Weight Loss & Training http://weightlossandtraining.com Weight Loss Tips & Workout Routines Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:56:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Lose Your Belly with Just 2 Exercise Moves http://weightlossandtraining.com/lose-your-belly-with-just-2-exercise-moves http://weightlossandtraining.com/lose-your-belly-with-just-2-exercise-moves#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 02:32:49 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15318 These 2 exercises will help trim your core, burn extra calories and shred the annoying belly fat. The best part is you can even do them at home.

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Lose Your Belly with Just 2 Exercise Moves

Carve a Sexy Core in 2 Moves

A couple of days ago, a client asked me what seemed like a pretty simple question:

What are the 2 best exercises to burn belly fat?


As you can imagine this wasn’t an easy question to answer and it took me a few minutes to really think about it using all the knowledge I had with previous clients. After some serious thinking, I came up with a pretty solid answer I think you’ll like.

So, if you can only do two exercises, these are the best two for working up a sweat, burning calories, and shredding that annoying belly fat.

Now keep in mind, this isn’t a complete workout. But a few sets of these can make a big impact on your fat loss results. If you’re tight on time or need a couple more exercises to round out your routine, give these bad boys a try…

Woodchopper

Grab a small medicine ball or weight, and stand with your feet at hip width. Lift the ball overhead to your right, then lower into a squat as you bring the ball down to your left side, crossing your body. Immediately lift back up and repeat. Make sure you knock out the sane number of reps on each side! Need an inexpensive medicine ball – click here.

Aim for at least 2-3 sets. Take a look at this exercise here.

Stability Ball Rollout

Grab a stability ball (medium to large), and find a little space on the gym floor. Kneel onto the floor, back and head upright, and hold the stability ball directly in front of you. Now rest against the stability ball with your forearms, hold your core muscles tight, and slowly roll the ball forward. Go as far as you can, then slowly return to starting position and repeat. The trick to this one is hold your core muscles tight throughout – don’t speed through it!  Need a high quality stability ball – click here.

Hammer out 3 sets. Take a look at this exercise here.

The first of these exercises takes a total body approach to max out your burn. The second one targets your core to tone your abs, while also burning a ton of calories. There are definitely a ton of core exercises out there, but these are definitely 2 of the best!

Looking for a great supplement to boost your burn? Try Cellucor 7-Keto CLK, it’s stimulant-free and a lot of women & men have had great success with it.

Have any questions about the 2 exercises above? Please leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer and motivate you…

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5 Fat-Burning Foods for Fall Season http://weightlossandtraining.com/5-fat-burning-foods-for-fall-season http://weightlossandtraining.com/5-fat-burning-foods-for-fall-season#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 18:40:30 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15301 The fall season is here, and it brings with it a ton of unique flavors to light up your taste buds. But which fall foods will keep you slim and toned?

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5 Fat-Burning Foods for Fall Season

Eat. Burn Fat.

The fall season is officially here, and it brings with it a ton of unique flavors to light up your taste buds.

But which fall foods will keep you healthy? And more importantly, which foods will keep your weight loss goals on track?

One of the best approaches to eating for weight loss, regardless of the time of year, is to choose foods that are naturally metabolism enhancing. A lot of foods contain vitamins and nutrients that speed up your metabolism during digestion, increasing the number of calories and amount of fat your body burns.

Some of the basics to look for are things like protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. But in addition to the basics, a lot of foods contain certain vitamins, phytonutrients, and antioxidants that are especially effective fat-burners.

Today I’m reviewing my top 5 fall foods for weight loss. If you want to enjoy the season without putting on the pounds, check these out.

Top 5 Weight Loss Foods for the Season

Beets

Beets make for great fall salads or hearty side dishes. Besides being packed full of flavor, beets also contain a certain phytonutrient, called betalain, that has natural detoxifying properties. I always recommend natural detoxifying foods over extreme detox fads, and removing extra toxins from your body will make your metabolism more efficient.

Pumpkin Seeds

This fall food list wouldn’t be complete without something pumpkin related. Pumpkin seeds are a great snack to eat on a fat-burning, weight loss diet. Not only do they contain a little protein, they’re also high in monounsaturated fats that have been shown to help you burn more fat and redistribute belly fat away from your midsection.

