27 Simple Tricks To Lose Belly Fat For Good

Belly fat is one of the most common problems with women. In fact, it has been observed that even those who have slim bodies are troubled by bulging belly. A bulging belly not only diminishes your appearance, but also increases the risk of diseases like stroke, diabetes, heart disease and cancers. Some people even go to the extent of taking diet pills or fat burners for reducing belly fat.

To lose this fat effectively, you need to focus on exercises that specifically target your belly and other parts of your body. A full body workout helps your body continue burning fat, long after you’ve completed your workout. In addition to exercising, there are certain natural ways such as dietary and lifestyle changes which can help you get those flat and sexy abs.

Exercises to Reduce Belly Fat:

There are plenty of exercises and food items that can go a long way in helping you get flat abs. All it takes is a little bit of discipline and perseverance. Exercises are one of the best ways to achieve your desired weight loss and the same is true with reducing belly fat. Given below are a few exercises that help you in getting rid of a bulging belly.

  1. Side Plank:

This is a great abs work out. It is different from traditional plank in the sense that it enables you to support your body weight on two points of contact instead of four, helping you work out your core muscles.

  • You can start off by lying on your elbow placed directly beneath your shoulders and your legs stacked together. Now place your right hand on your left shoulder or right hip.
  • Brace your abs and lift your hips off the floor so that you are balancing on your forearm and feet. Your body should form a diagonal line. Hold on to this position for 30 to 45 seconds or as long as you can if you are a beginner. Switch sides and repeat the procedure.
  1. Exercise Ball Crunch:

This exercise is done with the help of an exercise ball crunch and is great for working out your abdomen muscles. In this exercise, the abdomen gets exerted while the rest of the body is stabilized throughout the routine.

  • To start off, lie on the ball with your lower back fully supported and your hands placed behind your head.
  • Now lift the torso off the ball by contracting the abs to pull the bottom of the rib cage towards the hips.
  • Curl up, keeping the ball stable and then lower back down to stretch the abs. Do at least 1 to 3 sets each with 12 to 16 reps.
  1. Reverse Crunch:

This exercise has been considered more effective than regular crunches in strengthening the core muscles.

  • You can start off by lying flat on your stomach with your arms at your sides.
  • Crossing your feet, lift them off the floor to create a 90-degree angle with your knees.
  • Now contract your abs muscles and lift your hands and shoulders off the ground, exhaling when you contract and inhaling when you lower your back down.
  • Try doing 1 to 3 sets with 12 to 16 reps each.
  1. The Bicycle Exercise:

Cardio exercises are one of the best exercises for burning body and belly fat. Exercising on the bicycle is one of those which are great for body rotation, abdominal stabilization and more abdominal muscle activity.

  • Start off by lying on your back with your hands behind your head.
  • Now slowly raise your knees to your chest while lifting your head and shoulders off the floor.
  • Bringing your right elbow towards your left knee, straighten your right leg.
  • Now switch sides, bringing your left elbow to your right knee and straightening your left leg.
  • While doing this exercise, keep your breathing relaxed and even. Do 1 to 3 sets with 12 to 16 reps each.
  1. Vertical Leg Crunch:

This exercise is similar to leg crunch except that your legs are straight up, working out your abs and adding intensity to the routine.

  • To start off, lie down on the floor with your legs straight up, your knees crossed and your hands placed beneath your head for support.
  • Contract your legs, lifting your shoulders off the floor and keeping your legs in a fixed position to crunch.
  • Do at least 1 to 3 sets with 12 to 16 reps each.
  1. Long Arm Crunch:

This exercise has been derived from the traditional floor crunch where the arms are held straight behind you such that a lever is added to the move, making it a challenging exercise.

  • Start off by lying on the floor or a mat. While doing so, extend your arms straight behind, keeping them clasped and next to your ears.
  • Contracting your abs slowly, lift your shoulders off the floor to keep your arms straight.
  • Do 1 to 3 sets with 12 to 16 reps each.
  1. The Captain’s Chair Leg Raise:

As evident from its name, this exercise involves a captain’s chair and a rack with padded arms to allow the legs to hang free. It is commonly found in gyms and racks.

  • Start off by standing on the chair and griping hand holds.
  • Pressing your back against the pad, raise your knees to the chest to contract the abs.
  • Then lower the back down.
  • Perform 1 to 3 sets each with 12 to 16 reps.
  1. Interval Workout:

An interval workout is a workout where a high intensity exercise is followed by a lower intensity exercise. This is done to enable your body to workout at a good pace and then give it enough time to recover. For example, you can try jogging for the first 5 minutes to warm up. Then sprint for the next 2 minutes. After that, you can slow down to the spot where you are running at a jogging pace and then indulge in a full sprint for 2 more minutes. You can end up by jogging for the final 5 minutes.

  1. Running and Walking:

Running and walking are the best fat burning exercises. This is quite simple as all you need is a good pair of shoes. Running burns more calories but walking is also quite effective in this regard. You can try brisk walking for 30 minutes at least 5 days in a week. This will cause you to breathe harder and your heart rate to become faster than usual. To get the same results in half a time, you can try jogging for 20 minutes in a day, at least 4 days in a week.

Diet to Reduce Belly Fat:

In addition to exercise, there is a need to make certain changes in your dietary pattern to reduce belly fat. All kinds of junk foods, processed snacks and aerated drinks might seem pleasing to your taste buds but they cause more harm to your tummy both internally and externally, causing fat to accumulate in your mid section.

A balanced diet not only improves your overall fitness but also prevents your belly from bulging up. Besides, there are certain food items that can help reduce your belly fat naturally. Given below are a few dietary tips for reducing belly fat:

  1. Restrict your Caloric Intake:

As we all know, the key to weight loss is consumption of fewer calories than you normally consume. Spot reduction is rather impossible but when you start losing overall body weight, you tend to lose belly fat first. Thus, there is a need to restrict the intake of sugar and starch as these types of foods get stored in the body as fat if the calories are not burnt off immediately and do not provide much nutrition. Instead, it is advisable to consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins like chicken, fish, turkey and tofu. Processed foods and sweetened beverages also contain hidden fructose apart from fruits. Make sure to limit your fructose intake to less than 25 grams per day.

  1. Avoid Late Night Snacking:

Late night or in between meals snacking should be avoided. If you feel hunger cravings in between meals, go for healthy foods like carrots, celery, fruits or nuts.

  1. Eat Smaller Portions:

Reducing portion sizes can greatly help in weight loss including belly fat. Ensure to consume all kinds of foods in moderation to reap their health benefits.

