Starting each day with a tall cup of warm green tea with some natural lemon in it is really one of the best things you can do to get your day going. The antioxidants, theanine and little bit of caffeine in the tea will help your energy and metabolism get fired up, while the lemon will add some benefits like those listed below.
1. Lemons are high in pectin fiber which is will not only aid in reducing the bad cholesterol in our bodies, but it will help to keep us full. Lemons are also an alkaline food which helps to keep our bodies in a pH balanced state. This is essential in maintaining proper cell function and overall integrity of all of our systems.People who eat a more alkaline diet have been said to lose weight faster too.
2.Lemons are rich in vitamin C and vitamin C is essential to our immune systems and cell health. More specifically is that they contain compounds called ascorbic and citric acid that have been shown to help reduce the negative effects of stress as well as aiding in reduction of inflammation in the body by helping to remove toxins. Both of these factors, in excess, are major causes disease and weight gain so they are definitely things you want to reduce and control.
3.Lemons contain negatively charged ions and foods like this have tend to speed up our digestion and processing of nutrients. This is because our body can handle these foods better and if you can handle and use your foods better, you will have more energy and be able to drop those pounds with a little more ease.
4. Lemons tend to speed up our need for urination. This helps our body to eliminate toxins at a faster rate. The citric acid also helps to maximize enzyme function which helps stimulate the liver and aid in fat loss. Having a healthy and fully functioning liver is a must for fat loss.
There are still believers out there of the dogma that endless situps, crunches and side bends are the key to a tighter midsection. I hope you are not one of them. If you are, no worries but I do want, no, NEED you to understand that that is just not how it is done.
First of all you must develop balanced and symmetrical strength in your core before you even think about various ab specific exercises. This will ensure that you are less likely to injure yourself in and out of the gym as well as it giving you better posture which makes you appear even tighter than you are.
After several weeks of developing this strength, you can start to add in some of the exercises below to your routine but always be sure that you keep things balanced ie. if you are doing a lot of crunching make sure you are doing hyperextensions, stretching your hip flexors and keeping your glutes strong for example.
Above and beyond any of this is the fact that even if you have a super strong core and do the ab workout below consistently, you will never have a smaller waistline or see the results of your hard work if you aren't practicing good nutrition. If you really want to lose the belly bulge, that is where it will come from.
First are some core exercises that you can do and than there are some targeted exercises for you too.
Pallof Press: Positon a D handle at shoulder height on a cable station. Your side should be facing the cable machine and the handle held with both hands mid chest. Keep your shoulder blades squeezed together but press the handle straight out while maintain your upright posture. Hold for a count of 10-20 seconds before bringing it back to mid chest. Repeat this 6 times on each side (you will switch so the opposite side of the side of your body is facing the cable station. The closer your feet are together, the harder your core must work.
Side Plank: Depending on your level, you may start with your elbows and knees on the ground or you can be up on one hand and foot with the others in the air. You want to be sure that your shoulders are over your elbow and that your shoulder, hip and knees are all in alignment as you raise your side up and hold for 30-60 seconds on one side than repeat on the other side. Do this 6 times total (3 on each side)
Birddog: Begin in a table top position with your hands and knees aligned. Reach out and raise up your right arm while donkey kicking your left leg out and holding this postion for 30 seconds and switching sides, holding for the same amount of time. Repeat this a total of 6 times (3 each side)
Swiss Ball Crunches 15-20 reps x 3
Bicycle Crunches 10-15 reps each side x 3
There you have it. That is a pretty solid core strengthening and defining workout but remember that it is what you do with your food that will make the real difference in losing your belly bulge.
Feeling hungry is not a feeling that most people enjoy. When it comes to fat loss you will often feel some hunger, but there are ways to limit this while still keeping your caloric intake and insulin levels low, both of which are essential to keep under control for fat loss.To really put a damper of hunger, be sure to fill up with lean proteins and healthy fats too.
1. Artichoke- just one ½ cup artichoke hearts will give you 7 grams of fiber and only 45 calories.
2. Pears- one medium pear will give you about 6 grams of fiber at only 100 calories.
3. Black Beans – just one cup of cooked black beans will give you a whopping 15 grams of fiber at only 200 calories.
4. Broccoli - 3 whole cups of this cruciferous veggie will give you 7 grams of fiber and only about 90 calories.
5. Raspberries – just one cup of raspberries will give you 8 grams of fiber at a mere 60 calories.
6. Yams – one cup of this high in vitamin c root veggie will give you 6 grams of fiber at about 170 calories.
7. Apples – one medium apple, at only 70 calories, will give you 3-4 grams of fill you up fiber.
8. Green Peas – these little green pellets at 165 calories per 1 cup offer up 8-9 grams of fiber.
9. Squash – two filling cups of this high in beta carotene veggie will give you 6 grams of fiber at only 120 calories.
10. Lentils – just a 1/2 cup of cooked lentils will give you 7 grams of fiber at 160 calories per serving.
By incorporating more of these fiber-rich foods in your nutrition plan, you will not feel so hungry or deprived while dropping body fat. These types of foods will also help to keep your energy levels stable throughout the day.
Have been feeling tired and un-rested even after an 8 hour night sleep? Feeling sluggish, lacking energy and feeling blah, than I want you to eliminate the foods listed below to help get your energy back. Don’t worry this isn’t permanent, but by taking this stuff out of your diet for at least 4 weeks and slowly and gradually re-introducing them if you desire to, you will feel better overall and full of real sustained energy.
1. Remove all stimulants such as caffeine, teas, chocolate and energy drinks. By eliminating the artificial energy you’ve been consuming, you can allow your body’s natural processes to re-ignite and function again.
2. Stop your consumption of alcohol. By doing this you will not only eliminate an empty calorie, energy and mood depressant, but you will allow your liver to do what you want it to, help with fat loss and energy production, as opposed to having to waste your liver on detoxification processes.
3. Cut out the sugar and processed foods. These are the top energy suckers and are not your figures friend. These are also substances that your liver must detoxify and besides that, consuming these things may give you that initial jolt of energy, but they leave you on the ground pretty quickly thereafter.
4. Nix the red meat. Red meat is hard for many to properly digest and process and can leave many feeling sluggish and lethargic. Because many lack certain enzymes for digesting a lot or red meat, there can often be “leftovers” left in your gut to slow your system down.
So what can you eat and drink than? Water and non-caffeinated herbal teas are exceptional beverages to choose. Produce of all sorts and varieties are great and will help to readjust your energy production capabilities. Beans, legumes and seeds can be eaten, as well as whole grains like quinoa and rice. Protein sources like fish are good to be eating at this time too just focus on the fatty kinds like salmon and sardine over things like tuna and tilapia.
Keep in mind that this is only a temporary change but one that will help to rebalance your energy if not greatly increase it.
It really doesn’t take more than putting some oomph into your workouts to get a fast-to-do fat burning workout it and this 12-20 minute workout is your proof.
Alternating Kicking Plank: Start in a full plank/table top position with feet hip-width apart (you are facing up not towards the ground like a regular plank position).Quickly kick right leg as left hand reaches toward right foot and torso rotates to the right, pivoting on left foot. Return to start (rotate back to full plank) and repeat on the other side. Continue alternating sides, moving as quickly as possible for 30 seconds.
Jump Squats: Start in a squat position with feet wide and arms out front of your body. Jump off the ground while pumping your arms to help with momentum and speed as you repeat as powerfully and quickly as possible for 30 seconds.
Plank Side Tucks: Start in a regular full plank position with feet together, hands shoulder width apart and core engaged. Bend knees and jump your feet in to your left elbow, turning knees to the side trying to touch the knee. Jump back out to plank; repeat on opposite side and continue for 30 seconds.
Lateral Lunge with Bow: Stand tall with feet together, hands behind head squeezing your shoulder blades together, abs braced. Take a wide step to one side, lowering into a side lunge/squat, shooting your butt back bringing your chest about parallel to the floor. Keep your shoulder blades squeezed throughout the movement and your core engage. Push off the landed leg and return to start than repeat on opposite side. Continue for 30 seconds.
Crab Walk with Dips: Start in a face up table top position but with a slight hinge in your hips. Start to walk backwards doing two full counts than do 6 triceps dips by bending your elbows and lowering your butt to the floor and pressing back up through your hands. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Crossover Jumping Jacks: This exercise is performed similar to the regular jumping jack but instead of just going up and down with your arms and in. out with your legs, you will alternate crossing over your hands at the top and your feet at the bottom.
Repeat this sequence 8-12 times and rest one minute between each set.
Sometimes even a huge cup of coffee is just not enough to get you energized for the day let alone to get your workout in. Instead of offering you the most sought after means of energy like stimulants, I have put together a list of a few uncommon ways to light a fire under your feet.
Motivation. One of the best ways to get going is to, well, be motivated! Motivation is like a powerful surge of adrenaline that is determined only by you and is free of charge. People are motivated by either avoidance of pain, or in seeking of pleasure. This means that the first thing that you must do is dig deep within you and find out what it is that causes you the most misery and pain or what brings you the greatest pleasure. Is it that you can’t play with your kids because you are always too tired or is it that you love the attention you get from your significant other when you strut around in sexy skimpy clothing because you feel so confident? Whatever side of that equation gets you driven, you must make it a constant visual in your mind and even right there in front of you.
Add some media to your day. Another great way to get hyped up is to crank up some music. Whether you love rock, rap, hip hop, dance or country tunes, plug in and turn it up. Watching some of your favourite music videos or a motivational youtube workout or training video helps a lot too.
Eating food, or better yet eating the right kinds of foods, when you feel blah is a great way to fuel your engine. Don’t not eat in fear of weight gain and just feel lethargic. Our bodies biggest source of energy comes from the foods we eat so feed yourself a small piece of fruit with some lean protein for a quick shot of sustained energy.
Drink some water. One of the most common causes of fatigue is dehydration and if you are thirsty, you are already far beyond where you should be. The cells in our bodies get slowed down and sticky so to speak when we don’t give them enough water so just imagine how this will affect your energy production abilities. Water is not a source of energy, but without it nothing else can work within us to allow this process.
Uncommon ways to increase energy? Sure but they are all natural and totally effective.
Real organic foods are definitely a bonus. They are higher in nutrients and therefore better for our bodies. Is it necessary to flat out live off of organic foods to lose weight though, or is it that we need to cut back immensely on our consumption of conventional foods?
Let me first start by stating that organic foods do not contain some extra ingredients that turn on our fat burning switches and boost our metabolism. While getting the necessary nutrition we need is paramount to allow for energy to be high and for our overall system to function optimally, there is not magic here. So how than can organic foods help our fat loss goals?
As I had mentioned, it is not so much that these foods contain extras, but it is more so what they do not contain that is important to lose fat. Organic foods do not contain added hormones, pesticides and antibiotics that a lot of the regular foods do. These compounds in high doses can mess with our bodies abilities to build lean muscle, lose fat and to have vibrant energy. Let me break it down a little bit for you:
There are many different chemical pesticides/herbicides used to help keep crops from being eaten up by critters. Atrazine is one of these. A study published by the Seol National University College of Medicine showed that not only did weight gain occur in the subjects, but that visceral fat, that fat that increases our risk of diabetes and heart disease, increased.
While this may only be one study, there are countless others that support a breakdown of proper enzymatic functioning, a creation of hormonal imbalances and other health issues that mean more than just not looking good in a bikini, from an overconsumption of pesticides and other additives to non-organic foods.
Not everyone can easily access or afford all organic meats and produce so what can you do?
• Buy your meats from a local farmers market.
• Grow your own garden of veggies and herbs.
• Don’t bother buying organic produce that you do not eat the outside of ie. bananas, oranges and rutabaga.
• Thoroughly wash and scrub your fruits and veggies.
Even if you alternate weeks of organic and non-organic or eat as much of the organics as you can, you will have a better shot of reducing the accumulative negative effects on your hormones and fat loss goals. Buying from farmer’s markets and the like will not only help support your health and waistline, but it will help your community too.
While things in all aspects of life are really more about balance as opposed to being bad or good, there are some foods that are certainly best and worst when it comes to fat loss. Inflammation is one of the leading causes of chronic disease and obesity so keep that in mind as you read below.
Best #1: Salmon- This delicious fish is not only rich in protein, but it delivers a healthy dose of fat burning, cell signalling, anti-aging, mind and heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids.
Worst #1: Tilapia- This fish is one of the leanest sure but while it does offer us protein, the omega 3's we so desire are just not up to snuff with this underwater creature. In fact, they are fairly high in omega 6 which can throw your balance off even more if you are not careful. Aside from that, many say that they contain more chemicals than other fish.
Best #2: Kale- This plant can be green or purple and is loaded with benefits. Eating more greens in general will not only help our digestive tracts, but it can actually help to keep a healthy acid-base balance in our bodies which is essential to good health overall. Kale is also rich in many nutrients and antioxidants like vitamin C, calcium, carotenoids and flavonoids while also being super low cal.
Worst #2: Green peas- Really there is nothing wrong with this little pellets but they certainly aren't the greatest choice. They just offer more carbs per serving than others do and with less nutritional awesomeness.
Best #3: Ghee- Clarified butter enhances the availability of enzymes in our bodies responsible for detoxification. It improves HDL, the good cholesterol, in our bodies, and provides us with some necessary vitamin E.
Worst #3: Margarine- This is a plastic fat that is typically loaded with health damaging trans fatty acids. Our bodies typically cannot process or handle manufactured foods and this spread can increase inflammation in the body.
Best #4: Manuka Honey- This sweet spread is overall a far better choice than table sugar. It not only tastes great but it doesn't effect our insulin as quickly either. Manuka honey is also known to provide us with antibacterial properties from a compound called methylglyoxal (MG). It is also said to have anti-inflammatory traits.
Worst #4: White Sugar- White table sugar is one of the worst things for our fat burning abilities, our moods, our heart health and simply has an overall negative systemic response aiding in inflammatory conditions and chronic disease.
I want to reiterate that things are about balance. If you keep things varied, and do not consume either best or worst in excess, you will most likely be ok overall. There are always better choices when it comes to foods and the more you know, the better off you can make decisions.
Changing anything in life is tough and I am not going to lie to you and tell you changing your body is any different. Yes it is challenging, yes it will take patience, effort and will be uncomfortable but my goodness it is worth it! If you think that it is as easy as just grabbing any pill, workout program and current fad diet plan, it just isn’t. Below is not THE diet, THE workout program but what it is is some proven facts that need to be in place for your success.
It is all about YOU: Initially many people will use a breakup, “peer pressure” (this is the kind of peer pressure I do recommend), a vacation or event as their reasons for getting started but this never lasts. The reason for the change has to come from you wanting to be a better version of you. It has to be about you wanting to feel better, look better, you wanting to change. You have to be willing to re-organize and prioritize differently and you have to truly, deep in your soul, want to live life not just survive. You have to be willing to be patient and be willing to learn. Set the goals for you and what YOU truly want to look like, feel like and no matter what, be willing to take the steps necessary to make the changes.
Be Specific: The more specific you are with any goal, the better off you will be. There will be roadblocks and things that happen out of the blue but the more you learn the better prepared you will be for these events. The more specific you are when starting out, the easier it is to set yourself up to succeed. Find a pair of jeans, a waist measurement and write it down. Figure out how many calories and how much exercise (and type) you need. How are you doing to achieve this? What are the steps necessary ie, maybe start with stopping drinking your calories and taking the stairs to start? Write activities, behaviours and lifestyle factors you need to change or implement, monthly, weekly, daily even hourly if that suits your personality. This will help you to stay focused and motivated.
Start Small: Wanting to lose 40 lbs is a great goal, if you need that, but looking at that number can set you up for misery. Many people focus on the end goal and get discouraged or start to do radical things instead of breaking things down into smaller goals and appreciated the achievements along the way. Smaller goals will make things seem more achievable and thus keep you moving forward. You will also experience a lot more successes which is all around awesome! Did you set a goal to not eat a bag of chips every night before bed as you have for years and haven’t done so in a week? That is amazing! Celebrate that and think of how that one small change you made is going to amplify.
Expect Obstacles and Be Okay With Them: Having an all-or-none approach to things is no way to achieve any form of greatness. Even the most successful people in life fall and faulter at times but the secret is, they don’t let it get them down, they pick up and move on. As I mentioned above, there will be people, things, situations that come up or get in the way but knowing that and being okay with it will help a lot. You were hitting the gym every day and all of a sudden you got sick or have an out-of-the-blue 16 hour workday and kids to care for and you can’t get to the gym as planned today? Whatever! No biggie just do what you have to do and go tomorrow. Rest days are often a good thing. Did you eat so “perfectly” for 2 weeks and all of a sudden ate a box of chocolates? Cool. This doesn’t ruin anything it just means you pick up where you left off and get back to healthy eating. Allowing yourself a little cheat here and there is totally cool and will help you stay on track and prevent stuffing your face to so no worries. Don’t let little obstacles or setbacks get you down or be the reason you throw in the towel for good. Pick up, move on, and keep going. This is a journey, not a destination.
There is nothing like having tips to add to your repetoire of knowledge on your quest for leanness and overall health so here are 10 more easy-to-do tips for you:
1. Eat some protein at every meal. This will vary for each person but about the size of your palm is a good place to start.
2. Stay hydrated. Be sure that you are drinking enough fluids throughout the day that your pee is clear and you are never thirsty.
3. Vary your foods. Even if it is weekly instead of daily, it is important for overall health and thus fat loss, that you eat a variety of foods. This will ensure that you are getting all of the nutrients your body needs to thrive as well as helping to prevent food intolerances and to help you not get bored and thus quit your healthy food feasting.
4. Trust me when I say this…prioritize sleep, relaxation and stress relief. You are no good to anyone if you are burnt out. Try various yoga classes and take advantange of the tons of free guided meditation apps there are today.
5. Eat breakfast like a king/queen, lunch like a prince/princess, and dinner like a pauper. These too varies for each person and their lifestyles but for the most part you will get better sleep not eating on a full stomach and you will use more of the food energy for daily functions. Starting the day with a bigger meal will not only help fuel you for the day, but it will help prevent binge eating later.
6. Regardless of what the hot cool fitness trend is, find what YOU enjoy and do it. Do it a LOT.
7. Fill your plate with veggies first, than a protein source, than some fruit or complex carbohydrates.
8. Don't be fooled by fruit juices or superdrinks. While these may offer some benefit, you are much better off eating the real fruit as you will get some fiber and more nutrients. I am not talking about juicing here but the commercial or pyramid marketing stuff.
9. Focus on your meal time. Don't eat while watching tv or being super distracted or before you know it you will probably have eaten at least twice as much as you anticipated and will most likely feel bloated or get indigestion from not chewing enough too.
10. Try eating some raw organic milk, ghee and kefir every now and again. These foods are great for our guts and our cells which is important for allowing fat loss to occur.
What I am about to tell you may shock you, but I promise it is entirely legit. Have you ever heard of a supplement called creatine? I thought so. In all actuality, creatine does come in supplemental form but it is really a naturally occurring compound found in our foods.
Creatine is not only found in the foods we eat like meat, but we actually have this awesome compound inside of us already. It is made up of nitrogenous organic acids ( a combination of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen) and helps to supply energy to all cells in the body, primarily muscle. This is achieved by increasing the formation of adenosine triphosphate or ATP which, hello… is energy! So this may not be a new cutting-edge wowwy-wow-wow supplement, but that is what makes it even better as it has been around for a long time and consistently proves its efficacy.
Aside from the energy producing aspect, it helps with fat loss in a sort of secondary manner. Sidenote really quickly here just in case you believe the garbage you may have heard about creatine: there are hundreds of studies showing supplementing with creatine is not only safe and extremely effective for energy production, performance and fat loss aspects, but it is also a great preventative supplement for cognition and neurological disorders as well as in preventing sarcopenia (muscle wasting creating dangerous frailty) as we age. Okay and back to how it helps with fat loss.
I am going to kill to major myths women believe in one shot here; lifting weights and taking creatine will NOT turn you into a man. What you will get is stronger, shaplier, have high energy, look better naked, and the list goes on and on. By supplementing with phosphocreatine/ creatine monohydrate, coupled with some resistance training and high intensity "cardio", your bod will be rocking.
In the simplest of terms, doesn't it make complete sense to you that if you can train harder, you will be able to burn more calories overall and be able to stimulate that body tightening, metabolism boosting lean muscle better? I thought so, so stop holding yourself back because of stories, rumors and lies, and give this super supplement a go!
The paragraph below is from the ISSN but if this is too complicated, I will make it simple for you and tell you that there is good stuff showing that a simple, more cost and time effective (not everyone wants to live by a timer) 5g dose before training can produce great results too. Be sure that you are drinking enough water in general but even more so when you are supplementing. This could be as simple as an extra 8-16oz of water per day.
"A typical creatine supplementation protocol of either a loading phase of 20 to 25 g CM/d or 0.3 g CM/kg/d split into 4 to 5 daily intakes of 5 g each have been recommended to quickly saturate creatine stores in the skeletal muscle. However a more moderate protocol where several smaller doses of creatine are ingested along the day (20 intakes of 1 g every 30 min) could be a better approach to get a maximal saturation of the intramuscular creatine store. In order to keep the maximal saturation of body creatine, the loading phase must be followed by a maintenance period of 3-5 g CM/d or 0.03 g CM/kg/d. These strategies appear to be the most efficient way of saturating the muscles and benefitting from CM supplementation."
Let me jump right to it by giving you a time-tested list of what people who have been there, done that, have done and keep doing to keep their fat loss as fat forever lost.
1. They prioritize and schedule exercise as if it were your job or a life saving appointment you cannot miss…oh wait, it IS a life saving appointment! If you live an erratic life that has you often having to drop things at the drop of a hat, this can make getting it in tough. The thing that successful people do though aside from prioritizing, is that if they don't do it first thing before anything, they will pack an emergency fitness bag just in case. This means that you don't have to go home to grab your stuff and if this bag is packed right with things, other than your shoes and clothes, as basic as an interval timer, a jump rope and/or some resistance bands, you can bust out a workout anywhere at any time. Pack this bag with some baby wipes or the like and even if you don't have access to a shower, you can hit a stairwell in the building your random meeting is in and do some work there than hit the bathroom quickly to freshen up.
2. They pre-pack their meals for the day or have learned enough to know how to eat on the go at restaurants, supermarkets and the like. Not everyone has to eat 6 meals per day like many would have you believe, but it is time tested that going too long between meals will leave you ravenous and eating the worst foods in large portions just to fill your body's hunger. If you have meals prepped and with you, you can set yourself up to eat the right amount of food and at the right intervals, before you get ravenous. Some people even set a timer for every 3-4 hours but over time you learn what your body wants and needs and when and you don't have to go to this extreme. Some people even fare better on just a couple of meals per day but these are healthy high fiber and protein meals full of nutrients to help satisfy the body's needs and are often pre-made at home.
3. They drink a "lot" of water. You don't have to go overboard but one of the first signs of dehydration is hunger and fatigue and not only does not being hydrated make you hungry and tired, it slows down all processes, aka metabolism, in our bodies. They typically have a large jug with them at the office or in their car or have several bottles of water, or a refillable water bottle to fill their needs. If you are thirsty and your pee is dark, you are already dehydrated. Aim for about 2600mL per day as a guideline.
4. They do cardio and weights. Cardio can be doing circuits, using a machine, playing a sport, but they keep it hard on most days with alternating easy days to aid with recovery and just because it clears the mind and feels pretty good. The latter can consist of dancing, long hikes or walks, biking, whatever activity you enjoy. Resistance training can come in the form of circuits too but really they will first put on some lean mass with more tension specific training and than just keep alternating the types of resistance modalities and training methods. They keep challenging and varying things in both cardio and resitance training over time, that is the key take away here.
5. They get involved with others. Not everyone likes group workouts or buddy training, but one thing in common with the long term successful people, is that they either do the group or buddy stuff, or they have friends/family that share their lifestyle with them. Keeping a solid group of likeminded people in your circle is a must for longterm success in order to support and encourage eachother.
I commend you for coming here and taking the first step on changing your life for the better. We all start somewhere and this moment is yours! Today your life changes IF you implement the basic guidelines below and are consistent with it. This is a journey. You will eat those 10 cookies when you only wanted 1. You will miss a workout here or there. You will not want to some days but I promise you that NOT having a fit and healthy body is a much harder and more horrible place to live in than the body you will have by putting in only a few hours of hard work per week and eating an 80% real food diet.
Finding activities that you like to do whether it be a kickboxing class, a spinning class, dancing, whatever, find what you like and do it. You will although have to suck it up a little and do some things that you may not initially like but once the results come, you will probably be loving it. This means you have to lift some weights and feel a bit uncomfortable. The strength and power you feel as well as the bounce you get in your step and oh yeah, the looser fitting clothing, will make it worthwhile I promise.
This workout below is going to kick your butt. I know you can take it, plus I want you to get results faster so push through and trust your capabilities. This may not seem like a beginners workout but it is. The amount of reps will be different, the weight you lift will be different and the rest intervals needed will be different, but there is no reason you can't do this. This workout will help you build some lean muscle while scorching a ton of calories both during AND after your workout.
Always be sure to do a warmup to get your muscles and your joints ready for the work to come. Perfrom 8-10 reps moving slow and controlled for the lift and 30 seconds as fast as you can of the second bodyweight exercises but with good form. Rest about 60 seconds between each set and do 3-5 sets depending on how you feel.
1b- Lateral squat to side kicks alternating sides
2a- Horizontal Chest Press
2b- Jab-cross combo
3b- Pushup to suicide run
4a- Chin up or inverted row
Finish this workout with a cooldown of stretching to help aid recovery. Having a whey protein shake with some fast absorbing carbohydrates pre and post workout is a great guideline to help you towards your goals as well. As for your overall nutrition, focus on each of your plates at each meal being full of veggies like greens first, than some protein foods like fish or chicken, than some fruit like berries or a complex carbohydrate like quinoa as the smallest part of your plate. Eating like this 5-6 days per week with taking either a small cheat meal or cheat day for sanity and pleasure, is a good, simple place to start towards your fat loss goals.
