Thursday, December 31, 2015

Banish Pain Permanently: Correct Your Alignment

After being in a wheelchair for almost a year, I realized my problem was a simple alignment issue. Once this was corrected, my pain was gone.

In the twelve years I have worked in the fitness industry, I have observed a lack of effectiveness in the techniques used by most athletes to combat chronic pain. Today I am on a mission to set some things straight with regard to what it takes to address pain issues effectively.

 

read more

Banish Pain Permanently: Correct Your Alignment

After being in a wheelchair for almost a year, I realized my problem was a simple alignment issue. Once this was corrected, my pain was gone.

In the twelve years I have worked in the fitness industry, I have observed a lack of effectiveness in the techniques used by most athletes to combat chronic pain. Today I am on a mission to set some things straight with regard to what it takes to address pain issues effectively.

 

read more

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

3 Mind Hacks to Streamline Your Training

Whenever your training feels a bit wayward, these resets in your mindset will enable you to make more effective training decisions.
Charles is here on a weekly basis to help you cut through the B.S. and get some real perspective regarding health and training. Please post feedback or questions to Charles directly in the comments below this article.
 
I’m always considering new ideas to help me get the most from my training. This week, I thought I’d share a few of them with you. I hope these ideas stimulate your thinking, generate some discussion, and help you make the best possible decisions.
 

read more

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos

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Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 8 small corn tortillas (certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Optional toppings: fresh salsa, cilantro, hot sauce and plain Greek yogurt

Directions

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add in cooking oil and then garlic, red onion, and a dash of salt to heated oil. Sauté until softened, ~3 minutes.

Next, add sweet potatoes to the pan with a generous pinch of salt and spices (paprika, cumin, cayenne). Add 2 tablespoons of water to the pan, cover with a lid, and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until sweet potatoes are softened.

Add beans to the pan and toss everything together until beans are heated through. Season to taste with more salt or spices.

Warm tortillas according to package instructions, and fill with a few spoonfuls of sweet potato and bean mixture. Top with sliced avocado, fresh salsa or other desired toppings and a squeeze of lime juice.

Source: Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos – MyFitnessPal

Image Credit: Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos

The post Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos appeared first on NUTRITIONCLUB.





from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2015/12/sweet-potato-black-bean-tacos.html

Open-Faced Steak Sandwich

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1/2 pound (225 grams) skirt steak, trimmed
  • 1/2 medium (55 grams) yellow onion, sliced
  • 4 slices (30 grams each) Italian bread
  • 4 slices(30 grams each) sharp cheddar
  • 1 medium (120 grams) bell pepper, sliced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and spray a baking sheet with cooking oil. Season the steak with salt and pepper.

Preheat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat with cooking oil. When pan is hot enough for oil to slide around easily, add the steak. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until steak reaches desired doneness. Set aside until cool enough to handle; slice thinly.

Meanwhile, sauté onions in the same pan, on medium-high heat, until golden brown. Set aside.

Add the bread slices to the baking sheet. Top each bread slice with one slice of cheddar cheese. Bake for about 5 minutes until cheese is melted. 

Layer the steak, onions, and bell peppers onto each bread slice, and serve.

Source: Open-Faced Steak Sandwich – MyFitnessPal

Image Credit: Open-Faced Steak Sandwich

The post Open-Faced Steak Sandwich appeared first on NUTRITIONCLUB.





from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2015/12/open-faced-steak-sandwich.html

Detox Foods for Winter to Add in Your Grocery List

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With all the festivities over the past weeks, the majority of us are at the lowest points of our diets. Guilty? Well, it’s really hard to avoid loading up on cheat meals, especially the foods that have zero nutritional content.

Our body needs some detoxing to do to flush out all the unhealthy ingredients we’d consumed. And that’s the issue – it’s hard to consume more of these detox foods for winter.

So to start, here’s a guide laid out for you by registered dietitian Gloria Tsang on Health Castle:

Winter Nutrition Guide

When winter days are cold, and you want to warm up fast, a bowl of cream soup or stew can certainly be appealing. But there is no excuse to throw all your healthy eating habits out the window just because it’s dark and cold outside! Read more…

In addition to that, here are the foods to incorporate into your grocery list, as listed by Rida Bukhari on Fitness Republic:

15 Amazing Detox Foods For Winter

Considering doing detox this winter? It’s time for nourishment and restoration without starvation! Reset your body with these amazing winter detox foods, shed the extra pounds and rid your body of toxins. Read more…

You may have noticed that these are all plant foods – they are packed with vitamins and minerals that naturally reduce the inflammation in your body. You can use them in making soups, casseroles, teas, and other winter dishes that will also help heal your flu.

For more healthy tips, read this article written by Catherine Roberts on Active Beat:

10 Tips to Help you Stay Healthy This Winter

In just a few short weeks, winter will officially begin. But depending on where you live, the winter weather is already here and it may already be taking a toll on the healthy lifestyle you’ve worked hard for. Whether you typically eat too much comfort food and desserts, or exercise less (or not at all), winter can really hurt your health. This year, instead of sitting back and accepting the unhealthy changes in your life, make an early resolution to stay active, eat right, and in the process, help ward off seasonal depression. Sounds easy, right? Read more…

It may be hard to resist the temptation of holiday meals like rib roast, chocolate, candies, and cocktails, but I swear sooner or later you’ll regret that you overindulged at this time of the year.

But hey, it’s not a bad thing to at least keep your body clean and healthy by consuming more detox foods for winter. Plus, they will boost your metabolism, which in turn will help you avoid the unwanted weight gain.

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water every day – at least 8 glasses, to be exact. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean your body won’t suffer from dehydration. Consider a vitamin D supplement as well, since the sun is hardly shining these days.

The post Detox Foods for Winter to Add in Your Grocery List appeared first on NUTRITIONCLUB.





from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2015/12/detox-foods-for-winter-to-add-in-your.html

Workout and Training Tips for Hulking Up

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One of the most popular Marvel superheroes, the Incredible Hulk is a pretty big, green humanoid that serves as a body inspiration to a lot of bodybuilders. Not the green part, though.

But his bulky body will make you wonder how many times he works out every day.

