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.
You Might also like
- By Humberto Hernandez — 6 months ago
Tools of the Trade: 15 Must-Have Gym Accessories You Should Keep in Your Gym Bag
Are you just getting started in fitness? At least the kind of fitness that involves going to the gym or working with a trainer?
A lot of people never start because they feel intimidated. They feel like there’s a workout learning curve and they don’t want to feel silly. First of all – everyone looks silly at first and second, that’s why you need a plan from respected trainers.
Once you get past the anxiety, you learn that there are gym accessories you need as well. But don’t worry about figuring out what they are. We have thirteen essentials for you to throw in your bag below.
1. Gym Bag Dividers
If you’re the kind of person who gets serious at the gym: like changes and showers out of their sweaty clothes after, then you need dividers or at least a gym bag with good pockets.
You don’t want to be standing in the locker room hot and sweaty trying to find all the things you need to take to the shower. Instead, they should be in some sort of shower-friendly bag/kit.
Look for materials made out of mesh or netting, so if they get wet, the water can escape and dry. If they do get wet, wrap them in your used towel on your way home.
The towel will soak up any water and it won’t get anything else in your bag wet.
Dividers or pockets are also great for shoes so that the dirty bottoms don’t touch your other clothes. Ideally, you’ll have gym shoes that you only wear in the gym – but there are germs indoor too.
Yes, this one seems like a no brainer, but we all know that person in the gym that forgets it. You should have a separate deodorant that only lives in your gym bag.
When you use it, put it right back in its little pocket. This way, you’ll never be without.
But having deodorant on hand has another, less known use. If you forgot your chafe cream or you’re starting to rub a blister, you can glide deodorant on.
For a blister-to-be, the best solution is duct tape. But aside from that, you can rub some deodorant on the skin (under your sock) where you’re getting rubbed.
Some people like to rub deodorant on the outside of the sock over the spot, but that’s your choice.
If this happens to you a lot or you’re a bigger person (you’re welcome here), look into Body Glide. It’s a product made to prevent skin-on-skin chafing.
3. Hair Accessories
As long as you have hair, this point is for you. Whether that means a hairbrush, a comb, or both and some hair ties.
Being without a hair tie at the gym with long hair is only second to forgetting your headphones. A good trick to make sure you never forget them is to loop some around your water bottle.
Or, keep them around the base of your hairbrush. That way you’ll have them at hand. You can also throw in bobby pins, dry shampoo, and headbands if you’d like.
For shorter hair, don’t forget any styling products like gels.
4. Arnica Gel or Icy Hot
It happens to everyone — even us. You step wrong or you over-lift and you already know you’ll be hurting tomorrow. Prep yourself and decrease the inflammation with some pain-relief gel.
Some people like the sensation of Tiger Balm or Icy Hot — while others hate it. If you don’t want to tingle into tomorrow, try Arnica gel. It’s a natural remedy for soreness (and bruises).
5. Cleansing Wipes
In a perfect world, you should have time to shower after a workout. But we don’t live in that perfect world — do you? Many of us have to run off to another thing, lucky if we have time to change clothes.
Working out at home can help with the rush factor, but still, you shouldn’t run around all sweaty and smelly. Throw both some face wipes and baby wipes in your gym bag.
Neutrogena has a great product for this use, their Grapefruit Cleansing Wipes. We love the smell and their effectiveness. The wipes have cleansers in them, so they shouldn’t be used on sensitive body parts.
One of the most important places to wipe down (if you can’t shower) after a workout, is your crotch. A soggy crotch creates a perfect environment for bacteria.
That’s why our next item is on the list.
The baby wipes are perfect of wiping down those more sensitive areas and you can use them for all sorts of things too. Spill some protein powder in your bag? Now you have what you need to wipe it up.
6. Fresh Underwear
Yes, we said it. You should never, ever, stay in the same pants and underpants you just worked out in.
The yoga pants-type material most workout bottoms come in don’t breathe. That means whatever sweat that gathers there during your workout, stays there.
If you don’t change your underwear after a workout, you’re more likely to get both yeast infections and UTI’s.
Even if you didn’t bring a whole new outfit, make sure you stash a few pairs of clean underwear in your bag in case you forget.
And men – it’s not likely you’ll get those annoying conditions, but it’s still more sanitary to change after.
7. A Shaker Bottle
The two tips that follow this one aren’t any good on their own. You can “dry scoop” your pre-workout, but it’s not good for your taste buds (or lungs).
So, you want to make sure you have a good shaker bottle. The brand name Shaker Bottle came out around 2010. It has a little round ball in it which breaks up clumps of powder in liquid.
But there are other brands as well. The hurricane cup is a great one, as are bottles that have screens and shaker balls combined. You can find these at any large store near you.
Or check online if that’s more your jam.
If you do both pre and post workout drinks, look for a bottle that has a powder container. They usually screw on the bottom of the cup.
That way you can mix your pre or post workout fresh once you get to the gym.
8. Pre-Workout Powder or Drink
There’s one thing a lot of people don’t realize they need when working out – pre-workout. Pre-workout is a powder made of proteins, vitamins and some caffeine – all things that help you blast through your reps.
Right now, BANG is the big name in pre-workout, but it changes every couple of months. People like BANG because it’s low carb, which is great for people following the keto diet.
When you’re looking for pre-workout, make sure you read reviews online first. Some brands put too much caffeine and people note feeling jittery and anxious, not motivated to get through their workout.
If you’re jumping out of bed and running to the gym bright eyed and bushy tailed, then you can skip this. But if you’re trying to get through a workout after work and you’re already tired, try pre-workout.
The difference in your energy will surprise you.
9. Some Form of Protein (Post-Workout)
You need to eat protein within 20 minutes of finishing your workout. That’s what your muscles and your body needs to “lock in” the muscles you just built.
And yes, even if you’re not lifting large amounts, this applies to you too.
A lot of people take protein powder to the gym or keep it in their car for their way home, but that’s not the only option.
You can throw some almonds or pre-packed snacks full of protein in your bag as well.
Along with your protein, some people like to take amino acids after they workout. They find that they’re less sore the next day, so they can go just as hard as they did the day before.
You can look for those as post-workout or recovery drinks. Just make sure they have the essential amino acids in them before you buy.
10. The Right Shoes
We know that workout shoes are expensive, but think of them as a specialty item. Cross trainers are made/shaped differently than shoes meant for running.
And that’s a good thing! When you’re doing fast footwork, you don’t want shoes that have a big or tall bottom part. Why? If you move side to side in those shoes, you have more chance of rolling your ankle by stepping sideways.
Another example: runners need a lot of cushioning in their shoes. They are literally pounding the pavement after all. If you’re weight lifting, usually the gym floor (or your home carpet) is padded.
You don’t need as much cushioning as those continuously hitting the pavement.
If you use our program, look for some minimalist cross-trainers. They’re going to serve you best for the large range of exercises in our most popular programs.
11. Wireless Headphones
One of the best things about Bluetooth technology? Not having to be tied down to headphones in the gym. If you workout as hard as we do, you’re always accidentally yanking one out or the other.
And it’s annoying to feel that little bounce from the wires as you do cardio with headphones attached to your phone.
Go the route Google and Apple are already pushing people and invest in wireless headphones. The pair you choose shouldn’t have too long of a cord connecting them if there’s a cord at all.
Airbuds are the ideal solution, but they’re expensive and get lost easily.
If you don’t go the airbuds and look-alikes route, look for some that will hook over your ears. This will keep the buds in when you’re really giving those moves everything you’ve got.
And hey, when you’re done, wipe them down with a baby wipe to keep sweat and bacteria from building up on them. Good thing you already have those in your bag!
12. A Timer (or SmartWatch)
We already know that using some form of interval training is essential for burning fat. And to do interval training, you need some sort of timer.
Phones have timers, but they can be obnoxious to mess with and you can fall into looking-at-your-apps land. Instead, look for a smartwatch or fitness watch that has pre-set (or settable) timer/HIIT options.
These are also good to track your heart rate, potential calorie burn, and make sure you don’t miss an important call while your phone is in your pocket.
