How to fire up your metabolism – Exercise smart

Weight loss
December 17, 2018
smart exercice

Notice that I mentioned smart, not hard. Though some exercises here may be high-intensity and may indeed be hard for you, you need not work as long and as hard as you may think. The goal here is to fire up your metabolism with an exercise program that takes the shortest time and the least effort possible without sacrificing results.

The two elements in this exercise program are strength and resistance training for building lean muscle mass and interval training for speeding up the metabolic process in general.

Strength and resistance training

The exercises under this training program are designed to literally build strength and resistance, as the name suggests. Tension is applied on the muscles to achieve this. The end result is increased muscle mass in your body.

Building muscle is important as more muscle in your body means more calories burned. Fitness trainer and consultant Robert Reames gives a perfect analogy by calling muscles fireplaces in the body that burn fuel – meaning calories. So the more fireplaces, the more fuel burned. For every pound of muscle added to your body, 40-50 calories more are burned per day.

Women need not worry about gaining large, unsightly muscles – your bodies are different from men. Your muscles will only add definition to your shape and in fact, make you look sexier.

While building muscles are usually associated with weight training, this is not always the case. There are in fact several exercises that do not require weights at all. If you are on a tight budget, you can in fact do exercises with no weights at all. For best results, though, do a combination of strength exercises with equipment and without equipment.

For clear differentiation, let us discuss weight lifting exercises first.

Weight lifting is a convenient muscle-building exercise as it applies tension to your muscles through an external source, the weights. You can also easily measure your progress as the number of pounds or grams is indicated on each weight. As your body adjusts and strengthens, you can add more weights or replace your current weights with heavier ones.

To determine how many grams or pounds your weights should have, try them out first. The best weights for you are those that put tension in your muscles but do not make you feel fatigued.

The best exercises for achieving faster results for boosting metabolism are those that work several muscles in your body together. It’s not a problem if you want to focus on a particular muscle, though, for example, if you want to tone or sculpt a specific body part.

There are many weight-lifting exercises you can choose from to include in your routine, but here are some basic examples:

1. Bench press – This is a multi-joint exercise, working the major muscles of the shoulders, chest and triceps. To do this, lie on a bench and hold the weight over your chest with your elbows bent at 90 degrees. “Press” the weight up until your arms straighten, then lower it slowly back to your starting position.

2. Chest fly – This works the chest, with an emphasis on outer muscles. Lie on a bench with your weights held overhead, palms facing inward. Lower the weights to your sides up to shoulder level, with your elbows slightly bent. Slowly bring the weights up, back to starting position.

3. Bicep curl – This is one of the most basic weight lifting exercises. This puts effort on the biceps, as the name suggests. To do this, hold the weights with your palms facing out. Bend your elbows to bring the weights to your shoulders without touching them. Slowly lower the weights down, but do not straighten the arm out totally to keep a level of tension.

4. Concentration curl – This also works the biceps. Kneel on one leg using the leg opposite the hand you are working with. Hold one weight with your working hand and put the other hand on your waist. Place the back of the upper arm of your working hand on the inner thigh of the other leg. You can lean into that leg to raise your elbow a little. Raise the weight to the front of your shoulder and then slowly lower the arm until almost straight.

5. Overhead press – This works the shoulder muscles. Stand or sit straight and hold your weights with your elbows bent and your hands in front of your eyes. Bring the weights over your head while keeping your back straight. Slowly bring the weights down to starting position.

Strength exercises without weights can be combined with weight lifting exercises for your routine.

Here are some examples:

1. Squat – A squat is a multi-joint exercise working the hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteals, and the lower back. In fact, this is one of the most effective strength exercises without weights. From a standing position, slowly lower your body until your knees bend at a 90-degree angle. Keep your feet flat on the floor while doing this. Return to a standing position slowly as well.

2. Pushup – This is also a very typical but effective strength and resistance exercise. While the basic one works well, adding complexity can work more muscles.
For example, you can do pushups between two chairs. These work the chest and the triceps. Place both feet on a stable chair and then place both hands on separate chairs. The two chairs your hands are resting on can have a gap of 60 centimeters. The chair with your feet should align with the middle of the other two chairs. Your body should be stretched naturally from the chair at your feet to the chairs in front. Slowly bring your chest down – beyond the surface of the chairs if you can!

3. Crunch – Yes, the basic crunch is a strength exercise, although it works mostly for the abs only. But though the crunch is well-known, not everyone knows how to do it properly. To do this correctly, lie on the floor or a mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. You may put your hands behind your head. Raise your upper body – but lead with your chest – upwards until you feel your abs contract. To keep the tension, do not raise your body up to 90 degrees. Again, to keep tension, when you bring your body down, do not let it rest on the floor. Instead, keep yourself a bit elevated from the floor.

For variety in exercises and for working different sets of muscles, you can also try working out with different equipment like exercise balls.
In planning your routine for strength exercises, refer to the body’s muscle groups below and determine which you want to work on. Remember, though, that multi-joint exercises are still best to achieve faster metabolism.

1. Biceps – These are found at the front of your upper arm.

2. Triceps – These are at the back of your upper arm.

3. Deltoids – These are the caps of your shoulders.

4. The Pectoralis major – This is the large, fan-shaped muscle on the front of your upper chest.

5. Rhomboids – These are muscles in the middle of your upper back and located between the shoulder blades.

6. Trapezius – This is on your upper back, sometimes called ‘traps.’ The upper trapezius, in particular, runs from the back of your neck to your shoulder.

7. Latisimus dorsi – These are large muscles that go down the middle of your back. When exercised well, they give your back an attractive V shape, giving the illusion of a smaller waist.

8. Lower back – This comprises the erector spine muscles that enable back extension. This also helps in maintaining good posture.

9. Abdominals – Of course! This is where the belly fat usually goes, the flab you want to banish forever. The abdominals are composed of the external obliques, which trace paths down the sides and the front of the abdomen, and the rectus abdominus, a flat muscle running across the abdomen.

10. Gluteals – Also called “glutes,” the main muscle here is the gluteus maximus, the muscle on your buttocks.

11. Quadriceps – These muscles go up the front of your thigh.

12. Hamstrings – These are on the back of your thighs.

13. Hip abductors and adductors – These are located at your inner and outer thigh. Abductors are on the outside, moving the leg away from your body. On the other hand, adductors are on the inside, pulling the leg to the center of your body.

