Flat Abs Now!

Do you want flat abs? Doesn’t everyone? If you’ve been working out a week or maybe a few months and are frustrated that you don’t have flat abs yet, don’t despair, but don’t expect miracles either. Flat abs are hard work. You cannot expect to go from flabby to fabulous in a short period of time. If you exercise hard three to five times a week, drink more water, cut back on alcohol, and are eating fewer calories, then you will see results. It could take just a few months to a few years to see your stomach flatten out. It all depends on your starting point.  

If you need to lose five pounds of fat, you could reach your goal in just a few months, but if you need to lose fifty pounds or three hundred pounds, it could take years of consistent hard work. I’m sure you’ve seen the early morning ads for weight loss videos with promised results in 90 days. Like your mind, your body is resistant to change so it’s typical not to see results for three to four months. You need to be patient, realistic and dedicated. Expect to lose no more than ½ pound to 1 pound a week with vigorous exercise AND a healthy diet. If you just have those last remaining pounds to shed, it will take longer since we’re meant to have extra pounds to cushion our cells and in case of a food shortage. Don’t worry about the end result, it will arrive before you know it. In the meantime, enjoy the benefits of trying different exercises, meeting new people, and eating innovative dishes.

Reduce Salt without Compromising Flavor

peanuts

I am constantly trying to eat healthier so one of my goals is to lower salt intake. These tips are great because they are easy and will not alter the taste of your favorite foods and dishes.

 

  • Salted roasted peanuts – Obviously unsalted peanuts would have no salt, but if you love salted peanuts like I do, take out your mesh colander, pour the peanuts in the colander and shake, shake, shake. They will still have plenty of salt, but a whole lot less. The nuts actually taste better because now you taste more of the peanut and less salt. The whole point of adding salt is to enhance the flavor of the food. Your food should never taste salty; if it tastes salty it means the item was over-salted.

 

  • Olives – Olives have a lot of salt. I remove the pimento and rinse the olive in water. The now salt-free exterior and briny interior are a wonderful contrast which actually brings out the flavor even more. I only rinse the olives I plan to eat at that moment. This works for both green olives and Kalamata olives.

 

  • Canned vegetables – Fresh vegetables don’t contain any salt so they are the preferred choice to canned. If you have canned vegetables, you don’t need to toss them out. Canned vegetables contain all the nutrients since they are canned at their peak of freshness; the downside is that they are soaking in salt. Rinse the canned vegetables before adding to your recipes. Problem solved!

 

  • Salt – Use sea salt instead of table salt. Sea salt is courser, larger and has a more pronounced flavor. I leave the salt out of my meals during preparation and just add a tiny sprinkle on top. No one will know the salt content in your dish is lower.

 

You can also remove salt from your body by exercising and eating foods high in potassium.

 

  • Exercise is great for removing salt. Sweat it out with a heart-pumping cardio workout.
  • Eat foods high in potassium to remove salt. Items below are listed in order from highest to least amount of potassium:

                              steamed winter squash

                              baked sweet potato with skin

                              rinsed white beans

                              fat free yogurt

                              steamed broccoli

                              raw bananas

 

Now I’m hungry for sweet potato wedges baked with olive oil and herbs!

 

List of foods with potassium obtained from WebMD.com.

Ask a Fit Person

It confounds me to this day why people who want to lose weight ask those for weight-loss advice who are heavy and are trying to lose weight too. I can see asking someone else what diet plans they’ve tried and which didn’t work, but why would someone ask for guidance from another who is struggling to lose pounds unsuccessfully? To this day I cannot figure this one out.

I’ve seen this scenario again and again in the various workplaces I’ve had over the years and each time I’ve wanted to wave my hands furiously in the air and yell “over here!” Why didn’t they ask me for weight-loss advice or how I keep myself fit? I would have been more than happy to let them know what I eat and what I avoid. One of the misconceptions is that a lean individual must be lucky because he or she has good genes. There are very few people who can eat whatever they like, don’t exercise, and don’t gain weight. People who are lean work hard at it. The next time you see someone who has a figure that should be photographed, don’t be jealous. They work their butt off to look like that.

Don’t ruin your workout!

What you do after your workout is just as important as the exercise itself, so why are you refueling with junk? You exercise to look good, lose weight and/or to keep fit, and because it’s good for your heart and health so I don’t know why people think it’s okay to pig out right after a workout session. After a leisurely stroll around the lake, one woman curbs her hunger by buying a couple of chocolate bars. That’s right, not one…a couple! I don’t know what brand or size she buys but a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar is 210 calories and more than half of those calories are from fat. Your body is primed for food after exercise so you want to replenish with water, carbohydrates and nutrients, not fat and sugar.

 A friend of mine always wants to schedule a workout before lunch so we can go out to eat afterwards. Restaurant meals are always higher in calories, salt and fat than what I make at home so dining out is what I limit to once a week. I don’t want to eat a heavy meal after hard training either. What I prefer is fruit blended with water, ice and protein powder. It’s low in sodium and calories, is refreshing and guilt free.

