideration. If you’re using a computer, you’re going to be drawn to the screen, which allows you to crane your neck forward, putting strain on your vertebral column.
Imagine you’re holding a heavy object, such as a bowling ball. Keeping your arms vertical and aligned with your body puts less strain on your muscles compared to leaning the ball forward. When you’re sitting at a desk, your head is acting as the bowling bowl that strains your neck and spine when you lean forward.
The solution: Keep your spine and neck neutral by sitting straight against your chair. Be mindful about your posture at all times. To practice, you can spend a few minutes each day to suck your belly button in and keep your back straight. Note that an erect posture makes you look more confident and assertive at a workplace and everywhere else. Another benefit of keeping a neutral back is that it helps in preventing a protruding belly.
2. Move more during your morning commute
Park at a distance from your work place and walk the remaining way. If you’re using a garage, use the lower level so that you can climb more stairs. In addition, if you don’t feel odd doing it, try doing a few laps on these stairs – chances are no one will notice. You can also use a bicycle to get to your workplace.
For people taking public transportation, getting off a couple of stops before and walking the rest of the way is a great idea.
3. Keep healthy snacks handy
To avoid the vending machine, simply keep a few snacks with you such as trail mix, baby carrots and a dip (hummus or peanut butter) or fruits with you at all times. These can be easily carried around in zip lock bags, paper bags or plastic containers.
Moreover, it’s important not to rely on restaurants for your nourishment. Bringing your own lunch means that you’ll not only be eating healthier but you’ll save a lot of money too!
Even if you feel you’re leading a fit lifestyle with sufficient exercise and healthy eating, you may have some habits that are slowing down your metabolism and hence, your weight loss efforts. Everyday habits, even those that are unrelated to weight loss, can take a toll on your weight loss efforts. Keep reading to find out what’s wrecking your metabolism and what you can do about it…
1. Your Food Isn’t Spicy
Sprinkling on some hot sauce or adding freshly chopped chilies while cooking your meals is a surefire way to eat less – i.e. up to 30 percent less than when you eat a milder meal, according to one study. Peppers contain the compound capsaicin, which helps in regulating your appetite-inducing hormones, thereby, significantly speeding up your metabolism.
2. You’re Sitting Too Much
Not surprisingly, sitting at a desk or in front of the screen several hours a day is harmful for the health. In fact, scientists have gone as far as mentioning that too much sitting, which they refer to as “sitting disease” may have a similar impact to one’s health as smoking.
Studies show that even active men who meet exercise guidelines can have a 74 percent higher risk of metabolic syndrome if they sit for more than 3 hours a day. This metabolic slowdown happens because your muscles aren’t working hard at all while you sit. You’re burning less fat and you’re lowering your insulin sensitivity.
3. You Aren’t Lifting Enough Weights
While fat is a stubborn piece of mass that refuses to budge or do much for your weight loss, your muscles are always at work, helping you burn calories throughout the day – even when you’re asleep. Not weight training enough leads to low muscle mass and poor metabolism. To rev up your calorie burn, try incorporating at least two sessions of weight training a week.
4. Not Having Enough Protein
If you want to build muscle, you have to consume enough protein as well. It takes more calories to digest protein than it does to digest carbohydrates or fats. Additionally, since protein is slow-digesting, it keeps you fuller for longer and prevents you from overeating. Some great sources of protein are lean cuts, poultry, low fat dairy, nuts and seeds, legumes and whey protein.
5. Not Staying Hydrated
You need water for a myriad of functions in your body, including your metabolism. Dehydration slows down the body’s processes and makes you feel tired and dizzy. To combat fatigue and elevate your metabolism, focus on drinking at least 8 to 9 cups of water every day. Keep a bottle with you at all times, including one in your car to make sure you’re hydrated all day long.
If you dislike drinking plain water, try adding slices of fresh berries, ginger or oranges or throwing in some mint leaves to infuse the water with a better flavor. You can also focus on having 2-4 cups of green tea a day as this can supplement your water intake. Studies show that regular consumption of green tea may increase your calorie burn to up to 20 percent per day.
Although we believe that exercise in any form is amazing it’s important to understand that they are not equal. If you’re questioning whether you’re working out hard enough or if you’re not seeing significant results anymore, chances are you need to revamp your routine a bit. Since all our bodies are different, it can be difficult to set hard and fast rules on what exercise and how much exercise works best for each of us. However, there are some telltale signs that indicate that you definitely are maximizing your workout routine – some of them include:
1. Your Heart Rate
Some people make the mistake of relying on sweat being the only indicator to a tough workout. However, you may just be prone to sweating or you may be working out in a hot environment. A failsafe approach to determine whether you’re making the best out of your workout session is to check your heart rate. Want significant results? Make sure your heart is racing throughout your workout. Whether you’re doing high intensity interval training or you’re on a cardio machine, aim for a heartbeat that fluctuates between 75 percent of your maximum when you start and build to 100 percent as you progress. You can roughly determine your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.
The easiest way to track your heart rate is by using a heart rate monitor. However, if you don’t have one you can stop midway and check your pulse the old fashioned way. If you’re too comfortable or if your heart rate isn’t significantly high while working out, chances are you need to boost your intensity.
2. Your Workout Intensity
After sticking to a workout plan for a certain period, it is normal to become comfortable with the workout. You don’t feel as sore or tired while doing it. If this sounds a lot like your current routine, it’s time to up your intensity. If you’re weight training, add more. If your workouts require lighter weights (for safety and more movement), increase the number of repetitions by 10 or more. For cardio, you should move faster and incorporate interval training. The more effort you put into a workout, the faster the results.
3. Physical Changes
This doesn’t mean that you should give up after a week of trying a new routine. Think about how long it took you to take your body to the level you’re at now. If you’ve been eating healthy and working out regularly for a few months and do not see any results, consider reevaluating your routine. You don’t have to jump into a super intense routine if you’re still just a few months new to working out but you still need to progress gradually.