Get A Jump Start On Your New Year’s Resolutions and Lose Weight This Holiday Season

You’ve heard all the statistics about how the average American will gain between five and fifteen pounds over the holiday season. However, if you’re like most Americans, you’re probably hoping to lose weight during the holidays instead of gaining it. While losing weight this holiday season may seem impossible, it’s not. There are plenty of tricks and tips to help you lose weight and get a jump start on your New Year’s resolutions. These five tips will ensure that the scale goes down and you end this holiday season thinner than you started it.

Eat More Protein

Eating more protein can help you feel fuller for longer and keep hunger at bay. Basing your snacks and meals around protein with a side of vegetables will keep you satiated and less prone to eating the empty calories present in holiday foods such as candies, baked goods, and other fattening, sugary items.

Eat Before Parties

One of the biggest issues you’ll probably face over the holidays is the number of parties you’ll have to attend. At a party, it can be difficult to say no to your favorite foods, or to turn down your host’s special dish. Not to mention that all the delicious food can cause you to overindulge and eat junk food that you wouldn’t normally eat. The best way to not overeat at parties is to eat a healthy meal beforehand.

Exercise More Often

Even with the best laid plans, chances are that you’ll eat more than you normally do over the holiday season. The best way to combat this is to exercise more often to burn off any extra calories. Lifting weights several times a week and doing cardio three to five times a week is ideal, but any kind of movement during the day is beneficial. Walking the dog, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking your car further away from the door when shopping, even doing squats or lifting weights while waiting for food to cook can really add up to help you lose weight over the holidays.

Plan Ahead

Another reason people gain weight during the holidays is because their normal schedules and routines are disrupted by office parties, holiday dinners, and other gatherings. One of the best ways to combat this is to plan ahead. For example, if you know you’re going to have a Christmas lunch at the office full of sugary, fattening foods, you can plan ahead by choosing to eat a lighter breakfast and exercising more later in the day.

Track Your Food and Weight

Keeping a food journal or diary can be extremely helpful in losing weight during the holiday season. It’s also helpful to weigh yourself once a week. By keeping track of your weight and what you’re eating, you can see where you need to make changes to your diet and ensure you’re continuing to lose weight.

Every weight lifter knows that protein is the key component to fueling muscles. Matt Porter, a competitive weight lifter, recommends the best protein powder for muscle definition.

Healthy Juice Drinks – Fighting Insomnia

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If you suffer from insomnia, whether as a temporary thing, or if you are more unlucky, as a regular occurrence, then you’ll no doubt have tried everything under the sun to get yourself those forty winks at night. But most insomnia sufferers quickly discover that medicine like sleeping tablets will usually only provide you with a short term solution to your problem and not something you could do continually without causing your body more damage. In the long run you are far more likely to resolve your insomnia by looking at both your way of life and your diet. Think carefully about what you eat or drink before you go to bed, and get yourself a relaxing and regular nightly ritual. With that in mind have a look at this juice drink mixed to help you catch up on those much needed hours of sleep:

Take the following ingredients:

125g (4 oz) of grapes
125g (4 oz) of fresh pineapple, with the skin removed
50g (2 oz) of lettuce
50g (2 oz) of celery.

Simply juice all the ingredients together in your juicer and then serve in a tall, cold glass over some ice for a soothing and tasty drink. Not only will it help you sleep by giving you a boost of blood sugar from the grapes and pineapple, but it will also relax your muscles and nerves through the addition of the celery and lettuce. Nutritionally it offers you a good dose of Vitamin C, Magnesium, Vitamin B6, niacin, tryptophan and comes in at a healthy 167 calories.

Alex is a food writer and blogger. He loves writing about beautiful food and healthy living and currently writes for Coupon Croc .

Top 4 Supplements that are a Waste of Money

Today, people have become engrossed with supplements to help them live a longer, healthier life. Companies are more than willing to mass produce a wide variety of products to meet these ever growing needs. However, not all these supplements are actually necessary. Below are four supplements that for most people are not necessary and only decrease the size of their wallet, not their waistline.

Superfruit Drinks

Many companies have taken the concept of “fruits and vegetables = health” way too far. Any one who has ever actually tasted a dragonfruit will know what I mean. A dragonfruit is wonderfully exotic to look at and has run me as much as US $8 for a single bulb; however, it is simply the most bland fruit I have ever tasted. Rarity does not a health food make.

When you pay a premium for these superfruit drinks with the imported fruits, you are not paying for any extra health benefits; you are paying for the cost of shipping those most likely underwhelming fruits to whatever domestic shore you call home. We have never had to add a letter to the alphabet to define the nutrition value of an imported fruit, and as most of these drinks are supplemented with fruits that companies know we will find tasty (apples, grapes), what is the true value of these drinks? You can most definitely forget about any superfood drink that is less than 100% all natural, and even if it is, there is nothing in that expensive drink that you can’t get from your local fruits other than the thrill of eating something from Polynesia or South Africa.

Many of the reputations of these fruits come from their preparation and are based in custom rather than any scientific evidence. Take the noni, for example, a common fruit in Polynesia, but quite exotic anywhere else. The funny thing is that the Polynesian people do not even consider this fruit edible. The few concoctions that include the noni are meant for celebrations and are steeped in tradition, much like chitlands (the feet of a pig) for some families in the Southern United States. They do not in any way taste good.

It is the American companies which are adding a bunch of sugar to exotic fruits like these and selling them as one size fits all health supplements. Don’t believe the hype.

Protein Powders

Protein, in all its forms, from soy to hemp to whey, is no less meant to be separated and “refined” on its own than water is from a melon. Especially in developed countries, marketing schemes have been able to create the problem that we somehow do not get enough protein in our every day meals to build a healthy body, especially if we are trying to do something athletic. However, all one has to do is look back to times before there were any supplements – somehow people have always been able to build strong, lean, aesthetically pleasing bodies even before supplements existed. Does that huge intimidating jar sitting in our cupboard meant more for our musculature or for our ego?

Any nutrition authority will tell you that it is not even necessary to eat meat to obtain all the protein you need to build or maintain a healthy, muscular body. It can be obtained solely from vegetables and fruits, if so desired.

Green Drinks or Powders

Green has an association with humans in general as being “of the earth” and therefore healthy. Little wonder then, that many “nutrition” companies go out of their way to color their drinks green, or include lots of things that are colored green to sell a notion of health in a supplement.

Green vegetables, some green algae, and grass can be healthy for us in small doses, with a proper balance of other nutrients. However, we are not cows. We have no need to graze to obtain maxmium health. As a matter of fact, you gain that same nutrition from eating the cow that ate the grass, and is better able to metabolize it into the nutrients that we actually need.

There is a reason that grass and algae do not taste good to us: Different organisms require different things to maintain health. Plants photosynthesize our carbon dioxide into nourishment – oxygen is their waste product. But if you start inhaling pure carbon dioxide instead of oxygen, the results will not impress you.

Green vegetables that taste good to the palette, like spinach, lettuce, celery, and parsley are the green things to focus on putting in your mouth.

Once a Day Multivitamins

Though the multivitamin that you take every day so religiously with the egg whites, plain toast and skim milk breakfast may truthfully say that it contains 1000% of the daily intake value for everything, there is a reason that you do not instantly feel like Superman upon intaking said vitamin. Quite simply, the body is not made to synthesize pure vitamins and minerals, and will only retain from 1 to 10% of the total value of each vitamin inside the tablet.

What is worse, the body tends to synthesize the fattening portions of the multivitamin more readily than the other parts, so taking two will not help. You will only retain the worst parts of anything you intake.

What is the Bottom Line?

When it comes to personal health, realize the difference between a marketing campaign designed to make you think that you are suddenly missing out on some vital nutrient, and a hole in your nutrition that you really need to fix. Every supplement has a natural alternative, and as the body is used to eating FOOD, not synthesizing supplements, natural is usually the way to go. Some supplements have their place, but in moderation.

In this modern world of mobile everything and super efficiency, people are always on the go. However, it is essential that you take time out of life to take care of the most important aspect of your life – your health. It is quite true that you can’t do much of anything without your body.


Author Bio: Angela is a freelance writer for a fitness site. She loves to help other people get into the best shape of their lives. If she is not at the gym, she can be found biking in the woods.

Brown Rice vs. White Rice

It’s a popular modern debate: brown rice vs. white rice. But which is better?

I don’t know about you, but I never saw brown rice until I went to college. I was raised strictly in a Minute Rice family and aside from the occasional side of gravy, my rice remained white throughout my formative years. As I got older, I developed an affinity for brown rice. Its naturally “nutty” texture and flavor just seemed more fulfilling and it prompted me to do the research on the difference between these two “grain cousins. “They’re actually not cousins at all: both brown and white rice are the same rice. It’s the process it follows from the field to your table that differs.

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: the Process

The first step rice takes on the way to your kitchen is the removal of the hull. Once the hull is removed, you’re left with brown rice. In order to obtain white rice, there are a few more steps, however. Following hull removal, rice is then milled and polished. As with any processing, these additional steps remove a fair amount of the nutritional value from rice. In fact, a good rule of thumb when considering the nutritional value of any food is to consider how much processing went into making it. Not to suggest that white rice is bad for you, but it certainly lacks some good stuff that brown rice keeps.

The Result

Brown rice is the least processed of the two varieties of rice and thus retains more of it nutritional value. On the average, brown rice boasts greater levels of naturally occurring vitamins B1, B3 and B6 as well as significantly greater levels of dietary fiber, selenium and manganese (all of which contribute to colon health). While all white rice in the United States must be enriched with vitamins B1, B3 and B6, the vitamins aren’t nearly as bioavailable as their natural sources found in brown rice.

Preparation of Rice

When buying any kind of rice, be sure to rinse the grains under cool water to remove any debris before cooking. To conserve water, rice is best cooked using the absorption method. Add one part rice to two parts water, bring to a boil and then cover at a simmer until the water is absorbed. This keeps you from having to add additional water and allows you to use as little water as possible during the cooking process by making the most of the steam and condensation.



Nathan Joynt works with, a leading yoga and healthy living company in Boulder, Colorado.

Committing to Veganism

Becoming a vegan is major decision in a person’s life. It means being committed to an ideal that a greater portion of the world’s population will not see in the same light as you do. Most of us enjoy eating meat and foodstuffs that came from animals but a vegan will never touch anything that has animal ingredients in it, no matter how small the portion is. This idealism is what attracted me to become a vegan when I first encountered it. The first vegan that I got to know personally was a classmate of mine in one of my art subjects in college. His name was Mark and there was nothing remarkable about him when I first saw him. He was just like the rest of us in that class, a young man struggling to finish his education.

When he got up to introduce himself to the class he mentioned that he was a vegan. I had to ask my seat mate what a vegan is. When I was properly informed I was impressed with Mark. I saw him as a person who has the courage to stand up for what he believes in.

I befriended Mark after that and the more I got to know him the more that I was impressed with the courage of his convictions. That admiration was the main cause for my own desire to start practicing veganism. I wanted to know if I could gain a strength of character as strong as his.

It was not an easy journey for me, but I have been able transform my life. I have been a vegan now for more than ten years. Now for me backsliding is a very remote possibility. I believe in animal rights and everything that it stands for and so I know that I will be vegan until the day I die.

Exercise through Pole Dancing

Ladies, we all know how hard it can be to squeeze in that time at the fitness center or gym between work, the children, family and friends. Getting a good work out can be challenging and oftentimes, boring. If you’re tired of the same old boring workouts and routines, try a pole-dancing class.

Pole-dancing classes can be a great way to get in shape and can help you to become more limber with a stronger core and more flexible body, making you long, lean and very sexy. The classes help you to focus on your core (your abdomen, obliques and back muscles) while having a fantastic time learning new dance moves and routines. Part gymnastics and part dance class, the classes are fun and geared to the everyday woman.

Pole-dancing classes incorporate the type of pole used in strip clubs to perform a series of simple to complex dancing routines that increase your muscle strength and flexibility, and can help you to get in touch with your sexuality at the same time. Many classes also require participants to wear dance shorts and dancing or club shoes (those with a mid-platform sole and six inch or higher heel) but don’t worry ladies; most classes are limited to women only, allowing a fun and casual atmosphere where women can discover a new part of themselves, while enjoying the company of other women.

Pole-dancing classes are held in dance studios and in the private dance rooms of clubs and usually consist of one to two dance instructors and three to twelve participants, each with their own pole. The classes have earned a devoted following in the United Kingdom as well as the United States and are also a great idea for a hen, bachelorette or birthday party.

Due to the high heels, dance routines and use of a stripper pole, alcohol is strictly forbidden at a pole-dancing party or class, but many hen parties incorporate a pole-dancing class, followed by clubbing or dinner out, making for a memorable girls’ night out.

When looking for a pole-dancing class, make sure to ask whether the class is limited to women, what the dress requirements are, and how long the class lasts. Also, it is advisable to find a class that takes place in a mirrored room, to help you understand your form and to help you visualize yourself as you practice your new hot moves.

Many pole-dancing classes also offer merchandise that allow you to incorporate your new moves into your home life, such as dance poles, both for permanent placement and those that are adjustable as well as dancing shoes, DVD’s of pole-dancing routines, and dancing outfits to enhance your pole-dancing experience.

About the author:

Claire Jarrett is writing on behalf of Pole Secrets who offer pole dancing lessons

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