Diet soda is filled with genetically modified ingredients and, despite the "diet" part, doesn't actually help you lose weight, according to a number of studies suggesting that it contributes as much to weight gain as regular soda.
There's a reason they call it the most important meal of the day.
Not only is breakfast the first food and drink your body has had in more than 8 hours, but studies find that what you eat for breakfast influences what you eat the rest of the day.
Also, people who eat breakfast are much less likely to be obese and have diabetes than those who don't.
The most important tip we can give you is to eat breakfast every day. Without exception. This one action alone can make a huge, positive difference in your health. But a doughnut or oversized muffin won't do it. The key is to choose energy enhancing, health-invigorating foods. That's what we'll focus on in the tips ahead.
1. Be consistent with your portions. For most people, a perfect breakfast has three components: one serving of a whole grain carbohydrate, one serving of a dairy or high-calcium food, and one serving of fruit. Together, that would add up to roughly 300 calories. A high-protein serving (i.e., a meat or an egg) is unnecessary but certainly acceptable, as long as it doesn't add too much fat or calories to the mix. Here are a few winning combinations, based on this formula:
• A bowl of high-fiber, multigrain cereal, lots of strawberries, and low-fat milk
on top. Find high-fiber breakfast recipes.
• A granola bar, an apple, and a cold glass of milk.
• A cup of nonfat yogurt, fresh blueberries mixed in, and a slice of whole wheat toast with a fruit spread on top. Find low-fat recipes.
• A mini whole wheat bagel, spread lightly with cream cheese and jam; a peach; and a cup of yogurt.
• A scrambled egg, a whole wheat roll, fresh fruit salad, and a cup of low-fat milk.
• A low-fat muffin, a wedge of cantaloupe, and a cup of latte made with skim milk.
Quick Health Tips
Get adequate rest daily. Don’t deprive yourself of sleep for extended periods of time.
Surround yourself with positive energy and a strong social circle. Good vibes translates into good moods.
Believe in your abilities. Work on your shortcomings. Life is a continuous self-help program.
If you think you're too busy to exercise, try this experiment: For one day, schedule a time to work out, and then stick to it—even if you can exercise for only 10 minutes. "At the end of the day, ask yourself if you were any less productive than usual," says John Jakicic, Ph.D., an exercise psychologist at the Brown University school of medicine. The answer will probably be no—and your favorite excuse will be gone. - Mens Health Magazine 100 Best Fitness Tips List
Fit Tips of the Week
Drink 8 glasses of water a day. That should equal out to roughly 2 litres.
Never buy groceries on an empty stomach. If you do, you are more likely to buy unhealthy foods and stray from your diet plans.
Decrease your consumption of foods high in Saturated fat. These foods include; all red meats, all pork products, many processed luncheon meats, organ meats (liver, kidney), chocolate, baked goods, cheese that is more than 3% MF (Milk Fat). Your goal should be to decrease your consumption of all these products in half. The portion size of a steak for instance should be no bigger than the surface area of your hand. When eating out a good rule is to choose the smallest portion size.
Change your exercise routine every 6-8 weeks. By periodically changing your routine, your body is forced to adapt to the new stressors. In doing so, the diligent gym member will avoid a plateau and continue to achieve his or her goals.
How do you know when to increase the weight in your resistance program? A simple method is using the “Rule of 2’s”, which means two extra reps for two consecutive weeks. For example you were doing Arm Curls and your goal was 2 sets of 10 repetitions, try doing two extra curls on the last set. If you can properly perform 12 reps on the last set for two weeks, it is time to up the weight.
Rushing to be Fit
Today is a workout day but a meeting has run over time, so you didn’t make it to your lunch hour workout. You need to get home, get the kids to hockey and dance. Then supper will be waiting and your day is over just to start again tomorrow. We have all been here! We strive to fit as much into a day as possible and on many days our workout gets pushed to the end of it!
If you miss your workout you likely feel guilty and often one missed workout can then lead to another, until you feel so far behind that it is not worth starting. Sound familiar? Let’s change that!
What can I do to fit it all in?
- • Always have workout clothes and a pair of running shoes with you at all times. It is easy to have a bag in the car or at work.
- • Always schedule your workouts in your day timer. Even 15 min. is enough to have a great workout… just ramp up the intensity.
- • Take it outside! Alternate intervals of easy and brisk walking.
- • If you cannot go outside and you work in a building with stairs get your workout stuff on and climb the stairs.
Excuses are excuses! If there is a will there is a way. Now you do not need to feel guilty, you did it!!
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will”
Global personal trainer
Muscle Up Your Back
When doing lat pull-downs, don't wrap your thumb around the bar. Instead, place it on top, alongside your index finger. This decreases the involvement of your arm muscles, so you'll work your back harder. Works for pull-ups, too.
Keep Your Stats, See Amazing Results
Test yourself often. Every 4 weeks, measure a variable—waist size, body fat, bench press—that equates to your end goal. It'll show you the tangible results of your training. And that translates into motivation.
Try this healthy, versatile fat source, and you'll feel like you struck it rich.
by Shannon Clark
If you came of age in the 1990s or earlier, you might have trouble reconciling yourself to the idea that coconut oil has any place in a healthy diet. Along with its evil allies palm and soybean, coconut has defined "bad fat" for most of the last generation. Heck, it's the fat movie theater popcorn is popped in! We're talking trans fats here, for crying out loud!
Well, that was then—and more to the point, that was partially hydrogenated coconut oil. The hydrogenation process blasts all kinds of good stuff out of coconut oil, including essential fatty acids and antioxidants galore. In contrast, virgin coconut oil, sold in a solidified form in small jars in health food stores, is a delicious and versatile fat that has plenty to offer, especially for vegetarians and vegans.
One advantage to coconut oil is that it is rich in lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that your body burns more efficiently than almost any other fat. This makes it great energy food. What's more, the vitamins K and E in coconut oil help support healthy skin and hair.
"But how do I eat that pasty stuff?" you ask. This is where it gets fun. Coconut oil is one of the world's great butter substitutes. It melts just like butter on hot toast or pancakes, and it has a uniquely nutty, creamy flavor that many people actually prefer to butter—no, really. It is equally effective subbing for butter, shortening, or lard in baking, which is why you'll see it popping up all over "guilt-free" recipes.
Eat Protein for Breakfast for A Better Workout & Better Cognition
Eat protein for breakfast for a better workout and a better working brain throughout the day. Four recent studies show that eating a high-protein breakfast daily is one of the smartest dietary habits you can adopt. The effects of a protein-rich breakfast include decreased hunger until lunch, a high degree of satiety and satisfaction, lower calorie intake at lunch and dinner, faster reaction time, and better performance on cognition tests.
First, a study in the European Journal of Nutrition compared hunger ratings and desire to eat after three different types of breakfast:
1) eggs on toast,
2) cornflakes with milk and toast,
or 3) a croissant and orange juice.
Results showed that the breakfast containing eggs produced much less hunger and a lower desire to eat after breakfast than the two higher carbohydrate options. The participants who had the egg breakfast ate much less at lunch and dinner, and they ended up eating between 150 and 300 calories less over the whole day than the cereal and croissant groups.
This study highlights the misconception that simple carbohydrate foods are ideal for breakfast because they provide a lot of “energy.” It is true that cornflakes and croissants provide energy in the sense that they give you a nice dose of quickly digested calories, but that doesn’t mean you will feel energized! Rather, these breakfasts will quickly raise blood sugar, producing high levels of insulin, whichcauses blood sugar to drop. This will leave you hungry, and with poorer cognition and energy.
