Weight Loss & Training http://weightlossandtraining.com Weight Loss Tips & Workout Routines Wed, 20 Aug 2014 04:20:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Worst Things to Eat at Night http://weightlossandtraining.com/worst-things-to-eat-at-night?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=worst-things-to-eat-at-night http://weightlossandtraining.com/worst-things-to-eat-at-night#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 04:19:42 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15160 Unfortunately, evening meals and snacks are the worst for your tummy size. Find out which foods should be avoided before you get your sleep on!

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The Worst Things to Eat at Night

10 Foods to Avoid Before Bed

Whether or not you should eat before bed has been a dieting debate for years. So what’s the truth about evening meals and snacks? And what should you avoid?

First off, we need to settle the debate. Eating before bed is actually okay, and it can actually boost your metabolism to help you burn more calories while you sleep. What matters is what you eat.

The problems with eating at night ultimately arise with making the wrong food choices, whether it’s what you’re eating for dinner or snacking on later in the evening. Some foods are just going to add to the problem and stall your weight loss efforts. Foods high in sugars and carbohydrates are especially bad because you won’t have the opportunity to burn off these calories.

Here are some serious culprits you need to avoid…

10 of the Worst Things to Eat Before Bed

Ice Cream

Although it’s a popular comfort food, it should be avoided at night. It’s full of unhealthy fats that take a long time to digest, and the sugar is only going to add to the problem.

Pasta

The carbs in pasta, whether white or whole wheat, are still going to cause a spike in your blood glucose levels, screwing up both your sleep and your metabolism. The calories from pasta are more likely to get converted to fat when you’re sedentary.

Crackers

Probably one of the most popular evening snacks, crackers are just full of carbs and absent of any real nutritional value.

Chips

And chips are even worse than crackers. In addition to carb-loading, you’re also fat-loading, and it’s not the good kind of fat. The salt is also going to make you bloated before bed. Chips are really one of the worst things to eat any time of the day, but this is especially true at night.

Pizza

Pizza is also full of carbohydrates, and the worst kinds. In fact, you’re basically doubling up on the carbs in every slice of pizza compared to a slice of bread. And all that cheese is not conducive to your weight loss goals.

Bread

You’re probably getting the carbohydrate theme by this point, but they really should be avoided in all forms before bed. In terms of bread, even whole grain bread should not be eaten at night. Instead, go for foods high in protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Fruit

It’s still better than candy or anything with processed sugar, but fruit should be eaten earlier in the day so that you have the opportunity to burn off the natural sugars, which can also be converted to fat.  A better alternative would be berries like blackberries or raspberries which are on the low-end of the fructose scale.

Starchy Vegetables

There’s a similar line of reasoning with starchy vegetables, which can result in extra calories stored as fat if not used up during exercise and physical activity. Potatoes and peas, for example, should be reserved for earlier in the day.

Celery

Believe it or not, celery contains natural diuretic properties, which means it’s more likely to keep you up at night and prevent a good night’s sleep.

Red Meat

Because it takes so long to digest, red meat is going to keep your metabolism a little too high through the night, potentially preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep and throwing off your metabolism as a result.

So what should you eat before bed?

Generally speaking, the most nutritional foods are best. High protein foods like chicken, salmon, eggs, and nuts are all great. Most veggies and fruits low in sugar (like blueberries) are also fantastic options. Not only will these foods be satisfying, they’ll also stabilize your metabolism during sleep and help you shed a few extra calories.

For some ideas, check out my article on Healthy Late Night Snacks here. Or take a look at some more interesting ideas here – Top 10 Healthy Snacks to Keep You Full

Have any questions or feedback about the Worst Things to Eat at Night? Please leave a comment below…

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4 Foods that Burn Belly Fat http://weightlossandtraining.com/4-foods-burn-belly-fat?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=4-foods-burn-belly-fat http://weightlossandtraining.com/4-foods-burn-belly-fat#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 23:55:40 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15152 If you're looking for ways to boost your weight loss results, these 4 foods will help you burn belly fat. All you have to do is replace the junk with these satisfying picks.

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4 Foods that Burn Belly Fat

Eat to Burn Belly Fat

It may seem to go against the grain, but it’s true that many foods help you lose fat. In this article we’re going to look at 4 of my top picks, and I think you’re going to like at least some of them!

When it comes to your body, it’s important to think of it as a machine. If you give it the right kind of fuel and the nutrients it needs, then it will work more efficiently. Your metabolism is a major component of that machine. With the right daily intake of foods, your metabolism will work better and burn more fat from your entire body, including your belly.

The trick is simply knowing which foods boost your metabolism, and which foods slow it down or make it work less efficiently.

One general rule of thumb is to avoid foods that cause spikes in your blood glucose levels. These wreak havoc on your metabolism, both immediately and over time, making your body think it has a lot to work with and then suddenly leaving it wanting more. Sugars and processed carbs are the biggest culprits when it comes to this, so they should be avoided at all cost.

Instead, you need to go for foods that keep your metabolism raised for longer periods of time, and your blood glucose levels more balanced out and consistent. Luckily, there are a lot of foods that do this. And in the process, you’ll burn more calories and lose some of that annoying belly fat.

Here are 4 of my top picks…

4 Foods to Boost Metabolism and Burn Belly Fat

Fish

If you’re not a seafood lover, you need to find some options that you can work with, because fish is a great fat-burner. There are a few reasons for this. Namely, the omega-3 fatty acids have been shown in research to significantly enhance your metabolism and help you burn more fat. Omega-3s can also improve the health of your heart and help prevent dementia (as referenced by Alzeimer’s Prevention Foundation website).

To make sure you are getting your daily intake of high quality omega-3′s I would suggest a supplement like Country Life Omega 3 Mood so you don’t have to worry about getting too many heavy metals which may have accumulated in fish (since fish are exposed to toxins in our oceans they unfortunately have an accumulation of toxins like Mercury which can have many negative health effects).

The other important ingredient in fish is protein. Protein helps keep you full for longer, and burns more calories during digestion. Whether it’s fish, eggs, milk, or vegetable-based protein, you need to get more of it so you may want to consider keeping your daily protein intake high with a high protein but low-calorie smoothie using one of these top 3 selling proteins: Optimum 100% Natural Whey, Vega Sport Performance Protein or Sun Warrior Plant Based Protein

Avocados

We don’t hear of avocados being called superfoods, but they really should be considered in this category. They’re essentially the vegan equivalent of seafood, in so much that they’re high in protein (around 8 grams per avocado) and healthy fats. The other great thing about avocados is their rich, creamy texture. For this reason, they make a great substitute on sandwiches and salads, allowing you to eliminate other fats.

Nuts

Nuts, and especially those like almonds, pistachios, and macadamia nuts, are also high in healthy fats that can boost metabolism. These nuts also contain ingredients like magnesium that help regulate a number of hormones, including those related to sleep and diet. In my opinion, nuts are the best snacking choice on a fat-burning diet.

Check out these super metabolism-boosting almonds with cajun, lemon, and pepper seasoning – Cajun Lemon Pepper Almonds

Oatmeal

In terms of carbohydrates, oatmeal is a great choice for burning belly fat. It’s also high in craving-preventing protein like the other items on this list. But more importantly, oatmeal is high in fiber, which is an important ingredient for keeping you feeling full and helping your metabolism to run efficiently. As a morning meal, it’s ideal. Just make sure you don’t pile it up with added sugar.

Have any questions or feedback about these 4 Foods that Burn Belly Fat? Please leave a comment below…

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Shredded Abs within 4 Weeks http://weightlossandtraining.com/shredded-abs-within-4-weeks?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=shredded-abs-within-4-weeks http://weightlossandtraining.com/shredded-abs-within-4-weeks#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 00:57:37 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15124 This is a step by step weekly breakdown of how to get shredded abs within 4 weeks without getting overwhelmed or frustrated from the lack of results. Shredded abs here they come!

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Shredded Abs within 4 Weeks

Lean Abs STAT!

You want shredded abs fast, and trust me I get it. The challenge with abs is getting your body fat down, that comes to no surprise but how do you do it so you don’t feeling totally overwhelmed or frustrated from the lack of results.

The approach I’m going to give you is one of the better strategies for both women and men which will allow you to break it down week by week and push hard but not too hard that you get all emotional because of lack of food or workouts that are too crazy for you to accomplish.

Now if you have more than a few inches of spare tire around your waist it will take you a bit longer so just cycle through the weeks until you get the results that you will be happy with.

Remember, it’s not about the calories or what others think, it’s how good you feel after you eat and train smarter.  This shift in your mental game is what you need to kill it, and if you need a little more motivation leave me comments at the bottom of this blog and I will personally step up and help answer any questions you may have.

