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Should You Drop Calories Or Boost Exercise For Weight Loss

by: Stefan Simonovic

Well, both. The simplest and healthiest way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more. It’s not rocket science really, but when it comes to implementation things do tend to get rocky. At the same time, if you Google eating less vs. exercising more when trying to lose weight, you'll see a bunch of ambiguous information and no straight answer. Finally, for all those tired of BBW dating, shopping at 'plus’ stores, and putting health at risk, we’d like to take a closer look at this issue to figure out the best course of action.

Source: Flickr

#1: Eating Less Is Easier

Let’s put it this way, jogging or swimming for 30 minutes burns off about 350-400 calories. Think about it, swimming for half an hour is a pretty strenuous exercise, and yet 350 or even 400 calories is not much really. It would be far easier not to consume those calories than to have to work your behind off every day to lose weight or stay in shape. Remember that calories are not just found in food, but lurk around every corner when you least expect them, including that soda you drink so often. Two 16-ounce sodas contain about 350 calories so wouldn't it be easier to forfeit the pleasure of drinking sugary drinks than to have to run for half an hour to burn it off?

#2: Why Exercising More Matters

Losing weight should be a mathematical equation, right? You burn more than you consume, and you see pounds melting. You’re told to eat less, so you eat less, and as a result you’re feeling hungry most of the time, you’re irritable, and your sleep is disrupted. And yet, the scale won't budge and neither will your waist circumference. The solution is quite simple, in addition to eating less, you also need to exercise more to stimulate your metabolism to burn off enough calories to see a drop in your weight. If you're not a fitness enthusiast, start slow so you don’t put too much stress on your body, but forget the 2-3 times a week nonsense because it won't get you anywhere. Exercise every single day for 20-25 minutes to get into decent shape, and once your muscles get stronger you can introduce less frequent and longer workouts.

#3: Down With The Numbers

Losing weight is not about numbers, but about feeling good in your own skin. Some people who weigh 115 pounds have Buddha bellies bigger than those weighing 150 pounds. That’s why you need to forget about what the scale and measuring tape say, and focus on building your muscles. As a result of exercising, your muscles will grow and you might see a rise in your weight simply because muscles weigh more than fat, but don't let this scare you. You're on the right track if this is the problem you’re having. Total body workouts are your friends, and so are sports, not just running to the gym after work for a quick sprint on the treadmill. Tennis, pole dancing and rollerblading are some great alternatives to your typical circuit training with a personal trainer, and like with any goal, the key is to pick an activity you like so your motivation doesn’t depend solely on weight loss.

About the author:

Stefan is a writer and a blogger in his spare time. He also works for First Beat Media, a company that mainly focuses on the online dating niche and similar services.

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Are There Any Benefits to Exercising on an Empty Stomach?

by: Stefan Simonovic

Whether you just want to make sure you have that beach body when summer comes or you’re working out just so that you can date a cougar, it’s always a good idea to follow up on the latest exercise trends, right?

Source: Flickr

As it is with many things in the fitness world, there has been a seemingly eternal debate on whether it’s better to eat before or after exercising. Both of these opinions have strong advocacies, but we’re here today to focus on the “eating after the gym” part of the dilemma in question.

The Experts have Spoken

Like we’ve already mentioned, gym-goes are pretty much divided when it comes to this questions. On the other hand, nutritionists and experts are more or less united in the favor of exercising prior to eating.

John Rowley, Wellness Director for the International Sports Science Association (ISSA), says: “It all depends on what type of training you are going to do and for what purpose. The less glucose you have in your system the more fat you will burn.”

With that being said, most professionals out there claim that exercising on an empty stomach is especially great if your goal is sheer weight loss. “Your muscles don’t have much sugar to draw from so you are more likely to tap into your stored energy, which means releasing and burning what I refer to as surplus fat,” Founder and CEO of Diet Free Life, Robert Ferguson says.

Rowley also adds: “I would expect a person wanting to improve their physical fitness to fall short of exercise performance for the sole reason of not being fueled to optimize their training session.”

How to Do It Properly

All things considered, we’re assuming a bunch of you is getting the idea that the hungrier you are while working out, the better the results will be, or in other words, the more fat you will lose. However, this is not exactly the case here.

While there is undeniable evidence that working out on an empty stomach has its benefits in terms of weight loss, it’s not exactly the best idea to force your body by doing exercises while eating very little to no food in the meantime.

This especially applies to those with diabetes or low blood sugar levels, even more especially if they’re planning on working out in the morning before eating anything. These individuals absolutely must eat something prior to exercising, while even snacks are allowed in this scenario.

Furthermore, even if you’re completely healthy but want to lose some extra weight, it’s not exactly the smartest idea to practice this technique for a prolonged period of time. Make sure that you have breakfast before working out at least once a week, if nothing else then to give your body that energy boost it will very much need after a few days of going to the gym on an empty stomach.

Remember – take everything in moderation, even if it’s the best weight loss method in the world.

About the author:

Stefan is a writer and a blogger in his spare time. He also works for First Beat Media, a company that mainly focuses on the online dating niche and similar services.

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6 Ways to Stay Motivated While Losing Weight

by: Stefan Simonovic

Source: Alan Cleaver [Flickr]

Losing weight is no easy deed. It rarely happens smoothly and effortlessly, which means it can be really tiring and exhausting at times. Some people occupy their thoughts by trying to meet people online while others can’t help it but constantly obsess about their excess weight. In that name, here are the 6 best ways to stay motivated on your journey to weight loss.

1. Set Realistic Goals

Before you even come across an obstacle, make sure that the target you have in your crosshairs is a realistic and reachable one. If you don’t do this, you’re basically setting yourself up for failure.

Trying too hard and aiming for something that you can’t possibly achieve is exactly what kills the motivation for most people who try to lose weight. Instead, focus on something you know you can actually accomplish and you’ll see that your journey will be much, much easier.

2. Imagine the End Result

One of the best tactics to follow when you’re feeling down and unmotivated to keep on dieting and exercising is to just imagine yourself once everything’s done and all the extra weight has disappeared.

The reason why this works lies in the fact that the end result is exactly why we begin this journey in the first place.

3. Baby Steps

Since losing weight can be a rather lengthy endeavor, it’s always smart to set mini-goals on your way to the end result in order to stay motivated. The best way to do this is to task yourself with losing small amounts of weight in short periods of time. This way you’ll have those tiny accomplishments to keep you going.

4. Don’t Torture Yourself

Imagining yourself after losing all those excess pounds is one thing, but focusing on how other people are skinny and fit is something completely different.

The former, as we’ve said before, can help keep you motivated, while the latter will only make you envious, sad, angry and prone to quitting.

5. Feel Good

Being fit isn’t only about having a great body and being healthy – it’s also about feeling good about yourself and being comfortable with who you are and the way you look.

The common mistake people make while trying to drop weight is scolding themselves for being fat, overweight, obese and for binge-eating. While none of these are something you should be proud of, it’s very important that you don’t bring yourself down because of your extra weight or if you’re seeing significant results after a while. Remember – good things come to those who wait!

6. Reward Yourself

Much like those mini-goals we spoke about before, it’s also good to reward yourself every once in a while for achieving even the slightest improvement. This way you’ll feel much more eager to keep working on your waistline.

However, don’t overdo it. Just because you’ve lost 5 pounds in 3 days doesn’t mean you should buy yourself an entire pizza and eat it in one go.

About the author:

Stefan is a writer and a blogger in his spare time. He also works for First Beat Media, a company that mainly focuses on the online dating niche and similar services.

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5 Tips For Eating Out With Co-Workers When Dieting

by: Stefan Simonovic

Sticking to your diet plan can sometimes be really tricky, especially with all those temptations surrounding you. Firstly, there are these holiday foods that don’t seem to be going off the tables any time soon and secondly, you can’t skip socializing and call a rain check every single time your co-workers ask you out to a restaurant. Sure, it’s okay to do it once or twice, and they can even buy that lame “I can’t. I arranged a couple of transgender dates for tonight” excuse, but now is the time to finally accept the challenge by following these 5 tips that we have prepared especially for you... And these are low in carbs, we promise!

#1 Plan Ahead

Believe it or not, this one is crucial if you wish to stay loyal to your healthy food regime because it can successfully prevent you from eating 500 or 1000 calories on top what you thought you were going to eat in the first place. The most efficient way to achieve it is by getting informed about the restaurant you’re going to visit in advance, and then explore healthier options from their menu. You can even suggest the restaurant yourself and thus save yourself from the trouble of having to think about your order beforehand - after all, you’ve already been there. On the other hand, your colleagues will probably perceive you as fun and enthusiastic if you do so, meaning this can bring some extra points to your social persona as well.

#2 Have a Healthy Snack at Work

Remember the countless times they taught us all about the importance of having at least 5 smaller portions of food that should be consumed evenly throughout the entire day so that we don’t experience significant energy drops and mood swings? Well, this is 100% accurate so having one such healthy snack can be a great precautionary measure that will eventually rescue you from ordering that large sausage and pepperoni pizza from the menu. Namely, protein shakes or various smoothies belong to the group of healthy snacks that can significantly curb your appetite. On the other hand, you can actually have them while you’re still at work, meaning that you’re going to feel fuller before you even make that order at the restaurant!

#3 Avoid Appetizers and Certain Drinks

Everyone is having a hard time resisting these yummy starters, we know, especially if you’re having a glass of wine or beer because they go so well with alcohol. The sad truth about appetizers, however, is that they are usually abundant in carbs, fried in deep oil and spicey, meaning that if you opt for them you’ll be just taking empty calories that won’t satiate your hunger but rather leave you craving for more, even though you had more than enough. The same goes for the alcohol and sugary drinks. A tasty salad rich in fibers and vitamins and unsweetened beverages, on the other hand, are always great alternatives.

#4 Know Thy Dish

In case you’re not certain about a dish you want to order, don’t hesitate to ask a waiter to give you some additional info about the ingredients. The majority of restaurants are usually serving heavy sauces poured all over their dishes, which usually contain ingredients such as blue cheese, sugar, and oil that will certainly add a substantial number of unwanted calories to your meal. What you can do in order to prevent this situation is to ask the staff to serve you the sauce separately, or you can even order your food without it. Trust us, it will still taste way better than the one you usually prepare at home! Not that we’re doubting your cooking skills...

#5 Meat and Veggies are Your Best Friends

It’s needless to emphasize that any food rich in proteins and fibers is excellent for your diet. That being said, white meat is always a better choice, but the red one is also okay, especially if you haven’t had it in a long time. The fibers found in vegetables will satiate your hunger for a longer period of time and will also keep your digestive system in check. This means that you actually have more than enough options for a healthy meal with your co-workers that will also be fun at the same time!

About the author:

Stefan is a writer and a blogger in his spare time. He also works for First Beat Media, a company that mainly focuses on the online dating niche and similar services.

Read more ...

How Yoga Can Help You With Low-Back Pain Relief

by: Stefan Simonovic

There are countless experts who agree that an ancient art of exercising yoga keeps justifying its positive reputation as being beneficial for physical and mental health alike, even the moment as we speak. This means that it can significantly help us reduce a low back pain, which is- as we all know- one of the most common hindrances of today that can drastically affect the quality of our lives in general. And even though this physical annoyance is usually caused by a contemporary lifestyle that often includes sitting in front of a computer for too long, the lack of physical activity can also have a fair share in it.

On the other hand, we can also blame it on anxiety caused by this hectic lifestyle we’re forced to lead. Still, whatever the cause might be, the good news though is that there are plenty of asanas (physical exercises or poses in yoga) that can help us with a low back pain relief, and these 3 on our list are perhaps the most suitable for absolute yoga beginners. We, therefore, encourage you to share these either with your friends, or with your Western match for instance, and we bet you’ll have a new buddy for your yoga class in no time!

