Category Archives: Health & Fitness

learning about how to live healthy

The Truth About Core Exercises

Grab your anatomy book and look up the word “core”. You won’t find  it. That’s because the entire concept of Core Exercises is a made up marketing term. Your “core”, as the term is commonly used, can refer to anything in your mid-torso. This includes muscles such as your rectus abdominis, your lower back, and the internal and external obliques. The truth is, there is nothing special about working these muscles that make them any more important than the muscles in your limbs, upper torso, or any other part of your body.

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Working your ‘core’ is supposed to bring about a whole lot of health benefits. A simple Google search of “benefits of a strong core” brings up these results:

  • “Core exercises improve your balance and stability.”
  • “Core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony. This leads to better balance and stability, whether on the playing field or in daily activities.”
  • “Core strength is the ability to support your spine and keep your body stable and balanced.”
  • “Core strength allows you to perform manual tasks safely and effectively in everyday life.”

Those seem like relatively innocent claims at first blush, but think about it for a minute. Consider the claim that “Core exercises train your muscles to work in harmony.” What on earth is it supposed to mean for your muscles to “work in harmony”? Have you ever experienced attempting to do a task and finding that one of your muscles simply fails to cooperate? If you experience that level of loss of executive function, you need a neurologist, not a yoga mat. What they are most likely trying to refer to here is your brain’s ability to learn skill patterns, and direct your muscles more efficiently. This is something that your brain learns to do through repeated action, not something that you can ‘train’ your muscles themselves to do, and not something that will come about due to a stronger torso.

Core strength is also often cited as being responsible for improving balance and coordination. An article by Reader’s Digest Best Health claims that “when you’ve got a strong core, ‘everything else will fit into place on top of it,’ meaning your overall fitness will improve, making you less prone to injury down the road.” This simply doesn’t make sense. Nothing in your body is going to “fit into place” and become stronger on its own without taking direct action to make it stronger. To strengthen your entire body and improve your overall fitness, you need to do a training regimen that targets your entire body.

The big idea behind strengthening your core to improve balance is that you can “stabilize” your spine by working the muscles there. However, balance is a skill. It has more to do with your brain than your muscles, because your muscles don’t make decisions. You don’t learn to balance while riding a bike by doing lots of squats and crunches, you learn to balance while riding a bike by riding a bike. Your brain learns which muscles to engage to keep you balanced. While there is some correlation between your ability to balance and function and the condition of your muscles, it is not more important to work your abdominal muscles in this regard. It is just as important to strengthen and tone your hips, shoulders, and legs.

This same flaw in logic is what brought us the idea of “spot reduction”. You don’t improve balance by targeting only one muscle, and you don’t get rid of fat by targeting only one area. Spot reduction is the idea that you can get rid of fat in a particular area of your body by concentrating your exercise in that area. But your body just doesn’t store and use energy that way. When your muscles need energy to work, they don’t just grab it from the nearest pile of fat. Fat is burned when the calories that you are using are outpaced by the calories you are taking in.

According to Matt Brzycki in A Practical Approach to Strength Training, “Managing your weight boils down to the mathematical interplay of two variables: caloric consumption and caloric expenditure. If you consume (eat) more calories than you expend (use), you’ll gain weight. If you expend (use) more calories than you consume (eat), you’ll lose weight.” What this means is that you are not going to get rid of your gut by exclusively doing crunches.

While it is certainly important to strengthen and improve your abdominal and lower back muscles, it is not more important than training any of your other muscles. In order to improve coordination, balance, performance, and health, you will see more results by strengthening your body in a balanced way with a strength training program that targets all of the major muscle groups by doing a comprehensive total body workout and not just Core Exercises.

Source: fiitnessplus

 

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SUPER-SLOW WEIGHT TRAINING FOR SUPERIOR MUSCLE GROWTH

If you’ve never tried super-slow weight training, you’re missing out on a superior method of muscle growth. Learn more about this effective training method and what “super-slow” really means.

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What if I told you super-slow weight training could work your cardiovascular system to the same intensity as sprinting while also building muscle and superior strength and the same time? What if I also told you that you could improve your insulin sensitivity and growth hormone production simply by changing your routine and how you structure your sets and repetitions? Do you think that would be something you might be interested in?

Here is what you need to know:

Traditional steady state cardio is very hard on the body and can lead to chronically high levels of cortisol and cause the body to cannibalize hard earned muscle.

Fast twitch muscles store the most glycogen, so in order to discourage fat storage we need to deplete our excess glycogen store and focus on working these motor units.

Traditional weightlifting may not adequately stress muscles enough to optimally trigger the adaptive response needed to stimulate growth.

So, how can you address the limitations above, stimulate growth hormone production, build muscle, and get a far superior cardiovascular workout? Easy, simply replace all or part of your normal routine with full body super-slow weight training sessions.

WHAT ARE SUPER-SLOW WEIGHT TRAINING SETS AND REPS?

Unlike regular weight training sets where you complete a certain number of reps, super-slow sets are usually done for time, with the goal being to do one continuous set for one to two minutes without stopping. Also, instead of using a speed of 1 second up and 1 second down, super-slow sets use a speed of 3 to 5 seconds up and 3 to 5 seconds down, or even 10 seconds up and 10 seconds down.

So what are the benefits of super-slow reps?

Below are four primary benefits of using super-slow reps and sets:

BENEFIT #1: CONTINUOUS TENSION

Using super-slow reps keep the muscles under continuous tension causing all muscle fibers and motor units to be recruited in the movement. This causes a superior pump and a deeper level of fatigue.

BENEFIT #2: SUPERIOR AEROBIC STIMULUS

Super-slow reps provide a superior aerobic stimulus by causing your body to circulate a large amount of blood and oxygen in an attempt to supply the muscles with enough fuel to maintain the movement. (If you do these sets properly you will feel like you have been sprinting)

BENEFIT #3: FAST TWITCH MUSCLE FATIGUE

Super-slow reps deeply fatigue fast twitch muscles which can cause an increase in the muscles ability to store glycogen. This can help normalize blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. The result is that your body may resist turning excess sugar to fat helping you to stay lean.

