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Is Your Slow Metabolism To Blame For Weight Gain?

by Cat on 10/02/12

Is Your Slow Metabolism To Blame For Weight Gain?

You're working out and eating well, but just can't seem to lose weight. Could a slow metabolism be keeping you from your weight-loss goals? It just might.

What is your metabolism and what relationship does it have to weight gain? Can you speed up your metabolism to help your body burn more calories? Hang on tight, ‘cause you're heading for a crash course in metabolism!

What is Metabolism?
The calories in your food or beverages combine with oxygen and create the energy necessary for your body to function. Metabolism is the complex, biochemical process in which your body takes what you eat and drink and converts it into energy. Your metabolism is constantly at work, even during rest and sleep when your body needs energy to breath, circulate blood, adjust hormones, repair cells, and grow new cells.

Your basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories it takes for your body to perform its basic functions. It affects how much energy your body needs to do its job and helps determine the number of calories you'll burn each day. Many factors play a role in your basal metabolic rate.

The first is your body composition and size. Larger people and those with more muscle mass burn more calories even while resting. This means overweight people usually have a faster metabolic rate than their thinner peers.

The second factor affecting your metabolic rate is your sex. Men generally have more muscle and less fat and therefore burn more calories, giving them the advantage when it comes to metabolic rate.

Third, your metabolic rate changes with age. The older you are, the less muscle you're likely to have. As a result, you burn calories slower.

Besides your basal metabolic rate, the amount of physical activity you get and the way your body digests and processes food determines how many calories you burn. While many factors go into your metabolism, the most variable is physical activity. However, exercise also makes the most difference in the number of calories you burn, so amp up your exercise and watch your metabolism rise as well.

Slow Metabolism = Weight Gain?
Contrary to popular belief, a slow metabolism rarely causes excess weight gain. While it would be easy to blame your weight on a slow metabolism, the most likely culprit behind those extra pounds is the amount of calories you consume versus the amount of calories you expend in physical activity. When you eat more calories than you expend, your body stores that away as fat.

Your metabolism is a natural process, and your body balances your metabolism to meet your individual energy needs. This is made clear when folks jump into a starvation diet. When you don't eat, your body slows down the metabolizing processes to conserve calories and energy to survive.

You don't have much control over your metabolism, but you can control the number of calories you burn during exercise. The more activity you perform, the more calories you burn.

You may think a thin person has a faster metabolism, but they're usually just more active.

Having a slow metabolism is rare, and it usually doesn't cause obesity. Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism and Cushing's syndrome may slow metabolism and lead to weight gain. But for the most part, the factors that contribute to weight gain include consuming too many calories, genetics, family history, unhealthy habits such as too little sleep or not eating breakfast, and certain medications.

If you want to kick-start your metabolism with challenging progressive workouts then call or email me today to get started.

Boost Your Metabolism?

Unfortunately, trying to speed up your metabolism will likely have little effect on weight loss. Therefore, be skeptical of products, foods, and drinks that claim to do such a thing. They may have dangerous or undesirable side effects.

If a magic pill is what you're waiting for, you may be waiting a long time. If you want to lose weight, nothing will get you there faster than a healthy diet and a consistent, challenging exercise program. Call or email me to get started on your own effective exercise plan.

Creamy Egg Salad

Most recipes for egg salad call for fat-filled mayonnaise, but this recipe uses fat free Greek yogurt instead. You get all the creaminess without added calories to set back your results.
Servings: 3 Here's what you need…

  • 8 organic, free range eggs
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons onion greens, chopped
  • 1/4 cup non fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons champagne mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon
  • dash of salt and pepper
  1. To boil the perfect egg: place eggs in a large pot and cover with cold water by half an inch. Heat the water to a boil, turn off the heat and cover the pot. Wait exactly 7 minutes, and then place the eggs in a bowl of ice water for 3 minutes.
  2. Peel and chop hard boiled eggs, discarding 4 yolks. Place in a large bowl. Add celery, onion greens, yogurt, mustard, lemon, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Chill and then serve.
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 148 calories, 7 fat, 212mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, and 16g protein.

Eating Healthy While Eating Out

by Cat on 10/02/12

Eating Healthy While Eating Out

When you eat at home, you know what you’re getting.

Head to a restaurant, and it’s another story.

