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Weight Loss

Did You Know?

"4 Steps to Jump-Start Your Weight Loss!"

copyright 2002 by Greg Landry, M.S.

I get lots of questions from subscribers and members, but one of the most frequent is:

"I've lost some weight but I seem to have reached a plateau. Nothing I do seems to help. Is there anything I can do to get past this plateau?"

I've seen four things you can do that work well to press through a plateau:

1. Train for a walking or jogging event. I've seen *dramatic* changes in people's weight as a by-product of training for a competition or event. Remember, you don't have to be superman to do this. I've worked with people
who couldn't walk around the block, and months later were walking in a 5k event or even a half marathon or marathon. Find a race or event and sign-up now.. and start training! Your plateau will vanish when you start training!

Here are helpful resources for finding these events and training:

2. Incorporate "intervals" into your aerobic exercise.

Intervals are brief periods (about one minute) of more intense exercise mixed into your regular aerobic exercise sessions. For example, if you're walking, you would do a one minute interval of faster walking about every five minutes throughout your exercise session.

Here's how it will look.. you'll start with your normal three to five minute warm-up and then five minutes into your workout you do your first interval, one minute of faster walking (or perhaps jogging). At the end of that minute you should be "winded" and ready to slow down. You'll slow down to your normal exercising speed for the next four minutes and then your fifth minute is another one minute interval. This pattern continues throughout your exercise session.

You'll derive several benefits from intervals..

- Intervals can help you to get past a weight loss plateau.

- Intervals increase your aerobic fitness level by "pushing the envelope". While doing your interval you cross the anaerobic threshold into anaerobic metabolism, forcing your body to become conditioned to more intense exercise.

- Your increased level of fitness means that a given level of exercise will feel easier and that you will be able to exercise at a higher intensity which "burns" more calories.

- Your increased level of fitness also means that you will be less fatigued from daily activities and you'll have more "energy" throughout the day.

- Intervals increase your basal metabolic rate (BMR), causing you to burn more calories 24 hours-a-day.

- Intervals cause you to "burn" more calories during your exercise session and for several hours afterwards.

- Intervals will tone the involved muscles to a greater degree than your regular aerobic exercise would.

- Intervals can make your exercise less monotonous and help the time pass more quickly.

- Intervals will energize you!3. Get serious about *DAILY* exercise in the morning!

If I had to pick a single factor that I thought was most important in a successful exercise or weight loss program, it would be to exercise first thing in the morning - every morning! Some mornings, you may just be able to fit in a 10 minute walk, but it's important to try to do something every morning.

So why mornings?...

- Over 90% of people who exercise *consistently*, exercisein the morning. If you want to exercise
consistently, odds are in your favor if you exercise first thing in the morning.

- When you exercise early in the morning, it "jump starts" your metabolism and keeps it elevated for hours, sometimes up to 24 hours! That means you're burning more calories all day long just because you exercised in the morning!

- When you exercise in the morning you'll be *energized* for the day! Personally, I feel dramatically different on days when I have and haven't exercised in the morning.

- Many people find that morning exercise "regulates" their appetite for the day - that they aren't as hungry and that they make better food choices. Several people have told me that it puts them in a "healthy mindset."

- If you exercise at about the same time every morning, and ideally wake-up at about the same time on a regular basis, your body's endocrine system and circadian rhythms adjust to that. Physiologically, some wonderful things begin to happen; A couple of hours *before* you awaken, your body begins to prepare for waking and exercise
because it "knows" it's about to happen. Why? Because it "knows" you do the same thing just about everyday. You benefit from that in several ways..

a) It's MUCH easier to wake-up. When you wake-up at different times everyday, it confuses your body and thus it's never really "prepared" to awaken.
b) Your metabolism and all the hormones involved in activity and exercise begin to elevate while you're sleeping. Thus, you feel more alert, energized, and ready to exercise when you do wake-up.
c) Hormones prepare your body for exercise by regulating blood pressure, heart rate, blood flow to muscles, etc.

- For many people, that appointed time every morning becomes something they look forward to. It's time they've set aside to do something good for themselves - to take care of their body, mind, and soul. Many find that it's a great time to think clearly, pray, plan their day, or just relax mentally.

- Research has demonstrated that exercise increases mental acuity. On average it lasts four to ten hours after exercise! No sense in wasting that brain power while you're sleeping. :)

- Exercise first thing in the morning is really the only way to assure that something else won't crowd exercise out of your schedule. When your days get hectic, exercise usually takes a back seat!

- If finding time to exercise is difficult, anyone can get up 30 to 60 minutes earlier to exercise (if it's a priority in your life). If necessary, you can go to sleep a little earlier. Also, research has demonstrated that people who exercise on a regular basis have a higher quality of sleep and thus require less sleep!

4. Get serious about healthy eating! Take time to plan healthy meals and snacks. This is especially important away from home. The number of calories and fat grams you consume per day is critical to weight loss. Most people guess at this and are usually way off. Keep a food diary for at least two weeks so that you have an accurate
picture of your calorie and fat consumption.

With daily exercise, most people will achieve a healthy rate of weight loss consuming 1500 to 2000 calories, and 25 to 35 fat grams per day.If you need a reference book for looking-up calories and fat grams, one of the best is "The Complete and Up-To-Date Fat Book". The author is Bellerson. It's about $9 at most book stores.

copyright 2002 by Greg Landry, M.S.


Site last updated 9/12/16

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