Magic Weight Loss Pills and Diets: Do They Work?

If diet pills and “special” weight loss supplements worked, there would be fewer overweight people in America. Weight loss pills and diets for that matter are both ineffective and potentially harmful; long-term health-oriented programs should replace them. The weight loss pills contain ingredients that are not regulated by any scientific research or government department like the Food and Drug Administration. Notice on any supplement the statement next to the asterisk:  “*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

The problem with skipping meals and doing low calorie diets, is you lose too much muscle also in the weight loss process. Muscle determines the overall metabolic rate of the body, so if muscle is lost, the metabolic rate will be reduced and you will burn fewer calories than before your diet. When you return to a normal pattern of eating again, the lower metabolic rate will result in rapid weight gain. Have you ever heard of the YO-YO diet? You need to exercise the muscles to best burn calories. Weights, calisthenics, rubber bands, anything to produce resistance on major muscle groups will help keep your metabolism high.

The other problem with having a low level of lean muscle tissue is the feeling of fatigue. Fatigue is a bi-product of people looking for an easy way to lose weight that delivers quick results. No such HEALTHY approach exists, yet the “nutrition / fitness” supplement industry continues to misguide people into believing that fast weight loss can be achieved with minimum effort. It can, but it is unhealthy and will not deliver those results long term unless a lifestyle change occurs.

A lifestyle change includes regular exercise, a sensible approach to healthy eating and the right mental attitude. You don’t have to be a chef to follow a sensible diet, but if you are addicted to sodas and fast food, you will have to break those habits if the program is going to work properly.

The sample meal plans here are examples of good nutrition. Of course, you are totally free to invent your meal plans, and the food table that’s included is a valuable guide. The single most useful piece of wisdom is this: COMMON SENSE.  People know what foods are healthy and unhealthy. Follow the inner voice!

The average male requires 2,000 calories per day and females 1500 calories per day. This should be your target even if you are significantly overweight. The program will help you naturally lose weight, provided you don’t overeat. Remember, if you lower your caloric intake below the minimum recommended levels, your body will eventually adapt to it, and you will cease to lose weight.

 

Preparation of Food

Do not fry foods if possible. Broil, grill, steam or bake. Microwaving foods is often a good alternative. These methods allow fat to drain while cooking. Frying adds significant amounts of fat (now you understand why fast foods are so bad for you).

Trim fat from meat, and remove skin from poultry. Avoid real mayonnaise and heavy dressing.  Try mustard and light dressing like vinegarettes, Italian etc..

Eat vegetables raw or steamed (I understand that many folks cannot digest raw vegetables). Steaming allows you to control the crispness or “crunchiness” of the vegetables. Over cooking vegetables destroys vitamins.

 

Proteins

Lean meats:

·         Chicken breast

·         Fish

·         Turkey breast

·         Lean beef (sirloin, round, flank).

·         Eggs (boiled is preferred method)

Some Non-starchy vegetables:

·         Asparagus

·         Green beans

·         Carrots

·         Cauliflower

·         Celery

·         Cucumbers

·         Lettuce (all varieties), but note: iceberg is not a good source of vitamins/minerals

·         Onions

·         Peppers (green, red, jalapeno, etc.)

·         Spinach

·         String beans

·         Squash (summer varieties only)

Some Fresh fruits (not dried or canned) and easy for on the road snacks:

·         Apples

·         Melons (cantaloupe, honeydew)

·         Cherries

·         Grapes

·         Nectarines

·         Oranges

·         Peaches

·         Plums

·         Raspberries

·         Strawberries

Starchy carbohydrates:

·         Brown rice

·         Potatoes (with skins)

·         Yams and sweet potatoes

·         Oatmeal (rolled oats)

·         Cream of Rice

·         Beans (lima and kidney)

 

Water and Beverages

Drink plenty of water daily. As a guide, you should be drinking at least 0.66 x body weight, in ounces per day. So, if you’re a 180 lb male, that’s nearly 7.5 lb of water, or 3.4 liters. Lack of water lowers energy level. Severe dehydration is dangerous, so when exercising, or in hot conditions, drink more water than what is recommended above. Often people confuse hunger with dehydration. Next time you think you are hungry in between meals, drink a few glasses of water. It helps!

 

STEWART SMITH, USN, is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a former Navy SEAL, and author of several fitness books including The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness, The Special Ops Workout, Maximum Fitness, and The S.W.A.T. Workout.

Hydrate Your Skin All Summer with this Rosy Complexion Recipe

Summer is in full bloom. The grass is green, the air is crisp and nature is calling. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and spend some time outdoors and let the sunshine bathing your skin (But please don’t forget to wear your sunscreen!).

Do your skin a favor, and sweat out the toxins in your body while spending time outside in the warmth of the season. Exercising in the fresh air often motivates you to do even more than you typically would do inside at the gym. The sensory experience you get from working out outside plays into that. You hear the birds sing, enjoy the view, fill your lungs with new air, exhale the stale air, and feel your beauty. Nature is quite a motivator. So break a sweat for beauty’s sake!

After a brisk hike in the mountains or an outdoor workout of your choosing, refresh your skin and hydrate with this great, natural beauty recipe.

Rosy Complexion Recipe

Green Tea is an anti-inflammatory with healing properties.  Rose water is derived from the beauty of the rose.  It aids with circulation and digestion, and has value as a toning astringent.

Note: Rose water can be purchased at your local health food store in the body/beauty aisle.

Ingredients:

2 Green tea bags

1 cup rose water

Instructions:

Steep green tea and add to rose water in a 1:1 ratio. Place in a mister and use as an astringent on a clean face, before applying moisturizer.

 

ELIZABETH TENHOUTEN is an accomplished beauty expert and author of Natural Beauty: Homemade Recipes for Radiant Skin & Hair and Cooking Well: Beautiful Skin. She has devoted her career to bringing out the best in women, naturally. Widely known for her all-natural skincare recipes and holistic approach to beauty, TenHouten’s sough-after tips and expert advice regularly appear on television, online, and in national publications such as Health, Natural Health, Working Mother, Natural Solutions, Discovery Channel’s Planet Green, Your Health Connection, Young Hollywood, and US Weekly, to name a few. She has appeared on It’s Your Health TV and the KTLA Morning Show, and has been featured on Beauty Now Radio and Martha Stewart Living Radio, among others. TenHouten is the Editor-in-Chief of Celeb Life Magazine and also serves as Contributing Beauty Expert for DiscoverBeauty.com and ShareCare.com, the health and wellness social media platform created by Dr. Oz in partnership with Harpo Studios and Sony Pictures Television.

 

WATCH this video to learn how to properly do a dumbbell bent-over row to strengthen and define your back muscles from the authors of The Body Sculpting Bible for Men and The Body Sculpting Bible for Women, Hugo Rivera and James Villepigue.

 

 

 

 

HUGO RIVERA is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, engineer and international best selling fitness author with over 20 years of bodybuilding experience. He is also the New York Times About.com Guide to Bodybuilding and continues to educate others on how to use bodybuilding in order to achieve their goals. Hugo is the author of Hardgainers’ Bodybuilding Handbook as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women.

JAMES VILLEPIGUE is a bestselling fitness author of 23 books and has over 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. as a nationally certified personal trainer with National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA), with their prestigious Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) credential, The American Council on Exercise and The International Sports Science Association. He has received degrees from Hofstra University, the New York College of Health Professions, and the Institute for Professional Empowerment Coaching. He now lives in East North Port, New York. He is the author of Mind Over Muscle as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women and Combat Fat for Kids.

A Veggie-Packed Pasta Salad Recipe

Primavera Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 1/2 cups broccoli florets

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tomatoes, seeded and diced

3/4 cup julienne zucchini

1/2 cup julienne carrots

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

3/4 teaspoon dried basil, crushed

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

6 ounces linguine pasta, cooked

Parmesan cheese, grated

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Directions:

Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add broccoli and garlic and stir-fry 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add tomatoes, zucchini, carrot, honey, lemon juice, lemon peel and seasonings. Simmer about 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring gently. Toss with noodles; cool. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

 

 

Reprinted with permission from Cooking Well: Healthy Vegetarian. ISBN: 978-1-57826-389-9 $12.50 (paperback). From Hatherleigh Press. Distributed by Random House.

 

Stew Smith's Tips for Breathing Technique During Exercise

Learning to breathe during exercise has benefits such as preventing dizziness during activity, improving athletic performance, and increasing fat burning.

 

What is proper breathing while running?

Many experts will say that to fully oxygenate the muscles and clear the body of carbon dioxide you should breathe a 3:2 inhale-to-exhale ratio; full inhales and full exhales. This means you inhale on the LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT foot strikes and exhale fully on the RIGHT, LEFT foot strikes. This pattern is not that hard to turn into a habit, but it may require you to slow your pace down for a few runs to master the technique. You will notice a lower heart rate as you are able to get more oxygen in and more importantly push all the carbon dioxide out of your body. You may notice that you naturally drop to a 2:1 ratio when you are really pushing it to the finish. That is OK.  But realize it is difficult to maintain a pace that requires you to breathe at a 2:1 ratio. The carbon dioxide in your body will increase if your breathing patterns are short and hurried. This will increase your heart rate and lactic acid production, and decrease your endurance in any cardiovascular event (running, swimming, biking, etc.)

 

What about breathing and training/lifting?

Proper breathing during exercises where you exert yourself — such as lifting, pushing, or pulling — is much easier to remember and control than the 3:2 ratio during running long distance. To put it simply: always exhale on exertion. For example, when you are pushing a bench press off your chest, you exhale on the push and inhale as you bring it slowly to your chest. When you are doing a pullup, you exhale on the pulling up motion and inhale on the way down. Breathing during exertion is important in preventing internal injury such as hernia, blood vessel strain, and high blood pressure. Because weight lifting and and other types of training can be potentially harmful when done incorrectly, it is advised to get clearance from a doctor before performing too much – too soon. To decrease that pressure, focus on breathing deep all the time — during workouts and in your daily activities.

 

How does more oxygen help to burn more fat?

Oxygen + Water = Fat burn

 

Basically, the body needs water and increased oxygen to burn fat as an energy source. The water intake should be anywhere from a half gallon for women and up to one gallon a day for men. The increased oxygen consumption will assist with the other part of the equation.

As you add more water and oxygen to your system, your body will be able to use the retained water for excretion, prompting almost immediate weight loss of retained water and toxins. This is not the same as sitting in a sauna and sweating which actually dehydrates you. Adding water will re-hydrate you and enable the body to burn more fat (as long as you increase your oxygen intake by doing some form of exercise). Walking, swimming, biking, jogging, calisthenics, and even yard work can help with working your cardiovascular system.

Try the deep breathing rhythm during running or working out and see for yourself how you will perform at a lower heart rate and have more energy for a strong finish.

 

STEWART SMITH, USN, is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a former Navy SEAL, and author of several fitness books including The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness, The Special Ops Workout, Maximum Fitness, and The S.W.A.T. Workout.

Spiced Toasted Almonds

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves

1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1/4 teaspoon red (cayenne) pepper, or to taste

2 teaspoons canola oil

2 cups whole, unblanched almonds

Canola oil spray, as needed

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. IN large, shallow bowl, combine thyme, salt, pepper, and oil. Set aside.

Place nuts in medium bowl. While tossing with fork, lightly spray with canola oil so all surfaces are coated. Lightly coat baking sheet with canola oil spray. Turn nuts onto sheet and spread evenly across surface. Place baking sheet in center of the oven. Toast until nuts are lightly browned and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Occasionally, shake pan to shift nuts and prevent scorching (be careful not to let nuts get too dark or they’ll taste burned). Remove from oven and immediately add hot nuts to spice mixture. Stir for a few minutes to coat the nuts thoroughly. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve warm or at room temperature. Nuts can be sealed and stored for up to two weeks. Reheat in a hot oven.

 

Reprinted with permission from Combat Fat for Kids. ISBN: 978-1-57826-458-2, $9.99 (ebook). ISBN: 978-1-57826-396-7, $15.00 (paperback). New from Hatherleigh Press. Distributed by Random House.

 

The Four-Minute Workout: Quick Facts about Tabata Training

Is it possible to get a real workout in only 4 minutes? What’s all the Tabata craze about? Here’s a quick rundown on the facts about Tabata training to help you decide whether or not it’s a good fit for you.

Tabata, a high intensity training technique founded by physiologist Dr. Izumi Tabata in Tokyo, is designed to give the body maximum benefits in a short period of time. The basic structure of the Tabata training method incorporates a complete workout into an intense 4 minutes! Here’s how it looks:

20 seconds of intense training (go full force for every single second)

10 seconds of rest (stop exercising, catch your breath and get ready to go again)

Repeat, rest, repeat for a total of 8 sessions or rounds

Tabata training can be done with weights, body weight exercises, or a combination of them. Examples of exercise often used are squats, dead-lifts, pushups, chin ups, jumping jacks, situps, rowing, stationary bicycle, and sprints. The key is to use exercises and weights that are challenging enough to give a true workout but light enough to allow you to complete the full 4-minute session. Four minutes seems like a short time period but will not when you are working full force.

 

What Are the Pros of Tabata Training?

You will burn fat! The intense workout will raise your metabolism and increase your aerobic and anaerobic capacity. Adding as few as two Tabata workouts per week to your routine can help you shed body fat.

It is very fast! Even the busiest people can squeeze 4 minutes into the day. You get the benefits of long workout session in a shorter time.

The workout is flexible! Tabata can be done with a variety of exercise routines. You have the option of changing it up as much as you want (add heavy weightlifting, more aerobics, etc.). Plus, it’s so quick you never get the chance to get bored with it!

It works! The Tabata technique has been researched extensively. The reason it’s becoming so popular is because people are seeing the results.

 

Are There Cons to Tabata Training?

It is intense! Tabata requires you to operate at a high intensity so it may be dangerous for individuals who are prone to strokes and heart attacks. If you have a history of strokes and heart attacks or have high blood pressure, consult with a physician to determine if Tabata training is a wise choice for you.

Injuries happen! Of course, injuries can always happen when you’re working out but the fast pace may make it easier to hurt yourself if you’re not cautious. A weight may slip from your hands or your technique may suffer when you’re performing exercises quickly, so pay close attention to maintaining proper form even when working at this fast pace.

 

Here are a few tips to keep in mind before trying your hand at Tabata:

1. Be prepared for your Tabata workout by deciding in advance what exercises you want to include, arranging the order of them, and making sure you have the proper equipment set out for them.

2. Alternate exercises in each session to get a workout that hits a variety of muscle areas. For example, one session may be squats, another pushups, another deadifts, another jumping jacks, etc.

3. Tabata can be hard on your body due to the high intensity of the training. You will be sore the next day, so give your body time to rest and recover in between workouts. Also, remember to give your body proper nutrition and stretching before and after your Tabata routines.

4. Use a timer to keep track of your sessions instead of trying to count in your head. This workout technique will keep your mind and body busy enough without having to keep track of the seconds as you go. Try this free online Tabata timer if you don’t own a stopwatch or timer.

 

So, what do you say? Do you have 4 minutes to spare to build a stronger, healthier body? With Tabata training, the old “I don’t have enough time to workout” excuse just isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Here are a few great Tabata video workouts from Fitness by BexLife.com to get you started:

 

 

JO BRIELYN is an author and contributing writer for Get Fit Now and has currently completed 16 nonfiction books about health and wellness. Jo is the founder, writer, and editor of Creative Kids Ideas, a resource website that supplies parents, teachers, and family members with the tips and fun ideas to help build stronger, happier, and more creative kids. She is also the writer behind Good-For-Your-Health.com. Jo is a veteran of the United States Air Force and a former youth leader. Jo is the co-author of Combat Fat for Kids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sculpt Strong Sexy Glutes with this Video

WATCH this video to learn how to do dumbbell squats to build great glutes from the authors of The Body Sculpting Bible for Men and The Body Sculpting Bible for Women, Hugo Rivera and James Villepigue.

HUGO RIVERA is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, engineer and international best selling fitness author with over 20 years of bodybuilding experience. He is also the New York Times About.com Guide to Bodybuilding and continues to educate others on how to use bodybuilding in order to achieve their goals. Hugo is the author of Hardgainers’ Bodybuilding Handbook as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women.

JAMES VILLEPIGUE is a bestselling fitness author of 23 books and has over 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. as a nationally certified personal trainer with National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA), with their prestigious Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) credential, The American Council on Exercise and The International Sports Science Association. He has received degrees from Hofstra University, the New York College of Health Professions, and the Institute for Professional Empowerment Coaching. He now lives in East North Port, New York. He is the author of Mind Over Muscle as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women and Combat Fat for Kids.

A Healthy Egg Roll Recipe...Yes, It's Possible!

Love Chinese food but hate the calories? Take a look at this delicious recipe for Egg Rolls, tweaked for those looking for healthier approaches to eating!

Healthy Chinese Egg Rolls

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons minced ginger

1 pound ground pork

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

1/2 pound bok choy (Chinese or Napa cabbage), sliced thinly, 1 inch lengthwise

1/2 pound fresh bean sprouts

2 green onions (scallions), chopped

2 teaspoons rice cooking wine

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 teaspoons oyster sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

1 package egg roll wrappers (about 25 wrappers)

Oil, for frying

Salt and white pepper, to taste

 

Directions:

Heat the wok. Add ginger and ground pork. Brown pork with ginger. Add onion, mushrooms, bok choy, bean sprouts, and green onions to pork mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add rice wine, soy sauce, pepper, sugar, sesame oil, and oyster sauce. Dissolve cornstarch with water. Mix well. Add it to the pork mixture until it thickens; remove to a bowl and let cool.

Put a heaping tablespoon of filling mixture on each egg roll, moisten the edges with water, and roll into the shape of an egg roll (start rolling from one corner, stop in the middle, fold over the edges, and continue rolling). Add oil in a wok or frying pan and heat to medium. Put egg rolls in until they turn golden brown. Turn and cook other side until golden brown. Put finished egg rolls on paper towel to drain oil.

 

Reprinted with permission from Cooking Well: Healthy Chinese. ISBN: 978-1-57826-428-5 $12.50 (paperback). From Hatherleigh Press. Distributed by Random House.

 

Take Your Workout on the Road: Eating Right by Hugo Rivera

Dieting and eating healthy during travel is by far the most challenging part of traveling and staying fit. The steps below will help assure that meals are not missed and that smart choices are available to you.

 

1. Make sure that prior to selecting the hotel, you choose one that has a refrigerator in the room and that provides access to a microwave.

2. Find out where the grocery stores are at so that as soon as you settle down you can go grocery shopping. Ensure that you get plenty of Ziploc bags while you are there.

3. The day that you jump on the plane, carry with you a small bag full of chicken sealed in individual Ziploc bags. For carbohydrates you can have bags of brown rice ready as well. In addition, bring with you some Tupperware containers, Meal Replacement Packets (MRPs) and/or Ready-to-Drink (RTD) Shakes. This will guarantee that you do not miss meals on the day that you are heading to your destination. As far as water, since now you cannot carry those in the planes, drink as much as you can before the checkpoints and then drink some more during the flight.

4. Invest on a small George Foreman grill so that you can take it to the hotels with you. This makes it easy to grill your own chicken even without a kitchen in the room.

5. Wake up early each day to get your meals ready in individual bags or tupperware containers and carry them with you in your book bag.

6. For good fats, get some almonds and have a serving or two of these per day.

 

Are Fast Food Restaurants Recommended?

The best way to do things is to use grocery food but if you find yourself for whatever reason without food during the day and there is a fast food restaurant around, here is what you need to do:

 

1. If it is not your cheat meal day, refrain from fatty choices such as french fries.

2. Drink between 8-16 ounces of water before you get there and then drink an additional 8-16 ounces more while you are eating. This will prevent you from feeling hungry and falling to temptation. If temptation is strong remember two things:

* There is nothing better than being in shape.

* You control everything that goes into your mouth. Food does not and should not control you!

3. Always combine a serving of low fat protein (in the case of fast food restaurants, this is either skinless chicken or turkey) with a small serving of carbs. Remember that if you are eating a chicken or turkey sandwich the bread will count as the carbs.

4. Salads in addition to a serving of protein and a serving of starchy carbs are always good since they provide fiber and they fill you up. However, avoid using high fat/high sugar dressings.

5. Refrain from using high carbohydrate sauces or mayo.

6. In traditional restaurants, combine a low fat protein like chicken with a good carbohydrate such as a baked potato and have a salad to go with it. You may also opt for Wild Alaskan salmon which gives you your daily source of Essential Fats. And remember, drink plenty of water!

 

As you can see, even though it will take more effort to get or stay in shape if you travel, it is not impossible. If you are determined enough to make things happen, everything is possible!

Also read Travel and Your Fitness Program: Planning Ahead and Travel and Your Fitness Program: A Traveling Training Routine.

 

HUGO RIVERA is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, engineer and international best selling fitness author with over 20 years of bodybuilding experience. He is also the New York Times About.com Guide to Bodybuilding and continues to educate others on how to use bodybuilding in order to achieve their goals. Hugo is the author of Hardgainers’ Bodybuilding Handbook as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women.