Blog

Walking for Weight Loss: How to Get Your Steps In and Shed Pounds

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 good 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.

Work Harder, Get Stronger: How to Start Weightlifting

Work Harder, Get Stronger: How to Start Weightlifting

The secret to getting stronger isn’t much of a secret. It’s weightlifting. We’ll show you how to start weightlifting and begin your journey to a stronger you.

Weightlifting has been one of the most popular fitness methods, for good reason.

Weightlifting does more than bulk you up. Strength training has a myriad of benefits; you gain more strength, you burn fat, and you’re able to keep more fat off for a long time.

Here’s the catch: many newbies aren’t sure where to start. Here’s how to start weightlifting.

To PT or Not to PT

When a beginner starts their weightlifting journey, they often debate about hiring a personal trainer, or a PT.

There are many benefits of hiring a personal trainer. A trainer can identify your current fitness stance and fitness goals and can develop an effective weightlifting routine for you.

The Benefits of Hiring a Trainer

Beginners can easily get lost in the myriad of weightlifting machines, weight types, and lifting techniques. Trainers are experienced in all of these areas.

Trainers are also your best bet to ensure you lower your injury risk and are in correct form.

Personal trainers are also beneficial if you plan on competing in competitions or if you need to lose an exceptional amount of weight. Trainers can provide fitness and diet tips to get you in the best shape of your life.

Trainers also closely monitor your routine, your progress, and provide constant motivation for slackers.

When to Not Hire a Trainer

What if you have a decent amount of strength training experience but are simply altering your weightlifting regimen? You’ll still benefit from a trainer. But if you’re comfortable with lifting, you can try developing your own fitness routine.

More PT Information

If you have regular (once a week) personal training sessions on top of solo workouts for at least a year, you’ll gain enough education and comfort in your fitness routine.

While hiring a trainer is almost guaranteed to give you the results you want, by going out and conquering your fitness goals, you’ll likely still gain the results you want. So hiring a trainer is a choice that you should consider.

How Much to Lift?

The weight you lift depends on the results you want.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to lift extremely heavy to increase your strength, tone your body, and even bulk up.

 

Weights are separated into a few categories:

  • Light
  • Moderately Light
  • Moderate
  • Moderately Heavy
  • Heavy

Here’s a more detailed explanation of each weight type.

Light

These are weights you can pick up with ease. You won’t feel any strain and can even make it throughout your full set without feeling any tension.

Moderately Light

Differentiating between moderately light and light weights are difficult at work. With moderately light weights, you should still be able to pick up the weight with ease. But at the end of your set, you’ll feel a little bit fatigued.

Moderate

When you first lift a weight at moderate strength, you can easily lift the weight but you will have to use extra effort compared to the previous two weight types. You’ll likely feel fatigued after your set, but not completely exhausted.

Moderately Heavy

This is where most people train. You’re able to pick up the weight but still feel like you need to make an effort for each rep. But you’re still able to achieve correct form and have a lower injury risk.

Heavy

It’s ill-advised beginners lift heavy on their own without the aid of a trainer.

You’re not able to easily lift the weight and have to use all of your strength and effort to even do a rep. You’ll find doing each rep difficult and will feel completely exhausted after your set.

Which Weights Should You Lift?

For best results, you should lift all weights. Different workouts call for different weight types. You’ll also notice certain muscles can lift heavier than other muscles.

For example, you probably notice you can lift moderately heavy when you do bicep curls. But you have to decrease your weight significantly when you lift shoulders.

That’s because most people, men and women, are used to lifting with their arms and not lifting overhead.

The Different Types of Weights

When most beginners think of weightlifting, they usually only think of dumbbells and bars. While these are crucial weight types, there are many types of weights and they all have their benefits.

Here are the most basic weight types:

  • Barbells
  • Dumbbells
  • Machines
  • Cables
  • Kettlebells
  • Standalone weight plate (the weights that go on machines – you can also use these alone)

Which ones should you use? You’ll have to take your fitness goals and weight preferences into consideration. But beginners should try each weight type.

If you’re working legs, deadlift with barbells. When squatting, use kettlebells or a weight plate.

Then, use dumbbells for lunges. There’s a myriad of hamstring exercises you can do on the cables. There are also many machines that increase your leg strength, such as the leg press.

After you experiment with all weight types, you can substitute certain weight types with those you prefer.

Reps and Sets

“Reps” and “sets” appeared a few times in this article. As a beginner, you may not know what this teams. When you start weightlifting, you’ll realize how often you use this information.

A rep is each time you lift a weight. Reps are often combined with something called a set. Most weightlifters do two or more sets of a specific number of reps.

For example, let’s say you do 20 reps of ab crunches. You break the 20 reps up into two sets. This means when you do ab crunches, you do two sets of 10 reps.

How Many Reps and Sets?

Now that you know what reps and sets are, you’re probably wondering how many you should do.

Well, this depends on the workout and the weight you’re lifting.

Let’s make this easy and break up the reps-weight ratio in three categories: light, moderate, and heavy lifting.

Since heavy lifting requires lots of strength, several reps aren’t required for heavy lifting. But you won’t get results with light lifting unless you increase your reps.

Here are general numbers to remember:

  • Light lifting: 40-50 reps
  • Moderate lifting: 20-30 reps
  • Heavy lifting: 5-10 reps

You can break the rep count in as many sets as you need. Unless you’re lifting heavy, most lifters do sets of 10-15 reps.

How Reps and Weight Affect Your Results

When you start lifting and make fitness friends, you’ll hear a ton of advice. Some people will tell you to lift lighter with more reps or lift heavier with fewer reps.

The truth is, both methods are effective. But every weightlifter is different.

Lifting heavy with fewer reps forces your body to use maximum strength. This results in quicker results; your strength will increase, you’ll bulk up, and get toned quickly.

But lifting only at your maximum not only increases your injury risk, but you’ll be less flexible. If you decide to jump into maximum lifting, go back and forth between heavy lifting and using lighter weights or resistance bands.

So you may think lifting lighter weights with more reps is the solution. But this depends on the results you want. If you want leaner and toned muscles, lifting light is the way to do it. You won’t bulk up or increase your strength as quickly.

This method is more challenging for beginners than they would expect. Lifting light requires endurance – something you develop when you gain experience lifting.

It’s easy to immediately feel fatigued after the 25 rep mark, especially when you’re supposed to reach 40 or 50 reps for one exercise.

No method is better than the other. It all depends on your weightlifting goals.

Creating a Routine

Finally, it’s time to create a routine. Many weightlifters focus on one area, such as arms or abs, in one day.

It’s also important to do cardio; have a cardio day or two each week and do about 10-15 minutes of cardio after lifting to burn more calories.

And never forget to stretch! Stretching decreases your risk of injury and you’ll improve your flexibility.

First, decide what you’re training. To start, you can divide your days between upper body (arms, chest, and back), core (abs) and legs (hamstrings, glutes, and hips).

After you’re comfortable lifting, you’ll know your muscle groups and can devote days to one or two specific muscle groups.

Then, take about five minutes and stretch out those muscles.

And now you can start lifting! To start out, don’t go too intense. Take about 15 or 20 minutes to lift.

End with a little bit of cardio. Once you become more experienced, you can stop post-workout cardio or replace it with light lifting or resistance bands. The goal is to burn extra calories but cool off from the intensity of weightlifting.

Now You Know How to Start Weightlifting

Now that you know how to start weightlifting, what are you waiting for? Start picking up those weights! If you need extra help, try our 9-week challenge!

Cardio For Weight Loss: 6 Crucial Facts To Keep In Mind

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.

Great, right?

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.

8 Mini Workout Tips To Try If You Have No Time To Exercise

8 Mini Workout Tips To Try If You Have No Time To Exercise

Too busy to exercise? Here are some mini workout routines to hack your weight loss plan even if your schedule shows zero downtime.

In between work, school, or taking care of the kids, you’re lucky if you find one second to yourself. You still want to exercise and stay fit, but your schedule is so busy that you just can’t seem to squeeze it in.

Only an alarming 23% of Americans get the exercise that they need. Don’t be a part of the population who struggle to work out. If you don’t have time–don’t worry.

Fortunately, you don’t need to spend hours on an elliptical just to get your daily exercise. Doing small exercises throughout the day only take a few minutes, and some can even be incorporated into your daily routine.

Who needs the gym to get in shape? Here are 8 mini workout tips you should try if you have no time to exercise:

1. Workout With Your Chores

Why not make chores your daily workout routine? Instead of dreading your chores, view them as part of an exercise routine. You may not think of chores as a workout, but the reality is that you’re doing work and getting physical activity.

Put extra effort into doing your daily tasks. Doing laundry involves heavy lifting, vacuuming your carpet works your arms and legs, and wiping down your bathroom can tone your biceps. Even something as simple as scrubbing the floor can give you an effective cardio workout.

2. Avoid Elevators

Yes, elevators are very convenient, but you don’t really need them to get where you need to go. Don’t take the elevator up to the eighth floor–go up the stairs instead.

Need more convincing to use the stairs? Simply climbing 2 flights of stairs per day can lead to a weight loss of 6lbs in one year. Now, just think how much weight you can lose if you climb 10 flights of stairs each day.

You can even try this exercise when you’re out shopping. Skip out on escalators when you’re at a store and work towards your weight loss goals on the stairs.

3. Break Parking Habits

Are you guilty of always trying to find the closest parking spot? Now is the time to stop that habit. Instead of searching for the spot closest to your destination, you should be looking for the farthest.

Parking far away forces you to walk a longer distance to the building’s entrance. If you have multiple places that you’re driving to that day, all that walking adds up. Just one simple adjustment can turn into an easy daily workout.

4. Take Advantage of Lunch Breaks

Maybe you’re stuck at work all day. By the time you get home, you have no time or energy left for your daily fitness routine. That’s why you should start taking advantage of your lunch breaks.

You might cherish your lunch break as a time when you can relax, have a bite to eat or chat with your coworkers, but you can also use this as a time to squeeze in a quick workout. You could go for a 20 or 30-minute walk outside your building depending on how long your lunch breaks are. Bring along a few coworkers and start a fun daily workout.

5. Don’t Drive to Work

Getting stuck in traffic during your morning commute is probably nothing new to you. But what if this irritating traffic can be avoided altogether? If you live close enough to your job, consider biking, jogging, or walking to work.

Spending all day behind your desk is just as bad as spending several minutes or hours behind the wheel. Your body just won’t get the daily workout it needs.

You could also try hopping off the bus or train early so you have a farther walking distance to your home or work. You might even find out that you’ll get to work on foot faster than if you were to take a vehicle.

6. Use Commercial Breaks to Your Advantage

Everyone knows that commercials are annoying–they interrupt your favorite shows and are incredibly boring. The next time you find time to relax in front of your TV, don’t sit through the commercial breaks. Make it a habit to get up and do an aerobic exercise while the commercials are on.

Commercial breaks are around a few minutes long and can occur several times during a show. Doing a variety of jumping jacks, push-ups, and crunches, as the commercials play can really make you sweat, and can even get you toned over time.

7. Learn to Multi-Task

Many people tend to avoid workouts because they have to get some other task done, but it’s really easy to do both at the same time.

Have to take your dog out? Go for a walk with him around the neighborhood. Maybe you’ve been meaning to get around to reading that book or finishing a TV show–read the book or watch your show while you’re on a treadmill or hitting the gym.

Having entertainment while working out can be your motivation to start incorporating a daily exercise plan into your busy schedule. Better yet, you’ll be accomplishing a task, while also reaching your fitness goals.

8. Have Fun with the Kids

Daily workout routines can be boring, but kids definitely aren’t. They’re bundles of energy, and never seem to tire no matter how many laps they run around your yard. Next time your kid wants to get outside and play, go with them.

Suggest playing a game of tag or catch. You’ll be surprised at how tired you are after the fun and games end. Not only will you get your heart pumping, but you’ll be having a great time with your kid.

You Can Still Get Fit with No Time to Exercise

Having no time to exercise isn’t an excuse for not working out. You don’t have to dread timely trips to the gym when you can do quick workouts throughout your day. Before you know it, you’ll notice yourself losing more weight and having more defined muscles.

If you’re still struggling to lose that stubborn weight, we can help. Our Body Transformation Challenge can help you achieve your fitness goals in as little as 9 weeks. Visit our website to learn more.

10 Quick And Healthy Low-Carb Snacks That’ll Help You Ditch The Chips

10 Quick And Healthy Low-Carb Snacks That’ll Help You Ditch The Chips

Are you addicted to carbs? Here are some healthy low-carb snacks that will make you want to break up with those cookies and chips.

You’re out and about running errands. Then, all of a sudden, hunger pangs strike!

What do you do? Perhaps your first instinct is to grab a snack for a quick energy boost, such as a candy bar, cookie, muffin, or chips. If you’re trying to lose weight and keep fit, obviously none of these snacks will cut the mustard.

Thankfully, with a little bit of forethought, you can choose low-carb snacks at the grocery store that’ll not only provide great nutritional value but also keep you on the right track health-wise.

Here are 10 best low carb snacks you can chow down when you need to keep those hunger pangs at bay.

1. Nuts

Nuts can be ideal no carb snacks. They contain healthy fat, fiber, and protein all in a single package and most are packed with nutrients.

But there two things to keep in mind when it comes to eating nuts:

  • Some nuts, like cashews, actually contain a sizable amount of carbs.
  • Some people find it difficult to stop when they’re eating nuts.

Make a small pot every morning and gnaw at them all day. But don’t eat too much as the carbs may soon pile up. Carefully monitor your portion sizes.

Eat lower carb nuts like almonds and macadamia. Steer clear of cashews.

2. Seeds

The most readily available seeds are pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Chia seeds and flax seeds are other amazingly nutritious low carb snacks.

Almost all their carbs are in fiber form, which won’t raise your blood sugar. And, as a rule, check the number of carbs in seeds when you buy some from the convenience store.

Store seeds in the fridge. Only take out the portion you want to eat at a time. If you carry them to work, use little snack-sized zip bags.

3. Deli Meat

Any cold piece of deli meat is good to have at hand. Leftover meatballs, leftover roast meat, sausages, bacon, etc. are all easy and healthy low-carb snacks.

Be sure to pick meat with minimal processing, like bacon with no sugar or honey, ham off the bone, salami/pepperoni with at least 98% meat or fat and minimal additives, and sausages with at least 85% meat.

4. Berries

Berries are an amazing source of antioxidants and vitamin C, which helps fight disease, low immunity, and aging.

Eat fresh berries, or suck on frozen ones. You can also add some coconut cream or full-fat cream.

Buy different kinds of these low carb sweet snacks to receive all the different properties and nutrients they offer.

5. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Keep some hard-boiled eggs in your freezer. They’re a simple, convenient snack with a fair amount of fat and protein to keep your appetite under control.

Occasionally, you’ll find hard-boiled eggs at your local convenience store. They’re the ultimate snack, packed with vital vitamins, protein, and minerals. In fact, the egg white contains over half of the protein, along with vitamin C, lots of B vitamins, copper, iron, zinc, and selenium.

One big hard-boiled egg contains less than one trifling gram of carbs. Make sure to also eat the yolk as it contains all of the vitamins.

6. Raw Vegetables

Raw vegetable snack packs are becoming a pretty common sight in grocery stores.

Celery is a great choice with only a gram of carb in a 3-ounce serving. Meanwhile, three ounces of broccoli and carrot have 3 and 6 grams of carbs respectively.

You can dip your veg in peanut butter, low-fat or non-fat Greek yogurt, hummus, or low-fat cream cheese.

7. Beverages

It’s never been easier to find a low-carb drink in the grocery store.

Some great virtually carb free snacks include diet soda (0 carbs), unsweetened coffee or tea (0 carbs), unsweetened vegetable juice (11 gm), plain low-fat milk (11 gm), and coconut water (9 gm of carbs).

Another great option is plain sparkling water, which can lessen your hunger until you get back home.

8. Kale Chips

Kale is a low-carb snack, so you can munch a bit more of this delicious green without actually going too fat with calories.

It’s also nutrient-dense, and eating fewer carbs while keeping the micronutrients high is essential for your overall health.

For example, kale is loaded with B vitamins, which are crucial for converting carbs, proteins, and fats into energy. If you don’t receive enough B vitamins, your metabolism gets into sloth mode.

To make simple and quick low carb chips, drizzle kale leaves with ultra virgin olive. Add some pepper and salt to taste. Bake for 10-15 minutes at a temperature of 350 degrees.

Remember, 100 gm of kale has just 8 gm of carbs and 4 gm of plant-based protein. Enjoy!

9. Greek Yogurt

Yogurt is a breakfast favorite for many of us, but it’s also perfect for dessert. Greek yogurt is low in sugar and fat and full of protein, so long as you buy the unsweetened variety.

It’ll keep you satisfied for several hours, making it an amazing snack. You can also sweeten Greek yogurt with cinnamon and add chia seeds for extra energy, fiber, and calcium.

Greek yogurt is basically high in flavor and low in carbs.

10. Hot Dogs

You can take this snack as a last resort if you don’t find anything else to eat in the store. But make sure to chuck the bun! Regardless of the bad rap they’ve received, hot dogs are absolutely fine in a pinch, providing 2 gm of protein and just 2 gm of carbs.

Although high in cholesterol and sodium, hot dogs make for a much healthier snack than a store-bought brownie (21 gm of carbs) or a pack of potato chips if you’re trying to eat healthily and stay in shape.

Final Verdict on Low-Carb Snacks

It’s quite hard to stay healthy when your freezer is filled with chips, cookies, and donuts.

Instead of gorging on high-carb snacks that’ll pile on the pounds, give these low-carb snacks a try. You can easily make them at home or get them at your local convenience store.

Our 9-week challenge can help transform your body from the inside out as you embrace healthy snacks instead of calorie-filled chips and cookies.

Sign up now and contact us if you’ve got any questions.

Gym Couples: 6 Reasons Why It Pays To Work Out With Your Partner

Gym Couples: 6 Reasons Why It Pays To Work Out With Your Partner

Have you ever considered becoming one of those gym couples? You know the kind — the partners who lose weight and look great together. Here’s why you should.

For optimum ‘fitness goals‘ and ‘couple goals’ in one, nothing beats exercising with your partner.

But, couples working out together doesn’t just mean plenty of opportunities for Instagram-friendly hashtags and gym selfies featuring coordinating workout gear.

Becoming one of those gym couples can actually be a great way to strengthen your relationship while you both get stronger too!

Here are six great reasons why you and your partner should work out together.

1. Built-In Accountability

It’s all too easy to skip a workout when you only have to answer to yourself. Training with someone else keeps you accountable, meaning you’re more likely to stick to your exercise plan. And, who better to hold you accountable than your partner?

No one knows you and your usual excuses like your partner. And, no one knows just how to get you motivated when you’re having a bad day or don’t feel like exercising.

Couples that work out together can encourage and inspire each other. Not only will this bring you closer together, you’re both more likely to get a great workout in too.

2. Achieve Fitness Goals Faster

As author Antoine de Saint-Exup?ry said, “love is not just looking at each other, it’s looking in the same direction.” This is a great metaphor to describe how sharing goals with your partner – such as a desire to be healthier – can bring you closer, and makes it easier for you both to achieve those goals.

Bringing exercise and shared fitness goals into the relationship makes you both more aware of health and nutrition as a couple too. That means both of you are less likely to unintentionally sabotage your fitness goals with offers of takeouts or wine.

And, couples working out together also get to enjoy quality time with each other while getting in shape. Which is much more conducive to achieving your health goals than spending every night on the sofa with pizza and beer.

3. Increase Workout Efficiency

For those of you who are already confident in the gym, exercising with your partner can actually result in a more efficient workout.

Without us necessarily being aware of it, the presence of someone else increases performance. Through a combination of motivation and competition, performing a couples gym workout is a great way to boost your energy levels and improve your speed and efficiency.

Ideally, you’ll both be working out in tandem and switching between machines during super sets to save time. But, it’s also helpful having your partner there to spot you or keep an eye on your form. This ensures that you’re completing moves the right way, meaning better workout efficiency.

4. Have Fun

Having a workout buddy helps you enjoy working out and often makes gym sessions feel like less of a chore.

And, while there are plenty of solo gym moves, a great way to have fun during a couples gym workout is to incorporate some partner exercises. From simple in-sync squats to those brutal double dare crunches, partner exercises offer unique and exciting ways to challenge each other as a team.

You’re also more likely to try new methods and exercises if you have the support of your partner. That could mean going heavier on the weights, trying a new tactic such as a HIIT run, or attempting your first Pilates class together. As a result, you get to shake up your old solo routine and find different and enjoyable ways to work out in the process.

5. Boost Love and Attraction

Exercise results in the same symptoms of physiological arousal, such as shortness of breath, sweaty hands and a racing pulse. This has the effect of mirroring the thrill of romantic attraction. As a result, people often mistake physical arousal for romantic attraction.

In fact, studies show that couples report greater relationship satisfaction and increased feelings of romantic love after participating in an exciting physical activity together. The reason for this is the physiological arousal of the activity rather than the difficulty or novelty of the challenge itself.

So, while getting sweaty together might not seem a great way to make you appear more attractive in your partner’s eyes, psychological research shows that it actually does!

Working out as a couple gives you the chance to take advantage of this physiological arousal. And, it means that exercising doesn’t just make you and your partner healthier. Your relationship also becomes healthier and stronger as a result.

6. Reconnect as A Couple

The gym might not be the most romantic setting, but exercising together can be a great way for busy couples to reconnect.

Couples that work out together provide encouragement and support for each other. They also get to witness each other’s success, build trust and have fun as a team. Even suffering through a grueling workout routine or new class can be a great way to strengthen your relationship. Especially when you can both laugh about it afterwards, or console each other with soothing massages.

And, the very act of exercising together can help you reconnect as a couple. That’s because coordinating your actions, such as running at the same pace, creates nonverbal matching, or mimicry.

This nonverbal mimicry helps couples feel emotionally in tune with each other. And, through this, couples working out together report greater a greater sensation of bonding. A couples gym workout gives you both an opportunity to create this connection, benefiting your relationship and your health in the process.

