Hi there, first off i just wanted to say i love your blog :). Secondly, I wanted to ask for some advice. I work out about 3 to 4 times a week, I'm a vegetarian, I don't eat chips or fast food and I don't drink soda. I'm about 5'6 and 130lbs. All I'm trying to do is lose 10lbs and look toned but I cant seem to get passed the 130 mark. Can you give me some tips that might help me pass this slump?
You’re in a normal weight range for your height. When you’re in a normal weight range and you wanna look toned, you don’t need to focus on your weight.
If you wanna look toned, you need to lower your body fat percentage. Lowering your body fat percentage means having less body fat and more muscle mass. Since muscle is heavier by volume than fat, you would probably weigh about the same 130 lbs looking ‘toned’ with a lower body fat percentage.
HI there, I have a high goal to loose at least 25-30 pounds before my high school graduation in may. I work and go to school alot so i dont have alot of time to really go to the gym so my only option is dieting and eating right, considering its winter and its always 40 below:/ So what my question is, is do you think that's to high of a goal to set in such a short amount of time?
When attempting to lose fat, it is recommended not to try to lose more than 1 to 2 pounds per week. I don’t know the date of your graduation, but I suppose you have about 16-18 weeks left.
I thus think 25-30 pounds are not to high of a goal but this is going to be a big challenge! Are you up for it? It sounds like you don’t want to go to the gym “I don’t have a lot of time to really go to the gym”. I always say we make time for whatever is important to us. I think it would really help if you can show up at the gym 3 times per week. If going there takes too long, you can download workout videos and work out at home.
Hi! I need some advice. I'm trying to lose weight but I'm also completing my final year at high school this year, and I know the stress of exams and such is going to impact heavily on me. See, while I'm making notes and studying, I tend to snack and snack and snack. How do I stop myself from doing this? I just find the work so boring, I can't help myself sometimes :/
Hi Juhi, it’s important for you to make the difference between: (1) when you’re hungry and you need a break and a real snack and (2) when you’re stressed and you feel like you need something to chew on to release part of your stress. When I was a student I used to chew on pens a lot. Study stress made me feel like I needed to chew on something. It’s a bit like being a baby who needs a pacifier to calm himself down. It has nothing to do with hunger.
Here are some tips: - Keep low calorie vegetables, such as celery sticks or cucumber on hand. It’s very difficult to overeat them (ps: don’t dip them in anything ;). One large stalk (11”-12” long) of celery is 10 calories. Eating 100 calories of celery (10 stalks!) will take you a little while…
- Chew gum and blow a bubble every 5 minute or so. It can help you relax :)
I understand the whole concept of cardio for working out, but I'm a bit confused on strength training. Is that just lifting weights, or would ab workouts, squats, donkey kicks, and light dumbbell workouts for arms be considered strength training. Also, I just bought 5lb dumbbells in efforts to try to build muscle in my arms, what would be good workouts/how many reps. Thank you! -Laura.
That’s a very good question. Yes, ab workouts, squats, donkey kicks and light dumbbell workouts can be considered as strength training because they use resistance (gravity or weight) to oppose muscular contraction.
However, some people may argue that squats without resistance or light dumbbell workouts are not ‘real’ strength training because the applied resistance is low, the number of repetitions are high and that the goal of strength training is to increase strength (the weight lifted) more than endurance (the number of repetitions).
Light dumbbell workouts are a perfect way to start incorporating strength training in your routine when you are a newbie, so buying your first 5lb dumbbells was a very good choice.
Here is a 20 min workout from Oxygen Magazine that you could do with your dumbbells: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh0naZiKMME&feature=related The girl has very muscular arms which you may find a bit ‘too much’, but don’t worry you won’t get like her just by doing the workout :)
You can aim for 15 reps per exercise. Stand with good posture, don’t rush the moves, take the time to perform them in a slow, controlled motion, and notice how your muscle are working.
After a while, when you feel like you’ve improved, you can invest in heavier dumbbells and lower the repetition range. Push-ups and triceps dips are also a good way to build muscle in your arms with your own body weight.
In my experience, lifting very heavy with fewer repetitions (8 to 10) got me more ‘toned’ than lifting lighter with high repetitions (15 to 25). But beginners should definitely start with light weight and high repetitions to learn doing the moves correctly and to avoid injuries.
