Saturday, June 28, 2008

Daily Weight Loss Tip

Drink hot water. Drinking hot water as appose to cold water can increase the speed of your metabolism and burn more calories.


Friday, June 27, 2008

69 Percent of Women Trying to Lose Weight Don’t Work Out

According to the CDC via

When you’re on a mission to lose weight, slashing calories can help in the short term. But new research shows adding physical activity to the mix is what peels away the most stubborn pounds (think belly fat) and keeps them off for good. Those who don’t exercise regularly (69 percent of women trying to lose weight don’t work out, according to the CDC) risk a rebound.

Dieting without exercise can’t zap the fat.
Exercise is just as important as diet if you want to lose belly fat. This isthe kind of fat that’s associated with metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and diabetes. Researchers found that obese women who dieted for five month without exercise had no changes in abdominal-fat cell size, while those who combined exercise with diet saw their fat cells shrink by about 17 percent. So a dieter who exercises often have smaller fat cells and a lower risk of heart disease.

Exercisers stay slimmer.
Active people have an easier time maintaining their results over time. In fact, exercise without a diet plan is more effective for managing weight. For optimum results you should incorporate both a diet and an exercise plan into your lifestyle.
This is just sad, ladies. I think if we've beat any topic over the head enough on this blog it is the importance of exercise. The belief that diet is great but if you aren't moving then you aren't really doing anything. To get the body you want and to be healthy you're going to have to sweat. The article also points out that exercise alone is a more effective method of weight loss than simply dieting. You get that? So yes, continue with the healthy eating but Move That Body!

Related Posts
Don't Forget the Weights
90 Minutes a Day Will Keep the Fat Away
Do What You Love

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Daily Weight Loss Tip

Don't skip meals. Eating small frequent meals help to balance your calorie intake throughout the day and also keeps your blood sugar level balanced. Instead of eating 3 big meals, try to eat 5 - 6 smaller meals throughout the day.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Daily Weight Loss Tip

Stay focused on being healthy not on becoming thin. Many people become more successful at long term weight loss when their motivation changes from wanting to be thinner to wanting to be healthier. Change your mindset to think about selecting foods that will help your body's health rather than worrying about foods that will affect your body's weight.


Monday, June 16, 2008

My Workout Playlist

Since I write about music over on my blog, Songs In The Key of Life, it's only fitting that I share one of my workout playlists that I use when I'm moving my body. Gotta have a soundtrack!

  • Dance for Me, Mary J. Blige
  • Naughty Girl, Beyonce
  • Real Love, Mary J. Blige
  • Pon de Replay, Rihanna
  • Don't Stop Til You Get Enough, Michael Jackson
  • Touch It, Busta Rhymes
  • Bad Girl, Usher
  • Dancing In September, Earth Wind and Fire
  • Just Fine, Mary J. Blige
  • Get Me Bodied, Beyonce
  • Ring The Alarm, Beyonce
  • She Wants to Move, NERD
This is one of my many that I have created. I'll share more in the future. Tell me what's on yours in the comments.

Vivrant Thang blogs about live, love and music over at Songs In The Key Of Life.

Move That Body!

Never let the music make you feel lazy
Get on the dance floor, feelin' that backbeat
You never had it so good, you never had it so sweet
Raise your hands up in the air
Shake your derriere like you just don't care
Rockin', rollin', doin' it steady
I do believe y'all are ready to move that body
Move that body, baby

-Technotronic "Move That Body"

B. Good over at She's Opinionated got me thinking with this comment on one of her Weight Watchers Wednesday posts. So far she's lost over forty pounds and counting but knows she has to move her body in order to keep the scale going down.

I hate gyming. I actually have plenty of time to do it, but I still don’t go. And I have this thing about sweating. I hate to do it. So I have to find ways to absentmindedly move my body, so I don’t realize that I’m “working out” and burning calories.

B is not alone. A lot of women feel the same way for various reasons. Big box gyms can be such meat markets. Sweat and permed hair are not a perfect combination. Who has the time? The machines can be so boring.

Over the years, I've given all these excuses and more for not moving my body. However, I realized that the key was to find something that didn't feel like a chore. I had to think of it as my personal time where I was doing something that was good for me...but also something I actually enjoyed.

I started out swimming laps. I've always been in love with the water, learning to swim at an early age. By the time I had my surgery, I had gone natural so I didn't have my hair to worry about.

I walked - but not on a stationary treadmill or around and around an endless track. I walked through the woods and around bodies of water - anywhere scenic. I made an exercise playlist on my IPOD and I moved my body to the music.

I knew the key was not to let my body get used to any one exercise. I had to use different muscle groups. I had to keep myself from getting bored. Here's some of the things I tried:

  • Jazzercise: a 60-minute class incorporating cardio, strength, and stretch moves for a total body workout. We’ve taken moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, kick-boxing, and resistance training and bundled them into one hour. All ages, levels, and sizes welcome. I've tried this once or twice and it's quite a workout. You can find it hard to keep up at the beginning but they do offer a very good tutorial on the site to help you learn the core moves before you attend the first class.