Even though he’s a fictional character, you can also sculpt your body the same way as he does. Check out this workout and training tips for hulking up, from the movie’s Incredible Hulk himself, Lou Ferrigno, as written by Greg Merritt on Flex:

Lou Ferrigno’s Mass Class

Before and after he was the Hulk, Lou Ferrigno was bodybuilding’s ultimate behemoth. When Arnold Schwarzenegger was winning Olympias at 235, Lou was 275. And when Dorian Yates was collecting Sandows at 265, Lou was 315. In fact, the future not-so-jolly green giant first broke the 300-pound barrier in the off-season at the age of 20—an unprecedented muscular body weight in the early ’70s. At 6’5″, he towered over competitors, but whereas most tall bodybuilders have trouble filling out, Ferrigno carried his mass proportionately with pleasing symmetry. Read more…

In addition to that, IFBB professional bodybuilder Ben Pakulski shares a workout program, on Muscle and Fitness:

THE INCREDIBLE HULK PROGRAM

Take a look around the next time you’re walking down the street. You’ll notice a lot of dissatisfied men—men who feel they have a bit too much Bruce Banner in them and not enough Incredible Hulk (the size and strength of The Hulk, mind you, not all the rage and destructiveness). Afterward, take a look in the mirror. Read more…

Finally, you can achieve any superhero body by following this workout from certified strength and conditioning specialist Sean Hyson on Men’s Fitness:

THE SUPERHERO WORKOUT

As The Incredible Hulk rages into theaters next month, we thought we’d show you how to hulk up your own chest and shoulders. We also put together some lifts, tips, and drills for getting Wolverine’s forearms, the Flash’s speed, and Spider-Man’s agility. Improve your physique, gain strength and athleticism, and become a hero yourself. Read more…

See? It’s pretty easy to sculpt your body like a superhero, you just have to follow these workouts and training tips for hulking up. These moves will reward you with lean and strong muscles from head to toe!

Remember that a toned body starts in the kitchen, too. This means that you have to follow a balanced diet, eating enough amount of meat, poultry and dairy, while loading up on fruits, nuts, vegetables and seeds. Eat your greens – just like the Hulk!

The post Workout and Training Tips for Hulking Up appeared first on NUTRITIONCLUB.





from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2015/12/workout-and-training-tips-for-hulking-up.html

My Favourite Hot Detox Tonic

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I’m feeling particularly nostalgic at the end of this year, mainly because it was our first full year of parenting. This year Adriana blossomed from a 3 month old baby in January into a 15 month old hilarious, chatty, and very strong-willed toddler by December. The change!!! We witnessed first words, first crawls, first teeth, and first steps in 2015. My iphone filled capacity countless times (breathe…), but I still worried that I wasn’t capturing enough. The sheer amount of development, growth, and experiences that we’ve shared together in 2015 are enough to make my eyes well up with tears. Even though I know there were tough times in every area of life, right now I’m reflecting through rose coloured glasses. I hope the memories will stay a part of me in one way or another, even if I wasn’t so great at documenting everything like I did in the early months.

Like every year, I consumed more than my fair share of treats this month. After we got home from visiting family, I found myself at the grocery store stuffing my cart with produce galore and planning homemade plant-heavy meals in an effort to bring back the balance. The great thing about plant-based eating is that it only takes a day or two to get back on track and feel energized once again. I’m not someone who shuns sweets entirely at the start of a year (I love my dark chocolate way too much), but instead prefer to focus on what I’m adding to my diet. Celebrate that stuff!

I love, love, love experimenting with homemade hot tonics, and I’ve been tweaking my favourite concoctions for a few years now. I know anything detox is so cliche this time of the year, but this drink really does make me feel amazing after weeks of indulgences so I don’t even care. In the past, I’ve often used fresh turmeric, fresh ginger, cayenne, and sliced lemon (see my “Healing rooibos tea” on page 69 of The Oh She Glows Cookbook), which is awesome, but it requires a trip to the grocery store, and finding fresh turmeric can be hit or miss. Recipes need to be accessible so I came up with this delicious “pantry” version for those times when I want it now. It’s fast, there’s no grating/peeling involved (unless you opt for the fresh ginger version), and you can keep the ingredients on hand in your pantry (aside from the lemon, but I usually have those miracle workers on hand!) to enjoy any time the craving strikes. Yes, you will crave this drink…it’s that good. I know this is going to be my reset button drink all winter long.

detoxteatonic

Hot Detox Tonic

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, oil-free, soy-free

Get ready to feel warm, energized, and ready to tackle the New Year! This is my new go-to hot beverage of choice when I want to hit the reset button, amp up my metabolism, and boost circulation. It comes together fast with ingredients that I tend to keep on hand. I love to drink this throughout the day, but it’s especially effective when consumed on an empty stomach after waking. I use a ginger tea bag for a quick option, but I provide a fresh ginger option below too. Just keep in mind that using fresh ginger produces a more intense and spicy tea. Also, if you ever have some kicking around, fresh mint is also an invigorating, tummy-soothing addition.

Yield
2 cups
Soak time
7-10 minutes
Prep Time
5 Minutes
Cook time
0 Minutes
Total Time
5 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ginger tea bag or 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger (see tip)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • Few dashes cinnamon, to taste (I like Ceylon cinnamon)
  • Few dashes ground turmeric, to taste
  • Few dashes cayenne pepper, to taste (use less if you don’t like heat)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small lemon slice
  • Pure maple syrup, to taste (I use 1 teaspoon)

Directions:

  1. Grab an extra large mug or a small teapot (3 cup capacity). Place ginger tea bag inside.
  2. Boil 2 cups of water and pour all the water into the mug/teapot. Cover and steep the ginger tea for 7-8 minutes.
  3. Remove tea bag. Set aside the tea bag to cool. Once the tea bag has cooled a bit you can gently squeeze it into the pot to infuse the tea with even more ginger flavour.
  4. Add the cinnamon, turmeric, and cayenne. Whisk until combined.
  5. Add the vinegar and drop in the lemon wedge. Whisk to infuse the lemon.
  6. Add maple syrup, to taste, and whisk to combine.
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Tips:

In lieu of the ginger tea bag, you can substitute a packed 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger. This version is spicier than using a tea bag. Pop the fresh grated ginger into a tea ball or mesh tea steeper, and steep tea for about 6-7 minutes. Proceed as usual.
The spices tend to settle at the bottom of the mug/pot. Simply whisk it now and then to redistribute.

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I’d like to wish you all a New Year filled with happiness, health, love, and your wildest dreams becoming reality! Thank you for all your support, comments, love, and encouragement in 2015. I can’t wait to share the fun things we have coming up in 2016.

Angela

Booty Burning Moves to Try

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A perfectly toned tush, bum, booty, or whatever you call it, is one of the ultimate body goals. When you have a toned ass, you know you can pull off any simple outfit you’re wearing. And no, it’s not just for the ladies. In fact, girls do look at the guy’s bum, too. But the point is, it’s very sexy.

