Give it 100!

#giveit100 challenge has lifted not only the spirit and self-esteem of LaKeisha Shurn, it has lifted a great significance of weight that Shurn has battled with for most of her life. Give it 100 is a social project where you practice a new skill set or, in Shurn’s case, commit yourself to a challenge for 100 consecutive days.

LaKeisha’s journey started off with her weighing 348lbs. At the 78 day mark she has officially dropped out of the 300 pound club and dropped 2 pants sizes. Follow her highlighted 100 day journey below:

 

Weight Loss Exercises for Your Body Shape

Asithi – BlogHer

 

A while ago I talked about using your measurements to find your body shapeIn this post, I want to talk about the type of exercises to avoid for your body shape.

Exercise for weight loss vs maintenance mode

In most cases the exercise you do for weight loss and for weight maintenance can be different depending on your body shape. For example, if an hourglass is on weight maintenance mode, she can use heavier weights than when she is in weight loss mode.

As a ruler body shape, when I want to lose weight I usually drop about 8-10 pounds with 3 days of intervals for cardio (40 minutes) and 2 days of aerobic weight training (40 minutes) for a 1.5-2 month period without any changes to my diet. But when I am trying to build strength, I often follow a low rep and heavy weight exercise plan such as ChaLean Extreme.

Strength and problem areas for your body shape

If you have not yet determined your body shape, you might want to read my previous post before you continue reading.

Your body shape only determines where your body distributes your weight. One body shape is not better than the other. All of us have strength and problem areas. The goal is to emphasize the strengths and not obsess about the problem areas.

Ruler

Strengths

  • Naturally “thin” if not overweight
  • Do not have to work as hard as the other body shapes to lose weight

Problem areas

  • Excess weight stored in the stomach (which protrude forward rather than get wider) and butt areas
  • Do not have a lot of muscle mass, but have a lot more body fat proportional to your weight (the perfect example of a fat skinny person)
  • Tendency to have bad posture and back pain (hence need to strengthen shoulders, abs, and back).
  • Tend to get gain a lot more weight during menopause than other body shapes (it is due to the low muscle mass ratio for the ruler body shape).
  • Tend to develop bone fractures and osteoporosis as you get older (once gain, it is because the ruler has a low muscle mass ratio)

Hourglass

Strengths

  • Good flexibility
  • Look lighter than actual weight (because of how evenly weight is distributed between the upper and lower body)
  • Naturally strong abs (lucky you. I would love to not have back problems)

Problem areas

  • Back of upper arms
  • Inner and upper thighs
  • Tend to bulk on upper and lower body (not like the Hulk, but enough to be more muscular than most women)

Pear

Strengths

  • Great looking arms (since the least amount of body fat is stored in your arms, a pear body shape can have great arms in a shorter time period with strength training than any other body shapes.)
  • Good flexibility and coordination in your lower body

Problem areas

  • Look heavier than actual weight (because excess weight is distributed mainly to the lower body)
  • Will bulk on the lower body (use only your own body weight for lower body strength exercises!)

Cone

Strengths

  • Great looking legs (since the least amount of body fat is stored in your legs, a cone body shape can have great legs in a shorter time period with strength training than any other body shapes.)

Problem areas

  • Stomach tend to protrude forward like the ruler
  • Potential for back pain because of poor hamstring flexibility
  • Bad posture due to weak abs
  • When overweight, tend to look shorter than you actually are

Weight loss exercises for your body shape

Ruler

Use only your own body weight for abs exercises. High reps, low weights for both upper and lower body for weight loss (low reps and heavy weight ok after losing most of your excess weight). Of the body shapes, a ruler must do strength training on a regular basis to build up their muscle mass (see problems area above for rulers if you skip that part).

Hourglass

High reps, low weights for both upper and lower body.

Pear

Use only your body weight for strength exercises on the lower body (ie. think ballet inspired types of exercises or calisthenics). Low rep and heavy weight for upper body strength exercises after losing most of your excess weight.

Cone

Low rep and heavy weight for lower body strength exercises after losing most of your excess weight. High rep and light weights for upper body strength exercises. Stretching the lower body to increase hamstring flexibility is a must to prevent back pain

Final thoughts about exercising for your body shape

If what you have been exercising for years without any noticeable difference to your body shape, why not give these ideas a try. The worst that can happen is that 2-3 months of fussing with low reps, highs reps, etc and you still look the same. But if it works…

Personally I have always gotten great results from high reps, low weights strength exercises when I am trying to lose weight. But because of my naturally lower muscle mass, I cannot follow my weight loss exercise plan during maintenance mode.  Sometimes it seems like it takes forever for me to gain any muscle.

In addition, I also have a tendency to eat more when I exercise more. Unless there is a goal like my wedding, I usually do not have the discipline to have net negative calorie intake. A break-even is good enough for me.

How to Determine Your Body Shape for the RIGHT excercises

Asithi – BlogHer

 

I like people watching.  Everyone is so different.  But no matter what size they are, people generally have one of the four body shapes:  ruler, hourglass, pear, or cone.  Your body shape is pre-determined genetically and does not change whether you are taller, skinner, or fatter.

Your body shape depends on how your weight is distributed on your frame. You can be overweight and still considered a ruler.  In my early 20s, I mistakenly believe that my body shape is a pear.  I figured that since the bottom half of me is heavier than the top, I must be a pear since I was too big to be a ruler (little did I know that 10 years later I would roll my eyes at that comment while I sit here writing.  Such naiveté is only cute on the young.).

The 4 body shapes and where the weight is distributed

One body shape is not better than the other.  Your body shape only determines where your body distributes your weight.  Your body shape is like the color of your eyes; it is determined by the genetic lottery pool in your genes.  Sure some people might have a preference for blue eyes, but it does not mean there is something wrong if you happen to have hazel or brown eyes.  You just need to make the best of what you are born with.

Ruler

  • Little to no difference in the measurements between your chest, waist, and hips
  • Tend to store excess weight in your midsection
  • Very few curves

Hourglass

  • Significant difference in the measurements between your chest and waist (and hips and waist)
  • Tend to store excess weight in your upper and lower body, but more slender at the waist
  • Curvy

Pear

  • Significant difference in the measurements between your waist and hips (with the measurement on your hips considerably larger).
  • Tend to store excess weight in your hips, thighs, and butt
  • Eyes tend to zero in on the lower half of your body when looking in the mirror

Cone

  • Significant difference in the measurements between your chest and waist (with the measurement on your chest considerably larger).
  • Tend to store excess weight in your back, chest, arms, and stomach
  • Eyes tend to zero in on the upper half of your body when looking in the mirror

Using your measurements to determine your body shape

It is more difficult to determine your body shape when you are overweight.  If you are anything like me, you probably only see your trouble spots.  Many women tend to think they are pears because they naturally have curves in the lower half of their bodies or are focused on the size of their thighs when they are overweight.  Your body shape is not determined by your size or your weight.  It is determined by how your weight is distributed throughout your body.  You can be small breasted and still be considered a cone.  It is the circumference around your chest that counts, not your cup size.

The three measurements you need to take are the circumference around your chest, waist, and hip:

Chest: Place the tape across the middle of your breast or chest and around your back.  Exhale before taking your measurement Waist: Place the tape around your waist, 1-inch above your belly button Hips: Place the tape at the widest spot below your hips but still above your butt

Compare your measurements to the guidelines below to find your body shape (remember it is the proportion that determines your body shape, not the numbers itself):

Ruler

  • All three measurements tend to be relatively close with no significant differences between your chest, waist, and hips
  • Common measurements: 34-30-35, 36-33-37, or 40-36-42 (notice how there is less than a 5-inch difference between any of the measurements)

Hourglass

  • The measurements between the chest and hips are relatively close
  • There is at least a 6-inch difference between your chest /hips and waist.
  • Common measurements:  33-26-33, 36-30,38, 34-28-35, 39-32-38, or 42-35-44 (notice how there is less than 3-inch difference between the chest and hips)

Pear

  • The measurements between the chest and waist are relatively close
  • There is at least a 6-inch difference between your waist and hips
  • Common measurements:  34-30-38, 36-30-44, or 32-28-39

Cone

  • The measurements between the waist and hips are relatively close
  • There is at least a 6-inch difference between your chest and hips
  • Common measurements:  36-32-30, 40-36-33, or 34-30-29

Final Thoughts on Determining Your Body Shape

I used to believe that I am a pear when in reality I am a ruler.  No matter how hard I work my abs, I cannot get that hourglass nip at the waist like my sister.  I need to work with my body shape instead of fighting it.  I can work on my upper body muscles to make my waist look smaller.

Your body shape only defines how the weight is distributed on your body.  You can be overweight and still considered a ruler.  I know when you think of ruler, the automatic image is a thin person.  If you look closely at the measurement guidelines above, an overweight person can be a ruler; their measurements are just proportionally bigger.  How is this information going to help your weight loss goals?  The first step to identifying weight loss exercises for your body is to find your body shape.

