Intermittent Fasting: A Beginner’s Guide to the Fasting Diet
Fasting is something that’s played a key role in virtually all of the world’s major religions and dates back millions of years. Today, though, while fasting is still observed for many religious purposes, it’s become a new lifestyle that helps individuals lose weight, have more energy, and fight disease.
While fasting isn’t a new concept, intermittent fasting is something that has emerged in the past few years. It has gained popularity due to the incredible benefits it offers against signs of aging and disease.
Keep reading to learn about intermittent fasting and why this may want to be a lifestyle change you make.
Understanding Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a process that involves cycling in and out of periods where you eat and don’t eat. While people do experience (often significant) weight loss with this eating schedule, it’s not as much of a diet plan as it is a lifestyle choice that provides a wide array of health benefits.
There are several methods used with intermittent fasting. These include:
The 5:2 Method
This is the method that allows you to eat normally for five days a week. The two days after are for fasting, but you still eat. The goal is to keep calorie intake on this day between 500 and 600.
The Eat-Stop-Eat Method
This method is a bit different. With this, you restrict all food for a period of 24 hours. This is repeated two to three times per week.
The 16/8 Method
Here, you consume all your daily calories within a shortened period of time. In most cases, you eat in a period of six to eight hours.
The remaining 14 to 16 hours during the day, you fast. This is the method that can be done daily, or several times a week.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
When you switch to intermittent fasting, it will expand your limits while boosting your performance in several ways. Some of the specific benefits offered by this way of eating include:
- Increase energy
- Reduce bad cholesterol
- Protect against various neurodegenerative diseases
- Boost weight loss
- Promote longevity
- Reduce insulin resistance
- Promote cellular repair
As you can see, the benefits are vast. As a result, this may be something you should consider trying.
Tips to Make the Most of Intermittent Fasting
While not eating for specific amounts of time alone offers health benefits, if you want to make the most of this lifestyle choice, there are a few other tips you need to use.
It can’t be a free-for-all when you do eat, as this is going to negate many of the benefits this way of eating offers. Some additional tips include:
- Avoid refined grains and sugars (choose low-carb snacks when possible)
- Don’t snack between meals
- Remain active
- Avoid snacking or eating in the evening and at night
By using these tips, the results of your intermittent fasting will be much more evident.
Be Healthier and Happier with Intermittent Fasting
As you can see, there are several options to consider if you are interested in intermittent fasting. As a result, you aren’t going to feel as deprived or hungry while following this way of eating.
Do you want to make a change to be healthier and happier? If so, let us help! Contact us to learn more about our nine-week challenge.
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Walking for Weight Loss: How to Get Your Steps In and Shed Pounds
Those people who obsess about getting their steps in have a good reason. Here’s how walking for weight loss works and some tips to make it work for you.
When you want to lose weight, you’ve probably researching gym memberships and crash diets. But sometimes all it takes is a few steps. Literally!
If the thought of high-impact exercise is overwhelming, walking could be the solution. Walking for weight loss is effective and low-intensity. This could be the perfect exercise regimen if you’re starting your fitness journey.Â
A brisk walk can reduce stress, burn calories and build muscle-so why shouldn’t this be a part of your fitness plan?
Walking is a great form of physical activity that’s free and easily accessible for most people.
However, there are certain factors that can improve your results. How often you walk, at what speed and where you walk all play a factor.
This article explores how you can walk your way to fitness!
How Long to Walk Each Day for Weight Loss
So how often do you need to walk to lose weight? Less than you may think. A good goal is 30 minutes per day for weight loss.
At a brisk pace, the distance you could cover in 30 minutes cover should be 1.5 – 2 miles or 3,000 to 4,500 steps.
Some days are busier than others so feel free to walk more or less on some days. By the end of the week, you should have walked for at least 150 minutes.
How Fast Should I Walk for Weight Loss
The great thing about walking for weight loss is that you don’t have to overexert yourself. Walk at a moderately brisk pace. A great investment would be a heart rate monitor. There are plenty of smartwatches that have them built in.
