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4 Steps To Burning Belly Fat!

One of the main issues we have when it comes to dieting and working out is  how do we get rid of our belly fat?  Contrary to what many believe, doing crunches is not the best and only answer to this question.  There are other important factors to consider when you want to start seeing that 6-pack.

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SLEEP

 In one study people that got six-seven hours of sleep per night gained less visceral (abdominal) fat over five years compared to those who slept five or fewer hours or eight hours or more per night. When we are tired we produce more ghrelin, which triggers cravings for sugar and other fat building foods. Losing sleep can alter your hormone production, affecting cortisol levels. Cortisol is what breaks down lean muscle (type of tissue that burns calories most efficiently). It also holds on to fat storage in the abdominal region. Resting up and sleeping is very beneficial for our bodies so don’t feel guilty if your body is telling you to relax and go to sleep.

 

STRESS MANAGEMENT

Stress causes high levels of cortisol secretion and now we know what these do to our bodies. Vitamin C is highly recommended as it helps balance the cortisol. Bell peppers, kale, kiwi and orange juice are a great source. Aside from the scientific explanation of how having altered anxiety levels affect your body, there is also what you do when you are feeling this way. Think about what you do when you are stressed. While some people go out and exercise, others indulge in alcohol, pick up smoking or sit down in front of the T.V. and eat, eat, eat. None of these are good for your body and this is why finding a way to manage your stress is a step towards being healthy.

 

EXERCISE

As stated before, it will take more than just crunches to lose that belly fat. In terms of exercise, engaging in multiple muscle groups is better than just doing those sit-ups. These are some exercises that you can add:

  • ½ hour of aerobic exercise four times a week
  • Jogging
  • Walking rapidly at an incline on a treadmill
  • Rowing
  • Stationary bikes

Planking (hold yourself in push up position) 3-4 sets of 30 seconds each.  Below are some examples:

 

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DIET

After all, what you consume is what ultimately is going to help you the most when it comes to weight loss and toning up your body. There is no particular diet for belly fat but when you lose weight, the belly fat is what usually goes first. It takes fat to burn fat so it is okay to eat fat, but know which are the ones you should be consuming. Foods rich in Omega 3’s such as salmon, avocados and walnuts are a good source of fat. It is also recommended to eat natural fat burners such as cayenne pepper, green tea and flax seeds.

Stop the junk food!  Reduce calorie intake as your body will end up using stored belly fat and you will see a reduced waist line. Cut the sugar intake, as well as the alcohol which is packed with calories. Okay! Okay! If you will not give in with this last one, at least find out which alcoholic beverages have the least amount of calories. Stay away from the drink mixes with juices, unless they are natural.

Juicing.  And talking about juices, natural juices can burn fat, cleanse your body and shrink your stomach. Many people have turned into juicing and classes are even offered for those who want to make it part of their daily diet. Carrot, Melon, Pineapple, Berries, Watermelon are great examples of juices that will be of great benefit to your overall health.

Clean your kitchen. Get rid of all the junk and focus on what you want to put into your body. Chop up meals. I prefer having smaller meals throughout the day than three heavy ones. It keeps me satisfied and I end up picking healthier choices. Take some time after you eat before getting more food. I used to finish eating and immediately go for a second serving. A friend of mine recommended for me to wait a couple of minutes before getting up to get that second one. It was true what she meant when she said that the body is already full but you don’t realize it unless you take some minutes before getting up again. Now, I stay there in front of an empty plate and realize that it was all mental. You are full and you don’t need to go get more food. Last but not least, DRINK WATER!

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Hope you found this helpful and are able to practice it towards that goal that we all have at some point:  Loose the belly fat!!!

 

Darlene 

 

 

You can also read this at: http://www.clubfashionista.com/2014/01/4-steps-to-burn-belly-fat.html#sthash.wh4I10bA.dpuf

© DarleneVazquetelles, [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [DarleneVazquetelles] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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4 Trendy Diets for 2014

 TIPS ON LOSING THOSE EXTRA POUNDS

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Receiving a new year is always exciting as we take notes of what we learned from the past and what we want to achieve in the present and future.  We are filled with goals, wishes, dreams, plans and of course, resolutions.  I am pretty sure that you will agree with me when I say that the number one resolution people have when starting a new year is to lose weight. As part of the process of shredding those extra pounds you could have involuntarily welcomed into your system during the holidays, comes the dreaded word:  DIET!