For a delicious, satisfying, and healthy pumpkin recipe check out my Vanilla Protein Pumpkin Muffin Recipe here.

Pomegranates

Pomegranates are no stranger to the superfood circles, but when it comes to fruit, they make the perfect addition to your fall palate. But what makes them a superfood is their high antioxidant content, particularly vitamin C, which can enhance your metabolism and help you burn more calories and fat.

Spaghetti Squash

A definite fall food, spaghetti squash is one you definitely need to add to your diet. It’s extremely versatile, and can actually be used as a pasta substitute to help you cut back on the carbs. But it also contains pectin, which stabilizes blood sugar levels and helps you beat those cravings.

Sweet Potatoes

This is probably my favorite fall food, and when it comes to potatoes, sweet potatoes are the ones to go with. Although they contain carbs, new research is showing that they contain a special kind of starch that can boost your fat-burning potential. Bake them, mash them, or get creative – either way they’re a smart carb choice on a weight loss diet.

Bonus Fall Food: Zucchini
And here’s one more fall food for you – Zucchini. It’s really hearty, super inexpensive, and can be added to nearly any dish. Plus it’s low in calories, so it’s a great choice on a weight loss diet. Try one of my 5 Delicious Zucchini Bread Recipes here.

Have any questions or feedback about these 5 Fall Foods for Weight Loss? Please leave a comment below…

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Gluten-Free Recipe: Chocolate Cashew Protein Balls http://weightlossandtraining.com/gluten-free-recipe-chocolate-cashew-protein-balls http://weightlossandtraining.com/gluten-free-recipe-chocolate-cashew-protein-balls#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 02:37:34 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15302 In need of a healthy replacement for your chewy, sugar-packed protein bars? You've got to try this simple, no-hassle, and totally healthy protein ball recipe.

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Gluten-Free Recipe: Chocolate Cashew Protein Balls

A Satisfying High-Protein Snack

We all get a sweet-tooth sometimes and protein smoothie shakes can only fulfill some of our cravings so I thought it’s time for another awesome recipe.

Today we’re going to look at one of my favorite new recipes that will knock your same-old protein bars out of the water.

These chocolate cashew protein balls are a super healthy alternative. They’re gluten-free, extremely low in sugar, and in addition to fueling your muscles, they’ll also satisfy your deadliest cravings.

The trick is to make a few health-minded replacements of traditional ingredients. You may already have most of these ingredients on hand, and if not, they’re easy enough to find. And most are great to stock your pantry with, given their health benefits and fat-burning potential.

What’s even better, you’ll never have to turn on the oven for this recipe.

Ready to get to the recipe and start snacking?

Chocolate Cashew Protein Ball Recipe

Here’s what you need to make these muscle-building, craving-reducing treats:

Here’s what you need to do:

Mix everything in a large mixing bowl (I usually find it easier to start with the wet ingredients). Make sure everything is completely incorporated, then slowly add water until you achieve the desired consistency. Generally speaking, you’ll only need about 1/3 of a cup of water.

Grab a cooking sheet and line in with a piece of wax paper. Using about a heaping tablespoon at a time, mold and roll the dough into little balls and place on the wax paper.

Then you’re basically done! You can technically eat them right away, but they’re much better after being in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

If you feel like you need to indulge a little from time to time, sprinkle the protein balls with a little cacao or coconut (make sure you get the unsweetened kind). These chocolate cashew protein balls are a great pre-workout or post-workout snack, especially if you’re on the go. They’re also one of the easiest recipes around!

Looking for some more healthy snacks to keep you in shape?

Check out my list of Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss here. From dark chocolate to hummus, there are some great ideas here that will keep you toned and slim, and satisfy those annoying cravings.

If muscle building and recovery are your bigger concerns, then take a look at my Post Workout Snacks here. Getting enough protein to sustain your workouts can be a bit of a challenge, but I’ve got you covered with this simple list.

And last but not least, make sure you check out these Healthy Late Night Snacks. When it comes to snacking, what you eat before bed is definitely important, and can have a big impact on your health and fitness goals. But you don’t need to avoid late-night snacking altogether!

Have any questions or feedback about my gluten-free chocolate cashew protein ball recipe? Please leave a comment below…

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The 15-Minute Runner Workout http://weightlossandtraining.com/15-minute-runner-workout http://weightlossandtraining.com/15-minute-runner-workout#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 02:54:13 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15294 This 15-minute workout is designed to strengthen your lower body in a way that improves your running performance & makes it easy to get better and better.