Exercising won’t offset frequent bad eating habits. You cannot eat anything you want no matter how much or how hard you exercise. You can have your snack, just save it for your cheat day (which is once a week, not seven days a week!). Stop thinking of food as a reward and treat yourself to a football game or a spa day instead. You won’t remember what you ate in September 2013, but you’ll definitely recall that event.

Don’t Chastise Me for Eating Healthy

I work extremely hard to keep my weight in the proper range for my height. To maintain or lose weight means constant vigilance. I cringe every time someone says, “Oh! I couldn’t do what you do!” or “That’s just excessive.” Whatever happened to complimenting someone for their hard work such as, “Wow, that’s awesome.” or “You put in a lot of time making your meals and exercising at the gym.”

In the United States we’re pressed to look a certain way, which is tan, trim, tall and youthful so men and women get spray tans, and women wear ridiculously high heels. A sexy female body means having a big booty and bodacious boobs with a waist the size of your wrist. We’re supposed to look like Barbie and Ken and live it up like there is no tomorrow. The juxtaposition is that we’re supposed to look perfect, but eat and drink items that make us heavy and ruin our skin. Media encourages adults to have fun and the only way to do that is by drinking large margaritas and cool Cervezas, getting crazy at your wealthy friend’s house party, and enjoying a hamburger the size of your head. It’s no wonder so many people are overweight. The reality is that beautiful people cannot stay attractive if they are drinking alcohol, eating burgers or partying on a regular basis.

The fit folks I know have an alcoholic drink occasionally, eat a burger or some other high-fat food on their cheat day (no more than once a week) and keep the partying to a minimum, which is hardly ever. I would prefer to have the pasta dish paired with a lemon drop martini, but don’t give me grief for ordering the salmon with an iced tea. It’s not easy to eat low fat and low calorie day-in and day-out. I don’t need you to discourage me from ordering the healthy dish on the menu. Don’t tell me I’m not fun because I won’t order a dessert. My personality didn’t change because I’m cutting back on sugar. Don’t push me to drink alcohol and get drunk with you. I’m driving home and don’t want to ruin my Sunday with a hangover. Don’t call me a party pooper because I’m tired at ten. I don’t want to hold your hair at midnight while you puke on the sidewalk while you complain that you’re fat.

Prevent Nighttime Feasts

If you end up eating way too much at nighttime, help is here. Are you eating a small breakfast, a small lunch (or no lunch), end up pigging out at dinner, and keep snacking afterwards? A lot of people do just that, so you are not alone. You’re going to need to break this cycle. Remember that you cannot expect change if you’re not making changes.

When you overeat in the late afternoon and into the evening it may be because you haven’t eaten enough throughout the day so you feel like you’re starving at night. You end up consuming more calories than you need which causes your weight to continually increase. You’ll want to increase the amount of food you eat in the morning and at lunch so at night, you should be satisfied with a normal portion at dinner time.

I’m not saying to eat pancakes loaded with butter and syrup for breakfast and sausage pizza for lunch, those meals are way too caloric and devoid of fiber and nutrition. You want to eat well as often as possible. You can have the pancakes and the pizza, but it’s wise to save those for when you are on vacation. You know why you cannot stop at just one potato chip? It’s devoid of fiber and protein. How are you going to curb those urges if you’re not giving your body the nutrients it craves?

People know they should eat breakfast but don’t know why. You want to eat shortly after you awake to get that metabolism going. If it’s too hard to eat breakfast early in the day, just eat something small, maybe a yogurt or some whole grain toast topped with your favorite nut butter. Then a few hours later you’ll be hungry to eat your breakfast. Remember to eat fruit or vegetables with each meal which are great foods to signal when it’s time to stop eating. The goal is to eat a bigger breakfast, a decent sized lunch, maybe a small snack midday if you’re still hungry, and then a small dinner. Are you ready for a bigger breakfast tomorrow or possible two small yummy breakfasts? Remember, change is good!

What your nail polish says about you

what your nail polish says about you

Am I the only one that hates black nail polish? Every day is not Halloween. Black, blue and green nail polish looks good on no one! Black clothes are fashionable but black nail polish sends a different message. Is she mean? Does she wish she’s a vampire? Does she have a dark side? Did she hit her fingers with a hammer? What you wear may ruin your chances of getting that job unless you are applying at MAC. Enough with the weird and metallic nail colors. Blue nails are for corpses. Is the green to cover up nail fungus? Those hues just make a person look sickly.

Also, what’s with the different polish on each nail? Are you color blind or did you paint your nails in the dark? Glitter nail polish should be reserved for little girls. Why doesn’t anyone wear French manicures, reds, pinks and neutral tones anymore? Those look the best. Today I’m sporting chipped peach…that’s not good either.

Rice or Quinoa? Which is better?

