What’s the Big Deal About Carbs?

What’s the Big Deal About Carbs?

Starchy carbs get so much attention when it comes to nutrition conversations because they are the biggest double-edged sword our bodies have to deal with. On one hand, all of our energy in the body comes from glucose molecules (carbs in their basic sugar form) but on the other, our bodies weren’t designed to be surrounded by so many readily available carbs.

So when our body does get an onslaught of starchy carbs (usually from refined sugars in all of our indulgence foods or simple carbs found in anything baked with flour), it handles them by releasing insulin. Insulin is responsible for a lot of important functions in the body, but by design, it is a storage hormone. So instead of signaling our body to burn fat, our bodies actually get the signal to store fat whenever we eat a lot of starchy carbs.

This is why you can expect to make the biggest dent in your weight loss if you begin to control starchy carbs with every meal.

Where are Carbs Found?

Carbs are found in a lot of different foods but in general you can view them in this distinction:

FIBROUS VS. STARCHY

Fibrous Carb Rich Foods that Help with Fat Loss:

  • Raw or lightly cooked vegetables
  • Beans and legumes
  • Some fruits (mostly berries)
sliced strawberries banana and blackberries

Starchy Carbs that Work Against Fat Loss:

  • All candies, jelly and jams
  • Sodas, fruit juices, fruit drinks
  • Pudding, custards and other sweets
  • Processed refined grains like flour or white rice
  • Bread and pasta made with any refined flour
  • Cakes, cookies and other sweet bakery products
top view of gingerbread cookies laid flat on a wooden table

What Do We Mean by “Controlling” Starchy Carbs?

First, notice that the emphasis is not on eliminating carbs but rather on controlling them. Our brains tend to be resistant to restriction, so we want to add the right foods to crowd out the foods that aren’t serving our interests.

In addition, “controlling” carbs also acknowledges that it’s not realistic to avoid all of the foods in the “Against Fat Loss” carb lists. We all like to indulge, so it’s important to learn how to enjoy those foods without affecting your waist line.

In this context you, can think of carb control as substitutional. The goal is to substitute as many of the “against fat loss” carbs with “help with fat loss” carbs.

So in order to achieve the above, you will be required to practice one (or both) of these strategies throughout your day to control carbs:

  1. Substitute the carbs not working for you with more quality carbs
  • Fill more of your plate with protein or crowd it out with more veggies (as they are technically a carb as well)
  • Shift from more processed foods to less processed foods
  • Shift from breads and white rice to Ezekiel bread and brown rice
  • Swap pastas for quinoa
  • Potatoes to sweet potatoes (or any root vegetable)

2. Eat your “Against Fat Loss” carbs after a workout

The intense workouts I design are designed to drain your muscles of as much sugar as possible. Thus, right after a workout, your body is keener on storing any incoming sugars (i.e. carbs) into your muscles instead of into fat. Thus, if you still wish to indulge in pastas, pizzas, breads, sweets etc. feel free to do so ONLY after your workouts. You can even think of it as a way of “earning your indulgence carbs.” This should not be done daily, however. But a few times per week is ok. 🙂

And don’t forget your portions!

The above portion is for women. Just double it for men!

I hope this gives you a better understanding of what carbs truly are and how they work in the body!

Have questions?  Email me at jennlabfit@gmail.com or message me at JennLabFit on Instgram or Facebook, and ask away!

Four Workouts to Stay in Shape and Injury Free on Vacation

Four Workouts to Stay in Shape and Injury Free on Vacation

This post has been compensated by Sunbeam. All opinions are mine alone.

We have all heard the phrase “no pain, no gain” in one form or another. And yes, some pain and soreness is great for the body and expected as muscles continuously break down, rebuild and grow stronger. But too much pain may be your body’s indicator that something is terribly wrong.  

As we welcome the beautiful summer months, travel and family vacations we begin to put this phrase to the test. With the stresses of packing, long, cramped travel accommodations by car or plane and moving suitcases it’s not uncommon to start your vacation with unwelcomed pain. 

To start, I always pack my Sunbeam GoHeat™ portable heating pad! Especially during long trips, pain relief goes where you go! There’s no way I’m letting that hold me back from my summer fun! Whether it’s back pain, knee pain, neck pain or shoulder pain…I’m covered.  

The flexible and portable GoHeat™ pad stays in place with a removable, adjustable strap for hands-free use and is machine washable making it the perfect addition to my vacation! Even though I bring for myself, my husband is notorious for asking to borrow it as well!

