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Sensible Slimming and Exercise Tips!

The advice below is excellent advice on how to slim down and properly exercise. Eat right-- stay fit—enjoy life more—live longer!!!!!

Seven Steps to Slimming Down

STEP 1: Know When to Eat
Staying trim is all about timing: It's crucial to eat something every three hours. If you don't eat regularly, your metabolism plummets and guess what, you gain weight.

A few tips:
1. Eat breakfast within one hour of rising.
2. Eat every three hours.
3. Stop eating three hours before bedtime.

Eating every three hours is a natural way to suppress your appetite. Knowing when to start eating, how to eat throughout the day and when to stop is critical.

STEP 2: Move in the Morning

Some of you might prefer to put the pillow over your head rather than roll out of bed and exercise. But Exercising eight minutes in the morning does three important things.

1. Dramatically boost your metabolism. You burn more fat when you work out in the morning.
2. Give you an endorphin high that will make you feel great all day.
3. Ensure you consistently lose two pounds a week.

Also make time for sleep as well. Get those eight hours, wake up feeling rejuvenated and get ready to move!

STEP 3: Visualize Your Success

Creating a mental picture of the new you is a great way to stay focused on your goals.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. How will you see your body shrink with the smarter choices you make?
2. How will you feel when you attain your ultimate body?
3. What will people say to you when you're lighter?

Close your eyes and imagine a future dream vacation after you've reached your goal weight. Are you watching starfish swim in the Caribbean ? Perhaps you're strolling the vibrant streets of Paris .

STEP 4: Buddy Up
Sharing your weight-loss goals with a friend, co-worker or family member is a great way to ensure support. The person you choose should be someone you feel comfortable talking with openly. Perhaps you exchange a daily e-mail or a brief phone call. You should discuss the number of pounds you've lost and two things you did that week that you're most proud of. Your buddy can also help you put on the brakes when you feel yourself heading toward the refrigerator.

Building your inner support team will ensure you've got a great foundation of friends to help you on your journey.

STEP 5: Keep a Journal
When you hear those cookies calling you into the kitchen, one of the best things you can do is stop and write in your journal. Writing down the events of the day, how they made you feel and your successes can inspire you to “just say no” to the fridge. As you write, you should make sure to explore your fears, anger, sadness and challenges as well. Getting it all out there will help to quiet those voices calling you to overeat and keep you focused on your big picture goals.

Set a time to write every day. When you put pen to paper you've learned the secret to becoming your own greatest ally.

STEP 6: Learn the Secrets to Eating Out
Don't let dining out be your downfall. Most restaurants serve too-big portions. Here are a few tricks to keep you on track:

1. Ask for a take-home container to be brought with your meal. When your meal arrives visualize a better portion size and put anything that doesn't fit into that portion in your container.
2. Chew each bite of food between 20-30 times. It helps digestion and prevents overeating.
3. Watch the lattes: If you're in the mood for a java fix, remember that most coffee drinks are higher in calories than a cheeseburger.

STEP 7: Stay Hydrated

Water is your secret weapon. Drinking water greatly increases your oxygen levels. And in order for your lean muscle tissue to burn fat, it needs oxygen to convert the fat into energy. You won't have to eat as much to be satisfied if you drink enough water. But eight glasses of water a day is not enough. It's better to use a 16-ounce glass and fill it every hour. Whenever you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated. So don't wait for it to happen, make sure you're keeping that water glass filled and your body in a well-hydrated state.

 

6 Must-Do Exercise Tips

by Raphael Calzadilla B.A., CPT, ACE eDiets.com Chief Fitness Pro

Over the last year I've written several fitness myths and tips columns. In a quest to simplify things for you, I've decided to provide my favorite ones. If someone said to me they needed to get in shape and only wanted six tips to carry them through thick and thin, these would be the top six.

In essence, there would be times when this person would get stuck, experience boredom, question why something isn't working, etc. In those cases, they could come back to these top six and review them. From a workout perspective, I'd be willing to bet they'll find the solution to their problem.

1. Exercise does not require a hefty time commitment. The number of days you work out does not indicate your level of fitness. I see a lot of people in the gym five to six days a week, and they'd be better off playing ping pong. Consistency and level of effort are the keys. I'd rather see someone work out three days a week with enthusiasm and intensity, than five inconsistent days of lackadaisical effort.

