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Trying to Lose Weight Before Summer? Try These Science-Backed Weight Loss Tips

Losing weight can be one of the most difficult challenges you encounter in your life because it’s both mentally and physically challenging.

Science shows that when your body begins to lose a large amount of weight, that your body actually fights to keep the weight on. Don’t let that discourage you though. It is possible to lose weight and keep it off long term or permanently . . . you just need to know how!

Here are 6 tips to help you keep that stubborn weight off:

  • Stop focusing on calories-focus on quality. A 120 calorie donut will cause insulin to spike to handle to rush of too much sugar in the body at once. Insulin is a hormone that causes your body to store fat. 120 calorie chicken breast has almost no glycemic impact meaning no sugar/insulin spike. It’s made of high quality highly absorbable amino acids which will absorb slowly and steadily into your body, keeping you satiated and building more lean muscle. Lean muscle in turn keeps you more fit. You burn more calories per pound of muscle than you do per pound of fat.

  • Avoid soda and sugary drinks completely. You don’t need them for hydration. They’re simply empty calories leading to more tummy fat. Flavored sparkling water with stevia drops is a great substitute.

  • Have fun discovering wholesome, delicious, healthy foods and recipes. Nutrient dense foods will satisfy your hunger and truly feed your cells. Fresh vegetables and plant based foods can be prepared hundreds of delicious healthy ways. Clean lean meats and fish can be broiled, poached, and simmered with healthy salsas or oils to truly satisfy your hunger and feed your cells.  Mix fresh crunchy veggies with a handful of nuts for a long lasting low sugar snack that stays with you for hours. When you allow yourself to get too hungry, it erodes your willpower and you will find yourself eating foods that aren’t good for you, that aid in weight gain, sabotaging the best version of you!

  • Commit to making lifelong changes! See yourself becoming a different person for the long term. Imaging each day that you’re not trying to lose weight—but that you’ve become a person who lives a consciously fit, slim, healthy life. Mindset change is the first step to successfully making permanent changes in your health and fitness!

  • Analyze your goal weight: Were you a size 2 in high school and 20 years later you’re trying to get back to that size? Be reasonable and honest with yourself. Make it your goal to achieve better health and a healthy weight – not an unrealistic ideal weight that you may never reach, leaving yourself feeling frustrated and defeated.

  • Keep your weight loss simple: Make small, easy to manage changes and if you don’t want to go to the gym for 3 hours a day . . . don’t! Do things that will fit into your everyday routine. Increase your walking steps by taking the stairs, take brisk walks during your lunch breaks, and find ways to move your body throughout the day that increase your metabolism and fat burning all day long.

Try some of these simple, easy, tips to lose weight. Do you have some fun tips you would like to share? Head on over to Facebook and share your weight loss secrets and tips with us!

Have a great Skinny Life day!

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Waking Up and Making Your Day Positive!

Mornings are the most important part of the day because what you do in the a.m. will set the tone for the rest of your day.  It’s the foundation on which the day is built and every morning is a new opportunity for a new you!

If you’re not a morning person, create some morning rituals that gives your day purpose. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Wake up with a sense of gratitude:

Start the day appreciating your life, your health, your family, and with love in your heart and mind. When you practice acts of gratitude in the morning by expressing thankfulness directly to the people you care about, that positivity carries you throughout your day. This will leave you feeling happier!

Read something positive:

Many people end their day reading inspiring books – mix it up and start your day this way! Either way, you will have a ritual to start your day with positive thoughts and self-improvement to grow your insight into the world around you! It will start your day on a positive note with positive ideas to carry you through your day’s journey.

Create an effective morning routine:

Happy, healthy people know morning routines are important.  A routine will help you focus and build momentum for your day! You will feel more relaxed and feel like your day is off to a balanced start. A morning routine doesn’t have to be difficult, in fact, the more simple, the better.

Start your day with a healthy, balanced breakfast:

If you feed yourself garbage right when you wake up, how can you expect to have a happy, healthy day?  You are what you eat.  So do not eat processed food, fast food, or anything that leaves you feeling bloated and full. Choose wholesome, fresh, healthy foods. When you fuel your body properly first thing in the morning, it will result in health and wellness.

I hope you found these tips helpful in creating your morning routine! I would love to hear what you do for a positive morning ritual!