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There are plenty of diets out there to choose from.  I believe that it is very important to consider your lifestyle, the specific goals you have and your health condition.  I want to share with you some interesting diets that I came across while doing some research on the topic.

THE FORKING DIET

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This concept debuted in France in a book called Dine Avec Une Fourchette.  It is very simple and more than a diet, I would say it is more a way of eating.  Silverware is the important aspect of this particular method of losing weight as you can only eat what you can spear with a FORK.  There is a French adage that says that you should have breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and Dinner like a Pauper.  With the Fork it Method you have three meals a day.  There are few restrictions for breakfast and lunch.  But at dinnertime, you are only allowed to consume foods that are naturally eaten with a fork.  Among those foods are some veggies, pasta, salmon and only white meats such as chicken and turkey.  So, no cheating with pizza, burgers and steak.  I believe that every diet has its pros and cons.  One of the parts that I did not like about this particular one is that you are not allowed to eat sashimi, edamame or any other Asian food because of the use of chopsticks and/or hands.  Aside from Puerto Rican cuisine, Japanese food is one of my favorites and there is no way that I would ever leave my sushi behind.  Also, you are not allowed to snack under the Fork It Method and I love doing it throughout the day.  This diet is based on three meals a day and I do think that it is better for your metabolism to have several small healthy meals a day.  On the positive side, this method is very easy to implement and maintain, as well as safe to practice.  For more information, food suggestions and different options depending on your goals, you can visit

www.forkitdiet.com.


5:2 DIET

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Developed by health journalists Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer, the 5:2 or 2 Day Diet promotes short term weight loss.  You can eat normally for five days of the week and then restrict calories to 500 (600 for men) for the other two days.  Although there is limited evidence as to how much weight is lost, some have admitted to losing up to 1.5lbs a week while undergoing the two non-consecutive days of fasting.  This is a diet that I would definitely consider.   It is not about going crazy the other five days of the week but you have the flexibility of choosing what you eat and then for two days you keep count of the calorie intake.  An example:  Breakfast (2 scrambled eggs with ham and green tea, water or black coffee) Lunch/Dinner (Grilled fish/meat with vegetables).  For menu ideas you can go to http://www.thefastdiet.co.uk/

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FLEXITARIAN DIET

Although I don’t see myself ever going the vegetarian route, I found this diet pretty interesting.  Flexitarian is obviously a combination of the words flexible and vegetarian with the philosophy that you don’t have to eliminate meat completely to receive the health benefits associated with vegetarianism.  Although meat is limited, the diet does contain approximately 50 grams of protein daily.  The Flexitarian diet can inspire people to eat less meat and more plant-based meals.  It teaches you to add more disease fighting and earth friendly plant foods to your diet.  Examples of foods that are acceptable in this diet are:  The “new” meat (tofu, lentils and beans), peas, nuts, seeds and eggs.  Also, fruits and veggies, whole grains, sugar, spice and one of my favorites:  Agave nectar sweetener!  (This is the only one I use on my coffee)  There are different stages on this diet.  Beginners can do two meatless days a week and then progress to three or four.

If you think this is the diet for you, I strongly recommend reading this book.  It gives you a range of options, recipes, meal plans, tips on losing weight and it can serve as an introduction to vegetarianism.

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THE REBEL DIET

Former gymnast, Dr. Melissa Hershberg breaks the rules of dieting with her own Rebel Diet.  Under less strict conditions this diet helps you stay fit and improve your nutrition, energy and health.  You can skip breakfast, consume coffee, carbs, sweets, chocolates and breads.  This diet works for the person that is constantly on the go.  You can eat everything but in moderation.   Hunger deprivation can lead to rebound weight gain so this type of diet may work better for those who do like to eat.  In her book, Dr. Hershberg offers medical insight on some diet myths we constantly hear about and she offers plans that allow you to keep eating those foods that you enjoy.

