Loose Weight Naturally : Lifestyle & Dietary Adjustments

When trying to lose weight it’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of weight loss > weight gain > weight loss > weight gain, and so the cycle continues. This is usually because you pursue a diet and fitness regimen which is simply outside of your comfort zone.

Going from one extreme to the other in a mad bid to lose weight is not the best strategy. Firstly, the body responds best to gradual changes. Secondly, if you aren’t comfortable with a diet and fitness regimen then you’re not going to sustain it. That’s why today you’re going to learn how to make small dietary and lifestyle adjustments that can have a big impact.

How to Lose Weight Naturally

Calorie Counting

If you’re going to successfully lose weight then you need to burn more calories than you consume – period. Use a spreadsheet to make a list of the foods in your diet and then determine your average weekly consumption of calories pertaining to each food. Doing this will help you better determine the sneaky high calorie foods that may be hindering your weight loss efforts.

Cook Your Own

Sourcing, preparing and cooking meals from fresh ingredients is the best way to ensure you have full control over your diet. Ready-made, convenience foods are loaded with additives, preservatives, flavorings and an abundance of other nasty chemicals. Avoid this trap and ensure your body is properly nourished by sourcing fresh produce and preparing your meals from scratch.

More Fruits & Vegetables

Fresh produce should make up a large part of your diet. You should add at least two servings of vegetables with each meal, or perhaps a healthy portion of salad. Also, incorporate a healthy amount of the nutrient rich dark green veggies into your diet. Finally, aim for two servings of fruit daily, replacing snaky type foods for fresh fruits.

Reduce Fat Intake

If you follow through on switching processed convenience foods in place of freshly prepared meals then you’ll naturally achieve this. However, be mindful of the unhealthy fats in your diet and try to reduce them as best you can. Switch to low-fat milk, cut fat off meat before cooking, use butter sparingly, use less oil in cooking, use olive oil, these are great examples of ways you can cut fat out of your diet.

Eat Slower

When you eat to quickly, you tend to over eat as the body doesn’t have enough time to signal the brain that you’ve had adequate food intake. Slow down at meals to better prevent this, put down your cutlery between bites, incorporate chewy foods into meals, and generally strive to be more mindful of the rate at which you consume food.

Manage Portion Sizes

Portion sizes are generally way too big! It’s easy to get stuck in to a meal and clear your plate without even realizing you’re over-eating, this is particularly true of you tend to eat fast. Consider using smaller dinner plates, and consume a full glass of water prior to sitting down to big meals as this will help your body signal the brain that you’re full.

Drink More Water

Water is without a doubt your no.1 weapon for weight loss and healthy living. It contains zero calories and helps to cleanse the body of toxins. You should switch all sugary, processed carbonated beverages for water for an instant impact on your diet healthy living plan.

Get Some Exercise

The term exercise can often leave people with images of having to endure punishing workout regimens yet it really needn’t be like this! In fact, it’s important to only work to fitness levels you’re comfortable with so you can get a routine going. Start by walking and build up from there. It’s not about how much you do in one sitting but rather consistency.

Manage Stress

Stress can affect your weight more than you’d imagine. In particular, the stress hormone cortisol is directly linked to excessive abdominal fat which is the most dangerous type of fat accumulation. Managing your stress will prevent stress hormones being over-stimulated, and can also help curb binge eating as some people turn to comfort foods when feeling down or pressured.

Wrapping It Up

In today’s article we’ve discussed 8 simple dietary and lifestyle adjustments that can help you lose weight naturally. Remember, the key to successful long-term weight loss is consistency! Incorporate the tips discussed one at a time and give yourself time to adjust before making new changes. These small changes may not seem ground-breaking but when combined they can soon start adding up!

Fed up with yo-yo dieting where you lose weight and gain it back?

Learn how you can stick to a diet plan forever by applying these 5 golden rules!

Stretch & become Powerful

Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite normal and is part of the process. Stretching has seemingly been with us and particular with athletes since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few years back. She said that any stretch under 17 seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity Bikram’s yoga where stretches are held for about 30 seconds. Don’t forget the high level of heat that is used in Bikram’s to extract that last little bit of stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But, it can’t hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from stretching? That’s an easy one. Have you ever seen the movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that played him was quite elastic as well.

Great elasticity is also something you might see in well trained Spetsnaz(Russian)agents. They often work out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic shocks.

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to have explosive power available at one’s fingertips without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are not martial artists or agents. But, you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in the full lotus position for long periods of time, my ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it’s normal position.

Amazingly, this didn’t even hurt, not one bit. If my ankle hadn’t been so flexible, I may have suffered a sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt for days.

Key point: stretching helps us to avoid injuries. Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically speaking.

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over time.

Check with your physician before undertaking any type of exercise, including stretching.

Be your own financial coach

You’ve been thinking that your financial life could probably be better, right? Maybe you think, “If I could just stick to a budget everything will be fine…”, or how about “When I get that next raise or promotion, I’ll have enough money to pay off my debts and save some money…” You may even be thinking,”I can do this on my own!”

I hear these comments and more on a regular basis. I usually say, “Great! Can you think of any reasons your financial life isn’t perfect right now?”

It’s really your “little voice” which is prompting you to say all these things! Your little voice has a job to do and that is to protect you from any change because it “knows” that change will be hard or scary or cause more work and it’s just easier to keep things the way they’ve always been. Your current situation is something you already know and even if you don’t like it, you at least know what you already have.

Or maybe you feel it’s all up to you and it’s weak to have other people help you, especially when it comes to money. Besides, you might think, I’ll probably have to pay to get help!

People who challenge these thoughts and hire a financial coach find that their attitudes toward “getting help” changes dramatically within a couple of weeks. You’ll find someone you can tell everything to, literally. Your hopes, fears, dreams, problems – the whole lot and you can even drop the image that your life is perfect, that you know it all and that you can do it yourself.

The first thing you’ll notice is that your coach won’t judge you. You’ll be accepted as you are, even if there is room for improvement. You’ll find someone who will truly hear what you say and support you in your efforts to be an excellent money manager.

You’ll feel your dreams are something to be valued and you’ll encouraged to clarify them and move towards them. You’ll be asked challenging questions, you’ll think bigger, be clearer about the role of money in your life, and you’ll consider other possibilities!

Because coaching is a professional relationship, you’ll be working with someone who isn’t just going to say “yes” to you. You’ll know your coach has your best interests at heart when she challenges you. Your coach can help you see big picture when you get bogged down in the detail or run into difficulties. She’ll open up your thinking so you can see you are capable of more than you see for yourself. You’ll be encouraged to truly be your best, particularly when you are inclined to stop short of doing what’s possible for you.

Your little voice will be very happy to protect you from these wonderful experiences, especially if you’ve never experienced the opportunity to work with someone who is on the same playing field as you, open to brainstorming ideas and continually moving you forward. Your inner voice protects you from growing and being outside your comfort zone. Your little voice tries to stop you doing something, whether through fear or pretending you don’t need to do it. Your little voice is useful when it protects you from danger such as putting your hand in fire.

And, remember your little voice is extremely clever and powerful; after all it’s had a lot of practice! It will keep trying to find a way to stop you. You can be quick to identify your inner critic getting in the way, and it will find another way of stopping you. We’ve become so accustomed to letting our inner self rule our lives that we tend to see it as normal, never questioning whether it’s healthy for us.

This inner critic can kick in when you think about getting the help you need and making changes that will improve your finances. “I don’t need ‘help’; I can do it myself!” you’ll hear it say. Getting financial help may suggest that you aren’t capable, you have something missing, or you are just plain lazy or stupid.

You’ll quickly realize that a coach doesn’t ‘help’ you. A coach sees you as a whole person who is capable of unbelievable things. They don’t hold your hand like a child and they’re normal human beings who aren’t perfect. They act as a sounding board, an objective observer, offer a safe place to learn new information about money and answer questions you’ve never been able to ask anyone else. They see things clearer than you do because they step back and aren’t caught up in your daily routine. You can take more responsibility when encouraged by a coach.

Coaching will give you the opportunity to stop and reflect, gather your thoughts, sort out your priorities and focus for the coming week. The dynamics of two people working together are greater than the sum of the individuals.

What is your little voice stopping you from doing, which could be extremely beneficial for you? Write down what your mind is saying, because seeing it in black and white allows you to see more clearly.

What could your life look like right now if you’d had this kind of help when you were just starting out? What will happen 20 years from now, if you keep listening to your little voice? What are you waiting for?!?!?

Cindy Morus, http://www.mendyourmoney.com/about, is a Certified Financial Recovery Counselor specializing in showing women and their families how to achieve financial well-being and peace of mind. She is also a Certified Credit Report Reviewer, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and Certified Retirement Counselor. Contact her at 541-387-2995. She is also the publisher and editor of “Financial Fitness”, an internet gazette dedicated to helping people improve their financial fitness no matter what decisions were made in the past.

Tips for Investment : Buffet

If you’re a young person learning to invest, you might think that during a recession is a bad time to put your hard earned dollars into the stock market. However, according to the greatest investor that ever lived, Warren Buffett, right now is exactly when you should strike. When people are fearful, they tend to make irrational decisions and sell stocks at a price below fair value. If you have cash and time on your side, you can do yourself a great favour in picking blue chip stocks on firesale. However, how can one differentiate good stocks from bad ones? After all, even with so called blue chip stocks, the company can be poorly managed. Just look at all the big American banks in the recession that went bankrupt and were later sold off. If the so called experts in the area of finance could have gotten it so wrong, how can the general public do better at stock picking?

This is where common sense and a lack of ego come in. If you can’t describe in a few words what the company does, don’t invest in the company. It is as simple as that. People tend to think differently when they own shares and they don’t think like a business owner. However, being a shareholder, a business owner is exactly what you are no matter how few shares you own. Thinking about it this way, would you want to own a company that you know nothing about? Most people would say no.

Undoubtedly, buying stocks requires thorough investigation of the company in which you want to invest. Even for those who are very good at it like Warren Buffett can make mistakes. If you are queasy about investing in stocks or don’t have the time to do the research, Buffett actually recommends buying index funds or ETFs (exchange traded funds) that track the markets. Instead of having invested in specific companies, you will be investing in all the companies that make the market. Eventually, the markets will bounce back and by getting in right now when the price is low, you will be making money. After all, isn’t the way to make money to buy low and sell high?

Nicholas Began is a freelance writer for Warren Buffett Stock Picks http://warrenbuffettstockpicks.com/. Being the best investor in the world, lots of people follow Warren Buffett stock tips to make money.

Make the Best of your Recordings

Since putting out my articles on why bands should record and other studio-related issues, I’ve been contacted by a few people here and elsewhere who have already recorded albums, or are midway through the process, but have no idea what to do next. Some of these musicians have released their albums months ago, and have complained to me that they are sitting on their Bandcamp pages not doing very much a poor return on months of effort. So let’s talk about how to get an album to work for you.

1. Decide well in advance what you want it to do for you

This may seem ridiculously obvious, but a great number of bands and musicians have no idea what they want out of their music. Why are you playing music? What changes do you want your music to make in your life? Do you want your music to make you rich, make you famous, take you on tour, incite a political revolution, impress the opposite sex, be a way into the industry, or just be a fun and creatively satisfying hobby?

An album can do all those things and more, but you have to have to know what you want. It’s hard to sympathise with someone who complains that their album “isn’t getting them anywhere” when they’ve no idea where they want it to get them to. Once you have seriously thought about what your music should achieve, then the decision-making process for your album (and many other things) will become much simpler.

And you need to do this as soon as possible preferably before you record a single note. The real-life aims you have for your music will affect everything, from the kind of music you write, the way you record it, the way you produce it, the way you distribute it and the way you sell it (or whether you sell it at all). Trying to shoehorn existing recordings to do something that they were not designed to do is way more frustrating, and usually much less successful, than creating music with a certain aim in mind, but for many musicians it ends up being the only option. Don’t let that happen to you.

2. Don’t think “or,” think “and”

I’ve written elsewhere on the state of the music business. It’s never been so confusing and fragmented. Whilst there are opportunities there, perhaps more than there ever have been, especially for smaller artists, the myriad of options available make decision making difficult and intimidating, and the destruction of old certainties makes it hard to get good, up-to-date and relevant guidance.

But what I can say is that it’s not a case of choosing the best route. It’s a case of choosing as many as you possibly can, all at the same time. 20 years ago, a band could make enough money just by selling its album in record shops. Not any more. You can still make money doing that, just not very much. The same goes for most other methods of selling. But if you also sell from your website, from Amazon, from iTunes, in physical format, in digital, in streaming, in soundtracks, at gigs, at festivals and every opportunity that comes up, then those individual streams of income can add up to serious money. It’s more effort than the old model, but the good news is that you are in control and you don’t need a record label taking 95% of your money before you can get your hands on any cash.

3. Understand that the album is part of your musical package

Following on from point 2, the biggest error you can make is thinking of your album as an isolated package. In fact, going back to point 1, you will notice that I said you need to think about what you want from your music not just your album. Those aims and goals for your music apply to everything you do as a musician, not just your recordings. An album is just one wheel on the musical vehicle that will take you where you want to go be that riches, fame, fun, artistic satisfaction or anything else.

The album sits alongside your live performances, radio play, touring, merchandising, press, fan clubs, social media and a dozen other things that will drive your music forward. The important thing is to understand that all of these things will contribute to each other. A band that tours will sell more albums, and a band that sells albums will go on better tours, and so on for every combination of those things. So to exclude one of those things from the things that you do doesn’t just preclude you from progress in that area, it will weaken your ability to do each and every one of those other things. So a band that doesn’t have a full album will have less to sell at gigs, less to play on the radio, less to tour in support of, less merch (CDs are the most important merch item by far), less for journalists to write about and less for its fans to talk about and get excited about. A band that doesn’t tour will likewise weaken its hand in every other area and so on for each of those things. As with point 2, it’s not a case of choosing between these things, it’s a case of doing all of them at once.

Here’s a useful exercise to do. From the list above, write down how each one benefits each of the others. Then you will start to realise what you lose by not doing even one of those things. For example, for just Social Media:

Having a Social Media presence benefits:

Live performances higher attendance through informing people about gigs
Radio Play organise your fans to request that stations play your music
Touring go to the right places because you know where your fans live
Merchandising announce new merch items to your fans, run competitions etc
Press get your fans to help you get your material reviewed and respond to negative reviews
Fan Clubs instant access to all your fans, exclusive content etc.
Album get more sales and get people excited about it prior to launch

So you can see how not having a decent Facebook/Twitter presence will kick all your other activities in the teeth. Go through the whole list and show how each thing can benefit every other thing, and the album is just one of those things. Now do you see why you need to do them all?

It’s just as bad to over-concentrate on one thing, and the album is the number one thing that bands tend to over-concentrate on. Having an album on its own, as many bands have discovered, doesn’t do very much at all. You need all those other things for the album to realise its power as a thing that can propel you towards your dreams.

James Scott is a Music Producer in London, UK who works with emerging and independent artists to help them get noticed in the industry.