Category Archives: Lifestyle Tips

Healthy and Natural Fat Loss Tips

fat lossThere are some pillars of fat loss that certainly cannot be overstated. The main principle behind losing any weight or any kind of fat loss is to be at a caloric deficit. Whether you are going for moderate or extreme fat loss, the point is you have to be consuming less calories than you are burning. By creating that deficit, your body will tap into stored fat you have for fuel, which in turn leads to fat and weight loss. If you combine eating at a caloric deficit with exercise, you may be able to even create an environment in your body where rapid fat loss could happen. That being said, there is no magic bullet or special formula towards a fast track to  rapid fat loss. It takes patience, a lot of motivation and hard work to achieve your fitness goals when it come to creating a leaner physique. Don’t be fooled by some fat loss factor scam, because there are many out there that make it sound easy because rapid weight loss takes a lot of effort and discipline. As earlier said, let’s take a look at some of fundamental principles behind the basics of  rapid fat loss.

1. Eat 6 Small Meals a Day

Taking several small meals a day is becoming a common practice, and with good reason as nutritionists and health buffs alike are adopting this new philosophy and getting great results, and sometimes even at a rapid pace. The main hypothesis around this eating frequency is that a smaller meal can help one lose weight and absorb nutrients better. The frequent meals also have that thermic effect when we eat as our metabolism is boosted during each meal. Frequent meals also tell the body it does not have to panic, hence avoiding the storage of fat. That is the reason health experts use words like “graze” when describing how to eat for fat lose. You also get to train your stomach to feel full right away with less food consumed. Eating smaller meals more often stabilizes nutrient oxidization levels, making your body more efficient at burning food, so anyone who wishes to lose should adopt this eating habit. Eating smaller meals has also been shown to lower blood cholesterol.

In addition, nibbling throughout the day prevents hunger pangs from setting in. Going from lunch to 6:00pm or even beyond without food usually ends with a voracious appetite. This is a very bad way of eating since our metabolism can only handle a certain amount of nutrients in one sitting.

2. Try High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Time and again, high-intensity interval training is one of the proven ways to effective rapid fat loss. You’ve heard about their benefits forever and for good reason – they produce real results at a rapid or gradual pace. If you’re looking for a definite way to burn fat rapidly and lose some mass in the process, HIIT is the gold standard to follow. High-intensity interval training is more efficient also with time spent in caloric expenditure than a regular cardio workout. Not only will your body torch more calories during a HIIT session, but your workouts will also continue to burn more calories and fat hours after a HIIT workout session. Go on sprint interval workouts on a treadmill or go out and sprint hills, drag tires, push or pull sleds or even drag tires.

3. Lift Weights

It’s time to lift some heavy metal if you are truly serious about  rapid weight loss, so now’s the time if fat loss is your objective. Even if you start light and work your way up to heavier weights, gaining muscle is going to make you more efficient as a fat burning furnace. When it comes to exercise, you have to do resistance training to increase lean mass. Fat is burned inside our muscle tissues. The bigger and more massive our muscles, the more your fat-burning furnace will devour. Adding muscle boosts the size of the fat-burning furnace. This is the reason why when a pair of male and female decides to go on a workout plan, the male loses more mass faster than the female. That’s because genetically, the man is built to pack on more muscle which in turn contributes directly to faster fat loss.

4. Eat Fat

Believe it or not, we need fat and it can actually help fat reduction. Just like anything else we each have our individual tolerance to fatty foods. Fat has several unique hormonal effects that we have to understand. First, fat helps manage hunger through the release of hunger hormones. Second, fat also has a relatively neutral effect on insulin when it is consumed by itself. Also bear in mind that insulin is not an exclusive fat storing hormone. Fat intake releases a fat storing hormone too. Very low and restricted fat diets decrease testosterone and other important hormones and may cause low fat loss and impede muscle gain. The best approach is to eat your fat,(make sure they are good fats found in nuts and other omega rich foods) but don’t go over the top with it especially when it comes with starch and other high glycemic foods.

5. Reduce Stress With Yoga

Stress causes us to hang on to fat. Find ways to reduce your stress, doing relaxation activities such as yoga. Stress has been known to add to abdominal fat and other unhealthy conditions. Schedule a daily dose of Yoga, heading out for a little relaxation may go a long way toward helping you reach your fitness goals.

6. Keep a Journal of your Meals and Exercise or Download an App

One of the most significant ways to make sure that you continue to eat healthy and exercise right is to be aware of everything that do with your body. What better way to do that than with some of the apps made for the gadget you at all times have with you. Your smart phone can be empowered with these apps. There are lots of applications made for iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac and PCs that put all that power to monitor your progress in your palm. One popular app that is free is Lose It! However, it does not really matter which app you use as long as it serves its purpose of tracking all your workout routines and diet. Let technology help in your battle against the bulge.

