The most difficult areas of the body to lose fat are the belly and the hips. It is important to remember there are no “quick fix” solutions to getting rid of the fat in these locations. Rather, it takes a little bit of patience and persistence to lose fat and build muscle. In addition, it requires following a balanced routine of targeted strength building exercises, a healthy diet, and cardiovascular exercises. Combined, these three are the most effective ways to get rid of that unwanted fat on the hips and belly.
Strength building exercises are essential to build muscle and lose fat. Simply dieting to lose weight is not effective. Instead of losing fat, what occurs is a loss to muscle mass. While your scale might indicate the pounds are going away, it is most likely the result of less muscle, not less fat. Additionally, you should never use a scale as your sole method of measuring your progress, because muscle tissue weighs more than fat tissue. Use a tape measure to measure your belly and hips on a weekly basis, as the measurements will give you a better picture of your progress.
Exercises need to target specific core regions. It is equally important to strengthen both the front and back muscle groups. Five strengthening exercises that will help include:
- Push-ups: Use a chair or other stationary object and do pushups at an angle rather than flat on the floor.
- Sit Ups (Ab Crunches): Have someone hold your feet or put your feet under the sofa. You may also use a workout bench and lay on your back and do sit ups this way.
- Leg Lifts: Standing in an upright position, lift the legs upwards while bending at the knee, and raise the leg as high as you can unassisted.
- Step Ups and Downs: Use a flight of stairs in the home. Step up one stair, then down one, then up two, and, then down two, etc.
- Low Back Pull Ups: The lower back requires strengthening, too, as you lose belly and hip fat. Lean over a weight bench seat in an angled position at the waist, cross your arms over your chest, and pull yourself upright.
Avoid over exerting yourself too quickly. It is better to do one or two sets of each exercise, and then move on to the next one. As you become stronger, you can increase the number of sets.
Exercising should not be done on a daily basis. The muscles need time to rest. It is suggested to do exercises two or three times a week, every other day. On the off days, focus on cardiovascular training, like walking or jogging. Lastly, no regimen would be complete without the proper diet. Ideally, you should eat five to seven small meals and snacks throughout the day. For snacks, try nutrition bars, since they have vitamins, minerals, and protein your body needs.
For assistance in finding the best workout bars, feel free to contact Promax Nutrition today.
Did you know that the adult human body is made up of 55 to 60% water? Drinking water daily is vital to your health for a number of reasons. Water keeps your digestive system flowing and helps your kidneys eliminate toxins. People who drink 8 cups of water every day are less susceptible to disease, including several forms of cancer. Drinking water also helps you lose weight by curbing your appetite.
Water is especially important for athletes to keep their muscles hydrated and lean so they can achieve peak performance. You can prevent muscle fatigue by staying adequately hydrated. That’s why you will often see top athletes drinking water at major sporting events.
Your skin needs water in order to protect it from exposure to dry environments so that you can look your best. Please see the infographic below for more information about the benefits of drinking 8 glasses of water every day.
For many, the hardest part of shedding excess pounds is staying satiated between meals. When actively trying to lose weight, it’s best to eat foods that contain a mix of fiber, protein, and healthy fat to slow down digestion and absorption, to keep you full longer and without blood sugar spikes. Here are five nutrient-dense foods, like healthy energy bars or sweet potatoes, to incorporate into your diet:
Adding more sweet potatoes to your diet can help curb your appetite by providing a healthy dose of fibrous carbohydrates. This root vegetable is loaded with vitamins A, C, and E, yet low in calories. Sweet potatoes also contain potassium, iron, magnesium, and beta carotene to help nourish your body. Try drizzling baked sweet potatoes with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt for a great side to chicken or fish.
Apples and Pears
Both fruits make a satisfyingly sweet snack that can also help you lose weight. A single piece of fruit contains less than 150 calories and plenty of fiber, plus helpful compounds like polyphenols to promote growth of friendly intestinal bacteria. Increasing levels of good bacteria help fight bad bacteria in the gut, restoring microbial balance. In the long run, a balanced digestive tract can reduce chronic inflammation throughout the entire body, and help counteract the risk of obesity and diabetes.