  1. Keep Yourself Hydrated:

Staying hydrated is extremely important. Drink plenty of water as it keeps you full in-between meals. You can drink one full glass of water before every meal as this will fill up your stomach and you are likely to eat less. Replace the sugary sodas and fruit juices with water to prevent the consumption of unnecessary calories. Ensure to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day.

  1. Eat Fewer Carbs:

Carbs are an important source of energy. But most of us tend to consume more carbs than are need. These carbs get stored in the body as fat resulting in the appearance of belly fat.

  1. Eat More Protein:

Increase the consumption of lean proteins like fish, skinless chicken and eggs. Since protein has a higher thematic effect than other foods, your body burns more energy while processing proteins than it does while processing carbs and fat. Thus, a high protein diet is more effective in burning belly fat.

  1. Cut Down on Alcohol Consumption:

Alcohol is loaded with sugar which leads to fat. Even if you cut down your sugar consumption but continue consuming alcoholic beverages, you are no better off. Alcohol also places stress on your liver which is forced to overwork to remove toxins consumed. This adversely affects the building of muscles. Alcohol greatly contributes to belly fat so it is advisable to refrain from consuming it.

Foods that Reduce Belly Fat:

As stated earlier, there are certain foods which are especially effective in reducing belly fat. The foods given below should be included in your diet as they can provide you with a flat belly along with a rich boost of nutrition.

  1. Fruits and Fruit juices:

Among fruits, cranberries are especially effective in reducing belly fat. They have a high content of organic acid which act as a catalyst for enzymes. These enzymes help in reducing the fatty deposits. Ensure to include 100% cranberry juice in your diet. Cran-water also helps to lose belly fat. Dried fruits like raisins, apricots and figs are also quite nutritious and beneficial for weight loss.

  1. Fish Oil/ Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Omega-3 fatty acids help you to lose belly fat by directly targeting tummy fat. Fish oil is another great option to lose belly fat. Ensure to consume at least 6 grams of fish oil or eat mackerel, salmon at least twice a week. You can also munch chia seeds as they are high in protein and an excellent source of B vitamins. They also contain calcium and high quantity of antioxidants.

  1. Linolenic Acid (GLA and CLA):

Conjugated Linolenic Acid (CLA) and Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) help reduce belly fat by activating the brown fat in overweight people. You can obtain this GLA from precursor vegetable oils like sunflower oil. Otherwise you can also use GLA supplements. CLA helps in reducing fat by helping the body to utilize and access stored fat.

  1. Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA):

Monounsaturated fats like omega-9 fatty acids also play an important role in a flat belly diet. Certain studies have shown that MUFAs help to burn body fat in the belly. The American Heart Association recommends using MUFAs instead of trans-fats and saturated fats. To get the recommended amount of MUFAs, you can use olive, sunflower or safflower oil for cooking. Other sources of MUFA include filberts, olives, macadamia nuts and avocados.

  1. Lemon or Lime:

For a flat belly, try to drink lime juice in normal water daily in the morning. You can also sip lemon juice or use it in salads or in your diet. Lemon provides more energy to the liver to liquefy fat so that it gets flushed away more quickly from the system. Besides you should drink plenty of water to accelerate this process. Dehydration can cause your kidneys to take help from the liver, thereby reducing the liver’s speed to burn fat.

  1. Herbal Teas:

Herbal teas can be beneficial in this regard as they are prepared from spices and herbs that have been proven to speed up metabolism, reduce stress and cleanse the body’s internal organs. You can also consider using green tea as it has a load of antioxidants which are great for your body, skin, hair and brain. It contains EGCG which can help you lose belly fat naturally. Try having 3 to 4 cups of green tea in a day without adding milk or sugar. An effective way to lose belly fat is to replace the sodas, juices and other sugary foods with herbal teas.

Lifestyle Changes:

Apart from a healthy diet and regular exercise, it is important to incorporate certain changes in your lifestyle to accelerate the process of losing belly fat and be able to maintain the fitness level in the long run. To start off, it is important to maintain a positive attitude. If you believe that you will be able to do it, you can actually do it. In fact, you have to be patient enough as you cannot expect to get instant results. You need to make the following changes in your lifestyle:

  1. Get Proper Sleep:

Getting proper sleep is perhaps one of the best and easiest things that you can do to bring your body into shape including reduction of belly fat. Science has shown a link between getting deep sleep on a consistent basis and having less belly fat. Sleep deprived people tend to feel sluggish, causing them to eat more to compensate for the lack of energy. The deepest and most sound sleep comes from going to bed early in the evening. When you are awake till late in the night, you are tired and your body produces more Ghrelin, which increases cravings for sugar and other fat-building foods. Lack of sleep can also alter your hormone production, thus affecting your cortisol levels that cause insulin sensitivity which is one of the causes of belly fat. It is advisable to get at least 7 hours of sleep at night.

  1. Manage your Stress Levels:

Stress is a part and parcel of life today. But too much stress can increase the level of cortisol in the body which leads to excess fat storage. Stress can be managed by indulging in regular exercises, staying away from stress inducing people from your life and time management. You can try yoga, meditation or other mind-body building activities that improve breathing, posture and provide relaxation too. If your job is the cause of your stress, consider changing your careers to be better off and alive. Being late or constantly running out of time can also lead to stress. Try to manage time by making a list of things that you need to accomplish on a given day. This might help in reducing your stress levels and consequently the fat accumulated in your belly.

  1. Slow Down your Breath:

This is an effective method that you can try even if you are busy doing something else. Whenever you find that you are feeling tensed, try and check your breathing. When people are stressed out, they often alternate holding their breath with short breaths or take rapid shallow breaths. When you become aware of your breathing, relax your belly and try to slow down your breathing. To get the best results, focus on slowing down your exhalation rather than inhalation. This method is quite simple but extremely effective.

  1. Be Persistent:

It is our tendency to look for quick results in every aspect of life, fitness is one of those. Often when we are trying to lose belly fat or simply lose weight, we expect to see results within a short span. When we fail to see the difference, we end up feeling disappointed and giving up on the fitness regime.Another reason is that some people feel monotonous following a particular routine or are simply unwilling to make the requisite changes.

So the most important thing that you need to keep in mind while trying to lose belly fat is to be persistent. As we all know, nature is persistent, time keeps on moving no matter what. Like nature, you have to be persistent enough to take steps each day to eat the right foods, do your regular exercises and nourish yourself. You need to give some time to yourself before you can see positive results. Avoid pushing yourself while trying to lose belly fat as things take their own time to work out. And last but not the least, you have to maintain a positive mood and be happy. Make sure to measure your progress to know where you are heading.

So if you really want to look good in your favourite skinny jeans or a perfectly fitted dress and if you think that belly fat is incurable, you need to change your thinking. Just go ahead and adopt the simple yet effective ways given above. Though you cannot reduce fat, you can definitely lose belly fat by decreasing your total body fat percentage.

