Weight Loss & Training http://weightlossandtraining.com Weight Loss Tips & Workout Routines Fri, 27 Feb 2015 02:43:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Irresistible! Healthy 3-Ingredient Cookie Dough Bites http://weightlossandtraining.com/healthy-cookie-dough-bites http://weightlossandtraining.com/healthy-cookie-dough-bites#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 02:43:20 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=16339 If you’re into simple healthy recipes & short on time, these cookie dough bites are pretty awesome and great for keeping your cravings in check.

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Irresistible! Healthy 3-Ingredient Cookie Dough Bites

A Simple Recipe to Soothe Your Cravings

If you’re into simple recipes like I am, these healthy cookie dough bites are pretty awesome. And they’re great for helping to keep your sweet tooth in check.

All you need is about 5 minutes, and just 3 simple ingredients. But these little bites will satisfy pretty much every dietary need – they’re vegan, gluten-free, raw, and have pretty decent doses of protein, health fats, and antioxidants to support your healthy lifestyle.

And the best part? They taste amazing. Here’s the recipe…

3-Ingredient Cookie Dough Bite Recipe

This recipe makes about 15 tablespoon-sized cookie dough bites. You can easily double it or triple it for a bigger batch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of raw organic cashews (unsalted are best)
  • 1 cup of fresh dates (medjool dates preferably), pitted
  • 3 tablespoons of vegan dark chocolate chips or raw cacao nibs

Directions:

Grab your blender or food processor, and blend the cashews on high-speed until they’re small and fine pieces. Add the dates and blend into the cashews, until they’re incorporated, stopping and stirring as needed (they might get stuck).

Empty the mixture out of the blender or food processor into a mixing bowl, and use your hands to incorporate the chocolate chips or cacao nibs. You don’t need to do a lot of mixing at this point – just make sure the chocolate chips are spread out evenly.

Taking one tablespoon at a time, roll the cookie dough mixture in your palms until your form about 15 small balls. Place them on a small tray or plate, and I like to refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes before enjoying. You can keep them in the fridge and grab them as your cravings come up, or you can even freeze them for a colder treat.

Trust me, these cookie dough bites are super easy! And the ingredients are totally satisfying.

Looking for more great recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth?

You’ve got to try my Healthy Apple Crumble Recipe here. It has a few more ingredients than the cookie dough bites, but it’s still pretty easy – and healthy. Plus it’s great when all you need is a single serving snack.

If you’re looking for more of a protein punch, this Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies Recipe is pretty awesome. When you’re weight training or just trying to boost your metabolism, protein can have a pretty big impact. And these ones are guaranteed to satisfy.

And last but not least, for a chocolate fix that’s low on carbs, check out my Delicious Chocolate Chair Recipe. It’s great for satisfying your cravings and boosting your metabolism at the same time. It’s also a delicious end to a long hard day, that won’t leave you with any guilt.

Have any questions or feedback about these Healthy 3-Ingredient Cookie Dough Bites? Please leave a comment below…

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8 Simple Ways to Detox Your Body http://weightlossandtraining.com/8-simple-ways-to-detox-your-body http://weightlossandtraining.com/8-simple-ways-to-detox-your-body#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 02:17:03 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=16338 Want to start thinking seriously about your detox approach? Here are 8 ways to detox your body to improve energy & the overall health of your body & digestive system.

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8 Simple Ways to Detox Your Body

Detox with a New Mindset

I’m going to be straight up about the whole “detox” fad that’s held on for years. It’s a bit misleading for a few reasons, the biggest of which is that your body has a lot of amazing systems in place to get rid of toxins. Your liver and kidneys are probably the best examples.

The effects of toxins that build up in and on our bodies over time are thought to cause serious health implications all the way from low energy, to damage to our cells making us susceptible to digestive issues, breathing problems, and even as extreme as polyps and cancer.

There are many choices that we make which can have a huge impact on the toxins that our poor bodies get exposed to every single day, and if we approach it in this way we don’t have to try expensive and dangerous bogus detox fads which I am greatly in opposition with.

In other words, change your mindset today and think more in terms of getting rid of unhealthy habits which are causing these toxins to build up in the first place.

Based on this perspective, here are 8 ways to detox your body that will have some pretty serious effects on your your health and your life.

