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Health And Fitness Faq

What exactly is weight training

Weight training is a type of strength training that’s specifically aimed at increasing the size and strength of the muscles within your body. Weight training itself is most commonly used for toning parts of the body, assisting in weight loss and for building muscle.

Depending on the amount of weight being used, different types of goals are able to be achieved when weight training is used. Weight training for toning usually involves a high amount of reps with a small amount of weight, whereas weight training to build muscle involves lifting heavier amounts of weight, for a lot less reps.

Weight training isn’t like endurance training because the use of weights is solely used to improve muscle mass and volume. Although it does increase strength when performed consistently, the priority of weight training is to increase muscle and to tone the body overall.

If I trained all parts of my body 4 times a week, how long until I see significant results?

Your results would depend on the type of training that you undertake. If specific workout routines are performed that exercise all of your body at a minimum of 4 times per week, you should expect to see minor changes after the first 2 weeks.

For significant results, consistent exercise at least 4 times a week would be required and you’d be able to see these results from anywhere between 6 to 8 weeks. If you are taking part in specific training regimes, such as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), these results can be drastically improved and the timescales will decrease accordingly.

For significant results after the first 4 weeks, then a high intensity full body workout is recommended, with plenty of water and protein to assist with muscle building and weight loss within that time.

Is weight training necessary to lose weight?

Although it’s not entirely necessary for you to lose weight, weight training is a great compliment to your workout routine and can help with your weight loss goals. Unlike dieting and cardio based exercises, weight training can target specific parts of your body, which allow you to focus your efforts on specific areas.

If you are trying to lose weight whilst toning your body, then lifting a low amount of weight for a high number of reps, for example 2kg for 100 reps, is an ideal way to stimulate muscle firming, whilst burning calories in the target area.

Combine cardio exercises with weight lifting routines, so your body will be able to process more energy for weight loss. It’s always a good idea to mix your exercises up for the calorie burning potential.

How long should a trypical strength training session last?

Depending on the amount of weight that you are lifting, strength training sessions should vary. If you are taking part in strength conditioning exercises that involve interval training, then short bursts of exercise are highly recommended, with frequent breaks to recuperate.

For those working on strength for endurance, then longer periods of time will be required. For typical strength training sessions, anywhere between half an hour and 1.5 hours will provide great results. If you under work your body, your strength may improve, but it might take longer to see any significant changes.

But by overworking your body, you may damage the muscle tissue which may result in longer recovery times being necessary. Spending anywhere between 30 minutes and 1 hour and 30 minutes on your strength session, whilst keeping hydrated will provide the best results.

Should I do intense cardio (like Insanity) after weight training?

Results show that performing cardio exercises after an intensive weight training session can assist in recovery, as well as promote calorie burning. Although not entirely necessary to perform after weight training, healthcare specialists state that the process can help your body to maintain endurance for longer periods of time.

Using intense cardio exercises after weight training is not always recommended however, as the results won’t contribute to your weight training goals. A gentle jog after a session is a good option, as is a slow swim or cycle.

The main goal of light cardio exercises after weight training is to assist with calorie burning and weight loss, as opposed to adding to muscle gain. Too much cardio after weight training can actually redirect protein from the areas that you’ve trained with weights. This results in a lower amount of muscle growth as the protein is wasted on your intensive cardio exercise.

Is weight training for a teenager a bad idea?

Weight training as an undeveloped teenager is strongly discouraged by healthcare professionals amid health claims such as stunted growth development. Although the specific health problems found due to weight training are currently undocumented, there are certain aspects of weight lifting that should be avoided by teenagers. These include movements such as the clean and jerk, which when performed excessively can compress the spine. In the developing body of a teenager, whose spine is still undergoing growth and expansion, the results can be of great consequence. Weight training for arms, legs and abs are considered acceptable, but if you are ever in doubt, always bear in mind that if your muscles start to ache, it’s a positive thing; whereas if your bones start to ache, it’s a good idea to stop and recover fully before continuing. If you are a teenager and have the intention of lifting weights, always do so under supervision of an adult.

Is explosive weight training the best way to build muscle?

Explosive weight training is considered to be one of the best ways to build muscle, fast. The explosive intensity of the workout ensures that your muscles are worked to exhaustion and as a result, will require growth and repair much sooner than a toning routine using a lower amount of weight. Explosive weight training sessions are also a great way to build strength, as your muscles become accustomed to lifting heavy weight in intense routines. By performing explosive weight training, you can literally teach your muscles to contract faster, which when performed to specific reps, can provide a great basis for muscle growth. It’s important to remember that protein is needed to build muscle, so without it, your muscles may become lean and strong, but they will lack the strength and size that’s most commonly associated with athletes using explosive weight training exercises.

Best type of weight training for swimmers?

The best type of weight training for swimmers is endurance training. This usually involves forms of exercise that rely on a consistent routine that challenges your body. Swimmers often have to rely on prolonged amounts of energy over longer courses, or short bursts of energy for sprints. Both types can be complimented with endurance training such as low weight- high rep weight training, as well as power lifting and speed lifting. By varying these types of endurance training you’ll be able to cope with a lot more, with much less effort and you will be able to enjoy higher stamina and an increased amount of strength. The speed of your heart plays a vital role in swimming, so by ensuring to lift small amounts of weight (between 2kg and 5kg) for a large amount of reps (at least 100 per set), will provide the best results.

Will weight training reduce flabby upper chest?

Unfortunately, weight training does not reduce fat in any area on your body. Weight training simply grows muscle and increases the strength in that muscle area. This can work to fix half of the excess weight problem, but it won’t combat it completely. By weight training on your chest, you can reinforce the amount of muscle in your pectorals and as a result, your chest will feel firmer and much more solid to the touch. If you would like to lose any flabbiness in your chest area, then cardio and a healthy and nutritional diet are key. A flabby chest occurs when hormone levels are heightened beyond their typical levels and excessive fat is deposited in and around the nipples and chest. By burning excess calories, the fat will slowly decrease and as a result, you’ll end up with less fat around your chest. If you are going to build your pectoral muscle to counter the appearance of fat, then chest exercises are the way to go.

How beneficial is weight training to any exercise/weight loss regimen?

Although unnecessary to lose weight, weight training can play quite an important role as far as your weight loss goals go. You won’t lose fat by building muscle; a common misconception is that weight lifting will turn the fat in to muscle and this is entirely untrue. Weight training will actively grow your muscles, but in order to lose fat you’ll have to take part in cardio sessions, as well as eat healthily and reduce the amount of calories that you consume. You can definitely compliment your weight loss regime with weight lifting, as the routine will help your heart to pump blood around your body faster, speeding up your requirement for energy and as a result, burning more calories off in the process. So although not entirely necessary, weight training may be worth implementing to assist with muscle growth, toning and to help burn off those excess calories.

What is the best type of weight training timetable?

Weight training schedules depend on your lifestyle and routine. If you work daily and work out in the evenings, then it’s most beneficial for you to calculate a routine that revolves around that schedule. The same could be said for any daily routine, but it’s always important to bear in mind that weight training time tables need to be consistent. You won’t see any significant results if you decide to train randomly throughout the day, or every so often when you feel like it. You need to provide your body with a base for growth and improvement, so scheduling your time table around a consistent workout routine is key. With this in mind, the most flexible routine is usually a regime of between 1 and 4 hours a day, for 4 days a week, working out either your target area, or your entire body by alternating between exercises.

What is a good routine for my goals?

Although your goals may be unique to you, developing a routine to keep your regime in check is ideal for sticking to your long term weight loss/weight lifting aspirations. A good routine would involve keeping track of your progress, with careful notes taken on the types of workout regimes that you’ve already done and the routines that still need doing. If you’d prefer to check your progress daily, then daily routines are recommended so that you can calculate the details of your workout, from calorie burning to the number of reps. If you like to work out on a weekly basis then a routine that involves weekly checkups may be ideal. This can also be extended to monthly routines, or even bi-monthly ones, for longer-term goals. Just be sure to keep track and remain consistent throughout.

I have nowhere to do pullups. Any suggestions?

If you need a way to work out the same muscles as if you were to do a pull up, but you don’t have access to a pull up bar or the necessary equipment, there are several exercises that you can use to give you the same effects. The first is a hand-stand press. You can lean against a wall with the heels of your feet touching the wall itself; then from here, slowly raise your entire body using the strength of your arms, before lowering back down again. Repeat this routine to work out your back, chest, shoulders and arms in the same way as a pull up would. Another great exercise to use is a barbell lift. Place a significant amount of weight on either side of the barbell and curl it towards your chest for as many reps as possible. This exercise works in much the same way as if you were to pull yourself up on a bar, with just as much focus on your arms and back.

How much weight training must I do for each muscle group?

If you are hoping to grow the size of your muscles, whilst improving definition and strength, then the amount of weight training on each muscle group will vary. Biceps for example, take longer to repair the muscle tissue when weight training, so spending a specific amount of time on them (say 15 minutes at a high weight with low reps) will usually be enough to help them grow on a daily basis. Your chest and pectorals are different however, with many similarities to your quads and glutes. These muscles are much larger and can take a lot more pressure than the others, so doubling up the time that you spend on them will be ideal to keep them at the same rate of growth as your biceps. The bottom line is to only do what your muscles can take. Muscle ache is a good thing, bone ache isn’t.

Can I do weight lifting to increase my overall endurance?

If you are hoping to increase your endurance, then cardio exercises are always the first recommendation. But no one says that you can’t combine cardio exercises with weight training! Going for a gentle jog with a pair of 2kg dumbbells in each hand will add a bit of a challenge to your run and performing dance moves or other types of active exercise whilst wearing leg weights or straps will too. If you force your body to do more than it’s used to, when it comes to doing the more regular exercises, you’ll find that you’ll breeze through them. Although weight lifting doesn’t directly benefit your overall endurance levels (like endurance and strength training will), it can compliment an existing cardio routine to add an extra source of input.

How often should I lift weights?

Although opinions vary, most people agree that lifting weights from anywhere between 10 minutes to 2 hours a day, over the space of 1 to 4 days per week is ideal. Your body needs time to rest and recover, even throughout the day, so overdoing it on the first day will just put you in a bad position for the following day when it comes to muscle ache. Finding a healthy balance between strength and endurance training can go a long way to increasing the amount of weight that your body can lift, as well as the frequency, but if you are intending to lift weights on a daily basis for muscle growth, it’s always good to bear in mind that consistency is more important than infrequent lifts. This also depends on the amount of weight that you’re lifting; heavy weights will need more rest periods, whereas lower weights will require less.