The problem is that not everyone was gifted with a Beyonce or Kardashian-like booty. Worry no more! There are lots of exercises that promote one. Check out this video as fitness expert Cassey Ho demonstrates some booty burning moves on Health:

5 Booty-Burning Moves for a Better Butt

Your glutes are some of the strongest muscles in your body, so you need to make sure your butt stays in shape. Watch this video for 5 awesome butt workouts from Cassey Ho of Blogilates. Read more…

In addition to that, certified personal trainer Elizabeth Narins shares more moves outside squats, on Cosmopolitan:

9 Butt Moves That Beat Squats

While it’s true that squats can work your glutes from every angle, they get pretty boring after, oh, a second. It’s why you really can’t sustain a tight tush on squats alone. Besides, there are plenty of variations which, when performed together, could put the basic squat out of business. (You’re welcome.) Read more…

If you’re a beginner, here’s a 15-minute, easy workout on Fitness that you may want to start with:

The 15-Minute Bootylicious Butt Workout

Firm, lift, and de-dimple your behind in 15 minutes. Read more…

For more good news: these exercises are not only butt-friendly. They’re also good at burning fats all over your body, so it’s a win-win situation over here!

Note, though, that these booty burning moves, like any type of workouts that target your body parts, also take time to show you the results. Don’t expect that you will achieve a sexy bum in a snap — you have to be patient! Let yourself be surprised as the results gradually show.

Your diet also contributes a lot on this, so you must really eat more healthy foods, while avoiding the greasy ones.

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from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2015/12/booty-burning-moves-to-try.html

Wellness Trends to Watch For This Coming Year

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It’s really surprising how 2015 came by way too fast. So many bright and gloomy moments worldwide throughout the year, right? But just like any other, we have to bid goodbye to it, and welcome the year 2016. The good news is that the modern technology has so much in store for us.

Mind Body Green’s founder and CEO Jason Wachob compiled the wellness trends to watch for:

10 Wellness Trends To Watch In 2016

The year 2015 was an exciting one in wellness. The healthy food “bowl” took over our breakfast, lunch, dinner, and our Instagram feed. Amanda Chantal Bacon’s adaptogen dusts (hello, Sex Dust) became a staple of our smoothies.

We saw the rise of the fitness omnivore, partially fueled by the growth of Class Pass. Vegans got glam as our dear friends Rich Roll and Julie Piatt graced the New York Times Styles section, and vegan restaurants become some of the most desirable dining destinations, thanks to Gracias Madre and Crossroads in Los Angeles and Dirt Candy, Semilla, and by Chloe in New York.

We expect 2016 to be even better for wellness enthusiasts as healthy living is sweeping the world. Here are 10 trends to watch over the next year: Read more…

These wellness trends to watch for are REALLY something to get excited about. Looks like more and more people are seeking for a healthier lifestyle. This will hopefully solve the increasing number of chronic diseases worldwide. It would be way better if healthcare professionals will find a fix for the conditions that still do not have an effective solution, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and more.

Image Credit: 10 Wellness Trends To Watch In 2016 – Mind Body Green

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from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2015/12/wellness-trends-to-watch-for-this.html

More Pets at Risk From Second Hand Smoke

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There are 1 billion smokers all over the world, which means that even non-smokers are susceptible to the harmful effects. The most exposure occurs in homes and workplaces.

Secondhand smoke is indeed as harmful as direct, because people who are exposed to it are still inhaling the same chemicals that cause respiratory diseases, and even death. In fact, it causes about 41,000 deaths in the United States alone every year.

But not only we are affected. A new study has shown that there are more pets at risk from second hand smoke than humans. Read more in this report by Sarah Knapton on The Telegraph:

Pets at more risk from passive smoking than humans, find scientists

Pets are at greater risk from passive smoking than humans because they spend more time in the home and closer to carpets where carcinogenic particles can linger. Read more…

So aside from humans, there are more pets at risk from second hand smoke. People should really avoid smoking around other living things, or should just stop smoking, in general. It may not be an easy task, but starting today will save you years of life.

Non-smokers, especially children, should avoid smokers as much as possible.

Image Credit: Pets at more risk from passive smoking than humans, find scientists – The Telegraph

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from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2015/12/more-pets-at-risk-from-second-hand-smoke.html

Myths About Food Poisoning Debunked

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There are 48 million people in the United States alone who get sick from food poisoning every year. The majority of these cases come from meat, poultry, dairy products and eggs, which are all used in preparing meals for the festivities.

There are so many myths about food poisoning that some of us may not know the explanation behind them or if they are actually true. Cathy Moir talks about it on The Conversation, posted on Daily Mail:

You CAN thaw and refreeze meat – but DON’T rely on the sniff test: Expert busts common safety myths to help you avoid food poisoning

It’s that time of year when the fridge is fully stocked, the heat’s turned up high and the danger of food poisoning is ever present. So what is the best way to avoid it? Should you wash meat before cooking it? And it safe to re-freeze? Read more…

These myths about food poisoning might have been some of the reasons why the cases continue to rise. Now that they have been debunked, hopefully, people will be more cautious about how they prepare raw products.

We just won’t know when different types of bacteria will attack our body, so it’s always best to keep food and everything that’s near to it clean, such as the utensils, container, even the whole kitchen. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain that can last for up to weeks.

Image Credit: You can thaw and refreeze meat – but don’t rely on the sniff test: expert busts common safety myths to help you avoid food poisoning – Daily Mail

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from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2015/12/myths-about-food-poisoning-debunked.html

3 Mind Hacks to Streamline Your Training

Whenever your training feels a bit wayward, these resets in your mindset will enable you to make more effective training decisions.
Charles is here on a weekly basis to help you cut through the B.S. and get some real perspective regarding health and training. Please post feedback or questions to Charles directly in the comments below this article.
 
I’m always considering new ideas to help me get the most from my training. This week, I thought I’d share a few of them with you. I hope these ideas stimulate your thinking, generate some discussion, and help you make the best possible decisions.
 

read more

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Smoky Pork Stir-Fry

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Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 10 ounce pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced orange bell pepper (about 1 medium pepper)
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  • 3 cups tricolor coleslaw (shredded cabbage mix)
  • 3 green onion stalks, thinly sliced

Directions

Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add canola oil; swirl to coat. Sprinkle pork with paprika and salt. Add pork to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until browned. Remove pork from pan.

Return pan to medium-high heat. Add sesame oil; swirl to coat. Add bell pepper, peas, ginger, and garlic; stir-fry 3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Combine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and chili garlic sauce in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add pork and soy sauce mixture to pan; cook 1 minute. Stir in coleslaw; cook 1 minute or until slightly wilted. Remove pan from heat; sprinkle with green onions.

