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Cardio. Everybody’s heard of it. Not everybody does it. People want to lose weight, so they pick what sounds the best, and looks the easiest, even if it’s time consuming. They will walk four hours, or run on a tread mill, or do simple laps in the pool. Once they’re done with that, they’ll stop (often times without even having been tired), and probably eat something. Chances are, when they eat, they eat as many or even more calories than they just burned!

This is the common cardio we hear about. It is not real cardio.

First, let me explain what cardio is. Cardio is a name for Aerobic Exercise. And Aerobic Exercise is simply doing something that makes your heart and lungs work harder than normal. The word cardio actually means “Heart”!

Cardio, or Aerobic Exercise, is improperly used these days. It can apply to running for hours, or swimming, cycling, jogging, or things like that, but it applies to so much more! It is one of the two most effective ways to lose fat (and build muscle at the same time), your diet being the first. I’ll leave diet to another article though. Oh, and did I mention that you can actually build lean, strong, and usable muscle while you use cardio to burn fat? “They” don’t like to tell you that. Where would they get “their” money from?

Not only can Cardio be applied to the things stated above, but so much more. It also applies to sprinting, a hard days labor (labor is good), playing (how do you think kids stay so thin?), and different types of exercise that are designed to build muscle but burn fat at the same time! The best part, they can be done in as little as twenty minutes, sometimes as little as five or less! Another good thing about “real” cardio, it leaves your metabolism at a high for up to three days after your workout (depending on what you did and how hard you did it)! That means you can take twenty minutes and do some simple exercises, and have your body in a fat burning furnace state for days after! All the while you’re sitting on your couch, sleeping, eating a donut (though it would work better if you didn’t), or, better yet, doing more exercises!

But here’s the trick. In order for this to work, in order for you to become a fat burning furnace that works well you sleep, you’ve gotta work. You have to work hard! Even if you’re not doing something intense, you have to do it a rate that makes it intense. You’re body has to work, and work hard! That way, you’re body will be in a state of shock (don’t get scared off, this is good). You’re muscles (including heart and lungs), use up so much oxygen and energy in such a short amount of time, your body is trying to recover for days. And in this time, your metabolism is higher. You’re burning fat while you sleep!

If you’ve read this far, you probably want to know what these exercises are. Well, I’m not able to show you. But I can give you a head start in finding them. Some programs I found that are good include Double Edge Fat Loss, TacFit Commando, and the Adonis Index.

You can easily find other exercises online (you found this, didn’t you?). The secret to burning fat is so simple. If the word got out and everyone followed the simple ways, those big companies telling us and selling us crap would be out of business. Every person who learns the truth counts.

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Diets don’t work. They may work in the short-term but over the long-term they inevitably fail for most people. Several reasons why diets fail follow:

Too restrictive: Many diets require that you eliminate certain healthy foods and even whole food groups, and this is not a healthy long-term approach

Metabolism slows down: If the total daily calories that you eat are too low, your metabolism may slow down making your weight loss efforts all the more difficult

Approaches used often don’t fit easily into daily life: Counting calories, keeping a food journal, weighing food may all help you to lose weight, but they are not good long-term strategies

Too much focus on food and exercise: There is so much more to losing weight than simply watching how much food you eat and exercising

Not getting to the root cause of the weight issue: Often times emotions, uncontrollable cravings, and traditions can derail your weight loss efforts and many diets do not address these issues effectively

So what does work? Two effective strategies that will help you to lose the weight for good follow:

Watch your thoughts and be sure they are supporting your weight loss efforts instead of undermining them: Have you ever taken a moment to pay attention to your thoughts? If not, start paying attention. Many of us fill our minds with negative instead of positive thoughts. For instance we think things like “I’m so fat” or “I know I am gaining weight”.

Be careful of your thoughts. Thoughts can have a profound effect on what our reality turns out to be. Thoughts are powerful. Thoughts communicate to the subconscious in the form of images. These images will influence the actions we later take.

Negative thoughts can set in motion behaviors that will make your thoughts a reality: If you think you are fat, you are much more likely to skip the exercise or eat the piece of cake if you believe you are a fat person. If, instead, you shift your thinking to “I am slim and bursting with energy”, you are much more likely to take actions that support the reality of being slim and bursting with energy.

Action 1: Going forward pay attention to your thoughts. When you catch yourself thinking a negative thought about your weight, replace that thought with a positive one instead.

Love your life: You may be wondering what loving your life has to do with weight loss. Well, often times, it is precisely the fact that we are miserable with some aspect of our lives that drives us to crave foods that don’t support our weight loss efforts.

When you were young playing with friends outside in the sunshine, were you thinking about food? I bet you weren’t. You were having too much fun. I know that my mother had to ring a dinner bell to remind me to come home to eat; otherwise, I would have kept playing. This type of experience also happens when you are deeply immersed in work that you enjoy. You become so lost in the project at hand that you can easily forget about time and eating. When you fall in love for the first time, food often becomes secondary as well because you are high on life itself.

Let me share with you a real life example that demonstrates how identifying the life issue can help with food cravings. I had a client who snacked late in the evening on foods that didn’t support her health but just added unwanted calories to her diet. She sometimes craved sweets like cookies and at other time she craved something crunchy and salty like pretzels. She didn’t want to be eating late at night, and she was also struggling to lose weight.

After a bit of discussion, we uncovered what was driving her to eat at this hour. After working all day at a boring job, she wanted to be treated special and pampered. We then came up with an activity that was pampering to her which was an essential oil body scrub. When she came home in the evening, she was to take the essential oil body scrub first before grabbing her snack. After that, if she still wanted her treat, she was welcome to have it because losing weight should have nothing to do with restriction and deprivation. When she was done with the essential oil body scrub, she no longer wanted the food.

Action 2: Identify what it is in your life that is really making you crave foods that are contributing to your weight gain and find a way to improve that aspect of your life and/or find something other than food that will satisfy you just as much.

Losing weight has to do with so much more than simply counting calories and exercising more. You also need to be paying attention to your thoughts and life to resolve your weight loss struggles.

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Most of the people I meet say that losing weight is a boring activity. They say this because everyone has told them that in order to lose weight the most important thing is to do cardio training for a long time. I am not about to tell you that cardio training is not boring – it is. But surely it is not the most important component in the weight loss process. Studies show that most people quit training – or more specifically, quit their weight loss activities – because they find long cardio activities too boring and are unable to persist with them for a long time.

As all of you probably know, fighting over-weight is simply a matter of burning more calories than you consume – which is quite easy to calculate when you start noticing what you are eating. So what you need to do in order to lose weight is to make sure that every day you are using more calories than you are consuming. It may come as a surprise to you, but you burn most of the calories after training – not during training.

After training, your body needs to rebuild the muscles that have just experienced what is in effect a kind of a trauma. To do this, it will use a lot of its stored energy, which we commonly refer to as ‘fat’. This is when the process of losing weight happens. If you want to lose weight effectively, the secret is to make your body keep working longer and burning those calories even after you finishes training. In this way, you will keep losing weight much more efficiently. So, as I explained before, the best way to lose weight is not by doing long and boring cardio training.

The best way to lose some weight and to make your body keep working after training is to make your training as intense as possible. However, it is also important not to over-train because that can make it more difficult for your body to recover. You should train for around 40-60 minutes 3-4 times per week depending on the intensity of the training. When you do cardio training for 30 minutes every day, your body will be burning calories and losing weight while you are training and maybe for another 2-3 hours afterwards because your body is used to this kind of activity and it will not need a long recovery process. However, when you come to the gym and, instead of the 30 minutes of cardio, you do some good whole body weight lifts and some anaerobic exercises like sprints, your muscles will be working more than they are used to. This will make your recovery time longer and keep you burning calories for the next day or two, so actually you will keep the weight loss process of your body all this time. I won’t now go into the exact process that your body is going through after an intense workout, but you should know that this kind of training will be less boring, more efficient in the matter of burning calories and will make you achieve your goal of losing weight faster.

When you decide to try this kind of training, you should know exactly what you are supposed to do in order to lose as much weight as you can by doing the right exercises like hill sprints, over-head squats, deadlifts, dips, pushups, intervals, etc.

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You are probably using a gadget or taking pills that claim to remove fats fast and remove them only in your thighs or your stomach. If so, then stop because you have been hoodwinked! Ask this question: how do you burn fat that way? The answer is, you don’t. It is because fat loss occurs throughout your body all at the same time. Exercise and a calorie controlled diet is the only way long term as you can’t spot reduce fat.

But how do you burn fat with exercise and diet? Daily cardio exercises for a minimum of 20 minutes is the basic requirement if you want to make a dent on your weight. Going at it for 20 minutes straight will push your body to break down fats fast and also provide you with the energy to keep you going. An additional 10 minutes will increase your heart rate and maximize your fat burning.

Now we come to the diet. To help trim your thighs and stomach and the rest of your body, pick low calorie foods and those that are high in fiber. In fact, start planning your meals more carefully. You can consult a dietitian and they can design a balanced diet for you or you can do it yourself with a little online research or by purchasing a proven guide.

