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Stay in Shape During the Holidays

Stay in Shape During the Holidays

It’s that time of the year again; when everyone ditches their diets and workout plans to eat as much pumpkin pie and cookies as humanly possible. After all, they are just going to make their New Year’s resolution to get back in shape, right? Well guess what? You are not everyone! You are better than that and if you didn’t already realize that, you do now.

You might be asking; “Mark, what can I do to make sure I don’t put on 20 pounds this month?” I will tell you how and it’s pretty easy. Portion control. Now I understand this is easier said than done but there is only one way to make it happen and that is to just suck it up and do it. I have read various statistics that say the average Thanksgiving meal is between 3,000 and 4,500 calories. I generally consider this the ultimate cheat day and I am extended a Blue Chip pass of forgiveness to everyone on that. The issue with the holidays comes from the snacking, the incredibly huge family meals and drinking. Well that’s actually the problem with our society in general but let’s consider it only in the context of the holidays for now.

If you are home for the holidays and your mother or grandmother makes cookies everyday you don’t have to eat 30, you can just have 1 or 2. The Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility that states as a person increases consumption of a product, while keeping consumption of other products constant, there is a decline in the marginal utility that person derives from consuming each additional unit of that product. So you get less satisfaction from every cookie you eat. I think it’s more enjoyable to maximize the utility (satisfaction) you receive by eating just one cookie. It makes having a cookie every now and then that much more gratifying.

The same concept can and must be applied to everything else. You don’t need 5 pieces of pie after a huge dinner. I would recommend waiting 2 to 3 hours after you eat dinner to have that desert you want if you must have it. Spacing out your caloric intake will minimize the effect the holiday season has on you and make it that much easier to stay in shape.

You should also never stop training. With travel and family time it could be less than convenient to find time, but if it means waking up 30 minutes earlier to get a jog or workout in, do it. You will thank yourself later. Carrying the portion control theme through the holidays with snacking, eating and drinking could reduce the caloric intake of a family day of eating and drinking by 2,000 calories or more, significant to say the least. You may even consider off-setting any unnecessary calories you eat by adding it to your daily goal when burning calories through cardio. The more often you can do that the better off you will be. If you can avoid the pie all together; great, but at a more realistic level one of each item will suffice and doing that will keep you lean and mean this holiday season.…

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Importance of a Healthy Diet – What You Need to Know

Importance of a Healthy Diet – What You Need to Know

Obesity and weight related problems have become pandemic around the world, especially in our Western Cultures. This has mainly to do with the fact that we have a wide variety of unhealthy food at our fingertips, and many people do not see the importance of a healthy diet. We are conditioned to be consumers, and some of the most profitable businesses are in the fast food industry. In fact, we are so conditioned I bet you can name at least 10 fast food chains off the top of your head. Go ahead, try it!

The importance of a healthy diet is staggering, yet there are still a host of weight related issues and diseases increasing in numbers throughout the world today. How can this be? Unfortunately for many, following a healthier lifestyle requires more work and self-discipline than they are willing or able to conform to. Some refuse out of spite, or just a lack of knowledge of how badly they are treating their bodies until it is too late.

It seems as though every day, more and more, we are inundated with doctor’s reports on the risks of obesity, the foods you should avoid, and the like. There is a wealth of information on the subject, and it is increasing all the time. However, it goes back to the issue of self control and discipline. The quick-fix foods are easy to attain and readily available no matter where you are or what time it is, for a small monetary price. What people do not realize is the price they pay with their bodies and lives.

So it seems that our society is in a bit of a pickle when it comes to knowing the importance of a healthy diet. On one hand we are inundated with information, but conditioned to go for the quick fix to the extent that we have little self control. So what is to be done?

We have all witnessed the struggles and difficulty of changing your lifestyle, especially through reality TV shows documenting this. Of course it just serves to make it look harder than it is. The best way to get over this is to keep yourself away from foods and areas where you know you will be tempted. Out of sight, out of mind!

It also serves well to teach your children the importance of a healthy diet. When they are taught at a young age how to eat properly, they will be less likely to become another statistic, which is paramount to any parent.…

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Muscle Mass Diet

Muscle Mass Diet

Lots of people want to know what the best way to build muscle is, and of a very important part of building muscle is having a good muscle mass diet. A good rule to follow is to get a very good amount of lean protein. This will help you to build as much muscle as possible. Here are some other rules to follow:

-Avoid fatty foods

-Avoid all trans fats (or anything that says “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredients list)

-Try to get your fats from plants not animals (unsaturated, mono and poly)

-Avoid simple carbs (bread made from white flour, high fructose corn syrup, processed sugars)

-Eat Whole Grain (brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, rolls, etc.)

-Lean meat (chicken, beef, fish…)

-Try adding whey protein powder to supplement your Muscle Mass Diet

-Try to add less salt to things (this is just an overall health issue;) )

In general, for a Muscle Mass Diet you will want to get at least 40% of your calories from protein. 40% protein, 30% carbs, and 30% fat works pretty well. You can track your calorie percentages at FitDay or a website like it.

You can also use software like composition tracker to find out your body fat percentage, BMI, and progress. You can also do this on FitDay to some extent.

Most people need to figure out how many calories are needed to sustain their body, and then add 500-1000 calories of completely clean food to that.

One thing you definitely need to pay attention to is the fact that you will be eating a lot more food than you will want to. BUT, as long as you eat clean food, you have nothing to worry about. You’ll be getting nothing much muscle mass. A muscle mass diet does not require too much. You need to keep your ratios, avoid all the things I mentioned, and eat 500-1000 calories more than you need. More if you can handle it.…

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Have a Healthly Outlook – 5 Ways to Achieve a Healthy Outlook and Good Mood in Tough Times

Have a Healthly Outlook – 5 Ways to Achieve a Healthy Outlook and Good Mood in Tough Times

Part of my coaching practice centers around coaching others on effectively transitioning to new and better jobs and careers. Although clients want to focus only on things like resumes, interviewing, networking, job search strategies and values assessment, I encourage a more holistic approach by suggesting ways to maintain their wellness during these tough times.

Wellness, although very important, is often either put way down on the list of priorities or overlooked altogether. It’s especially important since physical, mental and emotional wellness helps achieve a healthy outlook and improve mood and productivity and thereby make challenging times easier and can shorten the transition process.

Here are my top 5 strategies to having a healthy outlook and staying well in tough times:

1. Eat Well

Get omega 3’s by eating walnuts, flaxseed, eggs and oily fish like salmon and tuna. Omega 3’s are especially good for brain function.

Brown rice contains vitamins B1 and B3 and folic acid, and is a low-glycemic food, which means it releases glucose into the bloodstream gradually, preventing sugar lows and mood swings.

Whole-grain oats contain folic acid and vitamins B6 and B1. Oats help lower cholesterol, are good for the digestive tract and help avoid the blood sugar crash-and-burn that can lead to crabbiness and mood swings.

Cabbage contains vitamin C and folic acid. It protects against stress, infection and heart disease, as well as many types of cancers. Get cabbage into your diet by tossing it in a salad instead of lettuce, use cabbage in place of lettuce wraps, stir-frying it, making cabbage soup or juicing it.

Foods like raw cacao, dark molasses and brazil nuts are also excellent for boosting brain function and eliminating depression. Cacao can be good for mood because it releases endorphins in the brain, but watch out for milk chocolate which is high in sugar. Also, since cacao can be very bitter, antioxidant-rich dark chocolate is a viable alternative.

Cut back on caffeine and foods high in fat and sugar. Keeping your blood sugar stable and getting B vitamins is important for stabilizing your mood.

2. Exercise on a consistent basis. Besides the obvious physical benefits, exercise lifts mood and alters brain chemistry in a positive way by releasing endorphins into the system.

3. Connect. Socialize. Network. Reconnect with old friends, make new ones, join social and professional groups. As much as possible, keep lines of communication open with family and friends. Besides the professional benefits, it helps improve and maintain emotional wellness

4. Structure your day. ANY type of structure or ritual in your day does a world of good. For example, visiting your favorite coffee shop at the same time every day to get coffee, read the paper, check email, etc seems insignificant but it goes a long way towards maintaining emotional wellness, not to mention gets you out of the house and in a position to connect with others.

5. Laugh. Did you know that children laugh about 400 times a day while the average adult gives up only about 25 chuckles a day? Laughter is the a key to good health. And during these tough times, it’s even more important. It’s been shown to:

reduce stress

lower blood pressure

elevate mood

boost the immune system

improve brain function

protect the heart

connect you with others

foster instant relaxation

Implementing at least one of these strategies, or ideally a combination of several, will help do wonders in your quest to make these challenging times a little less challenging! …

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Weight Gain Is Not Always Caused By Over-Eating – Medical Conditions And Drugs Can Be The Culprit

Weight Gain Is Not Always Caused By Over-Eating – Medical Conditions And Drugs Can Be The Culprit

Most of us who are overweight are “simply” eating more calories than we need and burning too few of them. There are, however, some other situations which may contribute to weight gain. Let’s take a look at two of them:

1.Medical conditions that interfere with the production or metabolism of any of our hormones may cause weight gain. Such conditions are called endocrine diseases and include disorders of the thyroid, ovary, adrenals, pancreas, and pituitary glands.

2.Sometimes the drugs which are needed to treat disease may also cause weight gain. Medications such as antidepressants, steroids and other anti-inflammatory agents, hormones, seizure medications may cause us to gain weight by interfering with metabolism or they may increase the appetite.

A through evaluation by your health care provider is essential to determine the exact cause of weight gain. If it is solely a matter of eating too much and exercising too little the solution is clear…a lifestyle change is in order. However, there may be other medical issues which are contributing to the weight problem as well. Some of the causes can be “fixed” and others cannot.

For example, if you gained weight after starting medication for depression or high blood pressure, the physician may be able to prescribe a substitute which will not affect weight. If your weight gain is a result of fluid retention, a diuretic (water pill) may be needed. Perhaps you have been exercising and have simply built up your muscles. The scale will reflect a weight gain because muscle weighs more than fat. Perhaps you are gaining weight because you are “carrying somebody else” around with you…pregnancy is an obvious cause of weight gain.

There is always a need for proper evaluation if you have rather suddenly gained weight. If your doctor checks you out and eliminates underlying medical reasons for weight gain, the answer will involve a reduction of calories and an increase in exercise. Try these tips:

– Reduce the size of your portions.

– Eliminate drinks that have been sweetened with sugar.

– Reduce your intake of fat.

– Avoid dining out whenever you can.

– Start an exercise program.

– Incorporate “movement” into your daily life.

Overweight and obesity are serious conditions that can lead to even more serious medical disorders such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Our children are also overweight and bear an even greater likelihood of developing chronic diseases related to weight because of the long time they will have been overweight by the time they reach adulthood.

Start today to regain control over your weight.…

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Boxing Benefits 101

Boxing Benefits 101

Boxing enables the individual to obtain the following:

1) Ultimate Workout – It helps to improve a physical stamina of a person who will undergo boxing trainings. It could strengthen your muscles, have them toned at the same time, it could also bring you good body coordination. You could easily lose weight because all parts of your body are moving. You’ll have sweat all over which will leads to burning calories.

2) Confidence – Those great boxers posses this characteristic, you can notice that even if they will be fighting a person who is quite heavier or bigger than them, they still have this urge to pursue. The reason is they are confident, they know for a fact that they undergo proper training, which is enough to finish the opponent. On the other hand, ordinary people who are into boxing increase their self-confidence, because they are becoming proud of themselves, since they know that they were able to conquer tougher exercises.

3) Stress reliever – Boxing is the ultimate sport countering stress, for most people who are into it. The combination of stress training and aerobic work provides the best of both, in terms of feeling muscular pump and stimulating the cardio-vascular system and hence, will enhance psychological well-being.

4) Providing Ultimate Contest between two people – Boxing can really uplift one’s self-esteem. Being in a contest, people tend to showcase their best, and if it actually leads to winning, they will consider the achievement.

5) Cardio-vascular friendly – Boxing is a sport that is good for a person’s heart. This will help you stimulates the nerves connected to the heart and will leads to a good flow of your blood, preventing the blockage. In that case, a person will be able to be free from worrying about heart related diseases. Those are just few; there are still numerous benefits of boxing lying out there.

Everyone can try boxing. All you need to do is to prepare yourself. Prepare the things that you will need, condition your mind and body so that you will be able to overcome whatever things frightened you not to try it. A pair of gloves and mitts are required, however, some of the gyms are providing it to their clients; it is better also to do a little bit of research about it.

Neophytes should not feel fear of getting hurt, trainers won’t leave you in pain, and they pretty know what to do or just go on with the basics for the beginners. Some people, especially women are complaining about feeling the body sores and body pain for few days, even weeks. However, it is just temporary, you’ll get used to it once you continuously try the said exercise. In fact, what is a few weeks of having body pain, compared to the long-lasting you’ll get thereafter?…

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Penis Enlargement – Fact Or Fiction

Penis Enlargement – Fact Or Fiction

A couple of inches would really make a very big difference to a lot of men. But is it really possible to enlarge the penis? Yes is the short answer. It has been scientifically proven that natural penis enlargement is possible, not by using pills or pumps or some other gizmo, but just a pair of hands.

To be honest, we have all seen those crazy looking adverts, or read some unbelievable article, making extraordinary claims, about how much you can enlarge your penis by. But is it possible to separate fact from fiction?

Many men get caught out by all the hype that advertisements can throw at them, but it would be to easy to blame those ridiculous claims that these adverts make. Rather the men who buy into the hype should ask themselves how desperate do they have to be before they smell the point is people will do anything to buy into a dream.

Is the dream of penis enlargement mainly fiction? No! the fact of the matter is this, by performing a series of exercises on a daily basis, penis growth will take place. Tests have shown that men who practice these exercises do in fact make gains of no less than an inch.

Chambers in your penis inflate with blood, and the penis becomes erect. Now just like any muscle in your body, if stretched or pressurized, cells will regenerate and the muscle becomes bigger. This will give you bigger and more powerful erections.

There are a number of techniques to try when performing a “penis enlargement exercise” so take your time and don’t be surprised if you gain at least an inch within weeks of trying them. Skeptical? No I don’t blame you, until you try an exercise for yourself, you should be. It’s like anything in life, you get out what you are only prepared to put in.…