14. Calf – The calf muscles are on the back of the lower leg. The two calf muscles are the gastrocnemius and the soleus. The former gives the calf a stable, round shape while the soleus is a flat muscle below the gastrocnemius.

After choosing your exercises, you must think about the level of intensity and the duration of your exercises. The number of repetitions and sets actually depends on your level of tolerance – fatigue is a sign that you have overtaxed yourself. Let yourself feel the “burn” in your muscles or the soreness but do not push yourself more than you can go. In general, though, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends three sets or more of strength exercises with six to eight repetitions for each set for building muscle. If you are a beginner, though, it may take time before you reach this level. Not more than a 45-second rest should be taken between sets for best results in increasing metabolism.

Your exercise routine can last for only 30 minutes or less and still achieve optimum results.

At this point, I want to emphasize that strength and resistance exercises are the best and healthiest way to build muscles. Do not ever look for shortcuts, like performance-enhancing drugs or steroids with growth hormones. While they may help increase your muscle mass, they can have side effects such as heart attacks, liver damage, and even premature death. It is best for you to stick to the healthy and proven methods in building muscles.

The benefits of strength exercises are also numerous and not merely confined to boosting metabolism. They lower blood pressure, improve balance and flexibility, increase your stamina for other activities, and reduce your risk of injury – as these are strength exercises, they in fact strengthen your muscles and bones!

Interval training

Yes, these exercises are about “intervals,” particularly the intervals of high-intensity exercise and rest. In this training, you do a cardiovascular exercise at the highest intensity you can manage, then shift to a moderate intensity, do high intensity again, then moderate, and so on. Reames calls this “metabolic burst” training, as the sudden burst you do in the high-intensity exercise also results in a burst of calorie-burning. Because of the sudden “burst” you give to your body, it also suddenly releases energy. The rest period, meanwhile, is essential for the body to get rid of the waste products in the muscles you are using in the exercise. It is important to keep a moderate intensity of exercise and not go into total rest. This is to ensure that the release of energy is continuous.

Interval training can be done for almost any type of cardiovascular exercise – running, biking, swimming, and more. For running, the rest period can be brisk walking; for biking and swimming, the activity can be done at a slower but moderate pace. The high-intensity and moderate-intensity exercise can also be slightly different. For example, the high-intensity exercise may be briskly walking up the stairs while the low-intensity exercise may be brisk walking on a flat surface.

Each interval should last between one to four minutes. The rest period can be shorter or longer than your high-intensity exercise, depending on your condition. Doing your interval training routine for a total of 30 minutes already achieves optimal results. Just ensure that your moderate-intensity exercise really still has intensity while allowing your body to rest for the next burst of high-intensity exercise. Perform your personal best for the high-intensity exercise – being almost out of breath is a good sign.

A more accurate way of determining the highest level of intensity you can manage is by calculating your maximum heart rate. To get your maximum heart rate, simply subtract your age from 220. During exercise, a heart rate monitor will come in handy although this is optional. To monitor your heart rate manually, find your pulse in your wrist then count the number of beats within six seconds. Put the number zero at the end of that. If you counted 16 beats, your pulse rate is 160 beats per minute. Your pulse rate after high-intensity exercise should be 75-85 percent of your maximum heart rate. Your pulse rate during moderate-intensity exercise should always be greater than your resting heart rate, or your normal heart rate when you are not doing any exercise. Again, to get your resting heart rate, get your pulse rate while you are not doing exercise.

For those who want to boost metabolism primarily to lose weight, here’s the good news: after a few weeks of interval training, expect even your normal exercise with moderate intensity to burn more fat than usual.

A study by exercise scientist Jason Talanian supports this claim. After seven interval workouts distributed over two weeks, subjects increased their fat burning by 36 percent through normal cycling exercises only.

Also, according to Reames, after interval training comes the “metabolic afterburn” – this means that your body continues burning calories for 46 hours after your workout.

Interval training sure beats normal cardiovascular training. Also, normal cardiovascular exercise usually takes longer as the objective is endurance. Contrast this with interval training which only requires 30 minutes or less and which delivers significant results in just a few weeks.

Putting it all together

While you will be choosing your specific exercises for the strength and resistance training and interval training, I will be recommending an exercise schedule and giving you tips for your best application of the exercises.

Below would be the best weekly schedule for your workout:

Day 1: Strength and resistance exercises
Day 2: Interval training exercises

Day 3: Strength and resistance exercises

Day 4: Interval training exercises

Day 5: Strength and resistance exercises

Day 6: Interval training exercises

Day 7: Rest

As you can see, strength exercises and interval training are done on alternate days. This is to facilitate recovery of the muscles you use. Do not ever, ever do your strength exercise workout right after your interval training workout – this will slow down the process of muscle building.

One day without exercise during the week is also crucial for your body to make a full recovery.

Again, I would like to emphasize that you should never push your body to fatigue. Doing so would trigger a stress response in your body, which may have serious effects on your metabolism. (The link between stress and metabolism will be discussed in a later section). Also, make sure that you breathe normally throughout the exercises so that your body is not stressed.

Always perform warm-up exercises before your routine and cool-down exercises after. For a warm-up, a cardio of moderate intensity and arm circling would be a good example. For a cool-down, a total body stretch will relax your muscles. Breathing exercises will also help in relaxing.

You can apply variety to your exercise routines to work different muscles and for your own enjoyment, especially if you get bored with the same exercise routines.

Metabolism Masterclass Checkpoint: Before we proceed…

Here are some more things to think about as you plan your exercise program to fire up your metabolism:

1. Age does not matter. Yes, whether you are 20 or 60, you can trust that the exercise program we discussed will work for you. For older people, your interval training may not be as intense at first, but after some time, you just might be surprised how far your body can go. Looking at strength and resistance training in particular: here’s something for older people to consider: a scientific study conducted at Tufts university shows that age is not an obstacle to building muscle. In their study, 87- to 96-year-old women who underwent an 8-week strength training program tripled their strength and increased their muscle by ten percent.

2. Other exercise is good, but… I recommend you apply the exercise program discussed here. While it is true that any physical activity burns calories, it only has a one-time effect. The exercises here, however, are guaranteed to have a long-term effect. Also, endurance training is good, but you will get more and faster results from interval training.

3. More exercise does not mean faster metabolism. Logically, more exercise means more calories burned. But as your goal here is a long-term increase in your metabolism, you should not be obsessed by how much you exercise but on the quality of your exercise. Again, this deserves repetition – do not push yourself beyond your limits as it will drive your body into a stress reaction. Stress has a serious effect on metabolism.

So now you know the best exercise program to fire up your metabolism. But don’t stop reading just yet – exercise is only one part of your journey to a faster metabolism.

How to fire up your metabolism – Eat right

Weight loss
December 17, 2018
accelerate metabolism eat right

Food is your main fuel for energy – it gives your body the calories it processes to burn or to store energy. The right food, the right amount, and the right time in eating will give you the best results possible for your metabolism.

For all those who are trying to lose weight, you need to know that eating to boost metabolism is radically different from traditional weight loss diets. In traditional diets, calories are your enemy and you have to monitor your calorie intake, but the opposite is true for the fast metabolism diet. Calories are now your friends – the good calories, at least.

Remember when we talked about exercise? The more muscles you build, the more calories you burn. And after you’ve done interval training for a while, your body also burns more calories. So to keep up with the calorie burning, you actually have to eat more. You will understand this better later.

Nutrients to Befriend

Carbohydrates are one of the most essential nutrients for firing up your metabolism. They are the most basic fuel for the energy you consume for physical activities. If you exercise regularly, carbohydrates are necessary. But if you are building muscle, carbohydrates are crucial. As you progress in your muscle building and interval training, you need to increase your carbohydrate intake. As your body burns more energy, it will need more energy from carbohydrates. If the carbohydrates you consume are not enough, your body will turn to your muscle mass and get its energy there. Yes, your hard-worked muscles will be wasted if you do not consume enough carbohydrates.

More than 50 percent of your calorie requirements should come from carbohydrates.

There are two types of carbohydrates – simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are easier to digest and absorb compared with complex carbohydrates. If we are to consider the thermic effect of food which also contributes to faster metabolism, complex carbohydrates are the way to go. And usually, complex carbohydrates are the healthy types of food while the simple carbohydrates are usually the processed foods loaded with preservatives and artificial sweeteners.

But simple carbohydrates should not be neglected entirely. Healthy sources of simple carbohydrates are honey, milk and fresh fruit juice.

For complex carbohydrates you have a wider range of options. See the table below for some examples.

 

COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES
Grains and Cereal Root Crops Vegetables
Oatmeal Potato Broccoli
Whole Wheat Bread Sweet Potato Cauliflower
Whole Wheat Pasta Taro/Yam Cabbage
Brown Rice Manioc Eggplant
Bran Cucumber
Corn Green Peppers
Tomatoes
Bean Sprouts
Squash
Asparagus
Garlic
Onion

Yes, carbohydrates are not all grains and root crops. We have fibrous carbohydrates as well – the vegetables. The fiber, though not absorbed by the digestive system, helps in the thermic effect. Fiber also cleanses the body and thus ensures its smooth functioning, including the enzymes and hormones for metabolism.

Protein is another essential nutrient in the diet for faster metabolism. Protein is processed by the body into amino acids, the building block for cells – and consequently, muscles. And, like complex carbohydrates, protein also has a thermic effect as it takes a long time for the body to break it down.

Below are some healthy, excellent sources of protein:

1. Chicken – Go for the breast, as it has the highest amount of protein. Drumsticks are also good, though not so high in protein. Just remove the skin to get rid of saturated fat and cholesterol.

2. Fish – This is good protein without the bad, unlike red meat. Aside from having a high protein content, it is also good for the heart, particularly coldwater fish like salmon and tuna.

3. Eggs – Very rich in protein and affordable too. Eggs contain all the essential amino acids for growth. Contrary to what some may think, the high protein content comes mostly from the egg white and not the egg yolk.

4. Milk – This is a must for anyone who wants to build muscle. It is no wonder that babies and toddlers are given milk for growth. So learn from your childhood and drink milk.

5. Whey – Though not a natural whole food, whey is very high in protein and is also healthy. It is a staple among body builders. Whey is sold as protein powder.

Fats are also essential for fast metabolism. Now, this may raise a few eyebrows, especially among those who have tried conventional weight loss diets. This is where the fast metabolism diet, again, sets itself apart. While too much fat – especially unhealthy fat – is bad, a small amount of healthy fats helps hormones responsible for metabolism to continue performing well. Diets low in fat lead to poor hormone production, and thus, slower metabolism.

When adding fats to your diet remember to keep them in their proper place: at the top of the food pyramid. Healthy sources of fat are olive oil, avocados, sunflower seeds, and nuts.

As with fats, calcium helps release hormones that boost metabolism. Milk, of course, is the best source of calcium. Yogurt is also high in calcium and has other health benefits as well.

“Nutrients” to Avoid

Avoid empty calories like the plague. These come from refined, highly processed foods – usually the simple carbohydrates that are not natural whole foods. Why empty calories? They fill you up but give little or no nutrients. What’s more, these foods usually contain a lot of sugar – and too much sugar seriously affects the metabolism.

Just to drive home the point, below are examples of foods with empty calories:

Candies
Gums
Chocolate bars
Pastries
Cakes
Biscuits
Soft drinks
Fast food
Flavored drinks
White bread, rice and pasta

Too much caffeine is also not good for your metabolism. It triggers a stress response. So go easy on the coffee.

Other Recommended Foods

1. Spices – Cayenne pepper and red hot pepper, in particular, contain capsaicin which is said to raise metabolism up to 25 percent for three hours.

2. Green Tea – It’s not all about antioxidants. Taken regularly, green tea can increase the thermic effect of food. Research from the University of Geneva shows that green tea speeds up fat oxidation in addition to boosting metabolism. Green tea also has less caffeine than coffee, whose caffeine level may greatly affect metabolism. For those who do not like the bitter taste, green tea extract is available in capsule form.

3. Soy – A study conducted by the University of Illinois shows that ingesting soy protein increases metabolism. The soy protein was injected, though, and not fed to the subjects. While the study is not 100 percent conclusive, taking soy, with its healthy protein and immunity-building properties, will not hurt.

Water is life – and fuel – for metabolism

The old advice holds true for overall health as well as metabolism – drink at least eight glasses of water a day.

Dehydration affects metabolism through a drop in body temperature. This drop triggers your body to store fat to help increase or maintain your body temperature.

Also, as you will be doing more exercises, you need water to keep your energy levels. If you sweat a lot, you should drink more water – even more than the eight glasses.

Water cleanses the body of toxins and thus enables body processes to proceed smoothly, including metabolism.

Timing is key in eating

Even though you are consuming the right foods, your results will be compromised if your timing is not perfect. Follow the advice below and you will get the best results.

1. Eat several meals a day, every two and a half hours to three hours. To really maximize the thermic effect of food, you need to eat more than the usual three meals. Eating every three hours will allow the thermic effect to last you throughout the day, as it takes between two and a half to three hours to digest food while protein broken down to amino acids stays for three hours in the bloodstream. For the exact number of meals, the magic number for men is six while it is five for women. Men require 600-900 more calories every day than women.
Do not go over your optimal number of meals, especially through late night snacking. When you are asleep, your body has a difficult time digesting. Also, the calories from your last meal are stored as fat. Keeping the last meal light and easier to digest compared with the earlier meals is recommended.

2. Always eat breakfast. Your body has been in starvation mode during your sleep time. To get your metabolism up and running again, start the day right with a healthy, hearty breakfast. The later you eat your first meal for the day, the later your metabolism starts.

3. Do not skip meals. Under no circumstances should you skip meals, especially the three basic meals. If you have a busy schedule and have a hard time snacking, keep “emergency” foods within your reach, like whole wheat crackers and bananas. During particularly hectic days, just a few crackers or one banana would suffice as a snack to keep your metabolism running. A fresh fruit shake or a protein shake would also be enough.

4. Take one snack or meal after your workout. A meal or snack with protein and carbohydrates taken within one hour after your workout for the day helps in the recovery of your muscles and the building of new ones.

5. Do not eat less than two and a half hours before bedtime. Though metabolism still happens while sleeping, digestion will be difficult and your calories will most likely be stored as fat in your body.

Sample meal plans

Below are two sample meal plans for a day. The key in each meal, particularly the main ones, is to combine protein and carbohydrates. Portions depend on your personal daily calorie requirements. Remember, though, that carbohydrates should have the biggest share in your diet – and these include hefty servings of vegetables! – followed by protein. Calcium is also essential. Fats are the least priority. You can include green tea with your meals – six cups throughout the day is best.

MEAL PLAN 1
6 AM – Meal 1
Oatmeal with banana slivers
Poached egg
9 AM – Meal 2
Protein Shake
1 PM – Meal 3
Skinless chicken breast drizzled with olive oil
Brown rice
Steamed broccoli
4 PM – Meal 4
Green beans
Potatoes
7 PM – Meal 5
Salmon fillet
Sweet potato
Cauliflower

MEAL PLAN 2
6 AM – Meal 1
Egg white pancakes (only one or two yolks can be added)
Choice of fruit/s – banana, blueberry and/or strawberries
9 AM – Meal 2
Yogurt
Choice of fruit
1 PM – Meal 3
Vegetable curry
Brown rice
4 PM – Meal 4
Fruit salad with greens and grilled chicken
(Note: dressing should ideally be vinaigrette, with olive oil)
7 PM – Meal 5
Chili (made of turkey, kidney beans and salsa)
Steamed vegetables

Milk can be taken as a last “meal.”

These meal plans are here just to give you an idea. Create your own, but remember the principles. You can also change the times here, but remember not to eat too late at night.

Metabolism Masterclass Checkpoint: Before we proceed…

Below are just some caveats and some things to watch out for in eating and nutrition for faster metabolism:

1. Some foods can only take you so far. Spicy foods and green tea do have some effect in boosting metabolism, but only as an addition to a diet already rich in protein and carbohydrates. Relying on these alone for your diet for faster metabolism is not enough.

2. Some foods won’t take you there at all. Grapefruit especially is popular among dieters as its high acidity is perceived to burn fats. However, there is no scientific proof for this.

3. No supplement will boost your metabolism. To those who are taking supplements to boost your metabolism, you may just be wasting your money. Again, there is no scientifically proven link between supplements and faster metabolism.

4. Diet pills are a no-no. For those who want to lose weight, some diet pills may burn some fat and control your appetite. However, they do NOT boost metabolism. Also, the downside of diet pills is that once you get used to a certain dose, you need to take more to get the same effect as before. A few of those diet pills out there may indeed boost metabolism, but can have serious side effects. Read the box or container carefully. Better yet, consult your doctor. Looking at the adverse effects diet pills can have, wouldn’t you prefer to boost your metabolism the natural way? You will look and feel better.

How to fire up your metabolism – de-stress

Weight loss
December 17, 2018
de-stress

You might be wondering what the purpose of this section is – isn’t stress supposed to be a daily, ordinary part of life? But that is just the point. We now live in a fast-paced culture driven by urgency and deadlines. The more things you get done in less time, the better. Work, family and recreation have become a balancing act. Tension, worry, anxiety and fear are all too common. Emotional problems like failure in marriages, deaths of loved ones, or simply troubled relationships are accompanied with pressures from work.

Stress, especially prolonged exposure to stress, can seriously affect your metabolism, as well as your overall health and well-being.

The stress and metabolism link.

There is a hormone in our body called cortisol, which aids in certain body functions. It aids regulation of blood pressure, release of insulin for blood sugar stability, increase of immunity, and proper metabolism of glucose. Small increases of cortisol can be beneficial, resulting in a quick, healthy jolt of energy and immunity, heightened memory, and a higher pain threshold. However, when too much cortisol is released or if it is released too often, it results in the following:

Blood sugar imbalances
Higher blood pressure
Decreased immunity
Lower cognitive performance
Decrease in bone density
Decrease in muscle tissue

Cortisol particularly stimulates amino acid release from your muscles to be converted to glucose that will serve as an energy source for your body to cope with stress. Yes, your hard-earned muscles are at the mercy of cortisol if you don’t control its levels in your body.

