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Slim Down and Stay Healthy on this Flexible Diet

Slim Down and Stay Healthy on this Flexible Diet

Approximately 69% of US adults are overweight or obese. While there are many diets out there that advertise weight loss success, due to their restrictive parameters, they are not sustainable and results are not easily maintained. I’ve got a more flexible option for you that is not only good for you but the environment too. Have you heard of the plant-based diet?

What exactly is a plant-based diet? It doesn’t mean being vegan or even vegetarian. It is more of a lifestyle than a diet. A plant-based diet:

  • Focuses on eating plants, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts. These foods should make up the majority of what you eat.
  • Limits or avoids consuming animal products.
  • Consumes minimally processed foods including added sugar, white flour and processed oils.
  • Is aware of food quality and often chooses organic products when possible.

Many studies show that plant-based diets can help you lose weight. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why. The high fiber content, along with the exclusion of processed foods is a
combination for successful weight loss. Plants are also lower in calories. The fiber fills you up and makes you feel fuller longer. Eliminating or limiting animal products reduces inflammation in your body and can improve your energy. Studies also show that this way of eating may also help keep weight off in the long-term. As I said, it’s a lifestyle, not a diet.


New review highlights benefits of plant-based diets for heart health.

In addition to weight loss, plant-based diets have been linked to a number of health benefits including reducing your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, and cognitive decline. Consuming more plants and reducing animal products can also lower your cholesterol, blood sugar and reduce dangerous abdominal fat.

Another bonus- it’s good for the environment. A review of 63 studies showed that diets consuming the least amount of animal-based foods provided the largest environmental benefits. Researchers concluded that plant-based diets emphasizing local ingredients are more environmentally friendly than diets that rely on mass-produced animal products and produce. More information on this can be found HERE and HERE.

How to get Started on a Plant-based Diet

There are no specific rules. Do what makes sense to you. Begin by planning a few meatless meals per week. Fill your shopping cart with:

  • Fruits: Berries, citrus fruits, pears, peaches, pineapple, bananas, etc.
  • Vegetables: Kale, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, peppers, etc.
  • Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, etc.
  • Whole grains: Brown rice, rolled oats, farro, quinoa, brown rice pasta, barley, etc.
  • Healthy fats: Avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, unsweetened coconut, etc.
  • Legumes: Peas, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, black beans, etc.
  • Seeds, nuts and nut butters: Almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, natural peanut butter, tahini, etc.
  • Unsweetened plant-based milks: Coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk, etc.
  • Spices, herbs and seasonings: Basil, rosemary, turmeric, curry, black pepper, garlic, etc.
  • Condiments: Salsa, mustard, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, coconut aminos, vinegar, lemon juice, etc.
  • Plant-based protein: Tofu, tempeh, plant-based protein (like pea or hemp protein) sources and powders with no added sugar or artificial ingredients.
  • Beverages: Coffee, tea, sparkling water, etc.

Here’s how Jay Z and Beyonce did it!

If you need help getting started, contact me. I am here to help 🙂

Live Well.

Why I Don’t Recommend the       OMAD Diet

Why I Don’t Recommend the OMAD Diet

The OMAD diet has been added to my list of diet trends I do NOT recommend. If you are thinking about trying this way of eating or currently practicing this diet, please consider some of the potentially harmful side effects listed below.

The OMAD diet stands for One Meal A Day. You essentially fast for 23 hours and consume only one meal each day. Because you are limiting your calorie consumption, you can feast on whatever you like, healthy or unhealthy and still lose weight. The idea of eating whatever you want is always enticing but remember you are eating only once a day. Water is allowed but no other food. That hangry feeling you are left with the rest of the day might not be worth it.

The idea behind intermittent fasting is to allow your body to rest and digest, giving your organs and hormones a break. This reduces the stress on your body. In theory this reduces inflammation and your risk of developing chronic diseases. But OMAD is a very extreme form of intermittent fasting. Evidence shows that any benefits seem to be quickly negated once you break the fast and even cause you to feel hungrier than you were before you began the fasting diet.

There is not much scientific data supporting the benefits of OMAD but there are certainly some negative side effects that should be considered.

  • Eating once a day may leave you lacking in important nutrients your body needs to function properly.
  • A common theme in restricted eating is slowing down the metabolism. Though you may lose weight initially, you might be setting yourself up for a long-term struggle with weight gain.
  • You will likely be lacking the energy needed to exercising. Exercise goes beyond weight loss. Exercise is about whole body health.
  • There is evidence that fasting can increase your bad cholesterol (LDL).

More immediate effects of restricting food for nearly an entire day may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheaded feeling
  • Nausea
  • Brain Fog
  • Confusion
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

By restricting your eating so severely, you will likely miss sharing meals with loved ones. I will always advocate for making healthy eating eating choices which includes listening to hunger cues rather than suppressing them. My personal opinion is that the OMAD diet is not a healthy, safe, successful way to lose or maintain weight.

Live Well.

Best Way to Burn Belly Fat

Cardio or Weights?

If you want to burn belly fat, it is frustrating in that it doesn’t happen quickly. You also can’t spot train or control where you lose it from. Healthy eating is imperative of course. But there are workouts that will help you reach your goals faster.

Cardio Is Not the Best Way

Hours on the treadmill will not give you the fastest results when trying to lose that stubborn belly fat. According to the experts, resistance training especially in HIIT style is your best bet. This means performing intervals of exercises that strengthen specific body parts, with little to no rest between the exercises.

Why Is HIIT Better?

Why is HIIT more effective? It’s all about building muscle. The fast pace of the workout will get your heart rate up and unlike steady-state cardio, the resistance training will engage and build muscle. Muscle will help you burn body fat and lean out your physique.

It is worth noting that cardio can actually break down muscle if you do too much of it without proper fuel.

So if losing belly fat is your goal, add HIIT training to your routine. Start with 10- 20 minutes and build from there. You may include body weight exercises, weights, resistance bands, stability balls, BOSUs, steps, etc. Try one of my FREE workouts to get you started!

Try one of my HIIT and Be Fit Workouts!

How Often Should You Replace Your Sneakers?

Maybe you’ve got a fancy job where you wear your fancy clothes and fancy shoes all day. Me? I get to wear yoga pants and sneakers. All. Day. Long. Jealous? The only down side is I’ve got to replace my sneakers every few months because I wear them out so quickly. So, how often should YOU replace your sneakers? That depends…

The general recommendation by experts is that you should replace your athletic shoes every 300-500 miles. But there are many things to consider such as how often you wear them and what exactly you are doing when you wear them.

Walkers

  • If you walk 30 minutes a day, replace every 6 months.
  • If you walk 60 minutes a day, replace every 3 months.

Runners

  • If you are an avid runner or training for a race, you can keep track of your weekly mileage. Plan to replace your shoes between the 300-500 mark. Pay attention to your body and how you feel during your runs around the 300/350 mark and go from there.
  • If you are only running short distances a few times per week, plan to replace them every 6 months.

Lifters

  • You’ll need good shoe support to ensure proper form while lifting to prevent injury. But you can typically get away with replacing your shoes every 9-12 months.

Avid Exercisers

  • If you do a lot of jumping, lunging, squatting or take classes like boot camp, kick boxing, Zumba and circuit training, you want to follow the rule of thumb for runners. Replace your shoes every 6 months.

Just Wear Your Sneakers A Lot

  • If you just happen to wear your sneakers hours and hours every day for your job or just life, you may need to replace your sneakers every 3-6 months.

Signs Your Shoes Need Replacing

  • Check the sole tread pattern. Many shoes now are made so a different color shows when the sole is worn out.
  • Look at the heel of your shoe. It will often wear out more on one side sometimes to the point that the shoe is leaning to one side.
  • You are getting blisters. Your stretched out shoes might be rubbing against your heels.
  • You are in pain. If you start experiencing shin splints, knee pain, ankle pain or foot pain, it might be time to replace your sneakers.
  • You bought them 6-12 months ago. If you aren’t sure, it is better to replace rather than wear worn out shoes.

Dangers of Expired Shoes

  • Shin Splints. The area in the front to f your legs between your ankles and knees burns during or after exercise.
  • Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis. A heel spur is a calcium deposit causing a bony protrusion on the underside of the heel bone.
  • Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. It is painful and difficult to treat.
  • Stress Fracture. This is a small crack or severe bruising in a bone.
  • IT Band Syndrome. This is an injury of the connective tissues that are located on the lateral or outer thigh and knee.

How to Extend the Life of Your Shoes

  • Only wear your sneakers for workouts/runs/walks
  • Let ’em breathe. Don’t keep your shoes in your gym bag. Let them air out in between uses.
  • If you wash them, let them air dry. Do not put them in the dryer. The heat from the dryer will break down the glue holding the shoe together faster. Also wash in cold water with gentle soap.

How to Recycle Your Sneakers

Don’t simply throw out your old sneakers. You can recycle them a few different ways. One of these organizations will accept your sneaker donations and find them a new home.

  • Soles4Souls program. They have many drop off locations including DSW.
  • Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program turns your shoes into sports and playground surfaces.
  • You can also check out Adidas’s End of Life program.
  • It’s from the Sole is another donation organization.
  • And of course you can simply donate to Good will if your shoes still have a little life left in them.

Your Hips Don’t Lie

Your Hips Don’t Lie

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Eating Healthier in 5 Simple Steps

Eating Healthier in 5 Simple Steps

A New Year, a New YOU, right? Eating healthier is first on the list but where to start? It can be very overwhelming so start with these 5 simple steps to get that scale moving.Read More

How Much Should You Exercise?

How Much Should You Exercise?

Whether you are trying to lose weight or simply develop a healthier lifestyle, physical activity is imperative to your health. But do you know how much exercise you need?Read More

Why Men Lose Weight Faster Than Women

Why Men Lose Weight Faster Than Women

Ladies, if you’ve ever tried to lose weight with your man then you have likely experienced this diet frustration: YOU dieting your brains out to lose a pound while HE gives up beer for a week and drops a pants size. What is the meaning of this cruelty?! A new study, published in the Journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism,Read MoreRead More