What is your potential?
April 8, 2011

Try to imagine your real potential. No doubt you have a goal weight in mind, thinking you need to lose around 10 or 15 lbs. Realistically, in most cases that is just the beginning! One can take for granted how overweight one has become. Of course losing 15 lbs is going to reduce your health risks and make you feel years younger. Nonetheless, if you are serious about your body and your health, you might want to think about doubling those numbers.

Remember, the amount of exercise and willingness to stick to a balanced diet is in direct relation to results. There are no quick fixes! If you have failed to see any results until now, you are not committed enough.

If you refuse to turn your back on most of your eating vices, then I am sorry, you are not ready! Sure, there will be times when you can indulge yourself, but if your life revolves around unhealthy food, it will be impossible to break the cycle.

You have it in you to succeed, everyone does. You simply need to decide that you have had enough, and your healthy life starts now! Just imagine your potential.

*Photo provided by Flickr user: Niklas Morberg


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Talking Leaves
March 13, 2011

With our modern-day information explosion, websites are a dime a dozen making it that much more special when you come across something different. I truly believe I have stumbled upon a small diamond in the rough. Although not related to health and fitness, I view it as “healthy” exercise for the brain.

Talking Leaves by William Leed is a poetry blog. Take a few minutes to look through the poems and you will soon appreciate these meaningful verses.

Whether you subscribe, click “like”, leave a comment or simply take a minute to browse, you can give William Leed the credit he deserves.

Talking Leaves – the pondering pale face… a poetry blog by William Leed.

http://talkingleaves.wordpress.com/

Thank you for your support,

Stewy

*Photo provided by My MacBook Pro

**Photo edited by Stew-Art-Prints


My Revelation
February 26, 2011

I quickly realized that diet and exercise are two totally different worlds. I had already mastered the art of eating so as to not store up extra fat, but monitoring my food intake was not going to give me maximum health benefits and to be honest, the body I was hoping for. After several weeks at the gym I could see how much dedication was needed, thus being close to impossible to keep up with all other activities I had grown accustomed to.

I pondered these self-analyzing questions: Where am I going to spend my time? What is more important to me? What am I going to focus my energy on? Am I going to just sit here and complain about myself or actually do something about it?

I have now bought out time I was spending on other hobbies and put it toward something beneficial. It is good to reevaluate your favorite activities and see how constructive they really are! I had to cut out the majority of my old hobbies and now I can hardly recognize myself in terms of where I spend my time.

Be aware of time wasters that leave you feeling depressed and even more tired than when you started. Yes it takes self motivation to get out of the house and go to the gym. But most people do not realize that although you are exhausted after a work out, you will quickly regain needed energy to get through your day. You are left feeling alert and refreshed not drained and lethargic like you would if you had chosen to mope around the house.

I still enjoy some hobbies, but I did have to give up many of my favorite time wasters. My body is one of my hobbies now and I have something to show for it.

*Photo provided by Geek Wallpapers


Not convinced?
February 6, 2011

This might encourage you to pick up some weights!

“It turns out that while lifters didn’t burn as many calories during their workouts as the folks who ran or biked, they burned far more calories over the course of the next several hours. This phenomenon is known as the afterburn–the additional calories your body burns off in the hours and days after a workout. When researchers looked at the metabolic increases after exercise, they found that the increased metabolic effects of aerobics lasted only 30 to 60 minutes. The effects of weight training lasted as long as 48 hours. That’s 48 hours during which the body was burning additional fat. Over the long term, both groups lost weight, but those who practiced strength training lost only fat, while the runners and bikers lost muscle mass as well. The message: Aerobic exercise essentially burns only at the time of the workout. Strength training burns calories long after you leave the gym, while you sleep, and maybe all the way until your next workout. Plus, the extra muscle you build through strength training means that in the long term, your body keeps burning calories at rest just to keep that new muscle alive.

That raises a question. What aspect of strength training creates the long afterburn? Most likely, it’s the process of muscle repair. Weight lifting causes your muscle tissues to break down and rebuild themselves at a higher rate than normal. (Muscles are always breaking down and rebuilding; strength training simply accelerates the process.)” The Abs Diet

*Photo provided by Women’s Health article: Cardio vs Strength-Training


But I don’t want to bulk up!
February 1, 2011

“I have to be careful, I don’t want to bulk up.” “I was told not to do that, it’s a bulking exercise.” Statements like these continue to leave women’s lips as others encourage them to take up weightlifting. It is so commonly used; as if even looking at a dumbbell would make a woman’s muscles start to swell.

Mindsets like these could not be farther from the truth. No doubt pictures of unnaturally dark women walking around on stage with shoulders bigger than your average male have frightened the masses away from weights and into cardio based lifestyles.

The ugly truth is: unless you plan to dedicate most of your days to grueling workouts, eat a high-calorie diet along with high amounts of protein, have predisposed genetics for gaining rare amounts of muscle tissue, have unusually high amounts of testosterone or use anabolic steroids, the likelihood of you bulking up with a casual approach to weightlifting is next to none, it is impossible!

Gaining large amounts of lean muscle takes years of dedication. Even most men must be extremely patient. In fact, strength training, resistance training and weightlifting will sculpt your muscles into a fit and athletic body. At the very least it will lift and tone your body in all the right places. If by some miracle you do gain undesirable amounts of muscle then by all mean stop! Muscle, as you will soon see, is very difficult to build and very easy to lose.

Hitting the weights just might be the one thing your exercise routine is missing. Although we primarily think of building muscle while lifting weights, you might be surprised how much more fat you will lose instead. If you already are a heavyset person, I guarantee, you will shrink not grow.

Even if you are more concerned about losing fat, the advantages of using weights cannot be overlooked. If you have not read my post regarding resistance training and its affect on your metabolism and ultimately long term fat loss, check out Break through!

*Photo provided by Women On The Fence


Do’s & don’ts… starting now!
October 8, 2010

  • Stay away from refined sugars

  • Eliminate junk food and most sweets

  • Choose 100% whole grains (pasta and bread)

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables than you do grains

  • Replace butter or margarine with olive oil

  • Limit fruit juices; have water instead

  • Consume booze only on special occasions

  • Exercise (just get moving)

*Photos provided by Microsoft Office Online Clip Art

**Photos modified by Stew-Art-Prints


What prevents you from reaching your goals?
September 7, 2010


Your Metabolism… Another piece to the puzzle
July 21, 2010


Is your metabolism running at a snail’s pace? A very important bit of knowledge you need to know is; just what is your metabolism? It’s commonly misunderstood, and understanding your metabolism is the only way you can start to speed it up. Yes, you need to know who your enemy is and how he operates before you can defeat him! Or in your case, making your metabolism work for you and not against you.

What is Metabolism?

“Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns its way through calories just to keep itself alive–to keep your heart beating, your lungs breathing, your blood pumping, and your mind fantasizing about the Caribbean while crunching year-end accounting figures. Your body is burning calories all the time, even while you’re reading this sentence. The average woman burns about 10 calories per pound of body weight every day, the average man, 11 calories per pound.

There are three main types of calorie burn that happen throughout your day…

Calorie burn #1: The thermic effect of eating.

Between 10 and 30 percent of the calories you burn each day get burned by the simple act of digesting your food. Now that’s pretty cool–satisfying your food cravings actually makes you burn away calories. But not all foods are created equal. Your body uses more calories to digest protein (about 25 calories burned for every 100 calories consumed) than it does to digest fats and carbohydrates (10 to 15 calories burned for every 100 calories consumed)…

Calorie burn #2: Exercise and movement.

Another 10 to 15 percent of your calorie burn comes from moving your muscles, whether you’re pressing weights overhead, running to catch the bus, or just twiddling your thumbs…

Calorie burn #3: Basel metabolism.

This one’s the biggie. Your basal, or resting, metabolism refers to the calories you’re burning when you’re doing nothing at all. Sleeping, watching TV… –your burning calories all the while. In fact, between 60 and 80 percent of your daily calories are burned up just doing nothing…” Fat Wars


*Photo provided by Microsoft Office Online Clip Art


Glucagon
July 6, 2010

“Glucagon is the antagonist to insulin; when insulin levels are high glucagon is low, and vice versa. Unlike insulin, glucagon is stimulated by protein (not carbohydrate) intake. And whereas insulin is responsible for preventing blood-sugar levels from climbing too high, glucagon ensures that they don’t fall too low (like when we skip meals, exercise too much, or restrict calories too severely). Finally whereas insulin sets us up for fat gain, glucagon, via a different enzyme called hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), sets us up for fat loss by triggering the release of fat from cells. Once liberated, the fat can be burned as fuel…

…As you will soon discover, the ratio of the macronutrients–protein, carbohydrates, and fat–in your diet can be more important to permanent fat loss then the overall calories you consume. Once you understand the ways in which foods control your biochemistry, you will be well on your way to victory in the Fat Wars.” Fat Wars


*Photo provided by Periodontal Disease and Diabetes


Who have I become?
February 9, 2010

I seem to be averaging around 155 lbs now, and I find this to be a comfortable weight. I started off on a very restrictive low carb diet and lost 50 lbs in about 8 months. The diet proved to be so effective that I lost all the weight without any additional exercise.

Of course, changing your eating and exercise habits together is the best way to lose and keep the weight off. Still, my example proves that if you change your eating habits enough, you are well on the way to success… even if you are having trouble instituting an exercise program.

For those of you who are obese and thinking “Yeah that’s easy for him to say he only had to lose 50 lbs. What about me? 50 lbs won’t even make a dent!” You might not think so, but losing 100 lbs or more is the same as losing 50 lbs, the only difference is time. What I did in 8 months might take you one or two years, but your plan of action will be the same.

I would recommend a low carb diet to someone who finds himself or herself in an unhealthy, high-risk lifestyle. It’s amazing how fast someone can lose weight if they follow one properly. What’s the catch you ask? Well, it doesn’t work for everyone and low carb is strictly for short-term use only. Although you experience rapid progress, your food options are very limited, and there is a good chance you will lose muscle along with fat. You can have success at home but will find it very difficult to stick to your diet on the road, with friends and family, and at the restaurant.

This brings up a very valid point as far as balanced diets go. If your new eating habits are so foreign to you, how long do you think you can keep it up before returning to your old habits?

In total, I balanced a low carb diet for about 6 years and experienced big fluctuations in my weight. For example anywhere from 150 lbs to 175 lbs in very short periods of time. This was basically the result of getting on the wagon and falling off the wagon over and over again.

It all changed for the better when I took the leap into a balanced diet. I immediately experienced more freedom in food selection and found my weight to be more stable. I can honestly say that in no way do I feel restricted, or like I am missing out on anything.


*Photo provided by Microsoft Office Online Clip Art


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