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Stretching: Focus on Flexibility

Stretching can help improve flexibility, and increase the range of motion in your joints. Better flexibility will improve your performance of physical activities and decrease your risk of injuries by helping your joints move through their full range of motion and enabling your muscles to work more effectively.

Use these tips to keep stretching safe:

Don’t consider stretching a warm-up. You may hurt yourself if you stretch cold muscles. So before stretching, warm up with light walking, jogging, or biking at low intensity for 5-10 minutes. Or better yet, stretch after you exercise when your muscles are warmed up.

Strive for symmetry. Everyone’s genetics for flexibility are a bit different, so rather than striving for that gymnast or ballet dancer degree of motion, focus on having equal flexibility side to side (especially if you have a history of a previous injury). Don’t bounce. Stretch in a smooth movement, without bouncing. Bouncing as you stretch can cause injury to your muscle.

Hold your stretch. Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds; in problem areas, you may need to hold for around 60 seconds. Breathe normally as you stretch.

Don’t aim for pain. Expect to feel tension while you’re stretching, not pain. If it hurts, you’ve pushed too far.

Bring movement into your stretching. Gentle movement can help you be more flexible in specific movements. The gentle movements of tai chi or yoga, for instance, are a great way to stretch.

Keep up with it. Stretching can be time-consuming. But you can achieve the most benefits by stretching regularly, at least two to three times a week. Finally, don’t think that because you stretch you can’t get injured. Stretching, for instance, won’t prevent an overuse injury. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the most appropriate way to stretch if you have any health concerns.

(Article courtesy of the Mayo Clinic)

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Stop Procrastinating for a Healthier You

Every day we have choices we make, whether conscious or unconscious.

Sometimes the most impactful choices we make, for better or worse, are the ones in which we choose to do nothing at all.

Many health problems we deal with in our lives, whether they be from unhealthy diets, lack of exercise, start with simple procrastination,

Most of us put off the hard things or things we don’t want to do until tomorrow, then tomorrow never comes because we grow accustomed to the idea that things should be easier than they are.

Today, any progress is made by yesterday’s efforts – no matter how big or small. The way we make continuous, positive, healthy changes, comes down to creating new habits and practicing self-discipline and taking action in the moment, even when it feels challenging.

We can choose to live a healthy lifestyle or we can choose to live a sedentary one.  When we wait or make excuses to get up and move, we essentially making a choice to embrace sedentary habits that are truly destructive to our health.

Your body and mind both need to be exercised to gain strength, flexibility, and balance. They both need to be worked consistently to grow, become healthier, and stronger over time. But the secret to creating a healthier lifestyle is to stop procrastinating and have a “do now” mindset.

You can accomplish many great things today, that don’t need to wait until tomorrow.  Getting started requires doing the smallest things.  Jump up and do 25 squats. Run up and down the stairs three times.  When you take positive action in these small ways you are plantings those seeds of discipline, exercise, and healthy eating that will continue to take root and blossom. What you plant today will harvest tomorrow.

Changing habits and learning to do things today that you typically put off is going to be challenging When you’re struggling to make progress, try not to overthink things..  That’s why Nike’s “Just do it” slogan is truly brilliant.  Making a deliberate decision to love yourself enough to make your health a priority can empower you in a way that builds strength and conviction you’ve never had before.

It’s not realistic to think you can change your entire lifestyle and eating habits all at once.  But if you take small but significant steps – one at a time, every day suddenly you realize you’ve become a new version of you. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and decide on one thing you need to improve on. Do you have a soda habit? Tell yourself you can have one a week, then over time, cut that to every other week, then monthly, and so on.  You will find that eventually, you don’t even crave it anymore.  Do you need to move your body more? Start with moderate or light exercise. Maybe you will walk around the block this week, then next week you will walk 2 blocks. Every small positive change will add up to significant changes.

I challenge you each day to take action in the moment before you talk yourself out of it. Over time you’ll be looking in the mirror at a whole new you!

 

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The Importance of Cardiorespiratory Fitness for Heart Health

Being mindful throughout the day and consuming the right diet are vital pillars to having a healthy, beautiful body, but ‘movement is life’ and without it, it is impossible to achieve a true state of health. Numerous studies have long shown that regular exercise is vital to keep Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease at bay, but two new studies indicate that cardiorespiratory fitness in particular, is key if we wish to lower our risk of coronary heart disease. Read on to find out more.

What is Cardiorespiratory Fitness?

Cardiorespiratory fitness is the level at which one’s heart, lungs, and muscles work together during exercise for an extended period of time. Rather than being a fixed state, it is one that can be worked upon; indeed, by building this type of fitness, the lungs and heart use oxygen more optimally, which in turn enables one to last longer during workouts.

What do the New Findings Say?

Two new studies, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings in November, 2017, highlight the importance of measuring and boosting aerobic fitness, both in adults and in children.

In the first study, researchers found that moderate-to-high fitness levels counteracted the effects of having a high Triglyceride/HDL cholesterol ratio (a high ratio indicates an increased risk of heart attack and stroke). For the study, researchers followed the progress of over 40,000 men for over 16 years, finding that those who were fit, had a lower protection from death owing to coronary heart disease, even when they had poor Triglyceride/HDL ratios.

The second study measured fitness in six- to ten-year-olds, and later in 8- to 12-year-olds, finding that cardiovascular disease actually has its origins in childhood. The scientists noted that the early detection of risk factors for heart disease in children could contribute to the development of effective prevention programs and changes in public health policy.They also stressed the importance of exercise to improve fitness levels.

Important Lifestyle Changes Include Exercises

Researchers stressed the importance of avoiding harmful habits like smoking, of following a healthy diet comprising plenty of seasonal fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats, and of exercising regularly. Specifically, they stated that seven to 14 miles per week of moderate exercise such as running or brisk walking, can lower the risk posed by poor cholesterol levels.

The Importance of Injury Prevention

Those who are taking up exercise after a long time, or who have not generally been active before, need to be aware of the importance of stretching as a form of injury prevention. Before running or cycling, for instance, hip flexor exercises should be completed, since these muscles help us do everything from twist to reach, bend forward, stand, walk, etc. Without proper stretching, it is possible to feel stiffness in the hips, a general feeling of unwellness and even aching joints.

http://crystalvisionlife.mybigcommerce.com/Those who have a health condition, meanwhile, should obtain approval from their doctor before embarking on a new fitness routine.

There is no time like today to get active; if research has shown anything, it is that ‘movement is life’; to promote strength, flexibility, happiness and youth, we should ensure that fitness is part and parcel of our daily routine, backing up our workouts with sound nutrition and a positive mindset for success.

There are many powerful tools available to help you stop smoking.  http://crystalvisionlife.mybigcommerce.com

Guest Post by Jane Sandwood

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Focus on Becoming a Happier, Healthier You in 2018

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of adults in the USA are obese and experience weight-related conditions such as cardiac disease, diabetes, and cancer increasing annually. Obesity is such a big problem in the US that it costs the country in excess of $147 billion in medical costs every year. Luckily it is a new year which means countless of people around the USA are embarking on health and fitness regimes as part of their 2018 New Year’s resolutions.

One of the most fatal flaws of New Year’s resolutions and goal-setting in general, is that we tend to bite off more than we can chew. By not setting realistic goals we end up disappointed and demotivated and generally forget about our good intentions by the time January ends. Realistic goals that are easily achievable within a year will eventually become second-nature and will leave you feeling happier, healthier and possibly even shed some unwanted weight by the time the festive season comes around again.

Make more time for you

Most of people tend to give a little too much of themselves to others and not enough to themselves. It is very easy to stretch yourself too thin and overextend yourself. While it may have been acceptable last year, you need to make more time for yourself in 2018. You can do so by doing a solo workout or enjoying a relaxing day at the spa. By making yourself a priority you will be able to focus on your health and well-being without a struggle which, in turn, will make you feeling happier and healthier throughout the year. Take the gym class you always wanted to attend, follow an individual training plan or buy the new weight set that you have had your eye on for a while. It is important to realize that you are important and deserving of a good life.

Stop doing the workouts that you hate

Make 2018 your year and focus on what makes you happy. You are not forced to run to lose weight nor do you have to eat lettuce daily to become healthier. Find alternatives that will better suit your lifestyle and will make you happier in the long-run.  Use the new year to find something that you do love that will have the same kind of healthy effects on your body and mind as the activities that you really do not enjoy.

