Five Ways to Use Coconut Oil to Lose Weight
When it comes to weight loss, coconut oil is often considered a fat-burning super food. Making coconut oil a regular part of your diet gives your metabolism a boost and keeps your appetite in check.
Want to start taking advantage of the power of coconut oil? Here are five simple ways to make it part of your diet routine.
Stick With Supplements
The easiest way to work coconut oil into your schedule is to buy supplements. While this method doesn’t let you experiment with the flavor of coconut oil, it makes getting the recommended dosage as easy as taking a couple of capsules every day.
Whenever a recipe calls for cooking oil, vegetable oil or olive oil, take the opportunity to use coconut oil instead. Many recipes, which call for butter or margarine can also be prepared with it. Not only does this infuse your meals with the nutritional benefits of coconut oil, it helps to eliminate unhealthy fats from the menu.
Add a Splash to Coffee or Tea
A bit of coconut oil in your coffee or tea is a great start to your morning routine. It reduces hunger cravings and keeps you from reaching for snacks throughout the morning and afternoon.
Create DIY Dressings and Toppings
Coconut oil can be used to make a variety of healthy dressings, toppings and dips. Keep several of these homemade condiments on hand. It makes adding a bit of coconut oil into every meal a breeze!
Healthy shakes and smoothies are a popular way to turn fruits and vegetables into tasty, refreshing treats. Add some coconut oil to your smoothies and they’ll be more effective at satisfying your hunger. To make the healthiest smoothies, try to use fresh ingredients and as little sugar as possible.
Surprising to some, cooking oil is one of the most versatile products in your pantry. When weight loss is the goal, there’s absolutely no reason not to use it.
6 Ways to Overcome Cravings
Food cravings have a way of sneaking up on you. No one is immune. But, the good news is this. There are several ways to overcome cravings. These are just a few of them to consider.
When you’re craving something sweet distraction can be your best friend. Try calling or texting a friend, picking up a good book or even exercising for a few minutes. It really does help to keep cravings at bay.
Even though it may seem like your craving is going to last forever, it won’t. Think of a craving like a wave. It hits you, it builds up and then it disappears.
You can actually be thirsty when you feel hungry. Who knew, right? The next time you get a craving for something, drink a large glass of water. Many times, the urge to eat something disappears in just a few minutes. Better yet, drinking plenty of water is good for you!
Get Plenty of Rest
Depriving yourself of sleep sometimes leads to more cravings. When you don’t get enough rest, it causes the hormones that affect your appetite to fluctuate wildly during the day.
It’s always best to eat on a regular schedule, if possible. Hunger is one of the main reasons people experience cravings. But, if you can’t eat on a regular schedule, one easy solution is to keep healthy snacks on hand.
Never Go Grocery Shopping Hungry
Going food shopping when you’re hungry is one of the worst things you can do when you’re craving food. Why? More cravings and impulse buys! Not only that, do you really want to be one of those shoppers who eats a bag of chips right there in the store?
These are five super-simple ways to overcome cravings. Don’t let these annoying urges get the best of you. Remember, these tips, the next time you get hungry. The bottom line is you’re stronger than they are!
We all know that salmon is good for the brain but did you know that salmon is great after you workout? Research suggests that the omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon may help reduce post-exercise muscle inflammation. It lowers the amount of prostaglandin, a naturally produced compound in the body that can trigger inflammation. Additionally, salmon is packed with lean protein, which is essential in cell generation and promotes muscle repair.
At just 4 calories a spear, asparagus is the perfect side dish to go with your salmon. It is very low in fat and half of its calories are from protein.
Baked Salmon & Asparagus
Salmon is very easy to make. A lot of people get scared to cook it but the truth is, there isn’t much faster food, that tastes delicious around. The trick is getting the right Salmon. You want wild salmon bought from a good market. You can buy fillets or steaks. It should not smell fishy at all.
