Toned upper body can be achieved using these 10 minute workouts done consistently.
Toned upper body is a boon. But toning is not easy. People usually say that I just need to lose this belly and I would look all good. Let us first understand that it is next to impossible to spot reduce any part of the body. We need to work on overall body to get the weight loss and then we can work on toning the muscles. A muscle tone can be seen in 3-5 weeks if you are working out 5 days a week.
Muffin top is a part of upper body just above your waistline. For some people who have a heavier upper body, the weight tends to get put on the upper body. Weight gain is a result of surplus calories ate during 6-8 weeks interval continuously. Here are some of the simplest workouts for getting rid of the muffin top. These workouts along with some cardio should get the muscle tone for your upper body especially the love handles and muffin tops.
- Russian Twists
- Take a Bowl or a weight and twist towards left and right. Do it for 15 times and call it a set. You can do as many as 2-3 sets.
- Side Bends
- It is a very simple workout. You can lift leg and bend side ways. Do it for 15 times and call it a set. You can do as many as 2-3 sets for this workout
- Pelvic Dips
- Lifting your butt with feet and hands on ground is pelvic dip. Do it for 15 times and call it a set. You can do as many as 2-3 reps for this workout.
- Side Plank
- Side plank with a dip would work best for muffin tops. You can also bring your knee closer to the hand and touch the elbow. Do it for 15 times and call it a set. You can do as many as 2-3 reps for this workout
- Normal Plank
- Come in all four position and stretch your legs while being on your elbows. Hold this position for 10 seconds to start with and slowly increase it to a minute for better results.
This 10 minutes routine everyday for 4-5 weeks will bring a lot of change in your upper body. After this routine, just go for a simple arm stretch and leg stretch. Relax yourself and you are good to go.
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As you all know I have been an ardent fan of Jillian Michaels who is a fitness Guru and I love all her workouts. But it has been 5 years that I have been working out with her and needed a change. Recently, there were some YouTube videos from Les Mills Body Combat and they were named as Body Combat Invincible. It was a 28 day workout schedule which I followed. I was pleasantly surprised with their set up. The results were apparent and I was happy that I am doing justice to those 30 or 40 mins of workout that I do everyday pretty much like Jillian’s workouts. Jillian is a no nonsense trainer. She does not believe in “Phoning it in” when you are working out. She says when you are training with me you better mean ” BUSINESS”. I was used to such bullying 😉 by her and then I found a bunch of people who happily workout like any professional athlete. I tried their app for 14 days and here is a review.
Who is Les Mills?
Leslie Roy Mills is a retired New Zealand track and field athlete and politician. He was an Olympian for two decades. In 1968 he opened his first gym called Les Mills International. Three generations on, now there are millions of people who workout with Les Mills every single day. They have a global tribe of 140,000 instructors and 20,000 facilities across the world.
Is it just another workout?
Home workouts have been my favorites in the fitness journey. Out of last 12 years which I spent pursuing fitness, first 5 were spent in Gym. and next five I have worked out at home. Yes!! Simply worked out at my place, at my leisure and time that I feel like working out. How cool is that?
The journey of fitness is something to enjoy and not to feel punished.
Les Mills has classes with certified instructors ( not in Chennai though) and an app which is called as Les Mills On Demand.
Les Mills’ concept of workout is “More Reps, Less Weight” for more impact.
Reps meaning – Repetition. More the repetition, more would be the impact of the workout. But if you do not have weights, they also have body weight training, step workouts, resistance , HIIT, Strength Training, Martial Arts and even Dance. This variety made me feel so comfortable with their 3 months plan.
Here are the names of the workouts available:
- Body Attack – High Intensity Interval Training
- Body Combat – Kickboxing and other martial arts included
- Body Pump – Strength training and conditioning with barbells
- Body Step – HIIT workout with stepper
- RPM – If you have a stationary cycle, RPM is the way to go
- CXWORKS – A lot of floor work along with a resistance tube.
