2 BR Apt in Newark

Contact info:
Robert George | RTG Property Solutions | 609-474-0360

2 BR Apt in Newark

Hanford St, Newark, NJ 07114


Bedrooms: 2 Beds
Bathrooms: 1 Bath
Parking: None
Lease Duration: 1 Year
Deposit: $1,350
Pets Policy: No Pets Allowed
Property Type: Apartment


2 BR Apt in Newark. Hardwood Floors. Updated kitchen. Close to parks, and transportation.

Contact info:
Robert George
RTG Property Solutions

Awesome 1 BR Apt in Roselle

Contact info:
Robert George | RTG Property Solutions | 609-474-0360

Awesome 1 BR Apt in Roselle

E 2nd Ave, Roselle, NJ 07203


Bedrooms: 1 Bed
Bathrooms: 1 Bath
Lease Duration: 1 Year
Deposit: $1,463
Pets Policy: No Pets Allowed
Property Type: Apartment


1BR Apt in Roselle. Hardwood floors, close to transportation and shopping. Elevator in building.

Contact info:
Robert George
RTG Property Solutions

5 Secrets to Winter Health and Energy

Stay Healthy and Happy to Weather the Season

  — By Ellen G. Goldman, Health and Wellness Coach
My monthly weight loss support group sat around looking rather dismal at the first meeting following an unexpected autumn snowstorm.  Winter was arriving sooner than anticipated, and my group voiced worrying thoughts about how they’d stay happy, healthy and energized—and continue losing weight—through the colder months.

Unless you live in an area that has a warm climate all year long, there is a good chance that you also face some health concerns and challenges during the winter months. The abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables during the warmer months make eating healthy easy and delicious. In the heat of the summer, we just don’t want to eat hot, heavy foods or turn on the oven to bake cookies or cakes.  When winter rolls around, comfort foods, many of which are high in calories and fat, tend to come calling for us. Not to mention the myriad of food-centric holidays and festivities that take place from Halloween through Valentine’s Day! Couple that with the thicker, baggier and body-hiding clothing in winter and it’s no wonder that our motivation to exercise and eat healthy is higher during the warmer months of the year.

Warmth and sunshine are certainly more inviting for outdoor exercise than darkness, cold, snow and ice.  Cold temperatures and shorter days with less light drain your energy, leaving you feeling lethargic and even mildly depressed.  Individuals who notice these changes year after year when winter creeps in may even be diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  Once looked upon skeptically by the medical community, it is now a recognized disorder. Dr. Richard Friedman, a professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, estimates that 9.7% of the population in New Hampshire suffer from SAD (compare that to his estimate of just 1.4% of the population in sunny Florida).

Taking all of these factors into consideration, it’s no wonder my clients were concerned.  I did my best to reassure them, as I want to do for you.  Regardless of whether you actually have SAD, or just notice yourself feeling sluggish during the winter season, there are many things you can do to alleviate or prevent the winter blues and stay healthy and happy despite the weather outside.<pagebreak>

Here are five secrets to achieve winter health and energy all season long.

  1. Do everything in your power to avoid getting sick.  There is nothing that will sap your energy more than being ill. Colds and flu seem to spike during the winter months. Caused by viruses, they are spread mostly by placing our virus-contaminated hands to our faces.  So the number one line of defense is to wash your hands, including under the nails and in between fingers, for at least 20 seconds with warm, soapy water—and to do so frequently.  Carry hand sanitizer gels in your car, briefcase and pocketbook for times when you can’t wash your hands.

    Boost your immune system to keep your defenses high by getting plenty of sleep and drinking lots of water, which will help keep nasal passages hydrated. Eat nourishing, vitamin packed foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, yogurt, and lean protein.  Keep up your exercise program and discuss with your doctor whether or not getting a flu shot makes sense for you.  Research has shown that individuals who practice these healthy habits get sick less often.

  2.  Maintain and shake up your exercise routine.  Exercise has been shown to prevent depression and lift the moods of those feeling down.  It also helps keep your immune system working efficiently.  Maintaining your exercise routine will offset some of the extra calories from seasonal treats and celebrations as well.

