If you're on a bit of a health kick, let us give you a bit of a boost. Our Healthy Thinking course runs on Wednesdays at 6.30pm, and helps you to look at the psychological aspect of making changes and getting what you want - and this is complemented by FoxFit sessions which are nurse-originated and nurse-led and provide you with a good physical base to start from. It's far more thorough than an NHS HealthCheck; we start by taking some biometrics and then we discuss goals, obstacles and a plan for you to achieve what you want without the life upheaval demanded by faddy diets or half-baked regimes.
How does FoxFit work? It works with your body rather than against it. Once you understand how your body works, you can then tackle things from the right direction - and get better results without the hassle. Sound sensible? Of course it does!
You'll see FoxFit sessions popping up on the schedule - pay for the session at www.foxshop.eu and we'll arrange a time with you. And don't forget - there are special rates for members!
And to get you started, how about checking out the FoxFit book available in print and Kindle format here:
Let's get cracking!
You may have noticed the introduction of a 'Healthy Thinking' session on our new 2016 timetable. We caught up with our lead instructor, Bella, to explain a bit more about it:
FoxBlog (FB): What is the Healthy Thinking course?
Bella: It's a 12 week course using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques to help people change their eating and activity habits.
FB: Why are you keen to stress the difference between Healthy Thinking and say, Weightwatchers or Slimming World?
Bella: If you've been on a diet, you will be familiar with the process of losing weight - then beating yourself up when you put the weight on again, thinking 'if only I could control myself'. Eat less + exercise more is not a sustainable solution. You can change your diet, lose the weight but as soon as you start eating 'normally' again the weight goes back on. This is because thought processes and behaviours will slip back into old habits and often lead to feelings of guilt and failure. The Healthy Thinking course addresses these feelings associated with dieting and arms you with a toolbox of techniques to permanently change your lifestyle in a gentle and more compassionate way.
FB: How is it different from Slimming World and Weight Watchers?
Bella: First of all it's not a diet - no calorie counting, no nasty weighing in. The Healthy Thinking course focuses on changing habits for gradual permanent results. We work with thoughts and emotions that drive eating behaviour and learn to make sense of 'automatic' habits that lead to weight gain.
FB: Who do you think would benefit?
Bella: Anyone who would like to manage their weight effectively and improve their relationship with food.
FB: What will the course involve?
Bella: 12 weeks of bite sized information and sharing sessions with a new skill to try at home every week. In between the sessions the group will stay in touch via an online forum where I will post articles (for the keen beans) and provide motivation.
FB: Why now? Why do you think such a course is useful to our members and customers now?
Most research shows that 95% of diets ultimately fail. And as Albert Einstein once said 'The definition of insanity is doing things over and over again and expecting different results'.
We need to do something different. Something based on real evidence. Something that works.
FB: Why is it important to have measurable results?
Bella: The changes in your mindset during the course will be gradual and quite subtle but will continue to change long after the course has ended. It is important to mark milestones and record even the smallest changes so you can look back and remind yourself how far you have come.
FB: Tell me why you have decided to run the course.
Bella: I am a Mental Health Nurse and volunteer for Positive Step, an organisation delivering group cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) courses to people with low mood, anxiety, stress and low self esteem. Having also worked in the health and fitness industry for many years I have been aware of the close link between mental and physical health. I want to teach people to recognise the relationship between thoughts, feelings, physical reactions and behaviour, and give them tools to make sustainable positive lifestyle changes.
FB: What can people expect?
Bella: An inclusive, confidential group course with like minded people and plenty of support along the way.
FB: Do they need to do any preparation before or during the course?
Bella: During the course there will be lots of skills to learn so be prepared to put the work in in between the sessions. Because you are working to change deeply embedded habits it will be a challenging process but there will be plenty of support and guidance during the course to ensure you get the best results.
FB: What topics will be covered?
Bella: Our core topics include - Identifying, challenging and replacing unhelpful thinking patterns, recognising the difference between hunger, craving, and desire, separating emotions from food, self compassion, assertiveness and self motivation.
