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Weight Loss: Exercising During Cold Season

winter-exercise-runningIt is the time of the year where exercising can be discouraging and eating is the best activity to do. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during cold season can be excruciating especially when suddenly you become too lazy to exercise and nothing can seem to motivate you. Staying fit is out of the way during these seasons when you are stuck indoor and do nothing due to the harsh weather outside. Well, I don’t think so! According to the American Council on Exercise says that it is okay to exercise during cold weather but just keep in mind to avoid hypothermia and take some safety measures. Here are simple guidelines you can follow in order to exercise during the cold weather.

Put on enough layers of clothing

Cloistering yourself from the wind and other cold elements is good to keep you away from hypothermia. Wear multiple layer of clothing and when you feel over-heated, you can always remove one layer to adjust with your body temperature. Tips: the first layer cloth should be made of lightweight synthetic or polyester materials. Second is wool or polyester fleece. Last layer should be water-proof cloth to keep you dry externally. Do not wear cotton material for this will make you wet.

Cover your head

The head is the most important part of your body. Around 50% of body temperature is lost because the head is not covered. Wear a hat or bonnet to preserve your body heat especially when you are about to go outside.

Cover your hands with gloves

Hands and feet are next to head. Do not take it for granted because keeping your hands and feet warm is the key to cover you from cold temperature. On the second note, gloves can help you from skin damage and frostbite. While for your feet, just make sure to correctly insulate your torso because it will bring blood back to your lower body.

Know the weather in advance

Check out weather forecast, winds, air temperatures and other factors before you decide to e before you decide to exercise outdoor. As much as possible avoid exercising if the temperature is -20°F. Meanwhile, if the weather shows a good signs of temperature, then you are good to go.

Consider using a face mask

When exercising outdoor, you should consider using face mask or scarf because the weather might damage the skin on your face especially on the nose area, this will help protecting your lungs while inhaling and exhaling.

Drink plenty of water

Water keeps you dehydrated and warm. During cold season people do not really drink a lot of water and end up dehydrated. If you are exercising, drinking water helps you to sweat, breathe well and promotes urine production. You can choose between plain water or sports drink, either way will do.

Putting up the right gear

It depends on what types of exercise or sports you are going to do. Make sure you wear a proper pair of boots or footwear that is suitable for winter. Make sure it is warm and also water-proof to make things easier for you. You also might consider using light-colored outfit to keep you visible from drivers or other people with vehicle. Activities you can do during winter apart from exercising is skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. Important: wear your helmet, goggles, knee and elbow pads and other extra safety gears as required.

Apply sunscreen

Most people committed this crime of not using sunscreen during winter. Not because it is cold, hazy and gloomy you can skip using sunscreen. As a matter of fact, the sun’s UV rays are the same as during summer and can damage your skin. The Food and Drug Administration endorses using sunscreen that has an at least SPF30 when you are going outside and exposing yourself to the sun.

Plan ahead

Whether you are heading towards the gym, or exercising outdoor, walking, running, biking, skiing, snowboarding etc. it is important to know your direction. Getting lost during winter is one of the things you must avoid since it is very dangerous. Plan your route in advance or listen to your local radio station regarding streets or roadblocks due to snow. Make sure your route has a place where you can rest to avoid being too worn out. If you are on bike or jogging, find an alternative trail you can pass by in case the other is blocked from the harsh weather conditions.

Two is better than one

I must say finding a partner to go for an outdoor exercise with you is always the best thing you can do. Find someone likeminded, a friend, a group or your coach to go for an outdoor adventure during winter season. This will not only help and motivate you to workout but also you get the chance to learn more from his/her (if they are your coach), or to spend quality time together (if they are a close friend or group of friends).

Doing some outdoor exercise or sports outdoor can be very adventurous, fun and it is very challenging as well. Nevertheless, observe your body once in a while – you’ll know it when your body is tired or having a problem. Furthermore, always be alert with the weather changes. You will never know how Mother Nature suddenly changes without further notice. If you feel something is not right with the weather, skip the fun, pack your thing and immediate return home. You can always return next time.

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Food Cravings – what to do?

1-(3)Perhaps the first question to ask is “do I trust myself?” This is the question I frequently asked when I was on a strict diet for my health sake. It is somehow like a curse to those who wish to lose weight – seeing food everywhere. I remember once or twice I had to avoid a family get-together at Aunt and Uncle Robert’s house because I know how good they are in preparing foods and I would definitely ‘devour’ all of it. That’s how good the foods were.

I grew up in a family that loves cooking and trying out different types of food, I struggled to lose weight during my younger days. But as I became mature I came to know that losing weight is more than just suppressing hunger, it is more than that. Since then, I had no problem going to family get-together and friends’ night out that are associated with foods.

I believe most households in the world right now keep junk foods in their refrigerator and eat it whenever they want. This is what encourages kids at such young age to eat unhealthy foods and take things lightly when it comes to their health. If we don’t change our habit of eating or resisting unwanted food craving now, I believe we will never will. The time is now; let’s not wait until we reached 50 years old and start to care for our health. Here is how you can help yourself to get rid of the unwanted food cravings:

Loosen yourself a little bit

First and foremost, people who failed at resisting temptation is because they are hard on themselves. Do not stress yourself out of not eating junk foods because usually people end up eating it! Not being able to have it makes you want it more. Instead of telling yourself “I can’t eat it”, ask yourself “do I really have to eat it?” Think practically and logically and it will minimize your force of cravings.

Is the gain worth it?

Think before you eat. Is one doughnut worth losing out the success towards weight loss? Do not be fooled, it may seem worth it at the moment but when you look at the long term you will feel bad and in the end feels like a doughnut seems superficial in judgment.

Switch to healthy foods

Kitchen or the refrigerator is probably the best place in our home. I would suggest you to give away all your candies (although Halloween is over), sweets, bagels, doughnuts, chocolates etc. Instead replace the food with fruits, veggies, and other healthy foods.

Get rid of situations that entice you to eat unhealthy foods

As much as possible, go out and do some physical activities that will help your mind occupied. Sitting all day watching TV is a great example of situation that encourages you to grab tidbits and eat whole day. Do your laundries, sweep the floor, wash the dishes, trim your backyard lawn, or practice your electric guitar lesson.

A cooking class, maybe?

Yes, taking a cooking class does not mean making you gain weight. As matter of fact, it helps you to be more creative regarding your food choice and cooking healthier foods. Cooking class will make you enjoy more food without gaining more weight. Note: not all chefs are fat.

Drinking plenty of water

One of the best ways to deal with unwanted food craving is to drink water instead. If you suddenly feel the need to grab that deliciously creamy cheesecake on the coffee shop, go and buy fruit juice or just plain water to satisfy your cravings.

Avoid eating outside

People who are trying to lose weight are advice cook their own food at home. Eating outside in the restaurant leads to more excessive eating of unnecessary foods. Just by looking at the food menu is enough to make you salivate and crave for more add on. Home cooked meals are always the best option and you get the chance to save more money on that.

Stop making excuses

I have experienced this countless times. Making excuses and thinking that I can make it up later by exercising and burning the same amount of calories with the unhealthy food that I have consumed, but it turned out one excuses followed by another excuses. I end up feeling frustrated and guilty which bad and it is unhealthy for the mind.

Surround yourself with people who care about their health

This is true. You cannot be successful in weight loss goals if you are mingling with people who keep on eating but when you surround yourself with people who live a healthy lifestyle, you will encourage each other and with the same mindset you will achieve your goals. Therefore, it is important to have a partner who understands your struggles and respect them.

Put a reminder on the mirror to remind yourself

I know this may sound a little too cliché but somehow it works for me. A visual reminder like progressive chart, weight results every day and how much you have improved, good motivational quotes, goal statements and the likes are good for you mentally. Don’t take things for granted, we will never know a small things such as a simple memo will help you overcome your struggles throughout the day and to keep your eyes on the prize.

Accomplishing your goal is not an easy thing to do and it does not happen in a blink of an eye. You may not be successful in one or two attempts, but never give up and set some discipline for you to follow through. It is a lifestyle change.

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What Methodology Works Best in Order to Lose Weight?

Fotolia_43101756_Subscription_XXLAccording to recent study in Australia shows that a step by step approach always works best in the pursuit of weight loss and it is also the most effective among other methods. With that being said, it is also important to have a positive outlook toward weight management in order to lose weight permanently. Even if one have commitment or hard-work it is not enough because it all sums up to the way we look at things.

Weight loss is not about eating or not eating, it is more about how you burn your calories or eating more calories and perhaps, both. You need to understand that eating less will give you the feeling of deprivation and in fact increase your longing to eat more foods. This is the problem where most people failed to follow their weight loss routine. Although some may argue that eating fewer calories will make you skin sag and lose muscles, it might be true but that is why in losing weight an individual should actively involve in exercises routine to keep toned down your muscles and flabby fats.

As mentioned above losing weight is not about eating less or suppressing hunger, in fact it is a very dangerous habit and it will put you to higher chances of becoming malnourish and sickly. Before deciding on losing weight, try measuring your body mass index (BMI) and to see whether or not you are overweight or underweight. The BMI works by measuring the person’s height and weight in determining obesity. Here’s the formula for calculating the BMI:

(Weight in Pounds x 703) / (Height in Inches) = BMI

People who have BMI that are 25 above are considered overweight. Meanwhile, having mass body index over 30 put you in a high risk of getting obesity-related condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure or coronary artery disease. If it is over 40, then you should visit your doctor or nutritionist and start changing your lifestyle because this shows that the person is extremely obese.

I remember someone ask me about how many calories they should take every day. Keep in mind that everyone has different energy levels, body structure and other factors that need to be considered. I would say, we are all different when it comes to calorie intake. However, we can estimate on how many calories you need according to how active you are through this method below:

  • Small: You are not a physically active person. You may involve in some recreational activity but only during the weekends.
  • Medium: You have some physical activities like aerobics around three times a week.
  • Large: You have an intense exercise at least an hour every four times a week or more.

It is important to really know how your body works. Most Americans take too lightly when it comes to their calories intake by about 25 percent, author of Portion Savvy, and a nutritionist Carrie Latt Wiatt, reported. This problem gets more complicated whenever you eat in the restaurant.

When it comes to approach in weight loss, many people prefer the immediate weight loss because they said it helps them to be motivated and stick to their diet. Although the slow and steady approach does not win the race, but it is the safest and assured approach in weight loss. Nevertheless, it all depends on what suitable for each and everyone’s body. Below are list of healthy approach you can do to maintain a healthy weight loss diet:

  • Don’t skip meals – Skipping meals are never recommended in losing weight because it will not only make you sick but also worsen your condition and cause weight gain.
  • Don’t practice the “yo-yo” diet – What is a “yo-yo” diet? It is a process of weight loss and weight gain at once.
  • Think about what causes you to overeat and learn from it. – People don’t make the same mistake twice. Most of the reasons for weight gain is eating at late at night, social eating and binge eating or known as emotional eating.
  • Choose a new alternative food – instead of reaching out for sweets, candies, junk foods etc. switch to fruits, juices, yogurt etc.
  • Exercise – you don’t want to end up with lose muscles and sagging skin, don’t you? Then exercise is the answer. Weight loss process is not complete without good, regular exercises.
  • Keep moving – Eating healthy and exercise will not be beneficial to you if you still sit on the couch watching TV. Instead move around, walking, take the stairs, play outdoor activities or explore your entire neighborhood while walking with your dog.
  • Seek medical professional’s advice regarding weight loss. This will greatly help you in so many ways.

These approaches may not be applicable to some, but I am just putting out the whole picture for you see. You can do your own way as long as it works for you and helps you losing weight. Generally speaking, all people gain weight as they age and it depends on us how to control every pound that we get.

Weight loss is a lifetime commitment and adjustments. As long as we are living and breathing, it is our responsibility to keep our body healthy. Do not be skeptical on the possibility of losing weight, you can read thousands of weight loss testimonials around the world and I believe it will also encourage and motivates you to do the same.