Add 1 low-impact workout to your exercise routine

While running and HIIT are great for your health it is important to give your knees a break as well. You don’t have to stop engaging in these workouts altogether but aim to supplement your high-impact training with some low-impact strengthening exercises such as Pilates or yoga.  Mixing things up will benefit your weight-loss endeavors greatly and will also prevent you from becoming bored with your workouts. Boredom is one of the biggest reasons people give up on their good intentions to stick to a healthy lifestyle.

While it may seem empowering to aim high with your New Year’s resolutions it is imperative to keep them realistic. You did not pick up all the excess weight in a day nor can you expect to lose it overnight. Whatever your health goals are for 2018, make sure they are doable and don’t give up at the first sign of a roadblock. Your perseverance will pay off and 2018 will become your best year yet.

Written by our contributing writer: Jane Sandwood

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New Awareness for 2018!

Goals that stick. Weight loss that stays off. A healthier you. Sometimes we fall short of our best intentions and resolutions. Unfortunately, there is not a magic pill, one food you can consume, or one exercise machine, that will create optimal health. Your daily routines are what are most important if you are striving to get healthy and stay healthy. To create a routine that serves your best health and to stay with it requires a higher level of awareness in all aspects of your life.

Here are 7 tips for a healthier you:

  1. Gratitude Awareness. Gratitude has been shown to lower stress, which prevents many other physical and mental consequences. Instead of focusing on how you wish you looked or what your body can and cannot do, express and feel gratitude for all you can do and all that you already have. We all have things about ourselves that we would like to improve.
  2. Movement Awareness.  Make a valiant effort to move more. Try to get in 30 minutes of exercise daily and find new ways to move your body. Drop down in a plank when you have a minute. Take the stairs. Walk to the market. Add those up and you’ll have a day of good exercise without taking a lot of time away from other things.
  3. Food Quality Awareness. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. Forget the fad diets and focus on the highest quality foods possible. High quality means nutrient dense for the calories that you eat.  include a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. When you grocery shop, shop on the outside aisles. The inner aisles usually have most of the processed food, junk food, and other food your body would be happier without.
  4. Relationship Awareness. Building a community of people who can help you through life’s ups and downs is a vital step towards happiness and good health. Create and build relationships that provide encouragement and accountability to both parties. Find a new walking or workout partner. Attend a cooking class in your area for healthy cooking and meet other like-minded people with the same goals and lifestyle.
  5. Goal Awareness. General goals such as “exercise more” are not effective. A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Timely. “I will walk 20 minutes over my lunch break on Tuesdays and Thursdays” is a SMART goal. Why? Because you have made a definitive goal that is measurable and doable. What SMART goals will you make?
  6. Health Care Awareness  Many medical conditions can be stopped or slowed down if detected in the early stages by getting preventative screenings and yearly doctor checkups! Ask your physician what screenings you should be getting depending on your age group.
  7. Self Talk Awareness. Health goals don’t always go as planned. If you are overweight, chances are, you didn’t gain it overnight – so don’t expect to lose it that fast. When you run into obstacles, don’t degrade yourself with negative self-talk.  Focus on all of the positive changes you have made, no matter how small they seem. Treat yourself with kindness, like you would a good friend.

I hope these tips help you live longer, live happier, and reach the goals you desire.

Have a great Skinny Life day!

New Year, New You

Are you excited for a new year and new you?

New Years resolutions don’t have to be about losing weight.|

You can also incorporate other healthy resolutions into your 2018 plans.  Researchers have found that people who deliberately balance all areas of their lives also have better health!

Of course, if losing weight is important to your health, you should incorporate weight loss goals into your 2018 plan of action. But make sure you round out your physical fitness goals with some life-balancing commitments that will make you feel more wholeness and happiness.

Here is a list of healthy resolutions for you to vow to do this year.