Will weights make my muscles bigger

Yes. There’s no two ways about it. Lifting weights will make your muscles bigger. They won’t reduce fat, they won’t make you taller, or improve your skin condition, but they will make your muscles bigger. In fact, that’s actually all that they were designed for as far as weight lifting goes. If you don’t have much muscle to start with, you can’t expect your biceps to bulge after a few minutes of working out. The results vary depending on your diet, workout routine and body type, but all in all, lifting weights with the purpose of muscle growth in mind will definitely make your muscles bigger. They do it by causing your muscles to tear and re-grow in strength and size; so make sure to eat plenty of protein throughout the day, for the best results.

What is the difference between free weights and weight machines?

Free weights vary from weight machines because of how they are used. Free weights in specific come in a variety of styles and uses, such as dumbbells, barbells, weight plates, weight belts, hand weights and ankle weights. There are other types, such as wrist weights which are attached to your wrists whilst you exercise. These weights serve a range of purposes, from the muscle building dumbbells and barbells, all the way to the cardio-orientated kettlebell and ankle weights. Weight machines are different in the sense that the majority of them use the above weights, as a method for exercise. These weights are attached to specific machines and the user will lift them, pull them or push them, depending on the machine. These weights often use gravity as their source of resistance, so the user has to go against that force in order to operate the machine.

How long should I rest and recover after a hard weight session?

If you are intending to pick the weights back up shortly and start another session, then it’s a great idea to wait at least 10 minutes between sessions for maximum muscle building potential. In this time, you should drink to restore your electrolytes, as well as stretch to reinforce your muscle recovery. If you have just finished an intensive workout and want to continue later on during the same day, then an hour is usually enough for your muscles to recuperate. If your workout was so intense that you don’t think that you could continue anytime soon, then take a day off and pick up your routine again in 24 hours.

Can I gain muscle from weight training?

Definitely. Weight training is one of the greatest ways to build, gain and maintain muscle. Depending on the amount of weight that you lift, when compared to your endurance levels and metabolism, muscle gain is a definite; it’s just the amount of time that may vary. If you are hoping to gain muscle urgently, within the space of a few weeks or more, then lifting heavy weights for as many reps as you can manage is recommended. If you want to tone your muscles and strengthen them, as opposed to increase their size, then longer reps at a lower weight is recommended. Either way, using weights to lift, push, pull and curl, your muscle mass is guaranteed to grow and strengthen, especially if you eat plenty of protein as well as other nutritious sources of food.

How should I structure my workout plans?

The only answer is; to suit you. That should be your main priority when creating a workout plan. This is because your daily routine may differ drastically from the next persons, so finding a workout routine that fits your lifestyle will be the only achievable way to work towards the results that you want. If you are free in the morning, then schedule a healthy breakfast followed by your workout routine, making sure to keep hydrated throughout. The same would apply if you were free in the afternoon, evening or over the course of your night. Your body will need rest at regular intervals, so fitting in your workout at the same time every day, between work, meals and anything else that may crop up, is the best way to structure your routine.

How much should I do on my first workout?

Your body won’t be able to cope with excessive amounts of exercise if you have just started to work out and that’s why it’s so important to start off small before getting bigger. If you intend to be able to sprint for several minutes at a time, you’ll want to start with short, sharp bursts of energy, before stopping to recover completely. You need to work on building your endurance over time and not all at once to get the best out of the exercises that you do. Going all out from day one might cause damage or harm to your body and that would put an immediate stop on your future workouts, and may work to dampen your spirit. Start slow, don’t overexert yourself and then try to add a little to your routine every day until you can cope with more and more.

Can I still workout if I'm sore from my last workout?

Yes, although that would depend on the extremity of your pain. If you are trying to build muscle then continuously tearing your muscles will result in potentially unwanted side effects. It’s always better to allow your body enough time to recover between workouts, even if this takes you outside of your usual routine. If you’ve had a particularly stressful workout the day before, then your body may need an entire 24 hours or longer to recover properly. If you ever feel like you’re going to physically fall apart, then call it a day and allow yourself some proper recovery time. If you feel that you can push, even for a few more reps, or for a few more metres of sprinting, then just ensure that you don’t go beyond complete exhaustion and make sure that you’re hydrated.

Can I split my workouts over the course of the day?

Yes. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or build muscle, splitting your workouts has been scientifically proven to help with results. For muscle building, you can split your workouts so that your muscles are in a constant state of repair. This consistent approach means that your body will be renewing your muscle mass every day, throughout the day, as opposed to focussing solely on repairing your muscles after an intensive, but longer, workout routine. The same would go for weight loss; your body would need a consistent supply of energy, allowing far more calories to be burnt off in the process and the results could be far more beneficial in the long term.

How many different workouts can I do at once?

As many as you can fit in! You can also combine aspects of different workouts so that you receive a bigger benefit from your efforts. This can include holding a low amount of weight in your hands whilst running (or wearing wrist or ankle weights), or you can use equipment like exercise balls or compression cables whilst performing cardio. The same would go for basic exercises such as sit ups or press-ups; you could perform different angled turns during each sit up to stretch your muscles further, or rotate between one and two-armed press ups. If you are able to alternate between workouts during your training session, you’ll lose weight/ build muscle at a higher rate when performed consistently.

What is a good workout for weight loss?

Any form of cardio or aerobic exercise is great for weight loss. The first thing that you’ll have to consider is that if you consume less calories than you burn off every day; you’ll lose weight. That’s because your body will have to call on its reserve fatty deposits to convert into glycogen or energy. A great workout would be one that causes your heart to beat at a rapid rate. This can either be done with high-intensity interval training that involves short bursts of energy, or longer-term exercises that keep your heart beating at an accelerated rate, without exhausting you in the process. Exercise like sprinting would fall into the first method of training, with swimming or cycling falling into the latter.

Which is the best home workout on the market?

There are a great range of home workouts available, each with their own goal in mind. If you are trying to lose weight, then it may be worth considering high-intensity interval training (HIIT), as it is proven to burn off an excessive amount of calories because you provide your body with short, sharp bursts of energy. HIIT training can also be very effective for building muscle mass if you use a high weight for low reps, as it offers a unique take on your weightlifting routines. Home workouts such as this usually involve little or no equipment and are a great way to for you to fit some easy, yet effective exercises into your busy schedule. Remember, anything that gets your heart pumping and makes your muscles sore will help you to achieve your goals, so you don’t have to go to extremes.

How long should I workout for?

That depends on the level of intensity of your workout itself. If you are performing gentle cardio, then there’s no reason why your body couldn’t go for an hour or two, if not longer. If your cardio is more intensive, then aiming for between fifteen minutes and an hour may be better suited for your needs. If you’re weight training, this will depend on the types of exercises that you’ll be performing too, whilst considering the amount of weight that you’ll be lifting. For most chest, arm and back/ shoulder exercises, your arms will play a major role in lifting for reps. Keeping the weight heavy, but at low reps, you should aim to go for anywhere between five and forty five minutes. For lighter weight at higher reps, try to aim for at least an hour or more.

Is it bad for you to workout everyday?

Although it’s not exactly considered bad, it can play a major role in your muscle development. For weight loss, the more your exercise and workout, the more weight you’ll lose, but it’s still important to provide your body with enough time to rest and recover so that you can continue again soon. For muscle building and weight lifting, these times can vary. If you feel that your muscles have been torn and you can feel the pain and soreness, then it’s advised that you allow at least twelve hours between workouts, but maybe even longer if necessary. Most people find that exercising four days a week will get them to their target weight or size in good time, but a little extra will always helps to speed things along. As long as you allow yourself time to recover, you’ll be fine.

What is a good workout schedule?

This would depend on the amount of time that you have to dedicate to your workout schedule, whilst considering your overall goals. Most schedules will be made up of consistent workout times to ensure that your body gets used to being worked out, roughly the same time apart and on a daily basis. So for example, working out in the evening after work and when your dinner has had enough time to digest is the most advised time. This could result in you working out on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at about 7pm until 8pm, or alternating those days and times to suit your lifestyle. You can add and subtract workout days to fit your needs too, but in general, a consistent workout schedule that involves at least four days of exercise per week is ideal for weight loss and body building purposes.

Are pool exercises good for weight loss?

Yes. Any form of swimming is considered cardiovascular exercise and therefore is one of the best ways to lose weight. Cardiovascular exercise works by making your heart pump at an accelerated rate, resulting in quicker blood flow and energy consumption. As a result, your body will burn off calories at a greater rate than if you weren’t to perform cardio, and you lose weight as a result. Pool exercises in specific are fantastic for weight loss as the movement involved will work to strain your muscles and tighten your body so that your weight loss can go much further. The water works as an external force to your movements, adding a higher level of intensity to your workout routine than other forms of exercise, which will certainly assist in weight loss, too.

Which are better? Split workouts or full body workouts?

Splitting your workouts will result in your body requiring a much higher rate of energy, which means that if you don’t have the fat from foods that you’ve consumed on the day, your body will turn to its fatty deposits to maintain your energy levels. This is a great way to lose weight, especially if you consume protein to provide your body with a good source of raw material to build muscle on. Full body workouts will take longer to do and you might find that by the time you finish your last exercise, you’re ready to start again from the beginning, but if this is the case, you’ll be in a position to burn more fat or build more muscle. In essence, both types of workout have their benefits for your specific needs in terms of working out, but both will offer the same results for you long term.

Which is better? P90X or Insanity

That would depend on your overall workout aims. If you are trying to lose weight and cut down on the excess body fat within your body, then Insanity is much better suited to this. Insanity workouts involve a lot of intensive cardio that will help to shed the weight from your frame by demanding newer sources of energy. Although it can help with muscle building, it’s aimed much more at weight loss at a whole. P90X on the other hand is aimed more at muscle building, toning and creating a lean physique, with much less emphasis on the cardio aspect of things. If you are looking to lose weight and get in shape, then Insanity would be better suited to you. If you are hoping to become lean, build muscle and improve your fitness levels, then P90X is the way forwards.

Can you share your workout routine?

