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"Do These 10 Things in Your Kitchen to Lose Weight" Review

It's the start of the week and you're ready to jump back on the weight loss bandwagon. Your first focus should be your kitchen. Take a look at this quick list and adapt your cooking space for success (from the recent msn.com article "Do These 10 Things in Your Kitchen to Lose Weight")!

MAKE FRUITS AND VEGGIES AS ACCESSIBLE AS A BAG OF CHIPS:


Wash, cut up, and store produce such as grapes, melon, kiwi, strawberries, carrots, peppers, and celery in reusable containers in the fridge so they're easy to grab. Make sure they're right up front at eye level so they're the first thing you see when you open the fridge door.

Moody Wisdom: Be careful choosing "healthy" foods...some options aren't what they claim. Check out the article "4 Foods That Sound Healthy But Really Aren't" for everyday examples.

PREPARE A BIG CONTAINER OF SALAD:


Having a salad before dinner is a great way to fill you up so you eat less of the main course, but preparing a salad every night takes so much time that it's tempting to skip out. Ensure you get a bowl of greens every night by making an enormous bowl of salad at the beginning of the week. You're sure to eat a salad with dinner if it's already made -- just scoop out a bowl, top with vinaigrette, and enjoy.

Moody Wisdom: Salad greens aren't enough. Be sure to add a heaping amount of vegetables with substance like bell peppers, tomatoes, black beans, and more. You may want to read Why Salad Is So Overrated too.

HAVE MEASURING CUPS AND SPOONS ON THE COUNTER:


Measuring your food will keep portions in check since overestimating serving sizes is a huge reason people don't lose weight. Seeing measuring spoons and cups on your kitchen counter will be a visual reminder not to forget to use them.

PRE-MAKE SNACK PACKS:


You know what happens when you eat chips or crackers out of the box -- you practically end up polishing off the entire package! Take your favorite healthy snacks such as mixed nuts, popcorn, cheese, and fresh fruit, grab some Ziploc baggies, and make some 100-calorie or 150-calorie snack packs you can keep in your cupboard or in a snack box in your fridge.

FREEZE FRUITS AND VEGGIES:


Buy larger bags of fruits and veggies at the store and wash, cut, and store them in baggies in the freezer. You'll not only save money when you buy in bulk, but you'll also have them on hand to add to your smoothies, yogurt, pasta dishes, soups, and omelets. You can also puree veggies and freeze cubes to add to soups, tomato sauce, mashed potatoes, dips, and smoothies.

FREEZE SMOOTHIE BAGS:


If you're in a rush in the morning, prep these fruit and veggie smoothie bags and keep them in the freezer. Just empty the contents in the blender, add the extras labeled on the bag, and you'll have a low-cal, fiber- and protein-packed breakfast that'll keep you full all morning long.

DITCH THE UNHEALTHY FOODS:


Your spouse and kids might be fans of an occasional can of soda, bowl of cookie dough ice cream, or Hershey's Kiss, but if those foods are within your reach, you're bound to crave them. Throw out or give away the junk, because if it's not in your kitchen, you can't be tempted to eat it.

Moody Wisdom: Add diet soda to this list. Can't fight it? Here are 4 Ways to Beat Your Diet Soda Addiction in One Week.

USE SMALLER-SIZED PLATES:


When we prepare a plate of food, we feel the need to fill it up completely. If you start out with a smaller-sized salad plate, there's only so much you can pile on, so you'll end up consuming fewer calories.

DOUBLE OR EVEN TRIPLE THE RECIPE:


Whether you're making soup, roasted veggies, homemade veggie burgers, or something else for dinner, don't just make enough for one meal. Package the leftovers in containers you can easily grab for the next few days' meals. If your lunch or dinner is already prepared, you won't have to resort to unhealthy takeout.

PUT FOOD AWAY BEFORE YOU SIT DOWN TO EAT:


After you've cooked up an amazing vegan mac and cheese, serve yourself an appropriate serving size and then wrap it up and put leftovers in the fridge. If you leave it out, you're more likely to go back for unnecessary seconds or thirds. Out of sight means off your hips.

