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28-Days-to-Lean Meal Plan

With the right plan and the right discipline, you can get seriously shredded in just 28 days.


You're training hard every day with your program, going heavy on the weights and sweating up a storm with cardio. Newsflash: While that's critical to your ultimate success, that's just not enough for you to lose the fat you want to.

To reach your get-lean goal, you must also follow a get-lean diet. Why? Even if you work out hard for an hour every day, that still leaves 23 more hours for you to wreck all your hard work in the gym with just one slip-up: a measly handful of chips, a beer with the guys or a burger at lunch. Diet is a huge, so to speak, part of the fat-loss equation. It's the backbone of your entire plan, the foundation of a hard body.

Bodybuilding nutrition consultant Jim Juge says nutrition determines your success or failure, plain and simple. "The diet is 65% of what you need to get in shape," he says. Juge would know, as he's helped countless dedicated people reach their goals, from achieving their best body ever to placing first in bodybuilding competitions.

You've got 28 days to get to your goal, so we've recruited Juge to help you every step of the way. He's adapted a traditional bodybuilding competitor's diet for a non-competitor (that means you!) who wants to look his best, shedding as much fat as possible in a very short time. With just under a month, there's no time to fool around, so commit today! Go to the grocery store and stock up tonight. Come breakfast time tomorrow, follow his plan as strictly as you can and get ready to show off those impressive muscles in a month.

Strict. Strict. Strict. This is your mantra for the next 28 days. There'’s just no way around the diet, says Juge, and eating clean is the name of this get-lean game. Juge'’s diet plan is filled with fresh, clean foods that are as unprocessed as possible. Here are his three simple principles to shed fat fast.
  1. Eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, daily. If your protein intake is too low on a restricted-calorie diet, you'll lose a lot of muscle in addition to any fat you'’re lucky enough to shed. A high protein intake will help you preserve lean mass during your dieting phase. Choose lean high-quality proteins like egg whites, poultry, lean red meat and protein supplements. The diet provided here contains about 220-–250 grams of protein daily, fine for a male weighing 200-250 pounds. Up your protein only if you'’re heavier than 250 pounds, or you're very hungry and need to add food during the day. Juge suggests an additional protein shake for an easy quick fix. (If you'’re under 180 pounds, cut out 3 ounces of meat or chicken per day from the diet.)
  2. Keep your carbohydrates low to moderate when trying to lose weight. "“On a low day you'’ll have closer to 100 grams of carbs,"” he says. "“A moderate day is about 150 grams of carbs." Juge prefers to rotate low and moderate days in order to keep energy high and provide a change of pace. Good, clean, fiber-rich carbs include oats, potatoes, rice and whole-grain bread.
  3. Drink at least a gallon of water per day. It'’ll keep you hydrated and healthy. Water should be your primary beverage during dieting. Though many rely on diet sodas, Crystal Light and other low-calorie sweetened drinks, plain old water is really your best bet.

How to Stay on Track

Habits and cravings are the devil when it comes to dieting. Let's deal with habits first. Juge explains that it takes a good week or two to ease into dieting. "“Fast food is so easy and there'’s a McDonald'’s on every corner. The hardest thing is to develop the new habit of preparing your meals and taking them with you."” The first week is the most difficult, so prepare yourself for some challenges as you abandon your usual routine. For example, you might usually go out for a sub sandwich or burger at lunch. You"’ll now have to bring your food with you and resist the temptation of spicing up your meal with the Doritos in the vending machine or your usual can of Coke. It can be a real mental battle to stick to your food plan.

To stay motivated and deal with cravings, Juge has a couple of great recommendations. First, schedule a cheat meal on every seventh day. "Many of my clients have their cheat meal on Sunday, so then they're ready for Monday and the week to come," he says. If you feel deprived during the week, concentrate on the cheat meal to come, knowing you can eat absolutely anything you want to -- pizza, lasagna, doughnuts, beer, chips, you name it! Remember, though, it's just one cheat meal, not an entire day of cheating. Afterward, get right back on the wagon with your next scheduled meal.

Second, take a few photos of yourself to keep your motivation up. "Most of the people who come to me are doing it for a reason," he explains. "They're going on vacation, competing in a bodybuilding show, or maybe going to a reunion. I always have them strive for that goal. I take front, side and back pictures of them at the beginning and have them post the photos on their mirror at home. I tell them, just keep looking at that picture and think of what you'’re going to look like in a few weeks."

When it comes to cravings, protein drinks and bars may also help cure your need for sugar, says Juge. He recommends mixing a flavored protein powder in a blender with as much ice as possible, so it'll taste more like a milkshake. Day Five's protein shake includes a cup of berries, which will also help with sugar cravings. Once or twice per week, Juge adds, you can have a low-sugar high-protein bar. The newest varieties taste more like candy bars, with state-of-the-art sweetening techniques.

Your habits and cravings may both rear their heads at restaurants, where it's easy to blow your diet in seconds. To stick to the plan, says Juge, be diligent in ordering. "Ask them to grill your meat without oil or grease. Ask for steamed vegetables with no butter. Get a salad (no cheese) with either fat-free dressing or a vinaigrette." After his 14 years in bodybuilding, Juge testifies that he's found many restaurants are accommodating, so there's no reason to avoid them as long as they'll cook to your preferences.

What to Expect

Some men can lose up to 5 pounds per week, says Juge, if they follow the diet strictly. He recommends striving for a weekly 2-3 pound loss for more lasting effects. "That way it's not such a drastic change and you'll be less likely to put all the weight back on when the diet's done," he adds. Weigh yourself naked just once per week, at the same time, preferably on the same scale. That way it'll be as accurate as possible.

If you haven't lost any weight after the first week, it may be time to troubleshoot. In addition to following an exercise program, Juge's first line of defense is upping your cardio. Instead of one cardio session per day, he recommends doing 45 minutes of cardio in the morning, on an empty stomach. Then add a second 30-minute session in the late afternoon or evening.

If that doesn't stimulate weight loss, Juge's second line of defense is to cut carbs slightly. On lower days, drop to 60-80 grams a day rather than 100. Eat this low-carb diet for two days, then insert one higher-carb day (150 grams).

Think of your nutritional plan as the anchor to stabilize all of your other efforts. Eating right will help you shed fat, increase your energy and definitely look the way you want to. Follow this get-lean plan faithfully, and you'll be showing off your new, leaner body in less than a month.

3 Favorite Diet Foods

Here are Juge's picks for the top three foods to turn to when you're trying to shed fat.

Egg Whites - "There's no fat or cholesterol and they're pure protein. They're very easy to prepare -- they take just a couple of minutes to make."

Oatmeal - It's low in sugar, high in fiber and provides sustained energy. Choose the old-fashioned variety if you have a few minutes to spare, and the one-minute oats if you're in a rush. In a pinch, you can even rip open a packet of instant oatmeal (plain flavor only) -- just add hot water and stir.

Green Veggies - They're healthy and deliver many benefits, like fiber for improved digestion. They contain many valuable vitamins, phytochemicals and antioxidants for better health. Plus, they're bulky and fill you up for just a few grams of carbs per cup of veggies. (Quick tip: To quickly steam veggies, put an inch or two of water in a bowl, add veggies, cover bowl and microwave for 2-3 minutes.)

Maintain Your Gains

Your 28 days are up -- you look great and want to keep it that way. Juge has an easy plan to maintain your body, yet enjoy greater flexibility with your diet. Number one, he says, is to eat a good, clean breakfast. If you're at home, it's much easier to do - just scramble a few egg whites and have a whole-grain item (whole-wheat bread or a bagel, for instance) and/or some fruit. Eat dinner at home, again a healthy clean meal consisting of a lean protein source, green vegetable and whole grains. Then, bring a protein shake or bar with you to work for a midday meal. "You've now got three clean meals taken care of," says Juge. So if you're eating at a restaurant at lunch and you want to have something different, you can have it. Just keep the rest of your meals pretty strict, without added sugars and fats.


8 Most Extreme Weight Loss Methods

Getting Urine Injections

Just when you thought there were no more diets to try, here comes one of the strangest. The regimen involves a daily injection of urine. Sheryl Paloni lost 43 pounds and more than 30 inches in 5 months. That's when she heard about a very unorthodox weight loss program. The urine comes from pregnant women. Sheryl injected herself with it daily.

