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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Give 100!

Ozzie Jacobs, Health and Fitness Expert, explains how “giving 100″ can lead to a balanced, healthier and happier lifestyle.

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Love & Fitness: Skinny jeans

This time last year they were your prized possession.

These were the jeans with the snug fit that hugged your curves in just the right way. When you wore these jeans you knew that you were sexy, heads would turn, sirens would sound and hearts would skip a beat.  Okay so maybe it wasn’t that dramatic but you did look HOT.

Now those jeans are your nemesis!!!!!

Not only do those jeans have the nerve to be too tight they are a constant reminder of the body you used to have. Each time you step into your closet to decide what to wear there they are taunting you. At any moment the urge to throw those, once beloved, jeans into the trash will consume you but it doesn’t have to be this way. Start salvaging your relationship with your skinny jeans today.

Step 1. Remember the good times. When you and your skinny jeans were happy you lived a certain lifestyle. Maybe you were more active or your eating habits were under control. Try to incorporate those old habits into your life.

Step 2.  Work on your communication. Your skinny jeans don’t have to be a reminder of the body you “used to have” they can be a reminder of the body “you can have” if you take a proactive effort toward reaching your fitness goals.

Step 3. Get back together. At one time you and your skinny jeans were a happy couple, why not rekindle the flame.  Accept that a relationship with your skinny jeans will take dedication, consistency and a commitment.

Check out the following workouts for some extra help:

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Ask Ozzie: How to lose weight

Ozzie Jacobs, Health and Fitness Expert, tells you how to lose weight!

Click here to Ask Ozzie your fitness question!!

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Workout: Spicing it up

The key to making exercise an enjoyable activity is to spice it up!  Exercise can become monotonous if we continue with the same strategy week after week. There are only so many bicep curls and lunges that one can do before our subconscious begins to scream “Not Again!!!!!!

Spicing up your fitness routine is a lot easier than you may think. It is just a matter of keeping an open mind and exploring the possibilities.

This weekend try to incorporate at least one of the following into your routine:

  • Try people watching as you take a jog through Venice Beach, don’t be surprised to find a “human tree” or some impressive acrobatics
  • Check out a new gym.  The hard bodies at the infamous Gold’s Gym in Venice can certainly inspire.
  • Take a stroll with your significant other or that “hot” guy or girl you’ve been eyeing for a while.

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Beach body: The perfect derrière

The Derrière, made popular by Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé, is an imperative area of focus when developing your beach body. Firming and lifting the glutes (i.e. the butt, derrière, backside) can often elude us because these muscles are accustomed to slacking off!

Most of us sit down at our desk for 8 or more hours a day, sit in our cars for a commute that can range from 20 minutes to an hour and then go home to sit on the couch as we watch our favorite TV shows. With 90% of your waking hours seated, your glutes are on an extended vacation with no reason to get back to work!

So how do we get our glutes to get with the program and join the beach body crusade?

Well, we must first acknowledge and embrace their existence. The glutes are a powerful muscle that when utilized properly can give you tremendous strength while running, jumping, squatting, walking up stairs and any other activity that requires movement of the lower body. During the time that the glutes were “slacking off” the thighs were getting the job done, so in the beginning you may find it difficult to engage the glutes but here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. The power of the heel. When doing lower body exercises place the soles of your feet on the floor but emphasize “driving through the heel” like you are smashing a bug. The heel serves as a light switch to turn on the glutes.
  2. Squeeze like there is no tomorrow. The body enjoys taking the path of least resistance (avoiding the glutes is an example of this). While doing glute exercises in the gym (like lunges, step-ups or squats) make an effort to squeeze your glutes as hard as you can, after a while they’ll get the message.

Check out a few of my fitness videos, for some of my favorite Derrière exercises:

Creative Total Body Sculpt
Training Session

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Yearning for more? Check out the Beach Body Training series to help you get the body you’ve always wanted!

Beach body training

Beach body training: Total body workout

Beach body training: Basketball drills

Beach body training: Gorgeous arms

Beach body training: The fuel

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Beach Body Training: Total Body

One of the biggest misconceptions that a number of fitness enthusiasts have is the assumption that working a single target area will be enough to reach their fitness goals.

The fact is that your body is genetically predisposed to hold excessive body fat in certain areas. With this in mind, the best workout strategy to tone the abs, sculpt the arms and shape the thighs is to incorporate a total body workout into your fitness regime.


Total body routines maximize your caloric expenditure as you’re working all of the major muscle groups at once.  When you maximize your caloric expenditure then your ability to burn fat is enhanced substantially.

Try these total body routines to help you get your beach body!

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Beach Body Training

 

Have you ever walked under the California sun with sand under your feet, the wind blowing through your hair and as you peek over to your left you noticed someone with an amazing body.  “Wow” might have been the first thought that came to mind and you may have wondered how they got a body like that and if that could ever be possible for you.

If you’ve ever experienced this, you’re not alone.   We are in the midst of spring break and summer is around the corner.  If you desire to have an admirable beach body then it would be a good idea to start now. It is true that genetics play a large role in an individual’s physique but quite often we don’t allow ourselves to experience our peak level of fitness and health because we don’t make the right decisions when it comes to our health and wellness.  How many times have we eaten a few too many cookies, skipped that trip to the gym or decided to forego a run on the treadmill for a seat on our living room couch. 

 These decisions are what keep us away from having the body we always wanted.  This year we are going to change that with Beach Body Training!  Starting today, make the commitment to Eat Right, Move More and Stay Focused.

Eat Right – make better choices by “eating clean” which essentially enables you to lose weight and keep it off, by making a lifestyle change

Move More – burn the fat by incorporating cardio into your routine throughout the week.

Stay Focused – Incorporate a workout routine that is fun, versatile and effective. 

Tune into my column each week for workout routines, fitness tips and advice. I think you’re ready….

Let’s get started!!!!!

 

Beach Body Training Session #1: Back, Shoulders & Abs 

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Workout: Exercise Euphoria

 

Have you ever left the gym feeling better than when you arrived?

 

This feeling of euphoria might be described as a heavy weight lifted from your shoulders or you may feel as if you are walking on a cloud. However you describe it this “relaxation response” is something that researchers have identified as another of the numerous benefits of exercise. Numerous studies have revealed that “habitual exercisers have better moods, suffer from less depression, less anxiety and more general feelings of well-being”.

 

Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise recently revealed in an interview for WebMD that “For people who are physically active on a regular basis, they have active relaxation — kind of by moving the body and focusing on the sensation of moving your body and getting into the rhythmic activity and motion, it produces this relaxation response, and that I think contributes significantly to the feelings of psychological well-being.”

If you are new to exercise or you’ve been exercising for a while and haven’t experienced the soothing after effects of exercise try these 3 easy steps:

1. Move with the breath. Connect your movement with your breathing pattern during your strength training and your flexibility routine. Exhale as you exert force and inhale as you gather your energy. During your flexibility routine inhale as you lengthen into your stretch and exhale as you relax.

2. Go with the flow. Incorporate rhythmic and continuous movement into your workout. Try to make your movements smooth and fluid by using your body efficiently.

3. Stay Calm. When you notice your heart rate elevated after a set. Calm your heart rate down by taking a few deep breaths (on the inhale expand the rib cage and abdomen, on the exhale draw in your abdominals to encourage your body to expel all the air).

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Workout: Daylight Savings Fun

 

Hooray for Daylight Savings Time! 

Daylight savings time has begun and I am so happy because we will be reunited with sunny evenings.  What will you do for the extra hour of sun?  Will you enjoy an afternoon jog on the beach, maybe a stroll down the boardwalk; whatever you plan on doing make the most of it through positive steps toward your health and wellness goals!

Try these outdoor fitness activities on for size….  

1. Run on the beach!  I have found beach runs to be stress relieving and fun due to the beautiful California scenery as well as the “people watching” (especially at Venice Beach).

 

2. Volleyball anyone?! Gather a group of friends and head out to the beach volleyball courts for a game under the sun. The constant movement and “trash talking” from friends will keep you at the top of your game.

 

3. Show off the “wheels”! Go ahead and pull your bike out of the garage or your rollerblades out of the closet.  Put on your cool shades and your i-pod as you head to the boardwalk for a smooth leg workout.

 

4. Ohm under the sun!  There is nothing like doing yoga under the sun.  Pull out your yoga mat and start posing.  Let the ocean breeze be your soundtrack and get enlightened as you do your sun salutations in the perfect environment.

 

I look forward to seeing you out there!

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