The release of cortisol is mainly triggered by stress, whether physical or emotional in nature. Remember what we talked about for your exercise routine? Do not overtax yourself as it triggers the body’s stress response.

Stress is also harmful to the body as it leads to the production of more acid than the body needs. Our bodies usually have an 80 percent alkaline and 20 percent acid balance. More acid in the body will upset that balance. Too much acid decreases your immunity and makes you more vulnerable to illness. Too much acid also affects body functions, including metabolism.
You can effectively cope with stress and keep your cortisol levels healthy and stable, though. When your body goes into the stress response, it is important that you help it go into the relaxation response.

Ways to de-stress

There are many ways to de-stress, as there are many causes of stress. Pick the ones to your liking.

For “re-charging:”

1. Aromatherapy – This is particularly effective to let your stress during the day dissipate. Lavender and mint essential oils have excellent relaxing properties. A few drops mixed with water on your oil burner will suffice. You can also combine aromatherapy with meditation. As the aroma envelops you, feel it slowly sucking in your tiredness and worries. As the aroma leaves later on, imagine that your tiredness and worries are also going away with it. You can also briefly relax with aromatherapy during work. Put a few drops on a piece of tissue paper and inhale. Close your eyes while doing this.

2. Massage – This is also aptly called touch therapy. A massage is also beneficial as it loosens the muscles and joints that may have tensed up due to continuous stress. Back muscles are particularly susceptible to this. You can also combine massage with aromatherapy – you can ask the masseur or masseuse to use essential oils for your massage. Peppermint is particularly excellent. Aside from its aroma, it has a cooling effect on the body when used as massage oil.

3. Music therapy – Put some gentle, relaxing music on your player, sit or lie in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and let the music wash over you. Imagine it washing away your worries, fears, and anxieties. A good alternative to soothing music is the sounds of nature, like ocean waves. Recordings of nature sounds are available in music stores. If you find you enjoy relaxing on the beach, then bring the beach home with you through a recording of ocean waves.

4. Imagery – Imagine that you are a kite slowly rising and floating through the air. You float in the bright blue sky in perfect balance and harmony with the wind. After some time, feel yourself slowly gliding downwards and then softly touching the ground. The above imagery is particularly helpful not only for relaxing but for simulating a good response to stress – notice that the motion of the kite is in harmony with the wind, when the same wind can also make the kite spin out of control.
Another imagery technique is to imagine a beautiful scene from nature like a mountaintop, a secluded island, or a tropical rainforest. Imagine yourself, from a first-person perspective, walking through the place and taking in all the beauty.
You can vary the place you visit every time you use this technique, or you can pick one and make it your sanctuary – the place you flee to during moments of stress.

For the long-term:

1. Think positive! – Thoughts greatly influence your health and well-being. Your thoughts can actually manifest into reality, as maintained by philosophers, contemporary speakers and even scientists. So bad thoughts can manifest negatively, while positive thoughts manifest positively. So if you are going to think, you might as well think of pleasant things. If you have anxieties over something, like an upcoming presentation for work, imagine yourself – from the first-person perspective – giving an excellent, flawless presentation. Imagine the reactions of your audience. Feel the feelings as if you were there already. Images are more powerful than words, so apply the same principle to your thoughts.

2. Let go of negative feelings. Wallowing in negative feelings equals more acid in the body. No wonder tension and fear lead to heartburn or indigestion while chronic worry and/or resentment makes you more susceptible to high blood pressure.
However, do not suppress your feelings, even though some may appear irrational to you. Doing so also leads to higher acid levels in your body. Feel the feeling, express it through healthy catharsis in a safe environment if you feel the need to (e.g. screaming into a pillow) – and let it go. Yes, the key here is to let go. Do not dwell on negative feelings.

3. Meditate daily – Make meditation a habit. In the long term, meditation brings you peace of mind and makes you more able to cope with stress. It need not be a complex meditation – stillness and emptiness of mind is the key. Sit in a comfortable position and breathe slowly, deeply. Focus on each part of your body and feel it release its tension. After you feel sufficiently relaxed, you can silently repeat a simple word with no particular emotional attachment for you – for example, you can say “tree.” Or, you can actually say a letter, like a. Repeat this word or letter in your mind for about one minute. Then sit still and let thoughts come to your mind. Observe your thoughts as if you were apart from them, as though they were another person’s thoughts. This is so that you do not dwell on any thought. Just objectively, naturally, allow any thought to enter your mind then leave. If you reach a state of emptiness, where you feel you are thinking about nothing, congratulations! It may take some time for you to reach this point, though.

4. Take up yoga. Not only is this an excellent stress-buster, it also directly fires up your metabolism. The endocrine system and the thyroid help regulate metabolism. Yoga has many positions which give a healthy twist and compression to your endocrine organs, thereby strengthening them for metabolism.
For relaxation from stress, though, a good yoga position is the corpse pose. As its name instructs, you should lie like a corpse. Release all tension from your body. The corpse pose is actually a good ending to your yoga routine.

5. Plan ahead – If the cause of your stress is recurring, plan ahead. After you have identified the cause of your stress, ask yourself if there is any way you can avoid it. For example, one cause of your stress may be the morning rush-hour traffic. To be relaxed while you are on your way to work, you have to leave early. Then you remember you watch television every night, sometimes late into the night. To avoid stress in the morning, you conclude you can decrease your television time and go to sleep earlier the night before.

By the way, if your body is subjected to stress such as long working hours, you should modify your diet while still keeping the principles of the fast metabolism diet. You especially need Vitamin C, as this helps the body cope during stress. Load up on citrus fruits and strawberries. For vegetables, sweet red pepper is an excellent source of Vitamin C. Other than that, your diet remains the same – load up on complex carbohydrates, particularly fibrous ones and take in protein.

Why sleep is important

Sleep is the time your body fully recovers from your workouts. This is also the time that your muscles grow – yes, they do not grow during your workout but while you are in bed. With little sleep, your muscles grow very little even if you put in much effort in your workouts.

Lack of sleep will also prevent your body from being in top form and will thus also affect your energy for workouts. You might find yourself getting tired easily even after a few sets or reps.

