I can list over 100 tips to improve your fitness, but the reality is you’d probably only incorporate about 5 into your life, so let’s start with that. Short and sweet, here are top 5 rarely talked about fitness tips:
1.) Injury Prevention:
Now most people know to push hard during your workout, but lets not forget…exercise puts the body in a great amount of stress. The body naturally does not “like” to change its normal relaxed state, it likes to stay leveled, but we all know that exercise is key to a better life. That stress dealt by the body must be addressed with the proper amount of recovery. Learn to incorporate recovery methods into your workout regimen…5-10 min a day will do wonders in preventing injuries that could set you back for months. Ice, heat, massage (even if its self massage) foam rolling and stretching are all excellent methods to prevent injury. Treat recovery time/injury prevention just like another method of physical activity…plug it into your schedule and do it!
2.) Plan out meals:
As I always tell my clients: “If you don’t plan out your meals the night before, you’ve already failed on your healthy diet the next day” It only takes 5 minutes, so take the time to plan out your meals…you can do it on a daily basis (plan the night before) or weekly basis (plan on Sundays) And make sure you eat every 3 hours. If you’re too full to eat after 3 hours of previous meal, then that means you ate too much and you must modify your eating quantity. Notice I have not placed a restriction on WHAT to eat…that can be mastered down the road, for now focus on the planning and the timing of each meal. If you can stay disciplined about that, you’ll soon see that weight drop.
3.) Feed the Motivation Tank:
It all starts with the right mindset. The toughest competitor is your mind. Synchronize it with the capability of your body and you can't lose anymore. Keep positive people around you, overload on motivational blogs, facebook pages (ie: Kendrick Fitness =) fitness magazines and count your blessings everyday! All that will help keep a healthy and motivated mindset which can only help you with your fitness goals.
4.) Mini Goals:
So you want to lose 30 lbs? Tone up after that baby? Lose the beer gut? Ok, that’s all good and gravy, but make sure to put down on paper what your goals are and be specific. Futhermore, put a time frame on your goals and make sure to plan out “mini goals” Those are goals that can be achieved on a daily basis. Examples are “I will walk at least 1 mile everyday” or “I will perform 50 reps of different abdominal exercises everyday” Crossing off small goals will only help feed the motivational tank and keep you on track during your quest towards TOP fitness!
5.) Create Accountability:
From an early age, most of us have an intrinsic form of motivation that drives us to perform in order to please family and friends. Its always a good feeling when you make mama proud right? We may grow up, and whether you know or not that intrinsic motivation remains…and that’s due to the accountability of parents/guardian/close friends while growing up. Now some of you may be saying “I workout for myself and just myself” Yes, that can be one of the factors, but chances are, there is a lot more motivational factors involved. CREATE and MAINTAIN a circle of accountability between your family and friends and your discipline will be a lot easier to sustain. Let them know what your fitness goals are and get them involved whenever you can. Two Healthy, Fit bodies is better than one!
GO GET IT!
Keep your chin up, a positive fighting spirit and anything you want is YOURS!
Committed to Your Health,
CSCS, ACE, ACT
National Running Coach
This post will be a life changer for you if you're the type of person that does not include as much green/veggies into your diet...
Ask yourself the following: Do you get sick often, feel depressed, do you often feel sluggish during the day, are you moody for no apparent reason?
If you answered yes to the above questions then you are likely suffering from nutritional deficiencies.
Sounds like an infomercial for some phony power drug...but its not.
It's hard to know exactly what to eat for optimal health, especially since everyone has a different opinion and many people out there, especially within the internet are looking for a quick buck giving you the least researched, crazy opinion about the latest diet that “works”.
Even when you make every effort to eat healthy, your diet almost always lacks important nutrients.
Victoria Boutenko, the author of “Green for Life” set out in search of the perfect human diet. She immersed herself in nutrition research and discovered a very mesmerizing observation.
You might of heard of this before, but the Chimpanzees are the closest related to human than any other animal. Research shows that 99.4% of our DNA sequence matches that of a Chimpanzee.
Why is this significant? Chimpanzees are in far better physical shape than humans, and possess strong natural immunity to cancer and other fatal -- and quite common -- human illnesses.