This year we are staying a bit closer to home and driving a few hours to the beach. Even though I live only a few blocks from the beach, every beach is special and I can’t wait to sit back and relax!

Go Heat USB Powered Heating Pad shown ( power source not included). The Go Heat USB Powered Heating Pad is perfect for in the car or anywhere a USB source is available. The GoHeat Cordless is great when you get to your destination as well as on-the-go. 

When it comes to reaching your fitness goals, consistency is key. And there are so many benefits to breaking a sweat that are worth setting aside some time to train while traveling, including more energy and improved mood. 

That’s why I rounded up some of our top equipment-free, minimal-space travel workouts to help you make it happen no matter where you are. Plus, squeezing in a quick workout or two during your trip can make it easier to get back in the swing of things after you’ve unpacked your suitcases. 

So whether you’re on the road for work, fun, or visiting family, here are four travel-friendly, stress-free workouts to try. 

6 Factors to Sustained Weight Loss

6 Factors to Sustained Weight Loss

If I ask about your diet, you naturally think about food, right?

But what if we include all kinds of things we consume every day? What does our “diet” look like for our emotions, our brains, or our social lives?

Consider each of these categories, what you consume, how it affects you – and where you can make some positive changes.

  • Physical. This means exercising and eating right. Simple exercise tip: Don’t neglect resistance training. And try this month to eat more whole foods and less processed.
  • Emotional. Take time every day to focus on the simple act of breathing, even if it’s just for a few minutes. And limit time spent scrolling social media – it just makes you anxious anyway!
  • Intellectual. Always be feeding your brain with a book (an actual book, not on a screen). And did you know that by sugary drinks contribute to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia? So do your brain a favor and drink water or tea, instead.
  • Social. Nurture friendships that are good for you. End those that are not. Sounds brutal, but you don’t need to consume someone’s negativity if that’s all your getting from them. 
two women sitting on white bench
  • Spiritual. Say thank you for today, every day. And say goodbye to yesterday. If we fill our souls with regret, we’re poisoning the present and the future. Let it go.
  • Environmental. Go to places and situations that make you happy, and avoid those that stress you out. “No” is a complete sentence!
lady in beach silhouette during daytime photography

Remember, you are what you eat. But you’re also what you read, believe, tell yourself, do with other people, and put into the world.

Life is a banquet. Here’s to making positive choices.

P.S. I got you covered with the “physical category!” Join my Fitness Rediscovered app for new launch pricing at only $20/month and a 7-day FREE trial.

5 Fears that Could be Stopping you From Losing Weight

5 Fears that Could be Stopping you From Losing Weight

Losing weight isn’t always as simple as changing our eating habits and moving more. Without a doubt, there is a psychological component to weight loss. 

Our weight can be a part of our identity, and the thought of changing those parts of us can be scary and uncomfortable. 

Feeling these emotions and fears is quite common. The issue arises when we are not conscious that we have them. It’s easier to move past these mental roadblocks and continue making healthy lifestyle changes when we are aware of them. That way, we can put things into place that help to deal with these feelings, rather than allowing them to halt our progress. 

Why am I scared of losing weight? 

There are many personal reasons why someone might be scared to lose weight, and most of these fit under the theme of being scared of success. Although this sounds odd, it is not always the success per se that people fear, but the changes that come alongside it. 

I created a poll in my stories last week asking your thoughts on this subject and which of these fears you experienced. Fear of failure was overwhelmingly the biggest fear so we will tackle that one first.  

1) Fear of failure 

Changing your habits is not easy, and losing weight the healthy way takes commitment and time. For this reason, many people worry about losing motivation and ‘falling off the wagon’, which can be followed by feelings of guilt and resistance to making changes in the first place. On top of this, some may fear weight gain after losing weight. 

crying woman feeling tired during training in gym
Example fear: I have a holiday and some social events coming up, so there is no point starting now, I will never be able to stick to my plan. 
Example solution: There will never be a perfect time to start making changes, life will always get in the way if you let it! Start with one small change then add on slowly. 

2) Fear of losing the comfort of food 

We often use food for more than nutrients. Food can be social as well as emotional. Many people use food as a comfort when they are feeling sad, stressed, or anxious. It can be scary to think about losing this form of comfort or distraction and having to replace it with something else.  

sliced pepperoni pizza on white ceramic plate
Example fear: Not being able to comfort eat chocolate or pizza when you have had an exhausting day at work and an argument with a family member. 
Example solution: You should still continue to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation. To avoid binging though, think about other things you can put into place to comfort or distract yourself and prepare for this situation. For example, taking the dog for a walk or buying a journal to write in.

