Fat Loss Tips for the Ultimate Beach Body

beach body

As summer is fast approaching it is important to find and cultivate sustainable ways to keep fat off and remain as healthy as you can. Staying in shape may be a challenge especially with a hectic lifestyle. Also many are confused and tricked into believing myths such as ‘crunches get you a lean stomach’ or spot fat burning. That’s why we offer some reliable tips on how to stay lean and fit especially in the summer!

Increase Your Protein Intake

Many people, especially women can be skeptical about this one because of a common misconception that protein makes you fat or you should only eat a lot of it when you work out. There’s nothing more misinformed! Protein is the most filling of macronutrients and it speeds up your metabolism. It will also protect your muscle for the optimal fat burning effect. Aim for at least a gram per pound of bodyweight.

Stay Hydrated

Most of our bodies is actually made up of water. It is absolutely essential for the functioning of all systems in our bodies including the digestive system and metabolism. 3 litres per day is a goal you should keep in mind. Drinking will flush and cleanse your body and keep you full so you can avoid food cravings.

Your Diet Should Be 90% Whole Foods

This tip, as opposed to many complex diets and restrictions thrown at us daily is simple. Stick to whole, natural and unprocessed foods most of the time. They have all you need to stay healthy and lean, including vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fill your menu with veggies, fruit, whole grains and lean meat, poultry and fish.

Bring Intensity Up To A New Level

To get leaner keep your workouts intense and avoid long breaks between sets. Continuously look for new stimuli for your body so it gets tired every time. You can take it up a notch from your usual 8-12 rep range to exhaust your muscles and keep your heart rate up for maximum fat loss.

Use Cardio Wisely

Don’t be one of the people who spend their lives on the treadmill with little or no result. Be smart – do good cardio (with the right heart rate for fat loss) or high intensity intervals a few times a week. Variety and consistency will bring more effect than doing it all the time – for hours every day.

 

Take Rest Seriously

Your body works and develops when you rest. Sleep maximizes that potential as during sleep you produce more growth hormone which helps your body heal, regenerate and develop. To see best results commit to 8 hours of sleep every night. When you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body can go into a stressed state, which can lead to elevated cortisol levels and other hormonal imbalances. Try to make your bedroom a stress free environment and avoid watching TV directly before bed. Take a relaxing bath or drink some herbal tea to help you unwind.

 

 

The Benefits of Foam Rolling

foam rolling

 

What is foam rolling and why is it so popular in the fitness world lately? You may think rollers are just another gimmick or a useless gadget but actually they have many health benefits if used properly.

The Concept

Foam rollers are effective tools for physique-building, recovery and injury prevention. The mechanism behind the health benefits is called self-myofacial release, or SMR. SMR is an alternative medicine method which treats skeletal muscle immobility and pain by relaxing contracted muscles, improving blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulating the stretch reflex in the muscles. It is actually nothing new since therapists have been using this technique for years. To achieve the release, a therapist applies a low load, long duration dragging force across layers of soft-tissue in the body. After a period of time, the tissue becomes more mobile. Using a roller to perform this is a great alternative to a therapist.

The Benefits of SMR

Increased blood flow throughout, better movement and increased range of motion are all befefits of SMR that will protect you from injury and improve recovery times. They are an excellent addition to anyone’s workouts regardless of age and ability. Rolling can also increase your performance during training by improving your range of motion and circulation.

Where to Start

Start gently. For example you could begin by foam rolling your calves. Our lifestyles are ususally quite bad for the calves, we sit all the time and wear uncomfortable shoues with little support and women wear high heels. This means the calf is rarely stretched properly and its natural range of motion is limited.

Simply place one leg on the roller and the other leg on top of it. Raise the hips and slowly begin to roll to the knee. If you find an extra tender spot, stop and hold. After about 20 seconds continue to roll through the area four times. Then set the hips on the ground and rotate the leg four times side to side.

Other great ways to use the foam roller include rolling the quads and the upper back. Just remember do it slowly and carefully.

 

When Should You Roll?

You have probably already figured out that SMR should ideally be done before and after a workout. Roll before you even begin your warm-up or cardio for optimal results and preparation for physical effort. You will improve blood circulation and reduce any tensions. Rolling improves flexibility and range of motion which will make your workout more effective. Also, use rolling as a part of your cool down or stretching routine, post workout. It will enable the muscles to relax and recover quicker. Additionally, it will help replace the oxygen depleted blood with fresh, nutrient packed blood and facilitate growth.

You can roll for as little as five minutes and still you will notice improvement in your flexibility and range of motion. Rolling will help you with stress and tension accumulated throughout the day.

 

Fat Burning Myths: Don’t be Fooled

fat burning myths

Even fitness experts believe certain things about burning fat that have existed forever but there is little or no scientific backing for those claims. Take a look at this short review of the most popular and wide – spread fat burning myths.

Myth # 1: Cardio Is Best for Fat Loss

Most people believe that performing cardio for long periods of time is the best way to lose stubborn fat.

In reality cardio will help you lose weight, but a significant amount of that weight will potentially be muscle tissue. Losing muscle will slow down your metabolism and as a result you will burn even less fat! Build more muscle and become a fat burning machine! Burn the muscle by performing too much cardio and become skinny fat.

Myth # 2: Spot Reduction

Corporations, fitness gurus and exercise regimes offer ideas of quick fat loss in specific areas such as the thighs or stomach. In reality the spot reduction theory is an absolute myth. Fat loss occurs throughout the body depending upon genetics, sex (hormones), and age. Overall body fat must be reduced to observe loss in any particular area. Although fat is lost or gained throughout the body, it seems the first area to get fat, or the last area to become lean, is usually the midsection, hips and thighs. Don’t waste your time doing thousands of crunches to slim down your waist. Instead, invest your effort into a healthy diet and reasonable exercise.

Myth # 3: You Shouldn’t Eat After 6PM

In reality the amount of calories consumed will determine whether you will lose or gain fat. Secondly you should worry about the macro and micronutrients necessary to keep your body running smoothly. Timing is of secondary importance.

A recent study by Italian researches compared eating in the morning to eating in the evening. The result showed no difference in weight loss between the two groups, but fat burning was actually higher in people who ate their meals after 6pm.

 Myth # 4: Eating Every 2-3 Hours Will Speed Up Your Metabolism

Many people preach that small, frequent meals increase your metabolic rate, which is true. But that does not necessarily promote fat loss.

In recent studies it was discovered that groups of people eating the same amount of calories divided into 5 small, or 3 larger meals didn’t show differences in fat burning.

Myth # 5: Fasted Cardio is Necessary to Lose Fat

Training fasted puts you at risk of losing lean muscle mass and we have already discussed why you wouldn’t want to do that. Training in the morning is not really special. What really matters is that you train regularly, intensely and consistently. People like believing in ‘secret’ ways to lose fat that are super-efficient and superior to others. Sorry, I have to disappoint – you will have to work hard for a lean body – day or night!

 

 

 

How to Stay Hydrated Throughout the Day

how-to-stay-hydrated

Dehydration is one of the most common and underestimated dangers in our daily lives. You may not think about it or realize it and by the time it can seriously hurt you, you get so thirsty you finally get a drink. But what are the consequences or not being adequately hydrated all day, every day?

First of all, water regulates most functions in the body, it’s also a major part of all our cells and tissues. It helps in efficient transportation and distribution of oxygen by blood to all cells. When you are even slightly dehydrated you will feel tired and sluggish. You may experience headaches and dizziness or light headedness. What are you likely to do then? Grab a cup of coffee? This will dehydrate you further putting this vicious cycle in motion. What’s important to know is that by the time you physically experience thirst – your body is already telling you it’s desperate for water. You should strive to never allow that state to occur. Even slight dehydration will decrease your physical and mental abilities by up to 25%.

Secondly, water flushes out and removes waste from our systems. It helps keep cholesterol at bay and maintain healthy blood pressure. So when you feel sleepy and your blood pressure drops, forget the coffee and grab a bottle of water. If you observe dark urine with intense smell that is a worrying sign of dehydration, the color and smell suggest a high amount of waste and toxins.

Thirdly, water is essential for staying fit and losing/maintaining a healthy weight. Why? It regulates the metabolism and absorption of nutrients. It also helps keep hunger under control. Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger.

Tips and Tricks

But you may not enjoy sipping on water all day, not have the time or forget. What can you do?

  1. For better taste and even more health benefits add a slice of lemon, fresh mint leaves or cucumber. You can always give a super free drink stick such as Slender Stick a try.  We get it – plain water is not everyone’s thing.
  2. Drink plenty of tea – red, green, herbal, fruit flavored – there is a kind for everyone. Swap coffee for a cup of herbal tea.
  3. Always carry a bottle with you. If you happen to be bored and reach for crisps or sweet to nibble on, you will sip on the drink you have, first.
  4. Make a point out of drinking a large glass of cool water when you wake up. It will energize you and kick start your metabolism.
  5. Instead of meeting your friends for beer or cocktails, find a nice tea/fruit juice bar and drink away!

It may seem awkward at first to ‘force’ yourself to drink but you will feel the effects soon enough and you will not want to stop!

What You Should Know About Pre-Workouts

 

Pre-Workout-SupplementThe pre-workout frenzy is reaching a new high but the opinions on the benefits of such products are divided. Some can’t live without them, others use them occasionally as a pick-me-up and others still say they’re a complete marketing ploy. So let’s take a look at what we really pay for and what we can and should expect from pre-workout supplements.

What Are They Really?

You probably already know (the clue is in the name) that these supps are designed to improve focus and energy. Most of them contain stimulants and other ingredients such as creatine, beta-alanine, and citruline malate, as well as nitric oxide boosters such as agmatine and glycocarn. Some products exist on the market that don’t contain strong stimulants for those who don’t like that feeling of caffeine ‘high’

What They Contain

You should really look into the ingredients before consuming a pre-workout (or any other supplement). Some may contain doses too high for someone unaccustomed or can influence medical conditions or drugs. Here are some of the most common ones.

Caffeine: A stimulant found in most pre-workouts and fat burners. Dosed correctly, it can promote increased attention, physical performance and increased muscular recovery. Needs to be used with caution – especially for people with health conditions. Used late at night can cause trouble sleeping.

Methylhexanamine: strong stimulant included in many pre-workouts. It causes a strong energy rush, improved endurance and it can enhance your mood.

Creatine: It promotes and helps maintain strength by replenishing ATP during exercise. Creatine is the most tested supplement which has proven time and again to support strength and muscle gain.

Beta-alanine: Helps maintain energy and decrease fatigue. A known side-effect of it is the so called paraesthesia, also called ‘the tingle’. It may feel strange but it is harmless and many people like the sensation.

Citruline Malate: Present in most pre-workout supps it is proven to improve aerobic performance.

Agmatine: stimulates the release of hormones such Luteinizing Hormone and Growth Hormone as well as Nitric Oxide (improves blood flow – the so called ‘pump’).

Taurine: improves physical performance, reduces muscle pain and acts as a cell volumiser by hydrating the muscle.

Arginine: Helps stimulate production of Growth Hormone and Nitric Oxide.

How To Choose The Right One

Choosing whether or not to use them or which pre-workout to pick may be hard. The market is truly flooded with fancy products. But don’t let marketing fool you. Firstly analyze if you have any health risks or contraindications. If not, test a few brands and see what works for you a great pre workout that I like is Rule One Pre-Train
. Some people with low tolerance feel the effects strongly and others need to use more to feel anything. Go for a smaller dose when you start with any given supplement. You don’t want to stay up for the next 3 days, trust me! Also, to avoid building up a tolerance, don’t use them every day. Alternatively pick the weaker ones or ones without any stimulants.