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Eating Out Survival Guide

Eating Out is No Longer a ‘Treat’

Eating out at a restaurant used to be considered a treat. An uncommon indulgence. However, since the 1970s eating away from home has become more and more common with Americans, now eating upwards of 43% of their meals and 32% of their calories away from home (up from 25% and 18% in 1970).

When eating at a restaurant was an infrequent indulgence, you didn’t have to pay too much attention to what you were eating, but now that eating out is more and more becoming the norm, to lose or maintain your weight and improve your health, you need to be nutritionally savvy when on the go. Here are some steps to serve as your survival guide.

Avoid Empty Calories

Eating out is a constant battle of controlling calories. You can make a lot of headway by avoiding empty calories. This includes free bread or tortilla chips, and calorie containing drinks. Ask your server to take away the bread/chips and opt for beverages that don’t contain calories (water, sparkling water, diet soda, tea, etc).

Portions

One of the most important things to remember is that the portions you are served are not necessarily the portions that you should be eating. It is important to remember that chefs aren’t trained in nutrition. This is illustrated by the fact that 76% of chefs thought the portions of pasta and steak they were serving were regular but they were actually 2-4 times what would be considered a normal serving.

Other research shows that 73% of chefs think they could reduce the calorie content of their meals by 10-20% without customers ever knowing (but they aren’t doing this!).

Know what portion is appropriate for you. Use simple guides like:

Protein the size of 1-2 of your palm(s).

Rice or Pasta that fits in the palm of your cupped hand

Oil or dressing the size of a poker chip.

Do Nutrition Reconnaissance

Whenever Possible

The calorie content of meals is very often available on a restaurant’s website but it is not always easily accessible onsite. Online, some companies have nutrition calculators where you can create your ideal meal and see what the calorie, protein, carbohydrate, and fat breakdown would be. Use these tools whenever possible to empower your ordering decisions.

Vegetables, Vegetables, and More Vegetables

When eating out, vegetables are your friend. Dr. Barbara Rolls’ research on eating behavior is pretty clear and consistent, the more vegetables you eat (preferably green leafy ones) the less calories you are going to eat. Pile on the vegetables.

This means starting off your meal with a salad. Not a salad with bacon, cheese, eggs, avocado, walnuts, and salad dressing. A simple ‘house’ salad with lots of greens. Dr. Rolls’ research shows that having a salad before a meal can decrease the total amount of calories that you eat by 10-12%. If you aren’t big on salads, her research shows similar results with broth based vegetable soups.

Decode the Menu

How a meal is described on a menu can provide you with a lot of information about the calorie content of that meal.

Avoid Foods described as:

Scalloped

Parmesan

Fried

Bisque

Breaded

Crisp

Au Gratin

Battered

Béarnaise

 

Meals described in this fashion are going to be higher in calories and prepared using more fat.

Pick Foods described as:

Steamed

Poached

Grilled

Broiled

Au Jus

Baked

Braised

Lean

Meals described in this fashion are going to be lower in calories. The amount of fat used in these preparation techniques is greatly reduced.


Dangerous Calories

Liquid Calories could be Sabotaging Your Health – How to Stop It From Happening

While all 6 of the Pillars of Nutrition are important – this could be the most important. For many people, consuming calorie-containing beverages, (more specifically sugar- sweetened beverages), is the difference between losing 15-20lbs, or not.

On any given day, a typical American may have a latte (w/whole milk) in the morning, a 20oz Coke or Pepsi at lunch, iced tea from a vending machine in the afternoon, and some ginger ale or another type of soda at dinner. You probably know people who do this. Do you know how many calories a person like this would drink in a day? 800 calories. You’d have to walk 8 miles to burn them all off!

Did you know, from the mid 1970s to the mid 1990s, soda and ‘ade (Gatorade, Powerade, Kool Aid, etc) consumption increased 100% in the U.S.? Even worse, in 2002 it was reported that 44% of toddlers (18-24 months) consumed sweetened fruit drinks or soda at least once per day.

