Health Ninja, Author at https://zenhealthfitness.com/author/health-ninja/ Sun, 31 Jul 2022 08:38:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.1.1 https://i0.wp.com/zenhealthfitness.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/cropped-lifestyle-fitness.jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Health Ninja, Author at https://zenhealthfitness.com/author/health-ninja/ 32 32 110896602 Is Vitamin C Really The Wonder Vitamin ? https://zenhealthfitness.com/is-vitamin-c-really-the-wonder-vitamin/ https://zenhealthfitness.com/is-vitamin-c-really-the-wonder-vitamin/#respond Wed, 29 Jun 2022 11:33:20 +0000 https://zenhealthfitness.com/?p=885 Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, which is also known as ascorbic acid or ascorbate.  Many long-term takers of Vitamin C refer to it as a “wonder vitamin”. A lot of claims have been made in the past few years, championing the value of regularly taking the vitamin.  Dr. Linus Pauling’s ( American chemist B […]

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Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, which is also known as ascorbic acid or ascorbate.  Many long-term takers of Vitamin C refer to it as a “wonder vitamin”.

A lot of claims have been made in the past few years, championing the value of regularly taking the vitamin.  Dr. Linus Pauling’s ( American chemist B 1901 – D 1994) made claims about its ability to prevent and lessen the duration and intensity of the common cold when taken in large doses.

Hey, who hasn’t had their mum, when they were a child and sick, force-fed them doses of Vitamins.

Unfortunately, it is anti-viral and does support the immune system.  It isn’t necessarily a magic bullet that will defeat the common cold or even cancer! In fact, some recent studies seem to be indicating that Dr. Pauling’s claims might be a little overstated.

Vitamin C

What does Vitamin C really do?

Like most other vitamins and mineral supplements, primarily helps the body do its job effectively.

Deficiencies of vitamin C CAN predispose the body to certain ills, and a proper intake either through daily diet or vitamin supplementation can HELP prevent certain conditions and illnesses.

Vitamins and mineral supplements should never be used as the only path to health.  They should form part of a lifestyle that includes overall attention to nutrition, activity (okay, exercise), proper rest and sleep, and enjoyable forms of recreation and relaxation.

I personally would throw in yoga and meditation, but those are MY enjoyable forms of recreation, relaxation, and exercise, I guess. You will have to find what works best for you.

The best sources

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, and, as such, is not stored in the body. This means it must be regularly replaced by diet and/or supplementation.

The most commonly recognized sources of vitamin C are citrus and other fruits:

  • oranges
  • tangerines
  • limes
  • guava
  • lemons
  • papayas
  • strawberries
  • Black currants
  • grapefruit
  • and mangoes

As well as a wide range of vegetables. Some vegetables which contain Vitamin C include :

  • collard greens
  • sweet and hot peppers
  • broccoli
  • tomatoes
  • Brussel sprouts
  • cabbage
  • potatoes
  • kale
  • spinach
  • and watercress.

What effects does it have?

Vitamin C is a nutrient valuable for tissue growth, protection of cell membranes from toxic wastes, wound healing, and, as mentioned, support of the immune system.

It supports the growth of collagen and cartilage, protecting in this way against many of the effects of aging.

As an antioxidant, it helps combat free radicals, and it may help with cancer, high cholesterol, cataracts, diabetes, allergies, asthma, and periodontal disease.

You can increase the effectiveness of vitamin C when taken with vitamin E.

What dose should you take?

The recommended daily intake of Vitamin C is 60 mg per day for adults, although many people, following Dr. Pauling’s lead, take much higher doses in hopes of preventing colds and warding off the effects of aging.

However, in higher doses, there may be some toxicity with one of the side effects being diarrhea. In some cases, higher doses of vitamin C may cause kidney stones or anemia, due to an interference with the absorption of vitamin B12.

As it is water-soluble, any unused portions will be flushed from the body.

So daily intake of foods rich in vitamin C or supplementation with a multivitamin may be of value.

There is no real evidence of major problems associated with taking high doses.  It might still be a good idea to stick within recommended daily allowances since the jury is still out on side effects.

What happens if you don’t have enough Vitamin C?

The most well-known result of a vitamin C deficiency is scurvy, a condition characterized by weakness, anemia, gum disease, and skin lesions. Fortunately, scurvy is very rare in our modern society although still found to a greater degree in areas of poor nutrition.

Frequent infections, severe colds, nose bleeds, tiredness, and painful joints may also indicate a deficiency.

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Does Coconut Oil Really Help With Weight Loss https://zenhealthfitness.com/does-coconut-oil-really-help-with-weight-loss/ https://zenhealthfitness.com/does-coconut-oil-really-help-with-weight-loss/#respond Fri, 02 Jul 2021 05:03:51 +0000 https://zenhealthfitness.com/?p=848 Coconut oil seems to be a key ingredient in everything from shampoo to skin cream. So in this article, we want to take a look at the almost magical qualities of coconut and weight loss.  Long popular in beauty products of all kinds, it’s also emerging as a healthy solution to shedding fat. Coconut Oil […]

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Coconut oil seems to be a key ingredient in everything from shampoo to skin cream. So in this article, we want to take a look at the almost magical qualities of coconut and weight loss.  Long popular in beauty products of all kinds, it’s also emerging as a healthy solution to shedding fat.

Coconut Oil and Weight Loss

Nutritional science does support the potential benefits of adding coconut oil to your diet. It’s rich in fatty acids, but unlike other oils, it consists of a unique combination of healthy fats. In chemical structure, it’s composed of medium-chain fatty acids, compared to the long-chain fatty acids that are harder to metabolize and more likely to be retained as body fat.

weight loss using coconut oil

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT)

These medium-chain fatty acids are also called triglycerides. Once in your digestive tract, they go to your liver fairly quickly to boost your metabolism. This is very different from most of the dietary fats your body is used to. Animal fats, for instance, are mostly long-chain fatty acids.

MCTs sent straight to the liver provide quick energy or are stored as ketones, an organic acid that helps process sugars and helps in controlling maladies such as epilepsy, More ketones enable your body to burn more carbohydrates.

Long-chain fatty acids are much easier to store as body fat. It’s the MCTs that are more likely to be burned away as the body demands more fuel. In one study, rats fed more medium chain fats maintained 23 percent lower body fat.

Calories and Weight Loss

All calories are not equal. Although dieters tend to view all food intake in terms of calories, the fact is that different foods are processed differently, based on the amounts of fats and nutrients they contain. Thus what you eat can have a significant effect on bodily functions such as the immune system or hormone production. Some of these digestive pathways require more time and energy to metabolize.

One of the key properties of medium-chain fats is that they are thermogenic; that is, your body requires more energy to digest them, calling for more calories (fat) to be burned. The right foods can burn more energy during digestion than even larger portions of the wrong foods. The combination of quick metabolic energy and increased fat burn make coconut oil doubly effective at reducing body fat.

What’s a key benefit connecting coconut oil and weight loss? It can increase your metabolism even when you’re at rest. This supports more energy and stamina throughout the day. This energy boost allows you to be more active and burn more calories than you normally would.

One study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8654328) concluded that 30 grams or less of medium-chain fatty acids each day raised the metabolism to a point where an additional 120 calories were burned off. The trials show that the more fats people replace in their diets with medium-chain triglycerides, the more calories they burn.

Even though a calorie of the fats in something like olive oil or peanuts are also healthy, they don’t have the fat-burning potency of coconut oil fats.

Coconut Oil Reduces Appetite

Effective weight loss means you have to burn off more calories than you take in. If you’ve become accustomed to eating certain foods and leaving the table with a full belly, controlling your appetite can be a challenge. The alternative to eating less is exercising more. While both are important to a good weight loss program, for many people the time and effort in sticking with a fitness program is the larger challenge.

Coconut oil naturally reduces the appetite. You’re eating less at every meal without the need to constantly test your willpower. Ordinarily, to cut calories you have to plan smaller portions and stick to them even if it means going hungry. Combining coconut oil and weight loss diets helps to control your appetite without the hunger pangs.

Some people keep careful track of how many calories they consume and how many they burn to sustain a calorie deficit that consistently burns fat. Counting calories shouldn’t be necessary, however. Obesity became a societal problem about 50 years ago; before that people rarely thought in terms of calories.

If you reduce your appetite, you’re taking in fewer calories no matter what you’re eating. Compared to other foods, medium-chain triglycerides create the sensation of fullness so you are automatically eating less. The ketones produced in the liver are the body’s natural appetite suppressant.

In a related study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8696422), a group of men consumed an average of 256 fewer calories by adding MCTs to their diets. In a separate study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9701177_, 14 men who consumed them with their breakfast still experienced diminished appetites at lunch.

Coconut Oil and Weight Loss: Burn More Fat

Coconut oil also helps you burn off the fat your body has stored from long-chain fats. This includes the abdominal, or belly fat, that plagues most men and many women. The fat that’s collected in your abdomen is considered particularly unhealthy.

This visceral fat can accumulate around your organs, leading to disorders like diabetes, heart disease, and inflammation. Anything that can reduce visceral fat will lower your susceptibility to these health issues, increase longevity, and boost your metabolic rate and stamina. Belly fat is also the hardest to lose.

Studies comparing coconut oil and weight loss results include a case (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11745-009-3306-6) where 40 women were given either soybean oil or coconut oil. After 28 days of consuming 2 tablespoons of the selected oil, both groups lost weight.

However, the women who took only coconut oil also lost the largest measurable amount in their waist circumference. Many in the soybean group actually gained belly fat.

Cholesterol Levels

Those in the coconut oil group also showed increased levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol, while the other group had no change or diminished HDL levels.

A similar study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3226242/) done with men showed an even more dramatic loss of belly fat, The men using coconut oil showed an average loss of 1.1 inches to their waist size over the soybean oil group at the end of the 28 days.

Coconut Oil vs Weight Loss Products

These and similar studies support the conclusion that MCT consumption, while not the most dramatic solution to weight loss, consistently lowers belly fat over time. This is in addition to the cholesterol health benefits associated with it.

While these weight loss results may not be dramatic compared to some over-the-counter dietary products, none of those products are completely natural and actually good for your overall health. Most weight loss pills work by chemically suppressing the appetite and/or speeding up the metabolism, which can compound stress, poor nutrition, and the risk of heart problems.

Coconut oil and weight loss results suggest that all it takes is two tablespoons of tasty coconut oil each day. When combined with other sensible fitness strategies like a healthier diet and more physical activity, coconut oil will promote weight loss without potentially harmful side effects.

Adding it to a bad diet won’t help. Neither will it replace regular exercise as a means of burning off your body fat. However, it’s more sustainable than non-healthy alternatives when used in a wellness program. Modern nutritionists agree that healthy fats are much better for your body than unhealthy ones.

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Are Shakes the Best Meal Replacement For Weight Loss? https://zenhealthfitness.com/best-meal-replacement-for-weight-loss/ https://zenhealthfitness.com/best-meal-replacement-for-weight-loss/#respond Sat, 09 Feb 2019 20:52:00 +0000 https://zenhealthfitness.com/?p=746 When it comes to the Battle of the Bulge, many people find themselves at a loss for what to do when it comes to loosing weight. This proves especially true for those dieters who have never learned how to cook properly. This is one of the reasons why people often prefer weight loss plans that […]

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When it comes to the Battle of the Bulge, many people find themselves at a loss for what to do when it comes to loosing weight. This proves especially true for those dieters who have never learned how to cook properly. This is one of the reasons why people often prefer weight loss plans that include meal replacement shakes.

This sort of diet plan is easy, economical, and effective. If you’ve been looking into this kind of diet, you probably know that you have many options. What you may not yet know is what are the best meal replacement for weight loss plans nor the benefits of the diet.

If that is the case, the following six tips will help you sort this and other questions about meal replacement shakes out.

Types of Best Meal Replacement Shakes For Weight Loss

Meal replacement shakes run the gamut, from store-bought to homemade. Each offers the user something different.

Homemade Shakes/ Smoothies

Let’s start with shakes that you make at home rather than the ones you buy on the store shelves. Typically, when you try this kind of shake you don’t call it a shake at all. You call it a smoothie, though the principle of it is the same. It is a shake drink that you consume in place of a meal made of solid food.

Smoothies typically contain a number fresh ingredients, like frozen berries, bananas, apples, fresh spinach or kale, and coconut water, nut milk, or regular dairy milk. Those who use like to use protein shakes for meal replacement and who like smoothies will also put ingredients, like peanut butter or cashew butter in the smoothie. These ingredients add more protein and fats to the smoothie.

Additionally, many people who like smoothies as meal replacements also add ingredients, like Spirulina, dulse seaweed flakes, barley grass powder, ginseng, liquid vitamins and minerals, and other types of “extra” nutrients. These extra ingredients give the shakes a nutritional boost that may not be found in the fresh ingredients that you use to make the shake.

Store-Bought Meal Replacement Shakes

This is actually a good place to segue into store-bought meal replacement shakes. These shakes often come in powdered form. However, just as often you’ll find some ready-made shakes, with SlimFast being one of the most well-known protein shake meal replacement options.

Some of these shakes come with some of the extra ingredients, like Spirulina, vitamins and minerals, and barley grass powder. These shakes are also commonly made with two types of protein, whey and soy. However, it is also possible to find shakes that include proteins, like pea proteins.

If you buy the meal replacement shakes that don’t come ready-made, you must mix them with some sort of liquid. Low-fat milk counts as a popular option. However, with more and more people leaning toward veganism, nut milks, like almond or coconut milk have become popular, as have soy and rice milks.

It is also important to note that if you opt for a meal replacement shake as a part of a weight loss plan, you may want to stay away from dairy milk if you don’t already drink it regularly. Suddenly adding milk to your diet could upset your stomach if you’re not used to drinking it.

Generally speaking, the best meal replacement for weight loss is the meal replacements that you’ll actually readily use. Loosing weight with meal replacement shakes is as much about consistency as it is about counting calories.

Brands of Protein Shakes for Meal Replacement

Men’s Health has named some of the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss and nutrition on its site. Below, you’ll find options for the best meal replacement for weight loss shakes.

Among the more popular ready-made brands that the site named as the best meal replacement for weight loss options are:

  • Orgain Organic Nutrition : It’s gluten-free, kosher, and non-GMO. It’s just one of the ready-made protein shakes for meal replacement that you’ll find.
  • Premier Protein Shakes : This is also ready-made. It has only 160 calories and 30 grams of protein. Men’s Health says that this is kind a good option for post-workout nutrition.
  • Core Power : This shake doesn’t just come in chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry. It also offers up coffee- and banana-flavored meal replacements. These ones are also ready-made, and come with a whopping 700 mg of calcium.

Here are some options for shakes that you make by adding liquid to them:

  • Raw Organic Meal : This one offers vegans something that’s organic and gluten-free as well as being dairy-free. You can blend it with berries or other types of fruit to liven up the flavor a bit. It’s also best to drink it right after you make it. This shake can turn grainy if it sits too long.
  • SlimFast Strawberry : Over the years, this old standby has seen quite a few improvements. It also gives you quite a dose of protein for the price.
  • Designer Lite Protein Cookies and Cream Flavor : This is another meal replacement shake that offers up some innovative flavors. It is also economical, which means that your weight loss regiment won’t break the bank. Sometimes, the best meal replacement for weight loss is also the cheapest option.

Number of Meal Replacements Required for Weight Loss

When you’re trying to loose weight with protein shakes for meal replacement, it has been typically recommended by shake makers that you replace two of your meals with a shake and then eat a regular meal. This recommendation is backed up by scientific studies, according to Healthline.

The studies followed people who opted for a meal replacement diet over the course of three months. The participants who adhered to this regiment lost 5.6 pounds more than those who just participated in a regular reduced calorie diet plan.

