What Diet is Best for You?

counting calories meal prep

I hate dieting, but as we get older, our body’s metabolism slows down, and for some of us, that means added pounds and unwanted fat. I have no illusions of being the skinny 20-year old I once was; however, I do realize that shedding some pounds is a healthy choice for me. Along with exercising when you can, below find information on some of the popular diet programs out there. (And a lot these programs have specials for the new year.)

Weight Watchers

I have always liked Weight-watchers because they are not telling you what to eat, but how to eat. It is all about portion control. Eating a brownie for lunch is not exactly a healthy meal, however, if you choose that to be your lunch, you may – with consequences. Weight Watcher’s works with points, and brownies equal quite a few, therefore, you may have blown almost all of your point for that day with that one brownie. Healthy eating and exercise are stressed as well. You can go to meetings or do it on your own at home, online, in private.

eating breakfast


I have some friends who love this because they think less about the food they eat since the company provides the meals. It is similar to Weight-Watchers in that some of the meals are desserts or foods you would not necessarily think of as diet food. The meals taste pretty good and they have a very nice variety. They have different plans, such as a diet if you are diabetic, a vegetarian, elderly, or other common situations. Meals can be pricey. Exercise is also important.


This website is for those looking for ideas about dieting. They call it “personality type dieting” because we all have different personalities not all diets work for personalities. Some of us are more compulsive than others. They have a survey you can take to see what diet program fits your personality.

Jenny Craig

I had one friend who did this program and loved it. She loved all the personal help she got with Jenny-Craig consultants. Like some of the other weight plans, you can do it privately or find a local center in your area. Like Nutrisystem, they provide you the meals – 3 times a day and one snack a day. Their philosophy regards the food, body and mind – and when you start they will focus on that. This is a great diet for those who need that support all the time. They also stress exercise.


I had never heard of this diet, but a friend mentioned it to me because it had been listed in a health magazine as one of the top ten diets (chosen by users) of 2018. Supported by many physicians, this diet is for men or women and has prepared meals packages as well as health info for sleeplessness, your heart, burning calories, and more.

Gym Etiquette in the Free Weight Room

After 20 years of regular gym attendance I’ve learned a few things about sharing equipment and floor space in the free weight section of the gym. In an effort to promote a courteous and drama-free environment there I’ve listed below what I consider the ten most important rules to follow when training in the free weight room.

dumbbells racked

1. Don’t take or load weights plates from a machine or bench while someone else is using it. No one appreciates strangers shaking or banging the equipment they’re currently using. This is extremely annoying and causes the lifter to lose concentration while straining to get reps off.

2. Don’t throw weights around the gym. Do not drop or toss dumbbells or loaded weight bars on the floor. Don’t let cable machine weights just free fall when you finish your rep. All this breaks equipment and makes noise that NO ONE wants to hear.

3Don’t ask strangers to “Spot” you. Spotting (helping someone lift a weight they otherwise could not handle without assistance) is an advanced technique for expert weight lifters only. Average lifters should not use weights they can’t safely manage themselves, and expecting an inexperienced stranger to hold a weight over you in case your strength fails is unsafe.


5. Wipe off your sweat, re-rack your weights, unload your plates. You’re NOT special; the gym staff is not your personnel slave force and the rest of us are tired of unloading the plates YOU put on the bar. If you don’t feel like cleaning up after yourself stay out of the gym.

6. Don’t scream, yell or moan while lifting. Control your noise pollution, the rest of us really don’t want to hear it. Please shut up when you lift.

7. Don’t ask others “how many sets” they have left or if you can “work in” with them. Instead of pestering others, why not try a new exercise while you wait your turn? Most exercisers don’t feel like giving a deadline for their workout and don’t want to be rushed. Never feel guilty if you’re not comfortable letting others “work in” with you.

Warning: Standing over others and staring at them while impatiently tapping your little workout clipboard as they use equipment that you desire could cause serious tension and injury.

