You’ve lost the weight…now the hard work really starts

Ok, so you’re down to your goal
weight.  Now, the next and most difficult step is maintaining it.  A
diet is a temporary and goal defined mission; maintaining your weight is an
infinite life style.

Researchers have found that there
are three main ways that help keep the pounds off.

  1. Remind yourself why you need to control your weight
  2. Reward yourself for sticking to a diet and exercise
  3. Regularly exercise with a combination of cardio and
    weight lifting

Planning meals ahead of time is
extremely important to your success with keeping your goal weight. If you’ve
had weight-loss success, you know how important this task is. If you are not
home, do not skip meals or snack from a vending machine. Plan your meals based
on where you’ll be that day.

If traveling, make sure you know
which restaurants have healthy options or pack a cooler so you have what you
need.  Keep it balanced with protein, fat and carbohydrates.

Eat small portions of 6 or 7 meals a
day.  This also maintains blood sugar levels, which curbs hunger and keeps
your metabolism working efficiently.

Reward your efforts when worthy.
Staying healthy takes focus and discipline, but should not be stressful.
Sometimes you just want that scoop of ice cream or piece of cake, right? As
long as you are happy with your progress, go for it. And most importantly,
understand the value of moderation.

Schedule time just for yourself
several days every week. Unless you block off time on your calendar just for
you throughout the week, you may find yourself struggling to find time for
exercise. Workouts should be as much of a routine as your lunch break.

Three weekly strength training and
two to three cardio sessions will help maintain your muscle while burning fat
and keep you healthy.

Surround yourself with healthy
people. If anyone is pulling you down and off track, get them involved in their
own health and nutrition. Get out and meet people who have healthy
interests. Perhaps join a fitness blog. This will support positive choices
and you will get results.

Know what your body can tolerate
without sabotaging your efforts. So enjoy your new body while understanding
what it takes to keep it.

Good luck in your new lifestyle…

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

7 Top Secrets to Get Rid of Stubborn Fat

Dr. Sean Daneshmand has been nominated as a “Top Doctor in San Diego” as published in San Diego Magazine continuously since 2008-2018. 

We know how frustrating it can be trying to get rid of stubborn fat, but there are things you can do to increase fat burning in areas that are known to be tricky – like belly fat, underarms, flanks, butt, etc. If you find that regular exercise and dieting are not enough to get you that perfect figure, try combining several fat-burning methods so your efforts don’t go to waste. Here are 7 top secrets to get rid of stubborn fat:

  • Scan nutrition facts for artificial ingredients

Processed foods are the worst when it comes to gaining weight – or more specifically, trying to get rid of excess weight. Beverages that contain a high amount of processed sugars and artificial sweeteners are just as bad as eating chips and other deep-fried snacks. Some research suggests that artificial sweeteners actually make it more difficult to lose weight and one of the reasons attributed to this is the effect fake sugar has on metabolism. Sweeteners interfere with metabolic function and this can make regular weight methods ineffective, at least when it comes to losing stubborn fat.

Another way that sweeteners mess up our weight loss efforts is by changing the way we use our taste buds; so food that we previously found sweet becomes less tasty because we have been accustomed to highly refined sugars.

  • Drink green tea

Green tea contains high amounts of antioxidants – which your body needs to get rid of toxins and to boost the immune system. Green tea also contains caffeine, which, as you know, improves metabolic function. If you’re looking to swap out fruit juice or your regular beverage for something healthier and more exotic, try green tea – there are many different tastes and combinations, but all of it essentially comes from herbal extracts.

  • Dig into high-protein foods

Eat foods that are rich in proteins, that way, your body can build more muscle and increase energy use. Protein won’t make you gain weight; instead, it will boost your metabolic rate and also act as the fuel that muscles need to stay active and burn fat. To keep your protein levels high, eat more eggs, beans, oats, dairy, white meats, and don’t forget to include healthy fats like avocado and salmon.

  • Boost fiber intake

Fiber is extremely important in weight loss and getting enough of it in your diet can help you bust out of a workout plateau. Soluble fiber improves the digestive process, so eating enough of it means that your body is able to get more nutrients from food, eliminate waste more easily, and reduce the amount of cholesterol in your system. Furthermore, fiber also helps reduce instances of bloating and constipation, both of which occur when the digestive system is disrupted.

