Friday, November 9, 2012

Weight Loss Help and Tips

Weight Loss Help and Tips

Vegetables that burn belly fat

Posted: 09 Nov 2012 01:53 AM PST

vegetables that burn belly fat

Are there any vegetables that burn belly fat? The importance of consuming fruit and vegetables daily for their health benefits is been highlighted every day. Fruit and vegetables have truly a number of health benefits. A plethora of studies support that adequate consumption of fruit and vegetables can help in reducing the risk of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, stomach cancer and colorectal cancer.

They can also benefit in decreasing the risk of developing metabolic related conditions such as metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. Fruit and veg. have components such as vitamins, phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins and etc which are vital for the processes of the body. So it is important to follow a diet which is rich in fruit and vegetables. But how do they relate with losing abdominal fat?

Studies have shown that in the hunter-gatherer times (pre-historic) people ate 800 different varieties of plant foods. In recent times the Average American eats 3 servings of fruit and veg.

These are not enough to provide adequate amounts of elements naturally occurring in plants (such as vitamins, phytochemicals and antioxidants) which are essential for health.

Consumption of fruit and vegetables can help in fighting obesity and reducing body weight. What is less of a fact is what a lot of people may preach that specific fruits and vegetables will have magic powers in terms of burning fat from specific areas.

So let's see what the actual truth is and what vegetables can do for belly fat.

Belly fat facts

Always remember that:

  1. There is no such thing as spot fat burning. In simple words if you diet or exercise you can't selectively lose weight from the place of your choice only.
  2. Abdominal fat has been associated with inflammation and the risk of developing metabolic conditions, (such insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and diabetes) along with other health conditions. In very simplified words is a cycle in which inflammation and insulin resistance can increase belly fat and vice versa.
  3. Consumption of specific foods will not help you to spot burn the abdominal fat as you may have read elsewhere. However they can help with improving metabolic conditions, improve weight loss in general or help in improving general body processes, all of which can lead to increasing abdominal fat loss.
  4. Finally, when you lose weight usually the first place to go is the fat from the abdomen as it is metabolically active and therefore easier to mobilise. Which means that by eating foods which increase weight loss will increase the fat you lose from your belly.

With these facts in mind you will be able to understand more about the role of vegetables in the diet. I may also help you clear some of the common misconceptions.

Vegetables that burn belly fat 

Vegetables are great for losing weight as they have high water content, low calorie density and high nutrient density. What all that means?

Studies have shown that foods such as vegetables which have high water content promote satiety when consumed in a meal. So basically you feel fuller faster and/or with less food.

Vegetables can also make you feel fuller as they can contain high amounts of fibre. Fibre has a number of health benefits but also can promote satiety when consumed. In addition to fibre fruit and vegetables can be very rich in nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants amongst others.

Last but not least vegetables are low in calories so you can eat and eat and eat without toppling the scales over. All these elements make vegetables great for both health and weight loss and it is vital to follow a diet which is rich in fruit and vegetables.

You would think that all you have to do is drink more water with your meal. However, scientists argue that just drinking water while eating will not have the same effect as it is the water contained inside the actual food which promotes satiety.

Eat ample of colourful fruit and vegetables

A study carried out by the Tufts University in Boston looked into the effects of dietary blubbery powder in obesity. The study suggested that blubbery powder can help to decrease inflammation and insulin resistance which are common in obesity and especially in increased abdominal fat. Although they did not show any changes in body weight, however decreasing inflammation and improving insulin resistance can improve metabolic processes and can help in increasing abdominal weight loss.

In simple words consumption of colourful fruit and vegetables which contain polyphenols can have cytoprotective and anti-inflammatoryactions and can further provide metabolic benefits to combat obesity-associated pathology.

Cruciferous vegetables

'Cruciferous vegetables' sounds all foreign and exotic but is nothing more than the everyday cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale and few others. Some studies suggest that this category of vegetables contain phytochemicals such as indole-3-carbinol (I3C)   . These phytochemicals are suggested to help fight the effects environmental estrogens have in the body and for our interest in abdominal fat.

