5 Signs Your Weight Loss Is Damaging Your Relationship

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Fitness, Information, Relationships | Posted on 20-02-2013-05-2008

0

Losing weight can be a frightening time, particularly when you are in a relationship. Naturally, most of us fall in love because we share common interests, like watching the same things on TV, heading out to a restaurant, playing pool or video games together. But when somebody in the relationship changes their Monday night TV programme for a run instead, chooses to order grilled chicken and vegetables because it’s a far better alternative than a curry, going swimming instead of playing pool or decides that Wii Fit is more fun than Mario Cart? I sense trouble is a comin’.

Weight loss and adjusting to a healthier lifestyle requires a great deal of change? Change that your other half is probably not ready for at the moment. The truth is, it’s easy to see that weight can play a heavy part in your relationship.

If you think your relationship could be under strain due to your weight loss plans, there are several common warning signs to look out for during this time. Usually, most of these actions are part of something larger than the direct problems, so it’s essential to understand them fully to be aware of exactly where your partner’s or even your feelings are coming from. Usually, the “why” of a behaviour stems from deep-seated emotion of which you or your partner may not even be aware. For just that reason, I’ve included an “emotional why” to each warning sign exploring the emotion that might be behind these behaviours. Because we know how important support is to reaching your goals, I’ve also included some action tips on “how to improve the situation” you may be facing. This way, you can find a way to maintain your healthy lifestyle without sacrificing the health of your relationship.

Here’s 5 signs your weight loss is damaging your relationship.

1. Your partner makes negative statements about you changing

You start losing weight and becoming healthy but you still get comments from your partner and their family that you’re “skinny” and need to stop losing weight. Your significant other may make other negative comments about your weight loss or changing body because it signals change. And change is scary for your other half.

Emotional why: Fear is behind this type of behaviour. Your partner is afraid of losing you and life as they know it. While you may be ready to change, your partner may be afraid and reluctant to take the first step, and may be insecure that you will leave them, so they comment negatively about your changing body in the hope that things will go back to the way they once were.

How to improve the situation: Create new rituals together so that your loved one is involved with your new lifestyle. You don’t have to give up Friday date night. Try dinner at a restaurant with healthier options, or when you go to the movies, order a smaller size of popcorn (no butter) and a diet soda. See if they will walk around the block with you (take the kids if you have them) to catch up after dinner. Be sure to include your partner in as many ways as you can, and reassure them that you love them for who they are. If the behaviour becomes overwhelmingly negative, do not be afraid to talk to your partner about how those comments make you feel. After all, a relationship is a two-way street and open communication helps prevent a head-on collision.

2. Your partner makes you feel guilty

Does your partner make you feel guilty about the success you’ve had with weight loss? Do they complain that you’re not around as much or give you the guilt trip when you skip cuddle time or dessert to hit the gym? Whether your partner makes you feel guilty on purpose, or you just feel guilty for taking time for yourself, it’s not a good feeling to have, and it can be detrimental to a relationship if it goes on too long.

Emotional why: Nostalgia. Your partner loves you and wants to spend time with you. They may miss what used to be rituals in your household and relationship. These comments may also reflect some of the fear of change mentioned above.

How to improve the situation: Compromise. Don’t be afraid to compromise when you can! However, remember that you deserve to be healthy and happy. If your loved one is putting a guilt trip on you, encourage them to join you. Couples workouts allow you to spend time together and exercise at the same time. And if it’s just you feeling bad, then remind yourself that being fit is what you worked for and you deserve to feel good about your accomplishments.

3. Your partner tries to sabotage you

Sabotaging behaviour can run the gamut, from your partner picking up your “favourite” fast-food burger on the way home (even though she knows you’re trying to cut back) to begging you to sleep in when you have a date with that Spinning bike at 6 a.m. One very common example is having a partner who brings junk food into the house and then eats it in front of you, especially if the junk food is your favourite and one you have trouble avoiding.

Emotional why: Jealousy and fear. Although it may not seem like it, your partner may actually be very jealous of your progress and is sabotaging your efforts to keep you exactly as you are. He or she may be afraid that if you lose weight, you’ll get more attention from the opposite sex and possibly leave the relationship for someone else.

How to improve the situation: Reaffirm your partner that you’re still the same loving person you were before.