Gym Couples Who Work Out Together Stay Together

If you’re both into health and fitness then it makes sense to combine your passion for exercise with your passion for each other!

And, with all these great benefits to becoming one of those gym couples, what are you waiting for?!

For more information, check out our FAQs, or contact us to find out how you and your partner can become the healthiest versions of yourselves!

10 Essential Tips For Developing A Healthy Relationship With Food

10 Essential Tips For Developing A Healthy Relationship With Food

There’s no shame in being a foodie. Still, large portions or a junk food addiction can harm weight loss. Here’s to developing a healthy relationship with food.

Do you have a healthy relationship with food? Many people think that, just because they don’t struggle with an obvious eating disorder, such as anorexia or binge eating disorder, that their relationship with food is a healthy one.

In reality, though, a lot of people have issues when it comes to the food they eat.

They might be obsessed with eating clean and flinch at the sight of a doughnut. Or, they might have an aversion to anything remotely healthy and choose to eat only junk food. They might claim to eat whatever they want with no concern about the scale, only to turn around and spend hours on the treadmill working it off.

An unhealthy relationship with food can manifest itself in many different ways, and it’s not always easy to spot.

The good news, though, is that it’s never too late to turn things around.

Read on to learn more about what a healthy relationship with food looks like. You’ll also learn some important skills regarding developing a healthy relationship with food.

Why Does Your Relationship with Food Matter?

Depending on where you’re at in your health journey, you might be wondering why having a good relationship with food is so important.

First, let’s start with the facts. Approximately 71.6 percent of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese. And, at least 30 million people in the United States suffer from some kind of eating disorder.

Clearly, there are a lot of people in this country who have a hard time eating in a way that nourishes and fuels their body appropriately. They may be eating too much or eating too little, but, at the end of the day, the result is the same — a poor relationship with food.

If you have a poor relationship with food, you’re likely going to have a hard time maintaining a healthy weight.

You might go through binge and restrict cycles or fall victim to crash diets. Or, you may look physically healthy on the outside but feel bogged down on the inside by the stress associated with constantly worrying about the food you’re eating.

Before you can make lasting changes and work toward your health and fitness goals — no matter what they are — you need to make sure you’re also working on improving your relationship with food.

What Does a Healthy Relationship with Food Look Like?

It’s hard to pin down exactly what a healthy relationship with food looks like. It’s kind of like asking someone what it means to be fit. Everyone has a different definition in mind based on their past experiences.

You can’t tell, just by looking at someone, whether or not they have a healthy relationship with food. Instead, a more accurate measure is their habits and behaviors.

There may not be one definitive method for measuring a healthy relationship with food, but the following are some common, positive traits to look for.

Ask yourself honestly whether you possess at least some of these traits. If you don’t, it might be time to work on changing your relationship with food.

You Avoid Emotional Eating

You don’t eat out of sadness, loneliness, anger, or boredom. When something bad or difficult happens, you don’t turn to food for comfort.

You Can Eat Intuitively

You’re not constantly worrying about the number of calories or grams of carbohydrates in a particular food. You’re able to recognize hunger, eat what satisfies you, and stop when you’re full.

You Don’t Try to “Make Up” for Unhealthy Choices

In the event that you do indulge and consume something that isn’t technically healthy, you don’t feel the need to “undo the damage” you’ve caused.

You have a good grasp on the concept of being “cyclically fit.” You don’t try to burn off the number of calories you just ate or fast the next day to make up for your decision.

You Avoid Comparison Traps

You understand that, when it comes to food, everyone’s needs and preferences are different.

You don’t compare your body or your food choices to others’. Instead, you just focus on making decisions that make sense for yourself and your lifestyle.

You Focus on Other Things Besides Food

One trait that almost always presents itself in people with an unhealthy relationship with food is the amount of time they spend thinking about food. They’re almost always thinking about when they’re going to eat next, what they’re going to eat next, how it’s going to affect the scale, etc.

If you have a healthy relationship with food, you likely aren’t constantly planning your next meal. You see eating as a necessary part of life and you eat when you’re hungry, end of story.

You Don’t Eat Foods That Will Make You Feel Bad

In some circles, there’s a mindset that, if you avoid certain kinds of food, it’s because you have an eating disorder or an unhealthy relationship with food.

If you truly have a positive relationship with food, though, you understand and respect the fact that some foods don’t make you feel your best.

For you, this might mean avoiding sugar because you don’t like the blood sugar crash that comes with it. Or, you might avoid eating dairy because it upsets your stomach.

A truly positive relationship with food involves eating foods that make you feel good and avoiding foods that don’t, even if everyone else is eating them.

10 Tips for Developing a Healthy Relationship with Food

It’s okay if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed at this point. It can be hard to acknowledge that your relationship with food isn’t the healthiest. It’s also easy to feel as though you’ll never be able to flip the script and make things better.

You absolutely can make a positive change in your life, though. Start by implementing these ten tips into your lifestyle to start changing the way you look at and consume food.

1. Eat Mindfully

How do you typically eat your meals?

Do you eat standing at the counter or over the sink? Do you plop down on the couch with the TV on while scrolling through Instagram, doing your best not to drop food on your phone or tablet?

Eating mindfully can help you get in touch with your body’s natural hunger and fullness cues. It can also help you enjoy your meal more and feel more satiated. If you have a tendency to overeat, this is an especially great benefit.

The next time you have a snack or meal, start by sitting down in a chair at the table. Don’t turn on the TV or look at your phone. Simply eat your meal with no distractions.

2. Express Gratitude for Your Food

Before you start to eat, take a moment to express gratitude for your food. You can do this out loud or silently to yourself.

If you’re a religious person, this can be an actual prayer. Or, you can simply say “thank you” and think for a minute about the work that went into the meal.

By pausing for a second before you dig in, you can get into a calmer, more mindful state. You may also appreciate your food more if you take a minute to think about where it came from and the work people had to do to get it to you.

3. Ask Yourself if You’re Truly Hungry

Many people start eating, not because they’re hungry, but because they’re experiencing a troubling emotion. They might be feeling lonely or sad, or they might be anxious or stressed out.

Before you reach for your food — especially if it is a highly palatable, processed food like chips or cookies — ask yourself if you’re actually hungry.

Another way to assess your hunger is to ask yourself if you could eat broccoli right now. If you’re actually hungry, broccoli will sound appealing. If you’re not willing to eat broccoli, you’re not really hungry, you’re having a craving.

4. Release the Need for Perfection

Accept that there are going to be times when you slip up. There will be times when you eat out of emotion or let yourself get distracted during a meal. It’s okay.

Once you realize where you made a mistake, take a step back and figure out why. Then, release yourself from shame and guilt and move on with your life.

Remember, you wouldn’t slash the other three tires on your car just because you got one flat.

5. Stop Labeling Foods as Good or Bad

Most people who have an unhealthy relationship with food have a tendency to label foods as good or bad. If this sounds familiar to you, try changing the way you talk about the food you eat.

Instead of seeing foods as good or bad, try looking at them as good, better, and best. Try to make most of your foods come from the “better” and “best” categories, but allow yourself to have some “good” foods every once in a while, too.

6. Don’t Keep Problematic Foods in Your House

When it comes to these “good” foods, many people find that it’s helpful not to keep them in their house, at least for a while. This is especially true for people who struggle with binge eating disorders.

If there’s a food that you have a hard time saying “no” to, do yourself a favor and reduce the number of times you need to say “no” to it. You’re less likely to overconsume ice cream if you don’t have it in the freezer at all.

Make ice cream an occasional treat that you have to go out to get. Then, when you have it, you’ll enjoy it, but won’t always be there in the freezer tempting you.

7. Keep a Food Journal

Keeping a food journal is another useful tool. Don’t just write down the number of calories or grams of carbs in the foods you eat, though.

Instead, pay attention to the emotions you experienced surrounding your meals and snacks.

Were you eating because you were hungry, or were you trying to cover up an unpleasant emotion?

Writing things down can make them more tangible. It also makes it easier for you to spot patterns and look objectively at your situation.

8. Try Cooking Your Own Food

If you have a tendency to order out several times per week, try cooking for yourself for a while instead.

Cooking at home can help you gain a better appreciation for your food. You’ll also appreciate yourself and the effort you put into cooking a nice meal.

Your meals will almost always be healthier when you cook them yourself than when you order out. You’ll save money, too!

9. Measure Out Servings

If you do keep certain foods in the house that you tend to overeat, measure out a serving instead of eating straight from the box or bag.

Even if you don’t actually put your food on a scale, just putting it into a bowl before eating will help you moderate your consumption and avoid overeating.

10. Learn to Differentiate Between “Snacks” and “Treats”

Finally, it’s important to learn the difference between a snack and a treat.

How often have you wanted a snack and reached for something that you knew wouldn’t be filling, like a cookie or a doughnut? That wasn’t really a snack. It was a treat.

Snacks should satisfy your hunger. Treats, on the other hand, are for pleasure.

If you’re hungry and have a couple of hours before you can make dinner, snack on a hard-boiled egg or an apple with almond butter.

 

Save cookies, doughnuts, and other highly palatable foods for when you want a treat.

Looking for More Inspiration?

If you’re not happy with your relationship with food, you can turn things around today. Now is the perfect opportunity to start.

Keep these ten tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to developing a healthy relationship with food.

If you’re looking for more information, check out our podcast for a variety of episodes related to health, fitness, and wellness.

Don’t forget to look into out our 9-week challenge, too. When you sign up, you’ll get one-on-one with a qualified coach who is dedicated to helping you achieve your health and fitness goals.

12 Little-Known Weight Loss Facts You Should Embrace Today

12 Little-Known Weight Loss Facts You Should Embrace Today

Are you holding on to harmful myths about losing weight? They might be keeping you from being healthy. Here are 12 weight loss facts you should know today.

on Instagram The most underrated sentence on the internet today: Losing weight is hard.

Whether you’re trying to lose a few extra pounds or a couple hundred, you’re not alone. More than one-third of all adults in the U.S. are obese. Even kids are affected, 1 in 6 children are considered obese.

It’s no secret that shedding those extra pounds is an arduous task. And with all of the misinformation floating around the web, it’s easy to stray to the wrong path.

We’re here to help you debunk some of those weight loss myths you’ve been told your whole life, and replace them with some cold, hard weight loss facts.

Read on if you’re ready for some truth in your life.

Debunked: 4 Weight Loss Myths

Because everyone knows that everything you read on the internet is true…

That statement could not be further from the truth, my friend. Whether you were told that weight loss is all about willpower, or if you’ve ever thought that someone was healthy just because they are skinny, these common misconceptions will lead you down a very wrong path and could even lead to more weight gain.

Weight loss companies sporting supplements are multi-million dollar companies, and they feed off of these myths. While these lies may fool us, they don’t fool our metabolisms.

Stop the lies, and get debunked.

1. Weight Loss is About Willpower

It’s true in that willpower plays a huge role in weight loss, but it’s not the whole story.

There are so many biological factors that play in a roll in obesity and weight loss. A number of medical conditions can cause obesity, such as PCOS, depression, or hypothyroidism. You can’t pick your genetic code any more than you can pick whether you’re obese or not.

If you’re one of the millions of people affected by a medical condition causing obesity, no amount of willpower will help you lose the weight. Nothing that anyone can ever say to you will change that.

2. Fast Food is Always Bad

Just because it’s fast doesn’t mean it’s bad.

It’s about what you order, not where you order it. If you order a Big Mac, you’re looking at about 800 calories, but why not order a salad? Just don’t smother it in creamy ranch dressing.

For example, just a ranch dressing packet from McDonald’s has 110 calories. Try using their low-fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Instead of 110, you’re looking at about 35 calories.

Health consciousness awareness is booming, and fast food restaurants are trying to accommodate it. Many offer option like apples or wraps as healthier alternatives.

Fast food doesn’t have to be unhealthy.

3. Thin People Are Healthy

Sure, obesity is a huge factor in heart disease, diabetes, and much more. But that doesn’t mean that thin people are healthier. There are a lot of people that have naturally high metabolic rates, and those people tend to eat more trash food than someone with a slower metabolism.

With all that trash food tasting so good, it’s easy to forget that your body needs real vitamins. This can lead to many disorders like anemia, depression, autoimmune disorders, and much more.

In the same way, just because someone is obese doesn’t mean that they are not metabolically unhealthy. Fat cells are stored subcutaneously, meaning that they are stored under the skin. Some people have fat storage disorders, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of their body isn’t in top shape.

Learn what it actually means to be fit here in our podcast.

4. Diet Foods Are Good for You

It’s easy to fall victim of the marketing scam that diet foods really are. Junk food is junk food, even if it says “diet” or “low calorie” on the packaging.

Product packaging is made to market, not to inform. The truth of it is, diet coke is just as bad for you as regular coke, just in a different way. Sugar-free as it may be, something has to be there to achieve that sweet taste we all love.

Check out our body transformation food section to learn more about finding healthy foods.

Now, the Weight Loss Facts: Top 12

Now that we’ve decluttered your mind of a few weight loss myths, let’s talk about the facts. The main goal of losing weight is to boost your metabolism and limit your calorie intake. This doesn’t mean you should quit eating, but it does mean that you shouldn’t consume more calories than your body burns in a day.

These 12 facts are backed up with research and repeated studies to proven effectiveness.

 

1. Water Works

It’s true what they say about water, it can help improve weight loss.

Research shows that drinking water can potentially boost your metabolic rate by 25-30%. Even drinking just half a liter of water can increase metabolism.

Some studies suggest that often times when you feel hungry, you’re really just thirsty. Try drinking a bottle of water before you pick up the snack. If you’re still hungry in about 5 minutes, go for the snack.

2. Keep Drinking Coffee

Forget everything you’ve been told about ditching your morning coffee. It’s not that coffee that’s bad for you, it’s the creamer and sugar.

Coffee is packed with antioxidants and is fantastic for your gut health. Research even suggests that your morning cup of joe can increase your metabolism by 10-29%, effectively helping you burn more calories.

It’s time to break up with your creamer, not your coffee.

3. Green Tea Boosts Metabolism

Similar to coffee, green tea is a great metabolism booster. Green tea contains small amounts of caffeine and something called catechins. Together, these chemicals work synergistically to battle excess fat cells.

Drink a cup of green tea in the morning if you’re not a coffee person, or try a green tea vitamin with breakfast.

4. Intermittent Fasting Is a Real Thing

Fasting is a popular weight loss technique, however, many people misunderstand it. Fasting is not meant for you to just stop eating. This leads to the belief that the less you eat, the less you way (which is totally false).

Intermittent fasting is intended to boost your metabolism. When your body gets used to a particular pattern, the metabolism can slow down and essentially go into a resting state. Change things up by intermittent fasting.

A popular fasting technique is 8/16, where you snack for 8 hours and then fast for 16.

5. Eat Less Refined Carbs

Carbs are not bad. I repeat, carbs are not bad.

What’s bad for you are refined carbs.

Refined carbs are things like bread, pasta, bagels. Too many refined carbs can result in blood sugar spikes.

Whole carbs are very different from refined carbs. Whole cards are unprocessed and are found in things like oats, bananas, oranges, and even beats.

When your body has a blood sugar spike, your pancreas goes into overdrive creating insulin in an attempt to counteract the blood glucose levels. Over time, this can lead to pancreatic damage and diabetes.

6. Muscle Weighs More than Fat

The purpose of this fact is not to help you lose weight, but to remind you that even though the sale doesn’t change, that doesn’t mean your BMI isn’t decreasing.

If you’re including regular workouts with your diet, which you should be, then you’re likely gaining muscle mass. Remember that muscle weighs more than fat, so if it seems like you’re gaining weight, there’s no need to fret.

The weight you are gaining is from muscle cells replacing fat cells. The scale usually goes up before it goes down.

7. Vitamin D is a Suspect for Weight Loss

We all know that vitamin D is great for bone health, but it has many more benefits.

Vitamin D is necessary for your body to even digest and absorb other vitamins. With proper vitamin D consumption, you can better absorb vitamins and in turn boost your immune system and metabolic rate.

One study found that people who have a vitamin D deficiency were more prone to obesity.

8. Men Tend to Have a Higher Metabolism

Men irritate women enough as it is, but this is one more reason. Men tend to have a higher metabolism than women.

Why?

Because men tend to have more muscle mass and more testosterone than women. Both of these are contributing factors to the body’s metabolic rate.

One study showed that when men and women who were placed on the same weight loss regimen, the men lost nearly twice as much as the women.

9. You Can’t Just Diet, You Have to Exercise

We mentioned earlier that muscle weighs more than fat, and that you should definitely be working regular exercise into your diet.

The reason low-calorie diets work is that the body starts using stored fat cells as an energy source. What most people don’t realize, though, is that the body will also start using muscle cells as an energy source. When you’re on a low-calorie diet, it’s critical to incorporate exercise into your daily routine to avoid muscle loss.

10. Eating Slower Can Help You Feel Full Faster

This one may sound a bit dumb, but we promise there’s research to back it up.

When you chew your food more slowly, your brain has more time to accurately register your hunger levels. This can help you feel full faster, and in turn, eat fewer calories.

A research study that was done on 30 healthy women showed that eating slowly lead to decreases in their energy intake.

11. Eating Spicy Foods Can Help

Do you have a liking to spicy foods?

Peppers contain something called capsaicin oil. The oil has shown to boost your metabolism when eaten in certain doses. This study showed that when eaten in a high enough dose, the capsaicin oil actually burned about 10 more calories per meal.

Fun Fact: Capsaicin oil is what gives the food it’s spiciness. The capsaicin oil binds with temperature receptors in your mouth and throat, effectively tricking your brain into thinking you’ve put something ‘hot’ in your mouth. This is the same reason why mint gum makes your mouth feel cold.

12. Sleeping is More Important Than You Think

At the end of the day, there’s sleep. A poor sleep schedule is strongly related to weight gain.

Studies have shown that people with deprivation are more prone to weight gain.

See, when you sleep, your body rests and resets itself. Sleeping renews your energy. When you have poor sleeping habits, your body doesn’t get the chance to renew its energy so it requires more calories.

Lack of sleep disrupts the hormones that control your appetite, ghrelin being one of them, causing you to feel hungrier more often. That’s the reason behind you craving sugar and simple carbohydrates when you’re sleep deprived. They give you short bursts of energy- which your body needs.

However, neither of them will give you sustained energy and you’ll find yourself hungry and tired again in about an hour.

All in All, Just Don’t Lose Yourself

Most of us want to lose weight, whether its 10 pounds or 100 pounds. The reality is that there are healthy and unhealthy ways to do it.

Making small lifestyle changes is the healthier way to shred any unwanted weight and we hope you got the information you need with these weight loss facts.

If you’re interested in adding exercise to your daily routine, try our 9-week challenge. Your personal coach will guide you through fitness exercises and even help you create a meal plan that works for you.

Or if you’re just interested in learning more about us, check out this short video.

Most importantly, no matter what anyone says, just be you. Remember, your weight measures your gravitational pull, not your worth. Follow us on Instagram so you get a little bit of motivation every day!

A Crash Course In What To Eat For Your Body Type

A Crash Course In What To Eat For Your Body Type

Have you ever heard of diets based on the type of body you have? Here’s what to eat for your body type, and how to know if this works for you.

The term “different strokes for different folks” has never been truer than when it’s applied to diet and exercise plans.

We all have that one friend that never puts on a single pound no matter how many chocolate bars they wolf down. Then there are those unfortunates who cannot reach their goal weight no matter how much they exercise or how long they stick to their meal plans.

Turns out it hasn’t got much to do with the speed of your metabolism. Although in some ways, it has everything to do with it.

It’s not how fast your metabolism works, but how it works in relation to the type of body you’re born with.

Find a happy medium by learning how to exercise and what to eat for your body type. The results will amaze you.

What Body Type Are You?

Typically when we consider different body types we think of our general shape. This is especially true for women.

These shapes are usually referred to as ”apple” or android body type, and “pear” or gynoid body type. Less commonly, we may refer to ”hourglass”, and “ruler” body types. These are all pretty accurate descriptions of body shapes.

Yet, when it comes to eating for your body type, finding the right balance goes a little deeper than first impressions.

It has to do with metabolism, bone structure, and how your body reacts to exercise. Find out where you fit in when it comes to body types.

Endomorph

Endomorphs usually fall into the pear-shaped category. They battle to lose weight and keep it off thanks to a slow metabolic rate. When they do exercise, they gain muscle easily, but it’s never as bulky as they’d like.

If you have any of the following traits, you are probably an Endomorph:

  • A rounded body shape
  • Medium to large joints and bone structure
  • Short limbs
  • Small shoulders

Due to their sluggish metabolism, endomorphs fall asleep easily and can have bouts of unexplained fatigue.

Bottom line, endomorphs have the highest body fat percentage of all body types. They have to work much harder and follow a strict eating plan to get into shape.

The good news is that the rewards are so much greater when you do achieve your goals. A fit female endomorph is the pinnacle of feminine allure, with a toned, yet softly rounded physique.

Ectomorph

Most supermodels are ectomorphs. This highly fashionable body type is fragile and delicately built, with little fat or muscle.

While these may seem like attractive characteristics, ectomorphs have their own set of problems. Low muscle mass means that well-developed muscles are a pipe dream for most of these individuals.

Ladies tend to complain about being flat-chested and lacking in the curves of their endomorph counterparts. Men usually see themselves as too skinny and wiry.

These are the most common characteristics of endomorphs:

  • Small joints and bone structure
  • A skinny physique with low body fat
  • Long arms and legs
  • Small shoulders
  • Little muscling
  • A fast metabolism
  • Hyperactive tendencies

Ectomorphs wage an ongoing battle that many of us would love to fight. They struggle to put on weight. Unfortunately, the same applies to muscle.

Mesomorph

Mesomorphs have the best of both worlds. They are naturally lean and build muscle easily. On the downside, their bodies can pile on the pounds of fat given the chance.

These are the main characteristics of mesomorphs:

  • Lean and muscular body
  • Natural strength
  • Medium size bone structure and joints
  • Efficient metabolism
  • See results from exercise quickly

Female mesomorphs usually have a shapely, hourglass figure. Males tend to take a classic V-shape, with wide shoulders and narrow hips.

Working Out a Plan for You

People aren’t made according to factory specifications, so it’s totally possible to have characteristics from more than one body type. Figure out which description most applies to you when choosing an eating plan for your body type.

One of the easiest ways to avoid disappointment is to be realistic about how you want your body to look.

Achieving the super-ripped physique of professional bodybuilders may not be ideal for you. It’s important to realize that you can be fit and healthy without going to those extremes. You have a life to live outside of the gym.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, scroll on down to see what you should eat for your body type if you want to get into top shape fast.

What to Eat for Your Body Type

It’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong body type. Everybody can benefit from eating the kind of foods that suit their body type.

Here are some pointers to help you get on the right track.

Eating Plan for Endomorphs

Endomorphs are usually insulin dominant which means their bodies store energy easily in the form of fat.

This doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a lifetime of being overweight. It simply means you have to eat foods that get your metabolism pumping and work out enough to prevent the fat from settling.

Endomorphs fare best on a diet that is high in fat and protein. The ideal ratio is 25% carbs, 35% protein, and 40% fat. It’s best to keep your carb intake to those times when you’ve already used up a whole lot of energy exercising.

These kinds of eating plans will ensure that your retain and build on the muscle you have while restricting the amount of energy that’s stored as fat.

Stick to ”good” carbs like whole grain bread, brown rice, amaranth, millet, corn, barley, potatoes, and quinoa. Vegetables are a great source of healthy carbs as well as vitamins and minerals.

Stick to healthy fats like avocado oil and olive oil.

Diet Tips for Ectomorphs

While ectomorphs can eat what they want without gaining much weight, a healthy diet is imperative to achieve a toned, healthy body.

If you are an ectomorph, you’ll need loads of nutritious calories to build muscle and replace spent energy efficiently. This means carbs – and plenty of them.

An ideal ectomorph eating plan should involve eating high carb foods throughout the day and upping your intake just before and after your workout. The magic formula is 50 percent carbs, 25 percent protein, and 25 percent fat.

Breakfast is the main meal of the day for ectomorphs and should be heavy on the complex carbohydrates and protein. Try to fit in another 7 or 8 meals spread throughout the day.

Focus on consuming vegetable and fruits at every meal and add starchy carbs like potatoes every second meal. Whole grain, unprocessed foods are always best for optimum health and vitality.

Whey protein and high-calorie shakes can help to boost your weight gain and a cheat meal every so often won’t harm your progress when you’re an ectomorph. You are free to tuck into a cheeseburger, as long as you don’t make a habit of it.

Mesomorph Meal Ideals

Mesomorphs fall somewhere in the middle of the other two body types and usually thrive on a balanced ratio of carbs to proteins and fats. The best way to split these is often 40% carbohydrate, 30% fat and 30% protein.

Because of their propensity to put on weight, mesomorphs fare better when they stick to low -fat proteins and complex carbohydrates.

Greek yogurt, eggs, poultry, and seafood are good sources of protein, while green vegetables, whole grain foods, and low-sugar fruits are excellent for carbs. High-fiber foods will reduce sugar cravings and help you to feel full for longer.

Try to cram most of your carbs into your breakfast meal, as well as before and after exercise. Vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, and fruit are the best options for meals in between these times.

This means you’d try eating some higher carb or starchy carb foods in the morning, as well as during/post exercise. The rest of your meals should contain fewer carbs and more fats and protein.

If you feel that you need a little extra kick during an intense workout, you can indulge in an energy drink to give you a boost.

Work Out Tips for Your Body Type

On its own, eating the correct diet will do a lot for your appearance and self-esteem as well as help you to slim down.

However, diet alone won’t give you the body you want. Exercise is imperative to get into the best shape you can.

Best Exercises for Endomorphs

Endomorphs seldom have trouble bulking up, the problem is that often this bulk takes the form of fat and not muscle.

While regular weight training will work wonders to build up muscle, you need the fat burning benefits of cardio too. The magic formula for endomorphs is often 4 days of weight training per week, making sure to include a cardio session each time.

When you’re just starting out, it’s perfectly okay to stick to low impact exercise as long as it gets your heart pumping. Ideally, you should choose an activity that checks the following boxes:

  • can continue for at least 20 minutes
  • uses the large muscles like legs and back
  • involves continuous, rhythmic movement

As your muscle mass increases, your metabolism will follow suit. It’s perfectly normal to go through cycles of change as you progress. As things become too easy or no longer interest you, adapt and move on.

Winning Workouts for Ectomorphs

Fortunately, with low body fat, it’s easier to achieve well-defined muscles even with small gains when you’re an ectomorph.

If you want to bulk up you are going to need to go hard, and you’re going to need to do it often. Heavy weights and low reps are the way to go.

Compound multi-joint lifts work well for this body type. These include:

  • bench press
  • back and front squats
  • stiff-leg deadlifts
  • pull-ups
  • barbell overhead presses

There’s no such thing as ”leg-day” when you’re an ectomorph. Try to incorporate as many muscle groups as you can into every workout.

While cardio is good for your overall health, too much can turn your body into a fat-burning wasteland. A quick spin on the bicycle or a brisk walk should do the trick.

BasicTraining for Mesomorphs

When you’re a mesomorph almost anything goes, and you can really enjoy yourself at the gym.

Resistance exercises using your body weight will help to tone, firm and shape your body while burning fat at the same time. Think yoga, calisthenics, and gymnastics.

As a mesomorph, your frame can carry a lot of muscular bulk but that’s often difficult to achieve. There’s a good chance you won’t be able to lift the heavy weights needed to bulk up at first.

In the beginning, using your body weight is an effective way to improve your strength in preparation for these big lifts.

When you’re ready, you can progress to moderate repetitions with moderate weights. About 3 weight training sessions a week should do the trick, consisting of 8 to 12 reps focussing on individual muscle groups.

Staying Motivated

Getting yourself to the gym regularly can be trying. Here are a few tips to help you make every workout enjoyable and productive.

Sticking to a strict regime on your own is never easy. Enlisting the help of a personal trainer will help you to see results quicker and stay on top of your game.

When you sign up for our 9-week challenge we will match you with a personal challenge coach. They’ll guide you on what to eat for your body type and how to get the best results from your workouts.

Together we’ll ensure you get all the support and expert advice you need for success.

12 Brilliant Gym Tips For A More Efficient Workout

12 Brilliant Gym Tips For A More Efficient Workout

Do you think you’re wasting time at the gym? Efficient workouts equal fewer excuses. Here are some gym tips to help you trim the fat off your workout routine.

Do you workout regularly? If so, you’re already in an elite group.

According to new research, although more than 75% of people claim they want to get in shape and look great, only 31% actually make exercise a routine habit.

Yet, are you getting the most from your time at the gym? Do you leave with sweat dripping, adrenaline pumping and those exertion-fueled endorphins running in your veins? Or, are you still struggling to see the results you crave?

If it’s the latter, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re sharing 12 simple gym tips that can help you supercharge your workouts and bump up the ROI on that membership.

Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!

1. Start with a Plan

You walk into the gym and take a long look around. There are treadmills on one wall, ellipticals on another and a giant weightlifting area. It’s inspiring. It’s exciting. It’s also incredibly overwhelming.

You spend more than a few minutes figuring out which area you want to visit first and which part of your workout you want to prioritize.

Does this scenario sound familiar?

If so, try planning out your next gym workout. Before you even get in the car and head out, jot down what you want to focus on, how long you want to spend there and in what order you’re going to tackle it all.

Doing so not only helps you stay organized and start your workout quicker. It also makes sure your heart rate doesn’t drop as you spend time perusing the options. One way to ensure you’re always ready to go? Have a backup plan ready in case the machines you want are full.

2. Shorten and Strengthen Your Workouts

It seems like simple logic: The longer you workout, the better you’ll look and feel, right?

Not quite.

If your usual gym session includes exercising for an hour or two at a slow, moderate pace, it’s time to kick it up a notch. Studies show that interval training, or working out in smaller, 10-30 minute bursts with rests in between, is more beneficial than marathon sweat sessions.

Why? You’ll increase your heart rate, build your endurance and maximize your speed when you focus on working your body to its top capacity. When you go for longer, something has to give and it’s usually your body’s performance.

So, the next time you’re looking at the indoor track and dreading that five-mile stretch you’ve been doing, try tackling one mile instead and see how much more powerful you feel.

High-Intensity Interval Training

A popular way to add shorter, more powerful workouts to your gym routine is to try high-intensity interval training or HIIT training. Put simply, this is the method of dividing your overall workout into blocks of intense exertion along with designated times for rest.

Focus on exercises that get your heart rate and lungs working to their top capacity, and sustain the movements for a few minutes at a time. Of course, if you have any cardio or health concerns, talk to your doctor before trying a HIIT routine. It is also recommended against for those just starting out in their fitness routine.

3. Add Protein

After an especially exhausting workout, your muscles need to rebuild themselves. This is true for both cardio-centric exercises as well as strength-building ones. To amplify the results you’ll see and improve your body’s ability to bounce back, it can be helpful to add an element of protein into your post-workout meal or snack.

A simple protein shake, made with either whey or soy, is a great way to recharge and refuel after your time at the gym. You can also find protein bars and other snacks that make refilling on the go both simple and quick.

While you sip or munch, you’ll be helping your body repair any damage it sustained during your workout. You’ll also give your immune system a boost, rebuild your stored glycogen, and regrow your muscles. It’s a simple trick that can cap off a great session and help you see results quicker.

4. Pump the Right Tunes

It might sound unimportant, but the idea that the right music can affect your workout is backed by science.

While there is no one-size-fits-all playlist that will make you magically grow those muscles you want, your best bet is to stick to jams that make you feel seriously inspired. From the soundtrack to Space Jam to Madonna, anything goes. One rule? If it puts you to sleep or makes you want to cry, save it for another time.

Instead, invest in a great pair of workout headphones and turn up the dial on those energy-infused rockers that make you want to holler, howl and show your strength. Start the playlist while you’re on the way to the gym and let that feeling follow you.

5. Do a Digital Detox

One surefire way to get less from your workout? Hop off the treadmill every five minutes to respond to that group chat, take a picture of your gear or post on social media.

Not only are you allowing your heart rate to fluctuate as you momentarily disengage, but you’re also losing that valuable mental focus. If you must have your phone on you, activate airplane or vibrate mode. Otherwise, leave it in the locker room.

6. Know Your Weights

You might be tempted to grab the heaviest weight at the gym to push yourself and look cool, but take a step back from those dumbells.

Using a too-heavy weight is just as ineffective as using one that’s too light. When you try to lift a boulder, chances are you can’t do many repetitions, if any at all. The ones you are able to manage are likely not executed properly.

On the other hand, a too-small weight isn’t activating your muscles effectively. The key is to find that sweet spot. Ideally, you want a weight that requires effort to lift and move but isn’t uncomfortable to curl.

It might take some trial and error but look for one that allows you to finish out your rep set. You want to challenged and struggling just a bit on the last few reps, but not throughout.

7. Journal Your Workouts

Just as a dieter monitors what he or she eats, if you want to get the most from your gym exercises, it’s helpful to write down your progress.

Keep track of when you exercised, what you did and how you felt. You might keep your notes in an old-fashioned notebook or on a fitness app. Either way, be specific. Note how many reps you did, what weights you used and any other important details.

When you go back the next time, take a look at your notes and see where you can push yourself a little. Add a few more reps, use a slightly heavier weight or incorporate a new machine you haven’t used yet.

8. Focus on Compound Movements

Wondering what to do at the gym? Your best bet is to find exercises that pull double or triple duty.

Known as compound movements, these are ones that work more than one muscle group at a time and at least two of your joints. While there is a time and place for bicep curls and other routines that laser-focus on one area, compound workouts are a great way to maximize your time.

As you do these moves, you’ll build muscle mass, exert more energy, and burn more calories. Not sure where to start? Try a simple lunge or squat. Or, take that bicep curl a step further and flow into a shoulder press.

9. Find an Exercise You Love

It sounds simple, but one of our best workout tips is to find a workout routine you actually enjoy doing. If you aren’t passionate about something, your initial enthusiasm will only take you so far. After that, you’re just going through the motions, often to no avail.

Our interests and goals change over time, so don’t be afraid to reexamine your routine every so often to make sure it’s still enjoyable.

Whether you love running, biking, hiking, lifting or anything in between, find a workout that brings you alive both physically and mentally. That’s the only way to ensure you stick with it in the long run.

Still need a little motivation to summit that mountain ahead of you? Try reaching out to a personal challenge coach who can encourage you to push ahead on your fitness journey.

10. Fine-Tune Your Form

All the repetitions in the world won’t give you results if you’re not doing them correctly. While it’s fine to add on more weight as you grow stronger, make sure you’re not sacrificing your form as you do so.

This is where a personal trainer can be valuable. Work with one at your gym to make sure you’re performing each exercise the right way. Doing so can help you prevent injury and safely engage all the muscles you’re supposed to be working.

While you’re still learning, stick with a lighter weight and focus on maneuvering it before you build up to a higher level.

11. Train Your Brain

Exercise is as much about mental strength as it is about physical. To this end, it’s helpful to focus your mind on each part of your workout as you’re going through it. Think about the muscles you’re activating, your posture, and the form you’re trying to maintain.

As you do so, you’ll automatically become more invested in the routine rather than just going through the motions. If you find yourself spacing out, talking with others around you or watching the television screen too often, take a break to re-center.

12. Get More Rest

If you think your muscles are working during your workout, you should see them afterward. As your body repairs itself from the exertion and strain you put on it, this is a valuable and important time in your fitness regimen.

If you’re pushing through back-to-back workouts without resting in between sessions, you’re denying your body that vital time. It’s no wonder, then, that you haven’t seen the immediate results you’re looking for. As your muscle fibers are put to the test, they develop small tears that must heal to grow.

Moreover, the next time you visit the gym, you’re not only sleep-deprived and sloppy, but you’re also setting yourself up for injury.

Though it might be against your nature to indulge in rest, it’s essential that you do so. If you suffer from insomnia or have a difficult time falling and staying asleep, it’s worth a call to your doctor to address any underlying health conditions that might be attributed to the issue.

Ace Your Next Workout With These Gym Tips

We all want to make the best use of our time at the gym. It’s why we make the trek up there, gear up and carve out space in our schedule to sweat. Yet, it’s frustrating to think that you can put so much into your workout and still feel dissatisfied with the results.

That’s where we come in.

Our team of coaches is dedicated to making sure you don’t run through your next workout aimlessly. We’ll work one-on-one with you to help you define, refine and achieve your fitness goals. From the foods you eat to the routines you perform, we understand that great health is a lifestyle, not a fad.

If you’re just getting started, our nine-week challenge is a great place to begin. You’ll transform your physique from the inside out, learn valuable gym tips and amaze yourself in the process. In the meantime, feel free to contact us with any questions. Your transformation is our motivation!

Scroll to top