Special note: I created today’s blog post after talking to many women about their fears when it comes to losing weight and specifically those dealing with symptoms from perimenopause or menopause. Many women turn to comfort foods when they are frustrated with situations they can not control. I wanted to quickly share a new find from Functional Chocolate called the Vanilla Crème Brûlée Hot Chocolate Bar. It’s formulated specifically for women experiencing menopause and is clinically shown to reduce hot flashes, fatigue and joint aches, while promoting healthy mood balance, focus, bone density, and energy levels!

3) Fear of embarrassment 

A common fear about starting on a weight loss journey is feeling embarrassed. This embarrassment can be of anything, from saying no to cake at a birthday party, to exercising in public. 

exhausted young black female boxer resting after training
Example fear: Feeling embarrassed about joining a gym for the first time and not knowing what to do when you get there. 
Example solution: Consider an exercise class where there is clear instruction, and everyone is doing the same thing, or follow a home-based program. 

4) Fear of missing out

A big concern for many people is that making lifestyle changes means missing out on food and drinks they love or saying no to social events. 

group of people making toast
Example fear: Feeling worried about giving up social activities you love in order to join a weight loss program. 
Example solution: Consider joining a program that does not focus on restriction and depleting calories and instead takes a multi-prong approach to improve your health (e.g. nutrition, exercise, and mindset). 

5) Fear of relationships changing 

Making big changes to your lifestyle could affect relationships with those closest to you. Perhaps you are worried about friends or family not fully supporting your decisions, or your progress affecting them in some way. 

Example fear: You usually watch TV with your partner and eat sugary snacks, and you worry that declining the snacks might make them feel awkward or guilty about their choices. 
Example solution: Communicate your weight loss goals and the lifestyle changes you are trying to make to your partner. Make sure you stock up on healthy alternatives to sugary snacks so you can still enjoy this time together without straying from your plan. 

In summary: 

  • Having a fear of failure is common. We all experience it to some degree. 
  • There will never be a perfect time to start making changes, so the best way to approach things is to start small. 
  • Tackle one fear or issue at a time (e.g. joining a gym or reducing evening snacking), otherwise, it can be overwhelming. 
  • Comfort can be found in things other than food, such as walking, having a bath, or writing in a journal. 
  • Remember that weight loss is not a magic fix to other aspects of your life, for example, aiming for a promotion at work. 

5 Brands to Help You Spring into Wellness

This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx, all opinions are my own.

As a fitness trainer, wellness enthusiast and someone with just an overall desire to simply feel good, I appreciate quality products that help me reach my goals! Let me introduce you to five brands that help me reach my happy place!

Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Prebiotic Shots – Ginger Turmeric

I enjoy starting my day with a dose of Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar! Typically we have the giant bottle of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar on our kitchen counter as most of our family starts their day with this. However, these prebiotic shots are perfect to take with me on the go!

Each organic, ready-to-sip shot blends one tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with honey and anti-inflammatory spices for an instant prebiotic boost. It’s so easy to cleanse and re-balance with this ready-to-sip, wellness on the go! 

Want to save? Visit bragg.com and enter BRAGG20 at checkout to get 20% off your order! 

Go check it out: Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Prebiotic Shots

Intensive Foot Repair and Multi-Purpose Nail Repair from Kerasal 

Being very active and on my feet a good part of the day, my feet take a beating! This is actually a once in a lifetime occurrence that I’m sharing a picture of my feet! This is literally less than 24 hours apart. Amazing results!

Kerasal is a leading and rapidly growing brand in footcare. Whether you are looking for an at-home pedicure solution for dry, cracked feet or looking to tackle tough toenail problems caused by a variety of issues, Kerasal has you covered. 

Kerasal Intensive Foot Repair is an exfoliating moisturizer that hydrates + moisturizes dry feet while exfoliating away dead skin. With visible results in just 1 Day” (or overnight) I am always amazed how much of a difference it makes! It’s clinically proven to loosen hard, dry skin and it does just that! 

Kerasal Multi-Purpose Nail Repair is the #1 Doctor Recommended Brand to improve the appearance of nails damaged by a variety of conditions. Kerasal’s patented formula helps improve nail appearance by reducing discoloration and thickness, smoothing the surface, and hydrating brittle nails. 