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Remember that there are plenty of diets out there that can help you achieve your goals.  Try to choose the one that works best for YOU, not necessarily your friend or a relative.  It should be easy to follow, nutritious, safe, effective for weight loss, against diabetes and heart disease.

I want to wish you all a happy and healthy 2014!!!

You can also read this article on http://www.clubfashionista.com

Darlene  Vazquetelles

www.twitter.com/darlenevaz

© DarleneVazquetelles, [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [DarleneVazquetelles] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Give your Life a Tune-Up!

If I tell you that I can go back and read on what I was doing and how I was feeling on a DAILY basis from the year 2002 up to 2004, you would probably think that I am crazy.  Crazy for “wasting” my time writing everything down and/or crazy for going back and reading it years later.  Too much time in my hands?  At times, yes.  At other times, just curiosity as to: “I wonder what I was doing on this day two years ago?”

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The one thing that I learned, aside from the fact that I used to spend a lot of time eating, was that whatever was hurting me back then, makes me laugh now.  I would often waste my time overthinking about what I see now as insignificant matters.  Have you ever been there?  For example, have you ever found a letter you wrote to an ex that you never gave to him or her and then realized “Uff…I am so glad I didn’t.”?  Priorities and perspectives change with time and that is one of the beauties of our life cycles.  One lesson to take from these moments where you glimpse at the past is that life will bring you pain and disappointments, but it is how you see, react and swing at these curveballs, what will eventually lead you through them.  One of my favorite sayings is that, “Everything happens for a reason”.  When we look back at the past and how we reacted to certain circumstances, we feel that we would have reacted differently if we would have known that at the end, everything was going to be just fine.  Still, those moments are what made us who we are today.  We live, we learn, we grow and we keep on moving.  As to the present:  I want to share with you what I believe can make your life a little better 🙂

ME TIME!!!

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These are the moments when you find yourself saying, “I need a break from everything.” I call mine ‘Darla time’ and by now my friends and family should know what this means, okay? 🙂 Although it can seem selfish, the truth is that these moments are important for you to communicate with yourself and listen to your needs.  Analyze how balanced your life is, or if there is a lack of.
Forget about work, politics, deadlines, blahs and blahs.  Yep, forget about everything but yourself.  Focus on your “NOW”,  on what makes you happy in this precise moment. What would you love to do? It can be another job or a hobby. It could be a trip or going to eat to that restaurant that you have been wanting to go to on  a “special occasion”.  Write these down and just start planning.  I don’t call it a bucket list because these are more simple and immediate things that you could be doing on a weekly and even daily basis to make your life a little brighter.  I went through a phase where everything was driving me crazy, especially myself. I was bored, uncertain about the future and pretty much just crawling through life.  As I was having one of these ‘Darla times’, I realized I wanted to start writing again.  It has kept me busy, entertained and happy as I get to express myself through something I really enjoy. Whether it’s painting, meditation, dancing, soccer, scrapbooking, playing an instrument, walking on your tip toes, skipping, or collecting pennies you find on the street, find something you enjoy and just do it.  Don’t ever think they are silly things.  If you like it.  Go for it!  Take this time to also think about what is not making you happy anymore and start letting go.  You can see examples on these as you keep reading.

BYE BYE JOB!!!
Title sounds great, right. Well, if you love what you do, then it shouldn’t sound great.  I know that finding a job during these times is not easy.  I am not telling you to go and quit your job just because you hate it.  But if you are miserable at work, I suggest you start looking for another way of making your money.  I know it is not that easy but “impossible” it is NOT.  Think about what you would love to be doing.  What would make YOU happy?  Then start researching all the possibilities.  The worst that can happen is that you find nothing, but at least you tried.  The best that can happen is that you end up quitting your yucky job and start getting paid doing something you truly LOVE.

SPIRITUALITY

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Find something you believe in and go to it when life gets tough.  Whichever religious beliefs you have or even when you don’t, it is a matter of having something that you can look at that will bring you a sense of peace and faith.  It can even be found through music.  Aside from entertaining, I truly believe that music has a great power of healing and therapy.  We all have that song that once it is played, our mood suddenly becomes lighter and happier!
Prayer has also been one of my escapes.  It is in times of turmoil that I found sanity and hope through prayer.  I read a lot of books and enjoy the words by preachers like Joel Osteen.  I have learned that God will not hand you anything that you cannot handle and at the end of the day, he has a plan for you.   Positivity is a must and I definitely understand how hard it is to see it at times.  Walking away from ugly thoughts is a must.  I try to use the word “cancelado”,  Spanish word for ‘cancelled’, everytime a negative thought crosses my mind. It sounds silly but it actually works!!  And talking about staying positive…lets go to the next thought:

WALK AWAY FROM NEGATIVE RELATIONSHIPS

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Keeping negative people away will make your life so much lighter.  Just a couple of months ago I was backstabbed by a so called friend and it is strange how I cried for five minutes and then a sense of peace invaded my life.  For years I had my doubts about this person and suddenly, it all became clear to me.  Negative people and negative thoughts will keep away the good from your life so let go so you can let in.
The same goes with love relationships.  Do not settle for someone that is not going to love and respect you the way that you should be.  I went through this and when things did not work out I felt my world was going to collapse.  Now,  I cannot be happier and I am grateful that it happened because now I appreciate that love and respect that I am receiving.  I’m a happy girl!  Everyone should be able to feel this, but it takes letting go of what does not feel right.

GO OUT!!

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Yep, go out hiking, shopping, jogging, drinking, dancing, singing!  Be loud, get crazy, laugh, eat, be silly, catch up with friends. As long as you are being responsible, especially with the whole drinking and driving, there is nothing wrong with happy hour in the middle of a crazy work week.  Take that break.  These are great ways of letting the stress out, venting to friends and just loosening up.   Have you ever gotten an invitation out, you said yes and then you started regretting it because you felt tired and didn’t feel like getting dressed?  Then, you feel bad because you said you would go or because they are already downstairs picking you up, so you get up and you go.  From nights like these sometimes come the best moments in your life.  You recharged some energy and end up being glad that you went out.  Appreciate the little things and moments in life.

STAY HEALTHY
Yep, it’s not all fun and games!  In my experience, my mood swings become pretty apparent when I have not done any type of exercise or if I have indulged in too many slices of pizza.  Once you stop your exercise routine for a while, it can become hard to start again but once you do, your energy level and mood take a hike all the way to the I Feel Really Good mountain top rock.   Combine it with some healthy intake and you are good to go!

LOVE, GIVE, SMILE
Being able to love the people around you is definitely a way to make the world and your own world a little better.  Stay away from Ignorance as it is the main cause for Judgment and Prejudice, two of the uggliest things anyone can carry inside.  Don’t judge the person that is next to you wearing those dirty, stinky clothes.  You don’t know if he/she lost her house and this is pretty much part of what was left.  Change your negative attitudes towards people, traffic, little situations you encounter on a daily basis.  There is always someone out there that has something worse going on in their lives, much worse than being stuck behind a slow driver, a red light or a boring meeting.  If you are able to spend $10.00 on a glass of wine at the bar, don’t hesitate when the opportunity comes for you to donate to a local charity or to a friend in need.  By becoming more positive as to how you react to certain situations that can affect someone else or yourself, you are already making this world a better place.

BALANCE

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As a Libra woman that I am, balance is a key ingredient in my life.  At times it can get hard to get to it but we should make an effort to make it happen.  An unbalanced life could lead to sickness, too much stress, broken relationships with people that we love, among other situations.  When you become a workaholic and forget about family, friends and your own interests, life can become pretty dull and hectic.  I am a lucky girl when I get to say that I have an amazing family that has always been there for me.  You can be replaced in the position you are the minute you walk away from a job, but you will never be able to be replaced in your family and friend’s life.  Spend time with your spouse, kids, grandkids, siblings, parents, grandparents, friends.  There is no greater love in life than the one you receive from your family,  as well as your chosen family:  your friends.
Nobody should tell you what makes you happy.  This is something that only you know.  These are my thoughts on the subject and I hope that you can take something from these lines, written from the bottom of my heart.
I will end this with one of my favorites … “DON’T FORGET TO SMILE!”

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You can also read this article on http://www.clubfashionista.com

© DarleneVazquetelles, [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [DarleneVazquetelles] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Darlene Vazquetelles

Darlene Vazquetelles website

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