Interested? The Healthy Thinking course is a 12 week interactive course with one module per week, each session lasting 45 minutes with a maximum of 10 people. It takes place at 6:30pm on Wednesdays at Pure Offices in Kestrel Court. The sessions are included in Fox membership, or for non-members cost 1 credit.
by Angela Reed-Fox
Beginning anything is always a challenge. Studio cycling frequently catches rookies out of their comfort zones. Those of us who don't leave our comfort zones end up not going anywhere - so what you're contemplating is a good thing! At Fox Cycling we're all about taking the stress out of the situation and making the new stuff fun - here are our top tips:
Got any other tips you'd like to share? Leave us a comment below - and perhaps send us a #sweatyselfie Twitter: @foxcycling
As spring and summer near, many of us are might be feeling the pressure to slim down. But there are some common weight-loss myths that could be holding you back from your goal weight.
When it comes to shedding pounds, a few age-old myths seem to still be honored as truths so we consulted some experts “weigh” in.
“The short of it is, any plan that doesn’t involve making maintainable, healthier lifestyle choices is a myth,” says Dr. Charlie Seltzer, a weight loss specialist based in Philadelphia.
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1. Going gluten-free to avoid weight gain
While those with celiac disease require a gluten-free diet, the rest of us won’t find many weight loss benefits by avoiding the protein. “If you plan on eliminating gluten to lose weight, I highly recommend a Plan B,” Seltzer warns.
He said that most processed gluten-free products just substitute sugars and fat for the gluten-containing ingredients. That often raises the calorie content and can actually cause weight gain, something he has seen in his practice. He said if people plan to eliminate gluten by cutting down on processed foods to focus on lean protein, fruit and veggies, that’s another story. As for losing weight, it will only result if you decrease your calories below what you need to maintain your weight. “And if you eat a piece of bread your head will not explode,” adds Seltzer.
2. The grapefruit diet
The theory behind this weight-loss myth is that grapefruit is a “negative calorie food” meaning that it burns more calories to eat and digest the food than the food provides. Living on grapefruits can lead to nutrient deficiencies and slow your metabolism — and set you up to regain everything you lost and then some.
“If you don’t address what caused the weight gain in the first place, you will not succeed,” Seltzer says.
3. Food combinations that spark weight loss or gain
Food-combining diets are based on the premise that different foods digest at different rates and should be consumed in groups to heighten those factors. One principle is to avoid eating protein and carbs together. “Run like the wind from a plan that says eat as much as you want as long as you don’t eat certain foods together,” Seltzer said. “There is just no evidence this causes weight loss.”
4. Eliminating carbs
While we can glean some important insights when we know about different kinds of carbohydrates, experts in the post-Atkins era say it’s OK to enjoy them.
The general thought is to avoid processed carbs that are often high in sugar and white flour, and instead consume whole grains. Some fruits and veggies also contain carbs that provide essential nutrients and fiber. Working out as a way to lose weight? Another reason to enjoy carbs, because they are used as fuel during exercise.
5. Constant grazing and snacking over big meals
Fitness guru Jillian Michaels says on her website that grazing all day cannot help people lose weight. Not only can grazing lead you to inaccurately monitor calorie intake, but it can leave you feeling unsatisfied.
“By grazing around the clock, you’re preventing your body from burning fat,” her website states. It also says that when you eat constantly, it releases insulin and puts the body into an absorptive phase so your insulin is storing sugar and preventing enzymes from releasing sugar to break down fat.
“The goal is for your body to be in “postabsorptive phase,” where it uses your energy stores for sustenance, and burns more fat,” her website states.
via 5 Weight loss tricks that are actually complete myths.
I discovered the power of being committed to an exercise routine many years ago. Investing in a routine and being physically fit has returned value into other areas of my life.
On my daily walks I have come up with creative ideas and solutions for business endeavors. Boxing has been a release for built up anger and stress, of which I have then been able to deal with on a spiritual level.
The limits I have exceeded by working out have produced hope in other areas of my life. You create each day by what you put into it.
The discipline and habits you build will be reflected in what you achieve, your health and goals as well as relationships.
Don’t underestimate what a diligent routine can do for you.
Some of the benefits of exercise are:
Maintenance of health and well being
Increased energy levels
Reduced risk of disease
Increased self esteem
Increased workability of joints and muscles
Increased physical work capacity
Increased cardiovascular and respiratory efficiency
Changes in metabolism
Delaying effects of ageing
The benefits of exercise depends on the type of exercise participated in.
The 7 reasons why an exercise routine can boost other areas of your life:
1. The obvious, fitness and health
Being physically fit and healthy can positively affect anyone’s life. Alongside reducing risks of certain diseases and giving increased abilities such as physical work capacity, it will also help one’s stamina.
There are unlimited ways to workout and achieve specific results. From relaxation, to helping with stress release, to increasing endurance, muscle and strength – no matter who you are, there is something for you.
2. “I wish I could wake up earlier”
For those who wish to wake up earlier in the morning, starting your day with exercise is a great way to get you out of bed.
Have a routine on set days to keep you accountable to yourself. Achieving your exercise goals in the morning can set you up for the day.
An excuse I have often heard is, after work people are too tired to work out. Whilst that may be a valid reason, by getting your workout done in the morning, you don’t have to worry about missing any in the evenings.
3. It may inspire you to eat healthier
When you exercise and even when you don’t, your body requires that you eat sufficiently to avoid lethargy, damage and deficiencies.
Having an exercise routine may inspire healthy changes in the kitchen. Eating healthier is not just about prevention of diseases.
It will assist in your happiness, the way you think and also react. Understanding how food works in the body combined with exercise, showed me that an imbalance can cause other problems such as anxiety, irritability and anger.
What we put in our bodies will come out in some way. Let it be a healthy way.
4. A time to reflect and build a stronger mindset
Having a routine for exercise encouraged me to set aside time in the day for spiritual growth as well.Taking care of the body is only part of overall well being – the mind and soul require attention as well.
I have used exercise as a way to release emotions and stress. A long walk or run combined with prayer and reflecting over my life has brought refreshment to both my mind and soul. It’s a great way to appreciate all you have in life, with no interruptions.
5. Goal setting and achieving
When you are exercising and achieving your fitness goals, it becomes really evident that you can use the same practise in other areas. Being committed to the daily routine of exercise and seeing amazing results, I quickly became aware that this attitude can be used in other ways.
Setting goals in all areas of our lives will ensure that we are always growing and stepping out of our comfort zones.
6. Sharper business-person
Frustrated, stressing or need to resolve an issue at work or in your business? Ever thought of working out or doing something active to gain solutions? I have used exercise as a way to put aside my concerns and be open to ideas.
Focusing only on my workout and nothing else, the most creative thoughts have come to me, as well as words to write about. Also, whilst pushing myself, I visualize how the effort I put into my workouts can be applied to my work. It is a great way to find solutions.
Stress, frustration and anxiety can also be released during your workout. Give it a go and welcome better business deals.
7. Increase your energy
Exercise combined with healthy eating habits increases energy and alertness.This is probably one of my favorite things about adopting an exercise routine.
Whilst I do a range of training, I find that outdoor fast paced walking is one of the best energy increasing exercises. Everyone is different and I encourage you to find what works for you. Being alert and energized will no doubt carry over into your goals, work, study and family life.
The more I focused on exercising as a lifestyle, the more it increased my energy overall.
There are many more reasons why exercise is a great way to booster other areas of your life. Explore them and be open to the possibilities.
Routines can may be difficult in the beginning stages and remaining committed to them, but I encourage you to stick it out. The benefits outweigh the difficult parts.
via 7 Reasons Why An Exercise Routine Can Boost Other Areas Of Your Life.
by Emily Faherty on 8/6/2015
TOTAL SHARES 1.7K
When it comes to a sweaty workout, we love a water break reward as much as the next fitness fiend. But as the mercury rises, it’s more important than ever to focus on our fluids all day long. After all, water is the most essential nutrient our system needs.
“Our bodies are made up of more than half water and we use it for pretty much every bodily function — from regulating body temperature to removing waste to lubricating joints to carrying oxygen to the cells.” says Rachel Berman, a registered dietician and director of About.com Health. “That’s why you feel so fatigued, dizzy and moody when you’re dehydrated.”
While it’s true a tall glass of water is the best known way to stay hydrated, there are plenty of alternative options if you don’t like the taste of tap or couldn’t be bothered with bottled water. Sure, you can infuse plain ol’ drinking water with flavorful fruits like lemons and raspberries. But you can also reach for some of these water-rich foods and fluids that keep the H2O balance just right — and won’t require so many trips to the water cooler!
Eat It UpWho says you can’t have your water — and eat it, too? According to the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations we should eat 20 percent of our daily water intake. Soup, yogurt and oatmeal are all great fluid-filled foods, but these summer-friendly fruits and veggies can also help with hydration. Next time you’re feeling thirsty, pile these on your plate.
