Fitness & Wellness

Why Do Men Lose Weight Faster Than Women?

One of the biggest complaints I hear from women at Team Worx Fitness in Alexandria, VA is that they’ve changed their diet and create healthier meals and their husbands, who aren’t working out, seem to lose more weight than they do. It’s true, men lose weight faster than women, but there are reasons that this happens and ways to make the effort more equitable. It all starts by noting the differences in male and female body structure.

Men require more calories than women.

Men have more lean muscle mass than women. The more muscles you have, the more calories you require. That’s because it takes more calories to maintain muscle mass than it does to maintain fat. Women actually need more body fat for survival. It’s necessary for the reproductive system and if a woman’s body gets too low, she’ll suffer from athletic amenorrhea—lack of periods. While men need about 2 to 5%, women require 10 to 13%. The average fit woman has about 76 to 86% lean muscle mass, while the average fit man has 83 to 94%

Men’s bodies are normally larger.

There are definitely women that are taller than some men, but on the average, men tend to be larger boned and taller than women. That means they also should weigh more. The more you weigh, the more effort it takes just walking around and the more calories you burn. Society has dictated many of the manual chores to the males of the family, which means they burn more calories, but that’s changed a lot the last few years. If you check a calorie chart to find out how many calories are necessary to lose weight for your height, weight and activity level, you’ll find it also differs by gender. That shows men simply burn more calories each day, making it easier for them to lose weight.

You can close the gap and should close it.

While men tend to burn more calories, you can increase the calories you burn by making a few changes. The first is to get active. The more active you are, the more calories you burn. Part of your workout should be in strength-building. It puts on more lean muscle mass that revs your metabolism. It’s also important for women who want to avoid the potential of osteoporosis. Studies show that weight bearing exercises on a regular basis can slow or reverse bone loss as well as some medications. The only side effect is looking years younger and fabulous.

  • Not only will a sedentary lifestyle make it harder to lose weight, it also takes its toll on your body. Exercise can help prevent serious conditions, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • It is discouraging to work hard at the gym and stick with a healthy eating plan only to lose less weight than a spouse, who eats more. That’s why each person should judge their progress based on their own personalized goals and progress.
  • A woman’s body is programmed to store fat for survival. Higher levels of estrogen cause women to store fat in the pelvis, buttocks, breasts and thighs. It also means less lean muscle mass.
  • If you’re working out hard on your own and dieting, but not making any progress, come into Team Worx Fitness. We can help. You’ll get a personalized workout and a nutrition plan that will help you reach your weight loss goal faster.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx


Foods That Relieve Stress

What’s the first thing you reach for when you feel under stress? If it’s a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream or a bowl of mashed potatoes, you’re probably focusing on comfort foods. However, to truly relieve stress you need to focus on certain healthy foods, focus on getting more sleep and getting adequate exercise. All these things can lower your cortisol levels and cortisol is the primary hormone of stress. It’s key in the fight-or-flight response, but when you get too much, for too long, it can create stress, which increases your blood pressure and causes inflammation.

Lower cortisol by eating an anti-inflammatory diet, starting with foods high in vitamin B.

If you want to boost the vitamin B levels in your diet, look for whole grains that are fortified with vitamin B or opt for animal products like beef, chicken, eggs, organ meat or nutritional yeast. Look for foods highest in B12, such as organ meats, clams, sardines and tuna. B12 helps metabolize cortisol. B12 also helps support normal functions of nerve cells, and can boost your energy level, improve your memory and help reduce the potential for heart disease.

Omega3 fatty acids can help mellow you out.

Your body cannot make the essential fatty acids, which includes omega-3 and omega-6. You have to get them from food. You need both, but in a specific ratio. It should be a three to one ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. Unfortunately, today people eat 25 times more omega-6 compared to omega-3. Studies show that boosting the omega-3 and reducing the omega-6 back to the point where you have three times more omega-6 in the diet, can also reduce violent behavior, reduce inflammation and bring more peace of mind. Sources of omega-3 fatty acid include fatty fish like salmon, avocados, chia seeds, flax seeds, oysters and walnuts.

Eat foods rich in magnesium.

Avocados, bananas, broccoli, spinach, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate and spinach are foods that contain magnesium. It also helps metabolize cortisol, reduces inflammation and helps relax both the body and mind. Magnesium helps regulate neurotransmitters. They’re the messengers that travel throughout the nervous system and brain. It’s also anti-inflammatory, reduces PMS and provides a host of other benefits.

  • You need to balance your blood sugar levels to reduce stress, a spike in blood sugar can create stress. Food’s high in protein, like meat, fish, beans and legumes, are good to reduce stress.
  • A lot of your immune system is based in your gut and the microbiome. In fact, those friendly microbes also affect your mood. Eating fermented foods help balance blood sugar, which is another aid, while it boosts your mood. Kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt are good sources.
  • If you need a quick fix to reduce stress, try a few pumpkin seeds or some dark chocolate that’s at least 90% cacao. They contain magnesium that will help you relax quickly.
  • If you’re under stress, don’t make it worse. Avoid foods that are high in sugar, are simple carbs, soft drinks, food high in caffeine and alcoholic drinks.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness


What Are The Healthiest Berries?

Everyone interested in their health probably knows that fruits and vegetables are healthy. Not all fruits or vegetables are equal when it comes to good health. For instance, berries are healthy, but what are the healthiest berries? At TeamWorX in Alexandria, VA, we help you improve your diet, and providing that kind of information is important. I won’t use the botanical definition of a berry, because that would include bananas, peppers, eggplant, watermelon, oranges, pumpkins, avocados tomatoes, kiwis and cucumbers. Botanically these are all fruits and berries, but not considered that by most people, and the list wouldn’t include strawberries, black raspberries and raspberries, which are botanically fruit but not berries.

Cranberries are tart, but really good for UTIs—urinary tract infections.

Besides containing a lot of vitamin C, fiber and manganese, cranberries contain an antioxidant called polyphenols and substances that prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract, bladder wall and stomach wall. Their slick surface powers stop the E. coli from getting firm footing in the bladder to create a UTI and H. pylori from sticking to the stomach wall to cause an ulcer. They also help keep arteries more flexible, lower blood pressure, prevent oxidative stress and reduce high cholesterol levels.

The Resveratrol that makes red wine heart healthy comes from the skin of the grapes.

Not only do dark skinned grapes contain resveratrol, but they also contain anthocyanins. In fact, it’s what makes them a deep blue or purple. Both are beneficial for the heart and help prevent other degenerative diseases. While white grapes are still good for you, purple and red have the highest antioxidant benefits. Grapes are high in fiber, vitamin C and K. Eating grapes at least three times a week can also help lower your risk of diabetes. Consuming them can reduce blood cholesterol levels and lower oxidative stress. Other studies show that drinking a cup and a half of Concord grape juice for three months can also help improve your memory.

Another blue berry brimming with anthocyanin is the blueberry.

When you see a fruit or vegetable that’s blue or deep purple, it probably contains anthocyanins. Blueberries are good for the brain and can help reduce cognitive impairment that occurs as you age. It also can help improve artery functioning and lower the bad cholesterol. Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes and including blueberries in your diet can reduce it by as much as 26%. They’re also packed with manganese, vitamin C, K and fiber.

  • Even though strawberries aren’t true berries, they’re consumed like berries and help reduce the risk of heart disease, aid in preventing diabetes and lower inflammation that’s responsible for many serious conditions.
  • Another non-berry berry that’s super healthy is the raspberry. All raspberries contain antioxidants and black raspberries in particular can help reduce inflammation, which helps lower the risk of heart disease.
  • One berry that’s been labeled a superfood by some is the goji berry. It boosts antioxidants in the blood and contains vitamins A, C, fiber and iron.
  • Another berry dubbed as a superfood by some is the acai berry. It’s beneficial for reducing blood sugar levels and the amount of insulin released. It also can lower cholesterol levels and reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness


He Who Indulges – Bulges

I’ve worked with people who eat for emotional reasons. It’s easy to do. If you’ve had a bad day, you deserve a treat, so you pile up ice cream in a dish and drizzle with chocolate to make everything better. Before you know it, every day is a bad day. If your feelings have been hurt, you go to a donut for solace or rejoice with a cupcake or two. It’s time to imprint in your memory the phrase, “He who indulges – bulges.” Remember it the next time you reach for your favorite happy, comfort or angry food.

Just this one time won’t cut it either.

Sure, you’ve been faithful to your healthy eating for almost two days, so it’s okay to have a milk shake “just this one time.” Before you know it, just this one time happens at least once a day or more. When you’re learning to eat healthier, it’s all about changing old unhealthy eating habits. It’s hard to stick with at first if you’re giving yourself a pass every few hours. While healthy eating is versatile, focus on sticking strictly with the program for at least thirty to sixty days until you’ve formed some new habits.

I’ll exercise twice as much tomorrow.

Do you want to skip a day of exercise and double up the next day? It doesn’t work that way. You have to be consistent to get results. Not only will you lose some ground, if you double up, you face the potential of overdoing your workout and facing injury. Speaking of injury, always check with your doctor before starting any fitness program. Schedule your workout every day and keep it as you would any appointment. Whether you’re working out online or in person, developing a habit of fitness is the goal.

I messed up already so why bother trying?

Everyone has setbacks, but that doesn’t mean you’ve lost the battle. When Thomas Edison was asked about the 10,000 failures he had trying to create a long burning light bulb, he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” You won’t have to have 10,000 setbacks to find the right way to look and feel your best. Just be a winner and stick with the program.

  • Everyone goes through problems when they want to give up. That’s why I created Team Worx Fitness, because I’ve gone through those problems myself. We’re always here to encourage and believe in you, even when you can’t believe in yourself.
  • You’ll be surprised at how good you feel the longer you workout. That increased energy level is a powerful driving force.
  • Food will taste different the longer you eat healthy. Food with added sugar blunts your taste buds, so you have to eat more sugar to get the sweet taste. When you eliminate food with added sugar, your taste buds recover and fruit will taste deliciously sweet. It boosts your enjoyment of other healthy food, too.
  • If you want to feel and look your best, but still aren’t unsure, dip your toe in the water of fitness and try our five days for $5 option. It’s an easy way to get started. Every journey starts with the first step.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx


Become Your Best YOU This Year

Do you want to make this year different, one where you really take charge and change your life for the better? We can help you do that at TeamWorx Fitness in Alexandria, VA. We will show you the steps to take to become your best you, the version of yourself that you see in your head. It’s possible, but only you can do it. We’re a team, which is why we’re called TeamWorx Fitness. We provide the information, help and encouragement and you provide the effort.

Start by learning to eat healthier.

Eating healthier isn’t dieting. It’s making smarter choices when you select your food. Maybe you’ve tried diets before and failed. Most people have. That’s because they always leave you feeling deprived and hungry. Even worse, they always end, sometimes successfully with pounds lost and sometimes with a shake, fries and a double burger with cheese and bacon. Learning to make smarter choices, like eating brown rice instead of white rice, can save calories and boost nutrition. Once you start making better food choices, it becomes part of your lifestyle and never ends.

It’s time to get your body moving.

Do you ever envy those people that seem to have unlimited energy and are born with great bodies. That could be you, but not without an effort. We’re here for you every step of the way to encourage you to reach your goals, but we can’t do it for you. You have to get up and get your body moving and conquer your issues one exercise at a time. The more you workout, the more you’ll amaze yourself at just how much you can do.

A new you, the best version of yourself is always changing and doesn’t happen overnight.

Once you get on the road to fitness, you’ll be surprised at just how much you CAN do. While it takes true commitment initially, once you see the changes, you’ll want to make even more. You’ll feel how great it is to be strong and flexible and enjoy activities without having to stop to catch your breath. You’ll also see inches melt away and that fat replaced with toned, lean muscle tissue. Your success is what makes it all worthwhile for both of us.

  • Eating a healthy diet doesn’t mean you never get to have another piece of birthday cake or an order of fries. It just means you won’t eat them very often and will stick with portion control.
  • You can dip your toe into the fitness water by giving us a try. For just $5, you’ll get five days of workouts, meal plans with a grocery list and recipes, accountability coaching and more. It could change your life forever.
  • Don’t worry if you’re out of shape. It doesn’t matter where you start. The only thing that’s important is getting started.
  • After just a few weeks, people will start to notice the difference, even if you haven’t lost one pound. You’ll walk taller and look more confident. That comes from improved posture and improved self-esteem.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx


Are Certain Workouts Better During Menopause?

No matter what type of workouts you do, they all can help during menopause. The key is to get 75 minutes of vigorous exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise. It can be cardio workouts like jogging, riding a bike, swimming or just walking or you can use the time for strength training. If you’re doing cardio, it boosts your heart rate, burns calories and improves circulation. Just getting exercise is regularly is what is important.

Strength training, especially weig0our body makes changes and estrogen levels drop.

The estrogen helped the body maintain bone strength. It’s estimated that 10% of the bone mass is lost during menopause and if the person is inactive or has other risk factors, it can be as high as 20%. When you do strength training, your muscles tug on the bone and that sets into motion the absorption of calcium to deal with the added force and prevent the bones from breaking when muscles tug on them. People tend to gain weight during menopause and strength training can help burn fat and build muscle tissue, which requires more calories for maintenance, so you’ll boost your metabolism.

Flexibility and relaxation training, like yoga and tai chi can help with hot flashes.

Each person going through menopause has different symptoms. Some have hot flashes, while others think they have no symptoms at all, until they realize that insomnia is one of those. Exercise of all types can help the insomnia, since you sleep better at night after working out. There are also poses in yoga that can help relieve the fatigue, irritability and hot flashes of menopause.

Do something you enjoy.

If you want to relieve some of the irritability of menopause, then do something you enjoy. Having fun and staying active is what it’s all about. Maybe you love playing tennis. It’s a good cardio workout and also improves flexibility. Dancing is another exercise that can improve overall body fitness. It builds strength, flexibility and endurance, too. It can be regular dancing like you’d do on an evening out on the town or take special classes in jazz, ballet or even belly dancing. The key is to enjoy it, not necessarily to prepare yourself for a chorus line.

  • You can use a StairMaster or take the frugal route and simply climb stairs regularly. I know someone that runs up and down their stairs at home as part of their workout. As your estrogen levels drop, your risk of coronary problems increase, so getting this type of cardio can keep you heart healthy.
  • If you don’t have time to workout, you can combine exercise with household duties. Just do your jobs with more speed and vigor. Washing windows, doing yardwork and scrubbing the tub can actually be quite a workout when you do it that way.
  • The food you eat also makes a difference in the severity of your symptoms. Eating healthy with plenty of greens, healthy fats and lean protein sources are important. Green tea, flax and oatmeal have also been shown to help relieve symptoms.
  • If you’re finding it hard to stick with a program or simply aren’t sure where to start, we can help. We’ll help you create realistic goals that are realistic, specific and attainable. At The Worx, we create personalized programs for you.

For more information, contact us today at The Worx by Maia


Best Workouts For Depression

If you have a negative reaction to many drugs or simply are looking for something more natural to lift your spirits and overcome depression, there are alternatives. I often hear people in Alexandria, VA, who choose diet and exercise, plus counseling if necessary to overcome the problem. There is scientific backing that workouts for depression can help. In fact, some psychiatrists and psychologist use it as an adjunct therapy.

Exercise helps boost your circulation.

While a healthy diet and exercise won’t cure everything, it certainly can help. Health care professionals are now discovering you don’t have to take chemicals, since the body makes its own. When you workout hard, you’ll burn off the hormones of stress. Sometimes, just relieving the stress is all you need. The body also creates natural pain relievers like endorphins and has a reward system using dopamine, that also helps you feel better emotionally. The increased circulation also brings oxygen and nutrient laden blood to all parts of the body, including the brain.

You don’t have to get fancy.

If you run, you’ll get the increased heart pounding circulation, but you don’t have to run to help lift your spirits. Running 30 minutes a day can be a good prescription for mild depression. Always consult a medical professional to provide other types of counseling. Just walking more can also help lift depression. Studies show that just walking 30 minutes a day helps if you do it regularly. As you get fitter, you can increase the pace.

Bust out the weights and start strength training.

Numerous studies also show the benefits of strength training for depression relief. One study on stroke survivors studied the effects of strength training. The results were impressive. After ten weeks, the survivors had benefits from the training that included the reduction of the signs of depression. It was a combination of the exercise and the feeling of control and mastery that lifted the mood of even those most depressed. Following the progress of muscle mastery and increased strength was an important factor.

  • Even milder exercise like tai chi and yoga are good for depression. The improved flexibility and slow focused movements even help people with major depression. Both have shown to make significant improvement for people that were depressed.
  • If you’re not ready for formal training, turn on the music. Put on your favorite motivational music like St. Elmo’s Fire or happy songs like Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows are great for dancing, but you should choose your own favorite.
  • Aerobic exercises tend to be the best for lifting spirits. Make everyday tasks an opportunity to get that cardio workout. Alternate between high intensity and recovery by modulating your pace.
  • Focusing on exercise can also help you sleep better. The better your sleep can help you have a happier life. Include antidepressant foods like walnuts, tomatoes, leafy greens and mushrooms in your diet, too.

For more information, contact us today at The Worx by Maia


Do Vegans Need To Take Supplements?

In Alexandria, VA, there are all types of eating philosophies. They include vegetarians, vegans, flexitarians and etc. There are benefits and drawbacks for all types of nutrition philosophies. For vegans, getting adequate nutrition is one concern and whether taking supplements is necessary. By eliminating all animal products from their diet, which includes meat byproducts like gelatin, honey, seafood, milk products and eggs, it’s harder to get certain nutrients.

It takes time to ensure you get adequate complete protein.

Complete proteins contain all nine essential amino acids that our body doesn’t make. There are some complete protein sources in the plant world, such as quinoa, tofu, tempeh, edamame, buckwheat, pistachios, chia seeds and hemp seeds. Even though there are eight sources, three are from soy products and there is a link between too much soy and some forms of cancer. For variety, you can mix and match food to make complete proteins. A whole wheat peanut butter sandwich is one example. While lack of adequate complete protein is of the concerns, with careful planning, it shouldn’t be.