BENEFIT #4: TRIGGER GROWTH HORMONE

Super-slow reps can trigger a superior growth hormone response by getting your muscles closer to complete failure. This signals your body to build more fast twitch muscle fibers. Researcher Dr.Suresh believe that this may have an anti-aging effect on the body due to every cell in the body receiving additional growth hormone. As we age, the body experiences “somatopause,” a natural process where our HGH production declines. It becomes incredibly important over the age of 30 to stimulate these systems in the body regularly to help build new tissue.

So what is the overall take away? Super-slow reps can provide a far superior cardiovascular workout to steady state cardio. It may also provide a greater stimulus for muscle growth than traditional reps and sets due to the deep level of fatigue that is created. There are a three things to keep in mind though: 1) high intensity reps like these are not meant to completely replace your normal routine. It is a tool to be used periodically to jump start growth and improve cardiovascular health; 2) super-slow training is very hard on body, so increased rest is recommended between sessions; and, 3) You will need to use a much lighter weight to ensure that you can control the weight through the full range of motion.

I hope you liked the article and please don’t forget to share with your friends

Source: fiitnessplus

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Should I use Ice or Heat?(Common Injury Question)

It’s a question a lot of people have when training:

“I’m hurting after that workout yesterday, so do I ice it or use heat?”

It’s inevitable: you stretch and stay hydrated but you still sometimes get injured during a workout. So what do you do with the nagging pain, do you ice it or use heat?

Cryotherapy (cold therapy) and thermotherapy (heat therapy) have long been the choices for relieving pain, but they are appropriate for different situations.

Much of the choice depends on the person and the injury, but a little basic knowledge about each strategy can help you make the right choice every time.

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What Happens When You Ice?

First, let’s take a look at what icing actually does to your body. Skin receptors pick up different sensations, like pressure and temperature. Our skin has more cold receptors than heat receptors.

When the skin senses a cold temperature, it activates the cold receptors and these block some of the sensation of pain.

Icing also causes vasoconstriction—the narrowing of blood vessels. This decreases the blood flow and helps to slow down the inflammatory response. When an injury is inflamed, the area may be swollen, red, and warm to the touch. Applying ice helps to reduce or even prevent the inflammatory response.

When to Ice…

There are a few different situations in which you should use ice:

  • If the injury is acute, or sudden, you use ice to help relieve and prevent swelling by reducing blood flow to the area. For example, if you sprain your ankle working out, reach for a bag of frozen peas to reduce the swelling. The sooner you ice, the better the effect will be.
  • Ice can also be helpful for many soft tissue injuries. For example, ice after a tough exercise to relieve muscle soreness and shorten recovery time.
  • Icing is also a useful way to recover from surgery by reducing swelling around the site; just don’t put ice directly on the incisions.

When icing an injury or after surgery, do it as soon as possible and for up to 72 hours for the greatest effectiveness. If swelling persists, see your doctor.

When Not to Ice…

Icing is not always the best solution. There are some situations in which you should avoid the cold pack:

  • Stiff joints. Do not use ice to relieve stiffness. Doing so will actually increase stiffness.
  • Pre-workout. Don’t ice before you exercise because it will mask pain, causing you to end up with more damage. An exception is if you need to stretch for therapy and recovery purposes, icing beforehand can help increase your range of motion and reduce pain.
  • High blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, icing can raise both your systolic and diastolic blood pressure because of the decrease in blood flow in blood vessels.
  • Wounds. Don’t apply ice to open wounds. Cold doesn’t help wounds heal any faster and, in fact, could impede the healing process.
  • Poor circulation. If you have problems with circulation, such as Raynaud’s, take care when icing.  The vasoconstriction can decrease circulation even more.
  • Anesthesia. Don’t ice areas that have been treated with local anesthesia. You won’t be able to feel pain, which means you could be damaging nerves or getting frostbite without realizing it.
  • Chronic Injuries. Ice is best if used for acute injuries. Icing chronic injuries, such as low back pain, is not beneficial.IMG_5471

    How Long and How Often Should You Ice?

    If icing is the right choice for your injury, there are a few things you should know before you get started.

    Don’t ice for more than 20 minutes at a time. It isn’t beneficial once past a certain point. Icing for 15-20 minutes is optimal.

    There is also some evidence that icing intermittently can be helpful for pain relief in acute soft tissue injury, so if needed, you can even do two 10 minute sessions.

    The length of time to ice the injury can also depend on the injury and the person icing. If the injury isn’t deep, you don’t need to ice for as long. The deeper the injury the longer you need to ice.

    For example, a finger injury needs less ice time than a hamstring injury. You should also make sure you leave enough time in between icing applications for your temperature to return to normal.

    If you have any sensitivity to cold you may not be able to ice as long. Icing for too long can cause frostbite and tissue damage. If your skin starts to turn red and splotchy you may have iced for too long and it’s time to stop.

    A Few Icing Strategies

    There are a few different methods you can use to ice injuries. Frozen ice packs are easy to use and will mold to the shape of the body part you are icing.

    Ice cups are another easy way to use cryotherapy. You can even make your own with paper cups. Just add water and freeze. Apply the ice at the top of the cup to your injury site and tear back the paper as the ice melts.

    You can use a wrap to hold ice or a cold pack to your body. This helps keep it in place, but as an added bonus the compression from the wrap makes the ice more effective.

    If you are sensitive to the cold, add a barrier, like a thin cloth, between the ice or cold pack and your skin. This will protect your skin, but may cut back on the effectiveness. When icing for muscle soreness after exercise, you can take an ice bath, but these are not for the faint of heart.

    Ice is great for a lot of injuries, but what about heat? There are some situations in which heat beats cold.

    What Happens When You Use Heat?

    Heating is often used as a therapy to help relieve pain and promote healing. When you heat an injury, the warmth causes vasodilation—the widening of blood vessels. This increases blood flow to the injured tissue, which in turn increases the amount of oxygen and speeds healing. As a bonus, heat therapy is soothing and relaxing.

