The Simply Delish Weight Loss Trick

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jan 7, 2014 11:51:00 AM

Add a little spice to your life!

Zesty dish = slimmer waist? Adding herbs and spices to a reduced-fat meal can make it just as appetizing as the real thing, says a new study from the University of Colorado.

People ate same-sized portions of regular (650 calories), reduced-fat (395 calories), and reduced-fat with spices (including onion, oregano, and paprika) meals of meatloaf, vegetables, and pasta. The eaters then rated the dishes for likability. The results: When made with spices, the reduced-fat meatloaf and vegetables scored higher than the regular versions, suggesting that spicing up food could make up for missing fat.

If you’re trying to lose weight, you don't have to suffer through plain skinless chicken or naked nuked broccoli, says Virginia-based registered dietitian Jill Weisenberger, author of Diabetes Weight Loss. Instead, try these three spices and cook up healthy meals with big flavor.

1. Cinnamon:

Known for its blood sugar-lowering properties, cinnamon doesn’t just spruce up sweet stuff like oatmeal and rice pudding. Try it in savory dishes, too: Sprinkle the spice on baked acorn squash or roasted carrots, or add a half-teaspoon to a stew of chicken, rice, and tomatoes, Weisenberger says.

2. Chipotle pepper:

Stir ¼-teaspoon of ground chipotle pepper into bean dips, guacamole, or mashed cauliflower, suggests Rochelle Sirota, a registered dietitian in New York City.

3. Garlic:

Place four whole cloves in a vegetable steamer basket along with greens like kale, chard, broccoli rabe, or collard greens. As the greens steam, they’ll be infused with delicious garlic-y taste, says Sirota.

spices for weight loss

 

Want more helpful nutrition tips and tricks to help speed your weight loss efforts?

We invite you to join us on Wednesday, January 8 or Saturday, January 18 for a free informational seminar packed with all kinds of things you need to know to fire up your metabolism and get the body that you want now. It's your turn to ask our experts: Dr. Lucky Bennett, creator of our nationally recognized Nutritional Coaching for Women program and the Director of Fitness at The Women's Club, Natalia Schifini. If you are a woman living in the Northern Virginia are you should miss this opportunity to get help figuring out what works for a woman's body and finally reaching your fitness and weight loss goals! More information...

 

 

 

 

Original article written by Jessica Girdwain
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Topics: nutrition advice for women, healthy eating for women, weight loss for women, fat burning, nutrition

Top Ways to Boost Your Metabolism Starting TODAY!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Dec 28, 2012 11:35:00 AM

GRRRRRRR...

Why is that some people can eat whatever they want, exercise as little as they want and still stay slim and trim when some just look at a piece of food and goes right to the hips, tummy, thighs or rear end? The answer, as frustrating as it may be, is that they probably have a faster metabolism. Good news though...by making simple food and exercise choices it is possible to boost and even repair a sluggish metabolism. We have put together our top five tips to help get that little calorie-burning furnace of yours humming along with out a hitch!

1. Don't skip breakfast, make sure it contains protein.

Want a sure fire way to increase your metabolism? Eat breakfast!  In addition to reducing the risk of obesity and diabetes, studies found that those who start the day off right may increase their metabolism by as much as 10%! What should you nosh on to be most effective? Make sure it’s a healthy morning with whole-grain cereal and fruit, whole-wheat toast and peanut butter or fat-free yogurt and a handful of granola.

what happens when you skip breakfast


2. Build Muscle

Yup, it's a fact...as we age we tend to lose muscle, gain fat and our metabolism slows down as a result. One of the best methods for combatting these unfortunate effects of father time is with regular strength or resistance training. Resistance training stimulates muscles to become stronger and healthier, providing your body with beneficial improvements in strength and function. Resistance training also reduces fat mass and increases muscle mass.  Research suggests that resistance training may even increase life expectancy.


