Losing Weight

"12 Workout Myths That Just Need To Die" Review

You may have been taking the wrong approach to fitness up to this point....and here are the reasons why. (from the article 12 Workout Myths That Just Need To Die).

Myth #1: Strength training will make you bulk up.

Truth: It’s pretty hard for women to bulk up from a normal strength-training routine because they don’t have as much testosterone as men (the difference in this hormone level makes men more prone to bulking up). In fact, if weight loss is your goal, strength training can actually help you lean out, but you have to keep your nutrition in check, too. “Muscle is metabolically active,” explains Adam Rosante, C.S.C.S., author of The 30-Second Body. Simply maintaining lean muscle mass requires higher energy, he explains. “So, the more lean muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest.” #Science .

Myth #2: You can focus on losing fat from certain body parts.

Truth: Spot-training is not a thing. “Fat cells are distributed across your entire body,” says Rosante. “If you want to lose fat from a specific spot, you need to lose overall body fat.”High-intensity interval training can work wonders—after an intense workout, your body needs to take in oxygen at a higher rate to help it return to its natural resting state.

This process requires the body to work harder, burning more calories in the process. Incorporating strength training can help you hit your goals too, since having more lean muscle will help your body burn more calories at rest.

Myth #3: Doing lots of cardio is the best way to lose weight.

Truth: If your goal is weight loss, logging endless miles on the treadmill isn’t always the best approach. Yes, traditional cardio workouts will help create a day-to-day calorie deficit (in addition to a healthy diet), which is essential for losing weight. But in the long-term, since having more lean muscle mass helps your body burn more calories at rest, you’ll be adding to this deficit without doing a thing.

A combination of both high-intensity cardio and strength training is a good idea. And don’t forget, when it comes to weight loss, having a smart nutrition plan is key.

Moody Wisdom: If you are serious about making these changes in your weight loss routine, you'll want to also read 15 Reasons You're Not Getting Results in the Gym.

Myth #4: Not feeling sore means you didn’t get a good workout.

Truth: While soreness and workout intensity are sometimes connected, how tired your muscles feel isn’t always a good indicator of a solid sweat session. “Being sore doesn’t necessarily mean it was a great workout—it just means that a significant amount of stress was applied to the tissue,” says exercise physiologist and trainer Pete McCall, M.S., C.S.C.S., host of the All About Fitness podcast.

“You can have a great workout and not be sore the next day,” he says. Proper recovery will help prevent achy muscles. “Refuel within the first 30 to 45 minutes post-exercise, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep—all of these things can help boost recovery and minimize soreness.”

Myth #5: You should give 100 percent effort during every workout.

Truth: Sort of. You should try your best to stay focused, be present, and give 100 percent during every workout. But not every gym session should require a balls-to-the-wall level of intensity. And if you are sore everyday, that may be a sign that you’re going too hard. “It’s not a good idea to exercise at too high of an intensity too frequently—it limits recovery and can lead to overtraining,” says McCall.

Ideally, to avoid putting too much stress on your body, you should only be going extra hard two to three times per week.

Moody Wisdom: You can still challenge yourself....just don't reach your anaerobic threshold every time (think: 160 heartrate and up for most).

Myth #6: Strength training means using machines and heavy weights.

Truth: Strength training means using resistance to work your muscles—and that resistance doesn’t necessarily have to come from a machine or a heavy weight. (Hello, killer bodyweight exercises!) Aside from your own bodyweight, you can also use tools like kettlebells, medicine balls, and resistance bands to add resistance.

Myth #7: Sweating a ton means you worked your butt off.

Truth: Not necessarily. “You sweat because your core temperature increases,” explains exercise physiologist Tracy Hafen, founder of Affirmative Fitness. Yes, your muscles create heat when you exercise so a tough workout will increase your internal temp, she explains, but it also has to do with the temperature you’re working out in. “For example, you’re not going to sweat as much in 40-degree weather as you would in 80-degree weather,” Hafen explains.

The humidity in the air also plays a role. “It’s not sweating that cools you off, it’s the evaporation [of sweat]. You’ll feel like you’re sweating more when it’s humid because sweat can’t evaporate.” (This is also a reason to be careful exercising in hot, humid climates, because your body temperature will keep increasing.)

