Fitness & Wellness

Knowing When You Should Gain Weight For Your Health

Knowing When You Should Gain Weight For Your Health

If you’re overweight and desperately trying to lose weight, you probably don’t have one ounce of sympathy for those people who eat constantly trying to gain weight. It can be just as much of a problem for them, since it’s tough to eat when you’re feeling full and even more difficult to eat healthy to gain weight for your health. Healthy foods aren’t known to put on the pounds. Here are some signs that should alert anyone that is thin that it’s time to gain weight and a few tips on how to do it right.

Your BMI is below 18.5.

BMI is body mass index. It’s a calculation that takes your height and weight into consideration. Age plays a role, too. Once you’re past the age of 40, the older you are, the less muscle mass you probably have. For older adults, assessing the amount of lean muscle mass is more important. For those younger, the BMI is still a good indicator of whether you’re too heavy or too thin. For people in their twenties, having a BMI that indicated the status of being overweight showed an increased risk of mortality. The same was not true of older adults. In fact, the opposite was true. An underweight BMI indicated that. However, there’s no conclusion on whether being underweight increased the risk of mortality or whether an illness that increased the risk of mortality caused the individuals to be underweight.

Signs that may or may not indicate too low of a body weight.

Being skinny might be a sign, but it also might mean the person is at their perfect body weight. People with longer torsos will weigh more than those with longer legs. Arms and hands that look like spider’s webs showing because of the veins can be another sign of being underweight. That too might be deceiving. Just look at those people who are bodybuilders and watch a pose. Every vein in their body seems to be visible. Joints that look too disproportionate for the body may be a sign, but then again, larger boned people or those with larger joints should be eliminated. Signs that should make you worry are irregular menstrual periods, getting sick easily due to a weak immune system, hair loss, dizziness and fatigue or for children, poor growth and inadequate development.

There are things you should do if you’re underweight.

Even though it’s said you can’t have too much money or be too thin, that’s not true…about the thin part, that is. If you’ve been thin all your life, you’ve probably already seen a doctor who noted it and checked for various illnesses. If you’ve recently lost weight and have become underweight, immediately see your physician for a checkup. Illness or serious conditions can cause sudden weight loss. Add more good protein sources, healthy fat and grain to your diet.

  • Nut butter can be liberally added to your diet. Slather some onto apple slices or your toast in the morning. It adds calories, healthy fat and protein.
  • Top off your omelet with extra cheese and sprinkle extra on healthy soups or salads.
  • Keep snacks with you at all times. Munch on some healthy trail mix with seeds, nuts and dried fruit. You can even sprinkle in a few dark chocolate chip for extra calories.
  • Drink some of your fruit. Rather than consuming all your fruit whole, turn it into a smoothie or go for pure juice. There’s no fiber to fill you up in the juice.

Your Stomach Isn't A Waste Basket

Your Stomach Isn’t A Waste Basket

Do you clean up the dishes after a meal and eat the last bits of the lasagna rather than throw it away or finish your child’s plate rather than letting it go to waste and throw it out. You really need to take a look at what you’re doing to your overall health and how you’re sabotaging your efforts to lose weight. Your stomach isn’t a waste basket and you shouldn’t treat it that way by consuming food rather than trashing it. If you hate waste, don’t throw away the left over food. Store it as a snack for another day or use the leftover in a soup or other dish the next day.

Exactly what’s in that latest purchase?

Whether you’re eating a candy bar or a health bar, do you know what you’re consuming? Start reading labels to make sure you’re not eating garbage, even if the bar says “healthy” in its name. Is the first ingredient sugar or some other sugar pseudonym? Sometimes, in order to put sugar further down on the list (a trick by many fake health bars) the ingredients are broken down by the type of sugar with perhaps 8 percent of the flavor coming from honey, 10 percent from dextrose, 9 percent from high fructose corn syrup and 13 percent from sucrose. While oats or nuts may be the first ingredient listed, if you add the percent of the other ingredients (or just note their presence and order) you’ll find almost half the bar is sugar. Are there any nutrients listed on the label?

If it’s processed, it’s probably garbage.

You’re probably aware that a diet of beef jerky and soda isn’t good for you, but are you aware of other offending foods? Anything that’s highly processed normally doesn’t contain the nutrition necessary for good health. Not only that, foods that are easy to make like pizza, microwave meals and lunch meat, they also often contain high amounts of preservatives, plus lack the nutrition necessary for a healthy diet. Hot dogs, for instance, are often made from scraps and waste from processing other meat products.

