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Covid-19 has become the unwelcome guest that refuses to leave America. It has interupted the lives of everybody in the world. Due to the layoffs, there are so many unemployed people in America. We are now going into a new unknown world as we are all forced to stay home with these federal Shelter-In-Place orders. There are so many reasons that all of the above would stress you out. The media is doing an excellent job at highlighting everything you should be afraid of. But let's take a moment to switch gears and reflect on a few ways to turn these next few weeks into positive productive time that will restart your focus and get you ready for the post Covid-19 era soon to come.
What Was That Thing You Could Never Do?
Now that you are not going anywhere, remember, there are 24 hours in a day. Pre Covid-19 you spent your mornings rushing to get ready and head out the door. Now you can relax and unwind for a bit, but not for too long. I suggest taking a Fat Burning Walk throughout your neighborhood to keep your heart active. A sedentary lifestyle will make you sick, but an active lifestyle rich with Fat Burning Zone activities will keep you healthy and happier.
Getting out and walking will make your mind available to reflect on your life. You'll be surprised at the thoughts that come to you now that you have a moment to relax and allow your mind to be free from the everyday back and forth. Make the decision to think about your current state of health. What do you like about it?
Meal planning works because you think about it once at the beginning of the week or month, then execute the plan for duration of the time. It's a great way to budget your time and your money. Without a meal plan, we often choose meals that are quick and easy and full of fat, sodium, and extra carbs we do not need.
When thinking about meal planning, there are a few tricks and tips I've picked up that makes meal planning more effective and more personal to me.
You can make so many dishes with this appliance. It's my favorite appliance because it will take a long time before you overcook (burn) something. Throw all the ingredients into the pot and forget it for a few hours. My favorite foods to make are the beans for my bean burritos. There's no need to ever soak beans overnight anymore. Just rinse and place them in the Crockpot on low or high setting from 4-6 hours then add your spices 3 or 4 hours in. Other dishes you can prep are soups (like chicken tortilla and veggie soup). You can also prepare pulled pork or chicken for sandwiches. I always end up with 3 or 4 extra servings that I store away in the freezer after 2 days of feasting on whatever dish I make. I use a 6qt Crockpot.
Stockpile the proteins
When you buy your meat in bulk, you save a few dollars here and there. I like to look at Publix's or Kroger's weekly ads and find those BOGO or reduced price savings. Then I portion the meat in individual servings and freeze it for later. What also helps is if you can season the meat before you freeze it. This saves time when you are ready to cook the meat. The night before I want to cook it, I take it out of the freezer and stick it in the fridge.
Make your own seasonings
There are some seasoning packets, like Taco Seasoning, that I would buy all the time. One day when I wanted to make a taco dish and realized I didn't have anymore packets, I did a little research and realized I had 80% of the ingredients to make my own taco seasoning. And that's how I started making my own seasoning mixes. There are few great reasons to consider making your own seasoning as a part of your meal planning regimen.
Exercise... Your New Normal
After the gyms were shut down and no longer available to the public, most people started to panic and thought how they would not be able to get a decent workout. But that is so far from the truth. Exercise and physical activity is where you are, every day, whenever you are ready to participate. Jog in place, do a set of jumping jacks, even do a few cartwheels. If it gets your heart beating in the cardio training zone, your body is working to burn calories. If you are involved in an activity where the heart rate is in the fat burning zone, like a brisk walk or doing chores in the house for a few hours, you won't even think for a minute that you are burning fat. Exercise is choosing to stay active for a period of time.
So with this extra time, decide what type of exercise or physical activity works best for you and make that a part of your daily or weekly routine. The heart rate does not lie. Someone who is biking through the neighborhood can be exerting the same energy that someone in their garage dancing with their kids to a music mix of their favorite dance songs by their favorite DJ.
Some ideas that will get you started:
So as tragic as this Coronavirus outbreak is, the most important thing that you as an individual can do is to protect yourself and your family. Avoid being out in the public while this epidemic is being contained. But while you are home, take advantage of this time to clear your mind and work on new habits that will put you closer to meeting your personal health and weight loss goals. Be safe!