In the world of thirst quenchers, watermelon weighs in as a major contender. Based on its name, it’s no surprise this fruit is made up of 92 percent water! But its salt, calcium and magnesium is what makes it ideal for rehydration, according to a 2009 study at the University of Aberdeen Medical School. The summertime staple is also a good source of potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C.
This often-overlooked veggie is way more than chicken wing garnish! Celery stalks are about 95 percent water, high in fiber and rich in minerals including potassium and vitamin K. Keep in mind, “they’re not packed with nutrients, but that’s also because they’re not calorie-dense,” says Berman. “Plus, it’s nice to add a bit of crunch [for texture].”
No matter how you slice ‘em and dice ‘em, cucumbers keep cool at the number one spot on the list of water-logged fruits and vegetables. Composed of 96 percent water, cukes have no saturated fat or cholesterol, and are very high in vitamin K, vitamin B6 and iron. Cucumber and melon bites, anyone?
Even without the shortcake, strawberries are a sweet treat perfect for staying hydrated. They are 92 percent water (the most of any berry) and are loaded with fiber and vitamin C — as if you needed an excuse to sip on this refreshing summer cocktail!
Iceberg lettuce may be 96 percent water, but it’s not known for much else in the nutrition department. Richer salad greens and sandwich toppers including butterhead, romaine and spinach are more well-rounded choices and still up your hydration. Need some inspiration? Start with these creative, healthy salads.
Drink It DownMost beverages (non-alcoholic, of course) will help contribute to your daily water intake. But here are five drinks that will give you some extra benefits, too. Yes, even coffee!
6. Fat-free or skim milk
Everyone knows milk is an excellent source of calcium that will keep your bones in tip-top shape. But research also shows milk is better than water and sports drinks for rehydration and recovery after exercise (yup, especially chocolate milk). Just be sure to choose a slimmed-down carton since the fat in whole milk can delay fluid replacement.
Can’t choose just one hydrating option? Slurping down a DIY smoothie is a great way to combine your favorite flavors into one nutritionally-packed glass. “And it only takes seconds to scarf down!” says Berman. Try drinking your fruits and veggies with these healthy (and tasty) green smoothie recipes.
8. Sports drinks
Sugar and sodium are good things when it comes to sports drinks! In addition to the electrolytes and protein included in most on the market, the sugar and sodium can bring your body back to balance faster than water after a grueling workout lasting over 90 minutes. For shorter workouts, sports drinks may just mean a lot of extra carbs you don’t need. To cut some calories (and save some money), make your own sports drinks at home.
9. Coconut water
There’s a reason people go nuts for this tropical drink. Unlike sports beverages, coconut water is low in carbohydrates, while still rich in potassium. And its unsweetened varieties can be very hydrating (assuming you like its unique taste). According to a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the all-natural beverage is effective in rehydrating after light exercise. But for more rigorous sweat sessions, the low-sodium drink does come up short in replenishing the salt your body loses.
Isn’t coffee a diuretic? Well, yes, but a recent study in PLOS ONE debunks the myth that it also causes dehydration. Not only will your daily cup contribute to your water needs, coffee can also give you a sharper memory, boost athletic endurance and performance, and reduce the risk of many serious ailments including diabetes and heart disease.
How Much Water Do We Really Need?Whether you eat it or drink it, don’t stop ‘til you get enough. According to Berman that’s not as simple as the old-school “eight glasses a day” rule we were all taught.
“It’s not the recommendation,” she says. “But it’s also not that far off. For women, it’s about 11 cups and for men it’s about 15 cups. But remember, that includes 20 percent from food.”
When you’re exercising, you should be sipping even more for optimal performance, Berman adds. “It’s variable based on your bodyweight and how intense you’re working out, but the American College of Sports Medicine recommends 16 to 20 ounces at least four hours before exercise and three to eight ounces every 15 minutes during exercise (especially in hot temperatures).”
If you’re working out at a high intensity, Berman says to weigh yourself before and after exercise to get a more accurate idea of how much water you’re losing. “For every pound lost, you’re supposed to drink 20 to 24 ounces,” she says. “It’s a good mental trigger to remind yourself to keep drinking.”
Most of us need this reminder, as we may not even realize we’re dehydrated — until it’s too late. While common signs of dehydration include fatigue, headaches, nausea and dizziness, Berman says the best (and easiest) way to see if you’re getting enough water is to take a peek at your pee.
