By Alex Botez
By Alex Botez
Summer is fast approaching and if you have to ask any lady at all, the areas they will all say they want to tighten are their bum and their tummy. Unfortunately that old cliché does very much apply whereby bodies are made in the kitchen mostly. However, let us assume we have our diets nicely under control and we are looking for that extra to help us firm up our rear ends and get them summer ready. What are the best exercises for your behind to aid in burning fat and firming up.
Squats are always the go to exercise to tighten up the legs and glutes and build nice solid lean muscle. Never neglect doing your squats. There are always many variations of squats we can do from normal squats to wide stance, narrow stance, single leg squats. Try alternate between them so that you are working all different areas of your hamstrings, quads and glutes. Make sure form is paramount and do not overdo the amount of weight you are doing. Rather focus on the intensity and concentration. Single leg squats can do wonders also for your mobility and for strengthening your hips.
Straight leg deadlifts with either dumbells or a barbell really tighten up your glutes and also give them that wonderful stretch. These exercises are very important for the glutes and hamstrings. Also, lying leg curls tighten up the lower parts of the glutes for that form and tone we are looking for. Try supersetting the two exercises to optimize results. Kickbacks either on all fours or with a cable weight attached to your ankle are another brilliant exercise. Make sure you complete the full movement and that the leg extends all the way straight back. Hip-lifts lying on your back with your arms by your sides and lifting your hips towards the ceiling, tightening your bum and squeezing are brilliant. You can even add a weight across your lap, a light barbell for optimum results.
All of these exercises perfectly target your glutes and can help your tighten up nicely while building some solid lean muscle. Do not forget to add some much needed cardio to your exercises. The stepper is brilliant for the bum, as well as a light walk on the treadmill on an incline. Keep the heart rate around 130 and do your cardio for 20-30 minutes after your training session. This will work wonders on toning your buttocks to make you beach ready.
Diet is important but the training routine will aid you in building the necessary muscle needed. If you can manage these two together you will have a tight, toned bum in no time!
By Alexandra Botez
So a night out with your girls you want to be able to enjoy yourself and let loose a little bit. You don't want to constantly be eating lettuce and ordering the Caesar salad. We all know that dining out whether it is with friends or other couples very often means we eat badly. Drinks and fancy dishes and desserts can all kill our diet. So we need to try find a way around it or at least a way to make sure that dining out isn't always a disaster to our diet.
Have a small healthy snack before going out. If we go out to a restaurant famished then we are more likely going to go for the least healthy, most carb and sugar packed meal on the menu. That is just how our brains work. Even if you are going to enjoy a nice meal, drink water throughout. Drink water before and during your meals. Rather choose the grilled or steamed option instead of baked of fried if possible. Eat your meal slowly and enjoy it. This may fill you more than eating an entire pizza in 5 minutes. Let your food digest and enjoy it properly. Have a nice cup of coffee or cappuccino instead of dessert. When you are asked which side you would like with your meal, take the healthier option. Preferably not the chips or wedges, rather take the veggies. Do not eat from the bread basket before the meal. Firstly, that has been on a few tables before coming to yours. Secondly, you do not need the extra carbs. Try and avoid those heavy sugar filled drinks, rather have a Sprite zero then a Sprite. There is nothing wrong with sharing a plate of food with someone. Many times we leave with a doggy bag that never gets eaten. Rather share a portion with someone and save some money too.
It's not about being boring or not enjoying yourself, and you do not need to follow all these rules. These are simply small guidelines to help you not over indulge and kill your diet. Do what works best for you, while still having fun and enjoying yourself.
By Alexandra Botez
Whenever you ask someone when they are going on a diet what their plans are, the answer is always the same. They always say I am dropping carbs. That is a very broad statement as that encompasses so many foods and so many different types, from simple sugars to wheat. We need to learn more about the carbs that we need and those that we need to skip. The answer is simple and complex.
Carbohydrates are the energy source of your body and can be divided into simple and complex carbohydrates. The 3 main types of carbs are sugars, starches and fiber. Simple carbs are composed of basic sugars that are easy to digest and break down, and can be an important source of energy. Naturally occurring simple carbs are those such as fruits and milk. Processed sugars are those in candy, baked goods and sodas. Complex carbs are found in whole grains, legumes and starchy vegetables. They contain longer chains of sugar molecules. These take longer for the body to break down. Therefore the energy is longer and more consistent.
However, certain simple carbs are not all the same. Simple carbs from fruits are different to those from processed goods as the fruit contains fiber which slows down the breakdown of the sugar. Simple sugars to leave out would be soda, candy, cookies, pastries, dessert, iced tea, energy drinks, ice cream.
Complex carbs are considered better carbs because they take longer to break down which means less sugar are released into the system at any given point. Therefore your sugar levels will not spike and excess sugar will not get stored. The best types of complex carbs are whole grains such as whole wheat breads, pastas and flour, brown and wild rice, quinoa, barley potatoes, corn and legumes such as chick peas. Normally the higher in sugar the product is, the lower in vitamins nutrients and fiber it will be. These days the term glycemic index is used to show how much the blood sugar level will rise after eating a certain carb. However, fruits may have high glycemic index but are healthier for you then processed sugars.