Myth #8: Crunches are a great exercise for your abs.

Truth: Meh. Crunches probably aren’t going to hurt your core strength, but they’re not the most efficient exercise you can do to strengthen your midsection. “Your ab muscles are designed to work most effectively when you’re standing upright,” says McCall. Of course, there are plenty of great abs exercises that aren’t completely upright.

Moody Wisdom: Crunches will strengthen your rectus abs (upper abs) while igniting your transverse abs (lower abs) to maintain stability. Ideally, it's only a fraction of your core approach. Read 4 Simple Ways to Flatten Your Stomach for a well-rounded plan.

Myth #9: You have to do at least 20 minutes of cardio to make it worth your while.

Truth: You can get an amazing cardio workout in less time by utilizing high-intensity interval training. “High-intensity cardio challenges the respiratory system to work efficiently to deliver oxygen to working muscles,” says McCall. “If the system is stressed hard enough, it doesn’t require a lengthy workout for results.” Plus, high-intensity training creates an afterburn effect, meaning you continue burning calories after you’re done. One approach isTabata, or 20 seconds of hard work, 10 seconds of rest for eight rounds total, which adds up to a four-minute routine.

Moody Wisdom: Too long could be too much stress on the system as a whole. Aim for a shorter cardio session with more substance (and intervals).

Myth #10: You need to stretch before a workout.

Truth: While it’s true that you shouldn’t just jump right into a workout, dynamic warm-ups are where it’s at—you can save those static stretches for afterwards.

“Your pre-workout goal should be to improve mobility and elasticity in the muscles,” says Rosante. This is best done with foam rolling and a dynamic warm-up, where you keep your body moving (instead of holding stretches still). This preps your body for work and helps increase your range of motion, which means you can get deeper into exercises (and strengthen more of those ~muscles~).

Moody Wisdom: The purpose of a warm-up is to: 1.) Increase blood circulation to the muscles and 2.) Increase your range of motion in preparation of movement. Although running may accomplish #1, you may be forcing your range of motion with each stride...and tearing the muscle as a result. The body will respond by shortening your range of motion for proper repair. Instead, focus on achieving the necessary range of motion through a series of slow and controlled movements that will activate the muscle (think: a plank, squat, lunge, etc).

Myth #11: Yoga isn’t a “real” workout.

Truth: “People who write off yoga probably have an image of yoga as series of gentle stretches—they clearly haven’t taken a tough yoga class,” says Rosante. “The first time I took one was at Jivamukti Yoga Center, and was a radically humbling experience. It’s been one of the best additions to my routine, both for my body and mind.”

While there are some blissfully relaxing yoga classes out there, tougher types (like Bikram and power Vinyasa yoga) can definitely leave you sweaty, sore, and satisfied.

Moody Wisdom: Yoga is great but....don't force the motion or pose. Only position yourself within your range of motion. Anything beyond could cause more harm than good (see the explanation above).

Myth #12: You should work out every day.

Truth: Definitely not true—hallelujah! When you work out, you’re breaking down muscle fibers so they can rebuild stronger. However, to do this, you need to give your body time to recover from working out. Aim for one to do days per week of active recovery rest days—that means doing something that doesn’t put stress on your body, like gentle stretching or a walk. So, you’re definitely off the hook for that seven-days-a-week workout plan.

Moody Wisdom: Movement is required every day for a healthy lifestyle. It doesn't have to be a full-court basketball game, though. Your body needs recovery...give it the rest it needs with less stressful movement like walking.

What other workout myths do you think need to die?

Are you having trouble losing weight? Read "50 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet" Review. It's probably time to rewrite your grocery list.

Picture Credit: MSN.com-Is running the best way to lose weight?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " 12 Workout Myths That Just Need To Die " on MSN.com.
"12 Workout Myths That Just Need To Die" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
Find Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself on  Amazon  today!

Find Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself on Amazon today!


"7 Portion-Control Tricks for Weight-Loss" Review

Are you struggling with weight loss even though you've changed your diet drastically? The answer may lie in the amount on your plate. While substance is always the most important, don't forget that you can still gain weight from eating too much of the good stuff too.

In our overindulgent society, everything is supersized for value, and you should reconsider the amount you're eating every meal. Take a look at the portion-control tricks below and quickly adapt your eating approach (from the recent msn.com article "Portion-Control Tricks for Weight-Loss")!

