Should you workout during periods?

Periods are such a bummer when you are following a regular regime of workouts. If you are PMSing 4-5 days earlier, normal workouts also become difficult. Many people do not prefer to workout during periods. But there are many people including athletes who prefer working out. 

I just thought to visit this topic to end the confusion. 

I am sure there is half the female population that would say it is ok to take rest and there would be half of the ladies that would say working out during periods would make them feel better. So here is the verdict. 

It is absolutely about what are you feeling on the first day of your periods.

Severe cramping during periods is a common reason why we do not work out. Let us take a look at how can the cramping be reduced. Though the cramps can not be generalized, using the following tips may help alleviate them:

Warm Compress

A warm bath or a warm compress: With years of experience 😉 I can tell warm compress or a warm water bag helps reduce period cramps. In case you are commuting to your office, just take a warm water bag and fill it with water and sit for your work. 

Massaging with essential oils

Massaging the lower belly and back with eucalyptus oil helps alleviate the pain. I have tried it first hand and believe me it does work. 

Take Rest

My personal strategy for reducing the period pain is taking rest when I am in pain. A lot of standing can increase the pain.  The tummy pain may radiate through the body. Some ladies also experience light increase in body temperature. So the only way to reduce these symptoms is taking rest through the time. It usually takes a day to subside. 

Workout during period, is it worth it? 

I have been working out from last 12 years, but I have always taken a break  on the first day because physically I know what my body can do and what it can not pull off. But working out for me is also giving an hour to myself, to make myself feel better in all the chaos which usually go on the whole day. 

If you HAVE to workout during period then choose something which does not involve any kind of inversion as it may restrict the natural flow. 

Meditation for 10-15 minutes is a good way to bring yourself back together and get ready for the next day. 

In gym, my trainer used to tell, it is good to workout during periods as it will reduce the pain. You can always try doing some upper body workouts to get yourself going. But again, listen to your body.

When the cramps aren’t really bothersome, I liked doing some shoulder and bicep workouts. Choose wisely if you want to workout.

Foam rolling is also one of the best options to reduce leg and back pain. 

Conclusion: 

Period pain can be daunting, just listening to your body is the best decision you can make. If you want to workout, just moving around also would help. Planning your workout is the key for not sabotaging your efforts with all the binge eating.

 

 

Negative Calorie Food That You Should Include In Your Diet

Negative calorie food is all rage nowadays. Since the time we have started our weight loss journey, we have heard this jargon called negative calorie food. First of all, it was a surprise, and we were wondering whether some food can have negative calories. But then going deeper it is understood the concept behind negative calorie food.

What is negative calorie food? 

Food that has more water content and takes time to digest and are called Negative Calorie food. 

What are the facts behind it?

There is probably nothing as negative calories, the foodstuff that are labeled as one is said to have taken more time to digest but that is very minimal and can not be accounted for. 

Let us think it this way, the food which is branded as negative calories is wholesome and does have more impact on the number of nutrients consumed. 

List of negative calorie food:

  • Cucumber ( 8 calories/ 50gm) 
  • Carrots (50 calories/130gms) 
  • Lettuce (5 Calories/35gms)
  • Broccoli (31calories/90gms)
  • Watermelon (46calories/150gms)
  • Apples (53 calories/110 gms)
  • Tomatoes (32 calories/80gms) 

Source: healthline.com

All the above foodstuffs all contain more water content as compared to all other vegetables and are fibrous in nature. These low-calorie foods can be eaten in more quantity and satiate you for a long time. In case you are experiencing constipation, their fibrous nature will make sure that your bowel movements are smooth. 

How to use the above list of food for weight loss?

Consuming lesser calories than you burn is the normal fundamental of weight loss. As the above negative calorie food has very minimal calories, you can use them as mid-meal snacks. You can use more quantity to feel full for a longer time.

Adding protein:

 It is good to add some protein to it for making your bowl of veggies more nutritious and healthy. You can add 

  • Chickpeas 
  • Cottage Cheese 
  • Soya Granules
  • Yogurt 
  • Different kinds of nut butter

If you are working out every day, adding protein to your snacks and meals helps with muscle recovery, also boosts metabolism. 

Adding more nutrition:

Creating different salads with leafy vegetables like Spinach, and adding some nuts is the best way to incorporate more nutrition. If you believe in meal prep, you can arrange all the veggies in the box and sprinkle some nuts while eating. Adding some carbs like Quinoa, rice, or broken wheat is also recommended. 

Summary: 

The food which is branded or marketed as negative calorie food actually consists of more water and fiber, which makes it more nutritious and low calories. In case you do not want your calorie intake to go up, you can consume a generous amount of these foods. 

The branding may be a fad but we can always seek a positive outcome from it. I do try to consume at least 2 of them in my daily routine. What about you?

 

 

 

 

 

Waking Early Guide for Busy Moms

DO YOU FEEL THAT GETTING UP EARLY IS OVERWHELMING?

Being a morning person can be super overwhelming, I totally agree but being a mom we have to be in the bandwagon of waking up early people. And mind you it is just a habit that has to be created to be good at it. Just that? Yes. But how to set a habit you may ask. It is fairly simple. Just making up your mindset is the first step. I am sure you would say, what?? I do not want to wake up early ever and want to lie in my bed till afternoon. Yes, that also can be adjusted in your busiest routine, but if you are good at getting up early in the first place. But wouldn’t switch on and off hurt the whole process of creating a habit?

Let us check it out.

HOW ARE HABITS FORMED?

It is said that usually habits are formed as a result of wanting to achieve some goal. Let is keep our morning routine as our goal. It is said that it takes at least 21 days to form a routine. So that means we need to get up early for 21 days at a stretch for it to ingrain in our bodies. It sounds really tough but let us see how we can go about it.

What about the anxiety that I get when I lie down on my bed?

Anxiety is a conscious thought that has a deeper root. Instead of dwelling over that thought just push it out by writing some gratitude prompts. Also, thinking about the work that you might accomplish in the morning as compared to your earlier days will be a relief. Most of us always run out of time when we wake up late. It is like half of the day is already gone. When the anxiety strikes at night, I always try and think of a number of things that I would be able to accomplish if I wake up early.

How do I make my kids understand that I need to wake up early?

 

Waking up early

If you are a toddler mom and like me, if your toddler just wakes up the moment you wake up in case of co-sleeping, just talk to her/him. Talking it out and telling them why you are waking up early and how it would help you make them comfortable about the fact that you are not going anywhere. I used to wake up and sit just next to the bed working on my table. Some make shift tables would also do good. In case you are yet to set the timetable for the toddlers, do it right away. Being stringent with their timetable will get you the essential time which you need for yourself.

But I work out late at night and like to fall asleep after that.

Same here, I hear you. I worked out late night every single day and slept post-workout. I liked the routine, but even now with the early morning routine you can do the same. Just make sure you sleep a couple of hours early. I love my evening workout regime and do not want to change it for anything. Getting up early does not necessarily mean changing things you love. It is just about adding things that you might thank yourself later.

Will things get better if I wake up early.

I never liked to get up early believe me. I am still not a very morning person. I just like to finish much of my work in the morning so that I am not loaded in the evening. The clarity I get when I wake up early is a lifesaver, otherwise, the day literally runs you. Being the control freak that I am, I really feel that I have the control of my day when I get up early.

Can I get up just half an hour before my usual timing?

The whole thing of being a morning person is to accept yourself. Getting up early is subjective. It can be just getting up half an hour before your usual time and setting that as a benchmark to start with. The fantastic thing about body clock is that it takes its own time to kick in. You do not have to force it. Take it slow. Nobody becomes a morning person in a matter of a day. It is a continuous improvement that finally brings in a huge change.

Being busy:

All moms are busy. They do have a lot on their hands, but it is always good to share your load with people who care for you. Share your load and make yourself some time to embark on this new journey. Give yourself ample time to come out of that Business ( Busy-ness) Overwhelm. Believe me, waking up early is worth every effort, early is subjective and has a different meaning for different individuals. The first step is to decide what is your early and how are you going to set up your morning routine.

 

The Best Meal Plan For Weight loss and Fat Burn

Meal Planning for weight loss is a topic that was on my mind for a long time. We all meal plan, some plan physically on pen and a paper and some do it intuitively with the stuff available in the pantry, let us take a deeper look at meal planning for weight loss. I have lost 40 lbs and I can personally tell you if you do not go for meal planning, there are many instances that we just eat whatever is available ( that includes cheerios, Doritos and the likes 😊)

What is meal planning?

Meal Planning is a process in which you decide your meals ahead.

It can be one day ahead, two days ahead, or a week ahead. In tropical countries like India, we can not store prepared food for a long time but yes we can do meal planning for the whole week. Usually, meal planning is done on a weekend preferably on Sunday when everybody is at home.

Here is a simple way to go about it:

  • Planning your meals on a piece of paper ( or a diary)
  • Making a list of all the ingredients needed for the meal plan
  • Shopping for the meal plan
  • Making the ingredients ready for meal preparation
  • Spend one day or 1/2 hour every day to make your meals ready.

What Is The Importance Of Meal Planning for weight loss?

To be honest, this is not my first weight loss cycle, I have been putting on and losing much weight in the past. But this time around, I was serious about losing weight and sustaining it. Every day I had decided to make a difference and change my habits.

I was always planning my meals, but now it included more vegetables, fruits, and more raw produce. It was not intuitive. For a regular intake of fruits and veggies, I had to plan for grocery and vegetable shopping.  Here are some steps which make meal planning easier.

What Are The Principles Of Meal Planning?

We all understand what is needed for our family at what time. Those with kids can map their meals around kid's meal timings but there are some important factors to be considered while planning a meal or menu and those are

Nutrient Density

The first and foremost thing is whether the menu or meal plan is nutrient-dense or not?

In tropical countries like India, it is not possible to store a lot of perishable foodstuffs. It also results in the food ending up with fewer nutrients. So, plan your meals based on freshness.

Adequacy

The meals should be adequate and filling. More often than not we end up preparing far too little food or far too much to store.

Gauging the right quantity of food required by the family is an important aspect of meal planning.

It is always good to make food just adequate to eat for that particular time. It also minimizes the leftovers.

Nutrient Balance

Balancing proteins, carbs, fats, and other nutrients is the key. If it is done appropriately, weight loss is easy.

Following traditional and seasonal food guidelines is a better method to create a meal plan effortlessly because our traditional food is ingrained in our nature and always promotes our well-being

You can also count macros if you are tracking your food diligently for fitness goals.

Variety

Most of our traditional food has a lot of variety. Planning meals accordingly will help to balance the nutrients along with variety. Seasonal changes should also be taken into consideration.

Meal Planning Template

What Are The Steps In Meal Planning?

STEP 1 - Check The Availability

Check what you have in the pantry and in your refrigerator. List down things you want to include in your meal plan.

There is no specific step for starting the meal planning, but I feel checking the availability helps us stay on track and be specific about our needs and not waste food. It is also a money saver.

STEP 2 - Mapping your meal to your goals

Actual meal planning is the next step. Check your weekly goal for weight loss or fitness.

Usually one can lose around 1 pound in a week with proper food and workouts every day.

So, for now, let us keep that goal in front of us. For losing one pound a week, unless you are not doing Intermittent Fasting, you would need a small amount of food every two hours. That would include nuts, fruits, and a generous amount of vegetables.

STEP 3 -  Focusing on Fresh Produce While Buying

Jot down your requirements and get it from the store. Stock it based on their expiry date or the perishable nature. I like to plan my meals based on the freshness of fruits and vegetables.

Fruits like Banana and Mango which have high perishability should be quickly consumed. Plan to eat them in the first two days of your meal plan.

If you are making any batters plan them in the first four days of your meal plan.  Cruciferous vegetables like Broccoli, Cauliflower stay for a bit long time so plan to eat them in the last leg of the week. Spinach and all other green leafy vegetables should be consumed quickly in one or two days.

STEP 4 - Emphasize on mind mapping of meals

Put it all on paper when you have a mind map. Many ladies do it intuitively but people like me write it down and then make the meals as per the plan.

It is good to have the meal plan on hand to prevent eating junk food which may sabotage the weight loss.

STEP 5 - Learn through the process

Remember, though you have planned for your meals, there might be some other hindrances to follow the exact plan. Just accept it and be on track for the next meal or the next day.

Do not feel bad about not adhering to the plan, just stick to it as much as possible.

Contrary to popular belief, an article from the Center For Disease Control and Prevention states that "Research shows that people get full by the amount of food they eat, not the number of calories they take in. You can cut calories in your favorite foods by lowering the amount of fat and or increasing the amount of fiber-rich ingredients, such as vegetables or fruit." And it is actually true for weight loss.

If you have the key to meal planning with you, you have the key to eat fiber-rich low-calorie food for effective weight loss.

But here is something to keep in mind, it is always not so easy to identify what to eat when?

Which Food To Pick When While Creating a Meal Plan for Weight loss?

Fruits:

I have been eating fresh fruit every morning as suggested by Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar. It has by far cured my IBS ( Irritable Bowel Syndrome). So eating a banana or any fruit should be the first thing as you get up. Or you can also have it as a pre-workout or post-workout meal.

Nuts:

Unless you are following an intermittent fasting diet, you can eat nuts as a snack at any time of the day. For those who are following low carb meals for weight loss, include nuts in your salads if possible. Having them as a snack is the best option.

Carbohydrates:

The buck stops here :).

Precisenutrition.com quotes that

Dense carb foods are best consumed during and after exercise, for up to about 3 hours. And remember, carbohydrates have a protein sparing effect, so we require less dietary protein when carb intake is higher.

If you do not want to go in detail, just remember that you can eat vegetables, legumes, and grains at any time of the day. Limit your consumption of starchy carbs like quinoa, amaranth, rice and other grains to 3 hours post-exercise.  ( As per Precisenutrition.com)

How To Estimate Calories?

Calorie estimate is the trickiest part for most weight watchers. Nowadays there are many fitness trackers that show the daily calorie burn but should you trust them? There is a Total Daily Energy Expenditure Calculator which you can use to start with. Later, the body knows how much to consume if you eat mindfully. The estimate from the TDEE ( Total Daily Energy Expenditure Calculator) should be considered as a pointer.

With the above information, check whether it is easy to take out the time from your schedule for meal planning.

Can you lose weight with a meal plan?

There is no specific answer to this question. But if you are diligent with your meal plan and exercise, you are sure to lose weight.

Thoughts about freezing food

In nontropical countries, it is ok to freeze food, but in tropical countries, it is better to make it and consume it quickly to keep its nutrition density intact.

Final Words:

Meal planning is worth every effort if you do it diligently. But it must be done with a little preparation. Meal planning for weight loss is a boon and I am going to plan my meal for this week right away. I have been slacking for a long time. 😊

 

 

 

How to plan your exercises for a month – Easy Way

Most of the countries are releasing lockdown but it is still a while for the gyms to open so we have some time to ponder over what works for our body. Personal Workout Plan is necessary for everybody who wants to stay fit and in the due course would like to build muscles. Building a plan for yourself is a good way to be honestly sticking to it because you have put in the time and effort to do so. 

So without much ado, here is how you can build your personal workout plan.

Personal Workout Plan

Divide each day of the week for different body parts.

  • Monday – Upper Body
  • Tuesday – Cardio
  • Wednesday – Lower Body
  • Thursday – Cardio
  • Friday – Core Work and Abs
  • Saturday – Cardio
  • Sunday – Active Recovery

Warm Up:

Always start a workout with a nice warm-up, to increase the heart rate of the body. A warm-up can include:

  • Arm rotation, neck rotation, Leg raises Feet rotation.
  • Jumping jacks with hands clapping behind 20 * 2 sets, you can progress into the jumping jack with squats

 upper body workout

 

You can choose some of the above workouts and start as your personal workout plan if you haven’t started yet.

workout

Upper Body Workouts

  • Push-ups ( Knees on the floor) 20*2
  • Triceps dips 20* 2
  • Walking push up 10* 2
  • Plank taps 10*2
  • Burpees 10* 2

Lower Body Workouts

  • Normal squats 20* 2
  • Goblet squat 20*2
  • Sumo Squat 20* 2
  • Lunges 20*2
  • side leg raises 20 * 2
  • Front leg raises 20*2
  • Back leg raises 20* 2

You can choose any three workouts and add them to your personal workout plan to start with. 

Cardio 

Choosing any cardio is always beneficial. It may include kickboxing, running, jogging, walking at home, dancing, aerobics, Zumba anything that you would like.

It is good to prepare your personal workout plan because nobody knows your body better than yourself. I usually use the following tracker to track my weekly workouts 

Workout Tracker – For July 2020

These trackers help to stay on track. You can use your creativity to personalize it as per your requirement. 

When To Start Lifting Weights? 

I am sure when you read the above workouts you had a question in mind about weights. You can start using weights ( 2kgs, 3kgs) as

per your capacity. Always remember, it is easy to flaunt those weights in the gym, but when you are working out at home, your safety is your responsibility. 

You can start working out with weights when the bodyweight exercises are just too easy for you. 

Progressive Overload: 

This is the most talked-about concept in Fitness. It means, not letting your body do the same set of workouts over a long period. If you are doing 20 reps of Jumping jacks, it is important to progressively overload it, either by increasing the number or adding weight to the exercise. There are other ways also which include adding supersets with more weights and reducing the time between the sets but that is the next level of working out. The basic principle of working out is loading your muscles in such a way that they work under a very challenging environment. 

How should progressive overload be implemented in beginner workouts?

If you are a beginner, you can increase the number of repetitions for your workout. Here are some things which you should check before loading more weight or increasing reps:

  • Check with your form if you are loading weight without checking the form may suffer. 
  • Check whether you aren’t having any injury while performing workouts 
  • Check with your recovery time with a particular workout, if the recovery is more, maybe it is time to get used to the workout first.

Muscle Growth? I do not want it.

Well, everybody needs proper muscle function. If you do not perform strength training workouts with weights, you may land up in muscle atrophy which is nothing but wasting your muscles. 

Lack of physical activity makes the muscle leave the bone structure, which we do not want to happen. We have to just be regular with our strength training schedule. 

Everybody needs the muscles to function properly, for women muscles do not grow as much as men because women lack testosterone which plays an important role in muscle building. 

Are there any other workouts available?

With the advent of technology, it is so easy to get workouts that work well. You should have all the patience to try them and feel the difference. 

As an avid fitness enthusiast, here are some paid programs which you can try and buy when you feel they are awesome and you can try it for some time. 

  • Les Mills Body pump

It is a tried and tested workout by me and works on the principle of More reps and smaller weight workouts. They have huge collection of workouts which you can try. You can read a review here. 

http://www.the5ammommy.com/workout-review-les-mills/

For 14 days they have a trial period, later you can cancel the subscription. 

  • Jillian Michaels App

Tried and tested program which has a proven track record. All the DVD programs, from JM, are being tried and tested by us so if you have any questions you can get back in the comments section. 

How Did I choose my personal trainer?

  • Freeletics

Freeletics has been tried and tested. It is quite popular among people. 

  • Sidney Cummings

Sidney Cummings has been working on the muscle building workouts for quite a while now. Her workouts are free and you can access them here. 

You can plan your workouts with the above resources now. If you have any further doubts, please let us know in the comments. 

Remember, consistency makes all the difference. If you are not consistent with your workouts and food, it is not going to help in the longer run. The secret is to be consistent and to stay on track. 

Better results come with a better mindset. Here is an article that explains the body transformation mindset. Have a look at it if you feel there is a need to change your mindset and set a bigger goal.

How to tune into a body transformation mindset?

Post-natal Workouts – For reducing back pain.

Why do you need post-natal workouts?

Hello all, how are you doing? I hope you have continued your workouts during the lockdown. Those who haven’t, you can pick it up from today. On that note, let us talk about the new mommies or the mommies who have delivered the second time around. Restoring the health and getting back to the new normal are two main things that are on any mom’s mind after her baby’s well being. Deliveries can be super daunting, the bodies change forever after delivery but we can make all the effort to feel comfortable with post-natal workouts.

Are you contemplating post-natal workouts?

Most of the ladies contemplate post-natal workouts. It is that first step that is difficult and the results elusive. Most of them complain about back pain due to prolonged feeding posture and not to mention by lifting the baby umpteen times a day. Though it is all done with immense pleasure, it does take a toll on the body. If you are willing to take that first step of self-healing life can change a little, the whole ordeal will become less painful. Here is a quick testimony of a very good friend who is 8 months PP. We are so glad that she took that first step, never to turn back again. 🙂

I woke up to the country being locked down and curfew everywhere on a bright sunny day. Thus began the ordeal of being indoors without much to move around. Being a working mom of two kids, 8 months pp, time was and is eating up my mind to the unhealthy way. I started my fitness journey when pain embarrassed my hips and back. On a scale of 1 to 10, mine was 8 on most days. This day last month, I started to workout. My workouts initially included stretching of my arms, back, and legs. My SIL an ardent fan JM, she shared her routine. I contemplated how to go about it and then decided to give it a go. Initially, I just couldn’t even do the warm-ups, there were days I did a miss but then again I start from where I left. Right now I m diligently following JM’s postnatal workout and believe me it does wonders.

My pain has been reduced .there was a time where I couldn’t get myself up from bed after lying down and there is now where I m doing trying to planks and crunches. My back doesn’t hurt anymore but yea muscles hurt. I feel the pain in and out of the body yet it is a sign, my body is feeling much healthier. If you ask me about consistency I ‘ll say no but the drive is for me to push forward. There is no turning back. What I do right now is building up my core strength. Nothing more neither nothing less. I got a long way to go and S I ll reach the goal. On an NSV, my prenatal dresses are starting to fit and this is a new ME. What I learnt from this, discipline the self for regular routine, no excuses, and everything else falls in place!

Well begun is half done.

Still, wondering which post-natal exercise to choose?

Here are some simple online post-natal workouts that you could use for easing back and hip pain, yes, even if you haven’t delivered a baby 🙂

post-natal workouts

Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels’ all workouts are amazing. She is a fitness goddess and she is behind my 40 lbs transformation so far. Her buzz word is “Every Single Day” also ” Do not phone it in” :). All her workouts are essentially 30 mins and are very very effective.

Bikini Body Mommy

We have shared Brianna Christine’s Bikini Body Mommy transformation and workouts some days ago. Here is a link to her workouts. She is pregnant again and still working out, so if you are expecting you can try her workouts too. She has numerous challenges.

Kayla Itsines:

Kayla has just given birth to a baby girl but she has been a trainer for last 10 years. She has some personalized programs but her videos are good to follow, her workouts are hardcore.

youtube.com/watch?v=d9zEoRmaEp0

Popsugar Fitness:

Known for their versatile workouts, popsugar fitness has some very good post natal workouts.

Still feel post-natal workouts overwhelm?

There is no hurry, you can always take one step at a time. Keeping the balance is important after delivery but the mind needs to prepare for that first STEP and you are good to go.

Have been working out for sometime and the belly bulge doesn’t go? Well, we have you covered. 🙂