Drinking calories is a major problem, but an easy one to fix. Drink water, drink unsweetened tea, drink Crystal Light if you need a sweet fix. Whatever you do, start cutting out calorie-containing beverages today.

If you are currently drinking a lot of sweetened beverages, here’s what you can do to curtail the habit (this works every time). Calculate how many sweetened beverages you are drinking each day. Remove one completely and replace it with water. Take another one of your sweetened beverages and replace it with the ‘diet’ version (you can find the diet version of just about anything). Do this for 1 week. The next week, replace your ‘diet’ drink with water or tea and replace another one of your sweetened beverages with the ‘diet’ version. Repeat the process until you have completely eliminated calorie-containing and sweetened beverages from your diet. This is a painless and effective solution for weaning yourself off of your sugar fix and getting rid of those wasteful and waistline increasing liquid calories.


The Clean Fifteen

15 Foods With the Lowest Levels of Pesticides

You know you should eat more fruits and vegetables. You probably don’t go a day without hearing or reading a news report about some newly discovered health benefit. But, you also hear an occasional report about the high levels of pesticides used on the produce in your local supermarket.

Buying organic fruits and vegetables is one way to avoid the pesticide problem. But now you run into two more problems: high cost, and lack of availability in some areas.

Fortunately, some farm products make it to market with very little trace of pesticides. The Environmental Working Group looked at 51,000 pesticide tests for 53 popular fruits and vegetables and came up with a list deemed the Clean 15. These are the 15 fruits and vegetables with the lowest levels of pesticides detected.

Clean Fifteen

Avocado

Sweet Corn

Pineapple

Cabbage

Sweet Peas

Onion

Asparagus

Mango

Papaya

Kiwi

Eggplant

Grapefruit

Cantaloupe

Cauliflower

Sweet Potato

Clean Statistics

You can feel good about eating non-organic fruits and vegetables found on the Clean 15 list.

Here’s why:

  • 90% of asparagus tested didn’t contain any pesticides
  • Over 80% of cabbage tested was completely pesticide free
  • None of the onions tested showed more than one pesticide

 


Power Food: Blueberries

1 Cup of Blueberries a Day Could Keep Your Memory from Going Away

Whenever you find an article about anti-aging foods, super foods, or brain boosting foods, you can bet that blueberries are at the top of the list. Over the past decade, blueberries have achieved the status of the ultimate health food. But, unlike many heavily marketed foods, blueberries actually deserve the title.

Blueberries are one of a limited number of fruits with origins in North America (researchers estimate that blueberries have been around for 13,000 years). They were a long time staple of Native American foragers, and were used for nutritional and medicinal purposes (the reasons behind which science has just begun to uncover – centuries later).

Blueberry Nutrition

One cup of blueberries contains only 80 calories and a healthy 3.5 gram dose of fiber. However, the nutritional power of blueberries won’t be found on its nutrition label. The true power of blueberries comes from their deep dark blue color where the anthocyanidins live.

Blueberries’ Blue Power

Blueberries are loaded with anthocyanidins, an antioxidant similar to those found in pomegranates and dark chocolate. A study in 2004 looked at the antioxidant capacity of 100 different foods and blueberries came out on top.

Researchers believe that these powerful antioxidants can improve your heart health and slow the aging of your brain. There is also evidence that they can ward off age-related effects like reduced cognition, and even the progression of full blown neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

Some scientists believe that the antioxidants in blueberries work directly within our brains to improve memory as well.

Blueberries & Cardiovascular Disease

Blueberries have been shown to fight America’s Silent Killer, high blood pressure. Eating 2 cups of blueberries each day for 8 weeks can lower your blood pressure by 6%, according to a 2010 study in the Journal of Nutrition.

In addition, the people who ate blueberries also had reductions in oxidized LDL cholesterol, the type of bad cholesterol that directly leads to plaque formation in your blood vessels.

A Little May Be Enough

Researchers from Finland found that you do not need to eat endless amounts of blueberries to reap their health benefits. In fact, eating one cup of blueberries each day is enough to increase antioxidant levels in your blood by up to 50%.

Fresh vs. Frozen

Frozen blueberries should be a staple in your nutritional arsenal. Since they are quickly frozen shortly after picking, frozen blueberries maintain a high level of their antioxidants (the antioxidants in blueberries can degrade over time when stored on shelves).

Frozen blueberries also give you instant access to this power food all year round.

Don’t worry about eating them raw or cooked – just eat them. A study published recently showed that the antioxidant power of blueberries is the same either way.

Healthy Blueberry Dessert

Here is a simple frozen blueberry dessert recipe that you can use to curb your sweet tooth late at night instead of reaching for a bowl of ice cream.

In a blender, add together 2 cups of frozen blueberries, 2 cups of low fat plain yogurt, 1 TBSP of Splenda (or zero calorie sweetener of your choice), and 1 TBSP of orange zest (grate the skin of one quarter of a washed orange against a fine cheese grater). Blend the ingredients together until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the mixture into ice cube trays or muffin tins and place in freezer for 1-2 hours.

 

 


Power Food: Lean Beef

Heart Health Promoter or Destroyer?

Red meat has long been implicated as a food that will destroy your heart health…so how could it be considered a power food? Let’s look at the nutritional power of lean beef and the misinterpretation of scientific research that has given it a bad name.

Red Meat vs. Lean Beef

Much of the confusion about the healthfulness of lean beef comes from the way it is categorized in research studies and talked about. Red meat can mean a lot of different foods that have a very different nutritional profile compared to lean beef.

What is considered red meat?

Hamburger, beef hot dog, processed meat and processed meat sandwich, bacon, beef/pork/lamb as a mixed and main dish.

What is considered lean beef?

A piece of beef that contains <10 g total fats, =4.5 g saturated fat, and <95 mg cholesterol per 3.5 oz. serving

These two categories describe very different types of foods. In the 5 clinical trials that have compared the effects of eating lean beef vs. chicken/fish, there is no difference in the diet’s ability to reduce risk of heart disease.

10 Essential Nutrients

To be a power food, you need to bring a lot of nutrition without a lot of calories. Lean beef leads the way in this category as it contains 10 essential nutrients:

Protein

Vitamin B12

Selenium

Zinc

Niacin

Vitamin B6

Iron

Phosphorus

Riboflavin

 

You would need 6 1/2 cups of raw spinach to get as much vitamin B6 as you would get from a 3oz serving of beef. You may also be surprised to know that almost half of the fat found in beef is monounsaturated fat, the same fat in avocados and olive oil.

Where’s the Lean Beef

Knowing that lean beef is what you want, the next questions is where in the meat case at the supermarket is the lean beef?

It is everywhere. Chances are that you are already buying lean beef without even knowing it. 69% of the beef sold in supermarkets is lean beef.

Currently, 38 cuts of beef meet the USDA criteria for lean. Here are some of the most popular lean cuts

Strip Steak

T-Bone Steak

Filet Mignon

Sirloin Steak

Top Round

90% lean ground beef

Brisket

Pot Roast

Keys to Cooking Lean Beef

Cooking delicious lean beef doesn’t need to be difficult or tricky. The key is in the temperature.

Using a meat thermometer to ensure that you are cooking your meat to the correct temperature, will allow you to not just avoid food borne illness but will ensure that you get meat that is cooked to your liking every time.

Well Done: 170 degrees Fahrenheit

Medium: 160 degrees Fahrenheit

Medium Rare: 145 degrees Fahrenheit

More Flavor, Less Calories

Beef contains high levels of the amino acid glutamate. Glutamate is responsible for the 5 taste – umami or savory. By adding other umami flavor rich foods to your meal, you can exponentially enhance the taste and enjoyment of your beef dish without a lot of extra calories. Umami rich toppings to add include: aged cheese, soy sauce, fish sauce, mushrooms, and ripe tomatoes.


Power Food: Asparagus

Power Food: Asparagus

Improve Your Health at Less Than 4 Calories a Stalk

Modern food lovers like to think that we discovered everything, but we can’t claim asparagus. Asparagus was originally found growing on Mediterranean hillsides, and recipes date back to late fourth-century Rome and Apicius Book III, one of the oldest known cookbooks. Early American colonists referred to asparagus as a “food of kings.”

Although farmers in California, Washington, and Michigan grow substantial quantities, the U.S. is the world’s largest importer of asparagus, with much of it coming from China and Peru. We love our asparagus, and for good reason.

Stalking Good Nutrition

One serving of asparagus – 5 stalks – contains 3 grams of fiber and 60% of your recommended daily intake of folic acid, a vitamin that’s essential for mental and physical health. Folic acid is known to prevent birth defects in developing fetuses, and is an essential part of key enzymes and neurotransmitters.

Asparagus also contains glutathione, the major detoxifying antioxidant in your liver.

One stalk contains fewer than 4 calories, making it a great tasting, low calorie addition to any meal.

Functional Fiber

Asparagus contains a unique type of soluble fiber called fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which goes undigested until it reaches your large intestine. From there, it serves as food for the good bacteria that lives in your gut and helps improve your digestive health. Because of its unique ability to support the growth of beneficial bacteria, scientists have even started putting FOS in infant formula.

In addition to improving digestion, FOS can help lower triglycerides, decreasing your risk for cardiovascular disease, and improve your body’s ability to absorb minerals from your diet.

Nature’s Hang Over Cure

Asparagus is the perfect food to have the day after a night out with friends.

A 2009 study from the Journal of Food Science found that asparagus can boost, by 200%, the effectiveness of 2 key alcohol-metabolizing enzymes in your liver. In addition, asparagus can help replenish your body’s supply of glutathione, which gets used up quickly by your liver after you have a couple of drinks.

The Best of the Best

Size matters when buying asparagus. The thicker the stalk, the more tender it will be. Make sure the tips are closed and compact; these are signs of freshness, which will lead to better taste.

Hot and Steamy

For best results, steam your asparagus with the stalks straight up for 5 to 8 minutes, or until they become tender. Top with fresh-squeezed lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a little extra-virgin olive oil for the perfect complement to a salmon filet or grilled steak.Grilled-Asparagus-with-Balsamic-Reduction

Stir It Up

Stir-frying asparagus is another fast and easy way to get this power food in your diet. Cut the asparagus stalks diagonally into 2-inch pieces and sauté them in a nonstick pan over medium heat with sesame oil, fresh ginger, and a splash of soy sauce.

You can make this a complete meal by adding sliced mushrooms, chicken breast strips, and steamed brown rice.


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“An Apple A Day…”slice-of-life-apple

Apples have been long heralded as a Power Food. In 1100 A.D., the Medical School of Salerno taught its budding physicians about the benefits of apples when treating illnesses of the lungs, bowels, and nervous system.

We all know about the “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away” phrase coined by J.T. Stinson in 1904.

What makes apples so good for you? Antioxidants, Low Impact Carbohydrates, and Fiber.

Antioxidant Power

Compared to other commonly eaten fruits in the U.S. – bananas, oranges, strawberries, and pineapples (to name a few) – apples have the second highest antioxidant activity (cranberries have the most).

A good deal of the antioxidant power is found in the peel (up to 6 times more antioxidants) and not the flesh.

There are many varieties of apples available, but Fuji and Red Delicious have been shown to have the highest levels of antioxidants.

Low Impact Carbs

As a carbohydrate source, apples are a great low impact carb, meaning they have a lower impact on your blood sugar levels compared to breads, grains, and cereals (some of the more common snack foods).

This is reflected in apples’ low glycemic index of only 38. The glycemic index is a rating that scientists give foods based on how fast they cause your blood sugar to rise (the highest score is 100). An example of food with a high glycemic index is white rice, which has a glycemic index of 72.

Low impact carbohydrates, like apples, are good carbohydrates to eat any time of day.

Fiber

One medium apple contains 4 grams of fiber. Apples contain a special soluble fiber called pectin. Pectin is one of the reasons that apples make you feel full after you eat them. Studies have also shown that pectin can decrease bad cholesterol levels.

Eat apples and eat them often.

The Perfect Snack

Apples are small, portable, and versatile; this makes them a perfect snack. They can be quickly paired with other complimentary foods for waistline friendly snacking. Pair a small apple with one of the following for a healthy snack on the go:

1-2 pieces of string cheese

A small handful of nuts (almonds, cashews, or pistachios)

Peanut butter – a classic snack that has been placed in children’s lunch boxes for decades – it is good for adults too.

These 3 snack options are nutritionally well-rounded as they contain low impact carbs, protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

The Dirty Dozen

Unfortunately, apples are a member of the Dirty Dozen. The Dirty Dozen is a list of the 12 fruits and vegetables that have been shown to have the highest levels of pesticides.

This doesn’t mean that you should stop eating apples. You can easily minimize your exposure to pesticides while still reaping the health benefits of apples.

Here’s how:

  1. Wash Thoroughly – Use soap and water or a fruit and vegetable wash like Fit or Environne. This will help remove the pesticides that have been sprayed on the outside of the apple.
  2. Peel the skin off the apple and discard it – I don’t recommend this because, as noted earlier, the skin of an apple contains high levels of health boosting antioxidants.
  3. Buy Organic – Many people are limited in the amount of organic foods that they can purchase due to their increased cost. However, if your budget allows you to purchase some organic foods, those on the Dirty Dozen list, like apples, should be your top priority.

Keep it Shiny

There are over 7,500 different varieties of apples. They all have different tastes and textures but one thing is universal. Always look for an apple that has a nice shiny skin. A dull colored skin means the apple won’t have the crispness and taste we have all grown to love.

To maintain the best possible taste and flavor, keep your apples in the refrigerator

 


Antioxidant Power

Benefits

Balance is important in your body. Antioxidants help provide balance by neutralizing oxidized molecules. Oxidation occurs in your body naturally but at an excelled rate due to stress, exercise, inadequate sleep, and a poor diet.

Dangers

For a long time the message was, the more antioxidants the better. However, research has shown us that too many antioxidants can be a bad thing. A little stress and oxidation in your life is good and allowing your body to fight it by itself, is a natural part of your body keeping its “edge”.

For example, exercise produces free radicals. They are generated as part of the process when your muscles are broken down (as they naturally are during exercise). These free radicals actually stimulate your body to begin rebuilding your muscle so it can come back stronger than before. Taking in high levels of antioxidants after exercise might actually hinder muscle growth and recovery!

The term antioxidants is very broad and there are many different types of antioxidants that have different functions and benefits. Let’s look at two that can specifically help improve exercise performance, weight loss, and overall health

Flavonols

Foods that are high in flavonols include: dark chocolate, apples, and tea.

The flavonols in dark chocolate can help improve the health of your blood vessels and may be able to decrease the rate in which you lose brain function as you age.

Apples are antioxidant powerhouses with a large amount of their antioxidants being in their skin. The antioxidants in apples can help fight cancer, heart disease, asthma, and diabetes. An apple a day may truly keep the doctor away!

Green tea contains one of the most famous antioxidants, EGCG. EGCG can upregulate the processes in your body that burn fat, upwards of 17%! People who drink green tea also have lower risks of many cancers. Researchers attribute most of this decrease in risk to EGCG.

Anthocyanins

Anthocyanins are another extremely popular group of antioxidants with powerful health effects. Anthocyanins are found in dark red and purple foods like blueberries, pomegranates, and cherries.

Blueberries are well known for their antioxidant prowess which can help with brain, eye, and blood vessel health. Wild blueberries have 2x the antioxidants. Perfect if you are controlling calories but don’t want to sacrifice the antioxidants.

Pomegranates, with a massive ad budget, have made their antioxidant status part of modern culture. Unfortunately the benefits of pomegranates have been overstated, as they won’t save your life. But, they will improve blood vessel health and help prevent excessive stickiness of the platelets in your blood.

Cherries have anthocyanins and have been shown to be strong enough to inhibit key enzymes in the body that regulate inflammation and inflammatory pain. These are the same enzymes that drugs like Celebrex act on. Research has shown that cherries may also be able to help fight jet lag.

Supplement?

If you eat a well-rounded diet, there is probably no need to supplement with additional antioxidants. In certain cases, if you are looking to elicit a specific effect, then supplementing may be warranted so that you can get enough of a certain antioxidant in the right dose. An example of this would be twice daily supplementation with quercetin to boost exercise performance.

 


12 Proven Weight Loss tips

  1. Eat More Protein

Protein is famous for its muscle building abilities but protein is also a key fat loss food. Protein helps you feel fuller longer. Eating more protein has been shown to cause people to eat less calories without trying.

  1. Have a Salad First

Research from the Ingestive Behavior Lab at Penn State University shows that having a salad before you eat your main meal can decrease your calorie intake at that meal by 10-12%.

  1. Snack on nuts

For the longest time, nuts were shunned on fat loss diets because of their high fat content. However, the fat, fiber, and protein in nuts makes them a great fat loss snack. Portion control is key and ~1/4 cup is a perfect snack size.

  1. Weigh Yourself Often

People often shun the scale but research from the National Weight Control Registry shows that 75% of people that have maintained a +30lb weight loss for over a year weigh themselves regularly.

  1. Find a Diet You Enjoy

There are so many different sensible ways to lose weight. Over the long term they all yield similar results, as the key is really compliance. Find a diet that you enjoy, one that you can stick with. That is the most powerful factor in long term weight loss.

  1. Turn the Lights Out

Recent research has revealed the hormonal importance of getting adequate sleep. Insufficient sleep negatively impacts hormones like leptin which regulate appetite, metabolic rate, and fat burning. Get 7-9 hours each night.

  1. Take Care of Your Belly

Did you know that there are 10 times more bacterial cells in your digestive tract than cells in your entire body! These bacteria interact with receptors in your body and impact brain signals and hormones that control calorie burning and fat loss. Eat fermented foods like yogurt and kefir or take a probiotic supplement to ensure you have the best bacteria working for you, not against you.

  1. Enjoy Avocados

Avocados contain high levels of monounsaturated fat (so does olive oil and beef). Switching out saturated fat and replacing it with monounsaturated fat, has been shown to cause a redistribution of body fat causing a reduction in the dangerous fat that sits behind your six pack and around your organs.

  1. Skip Sugar Sweetened Beverages

The calories that you take in from sugar sweetened beverages are some of the worst because they are easy to consume and your body doesn’t sense them with respects to impacting your level of fullness. Skip the calorie containing drinks and opt for water, sparkling water, or green tea. The latter not only is zero calorie, it can also ramp up fat burning!

  1. Eat Breakfast

The National Weight Control Registry tracks the behaviors of people that have successfully lost and kept off 30lbs or more. Their data shows that 97% of these people eat breakfast. It is a great habit that sets the tone for your day.

  1. Eat Protein at Breakfast

In addition to eating breakfast, it is important to eat protein at breakfast. Protein eaten at breakfast has the greatest impact on satiety compared to protein eaten at other times of the day.

  1. More Meals is Not Better

The commonly touted ‘Eat 6 Small Meals a Day’ is a recipe for dieting disaster. Research shows that the size of your meals, not how often you eat them, is the biggest factor when it comes to controlling appetite. Usually Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and a snack, is the right frequency for fat loss success.