Vitamin B12 may be lacking.

People normally get their vitamin B12 from animal products. Vitamin B12 is necessary to build prevent anemia and build red blood cells. Women need it in early stages of pregnancy to prevent birth defects. It boosts bone health, reduces the risk of macular degeneration and improves brain health. It also plays a role in metabolism. Unless you’re taking nutritional yeast, eating shitake mushrooms or eating B12 fortified foods, you may need supplements.

Vitamin D and other nutrients may be missing from vegan diets.

You’d think that vitamin D would be the easiest nutrient to get, since it comes from exposure to the sun, but both vegans and non-vegans are often deficient in this vitamin. Constant sunscreen is one reason, your location, skin color, age and weight are others. While fortified foods contain D, mushrooms are another decent source. It’s necessary to activate calcium, but calcium intake is another problem for vegans. It’s in broccoli, kale and other greens. Iron is also a problem, since most people use fish, chicken or beef as a source. Fortified foods are one option.

  • Balancing your omega6 and omega3 fatty acids is important. If you’re vegan, focus on walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseed to boost omega3.
  • Two good sources of protein for vegans are lentils and chickpeas. Lentils have 8.84 grams of protein per half cup and chickpeas provide 7.25 grams. Hummus is made from chickpeas, so choose it for a healthy dip.
  • Zinc is a difficult nutrient to get on a vegan diet. Even non-vegans suffer from deficiencies. Zinc is high in animal products, but you can also get it from eating pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, lentils and cashews, to name a few sources.
  • Fat and protein help you feel full longer and faster, but vegan protein sources provide less protein and more bulk. You may have to eat several times throughout the day to feel satiety. Be careful you aren’t snacking on unhealthy vegan options, like fries or potato chips.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx


Snacks That Give You Energy

What snacks give you energy? Almost anything with added sugar does. That sugar immediately goes into your bloodstream and floods it with a boost of energy. However, what goes up rapidly, also goes down rapidly, so within a short period, you find yourself depleted. Food with added sugar affects your health negatively adds extra calories and has few redeeming qualities. There are some healthy energy snacks that will not only add that get-up-and-go you need, but keep you feeling energized and full longer.

Look for premade snacks, like protein bars, with little added sugar.

While granola bars, energy balls and protein bars are often loaded with added sugar, there are some that use the natural sweetness of dates, figs or dried fruit to give a quick boost. You can also buy combos of dried fruit and nuts that will boost your energy immediately from the natural sugar in the fruit and keep you going longer thanks to the fats and protein in the seeds and nuts. Dark chocolate covered almonds are another choice, but make sure it has high cacao content.

Try a dish of cottage cheese with a topping of fruit.

It’s the combination of carbohydrate and protein that boosts you up and keeps you going longer. You’ll also feel full longer, thanks to the protein. Yogurt, fruit and nuts are another combination you can make at home. Don’t buy the low fat yogurt with added fruit. When they take the fat out of yogurt, they make it palatable by adding extra sugar. If you aren’t sure, read the label. For a super tasty treat, mix yogurt, a half a ripe banana, frozen dark cherries and chopped walnuts. It energizes and is extremely healthy.

Make a Mediterranean salad jar, deviled eggs or homemade trail mix.

When you make your own trail mix, you control all the ingredients. Buy nuts, dried fruit and maybe a few dark chocolate morsels. Your Mediterranean salad jar can contain whatever ingredients you want. You can start with cooked quinoa or chickpeas, and pile in the other ingredients often found in the Mediterranean diet. One egg can make two deviled eggs, which have about 126 calories.

  • Choose peanut, almond or other nut butter with a piece of fruit, like an apple. Cheese and fruit is another good choice. The fruit is the instant energy carb and the nut butter or cheese is the long-lasting protein.
  • Making egg salad and putting it on one slice of whole wheat toast cut in half for a sandwich, can be satisfying and provide instant energy that lasts.
  • Combine peanut butter, a bit of honey and toasted oats or wheat germ. Form a ball, then roll it in either the toasted oats or wheat germ to take away the stickiness. It’s the perfect bite that boosts your energy that lasts a long time.
  • Make a smoothie from your favorite fruit and vegetables. Toss in some protein powder, Greek yogurt or add nut butter for protein. You can also make your own ice cream from frozen rounds of bananas. Just put them in the blender and top the creamy goodness with nuts for added protein.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx