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4 Healthy Ways to Lose Your Excess Weight Without Losing Your Mind

4 Healthy Ways to Lose Your Excess Weight Without Losing Your Mind

Take a step down any magazine aisle or bookstore and one of the first things you will notice is a wealth of literature containing weight loss tips and tricks. For the past few decades, Americans have become obsessed with trying to find the newest and most effective fast track to weight loss; be it a super food, magic pill, a sweat-inducing workout video or even surgery. However, everyone’s body is different.

How many different ways can there really be to “melt fat” and attain the physique we desire? Forget everything you thought you knew and learn the truth behind what’s hindering us from realizing our goals.

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1. Clearly outline your lifestyle change so that you can accurately track and monitor your compliance.

If we don’t set rules and guidelines, it will prove difficult to stay committed to a plan for more than a few days or so. This causes constant “failures” which can be discouraging and lead to abandoning the regimen altogether. Know what foods you will allow yourself to eat freely, regularly, moderately, and sparingly.

We’ve all heard it before, but it’s worth repeating; don’t quit your favorite foods cold turkey. By allowing yourself a “cheat meal” or two throughout the week, not only are you satiating your craving,s but the occasional curve ball to your metabolism can actually contribute to more optimal function

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2. Know the right foods to eat and which to eliminate.

Don’t fall for fad diets or any other weight loss plan that aren’t sustainable. Even if you are lucky enough to lose a few pounds, you will likely gain them back once you inevitably succumb to temptation. Recent research is finding multiple flaws in conventional thinking revealing that fat is not the enemy and that carbohydrates really are the biggest contributor to obesity and other health conditions. Fat does not store in the body as fat, it actually metabolizes relatively easily. Carbohydrates however; cannot be broken down by the body to be used as fuel readily. Your body must produce insulin in order to convert those carbs into glucose (sugar) for energy, but when our body cannot burn the sugar quickly enough, it stores them for later use. The problem is, when it is stored it doesn’t make us feel full, so we typically eat again and again constantly storing more and more as fat while burning less and less. This is more evident when we eat Chinese food and feel hungry 30 minutes later.

This spike in our blood sugar level leads to overproduction of insulin and more fat being stored. This perpetual cycle not only causes weight gain, but also creates insulin resistance; our cell’s resistance to storing glucose. Our bodies respond to this by producing more insulin to combat this resistance, often causing type 2 diabetes. Limit your carbs, especially those higher on the glycemic index. Be wary of foods labeled as “fat free” because fat free often means it may be rich in carbs and/or sugars which turn into fat in our bodies.The best way to feel full quicker and to stay full longer is to balance each and every meal. Try to include a fat, protein, dairy, fiber rich whole grains (not whole wheat) and as much “color” (fruits and vegetables) as you wish.

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By adding all of these foods to every meal, we feel full quicker. Our stomachs tell our brain we are full either when we have eaten a lot of calories, or when we eat a large volume of food. When we eat a lot of calories, we become full with less food in our stomach. This is great for reducing hunger pains quickly, but because there is little food to process, just empty calories, we’ll be going back for more before long. When we actually fill our stomachs with food by eating lower calorie or higher nutritionally dense foods such as vegetables, berries, nuts, and proteins, we will sustain that fullness for a longer time.

3. Learn to accept fat

Limit carbs everything else becomes common sense. By reading nutrition labels for sugar and carbohydrate content, our decisions can be made much simpler. The surest way to lose weight and enhance your health is to eat as raw as possible. The more processed a food is, the more expensive and unhealthy it usually becomes.

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Shop primarily from the perimeter of a grocery store, those are the perishable items which typically means fresher and less processed. This way, we are stocking our kitchen with the best our grocery stores have to offer and ridding our freezers and pantries of processed packaged meals.

4. Finally, remember that you are human

We all make mistakes and occasionally relax our standards to some degree. If you cheat, listen to your inner New Yorker and forget about it. Remember how you great you felt the day before and move on. The war is won over the long term and a few slips here and there won’t sabotage your agenda unless you allow it to and give up.

Losing weight can feel out of reach for many of us, but if we invest some consideration, accountability and abandon hopes of a miracle pill, it can be within reach. By utilizing some of the advice within this article paired with common sense – a slimmer waistline may be  just one good call away.

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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