Here are some Portion-Control Tricks for Weight-Loss.

1. Eating out- Share a meal with a friend, or eat half of your meal and bring the other half home. Always ask for your dressing on the side.

2. Plan your meals ahead of time- Write down your meals for the week and prepare them ahead of time.

3. Don’t skip meals- Skipping meals is harmful to your body. You will end up hungrier, which in turn will lead to overeating. Try eating a minimum of three times a day.

4. Don’t place serving bowls on the table- How will you ever control the amount of food you consume when you are staring at a full bowl of food in front of you at the table? Keep the serving bowls on the kitchen counter and the pots on the stove. This way, you are not tempted to dig in for some more.

5. Measure and weigh your food- Measuring and weighing your food is a great way to control your portions. Read the nutrition labels on your food and measure out one serving. This way you avoid overeating.

6. Use simple substitutions- Purchase natural, plant-based ingredients to control the calories you consume during your meal.

7. Use portion control plates- Yes, there are actually plates that are embedded with lines to separate your foods and portions.

What portion-control tricks do you use while meeting with a Chicago personal trainer?

Are you having trouble attaining any level of weight loss success? Check out the list of tips and tricks in my post The 68 Best Ways to Lose Body Fat and More.

Picture Credit: Welldoing.org - Which of these plates will help you lose weight?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " Portion-Control Tricks for Weight-Loss " on MSN.com.
"7 Portion-Control Tricks for Weight-Loss" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

"15 Daily Life Hacks to Achieve Greater Fat Loss" Review

Looking for a quick weight loss trick before spring break? Take a look at the most viable tips I found in the article 15 Daily Life Hacks to Achieve Greater Fat Loss.


Research suggests that drinking two, eight-ounce glasses of water before main meals can help enhance weight loss. Participants in a twelve-week study who drank two glasses of water before every meal consumed 75 to 90 fewer calories per meal and lost more weight on average than those who didn’t. The researchers concluded that by hydrating right before eating, you’re more likely to feel satisfied from your meal, and less likely to overindulge.


There is growing evidence that the size of your dinnerware can influence how much you consume during a meal. Researchers attribute this phenomenon to the Delboeuf Illusion – an optical illusion of relative size perception. When serving yourself, use larger plates and bowls for healthier foods, like fruits and vegetables, and smaller plates and bowls for less healthy foods.


This might sound redundant, but consuming a lot of vegetables can do more than provide you with health-boosting nutrients. Use vegetables to your advantage by adding bulk and fiber to your dishes, which will help fill you up. And vegetables can also be used for low-carb food swaps like using cauliflower as a pizza crust or squash for spaghetti.


One of the keys to success in weight loss or weight management is tracking your food and beverage intake regularly. Tracking can help make you aware of subconscious snacking, unhealthy eating patterns, and overeating. Multiple research studies have tested the effectiveness of tracking intake on enhancing weight loss and have concluded that individuals who track eating habits regularly lose more weight on average than those who don’t.


Cayenne pepper can kick your metabolism into high gear because of capsaicin – the active compound that causes the burning sensation in your mouth upon consumption. Capsaicin is widely known and studied for its thermogenic effect, which is the ability to generate extra body heat and a rise in metabolic rate. One recent study found that about a half-teaspoon of cayenne pepper, either mixed in food or swallowed as a capsule, helped study participants burn an additional 10 calories more over a four-hour period. While that might not seem worth the temporary burning sensation, consumption of the cayenne pepper also reduced their preoccupation with food and their desire to consume fatty, salty, and sweet foods during that same four-hour period.


Soup can do more than help alleviate cold and flu symptoms. In fact, a bowl of soup a day may help keep the pounds away. Multiple studies have shown that when low-energy-dense soups were consumed at the start of a meal, subsequent food intake was reduced by as much as 20 percent. Furthermore, soup has a high water content, which can also help fill you up in addition to helping you stay hydrated. Be sure to avoid creamy, rich soups, which can run upwards of 500 calories, and canned soups high in sodium.


Research suggests that eating slowly can lead to improved satiety and make you less inclined to overeat. When you eat slowly, you allow more time for your brain to catch up with your gut as it signals it’s full. To slow down your eating, try alternating bites of food with sips of water, removing distractions, like television, and chewing your food thoroughly. Another great technique is to eat with chopsticks, which will inherently force you to eat smaller bites and at a slower pace.


Forget convenience, and park as far away as possible to burn some additional calories. This method is a very simple way to squeeze some extra exercise into your day, no equipment necessary.


On average, a burger bun or two slices of bread contains 150 calories and 25 grams or more of carbohydrates. You can save at least 100 calories and 20 grams of carbohydrate per day by swapping out bread for produce options, like sliced eggplant, large mushroom caps, and romaine lettuce. Better yet, you won’t have to sacrifice fiber since you’ll still get a good dose from these low-carb alternatives.


Wearing form-fitting clothing can help prevent you from overeating because you’ll start to feel uncomfortable as you eat more than you need. This discomfort is an example of how your clothing can help serve as a sensory reminder of when it’s time to put down the fork.


The kitchen may be the last place you’d ever thought to hang a mirror, but it’s certainly the most useful place when it comes to weight loss. Research has shown that hanging a mirror in your kitchen can help you lose weight and keep it off. How? Taking a look at yourself right before you’re about to reach into the refrigerator or pantry can help you avoid poor, unhealthy food choices. Furthermore, eating in front of a mirror can help you consume less food by making you more aware of how your body looks and feels.

What other life hacks help you with weight loss?

Picture Credit: www.MSN.com - My personal training clients have used a lot of these strategies to lose weight. Is changing the color of your plate effective too?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article "15 Daily Life Hacks to Achieve Greater Fat Loss" on MSN.com
"15 Daily Life Hacks to Achieve Greater Fat Loss" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

14 No-Diet Tricks to Keep Off Holiday Weight


Truth time: The average American gains about a pound between Halloween and New Year's, according to a New England Journal of Medicine study. While a pound or two doesn't sound like a lot, if you put on just two pounds a year over the course of 10 years, you'll be up 20 pounds--something that experts refer to as "creeping obesity." Avoid the holiday weight gain, and you'll avoid the creep (and a so-uncomfortable, too-snug waistband). Read on for easy, no-diet tips to keep the pounds from piling up--while still celebrating and enjoying the season.


"Water-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables, help to keep you hydrated and feeling fuller, longer," says Rima Kleiner, RD, a Greensboro, NC–based nutrition expert. "High-water foods also tend to be loaded with dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals like potassium, which helps counter the bloating sodium in salty or processed foods which holiday parties are rife with." And don't forget to drink lots of water, too. "When your body is thirsty, it can exhibit similar symptoms as when it's hungry--growling stomach, hunger pains, feeling tired," says Ilyse Schapiro, RD, a nutritionist in private practice in the New York City area.


Exercise will not only help control your weight, it'll improve your mood and sleep and enable you to better deal with holiday stress. "Every day during the holidays seems busy, so whatever your holiday plans--working, shopping, baking, parties, carpooling--try and start your day with some sort of exercise," says Sara Haas, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (Squeezing it in first thing will keep it from getting knocked off your to-do list.) Aim for 30 minutes a day of moderate aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming, or biking, per national guidelines.


"Liquid calories add up fast—plus when you drink, your inhibitions are down, and you may be more likely to take that extra plate of food or extra dessert," says Tara Todd, RD, a registered dietitian at St. Louis Children's Hospital. If you're going to imbibe, stick to wine, light beer, or single alcohols like vodka mixed with no-calorie club soda or diet soda. Steer clear of super sweet margaritas, daiquiris, and holiday-themed martinis, which can pack several hundred calories each, adds Lauren Harris-Pincus, RDN, a New Jersey–based registered dietitian. And be sure to intersperse alcoholic drinks with water to slow down consumption.


"One way you can ensure you'll have a healthy option to enjoy at a party is if you bring it yourself," says Anika Christ, RD, senior program manager of Life Time Weight Loss at Life Time Fitness. Veggie and fruit platters, shrimp cocktail, or hummus with whole-grain pita are all safe party-friendly nibbles, or go for a more substantial dish, like one of our superfood sides. "Of course, you'll want to try small samples of other options, but make your own healthy dish the main part of your meal," says Lee T. Murphy, RDN, a lecturer in the Department of Nutrition at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.