Source: Smoky Pork Stir-Fry – MyFitnessPal

Image Credit: Smoky Pork Stir-Fry

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from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2015/12/smoky-pork-stir-fry.html

Pea Pesto Pasta

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces or 225 grams) dry 100% whole wheat pasta
  • 3 cups (400 grams) frozen peas, defrosted
  • 10-12 fresh basil leaves (save extra leaves for garnishing)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) walnuts + extra for garnish, toasted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup (75 grams) finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for pasta water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions. Save 2 cups of pasta water; some of this will be added back into the dish later. Strain and set pasta aside.

Prepare an ice bath by filling a medium bowl halfway with water and ice cubes. Set aside.

Heat a medium pot halfway filled with water until water boils. Blanch the peas for 2-3 minutes. Strain and immediately pour the peas into the ice bath (this prevents peas from overcooking and turning a yucky yellow-green).

Add 2 1/2 cups peas (reserving 1/2 cup), basil leaves, garlic, walnuts, cheese and salt into food processor. Process for 2-3 minutes, drizzling in olive oil near the end. If needed, process for an additional minute until pesto reaches a smooth consistency.

Add pasta and pesto back into pasta pot, and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the remaining 1/2 cup peas and pour 1/2 cup of pasta water (that you saved). Stir until pasta is well-coated with pesto. If the pesto is too thick for you taste continue to add more of the pasta water 1/2 cup at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.

Garnish with fresh basil and grated parmesan to serve.

NOTE: You can refrigerate leftover pasta water to revive leftover pesto pasta. Regular tap water will also work in a pinch!

Source: Pea Pesto Pasta – MyFitnessPal

Image Credit: Pea Pesto Pasta

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from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2015/12/pea-pesto-pasta.html

How to Create Your Own Muscle Building Menu

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Your diet is a very important factor in building muscle. If you spend quality time in the gym, but fail to meet your daily nutritional needs, you won’t be able to reach your body’s fullest potential. This is exactly why the diet goes hand in hand with exercise.

Some people even say everything starts in the kitchen.

So to start, here’s how to make the best muscle building menu, as discussed on Men’s Fitness:

HOW TO BUILD MUSCLE: THE BEST FOODS FOR BULKING UP WITHOUT GETTING A FAT BELLY

If you’re reading this, odds are that you’re in one of these three situations: The first: you can’t build muscle—no matter what you try. The second: you can build muscle—maybe even pretty easily—but not without adding some extra fat around the gut. Or the third: you’ve never really tried the whole lifting thing out and just want to get big (without getting fat, too.) Read more…

In particular, here are the animal products that will help you gain more muscle, as listed by Shawn Perine on Flex:

8 Mass Ingredients

For most bodybuilders, pushing through punishing workouts day in and day out is actually the easier part of their regimen. Much harder is sticking with a diet that maintains an anabolic state — that is, building muscle — for the 22 or 23 hours a day when our bodies are desperately trying to recuperate between workouts. Luckily, nutrition need not be akin to rocket science. This simple checklist runs down eight top foods for mass building. Read more…

For bodybuilder Chris Willitts, who has been following a vegetarian diet for years now, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are enough. Read more in this article on Muscle and Fitness:

BUILD MUSCLE WITH WHOLE FOOD, PLANT-BASED DIET

Vegetarian bodybuilding, could it be the next big thing in the fitness world? That it may be — there’s professional bodybuilders like Torre Washington, bikini competitors like Samantha Shorkey, and professional athletes like David Carter (defensive lineman – Oakland Raiders). They’re giving us a glimpse of what the future of fitness could be. Read more…

In conclusion, the best muscle building menu includes protein, carbohydrates and fats, and other essential nutrients. Take note that you should get these nutrients from the healthy food sources. There are packaged products like protein bars and sports drinks that you think are supplying your body with the right amount of vitamins and minerals, maybe that’s true, but they also contain unhealthy ingredients like food coloring and additives. This is why it’s important to always check the labels first.

In addition to that, we know that animal products are among the bests, but they also come with bad cholesterol, which is bad for the heart. You can avoid this unwanted effect by minimizing your consumption, while eating more plant foods such as tofu, beans, nuts, avocado, broccoli and more.

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from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2015/12/how-to-create-your-own-muscle-building.html

How Runners Build Endurance and Increase Mileage

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Running is actually one of the simplest exercises you can do if you plan to lose some weight. The problem is that it is not loved by everyone. Why? Well, one of the reasons is that people cannot stand the fatigue. They have very low endurance, which, by the way, is the number one you have to improve to be able to run miles.

Endurance is the way you tolerate things, whether it’s resisting, recovering or being able to withstand the pain. It just makes sense to hate running if you don’t have this in you, because like any other exercises, it can be tiring. To run is to actually enjoy what you’re doing, and not just for the sake of losing weight.

Marathoner and certified coach Jason Fitzgerald shares how you can build endurance and increase mileage, on Women’s Running:

How Beginner Runners Can Boost Endurance

If a new runner wants to get faster, what’s the best way to improve on their race times? Surprisingly, beginners should not focus on difficult workouts or faster paces during easy runs. These training strategies have their place, but new runners are most limited by two factors: Read more…

Beginners should always put enough effort to get better every time, such as improving your track workout. You can do this by listening to music, running with a buddy, and more. You can also start strength training. As we all know, doing the same things over and over can result in nothing. No pain, no gain.

For general tips to enhance your endurance, here’s another article from Women’s Running:

6 Ways To Build Endurance And Increase Mileage

For newer runners, the first few months are not easy. You may be following a couch to 5k training plan and are working on extending your running time from a few minutes to a few miles. But you see progress almost on a daily basis and so you keep up with it. Before you know it, you are running a 5k! Read more…

Lastly, consider adding these plant foods to your grocery list to provide you an instant boost:

6 FOODS THAT BOOST WORKOUT ENDURANCE

Heard of quercetin? No, quinoa doesn’t have a hip, small-batch cousin. Nope, it’s not some trendy protein blend gym rats are lining up for. The nutritional compound is obscure and often overlooked, but consider it worth remembering. “Quercetin is a flavonoid that can be found in many fruits and vegetables, green tea and red wine. It’s most regarded for its antioxidant properties, which help your body fight off cancer-causing free radicals,” says Julia Falamas, director of programming and operations at Epic Hybrid Training. Read more…

If you’re not such a fan of running, we highly suggest you try it. It’s one of the only things that can make you feel “high” without the use of drugs or anything illegal.