While walking, your heart rate should be at 60 – 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. You should be breathing heavily enough to make speaking difficult.
Keep in mind that the higher your heart rate, the more calories you burn. You’ll get more benefit by increasing the intensity for 10 minutes. But listen to your body. If you need a break, take one. Ignoring your body’s signs can cause injury later.
If you’re new to exercise, start with shorter periods and build up over time. You could also designate three days each week for your lower-intensity walks.
When it comes to health and fitness, consistency is key. Make it your goal to never go three days without taking your walk. If you find yourself unmotivated, this podcast might inspire you.
This will help improve your fitness level and your metabolism. Your body will begin to learn your new habits. Mental health is just as important as physical. If you find yourself worn out, take a day off.
How Can I Fit Walking in My Schedule?
We get it. Life is busy! Here are some tips to make walking fit in your schedule:
- Break it up into walking two or three times a day for 10 minutes at a time.
- Break it up into bigger chunks and take your walks twice or three times per week
- Make it a family activity. Take a walk after dinner and use this time to bond with your family.
- Start a fitness challenge at work to motivate co-workers. Walk as a group during lunch or other breaks. Accountability can help you reach your goals.
- Park further at the grocery store! You’d be surprised how many steps you can get in large parking lots.
- Skip the elevator. Stair climbing burns more calories than you may think.
- Take a brisk walk on your lunch break or after dinner. This will help with that post-meal slump.
- Make casual meetings walking meetings instead of meeting in a conference room. Having a change of scenery might even help with creative thinking.Â
Make a plan and write it down! If you fall off for a day or so, don’t stress out. You can always pick back up where you left off tomorrow!
How Walking Burns Calories
If you’re trying to lose weight, there’s a simple formula that you need to know. Weight Loss = Calories Burned > Calories Consumed. You need to burn more than you eat.
Walking is one of the activities you can do to increase the number of calories that you burn.
Think of calories as energy for your body. You need calories for daily activities like moving, breathing, and sleeping. However, some people eat more calories than their body needs.
People who are physically active will burn more calories and lose weight. But, everyone doesn’t have the time to lift weights at the gym or cross train. Simply finding a little time to walk each day can help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Let’s break it down. Walking for 30 minutes equals 1.5- 2.0 miles. This will burn approximately 200 calories, depending on your sex and weight.
The more you weigh the more calories you will burn. Your body is exerting more energy to exercise so you will burn even more on a 30-minute walk. Another way you can increase the number of calories burned is by adding weights. You can also walk on hills or on an inclined treadmill.
A lot of beginners become discouraged when they aren’t able to run for long periods of time. Yes, running will burn more calories, but only about 23 more calories per mile.
Don’t worry about running quite yet, walking can burn a significant amount of calories.
If you choose to take longer walks, this can increase your calories burned as well. During the first 30 minutes of exercise, your body burns sugar for energy. After 30 minutes, your body starts using fat as fuel.
Make it a goal to take at least on extended walk per week. This will build your endurance and help you get rid of fat cells!
How Walking Builds Muscle
Most people are unaware of the benefits of building muscle. Building muscle doesn’t always mean you’re training for a bodybuilding competition. Building lean muscle can help you lose body fat.
Even though walking doesn’t involve barbells and weights, it still helps build muscle. It can also reduce age-related muscle loss. This helps you keep more of your physical strength and reduce age-related weight gain.
You may have noticed that walkers have strong and toned legs. Walking builds, shapes, and tones the legs and buttocks. If you’re consistent in your walking, you’ll notice stronger calves, quads, and hamstrings.
This isn’t the best way to “buff up” though. If you want to pack on some serious muscle, consider weight training.
How Walking Improves Mood
Been in a funk lately? Exercise may be the last thing on your mind, but it could actually help you feel better. Exercise can do wonders for your mood.
All kinds of physical activity can decrease feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety. It makes your brain more sensitive to the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine.
These hormones relieve sad feelings while releasing endorphins, which make you feel happy!
