Tagged "Workout Tips"


6 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing That Weight

Posted by Amina AlTai on

Eating clean, lifting weights and running all the way from here to Timbuktu but still can’t lose weight?  It’s a common problem in my coaching practice.  Time after time, I encounter dedicated gym bunnies that are checking off all the boxes and seemingly doing it all “right,” but the number on their scale just won’t budge; even more demoralizing, sometimes the number goes in the opposite direction. What’s that about?! 

First, let’s have a little lesson in what the number on the scale really means.

Our weight is a compilation of body fat, muscle mass, water weight and more.  So when you see the numbers on the scales increase, it doesn't necessarily mean you’ve gained fat.  To dig more into this, let's have a little biology lesson, shall we?

Body Fat percentage & Body Fat Mass:

  • Body Fat Percentage is the proportion of fat to the total body weight.
  • Body Fat Mass is the actual weight of fat in your body.

Visceral Fat:

  • Visceral fat is located deep in the core abdominal area, surrounding and protecting the vital organs. This tends to increase with age and can cause more fat around the abdomen. 

Muscle Mass:

  • The predicted weight of muscle in your body. This includes the skeletal muscles, smooth muscles such as cardiac and digestive muscles and the water contained in these muscles. Muscles act as an engine in consuming energy.  Often, when we exercise more, our muscle mass increases.  Since muscle weighs more than fat, it can often cause the scale number to shift in the other direction. 

Total Body Water:

  • Total Body Water is the total amount of fluid in the body expressed as a percentage of total weight. Over half of our body weight is water and it helps to regulate temperature and eliminate waste.  The amount each of us needs varies from day-to-day, depending on the climate we live in and the amount of physical activity we’re doing. 

 Yes, it’s true that increased muscle mass can make us weigh in a little more, but if you have a smart scale, you’ll see that that isn’t the case.  There could be more at play.  Like what, you’re wondering? Here are some weight-gaining culprits:

Stress

We all have a ton of stress in our lives.  But if we don't manage it properly, it can lead to an over-production of cortisol, the stress hormone.  Cortisol also causes higher insulin levels, which can impact your food choices.  It often leads to craving fatty and sugary foods which contribute to weight gain specifically in the stomach area.  Managing stress through breathing exercises, meditation and relaxing activities is a great way to reduce cortisol. 

Over-exercising

 Many of us type A's are busting our a$$es at the gym, thinking it will lead to increased muscle mass and lower percentage body fat… but the numbers often go the other way.  The reason being is that when we exercise with great intensity, we often overestimate calories burned and then overeat calories needed for recovery.  Additionally, intense exercise also produces cortisol which can cause weight gain and encourage overeating.  So pull back on the seven days of intense workouts and vary your exercises incorporating gentle yoga practice, long walks and leisurely bike rides. 

Bad Bacteria

Our microbiome is a delicate balance of bacteria and occasionally, some bad bacteria can work its way in there.  Recent studies have repeatedly demonstrated that the makeup and variety of our flora can have a big impact on our weight. The most current literature suggests that obesogenic bacteria can exacerbate weight gain and trigger metabolic dysfunction.  If you suspect this may be the cause, speak to your health care provider about a stool analysis test to better understand the bacteria at play in your gut. 

Yeast

 Overgrowth of Candida Albicans or yeast as a result of overuse of antibiotics, birth control pills or just the standard American Diet can lead to weight gain and stubborn pounds that just won’t budge.  Candida is fed by sugar and carbohydrates so a diet rich in both can perpetuate weight gain.  Some health care practitioners even believe that yeast overgrowth can even cause thyroid imbalances which only further perpetuate metabolic challenges.  A stool analysis will identify the role of yeast in your weight challenges. 

Food Sensitivities

Food sensitivities, overgrowth of bad bacteria and candida can all greatly affect the gut and lead to widespread inflammation.  Digested food particles can leak into the bloodstream causing your immune system to react to the perceived toxins and triggering inflammation, weight gain, joint pain and more.  So if you're eating foods the leave you bloated and achy, it might be time for an elimination diet to understand which foods might be taking you down.  

PH Levels

The optimum PH level is between 7.2-7.4.  Very specific, I know.  Symptoms of PH imbalance including everything ranging from heart burn, constipation, slow metabolism, hormonal imbalances, brain fog, low blood sugar, sore muscles and more.  How do we become too acidic, you ask?  Even if you’re eating somewhat clean, years of less-than-perfect eating could be contributing.  Meats, sugar, caffeine, dairy, beans and grains are all acid forming.  The remedy?  More greens, please!  Swap your morning coffee for green juice, eat more raw veggies and scale back on meat. 

 

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Seven Health Hacks to Implement Now

Posted by Julia McVeigh on

In the beginning of the year most of us have two things on the brain: Rebooting our health and taking a vacation. But with busy careers, weekends occupied by family, and the seemingly endless to-do list that is “life,” it’s often hard to a take a trip, let alone get a workout in. This is why easy-to-implement health hacks are our BFFs in the New Year. Ahead, we’re sharing seven of our favorites. 

Go on a Cab Strike

 

One of the simplest ways to improve your overall health is to generally become more active. While this seems easy enough, many of us think that it requires gym memberships, boxing gloves, or spinning shoes. Don’t overcomplicate things! Getting active can be as easy as walking more in your day-to-day existence. Begin by taking a “cab strike” – aka no taxis, period. Either take public transportation (which inherently requires more walking) or bike / walk from place to place. Use your smartphone or a step tracker and you’ll be shocked by just how much more active you’ve become.

 
Add Collagen Peptides to Your Morning Smoothie

 

As we get older, our collagen production naturally declines, something which anti-aging skincare commercials are sure to remind us again and again. But aside from losing skin elasticity and resilience, diminished collagen production can have negative impacts on both joint and bone health. Cue: Collagen peptides. These powdered supplements contain the amino acids necessary to produce more collagen and keep skin, joints, and bones healthy. We love Vital Proteins – an odorless, tasteless version sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hides – and prefer adding it to our AM smoothie, yogurt, or oatmeal.

Make Your Desk a Standing Desk

 

Research says sitting can kill you. But if you have a job that requires computer time, meetings, and a generally sedentary lifestyle, it’s hard to sidestep that scary reality. Why not opt for a standing desk, then? While there are plenty of options available online, we prefer to do the old-fashioned version: Stacking some thick, coffee table books on our desk. Try doing intervals of 20 minutes standing, 10 minutes sitting to begin and gradually work up to more standing time. Added points if you listen to some music and shake your booty.

Instead of Milk, Infuse Your Coffee with Coconut Oil

We all hear that we should be eating plenty of healthy fats to boost our immune system, gain more energy, and rev up our metabolism. But sometimes, our beloved cup of coffee is all we want in the morning. In lieu of cream, then, try stirring in a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil into your java each morning to get that blast of good fat. Added bonus: It still lends your coffee that rich, creamy consistency you’re craving.

Start Using Your Body Weight While You Wait

A photo posted by Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) on

 

You don’t need a pair of dumbbells to build muscle and lean out. Using your own body weight to exercise is a fantastic way to kick-start getting in shape, plus you can do it anywhere (read: while waiting for dinner to be ready). Need some inspiration? We recommend basic old pushups (they’re hard!), squats (head here to see what good form looks like), and planks as good beginning moves. Try doing three circuits of ten pushups, ten squats, and one minute in plank position and we dare you not feel accomplished – and sore – the next day.

Add Turmeric to (Almost) Everything

 

The benefits of eating turmeric are seemingly endless – it has anti-inflammatory properties, it’s a natural detoxifier, and it can even help boost your metabolism. It’s also lends a vaguely Eastern, not-too-spicy zip to any dish with just a couple of dashes. We love it on roasted veggies, in stews and in chili, and – surprise! – in our scrambled eggs (it really enhances the yellow color, natch). Or take a cue from Jeannette Ogden and stir some into your oatmeal! 

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Seven Fitspo Accounts to Follow Now

Posted by Julia McVeigh on

Resolving to sweat, stretch, swim, and spin more in 2017? Good for you! But if you’re like us, you won’t just need a pair of new sneakers to get you geared up – you’ll need some serious exercise motivation, too. Luckily, the world of Instagram is a treasure trove of fitness-focused women whose accounts can help you to get inspired. From yogis to weight lifters, we’re sharing some of our favorites ahead.

 

If you love doing a different workout every day… @hannahbronfman

 

The ultimate Renaissance woman, Hannah Bronfman seemingly does it all: She’s a hardcore fashion plate, jet-setting DJ, serious wellness entrepreneur, and overall girl boss. Fittingly, her feed showcases her ever-changing workouts, which include everything from Beyoncé dance classes to reformer Pilates. Follow her if you’re the type of person who gets restless doing the same exercises day-in and day-out – or if you want to achieve a killer booty.

 

If you dream in “befores” and “afters”… @kayla_itsines

A photo posted by Kayla Itsines (@kayla_itsines) on

 

Arguably the “OG” fitspo account, Kayla Itsines is the founder of the #BBG – aka beach body goals – workout plans. Kayla’s workouts can be conducted anywhere, thus emphasizing an inclusive, “anyone can do it” attitude. The proof? The jaw-dropping transformations she shares of the thousands of women who have participated in her program. We dare you to not dream of your “after” pic.

 

If you want to exercise with someone who feels like your BFF… @toneitup

A video posted by Tone It Up (@toneitup) on

 

Trainers Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott are the sunny forces behind Tone it Up, a fitness lifestyle brand that emphasizes a strong sense of community as much strong glutes. On their feed, they share serious training tips and techniques… along with plenty of not-so-serious LOL content. (They also support “Wine Wednesdays,” thus fully cementing their status as BFF-worthy.)

 

If you picture yourself starring in Swan Lake… @balletbeautiful

 

Mary Helen Bowers of Ballet Beautiful (which is also a New York City-based dance studio) is arguably the poster child for the “ballet body”: She’s long, lean, and lithe. Her feed showcases her enviably toned form, plus features an array of ballet-inspired workouts. At best, she’ll get you to start sweating at the barre; at worst, she’ll inspire you to improve that posture!

 

If you’re all about weight training… @kaisafit

A video posted by Kaisa Keranen (@kaisafit) on

 

While the gazelle-like physiques of ballerinas are absolutely inspiring, we also respect a woman who isn’t afraid to pack on the muscle. For those of you who find inspiration in cut triceps and chiseled abs, look no further than Kaisa Keranen’s account. While she tends to switch things up a bit, her feed is filled with some serious Cross Fit-esque weight lifting. Get ready to get your bench press on.

 

If you love all things Gwynnie and goop… @tracyandersonmethod

 

Ain’t no shame in being a Gwyneth Paltrow fan – after all, the woman runs a veritable wellness empire, is BFFs with Mario Batali, and is proof that even after two kids you can have a totally rockin’ body. That’s largely due to her trainer, the now-famous Tracy Anderson. Tracy’s feed features snippets of her slightly grueling (but totally transformative) mat-based workouts, plus some pretty amazing before-and-after photos.

 

If you’re looking to down dog all month long… @yoga_girl

A photo posted by Rachel Brathen (@yoga_girl) on

 

With two million followers and counting, Rachel Brathen of Yoga Girl has earned her status as a go-to Instagram yogi – and rightfully so. Her feed blends thoughtful pieces of wisdom, perfectly executed (but not intimidating) poses, and inspiring time-lapsed yoga sequences. She also happens to be pregnant right now – mamas-to-be, take note!

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3 Simple Ways to Make Working Out as Fun as Going Out

Posted by Amina AlTai on

As much as we love feeling good in our own skin (and let's be real, looking good in our fave swim suit) sometimes, working out is the pits. And no matter how much you amp yourself up, you'd rather just nextflix and chill. Sometimes we need a fitness miracle to snap us out our funk. But if working out felt like going out, we be racing to the treadmill like it was a sale at Lululemon. Here are a few of my fave coaching tips to get you from coach-surfing to curls in no time at all.

Make a killer playlist

We all have that one awesome playlist on our phone, usually saved under GNO. Well, dust it off and put it on full blast! Music has the power to alter our moods. In fact, new research suggests that even sad music can lift our moods and get us motivated. So crank up the tunes!  P.S A great set of headphones, like these uber cool ones above, doesn't hurt either)

Workout with a friend

We've heard this before, but it really works.  Those who start a new workout routine with a partner, are 40% more likely to stick to the routine than those who go it alone.  Friends don't let friends lose muscle mass.

Find a workout you love

It's true of jobs and workouts, find something you love and it will never be work.  If you hate running, don't do it.  If you're flexible and love yoga, you can find a balanced routine within that.  If strength training gives you a rise, find a local facility that specializes in that.  The best way to find one or two or even three workouts you love, is to try a variety first.  Getting a free pass to a local gym to try classes or even using ClassPass is a great way to test out a variety before committing.

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