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What to snack on while watching TV that won’t wreck your diet

What to snack on while watching TV that won’t wreck your diet

Thanksgiving? Turkey.
Birthday? Cake.
Mall? Auntie Anns.
Movies? Popcorn.
Munchies? Pizza.
Bad Day at Work? (Scratch that, anytime after work)? Wine.
Get Laid Off? Tequila. Mas Tequila.
Get Cheated On? Ben and Jerrys.

Every event in our lives is associated with food and drinks. No wonder we have such a hard time with food! The same concept applies as we wiggle our way onto the comfy sofa. TV goes on and brain goes off. This is when that little devil on your shoulder decides your previously full belly is in need of a snack. How could you possibly sit through an entire television sitcom without putting something in your mouth! Heaven forbid.

As a result, Just Fitness 4 U complied a list of 10 foods/drinks that one should eat or drink while watching T.V. Starting with the BEST possible option and finishing with the least favorable option.

  1. Air. Suck it up. That’s right. Sometimes we can’t have everything we want. After dinner (and a small dessert) it’s time to call it quits.
  2. Water. We have heard it before…often times people mistake hunger for thirst. So enjoy that H20 as you watch the Big Bang Theory.
  3. Tea. Something is so soothing about a nice cup of tea ol chap!
  4. Gum. At least give some part of your body exercise as you lie there.
  5. Celery. You actually burn more calories eating celery than consuming it and I don’t think anyone has every thought, “man, I ate WAY too much celery last night.”
  6. Roasted Veggies/Edamame. Any type of vegetable roasted is purely delicious and low in calories. Sprinkle a little olive oil, place in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Frozen Grapes. Grapes in their solid cold state stops us from eating them so fast and they taste like mini popsicles.
  8. Sandwich Roll Ups. More protein and less carbs compared to some other snacks.
  9. 100 Calorie Popcorn. It already provides you portion control, so snack till you pop.
  10. Ice Cream. That’s what you really want…I know! Just make sure you measure out the scoop. And don’t you dare think about eating out of the carton. Unless you got cheated on…then refer back to my list at the top.

 

What are you favorite healthy snacks? Share them with us in the comments!

 

Can weightlifting make me look bulky?

Can weightlifting make me look bulky?

It’s a question asked more times than a child probing are we there yet on a 10 hour car ride. Many women believe that using heavy weights will immediately transform you into a female version of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Is this belief true? Can women really bulk up with a 30-pound dumbbell?

The answer in short, it is possible for women to get bulky, but highly improbable. Less than 1/10 of one percent of women can achieve such results. In fact, it would require long-term, consistent training and a big nutrition push to see results. One would have to be genetically gifted to get “bulky.”

Since few women actually get bulky from lifting heavy, who do so many of us think we do? 

First reason: Self Perception. No offense ladies, we have terrible self-perception. When a person feels their guns are getting swole, they start to look at their arms differently.

Second reason: Eating More. I can eat this cookie, I went to the gym today, sound familiar? Some women deliberately eat more because they think they need it to support their training.

Third Reason: Fluid Retention. In the early stages of training, you get a lot of inflammation and the muscles draw in glycogen and water. The fluid retention and inflammatory process is what causes the stiffness and soreness, same as what happens if you sprain your ankle and it swells up. So, women will train for a couple of weeks and swear they have ‘bulked up’ — and perhaps they have, but it’s not muscle. And that means it’s not permanent.

In a recent Huffington Post article on the subject of light weightlifting verses heavy weightlifting, several published studies suggest that is doesn’t really matter whether you go heavy or light. You’ll pretty much get similar results either way if you’re trying to build muscular strength – as long as you lift until you are fatigued or to muscle failure.

A study of 164 women, highlighted in US News Health found that weight training helped keep fat at bay better than cardio did. This is because you muscles are responsible for your metabolism. The more muscles you have the higher your metabolism and the more energy you’re going to have.

All in all, if you are looking to become lean and strong start adding more weight training into your work out. Additionally, diet plays a huge role in shedding the fat to display those new muscles of yours!