Hi! First of all, I love your blog! You seem like such a sweet person in all your question responses! I have a quick question about nuts! Usually I have a salad for lunch with walnuts, raisons and almonds. And then after school, I usually have some walnuts and almonds to nibble on again. I am wondering if I am eating too much nuts, and whether that has a negative impact?
Hi! Nuts are super healthy (if they’re unsalted of course) but the fact is that you can consume too much of a “good thing.”
Nuts are very calorie dense (high in fat, low in water), so eating large amounts can easily add an extra several hundred calories a day to your diet.
Doctors recommend limiting your intake to about one-fourth of a cup of nuts or seeds per day if you are watching your weight. I personally try to limit myself to 25 almonds per day (but I sometimes eat more :).
When you nibble on nuts, it’s very easy to overeat them: try to include water-rich foods that are less calorically dense like fruits or vegetables when eating nuts. For example, snack on an apple with a few nuts instead of just eating the nuts alone. This can help physically satisfy you without overdoing it calorically.
If you’re trying to lose weight, having your lunch salad topped with walnuts and almonds is okay but nibbling on walnuts and almonds after school is sabotaging your progress. You can go for a cup of unsweetened fat free Greek yogurt instead.
Hi, I was planning on going vegetarian as well as avoiding most dairy products, both for the health reasons as well as animal rights. I'm 19 and fairly active (moderate cardio 3-5 days a week, yoga 7 days a week). Do you have any tips on ways to get all the nutrients I need, as well as things I should look out for when monitoring food intake? Thanks! (:
Although the site is about bodybuilding and fitness the first protein calculator is for ‘normal’ people: it uses the recommended daily allowance of protein according to U.S. government standards. If you scroll down there are other calculators to see how you should increase your protein intake according to your activity levels.
I’m not a vegan/vegetarian but I frequently rely on vegetarian products to get the protein I need because they’re not that expensive and they allow me to ‘switch it up’: - Soy products like tofu, soy yogurt and tempeh. (There is a kind of controversy about soy products www.womentowomen.com/healthynutrition/soycontroversy.aspx but according to me they’re fine if they’re organic and if you don’t rely only on them for protein.) - Seitan is another vegetarian food very rich in protein. It’s not gluten-free though because it is made of wheat. - Hemp or pea protein powders come in handy to make milkshakes and smoothies. Some may taste weird so it’s better to buy a small sample first rather than a big package when trying a new brand.
If you still can eat eggs it would be a good source of protein in your diet.
Grains, beans and foods like quinoa also contain protein but not that much. They are great as carbs. Same for nuts: they contain some protein but I don’t consider them as ‘protein food’, they’re mainly a source of good fats rather than a source of protein.
Hi, so for breakfast every morning I try to have a serving of hot oatmeal, and I chop up a banana into it (for sweetness, so I don't have to use sugar) and then drizzle about 2 Tbs melted peanut butter over the top. Is this healthy enough to do every day or do I need to stop?
How much oatmeal are you using? I personally use 1/2 cup of dry oatmeal with water. When I add a banana I usually add only half a banana and give the other half to my boyfriend. Or I use frozen strawberries (about 4 grams of sugar for a few strawberries against 9 grams of sugar for half a banana). A whole large banana contains about 18 grams of sugar. This is kind of a lot if you have weight loss goals. However, one banana is still a very good choice to have after or before an intense workout.
For healthy fats, I don’t use peanut butter but a tablespoon of flax seeds because I like peanut butter so much that I always end up eating too much, so I only eat peanut butter occasionally as a treat. But if you can control your peanut butter intake that’s fine. 2 tablespoons sound a lot though, I would take 2 teaspoons. But it all depends on the energy you need that day and what you’re going to do the following 3 hours after you had breakfast.
I also eat 1 hard boiled egg and 2 egg whites next to my oatmeal to have some protein in my breakfast. This really keeps me full until it’s time for my first snack at 11 am.