One weight loss counselor who offers the program said it's not the urine, but the hormone in it that takes off the pounds. “It's human chorionic gonadotropin,” said Iris McCarthy of Success Weight Loss Systems. She said hCG tricks your brain into thinking your body is pregnant. McCarthy said science has shown her hCG helps the body metabolize faster. “This will help you have patience to learn how to change your ways and change your relationship with food,” said McCarthy. (Link | Via)

Having Sex up to 7 times a Day

The world's heaviest living woman is burning 500 calories by having sex with her ex-husband.

Pauline Potter, 47, became the Guinness World Record holder for heaviest woman last year when she weighed in at 700 pounds, but she's managed to lose nearly 100 pounds in the last year by rekindling her romance with her ex-husband Alex. Married for three years, they split in 2008 but reunited when he heard about her Guinness title. It didn't take long for them to land in bed together - repeatedly.

Potter describes how her reignited sex life with ex-husband Alex has helped her lose 98 pounds. “I can't move much in bed, but I burn 500 calories a session –- it's great exercise just jiggling around," Potter told "Closer." Potter, who had been consuming 10,000 calories a day, hopes to reach her goal weight of 532 pounds with the help of Alex. The two have sex up to seven times each day. Alex, who weighs just 140 pounds, does most of the work in the bedroom.

Instaling a Nasogastric Dripping Tube

It's truly disturbing when doctors come up with seemingly fad diets that could prove dangerous, but that appears to be happening all the time and most of them are also pretty successful. The latest to join the trend is an American doctor who is providing a drastic and quick weight-loss method, the K-E Diet. It involves putting food into your body through the nose, using a dripping tube.

The K-E diet stands for Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition diet and is the work of Dr. Oliver di Pietro, from Florida. He promises to help anyone shed 20 lbs. in as little as 10 days. As part of the diet, dieters have to get a small nasogastric tube inserted into their nose going all the way to the stomach, through which a liquid solution drips constantly. The solution supposedly contains a mix of protein, fat and water and makes up 800 calories. A few hours of this and a process called ketosis is said to be triggered, which burns body fat due to the lack of carbohydrates. The fat is burned but the muscle and water in the body remain untouched. Dieters who want to achieve the best results aren't supposed to eat anything for a period of 10 days and also have to carry around the bag of nutritious fluid everywhere they go.

With Paintball Shots

Forget fad diets and gastric bands, the latest innovation in the war on obesity is fat busting paintball sessions. A UK paintball company has announced what is believed to be the world's first ever paintball fitness classes. During the sessions, people wanting to get fit will be invited to dodge paintballs while running an assault course, while the paintball centre's staff attempts to shoot them.

Organisers UK Paintball is targeting obese people with the sessions, which they believe will massively help with weight loss. The sessions will run as part of a ten week course, costing £199 per person, and it's believed that each participant can expect to burn between 800-1000 calories a time. Three or four shooters will be employed during the sessions to ensure that safe areas are kept to a minimum and that participants have to continue to run throughout.

Objects such as oil drums, felled trees, tyre walls and makeshift huts will all be removed to offer as little protection as possible to participants – encouraging them to keep moving and stay clear of the marksmen.

Having an Imaginary Gastric Band

A gastric band (the LAP-Band) is a restrictive band placed around the patient's stomach that gives the sensation of a full stomach after eating smaller portions of food, thus letting the patient eat less and lose weight without going hungry. But fitting the band requires surgery, with potential side effects – so here's a novel idea; making obese patients believe that they have an "imaginary" gastric band through hypnosis!

A therapist convinced Marion Corns, 35, she had had surgery to fit the band by talking her through the procedure while in a trance. Hospital smells were even pumped into the room to boost the effect. Housewife Marion, who has slimmed from 15st 6lb to 11st 7lb, said: “Bizarrely I can even ‘remember' being wheeled into theatre, the clink of the surgeon's knife and smell of the anaesthetic.”

She spent £780 on five sessions with a therapist at the Elite Clinic in Marbella after her weight ballooned despite trying numerous diet aids. Afterwards Marion felt her stomach had tightened and she was full up on just a small portion of food.

Now she is losing 3lbs a week and her dress size has plummeted from size 22 to 14 in four months.

With a Painful Tongue Patch

If you've tried all the diets under the sun and still can't lose weight, cosmetic surgeon Nikolas Chugay has got your back. Actually, make that your tongue. There is a new medical procedure that will help you lose weight by making it painful to eat.

The medical procedure involves stitching a small piece of polyethylene mesh onto a patient's tongue, making it painful to ingest solid foods and forcing a low-calorie, liquid diet. "The patch is a pattern interrupt," said Dr. Nikolas Chugay, the California-based plastic surgeon who developed the concept. "It is uncomfortable to eat solid foods, so people will all of a sudden remember, I am only to eat liquids."

Over 60 people have opted for the surgery, resulting in an average weight loss of 20 pounds (over the one-month period the postage-stamp-sized piece of fabric stays stitched on). "These are people who have been through every conceivable diet; they've tried everything and for some reason they just cannot stop eating," he said …

Using a Bite Counter Gadget

Mindless snacking is a problem for many weight watchers who might find they have polished off a box of chocolates while they are distracted by the TV. Now scientists have developed a device they say will help people pay more attention to what they consume by monitoring how many mouthfuls they eat. The Bite Counter is worn like a watch and tracks a pattern of wrist-roll motion to identify when the wearer has taken a bite of food. It was developed by researchers at Clemson University in South Carolina, who described it as a pedometer for eating.

Spending a Week at 8,700 feet Altitude

Psst – wanna lose weight while eating all you want and doing no exercise? No, it's not a spammy Internet ad – it's real science! All you have to do is live a while at high altitude.

Overweight, sedentary people who spent a week at an elevation of 8,700 feet lost weight while eating as much as they wanted and doing no exercise. A month after they came back down, they had kept two-thirds of those pounds off.

The scientists ferried 20 overweight, middle-aged men by train and cable car to a research station perched 1,000 feet below the peak of Germany's highest mountain, Zugspitze. During the week-long stay, the men could eat and drink as much as they liked and were forbidden from any exercise other than leisurely strolls. The team measured the men's weight, metabolic rate, levels of hunger and satiety hormones before, during, and after their mountain retreat After a week up high, the subjects lost an average of 3 pounds. A month later, they were still 2 pounds lighter. The scientists' data showed this was likely because they ate about 730 calories less at high altitudes than they did at normal elevations. They may have felt less hungry, in part, because levels of leptin, the satiety hormone, surged during the stay, while grehlin, the hunger hormone, remained unchanged. Their metabolic rate also spiked, meaning they burned more calories than they usually did. A high-altitude weight loss strategy could be viable, though studies have shown peoples' appetites bounce back after about six months at high elevation, Leissner said. “If you could do intermittent periods for one week, then go down, and then go back up, this might actually be helpful.”


Fat Burning Drinks: 3 Simple Drinks That Increase Your Metablolism

Meet your weight loss goals by maximizing your daily calorie burn. These three fat burning drinks will burn extra calories and shed a few pounds for free by boosting your metabolism. Here’s what to drink and why.

Whether you are trying to shed unwanted pounds or keep your already fit body, you need to burn as many calories as possible. While metabolism boosters are only one part of a complete weight loss strategy, they are an easy way to lose a few pounds for “free.”
3 Easy Drinks That Increase Your Metabolism

You can’t make any real weight loss progress without also cutting calories and getting regular exercise. But by being smart about what you eat and drink, you can increase the rate at which you burn body fat.
Here are three simple drink choices and a few weight loss tips that will help you out.

How To Boost Metabolism

Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories. Much of this process is dependent on factors outside your control, such as your gender (men tend to have higher metabolisms than women), your age (after age 40, your metabolism decreases about 5% each decade), and your current ratio of body muscle to fat (muscle burns more calories than fat, even when you are at rest).

Luckily, there are some things that you can control. The very best way to boost your metabolism is exercise. Fat burning aerobic exercise burns calories immediately and provides an increase in metabolism for a few hours. Muscle building exercises burn fewer calories during your workout, but they help increase your overall metabolism so that you burn more calories overall, even while your body is at rest.

Making smart choices about what you eat (like fat burning foods) can also help boost your metabolism. Let’s take a look at some smart drink choices that you can make that will help increase your metabolism and enhance your fat burning workouts.
Boost Your Metabolism By Drinking Ice Water

Stay Hydrated: Drink Lots of Water
You’ve heard lots about the health benefits of drinking water. Well, here is another reason to refill your water glass. Whether your body is turning food into fuel or working away at your fat reserves, it needs water to efficiently burn calories. If you are not fully hydrated, your metabolism will slow down and you won’t be burning calories as efficiently as you can. Need some proof? University of Utah researchers found that adults who drink 8 or more glasses of water each day burned significantly more calories than those who drank 4 or less.

How much water should you drink? The study considered a glass of water to be 8 ounces — that’ only two thirds the size of a can of soda. So drink up and give your metabolism a little boost. If that’s still too much, recent studies have found that you can get your 8 glasses of water a day in other ways too: all beverages count (but see our tip below about avoiding liquid calories), and so do fresh fruits, vegetables, and other fluid-rich foods.

Feel Better About Your Coffee Addiction — But Drink it Black

Do you need your morning coffee to get the day started right? Do like the energy boost and increased concentration that it can give you? Well, here’s another reason to stick with your daily coffee routine: coffee will boost your metabolism. A study published in the Journal of Physiology and Behavior looked at people who drank caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. Guess what? The caffeinated coffee drinkers had a 16% increase in metabolism over the decaffeinated group! And another study found that a person drinking 2 cups of coffee burned 50 calories during the next few hours.

But, of course, there is a catch. You need to drink it black. Adding sugar, cream, or other flavorings will add calories and zap the fat burning foods benefit. And you go crazy with a fancy Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts concoction, you’ll definitely do more harm than good.

Try Some Green Tea — You’ll Lose Weight and Boost Your Health!

Green Tea Boost Your Metabolism and Burns Fat

Fat Burning Foods Tip: Green tea contains powerful antioxidants that increase your metabolism and cause your body to burn more fat.

You’ve probably heard that green tea contains antioxidants that can help fight disease and help keep you healthy. But here’s another reason to drink it:

Green tea can help you lose weight! You won’t get skinny on green tea alone. But studies have shown that green tea boosts your metabolism so you’ll burn more calories. How many more? Enough to lose about one pound per month.

That doesn’t sound like too much spread out over a year, but it adds up to 12 pounds! When combined with diet and exercise, green tea will give your weight loss plan a good boost.

Related Weight Loss Tip #1: Drink It Cold

Some nutritionists have suggested that you can burn a few extra calories by drinking your beverages cold. The Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center suggests that your body likely works a little harder to raise the temperature of cold drinks to your 98.6 degree core body temperature. And in the process, you may burn a few extra calories.

Be sure to drink your green tea hot to get the maximum benefit. But feel free to load everything else with ice. And yes, as the ice cubes melt (and you drink them), they count towards your eight glasses of water!
drink it cold

Related Weight Loss Tip #2: Avoid Costly Liquid Calories

When you are making choices about what you drink, do it wisely. Many drinks are sweetened with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or fruit juices. These are empty calories that don’t fill you up and don’t provide any nutritional value. Stick with the basics like water, coffee and tea, and avoid calories in your drinks. Save your calories for meals and snacks that fill you up, curb your appetite, and fuel your body in a healthy way.

Will You Meet Your Weight Loss Goals With Fat Burning Foods?

You should note that you won’t meet your weight loss goals with fat burning foods alone. On their own, they don’t burn enough calories, so they should be only one part of your weight loss or weight maintenance program. But by altering your habits, you can get some easy calorie burning for free. The slight increases in metabolism won’t get you instant weight loss success, but it certainly adds up. Over the course of a year, it may add up to 5 or even 10 pounds worth of calories. That’s either 5 extra pounds of calories you can eat while still maintaining your current weight, or 5 extra pounds you’ll lose. And who wouldn’t want to lose 5 pounds without really trying?


Implement these 9 fat burning tips that use exercise and diet and watch the body fat melt like the butter you're no longer using

The human body is a remarkably adaptable machine. Even if years and years of neglect have allowed pound after pound of fat to fill out your frame, you can rid yourself of that lard at a much faster rate than you brought it on board. In that sense, time is your side!
Take these 9 easy-to-implement tips to heart, and progress will come in a hurry:

1.Stay off the scale

That you can gain muscle and lose fat is one of the reasons I stress to people not to follow the scale. Body composition and how you look in the mirror matters more than what the scale says.
You could train hard and eat right and build five pounds of muscle and lose five pounds of fat, and what will the scale say? That you still weigh the same.
Frustrating, right, even though you've made good progress. Use the scale as a guide, but how you look in the mirror, how you feel, and how your clothes fit are much better indicators of your progress.

2.Reduce your calories gradually

If you're looking to lose fat, don't make huge calorie cuts. This will kick your body into starvation mode, reducing your metabolism and making it more difficult to burn off the fat.
To prevent this metabolic slowdown and allow your body to burn fat at an optimal rate, make smaller calorie reductions every week or two.

3.Vary your caloric intake

This is another way to outsmart your body and continue to lose body fat without lowering your metabolism.
By varying your caloric intake every few days instead of eating the exact same amount of calories every day, keep the starvation mechanism in check and continue to burn fat.
Says Jim Stoppani, Ph.D:
"Although in today's society food tends to be accessible and abundant, our bodies are designed to store as much energy as possible to prepare for times of scarcity. One way the body does this is by adjusting its metabolic rate based on calorie intake.
If you stick with the same calories every single day while dieting, your body will adjust by lowering metabolic rate to prevent you from burning off too much body fat. It's all about hormones.
When leptin levels are high, your metabolic rate stays high; when leptin levels drop, so does your metabolic rate.
When calories are low and steady, leptin levels fall and so does metabolic rate. Eating higher calories on some days and lower calories on others helps to keep leptin levels up."

4.Train with weights

Resistance training helps with fat loss in a number of ways. Weight training itself burns calories. Studies also show that, unlike aerobic exercise, weight training increases the calories you burn at rest for up to 39 hours after your workout.
Plus, the more muscle your body has, the more calories you burn each day.
Even if your goal is solely to lose body fat, you need to train with weights. This will help prevent any of the weight you lose from being muscle.
Were that to happen, your metabolism would slow, stalling your fat loss efforts and turning you into a skinny fat person.
Yes, even someone with anorexia can have a high body fat percentage.

5.Do high-intensity intervals (HIIT) 

This means alternating a brief period of high-intensity exercise with brief rest periods.
The result: better results in less time.
One of my favorite interval methods is jumping rope. You may need to practice a bit on this one. After a brief warm up, I'll jump rope as fast as I can for 10 to 20 seconds, followed by a half a minute at a slower cadence.
Always warm up before intervals, by the way. If you're not in the best of shape, start with cardio of low or moderate intensity. You might also want to check with your doctor.

6.Eat More Fat

Consuming enough of the good fats will help you lose fat, build muscle, and recover faster from your workouts. Healthy fats also have myriad health benefits, including being good for your heart.
So which fats are "good?" The polyunsaturated ones (especially omega-3s), such as those from fish and nuts; and the monounsaturated kind, such as those from peanut butter, olive oil, egg yolks, and fish oil.

7. Cut carbs

The attention focused on low-carb diets has divided many people into "pro" and "anti" low-carb camps. Whichever side you're on, the bottom line is that reducing your carb intake-especially sugar and starches-when trying to lose fat will help.
Those carbs you do consume should come from sources such as oatmeal and vegetables.
The timing of your carb intake also affects fat burning. "I recommend tapering down carbohydrates by 3 p.m.," says Team member Ashley Johns, also known by the BodySpace handle Hottie-I-Am. "Consume most of your carbs in the morning and around your workouts."

8. Increase your protein

Increasing protein intake will increase your metabolism and help to maintain your muscle mass, all of which helps with fat burning. In fact, your body burns more calories when you eat protein than when you digest either fats or carbs.
This may explain why the fat-burning effects of eating more protein were confirmed in a study published in American Journal of Physiology. One group was fed a high-protein diet (just over 1 gram per pound of bodyweight per day) while the second group consumed an amount closer to the lower recommendation of the RDA (recommended dietary allowance). The group eating the higher-protein diet burned the most fat.

