Tips for Losing Weight and Staying Healthy on a Simple Diet

As someone who knows how important it is to eat a healthy diet and do exercises in order to maintain good health, I also understand just how difficult it can be for some people to sticking to a diet when trying to lose weight. Here are a few helpful tips.

Make Simple Diet Changes

One of the easiest ways to stick to a diet and lose weight is to make simple diet changes and not dramatic changes. If you make dramatic changes more often than not, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Add More Water

A very important thing to do while on a diet is to make sure that you drink more water than you normally do. For some people, just adding more water to their diet will help get rid of a few pounds. It’s always a good idea to drink a full glass of water before every meal. This leads to a fuller stomach and leads to you eating less.

Make Your Dessert Fruit

It’s just part of our nature to want to reward ourselves with a great tasting dessert. However, before you grab a piece of chocolate cake or your favorite cookies, stop and grab a piece of fruit instead. Fruit does contain its own sugar called fructose, but this is a lot healthier sugar than those tempting desserts. It’s the kind of sugar that won’t spike your insulin and turn into fat. Fruit also gives you a good source of fiber along with vitamins and minerals. The fiber in fruit will help slow down the absorption of sugar in your body and this helps to maintain your blood sugar levels.

Add More Veggies to Your Diet

If you have a diet that is full of vegetables you are ensuring that your diet is full of fiber and important nutrients and are lacking in simple carbs and bad fats. This means less calories and makes it easier to lose weight.

Eating more vegetables give you more fuel to keep going and can even help in preventing some diseases. Veggies also not only make great meals but are wonderful snacks, far better than your favorite processed goods like chips for example. Some of the best ones include green beans, broccoli, kale, green peppers, and spinach.

Switch Over to Whole Grains

Many people often say stay away from carbs completely, but that doesn’t always need to be the case. Sure you’ll lose weight faster quite often, but that just makes dieting more complicated. To make it easier on yourself switch over to eating only whole grain foods. Examples would be wheat pasta, whole wheat breads, oatmeal, and quinoa. Cut out white bread and white rice/pasta. Cut down on potatoes, you don’t have to stop eating them because they are good for you. Also avoid processed baked goods.

Stay away from the simple carbs and go with the complex ones found in whole grains.

Eat Good Fats

For quite some time now fats have gotten a really bad rap. However, there are fats that you need and are good for you. Unsaturated fats that you find in avocados, nuts, and olive oil are all good fats that add to your diet and help fill you up. The “low-fat” craze was huge and in fact it’s still going strong. But, it’s important to note that many items that are labeled “low-fat” are often processed with extra sugar in order to improve how they taste, that means they lose their “healthy label”. New research is showing that things like lean red meats and cheese may not be so bad for us after all.

Change How You Eat

When implementing a healthy diet along with losing weight it’s important that you change how you eat. One great way is to actually eat more often. If you do this right, it really can work. When you eat more often it helps to keep you fuller and cuts down unhealthy cravings. This means you should eat smaller meals with healthy snacks in between your meals.

Try Planning Your Meals

One simple way to stay on your diet is to plan out your meals. You should try plan out what you are going to eat during the week. Make a list of all that you need for your healthy meals and go to the store and get everything you need for the week. This way you’ll have all you need and this helps you stick to your diet plan. When you have all you need for a certain meal it’s less tempting to go out and eat.

Stop Eating After a Certain Time

You should put a time limit on your eating habits. It makes it a lot easier if you include a time of night that you stop eating anything and stick to it so that it becomes a habit. This can be one of the toughest things to do when on a diet. If you find it too difficult to stick with the time you set for yourself, then consider letting yourself to drink tea, diet soda, or veggies after that time period.

Sample Diet Plan

It’s important to stick with your diet if you want to lose weight, however, you don’t need to be too hard on yourself. This is why I suggest that you concentrate on your diet during weekdays. I recommend that you are serious about your diet Monday through Friday. Here are a few ideas to help you come up with your own plan:

  • Breakfast – Have a bowl of oatmeal with some low-fat milk, add a few raisins, cranberries, blueberries, or strawberries. You might also opt for fixing a couple of eggs with a piece of fruit and one piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter.
  • Lunch – Have lean protein like fish or chicken with lots of veggies or a salad and a piece of fruit. Drink water, tea or juice.
  • Dinner – Have a bowl of soup with a sandwich wrap or a half sandwich with some brown rice, fruit and veggies.
  • Snacks – You can have these in between your main meals. Make sure they have protein in them and calcium. Some good choices are nuts, yogurt, or cheese.

