Category Archives: Weight loss

How to lose weight with Kettlebell workouts

Kettlebell workouts combine cardio, strength, and flexibility training for a stronger leaner body.

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The Kettlebell is said to have originated in ancient Greece and was later on used in the Russian military as part of training. They can weight over 100lbs for a serious workout.

Though they might look intimiditaing, they come in various weight levels, and some have adjustable plates to add weight as you progress. The great thing about kettlebells is that they give you a full body workout, and emphasize in strengthening your core. There are various moves that can be done with kettlebells which target various muscle groups. One of the simplest yet very effective move is the kettlebell swing.

Kettlebell swings are a nice workout for your abs, legs, and butt. They help strengthen and shed weight. Though it seems you’re swinging the kettlebell with your arms, your core and legs are actually providing the momentum to swing the bell up and swiftly bring it down. This move alone can bring great results, when done correctly provided you have a nutritious diet and water intake. It’s done in three simple steps:

1. Start standing straight with legs apart a bit over shoulder distance. Holding the kettlebell with both hands in front of you just below your waist.

2. Do a soft swing to get the momentum going, and squat down holding the kettlebell in front of you between your legs. Be sure to keep a straight back and your chin up. As you raise up from the squat use your core and legs to swing the kettlebell up at shoulder level. Arms should be straight.

3. Drop back into a squat, and as you go down lower the kettlebell back down in front of you, keeping your arms straight. Repeat the move.

Check out this great tutorial for a visual description!

I love kettlebell workouts because they’re perfect for adding lean muscle mass. You can feel the workout, especially if you use a heavier weight, and it’s a fun way to get your day going. I recently started Jillian Michaels Shred it with Weights routine, and I have noticed a stronger core and back, with some nice definition adding to my arms. Definitely has become one of my favorite workouts. You’d be surprised at the results one little kettlebell can deliver. In my opinion, it beats the time and money spent at a fully equipped gym.

 

Have you used a kettlebell before? What’s your opinion on these type of workouts?!

Does counting calories work?

Most men and women have tried limiting their calorie intake at one point of their lives. It’s tough getting started, but it definitely keeps you eating in moderation. Is this “dieting” technique efficient not just for weight loss, but also in maintaining your weight after your goal is reached?

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“You don’t need to count your calories, but you should make all your calories count.” *

According to *WebMd, counting calories is easier than actually taking time to understand how different foods affect our bodies. They do count, but are far from “the whole picture”. It’s pretty hard to actually keep precise track of every calorie you consume, not to mention it can be tough when going out to eat or when your sweet tooth needs a fix. There are alternatives to this method, which work just as well. Consuming the right type of foods and portion control are less mathematical methods, which can also be very beneficial in weight loss. What you eat is either used as energy or stored as fat, that’s why knowledge on the effects of various foods is important.

Portion control is one of my favorite methods in weight loss, because you don’t necessarily have to stop eating foods from a certain group altogether. Instead you just limit the quantity of your serving. Ensuring that half of your plate is filled with veggies is another great tip in losing weight.

You do have to burn more calories than you eat in order to lose weight.

That’s why it’s pretty understandable why counting calories is so popular amongst many interested in weight loss.

There are many websites and tools which are specifically designed in getting you accurate calorie counting. Programs, like Weight Watchers are made to help count calories and still eat various foods. Counting calories has become so popular, that many restaurants are now providing how many calories are found per meal right on their menu. My concern is, what happens when you reach your weight loss goal? Do you keep counting calories ever after?

According to an article found at 344pounds.com counting calories “is a lifestyle, not a fad.” This article does make a good point by stating that this method can easily be practiced by anyone, since you are not required to spend tons of money on prepared meals. All you need is  a way to track everything you eat and how many calories you intake.

So does counting calories really work?

Sure it does, if you actually put in effort to truthfully track all your calories and maintain a workout. It’s a method that varies from person to person. Some people swear by it, others can’t stand it. Personally, I don’t like it. I don’t want to spend time prior to every meal tracking what I can eat, and looking like this little hamster when I overindulge…

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Have you tried counting your calories? How did that work out for you? Share your thoughts on this topic below!

Why burpees are a good workout

What is a burpee?

A burpee is a move used in strength training and aerobic exercise. You should incorporate burpees into your workout routine because they are a full body exercise which help build strength, flexibility, and endurance.

Why are burpees good for you?

Burpees are a great workout because as you do them you’re strengthening your muscles and they also aid in weight loss. They get your heart pumping which makes them a bit of cardio and work all your muscle groups, especially your arms, legs and abs.

How to do burpees:
  1. Stand up with your feet at shoulder distance and arms by your side.
  2. Drop down into a squat with your hands on the floor, keep your arms straight.
  3. Kick your feet back into a plank position. For more intensity do a push-up.
  4. Jump back to the squat position with your hands on the floor and arms straight.
  5. Push yourself up to the standing position and keep your arms straight over your head as you jump up off the ground.
  6. Repeat!

Trying to stay active, but can’t make time for the gym? Try doing 100 burpees a day! Split them into 5 sets of 20 reps and do them throughout the day.

Here is a workout tutorial for all you visual learners 🙂

 

Weight training for women

Weight training won’t make you bulk like the hulk if done correctly!

Many women steer clear of weights and anything related, from fear of looking like a bodybuilder. In reality, weight training is necessary for a tight and defined body.

Cardiovascular exercises get your heart pumping and help in losing calories.

Cardiovascular exercises, or cardio for short, are great to lower your blood pressure and burn calories which helps in weight loss. Most common forms of cardio include: treadmill, elliptical, dance, and aerobic sessions. As you do your cardio routine you feel your heartbeat raise, you get sweaty and sometimes notice a change in breathing. Your heart is a very important muscle, and when it beats faster from physical activity it means it’s getting stronger. When your heart rate increases, your heart works harder in distributing blood flow throughout your body, as compared to when it’s at a resting rate. During your workout you lose calories which helps your metabolism, and can be measured by a pedometer or a system programmed on most exercise machines. If you want to lose weight and tone your shape, you have to combine a mix of cardio and weight training.

Weight training is also great for a strong heart.

You might notice that your heartbeat isn’t as elevated as compared to a cardio workout, but when each move is done correctly it adds great benefits not only to your heart but overall body. Weight lifting is about control and accuracy, not speed. There are various moves which work different muscle groups, and if they are done incorrectly it won’t benefit you and you might end up with a sprained muscle. During a weight session, you are burning calories. After you finish your weight session and are out of the gym or on to your next activity, your body is still burning calories at a resting heart rate. Weight training increases your resting metabolic rate, which makes it possible for you to burn calories post-workout. When you do a weight routine, your muscles are pretty much being torn in order to add strength and mass. That’s why it’s recommended to take a day off in order for your muscles to recuperate. It’s also necessary to eat a meal rich in protein half an hour to an hour after your workout.

How do you lift weights?

When you lift weights it doesn’t mean you have to go and pick up the heaviest set of weights you can carry, and do as many repetitions until you feel sore and can hardly breathe. If you’re starting out it’s recommended to use a a 5-10lb weight, depending on your fitness level. Keep good posture when lifting and remember to push up through your legs when doing leg exercises to avoid back injury. Don’t stiffen your body, keep it relaxed and tighten your muscles as you work out. You shouldn’t feel discomfort or soreness when lifting, except in your last few repetitions per set. Short breaks are commonly taken between sets, but you can also keep your heart rate going by doing squats or jumping rope in place.

What’s the difference between sets and reps?

Sets and reps are commonly used terms in weight lifting. A set is pretty much used to describe how many times you will do a style of an exercise such as; three sets of dead lifts or five sets of tricep curls. A repetition, or rep for short, is how many times you will repeat that exercise within a set. In example: you will do three sets of dead lifts with ten repetitions. So you’re pretty much going to grab your weights, do a set of dead lifts ten times, take a break and repeat a total of three times. Sets and reps are used to avoid rushing through an exercise and in order to correctly do a workout which will be of better benefit to your body.

Best weight training for women

Most women are looking for a weight training workout which will tighten up and define their muscles. In order to tone, it’s recommended to break down a routine by doing 5 sets with 8-10 reps with minimal weight. As you progress, you can add more weight. The gym isn’t necessarily the best place for this workout, since all you really need is a pair of dumbbells, a hard floor or workout mat, and a workout routine. Routines are easy to find through magazines, workout DVDs, and the internet. Proper form is probably the hardest part to achieve, but by keeping good posture and not exceeding your own limits it can be learned. So there’s truly no excuse to not give weight training a chance. It’s also recommended to always get the go ahead from your physician before taking on any new physical activity, especially since some strain is put on your joints when doing certain moves. Proper nutrition and water intake are also needed  for weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.

Weights just aren’t for me…

No big deal. Not everybody is a fan of weight lifting, but there are other forms of exercise which use your own body weight to define your muscles. Pilates, yoga, and swimming are a few great options to lose weight and tone up your body at the same time. These types of exercises combine cardio and use your body to create a strong, leaner appearance. Kick boxing can also be done, as well as working out to my favorite fitness guru, Jillian Michaels. Her workouts combine pilates, yoga, and weights to give you maximum results.

Got any questions or tips you’d like to share about workouts for women? Comment below!

 

Top flat belly foods

Let’s face it starving yourself to stay thin doesn’t work and doing a hundred crunches one night won’t give you six pack abs. So what’s a girl to do??? Start by doing a little grocery shopping! Below is a list of foods you SHOULD eat to help fight against a flabby tummy.

  • blueberries
  • tart cherries
  • flax seed
  • avocados
  • oatmeal
  • olive oil
  • apples
  • almonds
  • spinach
  • yogurt
  • black beans
  • dark chocolate

These are a few belly fighting foods, which are rich in good fats and help you reduce cholesterol which might help protect you from cancer and heart disease. These foods reduce the glycemic load found in most foods which will help you stay full longer and give you more appetite control. They are loaded with fiber and other ingredients which make your metabolism work harder to burn calories.

They don’t have many calories to begin with, but in turn make it easier for you to burn calories. Keep them around to snack on or mix them together to create your own healthy snack mix. Eating them daily, in moderation, along with exercise will help you attain that flat belly you’ve been wanting!

 

Grapefruit drink recipe

Grapefruits have a very distinct taste which you either love or absolutely can’t stand to even drink. Personally I prefer a fresh squeezed grapefruit juice over an orange one. If you can get past the taste, which some people find too bitter, you’ll discover grapefruit is actually very healthy for you, and  provides a great source of antioxidants.

Grapefruits are a great source of vitamin C, low in calories, and high in fiber. Antioxidants found in this fruit are a great source to boost your immune system. Grapefruits are acidic, which can cause heartburn in certain people. They can also cause side effects to occur when taking certain medications.

Below I share a cold and refreshing drink with the main ingredient being grapefruit! Hope you enjoy it and if you don’t, feel free to share your anti-grapefruit thoughts in the comments 🙂

You will need:

  • 1-2 grapefruits
  • 1/2 an orange
  • 1 lime
  • Ice
  • A blender and juicer

 

Peel the grapefruit, orange and lime and chop into small pieces. Process the fruit chunks through the juicer. Fill a blender up to about half way to the 1 cup line and crush the ice. Add in the grapefruit, orange, and lime juice and  blend well until you get a frothy drink. Pour in a cup and enjoy this refreshing and healthy summer drink!