Ball Exercises That Shift Abdominal Fat

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ball exercises

Almost everyone would like to lose some fat around their middle and gain more defined abdominal muscles. The secret to success is simple enough: eat healthily and get more exercise.

However, there are some exercise routines that will help remove that stubborn belly fat faster than others. One option is the large gym ball, which is a fun and effective piece of equipment in the fight against the flab. Here are just some of the ball exercises that will help shift abdominal fat.

Lose Belly Fat with the Ball Lift

The ball lift is a simple exercise, which is a great workout for the abdominal muscles. To perform this exercise, simply lay face-up with the ball between the ankles. Next, squeeze the ball between the ankles and lift until the feet are pointing towards the ceiling. Slowly, bring the feet and ball back down to the ground.

When first trying this exercise, it is recommended that 10-12 reps are performed twice a week. Obviously, over time, as the abdominal muscles get stronger the reps and frequency of the exercise can be increased.

Get Defined Abs with Exercise Ball Crunches

Crunches are a well-worn abdominal exercise and the exercise ball crunches are widely thought to be the best workout for the abs. Moreover, it is an incredibly simple routine, which can be done while watching television. Simply, sit on the ball (crossing the arms over the chest or behind the head) and perform approximately 20-25 crunches. First, try completing these reps at least three times per week.

Like any abdominal exercise, it is best to increase the frequency of the workout over weeks and months. However, it is important to not overdo the workout in the early stages, especially for those who are unused to frequent and regular exercise.

Fight Stomach Fat with the Ball Curl

The ball curl is similar to the ball lift, in that it is performed in a lying position. Position the feet on top of the ball and then lift the hips as high as possible. Next, try to pull the ball under the buttocks using the heels. This is a tricky manoeuvre that requires patience and good balance.

However, once mastered, it will effectively work both the hamstrings and the abs, so it is worth persisting with. Try to perform at least 10-12 reps per session, but if it is particularly difficult, aim for fewer.

Of course, these are just three of the ball exercises that will help reduce stomach fat. However, they are among the best workouts for the abdominal muscles. By including these exercises in a weekly workout regime and combining them with a good diet, dramatic fat loss and definition can be achieved.

Remember, if any of the above exercises become painful, it is advisable to discontinue it immediately.

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Three Other Factors Affecting Your Size and Shape

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size and shape

Unfortunately it's not easy for the majority of us to lose weight, especially when we're on a structured diet. Losing weight may involve more than self-discipline, exercise and watching every morsel that goes into your mouth. There are other things that affect your size and shape – things that are impossible to control.

Three Factors that Contribute to Your Body Shape and Size

1. Age. Most people round out a little as they get older, as a result of a decreased metabolism and less movement. Menopause can cause women to suddenly gain weight, and both men and women find that they can't eat as much as they did a few years back without gaining a few pounds!

2. Set point and metabolism. The set point of your weight is predetermined, which means that your body stubbornly clings to a certain amount of weight. For instance, my husband's set point dictates that he won't gain an ounce no matter what or how much he eats. My set point, on the other hand, is set a little higher than I'd like, causing me to gain pounds when I catch a whiff of French fries and bacon cheeseburgers. Evidently, physiological forces can prevent weight loss. However, I do know it's possible to be thinner than I am now because I once was – but it was a real struggle staying at my lowest weight. Perhaps that's the secret behind set points: it's still possible to lose weight, but just a little more difficult.

3. Genetics. Your body shape, weight, and size is affected by your genes. Studies have shown that adopted children are most similar in body shape and weight to their biological parents. You see examples all around you, every day, of people looking exactly like their parents or grandparents – for better or for worse. I have my mom's curves and tendency towards the bulge; my half-sisters have their mother's lean silhouette and long, slim limbs. It's part of our inheritance (for better or worse).

Food and Fitness Level Counts!
Watching what you eat, exercising, and keeping informed of health tips and low-fat recipes are still extremely important in losing weight and keeping it off. Remember to strike a balance between accepting and loving your body the way it is, and striving for health and wellness.
Feeling no fear naked and confident about who you are is possible – and it doesn't matter what your weight or shape is!

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Benefits of Keeping a Food Journal

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food journal

At the beginning of each new year many individuals put weight loss at the top of their New Years resolution list. A few are able to follow through with this resolution but many more will try and fail. Weight loss requires both changes in lifestyle and in eating habits. Many individuals think they are changing their eating habits far more than they actually are. Keeping a daily food journal or diary can help individuals who are really serious about losing weight.

Food Journals Make Every Calorie Count

Individuals who keep food diaries are able to see just how many calories they are truly consuming a day. A cookie here, a mocha latte there and the calories begin to pile up. An individual who is aiming to maintain a caloric intake of 1300 may do calculations at the end of the day and realize he has exceeded this. He can then look at what he ate and see what can be eliminated to meet his goals.

Food Journals Help Assess Nutrition

Individuals who keep food diaries are able to see how they are faring in relation to how many vital nutrients they are consuming. Men and women trying to lose weight may find that in their diet efforts they are not making proper choices and are lacking in calcium, protein, vitamin C or many other nutrients the body needs for health and energy.

Food Journals Lead to Twice as Much Weight Loss

An article in USA Today on July 8, 2008 told of the results of numerous research studies in which participants who kept daily food diaries at least six days a week doubled weight loss in comparison to individuals who did not keep a food journal.

The magazine recommended that individuals allow someone else to look at their food journals to help keep them accountable and to motivate them to make better choices. It also recommended that individuals trying to lose weight look at the portion sizes they are consuming when they eat at restaurants and only eat part of what they are served.

Losing weight is not easy and takes a great deal of commitment. Food diaries help people remember each day that they have a goal they are trying to accomplish and if they eat a doughnut at work they are going to have to look at it as an entry in their journal later with regret.

Anyone planning to go on a diet or weight loss program should get a physical with their doctor prior to beginning and let their physicians know their plans.

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Benefits of Acai Capsules

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acai capsules
As the media coverage increases, more attention is given to the weight loss and overall health benefits of the Acai Berry. This isn't without reason. The berry on this fruit is beneficial in many ways. However, like with all items that experience a flood of hype, it is important to take some time and do research.

Benefits of Acai

This fruit from the Brazilian Amazon has many health benefits. Scientists at the University of Florida have labeled it as one of the most versatile fruits available. This is because it has high concentrations of amino acids, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and fibers. This not only makes it very good for weight loss, but also for overall health. So far, acai berry has shown positive results for the prevention of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson’s.

The Acai Berry is rich in fiber, key antioxidants, and minerals, that when combined, results in a one-hundred percent natural super supplement. The extracts from this super fruit can assist in reducing a number of problems in the blood stream to both keep the immune system strong, and internal and external cells healthy. In addition, it naturally suppresses the appetite.

Acai Berry and Weight Loss

Most famously, this fruit is known for being able to successfuly help in weight loss. The acai berry suppresses the appetite, cleanses the digestive system, and makes sure that additional calories aren't transformed into fatty tissues. It detoxes the body of toxins and unprocessed foods. Suppressing the appetite naturally (instead of through artificial chemicals, which can be worrisome) helps to safely reduce the need to eat and snack because the body feels more full for longer.

Pure Acai Berry

Unless the supplement is organic and has been instantly freeze dried, a lot of the positive effects will be lost. Many acai products, from manufacturers looking to score from the hype surrounding the benefits of acai berry, are not preserved and packaged in a way that will be most beneficial. Those products are either not one hundred percent pure because of the additions of sugars, caffeine, and/or fruit juice or they are not quickly freeze dried to preserve all the natural benefits.

Scientifically the benefits of acai berry are known. There are plenty of products to choose from. However, choosing the right pure acai berry product that will give the best benefits is important for gaining the maximum effect. For more information, read this pure acai berry review.

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Body Fat Percentage

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body fat percentage

People who decide to lose weight too often focus on a number on the scale rather than what they really want to lose - fat. The biggest disadvantage of using weight loss as the ultimate measure of success is that the amount of weight lost has no bearing on what was lost, fat or muscle, yet losing fat, as opposed to muscle, has a large effect on a positive outcome. Too much muscle loss results in a smaller, yet still flabby, version of the dieter while increased fat loss results in more desirable muscle tone.

Measuring Body Fat, the First Step to Fat Loss Success

There are many methods of estimating body fat percentage, but some are more easily accessible than others. Several methods, such as underwater testing and the DEXA test are very accurate, but impractical for repeated measurements. Better options for those hoping to improve their body composition are skin-fold calipers and bio-electric impedance devices.

Measuring Body Fat Percentage Using Skin-fold Calipers

Skin-fold calipers are small devices used to measure the thickness of skin pinches at precise locations on the body. There are several protocols, including a 3-site test, as well as a 7-site test, that are accurate, but require someone else to perform the test due to the pinch locations. The thickness of the pinches are totaled and a body fat percentage is determined based on gender and age.

For those interested in a convenient method of performing a skin-fold body fat test on themselves, Accumeasure makes an inexpensive, skin-fold caliper that gives reasonable results from an accessible, single-pinch location.

Measuring Body Fat Percentage Using Bio-Electric Impedance Devices

Several manufacturers make scales or hand-held devices that measure body fat percentage by a process called bio-electric impedance. These test the body’s resistance to a small electric current which is then translated into a body fat percentage. Some of these devices are expensive and they are very sensitive to hydration levels. Large increases, or decreases, in hydration can throw off the calculations by several percentage points.

Losing Fat is Not the Same as Losing Weight

A prerequisite of losing weight is a calorie deficit. A person must consume fewer calories than are being burned, and once the deficit totals approximately 3500 calories, a pound is lost. The composition of that pound of weight is typically a combination of fat, water, and muscle. To minimize the amount of muscle lost, and maximize fat loss during dieting, dieters must strength train with a general conditioning program utilizing as much muscle mass as possible. Strength training forces the use of muscles and makes the body burn fat preferentially, while maintaining muscle mass, and increasing the resulting muscle tone after dieting.

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