    When to Heat…

    Heat therapy is best used for injuries that are past the acute stage. After 72 hours, or after the swelling has gone down from the initial injury, use heat to trigger the healing response.

    If you have a chronic or reoccurring injury, you can also use heat for pain relief. Heating also can help with stiffness; the increase of blood flow from the vasodilation can help to increase flexibility.

    When Not to Heat…

    As with icing, heat is not right for every situation. Heat shouldn’t be applied to a new or acute injury. This can cause an increase of blood flow to the injury and create more inflammation. Don’t add heat to any injury that is swollen or inflamed.

    How Long Should You Use Heat?

    You can apply heat for 15 to 30 minutes, but the time may vary depending on the method of heat you use. Always have a barrier in between your skin and the heat pack. This is important to prevent burning. If it feels too hot, add another layer.

    Check for comfort every so often to be sure that you aren’t getting burned. The applied heat should not be so hot that you feel uncomfortable.

    How to Apply Heat

    Applying a heat pack to the injured area is a good way to transfer heat. Again, you will need a barrier between your skin and the heat pack. You can also use a Jacuzzi for some hot water, which is the best option for whole-body heat therapy.

    Both heat and ice have their place in training. Know how each one affects injuries and you will be able to make the right therapeutic choice for yourself and for your training clients. Some situations may be more complicated, and if you aren’t sure what to do, follow the advice of a doctor or physical therapist.

    Source: DRS

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FAT LEAVES OUR BODY THROUGH LUNGS

Ever wondered where the fat goes when we lose weight ? Most of it is breathed out as carbon dioxide, according to the new study.Lungs are the primary excretory organ for weight loss .We set out a calculate how we lose fat.

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Human fat cell store triglyceride,which consists of just three kinds of atoms; carbon,hydrogen and oxygen.Shedding unwanted fat requires unlocking the atoms in triglyceride molecules by a process known as oxidation.

By tracing every atoms pathway out of the body,the researchers discovered that when 10kg of fat are fully oxidized, 8.4kg departs via the lungs as carbon dioxide. The remaining 1.6kg becomes water. The analysis showed that the inhaled oxygen required for this metabolic process weights nearly three times more than the fat being ‘lost’.

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To completely oxidize 10kg of human fat,29kg of oxygen must be inhaled producing a total of 28kg of carbon dioxide  and 11kg of water.”Non of this biochemistry is new,but for unknow reasons it seems nobody has thought of performing these calculation before. The quantities makes perfect sense but we are surprised by the numbers that popped out.

These results show that lungs are the primary excretory organ for weight loss.The water formed may be excreted in the urine,sweat,tears or other body fluids and is readily replenished ..

If you like the post please don’t forget to like&share and if you have any questions drop it in below commentary   box.

Source: DRS 

 

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Bigger Muscles or Stronger Muscles?(-for PTs)

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Believe it or not, these are not the same…Here’s why

As a trainer, you hear just about everything from your clients. Each one has a different goal.

Client #1 says:

        “You know what? I really just want to get big.”

Client #2 says:

“Me?  I just want to increase my 1 RM, but you know, not look crazy huge.”

You have different clients and they have different needs. While having bigger muscles does lead to the potential for having greater strength, generally speaking, optimizing muscle size and optimizing muscle strength are two different things.

And you can work with your clients to achieve one or the other. It just takes different strategies, each backed by exercise research.

What do the textbooks say?

As a certified trainer you can go back to your fitness textbook and find the chart that tells you how to use weight training to achieve greater strength or hypertrophy.

In most texts the recommendations are about the same

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This is a good general rule for achieving one goal or the other, but not everyone agrees with it. Some people may find success with something a little different.

If we go to the research to find out whether these recommendations are the best or not, we find that the results are a little cloudy.

Some studies show these textbook recommendations as effective, while others will show that they just don’t work for everyone.

To get a better understanding of what it all means and how you can use the information to help your clients, let’s dig a little deeper

Muscles 101

Let’s start with some basic muscle physiology.

Muscle tissue consists of two types of muscle fiber (note we are avoiding muscle fiber subtypes):

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  • Type I Muscle Fiber. Also known as slow twitch fibers, type I muscle fibers use oxygen more efficiently and can be used over longer periods of time; think endurance. These are our smaller, least powerful muscle fibers that have little potential for hypertrophy.
  • Type II Muscle Fiber. This is the fast twitch type of muscle fiber that can burn energy quickly for short bursts of strength. These are our larger, more powerful muscle fibers that have a great potential for hypertrophy.  The two most commonly discussed types of type II muscle fiber are type IIa (fast oxidative glycolytic) and type IIb (fast glycolytic).

This leads us to the Size Principle of Motor Unit Recruitment. One motor unit is a nerve and the muscle fibers to which it is attached.

In each muscle, we have smaller, weaker type I motor units that are easily excitable and more resistant to fatigue, and larger, more powerful type II motor units that are hard to excite, but less resistant to fatigue once they are activated.

The Size Principle states that when the central nervous system recruits motor units for muscle contraction, it begins with the smallest, weakest, more easily excited type I motor units first and progresses to the larger, stronger, more-difficult-to-excite type II motor units only when force needs to be maintained or increased.  

In other words, lifting at a low intensity (i.e. a light weight) will only stimulate smaller motor units.

In order for the larger, more powerful type II motor units to be activated, greater intensity is needed.

So how do muscles get stronger?

How can we use this information to help our clients who want to get stronger, but not bigger? We have to consider the amount of weight lifted, the number of reps, and the rest period.

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1. Maximal weight

The Size Principle implies that to get stronger we need to activate all of the motor units, and that requires a heavy enough weight, or great enough resistance, to trigger the high-threshold, type II motor units. This is why the standard recommendation for load is >85% 1 RM.  Furthermore, lifting a near maximal weight will provide the additional benefit of stimulating synchronous activity of motor unit recruitment.  In order for maximal force to be generated, all motor units in a given muscle must be activated at close to the same time.  In an untrained individual, motor unit activation will occur at slightly different times, and therefore lead to inefficient movement.  This works much like rowers in a boat rowing in synch vs. the rowers rowing at different times.  One of the simplest ways to enhance motor unit synchronization is through heavy load resistance training.

2. Fewer reps

As a side effect of lifting near your one repetition maximum, the number of repetitions you will be able to perform will naturally be fewer.  Think about it: your one repetition maximum literally means that most weight you can lift one time.  Therefore if we are lifting a weight that is near our one rep max, repetitions will be kept to a minimum simply because the resistance is too great to generate numerous successive repetitions.  Generally speaking, if you are able to lift a resistance more than six times in a row, it is not heavy enough to stimulate your highest threshold motor units nor force synchronous motor unit activity.  A word of caution: however, near maximal lifting (>85% 1 RM) can be dangerous for a novice lifter, and thus one should have some training experience before attempting to develop maximal strength through this manner.

 

3. The rest interval

Now, what about the two to five minutes rest interval recommendation?

This can be related to our understanding of the metabolic pathways, specifically regeneration of adenosine triphosphate and creatine, but that can get a little complicated.

An easier way to explain it is that the central nervous system needs full recovery in between sets in order for coordinated motor unit activity and maximal motor unit recruitment to occur in the subsequent sets.  Maximal strength output requires optimal performance of both variables.  Lastly, the stronger an individual is, the more rest he or she will likely need between sets when working with a near maximal resistance.

And how do muscles get bigger?b2

Now you might be thinking that this is common sense, right? Lifting heavy weights make you stronger, but is this also the best strategy for getting bigger muscles?

The quick answer is NO. It is not likely that following the recommendations for increasing muscle strength will lead to optimal muscle hypertrophy. Here’s why:

1. Protein degradation

Resistance training initiates protein degradation, the breakdown of muscle tissue and in turn creates the right conditions for rebuilding bigger muscles during rest and recovery periods.

Protein in muscle tissue breaks down with strength training and only then can it rebuild itself into bigger tissue. The amount of protein degradation that occurs depends on how we approach our training.  Obviously, the extent to which our muscle rebuilds depends on the quality of our post training recovery (an issue separate from the discussion taking place in this article).

Protein breakdown is stimulated by two different factors:

  1.           The amount of weight lifted. Heavier weights lead to greater degradation per rep.
  2.           The number of reps. Consecutive repetitions further contribute to degradation.

2. Heavier weights, higher reps

With this in mind, in order to make our muscles bigger, we need to use a weight that is not only heavier, but also one that we can lift for a high number of reps.

This is the reason why the load and rep recommendation of 67%-85% 1 RM for 6-12 reps is the starting guideline for muscle hypertrophy.

This load/rep ratio satisfies the two factors that stimulate protein degradation: heavy weight, high rep scheme, so that you get maximum muscle building during recovery.  As you can see, while lifting a near maximal load (>85% 1 RM) for low repetitions (i.e. <6) would meet the first requirement needed to stimulate protein degradation, it would not meet the second requirement, and therefore is not the theoretical optimal load/volume ratio to be used to stimulate maximum hypertrophy.  On the other hand, lifting a light weight (i.e. <67% 1 RM) for a high number of repetitions (i.e. 25 reps) would meet the second requirement needed to stimulate protein degradation, but not the first requirement, and therefore is not the theoretical optimal load/volume ratio to use to stimulate maximum hypertrophy.

3. And…the rest interval

The rest interval recommendation for hypertrophy is 30 to 90 seconds. Why less recovery time than for increasing muscle strength?

Well, one reason is that some studies have shown this rest interval range leads to elevated levels of serum growth hormone during exercise .  Growth hormone is important in stimulating muscle growth, hence the resulting hypertrophy.

Is the textbook answer right for everyone?

Now you can see that there is a reason that most fitness textbooks will give you this particular set of recommendations for hypertrophy and strength. They act like building blocks, a starting point.

As a trainer you can use this starting point to develop individualized programs for each client.                

It is important to remember, however, that these guidelines were developed based on theory, and haven’t been consistently replicated in peer-reviewed studies.

The recommendations don’t take into account key variables such as training frequency, training experience, mode of exercise, total number of exercises per muscle group, client somatotype, supplementation, nutritional intake, or recovery quality.

Furthermore, programming ideologies such as supersets, drop sets, compound sets, half reps, negatives, periodization format, and others play a significant role in the type and rate of adaptation that occurs.

Program design

The theory of exercise is the science of program design; the ability to make adjustments to a program based on client progress and your own unique experiences is the art of program design.

The science of program design can provide a wonderful starting point from which to develop a programming outline, but it is ultimately the art of program design that will determine your clients’ results.

The best coaches and trainers OR members I’ve encountered are able to integrate both into their philosophies.

Individual differences

Program design is highly variable depending on the individual differences you see in your clients. There are many gray areas, and in my experience there are no absolutes when it comes to program design, no rights or wrongs.

As professional trainers, only seeking out sources that support our own preconceived programming ideas will severely stunt our growth.

Success in training is a process of taking the time to learn the theory of generalized programming recommendations, recording our own unique experiences, carefully considering the programming ideas of others, and being flexible enough to adapt our programs based on results.

Choosing the path of a being a trainer means that we will always be students of fitness. As the science evolves and changes, we have to as well.

So if your client’s goal is to develop strength or hypertrophy, the recommendations provided in textbooks are a nice starting point for theory-driven program design. However, it’s up to you to create your own programming design art to ensure you optimize the results for each of your unique clients.

Source: fiitnessplus

 

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“There is no time to cook, there is no time to go to the gym, I am too old, I am too fat, I am too embarrassed, I just don’t know where to start!”

How many of these can you identify with? One, two, more? The reality is that an overwhelming percentage of modern society (over 70%) struggle with their health on some level, whether it be obesity, diabetes, arthritis, or any number of health disorders that can be controlled, improved or eliminated by a change in lifestyle. Yet despite the fact we have access to so much more knowledge on how to manage our health properly, it doesn’t seem to make the impact researchers and doctors were looking for. So what is the missing piece?

Well, there is no missing piece in truth, it is more on how do you assemble the pieces to make it work. For example, is eating healthy without exercise enough to change your health for the better? It will make an impact but not to the extent we need. And we know that if people don’t see positive change in the short term they will likely stop their new eating patterns and return to old habits. What about starting an exercise program? Similarly, if we don’t manage our diet at the same time our exercise program will quickly stop yielding results, and we will likely quit. And another consideration is that if you start the “wrong” exercise program, meaning the intensity is too high or you have limitations that needed to be considered, you may be injured or demoralized and will again, likely quit. What about our self-image? Research has shown that a poor self-image is often one of the key factors in why most do not stick with their new lifestyle plan.

So looking at all these potential factors, is it any wonder that so few ever cross the finish line? What if I told you there was a way to address all of these considerations, a way to synchronize them so that your exercise program, your diet and your mindset were all addressed in one program?

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In 2009 we launched our second virtual based fitness program(DRS) and now we are training thousands of men and women in  different countries, but I wanted to do something different, something more intimate. Most of our programs run 90 days in length, but I wanted to offer something to a smaller audience, for those of you who wanted a bit more support to get you going.

So what we came up with is the “DRS-Xfit” 4-6-week Fitness Reset.

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The program includes the following:

1) Video based exercise tutorials

2) Fully illustrated exercise diagrams and program design

3) Fully detailed menu including recipes (diabetic friendly)

4) Nutritional supplements to support your healthy eating plan (vegan options available)

5) Mindset training with the I AM Project

6) 7 day a week support during your fitness journey via our private FB page and  Skype calls for accountability and check in.

Who is this program good for??

This program is for those who are healthy enough to exercise but are frustrated by their lack of results but know if they had the right guidance and support this would be the chance they needed to finally get it right.

How much?

For many of my private clients I would charge in excess of $195.00 (12000INR) per 4 week DRS-Xfit program for my time, including Nutrition and supplement support .

This program is to 6 people only per month and the program begins first week of every month for accountability.

For more information please send your query via private message.

e.mail: drsuresh@fiitnessplus.com

Whats up: +91 9620162007

WISH YOU HEALTHY, FIT AND HAPPY LIFE

Source: fiitnessplus

 

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Best FAQ’s Following “Protein Myths” Article

I have decided to do a follow-up article addressing the best questions we received in our comments section and on our social media platforms. I received many great responses from the “Protein Myths” article that we published not too long ago, and along with these responses, more great questions surfaced that we felt needed more in-depth explanations.

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When calculating total protein requirements, is it dependent on total body weight or just lean body mass?

In most cases, protein requirements are given on a “per pound” basis, meaning total body mass. So if a trainer tells you, “I’ve been eating 1 gram of protein per pound of my body weight and I weigh 200 pounds,” that means he is eating 200 grams of protein. He is not taking into account his lean body mass, which is less than 200.

For the general population, calculating protein intake per pound of total body mass is probably reasonable, but for specific populations, it isn’t as reliable. There have been studies showing that the leaner an athlete is, the more protein he or she needs to maintain muscle mass. A study in 2011 found that the leaner the athlete was, the more protein she required to prevent muscle loss (1).

Another study, from 2013, also found that protein requirements for maintaining muscle mass increased in individuals who became leaner through caloric restriction (2). This study suggests that while dieting, lean athletes need 2.3 – 3.1 grams of protein per kilogram of lean body mass (LBM).

It’s also important to remember that overweight or obese individuals need to consider protein requirements on a “per kilogram of lean body mass” basis. If a person weighs 350 pounds, but most of that is fat tissue, there is no reason for them to eat 350 grams of protein per day; that would be overkill.

So, to summarize, if you are in the “specific populations” category, such as an extremely lean athlete, or dieting to achieve a very low percent body fat, or are heavily overweight or obese, consider calculating your protein requirements according to your lean body mass, not total body weight.

To find out your lean body mass, you need to first measure your body fat. You can have a professional trainer measure it with skin fold calipers or use a handheld electrical impedance monitor—although these aren’t the most accurate. If you have a Special device like skulp or university nearby and are willing to spend a few bucks, you can see if they have a BodPod device, which uses air displacement for better accuracy. (These are very accurate—DEXA is the gold standard).

Once you know your body fat percentage, you can easily determine how much of your body weight is lean mass and how much is fat mass. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds and you find out that you have 20% body fat, you have 40 pounds of fat. Subtract 40 pounds from 200, and you have 160 pounds of lean body mass

If I eat too much protein, will the excess be turned into body fat?

First let’s assume that your maintenance amount of calories—the number of calories you need to eat per day to maintain your current body weight—is 2,000 calories. Let’s also assume that you have met your 2,000 calorie goal by the end of the day, with a mix of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Before bed, you decide to have a protein shake consisting of 50 grams of whey isolate. What will happen to those 200 Calories (50 g protein x 4 calories/gram) that are now in excess, since you’ve already met your maintenance level of calories?

If your body has used all the protein it needs for growth, recovery, catalyzing chemical reactions, transporting molecules, and all the other physiological functions proteins are used for, the excess will be broken down into amino acids and then converted into glucose by a process called gluconeogenesis.

Once the amino acids have been converted into glucose, your body will either: a) use that glucose for immediate energy, b) store that glucose as glycogen to be used as energy at a later period, or c) store the glucose as body fat in the adipose tissue since all glycogen stores are maxed out. (The liver can store about 100 grams of glucose in the form of glycogen and the muscles can store about 500 grams.)

A study done in 2012  concluded that the extra calories from protein ingested by research participants were used to build new lean body mass, although all three groups gained the same amount of body fat. According to the study author, “calories alone contributed to the increase in body fat. In contrast, protein contributed to changes in lean body mass, but not to the increase in body fat.” (3)

We can reasonably state that the additional protein the participants ingested was, indeed, needed for growth and recovery (shown by the increase in lean mass). However, if no additional protein was needed for these actions, the body would either use the protein as immediate energy once the amino acids were converted into glucose, store the converted glucose as glycogen for later use, or store the converted glucose in the adipose cells (fat tissue), since all glycogen stores were full.