Let’s get to it…

Shredded Abs 4 Week Plan

Week 1:

This is the week where you make 3 changes to your daily routine. I’ll give you a six to select from, but 3 of them together will help you see changes to your waist-line within the first week alone.

  • Wake up 30 minutes earlier just three times this week and go for a fast walk or jog
  • Eat upon wake-up but stop eating anything other than water 3 hours before your bed time
  • Cut out anything that comes from a can, a box or a restaurant (fast food or regular) this entire week
  • Drink 4 glasses of water more than you typically drink each day, if you exercise on that day drink an additional 2 glasses
  • Take the stairs every opportunity you get and park farther from wherever you are going to get more movement every day
  • Split your breakfast portion in half and add a healthy smoothie (Try one of these 7 Lip Smacking Smoothie Recipes)

 

Week 2:

You’re seeing some results, now take it to the next level and do all 6 of the above suggestions.  These work and they’re pretty easy to do so don’t stop, keep pushing.

 

Week 3:

Here is where you’re going to change things up.  With your fast walk/jog you’re going to start implementing interval training.  If you haven’t  done interval training before, all it means is adding short 30 second spurts of high intensity everything-you-have boosts to your cardio.  So if you’re walking fast, every 2 minutes switch in 30 seconds of walking as fast as you possibly can.  Of course you can also do this with really any cardio such as jumping rope, bicycling, rowing or even jogging in place.

You’re going to do this 3-4 times this week so make sure you are hydrating really well.

 

Week 4:

This week is the ultimate week in your diet plan.  Out of the 7 days your goal is to have 3 days of super healthy eating.  I’ve made it super easy for you in this article: A Day of Healthy Eating. I’ve included some of my favorite recipes that are very tasty and include the best of the best ingredients to make sure your muscles are completely nourished.

 

Conclusion:

There you have it, it’s not as bad as you thought right?  This 4 week approach has worked on hundreds of people I’ve coached over the years, just remember the key to your success is keeping the focus on how good you feel after each success, whether you measure your success by the task, by the day or even by the week.

 

Have questions on the above or need an extra boost?  Leave me a comment below…

 

 

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A Green Smoothie Recipe to Get You Back on Track http://weightlossandtraining.com/a-green-smoothie-recipe-to-get-you-back-on-track?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-green-smoothie-recipe-to-get-you-back-on-track http://weightlossandtraining.com/a-green-smoothie-recipe-to-get-you-back-on-track#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 03:03:27 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15076 It's easy to fall off the healthy eating train, so today we're going to look at a green smoothie recipe to jump start your health and get your eating habits back on track.

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A Green Smoothie Recipe to Get You Back on Track

GO Green!

Everyone slips up when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. Let’s face it, our world just isn’t designed around healthy eating.

Today we’re going to look at an easy & lip-smacking delicious fix – a smoothie recipe to help you get back on track with your healthy nutrition plan. Whether you’ve missed a couple days of healthy eating, or you just need to replenish your resources, this is the perfect drink.

When done right, shakes and smoothies can be great meal replacements or snacking options on a healthy diet. You’ve got to watch the sugar and added fruit juices, as these usually just lead to an unwanted spike in your blood glucose levels. This is why I like to make my own smoothies. I can control what goes into them, down to every ingredient.

Smoothies are also great for a highly active lifestyle, and can help sustain energy and get you through your workouts with a lot more motivation.

So here it is, one of my best smoothie recipes to get your healthy habits back in order.

A Green Smoothie Recipe to Jump Start Your Health

Combine the following ingredients in your blender and blend on high speed until smooth. You can easily double this one up if there are two of you.

1 banana, frozen or chilled – Bananas are great sources of energy, packed full of potassium and other vitamins and minerals. A banana is pretty much a staple in all of my smoothie recipes. Using them chilled or frozen is best, but not necessary.

½ cup of coconut waterCoconut water is great for replenishing your system, as it’s full of natural electrolytes. Hydration is always key, but make sure you avoid coconut water with added sugar or sweetening.

½ cup of unsweetened almond milk – In my opinion, almond milk is your best option when it comes to a healthy dairy alternative. Almonds contain a ton of nutrients to support a healthy lifestyle, including healthy fats and a bit of plant-based protein. Just make sure you avoid the stuff that has added sugar.

1 teaspoon of coconut oil – Coconut oil is another healthy fat that will boost your metabolism and help reverse some signs of aging. This one is my favorite – Nutiva Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil

¼ cup of fresh baby spinach – Spinach is full of calcium and is a rich source of healthy antioxidants. No green smoothie would be complete without this gem!

¼ cup of fresh kale – I like to go with the dark stuff, but any kind of kale will do. You’ve probably heard about the health benefits of this one, but its vitamin and mineral content offer serious boosts to your health.

1 handful of frozen blueberries – Blueberries are pretty low in sugar, but their phytonutrients and antioxidants are fantastic to help boost your healthy diet into the next level.

For the last ingredient, I’m going to give you a choice. You can definitely add both, but I find these ingredients can overwhelm the flavor just a bit in combination.

1 scoop of green superfood powder – This stuff is great to have on hand for smoothies. The phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals contained in 1 scoop of this stuff will help you meet most of your nutritional requirements. Take a look here – Amazing Grass Green SuperFood Powder

or…

1 scoop of matcha green tea powder – Match powder is ideal if you need a little pick-me-up, especially in the mornings. In fact, matcha powder can be a great replacement to your morning coffee, with a high dose of caffeine but lots of antioxidants and other health ingredients at the same time. Check it out here – Green Foods Matcha Green Tea

Finish things off with a few ice cubes (as desired), and you’re ready to jump start your diet and get your healthy habits back on track.

Have any questions or feedback about my Green Smoothie Recipe? Please leave a comment below…

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Blast Calories and Build Muscle in 30 Minutes http://weightlossandtraining.com/blast-calories-and-build-muscle-in-30-minutes?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=blast-calories-and-build-muscle-in-30-minutes http://weightlossandtraining.com/blast-calories-and-build-muscle-in-30-minutes#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 21:10:12 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15074 This 30 minute workout id designed to boost your metabolism, blast a ton of calories, and condition your muscles.

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Blast Calories and Build Muscle in 30 Minutes

30 Minutes to Blast Fat

Whether you only have 30 minutes to get in a workout today or you know you’re going to have a busy day tomorrow you want to get to the core of it all and get the most of your time.

The important thing to remember? With the right workout routine, you don’t have to sacrifice any of your goals – even if you’re short on time. This 30 minute workout will boost your metabolism, blast a ton of calories, and conditions your muscles. You couldn’t ask for more right?

So What’s the Trick?

If workout efficiency is your biggest concern, it may be easier than you think to maximize your time. Here are a few techniques for saving time:

  • Circuit Training – One of the best ways you can burn calories while hitting all your target muscles is circuit training. Rather than doing a few sets at each station, circuit training gets you moving between single sets of different exercises without resting in between. This will keep your heart rate up and the calories burning.
  • High Intensity Interval Training – Interval training is another strategy to keep you moving. Here the goal is to engage in a series of alternating high and low intensity exercises, often targeting many muscle groups at a time. Read my article on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) here.
  • Muscle Confusion – A number of muscle confusion techniques, like supersets or drop sets, are a great way to fit more reps into a block of time. They’re another way to keep you moving while minimizing the breaks you take.  Supersets involve doing two different exercises back to back without taking rest between the exercises.  Drop sets are the reverse of the traditional method, where you start out with a heavy weight and drop the weight with each set until you get to complete exhaustion and have to stop. Both are great at boosting your metabolism.

30 Minute Fat-Burning, Muscle-Building Workout

This workout incorporates some of the methods outlined above. You’re going to keep moving for these 30 minutes, maximizing your output and minimizing your rests.

Move from one exercise to the next, adjusting the weight and even reps as needed, depending on your goals. A lot of these moves involve total body exercises, so you’re targeting a lot of muscle groups here. This is a total body workout, so it’s great any day of the week.

Here’s what to do…

There you have it! As you can see, you’ve got to real work for this one. You’ll get in a little rest between exercises as you set up each station, but otherwise you’re going to be working up a serious sweat.

Make sure you stay hydrated throughout this 30-minute workout, and fuel up beforehand. I also recommend finishing this one off with a muscle-fueling protein shake. Check out my Protein Shake Recipes here, or one of these 3 Fruit Smoothie Fast Recovery Recipes.

Have any questions or feedback about how to Blast Calories and Build Muscle in 30 Minutes? Please leave a comment below…

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The 5 Most Overlooked Ways to Lose Weight http://weightlossandtraining.com/5-overlooked-ways-lose-weight?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-overlooked-ways-lose-weight http://weightlossandtraining.com/5-overlooked-ways-lose-weight#comments Sun, 03 Aug 2014 19:27:00 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15075 If you're tired of not seeing results from your healthy eating and training plan, these strategies will help break you out of a weight loss plateau & motivate you to push even harder.

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The 5 Most Overlooked Ways to Lose Weight

Drop & Give Me 5!

You feel like you’re doing everything right, but no matter what you do, you still can’t lose those last 5 or 10 pounds. Sound familiar?

This is a common frustration I encounter with my clients. And the reality is, the last few pounds are always the most difficult to lose. When you get to this point, you normally have to kick things up a notch to see your weight loss goal through to fruition.

So, what can you do? A lot actually, but the strategies you have to employ at this stage of the game are often overlooked. We’re not dealing with your typical low-fat, high-exercise diet guidelines here. That said, these strategies are still pretty basic.

If you feel like you’re stuck, try one of these often overlooked ways to lose weight.

5 Ways to Lose those Last Few Pounds

1. Cut Down on Drinking

Either stop drinking, or at least cut down significantly. Alcohol is really high in calories, and a lot of drinks often come mixed with other sugary beverages. But in addition to the calories, alcohol also tends to throw off your metabolism and lead to hunger spikes. It also interferes with your energy levels and your ability to exercise at your maximum potential.  Easy Tip: for every drink you have, have one tall glass of water in between, this is an easy tip which will curb how much alcohol you drink.

2. Turn Off the TV

This one shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, but if you’re still engaging in this habit too often, try to cut down. Your time spent in front of the television is likely going to involve a lot of sitting. Try replacing this habit with activities like biking, walking, or just being social with friends.

3. Try a Natural Fat Loss Supplement

No, I’m not referring to anything addictive or that comes with nasty side effects. But there are a lot of natural supplements and foods you can add to your diet that will help you knock off those last few pounds. You could go for the metabolism-boosting CLA Max, or try adding Green Foods Matcha Green Tea to your morning routine. For something with a bigger impact (but still naturally-based), you can also try Mega-T Green Tea with South African Hoodia.

4. Give Up Calorie Counting

Once you get to a certain point with your fitness, counting calories doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. In fact, you can still be getting a lot of unhealthy foods in your diet when you count calories. Keep your portions in order, but start focusing on nutritional content instead. Go for protein, healthy fats, and high fiber in your foods—they’ll have a bigger impact on your weight loss and help your body burn fat.

5. Eventually, Give Up “Dieting” Altogether

The only way to see your goals all the way through AND maintain your weight loss long term is to make permanent lifestyle changes. So eventually, it’s necessary to get out of a “dieting” mindset and set new eating and exercise habits that last for years to come. This is really the only approach that makes any sense, unless you’re just looking for temporary results.

For some more sustainable food and nutrition options, check out my Paleo Diet Food List. It doesn’t mean you have to follow a paleo food plant in every aspect, but the options on this list have all the right ingredients to keep you healthy and toned.

Have any questions or feedback about these 5 Most Overlooked Ways to Lose Weight? Please leave a comment below…

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10 Minute Bikini Body Yoga http://weightlossandtraining.com/10-minute-bikini-body-yoga?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=10-minute-bikini-body-yoga http://weightlossandtraining.com/10-minute-bikini-body-yoga#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 02:43:31 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15073 Yoga is a great way to relax & increase flexibility, but the best part of yoga is that can also help you get the lean & sexy bikini body you’re looking for.

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10 Minute Bikini Body Yoga

10 Minute Bikini Body Yoga

Yoga is a great way to relax and increase flexibility. But the best part of yoga is that can also help you get the lean and sexy bikini body you’re looking for.

Yoga is an incredibly effective way to tone your muscles, both large and small. Although you do burn some calories while you’re at it, it’s this toning effect that can really boost your beach body confidence.

It’s especially effective because it engages your body in movements and stretches that it’s not used to. Although yoga alone isn’t enough, it can offer some killer results when combined with a frequent cardio and weight training routine.

Today I’m offering up a 10 minute bikini body yoga routine. Add this one to the end of your workout, or do it just before you hit the beach this summer. It’s enough to make you feel strong and confident in whatever you wear.

Bikini Body Yoga in 10 Minutes

Run through these 5 yoga poses twice in 10 minutes, completing two full circuits. As always, make sure you focus on your breathing throughout.

Quarter Dog

Get into a normal downward dog position, pressing against your feet as your lift your buttocks toward the ceiling. Your body should be bent at your hips and your head towards the floor. Instead of holding your arms straight, allow them to bend at the elbows so that you rest on your forearms. Push your butt to the ceiling throughout, trying to straighten your legs. Hold here for 5 breaths.