"Numerous current studies show that dieters who follow high-protein/low-carb strategies-even plans with higher fat intake-lose more fat and maintain or gain more muscle mass than dieters who rely on higher-carb diets." Jim Stoppani
Yes, you read that right, Grasshopper: Many dieters actually gained muscle mass without working out, simply by eating a high-protein diet.

9.Eat 6 smaller meals per day, not 2-3 feasts

This will ensure that you supply your body with the nutrients necessary to build muscle and burn fat.
Bonus: Your resting metabolic rate increases. It will also prevent your body from kicking into "starvation" mode, which can happen when too much time elapses between meals.
If this happens, your body will start burning muscle for energy and increasing your body fat stores, as well as slowing down your metabolism. This is the exact opposite of what you want to happen.
Don't be one of those people that complain about their situation but never does anything to improve it. Don't become "happy" with the status quo of being miserable. Now take action on your knowledge!


Lose Weight Fast: How to Do It Safely

Sick of crash diets and fad diets? Follow these healthy tips.

Working on weight loss? Then you probably want results -- fast.
Let me save you some time: skip the fad diets. Their results don't last. And you have healthier options you can start on -- today!
You can safely lose 3 or more pounds a week at home with a healthy diet and lots of exercise, says weight loss counselor Katherine Tallmadge, RD.

How to Lose Weight Fast

If you burn 500 more calories than you eat every day for a week, you should lose about 1-2 pounds.
If you want to lose weight faster, you'll need to eat less and exercise more.
For instance, if you take in 1,050 to 1,200 calories a day, and exercise for one hour per day, you could lose 3-5 pounds in the first week, or more if you weigh more than 250 pounds. It's very important not to cut calories any further -- that's dangerous.
Limiting salt and starches may also mean losing more weight at first -- but that's mostly fluids, not fat.
"When you reduce sodium and cut starches, you reduce fluids and fluid retention, which can result in up to 5 pounds of fluid loss when you get started," says Michael Dansinger, MD, of NBC's The Biggest Loser show.

Diets for Fast Weight Loss

Dansinger recommends eating a diet that minimizes starches, added sugars, and animal fat from meat and dairy foods. For rapid weight loss, he recommends focusing  on fruits, veggies, egg whites, soy products, skinless poultry breasts, fish, shellfish, nonfat dairy foods, and 95% lean meat.
Here are more tips from Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, author of The Flexitarian Diet :
  • Eat vegetables to help you feel full.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Get tempting foods out of your home.
  • Stay busy -- you don't want to eat just because you're bored.
  • Eat only from a plate, while seated at a table. No grazing in front of the 'fridge.
  • Don't skip meals.
Keeping a food journal -- writing down everything you eat -- can also help you stay on track.
"Even if you write it down on a napkin and end up throwing it away, the act of writing it down is about being accountable to yourself and is a very effective tool for weight loss," says Bonnie Taub Dix, MA, RD, author of Read It Before You Eat It .
Besides jotting down what you ate, and when, you might also want to note how you were feeling right before you ate it. Were you angry, sad, or bored? We often focus so much on foods and calories, but our emotions are a huge part of our eating habits.
If you see a persistent pattern in your emotional eating, please consider talking to a counselor about it. They can be a big help in finding other ways to handle your feelings.

Exercising for Fast Weight Loss

It's time to move more! Losing weight requires close to an hour a day of moderate exercise, one study shows.
Plan to do cardio and strength training.
"Cardio burns the most calories, so it is ideal for fast weight loss, but afterward you need to include a few hours a week of strength training," Dansinger says. To burn the most fat, try to break a sweat after your warm-up and keep sweating for the entire hour, Dansinger says.
If you're not exercising now, and you have a chronic condition or a lot of weight to lose, it's wise to check in with your health care provider first. They'll be rooting for you! And they'll make sure that you're ready to work out.
Pace yourself. Don't do too much, too soon -- work your way up to help prevent injury.  
One way to step up the intensity is to do interval training -- brief bursts of high-intensity, followed by a more mellow pace, and repeating that pattern throughout your workout.
"Interval training allows people to work harder without having to spend the entire time at the higher level, and over time, the more you do it, the easier it becomes to burn more calories," Blatner says.

Fad Diets and Crash Diets

I know how tempting diet crazes can sound, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose. You hear about stars who did it and look incredible.
But remember,  if a diet plan sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Also, please skip any programs that promote detoxification pills, laxatives, fasting, or potions, and any that promise weight loss faster than 2-3 pounds per week.
The truth is that cutting calories below 1,050-1,200 per day is counterproductive, because you need strong muscles to be able to exercise effectively.
"When you eat too few calories, you lose fat but also precious muscle, which is the worst thing you could do because it slows your metabolism and makes it more difficult to increase exercise intensity or duration," Dansinger says.
Fad diets also set you up for failure by depriving you of what you want. You can't eat like that for long, and it's too likely that you'll rebel and end up back where you started. You deserve better than that!
So by all means, attack your weight loss goal. Put it on the fast track. But please, do it right so you set yourself up for lasting success.


6 Quick Weight-Loss Tips

Fire up your metabolism with intervals.

One study found that doing 10 four-minute speed bursts with two minutes of slow walking or cycling after each (60 minutes total) three times a week upped the body's ability to use fat as fuel during exercise by 25 percent after six weeks. "Shoot for an eight or nine on an intensity scale of one to 10, where 10 is an all-out sprint," says lead researcher Christopher Perry, PhD, an exercise physiologist at the University of Guelph in Canada.

Jot down meals and moves.

People who used an online weight-control program were most likely to lose pounds when they regularly recorded their weight loss, calories consumed, and activity, a study at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock revealed.Sleep off the flab.

Getting between six and eight hours of shut-eye a night helped dieters shed more weight in a recent study from Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon. "Plus, consistently increasing your sleep, even if by only 30 minutes a night, and sticking to regular bed- and wake-up times can provide you a boost in alertness and help prepare you for your workout," says Cheri D. Mah, sleep expert at the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory.

Bypass the fat-burning zone.

Forget this so-called sweet spot, when you go slow in order to sizzle a higher percentage of calories from fat: Burning more total calories at the highest intensity that you can sustain means you'll also burn more fat overall. For a measure of which zone you're in, strap on a heart rate monitor. Walk or jog lightly (the half-effort pace dubbed the fat-burning zone), noting the number of beats per minute (bpm) on its display. "That's the number to reach on an easy day," says John Porcari, PhD, FITNESS advisory board member and program director in the clinical exercise physiology department at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Then power walk or run at your usual pace and see what your heart rate is; this is your moderate-intensity target, which is your best bet for getting a longer workout with a bigger calorie burn. Add some short, fast intervals toward the end and note the bpm to mark your high-intensity zone for when you want to push it.

Crack an egg for breakfast.

Go for a little extra protein first thing in the day and your brain will stave off the munchies later on, according to the latest findings from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Former breakfast skippers who ate a morning meal with a side of yogurt showed fewer feed-me brain impulses and felt fuller.

Incinerate more calories per step.

Burn 15 percent more calories (about 40 calories more per hour) by adding a slight incline (around 6 percent) to your normally flat 3.5-mile-per-hour walk, advises Mark Fenton, author of The Complete Guide to Walking for Health, Weight Loss, and Fitness. The steeper the hike, the bigger the spike in calories blasted at any speed.