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The 15-Minute Runner Workout

Get a Faster, Stronger Run in 5 Moves

If you’re a runner or just looking to enhance your cardio endurance, throw this 15-minute workout into the mix.

Running is one of the more high impact exercises you can engage your body in. For this reason, you should be thinking about how the rest if your workout program can strengthen and improve your running.

This is important not only for getting a better run, but also for preventing injury and unnecessary strain.

And if you’re not a runner, you should still be engaging in some kind of cardiovascular exercise, whether it’s walking, stair climbing, or cycling.

This 15-minute workout is designed to strengthen your lower body in a way that improves your cardio performance and makes it easy for you to get better and better.

Ready to kick it up a notch?

15-Minute Workout to Boost Your Running and Cardio Potential

Run through 2 to 3 sets of these exercises each week, making sure you work at maximum output for the best results.  To improve your energy outputs make sure to try a B vitamin like NOW B-100 and a natural creatine powder like – Kre-a-fem or Optimum Creatine Powder as they’re both proven to help with burning fat for energy and giving you that extra edge.

By the way, if you have knee pain make sure to warm up adequately and take the only supplement that has been proven to be effective in lubricating your joints – NOW Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM.

1. Knee Tucks on Bench

Find a workout bench and balance against it with your forearms and your legs extended out behind you. Your toes should be balanced against the floor and your legs straight. Look forward so you don’t strain your neck. Lift your right foot off the floor and bring your right knee up into your torso, bending at the knee. Hold here for one count, return to starting, and repeat with opposite leg. Keep alternating between legs until you reach muscle fatigue.

To view this exercise, click here.

2. Jump Squats

Start in standing position with your feet about shoulder width. Lower into a standard squat, bringing your buttocks closer to the floor and making sure your knees don’t extend beyond your toes. On your way up out of the squat, jump off the ground and land in starting position. Immediately flow back into a squat, with the goal of engaging in one seamless series of moves. Knock out at least 10 to 15 of these.

3. Lower Ab Bicycle Crunch

This one is great for your core and lower body, and will really improve your running ability. Lie face up on a workout mat and hold your legs up toward the ceiling at 90 degrees to your body. Your knees should be loose but not bent. Bring one leg down and as close to the floor as you can, bending at your waist only. Hold here for 3 counts, lift to starting, and repeat with the opposite leg. Keep alternating in this way until you reach fatigue.

To view this exercise, click here.

4. Mary-Catherines

Get into a traditional lunge position on a surface where you have a lot of traction. With one leg extended behind you, lower into a lunge, going as deep as possible without letting your front knee extend beyond your toes. On your way up out of the lunge, jump and reverse the positions of your feet, bringing your back foot forward and your front foot back. The goal is to land in a lunge position on the opposite side if your body. Immediately lower into a lunge again, and repeat, alternating between sides. Aim for at least 8-10 per side.

5. Plank on Stability Ball

Grab a large stability ball and rest against it with your forearms, elbows bent. Strengthen your legs out behind you and balance on your toes, making sure that your neck, back, hips, and legs are all aligned. Engage your core muscles, pull your back up slightly towards the ceiling, and remain here in plank position for at least 1 minute.

To view this exercise, click here.

There you have it. If you have the time, repeat this circuit 2-3 times for a more complete workout. Aim for doing this 15-minute routine once or twice a week for optimal results.

And make sure you’re getting in a solid lower body strength training routine. Check out these workouts:

Have any questions or feedback about my 15-Minute Runner Workout? Please leave a comment below…

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The Secret to Burn Fat Faster http://weightlossandtraining.com/the-secret-to-burn-fat-faster http://weightlossandtraining.com/the-secret-to-burn-fat-faster#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 02:48:56 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15286 If you're spinning your wheels trying to not eat that, not to do that & endlessly try & exercise more, this secret approach will catapult your fat loss results.

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The Secret to Burn Fat Faster

Seriously Enhance Your Fat Burning Results

If you’re anything like most of us, you’re probably spinning your wheels trying to not eat that, do more exercise, and just do whatever health tip comes your way.