Victoria's research all pointed to the chimpanzee diet as the reason for their superior health. She notice that chimps and humans have vastly different eating habits.
It's All About The Greens: While humans enjoy pizza and hamburgers, chimps eat a diet extremely high in dark leafy greens -- an item that hardly exists in the human world, although everybody knows how important it is to include in the diet.
Victoria then turned her focus on dark leafy greens. What she discovered was a super food, packed with extremely high levels of nutrients. Here are 5 amazing facts about greens:
1. Some people may not know this, but greens are packed with amino acids...AKA protein.
Ofcourse, you are not going to get the same amount of protein as you would with a steak or chicken meal, but protein molecules are made of a chain of amino acids. When you consume protein from chicken, you're getting chains of amino acids that have already been assembled into a complex protein.
When you eat dark leafy greens you are getting a surplus of individual amino acids. Your body then takes these amino acids and assembles it into complex protein chains. Its actually a little more work for the body (calories burning) but eventually the amino acids do turn into proteins.
2. Greens help promote bodily homeostasis...necessary for optimal health.
Homeostasis is the physiological process that regulates all substances in your body at ideal levels for optimal health. It is a very complex process, one that your body is constantly working towards.
In order for your body to achieve homeostasis it needs an abundance of vitamins, amino acids, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids and minerals. Greens are a super provider of all of the above.
3. Greens give you LOTS of insoluble fiber.
You probably already know fiber is important, but did you realize that fiber is needed to rid your body of toxins? Insoluble fiber is extra special, since it is built like tiny sponges that each absorbs several times more toxins than its own volume. Check out just a few of the many benefits of fiber:
• Fiber prevents and reduces the risk of cancer
• Fiber lessens risk of diabetes and improves existing diabetes
• Fiber helps shed unwanted pounds and keeps you satiated for a longer period of time.
• Fiber reduces cholesterol
4. Greens are alkaline...which promotes healthy cells.
In 1931 Dr. Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for discovering the cause of cancer: weakened cell respiration due to lack of oxygen on the cellular level -- this causes fermentation, which results in acidity, or low pH.
There is a close connection between the foods you eat and your pH balance. For example, Parmesan cheese is highly acid forming, -34; while spinach is an amazingly alkalizing food, +14.
When you get plenty of greens on a daily basis, you're able to better maintain a good alkaline pH balance.
Another trick is adding lemon to your food and even your water, yup you might of heard of this before via one of my K-Tips. Here is the reason, lemon is naturally acidic, but it becomes alkaline once digested and helps fight off acid around fat cells...ultimately shrinking them which simply translates to weight loss for you.
5. Liquid sun energy: Greens are made of chlorophyll....
As amazing as it may seem, the molecule of chlorophyll is strikingly similar to the molecule of human blood. Chlorophyll heals and cleanses your organs while destroying damaging substances.
Here are just a few of the benefits of chlorophyll:
• Chlorophyll builds a high blood count
• Chlorophyll helps prevent cancer
• Chlorophyll improves varicose veins
• Chlorophyll improves vision
• Chlorophyll counteracts toxins
• Chlorophyll also promotes an alkaline body
Smoothie Power: While the evidence for eating lots of greens continues to mount, who really wants to chomp through a pile of spinach everyday? The solution is as convenient as it is efficient: the green smoothie.
Victoria discovered that when she blended greens with fruit and water, the result was an easily absorbed, delicious smoothie. The key to reaping all the benefits from your green smoothies is to use a wide variety of greens and to drink it every day. Most enjoy it as a quick, nutrient-packed breakfast.
Victoria did a study where people drank green smoothies everyday for a month. Most participants reported a noticeable increase in their energy levels after just the first week. It may just be what you're missing in your everyday life!
So, if this was not motivational for you to include spinach and broccoli (and other dark greens) on your next meal, try a green smoothie. My favorite: Nonfat milk, banana, handful of spinach, 2 tbsp of oats, whey protein, ice and blend= YUMMY!
Now get out there and live a healthier LIFE!
Got a chance to catch up with Professional Triathlete Sean Jefferson at the Treasure Island Triathlon in San Francisco a couple weeks ago. Sean Jefferson comes from a running background running a 3:56 mile and collecting six NCAA All-American status while in College. He started racing triathlon in 2009 and earlier this year he was awarded rookie of the year for the 2010 season by USAT. Check out the interview as Sean shares some of his secrets to battling injuries and succeeding as an endurance athlete. Whats a typical training day for you?[Sean] As a professional triathlete I typically train in all three disciplines. I usually will do 1 or two of the disciplines with intensity and the third will be recovery. For example on Tuesday’s I will do a hard run workout on the track first thing in the morning followed by and easy 60-90min on the bike and then do a quality swim workout in the afternoon. I usually try to nap or rest 2-3 hours between workouts, especially anything with quality. How important are rest days ? [Sean] Rest days are very important to prevent overtraining. Taking rest days easy help prepare you for your quality training days both mentally and physically.You are often traveling all over the world doing races, how do you prepare for other terrains (hills) altitude changes and cooler waters when training and living in sunny and warm Florida? [Sean] When traveling to a course I have never raced before I always try and find course maps so your mentally prepared and have an idea of what to expect leading into the race. If it is a course with long gradual hills I will try and find a similar hill and add hill reps to my weekly training.
How do you pick yourself up from a bad race or bad week of training?
[Sean] There is always something to learn from a bad performance. My best advice is to figure out what may have caused the poor performance and how not to let it happen again.
What would be your word of advice to runners or triathletes out there who constantly battle with injuries?
[Sean] There is usually a reason why runners get injured. When I was struggling with a lot of running related injuries I realized that the coach I was training with was giving my too many intense workouts which resulted in stress fractures, I ended up switching coaches and the stress fractures went away. Everyone is different and responds to different types of stimulus so its important to find a coach who works for you.
With your elite running background, do you take over the run part in every triathlon? [Sean] Most of the time I do but it depends on the type of race I am in. In non-draft races I typically have the fastest running splits, but in draft legal racing I am usually in smaller packs of cyclists and I tend to expend a lot more effort, which negatively impacts my running performance.
What would be your word of advice for anyone making the transition from running into the sport of triathlon?
[Sean] Train with a group, whether it’s a master swim team, group rides or running groups. It’s the easiest way to learn a new sport and have fun doing it.
Do you have a facebook fan page where people can follow you?
[Sean] Yes, its "Jefferson Racing" and twitter is @semjeffe. Also www.jeffersonracing.com
Have you ever been one of those ruts where you just can't seem to lose weight? You are sacrificing those yummy cinnamon rolls in order to maintain a healthy diet, you exercise 5 times a week blending in strength exercises with plenty of cardio...but you seem to have just hit a plateau and can't lose weight. The answer may be right under you nose....actually a little further down...right on the top of the kidneys where your adrenal cortex is found.
Adrenal cortex is responsible for the production of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is responsible for regulating blood sugar, inflammation, energy production and the regulation of the immune system. Too little cortisol can lead to problems such as fatigue, exhaustion, and disease of the endocrine system called Addison's disease. The problem in our society lies in conditions that arise from having TOO MUCH cortisol. Problems such as:
· Weight gain, especially around the abdomen area
· Depressed immune system
· Stomach ulcers
· Accelerated aging
Here is a fun fact for you....diets have a failure rate of about 93-97%. There are several reasons for this, a major one being that we live in a society where time is limited and bad foods are readily available, so we tend to connect the two...quite often actually...leading to a bad habit in diet. Another major factor which you may not know is cortisol....a hormone that is often released in our body in response to stress.....yup, stress...something we experience way too much of. A drastic change in eating habits causes anxiety and stress which releases cortisol. Its important to know that the release of cortisol is essential to our survival, in fact it's a defensive mechanism our body has. Our brain is hard wired with automatic responses to protect the body from harm and stress.
Stress=release of cortisol=too much cortisol= fat storage.
Stress can be physical (fatigue), environmental (pollution, drugs), chemical (nutritional deficiency, refined sugar comsuption) or physiological (fear, worry). An interesting form of physical stress is the "Fight or Flight" response. Imagine your child getting caught in the bottom of the car during an accident. The stress caused on your body is enough for you to have an immediate nervous breakdown, but because of the release of hormones, your body is able to capture an amazing amount of strength to be able to move that car and save your child.