Fitbit is the big brand name, but there are plenty of other good options.
13. Portable Phone Charger
The worst thing that could happen (okay, at least one of them) is that your phone dies before your workout. Now not only do you not have your notes or exercises, but you don’t have any music.
Doing a hard workout without music isn’t something we’d wish on even our worst enemies.
So, make sure you’re never stuck in that position. Get a small portable charger and throw it in your bag. That way you have juice on the go.
And if you use it while you’re working out – plug it into the car jack on your way home. That way you remember to grab it and it’ll be charged next time you get out of the car.
Your Gym Accessories
Obviously, this list is going to change from person to person and from gym to gym. Maybe your gym doesn’t even have showers, so you don’t need to worry about that.
Or maybe you do all your workouts from home, in which case, there’s a different set of things you need (like hand weights).
But those are the basic gym accessories, at least according to us.
Ready to get started with your new, perfectly packed gym bag? Click here.
- By Humberto Hernandez — 6 months ago
How Much Weight Can You Lose In 2 Months? How to Set Weight Loss Goals that You Can Smash
Are you depressed by the statistic that 95% of people regain weight after losing it?
So many diets claim that you can lose weight with a magic pill or an expensive gym membership. What you really need is a heavy dose of realism!
Do you want to know how much weight can you lose in 2 months?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the safe amount of weight to lose in a month is 4 to 8 pounds. So, in over 2 months you can lose up to 16 pounds. But, it’s up to you!
Follow our tips to find out how you can set weight loss goals that you can smash this time. Let’s get started!
1. Concentrate on the Process
Imagine you want to achieve your weight loss goal of 16 pounds in 2 months. But, that’s not the whole story!
It’s important to concentrate on the process rather than the outcome. Your outcome goal is 16 pounds in 2 months. Your process goals are the steps you take to reach your outcome goal.
For example, your process goal may be to do 30 minutes of physical exercise each morning. Or eating a vegan diet during the weekdays.
Instead of thinking about the abstract goal at the end of the tunnel, you need to focus on the habits and behavior which can help you make it to the end.
2. Setbacks are Normal
Weight loss is not easy. You’re going to have setbacks along the way.
Don’t be too hard on yourself when you binge eat after a difficult day at work. Or when you skip your yoga class to watch television.
If you expect setbacks are going to happen, you can prepare for them when you encounter them.
When you know your friend’s birthday party is around the corner, you can plan how you’re going to deal with it. How are you going to say no to the slice of pizza?
3. Adapt Your Goals
You begin with a goal of 16 pounds in 2 months. But, that doesn’t mean you have to stick to it!
If you’re making significant progress after a couple of weeks, you could increase your weight loss target to 20 pounds in 2 months.
You could decide that you were too ambitious with your goal the first time around. Instead, you need to reduce your weight loss goal!
Instead set a different target. This time ask yourself – can I lose 10 pounds in a month?
4. Get a Weight Loss Buddy
Social support is really important when it comes to weight loss. Your network of family and friends is hugely valuable. You also need a weight loss buddy who is going through the same thing as you.
When you’ve hit rock bottom and you’re on the edge of reaching for the refrigerator, you can call your weight loss buddy for help. Your weight loss buddy knows your weight loss goals and your strategies to achieve them. Your buddy keeps you accountable to your promises.
Instead of a weight loss buddy, you can also hire a professional coach to help you keep your weight loss goals.
5. Remind Yourself of Your Goal
Don’t allow yourself to forget your weight loss goal! There are numerous different techniques to remind yourself on a regular basis of what you set out to achieve.
You can visualize your success! Imagine what you’re going to look like when you’ve accomplished your goal.
Spend time repeating phrases which help you to stay motivated in hard times. Such as, “no thanks, I’ve already eaten” and “I can do this!”
6. Track Your Progress
It’s helpful to keep a weight loss journal which tracks your progress each day. Include everything you’re eating, your time spent doing exercise and your current weight and measurements.
It is easy to pretend you’re losing weight when you’re actually not. Telling yourself you’re eating healthy, but not counting the snacks you had in between meals is not helping.
