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Posts in the fitness success category

Burn 400 Calories in 20 Minutes With Kettlebells

by Kathy Smith

Every bit of exercise counts. But the truth is….some workouts are more efficient than others and you owe it to yourself to experiment and try new things when it comes to fitness. Take kettelbells for example. Kettlebells are not just glorified dumbbells. They’re a workout tool that optimizes how you move your body to torch fat and tone muscle in less time.

A University of Wisconsin study found that a kettlebell workout can burn up to 20 calories per minute or 400 calories during a 20-minute session. With those numbers, all excuses for not enough time to exercise go right out the window!

It’s easy to quickly move from one exercise to the next during a kettlebell workout because of the kettlebell’s distinctive shape. When you’re smoothly moving through each exercise without stopping, you’re in what’s called the “kettlebell flow.” The calorie-burning and muscle-building don’t take a break, either.

So imagine this…You’re at the gym, moving along through a 30-minute elliptical workout at a moderate intensity. On the other side of the gym, another woman is powering through a 12-minute kettlebell routine, at high intensity, with little to no rest!
Which one of you will burn more FAT and CALORIES?
Even though you probably burned more calories during your elliptical workout, the woman doing the all-out kettlebell exercise is more likely to torch more fat and calories overall…even though she is working out for HALF as long.
Both workouts are effective ways to get in shape for summer, but the high-intensity kettlebell workout requires a bigger oxygen deficit. This leads to something called EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. This means that after your workout you need to take in more oxygen to recover properly. Because this requires more energy, your body burns even MORE calories after the workout is complete.
And because a kettlebell’s center of gravity shifts during the course of each exercise, your body – especially your core – naturally responds by engaging more muscles. Plus the shape of a kettlebell is very similar to every day objects like a heavy suitcase, moving a piece of furniture or stack of books, or even a shopping bag. Training with kettlebells has the instant benefit of making life’s heavy lifting a little easier.
Not only that, but kettlebell workouts combine the toning benefits of resistance training with the fat-blasting benefits of aerobics. The full body resistance training you get from kettlebells helps create lean muscles, which burn more calories, and reduce fat even when you’re not working out.
If you’re ready for quick results from an invigorating workout that will boost your metabolism, don’t miss today’s 5-minute FAT-BLASTING kettlebell video above.

Own your copy of Kathy Smith's Kettlebell Solution today!

Kathy

The 5 Foods that Are Making You Bloated

by Kathy Smith

Screen shot 2015-05-27 at 12.15.16 PM

Summer is often the time you take a closer look at your reflection in the mirror. You love summer weather, but that means fewer clothes to hide occasional bloating. Not only does bloating feel uncomfortable, it also makes you look heavier than you actually are.

What Causes Bloating?

It’s very common for bloating to result from our own dietary habits.  A top tip for reducing bloating is to increase your daily intake of water.  While it might seem contradictory, you can usually fix fluid retention in your body by increasing your fluid intake, including drinking more water. As you drink more water, your body releases fluids, potentially leading to less bloating.

Need a little motivation boost? There’s an app for that (try out Waterlogged for iPhone or Water Your Body for Android) Not tech savvy? All you have to do is set an alarm on your phone every hour on the hour to remind yourself to drink up! Also, try upgrading your water bottle to glass, an eco-friendly option that can be recycled infinitely without losing its purity.

Food & Drink to Avoid

Below are 5 foods that are major offenders when it comes to bloating. Eliminate them and you’ll see a smaller midsection very quickly. While I wholeheartedly recommend “everything in moderation,” if you want to maintain a flat tummy, it’s important to limit the amount of bloat-inducing food and drink you consume on a regular basis.

1. Alcohol

alcohol

Think caffeine is the worst culprit when it comes to bloating? Think again! While caffeine can reduce water by 1.7 ml per mg of caffeine consumed, alcohol well surpasses this, creating a 10 ml fluid reduction per gram of alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic, and, again, once the body realizes it’s running low on water, it clings onto what’s left, causing bloating.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that women limit themselves to no more than one alcoholic drink per day, and men no more than two. If you’re drinking more than the recommended limit, it could be a reason for your bloating.

 

2. Sugars

The amount of sugar in sodas and juices can exceed what your digestive track can absorb. When you put too much sugar into your system, the extra sugar enters your large intestine, where it ferments…producing gasses. Sugars can also upset the natural balance of good bacteria in your gut and that leads to… you guessed it, more bloating. Limit the amount of sugar from both natural sources like fruit and also refined sugars in the form of packaged sweets and you’ll see a flatter tummy.

3. Salty Products

Salt

  

Eating large amounts of salty foods is practically guaranteed to cause bloating. Try to limit salty foods such as popcorn, pre-packaged sauces, condiments, and cured meats. Not only will you find yourself less prone to bloating, but cutting salt out of your diet is good for your heart, too.

 

  

4. High Fat

Eating rich and fatty food can make you feel uncomfortably stuffed. It is much harder for the body to digest fatty foods, so it takes longer to break down a fatty meal. That’s why you feel fuller longer, but it also means that the food will stick around in your stomach for a while, filling you out and making you feel heavy and sluggish on top of the bloating. Stick with foods that can be easily digested and moved along to the intestines, rather than being left to hang out in your belly. Remember, when you’re eating fatty foods, eat slowly enough to give your body time to signal when you’ve had enough.

5. High Fiber

broccoli

Fiber is so good for us – it help keeps things moving and reasonable amounts of fiber can actually help reduce bloating by keeping the digestive system working well. It is recommended that adults eat around 25 grams of fiber each day.

Abruptly increasing the amount of fiber you eat could cause your abdomen to bloat. Nutritional powerhouses like beans, legumes, whole grains, broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and other cruciferous foods are also products that cause gas! These contain sugars and starches that may cause gassiness and bloating. Shrink down your serving sizes of cruciferous veggies when trying to beat the bloat.

 

Foods for a Flat Belly

If you’re striving for a flat belly, it’s best to limit the amount of the 5 foods listed above you consume. So the question is – what can you eat? Be sure to include lots of lean protein (which is digested quickly and easily), healthy oils such as olive oil and those found in nuts and avocados (which provide healthy amounts of “good” fats), and probiotic yogurts which contain good bacteria which keeps your digestive system in tune. I also like to add a probiotic to my protein shake every morning. My favorite is Real Food Real Life’s Pro-Daily-Otic.

Maintaining a toned abdomen is simple once you know how!

Place Your Order Here!

Kathy

By Collage Video | | fitness, fitness success, Kathy Smith, tips, Weekly Blog | 0 comments | Read more

7 Tricks to Bust Out of a Weight-Loss Plateau

by Kathy Smith

Far too many of us have thrown ourselves into a diet and exercise program, only to burn out and lose our motivation all too quickly. After a week or two of noticeable changes, those exciting results seem to have slowed down – and with them, our motivation. The problem? Plateaus. A plateau, simply put, is “a state of little or no change after a time of activity or progress.” Not exactly what we had in mind when we starting setting those new fitness and weight loss goals.

Here’s the great thing about plateaus: With the right game-plan, they can be overcome. plateaus aren’t a brick walls – they’re really just hurdles. And here are 6 simple steps to make sure you can glide right over them.

Expect Plateaus

Plateaus are a normal part of any health journey. Your body adapts to training and learns to meet the challenges you’ve provided in your workouts. That requires you to work harder, or differently, to accomplish the results you’ve experienced in the past.

Plateaus happen. Your job is to be ready for them. The better you understand the way your body works, the better you can bust through the plateau, and achieve the ultimate level of fitness you crave.

Why Do We Plateau?

So, why do we face the frustration of plateaus? What’s going on anyway?

The human body is constantly fighting to adapt. The harder you workout, the harder your body works to change. Let’s say, just for an easy example, that you’ve been walking one mile every day. At first, it’s hard to make it a mile. You get breathless. Your legs are sore. After a month or so, you’re fine. You may be a bit tired, but not exhausted. You’re not as sore as you once were.

Over those four weeks of daily walking, your body has undergone a gradual transformation. It has successfully adapted to the daily routine. Each day, your muscle fiber responded to the motion, your blood vessels strengthened, your oxygen uptake increased, and even your bone density improved. What’s even more amazing is that your neural pathways have adjusted to the daily walk, too. Everything about you — cells, bones, blood vessels, neurons, lungs, muscles —has changed to adapt to your healthy habit.

Your body is doing what it’s supposed to do. This process is known as homeostasis. Basically, your body is trying to find stability or equilibrium. When a daily walk becomes the norm, your body adapts to the new normal. This new normal, homeostasis, is a healthier you. If you keep at it, doing the same thing day after day, you’ll stay healthy, but you won’t keep progressing like you were previously. Your body has achieved equilibrium. In other words, you’ve hit the plateau.

Plateaus are a natural response of the body. You don’t need to blame yourself for the slowdown. Instead, you can use your knowledge of the human body to overcome its tendency to settle down and get comfortable. Here are some solid methods, backed by science, which will help you kick through the plateau phase, and gain major progress. As you fight through it, stay positive. A plateau isn’t the end of a healthy body; it’s the beginning of a healthier one.

If you’re starting a new weight-loss plan and want to steer clear of getting stuck in a rut—or you’re in a plateau right now and are looking for a way out, try these 7  strategies for moving the needle the right direction again.

1. Introduce Variety and Increase Intensity

The core idea to breaking through the plateau is a simple one: Variety and intensity. Since muscles adapt, they need constant variety in order to change. So in order to keep losing weight, you can change up your routine by introducing some variety or increasing your intensity levels.

2. Interval training

The concept of interval or “burst” training is simple. During a workout, particularly aerobic workouts, you ramp up the intensity of your workout in a short aggressive burst. Doing this several times during the course of a workout, in intervals, will improve your results. For example, if you’re performing a jump rope exercise, you can start with a steady build for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second burst, where you’re moving at a much higher intensity, really challenging yourself. This is a more effective approach to exercise than steady state training alone – not to mention it’s a great way to break up the monotony.

3. Turn your schedule upside down

Another way to break the plateau is to shake up your schedule. Circadian rhythms — the time of day you do certain things — and workout plateaus are close friends. You can shock the plateau away by changing the time, frequency, or regularity of your workout. If you’re accustomed to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday routine, try a Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday schedule instead. If you’re a right-after-work exerciser, go for a morning routine and watch the plateau disappear..

4. Try a new workout

sun-valley-yogaSince your body has hit equilibrium, it’s up to you to introduce disequilibrium, to throw your body into a new phase of adaptation, training, and improvement. You need new, you need different, you need variety. Once you’ve followed the same workout calendar for a few weeks, try substituting your workouts for something new. Maybe you can join the yoga class you’ve always wanted, start training for the 5K, pick up a new sport, explore TRX Training, try Pilates, or learn kickboxing. Change doesn’t need to be huge; it just needs to be change.

And variety in your workouts isn’t just about breaking through plateaus. Variety also keeps the mind fresh, opening up new neural pathways and creating a natural mental buzz. Plus, variety improves motivation. Giving your body something different to do heightens the anticipation and excitement of your routine. Exercising can be fun again. 

5. Remember to keep looking at the big picture

It’s easy to get hung up on the little things — looking at life in terms of calories consumed, ounces gained, and minutes spent on our workout. Rather than this micro view, adopt a macro perspective. Rather than freak out over a down week, look over your shoulder at the landscape behind you. You’ve made some progress, right? Be encouraged.

6. Keep consistent

Change is great, but neglect isn’t. Maintain your workouts, and you’ll develop the consistency that leads to results for the long haul.

7. Have fun!

If working out becomes the bogeyman of your life, you know something has gone wrong. Try to introduce fun into the equation, whether it’s by rewarding yourself with some healthy treats, getting some rest, recruiting an exercise buddy, or joining a new class. Keep your workout appealing and you’ll keep overcoming those plateaus, long after you've completed this program.

Kathy

Simple 3-Step Flat-Belly Plan (Yes, Please!)

by Kathy Smith

FineLivingPRSHOTS 009

 Two-piece. Cutouts. Bring it on!

The truth is, no matter what article of clothing you’re aiming to sport this summer, every woman wants to look and feel confident. And when it comes to our midsections, women tend to get shy. In fact, a recent study showed that 72% of women listed their belly as the part of their body they’re most uncomfortable with.

When it comes to abs, it all simmers down to this: the stuff you can pinch (fat) and the stuff you can cinch (muscle) and you can tackle both!

Even if you’re spending time in the gym, using this simple approach will ensure that the fat stores in your waistline will shrink.

The end result? You’ll be on your way to abs you LOVE!

Step 1: To Know Your Abs Is To Love Them

5art_artMLet’s start with the rectus abdomonis. These muscles flow from your ribcage to your pelvis, and those are your crunching muscles (what gives you those 6-pack abs!).The first step to flaunt-able, flat abs is to train the muscles. Your abdominals are made up of three different sets of muscles: the rectus abodminis, obliques, and transverse abdominis.

Then, we have obliques (internal and external). Whenever you do twisting motions, you’re using your obliques!

The last set of muscles is your transverse abdominis. The transverse abdomonis are your posture muscles, and they run across your body. Think of them as your built-in Spanx! Properly trained transverse muscles keeps your belly tightened inward. You use these muscles when you have to squeeze in your tightest pair of jeans without getting pinched!

TRAINING-THE-TRANSVERSE

 

Look what happens when I’m not engaging my transverse muscles (see photo on right). If I just let my muscles hang out, I get a little belly! Being in this position puts pressure on my lower back, and notice how my poor posture makes me look older and thicker! The trick is to engage your transverse muscles…even when you’re standing! You don’t have to be doing exercises on the floor to be working your abdominals and engaging your transverse muscles gives you an instant confidence boost!

 

 

Step 2. Burn off the fat!

We all have two types of fat – subcutaneous, which is underneath your skin, and visceral fat, which is marbled through your organs and muscles. The best way to get rid of both kinds is to do HIIT workouts.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a simple concept. After warming up, you push yourself with bursts of high intensity, then pull back the intensity to a steady state. Burst…then pull back, and repeat. This type of training will help burn the fat on your body, including your belly, in time for summer fashions.


Step 3. Hello, Abs!

The only way to burn off belly fat is to get moving! Adding a simple core workout, like the one above, will shrink your waistline and take your workout up a notch!

Incorporating this workout into your daily routine will help you achieve a trimmer waistline to look amazing and feel confident in your summer clothes.

Here’s to your health!

Kathy

Good Posture Keeps Your Body Young!

by Kathy Smith

Slouching Makes You Sad…

good-posture-keeps-your-body-young

I get a lot of compliments on my posture, and it makes me realize what a strong impression posture makes. When you stand and sit with good posture, you’re less likely to injure yourself in daily activity. Your internal organs have room to breathe. You radiate confidence and command respect. Your clothes fit better, and you get through the day with less fatigue.

Best of all, improving your posture makes you instantly look slimmer.

You only have to look around you to see the effect that aging can have on our bodies. I’m always shocked by the appearance of people who, after years of bone loss and poor posture, seem to stand in a permanent cringe. That’s why I urge you to start putting effort into your posture now.

It takes only a few minutes a week. The 2 quick moves below are specifically designed help you build strength for better posture. Don’t let gravity have the last word!

1. Midback Strengthener

Screenshot 2015-03-06 11.50.32

Targets: Upper back postural strength and flexibility of the front of the shoulder.

Setup: Stand with your back to a wall, touching heels, buttocks, upper back, and head. Bend your elbows 90 degrees and lift them to your sides at shoulder height. Press your elbows and hands against the wall. If you have tight shoulders, you may not be able to touch the wall with your hands, elbows, or both—focus on your effort.

Move: Widen your clavicles, funnel your ribs down toward your waist, and press your navel toward your spine. Keeping your elbows and hands against the wall, if possible, slide your arms overhead. Continuing to maintain pressure and effort, slide back down to shoulder level. Repeat six to eight times.

Focus: Maintain a neutral spine (your low back is not pressing against the wall, but your abdominals are engaged, pulling your navel toward your spine).

Comments: The effort in the postural muscles in your upper back will help stretch the front of your shoulders, enabling you to have the flexibility and strength to maintain or improve your posture.

2. Superman

Screenshot 2015-03-06 11.53.28

Targets: Low back (erector spinae, quadratus lumborum), buttocks (gluteals), and hamstrings.

Setup: Lie prone, with your neck in a neutral position. Pull your navel toward your spine

Move: With your arms stretched overhead, lift your arms/shoulders and feet/legs. Hold for a count of five, then release down. Do eight to twelve repetitions.

Focus: Focus on lengthening rather than lifting high. Try to keep your navel lifted off the floor.

Comments: If the exercise is too difficult, you could also break it into two exercise by lifting your arms and shoulders only—keeping your feet and legs on the floor—then doing the second set by keeping your arms and shoulders on the floor, lifting just your legs.

Kathy

1 Simple Way To Burn Calories Hours After Your Workout

by Kathy Smith

You probably have heard of the “afterburn effect,” or how some exercises can help you burn calories for hours after your workout (if not, it’s time to learn!).

The question is…which exercise will best power-up your post-workout afterburn?

Well, it all comes down to oxygen.

Simply put, exercise afterburn, also known as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), is the number of calories that are burned after your sweat-session is over.

Not to get too technical, but while you’re exercising, your oxygen consumption increases, allowing your body to support its energy needs. Your body then requires extra oxygen to to your muscle tissues following vigorous exercise. As you exercise harder, you’re not taking in enough oxygen for aerobic metabolism, so your body requires extra oxygen to your muscle tissues. EPOC represents the replacement of the oxygen stores that were depleted during your intense bout of exercise workout.

Basically, you want to find an activity that allows your body to work at 75-90% of its maximum level for short periods of time.

Walking intervals allow you to torch extra calories during and after your walk.

While on your walk, expend regular periods of short bursts of high-intensity intervals.This means that after walking at a regular pace for 3 minutes, amp up your intensity to 75-90% of your capacity for 1 minute. This method  is an easy way to blast calories and torch fat for hours after your workout! For example, your walk may look something like this:

  • 5 minute Warm-Up Pace
  • 1 minute Anaerobic Interval - For one minute, walk as fast as you possibly can! On a scale from 1-10, you should be pushing yourself from a 7-9.
  • 3 minute Recovery Interval – Walk at a comfortable pace
  • 1 minute Anaerobic Interval - The word “anaerobic” means “without sufficient oxygen.” Anaerobic exercises are more intense but of shorter duration. They quickly push you past your aerobic threshold, leaving you breathless. 
  • 3 minute Recovery Interval
  • 1 minute Anaerobic Interval
  • 3 minute Recovery Interval
  • 5 minutes Cool-Down Pace

With interval walking, there’s absolutely no boredom factor! Not only will you be on your way to a lighter and leaner you, but  you’ll also be burning calories after you unlace your workout shoes.

My new DVD, Fat Burning Walking Workout, is the easiest way to walk away the pounds!

Kathy

 

By Collage Video | | fitness, fitness success, Kathy Smith, Weekly Blog, wellness | 0 comments | Read more

The ULTIMATE Pre-Bed Meal (Try This Tonight!)

by Kathy Smith

4-best-foods-to-eat-before-bed

My good friend and top nutritionist Joel has let the cat out of the bag on what is undoubtedly the BEST pre-bed meal.

As I’ve discussed several times before in my newsletter articles, it is not necessary to avoid eating in the evening hours to lose flab. In fact, the right night-time meal can often positively affect your results and recovery from exercise by feeding your muscles with quality nutrition as you sleep.

The trick, as always, is choosing the RIGHT foods before bed, and knowing which foods those are. Here are Joel’s general “rules” to creating the ultimate pre-bed meal:

1. Avoid carbs and insulin.

Because consuming carbohydrates will result in a significant insulin release (which will in turn put the breaks on fat-burning), carbs are ill-advised for a pre-bed meal. Carbs are also much more easily stored as fat in the evening hours when metabolism is naturally slowing in preparation for sleep. Besides, you have very little opportunity to burn off that energy when consuming carbs at night — sleep isn’t a very calorically expensive activity!

In addition to carbs, certain animal proteins have been shown to yield a significant insulin response as well, such as red meat and certain fish. While these protein foods are OK for a pre-bed meal, there are better choices, like those mentioned below.


2. Choose slow digesting proteins.

Maqui Berry Protein shake

Slow digesting proteins, like white meat proteins such as turkey and chicken, are great night-time meal choices as they digest slowly and fail to produce a significant insulin response.

Another great choice is the milk protein casein, found in cottage cheese. Casein coats the stomach, digests slowly, and provides quality nutrition to your muscles over several hours…very ideal as a pre-bedtime protein source!


3. Add fat.

Quality, healthy fats such as nuts, oils, and nut butters are great additions to a pre-bedtime meal as they will help to further slow gastric emptying and digestion while increasing fullness and satiety so you don’t wind up snacking all night long.

Just follow these 3 simple rules for night-time snacking (slow digesting protein, low carb, add fat) and you’ll be in great shape…give it a try with an evening snack tonight!

Kathy

 

By Collage Video | | fitness, fitness success, Healthy, Kathy Smith, tips, Weekly Blog, wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Flatten Your Tummy in 5 Mins a Day

by Kathy Smith

Crunches, crunches, crunches!

What if everything you’ve ever learned about toning your tummy is wrong? 

Studies are continuing to show that the secret  to strengthening your core and tightening your tummy is about doing the right exercises…not spending doing traditional crunches.

In today’s blog, I've developed a science-based ab routine to help you create the abs you want in only 5 minutes a day! I’ll show you the exact exercises to lose fat and inches around your waistline, tone up your abs, and increase your confidence!

Here’s how to do it: Repeat each move for 30 seconds. Repeat twice.

 

cannonball

Cannonball

What it does:

  • This move is sometimes called the ˙banana,” because of the slightly-curved line your body forms at the start of the exercise. But no matter what you call it, this full-body core-strengthener is a surefire way to fire up the entire abdominal wall.

How to do it:

  • Start lying on your back, with your arms reaching out overhead, legs lifted slightly off the floor, and toes pointed. Even here, at the start of the move, you’re activating core muscles by stretching them out. Keep pressing the lower back into the mat or floor to ensure the back doesn’t arch. If this feels like too much tension on the back, try lifting the legs a little further away from the floor.
  • Imagine that, as you’re stretching the fingers and toes away from each other, the core is a strong magnet working to pull them back in. Using the force of that imaginary magnet, bring the knees in toward the chest. At the same time, reach your arms toward the legs.

Beginners:

  • Start by doing this move just one leg at a time. Resting your left leg on the floor, perform the move as described above using only the right leg. Do 10 repetitions and repeat on the left side.

Advanced:

  • At the top of the move, when you’re in ˙cannonball” position, wrap your arms around the shins. The objective is to find your balance point. To do that, you need to strongly engage your core muscles when you hit the top of the movement. Coordinating the arms and legs to hit that balance point is the challenge. 

 Ceiling Stap

ceiling-stamp

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lying on your back, squeeze your abdominals and lift your legs off the floor. Extend them up straight, feet facing the ceiling.
  • With your hands on the floor for balance, use your lower abdominal strength to push your feet up 1-2 inches toward the ceiling (meaning your hips come 1-2 inches further away from the floor simultaneously). It’s a quick movement, almost a ˙pulse,” as if you’re stamping the ceiling with the bottom of your feet (hence the title).

Forearm Plank With Swivel

Forearm-Plank-With-Swivel

  1. Start in plank position, but this time, rest on your elbows instead of your hands. Be sure to keep the shoulders depressed back and down and the neck nice and long throughout the movement.
  2. Keeping your abs engaged, slowly swivel the hips underneath you to the right. Feel your obliques driving this motion as you swivel to the other side with a slow, controlled motion.

Kathy

 

Eat These, Drop Pounds!

by Kathy Smith

Foods That Shred Fat…Naturally

Here’s good news to kick off your Friday – certain foods you allow your body to work tirelessly to help you burn calories and torch fat. This means you can literally torch calories as you chew. Some foods do this by their thermogenic effect, and others with their nutrient capacity. See which foods feed your metabolism’s fire below.

Go For Green Tea

Here’s a little secret about me…green tea is my no-penalty pleasure. Not only does its natural caffeine levels speed up your heart rate, but a new study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that due to the EGEC levels in green tea, drinking four cups of green tea a day helped participants lose six pounds in 8 weeks.

Stock Up On Salmon

salmon-saladOf all the lessons you learn today, I hope you take this one seriously. Fat is the preferred fuel of human metabolism, and it always has been. We need fat for insulation, protection, energy, and even to think. In fact about two-thirds of the brain is composed of fat, and the protective sheath that covers communicating neurons is 70 percent fat. But not all fats are equal. The king of fats are essential omega-3s, which are found in foods like salmon. The omega-3 levels in salmon boost your metabolism by lowering the leptin (a hormone) in your body. Many recent studies suggest that leptin directly influences your metabolism, determining whether you burn calories or store them as fat. If you don’t like fish, simply take a fish oil pill.

Lean protein (chicken, turkey, lean beef)

Keep on cooking those chicken breasts, because they’re firing up your metabolism! It works like this: When your body digests protein, it takes more energy than if it were to digest carbs. This means that the more lean protein you eat, the harder your body is working, and the more calories it’s burning. Because protein has a high thermogenic effect, it allows your body to burn approximately 30% of its calories during digestion. This means that if you ate a 200-calorie chicken breast, you would burn 60 calories by simply breaking it down.

Jump On The Jalepenos (and other hot peppers)

It’s surprisingly simple — hot peppers include a compound called “capsaicin,” which heats up your body, helping boost your metabolism by up to 25%, for up to three hours after you eat. So if an omelette is on the menu today, load it up with jalepenos, cayenne, or hot sauce.

Take Turmeric

TumericIn the spice game, turmeric is a true all-star. This powerful anti-inflammatory is usually associated with spicy Indian dishes – but there’s so much more to it than that. The key ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which may just work wonders for the body. Studies suggest that curcumin can not only help speed up your metabolism but also improve your insulin production, aids in proper carbohydrate absorption, and helps clear the plaque in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s.

Also, take into consideration these fat-burning foods:

  • Almonds (with skins)
  • Eggs
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Lentils
  • Greek or Icelandic yogurt
  • Quinoa
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado

Here’s to your health, and a speedy metabolism!

Kathy

 

By Collage Video | | fitness, fitness success, Kathy Smith, tips, Weekly Blog, wellness | 0 comments | Read more

The #1 Overlooked Muscle To Help You Look Slim….Instantly!

by Kathy Smith

If there’s one area of the body most of us overlook, it’s the back. Naturally, we focus on toning the muscles we can see — our abs, legs, arms, chest, and shoulders. People don’t go around saying, “Hey! You’ve got a terrific back!” But in reality, no muscle group deserves more attention.

Think of your body as a house. Long before you start decorating, you’ve got to build a strong foundation; otherwise the structure will cave in. The foundation for your body’s strength comes from your abdominal and lower back muscles. If they’re weak, your body isn’t going to hold up. At that point, the decorating — sculpted arms and shoulders, for instance, won’t matter.

You’re especially prone to weakening your back muscles by spending a lot of time sitting at a desk or driving a car. In those poor-posture-prone positions, your back muscles tend to stretch out. If ignored, they’ll eventually lose strength. However, if you strengthen them, you’ll counter-act the tendency to slouch. You’ll stand tall, look slimmer, and project a confident image. Try out the superman exercise below to help strengthen your upper, middle, and lower back.

 Superman

superman

How to do it:

  • Lie face down on the floor. Keep the ribs and pubic bone on the floor, pulling your navel up off the floor.
  • Lift your chest off the floor slightly, keeping your core firmly engaged, and extend the left arm and right leg off the floor.
  • Return to the starting position, and switch sides.

Strengthening your back muscles in order to improve your posture will help you boost your confidence. Standing tall projects to the world that you feel good about yourself, and it will make you look 10 pounds thinner…not to mention a few years younger! As we age, we need to pay more attention to our posture. By making a conscious effort to stand up straight, you fight the effects of gravity on the body. You’ll look firmer, more toned, and younger.

Medically speaking, perfecting your posture makes sense. Years of slouching can weaken your bones and put a strain on your internal organs. But when the spine is properly aligned, you’ll find you’re breathing more deeply, sitting more comfortably, and walking with more vitality.

Here’s a head-to-toe demonstration of perfect posture:

posture

 Make it happen!
Kathy

Kathy

 

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