In addition, long workouts are counterproductive. Numerous studies prove that more than one hour of an intense workout increases cortisol levels. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone that, among other things, will assist in destroying muscle. Obviously an elite athlete has to work beyond this mark, but I am referring to the average workout enthusiast.

2. Change your workout. There is no “best and only way” to work out. In reality, anything that works for you is good, but you don't want to stay with any of it for too long. The body will adapt to any exercise routine in four to six weeks. At that point, you must change the workout to challenge your body. The muscular and cardiovascular systems need to learn new movements when you change a workout. That's when progress accelerates.

3. “No Pain, No Gain” is a myth. There is absolutely no reason to cause pain in the gym. Natural progression is a smart method to ensure progress. This refers to slow, systematic increases in weight training, gradual increases in cardiovascular endurance and slow-but-steady flexibility progression. "No pain, no gain" will only put you at risk for injury and diminish your ability to use precise exercise form. I'm not saying you shouldn't challenge yourself, only that you should not view your workout as a form of punishment.

4. Weight-training musts. Vary the volume of sets, time between sets, reps, exercises, etc. Manipulate your routine every three to four weeks, and view change as the key constant. Performing the same workout for months is ineffective. You have to not only challenge your muscles, but also change the adaptation. This takes time to learn, but once you get used to changing your workout every three to four weeks you'll make great progress.

Beginners should follow a structured program such as the eDiets fitness program, which provides a full-body workout on three alternate days per week. This will help to provide a foundation for future progress.

5. Cardiovascular tips. We've been taught that performing cardiovascular exercise for 20 to 30 minutes at a target heart rate of 60 to 80 percent is a great way to lose fat. It can be. But what do you do when you know it's not working anymore?

One of the methods I've found successful is interval training. Interval training is best described as incorporating higher-intensity exercise with lower-intensity. This method helps stimulate and speed the metabolism.

Intervals can be applied to any form of cardiovascular exercise, and although it's been a widely used technique for training competitive athletes since the '50s, the concept grew into mainstream fitness in the '90s.

The beauty of interval training is that you don't have to work out for long periods. Unless you're training for a competitive event, anything longer than 25 to 35 minutes is unnecessary, and that includes warm up and cool down.

Let me show you how it's done.

The following is a protocol for interval training using the treadmill as an example:

Begin with a warm up of 5 minutes at level-3 intensity (3.0 miles per hour), then:
A. On the 6th minute, increase to 4 mph (light jog)
B. On the 7th minute, increase to 5 mph
C. On the 8th minute, increase to 6.5 or 7 mph
D. For the next 2 minutes (minutes 9 and 10), return to 3 mph
E. Repeat A-D two additional times, but increase the level of intensity 1 mile per hour on each phase.
F. Cool down for 5 minutes at 3 mph

Total workout time (including warm up and cool down): 25 minutes. A-D above represent one cycle. In this example, you perform three cycles of higher-intensity training. If you're at a more advanced fitness level, then you'll need to adjust the speeds and times accordingly -- make sure the intensity is somewhat demanding at the higher levels.

This workout can be done on the stationary bike, Stairmaster, walking outdoors or using any other form of cardio. For the experienced cardio group, don't think you can jump right into this type of training. Moderation and natural progression is vital. In the morning, you wouldn't get in your car, start it up and immediately try to reach 80 miles an hour.

The beauty of this type of training is you continue to burn calories the day after your workout, because you have stimulated your metabolism to such a high degree. Most people are obsessed with how many calories are burned during a workout, but one of the keys to losing fat is making sure your body continues to burn lots of calories 24 to 48 hours after the workout.

Another way to play with your cardio program is to perform interval training for three weeks, followed by a longer-duration, moderate cardio for three weeks. I like this method because it avoids the adaptation. As you can see, the key is to change after three to six weeks.

6. Mind/Body Exercise. It may not be an exercise tip per se, but we sometimes forget that we should select activities we enjoy. Exercises such as Pilates, Yoga, stretching and martial arts bridge the gap between simple movement and movement that also has a calming effect. Even if you don't venture into this arena, you still want to make sure that you improve your level of flexibility by using a stretching program.

As you move towards your goal, you can never forget that dietary consistency will be important. eDiets.com will arrange a healthy and delicious meal plan that will give you enough calories to sustain your energy, but at a level low enough to shed fat. Combine this with our online fitness plan, and you'll be on your way.

As always, check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
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