You don’t have to put too much effort at first try. To build endurance and mileage, you have to trust in gradual progress. You’re really likely to hate it if you already did your best at first. Your whole body will be sore, especially if you are not that physically fit, so there’s a great chance that you’re just going to curse it.

Start small, and remember that the development doesn’t happen overnight!

The post How Runners Build Endurance and Increase Mileage appeared first on NUTRITIONCLUB.





from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2015/12/how-runners-build-endurance-and.html

How to Start Clean Eating for a Shredded Physique

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Unhealthy ingredients are lurking in pretty much everything we eat, which is exactly the reason why almost everyone is at risk for diseases. Everyone, except for those that are following a clean diet. Clean foods have a serious mind-body benefits! Among the top foods are lemon, broccoli, potatoes, salmon, and more.

So if you want to take advantage of this fact, here are a few steps to start clean eating for a shredded physique from Melanie Fields on Skinny Mom:

8 Baby Steps to Eating Clean

Thinking about trying this whole eating clean thing, but not entirely ready to jump in with both feet? Maybe you’ve realized that making a change from your current eating habits might not be a bad idea, but where do you start? Recognizing that what you’re doing now isn’t working is a great first step! The good news is eating clean isn’t a “diet.” It’s a lifestyle and a new way of eating and it isn’t going away. Follow these baby steps to clean eating and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier you in no time! Read more…

Now that we know the basic steps, it’s time to throw away the junk in your pantry. Shop for new foods, particularly whole, raw and organic. It’s actually better to visit a farmers market for your clean eating list because they have fresher produce there, and these products could be cheaper. Plus, it’s nice to be a part of your community!

Include these foods in your checklist, as listed by Amy Wagner on Skinny Ms:

The Ultimate Clean Eating Grocery List- 50 Foods

“Wow! You look great!” “Thanks, I feel great, too!” Who doesn’t want to have that conversation? Looking fabulous and feeling healthy come from a combination of regular exercise and smart eating habits. Healthy eating starts with stocking your kitchen and pantry with the right foods. We’re sharing the ultimate clean eating grocery list, 50 of the foods that will put you on the path toward the positive change you deserve. Read more…

You may have noticed that the majority of these are plant foods. Well, what more can I say? They’re loaded with essential nutrients that will detox your body! Plus, they’re very versatile. The majority of them can be used as a home remedy for certain illnesses, not just for making delicious dishes.

Finally, here’s a final advice from bodybuilder Diego Sebastian, as written by Sam Dehority, on why you’d want to start eating clean as early as your teenage years, on Muscle and Fitness:

CLEAN EATING FOR A SHREDDED PHYSIQUE

Diego Sebastian didn’t always sport the chiseled physique you see here. The first time he stepped in a gym he was a 5’2″, 105-pound 14-year-old who wasn’t interested in lifting. “I didn’t really get into training until college,” he says. After his sophomore year, he hit 165, but he still needed to get stronger if he wanted to reach his goal of becoming a firefighter. “After four years of school, I went up to 200 pounds, and then I was a firefighter for three years,” he says. “But then I blew out my knee. So I just continued with the fitness stuff — training people and modeling.” Read more…

So basically you just need to stay away from unhealthy processed foods, and consume more of the healthier ones. Buy organic products as much as possible to make sure you’re not being exposed to harmful chemicals.

The benefits of clean eating for a shredded physique doesn’t really end there. This simple day to day habit will make you healthier than ever, boosting your immune system and emotional health. It’s a must-try if you’ve been feeling stressed, sluggish or irritated. You’ll just notice that you’ll feel better inside and out!

The post How to Start Clean Eating for a Shredded Physique appeared first on NUTRITIONCLUB.





from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2015/12/how-to-start-clean-eating-for-shredded.html

Gene Editing Tool Hailed As A Total Breakthrough

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Technology has allowed us to discover things that are decades and centuries ago were just mere fiction and products of creative imaginations. Today, technology now has provided us with the possibility of modifying the genetic make-up of future generations; make them stronger and resistant to diseases, more intelligent. Gene editing has made waves and sparked excitement among scientists and ordinary individuals alike.

Understandably, there are many of those who fear that such capability may have adverse effects not just on humans, but on our humanity as well. Scientists have hailed CRISPR-Cas9, a gene editing tool, a breakthrough. The new technology is said to help people live better lives as it allows users to eliminate defective genes and modify genetic structure.

Joe Palca praise the new technology from a medical perspective in his article for NPR.

Gene Editing Tool Hailed As A Breakthrough, And It Really Is One

“Every once in a while a technology comes along that completely alters the way scientists do their work.

It’s hard to imagine astronomy without a telescope or high energy physics without an accelerator.

From here on in, it’s going to be impossible to imagine biology without CRISPR-Cas9.” Read more…

Science has clashed with morality so many times before and the discovery and implementation of the CRISPR-Cas9 will likely extend that battle to another ground. Moralists have shunned genetic coding and mutation, saying those who alter the genetic construction are playing God.

But the impact in the field of health and medicine is very significant and can change the course of how we live. It is a delicate issue that needs to be addressed immediately and decisively.

Image Credit: Gene Editing Tool Hailed As A Breakthrough, And It Really Is One – NPR News 

The post Gene Editing Tool Hailed As A Total Breakthrough appeared first on NUTRITIONCLUB.





from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2015/12/gene-editing-tool-hailed-as-total.html

Smoker’s Cough Could Be Early Sign Of Disease

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Many smokers are aware of the ill effects smoking cause to their lives and the people around them. However, many are still addicted to this bad habit despite knowing how smoking leads to serious health issues and diseases. Chief among the diseases caused by smoking is the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

A number of smokers are not aware that they already have COPD. What makes the matter worst is that most smokers dismiss Smoker’s cough as just an ordinary cough and not a symptom of a far more serious health issue. According to BBC News, over 1 million Brits have it yet are not doing anything to address or treat this disease.

Smoker’s cough ‘could be sign of serious disease’

In a new campaign, Public Health England says too many smokers remain unaware of the risks of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD, which narrows the airways, can leave people struggling to do simple tasks such as climbing stairs. Read more…

The impact of smoking doesn’t just affect smokers. It has been proven that non-smoking people who inhale secondhand smoke are also vulnerable to diseases associated with the habit.

There is no cure for COPD. It is a progressive disease that will ultimately lead to more health issues. That said, quitting the habit is one of way of slowing down the disease’s progression. Perhaps now is the time to kick the habit out of the way and start living a better life.

Image Credit: Smoker’s cough ‘could be sign of serious disease’ – BBC News 

The post Smoker’s Cough Could Be Early Sign Of Disease appeared first on NUTRITIONCLUB.





from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2015/12/smokers-cough-could-be-early-sign-of.html

How Posture Affects Standing and More

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Most people spend most of their days sitting in their office chairs, standing up for a few minutes to take the casual breaks and a few trips to the loo. However, no matter how harmless it may seem, the way we sit for prolonged periods of time can affect us in more ways than one, physically, mentally, and psychologically. It’s not just posture that is affected by long hours of sitting, although it is one that is most visible than most.

Living a very sedentary lifestyle comes embedded with invisible dangers that will impact the way you live and possibly shorten your life. Sitting is a natural thing we do every day, but doing that for hours can be quite damaging. The important thing to remember is that if sitting is already a huge part of your life, especially if you are working in front of a computer for hours, then you need to offset all that by becoming physically active.

In a report by NY Times’ Jane E. Brody, poor posture leads not just to back pain and health issues, but exposes people to street crimes and projects a bad impression especially when you are applying for a job.

Posture Affects Standing, and Not Just the Physical Kind

A distraught wife begged me to write about the importance of good posture. “My husband sits for many hours a day slouched over his computer,” she said. “I’ve told him repeatedly this is bad for his body — he should sit up straight — but he pays no attention to me. He reads you every week. Maybe he’ll listen to you”. Read more…

Many scientific studies have been done to research how posture affects a person’s total health. While their methodologies and approaches may have been different, the conclusion is almost unanimous – too much sitting drains many years from a person’s life. The more hours you spend on a chair, the shorter your life span will be.

Now, improving your posture should not just be your sole priority. You need to get out of that chair and engage in activities that activates your muscles, your other systems, your whole body. Whether you are participating in high intensity exercises or just giving yourself a break from sitting, the important thing is that you are on your feet and doing something else.

Image Credit: Posture Affects Standing, and Not Just the Physical Kind – The New York Times 

The post How Posture Affects Standing and More appeared first on NUTRITIONCLUB.





from The Nutrition Club http://thenutritionclub.blogspot.com/2015/12/how-posture-affects-standing-and-more.html

How Effective Is Your Internship Curriculum?

Take the time to develop your internship curriculum and watch every aspect of your facility develop and grow.

Interns are not just extra workers who clean the facility and do the things you don’t want to do. One day, they could be your employees. You must create an educational experience they will value and grow from. Remember, this is an opportunity for you to grow as a business owner, trainer, and mentor.

 

coach teaching interns at CF box

read more

How Effective Is Your Internship Curriculum?

Take the time to develop your internship curriculum and watch every aspect of your facility develop and grow.

Interns are not just extra workers who clean the facility and do the things you don’t want to do. One day, they could be your employees. You must create an educational experience they will value and grow from. Remember, this is an opportunity for you to grow as a business owner, trainer, and mentor.

 

coach teaching interns at CF box

read more

Monday, December 28, 2015

5 Biggest Training Mistakes Women Make

 

For over a decade I’ve interacted with thousands of women – at the gym I co-founded, through the internet, and through our online coaching program – and you know what I’ve found?

 

Most women who are looking for training advice want five things. They want to:

  • look good
  • feel good
  • be healthy
  • be strong
  • feel at peace with their bodies and themselves

 

…all without spending their life in the gym. So, why is this so hard to accomplish? Why can’t they get the results they want when they are willing to work so hard?

 

Enough is enough!

Enough is enough!

 

 

To say women are making mistakes may sound a little negative. What I mean is these are mistakes they don’t even realize they’re making. They’re usually simply following the popular advice delivered by the loudest voices. Unfortunately, the loudest voices are usually the voices of under-qualified “celebrity” trainers and the multi-billion dollar weight-loss industry.

 

The weight-loss industry in particular employs ruthless and unethical tactics that prey on the insecurities of women. They try to convince us we aren’t good enough and promise unrealistic results that can be achieved “effortlessly” via the latest pill, powder, gadget, or fitness trend… but I digress.  That’s an article for another day.

 

The majority of fitness information geared towards women not only insults our intelligence and attacks our self-esteem, more often than not the underlying goal is to sell us something. There is no shortage of confusing and conflicting information out there, and that leads to making mistakes while earnestly believing we’re doing things that will work.

 

 

These are the top 5 mistakes women make when it comes to looking and feeling good, being healthy and strong, and feeling at peace with their bodies.

 

Mistake #1: Choosing the wrong training modality for her specific goals.

 

When a woman decides she wants to “get in shape,” she often gravitates towards cardio-heavy activities like running, spinning, or kickboxing, and shies away from pure strength training. While there is nothing wrong with doing cardio, (especially if you enjoy it), there are numerous benefits to strength training for women.

 

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As you’ve probably read before, strength training can help you improve your posture and increase your bone density. It will also help you add muscle mass, which is metabolically expensive (read: burns more calories) especially when recovering from exercise, making it easier for you to lose body fat. Not to mention, getting stronger is one of the most effective self-confidence boosters around!

 

Yes, there has been a huge shift over the last five or six years with more women choosing the weight room than ever, but as long as there are still “fitness experts” spewing BS about women “never lifting more than three pounds” there is a lot of work left to do.

 

Of course, we would never tell anyone to refrain from doing an activity they enjoy, however, if looking and feeling fit, healthy, and strong is on your list of goals, strength training is a must!

 

Mistake #2: Not following a well-designed program.

 

As I mentioned above, strength training is critical for women. But you know what?  Simply picking up some weights and doing a few random exercises is not enough. A proper training program is a balanced program.

 

I say it all the time: you can’t just run, you can’t just stretch, you can’t just lift. In order to make meaningful progress, you must ensure that you’re doing a few key things. You need a well-rounded training program, one that consists of:

 

Breathing Work

I like to incorporate breathing with a full exhale at the beginning of the workout to help my clients get prepared for their workout.  This full exhale is exactly what it sounds like, an exhale where all of the air is blown out and the ribcage comes down towards the pelvis. I also like to include deep, slow nasal breathing at the end of the workout as a way to calm down and switch to a more parasympathetic rest-and-digest state and help jump-start recovery.

 

Soft Tissue Work

I usually use a foam roller for soft tissue work, but you can use a lacrosse ball, tennis ball, stick, PVC pipe, tiger tail, Theracane, or whatever you’d like. Spending a few minutes before each training session doing soft tissue work can increase blood flow to the area, send a signal to the brain to relax that muscle a bit, and give you a few minutes to mentally prepare and get into “training mode.”

