Most of us want to lose weight and get fit. And most people think that going to the gym is the only way to do it. But with the economic recession going on, maintaining a gym membership may be hard to do. I’ve got good news for you. You can have your pie and eat it, too.
You can lose weight and get fit without going to the gym. All you need to do is adopt an active lifestyle. In fact, going to the gym is not as important as being active when it comes to losing weight and getting fit. Studies have been done that indicate those who go to the gym twice a week without adopting an active lifestyle are less fit than those who do not go to the gym but adopt an active lifestyle.
And better still, there are lots of ways to get active without spending much money. Here are some of my favorite ways:
Simply walk daily or at least 3 times a week for at least 45 minutes each time. You can walk in parks where you can get to know other walkers or start a walking group yourself at your office or interest group.
If you are passionate about any particular thing, volunteer to do some work in it. There are many non-governmental organizations like Habitat for Humanity that engage volunteers on a continual basis. Such NGOs have lots of physical activities that keep you active while you do good deeds to help others. So join your local Rotary Club and volunteer for some of their activities.
3. Free Fitness Classes
You can quite easily find free fitness classes being offered in your local community. Most would offer free classes but receive voluntary contributions to keep the classes running. The YMCA offers membership scholarships as they have an income-based scholarship program every year open to the public. So you could join their classes and be on their scholarship program.
To find free fitness classes, just Google “free exercise classes” or “free fitness classes” and put in your city.
4. Online Fitness Courses
If you prefer online classes that you could follow at your leisure, you can find free fitness websites that offer workouts, access to fitness experts and daily tips. Alternatively, you could also purchase good weight loss or fitness DVDs at affordable prices and follow the programs at home.
Have you thought of doing some work at fitness centers in exchange for a free membership? Even pricey yoga studios will sometimes trade cleaning chores for studio time.
Most people want things done fast. This explains why crash diets are very popular. But often there is a cost to pay, which you may not fully realize.
Here’s what most crash diets do – they limit calories. This is because of the belief that calories get added to your body as fat.
Of course, it is true that calories that are not metabolized will be stored eventually as fat. But on the other hand, without sufficient calories in your body, you would feel listless and lethargic throughout the day.
Closely connected to low calorie diets is the single food diet. We all know that some foods contain more calories than others (think ice cream, chocolates, pasta, cakes and desserts). So single food diet advocates push for elimination of all high-calorie foods and suggest eating only low-cal foods.
They would have you believe that foods low in calories are good for you because you will not put on weight when eating them. So if you stick to, say a fruit diet, you will definitely lose weight. There are also other single food diets like the protein diet, where you eliminate carbohydrates and fats altogether.
But these single food diets will backfire in the long run. This is because of two simple reasons. First, even low-calorie diets contain calories so if you do not metabolize the calories you put into your body, you will still put on weight. Second, single food diets can pose a danger to your health because they deprive your body of certain essential macronutrients.
That brings me to this third example of a bad crash diet – the crash diets lacking in a type of macronutrient. Take the protein crash diet as an example. Eating only protein will result in weight loss, but it will be detrimental to your health in the long run.
Proteins are made up of amino acids and some amino acids taken in excess over long periods will do damage to your vital organs. For example, homocystein is an amino acid that can be detrimental to your heart if taken in excess.
How about liquid diets and special shakes that fill the stomach so that you do not feel as hungry? I wouldn’t advocate these either because sooner or later you will feel hungry again and you tend to eat more to make up for it.
Furthermore, liquid diets do not put your stomach to work much in digestion. This means that your metabolic rate will continue to remain low, which is the major reason why you gained weight in the first place.
In other words, liquid diets although they help you control your appetite and cravings, do not really address the cause of weight gain.
In conclusion, most crash diets leave a lot to be desired. They are just marketing ploys that have no real research backing them up and thus no genuine results to show. Losing weight should be done the right way, although it may be hard. But when weight loss is done the right way, it is extremely rewarding.
Millions of people all over the world are overweight or obese and the trend is rising. As such, there are many weight loss products in the market that promise you fast results. You would think that with these many products in the market, there wouldn’t be so many overweight people around, right? Well, the increasing number of overweight or obese people speaks for itself. It indicates that most weight loss products are not as effective as they claim to be.
Obviously, any product is only as good as the person using it. Even the best weight loss product will not help you lose weight if you do not follow instructions. Nevertheless, you should beware of over-the-top claims and extremely high cost because there is no magic to losing weight.
As a weight loss coach, I have noticed a few fatal flaws in some popular weight loss products nowadays and I’d like to share them with you.
1. Replacements for normal food
You can find many weight loss programs that use meal replacements or appetite suppressors that come in various forms like diet drinks, shakes or pills. They work to stop your cravings and act as meal substitutes. Can you lose weight? Yes, you can. But the disadvantage of this method is that once you stop taking these meal replacements or appetite suppressors, you eventually regain your lost weight after a short while because your stomach starts feeling empty and you go back to your past eating habits.
2. Exercise minus correct diet
It is a must to exercise not just to lose weight but to be healthy. Exercise is an excellent fat burner because it increases activity which in turn increases metabolism. Many weight loss programs entail going to the gym regularly. This is an admirable practice but let’s face it, hardly anyone can maintain a gym routine for life. As you go through changes in life, you eventually will not be able to exercise the way you could in the past. And once you stop exercising, you will regain your lost weight. That’s why it’s important not only to exercise but also have a correct diet that ensures you stay at your lower weight even if you stop going to the gym.
3. Unnatural and risky methods
By ‘unnatural’ I mean something out of the ordinary like weight loss surgery or weight loss drugs. These synthetic methods have inherent risks because they are not the natural way your body loses weight, not to mention they can be very expensive. As a weight loss coach, I do not recommend the use of drugs or surgical procedures to lose weight.
4. Unproven and hard-to-believe products
I have come across strange weight loss products like eyeglasses that suppress appetite, diet patches, weight loss earrings and other weird stuff. These have one thing in common – the lack of a proven track record. So my advice to you is to stay away from these so-called weight loss products.
To me, the best way to lose weight is the natural way, without synthetic foods, unnatural methods, drugs or heavy exercise. It comprises of the correct diet, simple exercise and a proper lifestyle. When these three components are done correctly, you will naturally lose weight by burning fat.
There is one subtle enemy of weight loss that many people are not even aware of. I’m talking about stress. I had a weight loss student who suddenly stopped losing weight halfway through her weight loss program with me although she was following all my instructions.
When I probed a little deeper, I discovered that at that period of time, she was experiencing a lot of stress at work. And it was the stress that hindered her weight loss. When I coached her to deal with her stress, she could resume losing weight again.
It’s so common to find people who ‘comfort eat’ i.e. they eat to comfort themselves. This comfort eating is particularly acute during times of stress. “I’m stressed, therefore I eat.”
Here are a few proven ways to manage stress that I share with my weight loss students.
1. Distract yourself by giving yourself something to do whenever you feel like binging. This way, you will postpone your instant gratification when hunger hits. Tell yourself you’ll wait 10 to 30 minutes to eat. Chances are good if your cravings are only stress-related, they’ll disappear when you allow yourself to become distracted.
2. Keep a food journal of what you eat each day. Knowing you have to write down every snack or nibble can be a good way to remind yourself to think before eating.
3. Drink lots of water. Keeping yourself hydrated not only increases your metabolism (which boosts weight loss), but also keeps yourself feeling full.
4. Be accountable to a friend – preferably one who is also given to comfort eating. When you feel like eating, write him/her a quick note or make a phone call.
5. Don’t let yourself go hungry or tired. Eat regular, healthy snacks to maintain your energy level. Skipping meals while under stress only prompts you to eat more, and unhealthily, when you do get around to eating.
6. Post some reminder messages wherever you’re likely to see them when stress-related cravings begin. Use any message that works for you. Examples can be, “Are you sure you want to do this?” or “Think before you eat.”
7. Make it inconvenient for you to get certain foods (those snacks that tend to make you put on weight). Never go shopping while hungry and always make a list of food items prior to shopping; bring home only what you feel good about eating.
8. De-stress by doing something you enjoy regularly. Whether it’s 10 minutes to reflect and relax, or whether it’s some fun activity that will revitalize you, it’s critical to do it. Health is not just physical; mental well-being is just as important, you deserve to mentally de-stress everyday!
Need weight loss motivation? Look no further than the humble pencil. Here are 5 things you can learn from the pencil to motivate you to lose weight. Let me know what you think by adding your comments or questions below. Thanks!
Dieting without the knowing the right dish to cook is like finding something in a very dark place. Mistakes can be easily made without proper guidance. That is why there are numerous weight loss menu plans that can last for weeks to help you get things going with your diet. These dishes are intended to help you lose weight by providing low calories.
The most important meal of the day should be packed with energy boosting meals. It is crucial to make yourself full during breakfast to help you get through the entire day. One example of a healthy breakfast meal is one split of toasted English muffin topped with any type of cheese. Broil the muffin until the cheese melts. You can have the muffin with half a grapefruit and a dash of brown sugar.
If you want a fiber enriched breakfast, grab one and one-fourth cups of your bran flake cereal and add a cup of fat-free milk to it. Top the cereal with some citrus fruits like oranges or graprfruit to make it tastier.
Spinach salad is a very healthy lunch dish. Create this dish by topping three to four cups of baby spinach with a piece of sliced hard-boiled egg. In addition, you can add tuna chunks, five pieces of thinly sliced mushrooms, a third of a cup of croutons, three slices of red onion and one-fourth cup of feta cheese. Toss the ingredients together and drizzle with your favorite dressing preferably a balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
If you want a simpler meal during lunch, a sandwich is perfect. A simple raisin wholemeal bread sandwich with organic peanut butter and honey should help you get through to dinner. Have this sandwich with a refreshing cup of fat-free milk.
It is very important to eat a light meal during dinner. One perfect example of a healthy dinner meal is the Savory Asian Patty, which you can easily store in the freezer. The ingredients of the dish are:
• One pound turkey breast
• Eight pieces of diced water chestnuts
• Two garlic cloves, minced
• Four pieces of thinly sliced onions
• Half a cup of unsweetened applesauce
• Four tablespoons of soy sauce.
Proceed by mixing all the ingredients together and making four patties. You only need one of the patties so you can save the three for later. Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and cook the patty over medium heat. Make sure that both sides of the patty are cooked thoroughly.
Serve the patty with three-fourths cup of brown rice, a teaspoon of rice vinegar and soy sauce and half a teaspoon of sesame oil. Furthermore, you can add two cups of steamed broccoli and a cup of berries to make it a complete meal.
Cravings are particularly hard to control when you are not used to dieting. Changing the way you eat is probably one of the hardest parts of losing weight. Remember that you don’t have to starve yourself during any kind of diet. Eat a snack in case your cravings start to help you through the day. But remember to make your snacks healthy. So no chocolate chip cookies or chips. Instead, opt for soaked almonds or fat-free yogurt.
Another important aspect of a weight loss menu plan is taking multivitamin and mineral supplements. Taking 250 to 400 milligrams of calcium and magnesium daily is recommended since you are most likely not going to get enough of it by slashing your food consumption substantially.
These meals will greatly reduce your carbohydrates and simple sugars, the stuff which contribute most to excessive weight gain.
Here’s a simple activity anyone can do to lose weight, and it’s something you’re already doing every day. But I’ve added a twist to it to help you burn more calories doing this. Check it out in this video and as usual, leave your comments below.
Weight Loss Products: How to Spot a Scam
If you want to lose weight, you would probably start by acquiring some weight loss products, like diet pills or exercise equipment. If you are interested in buying these weight loss products, you need to always be on the lookout for scams.
You may wonder how to tell if you are being scammed. Unfortunately, you often cannot tell by reading an advertisement in a magazine or online or by watching a television infomercial or even by looking at the weight loss product itself. The best way to determine if the weight loss product you are interested in buying is really worth your money is to do research first.
