FAT LOSS: Add Em’ To Your Menu- Grapefruit & Cayenne Pepper

GET GRAPEFRUIT GOODNESS!

The delicious grapefruit has become my new bff! Ladies, did you know that just half a grapefruit eaten before each meal can help speed up your fat loss?! Yup, true. A o6’ study in the Journal of Medicinal Food has stated this to be correct! Their study concluded that people who eat half a grapefruit before each meal for a 12 week period lose three and a half pounds versus those that passed on the grapefruit before meals! BELIEVE IT!

SPICE GIRL LIVING!

Fruit to now spice ladies, yes, that’s right…now spice up your life!!! (said in my Scary Spice voice!). Studies indicate that CAYENNE PEPPER not only improves your circulation and digestion, but it also has thermogenic effects on your body. Sidebar translation; Themogenic – meaning it increases your body’s core temperature and therefore increases your metabolism. An increased metabolism aids fat loss – genius! Now, don’t expect miracles to happen right after you leave the dinner table but I’d say it’s a good idea to add a little cayenne love to your fav dishes.

 

Questions; Answered!

A health enthusiast on a mission to drop weight has asked me a few questions. Because these are commonly asked questions I’m sharing the answers with all…

 I run a 5 mile hill course by my house and my body is kind of getting used to it. What does your cardio workout look like?

Awesome, you sound like you’re right on top of business! A 5mile run is a great effort. Personally I don’t like running for long periods at a time, I lose interest, get bored and as a result my form gets sloppy, I opt for Internal Training for my cardio – no more than 15-20mins of intense bursts of sprinting, jogging, steep incline power walking and repeating this in intervals. My heart rate jumps and I feel the same effects doing intervals training as I do 45mins of straight running…if not better results with interval.

 

 Do you have an eating plan?

Eating plan…no, not really. For the most part I eat whatever I want! If I were to take my diet seriously I could definitely cut a lot of foods and also avoid eating late at night but for me, now, it’s not necessary. I’ve never been a terrible eater, I usually eat clean throughout the day and possibly have something sweet every now and again. I recommend that you eat 5-6 meals a day – especially if you’re active! People don’t understand that food is really the key to healthy weight loss! It’s a common mistake for women to cut their carbs, cut calories and then turn around and beast up on their training – makes no sense, remember this: FOOD is FUEL …if you’re not getting enough fuel (the right fuel), you’re not providing your body with enough nutrients to train harder and therefore burn more calories!

Everyone’s training is different though so this may not apply to you but if you’re lifting, doing resistant training (weights) you definitely want to make sure your diet is on track otherwise you’ll be doing yourself a big injustice!

Note: NEVER skip on breakfast either! Breakfast and lunch are my biggest meals of the day.

 How can I break through this cardio-plateau? I’m trying to drop body fat and know cardio is key, but any other suggestions?

I’d recommend some moderate resistant training. I’ve noticed a lot of women are hesitant to hit the weight room but many also don’t realize that gaining lean muscle helps you fight fat – even when you sleep! So never be afraid to tone and gain lean muscle mass.

 

Do you take Yoga classes?

Funnily enough I’ve never taken a Yoga class! Classes, as good as they are have never been big in my training regime – stupid because I know all the benefits yoga/bikram and other awesome classes available at your gym like kickboxing/dance etc provide you but I’m still that girl that will skip a class to do movement training in the park or run to the weight room to do circuit training. I’ll change my mental this summer though, Yoga will be a must.

Fitness Quote

“”A workout without FOCUS is

a workout without GAIN.”

I walked into the gym tonight exhausted. Since the weekend I’ve averaged maybe 4hrs of sleep each night…definitely not a good idea to hit the gym with expectations of accomplishing a stellar work out. I know better though, I realize that without focus I can not master proper form while carrying out my exercises and we all know how important ‘form’ is!

OK so what to do if you’ve already hauled yourself to the gym with raccoon eyes; here’s my advice –

1. Slow it down; you may find yourself trying to rush through your sets in hopes of finishing up earlier than usual, no, instead slow it down and concentrate on your movements. Breath.

2. Reduce your reps, reduce your weight; your muscles are tired so don’t over do it tonight. Get a solid set of 3 in, keep your reps to 8-10 and be happy. Remember it’s best to focus on completing 8-10 reps in perfect form than it is to rush 15 reps, 4 sets.

3. Hydrate; a given really but I can’t stress it enough, get that water in ya! Your body loves it and it will help you to channel your focus.

Kisses, LL!

Body Science: Let’s investigate the “Squat”

Chris Cander helps us understand the science of the squat;

If the gym fairy came to you in a dream and told you that you were only allowed to perform one exercise for the rest of your life, which one would you choose? The squat, of course. It’s considered by experts to be the single best exercise for working the lower body: quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, core stabilizer muscles and glutes <<< YES, I believe it. The Squat is one of my favorite gym workouts!

The squat can be performed in so many different ways that you could choose a different variation each workout and only have to repeat it once a year. Michelle Sharp, an IFPA certified personal trainer and owner of Sharp/Physiques Fitness Studio in Houston, Texas, says that, although the squat incorporates all the muscles of the lower body, you can emphasize the glutes by following some simple guidelines.

“First, placing your feet far in front of your body isolates the glutes,” she says. “Second, always push through the heels of your feet; pushing through the toes shifts the load to your quads. Finally, put your mind where your muscle is. You will work the muscle harder if you concentrate on it.”

 Here are three ways to perform this butt-buster:

ONE: Barbell Squat

“This basic squat incorporates your core as well as your glutes and legs,” says Sharp. Use either a squat rack (the bar alone weighs 45 pounds) or a pre-weighted barbell. Position your feet wider than shoulder-width apart to focus on the glutes and inner thighs, or narrow them to target the glutes and outer thighs. Squat down until your thighs are parallel, keeping your knees aligned with your ankles and toes. Pause for a one count at the bottom, and return to the starting position and squeeze your glutes without locking your knees.

 

TWO: BOSU squat

Stand with your feet almost together on the “bubble” side and lower your body slowly until your thighs are parallel to the floor. “If you can descend an extra 10 degrees, you’ll really feel it in your glutes,” says Michelle. She suggests varying the move by holding for two seconds at the bottom of the movement and going up on a four count. Go back down on a two-count and power up quickly to the starting position.

 

and… THREE: jump squat

Begin with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Drop down into a deep squat and power up through your heel and arch to keep the knee stable until you come off the floor. “This targets the glutes on the descent,” says Michelle. “I like to superset this exercise with a weighted squat without resting between sets.

 

NOW MAKE THOSE THIGHS BURN LADIES …!!!

Check out freelance writer Chris Cander, she specializing in the areas of health, fitness, and nutrition http://www.chriscander.com/index.html

Ciara Ciara; she did it again!

Did what you ask? …Geezus, just check out the video and you’ll know exactly what I’m raving about. Ciara’s new video release “Ride” from the Fantasy Ride album is quite the show stopper!

The track is featuring our atlanta rep Ludacris…our girl goes from basic tights sporting at baseball cap (classic cici) to then a bangin’ black swimsuit fit for a runway model (zoom in on the bod in this scene, blow your freaking mind! …lucky Luda!) and then mr director teases us with a bucking saddle ranch scene…Ciara rides well,  right right?!

Ladies, listen, if you’re looking for some sort of inspiration to hit the gym, run the park or pick up a weight look no further than this…

Summer weather is already knocking at our door…wanna get the ciara-ride-right look? …well, what are you going to do about it?! Let’s get to work!

Billions & Billions & Billions

147 Billions of dollars are spent annually on medical costs associated with obesity in the United States – that’s 9% of all healthcare expenditures across the board! So start beating your bulge by hitting the gym and eating clean!

1. Strength Training – Adding weights to your routine not only makes you stronger and leaner, it also increases your metabolism and helps you burn more fat. Many women think by strength training they will become too muscular, not the case! Don’t be afraid of a little muscle tone, it looks great and is healthy. Remember; muscle helps you burn fat.

2. Eat Clean Foods – such as whole grains. A 2009 study in the Journal of Nutrition [http://www.nutrition.org/publications/the-journal-of-nutrition/] found that people who consume the highest amounts of whole grains have 2.4% less body fat than those who eat the least. So ladies, fuel your fat loss by choosing WHOLE GRAIN foods.

3. Love Cardio – Oh it’s not that bad! Many women tell me that they grow bored with their cardio workouts my advice would be to try adding one-minute intervals to your program to up your energy and blast fat. Don’t be afraid of the incline button ladies, don’t shy away, hit it!

4. Plan 5 to 6 Meals a Day – yupp, that’s right, eat, eat and eat again! Instead of three large meals, aim to eat 5-6 times per day. NEVER, I repeat NEVER skip on your breakfast.

5. Give it Some Time – Keep it realistic. Quick results usually don’t last, so go with the slow-and-steady approach to reach your goals and stay lean. If you’re losing crazy weight in a short period of time chances are you’re losing it in a unhealthy manner. More times than none you’ll probably put that weight right back on so aim to do it the right way, the healthy way!

Butt Thrusting!! Grab your attention??

 

Target: gluteus maximus!!!

I just had to steal this one because I love this classic glute workout that is easy, quick to do and really targets those cheeks!  This is a Robert Kennedy “must-do”. For those unknowing Robert is the publisher of Oxygen Magazine, a terrific monthly fitness bible you want to check out.

Kill that giggle-wiggle in the back, tone up and firm those glutes by incorporating this simple training technique – The Hip Thrust.

I found it best to mix it up with other glute work outs like the –

  • The Back Step Lunge
  • Sumo Squats or
  • The Single Leg Bench Step-Up

I usually apply a circuit of 3 different exercises that all target the glute muscles.

Try 12-15 reps of 3-4 sets of three of the suggested gluteus maximus exercises to really feel the burn! …but please don’t hate me if you can’t sit comfortably the following morning. DO IT!

HIP THRUST:

 

Set Up: Lie on your back on the floor with your feet comfortably apart (15 to 20 inches). Place a weight plate across your pelvis (as shown), holding it in place with your hands [A].

Action: Raise your hips as high as possible [B], lower and repeat. Your feet can be flat on the floor or you may choose to keep only your toes on the floor [C]. The up-on-the-toes position will activate additional stabilizer muscles in your core and isolate the hamstrings a bit more than the flat-footed version.

Tip: At the conclusion of your set, you can perform a dozen quick pulses to maximize the intensity in the glutes area (i.e., at the top of the movement where your hips are raised, perform a series of quick pulses where the up-down action is limited to just two to three inches).

Robert Kennedy – Oxygenmag.com