Weight Loss Basics: Obvious…or Not?

Weight Loss Basics: Obvious…or Not?

Everything in this post should be obvious.  But sometimes we ignore the obvious in favor of the expedient.  So it’s always worth a quick review!

As we all know, if you want to lose weight the two indisputable universal factors are healthy eating and exercise. In fact, everything you will ever read about how to lose weight will fall into one of these two categories.  That said, here are some simple, but very effective tips to remind you of the obvious.

Walk!

We all have to get around.  So walk whenever possible.  Even if you have to drive to get where you are going, stop looking for that close parking spot.  Park on the other side of the lot and force yourself to walk!  Forget the elevator and take the stairs.  Walk!  Best of all, you don’t have to make time to fit these walks in.  You have to go anyway!  Just don’t be lazy.  Look at it as an opportunity.

Exercise First

If you exercise first thing in the morning, your body is a lot more likely to actually burn away fat.  This is because when you are asleep, it is as though you are fasting.  So when you wake up, your body is in a state of low blood sugar and a high amount of fat-burning hormones like adrenaline.  So by doing cardio exercising first thing, research shows you end up burning more calories and fat than exercising during other times of the day.

If You Are Going to Eat Carbs Do It After Exercising

This is called carb backloading, eating complex carbohydrates after intense exercise that was done after essentially fasting, i.e., sleeping.  The benefit of this that the carbs you consume after the workout will not be stored as fat, but will by your cells to replenish depleted amounts of glycogen.

So you can kill two birds with one stone, as the saying goes, by exercising early and then enjoying your complex carbs for breakfast.

Brrrr.. Cold Showers!

A cold shower is great for waking you up.  But it can also help you lose weight since your body will use up calories trying to warm itself.  Cool! (pun intended)  In addition, the shocking cold increases your levels of adrenaline and testosterone.

Don’t Drink Sugar. Drink Water.

You want to lose weight and save money?  Drink water.  Very simple.  Enough with the soda that is dripping with sugar.  Just switching to water alone is enough to improve your health and lower that number on your scale.  It’s wasted calories!  And for what?  A candy hit?  Grow up.  And that includes all the fancy coffees and cappuccinos that are loaded with fat-giving cream.  Oh yah…and chuck the beer too.  Okay, okay, I hear you.  Fine, you can cheat with a periodic light beer.  But the bottom line is drink water.  Believe it or not, drinking water will even accelerate your metabolism!

Get More Sleep

Most Americans are sleep deprived.  We are also mostly overweight.  It could be that there is a correlation here since sleeping helps burn fat!  So sleep often and sleep well to maximize all of your fat burning opportunities.

Eat Slower

Slow eating will not, in and of itself, help you lose weight.  It’s not like exercising your jaw more or less is going to burn calories.  It’s psychological, but it works.  If you chew slower and eat slower you will feel fuller and your food will digest easier.  Consequently, you will also end up eating less.

So there you have it.  Hopefully, there was nothing new here for you.  But if there was or if you have been ignoring the obvious, time to get back to basics.

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The Top 5 Foods for Healthy Living

The Top 5 Foods for Healthy Living

Every article about healthy eating that you read will tell you that one of the most important factors in living a long and healthy life is the foods you eat.  The typical article will push vegetables, fruit and exercise.  And they are definitely right.  They will also tell you that if you are eating grains you should only eat whole grains which still contain all of their vitamins and nutrients before being washed away in the processing.

But in this article we want to boil it down to the most healthy foods that a person can eat in order to get the most nutrients one can.  Eating these foods regularly as part of your ongoing healthy diet will certainly help most people to live a longer and healthier life. 

Not only that, but each of the five we have chosen, are not only among the healthiest foods that are easily available, but they are also extremely versatile.  That means it is very easy to prepare and fit them into your regular menus.  It will not be necessary to learn to cook all over again and taste things you’ve never heard of before.  It’s just a matter of getting more of the right foods that have the right ingredients for your improved health!

So here we go with Dietgirl’s list of the Top 5 Foods for Healthy Living

1. Berries (Cranberries) 

Another  delicious and very healthy food is berries.  Not only can they be easily incorporated into your meals, but they are great for a snack. All berries have antioxidants that are important for your diet. Cranberries, in particular, are very high in antioxidants, but all berries are benefitial and should be enjoyed often.

2. Quinoa (Whole Grains)

All whole grains are far better to eat than processed grains.  But quinoa is in a class of its own. Please note that by itself, quinoa has a bland taste, but you can fix that easily with some garlic, salt, lemon or oils.  Better yet, just grab a few recipes off the internet and you will see that it is quite easy to jazz it up.  It’s worth that extra little effort because quinoa is very high in  fiber and in protein, and is an excellent source of magnesium and iron. 

3. Salmon

Naturally filled with Omega-3 fatty acids, protein and other terrific nutrients, salmon is one of the best foods on the planet that a person can eat.  This one grilled piece of fish has almost everything in it that your diet requires. And on top of all that it is low in fat and bad cholesterol, but high in good cholesterol.  Quinoa makes a terrific add to everyone’s diet.

4. Spinach (Greens)

As mentioned above, green vegetables are very important to your diet.  And some of them can be important sources for calcium  fiber, protein, and other important slices of the nutrition pie. Interestingly, spinach does not provide all the benefits that collard greens and kale do, but since spinach is easier to mix into your recipes and add to your menu in ways beyond a simple salad, we have focused on it over all other greens. 