7. Meditation to Focus
You may wonder what meditation has to do with weight loss. After all, surely sitting down and meditating is time wasted when you could be burning calories, right?
And yet, there is scientific evidence that meditation improves your ability to concentrate on your goals in weight loss. There are also numerous other health benefits of meditation practice. These include relieving the symptoms of stress and improving your emotional awareness.
8. Always Meal Prep
When you come home from work, the last thing you want to do is prepare and cook a delicious healthy meal. Instead, spend one day per week meal prepping for the rest of the week.
Then, when you come home from work, instead of getting a take-out, you just warm-up the healthy meal you made earlier. If you really need to order take-out, then choose a healthy option.
9. Buy New Clothes
We reward ourselves with tasty foods a lot of the time.
Did you get a promotion? Go buy some yummy candy from the store!
Graduated from college? Congrats! Let’s go out for an expensive meal.
When you want to lose weight, eating and drinking can longer be your reward for your achievements. When you’ve achieved one of your weight loss milestones, go shopping for clothes instead!
This doesn’t undo your hard work. But also, you get to enjoy your slimmer look in a new get-up.
10. Sleep Well
If you want to achieve your weight loss goal, then you need to make sure you get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is just as important as healthy eating and physical activity for weight loss.
Many people don’t get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. In fact, over one-third of Americans don’t get enough sleep.
Poor sleep increases your risk of obesity by up to 55%. So, make sure you get plenty of shut-eye.
How Much Weight Can You Lose in 2 Months?
If you want to achieve your weight loss goal, then follow our tips for staying on track. We can help you to determine how much weight can you lose in 2 months. We’ll help you every step of the way.
If you want to know more about how we can help you, check out our 9-week challenge now!
- By Humberto Hernandez — 9 months ago
10 Workout Motivation Tips to Avoid Fitness Fatigue
Everyone starts working out with a lot of dedication. Unfortunately it can fade fast. These are our best tips for workout motivation to meet your goals.
Working out isn’t something you can do every once in a while or whenever you feel like it if you really want to see results. It requires you to show up every single day. You have to be dedicated to your workout routine, learn how to create healthy eating habits, and start taking better care of yourself as a whole.
That’s when the physical and mental transformations begin to happen.
However, it is common for people to experience some ups and downs on their fitness journey – like struggling to find workout motivation or stick to their diet. Everyone goes through these things at one point or another, but it’s on each person in the gym to push past them.
If you’ve been having a serious lack of motivation to get in the gym and work toward your goals, use these tips to build your drive back up.
1. Put on Your Workout Clothes
This is the simplest thing you can do to get your mind into workout mode. Putting on your workout clothes doesn’t mean that you have to go to the gym right away, but it does help significantly in making sure you show up.
If you seriously don’t feel like going to the gym today, try this trick. Grab your favorite workout outfit, put it on, and see how you feel once you look in the mirror or even in the next hour or so. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference this little trick makes.
2. Try Different Kinds of Workouts
Maybe the issue with your workout motivation right now isn’t that you’re not showing up to the gym, but that you can’t wait to leave once you’re there. Maybe you’re bored with your workouts or feel like they’ve plateaued.
The quick fix for this is to switch up your routine.
Try out different kinds of workouts until you find what engages you the most. For some people, there’s no better way to do cardio than to take a spin or Zumba class. For others, lifting becomes a lot more fun in a CrossFit gym or some other group setting
Keep in mind you don’t have to do one single kind of workout, either. It’s possible to do yoga on Monday, lift on Tuesday, then run on Wednesday and still reach your goals!
3. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
No matter where you are or what you’re doing to exercise, remember that you’re there to work on you. This means you have to focus on what your body needs to do to get a good pump and stop paying attention to what other people are doing.
You won’t be as buff as the strongest person in the gym right away and you’re not going to be as fast or as slim as them, either. More so, you have to keep in mind that they were once in your shoes as the newbie to working out and being fit.
Work on putting all your energy into your fitness journey instead of others’. This will do wonders to motivate you to keep going and work harder than you have in a while.
4. Stay Hydrated All Day Long
Comparing yourself to others is a mind game that does you no good. But, there could be a physical reason why you’re not feeling motivated to workout – like the fact that you’re dehydrated.
Water plays a significant role in every single thing your body does. It affects your mental focus, energy levels, digestion, and how well you rest, too.
If the body can’t perform such functions like its supposed to, it’s definitely not going to feel up for the challenge of working out. When you drink a good amount of water throughout the day, though, you increase your chances of getting it done!
5. Focus on That “Pumped Up” Feeling
Speaking of getting it done, take a moment to think about how amazing you feel when you finish a workout. There’s nothing that can match that sense of accomplishment when you walk out of the gym super sweaty or with your muscles shaking a bit.
Not to mention, the build-up of your pump and reaching that sense of accomplishment is also pretty cool. There’s something special about walking into the gym with low energy and walking out feeling like you can take on anything – especially if you’re making progress in how heavy you’re lifting or how much endurance your body has as a whole.
6. Take Advantage of Your Rest Days
Here’s something else to consider: maybe your motivation to go to the gym hasn’t disappeared, maybe it has completely run out (for now).
That’s what happens when you overwork your body and push yourself too hard. There’s a big difference between being dedicated and showing up, and not knowing how to listen to what your body is telling you.
You need to have a rest day.
Even if it’s an active rest day, you have to be able to let your body relax. This is the precious time that your muscles need to rebuild themselves after working so hard in the gym. It’s also your chance to do something with your time other than working out that benefits you in a different way.
7. Reward Yourself with Cheat Meals
One of the best things about rest days is that this is usually when people have their cheat meals. Cheat meals help you curb cravings and stick to your long-term goals. They’re also a great reward to give yourself after crushing your workouts, and they serve as a nice boost of motivation as cheat day gets closer and closer.
Keep in mind that there’s a difference between enjoying one well-deserved cheat meal and going completely off the rails, though. You risk guilting yourself and losing even more motivation to workout if you take cheat day too far. But, enjoying it mindfully offers many benefits.
8. Remember Why You Started
Another way to find the workout motivation you need is to take a look at the goals you’ve written down. Keep these at the front of your mind as you do every single rep, when you sit down to eat, and as you go about the rest of your day.
Whether you’re trying to grow 10 pounds of muscle or lose 20 pounds of fat, you have to remember why you started. This is the motivation you need when you’re thinking about skipping your last set or when you’re trying to cheat your reps. It’s what makes you show up at the gym in the first place and reminds you to work hard while you’re there.
9. Change Your Perspective
As smart as it is to remember why you started, you may discover there’s a deeper issue at play if you’re having to find workout motivation every single day. Working out really shouldn’t be a chore; it should be something that you genuinely want to do instead of a task that you feel obligated to complete.
If this isn’t the mindset you have right now, it’s time to change your perspective. Take a step back for a second and try to identify what it is about working out that you don’t like. Figure out the barriers you’ve created in your mind, then work past them.
Find ways to improve your relationship with working out. Do workouts that are more enjoyable to you or at least try not to be so hard on yourself.
10. Have Someone Hold You Accountable
The final way to boost your workout motivation is to have someone do it for you. Not to say that you should rely on them, but rather, commit to showing up for them as well as for yourself.
Get a gym partner to hold you accountable when you’re trying to skip out of a workout, or even better, hire a personal trainer! This is someone you can lean on when you’re really not feeling your workout for the day.
But, you’re still the one who has to put in the work.
That work does become a lot easier to do when you have someone making sure you show up and lifting you up throughout the workout. They’re there to offer you support, call you out when you’re cheating yourself, and remind you of the inner strength you have to keep going.
How to Get the Most of Your Workout Motivation
You can have all the workout motivation in the world and still struggle to get the results you’re looking for. That’s because you have to know how to train your body once you actually get into the gym.
This takes a little time to figure out. You have to be patient as you learn how to build a mind-muscle connection and create routines that best target each muscle group, not to mention understand which supplements to take and when.
Thankfully, you don’t have to take all of this alone! That’s what we’re here for.
Click here to discover everything our personal coaching services can do for you!