Weight Loss 

M/43/6’3″ (191.5cm) [248lbs > 227.5 = 20.5lbs] (3 months) About 30lbs to go, but I’m liking the way I’m beginning to look (excuse the bad tattoos from my youth)

M/43/6’3″ (191.5cm) [248lbs > 227.5 = 20.5lbs] (3 months) About 30lbs to go, but I’m liking the way I’m beginning to look (excuse the bad tattoos from my youth) View Reddit by ShastaMcLurky – View Source

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Fat Loss Weight Loss 

The Smoothie Diet – Smoothies For Weight Loss And Incredible Health

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Weight Loss 

5’4” and  172 pounds now. I was 253 lb at the beginning.  Read my history…

5’4” and  172 pounds now. I was 253 lb at the beginning.  Read my history in: nutritionprincess… Source by messymissy16

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This 12-Month "I Am Strong" Challenge Is Better Than Any New Year's Resolution

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Thank You for visiting www.judgeweightloss.com. This is the spot for all of your fitness, workout, healthy lifestyle, supplement, and just general get healthy information. Enjoy

While New Year’s resolutions are often well-intentioned, the sad truth is that they usually fall out of focus sometime around February. Have you been there before? We certainly have. So what’s a more actionable way to meet your goals every month? Mix it up and have a clear objective month by month, rather than for the year overall.

This year’s mantra for us is “I am strong.” Do you need some strength in your life? Are you hoping to feel more empowered, more in control, and more self-loving? Take a look at the 12 ways we’re instilling this positive affirmation and living our strongest lives yet in 2017. You can mix up the months and customize your schedule and even fill in things that make YOU feel strong in particular.

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Each day of 2017, make it your goal to say, “I am strong” and live your life accordingly. These 12 unique monthly challenges will help you remember the end goal: self love and a happier, better life.

January Challenge: Try a New Workout

Pick a new style of workout, and commit to it all month long. It has to be something you’ve never done before! If you’ve never run before, give yourself a goal of running a mile without stopping by the end of the month. New to yoga? You’ll be amazed at how strong you get by committing to a few classes a week.

February Challenge: Compliment Yourself More

Make it a goal to give yourself five compliments a day for a month. These are words of affirmation that will build on your inner strength and self love, and they can be big things like, “I’m so intelligent,” or smaller ones like, “My hair looks fabulous!” (We picked up this tip from the inspiring health coach and fitness fashionista, Joanne Encarnacion.)

March Challenge: Set a Strength Goal

You don’t have to complete your goal in March, but you definitely have to set it and start working toward it. What strong thing do you want to accomplish this year? Complete a pull-up? 50 push-ups? Your first half-marathon? Maybe even a triathlon? Summit a mountain? Decide now what your goal will be, when you’ll complete it, and create a plan to work toward that goal.

April Challenge: Pack Your Fitness Schedule

This month, plan five workouts each week for the whole month. They can be at-home videos, group fitness at a studio, a run, a dance class, or personal training. Pick a way to move each day at the beginning of the month, and stick to your schedule.

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May Challenge: Gratitude Journal

Find a journal or notebook, and each day in May write down five to 10 things you’re grateful for. You’ll be mentally and emotionally equipped to handle anything!

June Challenge: Strong-Body Diet

This is your month to learn about macronutrients and focus on getting more protein to nourish your strong muscles. Make it a goal to learn four to six new protein-rich recipes and eat them throughout the month. When you feed your body the right foods, you’ll feel strong.

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July Challenge: Kickass Combat

Try boxing, Muay Thai, kickboxing, or a similar style of workout. You could even sign up for a self-defense class! Plan out your month and go at least four times.

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August Challenge: The Buddy System

In August, find an accountability partner. Whether it’s your best friend, sister, or co-worker, find someone in your life who wants to feel strong, too. Go to healthy lunches together, plan workouts, and shower each other with empowering and meaningful words of affirmation. “You’re so strong!” is always a good one. You’ll be stronger together, and sharing your strength with another person will make you feel incredible.

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September Challenge: Meditation and Affirmation

While we’re hoping you’ll tell yourself “I am strong” every day this year, September is your month to really drive that home. This month, try a 10-minute meditation practice each morning right when you wake up, before the day gets away from you. Body-positive superstar and Movemeant Foundation founder Jenny Gaither says she creates a new mantra for herself each week, like, “love continues to flow in and out of me,” for instance. Repeat your daily, weekly, or September mantra to yourself as you clear your mind through mental-strengthening meditation.