The ingredients, method of preparation, and portion size can easily add excess calories to your diet.

Restaurant menus have so many choices and are often full of unfamiliar terms. Is a food fried or baked? Does it come with a sauce or dressing? If you’re not careful, you won’t know answers to these questions and more until you ask them.

Before heading out to dinner tonight, here are some tips to enjoy a healthy meal.

So Many Options
When considering what to choose from dozens of options, you can easily become overwhelmed. Just as easy is to be tempted by the unhealthy choices. Thankfully, most restaurants these days include healthy options on their menus and label them accordingly.

For your main course, choose chicken, turkey, ham, or fish over beef. If it comes with a sauce, avoid creamy or cheesy sauces and go with a tomato or vegetable sauce.

Additionally, try to include a salad, fruit, or steamed vegetable, and go sparingly on dressings, cheese, salt, and butter. Instead of chips, fries, or fried rice, choose boiled rice or potatoes.

Need some extra seasoning? Leave the salt and butter alone. Instead, reach for some fresh herbs or lemon. And if the meal comes with bread, choose a whole-grain option and go with a sherbet, sorbet, or fresh fruit if you can’t say no to dessert.

Food Preparation
Menus are often vague when it comes to the way the food is prepared. If you're not sure or the menu doesn't say how the food is prepared, be sure to ask.

Remember—restaurant foods are full of fats, as fats help keep the food moist and yummy.

To play it safe and to avoid excess fat, choose foods that are grilled, boiled, steamed, stir-fried, or poached instead of fried, baked, or battered. Also, take control of your food destiny by asking that your meal be prepared with olive oil instead of butter or other fats.

When your salad arrives, opt for oil and vinegar rather than dressing. Or have your dressing on the side so you can limit the amount you use.

Terms to watch for include “lightly breaded,” “wrap,” “baked,” and “viniagrette.” These may all sound healthy but may are deceiving.

Foods that are lightly breaded are often deep-fried. A wrap may sound like a good option, but two slices of bread may have fewer calories than a 10-inch tortilla. Baked sounds better than fried, but it could possibly mean the food is baked deep-dish style and contains high-fat, creamy ingredients. While baked salmon is a good choice, baked lasagna is high in fat. And though vinaigrette dressing sounds healthier than a cream based dressing, it is mostly oil, so order it on the side.

Portion Control
Not only do portions keep getting bigger, so do the plates that hold them! With so much food sitting in front of you, it is sometimes hard to resist the temptation to eat it all—especially when you paid so much for it.

To avoid the temptation to eat unhealthily large portions, split or share the entree, then choose a soup, salad, or extra side. If you know you'll get too much food, go ahead and ask for a to-go box when you order. That way you can divide the food as soon as you get it, so you won’t have to stare at the extra food as you eat.

Know What to Look For
Knowing what to look for on a menu and what to avoid will help you choose healthier, low-fat options. If you find that your diet is lacking fruits, vegetables, or whole grains when you eat out, make up for it when you eat your other meals at home.

Remember that healthy eating is only half of the battle when it comes to losing weight.

Call or email today to get started on a fitness program designed to get you real results.

Adjust Your Mindset

Eating out should be a luxury, not an everyday affair. If you find yourself choosing at restaurants more often than you’d like—especially if you’re eating all the wrong foods, cut back on your eating out ways and watch your calorie intake drop instantly!

Easy Baked Salmon

Salmon is filled with quality protein and omega-3 benefits, making it the perfect center of your healthy dinner. Serve your salmon on a bed of fresh or braised greens.
Servings: 4

Here's what you need:

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, fat free
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 4 (3oz) wild caught salmon fillets
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine the yogurt, lime juice, and garlic. Put half of the yogurt mixture aside in the fridge. Coat the salmon with the other half of the yogurt mixture and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Place the salmon on prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes. Turn on the high broil for an additional 5 minutes until the top of the salmon has browned.
  4. Serve the salmon on a bed of kale with a dollop of the reserved yogurt.
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 172 calories, 6.9g fat, 62mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, and 24.6g protein.

Make Sure Your Fitness Plan is Smart

by Cat on 10/02/12

Make Sure Your Fitness Plan is Smart

If you're reading this, you know how important exercise is.

However, there are right ways to exercise and there are wrong ways. In order to get the greatest benefit from your workout and prevent possible injury, you've got to do it the right way.

What is the right way? You're about to find out.

No Pain, No Gain? You've heard the phrase "No pain, no gain." But this isn't exactly true for exercise. Actually, exercising doesn't have to cause pain in order to get you in shape.

If you are just beginning to exercise, a little muscle soreness is to be expected. But don't give up. Work through it, stick with your exercise routine, and in few days the soreness should be gone for good.

If you ever do experience severe pain while exercising, stop until it goes away. If it lasts for more than a few days, see your doctor.

Three Parts. What does a balanced exercise plan look like to you? Is walking 30 minutes four days a week enough? Lifting weights four times a week? In a word, no.

There are actually three components of a balanced workout routine: aerobic, strength-training, and flexibility exercises.

1. Aerobic or cardio exercises strengthen your lungs and heart. Examples include running, walking, swimming, cycling, and basketball.

2. Strength or resistance training exercises keep your bones and muscles strong and help with coordination and balance. Strength training refers to weight lifting, weight machines, resistance bands, and body-weight exercises.

3. The third part of a balanced exercise routine includes flexibility exercises to reduce your risk of injury and improve your body's range of motion. Examples include stretching, yoga, and tai chi.

It doesn't matter what order you perform your aerobic and strength-training exercises, unless you have specific goals. Working on endurance? Go cardio first. Trying to get stronger or burn calories? Hit the weights first. Just be sure to incorporate all three types of exercise each week.

Warm Up and Cool Down. If you don't warm up before or cool down after exercising you could harm your muscles.

The best way to get your muscles ready for exercising is to include a brief time of light aerobics such as brisk walking or steady cycling to get your breathing and heart rate slightly elevated.

To cool down, continue exercising at a slower pace or lower level of intensity for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then end with a few gentle stretches to loosen your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. A cool-down period will help your muscles recover and help prevent injury or soreness.

Target Heart Rate. To get the greatest benefit from your workout, it is important to exercise at your target heart rate zone.

To determine your target heart rate, you must first find your maximum heart rate. To do this, subtract your age from 220. Your target heart rate is 50-85 percent of your maximum heart rate.

For example, if you are 40 years old, your maximum heart rate is 180 and your target heart rate is between 90 and 153 beats per minute.

To measure your pulse, place your fingers on your wrist or the arteries on your neck and count how many beats you feel per minute, or double the number of beats in 30 seconds.

Sports Drink or Water? Your body requires plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise.

Try to drink at least 20 ounces of water several hours before your workout and eight more ounces about a half hour before your workout. Then drink about 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise.

During normal everyday exercise, water is usually the best for rehydrating. But when you exercise intensely for more than an hour, sports drinks are as good or even better. Sports drinks contain a high amount of carbohydrates, which provide energy. They also help to replace the electrolytes lost from sweating.

The easiest and most effective way to ensure that your workout plan is smart is to put it into the hands of a trusted expert—me.

Call or email today to get started on a truly smart exercise plan that will transform your body in ways that you've only dreamed.

Brain Benefit

A growing body of research continues to confirm links between exercise and improved brain function. So in addition to making you stronger, leaner, sexier, and more confident, your time at the gym will actually make you smarter.

Turkey-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Eating healthy doesn't have to be boring! These turkey-stuffed bell peppers are the perfect meal for those days when you're bored of eating healthy. Shhhh, your taste buds won't suspect that this dish is low-carb and protein-filled. Serve over a bed of greens for a complete meal.
Servings: 5

Here's what you need...

  • 5 organic bell peppers
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 20 oz organic ground turkey, 99% fat free
  • 1 organic tomato, chopped
  • 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add a pinch of salt. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and remove the seeds. Place in the boiling water, using a spoon to keep them submerged for 3 minutes or until the skin is slightly softened. Drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet heat the oil on medium. Add the garlic, basil, onion, rosemary, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions begin to soften. Add the ground turkey and continue to heat until the meat is browned. Add the tomato and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat. Pour the spaghetti sauce into the turkey mixture and mix well. Add the cheese and mix until well combined.
  5. Stuff each prepared bell pepper with the turkey mixture and place on prepared baking sheet. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the bell peppers are tender.
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 193 calories, 3 fat, 256mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 28g protein.