6 Ways to Get Motivated to Lose Weight

When people say they want to lose weight, what they usually mean is they want to reduce fat and increase muscle and strength. It’s technically impossible to “lose” fat without surgery, since fat cells simply shrink and grow.

If you’re wanting to decrease fat, keep in mind that it’s nearly impossible to do so while simultaneously increasing muscle (if that’s your goal).

The scale can also be your worst enemy—instead rely on measuring key parts of your body including calves, hips (widest part), waist (smallest part), chest (widest part), upper arms and perhaps neck. You can also keep track of your progress with how non-stretchy clothes fit.

Avoiding the scale is an absolute must if you’ll also be toggling between regimens to reduce fat and increase muscle size, also known as hypertrophy training.

However, before you begin, you need to take care of a few tasks. First, motivation needs to be in place. Most of us have heard of successful fat reduction stories in which the person just knew they were ready. In other words, they’d found motivation.

What can you do if motivation doesn’t seem to be coming your way?

Here are a few tips and tricks from professionals on how to gain the motivation necessary for a successful, safe and long-term fat reduction lifestyle:

1. Start with cognitive reconditioning.

Self-talk is a major pillar of cognitive reconditioning, and it’s key because our brains do a fantastic job of making what we think come true.

In a society where sarcasm and self-deprecation is revered, it’s unfortunately common to think thoughts like, “There’s no way I can ever lose weight” or “I’ve already had a fattening breakfast. What’s the point in eating healthy the rest of the day?”

Talk kindly to yourself and tell yourself motivating thoughts. It might sound cheesy and even feel a bit strange at first, but practicing it over time will help make it part of your daily routine.

self talk motivation

Particularly focus on motivating self-talk. A simple thought such as “You can do this” as you contemplate a new gym membership or online support group to complete a 5k can do wonders. Speaking of online support …

2. Surround yourself with cheerleaders as well as those living healthy lifestyles.

Who you surround yourself with plays a huge role in your own behavior and thoughts. Sadly, it’s common to have loved ones try to derail you from your efforts, whether out of good intentions gone wrong or jealousy.

You might have friends with whom relationships are founded on binging together, giving each other permission to eat unhealthily. They might get scared or anxious with your new approach to healthy living and make snide comments.

Depending on how much you value them in your life, you can try talking to them—or it may be best to avoid them while you’re on the start of your journey.

3. Adopt the ladder approach to goal setting.

Writing down your goals, with an actual pen and paper, has been proven highly effective with any dream including weight loss.

Why pen and paper? It forces your thoughts to better match the speed of your goal setting list.

ColorOptions

The ladder approach is a means of using baby steps and short term goals that all lead to the bigger, long-term goal. The ladder approach is a lot less intimidating, and you’ll get the rush of finishing more goals in less amount of time.

4. Create a list of positive, healthy reasons you want to reduce fat and keep it visible.

Some of you peeps reading this might want to reduce fat so you look good in a swimsuit– this is a dangerous short term approach that can set a precedence for a negative self-image.

Instead, focus on genuine reasons such as lowering high blood pressure, getting to enjoy more time with your family or friends due to a healthier weight, or being able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded.

If you’re really craving the motivation of “looking better,” try to avoid items that might tarnish your self-esteem when there are setbacks (and there will be setbacks).

For example, include “The fun of shopping at more stores for clothes I like” instead of “Looking smashing on my wedding day.” Shopping will always be there, but if you don’t make a goal weight by your wedding, it can ruin the day.

5. Choose healthy exercise activities that you really like, and shake it up.

You might have heard that running, swimming or another activity is the “best way” to reduce fat.

There’s only one best way: The one you’ll actually stick with.

Try them all from dance classes to cycling or rowing. Studies have shown, and it’s no surprise, that you tend to do activities you like more than those you dread. However, the body is very good at adapting to certain movements.

Change your exercise or schedule at least every eight weeks.

6. Exercise when you have the time and motivation, and find a healthy eating lifestyle—not a diet—that’s manageable.

Just like exercise, there’s no “best time” to work out.

The best time is when you have the energy and time, whether it’s early in the morning, during your lunch break or after work.

However, exercise is only part of the equation. Eating healthy and for your body’s needs is key for fat reduction.

Research approaches that you can customize, that you’re excited about, and which seem manageable. A great motivator is actually looking forward to your new lifestyle, but knowing it’s always up for a modification.

Where to go from here..

Starting on a new, healthy path begins with having the motivation, support and knowledge necessary to succeed. No matter where you are on the path, from the planning stages to the preparation, know that the journey isn’t linear. You might take some steps back or make big leaps and bounds in one fell swoop. Remember: with motivation, you’ll surely succeed.

Tell us a bit about what you use to motivate yourself in the comments below!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emily Walters is a content writer for fitnessedge.net. When she is not writing, Emily enjoys practicing yoga and running along the beaches in San Diego.

 

 

6 Reasons Why the LUXX Bag Is The Best Travel Companion Ever

By Tommy B.

In other words, don’t uxxeave home without it.

Travel — one of the great pleasures of life that can quickly turn into a nightmare depending on a few key factors such as plane delays, airport pickups and the ultimate disaster:

Forgetting a crucial item at home.

I was on my way to London when the sun had just cracked through the piercing, grey New York City clouds and that’s when it hit me:

My pants seem unusually light.

And then the frantic search for the iPhone began, culminating in mass chaos and anxiety, almost turning around and ultimately – headed overseas without it.

Now, I hope this doesn’t happen to you and since then I’ve implemented a failsafe system to make sure that was a one and done.

I’ve recently had the opportunity to go on multiple trips with the LUXX bag, and I have to say — it’s a rockstar for your trips and is my new favorite travel buddy.

I’ll reveal 7 reasons why I’ll never travel again without it – and why you shouldn’t either.

The LUXX Bag by LIVE WELL 360

The LUXX Bag by LIVE WELL 360

Functionality At A High Level

My favorite part about the bag is how functional it is — you can truly tell the attention to detail that went into creating this from a design perspective.

Nothing’s missed and every time you open it, you’re reminded that there’s no shortage of space.

I’ve never seen so many compartments in a bag — varying in size, from the exact dimensions to slide your iPhone (unless you lost it, like me), a perfect place to put your laptop or a pair of shoes.

There’s no other bag on the market that is this functional, that’s for sure.

I experienced this firsthand when I was on a flight to Cabo and had to do the dreaded overhead compartment search – only this time I found everything quickly and effortlestly without making a mess.

That’s a win.

Built To Weather Any Storm

This thing may look nice, but it’s tough.

Seriously, it’s made with such high quality materials that when I first received the bag, I couldn’t stop playing with it and touching the next level materials used to make it.

I’m a guy; I naturally don’t treat bags very well and tend to throw them around a lot.

This bag, however — could make it through any storm and look quite good during it.

I know this thing is going to last forever and even after 3 intense trips, one which involved hiking in the desert – it looks as if I just opened it.


0F5A9537Looks The Part, In Many Ways

Have you ever had have a really amazing shirt that you absolutely adore, yet only find the right chance to wear it once, or at most – twice a year?

Yeah, that’s what happened when I had someone design a custom denim shirt last year.

It arrived in the mail — I was super excited because we handpicked every little detail of the shirt, down to the collar, the buttons and more.

Then it hit me:

It’s denim; I’m limited as to when and how many times I can wear this.

That’s where the beauty and aesthetic powers of the LUXX bag come to play and ultimately, shine.

I decided on the Royal Blue version as I’ve got so many black colored clothes that I’m 67% certified ninja — and it makes a bold statement whether I’m headed for a weekend getaway or off to yet another fitness seminar.

There’s nothing like a bag that both plays and looks the part, and the LUXX bag will have heads turning for sure.

13040844_10153643009803196_713513773617818945_oIf The Decathlon Had A Bag, This Would Be It

Fitness isn’t just a part of my lifestyle, it is my lifestyle.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely to resonate with that statement in some shape, way or form.

On any given day, I’ll be doing anything from strength training to interval training, spinning, yoga, running, hitting an awesome hike — you name it.

Being active makes me feel alive and connected.

Bursts of inspiration to hit a workout happen quite randomly as well as invites from others at the spur of the movement.

This bag allows me to truly be ready for anything while on the move, and never have to tell my buddies:

Sorry, I didn’t bring a change of clothes.

Water bottle compartment? Check.

Yoga mat or jacket holder straps? Check.

Place to put wet, sweaty clothes? Check.

Special area for an extra pair of kicks? Check.

The list goes on and on and if you’re an active person, this will be your new training buddy in a flash.

Next Level Comfort

So it’s durable, looks awesome, highly functional and made for you and I, the fitness person on the run — but is it both easy to use and comfortable?

You bet.

I was delighted with the attention to detail on this bag in the form of comfort and the myriad of options in terms of how you hold it, carry it, strap it across your shoulder and body, etc.

The shoulder strap is beyond comfortable and even with a jam-packed, heavy bag, at no point did it feel uncomfortable or as if I wanted to put it down during my recent cross country excursion.

0F5A9301It’ll Inspire You

Have you ever been inspired by a fitness bag?

Your answer may be yes after using this one.

This bag reminds me every day to stay inspired, to go after what I want and to commit to the things in life that I love.

The lifestyle brand is more than just fitness bags; they’re on a mission to help people achieve their fitness goals (just check out their social media channels). As a student of fitness and examining the things that fill our space, I appreciate being surrounded by positivity.

0F5A9437Last Words

So yeah, this thing is pretty cool…even my girlfriend officially has bag envy in a major way.

The great news for me is I know I won’t have to invest in another bag for a very long time, if ever – due to the all the reasons listed above.

As an active person on the move who appreciates style and functionality, I’m all in.

Grab yours. You won’t regret it.

21 Ways To Make Every Day A Masterpiece

By Tommy B.

If you’ve ever sat out to watch a sunrise, you feel the energy of a new day, a new opportunity, and a blank slate.

It’s a reminder that this experience is short and what we did yesterday doesn’t matter — meaning, it mattered yesterday, but today is a new chance.

It’s a new chance to live a life of intention, enthusiasm and moving forward towards our dreams.

In other words, we have an opportunity to craft a masterpiece.

For many, the word masterpiece may trigger them and make them think they shouldn’t be included in the same sentence…nonsense.

We’ve all had those days where we truly moved the needle of our life forward, we connected with others in a deep, vulnerable way and we had an experience that left us laying with our heads on our pillow saying…

Wow, that was awesome.

In this post, I’ll share 21 ways to craft your own masterpiece, every single day.

Have An Epic Attitude

In this timeless work, On The Shortness of Life, Stoic philosopher Seneca spoke about today being the day.

How every single day is our day, a chance to embrace a new experience and live out the life of our dreams.

To me, that means having an amazing attitude, despite our circumstances and truly understanding that yesterday’s events have no real impact on what may happen today.

We all have that friend that has a contagious attitude no matter if we’re stuck in hours of traffic and there’s something special about harnessing that energy.

Via WGNTV

Via WGNTV

Wake Up 30 Minutes Earlier

Waking up earlier is my #1 productivity and fulfillment tip for those who are looking to make incremental, yet impactful steps in their life.

It doesn’t matter what you do during this time, as long as it’s important to one person: you.

You may take time to read, write, or simply sit on your couch and contemplate life for a few minutes – as long as you’re intentional, it’s all that matters.

According to this article on the Huffington Post, “One study conducted by The University of Toronto, found that “people who wake up early in the morning are generally happier and have higher satisfaction overall in their lives.”

Get Your Namaste On

Taking anywhere from 3-20 minutes to establish a breathing practice, or yes, meditation will set the tone for the rest of your day to react less out of emotion and having the ability to choose how you see negative events.

Breathing has immense physiological and mental benefits, and there’s no way to do this wrong.

Bonus points for those who “OMMMMM.”

Via Stephenlifecoach

Via Stephenlifecoach

Complete One High Level Task

Completing one action first thing in the morning is one of the most powerful tools to harness momentum.

For example, writing, editing and shipping this blog post is the task I’m using to create momentum today.

The key word here is: completion.

Don’t start something in the morning unless you’re going to finish it and keep it very simple.

Get Moving!

Energy creates energy and getting moving in the morning will dissolve any negative emotions and get you focused on the present.

It doesn’t matter what you do — a traditional gym training session, a high intensity workout, yoga, pilates, sprinting, hiking, it’s the simple action of blood flow that stimulates your creativity and connection to your physical body.

Craft A Plan

Crafting a plan is essential to having a masterpiece type of day – even if you’re not the planning type.

Knowing what’s on your plate leads to clarity which allows you to easily make decisions and move forward with your life.

One powerful tool to add is to schedule time to “let go” and block out spaces during your day to do whatever you feel like doing, combining the certainty of planning with the addition of spontaneous activity.

Via HuffingtonPost

Via HuffingtonPost

Don’t Check Email or Snapchat!

Whatever you do, do not check email in the morning and better yet, keep your phone on airplane mode.

This is likely one of the most essential tools of the day, especially in the morning.

The further you can push this, the more clarity you will have.

Set a minimum time to check email, for me it’s 9:00AM at the earliest when I’m up at 5:00, yet many days it can be 11:00 or 12:00PM by the time I get around to it.

Sid Savara mentions the countless reasons why you shouldn’t check email or social media in the morning in a great article here.

When you start your day with an influx of messages, you lose the ability to control your own thinking and start to react instead of act.

Turn Up Some Music You Love

Listening to music you love will increase your energy and put you in an awesome mood, use your intuition to pick something random and truly listen to the music.

Dance if you feel so inclined.

Use The Power Of Gratitude

One of my favorite quotes of all time is:

Your biggest problem or obstacle is someone’s dream luxury.

Any time you can truly, authentically dig deep and find all the amazing things in your life you can be grateful for, your internal and external state will shift and you will be open to receive more.

Via Abcnews

Via Abcnews

Lift Others Up With An Abundance Mentality

Send a few messages, texts, notes, tweets, and handwritten cards, whatever it may be to other people.

Using this as a consistent habit shifts you into a mindset into abundance.

Additionally, we all have “those days” — and we never know what someone else is going through.