"Never show up at a party hungry," says Jessica Dogert, RD, registered dietitian at Fitness Formula Clubs Lincoln Park in Chicago. Sit down to a healthy salad or sandwich before you head out to a holiday party--especially if an actual meal won't be served--so you're not famished once you arrive and wind up making puff pastries your meal. "If you arrive hungry, it will be hard to minimize your snacking--and you'll be less able to make smart choices about what to eat," says Dogert.


We're all guilty of making several meandering trips around the appetizer table at a party because it's the social thing to do. Instead, fill your plate just once, and sit down--out of sight of the food--before you eat anything. "I always see people taste and eat while making their way down the buffet," says Shari Portnoy, RD, a registered dietitian and certified fitness trainer in New York City. "Often they have the amount of calories for a meal before they even get to the end of the line."


Don't load up your plate with the first yummy-looking items you see at the buffet. "Instead, do a once-over of the food options to plan out what exactly you want to spend your 'calorie salary' on," says Murphy. "Decide what foods you really want to eat, and forget the rest." An easy way to make sure you get the good stuff: Fill up half your plate with veggies or salad and then use the other half for small portions of indulgent treats.


Every holiday party always has so much food that there are often lots of leftovers--and inevitably the host will try to pawn some off on you. Politely decline taking any so you don't have fattening foods following you home. Hosting the party? "Send your guests home with the leftovers, so you're not tempted to eat them," says Schapiro. She suggests making them more enticing to your guests by decorating cardboard take-out containers ahead of time with holiday stickers and tying them with red-and-white baker's twine.


Yep, the style of your handbag can actually keep your appetite in check. "Instead of carrying a shoulder bag or crossover to your next holiday party, opt for a clutch-style bag that you actually have to hold in your hand," says Dogert. "Keep a low-calorie cocktail or glass of seltzer in the other and your hands will simply be too full to reach for unhealthy treats." If you do want something to eat, you'll have to put down your bag, making the act of eating a deliberate and more mindful choice.


You've heard before to aim for at least 10,000 steps per day to help keep your weight in check. But here's something you might not know: Just getting up from a sitting position to take a lap around the living room can make a big difference. A study published in Diabetes Care found that people who took more breaks from sitting throughout the day had slimmer waists, lower BMIs (body mass indexes), and healthier blood fat and blood sugar levels than those who sat the most, regardless of how much exercise they did. Try standing while doing tasks like wrapping gifts, prepping food, and folding laundry.


Bites, that is. "Here's a simple rule to follow no matter what you're craving: When you really want to indulge, limit yourself to three bites," says Harris-Pincus. Why? The first bite is going to be just as good as you think it will. The second bite will be good, but not as good as the first bite. And by the third bite, whatever you're isn't going to get any tastier, so you might as well stop. "Slowly savor those three bites and you should be satisfied," says Harris-Pincus.


Host your own holiday get-together where you invite family members to go ice skating, skiing or sledding before coming back to your home for a healthy meal. "You'll create lasting memories without the lasting calories," says Christ. Even main event days like Thanksgiving can be revamped this way: "Instead of eating all day, organize a family football game, or sign up for a Turkey Walk/Run," suggests Rachel Begun, RDN, a nutritionist and natural chef in Boulder, Colo. "Then everyone can happily enjoy Thanksgiving dinner without experiencing food coma."


"You can still make your favorite cakes, cookies or desserts--just make sure to share them with co-workers, family, and friends instead of keeping them home where they will simply tempt you," says Christ. Or forge a new holiday tradition: "Make non-food gifts or better yet, spend an afternoon working at a soup kitchen with your kids," says Begun. "It will take the focus off of preparing and eating food, and sends a really great message to your kids."


It's great to give to others during the holidays, but often we do this at the expense of our own well-being. "When we feel stressed and overextended, we are more likely to reach for that tray of cookies sitting on the kitchen counter," says Begun. Give yourself the gift of some downtime for you--whether that's an afternoon spent hitting the spa or simply going for a walk or reading a book. Feeling calm and centered will keep you focused on what the holidays are really about (hint: way more than food).

Picture Credit: Health.com

Article Credit:
Author: Cari Wira Dineen from Health.com
17 No-Diet Tricks to Keep Off Holiday Weight (Adapted)
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

Don't wait until the new year....

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