When it comes to researching weight loss products, there are a number of different ways that you can go about determining if the product or products you want to buy are worth the cost. One of the easiest ways to go about doing so is by visiting the online websites of retailers that allow their customers or the general public to rate or review their products. Many consumers like to alert others to a product that is a waste of money or even alert others to a product that is well worth the cost. If you are able to find weight loss product reviews, you are advised to read them.
When reading weight loss product reviews, like product reviews for diet pills or exercise equipment, it is important to remember that no product is perfect. Even the best products, like the ones that come highly rated and recommended, will have a few bad reviews. What you need to be cautious of is any weight loss product that has more bad reviews than it does good reviews. This is a surefire sign that the weight loss product in question may not be worth your money.
You can also find product reviews or just specific weight loss products being discussed by performing a standard internet search. When performing a standard internet search, you will want your search phrase to be the name of the weight loss product in question. Your standard internet search may lead you to online message boards where weight loss and other health issues are being discussed. These types of websites and message boards are a great way to also learn about weight loss products that you may not have otherwise came across.
Another way that you can determine if you are being “scammed,” by a weight loss product, is by examining the online website of the product distributor or manufacturer. When you buy a diet pill or another weight loss supplement, you should be provided with as much information as possible. Be cautious of any product whose website only claims to help you lose weight, but doesn’t explain how it is done. The same can be said for exercise equipment.
Another great way that you can determine if the weight loss products you are interested in buying are worth the money is by speaking with your doctor. Most doctors can let you know if a weight loss pill or supplement that you are interested in buying is worth the money. If they can’t tell you about the specific product in question, there is a good chance that they can at least review the ingredients with you. For exercise equipment, your physician may also be able to provide you with advice.
Of course, if you have the money to spend on weight loss products, you may be interested in going ahead and buying the product or products in question anyways. That is fine to do, but you also need to remember that many weight loss products, especially the ones featured on television infomercials are priced relatively high.
Online Weight Loss Programs: How They Work
Many people who want to lose weight find they can hardly afford the time to join a gym or go for meetings regularly. If that is the case, you may be thinking that achieving your weight loss goal is simply out of reach, but it doesn’t have to be.
You can join an online weight loss program. Online weight loss programs are similar to many locally operated weight loss programs. Often times, the only difference is that you do not get to meet with group leaders or other members in person. If you are searching for a way to incorporate weight loss into your busy schedule, you can consider an online weight loss programs. These online weight loss programs are perfect for those who regularly find themselves pressed for time.
It is possible to find free online weight loss programs; however, you will likely find that the best ones require the paying of a membership fee. Although each weight loss program is likely to vary, many have affordable monthly membership rates, some as low as five dollars a month. It is also possible to find weight loss programs that are designed for women, men, those over the age of fifty, and so forth.
If you have never joined an online weight loss program before, you may be wondering a little bit more about how they work. A few of the many member perks that you may get, when joining an online weight loss program, are outlined below.
One of the many perks or benefits to joining an online weight loss program is access to workout or exercise information. Many online weight loss programs will give you access to their website (or an exclusive section of their website), which should have exercises and workouts outlined for you. You should be able to get detailed directions for those exercises, pictures, and possibly even sample videos. Some more expensive online weight loss programs will give you access to customize workouts, ones which focus on the areas of your body that you would most like to improve.
Another member perk or feature that you should get access to with an online weight loss program is that of healthy recipes. Healthy eating is an important part of weight loss. That is why many online weight loss programs have a healthy eating section. Not only may you get healthy food recipes, but you may also get moneysaving coupons, as well as cooking and food shopping tips.
As previously stated, often times the only difference between a locally operated weight loss program and an online program is the fact that you do not get to meet with the group leaders or other group members in person. With online weight loss programs, you may not get in-person contact, but you may still be able to communicate. Many online weight loss programs have online message boards for their members to communicate with each other.
As a reminder, it is important to remember that not all online weight loss programs are the same. Despite the possibility of a variance, you should find that most online weight loss programs are more than worth your money, especially if you regularly find yourself pressed for time.