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


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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


Simple Humans
December 24, 2010

Humans thrive on accomplishment, which is why we usually only succeed if we see progressive results. The gym provides an environment that encourages us to compete with ourselves. If we take the time to document our progress, we can keep track of our accomplishments.

If you have been stuck at a certain weight for a while, it is no doubt discouraging. You may quickly reason “all this work is not worth it”. However, after a few visits to the gym, suddenly your regular weights seem lighter than usual. Words cannot describe your excitement as you progress while your body becomes stronger. Taking your measurements can also prove encouraging, since there will be times when you stop losing on the scale, but keep losing in inches.

Strength training provides both an obstacle and a goal. What seems to be impossible at first may quickly become manageable in the near future. Once you look back and see how far your body has come, you are sure to get the satisfaction you need to carry on.

Humans are simple; we need to see results to succeed. So dig deep! Push mentally! Strain physically! SURPRISE YOURSELF! SUCCEED!

*Photo provided by Home-Gym-Bodybuilding


Is weight training for me?
December 19, 2010

Why should we consider training with weights to strengthen our muscles?

“Weight training builds muscle mass which is ultimately the best tip for anyone seeking to lose the flab. As your body accumulates muscle your metabolic rate will increase, which in turn will help you burn more fat. End of story!” MuscleMag International

Weight training is just the ticket if we cannot picture our life without cheats. Having more muscle mass will give us more freedom to indulge; thus maintaining our figure while still taking pleasure in daily cheats. On the other hand, if we are living with minimal amounts of muscle mass then we will find our food choices much more limited.

*Photo provided by Microsoft Office Online Clip Art


Balance
August 5, 2010

If you were to choose a diet that persuaded you to severely cut calorie intake, you would run the risk of loosing muscle mass. People are often encouraged by the quick results they see on the scale but unfortunately don’t know the negative effects of their plummeting numbers. If you restrict either calories, protein or carbs for too long, loss of muscle mass will result and inevitably will slow down your ability to lose the remaining fat. That is why so many people hit plateaus in their diets and put on more weight after. This stands to reason as they have less muscle mass than when they started their diet and therefore now have a slower metabolism.

So how do you lose fat, gain muscle, while at the same time eat enough protein while not consuming too many calories? A balancing act it can be! Your key to success is this: eat a balanced diet and incorporate weights or resistance training.



For a quick and easy way to determine your own portion size, just follow these three simple rules:

    1. Choose lean protein like chicken or turkey, approximately the size of your palm.

    2. Fill two-thirds of your plate with fresh fibrous vegetables as your carbohydrate portion. If you prefer a starchy food such as sweet potato, rice or beans, then only add a portion equivalent or slightly bigger than your protein portion.

    3. Use a half-palm measure of seeds or nuts as a fat source. Otherwise add one tablespoon of olive or flax oil over your salad or vegetables. Cut these portions in half if your protein choice is high in fat such as red meat or fish.

    Fat Wars

*These guidelines are based on a meal plan consisting of five meals a day.

If you do not like leaving things to chance and need to know exactly how much to eat, then reread my post entitled “The perfect balance!” and I will be glad to help you with your numbers.

I would recommend buying a food scale as it is the only sure way to know exactly what you are taking in. I am enjoying this model: Breville – Electronic Kitchen Scale.

All that being said, one can over complicate things which may lead to discouragement. This nicely leads us into the next subject…


*Photo provided by deviantART user: Tree-Enthusiast


Break through!
July 27, 2010

If you only remember one thing about your metabolism, remember this: Basel metabolism or resting metabolism, refers to the calories you’re burning when you’re doing nothing at all. Yes, your body needs a lot of energy just to stay alive; 60 to 80 percent of your daily calories.

This alone is huge; it’s a really big deal! Why? Contrary to popular belief, only 10 to 15 percent of your daily calories are burned through exercise. Depressing right? Yes, if you are relying solely on cardio to burn off those extra calories you consumed from last night’s dessert.

We have been trained to think backwards, and we are paying the price. Instead of thinking “How can I cut calories?” we should all be thinking “How can I eat so my body consumes more calories?” See where I’m going with this?

We just learned that metabolism means the rate at which your body burns its way through calories just to keep itself alive. So how do we obtain a calorie devouring machine? The secret is muscle. Yes, more muscle means more body mass, which in the end means your body needs more calories to keep alive and more fat is burned as fuel, even when you’re sitting on your butt. It’s as simple as that!

Your fat loss goals can only be reached and maintained if you come to terms with this fact: in the long run you will burn more fat if you implement some form of resistance training (weights) opposed to hopping around your living room in unison to a women in spandex.

I know, it’s quite the mental adjustment and it can be difficult to make the switch. GET OVER IT!


*Photo provided by Microsoft Office Online Clip Art


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


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