Category Archives: Diet Plans

Can Stress Slow Down the Rate at Which You Burn Fat?

Our bodies can handle a normal amount of stress just fine. However, when we are constantly over-stressed is when it begins to cause problems. And the reason is because stress throws our hormone levels out of whack.

stressWhen our body senses a “fight or flight” situation, it releases more of the hormone cortisol to help deal with the perceived situation.

One of the results of increased cortisol over time is overeating. Overeating leads to weight gain which causes your metabolism to slow down, thus causing your body to burn less fat and store more.

And if you are not getting enough sleep, because you are staying awake at night worrying about the issues causing your stress that can affect your metabolism also.

When you are sleep deficient, your body has a hard time metabolizing carbohydrates causing your blood sugar level to rise.

In response, your body releases more insulin to help lower your blood sugar level. To help reduce your blood sugar level, your body metabolizes your blood sugar, but because it doesn’t need to use the calories right now, it stores them as fat.

==>>See more ways to get your metabolism into tip top shape!

Stress not only causes you to gain weight, by not getting enough sleep and increasing your level of cortisol, but it is also slows down your metabolism – the rate at which your body burns fat. And if you are not getting enough sleep, you are more apt to be tired throughout the day and not exercise – the main way to help speed up your metabolism and lose weight.

By exercising, you burn calories at a higher rate than if you did not exercise; exercise also helps relieve stress. If you have less stress, you’ll sleep better. If you sleep better, then your body will do a better job of metabolizing carbohydrates meaning you’ll lose weight.

By reducing your stress level through exercise, your body will not flood your bloodstream with cortisol, thus helping keep your appetite in check and preventing the associated weight gain.

stressBut there is another aspect of exercising that can help you burn more calories – building muscle mass. We are not talking body-building type of muscle mass gain – just some toning and defining with a little increase in size.

The amount of muscle mass you have directly affects how many calories your muscles burn day in and day out. The more muscle you have, the more calories it takes per day to keep them going, even without taking in consideration the number of calories burned through exercise.

By exercising for at least 30 minutes per day, you are also burning more calories than you would if you did not exercise. But to build muscle mass for the long-term calorie burning effect, the type of exercising you do is important.

Strength training or weight training is the best type of exercise to build muscle mass. A program of four days of cardio with two days of weight training per week is a good mix to both burn the maximum number of calories and build muscle.

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5 Snacks That Fuel Your Body

Snacking is a vital part of any balanced diet, and an important method of keeping your body going during the day. However, just like with main meals, eating the wrong kind of snack foods can seriously impact on your energy levels and productivity. There is not reason why you can’t find some snacks that fuel your body and taste delicious!

When people look to change their diet, they often focus on their main meals. As a result, the lowly snack is rarely given due consideration and old habits can remain.

There are so many delicious, healthy snacks that won’t hurt your waistline out there, and they don’t involve lengthy preparation or bland ingredients!

Here are 5 tasty snacks that will fuel your body throughout the day and won’t leave you sleepy!

Snacks That Fuel Your BodyHummus. Made from blended chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic, hummus has taken the world by storm in recent years. It is rich in protein, and fights hunger effectively.

Unlike other snacks, hummus leaves you feeling full while having a low calorie count. Also a source of iron, hummus is energy boosting.

Try it as a dip with vegetables like carrots and celery, or as a spread on whole wheat crackers or whole wheat pita bread. For the more adventurous, you can also experiment with various hummus flavors.

Snacks That Fuel Your BodyGreek Yoghurt. Greek yoghurt offers a big punch of protein, making it an excellent hunger busting snack. There are two types of Greek yoghurt, full fat and fat free.

Whichever one you choose really depends on how strictly controlled your diet is. Both are an excellent source of protein, but full fat Greek yoghurt is made from full fat milk, while the fat free alternative uses skimmed milk.

For those strictly controlling their calories and fat intake, the fat free option sacrifices some creaminess for a reduced fat content.

Snacks That Fuel Your BodyBlueberries. Blueberries are fast becoming the superfood of choice for health conscious dieters everywhere. Low in calories and high in antioxidants, blueberries are also packed full of nutrients like fiber and vitamin C.

For those who aren’t a fan of the taste, raspberries and strawberries are sweeter yet reasonably healthy energy boosting alternatives.

Hard Boiled Eggs. Most commonly taken as part of a packed salad, hard boiled eggs are full of protein, and are superb at relieving hunger cravings instantly.

Snacks That Fuel Your BodyPreparing a lunch box salad to snack on in work is one of the easiest things to do, and it makes for a delicious snack to fight the mid-afternoon lull. Just make sure to go easy on the dressing!

Soy Crisps. If the cravings are uncontrollable and you just have to have something that doesn’t feel like healthy food, why not try soy crisps? Made with soy flour rather than potatoes, soy crisps don’t contain any dangerous trans fats that affect your cholesterol.

Soy crisps have a number of good nutrients, including a good chunk of protein, so they will give you an energy boost and indulge your cravings at the same time.

Try on of these snacks or try them all for a variety of different food options. Enjoy!

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Eating Tips to Boost Your Metabolism

boost your metabolismWhether you’re trying to lose weight or just wanting to maintain your sleek physique, finding ways to boost your metabolism to a higher rate is always a good idea.  There are several ways to give your metabolism an extra push – including exercising early in the day – but eating can also be a factor in its elevation.

Increasing your metabolism means your body burns calories at a higher rate.  So if your metabolism is high, it’s burning calories even when you aren’t working hard at the gym.  A sluggish metabolism can cause you to gain weight, because you’re consuming more than your body is burning.

==>>Find out more about building your metabolism!

The first thing you need to do is add breakfast to your daily meal planner.  Although many people don’t like eating breakfast, it gives your body the rev up it needs to launch your metabolism.  A 250-calorie snack is all it takes to boost your metabolism in the morning.

Another way to increase your metabolism is to add spices to your food.  According to the U.S. Agricultural Research Service, Cinnamon is one spice that increases your metabolism twentyfold – and all you have to ingest is a mere ¼ to 1 teaspoon per day!

While you’re planning your meals, you may want to add kiwi fruit to your diet.  Kiwis pack a lot of vitamin C, but if you add 500 mg of it to your day, you burn up to 39% more fat when you’re exercising.  Don’t get too much C, though, because once you get to the 2,000 mg mark, you start experiencing adverse effects like bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Another metabolism boosting measure is to watch what you drink.  Adding ice to a drink makes your body work harder because it has to heat it up in your stomach, which increases your metabolism.  Also, ingesting a caffeine drink like coffee or tea can raise your heart rate and increase your metabolism.

Where you’re eating can be just as important as what you’re eating.  When you’re having breakfast in the morning, try positioning yourself near a window so that you can soak up some sun.  The bright light boosts your metabolism and also helps you increase bone and muscle strength.

You can also add a daily multivitamin to help your body burn more calories.  When you add 120 mcg daily, your body benefits by revving up its metabolism. Chromium, which is found in tomatoes and in a supplement form, also boosts the way you burn fat.

If you really want to kick-start your metabolism, you may also try dividing your meals up into smaller portions that you eat more often throughout the day.  Every time you eat, it helps your metabolism rise, so as strange as it may sound, eating frequently can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

How To Boost Your Metabolism Video:

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How to Diet on A Budget

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Diet on A BudgetIn today’s economy, many people are working to make sure they don’t overspend. Dieting is one of the places where people spend the most money. But it is possible to know how to diet on a budget so you don’t overspend.

There are two routes you can take to dieting success when it comes to your budget. You can join a program that has costs attached to it or you can do it on your own and use a program from a book or other source.

Diet programs that offer fee-based services have benefits and drawbacks:

  • Often program fees are high and don’t cover the cost of food.
  • Even a diet that comes with prepackaged food must be supplemented with more food.
  • You may get personal one-on-one service.
  • You may get support at group meetings.
  • You have accountability and regular weigh-ins.
  • You have someone to coach you when you’re struggling and celebrate your successes.
  • You must make time in your schedule for any regular appointments or classes.
  • You may have to pay for meetings or appointments even if you don’t attend them.

Alternatively, if you choose the option of going it on your own, you’ll find that there are also benefits and drawbacks:

  • You can use information from books, magazines, or online resources to tailor a plan for you. Many of these sources are inexpensive or free.
  • You won’t have as much accountability.
  • You won’t have to buy expensive prepackaged food, but you will have to spend more time preparing food.
  • Support can be encouraged by working with friends, but you won’t have a built-in coach.
  • You won’t have to schedule regular appointments or meetings.

Ultimately, you need to choose a diet you can stick with in the first place. If you’re choosing something that’s way out of your budget, you won’t be able to afford it long-term.

It is important that you make wise financial decisions early on in the process.

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How to Stick to Your Diet

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How to Stick to Your DietThere are many reasons that you might have decided to diet right now. You may be preparing for a big event. You may have made a big New Year’s resolution. Or it may be that you’re just ready to lose some weight to improve your health.

Whatever your reasons, starting a diet can be an exciting and invigorating idea. But after a few weeks, or even days, dieting isn’t quite so appealing. You may be missing some of your old food choices, you may feel hungrier, or you may just feel deprived and angry.

But there are success strategies that will help you stick to your diet and reach your goals without stalling out. When you understand diet basics and tips for maintaining your progress, you’ll reach your goal in no time.

Sticking to your diet actually starts with choosing your diet in the first place. There are thousands of diets you could try and it’s important that you do your homework before you start one.

A diet needs to fit in with your lifestyle and be something that you can do realistically. For example, eating a diet of raw foods may be extremely healthy and help you lose weight. But it’s not for everyone.

If you work two jobs it’s probably not the best because of all the time-consuming food prep. If you don’t have time to prepare the appropriate foods, it’s not likely that you’ll stick to this diet for very long.

And there are hundreds more diets that have components that may not work for you while some diets will be perfect for you. So you must choose a diet that will not defeat you in the very beginning.

Here are a few things you should ask about a diet before beginning it:

• How much food preparation will be involved?
• Will you have to buy special products?
• Do you need specific tools that you don’t already own?
• Is the food something you already like?
• Does this diet work with your current work schedule and lifestyle?
• Will you have to diet alone, or can your family also practice this way of eating?
• Will you be able to eat out? Or will all food have to come from home?
• How much money will you need spend each month for this diet?
• Will you have to attend meetings for it?
• Will the diet interfere with any health conditions or medications?
• Have you tried this diet before?

How to Stick to Your Diet

You want to choose a diet that fits within your budget and fits within your schedule. If you have a lot of free time, a diet that requires a lot of food preparation may be appropriate.

However, if you’re very busy, you’ll want to find a diet that you can fit into your erratic schedule. If you don’t have time for a lot of food prep or you eat out a lot, you need to make sure your diet is compatible with these requirements.

This is the first step in sticking to your diet. If you choose a diet that fits well into your existing lifestyle, you’ll have a better chance of continuing. If you choose something that is difficult to fit into your lifestyle, you’ll have more of a struggle ahead of you.

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Four Metabolism Myths Busted

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There are probably as many myths about how the metabolism works as there are truths. Some of the erroneous information has been around so long and so widely promoted that many believe it to be true.

Here are four myths commonly accepted as truth about metabolism:

  1. Never skip breakfast.
  2. Hot peppers burn more calories.
  3. Caffeine boosts your metabolism.
  4. A pound of muscle burns 100 calories per day.

1) Never Skip Breakfast

The advice here has always been to eat breakfast within an hour after arising to get your metabolism revved up from your night of fasting. The truth is it is not as important that you eat as it is what you eat.

Make sure your breakfast consists of fiber, lean protein and other nutrients. The cold hard fact is if you have to choose between a doughnut and nothing, choose nothing.

You do not need the saturated fat and sugar found in most baked goods. The spike in calories burned by your metabolism from eating a doughnut isn’t enough to offset the additional calories ingested.

2) Hot Peppers Burn More Calories

While it is true that hot peppers burn calories, a presentation from a recent study from Experimental Biology suggests mild peppers have the same calorie potential without the mouth-stinging agony.

Mild peppers contain the compound dihydrocapsiate (DCT) while hot peppers have capsaicin in them. The study found the group eating mild peppers had about the same metabolic boost as the group eating hot peppers and about twice of the placebo group.

Mild peppers include bell, banana, rellenos and pimentos. Use them in stir-frys and salads.

Learn how to manipulate your metabolism for better weight loss. Check out my review on how to do it here.

3) Caffeine Boosts Your Metabolism

This is mostly true, but it is highly dependent on the source of your caffeine.  Drinking black coffee and tea provides a small caffeine boost, but if you get caffeine from energy drinks, you are better off not getting any boost at all.

Energy drinks are loaded with sugar. In fact up to 1/4 cup per drink in some cases. When all that sugar hits your bloodstream, abundant amounts of insulin are released and what your body can’t use at that time is stored as fat. Belly fat! One of the most dangerous kinds of fat.

If you want to burn more calories, drink more water. Increasing your water consumption can burn an additional 17,400 calories per year, or about 5 pounds.

4) A Pound of Muscle Burns 100 Calories Per Day

This myth has been greatly over-exaggerated. Actually while at rest, muscle burns about six calories per pound of muscle per hour.

However that is still three times the amount that fat burns in the same amount of time which is just two calories per pound.

So it still pays to lose body fat and gain muscle through exercising. It is just that the number of calories burned won’t be as great as reported in the media.

These are just four of the more popular myths that have perpetuated themselves over the years.

To increase your metabolic rate, it still comes down to eating healthy foods in the correct portions consistently at the same times, along with cardio and strength training exercise.

Manipulate your metabolism for better weight loss. Check out my review on how to do it here.

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4 Vitamins to Help Boost Your Metabolism

Your metabolism, the rate at which you burn calories, requires certain chemicals for it to function at a high rate. Let’s look at four of the more important ones:

1) B-Complex

vitamin-bThis group of vitamins is responsible for helping break down carbohydrates, fats and protein into energy the body can use. In particular B-1 breaks down carbohydrates and fats; B-5 works on fatty acids; B-6 takes care of breaking down protein; B-12 also helps break down carbohydrates and protein along with producing red blood cells; B-2 helps move energy to the cells where it can be used by muscles and organs.

2) Coenzyme Q10

CoQ10 as it is commonly called, increases the production of energy within a cell’s mitochondria. Specifically CoQ10 increases the amount of oxygen available to cells. This boost in energy translates to more endurance as it not only enhances the strength of muscles while exercising, but also increases their efficiency or the level at which they work.

Hot Metabolism is a great guide with tips on how to manipulate your metabolism for better weight loss. Check out my review of it here.

4) Creatine

Creatine is found in animal products and is used by muscles to store energy. However if you are a vegetarian or don’t eat enough animal products, you can suffer from too low a level. Studies have shown that creatine in the proper amount can improve muscle strength by 15 percent.

This increase in strength can also translate into weight loss as proven by an article in the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research”. They found that weight-training with creatine supplementation resulted in more weight loss that without the supplementation.

5) Iron

Not a real fancy name as in the other three, but it is just as important. Iron carries oxygen to your muscles so they can burn fat. Think of how a fire burns. Without oxygen it smolders, but doesn’t burn. Add oxygen and it instantly flares up and burns hot.

iron-sourcesYour body is the same way. If deficit in iron, you’ll feel sluggish. Your aerobic capacity and physical endurance will be greatly reduced. So how do you get enough iron naturally? By eating shellfish, lean meats, beans and spinach. Vegetarians can get their iron supply from tofu.