October Challenge: Learn a New Skill

While fitness is a surefire way to create a sense of strength, you can find it in other ways, too! By learning something new and challenging yourself, you’ll feel so empowered. This can be as simple as, “I’m going to learn how to poach an egg,” or “I’m going to learn five phrases in Italian this month.” If fitness is the only way for you, then loop back to the challenge from January, and pick up a new kind of workout, or an exercise move you’re trying to master — maybe a Turkish Get-Up?

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November Challenge: Heat Things Up

As the weather gets chilly, choose workouts that make you really, really sweaty. Whether it’s hot yoga or an intense indoor cycling class, bring on the sweat! Also, if you haven’t yet, make sure you’re completing your strength goal from March.

December Challenge: Give Back

Choose a charity, cause, or nonprofit to focus your efforts on. You can even commit to a random-act-of-kindness challenge. Adopting more charitable habits, giving more of yourself, and doing something to help others will help you feel strong — especially when you know someone else needs a little extra strength. The power you’ve created all year long is ready to explode and impact the world in a great way. You did it!

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Add Some Pantone 2017 Greenery to Your Workout Wardrobe

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Pantone’s color of the year reminds us of a few things: fresh, new beginnings . . . springtime . . . and also avocados, matcha, and salad. If you’re looking for more of this color (“Greenery”) in your life, and perhaps you also prefer to channel “avocado” when you’re on a run or in the gym, then we have the perfect gear for you.

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What It's Really Like to Lose Over 25 Pounds

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By the middle of my sophomore year of college, I was in the worst physical shape of my life. A mix of drinking, the freedom to eat whatever and whenever I pleased, and my mom’s cancer prognosis led to rapid weight gain and plummeting self-confidence. Every day I dragged myself to class wearing shapeless, oversize clothing, and avoided eye contact with my peers — I was genuinely unhappy with my appearance. The weight wasn’t just burdening my body; it was affecting my mind as well. I felt intense anxiety and self-consciousness, and social situations that I used to flourish in became intimidating and difficult to maneuver.

My rock bottom

One night when I was getting ready for a friend’s birthday dinner, I realized the extent of my dissatisfaction. As I thumbed through my closet feeling uninspired by every article of clothing, I realized that style, something I had always cherished, no longer excited me. It felt out of reach. I was not comfortable with the body I was dressing, and that realization was enough for me to begin making major lifestyle changes immediately.

I first had to accept that losing weight wasn’t going to be an easy task, and that was why it was going to be worth it. Working toward anything takes unwavering willpower, strength, and sacrifice: weight loss was no different. Once I decided I wanted to change, a game-plan fell into place. Step 1: I assessed my habits
I had always heard that weight loss was more about diet than exercise. In my case, this was more than true. I had been eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and as much as I wanted. My weakness was (and probably always will be) carbs, in all forms. I craved pasta, pizza, and bread of all sorts, much more than any indulgent dessert or treat. So, I knew for sure that this was an area that could use serious improvement. Since my mom has always commented on my unhealthy attraction to carbs, I confided in her about wanting to make a change and she helped me understand the difference between good and bad carbs. I hit the ground running and immediately cut out refined and processed carbohydrates, such as those found in the pasta and bread I loved, eating only carbs that were found naturally in fruits and vegetables. I knew I would be able to return to pasta someday, but for now it had to go.32131660
Step 2: Apps that aided and recorded progressBeing a full-time student while balancing a social life, I definitely did not have access or the funds for guidance from a nutritionist, so, I did what any problem-solving millennial would do and I scavenged the app store for something that could help me instead. The app that kick-started and aided me immensely in my journey was MyFitnessPal. It taught me a lot about my body and what and how much I should be eating. What I found most useful was the ability to choose a target weight and the amount of time I wanted to take to reach the target weight. It was especially helpful in the beginning because I had no idea about intake and calories. Is 800 calories a lot for a meal? How many calories should I be eating a day? Is butter a carb? I also used KeepSafe, which is a camera roll protected by fingerprint and/or a custom passcode. For me, tracking my progress visually was incredibly important. I wanted to keep track of my weight loss through photos of myself in a sports bra and underwear so that I could easily observe the changes happening. That being said, I didn’t want intimate photos of myself nearly naked living in my camera roll where a friend could easily stumble upon them.
Step 3: I skipped my diet sometimes
I remember beating myself up pretty harshly the first few times I broke the “no carb” rule I set for myself, but I quickly realized the significance of moderation. One meal, no matter how big or unhealthy, was probably not going to affect my weight as long as I was diligent and consistent with my diet the majority of the time. There was no reason to make myself feel as though I had failed for indulging. A bowl of gnocchi is something to celebrate!Step 4: I found my place to sweatI had always hated the gym and running, and intense anxiety tended to inhibit me from trying classes because I’m not completely in control of the situation. But, FINALLY, after a year and a half of healthy eating with no exercise, I forced myself to join a yoga studio. From the first time I went I was hooked. A tighter tummy was great, but a clear mind was even better. Step 5: I mentally prepared myself for others’ reactions When someone loses weight, even a few pounds, people notice. So, after six months and over 20 pounds shed, people reacted. I wasn’t heavy in a way that was threatening my health or well-being, so others questioned why I was trying to lose weight in the first place. I reassured my parents and close friends this was something positive and that I had everything under control, but everyone else was left to wonder. I found being genuine and kind was the best way to react to people’s opinions, both good and bad . . . even though it was annoying.