Asparagus Ingredients and Instructions
1 LB Fresh Asparagus Spears
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 TSP Himalayan Sea Salt
1/4 TSP Fresh Ground Black Pepper
2 TBS Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Butter (or you can skip if you are cutting fat)
Trim asparagus spears by breaking off the hard end and carefully peeling the hard layer off the stems with a vegetable peeler. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat, turn up to medium high stir in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic but don’t allow to brown. Add in the asparagus and cook for 10 minutes turning often to ensure that asparagus is evenly cooked and coated with seasonings.
Baked Salmon Ingredients and Instructions
4 3 ounce Salmon Fillets
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Olive Oil to Drizzle
On a non stick baking sheet place seasoned fillets skin side down. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 450 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until fish flakes easily. Serve with asparagus on the side.
This is the perfect squat challenge for beginners! Squats work your glutes, quads, hamstrings, hips, and even your abs. A full-body workout! By the end of the challenge you will have a stronger core.
New to squats?
You can use a chair to stabilize yourself until you are comfortable and can deepen the squat.
Need a challenge?
If you are already comfortable using your body weight add some dumb bells for added weight.
Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise.
Are you getting enough water? Hydrating, like diet, is extremely important in fitness and in sport in general. If the body does not get enough calories during physical effort, it can take them from its own ‘deposits’ of adipose tissue, or even from the muscular proteins; but when water is insufficient, things are much more complicated and there are bigger risks for the body.
Water is involved in all the metabolic processes, so not providing the body with enough liquid can have as a consequence perturbation of the bio-chemical reactions, which directly influences the effectiveness of the training and even the practitioner’s state of health.
Physical effort, especially the aerobic one, leads to dehydration through perspiration (which regulates the temperature of the body, preventing over-heating). There is a very strict rule which imposes drinking water (liquid) before, during and after physical effort. Besides regulating the body temperature, correct hydrating helps eliminating the toxic substances resulted during and after the training (urea, sodium, etc.) easier; hydration acts like a ‘means of transport’ through perspiration and urine. Thus, the metabolism of blood sugar, lipids and proteins is developed in good conditions, ensuring contraction force for short time and especially for resistance efforts.
As for the type of liquids, the sportsman must supervise the level of effort which produces dehydration and melting of the glycogen reserves. Besides water, the practitioner can use isotonic drinks, (which have an electrolytic composition similar to the one of the body) or liquids containing sugar easy and quick to absorb by the body (fructose, glucose, dextrose, etc.). All of these can contribute to fast restore of the glycogen reserves of the body. It is advisable to drink the liquids in small and frequent doses, so that the body assimilates them better and they do not briskly overload the body during effort.
Correct hydrating involves a certain discipline, which means that liquids must be consumed repeatedly during the day, not only during physical effort. A person must not get to feel thirst. This is only a very late alarm, signaling that the right quantity of water has been missing from the body for a couple of hours. Except while eating and immediately after, in order not to perturb digestion by excessive diluting, a real prophylaxis of dehydrating and over hydrating can be made through correct, constant and preventive consume of liquids.
If you are a runner, then I am sure that you will know about calf cramps.
Imagine this scenario if you will. Let’s say that you are 7.5k into a 10k run and the road starts to incline. Ever so slightly, but enough to put that extra strain on your legs as you try to maintain contact with the leaders. And the temperature? Well, it’s the morning, but it’s hot and liable to get hotter before the end. And to make matters worse, you were so desperate to maintain contact with the leading group, that you forgot to take on liquid at the last feeding station. And did you use tight fitting calf length socks? I know they are all the rage, but why did you do it?
So what do we have here?
* Extra strain on muscles?
* Loss of essentials salts?
* Restriction of blood flow?
All in all, I think that we are describing running calf cramps, waiting to happen.
I am not sure that anyone has definitive answer to the cause of cramps, but there are certainly several steps that you can take which could help save you from disaster during competition, in any sport.
Ok, I know you know, but did you do it? If not, then those cramps could be coming. Seriously, if you have been involved in any sport to any level, then you will be aware of the importance of a proper warm up. And I don’t just mean a brisk walk up the stairs to the changing room either! A proper warm up should include a routine that gently stretches your muscles to get them ready for the increased exertion, and gets your blood flowing around your body. Not only will a warm help prevent calf cramps, they will also help prevent some of the injuries that might occur when you put sudden strain on cold muscles.
And whilst we are talking of warm ups, don’t forget warm downs as well. Warming down after exercise can also help prevent cramping and reduce the risk of injury.
2. Train Hard, Run Easy
Have you heard this before? No? Well you should give it some thought, because it’s true. When you train for a sport, not only do you practice the necessary skills required to execute which ever event you are competing in, but you are also training your body for the rigours of the event. To given an exaggerated example, if you train for a sprint, and then try and run a marathon, your body won’t be ready. If you try it, I think you could be in for some serious cramps.
Remember, train hard, run easy.
3. Water is Sport’s Life Blood
Whenever you start to exercise, you start to sweat (or you should). Sweat is nature’s way of cooling you down when you get hot, so, it’s a good thing. And since your body is mainly made of water, then you should have plenty, shouldn’t you? Well, considering that you lose moisture from your body when you breathe, sweating does take a lot of fluid out of your system.
And your body will demand that it be replaced!
If you start feeling dizzy, or experience a rapid heart beat, then these could be signs that you are starting to dehydrate. I will take it as read that if your mouth and lips feel dry, then you should be taking water on board. It is not always possible to take on fluid during sport, but always have some available as soon as you are able to drink.
4. Sport A’int No Catwalk.
It’s true! Sport is not a fashion parade. If you think it is, then you are hanging out in the wrong place! There’s nothing wrong with looking cool whilst you compete, but be practical. Don’t risk injury (or cramps) by wearing clothing that is too tight, and that restricts your body’s movement, either externally or via blood flow. Believe me, I know. When I was younger, I used tie up’s on my socks whilst playing soccer (not as a fashion statement you’ll understand), just to keep my socks up and my shin guards inside my socks. Three quarters of the way through a game, my calves would tighten up, and I would roll on the floor in agony. Once it was understood, that I ‘only had cramp’, I was the object of much derision, but believe me, cramp is far from funny if you are the one suffering.
Wear appropriate clothing.
5. Eat Properly.
When you are sweating and working hard, not only do you lose water, you also lose nutrients. There is speculation that that athletes who get calf cramps could suffer from low levels of potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. I am not suggesting that you do low level analysis of your breakfast cereal, but the message is clear. Look after your body, and your body will look after you.
Eat sensibly, and eat the right foods.
Every year we decide that we are going to get fit with the new year and we’re going to exercise and eat right. Most people fail and don’t get very far. Falling ‘off the wagon’ is easy but we’ve got 5 Exercise Tips to Avoid Failure.
Tip #1 – Do Something You Enjoy
Exercise doesn’t have to mean spending hours at the gym peddling away on a stationary bike. It doesn’t mean you have to spend money on exercise gadgets you will likely never use, either. Anything you do to get your body moving is going to be better than doing nothing. Walking is an easy exercise that you can do just about anywhere, in any climate. Bike riding, dancing, gardening, weight lifting, swimming, playing a favorite sport, house cleaning and even playing in the yard with your children are just some of the ways you can add exercise into your daily routine.
Tip #2 – Schedule Time for Exercise
As you would a meeting or a doctor appointment, sometimes the only way to make time to exercise is to put it on your daily schedule. We’ve all got busy lives and we’re often so busy taking care of others that we never seem to make time for ourselves. Once exercise becomes part of your daily To-Do list, you’re more likely to do it. Some people have only a certain time during the day available for exercise while others will have to vary the time each day. Some people need a nudge and for them, exercising with a friend is a good solution. Choose whichever way works best for you. Just remember to actually go and do it!