8. Don’t misuse or hog equipment. Don’t use the sit-up bench for weightlifting. Don’t use the bench press for sit-ups. Use one bench or cable machine at a time. Don’t expect others to give back the equipment their using after you leave it. Leave your gym towel on equipment to let others know that you had to go to the bathroom and you’ll be right back.

9Don’t block aisle ways or mirrors. Give others space. The rest of us don’t want to have to step over you to reach the weight room, the dumbbell rack, the water fountain, or the bathroom. Don’t block the view of exercisers watching themselves in the mirror as they workout. Move benches at least two arm lengths away from others before starting your routine. Keep your butt out of everyone’s face.

headphones and phone

10. Don’t touch the personnel property of others. And never store your personnel property on gym equipment. If in doubt, ask others in the vicinity of the previous user is finished with equipment that you’d like to use.

Please keep in mind these rules are meant as a “failsafe” courtesy guide for dealing with others specifically in the free weight room. Follow these and you can’t go wrong.

Five Outdoor Activities to Spice Up Your Summer

Spring is here, the sun is shining and it is time to figure out some fun things you can do outdoors. It is always important to try new activities and expose yourself to different parts of our environment. Here is a list of great ideas that will make your summer interesting and exciting.

white water rafting

White Water Rafting- For the adventurous of heart pitting yourself against nature as you paddle down the river is a fantastic thrill. One of the great things about rafting is that there are many levels from tame float trips for families with younger children to aggressive level 5 trips for confident fit adults. Rafting is one of the most exciting ways to get wet and experience the outdoors. There are so many great choices all across the country including the American River, Pigeon River, Ocoee River and the Colorado River to name just a few. Day trips start at around $100 so it does not have to drain the pocketbook.

Diving– For the outdoor enthusiast there is a whole world to be explored underwater. PADI dive courses start at around $300 to get certified and that usually includes your dives and often some gear. Once you are certified the world is truly your oyster. Diving enables you to add a dimension to weekend trips or vacations that were never available before. Not to mention diving is a super way to meet fun like-minded people who enjoy traveling and the outdoors as well.


Canyoneering– There are some places in our country that simply take your breath away. Utah is home to many of them, Zion national park is one of the best. Zion is a grand and impressive place, with huge sweeping walls of beautiful sandstone, deep canyons running with water, and the highest concentration of canyoneering adventures found in the USA. Unusual for Utah, Zion has an abundance of water. Many canyons are best done when it is scorching hot out, and several require full wetsuits year-round. The steeper and narrower the canyon, the more swimming is likely to be involved. Contact a guide if it is your first time out.

Mountain bike trip– Trail riding is always a fun activity for novices and experts alike. What about combining your passion for the outdoors, love for travel and enjoyment of mountain biking all in one weekend? Many top ski resorts turn into destinations for mountain bikers in the summer months. Mammoth Mountain in California for example features over 100 miles of trails and descents of up to 3,000 vertical feet. Run a search online for mountain bike parks and you will soon be on your way.

mountain biking

ATV Adventure– Let’s face it not all of us resemble Lance Armstrong but that does not mean we don’t enjoy the great outdoors. Our country has 100,000’s of acres of interesting areas to visit, explore, and interact with. So, whether you are super fit or just super interested in having fun this could be your ticket to ride. You don’t even have to own your own ATV, you can hook up with guides in your area of interest that will provide you with the equipment, guides and best of all fulfill your need for speed.

Whatever you decide on make sure that you make the most of the warm weather. It is always gone before you know it.

Outdoor Activity Ideas for the Entire Family

The outdoors is a great place to relax and get away from the everyday hassle of work and school. Children can wind down, and parents are capable of sitting back and getting a tan. One of the most rewarding things from being outdoors are the numerous activities that the whole family can enjoy.

1. Throw the ball
If dad is a football fanatic, he could certainly get some joy out of going outside and throwing the football with the kids. The best thing about sports is that the actual equipment is not generally that expensive, along with the fact that it gives the whole family some bonding time.