5. Soy

By now, everyone has heard of soy.  Unfortunately, this unique incredible food does require learning how to cook it.  But it is so worth it.  Soy is simply a fantastically healthy food. It has fiber, protein, Omega-3, calcium, vitamins, —almost everything a person could want from a meal. The good news is that soy can also be found in lots of foods, as vegetarians can find soy cheeses, soy meats, tofu and other things that can all be used to help you find ways to include soy in as many meals as you want.

So there you have it!  The Top 5 Food for Healthy Living.  Bon appetite!

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The Top 9 Exercise Lies Many People Believe

The Top 9 Exercise Lies Many People Believe

Get up and go! That’s all it takes, right? Not so fast! Many things that people think are true about exercise are actually wrong. Like anything else, if you don’t do it right, you are unlikely to get the results you expect. So let’s cut the fat and slim on down to the facts.

Lie Number 1. You will always achieve your goals if you stick with your exercise program.

Well, obviously, this depends on your goals and your program. Goals must be realistic and your exercise program must be designed with you in mind. Not everybody responds the same to the same exercise program. Given each of our genetics, it is likely that your personal gains in speed, power and endurance may be very different from that of other people you know.

Lie Number 2. You can lose as much weight as you want just through exercise.

Exercise is very important. But it will not do the job alone. As with all responses to exercise, weight gain or loss is dependent on many factors, including dietary intake and genetics. As discussed above, not everybody will lose the same amount of weight on the same exercise program. Believe it or not, it is possible to be active and still be overweight. You won’t believe how many black belts in karate I have known who were quick, strong and talented, but they just could not lose their beer bellies! Nevertheless, even though exercise by itself probably will not guarantee you reach your desired weight, regular physical activity is one of the most important variables in achieving a healthy and fit body.

Lie Number 3. You will burn more fat with low intensity workouts.

It’s a darn lie! The truth is that you will burn up more calories per minute the faster you move. The problem is that high-intensity exercise may be hard to maintain in the beginning, so most people are not able to exercise very long pushing so hard. Because of this, it is much safer and more practical to start out at a lower intensity and gradually work your way up. In general, the main benefit of low intensity exercise, other than as a starting point, is that it is less stressful on joints. However, the bottom line is that fat reduction depends on the total energy cost or how many calories are used up when exercising.

Lie Number 4. With specific exercises anyone can build their arm muscles or get a six-pack.

It’s just not true. What is true is that specific exercises will definitely tone and strengthen specific areas of your body. But if you have fat there you may not be able to see those strengthened muscles as they are covered with your fat! Not only that, but you cannot control where you will lose fat on your body through dieting or exercise. That is all genetic. That’s why being careful with what and how much you eat goes hand in hand with exercise. It’s a package deal. The good news is that research continues to show that any exercise is better than no exercise. For example, regular walking or even gardening for as little as an hour a week has been shown to help a person feel more energetic and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Lie Number 5. People who are obese are not likely to benefit too much from exercise.

That’s outright nonsense. Everybody benefits from exercise and everybody should consult with their doctor before beginning any workout program. Those who are very overweight probably need much more professional oversight and guidance so they do not try to do too much too quickly. But the truth is that research shows that obese people who participate in regular exercise programs have a lower risk of all-cause mortality than sedentary individuals, regardless of the fact that they are so overweight. Even a little bit of exercise is significantly better than no exercise.

Lie Number 6. If your goal is to lose weight, forget about strength training since it’s going to bulk you up.

Life is about balance. Your body needs cardiovascular exercise, such as aerobics or running, as well as strengthening, through push ups, planks or weight lifting. Strength workouts help increase muscle mass and decrease your body fat ratio. Everyone needs both.

Lie Number 7. Yoga and Tai Chi may be enjoyable but the fitness benefits are still unsubstantiated.

That may have been true years ago. But more recent research clearly illustrates that these exercise forms are quite beneficial in multiple ways. Some of these benefits include, improvements in coordination, flexibility, posture, balance, strength and stress management. Tai Chi has even been shown to help improve fibromyalgia and pain in the lower back.

Lie Number 8. Exercise programs in water are mainly for seniors and the handicapped.

Just because water fitness programs are primarily marketed to the handicapped and seniors, does not mean that they aren’t terrific alternatives for all of us. Water exercise offers many benefits, such as going easier on the joints, but don’t be fooled. These fitness programs can be just as challenging and successful for improving fitness and losing weight as any other. There are many athletes who incorporate water fitness programs into their workouts.

Lie Number 9. The best way to get healthy and lose weight is by going to a gym.

Poppycock! The best workout is one you are going to do! It has to be at least somewhat enjoyable, convenient, easily accessible and affordable. In fact, studies have shown that many people strongly prefer a home-based fitness program for all of these reasons! So ignore the hype about the latest fitness fads and trendy exercise equipment and facilities. Your best workout is what fits into your schedule, budget and needs. Do what works for you. But ya gotta do it!

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Welcome to the DietGirl Blog

Welcome to the Dietgirl blog!

Every week you will enjoy articles about diet, working out, health, exercise, and nutrition. Some

will be original and many will be curated for you from across the web. Our goal is to bring you the

most interesting, fun, entertaining and educational content related to fitness anywhere. We spend

hours surfing the net so you don’t have to!

Comment and let us know what you want to see more of. We aim to please but we can’t do it

without your feedback.

Yours in fitness,

The Dietgirl Team

P.S. Remember to sign up for the RSS feed so you never miss a post!

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