  • Strip Aerobics: This is probably one of the best workouts I've ever had. I leave every class exhausted and sore for days afterwards. I prefer the floor/chair class so I've never done the pole workout. I've seen women of all sizes doing both classes. I find that you tend to bond with the other women in the class as you struggle through! It's a fun struggle though...if that makes sense.

  • Bellydancing: This is also another form of exercise I've only tried a few times. I never could figure out how to isolate my movements. I think I'm going to try again though because I find it such a sensual form of exercise and it's great for the abs - definitely my problem area.

I'm also interested in trying hand dancing and a hip hop dance class in the near future.

What alternative, fun ways are you finding to move your body?

Vivrant Thang blogs about live, love and music over at Songs In The Key Of Life.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Don't Forget the Weights

So often women workout and they forget about strength training. While aerobic exercise is important, as it helps strengthen your heart, weight training is just important...especially for women. As we age we lose bone mass. Too much loss of bone mass can lead to osteoporosis. From Black Women's Health:

Women typically lose 25% of their bone mass by age 70, putting us at risk for fractures. Strength training has been shown to actually thicken the bones in the fracture-vulnerable spine and hips. It also increases overall physical strength and balance, greatly reducing the chance of devastating falls.

So weight training isn't just about looking good but about being healthy and strong in your older years. A solid strength training routine 2 - 3 times a week is enough to keep you healthy and strong (and fit) for years to come. Black Women's Health goes on to offer some tips on how to strengthen your bones:

  • Exercise. Start a moderate strength training program on a regular basis.

  • Get your Calcium and Vitamin D. You need both to build and maintain bones.

  • Eat a Balanced, Varied Diet.

  • Don't Get Too Thin. Being significantly underweight can accelerate loss of bone density, even in younger women.

  • Don't Smoke.

  • Limit Your Alcohol Intake.

  • Know Your Relative Risk. If you have a relative with osteoporosis or its symptoms (hunched back, loss of height, easily broken bones), ask your doctor to evaluate your risk and give you information on other treatment options, if necessary.

  • Be Aware of medical Conditions and medications that can affect your bone density such as thyroid disease or the use of corticosteroids (often used for asthma and other medical conditions).

  • At Menopause, bone density may decline very rapidly.

So remember to keep fit, healthy and strong add those weights to your regular workout. Your body will love you for it and you'll love the results.

Today is a new day, so what are you waiting for.

Daily Weight Loss Tip

Eat breakfast daily. You would have gone hours without eating since the previous night, hence eating breakfast would not decrease your tendency to overeat later during the day.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Big Butts = Good Health?

Well, all (big butt) black women should be jumping for joy on this one. According to a recent study butt fat is not only not a health risk but it good be good for you. Hell, if that's the case I should be the healthiest person on the planet. LOL From the BBC:

Body fat found under the skin - and particularly on the buttocks - may help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, research suggests.

The study contrasts this subcutaneous fat with visceral fat, which is wrapped around the organs, and raises the risk of ill health.

It is thought subcutaneous fat may produce hormones known as adipokines which boost the metabolism.

Daily Weight Loss Tip

Eat More Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains. People who eat healthy, mostly unprocessed foods, including fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and limited amounts of lean animal protein, often find that they can eat as much as they want without gaining weight. If they are switching from a diet containing lots of processed foods, they find that they can eat more yet consume fewer calories -- and they lose weight.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Yoga and Pilates Do a Body Good

Well, it’s not just the holistic hippie types that recognize the benefits of Pilates and yoga (and a good home cooked meal); apparently big brawny football players can appreciate the disciplines as well. Linebacker Calvin Pace, formerly of the Arizona Cardinals and now of the New York Jets, said it was these, “little things," that convinced him to sign with the Jets. Really?

So, it wasn’t the helicopter ride to the training facility or the 42 million dollar contract that they offered and he signed? Well, whatever the reason, we’re happy for Pace. Maybe he read recent studies showing how yoga prevents wrinkles and acts as a fountain of youth; or perhaps he recognizes a good Pilates workout can stretch out his overworked and abused body after a tough game. Perhaps, but I’ll put my money on the 42 million, with the yoga and Pilates being the icing on top.

Yoga, Pilates and free food set Jets apart
Use Yoga to Stop the Clock

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Thick vs. Fat: A Black Man's Take

So here is one brother's take on Thick vs. Fat in the Black community. This one should spark some chatter. Discuss:

I remember in the late 1980’s when Black men first started using the word “thick” to define a woman with ample bottom and/or breasts. We knew what we were describing and it was more about T & A than the result of too many Twinkies, Ho-Hos, Moo-Moos and Cow-Cows.

We also knew that “healthy” was a term reserved for women with a little meat on their bones. They really were considered healthy because they ate regular meals (that they often cooked at home) and had beautiful bountiful bodies to show for it. They were proportionate and anything but obese.

But I remember that the term “thick” was co-opted in the 1990’s by overweight women who wanted to redefine America’s view of women (particularly the ones on the heavy side), and change the way overweight women viewed themselves.

Now, I’m all for people looking for ways to feel good about themselves, but if it is not based on reality and is actually inadvertently promoting and celebrating an unhealthy lifestyle, then it’s not a good thing.

Since the big girls dig brothers like me, some have been aggressive and when rebuffed (even though done politely), they often claim that I’m not a “real” Black man. After all, “real” Black men like big girls.


Not really.

“Real” Black men like a variety of women, because “real” Black men come in a variety themselves. Some of us do like the big girls, but some of us like the ladies who have little body fat, except where it counts.

Most of us probably know at least one or two Black men who like the big girls.

And, all across the nation, clubs specifically for big girls and the men who love them are popping up on the landscape.

So that means that being a big girl is a good thing.



Now, here’s where I get to use the phrase “never trust a big butt and a smile.”

While some big girls have co-opted the word “healthy” to denote a woman with largess, the redefinition of fat has gone too far.

It’s going too far to co-opt terms such as “healthy” to describe people who are, in reality, far from healthy.

Read the rest of the article. It's well worth it. Overall I think he does a good job of addressing the issue without coming off sounding condescending. And the whole "thick" phenomenon needs addressing. And I will get to that, but right now I'd like to here what folk have to say about what this Brother is addressing.

Daily Weight Loss Tip

Water is Key. Switch to water first thing in the morning instead of fruit juice. Fruit juice is high in sugar. Since most of us are dehydrated in the morning, water's the best thing to do the trick anyway.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Daily Weight Loss Tip

Substitution. Learn how to make over family favourite recipes by cutting out fats, salt and sugar. Substitute non fat yoghurt for cream, stir fry minus oil and use herbs and spices instead of salt for flavour.


Drug Resistant Cancer, Threat to Black Women

We've really gotta start taking better care of ourselves:

Black women are more likely to have diabetes, hypertension and certain forms of breast cancer than the general community. Yet many are reluctant to seek early treatment.

African-American women in general don't get the appropriate care they need," says Shonda Perry, a physician at St. Joseph's Women's Hospital. "Many don't have access to care, they fear going to a physician. There are so many obstacles they face."

Although a higher percentage of white women are diagnosed with breast cancer, black women have a higher death rate, Baker says. Black women also tend to be diagnosed later than white women.

"That's partially because of how late we wait to seek out treatment and some early detection methods," Baker says. "Lack of information and knowledge, lack of access, transportation issues, there's a multitude of issues that contribute to late diagnosis."

Baker also will shed light on a form of breast cancer unique to black women called "triple negative." The cancer is a triple threat because it strikes early, it's resistant to standard drug treatments and it's more likely to kill.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Diet Mondays: Incorporate Exercise With the Atkins Diet

I'm sure all of you are familiar with The Atkins Diet by now. If not, here's a primer. What I have noticed however, is that many folks on The Atkins Diet, aren't exercising. Because the diet lends itself to such rapid weight loss, I think folk believe that they don't have to work out. Which, as I've noted on this blog in the past, is not the best decision. So, if you're on The Atkins Diet here are a few tips adding some exercise to the diet:

Go Slow During Induction
During the Induction phase of the Atkins diet you are severely limiting your carbohydrate intake. The change in carbs forces your body to burn fat as its primary source of energy. Since your body is used to using carbs as its primary source of energy exercise during induction can be difficult. The lack of carbs means your body doesn’t have the energy source its used to having to help you burn calories and sustain your energy levels during your workout. This phase of the Atkins diet is known for experiencing side effects such as fatigue, light-headedness and headaches.

Exercise during the induction phase of Atkins can make these systems worse; so keep the exercise to a bare minimum during the first two weeks of the diet. Light walking and other low impact exercise for no more than thirty minutes a day, are your best options for the Induction phase of the Atkins diet.

Add More Exercise as You Add Carbs
The best part of incorporating exercise into the Atkins diet is the more you exercise the more carbohydrates you get to eat. Exercise allows your body to better process the carbohydrates you consume so they don’t have a drastic affect on your blood sugar levels as they do for those who don’t exercise at all or very little.

Dr. Atkins diet plan allows for people who are very active to consume considerable more grams of carbohydrates a day than those who exercise moderately or lead sedentary lives. By Atkins standards a person who is active is described as someone who gets at least 45 minutes a day of vigorous exercise at least five times a week. The extra grams of carbs per day should act as an incentive for you to add more exercise to your diet regime. As you more through the latter stages of the Atkins diet try adding jogging, running, power walking or other high impact workouts to your exercise regime.

Don’t Forget the Weights
While aerobic exercise will make your heart healthy weight training will tone your body, making you look leaner and, as you gain more muscle, burn more fat. Working out with weights will replace the fat you lose with muscles and because you’re more active and in better shape, allow you to consume more carbohydrates on the Atkins diet. You can add weight training to your workouts as you move through the later stages of the Atkins Diet but by Lifetime Maintenance weight training should be a regular part of your routine as it will not only help you lose the weight but will aid in you keeping the weight off.