losing weight http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9283/all en-US 14 Reasons You're Bad at Exercising http://www.wisebread.com/14-reasons-youre-bad-at-exercising <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-reasons-youre-bad-at-exercising" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_outside_exercising_000040486270.jpg" alt="Woman realizing why she&#039;s bad at exercising" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Maybe you exercise and you're not seeing the gains you'd hoped to see by now. Or you'd like to exercise, in theory, but putting that into practice is hard. Or maybe you exercise and exercise and exercise and you don't feel like you're getting anywhere.</p> <p>No matter the reason you feel like you're bad at exercising, there are things you can do to improve. Here are some of the top reasons why people struggle.</p> <h2>1. You Don't Have a Goal</h2> <p>There are people out there who can sustain a long-term fitness regimen simply because they want to see a lower number on the scale. Most of us won't keep going, though. Instead, decide you want to get stronger, see defined muscle, run a 5k, whatever.</p> <h2>2. You're Not Eating Enough Protein</h2> <p>Getting enough protein <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20048505">helps your muscles recover</a>. If they can't recover, they won't perform as well. So eat more protein and you will probably get better at exercising.</p> <h2>3. You're Tired</h2> <p>For some people, this is an excuse. But for others, it's legitimate. If you are exhausted, whether from exercise or for other reasons, you won't do well in the gym. Rest, recover, and try again.</p> <h2>4. You're Not Willing to Be Uncomfortable</h2> <p>Exercise means doing something that is uncomfortable. Since most of us don't like discomfort, we can end up avoiding exercise, even when we say we want to do it. Or, we can work out only in ways that are comfortable for us. To improve, you have to become willing to step out of your usual zone.</p> <h2>5. You're Making Comparisons</h2> <p>Most gyms have lots of people inside, and it's easy to get into the habit of comparing yourself to others. This kills your motivation, though, and makes it hard to give your workout routine your all. Look away if you have to, but only compare you to you!</p> <h2>6. You Haven't Found a Workout You Love</h2> <p>Running. Weight machines. The elliptical. Zumba. All of these are vastly different ways to exercise. It's pretty much guaranteed that you won't like every workout routine out there, and you will suck at exercise if you try to make yourself do something you don't enjoy. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-7-exercises-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness">best exercise</a> for you is the one you will do. So try new things until you find something you love!</p> <h2>7. You're Obsessing</h2> <p>How long has it been since your last rest day? Trust me, you won't lose your exercise mojo if you take a day off here or there. And you may find yourself too tired to exercise or too burnt out if you force yourself to go every day. So take a break and do something else. You can always go back tomorrow.</p> <h2>8. You Haven't Committed</h2> <p>On the other hand, you might be bad at exercise because you haven't committed &mdash; to yourself or to a routine. It's easy to play around in the gym, but it's hard to get any results that way. Find something you love and make a plan for sticking with it if you want to get good at exercise.</p> <h2>9. You're Injured</h2> <p>Does something in your exercise routine hurt, so you go slower or you only do that part half-heartedly? An injury can make exercise really, really hard. If you're hurt, see a doctor, or a physical therapist or chiropractor, and take their advice. Fortunately, there's almost always an alternative way to exercise while you heal.</p> <h2>10. You Don't Take Responsibility</h2> <p>Whether or not you take the steps necessary to get good at exercise is up to you. It's not anyone else's fault when you haven't found or committed to a routine that works for you. Sure, there are mitigating factors. But when it comes down to it, you either choose to show up and improve, or you don't.</p> <h2>11. You're Not Willing to Change Your Life</h2> <p>Getting good at exercise involves changing your life. Going to the gym or getting out for a run doesn't just happen magically. You won't become a person who exercises overnight. If you want to be good at exercise, you need to be willing to make time for it, and to become whoever you become when exercise is part of your life</p> <h2>12. You're Bored</h2> <p>Are you stuck in an exercise rut? Feeling like you aren't improving? Maybe you need to try something new. Even if you love the exercise you do, not changing it up now and then can lead to boredom. Do something you've never done before and see if you feel better at exercise.</p> <h2>13. You Don't Know How to Exercise</h2> <p>Maybe you don't go to the gym because those machines intimidate you, or you don't see results because you're not doing it right. Fortunately, most gyms have trainers who can show you how to use equipment, and you can find experts at almost any sport who can help you improve. You don't have to be bad at exercise simply because you don't know how to be good at it.</p> <h2>14. You Feel Self-Conscious</h2> <p>When you're afraid everyone is staring at you, you won't exercise well. If feeling self-conscious makes you bad at exercise, try going to the gym during a down time, taking an intro class, or exercising in a place where people won't be likely to see you. You can also remember that most of the people in an exercise situation are focused on their own routine, not on you.</p> <p><em>What's keeping you from being good at fitness?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-reasons-youre-bad-at-exercising">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-work-out-when-its-hot-outside">5 Ways to Work Out When It&#039;s Hot Outside</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-great-workout-for-free-with-11-simple-moves">Get a Great Workout for Free With 11 Simple Moves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-easy-ways-to-save-on-your-gym-membership">13 Easy Ways to Save on Your Gym Membership</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-a-good-workout-even-with-kids-around">10 Ways to Get a Good Workout... Even With Kids Around</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-avoid-workout-burnout">10 Tricks to Avoid Workout Burnout</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty exercise fitness getting into shape losing weight working out Thu, 20 Aug 2015 21:00:32 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1525738 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Enjoying Cardio http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-trick-yourself-into-enjoying-cardio <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-trick-yourself-into-enjoying-cardio" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_running_workout_000022074336.jpg" alt="Woman tricking herself into enjoying cardio" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you want to live a fit and healthy lifestyle, cardio is a necessary evil. Personally, I hate cardio &mdash; with a passion. But what I hate more is looking in the mirror and not liking the body I see staring back at me. So I run and I sweat and I work hard to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-quick-workouts-you-can-do-during-commercial-breaks">stay in shape</a> &mdash; even if I cheat a little along the way. Pull a page from my book and enhance your own cardio flow with these eight tricks to help you enjoy the burn a little more.</p> <h2>1. Have a Reason for Doing Cardio</h2> <p>First and foremost, you need to have a reason to get on that treadmill or pound the pavement or whatever you do to get that heart rate pumping. &quot;Just because&quot; doesn't cut it, and with no motivation to keep at it, you're almost destined to fail. Give yourself a fighting chance at sticking to your cardio regimen by thinking about <em>why</em> you want to get and stay active. It can be a broad reason like a desire to lose weight (though, a specific number should be the goal), or it can be a short-term goal like conditioning yourself for a race.</p> <p>For my own part, when I decided to take my body back last year after many years of neglect, I set a weight goal &mdash; a specific number &mdash; that I wanted to reach. It took a few months of engaging in cardio activities several days a week, but I finally reached the goal. And then something awesome happened. Once I reached the weight loss goal, I was invigorated with the sense that I can really accomplish my fitness goals if I follow through. I started running farther and longer and harder. I've been committed to my fitness for over a year now and my body has made an amazing transformation. The same thing can happen to you too if you just give yourself a chance.</p> <h2>2. Schedule a Workout Before You Have to Be Somewhere</h2> <p>Pressed for time? That could be the best time to fit in a cardio workout, according to Arial Friedman, an NYC-based fitness trainer and instructor who created a series of online workouts tailored specifically for people always on the go.</p> <p>&quot;Schedule a workout just before you have to be somewhere,&quot; she suggests. &quot;That way, you know you'll have to get it in quick and be done with it. Do it before work, a dinner date, or picking up the kids and the energy you get from your sweat session will carry you through the rest of your day.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Listen to Music to Keep Your Body Moving</h2> <p>Music compels us to get up and dance at parties, so it only makes sense that it helps us keep moving during our cardio workouts. But in this day and age &mdash; with so much technology at our fingertips &mdash; you're experience can be much more fun and dynamic than running that same tired playlist.</p> <p>For instance, Spotify recently added a great feature on its mobile iPhone app geared toward runners that alters the tempo of the music. Using the hardware in smartphones &mdash; like the accelerometer and GPS capability &mdash; to determine pace, Spotify Running creates customized soundtracks to match the tempo at which you're running, which can help you feel more energetic and motivated by moving to the beat.</p> <h2>4. Slow Down, Take a Break, Catch Your Breath</h2> <p>When I first started running, I somehow got it in my head that I wasn't going hard enough if I didn't run the full length of my workout &mdash; however long it was &mdash; without stopping. Now, however, I don't believe that at all, because I never would have built the cardio stamina I have today to run 10 miles (from a very breathy three miles a year ago) without slowing down, taking a break, and catching my breath sometimes. My cardio session wasn't a race, and neither is yours. Push yourself, for sure, but do your cardio at your own pace so you can eventually go that extra mile.</p> <h2>5. Set Goals for Yourself to Achieve</h2> <p>The first point of this post was to have a reason for doing cardio, and that can be anything. But having a reason isn't necessarily a goal &mdash; and you should absolutely set a goal for your cardio. There are several goals you can set, in fact, like time, distance, or a weight goal. It really depends on what you're training for, but no matter what it is, you'll have an easier time staying the course if there's a light at the end of the tunnel you're trying to reach.</p> <h2>6. Pair Your Cardio With a Fitness Tracker</h2> <p>There are plenty of great fitness apps available that you can put on your phone to help keep track of your cardio workouts. Personally, I like MapMyRun because of its ease of use. It allows me to plan a route, and it saves my progress with statistics so I can see where I'm at health-wise. It also tells me my time and distance as I'm running &mdash; a great motivator to run a little harder &mdash; and when I'm finished I can share my accomplishment on social media. Which brings me to my next point&hellip;</p> <h2>7. Share Your Cardio Success on Social Media</h2> <p>MapMyRun and other fitness apps allow you to share your progress and success on social media, but be warned that there's a whole faction of people out there who whine and moan about people who post about their workouts online. Here are a few reasons I don't give a damn about that.</p> <ul> <li>There's no social media bible that tells me what I can and can't post.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can hide or block my posts from your feed if you don't like what I'm sharing.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>I work hard to stay in shape and I want to share it if only to receive those motivating comments and likes.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If I have to see pictures of your babies all day; you can handle shots of my sweaty, glistening, gorgeous abs.</li> </ul> <p>Sharing my cardio success on social media helps me stay active and push harder for another reason &mdash; it holds me accountable for my own success. I post a lot of pictures of my workouts and I take a lot of shirtless selfies, because, well, this is the best body I've ever had in my life and I want to show it off. But I also want to keep at it. I don't want to post pics where I've let myself go, and I don't want anyone to think I have either. Plus, looking at the old pics of my healthy, fit frame remind me of how good it felt to put in that work to get it that way &mdash; so I can get up tomorrow and do it again.</p> <h2>8. Don't Worry About What Anybody Else Thinks</h2> <p>Remember that episode of <em>Friends</em> where Phoebe runs like a maniac through Central Park and it embarrasses Rachel so much that she doesn't want to run with her anymore? Take my advice: Get your cardio on like a Phoebe.</p> <p>&quot;Actors have a term for being able to act realistically even when an audience is watching them: public solitude,&quot; says filmmaking-app developer George Spyros. &quot;It means really committing to the belief that no one is watching you. And you know what? Most of the time at the gym it's the truth. In the best sense, nobody cares what you're doing; they're just struggling to get through their own workouts. So swing your arms over your head, clap your hands, air-drum on an invisible drum set to the beat of your favorite tracks in your headphones. Mouthing song lyrics also keeps you entertained and occupied as well as makes you concentrate on your breathing without thinking about the burn in your lungs or legs.&quot;</p> <p><em>Do you have other ways to cheat on your cardio to make it more enjoyable? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-trick-yourself-into-enjoying-cardio">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-reasons-youre-bad-at-exercising">14 Reasons You&#039;re Bad at Exercising</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-quick-workouts-you-can-do-during-commercial-breaks">9 Quick Workouts You Can Do During Commercial Breaks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-work-out-when-its-hot-outside">5 Ways to Work Out When It&#039;s Hot Outside</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-great-workout-for-free-with-11-simple-moves">Get a Great Workout for Free With 11 Simple Moves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-easy-ways-to-save-on-your-gym-membership">13 Easy Ways to Save on Your Gym Membership</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty cardio exercise getting in shape losing weight working out Wed, 29 Jul 2015 15:00:16 +0000 Mikey Rox 1502207 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Most Calorie-Burning Breakfasts http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-calorie-burning-breakfasts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-most-calorie-burning-breakfasts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/healthy_breakfast_000042961122.jpg" alt="Healthy breakfasts that also burn calories" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but did you know that it can help you <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/lose-weight-eat-breakfast">lose weight</a>, too? Eating a morning meal jump-starts your metabolism, and leads to better eating throughout the day. Making smart breakfast choices can mean even better weight loss, since some foods burn more calories than others.</p> <p>Try the following breakfasts for their weight-loss properties and start your day right. (And don't forget that cup of <a href="http://news.psu.edu/story/310179/2014/04/02/research/research-suggests-green-tea-exercise-boost-weight-loss-health">metabolism-boosting</a> green tea!)</p> <h2>1. Oatmeal With Cinnamon and Walnuts</h2> <p>High-fiber foods like oatmeal have been shown in studies to help people lose weight. Whole grains help you <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/322720-how-many-calories-are-burned-from-eating-fiber/">stay full for longer</a>, leading you to eat less. They help eliminate waste in your body, and they are harder to break down, so your body burns more calories to process them. Steel-cut and rolled oats are best since they contain more fiber than quick-cooking oats. Add cinnamon to your oatmeal for an extra bonus: Cinnamon is lightly sweet, so it adds sweetness without adding calories. It is also believed to aid in metabolizing blood sugar. And nuts add protein and healthy fat for a well-rounded meal.</p> <h2>2. Tofu Fruit Smoothie</h2> <p>Tofu is perfect for a healthy or weight loss diets since it is a <a href="http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/tofu-weight-loss-4504.html">complete, lean protein</a>. A half cup serving of regular tofu provides about 10 grams of protein and is low in calories. Protein keeps you full for longer, keeping hunger (and junk food cravings) at bay. Silken tofu can be surprisingly good for breakfast &mdash; just cube it up and throw it in a blender with some frozen fruit, soy milk, and juice, and you have a filling and tasty smoothie. Add in yogurt, chia seeds, or flax for an extra boost.</p> <h2>3. Low-Fat Yogurt With Berries</h2> <p>The calcium, protein, and vitamin D in low-fat dairy products can <a href="http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-tips/dairy-can-assist-weight-loss-burn-fat">help you lose weight</a> by working in your body to persuade calories to deposit into muscle rather than fat. The calcium found in dairy also helps decrease the level of a vitamin that encourages the growth of fat cells. That's why a bowl of low-fat plain yogurt with berries is a great way to start the day. Plus, the yogurt provides protein and the berries are full of fiber.</p> <h2>4. Almond Butter on Whole Wheat Toast With Banana</h2> <p>For a breakfast that won't let you down before lunchtime, toast some whole wheat bread, slather it with a tablespoon of almond butter, and top with sliced banana. The whole grains in the bread will burn extra calories while you digest, the almond butter provides protein and healthy fat to keep you satisfied, and the banana contains resistant starch. <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15287677">Resistant starch</a> is being studied for its effects on blood sugar, body fat storage, and more, and researchers think it could be useful for weight loss.</p> <h2>5. Omelet With Avocado, Tomato, and Chili</h2> <p>Eggs are an excellent source of protein, which boosts your metabolism. They also contain vitamin B12, which helps to break down and burn fat within the body. Avocado is full of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-zinczenko/8-reasons-avocado-is-a-pe_b_6648104.html">healthy fat</a> that's proven to keep you full for longer, along with boosting your post-meal metabolism. Tomatoes are low-calorie and high-fiber, and chilis contain the red-hot chemical capsaicin. It's what gives hot peppers their bite, and it may help increase energy expenditure after eating, leading to more calories burned. An omelet wraps up all of these calorie-burning ingredients into one healthy and delicious dish.