The Weight Loss Challenge

wlMany people are obsessed with weight loss and the reasons as to why they want to lose weight may differ from person to person. Some people are being advised by their doctors to lose weight in order to avoid health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke. In other words, some people just simply want a normal healthy weight. A fit body can boost self-esteem and confidence, that’s why another obvious reason as to why people wants to lose weight is because they want to look good and fashionable. There is no doubt that there are many benefits of weight loss but just to a certain limit. I believe that losing weight is not all about getting skinny but most especially, reaching a healthy weight.

The Challenge

A successful weight loss requires consistency, discipline and a positive attitude. It is important to have a clear and focused mindset to have good results. Here are some of the easiest ways to lose weight:

WATERsDrink plenty of water. Water plays an important role when it comes to losing weight. It helps eliminate the waste in our body and keeps it hydrated. Always drink water before breakfast, lunch and dinner to control your eating habits. You may add lemon to your water as it contains pectin fiber which assists in fighting hunger cravings. Avoid flavoured drinks as much as possible, except for freshly squeezed juices. Remember to drink 8-9 glasses of water a day, or more.

no sugarAvoid sugar and artificial sweeteners. These two must be greatly avoided in this challenge. It is important to read the labels on packaged foods to ensure whether or not they contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Honey, maple or brown rice syrup and coconut palm sugar are just among the few healthy alternatives to refined sugar. However, only 4 teaspoons of any of these unrefined sweeteners is allowed for a day. Absolutely no alcohol during the challenge as it contains high sugar.

Making healthy food choices and controlling portions. The first rule is portion sizes of foods must be no larger than the palm of your hand. Only use salad size plates (7” in diameter) for your meals.

Here’s a good example of portion control:

meal

               For more information on portion sizes, check this website:

http://skinnyms.com/skinny-plate-challenge/

              Check my recent blog post for more information regarding healthy food choices.

https://heddielynsalinas.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/the-30-day-weight-loss-challenge-week-two/

      exercise  Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes a day, six days a week.

Here are some recommended workout routines that works in any fitness levels:

          http://skinnyms.com/category/fitness/beginner-workouts/

          http://skinnyms.com/category/fitness/workouts/

                                                       http://skinnyms.com/category/fitness/fat-blasters-fitness/

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Be fit and stay fit: Exercises that you can do without ripping off your budget

When we talk about losing weight, being fit and healthy, we cannot avoid calculating how much gym memberships would cost. Don’t be sad, you can always do things that wouldn’t hurt your budget. Living healthy and being active comes side by side because you can never live healthy without working your butt. Also, it doesn’t always have to be the gym. There are alternatives such as community and aquatic centers in your community. Here are some things that you can do rather than burning your quads in the gym:

Walkingwalk

This is probably the simplest thing you can do to get your daily dose of exercise because it’s a part of our lives. It is sad that as our lives evolve walking becomes a task. Why walk to the grocery store that’s a few blocks away from your house when you have a car? Let me tell you this, walking is good for the body, heart and mind. You’re breathing fresh air while sweating off those pounds. Now go and take a walk around your house or by the lake side.

Hikinghiking

We all know that Canada is rich in terms of nature. We are beyond blessed because we still have hiking trails despite being industrialized. Well, it’s time to make use of those resources. Hiking is very thrilling because it doesn’t just help burn calories; it also gives us perspective about nature. A hike can help clear your mind of the stress from our everyday lives. Take a break, call your buddies and follow those trails.

Running

runningNext to walking, running can be done daily because we all do it. When we catch the bus to work because we woke up late in the morning, we are already working out. We think of running as something that can only be done in the gym which makes us couch potatoes when we know that membership costs a lot at the best gym in town. Open your eyes and make use of the low-cost gym at your community center. No one will ever stare at you for working out because most people don’t care if you look like a wet wash cloth. Also, take advantage of the parks, trails and even your neighbourhood. Just watch out for cars!

Snowboardingsnowboarding

Snowboarding is a sport and leisure for some people. It just depends on how far you’ll go. It improves balance, coordination and muscle strength. Furthermore, it gives us an adrenaline rush when we go down that snowy mountain. It also gives us time to bond with our families and friends. There’s no excuse for us not to work out because it’s winter. Go out and have some fun.

Swimmingswimming

It’s not just for summer because we all have indoor pools in the aquatic center. Swimming is fun, easy on the joints and brings us all together. I find water sports easier than doing regular work outs such as running, jumping jacks or skipping rope because you can’t really feel the pain when you’re in water and has cooling effects. It also gives you a total work out because it targets every muscle especially the lower body. So if you’re looking for some fun, hop on to the nearest pool.