So all this effort, and what results right? Let’s try and slow it down and really ravel this one powerful fat-busting secret that is highly effective and you can implement it in a number of different ways to make sure it suits your style.

So what’s the so-called secret? You’ll probably laugh because it’s not going to be a huge surprise. Cardiovascular exercise remains one of the most effective ways to burn a ton of calories and in turn fat. Although it’s not the only way to go about it, I’m going to review three approaches to cardio that will totally boost your fat loss results.

If you’re doing one already and not getting much results, then the real trick will be to switch to another approach and cycle through the approaches every 6 weeks. The good news is that if you’re already into one form, the rest won’t be as hard.

Ready to burn fat faster, and finally take your waistline down a few notches?

Three Ways to Enhance Your Cardio

1. Long, Slow Distance

This should be your starting point when it comes to burning fat with cardio. Low-intensity, long distance cardio workout condition your body in a particular way and really get your body burning fat. This is not just a matter of a calorie burn – at low-to-moderate intensity, your body will kick into fat burning mode after 20-30 minutes.

The other benefit of this approach is that you’ll train your muscles to work for longer periods of time, and this can help improve a number of other aspects of your workout (even your weight training).

How long you need to do it:
Minimum of 45 minutes, up to 1 hour

Total calories burned:
150 to 240 (about 4 per minute)

 2. Moderate Tempo Workouts

This is the in-between approach to cardio that also burns a lot of calories, but really shifts your metabolism into carb-burning mode. You’ll still burn off some fat, and you’ll also burn off a lot of those extra calories you may have had that morning or the night before.

This type of cardio is important for a lot of reasons, particularly your cardiovascular health and how efficiently you use oxygen. Training your body at a moderate intensity, where you’re breathing hard but steady, will also help improve other facets of your workout program, improving your overall fitness.

How long you need to do it:
Minimum 20 minutes, up to 30 minute

Total calories burned:
130 to 200 (about 6-7 per minute)

3. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

This is the one that’s really all the rage lately, and for a really good reason. High intensity interval training, or HIIT for short, involves engaging in short bursts of intense exercises with either low-intensity exercises or complete rest in between. Essentially, you want to alternate your body between high and low intensity relatively quickly—and never long enough to let your heart rate slow down.

Not only do you burn a ton of calories doing HIIT, but you also condition your muscles at the same time. This means you’ll be burning calories and fat for hours afterwards, and over time, you’ll actually boost your resting metabolic rate by strengthening your lean muscle mass.

You really can’t go wrong with HIIT, and regardless of your fitness level, it can easily be incorporated into your current workout program. Even 10 minutes of HIIT a few days a week can totally transform your fitness level and potential at the gym.

How long you need to do it:
Minimum 10 minutes, up to 20 or 30 minutes (depending on fitness level)

Total calories burned:
80 to 200 or more (about 8-10 per minute)

Looking for some great HIIT workouts to try? Check out these specific workouts based on the high intensity interval training approach:

Which one of these cardio strategies are you going to start with? Leave a comment and psychologically you’ll have planted the first seed to make a change…

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7 Ways to Slow Down and Find Balance http://weightlossandtraining.com/7-ways-to-slow-down-and-find-balance http://weightlossandtraining.com/7-ways-to-slow-down-and-find-balance#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 20:01:34 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15237 It's time to look for new ways to de-stress & energize, the health benefits are considerable. These simple strategies are a great reminder to find that balance again.

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7 Ways to Slow Down and Find Balance

Relax, and Get the Most Out of Life

We live in a world that can get pretty stressful, and finding balance can be extremely difficult. But it’s not altogether impossible.

If you’re looking for new ways to de-stress, give some of these strategies a try. It may be easier than you think!

7 Simple Ways to Slow Down and Relax

1. Take a Walk in Nature

It may be the simplest strategy on this list, but it’s also one of the most powerful. Nature can provide the perfect escape from the noise and business of the city, and allow you to complete unwind. In fact, research is pretty clear on the benefits of nature, with a number of studies and experiments showing a positive effect of nature on stress. Even something as simple as the presence of plants and natural elements in a room can lower your blood pressure.

2. Turn Off the Smart Phone

This one’s closely related to the first, but technology can also get in the way of finding peace and calm. While it can offer a convenient means of communication, your smart phone can also create a constant sense of work and responsibility. At the very least, give yourself 30 minutes to an hour of phone-free time. You might be surprised by how refreshing this is.