3. Eat every 2-4 hours to keep blood sugar stable

Depriving your body of fuel is a surefire way to slow it down. Food stimulates energy metabolism needed for digestion in a process called “dietary induced 

how to stabilize blood sugar

thermogenesis.” When you slash calories, the calories burned by eating are greatly diminished and so is your metabolic rate.

Restricting calories also signals the body that there is no food available, so it tries to conserve stores of carbohydrate and fat by slowing down its metabolism. The best way to boost your metabolism is to eat regular meals with snacks when necessary to give your body a constant supply of healthy fuel.


4. Cut refined carbs from your diet

If you are trying to rev up the old metabolic rate it is a good idea to avoid or strictly limit refined, processed carbohydrates (apart from an occasional treat). Refined carbohydrates are a major cause of weight gain, obesity, insulin resistance, and many diet related diseases. Replace those foods with 'fat burning' foods to speed up you metabolism.

What is a refined carb?

5. Fill up on lots of veggies and clean sources of protein, like chicken or fish.

Vegetables that are high in fiber and of the non-starchy variety such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, endives, celery, tomatoes, and peppers are the best metabolism boosters. What's thier secret? They have the most fat burning properties and also have minimal impact on your insulin levels. Foods that burn fat and calories help in regulating and boosting your metabolism. 

Lean proteins such as skinless chicken breasts can also increase your metabolic rate. The digestion of protein stimulates cellular activity leading to the burning of the excess fats. Best sources? In addition to skinless chicken, try turkey breast, egg whites, fish and seafood.

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Become a Lean, Mean Calorie Burning Machine!

As you can see there are many things that you can do each and every day to combat a sluggish metabolism and give your weight loss and fitness efforts just the boost it may be needing. From what you are putting into your mouth to what type of exercise you are doing, the lesson here is that IT ALL MATTERS! Whether you take on all five at one time or just work on doing better and better one at a time, you can't go wrong with these five ways to boost your metabolism. A leaner stronger you is just waiting inside of you and it's time to let her out!

 

Tired of not getting the desired results from your current eating/exercise plan, confused about what to eat, want to take your body to the next level or just want to live more healthfully, prevent disease, live longer, stronger years and age beautifully? Have we got the solution for you! If you are living it the local Chantilly area, you are invited to a FREE, can't miss seminar to help you learn how to properly fuel your body, fire up your metabolism, and get the most from your exercise program!

More Info...

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Topics: nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, healthy eating for women, fat burning

How You Can Fight Food Cravings...and WIN!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Sep 21, 2012 3:13:00 PM

What's Your Vice?

fight food cravings

Maybe its the smooth, melt in your mouth taste that comes from chocolate, perhaps its the salty crunch from a crisp potato chip, could be sweet sugary confection that you crave -- all you know is that you really REALLY want it BAD! The question becomes do you give in or fight it? Do you truly want whatever the objection of your taste bud's affection or is your mind tricking you into believing if you don't give in to indulging "just a little bit," the craving will become so bad that the "little bit" will turn into a pig out fest of epic proportions! 

 

If you have ever wondered why you crave certain foods at certain times, there has been a recent surge of research on the subject of the how's, and why's of food cravings as well as what to do about them.

According to a recent blog post on WSJ.com, research has found the following:

  • Food cravings activate the same reward circuits in the brain as cravings for drugs or alcohol, according to functional MRI scans, tests that measure brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow.
  • Nearly everyone has food cravings occasionally, but women report having them more often than men, and younger people crave sweets more than older people do.
  • In one study, 85% of men said they found giving in to food craving satisfying; of women, only 57% said they did.
  • While many women report craving salt, fat or bizarre combinations of food during pregnancy, researchers can't find much scientific validation. They suspect folklore and the power of suggestion instead.

Why? Why? Why?

For a long time it has been the belief of researchers that what we crave has something to do with the bodies efforts to correct a dietary deficiency of some sort. For example, those who salivate over the thoughts of a big juicy steak might be low or missing iron in their diet. chocolate lovers might be missing magnesium or the mood boosting chemical phenylethamine, a chemical humans produce naturally when they are in love.

Health Journal writer, Melinda Beck, says no way, "...a growing body of research casts doubt on the nutritional-deficiency notion. After all, few people crave vitamin-rich green leafy vegetables and many other foods contain more phenylalanine than chocolate—including salami and cheddar cheese."

Current research has revealed the following as the most likely reasons why we experience food cravings:

Learned behaviors and experiences -  As a child, you may have been consistently rewarded with a sweet treat when you had a bad day. The learned behavior of having something sweet to lift your spirits became a habit that is very hard to break.

Hormonal fluctuations - Certain hormones in your body help control appetite. Ghrelin is the hormone you produce that drives you to eat, while leptin is the hormone that signals satiety. Normally, these hormones act as a checks and balances system to keep your appetite in check. However, under certain physiological conditions, such as sleep deprivation, this system is thrown off because the hormones are not produced in proper proportion to one another. Estrogen, cortisol and serotonin can also play a role in food craving frenzies, and whether due to stress, sleep deprivation, or the normal hormonal fluctuations of a woman’s menstrual cycle, these hormones can drive you to seek out nutrient- dense, fatty, sugary foods.

Environmental factors and sensory stimulation - Studies have found that the sight, smell, taste, or even just the thought of favorite foods can lead to intense cravings. Experiences like seeing food advertisements on TV or passing a bakery and smelling the aroma of fresh baked bread can also initiate food cravings. Certain social settings, like a party or environmental factors, such as dim lighting in a restaurant, can fuel our drive to indulge.

Because It Makes Us Feel Good- In the U.S., about 50% of women who crave chocolate say their cravings peak around the onset of their monthly period. But researchers haven't found any correlation between food cravings and hormone levels, and postmenopausal women don't report a big drop in chocolate cravings, a 2009 survey found. Some psychologists suspect that women may be "self-medicating," because sweets and carbohydrates spur release of serotonin and other feel-good brain chemicals.

How the Heck Do I Fight Food Cravings and Win?

how to fight food cravings

 

 

  1. Stay well hydrated - Very often when you feel “hungry” it’s your bodies way of telling you to drink more. Water also acts as a natural appetite suppressant because it keeps your stomach full, and this is why it’s our number one way to fight food cravings!
  2. Wait a few minutes - Have you ever noticed that cravings don’t last long? If you give them a few minutes you may just find you actually don’t need anything after all. Try doing something else to take your mind off the craving for 15 minutes, such as washing the dishes, calling a friend, or walking the dog, etc.
  3. Avoid your trigger foods - Marcia Pelchat, of the Monell Center reasons that you can only crave what you eat so if you switch up what you are eating you can lessen your current food cravings and even build new ones for healthier options. In her study, volunteers were asked to drink a bland dietary-supplement drink for five days. Participants noticed that during this time they craved fewer of their trigger foods. So, if you’re trying to avoid your food triggers, remember that the first few days are always going to be the most difficult. Again, it may not be possible to completely eliminate your old cravings, but if you can avoid your trigger foods for a while you may notice you begin to crave them less. 
  4. Choose a healthy snack instead - Sometimes ignoring your cravings or drinking water simply won’t cut it! On these occasions make a healthier choice instead. I’d suggest drinking a big glass of water, and eating around 1 1/2 ounces of mixed unsalted nuts and seeds to help satisfy those cravings.
  5. Indulge once in a while - Allowing yourself a treat on occasion can be a really helpful strategy for most people in fighting food cravings. The thing to remember is portion control. So, if you feel like eating chocolate, have a few small squares and go for a high cocoa version – as a general rule of thumb, aim for 70 percent (or higher) cocoa for the most disease-fighting antioxidants. (Source: DietBlog.com)

All is NOT Lost Friends

As women we can sometimes feel incredibly guilty when we are not able to fight off food cravings. We are quick to resign ourselves to despair and then figure, "I have already started so I might as well finish" and that is how a scoop of ice cream swiftly can become us staring at a spoon in the bottom of an empty carton. While its never easy to fend them off altogether, you will find over time when you employ some of our suggestion to keep those cravings at bay, the actual craving will diminish on its own over time. Remember folks...slow and steady wins the race!

Tell Us

How do fight food cravings? Drop your favorite suggestion in our comments section. We'd love to hear from ya!

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Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, health tips, fat burning, nutrition

Essential Exercises for Women: Get Your 'Sexy Back'!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Sep 22, 2011 2:23:00 PM

Row, Row, Row Your Back...

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Have some trouble spots or jiggly bits around your bra straps or tank tops? Although aerobic exercise can help you shed body fat, addressing fat deposits that are specific to your back area requires a bit more "umph". In addition to the cardio portion of your workout routine, you'll need to tone and strengthen the area as well to get the results you looking for. Seated cable rows are a great way to work the back muscles. Not only does a nicely toned back look great but as an added bonus it can help to improve your posture; that's why its featured in this month's edition of Essential Exercises for Women.

How It's Done

Step 1:

Position yourself on the cable pulley machine or on the floor in front of the lower cable on a double cable apparatus.

Step 2:

Attach a double grip handle and grab using a neutral grip. 

Step 3:

As you inhale pull the cable towards your torso until it touches the lower rib cage

Step 4:

At the end of the movement your abs should be engaged to prevent the lower back from arcing and  elbows move as far back as they can go but tucked into the sides, close to the ribs.

Step 5:

Exhale and return to the start position

Step 6:

Keep a straight back throughout the movement with a slight bend in the knees and think that the most active part of your body is the back and not the arms. 

Keep this in mind...

  • Keep your back straight. A slight flex at the hip is okay in order allow a full range of motion. 
  • Squeeze the shoulder blades (scapula) together. This is important for most 'pull exercises' emphasizing the back.
  • Return the weight under tension to the starting position. Don't allow them to just drop on to the stack.
  • Be cautious if you have an existing or past shoulder or lower back injury.

 

More Back Strengthening Exercises

 

 

 

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Topics: exercises for women, fitness tips, fat burning

8 Perfect Fitness Foods...More Nutrition Advice for Women

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jun 30, 2011 12:16:00 PM

Hard to believe it but yet another holiday weekend is upon us! Seems like it was just yesterday when we were talking about Memorial Day BBQ and now BAM, here we are facing another string of days that could spell devastation to all of our hard work! 

Don't let all of those hours you have spent toiling away in the gym go to waste! By now you know that making some healthier choices at the BBQ, picnic or party can make a difference, but we would like to add some suggestions (some that you can incorporate into this weekend) into your daily routines to ENHANCE your results. Chow down on these 8 power foods and you'll see better results in no time.

1.  Pineapple and Papaya    

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Good for: Muscle recovery                                        

Both of these tropical fruits are loaded with bromelain and papain, enzymes that not only help break down proteins for digestion but also have anti-inflammatory properties to speed up your post-workout recovery.

Holiday Hint: Not only does it make a pretty fruit plate, throw these two into a  salsa which is yummy over grilled fish or chicken or in a tasty alternative to traditional coleslaw that your guest will rave about!

 

2. Salmon

Good for: Cardiovascular fitness

Australian researchers found that cyclists who took fish oil for 8 weeks had lower heart rates and consumed less oxygen during intense bicycling than a control group did. The fatty acids in fish oil need to become incorporated into muscle and heart cells to have an effect, and that takes weeks of consumption-so either take fish oil pills each day, or try to eat fish rich in fatty acids multiple times a week to see similar results.

Holiday Hint: Salmon is fab on the grill! Skewer it up with veggies on kabobs or grill it all by itself. Grilled Salmon Recipe

 

3. PB&J or Pasta With Meat Sauce

Good for: Muscle building and repair

The perfect post-weight training repast has about 400 calories, with 20 to 30 grams of protein (to build new muscle) and 50 to 65 grams of carbohydrates (to repair old muscle). Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or a small bowl of pasta with meat sauce fits that formula.