The problem however is that many of these studies on vegetable phytochemicals have been carried out in cell level. In other words in a laboratory and there are not a lot of strong evidence on humans. What that means is, scientists are not 100% sure that this does work on the everyday person.

Moreover, vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli also contain compounds which are goitrogenic. To explain simply, these compounds affect the works of the thyroid gland in many different ways. A lot of the 'how' and 'why' on the effects of the goitrogens, as well as how these can be eliminated, have not been fully understood by research. However, the thyroid gland is an organ which can influence metabolism and lead to body weight changes, not to mention that it is not good for health anyway.

How to lose belly fat with vegetables

  1. Do eat loads of fruit and veg. Eating ample fruit and veg is vital for health and beneficial for weight loss. They do provide the body with a number of essential to the body elements such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals etc.
  2. There is not one magic vegetable that will make your belly fat disappear. Fruit and vegetables can help you lose weight for many of the reasons mentioned above. Some people may support that if you eat specific vegetables will automatically lose belly fat but studies have not so far shown such a thing.
  3. Losing weight will help in losing belly fat. Have a more holistic approach in terms of your abdominal fat.
  4. Eat a variety of vegetables. Some vegetables are suggested to have protective against disease or chemicals properties. However, sticking to one vegetable will not provide you with the entire essential for health nutrients. In addition, overeating one vegetable or one category of vegetables in the hope that they will decrease belly fat may actually lead to other metabolic disorders.
  5. Do include all the vegetables in moderation. Each vegetable has its very own benefits. Goitrogenic vegetables do have a number of other beneficial nutrients so do not exclude them from your diet. The answer here is in moderation.
  6. Do eat all the colours of the rainbow. Studies have shown that colourful vegetables can have disease protective properties. They can also help in improving metabolic processes which could help to increase weight loss and abdominal fat. Coupling it with a healthy balanced diet and exercise is even more effective.
  7. Follow a balanced dietary pattern which will provide all the nutrients. Let's be realistic. Following in general a diet high in fat, high in calories, high in takeaways etc don't think that by just eating specific vegetables will solve all your weight and health problems. Definitely do eat loads of fruit and veg. regardless of what diet you have but be realistic in your expectations.

How to Burn Fat And Build Muscle At The Same Time

Posted: 08 Nov 2012 08:38 AM PST

man building muscles

One thing I can assume, is that everyone reading this article is either looking to lose fat or build muscle, that is a given. However, this is 2012, people want results as fast as possible, and most men and some women want to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously.

That is the fastest way to get your ideal body right? Well for some people using this type of mindset is what is slowing their progress to a halt. For very experienced trainees (2 years+) it can be hard or seemingly impossible to accomplish this.

Burn fat or build muscle?

The problem with trying to accomplish both these goals at the same time is to dependably gain WEIGHT, be it muscle, or body fat you need to be in a calorie surplus. A calorie surplus is when you are taking in more calories per day then your body is burning. Now on paper that means you will weigh more and hopefully some will be muscle but you will also likely gain FAT.

Alternatively, to lose WEIGHT whether it is body fat or muscle (which is to be avoided at all costs) you need to be in a calorie deficit.  Now a calorie deficit is when your body is taking in less calories than burn in a day , so your body has to use existing ” energy stores” as fuel, whether that be fat  stores or breaking down muscle.

How to burn fat and build muscle at the same time

That is the bad news, but there is light at the end of the tunnel for a lot of you, there are timing strategies and techniques you can use to burn fat, while you build muscle.  Remember there is no way for them to be as consistent as doing each goal separately from a physiological standpoint but they are effective and used by many people with great success including myself and people I have personally trained.

Another thing for you to consider is you new people to the fitness world are the ones who will have the best consistency with both goals simultaneously. Being  relatively new  you will get results a lot faster than someone who has been training 2+ years , you will likely constantly be improving your arm , chest and shoulder size while dropping your waist size.

Nevertheless, back to the basics, here are some helpful tips and techniques you can use to make progress at losing fat while building muscle.

Use nutrient timing effectively

Immediately after your workout drink a fast absorbing protein such as a whey protein shake. Then about 30 minutes to an hour after training consume a large balanced meal mainly consisting of protein (Chicken, Fish, Beef, and Eggs) and Carbs (Pasta, Whole Wheat Bread, Brown Rice, etc.)

Do your cardio immediately upon waking before breakfast

Studies have shown this is the biggest opportunity for your body to tap into fat stores instead of using eaten carbohydrates later during the day.  This will also put your body into more of a fat loss state for the rest of day until your workout.

Avoid empty calories

This is especially important when trying to build muscle while losing fat. You need to make every calorie count and a large coke will not benefit you in any way towards your goal of building muscle although it is 200-400 calories.

Train hard and constantly progress your workouts

This will be one of the biggest determining factors in whether you actually build the muscle or not, you will need to expose your body to a lot of stress consistently  through weight training to make your body need to constantly adapt and  actually build the  muscle.

Consume at least your bodyweight in protein everyday

A 180-pound man should be consuming at least 180 grams of protein daily to gain muscle. Most body builders consume 1.5 times their bodyweight in protein.

Consume more calories (Mostly from Protein and Carbs) on days you workout.

On training days your body will be likely to use consumed protein to build muscle and needs more carbs for energy and recovery. I am not saying eat like a pig on training days but at least consume a large carb and protein filled meal 2-3 hours pre workout and around an hour after your workout.

If you follow those strategies everyday and really focus on the training and nutrition, you will be very likely to build muscle and lose fat, especially if you are a beginner.  It may not be as fast as focusing on weight loss only or “bulking up" and gaining fat and muscle, but it can effectively give you a balance between the two.

It is also important you realize how much a few pounds of muscle really is, to get an idea go to a supermarket and look at 2 lbs of lean beef.  Even competitive body builders would be thrilled to gain 10 pounds of muscle every year; building muscle is just a long process in general. However, once you do put on a good amount of muscle it will be there for years and years.

How to get motivated to start exercise

Posted: 08 Nov 2012 03:48 AM PST

start exercise

I must say that this is a subject that hits a chord with me. I am sure I am not alone on that but I am the kind of person who wants to be fit and feel healthy and I am forever making plans and statements about starting exercise. However still getting to move or stick to exercising is a mission impossible.

Needles to say that in all the years I have tried every trick on the book some have worked better than others. So here I have summarized a few ways which are tried and tested and I would vouch are my best tricks to get me going.

1 # Get a buddy

I know this is nothing new and I have mentioned it many times before. However, I would say I find it no 1 in motivation for sticking to any activity. I probably sound like I can't do anything on my own, but hey I get bored easily and lose my enthusiasm very quickly, coupled with some laziness is not a good recipe.

Whenever I teamed up with a friend I kept exercising. Having a buddy is more than just exercising. It gives an opportunity to have a social time, have a laugh on the way, push each other and motivate one another. There were many of times in cold winter rainy evenings in which I would never have left the comfort of my couch for an exercise class but I did as it was more fun going with my buddy.

This brings us also to the point of make sure your exercise buddy is someone who you get along with and is fun to be with. If your buddy bores you to death or they are unreliable it may not bind very well.

2# Find a type of exercise you really enjoy

Exercising is not just going to the gym. I have read in many of articles or books that unless you are pumping iron (weights) you are not doing anything. Ignore that, trust me. Resistance exercise with the use of weights and/or going to the gym has its own value and benefits but in my opinion is not the only thing you can do.

So use your imagination on this. Do try different things and opt for the one you really like. Doing what you really enjoy is a motivator on itself to make you want to keep doing it.

3# Do something fun

Things like pole dancing lessons, zumba fitness, and ballroom dancing are becoming more and more popular and readily available. A lot of these activities are a lot harder than it may seem like it and you will be getting a really good work out. I remember joining a pole dancing class (more specifically pole aerobics) a few years ago and it was a pretty novel thing at the time. Well to my surprise it was a hard workout and it did take me a week to walk after it (exercise induced muscle soreness).

Ok this may not sound very good but my point is that I did enjoy it so much that I kept going for months and got some really good fitness out of it. Getting fit or exercising was the added bonus of having fun with a group of girls, and feeling more confident in the way I carried myself. There are numerous fun ways to exercise some other examples could be martial arts, Pilates, box exercise, horse riding, and boot camps among other things you could do.

Do make sure you do go to a certified and legible place though as apart from other safety issues you could end up with loads of injuries. This would apply to any form of exercise class.

! It is important that the instructor is adequately trained and has the knowledge and skills to teach whatever is meant to teach. You may often find situations in which dancers will teach dance for example but they don't necessarily have the skills to show the correct techniques, or provide adequate workouts.

4# Everyday functional activities.

This is my exercise without exercising and is a point I have mentioned loads of times before. That was the most successful exercise adherence I had while I was a poor working university student, but I must say I was at my fittest. You don't have to be a poor student to do this. All you have to do is use your everyday activities and turn them into a workout.

Walk everywhere possible, cycle to work, use the stairs and clean the house. Those good all days I did not have a car or a lot of money to use the buses which may sound like a 'sorry' story but I had a great body. I used my bike to go to the shops or work, or if I couldn’t take my bike I used to walk instead; as simple as that.

You don't have to do a great deal of motivating as if you have to go to work you have to go. Well I guess you have to convince yourself to take the bike instead of the car but trust me once you start making it a routine you will just do it. The best is that you will be getting fit and you won't even feel like exercising.

In addition, by incorporating exercise in your everyday life exercising doesn’t feel like an extra chore you have to add to your day. When you see things like chores it is less likely to want to do them as that means more work and more time away from resting and having fun.

Example activities and calorie spending per minute


Calories per min (aprox.)

Raking leaves


Walking leisurely


Washing the car


Walking uphill


Scrubbing floors




Calorie expenditure is only an approximate example. This will depend on the intensity in which an activity will be carried out. All these activities apart from a calorie expenditure point they can present an opportunity for challenging your fitness and muscles and provide some benefits.

Obviously things like how often, how much, how hard etc are all factors which will influence the results you will be getting. Walking once a week for 5 min is unlikely to provide with great fitness or weight loss gains.

! A plus point for any exercise is that once you start seeing the results you will be even more motivated to keep going. Now that is a good addictive motivator to keep on exercising.

Exercising while you are doing everyday things can also save you loads of money. Thing how many things you can do with that extra cash.

 5# Get angry and get even.

No don't go beating people up on the street; this is not at all what I am trying to say here. Have you ever been in at the point where you do something and then all of a sadden something clicks in you and it makes you realize what you really want and just go for it.

Confused? Do you have these days were you put on an outfit and can't fit in it or just don't look good and then get depressed usually? Well don't get depressed, get angry and get motivated.

What is motivation? A quick internet search will give you hundreds of definitions, but to their core all they are saying is that motivation is the thing, the reason, the drive, the urge that something that makes you want to do something.

So you have put on weight the last few months/years or you are out of shape or unfit, is not time to sulk about it. Get angry and use that something to drive you into starting exercising and get going.

6# Think of your health

I tried for years to stop smoking for years until a close friend died from throat cancer. In his funeral I was sitting with some friends saying 'why did he keep smoking'; all these in the smoking area with a cigarette in my hand. After that day I stopped smoking in the realization that you don't have to have a terminal disease, or for the doctor to say you have to do it, in order to do it.

If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, with the everyday stresses, bad eating habits, maybe smoking, or being slightly overweight then you are increasing your risks for developing certain health condition.