Have At Least One Meaningful Conversation

Every single day, have a deep, meaningful conversation with someone in which you both truly connect.

To establish a connection that goes deeper than the surface area, it requires vulnerability and letting your guard down.

That means telling someone how you really feel, unveiling a belief or a challenge and simply being real.

Complete One Action That Scares You

This one’s easy, because we all have extreme resistance on a daily level.

Pushing through this resistance is an amazing feeling and will get you in a powerful state.

This could be anything, to be honest: posting a video on social media, talking to a stranger, trying a new fitness class with your friend — your choice.

Via Lesserknownfeatsofawesomeness

Via Lesserknownfeatsofawesomeness

Laugh, Really Hard

Some of the tips above are somewhat serious; yet embracing humor is essential to not taking yourself too seriously.

Finding the comedic angle in situations, surrounding yourself with others who make you laugh and having a light heartedness about life is crucial to feeling amazing.

Fight Negativity With Love

We can’t control what people say about us and at some point, conflicts will arise.

It may be your roommate, a co-worker, someone gossiping or a fight about politics online (note: don’t engage, please).

When you feel triggered, rise above and fight negativity with love and kindness, you will feel amazing for being in control of your emotions and the other person will soon regret anything that was said, even if they don’t admit it.

Ground

Walking in nature is one of the best ways to connect with the Earth and you in a deep way — walking barefoot in grass for a few minutes have been proven to increase fulfillment and happiness.

Getting a few minutes outside no matter what you do is an essential part of crafting your masterpiece.

Via Greatist

Via Greatist

Eat Food That Nourishes You

We’ve all had those meals that seemed amazing at the time, yet we knew were full of processed food, sugar and a host of other things we don’t want to know about.

And then it hit us: energy slump, digestive issues and negative feelings.

Nourishing our bodies every day with food that makes us feel good and is nutritious is crucial for our mental energy and clarity.

Perform A Random Act Of Kindness

Every day we encounter opportunities to help someone out, yet a lot of times we stop ourselves short because of our own ego, i.e. thinking:

What will they think?

Scratch that and do it anyways!

Maybe you help an elderly person with his or her groceries to the car, maybe you ship someone a book by surprise or smile and compliment a stranger.

Force Yourself To Perform

This one’s different and it’s all about putting you out there.

This can be anything — an important meeting, an interview, filming a video, dancing in public, doing a fitness event, etc.

There is something so powerful about putting yourself out there and showing up to some type of performance, no matter how small or seemingly simple it may be.

Journal Your Emotions

At the end of the day, use a journal to get everything you’re thinking and feeling out of your head onto paper.

This will help you unload the weight off your shoulders and see that most of what you’re feeling isn’t really too important.

By making it real and putting it to paper, you can question each one and reflect on if it’s worth keeping it in your headspace or not.

Create A Shut It Down Time

At around 9PM, I go on Airplane mode on my phone and stop watching TV…it’s not easy, but this will increase the quality of your sleep in a major way.

Training your body to have a time to start the process of recovery and rejuvenation is crucial, which is our next one.

Establish An Evening Ritual

While morning rituals get all the love, an evening ritual is just as important to wind down and let the day go.

Some favorites include a warm bath with candles, getting a self-massage or foam roller, stretching, dimming the lights and reading and a combination of all of these.

Our minds and bodies are extremely habitual and routine based and this will signal to your body…

It’s time.

MindBodyGreen has a fantastic article on 7 things you can do in the evening to create a powerful experience the next day.

What’s Yours?

There you have it…some easy ways to make today or the next day a masterpiece and find more energy, love, connection and fulfillment.

Of course, not every day is going to wind up perfect but the more we will our day with things and people we love, productivity, kindness and energy, the less space there is for all the other stuff.

What’s your favorite from above or do you have one of your own to add?

We’d love to hear – post to comments.

How To Stay On Track During The Distractions Of Summer Fun

By Tommy B.

Ahhhh, summer — warm weather, sandy beaches, and one too many cocktails.

It’s life, and it’s bound to happen.

Summer, for many people, is a time to relax a little bit more, let their hair down and turn up some of the best road trip tunes.

It’s that time of year we’ve all been waiting for and never gets old.

And these are all good, no, actually – great things.

Yet, going overboard and waking up in September 10 pounds overweight, sluggish and completely out of sync with our bodies is not anything we ever plan.

According to PopSugar, there are many reasons why, including longer days, the availability of cocktails and endless dinner invites.

It doesn’t have to be that way, and you know that.

We’ll explore fun, practical and simple ways for you to stay on track while still enjoying all the awesomeness that comes with summer.

Let’s get rolling.

Via 7-themes

Via 7-themes

But First, Psychology

Before we get started, there’s one thing we need to address:

Your mind and viewpoint in regards to summer do matter.

What happens to most people is they have an “all in” or “all out” approach, which, as you can guess — means they seriously let go during summer.

Adopting this attitude simply isn’t worth it because you’re getting rid of one of the most powerful tools of results:

Momentum.

So the first shift is a simple mindset shift, acknowledging that yes, you’re going to likely change your routine and that it will impact your health, fitness and maybe even the scale a little bit.

And that’s okay…but you’re committed to not completely letting go.

Because you know that when you take care of yourself physically, you feel better, you have more energy, confidence and even more fun.

Via Posterjack

Via Posterjack

Embrace The Season

If you’re in the Northeast or Midwest, you’ve likely been hibernating for a little while.

Every year, the winters seem a little longer, no matter how much snow we got or didn’t get.

That first 75-degree, sunshine soaked day sure feels good, doesn’t it?

One of the best ways to stay fit during the summer is to simply do activities that are based on being outdoors and challenging yourself in new, exciting ways.

These activities also work well because instead of mentally telling yourself that you’re headed to the gym, you’re simply doing something outside that also happens to get you fit.

Try to think outside the box with this one and make it a fun, social event with your friends or family.

Some activities include:

  • Swimming
  • Stand Up Paddleboarding
  • Surfing
  • Hiking
  • Sprinting
  • Beach volleyball
  • Playing with the kids

…and so much more.

Via Weightlossvillage

Via Weightlossvillage

Control Your First Meal Of The Day

Nutrition is often the main culprit that impacts people during summer because our willpower is limited and there’s usually an abundance of amazing food.

One great thing you can do is to simply start your day with a healthy meal you’re able to control.

This sets the tone for the day, fuels your body in a fantastic way and will give you some momentum — think of it as a keystone habit.

Keystone habits are habits that create a domino effect in life, leading us to likely add in supporting activities without thinking about them.

So if you’re able to have a healthy meal to start you day, you’re also more likely to drink enough water, hit your workout, and have less processed food and sugars.

Speaking of…

Via Tasteofhome

Via Tasteofhome

Pass The Sugary Drinks, Be A Cheap Date

The summertime means sunset cocktails, cold beers at the beach and delicious dinner dates.

Alcohol isn’t going to make or break you in most cases, it’s what’s in the actual drinks that make you feel terrible.

Your typical margarita drink is going to contain roughly 30-60 grams of sugar — yes, you read that right, and many times more.

When you combine alcohol and sugar, you’re in for a world of pain the next day, leading to headaches, digestive issues, and never wanting to leave the couch.

Instead, keep it simple and be a cheap date.

I always recommend the Norcal Margarita, simply because, well it’s awesome and was developed by Rob Wolff of the Paleo Solution.

This simple drink involves:

  • 3 ounces 100% agave tequila
  • Juice and pulp from one lime
  • Add ice and shake
  • Fill glass with soda water
  • Garnish with salt

Simple, yet delicious.

Always opt for clear drinks with as minimal ingredients as possible and if you must order a traditional drink, ask for the “skinny” version.

Via  Usattravel

Via Usattravel

Make Fitness Part Of The Trip

I remember landing in Paris with my family a couple summers ago and we all made fitness part of our experience.

There’s no better way to explore a new city, cure jetlag and rust off sitting in a tiny plane seat than by getting some blood flow and getting out there.

If you’re headed somewhere new, research in advance and book a yoga class at a popular spot, or take a surfing lesson excursion that will force you to get moving.

Even though you may be tired, and feel like you’d rather relax…we all know, once you get moving you’re going to feel amazing and inspired to immerse yourself further in this new place.

Via Fwallpapers

Via Fwallpapers

OMM, Or Mindful Weight Loss

We know the amount of lifestyle stress we experience on a daily basis effects our hormones, which directly impact whether we burn fat or gain weight.

Use the relaxation of summer to get some you time, you know — a spa day, a massage, a walk on the beach without a phone, being in nature, maybe picking up the meditation practice you’ve been putting off.

This will do so much for your clarity and mindset, leading to a healthy, mind and spirit – and in many cases, a faster rate of weight loss.

MindbodyGreen talks about mindfulness and weight loss, with simple practices you can incorporate daily.

Via Shopnewshoes

Via Shopnewshoes

Walk As Much As Possible

Going back to my Eurotrip last summer, I don’t think I’ve ever walked so much.

Whether it was spending the day observing unbelievable architecture, or going to museums or parks in town, by the end of the day we had walked miles and miles.

Use this to your advantage and ditch your car – using walking or renting a bike instead.

This small change may not seem like much on the surface but truly adds up over the course of a season.

Via Sites.psu

Via Sites.psu

Drink Inordinate Amounts Of Water

We all know the importance of water, especially during the summer heat that can leave many people dehydrated.

Dehydration means your body isn’t focused on fat loss or anything else that makes you look and feel healthier.

Going the extra mile and having 1, 2 or 3 more cups a day can have a big impact on the way you feel and your body’s ability to flush out toxins and improve everything from your skin to your energy.

The bare minimum should be half your bodyweight in ounces, but shoot for 3/4th of your bodyweight in ounces instead.

You may not be able to make it through a feature length film without going to the bathroom, but hey – priorities matter.

Via Stephenlifecoach

Via Stephenlifecoach

Craft A Plan!

We all know the value of preparation and what it can do for us in a bind.

Summer brings different routines, days and places where our most familiar food may not be available.

By realizing this in advance, we can plan ahead and avoid getting so hungry we splurge on something we don’t even like.

Even being mindful of the upcoming BBQ and bringing healthier food options such as chicken, or creating burgers in a lettuce wrap, extra vegetables, etc. – goes a very long way.

What Are You Going To Do?

Summer 2016 is in full swing and it’s the best time of year, no questions asked.

Given the above, we’ve shared some ideas, tricks and ways of both having a blast this summer and also staying healthy and on track with your fitness.

Because at the end of the day, you deserve to look, feel and show up as your best self, no matter what time of year it is.

Building Muscle on a Vegan Diet

Many people have the misconception that meat = muscles. While chicken breast and other types of animal flesh are classic lean muscle-building proteins, they’re not necessary for building muscle. If you’ve recently jumped on the vegan bandwagon, you’ll be glad to know that you can achieve a strong, toned bod without eating meat.

Let’s start by discussing what exactly a vegan diet consists of. In general, a vegan diet is made up of only plant-derived foods. This means no milk, no honey, no eggs, and especially no animals or animal products (on land or sea).

Building muscle on a plant-based or vegan diet is possible, but requires a little forethought. You need to take in more protein from sources that don’t interfere with your vegan lifestyle. You also need to create a calorie surplus, which is tricky when your food options are limited and consist mostly of low-calorie plant-based foods.

Plant-eaters rejoice. You CAN build strength, muscle and health. Here’s how it’s done:

Via Theluxuryspot

Via Theluxuryspot

Up Your Protein Intake

Protein is the foundation of muscle building. Without it, the human body is not able to function normally. Too little protein can cause symptoms like fatigue, depression, anemia, low sex drive, and muscle loss.

Protein is made up of amino acids, and amino acids are the building blocks of muscles. If you don’t get enough protein in your diet, your body is not able to adequately build, repair or maintain muscle tissue. While animal sources are ideal as they contain all 20 of the amino acids needed by our cells to build proteins, a carefully planned vegan diet can provide the body with adequate amounts of protein for muscle-building.

Exactly how much protein you need will depend on how strenuous your workouts are. According to Men’s Fitness, the average male with a sedentary desk job requires just 0.36 grams of protein for each pound of body weight per day. If you exercise, these requirements can actually double. If you’re looking to build strength, aim for between 0.7 and 0.8 grams of protein for each pound of body weight.

So what vegan-friendly foods offer the most protein bang-for-your-buck? These plant-based proteins are healthy and deliciously satisfying:

  • Lentils
  • Black beans
  • Tofu
  • Soy milk
  • Quinoa
  • Artichokes
  • Green peas
  • Oatmeal
  • Hemp seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Edamame
  • Hemp milk
  • Black eyed peas
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Almonds
  • Green Beans
  • Chickpeas

Another easy way to ensure you’re getting enough daily protein is to add a scoop of protein powder to your water. Create a yummy and nutritious shake or smoothie by adding fresh spinach, fruit, unsweetened almond milk, and a few ice cubes.

Via Gymaholic

Via Gymaholic

Take Your Vitamins

Vegan or not, vitamin supplements can be a crucial component in fat loss, muscle building, and all-around better health. Nutritional supplements can also help bridge those nutritional gaps that some vegans experience.

Here are several key vitamins you need to build muscle and strength:

Vitamin D: This fat soluble vitamin is found naturally in few foods. It is, however, synthesized in the body during exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is responsible for regulating neuromuscular functioning. Some studies show that people with serum vitamin D levels below 30 nmol/l have lowered strength, muscle wasting and weakness.

Vitamin C: Also known as ascorbic acid or L-ascorbate, vitamin C is an essential nutrient necessary for growth and development. It’s especially important for athletes and bodybuilders as it protects the immune systems and promotes recovery from training.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E cannot be produced naturally by the body. Therefore, it must be obtained from dietary sources. This fat soluble vitamin and antioxidant promotes muscle growth and inhibits muscle breakdown.

B Vitamins: Of all the vitamins required for muscle gain, the B-complex is one of the most important. The B-complex consists of eight B vitamins that help boost energy and improve cardiovascular and nervous system health, as well as mental well-being.

Create a Calorie Surplus

When losing weight, you generally aim for a calorie deficient. You can create a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories then you burn. When you’re trying to build muscle, you want to create a calorie surplus, which occurs when you eat more calories than you burn. Sound counterproductive? It really isn’t.

When you create a calorie surplus, your body uses the extra energy to do one of two things: store fat or build muscle. Extra calories are needed to build muscle tissue, so don’t think you can get ripped while on a strict diet. You need to eat.

Creating a calorie surplus can be complex. The surplus needs to be big enough to effectively build muscle, while small enough to prevent gaining unnecessary weight. So how do you find a balance?

As a general rule of thumb, men looking to build muscle should add an additional 250 calories per day, while women should add 125 extra calories. For example, if you’re a guy with a daily calorie maintenance level of 2,500 calories, you should now eat 2,750 calories per day to build muscle.

Via Gcasted

Via Gcasted

Drink Enough Water

We all know the importance of water for overall health, but did you know that dehydration can seriously affect your muscle building progress? Water is needed to transport nutrients to your cells, as well as transport waste out of the body.

Without water, you couldn’t flex or even move your muscles. When the body becomes dehydrated, your muscles become depleted of electrolytes, which can cause cramping. Without the proper amount of water in the body, strength is also impaired.

Now that we’ve covered why water is so important when building muscles, let’s talk about exactly how much we need. The standard eight glasses a day is not enough for serious muscle builders. To keep up with the greater demands on your body, you need to significantly increase your water intake.

Opt for 1 liter of water for every 1,000 calories expended per day. For example, if you burn 2,000 calories per day, try to consume at least 2 liters of fluids daily.

Via Seriouseats

Via Seriouseats

Eat More Frequent Meals

Yes, it’s true. Eating more frequently can aid in fat loss and muscle gain. This means eating six or seven small meals instead of the usual three larger ones.

Eating small, more frequent meals offers a wide range of benefits. When you eat, you stimulate your metabolism which helps to burn more calories. More frequent meals also allows your body to use the foods’ nutrients more efficiently as the body has to deal with only small portions at a time instead of a large meal.

Chowing on six smaller meals a day also promotes a steady stream of essential nutrients, such as amino acids. This helps the body maintain a positive nitrogen balance, which is the difference between the amount of protein you have in your system and the amount excreted. When you have a positive nitrogen balance, you’ve achieved a net surplus of protein in your body.

Of course, this option is not for everyone. It’s best to experiment with different meal frequencies to see what works best for your unique needs and lifestyle.

Via Youtube

Via Youtube

Work Out Your Body

If you search the internet, you’ll find thousands of workouts and training programs designed to build muscle. While there’s no one best workout, it’s crucial to integrate the right types of exercise into your daily routine to see optimal results.

Before you can build muscle, you must first understand that muscles burn both fat and sugar. Activities that require quick bursts of energy, such as weight lifting, use sugar as fuel. When you engage in longer bouts of exercise, your body uses fat as fuel.

If you are overweight or your body is not used to exercise, you’re likely not burning fat effectively, which can result in loss lean body mass. To see results faster, you want to improve your body’s ability to burn fat through two main types of exercise, aerobic conditioning and weight lifting. As you gain muscle, your body will be able to burn sugar and fat more easily.

Via Crossfitimpulse

Via Crossfitimpulse

Consume Enough Fats

You need fat to build muscle. No, we’re not talking about devouring Big Macs or demolishing a piece of cake after every meal.

Your body stores fat if you don’t eat fat. Therefore, you must consume some fats if you wish to control your weight and build muscle. Dietary fat provides energy in which the body uses to fuel exercise. It also aids your body in vitamin absorption and promotes healthy growth and development.

The American Heart Association suggest eating between 25 and 35 percent of your daily calories from dietary fat. Unsaturated fats such as omega-3 fatty acids can improve heart health and promote muscle gain. Limit your saturated fats, as these can increase your cholesterol levels.

If you’re a vegan, you’ll need to seek plant-based fats. Here are a few great options to try.

  • Seeds (saviseeds, hempseeds and chia seeds are all great options)
  • Nuts (try almonds, walnuts or Brazil nuts)
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Avocados
  • Cacao nibs (yes, you can eat chocolate!)

Muscle building and a vegan diet don’t always go hand-in-hand. It can be tough to bulk up when your diet is limited to plant-based grub. Gaining muscle mass as a vegan comes down to getting enough protein and essential nutrients, and maintaining a strict exercise regimen that caters to muscle building. Ready to get in shape? Grab a protein bar, your gym bag, and start building muscle.

11 Confessions From A Personal Trainer

By Tommy B.

Trainers, coaches, fitness pro’s…its all the same thing.

Like any industry, there are some unbelievable people out there and many more times shady ones that you wonder how anyone ever signed a check with their name on it.

There’s the:

  • Trainer who wants all their clients to walk around with Tupperware all day
  • The one size fits all person who found one discipline and never expanded or learned more
  • Shady one who walks a fine line and may be sleeping with half their clientele

Or worse of all, the one who is 40 pounds overweight and has a massive beer belly (true story, I hired this person once.)

However, the coaching and training industry does attract quality people who truly want to help others.

They come in with positive intentions and although few last for a while, the cream always rises to the top.

I’m going to share 11 confessions from a decade of training, running my own gym(s) and having conversations with the best of the best.

It’ll include common thoughts and misconceptions about fitness, training and unveil some of the truths of what it’s like to be on our side.

Via Canifitness

Via Canifitness

1: Training Isn’t That Important

There, I said it.

The training aspect of the entire deal truly isn’t that important.

Sure — training matters, but if you think of a pyramid-style hierarchy, it doesn’t matter that much.

The base of the hierarchy is going to rely on nutrition, lifestyle factors such as stress, sleep, habits and routine.

I’d argue we’ve become a culture that emphasizes too much training as a badge of honor — leading the average person to believe they have to train 6 times a week and be carried out of the gym to see results.

Adam Bornstein, trainer, speaker and author of Born Fitness sums it up here:

“First of all, the idea that you need to burn an enormous number of calories through exercise – or that you even can—can be considered a myth.”

Instead, focus on the work in the kitchen; trade a workout for an hour on a Sunday prepping some healthy meals.

Via Viphomepersonaltraining

Via Viphomepersonaltraining

2: Everything works, to a certain extent.

Let’s be honest…everything works, up to a point of course.

Most people who have struggled with their fitness have always blamed the program, the trainer, the gym or maybe even possibly the weather or a bad hair day.

And I get it…there’s better programs for different types of people, zero doubt about that.

However, if you apply consistency, accountability and truly trust the process — it’s going to work.

So if you see a trainer that harps on the fact that his or her program is on the cutting edge and never done or seen before, you can smile.

It may be great, but so is someone else’s program online or countless other trainers.

Via Careclubusa

Via Careclubusa

3: We don’t love training all the time.

I was recently talking to a new client who signed up and the topic was on motivation and mindset, two of my favorites.

I told him flat out: if you’re inspired to go train, drop everything and use that energy now!

I also reminded him that even though deep down at my core I love fitness, I only feel very motivated to workout about 70% of the time.

Mind you, that’s a lot, but there’s sessions where we feel exactly like you: sluggish and don’t want to do it.

4: You may never achieve your dream body

Fitness marketing has led most to believe that if they work hard enough or take that specific pill or diet, they will look like the cover models or instagram folks.

Truth is, that’s impossible.

First, most of those models are on chemicals and high doses of drugs, that’s an absolute fact.

Second, they have been spray tanned, dehydrated and manipulated their nutrition in such a way that they show up as cut as possible for that day’s shoot.

A few days later, they are unrecognizable as compared to the pictures.

The contrast to this is you can become the best possible you and achieve ridiculous results on a long enough timeline.

Via Mindly

Via Mindly

5: We have it far from figured out, but we’re learning.

The best words a trainer can utter can sometimes be:

I don’t know.

Seriously — most trainers would rather make something up they read online than to admit they don’t know something.

One of my missions and quests in the field was to enter every world from endurance to powerlifting and in between, to truly learn about every type of training so I could achieve perspective and the pursuit of mastery.

The double-edged sword that occurs when you do that is you realize the more you know, the more you don’t actually know.

Now, this is what you want to find in a trainer instead of those who claim they know it all.

6: Our clients are very often guinea pigs

At one point or another during their career, trainers will use their clients as guinea pigs; it’s part of the process.

I don’t consider this a negative thing — research and data can only work so far.

For example, we understand and it’s been proven through countless research that resistance training is essential to keeping and building lean body mass and improving all the hormones that help us shed fat and look and feel amazing.

However, 47-year old Jane and 22 year old Michael are going to respond very differently to a resistance program and using clients to gather data and see what works (and for whom) is part of the process.

7: We have some very crappy nutrition days.

I’m definitely not a fan of trainers and coaches who binge on alcohol, poor food and all sorts of other things.

To me, there’s a lack of integrity in there and leading by example is an important trait.

However, it doesn’t mean we are perfect and we all struggle with our nutrition at one point or another.

We’ll make bad decisions and we’re human too — travel gets in the way and we have something super unhealthy or drank one too many beers at our friend’s wedding.

Via Personaltrainingbiz

Via Personaltrainingbiz

8: We started for our own self-interest

No trainer ever started training with the priority being to help others that was part of their growth, learning and journey.

We all started for self-interest; we wanted to look better on the beach, have more energy and use fitness as a way of making life better.

This isn’t a shocker, but it’s the truth.

9: We don’t doubt our program, but we doubt the trust in your ability to do it

Over the years I’ve realized the single biggest roadblock to anyone achieving any type of fitness result:

Themselves!

I can recall countless meetings at my prior gyms where they would state an objection to starting after having gone deep into what a problem their current state of their body was.

However, the objection masked a pretty obvious theme:

Their ability to trust themselves to complete the program, not the program itself.

Leo Babuta of Zen Habits discusses why we begin to lose trust in ourselves, thus perpetuating this cycle in all different life endeavors.

10:  Sometimes, we don’t want to be there either.

There are times when we don’t want to be at your training session either – something came up, our dog died, we went through a break up or on little or no sleep.

In person training, in particular, requires a certain level of emotional bandwidth – because it’s never only about the training.

However, a true professional will never let you in on that secret and will do everything to give you a fantastic experience.

Via NASM

Via NASM

11: We wish we could sell you a 5-year program

In an industry that is based on getting results as quickly as possible, the best professionals wish we could sell you a 5-year program.

The reason is simple: we want this to become a new way of operating for you and truly impact your life on a grand scale, adding years to your life, allowing you to take more family adventures and basically level up who you already are.

However, a 5-year program is nearly impossible to sell and goes directly in line with 99% of fitness marketing.

Final Words

There you have it, some of the most common confessions from a decade in the training and coaching industry and what we truly believe.

At the end of the day, most trainers have developed a wide array of skills, which allow others to breakthrough in their personal fitness, nutrition and lifestyle factors and finding someone who you connect with is crucial.

As Precision Nutrition states, it’s important to do your homework when looking to hire someone who can directly impact how you look, feel and perform on a daily basis.

Understanding we’re all human and doing our best – much like you, isn’t something negative, rather, allows for us to both relate to one another.

12 Healthy Habits to Pick Up at Work

It’s easy to ignore your health while at work. Maybe you’re confined to a chair all day, parked in front of a phone or computer. Or perhaps you’re constantly tempted by the humming candy machine across the hall.

Even with good intentions, incorporating healthy habits into your workday is not always easy. So what’s a businessman or woman to do? First, make your health a priority. This means not skipping meals, fitting exercise into your day, and securing a little ‘me time’.

Remember, healthy habits become habits through routine. Try integrating the following health-conscious practices into each workday.

Via Entrepreneur.com

Via Entrepreneur.com

1. Take a Walk

Desk jobs have their perks, but promoting fitness isn’t one of them. If you sit all day at work, then go home to rest and relax, you’re living a rather sedentary lifestyle. Even if your job requires you to be desk-bound, it’s still possible to fit exercise into your day.

Get up and stretch a few times every hour. Take a walk during your morning break. Do 10 wall pushups every time you go to the bathroom. These things take just minutes, but can have a big impact on your productivity.

Researchers agree. Several studies have shown that a short walk improves energy, mood and overall work performance.

Via Gkfacts.in

Via Gkfacts.in

2. Look Away

Your eyes are one of your most valuable assets. As so, it’s paramount to keep eye strain to a minimum.

Looking at your computer screen for hours on end can cause an abundance of visual symptoms. In fact, 50 to 90 percent of computer users suffer from the effects of computer vision syndrome, a condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer or other device for an extended, uninterrupted amount of time.

Give your eyes a break every 15 minutes by briefly looking away from the screen. Look at something around the room or out the window for a minute or two and let your eyes relax. Eyes feeling a little dry? Blink rapidly for several seconds to refresh the tear film.

3. Soak Up the Sun

Sunlight does more than light up our world. It also has healing and health properties. Moderate sun exposure is believed to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, increase oxygen content in blood, cure depression, and build up the immune system.

If that isn’t enough, sunlight can also make your day at work a little brighter. By taking a few minutes of your day to step outside and into the sunlight, you can return to work in a better mood thanks to the release of serotonin in the body caused by sun exposure.

Via What-is-workplace-wellness

Via What-is-workplace-wellness

4. Drink Up

Skip the soda. Water is the best thing you can drink bar none. Consuming more water is also one of the easiest health habits to adopt.

Approximately 60 percent of the human body is composed of water. Each time you sip on H20, you’re helping to maintain the proper balance of fluids, while flushing out dangerous toxins. Water also helps the body to absorb nutrients for better digestion and prevents dehydration.

Increasing your daily water intake is easy. Carry around a water bottle with you throughout the day and leave a filled bottle on your desk. With it in direct sight, you’re bound to drink it. It’s human nature.

Via Organize4results

Via Organize4results

5. Get Organized

Piles of papers. Crammed files. Pens thrown about. This is the quintessential desk of an unorganized worker.

Having a clean and organized workspace is not just important for your professional image, it can also impact your health.

Let’s start with your physical health. Stacks of books and other materials can collect dust, pollen and lint, which create breathing hazards. Leaving empty food and candy wrappers can attract disease-carrying vermin.