</p> <h2>6. Grapefruit With Whole Grain Cereal and Low Fat Milk</h2> <p>Grapefruits are being studied for their weight loss properties, and may help you <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Eating-Half-Grapefruit-Before-Every-Meal-May-Increase-Weight-Loss-967847">burn more calories</a>. One study showed that participants that ate half of a grapefruit before every meal lost 3.6 pounds more than the participants that didn't eat grapefruit. You may not want to eat grapefruit all day, but starting with a half topped with a drizzle of honey will start you on the right foot. Pair it with a cup of low-sugar, whole grain cereal (look for six grams of sugar or less) for a healthy dose of fiber that'll burn calories while you digest. Topped with high-protein low fat milk, you'll have a complete meal to start the day.</p> <h2>7. Whole Wheat Apple Muffin With Ginger</h2> <p>If you love breakfast pastries like muffins (who doesn't?), bake a batch that will keep you burning calories and fat after you've gobbled it up. Whole wheat takes extra effort for the body to digest, so you'll burn more calories. Add apple for more fiber and nutrients and natural sweetness. Fresh ginger has been shown to help regulate blood sugar and provide energy while adding lots of flavor to your muffins. <a href="http://thatssovegan.blogspot.com/2012/02/whole-wheat-apple-ginger-muffins.html">Whole wheat muffins</a> packed with good stuff are a delicious way to eat a serving of whole grains, and are easy to take on the go.</p> <p><em>What's your delicious, healthful breakfast of choice?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-calorie-burning-breakfasts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/imagine-eating-to-lose-weight-and-save-money">Imagine Eating to Lose Weight (and Save Money)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peanut-butter-the-poor-man-s-protein">Peanut Butter: The Poor Man’s Protein</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-workout-foods-are-actually-worth-the-money">Which Workout Foods Are Actually Worth the Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-grab-and-go-post-workout-breakfasts">15 Grab-and-Go Post-Workout Breakfasts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/need-to-lose-some-weight-put-some-money-on-it">Need To Lose Some Weight? Put Some Money On It!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty breakfast dieting losing weight meals metabolism Mon, 27 Apr 2015 17:00:07 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1397799 at http://www.wisebread.com Which Workout Foods Are Actually Worth the Money? http://www.wisebread.com/which-workout-foods-are-actually-worth-the-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/which-workout-foods-are-actually-worth-the-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_healthy_eating_000058507940.jpg" alt="Woman deciding which workout foods are actually worth the money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So you want to lose weight, or get stronger, or have more energy, or feel better. Well, there's probably a supplement for that. Be it a protein bar, a meal-replacement drink, or a meal supplement, there are a million products out there that claim to help your health.</p> <p>But these products are usually more expensive than plain old food, and almost everyone you talk to will recommend something different. So how do you know what will work for you? How do you know what <em>actually works</em>, period?</p> <p>Well, checking out the list below is a good place to start.</p> <h2>Protein Bars</h2> <p>Why in the world would you want to eat a protein bar? Well, studies show that weightlifters who eat three of these bars a day will gain significantly more <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC539287/?tool=pubmed">lean muscle mass</a> than the ones who don't. So if you're looking to <a href="http://www.eattoperform.com/2015/04/08/real-worldwide-epidemic-not-obesity-paul-nobles/">gain muscle</a> &mdash; as many of us probably should be &mdash; protein bars can probably help.</p> <p>But there are a million types of protein bars out there, even more that claim to be healthy but aren't necessarily focused on protein. How in the world do you choose the ones that will help you and not tank your entire self-improvement project?</p> <p>When it comes to protein bars (or any bars, for that matter), the biggest danger is sugar. Many of these bars, even the ones loaded with good protein, have as <a href="http://www.leanitup.com/review-the-protein-bar-power-rankings-30-popular-bars-torn-apart-and-ranked/">much sugar as a candy bar</a>. While these will taste good, and the protein might help you, no one needs that much added sugar in their lives.</p> <p>You also want a protein bar that contains high quality protein. Some experts recommend <a href="http://www.builtlean.com/2013/05/08/healthy-protein-bar/">whey protein</a>, or a blend of whey and casein. They claim that soy protein is often easier for manufacturers to get and is usually cheaper, but it can be harder for your body to utilize. Studies, however, show that <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15588291">athletes consuming soy protein</a> have muscle mass gains, too. So look for whey, casein, or soy protein, because the best bars will be full of these.</p> <p>When you want to buy a protein bar, the best thing you can do is read the label. Make sure the bar actually focuses on protein, doesn't have too much sugar, and is made from quality ingredients. If you need some help, there are a few websites out there that recommend particular bars or offer a comparison or ranking. If you can find high quality bar that helps you meet your goals, these are definitely worth your money.</p> <h2>Shakes and Drinks</h2> <p>Shakes and drinks can fall into several categories. First, there are the ones focused on delivering protein. These are basically protein bars in a can (or a glass or shaker). As such, they should be examined and purchased based on the parameters outlined above. Avoid sugar and poor quality ingredients, and you're good.</p> <p>Other people use drinks or shakes as meal replacements, often in order to lose weight. Drinking a shake can be easier than eating, especially if you end up skipping meals because you're always on the go. They also provide you a set number of calories, so you don't have to think about calorie-counting or recording detailed data about everything you eat.</p> <p>If you decide to buy some meal replacement beverages, there are some things you should think about:</p> <ul> <li>Sugar. Once again, many of these drinks only taste good because they're full of sugar.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/12/17/meal-replacement-drinks-the-bad-the-worse-and-the-plain-ugly/">Fake ingredients</a>. If eating clean is important to you, most of the drinks on the market won't qualify.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Price. Some meal replacement beverages are very expensive. Unless they offer something that another drink doesn't, avoid these.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Your long term plan. Do you want to buy shakes forever? Will you eventually transition back to food? And how do you plan to not regain weight if you make that transition?</li> </ul> <p>If you decide to look for shakes in order to lose weight, you can get some guidance online regarding which ones might be healthiest for you. Check them out for yourself, though, before you buy a case, to make sure they are worth your money.</p> <h2>Meal Supplements</h2> <p>We talked about the bars and shakes above, but any other meal supplements you choose will be based on your overall health and physical goals. For instance, if improved weightlifting is your goal, you may want to try <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/truth-behind-top-10-dietary-supplements?page=3">creatine or caffeine</a>. If your joints hurt, glucosamine may help you reach your goals. Many doctors recommend vitamin D to almost everyone, because most of us don't get enough.</p> <p>Speaking of your doctor, before you start any supplements, it's a good idea to give him or her a call. Sure, everyone says that, but we say it because it's true. Some supplements can be hard on your kidneys or liver (like creatine), especially if you have a history of problems or tend to be sensitive to supplementation. And if your doctor has concerns about a particular supplement, they may be able to offer you another option that will work better with your body.</p> <p><em>Do you use any of the products mentioned in this article? How do you decide whether they're worth your money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-workout-foods-are-actually-worth-the-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-calorie-burning-breakfasts">The 7 Most Calorie-Burning Breakfasts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/need-to-lose-some-weight-put-some-money-on-it">Need To Lose Some Weight? Put Some Money On It!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/imagine-eating-to-lose-weight-and-save-money">Imagine Eating to Lose Weight (and Save Money)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-reasons-youre-bad-at-exercising">14 Reasons You&#039;re Bad at Exercising</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-great-body-weight-exercises-and-why-you-should-do-them">20 Great Body Weight Exercises (and Why You Should Do Them)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty building muscle dieting losing weight meal supplements protein bars protein shakes Thu, 23 Apr 2015 13:00:08 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1393779 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Revive Your Resolution to Exercise http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-revive-your-resolution-to-exercise <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-revive-your-resolution-to-exercise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5854032059_75396e03d9_z.jpg" alt="bicyclists" title="bicyclists" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The new year is already into its third month, and if you haven't yet lost weight, stopped smoking, eaten more vegetables, exercised regularly, or started to fulfill any other New Year's resolutions by now, chances are it's not going to happen.