Top 5 Stomach Toning Bodyweight Exercises

A tight, toned stomach is the ultimate fitness goal for many people. Not only does it look visually appealing but having a strong set of stomach muscles also improves your posture and makes performing other exercises much easier. In this article I’m going to help you develop the strong set of stomach muscles you’ve always desired by outlining five of the best stomach toning bodyweight exercises.

1 – Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle crunches are a tough but effective stomach toning exercise which involve performing crunches while cycling your legs in the air. To perform bicycle crunches, follow the instructions below:

  1. Lie down on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you, your hands at either side of your head and your elbows sticking out.
  2. Raise your legs off the ground, keep your left leg straight and bend your right leg towards your chest.
  3. At the same time, rotate your body towards your right knee and touch it with your right elbow.
  4. Straighten your right leg and bend your left leg towards your chest.
  5. At the same time, rotate your body towards your left knee and touch it with your left elbow.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 for as many repetitions as you can manage.
  7. Rest for 1 minute and then repeat steps 2-6 two more times.

 

Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Bicycle Crunches

2 – Planks

Planks are a stationary abdominal exercise that look deceptively easy but in reality are incredibly tough. They involve holding your body in a tight, rigid plank position for as long as possible and give your core a thorough workout. To perform planks, follow the instructions below:

  1. Kneel down on the floor and place your forearms in front of you so that they are parallel with your head.
  2. Straighten your legs, bring your knees off the floor and balance on your toes and forearms.
  3. Once you have your balance, tighten your core muscles and hold the plank position for as long as you can.
  4. Rest for 1 minute and then repeat steps 1-3 two more times.

Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Planks

 

3 – Side Planks

Side planks are an effective variation on regular planks that involve holding a similar position while rotating your body to one side. To perform side planks, follow the instructions below:

  1. Lie down on the left hand side of your body.
  2. Place your left forearm on the floor and your right hand behind your head.
  3. Slowly lift your hips off the floor and balance on your feet and left forearm.
  4. Once you have your balance, tighten your core muscles and hold the side plank position for as long as you can.
  5. Rest for 1 minute and then lie down on the right hand side of your body.
  6. Place your right forearm on the floor and your left hand behind your head.
  7. Slowly lift your hips off the floor and balance on your feet and right forearm.
  8. Once you have your balance, tighten your core muscles and hold the side plank position for as long as you can.
  9. Rest for 1 minute and then repeat steps 1-9 two more times.

 

Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Side Planks

4 – Lying Leg Raises

Lying leg raises are another abdominal exercise that look easy when you’re observing them but are very challenging when you actually perform them. They engage all your core muscles as you raise and lower your legs and give them an excellent workout. To perform lying leg raises, follow the instructions below:

  1. Lie down flat on the floor and place your hands by your butt.
  2. Slowly raise your legs off the floor, stopping once the soles of your feet are facing the celling and your legs are at a 90 degree angle to your hips.
  3. Slowly lower your legs back down towards the floor, stopping just before your feet touch the floor.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 for as many repetitions as you can manage.
  5. Rest for 1 minute and then repeat steps 2-4 two more times.

Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Lying Leg Raises

5 – Lying Knee Tucks

Lying knee tucks are very similar to lying leg raises but involve you bending your knees towards your stomach instead of raising them up in the air. To perform lying leg raises, follow the instructions below:

  1. Lie down flat on the floor and place your hands by your butt.
  2. Slowly bend your knees and bring them towards your stomach, stopping when they are fully tucked in.
  3. Slowly straighten your knees, stopping just before your feet touch the floor.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 for as many repetitions as you can manage.
  5. Rest for 1 minute and then repeat steps 2-4 two more times.

Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Lying Knee Tucks

 

Summary

By practicing the exercises in this article once or twice per week, you’ll rapidly develop a set of strong, toned stomach muscles. When combined with a solid fat loss plan, this will give you the washboard abs you’ve always desired.