Does the type of protein I consume matter (plant protein powder VS whey VS whole food)?

Personally, I am an advocate of whole food over protein powders. This is how I eat and how I train my clients. I only use powders for convenience or quick substitutes for the clients who have crazy schedules. I believe that the less processed something is, the better it is for your body. With that said, I’ll briefly touch on the differences.

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  • Whey protein concentrate. This is usually the most basic form of protein powder. The protein supplement labeled as a concentrate, by law, must be at least 35% to 80% protein by weight. It’s a simple procedure to process a whey concentrate, which is why, most of the time, whey concentrates are the cheapest, and you get what you pay for.
  • Whey protein isolate. This is a purer protein powder. By law, whey isolates must be at least 90% protein by weight. The filtration process of isolates is completely up to the supplement company manufacturing the protein, but the biggest difference between concentrate and isolate is the percentage of protein per scoop. Isolates are more expensive and it’s up to you to decide they are worth the money, based on the protein to calorie ratio.
  • Whey protein hydrolysate. This is significantly different from concentrates and isolates when it comes to processing. Hydrolysate proteins are treated with enzymes and acids to reduce particle size and eliminate the quaternary protein structures. This is why whey protein hydrolysate is the fastest digesting protein powder; the need for gastric digestion has been eliminated.
  • Soy protein. This type of protein is heat treated before it is sold, destroying enzymes in the soy, cleansing the powder of trypsin inhibitors. The soy isoflavones contained in the powder aren’t a “huge” concern, but they can present a hormonal impact in men—by increasing estrogen. However, most of the concerns about soy are overblown.
  • Plant-based protein. This is the perfect choice for vegans and vegetarians. The only issue with plant-based proteins is that most are not complete protein sources, meaning they lack some of the essential amino acids. You can make up for this lack by combining it with certain other foods.

Can too much protein cause kidney stones?

As I mentioned in our previous article, excess protein can boost levels of uric acid, which has been shown to contribute to kidney stones. However, there is no evidence that elevated protein intake in healthy people will cause kidney damage.

Only when a person already has problems with their kidneys is caution needed. If you have had kidney stones before, you are more likely to get them again. Most kidney stones occur when calcium combines with either oxalate or phosphorous. However some of the best ways to prevent kidney stones are:

Drink plenty of water (drinking extra water dilutes the substances in urine that lead to stones), ensure sufficient calcium intake (too little in your diet can cause oxalate levels to rise and cause kidney stones), limit animal protein (a high-protein diet can reduce levels of citrate, the chemical in urine that helps prevent stones from forming), and avoid stone-forming foods (such as beets, chocolate, spinach, rhubarb, tea, and most nuts – which are rich in oxalate.)” (5)

Do vegetarians and vegans need more protein?

This was a great question, but I think you’ll going to be surprised at how simple the answer is:

Vegans or vegetarians don’t need any more protein than a person following a “meat heavy” diet. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight—and that’s for EVERYONE— vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters.

I have read recommendations that vegetarians and vegans should eat 10 percent more protein than meat-eaters, but this is based on the flawed idea that because they aren’t eating animal protein—the most complete sources of protein—that they need more total protein.

Just because your diet doesn’t consist of any meat, doesn’t mean you need more protein than the person eating chicken, eggs, and red meat every day. A vegan athlete’s protein needs can range from 0.36 to 0.86 grams per pound of body weight (6). The RDA is definitely on the safe side and as I mentioned in our previous article, athletes and resistance exercisers will need more total protein than the average, sedentary individual.

Total protein intake can easily be achieved while following a vegan or vegetarian diet. Nearly all beans, vegetables, grains, and nuts contain protein. Although they may not be complete sources of protein, you can combine foods, such as rice and beans, to create a complete protein meal.

Source: fiitnessplus

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How To Increase HGH Naturally

HGH or Human growth hormone, is an endogenous hormone (secreted by human pituitary gland) and is responsible for growth and development in children. The secretion of growth hormone is highest in childhood years and decline as the person ages.

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In the absence of growth hormone, children may not reach their normal genetic height. Researchers and scientists attribute aging signs to partial decline in the serum levels of growth hormone and currently research is underway to slow down the aging process with supplemental growth hormone formulations.

 HGH or Human Growth Hormone is secreted by the anterior pituitary gland in the brain and it plays a vital role in the proper functioning of your body.Acting as your body’s foreman, HGH instructs your skeletal bone and muscle to grow larger and stronger while it speeds the conversion of excess fats into energy.In other words, it’s responsible for youth, vitality, energy and all of the health benefits we associate with youth.

HGH promotes growth in children and plays an important role in adult metabolism. The body secretes the hormone, in decreasing amounts, throughout our lifetimes. The amount of hormone in the body can be measured by levels of IGF-1 (Insulin Growth Factor). Growth hormone has a profound effect on all the cells of the body, more than any other hormone because it is the cell generator.

Although the amount of growth hormone your body produces is genetically determined , there are a few things you can do to make the pituitary gland produce more growth hormone naturally:

1) Sleep Properly and Restfully

In a normal individual, most of the human growth hormone is produced during deep stages of sleep. Research suggests that the quality and duration of sleep plays a very important role in the growth and development due to alterations in the production of growth hormone. An average of 7 to 9 hours of quality uninterrupted sleep helps in naturally increasing your hormone secretion. Although time of the day doesn’t matter but night-sleep is more helpful because of higher melatonin secretion (due to dark). You can improve your sleep quality by using methods below

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  • Adjust the temperature of your room before going to bed.
  • Limit your soda, caffeine and water intake before bedtime.
  • If you have trouble sleeping, you can also get benefitted from aromatherapy, sound therapy and massage therapy.

2) Lose Body Fat

The amount of body fat you carry is directly related to your HGH production. Those with higher body fat levels or more belly fat will likely have impaired HGH production and an increased risk of disease.

In one study, individuals with 3 times the amount of belly fat had less than half the amount of HGH as lean individuals.