Nature’s Best: 7 natural fat-burning foods that fire up your metabolism

Metabolism is everything that’s why you have to take good care of your digestive health. Cleanse your system by juicing which flushes toxins. An everyday cleanse does the trick. I know that burning all those calories could mean starving ourselves to death. However, there is an alternative that’s really affordable. Mother Nature’s produce such as those sweet peppers in your grocery bag can burn up those unwanted flabs. Here’s a list of the 7 wonders that nature has to offer. What can I say, “Mothers know best.”

Red Bell Peppersred peppers

These babies are the bomb! When cravings hit you hard, they are your friends because they are way better than those cookies you keep under your mattress at night. These are low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Also, each pepper is rich in dietary fiber and vitamin C which are essential in burning those flabs. You can eat them raw or make a soup out of them.

Spinachspinach

Green, leafy spinach may be the hardest ones that barely go down your throat. I know we all have that struggle since childhood, but our moms are right. We need them to grow. Well, it just doesn’t make us grow strong and bold like Popeye. It helps cleanse our system for it is rich in fiber, protein, iron, B vitamins and Vitamin C to support weight loss. Next time you go grocery shopping, don’t forget to grab a handful of them and watch the pounds melt away.

Plain Greek Yogurt (non-fat or not)greek yogurt

This is one of the best natural fat burning foods you can snack on. I think it doesn’t matter if you go non-fat or not, either way you’re still getting the nutritional value these things has to offer just stay away with the ones full of sugar. Greek Yogurt is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Also, it’s full of protein, calcium, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins, probiotics and amino acids to stave off hunger and lowers cortisol, a stress hormone that stores fat. It’s a good post-workout snack.

Raw Cacaocacao

When you want to burn those fats, you always think that chocolates are off the hook. Well, not necessarily and not really because raw cacao, which is chocolates’ natural ingredient helps burn fats. Raw Cacao contains fiber, protein, magnesium and healthy fats that work magically in your body that lower sugar cravings and increase energy. Hey! It’s still chocolate just in its most natural form so consume moderately.

Flax Seedsflax seeds

Flax Seeds contain phytoestrogens and omega 3 that balance out your hormone levels which is crucial in weight loss. It is also fiber in its simplest form which regulates your blood sugar levels. They go well with oatmeal or you can mix them in your drink to give it a little kick.

Almondsalmonds

Ever thought of having a stash of nuts in your pocket? You can definitely start now and almonds are your best companion especially when your appetite hits you like a truck. Almonds are low in cholesterol, rich in protein, fiber and magnesium that helps suppress cravings and keep you full. Furthermore, it’s also reduces your risk of cancer because it’s a good source of Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that defends cells against damage on a daily basis.

Lemonslemon

Who doesn’t love lemons especially on a hot summer’s day? Good news, it doesn’t have to be summer so you can have a dose of your lemons. When you’re trying to lose weight, lemons are your best friend. They are a natural source of Vitamin C that burns fat, detox your liver and they’re blood sugar friendly. You can mix it with the water you carry every day. It will just cost you a few cents.

Lastly, keep these foods on your list when you’re going organic and as much as possible avoid consuming processed foods. They’re bad for your health. Next time you hit the organics aisle on Save on Foods or Superstore, be sure to buy your green leafy vegetables, protein and fiber rich foods.

The Components of a Healthy Diet

componentsA healthy diet provides the body with the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals to maintain the organs, tissues and cells to function properly. A diet that lacks the necessary nutrients can result in many different health problems such as tiredness, lack of energy, growth and development. It is very important to know the types of food that can either benefit or harm our body. The basic components of a healthy diet are the following:

Protein

Protein is a substantial element of every cell in our body. It is responsible for building and repairing tissues, building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Our body also needs protein to make body chemicals, hormones and enzymes.It is important to include high-protein foods in our daily diet as they contain many great benefits to our body. Here are some benefits of consuming high-protein foods:protein

  • Boosting recovery after exercise
  • Decreasing muscle loss
  • Building lean muscle
  • Balancing a healthy weight
  • Curbing hunger

Protein comes from a variety of sources, such as meat, poultry, fish, milk, soy, eggs, nut, nut butters, beans and legumes. Our body must have 5-6 ounces of protein per day depending on age and sex.

