Staying Sweet and Thin – Diet-Friendly Ways to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Friday January 31, 2014

When you think of what it means to be on a diet, you likely think of cutting out all the yummy foods you enjoy. No more sweets, no more desserts, no more junk food. But if you think dieting means completely eliminating all the foods you crave, get ready for failure. Setting unrealistic restrictions and making rules too hard to follow will only cause you crave those forbidden foods even more. Eventually, your diet may become too difficult and you’ll be tempted to give in completely. One bite may lead you to overindulge, putting an end to your best dieting efforts.

Avoiding sweets altogether is too difficult a task for many people. Thankfully, sweets in moderation can be part of a healthy diet. This doesn’t mean a candy bar every afternoon and ice cream every night. But there are perfectly acceptable sweet options to satisfy the dieter’s cravings. The Chicago boot camp says that it’s all about portion size and healthy choices.

Natural Sweets

Those times you just want to eat something sweet, but don’t want to ruin your diet, grab a piece of fruit. Naturally sweet and good for you, fruits are a great dessert option. Make a fruit salad and top it with a dollop of dairy topping or melted dark chocolate. Try grilling bananas or pineapples for a yummy treat. Top a small piece of angel food cake or a scoop of frozen yogurt with peaches or strawberries. Whip up a smoothie with fruit and low-fat yogurt. Eat a handful of dried fruit mixed with nuts.

Can’t stop thinking about cake? Add fruit to it, and you’ll make the portion size seem larger. That way, you’ll fill up on vitamins and minerals while satisfying your sweet craving.

Change Your Recipes

If you enjoy baking, there are simple ways to reduce the amount of calories, sugar, and fat in your baked goods. Replace shortening or butter with applesauce or yogurt, use whole wheat flour, and make cookies or cakes healthier by adding dried fruit or nuts. There are many delicious desserts that use zucchini or carrots as the main ingredient. So do an online search for low-calorie, nutritious dessert recipes and find some of them that suit your taste buds!

Frozen Indulgences

If ice cream is your biggest diet downfall, it’s time to switch to frozen yogurt. Often hard to tell the difference these days, low-fat frozen yogurt is lower in calories and much better for you.

Another option is sherbet or sorbet. Low in calories, fat-free, and often made with fruit, sherbet and sorbet are great dessert options for serious dieters. When you’re craving something cold and sweet, reach for a small serving of frozen yogurt or sorbet and you won’t feel a tinge of guilt. Read More…

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Lose the Fat… Keep the Muscle

Wednesday January 29, 2014

So you want to lose weight. Who doesn’t? Chances are, you want to lose the fat and keep the muscle that’s hidden somewhere beneath the layers of fat. Too often, weight loss means losing both fat cells and muscle cells. But there are a number of reasons why you don’t want to lose the muscle.

Muscle tissue burns twice as many calories a day as fat. Each pound of muscle burns seven to ten calories a day. Each pound of fat only burns two to three. You know what this means? The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism and the faster you’ll lose weight.

How can you keep valuable muscle and lose fat at the same time? Follow these diet and exercise tips from the Los Angeles boot camp to find out how.

Pile on Proteinlosangeles

When you create a calorie deficit in your efforts to lose weight, your body turns to its own stores of glucose for energy. Where are these stores of energy? In the fat found in adipose tissue and the proteins located in muscle tissue.

In order to keep muscle and lose fat, you’ve got to eat adequate amounts of protein each day. Getting enough protein in your diet will keep your body from depleting muscle tissue for the energy it needs.

How much protein should you eat? Take your body weight and aim to eat one to one and a half grams of protein for each pound you weigh. Weigh 200 pounds? Eat 200 to 300 grams of protein throughout the day. It’s that simple.

Good sources of protein include foods such as lean meat, poultry, seafood, beans, peas, eggs, and nuts.

Get Stronger

If you’re trying to lose weight through cardio exercise alone, you’ll likely lose your muscle along with the fat. You can lose weight and maintain your muscle by adding strength training to your workout routine two to three days a week for 20 minutes. You’ll keep muscle as well as build new muscle to help you burn those fat calories faster.

Strength, or resistance training, isn’t difficult. Even if weights scare you, body weight exercises do much the same thing. Just be sure to work all major muscle groups. This includes your calves, thighs, biceps, triceps, back, chest, shoulders, and abdominals.