3. Try Some Yoga

Yoga should be pretty high on your list if you’re desperate for some new relaxation techniques. It incorporates some meditative components, which have been shown to significantly reduce stress, in addition to the mental focus and mindfulness encouraged throughout. The benefit of the flexibility training and stretching is also huge, and can help you relax on the physical level too.

Can’t find the time or money for a yoga class? Check out this complete Gaiam Yoga for Beginners Kit here.

4. Take a Social Media Free Day

Social media can be a huge source of stress. In fact, new research is showing that it can increase social anxiety and produce an all-around negative mood. One of the reasons is that it can make you feel left out. So try taking one day each week where you go social media free. I’ve found this to be an extremely refreshing practice.

5. Start a Gratitude Journal

The science of gratitude is starting to get pretty interesting, with increasing evidence for psychological benefits of expressing gratitude on a regular basis (or even once, in some cases). Start keeping a gratitude journal, and start or end your day by listing a few things you’re grateful. It’s an incredibly simple strategy, but it can really help you find some balance.

6. Prioritize Your Sleep Schedule

Of all the health habits you should get in order, sleep is probably the first and foremost. Sleep has an impact on everything else you do, from diet to exercise and your ability to handle stress. Make sure you’re getting around 7 to 8 hours a night, and make sure it’s of solid quality.

To get on the right track, take a look at my Quick Sleep Remedies here.

7. Take Some YOU Time

Regardless of how you do it, taking some dedicated YOU time each week is vital to your health and happiness. Engage in some of the strategies noted above, or create your own habits and rituals that allow you to find some inner and outer peace.

Which one of these are you going to start doing more of? Please leave a comment below…

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Are GMO’s Making You Fat? http://weightlossandtraining.com/are-gmos-making-you-fat http://weightlossandtraining.com/are-gmos-making-you-fat#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 00:08:16 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15236 One of the biggest debates surrounding GMOs is their potential link to weight gain. But what’s the research really saying about GMOs and weight loss?

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Are GMO's Making You Fat?

The Truth About GMO’s

GMO foods reflect one of the most contentious topics among health professionals and nutritionists. And one of the biggest debates surrounding GMOs is their potential link to weight gain.

But what’s the research really saying about GMOs and weight loss? How concerned should you be?

Understanding GMOs

Before we get to the issue of weight gain, let’s make sure we understand what GMOs really are.

GMO stands for genetically modified organism. Included in the category of GMOs is any bacteria, plant, insect, or animal whose genetic material (i.e., DNA) has been changed using genetic engineering. In most cases, this involves combining or inserting DNA from different species.

The results can vary considerably – from glowing goldfish to larger tomatoes and corn that is resistant to pesticides and drought. And this kind of stuff has been going on for a while. Food companies have been producing GMOs since the 1970s, and they became staples in the produce aisle in the early 1990s and are prominent even at Whole Foods grocery stores.

One of the companies that has been at the center of the debate most recently is Monsanto, an international agricultural tech company of enormous size and influence. They are also the world’s largest manufacturer of seeds, most of which have been genetically modified in some way.

In particular, many of Monsanto’s seeds have been modified to resist the herbicide Roundup. This is a powerful herbicide that is often used in very high doses to kill weeds, especially on crops like corn, wheat, and soy. In order to make sure that the crops themselves aren’t damaged by Roundup, the company has genetically engineered these plants to be Roundup Ready.

The Health Controversy

Originally, Monsanto claimed that their Roundup herbicide was biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Today, scientists have determined that this is not the case, with potentially far-reaching effects on the environment and other species.

And where the controversy is especially strong is in regards to human health. At the very least, many GMOs appear to contain nutritional deficiencies as a result of their genetic modifications, DNA insertion, and gene splicing. But links to more serious diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and many cancers, have also been made.

Some of these links are still awaiting a scientific consensus. But if there’s anything to be critical of, it’s research that’s done by the companies making GMOs. You may share this option, but I believe you can never entirely trust research done by companies whose first and most important goal is profit.

As you might guess, the controversy is a big one, but today let’s focus specifically on the link between GMOs and obesity.

