Bringing Wellness Full Circle

Posts tagged ‘Weight gain’

So you Gained a few Pounds…

It happens to the best of us.  Life happens and … well yes, you know. So here are some tips to help you get on track once you are ready to do so:

1. Clean your house of all leftovers – if they’re not there, you won’t eat them.  It’s not the one dessert or pasta dish that “hurts” you — it’s the finishing the cake.days and weeks in between that do.

2.Eliminate liquid calories – have you been drinking too many calories the last few week? They might destroy your goals.. Drink water and unsweetened tea –like hot green or black tea.

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3.Keep a detailed log —If you can handle it, this alone will help you shed most weight gain.  Write down the foods and drinks you eat and track your workouts.  It’s the best way to track your success!

4.Hit the weights – Get back to it today — get on it and kick those workouts into high gear.

5.Eat REAL foods. What does that mean?  It means eliminating packaged junk and eating REAL foods with loads of nutrients and void of adding sugars and other crappy ingredients

6.Get more sleep.  Head to bed early and aim for 7-8 hours per night.  Sufficient sleep can cure disease and help you lose weight; yep!

7.Move more, more often.  The gym is great, but getting outside and moving in general.  Walk, hike, sprint … whatever you like.  Just get outside and get fresh air.   The more you can move, the better you’ll be. And it will put a smile on your face.

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8.Do something new If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. It’s really that simple sometime.

9.Focus.  Most people try to do too much.  Do a few things great rather than a million thing poorly and then complaining that there’s no time.

Weight Lifting Myths

Let’s talk about some of these heavy (heavy means that you are lifting 60% or more of your one rep max) weight lifting myths that are still hanging around…

Myth #1 : Muscle weighs more than fat – Seriously, one pound is one pound, right? One pound of muscle weighs the same as one pound of fat or one pound of feathers.  The difference between  muscle and fat is this: one pound of muscle takes up less room than one pound of fat. It’s not that muscle weighs more than fat, it’s that fat has more volume than muscle.

Take two women weighing 130 pounds of the exact same height and body type. Woman A lifts heavy weights on a regular basis along with doing her cardio activities and has a body fat of under 30 %. Woman B does not lift heavy weights and only does cardio activities for her exercise. Her body fat is higher than 30%.  Woman A will be able to wear a much smaller dress size than woman B because her body weight is comprised of more muscle which takes up less room than fat. Besides, because muscles increase your BMR which keeps your body mass lean and your metabolism running optimally, woman A will be able to eat more food each day than woman B who does do cardio, but doesn’t lift weights. Steady state cardio workouts burn limited fat and calories at the time activity but they don’t carry forward the post exercise benefits that heavier weight lifting does. Having more muscle on your body is the way to go.

Myth #2 :  Lifting heavy weights will make you gain weight –  Excluding temporary weight gain from water retention, the only way to gain weight is to consume junk calories and/or eating more calories than you burn. Lifting heavy weights burns calories, it does not add them to your body. It is impossible to gain weight from just lifting heavy weights. All these women in the picture below weigh 150 pounds.

Myth #3 :  Only light weights will lean you out –    Getting “cut” is a result of decreasing your body’s subcutaneous fat, and in order to do that , you have to eat superior food and/or less calories than you burn.  It does not have anything to do with your rep range is or how heavy the weights are that you lift.

Myth #4: Heavy Weights will make Women Bulky –  Since muscle takes up less space than fat if you just maintain your current body weight  and increase your lean muscle mass you will become smaller, not bigger.  Woman can build muscle, get stronger and improve their physique by lifting heavy weights, but they will certainly never build as much muscle mass as a man since they have a lower testosterone level. So unless they use steroids, women will always look feminine.

If your thighs increase in size after starting a heavy weight program it is either because of temporary water weight gain or because you are consuming more calories than you are burning, or are eating too much processed foods. Even if you lose one pound of fat in your thighs and gain one pound of muscle, your thighs will still shrink in size since muscle take up only about a third of the space fat does.

Myth #5: Light weights are better for women– There really is no difference between the weights a man or a woman should use in their training program. Light weights are great to use in a circuit, endurance  or a low impact cardio program to burn extra calories, but they are not as efficient as heavy weights in developing lean muscle mass.

When you lift a weight, or for that matter any heavy object, the muscle you’re using must contract.  Not the entire muscle contracts, just some of the thousands of muscle fibers that make up the muscle contract. The body learns through life experiences just how many muscle fibers it needs to contract to lift an object of a certain weight.  When you life a heavy weight, your muscles contract much more forcefully and in greater abundance than say the muscles used to pick up a glass of water.  To maximize efficiency the body only uses the minimum amount of muscle fibers necessary to lift an object. And each individual muscle fiber either contracts 100% or it doesn’t. Period.  There is no such thing as an individual muscle fiber contracting at 20% or 50%.  This means when you only do an exercise with a light weight only a very small percentage of your muscle fibers in that particular muscle performing the exercise are doing any work at all. The rest of your muscle fibers within that particular muscle are doing absolutely nothing and getting pretty much zero benefit from the exercise. Engage as many muscle fibers within that particular muscle as possible makes sense, doesn’t it? And this means lifting heavy weights.

There you have it. The end.

 

Stress Strategies 101


Holidays are here, and it should be all fun and games and family times and laughter, but some of us experience serious stress right about now.  Stress makes you cranky, makes you fatter, makes you older and not fun to be around, not even yourself. I figured this would be a good time for this post about some basic strategies to help you right now…

1. Give up the Guilt! 

So your life is out of balance right now, but you know what? That’s just the way it is. So much to do, so little time… Here’s a no-brainer for you: not everything needs to be done every single day. So there’s a bit of dust on your table–who cares? It will all even out at the end.

2. Good is Good Enough

Your Christmas cookies don’t have to be perfect, and the gifts don’t have to be exquisitely wrapped.  Be happy with 80 %. People will remember the fun they had with you, not your gitf wrapping abilities… Hours of your life are wasted and nobody notices the difference but you. Get over yourself and take a step closer to acceptance.

3. If You Don’t Snooze, You Lose
Exhaustion is not a badge of honor. Without sleep you are worthless to yourself and those around you. Staying up even one hour later to finish a task costs you more than your health. Try irritability, trouble retaining information, minor illness, poor judgment, increased mistakes and even weight gain. This is your wake up call to get your zzzzz’s.

5. Say No in Order to Say Yes 
Sure you’ve heard this before, but are you turning down those distractions disguised as opportunities? Are you still knocking yourself and saying YES to everyone around you even when you knwo it’s too much for you? It’s not selfish to say no to others when the intent is to clear some space to say Yes to you. Let me say it again: it’s not wrong to say NO sometimes.  Life does go on even if you aren’t involved in every activity, party or event. Look at it this way, being missed makes you more interesting and appreciated when you do show up.

6. Power “Off” to Turn Yourself On

The quickest way to gain downtime is to turn off phone, FB, TV and all that jazz and enjoy the lack of distractions. Rather than screen sucking, grab that unopened book from your shelf, call a good friend or grab a cup of your favorite beverage and reflect on your day–my kind of evening!

Last but not least: it’s not very easy to feel stress and be grateful at the same time. When you’re on overwhelm, simply take a deep breath, and count your blessings – works every time.

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