How about your emotional health? A cluttered workspace can cause your productivity to plummet, your efficiency to drop, and your mood to shift. At the end of the day, all these things cost you time and money.

Via Dfwunleashed

Via Dfwunleashed

6. Stop and Refresh

It doesn’t matter where you work, what you do, or how much you love your job – everyone needs a break. Keep your workspace positive by stopping to de-stress and refresh throughout the day.

Everyone has different ways they relax. Maybe you like to meditate. For some a brief session of yoga works to calm the nerves and open the mind. When all else fails, just sit back, close your eyes, and clear your mind of anything negative.

Once you’ve recharged, you’ll be able to return to work at peak efficiency.

7. Talk It Out

While gossiping in the workplace can quickly turn into a bad habit, healthy conversation between colleagues can foster beneficial relationships.

While it may seem natural to only want to talk about work while at work, discussing your personal life can promote happiness through friendship. Strike up a conversation about food, sports or family. Steer clear of certain topics that could cause controversy, such as religion, salaries or politics.

Of course, you’ll want to keep the non-work-related conversations limited to breaks.

Via Littleadvices

Via Littleadvices

8. Fuel Your Body

Nutrition is just as important in the workplace as it is at home. Regular balanced meals promote weight management, reduce the risk of developing high cholesterol, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, and enhances energy.

Consider having your next workplace meal with a colleague. One study suggests that employers may see a jump in productivity if they encourage their employees to eat meals together.

Food essentially acts as fuel for your body. To keep the machine going strong, you need to feed it a sound diet of fresh fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and heart-healthy fats.

To keep your energy levels up and fatigue down, don’t skip meals. If you’re constantly in a state of utter hunger when you get home from work, you may also want to consider having a light snack in the afternoons to tide you over and deter visits to the drive-thru.

9. Watch Your Posture

Sitting and slouching is an inevitable job hazard for many workers. At the end of the day, your back, neck and shoulders may pay for your poor posture.

Good ergonomics is key in the workplace. This means adjusting your chair to reduce strain on your back. Make sure that your wrists and forearms create a right angle with your body when typing on a keyboard or performing desk work.

When in a seated position, your feet should rest flat on the floor. Your computer screen should be eye level and be as anti-glare as possible. Keep your keyboard four to six inches away from the edge of the desk, and position your mouse as close as possible.

Make your work environment work efficiently for you by placing frequently used objects, such as your writing utensils, stapler and phone, within easy reach.

The LIVE WELL 360 ACCEL Fitness Bag

The LIVE WELL 360 ACCEL Fitness Bag

10. Bring Your Gear

It’s easy to blow off the gym when you’re not prepared to go. Bring your workout gear to work with you and you can scratch that excuse off the list.

Choose a high-quality workout bag large enough to hold all the essentials, like one of our popular LUXX bags.

Next, fill it with everything you might need at the gym, including an extra set of clothes, a good pair of sneakers, a refillable water bottle, protein-rich snacks, a microfiber towel, and of course your music-loaded smartphone or device to power through your workouts.

11. Limit Caffeine

Most of us have a love/hate relationship with caffeine. Sure it’s great in the morning and afternoons when you need a little pick-me-up. The downside? Too much caffeine can give you the jitters. As the effects of caffeine wear off, fatigue is likely to overwhelm you.

While quitting coffee or pop will give you more consistent energy levels throughout the day, not everyone can go through life without their morning cup o’ joe.

If you must consume caffeine, limit your intake at work. For the average healthy adult with no medical problems, the recommended daily allowance of caffeine is 300 mg to 400 mg per day if consumed without any ill effects.

This amount is equivalent to four 8 fl.oz. coffees, 5.2 shots of espresso, 11.7 12 fl.oz. Cokes, two 5-Hour Energy shots, or five 8 fl.oz Red Bulls.

12. Get Some Z’s

Sleep is oh-so important to our health. Unfortunately, most of us don’t get enough of it.

Sleep deprivation can have a slew of adverse health effects, including cognitive dysfunction, memory problems, moodiness, depression, weakened immune response, weight gain, high blood pressure, and increased risk of cardiovascular problems.

When possible, take a power nap at work to restore your mental alertness and boost your energy, creativity, memory, and cognitive skills.

What exactly is a power nap? It’s described as a short nap during the day that lasts for approximately 10 to 20 minutes.

During this short spurt of sleep, the brain goes through a light sleep and the individual wakes before moving into a deeper sleep. This is crucial to avoid developing a sluggish or groggy feeling associated with a deeper state of sleep.

Final Thoughts

Have you ever stopped to think about how your worktime habits could be affecting your health? If not, you may want to consider adjusting your workweek habits to better benefit your health. By incorporating a few simple healthy habits, you’ll likely discover new-found energy, a positive change in your mood, and an overall increase in wellness. Sure, you may still hate waking up at the crack of dawn to go to work, but at least you’ll feel healthier and happier doing it.

How to Push Past Any Weight Loss Plateau

By Brandy D.

You altered your diet and stepped-up your exercise regimen. Soon enough, fat started melting off. Months later, you still have weight to lose but can’t seem to shed those few last pounds. What’s the deal?

A weight loss plateau is typically defined as no change in body weight for three consecutive weeks. Even though you may be eating the same foods and performing the same exercises, your weight loss has come to a screeching halt.

This plateau is generally caused by a change in metabolic rate. As you lose weight, your metabolism declines, causing you to burn fewer calories than before. When the calories you burn equal the number of calories you consume, you’ve reach a plateau.

Most people tend to hit a plateau around 6 months, according to the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. While it’s not always possible to prevent a weight loss plateau, you can push past one. These tips can help you restart your weight loss.

Via Rippedclub.net

Via Rippedclub.net

Adjust Your Calorie Deficit

A calorie deficit is not just about eating less, but eating less than the number of calories your body needs daily. When you first began your weight loss journey, you may or may not have counted your calorie intake. Whether or not you’ve determined your ideal daily calorie intake, you now need to adjust your deficit to account for your new weight loss.

Most people set a deficit by determining how many pounds of fat per week they want to lose. Each pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories. Therefore, if you want to lose one pound per week, you need to determine how many fewer calories you need to eat to create a deficit.

When setting your calorie intake, there are several factors you should consider, such as your body weight, how often you exercise, the intensity of your workouts, and if your day job is active or sedentary in nature. If you’re having trouble working out the math in your head, use a calorie calculator to estimate the number of daily calories your body needs.

If you want to continue to lose weight, you need to create a consistent calorie deficit. Adjust this deficit after every 10 pounds you lose.

Via Homecardioexercises

Via Homecardioexercises

Increase Your Cardio

According to guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults require approximately 150 minutes of moderately-intense aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorously-intense aerobic activity weekly.

Cardio is often the go-to type of exercise for individuals trying to lose weight, and it’s quite effective in shedding those excess pounds. However, the amount of cardio you’re currently doing may not be enough to keep your weight loss chugging alone at an acceptable rate. If you’ve hit a plateau, try increasing your cardiovascular exercise time.

Depending on how much you exercise now, add 15 to 30 minutes. So if you exercise each day for 30 minutes, try exercising for 45 or 60 minutes. To avoid burn out, do not do more than 90 minutes of cardio a day.

Don’t think you can do a full 60 minutes of cardio? No worries. Just break up the sessions into manageable blocks. Several intense 15 minute sessions spaced out throughout the day are better than a full 60 minutes of lackluster performance.

Via Healthination

Via Healthination

Change Up Your Routine

Love using your treadmill? Do you watch the same workout DVD again and again? While engaging in any type of exercise is great, repeating the same workouts over and over may be slowing down your weight loss progress.

If you’re reached a plateau, it’s time to challenge your body by switching up your day-to-day workouts. While it’s easy to fall into a routine, changing the activities you do and the exercises you perform can have a big payoff. If you walk a lot, try jogging, cycling or swimming. If you usually workout to an instructional DVD, try attending a class instead, such as Zumba, Pilates or Yoga.

Consider alternatives to your standard exercises too. Go for a hike, join a volleyball team, or run around the playground with the kids instead of sitting on the sidelines.

If you have yet to do so, add strength training to the mix. While cardio helps to melt fat, strength training works the muscles to strengthen bone tissue, increase lean mass and boost the metabolism. Getting started with strength training is easy. Follow a bodyweight program, get a personal trainer, or buy some dumbbells to use at home.

Via Popsugar

Via Popsugar

Eat More Meals a Day

Eating more meals a day may seem counterproductive, but the results speak for themselves. According to a recent study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, people who ate six small meals per day had lower BMIs and ate more nutritious foods than people who ate fewer than four times per day.

While controversy regarding this method exists, it is believed that eating frequent meals helps to burn fat via the thermic effect. The thermic effect of food (TEF) is the increase in metabolic rate that occurs after ingestion of a meal. If you go by this theory, each time you eat a meal, you’re triggering the metabolic process and dispersing energy to digest, absorb and transport the nutrients from the food you ate to the body’s cells.

Of course, not all foods are made equal. Some foods are considered highly thermogenic, allowing you to increase energy expenditure. Some of the top thermogenic foods include spices like red hot pepper and black pepper, green tea, coconut oil, and protein sources like eggs, nuts, poultry, and lean cuts of red meat.

Assess Your Stress Levels

Stress has an immediate impact on your health, causing both physical and emotional side effects. While some stress is a normal part of life, excess and long-lasting periods of stress can be dangerous.

Up to 43 percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress, according to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA). If you’ve been dealing with bouts of stress lately, your current emotional state could be to blame for your plateau. If not managed properly, stress can even cause you to gain weight.

While some individuals experience an initial decrease in appetite when dealing with stressful situations, many experience the opposite. An increase in appetite can result in stress-induced weight gain, typically caused by a change in stress hormones.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can help reduce and manage your stress levels so that you can continue on with your weight loss plan. Start by taking action in regards to the sources of your stress. Maintain a positive attitude, knowing that you’re in charge of how you respond to a stressful situation.

Learn and practice relaxation techniques to work through your stress. In addition to basic deep breathing exercises, prayer, meditation yoga, and tai chi have also been found effective in reducing stress levels.

During stressful periods in your life, it’s important to maintain your health. Continue eating healthy, avoiding excess sugars and focusing on fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Steer clear of unhealthy “comfort foods.” Make time for your interests and hobbies, and be sure to get enough sleep at night.

Via Popsugar

Via Popsugar

Get Motivated Again

Think back to when you first began your weight loss journey. You were excited about this new change in life, and highly motivated to get started. As the weeks and months went by, your motivation likely started to dwindle as you became used to the same routine day-in and day-out. With a loss of motivation often comes a slack in diet and exercise regimens, resulting in weight gain or a plateau.

When the newness wears off, how do you regain motivation and drive to lose weight?

Begin by writing down all of the reasons that you wanted to (and still want to) shed those unsightly pounds. Hang this list in a place where you’ll see it every day, like on the front of your refrigerator. Another idea is to write down a reward for when you’ve lost those last few pounds. Perhaps a daytrip to a local salon and spa for a little R&R.

If you’re bored with your some old routine, switch things up. Ask a friend or family member to start working out with you. When you exercise with someone else, you’ll be much more likely to give it your all and not miss a session.

Another way to restart your motivation? Go through your closet and get rid of all of the clothes that no longer fit the new you. Head to your favorite boutique or retail store and pick out a brand new wardrobe that better reflects your thinner physique. With a closet full of new clothes, you’ll be much more likely to manage your weight so that you can wear your new ensembles with the utmost confidence.

The Bottom Line

Weight loss plateaus are frustrating and typically occur when you least expect. When you feel like you’ve hit a wall, don’t give up. While you may have obstacles in your way, it is possible to push past a weight loss plateau and continue on your journey to become a healthier you. It’s important to remember that the leaner you become, the slower you’ll lose weight. Stay strong, patient and motivated even when the scale refuses to budge.

7 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Fit

By Tommy B.

You’re hitting the gym, shifting your nutrition habits, and feel like you should be further along than you are.
It’s time…you’ve told yourself and taken some actions to start moving towards the fitness goals you not only want, but also feel you deserve and have been longing for.
That’s great and you should celebrate the win of taking action because most people don’t.

Via Well.blogs.nytimes

Via Well.blogs.nytimes

However, it’s possible you haven’t seen the results you’d hoped for or maybe you’ve hit a big time plateau where you’re doing the same things that got you the initial surge but now it seems you’re totally stagnant and feeling frustrated.

It happens…and many times training harder or cutting more calories isn’t the answer.

We’re going to address 7 reasons why you’re not getting fit, have plateaued or feel stuck with your fitness and the exact ways to breakthrough them and keep moving forward.

Let’s get rolling.

#1: YOU DO GREAT DURING THE WEEK, THEN BLOW IT ON THE WEEKENDS

Here’s a common thread that occurs all the time:

Someone has a fantastic week as part of his or her routine; nutrition, hydration and fitness are all going great and then Thursday night hits with a social event.

That starts a cascade of alcohol-fuel decisions, which turns into the weekend and a 3-day complete derailment of the awesome work they’d done during the week.

Why is this a problem?

Well, 3 out of 7 days is 42% of the week – which can completely reverse the momentum they had created.

Additionally, it takes our bodies a few days to recover and recalibrate back to normal – so our fat burning processes may not even be back to full force by the following Tuesday or Wednesday, only for the cycle to be repeated again.

Ben Greenfield of Greenfield Fitness, details the side effects of drinking alcohol on our body and appetite in “How Alcohol Makes You Fat.”

This doesn’t mean you can’t live your life – but do it in a conscious way and remember that taking control of your next meal can minimize even one really bad night.

ACTION STEP: Aim for 80% compliance throughout your week to find the sweet spot of results while having a fun lifestyle and doing the things you love.

Via Syattfitness

Via Syattfitness

#2: YOU’RE IN WAY TOO MUCH OF A CALORIC DEFICIT

Ahhhh, we see this all the time – this person is cutting calories all the time with the goal of finally losing those last 12 pounds.

They are almost starving yet they’ve hit a plateau that hasn’t budged in a while – leaving them to cut an extra 250 or 300 calories per day.