It is easy to see how they all work together:

  1. The B-complex breaks down food.
  2. CoQ10 helps the mitochondria in cells convert it into energy.
  3. Cretaine helps the cells store energy.
  4. Iron provides the oxygen cells need in order to produce energy.

Deficient in one and the production of energy at the cellular level suffers. Have all at the minimum requirement levels and your metabolism will function well resulting in maximum calories burned.

Hot Metabolism is a great guide with tips on how to manipulate your metabolism for better weight loss. Check out my review of it here.

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Three Proven Strategies to Lose Weight Fast

Have you been trying to get rid of excess body fat for what seems like forever, but you are just not getting the job done? Maybe you’ve already discovered that racking up hours on long, slow, boring cardio type activity doesn’t quite add up to fat loss. That is certainly the conclusion that ex-bodybuilding champion Carolyn Hansen reaches in her book Hot Metabolism. She came up with three proven strategies to lose weight that really work.

Proven Strategies To Lose WeightIf you have worked hard following the old weight loss model, and got little in return, you probably find that you are tired much of the time, feel weak and irritable, and you have likely convinced yourself that you just don’t have the genetics required for a lean and toned body.

In fact, all you really need is a change of direction. So let’s focus on newer and better ways to lose that body fat. The newer strategies focus on your metabolic health and what actually happens after your exercise session has concluded, as opposed to the old approach of focusing only on what happens during the session. An important part of this new approach is to take into account the state of your metabolism, which is essentially your body’s engine, and which determines whether you burn body fat or store body fat during the course of the day.

We are going to briefly look at the three main strategies that can boost your metabolism and allow you to lose body fat in the quickest and easiest way possible.

Proven Strategies To Lose Weight: Proper Exercise Program

Hot Metabolism2An exercise program of this type is one that contains at least 60 percent strength training exercises. The reason for this is that the ratio of lean muscle tissue to body fat determines how quickly your body burns or stores fuel. The higher the ratio, and the harder the exercise you apply to your muscle tissue, the higher the rate as which body fat is consumed.

This alone could alter the way your body burns fuel since, if you haven’t been working your muscles with proper strength training exercise recently, it is likely that you have simply become under muscled.

This means that your body’s engine is smaller and burns less fuel. Even a few pounds loss of muscle tissue can cause you to become overweight.

Note that if you merely tone your muscles through moderate strength exercising you will not get big muscles. You will scarcely even notice the difference. But you will start to notice the difference in the size of your waist, hips and other places that are already larger than they should be. As you begin to lose body fat they will shrink. Muscle tissue is your very best friend and will give you that lean, toned tight looking body that you are aiming for.

Proven Strategies To Lose Weight: Interval Training

The rest of your exercise program should contain 1-2 sessions each week of short burst activity. This type of training burns more calories and elevates the metabolic rate more than any other form of cardio exercise. This means that you continue to burn more fat after your exercise session concludes than you did before it, especially when compared to long slow activity.

Although it takes less time, it is way harder to do this type of exercise, so you need to build into it. An example of short burst training would be 8-12 seconds of all out sprinting then 30 seconds to one minute of walking to recover. Repeat this process 8-10 or more times.

Proven Strategies To Lose Weight: Small Meal Eating Plan

Hot Metabolism3The last piece of the puzzle is eating 5-6 small meals every 2-3 hours throughout the day. These meals should have at least 20-30 grams of protein as the core, and on top of this add lots of raw and cooked vegetables. Add a small amount of complex carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, or sweet potatoes. Prepare these meals the night before and take them with you wherever you go.

And that’s all there is to it – these three proven strategies to lose weight are guaranteed to help you lose body fat. It will not be perfect (nothing ever is) but continue to work at improving these areas, and over time you will not believe how effective they really are.

If you need a comprehensive overview of the metabolic regulation fat loss strategies discussed in this article, be sure to check out Carolyn Hansen’s book Hot Metabolism, where she shows you how to take control of your body’s fat burning mechanism for optimum results.

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