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tips to drop your last 5 pounds

5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
Summer is coming and you may still want or need to lose a few pounds to look perfect. Here are some overlooking tips to drop your last 5 pounds, reach your goal, and look stunning.
 
You´re trying to reduce your body fat to the minimum so you´re fighting a natural survival mechanism. Food shortage has been a constant threat throughout human evolution. Without fat as a powerful energy store, humankind would have been extinct long before Stone Age. Body fat serves as:
  • an energy store,
  • a padding against mechanical impacts,
  • a coating against heat loss,
  • a construction material for tissues and organs,
  • and as a carrier substance for vitamins and other important components of metabolism, just to name a few.
(The beneficial effects of of body fat and adipose tisue in humans: https://www.nature.com/articles/0800473.pdf?origin=ppub)
 
When we get to this point, we usually forget the basics and complicate our lives. So, I’m going to remind you some things that people usually overlook.

1 – Stay focused.

This may not seem a tip because we use to think we only need the motivation at the beginning but, we need motivation all the time, and at this point, motivation is key.
You have been training and dieting and now you´re so close to your goal. It´s not time to drop the ball. Stay focused!
The finish line is ahead, few weeks ahead, few workouts ahead, few meals ahead. Don´t skip your workouts, no more cheat meals these last weeks… You didn´t come this far just to stay 5 pounds away from your goal.
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds

2 – Drink plenty of water.

Drinking enough water is crucial to your overall health, but it’s also an important tool in successful fat loss. Many studies support this statement, showing a positive correlation between increased water consumption and fat loss. 
Without water, the body cannot properly metabolize stored fat or carbohydrates.
The process of metabolizing fat is called lipolysis. The first step of this process is hydrolysis, which occurs when water molecules interact with triglycerides (fats) to create glycerol and fatty acids.
Drinking enough water is essential for burning off fat from food and drink, as well as stored fat.
When you aren’t taking in enough water, your body cannot do its job efficiently. If the only liquids you consume are coffee, tea, sodas, artificial fruit juices and the like, you will become mildly dehydrated, forcing your body to slow down its metabolism to compensate. A slow, water-starved metabolism may not burn fat efficiently.
In a 2014 study ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4121911/ ), 50 overweight females drank 500 milliliters (ml) of water 30 minutes before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in addition to their regular water consumption, for 8 consecutive weeks. The participants experienced a reduction in body weight, body fat, and body mass index. They also reported appetite suppression.
A mini-review from 2016 ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4901052/) found that increased water intake led to increased lipolysis and a loss of fat in animal studies.

3 – Outdoor activities.

At this point, more hours in the gym may bring you more stress than benefits. You already train hard enough and you deserve to explore life beyond the gym.
Outdoor activities help you lose fat because you burn many calories in just a short time.
(Read: https://chape.fitness/calories-burned-by-activity/ and pick your favorite outdoor activity).
In addition, outdoor exercise provides a mental health boost beyond that of indoor gyms. Moving outdoors has been shown to reduce anger and depression and improve mood. Exposure to sunlight enhances vitamin D production, which may be partially responsible for this mood-enhancing effect.
(Associations between vitamin D levels and depressive symptoms in healthy young adult women:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25791903)
You don’t have to run a marathon or crush an outdoor boot camp to reap the benefit. Even low-intensity activities, like walking or gardening, will do. Personally, I love these two activities:
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
Interestingly, low- to moderate-intensity physical activity shows greater improvements in self-esteem than high-intensity outdoor exercise. Activities shown to improve self-esteem include walking, cycling, horseback riding, fishing and gardening. A regular dose of outdoor activity can help boost the already powerful esteem-enhancing effect of exercise.
If you prefer high-intensity outdoor activities, these are my suggestions:
  1. Hiking is an activity that requires little or no equipment and gets you into the great outdoors. The big advantage to hiking is it naturally spikes the intensity level of your workout which helps you to burn three times the body fat of a flat walk. A combination of cardio, endurance, and strength-building exercise, hiking requires minimal equipment, and you can adjust the workout pace based on trail difficulty, fitness level, and personal preference. Hiking targets glutes, abs, and leg muscles. For maximum effects, choose a hilly terrain and keep up a brisk pace.
  2. Cycling is a wonderful way to burn a handsome amount of calories and get the body back into shape. It helps increase heart rate which in turn burns fat. The best part about cycling is that it involves all major muscles, builds lung capacity and endurance. Depending on skill and fitness level, you can bike in the park or out in the street, or even try conquering rocky slopes.
  3. Swimming is quite an effective outdoor activity to lose weight. It’s a top cardio workout and helps improve muscle tone at the same time. Since swimming involves a lot of efforts and negotiation against water, it leads to muscle building and fat burning. Swimming also can help reduce blood pressure and alleviate joint pains.

Time for a true (recent) story!

My old friend Tito still competes in kayak events. We know each other since we were kids and we love to go out and have a few beers when we get together.

Last summer he participated in Guinness records, paddling for 24 hours. This summer will participate in the World Championship, senior category.

He trains in a high performance center with Olympic medalists, and the center’s trainers and nutritionists prepare them detailed and very demanding training and diets.

However, my good friend always asks me for an opinion when he is in trouble. Two weeks ago, he broke his foot and sent me a message, because he needs to lose weight for this summer’s competition. Because of this injury, he can not run, bike, elliptical … So I told him, “swimming is your only option, dude.”

Last weekend I sent him a message to ask how he was doing. He was really happy because he was losing weight. “My foot hurts a bit when I get in the pool but, in a few minutes everything is fine. I do not use my legs, as you told me and I swim for an hour. I’m losing weight and I do not hurt my foot.”

This is how your hands look like after 24 hours of paddling.

But my point is, even if you´re injured, there´s an activity that you can do without affecting your injury. As John Wooden said: “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” 

You do not have the pressure of a championship this summer, you just want to look better. If you face an injury, lack of time, or whatever, look at your situation with perspective, evaluate your options and do what you can right now. Life is not perfect and we all have to deal with difficulties. How we deal with them is what will make the difference.

4 – Sleep.

What you eat and how you exercise are two significant contributors to the overall success rate you see. But after that, it’s important to not overlook some of the other contributing factors that can sway the type of progress you experience.
One specific component that very often gets overlooked is that of sleep. No one ever thinks of sleep being a factor in success since, after all, you are barely conscious while you sleep. How much damage could you really do to your progress while you are sleeping?
Cutting back on sleep reduces the benefits of dieting, according to a new study. When dieters got a full night’s sleep, more than half of the weight they lost was fat. When they cut back on their sleep, only one-fourth of their weight loss came from fat. Sleep-deprived dieters also felt hungrier, producing higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger and reduces energy expenditure.  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004211637.htm
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
You must not overlook the connection between the amount of sleep you get and your overall exercise performance. When you are short on sleep, it’s quite typical to find yourself struggling to maintain the usual level of exercise that you normally would tolerate quite well.
In addition to this, since sleep is the primary time the body recovers from exercise, it’s also when you will be rebuilding your torn muscle tissues. Without this recovery time, you’re going to go into your next exercise session at a disadvantage.

Try these tips to drop your last 5 pounds, I´m sure everything will be ok but, if you feel like you need more help, get in touch!

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Build healthy habits with Evernote

Nowadays, there is pretty much an app for everything you imagine.   Visit Google Play Store and then tell me if I´m wrong. But more doesn´t mean better, and a different app for tracking each one of our habits may result overwhelming or counterproductive.
Instead, using a single and versatile app, like Evernote to track your habits may be the right solution in many cases.
As you know (or should know), Evernote is a note-taking app. A digital diary, in a few words. You can use it as your journal, day planner, to keep things that inspire you (like articles, images and social media post) by using Web Clipper, as your to-do list or done list, to take class notes and help you with your homework, plan your travels or your wedding, write a novel, record meetings, save business cards and, as you have seen on this blog, record your workouts or keep your recipes collection.
Keeping everything organizing in the same place saves you lots o time and help you to be more productive. And when it comes to building a new habit the last thing you want is the need to get used to a new app because it doubles your work.
As each note is a blank canvas, you can create whatever you need. That´s why Evernote is great to build new healthy habits or get rid of unhealthy ones.
Let´s not forget that to make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each one should be:
Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
Achievable (agreed, attainable).
Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
Time-bound (time-based, time-limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
For instance, the healthy habit #1 is drinking more water. You can easily keep track of your daily water intake with Evernote. How?
1 – Create a new notebook (Click on File -> New notebook) and name it My water intake. Click OK.
2 – Click on your new notebook and create a New Note (Ctrl + N) and name it Water intake. You will use this note as a template and this will save you a lot of time.water intake 1
Let´s say you don´t drink any water at all and you plan to drink 6 glasses of water every day. That´s a Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound goal.
3 – Type numbers from 1 to 6 and then add a checkbox next to each number (Ctrl + Shift + C). Why would you put checkboxes? To mark them every time you drink a glass of water. This ensures you don’t miss a single one.water intake 2
4 – Duplicate this template as many times as you need (Right-click on the note -> Duplicate Note). water intake 3
I recommend you to rename each duplicated note with the date and keep the first one as your template. It will take you seconds to create and rename the notes you will use in a week.
water intake 4
Let´s go a step further and suppose you drink too many sodas or beers and you want to reduce the consumption of these drinks by replacing them with water.
Using the same notes, you can keep track of what you drink every day and be conscious if you´re going in the right direction.
Just repeat the step 3 for sodas and beers and voilá! You will be able to easily check the days you did right, the days you did wrong (and also write your comments/excuses why those days didn´t go well), and keep yourself accountable and focused on your goals.
water intake 5
Access your water intake notes on your mobile device by adding a shortcut. An icon will appear on the main screen of your device making your notes just a tap away.
With your note open on your phone or tablet, tap on the menu button (the column of three squares) and then select Create Shortcut.
water intake 6
Your shortcut will appear on the main screen of your mobile device.
water intake 7
You now have a completed and easily accessible habit tracker! Any updates made to a note are synced across all devices once saved.
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Adequate hydration

All athletes must be aware of the importance of staying well hydrated before, during and after a physical activity. Adequate hydration is a recurring and very effective advise for many different objectives. No wonder if we consider the roles that water plays in our body. Water is involved in all cell reactions, as the reaction medium, as a reactant or product. It also participates in the transport of nutrients, gases and metabolic waste products. As if that were not enough, also it acts as a refrigerant muscle when they are heated during exercise, evaporating sweat, eliminating vapor exhaled air or directly through the skin. Hydrate before exercise has a clear objective: to ensure proper functionality and muscular performance in the first phase of the exercise. It is recommended to take between 400 and 600 ml water, 2 or 3 hours before exercise to allow the renal system regulates the total body fluid volume and achieve the optimal values of osmolarity. During the exercise, our goal is to maintain a positive hydrate electrolyte balance, since a deficit would adversely affect athletic performance. It is recommended between 150 and 350 ml of water every 15 or 20 minutes, from the beginning of the session, to prevent the lowering of sodium. If exercise is intense and long lasting, you should not take only water, add a drink with carbohydrates to keep the oxidation of sugars, normalize hypoglycemia, delaying fatigue and speed recovery of lost glycogen. By the way, the drink should not be too cold but feel like, because at low temperatures the absorption takes place more slowly. Too hot, it has the same problem, so the best thing is a drink that is simply “cool”. Rehydrate after exercise is intended to restore muscle physiological functions as soon as possible. Ideally, complete rehydration for the next two hours to complete the exercise. It is recommended that at least 150% of the weight loss cover the loss of fluid through sweat, plus obligatory urine loss. At this stage, carbohydrates should be taken as soon as possible, because the muscles are very receptive to glucose uptake and this will promote muscle glycogen resynthesis. Put a little care, will lead us to adopt healthy habits regarding our hydration while enhancing the results of our efforts with diet and training.