I'm 15, and aspire to be a model. I have the body, apart from the spontaneous hip fat (not that there's an awful but in the model world I guess it's a lot). I eat healthily, I have stopped eating candy and sweet things etc. I don't do an awful lot of exercise, but I was just wondering if you knew of a good and fast way to lose hip fat, because it's been bothering me for a while. Love this blog by the way!
It depends on what you mean by “I don’t do an awful lot of exercise”. Does this mean you don’t exercise regularly? I’m not saying that you should do “an awful lot of exercise”, I’m just saying you may want to kick it up a notch ; as trainer Jillian Michael says: “Results don’t come for free!”
Here is a video about model Alessandra Ambrosio’s workout. http://leandrofitness.com/index.php?/Recent-News/aletrain.html She’s naturally very skinny (personally I don’t think she looks nice ; she lacks muscle tone but that’s what the model industry is looking for) but the video may give you an idea of what skinny model girls do for butt/leg exercises.
Hi I am a 20 year od girl who is about 5'9 and 200 lbs, I have been trying to lose weight by working out more and eating healthier, however I am a picky eater and i have troubling liking the foods i should be eating, any advice on how to learn to like those foods and lose the weight?
Hello! It all comes down to training your body to enjoy different foods. You have to understand and notice that your eating habits are not permanent; they can always be altered. Eating habits can change. What you used to eat as an adolescent most of which you probably do not care for anymore.
The trick to changing your eating habits is to find a healthy alternative that you will enjoy. It’s a bit easier if you ease into it rather than suddently cut everything out. For example, a person who is sugar-addicted could cut out sugar and switch to agave syrup for a while (still another kind of sugar but with a slightly lower glycemic response), then reduce her consumption of agave syrup gradually, and then cut it out too and rely on fruits to satisfy her sweet tooth.
What is the best way to find great tasting healthy food? - Learning how to cook. - Using spices and condiments. - Being creative. - Trial and error. Being open en curious: you don’t know what is really good and tasty until you try it.
And it’s not just about weight loss: try to listen to what your body is really telling you: notice the small consequences different foods can have on your body. When you eat fresh healthy foods for a few days, lots of things get better: clearer skin, stronger hair, improved digestion etc.
I'm 15 and I am active but overweight. I want to lose weight and I have everything I need but I don't know if I'll be able to keep up with it. Is there any thing I can do to keep myself motivated and not quit?
Hi! I’m very sorry in advance for my ‘though-love’ answer: Stop the self-doubt “I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up with it!”-thing: if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.
Here are a few tips to avoid quitting:
#1 Make it fun: download your favorite music for your workouts, go to your favorite classes at the gym, go workout with your best friend, notice cute guys at the gym, buy yourself a new pair of Nikes or a new workout outfit. Anything that makes you look forward to your workouts.
#2 Define your priorities: put yourself and your workouts first. Don’t do second things (surfing on the internet, on tumblr, watching tv…) first. There is no point in saying we don’t have time for something because we make time for whatever is important to us. If you are not doing something, it’s because it isn’t a priority in your life.
#3 Stay consistent without being too hard on yourself: your life is not controlled by what you do some of the time, it’s controlled by what you do consistently 80% of the time. “Small things, done consistently, create major impact.”
#4 Discipline actually helps you: you may be thinking, Yes, but it sure hurts. That is true, but is also brings results and makes your life simple and organized.
Go out there and prove yourself to the world and to yourself. You CAN and WILL achieve what you set out to do. The only time you fail is when you quit.
Hi! I don’t like the word “unfit” because it sounds very negative -and I was once unfit myself :) When I was studying for my fitness certification I learned a few different ways to assess somebody’s fitness levels.
Here are 2 examples of fitness assessments:
- a 12-minute cycling test on a stationary cycle. The goal is to have the person cover as much distance as possible in 12 minutes. For somebody younger than 30 years old, cycling less than 3 miles (about 5 km) is considered “unfit”.
- The push-up test: doing as many push-ups as possible with good form until exhaustion. A guy younger than 30 years old is considered kind of “unfit” if he can’t do more than 20 push-ups (in the standard military style push-up position with only the hands and the toes touching the floor). Girls can do the same test with their knees on the floor. A girl who can’t perform more than 17 push-ups on her knees is considered “unfit”.
Hi, I've been doing a lot of core recently and my lower back has really been hurting. I think I hurt it doing flutter kicks and leg lifts and forgoing proper form at points. I'm just wondering what I should do to help my back and how I can keep my abs strong while I wait for it to heal. Thanks so much!
Your lower back pain is probably due to a sudden physical loading of the back (either you didn’t warm up long enough or as you said your form wasn’t perfect) resulting in muscle or soft tissues sprain or strain in your lower back.
Your core is actually made of your abs muscle and lower back muscles. They work together to hold the trunk erect.
The lower back is an antagonist muscle to the abdominals. An antagonist muscle basically makes its counterpart. For example, the triceps are the antagonist to the biceps. This means the triceps helps the biceps when performing a biceps curl. Every muscle has an antagonist working alongside it. The lower back helps the abs doing their job, and the abs helps protect the lower back. It’s impossible to do abs without working your lower back a bit too or doing lower back exercises without contracting your abs.
Lower back training needs to be taken seriously, and carefully, so that the muscle does not get overly strained. 99% of people totally neglect the lower back. So wait for your lower back to heal before doing any core exercise again. When you feel ready to work out your lower back, ease into it so you don’t over-train and possibly injure yourself again. Here is a video with a few lower back moves: http://fitnesstreats.tumblr.com/post/10765966307/this-is-a-video-i-edited-for-erica-a-trainer-at
This might sound silly, but is bok choy as good for you as spinach? because i love bok choy but i hate spinach and it annoys me because i know how great spinach is for you.
Hi Emmaline, bok choy is a great choice! Don’t worry if you can’t eat spinach. As long as you eat enough green vegetables you’re treating your body very well. If you really want to get some spinach it, one way to do it without feeling its taste too much is to add a small quantity of spinach when preparing fresh fruit smoothies or protein shakes.
Based on your suggestion I tried Jillian Michael's "Banish Fat Boost Metabolism" workout this morning and really enjoyed it (even though it completely kicked my butt). Are there any other workout videos you particularly recommend? As always I'm super grateful for all your help, your blog is the greatest!
When it comes to workout videos or group classes at the gym, I think the most important thing when choosing one is simply the trainer’s personality and energy. When you like the trainer and feel motivated by him/her, it makes you play the video again or come back to the gym for more.
I personally enjoy Jillian Michael’s one liners like “Are you gonna give it everything you got or are you gonna phone it in?" or "Bring it to me!" or "Fight for it!”. But I understand that somebody else may not enjoy a trainer that screams ”PUSH!!!" the way she does :)
hey, i'm not really unfit, 5'9-10 and about 130ish pounds quite slim dance two hours a week, etc but i really feel i should get more fit. i'd like to get into running but find i run for two minutes then have to stop which is particularly off putting so i can't get into the swing of things. any advice? what else would be good? i'd also like to get my diet on track as i tend to eat just a meal one day, then so much food the next. thank you
Hi! Your heart and lungs are not used to running. You have to be patient with yourself when you’re beginning a whole new activity. If you feel you really need to stop, stop and walk, but then get back to it as soon as you can. Only by pushing yourself a bit more than the previous time will you be able to get better. Just take baby steps and add one more minute at a time. Preparing yourself a playlist on your ipod might also helps get things going.
However, running is not necessarily the best aerobic exercise for you. There are other aerobic activities that you might prefer: swimming, cycling, stair climbing, rowing, jumping rope. The best activity is the one you enjoy, one that is safe for you and one that you will perform on a regular basis.
About your diet: yes, you need to have a regular eating schedule: 5 to 6 small meals a day, or 3 meals a day + 2 snacks, or just 3 big meals a day; whatever works for you, but something you stick with on a daily basis. Try to also stick to the same regular meal times.
Hi! I am new to Tumblr, but I am finding your posts very informative. I am 19 and trying to shed the weight I gained my first year of college. I'm 4' 11'' and 120 lbs. I would like to be somewhere in the 100-110 lb range, but as of now I have set a goal of 100lbs.I am a former swimmer (weight issues are fairly new to me) and I recently experienced a shoulder injury and I am not allowed to swim or lift heavy weights (I am currently in physical therapy). Any diet/exercise recommendations?
