Sunday, December 26, 2010

Should women include strength training in their workout routine?

There are three reasons why women should include weight training or strength training in their workout:

 1) Increase strength and to be stronger
A strong core is essential for our daily activities regardless of you are man or woman. If your core is weak, you will feel miserable when you carry baby, bags of grocery or even a light luggage. On the contrary, you will enjoy playing your favorite sports in longer hours and lift more weight if you have a strong core.

2) To lose more weight, get rid of body fat
Strength training will help you to increase metabolism, increase lean muscle mass and burn more calories. Keep in mind that muscle burns more calories than fat. So, you will lose body fat quicker if you have more lean muscle mass in your body. All of us have muscle mass including overweight folks. Yes, the muscle mass is underneath your body fat. As soon as you get rid of body fat, your muscle will begin to show.

3) Build stronger joints and reduce risk of injury
Strength training increase stability around the joints, also help you increase bone density and prevent osteoporosis.

 So, why women stay away from weight training?

Most of the women think if they lift weight, eventually they will become Arnold S, which is NOT true. Women do not produce enough testosterone to grow muscles. You will never get bulky and become Arnold by lifting weight unless you take steroids. If you do it correctly, any workout with weight will tone your muscles and bring out definition that you see on female athletics. This is something that you will never get if you only do cardio exercise, spend hours on treadmill or other cardio machines and wonder why your body won’t change.

We lose muscle mass with age. If we don’t do anything to preserve the muscle mass, we can easily increase the body fat in our body no matter how many hours we spend on treadmill. We either lose to use it. But, strength training can help us to preserve and increase the muscle mass that will also help us to burn more calories.

You can do strength training at home or in the fitness center. The training can be done by using weight machines, dumbbells, resistance bands/cable  or your body weight (push up, squats, etc…).

Lastly, please always check wit your doctor before starting any fitness exercise program. Make sure you know your fitness level before you workout with weight. If you are a beginner, you should lift weight 3 days a week with the combination of cardio exercise and a balance diet. When I was trying to lose weight in 2007, I workout 1.5 hour a day, 6 days a week for 2 years. Now, I’m fit and toned, but I still workout 3 days a week just to maintain my fitness level.



Saturday, December 11, 2010

I know eating healthy is important, but, how to do it right?

Folks, if you do it right, you can build muscle and lose weight quickly.

First of all, find out how many calories you burn throughout the day. Click here for Calories Monitors on my website. For example, if your body need 1600 calories a day, 350 calories is recommended for the main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), 100 – 200 calories for snacks (2 or 3 times) throughout the day.

It is a simple math... If you burn more calories than you eat, you will lose weight; On the contrary, if you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. If you burn what you eat, you will maintain weight. Keep in mind that you will achieve better result if you do it right AND exercise regularly. According to the research, losing 2 lbs a week is considered a normal and healthy diet plan. You should check with your physician and then plan for a healthy diet along with appropriate exercise plan before you start a new diet or workout program.

We should include lean protein and whole grain in our daily meals. I feel great when I eat less carbs but high protein meals. Why? You will feel fuller after eating lean protein meals than other foods. And, high quality protein intake preserves muscle mass that will help you to burn more calories. Foods that contain lean protein are fish, chicken breast, turkey breast, eggs white, beans, yogurt, low fat milk and cheese, tofu, etc…

Why whole grains? Whole grains have a low GI rating. This means they are converted slowly into blood glucose, and do not cause "sugar spikes" (sudden rises in blood glucose levels). By contrast, refined carbs, especially white flour foods, typically have high-GI values are associated with blood glucose problems and insulin disorders.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Why Eat Breakfast?

Eating a healthy breakfast is a good jump start for the day. Studies show a balanced nutrition breakfast prevents you from snacking (mostly junk foods, right?) in the mid morning and boosts your metabolism throughout the day. You are able to stay focus, feel better and have more energy, eat less during lunch and lose more weight! Do you notice that you tend to eat more during lunch or feel tired in the entire morning if you did not eat breakfast on that day?

A healthy breakfast could be simple and easy to prepare. For example:

- Oatmeal with low fat milk, add 2 drops of honey or sprinkle some dried berries.

- Tuna with low fat mayonnaise, served on whole grain bagel, muffin or bread.

- Low fat milk or skim milk with whole grain cereal

- Turkey breast ham with a slice of Swiss cheese or cheese with 2% milk, tomato, low fat mayonnaise, served on whole grain bagel, muffin or bread.

- Low fat yogurt or Greek yogurt, apple or other fruits.

If you really hate to eat breakfast but want a healthy lifestyle, you can begin with small portion such as an 8oz of low fat yogurt. Gradually, eating breakfast will become the meal that you ‘must have’ in your life.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How to eat healthy and lose weight

Nowadays, there are more and more adult even kids are overweight. Weight loss programs and health related magazines are everywhere to help us to achieve our fitness goal. Some people succeed and some people failed. The main reason could be they only focus on what to eat but do not know HOW to eat it right. A healthy diet means a diet plan with balance nutrition. Avoiding healthy carbs and fats will not help you to lose weight, even if you did lose some weight, most likely the result will not last long because you will get bored of it.

Eat 5 - 6 meals a day

Why? According to the research, eating 5 – 6 healthy meals a day will help you to burn calories all day long. Nothing complicated – 3 main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and 2 – 3 snacks. If you eat every 3 hours, your body is working like a fat burning machine and prevent yourself from turning into hunger or starvation mode. If you starve yourself and you think you will lose more weight, you are wrong! You will actually eat more in your next meal and guess what? You will gain more weight. Several studies have shown that people who snack regularly tend to eat less at meal time.

Other reasons are:
• Better absorption – your body can only absorb so much nutrition and burn so many calories at a time. If you are overeating, your body is trying very hard to digest the foods, and the extra foods will be stored as fat. Simple equation: Calories in = Calories out. For example, if you sit in front of computer at work most of the time, you don’t need to consume many calories simply because you’re not burning many calories. If you don’t know how many calories you burn all day long, check on our Calories Monitors on our website. It’s critical to know how many calories we burn so we know how much we should eat.

• Stimulates muscle growth and burn more fat – if your body waits too long between meals, your muscle will be consumed for energy when your body is in starvation mode. As you know, muscle mass will help us to burn fat. So, you are losing muscle instead of fat if you eat 3 big meals or skip meals.

• Boosts your metabolism for maximum weight loss and to maintain blood sugar level - our body need energy to perform daily activities as a car needs fuel to run... continuously. Skipping meals or eating 3 big meals will lead to low blood sugar level if we do not feed our body. You will feel less energy and tempt to eat more in your next meal. When you are eating heavy meal, your blood sugar level is higher than what your body needs. Overproduction of insulin will lead to weight gain and excess calories will be stored as fat. How do you feel after you had heavy lunch? Do you feel tired and can’t stay focus?

So, what should you eat for snacks? The snacks can be steamed vegetables, fruits, raw almonds, or other healthy foods that you can think of. The recommended calories should be 100 – 200 calories per snack, again, depending on your total calories intake and activities a day. Donuts, chips, cookies, muffins and other junk foods are NOT counted as healthy snack please! Think of the junk foods that you eat are the foods that go into your body. Do you really want to put all kind of trash into your mouth?

We know it is difficult to eat multiple meals a day due to our busy schedule. So, plan ahead of time and commit to it, slowly you will get used to it. Believe it or not, you will feel great the day when you have multiple healthy meals. Don’t treat it like a torturing diet, it is a lifestyle changed!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010