Incredibly high in fiber, beans are slow to digest and keep you feeling fuller, longer. Beans are very inexpensive, as well – especially when sold by the pound – and are incredibly versatile. Try a sweet potato loaded with black beans and salsa for a filling lunch, or puree white beans and garlic to make a delicious dip for raw veggies.
Like fruit, almonds are a great on-the-go snack. They’re a high-calorie and high-protein food, so a small handful is all you need per serving. In addition to containing fiber and healthy fats, almonds also have vitamin E to help promote healthy skin, hair, and nails. Pack a bag of almonds in your gym duffle, or grab some in between meetings to keep hunger pangs at bay.
This creamy fruit has a reputation for being high in fat, but weight-loss seekers need not fear. Avocados are a primary source of heart-healthy monosaturated fat. Plant-based fatty acids like those found in avocados have anti-inflammatory benefits that can help arthritis symptoms and lower the risk of heart disease. Similar to olive oil, another good fat, avocado increases absorption of soluble nutrients and can make almost any meal more filling. Avocado tastes great as a topping for salads, or mixed into a side like quinoa or rice medleys. You can also use avocado as a tasty substitute for mayo on a sandwich or wrap.
If you’re looking for foods that will keep you powered for a workout, as well as satiated between meals, try a protein bar from Promax. Our great-tasting bars are lower in sugar, yet high in fiber and protein, to contribute to a healthy diet. For more information, visit our product page or our blog.
If you’re looking to lose weight, try eating fat-burning foods frequently throughout the day. The best strategy for shedding pounds is to consume five to six small meals daily, like snacking on fresh veggies or grabbing nutrition bars on the go. Eating frequently will keep your metabolic rate accelerated, especially by incorporating the foods below:
Many common spices have thermogenic properties, meaning they can boost metabolism upon consumption. For example, capsaicin found in hot peppers has been proven to increase body temperature and metabolic rate simultaneously, melting calories away. Try adding cayenne pepper to stir-fries and sautés, or folding green chilies into an egg white omelet.
Other mild spices can help your weight loss goals as well, by improving overall health and assisting your workouts. Ginseng is one such herb, known to boost energy. Others include ginger, to help digestion, and turmeric to break up fat.
Whereas weight loss coaches and healthcare practitioners often shun yolks, egg whites are perpetually praised as a source of good fat. Egg whites are chock full of protein, which means they’ll keep you full longer. If you’re bored by egg white omelets and scrambles, try a frittata! It’s a delicious way to use up leftover veggies, and a great low-calorie meal for any time of day.
Used for centuries for health and wellness, green tea contains a high amount of polyphenols, which can counteract harmful triglycerides that lead to weight gain. Green tea also provides potent antioxidants that can stimulate your body’s metabolism and promote weight loss. Along with the caffeine found in green tea, these antioxidants boost the central nervous system and allow fat to be released into the blood stream and used as fuel.
A handful of nuts is a no-frills yet delicious snack that can keep you full and powered for hours. Stay away from sweetened trail mixes or nut blends with added fat. All you need is a little bit of salt for flavor. If you can’t handle nuts in their purest form, try chopping and mixing into a salad or side dish.
This citrus actually lowers insulin levels to prevent our bodies from storing excess sugar as fat. Decreased insulin levels can also curb your appetite, making grapefruit a great weight-loss tool. Grapefruit is also known as a “negative calorie” food, meaning a single fruit has fewer calories than it takes to digest. Though the most health benefits can be found in fresh fruit, grapefruit juice is also incredibly beneficial.
Eating healthier can provide the nutrients your body needs while adding to a reduced-calorie diet plan. Many nutritious foods, such as nuts or fruits and vegetables, have also been scientifically shown to help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism and making it easier to shed pounds. If you’re looking for a delicious workout snack to power your active life, try a protein bar from Promax. Our bars are great-tasting and packed with replenishing protein, and do not contain artificial sweeteners. For more info about Promax, check out our product page or our blog.
You’ve carefully planned your diet full of healthy veggies and protein bars. You’ve started a new workout routine. You’ve done everything you’re supposed to, but for some reason you’re still not losing any weight. What’s going on? If you’re eating any of the 10 foods listed below, you may be sabotaging your own diet without even knowing it.
Granola is often touted for its healthiness. But, despite its reputation as great health food, granola is often anything but. The problem is in the calories – up to 500 per serving! – not to mention the sugar. If you do feel the need to munch on some granola, be sure to stick to a high fiber, low sugar variety. And, even then, watch the calories. You’re probably taking in more than you think.
Everyone needs a little energy boost throughout the day. But if you’re getting yours from a Starbucks Frappuccino, or other similar blended coffee drink, you’re getting a lot more than just a dose of caffeine. Some Frappuccinos contain as much as half a day’s worth of sugar and fat. Stick to a regular cup of coffee if you can; if you have to have a blended coffee drink, go with a Frappuccino Light.
A lot of people think that flavored yogurt can fit into their diet plan as long as they stick with a fat-free variety. But this just isn’t the case. Even fat-free flavored yogurt is loaded with unhealthy amounts of sugar – up to 16 g in a tiny 6 oz. serving.
But fruits are healthy and full of vitamins, right? Yes, they are, but companies regularly add sugar and sulfur to their dried fruit. Fresh fruit is always a better option – it doesn’t have any of additives, and usually has less calories.
Believe it or not, energy drinks aren’t regulated by the FDA, which means that there are no health standards that they have to meet with their ingredients. And, one look at the ingredients list of any random energy drink will tell you everything you need to know: lots of sugar, and almost nothing healthy. If you need to hydrate, go with water. It gives you a much healthier energy boost, without the crash later, once your body burns through all the sugar in that can of Red Bull.
A home-made smoothie is a healthy, delicious drink. A smoothie made in a store or a restaurant, on the other hand, is probably loaded with fats, sugars, and other diet-busting ingredients. It’s definitely worth the time to make your own to get your daily smoothie fix.
Fish is a healthy, protein-laden food that tends to have much less fat than your average red meat. But when breaded, fried, and put into a fish sandwich full of fatty tartar sauce and a carbohydrate-heavy bun, all of fish’s health benefits disappear. Stick to grilled fish with a bit of rice and veggies, instead.
Wraps used to be seen as a staple of the health food industry. But, no matter how many veggies and lean meats you put into one, you can’t get around the fact that your average tortilla has between 400 to 800 calories, all by itself.
Remember what we said about fat-free yogurt? The same thing applies to fat-free muffins – just because they’ve had the fat removed doesn’t meant they aren’t loaded with sugar. Muffin manufacturers add more sugar to their fat-free muffins than they do their regular ones, in order to add taste that gets lost when the fat is taken out.
It’s no secret that just having “diet” in the name doesn’t necessarily make foods healthy, but diet soda comes with an extra caveat. In addition to all the sugars and preservatives they’re taking in, studies have found that people are likely to eat more calories than usual after drinking a diet soda.
For your daily dose of protein, there’s no better option than Promax energy bars. Look around our website today to place an order or find a store near you.
No matter what time of day you exercise, you are going to reap some benefits. It just so happens that exercising in the morning has benefits other than simply keeping you fit. The next time you grab your morning energy bar, consider the benefits below to see why you should follow it up with a morning work out, even if it’s just a jog around the block.
1.) Get Motivated for the Day.
When you start your day out with exercise, it helps motivate you for the rest of the day. It isn’t just because you already accomplished something, either. It’s because you got your blood flowing and released endorphins that will give you that little extra boost you may need throughout the day.
2.) Clear the Schedule.
One of the most common reasons that people don’t exercise is because they get busy doing other things. In order to exercise, they have to stop what they are doing and maybe even change clothes. Sometimes that just isn’t feasible with a busy schedule. However, when you do your work out before you do anything else, you don’t have to worry about clearing any time in the schedule for it, because it’s already done.
3.) Get Your Metabolism Going
Exercising is just one of the methods you use to boost your metabolism. Your gluten-free protein bars, avoidance of fast food, and strict schedule are other methods. When you start your day with a boost of your metabolism, it helps you keep your metabolism going for the day. Since the hard part is over, keeping it going for the rest of the day starts to seem easy. Before you know it, all the little things you do add up to a healthier body and better lifestyle choices.
4.) Be More Alert.
Because exercise does get the blood flowing, it also gets more oxygen to the brain. Instead of relying on a pot of coffee to wake you up and get your brain going, the extra oxygen will do it for you. This means you can do your job better or perform your daily tasks easier, without having to stop and think about them. If you happen to have academic functions to perform, couple your exercise with a brain-boosting breakfast or protein bar in order to further enhance your intellectual performance.
5.) Keep on Track
When you exercise in the morning, you set yourself up for success for the day. You will think back to the effort you put into that exercise, and you won’t want to waste it by making unhealthy choices later on in the day. If you are someone who has problems with feelings of guilt, your morning exercise will stave those off and help prevent actions later in the day that will make you feel guilty. In other words, you will concentrate more on making healthy choices because you started the day off with one.
These are just a few of the benefits of exercising in the morning. There are so many more that it would be difficult to list them all. As you start your morning routine for the first time, keep in mind that doing something for 21 days in a row will help make it a habit. Make this day one of your three week introduction to a new life.
For more information about how to make the most of your workouts, check back each week for tips from Promax Nutrition.
It’s almost summer time, so you’ve had months now to work on those New Year’s fitness resolutions. How are you doing? Have you seen the progress you anticipated? Are your goals in sight?
If not, it may be time to re-evaluate your fitness routine. How effectively are you using your energy? If you feel like you’re working yourself to death and not getting any results, check for these eight symptoms you aren’t really giving it your all. There is still plenty of time to make adjustments and reach the goals you desire.
Reasons you are Not Getting Results from Your Workout
1. You focus on problems rather than progress.
Stop and consider if this is a true plateau. Look back over the last few weeks – are you getting stronger? Making slightly better time? Going further? Have you gained strength? Lost a couple pounds or inches? It’s possible you have been making progress but just didn’t realize it.
If that is the case, start celebrating! Watch for these milestones, small as they may be, and reward yourself for the effort by acknowledging your gains or losses.
2. You are too competitive.
Are you judging your progress based on your own growth, or are you constantly comparing yourself to others? Unless you are training for the Olympics, you should not expect yourself to be the fastest or strongest in town. Instead, set personal goals and celebrate progress based on your own achievement, regardless of that of others.
3. You are not setting long-term goals.
Why are you in this to begin with? Are you training for a marathon, slimming down to a healthy BMI, or getting in shape for a sports team? Give yourself a measurable goal with an achievable deadline. This helps you work forward toward it and see progress over time.
4. You make inconsistent effort.
Are you really as faithful to that diet and exercise program as you think? Most diet failures are due to inaccurate food diaries – not truly accounting for the hidden calories or measuring portions carefully. Exercise progress is seen only with regular practice; don’t skip days and then wonder why you aren’t getting stronger. Before you give up, renew your commitment to staying consistent with your exercise and careful with your diet choices.
5. You are neglecting strength training.
Aerobic exercise isn’t enough; you need to build strong muscles, as well. Be sure that strength training is a part of your workout routine. Those muscles will help you burn more calories even when you are at rest, and a stronger physique will help your endurance and stamina, as well.
6. You consume insufficient protein.
Your body uses protein to recover from workouts as well as to build strong, healthy muscle tissue. The more you workout, the more healthy protein you need to meet your needs. Be sure to eat a protein bar after workout and to include healthy protein choices in every meal and snack.
For more information about how to make the most of your workouts, check back each week for tips from Promax Nutrition.
Do you enjoy exercising with your children or teens? In a busy day of work, community, and family, it’s natural to look forward to alone time. Running down the street with your tunes in your ears and the sun in your face – alone – is great therapy.
But believe it or not, there are many benefits from exercising with your children – for them and for you. One of your kiddos may just want to get in shape, another might be training for soccer, and the youngest might simply want to spend more time with you. So why not tie on your running shoes and bring someone along with you for that afternoon run? Here are some lessons you may just learn along the way.
Daily exercise is just as important for them. Though we may think back fondly to our younger years, when we could run a mile without thinking about it and played team sports before, during, and after school, our children don’t have as active a lifestyle. More of their day is spent sitting at school and sitting in front of computers and TVs, so they can use the encouragement to get more exercise.