6 ways to work out as a family

Remember when Arnold Schwarzenegger used to promise us kids a special certificate from school if we did 100 push-ups in a row during gym? Well, it's not all jumping jacks and gray sweatpants these days -- but you still gotta move if you want to feel good.
How much, you say? According to Let's Move, today's national fitness program, kids should get a total of 60 minutes of physical activity each day, and adults need 30.
Here's why it matters, especially for the kids: Childhood obesity rates have tripled since the '80s, and at this rate, one third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives. And let's not mention heart disease, asthma and tons of other largely preventable weight-related ailments.
Besides, exercise just feels good -- and don't you think most family outings could use a bit more of that? So ditch the minivan and the trip to Chuck E. Cheese and head outside! Believe it or not, your kids will thank you: Endorphins plus fresh air and a fun family experience equals a refreshing way to get in better shape -- and you don't need to chase over-caffeinated children all over a noisy pizza arcade to do it.
And with that said, here are six ways to move it, shake it and make exercise packed with family fun:

Walk the walk. If your crew usually heads to the couch after dinner, make them save their favorite show to the DVR and take a walk instead. Not long, not far, but make sure you get outside and let your meal digest while you stroll. If you're in a city, walk around the block; suburban dwellers can make tracks around the cul-de-sac. The point is simple: fresh air and a few steps together.
What you need: Comfy shoes for sure. A stroller is optional. If it makes life fun, bring bikes, Razor scooters, roller skates and the dog, too -- anything that brings a smile to your party on the go.
Make screen time smarter. Stop begging the kids to put away the video games... and play with them instead! Fire up the Wii and compete with classics like "Bowling," or bust a move with "Just Dance."
Families with wee ones will love "Mario Kart" and "Wii Fit." Even "Rock Band" will get you up and out of your seat, which is the whole idea. More into watching plain ol' TV? Make it a goal (or competition) to jump up during commercials; whoever gets up first -- and stays on his or her feet for the duration of the commercial break -- wins.

Admittedly, a Nintendo Wii is an investment, but if you're game (see what we did there?), it's easy to find refurbished models for less than half the price of the latest and greatest.
Take a hike. During the fall, there's nothing like an adventure in the great outdoors.
National Geographic recently touted the Sourdough Ridge Trail at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State as one of the best family-friendly hikes in the U.S. They called it a "mini-adventure through flower-filled meadows" and "a great way to introduce kids to the beauty of the high country." Whether you're trekking in snow-capped mountains or at your local state park, it's hard to beat the call of the wild -- even if you're doing it with a Baby Bjorn.
Speaking of which, if you're hiking with small children, you'll need an aluminum-framed baby backpack; look for one with a sun visor, water bottle pocket and a design that allows you to set the pack down with the child still sitting inside.
Bring a bandana that you can soak in water for quick cool downs, plus some dried fruit to nosh on. (It's the single best snack to bring on hikes, because it won't melt or turn to dust if someone accidentally crushes the pack with his hiking boot.)

Strike a pose. If the wilds aren't for you, stay inside and stretch. Family yoga is huge now -- and that means your options are, too. Many studios offer family workouts, including partner poses and group discounts.
You can get your Downward-Facing Dog on at home, too: There are kid-friendly cards with adorably illustrated yoga poses, illustrated books for kids and of course DVDs on yoga for families designed to guide your group through Tree Pose and Warrior Pose, too.
All you'll need is loose, stretchable clothing and a mat (a folded beach towel will work). If you do yoga at home, don't get hung up on whether the kids are doing the moves right, or even doing all of them at all. Let them imitate you the way they want to. Chances are you'll be amazed at their flexibility.

Run through the mud. Mud runs are everywhere -- you know, runs where you slip on a costume and slide through miles of muddy terrain? Many of them are also open to families.
A single online search for "family mud run" resulted in pages of events happening all over the country this year. Moms and dads are Running the Ridge in Schenectady, New York, where "features built by diabolical minds (are) ready to test you and your mud-running skills." And families are getting dirty for charity in Pennsylvania: The Kids' Peace 5K Family Fun Mud Run takes place on a 250-acre campus that includes a sandpit crawl, cargo-net climb, Slip 'N Slide and of course a mud pit.
If your family and your washing machine can take it, sign up for something near you now.
Necessary: Running shoes. Costumes are optional. Just make sure both are things you don't mind getting dirty. Skip the sports drinks but do bring water bottles. Consider having a family T-shirt or team bottles made up. Bring a fresh set of clothes (including shoes) for everyone, along with a plastic bag to store the dirties in for the ride home.

Hit the surf. Imagine yourself on a surfboard, ripping through the waves under a tropical sun. Now picture your kids splashing and smiling on their boards all the way to the shore.
Truth? Surfing is wicked hard. But it's also a total adventure, and one that's now catering to families. And you don't have to head to Hawaii to do it (though you certainly could): Family surfing packages are popping up all over, from Costa Rica to the more local shores of California and North Carolina. Packages include room, board and some of the best instructors around (see "wicked hard" above).


Guide to Water Fasting for Weight Loss

Water fasting will cleanse your body and help you lose weight. It may be one of
the most difficult but proven methods of weight loss. Before taking on a water fast, you should do your research and read up on what others have experienced. It's gaining tremendous popularity these days, not only for weight loss, but also for gaining a deeper spirituality.
Water fasting for weight loss has become popular, because people are learning about the importance of cleansing to gain health, as well as using a raw food or raw juice diet. Water fasting is of greater benefit, because you can do on a water fast in 2 weeks, what you would do on a green juice fast in 3 months. Water fasting is the almighty for quicker results towards a healthy body. And, this means weight loss.
Important insights and tips for water fasting.
- Water fasting is a period when you stay away from all food, only drinking water. During the absence of food the body systematically cleanses itself of everything except vital tissue. How far your body will cleanse, will depend on the amount of time spent during the fast. Some people do shorter fasts, mixed in with breaks, then they extend the length, which is the advised way of easing into long-term fasting. This will help you adapt to the changes physically and give you an idea of what to expect with longer fasting. It'll also help prepare you mentally and emotionally, because fasting goes beyond just physical.
- Many people have misconceptions of what a water fast does to the body. You will not suffer a deficiency of protein, vitamins, minerals or fatty acids, even with a fast as long as 40 days.
- Starvation occurs only when the body is forced to use vital tissue to survive. This will hardly be the case if you have body fat and excess surrounding tissue.
- Water fasting sounds attractive, but it is very difficult, especially if you have a fast metabolism. The difficulty with water fasts, is that it very rapidly flushes away toxins, causing a healing crisis. The body will react to such aggressive cleansing. This is why it's best to be advised to ease into it. If you have never experienced this type of healing, it will be a very different and not a welcomed experience. Firstly, there's the stress of what the fast does both mentally and physically. Secondly, if the body has an acquaintance with fasting, it'll yield better results with each fast. It will allow you to go longer, going deeper, cleansing your body on new levels.
- It will be best if you associate yourself with a raw food diet or juicing/juice fasting before your water fast, or as part of easing into longer fasting. If you've been eating years of junk foods, taking antibiotics, caffeine, and other bad things for your body, you'll have the worse sickness(headaches, nausea). You will also need to stay close to the bathroom, as you may go multiple times per day. Water fasting will clean you out. You may experience diarrhea. This is why easing into long-term fasts can't be stressed enough. It's not necessary to go from a bad lifestyle to an extended water fast, when there are very beneficial, healthful ways to do it. You can start with raw or steamed vegetables and raw fruit. You can do a daily green juice fast, followed by a day of raw veggies(or salads and/or herbs) and fruit, then try a water fast the next day. You can try various cycles, and they'll help a great deal in cleaning up your body gently. You don't need to go so hard. There's no reason to feel that miserable, when you have a better way. Taking it slowly in the beginning by allowing your body to come off of sugar, caffeine, etc., will still allow you to cleanse, lose weight, feel energetic, etc.
- Be aware that water fasts can cause dizziness and blackouts. You will really be pushing your body, and water fasting goes at it the hardest. You may even feel dizziness while laying down, so be aware, this is not only upon standing. When you need to standup, it is wise to sit at the edge of the bed for awhile. Give yourself time to breath and get your heart pumping at a safe beat. If you are feeling dizzy or as though you may pass out, you'll need assistance. Have someone close to you on call. Tell them ahead of time what you're doing, and ask for their help. You can be in a very dangerous state, if you fall.
- It's a good time to reduce stress and find peacefulness and quiet within and in your surroundings. Practice yoga and meditation, while fasting, because it strengthens the mind. It's extremely important for you to remain strong if you're intending on completing the fast. You may have moments of weakness or frustrations, and end up having a fast that leaves you feeling less than what you thought. By practicing yoga and meditation, you will feel rejuvenated and recharged. This will make it much easier for you to achieve the desired goal.
How much weight can you lose?
By water fasting, it's possible for you to drop big numbers on the scale. More than three pounds a day perhaps. This will be different for everyone. For anyone who has the fortitude to make it through a long-term fast, you could become rail thin. You should not attempt this without medical supervision. There have been reports of people with life threatening illnesses, fasting down to appearing as a skeleton, but rebuilding up their body, returning it to health. So, there is evidence of water fasting getting people down in pounds, as well as healthy. This is not like other diets, where you need to rely on calorie burn and exercise. Many people diet endlessly, but can not achieve the possibilities of water fasting.
How to come off a water fast.
You must break your fast in a smart way. You must prepare and know exactly what you're going to do before its end. This is as crucial as dealing with detox symptoms and knowing what to expect. You should never rush to eat a lot or heavy foods. If you try to end your fast by eating whatever you want or going out to dinner to "celebrate your accomplishment," it can burden the body and affect the rebuilding process. You want to go about breaking your fast in a gentle way. Some people like to break their fast with a few grapes. The idea is to keep your foods raw and introduce them gradually. You should start with raw fruit and small amounts of green juice. Just as you've eased into your fast, you don't want to overwhelm your body, so give it a week and build up towards eating regular portions of raw foods and juices.
You will notice many changes as your fast completes. Your desires for certain foods will go away and change. You won't be reliant on the junk anymore, nor will you crave it. You'll want to adopt a raw based diet as well. A long enough fast seems to reprogram us in many ways. It's an opportunity to regain health and control over your bad habits. You'll have more energy, be in a better mood, your skin will be healthier and glowing, and you will feel younger. You will be a changed and vibrant you, and a slimmer and healthier you.

