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.

Vegetables: The Superheroes of Nutrition

vegtablesWe are all familiar with the WHO’s recommendations to consume 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that at least half of your every meal should consist of vegetables. But what are the actual health benefits of veggies and are all of them equally good for you? Do you know which vegetables contain the most health promoting elements?

Nutrients

From an early age we are told that vegetables are healthy because they contain vitamins. That, of course, is true but they contain many more health promoting nutrients. To name a few, most veggies are rich in Vitamins A, E, B and C and potassium. Dietary fiber, present in vegetables is a very important ingredient of a healthy diet – it is responsible for bowel health and it helps us feel full for longer leading to a potential caloric intake decrease (weight loss).

Benefits

Consuming enough vegetables will help keep your blood sugar at a healthy level and ‘bad’ cholesterol at bay. It will help reduce your risk of many cancers (including colon cancer) and heart disease. Since vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber (which gives you the feeling of satiety), they help maintain a healthy weight and avoid all obesity related diseases. Potassium, present in veggies, helps prevent kidney stones and bone loss.

The Stars Among Veggies

Let’s take a look at a few particular vegetables so rich in nutrients and antioxidants that they are considered superfoods.

  1. Kale – this lovely salad leaf (also great steamed or as a smoothie ingredient) is packed with vitamin C.
  2. Broccoli – high in fiber and iron as well as vitamins C and K. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Delicious in soups, raw or cooked.
  3. Red Peppers – low calorie, 1 medium pepper provides 150% of your daily recommended vitamin C intake. Eat raw or get creative and stuff them with fillings or your choice.
  4. Alfalfa Sprouts – This tiny veggie superhero contains beta-carotene, an antioxidant that can prevent lung cancer and is responsible for healthy skin, hair, nails, gums and bones.
  5. Beets – in all forms are full of vitamins and contain lutein which helps maintain healthy eyes.
  6. Brussels Sprouts – eating these small guys can enhance our body’s detox systems, and offers plenty of fiber vitamins K, C, and B-6, and minerals like manganese, folate, and copper. Brussels sprouts also contain omega-3 fatty acids.
  7. Spinach – contains phytochemicals that have anti-inflammatory properties. Spinach is also a great source of vitamins A, K, and E as well as calcium. Can be enjoyed raw in salads, smoothies or cooked.
  8. Asparagus – truly delicious and very healthy – it is packed with folic acid essential for tissue growth and regeneration.

 

These are just some examples of the healthiest vegetables that are also low in calories and contain no (or almost no) fat. Remember to add vegetables to your every meal to remain strong, fit and healthy.

Vitamin Supplementation: The Benefits of Vitamin B

vitamin b

Introduction

Vitamin B complex is a group of water-soluble vitamins that are usually present in the same foods. It makes sense to discuss them and their uses and benefits separately. Over all though, they are responsible for the functioning of the metabolism, the nervous system, red blood cell production and the protection of DNA (they serve as powerful antioxidants). The vitamin B group really is essential to keeping good health and staying youthful.

Let’s take a closer look

THIAMINE (Vitamin B1)

According to research it is very useful for treating conditions such as cataracts, kidney disease in people with diabetes and painful menstruation.
Thiamine is also used for digestive problems including poor appetite, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, enhancing learning abilities, increasing energy, fighting stress and preventing memory loss, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Remember, that tannins present in coffee and tea react with thiamine making it less accessible for our bodies. Vitamin C has the ability of stopping the reaction and protecting us from thiamine deficiencies.

Raw freshwater fish and shellfish also react with thiamine – they contain chemicals that destroy it. Cooking the fish can prevent the reaction.

When it comes to supplementation, 1-2mg of thiamine is recommended per day. A good thiamine vitamin to try is Now Foods B-1 Thiamine.

Foods such as yeast, cereal grains, beans, nuts, and meat are great sources of thiamine.
RIBOFLAVIN (Vitamin B2)

Vitamin B2 is the only that can be visually observed passing through the body as it turns our urine bright yellow. It affects the metabolism and iron levels in the body. It helps transform fat into energy and takes part in many other complex metabolic processes. Great sources of riboflavin are spinach, beet greens, and broccoli. These, among other foods protect the body from DNA damage caused by free radicals. B2 is a great antioxidant. It also improves the metabolism of iron.

NIACIN (Vitamin B3)

Niacin’s health benefits are also significant, just like all the other group B vitamins. It increases the good cholesterol (HDL) and lowers bad cholesterol (LDL). It can also reduce hardening of the arteries and the risk of suffering heart attacks. Some studies show that it may decrease the threat of developing Alzheimer’s.

Niacin plays a crucial role in energy transfer reactions in the metabolism of glucose, fat and alcohol.

Apart from supplements, it can be found in red fish, cereals, legumes, and seeds.

PANTOTHENIC ACID (Vitamin B5)

Similarly to the others, vitamin B5 is also essential for the functioning of our metabolism. It has proven to help treat ulcers connected with diabetes, lower cholesterol and helps maintain healthy strong hair. Most foods contain some but especially avocado, whole-grain cereals, legumes, eggs, meat, royal jelly, and yoghurt.

PYRIDOXINE (Vitamin B6)

Needed for the metabolism of carbohydrates and for the production of red blood cells. Interestingly, it is also very important in nervous system health – for example, a deficiency of Pyridoxine can cause depression. Three key neurotransmitters— GABA, dopamine, and serotonin—all need the presence of vitamin B6 for synthesis. Scientists concluded that the risk of low mood is higher in people with lower levels of vitamin B6. This vitamin also supports liver cleansing. It can be found in tuna, sweet potatoes, turkey and spinach.

 BIOTIN (Vitamin B7)

Biotin, similarly to other vitamins B, is very important for the health of our metabolism and has multiple uses in our bodies. To name a few, it is essential for tissue growth such as muscle, tendons and hair. It helps maintain stable blood sugar and regulate the metabolism it also helps maintain a healthy body weight. It can be found in fish, egg yolks oats and nuts.

 FOLIC ACID (Vitamin B9)

Folic acid such as  is recommended especially for pregnant women. But why? Because it is crucial for proper brain function and the production of DNA and RNA. It is especially important when cells and tissues are growing rapidly, such as during infancy, adolescence, and pregnancy. According to medical studies folic acid can reduce the risk of some cancers such as colon, breast, cervical and stomach cancer.

COBALAMIN (Vitamin B12)

This vitamin is necessary for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis. It’s naturally found in animal products such as fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and dairy, vegetarians are especially at risk of deficiency. In that case supplements and fortified cereals may be of great use.

You should maintain a healthy balanced diet to avoid vitamin B deficiency as it can be detrimental to your health. These vitamins are responsible for cell repair and our metabolic system functioning properly. If you think you may need additional supplementation you should take advantage of the products available on the market such as Doctor’s Best B12..

Remember: Overdosing on any vitamin can be just as dangerous as vitamin deficiency. Always consult your doctor when you begin supplementation with vitamins or minerals. If you choose supplements, make sure you invest in high quality products. Some products only contain traces of active ingredients or their bioavailability is low.