#1 Bridge Pose

This pose is also known as Setu Bandha Sarvangasana and it actually has numerous beneficial effects, from rejuvenating and energizing, to decreasing that obnoxious low back pain that’s been causing you so much trouble lately. The key is to lie down on the floor, bend your knees and try to keep your feet as parallel to sitting bones as possible while firming the buttocks (don’t harden them). You should also clasp your hands while they are under your pelvis for a stronger support and use inner feet and shoulders to press into the floor. Once you’re done, remain in the position anywhere from 30 seconds to one minute. Make sure to exhale deeply while lifting your body off the ground. After the 30 seconds have passed, exhale once again slowly until you’ve finally reached the floor.

#2 Cat Pose

Marjaryasana or the cat pose is awesome for stretching out the entire back but it’s also great for all organs that are set in our belly. This pose starts off with our hands and knees on the ground, in the so-called tabletop position. Knees should be right below our hips while elbows should be in line with wrists and shoulders. Head should be facing the floor. While exhaling, we should round up our spine towards the ceiling but also make sure not to push the chin against our chest. Once we’re done, we can slowly exhale and go back to the initial position.

#3 Cow Pose

The actual name for this pose is Bitilasana and it’s amazing since it allows us to warm up the entire spine slowly. Again, we’re starting off with the tabletop position, same as we did in the cat pose. Actually, it’s almost like an inverse cat pose - you should be lifting your sitting bones and chest to the ceiling but the head shouldn’t be facing the floor. Instead, you should be looking at an imaginary point somewhere in front of you. Also, you should exhale while you’re returning to an initial pose and make sure to repeat the exercise for at least 10-15 times.

Have you tried any of these yet? If not, make sure to test them out ASAP! Tell us all about the results in the comment section below!

About the author:

Stefan is a writer and a blogger in his spare time. He also works for First Beat Media, a company that mainly focuses on the online dating niche and similar services.

Read more ...

3 Simple Strategies To Get The Most From Your Yoga Class

by: Stefan Simonovic

Source: Flickr

One of the healthiest and least taxing exercises you can subject your body to, yoga is a wonderful way to rid your mind and body of all the negativity that gets accumulated during the day. Doing yoga three times a week strengthens your core, builds muscle and eases the mind, training you to believe in yourself no matter what you face, be it work troubles, local dating mishaps or health problems. Check out how you can get the most out of your yoga class, and enjoy every second of downward facing dog, warrior I or headstand.

#1: Find The Right Instructor

The voice that guides you through the exercises is extremely important in how well you respond to the tasks at hand. If your instructor has a pleasant voice and a relatable personality, you'll run to your class every chance you get and be the last to leave it every time. You'll find all the exercises much easier to do, and your goals will be well within your reach. On the other hand, if you have an instructor who’s out-of-this-world good at doing all the postures it's intimidating, you won't be able to relate, which can put a damper on your motivation. Your instructor doesn't have to be your friend, but it helps if they're someone you have plenty in common with.

#2: Opt For A Place Nearby

Everyone's excited when they’re starting a new workout regime thinking all their past mistakes will not be repeated this time around, such as getting lazy to show up for class or slacking and paying more attention to the watch than the exercise at hand. Well guess what, old habits die hard and the initial excitement quickly wears off, which means finding little ways to help yourself stay in the program as long as possible will come in handy at some point. This is where the proximity to your class comes into play. You'll get the most out of it if it's not too much trouble to get there. Plus, the excuse that it takes you too much time to go to and from class just won't fly. Close proximity won't hurt your commitment, and come summer time shopping for a new bikini will turn out to be pretty enjoyable if you stick around.

#3: Set The Right Goals

The best way to ensure you make progress is to set goals. Goals that are motivational need to be challenging yet attainable, ensuring you put in the effort but get results in return. The beauty of yoga is that it helps you listen to your body and respond properly to what it tells you. If you feel your neck is sore, there are plenty of exercises to target neck muscles and get rid of the problem. If you think you need to work more on your arms, your instructor will be happy to oblige. In other words, the point of yoga isn't to push yourself to the limits but to be in tune with your body. At the same time, you want to see results, and if you set the right goals to respect your body's limits and yet step outside your comfort zone, you'll get the most out of yoga and fall in love with it forever.

About the author:

Stefan is a writer and a blogger in his spare time. He also works for First Beat Media, a company that mainly focuses on the online dating niche and similar services.

Read more ...

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