* Disclaimer: This is in no way meant to advise you or medical advice. Consult with your physician before attempting a water fast or any diet or exercise program, especially if you have any health problems.


30 fast and easy tips for slimming down

Losing weight is a lot more than calorie counting and doing endless amounts of exercise. Although these things help, in reality it's a little more complicated. If you're feeling stuck in a weight-loss rut there are plenty of expert tips and industry secrets to help you on your way. Whether you want to make your workouts work harder for you or find smarter ways of eating healthily, this list of 30 ways to slim down faster should help you toward your goal.

Although it's good to get on in there with your weight loss, making massive adjustments too fast can be counterproductive. So we asked some fitness experts and nutritionists to give us the low down on simple, small changes that you can do to your diet and exercise regime to slim down quickly and effectively.

1. Healthy hydration
This might sound really obvious but eating healthily means drinking healthily too. There’s no point eating the right foods if you don’t drink the right liquids.

From simply drinking fizzy drinks or fruit juices with extra sugars it’s estimated that people are drinking an extra 200 calories per day then they think they are. So keep the cans of fizz to a minimum.
2 Keep your diet varied
The main area where a lot of diets slip up is not providing enough variety. If you do something day in day out, you get bored of it and it won’t be as easy to stick to.

Diet Chef’s Nutritionist and Weight Management Specialist, Izzy Cameron says: “The problem many of us have with dieting is that it can become repetitive and boring, meaning after a few weeks of feeling we are depriving ourselves we revert back to old habits and may binge on the wrong foods.”

So if you’re trying to slim down make sure you’re still eating a balanced, varied diet. In the long run you will probably lose much more weight.
3. Keep moving
An active lifestyle is essential for heart health, arthritis and staving off diabetes as well as lots of other health issues. But trying to fit in the 10,000 steps recommended per day to keep blood sugar levels from spiking isn't easy.

If you have a job where you're mainly sat around (which a large number of us do) then it can be extremely difficult. But doing small things like walking for 5mins at least every 2 hours can help keep your metabolism ticking over.
​ Izzy says: "Exercise can definitely help with and accelerate weight loss. However exercise does not mean signing up to expensive gym memberships or having to hire a personal trainer, so don’t panic. Just keeping active for at least 30 minutes a day can make a difference. Perhaps walk to work instead of getting the bus…get off the bus a stop earlier, take a stroll on your lunch break or go out for a bike ride or do some gardening at the weekend. All these little steps will help towards achieving your weight loss goals."
4. Starving yourself won't work
Losing weight 101. Skipping meals is nothing but bad news.

Nutritionist, Emma Wight-Boycott says: “Skipping meals is disastrous for weight loss! It has a three-pronged impact - firstly it causes blood sugar imbalance which makes us crave sugar or carbohydrates within 2 hours of our regular meal time. Secondly it makes our bodies burn muscle, not fat, for energy. Finally the body has its own 'food clock' (like a body clock for time) that regulates our metabolism and this becomes sleepy or sluggish when it is out of routine (think shift workers or jet lag)."
5. Eat regularly
As well as not skipping meals, you need to make sure you’re providing your body with the right amount of energy.

Emma says: “While its good to shake our body up with different intensities of exercise its best to keep our mealtimes regular. If you find skipping meals a tempting habit try having a combined protein and fat snack or small meal instead. Do this every 2-3hrs. Eat a boiled egg, a small handful of nuts or seeds, a protein drink or 100gm of meat or cheese. Add in certain vegetables and fruit and reduce carbohydrates especially refined ones; they are the weight loss enemy!”
6. You are what you eat
Nahid de Belgeonne, Founder of Good Vibes fitness studio says that she finds a really helpful way of keeping overeating under control is to remember that what goes into your body ultimately comes out where it counts.

​"Remind yourself that everything you put into your mouth is processed to form your cells, that fried chicken wing looks less appealing now doesn’t it?" she says.
7. Swap your all or nothing outlook:
Losing weight isn't about cutting everything from your previously unhealthy life out completely; the likelihood is that you'll just overindulge at some point along the way and end up in a yo-yo cycle of bingeing and purging.
​Studies show that the people who lose weight and sustain it for the longest periods, are those who switch to a healthy diet by starting off with small changes. So instead of completely cutting out all chocolate from your life, make sure you don't overindulge on other things so that you can still enjoy a bar or two.
8. Take your time
We're a busy lot here in the UK and sometimes we seem to forget that we can take the time to pause. A survey conducted by Conscious Food found that the average person in the UK eats all 3 meals in a total of 23 minutes each day, when we should be spending at least 20 minutes on one meal! You might guess that this does not spell good news for your weight or digestion.

Nahid de Belegone says that a brilliant way to keep this in check is to eat mindfully. "Mindful eating – focus on your meal when you are eating, you’ll take longer to eat a lot less," she advises.

Seems like a good way to start!
9. Whites:
As a rule of thumb, try to keep any foods that are white or beige to a minimum. That means breads, rice, sourdoughs, croissants, butters – the only exception here is white meat.

White foods tend to be full or carbs and fats and while you need these things every so often, it’s good not to overindulge. The average loaf of white bread contains 42.7g of carbohydrates compared to only 15g in wholegrain bread.

So switch to wholegrain bread or brown rice and pasta, because these are packed full of fibre and will help you feel satisfied for longer, therefore giving you the extra energy you need to do a killer workout.
10. Enter a race
Nothing will make you lose weight and get fit faster then the impending doom of a 10K run...
11. Quit smoking
Really this is just common sense nowadays. It's true that smoking acts as an appetite suppressor and nicotine as a metabolism booster but this is no excuse, smoking can mask really bad food habits and as well as effectively killing you. Plus smoking and bad eating are both linked to emotional triggers so although kicking these habits together might be hard, it will be extremely beneficial in the long run to get a hold on both.
12. Ditch the naughty snacks for nuts
We all know that nuts are a great healthy snack but often people get scared by the fact that too many can be bad news - when to stop?!? Well the American Pistachio Growers say that 37 pistachios are the equivalent of LESS THAN 100 calories! Plus nuts like almonds are high in fibre, which helps you feel satisfied in between meals. We don't need another excuse...
13. Only eat when you're hungry
Getting more in tune with what your body actually wants rather than what you think it needs is a really important tool for weight loss. If you don't feel hungry, don't force yourself to eat, it's as simple as that. If that means that you're having lunch at 4pm then so be it.
14. Food cheats
Simply substituting a few of your favourite sugary or savoury (chocolate and cheese we're looking at you here) toppings can reduce your calorie intake by miles.

Use things like these to flavour your food:
  • Use mashed avocado instead of mayonnaise or butter on your bread
  • Instead of cheese on top of your pasta, try grated courgette
  • Try using 100% dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate on top of your coffee
  • Use yoghurt instead of double cream on your puddings
  • Sprinkle cinnamon in your cooking as it can help control blood sugar levels
  • Add chopped garlic to your sauces to boost metabolism and lower cholesterol
15. Write down everything you eat/calculate your calories
Making a physical note of everything that goes in your mouth is a (horrible) but effective way of gaining control over your eating. Seeing the good and the bad of your diet is a great way of shocking you into eating healthier. It also acts as a positive way of congratulating yourself when you do eat well.
16. Add 10 percent to all calories you think you eat
If you're calorie counting the chances are that you're going to be underestimating the damage - by a long way. If you didn't see Channel 4's Secret Eaters, you might not be aware of just how many secret calories we eat everyday that go unnoticed. Whether measuring the packet's calorie counting by the wrong servings or just missing the essential maths, a good rule of thumb is to add about 10 percent of what you think you're eating to get your actual calorie count.
17. Cut out the milky coffees
You know that morning latte you love so much - well it could be costing you around 500 extra calories per day. If that's not enough for you, black filter coffee is around 2 calories and half the price - what more motivation could you want?
18. Make a goal
It's an oldie but a goodie. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says that if you want to lose weight, the best way to make sure you stick with it is to make a few goals to work towards at the very beginning that aren't just about weight loss. Whether this is simply wanting to hit your five a day fruit and vegetables count or doing 30 minutes of exercise a day, they say this is the most effective way of beginning and maintaining weight loss.
19. Don't go solo...
Speak to any fitness expert and they will tell you that the people who workout with somebody else are the one's who consistently lose the most weight. Having someone to be there through the highs and lows will mean that you will push yourself harder and also have the motivation to go back for more. A bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone.
20. Try to eat at home
We know this can be a bit of a tall order when you're working long hours but trying to eat at least 2 meals a day at home will work wonders for your waistline. Logistically you don't have the time or effort to knock something healthy up in the office kitchen, so unless you're super organised you will often go to snack stores for your food. So if you try to eat a healthy and satisfying breakfast and dinner at home you're less likely to snack through the day at your desk or when you get home late at night.
21. Never view food as a bad thing
This might sound a bit too much like an affirmation for some but viewing food as your enemy is not the right mindset for weight loss. Thinking of food as the enemy will just make your relationship with your body even more unhealthy. Instead try to think of the food you eat as the fuel for your fitness - which it is. People with a healthy attitude towards food tend to have a much healthier lifestyle as a result.
22. Move away from the butter...
Many people tend to slip up on their healthy eating plans by using an obscene amount of butter and oil which is full of fat when they cook. Although butter is one of life's greatest pleasures, it is also a nightmare for your weight.
​A great option to cut down on your butter consumption is to replace it by cooking with coconut oil instead. It's less than half the calories and gives your cooking a fresh, exotic twist. You can even use it in your coconut paste in your coffee instead of sugar as a healthy option which also speeds up your metabolism. Well worth looking into.
23. Portion control
Diet Chef’s Nutritionist and Weight Management Specialist, Izzy Cameron says: “I cannot stress this enough, but where almost all clients fall down with dieting is their portion control. I see many people who perceive they eat a healthy diet, but pile their plate too high with food. Cutting down your portion size will not only help you lose weight, but but will be one of the most effective weight management tools for the long term. More importantly means you can still eat some of your favourite foods, just a lower amount."
24.Switch up your social life
Most of the time when we meet up with friends it will be over a drink or going for a slap up meal. Which if you're a sociable soul, that can only spell disaster. You don't want to become a recluse but can you deal with the temptation?!

A great way of getting around this problem is to try and make at least one social activity between you and your friends revolve around fitness. So whether that's building up a tennis league within your group, going for a long country walk instead of being sat down the pub or joining a weekly fitness class together, you will be able to see your mates as well as keep your weight loss on track.
25. Diet services
If you have trouble cooking and preparing your own meals and often think "Screw it, get out the takeaway menu" then maybe you should take a look into diet delivery services.

Izzy says: "If you are struggling to prepare meals that fit into your calorie allowance, most nutritionists are in agreement that portion controlled, calorie counted meals are an effective and convenient solution. You can find a number of options in your supermarket, or a delivered diet service like Diet Chef can do all the hard work for you – allowing you to still tuck into curries and pasta, whilst adding your own fruit and vegetables on the side."

They can take the hassle out of the healthy/balanced equation and the majority of delivery diets are designed to be delicious. If you're interested then just check out our diet delivery service reviews.
26. Take a walk
We all know that we should be doing about 30 minutes of exercise a day but none of us really give walking the credit that it deserves. But in a study conducted by the University of Glasgow, after testing 10 obese women walking 20 minutes per day, they proved that a small amount of walking per day increased feelings of fullness and reduced appetite as much as a light meal.
27. Smart workout
Did you know that running for a straight hour on the treadmill is about three times LESS effective than just 15 minutes of interval training? If that isn't enough, the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting says that doing just two weeks of high-intensity interval training will improve your aerobic fitness as much as about seven weeks of endurance training.
​28. Alcohol
Trying to lose weight doesn't always mean that you need to completely ban alcohol. Weight Watchers do a reasonable range of light wines at only 228 cals for its sparkling wine or 264 calls for its semillon Sauvignon Blanc. When the average bottle of Sauvignon Blanc is roughly 600 cals it might be worth widening those wine horizons.
29. Eat hot food - chilli
Adding chilli to your meals is a good way to slim down for two reasons. The capsaicin in the chilli reduces your appetite and studies suggest that eating spicy food can actually help with metabolism - we're not sure but worth a try!
30. Don't replace fruit with juice.
Often people think that drinking fruit juice is a great way to get one of their 5 a day. While this is true for a lot of fruit juices just be careful. Some juices work by juicing out all of the fibre goodness in the skin and substance and just contain all of the sugary excess which can add up to a hefty load of sugar - just check the back of the bottle to make sure what you're drinking isn't the equivalent of a liquid doughnut.


5 Ways Sex Helps You Lose Weight -- and Keep It Off

Could heart-pounding fun between the sheets help you get slimmer faster? Definitely! But the reasons an active sex life promotes weight loss go beyond its potential to torch calories. They touch the core of this ultimate mind-body-soul experience. What the heck are we talking about? Consider these five ways sex helps get and keep you slim. Some will surprise you, and all will please you.
1. Sex blasts calories. Instead of burning a measly 70 calories per hour lying in bed together watching Letterman, Leno, or HBO reruns, invest in some highly enjoyable exercise. A mere 25 minutes of sex -- we're figuring 10 minutes of foreplay, 15 minutes for the main event -- burns 88 calories if you're a 150-pound woman, 106 calories for a 180-pound guy. That's the same energy you'd expend doing a light workout on a rowing machine or stationary bike. Trying out a fun new position that feels like an adults-only game of Twister will boost the burn rate a little. And going for a second round will, too. Arriving at the Big O gets your heart pounding as much as bounding up a tall flight of stairs.
2. Sex curbs carb and fat cravings. Regular sex can help keep levels of cortisol, the high-anxiety hormone, in check. That's good news, because too much cortisol boosts your appetite for high-fat, high-carb goodies and tells your body to store the extra calories around your midsection. A romp in the hay short-circuits cortisol's ill effects. Turns out sex dampens your body's "fight or flight" response to tension-provoking events. Intercourse, specifically, also calms your blood pressure, even when everything around you is going haywire. You remain serene instead of being possessed by an unstoppable craving for Twinkies. This stress buffer can translate into a slimmer midsection. Wondering exactly how researchers measured the effect of sex on stress?
3. Sex can double your fat loss. How? By helping you sleep like a baby. Skimping on sleep -- whether you're catching up on work or just tossing and turning -- undercuts your body's ability to shed fat, even if you're dieting! Indulging in some one-on-one pleasure before you say goodnight also releases oxytocin, the cuddle hormone that helps regulate slumber, too. Even a snuggly hug can nudge levels of this helpful hormone upward. That's good news for weight loss, because getting enough sleep can sharply increase the amount of fat you lose while dieting, according to a recent government study. Find out why sleep helps you lose belly fat and keep lean muscle.
4. Sex can keep your diet on track. How? By improving your body image. Getting a self-esteem boost is one often-overlooked reason people have sex. What better proof of how appealing you are than an appreciative lover and a mutually satisfying romp!
And the rewards keep coming. Not only does sex improve your body image, but a better body image improves your sex life, too. Women who like themselves physically dive into more and better sex, regardless of the number on the bathroom scale. And when you do that, your appreciation for your body may spill over into healthier eating habits and a stronger commitment to exercise. Just remember, you don't need J-Lo's curves or Matthew McConaughey's sixpack abs to feel good about the way you look, with clothes or without. Focus on how good you and your partner can make each other feel and you might be surprised at how much healthier you start looking.
5. Good sex can make you slimmer and keep you that way. Already lost a few pounds? You may have noticed an uptick in sexual pleasure. Even modest weight loss can boost a guy's testosterone levels and reverse some erectile dysfunction. For women, trimming excess weight can enhance arousal, orgasms, and overall satisfaction. How can this keep you slim and trim? You have probably already heard (or know from experience) that maintaining a new, healthier weight is tougher than losing the pounds in the first place. If you keep this big but rarely noted bedroom benefit in mind the next time you're tempted to skip your morning walk or order the sausage and waffles with extra syrup, you'll not only keep on fitting into those skinny jeans, you'll also have even more fun when you take them off.


South Beach Under the Spotlight

South Beach is the latest diet craze to come out of the States, this time from the sun-kissed bays of Florida rather than the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. So far, more than five million copies of the book have been sold and, with a place in the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year, it's popularity seems set to stay.

So just what is all the buzz about?

Quite simply, this diet is top of the popularity stakes because it promises great things. As well as claiming you can lose up to a staggering 13lb in just two weeks, it suggests you can also expect to lose most of that weight from your tummy. And who could resist a promise like that?

What sort of diet is it?

Dr Agatston, a leading American cardiologist, originally created the South Beach diet for his heart patients. While his main aim was to improve their heart health, he discovered that as a side effect of the diet they also lost significant amounts of weight. He claims this isn't a low-carb or low-fat diet - instead it focuses on eating the 'right' carbs and the 'right' fats. In fact, the South Beach Diet is based on the GI Diet. In practice, the diet severely restricts carbohydrates in the first two weeks, before gradually re-introducing those with a low glycaemic index. Plus it recommends swapping saturates for unsaturates.

What's the theory?

The South Beach Diet follows the same principles of other diets based on the Glycaemic Index. When we've eaten, the carbohydrates in food get broken down into sugars, which are then absorbed into the blood causing a rise in blood sugar. In response, the hormone insulin is released from the pancreas to remove the sugar from the blood.
Carbohydrate-rich foods with a high glycaemic index, like bagels, cornflakes, white bread and jacket potatoes cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, resulting in the release of a large amount of insulin to deal with this. This causes blood sugar levels to drop rapidly, leaving you lacking in energy, craving more carbs and quickly feeling hungry so that you eat again. If this pattern is frequently repeated, you're likely to gain weight as a result a constantly overeating. But on top of this, over time the body becomes resistant to the action of insulin and when this happens, the body becomes more effective at storing fat - especially around our middle! No surprises then that to lose weight, foods with a high GI are out!
In contrast, carbs with low glycaemic index such as pasta, pulses and porridge slowly release sugar into the blood, providing a steady supply of energy and leaving you feeling satisfied for longer. This means you get fewer carb cravings, don't constantly feel hungry and so are less likely to overeat. Plus there's less chance that your body will become resistant to the effects of insulin with the result that it continues to burn fat efficiently. Foods with a low GI are therefore recommended if you want to lose weight.

What's the story with fat?

As you might expect from a cardiologist, the South Beach Diet certainly includes mention of fat. In fact, it recommends avoiding foods rich in saturates and and instead replacing them with heart-healthy monounsaturates like olive oil and nuts.

So how do I follow it?

Like many diets, the South Beach is divided into three phases. In Phase One, most carbohydrates are banned to give your body a complete rest from fluctuating blood sugar and insulin levels. The theory is this will help to resolve insulin resistance.
During Phase One, the banned foods list includes bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, fruit, milk, sweets, cake, biscuits, ice cream, sugar and alcohol. A few low GI veg such as broccoli and cabbage are allowed, but the focus is on eating lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, low-fat cheese, some nuts and olive oil. You follow this phase for 14 days.
In Phase Two, low GI carbs including most fruits, Granary bread, wholegrain cereals and pasta and low-fat milk are reintroduced. The idea is to stay with this phase until you've reached your target weight.
Finally, in Phase Three you introduce an even wider variety of foods. This phase is aimed at keeping your weight steady and the diet recommends you stay on this for life.
For each phase, there are no limits on portion sizes - you simply eat enough to satisfy your appetite - and you're encouraged to eat three meals and snacks each day.

Remind me how much weight I can expect to lose...

The South Beach Diet claims you can lose 8-13lb in the first two weeks. Once you enter Phase Two, you can expect a more reasonable loss of 1-2lb a week.

What are the pros to the South Beach Diet?

In today's dieting world where low-carb, high-fat diets are in vogue, it's good to see a diet that recommends eating fewer foods packed with saturates and replacing some of these foods with heart-healthy monounsaturates. Diets based on eating low GI foods are also becoming increasingly popular and in general, encourage you to 'de-junk' your diet and cut down on carb-rich foods that are packed with few other nutrients such as white bread, sugary cereals and sweets.

And the cons?

The extreme carbohydrate restriction in the first two weeks requires serious willpower and may leave you feeling weak and wobbly. Meanwhile, you won't be getting your five fruit and veg each day during Phase One, which may leave you missing out on some vitamins and minerals. Eliminating all carbohydrate-rich foods during this phase also means you'll be cutting out some other good sources of fibre, vitamins and minerals. For example, wholegrain breads and cereals are packed with fibre, B vitamins and iron, while milk is an excellent source of calcium and zinc.

What do the experts think?

Nutrition experts and dietitians are generally in favour of diets based on the Glycaemic Index, but while most believe in eating more foods with a low GI value, they don't necessarily think all high GI foods should be banned. This is because the GI value of a meal changes considerably when foods are eaten together. That said, few experts would argue with a diet that recommends cutting down on processed carbs and swapping foods rich in saturates for those containing monounsaturates.
Most nutrition experts are less happy with the recommended weight loss. General guidelines recommend losing no more than 2lb a week for good health and so experts are concerned that this diet promotes such a large weight loss in the first two weeks. They say this is unhealthy and is simply the result of a severe calorie restriction caused by cutting out all carbs.
As for losing weight specifically from your midriff, most nutrition and fitness experts believe it's impossible to lose fat from just one part of your body. Nevertheless, losing weight will almost certainly result in a reduction in waist size - and this is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes.

How does it differ from the Atkins Diet?

The main difference is in the amount and type of fatty foods recommended. While the Atkins Diet advocates unlimited amounts of foods high in saturates such as cheese, butter and cream, the South Beach Diet recommends a diet that's low in saturates. This means lean red meat, skinless chicken and reduced-fat cheeses are still on the menu, but foods like cream and butter are off limits. The South Beach Diet also places far more emphasis on monounsaturates such as olive oil.
The Atkins Diet is also stricter in terms of its carbohydrate restriction, which even extends to limiting fruit and vegetables. In contrast, South Beach encourages a diet that includes fruit, vegetables and other low GI carbohydrates once you enter Phase Two.

Juliette's verdict

In general, the South Beach Diet only requires serious willpower for the first two weeks during Phase One. Nevertheless, this phase is extremely restrictive and the recommended weight loss of up to 13lb worries me. While most of us would love to lose almost a stone in a fortnight, it's not a healthy way to lose weight and unfortunately, it's likely to go straight back on once you return to less restricted eating habits. And that's not just bad for your waistline - but also for your moral!
Once you get past the initial phase, however, there are fewer dietary restrictions than some other diet plans. No major food groups are eliminated, plenty of fruit and veg are recommended and generally the diet follows the basic principles of healthy eating with the result that it should provide plenty of the nutrients you need to stay healthy.
I like diets based on the principles of the Glycaemic Index and South Beach certainly fits in with this (although I'm less keen on Phase One, which eliminates all carbs). Meanwhile, there's no starving or fasting involved and it takes heart health into consideration.
In the long term, this is one of the better diets - especially if you avoid Phase One and start on Phase Two. Nevertheless, it's guaranteed to be a hit this summer with all the wannabe beach babes!