The Weight Loss Plateau: How you can jump over it

 

 

One thing that I know frustrates many people is the dreaded weight loss plateau. Weve all been there; you’re staying on your plan, eating right, and adding more exercise, but that little bit just wont come off. The last five pounds are by far the trickiest, right?

Well, here is your cheat-sheet on how to battle a plateau:

1.) Awareness is key. Many times when we’ve reach our goals and hit a plateau, we tend to ease back on our routine. Maintain your awareness by keeping track of your exercise and daily food log. You might find that skipping your afternoon latte or hitting up brunch after a Saturday workout may seem small, but it really contributes to smaller ratio of calories in vs. calories out that you thought!

2.) Change it up. Plateaus happen when the muscles in your body get used to the exercises that you are doing. So, if you keep the same routine for 6 months, and you find that you lost weight in the beginning but haven’t in the past 3 weeks, switch up your routine. Putting in a higher intensity bursts for just 5 minutes in your routine or adding on mileage or increasing the pace can make a huge difference in how your body reacts.

3.) Don’t stress! Putting too much emphasis on the fact that the scale is not budging and really focus on your overall goal: to be healthy, live life better, and keep other weight-related ailments at bay. Every time you are frustrated think about all you have accomplished. Keeping yourself positive could help shed those final pounds!

Do deep tissue massages help the muscles recover after training?

Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. Most of the rhythm of deep tissue massage is similar to classic massage therapy, but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on the areas of tension and pain. It is known to be especially helpful for chronically tense and contracted areas such as, stiff necks, low back tightness, and sore shoulders. Deep tissue massages work by physically breaking down adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement. Adhesions are bands of rigid tissue in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Adhesions are capable of blocking circulation and causing pain, limited movement, and inflammation.

Many coaches of athletic teams and personal trainers will suggest deep tissue massage to their clients because benefits not only include physical ease to the problem area, but also positive physiological and psychological effects. Some physical benefits of the massage include:

Pumping: The stroking movements of the massage suck fluid through blood and lymph vessels. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissue, as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissue of vital nutrients and energy repair.

Increased tissue permeability: Deep tissue massage better enables fluids and nutrients to pass through tissue membranes. In turn, this helps remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourages the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients which help them recover quicker.

Stretching: Massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched in usual methods. This releases any tension or pressure build up.

Breaks down scar tissue: Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma and can effect muscles, tendons, and ligaments, thus leading to inflexible tissues that are prone to injury and pain.

Physiological effects of the deep tissue massage include pain reduction and relaxation. Psychological effects can include anxiety reduction, and an invigorating feeling to the client.

Deep tissue massage holds a bundle of benefits for those who expose their muscles to daily, intensive conditioning. It isn’t however, for everyone. Deep tissue massage holds some disadvantages including, mild to moderate discomfort during the massage as tight muscles are worked, and a day or two of soreness following the deep tissue massage, much like the soreness experienced after a rigorous workout. Deep tissue massage is also capable of causing brusing, and in rare cases nerve damage, as well as setting off nerve-related illnesses such as shingles and neuropathies. Another disadvantage of the deep tissue massage that is not physical is simply time. Most deep tissue massages can last anywhere between 60 and 90 minutes, making this a time commitment in itself for very busy people, and if the only time you are able to get a massage is during your business day, you may have to return back to your office feeling somewhat greasy from various oils used during the massage. You also may feel so relaxed that you want to take a nap rather than return to working out or training!

In conclusion, as an athlete or someone who exercises daily, the choice is your own personal one regarding whether or not to get a deep tissue massage. If you are prone to injury or chronic pain in a particular area, the advantages of deep tissue massage probably outweigh the disadvantages, and it is probably in your best interest to schedule one. If you are worried about either becoming bruised or feeling sore after the massage, and feel this will disrupt your training, then you may not want to opt for one. For those who have never gotten deep tissue massages, the best idea would be to go to your first, and weigh the results. If the massage proved to be beneficial, schedule your next. If not, turn to other outlets for injury and chronic pain such as physical therapy or chiropractic treatments. Deep tissue massage is not necessarily fundamental for the workout warrior, but if agreeable with one’s body, is definitely a bonus in total body maintenance.

Recipe of the Month: Arctic Char with Green Apple-Dill Sauce

Ingredients:
– 1/4 cup minced red onion

– 1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced

– 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice

– 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream

– 1 Tbs. mayonnaise

– 1 Tbs. country Dijon mustard

– 1/4 cup minced dill

– 4 Arctic char or salmon fillets, about 1.25 lbs. total

 

Stir together all ingredients except fish.

Serve char/fish with the apple-dill sauce.

Serves 4.

 

 

Apple a day advice rooted in science

Apples are truly a miracle fruit that convey benefits beyond fiber content.  Apple pectin and polyphenols in apples improve lipid metabolism and lower the production of pro-inflammatory molecules

The results surprised Dr. Arjmandi, who stated that incredible changes in the apple-eating women happened by 6 months they experienced a 23% decrease in LDL cholesterol, which is known as the bad cholesterol.  The daily apple consumption also led to a lowering of lipid hydroperoxide levels and C-reactive protein in those women.

I never expected apple consumption to reduce bad cholesterol to this extent while increasing HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol by about 4%, Arjmandi said.

Reducing body weight is an added benefit to daily apple intake  he said.  Part of the reason for the weight loss could be that the fruits pectin, which is known to have a satiety effect.

Everyone has heard the old adage, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. We all know we should eat more fruit. But why apples? Do they contain specific benefits?

According to Dr. Bahram H. Arjmandi, PhD, RD, Margaret A. Sitton Professor and Chair, Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at The Florida State University, apples are truly a miracle fruit that convey benefits beyond fiber content. Animal studies have shown that apple pectin and polyphenols in apple improve lipid metabolism and lower the production of pro-inflammatory molecules. Arjmandi’s most recent research is the first to evaluate the long-term cardioprotective effects of daily consumption of apple in postmenopausal women. The results of this USDA-funded study will be presented at Experimental Biology 2011 on Tuesday, April 12, at 12:45 pm in Washington, DC.

This study randomly assigned 160 women ages 45-65 to one of two dietary intervention groups: one received dried apples daily (75g/day for 1 year) and the other group ate dried prunes every day for a year. Blood samples were taken at 3, 6 and 12-months. The results surprised Dr. Arjmandi, who stated that incredible changes in the apple-eating women happened by 6 months- they experienced a 23% decrease in LDL cholesterol, which is known as the bad cholesterol. The daily apple consumption also led to a lowering of lipid hydroperoxide levels and C-reactive protein in those women.

I never expected apple consumption to reduce bad cholesterol to this extent while increasing HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol by about 4%, Arjmandi said. Yet another advantage is that the extra 240 calories per day consumed from the dried apple did not lead to weight gain in the women; in fact, they lost on average 3.3 lbs. Reducing body weight is an added benefit to daily apple intake he said. Part of the reason for the weight loss could be the fruits pectin, which is known to have a satiety effect. The next step in confirming the results of this study is a multi-investigator nationwide study.

There is frequently some truth behind our common expressions, and in the case of an apple a day, Dr. Arjmandi has shown that nutrition science backs up the expression. Everyone can benefit from consuming apples, he said.

by: Jonathan Kantrowitz, Health News Report