On a side-to-side comparison, quinoa is a superior grain to whole grain rice. Quinoa has more protein, more fiber and fewer carbohydrates than brown rice. It was recently revealed that all rice contains arsenic and everyone was advised to reduce rice consumption. I don’t want to eat poison!

The first time I tried quinoa was on an airplane. I hated it, but all airplane food is gross! The next time I ate quinoa was at a restaurant and I loved it. I couldn’t believe it was the same grain I tried before. It’s really easy to make too. Just follow the directions on the package. To add pizazz sauté a chopped white onion in coconut oil until translucent and add it to the cooked quinoa with a little salt and some herbs. Serve quinoa with grilled shrimp or chicken. Yum!

Brown Rice (1 cup)

Quinoa (1 cup)

Calories: 216

Calories: 223 (quinoa has just 7 calories more)

Fat: 1.89 grams

Fat 3.6 gm (quinoa has only 1.71 grams more)

Net Carbohydrates: 43

Net Carbohydrates: 34 (8 fewer carbs than rice)

Sodium: 10 mg

Sodium: 13 mg

Protein: 5 grams

Protein 8 grams

 

Source: USDA

How to look younger & more attractive

If you want beautiful, youthful skin, follow my 7 tips:

  1. Wash your face with cleanser in the morning and in the evening. Don’t forget to cleanse your face after you exercise to remove any sweat, salt, sunscreen and dirt. Even after you shower and wash your hair with soap, that alone won’t clean your face. Water and oil don’t mix so if your skin is greasy the water will slide right off. You want to wash your face before you go to sleep to remove any foundation, blush…etc. Your skin should be able to breathe at night so it has a chance to repair itself.
  2. Drink enough water throughout the day. Water will hydrate your skin too.
  3. Keep your face out of the sun. Sun exposure creates wrinkles, ruddiness, brown spots and dries out your skin. The sun’s rays also cause skin cancer. You don’t want to have portions of your face cut out. Yikes!
  4. Lose extra weight or gain weight. If you lose extra pounds your skin will be firmer and will make you look more youthful. If you are underweight, your cheeks will be too hollow, which is aging.
  5. Wear a modern hair style. If you have a feathered do, straight bangs, a mullet, or are teasing your hair, it will look like you’re stuck in the eighties and will age you. If you love your bangs, grow them a little longer and push them to the side for side bangs. Get rid of the dated hair accessories too. Those scrunchies and banana clips should have been tossed with the leg warmers and fluorescent half shirts.
  6. Don’t wear blue eye shadow…ever! Blue eye shadow was popular in the 1970s. It looked ghastly then and looks ridiculous now. Remove all eye make-up before you go to bed or you will end up with very puffy eyes in the morning. Don’t use moisturizer or Vaseline on your eyelids. The eyelids are very porous. Whatever you put on your lids will seep right onto your eyes. You don’t want your eye balls covered with greasy Vaseline.
  7. Don’t smoke and stay away from cigarette and cigar smoke. Smoking will cause your skin to appear gray and ashy and will cause deep wrinkles. It’s not a good look!

What you eat, drink and do to yourself has a direct impact on your skin. If you want youthful clear skin, then you’re going to have to work for it. It’s worth the effort.

Are carbs bad for weight loss?

There are so many diets out there it’s no wonder everyone is confused. Carbohydrates from fruit, vegetables, whole grains, peas, nuts and beans are good for you. They have fiber, nutrients and fill you up. Carbohydrates give you energy. If you don’t eat carbs you will be lethargic and constipated. You’ll also be nutrient deficient. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies lead to disease. No matter how thin you are, you won’t look cute in a hospital bed.

The carbohydrates you want to avoid are those that are processed and have added sugar, flour and fat. The bad carbohydrates are chips, soda, bread and pasta that doesn’t contain whole grains as the first ingredient, cookies, cakes, candy, crackers, muffins, pancakes, waffles, mashed potatoes (due to the butter), fried potatoes, fried foods (Anything fried is bad for your heart and your waistline. Restaurants add white flour to get the crunchy outer layer.), and white rice. Ideally, you would stay away from these items with a ten foot pole. Just try to eat these bad carbs once in a while instead of every day.

If you want to lose weight and be healthier, you will need to eat lots of fruit and vegetables, which have very few calories. Enjoy the whole grains and peas as a small side, and snack on a small handful of unsalted nuts every day. The fewer processed carbs you trade in for healthy carbohydrates will surely get you to your weight-loss goals quicker. Another bonus you’ll get is clear and healthy skin.

I love fruit and vegetables and can never seem to keep enough in the house. Those refrigerator bins need to be bigger! My favorite vegetable is roasted asparagus with fresh garlic and balsamic vinegar. Another beloved vegetable side is green beans tossed in honey with chopped walnuts. Adults need about 55% of their caloric intake from carbohydrates so stop starving yourself of nutrition and enjoy what is good for you.

%d bloggers like this: