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20 Rules to Live by for Those Who Want to Lose 10 Pounds in 3 Weeks

20 Rules to Live by for Those Who Want to Lose 10 Pounds in 3 Weeks

Weight loss has become a sticky subject of confusion, conflicting information and myths. Before you know it, you’re on the crash-course diet from hell and getting no-where! Sustainable weight loss is not a fad diet or program, it’s a lifestyle. With these 20 proven weight loss tips, you can lose 10 pounds in 3 weeks. Best of all, you will set yourself up for continued progress every week!

1. The Golden Rule: Calories In vs. Calories Out

This simple fact simply cannot be overruled – to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume.

Use tools to help track and measure your daily intake then slowly taper down. Start with 500kcal steps or lower until you observe a consistent weekly loss.

Never go dangerously low, eating much below 1200-1600 can stall your progress and harm your health!

2. Set Attainable Goals And Track Your Progress

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    Achieving each goal will help spur you on, so be realistic and start small. Here is an example of an easily achievable goal progression:

    – Lose weight each week

    – Lose 1-3 pounds per week

    – Lose 10 pounds in 3 weeks

    – Fit into size 30 jeans!

    3. Consider Skipping Breakfast

    Breakfast is commonly considered the most important meal of the day, however, it is not so when it comes to weight loss.

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    Intermittent fasting can be a useful fat-loss tool. Restrict yourself to a smaller eating window by skipping breakfast and only eating from 12-8pm. You will reduce your daily calorie intake without restricting your lunch and dinner!

    4. Drink More Water (Especially Before Meals)

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      Drinking water an hour before eating has two proven benefits for weight loss:

      5. Make Coffee Your New Best Friend

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        Coffee has received a bad reputation in the past, however, it should be known that quality coffee is rich in antioxidants and beneficial to weight loss.

        The caffeine content will boost your body’s metabolism by up to 10%, leading to a 10-29% increase in fat burning power. Take it black, with no added sugar!

        6. Make Green Tea Your Second Best Friend

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          Green tea provides a milder dose of caffeine but it is abundant in wonderful catechins. These antioxidants will work with the caffeine in a perfect fat burning harmony!

          7. Always Check For Added Sugar

          Sugar has demonstrated worryingly strong links with obesity, diabetes and heart disease (to name a few).

          But even if you do not add it yourself, you should check the ingredients of your sauces or packaged foods. Even self-proclaimed health foods can be riddled with added sugar!

          8. Cut Out Simple Carbohydrates

          Simple/refined carbohydrates are quickly absorbed, spiking your blood sugar and insulin levels in the process. As a result, you will feel hunger and cravings come back again in no time!

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          Avoid all sugar or refined grains by avoiding the following foods:

          • Cookies, candy and sweets
          • Packaged cereals
          • White bread and rice
          • Cakes

          9. Scale Down Your Portion Sizes

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            It pays to become aware of how much you are eating, exercise portion control and slowly scale it down.

            Even small reductions of 10-20% are often enough to tip the balance and trigger weight loss. Try measuring your portions more carefully and don’t underestimate the power of using smaller bowls!

            10. Keep Healthy Food On Standby for Stacks

            The power of temptation is mighty, so why not remove it completely?

            Only keep healthy snacks within reach, then you won’t be able to binge on junk food! Here are some healthy ideas to stock your cupboard:

            • Whole fruit
            • Handful of nuts
            • Hard boiled eggs
            • Vegetables

            11. Spice Up Your Life

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              Breathe new life into your dishes and reinforce your weight loss efforts with the power of cayenne pepper! Capsaicin from cayenne pepper and other spicy foods helps to ramp up metabolism and decrease appetite.

              12. Top Up Your Protein Intake

              Protein rich foods not only keep you fuller for longer but burn more energy during digestion. Studies have shown that swapping calories for whey protein supplements can boost weight loss whilst increasing lean muscle!

              Alternatively, here are a number of protein-rich food sources:

              • Lean beef
              • Skinless chicken breasts
              • Eggs
              • Salmon
              • Low-fat yogurt

              13. Balance Your Diet With Complex Carbs

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                Consuming complex carbs will produce a sustained energy release and keep blood sugar levels manageable. You can easily keep hunger and cravings at bay with these nutrient dense complex carbs:

                • Vegetables
                • Fruit
                • Brown rice
                • Wholegrains
                • Beans and legumes

                14. Forget About Fast Food

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                  Not matter how healthy it may claim to be, fast food is almost always laden with heart-clogging trans fats, excessive sugar and salt.

                  Worse yet, these meals are high in calories whilst low in nutritional value, making them a terrible choice for fuel. Before you know it, you will have broken the cardinal rule of calories in vs. calories out!

                  15. Watch Out for “Hidden Calories”

                  There’s no need to completely forgo your favorite condiments, just make sure you are aware of their true caloric impact. It’s easy to go overboard and negate much of your hard work!

                  Go easy with the following condiments and toppings, they are surprisingly heavy in calories:

                  • Mayonnaise
                  • Salad dressing
                  • Cream
                  • Cheese
                  • Butter
                  • Oils

                  16. Choose Low-Medium GI Foods

                  High GI foods sources cause sugar levels to shoot up, the resultant spike in insulin will actually encourage dreaded fat storage!

                  Check out the GI scale and choose low-medium GI foods. Your insulin levels will remain under control, you will feel fuller for longer and find it easier to lose weight!

                  17. Opt For Weight Training Over Cardio

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                    Weight training burns a significant amount of calories, keeping you strong, fit and healthy in the process. It’s more effective than cardio for body recomposition as it helps preserve essential muscle mass whilst you lose weight.

                    Studies have also shown a significant increase in metabolic rate both during and after your workout, further supporting your weight loss efforts!

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                    Choose a routine that uses compound lifts such as Presses, Squats and Deadlifts. These exercises recruit the largest amount of muscles per movement, ideal for maintaining lean muscle mass and trimming body fat.

                    18. Go Walking or Cycling

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                      Consistent small actions soon add up to big changes. For this reason, why not choose to walk or cycle whenever you can? You will burn more calories as you go about your day without the need for further diet restrictions.

                      You can burn more calories as you go about your day, without any further diet restriction. If you’re physically able there is no excuse, take the stairs over escalators and lifts!

                      19. Get Enough Sleep

                      Sleep is highly underrated for weight loss. Forget about the 6-hour minimum claim, many of us require 8-9 hours to operate at peak efficiency.

                      Both duration and quality of sleep will have a great influence on hormones that control body composition. In fact, poor sleep has shown worrying links to obesity, increasing the risk in adults by 55%!

                      20. Be Careful Of Liquid Calories!

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                        We all know alcohol dehydrates and damages our liver and kidneys. But it can also thwart weight loss efforts as an unexpected source of calories.

                        You may be surprised to know a beer can equate to 150kcal, 125kcal for a glass of red wine and a whopping 400Kcal for a single sweet Piña Colada! Instead, try sticking to tonic water with a slice of lime, your body will thank you!

                        So there you have the 20 simple lifestyle tips that will support you in achieving healthy weight loss. Adopt as many as you can and you will easily lose 10 pounds or more in 3 weeks!

                        Featured photo credit: Lecic via shutterstock.com

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                        Published on March 8, 2019

                        How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

                        How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

                        When we fall into a workout routine, our moves become automatic, and the body quickly adapts. This is called muscle memory.[1] While teaching your body how to properly execute squats, push-ups, or crunches is a benefit, overly relying on these moves to consistently grow gains won’t yield the kind of results you want. That’s because the muscles work in the same way every time.

                        Simply put, they’re not being “surprised,” so they get lazy.

                        Supplementing your routine with flow yoga is one way of surprising your muscles, especially if you are new to the yoga practice and have never tried the postures. It’s like taking a new road home when you drive, deviating from your usual route. Science has found that by doing so, you’re creating new neuropathways in your brain.[2] The same is done in your muscles when you try a new routine.

                        How is this done? Let’s dive right into it.

                        How Flow Yoga Boost Your Gains in Your Workout Routine

                        Think about your current workouts:

                        If you lift weights, you rely on external tools to engage your various muscle groups. Over time, your shoulders, legs, or biceps will come to expect the weighted plates or dumbbells, in the repetitive sequences that you remember.

                        In flow yoga, we use the body as the weight. Add gravity and hundreds of different postures and combinations, and you have a workout that uses the same muscle groups, but in many different ways.

                        A pose such as plank is a full-body workout, with every muscle engaged to keep the body in one long line. While it’s a stationary pose, it requires muscle control and activation, with no room for passivity.

                          A Flow sequence, on the other hand, requires your muscle to switch from one pose to another swiftly, providing you with a more balanced and wholesome use of your major muscle groups.

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                          Not only do these poses and routines re-energize the body in a refreshing way, they also allow you to learn something new, which is powerful for the mind.

                          Bottom line? Complementing your exercise regimen with flow yoga is like hitting the shuffle button on your workouts, using your muscles in ways that “surprise” them, which in turn boost their growth and performance.

                          Energizing Flow Yoga with Added Cardio

                          Flow yoga is also known as “Vinyasa.”[3] In Sanskrit – the sacred language of the practice and its Indian roots – Vinyasa is roughly translated to “one breath, one movement.”

                          This guideline, first and foremost, enhances your breathing, and teaches you how to go from our typical shallow, chest-only breathing, to a more deeper, belly-chest breath that uses the entire lung system.

                          Not only is this beneficial for a myriad of healthcare reasons (combat allergies, eliminate toxins, reduce stress, ease anxiety), it also greatly impacts our muscles,[4] and therefore our workout.

                          Flooding your muscles with rich oxygen will only keep them healthy, while the cardio benefit will get you warmed up to take on the more challenging postures in a flow yoga class. This prevents injuries and cramping.

                          The best example of energizing cardio in flow yoga is the Sun Salutation sequence. Each pose is completed on an inhale or an exhale, until the sequence is finished. One full sequence may be repeated several times, encouraging you to take fuller and deeper breaths. The cycles warm up and loosen the body and prepare the muscles for stationary poses that are held longer.

                          Here’s how to do a Sun Salutation Flow:

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                          Due to the Sun Salutations, the muscles are not thrown into a challenging workout, but rather primed and prepared with energizing breath.

                          Why is this important, you ask? Because happy muscles are warmed-up muscles.

                          The Best Thing About Flow Yoga

                          The best thing about practicing flow yoga? You’re building strength and flexibility.

                          Strength and flexibility are like the Mecca of a wholesome workout routine. Before we get into why this is important, let’s break these two down individually to see how they stand up on their own:

                          Meet Strong Stan

                          Strong Stan is at the gym, doing bicep curls with massive dumbbells. His muscles have peaked in size, and he proudly displays them.

                          While he loves to lift weights, Strong Stan often skips stretching or warm-ups. He just doesn’t see how that could help him continue his muscle gains, so he jumps right into a heavy workout.

                          While it’s not evident to a passerby, Stan’s muscles are hurting. Without sufficient flexibility or deliberate stretching, Stan’s muscles are shortening and getting tighter. This eventually leads to joint injuries,[5] because un-stretched muscles have limited range of motion.

                          Big muscles are a sure indicator of strength, but here’s the kicker – choosing not to prioritize flexibility will keep them inherently at risk.

                          Meet Flexible Fiona

                          Flexible Fiona is in a flow yoga class, easing herself into a backbend.[6] She effortlessly gets into the pose, and “hangs” out there for a few breaths while the teacher cues the class.

                          Even though the teacher instructs the students to engage their glutes and be mindful that this is an active pose, Flexible Fiona opts otherwise, and relaxes into the posture by sacrificing the strength she ought to be building.

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                          To many in the class, Fiona’s execution of the backbend would be a success – maybe even something to envy. However, what Fiona doesn’t realize is that her excessive flexibility is actually a detriment to her joints.[7]

                          Flexibility has been defined as the “absolute range of motion” by Tony Gummerson, Martial Arts instructor. For people who are naturally flexible, that line of absolute range is often blurry and, in practice, overlooked.

                          It’s very easy for Fiona to go above and beyond her range of motion, since her flexibility parameters are much wider than what Strong Stan may experience in a similar pose.

                          Because she doesn’t feel the stretch in the same degree of motion as other students in class, Fiona has to push the envelope of her flexibility. This puts too much pressure on the joints that are already overworked, and it overstretches the muscles that are now prone to tearing.

                          Your goal is to create muscle and joint balance and wholeness.

                          What Strong Stan and Flexible Fiona have in common is that they’re both missing vital pieces of muscle awareness.

                          In Stan’s case, heavy and tight muscles crave flexibility. Without it, not only would Stan hit a plateau in his gains because of a sure injury, but he would miss out on having the lean and toned muscles that we all want to have.

                          In Fiona’s case, her overstretched muscles are not getting a workout at all. Rather, her excessive flexibility is resting on her joints, which leads to definite injury.

                          So what can you do? It’s quite simple.

                          You have to give your muscles the opposite of what they’re used to.

                          If you’re a Stan and hate stretching, focusing on your flexibility is key. You will lengthen your tight muscles, and you’ll create new muscle memory by practicing routines that are new to you and your muscle groups.

                          If you’re a Fiona and hate strengthening, focusing on this priority is vital. Your muscles are used to being passive as you stretch, so shaking up the usual and putting them to work will not only keep you injury-free, but that much closer to the muscle gains you’ve been looking for.

                          Fortunately, flow yoga is the whole package, and can be the one-stop-shop for both Stan and Fiona.

                            Final Thoughts

                            If you’re serious about using flow yoga to supplement your workout routine to boost gains, sign up for a class at your local gym or yoga studio. There are a number of styles of yoga to try, but as we’ve discussed in this article, the Vinyasa style is your best bet to complement a moderate exercise regimen.

                            Many studios offer beginner-style Vinyasa classes, where the instructor will explain the basics, and break down the sequences in a pace that is suitable for entry-level students. From here, the student can build upon their practice, and opt for more challenging, fast-paced classes, such as Power Flow or Ashtanga.

                            Working out is a lesson in teaching your muscles. The gains that we grow are the result of that experience, and it all comes down to conditioning our body in a way that is healthy, efficient, and balanced.

                            With a practice like flow yoga, we can offer supplemental training to our current regimen that will work our muscles in ways that are new, refreshing, and “surprising.” This method will keep our muscles toned and lean, as long as we prioritize the balance between strength and flexibility to ensure that we’re meeting both of these needs. Our muscle gains and body health depend on it.

                            More Resources About Yoga and Fitness

                            Featured photo credit: Edit Sztazics via unsplash.com

                            Reference

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