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Body Fat Percentage (BFP) or Body Mass Index (BMI) ?

Those digits can deceive, making you feel pudgy when you’re not or giving you false slim-security. Use BMI or body-fat percentage (BFP) to suss out your true fatness. We’ve got the skinny on the way that’s right for you.

Reality check: Body-fat percentage

Who it’s for:  Athletes or fitness fanatics who might be dubbed overweight by BMI because their muscle mass makes them naturally heavier. BFP is also a wake-up call for “skinny fat” women, whose BMI is fine but who, because their muscle tone is zilch, could have dangerously high body fat, which can increase the risk for diabetes, heart disease and other serious ailments. (Not either? Anyone can use it to gauge her body fat.)

How it works: The easiest way to get an accurate BFP reading is a skin-fold test. Calipers (they look like long prongs) measure thickness near your hip and at your thigh and triceps.

Where to get it: Many gyms offer the test gratis to members, or you can ask your doc to test you.

What your number means:

  • 14-20% Oh, yeah! You’re athlete-level fit.
  • 21-24% Sweet. You’re in great shape.
  • 25-31% OK, but your health risks may rise; up your strength training.
  • 32+% You’re actually obese (even though you may not look it).

 

Reality check: Body-mass index

Who it’s for:  Workout novices who need to lose a lot of weight in order to get fit, says Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise. As you shed major pounds, you’ll see your BMI go down–an encouraging sign that you’re on track. BMI also helps average-weight, average-muscle-tone folks get a snapshot of their health. (To know your actual body fat, you need to use BFP.) But if you’re just looking to drop a size, skip this calculator. Replacing a few pounds of fat with muscle won’t always change BMI, and you may think you’re not progressing when you are, McCall notes.

How it works: The formula takes how tall you are and how many pounds you carry, then estimates if you’re at a healthy weight.

What your number means:

  • 18.4 or less Underweight. You actually need a little fat to be healthy.
  • 18.5-24.9 Normal weight. You’re in the zone.
  • 25.0-29.9 Overweight. Health risks rise in this range.
  • 30+ Obese. Time for a major body transformation!

 

Source:  http://www.self.com

 

 

 

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The Best Pre- and Post- Workout Snacks

Food is fuel. Skimping before workouts is not the path to success. It only increases the lack of energy and promotes the loss of muscle mass.
Since basic exercise does not burn all that many calories, the purpose is to build muscle mass to aid in muscle-caloric burn. High intensity interval workouts are recommended for best results.
Although some studies differ on the effectiveness of the timing of your workouts (AM vs. PM in relation to an empty stomach vs daily caloric ingestion), you should eat something before your workout.  In turn, allow enough time for digestion and aim for 1.5-2 hours prior to your workout. Higher fat content meals can increase digestion time and an Increased intensity of your workout can interfere with the blood needed to provide nutrients to muscles during a workout.

Pre-Workout:

  • Eat 1.5 – 2 hours before your workout to allow for digestion.
  • An ideal pre-workout meal should consist of : 10-35% protein; 45-65% carbohydrates; 20-35% fat.
  • Examples: Yogurt, Oatmeal.

 

Post-Workout:

  • Eat within an hour of intense workout in order to refuel the body’s cells which aids in proper recovery and lean muscle build-up.
  • An ideal meal consists of 4:1 carbs:protein.
  • Examples: Chocolate Milk, Hummus on Whole Wheat Pita.

 

Sources:  http://www.askmen.com; http://www.everydayhealth.com

 

 

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10 Signs You’re Out of Shape

10. You have a low level of appetite.

If you aren’t eating enough throughout the day because your appetite level is low, this could make it difficult to meet key nutritional requirements to maximize your health. Physical exercise regulates your appetite, so if you’re never hungry, this is likely a sign that you aren’t active enough as well.

9. You struggle to maintain good posture.

Maintaining good posture is not only important to help you feel more confident, but also to help ensure that you don’t experience back pain down the road or use improper form as you go about your exercises. If you struggle to maintain good posture throughout the day, this indicates that the postural muscles are not as strong as they should be, so that’s something you’ll need to work on.

8. You don’t sweat quickly upon intense workout.

You might think that sweating is an indication of not being in good physical conditioning, but this is completely untrue. The fitter you are, the better your cooling system will be, therefore the better your body will be able to regulate itself. If you start sweating almost as soon as you boost the intensity of your exercise program, that’s a great sign you’re in good physical shape.

7. Your body aches more than it used to.

If you find that you when you do exercise you’re sore for days after your workout session, this is yet another sign that you’re not active enough. Many people believe that working out too frequently is what makes you sore, and while this may be the case if you really overdo it, working out not often enough can cause greater soreness as well. Frequent sessions minimize this because your body will stay accustomed to the movement pattern.

6. Your weight is steadily increasing.

If you’ve noticed your weight is creeping up over time and you do make an effort to eat healthy, the reason is likely your activity level. Regular physical activity will not only maintain your lean muscle mass, which is important for keeping your metabolism strong, but it will also help to boost your metabolism after a workout. This also helps give you a little more leeway with your diet so you’ll see a decreased risk of gaining body fat.

5. You can’t perform push-ups.

A good standard to aim for when it comes to muscular strength for most men is the ability to perform 30 push-ups in a row, and 20 for women. If you find that you start to falter in form beforehand, you need to work on improving your overall strength capacity.

4. You have unstable blood sugar levels.

One of the best benefits of regular physical activity is that it will deplete your muscle glycogen levels so that you maintain a higher degree of insulin sensitivity. This means when you do include carbs in your diet, you’re less likely to shuttle them off to body-fat stores or have them sitting around in your blood stream causing problems. They’ll quickly move straight into the muscle cells where they’re stored as muscle glycogen. For anyone looking to fend off diabetes, regular exercise is a must.

 3. You’re very fatigued at the end of the day.

While some people will believe that intense exercise is going to cause greater fatigue at the end of the day, the opposite tends to be true. If you’re always dragging as your day wraps up and feel more like lying on the couch rather than doing something active, your fitness level could use a jumpstart. A good workout program should leave you feeling energized almost all the time so fatigue isn’t a factor in your week.

 2. It takes your heart rate a long time to return to normal.

Those who are in good physical condition will notice that their heart rate increases and decreases quite quickly with ease to accommodate the intensity of exercise being performed. If you feel very winded for 5 to 10 minutes after you perform a sprint or other exercise that requires physical exertion, this could be a sign you need to spend more time in being active.

1. You’re highly stressed out.

If you’re suffering from chronic stress, there’s a good chance that you aren’t getting enough movement in your day. Physical activity will cause a release of endorphins in the body, which will help put you in a feel-good state and help calm down your stress level. Even if you can’t do intense physical activity, even a brisk walk a few times a day can help.

 

Read more: http://www.askmen.com/top_10/fitness/top-10-signs-you-need-to-be-more-active_1.html#ixzz1zuMVkAlu

 

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Is Vitamin D the Missing Link to Shrinking Belly Fat?

It was supposed to be a routine study.

At the University of Minnesota 2 years ago, Shalamar Sibley, M.D., was examining how calorie reduction might affect hormone pathways. On a hunch, she decided to test one more variable: vitamin D. “Researchers have been tracking the relationship between low vitamin D and obesity,” says Dr. Sibley. “So I wondered if people’s baseline vitamin D levels would predict their ability to lose weight when cutting calories.”

Her hunch paid off—big time. People with adequate vitamin D levels at the start of the study tended to lose more weight than those with low levels, even though everyone reduced their calorie intake equally. In fact, even a minuscule increase in a key D precursor caused the study participants to incinerate an additional half pound of flab.

Dr. Sibley’s study is just the latest indication that vitamin D could be our special ops agent in the war against body fat. For example, a study at Laval University in Quebec City found that people who consumed more dietary vitamin D had less belly fat than people who ate less.

“Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most commonly unrecognized medical conditions,” says Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of medicine at Boston University medical center and author of The Vitamin D Solution. “And that deficiency negatively affects every cell in your body—including your fat cells.”

One reason vitamin D has flown under the research radar for so long is because it’s more than just a vitamin—it’s also a hormone, one that plays a role in a remarkable range of body processes. Studies show that D can combat high blood pressure and diabetes, too. Now add to this list of the potential to ward off memory loss, certain cancers, and even the common cold, and it should come as no surprise that D may also help solve the riddle of your expanding middle. Here’s the rundown on the many benefits of boosting your vitamin D.

1. You’ll eat less but feel more satisfied.

When you have adequate vitamin D levels, your body releases more leptin, the hormone that conveys a “we’re full, stop eating” message to your brain. Conversely, less D means less leptin and more frequent visits to the line at the Chinese buffet. In fact, an Australian study showed that people who ate a breakfast high in D and calcium (a mineral that works hand in hand with D) blunted their appetites for the next 24 hours. Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to insulin resistance, which leads to hunger and overeating, says Liz Applegate, Ph.D., director of sports nutrition at the University of California at Davis.

2. You’ll store less fat.

When your D is low, levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH) and a second hormone, calcitrol, rise, and that’s bad: High levels of these hormones turn your body into a fat miser, encouraging it to hoard fat instead of burning it, says Michael B. Zemel, Ph.D., director of the nutrition institute at the University of Tennessee.

 3. You’ll burn more fat—especially belly fat.

Vitamin D can help you lose lard all over, but it’s particularly helpful for the pounds above your belt. Studies at the University of Minnesota and Laval University found that D triggers weight loss primarily in the belly. One explanation: The nutrient may work with calcium to reduce production of cortisol, a stress hormone that causes you to store belly fat, says Zemel.

4. You’ll lose weight—and help your heart.

One of Zemel’s studies found that a diet high in dairy (which means plenty of calcium and vitamin D) helped people lose 70 percent more weight than a diet with the same number of calories but without high levels of those nutrients. What’s more, a German study showed that high levels of vitamin D actually increased the benefits of weight loss, improving cardiovascular risk markers like triglycerides.

 

Why Not Just Step Outside?

When sunlight hits your skin, your body’s built-in vitamin D factory kicks into operation, producing a form of the nutrient that lasts twice as long in your bloodstream as when you consume it through food or a supplement. The problem, of course, is a little thing called skin cancer: In order to manufacture enough D, you’d need to be in the sun during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. without sunscreen, says Dr. Holick. But even if you could take cancer out of the equation, the amount of sunlight-derived D your body can produce depends on your location. People who live north of the equator probably make only 10 to 20 percent as much D in April as they do in June. And come December, a northerner’s skin can produce hardly any D, says Dr. Holick. Even living in a sunny city is no guarantee of adequate natural D. Air pollution filters UVB rays, so less of them are able to reach your skin. That’s one reason folks who live in Los Angeles and Atlanta tend to be deficient despite their sunny locations.

Are Supplements the Answer?

Supplementing is a good idea. In fact, the Institute of Medicine recently unveiled a new D recommendation for food and/or supplements: 600 international units (IU) a day. But even that might not be enough. The Endocrine Society recently released a revised recommendation of 1,500 to 2,000 IU a day for good health.

The other problem with trying to ingest all that D from a handful of pills is that you may not reap the fat-burning benefits you were hoping for. “Dietary sources of D usually contain complementary nutrients that also contribute to weight loss,” says Dr. Holick. Bottom line: A supplement is just that.

 

Source: Men’s Health: http://www.menshealth.com

 

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Skinny Fat

The Swapawful Conversation

Me:  I AM FAT! Ugh.

My Girlfriend: Stop it! You’re so thin! You’re like a size 4! Geez….

Me: (More like a 6, what is she blind?) No, really, I’m fat. Look at this (jiggling my fatty waist as evidence).

(This argument goes on for several minutes until the comfortableness of directing attention to our problem spots subsides.)

The Skinny

Just because one looks skinny, doesn’t mean they’re not packing on the fat. Thin people can still have high levels of visceral fat, as well as fatty organs. Visceral fat accumulates internally primarily around the outside of organs such as the heart, liver, spleen, and in between the intestines. Having fatty organs can still put thin people at risk for type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, and certain cancers. Causes of internal obesity have been attributed to impaired triglyceride/cholesterol metabolism increasing fat accumulation in your liver; excessive intake of fatty foods; or more commonly, eating more calories than the body uses.

How Fat Affects Your Organs

There is no evidence that fat on the inside is riskier than having fat on the outside. What is known is that it is just as comparable to causing hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, insulin resistance, and diabetes.

  • The liver. The liver is the body’s filter.  It converts and clears the blood of toxins.  When the liver is fatty, it doesn’t work very well as a filter.  Poor liver function has been linked to increased glucose production (diabetes), and affects overall health.
  • The ovaries. Women’s ovaries are crucial for reproduction because they produce eggs and also secrete the hormone estrogen. Problems can arise in the ovaries when too much fat is involved. Investigative studies are currently being done regarding fat around the ovaries and how it relates to pregnancy and fetal growth.
  • The heart. Although visceral fat resides in the abdomen, it can actually be hurting the heart. Research done on mice found that inflammation surrounding individual fat cells can contribute to atherosclerosis, the hardening and narrowing of the heart’s arteries, and can lead to blood clots. The heart, and the arteries in general, can also be harmed by triglycerides.
  •  The brain. Much more research needs to be conducted, but scientists have found that excess visceral fat may affect brain health as well. Specifically, it was discovered that people with a larger waist and waist-to-hip ratio along with larger body mass index (BMI) have a lower total brain volume. What this really means and whether there is a correlation between abdominal fat and dementia need further investigation, but for those who carry excess weight around the middle, losing a few (or more) pounds makes sense.

Regardless of whether you have internal or external fat, treatment for either is the same.  Eat a healthful diet, weight train, and include cardiovascular exercise in your daily/weekly regimen – a must for this skinny-fat girl!

Source:  http://www.everydayhealth.com

 

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Burning Calories

Source:  http://pinterest.com/pin/178032991489865006/

 

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Will 100 Sit Ups A Day Help?

Best Pacific Military Police Warrior [Image 14...

JILLIAN’S TIP OF THE DAY

Ease Up on the Crunches

Doing hundreds of crunches a night is NOT going to reduce visceral fat and flatten your belly bulge. For the one millionth time, you can’t spot-reduce to achieve results! Plus, this deadly kind of fat lives deep within your gut, so the best strategy for making it go away is to eat healthy and exercise. You can, of course, include some sit-ups in your workout routine to tone your core muscles, but remember that they won’t do the trick alone! You must do cardio and strength training to lose weight and see results.
 

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