The Truth about GMOs, Weight Gain, and Obesity

Some of the more recent research on GMOs has suggested that they may be making you fat.

In 2012, a group of scientists from Norway studied the effects of GMOs on weight gain in rats. One group of rats was fed non-GMO corn, while the other group was fed a diet high in GMOs. Over a period of 90 days, the GMO-fed rats not only ate more food, they also grew significantly fatter than the non-GMO group.

What’s more, the researchers also found that rats grew fatter when fed salmon that was raised on GMO corn. And the same team studied the salmon themselves, finding that they too grew larger and ate more when fed a GMO diet. Click here to read more about the study published by ScienceNordic.

Now there’s always a limitation when it comes to animal studies like these, but these findings are suggestive of a real link between GMO foods and weight gain. More generally, researchers have disputed the claim that GMOs are harmless and break down like other foods. Research has shown that genes from GMOs can be transferred into the blood and eventually deposited in muscle tissue and the liver.

The problem, of course, is that we can’t do these kinds of experiments on humans, but the possibility of a similar link between GMOs and weight gain is real. What’s worse, people aren’t just eating this stuff for 90 days. GMO foods can be part of a normal diet over decades, if not an entire lifespan.

Then there’s the reduced nutritional content. Research from the non-profit organization Organic Center has demonstrated that the nutritional content (vitamins and minerals) is lower in GMO foods than non-GMO foods. This may be explaining the link to weight gain, as our bodies would require more a greater calorie intake to get the nutrients it needs.

So What Should You Do?

My advice? Although more research needs to be done, there is enough evidence to make me wary of GMOs – for reasons related to weight gain and a host of other health issues. At the very least, they may be interfering with your weight loss goals.

The good news is that anything certified organic is GMO-free. At this point, I’d recommend playing it safe whenever you can, and go for organic options as much as possible and within your budget. Some of the big crops like corn, wheat, and soy are the worst contenders, so start with those.

For more on the Benefits of Organic Food, click here. And if you want to clean up your diet in general, check out my Clean Eating Principles to Live By.

What’s your opinion on GMO’s and how it can be affecting your health? Please leave a comment below…

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4 Food Rules for Strength Training http://weightlossandtraining.com/4-food-rules-strength-training http://weightlossandtraining.com/4-food-rules-strength-training#comments Sun, 14 Sep 2014 18:36:38 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15235 Food not only feeds your muscles but also provides you with the energy you need to take your muscle-toning workouts to the next level. The 4 food rules should not be missed.

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4 Food Rules for Strength Training

How to Eat for Strength & Gains

You may not realize it, but food is just as important to your strength training routine as the number of sets you’re hammering out each week. Today we’re going to look at simple tips for getting the most out of your muscle toning workouts by improving your diet.

There are a few reasons that food is so important to strength training. Without a surprise, energy is one of those reasons because this is really going to allow you to push it to the next level every time you train and will overcome those sluggish moments where you just want to stop (I know we’ve all been there!).

But beyond that, you need to make sure you’re giving your muscles what they need to recover, to gain strength, and to increase in size.  Unfortunately, these physical needs all correspond to very specific nutritional requirements that often differ from your regular diet. That’s right, just because it says healthy when you eat out doesn’t really mean it is if you aren’t eating clean natural ingredients that you yourself put together right?

If you want to significantly improve your strength training results, follow these 4 simple food rules. A significant impact is around the corner and you’ll see progress and gains like never before.

4 Simple Food Rules for Better Workout Results

1. Fuel Up

Your pre-workout nutrition is really essential when it comes to maintaining energy throughout your workouts. Ideally, you want to think about this from the time you wake up, ensuring that your body has the nutrients it needs to stay strong and active.

First, this means not skipping breakfast. If you’re tight on time, even a morning protein shake will do. Second, you want to get a good balance of protein, healthy carbs (either whole grains or veggies), and vitamins and minerals to offer you the most complete support.

Check out my Morning Pre-Workout Meals here for some great ideas.

2. Energize

If your workout isn’t first thing in the morning, you also want to think about what you eat in the hour beforehand. Between 30 minutes and 1 hour before your workout, you need to give yourself a little nutritional boost. You could do a pre-workout protein shake or even a healthy protein bar like one of these Quest Bars or Organic Food Protein Bars.