2. Go Fishing
No, you do not have to go out and buy a brand-new boat, but if you check out the local parks, most water locations will have a fishing dock to go and relax on. Although if little Cindy likes to play with the minnows it might be a good idea to bring a hand towel.

3. Have a Picnic
Even if the family is pressed for time between all of your busy lives, 30 minutes of quality brunch time on a folded-out towel will never hurt anyone.

4. Take a walk
Walking is one of the best ways to get the blood flowing through your entire body. Taking a walk can give everyone the chance to talk about their exciting day, and get in shape all at the same time.

5. Take a Swim
Swimming is also a great way to get in shape. Plus, if the whole family gets involved, there will be no need to use that extra water in the tub.

Is Going to Bed Late/Not Sleeping Well Causing Me to Gain Weight?

man sleeping

Everyone needs a good night’s rest after a long day at work, school, or just from any of your daily routines. Losing sleep can be a bad thing for many reasons, and weight gain is one of them. Science shows that the average adult needs around seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep to be able to function as normal as possible. Any drop in the number of hours can lead to a list of problems that go from short term to long term damage to your body. Here is a list of things that specifically deal with why losing sleep or not sleeping well can lead to you gaining on more weight:

Your Hormones Are Going Crazy

When your body is at rest when you are sleeping, it is not only a sign that you have switched off for the night. As a matter of fact, there are a number of things that happen when you are unconscious. One major thing is that your body releases and reduces particular hormones as you sleep in order to keep your body in balance for another day’s labor. Not getting enough sleep or none at all can lead this process to go haywire, making you feel stressed and dizzy the next morning.

You Might Grab Another Bite to Eat

bowl of ice cream

Many studies have proven that the longer you stay up, the more you are likely to put on more weight as you are likely to reach for a quick bite to eat. For example, if you have to stay up late to finish an assignment, or are having problems falling asleep, you are most likely to head down to the kitchen for a midnight snack. 

In addition, eating late meals or snacks late at night can keep you up for longer as your body’s biological clock is set back and will leave your whole body disoriented. 

You Are Stressing Out Your Body 

Your body naturally slows down at night in anticipation to rest and recuperate after an entire day of work and play. When you take in food or extra work at night, you are driving your body to work harder and longer than it usually does. For pulling an all-nighter, you need at least a week to recover the number of hours of rest you lost in one night. That is how essential sleep is for the human body to function.  

Are Eggs Healthy for Weight Loss?

bowl of eggs

Everyone knows that the road to weight loss lies with a combination of working out and a change in your diet. The best option is a low fat and high protein diet that will provide your body with the right amount of energy to keep you balanced throughout the day. Among all the options, eggs are a good inclusion to your diet for a variety of reasons, some of which are listed below:

Make a Healthier Diet Substitute

If you do not already take in eggs daily, especially as part of a balanced breakfast, you might want to rethink its addition. Eggs are high in protein, vitamins, iron, and minerals, which can make for a good source of all these nutrients instead of other possibly fat-saturated and over-processed food options.

bread with eggs

Eggs Don’t Pack on Pounds

Eggs are again highly nutritional and low in calories. One normal chicken egg has only about seventy-five calories. If you want to reduce the calories, you can go further by removing the yolk, which counts for a majority of the fat content in an egg and go for egg whites only instead. Eating two or three eggs a day is enough to give you cardiovascular benefits for life. And do not be scared to fry the eggs as long as you do not burn them, which in case, will lead to a reduction in the nutrient contents of the eggs. You can always boil or peach them as well, or have them raw if they are from free-range hens and do not have harmful chemicals and pesticides.

Increases Your Metabolic Rate

Eggs are not just nutritious; they also work to make your metabolic rate go up. They have a component that makes your body break down food into energy faster. This means that more nutrients are used, and less is left behind to store in your system as fat, especially if you are prone to live a not so healthy lifestyle in terms of food already.