Want more information? Contact Just Fitness 4 U Dallas to get a consultation with our certified personal trainers. Click here to find a location near you.

What is Gluten

What is Gluten? Should I go Gluten-Free?

The Gluten-Free Lifestyle: Is it a fad? Is it for me? And in all honesty, what is gluten? So many individuals are willing to swear off gluten for life without truly understanding what it is. First, let’s get a better understanding of this grain before we say goodbye for good.

Gluten Explained: Gluten is a protein found in wheat and related grains. The purpose of gluten is two-fold; helping the dough rise and keep its shape, as well as, give dough it’s chewy texture. You will find gluten in pasta, couscous, bread, cookies, cereal, beer, dressings and sauces.

Why would someone go gluten-free? Originally, the gluten-free diet was intended to treat individuals with celiac disease; an inflammation in the small intestines when one does consume gluten products.

But in recent years, the concept of gluten-free has gone mainstream, causing gluten-free products to fly off the shelves. I don’t blame them. I came across a friend’s blog who decided to go gluten-free years ago, due to her sensitivities with gluten, and now she looks terrific. Thanks to a gluten-free diet she is thin, happy and symptom free.

But at the end of the day we forget the main reason behind eliminating this form of nutrient. Before we dig into a bag of gluten-free potato chips, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is your interest in a gluten-free diet?

Have you noticed certain sensitivities after consuming the above mentioned food items? These include diarrhea, gas, bloating, dizziness, constipation (constipation is actually more common with children), chronic fatigue or inflammation in your joints.

If you don’t have these symptoms and simple want to lose weight, a gluten-free diet may not be the best solution.

  1. Am I willing to live a gluten-free lifestyle?

A fairly robust amount of information needs to be done before someone commits to gluten-free. It’s not just swearing off bread, there are so many foods that contain gluten. Even supplement, medications and toothpaste contain gluten.

Some may decide to limit their gluten lifestyle while others wish to completely eliminate it.

  1. How do I begin living a Gluten-Free life?

First we would suggest having a complete check up with your family physician or the appropriate specialists such as an allergist or gastroenterologist.

Self-diagnosis can be risky, as gluten-free diets can cause a nutrient-deficiency. These diets are low in fiber, iron, folate, nicacin, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12. Therefore, it is important that you work with a nutritionist or really do your homework.

In the end, unless you do have gluten sensitivities, a life of less bread and pasta, gluten free or not, will lead to a healthier result. Don’t become a victim to gluten-free chips and junk just because of the label.

To learn more about gluten and living a gluten free lifestyle, visit www.glutenfree.com

 

Do you follow a gluten-free lifestyle? What recipes can you recommend?

Myth vs. Fact:

Myth vs. Fact: It’s more expensive to eat healthy food.

Myth: It’s more expensive to eat healthy food.

Fact: With a little planning, eating healthy foods can actually cost less than shelling out for typical fast-food fare. Are you surprised?

A study at the Mary Imogene Bassett Research Institute found that a person who follows a diet of heart healthy whole foods can reduce her grocery bill by up to $8 a week. That translates to an annual savings of $416 a year for a single person.

To help reduce your grocery bill, swap legumes for meat products; buy less-expensive produce such as apples, oranges, carrots, spinach and cabbage; and purchase healthy whole grains like oatmeal and rice in bulk.

What other ways have you found that help you save money while maintaining a healthy diet?

 

How To Enjoy Your Gym Membership & Get Ripped

How To Enjoy Your Gym Membership & Get Ripped

Across the country, there are about 58 million people who sign up for a gym membership. After all, it is one of the best ways to stay fit and satisfied with your physical shape.

If you have just signed up for a gym membership or you are planning to join a fitness class or go one-on-one with a trainer, here are a few tips on how to enjoy your membership, make new friends, and meet your fitness objectives.