Another way that fiber can help you get rid of weight is by suppressing hunger. This happens because fiber is very slow to digest, and that leaves you full for longer. You can get fiber from foods like lentils, pea risotto, or banana-walnut bran muffin.

  • Get your shut-eye

We know that sleep plays a part in weight management but what you may not know is that getting enough quality sleep enables the body to regulate hunger hormones in a way that reduces visceral fat. For the best results, sleep the recommended 7-8 hours every night and keep the room completely dark to improve quality of sleep. Avoid watching TV or using the computer right before bed, and maintain a regular sleeping pattern. In the long term, quality sleep will go a long way in keeping you healthy.

  • Address portion control

Do you pile food on your plate like it’s your last meal on earth? Portion size is a major reason for gaining weight and a lot of times we ignore the size of the food on the plate but it has a big impact on your ability to lose weight. There’s plenty of research that shows how portion size impacts weight loss. According to one UK study about portion size and weight loss, reducing portion size (not what you eat) can lead to reduction of visceral fat by up to 14 percent over a period six weeks.

  • Cut out booze

Alcohol contains a surprisingly high amount of calories. A
beer for instance, will give you  about
150 calories, which, if you consider your own drinking habits, can lead to
weight gain and make that gut almost impossible to get rid of. This is not
healthy calories we’re talking about here; alcohol contains zero nutrients – so
whatever calories you get are packed as fat. The only exception here is wine,
which does boost cardiovascular health.

Cutting out alcohol will improve your results in the gym and
make it possible to lose visceral fat without even changing your current diet. Drop
alcohol from your lifestyle and drink more water instead; and watch as the
weight comes off.

What Is CBD? What You Need to Know About Cannabidiol, its Benefits, and its Safety

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about
cannabidiol — more commonly referred to as CBD or CBD oil. Although technically
discovered in the 1940s, CBD has recently become popular as all kinds of people
tout its benefits. As with any “new” item on the market, having a lot of
information available means there is also a lot of disinformation floating
around. Here’s what you need to know about CBD before making a decision on
whether it’s right for you or your kids.

What Is

To put it succinctly, CBD is one of many
compounds (cannabinoids) present in cannabis
otherwise known as marijuana (or hemp). However, the most important
distinction between CBD and marijuana’s more famous compound — THC — is that
CBD does not have psychotropic effects. In other words, it doesn’t get you
high. So, what does it do then? Well, according
to proponents
, CBD can help people treat and/or manage a
variety of ailments and health concerns (mental and physical). CBD is the
compound, while CBD oil is the end result of extracting CBD and infusing it in
a neutral oil.

For more on the basics of CBD, check out this overview from Remedy Review —
it’ll help to answer additional questions you may have. It’s important to have
all the facts before you or anyone you care for considers using CBD oil.

It Doesn’t Get You High?

No. You’d need enough CBD to fill a bathtub to
give you any psychoactive effects. The most “euphoria” CBD can give you is
similar to what you feel after exercise (a runner’s high). On the other hand,
CBD users report that it is more useful as a relaxant.

Are the Benefits?

The short answer: it depends. The long answer
is that there are plenty of users, researchers, and doctors who will report myriad positive benefits — but
harnessing the power of pure CBD (as opposed to the power of marijuana on the
whole) is new. We are still figuring out its effects.

But as Greatist points out, due to the FDA
approval of a particular medication containing CBD, we know for a fact that it
helps with epilepsy — specifically pediatric epilepsy. The following potential
benefits have been supported anecdotally or in limited research:

  • Anxiety relief
  • Help with depression
  • PTSD management
  • Pain relief
  • Nausea relief
  • Improved skin
  • Heart and brain health
  • Help during substance abuse

Is It

Once again, research into CBD is in a nascent stage (furthermore,
research into marijuana, in general, is hampered by governmental restrictions).
This means we don’t yet know everything there is to know about CBD’s effects.
CBD derivatives are safe enough to gain FDA approval in
some seizure drugs, but that doesn’t mean you can give it to your child. Signs
point to it being safe (the World Health Organization has recently claimed as much), but you
should consult your doctor before using CBD oil on yourself or your children.

Is It legal?

Due to conflicting regulations on the state
and federal levels, this question can be complicated. For the most part, as of
this writing, CBD oil should be fully legal in all US
states except for Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

Marijuana has been used in a medicinal capacity for centuries,
and its recent legalization in many places has made it even more popular. CBD
offers many of the same health benefits without the high. Because of this, many
are hailing it as a “wonder drug” of sorts for people of all ages. While it is
certainly promising, the research is not yet conclusive. Do your own research,
learn as much as you can, and talk to people you trust before making any decisions.

Photo by Rick Proctor on Unsplash

What is your New Year’s Resolution for 2019?

Every year most of us will make a New Year resolution with the best intentions of sticking with them throughout the New Year.  Unfortunately, in most cases, these resolutions quickly fail.  Then when they fail, we feel horrible and tend to beat ourselves up.  Well, there’s no need to do that.  Here are a few bullet points that can help you keep your resolutions this year.

  • Be realistic with your goals: Don’t set yourself up for
    failure.  You are probably not going to go to the gym every day for
    the entire year, or you’re probably not going to lose three dress sizes in
    the next three months.  Instead, set realistic goals.  Start out
    by losing your first 2 pounds the first month, and then 1 pound a month
    thereafter until you’ve reached your goal.  If you look at your goals
    this way, the resolution doesn’t look nearly as big and overwhelming.
  • Think in baby steps: Let’s face it, you’re not going to
    suddenly stop smoking, eating or biting your nails all at once. 
    These bad habits take time to break.  Instead of going “cold turkey”,
    try saying, “I will cut my cigarette smoking in half by February 1st
    or “I will only bite my nails on my right hand for a week, then cut it
    down to four nails, then three, then two”.
  • Offer yourself incentives: Reward yourself when you’ve
    reached that small goal.  So, if you were successful in not having a
    cigarette for a three hours, reward yourself with something you like, like
    a new pair of shoes or a new purse.  It’s important to remember that
    you shouldn’t reward yourself with a cigarette because you didn’t have one
    for three whole hours!  That would be contrary to the goal.
  • Pick a buddy: It’s always fun to work out or diet with
    a friend.  Having a buddy share your goals is always a good support
    system for you and for your buddy.   And words of encouragement
    from your buddy can also be uplifting and positive.
  • Be tough:  Don’t beat yourself up.  Have you
    ever heard of the saying, “two steps forward, one step back”?  If you
    decide to cheat and have that second cookie or piece of cake, it’s
    alright.  Don’t let the bad feeling spiral into a circle of feeling defeated
    and depressed.  Just pick yourself up and say, “ok, I had a little
    slip which is ok and not a big deal”.  Then look forward and get back
    on track.

I hope these pointers have encouraged you to make the right choices.  Good luck and happy New Year’s Resolutions!

Practicing Self-Care During A Job Search

Photo via Pixabay by Free-Photos

Experiencing a change in your job situation can be difficult, to say the least. Many people suffer from depression or sadness after losing a job, regardless of whether it was on their terms. And it’s not unusual to experience stress and anxiety when having to figure out what the next move will be or planning your finances. The process of applying for jobs, setting up interviews, and going through training can be over whelming, so it’s important to learn how to practice self-care during it all. This can mean anything from preparing for interviews to getting in daily exercise in order to reduce stress.

Fortunately, there are any number of ways you can practice self-care. Think about how you can incorporate these practices into your daily routine, and combine them with your preparations for landing your dream job. Taking care of yourself both mentally and physically is the best way to reduce stress during this time, but it can also help you find the perfect gig.

Keep reading for some great tips on how to get started.

Take care of your body

Some people experience a lack of sleep and an inability to eat a well-balanced diet when they’re feeling stressed or anxious, so it’s important to do all you can to prevent this during the job search process. Daily exercise can be hugely beneficial when you’re unable to sleep, helping you feel tired at the end of the day and elevating your mood and ability to cope with anxiety. And eating right can keep you from feeling bad or getting sick, which is why you don’t want to skip meals. Even if you only have something small, it’s important for your body to eat breakfast and lunch every day.

Ask for some help

It can be helpful to get some assistance when it comes to putting together a resume, setting up interviews and keeping your schedule organized, and preparing for interviews. Ask a friend or loved one to help by holding a mock interview at home, or to help you update your resume in order to impress potential employers. Ask for them to be brutally honest so you can lock down the best looking resume and the best interview attitude.

Practice the interview

 It’s important to practice the interviewprocess; this will help you prepare so you’ll be confident while talking to a potential employer, and it can help lower stress and anxiety. Look up some common interview questions and think about what your answers will be. Keep in mind that it’s also a good idea to do a little research on the company so you’ll sound informed during the interview. Find out how long they’ve been around, how many people they employ, and what their company goals are.

Buy some new clothes

New clothing can help boost your confidence, and when it comes to finding things to wear for your interview or new job, it can also help you get into the role and enjoy yourself. Do a little research to figure out what kinds of outfits are best for the job you want — every company is different when it comes to their dress code, after all — and think about what you might want to wear for interviews.  Look online for some great deals, and stick mostly to classic pieces so you’ll get more life out of them.

Practicing self-care during a job search can help you reduce stress and anxiety, which in turn can help you get through the process more smoothly. Talk to your friends and family about how they can help,and make time for yourself every day in order to relax. With a little preparation and some good planning, you can take care of yourself during the search for a new job and prevent stress and burnout.

Girl Power: Easy Ways to Sneak Health and Wellness Into Your Daily Grind

Photo by Pixabay

Women are busy individuals. Whether you are balancing work, family, school, or a combination of the three, your plate always seems to stay full. A packed schedule and laundry list of responsibilities don’t make for a lot of time to focus on your overall wellness, but there are several simple ways you can sneak some health into your daily grind.

Get Plenty of Rest

Sleep is another way your body gets the fuel it needs to power through those busy days. No matter how busy you are, do your best to get on a sleep schedule. Start by honing in on your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, known as your circadian rhythm. Find a bedtime that works for you but also allows you to get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night. If the bedtime you choose is earlier than you’ve been going to bed, slowly ease into it by going to bed 15 minutes earlier until you reach your desired time. Also, make sure your bedroom is set up for optimal sleep by blocking out light, turning the air down to stay cool, and using a sound machine to relax and block out noise. Keep tabs on any pain or discomfort you feel as you try to fall asleep, as it might be time to replace your pillows. There are plenty of options (memory foam, latex, down, etc.) to meet your preferences such as firmness, filling, and ventilation, so shop around online. If it’s been a while since you purchased a new mattress (say, more than five years), now might be the time to replace it as well.

Prep for the Week

We tend to tell ourselves that we are going to try to eat better this week, but when you are in a rush, you opt for the convenience of fast food rather than a nutritious home-cooked meal. To stay on track, use a portion of Sunday to meal prep. Make it less of a headache by creating a grocery list that is sorted by aisles so you don’t waste hours in the store or become tempted to stray from the list. Stock up on fruits, veggies, and protein that you can cut/prepare and freeze. Search for recipes online; there are plenty of nutritious and delicious recipes, including protein bowls, salad jars, and smoothie bags. You can also prepare portion-controlled snacks for the week. These can come in handy when your stomach starts rumbling mid-afternoon, and it can help fight the urge to hit the vending machine for a quick and easy fix.

Fuel Your Body

Eating right requires that you fuel your body, but empty calories are lurking everywhere – even in foods that seem healthy such as fruit juice. What are empty calories? According to Healthline, “When it comes to food, empty means that that food contains little or no essential vitamins or minerals,” so essentially these calories offer no nutritional value. It can be hard to put down the ice cream, but try to reach for foods packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, legumes, and low-fat dairy. If you aren’t sure just how many calories you are consuming and whether you are meeting your daily nutritional goals, download a calorie-counting app such as MyFitnessPal to see a visual representation of your eating habits so that you can make adjustments if needed.

Squeeze in Exercise

You already know how important exercise is, but squeezing it into a busy schedule makes it easier said than done. Try to schedule workout days into your week, whether it is a quick gym session or a walk around the neighborhood. Sneak exercise into your day too by taking the stairs whenever possible, parking in the back of the lot, and making use of every possible moment to get some steps in such as while on the phone, on your lunch break, or between commercials when you are catching up on your favorite show. Also, you can pick up some affordable exercise equipment to help create a small, personal home gym. If it helps, think of exercise as an important meeting that you have to keep.

Life stays busy, but that’s not a reason to let your health fall by the wayside. Find ways to incorporate wellness into your busy schedule. It might take some getting used to, but your body will thank you for it in the long run.

6 Key Metrics of Social Media Marketing

Social media is most certainly a result-providing medium, however it can also consume big chunks of brands’ time and stray their focus away from what matters most.

Plenty of marketers constantly keep an eye on their Facebook followers, engagement on different social media platform and obsess over all sorts of graphs in the insight section, which in itself makes them forget about many important things.

Make sure to have the following in mind when time managing the efforts of your brand because it will certainly impact your effectiveness as a whole with the following social media marketing metrics:

  1. Community Growth

Track your growth monthly and do not obsess over it. Even though growth is important, it is certainly not crucial. Basically, the more social followers you have, the reach grows as well. Enlarging your social base and the community of your brand can assist you in getting your products out there and even conquer ads in effectiveness. Social evidence is also something you want to have in mind because growing social following shows dominance and portrays your brand as favorable. It is worth mentioning that any account with 10,000 followers or above can put links to their stories, which is a major advantage for the brands to market the new product and to get Instagram followers.

Additionally, be aware not to buy followers. People can see through that and you can come across desperate and untrustworthy very quickly. Go slow and steady and enjoy the ride of growth.

  1. Reach

What is the length to which what you are offering goes? What is the true reach of your products? These are questions every social media marketer has on his/her mind at all times. However, did you know that reach is something that spans from how far your posts go, to the amount of people that have just scanned your post briefly? The metric as it is, is not concise and definite in regards to anything.

With that being said, a marketer must ask himself how important reach truly is? It isn’t worth obsessing over it because it is a hybrid of a metric, but nevertheless worth checking once in a while because it might show potential engagement.

  1. Engagement

Speaking of the importance of engagement, it is something that can be defined as the amount of involvement, connection and impact of individuals on the brand. Or said simpler, social media engagement counts the amount of likes, comments and shares on your social media posts.

There is more than one reason that engagement should be your number one focus if you are a smart marketer. Namely, it can provide you with signs of potential progress you can achieve and be of use in your beforehand analysis. For instance, if your Facebook has a vast reach with almost no engagement, that’s not a good sign due to the fact it shows, your content hasn’t been impactful for your followers.

  1. Lead growth

Even though this meta analysis– among which amount of social followers or mentions — can be a relevant sign of the wholesome brand awareness, it gives almost no information about your chances to get specific leads to your page.

Rather than that, take advantage of an attribution program is to point to you whether your social media ads are leading you towards growth. For instance, a program such as Marketo or Convertro will tell you with precision how many social interactions, page clicks or email reads it takes prior to anyone becoming a loyal customer.

This kind of program might even go to the point of precision such as the amount of impact of each action so that you can know what sort of importance every interaction had in the outcome. This data will not merely tell you if your social campaigns are doing okay, it’ll lead you to improving the allocation of your time and marketing energy.

  1. Website visits

Even though the sum amount of reach from Twitter and Facebook are not as much as those from an organic Google search, the Return Visit percentage shows these platforms’ valuable role for your products.

Valuable tools such as Google Analytics give you the opportunity to track website referral traffic from social media, know what percentage of all-around referrals derive from social media, and combine the amount of presence by your visitors. Namely, Visitor Frequency Rate connects views from new and old visitors, two really important groups whose behaviors are truly important for true growth.

  1. Conversion

After getting all of these things done, marketers should continue thinking about how to convert the viewers they have worked so much to attract into loyal customers. The time has come when brands that unnaturally push their product surely lose their costumers rapidly.

Comparing Assisted Social Conversions with Last Click (Direct) Conversions additionally identifies which social networks are doing more for you at bringing your desirable customers, and which ones are the most likely to purchase from you. This tool can do this by conversion goals on Google Analytics. Through this you are able to follow visitors brought via social channels and follow their conversions constantly.