4. Pork Tenderloin

healthy grilling tipsGood for: Waist-trimming

Lean meats are a great low-calorie source of protein, and scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, found that eating more protein may reduce the fat around your midsection. People who ate 20 more grams of protein every day than the group average had 6 percent lower waist-to-hip ratios.

Holiday Hint: Low in fat, tenderloins may tend to dry out when grilled. Here are some tips to make juicy, tender, flavorful pork tenderloin every time!

 

5. 8 Ounces of Chocolate Milk

Good for: Hydration

The best sports drink may come from a cow. British researchers found that milk does a better job than water or sports drinks at rehydrating the body after exercise. Why? To begin with, milk has more electrolytes and potassium. The addition of chocolate gives milk the perfect balance of carbs, protein, and fat for speedy muscle recovery.

6. Coffee

Good for: Pain relief

University of Georgia scientists revealed that taking a caffeine supplement (equal to two cups of coffee) after exercise reduces muscle soreness more than pain relievers can. Caffeine blocks a chemical that activates pain receptors.

7. Green Tea

Good for: Muscle recovery

Brazilian scientists found that participants who consumed three cups of green tea every day for a week had fewer markers of the cell damage caused by resistance to exercise. So drinking a few cups every day may help your muscles recover faster after an intense workout.

iced green tea

 

Holiday Hint: Throw some fresh brewed green tea over ice for a refreshing beverage for your BBQ or anytime!

 

8. Cold Water

Good for: Endurance

Drinking cold water before and during exercise can help improve your endurance. In a British study, cyclists who drank about 30 ounces of a chilled drink in the half hour before riding in a hot, humid environment-and smaller amounts as they rode-were able to bike 23 percent longer than riders who downed lukewarm liquids. Drinking cold water may be the most direct way to reduce core body temperature, so it takes you longer to heat up and slow down.

 

At the Women's Club we always want to bring you not only news and advice that we think you can use, but also topics that you want to read. Let us know what other topics that we can bring you in the future by leaving us a comment!

*Portions reprinted from Eat This, Not That.

 

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Topics: nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, fitness tips, weight loss for women, fat burning, the women's club

The Truth About Plateaus in Weight Loss for Women

Posted by Angie Quehl on Feb 4, 2011 12:39:00 PM

Plateaus and weight fluctuations are normal during weight loss for women. I wanted to take a second to help you all understandplateaus in weight loss for women what good things are happening to your bodies right now, even if the scale isn't showing it yet.
 
During Your Work Out:
1. You Strengthen Your Lungs- Your brain send signals to your lungs during exercise that causes your breaths to be both deeper and faster.
2. You Decrease Body Fat- Your body is breaking down fat cells to use as a source of energy.
 
Up to 1 Hour after a Work Out:
1.  You're in a Great Mood- During workouts your body releases mood enhancing chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
2.  You're Burning Calories- For every 100 calories you burn during a cardiovascular workout you will burn about 15 calories in the hour afterward!
 
Up to 1 Day after a Work Out:
1. You have More Muscle- Your body repairs the microscopic tears you create in your muscle during a workout. This repair is how muscle mass is created.
2. Increased Metabolism- Your body's metabolism is based off of the amount of muscle you have. So more muscle = more calories burned at rest.
 
Up to 1 Week after a Workout:
1.  You're in Better Shape- VO2 Max (aka how efficiently your body uses the oxygen you take in) will increase by an average of 5% the first week you work out regularly.
2. Lower Risk for Diabetes- When you work out regularly your body becomes more sensitive to insulin, which in turn lowers blood sugar levels.
 
In 1 Month:
1. You're Stronger- By now the amount of weight you use for strength training exercises has increased.
2. You're Smarter- Working out activated growth stimulating proteins, including those in the brain
 
In 1 Year:
1. Working Out Feels Easy!- Your VO2 max can increase up to 25% in the first 12 weeks of consistent exercise.
2. Longer Life Span- Avid exercisers have slower DNA breakdown
3. You Lose Body Fat Easier-  Your body becomes more efficient at breaking down fat cells for energy. So you burn more calories all of the time!
 
 
So even if you feel like the scale is stuck at the moment, think of all the great things you are doing for yourself by continuing with your regular workouts!

 

Article Submitted by:

Jen O. Personal Training ChantillyJennifer O'Connor, Personal Trainer, The Women's Club 

 

question markHave questions for Jen? Thoughts you would like to share? Tips that you believe may be helpful for other Readers? Click the link or submit them in them Comments Section below! 

Ask a Question about fitness for women

 

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Topics: women's health, Women's Wellness, fitness tips, weight loss for women, fat burning, the women's club

Fat Burning Fitness For Women -- 9 ways to Kick It Up a Notch

Posted by Angie Quehl on Aug 2, 2010 3:02:00 PM

  

1. Warm up before a strength training session Warming up increases blood flow to muscles by about 55%, giving you better muscle contraction. You’ll sweat earlier, which helps to regulate your body temperature. Just 5 minutes of walking or cycling will meet this requirement.


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2. Vary your cardio exercises – Alternate between two or more cardiovascular activities like walking and cycling or kickboxing and step aerobics. This will help to optimally develop your cardiovascular fitness, maintain the element of fun in exercise, help you avoid over-training, as well as injury. Bottom line, you will expend more calories.

3. Incorporate several cardio techniques - Changing techniques forces your body to adapt and become more efficient. Vary the intensity and modify impact styles. For example, if you have been walking the same path at the same pace every day, begin to incorporate bursts of speed intermittently. The underlying principle is that change is what keeps the body progressing, making improvements and burning fat.

4. Circuit Train – Perform several strengthening exercises interspersed with a short cardio segments. For example perform a leg press, lateral pull down and abdominal crunch followed by 3 minutes of cycling. Then repeat another 3 strength exercises followed by 3 minutes of walking. Circuit training has a lower dropout rate (which means you will stick with it longer), is an efficient calorie burner, increases muscular strength and decreases body fat.


5. Strength Train with Multi Joint exercises – Choose exercises that work compound muscle groups – meaning more than one muscle group at a time. This will give you the most bang for your buck. Examples include squats, lunges, and push ups. For every pound of muscle on your body you need 35 to 50 calories per day to sustain it, while every pound of fat on your body requires only a modest 2 calories per day.


6. Exercise first thing in the morning – Morning exercisers have a higher likelihood of showing up. Later in the day, the odds that you’ll skip your workout increase as interruptions things come up and fatigue sets in. Morning exercise also helps regulate your hormone response, telling your body to release fat and kick start your metabolism.


7. Eat a “primer” meal prior to working out – Having a small balanced meal prior to exercise will help you burn fat. After you eat, your blood sugar rises and exercise acts like insulin to help regulate blood glucose. Eating will also give you the energy for a more intense workout – you will therefore burn more calories.


8. Eat 5 to 6 small meals a day – Food has a thermic effect, meaning it takes energy (calories) for your body to digest the food you eat. Eating several times throughout the day increases the thermic effect, so you burn more calories. Eating more often also keeps you from feeling like you are being deprived of food and prevents hunger from setting in, which can cause you to binge eat. Learning to eat smart is and essential part of any weight loss program for women.


9. Train with intensity – To get the full benefits of exercise for women, you must graduate from the “pink weights” and moderate walking. Do not be afraid to increase your resistance and challenge your muscles and cardiovascular system. In order to change, you have to push your physical limits beyond what you are accustomed to.

 

*Adapted from an article by fitness expert and certified personal trainer Kelli Callabrese

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Topics: strength training, weigh loss, fitness tips, fat burning, nutrition

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