Call Yourself a Rookie but Don’t Make Rookie Mistakes

Every new member should learn to tread lightly on his or her first month at a new gym so you don’t make rookie mistakes. This is important as you get used to the environment, get to know the people behind the counters and equipment, and blend in. A rookie is someone who is new to a scene and invariably tends to make mistakes so here’s a list of how to avoid rookie makes in the first month at the gym:

  • Ask and don’t stop asking questions if you’re unsure about something, especially about how to use the equipment and facilities. Keep in mind that if you were a member in another gym, the equipment may look familiar but may have different operating mechanisms.
  • If there is a membership orientation, attend it.
  • If you like working out with music, make sure you have earphones or ear buds that can contain the volume well.
  • Wear the proper attire. Cotton is now considered outdated since it does not wick sweat well. Instead, wear something that dries quickly and does not drip. It’ll make you more comfortable but also not leave lots of sweat behind for others (and also, wipe down machines when you’re done!)
  • Keep your mobile phone quiet and take calls outside the workout area so you don’t disrupt the workout of other members. Nothing is worse than someone loudly talking on the treadmill and distracting people doing a serious workout.

Follow the Fitness Trainers’ Lead

Most fitness centers and gyms will ask you about your fitness goals. These goals will be relayed to the trainers and fitness professionals so they can help you attain your goals so take their lead. There’s nothing wrong with a healthy discussion about your program, but do give them the respect they deserve.

Change Up

Once you start getting bored with your routine, change it up. Join classes or request a new program. The repetitive exercise syndrome is one of the reasons many members tend to lag on their fitness goals.

In addition, repeating the same routine puts you at risk for injuries as you become less conscious and alert of your actions and more robotic.

Finally, enjoy socializing with other members but do try to keep it professional especially as a new member. Adopt a wait-and-see to find out who among the members you will most likely get along with and not end up in the middle of a dispute among cliques.

 

 

We would love to know: how have you enjoyed your membership at Just Fitness 4 U Dallas?

The First Step is the Hardest

The First Step is the Hardest

I’m not going to waste time – New Year’s resolutions have come and left. Many people made resolutions about eating better, going to the gym and making better choices for their health. Hopefully, if those were your resolutions, you have stuck with them and have been consistent for the first few months.

Just in case you haven’t stuck with them, I want to take a few minutes to encourage you. Even if you didn’t have resolutions for fitness, but you have a desire to make changes, you don’t need a new year or even the first of the month to start.

I know it is tough, but the first step is truly the hardest. Even if you don’t have a history of fitness or physical exercise, baby steps are better than no steps at all. Don’t feel like you have to start with an hour and a half weight training and cardio day. Start with 10 minutes of walking or some body weight exercises. Every little bit counts!

The Internet can be a great resource. Use Google to find some good introductory body weight exercises to get your routine started. Or, even better, join a gym and ask the fitness professionals there for some tips on how to get started. Most gyms can provide training services from certified personal trainers who can walk you through a routine as many times a week as you would like. They can advise you on cardio, weight training and nutrition.

My biggest advice regarding making a first step towards fitness is do not be one of those people that signs up and never comes back. Baby steps are key! The hardest step in physical fitness is the first step out of the door to actually go.

Use positive self-talk for encouragement and find others that will encourage you on your journey. Find accountability partners that will be tough on you if you make excuses and try to back out of going to the gym or going on a walk or run. If you really want to achieve your goals, you need the first step – motivated by positive self-talk and a community of loved ones that encourage you!

Physical well being is not just about fitness and exercise, but also about your nutrition. Fresh is always key when it comes to fruits, vegetables and meat. Lean proteins such as chicken and turkey are good for each meal along with fruits and vegetables. Try to eat only whole grains when it comes to carbs and avoid high fat and packaged foods.

 

What other tips do you have that encourage the first step towards physical well being?

Fitness Myths You Should Junk

Fitness Myths You Should Junk

Myths are a topic taught to children in school – think Greek mythology.

But there are other types of myths beyond the extraordinary ones you learn growing up, the type of everyday myths that, as it turns out, are really just misconceptions or misunderstandings that continue to be passed on.

In fitness, there are no ancient Greek stories or curses to debunk, there are just hyped-up ideas on health and fitness that probably started as a joke or marketing gimmick and are now considered by many as truth.

Here are a few of the most common and strangest myths on fitness that you should never consider as even slightly true.

Myth #1 Training on a problem area only benefits that problem area

The only way you can trim only your abdominal fat or only take away fat in your upper arms is through surgical procedures like liposuction. Training doesn’t work like that – it’s better. When you train, you can focus on specific drills but in almost all cases, the entire body will benefit. This is because scientifically, the body draws fat from different areas at varying rates which would depend on your genetic make-up.

Just think about it, have you ever seen a man with a six pack but with fatty thighs and arms? Do you have friends who are able to work only on their thighs and not on the arms? The beauty of working out in the gym is that you are able to work on all parts of your mind and body. The process may be slow but it will definitely get you to a fitter shape.

Myth #2 Muscle gain becomes impossible after age 40

Aging has its downside but muscle gain is not one of it. However, there are people over 40 who struggle with muscle gain even after months in the gym. The fault lies not with the program but may have something to do with physical deficiencies like lack of hormones or a potential osteoporosis condition. There are quick diagnostic tests that can be done to find out if you have deficiencies like a saliva test. The other possible cause could be the fact that it is only at age 40 that you have started any kind of fitness program, thus you should consider yourself a babe in training – and this means the end results may take some time before they are visible.

Myth #3 Yoga is better than going to the gym

Actually, yoga and exercise is a good combination but yoga alone, which is based on the spiritual disciplines of Buddhism and Hinduism, aims to transform and control spirit and body. In fact, it was only in the 1980s that yoga started trending as a form of physical exercise even though it was never meant to be used as a fitness program. People do manage to lose weight, but getting ripped is not usually a benefit. This is because you don’t really burn calories the way you would with a fitness program.

There are many, many other myths that should be rejected as false. If you enroll in a gym membership, you will come to know what these are and voluntarily reject them on your own as you see the effects of a true honest (and fun) fitness program.

Fitness Classes are Key

Fitness Classes are Key

Whether you have been working out consistently for many years or want to start a new physical exercise routine, fitness classes are a great way to mix up your routine or get excited about starting some new habits.

If you have never been in a fitness class and all you have seen is what is featured on movies and television shows – let me dispel some rumors.

First, you will not have a ‘Richard Simmons-like’ instructor who is decked out in bright colored gear making awkward facial expressions. People won’t stare at you if you do a move wrong or talk about you if you are out of shape. You aren’t required to do the entire class at the speed of the instructor – you can go at your own pace and stop when you need. You are allowed to ask questions and alter movements to fit your experience level or fitness level. The classes aren’t filled with professional body builders and models – so, unless you are a professional body builder or model (that’s cool, too) you will be surrounded by people just like you!

With all those out of the way, let’s look at what fitness classes are and why you should seriously consider them.

First, there are many different types of fitness classes. There are dance-style classes such as Zumba and Hip Hop, which do not require you to be a good dancer. These can be very fun and can maybe improve your dance skills, even if just a little. There are also cycling and spin classes that take place on a bicycle, which is mounted into a stand that allow you to pedal in place. Also, there are classes such as yoga, Pilates and Bodypump that use different types of exercise techniques to achieve results in flexibility, strength and quickness.

This is just a small sample of fitness classes offered through gyms or local community centers. There are so many styles of fitness classes to fit a wide range of interests and preferences. Not to mention, if you don’t like a class, you don’t have to attend and can try something else. Maybe you will find two or three classes that you like to attend on a monthly or weekly basis? Additionally, group classes are usually included in your gym fees, which means there is no excuse about an extra charge to participate.

One of the biggest bonuses about fitness classes versus individual workout routines in the team atmosphere and accountability they provide. After a while, you may find that there are a core group of people attending the class daily or weekly, which helps to develop new friendships and people who have similar goals for fitness and wellness as you. They can encourage you to keep working hard for your goals and you can do the same for them.

