Most people tout cardio as the primary way to burn excess calories; most women limit their workouts exclusively to cardio. This is a mistake. While cardio has some benefits (supporting cardiovascular and brain health) it is not the best form of exercise for anyone who wants to be lean without struggle. In the end what you eat has the biggest impact on body weight but building lean muscle mass is the best way to spend the bulk of your workout time.
Take notes from men’s fitness
The fitness advice given to women doesn’t focus on effectiveness as often as men’s fitness advice. You will also note that several physically fit men do not dedicate their lives to their physical appearance . They don’t obsess over their diet; they don’t live at the gym counting calories and running on the treadmill. While men naturally have a greater amount of muscle mass which makes weight management an easier task, their approach to fitness encourages the retention of muscle mass. In contrast excessive dieting and cardio destroys muscle mass, leading many women to struggle to maintain their weight constantly.
Focus on Strength
Instead of weighing yourself to monitor your progress focus on building strength. You will get the results you are looking for without an outrageous time investment. Thanks to your natural hormonal makeup,the end result will be leanness not bulk. As a bonus muscle strength is directly correlated to bone strength so if you keep this up you are far less likely to fall and break into a million when you fall down in you later years. There are a ton of resources available to help you get started. Here are a few of my favorites
It’s well established that typical diets do not work over the long term. After analyzing multiple studies UCLA researchers determined that “Diets are not effective in treating obesity.” Dieting was observed to be a consistent predictor of future weight gain. My previous post reviewed a few other reasons why you should avoid dieting like the plague. While temporary calorie restricting has been proven ineffective, eating mindfully and following one’s own hunger cues has a far better track record. Here are just a few reasons to start applying mindfulness to your eating habits.
1. Mindful Eating puts you right where you belong, in charge of your own body: Eating mindfully builds your intuitive eating skills and liberates you from mindlessly following external cues.
2. Reduction in Stress: Many people experience anxiety around food. Eating consciously and according to your own desires as a rule, eliminates this stress. Stress reduction in turn is supportive to the reduction of abdominal fat.
3. Binge Urges Dissipate: While dieting often incites binge episodes, eating with awareness has the opposite effect. Tuning in to the body makes sitting with uneasy feelings possible and eliminates the need to temporarily bury uncomfortable feelings with food.
4. Natural reduction in intake: Eating according to the body’s cues leads to natural balance. The body does the best job in determining its own energetic/caloric needs. Following its dictates leads to a energy balance without deprivation.
5. Sustainable: While learning to slow down and fully experience food is not an easy process, once you learn the skill you will have developed a sustainable eating style that supports and empowers you.
I realize I’ve given you plenty of reasons to replace dieting with mindfulness without actually giving any steps for developing a mindful eating practice. Mindful eating resources abound these days. Here is one particularly concise place to start How to Practice Mindful Eating Every Day.
Dieting Does Not Work, UCLA Researchers Report | UCLA. http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/Dieting-Does-Not-Work-UCLA-Researchers-7832. Accessed May 18, 2015.
I know it’s tempting. It’s summer time and you are dreaming about instantaneously getting beach ready… again. But doesn’t this all seem a little too familiar? Didn’t you do this last year? Here’s 5 reasons why dieting is not the answer to your fitness goals.
5 Reasons Dieting is Ill-Advised
1. Inevitable Post-Diet Weight Gain : Temporary changes yield temporary results.
2. Negative Metabolic Consequences: Excessive calorie restriction negatively impacts lean muscle tissue; the same muscle tissue you need to maintain your metabolic rate. Once your muscle mass is reduced it’s not possible to maintain your weight at the same level of caloric intake, creating an unsustainable cycle of calorie restricting.
3. Disconnect from true hunger cues: A key component of most diets involves ignoring your appetite. Your body is the most reliable indicator of when and how much you should actually eat. Why would you disregard this invaluable tool?
4. Psychological Push Back: Your brain thinks that dieting is bull and will revolt against you. Restrictive diets trigger binges.
5. Fosters Fear: If there is one thing you don’t need more of in your life it’s fear. Dieting is linked by many people to a fear of failure and a general sense of not being enough.
If dieting doesn’t work, what will?
What is the solution you ask? Mindful eating, developing a sane relationship with food, and building lean muscle mass. More on this in the weeks to follow.