 

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Dynamic Warm-Up

This is generally a series of 6-12 exercises designed to prepare you for your workout. For most people, it includes some basic hip and thoracic mobility drills, some glute activation drills, and some core stability exercises. These exercise can go a long way in improving your overall movement quality.

 

Strength Training

Your training routine will vary based on your training age (how long you’ve been working out) and ability level, but it will include variations of the following movement patterns: squat, hinge, push, and pull, along with resisting rotation, extension, and lateral flexion with your core. It will also include single-leg and split-stance work.

 

Cardio

The amount and type of cardio you need to do depends on your goals, ability level, the amount of time you have available to train, and what you enjoy. I like using a mix of both high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and moderate intensity cardio (MIC).

 

While many fitness professional demonize moderate intensity cardio, including a couple of sessions a week to build and maintain a solid aerobic base, can help you recover quicker between exercises within a workout, and between workouts so you can approach each session fresh and ready to train. That being said, if you have limited time to train, it’s ok to limit these sessions to an hour a week or less.

 

If your program is missing any one of these critical components, you’re missing out on maximum results as well.

 

Mistake #3: Not lifting heavy enough.

 

Back in 2002 or 2003 – before I knew anything about strength training – I’d go to the gym and spend 60 minutes on the treadmill, and then walk over to the free weights and grab 5 or 1-pound dumbbells and go to town.

 

I would do a little of this (lateral raises) and then a little of that (biceps curls), and then I’d try to slyly copy what someone was doing that looked really cool. Arnold Presses! Yes! I needed Arnold Presses in my life!

 

It’s safe to say that I got just about nowhere. My body didn’t change, and I didn’t notice any increases in my strength, at all.

 

But…but…but…I was lifting weights! And I was consistent! Why didn’t I see results?

 

Because I wasn’t lifting heavy enough, plain and simple.

 

Keep in mind that “heavy enough” is relative. If you are new to strength training, using your own body weight is usually plenty “heavy” in the beginning, and as you get stronger you can start adding external load to your training program.  For example, you may start with Bodyweight Squats and over time progress to Goblet Squats, and then Barbell Front Squats and Barbell Back Squats.

 

Molly - Back Squat - IP HB

 

You simply need to make sure that you’re always challenging yourself so that your body has to constantly adapt to keep up with the increasing demands you’re placing on it. This is how you make progress in strength, performance, and body composition. There are many ways to progress exercises beyond just adding weight.

 

Mistake #4: Not resting long enough in between exercises.

 

Almost every time a new client receives her first training program from me, I get the same question:

 

Client: “What do I do during my rest periods?”

Me: “You rest.”

 

While there is undoubtedly a time and place in which it’s best to perform consecutive strength training movements, back-to-back with minimal rest in between sets, that time is generally not during your pure strength program – at least not with the bigger movements, anyway. As we say around here, more isn’t better. Better is better.

 

Taking time to rest appropriately between exercises allows your muscles to recover almost fully, so that you can perform quality reps of each exercise with the heaviest load your body can handle for the given set and rep recommendation.

 

For bigger compound movements that are placed at the beginning of your workout, take a longer rest (generally 2-3 minutes, sometimes 4-5 if you’re going super heavy and want full recovery).

 

In contrast, you can typically get away with 30-90 seconds between sets of accessory movements, especially if they are paired with other exercises.

 

Mistake #5. Not doing a thorough warm-up.

 

This is one of the biggest mistakes many women and men, make in the gym. Most people walk in, go right to the machine or free weights that they plan on using, pick their working weight, and get after it. If they’re really “in-the-know,” they might walk on the treadmill for five minutes to warm-up. Yikes!

 

I already gave you a little information of what a good dynamic warm-up consists of, but let me give you some of the benefits. Not only does it increase blood flow to muscles, increase your core temperature and get your body prepared for your workout, it’s also fantastic for improving body awareness and increasing your mind-muscle connection. This can help re-teach your body how to perform certain movement patterns using the correct muscle groups and allow for more effective and safe workouts.

 

There you have ‘em – the five biggest training mistakes you might be making, and how you can fix them.

 

 

A Simple Cue to Immediately Improve Your Deadlift

A faster and more biomechanically efficient pull awaits.

What does your deadlift look like when it gets heavy? More than likely, your hips shoot up, your chest collapses forward, and you lose the maximal force you are trying to apply. 

 

When the hips rise too fast, you lose the opportunity to move big weights. Regardless of your preference on starting hip height, a straight leg reduces the involvement of your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and adductors. The more you are able to use these significant muscle groups, the more chance you have of producing a higher strength output.

read more

A Simple Cue to Immediately Improve Your Deadlift

A faster and more biomechanically efficient pull awaits.

What does your deadlift look like when it gets heavy? More than likely, your hips shoot up, your chest collapses forward, and you lose the maximal force you are trying to apply. 

 

When the hips rise too fast, you lose the opportunity to move big weights. Regardless of your preference on starting hip height, a straight leg reduces the involvement of your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and adductors. The more you are able to use these significant muscle groups, the more chance you have of producing a higher strength output.

read more

A Gym Culture Shift: Stop Shaming and Start Welcoming

The gym doesn't have to be intimidating. We have to do everything in our power to give those around us the opportunity to succeed.

With the new year approaching, the inevitable crowds will begin to show up at gyms. No elliptical or ab machine is safe. In March, things will be back to normal. Why does this happen?

 

I believe the main reason people fail is because they do not feel welcome. Whether it is a gym or a diet group, they don’t fit in, and the gym never becomes a habit.

 

read more

A Gym Culture Shift: Stop Shaming and Start Welcoming

The gym doesn't have to be intimidating. We have to do everything in our power to give those around us the opportunity to succeed.

With the new year approaching, the inevitable crowds will begin to show up at gyms. No elliptical or ab machine is safe. In March, things will be back to normal. Why does this happen?

 

I believe the main reason people fail is because they do not feel welcome. Whether it is a gym or a diet group, they don’t fit in, and the gym never becomes a habit.

 

read more

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Bust a move

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Hey everyone,

I’m pulling myself out of the post-holiday haze to let you know that we’re moving OSG to a bigger, badder server tomorrow (December 28th). By "we", I mean my favourite husband ever. This site has been on the same dedicated server for the past 4 years, but it’s time to upgrade for some exciting ventures in 2016.

We’re doing the move now because the last week of the year is always the slowest traffic wise. The site could be spotty for a day or two. If you’re planning on making any blog recipes this week, I recommend printing them now in case the site is down when you need them. That would be sad. PEEPS GOTTA EAT.

If you don’t hear from me again you can assume that the new server swallowed me whole. I’m hoping to be back with a post to close out 2015 though…big guy willing!