Of course you can! There’s nothing that says that you can’t share what exercises and routines have worked for you and what ones haven’t. It’s always worth considering that what has worked for you might not work as well for someone else because of individual body types, lifestyles and even metabolisms, but sharing can be a great way for you to reconnect with those around you. It can encourage you to keep up the hard work, whilst inspiring others and by letting people in, you could potentially find a partner or even a group to work out with! You will be able to learn from your own and other people’s mistakes and results and can gain a very rewarding learning curve that will improve your life.

What is the best music to listen to when working out?

Anything that suits your style. If you like to relax while you perform high weighted reps, then why not try a bit of classical music to keep your head balanced and calm? No one says that your workout has to exhaust you; it can relax you in much the same way as meditating. In fact the endorphins being pumped around your body will only grow in strength if your brain is in the right place. If you’re going at it hard and fast, why not try some upbeat dance or trance music? Before long, you’ll find that your movements will try to keep up with the beat, encouraging you to train harder. Try a mix of music for the best results; keep things hard and fast during upbeat songs and then slow them down and take things easy when the slow songs are playing.

Are shorter workouts better than longer workouts?

That depends on what workout you’re doing. If you’re trying to build lean muscle, then shorter workouts might be better suited than stretched-out ones. For muscle building, you’ll want to lift heavy weights for few reps. Going nice and slow will make time seem like it’s slowed down, but before you know it, you’ll have completed several high weighted reps in the space of a few minutes. This can be just as beneficial to your body as if you were to lift low weights for an hour, although this option is better suited for endurance training and muscle toning. It’s scientifically proven that by lifting heavy weight for few reps, your muscles will grow much quicker than low weight with high reps, so why spend hours doing something that wouldn’t benefit you? For weight loss and endurance though, longer workouts are definitely the better option.

Should I workout two muscle groups at once?

If you are able to, then yes. This is actually easier than it sounds. No one will expect you to be able to lie on your back, perform a bench press, whilst lifting your legs for toning exercises, but you can work complimentary muscle groups at the same time for a wider range of benefits. For example, for chest extensions, bench presses and other chest exercises, you’ll find that you’re also working your triceps or biceps out too. That will cover the muscles in your chest and arms! You could even hold two heavy weights, one in each arm and press them for reps just above your abs, to help with your stomach, arms and upper chest. The combinations are endless, with the emphasis being on your arms for the most varied results.

How do you know if you are using a good workout routine?

You’ll be able to both feel and see the results. If you’re sweating, that’s the first sign that your body is being affected by the activity of your workout routine. Soon enough, you’ll start to feel sore or achy in certain muscles; this is another demonstration that your workout is doing what you expect of it. Finally, you’ll be able to see the veins in your body carrying more blood around your system as chemicals are transported from location to location. Your veins may swell, bulge or brighten in colour as they are helping to transport those chemicals, proteins and minerals. Once you’ve finished your routine, you’ll feel healthy and well as the adrenaline and endorphins begin to fall back into place and leave you with a pleasant aching sensation, as your body attempts to repair itself.

Which are better? Low impact workouts or high impact workouts?

Low impact workouts are great at targeting specific muscle areas or spots around your body, without putting too much pressure on them, so that you can work out for much longer. This is often considered a form of endurance exercise, with regular activity being performed within your muscles so that they can get used to the easy strain. High impact workouts on the other hand target those same muscle groups, but for a much more drastic effect. These sorts of exercise will cause your muscles to contract and expand at a much faster rate, resulting in a much more intense workout overall. You’ll be left aching and you won’t be able to go for as long as you would if you were performing low impact exercises, but the focus is more on improving strength than it is endurance.

Are kettlebell workouts any good?

Yes, kettle bells are excellent for a huge range of exercises. They have the option of being used as simple dumbbells that allow you to build muscle and improve your core strength, or if you’d prefer, you can implement them within your cardio routine for maximum weight loss benefits. When your body is forced to lift a weight that isn’t naturally located on your body, the first thing that it will try and do is reinforce itself so that the next time you lift those weights, you’ll be able to do so much more easily. Kettle bells excel at promoting strength, as their weight is positioned at the base of their construction, meaning that your body will also have to defy the effects of gravity. This can result in great muscle building, weight loss and muscle toning options, whether you lift the kettle bells like dumb bells, or swing them  between your legs and then up and over your head, to improve your core strength whilst your body braces to have to counter for the excess weight.

Which diet is the most effective?

Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a diet that is more effective than another. Different diets benefit people in varying ways. If you are considering dieting to lose weight, then finding a method or routine to suit your specific requirements is the most recommended way of dieting for you. So for example, if you are intending to lose weight in as quick a time as possible, you’ll want to cut all forms of saturated fats out of your food consumption. If you have the time to dedicate to your weight loss goals, then switching your current diet to a tailored diet might be the best idea for optimum weight loss. Sometimes simply switching from your usual types of food to a more tailored eating regime (for example forgoing chocolate and crisps in favour of chicken breasts and green veg) can be a great way for you to lose weight over a specific period of time.

What is a crash diet?

A crash diet is a type of intensive diet regime where you deprive yourself of specific types of foods and ingredients to eliminate excessive calorie intake. It’s a fact that this method of dieting will guarantee rapid weight loss, but when compared to completely starving yourself, there isn’t much between the two. Most medical professionals will advise against this form of dieting, but if you feel that you wish to pursue it, try to stick to minimising the length of the crash diet and always keep hydrated. Crash diets have also been known to reduce the amount of vitamins and minerals within a person’s body, leading to a lack of nourishment and even potentially fatal consequences if left to continue for too long. There are many better ways to diet healthily, whilst losing weight, so avoid crash dieting where possible.

Is a detox diet good for health?

A detox diet is a fantastic way to improve your health and rebalance the chemicals within your body. The purpose of a detox is to gently cleanse your body of those harmful chemicals, toxins and unwanted ingredients. Contrary to popular belief, detoxing doesn’t involve starving yourself, or drinking water all day long. Your detox diet can complement your existing routine and will work alongside your consumption to rebalance your body. Fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as herbal teas such as green tea, white tea and grape juice are all excellent sources of detox rich nutrients and are a great way to add detoxifying properties into your diet. Almost any natural foods and drinks will contain certain amounts of antioxidants, and it’s these little chemicals that react with the negative chemicals within your body. Antioxidants work to expel the bad chemicals from your system and you’ll start to feel much healthier as a direct result.

I am busy with a diet, but I battle with lunch ideas?

Lunch is one of the most important meals of the day. In fact without it, you might start to feel fatigued way before dinner time, so it’s always best to know what you’re having ahead of time. Creating a healthy lunch on a diet is as easy as ordering from a menu. Just decide on the type of lunch that you’d like, work out the calories and then go to work making it! A few great ideas for those of you on a diet is to include lean meats, healthy veg and fresh fruit wherever possible. Lunches don’t need to be heavy and sluggish meals; you can enjoy a light one that will keep you feeling energetic, whilst being low in fat. Grill some chicken, boil some veg and cut up some fruit to give yourself a boost in those healthy vitamins.

How to diet properly when always on the road?

Dieting properly if you’re on the move isn’t as difficult as you might think! If your journey won’t provide you access to a few of the great organic stores in the area you are visiting, you might want to try to eat something healthy for lunch or dinner when you do make those all important rest stops. Even the most common restaurants provide a healthy food option; perhaps it’s worth trying the salad, some grilled chicken or maybe simply drink a low fat glass of milk to help you to feel full. If you’d prefer to dodge restaurants, preparing your own meal is recommended. You can prepare the meal before you even leave your home and take it with you on your journey. For longer journeys, a portable refrigerator might be a good idea, but if you’re only out for a few hours then simply pack up a healthy snack that’s low on calories, but high in protein to keep you on track.

Is low fat milk good for my diet?

Low fat milk can work wonders for you during your diet. Unlike its full-fat equivalents, low fat milk has the majority of its fat contents reduced, although not entirely removed. It’s commonly accepted that the remaining fat content within a carton or bottle of low fat milk isn’t enough to negatively affect your diet so there is no reason why you shouldn’t drink it. As with all forms of dairy (and food, vitamins and minerals in general!) too much of it can take its toll, so limiting yourself on a daily basis is advised. Simply enjoying a few cups of tea with milk in each day will benefit you as far as protein goes, and the protein content is far better for you than the bad effects of the minimal amount of fat. As a healthier alternative, why not try soy milk? It’s low in fat, whilst being high in both fibre and in protein.

Can sugar be a part of a healthy diet?

When taken excessively, sugar can be very harmful for your diet. The properties within sugar will actually work against your requirements if you’re trying to lose weight. It’s a great way to stay energetic, especially if you’re planning on hitting the gym to burn off those excess calories, but there are much better options available for energy boosting properties than sugar when dieting. This isn’t to say that you need to eliminate it entirely from your diet; your body will create its own equivalent of sugar (glucose), so keeping the levels reinforced isn’t the worst idea that you can have. Bear in mind though that excessively consuming sugar will have an adverse affect on your diet overall and the average for men stands at no more than 37.5 grams per day, and for women no more than 25 grams per day. Alternatives such as Stevia are greatly promoted by healthcare officials.

Does anyone know of any effective diets?

There are several diets that are considered very effective for the purpose of losing weight, as well as toning and slimming. The results of these diets vary greatly so it is important to find a diet that suits you as an individual. The most popular diet within recent years is the “Paleo” diet. This requires the dieter to substitute many modern day foods with the types of foods that our ancestors would have consumed back in Palaeolithic times. It is followed by many celebrities and its results can include a healthy body and a trim silhouette, amongst other benefits. Other notorious celebrity diets include the ‘Dash Diet’, which reduces the effects of a high blood pressure and the TLC diet which was actually developed by the National Institution of Health. This type of diet includes lean meats, fresh vegetables and organic produce to promote weight loss.

Is dieting all about eating foods you don't like?

Not at all! In fact, dieting can open your palette up to a huge range of foods that you’ve never even considered trying; only to find out that they taste just as fantastic as your usual, unhealthy diet. Okay, so you might not like the taste of certain healthy foods (think of Brussel sprouts!), but there are ways around this. Combining the foods that you don’t like with those that you do for a better overall taste is one of the most popular options, with people even going as far as blending the foods and throwing in a few tastier ingredients, such as bananas, apples and pears! This kind of liquid drink still acts as a food; you just won’t have to force yourself to eat something that you really don’t like. The most important thing to remember is to tailor your diet to suit you, so try to pick one with a good mix of foods, and not one that is full of foods that you are likely to hate.

How can I follow my diet plan when eating in restaurants?