8 Simple and Real Ways to Detox

1. Seriously Cut Your Sugar Intake

Sugar is probably the worst thing in your diet, especially the processed variety. That’s why it tops this list. There’s now evidence that sugar is way worse than fat when it comes to weight gain as well as a number of other illnesses and health conditions. So start avoiding foods that have added sugar. It’s not easy, but once you get on a roll, the effects are pretty real.

For some serious tips on how to do it right, check out my article on How to Quit Sugar in 30 Days.

2. Stay Active and Keep Moving

Regular exercise is a great way to keep your body’s natural detox systems going. This is especially true for keeping your blood and lymph system circulating, which helps rid your body of toxins faster.

3. Sweat It Out

Sweating doesn’t remove the amount of toxins that many people claim, but it is a great way of replacing your fluids and keep things circulating and moving. It’s also great for your skin. So hit the sauna, try a spin class, or do hot yoga to get some serious sweat on, you’ll feel totally rejuvenated afterwards.

4. Make Water Your Go-To Drink

Talk to any doctor, and they’ll tell you that water is the best natural detox out there. So make sure you’re getting enough of the clear stuff. It goes hand-in-hand with removing sugary beverages and high-calorie drinks from your diet.

5. And Make Tea Your Second Pick

If you get sick of water, the next best thing is tea. Whether it’s hot or iced, teas are full of antioxidants and keep you hydrated. Some, like green or chai tea, also boost your metabolism and keep your digestive system healthy.

6. Go Organic as Much as Possible

This shouldn’t be news, but going organic whenever you can is a great way to cut down on the amounts of pesticides and herbicides you get into your digestive system. To help get you started, take a look at my article on Buying Organic Food for a list of top 10 organic foods to buy.

7. Clean Up Your Environment

There are also a ton of pollutants in your environment (especially your home) that can interfere with your body’s ability to function optimally. But there are a lot of ways you can reduce their impact, and even your contact with them. Use a Neti Pot to remove allergens from your airway, or get an air filter for your home. Even switching to biodegradable cleaning products can go a long way.

8. Exfoliate Your Skin

A true detox should get at your whole body, and that includes your exterior. A lot of toxins build up in your skin, since that’s what has the most direct exposure to the environment. Oil massages, skin brushing, and natural exfoliating washes and creams can have a big effect, and cut down on the amount of toxins that get absorbed into your body.

Want to think even bigger about your detox? Take a look at my recent article on How to Detox Your Entire Life. There are some awesome tips here for improving things on the mental and emotional levels too.

Have any questions or feedback about these 8 Simple Ways to Detox Your Body? Please leave a comment below…

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6 Reasons to Try High-Intensity Interval Training http://weightlossandtraining.com/6-reasons-to-try-high-intensity-interval-training http://weightlossandtraining.com/6-reasons-to-try-high-intensity-interval-training#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 00:14:42 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=16337 Whether you're a beginner or totally fit, High-Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT) is one of the most effective strategies to help you burn fat in little time.

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6 Reasons to Try High-Intensity Interval Training

Why HIIT Is Still Where It’s At

Whether you’re a beginner or totally fit, High-Intensity Interval Training (also known as HIIT) is one of the most effective strategies to help you burn fat in little time.

What is High Intensity Interval Training?

If you’re not familiar with HIIT, it’s basically an approach to exercise that involves alternating between intervals of high and low intensity. It can be applied to any workout, and the gains are pretty awesome. In a much shorter period of time, you can get your heart rate up and break out in a sweat in a way that’s going to build a ton of fat. Plus you’ll seriously condition your muscles in ways you can’t do in your regular workout.

Read my introductory article on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) here to get the basics down.

Here’s why HIIT is such an effective approach to fitness and exercise…

6 Reasons to Try HIIT Now

It’s the Fitness Equivalent of a Two-For-One

The biggest benefit of HIIT for me is that it saves me a ton of time. In a workout that’s usually shorter than most, you get some cardio as well as some resistance training. And any kind of time saver is a good thing in my book.

It Can Be Done Anywhere

You don’t need any equipment to do HIIT the right way, and that makes it the ideal workout approach when you’re not in the gym. Whether you only have time for a home workout, or you’re on the road, HIIT is a great way to stay fit.

It Can Be Tailored to Your Fitness Needs

The basic principle behind HIIT is pretty flexible. If you’re more advanced in your fitness regimen, you can handle short bursts of high and low intensity. But if you’re a beginner to HIIT, you can start off with longer intervals, or bigger breaks between your high intensity moves. I’d say that pretty much any HIIT routine you come across can be adjusted for your own needs.

It Revs Up Your Metabolism

And that means it burns more fat. I can’t stress this point more – the results I see with HIIT (for both myself and my clients) are amazing, especially when it comes to getting toned and fit. I find it’s especially useful if you’re in the cutting phase of your workout program.

It Strengthens Your Most Important Muscle

The muscle I’m talking about is your heart. HIIT conditions your heart and strengthens your cardiovascular system in a way that is hard to compare to your typical cardio workouts. The variable intensity helps your heart withstand the ups and downs of your daily routine, and will improve every aspect of your fitness routine.

It Keeps Your Blood Sugar in Balance

There’s some evidence that HIIT is also a great way to keep your blood sugar levels in check – possibly even better than traditional cardiovascular exercise. This is great whether you’re a diabetic or just trying to control your cravings.

Looking for a killer HIIT routine?
Check out Interval Training for Fat Loss here, or try the super effective Tabata Interval Training.

Have any questions or feedback about these 6 Reasons to Try High-Intensity Interval Training? Please leave a comment below…

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The Amazing Health Benefits of Chia Seeds http://weightlossandtraining.com/amazing-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds http://weightlossandtraining.com/amazing-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 02:33:20 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=16265 Chia seeds are definitely worth your attention, they pack a nutritional punch & will help you with appetite control & fat burning. Find out all their benefits.

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The Amazing Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Here’s What You’re Missing in this Little Superfood

If you’re like me you’re not always one to jump on fad supplements and diet plans. In the end, I find the best results come from a natural, whole foods approach and hopefully you have found the same to be true.

But with that said there are some foods that don’t always get the attention they deserve and are definitely in line with this way of thinking.

One of these superfoods is packed with health benefits, and one worthy to be in everyone’s kitchen – chia seeds. This amazing little seed is an easy addition to any smoothie, salad, or even baked goods.

Want to know what makes them so good? Keep reading…

The Amazing Benefits of Chia Seeds

Fat Burning: The first benefit worth mentioning is the impact if chia seeds on fat burning and weight loss. This is because of their high fiber and omega-3 fatty acid content, two ingredients in food that have been proven to boost metabolism. And chia seeds have a ton of both!

Lower Blood Glucose: Research has also shown that chia seeds are great for lowering and balancing out blood sugar levels, keeping your energy levels more stable. This is especially helpful to diabetics and anyone struggling with eating problems.

Appetite Control: Fiber is one of the biggest missing ingredients from most of our diets, but the high fiber content in chia seeds is a great way to keep you feeling full and prevent cravings. Just 4 tablespoons of chia seeds pack 14 grams of fiber!

Endurance: The energy in these little things is incredible. It’s so good in fact that a recent study showed that chia seeds are a more effective method of carbohydrate loading than traditional carbs, which is pretty amazing!

Mental Health: Because chia seeds are so rich in omega-3 fatty acids, they’re also great for improving mood and making you feel good. Studies have even shown that they can help people with depression and improve brain functioning.

When it comes to superfoods, you can’t get much better than this! Whether your health goal is to burn fat, boost energy, or feel good, chia seeds need to be a part of your diet.

Where to Get Them

One of the better brands I’ve found that has a great organic line is Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds. The company is a leader in high quality supplements and foods, so it may be one you want to consider trying.

Blending chia seeds into a smoothie is one of the easiest way to get all these health benefits. I add a tablespoon of chia seeds to my morning smoothie. But they can also be sprinkled on salads, mixed into Greek yogurt, or incorporated into baked goods like banana bread or zucchini muffins.

For more great ideas, check out my Chia Seed Recipes here, or try this awesome Chia Blueberry Anti-Aging Smoothie recipe.

Have any questions or feedback about the Amazing Health Benefits of Chia Seeds? Please leave a comment below…

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How to Lose Belly Fat at Any Age http://weightlossandtraining.com/lose-belly-fat-age http://weightlossandtraining.com/lose-belly-fat-age#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 03:40:49 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=16324 Your metabolism slows down as you age, and losing belly fat can get pretty tough. Here's why it happens, and exactly what you can do to stop it!

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How to Lose Belly Fat at Any Age

The Simple Solution to Your Slowing Metabolism

We all know we it and we all don’t want to admit it but as we age not only do we get the awesome present of wrinkles we also have a more challenging time getting rid of that excess weight.

The slowdown of our metabolism over time is especially a pain in the butt as we get closer to 40 so arming you with the weapon of knowledge is one you’ll never forget and it’ll be for the good!

Metabolic Slowdown

Metabolic slowdown is due to the loss of muscle mass that occurs naturally as we age. The statistics say that you may lose up to 8% of your muscle mass every 10 years after the age of 30, and somewhere closer to 10% after 50.

That means about half a pound of lean muscle mass is lost every year—and a whole pound once you reach 50.

Why It Matters for Fat Loss

So how does declining muscle mass affect your ability to lose fat?

It comes down to one of the most basic fitness principles, but it’s one that gets easier to overlook as you age. The more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your resting metabolism, which involves your body’s ability to burn calories and fat while at rest. It’s one of the most important bodily functions underlying fat loss.

So if you have more muscle, your body will be able to burn off more fat, including belly fat. And the belly is one of the most common places for fat to be stored.

But if your body loses muscle mass as you age, your ability to burn fat of any kind (including that annoying belly fat) is more difficult over time. This is one of the main reasons weight loss gets harder as you get older.

So What Should You Do?

The answer is a pretty simple one, but it may take a little motivation before you can really see the benefits. The short of it? You need to increase your muscle mass, and offset the decline. In turn, you’ll maintain and possibly even boost your metabolism and lose the belly fat.

What this means is that you’ll need to get to the gym, ad start getting serious about weight training. There are so many reasons weight training becomes more important as we age—it improves strength and prevents injuries, it strengthens your bones and joints, and it helps keep your brain fit. But the other big one is the impact on your metabolism.

Now just because everyone tends to go through this, it doesn’t mean it happens exactly the same way for everyone. Genetics still play a big role, and that means that some people will be hit harder than others as they reach their 40s and 50s. Either way, weight training is a good idea for anyone who is aging—and sorry to tell you, but that includes all of us!

The Right Weight Training Routine

Any weight training routine will help offset the natural loss of muscle mass, but if you want to really focus on losing belly fat specifically, I recommend trying one of these Muscle Building Workout Routines.

You can also check out these 7 Effective Exercises to Burn Stubborn Belly Fat. They’re great to throw into the mix and really tone your core.

Whatever you do, you’ve got to rethink things and focus more on building muscle. Cardio is still helpful, but I’m telling you, weights are where it’s at.

Have any questions or feedback about How to Lose Belly Fat at Any Age? Please leave a comment below…

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Ahhhhhh! How to Deal with Burnout http://weightlossandtraining.com/how-to-deal-with-burnout http://weightlossandtraining.com/how-to-deal-with-burnout#comments Fri, 13 Feb 2015 20:20:31 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=16264 Burned out & feel like you can't take any more stress? Here are some of the best strategies for fighting burnout & getting re-energized.

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How to Deal with Burnout

Tips for Finding Some Balance in Your Life

We’ve all had moments when even the smallest task feels overwhelming. Stress can be a serious energy drainer, both mentally and physically. When it gets really bad, burnout can kick in, and it becomes really difficult to keep moving forward.

The truth is, if you live in this world, you’ve more than likely experienced some kind of burnout. On a day to day basis, the stress can get so bad that you start to feel at the end of your rope far too often. Over time, those feelings build up, and the burnout can get really tough to overcome.

The effects are pretty big, from depression to fatigue and even high blood pressure. All of it interferes with living a healthy lifestyle. In the past few years, I’ve seen so many of my clients fall off track with their diet and exercise plans because of burnout.

I experienced some pretty serious burnout this past year. A lot of it was work related, and in the end I think I was just taking on too much. But I saw it impact almost every area of my life.

So how did I deal with it? That’s what I want to share with you today…

5 Strategies for Dealing with Burnout

1. Take Some Time to Yourself

I realize this one sounds pretty obvious, but as obvious as it might be, it’s also the thing that you’re probably not doing. I learned pretty quickly that one of the biggest reasons for my burnout was all the demands from everyone in my life. Even just interacting with people can contribute to burnout if you’re already stressed.

So make sure you take some quiet time away from everyone, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day. Ideally, something closer to an hour is going to be a lot more effective, and make sure you’re not working during that time.

2. Power Down Your Devices

This was a tough lesson for me to learn, but as helpful as technology can be, it also contributes to burnout by never giving you a break. Smartphones are probably the worst offenders for this. So if you’re going to take some down time and successfully beat burnout, give yourself some kind of break from technology every day.

3. Take a Walk, Go for a Run – Just Get Moving!

Exercise is one of the best ways to beat stress and deal with burnout. What physical activity actually does is strengthen your body’s ability to deal with stress, almost creating a protective barrier. It also boosts your immune system and helps you concentrate when you need to, so the effects can be pretty far-reaching.

All exercise is great, but cardio is especially helpful when it comes to burnout. For something a little different, try my 20 Minute Cardio Workout here.

4. Get Outside and Connect with Nature

If there’s an ideal place to get some exercise, it’s outdoors. The research is pretty clear on this – being around nature is a great way to beat stress, improve your mood, and avoid getting burned out.

This one can actually be pretty challenging at first, because you really have to commit to it. If you live in a city like me, you may have to make a bit of an effort to escape. But it’s worth it. I found the best approach was to combine this with the first 3 points – turn off the devices, take some you-time, and leave the busy city life for a walk or run. Just breathing a little fresh air can help you deal with the burnout!

5. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

This last point stands on its own, but sleep can have a huge impact on your ability to handle stress and whether or not you can overcome burnout. The regular sleep recommendations apply – aim for 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night, and try to get on some kind of schedule if you can.

The great thing about sleep is that it also keeps your diet and exercise routines on track. And this is true of all of these tips – their effects extend beyond burnout and help improve pretty much every area of your life. For some tips on how to improve your sleep, take a look at my article on How to Sleep Better.

Whatever You Do, Start Taking Burnout Seriously…

Whatever you do, just start taking your own stress and burnout more seriously. Trust me, it can get pretty bad. Taking a preventative approach is the best way to do it, and these tips are a good starting point.

You can also check out my article on How to Handle Stress here.

Have any questions or feedback about How to Deal with Burnout? Please leave a comment below…

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Lose the Pooch! Best Exercises for Lower Abs http://weightlossandtraining.com/lose-the-pooch-best-exercises-for-lower-abs http://weightlossandtraining.com/lose-the-pooch-best-exercises-for-lower-abs#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 03:56:20 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=16266 Trying to get rid of that frustrating belly pooch? Today is the day to really focus on the lower part of your abs with these 5 killer moves.

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Lose the Pooch Best Exercises for Lower Abs

Abs of Your Life!

There’s probably nothing more frustrating and self-confidence-busting than that damn belly pooch which folds over the top of your pants when you sit down.

Without a doubt this one area most of my clients get incredibly worked up with and want to target their lower abs with everything they have.

With that said, it’s important to clear up a common misconception first. The lower part of your abs isn’t really a separate muscle. It’s actually part of the same muscle that extends from the top of your abs to your pelvis. But with the right exercises, you can definitely focus more on your lower abs while conditioning the entire muscle. And that’s what we’re going to show you how to do.

Ready to attack the pooch?

The 5 Best Exercises for Lower Abs

1. Knee Tucks on Bench (view exercise)

This is a great move to target your lower abs and get your core muscles warmed up. Aim for as many reps as you can for this one.

2. Bicycle Crunch (view exercise)

A classic ab move, the bicycle crunch also engages your legs so it really targets the lower part of your core. Aim for at least 12 reps per side.

3. Lower Ab Bicycle Crunch (view exercise)

Move a little more slowly through this one to maximize the impact and see serious results. Try to do at least 8 reps per side.

4. One-Legged Bosu Crunch (view exercise)

It may look a little more advanced, but the bosu is a pretty easy piece of workout equipment. Take your time through this one, and aim for 12 reps per side.

5. Stability Ball Knee Tucks (view exercise)

Probably my favorite on this list, this one is all about balance and control. Once you get the position down, aim for at least 15 reps.

For a complete lower ab targeting workout routine, do 2 to 3 circuits of these exercises consecutively with as little rest between the exercises as possible.  If you’re not feeling a burn then you’re not going intense enough, focus in on slow movements where you’re really contracting those abs as much as you can.

Keep Your Metabolism Boosted All Day Long…

Ab toning exercises like these are only one step in losing the pooch and keeping it off. Unfortunately the other more important factor is diet. What really matters is how much you can keep your metabolism in top condition to burn fat all day long.

This is a crucial step in getting the sexy six pack you’re looking for. So to get your diet in line, the first thing I want you to do is check out my Six Pack Diet Plan for Women or my Six Pack Diet Plan for Men.

For you consideration may also be a safe non-stimulant packed supplements on the market for safely and quickly burning fat. It’s called Cellucor 7-Keto CLK, and it’s combination of 7-Keto, CLA & raspberry ketones make a powerhouse and highly effective way to keep your metabolism revved up through the day. The reviews are pretty exceptional for this one considering it is stimulant free and not packed full or harsh ingredients so it might be worth trying if you want to get rid of that pooch a little quicker.

If you like this article please share it on Facebook, Pinterest, etc. and I’d be happy to answer any of your questions by the comments section below…

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5 Smoothie Mistakes that Make You Gain Weight http://weightlossandtraining.com/5-smoothie-mistakes-make-you-gain-weight http://weightlossandtraining.com/5-smoothie-mistakes-make-you-gain-weight#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 17:54:06 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=16263 Smoothies can be great for your fitness goals, but if you make one of these 5 big smoothie mistakes then you may get unwanted belly inches.

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5 Smoothie Mistakes that Might Make You Gain Weight

Avoid these Ingredients and Avoid the Extra Pounds

I don’t know about you but I feel like smoothies are a thing you can always count on especially when I’m feeling hangry or am heading out for a bite and just need something to tide me over. To add to that getting all the nutrients packed in without the calories of a large meal is a killer bonus.

Making your own smoothies at home is definitely something I recommend especially since you know every exact thing that’s going into them. But making your own doesn’t guarantee they’ll be healthy. In fact, there are a few mistakes that can lead to pretty much the opposite of what you’re looking for, and in some cases even make you gain weight.

So getting it right from the start is such a key piece to the calories you’re consuming. Let’s take a look at 5 of the biggest smoothie mistakes that may be packing on the unwanted pounds.

5 Most Fattening Smoothie Mistakes

Mistake #1: You’re Using Fruit Juice

Okay, a small amount of fruit juice is okay from time to time, but it doesn’t take much to overdo it. And in the end, all you’re adding is a bunch of empty calories and a lot of sugar (natural, but still sugar). My tip is to take the fruit juice out of your smoothie altogether, and get your sweetener from real whole fruit instead. If you find most fruit is not sweet enough, a banana is your best bet, but…

Mistake #2: You’re Overdoing the Fruit

Sadly, you might also be adding to much fruit to your smoothies. This may not be as much of a concern as the juice, but make sure you’re not making smoothies that are 100% from fruit. The sugar problem’s going to rear its head here too. To avoid this problem, make sure you include a main protein source like almond milk and other ingredients rich in protein and fiber. Nut butters, nuts, yogurt, and veggies are other good options, and they’ll boost your metabolism.

Mistake #3: You’re Missing the Good Stuff

This brings us to the third big smoothie mistake. You want to make sure that all of your smoothies include a solid serving of protein and fiber. These ingredients will help slow down the absorption of any sugars that are in your smoothie, and also help nourish your fat burning & lean muscle building metabolism. For a dose of protein, try adding a scoop of NOW Certified Organic Whey Protein (this is the purest protein powder I’ve found, has no added sweetners of any kind), and for extra fiber, you could add a scoop of Myogenix Pro Fiber.

Mistake #4: You’re Super-Sizing It

Just because your blender or bullet can fit all those ingredients doesn’t mean you need to fill it to the brim. Make sure you’re not overdoing the calorie count for your smoothies, and make a habit of controlling your portions. My general rule is to keep everything at around 300 calories per smoothie, and if you’re feeling bloated afterwards, that’s a good sign to cut back.

Mistake #5: You’re Adding to Many Ingredients

Have you ever heard of the acronym KIIS which stands for keep it simple stupid?  When it comes to smoothies, I think this one can go a long way because too many ingredients will make you loose out on the simplicity of pairing flavours (similar to my guilty pleasure of wine and cheese).  Try these combos – strawberries, banana and vanilla whey; mango, peach and plain whey; or just peanut butter and chocolate whey.

Looking for more healthy protein smoothie recipes?

Try one of my Top 5 Protein Smoothie Recipes or if you haven’t yet sign up to my newsletter and get my ultimate best 50 smoothie recipes.  Remember when you do them right, smoothies can be a big nutrition power house and help you curb cravings and allow you to totally reach your fitness goals.

If you have other questions on why you’re not reaching your goals even though your smoothies are passing these checks, then leave me a comment below…

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The 7 Deadly Truths about Sugar http://weightlossandtraining.com/7-deadly-truths-about-sugar http://weightlossandtraining.com/7-deadly-truths-about-sugar#comments Wed, 04 Feb 2015 02:46:22 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=16236 Knowing more about hidden sugars & how to eliminate them from your diet could make a pretty massive impact on your waistline & overall health. Get smarty points and feel better with these tips.

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The 7 Deadly Truths about Sugar

The Low-Down on Your Diet’s Worst Offender

Don’t you love it when a documentary like Fed Up comes out and gets you to see things with a whole new perspective? Sugar is indeed getting a bad rap lately, and I think it’s all for good reason. In fact, I’d argue that it’s probably the most important thing to remove from your diet.

Now when I say sugar, I’m really referring to refined sugar or processed sugar. So we’re talking about the stuff that’s added to food, not the kind that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables.

With all this in mind let’s use these 7 deadly truths about sugar to take our knowledge of food to the next level. Knowing more about hidden sugars and how to eliminate them from your diet could make a pretty massive impact on your waistline and overall health.

7 Serious Reasons to Remove Sugar from Your Diet

  1. Refined Sugar Isn’t So Simple

The first truth about sugar is that it’s actually made up of 50% glucose and 50% fructose. Table sugar, the white stuff that’s added to food, is called sucrose, but it’s essentially this combination of glucose and fructose. The problem is that your body processes these 2 ingredients very differently, which can have a number of side effects that I’ll explain below.

  1. Fructose is Basically Fat

This isn’t entirely true, but unlike glucose which is used by our cells for energy, fructose gets transferred to the liver. Once there, some of it is stored for energy while the rest gets turned into fat. With too much sugar in your diet, you end up with a lot of extra fat that never gets burned off.

  1. Fructose is Toxic for the Liver

New research is showing that too much fructose in your diet is linked to a number of diseases, including heart disease, fatty-liver disease, obesity, and insulin resistance.  Think about all the sugars hidden in cereals, sauces, and almost anything you buy that is in some way processed

  1. It’s Worthless Without the Fiber

Processed sugar is derived from plants, but everything good from the plant (like the fiber) has been removed. This not only makes it of no nutritional value, but it also allows the sugar to be absorbed by your body too quickly. Fiber would normally slow down the process and help stabilize blood glucose levels, which is why some natural fruits in your diet are okay.

  1. Calorie Count and GI are Flawed

When it comes to processed sugar, you should really just pay less attention to the calorie count and glycemic index. The problem is that refined sugars are included in the carbohydrate category, but not all carbs are created equally. Table sugar is a simple carbohydrate and is digested very differently from complex or complex fibrous carbohydrates. So you need to worry a lot more about the actual ingredients.

  1. Sugar is Addictive

Research in the last couple of years is pretty clear – sugar is addictive. And it’s not just a little addictive, but it seems to be as addictive as drugs like heroin and cocaine. It affects the same pleasure centers in your brain as some of these harder drugs, which is why you can actually experience a form of withdrawal when you remove sugar from your diet.

  1. “Natural” Sugar is Misleading

It’s true that fructose occurs naturally in fruits, veggies, and even nuts, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you once it’s separated and processed. You’ve probably heard that sugar substitutes like agave nectar and honey are good for you, right? Think again. They’re pretty much as bad as high-fructose corn syrup when it comes to their actual effect on the body. Molasses is probably the best option when it comes to these alternatives to table sugar, but they should all be avoided in the end.

How to Cut Out Sugar Once and For All…

When it comes to actually doing it, cutting out sugar is more of a psychological challenge than it is a physical one. In the beginning, you might feel irritable and tired, so you really have to work through that early phase by making sure you have balanced complex carbs like yams, whole grains, beans, legumes, or brown/wild rice in your diet to prevent you from feeling like you need several coffees to get you through the day.

To do it right, check out my article on How to Quit Sugar in 30 Days. And for more tips on how to tackle the cravings, read these 7 Tricks to Ditch Sugar Cravings.

If you appreciate articles like this it would mean the world if you shared this article on Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Also have any questions or feedback please leave a comment below…

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20 Foods that Will Ruin Your Workout http://weightlossandtraining.com/20-foods-will-ruin-workout http://weightlossandtraining.com/20-foods-will-ruin-workout#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 02:29:20 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=16235 Here's a quick and dirty list of foods to avoid before a workout. Knowing which foods to avoid will help keep your energy up and maximize your results.

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20 Foods that Will Ruin Your Workout

Maximizing Your Workout Energy

There’s a ton of great advice on this blog on what you should eat before your workout (such as my popular Morning Pre-Workout Meals). But what about the foods you should avoid?

One of the first things I try to get new clients to understand is just how important the right nutrition and food choices are for workout success. And it’s your pre-workout food choices that matter the most, because that’s the time you have to give your body exactly what it needs to work hard and recover quickly. Unfortunately a chocolate bar is not part of this list as much as we all wish it was!

So this is my quick and dirty list of foods to avoid before working out…

20 Foods to Avoid Eating Before Your Workout

Flaxseeds – They’re generally a healthy food choice, but with all that fiber, they can cause a lot of bloating that will slow down your workout.

Hummus – It’s one of my favorite snacks, but this is another food that’s likely to cause gas and bloating, which is a serious energy-killer.

Energy Gel Packs – They sound like a good idea, but unless you’re an athlete, you’re not going to burn off all that sugar, and it’s just going to disrupt your blood sugar levels later on.

Dairy Products – There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that dairy can drain your energy during a workout, whether by disrupting digestion or making you feel tired.

Flavored Water – Anything with artificial sweeteners should be avoided before a workout. They interfere with optimal digestion and can leave your body without the nutrients it needs.

Salty Foods – Too much salt can disrupt the fluid-balance of your body, and that’s important when it comes to maximizing results.

Unripe Bananas – Bananas are one of my favorite pre-workout snacks, but make sure you avoid the green ones. They’re going to be more difficult to digest during your workout and will have a low GI or sugar index whereas ripe bananas will have a higher GI and the sugar will feed you energy while you train.d

Raw Veggies – Veggies and dip can be a great snack on a healthy diet, but digesting broccoli and carrots can cause a lot of bloating and gas.

Hard-Boiled Eggs – On their own, they’re probably best saved for after your workout. You need more carbohydrates for energy than these guys can offer.

Over-Processed Protein Shakes – Protein supplements are often a critical ingredient in any workout diet, but the overly processed kind can just slow you down.

If you’re looking for a clean and totally effective protein supplement, try Optimum 100% Natural Whey. It’s natural and isn’t heavily processed like some of the ones on the market.

Protein Bars – Be careful on these bars as most don’t have the right ratio of protein to carbs to keep you going and if the fat content is too high it will take a long time to digest so you’ll need to time it closer to an hour before your workout.

Coffee Drinks – They’re okay in their most basic form, but most come packed with sugar that’s just going to mess up your energy levels  by giving you a spike and then an immediate crash half way through your workout.

Spicy Foods – A little spice can help boost metabolism, but during a workout it’s more likely to cause heart burn and divert important bodily resources.

Baked Goods – Anything with too much butter or oil is just going to sit in your stomach. And there’s really nothing nutritious to be offered.

Avocados – The fat in avocados is actually really healthy and can help you burn fat. But it’s not so great just before a workout, often causing cramping and indigestion since the high fat content prevents digestion from occurring in time for your workout. By all means though have avocados after your workouts, they are definitely a super food!

Energy Drinks – They’re bad before a workout because they’re often carbonated and packed full of sugar. But if I’m being honest, I think these things should be avoided all day long. There’s no health benefit whatsoever.  Don’t mix this with pre-workout drinks which are made with the exact right ingredients to help boost your workouts (my favorite is the new one called ENGN PreWorkout which is also getting the highest ratings)

Rice Cakes – They’re a low-calorie snack, but they really offer little nutrition and contain a lot of salt and sugar.

Fruit Juice – I generally recommend avoiding fruit juice in your diet, but all the sugar just before a workout is just going to leave you feeling drained.

Trail Mix – It’s not the worst thing you can eat, but the ingredients can be hard on your stomach and cause bloating and gas for some people.

Smoothies – The right smoothie can make the perfect pre-workout food, but you have to avoid the ones from restaurants and smoothie stores. The amount of sugar in them is just ridiculous!

For the right pre-workout smoothie, check out my recipe for the Best Pre Workout Shake here.

Have any questions or feedback about these 20 Foods that Will Ruin Your Workout? Please leave a comment below…

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