“Your urine should be a pale yellow color,” she says. “If it’s darker than that, drink some water. If you’re not getting up and running to the bathroom every hour, you’re not drinking enough. That’s the telltale sign.”
When I went through a breakup a few years ago, what helped me the most wasn’t ice cream or vodka. It was spinning. When I awoke before dawn during those first raw months with an overwhelming ache in my gut, I somehow managed to drag myself and my misery to a 6:30 a.m. class, and by 7:15 a.m., I felt confident I could get through the rest of the day. Yes, I was pumped on endorphins and Beyoncé. But there was something transformative about all those sprints and climbs. Sweating — at least as far as I could tell — was healing my broken heart.
Any athlete knows that intense exercise has emotional benefits that go beyond improved self-esteem. All that alone time on the road or in the pool gives a person time to reflect and ruminate. Feelings get sorted. Decisions get made. It turns out that exercise can be an important coping tool to deal with grief and loss, whether it’s the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship. “More emotive grievers want to keep a journal or be around other people, but the more instrumental griever doesn’t want to talk about it,” explains Vicki Costa, a clinical social worker and grief counselor with Safe Harbor Counseling in Bel Air, Maryland. “The athlete wants to be alone. When they’re running, they’re processing hurt and pain. They raise their heart rate and sweat out the toxins. It’s how the body cries,” she says.
Exercise can also keep you healthy during a stressful time, when your immune system is on the fritz, adds Brian McFarlin, PhD, assistant professor of exercise physiology and nutrition at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Even though grief is primarily a psychological reaction to loss, your nervous system still responds as if the event was an attack on the body. “When you’re exposed to a cold virus, you get sick and stay sick for a longer time,” he says. One yearlong study by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that people who exercised a half-hour a day were 50 percent less likely to get colds.
Yet McFarlin cautions against too much of a good thing. Other research shows that athletes who exercise to the extreme can end up with worse immunity than sedentary people. “If you’re staying sick, that’s a good clue to aim for moderation.”
For Mike Tarrolly, a 50-year-old Ironman from Nashville, Tennessee, who lost a 62-year-old close friend this year to cancer, he hoped running would give him a break from the sadness. Instead, it brought it to the surface. In the middle a 12-mile run, he started thinking about how he wished he’d had the chance to visit his music buddy one last time and broke down crying. “I was somewhere on the local greenway and felt the frustration taking over my body. I could barely run but kept fighting it. Suddenly I was mad about everything and felt a million regrets,” says Tarrolly, who started running two years and chronicles his training in his blog crushingiron.com. “Eventually I started walking. I could still feel the pain, but it certainly had less power.”
According to Costa, exercise also helps grievers because it gives them a sense of control during a time a when they’re submerged in a stew of symptoms. Those can include short-term memory loss, fatigue, listlessness, inadequacy, aimlessness, shock, numbness, disillusionment and feeling cut off from the world. “Running is purpose,” explains Costa. “It’s a great way to get mastery over something. It restores your equilibrium and gives you the feeling that you’re in charge of your life. You’re pitting the miracle of what you can accomplish with your body against tragedy.”
Exercise can have psychological benefits for those trying to get over a romantic split, too. “When you go through a breakup, you question your self-worth. You ask, ‘How did I end up here? What choices did I make and what things did I ignore that led me here again?’” says Samantha, 31, a teacher from Manhattan.
When she emerged from a breakup black hole of tears, beer, Chinese food and bad TV, she found relief in running. And since she had already signed up for the 2013 New York City Marathon, “I wasn’t going to let this screw up my plans, especially since I didn’t get to run during Hurricane Sandy,” she recalls. She says her training runs for the marathon gave her a sense of pride and built back up her confidence. “The running helped me remember ‘I am big. I am strong,’” she says. ”In the beginning, I thought ‘I may not be able to control all these other things in my life, but I can control this.’ Then it became ‘Well, if I can control that, what else can I take back?’”
While long cleansing runs and rides can help you get through a tough time, exercise is just one of many recommended tools that include good nutrition, adequate sleep, counseling, and perhaps most importantly, social support. It may feel good to get lost in your own head, but exercise can’t be an excuse to withdraw from the world, urges Costa.
“There’s a time to rejoin the community,” Costa says. “We draw positive energy from other people.”
Read on here: Sweating out the Sadness: Can Exercise Help You Grieve?.
Maybe your button-down shirts are starting to feel a little too snug or you’re stressing out about putting on your bathing suit this weekend. Whatever your motivation, you’re convinced that it’s time to make a change — but the thought of overhauling your diet makes you cringe. While losing weight ultimately comes down to eating less and moving more, you don’t necessarily have to deprive yourself when it comes to the diet part. Follow these five tips and the only thing you’ll be missing is that muffin top.
1. Cheer up.Anyone who’s ever dived into a pint of ice cream after a late night at work knows a rough day can ruin the best intentions to eat healthfully. Now, a new study from the Journal of Consumer Psychology proves what many of us already suspected: Researchers found that people in good spirits were more apt to choose nutritious foods than those who were feeling down. “When we’re in a good mood, we tend to step back and see the big picture, so it’s easier to do something that’s in our long-term best interest,” says study co-author Meryl Gardner, Ph.D., an associate professor of marketing at the University of Delaware. “Being in a bad mood triggers a focus on what’s going on right around you, which means seeking immediate gratification — so it becomes all ‘hello, doughnut!'”
Can’t convince yourself to see the sunny side of life at the moment? Gardner suggests gazing toward the future, and you don’t necessarily have to focus on a health goal. “In the supermarket, let your mind wander and think about what the store may look like in five years,” she says. “Or, as you’re considering what snack to have, think about what kind of junk foods may be the next big trend.” Looking ahead might help you put those immediate wants into perspective.
2. Slow your pace. Nutrition experts have long advised against wolfing down your food, because the brain needs some time to process that “I’m full” message. If you’ve tried eating slowly but the contents of your plate still seem to disappear in a flash, you may need a little extra help. Enter the HAPIfork, a utensil that’s equipped with an electronic sensor. It measures how long it takes you to eat a meal and lights up and vibrates whenever you’re chowing down too quickly.
3. Nibble on filling fruits.While this food group is healthy, it can still give you your sugar fix. Try snacking on lingonberries, Scandinavian berries, which are similar to cranberries and just might be the next “superfruit.” Recent research published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism found that eating lingonberries almost completely blocked the effects of a high-fat diet by preventing weight gain and keeping blood sugar levels down. Admittedly, there is a catch: The scientists made this discovery by studying mice, so it’s too early to definitively say if humans will reap the same benefits. But it is known that the berries are a healthy snack, thanks to their high content of polyphenols (a type of antioxidant). Try sprinkling a handful of frozen ones — you can order them online — into your cereal or smoothies. Or pick up some lingonberry juice at a local retailer.
4. Text your progress. Keeping a food diary is a tried-and-true weight loss technique, as recording every morsel forces you to be more conscious of what you’re putting into your mouth. But it can also be tedious, making it tough for people to stick with it. Replying to a quick daily text message, on the other hand, is much easier. In a study from Duke University, overweight women shed a few pounds by simply reporting (via text) some basic info, such as the number of steps they walked daily and whether or not they consumed fast food.
“Most people have difficulty sticking with detailed monitoring of how much they eat and how much they exercise,” says lead author Dori Steinberg, Ph.D. “We tried to keep the tracking via text messaging simple, which is likely why it was effective.” To make this work for you, ask a friend, family member or even your trainer to text you a daily question about your diet or exercise goals. “Having that accountability can be incredibly helpful,” says Steinberg.
5. Go to bed.Numerous studies have found a connection between insufficient sleep and obesity, but a recent study from the University of Colorado, Boulder found that you could do serious damage to your waistline in just five nights. “People who had five-hour sleep opportunities per night across a simulated workweek gained nearly two pounds,” says study co-author Kenneth Wright, Ph.D., director of the University’s Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory. Lack of shuteye can interfere with your metabolism and prompt you to eat more — especially mindlessly in the evening while watching TV or surfing the web. The takeaway: Make getting a good night’s rest a priority. “Sleep is as important for your health as a good diet and physical activity,” says Wright.
Instead of dreading the start of a diet as summer approaches, try making these healthy changes in order to lose weight without depriving yourself.
Thanks to www.dailyburn.com for this article.
In theory, losing weight seems simple enough: Eat less, move more. Right? Ha! Anyone who’s ever tried to slim down knows that diet and exercise is tricky. It’s easy for even then best-laid plans to run off-course. And there’s nothing like hitting a weight loss plateau — or, worse, regaining to make you want to throw out the scale and grab a cookie.