Two other studies support this and provide examples for how to get a nice dose of protein at breakfast. One study showed that giving boarding school students a high protein breakfast from pork produced greater satisfaction and less hunger than a carb-filled control breakfast. Similar results were seen with a high-protein breakfast (40 percent of total calories from protein) from either fish or beef. Both breakfasts produced a reduction in energy intake at the evening meal over a standard breakfast. The fish breakfast had the greatest effect, leading to an 11 percent reduction in calorie intake and less feelings of hunger throughout the day.
The reason high-protein breakfasts are so effective is that they produce a very moderate, gradual increase in blood sugar and insulin that is sustained for a longer period than with a higher carb meal. The effect is a more steady supply of glucose to the brain and muscles, which produces better cognition and physical performance.
For instance, the fourth study of interest compared the effect of a low-glycemic with a high-glycemic breakfast on brain function. Low glycemic means that the food will produce a slow, gradual increase in blood sugar, whereas high glycemic has the opposite effect. The low-glycemic breakfast included bread cooked with guar gum, and the high-glycemic breakfast used regular white wheat bread.
Results showed that the participants who ate the low-glycemic breakfast performedmuch better on cognitive function tests than those who ate the high-glycemic meal. The difference in selective attention and working memory performance was particularly pronounced between during the second half of the brain function tests when the material became more demanding. The subjects who ate the low-glycemic breakfast also reacted faster and finished the test quicker.
Take away the understanding that a high-protein breakfast from animal sources is your best choice for breakfast because it will be more satisfying and lead to less hunger than a higher carb breakfast. It will also boost brain function by providing a steady flow of glucose to the brain—an effect that will benefit your physical performance in the gym as well. A related benefit is that lower, balanced insulin concentrations allow for the insulin receptors in the brain to be more sensitive and more responsive. High insulin produces inflammatory markers and high cortisol, which has been shown to correlate negatively with cognitive performance, particularly in reasoning tasks.
Eat a variety of protein sources for breakfast including beef, pork, fish, eggs, and poultry. Opt for pasture-raised, organic meat when possible. Pair meat with green vegetables, berries or other low-glycemic fruit, and nuts to fuel the brain and body. Read more on this topic with the article, The Meat and Nuts Breakfast.
Meinert, L., Kehlet, U., et al. Consuming Pork Proteins at Breakfast Reduces the Feeling of Hunger Before Lunch. Appetite. 2012. 59(201-203.
Borzoei, S., Neovius, M., et al. A Comparison of Effects of Fish and Beef Protein on Satiety in Normal Weight Men. EuropeanJournal of Clinical Nutrition. 2006. 60(7), 897-902.
Nilsson, A., Radeborg, K., et al. Effects on Cognitive Performance of Modulating the Postprandial Blood Glucose Profile at Breakfast. EuropeanJournal of Clinical Nutrition. 2012. 66, 1038-1043.
Fallaize, R., Wilson, L., et al. Variation in the Effects of Three Different Breakfast Meals on Subjective Satiety and Subsequent Intake of Energy at Lunch and Evening Meal. European Journal of Nutrition. 2012. Published Ahead of Print.
Single-Leg Dumbbell Straight-Leg Deadlift
Hold dumbbell in each hand. Position dumbbells down in front of upper thighs with arms straight. Stand with feet together. Lift leg slightly so foot is just off floor.
Lower dumbells to floor while raising lifted leg back behind. Keep back straight and knee of supporting leg slightly bend. Keep hip and knee of lifted leg extended throughout movement. Once stretch is felt or dumbells contacts floor, return to original position by raising torso while lowering lifted leg. Straighten knee of supporting leg as torso becomes upright. Repeat.
Throughout lift keep arms and back straight. Do not lower weight beyond mild stretch throughout hamstrings. Full range of motion will vary from person to person. Those with less flexibility may need to bend knee of supporting leg more so dumbells can come closer to floor. At top of movement, lifted foot can make contact with floor to maintain balance between repetitions.