During the weekends go easy on yourself and reward yourself by going out to eat or eating a few of your favorite treats. Diets work better when you reward yourself for your hard work.

Tips for a Successful Bodybuilding Cutting Diet

Most people know that any kind of dieting can be a difficult thing for anyone. This means that even people who are into bodybuilding can find some dieting, especially when on a bodybuilding cutting diet. I say this because I know, as much as I’m into fitness, I’ve found it difficult to diet. That’s why I’ve come up with some tips that might help you out when you go on a bodybuilding cutting diet.

Eat Less

If you are trying to build muscle you need to gain weight, but it’s a different kind of weight. You want to gain muscle and not fat. A successful bodybuilding cutting diet is one that is meant to add more muscle mass while losing fat. Difficult, yes, but it can be done. I recommend that you aim for under 10 calories per pound of lean body weight.

What this means is that say you weigh 220 pounds and have 10% body fat, your cutting diet should be based on 200 pounds and your total calorie intake should be 2000 calories.

Work Into the Diet

When people are eager to lose fat they most often want to do it as soon as they can. However, I feel that you really shouldn’t jump right into a bodybuilding cutting diet. I think it’s great if you’re super eager to do it, but it really is a lot better if you try and take it slow and ease into the diet. I say this because once the diet gets really tough it could end up discouraging you and then you could mess up your entire bodybuilding plan.

When you rush into a low calorie diet your body will automatically take this as a threat to your system and it will try to start storing your body fat quickly in order to survive any future sudden drops. This means that any type of cheat day you may have on your bodybuilding cutting diet, those extra cheat day calories you consume most often will be turned into body fat for use later by your body.

It’s important to do thing gradually and make changes to your diet over time so your body will be able to adapt better to new situations. This will save you a lot of trouble. This does men that the weight loss you are trying to obtain will take longer but it will also last longer.

Get the Right Amount of Nutrients

Even though carbs are quite good when it comes to giving you energy when you’re bodybuilding but in today’s world it’s been discovered that it’s now best to limit the amount of carbs you eat especially when you are on a bodybuilding cutting diet. Carbs can create a vicious cycle because they can spike your insulin and the insulin will increase your sugar cravings which in turn leave you wanting more carbs.

Proteins on the other hand are extremely important when you’re on a bodybuilding cutting diet. The amount of protein should increase when you are on this type of diet. On this diet you should eat 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of your body weight. When you have plenty of protein in your diet it’s going to also help you maintain a positive nitrogen balance which avoids catabolsim by letting the dietary protein to be burned instead of being taken from your muscle protein. It also helps to repair damages you suffer during bodybuilding.

Healthy fats need to be increased also. These healthy fats will make up for your loss of carbs. Fats are used as a fuel that your body can use when needed during your bodybuilding cutting diet. You can increase your healthy fat intake by adding the following to your diet:

  • Flax
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Nuts
  • Avocados

Eat More Meals

During your bodybuilding and during the bodybuilding cutting diet it’s important that you stay away from eating three meals a day. Instead it’s important to eat 6 to 8 daily meals. This means your meals need to be small portions and spread out during the entire day. This can be difficult for some people, but it’s vital that you do so because it gives your body a constant influx of nutrients. By making sure that your food intake is on a regular basis all through the day helps to increase your metabolic rate and when your metabolic rate increases you’ll burn more calories and lose more weight.

Include a Fat Burner in Your Diet

Even though some people don’t agree with this, I personally believe it’s important to use a fat burner when you are on a bodybuilding cutting diet. The most effective kinds of fat burners are ones that are called ECAs. They contain ephedrine, aspirin, and caffeine and have scientific backing that they can help burn fat. Depending on what other ingredients there might be included in them these fat burners can be 70 to 90% successful. Even though fat burners are not mandatory for this kind of a diet, they can help to speed up your results.

Drink Plenty of Water

Water is one of the most important things that you can include in any diet, especially a bodybuilding cutting diet. After all, your own body is made up of more than 60% of water and when you sweat during workouts it needs to be replaced.

When your body gets a constant intake of water all during the day it will stop trying to hold on to water which means you’ll have a lot less water retention which also equals loss of weight because your body won’t think it needs to save water in your tissues for later use.

Superfoods to Help You Lose Weight

Since I’ve been working in the fitness world for quite some time I’ve discovered over the years one of the biggest roadblocks that a lot of people is that they really don’t know which foods are better to include in their diets to help them lose weight. In this post I hope that I can at least give you a beginning understanding of some of the great foods often called superfoods that are essential in a healthy diet and will help you lose weight.

