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Rena

Blog Diet

How To Eat After Lap Band Surgery

May 24, 2016
lap band surgery

Lap band surgery is often considered a last resort for weight loss, but for many patients, it’s the only way they are able to get control of their weight and see significant changes in their body. This procedure adjusts the amount of food a person’s stomach can take in at one time, preventing the person from eating excessively. If you have opted to go through lap band surgery, you will need to make some adjustments to your diet after completing the procedure. Here is an overview of the lap band surgery dietary changes you may have to make in the future.

1-2 Weeks After Surgery: The Liquid Diet

When you first get out of surgery, your body will not be able to handle any kinds of solid foods. Thus you will have to stick to a liquid diet for close to two weeks as your body heals and makes adjustments. Broth or soup will work well at this time, as long as the soup does not have any vegetables or meat in it. You could also try drinking skim milk or fruit juice. You may have to take vitamins for dietary supplementation at this time, but you will first need to confirm that with your doctor.

3-4 Weeks After Surgery: The Pureed Feast

This is the time when you can start adding food back into your diet. After being on pure liquids for two weeks, every bite will taste like a feast. Stick with pureed foods, like mashed potatoes, apple sauce, peas, pudding, and low-fat yogurt. These will help your body get used to something slightly solid without having to process a giant steak.

5 Weeks After Surgery: The Soft Foods

At this point, you can start eating soft foods. Tender fish, pork, ground turkey, cooked vegetables, and other foods will work well. You will be used to eating smaller, lighter portions by now, so you won’t eat as much as you probably think you will. Of course, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

6+ Weeks After Surgery: The Regular Routine

Once you have slowly worked solid foods back into your system, you can return to a normal diet. You will naturally eat small portions now, which you will need to continue doing after lap band surgery. Maintain your nutrient levels and make sure you eat slowly. In time, your new eating regimen will just become a habit for you.

Blog Diet

5 Benefits Of Weight Loss Cleanses

May 11, 2016
weight loss cleanse

With the number of fad diets in the world, it’s hard to rely on any of the new developments coming out. Nevertheless, there are some tried and true weight loss solutions that have proven themselves effective time and time again. One of those gems is a cleansing diet, which removes toxins from the body to allow healthy nutrients to shine through. Here are five benefits of weight loss cleanses so you can decide if you should give one of them a try.

Eliminate Toxins To Lose Weight

The main goal in any diet is to lose weight, right? Well, all those toxins in your body could be weighing you down. By going through a proper cleansing, you will improve your body’s ability to burn fat and maintain healthy nutrients. The result is a slimmer, happier you.

Naturally Boost Your Energy Levels

Toxins can also cause you to lose energy and feel depressed. Think about how great you feel after a bath or a trip to the spa. A cleansing regiment provides the same effect for your body’s inner workings. The less gunk there is to clog the system, the easier it will be for you to do whatever you want to do.

Think Clearer

You can actually think better after a thorough weight loss cleanse. The increased energy you gain from a diet like this will improve your ability to retain information, and you’ll find yourself remembering much more than you ever thought possible. You’ll also make better, more logical decisions, all while improving the way you look.

Let Your Body Absorb Nutrients Better

Some cleansing diets also include nutritional supplements, and they improve the body’s ability to maintain the nutrients coming in. You could use this as an opportunity to make yourself healthier, which will enhance your ability to fight off infection. As long as stick with the dietary program you are on, you should see strong improvements in your wellness.

Learn Healthy Habits

Above all else, your cleansing diet will teach you healthy habits to use in the future. You will eat better food in a better way, and you will understand what your body really needs to be its best. This means that you will be able to maintain the new you for a long time in the future without having to put too much effort into the way you look. It’s all a matter of sticking with the program you select.

Find a cleansing program you can count on, and you will feel and look better in no time.

Blog Exercise

Prevent Stretch Marks With These Workout Adjustments

May 2, 2016
stretch marks

When you start to gain weight, your skin has to stretch to accommodate. Then when you start to lose weight, those stretch marks will still stick around. You may not be able to eliminate stretch marks entirely, but you can adjust your workouts to reduce their appearance as much as possible. Here are some workout adjustments designed to help you get rid of stretch marks.

