Weight Loss & Training http://weightlossandtraining.com Weight Loss Tips & Workout Routines Sat, 20 Sep 2014 21:23:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 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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Does Fasted Cardio Really Burn More Fat? http://weightlossandtraining.com/fasted-cardio-really-burn-fat http://weightlossandtraining.com/fasted-cardio-really-burn-fat#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 01:14:39 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15208 You've probably heard about fasted cardio & working out on an empty stomach. Let's look at the real facts & if it can help you burn fat quicker.

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Does Fasted Cardio Really Burn More Fat?

The Low-Down on this Growing Fitness Trend

You’ve probably been hearing a lot of talk about fasted cardio and the benefits of working out in the morning on an empty stomach. Today, I thought we’d clarify this growing fitness trend.

Fasted cardio is literally just that – engaging in a cardiovascular workout, such as running, jogging, or cycling, on an empty stomach.

It typically refers to cardio workouts in the mornings, where people skip breakfast altogether, lengthening the fasted state that our bodies essentially experience while we sleep.

The principle behind fasted cardio is really centered around fat loss. The idea is that fasted cardio forces your body to depend on stored energy sources, such as fat deposits, to get you through the workout. With your glycogen levels low, this is what’s most likely to happen without a morning meal.

It’s a fad that’s become popularized by the bodybuilding industry and more extreme fitness gurus, but it’s now catching on with the average person who’s trying to lose weight.

So what’s the truth about fasted cardio? Does it really burn more fat? And should you be doing it?

The Truth about Fasted Cardio and Fat Loss

Does fasted cardio burn more fat? The simple answer is yes. Research has shown that up to 20 percent more fat can be burned during cardio when your body is in a fasted state. The main reason for this is insulin.

When we eat something, our body releases insulin to regulate our blood glucose or blood sugar levels. But in the process, it also appears to lower our metabolism somewhat, leading to slightly less fat burned during physical activity.

But the answer is actually a little more complicated…

Although there appears to be an immediate boost in fat-burning, there doesn’t appear to be any increase over a 24-hour period. In other words, a fasted cardio workout only helps in the short-term, but doesn’t have any long-term impact beyond the workout itself.

Sustaining the Fasted Cardio Approach

The other problem is that this approach to cardio workouts is not sustainable over time. Although a fasted cardio routine can temporarily turn your body into a fat-burning machine, it comes with its difficulties, including a lack of energy. This can make this approach a little impractical on a consistent basis, and lead to more frustration than you need.

What’s worse, if you follow up that cardio workout with a little weight-training, you may also push your body into a state where it also burns muscle for energy. And the experts agree – you’re less likely to work out at full capacity on an empty stomach.

So although the short answer may be yes, fasted cardio is not an approach that I recommend to my clients. If you want to give it a try, go for it, but getting yourself into sustainable healthy habits is a far more important goal.

In the end, it may be best to leave some fitness fads to the professionals.

Feel like you could use some clarification on some other popular fitness trends? Check out these previous posts:

Weight Loss on Low Carb Diet – Is the low carb option right for you?

High Protein Diet Strategies – What about high-protein diets?

Intermittent Fasting for Fat Loss – Find out if other approaches to fasting can really work!

Have any questions or feedback about these Fasted Cardio tips? Please leave a comment below…

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10 Foods You Need to Stock Your Kitchen With http://weightlossandtraining.com/10-foods-need-stock-kitchen http://weightlossandtraining.com/10-foods-need-stock-kitchen#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 03:38:02 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15206 These 10 superfoods really pack a nutritional punch and will help you look your best and most importantly feel your best. Give this list a quick read!

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10 Foods You Need to Stock Your Kitchen With

10 Foods to Have on Hand at All Times

If you’re anything like me, you have all these ideas of foods to buy when you’re at the grocery store, there’s just so many options and so many so called “superfoods” but having a clear focus and plan when you go grocery shopping is really the key to eating healthier and in turn feeling your best.

Let’s not waste anytime though and simplify things for you a bit by looking at a list of 10 of the best foods to keep stocked in your kitchen.

This is by no means a complete grocery list, but these items all pack a serious nutritional punch, and can really go a long way to support your weight loss and training goals (sorry I had to plug the name of the website! haha).

All kidding aside, get your grocery list out, grab a pen, and find at least 5 you want to try this week.

10 Healthy Foods to Stock Your Kitchen With

Coconut

I’m going to start off this list with a food that’s really making its rounds lately. Coconut seems to be everywhere, and it really is a great food to keep on hand for a number of reasons. Coconut oil is probably the first item I’d go with. It’s really versatile, as it’s great for either baking or cooking and frying. Give it a try here – Nutiva Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil

Vegetable Stock

Another great option for cooking, vegetable stock is a flavor powerhouse. Rather than cooking things in water, vegetable stock can really boost the taste of meats (especially chicken), potatoes, and other starches like rice and pasta. It also comes full of extra vitamins and minerals, especially if it’s homemade.

Avocados

You’ll always find a few avocados in my fridge. In addition to being a rich source of vitamins and minerals, one avocado contains about 7 or 8 grams of protein. Plus avocados are high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which can help boost your metabolism.

Seaweed

There are a few varieties of seaweed you can buy, but all come packed with vitamins and minerals like folate, calcium, and magnesium. Dried seaweed is great to have on hand and in addition to using it in homemade sushi, you can also make chips out of it with a little seasoning and some baking, or throw it in soups and salads.

Chia Seeds

This is another one I can’t live without. Chia seeds are high in protein and healthy fats, both of which are great when you’re trying to burn fat and lose weight. Sprinkle them on a salad, or blend them into a smoothie. Take a look here – Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds

Quinoa

I know this one isn’t new, but it’s still one of my favorites, and it’s an excellent grain-replacement. If you’re on a gluten-free or low-carb diet, quinoa needs to be in your kitchen. It’s technically a seed, and it’s full of protein and other nutrients to support a healthy lifestyle.

Swiss Chard

Kale isn’t the only leafy green superfood you need to keep on hand. Swiss chard is also pretty amazing, being full of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron and calcium. The fiber content is also great for losing weight. Include it in a salad of mixed greens, or sauté it in a little oil and garlic.

Chickpeas

Of all the lentils and beans you can stock your kitchen with, I recommend chickpeas first and foremost. They’re probably the most versatile, and when purchased canned, they can easily be thrown into a salad or use to boost the flavor of a pasta or rice dish. High in protein and fiber, they’re a superfood in their own right, especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan.

Ginger Root

Fresh ginger is a fantastic health food, and one that’s affordable and easy to keep on hand. It works really well in a stir fry, or it can be blended into a smoothie or combined with fresh juices. Ginger contains natural ingredients that help support a healthy immune system and boost your metabolism. Another huge benefit of ginger is that helps with digestion and has said to be a great benefit to those who get heartburn or acid reflux.

Almonds

Almonds are great for snacking, but they’re also an amazing food to have on hand during dinner prep. Chopped almonds go really well in pretty much any cold salad, and they can even be cooked with chicken or veggies. Although high in fat, almonds contain healthy fats that can keep your body’s fat-burning potential at its highest. For a great fat-burning snack, try these Cajun Lemon Pepper Almonds.

Have any questions or feedback about these 10 Foods You Need to Stock Your Kitchen With? Please leave a comment below…

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Exercises that Flatten Your Lower Belly http://weightlossandtraining.com/exercises-flatten-lower-belly http://weightlossandtraining.com/exercises-flatten-lower-belly#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 02:43:01 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15195 The lower belly is a problem area a lot of us face & as hard as it is to get rid of it there are several tricks & exercises which can help you tone it all up.

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Exercises that Flatten Your Lower Belly

Say Goodbye to Lower Belly Fat

Summer’s just about over, but it may be the perfect time to get your fitness goals back on track. As the vacations come to an end and the kids get back to school, this is a great time to get your life organized – and get back in shape!

Today we’re going to focus on one of the biggest problem almost all of us face, the lower belly. Although as much as we all wish it was possible, spot-training isn’t something we can wish up when it comes to fat loss.  The good news is that there are a couple of tricks that can help you flatten and tone this trouble spot.

The first thing is to get your diet back on track. Eating fat-burning foods like protein, fiber, and healthy metabolism-boosting fats like omega-3s is the first step, and it’s a crucial one if you want to burn serious fat.

You’re going to want to start with setting up a smart meal plan and I’ve made it easy and outlined recipes in my articles  Diet to Lose Belly Fat, or  Healthy Recipes for Lean Muscle.

The second step is to engage in some serious “get your ass off the coach and sweat” cardio and weight training.

To maximize fat-burning, I recommend engaging in a lot of full-body exercises. But you can also do some serious toning in your lower belly by conditioning your abdominal muscles. This will tighten things up and give you a leaner, fitter look.

In combination, these two steps will give you the best results possible. Of course you want to be engaging in a variety of exercises, including both cardio and weight-training, but having a few focused workouts is a highly effective strategy.

7 Exercises to Flatten and Tone Your Lower Belly

Add these exercises to your current abdominal routine, or run through them as a circuit for an effective lower belly fat-burning routine. If you go for the full routine with these ones, aim for 3 sets of all of the exercises in succession with the maximum amount of reps you can punch out. Visualize yourself getting leaner and smiling in the mirror as you see that lower belly pouch get smaller and smaller…

1. Ab Crunch

You’re going to start things off with a standard ab crunch. Although pretty basic, this move is great for the lower part of your abs and also provides an excellent warm-up for your core muscles.

To view this exercise, click here.

2. Bicycle Crunch

Another classic, the bicycle crunch gives your entire abs, including the lower part, an excellent workout because you’re also moving your legs.

To view this exercise, click here.

3. Woodchopper

This exercise is one of my favorite total-body moves, and it’s great for burning fat in your midsection. Grab a dumbbell of moderately challenging weight (not too heavy), and do this one at least 12 times per side.

To view this exercise, click here.

4. Lower Ab Bicycle Crunch

This is another exercise that really incorporates your lower body, so it’s great for your lower abs. Make sure you move through this exercise slowly and with control, in order to maximize your gains.

To view this exercise, click here.

5. Knee Tucks on Bench

This one may seem like it only involves your legs, but it’s actually a highly focused exercise for your abdominals, and one that offers great results for your lower belly. If you don’t have a workout bench, use the edge of a couch or a set of stairs.

To view this exercise, click here.

6. One-Legged Ab Crunch on Bosu

I’m kicking things up a notch with this one. The bosu ball is a seriously versatile piece of gym equipment, and it’s great for your abs. Again, a steady pace is key here to burn the most fat and seriously tone that lower belly.

To view this exercise, click here.

7. Hanging Knee Tucks

This one’s a little more advanced, but by working in a hanging position, you’ll actually prevent your upper body from helping out too much, leaving it up to your lower body and your abs to do all the work. Even if you can knock out a few of these, you’ll be making big strides.

To view this exercise, click here.

And there you have it – 7 exercises to tone and flatten your lower belly. After just a few weeks of this routine, along with a healthy diet and a complete fitness regimen, you’ll be seeing some serious results.

Have any questions or feedback about these Exercises that Flatten Your Lower Belly? Please leave a comment below…

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6 Butt Exercises that Work Wonders http://weightlossandtraining.com/6-butt-exercises-work-wonders http://weightlossandtraining.com/6-butt-exercises-work-wonders#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 21:45:58 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15157 These 6 challenging but highly effective exercises will help you get your booty into shape in no time.

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6 Butt Exercises that Work Wonders

Get Your Glutes in Shape

Need to get your booty in shape? Today we’re going to look at 6 exercises to help you do just that.

Conditioning and strengthening your butt muscles, or your glutes, can have a major impact on your overall fitness. These muscles are involved in a variety of exercises, especially the bigger lower body movements. They’re also muscles that we use constantly in our daily activities, so they shouldn’t be overlooked.

When it comes to the exercises, there are two approaches you can take. Either add some of these moves to your current lower body routine, or turn these 6 exercises into a twice weekly butt workout.

For this circuit, all you’ll need is a pair of dumbbells (choose a moderately challenging weight) and a step. If you’re at home, a step on a staircase will do just fine.

Ready to get your butt in shape?

The Butt Circuit that Works Wonders

1. Dumbbell Deadlifts

This first exercise is one of the best for your glutes, and it’s also one of the most basic movements you can engage your body in.

Grab your dumbbells, and stand with your feet at hip width and your knees slightly bent. Hold the dumbbells in front of your body as your arms hang straight, the dumbbells parallel to your torso. Keeping your upper back and neck aligned, bend at your waist and bring your torso downward, allowing the dumbbells to come as close to the floor as possible. Lift back to starting position. That’s 1 rep. Perform 10-15 reps.

To view this exercise, click here.

2. Bench Step-Ups

Hold on to your dumbbells, and stand just behind a workout bench or step. All you’re going to do is step up on to the bench, one foot at a time, alternating between left and right feet. Throughout the stepping, you should be keeping your back and neck straight. Perform 15-20 reps or steps per set.

To view this exercise, click here.

3. Single Leg Jumps

This move incorporates a little high-impact plyometrics. Stand on your right leg with your knee bent, and lean forward slightly. Shift your hips back, and in one quick move, jump as high off the ground as possible. Land softly back on the same foot, making sure your knee is not bent so much that it extends beyond your toes. That’s 1 rep. Perform 10-12 reps per side.

4. Stability Ball Butt Kicks

Grab a stability ball, and balance on the ball so that your core muscles and pelvis are resting against it. You should be face-down with your palms against the floor for further stability. Extend your legs straight out behind you, knees locked. Alternating from one leg to the other, lift one leg towards the ceiling as high as you can go. Hold here for 3 counts, then return to starting and repeat. Do at least 8 reps per leg.

To view this exercise, click here.

5. Dumbbell Squat

Grab one of your dumbbells and stand with your feet at shoulder width. Hold the dumbbell at chest height, close to your body. Keeping your back straight and your head facing forward, bend your knees and lower yourself as close to the floor as possible, making sure your knees don’t extend beyond your toes. Slowly return to starting position. That’s 1 rep. Knock out 10-12 reps.

To view this exercise, click here.

6. Lateral Lunge

This last one is a twist on a classic lunge, and an all-around great lower body exercise. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet at hip width. Rather than extending your leg out behind you, as in a traditional lunge, you’re going to extend it out to the side as you bend the opposite knee and lower yourself towards the floor. Perform 8-10 reps per side.

To view this exercise, click here.

For all of these butt exercises, you can easily raise the impact by increasing the weight of your dumbbells. As for number of sets, I’ll let you decide based on your own goals and the time you have at your disposal.

To reap the most from your hard work, I recommend trying a natural energy supplement like Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer. And after working your butt muscles this hard, make sure you have a recovery shake with some solid protein like Optimum 100% Natural Oats & Whey.

Have any questions or feedback about these 6 Butt Exercises that Work Wonders? Please leave a comment below…

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7 Reasons to Try High Intensity Interval Training http://weightlossandtraining.com/7-reasons-to-try-high-intensity-interval-training http://weightlossandtraining.com/7-reasons-to-try-high-intensity-interval-training#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:13:42 +0000 http://weightlossandtraining.com/?p=15164 Whether you're already a fan or new to HIIT, there's simply no quicker & more efficient way to burn body fat. Get ready to get motivated!

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7 Reasons to Try High Intensity Interval Training

Why HIIT Is Where It’s At

Whether you’re already a fan or new to the world of high intensity interval training, there are a lot of benefits to this training approach that you may not be aware of. Today we’re going to take a closer look at everything HIIT has to offer.

High intensity interval training, or HIIT for short, is one of the most effective ways to trim body fat in all the places you want it to work. Additionally it helps with your overall cardio and resistance training whether your focus is on improving cardiovascular health, losing weight, or building muscle.

The principle of HIIT is pretty simple: Engage in a series of intense bursts of exercise with periods of rest (or less intense exercise) in between. Alternating between these short periods of high and low intensity challenges your body in a totally dynamic way, burning more fat and conditioning your muscles in ways that traditional training can’t. This approach can be applied to cardio, weight training, and total body exercises that combine a bit of both.

Let’s take a look at 7 reasons to try HIIT today.

Why is High Intensity Interval Training so Effective?

1. It Improves the Health of Your Heart

HIIT is one of the best ways to improve cardiovascular health and strengthen the health of your heart. By pushing your cardiovascular system in the way that HIIT does, you’ll condition your heart over time to better adapt to stress and strain.  The changes in speed prevent your body from adapting to that exercise when compared to if you didn’t include HIIT.

2. It Makes Your Workouts More Efficient

HIIT is basically a two-for-one kind of deal. When time is an issue, it’s the best way to boost the efficiency of your workouts and save time in the process. As I’ve already mentioned, HIIT allows you to get a little cardio and weight training in the same exercises. Popular HIIT exercises like the woodchopper (view exercise) or bench step-ups (view exercise) are good examples of this.

3. You Can Easily Customize Your Workouts

Regardless of your fitness level or experience, HIIT can be tailored according to your own needs. You can easily adjust the frequency of intervals, the extent and amount of rest in between more intense bursts, and the types of exercises in which you engage.

For a great variation on HIIT, check out Tabata Interval Training.

4. You Don’t Need a Gym

Because HIIT exercises so often involve body weight for resistance, an entire HIIT workout can easily be done at home. Equipment like a couple of dumbbells and a jump rope can seriously be enough to reap the benefits of HIIT from home.

5. It Helps Stabilize Your Blood Sugar Levels

There’s new research out that suggests that HIIT is actually a better approach to fitness when it comes to controlling blood sugar and keeping diabetes in check. A recent study published in the journal Diabetologia suggests it may be better than continuous cardiovascular exercise.

6. It’s Possibly the Best Boost for Your Metabolism

When you push yourself the way you do in HIIT, you maximize your energy output as well as your oxygen expenditure. These factors result in a major boost to your metabolism, maximizing the fat and calorie burning potential of your exercise.

Check out this Jump Rope Interval Training Routine, a totally effective way to boost your metabolism for hours.

7. It’s One of the Best Ways to Tone & Get Ripped

If you’re working hard to get really toned and cut, HIIT is a highly effective way to get more definition in your muscles. This is because you’re combining weight training with fat-burning cardio. In combination, these two things produce the best toning results you can find.

Take a look at my article on Interval Training for Fat Loss for more information.

Have any questions or feedback about these 7 Reasons to Try High Intensity Interval Training? Please leave a comment below…

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