 

Why else do you think fitness classes are a good option for exercise?

Why Personal Training?

Why Personal Training?

Have you just started working out or have you been working out for a while and feel like you’re in a rut? Do you benefit having someone encourage you and give you a set routine for achieving your goals? Either way – consider personal training.

One of the main benefits of personal training is accountability. If you have set appointments with your trainer throughout the week, you feel more motivation to be there and be on time. You have someone to call you if you don’t come and call you out when you aren’t giving your best. While some people aren’t responsive to this kind of motivation, a personal trainer can go on your journey with you day in and day out and celebrate with your successes and motivate you with positivity during your setbacks.

There is more than just accountability, there are also other benefits according to Deb Aikey’s article “Is it better to use a personal trainer or not?”: “improvement to self-esteem and self-image, consistency, safety, supervision and a feeling of success and a friend in your corner,” are just a few.

In addition, just like you work in a specific field, personal trainers are certified in lifting, cardio and nutrition. They have studied this area immensely and have experience training people of all sizes and physical activity levels. They can listen to your goals and tailor a workout routine and nutrition plan that will help you to reach your goals. They can keep track of your progress and make changes as needed.

Speaking of nutrition: “A personal trainer can also help clients lower their blood pressure and cholesterol with exercise and encouragement when it comes to eating healthier.” Even if you don’t have experience with healthy eating or currently have very unhealthy eating habits, a personal trainer can find ways to ease you into a routine by making small changes a little bit at a time. Don’t worry, they won’t yell at you for eating your favorite treat, unless you ask for it.

Sometimes, a person’s biggest inhibition towards personal training is the cost. “For clients who don’t have the funds or the time for such a commitment, she [Deb Aikey] says that even working with a personal trainer once per week, and doing assigned “homework” on one’s own, can help clients achieve goals.”

 

What are the other benefits you see for using a personal trainer?

 

Need a personal trainer? Click here to find a Just Fitness 4 U Dallas near you

Fitness Isn’t Just Physically Beneficial

Fitness Isn’t Just Physically Beneficial

One’s physical, mental and emotional health is very important for quality and longevity of life. Emotional and mental health is typically associated with ones social life, sense of belonging, happiness, security, etc. When you think of physical health, what do you think of? Nutrition, physical activity and treatment of sickness, right?

Actually, physical fitness and exercise has a real impact on one’s emotional and mental health for several reasons, according to Sophia Breene’s article in Huffington Post, “13 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise.”

First, physical exercise is a major stress reliever. While I know, at first, you may feel added stress at the thought of starting a new exercise routine, once you finally get into the flow of things on a consistent basis, it can actually help reduce stress. This isn’t just a theory, “Exercise also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. So go ahead and get sweaty — working out can reduce stress and boost the body’s ability to deal with existing mental tension.”

Speaking of chemicals, exercise increases endorphins in the brain that present feelings of joy and happiness. Some doctors even recommend patients struggling with sadness and depression use exercise to treat their condition. Even just 30 minutes can be beneficial.

Do you ever have trouble remembering dates or names? Physical exercise increases ones memory and learn more efficiently. “Getting sweaty increases production of cells in hippocampus responsible for memory and learning. For this reason, research has linked children’s brain development with level of physical fitness.” The same is applicable for adults as well!

With that said, there are physical benefits included, which in turn impact emotional and mental wellness through self-confidence. As you start a physical exercise regimen, you may lose some weight, gain muscle or notice certain areas getting more trim. After time, you will probably notice these things when looking in the mirror and your clothes may fit a little better, which may make you more confident in yourself physically.

Since we are being brutally honest, getting older is an unavoidable part of life. As we age, our brains age too, which means that we are more likely to get degenerative diseases or battle a losses of brain function in some areas, like memory (explained above). “While exercise and a healthy diet can’t “cure” Alzheimer’s, they can help shore up the brain against cognitive decline that begins after age 45 Working out, especially between age 25 and 45, boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain for memory and learning.”

 

We would love to hear from you: what benefits have you seen as a result of physical exercise?