Alcohol and Weight Loss -- Does Drinking 'Really' Sabotage My Diet?

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jun 28, 2013 3:46:00 PM

To Drink or Not to Drink

So you are super pumped and committed to making some changes in your eating habits. Or perhaps you are trying to shed a few pounds to fit into that perfect outfit for a special occasion like a summer wedding or a class reunion. Buuuuuut you also still like to enjoy a drink two socially. What IS a girl to do?! What the heck is the relationship between alcohol and weight loss and will drinking even a glass of wine socially affect your diet and weight loss plans? 

The Down Low

Alcohol does have a bad reputation when it comes to weight loss, and rightfully so. But the consumption of alcohol in some form or another has been around since the cavemen, so imbibing is not likely to go away any time soon. The question then is if an occasional drink has a place in a healthy lifestyle. The answer...yes, but we should have a strategy about how to consume. 

alcohol and weight loss


First things first

It is important to understand how alcohol affects your body. Alcohol is metabolized differently than other foods and fluids. With a normal diet, of carbs, fats, and protein your body gets the energy it needs. These foods are slowly digested and absorbed within the gastrointestinal system. This digestive process drastically changes when alcohol is consumed. The alcohol now gets immediate attention (because it is viewed by the body as a toxin) and needs no digestion. When the body is focused on processing alcohol, it is not able to properly break down the foods containing carbohydrates and fat. So what happens? These calories are converted into body fat and stored permanently in your body.

So I Should Save My Calories then, Right?

WRONG. Skipping a meal or two because you know it will be a night out on the town or just knowing you will be drinking is a terrible idea for a few reasons. Since alcohol actually stimulates the appetite and then you go out on an empty stomach you are more likely to munch on those salty bar snacks (which makes you want to drink more), or more likely to overeat—especially greasy or fried foods—which can add to your waistline.

A Better Strategy-- Research shows drinking an alcoholic beverage before or during a meal reduces your inhibitions and willpower. Wait to order that drink until you're done with your meal! To avoid over-drinking, sip on a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage and, if you're planning on drinking later, eat a healthy meal first. You'll feel fuller, which will stop you from over-drinking. If you are worried about a looming night out with friends, include an extra 30 minutes of exercise to balance your calories—instead of skipping a meal.

Tip: To prevent post-drinking noshing you’ll regret the next day, prep some healthy, low cal options before you go out. If they’re ready to eat and right in front of you when you get home, you’ll be less likely to reach for chips or cookies. Good options include pre-popped popcorn, raw veggies with hummus, or cut fresh fruit.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Drinking before bed will keep you from having a deep, restful sleep, thus leaving you tired the next day which can trigger you to feel like you need to eat more. Alcohol can also increase the amount of acid your stomach produces giving you an inflamed stomach lining. At 7 calories per gram, alcohol has more calories by volume than both carbs and proteins and slightly lesscalories in alcohol resized 600 than fats. More importantly, these calories have no nutritional value. None! A 12-ounce beer is about 150 calories. How many calories in a glass of red wine? About 88. And if you reaching for a shot of liquor that number can range from 85 to 115 calories. And who usually has JUST ONE? It only adds empty calories to your diet. Why not spend your calorie budget on something healthier? 

"Dry" 

Another big reason not to mix alcohol and exercise is that alcohol is a diuretic. It causes water loss and dehydration. You also lose important minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and zinc. These minerals are vital to the maintenance of fluid balance, chemical reactions, and muscle contraction and relaxation.

Sip on This

So, to drink or not to drink? I say “In moderation." Limit your intake and take the occasional time off from drinking altogether to give your systems a much-needed break. Also, consider swapping out some of those high cal choices like fruity mixed beverages (even as cute as the little umbrella is) with some of these lower-calorie "fit chick" options.

goodchoices resized 600

What do you think?

How do you feel about alcohol? Does it tend to get in the way of your weight loss goals? Did any of this info surprise you? Please share your thoughts by dropping a comment in the box below or tweet them to us @Womensclub_va.

