Be In A Better Mood

Be In A Better Mood

I see a lot of clients come into our gym in Lakeland, FL angry, stressed and sometimes ready to blow, but by the end of the workout, they’re in a better mood. Why the change? It’s one of the benefits of working out. Working out burns off the hormones of stress that can make you ready to hit the next person that looks at you or scream at the top of your lungs. The process of working out actually mimics the very things that the fight or flight response was meant to prepare you to do, fight or run like the wind.

When you start a workout, hormones cause changes in your body.

While the body makes changes, so does the brain. It releases brain-derived neurotrophic factor—BDNF—to protect itself and repair any memory neurons, while also allowing it to be a reset for the brain. Don’t worry about the pain from running or fighting—-or in this case, exercising—endorphins are released to block pain or discomfort. If those weren’t present, you’d focus more on how your legs hurt when running from a predator than looking for places to hide or how to get away successfully.

Your brain increases neurotransmitter production, such as serotonin and norepinephrine.

Serotonin and norepinephrine are both neurotransmitters and hormones. In fact, they’re often called happiness hormones. They boost your feelings of happiness and peace in your brain. You get the biggest boost in the first 20 minutes of working out and the effects can last all day. Clinical psychologist, James Blementhal, PhD from Duke University, found that adults suffering from major depression had higher rates of remission, comparing exercise to antidepressants for treating patients suffering from major depressive disorder and that exercise also preventing a relapse in a follow-up a year later.

Healthy eating can increase your sense of well-being.

You may already be aware that eating products with added sugar or simple carbohydrates can cause fluctuations in your blood sugar levels that can take you from a high to a deep valley. Cutting out sugar and simple carbohydrates is one change that has a positive impact on your mood. One study found that people who ate almost no servings of fruit and vegetables and switched to eight portions a day had a boost in the feeling of satisfaction.

  • Exercise can be the cornerstone for building habits that make your life better and more productive. Sticking with the habit of working out boosts your self esteem and adds to the feel-good response.
  • While nobody is sure why consuming more vegetables and fruit makes you feel good, most hypothesize it’s the nutrients like carotenoids that boost optimism or vitamin B12 that increases serotonin.
  • Studies show that just starting a program of regular exercise boosts your self-image, even before any results are seen. Knowing you’re doing something good for yourself that’s tough to do is part of the feel good results.
  • Get a boost of happiness today. Habitat Health and Fitness offers an opportunity to get three free workouts to become familiar with our program. Take advantage of this offer and you’ll see the difference.

Eat Healthy Without Depriving Yourself

Eat Healthy Without Depriving Yourself

Clients in Lakeland, Florida find it’s not hard to eat healthy once they know the right foods to eat. It doesn’t come at the cost of depriving yourself of foods you love, either. Eating healthy isn’t like dieting. Anyone who has ever dieted knows that at some time it ends. Either you reach your goal or simply give up and consume every treat in the refrigerator. Eating healthy is about making smarter choices and consuming more whole foods. If you want to have those “forbidden treats” occasionally, it’s not a problem. Keep portion control in mind, but if you don’t, just go back to healthy eating the next day.

Making substitutions can give you more nutrients and fewer calories.

If you’re a cook, you’ll appreciate some of these cooking tips that can lower calories and boost nutrition. Want to make a sweet treat but hate to use all the sugar? It’s easy to lower calories and improve its nutritional value by substituting unsweetened applesauce for sugar. You’ll need to reduce the liquid when you do that. Applesauce can also substitute for oil or butter when baking. Avocados mashed are a good substitution for butter, especially in recipes with chocolate.

You’ll be amazed at how these vegetables can taste so delicious.

If you’re a pasta lover, but hate to add the extra pounds, consider zoodles. Those are zucchini noodles. Spaghetti squash is also good. It tastes like spaghetti and is great with sauce or a little garlic butter. Mashed cauliflower is a good substitute for mashed potatoes, too. Some people do a 50/50 blend. Whether you’re making a taco or a sandwich, big lettuce leaves can be the bun, bread or wrap.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you starve yourself.

In fact, it might even mean you’ll eat more food than normal. You do have to plan ahead a bit to ensure you have things like healthy mid morning and afternoon snacks. In fact, most people find that taking the time to plan a week’s worth of meals with a shopping list for the store and cooking all the meals over the weekend can help avoid that last minute stop for a pizza.

  • Greek yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream. It still gives that creamy goodness, but with far few calories and more nutrition.
  • Consider making simple switches, like choosing brown rice over white for fewer calories and more nutrients.
  • When you want a sweet treat, but want to cut out some of the calories, use one cup of pureed black beans (a 15-oz can) for a cup of flour. You’ll cut the flour while boosting the protein.
  • Watch your serving sizes when you’re eating healthy. While some foods won’t matter, like many vegetables that are lower in calories, portion control is important if you’re eating high calorie foods.

Common Diet Mistakes

Common Diet Mistakes

If you’re not having any success trying to shed those extra pounds, you might be making one or more of the common diet mistakes that sabotage your efforts. One of the biggest ones is failing to eat enough calories and using a fad diet. Dieting, whether it’s a fad diet or not, just doesn’t work. It’s not sustainable and eventually you go back to old eating habits, which put on weight in the first place. You also often feel hungry and deprived. Eating to few calories can actually slow your metabolism, making it even harder to lose weight. While you need to eat fewer calories than you burn, do it by eating whole foods and skipping the empty calories in processed and sugary food.

Is exercise part of your weight loss plan?

It should be if it isn’t. Not only does exercise burn extra calories, it boosts your energy and builds muscle tissue. Who wouldn’t love a little extra energy to get more accomplished throughout the day and still feel like doing something active when your work day ends. That means you’ll burn even more calories. Building muscle tissue is also important, since muscle tissue requires more calories than fat tissue does, boosting your metabolism and making weight loss even easier. If you’re not working out regularly, add it to your schedule and you’ll find weight loss easier.

Don’t be fooled by the label “low fat” or “no fat.”

Eating less fat may seem like a great idea when you’re trying to shed a few pounds, but it will backfire and make you gain weight. Even though it’s higher in calories per gram, it also makes you feel fuller for longer, so you’ll eat less. Since removing the fat also takes some of the flavor, manufacturers often add sugar to make the food taste better. That extra sugar adds up to extra calories and actually makes you hungrier, so you’ll eat even more than you would otherwise.

Check your diet for the amount of protein it contains.

Not only does protein make you feel fuller longer, it also helps to boost your metabolism. Lack of protein can affect how much muscle mass you have, too. By now you should realize that the more the better when it comes to muscle tissue. Studies show that eating protein can make a significant difference in weight loss. In one study, the subjects ate a diet with 30 percent of those calories from protein sources. Those people ate fewer calories than they did when they lowered that amount to 15 percent of their calories from protein.

  • You can get too much of a good thing. While exercise can help you shed extra pounds, if you’re overdoing it, can stress your body. Stress hormones like cortisol add pounds around your middle.
  • While exercise is important, so is the type of exercise you do. Aerobic exercise like running burns tons of calories, but they come from both lean muscle tissue and fat. The less lean muscle tissue you have, the harder it is to lose weight. Include strength building exercises in your workout that build muscles.
  • Don’t forget the fiber. Sure, you probably know that fiber keeps you regular, so you don’t have a bloated belly, but did you know it can help you lose weight? It blocks the absorption of some calories while boosting your satiety level.
  • If you think you’re eating less, but don’t track what you eat, you may be eating far more calories than you expected. Keeping a food diary can help you find out where your weaknesses are and just how many calories you’re really eating.

Eat Right, Live Strong

Eat Right, Live Strong

When you eat right, workout and get plenty of sleep, you’re doing the things you need to do to live strong in Lakeland, FL. The secret to healthy living, no matter where you are, starts with the food you consume. If you eat junk food that’s loaded with calories, you’ll put on weight and won’t provide the nutrients you need to build healthy cells and boost your immune system. Eating healthy means cutting out foods that have a toxic effect on your body.

Unhealthy food can cause you to consume even more unhealthy food.

Food high in sugar can be addictive. It actually releases opioids and dopamine in the brain and those make you feel good. They’re also released when taking addictive drugs. Eating sugar makes you want to eat more sugar. It also can cause joint pain, can make your skin wrinkly by damaging collagen, can cause insulin resistance, heart disease, kidney problems and affect your sexual drive. Foods in high fructose corn syrup mess with the hormones that make you feel hungry and full, leaving you to feel hungry and never quite able to fill that need.

Not only does unhealthy food cause you to gain weight, it also contains chemicals and toxins.

Have you ever read a label on processed meat or many of the processed foods commonly purchased? It often contains words that look like a chemistry lab experiment. Processed foods means foods that are altered chemically. If you make a roast, the meat is processed because you cook it, but that’s not the same as the processing required to make a hot dog. Processed foods are designed to make you want to eat more. The manufacturers create them to reward the brain and cause over consumption. Many of the ingredients aren’t found in nature and can’t be properly processed by the body.

Eating healthy means eating whole foods.

That fresh salad, the grilled chicken and fresh cooked green beans are all whole foods that provide nutrients without providing junk. Eating healthy means choosing food with a variety of natural colors. If your plate looks like a rainbow of whole foods, you’re doing it right. Each color of vegetable means a different phytonutrient that can help your body in different ways. When you choose healthy eating, you’re making a difference that can help you live longer, lose weight and keep it from returning.

  • Not only are processed foods high in calories and low in nutrients, they’re low in fiber to help keep the digestive system healthy. Don’t forget what you drink counts too. Make it water, not soft drinks.
  • A healthy lifestyle means more than just eating healthy, although that should be a top priority. It also means working out regularly. Exercise helps keep you younger looking, improves your mood and makes you healthier.
  • Living strong means getting all types of exercise, including lifting weights. Strength building exercises can help make bones stronger and prevent injury. Flexibility workouts improve your range of motion and a good cardio workout makes you heart healthy.
  • Sleeping is important for heart health. It also helps improve your mental well being.

Drop The Fries And Move Those Thighs

Drop The Fries And Move Those Thighs

Getting in shape for the summer means more than just working out. While you do have to move, in order to get the waist, thighs or overall body that you want. You have to eat healthy, too. It can start by eliminating processed foods and sugar from your diet and focus more on eating fresh whole foods. Whole foods can include poultry, beef, pork, seafood and fish you bake, broil, steam or grill at home. Whole foods have minimum ingredients and you know what’s in each one. Instead of chicken McNuggets, you eat a baked chicken breast. Forget about the fries and chips, have a baked potato instead.

Exercise tones and builds the muscles, burns calories and gives you the shapely body you want.

Eating healthy can help you lose weight and make your body healthier, but only exercise can shape your body to improve your appearance. Besides toning your body, working out does so much more. It builds muscle tissue and while doing that, burns calories. Building muscle tissue is also important because muscle tissue burns more calories 24/7 than fat tissue does, so it helps you boost your metabolism. You’ll increase your energy level, too.

Besides a program of exercise, adding more movement in your life can shape those thighs.

Sure, you can work out three times a week and get results, but if you want to boost those results, start making other changes. Increasing your overall activity can help you lose weight and get fitter faster. It doesn’t mean you have to workout every day, but it does mean that making changes like walking to lunch rather than taking a car, taking the stairs not the elevator and even parking further from the store to add steps to your day can help you get the body you want.

Don’t forget to take snacks with you.

One reason people often fail at losing weight is that they starve themselves, rather than switching to a healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t take long before you find yourself anxiously searching the candy machine at work for something to eat or sneaking a donut that was brought in by a co-worker. Rather than starving yourself, make sure you have a supply of healthy foods, snacks included. Take fresh fruits and vegetables and some healthy dip for a mid morning or mid afternoon snack. A single serving of mixed nuts or a few pieces of apple with peanut butter will help you stay full and keep you on track.

  • Starving yourself isn’t the way to lose weight. While you might shed a pound or two, they return the minute you eat again. It can even slow your metabolism, which makes it even harder to lose weight.
  • You can have family fun while helping those thighs become thinner. Plan a hike or picnic with the family or take a walking tour of the city. Even shooting hoops with the kids can help burn calories and tone your legs.
  • Lunges with jump changes, jump crunches, leg raises while laying on your side and leg raises all help thin those thighs and get your legs swimsuit ready.
  • Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and get adequate sleep. Too little sleep can mess with your hunger hormones and thirst is often mistaken for hunger. Both are healthy lifestyle changes that can slim you down.

Help Eliminate Chronic Disease With Lifestyle Changes

Help Eliminate Chronic Disease With Lifestyle Changes

While you’re probably aware that you’ll feel and look better when you workout and make lifestyle changes, did you know you can eliminate chronic disease? I see it happen frequently in the gym in Winter Haven, Florida. People often start out just to get into shape and then find that chronic issues that have bothered them for years seem to get better or disappear. It can be anything from chronic back or stomach issues to arthritis and diabetes.

It makes sense, when you consider one of the causes of chronic ailments is obesity.

Obesity is now the leading cause of preventable death. It takes more than just cutting back on calories to conquer it. It takes exercise and knowing what to eat. In fact, cutting calories to extremely low levels actually encourages weight gain by slowing the body’s metabolism. Eating healthy on the other hand not only provides all the nutrients you need to be healthy, but also reduces calorie counts to help shed weight. Exercise also plays a big role in weight loss. Both exercise and healthy eating can attack obesity, which then reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis, breathing problems and high blood pressure.

You’ll boost your health with exercise.

If you want to be healthier at a cellular level, consider exercise. Every cell has telomeres that prevent damage to the DNA. It allows the cells to live longer and prevents damage, which stops premature aging and cancer. Exercise also boosts circulation. It clears the arteries, lowers blood pressure, helps prevent or improve diabetes. You’ll strengthen your lungs and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. The pain from arthritis improves, just as your mood and energy level.

Exercise and weight loss helps shift where the weight is stored or reduces it.

Carrying extra weight isn’t always a health issue, unless it’s a huge a mount. The problem come from where you carry it. People with an apple shape, carrying weight around the waist and stomach, increases their risk for conditions like fatty liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, depression, cellular aging, mental decline, gout, kidney disease and gout. You won’t escape the problem by using artificial sweeteners. They actually have their own risk. In fact, studies show that people who drink diet soft drinks often develop more fat around their abdomen.

  • If you aren’t ready for a formal exercise program, just start by walking more. Take the stairs, walk to the store or just get out and walk every day. It can help you get into shape and be the start of a workout program.
  • Exercise can help eliminate the hormones of stress and undo the changes they make. Stress hormones can cause serious conditions if not dealt with frequently.
  • Other lifestyle changes that pack a wallop and can boost your overall health include quitting smoking and avoid abuse of alcohol and controlled substance.
  • One of the great benefits of making lifestyle changes is that you attain a healthier looking you. If you needed to lose weight, you’ll lose weight. If you need to gain weight, you’ll put on healthy pounds and muscle tissue.

Boost Your Weight Loss Success By Planning Your Meals

Boost Your Weight Loss Success By Planning Your Meals

If you want to eat healthy, the best way to get a head start is by planning your meals. It may sound like a lot of work, but after the first few weeks, it actually takes less work to plan your meals and cook them over the weekend for the week. That’s because you’ll be making extra and packing it in the freezer. Before too long, you’ll have several weeks worth of meals for those times when you’re super busy. It’s the perfect answer for those who work outside the home and a great reason to avoid takeout, when your meal is in the freezer and just a microwave minute away.

The first weeks are the hardest.

I’m not saying it doesn’t take time, because it does, but it’s time well spent. Planning the meals can be done anytime during the week. Do it in a quiet time and enjoy the experience. Make sure you buy enough for double or triple the recipe. You’ll save money by planning, since you’ll use some of the same ingredients in other dishes throughout the week. Nothing will go to waste when you plan. Make sure you plan snacks, too. Snacks are often the downfall of people who are trying to lose weight.

At first, you’ll have to cook several meals at once.

That first weekend will mean cooking all the food for the week at once. After that, the job won’t be as big. Set aside time to devote just to cooking the first weekend. While some foods are simmering on the stove or being baked in the oven, you can be chopping fresh vegetables or fruit for snacks throughout the week. If you have a baked chicken, beef or other fish or meat, you can use it to top a salad throughout the week. Doubling the recipe will allow you to pack away some of the food for several weeks to come.

Pack the food you made in perfect serving sizes.

It’s easy to misjudge a serving size when you’re famished. When you make meals ahead, you can pack the meals with the perfect measure, so you won’t have a problem. While fresh fruit and vegetables won’t be packed and stored, the good news is that you don’t have to worry about them. You can eat as much lettuce or raw broccoli as you want!

  • Planning your meals means you won’t have leftovers that go to waste in the refrigerator. They’ll be packed and frozen for another meal.
  • Plan your meals to get the most for your money. Use sales, seasonal food and coupons for each meal plan. You’ll find your grocery budget will go a lot further.
  • Make sure you do your shopping for the week’s food after you’ve eaten. You’ll be less likely to buy snacks and treats that aren’t on the list.
  • Make one dish each week soup. You can use all the leftover vegetables and even the bones from chicken and beef to make soup. Don’t worry if you’ve roasted the chicken or beef, it makes a great bone broth.

Working Out Alleviates Anxiety

Working Out Alleviates Anxiety

There are a lot of different levels of anxiety. Some require professional help, while others are more mundane, like fretting about things that might occur, but seldom do. No matter what type of anxiety your have, working out alleviates anxiety and can help tremendously. It doesn’t replace professional help for an anxiety disorder, but it can be a complementary treatment.

What starts anxiety?

Your reaction to stress and the fight or flight response might be the cause. When the body responds to danger it prepares to run or fight. It’s a primitive response that isn’t always appropriate in today’s world. It boosts catecholamines, which are hormones from the adrenal gland like adrenaline. Once they’re in your bloodstream, they increase your heart rate, blood pressure and rate of breathing to get you ready for either fighting or running. The hormones send more blood to the extremities and less to the stomach, which leaves you with a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. Your muscles tense, you may tremble and your pupils dilate. It all sounds a lot like how you feel when you’re anxious, doesn’t it?

The danger doesn’t even have to be real!

Your brain doesn’t differentiate between reality and imagination in many cases. While you may have had a vivid memory, dream or even lived vicariously through someone else’s harrowing tale or a movie, it can set off the same response. To make it even worse, once you have an anxiety attack, fear of the next attack causes anxiety! You have to reverse the process created by the hormones from stress and there’s one way to do it, burn them off and replace them with other hormones.

There’s probably a good reason people pace.

Pacing keeps your body moving and is almost like exercise, but not as demanding. Exercise burns off the hormones of stress and replaces them with hormones that make you feel good, like endorphins. If you’re feeling anxious and can do something super active, like run up and down stairs, do it. Make sure you get enough exercise to make you breathe hard and sweat a little. Keep doing it until you no longer have that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach.

  • When working out or getting exercise is almost impossible, other techniques can help, such as focused breathing. Find a relaxation technique and learn it well enough to do it anywhere, even in a crowd.
  • Prepare for stressful situations by having an action plan that you do before you are in stress. It can be anything from working out before you go, to meditation. Working out will also provide hormones that make you feel at ease.
  • Serious, debilitating anxiety needs professional help, but you can use techniques like exercise to help lower your symptoms and decrease anxiety attacks.
  • When you workout regularly, you’ll notice symptoms of anxiety decrease dramatically. Often focusing more on the workout than on the anxiety will help you overcome mild anxiety.

Lower Your Risk Of Diabetes

Lower Your Risk Of Diabetes

If you recently got bad news from the doctor that you’re prediabetic with insulin resistance or have family members that have suffered from diabetes for years, you can lower your risk of diabetes by adopting a healthy lifestyle. I’ve watched many clients in Winter Haven and Lakeland, Florida, FL change their health by changing their lifestyle. Both a healthy diet and regular exercise can help and boost your health in other areas at the same time.

You need to fight insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance occurs when the cells reduce their receptivity to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the cells use the glucose in the blood for energy. When the sensitivity decreases, it allows more sugar in the blood, so the body creates more insulin. It becomes a terrible cycle that snowballs into diabetes. Excess weight, pregnancy, stress and lack of activity can cause it. Exercise helps with several of those things and burns the glycogen store in the muscles, so the body uses the glucose in the blood stream. It lowers the danger of diabetes dramatically.

You need more than exercise if you want to remove the risk of diabetes.

While there’s always some risk, that’s just life, many of the diabetes risks are controllable. Exercise is one way to lower that potential and healthy eating is another. What you eat dramatically affects diabetes. If you eat junk food, high amounts of sugary treats and little whole foods, you’ll boost the potential for weight gain and diabetes. Cutting out sugar is a big step toward lowering the risk, just as losing weight is.

There’s a big difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but many of the rules to control it are the same.

Type 1 diabetes—juvenile diabetes—doesn’t have the same origins as type 2 diabetes does. It doesn’t mean that a healthy diet and regular exercise aren’t important in controlling it, because they are. One big problem with maintaining good health with type 1 diabetes is controlling the drop in blood sugar levels. One study shows that doing aerobic training last, with strength training first had a smaller drop in blood sugar than if aerobic training was first.

  • Don’t forget that what you drink plays a role in diabetes. If you drink soft drinks every day, just switching to water will not only help you lose weight and lower your diabetic risk.
  • Exercise can help lower blood sugar levels for as long as 24 hours after the workout.
  • Getting adequate sleep and learning to control stress also can help prevent diabetes. While working out can burn off the hormones of stress, controlled breathing and meditation can deal with it immediately.
  • Make sure you include insoluble fiber in your healthy diet to lower the risk of diabetes. Insoluble fiber is in fresh fruit, nuts and seeds.

Nutrition For Weight Loss

Nutrition For Weight Loss

A lot of clients in Winter Haven choose healthy eating in addition to exercise to lose weight. Making those lifestyle changes are important and the best way to succeed. There are some basics to for healthy eating, like eating whole foods and cutting out sugar, but also some rules for good nutrition for weight loss. It’s one reason fad diets won’t give you the results you want. You don’t get adequate nutrients for optimal health. Certain nutrients can also boost your metabolism and make weight loss easier.

Some foods provide nutrients, while fighting fat.

Eating products from grass fed cows, peanuts, almonds, free range eggs or walnuts provide arginine. This potent fat-fighter can boost your weight loss success. A study in the Journal of Dietary Supplements showed that obese women who took L-arginine for twelve weeks lost an average of 6.5 pounds and 6.5 inches more than those that didn’t. When you take it before a work out, it boosts the fat burning effects.

Food with magnesium can add to your weight loss arsenal.

Your body requires magnesium for a number of functions. Magnesium aids in burning fat and synthesizing protein. It improves muscle contractions. It lowered insulin levels and fasting glucose levels, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition. Lower blood sugar levels, improved fat burning and improved protein synthetization reduce the amount of fat stored. Magnesium will help you boost the stored fat burning process, too. Magnesium is found in cashews, almonds, dark leafy vegetables such as spinach.

Potassium is a nutrient you also need to shed weight.

There’s a good reason doctors recommend eating a banana for people with heart problems. It’s the potassium in it. Potassium helps muscle recovery after a workout and aids in getting rid of sodium, while it acts like a natural diuretic flushing the fluid out of your system. One estimate shows that only about 4.7 per cent of Americans get adequate potassium in their diet. Foods that contain potassium, besides bananas include avocados and leafy greens.

  • You need healthy fat to be the most successful in weight loss. It fills you up and also provides anti-inflammatories and heart health. Foods containing healthy fat include avocado, flaxseed, grass fed beef and wild salmon.
  • Choline and B-vitamins help shut down fat storing genes and make you feel less hungry. You’ll find both in eggs.
  • The sunshine vitamin, vitamin D, is epidemically low in America today. Part of the cause is sunscreen and lack of sun exposure. Vitamin D provides appetite control and can increase weight loss. It’s also found in fish and eggs. It lowers the risk for dental carries, osteoporosis and lowers cancer risks.
  • Resistant starch is in raw oats, chilled potatoes, peas and lightly green bananas. It helps the friendly bacteria in your digestive system, while leaving you feel fuller and burns more fat.