Effectively Reducing your Waistline

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reducing your waistline

This seems to be the biggest request of people who want to lose weight. There are three components to effectively reducing your waistline:

  • Diet
  • Strength Training
  • Cardiovascular Training

A healthy diet consists of a proper balance of protein, carbohydrates and fiber. One must also pay close attention to portion control. The diet should consist of small meals every three to four hours as this will aid in speeding up the metabolism. The carbohydrates should consist of slow moving, whole grain carbohydrates such as: rolled oats, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and whole wheat breads. Protein sources should consist of: chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, lean beef. Fiber sources should consist of green leafy vegetables, carrots, beets, green beans, and of course every diet should contain an array of fruits.

Cardiovascular training should be done in a supervised environment with proper body mechanics and form being taught and implemented. Strength training should be performed three days a week and circuit training with light to moderately heavy weights will aid in weight loss and toning of the muscles.

Cardiovascular training may consist of power walking on a treadmill first thing in the morning. More of the energy burned during moderate treadmill workout in a fasted state, comes from fat, compared to energy from a meal. Choosing to eat before a cardio session is equivalent to saying, you want to preserve your fat stores and reduce the amount of sugar that can replenish your muscle glycogen stores after a night's sleep.

Cardiovascular training can also be done on an elliptical machine, upright bike, recumbent bike, jumping rope, aerobics classes, and cardio classes. There are others to choose from - these are just a few.

Recommended heart rate is 65% MHR (maximum heart rate) reliably predicted to occur at a pulse rate 25 beats per minute above your heart rate during a light warm up.

Slow and steady, low intensity, longer duration (45 – 60 minutes) on an empty stomach burns (melts) body fat more efficiently than high intensity.

Thus, the key ingredients in a trim waist is to eat a well balanced, healthy, controlled-portion diet, to strength train at least three days per week, and to perform cardiovascular training at a slow pace for 45-60 minute duration at least three days per week. The combination of these three components will effectively reduce your waistline and overall body weight/ body fat, and will also be the three key components of living a healthy lifestyle. In order to achieve real results that will last one has to apply each of these components to one's everyday life and consistency is key!

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Eat Naturally

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eat naturally

It's easy to get sucked in by one of the many fad diets on the market. Everywhere we turn, we see the "success stories" of people who've taken a product and quickly lost 75, 100 pounds or more.

Although there isn't an overweight person who wouldn't love to lose the weight overnight, the reality is that just isn't possible. There isn't a product or routine that can magically wash away the extra weight. But so many people are intrigues by the idea of "what if." What if it really works? What if it can spark my weight loss?

The problem with fad diets is that you become dependent on them. Even those products that do seem to help do not work in the long run and you can't keep the weight often. The minute you stop taking the product or plug back in the "forbidden" foods, you gain back the weight you've have lost, plus some.

A good rule to live by is to only start something you can comfortably continue for the rest of your life. It is important to learn how to eat healthy, natural foods and make it a part of your new lifestyle.

So, how can you create a healthy lifestyle? Forget all of the advertising messages you've seen. In most cases, all it takes is some minor changes for people to see results in their weight loss efforts.

  • Reduce portion sizes
  • Cut out pop
  • Drink plenty of water (8 cups is the bare minimum requirement)
  • Add fruits and veggies to your meal plan every day
  • Make exercise a daily commitment

Use these simple rules as a guide and find balance to create a natural way to lose weight. It won't happen overnight though.

You should expect to see slow and steady progress along with the occasional plateau. Any program that promises you more than that should raise red flags.

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Nutrisystem: A Delicious Diet Program For Weight Loss

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Every day individuals are bombarded by the constant advertisements for diet programs that seem to offer miraculous results. The program can range from taking pills on a regular basis to a total change in eating habits. One of these diet programs that has become a constant is the Nutrisystem program. The Nutrisystem program is the type of diet program that requires a change in eating habits. The most attractive attribute about the Nutrisystem program is the delicious foods advertised. One could agree that for a program to be successful, the food must be appeasing to the palate.

How Does The Nutrisystem Program Work

According to the Nutrisystem website, the program works in a series of steps. The first step is one chooses his or her food plan. The user will create a 28-day food plan in which each day consists of a breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. The second step is to set up delivery to one’s home. The first delivery will also include a Nutrisystems results kit.

The third step is to follow the meal planner provided and combine the Nutrisystem program foods with grocery store items for a diet balanced and healthy. Nutrisystem works by introducing low glycemic or good carbs, protein, fiber, low sodium, and low fat to each entrée item.

Nutrisystem claims that the good carbs and fiber within the system allow complete hunger control, which enables an individual to stick with the program.

The Price of The Nutrisystem Program

The basic Nutrisystem package is $289.95 (plus shipping) for 4 weeks worth of food with auto delivery every four weeks. The Nutrisystem select package is also available. The select package is $398.94 (plus shipping). This package includes chef inspired foods from the gourmet line and auto deliver as well. Other packages are available such as silver, diabetic, and vegetarian. The silver package is geared for the needs of older individuals.

The Downsides of Nutrisystem

Even though Nutrisystem offers many attributes that many dieters would hold dear, there are some areas in which Nutrisystem may fall short. The system ranges from nearly $400 to $300 for only one month and additional groceries may have to be purchased. This may prove to be entirely too expensive for some individuals.

Second, the Nutrisystem program requires individuals to eat many of his or her meals at home. The plan may be hard to follow when one goes out. Last, to receive a considerable discount, users have to choose the auto-ship option. This may be unfavorable to some individuals.

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Weight and Coronary Heart Disease

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coronary heart disease

Coronary heart disease, or CHD, is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that provide blood and oxygen to the heart, which can lead to a heart attack. Diabetes, high blood pressure and high LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels are among the more common risk factors for CHD. You may reduce your chances of developing CHD by not smoking, eating a healthy low-fat diet that includes vegetables and fruits, getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise most days of the week and maintaining a healthy weight.

Obesity, especially abdominal obesity, can also place you at a greater risk of developing CHD, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In fact, obesity is recognized by both the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health as a major modifiable risk factor for CHD.

Obesity is a Widespread Problem

One in three Americans is obese, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Obesity is defined by the American Heart Association as having too much body fat. You become overweight and obese by consuming more calories than you burn. As you get older, weight gain is usually caused by increased fat rather than bigger muscles, notes the Mayo Clinic.

Dangers of Abdominal Fat and CHD

Your body consists of water, protein, carbohydrates, several vitamins, minerals and fat, according to the American Heart Association. When you have a surplus of fat, especially around the midsection, you place yourself at a higher risk for an assortment of medical problems, including heart disease. Carrying around excess abdominal weight increases cholesterol levels, plaque formation, and irritate the arteries, reports the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Determining Your Amount of Body Fat

One method for gauging your percentage of body fat is by measuring your body mass index, or BMI. Your BMI takes into account your height and weight to determine whether your percentage of body fat is healthy or unhealthy, according to the Mayo Clinic. You can calculate your BMI by multiplying your weight in pounds by 703. You divide that number by your height in inches, and then divide the result by height in inches. For example, a man who weighs 205 lbs., and stands 6 feet, or 72 inches, tall would have a BMI of nearly 28.

Interpreting Your BMI Numbers

BMI values from 18.5 to 24.9 are considered to be normal, according to the AHA. A BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 is regarded as overweight. Obesity is defined by the AHA as having a BMI of 30.0 or greater, or being about 30 pounds or more overweight.

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Weight Loss Failure – Three Big Diet Mistakes

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diet mistakes

Weight loss is a huge business in the U.S. and all over the world. It seems that there are more weight loss plans and gimmicks out there every day. Looking through all those weight loss plans takes a lot of work and research. It is tough to sift through all the misinformation, half-truths, and outright lies about successful weight loss.

So, what's a person to do? Well, it's never as easy as some of those ads and diet formulas claim it is. Weight loss is more than just losing weight. Weight loss is about changing a lifestyle, changing patterns and habit, and learning new truths about food and eating. Everyone needs help and it's never too late to learn something new about weight loss. Here are three of the most common diet mistakes that can get in the way of successfully losing weight.

Crash Diets and the Big Weight Loss Promise

The thing about these so-called "crash diets" is right there in the name. A crash diet will cause a diet to crash. The reason the marketing people use those terms is so folks wanting to lose weight quickly will somehow make a connection that the name must mean that the diet will work quickly or crash away from extra pounds, no one is really sure.

But the reality is that while a crash diet like eating only grapefruit or getting on that cabbage soup diet will take pounds off, they will also cause a slowing of the metabolism. The metabolism is the body's natural calorie burning engine and food is the fuel. The engine must run and if it gets less fuel, it's going to run slower and burn fewer calories. When this diet is stopped, the metabolism has been slowed and burns less fuel, even if a person eats more.

Lose Weight by Eating Snacks

Yes, that is correct. But it's a certain type of snacking and a certain type of food to be snacked upon. Eating mindlessly will put pounds on for sure, so it's important to know what and how much is consumed in order to lose weight. Eating several little meals and snacks throughout the day will keep hunger satisfied, causing less food to be consumed over the day, and thereby causing eventual weight loss.

Studies actually show that those folks who snack tend to be slimmer than those who do not. Snacking is what keeps that metabolism motor running and burning more calories. The key here is to make sure the snacks are high in protein. The metabolism motor loves high protein. Nuts are a great choice for snacks.

Drinks That Sabotage Successful Weight Loss

Most folks don't even think twice about the drinks consumed throughout the day. But these drinks can be a source of calories and fat. Next time that fancy coffee drink is ordered at a favorite coffee house, take a closer look at the nutrition information. Get ready for a big surprise, a typical fancy flavored coffee can have as many as 500 calories.

Some alcoholic beverages can contain that much or more, depending on the ingredients in the drink. Sodas and fruit juices are also high in calories. The average 12-ounce soda contains about ten to 12 teaspoons of sugar. The worst part about all these liquid calories is that they don't so anything about getting rid of that hungry feeling.

Losing weight is simple, but it may not be as easy as some would contend. It's simple to stay on top of what one consumes by making a list and keeping a close eye on just what is consumed over the period of and entire day, week, or month. Keeping a food journal is a great first step on the journey to successful weight loss. Stop looking to the hollow promise of the latest crash diet and start that weight loss journey today.

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Weight Loss and Successful Stress Avoidance

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stress avoidance

Many people eat when they’re stressed. They struggle to find a way to stop the tension and control binge-eating. One may need to avoid the pressure, since controlling it may not be possible. Others are successful at talking themselves around stressful situations by reframing their frustrations.

Stressors That Can Be Controlled

There are some stressors that can be controlled. A person who hates details may get sick at their stomach from eating a full box of cookies while doing their taxes. That is short-term stress. They will take off the added cookie-pounds when their usual, more relaxed living returns.

Even serious stress from insufficient income, can be controlled if a second, temporary job is found. By targeting specific bills and eliminating them with the added income, they will be able to quit the second job when their goals are met.

Stressor That Cannot Be Controlled

Some stressors cannot be controlled. A dead-end job in a weak economy may be better than no job at all. However, the futility of working hard and long with no rewards or appreciation may produce a great deal of stress.

Other people can cause stress. A cantankerous boss exhausts an employee. The individual is placed in the fight or flight, acute stress response, with no ability to leave. Consult a physician for medication to relieve stressful symptoms.

A difficult relationship with a family member, can produce stress that may prompt someone to "stuff their feelings" by eating. As stated in Lesson Three, the binge-eater cannot control their eating. Unable to control their own binge response may make dealing with an uncontrollable teen cause someone to overeat. Binge-eating, and the fight or flight response to that stress, can cause more tension and then more eating.