The Fat Burning Zone is not a new trend. When I studied for my Primary Group Certification, I remember reading about the Fat Burning Zone vs. the Cardio Training Zone. The facts around the Fat Burning Zone sounded so appealing as the simplest and easy way to lose weight. You would engage in activities that did not make you short of breath for longer periods of time and the fat would just fall off you. It sounded like a winner but when I would go to the gyms or look through everything fitness related, everybody was on this "I NEED MORE CARDIO" hyper trip. So I got on that kick to make sure I didn't miss losing weight. My focus became cardio. But after years of so many ups and downs with my weight I finally got hip to what will help lose the fat and keep it off (I started following the principles of the Six Week Body Makeover). Nothing wrong with cardio, but there is a foundation of fat burning activities you should always do daily to keep a healthy weight.
How to find your fat burning zone
The Fat Burning Zone is about 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. In this zone, your breathing is controlled and you are able to talk without difficulty. Your maximum heart rate is the number of beats per minute that you never want to exceed. To find this number, take the magic number of 220 and subtract your age. If you are 40, your maximum heart rate would be 180 (220-40= 180). If you are ever exercising and you see your heart rate hit 180, you need to slow it down really quick. Your heart is working too hard. Your Fat Burning Zone is 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. 50% of 180 is 90. 70% of 180 is 126. So your target range for beats per minute will be between 90 and 126.
the best fat burning zone activities
Believe it or not, it is super easy to hit your Fat Burning Zone. I monitor my heart rate from my FitBit. I have a notification on my monitor that vibrates when I've completed 30 minutes of activity in either the fat or cardio training zone. I read about it before, but the first time I realized that normal every day housework was actually in the Fat Burning Zone was the day I was doing housework. I was wearing my monitor while I was going back and forth between washing dishes, cleaning the kitchen, and washing clothes. I was listening to the radio while I was back on washing dishes when I felt my monitor vibrating. At first I thought it was a call, but when I saw "30" flash across my screen, I pressed through to take a look at my heart rate. It was at 102, which is in my Fat Burning Zone. I also know that walking at a moderate pace will keep me in the Fat Burning Zone. I was shocked to see that my heart rate would be the same for two totally separate activities. After discovering this I started to monitor my heart rate while I performed other physical activities and light exercise. I found that it is not hard to reach the Fat Burning Zone. The point is finding activities that keep you on your feet and physically active.
Here are a few physical activities you can do more of every day that will keep you in the Fat Burning Zone and losing or maintaining a healthy weight:
Here are a few exercise activities you may want to consider doing that will produce the same results:
How to start tracking the fat burning zone
Heart rate monitors make it so much more easy to monitor if you are staying in the Fat Burning Zone. Getting started is easy. No more putting 2 fingers on your wrist and counting for 15 seconds or holding onto the fitness equipment at the gym that everybody uses.
1. Purchase a heart rate monitor. I've used Polar and FitBit. I prefer FitBit because it fits my everyday lifestyle and I sometimes even forget I have it on.
2. When you program your device, be sure you enter your age and weight and so forth. This information is useful for calculating your target heart rates which includes your Fat Burning Zone.
3. Start your workout by programming it on the app or device. Check the heart rate regularly since you burn the most amount of fat while you are in that 50-70% range.
4. To be best effective, make sure you do 45-60 minutes in the zone. If your heart is beating above the highest number, then slow down. If it dips below the smallest number in the range, then get more active. And always remember the first 5-10 minutes will not burning much fat. You have to warm up first, then the body will burn fat after that.
I hope this gives you a totally new perspective on how to maintain a healthy weight. Most people are sedentary and this is the reason for weight gain. Changing up your daily routine and adding a few extra physical activities can add much value to your every day life. Find what works for you. I wish you the best!
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During the course of my first pregnancy, I managed to lose 33lbs. And I owe it all to an amazingly proactive doctor, a very knowledgeable diabetes education counselor, and very knowledgeable perinatal doctors. I call them my dream team. But at the start of the journey I never even imagined losing weight. I was actually very anxious and nervous for what this baby was about to do to my body. I heard the horror stories about women describing how their bodies changed for the worse after having their first child. And it wasn't like I was a young gal, I'm getting close to 40!!
I weighed in at 248lbs at my first appointment on week 8. Due to several risk factors such as my weight and age, my doctor diagnosed me with gestational diabetes and scheduled me an appointment with a diabetes education counselor. (Sidenote: She had been warning me for several years to lose the weight and asked me to take the education classes before, but I was stubborn, I didn't see the need.) It only required 2 visits. In the first visit she described the new eating plan for meals and snacks that I was strongly recommended to follow. I now had to use a glucometer and take regular blood sugar readings. I had to write down everything I ate for the duration of the pregnancy.