To fend off the calorie burn blues, we asked a bunch of top trainers and nutritionists for the most common mistakes they see clients making when they first embark on a weight loss goal. If you’ve set out to shed pounds but aren’t seeing the results you hoped for, here are some possible reasons why — plus, great advice to get you back on track.
Mistake #1: Not counting all the calories.
Snack attacks happen. Just don’t try to deny them. “When I ask my clients for a daily meal log, I often get back a list of breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” says DailyBurn Fitness/Nutrition coach Chris Mosier. “These people are snacking, but they aren’t adding it toward their daily caloric intake total.” Most people don’t realize how much these bites can add up, he says. Not to mention the toll that beverages, like soda or booze, can take on your waistline.
Fix It: Use a calorie-tracking mobile app so you can log each item as you’re eating it — not later. “It’s easy to go over your caloric goal when you add in the two cookies from the office party, the vending machine run during the afternoon slump, and the bedtime sweets,” Mosier says. Remind yourself before you take those extra between-meal bites: Like it or not, every calorie counts.
Mistake #2: Going crazy on your cheat day.Splurging once a week can help satisfy cravings and, when done right, can even spike metabolism and help you burn calories more efficiently. “But the problem is that often, the cheat day becomes a massive food-eating contest,” says Joey Thurman, celebrity trainer and creator of The Lifestyle Renovation. Going overboard can set you back thousands of calories and make you feel sick and bloated for days to come.
“Many people start out thinking they need to work out seven days a week, which is not always reasonable.”
Fix It: “Instead of a cheat day, have a cheat meal for each week,” says Thurman. “You still can have that donut, pizza, or brownie you’ve been craving, and get right back on the road to clean, nutritious eating — instead of derailing all your progress and causing yourself to feel sick.”
Mistake #3: Not switching up your workouts.Turns out doing the same Cardio Sculpt workout every day might not be the best idea. “Completing the same workout over and over can be detrimental to weight loss, because our bodies adapt and become more efficient at that mode of exercise,” says DailyBurn Fitness/Nutrition coach Tiffany Hill. Similarly, doing all steady-state cardio, without adding strength training or high-intensity intervals, can also sabotage your efforts, says personal trainer Mike Chang, creator of Six Pack Shortcuts. “You can spend a month on a treadmill and see very few results, and end up looking worse if you’re not careful,” he says. “Too much cardio can get rid of the muscle that makes you look good.”
Fix It: To ensure you’re getting enough variety in your workouts, Hill recommends regularly adjusting the frequency, intensity, time, or type of workout. (You can remember that using the acronym FITT.) “Following a running program such as Couch to 5K is a good example of an exercise progression,” she says. “Each week, the running phase increases gradually.” To be sure you’re building muscle and keeping your metabolism revved, add high-intensity intervals and weight or resistance training to your routine at least twice a week.
Mistake #4: Restricting yourself too much.Step away from the juice cleanses. “Going on a strict diet forever is simply not realistic, unless you have a lot of extra time on your hands and the willpower to never to eat out again,” jokes Chang. “If you want to lose weight, you have to think about sustainability.” And even if you are able to stick to a super low-calorie meal plan without falling off the wagon, your body could kick into starvation mode, expending fewer calories in an effort to preserve energy.
Fix It: Instead of worrying so much about the number of calories you’re eating, focus on the quality of those calories, says Allie Whitesides, DailyBurn Fitness/Nutrition coach. “Eat food that you prepare, less packaged goods, and include a balance of protein, healthy fats, whole grains, and lots of fresh veggies and fruits.” Follow these steps and you’ll find yourself naturally eating a healthy number of calories, without feeling hungry or deprived.
Mistake #5: Not taking a rest day.
When starting a workout program, it’s crucial to give your body (and mind) adequate recovery days. “Many people start out thinking they need to work out seven days a week, which is not always reasonable,” says Whitesides. “When they end up missing a day or two they become discouraged and often give up completely.”
Fix It: To beat burnout, schedule a day or two of rest each week, and be sure to set reasonable goals that fit your lifestyle. “Always listen to your body, and if you are too sore to work out, take an active recovery day,” says Whitesides. Go for a walk with your family, take a leisurely bike ride or do some gentle yoga.
