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Share with us Hawaii – “Hands In Project”

The lack of Female Athletic Coverage makes it difficult for girls to imagine themselves as athletes…Help us make a difference. Share with us HAWAII – ACTION shots of yourself, mother, daughter, niece, etc…

Gina Davidson
Gina Davidson (Mother of 2)
Crossfit – Kapolei Strength & Conditioning
(photo courtesy: Boysie Koga)

Excercise: Studies show…Hula comparable to Basketball

The first-ever quantitative study of traditional Hawaiian dance on cardiac function has proven what hula dancers have known all along. Hula, the traditional dance of Hawai`i, gives one heck of a workout!

After a five year study, researchers from the

University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), and The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, on August 28 presented preliminary findings to the participants of the study.

The Hula Empowering Lifestyle Adaptations (HELA) study followed 60 residents of Hawai`i, all of whom had suffered heart attack, heart failure or undergone heart surgery within two to 12 weeks before the study five-year research project began. The research goal was “to establish the measured metabolic rate of hula practice, and learn whether physicians might be able to prescribe hula as a cardiac rehabilitation therapy,” Mele Look, Director of Community Engagement for JABSOM’s Department of Native Hawaiian Health, was quoted in MedicalExpress.com as saying. whether it’s an informal hula for `ohana, or a formal presentation on a stage, hula can benefit the heart and spirit.

The study found that hula can match the cardiac workout of a pick-up basketball game.

As a hula dancer, now kumu hula, I frequently was teased by my running friends and told I should join them in “real” workouts, rather than “just dance.” Then, I would be fit enough to join them in the runs. So, I did only my hula practice, then dressed in my full hula regalia and ran a 10K with them. Barefoot. With leis. Chanting. No, I didn’t win, but I ran the whole way and crossed the finish line still chanting. – Leilehua Yuen

It is widely reported in medical literature that cardiac rehabilitation – read “regular exercise” – can reduce the chance of death from another heart attack by as much as 56%. The problem is follow-through, according to Look, “. . . many people simply don’t do it.”

Death rates for Kanaka Maoli, Native Hawaiians, are almost twice those of other ethnic groups. Finding a culturally relevant form of exercise is critical for the Hawaiian population. Hula, a global icon of Hawaiian culture, has never before been quantitatively evaluated as part of a health program, though for generations local doctors have encouraged patients to dance hula as a way to maintain flexibility and improve cardiac function.

The researchers believe social support plays an important role in recovery from hospitalization for a major cardiac event, improving long-term survival and lowering the risk or re-hospitalization. Hālau hula, traditional hula schools, have been known for centuries as tightly knit groups, often functioning as extended family, providing strong social bonds which often last a lifetime.

The National Institutes of Health provided support for the study, which found:

  • The level of energy expended dancing hula, among competitive hula dancers when dancing continuously, was found to be 6.6 MET, which is between a pick-up basketball game and a casual tennis match.
  • High intensity dances of hula were measured in the range of a competitive basketball or volleyball game.
  • Utilization of hula-based cardiac rehabilitation program was found, in preliminary results, to provide cardiopulmonary benefits similar to what is expected from a cardiac rehabilitation (CR).
  • High levels of social support were created in the hula-based CR class. Participants reported improvement in mental and social well-being. They reported the cultural content enhanced the therapy and specifically that hula integrated mind, body, spirit and culture. The study found retention and attendance were very high for participants of the hula-based cardiac rehabilitation classes.

The research team included Dr. Todd Seto of The Queen’s Medical Center and JABSOM’s Center for Cardiovascular Research; Dr. Keawe‛aimoku Kaholokula, Chair of JABSOM’s Department of Native Hawaiian Health; Mele Look, Director of Community Engagement for JABSOM’s Department of Native Hawaiian Health; Mapuana de Silva, Kumu hula of Hālau Mōhala ‘Ilima; Dr. Kahealani Rivera of The Queen’s Medical Center; Dr. Gregory Maskarinec of JABSOM’s Department of Native Hawaiian Health and Kalehua Felice Tolentino, The Queen’s Medical Center.

Frugal Fitness: Get a Great Workout for Free .



How to Get a Free Workout

1. YouTube. Sure you knew you can watch Annoying Orange and get a workout for your abs laughing but did you know that tons of fitness professionals put free workouts on there? Yes, they are usually trying to entice you to buy their stuff but everyone from kettlebell queen Lauren Brooks to P90X guru Tony Horton to Pop Pilates has full-length professional workouts you can do at home, for free. Another trick is to take some of the sample workouts (tip: just keep following the recommended video links that YouTube will give you at the end of each video) and just do one after the other until you get a good 30 minutes of sweat under your belt (and under your boobs – nothing says great workout like boob sweat!).

2. Exercise websites. Many places put their entire program out there for free. Not only do you get a daily workout delivered straight to your inbox or feed reader, but usually you get the benefit of professional how-to videos and useful user forums. Bonus: since they assume you’re doing their workouts at home or on your own, they generally use very little or very basic equipment. If you’re just starting out with exercise I recommend the Monkey Bar Gym. More hardcore? CrossFit will have you buffed out faster than any program I know. And Zuzana from bodyrock.tv will have you abtastic before breakfast (seriously, go look at the woman – I want whatever’s in her Wheaties.)

3. Free trials. It’s the new year and I can guarantee you that every gym, fitness studio and workout warehouse in your neighborhood is offering a free trial. It may be just one free class but more often it’s a free week or even a free month. No contracts signed. Just to try it out. But you have to ask. Sometimes you have to ask more than once. In addition, many places often free nights or special workouts to the public to draw people in. For instance, my YMCA offers everything from free Kid’s Yoga to Turbokick classes at least once a month. Check your local newspapers or community boards for these announcements. If you do a free demo class every week, you’ll have most of your workouts covered for free.

4. Blogger benefits. Here’s a little trick just for us girls at BlogHer: if you have a blog, you have a public platform and companies really like that. Interested in a new fitness book? E-mail the publicist (they are usually listed on the book’s website) and ask for a review copy with the promise you’ll write about it. Always wanted to try out the local gym down the street? Tell the manager about your blog and see if he’ll trade you some free workouts for some free publicity. It doesn’t matter if you don’t write a fitness blog. Parents, foodies, and etsy crafters all have bodies that need working out and so do their readers. Sure companies might say no, but you’ll be amazed at how often they say yes! The trick is to not wait for them to come to you – actively use Twitter, Facebook and other social media to reach out to companies and products that you are really interested in. (Obligatory disclaimer: If you blog about free products or services, you must a) announce that you got it for free, per FTC rules and b) depending on what it is and it’s value, you will likely need to blog about it on an ad-free page, per BlogHer’s rules.)

Do you have a favorite trick for getting free exercise? Baffled that I didn’t put “run up the stairs at your high school stadium” or “park in the spot farthest from the grocery store entrance” tips on my list? (I thought those had been done a lot but feel free to tell me a new one!)

The (Fun) Zone: More Fun Less Work; Gain Strength and Lose Weight

By: Alicia and Linda Villarosa – O, The Oprah Magazine


The best new way to gain strength and lose weight: add a spirit of play to your workouts.
We’re all aware of the health benefits of exercise, but for many it has become the eat-your-vegetables activity of adulthood—something we know is good for us, though we don’t particularly enjoy it. But as children, fitness was not a routine, it was simply routine—a natural, integral part of our lives. It had nothing to do with reps or sets or goals of any kind; it was about climbing a jungle gym, running through a sprinkler, and jumping rope just for the fun of it. Movement that increased strength, endurance, and flexibility had its own reward: a good time.

Around the country, growing numbers of fitness enthusiasts have begun to put a childlike spirit of fun back into exercise. Alongside high/low aerobics and Spinning, you may also find classes called Recess and P.E. 101, where participants get their pulses racing in vigorous games of leapfrog, hopscotch, or tag. Other people, in groups or by themselves, are simply unleashing the child within while walking, running, or biking. By adding an element of play to workouts, getting and staying in shape can become something you might actually look forward to.

“Play is a very motivating part of exercise,” says fitness instructor Mindy Mylrea. “When you’re playing, you can exercise longer and harder without being aware of it. After a fun workout, you’re not thinking, ‘Oh, I’m glad it’s over.’ You’re feeling alive and energetic.”