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that if you enjoy a physical activity, you’ll continue to do it.
This makes walking an excellent choice. It’s a moderate-intensity exercise that won’t be too physically demanding. Over time, you’ll look forward to your scheduled walk and feel great about doing it.
How Walking Keeps Weight Off
Let’s fast forward a bit. You’ve been walking for some time now and you’ve lost weight. You’re happy with your results and simply want to keep the weight off. Walking can play a major role in helping you maintain weight loss.
Remember, people who exercise frequently are usually better at maintaining their weight loss.
When you lose weight, your metabolic rate will drop. This means it will be harder to keep the pounds off. Walking can help prevent muscle loss and help you maintain your results over time. Lean muscle we mentioned earlier will also help you burn more calories, even at rest.
To maintain a stable weight, aim to walk at least 150 minutes per week. Increase this number if you’ve lost a considerable amount of weight. 200 minutes per week should be a good goal for you.
10,000 steps per day is a goodÂ goal for most people. Stay active by walking throughout your week so that your progress isn’t lost.
How to Start Walking For Weight Loss
So where do you start? Walking for weight loss can help you improve your muscle, reduce fat, increase mood and more.
The bottom line is that physical activity can help you live a healthier, longer life. 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise like walking per week is ideal.
Walk for around 30 minutes at a time at a brisk pace. When this becomes easier for you, go the extra mile (pun intended). You can only reap more health and fitness benefits.
Remember, every little step helps, so start small and increase the amount you walk over time.
If you want to lose weight, you’ll get the best results by combining physical activity with a healthy diet. Check out these healthy eating tips.
The Most Important Meal of the Day: 10 Delicious Low-Cal Breakfast Ideas You Need to Try
Are you one of the 43% of Americans who are actively trying to make healthier choices in their lifestyle? If you are, you also might be in the 80% of people who believe that eating a healthy diet requires you to make sacrifices.
While you might not be able to eat a daily McMuffin or indulge in bacon fat eggs loaded with cheese and a side of oily hashbrowns, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice delicious meals while also eating healthier foods.
It might sound too good to be true that you can still eat nutritious low-calorie breakfasts to help with weight loss that taste anything but low calorie.
But it can be done with a bit of meal prep and trying out different recipes that work for you and your taste preferences.
Don’t believe us? Well, get ready to be proved wrong. This list of our 10 favorite low cal breakfast ideas and recipes is going to make you a believer.
Thinking of Skipping Breakfast Altogether? Think Again
You might be thinking to yourself that it’s better to save on calories by skipping breakfast altogether. But, did you know that skipping breakfast has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity/weight gain?
There’s a reason that breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day. Scientists believe that getting those essential nutrients and energy from food in the morning is crucial to regulating your hunger throughout the day.
Think about it from your own personal experience: when you skip breakfast, aren’t you starving by lunchtime? Aren’t you more likely to overeat or overindulge on snacks or at your next meal because you’re so hungry from not eating in the morning?
Not eating breakfast can also hurt your overall energy levels and mental performance throughout the day.
You’ll feel tired, unmotivated, a lack of concentration, etc. You also won’t have the energy to exercise, which is a crucial part of a weight loss journey.
Now that we’ve hopefully convinced you to stop skipping your morning meal, let’s get into some delicious recipes you can try out without going over on your allotted calories.
1. Fruit Protein Smoothie
Not everyone has the biggest appetite in the morning, which can lead to the desire to skip breakfast. But since you now know that you shouldn’t do that, even those who can’t stomach solid foods in the morning will be able to get the right start with a fruit and protein smoothie.
Studies show that eating protein in the morning can ward off hunger pangs, keep you feeling fuller for longer, and fight off cravings you might have for not-so-healthy foods (looking at you, office donuts).
Loading your smoothies with healthy fruits adds to your daily fiber intake, which can also help keep you full until your next meal, all while staying super low in calories.
Try out this recipe:
- 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries
- 1/4 cup of frozen raspberries
- 1 small container of non-fat yogurt
- 1/2 cup of milk (either skim, almond, or soy)
- 1 scoop protein powder
This will make a delicious smoothie that’s filling, nutritious, and under 300 calories!
2. Poached Egg Over Toast
Eggs are another excellent protein source to try out in the morning. They’re packed with protein, selenium, healthy fats, and healthy cholesterol. They’re also naturally low in calories: one large egg is only about 80 calories.
To avoid adding any extra unhealthy calories, don’t cook the eggs in butter or oil. You can cook it on a non-stick pan or with zero calorie spray, or you could try poaching or hard/soft boiling it.
Throw two large eggs over a piece of high-fiber multigrain toast, a little bit of hot sauce, and a cup of coffee, and you have a simple and easy low-calorie breakfast that will keep you full and focused.
3. Yogurt and Fruit Parfait
As with both protein smoothies and eggs, yogurt is a high-protein option to add to your breakfast recipe arsenal.
One study showed that people who ate yogurt throughout the week had a lower chance of being overweight or obese. The same study found these results were amplified when those people also ate diets high in fruit.
So combine the two by adding together a container of your favorite yogurt (Greek yogurt is highest in protein!) with some berries and bananas. You can also add in some healthy granola or nuts if you feel like you need to add a bit more substance to the meal.
Really want to cut down on your calories? Opt for plain yogurt with no added sugar and let the natural sugars in the fruit provide the sweetness.
4. Nut Butter, Banana, and Chia Seeds, Oh My!
This breakfast combines three “super breakfast foods” into one amazing meal.
Let’s start with bananas. Bananas are super high in fiber while also being low in calories. Fiber, as we mentioned before, can help ward off cravings and keep you feeling full for longer.
Studies also show adding fruit like bananas into your diet is strongly correlated with weight loss.
Chia seeds are also high in fiber, giving the same benefits we’ve gone over. But, they also have the unique quality of absorbancy. Chia seeds absorb liquid and expand after you consume them.
Lastly, your favorite nut butter, whether that’s peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, or whatever, is going to be packed with protein and healthy fats. While nut butter is high in calories, you only need a tiny amount, so it shouldn’t overload this recipe.
Take a small amount of nut butter, spread it on a slice of toast, and top it with sliced bananas and chia seeds for the perfect balanced breakfast.
5. Apple Cinnamon Oat Bran Muffin
We bet you thought that you’d have to give up all breakfast pastries to stay low cal in the morning, didn’t you?
But these apple cinnamon oat bran muffins are only a little over 120 calories per muffin. They’re also packed with protein, glycemic controlling oatmeal and bran, and fiber.
Spread a bit of nut butter or healthy jam on these muffins as you go for a filling and delicious breakfast.
6. Loaded Veggie Omelet
Let’s give you another savory option after giving almost only sweet ones. Omelets are notorious for getting unhealthy: remember that huge plate-sized one from your favorite dinner that oozed cheese and oil?
Yeah, this isn’t that. It’s just as delicious though and probably 1000 times healthier.
- Two large eggs
- Zero calorie cooking spray
- Diced onion
- Mixed peppers
- 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
- 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup spinach
All of these veggies are going to add very few calories but plenty of volume and nutrients to this meal. That combined with the eggs is going to keep you full for just around 300 calories.
First, throw the spinach into the pan to wilt. Once it’s reduced in size, add in the mushrooms and onion to cook down. Once the onions are translucent, add in the rest of the veggies and season with salt and pepper.
Lastly, add in your whisked eggs and cook everything into an omelet form. Season as you go with some salt and pepper. Dill is another great seasoning to add to eggs.
Top it off with some of your favorite hot sauce, and you have a large and filling breakfast that low in calories that also won’t make you feel gross the rest of the day like your old diner favorite probably will.
7. Sweet Potato Breakfast Burrito
This breakfast burrito is packed with food, you’ll be shocked to learn that the entire thing is only around 300 calories.
The protein comes from both egg whites and black beans. The black beans are also high in fiber, which you know by now is beneficial for low-calorie breakfasts to stay filling.
Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and have been shown to help regulate sugar levels. They also have healthy carbs that boost your energy and can help you burn calories in between meals. The avocado in this adds the perfect amount of creaminess along with healthy fats.
Here’s your ingredient list:
- 1 low carb whole wheat tortilla
- 1 large egg (separated white from the yolk)
- 1/2 of a sweet potato
- 2 teaspoons enchilada sauce
- Cumin, salt, and pepper to taste
- Hot sauce (optional)
- 1/4 avocado diced
- 1/4 cup of canned black beans, rinsed
Start by microwaving the sweet potato for around 5 minutes, or until it’s soft. Remove, separate the flesh from the skin, and mash in a bowl.
Next, beat your egg whites. Add to a pan over medium heat. While the eggs cook, combine your beans and all of your spices in a bowl.
Once the eggs are cooked, remove them from the pan.
Warm your tortilla, and get to burrito making! Add the eggs, potato, avocado, and bean mixture altogether. Before rolling the burrito, add in your enchilada and/or hot sauce.
This goes great with salsa and sour cream. To avoid the calories of sour cream, try plain Greek yogurt for low fat, lower calories, and a boost of protein!
8. Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes
Pancakes are another breakfast favorite you probably thought you’d never see again on a low-calorie diet. As with the muffin, you (fortunately) thought wrong!
This recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction is only 122 calories per pancake. Load two of them up with strawberries, bananas, a bit of peanut butter, and a dash of maple syrup for a breakfast that feels indulgent but still is only about 300 calories.
These pancakes are also filled with excellent sources of protein and fiber. The oatmeal in it has been linked to balancing blood sugar levels, maintaining fullness, reducing appetite, and helping your cardiovascular health.
9. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich
Let’s end with a staple: the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. Are you surprised to see both bacon and cheese on a list of low cal breakfast ideas?
Well, so are we. Both bacon and cheese are usually high in harmful fat and cholesterol. However, this recipe uses lean turkey bacon that’s low in fat and high in delicious protein.
It also uses fat-free cheese to keep the fat, and the calories, low while also giving you the delicious bacon cheesy goodness we all crave once in a while.
In total, this yummy and easy to make breakfast sandwich is only around 200 calories. Beef it up with a slice of avocado to add a bit more pizzazz, or keep in simple and plain with a side of berries.
Low Cal Breakfast Ideas to Start Your Day Right
No matter what type of breakfast you crave, you can find at least an idea of what you should eat right here on this list.
Sweet or savory, hot or cold, each one of these low cal breakfast ideas will provide you with key energy and nutrients you need without the excessive calories that traditional breakfasts can bring.
And with the variety you see here, perhaps it gives you a bit more confidence that you can maintain a low calorie and nutritious diet without getting bored or only eating dull and bland salads for every meal.
These meals are also quick and easy to make, so you don’t have any excuse not to try them out!
While weight loss and staying healthy doesn’t seem as quick and easy as these recipes, it can be. Try out our 9-week program to see fast results getting you closer to your dream body with each day!
Contact us with any questions or to get for more information to get started.
Cardio For Weight Loss: 6 Crucial Facts To Keep In Mind
If you’re just establishing your exercise routine, here are some crucial facts about cardio for weight loss. Keep them in mind when developing your routine.
If you immediately turned to cardio when you started trying to lose weight, you’re not alone. When it comes to weight loss, it seems like most people associate the treadmill or the track with their path to a smaller waistline.
Cardio is definitely an important part of any workout routine, but there are some important things to keep in mind if you want to use cardio for weight loss. You have to make sure that you plan your workouts effectively to get the maximum benefit.
When you’re developing your routine, keep these six crucial facts in mind. They’ll help you get the results you want!
1. You Can’t Just Do Cardio
This first fact might seem like a weird choice to start off with. After all, isn’t the whole post about using cardio for weight loss?