Many Benefits of Superfoods

There are a variety of different benefits that you can receive from superfoods you should be aware of because it will help you better understand their importance in your diet. Superfoods are foods that can actually build bones, improve your eyesight, prevent a variety of different chronic diseases, keep your mind sharp. They also happily can help you to lose weight and stay fit and healthy in all ways.

My Favorite Superfoods

Here is a list of my top favorite superfoods that I try to keep in my diet at all times. Not only are they great food sources for losing weight, but they are also great tasting. I’ve also included a few recipes as well that I hope you’ll try and enjoy.

Black Beans

Just one cup of these little beans pack a whopping 15 grams of protein that is great for all bodies but especially good for those who work out in a weight room or participate in other fitness routines. One really great thing about black beans is that they don’t have any saturated fat like some of the other protein sources you might be used to eating.

Below you’ll find one of my favorite recipes for using black beans:

Spiced Black Bean Hummus with Marinated Peaches

Ingredients

1 (15 ounce) can black beans drained and rinsed (save fluid in case you need it later)
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce
1 large lemon
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 ripe avocado
Sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon parsley chopped
1 large peach
Pita chips

Directions

Put the black beans, tahini, olive oil, garlic, chili sauce, juice of one fresh lemon in a food processor and pulse the ingredients until they’re smooth. If it’s too thick you can use some of the leftover black bean liquid to thin it down. Next season with ½ teaspoon of sea salt. Transfer you hummus to and bowl and chill in refrigerator. While the hummus is chilling dice the avocado and put in a small mixing bowl. Season with some sea salt, one teaspoon fresh lemon juice, and the chopped parsley. Dice the peaches and add it to the avocado and toss gently. Put your hummus in a serving dish and top it off with the peaches and avocado and serve with pita chips.

Oats

Oats are one of those superfoods that re rich in fiber and they are a great food that help you feel full all during the day. Just a half of a cup of oats holds 4.6 grams of a resistant starch which is a healthy cart that will help to boost your metabolism and it helps to burn fat, which is great if you are trying to lose weight.

Here’s a great little recipe that makes for a wonderful snack that will help keep you going all day long:

Dark Chocolate and Oat Clusters

Ingredients

2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons of 1% milk
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup rolled oats

Directions

Heat the milk, chocolate chips and peanut butter in a small saucepan over a low heat for three minutes or until the chocolate melts. Stir in the rolled oats and then remove from the heat. Take a spoon or a melon baller and drop 8 ball shaped portions on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and put in refrigerator for at least 10 minutes.

Avocados

There is no reason to totally shy away from fats when trying to lose weight. Avocados is one of those superfoods that contains the right kind of fats, making them one of my favorite superfoods. Avocados contain oleic acid which is a compound that are healthy monounsaturated fats. These fats seem to actually calm down your hunger as well. These are great to eat alone or include them in salads, sandwiches, and other recipes.

Salmon

When you include lean protein in your diet you are going to feel fuller without adding any unhealthy fats. Salmon is the ideal lean protein if you’re trying to rid yourself of red meat in your diet. On the average people who added more salmon to their diet lost an average of nine pounds more than those who didn’t include it.

Blueberries

This great little fruit is filled with antioxidants, are filled with fiber, have very few calories and are great for snacks or for adding to a variety of different healthy recipes. Below is one of my personal favorite recipes using this great little fruit.

Blueberry Lemon Sorbet

Ingredients

3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
½ cup of water
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

Put all of the ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. Put the berry mixture in a freezer safe container and freeze until it’s hard. This should take about an hour. Take out of the refrigerator and let it stand before serving and enjoying.

Other Great Superfoods

Here are a few more of my favorite superfoods I highly recommend:

  • Broccoli
  • Brown rice
  • Pears
  • Grapefruit
  • Kidney beans
  • Almonds
  • Green tea
  • Bananas

Strength Training for Beginners You Can Do at Home

If you are someone who has never worked out before or you’ve never done any kind of strength training, don’t feel bad, there’s lots of people just like you. As someone who has been helping people for quite awhile to get in shape through strength training and many other ways, I get it when people don’t know how to get started. This is why I’d like to share with you a great strength training plan that is ideal for beginners and it’s one that you can actually do at home.

When it comes to strength training, beginners shouldn’t be trying to do exercises like Scorpion pushups or Bosu side lunges or any other hugely difficult strength training exercises. Yes, these more difficult exercises have their place but not if you’re a beginner and want to make strength training something you’ll stick with.

Simple Workout Plan

This home workout plan is one that you’ll be able to enjoy the same benefits that come with any strength training program you can do in the gym. Some of the benefits include:

• Mood enhancing
• Lower blood pressure
• More bone mass
• Firm up trouble spots

How to Get Started

For this strength training program you’ll need a stability ball or a chair along with a pair of three to five pound dumbbells. You also need to have a low step or box for a couple of these. You also will want to do this strength training routine two times a week and do one set of either 12 to 15 reps for each move in order. You should rest 30 to 60 seconds between the exercises. After three weeks you can increase the weight and do two sets.

Ball Squat

This exercise is one with a stability ball but if you don’t have one you can also do it with your back pressed against a wall. This exercise focuses on your butt and legs.

Stand with your stability ball between your back and a wall. Walk your feet forward until they are slightly in front of your hips and then put your hands on your thighs. Once you’ve done that squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Rise up onto the balls of your feet and reach your arms overhead as you rise up. Return to your starting position and rest.

Tripod Row

This great exercise for beginners that targets the back and core. Take a dumbbell in both hands and get down on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders. Next, extend your right leg behind you and then bend your left elbow and draw the weight toward your left side. Lower the weight to complete the first rep.

Do this 12 to 15 reps making sure to switch sides to complete the set.

Curl to Press

This is an exercise that targets the biceps and shoulders.

Hold a dumbbell in both hands and then either sit on a stability ball or a chair making sure that your knees are bent and your feet are on the ground. Extend your arms at your side with your palms facing forward. Next, curl the weights toward your shoulders and then rotate your palms away from you as you press the weights straight above you. Reverse this motion to return to your starting position.

Fly to Tris

This is a great exercise for beginners that focuses on the chest and triceps.

Lie on the ground face up with your knees bent and the heels of your feet on a stability ball or on a chair. Hold a dumbbell in both hands and extend your arms over your chest with your palms facing one another and making sure your elbows are slightly bent. Lower the dumbbells out to your sides and then return to your starting position. After that, bend your elbows and lower the weights toward your head. Finally extend your arms back to the starting position.

Lying March

This strength training exercise doesn’t require anything but you. Lie face up on the ground with your knees bent 90 degrees and aligned over your hips with your arms extended at your sides. Make sure your palms are on the ground. Next, pull your abs in and then slowly lower your left foot and stop just before your foot touches the ground. Raise your left leg to its starting position and repeat on your right side to complete a rep.

Upper Body Push

This is one that requires that you do three sets with 10 to 12 reps and rest 60 seconds between your sets.

You’ll need a box, bench, or a step that is just slightly wider than your shoulders. Make sure that it’s in line with your shoulders. Now slowly lower your body until your chest almost touches the bench. Make sure to pause at the bottom and then push yourself back up to your starting position as fast as you can.

Split Squat

For beginners you should do this exercise for three sets with each set containing 10 to 12 reps on each side, resting for 60 seconds between sets.

Stand in a staggered stance with your front foot on a step or box. You need to have your feet two to three feet apart with your front knee bent slightly. You will want to slowly lower your body as far as you. Pause for a second and then push back up to your starting position as fast as you can. Do all the reps on one side and then do the same number of reps with your other foot.

Simple Exercises to Help You Lose Belly Fat

I’ve been into fitness for quite some time now and I’ve learned quite a bit over the years. I’ve come to realize that many people truly want to lose weight but often hit a brick wall when it comes to getting rid of that stubborn belly fat. Often this is something that simply discourages them and they give up. Well, I really don’t want people to give up and that’s why I’m offering you some simple exercises that should help you get rid of that belly fat and make you feel better about continuing your exercises.

Diet and Exercise Go Hand in Hand

I always like to remind people that exercises and diet need to go hand in hand. Just because you are dieting doesn’t mean that you’re going to lose that belly fat. That kind of thinking is not going to help you be successful. If you really want to lose weight, then you are going to need to add an hour of exercises into your daily life. These exercises need to target reducing belly fat as well. Below you’ll find a few of my favorite exercises that are quite important for attacking the belly fat.

Crunches

This is one of the best exercises for helping get rid of belly fat. Here’s how to do these even in the privacy of your own home:

• Lie flat on a mat on the floor with your knees bent and your feet off the floor.
• Lift your hands and put them behind your head or you can keep them crossed over your chest.
• Take a deep breath and lift your upper body off the floor and then exhale.
• Inhale as you go back down and then exhale as you come back up.
• If you are a beginner then do this ten times.
• Repeat for two to three sets.

Twist Crunches

After you feel you’re used to regular crunches you can move onto these modified crunches:

• Lay on the floor with your hands behind your head.
• Now bend your knees just like with regular crunches, make sure to keep your feet on the floor.
• Lift your right shoulder towards the left and keep the left side of your body on the floor.
• Alternate to your left shoulder and lift and twist it towards the right.
• Repeat this ten times.

Side Crunches

This exercise to help burn belly fat is just like the twist crunches. The big difference is that you need to tilt your legs to the same side at the same time you tilt and lift your shoulders. These exercises not only work the stomach but your sides as well to help with those love handles. Follow the same instructions as the twist crunches.

When performing these exercises make sure that you keep your movements slow and steady. You could hurt this complex area if you hurry the twists. So be careful.

Vertical Leg Crunch

Again, this is yet another crunch that focuses on getting rid of that belly fat.

• Lie flat on the floor with your legs extended up towards your ceiling and have one knee crossed over the other one.
• Once you have positioned your body perfectly. Then breathe in and lift your upper body off the floor towards the pelvis.
• Breathe out slow as you bring yourself back down. Then breathe in again, and exhale as you go up.
• Do this exercise 12-15 times with up to three sets.

Bicycle Exercise

To do this one you don’t even need a bicycle. Here’s how you do this great little exercise at home:

• Lie on your floor and keep your hands by your sides or behind your head.
• Lift both of your legs off the floor and bend them at the knees.
• Now bring your right knees close to your chest and keep the left leg away.
• Take your right leg away and then bring your left leg close to your chest.
• Keep doing this like you are peddling a bike.

Stomach Vacuum

This is a very low impact exercises that actually puts more emphasis on your breathing rather than your heart rate. It is a great exercise for beginners.

• Get down on all floors on your floor and support your body with your hands and knees.
• Inhale deep and loosen your abdomen.
• When you exhale, tighten your abdomen.
• Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds.
• Repeat this process up to 20 times.

Captain’s Chair

The only thing you need to do this exercise is a simple chair.

• Take a chair and sit on it and make sure that your spine is straight and your shoulders are relaxed.
• Keep both of your hands beside you with palms by the side of your hips facing down.
• Now inhale deeply.
• As you exhale you will bring both of your legs up so that your knees are close to your chest. Hold this position for five seconds. Try not to bend forward or arch your back.
• Bring your legs down slowly and repeat one more time.

I hope that you’ll consider trying some of these exercises to help you get rid of troubled areas around your abdomen. They are all relatively easy and nearly everyone can practice them with little to no difficulty at all.

Painless Ways You Can Lose Weight

I totally understand when people find it extremely difficult to lose weight because of all the changes and restrictions they often run into when it comes to diets that are meant to help people to lose weight. However, I also understand just how important it is that people eat healthy not just to lose weight but to also live a long and healthy life.

It’s important to me that I do my best to help others and teach them that weight loss can actually be painless and in this post I hope that I will be able to help anyone who is trying to lose weight make it easier to do so. I hope that some of the tips that I offer here will help you realize it really doesn’t take some sort of heroic effort to lose weight. In fact, you just need to make a few simple changes in your lifestyle in order to get results.

Add Food – Don’t Take Away

I know this sounds strange, but it’s true. Forget about diet denial and try adding more foods to your diets instead of taking away a lot of foods. What I mean here is that you should add various different healthy goodies that you really enjoy. Try adding cherries, grapes, snow peas, bananas, apples, granola, nuts of all types and so on. When you add plenty of healthy goodies to your diets it will be a lot easier to stay on a healthy diet.

Don’t Worry About Extreme Workouts

As someone who is into fitness you probably think I’m nuts when I say don’t worry about extreme workouts. However, I say this because I realize that there are many of you out there that either really can’t do heavy workouts for one reason or another. Then there are others who get completely turned off on diets as soon as they hear the word “exercise”. The real trick here to help you enjoy working out is to never call it that. If you stop calling any exercises you might be doing a workout it will actually knock down those mental roadblocks that prevent you from exercising.

There are plenty of things that you can do to go along with your diet to help you lose weight. You could just go for daily walks, walking is one of the best ways to tackle your entire body and it doesn’t feel like exercise at all. Consider dancing to some of your favorite music when you’re at home. Just make sure to add movement of some kind to stimulate your muscles and you’ll be surprised how much that will help.

Go Walking

Like I mentioned above, walking is one of the best types of exercise around and doesn’t even seem like exercising. Walking is not only healthy but it’s a great thing to do any time of year. It gives you the opportunity to enjoy the changing seasons and getting a little taste of nature. Even a five or ten minute walk is going to help you lose weight.

If you don’t have a good place to walk nearby your home here are a few things you can do that can increase your amount of walking:

  • When you go shopping park your car at the back of the lot.
  • Sweep or rake up the leaves in your yard instead of using a leaf blower.
  • If you take a bus to go where you need to go, get off the bus a couple of blocks before your actual stop.
  • Go for a walk in your local mall.
  • Take stairs whenever you can.
  • Do the vacuuming to your favorite music to speed up the tempo of your vacuuming.

All of this will add up. Even if you walk twice a day for about 10 minutes you’ll be surprised at just how much this will help you lose the weight you are wanting to lose.

Lighten Foods You Love

A lot of diets scare people off because they often make them totally give up some of the foods they really love. But, you really don’t have to give up everything totally. An easy thing to do is to just switch to lower calorie versions of the food that you love. Eat pizza with reduced fat cheese, switch your favorite ice cream for a low fat version. This way you are lowering your fat and calorie intake and not denying yourself of foods you might be craving.

Switch over to diet soda and light beer if you don’t want to give these beverages up completely. If you don’t like diet drinks you can try drinking your favorite with a little bit of diet in with it and then gradually add more until you are drinking nothing but a diet drink.

Keep Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is always important, but it’s a lot more important when you’re on a diet trying to lose weight. One really good thing you should do is to drink a full glass of water before you sit down to eat any meal. When you do this you won’t be as hungry when you eat.

Tone Up While You Tune In

One way you can sneak in some sort of exercising is while you are watching TV or listening to music. When you are listening to music as mentioned before, instead of just listening to your music just dance along with the music instead of just sitting there and listening to it.

No one really likes watching commercials when watching TV, so why not turn those commercials into something you can benefit from. If you have a stationery bike or a treadmill take that commercial break time to ride your bike or walk on the treadmill. If you don’t have either one of those items then just do any kind of exercises during the commercials. You could do sit-ups, toe touch, side bends, and so on.

My Favorite Vegetables for Staying Fit

I’ve been into fitness and healthy eating for quite some time now and I always find it important to share my own knowledge with others who also want to make sure that they stay healthy and fit. Often times if someone is new to the fitness world I always like to help them out with some of the things I’ve learned over the years. In this post I’m going to cover what some of my favorite vegetables are that not only help you to stay fit but can also aid in losing weight.

Why Lots of Veggies?

The reason why you want to include a lot of veggies in your diet to stay fit is because they contain a good amount of fiber and water as well as they are quite low in calories. All of these factors can also help you with losing weight.

Veggies include many different things that your body needs in order to stay fit and healthy. They are very rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals all of which are important in maintaining and improving your overall health. Veggies also aid in preventing dehydration, may also help prevent cancer, strokes, and heart disease. They also give you the sensation of being full so you end up eating less and that helps in losing weight.

Below you’ll find my favorite vegetables that I always try to include in my diet to help me stay fit and healthy.

Broccoli

This is a vegetable that contains zero fat and is comprised of about 60% good carbs, 40% protein and has lots of minerals, vitamins, and water. The carbs that are found in broccoli are very complex and it takes a lot of time to digest. They are slow releasing and this means that broccoli can give you energy for hours after your meal. Broccoli contains vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, pantothenic acid, magnesium, selenium, and phosphorous. All of these things help contribute to losing weight and to stay fit.

Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage

Brussels sprouts are a great little vegetable and they are quite similar to cabbage. They have more fiber than cabbage and they only contain 21 calories per serving. These are a great choice for a diet that is low in fat because they are fat free, low in calories, and rich in nutrients and vitamins such as vitamins C, A, K, thiamin, B6, folate, potassium, along with manganese. Cabbage has higher content of vitamins E and C. This is why I love to include both in my diet whenever possible.

Spinach

As unassuming as spinach might look, this is one vegetable that should never be overlooked and is a must to include in any healthy diet especially when it comes to losing weight. Spinach is so popular because of the high amounts of vitamins and nutrients that include vitamins K, E, C, A, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, B6, calcium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and copper. It is also high in fiber and it helps to reduce water retention. One cup of cooked spinach has as much protein as a medium sized hard boiled egg. It’s a great vegetable for everyone but especially good for those who are into bodybuilding because it aids in muscle growth and recovery.

Pickles

This is probably one that a lot of people overlook but they shouldn’t. Pickles are very low in calories and are filled with fiber. Just one large pickle has two grams of fiber and only 15 calories. The fiber in a pickle will help you feel more satisfied, which means you won’t eat as much and that aids in losing weight. Also, the vinegar that they are cured in helps to fight fat because it helps increase the rate that the body burns carbs. I love them because they make for a great filling snack.

Potatoes

You might not think that potatoes are a vegetable that can aid in losing weight or help you to stay fit, but they do. Especially when prepared properly. The best way to eat potatoes are when they’re cold. I know that doesn’t sound all that great but there are ways in which you can make them quite enjoyable when cold. The reason why they’re better for you when cold is that when cold their digestible starches will turn into resistant starches. Resistant starches resist digestion and this promotes fat oxidation and helps to reduce belly fat. Here’s one of my favorite ways that I prepare potatoes:

  • Bake a few red potatoes in your oven until they are cooked all the way through.
  • Allow them to cool off completely.
  • Cut them into small slices.
  • Mix the slices with some Dijon mustard, pepper, chopped green onions, dill, and plain yogurt.
  • Mix it all together and put in the refrigerator and chill before eating.

Onions

No, I’m not suggesting eating them alone. However, I do suggest that you try to include them with as many foods as possible. The reason is that they are rich in flavonids that help to increase your blood flow and activates a protein in your body that helps to regulate your glucose levels. It also torches stored fat and keeps new fat cells from being created. They are especially important for those who frequent the gym trying to accelerate the process of losing weight. Onions also help to lower cholesterol, warding off hardening of the arteries and help to maintain blood pressure levels. I love onions because they can be put in tons of things like soups, stews, burgers, sandwiches, pastas, salads, rice, egg dishes, and vegetables.

Low Impact Exercises That Burn Calories

I’ve been into fitness for many years now and I’ve worked with a variety of different people with a variety of physical abilities. No matter what you are capable of doing, there are exercises out there that can make you fit, burn calories, and make you just feel better.

Since there are many people out there that can’t do high impact exercises because of a variety of reasons, there’s no reason why low impact exercises can’t be done. In this post I’ve listed some really good low impact exercises that will help you burn calories in order to lose weight and stay fit.

Walking

This is one of those low impact exercises that engages nearly every muscle in your body. If you are new to exercising on a regular basis, this is an ideal exercise for you. It’s best to start off slow, so I suggest that you start with an easy 10 minute walk in your neighborhood. Then go on to adding 10% more time each week. Once you feel ready you can try speed changes such as alternating slow walking with fast walking. You may also want to include hiking up a hill as soon as you feel able to do so. Your goal is to end up walking for 45 minutes each time you take a walk.

Zumba

Find a place that teaches Zumba a Latin inspired cardio dance class. Make sure that you find an instructor that teaches beginners or one that is willing to pay close attention to newcomers in their class. This can be a vigorous dance workout but still is one of those low impact exercises. It’s a workout that provides plenty of distractions so you won’t feel like you’re working out. It is comprised of fun music, a lot of arm waving and working out in a group, which can actually be a lot of fun. Exercising isn’t all that much fun when you do it alone. Added bonus is that you can make new friends along with losing weight.

Step Climbing

You can do step climbing on bleachers, stairs or go to a gym and use a StairMaster. When you do exercises that move you up, your weight most often will go down. Whenever you do exercises that move you skyward falls into the moderate to vigorous range for burning more calories. Just remember that once you start feeling fatigue you should stop doing the exercise.

Cycling

This is a great outdoor exercise to do alone or to do with others. It’s a way to be able to exercise at your own tempo and gives you the ability to explore places you may not normally visit in your local area. Just make sure that when you start cycling that you have good shoes and comfortable clothes. If you want to boost your ability to burn calories you should alternate your speeds from slow to moderate and moderate to fast once you’ve gotten used to your bike and riding it. If you don’t have a bike, you can always go to the gym and ride one of their stationary ones. Although, it’s not as fun, it’s still a great form of exercise.

Use an Elliptical Trainer

Go down to your local gym and use one of their elliptical trainers. This is a great no impact workout. They are very easy to use, are pain free and it’s one of the easiest ways to start an exercise program for those new to fitness training. This is one of those machines that are great for anyone but especially good for beginners and those who physically can’t do high impact exercises.

Swimming

This is one of the top exercises for anyone with or without problems. If you’re overweight, have joint problems, or even suffer from arthritis, this is the exercise for you. If you haven’t been swimming for awhile then start off with a 30 minute session of slow laps. As you get used to swimming, make it kind of a game by doing a crawl in one direction, breaststroke on your way back and switch it up with backstroking. This is not only an exercise that gently works every muscle in the body but it’s also a very relaxing exercise.

Rowing Machines

Personally, I think these are one of the most under used and under appreciated pieces of gym equipment. This is one of those machines that have no impact but can tone your entire body. It’s one of the very few machines that also works out your upper body muscles and not just the lower half. When you row you also help your posture and it makes your upper back much stronger and enables you to stand up much straighter. To do it properly and to get the best results you should push with your legs and pull with your arms. The harder that you pull the more resistance you’ll get and it will help sculpt your arms at the same time. The faster you row, the more calories you’ll burn.

If you decide to include any of these exercises in order to lose weight and stay fit, my advice to you is to make sure that once any of them seem to be too easy increase the intensity of them in order to continue to burn calories and lose weight or maintain your healthy weight.

Best Fruits for Natural Weight Loss

If you want to lose weight in a natural manner it’s important that you have plenty of fruits in your diet that will help you achieve this goal. One mistake a lot of people make when they go on a diet they often don’t include enough fruits and this shouldn’t be the case. In fact, fruits that help you lose weight will also help to boost your nutrition, adds more fiber and they simply taste great.

Below you will find my top favorite fruits that I make sure I include in my own diet every day in order to stay lean and fit:

Strawberries

Who doesn’t love strawberries? Just for the flavor alone you should include these in your diet whenever you can. They are filled with vitamin C and one cup of them only contain 50 calories. Not only are they low in calories but one cup easily helps you meet your daily requirement needs for your vitamin C. They are also versatile because you can eat them alone, put them on cereal, put in yogurt, or add them to your favorite salad.

Blackberries

I love blackberries for a variety of reasons but one big reason is that they contain cancer fighting compounds. They are definitely a must eat fruit if you want to lose weight. They are very high in fiber so they’ll also help to fill you up quickly. Blackberries are often an overlooked fruit but they should be included in your diet on a regular basis. They can be eaten alone or you can add them to cereal and other foods.

Blueberries

Blueberries are one of the best ways to get those antioxidants that your body needs to help fight off those free radicals you’ve got circulating around in your body. Blueberries are a great snack any time of day or you can put them in your cereal for breakfast or add them to salads at lunch and dinner. They also work well in yogurt and baked goods.

Raspberries

Yet another great fruit for weight loss. These little berries are especially good for anyone who might be struggling with controlling their blood glucose levels. They also are very high in fiber and extremely low in natural sugar.

Grapefruit

No matter what kind of a diet you might be on, grapefruit should always be a big part of that diet. They are extremely low in calories and very high in vitamin C. In fact grapefruit tends to be associated with most healthy diets that you see out there. This great citrus fruit simply has two very important characteristics that are vital for great nutrition and proper health.

Apples

No healthy diet should be without apples. Not only is there a great variety to choose from they contain pectin and this is a compound that helps to reduce your appetite. By reducing your cravings to eat more you are bound to lose some weight in the process. Apples are something you should try to eat on a daily basis. You can eat them raw or cooked and they can be eaten morning, noon, and night.

Oranges

No diet would be complete without including oranges. Not only are they a top source for large amounts of vitamin C they also are low in calories and only contain 50 to 60 calories per orange depending on their size. They are a very convenient fruit because you can take them anywhere with you and enjoy them at anytime or anyplace.

Avocados

By now, most people should know that avocados are actually considered a fruit and not a vegetable. One of the main reasons avocados are on my list is because they contain very high levels of the healthy fats that we all need in our diet. Along with containing fats we need they also help to curb your appetite and stabilize your blood sugar levels. So, don’t be afraid to add these to your diet when trying to lose weight.

Watermelon

Watermelon is ideal for a good diet because it’s one of those fruits that are super sweet and make a wonderful weight loss snack. They are extremely low in calories so you can eat quite a bit of it. It’s the perfect fruit treat to eat when you are craving something sweet. Watermelon also helps support a healthy immune system and is rich in vitamin C.

Peaches

Now here’s a fruit a lot of people totally overlook. Peaches are very high in fiber and have a good amount of vitamin A. They are also very sweet and give you yet another fruit that you can substitute for that sweet snack you might be craving. They are great to eat alone or slice them and put them on cereal. You can also find plenty of recipes you can put them in.

Well, there you have my top favorite fruits to help you lose weight. I hope that you will consider adding these wonderful gifts from nature in your daily diet plan. You won’t be disappointed.