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Don’t try your luck with fad diets, slimming pills or absurd weight loss machines. In order to lose weight, all you need is determination, commitment and the right choices.

How To Lose 10 pounds the Fastest Way

lose 10 poundsLosing 10 pounds in a week is real easy. Just get a knife and chop off any arm.

Seriously, how to lose 10 pounds will take some real motivation and focus if you are determined about shedding weight in the quickest possible time. A quick way to lose 10 pounds will surely involve either extreme diet, extreme exercise  or a combination of both. The best way to lose 10 pounds is ideally through a gradual period of time. There are however some unforeseen cases, when ways to lose 10 pounds in a week are explored, especially by people who have to attend important engagements on very short notice, but want to look their absolute best. There is no guarantee if this can be pulled off in a healthy manner, but nevertheless, let’s take a look at methods to achieve quick weight loss (but not necessarily in one week) for those that need to lose 10 pounds.

Here are some weight lose strategies to help you realize your goals from cool-health.com. These are just some principles to live by during that week of grueling fat loss.

“To lose 10 pounds in a week, you will have to reduce or completely stop your carbohydrate intake. Carbohydrates have the maximum calories and while having a balanced meal with some carbs everyday is a healthy habit, to lose 10 pounds in a week you will have to lose the habit. Instead stick to lean meats, vegetables and fruits.

What most experts don’t tell you about how to lose 10 pounds in a week is that getting sufficient rest is an integral part of your weight loss process. Since you are trying to push your body in to losing more weight that it normally would, you need between 8 to 10 hours of sleep. The more rested you feel, the faster your weight loss process.

When you wake up in the morning, drink 2 glasses of chilled water and get out for a brisk 15 minute walk. You don’t want to overdo the exercise because you don’t want to be too tired. All you want to do is jump start your metabolism first thing in the morning. Avoid coffee as it causes bloating and water retention. Have green tea and natural juices if your body needs something more substantial.

Sip chilled water throughout the day for the whole week. Cold water makes you burn calories faster! The body needs to use up calories in order to warm up the water before using it up. So go ahead and drink as cold water as you can tolerate.”

Now that these ground rules have been set, let’s take a look a t a diet plan that is geared towards this extreme weight loss in such a short period. Again it must be reiterated that losing 10 pounds in a week is not the healthiest way to lose weight. However, some unexpected events do crop up that make it necessary to lose that much weight, like a crucial job interview for instance. These diet methods make sure you can lose the weight in a safe manner. There are also some basic exercise guidelines. Here are the tips, also from coolhealth.com.

“If really want to lose 10 pounds in 1 week, you have to eat 6 or more smaller meals. There really is no other way to keep your metabolism revved up throughout the day. Choose a medium sized plate and aim to fill that up every 4 hours and eat it all up. While you can stick to the rule of 3 full meals and 3 snacks, it is better to choose only natural foods. Anything processed is not going to help you lose 10 pounds in a week.

For your meals, fill half your plate with steamed veggies tossed in extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with fresh herbs. A quarter of the plate must be some form of lean protein. This can either be a piece of grilled fish or grilled chicken or even beans and legumes. Beans and legumes are wonderful because not only are they an excellent source of protein but they also are contain a lot of fiber which is excellent for you to lose 10 pounds in a week. The last quarter of your plate should be fresh fruit.

For snacking, choose to have yogurt, nuts, vegetables like carrots and cucumbers or fruits like apples and pears. Stay away from chips and dips of any kind. Even diet chips are not going to help you lose 10 pounds in a week.

If you really want to lose 10 pounds in 1 week, forget about your 1 hour of cardio workout. All you need is 20 to 40 minutes of intense workout with bursts of resistance training. So do a light running or jogging for 15 minutes and then 15 reps of weight training. Repeat the process. You’ll find your body has tired much more and the sudden fluctuation in exercises will increase your metabolism.

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If you are looking for ways on how to lose 10 pounds in a week for kids, the process can be slightly tougher. Children need a more balanced diet at all times for optimum growth. It is a better idea to cut out all junk food from the diet and ensure your kids play a sport every day.”

Now that you know how to lose 10pounds in a week safely, try and go for it. At least you have set a lofty goal that even if you fail to reach, will at least amount to significant weight loss. Good luck and hopefully you get your beach ready body soon.

Meet Your New Bestfriend: Weight Loss Apps to Push Your Limit

weight loss appsOne of the best strategies for weights lose is to keep track of how you are doing. It is suggested that you keep a daily journal of how you eat, when you eat, and what you eat. The same holds true for exercise. Keeping a daily journal of what you do during each workout helps to monitor the progress you are making, and hopefully should inspire you to keep on at it. Weight loss apps help make doing these things a lot easier. Life can be very complicated, so you will need every little bit of help to keep yourself organized. What you can do is put weight loss strategies right in the palm of your hand by choosing the best weight loss apps for your Smartphone. There many weight loss apps out there, some are even free weight loss apps that don’t cost a dime. Let us take a look at some of the top weight loss apps you could choose from.

1. Lose It!

This well-liked app features a recipe builder, a free barcode scanner, as well as a broad database of food and activities. Users can add food to the database and keep tabs on nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Lose It! is free and is one of the most complete diet apps. This app automatically generates a daily “calorie budget” based on your settings. Enter data like your food intake and exercise output and the app will display your calorie deficit or surplus. Lose It! Works on both Android and iPhone platforms..

2. MyFitness Pal Calorie Counter and Fitness Tracker

This app was reviewed by over 300,000 users on iTunes and nearly as many in the Android Market platform. This first rate app comes with a barcode scanner to see what is hiding in your desired packaged foods and it helps you come up with a total calorie count of what you eat every day. It also comes with a huge database that contains more than 750,000 foods. The app is free and works on Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, and Windows Phone platforms.

3. Endomondo Sports Tracker

This app is made for runners, bikers, and anyone with a workout that gets them outdoors. This hi-tech app makes use of GPS to track your routes and makes your everyday jog enjoyable again. Endomondo Sports Tracker is capable of recording data about your run, allowing you to see a Google Maps view, lap times, and even a workout history. If you are a serious runner you can upgrade to the $3.99 paid version that interfaces with Facebook and Twitter and is capable of getting data from heart-rate sensors and pedometers. Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry users can use Endomondo Sports Tracker.

4. WeightBot

If you desire a no frills, no-nonsense way to keep an eye on your weight, the $1.99 WeightBot is the app to get. Its simplicity is its single biggest asset. All you need to do is key-in your weight on the homepage and WeightBot will automatically come up with your BMI. Twist your phone clockwise and the app will show your weight loss on a graph. Turn your iPhone counter-clockwise and the app displays a bar graph detailing how much you still have to lose. WeightBot is password-protected.

5. FoodScanner

This app isn’t as complete as Lose It! and it isn’t free, setting you back $4.99. It does have a nice feature though. It comes with a UPC barcode scanner that makes it super easy to add foods to your daily log. The scanner works amazingly well and the app is capable of separating the items you eat into individual meals. Items that you cannot scan like produce and meat can be searched in the database by using keywords. FoodScanner displays your total calories ingested for the day, but you need to sign up for a free account at DailyBurn.com to see more detailed information..

6. Weight Watchers

The highly successful Weight Watchers which has been helping people keep track of their weight for over 50 years finally finds its way to your palm. The Weight Watchers app version is not new, but recent tweaks and upgrades to it have added lots of features. As an alternative to calorie counting, food value is based on the PointsPlus system, which factors in nutrition and calories. It’s also loaded with tips that offer you healthy options to make on some everyday food choices. These tips can be really informative for planning a “day off” that doesn’t compromise your hard work. The Weight Watchers app works with iPhone or Android platforms.

7. Fitocracy

This app offers that added little something to perk things up. Fitocracy simulates a game for your workout. You gain points as if you were playing a video game each time you workout. When you begin, you are able to personalize your experience by answering a few questions about yourself and your fitness goals. Some of these data can be open to the public, but Fitocracy allows you to keep hidden facts like your weight. Fitocracy users earn points each time they record a workout, App users can also participate in “Quests,” which are gym challenges designed to “shock” your body into workout cycles. Expect a cameo from Arnold Schwarzenegger himself. The Fitocracy app works for either iPhone or Android platforms.

8. GAIN Fitness Cross Trainer

This iphone app for weight loss is great for workout newbie’s s who are ready to get into a workout or for anybody that is just looking for some fresh motivation. GAIN Fitness Cross Trainer has lots of moving images of actual people doing all sorts of yoga positions, strength moves, and aerobic exercises to show you how to do these things correctly. One more feature that makes this app great is that it will personalize your workouts to the amount of time you want, your fitness condition, as well as the parts of your body you want to isolate.

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There are even more apps out there that can help you get nearer your fitness goals. Empower yourself thru your Smartphone by getting one or two of these apps so losing weight and keeping fit is a cinch.

6 Fitness Myths Exposed

fitness mythsGiven the wealth of information out there on how to stay healthy, one wonders about what separates truth from fiction. Fitness myths come and go as old rules of the health game get debunked by new theories formulated by our fitness experts. Fitness myths and facts should be carefully scrutinized and researched since new concepts are being developed by the experts in our never ending quest to mold the perfect body.

Fitness myths exposed can only be a result of how we are evolving with our ways and methods to stay in shape. Yesterday’s gym mantra could very well be one of today’s workout myths. Take for instance the emphasis on aerobics in the 80’s. As it turns out, too much aerobics with no weight resistance wastes away precious muscle and diminishes bone density. Or what about the no fat diet from the same decade. People loaded up on carbs and juices, and that only produced one of the fattest generations of the last century. And what about our grandparents telling us eggs are unhealthy? Turns out that eggs have one of the most perfect protein profiles. As we try to identify some fitness myths, just bear in mind that these are based on what we know at the present time, and some of these may change. So let’s take a look at some top fitness myths of the present day.

1. Spot Reducing is Possible

Infomercials love to market products that can remove your spare tire, or other bulges here and there just by using their product or new fad exercise program. But losing fat in specific places just does not happen. Sparkle.com sheds light on this myth.

“This concept is called “spot training” and unfortunately, it doesn’t burn fat. When you lose weight, you are unable to choose the area in which the reduction will occur. Your body predetermines which fat stores it will use. For example, doing sit-ups will strengthen you abs but will not take the fat off of your stomach. Similarly, an activity like running burns fat all over your body, not just your legs. You can, however, compliment a balanced exercise program with a selection of weight training exercises to gradually lose weight and tone the body.”

2. More Training Means More Muscle Gains

Gosh, if this were true, we would have countless numbers of Mr. Olympia looking guys walking around. And a six pack would be as commonplace as a beer gut. Askmen.com explains this misconception.

“If you think making the gym your second home is a great way to get results, think again. Overtraining is a surefire way to stop any muscle growth — instead of your body rebuilding its muscle tissues, it’ll continue to break it down. This means you’ll actually start to lose muscle. You need to train smarter, not harder. When you are in the gym, give 110%. Push your muscles, then give them the rest they need to grow bigger and stronger. Make sure to do cardio training. If your workouts are taking much longer than an hour, chances are you are either wasting too much time between sets, or you’re not training in the most effective manner.”

3. Women Who Lift Weights Will Become Freaky Big

Not true. Women are not physiologically built to pack on muscle the way men do. They may get nice, sexy and toned, but certainly won’t turn into female Lou Ferrignos. The Washington Post had an article with Dr. Ibrahim of D.C. United on the subject.

“Most women have nothing to worry about in terms of bulking up, says Victor Ibrahim, a team doctor for D.C. United. “First of all, it requires very intensive training that most people won’t do — like pyramid training,” Ibrahim says. Pyramid training is a system of overloading muscles, working them to exhaustion. Secondly, Ibrahim says, most women lack the testosterone levels to build bulging muscles. Weight training does create some muscle definition, which is something many women want. “Resistance training is actually essential for toning,” Ibrahim says”

4. Muscle Turns Into Fat

No, no, no. Fat is fat and muscle is muscle. There is no such thing as fat to muscle or muscle to fat metamorphosis. Askmen.com debunks this widely held and silly belief.

“Just as fat can’t transform into muscle, muscle won’t transform into fat. Building muscle and losing body fat are two completely different processes and, while this can be done simultaneously, it is very rare. Most of the time, you need to focus on one objective before you can focus on another. This is so because, in order to gain muscle, you must consume more calories than you burn and, in order to lose body fat, you must burn more calories than you consume.”

5. The Bigger I Am, The Stronger I Get

Bruce Lee was 5’7” weighing about 140 pounds, but he could pack one hell of a punch even with his one inch technique. Size does not equal strength as pointed out here by askmen.com.

“Strength and size do not have a direct correlation. Power training (one measurement of strength) encompasses training that may not add any size, yet you can still see a great deal of strength improvements. If you look at many well-recognized martial arts experts — like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan — they are very small, but incredibly strong. Their small sizes contribute to their quick speed; therefore, this is the best type of training for them. Obviously, some people will have the goal to bulk up as much as possible and that’s fine. Just remember: Bulking up isn’t necessarily a requirement to gain strength.”

6. You Can’t Gain Muscle After 40

Good news for all the middle age people out there. It isn’t true that your muscle building ability is gone at this age, according to bodybuilding.com.

“Age does bring wear and tear, but at 40 you’re still a training baby unless you’ve been a competitive professional athlete since you were a teenager. You can gain muscle despite hormonal deficiencies—it just may be a tad harder.
If you are over 40, you might want to go check your blood and run some saliva tests to rule out deficiencies. If you’re deficient in some hormones, you may want to look into replacement therapy so you aren’t at risk for heart disease or osteoporosis.”

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These 6 myths are just scratching the surface of what’s true and not true when it comes to fitness and health. Be well informed by reading-up and asking other people about information that may not seem logical or reasonable. Information about fitness is an ever evolving thing so make sure you keep abreast with new data emerging so you are up-to-date on the latest facts, and not stuck with some old myths.

6 Tips to Remember When Bulking Up

Bulk UpTo bulk up is usually one of trickiest things to do when it comes to human physiology. We all want to gain muscle, but in doing so, we also end up putting on some unwanted fat. There are ways to minimize this, however, given the proper diet, and the right amount, and kind of exercise. Bulking up, of course, will require eating more then we usually do to create a caloric surplus. Simply put, if we don’t eat enough, no amount of time in the gym is going make us gain weight. Next is we have to provide the body the proper stimulus for muscle growth, or else we will just be packing on flab and fat. It’s a very fine balance that we have to strike between diet and exercise to achieve the best way to bulk up. One will also have to understand nutrition basics and foods to bulk up if we want to gain muscle with a minimum amount of fat. “How can I bulk up fast?” one may ask and the answer to that is to eat right and perform exercises to bulk up. Let’s take a look at some basic bulking up principles.

Diet and Nutrition

We already mentioned that you must eat at a surplus, to be able to gain weight. Here now is a breakdown of how and what to eat to be able to realize this goal from bodybuilding.about.com.

Bulking Up Basic #1

“Increase your protein intake to 1.5 grams of protein per pound bodyweight. Therefore, if you weigh 200lbs, you need to eat around 300 grams of protein per day. I have noticed that if I eat more than 40 grams of protein in one sitting I feel lethargic and have issues digesting the food. Therefore, divide 300 by 40 and that will give you the amount of meals that you need to eat per day. In this example, the 200-lb bodybuilder will need to eat, around 7-8 meals per day spaced out with a minimum of 90 minutes in between meal and a maximum of 3 hours. Protein sources should come from lean low fat sources like chicken, turkey, 93% lean red meats, tuna, egg whites, shrimp, tilapia, mackarel, and salmon.”

This however does not complete the equation. In order to do heavy lifting, which you surely will be doing to gain mass, you will also need carbohydrates to fuel those intense workouts.

Bulking Up Basic # 2 is to eat carbohydrates. Here is a detailed guide with as to how to tweak your carbohydrate intake from bodybuilding.about.com. Surprisingly you will also need to adjust your intake of fats, but that pertains to the good fat, which is thoroughly discussed below as bulking up basic number 3.

Bulking Up Basic #3

“Increase your intake of good fats. Some fats are necessary to ensure good hormonal production and thus muscle growth. Eliminate all fats and see your testosterone levels take a dive. The body needs fats like the Omega Essential Fatty Acids in order to ensure proper hormonal production and brain function. These oils are essential because the body cannot manufacture them and they help with many things like enhanced recovery due to reduced inflammation, enhanced nutrient partitioning due to their ability to neutralize enzymes necessary for fat storage (so this means more calories go toward muscle production and less to fat) and even help with enhancing your mood! In order to get your good fats keep the essential fats at 3 tablespoons per day for guys and 1.5 for women in the form of flax seed oil, fish oils or extra virgin canned olive oil. I split my fats between my two low carbohydrate meals, which are meal 7 and 8. The reason I like to do this is because they eliminate my cravings for sweets at night that come as a result of the reduced carbohydrate intake at this time. Also, if I eat the fats earlier in the day with my carbohydrates, they completely kill my appetite and make it hard for me to consume the amount of carbohydrates that I need to eat.”

– from bodybuilding.about.com

Exercise

Most exercise experts will agree that to put on serious mass, you have to lift heavy. Lifting heavier breaks down more muscle tissue and encourages the creation of size, rather than definition. Ever see a lean weightlifter? We doubt if you have. This will mean workouts with minimal repetitions. Still you will be cycling these workouts with different amounts of weight, but the basic principle is go heavy. Here is a recommended pattern to follow from askmen.com.

Bulking Up Basic #4

“Organize your workouts into three periods, each lasting a month to six weeks. First, go for rapid muscle growth. Do strength training workouts with progressively heavier weights. That means, on most exercises, do 3 sets of 6 to 10 repetitions, using enough weight so that your muscles are fatigued on the last rep.”

Bulking Up Basic #5

“Do a strength cycle, and do power lifting-type workouts with much heavier weights. (As with all lifting programs, be careful not to overdo it, and always have a spotter when using maximal free weights.) Thoroughly warm up with at least 15 minutes of light cardio exercise and stretching, then do 4 to 5 sets of 3 to 5 repetitions of exercises like squats, dead lifts and bench presses.”

Bulking Up Basic #6

“Do a few weeks of “cutting up,” in which you lift lighter weights. Go for 3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions, and employ supersets (going from one exercise to another without taking a rest in between) and other high-intensity tactics. Add more cardio exercise and watch your diet more carefully. This doesn’t add new muscle or strength, but it sure lets you see what you’ve spent the previous months building.”

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Bulking up is going to be a tricky mix of what you eat and how you lift. One thing to do as you embark on this phase in your quest for that perfect physique is to keep a journal of what you eat and how you exercise. This way you will be able to track how you respond to a certain diet program, and how you benefit from an exercise regimen. This will enable you to make little tweaks and adjustments as you travel the road towards serious mass.

8 Fitness Tips from Celebrity Trainers

fitness tipsPhysical fitness has become such a big business that trainers are very sought after for their expertise, especially by the really serious exercise buffs. Shows that revolve around exercise and quick fitness tips have become extremely popular on several television networks, with celebrity trainers, rather than movie stars as the hosts of these shows. In these reality TV programs, fitness tips are taught and these lessons can be applied to our own personal routines.

Celebrity trainers have also become the new gurus of fitness, especially with movie stars who want to stay in shape, or who need to get into extreme physical condition for a role. Just as the celebrity chef is a primetime TV phenomenon, celebrity trainers are likewise here to stay as models of good health and experts on exercise. What we have done here is assemble 4 celebrity trainers along with some health fitness tips from each one of them. Listen to their words of wisdom on the subject.

Mike Ryan

Mike Ryan is a personal trainer to Hugh Jackman, and has been keeping Mr. Wolverine in fabulous shape for over 20years now. That’s a calling card that speaks volumes of what he is capable of doing. Ryan calls Jackman his masterpiece. Jockingly, Ryan speaks of Jackman, “He just keeps getting better and better over the years. We’ve got a bet to see if we can both get to 50 and still have a six-pack.”

Here he offers some advice on getting g washboard abs and the importance of diet to achieve that goal from goldsgym.com.

“Abdominals: Many celebs are known for their washboard abs. Ryan reminds his clients that ‘abs of steel’ are only possible to achieve if they eat properly, perform cardio and train regularly. He also encourages them to do crunches on the Swiss Ball, as it does not allow the recruitment of the hip flexors.

Proper Nutrition: To help celebrities maintain their lean bodies without deteriorating the muscles, proper nutrition is essential. Ryan recommends constantly feeding the muscles, ‘you have to eat to be thin.’ He encourages his clients to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and eat a protein rich meal every 2 to 3 hours at least 5 times per day.”

He also has very concise advice for those women that want toned, sexy legs. For all the gals that want that lean, leggy look he has this to say on fitness tips for women.

“Legs: Everyone from celebrities to housewives want to develop tone, lean and sexy legs! To do so, squats must play an integral part in your workout routine! Make sure the proper form is utilized to develop lower body and leg strength. ‘Squats are a fantastic exercise as it develops and recruits all muscles to train efficiently,’ says Michael Ryan. In addition to squats, Ryan encourages his clients to do walking lunges. Depending on the client’s strength and stamina, he instructs them to lunge for distance (80-100 yards) while either carrying weights or wearing a weight vest.”

Frank Sepe

Frank Sepe has appeared on more than 100 magazine covers, on romance book covers, and in countless bodybuilding magazine articles. He has appeared on television programs such as the Late Show with David Letterman, Inside Edition, The Howard Stern Show, Hard Copy and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Frank was fitness host for ESPN2 Cold Pizza and also appeared in a couple of movies, Shortcut to Happiness and Carlito’s Way. He also hosted a phone-in fitness radio program, The Truth on HayHouseradio.com in. Frank offers some words of wisdom in an article he wrote on the challenge of sticking with a fitness program. Health and fitness tips on the subject of persevering are usually not tackled, and are an overlooked culprit at many failed attempts to stay healthy.

“Don’t despair, the two hardest things pertaining to fitness are starting a program and sticking with that program. So you got the first part down, now how do you get over that hump? What is stopping you from following through? Why can’t you wear skinny jeans, or have a perfectly etched mid-section that is reminiscent of a Greek God? Why, Why, Why? I will let you in on a little secret: If you really are going to make it happen this time then you need to make sure your mind and body are in sync.”

Read about his specific tips in his article entitled “Teach Yourself To Stick With A Fitness Program.”

Jillian Michaels

From The Biggest Loser fame, who doesn’t know Jillian Michaels? The 39 year old fitness expert from Los Angeles, California, joined the NBC reality show The Biggest Loser in 2004 as one of its strength coaches. She has since then developed her own personal brand, including a clothing line, a video workout series, , a newsletter with millions of subscribers plus several books on fitness. Jillian is raising two children together with her partner Heidi Rhoades.

She offers some words of wisdom she recently shared in health.com. Here are some selected excerpts.

Be an 80/20 eater

“Make 80 percent of the food you eat healthy and take 20 percent of your daily calories and make them fun.” Otherwise, Jillian says, you’ll feel deprived—and more tempted to go off the deep end.”

Diversify your workout

“When you work multiple muscles at the same time, you’re getting your cardiovascular exercise in while you strength-train. You’re not only saving time, but you’re burning more calories while you’re doing it.”

Get your sleep

“Sleep is a cornerstone of weight management because of the impact it has on your hormones that control how you burn fat, how you store fat, and how you’re maintaining muscle. The better your hormone balance, the better your weight management. I work my butt off to get eight hours a night, but right now I’m at six—the show is murdering me! Even if I go to bed early my son wakes up.”

Bob Harper

When you mention Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper can’t be far behind. One of America’s most recognizable fitness gurus, Bob Harper has coached for countless contestants on the reality show The Biggest Loser. Bob grew up on a cattle farm, and was born on August 18, 1965. He found out about his passion for fitness and health after attending college. Moving to Los Angeles, he trained A-list celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and Ben Stiller. He started on The Biggest Loser in 2004. Bob is one of the most famous fitness experts today. In his new book, “Jumpstart to Skinny: The Simple 3-Week Plan for Supercharged Weight Loss,” he outlines a plan to lose 20 pounds in 3 weeks. Here is the full outline to that strategy with a summary below.

“Drink Coffee

Take Fish Oil With Every Meal

The 40-40-20 Rule

No Complex Carbs After Breakfast

Hydrate

Exercise”

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Celebrity trainers are some of the best in the field. They are the elite fitness gurus, which is why they have become so popular with legions of followers all over the world. Read-up and learn more tips on these successful fitness professionals, and you too can reap the same health rewards.

5 Ways on How to Sleep Better

How to Sleep BetterA lot of how we feel when we are awake has to do with the way we slept the previous night. How to sleep better has been an issue we all have had to struggle with at one time or another. Sleep deprivation afflicts almost everybody, and is a constant concern that challenges most of us. ‘How can I sleep better?” has been a question that has perplexed many of us in the pursuit some decent shut-eye. From intermittent difficulty to chronic insomnia, sleep issues are a hot subject that gets many people on board to weigh in with their opinions and solutions.

Experts have coined a phrase, “sleep hygiene,” and this pertains to the many factors that affect the quality of slumber we get. These include our circadian rhythm or 24-hour cycle, age, psychological stressors, and some social or recreational substances. These are all factors that one must consider, if how to sleep better at night is to be holistically addressed. Usually there is not just one solution that does the trick, but a combination of tips to sleep better that is collectively able to solve sleep difficulty. How to sleep better at night naturally could actually be simpler than you think, once you are able to see the different elements that could be contributing to this condition. Here are some basic reasons you could take a look at to be able to know how to sleep better.

1. Set a Regular Sleep and Wakeup Time

This would fall under your circadian rhythm or 24-hour cycle factor. You have to teach your body a sleep cycle, for it to be able to respond to sleeping with some amount of consistency. Helpguide.org explains the importance of sleeping and waking with regularity, even during weekends.

“Set a regular bedtime. Go to bed at the same time every night. Choose a time when you normally feel tired, so that you don’t toss and turn. Try not to break this routine on weekends when it may be tempting to stay up late. If you want to change your bedtime, help your body adjust by making the change in small daily increments, such as 15 minutes earlier or later each day.

Wake up at the same time every day. If you’re getting enough sleep, you should wake up naturally without an alarm. If you need an alarm clock to wake up on time, you may need to set an earlier bedtime. As with your bedtime, try to maintain your regular wake–time even on weekends.”

2. Exercise to Enhance Sleep

Exercise is one of the elixirs of life that has nothing but benefits for the body. It keeps you healthy, reduces stress and can also help you get a better night’s sleep. Lifehacker.com explains how exercise can enhance you daily slumber.

“The National Sleep Foundation reports that exercise in the afternoon can help deepen shut-eye and cut the time it takes for you to fall into dreamland. But, they caution, vigorous exercise leading up to bedtime can actually have the reverse effects. A 2003 study found that a morning fitness regime was key to a better snooze. Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center concluded that postmenopausal women who exercised 30 minutes every morning had less trouble falling asleep than those who were less active. The women who worked out in the evening hours saw little or no improvement in their sleep patterns.”

3. Create a Sleep Friendly Bedroom Environment

Where we go to bed obviously plays an important role in how we sleep. It is also directly responsible for the quality of shut-eye we are able to obtain. Here are some basic tips that can improve your sleeping environment from webmd.com.

“Avoid watching TV, eating, and discussing emotional issues in bed. The bed should be used for sleep and sex only. If not, we can associate the bed with other activities and it often becomes difficult to fall asleep.

Minimize noise, light, and temperature extremes during sleep with ear plugs, window blinds, or an electric blanket or air conditioner. Even the slightest nighttime noises or luminescent lights can disrupt the quality of your sleep. Try to keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature — not too hot (above 75 degrees) or too cold (below 54 degrees).”

4. Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland, and this triggers feelings we associate with getting sleepy. Unfortunately, our melatonin production reduces as we age, and is why sometimes you notice elderly people sleeping much less at night than younger individuals. Melatonin production is also compromised by exposure to EMFs or electromagnetic fields. Electronic devices for example, all emit EMFs. Helpguide.org also points out solutions to helping you manage your melatonin supply.

• Increase light exposure during the day

• Remove your sunglasses in the morning and let light onto your face.

• Spend more time outside during daylight. Try to take your work breaks outside in sunlight, exercise outside, or walk your dog during the day instead of at night.

• Let as much light into your home/workspace as possible. Keep curtains and blinds open during the day, and try to move your desk closer to the window.

• If necessary, use a light therapy box. A light therapy box can simulate sunshine and can be especially useful during short winter days when there’s limited daylight.

Boost melatonin production at night

• Turn off your television and computer. Many people use the television to fall asleep or relax at the end of the day, and this is a mistake. Not only does the light suppress melatonin production, but television can actually stimulate the mind, rather than relaxing it. Try listening to music or audio books instead, or practicing relaxation exercises. If your favorite TV show is on late at night, record it for viewing earlier in the day.

• Don’t read from a backlit device at night (such as an iPad). If you use a portable electronic device to read, use an eReader that is not backlit, i.e. one that requires an additional light source such as a bedside lamp.

• Change your bright light bulbs. Avoid bright lights before bed, use low-wattage bulbs instead.

• When it’s time to sleep, make sure the room is dark. The darker it is, the better you’ll sleep. Cover electrical displays, use heavy curtains or shades to block light from windows, or try a sleep mask to cover your eyes.

• Use a flashlight to go to the bathroom at night. If you wake up during the night to use the bathroom—as long as it’s safe to do so—keep the light to a minimum so it will be easier to go back to sleep.

5. Manage Stress and Anxiety

There is always a struggle when it comes to stress management, and yes it definitely can throw off your sleep patterns. Stress can cause a host of health issues, and it should really be managed and put in check. Other negative thoughts too like anger and worry can keep you up for hours depriving you of precious slumber. Here are some tips to help you fight those demons in your mind from helpguide.org.

“Relaxation is beneficial for everyone, but especially for those struggling with sleep. Practicing relaxation techniques before bed is a great way to wind down, calm the mind, and prepare for sleep. Some simple relaxation techniques include:

• Deep breathing. Close your eyes, and try taking deep, slow breaths, making each breath even deeper than the last.

• Progressive muscle relaxation. Starting with your toes, tense all the muscles as tightly as you can, then completely relax. Work your way up from your feet to the top of your head.

• Visualizing a peaceful, restful place. Close your eyes and imagine a place or activity that is calming and peaceful for you. Concentrate on how relaxed this place or activity makes you feel.”

There are other small tips that help to get you better sleep such as,

• Avoid alcohol at bedtime

• Don’t read in bed, only use your bed for sleep

• If you don’t feel sleepy, get up from bed

• Avoid heavy meals before bedtime

• Drink a warm glass of milk

• Eat a banana

• Use sleep aids for no longer than 2 weeks to avoid addiction

• Don’t keep a TV or computer in your bedroom

• …And the list goes on”

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A whole book could be dedicated to solutions for better shut-eye. We hope you find at least one or two cures from this article so you can have a better time sleeping at night.