Do You Need to Exercise to Lose Weight With Weight Watchers?

Have you wondered if exercise was necessary in order to reach your weight loss goals while using Weight Watchers? Well look no further. I am going to tell you how it incorporates into their program, why it is a good idea to keep moving and offer you some tips to help you keep exercise a part of your life whether dieting or not.

As a fitness professional I have heard every reason imaginable as to why it is so challenging to maintain an exercise routine. For some people it is the disdain for physical discomfort that goes along with working-out. For others it’s a matter of not enough time in the day. I am going to share a few tips with you to help you connect to the process of getting and staying fit for good.

To get the best results and stay consistent, it is wise to figure out what makes you tick. Do you like to jog? Are you a dancer? Has swimming always been your passion? Doing what you love is the easiest way to stick with a routine because it is enjoyable. Once your chosen form of exercise has transformed from being a chore to a privilege, long term success is in your favor.

Does the Weight Watchers Plan include training and workout?

Weight Watchers makes it easy to find out which type of fitness program works best for you by offering a variety of quizzes that enable you to better understand your own unique needs and desires. If you want to workout from home, I recommend purchasing a set of adjustable dumbbells. While exercise isn’t mandatory, it is definitely encouraged. Their website is filled with a wide range of resources such as video demonstrations for specific exercises, personalized work-out routines and celebrity trainer, David Kirsch’s “anytime, anywhere work-out” to keep you inspired. There are numerous articles available in various subject matters ranging from how cardio and strength training differ to how to include your loved ones in your quest to be fit.

Learn why exercise is beneficial

My advice for getting the most out of this program is to read the articles, watch the videos and partake in some self-assessment before getting too wrapped up in the “how”. Learn why exercise is beneficial beyond burning calories and become acquainted with why bringing your dog along on your walks is a win-win situation for both of you. Once you understand how fitness enhances every aspect of your life you’ll begin to appreciate the journey rather than get too caught up in the end result.

I am going to share with you some of my favorite moves as far as getting more bang for your buck in your work-out. Multi-muscle group exercises not only burn more calories since there are more muscles being used at one time, but they can be huge time savers if you are in a hurry. I highly recommend perfecting form before adding weights to the routines.

How to do the Chopper

This exercise can be used with no weights as a warm-up and later used with external resistance such as a medicine ball. In addition to the fact that this can be done anywhere, it takes little time to break a sweat while the change in direction offers neuromuscular adaptation benefits along with the many muscle groups being utilized. Your hip, knee and shoulder joints are all involved here making this a great way to burn a lot of calories. Check out this video for a short yet accurate demonstration.

How to perform an Anterior Reaching Lunge

Now before you panic, this is not an actual lunge! This exercise is extremely functional because you will get the benefits of developing strength in the hip joint while learning how to properly bend down to pick up a (light) object from the floor in addition to stretching tight hamstrings. Once form is mastered you can make this more challenging by adding weights or incorporating an overhead press to include the shoulder and elbow joints.

Push-Ups

Push-ups are beneficial for developing upper body strength along with working the core and glutes. I like this particular video because she demonstrates the various progressions involved in developing your ability to achieve this challenging, yet extremely rewarding exercise whether you are a beginner or not. Once you have mastered this you can feel free to show off in front of all the men in your family who didn’t think you had it in you to be so strong!

Remember…when fitness is used as a tool for well-being and healthy living, your body won’t be able to help but get strong, toned and fabulous!

How Step-Ups and Lunges Will Help You Shed the Fat and Shape Your Body

In this article I am going to discuss how step-ups, lunges and side lunges will not only help you get smaller and more defined, but will give you needed strength and stability in your hip joint…which is more important than you may know.

Shaping the lower body – like JLos

Let’s face it…ever since JLo and Beyonce hit the scene it has been all about the booty!

When it comes to wearing bathing suits and form fitting clothing there is nothing like feeling as though you look your best. Going out and socializing becomes a lot more fun while clothes shopping takes on a more satisfying feel to it.

3 exercises good for shaping the lower body

These three exercises are beneficial for shaping the lower body because they work all of the major muscle groups from the hips down. Your quads, hamstrings, glutes, inner and outer thighs and even your calves will morph into a shape you have always dreamed of and for this reason alone I’m betting you would give these moves a fair shot.

Providing strength and flexibility to your hip joints is an added benefit to these exercises. The possibility of the knees, back and shoulder joints overcompensating and becoming injured due to lack of proper range of motion from tight hip flexors (thanks to sitting for long periods of time daily) is often dealt with yet not understood.

As always, if you are new to strength training or a specific exercise in general, I highly recommend you to begin with no external resistance (no weights) to learn proper form and then progress to a more challenging version only when you have mastered the movement itself.

1.  Step-Ups

Step-ups are great because they not only provide amazing cardiovascular benefits and burn plenty of calories, but since steps are a part of life and we never know when the elevator may be out of order…why not be prepared? Begin light by using a single step in your home or somewhere steps are present and get used to the repetition.

Once you are comfortable, feel free to increase the intensity by either adding height or light weights.

Check out this video by Livestrong.com for a visual demonstration of how to do this exercise properly.

2.  Lunges

Although lunges aren’t easy, they do offer wonderful benefits. While this exercise strengthens the glutes, quads and surrounding muscles, once done properly lunges have the ability to help you control gravity’s impact on downward movement.

I recommend beginning with a stationary lunge with the option of holding onto something to help you with balance as you build up the strength required to support your body weight.

For a visual set of instructions, watch this.

3. Side/Lateral Lunges

While regular lunges are effective for shaping and strengthening the entire lower body, side lunges offer the same benefits yet feature the inner and outer thighs more prominently.

As you step out laterally to do the lunge, you are working the outer hip using hip abduction and bringing it back to starting position using your inner thigh, otherwise known as hip adduction.  Your standing leg is working to stabilize the movement, so it is also reaping the rewards of this exercise.

Adding side lunges to your routine enables you to get benefits from using multiple planes of movement. In life we move in a variety of different directions, so it only makes sense to incorporate multi-directional forms of fitness into your routine.

See the demonstration here and give it a try!

As always, start slow, master your form and add resistance as needed for proper progression. If you are consistent, you will shape your body into something you have only dreamed about J

Why Skipping Meals Does Not Help With Weight Loss

Are you guilty of skipping meals? If so, you aren’t alone. It seems to be a pretty common misconception in regard to weight loss tactics. But what if I told you that in fact by NOT eating you were doing much more harm than good and setting yourself up to actually gain weight later on? If you are doubtful, read on.

Muscle helps determine metabolism

Let’s say you have hired a personal trainer to help you reach your fitness goals. This trainer has you doing all sorts of strength training 2-3 times per week. They are helping you build lean mass (muscle) because they understand that muscle helps determine metabolism. They want you to feel good about the hard work you’re putting in and the results you are on your way to seeing. With all of the time and money spent on what you are doing in the gym, wouldn’t it be nice to know that your results will last? Well…if you skip meals they won’t.

Skipping Meals Does More Harm Than Good

We need glucose (blood sugar) in our bodies at all times to fuel even the most passive activity. Every 3 hours or so we use up whatever glucose we have available, so if we go longer than that without food, our bodies go into starvation mode and begin the process of something called gluconeogenesis…which I will simply define as “creating glucose (blood sugar/energy) out of non-carbohydrate matter, such as muscle”.

Glucose is the only source of energy our nervous system relies on and if there isn’t any available through food, the next best place to release it for use is our lean mass.

Why your body must not “eat” muscle – and why you need muscles to lose weight

Figure a pound of muscle burns approximately 50 calories a day at rest. Skipping meals causes this lean mass to be destroyed in order to fuel your body when food isn’t available.

Every pound of muscle destroyed creates fewer calories to be used per day, so in essence you’re teaching your body to slow down and store more fat.

Building and maintaining muscle is an absolute must if fat loss is what your heart desires because by age 40 or so, we naturally begin to lose it at a rate of about 8% every ten years and this rate accelerates even more by age 75 or so.

When you realize that the shape you want…the body you have worked so hard for will begin to weaken all on its own, it should begin to make sense that keeping blood sugar stable will allow your body to maintain the muscle you build.

Why you should be eating 5-6 small nutrient meals per day

Eating smaller, nutrient dense meals 5-6 times per day allows you to stay fueled without depleting your body of the energy needed for survival. This allows your muscles to stay intact rather than have to be used instead as a substitute for the food you would be better off consuming.

If you partake in a consistent resistance training routine that continues to build lean mass, eat to stay fueled often enough to ensure you get to maintain what you build during your work-out.

In plain English…your body eats muscle in place of missing food. I kid you not…it really is that simple.

Eat foods rich in fiber, lean protein and healthy fats

Now don’t get me wrong…this doesn’t mean it’s ok to eat junk 5-6 times per day. I’m talking about wholesome and nutritious foods. Foods rich in fiber, lean protein and healthy fats. These are the foods that dissolve guilt because they promote a positive and empowering mindset when it comes to nutrition.

Keeping yourself properly fueled allows you to stay alert and sharp because your nervous system is functioning at optimal levels. Your mood is optimistic because you feel alive and have energy.

Those pesky carbohydrate cravings that used to overpower you is an issue of the past now that you keep your blood sugar levels regulated. Your body stays strong, lean and shapely because you have now learned the secrets that will help your metabolism remain quick and efficient.

Now doesn’t this sound better than starving?