Saturday, February 6, 2010
Until then try this fun exercise-
Sissy Squats (these suckers are one of my favorites. They seem easy at first, but soon you will know exactly what body part they are working:). Do 2-3 sets of 20 reps.
I don't know if sissy squat is the correct term for these. It is just the name I was taught.
Stand with feet hip width apart and your heels elevated on the ends of dumbbells or a block of wood. You just need it so your heels are a few inches off the ground.
Squat down so you can grab your ankles with your hands.
"Glue" your chest to your thighs. If your chest leaves your thighs you are doing it wrong.
Lift your hips to the ceiling as you lengthen your knees. Remember chest stays connected to your thighs. Basically you should be folding forward at this point.
Lower your hips back down so you are in the starting position.
You should feel this working your thighs.
If this doesn't make sense let me know.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Total carb-to-sugar ratio should be no less than 4:1. (i.e. If total carb line says 24g the sugar value should be 6 g or less.)
Even better, look for cereals with a 6 or 7:1.
Look for the "5 and 5" rule- Less than 5 grams of sugar and at least 5 grams of fiber.
I am assuming most of us know how to read food labels.
If not you can check out this website to help you learn- http://www.fda.gov/food/labelingnutrition/consumerinformation/ucm078889.htm
I am usually a faithful food label reader. But I admit that sometimes I see something that looks healthy and throw it in the cart. It isn't until I get home that I really do the research and realize I have been tricked.
For example I occasionally like to buy Kellogg's Smart Start cereals. I know they aren't the most healthy choice (they taste way to sweet to not know this), but they seemed safe.
Although this cereal can claim 5g of fiber per serving it is "lightly sweetened" with 8 different sweeteners. According to the book Eat This not That by David Zinczenko this is more than any other cereal found in the supermarket. To go further, Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes, Trix, Froot Loops, and Cocoa Pebbles all have less sugar per serving. Granted Smart Start does have more nutritional value than these cereals, don't forget that it comes with a price.
I am sure you have seen the commercials for the Special K diet on tv. If you look into the details the reason it can work in terms of weight loss is because you are eating so few calories. But when it comes to making your calories count, Special K is NOT the way to do it. Take a look at te ingredient list for this one-
Ingredients: RICE, WHEAT GLUTEN, SUGAR, DEFATTED WHEAT GERM, SALT, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, DRIED WHEY, MALT FLAVORING, CALCIUM CASEINATE, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), ALPHA TOCOPHEROL ACETATE (VITAMIN E), REDUCED IRON, NIACINAMIDE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), VITAMIN A PALMITATE, FOLIC ACID AND VITAMIN B12.
It doesn't even have any whole grains in it.
If you are trying to eat healthy try these cereals instead-
Quaker Oatmeal Squares (10g of sugar compared to the 17g in Smart Start)
Cheerios- It is a classic for a reason. Here you get low sugar, low calorie and a decent amount of fiber. Add some blueberries if you need a little more sweetness. BTW...one pint of blueberries (the normal container you purchase blueberries in) contains only 160 calories, 18g of sugar (all natural here!), and 10g of fiber, plus tons of antioxidants.
Multi-Grain Cheerios- Only 110 calories and 6 g of sugar per serving. Plus these are delicious.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Say you are supposed to have 1400 calories a day, meaning you should take in 9800 calories a week. So instead of dividing those calories up into 7 days of 1400 calories each try eating 1200 calories one day and 1600 the next. Then try 1300 calories, followed with a 1500 calorie day. Just make sure you are at 9800 calories at the end of the week.
Apply this same idea to your workouts. Have some killer workout days mixed in with more moderate exercise. Just be sure to reach your calorie burn for the week.
Not only will this keep things more interesting it will also help you to fight the dreaded weight loss plateau.
When you realize that what you're doing is really a lifestyle change and not a "program" or diet, it will empower you like never before. Making this transition in your thinking means there is nothing to quit. You can't quit a lifestyle like you quit a diet. Injuries, illness, job issues, family commitments all come and go and constantly change. And a program or diet is easy to lose track of when a big life "trauma" comes along. But if you're focused simply making healthy choices most of the time none of these obstacles will hold you back. Sure, you'll have to adjust your approach and try new things. You'll experience setbacks and have to regroup. But that's life. And it's always within your grasp to live it healthfully if you choose.
--Michael Scholtz, MA, Biggest Loser Club fitness expert
Taking care of your body is so much easier when you aren't tired!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Here is an easy one if you are still needing some ideas-
As ALWAYS be sure to use correct form. Your front knee should NEVER push forward over your toes. Legs should be at a 90 degree angle at the bottom of the move. Pay attention to the form in the pics and videos.
Beginner- 2 sets of 10-15 reps each leg.
Drop your back knee straight down trying to create a 90 degree angle with both legs. Slowly stand back up.
If new to lunges you can use a bar or other item to help you with balance.
Intermediate- 4 walking lunges equal one rep. Do 10 reps total. Rest 1 minute and repeat.
Advanced- 2-3 sets of 16 lunges (8 each leg).
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
I want to continue talking about counting calories...
The concept of counting calories is pretty simple. Yet, as noted earlier, most of us underestimate how many calories we consume. Here are a few tips to help make your counting more accurate and more practical-
Measure your food. Take the time to learn what a half cup of pasta or a cup of cereal really looks like. Do you know what 3 ounces of meat looks like?
You hear often you should eat off smaller plates. Not only does this force you to eat smaller portions, research has shown that people make bigger errors in calorie content (underestimating) when the portions are bigger.
Create 400 calorie meals. We are creatures of habit. Most of us eat the same things over and over again. Figure out which 10 meals you eat the most and make sure they are under 400 calories per serving. Make the neccessary changes to make these meals healthier. There is a new diet book out called the 400 calorie diet. I haven't yet looked at the recipes but essentially the idea is to eat 400 calories 3-4 times a day depending on your caloric need. I think it is a fantastic idea and makes counting calories simple.
Snacks need to be planned out. There are a lot of extra calories that creep into our diet without us even realizing it. If you are going to eat snacks make sure you have budgeted them into your daily calorie count. Remember a little extra this and that makes a big difference.
Let me know if you have any questions so far.
We will further this discussion by talking about how to not only count your calories but to make your calories count.
Monday, February 1, 2010
If you haven't been exercising much PLEASE do this on your knees.
If you take the exercise to your toes be sure you have the strength to support your lower back.
Here are some body cues-
Keep knees soft, not locked out.
Body stays straight. Don't sag your back or stick your rear in the air. (Just like the lady in the video)
Think of squeezing your booty, and tucking your hips forward (towards your belly button)
Pull your belly button up into your spine.
Use a deep slow breathing pattern. Think of wringing the air out of your stomach like you would water out of a sponge. Follow through with a deep inhale.
Do 3 sets of this exercise with 1 minute rests inbetween-
Beginner- Do this for the 10 counts that are done in the video.
Intermediate- 20-30 seconds
Advanced- 45 seconds to a minute (if you are doing the exercise correctly this will be very challenging)
Despite all the diet strategies out there, weight management still comes down to the calories you take in versus those you burn off. Forget the fad diets. You have to create a healthy eating pattern that will stick with you for life.
Calories: Fuel for your body
Calories are the energy in food.
Regardless of where they come from, the calories you eat are either converted to physical energy or stored within your body as fat. These stored calories will remain in your body as fat unless you use them up, either by reducing calorie intake so that your body must draw on reserves for energy, or by increasing physical activity so that you burn more calories.
You can plug your information into this calculator to get a very rough estimate of your caloric needs- http://www.ahealthyme.com/topic/calneed
The next time you sit down to eat your meal I want you to ask yourself a few questions-
What food group makes up the bulk of my meal?
Am I consuming healthy whole grains?
Are there any veggies (besides potatoes or corn) on my plate?
Do I have any idea how many calories are sitting in front of me?
Do I know what a portion of meat, pasta, or veggies should look like? How many portions am I consuming?
Is this meal high in salt? Fat? Refined Carbs?
After answering these questions how would you answer this next one?--
Is this meal healthy?
Were you able to answer the questions or are you not sure?
Once you become more aware of what is on your plate you can start to make the necessary changes you need to create healthier meals.
This week I will be sharing basic nutrition tips with you. Hopefully by the end of the week you will have the tools to create a healthier plate.
275 calories per serving
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 can green beans (drained)
1 (19 ounce) can cannellini beans
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1 (14.5 ounce) can no salt added stewed or diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 1/2 cups cubed potatoes
32 oz. (1 quart) chicken broth (get the less sodium kind)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup elbow macaroni
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Saute onion, celery, and carrots in olive oil for a few minutes.
2. Add beans, cabbage, tomatoes, tomato paste, potato, stock, garlic, parsley, and salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer for approximately 1 hour until vegetables are barely tender.
3. Add pasta, and simmer for 30 minutes more. Correct seasoning, and serve hot with grated cheese.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
If you can lie flat on your back. But it will work if you need to sit.
Close your eyes.
Pay attention to your breath.
Notice the areas of your body that your breath touches.
Place your hands on your belly and start to feel your breath move deep into your stomach so your hands rise and fall with each breath.
Start to slow your breath down on both the inhale and exhale.
Listen to your breath. Forget your worries.
Let your breath release any stress or tension you are holding onto.
Enjoy 5 minutes of total relaxation!
Here is a video to walk you through it if you prefer-
This one is a relaxation exercise. Close your eyes and listen to the ladies voice.