12 Tricks to Lose 10 pounds

By: ForbesWomen

 

12 Tricks To Lose 10 Pounds

In anticipation of the summer skin-bearing season, you’ve already tried a new diet and exercise regime or two. Maybe some have even worked–to a point. Here’s how to shed those last pounds safely.

 

Eat Frozen Meals

Many pre-packaged meals are made especially for dieters. More importantly, they are portioned in such a way that controls overeating. This is especially helpful for dieters on the go. Instead of getting takeout, where an average meal can easily top 1,000 calories, the average frozen meal heated in the microwave can save time and about 600 calories.

 

Reset Your Appetite Clock

“People eat in this crescendo: light breakfast. At lunch, they try to be really good. By dinner, all hell breaks loose,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian with the American Dietetic Association. Teach your body to do the opposite. Skip dinner one night, eat a big breakfast the next morning and you will automatically start tapering your meal sizes throughout the day.

 

Only Eat Food On a Plate

“People forget the handful of Hershey’s at the office, the appetizers at the company lunch, the samples at the market,” says Blatner. “If you have a rule to only eat things that come on a plate [or in a bowl], you can bypass those mindless calories.”

 

Cut Calories Quickly with Kettlebells

The American Council on Exercise recently released a study on kettlebells, the trendy cast-iron weight-centered fitness program, that found that participants burned an astonishing 272 calories during a 20-minute workout. And that doesn’t include the calories burned anaerobically. All told, kettlebells helped participants burn about 20 calories a minute, which is equivalent to running a six-minute mile.

 

Stand Up

An average 150-lb. woman can burn 129 calories an hour by simply standing up while talking on the phone. That’s equivalent to cutting the calories in a grilled chicken breast during an average conference call. At home, standing and washing dishes for 20 minutes will cut 55 calories.

 

Add Soda to Alcohol

Summertime is the season to enjoy a refreshing cocktail outdoors. One trick is to add soda to alcoholic drinks. You can cut in half the number of calories in a glass of white wine by just adding spritzer. Another popular low-calorie drink alternative: the michelada, a concoction made of light beer and lime juice.

 

Eat 30 Minutes After Working Out

Eating very quickly after working out will help prepare your body to work out again tomorrow. That way, you won’t be sluggish for the next day’s exercise and can burn more calories. An ideal post-workout snack? Yogurt. It’s relatively low in calories and the protein helps repair muscles, says Blatner. And don’t go for the low-fat version. There is a compound called CLA in milk fat that actually helps you lose more of your own body fat.

 

Break Up Your Workout

Most know that losing weight means doing at least 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week. But less known is the fact that “it doesn’t have to be in one continuous bout,” says Jessica Matthews of the American Council on Exercise. “In three 10-minute blocks, it still works.” Knowing this will also prevent people from running up against the mental block that they don’t have enough time for exercise.

 

Skinny Snacking

Most dieters know that snacking is good. It helps keep us from gorging at dinner time. The most effective snacks at staving off late-day hunger pangs are ones that combine produce and protein. The produce provides both fiber and water, which make you feel full. The protein helps you stay fuller longer. Think: celery and peanut butter, or string cheese and grapes.

 

Add Lemons to Your Water

Many dieters know that dehydration makes people think they are hungry when they are in fact thirsty. Yet, many still don’t get enough water. A trick to getting people to drink more water is to add lemons. People will drink more when the water is flavored. Drinking more is especially important in the afternoons when dehydration combined with eating a light lunch can cause you to overeat at dinner.

 

Take Strong Tea After Meals

Decaffeinated tea is another drink that can both curb dehydration and, in itself, make us feel less hungry. Peppermint or ginger tea–varieties with a lot of flavor–can act like a tooth-brushing. It leaves its own strong flavor that helps you lose your taste for food. When taken right after meals, the liquid will both fill you up and act as that little something sweet that many look for mentally after a meal.

 

Relax

Stress can cause weight gain in multiple ways. It can cause many to eat when they’re emotional–and break their diets. It can also cause gastrointestinal problems, among them, constipation. But relaxing and lessening stress can mean different things to different people, according to Stephanie Smith, PsyD, of the American Psychological Association. So figure out what calms you–anything from watching TV to yoga to taking walks.

The Secret Weight-Loss Weapon: Water? 

Forget the crash diets and ridiculous cleanses-the secret to your weight-loss success may be simpler than you think.

Drinking just two 8-oz glasses of water before each meal can help you consume between 75 and 90 fewer calories per meal, according to a recent clinical trial.

Dr. Brenda Davy, senior author of the study, explained that drinking ordinary water can you fill you up before a meal without adding any calories or sugar to your diet. Sounds simple enough, yet this was the first study to offer up concrete evidence.

All study participants followed a low-calorie diet, but those who drank two cups of water immediately before meals three times a day, lost about five more pounds during a 12-week study than those who didn’t.

While artificially flavored water and protein shakes may look fancier, it’s your ordinary tap water that will really do the trick. To spruce up your water bottle, try adding lemon, lime, or cucumber slices to add a little flavor.

Print It: the Look Better Naked 2-Day Cleanse

By: Women’s Health Magazine

Boozing vs. Losing

Karen Ansel, R.D. – Women’s Health Magazine
Alcohol and your weight have a tricky relationship. So tricky, in fact, that experts have had a tough time nailing down exactly why some women wind up with a beer gut (or butt) while others drink daily and never seem to gain a pound.

Here’s what we know: Your average drink—beer, wine, martini, pick your poison—is usually a combination of carbs, sugar, and ethanol (pure alcohol). When it goes down the hatch, it makes a pit stop at your stomach, where some of the alcohol is absorbed through the lining and into your bloodstream, giving you that initial buzz. The carbs and sugar go the traditional digestive route, while ethanol, a toxin, is diverted to the liver.

This is when that innocent little drink starts messing with your internal fat incinerator. Ethanol has no nutritional value, so your body burns it off first. That means any remaining calories in your stomach—whether they’re from the margarita or the chips and guacamole you had with it—will likely be stored as fat. And the more fattening the foods you eat, the easier the calories are to store. (Bear in mind that research published in Physiology & Behavior found that alcohol makes us focus on immediate pleasure and ignore the consequences, which often results in eating junk food.) Unlike protein and carbs, which require some energy for the body to break down and store, fat can directly deposit itself, so those chips are first in line to be plastered to your thighs.

Still, the situation might not be as bleak as it appears, because the real problem may not be drinking itself, but how often and how hard we hit the bottle.

Prepare to Lose

5 Easy Ways to Lose Weight Fast

 

Call in a support crew

Obesity loves company: Your odds of packing on pounds rise when your friends, family, and even neighbors chunk up. The good news: The reverse also seems to be true. A study in the International Journal of Obesity found that the spouses of dieters enrolled in weight-loss programs also lost flab—without trying. The average loss by matrimony was five pounds in a year, higher in some cases (one woman lost 14 pounds to her husband’s 35). If no one you know is cutting calories, it’s easy to find a diet BFF using a free service like bluepont.com. Download the free software to your cell, enter your preferences and location, and you’ll be alerted when a match is found.

Eyeball ingredients

A 2008 USDA report found that consumers read labels less often today than they did 10 years ago. Other studies have shown that shoppers who do often end up confused—who wouldn’t be, when a tiny bottle of OJ turns out to be 2.5 servings? “Labels can lie,” says Tanya Zuckerbrot, M.S., R.D., author of The F-Factor Diet. Sign up at eBrandAid.com, which lists red-flag ingredients like artificial sweeteners and MSG (recently linked to an increased risk of being overweight). Easier: Swear off any packaged food whose first four ingredients you don’t recognize.

Tweak your sleep schedule

Too many of us treat weight loss like a 9-to-5 job and let loose once we’re off the clock. Last year, an article in the journal Obesity reported that dieters consume more calories from Saturday morning through Sunday night than they do during the week—enough, the study authors estimated, to add up to a nine-pound gain in a year. So what’s the cure for weekend splurges? In a word, routine. “One reason people eat more on the weekends is that they sleep late, miss breakfast, and compensate with a big lunch,” Zuckerbrot says. Set your alarm so you can stick to your weekday routine.

Dust off your stove

To keep the lead out, be a little more like the Iron Chef. A 2008 study in the Review of Agricultural Economics found that going out for a sit-down lunch rings up an average of 184 more calories than brown-bagging it. That number climbs to 227 if you chow on fast food. What’s worse, you probably have no clue how fatty your entree really is: According to recent data from the University of Arkansas, the average diner underestimates each meal by up to 600 calories. Cook at home just three days a week and you could lose a pound a week.

Invent incentives

There’s motivation, and then there’s motivation. A recent study (one we wish we’d taken part in) found that people whose employers paid them for every pound they lost dropped as much as 12 percent more weight than those who received no dough. Boss not ready to fork over cash? Make your own reward. “Put aside cash for every pound you lose,” says licensed psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser of VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club. Use it to treat yourself to a manicure or earmark it for a favorite charity. If moolah doesn’t move you, buy a teeny bikini and hang it on your refrigerator, or print out a photo of a downsized version of yourself at weightview.com.

Curb Your Cravings

Adam Campbell – Women’s Health Magazine

The secret to losing weight for good is to control those stubborn little urges to indulge:

 

Control CravingsSo how do you stop yourself from reaching for that Snickers? By following these seven steps designed to stop 99 percent of cravings before they start–and help you muzzle the 1 percent that never seem to shut up.

7 Ways to Stop Craving Junk Food:

Ramp up your resolve

One reason most diets fail is that long-term goals can be deceptively difficult: When the plan is to watch what you eat for the next six months, chugging one caramel latte with whipped cream seems like a minor slip. To avoid that kind of thinking, commit to eating well for a fixed amount of time that you’re 100 percent confident you can manage, even if it’s just a few days.

“Once you make it to your goal date, start over,” says Mary Vernon, M.D., chair of the board of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians. “This establishes the notion that you can be successful and gives you a chance to notice that eating better makes you feel better, reinforcing your desire to continue.”

 

Find meaningful motivation

If the main purpose of your diet is cosmetic–i.e., to look amazing in boy shorts–you’re unlikely to stick with it for the long haul.

The solution: “Arm yourself with additional motivators,” says Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D., of the University of Connecticut. He suggests keeping a daily journal in which you monitor migraines, heartburn, acne, canker sores, and sleep quality in addition to body measurements and the number on the scale.

“Discovering that your new diet improves the quality of your life and health is powerful motivation,” Volek says.

 

Move on after a mistake

OK, you overindulged. What’s the next step? “Forget about it,” says James Newman, a nutritionist at Tahlequah City Hospital, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, who followed his own advice to shed 300 pounds. (That’s right, three hundred.) “One meal doesn’t define your diet, so don’t assume that you’ve failed or fallen off the wagon,” he says.

Institute a simple rule: Follow any “cheat” meal with at least five healthy meals and snacks. That ensures that you’ll be eating right more than 80 percent of the time.

 

Roll out of bed and into the kitchen

Sure, you’ve heard this advice before. But consider that if you sleep for six to eight hours and then skip breakfast, your body is essentially running on fumes by the time you get to work. And that sends you desperately seeking sugar, which is usually pretty easy to find.

The most convenient foods are typically packed with sugar (doughnuts, lattes) or other quickly digested carbohydrates (McMuffins, cinnamon buns). Which brings us to our next strategy.

 

Restock Your Shelves

How many times have you driven to the store in the middle of the night to satisfy a craving? Probably not nearly as often as you’ve raided the fridge. You’re more likely to give in to a craving when the object you desire is close at hand. So make sure it’s not: Toss the junk food and restock your cupboard and fridge with almonds and other nuts, cheese, fruit and vegetables, and canned tuna, chicken, and salmon. And do the same at work.

“By eliminating snacks that don’t match your diet and providing plenty that do, you’re far less likely to find yourself at the doughnut-shop drive-thru or the vending machine,” says Christopher Mohr, Ph.D., R.D., president of Mohr Results, a fitness and nutrition consulting firm in Louisville, Kentucky.

 

Think like a biochemist

Cookies made with organic cane juice might sound like something your yoga teacher would eat, but they won’t help her fit into her Lycra pants. Junk food by any other name is still junk. Ditto for lots of “health foods” in the granola aisle. “Natural” sweeteners like honey raise blood sugar just like the white stuff.

“If you’re going to eat cookies, accept that you’re deviating from your plan, and then revert to your diet afterward,” Berkowitz says. Kidding yourself will only get you into trouble.

 

Spot hunger imposters

Have a craving for sweets even though you ate just an hour ago? Imagine sitting down to a large, sizzling steak instead. “If you’re truly hungry, the steak will sound good, and you should eat,” says Richard Feinman, Ph.D., a professor of biochemistry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. “If it doesn’t sound good, your brain is playing tricks on you.”

His advice: Change your environment, which can be as easy as stretching at your desk or turning your attention to a different task.

Are your friends a fat influence?

Courtney Rubin – Women’s Health Magazine

 

  • Research shows that your ability to lose weight now hinges on who you hang out with

Chances are, you’ve dined with a friend and had a scenario like this unfold: You start salivating over the idea of ordering linguine carbonara, but tell yourself, Oh, I really shouldn’t. Then your friend requests that very dish before snapping the menu shut and handing it to the waiter. “Make it two,” you say. And there goes your diet.

Friends’ health decisions have a funny way of rubbing off on us. So important is their power that the World Health Organization lists them as a determinant of health, as big a factor as genetics and income level. In fact, understanding how pals shape one another’s health behavior has top billing in Healthy People 2010, the government’s plan for improving national well-being.