Tip #3 – Remember that Exercise Can Energize
Even though you might feel too tired to exercise, give it a try anyway. You might be surprised to find how energized you feel while you’re at it and afterwards, when you’re finished. Exercise is a great stress-reliever too and if you know anything about stress, you know that it is one of the body’s biggest energy-sappers.
Like anything that is done over and over again, exercise can become mundane. When you get bored with exercising, you’re less likely to keep at it. To keep from getting bored with your workout routine, change it. If you’re tired of walking, try cycling. If you’re into weight lifting, try alternating this with cardiovascular exercises throughout the week. Go bowling or play a game of tennis once in a while, and if you find you enjoy these types of activities, join up with a team.
Tip #5 – Always Begin by Warming up
Regardless of the type of exercise you choose, it is very important that you begin each session by warming up your muscles. Stretching helps prevent damage to muscle tissue and it gets your blood flowing. It gets your heart pumping, too. Just five minutes is all it takes to get your exercise session off to a good start.
Sure, you’re busy.. we get it but don’t you owe yourself a little bit of time? I always recommend an hour a day but some days between running kids to activities and making dinner there isn’t much time left. I don’t care HOW busy you are, you can squeeze 20 minutes in. You deserve it. Following this 20 minute home work out to stay healthy and fit can make a world of difference in your life.
1) Jog : in one place for 3 minutes
2) Jumping jacks: 25 repeats
When landing, bend your knees slightly to reduce the impact on knee joints.
3) Crunches : 15 repeats
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Place your hands behind your head with elbows pointing outwards. Support your neck with your hands. Keep your neck in a straight line with your spine. Flex your waist to raise the upper torso from the mat. Lower yourself until the back of your shoulders touches the mat.
Muscle worked: rectus abdominis
4) Hip Bridges : 10 repeats
Lie on your back. With your hands at a 90 degree angle to the floor, lift your body off the floor to form a straight line, a sort of a bridge, from the shoulders to the knee. The position should resemble a table … your hands and legs as the legs of the table and your upper body to your knees as the surface. Hold this position for two seconds. Squeeze your gluteus (butt muscles) and then lower yourself.
Muscle worked: Lower back, hamstrings and gluteus.
5) Step – up’s : 1 minute
You will need a stepper for this.
Muscle worked: hamstrings, gluteus, quards.
6) Reverse crunches: 15 repeats
Lie on your back with your hands on your sides. Keep you knees bent. Bring your knees towards your head, till your hips come slightly off the floor. Hold this position for a second, and then lower your knees.
Muscle worked: lower abs and obliques.
7) Mountain climbers : 1 minute
Get your hands and knees and raise your knees like a starting block sprinter. Run in that position, supporting your upper body with the palms of your hands. Keep your back straight.
Muscle worked: triceps, deltoid muscle, gluteus, quards, hamstrings, calves.
8) Push – ups : 15 repeats
Muscle worked: triceps, deltoids, pectorals.
9) Squat thrusts: 1 minute
Stand straight. Now, drop to a crouch position. Immediately thrust your legs out straight behind on your toes, in push up position, now jump to pull legs back to the chest, in crouching position , then stand up straight,
Muscle worked: arms, legs, chest, and lower back.
Cool down by walking around, till your heart rate starts getting back to normal, stretch.
A minutes rest is needed in between exercise. Proper form is important. Do not hold your breath and make sure to sip water during the workout. This workout targets your entire body, improves cardiovascular efficiency and tones and strengthens the body.
Before fitness training, one must give importance to doing warm-up or stretching exercises to prevent accidents or to enhance the output during the training. There are also a number of precautionary measures and tips to serve as guidelines when doing fitness exercises. Here are some of them.
1. To increase your flexibility and to avoid injuries, stretch before and after workout. Almost everyone knows that stretching before workout prevents injuries during the exercises, but only few people know that stretching after workout, when muscles are still warm, can increase flexibility.
2. Hold your stretching position for more than 60 seconds to increase flexibility. While holding your position for 20 seconds is enough for warm ups, holding each position for at least 60 seconds will develop the body’s flexibility.
4. Work slowly in increments instead of immediately proceeding to doing the hardest exercise or position.
5. Make sure that you have stretched or warmed up all muscle groups. For some people, even if they have strong bodies, they tend to neglect the neck when working out of stretching. Stretching the neck muscles can be as simple as placing the palm of one’s hand against the front of the head and pushing it. Then, do the same to the sides and the back of the head.
6. Stretch regularly to continually increase your range of movements and your level of flexibility and strength.
7. Workout considering only your capabilities and not of others. Do not force yourself to do exercises that you are not yet capable of just because there are people who can do it. Increase your limits slowly. Listen to your body. There are days when your body may be too tired that you may have to consider reducing your range of motion.
8. Learn to rest. Rest in between sets and stations to make sure that the body has enough time to recover its energy. Also, it is advisable that you don’t work the same muscle groups consecutively for two days. The muscles grow during the period when you rest and not when you are working out.
9. Do aerobic exercises to strengthen your heart. Aerobic exercises are those physical activities that much oxygen for fuel. This includes cardiovascular exercises such as skipping rope, running or swimming.
10. Music may help you when you want to train for longer periods or to increase your intensity. You can use mp3 players, CD players or lightweight am radio receivers for this. Just make sure that you brought your headset with you so you wouldn’t disturb people who don’t prefer music while exercising.
Apart from preventing injuries and increasing one’s limit, it is also said that stretching is good for a tired body and also for a stressed mind and spirit.
In your quest to be fit, you’ve decided to join a health club, but you’ve heard too many stories about people who sign up, go one or two times, and never go back. You’re not really sure which type of club to join: a low-cost chain, a more expensive, exclusive fitness center, or a club that caters to only women.
Buying and maintaining a health club membership can be pretty complicated, but if you follow these 10 tips, you’ll save money and be on your way to greater fitness.
1. Make a list of your specific fitness needs and wants. Will you be comfortable working out in a large club with both men and women? Will you need access to more than one club? Are you looking for one-on-one personal training services? How often do you think you’ll work out each month? Do you think you’ll be able to keep up your fitness regimen? How much can you afford to pay for a membership each month?
2. Once you’ve identified your requirements, visit health clubs that meet your needs. Get a free pass for each club (at least a one-week’s pass) and workout at each club as often as possible during the free periods.
3. Don’t sign up for a membership at any of the health clubs while you’re using free passes. You’ll be under a lot of pressure from salespeople and managers, and they will tell you that you need to sign up today in order to get discount pricing. Don’t. Health clubs offer discount pricing all the time.
4. When you’ve decided a health club, go back and speak with a salesperson about membership choices. Don’t feel pressured to sign a long-term contract at any health club. Remember that long-term contracts are really installment loans with high interest payments. If you don’t think that you’re going to keep up your workouts, don’t even think about signing one of these contracts. Gather all of the written information about each type of membership, then go home and review it at your leisure. Don’t feel pressured to sign up for any membership at the club.
5. When you’re speaking with the salesperson, ask all of the questions you want. Don’t feel rushed or pressured. Never forget that any contract you sign supersedes any promises a salesperson gives you. Even if the salesperson writes it into the contract, it probably isn’t legally enforceable. The contract is king. Read it carefully before signing.
6. Compare the costs of each membership type, and remember that you should make the ultimate decision based on your own needs, not on short-term discounts that may sound like you’re saving money, but will end up costing you more money in the end.
7. Make sure you fully understand the cancellation requirements of each membership type. Many long-term health club contracts are almost impossible to cancel. A month-to-month contract may be a better solution.
8. Don’t sign up for automatic payments via credit card. If you no longer want a membership, and you’re able to cancel, you may find it difficult to get payments stopped.
9. Keep track of all your payments in case there are any disputes with your health club.
10. If you do cancel you membership, make sure you get the cancellation in writing from your health club.
By following these 10 tips, you will certainly set yourself up for fitness success.