It’s effective, clear formula penetrates the nail to restore a healthy appearance. Visible improvements can be seen after just one week! Whether it is Nail Fungus damage, Nail Psoriasis, Aging Nails, or Gel Manicure Damaged Nails , Kerasal Multi-Purpose Nail Repair can help improve the appearance! 

Want to save? Check out the Kerasal coupon page.  Learn more and purchase Kerasal on Amazon!

 All-In-One and Sensitive Skin Liquid Bandage from New Skin 

New Skin All-In-One Liquid Bandage works where bandages can’t! Normal adhesive bandages get in the way when I workout outside especially. New Skin provides all-in-one protection, including infection prevention, is 100% waterproof and helps heal cuts! It also kills 99.9% of germs and provides a flexible seal to work even in the hardest to cover places. 

New Skin Sensitive Skin Liquid Bandage is the first and only hypoallergenic liquid bandage. Traditional bandages cause irritation, discomfort and redness, especially to those with sensitive skin. Sensitive Skin increases with aging, medications or diabetes and we now have a pain-free application and removal option! 

Purchase New Skin Liquid Bandage products on Amazon or Walmart.

Sugar Face Scrubs from Tree Hut 

After many days of sweating it out, a good face scrub is on the schedule! Tree Hut’s Sugar Face Scrubs are made with 100% natural exfoliants to gently, yet effectively buff away dry skin and impurities that can lead to a dull complexion. 

They feature four different awesome smelling scents to help hydrate, brighten, purify and nourish skin: 

o Hydrating Watermelon & Cactus Water Sugar Face Scrub 

o Brightening Pineapple & Papaya Face Scrub 

o Purifying Blueberry & Turmeric Face Scrub 

o Nourishing Banana & Oat Face Scrub 

The very best part is that Tree Hut’s Sugar Face Scrub line is paraben and cruelty free, vegan. They also don’t contain formaldehyde donors and are made in the USA. 

Beef Sticks from CHOMPS 

I’m always searching for a healthy snack, especially when I’m on the go! Chomps uses the highest-quality proteins including grass-fed and finished beef and free-range turkey. I love that their products are certified paleo, Whole30 approved, keto certified, and allergy-friendly. 

Although the grass fed beef sticks are my favorite, they also come in: 

  • meat sticks 
  • beef jerky sticks 
  • sugar free meat sticks 
  • beef snack sticks 
  • grass fed beef sticks 

Chomps products contain no added sugar and are free from GMOs, gluten, soy, dairy, added nitrates or nitrites, MSG, artificial preservatives or coloring, and artificial sweeteners. Best of all THEY TASTE GREAT! 

Want to save? Use code BABBLE20 at checkout to save 20% on chomps.com 

SHOP all the Chomps Healthy Meat Snacks!

Best Mother’s Day Gifts for Fit Moms

Best Mother’s Day Gifts for Fit Moms

Looking for the best gift for your fit mom? Although, I do love receiving a bright bouquet of flowers, as a fit mom, there’s nothing like opening up a new pair of running shoes or pair of leggings! 

I’ve compiled a list of my top 5, AFFORDABLE , Mother’s Day gifts for fit moms! Help your momma feel truly loved and understood on her special day! 

Gift #1: Bombas 

If you’re thinking socks are NOT a good gift then you haven’t tried Bombas yet! They are the softest, most comfortable socks and perfect for running, walking or high impact workouts. Plus they have so many fun colors and patterns. They offer 100% money back guarantee and a 20% discount on your first order. 

Bombas

www.bombas.com 

Gift #2: Ice Shaker 

Got a protein shake loving mom? Ice Shaker’s sturdy leak proof BPA free pop top is easy to open while still being secure enough to close and shake. The best part is the 26oz double wall vacuum insulated bottle will hold ice for over 30 hours in a 75 degree room when filled with just ice, and the 36oz will hold ice for well over 40 hours! 

I fill mine with my post-workout protein shake and leave it in my car cup holder. It’s still nice and cold when I’m all done. 

www.iceshaker.com 

Gift #3: Hoka Shoes 

I’ve yet to meet anyone that doesn’t love Hoka shoes for running and/or walking. Designed with plush comfort and a responsive feel, they provide a smooth and balanced ride. They are absolutely my favorite running shoes and support my feet like no other! 

www.hokaoneone.com 

Gift #4: Protein Power Ball Subscription 

Most moms are very busy and always on the go! We often struggle with getting all our meals and snacks in, especially quality foods! You don’t want to mess with a hangry mom! My personal snacking secret is Protein Power Ball. 

Protein Power Ball

Absolutely delicious, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, soy-free and made with plant protein. Perfect on the go!

Subscribe and save or click here to save 20% now on a single order. 

www.proteinpowerball.com

Gift #4: Athleisure Wear 

There is nothing like a brand new pair of quality leggings! Trust me! It’s hard to pick a favorite brand so I’m sharing some of my top favorites. I can promise the quality, fit and design of all of these brands is on point. 

https://www.bombshellsportswear.com

https://bootyqueenapparel.com/

https://athleta.gap.com/

https://maventhread.com/

www.fabletics.com/moveinfabletics 

https://bornprimitive.com

Gift #5: Maven Thread Headbands 

Most ladies struggle with finding the perfect headband to wear during workouts. They slip off, their too tight, too loose or just not cute! I’m a huge fan of Maven Thread headbands! Their headbands come in multiple patterns, sizes and most can be adjusted. 

P.S. Check out their gym bags too as another awesome idea! 

Save 15% now if you use code JENNLABFIT. 

www.maventhread.com

7 Ways to Live Your Best, Active Life as You Age

7 Ways to Live Your Best, Active Life as You Age

This post has been compensated by Sunbeam. All opinions are mine alone.

Fighting back against the aging process 

Personally, I resisted the aging process when my body started fighting back after physical activity. I felt sorry for myself, gave into the aches and pains and basically decided this was supposed to be the new me.  

At some point, I woke up it realized it didn’t have to be that way. While dreading some new wrinkles and pains isn’t uncommon, there is so much more to aging well and feeling well.  

Aging gracefully doesn’t mean we have to look or feel 20-something again. It’s about living our best lives and enjoying the process as we go!  

Read on to find out my personal tips on aging happily. 

Tips for aging gracefully 

Use these tips to help you age gracefully from the inside out.  

1. Exercise  

Regular exercise significantly lowers your risk of diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, and helps you retain your balance and mobility longer. Exercise also lowers stress and improves sleep, skin and bone health, and mood. 

Ideally, strive for muscle strengthening activities of moderate intensity or greater, that involve all major muscle groups, two or more days per week 

2. Rethink Relief 

At around 40 years old, my body started yelling back after finishing up a challenging workout. I let those new aches and pains bring me down to a point where I almost gave up. After modifying my exercises and developing a new pain relief routine, I was back in business. We don’t have to give in but instead learn what works best for both exercise and recovery. 

  • Heat Therapy – a natural, drug-free form of pain relief that increases blow flow to accelerate tissue healing, relax sore muscles and relieve pain associated with muscle tension and stress.  

My go-to is the Sunbeam GoHeat™ Cordless Heating Pad because it allows me to go about my day without being confined to a plugged in heating pad. Just slip in the rechargeable battery, wrap the soft, washable pad around the muscle pain area and you’re off! It helps with the normal areas of pain most of us experience both from daily living activities and exercise – back, arms, legs and shoulders. With three different heat settings and four hours of heat (on a low-setting) it’s perfect for anyone! 

  • Stretching – creating a regular stretching routine increases your flexibility, range of motion and blood flow to your muscles. It improves your performance in physical activities and your posture. Stretching also helps to heal and prevent back pain and is great for stress relief.  
3. Maintain a balanced diet  

A balanced diet of healthy foods mixed in with your favorite treats will assist in both aging gracefully and maintaining your adequate weight. Consider foods high in protein such as lean meats, fish and beans. Fruits, vegetables, low-glycemic carbohydrates, dairy and healthy fats should also be included.  

Keep processed foods, refined sugars, salt and unhealthy fats to a minimum (still enjoy now and then of course).  

4. Focus on Your Mental Health   

Being happy and avoiding stress related situations is crucial in maintaining an active lifestyle. To keep your mood elevated: 

fitness girl hands lifestyle
  • Schedule time specifically to enjoy your friends and loved one. That includes your furry loved ones too! 
  • Maintain positivity. Yes, aging is inevitable! Embracing your age while you create positive habits can make a substantial difference. 
  • Make time for the things you enjoy. Take on a new hobby, go for a walk, volunteer – whatever brings a smile to your face. 
5. Create a regular sleep schedule 

Just about everyone knows that sleep is important but, it’s more than just feeling rested. Sleep is important for your physical and mental health.  