Eat healthier, eat whole foods.

Sure, creating a meal with fresh fruits and vegetables, plus an adequate source of protein can take some time. But if you’re dedicated to healthier eating, you can do several things to make that decision and follow through easier. Getting make ahead menus that are ready to pop in the oven or heat for supper that night is just one of those.

  • Create meals on the weekend for the entire week. In some cases, you can triple the recipe and have meals for more than one week. One client I have doubles one or two of the recipes each week and freezes half for later. She’s accumulated a week worth of meals for her busy time.
  • What you eat at dinner should be healthy, just like other meals, but so should your snacks. Create a collection of healthy snacks ahead for the week.
  • Don’t succumb to the urge to cleaning your children’s plates. It’s just a habit and probably one you saw your mother do. You don’t have to be a lifelong member of the plate cleaner’s club.
  • Cut extra calories and get healthier in the process. Drink water with meals and between meals for fewer calories and better hydration. If you drink it before a meal, it helps curb your appetite.

How Often Should I Weigh Myself

How Often Should I Weigh Myself

Many clients want to know how often they should weigh themselves. Some mistakenly weigh several times throughout the day. There’s nothing you’ll learn when you do that and it even can create disappointment. Throughout the day your weight will fluctuate, which is why I always tell clients to weight themselves at the same time of day for the best results, but not to weigh more than once in that day. It takes longer than a few hours to see true results.

Weighing in once a day is too much if you’re prone to getting discouraged.

Lots of things can make the scales tip heavier or lighter, besides true weight loss. Water retention is one of those. A salty meal or the monthly bloat can account for gaining a few pounds, even though they’ll come off quickly as you flush your system. However, if you’ve followed a healthy diet closely and exercised regularly, seeing that extra pound or two can be depressing. You also may find that you’ve lost a pound for whatever reason, after you’ve binged the previous day. That is too misleading and can cause you to end the effort if you see higher numbers the next day.

One study shows that people who weighed in more stuck with healthy eating habits more.

One study of obese adults showed that people who weighed more often lost more weight than those who didn’t. The study lasted two years. The conclusion was that it may have helped stop the people weighing in more often from going back to old eating habits and helped them control weight gain by maintaining modified eating habits and not allowing it to get out of control. This contradicts the advice from most weight loss programs.

Consider your personality.

Are you easily discouraged? Frequent weigh-ins may not be the best solution. Do you like the idea of tracking your progress? Weighing daily and recording results may be suitable for you. You do have to be aware that there will be fluctuations in weight and not to draw conclusions based on a few days. By recording results, you’ll see a pattern form. If you enjoy charting, track your workout and create an eating diary.

  • If you hop on the scale daily, making certain to do it at the same time each day, do it the first thing in the morning before you eat.
  • Watch for plateauing if you’re exercising. Plateauing can occur for a number of reasons. If you’re exercising, it may simply mean that you’ve built more muscle mass or it could mean you need to vary your workout.
  • Have your go to tight clothing ready to give you more feedback. If you’re like most people, you have a pair of pants or other clothing that’s a bit too tight. Try on that clothing once a month, especially if you’re exercising, to get a clearer view of your progress. No weight loss and loose clothing means more muscle.
  • Especially at first, women should be aware there will be monthly fluctuations due to their cycle. Don’t panic, gaining a pound or two during that time isn’t a tragedy. It comes off quickly within a few days.

Disturbing Facts About Soda

Disturbing Facts About Soda

If you’ve read the recent facts about soda, you may be as outraged as I am with the new commercial from Coke. I was watching one of my favorite programs the other day and as always, there was a commercial break. A young actress came on the screen and said, “Look, here’s the thing about Diet Coke. “It’s delicious. It makes me feel good. Life is short. If you want to live in a yurt, yurt it up. If you want to run in a marathon, I mean, that sounds super hard, but OK. I mean, just do you…” Basically, it was saying we know it’s not healthy, but do it anyway. Ironically, right afterward, a commercial saying the health risks of smoking and how you should quit followed it.

Dangers of regular cola or soda.

Might as well load up a glass with sugar if you’re drinking a soft drink. A single can of cola has approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar. Since the recommended guidelines for adding sugar to your daily diet limits it to just 6 teaspoons, just one takes you well over that limit. There’s a lot of sweetness we don’t taste in a Coke because of the phosphoric acid that offsets it on our taste buds. That doesn’t stop it from spiking blood sugar levels, though. It increases blood pressure levels, increases the risk of diabetes and increases the risk of heart disease.

The added sugar to your diet can cause extra pounds.

Seriously, Coca Cola and Pepsi aren’t the only soft drinks that can pack on the pounds. Some other soft drinks, like Fanta, have even more sugar. When you consider the empty calories–over 100 per 8 oz serving—and the food you could have eaten instead, you may reconsider your choice of drinks. Grabbing a bottle of water is far better for your health.

Diet soft drinks may even be less healthy.

You won’t get the sugar that’s in regular cola or other soft drinks, but you won’t be doing yourself a favor with diet drinks either. Your blood sugar levels do fluctuate with diet soda, since the body is tricked into thinking it’s drinking a sugar drink. It puts you at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even increases the risk for heart attack.

  • One study found that anyone 69 or older who drank diet soda increased their risk dying of blood vessel problems, heart attack or stroke by 43%.
  • Studies show that people who drink diet colas often weigh more and have more visceral fat. It affects your metabolism by affecting the bacteria in your digestive system.
  • Drinking several diet sodas throughout the day can affect your kidneys and put you at risk for kidney disease.
  • The best alternative for diet drinks and regular soft drinks is water. It’s actually easier on your budget, too. You can create your own drink by simply turning on the tap or if your water tastes terrible, getting a cooler for your home as a treat or buying bottled water at the store.

Your Mindset Is Key

Your Mindset Is Key

Fitness is all about doing what you need to do and to eat to be your best. It doesn’t matter what the workout or what the diet, as long as it’s healthy and lower in calories. It’s about exercising regularly to build muscle tissue and burn fat, while eating healthy. In other words, getting fit is all about mindset. You have to believe what you’re doing is going to work and follow your plan daily, not just one or two days, one or two weeks or one or two months. Fitness is a long term goal and there’s no short cuts.

Believe you can accomplish your goals.

One of the biggest problem I see clients face is their lack of belief. Failure from the past efforts can come back to haunt them. They may have “tried” everything. I put the word tried in quotes for a reason. You try a new food. That means you sample it, see if you like it, but don’t commit to eating an entire plateful. People who don’t believe will “try” any new program, but soon give up because they aren’t seeing the results they hoped to see. Sometimes, just working out a few more weeks would give them incentive, but because they believe it’s hopeless and they can’t succeed, they don’t.

There are no magical formulas that make immediate changes.

Don’t fall for those programs that promise results in two weeks. Sure, you’ll get some results, but they aren’t necessarily easy to identify. They may be improved flexibility, strength or endurance, but major changes, the ones that mean a smaller clothing size, aren’t normally immediate. Too often people want to see the results immediately, after a week of working out, and when they don’t get those results, they quit before there’s any possibility of success. There is no magical formula that helps you shed lots of weight in a healthy manner or build muscles overnight. It takes consistent work and effort to do that.

Find something you like that keeps you working out.

If you start a fitness program that focuses on jogging or running, but you hate jogging or running, you’ll fail—guaranteed! Your workout should be something you like to do. I have clients that love body weight exercises and those that hate them, but instead, prefer lifting weights. Other clients may not care for traditional modes of exercise, but do enjoy dancing or a particular sport. While you can’t always get away from everything you hate and do only the things you love, you can do more of the things you love to boost your moral and get you on the road to fitness faster.

  • If you want to succeed and stay motivated, but don’t think you can do it on your own, get a workout partner. One reason my programs are so successful is that you’re held accountable.
  • While any type of workout will help you get in better shape, there are ones that get the job done faster, not miracle faster, like overnight, but in half the time.
  • You have to track your progress to know if you’re really getting results. Winners keep score.
  • No matter what your goal, if you truly believe you can achieve it and take the necessary steps to do that, you will come out victorious.

Nutrition - Balance And Discipline

Nutrition – Balance And Discipline

If you’re overweight and have tried cutting back on calories, you aren’t doing yourself any justice unless you’re getting adequate nutrition. Just cutting your food intake in half doesn’t mean you’ll get the results you want if that food intake is highly processed food or empty calories or foods. While you may crave these empty calorie foods, which are often loaded with sugar, which is highly addictive, just cutting the amount of them you eat won’t make you healthier. You need to change how you’re eating and get balance and discipline into your eating program.

No matter what the internet site said, simply eating cabbage soup for a month is not healthy.

I’ve seen them all. All the fad diets “guaranteed” to make you shed pounds. Sure, they work for a while because they’re low in calories, but the damage they can do to your body, your energy level and your mindset are awful. The minute you start eating “normal” foods, you gain the weight back and because your metabolism has slowed, often gain even more pounds than you lost.

Find healthy foods you love and eat more of them.

No matter what type of eating plan you have, if you hate the food or miss some of the food you love, you’ll fail. Eating healthy involves making changes. There’s no doubt about it. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the food you eat. After all, food not only sustains the body, good food helps soothe the mind. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be unpleasant. Some of the healthiest dishes I’ve eaten are delicious. By trying new things, you can find foods that soon become your favorites.

Sugar is addictive.

One of the biggest problems faced by people who want to lose weight is that they can’t overcome their addiction to empty calories. Sugar is the toughest one to overcome because it’s as addictive as cocaine. That may sound crazy, but think about it. If you have a piece of sugary candy or some pastry, in a few hours, you crave it again. That’s because it spikes your blood sugar, leaving you feeling great. What goes up, must come down and that blood sugar is no different. You’re back to exhaustion, sometimes worse, and head for the nearest candy counter to get your fix.

  • Too often the food we buy for meals has had all the nutrition cooked or processed out of it. It’s replaced with chemicals to extend the shelf life and additives, like sugar, to make it taste better.
  • You don’t have to give up every food you love to get a healthy diet. You can eat a smaller amount, less frequently and still get the results you want if the rest of your diet is healthy.
  • To ensure you have all the nutrients you need, create a rainbow of colors on your plate. Different colored fruits and vegetables provide different nutrients.
  • Learning to substitute one food for another often doesn’t change the flavor, like topping a baked potato with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for more nutrition and fewer calories.

Change The Way You See Yourself

Change The Way You See Yourself

How you look and what you do is all governed by the way you see yourself. If you see yourself as a failure, guess what! You’ll live up to your expectations. No matter who you are or what you’re attempting to do, if you don’t believe you can accomplish your goals or don’t think you deserve to accomplish your goals, you simply won’t. That goes for anyone and any type of goal.

Even the most dedicated person with the strongest will can find a way to fail.

You’ve probably seen stories about people that reach sudden stardom and throw it all away with drugs, poor life decisions or poor choices of money managers. These people never believed they could accomplish all that they have and they’ve set their mind to subconsciously sabotaging their success. They’re trying to live up to their inner belief that they’ll fail…one way or another. You have to truly believe that not only can you succeed, but also deserve that success.

See yourself as fit and nothing can stop you.

If you see yourself as fit, you’ll find a way to overcome problems that stand in your way. I have a client that doesn’t exercise in long bouts, but definitely exercises constantly. She does a workout every commercial and makes sure she gets up and moves around every hour. She does do a consistent 30 minute workout three times a week, but it’s completed in ten minute sessions throughout the day. She saw herself fit and overcame the problem of having enough time by breaking up the workout to smaller sessions.

Don’t let others impose their views on you.

One of the biggest problems faced by many people that I work with is that they allow other people to dictate who they are and how they should or shouldn’t look. The imposition is subtle. Sneers when the person tells them you’re working out or off hand comments about always being fat or frumpy. Those remarks often lower self-confidence and can ultimately make the person quit. I often advise people to avoid the negativity by avoiding the person. If that can’t be helped, don’t share plans with them.

  • There’s no time like the present to change how you see yourself. If you’ve never exercised more than just clicking your way through the channels on the remote, tell yourself that you hate watching TV and love exercising.
  • Picture yourself as the person that loves fresh fruits and vegetables, rather than the pizza or pastry guy or girl. You’ll find you really do start to love them when you learn how many different ways they can be made.
  • Learn to switch out foods and drink, like switching to water rather than soft drinks that add unnecessary calories. Not only does water not have calories, it also fills you up and can give you a boost of energy.
  • Never give up. Even if you binge, it’s just one meal or one incident. Go back to healthy eating the next meal or the next day. Thin people often eat junk occasionally, but they eat more healthy foods overall.