</p> <p>Unless. Unless you can get over that mental hump that stops you from exercising &mdash; the most common resolution at the beginning of the year as people seek to lose weight and get in shape.</p> <p>How to do it? I&rsquo;ve come up with 10 ways to ensure you exercise, and while not all of them will work for everyone, at least one of these should spur you to get back on the path to exercising if you've fallen off. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-exercise-in-under-5-minutes">15 Ways to Exercise in&nbsp;Under 5 Minutes</a>)</p> <h2>1. Apps</h2> <p>There are enough health and fitness <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/ios-health-fitness/id6013?mt=8" target="_blank">apps</a> in the Apple Store that you could spend a year going through them. One of my favorites, which I discovered at <a href="http://www.medicalinsurance.net/" target="_blank">MedicalInsurance.net</a>, is <a href="http://www.medicalinsurance.net/2013/02/11/new-apps-help-you-stay-healthy/" target="_blank">My Fitness Pal</a>. It helps keep track of what you eat and how much you exercise. I mostly use it to track my meals, and I sync it with the Fitbit app to track how much I exercise. There are plenty of other apps to track diet and exercise, and I'd recommend using free ones at first, such as a free <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/footsteps-pedometer-free/id364911801?mt=8" target="_blank">pedometer</a>, to see if you like it.</p> <h2>2. Pedometer</h2> <p>This is a fun way to measure how many steps you take in a day, and I like to track my progress after a walk or gym workout. I use a <a href="http://www.fitbit.com/home" target="_blank">Fitbit pedometer</a>, which keeps track of how many steps, miles, and stairs I've walked. It also tracks calories burned, which is an incentive to exercise, although too often the Fitbit and My Fitness Pal apps disagree on how many calories I've burned when they sync. From $60 to $100, the Fitbit can either be clipped to a pocket or worn around the wrist.</p> <h2>3. Get a Nudge</h2> <p>It could be a friend urging you on, a spouse encouraging you to go to the gym, or a strong conscience helping to ensure you exercise. An alarm reminder that you set up on your smartphone to tell you that it's time to get moving may be enough incentive. If those nudges don't work, another interesting option is a text message from <a href="https://coachalba.com/" target="_blank">Coach Alba</a>, an adaptive technology that sends users text messages when they have &quot;crucial moments,&quot; says Vince Han, founder and CEO of Coach Alba.</p> <p>Targeted at people who have chronic weight loss problems, the $5 monthly service learns from users' texts when they're most likely to overeat, such as when watching TV or when stressed. It responds with alternatives, such as brushing their teeth or reminding them it's time for a workout. While mostly used to avoid temptations such as late-night snacking, Coach Alba could be used as a nudge to get exercising when food cravings hit.</p> <h2>4. Find Internal Motivation</h2> <p>External motivations such as a goal of losing 10 pounds or running a marathon can be great, but failing to meet them or even meeting them may not help you continue exercising after they've been met or you've given up. Internal motivations will last longer and are more likely to encourage you to exercise, says Ryan Hurst, program director at <a href="http://www.goldmedalbodies.com/" target="_blank">Gold Medal Bodies</a>.</p> <p>Instead of trying to impress other people with an external motivation, an internal motivation could be to become strong and healthy so that you can be there for your children and family as you age, Hurst suggests.</p> <h2>5. Schedule It</h2> <p>If a nudge from a friend or app isn't enough, schedule exercise like you would a meeting or doctor's appointment, recommends <a href="http://go2yas.com/" target="_blank">Kimberly Fowler</a>, the author of a book on yoga. You don't miss a meeting with the boss, forget to pick your kid up at school, or miss dental appointments, so scheduling exercise should make it easier to achieve. Also tell your social networks so that, like the nudges suggestion above, other people will see it on your schedule and encourage you to do it.</p> <h2>6. Find Activities You Enjoy</h2> <p>Going to the gym day after day for the same workout probably won't encourage you to exercise enough, so <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fitness-for-people-who-hate-exercise">find an exercise you enjoy</a>, says <a href="http://www.fitboot.com/" target="_blank">Charla McMillian</a>, a certified strength and conditioning specialist. It could be dancing, jumping, biking, swimming, or playing in the back yard with your children.</p> <h2>7. Determine Immediate Rewards</h2> <p>The long-term rewards of exercise are what too many people focus on &mdash; such as the vague phrase &quot;get healthy&quot; &mdash; and are less likely to get people motivated to exercise daily than immediate rewards such as improving their daily quality of life, says <a href="http://michellesegar.com/" target="_blank">Michelle Segar</a>, a healthy living motivation researcher at the University of Michigan. These can include reduced stress, being in a better mood, and feeling stronger. If you feel good after exercising, that's a good incentive to keep doing it.</p> <h2>8. Recruit Friends</h2> <p>Get a friend to join you, giving both of you motivation. &quot;Working out is more fun with other people, and you're more likely to stick with working out if you're accountable to another person,&quot; says Chris Mosier, a certified personal trainer in New York City.</p> <h2>9. Exercise in the Morning</h2> <p>This is a way to get it out of the way so that it's not something you dread doing later or find the excuse to put off if you've had a rough day at work, Mosier says.</p> <h2>10. Prepare the Night Before</h2> <p>Set your workout clothes out the night before and leave them where you'll see them in the morning, Mosier says. That way, they'll be staring you in the face when you get up, and it will be easier to get dressed and get started.</p> <p>If you can't get back to exercising yet, remember that it's only March and it's not too late to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-for-making-resolutions-stick-in-the-new-year">start fulfilling your resolutions</a>. Let us know which work best for you.</p> <p><em>Have you kept your resolution to get more exercise? How are you staying motivated?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-revive-your-resolution-to-exercise">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-reasons-youre-bad-at-exercising">14 Reasons You&#039;re Bad at Exercising</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-7-exercises-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness">These 7 Exercises Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-doing-these-4-exercises-your-workouts-are-worth-nothing">If You&#039;re Doing These 4 Exercises, Your Workouts Are Worth Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-reasons-to-get-out-of-your-office-chair">25 Reasons to Get Out of Your Office Chair</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-habits-that-are-quietly-making-you-fat-and-have-nothing-to-do-with-eating">7 Habits That Are Quietly Making You Fat (and Have Nothing to Do With Eating)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Personal Development exercise keeping resolutions losing weight workout motivation Mon, 11 Mar 2013 11:24:31 +0000 Aaron Crowe 968711 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Great Body Weight Exercises (and Why You Should Do Them) http://www.wisebread.com/20-great-body-weight-exercises-and-why-you-should-do-them <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-great-body-weight-exercises-and-why-you-should-do-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/7310111452_9c63c33b08_z.jpg" alt="jumping push up" title="jumping push up" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Maybe you'll never find yourself in a &quot;<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106582/" target="_blank">Cliffhanger</a>&quot; kind of moment, but I'd venture to say that being able to lift your own body weight &mdash; whether with your arms, your legs, or your core &mdash; is an important life skill. What better, more basic measure of fitness could there be? The best part of it is that most body weight exercises require little or no equipment of any kind, which means you can practice them anytime, anywhere. That also means most of these exercises come free of charge.</p> <p>Here are 20 great body weight exercises to try &mdash; and some beginner ways to get into them if you aren't quite ready to go full Stalone. Combine a few from each category for a great full-body workout. And if you aren't sure how to do these, click through the links for demos and explanations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-exercise-in-under-5-minutes">15 Ways to Exercise in Under 5 Minutes</a>)</p> <h2>Upper Body</h2> <p>Strengthen your arms, shoulders, chest, and upper back for lifting and pulling (and for looking great in a tanktop).</p> <p><strong>Pull Ups</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/fitness_programs_exercise_library_details.aspx?exerciseid=191#sthash.MRBrNJ4A.dpbs" target="_blank">Pull ups</a> involve hanging from a bar with an overhand grip and pulling yourself on up. It sounds (and looks) intimidating, but pull ups are one of the best upper-body exercises out there. If you can't do even one pull up now, you may assume you'll never get your head over the bar. Not true. Just about anyone can learn to do pull ups if they're willing to take the time to develop all that strength. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlPPfS1KpBc" target="_blank">Ladies</a>, I'm looking at you too.</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips:</em> It's easy to get an inexpensive chin-up bar for your door frame at any fitness shop. Or, you can just walk to your local park, nudge a few kids out of the way, and get going. If you can do one (or even just part of) a pull up, you can start there and do a few sets of one. You can also get a <a href="http://rubberbanditz.com/info-center/pull-up-bands/" target="_blank">rubber strap</a> like those used in Crossfit classes. It'll help give you a boost by taking some weight off.</p> <p><strong>Chin Ups</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/fitness_programs_exercise_library_details.aspx?exerciseid=190#sthash.4tBaGXcJ.dpbs" target="_blank">Chin ups</a> are just like pull ups only you reverse your grip so that your palms are facing toward you, rather than away from you. It's worth doing both pull ups and chin ups because they work different muscles. Many people will find chin ups a little easier because they rely on the biceps, which tend to be stronger.</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips: </em>Same as chin ups. You can use the rubber strap here as well if you need to.</p> <p><strong>Triceps Dips</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/0/159/#sthash.AM9F5RyZ.dpbs" target="_blank">Dips</a> work the triceps (the back of the upper arms), and while there are fancy dip machines at the gym, they're easy to do on the edge of a kitchen chair, or even your coffee table while you're watching TV. To perform this exercise, sit with your back to the edge of a chair, lift your arms behind you and place your arms on the chair. Then bend and straighten your arms to lift and lower yourself.</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips:</em> You can make this easier by bending your knees at a 90-degree angle. As you improve, you can straighten your legs and rest on your heels, or even lift one leg up, increasing the weight on your arms. If you can't go down all the way, do what you can and <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0326dy_-CzM" target="_blank">work to improve</a>.</p> <p><strong>Push Ups</strong></p> <p>You're probably familiar with <a href="http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/fitness_programs_exercise_library_details.aspx?exerciseid=41#sthash.q8jxLkRY.dpbs" target="_blank">push ups</a> from gym class. They're a great way to work your triceps and chest, as well as your core (after all, you're holding it all up!).</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips:</em> If you can't do a full push up with your legs extended, start with your <a href="http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/0/13/#sthash.2dAUATL8.dpbs" target="_blank">knees on the ground</a>. Need to start even easier? Bend your knees to a 90-degree angle (a table-top position), then bend and straighten you arms from there.</p> <p><strong>Medicine Ball Push Ups</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/0/40/#sthash.YDrdSIBp.dpbs" target="_blank">Medicine ball push ups</a> work the triceps a little more than regular push ups and require more core stability, which makes them more difficult, but definitely worthwhile if you're looking for a challenge (and toned arms). You don't need a medicine ball to do these; your kid's soccer ball, volleyball, or even basketball will do just fine. To do this type of push up, get into a push up position and place your hands on the ball with your thumbs touching. Then, start pushing.</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips: </em>As with push ups, you can start this one on your knees as well.</p> <p><strong>Arm Circles</strong></p> <p>Here's another one you probably remember from gym class. Stand with your arms extended out to your sides and then rotate them slowly in a counter-clockwise direction. When you're feeling the burn, change directions and do the same number of rotations on the other side.</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips: </em>This one's pretty accessible for everyone. If you find it too easy, make the sets in each direction longer, or hold a weight (or water bottle) in each hand while you do it.</p> <h2>Lower Body</h2> <p>Thighs, calves, and backside all get a workout here.</p> <p><strong>Walking Lunges</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/0/138/#sthash.vECFUNSz.dpbs" target="_blank">Lunges</a> provide a great leg workout, and you can do them anywhere. To perform this exercise, take a step forward with your right foot and bend it to 90 degrees so that the left knee is close to or touching the floor. Straighten and then step forward with your left leg. Take several steps on each leg, building up the number of lunges you do on each leg as you get stronger.</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips:</em> Most people will be able to do some approximation of this exercise, although you may not be able to bend your front knee to 90 degrees until you get stronger. Just do what you can. If you have poor balance, you may want to do this beside a wall or have a friend close by &mdash; it can be tippy!</p> <p><strong>Calf Raises</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/0/51/#sthash.sBgLzhun.dpbs" target="_blank">Calf raises</a> are as simple as it gets. To work the calves, just hold on to the back of a chair or counter, then stand up your tip-toes. Lower and repeat.</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips: </em>This exercise is very accessible for beginners, but if you want to make it harder, do one leg at a time, or add a barbell, as shown in the link.</p> <p><strong>Wall Sit</strong></p> <p>Because a <a href="http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/0/69/#sthash.vyQ4G3TM.dpbs" target="_blank">wall sit</a> is a static exercise, it can be torture, but you can make a lot of progress in a short time by fitting this exercise in to your day somewhere.</p> <p>To do this, stand a couple of feet from a wall and lean back to allow your back to touch. Then, bend your knees, allowing your back to slide down the wall, until you're &quot;sitting&quot; with your back to wall with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle. Start by holding it for 10-30 seconds and build up from there. If you have a medicine ball, it will make getting into and holding this position easier and more comfortable.</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips:</em> If you're just starting out, you can hold this for a shorter amount of time, or bend your knees at less than a 90-degree angle and work toward bending them more over time.</p> <p><strong>Pistol Squats</strong></p> <p>This exercise sounds like serious business &mdash; and it is. It's a more difficult exercise, so if you can't do lunges or a wall sit, you probably aren't ready for this one (yet!). To do a pistol squat, stand holding your arms straight out in front of you, raise one leg, flexing your foot back, and then lower your body while keeping one leg lifted and extended in front of you. Lift back up and repeat. You can see this exercise in action <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3zbtsZ1zbw" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips: </em>This exercise isn't for true beginners, but if you think you're ready to give it a try, you can use a ballet bar, banister, or counter for support and balance. Working on the flexibility of your calves and Achilles tendon will also make this exercise easier to manage.</p> <p><strong>Step Up</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/0/28/#sthash.RzZsidAa.dpbs" target="_blank">Step ups</a> can be done on stairs, a wooden box, or an aerobics step-up bench. Just make sure that whatever you use is solid and stable. Then, step up on to it with one leg until that leg is straight, lower, and repeat on the other leg.</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips: </em>If the step is lower, it will be easier. To make the exercise harder, increase the height of the step, or hold a dumbbell in each hand.</p> <h2>Core</h2> <p>Core exercises involve much more than just sit ups these days.</p> <p><strong>Plank</strong></p> <p>No, I'm not talking about <a href="http://www.planking.me/" target="_blank">planking</a> &mdash; these <a href="http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/0/32/#sthash.1tED06cK.dpbs" target="_blank">planks</a> take a lot more effort.</p> <p>To do a plank, get into a push up position, then bend your arms so that your forearms (rather than your hands) are resting on the ground. Use your stomach muscles to hold yourself up and prevent your back from sagging. This is called a plank because your back should be as strong and straight as one when you're in it.</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips: </em>If you can hold this even for a few seconds, that's a start! Do a couple of sets and work your way up from there.</p> <p><strong>Side Plank</strong></p> <p>A <a href="http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/0/101/#sthash.dPBkIbEd.dpbs" target="_blank">side plank</a> is similar to a plank, but it works the sides of your abdominals and core, a part of the body that often gets neglected at the gym. To do this exercise, roll to your side and come up on the outside edge of one foot and your elbow. Make sure your hips are lifted off the ground so that you feel your core working. Hold for as long as you can manage!</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips: </em>Just as with plank, if you can hold this for a second or two, don't worry. Start there, do a couple of sets and work your way up to holding for 30 seconds to a minute on each side. You can also try this <a href="http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/0/100/#sthash.ClMOjFVh.dpbs" target="_blank">modified version</a>.