Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stress and Belly Fat

Did you know that stress can be your worst fat loss enemy? In the past few days working with my clients and talking with lady friends the subject of tummy fat has come up more than a few times. What is causing it? STRESS!!!!

While cortisol is an important hormone and a helpful part of the body’s response to stress, it’s important that the body’s relaxation response be activated so the body’s functions can return to normal following a stressful event. Higher and prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream not only have numerous negative health effects on your immune system it is also responsible for increased abdominal fat. Unfortunately, in our current high-stress culture, the body’s stress response is activated so often that the body doesn’t always have a chance to return to normal, resulting in a state of chronic stress. So what does one do? You must build in some ‘de-stressors’ and if you can do even one of these steps your body and belly will thank you!

1. Exercise – Of course this is number one for me and should be for you! This is one of the most effective and healthiest ways to deal with any kind of stress. Get moving, do something that you enjoy, do it daily and try your best to get a sweat on!
2. Network, Fellowship, Find YOUR Tribe – Reach out to family and friends to develop meaningful relationships. Stay in touch, even when you feel the most stressed.
3. Meditate and Slow Down – Build in some down time where you do nothing. Practice sitting for five minutes and just focus on your breath or something positive like gratitude. Increase that time and see how much more effective you are after re-setting your body’s stress response timer.
4. Be of Service and get out of yourself– Sometimes the best way to help yourself feel better is to help someone else. Small gestures can make a big difference and can get you out of yourself. I don’t know about you but I sure get sick of me, me, and more me.
5. Powerful words – Develop positive self talk or a mantra to encourage yourself. You are a grown woman and don’t need to hear it from others (although geez sometimes it’s nice).
6. Rest – Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep and almost everyone gets over tired. Stress can seem insurmountable under these conditions, so try to get your zzz’s on a regular basis.
7. LAUGH – Have a laugh, or plan something fun. Even if you’re under a timeline, sometimes by taking a break or having something to look forward to, it gives you renewed strength and energy. So take a break and have some fun.
8. WALK AWAY from or limit the time you spend with the people in your life who are negative, scared and fearful. They will drag you down and take your energy. Trust your intuition on who they are.
9. 70% is good enough – Accept imperfection for some things. Be realistic, don’t purposely set the bar low, do your best, but then accept your best even if it’s not perfect. Take imperfect action.
10. Be Creative – Nurture this side of yourself. Journal, paint, garden or cook.
11. Get organized – De-stress your mind and de-clutter your life. By getting organized you will save time too. Anyone looking for service work you are welcome to come by and help me out here.
12. Say ‘NO’ – Don’t over plan your life and prioritize what’s important to you (like exercise (put it in your day timer – make a date with YOU or a trainer!) This may mean saying no to some things like volunteering, social invitations, work commitments.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Trying to figure out how to lose weight fast and safe can be confusing and overwhelming. There is so much information out there that can be baffling, overwhelming and it just makes you want to throw your hands up in the air or rather into a bag of chips. I hope this information can help you begin the path to weight loss safely and without pills. While weight loss isn't complicated (it's simply calories in minus calories out), how to lose weight fast and healthy is not so simple. Here's a 12-step plan for how to lose weight fast naturally. It starts with 5 basics:

• Make a commitment.
• Eat only healthy foods.
• Consume fewer calories.
• Get super quality nutrition.
• Exercise enough every day.

And while slow weight loss tends to be more permanent, it's still definitely possible to lose weight a little faster. But how fast is fast and how fast is safe?

12 Steps to Lose Weight Fast Naturally

You could lose 20 pounds of water weight your first week. But that's not fat. It takes approximately 3,500 calories to add or subtract a pound of body fat. So for each 500 fewer daily calories, you lose about a pound a week.

1. Reduce calories per pound.
If you currently eat 2,700 calories a day, by cutting down to 1,200 daily calories, you could possibly lose 3 pounds a week. But never average less than 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day.

2. Eat small meals more often
. Eating every 2-3 hours helps you keep blood sugar stable, avoid ravenous hunger and make healthier choices. Don’t get too busy to eat or you will sabatoge all your efforts. Plan ahead and think of healthy choices and prepare those healthy snacks and bring them along on those errands, don’t look for them at the mall or work that’s where you find sugar and empty calories! BEWARE.

3. Include way more daily fiber. Try filling up on high fiber foods that are low in calories, you can satisfy your hunger and feel full on less food.

4. Keep a daily written record.
Tracking calories, exercise and emotions in a weight loss journal, keeps you aware, accurate and accountable.

5. Manage time for weight loss.
Learning how to lose weight fast, safe and healthy is a major project that takes time management and focus. Research nutrition online there are so many incredible sites dedicated to your health and wellness. If you don’t know what protein or carbs really are then Google it and learn it. Print if off and post it on the inside of your kitchen cupboards. My favorite website: www.sparkpeople.com

6. Exercise and be more active.
Since physical activity burns calories and muscle burns more calories than fat, including exercise and weight training in your lose weight fast plan will help you lose weight faster. Weight training is especially important for women to prevent osteoporosis and ladies it helps to speed up your metabolism, burning calories faster and more efficiently. Hire a trainer to get you started or ask for help at your local gym. Correct form for your exercises is critical in achieving your goals and preventing injuries.

7. Drink pure calorie-free water. A high water intake fills you up, carries nutrients to cells and detoxifies your body. So drink at least 8 cups a day.

8. Choose the healthiest foods. We all know that a low calorie diet is much healthier – as long as you're eating the healthiest foods. This includes:

• Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably organic meaning (chemical free),
• Good quality low fat, high protein foods,
• And enough good fats with limited bad fats.

9. Avoid sweet and salty foods. Salt and sugar cause water retention and food cravings. Stick with low sodium and low glycemic foods.

10. Get every important nutrient.
If you want to be thin, looking good and feeling good too, you need to include quality health supplements.

11. Stop feeding your emotions.
Hunger is generally not the cause of overeating. Emotions are. So to lose weight fast (or slow) it's absolutely necessary to learn how to stop emotional eating and overeating. Get help, your life depends on it.

12. Focus and keep your eyes on the prize. To win the battle, you must make "lose weight" the goal through visualization. Do you have a holiday or event coming up? Picture what you want to look like and keep that image as your focus when grabbing for the junk food or the extra drink. Picture where you want to be in 5 or 10 years or even 1 year from now? Healthy and hiking or testing blood sugar levels and bedridden due to some self-inflicted health condition. Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? The choice is yours and you have to be ready to make your change!

To lose weight fast and healthy you still need to put these 12-steps for how to lose weight naturally into action. It works when you work it!