In order to permanently boost our metabolism, we must put on and more importantly maintain, muscle mass. In order to do this we not only have to challenge our muscles with consistent resistance training, but we also must be sure that we are eating enough of an essential nutrient to help build and maintain our new bodies. This essential nutrient is, in a nutshell, is protein.
Protein is a macronutrient that contains 4 calories per gram and is made up of 20 amino acids. Of these 20 amini acids,11 are non-essential, as in our own body can manufacture them, and the other 9 are essential, in that we must get them in our diets. Surprisingly though, the so-called non-essential, have actually been shown to be pretty darn important to get additionally in our diets too. We also have what are called complete and incomplete proteins and this is a very important aspect for you vegetarians trying yet struggling to lose fat.
A complete protein is a food source that offers you all of the essential and non-essential amino acids. Most common food sources are eggs, chicken, dairy, fish and meat. The incomplete protein food sources most commonly known are from things like nuts, beans, seeds and lentils which are also the foods most eaten by vegans and vegetarians.
We know that having enough complete protein in our diets is a very important aspect to building metabolism boosting muscle but what can you do if you don't eat meat and/or have aversions or allergies to certain other animal derived protein foods? While animal proteins will also be better utilized, no need to sweat it as I have you covered with a list of plant based protein sources or combos to help you.
1. Ezekial bread with almond butter. This is not only an incredibly delicious snack or meal but the combination of these two foods will provide you with the right combination of amino acids that one and the other lacks to make up a complete protein source. This will also provide you with some healthy fats, fiber and complex carbohydrates for sustained energy.
2. Tofu or tempeh. These soy foods are made up of all of the amino acids, both essential and non-essential. They are just slightly different but both offer about 17grams of protein per one cup serving.There really isn't much of a flavor to this food so you can mix it, grill it up with your favorite spices, herbs or light soups and sauces and it will just take on that flavor.
3. Quinoa. This, much like the bread and butter listed above, is another "carbohydrate sourced" complete protein. I call these carb sourced complete proteins because while both 1 and 3 offer all of the amino acids necessary to make a complete protein, they are both much higher in carbohydrate than protein overall but both are very healthy sources.
4. Pea or rice protein supplements. There are actually quite a few plant-based protein powder supplements out there today all of which typically contain pea and/or rice protein. Regardless of which you go with, I would suggest looking for one that definitely has pea protein in it as pea protein is naturally higher in the anabolic amino acid leucine.
5. Beans and rice. This is another "carb based" complete protein combo but is very high in fill-you-up fiber. This combination provides the complimentary aminos to eachother offering us all of the necessary means to make a protein and can give about 18 grams per 1 cup serving of the mix.
While it may be harder for vegetarians to get all of the necessary fat burning, metabolism boosting protein in their diets, with the right know how and combinations, it is possible. Add these 5 sources of plant based proteins into you daily diet alongside your resistance training and before you know it you will be rocking a rock hard, super sexy bod.
Statistics. Calculus. Physics. Chemistry. Fat loss. What do all of these five things have in common? They all have a huge mental component, and they all are pretty darn complex.
While in reality, a major factor in terms of fat loss still does come down to calories in versus calories out, it goes far beyond this. If the case were simply in favor of this method for fat loss than why are there so many overfat people who actually undereat even their basic caloric needs?
Truth be told there really is no one size fits all approach and even when you do find something that works for you temporarily, that method won't keep you going forever. Simply cutting calories is not the solution to fat loss.
We must first focus on the quality of our foods which actually almost automatically will help us in the realm of caloric balance too. As an example, you can literally get a full day's worth of your energy needs in one fast food joint meal consisting of the burger, fries and soft drink. That is one single meal and it will hardly keep you satiated and feeling stellar so yup, you guessed it, you will be reaching for more food sooner than later. You could always get your calories from healthier foods throughout the day, or even in one or two bigger meals but the difference lies in that you will be full and satiated from all of the fiber, protein and nutrients and therefore won't be constantly reaching for more.
Okay so we know that calories do count and types of calories count, but what if you are still not getting anywhere even after you have cleaned up your diet and have calculated your basic metabolic needs?
The next step in the fat loss equation would be, what are you doing for your training? Are you lifting weights to build some butter burning muscle that also reshapes your body? This means not just running circuits and doing "cardio" but actually putting tension and stress on your muscles consistently to get them to grow? If you are not doing this, this is the next step. A total body program 3-4 times per week involving big compound movements like squats, deadlifts, a row or chin up exercise, and an overhead pressing movement like dumbbell shoulder press and a pressing movement like a bench press, and you are on your way.
So you have all of those steps in place but still having trouble? This is when you will want to add in some high intensity interval work either on off days of lifting or a short session right after your lifting session. If you are already living a high stress lifestyle you may want to get the extra activity in the way of lighter activities that may take a bit more time but won't add negative stress on top of everything. This can be something like leisurely walking or biking.
If you are still at a plateau or not getting anywhere, maybe it is time to change up your macronutrients in favour of a temporary extreme drop in carbohydrates with an uptake in the amount of healthy fats or protein. Maybe it is time to tap on a day of training. Maybe it is time that you just need some new exercises, a new rep range, another set, the list can go on and on. It could even be that you have a medical issue you aren't even aware of.
The point of this post is not to discourage you but to empower you with the knowledge that fat loss can often be quite challenging and confusing for so many, not just you, so don't feel alone or like you need to give up. It can take years to figure out our very own bodies and even when we do sort of figure it out, it goes and changes what it needs on us or worse yet, adapts.
There are so many variants, so many potential additions or subtractions needed, different modalities, tools, foods etc. that make up the fat loss equation but more often than not, starting with the basics and keeping things pretty simple, will often yield you the greatest long term results.
There is a lot of scary citings out there right now on the dangers of energy drinks, those of which will remain nameless here. There is really nothing conclusive saying these things are going to kill or hurt you, unless just like with most things, you go overboard or have certain sensitivities or conditions, but in my opinion focusing on a healthy solution versus a bandaid approach is a better way to go.
The energy drinks industry is huge and seems to be gaining more and more in popularity. These beverages are mainly loaded with caffeine and sugar from obvious or hidden sources as well as several other ingredients. Although these ingredients may give you a quick source of energy, it is often not sustainable and if relied on, may cause problems.
There is really nothing wrong with caffeine but for certain populations or again, if used in excess, sure it can be problematic.The average amount of caffeine in one energy drink was 160 to 175 milligrams but has since risen to 200-400 milligrams in some. The majority of the people drinking these things are not athletes who may benefit from the caffeine, but kids, teens, young adults and the less than active population. Drinking a ton of caffeine may boost athletic performance and increase pain tolerance, but if you are drinking these things and just going to sit at work or in class all day, there will no doubt be a problem.
Most energy drinks also contain an average of 30 to 70 grams of sugar per can. This is an extra 120 to 280 insulin boosting, empty calories not to mention how the sugar can create plaque, tooth decay or cause cavities. I am sure that if you are at this site you are not looking to increase insulin resistance or to learn how to add extra useless calories to your waisline so let me get to a good-for-you fat loss and energy drink recipe:
Steep one bag of matcha green tea and chai tea together for 3-5 minutes.
In a blender or other device, pour the cup of tea
Add 1/2 cup of chopped pears and 1/2 cup of frozen cherries
1 tsp of cinnamon and 2 drops of liquid anise
1 scoop of vanilla whey/casein blend protein
1 serving of greens product
1 tsp of flax meal
This energy drink will not only provide you with sustained energy and an awesome sense of alertness, but it will give you an incredible dose of antioxidants, fat loss friendly fiber, a host of anti-inflammatory nutrients and well, it will taste much better than the other options too.
What we consume can have such a huge impact on our energy levels. If you are finding you are hitting that late afternoon energy slump more and more each week, I have got some foods for you to help change that. While it often really comes down to an overall lifestyle overhaul, adding these 5 energy boosting foods to your daily diet can help you get past the slump without adding a tummy lump! These foods are full of nutrients that will help get your energy up and keep it there, while helping to keep your waistline down.
1. Whole Omega 3 Eggs- Each whole egg, yes please eat the yolk too, has about 70-80 calories. Of those calories you are getting about 6-8 grams of appetite suppressing, blood sugar balancing protein, 4-6 grams of fat with a portion of that being from the brain and heart healthy omega 3's, a powerful dose of the antioxidant vitamin E and selenium, as well as the brain boosting, stress fighting phosphatidylserine.
2.Whole Grains- There is absolutely nothing wrong with carbohydrates. Too much of anything is not good for us and yes there are certainly better options but carbohydrates are a-okay! Whole grain complex carbohydrates like rice, oats and quinoa are a great source of balanced energy giving fuel. It is the white processed junk that people often reach for during the midday slump like donuts and sugary treats that get you into trouble. These foods are must haves for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, as well as fighting that mid-day tired and moody feeling. Whole grains give us a lasting level of energy as they are slower to digest and also provide us with many essential nutrients to get us through the day.
3. Nuts – Almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts and the like are all great foods for fighting the fatigue. Be careful as they are very calorie dense but a handful of these can offer you a dose of energizing protein, fill you up fiber and healthy fats. They are a great source of magnesium, the mineral that converts sugar into energy fuel.
4. Meats- Preferably your choice of meat will be one of the leaner ones like chicken, turkey or fish but feel free to nosh on some meat, with some produce of course, to give you a good dose of the amino acid tyrosine. This amino acid helps to boost norepinephrine and dopamine both of which are chemicals that make you feel good and keep you alert.
5. Fatty Fish- While this may seem like I am suggesting the same food as the last, it is actually for very different reasons that fish shows up again. The omega 3 fats found in fatty fish like salmon, mackeral, and sardines can help overall circulation. This means our body can better transport oxygen and other nutrients throughout our system thus allowing for better energy production and utilization.
Instead of reaching for the oversized frappuccino with the biscuit or danish, reach for some of the 5 fatigue fighting foods to keep lean and mean and full of energizing steam.
So there you are enjoying a delicious low carb steak and eggs breakfast thinking you are doing the best thing for your health and fat loss. This acquired knowledge from all of the internet sites, magazines and of course your friends and coworkers, have you believing that all things meat is the way to go just as long as you cut out the carbs. But is it right for YOU?
You have been doing this for some time now and yup you lost a good amount of weight and pretty quickly to boot. You have noticed lately though that you are feeling a bit more lethargic, you're skin looks less radiant, you've become less regular and you have developed a lower abdomen portrusion even amidst a drop on the scale. So what gives?
To feel and look good on the outside is a direct reflection of what is going on on the inside of us. More specifically, what we digest and absorb directly reflects how we feel and look on the outside and unfortunately as we are all so different, a heavy meat diet can often backfire if done for too long.
Digestion allows our bodies to get the nutrients and energy it needs from the food you eat. While protein is most certainly a macronutrient that revs our metabolisms, the unfortunate thing is that the increase in metabolism is partially because of the difficulty our bodies have in breaking it down and digesting it.
Not all protein is created equal nor has the same effect on our digestive system. The hardest form of protein for us to digest is red meat. While the occasional eating of red meat is absolutely ok as it is a great source of many essential nutrients like vitamin B12, iron, creatine and CLA, eating it too much along with other animal sources of protein for too long, can cause some of the aforementioned situations you may be experiencing.
Red meat can stay in our systems for up to 72 hours. This means a sort of blockage of other things our bodies could be allowing to occur such as nutrient delivery to cells, rest and repair. This can also mean a buildup of bad bacteria in our system creating symbiosis (an imbalance of good to bad bacteria necessary to our overall health) leaving us open to potential infection and illness.
Am I saying that you should stop eating protein rich foods and red meat forever? No way! What I would suggest though is to keep your red meat eating to maybe one meal per week, try a day or two of eating vegetarian protein sources like beans, peas, lentils and tempeh and overall, just focusing on a more mediterranean type of diet. This means lean protein sources like fish and white meats with plenty of produce and healthy oils.
By eliminating red meat for a little while or altogether if you choose, you will find that your energy will begin to soar and your fat loss and health will get back on track.
What if it cost you less than 10 bucks to get fit, tone your body from head to toe and be fast like lightning? Yes it is totally possible and all it takes is a bit of space and a jump rope.
Not only does jumping rope burn about 300 calories in 30 minutes for the average 135lb person, but it helps tone your shoulders, calves and legs. Couple this cheap little tool with some resistance work, or if you are a bit more advanced, some plyometric work and BAM you've got yourself a pretty rock solid routine,
If you have access to a gym I would suggest the dumbbell version of the workout but if you are working out at home or on the road, the alternate bodyweight and plyo workout will do wonders too.
3-5 minutes of straight basic bounce jump rope. Be sure to land with soft knees and keep your posture upright. You also want to focus more on turning with your wrists than your arms and shoulders.