What other tricks will help you lose weight? Check out the list The 68 Best Ways to Lose Body Fat and More to find the most efficient ways while you meet with a Chicago personal trainer or try on your own.

Picture Credit: MSN.com - What can you pre-pack to help you lose weight?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article "Do These 10 Things in Your Kitchen to Lose Weight" on www.msn.com.
"Do These 10 Things in Your Kitchen to Lose Weight" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

"50 Unhealthiest Foods On the Planet" Review

In the world of endless food options, how do you know which foods to stay away from while trying to lose weight with a Chicago personal trainer or live a healthy life? Take a look at this abbreviated list of the most unhealthy foods (from the article "50 Unhealthiest Foods On the Planet"). You might be surprised of what's hidden in your grocery cart and affecting your weight loss approach.

Which of these foods have affected your health goals up to this point? What changes will you make in your approach? Check out the list The 68 Best Ways to Lose Body Fat and More for more weight loss tips.

Picture Credit: www.slate.com - Is salmon always healthy for you?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article "50 Unhealthiest Foods On the Planet" on www.msn.com.
"50 Unhealthiest Foods On the Planet" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

"50 Foods You Should Never Eat" Review

After seeing this food list, I had to seriously reconsider the groceries I buy each week. Whether you're trying to live healthy or lose weight, you may want to revamp your grocery list, too. Check out the 20 guilty foods I think you should forget about immediately (from the recent article "50 Foods You Should Never Eat" on MSN.com).

WHOLE WHEAT BREAD


William Davis, MD, creator of Wheat Belly 10-Day Detox

The Problem: Modern wheat is nothing like the grain your mother or grandmother consumed. Today, wheat barely resembles its original form, thanks to extensive genetic manipulations during the 1960s and 1970s to increase the grain's yields. "You cannot change the basic characteristics of a plant without changing its genetics, biochemistry, and its effects on humans who consume it," Dr. Davis notes.

Dr. Davis makes the case that modern-day wheat is triggering all sorts of health problems, everything from digestive diseases like celiac and inflammatory bowel disease to acid reflux, obesity, asthma, and skin disorders. "If there is a food that yields extravagant, extraordinary, and unexpected benefits when avoided, it is bread," says Dr. Davis. "And I don’t mean white bread, I mean all bread: white, whole wheat, whole grain, sprouted, organic, French, Italian, fresh, day-old…all of it."

The Solution: Try eliminating wheat altogether from your diet for a few weeks to see if you note health improvements. But be prepared for the wheat withdrawal syndrome of nausea, headache, fatigue and depression, and a host of other strange side effects of going grain-free during your first wheat-free week, since there are opiates that develop from the gliadin protein of wheat. Once you are through this process, you'll feel better, maybe better than you have ever before.

NON-DAIRY COFFEE CREAMER


Will Clower, PhD, author of Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight

The Problem: The health benefits of coffee are pretty impressive (Note: Too much caffeine is not...read here to find out why), so don't go throwing them away by splashing non-dairy creamer in your morning joe. Fake creamers are full of hard-to-pronounce ingredients, including liver-damaging high-fructose corn syrup, inflammatory hydrogenated oils that would never exist in nature, and artificial flavors.

The Solution: Drink your coffee black, or if you want to add cream, opt for organic from grass-fed cows or organic unsweetened coconut milk without the food additive carrageenan.

GRAPE JELLY


Ellen Gustafson, author of We the Eaters

The Problem: Concord grapes are delicious (and are one of the few fruits native to North America), but the way most of us taste them is in the form of high-fructose-laden grape jelly. "Even though it's given away for free like ketchup in little plastic packets, it's basically a jelly-textured candy loaded with various forms of sugar, artificial colors, and flavors," Gustafson says.

The Solution: Gustafson suggests opting for real fruit, honey, or apple butter on your PB&(F, H, or AB) sandwich. If you do reach for jelly in the store, look for low-sugar, organic versions—organic bans the use of artificial colors and flavors and requires that the grapes be grown without the use of chemical pesticides. (Nonorganic grapes are one of the most pesticide-laden fruits.)

DIET SODA


Isaac Eliaz, MD, founder of Amitabha Medical Clinic and Healing Center

The Problem: Dr. Eliaz stays away from any diet soda (here's how) and foods, sugar-free candies, and gum containing artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame K, and neotame, among others. "The safety data on these sweeteners is shrouded in controversy and conflicts of interest with the manufacturers of these chemical compounds," Dr. Eliaz warns. "Independent research strongly suggests that when metabolized in the body, these sweeteners can cause health-related issues and problems related to metabolism and weight gain, neurological diseases, joint pain, digestive problems, headaches, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, chemical toxicity, and cancer, among others."

The Solution: From its weight gain effects to the overload of artificial sweeteners, the disturbing side effects of soda are enough to break the fizzy habit. If you're craving a soda but want to avoid the shady sweeteners, fake food dyes, and preservatives found in popular brands, try making one of these naturally flavored water recipes, or brew your own kombucha, a naturally bubbly fermented tea that's easy to make at home.

CANNED TOMATOES


Frederick vom Saal, PhD, professor of biological sciences, University of Missouri at Columbia

The Problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, or BPA, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Studies show that the BPA in most people's bodies exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. "You can get 50 micrograms of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that's a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young," says vom Saal. "I won't go near canned tomatoes."

The Solution: To avoid negative BPA health effects, choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Eden Organic and Bionaturae. You can also look for tomatoes in Tetra Pak boxes instead of cans.

SPROUTS


Douglas Powell, PhD, food safety consultant, barfblog.com

The Problem: Sprouts have been the source of so many major food recalls that they're really not worth the risk, Powell says. Be they bean or broccoli, alfalfa or pea, sprouts have been at the center of at least 55 outbreaks of foodborne illness, affecting more than 15,000 people over the last 20 years. Often, sprouts harbor salmonella, E. coli, or listeria; they're vulnerable to contamination because the seeds require moist, warm conditions in order to sprout—ideal conditions for bacteria to thrive and multiply in.

The Solution: Get the crunch of sprouts—without the added bacteria—by shredding cabbage or carrots onto your sandwiches. If you really enjoy the flavor of sprouts, cook them first, but watch out for cross-contamination.

CHICKEN WINGS


Tasneem Bhatia, MD, author of What Doctors Eat

The Problem: A single chicken wing has 81 calories and 5 grams of fat. Given that most people don't eat just one, a lone feast of chicken wings could easily lead to 1,000 extra calories and 50 grams of fat—nearly two or three days worth of artery-clogging fat! "Since 500 extra calories per day leads to two pounds per week, chicken wings are a recipe for weight gain," Dr. Bhatia says.

The Solution: If you like chicken, try baked or grilled versions to avoid a calorie overload. Since conventional chicken feed often contains antibiotics to stimulate faster growth (and sometimes even arsenic), choose organic whenever you can. If you want to go the veggie route, try this delicious vegan Buffalo wings alternative.

BUTTER-FLAVORED POPCORN


Alexandra Scranton, director of science and research at Women’s Voices for the Earth

The Problem: Diacetyl is used in a lot of fake butter flavorings, despite the fact that the chemical is so harmful to factory workers that it's known to cause an occupational disease called "popcorn lung," Scranton says. After news of the chemical got out to the popcorn-eating public, companies started replacing diacetyl with another additive—which can actually turn into diacetyl under certain conditions, she adds. Neither chemical is disclosed on microwave-popcorn bags because the exact formulations of flavorings are considered trade secrets. "It's a classic example of the need for better chemical regulation and improved transparency on the chemicals used in our food and other household products," she says.

The Solution: Pop it on the stovetop in a pot and season or go an easier homemade popcorn route: Put a small handful of kernels into a brown paper lunch bag and stick the bag in the microwave. The kernels will pop just like those fake-butter-flavored kernels in standard microwave popcorn bags. When they're done, pour seasoning over them. "Makes pretty good popcorn at a fraction of the cost!" Scranton says.

FARMED SALMON


Margaret I. Cuomo, MD, author of A World Without Cancer

The Problem: "Fish is naturally low in saturated fat, and some types, like salmon, are also high in omega-3 fat, reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack and inflammation throughout the body. While Americans need to eat more seafood and less red meat, some fish such as farmed salmon are contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), pesticides (including dieldrin and toxaphene) and antibiotics," she says. And unlike wild salmon, farmed salmon are fed a mixture of other fish ground into fishmeal and fish oil, and they concentrate more toxins in their fat tissue than do other fish, Dr. Cuomo notes.

The Solution: "Fish is an important part of my family's diet, and I am very careful to choose wild salmon, rather than farmed salmon, which contains many carcinogens," Dr. Cuomo says.

GUMMY VITAMINS


Mark Moyad, MD, MPH

The Problem: Vitamins in the form of candy? Sounds like a dream to the parents of picky eaters. Too bad it's too good to be true. Each serving is about 15 calories a day and, while 2 or 3 grams of sugar a day (often as corn syrup) doesn't seem like much, Dr. Moyad points out that this translates to nearly 6 cups of sugar a year. Not to mention, gummies contain artificial food dyes and can contain a laundry list of other problematic ingredients: "Many contain gluten, and some also contain corn syrup, carmine, and pregelatinized cornstarch," he says.

The Solution: "Always go to food for nutrition first," says Dr. Moyad. "Don't teach kids to rely on pills at such a young age."

ANYTHING FROM MCDONALD'S


Joel Salatin, sustainable farmer The Problem: McDonald’s isn't just about food, it's about food mentality, according to Salatin. "It represents the pinnacle of factoryfarming and industrial food," he says. "The economic model is utterly dependent on stockholders looking for dividends without regards to farm profitability or soil development."Fast food typically is loaded with all sorts of the ingredients mentioned elsewhere in our list: genetically engineered corn, food dyes, artificial sweeteners, and other bad actors in the food supply. The type of farming that supports this type of food business relies on harmful chemicals that not only threaten human health, but also soil health.

The Solution: Learn to cook! You might be surprised to find that paying extra up front for a pasture-raised chicken can be cheaper than buying prepared fast-food chicken. For instance, cooking a chicken and then boiling down the bones for a rich, disease-fighting stock can yield up to three meals for a family! (Here's how to make homemade stock.) Find sustainable farmers at LocalHarvest.org.

ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS


Maria Rodale, CEO of Rodale, Inc. and author of Organic Manifesto

The Problem: Ironically, there's a lot of evidence that suggests using artificial sweeteners, which have zero calories, is just as bad for your waistline as using regular, high-calorie sugar. For instance, research from the University of Texas has found that mice fed the artificial sweetener aspartame had higher blood sugar levels (which can cause you to overeat) than mice on an aspartame-free diet. Not only are they bad for your health, but scientists have also detected artificial sweeteners in treated wastewater, posing unknown risks to fish and other marine life. Plus, as Rodale says, "They're unnatural, nonorganic, taste horrible, and lead to all sorts of bad health consequences, false expectations, and short-term strategic thinking."

The Solution: Refined white sugar isn't any healthier, but you can replace it with small amounts of nutritious sweeteners, including honey, blackstrap molasses, and maple syrup, all of which have high levels of vitamins and minerals, or make homemade healthy sweeteners that are far better for your diet.

PROCESSED HONEY


Gerard E. Mullin, MD, author of The Gut Balance Revolution

The Problem: "Refined honey is among the most insidious sweeteners of all time," says Dr. Mullin. The pasteurization process eliminates the health properties of honey, essentially turning it into just another form of sugar. To make things more confusing, research has shown that more than 75 percent of honey has been processed to the point where it isn't even considered honey anymore. Some honey is even blended with high-fructose corn syrup, additives, and other flavorings.

The Solution: In moderation, raw honey from your local farmer's market has the opposite effect on your health. "Good data show that a teaspoon or less per day of raw honey has positive effects on gut microbimone health," Dr. Mullin says. Raw honey may have an antimicrobial effect against harmful pathogens in your gut, including E. coli. At the same time, this superfood can help promote the growth of healthy bacteria. "Honey also has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immune-regulating, and anti-tumor properties," he points out. It can also improve many aspects of your health, including allergies, bone health, diabetes, and wound healing.

AGAVE


Robert Lustig, MD, author of Fat Chance

The Problem: Don't trust the health halo claims associated with the natural sweetener agave. While it is technically a low-glycemic food, it actually drives up blood fructose, which is way worse, Dr. Lustig explains. "Fructose causes seven times more cell damage than glucose because it binds to cellular proteins seven times faster and releases 100 times the number of oxygen radicals (like hydrogen peroxide, which damages cells)," he notes.In addition, fructose is turned into fat in the liver, which contributes to the development of metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes. "Glycemic index is irrelevant; fructose damages your body unrelated to glycemic index. Agave nectar should have a skull and crossbones," Dr. Lustig says.

The Solution: Retrain your tastebuds to not want excessively sweet foods.

TABLE SALT


Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, and founder of DrAxe.com

The Problem: Table salt starts out as a healthy sea salt, but the extreme processing that happens next makes this one of the worst things you can put in your body. Manufacturers strip it of all its minerals and heat it to around 1,200 degrees, completely changing its chemical structure. Then, the naturally-occurring iodine that was destroyed is replaced with potassium iodide, and the salt is stabilized with dextrose, which turns it purple. Finally, it is bleached white.

The Solution: For an all-natural, unprocessed way to add flavor to food, choose Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt. You'll also get a heavy dose of health benefits, including bone support, improved cognitive function and pH balancing.

CHARRED MEAT


Natasha Turner, ND, author of The Supercharged Hormone Diet

The Problem: While everyone loves a good barbecue, grilling meats can produce carcinogens if you aren’t careful. The two most associated with charring are HCAs (heterocyclic amines) and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). HCAs form when meat is cooked at high temperatures; PAHs are created when the flames touch the meat or when fat drips into the flames and produces smoke, which then rises and coats the food.

The Solution: To grill more healthfully, lower the heat on your gas grill or increase the distance between the fire and the meat if using a charcoal grill. Choose smaller cuts of meat, flip them often, and use a meat thermometer when cooking at lower temperatures so you can check to be sure the meat is fully cooked. Homemade grilling marinades, particularly ones containing rosemary, can reduce the risk of HCAs by up to 99 percent.

FAST FOOD FRENCH FRIES


Jillian Michaels, fitness expert

The Problem: Heart disease has become the number one killer in America. One main culprit, Michaels says: Trans fats, aka hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, vegetable oils that have been "reconfigured" to extend their shelf life (but that ultimately harm your cholesterol levels). A medium fry from a fast-food restaurant could contain as much as a whopping 14.5 grams of this fat. That's significant because there are no safe levels of trans fats, according to many public health experts. In fact, if only 3 percent of your daily calorie intake is from trans fats, your risk of heart disease goes up by 23 percent, Michaels notes. "Although fast-food fries are a main culprit, I highly recommend reading your food labels and avoiding this toxic preservative wherever and whenever possible," she says.

The Solution: Bake your fries at home using this simple recipe: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Cut a potato into wedges. (Soak potatoes to reduce harmful acrylamide levels.) Mix together 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder. Coat the potato wedges with the oil/spice mixture and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes in preheated oven.

INFLAMMATORY VEGETABLE OILS


Jayson Calton, PhD, and Mira Calton, CN, authors of The Micronutrient Miracle

The Problem: Don't ruin your healthy salad by dumping inflammatory oils all over it. "Most salad dressings on the market today use canola or soybean oil—two major GMO-laden, pro-inflammatory no-nos," says Jayson Calton. Mira points out that even organic versions still contribute to the unhealthy, pro-inflammatory omega-6/omega-3 imbalance. "Due to the adverse processing methods for corn, soybean, canola, safflower, or cottonseed oils, you are essentially ingesting oxidized molecules that wreak immediate havoc on healthy cellular function," she says. "The bottom line is that these oils are not healthy and should be avoided at all costs."

The Solution: Make your own salad dressing with fresh healthy oils and organic vinegar—it's super easy. Olive oil is OK, say the Caltons, but it can be high in inflammatory omega-6s (if you do go with olive oil, always opt for cold-pressed, extra-virgin). Safer oils include peanut, sesame, avocado, macadamia, flaxseed, and fish oils. Simply combine the oil of your choice with your favorite herbs, garlic, red wine vinegar, and voilà—homemade Italian dressing!

