7 Reasons to Lose Weight on the 4th of July from JJ Virgin, Ph.D, Co-Author of "The Art of Losing It!"

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JJ Virgin, Ph.D., co-author of "Art of Losing It!" gives the 7 reasons to lose weight on the 4th of July.

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JJ Virgin, Ph.D., co-author of "Art of Losing It!" gives the 7 reasons to lose weight on the 4th of July. Millions of Americans will be kicking back on the 4th, taking it easy and celebrating by indulging in potato salad, ribs and cupcakes. Of course, as the 4th is on a Friday, chances are high that this indulgence will carry over into a weekend of spectator sports, movies and party fare. The 4th of July is one of the best days to lose weight and start your new resolve. Think of it as your midyear New Year's Day with some additional positives to get you going.

1. The weather is warm! No bundling up for you, and with great weather, come great outdoor opportunities for sports, hiking, swimming, etc. You've got friends coming over, get off the chaise lounges, grab a football and get out there. This isn't a big "bowl" day, so you have no excuse for spectating rather than participating.

2. Great natural desserts are available. There is nothing better than summertime fruits and most of them have a low sugar response and are chock full of fiber and phytonutrients(nutrients from plants). Skip the dessert platter and serve a fruit salad instead. You can dress it up with a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut or sliced almonds.

3. You are thirsty! Okay, Mother Nature got things a bit twisted--we have a highly sensitive "appestat", but our thirst mechanism is dialed down low. You know you should be drinking 8 or more glasses of water a day (helps flush out toxins, keeps you feeling full, keeps stress hormones down), but when it is 30 degrees outside it can be a bit hard to get motivated. Not so when it is 100 degrees! Supercharge your fluid intake by adding a few glasses of green tea as well (the unsweetened kind, if you get one with fruit essences it is naturally sweet), it will help boost your metabolism and balance your mood.

4. You can chill out! Stress is grenade in the war on weight. Constant stress causes your body to break down muscle (critical for keeping your metabolism going and burning more calories throughout the day), store more fat and it also raises the set point for being able to burn it back off. Take the 3-day weekend to de-stress, have fun and bring your stress hormones back into balance.

5. You can sleep in! The studies are clear, getting less than the recommended 8-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night (even one hour less) can lead to weight gain. When you sleep 7 hours or less, or wake up throughout the night you are hungrier, less energetic, you raise your stress hormones and your are less insulin sensitive. This translates into you being hungrier, craving more carbs and being better at storing the calories you do eat as fat, rather than burning them off as fuel.

6. Salads become main courses. When it is cold outside, we want comfort food. When it is hot, we want things that are cool and light and a salad with protein added becomes a great main course option. A caveat here, just because it is a salad, it isn't automatically health promoting. Focus on a variety of non starchy vegetables and greens, some clean lean protein like chicken or fish and a light dressing of olive oil and vinegar with fresh herbs.

7. You've got the barbeque going! Grilling your food is a great way to add flavor without adding fat. Make your own marinades by experimenting with fresh herbs, flavored vinegars and extra virgin olive oil. The obvious items to throw on the grill are chicken and fish, but you can expand your offerings by marinating thick slices of non starchy veggies and adding them to the mix. These can then be chopped and added to salad, put into your morning omelet or served as a great side dish-hot or cold!

Celebrate your independence from fattening foods and poor lifestyle choices this 4th of July and use this weekend to jump start your resolve.

About JJ Virgin, PhD

JJ Virgin is a graduate of UCLA. She has attended 6 different graduate and doctoral programs including biomechanics at California State University Northridge, Sports Medicine at University of Miami, doctoral level exercise physiology, nutrition and aging at USC and nutrition at University of Bridgeport. JJ continues to update her education with multiple conferences and seminars annually. A 25-year veteran of the health and fitness industry, JJ has practiced holistic nutrition and functional medicine for the past ten years.

Today, JJ integrates her educational background into her work as an on-camera nutrition and fitness expert, writer, professional speaker and radio personality. She has made numerous network television appearances including two seasons on Dr. Phil, E! Modern Girl's Guide to Life, NBC's iVillage Live, ABC's Extreme Makeover, network pilots and is regularly featured in magazine, website and newspaper articles.

JJ works with top CEO's and celebrities to get them in shape and keep them healthy while working. She has worked with former Heavy Weight Champions, Olympians, CEOs, rock stars, and movie stars. She recently worked with actor Brandon Routh in preparation for his starring role as Superman in the movie Superman Returns. Other notables include Ben Stiller, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Tracie Thoms, Janeane Garofalo, Joshua Rexford, Stephen Bishop and Benny Mardones.

She speaks to the public on topics from her wildly popular book, The Art of Losing It! Mastering Weight Loss in an Expanding World, that she co-authored with Hollywood screenwriter Dan O'Dowd.

JJ received her PhD in Holistic Nutrition at Clayton College of Natural Health and is a Board Certified Nutrition Specialist with the American College of Nutrition. She is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a Health and Fitness Instructor with enhanced qualifications in nutrition, advanced personal training and exercise for the older adult. She completed the Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice course through the Institute of Functional Medicine and regularly attends their conferences. She is also a Certified Nutritional Counselor with the American Association of Nutritional Consultants, a board member of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals in charge of media relations, a member of MENSA, a member of the American Nutraceutical Association and is Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition.

For more information please visit: http://www.JJVirgin.com and http://www.TheArtOfLosingit.com

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