12-15 reps of squats OR 30 seconds of jump squats
60 seconds of high knee jump rope
10-12 reps of chest press OR 6-8 plyo pushups followed by regular pushups to failure
60 seconds of in out jump rope
12 reps each side of reverse lunges OR 30 seconds of switch jump lunges
60 seconds of butt kicker jump rope
10-12 reps of rows OR 30-60 seconds of wall supported handstands (be sure to pull your shoulders down away from your ears and hold them there squeezing your upper back/shoulder blades together as well)
It is unfortunate that we experience what many hold as an inevitable decline in our metabolic rates as we age. In fact, every decade after the age of 25 we experience a 2-4% decline in our resting metabolic rate. What this means is that even if you are eating the same as you were, you will feel your jeans getting tighter whether you like it or not.The thing is though, this decline is not inevitable if we just take action.
If you are already eating a healthy diet with plenty of veggies, fruits, lean proteins and healthy fats awesome job! If you have been doing this consistently though and have noticed things getting tighter, you have just been hit with that lifestyle related decline in metabolic rate.
What you need to do if you are already doing the nutrition portion, is you need to fight back the fat with putting on some lean muscle mass. The decline in metabolic rate listed above is due to our bodies natural loss of muscle mass aka if you don't use it, you lose it, so get started with the basic plan below and wage your war on your increasing waistline.
You only need to spend about 35-45 minutes 3-5 times per week to see results. Every body is different but this is a pretty good guideline to get you started. The results will take a little time but stick with it and you will be happy you did I promise you. Each exercise is to be done with intensity. This simply means that the last rep should be challenging to complete. Once you can complete the last rep with ease, I want you to increase the weight or decrese the rep goals.
Always be sure to warm up your entire body and perform a cooldown after each workout with some stretching. The days listed are simply guidelines but do be sure that you take some time to rest and recover between workouts if you are sore. This is a basic beginner program but will deliver you results. This is mostly machine based for you so you can train safely on your own if you don't have a trainer or partner to work with.
2-4 sets of 12-15 reps, keep rest to a minimum between exercises and rest about 60 seconds between each round of exercises.
Seated Horizontal Row
2-4 sets of 12-15 reps, keep rest to a minimum between exercises and rest about 60 seconds between each round of exercises.
Glute-Ham Raise or Hip Thrusts
Neutral Grip Pulldowns
Plank hold (30-60 seconds)
2-4 sets of 12-15 reps, keep rest to a minimum between exercises and rest about 60 seconds between each round of exercises.
From the streets we walk on in our busy cities, to the temples in India and the pyramids in Egypt, nothing awe-inspiring and so beautiful was built on its own. Hurdles and challenges that were overcome like breaking down the Berlin wall or ending slavery, were defeated by not one single warrior but by many.
While your battle of the bulge or your pursuit of your perfect body may not be quite as daunting, although it may feel that way to you, there are similarities. Health and fat loss are much like the obstacles and successes above in that it takes a group, a team, to help achieve the goal.
From having a personal trainer to attending workshops, meetings or group fitness classes, to online forums and websites, to those in your very own home, if you want to succeed, you need more than just you.
If you live in a home filled with junk food and sedentary or unsupportive people, how much more difficult will your achievements be? If you want to alter your diet you need to have the rest of the members of the household involved too. Believe me you will be doing them a favour. This could mean helping them make changes to their diets too or even just putting your name on your food so they don't eat it leaving you with nothing.
If you are experiencing plateaus or challenges that you don't know how to overcome or know why they are happening, you can feel alone, frustrated and lose all motivation. Maybe you need some new exercises to do to get your body responding again. Maybe you are having energy dips and not sure why or what foods to eat or drinks to have to overcome that.
Even if you are an experienced pro, you will still experience challenges you need help, support and other viewpoints from or even just that kick in the butt. We are all human and this means that even the strongest sometimes get somewhat comfortable too in a set way of things that may hinder progress.
Making any change in life can be hard and to make it even harder on yourself by trying to go it alone is not the key to success. By being here though you are clearly more focused and driven than many as you have already taken a step to reach out. Yes even reading about things involved in your goals can make a big difference too and is often the first step on the path, the journey to achievement.
There are a lot of things to do in a day and tacking on more tasks I am sure is not on your list of priorities. What really should be an absolute priority above all else though is your health. If you have kids I am sure you are among the many who are disregarding this statement and saying "nope my kids come first" but I am sorry, you are wrong, to a degree.
As the saying goes, "you have to put on your mask first" or "you can't help/save anyone if you can't help/save yourself" and this couldn't be any more true in terms of taking care of yourself first. If you are not strong healthy and fit enough to keep up with your lifestyle, your kids and the many challenges of parenting and life in general, you are simply a hindrance not a help, remember that.
While my goal is not to make your life any more stressful by taking away time you want to devote to other people or things, health and fitness is a must and does not have to take you hours every day to achieve it. In fact, more research has come out from the ACSM again showing how less time but harder work gets better and faster results.
The aim of the study done was to compare the effects of time-efficient, low-volume interval exercises for health, fitness and body composition benefits vs traditional continuous exercise. Sprint interval training (5 mins, 100kcal) and high intensity interval aerobic training (13 mins, 180kcal) up against continuous aerobic activity (40mins, 360kcal). What was observed was that while certain health parameters were benefited in all groups, the first two showed greater results in cardiovascular capacity and body composition changes long term.
What this means to you is that you really can fast track your way to fitness and fat loss without having to sacrifice your life or sanity! A few hard sessions per week either of bodyweight exercises like burpees, side shuffles or jump squats, or jump rope, or even on your favourite piece of cardio equipment like a bike or airdyne, is all it takes to change your world and the world of those around you.
Whether you play a sport or just want to look damn good in a skirt or pair of shorts, strong, long lean legs will help get you to the goal. If you want legs to make yourself and others go 'loco' for, I have got a fast and effective workout for you. All it takes is two days of lower leg specific training with conditioning and a solid high fiber, high protein diet and within even two weeks you will notice a fabulous change.
Warmup for 10 minutes with some jump rope and dynamic movements to open up your hips allowing for full range of motion to maximize your progress.
Perform 4 of the supersets with 30-60 seconds rest between sets before moving on to the next set of exercises.
A1- Hack Squats 12-15 reps
A2- Jump Lunges 15 each side
B1- Glute-Ham Raise or Stiff Leg Deadlift 8-10 reps
B2- Long Jumps 20 yards
C1- Forward Bench Lunge 10-12 reps each side
C2- In-Out Squat Hops
A1- Back Squats 8-10 reps
A2- Tuck Jumps 6
B1- Front Squats 12-15 reps
B2- Burpees 10
C1- Reverse Lunge with Forward Lean 10-12 reps each side
C2- Star Jumps With Butt Kicks 10
Be sure to be complimenting these workouts with some upper body and core work and to stretch after each session to aid recovery and to keep your new sexy legs long, lean and functional.
More energy, increased fat lose and anti-aging from one compound? This may sound farfetched but research shows this single compound may just be the fountain of youth.
There is a particular gene that has been found called SIRT1 that can have the positive effects listed above when switched on. The best way to activate this gene has been shown to be through a somewhat restrictive yet healthy diet and intense exercise, but a naturally occurring compound found in small amounts, in certain nuts grapes and red wine has shown some promise to do this too.
The funny thing is that the caloric restriction and intense exercise may initially activate the gene but if gone too far can actually speed up negative effects like fatigue, obesity and aging. This is why it is so exciting that this compound, called resveratrol, has been found to protect us from this.
SIRT1 is a gene found in humans and other mammals that helps to promote survival by protecting cells during times when food is scarce. This is tough to balance because as we know, having an energy restricted diet is also key to fat loss and longevity.
This gene also activates our energy power houses called mitochondria that give us a youthful abundance of vitality. This gene also helps in terms of our skinny jean goals as it aids in inhibiting fat storage while increasing fat metabolism.
So how do we reach this perfect balance? Do we drink wine until we forget our own names or eat so much trail mix we start looking like a form of wildlife? The answer seems to be in eating a day or two of normal healthy eating followed by a few days of caloric deprivation along with supplementation with resveratrol to maximize the benefits.
While there really is no fountain of youth or magic pill for fat loss, energy and anti-aging, we can take some of the steps above to fight a good fight. By alternating our calories and workout regime for intense and milder days and taking certain supplements while eating foods rich in resveratrol, we can help to lessen what used to be considered inevitable as we get older.
Love it or hate it but you know you can't live without it. The oooh, aww, how and whereabouts of media, entertainment, athletes and celebrities has been a fascination of all cultures for centuries. The people involved in this world just seem to live these lavish, outrageous lives that we live vicariously through. While many aspects of the celebrity lifestyle may be farfetched or out of reach for many, what doesn't have to be is looking like one.
For those who want the butt of JLO or Jessica Biel, the toned arms of Serena Williams or Jennifer Garner and the legs of Halle Barry or Jennifer Aniston, I have a plan for you to shape and sculpt your body to look like your best version of the conglomeration of these women.
For most of you, a meal plan ranging from 1300-1800kcals should do, with a macronutrient split of 40% protein, 30% fat and 40% carbohydrates. Eating foods as close to their natural state is key, as well as drinking plenty of herbal teas and water.
On your days "off" take advantage of active rest and recovery type of activities like yoga or things you enjoy like dancing or a sport. On the days that you train, put in a solid effort and you will be in and out of the gym in under an hour while gaining maximum results.To get the butt, legs and arms of a media mogul, sexy hollywood hottie, perform this workout below 3-4 days per week.
Goblet Squats 10-12 reps
Cable Squat to Row 10-12 reps (focus on a weight that primarily fatigues your upper body)
Pushups to failure
repeat 4 times
Reverse Lunges with shoulder press 6-8 reps each side
Lateral Lunges with arm curls 6-8 reps each side
Seated horizontal wide cable row 10-12 reps
repeat 4 times
Kettlebell swings or cable pullthroughs 30-40 reps
Spiderman pushups to failure
Jump Squats 20 reps
repeat 4 times
By being consistent and putting real effort forth, within 4 weeks you will see a major change in your body making you look more like a Hollywood hottie.
In today's hurried society we are often not given much choice in terms of having to follow this flow. While I don't totally agree with this, I am in a minority and understand that far too many of you have to just take it as is.
This often means getting stressed out to the point of burnout and fatigue which most certainly does not leave you wanting to go to the gym to do even more work after work. Well what I have for you is about to change your body and your life as long as you are willing to slightly change your routine.
What I want you to do is to get to bed even just an hour earlier each night. As part of your nightly rituals I want you to prepare a quick breakfast with your dinner and keep it in the fridge until morning. You are already cooking right so why not? Also be sure to have a pot of coffee set for the morning so you can just press the 'on' button and go.
Next part of your evening ritual is to have you put your sneakers right by your bed along with some clothes you can workout in layed out on a chair right by them. Be sure to also set your alarm for an hour earlier than usual and last but not least, have your Ipod and headphones next to your bed too to help supercharge you in the morning.
So the morning comes and you are dressed and geared up, had your coffee, I would save the breakfast for after your workout, but what do you do? Well this workout of five minute rounds easily done in your own home will get your metabolism going and leave you feeling energized for the day.
Set a timer to 45 seconds of work with a 15 second break and turn up your tunes as you will be performing 3 rounds of these 5 minute circuits. Rest one minute between rounds.
b. Triangle Pushups (just a more narrow form of the pushup with hands closer together and more under your chest)
c. Leap Frogs
d. Plank walkouts and walkins (really keep your core braced and engaged)
e. Pushup to rollover with hip thrust (you perform a pushup than stay stiff as a log and roll your body over so you are in an inverted tabel top position. Perform a hip thrust than roll back out to a pushup position than push up and repeat)
This 15 minute workout will hit your entire body and because of the intensity of the plyometrics, it will wake up your nervous system and get you feeling like the Energizer bunny for the day.
Walking, it is one of our instinctual behaviours ingrained in us from a very young age. Funny though how in our society today the most basic aspect of who we are has become a thing so unknown and unfamiliar. Even as toddler we are forced into these wheely things to treck us around for fun and convenience let alone how as adults we spend more time searching for a parking spot close to the mall than we actually spend shopping.
The lack of activity, even from our most basic primal aspect of walking, is not only making us a less attractive society but it is literally killing us. Something as simple as just walking even 15 minutes every day can decrease our chances of diabetes by about 40%, decrease our chances of being overweight in the first place by about 20% and decrease our chances of an array of medical conditions. That really is a very minimal thing to do requiring simply even taking the stairs, parking further away or getting off a few stops earlier from the train or bus.
If you are new to exercise you can start with smaller increments more frequently throughout the day and the week. As you become more advanced, you can bump up the time and intensity while eventually, if you choose to, you can decrease frequency to maintain your level of weight loss and health status. You can literally lose about 52 pounds per year by simply adding in 1 hour of simple, instinctual walking to your daily life and if you advance yourself to more intense forms of shorter duration, you can see that number change faster.
The calorie burn will vary from person to person based on several factors but some averages are listed below:
As you can see, something as simple as walking every day actually can help you to lose weight. Coupled with a good diet and some resistance training to tone you up and not only will you look better but you will feel better and be preventing a whole host of debilitating diseases. Even better is to recruit your friends and family to help them be healthier and to make sure that you are getting some quality time together as well.
Even the best of us can have our days where we get a massive snack attack that we just can't overcome. Willpower has nothing to do with it really. It can often be that you are dehydrated, haven't been sleeping well, you are stressed out, or maybe your body is just telling you it needs a snack so it can help you power through your day. With the best intentions you keep trying to fight it off but when our body wants something, it will find a way to get it.
You can scale the walls, gnaw apart your hands or snap at your co-worker or significant other as you try to fight the urge and eventually probably find yourself with a face full of powdered sugar after raiding the local donut shop, or you can allow yourself a few of these low calorie figure friendly snacks or for some, mini meals, under 250 calories that will provide just enough of the right nutrients so you don't go cuckoo.
1. 30g of pretzels with 1 oz of low fat cheese
2. 1 scoop of Chocolate protein powder in 1/2 cup of 0% unflavored greek yogurt
3. 1 medium apple or pear with 1/4 cup of 1% cottage cheese
5. 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder with 1/2 banana and 1 tsp of peanut butter
6. 2 cups of a blend of carrot sticks, celery, cucumbers, 1/2 cup of berries and 20 walnuts
7. 30g or 50 kernals of pistachios and 10 strawberries
8. 1 cup of green, red and yellow peppers, 10 carrot sticks with 2 tbsp of hummus and 10 almonds
9. 1/2 can of tuna with 1tbsp of light mayo on 2 Ryvita crackers
10. 1 cup of whole milk with 1 scoop of chocolate whey and 1 medium orange
It has been years since you have done anything active beyond running across the street to catch a taxi and the last vegetable you ate consistently was the tomatoes on your pizza. It never really mattered before as you were younger and your metabolism just was much faster. The last trip you were away you noticed from a selfie that things have caught up with you and while your love for exercise and anything other than fast food just never was sparked, you decided to take action.
You decided this time was it and you got yourself started on a great training and nutrition program. A few weeks have gone by already and you are looking leaner and feeling on top of the world. The fourth week of your new program comes around and you are finding yourself craving the easier lifestyle of sitting on your butt and just ordering in. There are so many parties coming up too and you don’t want to miss out on the good times.
With all of these things that seem like they are pulling you back into your former life, you find yourself caving more and more and the one cheat day a week has now become an all out-eat-out and you feel like things are over. Like there is no point. Like all of your efforts have been wasted by one pig out. Don’t panic and most importantly, don’t give up the journey. That is the important thing to understand. Health, fitness and fat loss are all a journey and your one day has does not have to send you into a tailspin.
The best thing to do when you have eaten more “off your plan” food than you should have is to stop right there, put on your baggy gym gear and sneakers, and hit the gym. Now I am not saying that this is the best way to do things as continuously doing this without changing your mindset can actually set you up for an eating disorder, but I also know people and what they would typically do at this point.
Now that you are at the gym I want you to be doing the following high intensity, high rep workout to help undo the damage. I am sure you are pretty uncomfortable so I am not going to tell you to do the typical high intensity interval workout that many recommend. You will be doing the following exercises in the sequence listed with for the allotted rep count for 8-10 rounds. I suggest machines for this as it will help to isolate the major muscle groups more which is what you want.
a. Leg Press 20-25 reps
b. Rows 15-20 reps
c. Chest Press 15-20 reps
d. Leg Curls 15-20 reps
e. Leg Extenstions 20-25 reps
f. Shoulder Press 15-20 reps
This workout will help to shuttle the calories to your muscles and use them up versus simply storing them. If you have some time or energy left after this you can do some cardio to help you focus your mind on how much that sucked and why next time you will stop at one or two instead of the whole box, bag, cupboard or fridge!
Most people who suddenly decide to embark on a new way of eating are often in search of losing weight. Often times, weight loss is simply a side effect of consuming a balanced diet. In fact, there are several other benefits to a sound nutriton plan and to be honest, when people tend to focus on these factors as their priorities, the weight loss comes easier to them as they feel less stressed out over it. Eating a balanced diet full of veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits, minimal grains and with adequate amounts of water will provide you with the nourishment your body needs to allow for fat loss and toning to occur. Here are some of the many benefits to focus on that will allow for your weight loss goals to come in a less stressful way:
1. More Energy- Our bodies use carbohydrates as their primary energy source. Our brain, heart, muscles, metabolism in general cannot function without glucose and while we can produce this compound within ourselves as well as from processes involving fats and proteins, this is not the ideal way to fuel our goals or to be sure we are getting adequate nutrients. Consuming carbohydrates from veggies like kale, broccoli, spinach, squash and sweet potatoes, fruits like berries, apples, pears and citrus, and grains like quinoa, oats and barley will ensure you get the energy, fiber and nutrients your body needs to keep your metabolism revving and your mind and body functioning at optimal levels.
2. Disease Prevention – Countless research shows that a diet high in fiber from vegetables, whole grains and fruits, high in antioxidants, rich in healthy fats like fish oil, flax, olive oil, some saturated fat and cholesterol like coconut oil, egg yolks, and low in sugar, can help prevent many diseases like diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and even various mental and cognitive issues.
3. Youthfulness – Free radicals from too much stress, our environment, too much sugar, dehydration, lack of nutrient dense foods and extreme dieting can all wreak havoc on your skin. If you want to stay looking younger, be sure to not only avoid too much sun, but be sure to eat enough various sources of vitality foods like healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, water and antioxidant/ phytochemical rich plant foods.
4. Positive Body Image – Plain and simple that when you eat right, you feel good and look good.
5. Strength – Our muscles can really take a beating in our everyday activities, sports, and our fitness training. Consuming adequate amounts of lean protein foods like chicken, turkey, fish and vegetarian sources like beans, lentils and tempeh, will assist with repair. Theprotein will also help to generally raise your metabolism a little more than the other macronutrients as it takes more work for our bodies to digest it.
Achieving our goals of weight loss really does not have to be a torturous affair, nor should it be. Yes you will need to make sacrifices, but if you don't put your focus there and stay in tune on the 5 positive benefits of healthy eating listed above, it will be a much more pleasureable journey.
Salt, or more specifically and most commonly used, sodium chloride or NaCl, is an essential part of your very existence and is what is called, an electrolyte. Your body needs the proper balance of the electrolytes and minerals to have just about everything in your body from nerves to muscles functioning properly. While for some, having too much in their diet without the correct ratio of other electrolytes and fluids being taken in can cause problems, for many who completely eliminate this from their diets can actually be doing more harm than good in terms of health, physique and performance goals.
The regular idoized table salt is really what most people are over consuming and this is typically couple with very poor foods loaded with chemicals, trans fats and exorbant amounts of sugar. This is definitely a triple threat and aside from just having to switch to better food sources overall, switching up the type of salt you use can also make a world of difference.
One of the key problems with consuming the typical table salt people use is in reality not so much the risk of hypertension as that shows to actually be more related to too much sugar, but the fact that the salt most people use can create overall sluggish metabolic processes. This in turn can kill your metabolism, moods and energy levels. Switching up what kind of salt you use to celtic or himalayan pink crystal salt will not only help to avoid this, but it can actually help you be healthier, drop fat and feel more energetic. You also know that you need to exercise to lose fat and feel great and if your muscles can't properly fire, you sure won't be able to put in the effort needed to get results.
This Himaylayan salt contains some very essential 84 minerals and trace elements that often we ignore or have a difficult time getting. The other white salt overused can actually leach these out of your body. While the processed version of salt has been injected with one of the essential minerals, iodine, it is void of the many others that help to keep things in balance.Aside from the benefits of this different, more natural type of salt, there are other reasons to not eliminate sodium from your diet.
If you are heeding the advice to drink more and not less water to help prevent bloating and are avoiding salt for fear of adding to water retention, you may be shooting yourself in the foot. Too much fluid intake can dilute your electrolytes and cause serious problems aside from just making you puffier. Your energy can take a nose dive, you may experience dizziness, muscle cramping, nausea, and confusion.The key is balance and having at least some of this better salt in your diet will help to keep that balance.
For those who are salt sensitive you may want to avoid any salt intake above what is naturally occuring in some foods but for those who have been cutting it right out, and not getting where you want to be in terms of weight loss, energy and feeling awesome, time to reconsider. Besides keeping some salt in your diet, just like with swapping certain foods for healthier versions for better results, try doing the same with the salt you are using.
Life can be chaotic and can affect not only your physique but your health too. One of the most important things you can do for yourself, but is often neglected first when things get crazy, is taking the time to exercise and eat well.
If you are always on the go or are a bachelor or bachelorette, doing mass grocery shopping for meals and even cooking can be something brushed to the way side. Regardless of what many may have you believe, spending all of your time prepping and cooking meals to attain the health and body you desire is not an absolute must. While our society today does seem to set you up for failure, it is really just about knowing some better choices that can fit your lifestyle.
Let me first start out with the grocery store as your stop for on the go meals. While yes in a perfect world everything you ate would be from a local farm and not in a package and blah blah blah, realistically this is just not always feasible. The good thing is that most grocery stores today have made healthy eating on the go much easier to do. If you are in a rush and eating on the fly, when you go into your local supermarket you can typically find a section right when you walk in with prepared and packaged or prepared fresh meals. You still need to be mindful of what is in these meals but if you stick to grabbing some prewashed and cut veggies, some grilled or roasted chicken/salmon, some hard-boiled egg, some prepared whole grains like a quinoa salad or a whole grain sandwich without sauce, you will be much better off than hitting a greasy fast food drive through for sure.
Next up for the grocery store’s easy-peasy-on-the-go healthy meals are the frozen foods. Aside from the fresher fast foods, you can actually find a variety of foods that are so fast and easy and that can last you for weeks at a time thus saving you many trips. In the frozen food section you can not only find bags of various veggies and fruits, but there are actually pre-cooked meats like chicken and steak strips that you can find too. While these may have some preservatives in them, you will be better off with these few than from what you will get from some of the other choices you may have been making.
Some people either just don’t enjoy cooking or don’t always have time or foods prepared.
The key is to change your possible mindset so you know that this doesn’t mean you’re doomed. Aside from healthy options for one meal at a time from restaurants, there are ways to space this out even further to help you on your journey even more. Grocery stores have many options that offer fast food that is not as calorically dense and that is more nutrient dense than what most would cop out and go for. Next time you are in the supermarket hit these two spots alongside your other grocery shopping to help add some ease to your life.
You are eating all the right foods and in the right combinations and getting in your hours of physical activity and exercise during the week but you are still feeling drained. What gives? Sometimes this can be the more frustrating part of any feel good plan and it often comes down to becoming mindful of the stressors in your life.
Stress can totally zap your energy if it is excessive and having a few points to help you manage it can make drastic changes in your life pretty quickly.
Step one is to first identify what you primary excessive stressor is. If it is not something that makes you a better person, makes you more money for the necessities, or doesn't make you jump around in a state of euphoric bliss, you probably should be eliminating it. Learn to say no if you are overdoing things and taking on too many things outside of these realms for you and your life. You may also need to say yes to more things that make you happy too.
Step two is to make a sort of pro's and con's list. Once you have jotted down the things that hit the targets above and the things that are sucking you dry or not feeding those basic needs, you can recognize and begin to make changes.
Step three is to be sure to eliminate internal stressors. What I mean by this is that if you are not already fueling your body properly with a healthy diet, plenty of water and daily movement and exercise, you need to get started, like yesterday! Your internal system is what drives all you do, can do or will do and if things are not being taken care of from the inside not only will your energy be zapped but your external appearance will begin to reflect what is going on too. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits and lean proteins, some healthy fats and be sure to stay hydrated. In fact, even a reduction of as little as 1% of water content in your body is the most common cause of internal stress.
By becoming more mindful of what you do and don't want in and from your life you will almost instantly feel more energized. The heavy weight on your shoulders holding you down will be lifted and you can spend more time focusing on your own happiness which will in turn bring you the job, home, family, body and life of your dreams and more importantly, the energy to enjoy them for many years to come.
The world of diets and fitness trends is a mass world of confusion. Low carb, no carb, high fat, low fat, six meals per day or not eating for two days than feasting and on and on it goes. Aside from these more obvious conundrums of confusion, there are some lesser known things to be paying attention to.
Why taking care of our lifes neccessity of good health has to be such a confusing money making business is unfortunate but the more you know, the more you can find what fits for you. The four food fallacies given below are not meant to further add to the confusion but are meant to make you question and think and be aware.
1. Vitamin and Mineral Supplements May Make Things Worse. This is a tough one because for many people taking a vitamin/mineral supplement may bolster their immune systems, energy levesl and so on. The thing is though, this is often just an initial wake up to your body that may have been being fed an extremely nutrient poor and possibly nutrient leaching diet. For example, it is very common that if you all of a sudden take in a bunch of B vitamins that you just weren't getting before, your starving cells just got a sudden kick in the pants to wake up and get functioning again. Keep over feeding them this synthetic vitamin though and you create different imbalances and will ultimately just be wasting your money as the excess is excreted in your urine. This intial wake up is great in the short term but the reality is that overall if you are giving your body too much of one vitamin or mineral without the proper balance for your system, you can create further problems. Getting the right balance for your body as well as ensuring that you are getting what you need can be a much more expensive and difficult thing than simply eating a variety of produce and other nutrient dense foods.
2. Expired Food Is Bad. I am not about to tell you that drinking curdled milk or eating moldy bread is good for you so don't worry but overall we are wasting a lot of food overall due to unsubstantiated fears. Did you buy a carton of eggs and there are still 8 left but they expired 3 days ago? No worries! According to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Harvard Law School's Food Law and Policy Clinic, expiration dates are alers for when food goes bad and when it will taste freshest. We often have anywhere from 2 to 7 days to go before things get icky so save yourself some cash and keep the food a little longer out of the trash.
3. Sugar is the Devil. Okay so maybe excess sugar consumption is but sugar is necessary to live. The key is finding the proper balance of intake for you, your needs, your goals but no sugar or more precisely, glucose, is not the devil. When we think of glucose or any sugars for that matter, we tend to automatically think of carbohydrates. This is our main source of sugars but is not our only source. Our internal processes actually manufacture the necessary to live nutrient glucose through a process call gluconeogenesis from other sources but again, that does not mean that this is the optimal way to have things. Many people can adapt themselves to a carb free way of living but in the long run this is not optimal as we need the nutrients, phytochemicals and fiber from carbohydrates. Actually consuming some sugar in various forms can be of great benefit to our minds and bodies but again the key is finding the balance for you.
4. Eating Too Much Fish Will Give You Mercury Poisoning. It has been recognized for some time now that pregnant women should avoid eating too much fish as the deep ocean water fish tends to be higher in mercury. A diet during pregnancy that is high in mercury can harm the brain of the developing fetus sure but researchers at the University of Bristol did some interesting work on this theory. They examined 103 food and beverage items consumed by 4,484 women during pregnancy, and scientists reported that fish may account for only 7% of dietary mercury in the human body. Instead of avoiding fish all together, the researchers say that choosing fish at the lower end of the mercury spectrum, like salmon or light could actually be beneficial. Avoiding albacore tuna altogether during pregnancy though is still a good idea.
We all have our days that we our literally just dragging our butts to get anything done. Maybe you've had a rough week. Maybe the weather has been dark and cold. Maybe you've been pushing the envelope with late night deadlines for a few days too many. Whatever the case may be, it can take a toll on your energy. Fortunately for you, I have some simple tips to help kickstart your days when you really need that kick in the pants to get going.
1. Do NOT hit the snooze button! Even if you don't immediately feel like boucing right out of bed. Even though you initially feel like, or even know, that you may need a few more hours of sleep, if your alarm goes off it's because you set it for a reason. Have you ever jumped into a cold pool or lake or hopped into the shower before the water temperature had time to adjust? Did you feel more alert and awake even if you also felt a little annoyed? Exactly! That same sort of jolt and shock to your body wakes you up for sure. If you approach your alarm in the same way by forcing yourself to jump out of bed regardless of how you feel, you will have jolted your body in a similar manner and I promise you this will change your morning.
2. Eat some eyes for breakfast. Alright so you really aren't going to eat eyeballs for breakfast but what you will do to help fuel you for the day is to start your day with a breakfast that involves some veggies, a piece of fruit maybe and something that once HAD eyes aka non-vegetarian protein. By having some protein at breakfast time you are not only boosting your metabolism for the day but you will find that your energy not only increases but is sustained for a longer period of time. This is because of proteins powerful effect on your hormones overall. If you are vegetarian that is okay too just have some soya, a veggie protein shake, beans with nuts, seeds, or lentils and you will also get a nice serving of healthy fats and fiber too.
3. Get jolted with java. Do I advocate having an artificial source of high stimulating caffeine in the morning to energize you? Well no not exactly but really, there is absolutely nothing wrong with various un-fancy coffee and teas. In fact coffee and teas can actually be quite healthy promoting for many. This does not mean to rely on caffeine for energy or drink 10 extra large mocha lattes but starting your day with some tea or coffee is definitely going to give you some energy if not laden with artificial sugars and other junk. Have a little bit of real cream and some stevia or honey and couple this drink with number two above and you will be on the go-train pretty quickly.
4. Crank it up. I don't think I know anyone who doesn't feel like they can rock any and everything after hearing their favourite song. Starting your day with your favourite music and doing a little happy dance to it will get you moving and shaking and feeling great for the day. Music is motivating and starting your day with something that you choose and that you like will also help to make you feel a little more empowered.
If you have noticed that your mind is in a constant fog, that your energy is completely zonked and your belly just won't get along with you, you may be gluten intolerant.
So what exactly IS gluten? Gluten is a protein composite that can be found in foods like wheat, barley and rye. The word literally means "glue" so that should be the first sign to you that it MAY not be great to overconsume this substance. Now the key word here is overconsumption as for most people who have a varied diet and good immune system, there shouldn't be an issue. While not everyone is gluten intolerant, there is approximately 1 in 133 people who have issues consuming foods with this component.
Gluten is not an easy thing to avoid and how does one know if they have an intolerance? The best way to know aside from actually being tested is to monitor how you feel after meals. Some of the more common symptoms to look for after eating a meal are things like gas, bloating, vomiting, heartburn, brain fog, needing a nap, diarrhea or constipation. While these are the more acute nuisances that can follow a meal heavy in gluten, there are more serious and uncomfortable ones that can occur if too much is consumed over an extended period of time.The build up in the system can cause an array of other issues that can be more serious. Over time you can develop migranes or chronic headaches, mood or behavioral disturbances, aching joint pain, skin rashes, anemia and canker sores.
This little protein can really wreak havoc on your life if not nipped in the bud. You can elimate the grains listed above but gluten can be found in many other things that you consume too. Avoiding most baked goods, breads and cereals is an obvious choice but below is a list of some hidden sources that can add up too:
•broth in soups and bouillon cubes
•breadcrumbs and croutons
•some lunch meats and hot dogs
•modified food starch
•seasoned chips and other seasoned snack foods
•seasoned rice and pasta mixes
While it may seem like you just can't eat anything, that is just not true and maybe you don't even need to. You can try an elimination diet to see how you feel and react. Go one week or even just a few days with avoiding your typical glutinous foods. Be sure to write down how you feel. After the few days or the week, start adding one of the food sources back in at a time and again, monitor how you feel. If you start to feel sluggish and blah again, go back to your journal and look at what's going on.
There are so many options to instead of things like breads and cereals and these options will also provide you with more nutrients and less calories. Opt for plenty of veggies and fruits. Try some different grains like quinoa. Swap out the gluten for some beans.
There are so many options available to you to help you eliminate this potentially problem solving compound. Eliminating gluten-riden foods from your diet and adding variety will help to ensure you not only get to your fat loss goal and feel super energetic doing it, but you will also overall look and feel better.
Your eyes are watering, your nose is dripping like the Hoover Dam and maybe your taste buds are shocked but what if I told you that those same things that are causing you such this mild and temporary discomfort can also help you to burn some fat. This little factoid really comes as no surprise to many but for those of you who are still not putting a little spice in your regime, I hope this will deliver you a change in your recipe for weight loss.
Some of the top herbs and spices to help jumpstart your metabolism, facilitate weight loss and to keep your fat burning hormones in check are cinnamon, cayenne and jalepeno peppers, kelp and dandelion.
Cinnamon is one of the tastiest of these recommended spices if not overdone in one sitting that is. It not only makes certain meals taste better but this herb has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine for its healing properties as well as its ability to help reduce bloating, stimulate digestion while aiding indigestion, and most importantly in relation to fat loss goals, for its ability to help keep insulin levels and blood sugar in check. In fact, one particular study showed that cinnamon added to a group of women's daily diet helped reduce blood sugar levels, increased their natural production of insulin, and lowered their blood cholesterol as well.
Cayenne, jalepeno and other super hot spices are chock full of a compound called capsaicin. This compound has been celebrated to have many benefits in relation to health and fat loss. It has been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels, has been shown to help control blood sugar levels, has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to actually lessen the amount of fat aborbed from the diet. The hotter the spice, the more capsaicin it contains so keep your fridge full of water and a box of tissues next to you at your next meals. Let me just let you know that if you don't want to suffer the consequences of the excessive hotness, you can also get this compound in supplement form.
Kelp is a great addition to any meal for it's thryoid supporting or stimulating effects. Having sufficient but not too overboard of levels of iodine is essential to a healthy thyroid and thus metabolic rate. Kelp is not only a great source of natural iodine but it provides it in a normalizing dosage so you get just enough to either rev up your thyroid, or help bring it back down to normal. This seaweed which is often sort of used as a spice over meals, is also an excellent source of energy boosting and metobolism stimulating B vitamins and minerals.
Dandelion is an herb that has somewhat of a bitter taste to it. It helps to cleanse and normalize the kidneys and thus helps you safely flush out any excess fluids ie. water retention. It also helps to stimulate digestion, acts as a liver tonic and having a healthy liver is essential to fat loss and energy, and has shown to help those with low energy due to anemia.
If you have been doing your work in the kitchen and at the gym but seem to have hit a plateau, try adding a little spice to your life to get you going again. Not only can these spices/herbs help in the ways listed above, but they can also make your meals a little more interesting which will help prevent boredom in your meal plans thus keeping you on track.
Sometimes what it takes is a real overall overhaul to your lifestyle to make dramatic changes in your health, energy and fat loss. Others may simply need a few minor adjustments to their already pretty stellar plan. Regardless of which category you fall into, there is a drink that can help you to jumpstart your days to be filled with energy.
This is not some fancy energy drink that is loaded with sugar and chemicals. This is not some artificially induced, crash in an hour energy drink, this drink is completely natural and gives you an awakened sense of sustainable energy while being amazing for you your health, mind and body. Starting each day with this simple beverage will change your life.
So what is this miracle elixir you ask? Quite simply, it is just green tea with some squeezed lemon!
Waking up first thing in the morning and starting your day with some citric acid, which is found in lemon juice, can help get the body's enzymes up and functioning. This can in turn stimulate your liver and help it to detoxify. One of the key elements that people often miss in a health and fat loss program is that in order for our body to let go of fat, it must have a clean and functional liver.
Green tea's benefits are many and really should be taken advantage of throughout the entire day but starting your morning with this powerful substance can help rev your metabolism. Aside from the fact that green tea, more so even is matcha green tea, offers us powerful antioxidants and polyphenols which help keep us healthy and youthful, it has the amazing metabolism boosting benefits of EGCG. This compound has shown to be a thermogenic (burn calories) as well as helping to actually inhibit our fat storing enzymes. Green tea also contains some caffeine which is a great source of energy but because it also contains the amino acid L-theaning that crosses the blood brain barrier, it also has an anti-anxiety effect. This basically means that you will get that boost you need but not the negative side effects that can come to those sensitive to caffeine. This combination will give you a non-buzz like boost.
How can you go wrong with such a perfect combo to start your day. Starting each day with a steeped cup of tea, with a few squirts of natural lemon juice, is a great way to gain some natural sustainable energy while also boosting your fat burning potential.
Maybe you are a stay-at-home mom. Maybe you live in a very rural area. Maybe you just don't want to pay outrageous gym fees. Maybe you are just a little bit shy. All of the above reasons may seem like a valid excuse not to be exercising but with this easy-to-do home workout, you can have more energy, lose weight and save time and money.
For this workout you will need the following:
Your body….that's it!
Clear some space in a room, blast some tunes and just have some fun. Keeping fitness fun will keep you engaged and coming back for more and having your favourite songs playing can make a world of difference.
Start with a warm up of a 10-15 minute sequence of 25 jumping jacks, 20 scissor jacks, 20 twist hops, 20 spiderman hops and forward/reverse touchdown runs. Adding in some wrist, ankle, shoulder and hip rolls is great to add into the warm up as well.
Next up is your bodyweight resistance work. Each exercise should be done slow and controlled so you will not only get stronger, but you will actually be keeping tension on the muscles allowing them to help change your shape. Perform this workout as a circuit doing each exercise for 15-20 reps than move right on to the next and so on. You can rest 30-60 seconds between rounds. Unless you are really sore, this workout can be done as frequently as you can. Because there is not a lot of tearing down of the muscles from this workout, you can do this workout every day safely.
1. Wide Leg Squats
2. Narrow Pushups
3. Lateral/Side Lunges
4. Bird Dogs
5. Hip Thrusts
6. Pike Pushups
7.Mock Turkish Get-Ups
Rest and repeat 2-4 times. At the end of the entire circuit, perform a ladder of burpees doing 10 than rest for 20 seconds than perform 9 and so on until you hit 5. After the burpee ladder, be sure to cool down with some stretching to help you recover.
Nothing can be more engaging than to see a strong women strut in to a room in a backless dress. It doesn’t matter what your gender, this is something you just appreciate as it shows a woman’s strength. Sinewy muscles that not only show a sense of power and confidence but having a shapely back can actually make you appear shapelier all over.
In order to get your sexy back, you will have to hit the weights targeting this area about twice per week. Please don’t get nervous when I use the word build, but you need to build up your back with some heavy lifting to lean out, change your shape and get that drop dead gorgeous muscle that will have them following you from behind.
The great thing about strengthening and developing your back is that it will make your waist and hips look smaller. It will also make you look at least five pounds lighter almost immediately by helping to improve your posture. There are actually statistics that show that people who stand tall with better posture typically get more respect and are more successful in their careers. This is most likely due to the allure of confidence that comes from standing tall and proud.
For the average individual who may be just starting out or is between 5-15lbs of their ideal body composition goal, a guideline would be to follow an eating pattern of about 40% protein, 30% carbohydrates, and 30% fats will help you to build the lean muscle needed but without fat gain.
Always be sure to perform a warm up before your training that involves mobility work, foam rolling and some dynamic movements to get your nervous system fired up. You can also perform a few lighter sets of the exercises.
Perform the following exercises in the order listed completing one full set of the exercises before moving on to the next. You can incorporate some core/ab specific work during your rest intervals.
1. Light load Deadlifts 2-4 sets of 15 reps with a 60 second rest interval between sets
2. Neutral-grip Chin ups or Pulldowns (elbows wide) 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps with a 60 second rest interval between sets
3. Chest Supported Horizontal Rows 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps with a 60 second rest interval between sets
4. Straight-Arm Pulldowns 2 sets of 15 reps with a 60 second rest interval between sets
Gnawing and growling at you like some chained up beastly creature, hunger can be more dangerous to a dieter than a freerunning dingo in Australia! Truth is, hunger is a much more complex thing than most realize but for the most part can be chopped up to hormones such ghrelin.
Just like the name implies, ghrelin can be ghasty like one of those green hideous Gremlins. Ghrelin is a hormone secreted in our stomach that plays a big part in the role of where our body weight is at and it directly increases our hunger by sending signals to our brains to eat more.
Over the past year or so, researchers have found that the role of ghrelin in determining appetite once was thought to be of primary importance, it now seems as though its role in regulation of body weight may actually be much more complex.
Ghrelin is a hormone that we do have control over but it takes an overall overhaul of our lifestyles not just following a diet or exercise plan. It is released in times of chronic stress but the funny thing is that too much secretion of ghrelin can actually create more stress and susceptibility to anxiety, depression and fear too. As you can see, the hormone is something we want to control.
When we eat we put a snafu on ghrelin knocking it down and out but how do we control this without just eating more and more to squash its hunger calls?
1. Get Adequate Sleep. Let me rephrase that…get adequate UNINTERRUPTED sleep. Allowing for anywhere from 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep has been shown to help decrease levels of ghrelin.
2. Chew Your Food. Most of us are far too rushed in todays society and this often means just throwing anything as quickly as possible down our gullets. When we take the time to savor and thoroughly chew our foods it will help to signal the hormone to shut down. Our satiety hormones will have time to be called upon when we give it time to recognize.
3. Avoid Crash Diets. When you drop your calories too low, to fast and for too long, our bodies wage a war and do everything in their power to preserve. Our body doesn't care that you want to look hot, it just wants to survive and it will secrete an army of ghrelin guerrillas to get you to ravenously eat. A better way is to gradually decrease your caloric intake/up your output by 250-500 calories until you plateau than switch things up again. This is not too quick of a change so you will be somewhat of a sniper in relation to this hunger hormone disallowing its take over.
With three new tips to add to your arsenal it is time to put your chips down…literally. You now have a better chance of winning the hunger games so ante up, roll the dice, and win!
Starving yourself, eating cardboard or just plain hating every moment of eating for fat loss is a thing of the past. There are some sacrifices you will have to make but that does not mean being miserable. Two facts about fat loss are that calories count and what types of calories count. This is the very basic aspects of it but are the corner stone of sustainable results.
The easiest and most tolerable way to target fat loss is to focus on the second fact about weight loss. Making the types of calories you are eating as the priority will almost automatically have you in a better caloric intake state for your goals. I have compiled a list of some food swaps for you to implement that will have you dropping pound while enjoying the process a lot more.
Instead of: Have/Use This:
White Bread Sprouted Grain Bread, Rye, Pumpernickle
White Rice Barley, Quinoa, Wild Rice
Sugary Cereals Oatmeal
Deep Dish Pizza Homemade mini thin crust gluten free pizza
Fast Food Burger/Fries Grilled Bison burger on lettuce bun/baked sweet potato fries
Fruit on the bottom Yogurt Greek Yogurt with added berries
Creamy Salad Dressing Vinaigrette
Soda Sparkling water with squeeze of lemon/lime
Table/Iodized Salt Celtic/Himalayan Salt or dulse pieces
Mayonaise Low-fat Hummus
Tortilla Chips Kale Chips
Mashed Potatos Mashed Cauliflower or Turnip
Regular Pancakes/Syrup Protein Pancakes/Maluka Honey
Iceberg Lettuce Spinach/Arugula/Mixed Greens
Full Fat Ice Cream Low Fat Frozen Greek Yogurt
With just a few of the many food swaps out there implemented into your plan, you can lose fat while still being able to enjoy eating. Every "forbidden food" has a healthier option it is just a matter of knowing what to look for. By keeping the food choices as close to their natural state as possible, by reading the labels to look for at least 4 grams of fiber per serving, no added sugars, minimal fat, at least 8 grams of protein and no words that you cannot pronounce, you will find your clothes fitting better without the feeling of deprivation.
1/2 cup quick oats, dry
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
3 egg whites
1 scoop of protein powder, vanilla
Nonstick cooking spray
Fresh blueberries, optional
Combine quick oats, cottage cheese, egg whites, and protein powder in a blender. Mix well until it resembles traditional pancake batter.
Heat a large pan over low heat, and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray. Pour in all the batter to the center of the pan. Let it cook for approximately 3 minutes until the sides easily lift. Flip pancake and cook for an additional two minutes.
Mushrooms of all kinds have various health promoting properties to them. Shiitake mushrooms are a vegan and kosher source of vitamin D2, have shown anti-tumor effects and the high-molecular-weight polysaccharides (HMWP) in this mushroom have shown to create an overall improvement in human immune function and the lowering of cholesterol (1).
The mushroom ganoderma more commonly known as the Reishi mushroom, has shown benefits in preventing viral infections, helping with certain cancers and heart disease issues as well as being used to help reduce the negative effects of stress while also preventing fatigue (2).
Than we have the Agaricus Blazei mushroom. Recent studies show that when a group of rats were fed a high fat/cholesterol diet foir 6 weeks but had the addition of this mushroom to their meals, there was a significant decrease in abdominal fat, and a significant reduction in total and non-HDL cholesterol (3).
All of these mushrooms have also shown to be high in fiber which helps keep you full longer, and they also help to regulate blood sugar leves helping to keep your energy balanced. The key thing to understand with fat loss, energy production and overall awesomeness, is that your body from the inside needs to be radiant so your outside can be too. How does one achieve this? With exercise and eating a variety of wholesome, nutrient dense foods like mushrooms that can provide your with phytochemicals, antioxidants and the myriad of other goodies that bolster health. Energy and fat loss are often an indirect result of just a focus on health first.
Sure many of the studies done in really most lab tests are done on rats, and yes I know we are not rats, adding these low calorie mushrooms can be promising for our health and fat loss goals. With all of the other benefits associated with mushrooms like these on health, why not add these fungi to your meals? Mushrooms are not magic, at least not the kind I am recommending here, but adding these to your meals will no doubt provide you with what your body needs to drop some pounds.
1. USDA/Agricultural Research Service (2008, July 1). Shiitake Mushrooms May Improve Human Immune Function, Especially If Grown On Old Oak Logs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 21, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2008/06/080629081210.htm
2. Reishi Mushroom Overview Information (n.d.). Retrieved November 21, 2013, from http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-905-REISHI%20MUSHROOM.aspx?activeIngredientId=905&activeIngredientName=REISHI%20MUSHROOM
3. Journal of Physiological Biochemistry (2013, November 8). Hypolipidemic effect of the edible mushroom Agaricus blazei in rats subjected to a hypercholesterolemic diet.Retrieved November 21, 2013, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24203633
Our brains make up only 2% of our body weight but consumes about 20% of the calories we take in. Now while you may be saying, " who cares about that I am here because I want to look hot and have more energy to strut my new hot bod around", our brain is the source of all things related to those two things and well, everything else we do or don't do so listen up. The decisions you make, the cravings you feel, the moodiness, the difference between playing or sitting on the sidelines, the goals you achieve, the body you desire, all comes from the mind so you better take care of it.
Psychology, proper nerve function and transmission are the forces behind any and everything in life. In order for our psychology (the biological not sociological factors) and nervous system to be right, we must have full capacity of our gray matter. The funny thing is that our brain is made up of about 60% fats but it actually uses glucose to function optimally. Now there are some studies showing benefits of ketones being used by our brain versus glucose but I said optimal function and for most, glucose is where it's at.
At the chemical level, food is the brain's primary link to its environment and to its evolution which means your ability to build fat burning lean muscle as well as your bod. What you put in your body affects the brain chemicals that influence your mood and behaviour, the thought processes and emotional reactions that ultimately create the body and the life of your dreams or the complete opposite. Feeding your brain is feeding your fat loss future.
The fact that our brain needs glucose to function is not me telling you to go suck back a ton of sugar because quite the opposite can happen if you consistently eat a diet like this, In fact, eating too much sugar in your diet over an extended period of time can actually damage brain and nerve cells as well as deplete your body of nutrients like magnesium that play a critical role in nerve cell development and high end functioning. What I am saying is that a balance of good fats like those amazing omega 3's DHA and EPA from cold-water fish, the beneficial fats like MUFA'S and PUFA's found in seeds like pumpkin and chia, nuts like almonds and walnuts and certain vegetable oils like olive oil eaten with healthy glucose providing carbs like veggies, fruits and moderate whole grains and with protein of course, is a waty to eat to fuel our brains therefore our bodies properly.
For our hormones and processes to burn fat, keep us youthful and feeling energized, often thinking with, than feeding our brains, will lead us to the better body we desire.
It is a thing that ails more women than men for sure…cravings! These horrible events of insatiable appetites for things that can really put a damper on your fat loss goals are a burden to many but no longer have to be. There are many reasons why we crave certain foods and there are many ways to fight back to stay on track.
What do we most often crave? The top 3 food cravings are chocolate, potato chips and ice cream. Why do we crave these particular foods? The reasons for craving foods is quite a more complex thing than many realize.
Often times we will simply desire foods like these that are rich in overall calories simply because our bodies are seeking energy. This could be due to fatigue or from just being on an overly depriving and restrictive diet for too long. Our bodies often fight for what it needs and wants versus what aesthetically we may want.
Outside of the aforementioned top three foods, cravings for certain foods in general are actually a sign of some sort of imbalance within us. For example, if you are craving nuts or nut butters, this can mean a magnesium deficiency or that of an omega 3-6-9 imbalance. If it is a juicy burger or steak you are wanting, it could mean an iron or a fat deficiency. These are just two very general and basic examples but the takeaway is that cravings are our bodies way of telling us something is lacking.
Now on to the top three foods:
1. Typically chocolate cravings can be categorized in the area of needing more magnesium. It is also a sign that you may be down in the dumps and your serotonin or dopamine are low. To help combat this craving you might want to add more leafy greens and nuts like brazil nuts that are high in magnesium to your diet and/or take a multivitamin.
2. Potato chips and other salty, crunchy foods are often a symptom of being too stressed out. When we get stressed we gravitate towards crunch as it gives us a sort of release or satisfaction simply due to the hard crunching. The salty aspect of the craving is often due to a mineral or electrolyte deficiency, being dehydrated or if it has been going on for a long time, a symptom of adrenal fatigue. Take time to chill out during the week doing something you enjoy, or nothing at all, and be sure to drink up the H2O to help ward these off. Adding some celtic or himalayin sea salt to your diet might help as it will provide you with the proper balance of microminerals too
3. Ice cream is a tough one to pin point but often it comes down to simply being down in the dumps and our bodies craving the feel good hormonal release that high sugar and high fat foods brings to us. Because of its high fat content and that it does provide some of this mineral, it could mean you need more calcium and a better balance of good fats in your diet. Eating more seeds, nuts and leafy greens will help.
Cravings are so much more than just desiring something for its taste and texture. While we do often eat foods for those reasons, a craving is something different and needs to be recognized as such. Sometimes a craving is just a craving if you live a pretty balanced life, eat an overall nutrient dense diet, and that is when something like habituation (where you imagine the food and chew as if you were eating it) might help you keep your body goals. Often times though our cravings are a symptom into something within us or with our lives that is imbalanced and needs to be addressed. Next time you find you are fighting an urge to splurge, look at how your day or week went, how your overall diet and training or lack thereof has been, than decide what you feel you REALLY are in need of.