While cardio exercise does burn more calories in less time, research has shown that those who perform regular strength training as part of their exercise routine are twice as likely to lose weight and keep the weight off as those who don’t include strength training. Read More…

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Disabling Anxiety through Exercise

Monday January 27, 2014

Whether you have a presentation to make at work or are anticipating an upcoming visit to the dentist, anxiety is a part of life. Sometimes, the stresses of life can lead to more constant feelings of anxiety. Financial troubles, strained relationships, medical problems, or a tyrannical boss can all up your anxiety levels.

So, how can you break free from anxiety? What can you do to relieve the inner tension and improve your outlook on life?

Go running! While it may be the last thing you feel like doing, the Inland Empire boot camp says that exercise may be one of the best ways to relieve anxiety.

Keep in mind that it’s not normal or healthy when anxious thoughts dominate your life and you can’t seem to escape feelings of fear and dread. If you’ve felt excessive anxiety and worry for longer than six months, make an appointment to see your doctor. Psychotherapy and/or medications may be needed in addition to alternative remedies such as exercise. Anxiety disorders affect nearly one in five Americans, so if you have an anxiety disorder, you’re not alone.

A Mind-Body Connectioninlandemp

Everyone knows the amazing benefits exercise has for the health of your heart and the rest of your body. But the benefits of exercise go beyond the physical to the psychological. How does this work?

Physical activity increases blood flow and oxygen to your brain. This kicks your brain into gear and releases brain chemicals called endorphins. These neurotransmitters improve your mood and are natural painkillers. They also help you sleep better, which in turn can reduce anxiety. Exercise not only increases the “feel good” hormones, but decreases the stress-induced hormones adrenaline and cortisol that make you feel tense or depressed.

Research is ongoing in the effects exercise has on your brain. In one sense, physical activity increases brain activity and excites brain cells, but at the same time it has a calming effect.

Change the Subject

Get out of the house. Take a break from the computer screen and take a walk. It’s amazing how being surrounding by nature or different scenery can do for your mood and tension level. Exercise can take your mind off your worries and put them on the task at hand. It’s also a great way to blow off some steam and get some fresh air.

Improve Your Life

When you become anxious about your weight or health, exercise is the answer. Lose weight, improve your health, and feel better about your appearance with physical activity. Read More…

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How to Get a Pre-Pregnancy Body, Post-Pregnancy

Friday January 24, 2014

You see pictures of celebrities following the births of their babies and wish you could look like them. Weeks after giving birth and they appear back to a size two. Take heart, because these pictures are usually faked and Photoshopped. It is virtually impossible to slim down only a few weeks after pregnancy, but women all over the world think if those actresses can do it, then it must be possible.

However, it is both unrealistic and unhealthy for the average woman to lose baby weight so quickly. Unlike celebrities, most women don’t have personal trainers, nannies, and chefs to assist them in getting back into shape. Strict diets and intense exercise programs are dangerous for new moms—especially if they are breastfeeding, delivered via C-section, or had a rough pregnancy. Plus, they can easily leave you feeling even more exhausted and overwhelmed than you do already.

Slimming down following pregnancy is possible, it just may not happen as fast as you’d like. Here’s some advice from the boot camp in Santa Rosa about losing those pregnancy-induced pounds.

Don’t Rush Itpicforsantarosa

Your body just grew and birthed another human being. It needs time to heal and regain its energy. You shouldn’t even consider dieting until after you’ve had your six week check up.

If you’re breastfeeding, eat no less than 1,800 to 2,000 calories a day in order to keep up your strength and milk supply. You may feel hungrier than usual, but eating for two doesn’t mean eating two servings of everything. Breastfeeding moms need only 500 extra calories a day than usual. Rather than counting calories, eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Remember, many moms are surprised by how quickly they lose their pregnancy weight just by breastfeeding.

Moms who choose not to breastfeed can begin dieting after six weeks. Just be sure to eat enough calories to meet the physical demands of caring for a newborn.

Thumbs Up for Exercise

While postpartum dieting gets the thumbs down, exercise gets the OK. When you feel strong enough, exercise is beneficial to burn calories, increase your energy level, and lower your chances of developing symptoms of postpartum depression. If you had complications during pregnancy or delivery, it’s best to get your doctor’s approval before strenuous exercise. Other women should wait at least six weeks before doing exercises that place stress on your joints such as jogging or tennis.

Get Out the Stroller

One of the best workouts for new moms is walking. Start off as slow as needed and increase the pace when you feel up for it. Walking is also an activity you can do with your new little one. Strap your bundle in the stroller and you’re good to go. Most babies love being outdoors, just dress him or her appropriately for the weather.

Just as it takes time to regain your pre-pregnancy weight, it may take six months or more to get back to your pre-pregnancy fitness level. So take your time. With regular exercise and a healthy diet, you’ll be able to slowly work those extra pounds off. Read More…

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Feel Great While Losing Weight – How to Keep Your Energy High on a Diet

Tuesday January 21, 2014

Ever give up on a diet because it left you feeling drained and sluggish? You’re not alone. Lack of energy is a common complaint from dieters. And if you’re feeling zapped, how will you have the strength to exercise or stay committed to the diet? Unfortunately, certain diet plans set the stage for fatigue. You either don’t eat enough calories for energy or you don’t eat the right kind of calories for lasting energy.

Follow these dieting tips from the Bronx boot camp to maximize your energy.

Eat Healthy Carbsnewyork

Many diet plans are based on reducing the amount of carbohydrates you eat. Though these diets can help you lose a few pounds quickly, carbs give your body energy. Don’t get enough of them, and you’ll likely feel dragged out and drained. Carbs should account for around half of your total calories each day. For someone on a 2000-calorie diet, this would be around 275 grams of carbohydrates. The Atkins diet limits carb intake to 20 grams daily, and the Zone diet lowers the daily amount of carbs to 40 percent of your daily calories.

If you’re on a carb-restricting diet, make sure you’re getting energy from nutrient-rich foods such as eggs, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and high-fiber foods like nuts and apples. Without enough energy, your body may not get adequate nutrition and your blood sugar may drop too low. Concerned with the dangers of restricting carbs? Talk with your doctor.

Get Essential Nutrients

A lack of energy may be due to a lack of essential vitamins and minerals your body needs for optimal function. If you’re skimping on meals and snacks, you may be low on magnesium, B vitamins, or omega-3 fatty acids. Get at least 400 milligrams a day of magnesium. This mineral is found in leafy greens, whole grains, or peanut butter.

B vitamins play an important role in the way your body uses energy. Get these vitamins from fish, meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, green vegetables, or fortified grains.

Omega-3 fatty acids help regulate your metabolism and increase your energy. Found in fatty fish (salmon, tuna, and mackerel), walnuts, and leafy greens, omega-3s help improve your mood, energy level, and memory.

The bottom line is that if you’re restricting the number of calories you eat, you’ve got to make sure you’re eating nutrient-dense foods. No more processed, fried, or refined foods. And take a supplement if needed. Read More…

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How to Boost Your Metabolism and Burn More Calories

Thursday January 16, 2014

How can your friend eat fast food every meal and not gain a pound while you scrimp and cut carbs and sweets and have trouble losing even an ounce of extra weight? Chances are your friend is blessed with a fast metabolism. Not fair, right? You may have inherited your dad’s slow metabolism, but it doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it. Don’t resign yourself to being overweight forever because there are ways to increase your metabolism so you’ll burn calories more efficiently.

What is metabolism?

The food you eat is broken down by your body and used for energy. Someone with a fast metabolism will quickly use up energy and easily burn off the extra calories. A slow metabolism tends to store extra energy as fat. Metabolism depends on many factors: the number of calories you eat, how many calories you burn at rest and during activity, and your genetic predisposition. Already have a slow metabolism? Prepare for it to slow even more as you age. Research has shown that each decade, your metabolism decreases by 5%!

Take control of your metabolism with these simple tricks of the trade that the Port Chester boot camp recommends.

Strength Trainingportchester

Muscles require more energy to function than fat. This means the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn. Add a pound of muscle to your body and expect to burn as many as 50 extra calories a day. Just for lugging around muscle!

Further increase your metabolism by incorporating strength training into your exercise routine at least two days a week. Head to boot camp instead of jogging on the treadmill. If you’re new to the world of weights, joining a boot camp is highly recommended, as the instructors leading the session will help you get going in a safe and comfortable environment.

Interval Training

Burn an extra 100–200 calories and boost your metabolism with interval training. Boot camps actually specialize in interval training, and it’s exactly why people who join boot camp typically see their results a lot quicker than if you were to just join a gym. Interval training is great because it’s extremely effective, less time consuming than other workouts, and you don’t really need any fancy equipment to do it.