This actually has a complete reverse effect …and they’ve hit the starvation zone.

Here’s the deal: cutting more calories isn’t always the answer and in fact can be the biggest hindrance to achieving the next level of results.

Our bodies are evolutionary mechanisms desired to keep us alive – that’s what they are designed to do 24/7.

When you’re always in a large caloric deficit you’ll undoubtedly have low energy, vitality and feel sluggish.

Beyond that, when your body is in this starvation mode, it will halt its body fat burning processes because it’s worried about how much food it’s going to have and wants to keep its reserves, because, you know – evolution.

Although sounding very counterintuitive, eating more can re-ignite this process and remember the golden rule below.

Precision Nutrition, one of the leading nutrition coaches authorities, talks about rapid, starvation mode dieting by saying “lose weight quickly while nearly starving, only to gain most of it back (or more) and feel hungrier than when you started.”

ACTION STEP: Calculate your BMR — as a starting point, for Men, multiply your bodyweight x 11 to get your BMR, for Women, multiply x 10 to get your BMR. BMR is the number required to keep you alive and maintain (without physical activity).

Via Theodysseyonline

Via Theodysseyonline

#3: YOU’RE WINGING EVERYTHING

One of the biggest culprits is the fact that you’re simply winging it.

You’ve done it before and it worked, so why not again? This means you don’t plan your workouts or nutrition; you go by feel and what’s around.

Although this can be a ton of fun because it exposes you to a bunch of different fitness activities such as yoga, running, functional fitness, gym training, boxing, etc. – it leaves you completely scattered.

Since you’re not planning and scheduling your workouts, life often gets “in the way” and you skip sessions.

Sure, it sounds boring and mechanical to plan things – but as we know, if you fail to plan, plan to fail.

ACTION STEP: Plan your upcoming workouts a week in advance. Schedule the day/time and the activity you are doing and don’t let anything interfere with it on your calendar.

Via Thetruecare

Via Thetruecare

#4: YOUR TRAVEL RESEMBLES SPRING BREAK

Similar to the prior reason, a lot of us spend a good amount of time traveling.

This can be business, pleasure, vacations, seminars and everything in between – time spent on planes, cars, trains and more.

One of the biggest factors of success with staying on track during travel is one word:

Availability.

If we don’t have healthy food available and we’re starving – we’re going to eat whatever we can which means junk food, processed food, and anything in between.

It’s also quite common to just “go with the flow” during travel and eat completely different than normal, skip workouts and come home exhausted and jetlagged.

Being prepared while traveling by prepping food for the flight, scoping out restaurants that taste amazing and are healthy, bringing a travel bag designed specifically for this reason and using fitness to enhance your experience is an amazing way to stay on track.

ACTION STEP: Shop our fitness travel bags designed for you to keep your active lifestyle organized on the road.

Via Shawngarcia

Via Shawngarcia

#5: LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY, THE “SECRET” SAUCE OF RESULTS

Without a doubt, the secret to long-term results in almost every area of life is the power of accountability.

Accountability is the power of having to report back to someone – it could be a workout partner, a coach, trainer or online fitness community.

Think about a time where you had a long, exhausting day – you were running around, never had a moment to stop and remember you had a dinner with an old friend who was in your city that night.

Deep down, you didn’t want to go…you much rather completely rest and relax after your day.

But you ended up showing up anyway, meeting up with your friend, catching up on old, amazing times and feeling amazing by the end of your night.

This simple dinner example highlights the power of accountability: having someone else you have to show up or report to that forces you to take action where if it was just you, you wouldn’t.

Here’s the deal: everyone thrives on accountability and it’s truly an essential part of any program, any time.

Craig Ballantyne from Early To Rise, has accountability in his 5 pillars of transformation, stating, “you need to check-in with someone each day and admit what you did wrong, and boast about what you did right.”

ACTION STEP: Find at least 1-2 ways to be accountable…maybe you join a nutrition challenge offered by a local gym or decide that every Saturday you meet your friends for a hike. Whatever it is, stay consistent with it.

#6: YOU NEVER USE YOUR FITNESS IN THE REAL WORLD

Unless you absolutely love the gym (and most people don’t), it’s crucial for you to try new activities and ways of testing your fitness.

This could be taking a rock climbing class, doing a short sprint triathlon or anything in between.

What this will do is reinforce the importance of leaving your comfort zone and excite you to keep pushing the envelope with your fitness, understanding that looking great is awesome but so is the ability to experience life and new things.

ACTION STEP: Pick one new activity every month that you’re going to try – rock climbing, stand up paddle boarding, surfing – you name it. You can also sign up for an event to fuel your intensity and consistency.

Via Bodyambition

Via Bodyambition

#7: YOU HAVEN’T BECOME HOOKED TO FEELING GREAT

The last reason is simple and it comes down to awareness: many people have built a set of habits and rituals in regards to their health, fitness and body that are not maximizing the way they feel on a daily basis.

Plain and simple: you haven’t gotten hooked on feeling awesome.

Let’s be honest…life is better when you dedicate time to your fitness, body and health.

It makes your relationships better, your confidence, the way you walk into a room and your mental and physical confidence to complete a task you’d like to do.

ACTION STEP: Be aware of how you feel on a daily basis and create small changes to your routine to start feeling better.

FINAL WORDS

It’s very likely that one, two, or even more of the reasons above are currently holding you back from breaking through that next level of fitness.

And now you know, which means you have the power to change them.

Remember: start small and simple, be consistent with the changes, and find a system to track your progress to know if something is working or not.

We’d love to hear from you: Which of the above are you going to implement? Post to comments.

Why Being Uncomfortable Is The Path To Results

By Tommy B.

We’ve all felt the edge of discomfort and for some of us it comes on a daily basis. It’s that threshold of nervousness, fear and excitement – trying a new activity, showing up to a new social group, striking a conversation with someone new or even jumping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet.

In that moment, we have a simple choice: we grow and expand ourselves, stretching the proverbial rubber band of our life experience or sit back, miss out and go back to what’s familiar and routine.

In the process of studying anyone who has ever achieved a substantial metric of success, however they may define it – all roads lead to a simple conclusion:

Constantly being uncomfortable and taking action regardless of this feeling is the straight path to fulfillment, success and an incredible life experience.

In this post, we’re going to explore why this is so crucial and learn 5 ways to harness this power, become aware of it and obliterate it time and time again, discovering yourself through the process and looking back in awe.

Via Likesuccess.com

Via Likesuccess.com

INCREASING CAPACITY

If we think of the concept of leaving our comfort zone in the context of athletics and fitness, it’s quite simple to see how it works.

Early on, you have a set capacity – this is the limit of your current potential in this area of your life.

If you stay well below your capacity and never test it, your behaviors will become automatic, mechanical and boring.

Because they are no longer testing you, your body will stop adapting and stay in almost complete homeostasis – balanced but stagnant and never progressing.

Growth is exactly the opposite and requires us to inch closer and closer to our capacity and going to a place where we experience the powerful, universal force called resistance.

Via Cornerstone-group

Via Cornerstone-group

THE FEEDBACK MECHANISM

Resistance, as detailed unbelievably in Stephen Pressfield’s War Of Art, is a feedback mechanism that lets us know we’re doing something right.

Specifically, the emotions of fear and avoidance are signs that there is something incredible to be earned, achieved or learned by pushing through this force that holds most of us back.

The truth is, most people experience resistance and run away from it on a daily basis, using the amazing power of our brains to rationalize why it made sense to.

Think of one time in your life where you were compelled to have a conversation with a stranger – perhaps you were at a networking event or even at a coffee shop.

At the last second, you experienced resistance – doubts and thoughts about what the other person may think, if the context was right and maybe even if they would notice the stain on your shirt.

But you pushed through anyway and established a connection that was empowering and almost impossible to have even remotely imagined before you took action.

This small, seemingly insignificant example shows the power of pushing through and taking action regardless of how you feel.

Via Bubblespan

Via Bubblespan

TRANSCENDING THE FOUR BARRIERS

Thoughts, feelings, moods and emotions are the four main mental triggers that hold us back from breaking through our comfort zones.

The truth is most people live in their own thoughts and heads, which are largely unexamined, meaning, we never ask the simple question:

Is that true?

Say, the person who wants to launch a business, gets passionate and excited with a business plan and recruits the help of others but then sets out on a Monday to start creating and may have the following:

“I can’t do this…”

“Who am I to create this?”

“I don’t feel great, I have low energy.”

We’ve all been there and it’s a daily experience.

What you need to know is that no one is immune to these self-sabotaging thoughts – from the highest achiever in your industry or anyone else you look up to who seems half normal and half out of the latest Avengers flick.

The only difference is answering the question:

Are you listening to these thoughts, feelings, moods and emotions?

As time goes on and your behavior transcends the four barriers, you’ll gain both momentum and confidence.

The voices of doubts won’t completely leave you, that’s impossible – but what will happen is they will be drowned out by positive and empowering ones instead and you’ll create an internal snowball of success that you’re able to prove to yourself time and time again.

Via Gbputtingacademy

Via Gbputtingacademy

OBLITERING THE COMFORT ZONE

The next step is to harness the comfort zone killer, which is simply to take action.

Susan Jeffers describes this in her book, Feel The Fear And Do it Anyway by saying:

“Every time you encounter something that forces you to “handle it,” your self-esteem is raised considerably. You learn to trust that you will survive, no matter what happens. And in this way your fears are diminished immeasurably.” 

Taking action will begin to change the way you perceive and handle fear on a daily basis –both at a micro level and macro level for your life.

For example…

  • You’ve been researching a fitness program or gym and keep putting off the day and time to show up to the gym.
  • You experienced a conflict with a co-worker or boss and instead of having the conversation that will clear it, you’ve gone to avoidance.
  • You say want to become a public speaker but keep avoiding the weekly Toastermaster’s meeting you identified as being the first step to getting rolling.

5 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR COMFORT ZONE TODAY

We’ve gone through the importance of stretching your life’s rubber band, continuing to practice by taking action and now it’s time to get practical so you can incorporate this into your life and not have it be more information that goes unused.

Here are 5 ways to start moving forward with getting uncomfortable in your life:

  1. Define one fear and face it. Pick something: maybe it’s sharing a vulnerable moment, public speaking or doing something adventurous. Write it down and put it out into the world – commit to it by setting a date, paying someone (if there’s a financial component) and working towards it.
  1. Do one small action that scares you every day. You’ve likely heard of this before, but establishing this as part of your daily routine will re-wire the way you think about fear, failure and your personal growth. Keep it practical and manageable, maybe you talk to 1 stranger every day and establish a connection with them.
  1. Understand what’s holding you back and write it down. If you have a fear of launching and creating your own business, write down every single reason why you’re being held back. Getting these thoughts out of your own head is crucial for you to move forward with it.
  1. Take each component of #3 and break it down. First, ask yourself if it really is an obstacle or if it’s an opportunity. Then, create 2-5 resources or actions you could take to breakthrough it – such as leveraging your network, asking for help, studying someone who’s doing it and more.
  1. Embrace and re-frame failure. Lastly, embracing failure and having fun with it is a crucial way of not taking everything so seriously. Failure is simply feedback – it allows you to learn on the fly instead of analyzing and dreaming what may or may not happen. Plus, rejection isn’t so bad…just ask Jia Jang who set out to be rejected for 100 days straight in his book, Rejection Proof.
Via Orphansafrica

Via Orphansafrica

CONCLUSION

Most of us have seen how children operate on a playground: running, making friends, exploring and living in the moment.

They don’t have issues of self worth or overanalyzing what may or may not happen: they simply take action and keep going, all while having a pretty awesome time.

Many times when exploring what we don’t have or the reason why we’re still in the same place it can come down to the lack of expanding our comfort zones.

If we dig in and look at life – it’s designed for us to stretch, grow and learn from every single experience.

Start crafting your personal action plan to obliterate your comfort zone, smile at fear and start living the life you’ve imagined and have been waiting for…it’s yours to take.

Post one action you’re going to implement to comments, we want to hear from you!

Eating Out While on a Diet: How to Stay on Track

By Brandy D.

If you’re trying to improve your health by following a diet or meal plan, you already know how important it is to prepare and cook meals at home. However, dining at your favorite restaurant doesn’t have to sabotage a healthy diet.

Eating out on occasion won’t sway your weight loss goals if you pick your menu items carefully. A new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found 92 percent of the 364 restaurant meals reviewed from both chain and non-chain restaurants to have exceeded the recommended calorie requirements for a single meal. To stay on track, you must resist temptation.

It is possible to resist ‘bad’ foods in favor for more nutritious options. Follow these tips for success.

Via divynenhealthy

Via divynenhealthy

Don’t Go Hungry

It makes sense. You’re starving and don’t feel like cooking, so you head to a local eatery. Your stomach is grumbling so you order the best-sounding thing on the menu. Triple Stacked Burger smothered in extra-sharp cheddar? Yum. A side of fries? Why not. Before you know it, only the greasy remnants of your dinner is left on the plate.

Many people choose to skip a meal and go hungry before eating out to ensure that they get their monies worth. Unfortunately, if you show up to the restaurant half-starved, you’re likely to overeat.

One easy way to prevent over-indulging on a heaping burger or hefty plate of chicken wings is to eat beforehand. Maintain your regular eating habits and avoid skipping meals if possible. If you’re hungry before arriving to the restaurant, consume a healthy snack before you go, like a low-calorie yogurt or piece of fresh fruit.

Via Thecollegehelper

Via Thecollegehelper

Know Your Options

Sitting down in a restaurant without a game plan often results in rash decision-making. Make an informed choice by doing your research prior to ordering. Use your smartphone to look at online menus and pick what you’re going to eat before you go. Use your smartphone when you get hungry on-the-go to locate healthy food options.

There are numerous free apps available that can help you find menu items that meet your diet requirements. Whether you’re looking for organic, gluten-free, vegetarian, raw, paleo, or just low-calorie options, it’s easy to find delicious and nutritious restaurants and menu items that meet your needs. Here are a few excellent (and free) apps to try.

  • HealthyOut – This healthy restaurant nutrition guide connects you with healthy meals from local restaurants in your area. Use filters such as low fat, low calorie, heart healthy, or high protein. You can also search by popular diets like Atkins, Paleo, and South Beach.
  • Find Me Gluten Free – For individuals on a gluten-free diet, this app is a lifesaver. View local establishments who cater to the gluten-free community, read reviews, see gluten-free menus, and get directions directly to the business.
  • Zomato – Zomato is essentially a restaurant finder, allowing you to discover new places to eat in your city. There’s other perks too. The app also allows you to browse restaurant menus, user reviews, and photographs from various eateries.
  • Food Tripping – Trying to avoid fast food? The Food Tripping app is designed to locate the closest farmers’ markets, juice joints and healthy eateries.
  • MyFitnessPal – If you’re eating at a chain restaurant, there’s a good chance that the menu item you choose is already in the MyFitnessPal database. Simply choose the item to see its nutritional value, including its calorie content.

When choosing menu items, there’s a few other tips to remember. Avoid foods described as “crispy”, “au gratin” or “rich”. These typically include fried and sautéed items. Instead choose items that are broiled, steamed, grilled, or baked. These types of foods typically contain significantly lower fats and calories.

Via Foodnetwork

Via Foodnetwork

Get More for Less

Who says you have to get an entrée? Instead of chowing down on a large main dish, order two small appetizers instead. By choosing this alternative, you’ll get to sample two different scrumptious dishes and eat less overall.

While ingredients differ from restaurant to restaurant, opt for appetizers that are generally low in fat, such as stuffed mushrooms, baked or broiled chicken wings, or shrimp cocktail without the crackers.

Really want to avoid wasted calories? Pass on the breadbasket. If the sight of buttery buns is too much for you, simply ask the waiter not to bring any bread to your table.

Personalize It

Salad doesn’t have to be slathered with blue cheese. You can choose to drink plain water instead of soda. No one is forcing you to eat dessert. In short, don’t be afraid to customize your meals when eating out.

There are many ways you can personalize your order to better stay on track with your diet. Opt to have your sauce on the side, allowing you to choose how much you actually eat. Instead of white bread, rice or pasta, ask the restaurant if they serve a whole grain alternative. Of course, choosing a low fat option of any food is the wiser choice.

Here are a few tips to help you make healthier choices:

  • Stick with a single hamburger patty – just say no to double and triple stacked burgers.
  • Avoid calorie-rich toppings, such as extra cheese and bacon. To add extra interest to your meals, add ‘good’ toppings, such as tomatoes or pickles.
  • Go meatless. Most restaurants have meat-free burgers and sandwiches, such as a veggie burger or good old fashioned grilled cheese.
  • Choose from the kid’s menu. Kid-size portions are generally smaller and therefore have less calories.
  • Go easy on the ‘special sauces’, as most are loaded with sugars and fats. If you need sauce, put it on the side.
  • Be wise when choosing sides. Standard side dishes like mac n’ cheese, baked beans and mashed potatoes are high in calories. Instead, choose healthier sides like corn, green beans or steamed veggies.

Practice Portion Control

Portion control is essential when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. To determine proper portion size, you must understand how much a serving size of food is, and how many calories each serving contains. When eating, sticking to healthy portion sizes is hard, as most restaurants serve up huge portions of food to satisfy hungry customers.

The good news is you can use portion control when eating out by exercising a few simple practices. Instead of trying to eat those colossal heaps of food on your own, share your meal with a friend or significant other. By splitting a meal, you can save on both calories and money.

Another easy tip? Save a portion of your meal to bring home. By taking home a doggy bag, you can avoid overeating and you’ll have a prepared meal available for when you get hungry later on.

Via Scratchcateringservices

Via Scratchcateringservices

Rethink Your Salad

Salads are supposed to be good for you, right? Well, that’s not always the case. When kept basic, a green salad produces a punch of protein, magnesium, calcium, dietary fiber, and vitamins A, C, K and B6. Unfortunately, many restaurants create unhealthy salads covered in fattening dressings, croutons, bacon bits and cheese.

For a healthy salad, fill your plate with fresh veggies, greens, chickpeas, and other nutritional options. Skip the regular dressings in favor of a low-fat variety or just a squeeze of lemon juice for flavor.

Via Rebeccasaw

Via Rebeccasaw

Avoid Temptation

Southern fried chicken. Grilled bacon and cheese. New York Style Cheesecake. Enticing isn’t it? Restaurants know how to draw people in by choose descriptive adjectives to name and describe their menu items. Terms like “juicy” and “creamy” make ordinary foods sound more delicious.

In a controlled survey conducted by the Food and Brand Lab, results showed that of the 140 diners surveyed, 27 percent were more likely to choose a descriptive menu item over a menu item with an ordinary label. For example, Black Forest German Chocolate Cake sounds better than just Chocolate Cake, and Farm Raised Chicken Breast Pita is typically chosen over Chicken Pitas.

Pay attention to these descriptive menu items the next time you eat out. When you’re able to recognize them, they be less like to sway your better judgement.

Via chooseveg

Via chooseveg

Slow It Down

Did you know it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to send a message to your brain that you’re full? Eating fast doesn’t allow enough time for your brain to get the message that you’ve eaten enough. Give your brain time to catch up by eating slowly, fully chewing your food, and taking breaks to converse with your dinner mates.

Remember, digestion begins in the mouth. When chewing your food, allow it to fully liquefy before swallowing. If you find that you’re eating too fast, try putting your eating utensils down on the table after every bite of food. Also take frequent sips of water during your meals, as dehydration can mimic the signs of hunger.

Final Thoughts

While challenging, dining out while on a diet doesn’t have to be disastrous. Today, many restaurants offer mouthwatering menu items that are both low-fat and healthy. Don’t stress dining out – embrace it. You can have your cake and eat it too.

How To Start Every Day On Fire: 7 Steps To A Morning Routine

By Tommy B.

We’ve all experienced that day. The day where everything seems to flow exactly right, our minds and bodies are in tune, we feel connected, inspired and like we’ve made an impact and moved our life forward.
These days you’re on fire, there’s an energy to life that you can’t describe too easily.
Yet, how often do we experience these days?
Most people experience them once a week, or once every couple weeks – and those are the few that likely work at it.
Some haven’t experienced this in weeks, months or even years.

What if I told you that the way you start your day directly impacts your:

  • Physical being and vitality?
  • Level of fulfillment and clarity?
  • Sense of purpose and mission?
  • Depth of your communication and connection?

Well, it certainly does. In this post, we’re going to learn how to start your day on fire by building your morning routine.

Via 20some

Via 20some

MORNINGS ARE MAGIC

The greatest inventors, artists and creators had established, consistent morning routines.

This included time of deep, interrupted work and starting their day with 100% absolute control.

However, in 2016, most people start their days in an extreme state of scattered activities and being stretched in all types of directions.

Let’s go through a very typical daily example of how most people start their mornings.

The alarm starts blaring at 6:30AM and the snooze button is hit 3 or 4 times before they finally get up in a haze, — already running late.

They grab their iPhone and see an array text messages from co-workers, quickly responding in a panic about the deadline of a current project.

Already stressed yet still exhausted, they look at the clock and notice they’re running 12 minutes behind schedule.

They rush to get showered, dressed and ready to go, heart rate racing and grabbing whatever snack they can on the way out.

Hitting traffic, the levels of frustration skyrocket and they start blaming whoever is around for starting another day scattered, unfocused and stressed out.

Sound typical? We’ve all been there and it’s an extremely common experience.

Via Popsugar

Via Popsugar

WAKE UP AT LEAST 15 MINUTES EARLIER

We’ve all been through the example above, starting our day scattered, in a rush and on automatic pilot.

When we’re in the above state, we’re constricted – our heart rate is high, our mindset is narrow and we see the world through a stressful lens.

One of the core components of establishing a morning routine is to simply wake up earlier and slow down.

This is the foundational practice to start re-wiring your mind and body to adapting to having powerful mornings.

Even if you don’t do a specific ritual or habit and simply wake up earlier, you will set a more positive tone to your day.

Via Dromhia

Via Dromhia

CREATE SPACE OR SPACE WILL BE CREATED FOR YOU

Every day in life, we have two things:

Stimulus, or events that occur and Response, how we perceive and respond to those events.

That’s pretty standard…from the person cutting us off on our way to work, to a text message we receive or a stranger saying hello.

I’ll have you consider that in between these two there lies a brief moment of space.

In that space, we have the power to choose how to respond and perceive our situation…and when we have choice, we have ultimate freedom.

However, because space is so rare in life these days, most people simply respond automatically.

The second step to creating a morning routine is to harness the power of breathing, sitting still or an active meditation.

The research benefits are countless with meditation, yet, the most common response is:

“I don’t have enough time” or “I don’t know how to do it”.

There is no right or wrong way to do it, simply sit still for 3-5 minutes.

Via Lifedaily

Via Lifedaily

EMPTY YOUR CUP, IT’S OVERFLOWING

Think of our minds as a tall glass of water.

Through our days and experiences, this water starts to fill up with thoughts, emotions, triggers and more.

It keeps filling and filling, yet, we never take time to pour some out and ultimately it overflows and spills everywhere.

That’s exactly why journaling is a crucial aspect of a morning routine.

Journaling allows us to take the clutter inside our minds and physically release it to paper – clearing our headspace and giving us the power of clarity.

Journaling after meditation is especially powerful as things may come up during your session that can be life insights, creative moments or powerful memories that shift your day.

thank-you

Via Ourmissionstory

GRATITUDE, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG

I once heard someone say that our biggest problem or frustration in daily life would be someone else’s dream luxury.

Many times, we forget what we have and never take time to appreciate it.

Gratitude is the practice of consciously appreciating what we have – the people around us, our bodies, our mindset and so much more.

The power of gratitude comes in not only being grateful for what we consider “good” things in life but also those that challenge us.

Simply write down a few things you’re grateful for – maybe it’s 5 things a day.

When you’re truly appreciative of what you have, you receive more and feel more fulfilled even through difficult circumstances.

These days, we all want to be more, do more, have more – and that’s great, but slowing down and showing appreciation is one of life’s truly essential practices.

Leo Babuta of Zen Habits tells a great story of a time in his life where everything seemed to go wrong but he was able to create a gratitude list and completely shift his perspective.

FOCUS ON YOUR ONE THING

At this time of your morning routine, it’s time to focus on your one thing.

Your one thing could look like absolutely anything but it relates to a goal or target you have in life.

The key is to really hone down and pick something – as Gary Keller, author of The One Thing says, “extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.”

Maybe you’re looking to launch your own business…so your one thing is simply one action step to move forward.

Maybe you’ve re-committed to eating and being healthy and your one thing is a practice having to do with that goal.

Maybe you’ve decided to start a blog, write a book or create something…this is the time to work on it.

If you haven’t figured out your one thing, that’s okay…make that your focus.

Via HuffingtonPost

Via HuffingtonPost

MOTION CREATES EMOTION!

Our emotional states fluctuate every single day, we know that.

Some days we’re feeling it and some days we simply aren’t – it’s part of the ebb and flow of life.

However, the fastest way to change our emotional state is to change our physical state.

That means hitting a workout, sprinting, lifting weights, and going for a walk in nature or yoga – anything that moves our bodies through space.

This results in increased blood flow, endorphins and leads to clarity, focus, fulfillment and energy.

Find a physical practice that you enjoy and look forward to and tie it back to something that is important to you.

START SIMPLE & BE CONSISTENT

Morning routines are all about consistency – once they become a habit after 21-40 days you’ll wonder how you ever lived differently.

Hal Elrod, author of Miracle Morning, says you can even get started with a 6-minute routine, which he outlines here.

However, it’s easy to get overwhelmed which is why it’s recommended to start out with simply waking up earlier.

Once you’ve mastered that, add a habit on top and then keep doing the same until you’ve stacked a bunch of powerful habits that are moving you forward with your life.

Via Lavalife

Via Lavalife

GET STARTED TODAY

It’s likely you are already doing some of the activities above even if you don’t consider it a morning routine or a set of rituals.

Remember, rituals are anything we’re already doing – whether we label them as such or not.

With that said, the time to get started is today.

What one practice can you incorporate into your mornings now? Post to comments.

9 Easy Hacks to Boost Your Metabolism Today

Boosting your metabolism allows you to burn more calories with less effort. While gender, age, and genetics all factor into your metabolic rate, there is still some wiggle room that allows you some control over how fast you shed those extra pounds. Turbocharge your metabolism today with these simple diet, exercise, and lifestyle tips.

Drink Water Before Meals

While most people know that sufficient water intake is key to better health, many don’t realize the direct effect it has on your metabolism. Research has shown that drinking water can increase the metabolic rate in healthy men and women by up to 30 percent. Gain the full benefits of water by drinking one to two glasses before each meal. Not only can you fight dehydration and boost your metabolism, but water will naturally fill you up so you end up eating less.

Soak Up Some Sunrays

Spending time in the sunshine can help burn excess calories. Moderate exposure to UV rays releases nitric oxide in the body, which plays a key role in metabolic rate. Choose to venture outdoors when the UV rays are most powerful, which is generally between 10 am and 4 pm, or when the sun is at its highest in the sky.

Protein-shake

Increase your protein intake to boost your metabolism.

Up Your Protein Intake

If you want to boost your metabolism, you’ll no doubt what to look closely at your diet. Are you getting enough protein? All types of protein are effective at accelerating your metabolism due to its thermogenic effect. When you eat sources of protein like eggs, chicken breast, oats, or even supplement with a protein shake, your body produces more heat and in turn, burns more calories.

Make the Switch to Tea

Instead of your usual cup of coffee in the morning, sip on a healthy herbal tea. Tea has been shown to help your body burn up to 100 additional calories over the course of a day. Besides tasting good, tea also has other significant health benefits. It can lower your cholesterol and cortisol levels, reduce inflammatory reactions, increase memory and concentration, and may decrease allergic reactions to pollen. Tea is also chock-full of healthy antioxidants referred to as catechins.

Chew your food and slow down when eating. Via Health-hazard

Chew your food and slow down when eating. Via Health-hazard

Slow Down When Eating

Living a busy life means doing things fast. You likely shower fast, work fast, and probably eat fast. Unfortunately, wolfing down your meals can lead to extra weight gain. On average, it takes about 20 minutes before a hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK) sends a signal to your brain to stop eating. When you eat quickly, it’s easier to overeat because you haven’t given your body enough time to register that it’s full. The next time you eat a meal, slow down, chew more carefully, and take smaller bites.

Savor a Square of Dark Chocolate

Eating chocolate to lose weight may seem counterproductive, but dark chocolate is not your average sweet treat. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are believed to play a role in regulating metabolism. Indulging in one or two squares of dark chocolate can also lower stress hormone levels, which can deter stress-induced eating behaviors.

people-laughing

Laughter is the best medicine! Via Successyeti

Take Time to Laugh

While it may seem simple, laughing can be significantly beneficial to your overall health. Not only does laughter promote happiness and wellbeing, it can also act as a workout. As few as 10 minutes of laughing can help you burn 10 to 20 percent more calories as you would if you remained laughter-free. That’s enough laughs to burn 10 to 40 calories.

Stand Instead of Sit

You may spend a lot of your day sitting, whether you’re at home in front of the TV or at work at your desk. Sitting for extended periods of time is not just bad for your posture. A sedentary lifestyle also doesn’t allow for much energy consumption. Keep your metabolism moving at peak velocity by spending more time standing instead of sitting. If you must spend long hours at a desk for work, consider converting your office desk to a standing desk by placing boxes under your laptop or keyboard.

people-sleeping

Sufficient rest is key to a steady metabolism. Via Scitechdaily

Get Enough Shut-Eye

How many hours a night do you sleep? If it’s fewer than seven, you’re likely suffering from some level of sleep deprivation. Skimping on sleep can have a major impact on all aspects of your health, including your metabolism. Studies have shown that adults who sleep at least nine hours a night typically have healthier metabolisms, crave fewer sweet and salty foods, and are generally less hungry compared to those who sleep fewer hours.

In Conclusion…

Sure, your metabolism may slow down as you get older, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t beat the system. Simple changes in the way that you eat, exercise, and complete day-to-day activities can have a major impact on your metabolic rate. When you need a boost, try these simple hacks to rev up your metabolism.

What other life hacks do you use to super-charge your metabolism?

 


 

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Workout Tips for Busy Professionals

If you ask people their number one reason for not working out, you’re likely going to hear one answer: “I have no time!” Can you relate? It seems as though most people avoid doing regular workouts because they just can’t seem to find an open and available spot in their schedules.

Fortunately, workouts can be squeezed into even the busiest of schedules — if you know how to maximize your workout time and understand what to focus on. To help you achieve a regular workout, even with an insane schedule, we’ve scoured the web for the best tips and tricks and compiled them here for you.

Pick a Focus Each Workout Day

In this article on Lifehacker, the author suggests choosing an area of focus for each of your workout days and keep your workouts shorter.

For example, Monday might be a legs day whereas Tuesday might focus on upper body. If you go into your daily workouts with one area of focus, you can minimize the time spent working out while still seeing results. The best results are had with intentional, focused exercises so choosing one area of focus for your workout will net you results over the long-term.

Get Accountability

One of the best ways to ensure that we follow through on anything in life is to get an accountability partner. If you have a coworker or a friend that may want to also squeeze in a few workouts per week, ask them to buddy up with you and set a regular meeting time at the gym.

Here’s the best part: you’ll get that workout in AND you’ll also sneak in some social time so it’s really a win-win!

Be Strategic with Your Physical Exercise

A lot of people think that getting in physical exercise has to mean spending long hours sweating it out in a gym. However, for a busy professional, that may not always be possible. Instead of focusing on the act of going indoors (ie: going into the gym), think about how you can incorporate physical exercise into your daily routine.

For example, rather than taking the bus or driving, walk to work if you can. Or, skip out on evening snacks and TV and go for a nice long walk or a hike. You’ll feel 10x better if you get up and get your blood pumping and it won’t even feel like exercise!

So, what’s your favorite way to sneak in your workouts as a busy professional? Leave it in the comments below or head over to our Facebook page.

 

Rid Yourself ofBag Envy... (1)

Why Working Out in the Morning is a Good Idea

By Brandy D.

Not a morning person? We’re about to change that. Following a consistent morning workout routine can have notable results on your energy, metabolism, mood, and overall health.

Morning exercise sessions can also result in a better night’s sleep. A study conducted at Appalachian State University found that morning workouts led to a drop in blood pressure that is beneficial to sleep cycles, leading to a longer and better quality of sleep.

Learn to love the A.M. by engaging in exercise that gets your heart pumping, fat melting and your motivation operating at full-speed. Here’s why mornings are the best time of day to workout.

Via Newhealthadvisor

Via Newhealthadvisor

Say No to Excuses

“I just don’t have time to work out!” Many have uttered these very same words. Scheduling conflicts can make it difficult to fit in a solid exercise regimen, especially if you’re juggling responsibilities at home, school and work.

Don’t have time to stop at the gym after work? Just can’t make that lunch-time jog around your office building? Don’t stress. Move your workouts to the morning hours. Make time to exercise by waking up 20 minutes early or by cutting back on your long showers. If you add it to your morning “to do” list, you’ll be more likely to accomplish it.

With your workout out of the way, you’ll be better able to focus on the day ahead of you, and you’ll have the motivation to power through your day.

Via Muscleandfitness

Via Muscleandfitness

Speed Up Your Metabolism

If you’re exercising to lose or maintain your weight, morning exercise can streamline the process. Metabolism describes the chemical and physical processes that occur naturally in the body. These processes not only provide the body with energy, but also aid in tissue repair and the production of new cells.

Metabolism is typically measured in calories. As everyone’s calorie requirement is different depending on age, genetics, body weight, and activity level, every person’s metabolism runs at a different pace.

When you exercise, your metabolism functions at full throttle and continues working at an increased performance throughout the day. By maintaining an elevated metabolism rate, you can burn more calories throughout the day, long after your workout is done.

Of course, the amount you lose directly corresponds to your diet. To reap the full benefits of your morning workout, eat a nutrient-rich diet and avoid skipping meals. Getting enough water throughout the day is also crucial for success. Carry a water bottle with you all day to keep your body hydrated and boost your ability to burn fat.

Achieve a Higher Cardiovascular Impact

When you’re chugging along on the treadmill or pavement, you’re benefiting your heart. Engaging in morning workouts can have the same cardiovascular impact.

We all know that cardio is good for our health. Truth be told, even a brisk walk can lower your risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, according to a study conducted at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

In the morning, your body releases certain hormones like adrenaline to help wake you up. This release of hormones causes your heart to beat faster. By adding some cardio to the mix, you can enhance those cardiovascular benefits even more.

Via Meldyourmind

Via Meldyourmind

Amplify Your Brain Power

Feel drowsy and unfocused after waking? You may not be getting enough exercise during the day. A poor night’s sleep can make it difficult to think clearly, concentrate, and remain alert to your environment.

Exercise has been proven effective in increasing mental focus for up to ten hours post-workout. Regular exercise can also benefit the mind in other ways. According to clinical psychologist and memory researcher Thomas Crook, Ph.D., cardiovascular health is a paramount factor in preserving and improving memory and learning.

When you begin your mornings off with some cardio, you’re preparing both your brain and your body for the day ahead.

Build Up Consistency

Anyone who has ever tried a new diet or workout regimen knows how difficult it is to remain consistent. Even with the best intentions, life gets in the way. Soon enough, you miss one workout, then another.

When you choose to workout at the same time each morning, you’re essentially building a healthy routine. When you set aside a strict time allotment in your schedule, you have no excuses not to exercise.

With your morning exercise session out of the way, you’ll have the rest of the day to do the things that you want to do without having to worry about fitting in a workout.

Suppress Your Appetite

Exercise combined with a healthy diet is the key to weight loss. To prevent your calories from spilling over your daily allotment, add an exercise session to your daily schedule.

Many exercisers admit to feeling less hungry after a workout. Why? Some researchers believe that appetite hormones PYY, GLP-1 and PP are altered after workout, which can help reduce hunger.

Of course, you’ll only see results if you have some level of self-control. Many people choose to “reward” themselves after a workout. While a healthy snack if you’re hungry is okay, it’s important not to choose unhealthy rewards like high-calorie burgers or sugar-filled cookies. Nix the junk food and instead, reap the rewards of your workout.

Via Yogajournal

Via Yogajournal

Relieve Stress

Have a rough night? Stress can have a major impact on your mood, energy, concentration, and overall health. While you can’t always prevent the source of the stress, you can help to manage its symptoms.

During high-intensity exercise, endorphins are released which act as stress-relieving chemicals in the brain. Endorphins can help you to better cope with the pressure of everyday life, leading to a better sense of well-being.

According to the results of an online poll conducted by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, approximately 14 percent of people use regular exercise as a method for coping with stress.

Maintain Better Concentration

Trying to learn and master a wide variety of workouts requires concentration. As the day progresses, you may notice that your concentration winds down, leaving you more careless than when you began the day. What this means for your workout is less effort and typically less intensity, resulting in slower results.

Cortisol, a steroid hormone made naturally in the body, is responsible for a wide range of processes in the body including immune responses, metabolism regulation and anti-inflammatory properties. It also plays a role in how the body responds to stress.

Having too little cortisol in your system can make you feel fatigued. Cortisol levels are typically highest in the morning when we wake. Known as the ‘cortisol awakening response’, this phenomenon causes the body to wake up and get ready to start the day.

By choosing to work out in the morning when your cortisol levels are at their peak, you can benefit from increased alertness. In short, the best time to exercise is when your concentration levels are at their highest, which is generally before noon.

Via Holmesplace

Via Holmesplace

Increase Your Endurance

While some people prefer to work out before their first meal of the day, there are some benefits to exercising after a light breakfast. That caffeine from your morning cup of coffee or tea can help fuel your workout and boost your endurance, resulting in a more intense and effective session.

During exercise, the body produces a starch referred to as glycogen that is used for energy. During the day, and especially after a long workout, these starches begin to deplete, leaving the body feeling fatigued.

Caffeine helps to slow down the depletion of glycogen, allowing the body to conserve as much energy as possible for your workout. The caffeine from a cup of joe can also enhance the overall strength of muscle contractions, allowing you to exert more force for longer periods of time.

Before you skip breakfast, remember the benefits of consuming a light breakfast. By starting your workout after your morning meal, you can increase your endurance and your body’s ability to burn calories.

Make Smarter Choices

After getting up early to fit in an hour of cardio, the last thing you want to do is ruin your progress by downing a glazed donut. Working out regularly helps to alter your state of mind, encouraging you to make better decisions regarding your diet and overall health.

As your approach to fitness changes, so does your view of nutrition. The more you work out, the more you’ll notice the difference in the foods you eat. Instead of fast food and pizza delivery, you may opt for homemade chicken and veggie dishes. Instead of a slice of cake for dessert, a fruit and yogurt parfait will do in a pinch.

By getting up in the morning to workout, you’re making the decision to change your unhealthy lifestyle. You won’t want to mess it up over a plate of fries.

Final Thoughts

Trying to fit more exercise into your daily schedule? Consider working out in the morning. While difficult at first (we’re looking at you night owls), changing your habits to go to bed earlier, get a good night’s sleep, and wake bright and early for a heart-pumping workout session can improve your mood, energy, metabolic rate, and overall health two-fold. Discover all that you can accomplish minutes after getting out of bed.

Fitness on the Road: 5 Simple Ways to Dominate Your Next Trip

Most fitness buffs will tell you that the key to success is consistency. For many people, maintaining a healthy workout and diet plan at home is a cinch. Unfortunately, one trip out of town can cause utter chaos.

You may eat differently, exercise differently (or not at all), and probably even sleep differently.

Without access to your gym membership, local Whole Foods store, and network of support, how do you stay on track?

Proper exercise and eating habits can be sustained on the road with the right mindset. Sure, you’ll be tempted by greasy burgers, endless piles of fries, and the allure of cakes, cookies, and pastries, but be strong.

In short, proper fitness can happen anywhere. Here are a few simple ways to stay in tip-top shape while on the road.

1. Pack for Success

Chances are you’ll have limited time to squeeze in workouts while on the road. However, this doesn’t stop all travelers from getting some much-needed exercise. According to an analysis of Business Travelers from Scarborough, individuals traveling for work are 78 percent more likely than the average U.S. adult to belong to a gym.

Whether you’re traveling for work or play, it’s crucial to be prepared. Packing for success means bringing items that will be beneficial to your long-term wellness.

First consider you attire. In addition to your day-to-day clothes, you’ll want to pack some comfortable, breathable workout wear. Opt for moisture-wicking clothing which tends to be lightweight and easily folded. Of course, you’ll also want to have a pair of supportive shoes and running socks to keep your feet dry and free from injuries.

If you’re a female, a good quality, supportive sports bra is a must. Don’t be a cheapskate when it comes to your bra. A great sports bra minimizes movement, maintains comfort, and can help prevent irreversible damage that can lead to “sagging” breast tissue.

Finding an open gym while on the road is not always easy. To ensure that you get enough exercise, bring along some essential tools. Lightweight, no-bulk equipment can be thrown into a duffle bag and stored in your trunk for easy access.

Great options include:

  • Jump Rope – Small, lightweight, packs easy, and provides an intense workout.
  • Pedometer – Keep track of every step you make.
  • Resistance Band – Compact and aids in stretching and toning.
  • Yoga Mat – Start your morning off with a session of yoga.
  • Therapy Balls – Fight off tightness and relieve stress.
  • Laptop – To watch workout videos when your motivation starts to fizzle out.

For gym rats who prefer to use real equipment, your pre-trip organizing should include research. Determine where and when the gyms are open at your destination. Call different gyms and try to work out a good “walk-in’ deal to get some workouts in without having to pay a costly membership fee.

Whats-In-Your-Bag-Accel

2. Make Pit Stops

Pit stops are simply a part of travel. Bathroom break? Snack break? Need a few minutes to stretch your legs? Use these pit stops to your advantage by fitting in a quick workout.

