As you design your weight loss program, it’s common to focus on a healthy eating plan and perhaps some exercise like walking, jogging, swimming, or biking. So you might be surprised to learn that many people have found strength training to be the key to long term success. Why is this, and how can strength training help you?

 

Yes, you will burn calories. Your strength training workout will burn calories, of course. Another benefit is that the calorie burn is extended during the “repair” process which lasts for about 48 hours afterward. It’s called the “afterburn effect”.

 

Burn belly fat. As many frustrated people will tell you, a weight loss program can help you burn through fat stores, but you don’t really get to choose where that fat is burned. That’s why some people can lose a significant amount of weight, and still struggle with belly fat. So you might think that exercise has the same effect; it burns calories, but you don’t get to choose where, right?

 

Actually, a study has shown that those who pursue strength training regimens burn more fat in the belly region than those who stick to aerobic exercise only. Another study showed that combining strength training with moderate-intensity aerobic exercise is the key to reducing belly fat. Either way, strength training seems to hold an important key in this process.

 

Improve your overall metabolic rate. You probably know that your resting metabolic rate – the rate at which you burn calories even when you’re sitting on the couch – is a big key to your weight loss program. But why?

 

Put simply, muscles require more daily energy (calories). So, those with more muscle tissue will have higher metabolic rates. These are the people who can eat a bit more and maintain their weights. Or, in this case, they will be the people who see more significant results from a weight loss program.

 

For more information on exercise and how it fits into your overall weight loss program, give us a call. We can help you design a fitness routine that fits into your schedule and helps you meet your goals for better health

 

You know you need a regular exercise routine, both for physical health and stress prevention. But it can be difficult to stick with a workout routine when it’s boring or feels ineffective. If you’re dreading the gym, move your workout outside. We have identified three important reasons for this change (and you might even think of others).

 

It’s more fun. What sounds like more fun: Staring at a gym wall, or being outdoors in nature? Most people find outdoor activities more fun, and we’re more likely to stick with things that we enjoy.

 

Enjoy more variety. We’re also more likely to stick with an exercise program when we switch it up once in a while. When you go to the gym, you’re exercising in the same place (and often at the same times, doing the same things) every day. Heading outside immediately changes up your routine. And from there, you can choose activities like hiking, biking, swimming, tennis, golf, and so on.

 

You can even do the same exercise – say, walking – but switch up the location to keep it interesting.

 

Sunlight is good for you. Studies have shown that vitamin D can boost your immune system, and even prevent conditions like obesity and diabetes. Since we make our own vitamin D from sunlight exposure, exercising outdoors can do your body good in more than one way.

 

How to exercise outdoors safely. Even with all of these benefits, some caution is in order when you exercise outdoors. Keep these safety rules in mind:

 

Wear appropriate clothing, with conditions like heat stroke and sunburn in mind

Wear light-colored clothing if you exercise at night, so drivers can see you

Never swim alone, even if you’re an excellent swimmer

Bring plenty of water

Protect your eyes with sunglasses or a visor

Tell someone your walking or running route, and choose locations where you feel safe

If you’re hiking, don’t take unfamiliar side trails, use a map, and educate yourself on local wildlife

If you need more information to determine which forms of exercise are safe for you, come see us for a check-up. We can also offer guidance on a weight loss plan if that is your goal.

 

Although weight loss plans vary a bit, they all have one thing in common: The main goal is to burn more calories than you consume. Once you create a calorie deficit, your body is forced to burn fat stores. This results in weight loss.

 

Naturally, there are many different ways to create a calorie deficit. Revving up your metabolism is one of them. You might have heard that some foods actually boost your metabolism a bit, but is this true? And if so, which foods have this effect?

 

First, the truth: While no food can increase your metabolism permanently, some do give you a little boost. Thermogenesis is the process of turning food into usable energy, and the process itself accounts for 5 to 15 percent of your overall daily calorie burn. The idea is to eat foods that require more energy to break down, and you can boost your calorie burn a bit.

 

Now for our second question: Which foods can do that?

 

Protein. Chicken, lean beef, eggs, and legumes are all good sources of protein.

 

Coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant, and can increase your calorie burn just slightly. Of course, caffeine can be dangerous in high doses, so don’t overdo it.

 

Green tea. Green tea has a similar effect to coffee, and might also increase fat oxidation.

 

Chili peppers. Around 150 milligrams of the capsaicin found in chili peppers can boost metabolism by about 50 calories per day (that’s five pounds per year).

 

Including these foods in your diet can help boost your daily calorie burn, but think of them as a small “bonus” effort. You still need to exercise regularly in order to drastically change your metabolism, protect your heart, and ward off other health problems. Give us a call if you’re struggling with metabolism or weight loss, and we will discuss a scientifically proven plan.

 

 

Grilled food often offers a healthier dining option than other choices, such as frying. Even so, there definitely ways to add unnecessary calories to grilled meals. If you’re planning a cookout this summer, follow these tips to keep your fare healthy, balanced, and appropriate for your weight loss plan.

 

Make your own marinades. Some bottled marinades are high in sugar or other suspicious ingredients. Make your own marinades with lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, oils, honey, and herbs or spices.

 

Choose heart-healthy oils. Avocado or olive oils contain the monounsaturated fats that are so good for your heart. Of course, calories are still calories, so take it easy: Lightly brush each piece of meat with the oil. A small amount will prevent sticking, and add a touch of delicious flavor.

 

Watch your portions. A serving of meat should be about the same size as a deck of playing cards. Then fill the rest of your plate with fruits and veggies.

 

Choose lean meats. Choose chicken, fish, ground turkey, or beef that is 90 percent lean or above. Avoid hot dogs and sausages, which are higher in fats and also contain high levels of sodium.

 

Avoid creamy sauces. Sauces based in mayonnaise or sour cream can be packed with fat and calories. Sub in Greek yogurt if you want to use a recipe that calls for those ingredients. And yes, it works in coleslaw and potato salad!

 

Add avocado to burgers instead of mayo; it’s delicious, and much better for you.

 

Grill your fruits and veggies, too. The grill isn’t just for meat! Brush veggie skewers with lemon juice, a touch of your oil, salt, and herbs like parsley or cilantro, and then grill to create a delicious, nutritious side item. Or, try peaches, watermelon, pears, or pineapple on the grill. You’ll be surprised at how the fire carmelizes their sugars to create a unique treat.

 

Don’t forget your greens. Grilled meat is also delicious over salad. So stock up on that organic spring mix for a simple, perfect summer meal.

 

Grilled meats provide the perfect way to fulfill your protein requirements. If you need additional help with your weight loss plan, call us to schedule an appointment. We can provide the expert advice and compassionate support that you need to reach your goals.

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