So simply stated, all carbs are needed in certain amounts. But rather choose fruits for simple carbs and then whole grains and veggies for your intake of complex carbs. Again I will say it, always look at the label. Take into account the sugars and the fibre. Know what you are eating.
By Alexandra Botez
Drinking teas has been associated with many health benefits, including certain teas that may enhance weightloss and help fight excess fat. Last week we took a look at herbal teas and their benefits. This week we will take a closer look at teas that can aid in slimming and reducing body fat. Remember, all of this differs from person to person and is also something that is in addition to a well balanced diet. None of these tips work without eating correctly and maintaining a healthy balanced diet.
1. Green tea - Green tea is one that has many health benefits and is known as one of the most effective when it comes to weightloss. There has been substantial evidence linking green tea to decreased body fat and weight. Green tea also is especially high in catechins, naturally ocurring antioxidants that may boost your metabolism and in rease your ability to burn fat. Green tea also contains high amounts of antioxidants.
2. Puerh tea - Certain studies have shown that this type of chinese black tea may lower blood sugar levels and triglycerides.
3. Black tea - there are many different types of black tea available. Black tea is basically a type of tea that has undergone more oxidation then other teas. Black tea is high on flavones and has been associated with reductions in weight, BMI and waist circumference.
4. Oolong tea - Oolong tea is a chinese tea that has been partially oxidised. Studies have shown that oolong tea could help enhance weigh loss by improving fat burning and speeding up metabolism.
5. White tea - White tea is minimally processed and harvested while the tea plant is young. The benefits of white tea have been well studied and researched. White tea and Green tea have similar amounts of catechins which enhances weight loss.
6. Herbal tea - Herbal teas involve the infusion or herbs, spices and fruits in hot water. Some studies have showed that certain herbal teas including rooibos tea may help reduce weight and increase fat loss.
While all these teas prove to add value when slimming, it is most important that they are used in the correct way with a well balanced diet. The benefits are many and can add much health value to your daily routine. So try some different slimming teas and find what works well for you. Remember, all bodies are unique and react differently, but healthy change is always a good thing to try.
By Alexandra Botez
We have all heard that herbal teas have many natural benefits, however many of us do not even know what these benefits are. Let us take a look at some of the best herbal teas and their benefits. Herbal teas have many natural health promoting properties and have been proven to be natural remedies for ailments. Although some of these teas have many benefits, we will focus on the main proven benefits to each tea. Herbal health teas are different to normal teas in that they are made from dried fruits, flowers, spices or herbs.
1. Chamomile tea - This tea is best known for its calming effects and can be used for anxiety or as a sleep aid. Often used for children or babies and is perfect to have before bed time.
2. Peppermint tea - This is widely used around the world for its benefits to the digestive tract. This can assist with cramps, stomach pain and spasms.
3. Ginger tea - This is best known for relief of nausea. many pregnant women use ginger tea or ginger sweets for the nausea.
4. Echinacea tea - This is well known to shorten the duration of the common cold and can be used as an immune booster.
5. Sage tea - Many studies have proven that sage tea improves cognitive function and memory.
6. Rose Hip tea - This in well known to be high in Vitamin C and antioxidants. Rosehip tea also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Herbal health teas are a great alternative to use to aid your body. The benefits are vast and natural. So when looking for something to drink that is healthy instead of that tenth cup of coffee for the day, try using herbal teas instead.
By Alexandra Botez
We should start by being honest. It is impossible to go completely without sugar. Whether we need it to balance our sugar levels, or our hormones, or we just need it for energy. It is seriously hard to go completely without sugar. Whether it is a piece of chocolate, a slice or cake, some jelly babies, we can try find a way to fit them into our diet. Now again this can not be a consistent exercise. This is for the days you find your body really needs it. I know that sometimes even I feel a need a bit of sugar, as if my body is just lacking. So a few wine gums and I am good to go. Also the key here is to limit yourself. You may have a slice of cake, not the whole cake and a slab of chocolate and an ice cream with chocolate sauce. Limit the amount to what your body needs.
1. Sugar is more acceptable before a workout. It will give us the boost of energy we need and will easily be burnt off quickly. Even certain athletes and trainers I know have a few sweets before training to get them moving.
2. Sugar after training can aid in spiking or insulin to help with better absorbtion of our post workout nutrients.
3. Sugar directly after a meal can help balance your sugar levels and prevent you from overdoing the sugar.
4. Sugar intake earlier in day is always better as you gives your body more time to burn it off successfully. Preferably not on an empty stomach so that you do not mess with your insulin levels too often.
5. Mid afternoon also allows you time to burn off the sugar. Once again in moderate amounts the important thing is not to overdo the sugar intake as this will result in your body crashing and you may also be too full to eat your proper meals.
We can find ways and times to have those sugar snack but we have to limit it and stick to certain rules. This does not mean that sugar is allowed daily 5 times a day. This is only the exception when our body really needs it.