1 Comment

Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, weight loss for women

5 Surprising Things You Don't Know About Sun Protection

Posted by Angie Quehl on May 14, 2013 3:21:00 PM

Fun in the Sun

Summertime is comin' and that means more hours of daylight and more time spent out in the sun. You slather on sunscreen and hope for the best, but are you doing right by your skin? Since burns, premature wrinkles, not to mention the big C -- skin cancer, are things that we all want to avoid, we’ve compiled a surprising list of items many people don’t know about sun protection. Read, and your skin will thank you.


1. Your washing machine can help protect your skin. The latest trend in sunscreen isn’t something you rub into your skin; rather, it’s something you throw in with the laundry. While clothing does provide a barrier between the sun’s harmful rays and your skin, many fabrics pack a pretty puny punch. Take clean-cleaning-funny-2371lightweight cotton, for instance. Don’t count on getting more than sun protection factor (SPF) 5 protection. However, a new product called SunGuard, endorsed by the Skin Cancer Foundation, can simply be added to your washing machine load along with detergent to add an extra level of sun protection to your clothes. After your favorite T-shirts and pants are washed and dried, the protective coating is said to block more than 96 percent of the sun’s rays from permeating the fabric. Best part? The product is very affordable. One package, just $1.99, gives a load of laundry sun protection for up to 20 washings. That’s an entire summer’s worth of tees!

2. Chocolate may protect your skin from the sun. No, don’t ditch your sunscreen in favor of a 

chocolates-close-up-cocoa-65882

chocolate bar, but researchers say there may be something to our favorite treat’s sun-protecting effects. According to a recent study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, antioxidant-rich dark chocolate may increase your own UV sun protection. The researchers suggest eating little bits of chocolate—preferably dark chocolate, with 70 percent cacao content or higher—throughout the day to increase your body’s natural sun protection. Hey, we’re not arguing with that!

3. Apply sunscreen everywhere—melanoma likes to crop up in strange places. “One of the most common places melanoma has been detected is between the toes, an area most women neglect,” says Brian Bonanni, MD, a dermatologist practicing at the New York City spa Gotham Skincare. “Sunscreen should be applied to scalp, ears, hands, and feet.” And don’t forget your lips, too. “A physical sunblock with micronized zinc and titanium should also always be applied to the lips. There are now formulas of sunscreen for women that do not leave white residue on the lips, which women are more likely to use.”

juja-han-149998-unsplash-885962-editedPhoto by Juja Han on Unsplash

4. You should never leave your sunscreen in a hot car. We’ve all done it—left our sunscreen in a bag inside a car on a hot summer day. But this may weaken its potency, says Dr. Bank. Instead, treat sunscreen factsyour sunscreen like you would prescription medication and keep it away from extreme heat. “Most preservatives in sunscreens are designed and tested in a range of temperatures close to room temperature,” he explains. “If you leave it in a hot car, there is a reasonable chance that the preservative and active ingredients may to some degree degrade so it won’t be as effective.”


5. Sunscreen can’t protect one vital area of the body, so take extra precautions. The one place that’s visible to the sun’s pelting rays yet can’t be protected by sunscreen? That’s right—your eyes. According to reports, 5 to 10 percent of all skin cancers appear on the eyelids. While you can apply sunscreen to your lids, it’s your eyes that sunglasses can really protect. The sun’s rays may play a role in eye degeneration and the development of cataracts. A pair of shades can go a long way in protecting your peepers. The American National Standards Institute requires that all shades (even the cheap drugstore varieties!) provide at least 95 percent UVB protection and 60 percent UVA protection. More about SPF, UVA and UVB

 

Article Source:  Blog post by Sarah Jio for Women's Day Magazine

1 Comment

Topics: Women's Wellness, health tips, skin care for women

The Benefits of Eating Raw Foods

Posted by Angie Quehl on Apr 5, 2013 11:47:00 AM

Eating in the Raw

No, don't worry...we're not talking about eating raw foods such as meat and fish, nor only raw foods such as celery sticks or salads. There are many healthy, vitamin-packed raw vegetables that taste better and are more nutritious in their fresh state, rather than cooked. Raw foodsraw food diet also include a wide variety of luscious fruits and crunchy, flavorful nuts and seeds.