</p> <p><strong>Shoulder Bridge</strong></p> <p>Your core isn't just your stomach; it includes your back too, and <a href="http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/0/49/#sthash.l3arSYMD.dpbs" target="_blank">shoulder bridge</a> is designed to work just that. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Place your arms down at your sides, then lift your hips and back off the ground. Hold and repeat.</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips: </em>This is pretty accessible for beginners, although you may have to work on how long you can hold this, how high you can lift yourself, and how many repetitions you can do.</p> <p><strong>Supermans</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/0/9/#sthash.N9jzuJyQ.dpbs" target="_blank">Supermans</a> don't feel like flying, but they'll help you build super-hero strength in your lower back. Lie face down with your legs extended and arms out in front of you. Raise your arms and legs off the ground. You'll look like Superman soaring through the sky, but you'll feel a serious burn in your back.</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips:</em> Lack of strength and flexibility can make it hard from some people to get any height here &mdash; or even get their limbs off the ground. That's OK. Make the attempt to lift them and it will come with time. You can also lift your arms and then lower, followed by your legs.</p> <p><strong>Supine Twist</strong></p> <p>This <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfJWSjnfhh8" target="_blank">supine twist</a> provides a good abdominal workout &mdash; and a nice stretch for your sides and lower back. To do this exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent into your chest and your arms extended in a &quot;T&quot; shape. Then, gradually roll your knees over to the right, allowing them to drop as far they'll go on one side (they may or may not touch the ground). Lift back to center and repeat on the other side.</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips:</em> This will be difficult for those who have limited flexibility in their backs and chest. If you're struggling to roll your legs over, try making small circles over your body first, and then progress to rolling your knees from side to side over time.</p> <p><strong>V-Sit</strong></p> <p>In <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-free-or-cheap-yoga-classes">yoga</a>, this is called <a href="http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/489" target="_blank">boat pose</a>, and it is very hard to keep a placid face while holding it. To do this pose, sit on the ground and balance on the space behind your tailbone. Extend your legs out in front you so that your body forms a V shape. Then extend your arms forward at a 90 degree angle from your body.</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips:</em> In order to do this properly, you have to be strong enough in your core to keep your back from rounding out behind you. If you can't do this with straight legs, bend your knees until you can. If you still can't do it, try it with one or both feet on the floor first.</p> <h2>Full Body Bonus</h2> <p>Put it all together for a serious aerobic burn.</p> <p><strong>Burpees</strong></p> <p>Burpees sound cute, but they are a killer full body exercise. Start in a low squat position with your hands on the floor, then hop your feet back into push up position. Complete a full push up, then hop your feet back into a squat position and jump into the air as high as you can, landing in a squat position. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIQx1FiQt50" target="_blank">Like this</a>. Repeat.</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips: </em>This is a tough exercise, but if you're really struggling, you can skip the push up. And remember, it's fine to start with just one. Everyone starts somewhere.</p> <p><strong>Mountain Climber</strong></p> <p>If you do enough <a href="http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/0/258/#sthash.tIC8HjEt.dpbs" target="_blank">mountain climbers</a>, you'll feel like you've climbed a mountain. Start in a push up position and bring one knee forward under your chest. <a href="http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/fitness_programs_exercise_library_details.aspx?exerciseid=258#sthash.QESHd9aX.dpbs" target="_blank">Jump and switch legs</a>. Repeat.</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips</em>: The goal here is to smoothly switch legs quite quickly. If you can't, do it more slowly, or step instead of hop.</p> <p><strong>Crab Walk</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.shape.com/fitness/25-most-deceiving-exercises-they-tone-more-you-think?page=23" target="_blank">Crab walk</a> looks kinda funny, but it's a great workout for your back and a great stretch for your chest and the front of your shoulders. To do this, sit on the floor and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. Put your hands on the ground behind you with your hands pointing toward your feet. Straighten your arms to lift your body off the ground, making a table-top of the front of your body. Now, try to walk along like a crab (I said it would look funny).</p> <p><em>Beginner Tips:</em> If you aren't ready to scamper along the length of your living room, just work on lifting yourself up and getting some height. Once you're comfortable with that, you'll be ready to take a few steps.</p> <p>Body weight exercises can be very hard, but they're all the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-create-a-great-home-gym">tools you need to stay very fit</a>. And they're so simple and inexpensive, it's easy to fit a few in every day. If you can't lift your body weight yet, don't get discouraged. Muscles grow with stimulation and over time. You just have to ask them to.</p> <p><em>Are body weight exercise part of your workout routine?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-great-body-weight-exercises-and-why-you-should-do-them">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-reasons-youre-bad-at-exercising">14 Reasons You&#039;re Bad at Exercising</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-free-or-cheap-yoga-classes">Where to Find Free or Cheap Yoga Classes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-exercise-in-under-5-minutes">15 Ways to Exercise in Under 5 Minutes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-legit-ways-to-use-the-gym-for-free">8 Legit Ways to Use the Gym for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-cheap-winter-workout-spots">The Best Cheap Winter Workout Spots</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty affordable exercise body weight exercises losing weight Mon, 25 Feb 2013 10:48:33 +0000 Tara Struyk 967944 at http://www.wisebread.com Checking in With Old Goals for the New Year http://www.wisebread.com/checking-in-with-old-goals-for-the-new-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/checking-in-with-old-goals-for-the-new-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6610940949_edb6c5fca6_z.jpg" alt="old resolutions" title="old resolutions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&rsquo;s time to make those New Year's resolutions. But before you start scribbling a list to stick to the fridge, I thought it would be a good idea to check in on last year&rsquo;s goals. I&rsquo;ve chosen eight of the most popular that you&rsquo;ve inevitably broken by now to offer my advice on how to give it another go in 2013 &mdash; and actually follow through. Good luck, and Happy New Year! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-for-making-resolutions-stick-in-the-new-year">4 Tips for Making Resolutions Stick in the New Year</a>)</p> <h2>1. Eat Healthier</h2> <p>We all want to eat healthier, but it can be almost impossible if you don&rsquo;t have a plan. Rising food costs can be prohibitive, for sure, but I find that it&rsquo;s mostly my own busy-ness (and laziness, at times) that contributes to my poor eating habits.</p> <p>In order to stick to a regime of healthy food consumption more often than not, I started creating a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-every-day-a-month-of-frugal-meals">monthly meal calendar</a> using recipes I found online or in magazines. For each day of the workweek, I listed a main course and one or two healthy side dishes. I left the weekends open just in case a weeknight meal was skipped due to an event or other obligation that popped up, and I included one maybe-not-so-good-for-me meal on the list as a reward for sticking to the plan. With this new outlook on healthy eating, I find myself not only making better-for-my-body meals, but I often have healthy leftovers for lunch, and I&rsquo;m saving more money with a rigid grocery list of ingredients than I did without the plan in place. I definitely plan to keep this in place in the New Year, and I encourage you to try this out as well.</p> <h2>2. Quit Smoking</h2> <p>This has been my resolution for many years &mdash; and it will be one of my resolutions again in 2013. In my defense, I&rsquo;m getting closer to completely kicking the habit, I think, because I&rsquo;ve decided to enlist the help of smoking cessation aids like an e-cig and medication. I certainly don&rsquo;t want to replace one habit with another, but if these devices can assist my efforts to quit, I&rsquo;m all for it.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re in the same position, don&rsquo;t beat yourself up about it. You&rsquo;ll quit when you&rsquo;re ready, but there&rsquo;s no harm in trying again on Jan. 1. To get ready, mark your calendar with the date you plan to quit so you can mentally prepare. When that day comes, use whatever you need to use to stay away from the cigarettes &mdash; whether it&rsquo;s a doctor-prescribed medicine, an electronic cigarette, or a support group (or maybe all three). You&rsquo;ll get there soon enough &mdash; just stick with the program.