Also, scientific studies show that lack of sleep affects carbohydrate metabolism. Glucose is not metabolized as much, resulting in increased hunger and decreased overall metabolism.

It is important for you to get at least eight hours of sleep every night for the body to fully re-charge for the next day. Although people’s circadian rhythms may differ, the normal circadian rhythm is 10 pm to 6 am. This is the best period for muscles to grow. So sleep early to increase your metabolism!

Metabolism Masterclass Checkpoint: Before we proceed…

For some, de-stressing may be the most difficult part of the program to boost metabolism. What if stress has become so much a part of your daily life that making serious changes in your lifestyle is difficult? You can take things slowly. The least you need to do, though, is to find some quiet time to yourself every day. It can be as little as ten minutes. Use those ten minutes to just relax and meditate.

Meditation goes a long way. Even ten minutes every day helps you cope better with stress. Studies show that people who meditate regularly are less stressed and are more able to meet life’s demands. If there are times you cannot avoid staying up late, catch up on sleep on the weekend. Don’t let your sleep “debt” accumulate. Sleep “debt” leads to poor cognitive function and poor health overall. Your body processes don’t function as well as they should – and that includes metabolism. Take time to de-stress. It not only boosts your metabolism but also improves your health in general.

Top fat loss tips

Weight loss
August 5, 2018

Lots of people are online trying to sell the latest and greatest fat loss tips in all kinds of formats. Its not that these tips are wrong when it comes to wanting to lose weight, it’s just that many of the products available are simply makeovers of information that has been floating around the internet for years. They work, but do you really need to spend a ton of money on these ideas?

If you do like to spend money to believe that something is valuable and that the more you spend, the better the information is, then these tips are probably not for you. Because they are so simple in nature they can be done by virtually anyone. No need to buy a gym membership or invest in the super size weight set or one of those machines that folds up and sits in the corner of your apartment.

Pretty much, with a lot of people it’s a given that the gym membership will simply continue to be an ongoing expenses that people feel guilty about giving up. Extensive weight sets with super curl bars and such are really targeted toward pro athletes and the machines spend most of their time folded up in the corner.

Here are two top tips to help you burn more fat and lose more weight in your quest for better health.

Drink More – Drink A Lot More

Water that is. Go to you refrigerator and get rid of all the artificially sweetened drinks. Throw out all the energy drinks and for right now, don’t even drink fresh squeezed juice. Most people don’t drink anywhere near enough water during the course of the day. And many times when people feel hungry or think its time for a snack, what is really happening is that they are thirsty.

Your brain has learned to misinterpret the signals from the blood, especially if you have been drinking a lot of artificial sweetened drinks. Your body craves water, and many people give it food instead. Try drinking about 6 – 8 glasses (8 ounces) a day and you will be quite amazed at how different you feel when it comes to meal times.

Eat More – Eat A Lot More

Often that is. Somehow when we are growing up we are taught the idea that not only are we supposed to get hungry on a schedule (and usually somebody else’s schedule) but that when we get the meal, we are well behaved if we clean our plates. The number of calories that many people consume in the course of one regular meal is often more than many slimmer people eat in the course of an entire day.

If you decide that you are going to be in charge of your diet and your own weight loss, then try breaking up the day with more frequent meals. Truth is, your stomach is only about the size of your fist. How much food do you really think you can fit in there? And interestingly, many people learn to eat through fear of there not being any more food for them.

So not only are they scared, but they eat way more than their bodies can possibly process before next meal time. Eat small meals, more often throughout the day, and you will be amazed at how hungry you do NOT get during the day. Your body will process your food more efficiently; and you will not eat anywhere near as much because you are not as hungry.

Try these two tips out. They are easy to implement in your regular day and they can help you see results very quickly, which will give you even incentive to lose weight fast.

Safe fast weight loss tips

Weight loss
August 3, 2018

It doesn’t matter if summer is fast approaching or it’s getting towards the end of the year, if you are like many other people, you are starting to think about losing weight. And losing weight fast. There are some things you can do to drop a few pounds in a short amount of time and do it safely.

None of those crazy soup or celery or lemon juice diets. Those do work, but what a cost you have to pay for releasing a couple of pounds. And the worst part is that when you go back to regular eating after lemon juice for 10 days, the weight seems to miraculously reappear all by itself.

But if you want to do some small modifications in how you eat; changes that you can live with and keep going with after your initial weight loss, then listen up because here a few good tips for you.

Tip #1 – Pay Attention

There’s a reason why many famous dieting programs have you keep a food journal of everything you eat. When you pay attention and write down every single thing you eat, whether it’s a snack or a breakfast bar or even a stalk of celery, you tend to eat less.

Could be because the thought of having to keep track of each bite makes people want to eat less because it’s a pain to write it all down. But more likely it’s because your brain begins to think to itself “Hmm, am I really hungry enough to eat this and then write in my food diary?” Many times, the answer to that is “No” and you wind up eating a lot less food.

This journaling idea works in a lot of self-improvement areas, not just dieting, but when it comes to food, it really helps you pay attention to what you are doing. And being mindful about how you are treating your body and your health is a very good step in the direction of feeling better and losing weight.

Another great tip has to do with the idea that less is more.

Cut it down.

One of the largest amounts of caloric intake comes from the consumption of fats. Of course, this is not the case 100 percent of the time for 100 percent of the people. But if you live in a place that has a diet similar to the Standard American Diet, which is very high in animal fats and saturated and hydrogenated fats, you are eating a lot of calories from fats.

The fats themselves contain a high amount of calories per unit measurement. Basically if you took a teaspoon of a carbohydrate and a teaspoon, the fat would have more than twice as many calories in it.

Fats contribute to the taste and the mouth feel of food and this is a big reason why they are so popular. Problem is along with twice as many calories, they don’t metabolize as cleanly as many carbohydrates and you are left with the results hanging around your waist.

If you like butter on your toast in the morning, put only half the amount on that you usually do. Use only half the amount of oil when you are cooking on the stove. Try something like one of those cooking sprays. Your food will still cook nicely and will slide out of the pan, but the amount of oil you will have added is almost non-existent.

Bake your potatoes instead of frying them. Boil your eggs instead of scambling them with a tablespoon of butter. Do just a couple things like this and you will amazingly find that you are ingesting nowhere near the amount of calories that you did before.

The truth is, it doesn’t take a lot of doing to change some dietary habits. And when you make those changes in your lifestyle you will be well on your way to losing some weight quickly in a safe, easy to sustain way.

Tick tock weight loss

Weight loss
August 3, 2018

Ever find yourself thinking thoughts like these?

It sure would be nice if I had the time to cook decent low fat and low calorie meals. I know I would lose weight then. I am so tired when I get home from work that I just pop anything I can find into the microwave and eat in front of the TV. The kids take up so much of my time that I just can never get anything prepared that seems to be a healthy meal.

All these thoughts gang up on people when they are trying to figure out how exactly they are going to lose the weight that they want to. And it’s not like these concerns aren’t valid, you have a life to live and other people are in your life. It’s not like you just can go of by yourself and live in cave eating brown rice for every meal. This is the real world and you need some help losing weight that works in the real world.

First step. This is your life. You are the one who feels bad about being overweight. And it is your right to be able to take care of yourself in a way that makes you feel good. In a way that makes you feel healthy and in a way that tells other people you are just as important in your life as they are.

That is a fact. It is not like they are going to do the exercising for you. They are not going to look at you and ask if you need some help figuring out a healthy eating plan.

You will have to tell them. And this is what stops a lot of people cold when it comes time to make that big attitude change. They make up the worst things in their minds and imagine the other people telling those things to them. True enough, sometimes, your spouse is going to whine. Sometimes the kids are going to want pocket pizzas every night just like they used to eat.

But most times, people will just say, OK, what can I do to help.

The easy way to figure out how to make your life work so that you can lose weight is to do some advance planning. But you can really only do this if you decide it is important enough to spend some time on. Meals that are prepared ahead of when you need to eat them are almost always much more nutritious in a healthy way than meals you eat on the go.

Deciding on a menu and making a week’s meals ahead of time winds up being a lot easier way to eat than almost any other way. You get the chance to figure out ahead of time what you need to buy to make the meals and you buy those things. You wind up buying surprisingly few additional high calorie snacks.

It is kind of funny. People have this whole mindset against planning out their week’s worth of eating, but once they start and keep going long enough to see some results, they become ecstatic with their progress.

Fair warning though, it’s hard to plan out a year’s worth of meals. J

Making a schedule of what you are going to eat and sticking to it is one of the best ways to change your eating habits. And changing your eating habits is about the most powerful way ever to lose weight and keep it off.

Low Gi Alcohol

Weight loss
August 3, 2018

Talk to a handful of your friends and you will find that each of them has an opinion on the best way for you to lose weight. Sometimes that opinion is based on what they have done themselves. And sometimes it is based on things they have not done themselves, but it sounded like such a good idea that you should try it.

The internet has good and bad points for finding out information on sustainable weight loss. This is the kind of diet program that keeps the weight off one you lose it. It’s not like you have to keep losing weight forever. Once you get to where you want to be, most of the time your life has changed so much in your eating and exercising habits that you never go back.

But you don’t keep losing weight. Instead your body normalizes and you become the weight that you were born to be. This is a healthy lifestyle and you can live that way forever.

But as far your friends go, it is always good to take their advice with a grain of salt. Sometimes maybe even an entire box of salt.

But when you are looking around for places where you can begin the change to help you lose weight in a healthy way, one of the best places you can start is a bar.

Go Out Drinking – But Skip the Alcohol

Some alcoholic beverages have some carbohydrates in them. Beer, wine, mixed drinks all have calories in them in the form of carbs. On top of that, part of the food you take in is metabolized in a large part by enzymes from the liver. And the liver, as you probably recall from high school health class, also metabolizes any alcohol you drink.

Truth is, there is only so much liver capacity, and if it is busy metabolizing alcohol, it does not do such a great job at digesting food. So if you ten d to drink often, you keep your liver pretty busy with getting rid of the alcohol. And not so busy getting rid of the excess food you ate. As a result, you wind up with a spare tire hanging around your waistline for everyone to see.

To fix this state of affairs, if you are going to go out with your friends, try drinking some club soda or a fruit juice. That way your liver does not have to work overtime and you can be your friend’s lifesaver by being the designated driver.

Another thing you can do to help lose weight is to eat. Sounds odd, but the truth is you can eat until you are full and still lose some pounds.

Concentrate your meal on low glycemic index foods.

Low GI foods are those which when you eat them do NOT produce a big spike in your blood sugar with a resulting increase in insulin.  There’s a lot of science here, but the short version is that some foods, while being perfectly delicious, tasty and nutritious do not make your blood sugar go crazy when you eat them.

They wait to get themselves digested over a period of time. This keeps your blood chemistry at an even level and you don’t get so hungry. That means that you won’t feel so much like binging and stuffing yourself with snack an hour after you eat.

This is a good way to stick to a healthy way of eating and one of the top keys to sustainable weight loss. There are lots of lists of low GI foods online, and it might seem like there couldn’t possibly be a lot of good foods on them, but that is not the case.

Fruit like cherries, plums and peaches are low GI. Breads like whole grain rye and pumpernickel. Cereals like Special K. Vegetables like peas, corn and carrots. All these things are low glycemic index foods. You could easily eat complete meals for the rest of your life with these foods.

It just takes a little bit of learning about them and your hard earned weight loss can stay with you for the rest of your life.

Skipping the alcohol when you go out and learning a bit about the food you eat can go a long way towards keeping you in tip top shape and keep those pounds from returning.

The Proper Way to Lose Weight, The Bodyweight Burn Program

Weight loss
July 30, 2018

One truth about losing weight is that people often ask how to lose weight immediately and think that it will be an easy task to accomplish. But what they do not realize is that getting rid of fats is not very easy. It actually requires a person a lot of discipline in following instructions. Luckily, because of the newest weight loss program called the bodyweight burn, it will be easier for people to achieve their ideal weight and figure even if they are the kind of people who lacks time to join gyms. So what exactly is this program that helps many people achieve the figure they want.

If you are similar with other people, the question how to lose weight fast is not enough. In fact, they must know about what exactly this program is and what it can do before making a decision. And one of the reasons that this program is getting popular is because of the unique training regimen    included called the BW3. The most common description of the Bw3 is that this program uses three different styles called, metabolic-muscle, afterburner and cardioflow. While these styles are all 21 minutes long, it will definitely maximize your fat burning potential. In addition, it doesn’t even require users to use any kind of special equipment since it uses the bodyweight of a person as the equipment. It will also teach the users in detail about the proper use of the workout schedule and diet plan of each workout day.

Apart from the workout routine, the users also need to know that when it comes to how lose weight fast, this program has a very unique diet plan. In fact, the author of this program designed a diet plan called carb-synch diet that maximizes and coordination with the workout day. And what makes the carb-synch diet plan different from other diet plans is that it strategically rotates the carb intake in your diet to lose weight fast. Not only that, what’s even more amazing is that this diet plan allows a user to stray off course and eat anything 10% of the time per week or two meals in a week. In short, you will be able to eat what kind food you want. But you need to make sure not to overeat and not allow the meal to go longer an hour. Dieters doesn’t even need to practice calorie counting, since the servings are in visual portions. Although, users can still count calories if they want to using this program’s own way of counting calories.

Another thing you need to know besides how to lose weight fast is what you expect to get out of this program. And one thing that you need to know is that if you consistently use this program, you will definitely lose 1-2 poungs per week in the span of 21 weeks. You will also find that because of its workout, your energy level will also increase.

So if you are decided to know how to lose weight fast, you should follow the bodyweight burn program’s instructions. And as you progress, you will find yourself free from excess fats and achieve the health you really want.

The Bodyweight Burn: The Fastest Way to Lose Weight

Weight loss
July 30, 2018

One of the most common reason that greatly affects a person’s workout and weight loss efforts is lack of time. And if you are one of the people who often faces this kind of problem, you are probably trying to find a program that will fit your busy schedule. And with the latest addition in the weight loss industry called bodyweight burn program, people can now shed off 21 pounds of fats by performing a 21-minute exercise every day. Ryan Murdoch and Adam Steer created this program that is getting popular by the minute. Not only are they the creator of this program, they also created the bodyweight blueprint for fat loss and the bodyweight exercise revolution. But the quality that is different from this program is it allows busy people to have the opportunity to lose weight and get in shape that doesn’t require them to join different kinds of gyms.

This program, more popularly known as the BW3 workout makes use of three unique workout styles, the afterburner, metabolic-muscle and cardioflow. While these styles only needs 21 minutes of a user’s time, they still need to do it on a daily basis to get rid of unwanted fats. And the best part is it doesn’t really require users to have any equipment, because it uses your body as the weights to lose weight. It also has a six-week workout schedule and divided in to two phases that strategically boosts the paired diet plan to the specific workout day.

And the reason why the bodyweight burn program is so wonderful is because of its own diet plan called the carb-synch diet. While this diet plan may look complicated, it actually means that the diet plan will strategically coordinate with the work out day. So users can maximize the concept of rotating the carbohydrates that matches with a calorie burning exercises that can help dieters gain their ideal weight. In addition, it will also teach the users about the five types of diet days, the low carb, good carb, moderate carb, 24-hour fast and back load. These diet days have its very own purpose that you will learn once you begin the exercises of the program. And the best part is it allows users to eat their favorite food two meals per week or 10% of the time. But you need to keep in mind that you must not over eat and still be in control of you eating.

The reason why the bodyweight burn program is quite different from other weight loss program is it doesn’t require users to use supplements. Although, the authors do highly recommend to take some of the supplements to gain faster results like the BCAA, omega 3 fatty acid and protein powder, it is still not necessary because this program will still work without the supplements.

While it may look like the bodyweight burn program is short, it does packs quite a punch. The truth is it will even challenge your desire to lose weight. But if you properly perform the interval training exercises and the strategic diet plan, you will definitely reach your desired weight. But you need to remember that you must be very committed for it to work.

The Bodyweight Burn Program: The Fastest Way To Lose Weight

Weight loss
July 30, 2018

It is a well-known fact that the lack of time can mess up your workout efforts and weight loss efforts. If that often happens to you, then you probably need the bodyweight burn program to fit your very busy schedule. This system is a 12-week body weight program and diet plan that can shed off 21 pounds by using 21 minutes of your day to train. This program is also the latest program created by Adam Steer and Ryan Murdoch. If you are not familiar with them, they are the creators of the bodyweight exercise revolution and bodyweight blueprint for Fat Loss, which are also vey popular weight loss programs. The difference is that this program offers busy individuals the chance to lose weight and get in shape at the comfort of their own home.

The bodyweight burn workouts, also called as the BW3 workouts consist of three kinds of workout styles called the afterburner, cardioflow and metabolic muscle. These three workout routines are all 21 minutes long that focuses on using your body as weights so that the program will not require users to use any special equipment, except for the occasional exercise band. Furthermore, the workout schedule used by this program has two phases for each of the six weeks that has a strategically paired diet plan for the specific workout day.

But what is even more amazing in the bodyweight burn program is that it has a specifically designed diet plan called the carb-synch diet. This diet plan is also strategically coordinates with the workout day. In fact, its basis is from the idea that a strategic rotation of carbohydrates combined with a specific calorie-burning workout is the most successful way to lose weight. This system will explain in detail the five different types of days that are called low carb, moderate carb, good carb, back load and 24-hour fast. And you do not even need to worry about straying off course because you can eat whatever food you desire 10% of the time or two meals per week. But you have to keep in mind that you still have to control yourself and not stuff yourself with too much food.

And unlike other weight loss program in the market today, the bodyweight burn program does not really require the use of supplements, but there are some recommended supplements for faster results. The supplements include BCAA for the fast days and metabolic muscle workouts, carnitine, a daily dose of omega 3, a daily multivitamin and protein powder. The authors highly recommend to take BCAA, protein powder and omega 3 fatty acid.

While the bodyweight burn program is a bit short, but it actually packs a serious punch. Its interval training style and strategic meal plan makes this program very effective. And if you are not looking to gain more muscle mass, but would definitely like body-weight training and who wants to lose weight who lacks the time, this workout plan is what you need. But like any other fitness plans in the market, this program will require you to have the discipline to follow the instructions exactly. And by doing that you will definitely achieve the weight you really want.