Adults over 18 should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep every night. 

Getting enough sleep has been proven to: 

  • lower the risk of heart disease 
  • reduce stress and depression 
  • lower the risk of obesity  
  • improve focus and concentration 
6. Practice Presence and Mindfulness 

Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress. 

To practice mindfulness, try: 

  • meditation  
  • yoga 
  • tai chi 
7. Drink plenty of water 
woman drinking water

Drinking plenty of water helps keep you regular and improves your energy levels and brain function. Drinking water also:  

  • Helps maximize physical performance. 
  • Significantly affects energy levels and brain function. 
  • May help prevent and treat headaches
  • May help relieve constipation
  • May help treat kidney stones. 
  • Can aid weight loss. 

Speak to a doctor regarding any of the above, if you have questions or concerns. 

7 Ways to Mentally and Physically Prepare for Summer Weight Loss Goals

7 Ways to Mentally and Physically Prepare for Summer Weight Loss Goals

Preparation is the key to your summer weight loss goals. 

Summer will be here before you know it which means many women will take a long look at shedding some of the unwanted weight that was gained through winter and possibly through this past year’s quarantine.  

An important part of weight loss success is in the mental preparation.  

Before you start any new plan you should establish what you think will work for you both emotionally and physically. What will keep YOU motivated and help you reach your goals? 

Here are 7 steps to consider before you start any weight loss journey: 

1. Set realistic goals. 

Set realistic, specific goals. Remember, there isn’t one magic plan that works for every person. Determine what you believe will keep you motivated and set short-term goals to help you make small yet important steps.  

2. Stick to your commitment. 

Recognize in advance that losing weight, strengthening and toning your muscles or any other physical goal you have, is not going to happen over-night. Most get discouraged when the results don’t happen as quickly as they want and the commitment they made from the beginning fades. 

Be 100 percent committed to your goals, so there’s no indecision about what you want to accomplish. 

If you run into problems with staying true to your commitment—maybe you discover that your diet is unrealistic to your lifestyle—take the time to examine why. Then make positive changes to stay on track. 

3. Mind your motivation. 

Before you start, ask yourself, “what is my true motivation in reaching my ultimate goal?” Make sure it’s for yourself and keep that motivational mindset with you every step of the way.  

Determine what motivates you short-term and create non-food rewards that will help you stay on track.  

4. Be accountable. 

Just like our individual plans of action may be different, how we hold ourselves accountable should be also. For some, tracking their weight on the scale on a weekly basis keeps them in line. For others, that same action could lead to negative thoughts and feelings of failure if that number doesn’t match what they wanted it to. 

Determine what will hold you personally accountable. Here are a few ideas: 

  • Accountability partner 
  • Measurements 
  • Scale 
  • Monitor how clothes are fitting 
  • Monitor how you’re feeling – healthier?  
  • Body fat calipers (through a trainer) 
  • Body fat scanning (through a scanning app) 

5. Find a meal plan that fits your lifestyle. 

Planning out your diet in advance should incorporate how you live your life, the foods you enjoy as well as your daily schedule. While your plan most likely will involve a calorie deficit it should also incorporate a balance of all nutrients.  

Cutting your calories too low will likely lead to a overindulgence, loss of muscle, extreme sleepiness and a very quick end to your weight loss plan.  

Do your homework and find a plan that will work for you and help you reach your personal goals.  Remember, don’t look for the quick fix.

6. Plan your exercise attack. 

For some, exercises is a dreaded word. For others, they can handle the exercise but, can’t stand the balanced nutrition. If you avoid exercise at all cost then you haven’t found the right activity yet.  

If you can find an activity you enjoy, the negative mindset you had will soon become positive. You’ll see exercise as a reward, not a punishment. 

Adding even a short bout of daily exercise to your routine will make a big difference in your health, weight, and well-being. You’ll reach your goal weight faster and have more success maintaining it if you include exercise in your routine. 

In addition, exercise boosts mood and improves self-esteem, both critical for helping you stay on track. Exercise provides a stress buffer, so you’re less susceptible to emotional eating. 

7. Be patient. 

I prefer not to set a goal date when it comes to weight loss. Here’s why…say you’re goal is to lose 10 pounds in 4 weeks. You do everything according to plan, are feeling great, clothes are fitting better, you’re feeling healthier and yet…you lose 7 pounds. Many will see this as a failure. I see this as a roaring success!

Just stay the course, celebrate your victories and ultimately you WILL reach those goals.  

Incline vs Decline Push Ups. What’s the difference and which are best for women?

Incline vs Decline Push Ups. What’s the difference and which are best for women?

Incline vs Decline Push Ups. What’s the difference and which are best for women? 

The basic push-up in general seems like a simple enough exercise, right?! In truth, with some practice and good form, you can master them rather quickly. However, there are surprisingly many different variations of the push-up. Knowing the options, and which one is best for you, will help you reach your goals quickly and safely.  

Today we’re going to run through Incline vs Decline Push Ups: how to do them both and which one is right for you. 

A Bit About Incline Push-Ups  

An incline push-up is a simple variation to the starting position of a standard push-up. Rather than performing your push-up with your hands and feet flat on the floor, you raise the position of your hands. You are at an inclined angle from foot to head. 

You may find incline pushups to be a step up from your normal routine. The incline position primarily works your chest muscles, but you’ll also need to engage your core muscles to protect your back. 

While traditional pushups work your chest, arms, and shoulders, incline pushups take some of the pressure off your arms and shoulders to give you a solid chest workout.  

How to Nail Your Incline Push-Ups 

To perform an incline push-up, you need a stable, slightly-elevated surface. Exercise boxes are common, but you can also use retaining walls, a fence (like this previous example), or a bench.

Make sure whatever objects and surfaces you’re using will not slip and slide away. Also, make sure it’s wide enough that your hands can be a full shoulder-width apart, for the best form. 

To perform an incline pushup: 

  1. Stand in front of your box or bench, then squat or bend down and place both hands on either side of it with your fingers pointing forward. Your hands should be about shoulder-width apart.
  2. Once your hands are in the right position, step your body back into a plank position, one leg at a time. Make sure your body is in a straight line, your head is aligned with your spine, and that your lower back isn’t sagging before continuing.
  3. Next, bend your arms to help you slowly lower your chest toward the box. Straighten your arms to bring yourself back up into a straight line.  
  4. Repeat 10 times for 3 sets to start. You can increase the repetitions within each set as you get stronger.  

Tips to Modify: 

Modifying this exercise is the same as normal push-ups, with one additional range of motion. Using your knees instead of your toes makes the push-up easier. Bringing your hands slightly closer together makes it harder and works your triceps more. 

A Bit About Decline Push-Ups 

If incline push-ups raise the level of your head and hands when you perform the exercise, decline push-ups lower it. You form a declining angle from your feet to your head, by putting your feet on a higher surface. 

You can still use the same box or bench to do a decline pushup. Instead, the box is positioned underneath your toes while you’re in plank position. For decline push-ups, you have the option to select a stable or unstable object for your feet.  

Stable surfaces to raise your feet are objects like exercise boxes, stairs, retaining walls, benches or chairs. Unstable surfaces are objects like yoga balls or Bosu balls. It’s up to you what you want to use.  

To perform a decline pushup: 

  1. Kneel down with your back to the bench. Put your hands on the floor, shoulders over your wrists and elbows at 45 degrees.   
  2. Brace your core, glutes, and quads.  
  3. Push into the floor to return to starting position, extending your elbows. 
  4. Repeat 10 times for 3 sets to start. You can increase the repetitions within each set as you get stronger. 

Where regular push-ups work your core, arms, and shoulders, and incline push-ups will work more of your chest, decline push-ups work more of your arms and core. It’s more difficult to keep your core straight, and you will need to keep your abs, back, and glutes tight while performing the exercise. Additionally, you’ll get more focus on your arms and shoulders with this variation of the workout. 

Tips to Modify 

Modifying decline push-ups has the same range of options as modifying other push-ups. You can add weight to make it harder. You can use one arm or one leg to make it harder. Using a balance ball forces you to work your core to an additional extent to keep yourself stable.

Which Form of Push-Up is The Best for Women? Incline vs Decline Push Ups.

The answer is “it depends”. All forms of push-ups are good for working your upper body in general, but the modifications you make can help them focus on specific muscle groups. 

If you want to work on your upper chest, decline push-ups are the best. Decline push-ups also help with the upper back and shoulders, so if those are your areas of concern, the decline option is generally good. Incline push ups primarily work your chest muscles as well but, also require your core to engage in order to protect your back. Incline push ups also take some of the pressure off your arms and shoulders.