Remember a step taken in the right direction is always better than standing still on the wrong path. Go ahead and make those small changes in your life.

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10 Reasons Your Hard Work Isn’t Paying Off

You work hard at the gym nearly every day, huffing and puffing on the treadmill, your spin class, or your favorite bootcamp routine – and yet nothing is happening. You’re not losing weight, you’re not gaining muscle, and you look no different than when you started exercising.

You’re not alone! Many women go through the same frustrations as you do  – but fret not. You have tosit down and really look at what you are doing (or not doing) and make adjustments. Here are the top 10 reasons why you are not seeing results and how you can fix them.

1. Doing the same workout routine.

Do you do the same thing day in and day out or stick to such a strict routine that you do not even waiver from your spot in class? The problem with doing the same thing all the time is that your body gets so used to it that it no longer has to work hard, which means your body will not be going through any changes. Rather than sticking with the same classes or machines over and over, vary your cardiovascular exercises so your body will wake up from its exercise-boredom coma.

2. Weight lifting is not part of your routine.

If you are neglecting weight lifting, then you are missing out on the most important part of body transformation. While cardio is good for heart health and losing weight, lifting weights is good for turning your body into a lean, mean, muscle machine. In fact, weight lifting is actually more effective than you think. If you are lifting heavy weights where reaching eight reps is almost impossible, your body will be burning calories for hours after you are done. You do not get that same benefit from doing cardiovascular exercise. Once you are done running, that is it. So start picking up some weights and lift!

3. You are just cruising along – where’s the challenge?

Do you always set your treadmill on the same speed and incline? Do you always use the same weight for your chest presses? If you do, then you are not giving your body a challenge that it desperately needs in order to see results. Start adding sprint intervals to those jogs or using heavier weights for those presses. It’s okay if you cannot run for long or can’t lift as many reps — that is good. Your body is being challenged which means it will have to work harder!

challenge-yourself

4. Your eating habits have not changed.

Let’s face it — you can work out like an Olympic athlete, but if you go home and gorge on pizza, pasta and cake, all that hard work was for nothing. Exercising is not a license to eat whatever you want. Be mindful of what you are eating throughout the day including those little bits of your kids’ leftover food. Every bite adds up! Also know that eating healthy doesn’t mean sacrificing taste. There are plenty of delicious, full-flavor recipes that are mindful of calories, fat, carbs and more.

5. Your drinking habits have not changed either.

Just like food, what you drink can also have an impact on seeing results. Your favorite café mocha may be like heaven to drink, but it is probably packed with lots of sugar and carbohydrates. Some juices, smoothies, flavored teas, and coffees have many calories along with the added sugar and carbs. Enjoy them at your own risk or opt for something better like black coffee, herbal tea or lemon water.

6. You are always stressed.

Your emotional health can also take a toll on your physical health. If you are constantly stressing over everything, your body releases too much cortisol, a hormone that regulates stress. When you are under a lot of stress, your body reacts negatively to it. A decrease in muscle tissue, blood sugar imbalances, and increased abdominal fat can all result from constant high levels of stress.

7. You don’t get enough sleep.

As with stress, if you are not sleeping enough, cortisol levels will be higher than they should. Make sure to go to bed at the same time every night whenever possible and wake up at the same time. You should get at least seven quality hours of sleep. Create an environment that is conducive to a good night’s sleep like turning off your electronic devices (including your TV and smartphone) and/or playing soothing music.

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8. Your food may not be as healthy as you think.

There are a lot of healthy options when it comes to food, but there is also a lot of confusion. Some labels claim foods are natural or healthy, but they really are not. As a result, you’re not eating as healthy as you think you are. Become an avid label reader and read the ingredients first. If the ingredient list is a paragraph long, you would be wise to skip it and find something better. Foods should be mostly natural, unprocessed, and have minimal ingredients.

9. Are you staying hydrated?

It is just as important to stay hydrated as it is to eat right. Drinking water throughout the day will not only help your digestive system and flush things out (so to speak), but it will also help keep hunger in check. More often than not, those hunger pangs are really a cry for some hydration.

10. You need rest days.

Believe it or not, you need at least one day off from exercise each week. Your body needs time to recover, and the only chance it gets to do that is when it is not engaged in any physical activity. Gains are made during the recovery process and not when you are actually doing the work. So let your body do what it needs to give itself a break!

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A Tighter Tush With Just One Move

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Get it right and get it tight with squats. If you did not know already, squats are great for toning your booty! They can get a little boring though, so it’s a good idea to try different squat variations. It’s also important to make sure you are performing the move properly, or else you won’t reap the benefits of your hard work!

power-squat

Step 1:

Place your hands straight by your sides. Stand with your legs a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Squat down, bending your knees and pushing your butt back as if you were sitting in a chair. Make sure your knees stay behind your toes.

Step 2:

Explode up through the balls of your feet into a vertical leap with your legs and arms fully extended. As you land softly, sink back into the squat position, keeping your knees softly bent. Never land with your legs still extended and do not fully lock your knees out. That is one rep. Do as many power squats as you can within 60 seconds.

Modification: Do not squat down as deep, and rather than jump, simply rise up and stand on your toes as you extend your legs.

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25 Amazing Fruits and Veggies For Weight Loss

These days, people are adopting new lifestyle trends, which are taking a toll on their health. Obesity is the most common result of this new lifestyle. The unchecked increase in obesity can lead to a plethora of ailments like heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.

It is very important to change this kind of lifestyle in order to bring positive changes in the body. Along with changing the lifestyle, it is equally important to adopt a healthy eating plan. For healthy weight loss, you should apportion a large part of your daily meals to fruits and vegetables. Here is a list of 25 super fruits and vegetables that can help you lose weight rapidly.

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Fruits for Weight Loss

Fruits are not only essential for good health, but can also help one to lose weight efficiently. Researchers have revealed that people who eat fruits are less likely to gain weight. Eating fruits in moderation is excellent for weight loss as it controls calorie intake, while providing essential nutrients. Fruits add bulk to the diet and fill you up quickly, preventing overeating.

Fruits are an excellent source of energy and provide high amounts of water to keep the body hydrated. They improve the blood circulation and digestive system, making the skin beautiful and glowing. A diet rich in fruits is also excellent for the detoxification of the body. Fruits provide energy to jumpstart the metabolism and provide the required sugar content after the night of fasting.

Thus, if you are looking for natural weight loss remedies, a diet rich in fruits may help you without causing any harm to the body. Aim to consume at least 4 to 5 servings of fruit daily to get a good mix of nutrients. Here are some fruits that are amazing for weight loss and will help you shed those extra pounds – they’re oh so delicious at the same time.

