April 21, 2024

Efficient Fitness by Andi Singer

No matter what your goal is with your fitness and nutrition, you should aim to be efficient with both. You don’t need to spend three hours at the gym to lose weight, and there’s no need to starve yourself either.

Here’s a look at a few variables to consider whether you are trying to lose, gain, or get better at a particular sport.

Looking Beyond Calories

Too many people focus solely on calories in and calories out in regards to nutrition. True, you will lose weight if you expend more calories than you take in, but health and performance should be taken into consideration as well. Alternatively, to gain weight you must eat more calories than you burn.

You will get ideal results if you focus on keeping your diet rich in whole foods, proteins, and healthy fats. Focusing on macronutrients as well as calories will ensure that you feel full and have the energy to play sports or get through your workout routine without feeling tired or sluggish.

Supplement Where Need Be

It is also important to consider supplementation of nutrients your natural diet may be lacking. Women especially need to consider iron and calcium, and a high-quality multivitamin can help meet those needs. Speak to your doctor about your individual health.

If you have a high activity level whether you lift weights, run, or play sports, it’s also important to consume sufficient enough protein. If you are not a big meat-eater, you might want to consider supplementing your diet with nutritional shakes or bars to boost protein intake.

Train Smart Not Long

Cardio is not the only way to lose weight– in fact, it is not the most efficient either. When you do aerobic exercises, you essentially train your body to be efficient and burn fewer calories as you work out. That is the opposite of what we want!

Instead, do exercises that use the most energy possible in the least amount of time as possible. This might include sprinting, plyometrics, or lifting heavy weights. If you do competitive sports, consider supplementing your workouts with activities that will help improve your skills at that sport.

Andi Singer is a blogger working with a health management resource program based out of San Diego. She is both a personal trainer as well as a competitive athlete, and specializes in weight loss and performance. Go to www.ihmonline.com for information.

Be Prepared

Get Fit Quick Tip

Be Prepared! Be ready for anytime and anywhere fitness with a little planning ahead. Keep a pair of walking or athletic shoes by your front door, in your car or in your day bag. Doing so means when unexpected time becomes available such as an appointment running late, a cancelled meeting or impromptu downtime, you can simply put on your shoes and log a fast 10-20 minute walk!

Check back often for your useful and practical healthy living and fitness tip! Our Get Fit Quick tip will always be easy to remember and you’ll be able to implement it the very same day. Our tip will be so clear and concise you’ll be motivated to forward it to all your friends and family to inspire them to live healthy and fit as well!

Healthy Weight Loss Tips by Angelena Riggs

One of the questions I get most frequently is…

“Why am I not losing weight?  I am doing everything right!”  There are many factors that go into the process of losing weight, in addition to exercising regularly. There are some things that you may be or not be doing that is affecting your weight loss progress. Remember that every person is different and will react to nutrition and exercise differently.

Here are the top reasons that you may not be losing weight:
1) Sleep.  Sleep is so important and you should aim to get at least 7 hours each night.  Try to wind down about an hour before your head hits the pillow, turn off all your electronic devices and do some reading or light yoga.

2) Stress.  When you are constantly stressed out your body produces the hormone cortisol which leads to belly fat gains, not exactly what you what.  Take some time each day to relax and recharge.  Try to free up your schedule and ask for help from family and friends.

3) You’re not eating enough or you’re eating too much.  It is important to know how many calories you should be consuming when you are trying to lose weight. Consult a nutrition Professional to help determine how many calories you need to reach your goals.

4) You’re eating too many processed “foods.” All calories are not created equal.  Ditch the processed foods for whole, real nutrient dense foods.  Make it a habit to eat these kinds of foods and you will love the way you look and feel!

All good things take time and hard work.  Remember that your weight loss is a journey and you are learning how to live healthy for the rest of your life.  Stay positive and you will get there!

Angelena is a mom, healthy living blogger at On Fire Fitness Healthy Living  (www.OnFireFitnesspt.com), a NASM Certified Personal trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist.  Her goal is to inspire others to take the steps to living a healthy lifestyle. Visit Angelena on her blog, and via Facebook (www.facebook.com/Angelenasonfirefitness) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/OnFireFitnesspt)

Is Calorie-Counting For You? By Danielle Prestejohn

For a very long time I was convinced the answer to my weight loss would come down to math. If I could just figure out the perfect amount of calories to eat then I could finally lose weight for good. Problem with this was I got a bit carried away and dipped into some dangerously low calorie counts in the process. When I started to learn that my weight or life for that matter, wasn’t all about the number of calories I consumed I started to get a little less strict.

Eventually I gave up calorie counting all together but in the process I came across a minor hiccup; I knew how many calories were in just about everything. Even now I can easily rattle on the calorie contents of dozens of foods. It seems to be something I retained and have never forgotten. As you can imagine this made taking a blind eye to how many calories I was consuming rather difficult. In the process I developed some strategies to help me get away from the structure of my calorie counting diet and they have brought me tons of success in moving away from such a rigid diet.

Eat out. This was one of the scariest things for me but eating out helped me immensely because I learned to give up the control of my food. Someone else was preparing what I was eating and I had no clue how many calories I was consuming. Was it frightening? Absolutely. Was it worth it? Totally.

Cook. During the deepest of my dieting days I would rely on packaged foods that had a definite number of calories. Things like bars, shakes, and frozen dinners were perfect because they had an exact number of calories. No thinking included. When I started cooking this all became a little less obvious. Sure I knew how many calories were in a piece of chicken, but when I added peppers, spinach, and unknown amount of oil, I had no idea how many calories I was getting. This brings me to my next point…

Don’t weigh or measure a thing. For a very long time my food scale was my best friend. When I threw mine away I took away the knowledge of just how much I was eating. Suddenly I was estimating portions and slowly forgetting what exactly 4 ounces of chicken or a tablespoon of peanut butter looked like.

Cook in batches. I started experimenting with things like soups, stews, and chili because I could throw a ton of ingredients in a bowl, mix it up, and take out a portion without knowing exactly how much of anything was in that meal. I was really hesitant about this one but this ended up being one of the secrets to learning how to listen to my hunger cues again.

This article is written by Danielle Prestejohn, M.S. Applied Nutrition. Sign up for Danielle’s free guide to ditching the diets and ditching the misery via http://danielleprestejohn.com/free-updates/ For more information go to http://www.danielleprestejohn.com and http://www.Facebook.com/daniellegracep

Fiber Facts by Rachael Roehmholdt

What exactly is fiber? Why is fiber important to health? What are sources of fiber?

Fiber consists of the indigestible parts of a plant that we consume when eating most naturally sourced foods. You can find fiber in two forms – soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and insoluble fiber doesn’t. Both are important to your colon’s health as fiber helps bulk up stools to make them move easily through the digestive tract.

While there are plenty of fiber supplements on the market, we don’t really need these in order to get fiber into our diet regularly. Many of the whole foods you find at your grocery store already have plenty of fiber and if you’re filling up on these regularly, you won’t have a need for fiber powders or pills. Fiber is found in foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and beans.

There are plenty of great health benefits to getting more fiber in your diet regularly. One of which is regular bowel movements which indicates that your digestion is functioning properly and smoothly. Next, when you’re getting plenty of fiber, you’re a lot more likely to be maintaining your bowel health, which will help to prevent diarrhea, constipation and hemorrhoids. You can also count on lowered cholesterol levels, reduced blood pressure and inflammation throughout the entire body with adequate fiber in the diet.

Getting plenty of fiber is great for those who deal with maintaining energy throughout the day as well, because with the addition of fiber, any sugar found in a food is broken down and absorbed much more slowly into the blood than if taken without the fiber. This results in even energy levels that last for hours. This is also great news for diabetics and people who are working to prevent diabetes.

Lastly, fiber is essential to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, because foods with a good amount or fiber taken longer to chew and break down than those with very little fiber. This means that you’ll likely be consuming less, as well as feeling full for longer since the foods will take more time to break down and be absorbed into the body.

Rachael Roehmholdt is a certified holistic health coach and founder of Be More Healthful. With a passion for good food and living a healthful and balanced life, she believes that small changes to our everyday lives can set us up for a lifetime of health and happiness.

Beans Offer Big Benefits by Heather Mangieri, MS, RD, CSSD

If you’re not eating beans you’re missing out.  While they’ve long been known as a healthy food, they’re receiving more recognition recently.  Research has shown that including beans as part of a healthy eating plan may slow the progression of certain chronic diseases, as well as help satisfy hunger levels while eating fewer calories.

How can one food offer all of these benefits?


Beans are a nutrient rich food.  

Nutrient density is all about getting the biggest nutrient bang for your calorie buck.  And beans have it.  They’re a beautiful balance of high quality complex carbohydrates and protein, all while providing a great source of fiber, folate, iron, magnesium and potassium. Research in both children and adults has shown that people who eat beans get more of these key nutrients in their diets than people who do not eat beans.

Beans are warriors when it comes to weight management.

Their high fiber and water content help us feel full faster and help maintain that satiety between meals. Including beans in a weight loss plan can help prevent hunger even when calories are cut.

Beans work to combat chronic disease.

Everyone’s eating plan should include foods that help slow the progression of chronic disease.  And you guessed it- beans are a winner here too.  Unlike meat-based proteins, beans are naturally low in fat, are free of saturated fat and trans-fat, and are a cholesterol-free source of protein.

Research shows that a diet including beans may reduce blood cholesterol, a leading cause of heart disease.  In addition, studies have linked beans to lower risk of hypertension and some types of cancers.  And all of the soluble fiber in beans works to slow the rise in blood sugar after we eat, making them a perfect food for those with diabetes.

All of those health benefits are great but there’s more. Beans are also cost-effective and convenient.  Anyone who claims it’s expensive to eat healthy surely hasn’t been cooked with beans.  One can of beans (even organic varieties) provides 3 ½ servings and can often be found for just over a buck.  That’s only about $0.40 per serving.  You can pump up the protein content of any dish by adding beans.  Because they are so versatile, they go great in soups, stews, salads and chili but also mix well with greens and a variety of grains.  Homemade hummus or bean dips taste great paired with raw vegetables.  Just one Tbsp. of hummus adds flavor to wraps and sandwiches or works great as a flavor topping for fish, chicken or other protein picks too.

Try this super easy, turkey and bean chili:


1 Ib. lean white meat turkey
3 tomatoes, diced
1 green pepper, diced
½ onion, diced
1 can kidney beans
1 can tomato sauce
1 pkg chili season mix
1 Tbsp oil


1.)    Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions, peppers and turkey until the meat is well browned and the onions are tender.
2.)    Mix in the diced tomatoes, beans, seasoning mix and tomato sauce and bring to a boil.  Cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve.

Optional: omit the canned tomato sauce and use an additional diced tomato.

Heather Mangieri is a national media spokesperson, registered dietitian and owner of Nutrition CheckUp in Pittsburgh, PA. For more information visit www.nutritioncheckup.com. You can follow Heather on Twitter @nutritioncheck and join her facebook community at https://www.facebook.com/NutritionCheckUp

How to Work in Movement When Working! By Tammy Beasley

Ran out of time to catch your spinning class at the gym? Worked too late to go for a walk? Overslept and missed your morning yoga class? It’s easy to get discouraged when your busy week seems to block every plan you have made to exercise. And it’s even easier to let one missed class lead to another missed walk and then end up giving up on exercise for the entire week, maybe even the month. That’s the perfect time to change your focus. Instead of stressing over what you haven’t done, look for the small opportunities to make exercise a part of your every day routine, not just a gym class on your weekly calendar. 

You can burn extra calories every single day by adding just a few small movements or changing a few simple behaviors. 

Try these: 
1) Use “standing in line” at the grocery store or gas station as a chance to tighten your abs or tighten your glutes.
2) Perform calf raises while talking on the telephone. Studies show that simply standing doing every day activities like talking on the telephone burns more calories than sitting behind a desk.                                                                                                                                                          3) If you have stairs at home, take them every time you do a load of laundry instead of accumulating all the loads into one before you make the trip.
4) Do crunches or push ups while watching TV – maybe not every time, but challenge yourself to see how many you can accomplish during the first ten minutes of your favorite sitcom You might be surprised how quickly the number increases.
5) Do jumping jacks during commercials. Your younger kids will love the new game, and your teenagers already expect odd behavior from you anyway!
6) Do upper-body stretches in the shower, like shoulder shrugs. 

Remember, wellness is a lifestyle, not just an aerobics class. The small steps matter in the big picture of health. A stressful week with limited time will not get the best of you when you put these new habits into play to keep you motivated and moving.

Tammy Beasley, RD, CSSD, LD, CEDRD
Rev It Up for Life