Alternatively, you can also consider fueling up pre-workout with a metabolism-boosting, energy-enhancing workout supplement like Dyma-Burn Xtreme. On its own or combined with a shake, you’ll experience better stamina and endurance to keep you moving.

3. Increase Your Protein Intake

Whether it’s before or after your workout, you need to increase your protein intake overall. This is one of the most important strength training diet rules. When you engage in resistance training of any kind, you basically tear your muscle fibers. It’s in the repair process that the muscle makes gains in size and strength, but without adequate protein in your diet, this process will be impaired.

So you have to eat more protein. Make sure your protein sources are healthy, regardless of your diet. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, make sure you’re still getting adequate protein in your diet.

For some ideas, take a look at my High Protein Diet Shopping List.

4. Think Recovery

The most important period may be the first hour or two immediately following a strength training routine. It’s during this time that your muscles are most depleted, so you need to make sure you fuel up post-workout.

This can be by means of a balanced meal with a solid serving of protein, or with a protein shake, depending on your preference.

There are also a lot of healthy and effective recovery supplements that can really improve your results. For some great ideas, check out my Post Workout Recovery Supplements here.

Which one or all of these are you implementing today? Please leave a comment I’d love to hear from you…

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The Best Core Exercises with Weights http://weightlossandtraining.com/best-core-exercises-weights http://weightlossandtraining.com/best-core-exercises-weights#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 02:18:42 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15234 Getting a sexy and toned six pack requires a smart plan of exercises so you get the most out of your workout. Check out these exercises for best results.

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The Best Core Exercises with Weights

Core Exercise ABC’s

Getting a sexy and toned six pack is no easy task. But if you want real results, you need to make sure you’re adding some resistance to your workouts.

In fact, this is one of the biggest mistakes I see when it comes to abdominal and core exercises. Doing 200 crunches isn’t going to do a whole lot to build and tone your abs.

Instead, you need to add resistance to your core exercises over time, just as you would any other muscle group. As you continue to build your abs, obliques, and lower back, you’ll improve your core strength. But you also need to constantly increase resistance in order to avoid hitting a plateau.

And that’s where today’s exercises come into play.

Weights can be easily incorporated into your core workout, in a number of diverse ways. Beyond getting you real results faster than doing crunch after crunch, they’ll also help you stave off boredom at the gym.

The Best Resistance Core Exercises

Today I’m reviewing 7 core exercises that incorporate weights – and help you see some serious six pack results. If you want shredded abs and a strong core, you need to include these in your workout.

Or if you’re looking for a whole new core workout to throw into your routine, try running through 2-3 sets of these exercises in a row. Even one circuit can have a big impact if you’re short on time.

Crunch with Medicine Ball

The first one on this list is pretty simple. All you’re going to do is hold a medicine ball overhead as you engage in a regular abdominal crunch. As you bring your torso up, bring the medicine ball up and overhead as well.

To view a standard ab crunch, click here.

Bicycle Crunch with Medicine Ball

For this second exercise, you’re going to hold on to the medicine ball at your chest and engage in a traditional bicycle crunch. Rather than bringing each elbow to the opposite knee, simply bring the ball to each knee as you alternate from side to side.

To view a standard bicycle crunch, click here.

Russian Twist

The Russian Twist is a highly effective core exercise. Not only do you get the resistance with the medicine ball, but balancing on a stability ball also challenges your core muscle in an intense way. Make sure you move through this one at a controlled pace.

To view a Russian twist, click here.

Ab Twists with Cable Weights

There are 3 variations of this exercise that do wonders for your core muscles, especially your obliques (the muscles under your love handles). Each one of them targets your obliques at a different angle, allowing you to build incredible strength in these key core muscles. Plus they also work your abs and lower back.

Get your obliques warmed up for these ones. Here there are:

Hanging Knee Raise with Dumbbell

The last one is probably the most advanced exercise on this list, but it’s totally manageable. You’re going to engage in a hanging knee raise, but rather just relying on bodyweight, you’re going to hold a dumbbell between your feet. With every lift of your knees upward, you’re going to seriously increase the resistance on your abs. Make sure you start off with a light weight before you get the hang of it.

To view a standard hanging knee raise, click here.

Looking for a killer ab diet to go along with these exercises?