1. Avocado:

People often follow a carbohydrate restricted diet, but avoid fat completely thinking that it might increase their weight. Avocado is higher on fats than most foods, but it is rich in healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, which are very beneficial for the health. Avocados contain around 20 grams of healthy fats that not only increase the metabolism, but also increase testosterone, the hormones responsible for weight loss in both men and women. It also comes packed with plenty of Vitamin E.

Avocados speed up the conversion of fat into energy, boosting the rate of your metabolism. It also prevents spikes in blood sugar, preventing the body from storing fat. Combine avocados with jalapeno peppers for a more efficient fat-burning process. This extremely versatile fruit can be used as salads, sandwiches and dips. Avocado dip is a much healthier alternative to mayonnaise.

2. Berries:

Berries like blackberries, raspberries, cranberries and strawberries are often lauded as calorie and fat burning foods for weight loss. They provide minimal carbohydrates and are relatively low in sugar as compared to other fruits. These berries promote bowel movement, and eliminate toxins and other harmful materials, detoxifying the body. Berries also promote heart health by removing bad cholesterol from the body. It improves satiety, leading to healthy weight loss. A cup of strawberries provides only 50 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 5 grams of fat. The fiber content in berries slows down the digestion and absorption of fructose, the fruit sugar. Berries are a great fruit to incorporate in your weight loss diet.

A study conducted at the University of Michigan found that people who consumed blueberries daily reduced their belly fat by almost 2 percent. The high amounts of antioxidants in blueberries rid the body of toxins that lead to weight gain and other health problems. The nutrients like folate, potassium and Vitamin C in blueberries help to boost the metabolic rate, making the body more efficient at burning calories. Raspberries are the most fiber-rich berries, with each cup providing 8 grams of fiber. Top your fruit salad and yoghurt with berries to suppress your appetite and satisfy your sweet tooth.

3. Apple:

Apples contain high levels of fiber that increase the metabolic rate and enable one to stay full for longer time. Pectin in fiber prevents the body from absorbing too much fat. Pectin also releases a strong appetite suppressant that keeps you satiated for a longer time. According to a study conducted in Brazil, people who ate an apple before every meal lost 33% more weight than those who did not. An apple contains only 100 calories per serving. Carry an apple in your bag for a quick, on-the-go snack.

4. Water fruits:

Fruits like cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew melon contain high amounts of water with minimal carbohydrates. Water fruits hydrate and provide instant energy to the body. It improves digestion and excretes toxins, aiding detoxification and healthy weight loss. Watermelon contains lycopene, a chemical that lowers the risk of cancer, macular degeneration and heart diseases.

5. Dry fruits:

Dry fruits like raisins, prunes, apricots and dates can be added along with fresh fruits for effective weight loss. These fruits are excellent sources of minerals and vitamins, which are very essential for the proper working of the cells. They also improve the immune system, providing protection from viruses and flu.

6. Coconut:

Coconut contains medium chain triglycerides (MCFA) that increase the liver’s rate of metabolism by almost 30%. They also keep the stomach full for a longer time, preventing irregular hunger pangs. Coconut oil is very beneficial for the functioning of the thyroid gland. All forms of coconut like coconut flour, low fat coconut milk and shredded coconut contain MCFAs.

7. Lemons:

Lemons are excellent liver detoxifiers. Maintaining the health of the liver is essential for the body’s ability to metabolize and burn fat. It tastes acidic, but can alkalize the bodily fluids and tissues. Drink a glass of lemon daily morning to prevent fat accumulation.

8. Grapefruit:

Grapefruit is one of the healthy foods for weight loss. A study conducted at Johns Hopkins University found that those who ate grapefruit daily lost 20 pounds in 13 weeks without any change in their diet. Its high water content helps to increase the feeling of fullness, while providing very low calories. Enjoy a grapefruit as your evening snack instead of junk food. In addition, it takes more energy to digest grapefruit, burning more calories. Grapefruits contain naringenin, an antioxidant that stabilizes the insulin level, preventing weight gain.

9. Tomatoes:

Tomatoes come packed with Vitamin C and lycopene, which stimulates the production of cartinine, an amino acid that speeds the body’s fat-burning process. Carotenoids serve as an antioxidant, which helps to lose weight and improves cardiovascular health. Drizzle olive oil and vinegar on tomatoes for a light snack.

10. Bananas:

Bananas are filled with soluble fiber that curbs the desire to eat comfort foods. The resistant starch in bananas prevents the absorption of carbohydrates in the body. This makes the body burn fat instead of carbohydrates. Potassium in banana helps to build muscles, which in turn burns fat.

11. Pomegranate:

Pomegranate is brimming with antioxidants, which enable the body to get rid of unwanted toxins. It contains polyphenols, an antioxidant that boosts the body’s metabolism. It also stops the arterial lipid build-up and lowers your appetite. Drink a glass of pomegranate juice for your breakfast or sprinkle the pomegranate arils on oats or cereals for a tasty treat.

12. Oranges:

Eating freshly picked oranges cuts a considerable amount of calories from the diet. It keeps the body well hydrated and provides you with an ample amount of fiber. Each section of the fruit provides 85 calories and 5 grams of dietary fiber. Orange is a nutrient-dense fruit. It contains high amounts of Vitamin C, thiamine and folate, which are known for boosting the metabolism.

13. Papaya:

Papaya is a low carbohydrate fruit and one of the healthy diet foods for weight loss. Low carbohydrate fruits have high water content, which controls the body temperature and expels bad cholesterol from the body. It provides energy to the nervous and cardiovascular systems to function properly. A cup of papaya provides 55 calories and 3 grams of fiber. The fruit contains papain, a unique enzyme that promotes faster transit of food through the gut, aiding weight loss.

14. Cantaloupes:

Cantaloupes are extremely filling fruits. A cup of cantaloupes provides 60 calories, which is enough to keep you full for a longer time. The fruit contains Vitamin A, C, potassium, fiber, niacin, Vitamin B6, choline and folate that prevent you from indulging in comfort foods.

Vegetables For Weight Loss

One of the main reasons why vegetables are effective in weight management is because they are relatively heavy for the number of kilojoules they contain. Vegetables are low in calories and contain high levels of fiber that fill you up quickly. Some vegetables contain active ingredients that can aid in curing and reducing the risk of various diseases. The high water content in some vegetables allows effective weight loss by providing a sensation of fullness. It also prevents dehydration that can occur in a weight loss regime. There are many vegetables for losing weight, but choose those that are low in calories and high in vitamin and fiber. Here are some of the best vegetables to help you lose weight.

15. Celery:

Celery is a great weight loss food as it contains a high amount of water and very few calories. It is high in dietary fiber, which produces satiety hormones into the blood stream, giving the brain a signal to stop eating.