Interestingly, research suggests that excess body fat affects HGH levels more in men. However, lowering body fat is still key for both genders. One study found that obese individuals had lower IGF-1 and HGH levels. After losing a significant amount of weight, their levels returned to normal.

Belly fat is the most dangerous type of stored fat and is linked to many diseases. Losing belly fat will help optimize HGH levels and other aspects of your health.

3) Stop Eating Before Bedtime

Healthcare providers advice to avoid consumption of heavy meals 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. This is important for a number of reasons besides a higher risk of obesity and impaired digestion. This includes an impaired insulin response and resulting impairments in the secretion of human growth hormone. Serological testing indicates that the secretion of human growth hormone decreases when the insulin levels are high in the body.

4). Fast Intermittently

As discussed previously, higher insulin levels in the serum eventually decreases the serum production of human growth hormone. For best results, intermittent fasting is suggested not only for a better blood sugar profile and optimal digestion, but also for the higher release of human growth hormone. The duration of intermittent fasting greatly varies, but(According DRS research) generally a fast of 12 t0 18 hours per day is generally considered sufficient thrice in a week for health benefits and to increase human growth hormone production

5). Exercise smarter.

It is known that your body increases HGH production with intense physical training.Keep your workouts short (try to finish your workout in 45-60 minutes or less) and heavy.Training for more than 90 minutes will decrease HGH and testosterone because of the increase of the stress hormone levels. ( Cortisol ) Some experts say that even intense cardiovascular workout can help increase the growth hormone,but it depends on the activity we are doing.Take the DRS XFIT workouts for example.

6). Cleanse Your Liver

Liver is the primary and most important organ for detoxification of bodily wastes. If you have poor dietary habits, you are very likely to have an unhealthy liver (that may not produce any disease symptoms but it may stop your liver from performing to its full extent). In order to achieve the benefits of human growth hormone, it is very important to cleanse your liver. This can be achieved by limiting the intake of processed, toxic foods and eliminating alcohol and exogenous drugs from your diet.

Research suggests that all the HGH produced by the pituitary gland is taken up by liver and metabolized to produce IGF-1 (or insulin like growth factors) that is responsible for anti- aging, protein building, growth and development functions of HGH.

7) Laugh More :-)(As I always recommend )

Being happy is another way of increasing your human growth hormone levels (by suppressing the release of stress hormones). Indulge yourself in positive and fun activities like watching movies and having fun with friends. Researchers from Loma Linda University proved that the serum concentration of HGH increases 87% after watching a fun/ comedy movie.

8) Proper nutrition.

Eating lots of protein ( lean meats,eggs,cottage cheese), low glycemic carbs ( fruits, vegetables) and healthy fats (nuts,olive oil) , while reducing starchy and high glycemic carbohydrates can help you increase hgh and testosterone.Try to eat most of your protein about 2 hours before and immediately after your workout.

9) Supplements.

Taking supplements like amino acids is shown to increase HGH levels in humans. Taking these particular amino acids may show an increase in HGH levels: – L Arginine, L Lysine, L Glutamine, Glycine, L Tyrosine and GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid)

Source: fiitnessplus.com

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Will a high-protein diet harm your health?

Will too much protein damage my kidneys? Cause cancer? Reduce my lifespan? At Precision Nutrition we’re always getting questions (from fitness pros and clients) about the risks of a high-protein diet. In this article we’ll set the record straight and share why protein isn’t the villain it’s made out to be.

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Will eating a high-protein diet hurt me?

For years, people have been concerned with the safety of eating too much protein.

Will eating too much protein explode my kidneys?

How about my liver? My left femur?

The most common health concerns of eating more protein are:

  • kidney damage
  • liver damage
  • osteoporosis
  • heart disease
  • cancer

Let’s explore these.

Claim: High protein causes kidney damage.

This concern about high protein and kidneys began with a misunderstanding of why doctors tell people with poorly functioning kidneys (usually from pre-existing kidney disease) to a eat a low-protein diet.

But there’s a big difference between avoiding protein because your kidneys are already damaged and protein actively damaging healthy kidneys.

It’s the difference between jogging with a broken leg and jogging with a perfectly healthy leg.

Jogging with a broken leg is a bad idea. Doctors would probably tell you not to jog if your leg is broken. But does jogging cause legs to break? No.

That’s the same thing with protein and kidneys.

Eating more protein does increase how much your kidneys have to work (glomerular filtration rate and creatinine clearance), just like jogging increases how much your legs have to work.

But protein hasn’t been shown to cause kidney damage — again, just like jogging isn’t going to suddenly snap your leg like a twig.

High-protein diets do result in increased metabolic waste being excreted in the urine, though, so it’s particularly important to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Verdict: There’s no evidence that high protein diets (2.2g/kg body weight) cause kidney damage in healthy adults.

Claim: High protein causes liver damage.

The liver, like the kidneys, is a major processing organ. Thus, it’s same deal as with kidneys: People with liver damage (such as cirrhosis) are told to eat less protein.

Yes, if you have liver damage or disease you should eat less protein. But if your liver is healthy, then a high-protein diet will not cause liver damage.

Verdict: There’s no evidence that high-protein diets (2.2g/kg body weight) causes liver damage in healthy adults.

Claim: High protein causes osteoporosis.

Eating more protein without also upping your fruit and vegetable intake will increase the amount of calcium you’ll lose in your pee.

That finding made some people think that eating more protein will cause osteoporosis because you’re losing bone calcium.

But there is no evidence that high protein causes osteoporosis.

If anything, not eating enough protein has been shown to cause bone loss. Bones aren’t just inert sticks of minerals — a significant proportion of bone is also protein, mostly collagen-type proteins.

Like muscle, bone is an active tissue that is constantly being broken down and rebuilt. And like muscle, bone needs those Lego building blocks.

Women aged 55 to 92 who eat more protein have higher bone density. So eating more protein improves bone density in people most at risk of having osteoporosis.

(Eating more protein plus adding resistance training: Double win for bone density.)

Verdict: High protein diets do not cause osteoporosis, and actually may prevent osteoporosis.

Claim: High protein causes cancer

Unfortunately, we still don’t have conclusive human studies on the cause of cancer and the role of protein.

There are studies that asked people how much protein they ate over their lifetime, and then looked at how often people got cancer. The research shows a connection between protein intake and cancer rates.

But these studies are correlational studies and don’t prove that protein is the cause of cancers. Plus, some researchers have gone so far to say that studies relying on subjects to recall what they ate are basically worthless because human memory is so inaccurate.

A big part of the proposed cancer and protein link comes down to confounding factors, like:

  • where you get your protein from — plant or animal
  • how you cook your protein (i.e. carbonized grilled meat)
  • what types of protein you’re eating (e.g. grass-fed steak versus a hot dog)

And so on.

In other words, we can’t say that any particular amount of protein causes cancer.

Verdict: Limited evidence that protein causes cancer; many other confounding factors.

Claim: High protein causes heart disease.

Eating animal-based protein daily is associated with an increased risk of fatal coronary heart disease (70 percent for men and 37 percent for women), whereas plant-based proteins aren’t linked to higher rates of heart disease.

This suggests that where you get your protein from may matter more than how much protein you eat.

However, just like cancer, the link between heart disease and high-protein diets is from questionnaires rather than a double-blind randomized study (the gold standard in research).

There are many confounding factors. For one, consider the type of animal — does seafood cause the same issues as red meat, for example?

We don’t yet know the whole story here.

Verdict: Limited evidence that protein causes heart disease and the source of protein is a major confounding factor.

Source : fiitnessplus

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DRS Dieting Tricks That Work Wonders Quickly

There are certain dieting tricks that work very quickly if you’re trying to lose weight. These dieting tricks are really common sense though when you consider the benefits you’ll get from them. Anytime you start to feel your jeans get tight, or just don’t like the way you look in your clothes anymore, try a few of these dieting tricks to get you back on track.

Even healthy eaters can lose their focus and eat too much of the wrong foods. These dieting tricks can also improve your insulin levels, reduce bloating, and even help digestion too. Pick whichever ones sound relevant to your life and try a few this week. I’d love to know how they work for you!

1. Reduce Starchy Carbs

This little tip is one of the oldest and most tried and true dieting tricks out there. It’s not rocket science, since we all know starchy carbs lead to weight gain. Yet with trendy foods like sprouted grain bread, red potatoes, beans, couscous, and the new “it” grain, freekah, we might lose sight quickly of how many starches we’re really eating. You don’t need an excess of starches, no matter how healthy the source is you’re choosing. One or two a day should do, but if you want to lose weight, make it just one or even zero. Choose non-starchy vegetables, and high protein and low starch grains like rolled oats or quinoa as your main choices.

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2. Eliminate Most All Fruit Sugars

Fruit seems so healthy in so many ways, but can be one of the reasons you gain weight. Fruit in itself is full of vitamins and minerals that are excellent for you, but it will quickly lead to belly bloat and even belly weight gain when you eat more than you need.

The reason is the type of sugar found in fruit, known as fructose. Fructose is only needed in certain amounts by the body, and then the rest gets converted to excess fat by the liver. High fructose fruits should be avoided, while low fructose fruits can be eaten in small amounts. Low fructose fruits include raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, acai berries, goji berries, yellow bananas (not brown), papaya, and oranges.

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3. Increase Lean Protein

Increasing lean protein has been found to effectively help increase weight loss and improve lean muscle. Increasing your lean protein by just 10% might be all the edge you need to improve your metabolism quickly. Protein takes more metabolic work to digest than any other macronutrient, and the more your metabolism has to work, the better for your weight loss.

Be sure you choose good, clean sources of lean protein though. You should always be kind to your body when choosing what foods to give it. Increasing your protein at each meal and snack by just adding ¼ the amount more than you normally eat should do the trick. This can also help keep you fuller longer and maintain better insulin function.

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4. Eat When You’re Hungry

Never skip meals when it comes to losing weight. This will backfire quickly, and cause your insulin to spike, which increases the cortisol in your body, leading to fat storage. Cortisol, your stress hormone, is the first hormone your body sends out when it senses its under stress, including when you’re hungry and your insulin surges.

Cortisol also triggers your body to store fat as a survival mechanism for the stress its under. So eat when you’re hungry and quit ignoring your hunger pains! Eat three meals and two snacks through the day as you need them

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5. Dieting Tricks: Watch Your Fats

Yes, healthy fats should be eaten and yes, I love them, but when it comes to weight loss, be sure you watch how much you’re eating. They are easy to overdo.

In fact, one of the best ways to gain weight is to increase your healthy fats. So, have 1 or 2 tablespoons a day at the most, but no more if you’re really trying to lose weight. This includes nut butters, oils, avocados, and nuts. Seeds like flax, chia, and hemp are much more diet friendly, and also have more fiber to fill you up faster.

Healthy-Fats

6. Decide On Dairy

Most people find ditching dairy can help them lose weight, but some find fat-free dairy like Greek yogurt actually helps them lose. So, decide what works for you. If dairy digests well for you, choose the leanest option – this being organic, fat-free Greek yogurt.

Avoid milk, cheese, and most all other dairy products if you want to lose weight though. Choose unsweetened almond milk instead of milk, and avoid any dairy products with added sugar. I also suggest avoiding vegan cheeses and vegan dairy products outside of unsweetened almond milk. Most all are high in preservatives, excess fat or sugar, and a lot of fillers.

These are some of the DRS dieting tricks to help you lose weight that don’t require a fancy plan or a lot of thought. Implement some of these into your routine, and you should notice the weight start to come off quickly.

Most importantly of all, please remember, sugar is not your friend, so kick all sugar and alcohol out of your diet and increase your intake of veggies, lean protein, and eat some healthy fats and some healthy starches. This will give you a better quality of life, a leaner body, and improve your metabolism and mood.

Do you have a safe and effective dieting trick that’s worked wonders for you?

Source: fiitnessplus

 

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