FRUIT JUICE


Dawna Stone, author of The Healthy You Diet

The Problem: Fruit is rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients—but fruit juice does not provide the same health benefits. "Even if you are label conscious and purchase 100 percent real fruit juice or make your own fresh squeezed juice at home, you need to beware of the high sugar content," Stone warns. A glass of fruit juice can have as much sugar as a can of soda, not to mention it's void of one of fruit's main health benefits—its high fiber content.

The Solution: Next time you think about grabbing a tumbler of juice, consider opting for a splash of real fruit juice to a glass of still or sparkling water. Not enough juice to satisfy your craving? Combine whole fruit and ice in a blender for a refreshing and satisfying smoothie. Even better, opt for a green vegetable juice and add the juice of a half a green apple. "I find just ½ an apple or other fruit gives my nutrient-dense green juice just the right amount of sweetness," Stone says.

SWORDFISH


Philip Landrigan, MD, professor of preventive medicine and pediatrics, Mount Sinai

The Problem: One of Dr. Landrigan's No. 1 warnings to women who are pregnant or are looking to become pregnant? "Make avoiding mercury in fish a priority," he says. Swordfish is notoriously high in the heavy metal, a potent neurotoxin that can damage developing children and even trigger heart attacks in adults. Aside from obvious health concerns, swordfish is often overfished and some of the gear commonly used to wrangle in swordfish often kills turtles, seabirds, and sharks.

The Solution: For a healthy omega-3 brain boost, look for fish that are low in contaminants and have stable populations, such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon, Atlantic mackerel, or pole- or troll-caught Pacific albacore tuna. Got a more adventurous palate? Try snakehead fish to satisfy your fish craving and improve the environment.

The invasive species lives on land and water, where it wipes out important frogs, birds, and other critters. Snakehead fish is popping up on some restaurant menus, and the taste and texture are about identical to swordfish.

What other foods do you think we should avoid?

Picture Credit: sweets.seriouseats.com - Jelly may consist of fruit but it doesn't mean it's healthy for you or with your weight loss goals.


Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article 50 Foods You Should Never Eat Review on MSN.com
"50 Foods You Should Never Eat" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

"20 Weight Loss Tricks You Haven't Tried" Review

I've chosen the top 10 from the list on http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/weightloss/20-weight-loss-tricks-you-havent-tried/ar-CC1UYW#page=1.

1. Affirm Your Values




2. Treat Yourself Like a Good Kid




3. Take Small Risks




4. Tune in to Your Emotions




5. Clean Up Your Act




6. Make Healthy Food Convenient




7. Try Active Acts of Kindness




8. De-Motorize Your Life




9. Open the Blinds




10. Limit Your Options




Picture Credit: Eat This, Not That!-Should you analyze your plate?


Article Credit:
Author: Excerpt sourced from Eat This, Not That!
"10 Weight Loss Tricks You Haven't Tried" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

8 Exercise Mistakes Fit Women Make

NOT ENOUGH LOW INTENSITY WORKOUTS


There’s nothing like that feeling of going all out, which is why high-intensity interval training (HIIT) tops many fit women’s must-do workouts. But too much HIIT training can backfire. "Repetitive high-intensity training can stress both your heart and your muscles," notes Jari Love, a personal trainer based in Calgary, Canada.

Instead of doing back-to-back or several HIIT workouts a week, try subbing in one or two days of lighter cardio, like a 30-minute jog or swim. "Doing a less intense workout after a hard day can help with the next HIIT workout, but more important, prevents muscle soreness and injury," Love says. And don’t forget that your workouts should always include some kind of warmup for at least 5–10 minutes before you amp up the intensity.

NOT RESTING


You’re conditioned to hit the gym day in and day out, but we all require time off. "All of the magic happens when you’re resting," says Andrea Barkley, a personal trainer based in Phoenix, AZ. "Working out is catabolic: You’re constantly breaking down your muscles. Rest is anabolic: It’s the time when you repair and rebuild."

The golden rule for most exercisers: Take at least one rest day—and as many as four—a week, depending on how intense your workouts are. "You can still get out and move. Go for a hike, do yoga, try meditation, dance, anything that feels restorative,” Barkley adds. “I call those the ‘working-in’ days!"

NO LOVE FOR YOUR MUSCLES


If you’re not using a foam roller as part of your workout prep or recovery, it’s time to start. "Rolling out is vital to helping your muscle and fascia [the tissue that covers tendons and muscles] stay healthy," explains Geralyn Coopersmith, an exercise physiologist and director of Nike SPARQ Performance Training. Fascia has a viscous quality that can easily get stuck on itself, causing knots and adhesions, Coopersmith says. Result: tightness and discomfort that can compromise your performance and lead to injury.

"Think about it like brushing your teeth, something you do every day to stay healthy," she adds. "Even five minutes of rolling each day can dramatically improve the way your muscles feel and function." Start by placing the roller under your calves and work your way up to your shoulders, slowly rolling back and forth under your entire body; when you get to a tight spot, keep rolling for about 10–15 seconds until it starts to loosen up.

NO VARIETY


If you grocery shop on autopilot and can’t remember the last time your lunch or dinner didn’t include some grilled chicken, it may be time to revisit your menu planning. "Your body needs a variety of food to stay healthy," says Laura Mak Quist, a personal trainer based in Los Angeles. "When you constantly eat the same thing, you not only get bored, but you’re also depriving yourself of important nutrients."

Try adding one or two new things to your menu every week, whether it’s a new vegetable, like eggplant or okra from the produce aisle.. "Take advantage of what’s in season so you’re getting something fresh and delicious," she adds.

PROCESSED FOODS


Let’s face it: Relying solely on energy bars or shakes for ­recovery or a pre-workout boost often pushes far more nutritious choices out of the way. "When you work out hard you need the best nutrition possible," Barkley says. "Most packaged products lack the important micronutrients found in ‘real’ food."

Instead of always reaching for a bar or powder, try an apple dipped in coconut butter, a broiled chicken drumstick with the skin on (it’s good for you!), or a small grass-fed burger patty with mashed avocado on top as an afternoon snack. "These foods stimulate cellular growth and repair and are well metabolized in the body," Barkley adds.

NOT ENOUGH SLEEP


If it’s a choice between slamming the snooze button or grabbing your sneakers and car keys, many fit chicks will usually choose the latter. But solid shut-eye also plays an important role in helping you get lean and strong. "Sleep is when your body is able to continue that important repairing process," notes exercise physiologist Brad Schoenfeld.

"If you regularly deprive your body of rest, it impairs your ability to synthesize new muscle tissue or recuperate." Try shutting out the lights a little earlier and make sure your bedroom is dark, comfortable, and conducive to catching lots of z’s. "It’s not just the quantity of sleep that matters," ­Schoenfeld adds. "It’s also the quality."

NO CHANGE IN A WORKOUT


Your workout repertoire likely includes a solid mix of squats, presses, lunges, and curls, but it’s important to make sure you’re moving your body in all directions. "Many women, especially those who are very fit, tend to work in the same plane of motion over and over again," Barkley notes. "But in the real world, we’re ­doing things like twisting from side to side or diagonally in multiple planes."

Add some multiple-direction moves to your routine, like woodchops or scorpion raises (belly down, arms out to sides, opposite toe toward palms of hands) to increase core strength and give an added cardiovascular challenge.

SLOPPY WORKOUT


Boosting your weight load or sweating through a new interval plan may help your routine keep its forward progress, but for real advancement, you need to occasionally downshift. "A good workout routine not only involves training at different intensities but also knowing when to deload or scale things back," Schoenfeld says.

Periodized programs (building in set blocks of intensity) can help you stay on track. Try organizing your workouts with three weeks of hard work and one week of recovery in both volume and intensity. "This will help to prevent overtraining and keep you on track for making positive changes," he adds. "At the end of the day, it’s the total workout package that really matters."

Picture Credit: huffingtonpost.com

Article Credit:
Author: Ami from Muscle and Fitness Hers
8 Exercise Mistakes Fit Women Make (Adapted from 9 Exercise Mistakes Fit Women Make)
Exercise mistakes to keep in mind while you meet with a Chicago personal trainer.