Mistake #6: Giving exercise too much credit.
You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. “When it comes to weight loss, nutrition needs to be on point in order for your physical activity efforts to shine through,” says Hill. “This is especially true for people just beginning an exercise routine, because easy to moderate physical activity doesn’t burn a lot of calories.” For example, walking at three miles per hour for 30 minutes burns less than 150 calories — equal to or less than most candy or snack bars.
Fix It: Ditch the mindset that just because you worked out, you can eat whatever you want. But don’t let a strict diet keep you from exercising, either. “It’s still important because it will help with increasing your mood, boosting energy and promoting better sleep,” says Hill. “Focus on these immediate gains of physical activity, and weight loss will follow suit.”
Mistake #7: Focusing too much on the scale.Many of Mosier’s clients obsessively check the scale, and are then disappointed if the number isn’t moving. But many factors can play into a person’s weight, he says, including body composition, hydration levels and food you’ve eaten. “Weight can fluctuate, so jumping on the scale daily doesn’t give an accurate snapshot of how you’re actually doing.”
“People who eat like birds at breakfast often become hungry and overeat at lunch and dinner.”
Fix It: Weigh yourself once a month and take measurements of your body to track changes, says Mosier. “Measurements can be taken anywhere you want to lose inches, with the most common being the waist, hips, thighs and upper arms.”
Mistake #8: Not getting enough sleep.
Pay attention to zzz’s just as much as LBs. “One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is not giving enough emphasis to the unsung heroes of weight loss, like sleep and stress,” says trainer and sports nutritionist Rob Sulaver, founder of Bandana Training. “If you want to create the ideal fat loss conditions for your body, you have to manage your stress levels and make sure the quantity and quality of your sleep is on point.”
Fix It: Before you even think about a diet and exercise plan, make sure you’re getting enough shuteye. (The magic number of hours is different for everyone, but most studies suggest it’s around seven — although very active people likely need more.) If you’re stressed, find healthy ways to relieve tension, like regular yoga sessions, meditation, or hitting a punching bag in boxing class.
Mistake #9: Skimping on breakfast.
“People who eat like birds at breakfast often become hungry and overeat at lunch and dinner,” says sports nutritionist Kate Davis, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN. While your morning meal may not be as important to weight loss as it was once believed, studies do show that eating early (especially high-protein meals) can increase dopamine levels, which may reduce cravings throughout the day.
Fix It: “Flip your thinking and make breakfast your largest meal of the day,” says Davis. “Eat relatively less as the day goes on to keep yourself from becoming over-hungry.” Can’t swing a big breakfast on work days? A recent study found that a quick bowl of oatmeal first thing in the a.m. can help you eat 50 percent less at lunch.
Mistake #10: Gunning for six-pack abs.
“You can perform crunches until you’re blue in the face, but this doesn’t mean you’re actually burning fat from your abdominal area,” says Hill. That’s because the idea that you can “spot reduce” simply isn’t true. In order to lose weight, you have to burn calories — and when you do, the body sheds fat all over, not just in one specific spot.
Fix It: For the biggest calorie burn, focus on exercises that increase your heart rate and target large muscle groups — like the chest, back and legs. (Hill recommends squats, deadlifts, push-ups and bent-over rows.) Incorporate high-intensity interval training into your routine, as well. “You’ll burn more calories in less time, and this type of physical activity can work for you due to the afterburn effect.”
Thanks to www.dailyburn.com for this article.
It took a layoff and breakup on the same day last summer to motivate 28-year-old Meghan Ragni to take control of her health. In the bleak months that followed her boyfriend of two years announcing, “We need to talk,” Ragni embarked on the time-honored tradition of getting over rejection via self-improvement. After losing 30 pounds, and lowering her blood pressure, she knew it was finally time to overcome one last hurdle: “I thought, ‘I need to go farther. I need to do something that’s really going to scare me,’” she says. That meant going to the gym.
Ragni had avoided working out since college, when she’d visit her campus gym on occasion and leave quickly due to embarrassment. “I hated it,” explains Ragni, now an elementary school teacher. “I felt like everyone was watching me and judging how well I was doing. Or they were looking at my body and what I was wearing.” She was frustrated that she didn’t know how to operate the weight machines and felt too ashamed to ask for help.
Read more here: How to Get Over Your Fear of the Gym, For Good.