Stacey Powells of Santa Clarita, California, tries to put a little bounce in her step during her daily walks with her two dogs. “I run up hills, walk backward down them, run zigzag across the street, create little obstacle courses out of trees and creek beds—anything to make my walk interesting,” says Powells, 41. “I’ve taken step classes and found myself staring at the clock—doing something fun is much more appealing.”

It was people like Powells who pushed the play trend into gyms several years ago. Many beginners complained that choreographed classes weren’t cutting it for them. Although they liked the motivation and craved the camaraderie, they weren’t crazy about the intimidating, hard-to- follow movements.

4 Exercises to Do While You Watch TV

By: Polly Brewster – O, The Oprah Magazine

Sure, you can use commercial breaks for quick trips to the fridge. But those 15-plus minutes of ad time per hour are a great opportunity to burn calories. The moves below require no special equipment—just the floor space in front of your TV.

Wall Sit
“Holding this position strengthens your core, quadriceps, and glutes, which in turn helps prevent pain in your low back, knees, and hips,” says Vonda Wright, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and author of Fitness After 40. Stand with your back against the wall, feet shoulder-width apart, and squat down until your knees are at about 60 degrees; hold for 30 seconds—about the length of one commercial.

Sure, you can use commercial breaks for quick trips to the fridge. But those 15-plus minutes of ad time per hour are a great opportunity to burn calories. The moves below require no special equipment—just the floor space in front of your TV.

“This move is meant to work your core, but it’s amazing for your upper body,” says Wright. Using your elbows and forearms to support yourself, hold a push-up position for 30 seconds; work up to two minutes.

Sure, you can use commercial breaks for quick trips to the fridge. But those 15-plus minutes of ad time per hour are a great opportunity to burn calories. The moves below require no special equipment—just the floor space in front of your TV.

Side Plank
For side plank, face the television, propping yourself up on your bottom forearm. Hold for 30 seconds, working up to two minutes. Repeat on the other side.

Sure, you can use commercial breaks for quick trips to the fridge. But those 15-plus minutes of ad time per hour are a great opportunity to burn calories. The moves below require no special equipment—just the floor space in front of your TV.

Standing Lunges
“By doing lunges slowly, you increase intensity,” says personal trainer Pete Cerqua, author of The 90-Second Fitness Solution. Standing, take a big step forward with your right leg. Sink halfway into a lunge (right knee at a 45-degree angle) and hold for five seconds. Sink further (your knee at a 90-degree angle); hold for five seconds. As you rise up, pause halfway and hold five more seconds, then return to a standing position. Repeat, alternating legs.

Timeline of a Tummy

By: Francesca Coltrera – O, The Oprah Magazine


We do not enter this world with a flat belly, nor do we usually leave with one. And in between, even the sexiest stomach will have its ups and downs thanks to pregnancy, hormonal shifts, and Coffee Heath Bar Crunch. Wherever you are on the timeline, you can exercise your way to a firmer, flatter core.

Teens and 20s
Estrogen is acting like a busy traffic cop, directing fat storage to the breasts, hips, and thighs. The belly, however, is spared. So now’s the time to work it. “Belly dancing celebrates the flesh,” says Anita-Cristina Calcaterra, one of a joyously gyrating Boston trio known as the Goddess Dancing, who suggests this great move for a strong and sensuous stomach. Begin by standing facing a full-length mirror with legs hip-width apart, knees bent softly, tailbone tucked, and chest lifted. Heart circles: Imagine using your breasts to draw a vertical O in the mirror. First, lift up from your diaphragm. Keeping your hips still, in a continuous motion, slide your chest directly to the left, then down toward your belly button, across to the right side, and back up to where you started. Do for five minutes a day in both directions.


After Pregnancy
Few bellies obligingly snap back into shape without serious prodding. Discuss exercise with your doctor or midwife: In most cases, you can take gradually longer walks and move on to more vigorous activity after six weeks. Elizabeth Trindade, founder of Strollercize, suggests these waist whittlers to get you started. Do five reps at a time, slowly working up to 50 reps throughout the day for both exercises combined. Couch crunch: Sit at the edge of a sofa with your feet out and on the floor and hands on your stomach. Relax your thighs and turn them slightly outward, then roll back until your bra line just touches the sofa back. Pull in your abdomen and lift one or both feet off the floor. In that position, contract your abs even more as you exhale to a count of 10. Return feet to the floor, sit tall, and relax

Roll away: Stand sideways behind the stroller (occupied, of course) and grasp the handle with your closer hand. Push the stroller away while slightly bending your knees and sticking out your bottom a bit. Pull the stroller back toward you while straightening up. After five reps, repeat with the other arm (both sides equal 10 reps).