Get Enough Sleep

Well-rested cells burn calories more efficiently. Night owls may hinder their resting metabolism (the energy used for basic body functions such as breathing, digesting food, and pumping blood). The majority of calories you burn are burned at rest. So a lack of sleep can make a big difference in the rate you’re able to lose weight. Aim to get eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Read More…

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Guide to Fitness Goal Setting

Monday January 13, 2014

Guest Post by Kathy Tafti from Huntington and Smithtown Fit Body Boot Camp

January is the beginning of a new year and I think many of us become more goal oriented as we try and guess what 2014 will bring. When clients start my Huntington boot camp and nutrition program, I ask them to set goals about body fat, clean eating, and physical goals. Your ability to succeed in getting fit and healthy is increased dramatically when you have a goal that you are working towards. For instance, I have always wanted to run the NYC marathon and I decided in March of 2013 that I was going to do it that year.  I set the goal and followed through by signing up for it that day so I would be committed immediately.

After completing the marathon, 14 of my clients have committed to running it this year!  Many of them had called me to let me know that they wanted a solid goal that they could work towards and start right away. Now, we are working on weekly and monthly goals to achieve along the way which will lead up to success with the ultimate goal of running the NYC marathon in upcoming November.

Your goals should be based on what is important to you. The easiest way to accomplish your goals is to pick what you want to accomplish and then map out the plan of how you are going to get here.

Here are some steps you can take to set a goal and achieve it:

1.) Set an exact goal. Losing weight, building more muscle, or toning up are usually the goals I see most often, which is okay, but I recommend adding a physical goal to it. That way you can measure your progress better.  For example: being able to do 20 pushups on your toes or being able to do 20 full sit ups, where you could only do 10 before. Not only will setting a specific physical goal help you lose weight, it will help you feel positive, accomplished, and reassured that you are moving in the right direction.

2.) Set a date for your goal.  Be realistic with your time frames.  Set dates for achieving the smaller goals that will lead you to the big goal. For example, “I will be able to do 5 push ups on my toes in 2 weeks.

3.) Make a road map of how you’ll get there. Exercising and eating clean must be on your daily list of things to do. Take out your calendar and write in what days you will workout, what type of exercise you will do to reach your goal, and what you will eat each day.  For example, “Monday/Wednesday/Friday I will do as many pushups on my toes as possible then continue on my knees for 10 more repetitions.” Read More…

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Secrets to Sculpting a Lean and Fit Body Fast

Thursday January 02, 2014

We all know that it takes a lot of time and effort to get in great shape, so it’s no surprise that there are tons of products on the market that promise to help you shed unwanted body fat with little to no effort. And if they actually worked we’d all have the perfect bodies that we dream of, but the truth of the matter is that they aren’t very effective- or healthy for that matter.

However, there are ways that you can speed up your fitness results without having to buy into an extreme diet or purchase unhealthy diet pills. Focusing on exercise, these four secrets will help you to get the most out of your workouts for faster results. Read on to see what the Long Island City boot camp has to say.

Start with a Dynamic Warm-Uplongislandcitybootcamp2

Warming up your body before you exercise is a great way to help you get the most out of your workout, but a couple of light stretches won’t do the trick. You need a more dynamic warm-up that takes your body through a range of different movements so you can increase circulation to the muscles that you’ll use during your session.

Here’s a quick and easy warm-up: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and hold onto a 5-6 pound medicine ball. Push your hips back and start squatting as you bring the ball down to touch your right foot, shin, or knee (depending on how far you can go). Rise up and out of the squat as you simultaneously rotate and raise the medicine ball up and across your opposite side, as if you were throwing it over your opposite shoulder. Do a total of 2 sets of about 10 lifts to each side, and don’t forget to alternate sides after each set.

Bust a One-Legged Move

Incorporating one-legged moves into your workout helps to strengthen your nervous system and muscle coordination. By forcing your body to stabilize itself on one foot, you’re not only lifting the same upper body weight, you’re carrying the other limb’s weight which will help you develop more strength overall.

Quick tip: During your next workout, try incorporating a couple of unilateral single-legged moves like the one-legged squat or deadlift. You can also try to stand on a single leg for half of every set of upper body moves, then switch it up to the other side. You’ll quickly start to gain more strength in each leg. Read More…

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