A healthy lifestyle must be taught. Young people don’t instinctively make right food and exercise choices. They need information, the why behind the diet, and encouragement. It might take daily reminders to drink enough water and to include healthy proteins in every meal before these habits became natural.
Children start off with less strength and endurance. This may sound obvious, but you might be surprised at first. Though most of us consider ourselves much more sedentary than our children, it will probably take a few weeks before they develop the strength and endurance to keep up with a longer workout.
It will be much more enjoyable for everyone, then, if you keep the sessions short, about 20 minutes of moderate activity. After a couple weeks, you can add more time or a little more strenuous workouts. Before you know it, you might be the one struggling to keep up! But at first, it’s important to pace yourself.
Young people like to be included. And this doesn’t just mean letting them tag along. Children and teens like to choose the activity – shall we run or play an hour of indoor soccer? – and the gear. The more input they have, the more they’ll take ownership of their own healthy lifestyle. That is completely worth the compromises.
Like any workout plan, this takes commitment. You’ll need to make a commitment to yourself and to your children that you’ll include them in your daily workout. This keeps you and them accountable. On running days, your teens will be ready to improve on their time and keep you puffing down the street. On walking days, your youngest will look forward to telling you everything on his mind.
Working out with children is a great way to pass on healthy habits to the next generation. Why not find a young person in your family or community that you can help today?
For more information about exercise, check back each week for tips from Promax Nutrition.
Do you wish you had great morning workouts? Ever find yourself envying those social media posts from your friends, humble-bragging about their predawn run? Are you wracked with guilt for hitting the snooze button yet again instead of hitting the pavement?
You may be inadvertently setting yourself up for failure. Setting healthy habits takes time and commitment, but there is also a strategy for giving yourself an edge. If you find yourself struggling to make that morning workout a reality, try these five steps for success.
1. Begin well the night before.
The old adage is true: a great morning starts with a good night. Don’t sabotage yourself by staying up too late, drinking heavily, eating poorly, or simply failing to plan. Instead, use your evening to get the rest and refreshment you need to start the new day right.
Be sure you are getting sufficient sleep, too. The average adult needs seven hours of sleep to be at their best; you may need a little more. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to get your rest.
That means turning off the screens. Televisions, tablets, and laptops are too stimulating for before-bed relaxation. Instead, switch to reading, listening to music, or quietly conversing with your loved one for thirty minutes before sleeping.
2. Prepare your gear.
Get everything ready the evening before, that way in the early morning hours you won’t need to search for anything. Lay out your workout clothes, put your equipment and shoes by the door, and locate your pedometer and other gear. Your goal is to eliminate thinking from the early morning when you are still sleepy; you’ll just do it.
3. Set your alarm.
Be sure to set an alarm, because if you are struggling to make this a habit, you won’t automatically wake up early enough. Be sure your alarm is loud enough to rouse you, and set it a distance from your bed. If you have to walk across the room to turn it off, you are already upright, which is half the battle!
4. Hydrate well.
Drink at least one glass of water as soon as you wake up. This will help hydrate your muscles and wake up your system. If you are going to a gym, be sure to take a large water bottle with you to continue drinking through your workout. Be sure to drink a couple more glasses of water with your protein bar when you finish your workout.
5. Make a commitment.
It takes most people over a month of successful repetitions to set a new habit. Help yourself beat the curve by making a commitment to yourself and to others to stick to your morning routine. If possible, invite a fitness partner to workout with you each morning. The appointment will spur you to get going on tough days. If you can’t find an early morning workout buddy, at least call on a friend to hold you accountable to your commitment and ask you regularly if you have achieved your goal.
For more information about your workouts, check back each week for tips from Promax Nutrition.
Information posted on this website is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Promax Nutrition Corp. (“Promax”) has compiled and prepared this information to help educate viewers about the importance of diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors in maintaining good health. Promax intends to provide current and accurate information, but does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or usefulness of any information or resources listed on this Site. Promax assumes no responsibility or liability for any use of, or reliance on this information. This information does not constitute and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your physician with any questions about your health, and before beginning any exercise or dietary program. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have read on this website. This Site has not been reviewed or endorsed by any governmental agency or certifying organization. Publication of links to third party websites and other information is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement of any Promax product.