Hello! To get your “six pack by spring”, you need to consider the following 3 aspects: - Diet - Cardiovascular exercise - Weight training
#1 Diet: you need to clean up your diet. This can be an example of what to eat daily:
#2 Cardio: 4-5 times per week. The only cardio you could do right now would be cycling on a stationary bike or following a spinning class at the gym. But ask your physiotherapist if that’s ok with him/her.
#3 Weight training: 3-4 times per week. The only weight training exercises you could do right now are leg presses, leg curls and leg extensions: basically only exercises on machines at the gym where you don’t use your upper body at all. But as you would be already doing a lot of cardio with your legs, you’re at risk of overtraining your legs if you don’t give them enough rest between workouts.
Conclusion: your possibilities for cardio and weight training are a bit limited right now. Setting yourself ambitious goals is great, but considering your current situation you may wanna reconsider your goal of “a six pack by spring”. Your priority right now has to be recovering properly from your injury.
I've started a new diet pretty recently. I eat a lot healthier and a lot less with exercise 3 - 4 times a day. Now every time I try and eat something even slightly unhealthy it makes me so sick I think I'm going to throw up. The only way it stops is if I do an intense work out and burn off every calorie I ate. And I can't avoid unhealthy foods all together because I still live with my parents so I kind of have to eat whatever they put in front of me. What's going on?
Hi! It’s normal to feel kind of sick after eating unhealthy food when you’re used to eating healthy. I feel the same too. Your body is just not used to these kind of food anymore.
However, you shouldn’t feel so guilty about it. You write that you feel like throwing up and that the only way it stops is if you do an intense workout. Working out after eating something very sweet is indeed a good way to get the energy of sugar into your muscles and burn it off. But those feelings of guilt sound a bit like the reasoning that a girl with an eating disorder could have. So don’t be so harsh on yourself and don’t get into that ‘guilt spiral’.
About living with your parents and putting up with the food they buy for the whole family, here are a few suggestions:
#1 When possible, try to go with them when they go grocery shopping. It’s the only way you can make sure you get the foods you need.
#2 Try not to criticize their food choices too much and making food a big issue / ongoing battle at home. The more they see you’re obsessing about food, the more they’re going to try to make you eat things you don’t want. They’re the one paying and preparing the food so try to respect them for that or help them preparing the things you want. You just have a few years left living with them anyway. Be patient.
#3 When refusing to eat something, don’t tell them about your diet or weight loss goals (they probably wouldn’t understand) but just say that you have difficulty digesting that kind of food.
#4 When you’re in front of tempting foods, tell yourself that that food won’t make you feel any better. Get if off your mind and out of your sight and go reward yourself with something else (drinking a nice herbal tea sweetened with stevia, watching your favorite tv-show, doing an activity that you really enjoy).
So I have love handles that I'm trying to work off, but my right one is bigger than my left. Obviously I need to work my right side more than my left, but are there any moves I should be doing specifically that target one side?
Hello! You don’t need to work more the right side than the left. Our bodies are often asymmetrical (for example one breast is often slightly smaller than the other) so there is no much you can do about it. You can however try to lose both love handles :) There are no specific moves to target love handles since it’s not possible to spot reduce (lose fat in one body part and not in the other). When people lose weight they tend to lose it all over (boobs, face, arms, belly, butt). All the twisting moves I could suggest you would just work the muscles under your love handles but not get rid of the fat.
Here are a few suggestions to reduce the love handles: - eat vegetables and lean protein in every meal - eat more vegetables - don’t drink any kind of sodas and fruit juices, drink water only - cut out all crackers, cookies, candy bars, sugar, pastry - stop eating Kellogs cereals for breakfast and eat eggs and unsweetened oatmeal - avoid artificial foods, chemically charged foods - don’t eat fast food for at least 6 days per week - don’t go hungry: always have healthy snacks with you - start exercising 3 times a week (any activity will do if you’re a beginner) - sleep at least 8 hours per night - don’t focus on the numbers on the scale but more on how your clothes fit and how you feel - be patient with yourself
Hi! love your tumblr :) So my problem is I've just turned 15, and I stopped playing floorball about a year ago.(4 times a week including hard muscle training and running etc.) I still eat healthy and I'm slim, but i'm afraid that because I do no training at all anymore, that my muscles will shrink and that I will have problems in the future and I don't want that, so how much and what kind of exercise should I be doing, so my body would stay healthy, I'm 167cm tall, 47kg=103.6lbs? Thank you!
Hello- My name is Paul. I need some help. I want to loss some weight. I am like around 220lbs and I am 5"7'.I want to be around 165lbs-170lbs. Right now, I am stuck inside and I really can't do anything. I am the kind of person that, needs to walk and ride bikes and I will loss weight that way but, I am stuck in side. I don't have money to buy nice things to loss weight but, Do you have any good Idea's or ways that, I be able to loos weight. I am also under a lot of stress that, don't help ether
Sorry for my ‘tough love’ answer but I think you kinda need a ‘kick in the butt’: unless you’re in jail right now I don’t see any reason why you are “stuck inside”. So put your shoes on and go get some fresh air outside.
You don’t have any excuses if you have two working legs: put one foot in front of the other and repeat.
Exercise is the best way to control your stress levels so get moving to boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from worries.
By taking the time to exercise you will be able to give yourself a sense of command over your body and your life.
It’s not the latest program but it’s very cheap (or you can downlad it illegally for free, no excuses like I don’t have the money, if you have a computer and you’re on tumblr I assume you know how to find stuff on the Internet…) It’s a good way to get started with fitness and it works.
Hi there I have a couple questions for you. I'm almost 15, 5'9" and about 138 pounds. I play basketball around 6 times a week and also do horse back riding. I want to trim down a bit and tone up. I eat A LOT but I don't feel full. I especially want to build leg/core strength. I can't do squats or lunges due to a hip problem. Additionally, I have type 1 diabetes. Any meals or exercises you can help me with?
Sorry for my late reply and sorry I’m going to give you some ‘tough love’ answer: If you have a hip problem and you can’t do squats or lunges, why the hell are you still playing basketball 6 times a week (high impact sport, lots of jumping) and horse back riding (inner and outer thigh training)? If you already have a injury at 14 years old, you should stop what you’re doing and go see a physiotherapist.
About the type 1 diabetes: as you may already know, you should monitor your glucose before and after exercise to understand how it responds to certain types of exercise. Also, exercising with a partner is very important in case something happens. Try to learn as much as you can about your condition to master how your body responds.
About eating a lot but not feeling full: I have one word for you: protein. Add a can of tuna (in water) or 4 egg whites to your meal and I bet you won’t feel hungry.
Hello again! I'm still absolutely loving all the wonderful advice your blog has to offer. Another question for you: Do you have any tips on recovering from a night of overeating/too much sugar? Any particular diet choices that are better for the next day?
Sorry for my late reply. I’m enjoying the holidays at my parents’ place and I’m a bit less online. However, I wrote 2 posts a few days ago that may answer your questions.
Although I ate way too much chocolate these last couple of days, I’m not disappointed in myself so far because I feel great, relaxed and energized and I’ve taken the time to do a Jillian Michael’s workout every morning.
ok, so i have a question about my weight. I work out (i run about 3 miles a day and i finished a cycle of p90x) and I don't eat very much. I cannot eat snacks because i gain weight very easily! However, When i reach a certain weight it seems almost impossible for me to lose any more! it's very frustrating. do you have any tips? and also, how do you suggest i maintain weight? it's very difficult eating almost nothing all the time.
Hi! Just as too much exercise can hamper your results, too little food will do the same. Your resting metabolic rate drops because your body gets used to getting less food so it just starts burning less calories to preserve itself. The less you eat, the better your body gets at storing calories. Your body is designed to protect you and it will slow down your metabolism to save energy for survival.
Skipping meals, not eating healthy snacks and getting hungry and as you wrote “eating almost nothing all the time” are definitely not a good strategy. There’s no need to go hungry. Here is an example of what you could eat and drink daily (taken from the Eat Clean Diet Book by Tosca Reno):
I don’t think you’ll still be hungry after a breakfast with 1/2 cup of oatmeal, berries, 4 egg whites, 1 yolk and a ton of water! In your case, the key to trimming down is not to eat less, but to actually eat more sensible and regular meals.