    The best way to bust through a plateau and continue to increase your fitness capacity throughout the winter is to change your exercise routine.  Winter is the perfect opportunity to try a different type of machine or exercise class at the gym.  Borrow DVD’s from the library or Netflix, and try a home workout in your cozy living room.  If you are really adventurous, embrace the winter and try a cold-weather sport such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or ice-skating.  Unless the conditions are icy, excessively windy or cold, there will be many days when you will be able to enjoy outdoor exercise all winter long. Invest in some gloves, a fleece headband, tights and turtlenecks made by the many all-weather sports clothing manufacturers.  You just might find a reason to look forward to winter after all.

  3.  Enjoy a variety of winter foods.  Although summer offers a bounty of fresh fruit and veggies at affordable prices (think melons, berries and tomatoes), many produce items ripen in winter.  From hearty root vegetables to bright, sweet citrus fruits, winter produce offers a surprising range of flavors.  Winter squashes such as acorn, butternut and spaghetti, are low in calories, high in health-promoting vitamins, and easy to cook.  Apples and many citrus fruits such as clementines and grapefruits are often at their sweetest when temperatures are cool.  Experiment with vegetables that you may not have tried cooking before, such as beets, broccoli rabe or Brussels sprouts.

    Since the cold weather probably has you staying home more, take time to prepare homemade soups or stews.  Make some baked apples for a wonderfully nutritious low-calorie dessert or snack that also fills your home with a warm and delightful aroma.  If you don’t already own one, consider investing in a slow cooker.  Throw together a few choice ingredients and you’ll be thrilled to come home to a fully-prepared dinner.  Lighten up old favorite comfort food recipes, or find new ones at www.sparkrecipes.com.

  4. Think light and bright. Research from the National Institute of Mental Health has found that exposure to bright light in the early morning can be a powerful, fast and effective treatment for seasonal depression.  There’s no reason to think it wouldn’t help those of us who experience the winter blahs!  As soon as you wake, turn on bright lights in your home, open the curtains and lift the shades. When participating in outdoor exercise, if possible, do so in the early morning hours—or at least during the day before the sun goes down.  If you are lucky enough to own a fireplace, use it often.  The warmth from the fire and the flickering light is calming and relaxing.  Even if you don’t have access to a fireplace, try scented candles and see how it warms up your home and improves your mood.

    If you find yourself still feeling unusually blue and lethargic despite your efforts to get enough light, talk to your doctor about your feelings and discuss a trial with light therapy.  There is absolutely no reason to feel sad until springtime.

  5. Find your inner child and invite him/her out to play.  When we were kids, there was nothing that made us happier than a snowstorm.  School would be cancelled, giving us an excuse to sleep in, watch TV for hours, go sledding or build a snowman.  My siblings and I would play scrabble, monopoly, and work on jigsaw puzzles—when we weren’t outside in the snow.

    As adults, a snowstorm can mean lost income, kids or pets tracking snow into our houses, walkways to shovel and, generally, a major hassle.  But what if we gave ourselves permission to act like a child again?  Instead of fretting over all the problems the winter has caused, why not find the opportunities we may overlook at other times of the year?  How about we slow down our crazy life of always needing to be doing something “productive” and engage in some fun and meaningful activities?  Put on your boots and gloves, and head out into the snow to build a snowman, have a snowball fight, or make snow angels.  Find the board games and puzzles, and enjoy some interactive play.  Or, just curl up under your favorite blanket and read a great book as the snowflakes fall outside your window, blanketing the world in a beautiful winter white.  The cold can be a great excuse to stay home and relax, find some much needed down time, and enjoy things we don’t normally take the time to do—if you choose to view it that way.

With a shift in your mindset, winter does not have to be a time of lethargy, illness or unhappiness.  Let it be the season to partake in seasonal pleasures that you get to enjoy, rather than a season that you have to endure.

Orignal Post on SparkPeople.com


Interested or Committed? Discover the Difference

6 Tips for Achieving Your Healthy Living Goals

  — By Ellen G. Goldman
No matter your motivation—New Year’s resolutions, an upcoming high school reunion, a milestone birthday—everyone has experienced that looming feeling of urgency when they feel that a life change needs to happen and it needs to happen now.

Whether the goal is losing weight, getting in shape, getting more sleep, organizing the house or any other improvement, people suddenly feel an urgency to make big changes. As you begin spending more and more time thinking about it, you start taking some preliminary first steps: You bypass the dessert in the restaurant that night, check out the local fitness center, maybe even clean out a drawer.

But sadly, for most people, that’s where it ends. A few months or even just a few weeks down the road, the progress towards that goal halts. The scale might have dropped a few pounds, but then went back up. You visited the gym a couple of times, but then life got so busy! That drawer you cleaned out? It’s a mess again.

If you’ve attempted making changes and setting goals before, sadly, statistics show that you are not alone in this path. Despite the fact that approximately 40 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, according to research at the University of Scranton, a mere 8 percent achieve their goals. Of the 20 percent of the population that set goals in general, at any time of the year, roughly 70 percent fail to achieve the goals they have set for themselves.

What is different about those 8 percent who get to enjoy success? What do they know, or do differently, that escapes the rest?

Productivity experts say it’s all about making the right kind of goals and having a plan. Your goals need to be SMART: specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic but challenging, and be attached to a time frame. Furthermore, according to a study done by Gail Matthews at Dominican University, participants who wrote down their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not write down their goals.

However, despite writing down your goals, making them SMART and creating a plan, many still see their goals and resolutions falling through the cracks. It’s frustrating and confusing, and leaves you feeling bad about yourself. So, what gives?

After more than a decade, working with hundreds of individuals around setting goals, I found that there is often a foundational piece missing, a piece that comes into play before beginning to create SMART goals, before mapping out a plan and before implementation. That piece is your mindset.

Too often, although genuinely interested in making a positive change, people are not truly committed to their goals, which makes a huge difference. It’s the difference between success and failure.

When something piques our interest, most people tend to think about it a lot, moving it to the forefront of our minds. They set good intentions, and may even follow through for a while, but when it becomes inconvenient, difficult or downright frustrating, many people lose interest and give up.

Commitment is a whole different ball game. Consider the definition of the word commitment: The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause or activity; a pledge or undertaking; an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action.

When you commit to one thing, you are saying no to something else. If you commit to an exercise program, you say no to sitting on the couch all afternoon rather than heading to the gym. If you commit to weight loss, you restrict the freedom to eat anything you want.

Commitment, then, goes beyond just being interested. You feel a responsibility, an obligation to yourself to get the job done. No more excuses. Once and for all, you are going to succeed at this goal, despite difficulties, discomfort and inconveniences. Which means that despite having a stressful day at work, you still go to the gym afterwards as planned. Even though it’s your favorite cousin’s birthday, you skip the cake.

Even when you have a lapse in your positive actions (which you will; everyone does), you trip, stand up, wipe off your knees and begin again. Even when life gets busy and complicated, you recalculate and create a new plan.

If you sense that you are interested, rather than committed to the goals you’ve created, should you throw in the towel? Absolutely not. Follow the steps outlined below, and you can strengthen your resolve and reach your vision once and for all.

1. Develop the right attitude. Listen to your inner voice. Is it one of excitement, enthusiasm and even feelings of being a bit scared? If yes, you are on the right track. Those are the emotions of positive movement. But if your inner critic says you probably won’t follow through, that it is going to be too hard, and not much fun, there is a good chance you’ll quit before reaching the finish line. Remember: That voice is yours, and you get to change it. Talk back and encourage yourself the same way you would if you were talking to your best friend.

2. Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. You might be wondering what the heck this has to do with commitment to goals. Brain research consistently proves that when we are tired, our cognitive thinking brain shuts down, and our emotional brain takes over. We do not make good decisions when we are tired. Before taking on any meaningful goals or resolutions, check in on how much sleep you get and how well rested you feel each day. If you are struggling, work on improving your sleep habits before you focus on changing any other behavior.

3. Increase your confidence. Confidence and commitment go hand and hand. When one falters, so does the other. Reflect back on past challenges that you accomplished, and ask yourself what personal strengths you brought to the table back then. How can you use those strengths to help you now?

4. Hang out with others who share your commitment. We are influenced by the behavior of those around us. If most of your friends aren’t too interested in healthy eating or working out, it may be time to limit time spent with them and find a new group to hang with. Join a support or mastermind group of like-minded individuals or participate in online forums with others who are working on similar goals.

5. Have a visual reminder and a mantra that you can refer to several times each and every day. Whether it’s a picture on your wall that reminds you of your goal, a screen shot on your computer or an alert that goes off on your phone several times a day, you want to keep that vision in the forefront of your mind at all times.

6. Continuously check in on your deepest motivations and reasons why. If you do not feel passionately about what you want to achieve, you’ll struggle to get there. Ask yourself daily, “How important is it to me to achieve my desired goal? What’s at stake if I fail?” Those answers should be strong enough to propel you into action every day.

James Womack, founder and senior advisor of Lean Enterprise Systems and author of several books, including Lean Thinking, says, “Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision and gives us the ‘right stuff’ to turn our dreams into reality.” Big goals and dreams require dedication, determination, discipline and patience. Built on a foundation of commitment, there will be no stopping you!

Original Post on SparkPeople.com


10 Habits of Unsuccessful Dieters

Bad Habits That Are Preventing You from Losing Weight

  — By Nicole Nichols, Certified Personal Trainer
What could be more frustrating than not seeing the scale drop despite days or weeks of doing everything right? After all that hard work—all the cookies you didn’t eat, all the willpower you maintained, all the time you logged at the gym—how could you not have lost any weight? It’s enough to make even the most determined person throw in the towel.

Before you swear off exercise and declare yourself as someone who “will never lose weight,” stop, take a deep breath, and remember this:  Weight-loss may seem simple (eat fewer calories than you burn), but often, there’s a lot more going on than a simple calorie equation. Our bodies aren’t calculators after all!

What’s more likely is that you’ve made some innocent mistakes in your quest to lose weight. Don’t feel bad about it—it’s extremely common. These bad habits may be preventing you from getting the results you want. Instead of giving up, make some of the smart changes outlined below, and you’ll see that scale drop in no time!

10 Habits of Unsuccessful Dieters

Bad Habit #1: Going “on a diet” in the first place.
Since when did the word “diet” refer to something good? The word itself implies restriction, limitation, and a short-lived effort to get some quick results and then return to a “normal” way of eating. SparkPeople’s surveys have shown that people who consider themselves to be “dieting” lose less weight and encounter more problems (such as plateaus and a lack of motivation) than people who are trying to lose weight by creating a lasting healthy lifestyle. Plus diets usually mean giving things up: favorite foods, dining out, desserts—even your social life. You don’t have to be a psychology expert to know that when you tell yourself you can’t have something, you usually want it more. This way of thinking could directly be sabotaging your efforts.

Smart Fix: Ditch the diets for good and focus on creating a healthy lifestyle based on nutritious foods and small, realistic changes that you can live with for the long term.

Bad Habit #2: Overhauling your eating habits overnight.
How many times have you gone crazy eating all the “bad” foods you know you shouldn’t, only to promise to swear them off starting next week or next month or next year? How often have you decided to suddenly clean out your kitchen, throw away all the “junk” and then shop for only healthy food?

How’s that working for you? No one can expect to change a lifetime of eating habits overnight—and no one should have to! To lose weight successfully and keep it off, you have to adopt a way of eating that you can stick with for the rest of your life.

Smart Fix: Eating healthy isn’t about taking food away; it’s about eating MORE of the things that are good for you. To be successful, you have to implement small and realistic changes to your diet. Next week, swap that 2% milk for 1%, and switch out your usual bread for a healthy whole-grain variety. Once you get used to that, you can set a small goal like eating one serving of fresh fruits or vegetables each day. The point is to start small with changes that fit into your lifestyle. Here are more tips on how to start eating a healthier diet.

Bad Habit #3: Giving up certain foods altogether.
We’ve already touched on the idea that labeling certain foods as diet no-no’s can make you crave them even more. Whether you feel out of control when you’re around certain foods or you’ve read about a certain diet plan that promises results if you were to just cut out wheat, gluten, carbs, sugar, or dairy, a lot of people think that to lose weight they have to give up specific things—including foods that they love.

A truly healthy diet that you can stick with forever will include all the foods you love. Unless you plan to give up ice cream or bread forever, then don’t cut anything out temporarily. Generally, people can give up foods like that for a while and see some weight loss success (usually because they’re eating fewer calories, not because anything about that specific food causes weight problems). But as soon as that food is let back into your life, the weight tends to come back with it.

Smart Fix: All things in moderation. Instead of focusing on the foods you can’t have, set goals to eat more of the foods that you know are good for you. This is a much more positive way to think about your goals and get results. Plus, allowing yourself portion-controlled servings of the food you’re thinking about banning will keep you happy and content, but also prevent crazed binges that can occur when you’re feeling weak. <pagebreak>

Bad Habit #4 Only caring about calories.
Calories are key to weight loss. In fact, balancing your calorie equation (what you eat and what you burn) is what results in successful weight management. However, there is more to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle than calories alone. Some foods that may be higher in calories per serving are actually healthier for you than foods that may be lower in calories (think a heart-healthy avocado vs. a processed 100-calorie pack of pretzels). So while calories count, nutrition matters, too.

Smart Fix: While tracking your calories, don’t forget to look at other key nutrients like protein and healthy fats (both of which can keep you full) and key vitamins and minerals that are important for your overall health. Luckily, SparkPeople’s Nutrition Tracker allows you to track all of these nutrients. Ideally, you want to use a little trial and error to balance not only your calorie equation, but make the kinds of choices that meet your protein, fat, carbohydrate and micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) goals.

Bad Habit #5: Focusing on the scale.
You want to lose weight, so you weigh yourself, right? Yes…and no. Weight is an easy way to measure your progress, but it doesn’t tell you the whole story. Even if the scale isn’t budging, that does not mean that you’re not making major progress toward losing weight and getting healthier. You can lose inches, get fitter, gain lean muscle mass, drop body fat, become better hydrated, look better and feel more energized without the pounds budging at all.

Smart Fix: Remember that the scale tells you only one thing: the total mass of all your body parts at a given moment. Don’t put too much stock into it. Weigh yourself less frequently (about once every 1-2 weeks), and track all the other signs that amazing changes are happening in your body even if the scale doesn’t move. This is the best way to stay motivated for the long haul.

Bad Habit #6: Only dieting and not exercising.
This may be one of the most common reasons your weight loss is stalling. Yes, you can lose weight through diet alone, but it will be a lot harder. You can only cut so many calories without feeling overly hungry, lethargic or miserable. Yet by exercising along with making dietary changes, you can eat more (and feel more satisfied) and still lose weight. Plus, you’ll get all the amazing physical and mental benefits that come from exercising, including improved appearance, better muscle tone and a healthier body overall.

Smart Fix: Add exercise to your weight-loss plan. It doesn’t have to be boring, strenuous, or time-consuming either. Even 10 minutes a day can make a huge difference in your results. For tons of fun, easy and effective workout ideas, check out our Fitness Resources. You’re sure to find something that you enjoy!

Bad Habit #7: Trying to eat as little as possible.
If cutting calories is good for weight loss, then eating as little as possible is better, right? Wrong (especially if you’re also trying to fuel your body for regular workouts). You need to eat a certain calorie level to function optimally and get all its essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. Eating much less than that can cause serious problems in the long term and damage your metabolism, making weight loss even harder.

Smart Fix: Don’t just guess how many calories you need, and don’t eat what someone else eats either. Your SparkPeople free Nutrition Tracker has a recommended calorie range that is personalized for you and your goals. Eating within that range (even at the very top of it) will help you reach your weight loss goal. There is no reason to go below it. Remember: You have to eat to lose! <pagebreak>

Bad Habit #8: Giving up too easily.  
No person who ever lost weight successfully reached that goal because they were perfect all the time. Setbacks happen to everyone, even the most successful people. We’ve all had days where we made a poor food decision during a meal—or even for an entire day. We’ve all missed workouts, forgot the lunch we packed, or been too busy to cook a diet-friendly meal at home. But those who continue dropping the pounds pick themselves up, forgive themselves from their mistakes, learn from their slipups, and just keep right on going.

Smart Fix: Remember that perfection has no place in a weight loss plan. When you do make a mistake or feel like you’re not making enough progress, don’t give up. Change requires time and old habits die hard. When you feel yourself ready to give up, reach out for some support, and don’t wait until next week or next month to get back on the wagon. Here are 25 ways to get back on track today.

Bad Habit #9: Confusing “healthy” with “low-calorie.”
Research shows that when shoppers see “healthy” buzz words or claims on food packages (think: gluten-free, organic, all-natural, sugar-free, low-fat, etc.), they automatically assume the food is low in calories. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Food manufacturers will plaster all sorts of enticing lingo onto their packages, knowing that you’ll think exactly that. But none of these words really tell you much about the healthfulness of a product; and none of them actually have any affect on a food’s calories.

Smart Fix: Read front-of-package labels with a discerning eye, and always turn over the package and look at the nutrition facts (and ingredients) to get a full picture of what a food is really like. This goes for restaurant menus, too. Don’t let healthy-sounding words make you think a food is actually low in calories. Know your menu watch words or look up nutrition facts before you place your order.

Bad Habit #10: Unrealistic expectations.
These days with news stories, weight-loss advertisements and reality shows alike touting fast and extreme weight loss as the norm, it can be easy to think that you are capable of those kinds of results, too. But in truth, these are extreme and abnormal results that most people cannot expect to replicate. If you’re expecting to drop a lot of weight fast—and to do so consistently—these unrealistic expectations could be setting you up for failure. There’s nothing worse than expecting to lose 10 pounds in your first week, but to only lose one.

Smart Fix: Change your expectations and your mindset. If you expect to lose 10 pounds in one week, then losing 1 pound is a major letdown. But if you expect to lose 1 pound and you did, you feel successful and inspired to keep working toward your goals. Losing 1-2 pounds per week—even half a pound—is major progress that should be commended. This is a healthy and realistic rate of weight loss that you can expect if you’re sticking to your nutrition and fitness goals.


Beginner’s Guide to Running for Weight Loss

Running is a great way to lose weight. Countless women and men have shed excess pounds and kept them off with the aid of this simple form of exercise. Success is not guaranteed, however. A sensible diet plan is an essential complement to running for weight loss.

Understanding the most effective ways to run for weight loss before you start will help you avoid common mistakes—and get you the results you want.

There is a widely held belief that exercise—including running—is not an effective tool for weight loss. This belief comes from studies showing that overweight women and men fail to lose much weight when given a structured exercise program to follow. In a recent review, scientists involved in this line of research concluded: “Unless the overall volume of aerobic exercise training is very high, clinically significant weight loss is unlikely to occur.”

That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for running to lose weight! However, in the real world, the vast majority of people who lose significant amounts of weight and keep it off are exercisers. The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) researched a population whose members have all lost at least 30 pounds and kept the weight off at least one year. Ninety percent of these individuals report exercising regularly, and the average member burns more than 2,600 calories a week in workouts.

If exercise is so ineffective for weight loss, as the scientists say, then why do almost all of those who are most successful at weight loss exercise? The answer appears to be that while exercise is not as effective as dietary changes in stimulating initial weight loss, it is wonderfully effective in preventing weight regain.

As you probably know, most people who lose weight gain it all back. But studies involving NWCR members and others have demonstrated that exercisers are much less likely to yo-yo. So unless you are interested only in temporary weight loss, you should change your diet and exercise.

There’s another benefit to combining diet changes with exercise when you’re trying to lose weight. When people lose weight through calorie restriction but without exercise, they tend to lose muscle along with body fat. But when they change their diet and exercise, they preserve muscle and lose more fat.

Many kinds of exercise can be effective for weight loss, but running is among the most effective. In a 2012 study, Paul Williams of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that runners were leaner and lighter than men and women who did equivalent amounts of any other type of exercise. The main reason seems to be that people typically burn more calories per minute when running than they do when swimming, riding a bike, or whatever else.

No matter which form of exercise you choose, it’s important to ease into your new exercise program. Increase the challenge level of your workouts gradually to lower injury risk and get the best results. This is especially true for running. As a high-impact activity, running causes more overuse injuries than other forms of cardio exercise. Ironically, the risk of injury is greatest for heavier men and women who are likely to run specifically for weight loss.

Experts recommend that overweight men and women use these three rules to start a running program on the right foot:

Walking is less stressful than running to the bones, muscles and joints of the lower extremities, yet it’s stressful enough to stimulate adaptations that make these areas stronger and more resilient. This makes walking a great tool to prepare your body for running.

Your early workouts may consist entirely of walking or a mix of walking and running, depending on how ready your body is for running. As the weeks pass, tip the balance further and further toward running until you are comfortable doing straight runs.

Bones, muscles and joints need time to recover from and adapt to the stress of running. For most beginners, one day is not enough time for these tissues to come back stronger. So limit your running to every other day for at least the first several weeks of your program. If you wish to exercise more frequently, do walks or non-impact workouts, such as cycling, between run days.

To continue getting results from your running program, you need to run more. But if you increase your running volume too quickly, you are likely to become injured or overtired. The 10 percent rule is a good guideline for sensible running increases. To practice it, simply avoid increasing your total running distance or time by more than 10 percent from one week to the next.

Here is a four-week example of a sensible way to ease into a running program:

In order to lose weight, you must maintain a daily calorie deficit. In other words, you need to burn more calories than you eat each day. There are two ways to do this: Eat less and move more. Running will help you maintain a calorie deficit by increasing the number of calories you burn. You can increase your calorie deficit and your rate of weight loss—at least in theory—by eating less also.

The problem is that running, like other forms of exercise, makes it difficult to eat less due to increasing appetite—something known as the compensation effect. This is the primary reason that exercise often fails to meet people’s expectations for weight loss.

Individual appetite responses to exercise are varied. Working out has little effect on hunger in some people and makes others ravenous. There’s not much you can do about it either way. If running does increase your appetite, you will probably eat more. What you can do to ensure that the compensation effect doesn’t stop you from reaching your goals is increase the quality of the foods you eat.

High-quality foods are less energy dense and more satiating than low-quality foods, so they fill you up with fewer calories. By increasing your overall diet quality, you can eat enough to satisfy your heightened appetite without putting the brakes on your weight loss. Here are lists of high-quality and low-quality foods, given in rough descending order of quality.

When you start your running program, make a simultaneous effort to eat fewer foods from the right-hand column and more from the left-hand column—especially from the top of this column. There is proof that it works. Earlier this year, Danish researchers reported that new runners seeking weight loss who ran more than 5 km (3.1 miles) per week for one year but did not change their diets lost an average of 8.4 pounds. Meanwhile, new runners seeking weight loss who ran more than 5 km (3.1 miles) per week for one year and did change their diets lost an average of 12.3 pounds.

Even 12.3 pounds of weight loss in one year might not seem like a lot. If your goal is bigger than that, there are two things you can do: Run more and eat less. Let me explain.

While it’s important to progress slowly, you can continue to progress with your running until you are doing as much as you can with the time, energy and motivation you have. If you are highly motivated, consider aiming for a long-term goal of building up to 60 minutes of running per day, six days per week. A 150-pound person who runs 10-minute miles will burn more than 4,000 calories per week on this schedule.

These additional increases in running will likely stimulate additional increases in appetite and eating. But chances are such compensations won’t cancel out your hard work. Research tells us that the average person eats roughly three extra calories for every 10 calories she or he burns through exercise.

As I mentioned above, increasing your diet quality will minimize the compensation effect. But if you’re already running as much as you can or wish, and you’ve already improved your diet quality and you’re still not losing weight as fast as you would like, there’s something else you can try: decrease the size of your meals by about one-fifth. Research by Brian Wansink of Cornell University has shown that people can eat about 20 percent less at meals without noticing the difference in terms of satiety. That’s because in our society we have been trained to eat beyond our natural satiety level. Just be sure to do this only after you have allowed your food intake to adjust to your increased amount of running.

The compensation effect isn’t all about increased appetite. For some people there’s also a reward effect at play. Too often, runners celebrate the completion of workouts by eating low-quality treats such as cookies and potato chips. In many cases, these treats contain more calories than were burned in the workout.

The best way to avoid this type of self-sabotage is to view your runs themselves as rewards rather than as chores to be gotten through and rewarded. A recent study by Brian Wansink found that people ate less than half as many M&M’s offered to them after a walk when they had been told before it that it was a “scenic walk,” compared to when they had been told it was an “exercise walk.”

As this study shows, the mindset that you bring to your running program is important. In fact, whatever your weight-loss goal may be, your number-one goal should be to enjoy running—or learn to enjoy it. That’s because you will only benefit from running if you keep doing it, and you will only keep doing it if you enjoy it.

For this reason, you should do whatever you need to do to enhance your enjoyment of running. Studies have shown that when people manipulate their workouts in ways that make them more fun, they are more likely to stick with their programs. If you enjoy running with music, run with music. If you prefer running with a friend or group, do that. If you like running in the park, run in the park. There’s really no wrong way to run for weight loss if you’re having fun.

Original Post on MyFitnessPal.com


The Surprisingly Simple, Enjoyable Way to Make Weight Loss Stick

What if there was an easy way to lose weight that guaranteed you would show up to the gym multiple times a week; make small, permanent changes to your diet; and change the way you thought about health and fitness (from a temporary challenge to a lifetime of experimentation and enjoyment) without guilt, shame and ever really having to “try?”

Well there very well might be. And no, this is no silver bullet or magic pill. It’s just about how human beings learn things.

Humans are social animals. It’s baked in. From how to walk to how to share, we learn just about everything by watching the people around us. We even have special brain cells called mirror neurons packed into our prefrontal cortex for learning from creatures that look like us. Now that’s baked in!

One of the most enduring models for how we learn is called “Social Cognitive Theory,” which was developed over decades of experiments by Dr. Albert Bandura, a professor of social science at Stanford University. At the root of whether or not we do something and keep doing it depends on how confident we are that we can do it. Here’s how we assess whether or not we can do something (like diet and exercise):

  • Personal Experience: “Have I done this before?”
  • Vicarious Experience: “Well if that person like me can do it, I can do it.”
  • Social Persuasion: “These people cheering me on seem to think I can do it, so I bet I can.”
  • Physiological Factors: “Is my body up to this? Are those butterflies in my stomach good or bad?”

The power of self-efficacy as explained by Social Cognitive Theory is what health psychologists call the phenomenon of “a new normal.” That’s when you meet new people and start viewing your own capabilities differently. Or when you decide to do something with friends and learn confidence from each other’s struggles. In my opinion, this is the most powerful collection of forces someone new to health and fitness can exploit for themselves. The ultimate bio-hack is simply doing new things with others.

And I know this because it’s not only how I work as a coach, but also how things worked for me. In 2007, I lost 60 pounds in 292 days just like I described above. I met new friends at a gym in San Francisco’s Castro district and although I worked hard when I was at the gym, all the other choices in my life started to become easy. I would talk about them with my new friends; they would ask me about how I was doing; and I could see how well these healthier choices were working for them. It was like I was cheating, but it was just self-efficacy. It was just learning a “new normal.”

Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So make that choice wisely and, thanks to Social Cognitive Theory, everything else might just get easier.


Original Post on MyFitnessPal.com