- GRIT – Combination of Strenth, Cardio, Plyo, HIIT workouts
- Sha’bam – Workout with Dance
- Bodyflow – Combination of Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates for stronger core
- Bodybalance- Combination of Yoga, Tai Chi for getting the perfect mind body balance.
They also have some pre-made workout plans to get max out of the workouts. I would be trying Amplify – Burn this week just to assess the intensity. These workouts are divided into beginners, medium intensity and high intensity. If you have no idea about workouts, you can check their Getting Started Videos which come handy to learn the specific moves.
In one single workout of 55 minutes you can burn around 700 calories.
What about results?
Well, if done consistently, you will say bye to that bulging stomach, love handles and get in shape before you even know it. As an ardent fitness lover and seeker, I give Les Mills On Demand 4.5/5.
Let me know if you liked it.
You can try their body combat workouts free on YouTube here
The term Clean Eating is quite misleading. Most of us have grown through the years with something which we felt healthy all this while. It is important to understand what is termed at Healthy years ago may not be healthy for you now as per the age. As we age the definition of health changes. When you are a kid, you would be having food as per your nutrient requirements and according to the growth factors. But as you grow old, things change. They change in such a way that it is utmost important to change the food habits.
What is clean eating?
Clean eating is very subjective, you can go from clean, cleaner and cleanest degrees when you start your clean eating journey. It means not eating any processed food to start with. Slowly, you can refrain from simple carbs and refined sugar. The first step is to not eat anything which is processed or store brought. It includes biscuits and everything which is made in factories such as wafers, chips, chocolates and so on.
How do I go about it?
When you want to lose weight, it is better to take on the changes one by one. It is not good to impose a sudden change onto the body. Try and get one week of challenge of not eating any processed food to start with. Check body’s responses and once it is adjusted to the new change, you can sustain with it.
What are the things to avoid when you are eating clean?
- Refined flour
- Refined Sugar
- Biscuits (Made with refined flour)
- Red meat
Things to embrace for clean eating
- Whole Grains
- Milk and Milk Products ( Unless you are vegan)
Living without any store brought food can be very challenging but with perseverance you can always get along. If you feel it is not worth the effort, check the benefits:
- Weight loss
- With no snacking around, you tend to lose weight. Snacks add on unnecessary calories.
- High Energy Levels
- It is said that refined sugar and other foodstuff create a different hormone response than clean eating. You often have high energy levels after clean eating
- Money Saving
- You save a lot of money, as outdoor orders are minimal. You can keep one cheat meal for a week but then you can save a lot of money spending on restaurant orders.
I find clean eating more liberating as it is easy to lose weight with it. All you need is just some determination. Let us know if you would like to take part in 7 Day Challenge.
Check out our workout posts here.
Lower Body Workouts – Beginners
We have been speaking on the weight loss from quite some time and there are many people who have personally messaged to inquire more. Many of them have started following intermittent fasting for weight loss and other benefits that it provides. It is so heartening to see how our readers are ready to embrace change for health.
It is so important to start somewhere. We live in a world which is full of different products, is driven by food companies. We need to be wise to choose what we want to put in our stomach. It is said that one quarter of your food is for you to live and other three quarters that you put in your stomach is for your doctor to live.
On the same lines today, we are here to discuss how vegetarian food can help with weight loss without compromising on the protein intake.
We live in an era where we are constantly told that eating non-veg would act as a source of protein for our body.
One of the recent documentaries “ The Game Changers” explains it all. But for convenience, here is the gist.
“Protein is a building block of the body which helps us to grow and repair tissues. It also helps our hormones to function properly. It is noteworthy that Protein is made of amino acids. Out of which our body needs 20 nos. Our bodies can make 11 of the amino acids which are called as “Non-essential” or Dispensable amino acids. It is not necessary to eat them. So, the remaining are nine amino acids which our body can not make. These 9 amino acids should be included in our diet.”
How much protein does an average human being need?
It is said that the recommended protein intake is 0.8 gm/kg of body weight. If you weight 50 kg, you should 40 gm of protein everyday.
So, being a vegetarian what can be included in your diet to improve on protein intake and for weight loss?
- Lentils – All types of lentils
- Beans – All types of beans Double Beans/ Kidney Beans/Black beans
- Peanuts – Get those peanuts roasted and munch on them in your snack time
- Almonds – One of the best source of protein, Almonds are known for its numerous benefits
- Milk and Milk products – Butter, Ghee, Yogurt, Buttermilk, Paneer
- Seeds and Nuts – Pumpkin seeds, Watermelon Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Walnuts, Cashew nuts
- Whole grains – More about it in the next post. 😊
This is just a guideline. As Bruce Lee used to say, get your research done before going for any changes in food or workouts. Let us know if you have any doubts.
Tune into workout blog posts here.
Weightloss For Beginners
We at The 5 AM Mommy have been running a theme of Losing Weight. There have been many theories about how we gain weight and what are the ways to reduce the same. But the real thing is every body’s weight loss journey is unique. It starts only when someone wants to come out of their comfort zone, do something for themselves. None of the diet or food habits are “ One Size Fits All”. But there are many guidelines which you can look at before embarking on this journey. We are already in the second month of the year and we still have 10 months to make a difference.
What happens in the process of Losing Weight?
Weight loss is a simple calculation which happens inside the body. The formula is
Calories in – Calories out = Negative Calories
For example, if you are eating 1600 calories a day and expending 2000 calories then you care creating a deficit of 400 calories which is good for weight loss. The answer to Calories in – Calories out should be in negative calories for weight loss.
What is a healthy weight?
Well, here attaching an ideal weight chart as per the height. It also has Body Mass Index which has the following formula
BMI = (Weight/ Height2)
Your Body Mass Index brings you in the category of Healthy/ Overweight/ Obese. This is one specific measure where you can understand what your body requires, whether it needs to lose the weight, or it needs maintenance. Body weight maintenance has the following formula
Calories in – Calories out = 0
If you eat as much as you expend, you will maintain your body weight.
What maintenance and workouts does to the body?
I was a chubby child after 3-4 months of birth as everybody recalls. Born into an orthodox brahmin family, my comfort was food. All ladies in my home were great cooks. As I grew up, I kept dropping some kilos and then putting on when life was easy. I am a fussy eater and do not like to eat many vegetables per se. I was also reluctant to workouts but around 2008 I started training myself seriously into the gym. Since, then as the body changes happened according to age, I have been putting on and then shedding weight at regular intervals. Around 2017 when I was bitten by the bug of developing some muscles, I worked out and ate equally, which incidentally put on 20 kgs. I was regular in my work outs and was eating at the maintenance threshold.
What calorie deficit does to the body?
As the muscles started developing, I was looking all big without losing the fat which was already there. I still could pull off a grueling 60 min HIIT session with ease, that was the plus point, I knew my endurance is great and so is the stamina. But, unless I lower my BMI, my efforts were not showing up. Slowly, I started eating in the calorie deficit window to shed some weight and now, to this date I have lost around 15 kgs of weight. It just takes that one feeling of not enough. One feeling of “this is not done” and you are off to a great trajectory.
What helped losing weight ?
As I always say, there is no substitute for work out and breaking a sweat. 30 mins a day is the mantra, no matter what. Also, though it sounds cliché but ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN, no matter how many crunches you do, if you eat unhealthy, it would show up.
- Increased intensity and lowering the pace of the workouts helped immensely for weight loss
- Switching from simple carbs to complex carbs was a game changer
- Refraining from refined sugar also helped.
- Going gluten free also reduces inflammation and gives boost to weight loss
- Reducing dairy was a major breakthrough too.
Little more information on Complex Carbs in the next post 😊
Check out our Workout Post:
Easy Workouts for Weightloss