You can also get into a routine of switching between each kind of push-up every day. Do inclines one day then declines the following day. And don’t forget about the traditional flat push-up in the weekly rotation. The sequence can help keep your muscles shifting and working in different ways and pushes off the plateau you may reach. 

Doing push-ups every day, or working them into your overall exercise routine, can do a lot to build up your core and strength in your upper body. In particular, they’re an excellent exercise for your triceps, pectorals, and abdominal muscle groups. Just be sure to be safe, practice your form, and push yourself as necessary to reach your goals. 

10 Habits of Fit Women

10 Habits of Fit Women

By including these 10 habits of women, that always stay fit, into your daily routine you will improve your overall wellness and maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Keep reading on to learn these easy to adapt habits into your daily life! 

10 Habits of Fit Women 

It’s not uncommon for women to decide a few times a year they want to make changes to lose weight. You may start making some of those positive changes, try a fad diet or two or try to work out more.  

Early on the motivation is most likely there and you enter the challenges with eager anticipation of the results. Unfortunately, that excitement often dissipates quickly as things get tough. How do you keep that initial motivation going? How do you stick to your original plan? 

Ever look around and wonder how some women stay fit or stay motivated so easily? Do you wonder what they do that’s different than you? 

If you watch them long enough, you’ll realize they aren’t on some special diet but, instead it’s more about their daily habits, their lifestyle routine and their consistency.  

In this article, you’ll find 10 helpful tips for women who always stay fit. From eating behaviors to keeping a specific mindset, you’ll learn how to keep and include these habits into your daily life. 

1. They eat breakfast. 

Fit women know that enjoying the most important meal of the day not only revs up their metabolism, but also gives them fuel to reach their daily goals. Skipping out on this meal is just not an option. 

Now, so we’re clear, they’re not eating junk filled donuts or sugary cereal every morning. They’re choosing balanced, protein filled breakfasts like my own personal favorite, German Chocolate Protein Waffles

2. They eat balanced meals often. 

Healthy women aren’t scared to eat often and eat well. They can and will eat up to six meals a day: Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. They don’t restrict their diets; they eat when they’re hungry – and make smart dietary choices, like snacking on almonds or berries. 

3. They drink lots of water. 

The body is made up of 60% water. Maintaining hydration throughout the day will keep your body and mind balanced. Drinking water throughout the day will help you feel full and energized so you can work harder.  

4. They don’t do fad diets. 

Most people who stay in shape don’t diet but live a lifestyle that incorporates certain habits and behaviors that help maintain their shape over a long period of time. 

Most of the time, they choose to have whole food based meals and stay away from fast food. That doesn’t mean you need to give up your favorite sweets or glass of wine. You can still eat these things, just only in moderation. 

Try to make whole food choices that will sustain your diet for the long term and try to enjoy an occasional splurge on some of your favorite non-diet foods.  

The key is to keep a balanced mind and body and to not feel restricted. 

5. They don’t weigh themselves. 

Fit women know they don’t need the numbers on the scale to validate their health and wellness.  When they look and feel healthy they know they have reached their goals. 

6. They don’t compare themselves to each other. 

Women come in all shapes and sizes. Two women with the exact same Body Mass Index can have completely different measurements. For that reason, healthy women don’t compare themselves to others. All they care about is how they feel and how active they are. 

7. They know working out comes in all varieties. 

If you find yourself dreading working out then you haven’t found the right exercise.  

Fit people love to exercise and they look forward to every minute of it. That doesn’t mean they are necessarily excited about the exercise itself, but instead the feeling they get when they are done. 

Not every exercise is for every person. Some enjoy running some prefer to lift weights. There are so many exercise options out there! Tried Pickle Ball yet? How about paddle boarding, yoga, rowing, biking? The list is endless.  

Find an activity you enjoy. The only “right” exercise is the one you do. 

8. They believe in balance. 

Fit women know that extreme diets, extreme working out and a rigid schedule are not sustainable. They opt for a sensible lifestyle by building in habitual wellness practices for a healthy life. 

9. They allow themselves to rest. 

Fit women know rest and recovery are extremely important when you’re trying to get stronger and build muscle. Scheduling rest days into their workout routine is essential.  

10. They know the importance of sleep. 

Staying fit isn’t only about how much you work out. Your rest and sleep allows your body and mind to recharge itself to tackle the next day.  

Sleeping and resting enough is a critical component to every fit person’s life. Aim for at least 7-8 hours each night, and you’ll be a healthier, fitter and a happier person overall.