Diet trends and fads come and go. Back in the 80's and early 90's cholesterol and fats were the devil, while the late 90's and 2000's brought out carbs as the catalysts of all things evil. The key really is eating real foods and finding the balance right for you. Thank goodness that many people are starting to come around and are embracing this but many are still too fat phobic or are simply stuff on the benefits of fish oils.
What if I told you that butter, or more specifically, clarified butter also known as ghee, was something that could help you get the edge on having a better body? Now I am not condoning slathering yourself in the stuff from inside and out but clarified butter is absolutely something that can help you on your quest for a better body.
Fats add texture and flavour to foods which is why we love it so much. The right kinds of fats can also help to reduce inflammation, help curb hunger, keep our hair and skin supple, as well as help keep our hormones in check. Ghee is composed mainly of saturated fat and while this used to be something we avoided like the plague, research shows that this is actually good for us (with exceptions to those with certain conditions). It is all about balance but having 1-2 tablespoons per day can actually be good for you and will help you feel less deprived..who knew right?
This butter when eating can not only help control hunger as fats kick ghrelin in the butt decreasing your hunger levels, but saturated fats like that in ghee is actually essential to brain and nerve function as well as healthy digestion of fats. This buttery goodness has antimicrobial properties that can help boost immunity and contains some CLA which may help in reduction of stomach specific visceral fat. It also aids in the absorbtion of our fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K which are essential to life and livelihood. Suprisingly to many, while clarified butter is high in saturated fat, it actual can help in the reduction of bad LDL and VLDL cholesterol levels in the body.
Maybe you are still a little hesistant to add this in your diet but why not try actually enjoying your veggies a little more (or at all if you aren't eating them because you find them bland) by melting some over your greens with a little bit of your favourite spices too. Eating well means looking and feeling well and does not have to mean boring and bland. Butter can help you on your quest to a better body when used in moderation.
Sometimes it isn't just the getting started part that is tough. To be honest, that is probably the easiest part of the lifelong journey of health and wellness. The hard part is staying motivated and staying on track. I am often asked for some ways that can help stay on task and I have compiled for you some of my basic easy to use tips to help you on your journey.
1. Make a vision board and put it up in front of your bed so it is the first and last thing you see. Get a big Bristol board or cork board and just put a bunch of your favourite quotes, pictures of your fitness idols, various exercises, maybe pictures of an outfit or trip you want to take…just things to help you visualize what you want. I would also put a date in the centre of the board to help you stay accountable to a deadline.
2. Put little post-its on the fridge, mirror, cupboards etc. with motivational quotes or little reminders to yourself that feeling and being healthy will give you the energy, drive and strength to conquer all things in life and most of all, help bring you a sense of happiness. Remember I said HEALTHY not skinny or otherwise because in the grand scheme of things, that means nothing I promise you.
3. Keep a journal of gratitude and each night write in it 2-5 things that you are grateful for in the day that just passed. The next morning, read those again and repeat. This will help you to stay focused on positive things in your life as opposed to the negatives you are attaching to food/exercise that are keeping you away from your goals.
4. Reach out to people you KNOW who will be supportive of your goals and to the others, keep them at an arms length. No one needs to know what or why you made the choice to start eating healthy and exercising. This is YOUR goal, YOUR life. People who try to bring you down just feel guilty themselves and well, misery loves company!
5. Be mindful of what you are saying about yourself TO yourself. You will believe and BE what your mind tells you you are and will do or not do what you tell it as well.
6. NO ONE IS SUPERHUMAN AND CAN DO EVERYTHING NOR DO IT PERFECTLY. In fact, trying to be and do everything is a sure fire way to you living a life of complete misery and disappointment because you will never be satisfied or happy. Take one goal or two max at a time and that's it. Our society nowadays sets people up for early death and constant depression IF we let it. Joining the rat race is no way to live and will shorten your lifespan quite immensely.
7. Screwing up, making mistakes and failing, is all a part of life and is completely normal. In relation to nutrition, just because you had 2 cookies or a Mars bar doesn't mean the end of the world or that you now have to try to burn off those calories or starve yourself the next day. It is an OVERALL effect and it is not the end of the world. Also, when you do have one or two, don't just throw in the towel and decide there is no point and eat the whole box. Even if you do, think of me by your side and forgive yourself and just let it go and move forward. It happens to the best of us.
8. Be sure to get enough uninterrupted sleep. Not sleeping enough kills your fat burning potential and makes you hungrier. Aim for 6-9 solid hours per night.
9. If you can't get to the gym just do a few runs up and down the stairs, do random bouts of pushups, squats, lunges, crunches, plank variations, jumping jacks at home. You can always offer a few volunteer hours at a gym too maybe in childcare or at the front desk or on the floor picking up weights…just some ideas. Some gyms will accept this and in return give you a free membership. If you are working out and finding you are losing motivation, this is a great time to switch things up by trying some new exercises, maybe some classes or even moving your workouts somewhere else.
10. Find a mantra or a song that gets you fired up to kick the worlds ass! Repeat the mantra or the song several times per day. Adding new music to your workout playlist can help a lot.
Motivation is just like bathing and we need it every day or things just stink! Now you have some tools to use so it is time to clear the air and get going.
When it comes to reaching your fat loss goals, taking a set 'em up and know 'em down approach will serve you best.
So what does this mean you ask?
Well it means that while your goal may be to lean out, you will want to first build a foundation of muscle and good habit before hopping onto some quick fix bandwagon. Fat loss with finesse comes from first getting down the essentials in the proper order to ensure you feel good while looking good.
First we need to establish some basic nutrition guidelines as this is really where things are going to progress from. You need to be eating according to your goals which as a general guideline, means that you need to be eating veggies, proteins and healthy fats with moderate amounts of starchy carbs and fruits around your workouts. Your caloric intake will matter overall but to start, just making sure each meal is nutritious, wholesome and balanced will get you pretty far pretty fast.
Next up is to focus on building some lean muscle tissue so that you can not only burn more calories even at rest, but so that the weight that you are losing is not going to leave you a saggy jiggly mess with no shape. In order to do this and to get more out of less when it comes to time and training, you will want to focus on compound movements like squats, deadlifts, rows, and pressing variations. You can add in accessory exercises to target certain areas like arms, calves and more shoulder work but just putting the emphasis on the bigger lifts to get going is more than enough for now.
The step that you would than want to add on after targeting the diet portion and the resistance training portion is going to be to add in some intervals and recovery cardio. Far too many people rely on this first as part of their body transformation goals but it should really come third and fourth. The interval portion will help you to get fit fast and keep you heart healthy while the recovery cardio will simply help you to well, recover better from your workouts. Both of these will obviously also help you to burn some extra calories too.
With these foundational aspects put into place in the correct order, your body will transform in no time. You can than add in or swap up details but to start with the basics first is essential to long term success. Below is a basic 4 week beginner rworkout program that you can get started with focusing on building body shaping lean muscle:
Week 1 is 2 sets of 12-15 reps
Week 2 is 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Week 3 is 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Week 4 is 4 sets of 6-8 reps
To be performed as supersets ie. back to back if letters are the same. Alternate Workout 1 and 2 during the week.
It is one thing to have a food that helps give you some energy but what if there were foods that actually helped boost energy AND helped you fight fat? I am so happy to share with you a few foods that do just that.
1. Kale- This green or purple superfood is the first on the list as it is probably currently the most popular. Kale is a great food to add bulk aka fiber to your diet helping you feel full. This will also help you to pass toxins and any "extra" dietary fat through your body faster but the bulk will also aid in digestion and help to keep your blood sugar stable hence your energy stable longer too. Kale is also an awesome source of nutrients like calcium and beta carotene, vitamin C, folic acid, B6 and is chock full of naturally occuring phytonutrients and antioxidants like zeaxathin, lutein.
2. Chia Seeds- These seeds are certainly ones you want to plant in your diet if you DON'T want to grow. Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that has about 140 calories per 2 tablespoons which may seem like a lot but of that, 4 grams is protein, 9 grams is healthy heart and body fat and 12 grams is carbohydrates with 11 of that being fiber. High in vitamins and minerals as well, these little seeds can help keep your hunger at bay, your hormones in check and boost your energy levels. Be mindful of the calories but be sure to add these in to your weekly diet for its array of benefits.
3. Dulse- This is one of my favourite snacks and additions to salads. Dulse is a dried reddish brown or purple seaweed that provides 4 grams of fat burning protein per serving and is rich in minerals like potassium and iodine. This helps to keep your thyroid healthy and happy allowing for sustainable energy and fat loss. Adding this crunchy dried seaweed to salads, soups or the occasional sandwich makes your meals taste great too.
4. Sardines- These little guys are not only packed solid in a tight can but they are packed full of goodnes that will help you get a tight can! Sardines are a very inexpensive way to get some energy boosting and hunger squashing protein into your diet. Sardines are also high in fat burning omega 3 fats like EPA and DHA. These fats are not only great for helping to trigger appetite suppressing hormones like leptin, but they can actually act as a sort of switch in the body to signal the release of fat within our cells to be sent out and used up for energy instead of being stored. Studies have also shown that these omega 3 fats act on pro-inflammatory cytokines which can kill your quest for a tight body as and excess of cytokines and inflammation in general, can cause muscle atrophy or shrinkage.
5. Kefir- Avoiding symbiosis, which is simply an imbalance of good to bad gut bacteria, is essential in how energetic you will feel as well as how much body fat you will carry. We are only as good and healthy and vibrant as our bodies will allow for nutrients to be digested, absorbed and utilized and we need healthy intestines for this. We always want to tip the scale in favour of good bacteria in our system and one food that helps to promote this is kefir. Kefir is a fermented milk product made from sheep, goat or cow. Aside from the beneficial bacteria and yeasts it contains that help promote healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients necessary for highly functional energy production and fat loss, it also contains essential energy nutrients like thiamin and B12, folate, biotin and vitmain K2. It is also a great source of minerals like magnesium and phosphorus which helps our bodies to utlize fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
The foods that you want to seek out to naturally increase energy while also fighting fat are always going to be those that provide the biggest nutrient bang for your buck.
Often times we can get stuck in a rut of always buying the same foods and that can actually wreak havoc on our goals. By introducing some of the foods listed above into your nutrition plan, you can expect an almost immediate boost towards your goals.
In physics, ENERGY is one of the basic quantitative properties describing a physical system or object's state. In the context of the physical sciences, there are various forms of energy such as kinetic, potential, chemical, mechanical, electric, magnetic blah blah blah you don't care about THAT kind of energy now do you?
While this physical science stuff may be better served for those in a lab or in academia, you might be surprised to learn that all of that nerdy science stuff above is actually very important in what you DO care about; having abundant energy to do the things you enjoy.
I am not going to bore you with the breakdown of all of that stuff and how it relates to bouncing off the walls, but I do want any and everyone to have an appreciation for science and the complexity of the human body. It just helps us to be a little more respectful of what we put in it and what we do with it.
In order to accomplish our goals, whatever they may be, we need to have energy otherwise we are not only not getting things done, but the things we are doing are probably pretty less than optimal and we are probably not enjoying anything as much as we could.
So how does one get more energy to enjoy life?
As I had mentioned, actual energy is a bit more complicated than most realize but with the easy tips implemented below, you can gain that excitement again without having to understand, just do!
1. Get Some Sleep – This may seem like an obvious key to having an abundance of energy but I am going to give you some tips within this tip to get some sleep too. Every one is different but on average, aiming for 6-9 hours of uniterrupted (the uninterrrupted part is crucial) sleep per night is ideal. Keep your bedroom for sleeping and sex ONLY. Keep your bedroom dark and on the cooler side. Turn off all phones, computers or other gadgets in your room because even those little lights can put a damper on your melatonin production. Set a sleep schedule ie. go to bed at 10pm wake up at 6am and adhere to it. Wear earplugs if needed or have white noise like a fan or soothing music going to drown out the noise. Oh and don't eat a lot of food before bed, a small protein snack is okay though, and go light on the late night beverages or you will be up to pee.
2. Power Up On Protein - Protein is so good for so many reasons but for all intents and purposes here, I will focus on its benefits related to giving you more energy. Most people will benefit by having a larger portion of protein versus non-fibrous carbohydrate at every meal in that it will help to stabilize your hormones. The extra protein over carbs will help to prevent crashes in your blood sugar which can lead you to feel dizzy or fatigued. Match that protein with some fiber and keep your energy even longer like with some high protein, high fiber beans or lentils.
3. Green Tea Gets You Going – This stuff really is awesome. I could write a novel on why people need to drink more of this but some of the energy related benefits aside from the obvious that it has a minimal amount of caffeine which is actually balanced out by the l-theanine it contains, it also has compounds that help to stabilize blood sugar (see above). The l-theanine actually helps with the natural feel good, energy and motivatinon boosting hormone dopamine too.