You can even enjoy raw foods blended into juices and smoothies, or in dehydrated form as dried fruits or vegetables, such as sun-dried tomatoes. With proper cooking techniques, however, you can also include raw vegetables (as opposed to canned or frozen) in soups, so you can consume the nutrient-enriched water or low-sodium vegetable broth in the soup along with the vegetables. Eating raw foods in these various forms provides numerous benefits. Yummy Raw Foods Recipes

Specific Benefits of Eating Raw Foods:

  • One of the primary benefits of eating raw foods is the increased nutrients you will enjoy from not destroying them in the cooking process; nutrients include potassium, magnesium, folate, fiber, vitamin A, and health-promoting antioxidants.
  • Raw food is high in fiber content and low in sugar and fat content.
  • Eating raw food contributes to weight loss and fewer problems with hypertension.
  • Health benefits, espoused by proponents of "raw foodism," include lower cholesterol, better glucose levels, leaner body build, clearer skin, and higher energy levels and stamina.
  • While not conclusive, researchers reviewed findings from 50 or more medical studies showing that eating raw foods tends to lower the risks of a variety of cancers, including bladder, esophageal, gastric, laryngeal, oral, and pharyngeal cancers.
  • Another study showed that eating raw foods lowers the risks of heart disease and diabetes, because of lowered concentrations of plasma total cholesterol and triglycerides. In addition, raw food has lower acidity and fewer damaging compounds; as a result, eating raw foods may reduce inflammation and slow the effects of aging.
  • Raw foods are easier to digest and stay in the body's digestive tract for less time than cooked foods--about 24 to 36 hours, compared to an alarming 40 to 100 hours for cooked foods.
  • Eating raw foods improves mental clarity and heightens the ability to concentrate.
  • Eating raw foods leaves you feeling energized rather than tired, and promotes a more restful night's sleep.
  • Raw foods do not build up toxicity in the body, nor cause the body to react by increasing the white blood cell count, as a natural defense of the body's immune system.
  • Raw foods are tasty and appealing "as is" with no need to add unhealthy and/or artificial flavorings.
   agriculture-antioxidant-carrot-33307

Numerous healthy diet studies also identified other benefits that contrasted with certain "myths" or misunderstandings about eating raw food in controlled research groups:

  • Raw foodists rarely exhibited problems with food allergies.
  • Raw foodists revealed healthy bones, less inflammation, and no problems with osteoporosis.
  • Serum sterols attributed as factors in rheumatoid arthritis decreased in raw food diets and relieved joint pain in subjects with arthritis.
  • Raw foods provide significantly more dietary antioxidants than cooked food, especially meats.
  • Eating raw foods alleviated symptoms of fibromyalgia.
  • Eating raw foods improved overall cognitive performance.
  • Eating raw foods reduced abdominal obesity and lowered blood pressure.

Summing it Up

It is always best to check with your healthcare provider or nutritionist before making dietary changes. However, it is likely he or she will be happy to give you a "thumbs up" on a healthier lifestyle so you can enjoy the benefits of eating raw foods. 

 

 

 

1 Comment

Topics: nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, healthy eating for women, weight loss for women

Break Free From Emotional Eating!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Mar 14, 2013 4:23:00 PM

Are You Feeding Your Emotions?


Emotional Eating

Are you an escapist? Do you feel the need to dive face-first into a big bag of chips or a bowlful of ice cream for the pure feeling of being comforted? Food tends to be a way of coping and dealing with the discomfort we experience. Experts believe that up to 75% of overeating may be due to reasons other than physical hunger. By practicing a little introspection you can usually figure out what is causing you to use food as a drug to silence your emotions. First, identify the triggers to emotional eating, such as:

Social Eating -- If you find that most of your social interaction involves food, then it's possible that you and your friends are using food to calm stress. Think about your activities, and consider offering new ideas to spend time with friends that do not involve food.
physical hunger vs emotional hunger


High Stress -- Whether it is job stress, family stress, or something else entirely being too busy and leading a stressful life causes a high level of the hormone Cortisol to be released into
the body, which in turn leads to cravings for high-calorie foods. Also, living a busy life lends itself to running through the drive-through. Preplanning for times of high stress and being busy can go far in eliminating making bad choices.


Habits -- Most of us have habits ingrained in us from childhood around food. That is where the whole idea of comfort foods came into being. Whether it's mac and cheese or a hearty bowl of beef stew, or something else entirely, the foods from our childhood can often comfort us and make us feel loved. Try redefining love to something more healthy such as a nice hot cup of tea and honey or going outside to play a game of tag.

How to Tame the Emotional Eating Beast

Once you identify the issues that are causing you to overeat or eat the wrong kinds of foods, you will be able to stop eating mindlessly and emotionally. It's a lot harder to kick a food habit than any other type of habit. We don't need alcohol, or drugs to live, but we do need to eat. There are a few tried and true tips to help you overcome your need to binge emotionally on the wrong foods.

Make a Substitute -- Instead of binging on Doritos and cheese, find an alternative such as sliced crispy apples with sea salt. You'll get that crunchy satisfaction plus the salt you crave in a healthier way. Plus it's a lot harder to eat too many apples than too many chips.
Start a Journal -- Writing down everything that you eat, in addition to your feelings surrounding eating or choosing not to eat something you know is bad for you is a good way to channel your frustrations. Just keep a small notebook and pen in your purse so you can write any time you're tempted to reach for a donut instead of a more healthy choice.
Get Moving -- Studies show that getting even 30 minutes of exercise per day can help you with your weight, your cardiovascular health, and with reducing cravings. Any time you have a craving, drink a glass of water first, then if you still have it, get out and go for a walk, or turn up the music in the house and dance! The rush of endorphins will assist with resisting cravings and make you feel great.

Alternatives to emotional eatingGraphic from kptto.org

Don't beat yourself up!

Get in touch with your emotions, everyone has them! It is all in how you deal with them. If you do have an episode of emotional eating, learn fromovercoming emotional eating the experience and the very next meal eat healthily!

Need more advice? We have a wonderful team of fitness and nutrition experts that are just a mouse click away. You can click the button below to submit your questions electronically or, if you are local to the Chantilly, Fairfax, Centreville area and would like to talk to us about strategies for overcoming emotional eating, you can Request a Consultation.

 

Ask Fitness Questions Here

 

 

0 Comments

Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, weight loss for women

How to Find the Perfect Sleeping Position

Posted by Angie Quehl on Mar 1, 2013 12:54:00 PM

Yaaaawwwnnn...

If you are one of those people who toss and turn all night long trying to get into a comfortable sleeping position you are not alone. Studies say that people can change their sleeping position anywhere from as low as 3 and up to 36 times per night! Although experts admit that there really is no one "right" way to rest our weary bodies at the end of the day, people with certain medical conditions or who experience pain could benefit from laying in one position versus another. We found this handy guide from The Wall Street Journal to help you uncover what the best sleeping position may be for you based upon aches and pains that may be keeping you awake at night: 

 

Proper Sleep Positions

 Did you know?

  • 8.4 is the number of minutes people waste per hour online for every minute of interrupted sleep the night before.
  • Always choosing the same sleeping position can cause issues according to Dr. Mary Ann Wilmarth, chief of physical therapy at Harvard University Health Services. Consistently compressing one side of the body and stretching the other can result in imbalance and soreness or pain.
  • The Better Sleep Council says the average number of times people change their sleeping position is 11 to 15.
  • $63.2 billion is the estimated cost for U.S. companies from workers who toss and turn all night. Those workers lose an average of 7.8 days of productivity a year due to insomnia.

 

Great Tips for Restful Nights

Now that you know more about what the best sleeping position might for you, download a copy of a free eBooklet, 'Your Guide to Never Being Tired Again' and start getting re-energized today. Also, check out our blog post '5 Reasons You Are Always Tired' to uncovering other underlying reasons why you may not be getting the valuable sleep you need. Sweet Dreams!

 

Give me the guide!

 

 Primary article source: 'Find the Perfect Sleep Position', Mike Sudal, The Wall Street Journal

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

0 Comments

Topics: women's health, Women's Wellness

Keys to Succeeding at Your New Year's Resolution

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jan 4, 2013 4:02:00 PM

The Plan for Success is to be Uncomfortable...Honestly!

 
Sounds like an odd statement but stay with us! With this New Year comes many new year's resolutions with weight loss being on top of the list.  However, many people start off with a bang but fizzle oh-so-quickly out of our determined resolution spirit. Why?  Well, in order to create success with your fitness and weight loss goals, you must be unstoppable and uncomfortable.  The two go hand-in-hand and many people do not allow themselves to leave their comfort zone, therefore, their present situation never changes. 

new year's resolution keys to success


Leaving your comfort zone can be very daunting but it is this discomfort we must face in order to truly reach our goals.  Here are a few examples of emotional and physical "discomfort zones" and how you can get through them.

Being Intimidated to Work Out at a Gym

It’s very common for people to feel intimidated and uncomfortable when being seen in a fitness center. Are you feeling so out of shape and have the thought that you won’t be able to keep up with the already in-shape people in the gym?  Maybe you feel everyone will be staring at you and wondering why an overweight, out-of-shape person is at the gym anyway.
 
To overcome this obstacle, you need to turn your thoughts around.  Instead of feeling intimidated think of the fit people as role models in the gym.  Mimic their tenacity and realize that they are in shape because they are not only working out consistently, but they are working out hard.  They commonly put themselves in a physically uncomfortable place to reach their goals and so can you.  Also, pick your chin up and realize that instead of wondering why you are there, being overweight and out of shape, change your thoughts to how they are applauding you for stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a positive step in the right direction.  Once you start realizing that you have just as much right to be there as they do, you will get past that uncomfortable place and move forward with your goals.

Feeling Deprived and Restricted When Eating in Front of Friends and Family

 
Do you ever feel as though your family and friends are the food and health police as soon as you start a healthier lifestyle?  Do you find it to be uncomfortable when dining with friends and family and do you feel like they are watching every move you make when you are making your food selections?  Sometimes you just want to eat what they're eating and not feel so deprived as well as feel like everyone is judging you.

Jump out of your comfort zone and have what you want without the feeling that you need to apologize or explain yourself. Planning your dining out or simple indulgences into your program is fine as long as it’s controlled.

Not Enjoying the Discomfort Exercise Sometimes Brings

With exercise comes emotional and physical discomfort.  Experiencing the feeling of doubt when faced with high levels of exercise intensity and feeling as though you just want to quit or disconnect from the level of discomfort can be pretty common.  Not many people enjoy the leg burn when doing squats or the high heart rate when sprinting in boot camp, however, in order to get results, there needs to be that level of commitment as well as discomfort.
 
So, unless your exercise intention is purely for pleasure or recreation and you choose comfortable and painless, consider the possibility of experiencing some discomfort in order to achieve your fitness and weight loss goals. 

The Hard Truth

We'll just go ahead and put it out there...most people fail when it comes to achieving their new

succeed in your new year's resolutionyear's resolutions. Some of the big reasons we have shared with you. Some others include lack of motivation, lack of commitment and discipline, or just plain not planning for your own success.

Anything worth having is worth working for even if that means sometimes the work maybe be hard or uncomfortable you are taking one giant step forward in achieving the success you have always wanted with your new year's resolutions. Always remember that when in doubt, seek out a professional. It is the job of a good personal trainer or nutritionist to help you set goals then motivate you and guide you toward achieving those goals.

 

Need some help setting realistic goals this year? Check out our blog section on the subject for some great tips and tricks to get you heading in the right direction!

 

2 Comments

Topics: goal setting, Women's Wellness, fitness tips, personal training for women, weight loss for women

Top Ways to Boost Your Metabolism Starting TODAY!

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

GRRRRRRR...

Why is it 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 without 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 carbohydrates 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 your 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 their 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.

pexels-photo-629093

 

 

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 in 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...

0 Comments

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

The 3 P's for a Tighter Tummy

Posted by Angie Quehl on Dec 14, 2012 12:07:00 PM

Tummy Toning is as Easy as 1-2-3

 
I can't think of one person out there who doesn’t want a lean, flat midsection … can you?  You can have the flat abs you’ve always wanted if you make these exercise, nutrition, and posture tips part of your daily regimen. You just might start to see that six-pack you’ve always wanted!
 

Rule #1 – Proper Nutrition 

Lose the body fat.  Let’s face it, it’s great to tone your abs by doing crunches and core exercises regularly, but they’ll remain hidden until you shed the fat that covers them.  You’ll need to maintain healthy body weight and to do so proper food choices are essential.
 
Increase the fiber:  A diet high in fiber will aid in weight loss as well as weight management. Beans, broccoli, avocado, artichoke, and whole grains are just a few of the nutritious foods with a high fiber content that will help you feel fuller faster and longer.  

 
Cut down on sodium. It’s very common to consume twice as much sodium as health experts recommend. Too much salt can lead to bloating as well as high blood pressure. Watch the processed foods, check labels, eat more whole foods and be sure to drink plenty of water.
 
Eat smaller meals more frequently. To avoid getting overly hungry and overindulging, it’s best to eat 4 - 5 smaller meals every 3 hours.
 

Rule # 2 –   Proper Exercise

Understand the fact that there is no such thing as spot reduction. This seems to be hard for people to grasp.  Forget about the miracle gadgets advertised on television that
promise a washboard stomach. Save your money and put your energy into more sensible
eating and regular exercise.
 
Strengthen your muscles. Several days per week you should be doing resistance exercises to build and maintain lean muscle.  This will result in speeding up your resting metabolism and burn the fat around the muscle tissue.  Hint, hint… around the abdominals!

Lauren_doing_crunches-388167-editedBy PhotoAtelier [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
 
 
Do cardiovascular exercises daily. 
While it is not recommended to work your muscles every day due to the fact that they have to repair and regrow, it is recommended that you do at least 30 minutes of heart-pumping activity at least 5 days per week.  Get off the couch, grab your neighbor and go for a brisk walk.
 

Rule # 3 – Proper Posture Alignment:

Believe it or not, poor posture is very common and can result in the appearance of a belly pooch.  

PostureFoundationGarments04fig2-777710-edited

When practicing proper posture techniques you can improve your energy level as well as lung capacity.  
 
Hold your abs tight. Holding your abdominals in toward your spine as often as you can remember to do so may sound awkward and feel even more awkward but it will quickly become a habit with regular practice and the results are outstanding.  Not only will your abs look flatter, but you’ll breathe more deeply, feel more energetic and appear to be more confident.

 
Pull your shoulders back. Letting your shoulders drop back and relax helps to raise your chest up. This way, all of your core muscles support your weight instead of making just your abdomen carry the load.

Practice proper body alignment.  Whether you sit or stand be sure to hold your body in proper alignment throughout the day. Getting flat abs fast can be achievable and work wonders on your appearance and your health. Remember it takes eating right, exercising, and standing up straight to gain your new look. 

 

Want even more ways you can get flat abs fast?

You can learn more in our Essential Exercises for Women Series dedicated to getting that tighter tummy we are all looking for! If you are in the local Chantilly, Herndon, Centerville Fairfax area you can schedule a free consultation to explore how we can help you reach your goal of flat abs as well as any other fitness goals you may be trying to reach.

1 Comment

Topics: abs exercises, Women's Wellness, fitness tips, fitness for women

The 5 WORST Fitness Habits on the Planet!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Nov 13, 2012 10:39:00 AM

bad fitness habits

Taking the time to examine the way you exercise can offer various differences in being safe and keeping the body well balanced along with better results. Here are five of the worst fitness habits you need to know about in order to make sure that you are maximizing your workout and preventing injury.

1.  Holding Your Breath During an Exercise – Breathing steadily in a regular manner has a lot of advantages. For example, inhaling and exhaling properly can help you exert more energy while doing some moves. It can also aid in the balanced production of lactic acid which is necessary for muscle build-up. With proper breathing, you can have a stable heart rate. The maximum oxygen level to the blood can be well-delivered with a full breath. This, in turn, will bring enough energy to muscles on the move.
 
2.  Sticking With the Same Exercises – Challenge is something that your muscles need to produce better results. Your muscles will simply adjust when sticking to the same workout routine and progression will be difficult to achieve.  Simply change up your exercises every week or two by increasing weight, adding sets and repetitions, as well as adding new exercises like Zumba, yoga, etc.  This will not only prevent injury and produce better results but will prevent boredom as well.
 
3. Fueling the Body – Properly fueling the body before and after your workout is essential for maximum results and recovery. The body needs glucose for fuel so if you are a morning exerciser, make sure you eat one hour before you exercise to give your body the energy it requires.  If your blood sugar is low, your body ends up stealing it from your muscles. Consuming a mixture of protein and carbohydrates will be optimal for exercise performance.

Drinking a protein shake with fruit is ideal. 
A post-workout meal is important for refueling the muscles.  Your muscles break down during exercise and giving your body proper nutrition after your workout is highly beneficial for muscle recovery and growth.  Try drinking a protein shake with fruit or making sure you consume both protein and carbohydrates within an hour after exercising.

4.  Bad Form – Safety is essential during your workout and the best way for you to be safe is to maintain the correct form. If you do not put serious consideration on proper movement and form then you are no longer attaining the best benefits that exercise can offer. Plus, with bad form, you are adding much risk of injury. Remember, slow and controlled is best when using weights.
 
5.  Slacking off on Stretching -  After a hard workout, the last thing most people want to do is stay and stretch.  However, flexibility is very important as we age in preventing injury and maintaining health for your body.  The next time you work out simply plan ahead and allow time for stretching all major muscles including hamstrings and lower back.

So how are YOU Doing?

Do not despair if you found that you were guilty of one (or maybe even more than one) of these bad fitness habits. The key here is to make changes so that you CAN get the results that you want. Instituting the help of a personal trainer and/or a nutritionist can be a tremendous help in answering the "what am I doing wrong" question many of us have when it comes down to our exercise program. So don't be afraid...go ahead and ask for help. we would love to hear the questions that you have! Drop us a note in the comment section or just click the button below and we will get to as many questions as we can.

Click me

 

 

0 Comments

Topics: women's health, exercises for women, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, fitness tips, fitness for women, Strength training for women

Have Healthy Breasts at Any Age

Posted by Angie Quehl on Oct 10, 2012 12:14:00 PM

Age Matters...

Your Guide to Breast Health Based on Your Age

Your breasts...they have been with you since you hit puberty and will stay with you until the end of your days. Although they are a "constant" in your life, how they look, feel and how you should take care of them changes at every stage in your life past 30 years of age. Being that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, what better time than now to share with you a handy guide that will help you navigate through the steps you need to take to have healthy breasts based upon where you are in your life, as well as a little breast health Q & A to answer some of those questions we all have regarding the health of our breasts.

In Your 30's 

Your breasts may be: Feeling PMS-related aches and lumps and changing through pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Take action!

download-3

TRY A SUPPLEMENT COCKTAIL. A combo of 100 to 200 mg of vitamin B6, 200 to 400 IU of
vitamin E, and two capsules of evening primrose oil taken daily for one week before your period can ease breast discomfort. Vitamin B helps stop swelling, and the vitamin E and evening primrose oil help relieve pain. (Check with your doctor.)