Cheers to the good kind of downtime this last week of the year. Enjoy,

Angela

5 of the Very Best: This Month's Top Articles, December

These pieces have caught your attention throughout the month of December. So here they are in one place for you to consume, digest, and enjoy.

Welcome to a special monthly edition of our roundup, Five of the Very Best! Today, we're posting up Breaking Muscle's top five articles of the month. These pieces have caught your attention throughout December. So here they are in one place for you to consume, digest, and enjoy.

 

Ben Smith Snatch Catch

read more

5 of the Very Best: This Month's Top Articles, December

These pieces have caught your attention throughout the month of December. So here they are in one place for you to consume, digest, and enjoy.

Welcome to a special monthly edition of our roundup, Five of the Very Best! Today, we're posting up Breaking Muscle's top five articles of the month. These pieces have caught your attention throughout December. So here they are in one place for you to consume, digest, and enjoy.

 

Ben Smith Snatch Catch

read more

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Are You Out-Training Your Healthy Diet?

 

“You can’t out-train a bad diet!”

 

You’re probably heard someone say this before. What they’re getting at is that exercise isn’t going to help you with your physique goals if your diet is a mess, which, for the most part, is true.

 

What people often don’t talk about, however, is the fact that you can out-train a good diet.

 

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Exercise is a wonderful thing in the right dose, but we have to be careful, because when we overdo it, it can actually work against us if the goal is fat loss.

 

I hear many women say that they are hungry all of the time, and they can’t seem to control their appetite. Unsurprisingly, it’s usually these same women who are exercising like maniacs for hours at a time, five or more days per week. Think there might be some correlation there? You betcha.

 

 

I know firsthand how this feels, because it happened to me. When I was living in Las Vegas, I was teaching tons of group fitness classes, to the tune of about 13 per week. Body Pump, Spin, kickboxing, yoga, boot camp… you name it, I’ve taught it (well, except Zumba—these hips don’t lie).

 

There were days that I was teaching 2-3 classes, and then doing my own workouts on top of that. I was lifting, running, and taking a 90-minute high-intensity kickboxing class at night. On many days, I was doing upwards of four to five hours of cardio per day.

 

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I remember being puzzled as to why I wasn’t getting any leaner — But according to my heart rate monitor, Im burning about 2,000 calories a day in exercise alone!

 

There are two likely explanations for my lack of fat loss.

 

Adaptation

 

The human body is an amazing, resilient thing. Not only will it handle the uncomfortable things that we throw at it, but it’s quick to adapt to them.

 

When it comes to exercise, there definitely seems to be a point of diminishing returns. We do the Spin class or run a five-miler several times a week, and pretty soon, that becomes our new “normal.” The body begins to expect that energy output, simply to maintain.

 

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This means that you have to do more and more cardio in order to get anywhere, and I feel pretty confident saying that we all have things we’d rather be doing than plodding along on the treadmill for 12 hours a week.

 

The Bottomless Pit

 

When we get overly aggressive with exercise, it can crank up our appetite to the point that our food intake overpowers our training. This is exactly what happened to me and all of my other cardio bunny friends when we were partaking in all of that workout madness.

 

We would get home from the gym every night absolutely ravenous, and we would hammer down tons of food. It wasn’t uncommon for me to eat chicken, sweet potato, a greek yogurt, some fruit, a few slices of bread, a granola bar, and some cookies.

 

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I became an exercise-induced bottomless pit. The gorging didn’t do anything for my physique, and it certainly didn’t help nurture a healthy relationship with food, because the only thing I wanted was more, more, more.

 

I see a lot of people participating in training modalities that don’t support their food goals. They feel famished and end up eating a lot more after their workout than they actually need in order to sufficiently replenish and recover.

 

You can out-train your nutrition plan.

 

Cardio is a tricky fat loss tool. Too little may not help, but too much could make you extremely fuel-efficient. This sounds really cool, until you realize that fat is fuel, and you’ve essentially turned your body into a hybrid Smart car, and you can do a whole lot without using much fuel at all. Wah-wahhhhh.

 

Strength Training: Too Much of a Good Thing

 

Cardio queens aren’t the only ones overdoing it in the gym. Some women are taking strength training way too far by going to the gym to lift for hours, then doing some type of lifting class, and topping it off with met-con or some type of HIIT.

 

Meanwhile, three hours of activity later, they are gnawing on their seat belts as they race home to raid the fridge and pantry. Just because it’s in the “post-workout window” doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all, and I see women making this mistake time and time again.

 

Yes, strength training is great, but overdoing it (or overdoing any activity) could be causing you to over-eat (and hindering fat loss goals).

 

I’m not a fan of training sessions that last longer than two hours for women who are trying to get leaner. I’m willing to guarantee that hunger alone will end up derailing them. And if a voracious appetite doesn’t do them in, then the mindset will as they convince themselves that they “earned the right” to consume an insane amount of food — far more than what would help them reach their goals.

 

This is another reason why we are fervent proponents of the Minimum Effective Dose at Girls Gone Strong.

 

We do want you to train hard and reach your goals, whatever they may be, but we want you to do just enough to get the job done really well, and as efficiently as possible.

 

What kind of training is best to keep appetite in check?

 

In my experience, the three types of training that most commonly result in overwhelming hunger and cravings are:

 

  • high-intensity steady state cardio, such as running, Spin, etc.
  • training in a fasted state
  • high-intensity metabolic style strength training

 

I want to be clear: there isn’t anything wrong with the training modalities that I just mentioned. They work really well for some people and some goals, but really poorly for others when it comes to helping control appetite and cravings.

 

When figuring out which type of training will best help you reach your goals and keep your appetite in check, here are a couple of things to ask yourself:

 

1. Which types of exercise substantially increases my hunger and cravings?

 

Personally, I notice a huge uptick in my hunger and cravings when I participate in high-intensity steady state cardio. I have learned that I am far better off lifting heavy, doing short-duration high-intensity intervals, sprints instead of distance running, and a whole lot of walking.

 

2. How can I change the intensity, volume, or duration of my training to set myself up for success with my nutrition goals?

 

Think of diet and training like a teeter-totter, with one on each end. In order to get leaner, you have to find the right dose between the two so that they can work together. Too much or too little food — no matter the quality of the food sources — can bring fat loss to a halt, just like too much or too little activity will.

 

Stick to 45 – 90 minute training sessions. Get in, get out, and get on with it.

 

So again, while training hard and with purpose is definitely something we encourage, it’s incredibly important to have a balanced approach so that your training and your nutrition work together for you.