</p> <h2>3. Workout More</h2> <p>One of the ways I was able to stay on track with a workout routine was to shake it up. Early last year, I canceled my gym membership and started buying one- to three-month short-term memberships to local gyms via daily-deal services like Groupon and LivingSocial. It worked. I went to the gym much more often than the previous year, in part because of the urgency of the deals (they expire, after all) and because of the constant change of scenery. The other plus side to my new way of working out is that I save about $40 a month on the short-term memberships than I did paying for the membership for which I was being billed every month.</p> <h2>4. Drink Less</h2> <p>What can I say? I love my vices. It seems that many of us do, in fact, since this is a perennial resolution. I still drink, but I did cut my drinking down in 2012 by limiting the situations that focused on drinking (fewer parties and after-work happy hours) and adding more active-living activities (more time in the gym, concentrating on projects, or cooking and baking) to reduce my desire and available time to pop into my neighborhood watering hole. I also refrained from bringing booze into the house on a regular basis, only picking up wine or beer for a special occasion. Even though I cut back this year, I&rsquo;d like to cut back a little more next year, perhaps setting a goal of only one bottle of wine per week. Fingers crossed.</p> <h2>5. Get Out of Debt/Save Money</h2> <p>Unless money is not a concern of yours, paying down your debt and boosting your savings is probably on your list of resolutions. But to complete a goal, you have to make an achievable one opposed to a lofty one built on a board concept. For instance, my goal this year is to put $500 a month into savings. After I pay all my normal living expenses, this won&rsquo;t always be easy &mdash; which means that I&rsquo;ll have to cut back in some areas &mdash; but it&rsquo;s achievable given my personal income and budget. The trick that I&rsquo;m employing here is in assigning a real number to what I&rsquo;d like to save per month. Just saying that I want to &ldquo;save money&rdquo; makes the goal vulnerable to being broken. Rather, I&rsquo;ll have this number in my head every month so I&rsquo;m more apt to hold myself accountable &mdash; if only so I don&rsquo;t make myself feel guilty for unnecessarily failing because I didn&rsquo;t try hard enough.</p> <h2>6. Learn Something New</h2> <p>This is one of the easiest resolutions you can make &mdash; and it&rsquo;s totally easy to keep, too &mdash; you have all year to accomplish it after all. My goal in this area isn&rsquo;t really <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-new-things-to-do-today">learning something new</a> but rather being better at something I already know &mdash; speaking Spanish. I studied the language for 11 years (it was my minor in college), and I&rsquo;m decent at it, but I&rsquo;m nowhere near the fluent speaker I&rsquo;d like to be. In 2013, I plan to pick up language learning software and brush up on my skills. Perhaps I&rsquo;ll even reward myself at the end of next year with a trip to a Spanish-speaking country. Now that&rsquo;s incentive!</p> <h2>7. Spend More Time With Family</h2> <p>Another easy resolution, I think, if you can put an achievable plan in place. First, however, think about why you feel like you&rsquo;re not spending enough time with your family. Are there obstacles in the way? Are you working too much? Are they too far away? Focus on fixing those problems first, then put a plan in place &mdash; say, allotting one Saturday per month to giving your family your undivided attention or participating in an outside activity with them.</p> <h2>8. Enjoy Life More</h2> <p>To achieve any of your new goals, it&rsquo;s important that you&rsquo;re happy with the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">quality of your life</a>; if there are issues and obstacles preventing you from being happy, work toward removing or remedying these situations. When the worry and frustration is removed, you&rsquo;ll find that you&rsquo;ll have an easier time enjoying life. Of course, that may mean concentrating harder on the other resolutions on your list and seeing them through, but nobody said it would be easy.</p> <p><em>What were some of your resolutions for 2012? Were they a success? How did you achieve them? If you didn&rsquo;t meet your goals, why do you think you failed and how will you approach your new resolutions in 2013? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/checking-in-with-old-goals-for-the-new-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spice-up-the-conversation-by-skipping-what-do-you-do">Spice Up the Conversation by Skipping &quot;What Do You Do?&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-ways-to-be-the-life-of-every-party">Seven Ways to be the Life of Every Party</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-make-a-big-life-change-heres-how">You Can Make a Big Life Change: Here&#039;s How</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/master-your-life-and-stop-self-sabotage-book-review">Master Your Life and Stop Self-Sabotage (Book Review)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Lifestyle acheiving goals losing weight new year's resolutions Mon, 31 Dec 2012 10:48:39 +0000 Mikey Rox 959920 at http://www.wisebread.com Imagine Eating to Lose Weight (and Save Money) http://www.wisebread.com/imagine-eating-to-lose-weight-and-save-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/imagine-eating-to-lose-weight-and-save-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4576688898_2be6c2f9e6_b.jpg" alt="woman eating chocolate" title="woman eating chocolate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ready for what may be the cheapest and least time-consuming weight-loss technique of all time?&nbsp;</p> <p>Imagine eating a lot of a certain food, and you&rsquo;re likely to eat less of it.</p> <p>In a <a href="http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/12/to-eat-less-imagine-eating-more.html">new study</a> published in Science magazine, researchers discovered that when a person visualizes himself eating a lot of a certain food, he will then consume less of it.&nbsp;(See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-steps-to-weight-loss">Small, Cheap Steps to Weight Loss</a>)</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s what the researchers did:</p> <blockquote><p>&ldquo;To investigate, Morewedge and colleagues Young Eun Huh and Joachim Vosgerau fed M&amp;Ms and cheese cubes to 51 undergraduate students. In one experiment, the participants first imagined performing 33 repetitive motions: Half of them imagined eating 30 M&amp;Ms and inserting three quarters into the slot of a laundry machine. The other half envisioned eating three M&amp;Ms and inserting 30 quarters. Then everyone was allowed to eat their fill from a bowl of M&amp;Ms. <em>Those who'd envisioned eating more candy ate about three M&amp;Ms on average (or about 2.2 grams)</em>, whereas the others ate about five M&amp;Ms (or about 4.2 grams), the researchers <a href="http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/330/6010/1530">report</a> in the 10 December issue of Science.&rdquo; (Emphasis added.)</p> </blockquote> <p>This stems from the psychological principle of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habituation">habituation</a>, where there is a decrease in response after repeated exposure to something.</p> <p>So while imagining a food normally makes you crave it, the opposite is true when you specifically visualize eating that food bite by bite until you imagine consuming the entire thing. This is similar to the idea of mindful eating that Michael Pollan writes about in his books <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Defense-Food-Eaters-Manifesto/dp/1594201455"><em>In Defense of Food</em></a>&nbsp;and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/014311638X/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=486539851&amp;pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&amp;pf_rd_t=201&amp;pf_rd_i=1594201455&amp;pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;pf_rd_r=1P3NN5C9F7KP83RWKXS5"><em>Food Rules</em></a>.&nbsp;In describing how to not eat too much he advises:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><p>Pay more, eat less.</p> <p>Eat meals.</p> <p>Do all of your eating at a table.&nbsp;</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t get your fuel from the same place your car does.</p> <p>Try not to eat alone.</p> <p>Consult your gut.</p> </blockquote> <p>All of these ideas encourage conscious eating. That is, actually thinking about and enjoying the food you're eating. This is similar to habituation because you are actively thinking about your food choices, but you're thinking about what you're eating while you're eating it, not before.</p> <p>And besides losing weight, eating less can also help you save money.</p> <p>Let's say you actually use these visualization techniques and successfully eat less food. How much money would you save by eating less?&nbsp;Putting aside health care or other difficult-to-quantify costs, here are some numbers:</p> <p>If you typically spend an average of $350 each month on food and are able to reduce your consumption by 5%, you would save $17.50 each month. This isn't a lot, but say you put this into a 6% investment. In 35 years, this would be a savings of approximately $24,000.</p> <p>So next time you are trying to eat less or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/affordable-inside-tips-from-a-celebrity-personal-trainer">lose weight</a>, instead of spending money on diet programs and books, try visualizing eating your meal before you actually eat it.</p> <p><em>I wonder if this same principle would also apply to personal finance issues such as reducing consumption behaviors like overspending or compulsive shopping. Thoughts?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/imagine-eating-to-lose-weight-and-save-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-calorie-burning-breakfasts">The 7 Most Calorie-Burning Breakfasts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-workout-foods-are-actually-worth-the-money">Which Workout Foods Are Actually Worth the Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/need-to-lose-some-weight-put-some-money-on-it">Need To Lose Some Weight? Put Some Money On It!