Demystify the calorie question by learning how to compute your intake against your burn rate. Never go for crash diets or starve yourself because initially, you may lose weight, but you will gain it fast when you start to eat again. Our bodies are designed to protect itself so coming out of a crash diet, the body will store as much fats as it can which will lead to rapid weight gain.

The key is substituting the food you love to eat with healthier alternatives. If you are a “snacker” and love chips and cookies, you may want to consider switching to un-buttered popcorn, which is high in fiber and is sure to fill you for hours and help kill your craving for other foods.

It is also perfectly fine to eat fatty foods as long as you cut down on the portions. What you should concentrate on is the number of calories you are taking in. Calories are in all types of foods but in varying measures so you can consume some foods in high volume as long as their calorie content is low. Fibers have virtually no digestible calories so if you plan to binge, do it with oats or soy beans.

So how do you burn fat efficiently? Commit to a calorie controlled diet and an exercise regimen that you can stick to as a part of your overall lifestyle.

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There are a number of ways to lose weight but the principle rule for achieving results from any one of them is to remember to stick to your goals and remain motivated and determined. Apart from that, you must also judiciously follow the diet and exercise regime that has been put together for you. That being said, the most ideal or best way to lose weight is by reducing the amount of calories you consume and increasing the amount of physical activity that you do in a day.

1. Aim for realistic goals: Start by setting realistic targets- you can’t assume that you will lose 6 pounds in a week because that is not humanly possible and when the weight scale confirms that, you will only get demoralized and disheartened. What you should do is use a BMI chart or consult your health care consultant to determine what your ideal weight should be. If you want to lose weight safely without injuries and harmful effects to your body, you should aim at losing weight gradually. Experts suggest that the best way to lose weight requires you to set a goal of losing about a pound per week.

2. Change your lifestyle: It is important to make a few changes in your lifestyle in order to be able to lose weight quickly. These changes imply reducing the number of calories you consume in a day by eating smaller meals and selecting the foods which have lower amount of calories. In addition to that, you will also have to increase your physical activity.

3. Change your Eating habits: Have 5 -6 smaller meals during the entire day- this way, you will be able to control your hunger and hence, keep yourself from munching on unhealthy snacks. You will also have to limit the portions of such foods that are rich in calories which include french fries, fried chicken, cheese, oils and spreads. Another important point to remember is that breakfast is the most important meal of the day so make sure you neither skip it nor limit it in any way. If you aren’t used to eating breakfast, what you can do instead is eat the last meal of your day an hour earlier or make it lighter so that your body is able to digest it by morning.

4. Increase your physical activity: Once you have the above-mentioned points down pat, you have to focus on putting together an exercise regime that complements your daily diet and vice versa. This doesn’t mean that you will have to spend your life at the gym- no, 60 minutes should suffice and if you aren’t comfortable with that, you can always exercise at home.

Doesn’t sound too hard now, does it?

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Did you know that when you eat less, your body is actually fooled into believing that you are starving and hence lessens its metabolic rate? As a result, any amount of excess food can prove to be very dangerous and as soon as you eat, you will begin to put on weight rapidly. To avoid this imbalance, you must be very careful and neither eat too much nor too less. Eating right is thus important and all the available tips to lose 10 pounds will tell you the same. Read this article and learn about the importance of eating right.

¨ Weight loss is a gradual process – You have to always remember that weight loss is a gradual process. There is no shortcut to losing weight. Hence, stay away from the harmful chemical drugs and steroids that allow you to shed flab instantly. These pills are so harmful that you may even end up developing some very serious health conditions after consumption. So just eat right and lose weight naturally.

¨ Do not eat less – Like already mentioned, you must not eat less at any cost. Eating less is as harmful as eating more. So what you can do is rather than cutting out the complete supply of nourishment to your body, you can cut out the supply of fats, oils and starches as these are the things that make you fat. So have a low calories, low fat meal and you will benefit a lot.

¨ Don’t binge-eat – Stop yourself from binge eating. Binge eating can ruin your weight reduction chances. So every time you have an unwanted food craving, distract yourself. Tell yourself that eating impulsively will not allow you to lose weight.

¨ Eat smaller portions – If at all you feel you need to reduce your food intake, do it gradually. Slowly, reduce the portion of each meal. If you are used to eating 5 slices of bread, eat 4 for a few days and then 3. This way, your body will get accustomed to the change and you will be able to loose weight effectively.

Follow these tips to lose 10 pounds. Losing weight is an achievable task and with the right kind of effort you can shed all the fat from your body. So go ahead and eat the right foods in the right quantities and you will soon be flaunty a slim and trim body.

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