Step 6: I became okay with never hitting my target weight
Yes, a scale was a good way to measure change in my body, but it wasn’t the most important representation of my progress. It was much more about being comfortable in my own skin and dressing in clothes that made me happy. I did have a “goal weight” somewhat in my mind when I changed my lifestyle, but it dissipated from importance when I felt more confident and proud of my body, many pounds away from my original “goal.” I never hit my goal weight, and if I ever do I probably won’t know, because my scale has found a home in the trash can.

While I no longer use apps to track my diet, I am eternally grateful for how they helped me become the person I am today: a happy, healthy, self-confident yogi.

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8-Minute, 4-Move Total-Body Dumbbell Workout

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Grab a set of three to 10-pound dumbbells, set the timer for eight minutes, and let’s get moving! These four multitasking moves target more than one part of the body, so you’ll tone your arms, core, butt, and legs, all in just eight minutes.

Directions: Do two minutes of jumping jacks or jogging in place to get the heart rate going. Set the timer for eight minutes. Perform each of the below four moves for 10 reps (or five reps per side), with no rest in between exercises. Once you finish the four moves, start at the beginning and keep repeating this four-move circuit until the eight minutes are up, moving quickly, but with correct form. You can do it! It’s OK to start with a heavier set of dumbbells and then switch to a lighter set when you need to.

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Good News: You've Got a Better Brain Than You Think

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If babies could gloat, they would. The rest of us may have it all over them when it comes to size, strength and basic table manners, but brain power? Forget it. The brain you had at birth was the best little brain you’ll ever have. The one you’ve got now? Think of a Commodore 64—with no expansion slots.

That, at least, has been the conventional thinking, and in some ways it’s right. Our brains are wired for information absorption in babyhood and childhood, simply because we start off knowing so little. At some point, though, absorption is replaced by consolidation, as we become less able to acquire new skills but more able to make the most of what we do know. What’s always been unclear is just what that point is. When does our learning potential start to go soft? A new paper published in Psychological Science suggests that it might be later than we thought.

The study, led by cognitive neuroscientists Lisa Knoll and Delia Fuhrmann of University College London, involved a sample group of 633 subjects, divided into four age groups: young adolescents, roughly 11–13 years old; mid-adolescents, 13–16; older adolescents, 16–18; and adults, 18–33. All four groups were trained and tested in two basic skills, known as numerosity discrimination and relational reasoning.

In the numerosity tests, people sitting at computer screens were flashed a series of images of large clusters of dots. Each cluster consisted of a mixture of two colors and the task was to select which color was more plentiful. That was easy enough when the ratio of one color to the other was 70-30, but it got harder as it went to 60-40, then 55-45, and finally 51-49. The challenge was made greater still since every screen was flashed for one fifth of a second. All of the subjects were tested three times—once at the beginning of the study, once three to seven weeks later and once nine months after that. And all were required to complete 12-minute practice sessions at some point before each test.

The relational reasoning part of the study followed a similar training and testing schedule, and involved subjects being flashed a screen filled with a three-by-three grid. The first eight boxes of the grid contained abstract designs that changed sequentially in terms of color, size or shape. The bottom right box was left blank and subjects had to choose which of a selection of images best completed the pattern.

Both puzzles are the kinds of things that routinely appear on tests of basic intelligence and predictably give subjects fits—not least because there exactly many occasions outside of the testing room that either skill has any real-world use. But numerosity discrimination and relational reasoning are basic pillars of our mathematical and logical skills, and the better you do at them the more that says about your overall ability to learn.

So how did the kids—with their nimble brains—do compared to the ostensibly more sluggish adults? Not so well, as it turned out. In the relational reasoning portion of the test, the 18 to 30 age group finished first over the course of the three trials, followed closely by the 15 to 18 year olds. The mid-adolescents—13 to 16—trailed at a comparatively distant third, with the 11 to 13 year olds last. In other words, the results were exactly the opposite of what would be expected from traditional ideas of learning capability. In the numerosity discrimination, the order of finish was the same, though the improvement across the three trials was less for all groups, with only the adults and the older adolescents seeming to benefit much from the three practice sessions.