As estrogen downshifts, fat is rerouted toward the upper body and waist. Dubbed the menopot by Pamela Peeke, MD, author of Body for Life for Women, the middle-aged pouch differs from the excess visceral abdominal fat that’s linked to heart problems, diabetes, and cancer. The only downside of the menopot, she says, is “a little consternation when you’re trying to zip up your skirt or pants in the morning.” Focused efforts—including regular cardio that pares calories —help flatten it.

Yoga: Under pressure, women often eat more—especially sugary treats, which help quell the stress hormone cortisol. So take up yoga, meditate regularly, or at least learn to breathe deeply (not graze avidly) when the stress ratchets up.

Core work: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Raise the lower legs until parallel to the floor, knees still bent and arms relaxed at your sides, palms down. Without using your hands to press, pull in your abs and lift your hips (it feels like a rocking motion) a few inches off the ground. Do three sets: first, 12 to 20 reps; second, 12 to 15 reps; third, eight to ten reps. Rest a minute between sets.

It won’t take a day. It won’t take a week. But with a little (okay, a lot of) tender loving exercise—some might call it tough love—your tummy can defy the rise and fall of nature’s timeline and stay winningly tight.

10 Invisible Fitness Moves (No Gym Required!)

By: O, The Oprah Magazine

Weights schmeits. You don’t need equipment to tone up with these moves (and better yet, no one even needs to see you sweat!). You can re-energize your workday (or a trip to the supermarket!) with the simple, hassle-free exercises below.

For Your Arms

1. Grocery Bicep Curls
If only you could get to the gym as often as you find yourself at the supermarket! Happily, it’s possible to shop your way to fitness. Reebok master trainer Petra Kolber suggests this simple strategy to strengthen biceps: As you load your groceries into the car (or as you unload, or after you’ve schlepped the bags into your kitchen), do 10 to 15 biceps curls with one half-full bag in each hand.

2. Chair Push-Ups
David Kirsch, owner of the Madison Square Club in New York City and author of Sound Mind, Sound Body (Rodale), says you can tone your upper arms (known unaffectionately as bat wings) without leaving your desk: Grab the armrests of your chair, elbows bent at a 90-degree angle, and push yourself up, straightening your arms to do minilifts (your butt raises off the seat). Do three sets of 15 to 20 reps two or three times a day, and you’ll soon notice a difference.

3. Dictionary Lifts
To strengthen your shoulders (and give them that nice “cap” that goes so well with sleeveless tops), try this while sitting at your desk: Grasp a heavy dictionary or laptop in front of you with straight arms (don’t lock your elbows); then lift it from the desk to shoulder height, hold for a few seconds, and lower. “Do this for 12 to 15 reps per set, and do two or three sets, three to four times a week,” suggests Tracy York, Los Angeles-based trainer and costar of the video Breakthru Pilates Plus. “If you sit up straight, so your back is unsupported by the chair, you’ll also engage your abdominal muscles.”

For Your Balance and Posture

4. Instant Stabilizer
Next time you’re waiting in line at the bank or grocery store, try this tai chi move to improve your balance, suggests wellness expert Scott Cole. The horse stance: Stand erect with feet parallel and shoulder-distance apart, then breathe in, exhale, slightly bend your knees, and settle down into your body. Focus your attention on a point two inches below your navel, and relax into your breathing for a few minutes. Do this on a daily basis, says Cole, and you will not only feel more balanced during other activities but also stave off joint problems and arthritis that may come with aging.

5. Bend and Snap
Your spine gets very unhappy slumping forward all day. Years of bad posture can lead to an aching back, an unflattering silhouette, and in time, nastier problems like compressed disks. To reverse the curve, Conrad Earnest, PhD, director of the Center for Human Performance at the Cooper Institute in Dallas, suggests standing up, placing your hands on your buttocks as if putting them in your back pockets (thumbs facing out), and then arching back just two inches or so (stretching any farther hyperextends your back; not a good thing). Hold five seconds, release, and repeat two more times. Try this every few hours, says Earnest: You’ll feel better, and your back will be stronger and healthier for the long term.

6. Tummy Tuck
Who better than a professional belly dancer to tell us how to get those abs ready for midriff baring? Rania, creator of the video Cardio Shimmy, says you can do the “belly squeeze” at your desk, in the car, or in front of the TV. Take a deep breath and relax all your abdominal muscles, then exhale and pull them in as hard as you can, holding for several seconds. “Try to feel every muscle squeezing,” says Rania. “This is something bodybuilders do to give their abs more definition. It really works the muscles.” Aim for three sets of eight squeezes a day and you’ll soon see results—and notice, no one said “sit-ups.”

For Your Butt and Legs

7. Glute Squeeze
If fanny spread has begun to seem like an occupational hazard, try this glute squeeze, suggested by Nancy Kennedy of Kennedy & Strom Fitness in Los Angeles: Sit straight in your chair, abdominal muscles tight, and squeeze your buttocks together for three to five counts, release for two, then repeat 15 to 20 times for a set. Try to work in three or four sets a day, and you’ll definitely feel a “tighter, higher tushie” in a month or so, says Kennedy.

8. Mini Leg Lifts
The next time you’re just standing around, grab on to something solid (sink, desk, table) and tone your butt, suggests Lydia Bach, founder of the Lotte Berk Method and creator of its video series. Stand straight with one leg slightly in back of you, two to three inches off the ground, foot flexed. Hold for 15 to 20 breaths, then do 20 to 30 tiny lifts, pausing at the top of each lift for a couple of seconds. Repeat on the other side. If you don’t feel sore the next day, double the number of reps. “This works both the standing and lifting sides,” says Bach. Repeated over time, it’s a good investment, resulting in “high, round assets.”

9. Leg Resistors
Here’s a bargain—three body parts worked out for the price of one exercise, and you can reap the rewards without ever leaving your chair (or airplane seat), according to William J. Kraemer, PhD, professor of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut. To tone your inner thighs (body part number one), sit with your feet about shoulder-width apart, and put your hands on the insides of your knees, palms pushing out. Then slowly try to bring your knees together, providing resistance with your arm muscles (body part number two). Do two sets of ten repetitions (each rep should last three to five seconds), then go for number three, the outer thighs: Start in the same position, but place your hands on the outsides of your knees and try to push your thighs outward against the resistance of your arm muscles. Do two sets of ten reps as before. Repeat at least three times a week (preferably daily) to help develop and tone your thigh and arm muscles.

10. Natural Stairmaster
Walk on your tiptoes when you take the stairs. According to Los Angeles-based trainer Ellen Barrett, featured in the Crunch: Fat Burning Pilates workout video, you’ll tone your calves (“They’ll look lifted,” says Barrett) and coach your body to maintain good posture. “You can’t be on your toes and slump forward at the same time,” says Barrett.

Number Crunching

Behind all the dieting and working out, there is a science of numbers that goes along with staying in shape, losing weight and keeping healthy.  Go through the following set of health calculators and let the numbers help guide you through your lifestyle and workout routine.

Body Mass Index: Your Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult women and men.

Calculate your BMI and compare it to the general categories below:

Underweight = <18.5 span=””>
Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
Overweight = 25-29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

{loadposition BMI}


Body Frame: You can use this calculator to examine your optimal weight.  It is a measurement based on gender, height, and wrist and arm breadth measurements.  In other words, we are all constructed of a certain body type.  Most of us aren’t shaped like supermodels, and when go out to the gym we shouldn’t try to be.

{loadposition BWC}

Belly Off Club: 5 Rules to Fight Flab

Want to join the club? There are five basic principles, designed to amp up your metabolism and help you blast fat.

Each rule has been proven successful time and again by the many men and women who’ve already lost weight–and kept it off. Here are our five easy steps to weight loss, and the science behind each one.

Excerpt from The Belly Off! Diet by Jeff Csatari


Rule #1: Eat Breakfast
Eating breakfast is like putting kindling on the fire of your metabolism. Resolve never to skip the morning meal again—and try to eat something within 90 minutes of waking up.

“Not eating breakfast may reduce your metabolic rate by up to 10 percent,” according to Leslie Bonci, a registered dietitian and director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Dieters often think they are doing themselves a favor by skipping breakfast. But that strategy can actually sabotage weight-loss efforts. When you don’t eat breakfast, you are effectively fasting for 15 to 20 hours, considering you haven’t eaten since dinner and you spent the night sleeping. If you don’t break that fast, your body won’t produce the enzymes needed to metabolize fat to lose weight. Your body slips into starvation mode, hoarding fat in fear of a famine that never comes.

Later in the day, when you are ravenous, you’ll simply open the fridge and stuff your face. Studies show that breakfast skippers tend to replace calories during the day with mindless snacking, and they’re often so hungry that they binge at lunch and dinner.

In a 2008 study, researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University found that women who regularly ate a protein-rich, 600-calorie breakfast lost significantly more weight in 8 months than those who consumed only 300 calories and a quarter of the protein. Turns out, the big breakfast eaters, who lost 40 pounds, had an easier time sticking with the diet even though both groups of women were prescribed about the same number of total daily calories.

Protein at breakfast is clearly important. Another study published in 2008 in the British Journal of Nutrition found that eating extra protein for breakfast leads to feelings of fullness that can last throughout the day. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center and Purdue University, scored the feelings of fullness of nine men who were given normal amounts of protein and extra protein at breakfast, lunch, and dinner or spaced evenly throughout the day.

The men were tested while on a regular diet and then while eating a calorie-restricted diet. The results showed that the men on the calorie-restricted diet had their hunger satisfied longest when they ate extra protein at breakfast. “Our findings suggest that people trying to lose weight should eat more protein for breakfast to help them avoid overeating the rest of the day,” says study author Heather Leidy, MD, of the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Here’s an example of a good high-protein breakfast: Have two scrambled eggs, one or two slices of Canadian bacon, and an 8-ounce glass of low-fat milk. Top that off with a midmorning snack of a cup of yogurt or whole-wheat toast with peanut butter. So eat your eggs, turkey bacon, and whole-wheat toast when you have the time.

When you’re rushed, slather some peanut butter on a banana, eat a protein bar, or roll a slice of deli turkey in a slice of Swiss cheese. Leave a bowl of fruit or bags of trail mix near your front door so you can grab them as you leave.


Rule #2: Exercise Intelligently
Study after study has shown that dieting alone rarely works, and weight loss is impossible to sustain without some exercise. What’s critical is that you fit in three or four Bodyweight Routines per week and two or three workouts of high-intensity interval training.

The combination of muscle-building moves and cardio-enhancing intervals has a powerful effect on belly fat. Skeletal muscle burns more calories than fat does, so it behooves you to add muscle mass. When it comes to cardio training, new research shows that intervals— short bursts of intense exertion interspersed with periods of slower activity—burn fat and improve fitness faster than long, moderate bouts of exercise.

And intervals trigger an afterburn effect similar to that of weight lifting, keeping your body churning through calories long after you’ve hit the showers. In a study by a researcher in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph in Canada, exercisers were asked to ride a stationary bike every other day for 2 weeks. They alternated between 10 sets of 4-minute bursts of riding at 90 percent effort and 2-minute slow-pedaling rest intervals. Researcher Jason Talanian found that the subjects experienced an increase in fat used during the intervals as well as an increase in a muscle enzyme that burns fat.

What’s more, after interval training, the amount of fat the subjects burned in an hour of even moderate pedaling also increased—by 36 percent! So intense intervals had the effect of turbocharging even easy-level exercise.


Rule #3: Eat four to six times a day
Eat three regular meals and one or two smart snacks every day to keep your metabolism stoked. A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that men who ate this frequently were half as likely to become overweight compared with men who ate just three or fewer times daily.

Spacing your calories throughout the day by eating something every 3 hours or so keeps blood sugar levels even and controls the release of insulin that can cause your body to store more calories as fat.

When you eat less frequently or skip meals, your metabolic furnace goes cold, triggering your body’s primal instinct to slow down, conserve energy, and store fat. By contrast, every time you eat, your metabolism speeds up to digest the food.

Your eating schedule might look like this:
10:00 A.M. SNACK
1:00 P.M. LUNCH
4:00 P.M. SNACK
6:30 P.M. DINNER

Whenever possible, prepare your own meals to reduce your need to visit fast-food spots. That way you have better control over ingredients, since fast food tends to be high in calories, carbohydrates, sodium, and fat.

Rule #4: Drop Carbs, Add Protein
It is crucial to eliminate or cut way back on cakes, cookies, candy, soda, fruit juice, white bread, pasta, potatoes, sugary breakfast cereals, and anything that has high-fructose corn syrup in it, such as jarred spaghetti sauce.

All these are fast-absorbing carbohydrates, the foods that spike blood sugar, instigate cravings, and help fat set up residence in the belly region.

Dozens of studies support the case that restricting carbohydrates forces your body to burn fat. If you’re not sure about a product, simply check the ingredient list: Skip those that contain sugar—often listed as sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, or cane syrup—and refined flour, which generally is any flour that doesn’t start with the word “whole” (as in whole wheat).

Recently, a study at the University of California at Davis offered evidence to explain how cutting down on carbs may trigger weight loss. Researchers there found that keeping carbs to less than 40 percent of your total daily calories actually deactivates a gene that produces triglycerides—the blood fats that collect as body fat.

Slow-burning complex carbohydrates are essential to good health. Replace the fast-burning carbs found in highly processed foods in your diet with vegetables and whole fruits, whole-grain bread, brown rice, and whole-wheat pasta. These high-volume foods are rich in fiber, “the best thing you can eat when you are trying to lose weight,” says Gay Riley, a registered dietitian in Dallas.

Fiber binds with other foods to help hustle calories out of the body, and because it slows your rate of digestion, it keeps you feeling full longer and reduces cravings for more food, especially sugary foods.

In addition to fiber, eat some protein and fat with every meal. Fat because it is satiating. It adds satisfying flavor to foods, and it makes you feel as if you ate something substantial. Protein because it is your strongest ally in the war against a big belly. Here are some reasons why:
– Protein makes you feel full quicker and takes about 2 hours longer than carbs to digest, so you won’t get hungry as soon.
– It takes more energy for your body to digest protein than it does for it to digest carbohydrates or fat. “Protein burns hotter than other food sources,” says Mark Hyman, MD, author of Ultrametabolism. So the more protein you eat, the more calories you’ll burn in the process of digestion.
-Protein accelerates muscle growth and speeds your recovery after vigorous exercise by helping to rebuild stressed muscle fibers.

Rule #5: Avoid Alcohol
If you are someone who enjoys a couple of beers or glasses of chardonnay every night, and maybe margaritas on the weekends, cutting out alcohol will give you an enormous head start on shedding pounds and belly fat.

Abstain for a month, and you’ll be convinced. Alcohol stops your body from burning fat, and depending upon what you drink (beer or cocktails made with sugary mixers), that beverage can be loaded with empty carbohydrates. Cutting alcohol of all types for just 4 weeks is the best way to start controlling your sugar intake.

It won’t be forever. Just 4 weeks. You can do it.

Get your BELLY OFF WORKOUT today!



Get Running: Beginners Guide

Plan designed by Amy Dixon – Women’s Health Magazine

Haven’t run since middle school gym? No sweat. This women’s workout plan, designed by fitness guru Amy Dixon, will help you build from a walk to a run. By the end, you’ll be able to run 30 minutes without stopping–and you’ll be showing off a rock hard body under your running shorts.

Do all walking and running at an intensity level that feels challenging but comfortable. Feel free to switch the rest day, but make sure you do one day of rest each week. And don’t forget to stretch after each workout.

The best part? You can print the entire workout plan to take wherever you go.

Week One

One Walk 10 minutes. Next 6 minutes alternate running 1 minute and walking 1 minute. Walk 4 minutes. Stretch.
“Tone Zone” Strength Training.
Walk 10 minutes.
Next 8 minutes alternate running 1 minute and walking 1 minute.
Walk 2 minutes.
“Rock Solid Abs” Strength Training.
Walk 8 minutes. Next 10 minutes alternate running 1 minute and walking 1 minute.
Walk 2 minutes.
Rest Day
Walk 6 minutes.
Next 12 minutes alternate running 2 minutes and walking 2 minutes.
Walk 2 minutes.