By: Lindsay Messina
There is a lot of hearsay about fat burning, muscle toning and such like; A popular myth is spot reduction fat loss, this is supposedly achieved by doing exercises that focus on a certain area and will specifically burn fat in your target regions. For example, people will do sit-ups all day to try and get a flat stomach or they will run to try and get leaner legs. Let’s state the fact now ladies; spot reduction is nothing but a myth.
There is truth in saying that these exercises will strengthen and build muscle mass when you perform them on a regular basis, but these exercises will not magically cut off a layer of fat. The body works as a unit and every part of it requires energy, not just the area your brain thinks it is targeting.
For example, if you want to build and tone your glutes. You must address strength training, cardio and a healthy nutritionally balanced diet.
What are the best exercises to HELP shape my butt?
First and foremost are squats. Squats are a very effective compound exercise and works more than one muscle group. The squat works your glutes (your rear), thigh muscles which are the quadriceps (front of the leg) and hamstrings (back of the leg)
The squat is a great exercise that many people use as the foundation of any leg/ lower body workout. It is a safe and natural movement with great potential for muscular gains, strength and toning. The more muscles involved in an exercise, the more calories we burn and we can push our bodies harder to get an effective workout. It’s about quality in the gym, not quantity.
By becoming leaner, the muscle mass you have will be more visible on your physique and your shape will greatly improve. Making you look much more athletic.
These are another great movement build your thighs and glutes, the best way to emphasise your glutes in this exercise it to do long strides. If you want to work your quadriceps more, then the aim would be to take short step lunges. Lunges are a relatively easy exercise to perform for beginners and can yield great results too.
You can perform lunges using your bodyweight, with dumbbells or a barbell. It is recommended to try them just using your bodyweight until you get the hang of balancing correctly.
Another variation is the plyometric lunge, where the athlete jumps explosively between lunging positions.
Deadlifts are another great compound exercise that a lot of people associate with bodybuilders and power lifters. Get rid of that idea as they can be just as great for women who are wanting to build up their Gluteus Maximus. The deadlift works your entire posterior chain; the centre of your posterior chain is your glutes.
The deadlift involves tipping your torso forward from your hips and keeping your legs straight or bent a little. Engage your spinal erectors to engage your back, when the weight is lowered to the floor, the idea is to tighten your butt and hamstrings, driving the weight back up through your heels. Ladies, please don’t be intimidated by this exercise, it really works wonderfully!
So there you have it ladies, try these exercise and you will be well on your way to a new shapely butt, also remember what was said about incorporating a clean diet, strength training and cardio. For best results, you need all three.
Good luck, stay safe and happy lifting.
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Does Green Tea Help Weight Loss
If weight loss is on top of your priority list, you don’t have to spend hours doing workouts in the gym or resort to taking weight loss pills. Well, all that you need to do is sip a few cups of green tea daily! Research suggests that green tea extract helps boost metabolism and burn fat. Rich in antioxidants, green tea benefits your body in more ways than one, including boost immune system, fight free radical damage, regulate cholesterol levels, help in weight loss, and inhibit cancer cell growth.
Green Tea Extract Stimulates Metabolism
Now you must be wondering how green tea can help weight loss. According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, green tea extract accelerates the process of burning of fat and calories, which aids in weight loss. This increases the process of heat production in the body or thermogenesis to 77 percent, which is vital for keeping the body temperature constant.
Green tea is rich in polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties and activate the enzyme that dissolves excess triglyceride. Though triglyceride is a source of energy for physical activities and is essential for proper functioning of the human body, any excess amount of this substance is turned into fat. So when you consume green tea, excess triglyceride is dissolved, which prevents fat accumulation in the body.
EGCG Against Weight Loss
If you are a health conscious person, looking for a natural cure for weight loss, then green tea undoubtedly is your ultimate tool to fighting obesity. Epigallocatechine or EGCG in green tea is known to boost the body’s metabolism while improving your appetite-regulating hormones, thus lowering appetite. Suppressing appetite indirectly contributes to weight management. Thus you can effectively keep the pounds off with regular consumption of green tea.
Categorized as catechins, polyphenols are powerful antioxidants responsible for health benefits of green tea. Among the catechins compounds, EGCG is the most active, which helps stimulate metabolism. Since green tea also contains caffeine, the green tea extract, coupled with caffeine, stimulates the central nervous system, muscle cells, and liver and more fatty acids are used in the process. As a result, fat is released into the bloodstream to be burned as fuel, thus it no longer adds to overweight or obesity problems. With more fatty acids being used than carbohydrates in the process, more carbs remain in the body, which enable you to get more from a workout and burn more calories. Research reveals that the combined ingredients make green tea more effective for weight management than caffeine alone. The consumption of green tea significantly increases exercise endurance, energy expenditure, and fat loss.
Natural Cure for Weight Loss
If you consume green tea in moderate proportions, you can certainly benefit from its numerous health benefits. In fact, green tea scores over other types of tea due to the green tea extract, which is rich in antioxidants. Several studies have proved its weight loss properties. The green tea extract targets the fat surrounding the intestines and that lining the abdominal region, which leads to type II diabetes in several people and puts many at a higher risk for metabolic syndrome. As an organic product, green tea increases fat metabolism, allowing the body to burn fat faster.
Green tea extract not only helps weight loss, but also controls release of glucose in the body, which tends to increase when you consume high calorie food. Thus you can say the use of green tea extracts lowers the intake of calories, which aids in weight loss. Also, another benefit of this wonder organic product is that it helps lower sugar and LDL cholesterol levels in your body, thus helping you maintain your desired weight and stay fit. Regular use of green tea extracts is, therefore, a great way to get rid of obesity, without troubling yourself much with workouts or fad dieting.
Not only this, green tea is a miracle organic product that helps you maintain optimal health, reducing cardiovascular risk, fighting different types of cancer, slowing growth of cancer cells, and improving memory!
10 Tips To Lose Your Belly Fat
Yes, the belly fat looks quite unflattering. Not only this, it creates aesthetic as well as health problems for you. The only way to get rid of these problems is to burn the excess fat hanging around your belly. There are a number of ways to turbocharge your weight loss efforts.
Exercise is undoubtedly the best way to get rid of the unwanted fat deposits in your body. Researchers at Harvard’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute reveal that working out for 30 minutes five days a week is sufficient to burn belly fat. Exercising releases a hormone called irisin that helps in the conversion of white fat to brown. Indulge in exercises that involve multiple muscle groups while effectively working your cardiovascular system.
2) Green Tea
Regularly drinking green tea is good for weight loss. According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Functional Foods, green tea comprises a good amount of polyphenol catechins – a group of antioxidants that help burn fat cells. These antioxidants help boost metabolism, reduce bad cholesterol levels, increase energy expenditure, thus contributing to weight loss.
It’s a great idea to keep yourself hydrated, especially when you are on a mission to lose your belly fat. Drinking plenty of water will keep you from being thirsty, besides preventing you from indulging in a sugar-laden soda drink. Let go the soda cravings and prevent those extra calories from adding to your fat stores.
4) Fast food
It’s absolutely essential to cut down on your fast food intake. Loaded with fat and calories, snacks are the worst culprit in your battle against weight loss.
5) Starvation doesn’t help
Eating healthy is the secret to good health. In order to burn belly fat, you do not to starve yourself. This does not do you any good; rather, wrecks your metabolism, causing several other health problems. Intentionally skipping a meal or fasting may have a negative impact on your weight loss goal.
6) Six small meals a day
Hunger is your worst enemy when you are trying to lose stomach fat. Change your eating habits and switch to six smaller meals from three big meals a day. Smaller portions will make you feel full and keep you from feeling hungry. Eat slowly to give your stomach ample time to realize it is full. Rescheduling your meal time will help you control cravings, regulate blood sugar levels, and keep hunger at bay.
7) Cardio workouts
When you are following a weight loss goal, you will need to indulge in not only fat loss exercises, but also cardio workouts and core strengthening exercises. Any exercise that increases your heart beat, such as dancing, bouncing on the trampoline, or running, will help you lose weight fast. Core strengthening exercises will help you burn belly fat, strengthen your core, and enjoy a better posture.
8) Group fat loss
Often some individuals on a weight loss mission fail to sustain the exercise momentum and leave it in between. If you are working out in a group, you are more likely to stay motivated to lose weight together. It’s always fun to have a friendly fat loss competition.
9) Fat burning foods
When you are trying to lose your belly fat, it is crucial to keep a check on what you are eating. It is important to switch to a diet that comprises fat burning foods, such as vegetables, whole grains, skim milk, and brown rice. It’s what you eat that more often contributes to weight gain.
10) Sleep well
The easiest fat loss strategy is to sleep well. Yes, if you have been skipping out on snooze time, you aren’t doing your weight loss goal any good. A number of studies show that those who sleep less weigh more. In other words, sleep deprivation can thwart your fat loss efforts by changing how your bodies regulate appetite, thus causing you to crave more.
By: Lindsay Messina
Most self tanners are just awful, but there are a few gems out there that stand apart from the competition. With so many too-orange self-tanners in the market, you are overwhelmed for choice. Nothing’s worse than avoiding the sun with a fake tanning product – you will only end up with dark elbows, brown face, and streaky legs. I have compiled the list of top self tanners that you can use regularly, without the fear of looking Oompa Loompa again. Yes, I just said Oompa Loompa lol
These are my top favorite self tanners! Every skin ton is different so have fun testing
1) Bliss: A Tan for All Seasons
Widely popular as a tan for all seasons, Bliss works fantastic as a spray that can be turned in every direction. The best thing about this tanner is that it is tinted, which means you will easily find where you have applied it, giving you a rich shade of nutty brown. So now you no longer have to worry about soaking in the sun – you have the best self tanner in bliss.
2) Jergens Natural Glow
When looking for the best self tanner, you can’t dare to ignore Jergens. It’s the perfect self tanner for those who self-tan every single day, giving you a natural glow. Rich in antioxidants and vitamin E, Jergens self tanner promises to keep your skin glowing all day round.
3) Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess
One of the best self tanners, Bronze Goddess is different from its greasy competitors that risk creating conditions for a major breakout. With Bronze Goddess self tanner on, you don’t need to apply foundation on top – the color quickly develops into golden bronze. The moisturizing cream is a must-have for your luxurious skin care regimen.
4) L’Oreal Sublime Glow
L’Oreal has always been the favorite with beauty enthusiasts, and L’Oreal sublime glow doesn’t let you down either. The inexpensive tanner is best used after exfoliation of the skin in the shower. Just a thin layer of moisturizer will be enough to get that sublime glow. Loved for its magic quality to spread evenly on the skin.
5) Decleor Self-Tanning Milk and Gels
This is one example of quality products at unbeatable prices. Decleor self tanning milk and gel is the least pungent self tanner in the market. Unlike some other cheap tanners that dry the skin, this one keeps it hydrated, naturally glowing, non-streaking, with a bit of shimmer. Decleor tanning products are 100 percent organic and perfect for the whole body.
6) St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse
One of the top self tanners in the market, St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse is incredibly light for application, leaving a tanned color on the skin. The St. Tropez self tanner comes with a mitt, so you no longer have to worry about streaks and splotches.
7) Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel
An excellent self tanner for oily skin, Clarins instant gel is one of the top oil-free self tanning products in the market. Perfect for instant, natural-looking tan, this lightweight gel gives a natural, golden tan for the body without exposure to the sun. It’s instantly absorbed, Clarins self tanner is ideal for those who cherish a year-round tanned appearance.
8) Fake Bake Self Tanning Mousse
Enriched with special organic ingredients, Fake Bake self tanner delivers a deeper tan that lasts longer than most of its competitors. Easier to apply, this fast drying mousse doesn’t leave any gross looking streaks. Its rich brown tint enables you to see exactly where the self tanner has been applied.
9) Kiehl’s Sun Free Self Tanning Formula
Non- greasy with no tanner-like self, Kieh’s self tanner is a hot favorite in the market, loved for its very natural tanning effect. It’s the best self tanner for those that can’t stand the lingering tanning aroma. The tanner also lasts longer than other brands and can be applied on the face and body.
10) Shiseido Brilliant Bronze Tinted Self Tanning Gel
With its natural look and pleasant scent, Shiseido Brilliant Bronze tanning gel has entered the list of top self tanners for its unique qualities. The self tanner gives a natural glow to the skin, leaving a streak free color. If you cherish a bronze look with a hint of shimmer, this is the product you should get your hands on.
With Class & Sass
By: Lindsay Messina
Despite what people may think… winning a title is not what defines a champion, nor does it define the person who wins it. In 2012 and 2013, I won the WBFF Bikini Diva Championship; I have won many titles in the past 10 years,but that is not
what makes me a champion today and is not what defines me as an individual. What made me a champion and what makes any athlete… Lou Ferrigno, Jay Cutler, Monica Brant, Nicole Wilkins, Andreia Brazierand many others a champion is not the title, the trophies or the ribbons. It is the mindset we adopted long before those titles were ever won. What made us who we are were the choices and sacrifices that we made in order to win.
We all have a champion inside of us… yep, EVERY SINGLE ONE of YOU have the ability to be a champ at something. What stops most people is the fear of failure and lack of belief in their ability to achieve.“If I had the time or money”, “If I didn’t have kids”, “If I wasn’t married”, “If, if, if”. Champions don’t set limits, they don’t have “What if’s”; they have an “I will find a way”, mentality and THAT is how they get to the top. Now, here they are, here you are, here I am at the top of our game what now? I will warn you… it can get lonely up here. Just because you make it does not mean you will have company waiting. Your strength will be used a lot because it’s not always what you think it will be.
Everyone has struggles, pressures and doubts; nobody is immune. In fact, those at the top often have more struggles, more things to overcome and a lot more to live up to now that they are a mentor to others m
odeling after them. For me, the word champion does not always mean first place, in fact achampion can be dead last. Being a champion is a feeling that comes from within… it is the fee
ling of doing yourpersonal best; that in itself is winning. Maybe you sacrificed several weeks of having a social life, maybe all you ate for 6 months was fish, chicken and veggies when all you wanted was a Snickers bar, maybe you did something that everyone else thought was crazy and because of that you proved something to yourself… that you COULD do it. THAT defines the champion.
Winning does not define you, the process it took to win defines you; it is what tells your story, what creates your victory. A champion is a person who makes the decision to do what it takes to achieve a goal, a person who stays focused, determined and whose transformation or story motivates or inspires other’s to do their personal best at something or to become a better person Now…
Where is that champion in you?
By: Lindsay Messina
I can’t help but laugh when I hear someone say “I have P.M.S.” I mean seriously, is this some kind of cruel joke? I don’t know about you, but feeling like a slug on an emotional rollercoaster who wants to stop at every turn for a fat-infested snack followed by a nap does not seem normal to me. I can hardly stand to be around myself at times and feel like a human vacuum cleaner. God bless the husbands and boyfriends that are subject to our ruthless and obnoxious behavior, truly… we are sorry, and I would not want to be you. Do you ever feel like you are crazy? Welcome to the club!
So the question arises… HOW do you handle it, HOW do we teach those around us to handleit, and HOW do we stay clean, fit, motivated and healthy during this intrusive debacle? As far as how I handle it… I just go with the emotions, there is no stopping it hormones are evil little elves waiting to attack us when we are not looking. Pop in a Yoga DVD to relax you, pop in a sad movie and blubber away, buy a punching bag and tape a picture of that girl in high school that made fun of you and have a ball. Whatever it takes, deal with it it’s a fact of life until we earn the right to have hot flashes.
What about helping the people around you? Well, an easy button does not work in this case so just be nice by putting that “week” in their calendar as a warning and tell your kids that it’s “Mommy’s weird week”.
How do you stay clean, fit and healthy? Well, you don’t! HAHA just kidding! (Sort of) My belief is to get my body’s metabolism to a certain point through proper weight training, cardio and nutrition so when the “beast” arrives or if I simply want to chill and do yoga or Barre, instead of boxing (although when PMS sets in I could easily punch a person) I can. For me, some months are worse than others , so here are some recipes I would suggest for “that time” of the month instead of driving through a fast food joint ordering and devouring one of every menu item before parking your car. You are only laughing because you have done it! My advice is to work your butt off getting your metabolism up so that on the weeks you are overtaken by the alien species we call P.M.S., you can take a low key class and have a hot dog. Here are some of my personal favorites… they are not “healthy” but they sure beat fast food.
** 180 Jump Squats – 12 singles
** 10 Tuck Jumps
** 30 Yard up hill sprint
JOG BACK TO START
** 30 quick jumps
** 60 Yard up hill sprint
Repeat from the top – 10 times!
Enjoy! Feel free to share with your friends!
Pros and Cons of Gluten
By: Lindsay Messina
I would just like to start off by clearing that I am a non-believer of “free” diets. Gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, they just don’t work for me. I do, however, avoid gluten as much as I can, because it’s much better that way. I wanted to address the pros and cons of gluten as it has become a $6.1 billion industry! And the reason is just not problems like gluten sensitivity and celiac diseases, but the popularity of gluten-free diets. But do they really work? And are they any good for you? In my experience, it varies from person to person. I believe people are like science projects, and each individual reacts to certain foods differently. But now that I am about to hit 30, I need to keep my body energized at all times; and so it is time for some investigation.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein that is mostly found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten gives food their elasticity and makes products chewy. Gluten is mostly found in food items like pastas, breads, pizza, ice cream, pancakes, etc.
The Gluten-Free Diet
Gluten-free diets exclude all food items that contain any gluten. There have been a lot of debates regarding the health benefits and risks of gluten-free diets. Where some claim it could lead to gluten sensitivity and eventually gluten intolerance; many others claim that a proper diet plan poses no risks. Following are the pros and cons of gluten-free diets to help you get a better understanding of whether they are worth your time or not.
Let’s get the cons out first. Unlike the general belief, gluten-free diets cannot ensure weight-loss in the long run, particularly not if you aren’t careful on what items you consume on your gluten-free diet.
- Gluten adds texture to most foods, and so many manufacturers use corn or potato starch to add texture, which makes the food more caloric.
- A complete gluten-free diet can make your body gluten intolerant which can damage your intestines.
- Gluten-free products are relatively more expensive, which means paying two to three times more on gluten-free substitutes.
Gluten-free diet does however have several benefits. Most processed foods contain gluten, and so cutting down gluten means cutting down on high caloric processed foods. Gluten is quite hard to digest and can cause indigestion and gas, gluten-free diet is easy on the body, making it feel lighter and better.
So what’s the verdict? Should you go gluten-free? As I have mentioned before, in my opinion, completely restrictive diets are not always a good idea. I always emphasize on the need for incorporating all the necessary nutrients in your diet, and gluten is an essential element too. This does not, at all, mean that you should lade your body with pizza’s and sandwiches, all it means is simply cutting down on gluten rather than going cold turkey. A good idea is to assign a particular meal or day in a week allowing yourself a little gluten treat.
I was living an average middle class life in Orange County, New York. I have two younger sisters and my parents worked hard, sometimes two jobs, to provide for us. We had our normal struggles, but we were happy.
However, the day my 2 year-old sister Stacy was unable to walk, changed everything. Stacy was diagnosed Wilms’ tumor. It is a rare kidney cancer that she successfully fought for two years. Stacy had aggressive Chemotherapy, was in an out of the hospital, lost her hair and went through many struggles at such a young age. My mom cared for her around the clock, my dad worked two jobs to support the family and my younger sister Kelly and I continued to attend school and spent much time living with other families so that my parents could care for Stacy. I spent a lot of time caring for and helping Kelly physically and emotionally navigate these changes. I also helped her overcome a speech impediment that required me to translate for her for a few years. While this was a devastating time, we tried to find the humanity in it all – we got Stacy’s ears pierced so people would know she was a girl and we nicknamed her portable chemo machine Michelle. On a deep personal level, this experience taught me that my daily outlook would have a profound effect on my future. Succumb to the struggle presented or handle it with as much class and sass as we can muster.
Together, as a family, we stayed strong and my sister started our unbreakable bond at an early age. My parents taught me the roots of work ethic and never give up. Stay strong and be a leader for your family and sisters.
School work began to surface as another issue for me. I was having a hard time reading and was put into reading lab beginning in first grade. I knew it was an issue, but hated being different and being pulled out for special education. I hid it from my peers and was afraid of being picked on. The feeling that there was something different or wrong with me was not something I could deal with. I got by with the help of tutors, a variety of different learning techniques and having friends write my papers and “help me” answer test questions. The struggles of not understanding what I was being taught and not being able to express what I knew took a back seat and I managed to advance a grade level each year.
I felt confused, annoyed, embarrassed and insecure when it came to reading and writing. I remember to this day going up to each teacher on the first day of school and asking them to never choose me to read out loud. From 3rd grade to 12th, I refused to read out loud.
In seventh grade, I tried out for the track team and learned that I was good at running. I was immediately put on the Varsity team and ran Varsity track from 7th until 12 grade. I loved everything about it – having a goal, the feeling, being part of a group, the camaraderie and being good at something. I was 2nd in the state and achieved 16th place nationally for the 4×200 relay.
By my senior year, I realized that my strengths were in creativity and athletics. I took outside classes in nail art and cosmetology and even landed a scholarship to a college for interior design. Unfortunately, my learning issues cropped up again and I did not do well enough on my SAT scores to enroll. I was so embarrassed that I lied and told people I was not ready or interested in going to college. I had such a hard time reading and writing that I had a nagging feeling that there was something wrong, but I was still not ready to deal with it.
I pushed forward and went to cosmetology school and became a hair dresser. I loved it. It was creative, easy for me and I was good at it. Around the same time, I continued to pursue my love of exercise and fitness. I became a personal trainer and fitness model. I achieved great success as a trainer, cover model and fitness competitor.
At age 24, just 5 short years ago, I finally was given information that began a new breakthrough for me. When auditioning for a hosting position, my manager asked me to read the script out loud. After a few tries, he looked at me and asked if I was dyslexic. I had never heard the term and had no idea what he was talking about. I went home and searched the internet and realized that I had 9 out of the 10 symptoms. I went to a doctor who confirmed the diagnosis. The doctor was shocked that I graduated High School and managed to get so far in my life and career.
Facing my dyslexia has been a frustrating experience, but accepting it has also been freeing. I have come to learn and express myself using tools like audio lessons, memorization, having people proof read, using bullet point ideas and having people type things up for me. If you follow me or on Facebook or twitter and notice a grammatical or spelling error – you’ll know that it is pure Lindsay Messina! Knowing and embracing my disability allowed me to get the help I needed to move forward in my life and career. I learned that the fear, not the difference, was what held me back.
We all have strengths, weaknesses, gifts and disabilities. We all have moments of unbelievable success and unthinkable struggle. I hope that hearing my story, you can will know that I am just like you – striving for my personal best. I have gotten where I am with the help of people and experiences and I can’t wait to be a part of your journey. Together as a team, I look forward to celebrating as you accomplish your goals.
Embrace who you are – be true to yourself – we are all-special and have something strong to offer. You can achieve anything that’s possible. Your dreams are endless. I feel gifted and stronger in so many other areas and love who I am as a person. What I’ve realized since I was a little girl is that breaking through so many huddles at a young age developed me into being the person I am today. I’ve taken my weakness and turned it into my strength.