You Feel Full for Longer

Eggs also take up more space in your stomach, which gives off fake signals to your brain that you feel full for longer. So you can think about trying to successfully lose weight by eating more eggs and reducing the size of the portions of other fat and calorie-rich foods. This will give your body enough time to ensure that the food you digest is put to good use without any excess. 

Should I Work Out If I Have a Cold or Flu?

sick cold flu

Working out is what many people do not only to shed the calories but to keep their immune systems up and running. It is nothing new to science and health that exercise ensures that the body stays in a state of peak performance. It boosts the immune system and gets the blood rushing to places it needs to go. Regular exercise that comprises of a combination of yoga and stretches as well as other work out options that are slow-paced can even lessen the risk of and frequency of falling ill. But what happens when you come down with the common cold or the flu? Here are things that can happen if you work out on a cold or flu:

Sick Body, Tired Body 

When you have a case of the common cold or the seasonal flu, your body has to work overtime to keep you running around. You are most likely to feel groggy and light-headed, just doing the smallest of tasks. In addition to your day-to-day activities, if you want to make sure that you get to work out, make sure that you take it slow and even switch to a low-intensity workout for the duration of the illness.

heart rate chart

Increased Heart Rate

If you try to work out like you normally do while you are ill, you will find yourself short of breath faster and for longer. You might get into a dizzy spell, during which you might want to sit down and sleep for the rest of the day after a hot shower. This happens because your heart is pressed to pump more blood faster and raise your body’s temperature to fight off whatever infection it is fighting inside. So, working out plus this, plus medication, will cause you to feel pain and tightness in your chest, meaning your heart is wearing out. So lay down before you burst an artery.

Pre-existing Condition Equals a Double Blow

If you already have a weak heart or prone to breathing problems such as asthma, you should probably not work out while having a cold or the flu as it will lead to immediate consequences such as wheezing, coughing, and an inability to catch your breath. So if you are someone who has chronic breathing and heart conditions, we strongly advise you to skip working out altogether for a while.    

Why Surprise Bruises when Working out Should be a Concern

bruised foot

Feeling strained after a workout session is natural. It is a way your body is telling you that it is getting stretched in places that have not seen movement for some time. But once you see signs of bruising that might pop up, especially in the muscle areas like your biceps and calves, it is a sign that something is wrong. Here are some reasons why:

Your Body is Screaming

Exercise is necessary for the body to run smoothly, like a well-oiled machine that is well-maintained and regularly used. It gets your blood pumping to all the parts of your body and ensures that your body can take the strain of daily life and even increase longevity. But once you see bruising, it is your body telling you that you are pushing it too far. 

Over exercise leads to major strain on the body because you are pressuring it to take what it is not prepared for. This leads to burst blood vessels that surface on the skin as discolored patches. Ignoring them and continuing to over-exert your body can even lead to torn nerves and ripped muscles that will take a long time to heal.

Pace yourself and increase the level of exercise you take in during a workout gradually. This will help your body more resilient and prepared for heavy sessions without wear or tears to your body.

Vitamin Deficiency

fruit with vitamins

If you think that you are not overexerting yourself during your workouts and still have bruises showing up in places, then it can be a sign that your body is deficient on something – specifically Vitamin C. Lack of it can lead to lead to bleeding in places that do not normally bleed or leave soft tissue tender and vulnerable to easy damage. 

Make sure to consult a physician to make sure whether the bruising is due to vitamin deficiency and increase your intake of Vitamin C in the form of supplements or food rich in it such as lemons, oranges, etc. You can also increase your intake of Vitamin K as it helps blood to clot faster when in cases of blood getting out of the skin. Make sure that you take in a lot of green leafy vegetables in your diet as well as fish, mussels, white meat, eggs, and nuts.