Chair Pose

Stand with your feet a few inches apart. Holding your back straight, look up towards the ceiling as your lift your arms overhead. Reach upward with your palms together as you slowly lower into a squat, bending at your knees and holding your back straight. Hold for 5 breaths as you lower into the squat.

Knee-Up Plank

Start in a plank position, balancing with your palms against the floor, elbows straight, and legs extended out behind you so that you balance on your toes. You should start by creating a straight line with your legs, back, and neck. Slowly bring one knee into your torso and hold it there for 2 breaths. Return to starting and repeat with the opposite leg.

Goddess Pose

Stand with your legs in a wider than shoulder stance, about 3 feet apart. Hold your back and neck straight, and lift your arms up so that your hands are held towards the ceiling and your elbows are bent at 90 degrees. With control, slowly bend your knees and lower your body as far as you can. Hold here for 5 breaths, sinking deeper with each breath.

Locust Pose

To round this one out, lie face down on your yoga mat with your legs extended backward and your arms against your side. Lift you head up slowly, and all at once, lift your shoulders, arms, and legs off the yoga mat. Hold here for 5 counts, pushing your arms, legs, and head further towards the ceiling with every breath.

These yoga poses are great for conditioning your lower body, core, and arms and shoulders. Make sure you complete 2 full circuits.

And if you’re looking for a way to improve your summer diet, check out 7-Keto LeanGels. It’s a new, naturally derived fat-burning supplement that has no side effects and has been shown to get great results.

Have any questions or feedback about this 10 Minute Bikini Body Yoga? Please leave a comment below…

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8 Tricks to Make Weight Training More Effective http://weightlossandtraining.com/8-tricks-to-make-weight-training-more-effective?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=8-tricks-to-make-weight-training-more-effective http://weightlossandtraining.com/8-tricks-to-make-weight-training-more-effective#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 03:49:32 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15037 Lack of motivation is often a result of getting bored so every once in a while you need to spice things up. Try these 8 simple & highly effective strategies.

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8 Tricks to Make Weight Training More Effective

Spicing Things Up

Lack of motivation is often a result of getting bored in the gym so every once in a while we need to spice things up with your weight training routine.

Whether your end goal is to lose a few inches around your midsection and thighs or just tone up and get more lean, staying focused on your end result and having the motivation to do so separates those who succeed from those who don’t.

As a personal trainer, I have to get creative from time to time with my clients. No matter your frustrations or challenges, there’s a strategy out there to help you get it right.

Here are some of my best strategies for a more effective weight training routine…

8 Simple Strategies to Improve Your Weight Training Routine

Confuse Your Muscles

One of the easiest ways to get more out of your workout is to mix things up and confuse your muscles. This can involve simply varying weight or number of reps and sets, or getting more creative with super sets and drop sets. For some great (and easy) muscle confusion techniques, see my article here: What is Muscle Confusion?

Get Creative with Your Counting

It’s important to count your reps and track your progress. But something as simple as changing the way you count can totally improve your focus and concentration. For example, try counting in another language. It’s not enough to throw you off your game, but it can keep you more focused on your reps and the pace of your workout.

Keep a Fitness Journal

No matter what anyone tells you, a fitness journal can be one of the most essential pieces of workout equipment you own. Tracking your progress in a clear and detailed way will help you stay on track, keep you motivated, and ensure you’re constantly progressing. You can download my free Workout Journal PDF for this or grab a nice journal like this one – Fitlosophy Fitbook.

Get Some Gloves

Workout gloves can significantly improve your workout and help you push things to the next level. With a tighter and safer grip, you’ll have the confidence to lift heavier and try new exercises.

Use Your Body

Bodyweight exercises like push-ups and pull-ups are a great way to get a more effective weight training workout. First, they engage more muscle groups, which is an easy way to see faster toning results. Second, they engage your body in more natural movements, so you may actually find yourself better at these kinds of exercises than others. They also tend to be more satisfying. Squats, lunges, burpees, and various abdominal exercises are all examples of bodyweight exercises.

Block Out Distractions

Listening to music while you’re working out can definitely be a big source of motivation, but more importantly, it can help keep distractions to a minimum at the gym. Maintaining your focus and concentration is vital if you want to have an effective workout.

Get Some Expert Advice

You don’t necessarily need to get a trainer to get real help and advice at the gym. Most gyms at least offer help with using equipment. Next time you’re in, get someone to check your form and make sure you’re working out in the most effective way possible.

Have Post Workout Shake

Having a nutritious protein shake after your workout can totally boost the effectiveness of your workout and improve your results. Check out your options here: Best Post Workout Protein

Have any questions or feedback about these 8 Tricks to Make Weight Training More Effective? Please leave a comment below…

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How to Quit Sugar in 30 Days http://weightlossandtraining.com/how-to-quit-sugar-30-days?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-quit-sugar-30-days http://weightlossandtraining.com/how-to-quit-sugar-30-days#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 19:29:22 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15038 Did you know that most sugar today is genetically modified? The repercussions on your waist line could be dramatic, try these strategies for 30 days & notice the difference.

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How to Quit Sugar in 30 Days

GMO Sugar – You Can’t Get Away From It!

More and more recent research is saying just how bad sugar is for your health. From obesity to insomnia, this stuff seems to interfere with everything.

What’s worse, there’s a lot of evidence that sugar is highly addictive—even as addictive as some drugs. It seems that sugar, especially processed sugar, causes a release of dopamine and other feel-good chemicals that get you hooked right away.

And you want to know something quite interesting?  I was just on a trip where I met a guy who used to work with Monsato – the corporation who has been suing farmers for ridiculous patent claims (read the business week article on them here), and what he told me I had to make sure I shared with all of you. What is most scary is that over the past few years Monsanto has been farming GMO (genetically modified) sugar beets to produce sugar and the ramifications of the herbicides used as well as cross-contamination are a threat to organic farmers.

Natural sodas coming from the Pepsico corporation have also been recently exposed of containing these GMO sugars and the health implications are quite unclear (read the full article here).

What I’m getting at here is that perhaps its the GMO sugars that are causing some kind of hormonal imbalances or in more simple terms, interfering with our natural body chemistry and the cause effect is a harsh addiction.

That unknown is a big one and I think it’s time we kick the habit. I’ve tried all of these myself, and I can tell you that it is highly effective in curbing the irrational sugar cravings.

Let’s start with the basics…

Sorting Out Carbs and Sugars

Sugars are carbohydrates, but they’re the simplest carbohydrates you can get from your food. All carbohydrates are essentially composed of different numbers of sugar molecules. The problem with the simple sugar molecules, like the ones you get in processed sugars, is that they enter your bloodstream quickly and cause a very fast spike in blood sugar levels.

This spike can cause a number of problems, from nasty cravings to insulin resistance and obesity. This is also where the addictive properties of sugar really come into play.

But some other carbohydrates cause a pretty fast spike in blood sugar as well, especially processed grains like white bread, white pasta, and white rice. Because they’re so heavily processed and stripped of their nutrients, they end up acting much like processed sugar when they enter your body.

What’s the Solution?

In addition to cutting out all processed sugars (including foods that have added sugar), you should also be cutting out highly processed carbohydrates. Make sure everything you eat is whole grain, and go for minimal processing whenever possible. Fruits are okay in moderation, because they tend to include a lot of other nutrients.

Vegetables are the kind of carbohydrates (called fibrous carbohydrates) that you want to get more of in your diet. Starchy carbs like those found in potatoes and peas should be eaten less frequently, but overall veggies are the thing to go with.

The biggest challenge is to remove foods that contain added processed sugars. Everything from ketchup to salad dressings can contain sugar, so you really have to monitor your labels.

If you think you’re ready to give it a try, here are a few more ways to quit sugar in 30 days.

How to Quit Sugar for Good

1. Avoid Artificial Sweeteners – Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners just remind you of what sugar tastes like, and can keep that craving alive. Some of them also come with their own health risks. If you can ditch these too, now’s the time.

2. Eat Natural Foods Regularly – In order to stay satisfied without sugar, you have to be eating enough. Keep your meals and snacks healthy, but make sure you’re constantly fuelling your body.

3. Avoid Processed Foods – The first problem with processed foods (biggest culprits – cereal, bread, dry pasta, chocolate, rice crackers, chips, etc.) is that they often contain added sugar. But even if that’s not the case, you need to boost your nutrient intake to get through the first 30 days. Go whole foods as much as possible.

4. Go with Reduced or even Full Fat Foods – Fat-free foods are usually packed with added sugar. Go with reduced-fat or even full-fat, whole foods all the time. They’ll also be far more satisfying and keep you full longer. Plus, recent research of 72 different studies and 600,00 people is saying that saturated fat really isn’t all that bad for you (read it here).

5. Drink Lots of Water – Coming off of sugar can sometimes be dehydrating, so make sure you’re drinking lots of water (a minimum of 8 cups). This is also a good way to fight some of those cravings, and you don’t have to do it all plain-jane, add some lemon, cucumber or mint to give your water a kick and some extra calorie-free nutrients).

6. Avoid Eating Out – if at all possible in the first 30 days, try to avoid eating out altogether. It’s extremely difficult to control your added sugar intake at a restaurant, so prepare your own meals for the first month. If that is simply not a possibly then just make sure it is the exception to the rule.

7. Focus on the Positive Outcomes – Throughout the first 30 days, stay focused on why you’re quitting sugar. Be aware of the positive effects of this dietary decision, whether it’s weight loss, energy, or improved sleep. In the end, I guarantee you’ll be better for it.

Worried about wheat in your diet too? Read my article, Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight. Or check out 10 Ways to Feel Lighter by the End of the Day.

Have any questions or feedback about How to Quit Sugar in 30 Days? Please leave a comment below…

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7 Ways to Get Swim Suit Ready http://weightlossandtraining.com/7-ways-to-get-swim-suit-ready?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=7-ways-to-get-swim-suit-ready http://weightlossandtraining.com/7-ways-to-get-swim-suit-ready#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:13:25 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=7886 It's never a better time than now to get swim suit ready, looking & feeling your best is an untouchable emotion so put it all in action with these 7 simple steps.

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7 ways to get swimsuit ready

Beach Ready

It’s never a better time than now to get swim suit ready and it doesn’t matter whether you are heading to the beach right now or going on a fun trip to somewhere exotic, looking and feeling your best is an untouchable emotion. This motivation is a good one as long as you keep it all balanced and not get lost in a battle of attacking your self-confidence, just take it one step at a time and you will succeed. It will take dedication and some sweat – so ditch the excuses from here on out! Here is the plan… 7 Ways to Get Swim Suit Ready 1. Start Lifting Weights at the Gym – If all you’re doing is cardio, you need to get serious about weight training. Not only will you look tighter and more toned (in all the right places), you’ll also boost your metabolism in a significant way. Working out in the mornings and evenings will give you the best results, boosting your metabolism for the day and helping you build muscle while you sleep. For optimal support of lean muscle growth, I recommend taking a whey protein supplement like Optimum 100% Casein Protein and a BCAA (branched chain amino acid) complex like Scivation Xtend. In combination, these supplements will maximize your muscle growth and get you results in half the time. 2. Focus on Your Glutes and Core – Your core muscles (abdominal and lower back) and glutes (butt muscles) are going to have the biggest visual impact when it comes to your swim suit – so give them extra attention! Things like planks, squats, lunges, and deadlifts are all ideal exercises. 3. Drink Lots of Water – You’ve heard it before, but it’s true. Drinking water can effectively improve your digestion and reduce your fat deposits, in addition to making you feel more full and satisfied. Staying hydrated during your workout is especially important. For optimal hydration, try coconut water – it contains additional nutrients that will give your metabolism a kick! 4. Get More Natural Diuretics in Your Diet – Diuretics like caffeine and green tea will speed up your metabolism, suppress your appetite, and get you burning more fat and calories. You can find them naturally in foods like cucumbers, lemon, and asparagus, or get them in a green tea extract like Irwin Naturals Green Tea Fat Metabolizer. One of the leading, naturally-derived metabolism-boosters currently on the market is 7-Keto LeanGels. If you’re looking for fast results in time for summer, I suggest giving this one a try! 5. Cut Down on Carbs – Simple carbohydrates like the ones found in breads, pastas, and starches are just deadly for your midsection. One of the fastest ways to look more toned and fit is to cut down on carbs significantly and eat more veggies and protein. 6. Monitor Your Alcohol Intake – This one may be difficult with summer approaching, but consider this your preparation period. Before the summer partying hits, take it easy on the alcoholic beverages. Removing these extra calories from your diet will have a big impact on how you look in that swim suit. At the least, go for drinks that are less sugary! 7. Engage Your Core – Since so much depends on your core muscles, engage them on a daily basis. Simple things like stretching, standing up taller, and tightening your stomach muscles while you sit can actually go a long way to help you look more toned! It’s just another easy way to get swim suit ready for the summer. Have any questions or feedback about 7 Ways to Get Swim Suit Ready? Please leave a comment below…

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