Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Scale is Only a Number

How often do you weigh yourself? How reliable is your bathroom scale anyway? Well, it is not the only tool that you can use to measure your exercise progress and it may not even be the best one. Read on and find out if you can trust the numbers.

You have been on a regular exercise program for months and you have been stepping on the scale religiously everyday - the number hasn't moved. What gives? While the scale can be a great indicator to measure our progress, there are many things that it does not tell us. This can result in being discouraged instead of inspired. 

Lets get the skinny on scales.

What Are You Made Of?
An important factor is getting healthy is reducing your overall body fat. When you exercise, you increase your lean muscles mass and you burn fat. Muscle is made of 70% water and is very dense. It is a much heavier tissue than fat. When you replace fat with muscle, the scale may tell you that you have gained weight. However, your size may have decreased as muscles take up much less space than fat.

All Diet, No Exercise
If you drastically reduce your caloric intake , you may notice a drop in the scale. This may sound like a great thing but it's not. Your body may be losing muscle mass. You want to increase muscle to boost your metabolism - so you can burn more calories at rest. Calorie restrictive diets will only provide a temporary results - a healthy diet and exercise will help keep you healthy for life!

Jump On!
If you insist on weighing yourself - do it first thing in the morning, before breakfast. This is when your weight will be at it's lowest (and the most encouraging) It is also most representative of your true weight.

How Do You Measure Up?
There are many other ways to measure the success of your fitness program. You don't need to swear of scales forever, but it is important to think about other factors.

Ask yourself:
How do my clothes fit?
How do I look?
How do I feel about myself?
Has my body changed shape?
Do I have more energy?
Are daily tasks becoming easier?

Stay Healthy,

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Did You Know?

Just a some quick and interesting facts this week about fitness and weight loss that I thought many of you might be interested in. Enjoy!

...the average person will walk over 112 000 kilometres in his/her lifetime?

...about 40% of your body weight is muscle?

...the average Canadian consumes 21 pounds of sugar every year?

...the number of obese people (with a BMI over 30) in Canada has doubled since 1985?
...20-30% of Canadian adults suffer from chronic pain?

...the average 140lb women can burn up to 320 calories an hour by gardening, pushing a stroller or dancing?

...40% of Canadian adults do not consume the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables per day?

...less than half of Canadian children meet the daily activity requirements to support growth and development?

...people have been practising Pilates for over 80 years?

Makes you think...hmmmm

Stay Healthy,

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Deaded 4-Letter Word

Oh yes, you know what word I mean - DIET! How many times have you been on a "diet"? How many times have you told yourself that you would "diet" tomorrow? If you are like me, you are so tired of that word - lets get rid of it - forever. Read on to learn how to remove it from you life and be happier for it!

We have all been sucker in by diet ads that sounds so appealing "Watch the Pounds Melt Off" or "It Works Like Magic!". And when the diet fails (90-95% of them do) we blame ourselves for not having enough will power.

The truth is that many "diets" are designed to fail but setting us up for eventual weight game and personal failure. Many diets are often low in calories and nutrients. WE do lose weight but once you are off the "diet", you gain the weight back - sometimes with a vengeance! Well, no more. Here are 5 tips to help you remove the dreaded 4 letter word "diet" from your vocabulary - forever!

1. Stop
Stop listening to the diet hype and expecting immediate results. If there was a magic bullet - the diet industry would not pull in over $30 billion every year. Good health in a lifelong process, not a one pill fix.

2. Eat
Eat regular meals and snacks, starting with breakfast. Choose from a variety of food (Canada's Food Guide has just been revised - so check it out) and don;'t forget to include treats every once in a while

3. Move
Find fun ways to add more activity into your life. Go for a walk, take up a new sport, try a dance class - whatever interests you and will get you to move! You don't need to invest tons of many to stay healthy

4. Toss
The bathroom scale, that is! Stop focusing on you weight and start focusing on taking care of of yourself - body and mind. Make slow changes, simple ones that are easy to stick too.

5. Ask
So you have no idea where to being? Ask a personal trainer and have them design a program for you. Any good professional will not succumb to gimmicks and will send you in the right direction.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

What Fuels Your Fire?

When your hit a plateau (mental or physical) sometimes finding reasons to continue with your diet and exercise program can be difficult. But never fear, there are ways to ignite your passion for staying fit and living healthy so read on!

1. Re-assess Your Reasons

Think about the reasons why you decided to get fit in the first place. Were your clothes too tight? Did you dislike the way you looked? Then, think if these reasons are able to help you sustain a lifelong commitment to health. Once you fit into you new jeans will you still be motivated to exercise? If the answer is no, you may want to re-think your priorities. What is going to keep you moving?

2. Set Mini Goals

Long term goals (like losing 60 lbs) are much more difficult to achieve. Set some smaller goals as well so you can celebrate immediate successes (such as adding more fibre into your diet or going to the gym 3 times a week) to help you stay motivated to reach your long term goals.

3. Track Your Steps

Keep an exercise journal and food diary. This will help you measure your progress and recognize your strengths and weaknesses.

4. Say Goodbye To Failure

Remove that word from your vocabulary. There is no such thing as failure. When you hit a plateau, look at what is happening in your life around you and consider it feedback - something that you can learn from.

5. Talk About It

Sometimes it helps to talk to a close friend or family member to express your frustration and get their support and feedback. Maybe they might even join you on your journey.

So, what fuels your fire?


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