- Barbell Squats (intervals 1,3)
- Pushups (intervals 2,5)
- Chin ups (intervals 4,6)
- Sprinting in place (intervals 7,8)
Equipment needed: Barbell with weights, surface mat for pushups and a chin up bar
Tabata Training lasts 4 minutes and has 8 intervals in total lasting 20 seconds. Within those 20 seconds however, you are going all out. Make sure you use a weight where you can successfully go all out for all 8 intervals. Also make sure the exercises aren’t too hard and aren’t too easy. The exercises should hard enough so it makes you sweat and breath during a interval, however easy enough so you can last the whole Tabata session.
Position the ball under your hips and lower torso with the knees straight or bent. With hands behind the head or behind b
ack, slowlyroll down the ball. Lift your chest off the ball, bringing your shoulders up until your body is in a straight line. Make sure your body is in alignment (i.e., head, neck, shoulders and back are in a straight line), your abs are pulled in and that don't hyperextend the back. Repeat for 12-16 reps.
Stand with dumbbells grasped to sides.
Step forward with first leg. Land on heel then forefoot. Lower body by flexing knee and hip of front leg until knee of rear leg is almost in contact with floor. Stand on forward leg with assistance of rear leg. Lunge forward with opposite leg. Repeat by alternating lunge with opposite legs.
Keep torso upright during lunge; flexible hip flexors are important. Lead knee should point same direction as foot throughout lunge. A long lunge emphasizes Gluteus Maximus; short lunge emphasizes Quadriceps. Tibilalis Anterior is exercised eccentrically during landing on heel.
GETTING BACK TO FITNESS WITH YOUR FRIENDS
I have so many commitments to juggle in my life; ferrying the kids around and buying the weekly shop, to name but a few. Sound familiar? Wishing to spend some ‘me’ time with friends, but know you need to start being more active? Why not try...
Skipping – Wherever you might be, in the garden, in the park, taking a walk with your friends, remember the skipping rope. Rekindle this childhood pastime and challenge your friends to a fast paced skip. Not only will this raise your heart rate, but you’ll be testing your concentration and perfecting your co-ordination.
Step ups – If you’re out shopping with friends or taking a leisurely walk to the coffee shop locate th
e nearest stairs or steps. Take two to three minutes to step up and down quickly, one minute at a time with 30 second rests in between.
Hockey - Why not try your hand at a relaxed and fun game of Hockey? The game provides a great workout that burns calories, improves cardiovascular fitness and tones those all important targets of thighs, bum, tum and bingo wings.
Walking the hound - A man’s best friend can help you to achieve your weight loss or exercise goals. Take your dog to the local park and try interval running – walk for two minutes, then run for one minute. Repeat this five times; a great way to burn a few calories and enjoy the outdoors!
15-Minute Workout: 3 Moves, 300 Muscles
Perform this routine as a circuit, says its creator, Martin Rooney, P.T., C.S.C.S., author of
From Men's Health.com
In general when you run, you do not always want to be pushing yourself to the absolute maximum of your fitness/cardiorespiratory ability. If you're trying to run to stay in good shape and have god heart health, a good test is called the 'Talk Test'. If while running you can still talk and carry on a conversation with little difficulty, you are running at a good pace.
If you are running so hard that you have great difficulty speaking, maybe tone it down a little bit; and if carrying on a conversation is easy, push yourself a little bit more. Again, you should be exercising so that you are pushing yourself, and the Talk Test is a good way to check if you're giving yourself a good aerobic workout.
Try it the next time you go on a run with a friend, or even during a workout.
Repair Muscle Faster
Recover faster from a hard workout by lightly exercising the same muscles the following day. Use a light weight—about 20 percent of the weight you can lift one time—and do two sets of 25 repetitions. This will deliver more blood and nutrients into your muscles so they repair faster.
Use exercise to relieve some of that stress. A short walk outside or training session at your favorite studio can make you feel like a million dollars in just an hour.