4. Your partner starts gaining weight as you’re losing weight

If you’ve noticed that your partner has gained a few pounds during the time you’ve lost weight, this could be cause for concern. Your partner may be upset with your weight-loss success and may be rebelling against you by eating more, higher-calorie food. If this is the case, tread lightly. This will probably be a very touchy subject for your partner. They may also be eating emotionally for comfort as a way to deal with the deep-rooted emotions (fear, anger, jealousy) about your positive changes.

Emotional why: Resistance and guilt. Your partner is probably feeling resistant to change and guilty about his or her own body and unhealthy habits. They may even be worried that as you get healthier, you won’t love him or her as much anymore. Especially if your partner has been self-destructing and views all of your positive changes are threatening to them.

How to improve the situation: If you’re in this type of situation, talk to your partner openly and regularly. Your partner may be very, very sensitive about this issue, so you may not want to bring the weight gain up directly, but rather ask how they are feeling during this time of change. Reassure your partner that you’re still the same person and still love them. And invite them to join in some of your small changes.

5. You look down at your partner

If you’re a few pounds into your weight-loss journey and overhauled your lifelong habits, yet can’t understand why your partner hasn’t done the same, then honestly ask yourself: Do you look down on your partner? Do you feel like the changes you’ve made are going to create lasting friction between the two of you? Whether you indicate these feelings to your partner (directly or indirectly) or keep them to yourself, they can probably sense how you’re feeling. Everyone wants their partner to be proud to be with them. When you stop being proud of your other half, it can really hurt your relationship.

Emotional why: Pride and fear. Right now, you may be very proud of yourself for your changes—and you should be! But it’s important to respect everyone’s journey and realize that you can’t force someone else to change. You may also find yourself being harsher on your loved one because they may remind you of where you started (a place where you don’t want to return).

How to improve the situation: You may not agree with all of the choices your partner makes, but try to be as understanding as possible. Remember how hard it was for you to change in the beginning! Remember how you had to decide to do it for yourself, not for someone else? Revisit that time in your past and treat your partner how you would have liked to be treated then. Recognize the reasons for your emotions. You don’t have to encourage unhealthy habits, but try to be as understanding and encouraging as possible.

If you’re faced with many of the issues above, don’t despair. A relationship may get rocky from your new dedication to a healthy lifestyle, especially in the beginning of your weight loss journey, but many couples say that getting in shape and eating right actually helps their relationship in the end.

At the end of the day, your partner should be one of the biggest and most supportive allies you have in getting healthy. Even so, you can’t expect others to change overnight. Becoming healthy and losing weight is an incredibly personal journey, and it has to start with the person wanting to change and not by telling someone what to do. So be as nice and supportive to your partner as you’d like them to be to you. Follow the tips above and recognize what’s really behind you and your partner’s actions to continue on your weight loss journey and keep your relationship strong. After all, leading by example is one of the most powerful ways to influence others in a positive way!

Dedicated to your success,

–Nigel

###

Okay folks – Tell us your stories!  Have you had relationship problems during your weight loss journey? What did you do about it—let’s get 20 COMMENTS, and we’ll be back soon with another awesome post.

24 Exercises To Build An Upper Body Like A Cover Model

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Fitness | Posted on 13-02-2013-05-2008

0

Whether your goal is a wide V-shape or a cover model chest, these moves are the simplest and most efficient for building the upper body you really want.

1. Overhand Pull-Up

You don’t need complex moves to get big results.  The pull-up is the daddy for building you upper body.  It works your lats, abs, delts, traps and forearms.  It also stimulates growth hormone to maximise your gains.  Perform using a wide, overhand grip.

2. Single-Arm Kettlebell Snatch

Performing a compound move at speed with high resistance will hit large numbers of muscle fibres, so burn calories while building bulk.  The Single-Arm Kettlebell Snatch is the perfect example of this.  The benefit of the single-arm version comes from the asymmetric demands it puts on your body, requiring all your core stabilising muscles to fire.  Bring the kettlebell to your shoulder, flip it back and press it up.  Perform as quickly as possible while maintaining good form.

3. Lean-Away Lateral Raise

The body position that’s created by leaning away in this exercise allows for a greater range of motion through the shoulder.  This results in enhanced development of the deltoid muscle.  Simply hold onto a machine or door frame lean out as far as possible, lifting your inside leg of the ground, and raise a dumbbell with your free hand.  The motion should be smooth, controlled and slow.  Pause at the top, lower and repeat.  Just don’t let go.

4. Cable Lateral Raise

This Schwarzenegger-approved move works your shoulders and lats simultaneously, encouraging a faster rate of muscle growth.  Hold a cable set at its lowest position and smoothly draw it up and across your body.  Keep tension in your abs to control the motion.  Now return slowly, maintaining tension on the cable.

5. Dumbbell Prone Row

This is the move that most fully engages your traps, shoulders and all the muscles that attached to your shoulder blades.  By lying face down on a bench, your torso remains still, this removes your ability to cheat as you tire.  Hold the dumbbells vertically and row them up to your chest. Return and repeat.

6. Bent-Over Dumbbell Row

Bend at the hips and row the dumbbells to your lower torso.  The instability of using dumbbells forces you to use more of your abs and lower back muscles to control the motion.

7. Bent-Over Barbell Row

The Bent-Over Row is second only to the pull-Up for back building.  It will give you thick lats and improve your grip, biceps and lower back strength.  A barbell allows you to lift maximum weight.

8. Canoe Row

With straight arms, pull the bar down and to one side as if padding in a canoe. It’s similar to the Straight-Arm Pull Down (Number 9 below), but it uses more fast-twitching fibres, for explosive strength.

9. Straight-Arm Pull Down

The pull-down is an essential move if you’re working towards that coveted V-shape.  Isolating the lats, it works a huge number of fibres in the teres major – which makes up the bulk of your back.  Pull down the cable fast, and return slowly.

10. Push Press

This gym staple recruits maximum muscle fibres for fast gains.  Hold the bar across your chest, bend your knees then explosively straighten and press the bar.  Return and repeat.

11. Dumbbell Ahrens Press

By pressing up and out you create more tension on the deltoid’s lateral head (running across the front of your shoulder).  This leads to faster muscle growth and works more fibres than a conventional shoulder press.

12. Dumbbell Cuban Press

This hits the delts and works the rotator cuffs in your shoulder to build support muscles, joint stability, size and strength.  Row the dumbbells to your chest, then rotate at the shoulders to bring them beside your head.  Now press.

13. Seated Barbell Military Press

Taking your legs out of the equation lets you concentrate fully on your back and shoulders.  Plus, parking your backside on a bench enables a more explosive movement of the barbell when you press upwards.

14. Barbell Squat And Press

Similar to the Push Press (Number 10 above), squatting allows for extra force and speed, increasing the response from your nervous system and boosting muscle growth.  Dip into a squat, then explode upwards and straight into a press.

15. Bench Press

Mastering the basic bench Press technique is your key to unlocking the most effective chest moves.  Lie with your back on a bench and with a shoulder-width grip lift the bar until your arms lock out.  Now lower and explode it back up to fire your fast-twitch fibres.

16. Incline Barbell Bench Press

This is a common variation of the Bench Press (Number 15 above). You’ll target the often neglected upper portion of your pecs and your upper deltoids are put under stress, too.  Set the bench to an incline and press the barbell vertically, then lower and repeat.

17. Barbell Bench Press With Chains

By simply adding chains or resistance bands, you can multiply your body’s neural activity which stimulates your muscles to develop faster.  The load is lighter at the bottom position and heavier at the top so accelerate as you push up.

18. Dumbbell Bench Press

Using a dumbbell instead of a barbell offers the opportunity to hit different parts of your pecs, essential if you want to develop balanced muscle definition.  Hold the dumbbells beside your chest, then fire them upwards. Lower and repeat.

19. Standard Press-Up

This simple, gym free exercise is ruthlessly effective – it not only works your arms and shoulders, but also your core.  This is one move that gives back exactly what you put in, so press hard and fast and your chest will reward you in kind.

20. Weighted Press-Up

By adding weight on your back you speed up muscle hypertrophy (increase in the size of muscle cells).  Ask a partner to add the plate once you’re in position.  If you’re training on your own, increase the difficulty by exploding upwards and clapping, instead.

21. Elevated-Feet Declined Press-Up

Put your feet up a sofa or box to increase the proportion of your own bodyweight that you have to lift – this will work your muscles harder.  As the angle increases, so does the load, while the focus will also switch to your upper chest and shoulders.

22. Judo Press-Up

This variation works your back and lower pecs.  Raise your hips so your body almost forms an upside-down V.  Lower your front until your chin nears the floor.  Then lower your hips as you raise your head and shoulders towards the ceiling.  Reverse the move.

23. Dumbbell Pec Fly

The Dumbbell Fly uses different muscle contractions to pressing movements.  The effect is to isolate the pecs, which is great if you want to achieve strong central definition.  Ensure you fly as wide as possible, with the weights in line with your ears, to create optimum contraction.  Just watch your balance.

24. Kettlebell Squeeze Press

Lie on a bench with a kettlebell resting on your chest, palms facing each other.  Squeeze the weight as hard as possible and press the kettlebell up.  Now lower it slowly.  This press will create a powerful isometric contraction (ie. when the muscles tense without shortening), which stimulates growth hormone and that means BIG muscle gains.

Dedicated to your success,

–Nigel

###

Have you tried any of these moves? Tell us which ones have given you the best results—let’s get 15 COMMENTS, and we’ll be back soon with another awesome post.

27 Foods That Fight Fat

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Diet, Information, Nutrition | Posted on 06-02-2013-05-2008

0

Are you always struggling to lose fat and never know what foods to eat?

Fuel your gym session and fire your metabolism with the right food.  These 27 foods fight fat and should be on your shopping list.

1. Oats

Soluble fibre makes this the perfect slow-digesting, full-for-longer breakfast on gym days.

2. Mackerel

It’s very high in taurine, which research has shown helps inhibit fat growth.

3. Cinnamon

Research has shown that the spice lowers your blood-sugar levels.

4. Pork Fillet

It’s as lean as chicken but with more flavour, helping you stick to your goals.

5. Basmati Rice

It’s not all about brown.  Of all the rice varieties, basmati has the highest levels of amylose, fat-fighting starch

6. Green Apples

The soluble and insoluble fibre slows the movement of food through the gut, so you’re full for longer.

7. Skirt Beef

Quality protein slows digestion, preventing fast blood-sugar rises that can cause fat gain.

8. Lentils

These fibre-rich pulses are digested slowly, reducing your appetite.

9. Beef Jerky

It’s high in protein, plus research shows that chewing often helps you lose weight faster.

10. Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms in particular are full of B3 (niacin), an essential factor in the breakdown of fats for energy use.

11. Espresso

While its caffeine can raise your metabolism, recent research shows its most potent effect is to increase performance in training.

12. Tinned Tuna

One of the leanest fish in the ocean, opt for tuna in spring water, not brine.

13. Quinoa

A good source of fibre and complete protein, this grain-like seed is also high in manganese, which is vital for blood-sugar control.

14. Sweet Potatoes

It has a lower GI than the white option, to keep hunger at bay, and is packed with health-boosting carotenoids.

15. Rocket Leaves

Load up your plate to increase fullness for minimum calories.

16. Veal Steak

Veal is one of the best sources of leucine, to protect lean muscle when calorie-cutting.

17. White Vinegar

Research found that vinegar inhibits the breakdown of starch, to slow blood-sugar rises and lower fat storage.

18. Oysters

This fish market staple is rich in zinc, which helps to regulate the appetite hormone leptin.

19. Black Tea

Black tea leaves contain theaflavin, a potent fat-burning phytochemical that steadies your energy levels, ideal after a heavy meal.

20. Salmon Fillet

It’s full of Omega-3 fats, which increase the rate of bad fat-use in your body.

21. Peas

Research found that proteins in peas control CCK, a hormone that reduces your appetite.

22. Red Onions

Chromium, found in onions, is used by your body to remove sugar from the blood, so less is converted into lard.

23. Boiled Eggs

Not only are eggs high in protein and nutrients, but studies show they decrease calorie intake during the day when eaten for breakfast.

24. Parmesan

Research found that people on high-calcium diets excrete 2.5 times more fat, so less ends up on your love handles.

25. Rye Flatbread

Flatbreads are the best low-sugar bread choice.  Rye is loaded with more gut-shrinking fibre than wheat breads.

26. Chicken Liver

It has the highest concentration of B5 found in any food.  This vitamin is a catalyst for fat-usage in the body.

27. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt increases healthy bacteria in the gut – good for reducing your fat mass.

Dedicated to your success,

–Nigel

###

Have we missed any of your favourites? Tell us what they are and how they’ve help you fight fat—let’s get 10 COMMENTS, and we’ll be back soon with another cool post.