Nobody things that it will happen to them but one bad health knocks your door often is late to reverse what damage is done. This in some ways incorporates the factor of learning to love yourself.

Regular exercise can have benefits such as help improve blood sugar metabolism and lower the risk of developing diabetes, help in lowering blood pressure, improve joint and back pain, and also help in improving sleep, psychological state and increase energy levels. These are just some of them, as the list can go on.

7# Make use of good weather

When the sun is shining on a warm day we want to go out and do things. Use this to your advantage. Build your exercise routines in the spring and summer and just carry them into the winter time. Doing a little bit of planning may help. Try to construct your exercise and make it into a routine instead of doing random things on the spare of the moment.

For example go cycling once a day or swimming twice a week, or join a sport. The idea is that if you spend spring and summer building a specific routine then it will be easy to continue with it when the weather is less motivating.

8# Use a personal trainer

This will require making a financial investment. It would work a little bit as a buddy. If you have specific appointments with a personal trainer it would make you exercise for those sessions. Well if you can't get going get someone who will drag you out. You could still find a number of excuses why to cancel sessions etc but on the other hand if you are paying you wouldn’t want to waste your money.

Unless you have plenty of money to spare personal trainers can be pricey and is not something you could keep forever. However, on the plus side a good trainer would work with you to motivate you or help you find the things that could motivate you in continuing exercising. So it could be the push you need.

9# As part of weight loss

Do exercise as part of another goal like weight loss. If you have found enough motivation to lose the extra pounds and want to reach your goals exercise could help you with this. Use the same reasons and drive that push you in the weight loss diet to push you in exercising.

10# Motivational props

Use little things which can get you up and going. For example studies have shown that music can help in motivating people to exercise. Also athletes some may also use music before a competition to get 'psyched up', relax or get energizer.

Do you want to get running every morning or go to the gym? Wake up and get some music playing. What kind of music wakes you up and gets you going is a personal thing however.

Other little things you could use are a picture of yourself from the past, a picture of a model/celebrity or why not an athlete, a book or an inspirational story etc. There are loads of little things from our everyday life and environment which we can draw inspiration and get motivated from.

How To Get a Firm and Tight Butt

Posted: 20 Mar 2012 02:35 AM PDT

firm butt

As long as men have been trying to learn how to build muscle, women have been asking how to get a tight butt to trainers and fitness experts worldwide. Nevertheless, I have good news for you, by the end of this article you will know exactly what steps you can take to get a firm butt and why so many people are doing it wrong.

There is no such thing as 'spot reduction'

The first misconception to dismiss is “Spot Reduction”, every beginner in fitness and even some veterans believe in this magical theory that has been disproved time and time again by studies. No matter how hard you work one particular area like your butt, thighs or abs, you will NOT directly burn fat away from that area.  When you do lunges for example, you are not burning fat directly away from your butt and thighs, you are only building the muscle underneath the fat and in a way tightening or shaping the muscle along with burning calories throughout your entire body.

You have fat stores placed all over your body, which includes places like your butt, hips, abdomen etc. And when you do any exercise you are decreasing the total fat from all of these areas, not specifically targeting the one area you are working.  Your body just does not work like that; the only way to reduce fat from your entire body including your butt is through regular exercise and dieting.

Your butt is a group of muscles…

Eventually I will address both these techniques for you, but let us begin with exercises and a short anatomy lesson. Your “butt” is actually a complex system of gluteal muscles including the Gluteus Maximus, Medius, and Minimus.  The largest of the three, shown below is the Gluteus Maximus.

This is the muscle primarily responsible for the shape of your butt and is the main muscle you should target to achieve your goal as quickly as possible. The Gluteus Maximus is one of the most used muscles for basic movement and is responsible for hip extension and external rotation.

The other muscles I mentioned are the Gluteus Medius and Minimus, which are smaller muscles that can be found underneath the Gluteus Maximus and are responsible for abduction and internal rotation of your hip.


How to get a tight butt through exercise

As I said before, to develop a firm and tight butt you are going to have to exercise regularly and follow a proper diet. Nevertheless, with your gluteal muscles being responsible for so much of your lower body movements, you have many exercises to choose from:

Walking Lunges

Side Lunges

Back Lunges

Stiff Legged Deadlifts

Sumo Deadlifts


Split Squats

Step Ups

Lateral Step Ups

Standing Hip Extensions

Leg Presses

However, to further help you, I will go over the exercises I feel will benefit you the most.


Lunges come in many variations and can be performed with just your bodyweight, a barbell or dumbbells. However, the same basic movement applies for all of them and that is what we will cover here.

General Guidelines : To  ensure proper safety during lunges be sure to keep your torso upright during the entire movement to avoid stressing your  lower back.  Also, be sure to keep the lunge at a long but safe stride length to emphasize the Gluteus Maximus muscle.

Step 1. Depending on which type of lunge you decided to do, either grab a dumbbell firmly in each hand, or un-rack a barbell on your back. If you do not have access to weights or are a beginner, bodyweight lunges will be fine as well.

Step 2. To begin the movement lunge forward with your left leg in a slow and controlled motion until your back legs knee is almost in contact with the floor as illustrated below.

Step 3.   Pause at this bottom position shortly before returning to your original standing position. That is one repetition and should be repeated while alternating leading legs.


Step-ups are another exercise, which can be performed almost anywhere and yield great results.  You can do them on a bench, flight of stairs, footrest ect and this is what makes them so versatile.

General Guidelines:  For proper safety when performing step ups please be sure the surface your stepping up on is at a low enough height so you do not have a risk of falling or pulling a muscle. Also, be sure the surface is flat and not slippery. The shorter the surface you are using to step up on the easier the exercise will be.

Step 1: Stand directly in front of the ledge, bench, or platform.

Step 2:  Lift your right foot up and  plant it on the surface then follow up with the left foot , you are now completely on top of the surface.

Step 3:  Step back, leading again with your right foot and following with your left into the starting position.

Step 4:  Alternate which foot you lead with and repeat the motion.

5 Diet tips for a firm butt

The last step to get a tight and firm butt is to monitor your diet, which will help get rid of the extra fat stored around your body and therefore on your butt. I included an easy to follow list of diets tips below to help you.

1. Distribute your protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake evenly throughout the entire day and at each meal.

2. Go for whole grains and fresh vegetables over refrained grains and simple sugars, as a good amount of fiber and starch will aid overall hunger control.

3. Avoid empty calories drinks or highly processed foods whenever possible, which contain many calories and do not effect your feeling of fullness.

4. Drink 8-12 cups of water per day, The National Academy of Sports Medicine recommends individuals looking to lose weight drink 96 ounces of water plus an additional 8 ounces per 25lbs they want to lose.

5.  Weigh and measure your food to become aware of actual serving sizes.

Sample Workout routine

Congratulations, you now know the ins and outs of each step you can take to reach your goal and now all you have to do is combine them and implement them! The most important thing will be your diet followed by the exercises l listed above, but if you want results even faster, you could also do a cardio session around 3 times a week such as jogging or biking.

Here is an example of a routine someone could use in addition to dieting properly and expect great results.

Monday- Do 30 minutes cardio such as jogging or biking

Tuesday- Do 5 sets of 1 minute of lunges, then immediately 1 minute of step-ups, rest 60 seconds in-between each set

Wednesday – Do 30 minutes cardio such as jogging or biking

Thursday- Do 5 sets of 1 minute of lunges, then immediately 1 minute of step ups, rest 60 seconds in-between each set

Friday- Do 30 minutes cardio such as jogging or biking

Saturday- Do 5 sets of: 1 minute of lunges, then immediately 1 minute of step-ups, rest 60 seconds in-between each set

Sunday- OFF


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