“These findings highlight the relevance of this late developmental stage for education and challenge the assumption that earlier is always better for learning,” said Knoll in a statement accompanying the study’s release.

The reason for the findings was less of a surprise than the findings themselves. Brain development is a far slower process than it was once thought to be, and neuroscientists know that this is especially true of the prefrontal cortex, which in some cases is not fully wired until age 30. This has its downsides: impulse control and awareness of consequences are higher-order functions that live in the prefrontal, which is the reason young adults are a lot likelier to make risky choices—cliff diving, drunk driving—than older adults. But learning lives in the prefrontal too, which means the knowledge-hungry brain you had when you were young may stick around longer than you thought.

“Performance on executive function tasks undergoes gradual improvement throughout adolescence,” the researchers wrote, “and this might also contribute to improved learning with age.”

Ultimately, the brain—like the muscles, joints, skin and every other part of our eminently perishable bodies—does start to falter. The good news is, it’s a tougher organ than we thought it was, and it’s ready to learn longer.

 

This article originally appeared on Time.com.

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Why Songs Get Stuck In Your Head—and How to Get Them Out 

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Why do some songs stick in our heads for infuriatingly long periods of time? According to the first large-scale study of its kind, it’s all about their combination of upbeat tempos, easy-to-remember melodies, and a little something unexpected. The new research looked at some of the most popular songs with this “stick factor"—and gives advice for how to get them unstuck, as well.

Tunes that we can’t seem to shake are sometimes known as earworms, or referred to in the scientific community as involuntary musical imagery. It makes sense that recent chart-toppers that get lots of radio play are more likely to find their place deep in our brains, but that theory—and the reasoning why some songs are catchier (and stickier) than others—has not been widely examined in a scientific way.

So Kelly Jakubowski, PhD, a former psychology teaching fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London, set out to do just that. Between 2010 and 2013, she and and her fellow researchers asked 3,000 people about their most frequent earworm, and compared those tunes' melodic features to other songs that were just as popular during the same time period (based on U.K. music charts), but were not named in the survey.

They found that the songs commonly cited as earworms were more likely to have fast tempos and, overall, fairly generic melodic contours. An example of a common contour pattern can be heard in Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, where the first phrase rises in pitch and the second falls, Jakubowski noted in a press release.

This rising-and-falling pitch pattern is followed in other nursery rhymes, as well, which makes them easy for young children to remember. And it's used in plenty of pop music, too, she says—like the beginning of Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger,” one of the most common earworms named in the study.

But earworms also tend to have some unique and unusual intervals, such as musical leaps or repeated notes, that set them apart from the average pop song. Jakubowski cites the opening notes of “Smoke On The Water” by Deep Purple, the chorus of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” or the instrumental riffs of “My Sharona” by the Knack as examples.

"Our findings show that you can to some extent predict which songs are going to get stuck in people's heads based on the song's melodic content,” said Jakubowski, who’s now a research assistant in the Department of Music at Durham University. “This could help aspiring songwriters or advertisers write a jingle everyone will remember for days or months afterwards.”

The study confirmed the idea that frequent and recent exposure to a song make it more likely to become an earworm, and that people who sing and listen to music often tend to experience this phenomenon more than others. It also found that words, images, and other associations can bring songs to mind, often from deep in our memories.

"We now also know that, regardless of the chart success of a song, there are certain features of the melody that make it more prone to getting stuck in people's heads like some sort of private musical screensaver,” said Jakubowski.

But here’s the part of the study you’ve probably been waiting for: what to do about it when it happens to you. Based on survey responses of what’s worked for other people, the authors make three recommendations:

1. Engage with the song. Many people said that listening to a song all the way through helps quiet the constant loop in their heads.

2. Distract yourself. Thinking about or listening to another song helps some people, too. In the study—which surveyed Brits—the top-named “cure song” was “God Save the Queen.” (Maybe the U.S. equivalent is the “Star Spangled Banner?”)

3. Let it be. Other people reported that the best way to get rid of an earworm was to just try not to think about it, and let it fade away naturally on its own.

Jakubowski says that 90 percent of us get songs stuck in our heads at least once a week, normally when the brain is not doing much—while we’re in the shower, walking, or doing mindless chores, for example. Further research on this topic could potentially help scientists understand how brain networks involved in perception, emotion, memory, and spontaneous thought behave in different people, she says.

The study, which was published today in the academic journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, lists the following as the most frequently named earworms. (Remember, the survey was done between 2010 and 2013.) We apologize in advance for bringing them up, as we know you’ll be humming them all week long.

Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
Can't Get You Out Of My Head – Kylie Minogue
Don't Stop Believing – Journey
Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye
Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5
California Gurls – Katy Perry
Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
Alejandro – Lady Gaga
Poker Face – Lady Gaga

 

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

 

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The fit lifestyle with Cassey Ho

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Tired of starting a diet every summer of every other Monday? We chat to blogger Cassey Ho about how she stays fit and healthy all year round. Take note.

Aim for balance with food: I allow myself a YOLO (you only live once) meal once or twice a week. But the rest of the time I eat clean, enjoying lots of plant foods, fresh produce, grass-fed meats, wholegrains and unsweetened beverages. I try to eat carbs, protein and healthy fats at every meal to keep me full and energised. The one thing I minimise is dairy – it makes my skin break out. I also avoid foods high in sodium, saturated or unhealthy fats, chemicals and preservatives, additives and colours.

Lose the rules: Going on diets or strict meal plans just doesn’t work for me. I always crave the foods I’m missing out on, and once that ‘diet’ is over, I want to binge on the foods I was restricting. Over time, I’ve learned to eat in a balanced way – that way I no longer have crazy cravings for junk food that cause me to binge and feel guilty.

Avoid extremes: When I was prepping for my bikini competition several years ago, I was put on this crazy diet of only eating about 1000-to-1200 calories (around 4, 200kJ) a day while I was working out for four hours a day! As a result I felt tired, irritable, angry and frustrated. My mind was foggy and I couldn’t concentrate. I was labelling food as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and felt like I was trapped in food jail. For eight to 10 weeks I endured this crazy plan. I did the bikini competition with my new, lean body, and then I decided to go back to ‘normal-healthy’. But when I tried to introduce a variety of foods back into my diet, like brown rice, quinoa and different types of protein, my body did not like that at all. It acted like a sponge, soaking everything up. 

For the next three years, I gradually gained weight. And there was nothing I could do to stop it. During this time, I was still working out really hard for about one hour a day, but my body just didn’t respond. It rebelled. It was seriously frustrating because in my mind, I was doing everything right. Diet and exercise should equal weight loss or at least weight maintenance. But because of the damage and stress that I put my body under during that bikini prep, my hormones became unbalanced and I am still getting back to normal.

Aim for more sleep and less stress: I learned a lot from my bikini comp experience. Cortisol, the stress hormone, increases when you significantly lower your kilojoules, over-exercise and/or don’t have enough sleep. And cortisol plays a role in increasing abdominal fat, more specifically, lower-belly fat. This stress also decreases leptin, the hormone that controls your appetite. So you feel extra hungry all the time and it’s likely that you may crave those carbs and high-fat foods. That’s exactly what happened to me. Getting enough sleep, eating sufficient kilojoules and taking time to de-stress and relax are really important for your waistline and wellbeing.

Treat yourself: When you deprive yourself of cake or ice-cream, you start to think about them all the time and that leads to bingeing. Instead, I allow myself treats – in moderation. And because I know I can have them from time to time, I don’t crave them or eat more of them than I should.

Focus on health, not weight: I rarely step on the scales anymore because I know that my weight does not tell me how strong or fast I am. When I’m at my healthiest, I can tell by how I feel. When I am consistent with my diet and workouts, I am happy, motivated and energised. When I start to feel sluggish and drained, I know that my eating habits may be off and my workouts aren’t as routine – so I address that.

Use the seasons: What I love about the changing seasons is that they allow me to prepare myself for fresh beginnings four times a year. So with each season I see a chance to refocus and find a new rhythm and routine to optimise my health goals. I also try to rediscover delicious seasonal flavours to keep my clean-eating habits on track.

Keep exercise simple: You don’t need big shiny equipment to work out. Simply walking or taking the stairs can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy body. There are also endless exercises you can perform at home to sculpt your best body. For my POP Pilates exercise I just use a yoga mat to cushion my body against the floor. Then all the exercises use my own body weight to stay fit. If you’re not enjoying your exercise routine, try something else. Exercise should never be a chore – it should be something you always look forward to and then you don’t want to skip it. You shouldn’t have to work for hours a day to enjoy results. When I started combining HIIT with POP Pilates in my new PIIT (Pilates intense interval training) program my body strengthened and increased endurance like never before – and it’s only 28 minutes a day!

Head over to Cassey Ho’s Instagram for more!

 

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