Health tip: "Low calorie" diets never work if your goal is to lose fat. When restricting food intake, the body fears a famine & will begin to hold onto fat instead of burn it. So eating more nutrient-dense foods, frequently & consistently, will teach your body to burn fat constantly, instead of store it!
It's too expensive or uncomfortable to work out at a gym?
Solution: Start by walking outside (which boosts your mood/gives you a dose of Vitamin D) or around your house in 5-minute increments, 2-4 times a day. To build muscle, grab anything around you in your home or outside in nature that weighs even 2-5 pounds...it can be a small child (as long as it's yours), a milk jug, or an inexpensive weighted ball.
Once you change your mindset, the world turns into your playground! So, get up and get moving because life's too short to make excuses to not use your beautiful body.
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Add a dash to your food, smoothies, and/or post workout recovery drink, and reap the benefits.
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The Healthy Bitches Course is about learning how to eat and move your way to health in the easiest and most affordable way possible.
Lesson 1: What to Eat
Lesson 2: When to Eat
Lesson 3: How to Eat
Lesson 4: What Makes You Fat & WHY (including exercise, sleep, and lifestyle)
Lessons 5&6 (BONUS): The Tools You Need to Communicate with Your Body
Join the course to get all of the information you need to be a healthy bitch!
For more information, e-mail me at email@example.com
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Women today have a fear of getting fat from eating and bulking up from lifting. We are taught that depriving ourselves of calories is healthy and that the only way to burn fat is by running a marathon.
However, this unknowingly leads you to the very body you don't want!
Restricting calories makes your body eat its own muscle tissue when you do not have enough food in your stomach to fuel you through a workout and recovery.
Since muscle tissue actually burns fat tissue, and you lose muscle tissue when you don't eat enough, increasing the stress from cardio exercise, while on little-to-no fuel (during a time when you should be eating more), is ironically making you gain more fat tissue.
Building muscle can only happen when you lift weights, eat nutrient-dense foods, and rest.
So stop depriving yourselves and running scared, ladies: lift those weights and eat....because science, not a fad, says so!
Photo credit: Heather Grimm
LOW CARB DIETS are particularly bad for the hormonal system of females. Cutting out carbs is not necessarily the best option, and here's why:
A particularly useful thyroid hormone (known as T3) is responsible for converting cholesterol into the hormone Progesterone, which is the "youth-associated, protective hormone" known to help with hair growth, clear skin, and overall hormonal balance. The key is that this entire process depends upon glucose or sugar that largely comes from carbohydrates. Without carbs, the body becomes stressed and produces more estrogen, which ages the body and causes a myriad of other health effects when it's dominant.
Thus, going on a low carb diet can lead to breast tenderness, PMS, headaches, an increase in fat tissue, a decrease in muscle tissue, hair loss, wrinkles, cravings, high blood sugar (yep!), a damaged metabolism, and hormonal chaos.
If you're thinking low carb is the best, you may want to change that misconception to a "no processed foods" lifestyle. Processed foods are much worse for the body than real, wholesome carbs like fruits and root vegetables (i.e., carrots, potatoes, turnips, beets, peppers, squash, etc.). Fruits and roots contain real sugar that the body recognizes and prefers in order to operate efficiently and not have to age and break down the body.
So do yourself a favor and avoid anything processed, rather than avoiding real carbs that are nourishing to your body.
Many Americans are under the assumption that the only way to lose weight is to eat less and move more. NOT TRUE. Let's debunk this thought through physiology.
Exercise is a stressor, and when the body is stressed, it needs to eat MORE in order to fuel the body and to recover what it loses during times of stress. The body further becomes stressed when it does not have enough food because it experiences this as a famine. If you're moving more and eating less, you're essentially putting less gas in the car before driving across the country--this won't happen without stress, dysfunction, and eventual breakdown.