Here’s the thing, though — if you want to lose weight in a healthy way, you can’t have a workout routine that’s 100% cardio. You’re going to need to incorporate strength training into your schedule if you really want to see results.
Strength training helps to build muscle mass, which will help you out down the line by speeding up your metabolism and burning additional fat. Basically, the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn on a regular basis.
If you’re only doing cardio, on the other hand, you won’t just be burning fat — you’ll be burning muscle, too. The last thing you want to do is to burn what will help you lose weight.
If you really want to go all in for both your strength training and your cardio, we recommend putting those workouts on separate days. (Think cardio on Monday, strength training on Tuesday.) If you really want to do both on the same day, though, do your strength training before your cardio. Strength training uses more energy, so you’ll need to be at 100% before you start.
2. You Don’t Have To Stay In The Fat-Burning Zone
We’ve all fallen victim to that pesky little display on the treadmill, or checked our Fitbits religiously to make sure that we’re in the golden “fat burn” zone. What does that even mean, anyway?
It’s easy to believe that you won’t burn any fat unless your heart rate is in that magic zone. That’s not completely true, though.
The name for the zone is a little misleading. It’s not that you’ll only burn fat in that zone, it’s that a larger percentage of the calories burned comes from fat. You’ll still be burning fat in the cardio or peak zones.
What’s most important isn’t the percentage of burned calories that come from fat. If you’re going to pay attention to one of the numbers lighting up your screen, it should be total calories burned. The number of calories you burn is way more important when it comes to the big picture.
And speaking of the number of calories you burn…
3. You Don’t Have To Burn 500 Calories
We can understand where this number came from. It’s a nice, round number, it sounds like a lot, and people feel accomplished when they can say that they burned 500 calories over the course of their workouts.
What’s problematic, though, is when people think that they have to burn 500 calories for their workouts to have any effect. Depending on the type of workout you’re doing, your cardio workouts can burn fewer than 500 calories and still be great for you.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT), for example, is a series of high-intensity workouts done in short bursts. You might not burn 500 calories during your thirty-minute workout, but you’ll keep burning calories at a higher rate for hours after you leave the gym.
4. Your Workouts Don’t Need To Be Long
When you think of cardio, do you think of long runs that take a ton of time out of your day? There’s a common misconception that your cardio has to be long, slow and steady to mean anything.
Even if you don’t have an hour to spare for your workout, go for a HIIT workout instead. The quick workout will still get your heart rate up, burn calories, and give you the cardio training that you need.
People who swear by the treadmill can still get the benefit of a shorter workout. Doing shorter sessions at a higher intensity will help you get more out of your workout in less time.
5. You Should Snack Before Your Workout
There are lots of runners who enjoy waking up early in the morning and going for a run first thing. That’s a great way to start your day…as long as you eat something before you head out the door.
When you’re in a calorie-burning mindset, it’s easy to think that to burn more calories, you shouldn’t eat before you workout. If you don’t eat ahead of time, your body has to burn off the fat that’s already on your body for energy, right?
Nope, not for cardio. Your body needs something to fuel it, and it will turn to the carbs and fat in your muscles, not the fat in your fat cells.
We’re not saying to eat a full meal and then go for a run — just eat a light snack to give your body something to work with.
6. You Still Have To Eat Right
Speaking of eating, you still have to have a proper diet if you’re planning on using cardio to lose weight. Just running an extra mile every time you opt for a cookie instead of a carrot stick won’t really help you out.
If your diet is still poor, doing lots of cardio will only do so much. Nourish your body with the right foods for the workouts you’re doing. For example, you incorporate a lot of strength training into your routine, make sure you eat enough protein.
Cardio combined with eating well can help you sculpt your body into the shape you want to see.
Use Cardio For Weight Loss Effectively
If you keep these crucial facts about cardio for weight loss in mind, you’ll be able to see better results. Make the most of your workouts and use your cardio effectively. Your body will thank you.
Need a little bit of an extra push? Register for our Body Transformation Challenge to take your body to the next level.