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Archive for the ‘body composition’ Category

Many people establish an exercise routine to get into better physical shape. Beyond appearances, though, exercise benefits the mind and body in myriad ways you can’t see in the mirror (or in a selfie). Twenty minutes per day is all you need to reap these benefits of exercise!

Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion

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9 Things to Look For in a Quality Weight Loss ProgramMaintaining a healthy weight can be challenging and, for some people, even more difficult than losing weight. The good news is that achieving lasting weight maintenance is possible. Use these 13 tips to help you succeed at maintaining your weight-loss goals.

Dr. Kevin Hall, an expert on metabolism at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health recently published the results of his six-year study of participants from the television show, The Biggest Loser. He found that all but one of the people he studied regained all or more of the weight they had lost. But even more staggering was that their resting metabolic rates dropped significantly, so much so that weight regain was inevitable. Participants’ resting metabolic rate continued to stay low even after they had gained back the weight.

Now, we already know that a body at a higher weight burns more calories than the same body at a lighter weight because there is less mass to move and keep alive. However, with weight loss, one has to look at a few variables: how fast the weight loss occurred, and how much of the lost weight came from fat and how much came from lean tissue, primarily muscle mass.

Muscle mass is directly linked to resting metabolic rate, as this tissue requires more calories to keep alive. When lean muscle mass makes up a significant portion of total weight loss, resting metabolic rate takes a nosedive. However, a weight-loss program that promotes weight training to increase muscle mass can potentially offset the decline in metabolism.

The good news is that achieving lasting weight maintenance is possible. Use the following tips to help you succeed at maintaining your weight-loss goals:

1. Stay consistent both with your activity levels and eating plan.

We often see people use the achievement of their weight-loss goal as a sign to stop what they’re doing, celebrate and subsequently revert to their old habits. Unfortunately, that’s a recipe for weight gain. Whatever it took to help you lose the weight is the same plan that will help you keep it off—with some tweaks, of course. Remember, you no longer burn the same amount of calories that you did when you were heavier, so you’ll need to recalculate your calorie needs and make adjustments to your nutrition and/or exercise.

2. Build those muscles.

As stated earlier, muscle mass is directly tied to your resting metabolic rate. Having more muscle mass means your resting metabolic rate will be higher. Focusing on building muscle mass through strength or resistance training is the only way to create new, metabolically active muscle tissue. For weight maintenance, weight training becomes just as, if not more, important as aerobic conditioning.

3. Continue to set goals.

We encourage you to set both long-term and short-term goals and make sure that they are both realistic and achievable. Goals can be about exercise (trying something new), nutrition (have a go at changing up macronutrient percentages, cut out sugar, or stick with a whole-food diet) or training for a race. You might also consider setting goals outside the diet and exercise realm, such as booking an adventure vacation. When you are having fun and are happy, you reduce your production of the stress hormone cortisol, making you more likely to be successful with maintaining your weight.

4. Practice mindful and intuitive eating.

Mindful eating means that you are present when you eat—no television, emails, Facebook or surfing the web. When you are focused on your meal, you can notice the taste, texture, temperature and aroma of it and really find enjoyment with what you are eating. You will be more likely to walk away from that meal feeling full and satisfied. Being an intuitive eater means that you are listening to your body’s signals when it comes to being hungry and full. You eat when you are hungry (not waiting until you are ravenous), and stop when you are full (about 80 percent full), but not stuffed.

5. Have a plan.

You know the saying, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Plan out your week—each day’s workout, as well as what meals you will be preparing and eating. Having a plan means you will more likely stick to it and be successful.

6. Come up with a list of non-food coping strategies.

Emotional eating causes many people to turn to food when they are feeling sad, angry, frustrated, disappointed, bored, lonely or even happy. And the foods most people typically reach for are salty, crunchy, fatty foods and sweets. When you are in an emotionally neutral state, come up with a list of non-food coping mechanisms that can make you feel better. Try singing, dancing, a short burst of exercise, taking a walk, calling a friend or our personal favorite, laughter therapy. Find some funny video clips to watch and once you start laughing, the stress hormones quickly recede and it becomes easier to feel better.

7. Find support.

Nothing feels more difficult than going through something alone. If your weight-loss journey was a solo trek, reaching out to others, especially people who are going through the same thing, can be both comforting and rewarding. You need to be able to open up and express your thoughts and feelings to like-minded people. You’ll be amazed at the great ideas you’ll come away with, as well as an increased sense of motivation.

8. Eat real, whole, clean food.

Once you achieve your goal weight, you might find yourself a little lax when it comes to your diet. A piece of chocolate cake, a slice of pizza and an extra glass of wine can really add up quickly. Remember what got you to your goal weight in the first place—a sound eating plan. Ditching the refined, processed food and replacing it with real, whole, clean foods, such as vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats, clean complex carbs and plenty of water and green tea, can get you back on track for success.

9. Stay within 3 pounds of your maintenance weight.

While we don’t believe in being slaves to the scale, a once-a-week weigh-in should be enough to make sure you are staying on track. If the scale indicates more than a 3-pound gain, it’s time to check in with yourself and assess what you’ve been doing differently. Are you keeping food records? Do you get enough sleep? How’s your stress level? All of these factors play a role in weight gain.

10. Setbacks happen.

You travel for business or pleasure, attend parties and have holiday gatherings—all of which typically mean an abundance of food is available. Again, have a plan for handling these food environments to your advantage. But if you do slip up and decide to overindulge at the buffet, that’s O.K. Learn how to move past it and go right back to your consistent new lifestyle.

11. Stay hydrated.

Did you know that most of the time you think you’re hungry, you’re actually thirsty? Next time you find yourself with the munchies, go drink 12 ounces of water and wait 15 minutes. You might have just solved the problem. However, if you find yourself physically hungry go ahead and eat. As for how much water you should be drinking each day, a general rule is to drink (in ounces) half of your body weight (in pounds). For example, if you weigh 150 pounds (150 x 1/2 = 75), you need to drink 75 ounces (approximately 10 cups of water). Add 1 cup if you live in a hot climate and another cup when exercising and sweating.

12. Practice stress management.

Stress plays a big role in weight regain. The main stress hormone is cortisol and when it is high, due to stress, it causes your body to become more insulin resistant. Insulin is a fat-storage hormone, so the more you have floating around your bloodstream, the more fat you are likely to store, especially around your abdominal region. Stress-management techniques can be as simple as taking a few one-minute breaks during the day during which you close your eyes and practice deep breathing. If you have more time, try longer stretches of meditation or breathing exercises. Again, laughter therapy is a great way to deal with stress.

13. Sleep seven to nine hours each night.

There is ample scientific evidence about the role that sleep plays in weight. When you sleep fewer than seven hours per night, there is a disruption in the production of two main hormones that control hunger and fullness. Poor sleep causes your brain to produce more ghrelin, which makes you feel hungrier, and less leptin, which helps make you feel full. So now you’re feeling hungry all the time. And who wants a salad when you’re tired and hungry? This is what it’s like when ghrelin and leptin are out of whack. Proper sleep keeps these hormones at proper levels and hunger and fullness are back to normal.

Tiffani Bachus, R.D.N., and Erin Macdonald, R.D.N., are the co-founders of U Rock Girl!, a website designed to nourish the mind, body and spirit of women of all ages and stages of life. They have just authored the rockin’ breakfast cookbook, No Excuses! 50 Healthy Ways to ROCK Breakfast! available at http://www.URockGirl.com

Source: ACE Fit | Fit Life | 13 Tips for Maintaining Weight Loss Over the Long-term

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19824212There are so many ways to keep your body fit and healthy. Whether you play a sport, walk outside, enjoy yoga or hit the weights at the gym, there is something for everyone. Scheduling fitness and making it a priority in your life will not only help you accomplish your fitness goals, but will also help prevent metabolic risk factors.

Your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke increases with the number of metabolic risk factors you have. These risk factors, known as Metabolic Syndrome, include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and abdominal fat. Having just one of these conditions doesn’t mean you have metabolic syndrome. However, any combination of these factors increase your risk is even greater.

How is Metabolic Syndrome Defined?

Based on the guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the American Heart Association (AHA), any three of the following traits meet the criteria for the metabolic syndrome:

  • Abdominal obesity: a waist circumference of 102 cm (40 in) or more in men and 88 cm (35 inches) or more in women. For Asian Americans, the cutoff values are ≥90 cm (35 in) in men or ≥80 cm (32 in) in women
  • Serum triglycerides 150 mg/dl or above.
  • HDL cholesterol 40mg/dl or lower in men and 50mg/dl or lower in women.
  • Blood pressure of 130/85 or more.
  • Fasting blood glucose of 100 mg/dl or above.

Metabolic syndrome is becoming more common due to a rise in obesity rates. In the future, it may even overtake smoking as the leading risk factor for heart disease. Genetics and unhealthy lifestyle choices both play a significant role in the development of the metabolic syndrome. While obesity itself is likely the greatest risk factor, others factors of concern include:

  • women who are post-menopausal,
  • smoking,
  • eating an excessively high carbohydrate diet,
  • lack of activity (even without weight change), and
  • consuming an alcohol-free diet.
The good news is you can prevent or delay metabolic syndrome by living an active lifestyle and limiting your individual risk factors mentioned above. You can reduce your risks significantly by reducing your weight; increasing your physical activity; eating a heart-healthy diet that’s rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fish; and managing blood glucose, blood cholesterol, and blood pressure.

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© 2013 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion LLC

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In the world of fitness, myths and half-truths abound — and some of them may be keeping you from getting the workout you need.

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A pound of feathers and a pound of bricks both weigh a pound. The idea that a pound of muscle weighs more than a pound of fat is a misunderstanding. A pound is a pound is a pound. The difference is how much space they take up. Since muscle is more dense, a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. That’s why two people of the same weight and height can look so different – muscle mass can change your appearance drastically.

Just remember? “Weight” loss does not equal “fat” loss. In order to really know what you are losing, you need to know your percent body fat. For more information check out the following:

Body Fat vs. Body Weight: What is the Difference?

Understanding Your Body Fat Percentage

How Much is a Pound of Fat?

How Much is a Pound of Fat?

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Body wrapTrying to banish cellulite has long been one of women’s life-long elusive pursuits. Many are willing to spend a great deal of their hard earned money on procedures, creams, massages, lasers and pills to rid themselves of cellulite once and for all. For some, it’s an obsession. Although no treatment is completely successful and there are no proven scientific cures, costly and time consuming cellulite reduction gimmicks continue to proliferate.

Despite what you’ve heard about trapped toxins, free radicals, fat storing hormones, or poor circulation being to blame, cellulite is one thing–fat. Cellulite is strands of connective tissue separating fat cells into compartments and connecting fat tissue to skin. It looks different, causing its dimpled and lumpy appearance because of how it’s arranged. Women are more prone to cellulite than men due to its honeycombed patterned (vs criss crossed in men), thinner skin (especially with age), and a greater amount of subcutaneous fat–the fat between skin and muscle (vs more visceral fat in men). Genetics are a key factor in determining where we store fat and how many fat cells we have, so even slender woman can have cellulite. Plus as we age connective tissue thickens and skin becomes thinner. And if thin skin runs in your family, the underlying fat is even more visible. Cellulite is purely a cosmetic problem, not an illness or medical condition.

Reducing cellulite is not going to happen by special supplements, creams, spot-reducing exercises, or body-wrap treatments. These methods advertise remarkable results, but most don’t live up to their claims. Creams applied to the skin cannot penetrate the skin to rearrange the connective tissue and fat cells beneath the surface. And wraps work by temporarily dehydrating fat cells or tightening the skin through dehydration. But neither lasts and the next day your body will be back to normal. There’s no scientific evidence that body wraps have a lasting effect on cellulite or fat, and the Federal Trade Commission has warned body-wrapping firms not to promise the selective reduction of fat in one part of the body.

The best way to permanently reduce the appearance of cellulite is exercise and a healthy diet. Fat is soft and doesn’t keep skin taut like muscle does. With the right exercise plan, you can reduce cellulite and make your lower body look smoother and firmer. Cardiovascular exercise combined with weight training will decrease underlying fat while increasing muscle tissue, making cellulite less noticeable. A healthy diet combined with exercise can also be helpful in keeping the skin and connective tissue stronger, healthier, and suppler.

Copyright 2013 Tiffiny Twardowsky, Energy in Motion LLC

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Many of us who have traveled down the road of trying to get into shape know that, like in most of life, there’s strength in numbers. Individuals that have experienced the most success in losing weight and getting in better physical shape have a strong support structure. Exercise buddies and groups provide accountability, a sense of healthy competition, and an element of fun to an otherwise dreary-seeming endeavor: that of losing weight and exercising.

There are two main types of group exercise classes: anaerobic and aerobic. Any facility or business that offers on-site fitness activities would ideally incorporate both of these avenues. Anaerobic classes are typically strength and flexibility-based such as Pilates, yoga, tai chi, etc. These types of exercises are ideal for individuals with high stress as well as those who suffer from chronic illness or have limited mobility. Aerobic classes can include dance-based exercises such as Zumba, sports-related activities such as kickboxing, and traditional actions like step aerobics. These exercises help burn fat and build muscle. Because not all individuals have the same needs and capabilities, providing more than one type of activity is crucial.

Promoting workplace group exercise classes is easy; most Americans either want to lose weight or are under advisement by their doctors to do so. Anxiety about not knowing that to do, about feeling lonely, and a lack of motivation and accountability can all be remedied by providing group exercise classes. People enjoy their workouts more and look forward to the next class far more than they anticipate another session of working out alone. To really motivate and inspire people to create a healthy lifestyle for themselves, offering group exercise classes is the surest way to be successful.

For more information on bring group exercise classes to your workplace, please contact us at info@einmotion.com or 973-983-9554

Copyright 2013 Tiffiny Twardowsky, Energy in Motion LLC

Additional Links

Healthy Employees Make Business Stronger

Top 10 Reasons to Try Workplace Group Fitness Classes

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