Unless you’re in a very strict restaurant that just sticks to their own cooking style, most places are happy to provide a healthy option on their menus. Even some of the most common fast food restaurants around give their customers a healthy choice, from fresh salads to fruit bags; you can generally find something that will suit your dietary needs. If you’re ever in doubt, just ask the waiter or waitress for some extra information when choosing your meal. If you aren’t able to ask, simply look at what goes into the meal itself and make the best possible judgement based on your own knowledge; avoid any sauces that you know might be full of calories and try to steer clear of anything fried in oil. Sticking to baked foods, boiled vegetables and grilled meats is an easy way to stay on track without too much fuss.

How do I not put on weight after a successful diet?

By sticking to healthy food options! It’s as simple as that; after a successful diet, you’ll know just how much weight certain foods can store on your body and how to work with your own needs in terms of exercise. You will have to stick to some of your diet principles, such as avoiding chocolate, cheeses, sweets and fried foods because you know that they take their toll on your body almost instantly. You won’t need to eliminate them entirely from your diet though, and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a bit of an unhealthy snack every so often; if anything, your body will put the rare ingredients to better use this time around. Just bear in mind that eating fatty foods excessively will only put the weight straight back where you worked so hard to remove it from. Stick to lean meats, fresh vegetables, and organic fruits and always keep hydrated with clean water.

What is the theory behind low carb diets?

The main purpose of a low carb diet is to do exactly what it says on the tin; to remove or limit the amount of carbohydrates that you consume from sources such as wheat, grain and starchy foods like potatoes. The theory behind this limitation is that your body won’t have the excess carbohydrates to add weight on to your body with. Carbohydrates are known for their bulking properties; they are the chemicals that your body uses for conversion into energy and for lining body tissues. When carbohydrates aren’t burnt off, your body might start to store them for use at a later date (in case it ever needs excess energy). Whilst stored, these carbohydrates can bloat your body as they are stored within your muscle, fat and skin tissue, adding to your weight.

Why is dieting so important?

Dieting can make the difference between living a long, healthy life and falling foul to one of the many weight-related illness that plague modern day society. Although dieting may not be as important to you and your mortality rate if you’re already in shape, a balanced diet can help to keep you healthy. If you find that you’ve put on an excessive amount of weight, your body might become prone to diseases such as diabetes, obesity and even heart failure in the most severe circumstances and that’s where dieting can really save your life; it’s a great way to get rid of unwanted fat around your body, it can provide you with a healthy routine for your meals and it can compliment your lifestyle beautifully so that you have a better chance of being in good health well into later life.

I find it difficult to diet with all the tempations out there?

As hard as fighting the temptations can be, you have to consider that that’s all that they are: temptations. If you find yourself struggling to say no to that tasty sausage roll, or often giving in to a cake or pastry, then you have a few options available to you. The first is to replace the temptation with something that might not taste as nice, but is certainly good for you. This might mean that you need to grill your chicken instead of ordering it to go, blending some healthy fruit for a smoothie instead of grabbing a fat filled milkshake, or even drinking water to remove your hunger pangs. The second option is to accept that you have these cravings, but instead of giving in to them, you can substitute them for better alternatives. For example, if you fancy something with a bit of sugar like a cake, why not make your own cake using healthier ingredient options?

Are high protein and low carb diets the same thing?

No. A high protein diet involves the consumption of proteins from sources that may actually draw on carb-containing foods. Eggs for example, are so high in protein that they are a bodybuilder’s best friend, whilst having plenty of carbs in them to really stockpile your system. High protein diets are also a great way to build muscle, whereas low-carb diets aim to decrease overall weight. Low-carb diets also restrict or limit specific foods that contain carbohydrates, which certain high protein diets don’t. If you’re hoping to build a lean body with strong muscle, then a high protein is the way to go. This form of dieting can also be useful for losing weight, only if you’re intending to replace the fat with muscle. Low-carb diets are better suited for weight loss regimes. The only similarity that these two diets have is if you are trying to lose weight, whilst building muscle simultaneously, but each are stand-alone diet plans.

Are low carb diets bad for the kidneys?

As with most diets, if not followed correctly they can have negative side effects on the body that far outweigh the positive ones. Low-carb diets are no different in this sense, as the bottom line is that your body requires a certain amount of carbohydrate to perform day to day tasks efficiently. If your body doesn’t have the necessary ingredients to make the most of, then you’re overall health may deteriorate as a result. After recent studies, it was discovered that there is no real link between low-carb diets and a decreased kidney health, however further studies are currently taking place to get to the bottom of the theory. Healthcare professionals advise that you stick to the recommended daily allowances of vitamins and minerals, just to be on the safe side. If you find that this affects your low-carb diet, then sticking as close as possible to the guidelines should suffice.

What is a hypo energetic diet?

A hypoenergetic diet is a form of diet that involves a reduction in energy by reducing the amount of calories that you consume throughout your day. In simple terms, a hypoenergetic diet is a diet that involves a decreased amount of calories, specifically to assist with weight loss goals. As opposed to its counterpart; the hyperenergetic diet, where a person will try to consume a higher number of calories than their recommended daily allowance, a hypoenergetic diet is an ideal regime for people that are overweight, obese, or simply want to lose weight in general. As with all diets, hypoenergetic diets aren’t recommended for long term use, as they can decrease energy levels within the body drastically over time, until your body will naturally remain at a low energy point. This can result in further medical complications so strict time frames should be kept to, and most doctors and healthcare professionals can work with you to create a routine that will suit your needs.

I've been careful to cut back on fat in my diet by eating fat-free foods, but my weight keeps going up. What's going on?

You may be suffering with any number of medically recognised conditions. The most likely is that your body is retaining weight because of metabolism defects, or habit. If this is the case, then you may want to check your blood sugar levels to make sure that you haven’t developed a medical condition due to your weight. If these results are clear, then paying careful attention to the packaging of food that you eat is the next thing to do. Gluten is an ingredient that’s often overlooked, but has been known to trigger weight gain anomalies, especially in those that are trying to lose weight. A common treatment for both of the above instances is to add to your current level of hydration. By drinking plenty of fresh and clean water daily, your body will be better equipped to break down those fatty ingredients, and you should soon start to notice a change in your weight for the better.

I've been told that a yeast-free diet can help cure vaginal yeast infections. Is this true?

As vaginal yeast infections occur when the body is either exposed to a high amount of yeast, develops higher than average levels of yeast, or anything in between, reducing the amount of yeast in your diet can assist with reducing the effects of vaginal yeast infections. Although it may not directly cure the yeast infection, a yeast-free diet can certainly go a long way to help pre-existing yeast infections. This would work in the same way that restricting your body of any ingredient would; by reducing the amount of yeast within your body, there will be less to process and as a result, less to be directed and stored within the vaginal area. A helpful remedy is to drink plenty of water to allow your body to flush out any excessive amounts of yeast and medications and creams are readily available should you need them.

What is the Glycaemic Index?

The Glycaemic Index is the scale of measurement that’s used to calculate the amounts of carbohydrates within the foods that we eat. This calculation is taken and then further investigated to provide information on the level of impact that these foods have on our blood sugar levels. It was developed recently to assist healthcare professionals treating specific medical conditions, such as diabetes, obesity and other weight related issues. Unlike other types of measurement scales that work out how much carbohydrate a specific food contains, the Glycaemic Index actually calculates the effects of carbohydrates so that we can better calculate the impact of them on our blood sugar levels. The chart is now implemented to help patients and individuals to lower their chances of many heart related conditions, particularly metabolic syndrome and stroke.

What are the benefits of exercise?

We all know we should exercise. We hear it from medical professionals and through the media on a frequent basis. But do we know the reasons why we exercise? Reduction in risks to developing most major illnesses, weight loss and improvement in mental health, this should be the first port of call for everyone looking to improve their general well-being.

Why should people with arthritis exercise?

Although exercise may be the last thing on your mind due to the pain you experience, regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for all types of arthritis. Ironically, regular exercise can actually reduce the pain caused by arthritis and helps strengthen the bones. Softening of the bones is common in those with the rheumatoid type and delaying or minimising this is essential. You must speak with your medical practitioner prior to commencing any form of exercise regimen, but once approved then low impact exercise such as strengthening and conditioning are excellent ways to keep fit and healthy. Activities such as walking, swimming and stretching all the joints should be considered a part of your daily routine.

Exercises for a flat stomach?

The key to a flat stomach is combining diet and exercise. Avoiding bloating foods is essential. Abdominal muscles are like any other muscle group and should only be worked out 3-4 times a week. Exercises such as lying knee to chest raises, crunches, sit ups, oblique twists, plank, side plank and v sits will all help to tone and tighten that tummy.

What exercise can make the chest appear bigger

This is a question we are asked frequently by men: how do we get those pecs to grow? Well first of all, if you aren’t already, start doing push-ups. And keep going until you are fatigued. Not only will this work your chest, but your deltoids and triceps will get a workout too! Our other top exercises for a bigger chest include:

  • Bench press
  • Incline press
  • Bar dips

I want to tone my stomach and thighs. What's a good exercise?

Toning the stomach and thighs at the same time is a common goal for many women, especially on the run up to summer months. Thighs, bums and tums classes have held popularity in gyms for many years now and continue to do so, despite the overwhelming number of new workouts available on the market today. Live For Gym top tips for great abs and thighs are:

Squats – the number one all-round exercise. Not only do squats help tone your thighs and lift your buttocks, they are cardiovascular when done correctly and work your core. If you are new to squats, do these without weights. For those of you who have done squats before, start out with light hand weights and work your way up to barbell squats. Get your ass to the grass and watch those thighs and tummy shrink.
Lunges: as with squats, start with no weight and gradually increase this over the weeks.
Crunches: an oldie but a goodie, crunches will help tone that tummy.
Adductor machines: Giving those thighs a good old squeeze to melt those pounds will really make a difference.
Walking: Yes, walking. Not only will this help you lose weight, but will tone your thighs and calves. To help tighten your tummy, make a conscious effort to pull your belly button in towards your spine at all times while walking. Increase your speed every 10 minutes for variation and add in a light jog if you feel up for it.

What is the most effective exercise if you want to lose weight?

This is really dependent on what you enjoy and what your goal is, but the one thing we cannot recommend highly enough, for both men and women is to build muscle. Yes really, weight training is one of the most effective ways to lose weight. And the best part?? You will continue to burn fat for 48 hours after your workout. And girls… You will not get bulky, you will tone up. So what are you waiting for? Get lifting!

Exercises to reduce love handles?

• Love handles are certainly not something to love, but good news! With a little bit of effort you can get rid of them and have the slim, toned obliques you have been dreaming of. Our top exercises for reducing love handles are:

Side plank: Try to start at 20 seconds each side and increase this to 1 full minute with practice. To make this a little harder, try to stack your feet rather than resting on one leg and raise your arm

Russian twists: begin with feet on the floor and no weight. As you become more accomplished add a weight and for increased resistance, raise your legs, feet crossed as you twist. Aim for 3-4 sets of 20 twists.

Bicycle crunch: lying on the floor, elbows behind your head and legs bent at 90 degrees. Bring your left elbow towards your right knee while your left leg straightens out and vice versa. Start out at 20 seconds and increase this to a full minute.

Stability ball plank: with your feet resting on a stability ball, hold a plank position for 30 seconds. Remember to focus on your core, pulling your stomach in towards your spine. Increase this to two minutes where you can

Will over exercising ruin my metabolism?

One of the most common mistakes people make when trying to become healthier and lose weight, is increasing their exercise dramatically and cutting their dietary intake to the bare minimum. The misconception that eating less and pushing harder and longer during workouts will help shed the pounds permanently, is quite a dangerous one and one that needs to be addressed. Overtraining, as we know, can cause loss of leanness, muscle wastage and exhaustion. Couple this with an overly restrictive diet and our metabolisms becomes severely damaged. It is becoming more and more accepted that when it comes to exercise, less can be more and to you need to be healthy to lose weight as well as losing weight to be healthy. Small, regular, nutritionally dense meals, regular sleep and reduction of stress are key to having a healthy metabolism, coupled with regular moderate exercise which combines light cardiovascular, strength training and stretching exercises.

Can increase increase blood sugar levels?

During exercise, your muscles require more glucose for energy and the liver will aid this by releasing more into the blood stream. To be used by your muscles, this glucose needs insulin. If your insulin levels are too low to support this process then you may find that your blood glucose readings are temporarily high immediately after exercising. People with diabetes should always consult a doctor prior to commencing any exercise programme, especially if they have been inactive for some time. It is also essential to always check blood sugar prior to exercising as this will indicate whether a snack is required or the workout should be postponed to avoid ketoacidosis developing.

What would you consider to be moderate and hard exercising?

Moderate exercise, such as walking at a fast pace, cycling on a flat surface, water aerobics or hiking will raise your heart rate, make you feel warmer and breathe faster. You can test this by trying to talk and then sing a song. If you can talk, but not sing then you are at a moderate intensity. Hard, or vigorous exercising is activity such as jogging or running, aerobics, skipping rope or speed swimming. These activities will raise your heart rate significantly and your breaths will come hard and fast. Talking during vigorous activity will be very difficult. A common misconception when gauging level of activity, is the amount of sweat lost. The amount of sweat glands we have varies from person to person. Some people have a condition where they do not sweat at all. Sweating during activity is your body’s way of cooling itself down and whilst sweating means you have heated your core temperature, it should not be used to gauge your level of activity.

Good exercises for lower abs?

Unfortunately crunching until you can’t anymore will not give you those to die for lower abs you are hoping for. Although crunches will help to tighten and tone you abs, doing these alone will not work. Our top exercises for lower abs are:

  • Hanging leg raises
  • Reverse crunches
  • Leg drops
  • Scissor crunches
  • Torso twists

Should I exercise if my back hurts?

When your back hurts, your natural instinct is to rest and stop moving. After all, movement causes pain right? The worst thing you could actually do with back pain is stop moving unless explicitly told to by a medical professional. Exercises should focus on stretching, strengthening and mobilising the lower back.

How do you perform cardio exercises?

Cardiovascular activity is activity which raises the heart rate and keeps it elevated. This is one of the most popular ways to lose weight. To perform cardio exercises, all you need to do is pick an activity that gets your heart going and keeps it going for as long as you are capable. This could include running, skipping, rowing, stepping, jogging, walking at a fast pace, swimming. The list is endless. The most important thing is to pick something you will enjoy and get that heart pumping.

What are mental health benefits of exercising?

We all know that exercise benefits our physical health, but what about our mental health? Research has uncovered a wealth of benefits to our mental wellbeing through physical activity, including a reduction of stress and tension, improved sleep, a healthy appetite, a sense of accomplishment and social interaction. Physical activity releases natural chemicals in the brain, which include endorphins which improve our mood. So what are you waiting for? A better mind, body and soul is awaiting.

Where do I start if I have never exercised?

You have decided to start exercising but have no idea where to begin. This is a common problem for people and is the quickest way to become demotivated and reluctant to get moving. First things first, talk to your doctor. Not only will they be able to assess your physical condition, they can give you some pointers on where to begin. Set a realistic goal and work towards this and do not forget about your diet. There is no point in working out for 5 days a week if you are not eating correctly. The Health Major offer comprehensive diet and exercise plans for all levels of capability and can provide assistance to those who are struggling on where to begin.

How much exercise should I do?

The guidelines are very much dependant on age, but for an average adult aged between 19-64, the guidelines for exercise are 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity and muscle strengthening activity on at least 2 days every week. Moderate intensity activity can include fast walking, hiking, playing tennis or riding a bike. Muscle strengthening activity incorporates repetition and can include weight lifting, use of resistance bands and body weight exercises.

How long do I need to exercise before I start to see results

How long is a piece of string? This is a question that really cannot be answered exactly. It is completely dependent on age, sex, gender, weight and genetics. Some people will see results almost instantly, while others may take a year to achieve what they are hoping for. The one thing we can say for sure is, that if you do nothing you will never see any changes. As a general rule of thumb, you should start to see some changes after around 4 weeks.

Is it safe to exercise if I have a medical condition?

This is very much dependant on which type of medical condition you have, however most medical conditions will not affect your ability to do some form of activity. Please consult your general practitioner to determine what exercises you can and should be undertaking.

Is it safe to exercise after giving birth?

For 9 months your body has gone through a rollercoaster of physical, mental and emotional changes and challenges and it does not get easier once you have given birth. You will feel tired, sore and experience many hormonal changes which can cause mood swings and feeling low. Your body shape may have also changed quite dramatically and losing weight can be at the forefront of your mind. After 6 weeks you will be given your postpartum check-up and it is highly recommended you wait until this time to start exercising. Your health professional will be able to advise you if your body has recovered enough to enable you to start a new regimen.


Frequently asked questions about the security

How much should I weigh?

Adults aged 18 and over will have a healthy weight range that is recommended based on their height. To calculate your ideal weight you can use a Body Mass Index calculator. This will indicate if you are underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obese. Be mindful that this tool does not account for muscle mass and therefore some athletes will weigh in as overweight or obese due to this fact. Most online tools are very accurate and easy to use.

How can I lose weight fast for my wedding?

Congratulations on your engagement and forthcoming big day. As a bride, we are sure you feel the pressure is on to lose some extra pounds to look and feel amazing in your dress. At The Health Major we never advocate quick fixes or crash diets. You may feel disappointed reading this, but the truth is, although you may lose weight for your special day, your health may be compromised during the process and you are most likely to gain all the weight back rapidly and then some!! The best and most effective way to lose weight is by following a healthy diet, recording all the food you consume (to ensure you are not unconsciously overeating), regular exercise which combines cardiovascular work with strength training and limit your alcohol intake. Live For Gym offer a variety of diet and workout routines and will give you as much support as you need or want on the run up to your special day. We want you to look and feel your best just as much as you do.

Can I still lose weight if I split my workouts throughout the day?

This is a commonly asked question in modern day society. Our lives have become busier and our time to exercise much shorter. Well good news. You absolutely do not have to do all your workout in one go and in actual fact, there is mounting evidence to support more frequent, shorter sessions can be just as beneficial to your health and weight loss. Three 10 minute bouts of cardio a day and splitting your strength sets across the day, or even throughout the week is entirely feasible and you will still benefit from this as much as you would during a long session. The aim of the game is to get your heart rate up and as long as you reach your quota, splitting it up is more than ok.

Can I use an exercise ball if I'm over weight or obese?

Absolutely! Just do your research beforehand to ensure the ball is appropriate for your weight. Some of the cheaper balls available on the market are not burst resistant and will only hold up to 250lbs. There are many sites, however, that offer burst resistant balls that vary in firmness and can hold up to 2000lbs of weight. Also make sure you choose a ball which is appropriate for your height to avoid any potential damage to your knees. If you are overweight or obese and have never exercised before, ensure you consult with your doctor before commencing any regimen.

Do men lose weight faster than women?

When it comes to weight loss, it is commonly believed that men can lose it faster than women. This is however, not entirely accurate. Men do lose more weight than women, but only in the short term at the beginning of any weight loss programme. The reason? Men tend to have more lean muscle than women and lean muscle burns more calories and fat, even at rest. Over a period of time the weight loss between the sexes evens out. When it comes to abdominal fat, women tend to lose this quicker than men as women are more likely to have their fat spread evenly over their body, while men tend to carry this in their mid-section.

Can I lose weight and gain muscle at the same time?

Very often beginners to fitness ask if they should lose weight or build muscle first. The answer to this is DO BOTH! The more advanced you are into a programme, the more difficult it is to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time, but for beginners this is much easier to do from the outset. Remember that while you are lifting, cardiovascular work will not burn your muscles and in fact will support your gains. The key to the best results is to eat enough calories to avoid your body thinking it is starving but not too many calories that you gain fat.

How do I tone up and lose weight under my arms and around my triceps?

Excess fat under the arms and around the triceps is known commonly by women as bat-wings or bingo-wings. Losing this excess flab can be a real challenge but not impossible. The first step to take is adjusting your diet, making it as clean and nutritionally dense as possible with a reduction in calorie intake. A healthy diet reduces the stores of body fat we have. Secondly, strength training will be your best friend for beautiful arms. To reduce the fat and improve the look of your tricep area, our top 5 exercises are:
• Tricep Kickbacks
• Tricep dips
• Overhead tricep extensions
• Tricep pushdowns
• Standing narrow push-ups
Ensure you are getting the appropriate levels of cardiovascular work to assist with fat loss each week, coupled with the diet and strength training and you will have sexy slim and toned arms in no time!!

I just started exercising, why am I gaining weight?

You have changed your diet and started to move more like all the experts tell you to, yet the scales are going up instead of down. This is one of the most frustrating things for anyone embarking on a weight loss journey, but not something you should panic about. An increase on the scale does not necessarily mean you are doing something wrong. There are several reasons you can gain weight after you begin exercising. The first is water retention, which is very common after you begin any regimen in the gym or at home. The body will retain water as part of the healing process from exercise, as a method of transporting glycogen to the necessary areas more efficiently.
The other common reason for increase in weight when exercising is the development of lean muscle mass. Muscle is heavier than fat, but is denser meaning it takes up less room in the body. The best way to measure if you are gaining muscle mass and not putting on more fat, is to take your measurements on a weekly basis. If you gain weight but lose inches then you are gaining lean muscle.

Are the calorie burn readouts on the machines accurate?

Have you entered your weight into the machine before you started working out? If not, then it is really unlikely that you are reading an accurate measurement of calories burned. The heavier you are, the more calories you are likely to burn. Is your form perfect or are you leaning a little too heavily on the handles?? These variables are all factors that work against machines giving you an accurate reading. If you have been reliant on the numbers up until now then don’t panic. Use these figures as a guideline to your progress. Challenge yourself to get a higher reading on the calorie burn as this ultimately means you are working out harder than you were during your last workout.

Am I doomed by genetics to battle my weight?

Whilst some people naturally have a slower metabolism than others and some gain weight more easily, no one is “doomed” by their genetic make up to be overweight forever. Even with a genetic predisposition to gain weight or put it on in certain areas, you can physically retrain your body to overcome this. Regular exercise will help you maintain a healthy weight, regardless of your genetic make-up.

Does extra walking help that much with weight control?

Believe it or not, walking is a really effective way to lose weight, tone muscles and improve general health and well-being. 2 ½ miles of walking burns around 250 calories and although this seems like a lot, it is easy to incorporate into your day. By parking your car a little bit further away, getting off a few bus stops earlier, taking the stairs or going for a walk with the kids and you will find you are hitting those 10,000 steps in no time. Walking is also fantastic for core strength. When used in conjunction with an exercise regimen, the results are outstanding. Invest in a decent pedometer and aim to increase your steps each day until you are reaching between 10,000 and 12,000.

What is the best way to keep weight off, once I lose it?

A common problem faced by many who have lost weight is putting it back on again once they have reached their target. This is due to people stopping their exercise and diet regimen as soon as they have achieved their goal. The key to maintaining weight loss is to continue regular exercise and following a healthy and nutritious diet. Always remember, this isn’t a diet or a quick fix but a lifestyle change.

Is a scale the best way to measure the fitness I’m gaining and the pounds I’m losing?

The bathroom scale is good for one thing only – telling you what weight you are. But here is what it doesn’t tell you. It doesn’t tell you how much muscle you have gained, how fit you are, how many inches you have lost. But most of all, the bathroom scale doesn’t tell you how awesome you are. To measure your success, you should be using a variety of tools. Yes the bathroom scale does help, but take your measurements, track your workouts in the gym to see your improvements in black and white and get your body fat measured accurately with callipers once a month. But the best tool of all? Your clothes. Nothing beats the feeling of them becoming looser, concreting what an amazing job you are doing.

If I eat healthy during the week, can I "pig" out on the weekends?

The weekend. Parties, social events, jam packed fun times… It becomes all too easy to cancel out all that hard work during the week in just 2 days of over indulgence. Truth is, pigging out at the weekend will only delay your gains significantly and stagnate your weight loss. At The Health Major we completely advocate a cheat day, but we highly recommend this is done during the week or have a little treat each day and use that extra time off at the weekend to push harder in your workouts and preparing healthy meals for the rest of the week.

Does tea work for weight loss?

For thousands of years Eastern countries have believed drinking tea is the key to health and happiness and according to modern Western research, they were not far wrong. Green, black, white and oolong all contain high levels of compounds that inhibit the absorption of fat. Fantastic right? Absolutely, but it is very much dependant on how you drink your tea. The compounds and antioxidants work best when no milk or sugar is added to the tea. Tea has many other health benefits including anticancer properties, reduced risk of developing neurological disorders, fat burning and reduction in cholesterol. So ditch that milk and get drinking from the huge variety of delicious and healthy teas available on the market today.

Why are those last 7lbs so difficult to lose?

As we lose weight, our metabolism becomes slower. The thinner you are, the slower it becomes. And thanks to our caveman ancestors, we still carry a genetic predisposition to protect our bodies from starvation. It seems when the scale gets stuck, our body is believing it is heading into starvation and holds on to every pound for dear life. If you have tried everything to lose that weight and it still won’t shift, ask yourself, do you actually need to lose those last few pounds?? Listen to your body and work with it not against it. Keep calm: it’s only a number.

Does drinking vinegar help with weight loss?

We are sure for many of you who have embarked on any weight loss plan, you will have heard that drinking vinegar helps you lose weight. But is this extreme advice actually valid? For the moment, the answer is there is not enough evidence. For many years, dieters have been advised to have a spoonful of vinegar, more specifically apple cider vinegar, before a meal as a way to curb appetite or reduce cravings. With only 3kcal per spoonful this is not a bad addition to any diet. But the only studies that have been conducted on the efficacy of this technique has been on mice. If you do decide to go ahead and try this, then be aware of the high acidity of vinegar which can irritate your throat, stomach and cause tooth enamel erosion.

Does eating before bed make you gain weight?

Once upon a time, diet and nutrition gurus told us that eating at night would make us gain weight… The reality, however, is that a calorie is a calorie no matter what time of the day it is consumed. Weight gain occurs when more calories are consumed than expended. The problem with eating late at night is the “mindless” eating trap that so many of us fall in to. Eating in front of the television or a computer can lead to overconsumption of calories and not being aware of how much we are actually putting into our mouths. It is recommended that 90% of the daily calorie allowance is eaten before 8pm to avoid overeating.

Does breastfeeding aid in weight loss?

The breast vs bottle argument is one that all new/expectant mothers will have to face. A common reason for leaning more towards breastfeeding over bottle feeding is the rumour that it helps with weight loss. But is there any substance to this rumour? It is true that breastfeeding women will burn 300-500 calories more in a day, but this needs to be replaced as the body needs that exact amount of calories to produce more milk. Breastfeeding has huge health benefits for both mum and baby and should be seriously considered regardless of the weight loss potential.

What are some good weight loss solutions

When it comes to weight loss, back to basics is the order of the day. Eat less and move more. It truly is that simple. There are, however, some other things you can do to boost your weight loss during your journey:
• Drink 500ml of very cold water upon waking. Your body will have to rev your metabolism into gear to heat this water up to body temperature. Allow your body around 30 minutes to get to work on this before eating breakfast.
• Spices: The hotter, the better. Some spices have been proven to rev your metabolism up by 20%
• Hydrate. In a typical day, a person should drink 2.5-3 litres water a day. Always keep a bottle handy and sip on it throughout the day. Have a large glass of water before you sit down to a meal and do not drink while you eat as this can interfere with the digestive process.
• Keep a food journal. Too often, people think they are consuming much less than they actually are. By writing everything down, your calorie intake is much easier to track. Over time, you will need to write this less and less as you will have learned to recognise your calorific max.

What is Nutrition exactly?

Nutrition is the process of getting as many good vitamins and minerals in to our bodies, so that we are able to perform to the best of our abilities, in a healthy way. Without good nutrition, our bodies would fall victim to malnourishment, illness and in severe cases even death. Eating nutritious foods isn’t hard at all, in fact good nutrition can be found in most foods and liquids. It’s important to maintain as https://www.liveforgym.com/balanced-diet/balanced a diet as possible, so that you always have nutrients within your system for your body to rely on when repairing, growing and performing those day to day tasks.

What is plant nutrition?

Plant nutrition is specifically the study of particular plants, including the way that they grow, reproduce and repair damage. With the understanding of the nutrients that plants use to undertake these naturally occurring processes, we can begin to understand how plants can benefit our own nutritional needs. Plants themselves use many similar chemicals as we do to function; they just make use of them in a different way. As some processes are very similar between plants and humans, we are able to consume these ingredients and enjoy the benefits that are most commonly associated with plant nutrition itself. If you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, you’ll already be consuming these vitamins and minerals, which can go a long way to benefitting your overall health.

How do I read food nutrition labels?

It’s a problem that a lot of us have had to face at one point or another. Fortunately the labels on the food packaging are quite easy to understand once you know what to look for!Most labels will contain the calorie count, marked as ‘cal’, the amount of protein, carbohydrate, fat, sugar, and in some cases salt or sodium. These measurements are all clearly marked with either a ‘g’ symbol, or the word grams. Next to this section you’ll commonly find an area that displays your recommended daily allowance when considering the contents of the product that you’re reading about. This section will display a percentage of the contents compared to your RDA, so that you can understand exactly how much of a specific ingredient that you’ll be consuming, usually per 100 grams, unless stated otherwise.

Is it a problem to eat less than my recommended calories per day?

That depends on the amount of calories that you actually are consuming. If you’re recommended to be eating 2,000 calories per day, but consume 1,200 or less, then you may be causing yourself problems for the future. This can include organ conditions, as you’re body requires a specific amount of nourishment on a daily basis in order to function correctly, and to its maximum potential. If you are restricting these nutrients via a reduction in calories per day, your body will start to show the results in negative ways. If you’re trying to lose weight, then reducing your recommended daily calorie intake should be fine, as long as you are eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water to counteract any negative effects. This reduction shouldn’t be too drastic though, a few hundred calories off of your recommended amount is safe and generally accepted by medical professionals.

What nutrition is good for the eyes?

There’s a whole host of great foods that are available to reduce the risk of eye conditions, and lessen the effects of pre-existing ones. These foods are all rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids (all hugely important for cell renewal, re-growth and repair). If you’re looking for specific foods that have the potential to benefit the health of your eyes and optical nerves, then spinach and kale contain antioxidants that can protect against UV damage and air pollution. Strawberries and Brussels sprouts are also another great option as they contain plenty of vitamin C which, as mentioned above, is great for cell repair. What most people don’t realise is that your eyes contain plenty of protein, so consuming seeds, wheat and nuts will reinforce your optical nerves, and the vitamin E contained within goes a long way in helping eye clarity too.

Is eating Gluten Free risky?

Gluten is one of those chemical ingredients that gets a much harsher wrap than it deserves. Although eating gluten-containing products excessively is advised against, there’s nothing to say that you can’t enjoy a bit of gluten in your diet. In fact, the only people that should avoid gluten or any products that contain gluten are those suffering with celiac disease, or have an allergy to wheat. For everyone else, gluten can play a vital role in general health and well-being, as well as being a source of fibre. Unfortunately, due to marketing and publicity stunts many people are avoiding gluten-containing products as they feel that it’s unhealthy. The bottom line is that it is perfectly healthy; in fact gluten from wheat is actually good for you!

How can I get nutrition advice on a medical condition?

The best place to go to for advice on an existing or suspected medical condition will always be your GP, Doctor or local healthcare provider. They will ask for details about your medical condition, before working out a nutritional plan that will suit your needs. If they don’t have the knowledge readily available, you may be sent to a specialist. In the latter case, the specialist should have experience in dealing with your medical condition, including cause, consequence and trigger foods, so you’ll be able to grasp a better understanding of the sort of nutrition that you can consume safely, without risking the consequences of your medical condition.

What are the best sources of nutrients out there?

Without a doubt, natural foods are the best sources of nutrients that you can find. There are currently no man-made foods on the market that can compare to the sheer amounts of nutritional values that natural foods provide and there isn’t likely to be any created in the near futire! Natural foods include meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and grains. The nutritional values may vary from food to food, but when combined together, they form some of the greatest companionships available. If you’re hoping to get the most out of your nutrition, mix and match the above food types to ensure that your body receives a varied amount of vitamins and minerals to suit your daily needs.

It is true that foods nowadays, don't contain all the required nutrients in them?

In some cases the answer is yes. After a recent study, researchers found that an orange in the year 2005 contained a fraction of the amount of vitamin C that was harvested ten years before that date. This is most commonly put down to the use of pesticides, man-made chemicals and other unnatural ingredients. The chemicals contained within these substances can often affect the freshness of our foods, which is why many people are turning to organic foods. These types of foods don’t contain any harmful chemicals and are grown using the environment as opposed to unnatural methods.

Why do people choose healthy nutrition?

Healthy nutrition can improve health, expand your lifespan and play a huge role on your levels of fitness and general well-being. An unhealthy nutritional diet can result in the exact opposite, so it’s only natural that more and more people are opting to pursue a healthy nutritional lifestyle. The benefits are substantial when compared to someone with a lower nutritional level, and by making the change; a person will be able to see a great amount of difference in their general well-being, especially if they were unhealthy before.

What age do you think nutrition should be taughts to kids?

Nutrition is a topic that has so much involved in it that bombarding the younger generation with such diverse and complicated knowledge may have adverse effects. It’s always good to encourage healthy eating by explaining the health benefits of the food that your children are eating, but the ins and outs of nutrition itself can be left until your children are old enough to understand the complicated chemical compounds within their foods. If your child is ever against eating a particular type of food that you know is good for them, then trying to explain what the food does for their body should be your next option, especially if you want them to understand how beneficial certain nutrients can be to their growth.

How important is it that children have a firm understanding about nutrition?

Children may not be able to understand the inner details of nutrition, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less important. You shouldn’t expect your child to understand as much about their nutrition as you do, after all, they don’t need to worry about weight gain and illnesses like adults have to! But taking the time to identify the types of food that are good for their body, as well as the ones that are bad for them is as important as actually giving them the good nutrients that their growing bodies need. The knowledge may actually help them to make healthy decisions about what they do and don’t want to eat in the future, but it’s important not to scare them off of certain foods entirely!

Where can I find the best sources of information on nutrition?

Sources of information are available everywhere, from magazines, the internet and word of mouth, all the way to the back of a label’s packaging. It’s always good to understand nutrition, so pick and choose your sources wisely! We have a great range of nutritional articles available that cover most topics relating to this subject, but if you want to look further afield, then the most recommended place to find information on the types, amounts and benefits of specific nutrients is on the back of their packaging. Most products will display a list of what goes into the contents, but if that isn’t enough then checking information from reliable sources is your next option, especially Doctors and medical professionals.

What is Malnutrition and Under Nutrition?

These two things are one and the same. Malnutrition and under nutrition occur when a person, plant or animal is exposed to an environment where they are unable to consume the required amount of vitamins and minerals, in order to function correctly. This could be due to an extreme diet where certain types of foods are restricted, due to allergies, poverty or food preference. In these events, your body may not be able to absorb specific nutrients from your food and as a result, you may become malnourished. If left untreated, the consequences of malnourishment can lead to extreme sickness and in severe cases, even death.

How do I know if I'm reading the right nutrition information?

Most of the time, nutritional information will clearly explain what goes into the product, as well as what the product can do for you. If you’re ever in doubt about the types of information that you have available to you, then take a look at the verifications that accompany it. Most products will clearly display their research validity, but if you’re ever in doubt just do a quick search online. You’ll bring up a great amount of results, each of which will explain in detail the specific types of nutrition, and potentially their food source. We also offer a great range of articles that cover nutrients and their sources, all from a very well researched source of reliable information.

Do I need to be concerned about the lack of nutrients on my cheat day?

Not at all! Your body doesn’t use up all of its supplies instantly, in fact it will often store a range of vitamins and minerals to use them at another time, or to convert their properties in to another chemical to be put to better use. The only down side to your nutrient level on your cheat day is if you eat an excessive amount of harmful chemicals that may reduce the effects of the good nutrients that are already within your body. To avoid this, try to limit your sugar and salt intake and keep your hydration levels maximised throughout the day. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying bad foods as part of your cheat day, but consider how drastic a toll this may take on your body further down the line.

Is it better to drink nutrients than to eat them?

Either option will have the same result. If you drink nutrients, they will eventually be filtered in to your kidneys and bladder, whereas if you consume nutrients by eating them, they’ll be digested within your intestines before being put to good use. Either way is guaranteed the same result; a great absorption of healthy nutrients in to your blood stream and system. Certain nutrients can only be obtained by drinking and others via eating. Many people prefer a light drink before or after their workout or daily routine, so they’ll blend foods into smoothies. This isn’t because it’s easier to digest; it’s just quicker to drink than to eat! The amount of time for the nutrients to be processed will be roughly the same too, so simply use what you feel is the best method for you and go with it!

Are smoothies good sources of nutrients?

Yes, especially if you make your smoothies with fresh ingredients! Remember that a smoothie can be made of whatever you want, from strawberries, bananas and milk to green vegetables; you name it and your smoothie will carry those healthy nutrients your way! Whichever ingredients you do decide to put into your smoothie, you can be guaranteed that by drinking it, you’ll get a great boost of healthy nutrients that will benefit your body in ways that you won’t even be aware of. Throw in some honey, maybe some ground cinnamon and as few or many pieces of fruit or vegetables that you can imagine, and you’ll have a complex drink that’s full of goodness.

How do I learn more about nutrients and how they affect the body?

You can learn more on our website. We have a range of articles that will give you all of the information that you need about nutrients and how they affect your body. If you’d like further information, you can find loads of details online, or by asking your doctor or local healthcare provider. Nutrients are so varied and complex that no two have to be the same, so the more than you eat, the more benefits you’ll be able to enjoy! Feel free to explore the availability of nutrients in your daily eating routine, from eggs, sesame seeds and pork chops, all the way to cucumbers and tomatoes.

How do I gain weight?

If you are trying to gain weight there is one thing and one thing only that you need to bear in mind, and that’s the fact that you will have to consume more calories than you burn off on a daily basis. This means that if you are an adult male that currently consumes about 2,500 calories per day, or an adult female that consumes her recommended daily allowance of 2,000 calories per day then simply upping this number will provide your body with enough extra calories to store away, which as a result will cause you to put weight on. Although it is not a process that will happen overnight, ensuring that your body has an excessive amount of calories steadily for a few weeks will result in a noticeable difference, as your body struggles to process those extra calories and to burn them off as it usually would.

Does oestrogen really cause weight gain?

Yes it does. After extensive research, a person that possesses excess oestrogen within their body can suffer with water retention, toxic fat gain and bloating. These are just a few of the health concerns that excess oestrogen can cause within a person’s body, most of which can lead to further medical complications in the long term. The type of weight gain associated with oestrogen occurs when the human body produces too much of it, or acquires it excessively from other sources (such as your diet). Unlike most types of chemical produced by the body, oestrogen promotes itself, causing more oestrogen to produce when it is at an unsafe level within the body and it is this rare encouragement that can result in weight gain. There are specific treatments and medical procedures available to treat those who suffer with ‘oestrogen dominance’, so talk to your doctor or healthcare provider if you think your levels are unusually high.

How can I gain weight in a really short time?

That would depend on the type of weight that you’d like to put on. If you want to build muscle mass and weight together, then consuming at least 1 gram of protein per 1lb of your own body weight for a week or two whilst working out is a great healthy way to put on the right kind of weight for you. If you’d just like to put weight on in general, regardless of muscle or tone, then consuming far more calories than your recommended daily allowance (and then ensuring that you don’t burn them off again) should be your main priority. If you want to put weight on within the space of a few weeks, then eating foods that are high in carbohydrates will give you a careful balance between eating too much fat and more protein than you need. Potatoes, crisps, milkshakes and meat such as steaks, burgers and pork chops will all help towards that all important calorie count.

How much weight can I gain from weight training?

f you weight train at least 4 times a week with heavier than average weights, you can expect to gain a great amount of muscle over a period of time. Unlike the type of weight that eating huge amounts regularly will do for your body, weight training will turn any of the weight that you develop on your body into muscle, as long as you have the protein present to convert it. So for example, if you lifted heavy weights for a specific amount of time at least once per day, your body would begin to direct new sources of protein to those muscles, in an attempt to repair and renew them after your workout. Although the results vary from person to person, you can expect to build a great amount of muscle with consistent weight training over the course of a few months and longer.

I battle to pick up weight as I’ve always been active. How do I gain weight?

By now your metabolism will be so active that you’ll struggle to put on weight consistently without a lot of effort because you’ve effectively trained your body to work efficiently. But this can be helped! You can slow down your activity and focus more on consuming food to assist with weight gain, or you can simply up the amount of food that you eat. It doesn’t matter how much you train, if you consume more calories than your body is able to burn off, you will put on weight and that’s that. So let’s say for example that you’re eating 2,500 calories per day, but burning off that same amount; upping those calories to 3,500-4,000 calories per day is guaranteed to pile the pounds on to your frame, even if you are really energetic on an hourly basis. As long as you don’t burn off more calories than you have inside of you at any given time, you’ll definitely put on the weight that you desire.

If I don’t eat straight after a hard gym session, will this affect my weight gain process?

In many cases, the answer is yes. Although your body will still process any available protein that is present after you’ve finished working out at the gym, eating straight after a workout session can provide your body with an almost instant influx of nutrition that it can then put to good use on your muscles. Eating during the ‘anabolic window’ as it is known, is highly beneficial for your body overall because it is thought to be the point where your body is at its peak condition to gain muscle mass at an accelerated rate. As a result, eating almost directly after a heavy lifting work out session is a guaranteed way to grow your muscles; far quicker than if you were to leave that same meal until a few hours after your workout, in fact.

What is the connection between sleeping and weight gain?

Whilst you sleep, your body naturally slows down its metabolism because it isn’t going to need to stay alert and use as much energy as it would if you were awake. As a consequence of this, your body doesn’t digest your food as readily as when you are active and instead works to store your food simply because it can’t be processed efficiently at that time. If your bodily functions are reduced whilst you sleep, it stands to reason that any food that you eat directly before bed will not get processed. The single most effective way to avoid weight gain whilst you sleep is to not eat directly before bed! If you drink a glass of water before you intend to sleep it will allow your metabolism to rest properly and will give you a fresh dose of hydration which will act as a deterrent for fat, stopping it from settling down. It will also help with your digestive processes too, albeit at a slower pace than if you were awake.

I battle to pick up weight as I’ve always been active. How do I gain weight?

By now your metabolism will be so active that you’ll struggle to put on weight consistently without a lot of effort because you’ve effectively trained your body to work efficiently. But this can be helped! You can slow down your activity and focus more on consuming food to assist with weight gain, or you can simply up the amount of food that you eat. It doesn’t matter how much you train, if you consume more calories than your body is able to burn off, you will put on weight and that’s that. So let’s say for example that you’re eating 2,500 calories per day, but burning off that same amount; upping those calories to 3,500-4,000 calories per day is guaranteed to pile the pounds on to your frame, even if you are really energetic on an hourly basis. As long as you don’t burn off more calories than you have inside of you at any given time, you’ll definitely put on the weight that you desire.

Why is weight gain so important when lifting weights?

When you’re lifting weights your body isn’t working hard to reduce fat, it’s working hard to build muscle so that the next time that you lift those weights, you won’t find it as hard to do. It’s a constant evolution that our bodies are undergoing in an attempt to better suit our lifestyles. That’s why it’s important to gain weight when lifting weights. Without the weight from other sources, your muscles won’t grow and as a result, they won’t be able to improve your strength and endurance levels. If you don’t gain weight whilst working out with weight lifting exercises, your body simply won’t have the resources there to take advantage of your exercise routine. As a result of this, your body will only work to tone your muscles and not to grow them.

How do I stop gaining weight?

If you’d like to put a halt to your overall weight gain there are a few scientifically proven methods that you can try. The first is to change the types of food that you are eating. If you’re eating burgers, chips, chocolates and other sources of fat, then reducing the amount that you eat will allow your body more of a chance at processing those fats. You might not exactly lose weight, but you’ll stop putting it on, and if you’re happy at your current weight it can make all of the difference. Another option would be to drink more clean fluids like water. Having water in your body will allow your digestive system to operate much more efficiently; providing the raw materials to break down the food that you eat, before expelling those ingredients or putting them to good use within your body. By reducing the amount of saturated fats that you consume, as well as drinking plenty of water, you’ll stop gaining weight and begin to maintain the weight that you are happy with.

I'm a small petit girl, but battle to gain weight properly?

No matter what size you are, if you eat beyond the amount of calories that you’re recommended to consume, you’ll put on weight. This doesn’t have to be an unhealthy amount of weight, in fact you can pack on enough muscle to reinforce your weight, whilst avoiding fat growth where possible. In order to gain weight, you’ll have two options; the first is to put on general weight and the second is to put on healthy muscle weight. Eating after exercising will replenish your glycogen and stimulate protein synthesis. If you’d prefer not to work out, then finding a carefully tailored diet that takes your calories beyond the recommended 2,000 a day safely, you will find that you put weight on to your small frame. By eating above your recommendation every day, you’ should expect to see weight gain changes within a matter of weeks.

I do I gain good weight, like lean muscle and not fat?

The only answer is by eating healthily! The best sources of protein can be found in a range of foods, from lean meats such as chicken, turkey and lamb, to beans and peas such as soya beans, kidney beans and chickpeas. As with other weight gain processes, you’d have to ensure that you eat over the recommended amount of calories per day, but instead of eating unhealthy food, you’d simply revolve your meals around the healthier options that are high in protein. Working out would also play a major role in your good-weight gain, as the more your muscles are exercised, the more that they need repairing. That’s where the protein comes in, as it will begin to assist your muscle growth, resulting in a lean physique as opposed to a flabby one if you were to just eat any food excessively.

Can melatonin cause weight gain?

Quite the opposite; melatonin can actually control your weight gain, so that your body is able to either lose weight, or balance itself out. So what is melatonin? Well it’s a specific ingredient that’s most commonly associated with the sun’s rays. At night, the levels of melatonin within your body are known to decrease. This is the only instance where melatonin may be present during weight gain, but even then it isn’t solely responsible. Basically this means that melatonin doesn’t cause weight gain in the traditional sense, but that whilst its effects are lowered, weight gain can more easily take place. For example, if you were to eat and then go straight to sleep for the night, your melatonin levels would slowly decrease and as a result, your body wouldn’t be able to process the food as efficiently as if you were awake. To put this into perspective, this rule also applies to your metabolism, as it too slows down when you sleep.

I'm feeling very bloated and feel like I have gained weight after I got off Birth Control. Is this normal?

Yes, it’s entirely normal and one of the most common side effects of taking the medication. The main reason for this weight gain and bloated feeling is that the ingredients within the pill can cause weight to be retained within your skin and tissue cells. It’s nothing to worry about in the long term though, as this weight gain is only temporary and often completely disappears within the space of a few months. The reason for this reaction is due to the oestrogen levels within the pill itself. Oestrogen has its own affects on weight gain, so when provided in a greater amount, your body may not be able to cope with the added influx and may put on weight as a consequence. Modern Birth Control pills aren’t anywhere near as potent in their oestrogen levels as they previously were, so if you are suffering with that bloated feeling, remember that it will only be temporary!

Why can someone develop a bad odour from weight gain?

One of the touchiest subjects for people to talk about is an unfortunate increase in body odour when weight is gained. Although sweat and body odour is a natural part of the bodies processes and effects people from all walks of life, odour has been proved to be more present within obese people when compared to people of average build. This is because although the sweat glands themselves act in the same way as expected; the presence of excess skin and fatty tissue increases the occurrence of sweat and secretion and the levels at which they occur. As a result, the sweat has less space to escape from the body’s surface to disperse and be dried out by the air. As the sweat can’t travel between the skins contact areas, it is left to fester and as a result, the smell can be rather unpleasant when left untreated.

How much weight gain is healthy?

In most instances, healthy weight gain should be anywhere between 0.5lbs and 2lbs per week. This number will depend on your daily routine, activity and eating habits. If you are working out in the gym for 4 days a week for example, and you consume at least 1 gram of protein per 1lb of bodyweight each day, you’ll find that your body weight will increase at a higher than average rate. This is due to the muscles being renewed at an intensive rate, and muscle is heavier than fat when compared to the equivalent mass. If you find that you are gaining over 2lbs a week without working out, then your weight gain may be leaning slightly towards the unhealthy scale. This might happen if you’re eating a lot of fat-containing foods or if you’re eating before bed each night. Either way, stick to a calorie count if you can, and plan your weight gain properly.

How fast should I put weight on?

If you have decided to put on weight for any reason at all there is a widely acknowledged time frame that you can refer to, in order to calculate your weight gain in a healthy manner. This works out as roughly 2lbs per week for most people, slightly more if you are bodybuilding or exercising to build muscle on specific areas of your body and slightly less if you are severely underweight for medical reasons. Bearing this in mind, you can expect to put on up to 8lbs per month, or 16lbs bi-monthly if you are engaging in a proper routine. This form of standard weight gain, as long as it’s combined with a healthy eating regime and sufficient exercise, is accepted as being healthy by healthcare professionals. If you put on weight any faster than this, and begin to gain weight way above those numbers, then you should consider revising your habits to suit your needs.

Do carbohydrates help you to gain weight?

Yes they do. Carbohydrates are the material contained within a whole host of foods that acts as an energy source when converted by the body. If this energy is not used up, it can start to become stored within your skin tissue and it’s this storage that results in excessive weight gain. The effects of excessive carbohydrates can also include sagging skin, as it is forced to stretch to be able to contain all of the carbohydrate molecules present within the body. This can be both a blessing and a curse because if you are hoping to gain weight, then carbohydrates are as necessary to reaching your goals as proteins are for building muscle. If you are hoping to lose weight, then lowering the amount of carbohydrates that you consume is just as important. Either way, carbohydrates do play a major role on weight gain processes within your body.

Is too much protein bad for weight gain?

As with the excessive consumption of most chemicals within the body, too much protein can have an effect on weight gain. This is easily understood when you consider that the formula that you should consume in order to build muscle efficiently is 1gram of protein for every 1lb of your bodyweight. This means is that if you weigh 135lbs, you should aim to consume 135 grams of protein every day, and not too much more. A lot of this protein will initially go to waste or be burnt off as energy, but then what’s left will be directed specifically to your muscles. If excess protein can’t be converted into energy, expelled as waste or used on muscle growth, it will begin to add unwanted weight to your frame in much the same way as carbohydrates will because its properties automatically alter to suit any new role within your body.

How do I know if I'm gaining weight correctly?

One of the most important ways to keep track of your weight gain is with regular checkups on weighing scales. If you are planning your weight gain properly, you’ll want to know your initial weight, calculate where you intend to be in (for example) three months, and then work out how much weight you’d need to gain in order to get there. You will want to calculate your weight gain on a weekly basis, as doing so each day can often provide misleading results. You should aim to increase your weight by roughly 2lbs per week (try not to go over this amount as anything above can be classified as an unhealthy weight gain). If you are able to put on 2lbs of weight per week on average safely, then you can consider your goals as healthy and correct.