Schedule some time for a quick workout at a rest stop, gas station, or park. Just a few short spurts of physical fitness throughout the day can help keep you in peak shape and your metabolism working at maximum speed.

These effective no-equipment exercises take mere minutes to complete.

  • Lunges – Lunges work the glutes, quads and hamstrings. Take one large step with one foot, bend your knee to a 90 degree angle, and hold. Repeat with the other leg.
  • Jumping Jacks – Jumping jacks work the calves, hip adductors and hip abductors. While simple, jumping jacks can deliver an excellent cardio workout.
  • Pull Ups – Pull ups work the biceps, lats, traps, deltoids, and rhomboids. Find a sturdy tree branch, grip it, and pull up.
  • Calf Raises – Calf raises work out and tone the calves. To do them, stand on the edge of a ledge or curb and rise your heels.
  • Shoulder Circles – Shoulder circles target the deltoids. This simple exercise consists of putting your arms straight out to your sides and making circle motions.
  • Box Jumps – Box jumps work the hamstrings, calves, and quads. Find an elevated surface, such as a park bench, and jump up, then down again.
  • Decline Push Ups – Decline pushups target the upper chest. To do this exercise, perform a pushup like usual, but rest your feet on an elevated surface.
  • Jump Squats – Jump squats work the hamstrings, calves and quads. With your hands behind your head, complete a regular squat. When you reach the lowest point, jump upwards off the ground.
  • Leg Raises – Leg Raises work the abdominals. Lay down and lift both legs off the ground simultaneously to create a 90 degree angle with your body.

There’s no excuse not to work out when the world around you provides ample opportunity for physical fitness. Stairs in your hotel? Jog up and down them. Waiting for your flight? Walk back and forth through the airport instead of sitting.

Via ahealthiermichigan.org

Via ahealthiermichigan.org

3. Record Your Workouts

Nowadays, there’s an app for everything. Health and fitness apps can be found by the dozens, and while some are more useful than others, research shows the benefits of using an app to maintain wellness.

In a study published by the Journal of Medical Internet Research, three quarters of participants who used fitness apps reported to being more active compared to past users and non-users. Interestingly, research also found that current users of fitness apps also had lower body mass indexes than past users and non-users.

From fitness diaries to mobile personal trainers, using the right app can help you reach your goals faster and keep you on track when on the road. Here’s our top app choices:

Fitbit

One of the most popular fitness apps today is Fitbit, available on Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and the web. While the app can be used in combination with an activity tracker, one isn’t necessarily needed to use the app. Fitbit allows you to track calories, log your weight, count your steps, and retain other health information.

The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout

Available for free on Android and iOS, The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout is the perfect exercise routine during hotel stays. All you need is seven minutes and a chair to get a medium-intensity workout consisting of moves like jumping jacks, crunches, planks, pushups, and high-knee running in place.

Lose It!

Lost It! offers a combination of innovative fitness and nutrition tools, coupled with a supportive network of like-minded folks looking to lose weight. Use the app to count calories, log exercises, and get advice from people who are also shedding unwanted pounds. The app is available on Android, iOS, Nook, Kindle, and the web.

WalkJogRun GPS Running Routes

WalkJogRun helps runners find or create running routes in any city of the world, along with tools to help them train effectively. When traveling, it can be hard to determine where a decent and safe route is to workout. This GPS running app has logged more than 207,000 miles of running routes. WalkJogRun requires iOS 6.0 or later.

Endomondo

This free app acts like an electronic coach, giving users feedback in real-time during exercise. Endomondo keeps an accurate record of your fitness history and manually logged workouts. Users also have access to user-made walking, running, and biking routes which can be extremely useful when traveling to new cities.

Via energyhealthclubs.com

Via energyhealthclubs.com

4. Invest in Wellness

Staying healthy and fit while on the road has never been easier than with the help of fitness-friendly hotel chains. In 2012, 84 percent of hotels offered an exercise, health, or fitness facility on-site.

Hotels know it can be tough to stay focused on fitness when traveling. That’s where hotel fitness programs come into play.

More than just a few exercise machines in the basement of the hotel, these fitness programs consist of yoga classes, personal trainers, health-conscious meals prepared by top-quality chefs, and sometimes even exercise equipment in the guest rooms.

If you’re having trouble staying motivated to work out while on the road, it may be wise to invest in a hotel fitness program. Of course, these programs vary from hotel to hotel so do your research behind handing over the dough.

Via healthcomu.com

Via healthcomu.com

5. Watch Your Calories

Meals on the go often consist of fast food, room service, and vending machine goodies. While cheap, fast, and convenient, these foods are not good for you. So what should you do when you’re hungry at the airport, or are craving a snack on the interstate?

While it may take some planning, you can eat healthy on-the-go. Whole grain cereal cups, high-protein energy bars, vegetable juice, low-fat yogurt, trail mix, and single serve vegetables are easy to pack and store and offer a nutritional kick.

If you have access to a kitchen, it’s best to make your own snacks and meals versus eating out. While some restaurants offer healthy, low calorie meals, most serve food loaded with salts, fats, and artificial flavors. If you must eat out, choose simple dishes, such as a basic salad with grilled chicken.

Between lack of time, an unfamiliar location, and the temptation of delicious foods everywhere you look, it’s easy to overindulge in flavorful fare. Try to steer clear of fast food and stick to venues that offer more nutritional options. A whole grain roll loaded with veggies from Subway is by far the better choice than anything at McDonalds.

Final Thoughts

Even those with a strong commitment to health can find it challenging to maintain their physical fitness while traveling. Fortunately, there are many things you can do on the road to better manage your eating and exercise habits. Schedule a time and place for your workouts and keep yourself accountable.


10 Must-Know Habits Successful People Have

Successful people possess more than just good luck. Most contribute their prosperity to a healthy, organized lifestyle.

By making small changes in your everyday routines, you too can maximize productivity, minimize distractions, and reach goals you never thought possible.

Not sure how to get started? Check out these 10 habits of successful people:

how_to_stay_organized_in_your_job_search

1. THEY STAY ORGANIZED

Organization is important to the average person, but to a successful individual, staying organized is pivotal. Successful people are natural list makers, calendar markers, and document filers.

They have a system for everything, from the way they pay their bills to the way they remember birthdays and events.

Regular exercise will help set the tone for the day. Via Thesource

2. THEY WORK OUT

Most successful people know the advantages of daily exercise. Even before breakfast, many engage in a workout to boost their energy levels and prepare them for the long day ahead.

Whether it’s a quick session of yoga or a trip to the gym, a morning exercise session creates a sense of accomplishment. Of course, working out will also keep you in shape, which helps to skyrocket your self-confidence.

Dish of broccoli and lemon pieces in tomato sauce

Eating healthy can set you up for success. Via Mamabee

3. THEY EAT HEALTHY

Exercise and healthy eating go hand-in-hand. If you want to get things done, you have to have energy.

And what does the body use to create energy? Food.

Successful people not only make healthy food choices, they also maintain a healthy eating schedule, which includes a nutrient-rich breakfast. You’ll also want to stick with whole, unprocessed foods, limited sugary snacks, and plenty of H20.

4. THEY FOLLOW A SCHEDULE

Most people have a daily routine, but have you ever sat down and prioritized your day from morning to night?

Successful people often carry a daily agenda that lists their goals for the day, helping them to visualize what they need to accomplish.

A schedule written down on paper or set into your cell phone calendar can help ensure that you don’t neglect important tasks, meetings, and appointments.

Get a head start on your day

Get a head start on your day by waking up early. Via Lifehacklane

5. THEY WAKE UP EARLY

Are you a morning person? Some of the most successful people are.

Waking up in the wee morning hours allow you to get a head-start on your day. In turn, you may find that you have an increase in productivity due to more motivation to use your time wisely and get things done.

With all of life’s ups and downs, the tranquil morning hours are also a great time to enjoy yourself without disturbances, which fosters a sense of well-being.

Be sure to take the time to refresh and eat lunch mid-day. Via Jobisjob

6. THEY TAKE LONG LUNCHES

Most successful people aim to work smarter, not harder. They know that draining themselves will only lead to sabotage. This is where long lunches come into play.

Taking a long lunch mid-day allows you to step away from work and the chaos of life to enjoy a hearty, healthy meal. During lunch, you have the opportunity to refresh before returning to work.

7. THEY TAKE RISKS

Taking risks is not always a good idea, but when the risk is deemed worth the reward, most are willing to go out on a limb. However, successful people do not typically take reckless risks, they take calculated ones. They consider the possible outcomes and have a backup plan in place in case they fail.

Keep a positive attitude. Via Grasshopper

8. THEY MAINTAIN A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

Negativity can suck the life right out of you. If you want to be successful, it’s essential to always look on the bright side.

Having a positive attitude is not only a result of being successful, it’s also one of the primary causes. You must constantly remind yourself of what you have accomplished in the past, even if you are currently going through a difficult time.

Maintaining a positive mindset can have a deeper effect than you think.

9. THEY EFFECTIVELY NETWORK

Successful people know the value of networking, and use this knowledge to their advantage.

Why work alone when you can exchange ideas and collaborate with others?

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, socialize with new people, and build your social circle. Most importantly, you want to surround yourself with other successful people who have the same mindset as you.

Create a logical savings plan. Via Onproperty

10. THEY ARE FRUGAL

Successful people don’t stay successful by simply wasting their resources. Frugality is a habit of being thrifty, but that doesn’t mean stingy.

In fact, many successful people are generous with their money and often donate to charities and organizations. What many successful people try to do is avoid overspending.

Instead, they compare products and negotiate for the things they want. Any extra funds are typically saved or invested.

In Conclusion…

Do you want to be more successful? Take a page from a successful person’s handbook and make the necessary changes needed to reach your goals.

What are some tips that help you with your own success?

 


 

 

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What You Should Use Your Sundays For

Sunday is a day of rest for many, often consisting of lazy hours spent in front of the TV. After an uneventful weekend, Monday is forced to pick up the brunt of responsibilities

Get out of this hectic schedule by shifting some of your weekly duties to Sunday.

By spending just a few hours of your Sunday preparing for the week ahead, you can sail through the week feeling more relaxed and accomplished.

Here are a few things you should use your Sundays for:

Meal Prep

MEAL PREP

Meal prep can save you cash, reduce waste, and greatly improve your nutrition.

There has probably been many evenings when you didn’t plan out your meals, resulting in a stop at your local fast food drive-through for a makeshift dinner. Eating out becomes habit-forming, and the consequences are often poor nutrition, weight gain, and depleted funds.

Meal prep can save you time in the kitchen and prompt healthier food choices.

Steps to effective meal preparation:

  • Open your fridge and toss everything that is expired
  • Scan grocery store ads and create a weekly menu based on what’s on sale
  • Write down a list of food items you’ll need to purchase

To save time during the week, choose meals that are relatively quick to prepare and cook, using both hot and cold foods. If possible, serve foods that are in season, providing better flavor, prices, and quality.

If you won’t have time to cook in the evening, throw some dinner into a crockpot and let it slowly stew while you’re at work. Arrive home to a hot and hearty meal that took mere minutes to prepare that morning.

Schedule Your Week

SCHEDULE YOUR WEEK

Organization is the key to success.

On Sunday, take the time to establish a plan of attack for each day of the upcoming week. By scheduling your week on a Sunday, you’re able to see your successes and failures from the previous week, and alter the upcoming week to ensure triumph.

When scheduling your week, sit down with pen and paper, calendar, or laptop in a quiet place free of distractions.

Take a look at what work, school, and household duties you have in the upcoming week. Also take note of any appointments you may have. Block off time during your week for important activities, but be sure to leave time for relaxation and bonding with loved ones.

By creating a fulfilling routine, you can avoid procrastination and the many distractions that accompany an unorganized life.

Get ahead on work. Via Whatsupusana

GET AHEAD ON WORK

No one wants to work on weekends, but spending an hour or two completing a few work-related tasks can help you start your week off with a bang.

First address your inbox. Read, answer, and sort the emails you’ve received over the weekend, and catch up on any old emails you have yet to address. On Monday, you won’t be so overwhelmed with an inbox full of unanswered messages.

Use your Sundays to knockout a few smaller tasks, leaving you more time during the week for tackling larger projects.

If you have meetings coming up, take a few moments to write down talking points to ensure that the appointment runs smoothly.

Jot down a to-do list you’d like to accomplish during the week, starting with the most important and ending with the least. Also set up time limits in which you’d like to finish each task.

An organized closet will save you time and frustration. Via Ariannabelle

ORGANIZE YOUR CLOSET

You’ve probably mumbled “I have nothing to wear!” one too many times when trying to dress in the early morning hours.

Making getting ready in the morning a cinch by readying your wardrobe on Sunday.

Begin by quickly getting your wardrobe organized by putting away any freshly-laundered clothes. Make sure that your closet and dresser drawers are separated into categories to make finding what you need fast and simple.

You’ll also want to spend a few minutes picking out an outfit for each day of the week. Not only does this save time, it can also prevent you from wearing the same style of clothes again and again.

Consider what tasks you’ll be completing the upcoming week, such as meetings or dates, and plan your outfits accordingly. Include any accessories and footwear you plan on wearing.

Share the housework. Via Telegraph

DELEGATE CHORES

To ensure that you have leisurely time for yourself, ask others in the household for help.

Household chores should be delegated among spouses and children so that everyone has shared responsibilities in the home. Children as small as two-years-old can complete simple chores, such as picking up clothes off the floor.

Prevent household chores from becoming overly boring by shuffling tasks between everyone in the home.

On Sundays, assign everyone their weekly chores, such as putting away their clothing, sweeping the kitchen, or setting the table.

To make it easier to remember who does what, create a chore chart with each person’s name and task under each day of the week. Consider offering children incentives or rewards for completing their chores for the entire week to keep things fun.

In Conclusion…

With Monday just a day away, many people dread Sunday evenings. However, you can feel confident going into the work week by getting some essential tasks completed on Sunday.

What are some of your Sunday rituals? Let us know some of your life hacks below!


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