Reactions and Binge-Eating

It may be that other’s don’t actually cause one to binge but their reaction to the difficult person may produce it. That may be a good thing.

Lesson Five discussed that a struggle for power is not necessary since power already belongs to the Positive Loser. Therefore, one way to manage the stress that causes binge-eating is to take control and leave the situation, even when flight isn’t possible.

A mini flight may be helpful, like a vacation. Anticipating a relaxing evening with a spouse or friend can take the mind off negative interactions with co-workers. A break-room visit to listen to a relaxation tape or talk with others around the table can be refreshing. Scheduling time away from the office or job can be the way to successfully stay.

Choose a Different Reaction

If reaction to the difficult person’s behavior prompts someone to binge-eat, then something can be done. Choose to respond differently than a flight or flight response.

Practice relaxed breathing to slow the heart rate and the physiological reaction to stress. Another suggestion is to reframe negative self-statements and perceptions about the difficult individual.

"Oh no, here comes Maud again," automatically places one in a protective stance.

"Why do they do that all the time?" Applying logic to analyze illogical behavior is a waste of time.

A better statement may be, "There she goes being Maud again." Fill in the name with one that applies. Uncle Fred will always act like Uncle Fred and Aunt Maud like Aunt Maud. Why the surprised or stressed reaction? Rehearse, "Their behavior isn’t about me. It’s about them." Learn to observe the other’s behavior not absorb it. Stress-binging can be talked down.

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Finding the Ideal Weight

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One of the first questions people ask when they begin a weight loss program or diet plan is usually centers around the reasons they are overweight. How does a person end up being overweight? What is the ideal weight for a particular person? So, how does a person determine just that ideal weight number? Read on and discover a few things about successful weight loss and the ideal weight.

The Body is Designed to Maintain a Certain Weight

Body temperature is a steady 98.6 degrees for most all people. The human body is designed to remain at that temperature level, unless something is wrong. The body also has a similar mechanism for maintaining a steady weight level. Thomas Wadden, PhD and director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at University of Pennsylvania Medical School says that a person's body weight is designed to remain within a range of about 10 to 20% of ideal weight. He calls this the "set point."

When a person eats too much, this internal weight regulating system is overwhelmed, and the body reacts by increasing the "set point." It's much easier to raise this set point of ideal weight than it is to lower it, although it can be done. The body responds to all the overeating by raising this ideal weight set point higher. In other words, people train their bodies to accept a higher set point of ideal weight.

Weight Loss and Ideal Weight

Weight loss is so difficult for some folks because this ideal weight level has been increased over a period of time, sometimes over years, of overeating and eating the wrong type of food. When a person finally decides to start losing the weight, their body is already set at that increased ideal weight level.

Decreasing the ideal weight set point is possible, but apparently it's easier to make it go up than down. This is a lot of the reason why people have such a difficult time with weight loss. It's not an excuse for folks to remain overweight, it's just a reminder that weight loss is more difficult than weight gain. That sems so unfair, but that's the way it works.

Why Weight Loss is So Hard

Dr, Wadden explains that when a person quickly loses these huge amounts of weight on these crash diets or radical weight loss plans, an internal struggle is going on within the body. The body actually releases hormones like ghrelin to make a person feel even more hungry in an attempt to maintain the high ideal weight set point.

It's sort of like how a person's body would react to any substance – food, alcohol, chemicals, drugs. The substance introduced into the body alters the body's chemical makeup and composition. As more of the substance is introduced into the system on a regular basis, the body is literally trained to accept the presence of the substance as "normal." When the substance is restricted or removed entirely, the body reacts to defend what it considers as normal.

The solution is to take the idea of weight loss and changing diet very slowly. The body has been trained over time to accept poor eating habits and lack of exercise as it's normal state. A sudden commitment in the brain is not going to translate easily into the rest of the body. The body will defend it's "normal" condition, which means losing weight is going to be an uphill battle. Lose weight, yes. Start exercising more, of course. But lose weight and change activity levels gradually and give the body a chance to get used to the new normal – a slimmer, healthier body.

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Four Common Types of Weight Loss Plans

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weight loss plans
According to Harvard Special Health Report, each year millions of people enroll in different types of weight loss plans. There are several different kinds of well-known commercial weight loss plans like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and self-help programs like Overeaters Anonymous. There are also medically supervised programs and increasingly popular Internet weight loss programs. Here is a categorical list of what people can expect from the various types of weight loss programs.

Commercial Weight Loss Plans

Most commercial plans like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig hold regular meetings for support and encouragement. Commercial weight loss programs usually charge fees for people to get food plans, join meetings and get prepared food. There are also fees for diet aids for extra help with weight loss.

Weight Watchers is one of the most popular commercial weight loss programs. Weight Watchers uses a point plan to help dieters with weight loss. Different foods depending on their calories, fat and nutrients equate to a different number of points. Depending a person's weight, height and how much she wants to lose, Weight Watchers calculates a daily limit of points. It is not necessary to buy Weight Watchers food. One of the nice perks about the point system is people can exercise and garner more points for the week. Dieters can go to meetings in person or join Weight Watchers online.

Jenny Craig is another popular commercial weight loss plan. The diet works by calorie control. Daily calorie limits average 1,200 to 1,300 per day, so most people can expect to lose one to two pounds per week. Jenny Craig meals are also portion controlled. While the company encourages people to purchase its own meals, food can also be prepared at home. Three meals and one snack are recommended per day. While membership in Jenny Craig includes meal plan ideas, personalized exercise goals and weight monitoring, the additional cost of food can make the weight loss plan expensive. Attending weekly weigh-in sessions may also be inconvenient.

Self-Help Weight Loss Plans

Non-profit self-help groups are widely available in most areas for help with weight loss. Most of these organizations operate on the premise that people who come together to share their struggles and success stories with each other will have more favorable results with weight loss.

Overeaters Anonymous is a 12-step program based on the same principles as Alcoholics Anonymous. While each member is allowed to work the program in his or her own way, Overeaters Anonymous encourages people to avoid sugar and white flour because these substances tend to be addicting to most people who have issues with weight. Overeaters Anonymous is free; however, most members make a small donation during each meeting for expenses such as rent and coffee. Like Alcoholics Anonymous, people are encouraged to get a sponsor for personal help.

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) is a non-profit weight loss organization that has chapters worldwide. TOPS takes a practical approach to weight loss by encouraging members to follow a diet recommended by their health care practitioners. There are reward incentives as well as weekly meetings where members share their difficulties and successes in reaching their weight loss goals. There are small annual fees to join TOPS.

Clinical Weight Loss Plans

Clinical weight loss plans are operated by health care professionals in private or hospital-based programs. Clinical weight loss plans offer services such as nutrition education, physical exercise therapy, behavioral therapy, weight loss surgery and medical care. Many clinical weight loss plans promote weight loss programs that consist of fewer than 800 calories per day.

People on very low-calorie diets should have close supervision from a health care expert. These types of low-calorie diets can be dangerous to health and are usually only recommended for people who are obese and need to lose weight quickly due to health risks.

Online Weight Loss Plans

Some of the most popular online weight loss plans including Weight Watchers are eDiets, Jillian Michaels and the South Beach Diet. All three online diet plans have fees; however, the prices are comparably cost effective in comparison to traditional weight loss programs.

While there is usually no person-to-person contact and group meetings, dieting with the help of Web sites is very convenient. There are forums where people can connect with others. People can easily track their weight using graphs and charts. Online diet sites have algorithms where people can input their personal preferences and get streamlined food plans. There is also easy access to expert nutritional research and information.

Weight Loss Plans

Commercial weight loss plans, self-help weight loss plans, clinical weight loss plans and online weight loss plans offer dieters many options for weight loss.

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