Additionally, of those who participated in the meal replacement shake diet plan dropped out of the study less frequently than those who went on a more traditionally-based diet. It is believed that this is partly due to how easy this sort of diet is compared to other kinds. Because you replace two meals a day with a shake and then eat one other regular meal, it isn’t necessary to learn how to make special diet foods or to cook if you don’t know how.

In light of this, it seems that loosing weight with meal replacement is more than just an option. It can be one that will lead you to dieting success. Again, it should be reiterated that the best meal replacement for weight loss is the meal replacement (or diet in this case) that you’ll actually do.

The Importance of Portion Control

Both meal-replacement diets and reduced calorie diets operate under the same principle. In order to lose weight, you do need to reduce the number of calories you ingest over time. This has to do with not only the calories that are in the foods you eat, but also with your portion control.

One of the things that a meal replacement shake will do for you, especially if it is a ready-made shake, is keep your portions under control. The typical daily meal plan for those who use meal replacement shakes as a means of weight loss/ control includes two protein shakes equalling 200 to 300 calories, three snacks of 100 calories (a banana, apple, glass of milk, etc.), one regular 400 to 500 calorie meal. That comes out to be about 1400 calories by the end of the day.

What is the Value of Meal Replacement Shakes?

The best meal replacement for weight loss plans offer the dieter a number of benefits. First off, these diets can actually give you more nutritional value than a full-food diet. This has everything to do with how the meal replacement shakes are made. Your body’s daily recommended nutrient requirements were taken into account when the shake was created. In other words, a shake replacement gives you the right amount of proteins, carbs, and fats you need for that meal.

Additionally, going on a meal replacement diet can save you money. Some healthier foods can cost you a great deal of cash. Often, junk food and meal replacement shakes come out to be about the same amount of money in the long run. People gravitate toward junk food in part because it is less expensive than some of the healthier options out there, unfortunately.

However, just because a protein shake per serving may cost you the same amount of money as say a small bag of chips, doesn’t mean the nutritional value will be anywhere near the same thing. The best meal replacement for weight loss is also sometimes the best meal replacement for your budget, too.

How to Plan Your Meals With a Shake

]This was touched on a bit before but we’ll go into a little more depth now. First, if you decide to go on a meal replacement diet, just know ahead of time that at least two of your meals are going to be replaced by a protein shake of your choice. This requires very little planning on your part, especially if you have purchased ready-made shakes for this part of your weight loss plan.

Next, you’ll want to plan for the snacks that you will be allowed to have throughout the day. As you may recall, people who adhere to a shake-based weight loss program are advised to have three 100-calorie snacks throughout the day.

Here is a list of some possible snacks that contain 100 calories or so, according to WebMD:

  • 1/2 cup of slow-churned ice cream
  • 6 cups of microwave popcorn – yes, 6 cups!
  • 14 almonds
  • A baked apple
  • A banana
  • Apple slices with peanut butter
  • Yogurt with seeds or yogurt with honey

You get the idea. And this is just a start. Many 100-calorie snacks exist.

As for meals, here are some ideas for meals that equal 400 to 500 calories:

  • Turkey-Stuffed Peppers made in an Instant Pot
  • Vegetarian Bolognese
  • Seared sea bass with white beans
  • Thai beef curry
  • Chicken quesadillas

Just a note: It is also possible to combine a meal replacement plan with some portion-controlled foods you find in the frozen section of the grocery store. For example, if you buy a frozen box of macaroni and cheese, you can see right on the box how many calories you’re eating.

Going this route will teach you the kinds of portion sizes you want, which is helpful if you’re trying to make permanent changes to your diet. Many people have never learned to eat proper portions: These types of meals will teach you what an actually portion looks like.

Using Meal Replacement Shakes When Traveling

Meal replacement shakes can provide you with some excellent meal options when you’re on the road. If you’re driving, this is an especially easy and cheap route to go. Carrying along a six-pack of meal replacement shakes is not only convenient, but also much cheaper than stopping at a restaurant or a convenience store every time you need to eat.

Powdered shakes can be a little more difficult to carry with you on the road, though not impossible if you buy a specialty plastic shaker that allows you to blend the shake with a shaking motion. You just need some sort of liquid to pour into the shaker, which isn’t very difficult to acquire. Most truck stops and convenience stores sell milks in small cartons.

Traveling on a plane with a meal replacement shake can be more difficult due to new government safety regulations. That said, it is likely that you will find plenty of shake options in the airport in one of the stores there. While you will probably pay more for the shake in the airport than you would for it when you buy it in the grocery store, the cost may still be worth it, especially if you’re using the shakes as a means to loose weight.

Final Thoughts on Meal Replacement Shakes

Meal replacement shakes come in many forms, from the smoothie you make in your home blender to the store-bought shake that comes in cookies and cream flavor. This type of diet plan has been shown to help people lose significantly more weight than many other types of weight-loss plans.

Additionally, these diet plans are more economical than some other kinds of diets you can go on. They also are very helpful to those who don’t know much about cooking and portion control. They can help you learn how to eat better portions, while helping you lose weight.

Finally, meal shakes are a good option when you’re on the road. They’re cheaper than stopping in a restaurant and offer you many more health benefits than the junk food you may be otherwise tempted to buy.

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8 Tips to Stay Fit and Healthy https://zenhealthfitness.com/8-tips-to-stay-fit-and-healthy/ https://zenhealthfitness.com/8-tips-to-stay-fit-and-healthy/#respond Fri, 08 Feb 2019 20:45:39 +0000 https://zenhealthfitness.com/?p=732 Have you ever heard the saying “Your health is your wealth”? Being physically fit can help make a person look lean, healthy, fit, and beautiful both inside and out.  We want to deep dive into 8 Tips to stay fit and healthy. There is plenty a person can do such as jogging or walking in […]

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Have you ever heard the saying “Your health is your wealth”? Being physically fit can help make a person look lean, healthy, fit, and beautiful both inside and out.  We want to deep dive into 8 Tips to stay fit and healthy.8 tips to stay fit and healthy

There is plenty a person can do such as jogging or walking in the morning, playing basketball, or any other sport with friends.

However, if you really want to have muscles and look lean, the best thing to do will be to sign up and work out in a gym.

See your doctor first

Just like taking any medicine, we always recommend consulting a doctor first before undergoing any new form of exercise regime.

How does physical exercise help?

Physical exercise is beneficial because it helps maintain and improve one’s health from a variety of diseases and premature death. It also makes a person feel happier and increases one self-esteem preventing one from falling into depression or anxiety.

There is also no doubt that it has also shown to make a person with an active lifestyle live longer than a person who doesn’t.

What’s the best exercise plan

The best exercise plan should have both cardiovascular (cardio) and weight training exercises. This helps burn calories and increase the muscle-to-fat ratio that will increase one’s metabolism and make one either gain or lose weight.

8 tips to stay fit and healthy

Start out gradually

A person who has never worked out before should do it gradually. Someone just starting training and doing it too much for the first time can end up pulling a muscle or end up with an injury making it worse.

Endurance will never be built in a day and doing it slowly and repeatedly will help to make sure you get used to exercising.

Your focus needs more focus

Focusing on specific parts of the body can help make it improve. A good example is going to the gym and doing a workout more often in a specific area such as the abs, which can result in a chest pack.

But healthy, fitness, and beauty are not only about having muscles which is what people can see. It is also about enhancing the beauty within.

Now, we want to focus on tips to stay fit and healthy that you can do every single day.  That will help you stay beautiful and healthy on the inside:

Every day tips

Try reading books or seeing a movie

Reading books and other reading material more often keeps the mind sharp just like working out keeps the body in shape.

Work no matter what kind it is produces stress. One can reduce this by taking the time out to do something special like lying in a hot tub, shopping, or watching a movie. Studies have shown it is a reliever and helps one from looking stressed and haggardly.

Seek help from pollution

Pollution is something people cannot control given the size of the problem. When one goes out, it is best to put some form of protection such as beauty products that contain antioxidants that protect the skin from damage. There are also other beauty products available and choosing the right one with the help of a dermatologist can help the person.

Give up those vices

Another way to stay healthy is to give up some vices. A lot of people smoke and drink. Smoking has been proven to cause lung cancer and other diseases as well complications for women giving birth. Excessive drinking has also been shown to do the same.

Stay away from smokers

For people who don’t smoke, it is best to stay away from people who do since studies have shown that nonsmokers are also at risk of developing cancer due to secondary smoke inhalation.

Try a positive mindset

Lastly, it is best to always start the day with a positive outlook. Just as studies have shown that exercise makes a person feel happier, smiling produces the same effect. A smile can do a lot and it is contagious in a positive sense. It brightens the day of not only one but others as well.

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Can You Use a Fitbit for Weight loss ? https://zenhealthfitness.com/use-fitbit-for-weight-loss/ https://zenhealthfitness.com/use-fitbit-for-weight-loss/#respond Thu, 07 Feb 2019 05:28:51 +0000 https://zenhealthfitness.com/?p=719 What do you think our caveman ancestors would say to us if we told them we need to use a Fitbit for weight loss? My guess is they would wonder what is wrong with just getting up and moving. It worked for them they were fit and healthy because they had to walk everywhere, and […]

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Can you use a fitbit for weight lossWhat do you think our caveman ancestors would say to us if we told them we need to use a Fitbit for weight loss?

My guess is they would wonder what is wrong with just getting up and moving. It worked for them they were fit and healthy because they had to walk everywhere, and they didn’t have trains, buses, or cars.

They ran after their food if they were hungry, they didn’t have Uber eats deliver to their doorstep.

Yes, they were a lot more active!

However, they didn’t live in towns or cities where you need to move long distances to get to work, where they had to work 10 hours a day, and sit in an office, they didn’t have large families that needed to be fed and looked after, driven places for sports or other things.

They just didn’t have the busy lifestyle, that we do as modern men.  They didn’t have to plan their spare time to exercise in a busy life.

So can you use a Fitbit for weight loss?

Well using a Fitbit on its own won’t help you do much at all.  It’s the data from the Fitbit that can give you the help you need to change your lifestyle, and monitor your food, sleep, and activity, which will help you lose weight.

So let’s do a deep dive into Fitbits and what the latest crazy fitness invention means to you.

What is a Fitbit

fitbit versaFitbit firstly is an American company, that makes activity trackers, which are wireless-enabled wearable technology devices that measure data such as the number of steps walked, heart rate, quality of sleep, steps climbed, and other personal metrics involved in fitness.

So Fitbit is the brand, what they make are Activity trackers.

Why Use a Fitbit to Lose Weight?

So now you know that a Fitbit is really an activity tracker, they are literally dozens of activity trackers on the market.  With such a wide range of activity trackers out there, you can bet that they have a wide range of functions. anything from

  • fitbit altaTracking your Athletic performance
  • Sleep habits
  • Even promoting posture

But I like using my Fitbit activity tracker to help me with weight loss and maintaining that weight loss.

I liked it so much, that I bought a Fitbit Ionic for my 73-year-old mother to use for her general fitness. OK, yes I spoil her for Christmas.

How do I Choose the right Fitbit for me?

Fitbit has a wide range of products to choose from. This is great, as you can choose the right activity tracker that will work with your fitness goals and fitness lifestyle.

Watches

  • Versa
  • Ionic

Trackers

  • Charge 3
  • Alta HR
  • Alta
  • Flex 2
  • Act
  • Zip

Accessories

They also have a decent range of accessories with things like different color bands and headphones as well as training apps.

Is Fitbit Activity Tracker Hard to Use

For the most part no they are not. The Fitbit dashboard is simple and easy to use and is well suited to weight loss and fitness

The dashboard is customizable as well, they can also sync stats wirelessly and automatically from whatever Fitbit device you have, to either your phone or computer.

Once online on the dashboard, you have tools that can show your progress as charts.

Fitness goal setting and monitoring have never been done, you can see progress notifications, as well as celebrate achievement milestones with achievement badges, that you can share with friends and family.

It can also help you manage what calories are coming and what calories are going out.  It helps keep fat, carbohydrates, and protein grams in balance, which in turn helps your overall food intake.

Does it work with Other Fitness Tools and Fitness Apps?

Yes, the Fitbit will also pair seamlessly with other helpful apps and other tools, that will assist you in weight loss.  You can also pair the Fitbit wireless fitness headphones with your Fitbit activity tracker. But they do also pair well with other apps like

  • Strava
  • My fitness pal
  • Loseit

Which Fitbit is Best for Weight Loss?

Well, you really need to know what you want your Fitbit for. You want to choose the right one for you that you will wear often and actually use.

Tip – DON’T BUY ONE because you think it s a magic pill to lose weight.

If you are looking to buy one, here are some things to consider :

What’s the budget?

A Fitbit price can vary from Under $60 up to the high-end Fitbit Ionic for nearly $300. While it’s great you want to invest in your health and fitness, don’t spend money on features that you won’t use.

 How do You Dress?

Fitness and dressing for exercise usually mean a sports casual look.  But how do you dress through the day, if you are a professional that needs to look a certain way, or wears a uniform  You need to make sure you get the model that can blend in with both worlds.

The best way to get the most out of your Fitbit is to wear it all the time, so don’t buy a model that you wouldn’t be seen dead out in public.

What type of job do you do?

Do you work in industry or around a machine where a loose strap might get caught, or if you Fitbit band is banging against what ever you working on?  You might need to choose a softer band or even one of the models that can clip on your clothing.

What about wearing it to Bed?

Some dietitians will tell you it’s helpful to track sleep data, so do you need to wear your Fitbit to Track Sleep?  A select few Fitbit models will have the sleep tracking function, that can track information about sleep stages, and how long you spend in the stages of sleep.

Just keep in mind that some of the bigger models will be a little bit more clunky and could be a little uncomfortable in bed.

Are you planning on training hard?

Depending on the type of activity you are doing you need the right model.  For example, if you are swimming you need the Fitbit Ionic, as it’s designed to be water resistant and is better suited to water-based workouts.

If you are sweating and doing things like Tough Mudder, you might need to choose a more robust band, as some of them might not hold up to heat, excessive sweat, and being banged around.

Are you looking for special features?

If you have been to your doctor to talk about exercising and you have a heart condition, you might need features like heart rate monitoring.  If you are a runner, you may want to track your pace and distance.  Models like Fitbit Blaze and Charge 3 can provide GPS functionality to your smartphone.

The Fitbit Ionic can provide GPS with no phone needed, can store music on the watch as well, and on-screen workouts with Fitstar coaching.

What about lifestyle features?

Using properly any Fitbit will help you lose weight.  But technology being what it is, you can also manage basic lifestyle activities.  You can get notifications on your smartphone.

The Fitbit Blaze and Fitbit Ionic have a Relax app for stress management.  The Ionic also has a wallet app the store’s credit card information so you can make payments via your watch with pay wave.

How to use Your Fitbit for Weight loss

Here is the most important part, at the end of the day, the Fitbit activity tracker is a tool. A tool that can help you lose weight and manage that weight loss, ONLY if you use it right.

The dashboard tiles are customizable so you can actually set it up to give you the best chance of hitting your goals with weight loss.  The whole idea of the dashboard design and layouts is meant to promote good health.

Here are the most important Fitbit dashboard tiles

Food Plan

You can use this tile to set your weight loss goal. Once you decide how much weight you want to lose and how hard you are willing to work to reach that goal.  Then based on your goal, you are assigned a daily calorie deficit.

Once you have that set, all you need to do is check throughout the day, to find out how much you need to eat to maintain the deficit.

Calories In vs Out

This tile will tell you how many calories you have eaten in the day vs’ the number of calories you’ve burned.  The tile displays a meter on the front.   Basically, it’s simple at the end of the day you need the meter to be in the middle of the green zone.

It’s simple to do that, you just eat fewer calories than you burn.

You essentially create a calorie deficit.  Once you set up your food plan, and your calorie deficit matches the deficit you will end up in the green zone.

Hourly Activity Goal

This tile will help boost your metabolism. all you need to do is check it out throughout the day, making sure you are moving around enough to burn as many calories as possible.  You can set a reminder to make sure you get up and move as well.

You can also use the Hourly activity goal to analyze the times of day when you are less active.  So you can use it to set up activities reminders and schedule to move during those times.

They are plenty of other dashboard tiles that can be helpful when you are targeting weight loss. But you only need to add them if you think you will use them

Tip: Don’t clutter your dashboard

If you are starting out, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with too many, tiles, numbers, and dates. After a while, your head will be swimming and you will give up using your Fitbit.

Tip: KISS – Keep it simple stupid

Here are a few more tiles you can use :

The Sleep tile

Works well for those who skip exercise because they are tired.  You can use it to make adjustments to your sleep habits, making sure you get adequate rest.

The Recent Exercise tile

This one shows you how close you are to achieving the exercise goals you’ve set.

The Water tile

This one works well for dieters who tend to eat when they are thirsty.

The Resting Heart Rate tile

This one is helpful, you can check your resting heart rate.  It works well for people who ten to eat in response to stress.  You can use this in conjunction with the Relax app to help calm yourself with deep breathtaking instead of food.

Top Badges, and Friends

This is a great resource for anyone who enjoys challenges and needs the support of others.

I tried to lose weight with my Fitbit activity tracker but it didn’t work?

We have all been there, been out, and bought a shiny new toy.  All because we thought it would give us some great results for weight loss, but it just didn’t. Anyone buys a treadmill, to use at home, and found it holds clothes really well.

fitbit weight loss goal

If you find yourself disappointed with the results and your Fitbit.   It’s generally because people have unrealistic expectations.

Think of it like this, the data that you can collect with your Fitbit activity tracker can help you when you are planning your exercise and nutrition goals.

BUT, there is no device in the world, that will motivate you to throw on a pair of sneakers and go for a walk or a jog, or instead of the 3rd pizza for the week, eat a chicken and salad instead. (maybe Fitbit can add an electric shock option).

Consistency is key not a Fitbit

You need to be consistent and wear your activity tracker all the time, not just some of the time, so good days and bad days. You need to be able to track your exercise and food habits through it all.

Just remember the more data you have the better your informed decision can be, and the better you can make your training program and diet plan.

So as a wash-up, yes you can use Fitbit for weight loss.

It can help you collect data for your diet and exercise plans.  With that data, it can help you change those old unhealthy habits to healthy ones

Just choose your Fitbit activity tracker wisely, it’s a decent investment in your health.

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WOD #48 – Workout of the Day https://zenhealthfitness.com/wod-48/ https://zenhealthfitness.com/wod-48/#respond Wed, 06 Feb 2019 21:09:35 +0000 https://zenhealthfitness.com/?p=685 If you have found this post, and are wanting to try the latest workout of the day.  WOD #48 is a short workout designed for intermediate fitness levels.  If you are new to working out, these types of sharp intense workouts are designed around the CrossFit style of exercising. Please take your time, gradually increasing […]

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If you have found this post, and are wanting to try the latest workout of the day.  WOD #48 is a short workout designed for intermediate fitness levels.  If you are new to working out, these types of sharp intense workouts are designed around the CrossFit style of exercising. Please take your time, gradually increasing your intensity will help achieve the results you want.

WOD #48

Workout of the Day – WOD #48

a) 15 minutes to find your heaviest Thruster

Rest 5 mins

b) Complete for time

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps of

  • Thrusters 30/42.5kgs
  • Pull-ups

That’s it for this Workout of the Day.  Click the link if you want to try other workouts. Don’t judge yourself too hard if you can’t get the time right.  That’s the great thing about health and fitness you are up doing something, that means you are improving.

What are WOD’s

A WOD is short for the workout of the day.  The term became popular with the CrossFit style of exercising.  But in reality, a WOD can be any type of exercise you do any day.  From a walk on the beach to a gym weights session.

There are so many, amazing fitness sites and fitness apps now on the market you really can get your inspiration for a workout anywhere.

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5 Building Muscle Myths in the Gym https://zenhealthfitness.com/building-muscle-myths/ https://zenhealthfitness.com/building-muscle-myths/#respond Wed, 06 Feb 2019 11:06:14 +0000 https://zenhealthfitness.com/?p=710 It’s all about the goals that you want to achieve and how you structure your training programs, that get you the results you want.  Looking and feeling good is all about how you feel inside. For some people it’s about losing weight, for some it’s about gaining muscle.  There are so many building muscle myths […]

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It’s all about the goals that you want to achieve and how you structure your training programs, that get you the results you want.  Looking and feeling good is all about how you feel inside. For some people it’s about losing weight, for some it’s about gaining muscle.  There are so many building muscle myths out there.  That we want to take a deep dive into the top five myths for building muscle in the gym.

building muscle myths

It’s fantastic that you have a muscle-building goal.  Whatever your goal is don’t get caught between fact and fiction.

As a young person, at the time of the Rocky movies.  I seriously thought that drinking raw eggs before a workout at the gym would, give me muscle mass.  That was a myth.

So let’s look a the myths and fiction of training.  If you are in the gym and looking for building muscle here are:

5 myths of building muscle in the gym

The 12 Rep rule

A lot of trainers in the gym will give you weight training programs, with that repetition target for gaining muscle.

The truth is this approach does not place enough tension on the muscle for effective muscle gain.

High tension = Heavy Weights

Lifting heavy weights provides muscle growth in which the muscle grows much larger, leading to maximum gains in strength. Having longer tension time boosts the muscle size by generating the structures around the muscle fibers, which in turn improves endurance.