16. Cucumber:

Cucumber is one of the best low calorie foods for weight loss. It is extremely low in calories and contains high amounts of water. Apart from the weight loss benefits, cucumbers are amazing for the skin as well. It is used to cure dark circles and reduce puffiness around the eyes. It soothes skin irritation and swellings. It is also an excellent source of silica, a mineral required for strengthening the connective tissues. It is most commonly used in salads, but you can also consume it in the form of juice.

17. Broccoli:

Include plenty of broccolis in your diet if you want to lose weight. It contains no fat at all and has plenty of slow-releasing carbohydrates that require time to digest. It contains thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, iron and magnesium that keep you healthy and nourished. It also keeps the energy levels up throughout the day.

18. Cabbage:

Cabbage is one of the popular low fat foods for weight loss. It contains high amounts of fiber and just 20 calories. Cabbage soup is a very popular low fat recipe for losing weight. However, cabbage can instigate gas formation, which can be reduced by combining it with ginger and garlic.

19. Beans:

Beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber, which satiate the hunger and keep you full for longer times. It prevents overeating and consuming too many calories. Protein in beans keeps the energy and sugar levels stable, preventing comfort food cravings. Cut down on your meat intake and eat beans instead. Take beans for your breakfast and stay full until your next meal.

20. Spinach:

Spinach is an amazing vegetable that you can try for losing weight. It contains nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, thiamin, phosphorus and Vitamins A, B6, C, E and K. It also prevents water retention. Cook the leaves lightly or serve it raw with salads. Spinach not only helps to strengthen the muscles, but also stabilizes blood pressure and improves neurological health. The Vitamin K in spinach prevents excessive activation of osteoclasts, which is very essential for your bone health.

21. Peppers:

Peppers help you to manage weight, making them the perfect addition to your diet plan. It contains an alkaloid substance called capsaicin that causes the body to heat up, burning calories faster. It also boosts the metabolism. Red, yellow and orange peppers are also slightly sweet in taste and can satisfy the sweet tooth as well. They are an excellent source of Vitamin C as well.

22. Alfalfa sprouts:

These sprouts contain the full range of vitamins, which includes Vitamin A, B, B12 and K. It also contains an impressive amount of folic acid, calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and chlorophyll. Apart from the weight loss benefits, alfalfa sprouts reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure levels. It also increases the activity of the natural killer cells, boosting the immune system. Add it to your stir-fries, sandwiches and salads.

23. Watercress:

Watercress is a versatile vegetable and adds a burst of flavor to every dish. It has Vitamin K and calcium, which prevents diseases like Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis. Watercress is high in beta-carotene and Vitamin C, which support the immune system. It also reduces the effect of sodium in the diet, controlling heart rate and blood pressure.

24. Onions:

Onions are one of the best foods for adding taste to your meals. A cup of onion contains around 60 calories and 2 grams of fat. Another low fat foods for weight loss. Onions contain quercetin, a plant chemical that protects against a wide variety of diseases, including cancer. You can add onions to you casseroles, soups and stir-fries.

25. Leafy Green Vegetables:

Leafy green vegetables like turnip greens, Swizz chard, mustard green and lettuce are very useful for achieving a slim waist. They are low in calories and very high in fiber and vitamins. Steam the green leafy vegetables to preserve the nutrients and flavors. Green leafy vegetables protect against heart attack and atherosclerosis. They also have a low glycemic index.

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8 Late Night Snacks That Won’t Make You Fat

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We all know that late night snacking isn’t exactly part of a good diet plan. But then again, we also know that eating late at night is sometimes inevitable.

Because you’re likely to do it anyway, you may as well make some good food choices. Late night snacking may not mean weight loss, but that doesn’t mean it has to equal weight gain. Try these 8 late night snacks that won’t make you fat.

1. Carrots

Because they’re fluid-dense (meaning they’re great at making you feel full quickly), carrots are fantastic for not only keeping weight off, but also for losing weight. They’re also packed with vitamins and antioxidants, so your skin will thank you for eating carrots. For an extra dose of flavor, dip carrots in hummus, another great snack that won’t cause weight gain.

2. Celery

Have you ever heard that eating celery burns more calories than consuming it does? That’s not untrue, and because they’re made of mostly water and fiber, your body will think you’re full quicker than eating something else. If you’re not the biggest fan of celery, swipe on a thin layer of all natural, unsalted peanut butter to add some protein into the snack.

3. Blueberries

Get yourself one cup of blueberries and snack away with only 80 calories and 4 grams of protein. With a high water content and enough antioxidants to make your skin glow, blueberries will fill you up and hold off signs of aging. That’s a win-win.

4. Raw, Unsalted Almonds:

Pick up a package of raw, unsalted almonds for a snack packed with protein and good for you fats. Stay away from anything roasted, salted or flavored to keep the integrity of the snack pure, and limit yourself to no more than about 15 almonds.

5. Plain, Low-Fat Yogurt

Yogurt is one of the best foods your body can eat, especially because it balances the bacteria in your gut and helps with digestion. For the best results, opt for plain, unsweetened, unflavored, low-fat yogurt. The flavorings can add up to a ton of sugar that will lay in your stomach at night, which can contribute to weight gain. Also, stick to low-fat instead of non-fat. When all of the natural fat is taken out of yogurt, other additives are put in to make it taste like regular yogurt, and those additives are not good for your body.

6. Cottage Cheese

Some people hate cottage cheese, but it’s a fantastic snack for weight control. Make your serving a tasty treat by mixing in blueberries and almonds for an anytime snack, whether it be late night or early morning.

7. Hard Boiled Egg

Boil a batch of eggs one night and store them in your fridge for easy snacks throughout the week. Eggs are high in protein, good fats and they’re low calories, so do yourself a favor and choose this over that handful of chips.

8. Peppers

The “heat” factor in peppers has been shown to help with appetite control and increased heart rate, which in turn burns calories. Red peppers are especially great, and if you need a bit of extra flavor, dip peppers in a bit of hummus.

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5 Exercises That Will Transform Your Butt

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In order to really challenge the glutes and force them to become more than just a backseat driver, your workout needs to include a mix of movements that come at this large muscle group from multiple angles. You need strength work that hits every part of your lower body. Here are 5 moves that will do just that.

How This Workout Works: Three days a week on non-consecutive days, do 1 set of each exercise back to back. Rest for 1 to 2 minutes, and repeat the full routine 2 more times (for 3x total).

Equipment: Optional dumbbells and/ or kettlebells.

1. Donkey Kicks (15 reps per leg)

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Starting on your hands and knees, keeping your core tight and back flat, raise 1 leg and keeping knee at 90 degrees. Push that leg as high as you can in the air and lower back down, repeat for 15 reps, then switch legs.

2. Hip Bridge (15 reps)

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Lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, (optional – place the weight on your pelvic area).

Keeping your core tight, rise your hips up off the floor and thrust them as high into the air as you can, squeezing your butt at the top. Keep shoulders on the ground.

Lower hips back down, but do not touch butt to the floor. That is one rep. Repeat for 15 reps.

3. Mountain Climbers (20 reps)

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Assume a push-up position with your arms straight and your body in a straight line from your head to your ankles. Without changing the posture of your lower back (it should be arched), raise your right knee toward your chest.

Pause, return to the starting position and repeat with your left leg. That’s one rep. Alternate until you’ve completed 20 reps.

4. Sumo Squats (15 reps)

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Start by taking an excessively wide stance. The more your feet are apart, the more you activate your glute muscles and not your quads (front of thighs).

Point your feet to 45 degrees away from your body. Holding a dumbbell or if you prefer a kettlebell in front of you (arms should not be flexed), with your core engaged and your back kept straight, bend your knees and send your hips backwards, lowering your body and the kettlebell as far as you can without compromising your posture. Try to get the weight all the way to the ground without actually touching it. If you prefer not to use weights, you can hold you arms out for balance.

Rise back to your starting stance, squeezing your butt at the top of the movement. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps.

5. Fire Hydrants (20 reps)

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Start on all fours, knees directly under your hips, and hands directly below your shoulders. Keep your back, neck in a straight line, and look slightly forward. Keeping your knee bent, raise your right leg out to the side, until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Keep your pelvis stable and not leaning to the left, slowly lower your leg back to starting position.

Repeat 15 times on one side, then switch legs.

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4-Minute Insanely Fast Cardio Workout

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The most common reason for the vast majority of people who do not make regular exercise a priority is a “lack of time”.

Yes, you are busy, really busy – maybe even way too busy, but this full body fat busting cardio workout that requires no equipment and takes only 4 minutes to complete is going to blow all of your time related excuses out of the water.

4 Minutes is quick; lunch break – baby is down for a short nap – my boss isn’t looking – dinner is almost out of the oven – two commercial breaks of your favorite show quick.

And it will go by quick with this fun workout that burns belly fat, butt fat and all types off body fat, by torching calories, bumping up your metabolism, and calling upon muscles that you didn’t know you had.

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How This Workout Works:

4 Exercises
20 Seconds
10 Second Rest Intervals
2 Rounds
4 Minutes Total

Here’s the lineup:

1. Squat Thrusts (Burpees)

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Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands tucked behind your head with elbows out.

Step 2: Start with a quick jump then push your hips back, bend your knees and drop down, placing your hands on the floor in front of you.

Step 3: Kick your legs backward so that you’re now in a push up position.

Step 4: Quickly reverse the movement to return to the starting position by bringing your feet back into your hands.

Step 5: Push through your feet and jump up to the start position. That’s one rep.

2. Mountain Climbers

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Step 1: Get in a push up position. Your body should be in a straight, diagonal line from your head to your toes.

Step 2: Raise your right knee toward your chest.

Step 3: Kick the right leg back as the left leg comes forward. The feet only touch the floor when they return to the back.

Step 4: Alternate legs quickly for 60 seconds.
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3. High Knees

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Step 1: Stand tall with your core pulled in and your shoulders back.

Step 2: Keep this posture and raise your right knee as high as you can. Lower it back and repeat with your left leg.

4. Jumping Jacks

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Step 1:

Stand with your feet together and your hands at your sides.

Step 2:

Jump up and raise your arms above your head, while simultaneously kicking your legs out to the sides. You should form an “x.” Without taking a break, quickly reverse the movement and repeat.

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Top 20 Fruits and Vegetables That Will Help You Lose Weight

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The theory behind zero calorie or negative calorie foods is that they contain such a scant amount of calories that the energy you expend eating them cancels out their calories. In essence the bottom line is that you don’t take on any excess calories, and in some instances you end up burning calories as you eat them. It’s clear that the following foods have such a slight caloric load they won’t put a dent in your daily total.

Each of these foods has fewer than 50 calories per 100 gram serving. Considering that chicken breast has 172 calories in that same portion size and is considered a low calorie food, it’s clear to see these foods rank very low in terms of calories.

1. Celery

Celery is a food that when you eat it you don’t really feel like you’re eating anything, so it’s not a total shocker to find out that it has essentially zero calories. The stringy nature of celery makes it seem as if it only exists to hold the water it contains. What you’ll typically see is celery with peanut butter or cream-based fillings inside of it, and you’ll want to avoid those if you are keeping track of calories, as they can swing it back the other way quite quickly.

2. Oranges

Oranges are known for their Vitamin C, but they’re also low in calories compared to other fruits. Whether or not you expend the total number of calories while eating oranges is debatable, but the point of eating foods this low in calorie is not to cancel out the calories, but to keep your total caloric load for the day lower than normal. You’re trying to create a caloric deficit, and an orange can help reach that goal.

3. Cabbage

Cabbage often gets brought up for its ability to prevent cancer and heart disease, and it often ranks on lists of foods that help with weight loss. That’s because it has a calorie count so low you end up burning it off just by going about the normal motions of your day. Cabbage soup is one great way to eat cabbage, as it is a filling meal while containing far fewer calories than most soups.

4. Asparagus

Asparagus shows up as a side dish to many meals, and is a great choice because its fibrous nature means it will satisfy your hunger, but the number of calories makes it so it doesn’t add much to your daily total. Eating asparagus fresh on a salad is a crunchy and satisfying treat, while grilling it or steaming it are the two best cooking methods. Be sure to go easy on the butter or oil, as that will bring the calorie count right back up.

5. Beets

If you’re going to use beets as a low calorie food you should stick to fresh beets that you either steam, boil, or grill. If you go with the pickled variety you’ll be adding a bit more calories to the mix. In addition to being low in calories, beets are great for the body, containing betalains, an antioxidant that gives it its color and is only found in a few select foods.

6. Cucumber

Cucumbers contain so much water in them it’s not surprising that they’re low in calories. That’s why cucumbers make a great adornment to most salads, especially when the salad is full of other low-cal veggies. You can eat until you feel full, while still keeping your total number of calories to a minimum. Combine this sort of eating with a more active lifestyle, and you start to tip the scales in your favor, literally and figuratively.

7. Lemons

It’s not as if you’re going to sit around eating lemons in order to keep your calories down, but it’s nice to know that you can use them as much as you want and you won’t be putting much of a strain on your total calories consumed in a day. That’s why lemons are great for flavoring up a glass of water, or sprinkling on top of fish and other foods to give them a bit of zest. They’re also an alkalizing food and contain antioxidants to keep you healthy.

8. Cauliflower

Cauliflower also limbos as one of the lowest ranking foods on the calorie chart. It’s also a cruciferous vegetable and has many healthy benefits to it, including being an anti-inflammatory food, and helping the body’s cardiovascular and digestive systems. It’s a great weight loss aid all the way around, not just because it’s very low in calories. You easily burn through it’s caloric load with the act of cooking it.

9. Mushrooms

No matter which mushroom you choose to go with, the chances are it’s going to be low in calories. These fungi just don’t know how to be high in calories, so you don’t have to worry when using them in a recipe, or sauteing them as a side dish. Even the big, popular portabella mushroom is low in calories, having only 22 of them in a 100 gram serving. Perhaps that’s why it makes such a great replacement to high calorie beef in mushroom burgers.

10. Watermelon

Watermelon has a low number of calories, despite being so naturally sweet. This has to be the sweetest food on our list, while still ranking considerably low in calories. The great news is that in addition to being a crowd pleaser, watermelon has antioxidants that help your body in many ways. It’s also been shown to be able to boost your metabolism, just don’t go overboard on portion sizes.

11. Zucchini

It’s great news that zucchini is low in calories because it is a popular side dish, and can even be incorporated into things like zucchini bread. It’s a very versatile vegetable that puts up such small numbers in the calorie department, it’s hard to do any damage with it. That being said, too much of a good thing is never good, so you’ll want to use this to help you feel satisfied during a meal without overdoing it.

12. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and it’s only fitting that they come in low on the calorie radar. The lycopene they contain helps prevent cancer, and staves off heart disease, so you’re doing yourself a favor each time you eat it. It also makes a great weight loss food because it has such few calories that you burn it off just getting it prepped for cooking. Combine it with other foods on this list and you’ll get a delicious, low-calorie meal.

13. Grapefruit

Grapefruit is often pegged as diet food, a title it deserves seeing how it has been shown to rev up a sluggish metabolism, and is recommended to heart patients after surgery. The calories on this aren’t the lowest you can find, but they’re still not worth mentioning when you’re tallying up your total calories for the day. Fruits in general tend to have more calories than vegetables, but they often bring a preferred flavor to the table as well.

14. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts may win the award for food most often given to the dog under the table, but it’s a shame because these little guys are packed with nutrients and clock in rather low on the calorie meter. They are also a cruciferous vegetable, so they provide similar benefits to eating broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Doctoring them up with cheese or butter to make them taste better will bump up your calories, so be careful and find the right balance.

15. Kale

You simply have to start eating more kale, that’s how good it is for you. And on top of all of the protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients it provides, it manages to keep its calories down, so it’s nothing but beneficial to you. Want a snacking alternative that’s naturally low in calories? Try baking up some kale chips in an assortment of different flavors. This is a much better alternative to potato chips.

16. Turnips

You probably don’t feel like eating a heaping helping of turnips, but if you did you wouldn’t really affect your calorie intake much. These vegetables show up from time to time in recipes, but most often they’ll be used as part of a side dish. You can also use them on a salad. They are an anti-inflammatory food, so they can help calm down the symptoms of several conditions caused by excessive inflammation in the body.

17. Apples

The “apple a day” adage seems to hold water, with apples containing plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This is no forbidden fruit, and should be used as part of a calorie conscious diet to make sure that you’re not exceeding your daily allotment. Apples can make a great snack between meals to hold you over, and keep you from eating junk food or fast food in a moment of hunger-induced weakness.

18. Onions

Onions are used in so many recipes it’s good that they’re low in calories. Most of us aren’t going to bite into an onion as a food source on its own, so it’s nice to know that they aren’t adding much in the way of calories when we cook with them and add them to soups and main dishes. Onions are often referenced as a healthy food that can help you reach your weight loss goals, and studies show that they contain flavonoids that help the body.

19. Carrots

Eating carrots to protect your eyesight is a good idea, but is just one reason to eat them. They’re also a low glycemic food, so they can help you manage your blood glucose levels, and they are an all natural diuretic, so they can help rid your body of excess sodium and retained water. They’re also an anti-inflammatory food so they can be used to help treat inflammation in the body.

20. Broccoli

Broccoli is a wonderfood, there’s no other way to describe it. It’s a cancer-fighting food that is also very low in calories. It’s packed with phytonutrients, as well as fiber so it helps keep your digestive system humming along, which is key to maintaining a proper weight. It even contains plant-based protein which can help you if you’re resistance training to build lean muscle.

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The 5 Best Martial Arts for Weight Loss and Fitness

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Combat and play fighting is well aligned with the primal nature of many intelligent animals. In terms of evolutionary usefulness, it’s about as functional as any form of exercise can get.

Until you’ve participated in martial arts, it’s impossible to understand just how frail and “in danger” you would be during a physical attack or confrontation. Training in martial arts is great for weight loss and fitness; and it could also save your life.

The reason some martial arts are so well suited to promoting fat loss and improved body composition is because they blend functional movements with strength training, cardiovascular conditioning, agility, mobility and flexibility, spatial awareness, and gross motor control.

Here are the top five martial arts for fat loss and fitness.

1. Muay Thai

Muay Thai is characterized by brutal kicks, knees, and elbows. It’s a very basic and straightforward martial art that doesn’t contain a lot of flashy and fancy techniques, throws (though sweeps are common), joint locks, and so on.

Training for Muay Thai centers around developing punching, kicking, knee, and movement skills, fight strategy, and conditioning. Workouts are very tough and sparring is even tougher. It may be possible to find a gym that allows you to not spar, but it’s uncommon.

2. Brazilian Jiu JitSu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a martial art characterized by devastating throws, takedowns, sweeps, joint locks and limb manipulation, chokes, and controlling positions.

Aside from wrestling and judo, it offers the unique advantage of taking another human being out of the domain of using kicks and punches in a standing position to the ground where only skills specific to ground martial arts will prevail. For this reason, it’s one of the best self defense martial arts for single attacker scenarios.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is very physically demanding, beautifully blending aerobic and anaerobic demand. It conditions practitioners in a unique way — it seems the only way to condition yourself for BJJ is to practice BJJ. Sparring is a staple in nearly every practice which is where most of the demand comes from.

3. Wrestling

Wrestling is another martial art that takes place primarily on the ground, though wrestling starts in a standup position. It features devastating takedowns and top position control. Like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there is no punching or kicking — it’s all about the control of the opponent.

Wrestling got the nod for fitness and fat loss over BJJ because there tends to be less stalling in advanced level wrestling matches and more emphasis on strength and endurance (versus BJJ’s emphasis on grace and flow).

4. Olympic Taekwando

The only martial art besides judo to be featured as an olympic sport is Taekwondo. It’s important to mention that there are various styles of Taekwondo and the olympic version is much different than the traditional styles. There’s no kata, no board breaking, no throws, etc. — it’s all about developing the most devastating kicking techniques possible while utilizing one of the broadest striking arsenals of any martial art.

Olympic Taekwondo is characterized by devastating and highly dynamic kicking techniques. It emphasizes both speed and power while using flexibility and spatial awareness to deliver many techniques in quick succession to both the body and head.

Because it requires so much speed, agility, and explosiveness, training is very demanding and feels more demanding than other martial arts because it solely focuses on developing the largest muscle groups in the body (legs).

5. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

MMA is a combination of many traditional styles but as morphed into a cohesive style of its own. As an interesting note, most of of the styles in this list have risen to the top when tested inside the MMA arena. The top MMA athletes tend to be well versed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, and Muay Thai. There are a few title holders who have roots in Taekwondo as well.

Many gyms will allow you to participate in the very demanding training style of MMA without ever “fighting” in MMA. Light sparring is almost always required though. Training is very demanding because there are so many skills and so many positions with a strong emphasis on speed, strength, endurance, and agility. For this reason, MMA athletes are among the fittest athletes in the world.

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Shed 7 Pounds In 7 Days

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Can this really be done? Is there a plan that will really subtract up to 7 pounds from your body in seven days — without starvation, bizarre supplements, or cutting out entire food groups? The quick answer is ‘yes’.

It all boils down to making small sacrifices and employing specific techniques. And rather than giving you a one-size-fits-all regimen, we figure you’re more likely to stick with the plan if you pick the eating and exercise strategies that fit your lifestyle.

So choose at least four of the nutritionist and fitness expert-backed tips that follow, and vow to work them into your schedule for seven days straight. If you feel ambitious, tack on a few more. The more you pick, the more weight you’ll lose. If you start now, by this time next week, you’ll look and feel way lighter.

1. Drink Mainly Water

A serving of sports or energy drink, fruit smoothie, or light beer can contain about 100 calories. Yet these beverages don’t satisfy you the way 100 calories of food does, so they’re a waste. Other liquids may be high in sodium and carbohydrates, which trick your body into retaining water, puffing you out.

Water, on the other hand, has zero calories and carbs and little to no sodium, making it the perfect slim-down drink. And strangely, it actually helps flush out excess water weight as well as jump-starts your metabolism. If it’s just too boring, add lemon wedges or mint leaves.

2. Stop Eating White Bread and Pasta (and also whole wheat)

Cutting out all white grain products — such as white rice, spaghetti, sandwich rolls — will instantly slim you down because the simple carbs in these foods cause bloating, especially around your belly. “Simple carbohydrates wreak havoc on your weight because they’re digested very quickly, leaving you hungry and more likely to overeat later,” says Jane Messer, M.D., author of The Upper East Side Nutrition Menu.

To go a step further, instead of replacing them with healthier yet still bloat-triggering whole-grain bread products, substitute vegetables for the week. This way, a chicken sandwich becomes chicken salad, and chips and dip turn into carrots and dip. The complex carbs from vegetables are digested more slowly, so you remain full longer. And because veggies are mostly water, they also help flush out excess water weight.

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3. Do Cardio 30 Minutes a Day

Any workout that gets your heart rate up will burn calories. But you’ll use more calories if you pick a cardio routine that engages multiple muscles simultaneously, says Gillian Lindy, personal-training manager at Crunch’s Polk Street gym, in San Francisco.

Three to consider: spinning, cardio kickboxing, and boot-camp workouts. Half an hour of each torches 200 to 300 calories while toning up your arms, legs, and core so everything appears sleeker and tighter.

You’ll burn even more calories per session if your workout incorporates interval training: alternating short bursts of intense cardio with slower activity. Experts aren’t sure why it works, but trainers swear by it.

4. Drink Coffee an Hour Before Working Out

This is the one exception to the stick-to-water-only rule: Just as a coffee run makes your morning at work more productive, a pre-exercise cup of java with a splash of skim milk (about 11 calories) or black (just 5 calories) will energize your workout, explains Dr. Messer. “You’ll burn more calories without realizing you’re pushing yourself harder.”

5. Have Nightly You-on-Top Sex

Not that you needed an excuse to hook up with your guy every night, but the fact is, this position is a fat blaster. Being on top means you do the rocking, and the more active you are, the more calories you burn — up to 144 for 30 minutes.

Sex also pumps levels of feel-good neurotransmitters, endorphins, helping you ride out food cravings. Get on top in reverse-cowgirl (i.e., facing away from your guy) to give your thigh and butt muscles an extra push.

6. Do 36 Push-Ups and Lunges Every Other Day

These gym-class staples will help sculpt muscle, so you’ll sport a more streamlined appearance. Do three sets of 12 of each exercise every other day. “Push-ups target your upper body, while lunges work your butt, hips, and thighs,” says Lindy. Quick tip: Make sure your back and legs remain in a straight line during your push-ups; it’ll improve muscle tone. Also, you can build even more muscle with the lunges if you hold free weights in each hand while doing them.

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7. Sleep 30 Minutes More a Night

That extra half an hour, whether you sleep 5 hours or 8, can refresh you enough that you will make better food choices (in other words, no quick sugar fix for breakfast in search of energy) and won’t feel lethargic and skip the gym, says registered dietician Esther Blum, author of Eat, Drink, and Be Gorgeous. More restful sleep (7 to 8 hours is best) also boosts your metabolism. And since your body builds muscle while you snooze, getting zzz’s equals better muscle tone.

8. Make One Food Sacrifice

Cutting out one indulgence — such as the chips you have with lunch or the chocolate dessert you eat after dinner — can subtract a few hundred calories from your diet, which translates into less flab, says Messer. “Your body won’t even notice their absence.”

9. Eat Salmon for Lunch

It’s packed with nutrients that build muscle tone and give your skin a healthy glow. Some nutritionists claim that consuming a portion (doesn’t matter how it’s cooked) may immediately make your face look a bit more contoured.

10. Stand Up Straight

Keeping your spine rigid and your shoulders back while sucking in your belly toward your spine gives you a slimmer, more streamlined middle.

11. Do Squats and Sit-Ups

Bodybuilders use this technique before competitions because it adds definition to muscle. Do three sets of 12 of each exercise to tighten your abs, butt, and legs temporarily.

12. Pop an Antigas Pill

Take one of these chewable tablets, sold over-the-counter at drugstores, to relieve bloating in your abdomen and break up gas bubbles in your digestive track, leaving you with a flatter tummy.

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