The Plank

Have you ever noticed that after doing ab exercises your stomach actually pouches out more? That’s because people often do exercises incorrectly and the muscle builds up under the fat and pouches out! Not with this exercise! Meet your new, flatter tummy maker—AKA THE PLANK!


THE PLANK—quite possibly the most effective ab exercise! No reason to fear the plank, it will make you stronger!

How to:

1. A plank can be done on the floor, but using a mat may be more comfortable.

2. Lay down on your belly.

3. Lift your upper body & support yourself with your forearms.

  • Elbows should be bent at 90 degrees.

4. Lift your lower body by supporting yourself with your toes and forearms.

5. Your body should be straight like a board from head to toe—like a plank!

  • Be careful not to curve your back up or down (don’t let your butt sag to the floor or bend up).

6. Engage your core (squeeze your abs tight).

7. Hold for 30 seconds.

  • Try 1 minute if you’re feeling brave!

8. Repeat 3 times.

  • Rest 30 seconds to 1 minute in-between.

Save

Save

Nutrition Twins Fitbie: What Do Nutritionists Do to Eat Smarter During Holiday Travel?

fitbie_logo copy fitbie December 26, 2012 | By The Nutrition Twins

 

Every time we return from traveling our clients ask us what we do to prevent weight gain on the road. First, let us tell you, it doesn’t’ come easy for us either.  We have to plan, and it takes work!  After all, if get stuck at the airport without backup food not, your best option is often burger and fries.
As registered dietitians and personal trainers, we do have a little extra motivation to keep the weight off (if we come back 10 pounds heavier after every trip, it wouldn’t be good for our practice), but these strategies can work for anybody.  Here’s what we do when we travel.

1. We cut red peppers into strips and put them into Ziploc bags and pack pistachios to take with us for our travel day 
Red peppers are sweet, crunchy and satisfying. They’re loaded with fiber and water, so they fill your stomach. Pistachios are another ideal snack. Not only are they easy to transport, but they also have got both fiber and protein, which will squash your cravings for something savory and crunchy without compromising your healthy eating goals. You can eat 30 of them for 100 calories.

Eating a snack is necessary because, without it, we are hungry when we reach our destination. A snack takes the edge off hunger so we don’t eat a bag of chips or a candy bar (or whatever tempts us) while we’re waiting for dinner. In fact, just this past weekend on her way to South Beach Tammy was able to pass up candy her husband picked up at the airport for later for the trip, because she knew she was prepared with her peppers and pistachios.

2. If we’re traveling for more than 3 hours, we pack a meal
We make sure to include a high-fiber carbohydrate, like fruit and veggies or beans, for energy, and then a lean protein to keep us feeling satisfied and to extend the energy boost of the carbohydrate.  Often we bring big salads with veggies, poultry, and a piece of fruit. We have packed tuna or salmon (in the seal-pack pouch before), but of course this is a meal we have when we don’t plan to eat it on the plane next to other passengers.  After all, we’re not in the business of creating enemies.

3. We pack apples for breakfast
Even if we have a hard time finding healthy food, we have something. Plus, it’s usually easy to find a string cheese, yogurt, or hardboiled egg to accompany the fruit. Just bring one or two so that you have them for the first day, and get more while you are at your destination.

4. We bring sneakers
Although we make it our priority to exercise (again, it’s our job!), even if you don’t exercise, you can at least burn some extra calories walking around your vacation spot. We try to do pushups and sit-ups in our hotel room if there is no fitness center.

What do you do to keep the extra pounds from following you back from the airport?

For more like this you may like:

Nutrition Twins Fitbie: 3 Breakfasts to Get you Back on Track After a Big Splurge

Nutrition Twins Fitbie: In Search of a Weight Loss Magic Bullet: Could Raspberry Ketones Be the Answer?

For a ‘Get Healthy’ Guide Check out The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure

 

Nutrition Twins Fitbie: In Search of a Weight Loss Magic Bullet: Could Raspberry Ketones Be the Answer?

fitbie_logo copy fitbie December 19, 2012 | By The Nutrition Twins

 

As high-calorie holiday goodies stare us in the face everywhere we go, the idea of being able to indulge without gaining is irresistible. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a pill that would burn off a few of those extra calories? So, if you’re like many of our clients, you may be curious about the fat-burning benefits of raspberry ketones touted on the Dr. Oz show recently.

Here’s the low-down. If you’ve ever noticed the sweet smell from a container of raspberries, you’re actually picking up the scent of raspberry ketones—they’re the main aromatic compounds found in raspberries. Raspberry ketones’ chemical structure has some similarities with synephrine, which is a stimulant. Stimulants and other compounds that have the ability to “speed you up” are continuously being looked at for weight loss. The idea is  they’ll make your body burn more calories while you’re sitting still.

While raspberry ketones have been studied, they haven’t been studied very much. In fact, there have only been three very small studies conducted, and they were performed on rodents. In this research, the rodents did gain less fat and raspberry ketones helped the rats to break down fat. This is interesting, but we’d love to see some studies performed on humans, because humans don’t necessarily respond the way rodents do. Plus, how can we know what dosage to give humans if it’s only been tested on rodents? Perhaps this is why our clients who have tried raspberry ketones haven’t seen success. Additionally, keep in mind that, even if researchers knew how much to give humans, supplements are not regulated or enforced by a governmental agency like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so they may not contain the ingredient amounts that the label claims. It’s also worth mentioning that none of these studies were published in any major respected medical journals, and there’s a good chance they were funded by an organization that had a vested interest in the success of raspberry ketones.

As registered dietitians, it would be irresponsible of us to recommend raspberry ketones to our clients at this time. However, we look forward to seeing more research on the subject. For now, we’ll stick to eating real raspberries (along with other healthy foods) and exercising–and we’ll continue to recommend that our clients do the same. If you decide to try raspberry ketones, we suggest reading the ingredient label carefully. Many other stimulants are often added, which may cause feelings of shakiness or heart palpitations. Remember, no reliable clinical research has evaluated this supplement for safety or adverse reactions.

If you’ve tried them please let us know your experience!

 

For more like this you may like:

Nutrition Twins Fitbie: What Do Nutritionists Do to Eat Smarter During Holiday Travel?

Nutrition Twins Fitbie: 3 Breakfasts to Get you Back on Track After a Big Splurge

For a ‘Get Healthy’ Guide Check out The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure

Nutrition Twins Fitbie: 3 Breakfasts to Get you Back on Track After a Big Splurge

fitbie_logo copy  fitbie December 12, 2012 | By The Nutrition Twins

 

Although forgoing breakfast may seem like a smart way to balance out calories and prevent weight gain, the truth is, even if you wake up feeling full from last night’s holiday party free-for-all, skipping breakfast will just make you more likely to overeat later in the day.  The key to getting back on the healthy train is choosing the right breakfast. After helping thousands of people lose weight, we’ve found there are a few guidelines you should follow to stay lean after a splurge.

Your bounce-back breakfast should…
…carry around 200 calories
Breakfast should be the size of a healthy afternoon snack, because, like a snack, its purpose is to tide you over until your next meal. Choose something small enough that you feel light, yet that still provides energy.  It’s also got to be large that you won’t be tempted to overindulge at lunch.

…have fiber (think fruits, veggies, whole grains, and beans)
Fiber typically goes hand-in-hand with the healthy carbohydrates that you need to fuel your brain and prevent cravings. It also helps to flush the left-over debris and toxins lingering in your colon from the night before and stabilizes your blood sugar levels.

…contain at least 10 grams of protein
Protein takes longer to digest and will help to prevent you from feeling hungry too soon.

…be appealing enough to make you want to eat, even if you’re not hungry

These three breakfasts meet all four qualifications:

Apple-y Vanilla Pie
Chop a small apple into slices about ½ inch thick. Coat the slices with 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or with ½ teaspoon each cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves) and microwave on high for 5 minutes.  While apples are still hot and juices are still liquid-y mix them into a nonfat Greek vanilla yogurt.  Look for a yogurt that’s about 130 calories or less to keep your total calorie count to around 200.

Pina Colada Yogurt
Add ½ cup crushed canned pineapple to 4 oz non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt. Top it with 1 tbsp toasted coconut. Note: You could substitute the pineapple with canned mandarin oranges. To toast the coconut, place the coconut in a small dry skillet over medium heat and stir often for about 5 minutes, until it’s golden. Or you can spread in a shallow baking dish and bake it at 350°F for about 5 to 10 minutes.

California Love Mug (this is a Hungry-Girl recipe–we’re big fans!)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/2 c sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 c fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
  • 2 tbsp diced tomatoes
  • 1 wedge of Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss Cheese
  • 2 tbsp diced avocado

Directions:
Spray a large microwave-safe mug with nonstick spray. Add spinach and mushrooms, and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, until softened. Blot any excess moisture from the veggies. Add the egg substitute, tomatoes, and cheese wedge, breaking the cheese wedge into pieces as you add it. Microwave it all for 1 minute. Stir gently, and then microwave the mug for an additional 45 to 60 seconds, until the scramble has just set. Lightly stir the mixture, and allow it to cool slightly. Top it off with avocado, and eat up!

What do you have for breakfast after you over-indulge the night before?

—Tammy Lakatos Shames and Elysse “Lyssie” Lakatos—otherwise known as the Nutrition Twins—are registered dieticians, certified personal trainers and authors of Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever.

For more like this you may like:

Nutrition Twins Fitbie: What Do Nutritionists Do to Eat Smarter During Holiday Travel?

Nutrition Twins Fitbie: In Search of a Weight Loss Magic Bullet: Could Raspberry Ketones Be the Answer?

For a ‘Get Healthy’ Guide Check out The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure