Weight Loss and Motivation

You can stay motivated to lose weight!

Check out Ozzie’s article Motivation Techniques to Lose Weight, published on Livestrong.com to help you successfully reach your weight loss goals!

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Fitness Countdown: New Year’s Eve

January is around the corner and in just a few short days people of all shapes and sizes will rush to their local gym to fulfill their dreams of washboard abs, bulging biceps and bikini ready thighs. Fitness magazines will fly off the shelves and healthy food will be in vogue.

Why wait until January to get the ball rolling, now is the time!

Starting your dedication to a healthy lifestyle right now will allow you to reach your fitness goals sooner and put you in a better state of mind for the New Year. Plus the self-esteem boost will serve you well during New Year’s Eve as you grab the attention of the hot guy or girl holding the Champagne glass a few tables away.

Each day try to incorporate 30 to 45 minutes of cardio into your routine to raise your endurance and reduce your body fat!

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The Pros and Cons of Dieting

The word diet is defined as “a particular selection of food, as designed or prescribed to improve a person’s physical condition or to prevent or treat a disease”.  In this context the word diet doesn’t seem so bad but in reality most people view a diet as a significant restriction of calories and the denial of your favorite foods.

A diet is beneficial toward the reduction of weight and body fat.  It can play a major role in one’s risk for hypertension, diabetes and fatigue (among other things).  Generally, the diet is designed to help one achieve a healthier lifestyle.

A diet goes wrong when it deprives the individual of foods and experiences that they desire.  Adherence to a strict diet can prevent a person from indulging in their favorite foods, enjoying dinner with friends and can even lead to an individual falling off the wagon (when the temptation becomes too great).

Healthy eating habits should be a part of everyone’s “to do” list. When strategically designed, a diet can be manageable, enjoyable and sustainable.  In fact, when identifying the best “diet” for you it is important to choose a healthy eating program that you can incorporate into your life for the long haul.  Incorporating a long-term eating plan prevents the” yo-yo” phenomena in which you lose weight only to gain it back once the diet is over.

A sensible diet will traditionally incorporate a balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Recruiting the assistance of a nutritionist or dietitian can be a useful tool to develop a meal plan that can strategically incorporate some of your favorite foods without disrupting your caloric requirements.

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Weight loss: Made easy

“Calories consumed” must be less than “calories burned”, this is the simple equation that is essential to reach your weight loss goals.  Oftentimes, the simple concepts (like this one) are the ones we struggle with the most.  Your trainer or the fitness guru on TV makes it seem so simple “just stop eating the junk food”, “get to the gym”, “make the commitment”.  Oh, if it could be so easy……

The fact is that weight loss is hard because there are a variety of different variables that often stand in our way.  One of the major causes for our demise is our environment and how we respond to it.

1. Our surroundings…. On every corner chances are that there is a fast food joint or tasty restaurant that is calling your name.  This restaurant will often carry your favorite guilty pleasure (i.e. french fries, cakes, cookies and the list goes on). So when you’re hungry for a quick breakfast or afternoon snack before you go home your primal urges kick in (especially if you haven’t eaten in the past 4-5 hours).

Solution: Keep yourself stocked with tasty (and healthy snacks) and eat small meals every 2 hours.  This way you can control those primal urges since you would’ve already had your fill of nutritious foods.

2. Our relationships…. Most would agree that when your “love boat” starts to sink, ice cream and chocolate are great flotation devices.  Drowning a broken heart in chocolate and cookies seems like a good idea at the time but what sense does it make to lose your man and lose your waistline at the same time?

Solution: Don’t sulk in the kitchen, go out and enjoy yourself.  Burn off the stress with a night of dancing on the town!

3. Our expectations…. When we make the decision to change our lifestyle we don’t consider “the spectrum”.  The spectrum of eating healthy consists of eating super clean (think physique competitor/fitness model) and eating really bad (think “junk food junkie”). As a result, we try to eat perfectly and end up falling off the wagon.

Solution: We must cut ourselves some slack and not expect to make a “180” in 2 days. Small steps result in large gains, because small steps are feasible building blocks that lead to long-term changes that last.

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Workout: Weight Loss Training

You’re amped up, motivated and ready for your first day of pursuing your healthy new lifestyle. You join a gym that is conveniently located to your home or office and you’re wearing workout gear that makes you feel comfortable and sporty. You are ready to go with towel and water bottle in hand but there seems to be a huge problem… 

What do you do when you get to the gym? There are so many machines to choose from and you have an hour to get it all done.

Don’t worry, you are not alone. A number of people feel this way and this is a big reason why most people get frustrated with working out. The key is to back up and consider the fact that losing weight is all about obtaining a caloric deficit. Once you have your diet in line then including a routine that allows you to challenge your major muscle groups (i.e. chest, back, arms, legs, etc.) is all you need.

If weight loss is your goal then I would suggest a total body workout to maximize your caloric expenditure and make your time at the gym as efficient as possible. Start off with doing 15 reps and 3 sets for each exercise with a rest time of 30 seconds between each set.

The Plan
Strength Day One: Include a chest exercise, a back exercise, and a couple of exercises that target the legs. You can break down your leg exercises into two groups one that consists of leg exercises that isolate (i.e. leg curl, leg extension, etc.) and those that work all the leg musculature at once (choose one of the groups for strength day one).

Strength Day Two: Include the smaller arm muscles (biceps, triceps and shoulders). On this day take the second leg option (if you used the machines to isolate certain muscle groups last time, do the squats and lunges this time).

At least 3 days a week try to incorporate cardio into your routine, alternate between a low intensity/long duration day with a high intensity/shorter duration day. Cardio days are good to include in between the strength days as your body will need rest.
Remember that variety is key, below you’ll find some links to some of my fitness videos that may give you some ideas.

Pure Sculpt: Part 1
Pure Sculpt: Part 2
Training Session: Part 1
Training Session: Part 2
Yoga-Sculpt Workout

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