The standard prescription of eight to 12 repetitions can provide a balance but just using that repetition target all of the time.

You won’t generate the greater tension levels that are provided by the heavier weights and lesser reps, and the longer tension achieved with lighter weights and more repetitions.

Tip: Change the number of reps and adjust the weights to stimulate all types of muscle growth.

Three Set rule

The truth is there’s nothing wrong with three sets but then again there is nothing amazing about it either. The number of sets you perform should be based on your goals and not on a half-century-old rule.

The more repetitions you do on an exercise, the fewer sets you should do, and vice versa. This keeps the total number of repetitions done of an exercise equal.

Tip: 2 – 6 sets are just fine.

muscle building myths

Three to four exercises per group

The truth is this is a waste of time. Combined with twelve reps of three sets, the total number of reps amount to 144. If you’re doing this many reps for a muscle group you’re not doing enough.

Tip: Instead of doing too many different exercises, try doing 30 to 50 reps. That can be anywhere from 2 sets of 15 reps or 5 sets of 10 reps.

My knees, my toes

It is a gym folklore that you “should not let your knees go past your toes.” Truth is that leaning forward a little too much is more likely to cause injury.

In 2003, Memphis University researchers confirmed that knee stress was almost thirty percent higher when the knees are allowed to move beyond the toes during a squat.

But hip stress increased nearly 10 times or (1000 percent) when the forward movement of the knee was restricted.

Because the squatters needed to lean their body forward and that forces the strain to transfer to the lower back.

Tip: Focus on your upper body position and less on the knee.

Try keeping the torso in an upright position as much as possible when doing squats and lunges. This reduces the stress generated on the hips and back.

To stay upright, before squatting, squeeze the shoulder blades together and hold them in that position; and then as you squat, keep the forearms 90 degrees to the floor.

Lift weights, draw abs

The truth is the muscles work in groups to stabilize the spine, and the most important muscle group change depending on the type of exercise.

The transverse abdominis is not always the most important muscle group. Actually, for most exercises, the body automatically activates the muscle group that is needed most for support of the spine.

Tip: If you focus only on the transverse abdominis.  It can recruit the wrong muscles and limit the right muscles.

This increases the chance of injury and reduces the weight that can be lifted.  I lost count of how many well-meaning physios advised this over the years,

That’s it, five building muscle myths you often hear about in the gym.  Take the time to develop a gym routine that works for you.  Talk to a personal trainer if you are starting out.

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WOD #47 – Workout of the day https://zenhealthfitness.com/wod-47/ https://zenhealthfitness.com/wod-47/#respond Tue, 05 Feb 2019 10:54:25 +0000 https://zenhealthfitness.com/?p=683 Today’s Workout of the day a) 8 minutes to find a heavy set of 3 reps of Thrusters Rest 5 mins b) 7 Minute time cap to get as many reps of Thrusters 29/45kgs Chest to bar Pull ups Working in a rep scheme of 3 Thrusters 3 Chest to bars 6 Thrusters 6 Chest […]

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workout of the dayToday’s Workout of the day

a) 8 minutes to find a heavy set of 3 reps of Thrusters

Rest 5 mins

b) 7 Minute time cap to get as many reps of

  • Thrusters 29/45kgs
  • Chest to bar Pull ups

Working in a rep scheme of

3 Thrusters

3 Chest to bars

6 Thrusters

6 Chest to bars 9 & 9 and so on until the 7 Minutes is up

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WOD #45 – Workout of the day https://zenhealthfitness.com/wod-45/ https://zenhealthfitness.com/wod-45/#respond Mon, 04 Feb 2019 10:43:57 +0000 https://zenhealthfitness.com/?p=690 Today’s Workout of the Day a) 12 minutes to find your heaviest set of 3 reps, Strict Press Rest 5 mins b) 5 Rounds for time of 12 Deadlifts 50/70kgs 9 Hang Power Cleans 50/70kgs 6 Shoulder to Overheads 50/70kgs 3 Bar Muscle ups Rest 5 mins c) 1 km Row for time

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workout of the dayToday’s Workout of the Day

a) 12 minutes to find your heaviest set of 3 reps, Strict Press

Rest 5 mins

b) 5 Rounds for time of

  • 12 Deadlifts 50/70kgs
  • 9 Hang Power Cleans 50/70kgs
  • 6 Shoulder to Overheads 50/70kgs
  • 3 Bar Muscle ups

Rest 5 mins

c) 1 km Row for time

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WOD #44 – Workout of the day https://zenhealthfitness.com/wod-44/ https://zenhealthfitness.com/wod-44/#respond Sun, 03 Feb 2019 10:04:49 +0000 https://zenhealthfitness.com/?p=681 Today’s Workout day a) 12 minutes to find your heaviest Front Squat Rest 5 mins b) As Many Rounds As Possible in 20 Minutes of 1 Squat Clean 60/80kgs 5 Pull ups 10 Push ups 15 Air Squats Each round increase the Squat Clean by 1 rep

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workout of the dayToday’s Workout day

a) 12 minutes to find your heaviest Front Squat

Rest 5 mins

b) As Many Rounds As Possible in 20 Minutes of

  • 1 Squat Clean 60/80kgs
  • 5 Pull ups
  • 10 Push ups
  • 15 Air Squats

Each round increase the Squat Clean by 1 rep

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