  • Prioritize sleep. If you have trouble sleeping seven to eight hours, look into non-drug therapies. There are fabulous mind-rebooting technologies, like NuCalm that can help train your brain for better sleep.
  • Reduce your sugar intake. Cut back on sodas and high sugar fruit juices. Start reading labels and if you see the ingredient “high fructcose corn syrup” try to find an alternative product. Eat whole fruits and fruit smoothies with the entire fruit to get the benefit of the sugar balancing fibers.
  • Go on a trip. Planning a vacation increases happiness and who doesn’t want to adventure around a new city, sandy white beach, or explore a new destination? Exploring the world also can help you appreciate what you have at home!
  • Read more. Give your brain some mental exercise and escape into a good book. It’s another great way to explore the world without leaving home.
  • Give up soda and diet soda. Yes, your diet soda may have “zero calories” however, the ingredients in diet sodas can hurt your health and they don’t aid in losing weight. Opt for sparkling water with flavored stevia. Try root beer flavored stevia!
  • Practice gratitude. Find things throughout your day that you are grateful for. When you appreciate the things you have and the things around you, it will improve your mental well-being.
  • Volunteer and donate your time to people in need. Not only does it feel good to be kind and help others, it also benefits receiver by putting your own problems into perspective.
  • Forgive someone. Holding onto anger and resentment is poison to your soul. Life’s too short to live in the past. Move on. Everyone is doing the best they can from their own state of consciousness.
  • Wear sunscreen. Your skin will thank you as you age.
  • Love yourself. If there is one person who is guaranteed to be in your life from your date of birth to the end . . . it is you. Learn to forgive, love, and be yourself.

I hope these resolutions will help you in 2018!

To your healthiest year yet!

Have a Skinny Life year!

Crystal

Quick Workouts to do at Home During the Holidays

Need to burn some extra calories and don’t want to leave the house?

These quick workouts will help you burn calories and stay fit! No gym required!

Do as many reps of each exercise as you can in one minute, moving from one to the next without stopping. Rest 90 seconds, then repeat the circuit a total of three or four times.

1. Jumping Jacks
2. Squat Jumps
3. Burpees: Squat and place your hands on the floor. Jump back into a plank position and do a pushup. Reverse the motion to return to standing, jumping off of the ground to finish eat repetition.
4. Side-to-Side Hops: Keeping your knees slightly bent and feet together, imagine you’re jumping back and forth over a line on the floor.

Write down on your calendar how many you were doing at the beginning of the month, then every Sunday night, track your progress on your calendar. Let me know how many reps you were able to do after 30 days!

 

Your Child’s Fitness Determines Their Health Future

While it can seem that the digital age has taken over and there’s nothing we can do about it, parents play a key role in helping their children learn to integrate healthy activity into everyday life.

Did you know only 1 in 3 children are physically active every day and less than 50% of the time spent in PE, sports, and outdoor activities involves enough movement to be considered physically active? With the technology boom has come more time for children and teens spending more time on phones, computers, and other electronic devices, leaving about 1 in 3 children overweight or obese.

So what can we as parents and grandparents do to help children become more physically active?

  • Be a sport- Even if your child doesn’t seem drawn to a specific sport The more they enjoy the activity, the more likely they will continue playing it. Get the entire family involved! Not only will it increase your child’s physical activity, it’s a great way to spend time together as a family. Soccer may be thumbs down but skating might get a big smile.
  • Focus on Joy- One at a time begin to find a fun activity that the child enjoys! It doesn’t have to be structured. Adventure walks where you collect fun things in a bag can keep kids happy for hours. Time your kids when they run across the lawn and back. Challenge them to beat their own time! See how many times they can throw a ball in the air and catch it. Testing themselves against their siblings or friends can create a bit of healthy competition that increases their motivation to do well.
  • Plan a time where you can exercise or engage in physical activities with your child. The more you are involved, the more your child will enjoy it.
  • Provide toys that promote physical fitness. Have toys that around that make it easy to be active; balls, jump ropes, bicycles, and other active toys.
  • Limit television. Limit both TV and computer use. No more than 1 to 2 hours of total screen time per day will give your child plenty of time for physical activities.
  • Don’t push too hard. Gently find ways to increase your child’s physical activity and make it fun rather than a chore. Your attitude will reflect and make an impression on their attitude when it comes to fitness and health.
  •  Engage in a discussion with your child’s physician during a check-up. Your child’s doctor may help him or her understand why physical activity and fitness can keep them strong and healthy.

Remember to incorporate a balanced diet into your child’s new healthy lifestyle. One of the most important things we can do as parents is encourage healthy habits early in life. The time you invest in creating a happy program of healthy activity and eating now will pay dividends for a lifetime!