Time for a Check-Up If you are someone who is used to working out daily but started bruising recently, it could be a sign that your body is sick. When your immune system is compromised, your body begins to show tell-tale signs that it cannot take the amount of strain that it usually does. Make sure that you go for a thorough check-up to make sure that nothing is too wrong and then get back on track.

Should I go to the Gym While Sleep Deprived?

sleep deprived

Exercising at the gym or any form of exercise for that matter is a part of a routine for many people. While losing sleep or having insomnia can be a struggle for as many people, there is a link between going to the gym and sleep deprivation that you should be aware of:

What Happens to Your Body

Sticking to your usual exercise routine at the gym is important for sure. Skipping a day or two can lead to physical setbacks as your body becomes used to need the stretches and lunges to keep the entire body up and running smoothly. But when you are running on a low sleep tank, it can lead to some repercussions that might be even worse.

If you have missed a couple of hours of extra sleep that you are used to, there are no long-term negative effects if you hit the gym afterward. As long as you have had at least six hours of regular night sleep and do not feel dizzy or light-headed the morning after, you can go on as usual. But just to be on the safe side, you can reduce the amount of energy you would normally need to exert in your regular gym session. You can do this by sticking to slow running or cycling and cardio workouts. Stay away from any of the heavy lifting, and make sure that you do exercise for no longer than half an hour at a stretch for a maximum of two hours. 

When you lose sleep, your body chemicals become imbalanced. It can be corrected by making sure that you are extra careful in making sure that you stay hydrated during the gym sessions. Take in a lot of water and stay away from energy drinks and high sugar intake as it can do further damage to your body’s natural sleeping pattern.   

In the case that you lose an entire night’s worth of sleep, it is best that you skip the gym session for the day and stay home. This is because you run the risk of injuring yourself physically as well as mentally, as your body is strained from lack of rest, and your stress levels are high up.

woman sleeping with dog

Try to Get More Sleep You can use your gym sessions to help you get more sleep if you time it right. Make sure that you do not exercise just before you sleep as it can make you more awake than drowsy. Make sure that you take it slow the next day if you really want to hit the gym. Pace yourself and then afterward lead your body into natural tiredness and then sleep.

How to Get Motivated to Lose Weight Without Gaining it all Back

lose weight motivation

Every one of us has a weight goal we want to achieve. But what comes before actually getting into it is getting into the mood to do it. This can come as a harder task than the actual exercise itself. First off, get rid of the mind-set that exercise has to be painful, fast, and strenuous for any positive results to surface. Real exercise that is healthy and will help you lose weight for longer is slow and requires a daily, progressive routine. Here some ways that will help you get into the mood to move and for the better:

Being Realistic

Keep in mind, before beginning a brand new weight-loss regiment, keep your expectations in check. Shedding those pounds is no simple thing to do, so keep an open mind on when and what kind of results you want to start seeing along the way. This way, you can make sure that you do not get disappointed in yourself and start to stray away from why you started in the first place. Keeping a diary and making weekly or even daily updates on what you have done so far can boost your self-confidence and motivate you to keep yourself going for longer.

food lifestyle change

Easy Lifestyle Changes  

Banish the thought that losing weight has to do with drastic and complicated changes to your daily routine and lifestyle. Start with waking up half an hour earlier to make time for exercise, substitute your regular coffee and bagel for a healthier alternative, or slowly reduce the portions of the food you take in at each meal. Even adding a little fruit and vegetable on the side and fewer carbohydrates can make a lot of difference. 

Get Company

Nothing beats positive re-enforcement when you are on a path to something great – weight loss is one of them. Make sure that you surround yourself with friends and family, anyone who will support and encourage your new steps in the right direction towards weight loss. You can either encourage another friend to get onto the same weight loss journey or join a gym or class of people doing the same thing.

Jazz it Up!

It can be a fun thing to lose weight as well, and you can do this by simply adding music to your day. Make a playlist of your favorite songs with upbeat tunes that you can tap to when you are working out. This way, you mentally align your thoughts about weight loss into something positive and happy!