At first I was mad about the new changes. I hate needles, and it made me remember how I used to watch my grandmother test her blood sugar when I was younger. But when I thought about how this was going to make sure my unborn child was born healthy, I decided to put on my grown lady panties and get with the program.
There were 4 things I changed to make sure I was able to follow this plan. I had to change my environment for this to happen. Old bad habits die quick. But I know that working to change these 4 things is what helped me to lose the weight.
1. My Diet Had To Change
Pre-baby, I used to eat 2-3 times a day. With this new diet, I was required to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks. I was limited to 30g of carbs per meal/snack. I had to eat every 2-3 hours like clock work. So the first thing I did was found some really great snacks to carry around in my bag between meals. My favorite go to snacks were Fiber One Bars, string cheese, Chobani greek yogurt, and Karr's sweet and salty trail mix. My favorite meals were breakfast sandwiches, salads with seafood and a garlic roll, and soups.
2. No Excuses, Exercise Was A Must
For my first trimester I was still able to stomach my regular routine workout minus the sauna afterwards. During my second trimester, I transitioned from my Cordless Jump Rope workout to more walking during lunch breaks. I didn't feel like doing all the extra. Then in my third trimester I only walked for my exercise. And what really reinforced my walking is the fact that I gave up my car and resorted to using public transportation. So I walked a lot!
3. Plenty Of Water At My Disposal
I was always thirsty. So I ordered a filtered water pitcher and had it delivered to my job. Everyday I would fill up this container multiple times a day. And since my body now demanded ice cold water, I made sure I kept plenty of ice in insulated cups at my desk.
4. No Stress Environment
This part was a challenge. I had many weird situations that broke out around me during my pregnancy. Call it changing hormones or seeing people for their true colors, but I had to take control of my personal space and only engage in conversations with people that were positive and supportive of me at that state. I refused to talk to certain people who were eager to push my buttons. I was determined to have a peaceful pregnancy and delivery. So I had to consciously make a decision to exclude certain situations and people from getting into my mental space.
So after changing those habits and monitoring my sugar levels for 37 weeks, I was able to deliver my son via c-section at 6lbs 7oz. He is the most peaceful and amazingly alert little boy I could have ever fallen in love with. After 2 weeks of breast feeding, I stepped on the scale and saw 215lbs. The next day it read the same again. I couldn't believe I actually lost the weight and was keeping it off. You don't understand, I had not seen the number 215 in over 3 years. So it almost made me want to say... let's do it again, I need to see 176 by 40!!
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Aloe Vera serves as an excellent addition to a regular plus size diet. There are so many ways to prepare Aloe Vera for ingestion. I prefer the old country method my granddaddy taught me.
Honestly, as soon as the Aloe hits the water the gooey oozes into the water but you can let it sit or a few minutes or you can sip it everyday. I pour water back into the jar as I sip.
If you didn't understand my method, then here's another method below that I also found useful.
COPY CODE SNIPPET
I was introduced to Aloe when I was about 11 years old. My granddad grew Aloe plants on the side of his house. One day my mom took around the side after I had a scratch. She plucked a leaf and then applied all this gooey stuff to my wound. I thought that was the coolest thing, that this plant could help my wound heal faster. But it wasn’t until my adult years that I saw my grandaddy ingest his homemade Aloe juice from a mason jar he kept in the fridge. I was like... I didn’t know you could drink it!! And he had always done it. We so country. Descendants of sharecroppers. But I love it.
So speed up to now, I just ran across a video of a woman who is about 70 years old, but appears to be closer to 30. Two of her secrets was a vegan lifestyle AND sipping Aloe water from a mason jar. My mouth hit the floor. Here was this fountain of youth cure and I had already been exposed to it. So the next time I went to Publix I grabbed a leaf and brought it home. I ended up cutting it up and placing it in a glass jar and poured water over it. It didn't take long before the Aloe oozed out and became one with the water.
The only drawback to this healthy plant is its bitter taste. OMG this stuff is so bitter. I've never tasted anything quite like it. But if you can get around the tart taste, you can definitely move closer towards a healthier plus size lifestyle. My granddad would sip maybe a few ounces per day and leave it in the fridge to ooze and make more. And so that's what I have been doing. Just a sip here and there everyday. So far I've noticed my appetite has been suppressed and I feel healthy inside.
DIY: HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE ALOE VERA WATER
I've been a lot of places,