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-reasons-you-should-eat-more-chocolate">15 Reasons You Should Eat More Chocolate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eat-less-sugar-with-these-10-simple-tricks">Eat Less Sugar With These 10 Simple Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty chocolate dieting losing weight mindfulness Wed, 16 Feb 2011 13:00:19 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 488283 at http://www.wisebread.com Ready-to-Eat Meals for Weight Loss: Can They Fit into Your Food Budget? http://www.wisebread.com/ready-to-eat-meals-for-weight-loss-can-they-fit-into-your-food-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ready-to-eat-meals-for-weight-loss-can-they-fit-into-your-food-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/grocery cart.jpg" alt="Shopping cart with food" title="Shopping cart with food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="180" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As each new year approaches, millions of people resolve to lose weight or get into shape. Gyms, fat camps, and diet programs all experience a surge of new customers during January and February. If you have considered joining a diet program that provides ready-to-eat meals, like Nutrisystem, but thought the costs of the program were too great to justify joining, here's what you need to know.</p> <h3>The Average Cost of Groceries</h3> <p>It's hard to pinpoint how much everyone pays for groceries, because there are a number of factors to consider &mdash; the number of people in your family, the ages of each family member, and any special dietary needs.</p> <p>The <a href="ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/ce/standard/2009/cucomp.txt">U.S. Department of Labor</a> creates an annual Consumer Expenditure Survey, which shows the average amount of money spent by consumers in various types of households, including annual food expenses:</p> <ul> <li>According to 2009 data, a single person spends an average of $4,352 per year or about $84 per week on food. This includes both food eaten at home and food purchased from restaurants or take out facilities.</li> <li>A couple without children spends $6,906 per year, or $132 a week.</li> <li>A couple with children (although it doesn't specify how many children) spends an average of $9,369 per year, or $180 per week.</li> <li>A single parent with children (again, it does not specify number of children) spends an average of $5,348, or $102 per week.</li> </ul> <h3>The Average Cost of Nutrisystem</h3> <p><a href="http://www.nutrisystem.com/nsblog">Nutrisystem</a> (one of the leading weight-loss programs with ready-to-eat meals) costs about $11 a day for the basic four-week (28-day) program. This is equivalent to about $77 per week for the program, but you also need to add in the cost of your fruits and vegetables and additional dairy and/or protein servings. Based on my own experience, I spend at most another $2 per day for additional grocery items (skim milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurt, meats, etc.) with my Nutrisystem meals. (You can read more about my personal Nutrisystem experiences on <a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/blog/Debbie-Dragon">HealthyTheory.com</a>.)</p> <h3>Does Nutrisystem Fit into Your Existing Food Budget?</h3> <p>For a single person on Nutrisystem, this puts your total food bill at $91 a week, ($77 per week for Nutrisystem and $14 per week for the add-on groceries), or $4,732 annually. Compared to the single person's grocery expenses from the U.S. Department of Labor survey, doing Nutrisystem for a year will cost you about $380 more.</p> <p>If you look at Nutrisystem as a temporary solution to losing weight, which will be followed by healthier eating in general (and therefore a lower weekly food budget ongoing), the costs may be easier to justify.</p> <p>It gets a little harder to compare the expenses between Nutrisystem and groceries for households with more than one person and/or households containing children. For example, if a family is spending $180 a week on food before Nutrisystem, they're not likely to immediately start spending $84 a week less (the average amount a single person spends) on groceries simply because one person decides to start Nutrisystem. Most people will buy the same amount of food they've always purchased for their family even when one is eating the majority of their meals through Nutrisystem and supplementing with a few add-on grocery items. This can increase your food budget beyond your means, but for individuals who really want to use Nutrisystem to lose weight, you can make a few minor modifications to work the cost of a ready-to-eat diet program into your budget.</p> <p>With one person eating the majority of his or her meals through the diet program, grocery shopping should involve purchasing smaller quantities of food. When making your grocery list, keep in mind you are feeding one person less while he or she is on Nutrisystem. You can buy smaller packages of meat, less bread, less cereal, less snacks, etc.</p> <p>The family could also help support the individual on the weight loss program by skipping some of the take-out and restaurant meals consumed, which will greatly reduce your weekly food budget.</p> <p>It appears that for many families, a weight-loss program with ready-to-eat meals that cost about $11 per day can fit into your existing food budget &mdash; but it may take a little effort to reduce the food expenses for the rest of the family.</p> <p><em>Disclosure: I received free Nutrisystem meals for review, but the views expressed in this blog post are my own. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debbie-dragon">Debbie Dragon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ready-to-eat-meals-for-weight-loss-can-they-fit-into-your-food-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-diet-trends-that-can-hurt-you">7 Diet Trends That Can Hurt You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-reasons-to-stop-drinking-soda">22 Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-calorie-burning-breakfasts">The 7 Most Calorie-Burning Breakfasts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cheap-girl-s-guide-to-lowering-cholesterol-without-suffering">The Cheap Girl’s Guide to Lowering Cholesterol Without Suffering</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/imagine-eating-to-lose-weight-and-save-money">Imagine Eating to Lose Weight (and Save Money)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty diets food budget frugal diet healthy diet losing weight nutrisystem Fri, 14 Jan 2011 14:00:09 +0000 Debbie Dragon 453190 at http://www.wisebread.com Need To Lose Some Weight? Put Some Money On It! http://www.wisebread.com/need-to-lose-some-weight-put-some-money-on-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/need-to-lose-some-weight-put-some-money-on-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fatboy.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="374" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Recently I wrote about <a href="http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/05/31/incentives-for-me-to-lose-weight/" target="_blank">the incentive my husband gave me to lose some weight</a> . Basically he is willing to forgo half of his entertainment budget if I lose the fat I gained post college. A commenter pointed me at a website called <a href="http://stickk.com/faq.php">stickK.com</a> which lets you put money on your goals, and I thought it was a pretty interesting concept.</p> <p>Basically, <a href="http://stickk.com/faq.php">stickK.com</a> lets you draft up a Commitment Contract with yourself and put money on it. If you fulfill your part of the deal, then the money is returned to you. However, if you fail to deliver on the contract then the money is forfeited to an organization or a person of your choice.</p> <p>To make things more interesting, you can designate the money to a person or an organization you hate with a passion. So if you do not reach your personal goals your foes will benefit. I think this may be more motivating than receiving money.</p> <p>To keep yourself accountable, you could also designate a referee to monitor your progress. If your referee reports that you failed, then your money is forfeited. A good referee would be someone that knows you personally.</p> <p>For example, I could make a contract with myself to lose 15 pounds by the end of the year and stake $1000 on it. Then I could designate the money to my husband&#39;s entertainment fund in case I fail. In order to avoid losing all the money to a gleeful shopping spree for games by my husband, I would probably work harder at losing the weight.</p> <p>I think anyone could implement this with or without stickK, but having a third party does help you from reneging on a promise. Have you ever staked money on completing a goal? Did it work?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/need-to-lose-some-weight-put-some-money-on-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-calorie-burning-breakfasts">The 7 Most Calorie-Burning Breakfasts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-workout-foods-are-actually-worth-the-money">Which Workout Foods Are Actually Worth the Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/imagine-eating-to-lose-weight-and-save-money">Imagine Eating to Lose Weight (and Save Money)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-skills-that-will-be-obsolete-soon">9 Skills That Will Be Obsolete Soon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-dog-is-ruining-your-credit-score">3 Ways Your Dog Is Ruining Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Health and Beauty Lifestyle Productivity dieting goals Living losing weight stickk Wed, 04 Jun 2008 01:22:33 +0000 Xin Lu 2144 at http://www.wisebread.com