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The 4 Things Missing From Most Women’s Workouts

If your workouts consist of doing light weights and steady-state cardio, you might be in for some bad news: These things alone won’t likely get you the results you’re after, say experts. To increase your fitness level, burn fat, and improve muscle tone, you’ve got to step up your game.

Here are four things women tend to skip that can deliver serious results.

1. High-intensity training.

All that time coasting on the elliptical at a comfortable pace probably hasn’t done much for your body, says Panama-based trainer Belinda Benn, creator of the Breakthrough Physique home fitness system. In fact, the biggest mistake women make in their training is not exercising with enough intensity, she says.

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is typically a 10- to 20-minute workout that alternates short, intense bursts of activity with moderate-exertion recovery periods. “High-intensity interval training  is the best way to improve your overall fitness, burn fat, and stimulate your hormones for a stronger body,” says Benn.

How to tell if you’re training hard enough? Look to your body for clues, Benn says. Good indicators are sweating, increased heart rate, and lactic acid production (i.e., feeling the “burn”) during exercise. Moderate muscle soreness for up to a few days post-workout is also a good sign. “If you feel nothing,” Benn says, “you probably didn’t work out hard enough.”

Heavy Lifting For Women
2. Heavier lifting.
 

 

For most women, a typical weight-training session equals light dumbbell exercises, says Toronto-based strength and conditioning specialist Craig Ballantyne, creator of the Turbulence Training Program. But doing fewer reps with more weight—say, 8 reps per set with a 15-pound dumbbell, instead of 15 reps with an 8-pound one—will burn more fat, he says. Lifting heavier will also increase your strength and muscle definition.

Start by swapping out your normal weights for slightly heavier ones, and gradually work your way up. Most women often worry that lifting heavy weights will make them look big and bulky like men. Unless you are taking Anabolic Steroids and/or Human Growth Hormone it is virtually impossible to grow muscles like men. I don’t care how heavy you lift.

3. Upper body workouts.

Women tend to store body fat around the waist, hips, and thighs, so that’s where they typically focus their exercise efforts—neglecting their upper bodies, Benn says.

But you can’t spot-reduce fat, and sticking with what’s easy can stunt your progress, says Benn. Because you may feel weak while attempting pull-ups for the first time, Benn suggests doing the hard stuff at the start of your workout, “when you’re freshest and feeling mentally strong.”

“Focusing on underdeveloped muscles will improve the contours of your body,” Benn says.

4. Training with a barbell.

Think barbells are synonymous with back-breaking chest presses? Not so. “You can do a tremendous workout just with a barbell,” Benn says. “If you’re holding a bar rather than using two separate weights, it forces you to get your body  in sync.”

Barbells are great for both upper- and lower-body exercises. Balancing one across your shoulders while doing squats, lunges, or walking lunges helps develop posture and balance, Benn says.

If you’re flirting with a barbell for the first time, go as light as you need to. Even 10 pounds is a good start.

Bonus tip:

If you’re worried you’ll bulk up with any of these exercises, consider your body type. Benn says women generally fall into two categories: those who build muscle easily, and those who don’t. If you build muscle easily, she suggests emphasizing high-intensity exercises. If you develop muscle slowly, you’ll benefit from spending more time on heavy lifting.

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To learn more about workouts for women or to have a personalize fitness program created for your weight lost goals browse through our fitness page by clicking here

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The Flat Belly Diet

 

The Flat Belly Diet promises a flat belly and weight loss of up to 15 pounds in 32 days. “A flat belly is about food & attitude … not a single crunch required,” it boasts on its cover.

Written in the first person by Liz Vaccariello, editor in chief of Prevention, along with Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, nutrition director at Prevention, it is targeted to the millions of Americans who want to notch off a few inches or more off their waistline. After all, who doesn’t want a trimmer belly?

The basic Flat Belly Diet plan is a 1,600-calorie Mediterranean-style diet with an emphasis on wholesome, unrefined foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds, lean protein, and very little red meat (once a month).

According to the authors, the secret ingredient in the Flat Belly Diet that whittles away belly fat is the addition of a monounsaturated fat, or MUFA, at every meal. MUFAs are found in olives, avocados, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, soybean, flax, and olive and sunflower oils. “Research shows that MUFAs have health benefits and target belly fat. They also help control satiety, so by adding in one MUFA at meals and snacks it is easier to stick with the plan and lose belly fat,” explains co-author Sass.

Before starting on the 28-day plan, dieters go on a 1,200- to1400-calorie, four-day anti-bloat jump-start period designed to reduce bloating and get dieters in the mind-set of a healthier eating plan. During the jump-start, dieters drink 2 liters of daily “sassy water, “a blend of spices, herbs, citrus, and cucumber. “We tested the diet plan on 11 volunteers and they told us the flavored water reduced bloating, constipation, helped them feel better and get rid of that sluggish feeling,” explains Sass.

There’s a lot of girlfriend-sounding advice from journalist Vaccariello, who is not a medical professional, along with more credible “notes from our nutritionist” that feature registered dietitian Sass. Success stories of the 11-member test panel are sprinkled throughout the book.

Exercise is optional but encouraged. An entire chapter is devoted to the flat belly workout with diagrams of exercises, walking plans, and a 28-day workout plan.

The Flat Belly Diet: What You Can Eat

Whether you are a vegetarian or a meat eater, have food allergies, or are lactose intolerant, this plan can be adapted to meet your individual needs. The plan calls for four, 400-calorie meals spaced every four hours, and each meal includes a MUFA.

Dieters don’t count calories. Instead, they choose from a list of 28 interchangeable mix-and-match breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snack packs. Food lists with portion sizes and calories allow flexibility in creating snack packs and can be used whenever you need it most. Eighty recipes are included with nutrient analysis of calories, protein, carbohydrates, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and fiber.

Sample Anti-Bloat Menu

Breakfast: 1 cup Rice Krispies, 1 cup soy milk,
Lunch: 3 oz chunk light tuna in water, 1 bowl of salad
Dinner: 3 oz chicken breast, 1 cup mushrooms sautéed in 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 cup brown rice
Snack: Florida smoothie (1 mango, 2. oranges, and 1 tablespoon flaxseed) 1 liters water

Sample Flat Belly Menu

Breakfast: Apple almond oatmeal
Lunch: Pesto turkey and cheese sandwich on whole-grain English muffin with lettuce & tomato and 1 cup grape tomatoes
Dinner: 3 oz grilled salmon with 2 tablespoons almonds, 1 ½ cup green beans
Snack: 1/4 cup hummus with 2 tablespoons pine nuts and 1 cup red pepper strips

Calories of meals and snacks during the diet phase are controlled at 400, but the other nutrients can vary. “You can get up to 40% of your calories from fat if you choose the higher fat menu items,” says Sass, which exceeds the National Institutes of Health recommendation of 20%-35% of calories.

On the web site, individuals can alter the calorie levels from a low of 1,200 to a high of 2,000 by modifying the snack. Dieters can also send email questions to the authors.

The Flat Belly Diet: How It Works

The premise of the Flat Belly Diet is that if you trim calories to 1,600 per day, add a MUFA at every meal, eat every four hours, and get regular exercise (although this is optional) you will lose weight and belly fat.

Chances are you will lose belly fat on the Flat Belly Diet, but not because of the MUFAs. When you lose weight, you are more likely to lose it in your midsection regardless of the type of weight loss plan, experts say. The plan promotes a lifestyle of overall healthy eating, weight control, stress reduction, and exercise that could be sustained beyond the 32 days. Log onto flatbelly.com for added support, motivation, additional menu plans and the option to print shopping lists or track nutritional intake. For people who skip meals or don’t eat breakfast, the structure of the diet can help change bad habits into good ones.

Rosenbloom says, “To keep your belly in check, remember the acronym SED: Strength training to preserve muscle mass, Exercise aerobically to burn fat, and your Diet should be healthy, calorie-controlled, and include heart-healthy fats.”

Flat Belly Diet: Food for Thought

You can lose weight on The Flat Belly Diet plan, but don’t be fooled into thinking MUFAs have magic belly-flattening nutrients capable of melting away belly fat.

It is a calorie-controlled, Mediterranean-style diet plan that can help you lose weight in a safe and effective manner. The Mediterranean diet has been proven to be a nutritious and healthy plant-based plan that is good for your heart and overall health.

What will melt body fat, including belly fat, is losing weight on a well-balanced plan like this one or any other healthy, calorie-controlled eating plan.

By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH

Click here to learn more about how to obtain a flat belly or go to this link http://www.celestialhealing.net/weightmanagpage.htm