During the stress period, the body's self healing mechanisms are held off (healing diverts energy and raw materials away from immediate survival) the immune system is suppressed, glycogen stores in the liver and muscle tissue are mobilized to raise the blood sugar level and digestion. The stomach lining becomes thin and ulcerated and the thymus gland and lymphatic tissue shrinks....Basically what this all means is that all of your body's energy is put forth to address the stress at hand.
This "Fight or flight" worked well for our ancestors while chasing for their dinner, or running away from becoming dinner. Unfortunately, it does not work so well in today 's world of battling traffic, competing for parking spaces, meeting deadlines, watching depressing news. All those things produce the same physiological responses as running for your life. So if the stress does not go away, neither will cortisol.
If you don't learn to eliminate stress from your life, it will slowly eliminate you! Take a look at the 4 stages that your body goes through while dealing with stress:
(1) REACTION...your body experiences the symptoms from the trauma, infection, cold, heat, chemical irritation, etc. The adrenal glands responds with the release of cortisol and other hormones to neutralize the caused trauma. The heart rate along with your blood pressure goes up, and pupils dilate.
(2) ADAPTATION... after the adrenal glands have enlarged and released large quantities of adrenal cortical hormones (ie cortisol), the symptoms disappear and the individual feels good, is able to regain energy, and is able to function in the presence of the stresses he/she is under. This is one of the most overlooked steps which most people don't take care of.... which leads to the next state...... exhaustion.
(3) EXHAUSTION.... after an extended period in stage two, your body's reserves of nutritional elements is depleted. The symptoms return and there is now no relief. You may collapse physically, suffer a nervous breakdown, or experience an organ failure (heart attack or stroke.)
(4) DEATH. When the accumulated stress is bigger that the amount of hormones that the body is able to release, the body is no longer able to adapt, rest, or rejuvenate. The consequence is death.
OK--- HOW DO WE CONTROL CORTISOL?
(1) REST---The obvious one, but the very important one. Find the time to take relax, go for a walk outdoors, perform some breathing exercises (see last post) and get a good nights sleep.
(2) EAT---Maintain a low glycemic diet. Sugar handling stress increases cortisol levels. Elevated cortisol, in turn, aggravates the sugar handling situation contributing to the development of high insulin levels and ultimately diabetes.
(3) EXERCISE releases hormones, but within those hormones are happy hormones (endorphins) which neutralizes the cortisol. Exercise also teaches the body how to control hormones naturally. You can literally exercise your stress away.
(4) RELAX....just like number 1, but worth repeating.
(5) SUPPLEMENT YOUR BODY:
Some supplements to control cortisol levels are:
- A multi Mineral Supplement once daily.
- Mag-C. This is a source of buffered vitamin C and a source of absorbable magnesium.
- Advanced Essential Minerals. Mineral absorption and assimilation can be impaired by stressed adrenal glands. Minerals are essential for energy metabolism.
- B5 vitamin
- B6 vitamin
- B12 vitamin
Herbs such as Adaptogens assists the body in coping with stress by restoring hypothalamic cortisol receptor sensitivity. They are a natural combination of Siberian ginseng, Manchurian Thorn Tree extract, Hawthorn extract, Echinopanax elatum and Schisandra.
In summary....it all comes down to lifestyle in order to control that cortisol and get out of that rut. Don't depend on set workouts, always add a variety of different exercises to every workout. Don't settle for diets, just remember moderation. Don't forget to stop and smell the roses...learn to relax, meditate, and breathe. You life depends on a healthy lifestyle...so going back to my motto....learn to "invigorate your health, and upgrade your lifestyle."
When it comes to training during vacation, it can be hard to force yourself to do the hard work of getting out running and working hard to stay in shape. Of course, vacation is the time to relax and take it easy, but some of us may find our running making backward progress as you relax on that beach, progress that you will have to recover in order to return to your peak condition.
As unpleasant as it may initially sound, training during vacation could be a uniquely beneficial thing for runners. Rather than spending a few weeks trying to return to the condition you were in before vacation, you will find that doing some training during vacation will actually benefit you. You will also find that with the lack of everyday stressors of life; work, chores and kids activities, you will be a lot more relaxed during your runs. Some of my best "runner's high" have been experienced while I was on vacation. Not only will it help you enjoy your vacations more, but it will help to keep you healthy as you are taking time off and eating all that junk food =) Here are some tips to help you in your training during vacation time:
- Take your gear with you. It takes only a small amount of luggage to fit your running shoes and workout clothes, and you can easily lug your gear around with you to ensure that you can do your exercise daily.
- Register for a local 5k just for fun. You can find a 5k just about every weekend around the US. Good way to start the weekend and meet some new people.
- Always try to make the time during your vacation. If you don't want to get up early to go running, at least do it first thing in the morning. Never let the breakfast buffet come between you and your running, as it will simply make you lazy and you will never get out to go running. If not first thing in the morning, never go to bed without running.
- You don't have to push yourself to your limits every day, but it is vital that you do at least light exercise. Even running a mile or two every day will help you stay in shape, and doing light training during vacation will help you maintain your physical condition even if you aren't making any progress. Don't worry about running as many miles or at the same speed that you do every day, but just doing the exercise will be enough to maintain good activation of those running muscles.
- Find a local running club. Its a fantastic way to meet locals and find out about exciting things happening around town. You can usually find one at the local running shop or go to rrca.org to find one.
- One of the best things about training during vacation is the fact that you can enjoy the sights and sounds of new places as you go on your run. You should thrill at being able to train in a new city or town, and you can take advantage of being out and about town to see the new sights of the place where you are vacationing.
For long distance runners, getting out of shape while on vacation can be a huge detriment to your running. It is vital that you take even a short amount of time to exercise, and training during vacation will help you to stay in good shape and stay healthy all while you are relaxing and enjoying yourself.
So the cold is gone and summer is here. Woohoo! No more logging in the miles on the threadmill. Well, at least for some of us...others whom are living in places like Texas or South Florida may have a little tougher battle running outside. Running and heat simply do not mix well, but educating and preparing yourself can make your summer runs a lot more pleasant!
Here are some tips for a more refreshing summer running experience:
1.) Elevated heart rate and bright yellow colored urine is a sign of dehydration. Keep that in check as you go through your day. Take a water bottle every where you take your cell.
2.) It takes about a month of consistent running in order for the body to get acclimated to the warmer temperatures so be patient and stay consistent.
3.) During your run, drink 6-8 ounces of half water/half sports drink every 20 min.
4.) Learn to drink at least 8 ounces of coconut water per day. Its an excellent source of Potassium (15x more than a banana) Magnesium and Sodium. It replenishes the electrolytes that is lost when running in the heat. Coconut water can help you avoid heat cramps during your runs.
5.) Wear light colored moisture wicking clothing.
6.) Try to get your runs early in the morning before 8AM or after 6PM so you can avoid the heat. Avoid running between 11AM - 3PM
7.) Weight yourself before and after your runs. Drink 16 ounces of fluid for every pound of weight loss....and yes during the summer time a long run of 10+ miles can easily wipe out 3-5 lbs (water weight) from your body. Be sure to replace the lost water and don't neglect it as a method of weight loss. After all, if you are trying to lose weight its all about fat loss, not water weight loss right?
8.) Wear (cool) sunglasses that blocks UVA and UVB rays. It also helps keep wrinkles away so you avoid premature botox treatments.
9.) Apply a sweat-proof sunscreen of at least 15-20SPF
10.) Slightly (key word slightly) increase sodium intake throughout day. Pretzels are a good snack for healthy summer running. You tend to lose a lot more sodium while running in the summer. Follow these 10 tips and you'll have a much better experience during training and racing. Train Smart. Race Smarter. And don't forget to enjoy!
As a Fitness Professional, I consider myself not only a teacher in the world of exercise, but also a student....and a mega geek one at that! In my free time, I'm always reading up on the latest research from both medical and fitness journals. I also spend time browsing the internet for the best methods to train all while developing my own style.
While browsing the web the other day, I stumbled upon a particularly interesting set of video series on youtube. Its called "Why are Thin People Not Fat?" The series goes through a study done on skinny individuals who had a hard time gaining and maintaining weight. Check it out for yourself and find out:
- What one food causes fat gain more so than others.
- "Survival of Fattest Gene" theory
- How some foods are converted from fat into heat for "auto" burn (hence the importance of thermogenic foods in the diet)
- And a bunch other interesting, but also perhaps controversial topics...
It is a bit long, each part is about 10 min, but they have really cool accents, so its easy to watch. Try to cover one a day. Go at it and learn:
Part 1 of 7:
Part 2 of 7:
Part 3 of 7:
Part 4 of 7:
Part 5 of 7:
Part 6 of 7:
Part 7 of 7:
Its no lie, running at high altitudes will challenge you to the max, it can make you feel like a wheezing slow snail. But it doesn't have to be that way if you follow some simple rules:
1.) PREPARE PROPERLY: You definitely don't want to just "wing it." Make sure you are very prepared to take on an altitude race. Higher altitude = less air...and according to Dr Jack Daniels, at an elevation of 6500 feet you lose 10-12% of your VO2 max. At sea level, you want to make sure you incorporate plenty of tempo runs, fartlek runs and hills runs. All of those will challenge your cardio respiratory system and prepare your body to run efficiently even at high altitudes. Don't train at just one pace. During taper week, take it really easy, nothing hard or fast.
2.) HYDRATE: Do so more than usual. At higher altitudes, the air is dryer and dehydration occurs at a much faster rate....so make sure to keep a bottle with you at all times and chug a little more than usual the week leading up to the race (yes, even while you're at sea level so your cells can adjust properly to the increase in liquids)
3.)START SLOWER: This is the hardest thing for people to accept, but its key to having a "comfortable" race. At altitudes higher than 5000 feet, your pace per mile should be 10-20 seconds slower than at sea level. Don't let your adrenalines take over, they may end up taking you right to that "wall" much earlier than expected. Start slow, pace yourself and focus on your form and your breathing.
4.) ARRIVE EARLY: How early? Well, ideally a couple weeks before the race, but most of us have lives beyond just running, so that is not very practical. To minimize discomfort during race day, try to arrive at least 2-3 days earlier and definitely try to get in a short run the day or 2 days before your race so your muscles and lungs can get a little better acclimated.
5.) SUNBLOCK: Believe it or not, a mile higher will attract stronger rays from the sun onto you, so bring some sweat proof sunscreen.
6.) STICK WITH YOUR GAME PLAN: Don't try anything new (that rules applies to any race you do) Stick with the foods you are used to eating, don't wear new shoes on race day and try to relax. Follow these rules and you'll be fine. Remember, most altitude races offers incredible views that you don't get anywhere else.
Train Smart, Race Smarter and Enjoy the Scenery!
Committed to your health,
So you got your diet in place and you've got a consistent workout routine....but you still seem to plateau in your fat loss quest. If thats the case for you, all thats needed may be one to add of these fat burning foods into your diet:
1.) Green Tea:
Green tea has a chemical called EGCG that causes the brain and nervous system to run faster and helps you burn more calories. EGCG works similar to caffeine except that caffeine causes your heart to beat faster. If you want a mega boost in your metabolism...try combining caffeine and a 90 mg dose of EGCG three times a day and you can burn an additional 80 calories a day.
Besides being a low calorie food (80 Calories whole grapefruit) and full of fiber (to keep you full) this fruit actually lowers the insulin levels in the body. This slightly decreased in insulin level prevents the body from storing sugar as fat (This is a great thing!). The importance of keeping insulin levels low also means that you are less hungry. High insulin levels in what signals the brain to eat more.
Great source of protein, but also because of the important hormone it triggers in the body, know as leptin. Studies have proven that leptin directly affects metabolism, leading to signals for the body to either store calories or burn them for fuel.