 Fat

Fat is an essential nutrient that our body must have to function normally. In fact, it is also the most powerful energy source of our body; it contains more than twice as much energy as proteins or carbohydrates provides. Fat is responsible for building blocks for the cells, carries vitamins A, D, E and K through the bloodstream and absorb them into the body. It is also needed to support growth, development and regulation of body temperature. Although fat has many benefits in our body, consuming more than our body requires can result to various health problems such as obesity. It is important for us to know the types of fat that would be beneficial or harmful to our body. Fat is divided into two groups:

    The Good Fats (Unsaturated fatty acids)

  • They are the essential fats that our body needs for normal growth and development. They provide structural components for tissues. They are crucial for renewal, growth and flexibility of cell membranes. Most importantly, they help control blood cholesterol concentrations.
  • The main sources of fat are vegetable oils such as sunflower, rapeseed, olive, soybean, corn and linseed. Products such as margarines and mayonnaise are also rich of unsaturated fatty acids.

fat

     The Bad Fats (Saturated fatty acids)

  • These are the fatty acids that have to be consumed in moderation as they raise your cholesterol level. High cholesterol is the major cause of health problems such as heart attack and stroke.
  • They can be found in animal products such as butter, cheese, whole milk, ice cream, cream, and fatty meats. Vegetable oils such as coconut, palm, palm kernel oil also contain saturated fats.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates acarbsre definitely part of a healthy diet. Although they are the ones to get blamed when people gains weight, they are incredibly important as they provide the necessary nutrients that our body needs. Glucose is a form of carbohydrates that fuels our body with energy. Carbohydrates fights diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. They can also help reduce and control weight. Carbohydrates are divided into three groups, which is sugar, starch and fiber. Sugar supplies our body the energy required for daily activities and they can be found in fruits, vegetables, milk and milk derivatives. Starch can be found in grains, beans, peas and rice. Whole grains, dry beans, bran, soya beans and peas are vegetables that highly contain fiber. Since carbohydrates can be responsible for weight gain or reducing weight, it is important to know which carbohydrates are good for your health. Here are some list of carbohydrates to include in your healthy diet:

     Fiber-rich vegetables and Fruits

  • Fresh fruits like watermelons, raspberries, grapes, blueberries, pears and plums provides fiber, a lot of water and sugar.

     Whole grains

  • They provide fiber and micronutrients like potassium, magnesium and selenium. Whole grains provide additional benefits in our body, they can be in a form of bread and other similar products.

     Legumes

  • Legumes such as beans, lentils and peas are rich in protein and fiber. They are free of cholesterol and saturated fats so they are highly recommended for people with heart disease.

     Low-Fat Dairy Products (no added sugar)

  • These products are low in saturated fats and calories. In fact, they also contain vitamins, calcium and mineral proteins that are good for the body.

     Limit of Added Sugar

  • Sugar consumption has to be limited. Added sugar has no benefit in our health. It can cause tooth decay and weight gain.

 Vitamins and Mineralsvitamins

Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients in our body. They carry out many roles that makes our bodies function properly. Vitamins and minerals are vital components in maintaining and boosting our immune system. They support growth and development and help our cells and organs perform properly. Vitamins and minerals must come from our diet. Minerals must be taken in large amounts while vitamins must be taken in small amounts as they can be toxic.

Water

Water is very important to our overall health. It plays a crucial role in our cells, tissues, organs and body function, such as the following:water

  • Regulating temperature
  • Transporting nutrients and oxygen
  • Eliminating waste
  • Giving cells form and stability
  • Lubricating joints in our body

Another great tool to use is the Canada’s Food Guide. It provides the necessary information on the type and amount of food we should eat to help us meet our daily health requirements.Canada's Food GuideRecommended Sites:

http://www.caloriesecrets.net/what-is-a-balanced-diet-and-why-is-it-important/

Web Source:

http://www.sistersrunningthekitchen.com/2011/02/components-of-a-healthy-diet/

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000104.htm

http://www.imace.org/facts-on-fat/role-of-fats-in-the-diet/

http://www.detourbar.com/protein-basics/the-importance-of-protein-in-your-diet/

Healthy Lifestyle: Getting Started

Motivate-selfI’m pretty sure Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass made you sick to your core for weeks because it has been overplayed on the radio or by teens on their booming headphones. Sure it’s inspirational, but has its own back fire. Everyone has to embrace their bodies (that’s how God made you); however, society forgot to consider that we all need to take care of it to improve our well-beings as humans. Wouldn’t it be more awesome to be fit, feeling wonderful and confident rather than be a walking bass in town stuffing pizza on your face, but deep down you aren’t sure about yourself? Let me tell you sissy, promote fitness and don’t be that bass. Here are some ways to help you kick start your healthy lifestyle:

  • Make a choice and stick with it. It all starts with YOU. You have to make that choice in order for you to reach your goal. Ask yourself questions like what can I do today to get me where I want to be tomorrow? Sounds difficult, but you have to motivate yourself that you can do this. There is no short cut to being healthy because it’s a long term commitment. Remember, living healthy is not just a choice. It’s a lifestyle that anyone can do.
  • Accept yourself. Embracing your own self is the very first step in self-love. It sounds selfish, but what it truly means is accepting the fact that you’re uniquely made. I’m emphasizing this before you start changing your life for the better because I don’t want you getting frustrated if you can’t be Meghan Fox or Canada’s Top Model. You will never be one of them because everyone’s different. However, it’s possible that you can achieve what they have achieved, just work for it. Focus on the things you can change about yourself rather than sitting and crying over permanent things.
  • Change your perspective. Food is essential for all of us. Most cultures cannot go on a day without food. It’s the fuel that gives us energy to do our daily tasks; however, we tend to go for fast food. Who can blame us? No one. This is 21st century and everything is fast paced including our lives. That’s why fast food is more convenient. Well, that has to change. Why not take the time every month stuffing your refrigerator with fresh fruits, proteins and greens rather than stuffing it with beer for a Friday night. Think about it, you definitely can a lot no more than 15 minutes of your time preparing lunch every morning. If that’s not possible, you can always look for a restaurant who serves healthy foods like Greek or Indian cuisine (depends on your taste). Sure it will cost you some money, but it’s worth it.
  • “No pain. No gain.” I’m sorry to bust this one up for you, but being healthy means hard work. Before you go on running on a tread mill like a mad dog, take a step back and evaluate yourself. What would want to achieve? Of course everyone would want to achieve sexiness. I mean, know your fitness level so you can decide what work-out would suit your needs. Okay, this is a long term process and you have to do it every day, every other week or three times a day. It really depends on you; however, don’t stress yourself too much. Take it easy because it’s more fun when you make exercise a part of your life rather than doing it as a chore. Sure you’ll have slips every now and then and that’s fine. Nobody is perfect my friend. Forgive yourself, smile, get back on track and never give up.

These are just the fundamentals of making a head start and living life to the fullest. Don’t forget to remind yourself every morning that you‘ve made a choice to be fit. I’m pretty sure your hard work will pay-off in the long run so stop eating your feelings away, get out there and start living.

The Benefits of living a Healthy Lifestyle

ghghChoosing a healthy lifestyle is the most wonderful gift you can give yourself. Not only it makes you feel great inside and out, but it also gives you real confidence that no pizza, ice cream, or chocolate can ever give to you. I highly promote healthy lifestyle. This is a type of lifestyle that improves and maintains a person’s health and well-being. Being healthy is not only the absence of sickness. A healthy way of living requires maintaining a balanced diet along with regular exercise, adequate rest and avoiding unhealthy habits. It can be quite challenging to change your usual lifestyle, but choosing to live a healthy life is the best change you will ever make in your life. Health is wealth. If there is one thing in this world that money can’t buy, that is your health. We are solely responsible for our own health and well-beings. Always remember that life is a long journey and it takes a healthy and strong body to continue living in this world.

What are the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle?

   Good Mental Health

  • Exercising along with eating healthy has a huge impact on our mental health. People who lives with this type of lifestyle are often positive in life and are very good in decision makings. Keeping our body active by exercising regularly or indulging in simple physical activities releases chemicals in our brain which makes us feel good and happy. Also, a balanced diet provides the necessary nutrients for developing, managing, and preventing various mental problems such as stress, depression, and schizophrenia. Overall, healthy lifestyle creates more relaxed and positive mind.

   Boosts Energy and Stamina

  • Food fuels our body with the necessary energy in order to function well throughout the day. Following a diet that contains all the healthy components including whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, fruits and vegetables provide high energy levels which allows you to be more active in your daily activities. Lack of healthy foods and exercise can result to fatigue and body weakness; that is why it is very important to eat a balanced diet and to indulge ourselves in physical activities. Exercising regularly improves muscle strength and it also improves your stamina over a long period of time.

   Disease Prevention

  • Making smart choices, cutting back on sweets, exercising and quitting the old bad habits such as smoking and alcohol drinking are all part of healthy living. Making healthier choices in life will help improve your immune system, reducing your risk on major health problems such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and lung disease and obesity. It is important to avoid foods that are high in saturated fats and cholesterol as they are the main cause of certain health issues. Include foods that are high in vitamins and minerals in your diet as they are good for preventing diseases. Lastly, watching what you eat is always the best way to keep track on your diet.

   Healthy Weight and Longer Life

  • Living a healthy lifestyle helps balance our weight by eating healthy and staying active. Making healthy choices such as choosing water over soda, baby carrots over chips, salad instead of fries not only will help you lose weight, it can also help you save money. Exercising is the key to balance your weight by burning the excess calories in your body. Practicing healthy habits improves longevity. A body that is active and healthy often last longer than expected.

Web Source:

http://www.healthline.com/health/5-benefits-healthy-habits#1