Furthermore, when the human body is stressed, say by moving more and not eating enough, this is what happens:
- Cholesterol production increases
- Cortisol and other stress hormones are released
- Blood sugar can spike and drop, causing light-headedness and fainting spells
- Headaches become more frequent
- Hair can fall out
- and the chaos continues....
Furthermore, the body will hold onto fat and eat its own muscle tissue if it does not have enough food to continue functioning, and muscle tissue is the ONLY metabolic tissue that burns fat. Connect the physiological dots....
So if the goal is to lose fat, one must build and keep muscle; and that will only happen if given the proper amount of recovery through food and rest.
Eat well, hydrate well, sleep well, think well, move well, act well, be well...THIS is the way to create health: focusing on the whole body and the entire picture.
Oh, and if you're losing weight by eating less and moving more, you may just be losing precious muscle tissue, not fat.
Feel like you're "allergic" to exercise?
Most people in society, including health professionals, currently view weight gain as a result of not moving enough and eating too much. It would be logical to then assume that increasing your exercise frequency would help you to lose weight.
However, weight gain is not the outcome of not enough exercise; it is the end result of being hypo-metabolic (having a damaged or an inefficient metabolism). This all starts with food quality (organic vs. conventional), type (fresh produce vs. processed products), frequency (how often you eat), and ratios (protein, carbohydrate, and fat amounts in one meal/snack).
By decreasing energy intake (reduce eating calories from food), while increasing energy demand (increasing the amount of movement) with breathless exercise, you are putting your body further into a stressed state. It's not as simple as calories in, calories out.
When the consumption of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are inadequate (either not enough, or the wrong types/ratios/frequency), your body does not have enough fuel to get through the day, much less to get you through exercise (a stressor, itself).
Starting an exercise program and eating less to lose weight causes many to become discouraged about their health when symptoms arise, such as weight gain through water retention (edema/swelling), muscle atrophy (your body eating muscle for fuel), increased anxiety, trouble sleeping, constipation, altered menstrual cycles, infertility, rapid heart beat (over 85 bpm), etc.
If you are already in a hypo-metabolic state from not properly fueling the body before performing breathless exercise (a stressor), the outcome of the exercise may put you further into a hypo-metabolic state. So no, you're not "allergic" to exercise, you just need to work on food, first. As Dianna Schwarzbien, MD, points out, you must get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy.
Let's trim the fat:
Losing weight can be vastly different from becoming healthier and thinner. Most people use the scale as a direct measure of their weight loss and/or dieting "success". There is a problem here.
The best way to lose fat is to gain muscle, period.
Therefore, if you are depriving yourself of food and remain hungry or malnourished throughout the day, you may lose weight, but you are losing lean muscle tissue, not fat.
The truth is that if you have improper eating habits, your body will eat it's own muscles in order to provide energy to operate. The body always sacrifices long-term health in the name of short-term survival.
Thus, you must eat nutrient-dense foods, frequently, for your body to lay off of your muscles and go after those fat pounds. Yes, the scale may go up (temporarily) from gaining dense, fat-burning muscle tissue, but you will certainly be healthier and look better naked.
Your "diet" should not be a temporary, crash weight loss system, with a quick end in sight and fast goal in mind. Your diet needs to be part of your everyday lifestyle.
You didn't get to where you are today, overnight, and you cannot expect to reach optimal health overnight. Achieving a healthy lifestyle takes little changes, each day. These little changes are not just about dieting and your food.
It involves every aspect in your life:
- Your time schedule
- The way you think
- How you treat yourself and others around you
- How you allow others to treat you
- The amount of love you have for your body
- How much room you give yourself to relax and breathe
- and so much more.
Sometimes you need to slow down, stop trying to be a perfectionist, and try to make small, but important decisions, each day, to help you live a better life. It may be a slow process, but it will become easier to maintain over time.
After all, it's not a race to lose weight and get healthy. Your body needs your patience.
You must get healthy to lose weight; You cannot lose weight to get healthy.
So make positive changes a priority, every day, and it will become your way of life.