If you are like most, the noble intentions you held so firmly on the morning of January 1st are now but a distant memory. The bad news is, you weren’t able to magically lose those 20 lbs after one week of calorie counting and diligent workouts. The good news is that the sustainable goal of fostering a mindful relationship with your body can be taken up any day of the year. Set your sights on staying in the moment, eating what your body dictates, avoiding extremes, and building lean muscle mass. Try to connect with the wisdom of this helpful pointer from Gautama Buddha
The beauty of living in a wise human body is that you don’t have to consciously understand the mechanics of metabolism to thrive. Your body knows more about nutrition than any expert. All you need to do is be sensitive to the cues your body so generously gives.
Note: Frankenfoods interrupt the communication signals your body sends to your conscious mind. If you would like to keep the lines of communication with your body open, don’t eat BS/highly processed “food”.
Though food science is just burgeoning, its fascinating to peruse the newly definitive benefits of eating the same foods your Grandma told your Mom to eat, because they were intuitively understood to be health promoting, many moons ago.
Today’s Star : Parsley
Though frequently reduced to plate decor, parsley has a number of health benefits.
3 Reasons Your Body Loves Parsley
1. Chemoprotective – neutralizes some types of carcinogens
2. Vitamin C and A content supports immune system
3. Contains Vitamin K essential for bone health
My powerful immune system lovingly propels me through life with ease.
naturalize: to bring into conformity with nature
Your body may look impermeable to the naked eye; but, it is not. Products applied to the skin and nails make their way into your bloodstream. According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America ‘after using cosmetics everyday for a year your body can absorb as much as five pounds of makeup chemicals, chemicals that include carcinogens, pesticides, endocrine disrupters and reproductive toxins.’ It is theorized that a number of health conditions (autoimmune conditions like Graves Disease included) are exacerbated by, if not induced by, toxic overwhelm due to poison exposure in one’s environment – food supply, beauty products, home cleaning products etc.
I’m very focused on supporting remission of my Graves Disease diagnosis right now; so, I’ve been zeroing in on and eliminating known toxins from my environment. Part of this process involved finding a nontoxic way to keep my mani/pedi situation under control . Previously I was a fan of the flawless albeit plastic look of acrylics. But the older I get the more granola I become. I lost interest in that look and feeling like I was choking on fumes for an hour. These days I try only to engage in beauty routines that I thoroughly enjoy without detriment to my overall health.
While I think dedicating large amounts of time to pursuing ever elusive beauty standards is a waste, I think it was a great use of your time to engage in rituals that make you feel luxurious. Because having someone else care for my nails makes me feel like I’ve made it, I didn’t want to give it up. I started hunting around for non-toxic alternatives to conventional nails salons and found Pretty Natural Nails. I loved getting the service and learning nail care tips that will serve me well in between visits. I was so impressed with the owner I requested an interview so I could share some of her handy (pun intended) organic and natural nail care tips with everyone.
People eat for a lot of different reasons, not just to satisfy hunger. Many of us use food to enjoy a sense of connection to our past. What do you do when you realize that the food of your childhood no longer serves you? (more…)
I don’t know about you but the absolutely divine fragrance of basil makes me crazy. Basil is one of those foods that puts me in a trance, making me sway to music that only my heart and taste buds can hear.If you can’t remember the last time you held a tiny bouquet of fresh basil in your hands and inhaled deeply, you should drop what you are doing right now, run to the store and do just that. Everything about this salad is a delight, (more…)
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained [0.89]
- 4 soft tortillas [1.00]
- 2 Tbs taco seasoning [.25]
- 1/2 C water
- 1 C shredded romaine [.50]
Cost Per Serving : $0.66
1) Mix black beans, water, and taco seasoning in blender until smooth
2)Heat bean mixture until slightly warm (1 minute on high in microwave)
3)Heat tortilla in ungreased pan on stove top until slightly toasted in appearance
4)Combine bean mixture with shredded romaine lettuce
5)Place bean and lettuce mix in center of tortillas
6)Simply roll up tortilla and enjoy
Prepackaged taco seasoning is readily available; but, if you would like to avoid added preservatives there are really simple recipes available to create your own. This is the one I use DIY Taco Seasoning.
approx. 1 tsp minced herbs
1 tbs olive oil
1 shredded romaine heart