Cayennes, Habaneros, Japalenos all act as amazing thermogenic foods. Thermogenic foods literally "burn" calories by heating up the body. Studies have found that eating a single spicy meal can boost your metabolism by up to 25 %...and the "burning" can last up to 3 hours after your meal...which is perfect because by then you should be on your next meal anyways (if you follow the 3 hr rule, as you should) Try blending them into your next meal, and if you like hot sauce...feel free to use it on your food (just keep it light on the salt as most hot sauces have plenty of sodium already)
Did you know that the higher you insulin levels rise, the harder and lower they fall, leading to incredible hunger episodes which leads to overeating....and usually foods that once again spikes up the insulin levels...and so the cycle continues. By adding almonds to your diet, you'll be able to keep blood insulin levels steady (which is where you want) A recent study from the University of Toronto showed that people who ate almonds with white bread (simple carbs) didn't experience the same blood sugar surges as those who ate just the slice. It acts kind of like an insulin brake man! Good stuff--eat it up.
So incorporate these into your diet and watch that extra fat layer melt away!
Committed to your health,
Now, most of you may have heard of the 90% fail rate of diets outthere. There are many reasons and theories for that. First depriving the body of anything is not good, especially carbs (whos idea was that anyways?) Carbs turns into glycogen in the muscle and is therefore the primary source of fuel for muscle contraction…without it, you experience muscle atrophy or loss of muscle tissue. Very bad situation! Second, most diets focus on loss of water weight. I can make up a diet on the fly for you that will guarantee 10lbs weight loss in 2 weeks….but it will be water weight (which companies will never tell you)…is that cool? Ofcourse NOT! But consumers are still suckered in the whole rapid diet idea.
The truth is that although lifestyle change is good (and advisable for all), sometimes a strict diet is essential if you are looking to lose weight, but you must discipline yourself to a specific protein/fiber diet with proper timing of meals (5-6 small meals throughout the day every 3 hours)
Now for the key element in your success if you want to lose weight without hitting a plateau. BINGE!.....WHAT!? Now you probably think I’m a whack trainer whos trying to fatten you up so I can later convince you to come train with me, but no…there actually science behind my madness, and I’ll explain why:
Diets, besides depriving the body of essential nutrients and dehydrating you causes irregulation of essential hormones in the body, primarily the thyroid hormones.
Thyroid hormones helps convert food to energy and assists with protein synthesis among many other things. By inducing a starvation state through fasting, the body automatically decreases basal metabolism (Yes, your metabolism slows down) by a feedback mechanism at the cellular level on the affected organs (primarily the fat and liver cells) This causes a decrease in the hormones T3 and T4 which slows protein synthesis in the muscles causing atrophy (loss of muscle tissue) Subsequently it leaves you weak and sometimes depressed. In some cases it can lead to hypothyroidism which is when your body cannot make enough thyroid hormones. You’re basically messing with the whole system, and although most people don’t reach that state, because they do bounce back by cheating one to many times, you’re at risk every time you try the “latest” starvation diet.
So, going back to my theory… proper diets ARE ok, but so is proper binging once a week for a couple meals in order to keep hormone levels normal and it’s a fail proof method if done right. Heres how to do it:
1.) First, you MUST have a super strict eating habit throughout the week before your binge day…or else you won’t lose the weight.
2.) On binge day….your breakfast must be healthy and full of fiber (more so than other days) Also, include at least 35 grams of protein! This will speed gastric emptying later in the day.
3.) Drink some coffee or yerba mate tea. Also helps in faster gastric emptying.
4.) Engage in Brief muscular Contraction right before your binge. Squat hold for one min and plank for one min. WHY? Because it brings glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT-4) to the surface of muscle cells. GLUT- 4 is released during insulin release and also during muscle contraction. When its released during muscle contraction certain gates open up within muscle cells and glucose is taken directly into muscle cells as opposed to fat cells…This is a good thing!
5.) Only do this binging if you are looking to lose weight. Make sure you enjoy your favorite cheat foods on binge day, because the next day, you’re back on that strict diet. Once goal weight is achieved, stick to moderation cheat foods throughout the week if needed.
Ofcourse, don't forget you weekly dose of weight training and interval/cardio training for optimal results =)
PS---You’ll probably feel sick during your first couple binge days, and that’s ok...that will naturally decrease your cravings to gorge down too much junk in the future binge days.