KNOW WHAT'S NORMAL FOR YOU. Do monthly self-exams so you can spot changes more easily. Keep in mind that there's a slightly higher rate of breast cancer during the five years after pregnancy, and tell your doctor about changes like bleeding or lumps ASAP.

In Your 40's

Your breasts may be: Starting to feel softer (and look less-than-perky) since you're developing more fatty tissue.

Take action!

HAVE A MAMMOGRAM. Although the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises starting mammograms at age 50, groups like the American Cancer Society and the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians say to begin at age 40. At the very least, a mammogram in your early 40s will help establish a baseline so your doctor can better determine whether any changes are irregular.

breast health in 40s mammogram

 

WALK FOR AT LEAST 30 MINUTES DAILY. Since it helps you maintain a healthy weight and keep estrogen levels in check, any amount of exercise that ups your heart rate can help lower your breast cancer risk.

 

In Your 50s, 60s, and Beyond

Your breasts may be: Less dense as your tissue shrinks and less elastic as your skin loses collagen. You can still feel lumps and bumps and tenderness, particularly as you head into menopause. But once your period stops and your hormones settle, the discomfort should subside. 

Take action! 

DISCUSS HORMONE THERAPY (HT) WITH YOUR DOCTOR. The latest research shows that taking estrogen and progesterone together for less than three years does not raise your risk of breast Breast health after 50cancer. Taking estrogen alone appears to be safe for about five years. You may not need to go the prescription route—some studies have shown that over-the-counter options like black cohosh extract can help reduce symptoms of hot flashes, mood changes, and vaginal dryness.

PUT THE BRAKES ON WEIGHT GAIN BY ADDING 10 MINUTES TO YOUR WORKOUT. Start by tacking on 2 minutes per session and go up from there. Extra pounds can mean higher estrogen levels, which can raise your breast cancer risk, especially during and after menopause. But it's never too late to reap the results of slimming down. A recent study at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that overweight and obese women between 50 and 75 years old who lost just 5% of their body weight lowered their risk of developing breast cancer by as much as 50%.

Breast Q & A

Q. Should I be getting a sonogram instead of a mammogram?

A. A sonogram, or ultrasound, does not replace a mammogram, but experts do recommend that women who have very dense breast tissue and/or a strong family history of breast cancer get a sonogram in addition to a mammogram. If your breast tissue is very dense, unusual growths may not show up as readily on a mammogram as they do on a sonogram. Since sonograms are more sensitive, there is a higher risk of a false positive, which is why experts don't advise all women to routinely have this screening.

 

Q. One of my breasts is bigger than the other. Is that OK?

A. Absolutely! In fact, very few women have perfectly symmetrical breasts. (For no specific reason, the left breast generally tends to be larger than the right.) It's also not uncommon for your nipples to look slightly dissimilar or point in different directions. Most of the time, simply wearing a bra that fits well can help compensate for the difference. The only time to be concerned is if you notice a sudden increase in the size of one breast or nipple. If that's the case, make an appointment to see your doctor, who can check for underlying growth.

 

Q. Why do I sometimes notice discharge?

A. Most of the time it's entirely harmless, but if your breast is also sore, red, or warm to the touch, you may have an infection that requires antibiotics. A blockage in your ducts, especially around menopause, can also cause discharge, as can a diet high in certain herbs including fennel or anise. In rare cases, discharge can be a sign of a form of cancer called Paget's disease. In general, it's a good idea to see your doctor make sure it's nothing serious.

 

 

 

Portions of the article orginally appeared in a blog post by Alyssa Shaffer on Woman's Day.com
0 Comments

Topics: women's health, Women's Wellness, breast cancer awareness

"I want personalized attention from a team of experienced professionals
who absolutely LOVE their job."

Mary Kate, VA

Want 3 FREE Sessions? Get Started Today!

Request Free Consultation