Monday, April 20, 2009

Want Steady Results? Be Careful Not To Over-Train!

As summer approaches, we often find ourselves working out much harder, and much more frequently that usual. All in hopes of shedding those few extra pounds before we have to exchange figure hiding sweatshirts for clingy tank tops.

While it is true that doing extra cardio will help drop the pounds a little faster, over-training can have the opposite effect.

It is crucial for our bodies receive the appropriate amount of recovery to allow for the aerobic and/or anaerobic system to be replenished.

Some common signs or symptoms of over-training are:

- Impaired physical performance
- Reduced enthusiasm and desire for training
- Increased resting heart rate
- Increased resting blood pressure
- Chronic muscle or joint soreness
- Increased incidence of colds and infections
- Increased perceived exertion during normal workouts
- Reduced appetite
- Dramatic weight loss/gain
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Increased depression, irritability or anxiety

Specific warning signs should be addressed even on a daily basis.
You need to downgrade or eliminate a day's workout if:

- Inability to obtain a normal training heart rate
- Need excessive recovery time (e.g. during intervals)
- Heart rate that skyrockets with minimal effort
These warming signs, if ignored, can greatly increase the likelihood of injury or illness.
We all want to see results, and in society today we are even more susceptible to the "I want it, and I want it now" mentality. However, over-training can result in serious injury which will push those desired results back even further.

Be Persistent. Be Patient. And You Will See Results!

Alcoholic Drinks & Their Caloric Values

When you go out for a happy hour drink with friends, and it turns into a late night, do you ever wonder how many calories you actually consumed by the end of the evening? Here are some fun caloric values for some of our favorite drinks:

- Long Island Iced Tea (8oz): 780
- Chocolate Martini: 438
- White Russian: 425
- Hot Cocoa & Peppermint Schnapps: 380
- Pina Colada (6oz): 378
- Eggnog with Rum (8oz): 370
- Mai Tai (6oz): 350
- Coffee Liqueur (3oz): 348
- Godiva Chocolate Liqueur (3oz): 310

......................................................That's a lot of calories!

Drinks with a Lighter Touch!

- Ultra-Light Beer (12oz): 64-95
- Mimosa (4oz): 75
- Mike's Hard Lemonade (11oz): 98
- Light Beer (12oz): 95-136
- Wine Spritzer (5oz): 100
- Rum & Diet Coke (8oz): 100
- Champagne (5oz): 106-120
- Bloody Mary (5oz): 118
- Red Wine (5oz): 120
- White Wine (5oz): 120
- Port Wine (3oz): 128
- Martini (2.5oz): 160

******calorie references from WebMD

As you can see, every bit of alcohol you drink contains calories...some less than others. This list should help you decide which drinks are worth increasing your daily caloric intake for, and which you'd rather pass on.

Avoiding Vacation Weight Gain While Still Enjoying the Cuisine

What are your plans for the upcoming months? A gondola ride in Venice? Sleeping under a grass hut in Aruba? Climbing Machu Picchu? Bungee jumping in New Zealand? Sipping vodka in Russia?

Whether your travels take you to exotic lands, or a campground down the road, I can almost guarantee you will come home with a few extra pounds. But you don't have to.

Camping will tempt you with smores. Venice will tantalize your taste buds with pasta and cannolis. And Arubans will place fancy drinks with cute umbrellas in your hand almost immediately.

Traveling is a time to immerse yourself in the culture. Drink the locals' favorite beverage. Sample the native cuisine. Enjoy happy hour at the local pub.

Vacation is not a time to stress over calories. However, it is a time to be cognisant of what you are consuming, how much and what activity you are performing to counteract the calorie increase.

Indulge in your favorite cocktail...once, not all day. Eat authentic Italian pasta...but choose the red tomato based sauce, not Alfredo or cream sauce.
Visiting a new town, city or country is the perfect opportunity to lace-up your walking shoes and take to the streets. Take the centuries-old stairs instead of the modern elevator. Explore the city by foot rather than tour bus. Choose to dine at quaint local restaurants instead of chain establishments reached only by car. Get a local map from the hotel and go exploring, stopping at galleries and landmarks along the way. Rent a bicycle and take in the sights and smells along the trails.
If you keep your activity level raised, there is no reason you can't enjoy a mouthwatering cannoli, while still keeping your figure in tact.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Is Your Diet Coke Making You Gain Weight?

Is diet soda better for us than regular soda? As the weather begins to turn warm, we begin to crave an ice cold beverage. Gone are the days of hot herbal tea. Instead, we find ourselves indulging in soda, sweet tea and an ice cold beer.

We all know beer will undoubtedly add pounds around our midsection, and a refreshing glass of sweet tea is loaded with sugar. However, many of us are misled in believing diet soda has little to no effect compared to regular soda.


In a study at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, it was discovered that people drinking ONLY diet soda were at a GREATER risk to become obese than those consuming regular soda.

In fact, for each can of diet soft drink consumed each day, a person's risk of obesity went up 41%

For regular soft drink drinkers, the risk of becoming overweight or obese was:

- 26% for up to 1/2 can each day
- 30.4% for up to 1 can each day
- 32.8% for 1 to 2 cans each day
- 47.2% for more than 2 cans each day

For diet soft drink drinkers, the risk of becoming overweight or obese was:

- 36.5% for up to 1/2 can each day
- 37.5% for 1/2 to 1 can each day
- 54.5% for 1 to 2 cans each day
- 57.1% for more than 2 cans each day

This is not to say diet soda causes obesity. Rather, it shows that something linked to diet soda drinking is also linked to obesity. Many believe giving your body something that tastes sweet, but lacks actual calories, leads our bodies to search for the calories promised but not delivered.

Some soft drink studies do suggest that diet drinks stimulate appetite. Others link artificial sweeteners to multiple illnesses.

I am not saying that you can never have another diet soda. I know that is probably an impossible request. However, if you are gaining weight despite eating healthy, or are feeling a bit "unlike" your usual self, try cutting out soda all together.

You will see a difference in both your overall health, as well as your weight loss effort!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Your Daily Routine is an Opportunity for Fitness

We should all devote at least 30 minutes each day to exercise...

We should all revamp our diets to include fish, chicken, veggies and fruit...

We should limit our intake of alcohol, red meat and sugar...

But let's be realistic - Life happens.

There will be days when we crave fast food or pizza, and we actually indulge that craving.

There will be vacations that include drinking, eating and total over-indulgence.

And there will definitely be days that the right foot has trouble steeping in line with the left, and there is no way either foot will find its way to the gym.

Ok - I know there are very few of us out there able to emulate the woman in the photo above. However, what I want you to concentrate on where this woman is working out.

She is in her hotel room.

My point is, we won't always be able to get to a gym but there are other options when it comes to getting our 30 minutes of daily exercise.

Here are some recommended options that will get you moving before you ever leave the house:

- Do squats while brushing your teeth.

- Do lunges while drying your hair.

- Stand on one leg while washing your face.

All of these count as activity. Each will help build core muscles, increase stability and raise your heart rate. Doing these short exercises will allow your body to continue improving on the days you can't find time to visit the gym.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Green Smoothie - Recipe for Health

I finally perfected my Green Smoothie. It doesn't look good but I promise that it is really yummy and about as healthy as you can get.

I'm not a big veggie girl so this really has made a difference in my overall health. I also add some things for energy.
Just try it once...I know you will love it!!
2 C. of torn organic greens packed (I use Kale, Collard Greend and Spinach and sometimes Bok Choy, but you can use whatever greens are in season...just rip them up and pack them down some to make two cups....I use my blender to measure so I don't have a bunch of dirty dishes)
4 large frozen organic Strawberries
1 large frozen organic banana (peel the banana, wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it can break it up before you put it in the blender)
1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries
1 TBS organic amber honey (I like Wholesome Sweetners brand...could be biased it is made in Sugarland, TX)
1 TBS organic Bee Pollen
1TBS Flax Seed Oil
2 C. organic Green Tea (I nuke an organic tea bag in 1 C. of water and add ice to chill it quickly and make up the difference in volume)
Blend and enjoy!