Make Slow Changes To Your Weight Loss And Muscle Building

So many people are focused on getting thin or bulking up that they forget to take things slow. As much as it may pain you to wait a long time for results, doing so will give your skin a chance to adjust. You can’t just start piling on muscles or dropping rolls of fat without letting your body get used to the new you. If you do, you’re going to end up with a lot of stretch marks to get rid of. Rest your body every other day to allow it time to heal, and then get back out to the gym to work out. A little discipline will go a long way.

React At The Early Signs Of Stretch Marks

If you start to see stretch marks forming, do something about them. The longer they sit on your body, the harder they are going to be to get rid of. If they’re forming because you’re gaining weight in an area, focus on it for a bit. If they’re forming because you’re building muscles there, focus on a different part of the body for a while. Move your workouts to correspond with your skin, even if that means focusing on a part of the body you don’t exactly care about.

Work Out In Moderation

There is nothing wrong with being passionate about your craft, but you need to work out in moderation. You can’t go full force every single day and expect your body to look right. Lose weight and build muscles slowly, while still putting forth an effort to change. If you think you’re going too far, take a break. You are the only person that knows your limits.

Massage Your Skin To Encourage Circulation

You should massage your skin when you get through with a workout to encourage circulation. This will also improve your chances of growing new skin cells, which will be able to fill in the gaps where the stretch marks want to be. Use this as an excuse to relax after a hard day at the gym and go in for a full body massage. You may feel a little girly at first, but you’ll like being pampered over time. Just don’t get used to that every day. You may never want to work out again!

 

Blog Diet Exercise

Risks Of Rapid Weight Loss

March 29, 2016
rapidweightloss-370x284

When it comes to losing weight, most people try to do so as quickly as possible. As much as you may want to get down to your ideal body weight right away, the fact is that there are a lot of problems that may come from losing weight too quickly. That is why programs like Weight Watchers are so successful, because they help people lose weight gradually over time. Before you get your heart set on dropping a ton of weight in a short period of time, you need to understand the risks of losing weight too quickly, as discussed below.

Flabby Skin

One of the biggest problems that come along from rapid weight loss is developing excess skin. Your skin will shrink to a degree, but it may not have enough elasticity to fully retract if you lose weight quickly. You have to give it time to do this though because the fat is what is currently giving your skin its shape. If you are not careful, you may end up with a whole lot of excess skin to worry about. Then you will have to get surgery or build muscle to get your body back to normal.

Bad Habits

In order to lose weight and keep it off, you need to develop good eating and exercising habits that you can maintain. If you lose weight quickly, you are only fixing the problem temporarily. You could very easily fall back into your old habits soon after you lose the weight, and then you are going to gain even more weight than you had in the first place.

Take your time to really train yourself to eat the right way and exercise regularly. If you have to cut back your portions slowly, do so. If you need time to improve your fitness stamina, give it to yourself. As frustrating as the wait may be, it will keep you looking better in the long run.

Depression And Chemical Imbalances

If you drop weight too rapidly, you can cause hormonal and chemical imbalances in your body. Those imbalances can have a big impact on your mood. You would think that losing weight would make you happier, but that is not always the case. In some situations, people actually go through clinical depression because they have altered too much in their bodies too quickly. You have to be careful to lose weight in a safe, slow manner or you could alter your attitude for the worst. Then you may end up gaining more weight and feeling even more depressed about your body. This is a vicious cycle, but it is one that you can avoid if you lose weight the right way.

Fad Dieting

Most people turn to fad diets when they want to lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time. That may cause you to eat only salmon for a month straight or take out an entire food group from your daily eating habits. This will cause nutritional problems in your body, which may make you weaker or less productive. If you stick with regular diets and exercising, you will be able to get all the nutrients you need without having to worry about what they may be doing to your body.

Simply put, you need to pace yourself when it comes to losing weight. Set logical weight loss goals for your body and stick to them the whole way through. This may take more time, but it will keep your body looking great for as long as it possible can.

Blog Diet Exercise Health

Skin Changes After Weight Loss

March 21, 2016
Woman pinching fat from her abdomen. Close up shot

Dropping weight is almost never a bad thing, especially if you have been struggling with it for a while. In the midst of your celebration though, you may come across a whole new problem to worry about – changes in your skin. There are a number of skin changes after weight loss, depending on age, health, and other factors. If you’re going through this transition at the moment or simply trying to prepare for the future, the tips below will help you keep your skin looking its best after losing weight.

Types Of Skin Changes After Weight Loss

Weight loss brings about a wide range of health benefits, but some of them take a little while to kick in. During this time, your skin may show signs of wear and tear because it is trying to catch up with the other changes in your body. Some of the most common skin changes after weight loss include:

  • Dry Or Oily Skin
  • Sagging Skin
  • Fine Lines And Wrinkles
  • Cellulite
  • Leftover Scars And Stretchmarks

Depending on the amount of weight you lose, you may go through multiple skin changes as you work toward your ideal weight. Tackle each of these transitions as they come about, and you will be able to keep your skin looking its best.

Keep Your Skin Moisturized

Try to keep your skin as moist as possible, unless you have problems with oiliness. Most people who are overweight will see positive changes in their skin’s moisture levels once they go on a diet, but there are some eating regimens that dry out the skin. At the very least, maintaining the moisture levels in your skin will keep it looking as plump as possible, which will fill in the divots that were once backed by fat. Find a good moisturizing cream to use on a daily basis, and you’ll make your skin look soft and smooth.

Use Microdermabrasion at Home

Microdermabrasion is a process that takes off the dead skin cells at the surface and encourages new cells to grow. As you shed weight, it’s a good idea to shed these dead cells as well because they can make your skin look duller than it actually is. The new cells that grow will be just as vibrant as they would be for a baby, so you can instantly look younger and healthier after microdermabrasion. Once you get used to this, you’ll find yourself trying it all the time.

Practice Good Hygiene

You may have folded skin after weight loss. This is because your skin is losing its elasticity and cannot properly contract itself. Some people are required to go through surgery to remove that excess skin, depending on their age, health, and overall weight loss. In the meantime though, it is important to wash the cracks and crevices well. All of those areas can get gunk caught in them, which can potentially lead to infection or foul odors. You can avoid all of that with proper hygiene.

Use Sunscreen When Outside

Larger people are used to covering up when they go outside, but that all changes when you lose weight. If you suddenly find yourself showing off your new frame, you need to make sure you protect it with a little sunscreen. Even if the only area exposed is your face, you need to apply moisturizer or foundation with SPF in order to avoid sunburn. This will keep your skin looking its best for years to come.

There is no reason to avoid showing off your stunning new body. You just have to make sure your skin highlights it in the right way. Follow the tips above, and you’ll look great no matter what.

 

Blog Exercise

Simple Ways To Look Skinnier

March 8, 2016
Attractive female executive wearing blue shirt and mini skirt checking herself in the mirror. Beautiful caucasian female model in business attire getting ready for work.

Who doesn’t want to look a little thinner? Whether you’re working toward your weight loss goals or trying to hid that stubborn belly fat, there are some simple tricks you can try to make yourself look skinnier. The tips below are sure to make any woman look five or ten pounds lighter, and they don’t require any exercise at all. Learn how to accentuate the right parts of your body, and you’ll soon see yourself in a whole new light.

Emphasize Your Waist

A synched waist is key to creating that ideal hourglass body every woman wants. When you emphasize the smallest part of your frame, you instantly make people see you in a skinny light. In doing this though, you need to make sure that you don’t have hugging going on around your hips, as that tends to be the widest part of the body. Just let your fabric flow away from your frame, and you’ll look significantly slimmer overall.

Accentuate Your Height

The words “long and lean” go hand in hand. Thus if you can make yourself look taller, you can subsequently make yourself look thinner. High heels are great for this because they instantly add a few inches under your feet. Vertical stripes are also good because they elongate the body and draw a viewer’s eyes upward. You’ll undoubtedly look thinner after that.

Stand Up Straight

Having good posture is another great way to create the illusion of a smaller frame. By standing up straight, you will naturally elongate your waist and make your weight look more distributed throughout your body. You can also improve your body’s circulation by standing up straight, which will allow more toxins to leave your system in a swift manner. In other words, you can actually make yourself thinner just by adjusting the way you sit and stand.

Grow Out Your Hair

You can make your face look longer by growing out your hair. The length you grow it out to will depend on the shape of your face and your lifestyle, but anything below the shoulders should make your face look longer and thinner. Try an asymmetric bob that is shorter in the back than in the front. This will draw the eyes toward your cheekbones, which will help you look skinnier.

If you take care of yourself, you can look as thin as you feel. Carry yourself with confidence, and don’t be afraid to show off the good curves you have. People will start to take notice of you.

Blog Exercise

4 Workouts For New Moms

February 26, 2016
Young mother makes with her 6 month old daughter postnatal exercises, isolated against white background. Mama is down and has her baby lying on their lower legs.

It’s not always easy to work off baby weight, especially with a newborn to take care of. Your schedule is now overrun with feedings, changings, and interrupted naps, making it nearly impossible to get to the gym. Nevertheless, there are some steps you can take to get your body back in shape even with a little one to care for. Here are four great workouts for new moms.

Kissy Pushups

Mommies love to give their babies kisses, so why not use that idea for motivation? Have you baby lie down on his or her back on a mat on the floor and do pushups over his body. Every time you come down successfully, give the baby a kiss. This will ensure that you keep moving up and down, and it will give you a chance to play with your baby at home. You can wear a necklace with a toy on it to keep the baby entertained, and then you can do a full set of reps without interruption.

Tickle Crunches

Another fun exercise to do is to tickle your baby while you do crunches. Lie down on the ground with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Then put the baby in between your legs with his or her feet on your chest. You can use this position to do crunches, and then you can tickle your child every time you come up towards your legs. This will make the child laugh and it will give you more incentive to come up over and over again.

Cradling Stair-Steps

If you hold your baby as you walk up a set of stairs, you will be forced to keep your body in a vertical position. A lot of people will start to slouch when they walk up and down the stairs because they are trying to relieve the pain they feel as they walk. That will only cause back problems in the future. By holding your baby as you walk, you will keep your body level and give your arms a good workout along the way.

Bouncing Legups

A lot of women like to bounce their babies on their knees as a form of play. That can actually be a workout for your legs if you do it correctly. Try to time yourself during the bounces, or count the number of bounces that you do. The added weight of the baby will put pressure on your legs, forcing them to work harder. If you do this enough, you may be able to re-sculpt the bombshell legs you once had.

You don’t have to go to the gym to look great as a new mom. You just have to use your time with your baby to make yourself look great at the same time. Multitask your way to a new body, or at least back to the old one you had before the baby. Think about the options above and start your baby workout routine right away.

Blog Exercise

Which Weight Loss Products Should I Trust?

February 16, 2016
Unhappy Overweight Woman Measuring Waist In Bathroom

Are you still holding true to your New Year’s weight loss resolution? Whether you need to drop a single dress size or 100 pounds, you may be tempted to use weight loss products to help you cut back the weight as quickly as possible. There are a number of “miracle products” on the market, and most of them are purely a waste of money. How can you know which ones to trust? The tips below will explain what to look for in weight loss products so you can invest in the right ones for you.

Check the Reviews 

Diets, weight loss pills, exercise machines, and all other items along those lines will have reviews about them somewhere online. You usually can’t trust the “true testimonies” on a product’s website, but you can trust information elsewhere. The key here is to look for honest responses, which will usually come with pros and cons. Amazon reviews are a great place to start as most of them come from real people like you and me. You may see someone say that a product was great for just about everything, but there was this one problem that he or she had. If you do your research ahead of time, you can avoid buying a product that may not fit your needs.

Think Logically 

If the results of a diet or “solution” seem totally unrealistic, chances are they are. You can’t lose 50 pounds in two months by simply wearing a shock belt every day. You have to put in some work no matter what, and you have to be patient for the fat to fade. If you’re expecting overnight results, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Think about what a product is claiming to do before buying it, and your mind will naturally weed out the rejects.

Consider Your Lifestyle 

Some workouts, diets, and pills work better for certain people than they do for others. You might have a friend who lost a ton of weight with a special smoothie recipe, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll do the same. You have to think about your lifestyle and whether or not the characteristics of an item are going to match your goals. There’s no sense in going on a strawberry diet if you’re allergic to strawberries, right? You have to think about all of that before settling into a new routine.

At the end of the day, you might just have to do some trial and error before figuring out which weight loss products will work for you specifically. Don’t give up on the hunt though. If something doesn’t work for you after a month, look for a different program to try. Follow the tips above, and you can make it through your new year’s resolution.

Blog Exercise

Advantages of Hiring a Personal Trainer

February 11, 2016
personal-trainer

When it comes to getting fit, you have two main options: work out on your own or hire a personal trainer to work with you. While the expense of the second option may leave you assuming you need to work out on your own, the fact is that you may be able to get much better results by having a personal trainer on your side. Let’s explore some of the advantages of hiring a personal trainer that may adjust your decisions in the future.

Professional Guidance

If you start to work out in the gym, you may gravitate to the first open machine. In doing this, you may actually confuse your muscles and keep your body looking the way it does right now. This fitness mistake is far too common for people who lack guidance in their exercising, and the truth is that it hinders your results. A personal trainer can assess your body and your lifestyle and try to come up with the best possible workout routines for you. That way you do not waste time sporadically exercising in ways that will not yield results for you.

Consistent Motivation

Sometimes, you just need someone around you to push you to succeed. You might get that from a workout buddy, but a personal friend may not be as driven as a personal trainer. A personal trainer should want you to succeed just as much as you want to succeed, and he or she is going to motivate you to achieve that perfect body as you exercise. If you feel like giving up on your own, you can simply walk away from the workout. With a personal trainer there to guide you though, you should stay committed to your goals.

Customized Workouts

Every person has slightly different physical needs that must be addressed. You can work with a personal trainer to come up with a plan that actually works for your body, not the cookie cutter image that pre-made workouts accommodate. Find out what routines will deliver the results you want as quickly as possible so you can reach your fitness goals.

Is A Personal Trainer Right For You?

Only you can determine if hiring a personal trainer is worth the investment. Does your schedule allow you to allot time to consistently workout with a trainer? Can you afford to pay for a trainer without sacrificing other bills? Do you think you have enough motivation to get through your workouts on your own? Weigh out your options thoroughly, and you’ll figure out if you should hire a personal trainer.

 

Blog Recipes

Make Your Own Recipe Book

February 3, 2016
A homemaker cracks an egg into a mixing bowl while following the instructions of a cookbook.

With the cost of eating out soaring beyond reach nowadays, most of us are learning to cook at home to survive. This calls for a set of recipes that we can look to when we want to make a meal. If you are tired of pinning your favorite recipes to the fridge when you need them, you may want to make your own recipe book that you can look to at any time. There are a few different ways to do this, depending on how you like to view your recipes when you cook. Check out this guide to learn how to make your own recipe book.

Printable Recipe Books

If you store copies of your favorite recipes on your computer, you can always print them off and store them in a binder for reference. With printer paper, a hole punch and a three ring binder, you can make a full book to use in the kitchen when you need it. You could cover the paper with plastic page protectors, just in case you spill something on the paper while you cook. You can separate your recipes with binder dividers to keep everything organized, and then you will have an easier time finding a recipe you need when you need it. Add to the binder as you like, and you’ll have your own foodcyclopedia in no time!

Note that you can also use magazine pages or handwritten recipes in your binder, as long as you have page protectors to slide the paper in. Make your own hodge-podge masterpiece that you can turn to day after day.

Index Card Recipe Folders

If you prefer to have index cards on hand instead of an actual recipe book, you can do that too. Simply write out the recipes on index cards and put them in an index card holder for safe keeping. If you have a huge assortment of recipes, you could put them in a file organizer to refer to whenever you need them. You could also use different card colors for different kinds of recipes. That is up to you. With the right plan though, you should have no trouble getting access to all of your most important recipes.

Digital Recipe Books

Want access to all of your favorite recipes no matter where you are? Consider creating a digital recipe book. There are many ways to go about doing this. You could create a Google Spreadsheet or similar document online that contains links to all of your favorite recipes. You could save screenshots of the recipes and store them in Dropbox. If you like using Google Chrome as your web browser, you could use the Google Bookmark Manager to save bookmarks on your computer that you could access from any Android device. You could even email links to yourself and then store the emails in a “recipe” folder in your inbox.

Use some or all of the tips above to create your own recipe book to use time and time again.