Back Exercise - Dumbbell Bent Over Row
The bent over row is an effective exercise for developing the lats, and is performed by bending at the waist and performing a row. The lats are some of the largest muscles in the back and cover pretty much the whole lower and mid back area and are responsible for generating the power when you pull things towards you. Step by step instructions that describes the correct technique for underhand dumbbell bent over row.
Bent Over Row, Dumbbell Steps:
Step 1: Stand upright holding a dumbbell in each hand
Step 2: Rotate the hands so the palms are face behind
Step 3: Maintain a straight back and a slight bend in the knees
Step 4: Bend the upper body forward at the hips to approximately 45 degrees
Step 5: Pull the dumbbells in towards the stomach by bending the elbows
Step 6: Fully retract the shoulder blades
Step 7: Pause briefly and lower the dumbbells back to the start.
Step 8: This is one repetition
How To Perform Step Ups
Stand in front of a bench so that you are facing the long side. With dumbbells in hand, raise a knee up to and upon the top of the bench. As if you are trying to climb a very tall step, extend your knee and hips until you are standing on the bench with both feet. Reverse the motion by stepping backwards, leading with the second leg. Perform this from the beginning with the opposite side to complete a full rep.
The Benefits of the Step Up Exercise
Step ups are effective for improving cardio fitness and strength. Step ups are a profoundly effective leg exercise, especially for athletes. Like lunges, the step ups exercise is a unilateral movement with benefits of better balance and symmetry because you train each leg separately. But step ups take it a step further than lunges; they allow you to develop more power because of a greater range of motion as well as the extra force and velocity required to successfully execute correct form. This exercise also mimmics real-life jumping and sprinting motions, which means this is a no-brainer for athletes.
Balancing Seated Torso Twist with Arms Extended
Starting Position - Hold a medicine ball (or dumbbell) and sit on the floor with shoulders relaxed, arms extended, legs hip-width apart, heels on the floor, knees bent and back straight. Pull your abs in tight, and with a straight back, lean back from the hips until you feel your abs engage. Hold that position and lift both feet off the floor (pictured).
Action - INHALE: Keeping feet off the floor, abs engaged, and arms extended, twist from the waist to the left side. EXHALE: Twist back to the center (starting position). INHALE: Twist to the right side. EXHALE: Return to the starting position tocomplete one rep.
Special Instructions - Keep your abs pulled in, shoulders relaxed, and feet off the floor. Focus on twisting from the waist, allowing your upper torso and arms to turn with you. Keep the lower body as still as possible. Keep your back long and flat at all times.
Make it easier: Don't lean back as far. Use a lighter weight or no weight. Hold the weight closer to your torso.
Make it harder: Lean back and/or twist farther.
Muscles Worked: Abs, Obliques
A dumbbell squat involves holding two dumbbells. You can either hold them at your sides or just above the shoulders. Holding dumbbells is just one more way to add intensity to your workouts and build muscles in the glutes, hips and thighs. Here's how to do it:
- Stand with feet hip- or shoulder-width apart.
- Hold medium to heavy dumbbells in each hand just outside the thighs or with arms bent above the shoulders.
- Bend the knees and lower into a squat. Stop when your knees are at 90-degree angles or before you lose the natural arch of your back.
- At the bottom of the movement, make sure you take your hips back, as though you're about to sit in a chair. Avoid bending the knees so that they go beyond the toes.
- Contract the glutes and legs while stabilizing your body with a strong torso.
- Slowly stand back up without locking the knees and repeat for 1-3 sets of 10-16 repetitions.
Cardio Exercise: BURPEE
The burpee is a full body exercise used in strength training and as aerobic exercise. It is performed in four steps, and was originally known as a "four-count Burpee":
Begin in a standing position.
Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground. (count 1)
Extend your feet back in one quick motion to assume the front plank position. (count 2)
Return to the squat position in one quick motion. (count 3)
Return to an upright standing position. (count 4)