Check out my Six Pack Diet Plan for Women or my Six Pack Diet Plan for Men, and match your diet to your six pack mindset.

Have any questions or feedback about the Best Core Exercises with Weights? Please leave a comment below…

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5 Signs Your Diet Isn’t Working For You http://weightlossandtraining.com/5-signs-diet-isnt-working http://weightlossandtraining.com/5-signs-diet-isnt-working#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:20:45 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15207 If you feel like your diet may not be working, or you’re just not seeing the results you want to see, here are 5 signs that you may be getting it wrong.

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5 Signs Your Diet Isn't Working For You

How to Know When it’s Time to Switch

Choosing a diet today is way more complicated than it’s been in the past and some will say for good reason. As we learn more about health and nutrition, we seem to get bogged down with more and more diet trends and fads.

You should always take into consideration all the new and great diets with a grain of salt and realize that what has worked for others may have been a short-term solution and simply not be sustainable long-term.

No surprise right?  But in addition, your body has its own genetic makeup, its own history, and your body is unique in a lot of different ways. All of these things have a big impact on the effectiveness of a nutrition plan or as some would call it a “diet”.

What this means is that it may take a little or it may take a lot of trial and error before you find the diet that’s right for you.

The good news is that I’m here to help, and my mission with this blog is to allow things to be just a little easier for my devoted fans who I appreciate so much.

So let’s take a look at some of the common patterns that we all fall into that trip us up. The point here is to get out of the rut and persevere – you’re stronger when you really put your mind to it, don’t forget that!

With that said, if you feel like your diet may not be working, or you’re just not seeing the results you want to see, here are 5 signs that you may be getting it wrong.

5 Signs You Need to Make a Serious Dieting Change

1. You Have Unusual Health Problems

The first one is a big one, but people often underestimate the role of their dietary choices in their everyday health.

If you’ve recently made a major dietary change and now find yourself losing too much weight, gaining weight more quickly, or have strange aches and pains you can’t quite explain, your diet may be to blame. I’ve seen this happen a lot with people who go vegan or paleo without finding the right nutritional substitutes.

2. You’re Getting Serious Cravings

Some cravings are a normal part of life, and especially a normal part of healthy eating. But having uncontrollable cravings that last for hours or seem unusually intense is not normal, and a sign that your body is missing something. If you’ve just made a dietary change, this is probably nothing to worry about. But if these kinds of cravings show up a little later on in the process, it may be time to re-evaluate things.

Looking for some foods that help control cravings? Check out my article on How to Fight Food Cravings.

3. You’re Having a Hard time Dealing with Stress

Your diet also plays a big role in your mental and emotional health, and often you’ll see things manifest emotionally before they do physically. If you feel like you just can’t handle stress on your current diet, or you find yourself becoming anxious more easily, you may be getting too much or too little of something. Consider the vitamin and mineral content of your meals or taking a high quality vitamin like Optimum Opti-Women or Optimum Opti-Men.

4. You’re Exhausted or Can’t Exercise as Much

If you’re getting enough rest and sleep but find your energy level is impossibly low, there’s a good chance that your diet is to blame. One of the primary purposes of food is to provide fuel and energy to your body, so make sure you’re giving your body what it needs.

Looking for some foods that boost your energy levels? Check out my article on How to Increase Energy.

5. You Can’t Sleep

Sleep is also impacted by your dietary choices. If you’re having a hard time getting your sleep back on track and can’t figure out why, try taking a look at your diet. A healthy diet can have a major impact on insomnia and other sleep problems.

So take a look at what you’re eating in the evenings to see how this impacts your sleep, generally you should be staying away from anything with lots of sugar (like cereal ladies!). A natural sleep supplement like Natural Rescue Sleep Remedy is also a good idea to have on hand in case you can’t get over the insomnia.

So What Should You Do Next?

I recommend keeping a food log for one week in order to seriously evaluate your eating habits. Sometimes we don’t realize everything we eat in a day. You can also get in touch with a nutritionist or dietician to give you a hand, or browse through this website for some great diet and nutrition tips.

If you’re looking for one of the healthiest and most sustainable diets that I recommend trying, try my Clean Eating Diet. It includes a great set of basic rules for eating healthy and whole.

Have any questions or feedback about these 5 Signs Your Diet Isn’t Working For You? Please leave a comment below…

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