Category Archives: Health & Fitness

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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.

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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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HOW TO EAT CARBS FOR MORE MUSCLE AND LESS FAT

The amount of carbs to eat in a day depends on several variables including your (1) body size, (2) activity level, (3) fitness goals, and (4) genetics. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest around 55% of your calories each day should come from carbohydrates. Most bodybuilders consume around 50% of total calories from carbs whereas low carb advocates can consume as low as 10-15%.

Technically, carbs are not an essential nutrient so we don’t need to eat them to survive. With that said, going very low carb is simply unnecessary to reach your health and fitness goals.

The best way to arrive at your desired carb intake is to first establish how many grams of protein and fat you want to eat first, then the balance will be your carb intake. For example, if you are looking to cut some fat for the summer without losing muscle, you can intake 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, 0.5 grams of fat per pound, and the balance will be carbs. For a 180lb man, that means 180 grams of protein and 90 grams of fat. Assuming a 2,000 calorie diet, that leaves 200 grams of carbs left over (1 gram of protein/carbs has 4 calories, and 1 gram of fat has 9 calories). The percentage breakdown in this example is roughly 35% protein, 45% carbs, and 20% fat.

As a general guideline, somewhere around 40-50% carbs, 25-30% protein, and 20-30% fat is a solid benchmark during a cutting program. You can play around with increasing, or decreasing the carb/fat level to see what works best for you. ”

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CARBOHYDRATE TIMING

When should I consume the most about of carbs, and when should I cut them?

“After your workout is a great time to eat relatively more carbohydrates and even faster digesting carbohydrates. Carbs are anabolic because they raise your blood sugar level, which in turn stimulates the storage hormone insulin. Insulin gets a bad reputation because it can increase fat storage, but it can also be your friend by helping your muscles suck in more protein. After a workout, eating carbs with protein in a roughly 2:1 ratio can help your body utilize the protein most effectively. Eating more carbs when you have a endurance race, or competition can also be helpful. “Carb loading”, or consuming large amounts of carbs to saturate your sugar storage tanks (muscles and liver) leading up to an athletic event can help you perform better.

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You don’t necessarily have to cut carbohydrates, but eating excessive carbs is not advisable. So if you are a 180lb guy who works out a few days per week and has a sedentary job, somewhere around 200 grams will help fuel your bodily functions and your workouts without any excess being wasted and converted to fat. For every extra full hour you spend exercising, you can add on 50-100 grams of carbs. For frame of reference, endurance athletes intake as much as 300-400+ grams of carbs per day. ”

CARBOHYDRATE CYCLING

What is carb cycling—and how does it work? 

“There are many carb cycling frameworks and each varies depending on whether you are trying to build muscle, or lose fat. One of the most popular is 3 days low, one day high. There are a lot of factors to consider (body size etc) to come up with your carb breakdown, but one method during a cutting program is to eat one gram of carbs per pound of Lean Body Mass [bodyweight x (1- body fat percentage)] and double that number on your higher carb day. The challenge with the 3 low, 1 high framework is that it doesn’t fit neatly within a week. I personally prefer choosing 2 high carb days each week, one of which is on your most intense lifting day (such as legs), and the rest are low carb.

Keep in mind that carbs are only part of the nutrition equation, because you still have to get the calories right, which is more important. In fact, the reason why carb cycling works is arguably not because you are varying carb intake, but because by decreasing carb intake you decrease calorie intake. A quick carb cycling tip is to follow a “carbohydrate tapering” approach where you eat more carbs in the morning and taper them throughout the day on your low carb days. There is no scientific proof this strategy helps you burn more fat, but it makes implementation much easier. ”

PRE and POST-WORKOUT CARBOHYDRATES

How important is the timing of carbs in relation to your workout routine? Is it one hour before and after that’s safest for breakfast? 

“Whether you are looking to build muscle, or lose fat, your prime objective is to have plenty of energy for your workouts. If you find that your energy levels are high without eating carbs before your morning workout, then you don’t need the carbs. If, however, you are looking to build some muscle and find your energy levels waning during your workout, then a protein shake and an apple before your workout can work well because they are easy to digest while fueling your body with ample protein and carbs. After your morning workout you can have a normal breakfast.”

DIFFERENT TYPES OF CARBOHYDRATES:

I would really like to know more about the relationship between fiber and carbs/net carbs. Is fiber counted as carbs? Also I’d love to hear about sugar alcohols, what are they?

“There are two types of dietary fiber: (1) soluble and (2) insoluble. Soluble fiber becomes a gel like substance when added to water and is minimally digested, and insoluble fiber does not change when added to water, instead passing through our bodies mostly intact. Both types of fiber, which are derived from plants, are considered carbohydrates due to their molecular structure.

Whether or not dietary fiber should be considered a calorie is open for debate and is even treated differently from country to country (most consider insoluble fiber as providing 0 calories), but it is agreed that dietary fiber slows down the digestion process, which reduces blood sugar levels. This is the exact opposite effect of most carbs, which increase blood sugar levels. Most nutritionists recommend subtracting dietary fiber from the total carb count to arrive at the “net” carbs. In a medium-sized apple for example, the total carbs is 25 grams and the dietary fiber is 4 grams, leaving 21 grams of net carbs.

Sugar alcohol gets its name because of its molecular structure, which is a hybrid between a sugar molecule and an alcohol molecule. Most sugar alcohols provide less calories, sweetness, and impact to blood sugar levels as normal sugar, which is why they are often subtracted from total carbs like fiber.

Here are the key points: 1) Sugar alcohols are considered safe for human consumption 2) They do not cause a rise in blood sugar levels like normal sugar 3) They may cause gastric distress, bloating, and diarrhea if eaten in large quantities, or if you have a pre-existing condition like irritable bowel syndrome. ”

Source: fiitnessplus

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Reasons Why Your Workouts Don’t Make You Super Fit..

A lot of people start new workout regimes with big dreams. They see themselves as being super fit by the end of their new plan but are often left disappointed. It happens a lot – but why?

Mistakes That Keep You From Becoming Super Fit

In today’s guide, we’re going to talk you through many of the reasons why your workout could be failing. With a little luck, your new knowledge will help you build a super fit body.

1⃣ You Don’t Turn Up Every Day

Your fitness regime should be as natural to you as taking a shower or eating a meal. It should become part of your life, and you need to focus on doing something every day.

Try to see a new workout regime as a lifestyle change, rather than a fix to a problem. Doing so will help you place a greater importance on your workouts and exercise.

There will be no more dropping a session here or there, as you need to put that time aside. The result? Your new attitude will help you smash through your original goals. And once you incorporate exercise into your daily routine, it will feel strange to go without it.

2⃣ You Forget About Nutrition

Healthy and nutritious eating is going to have a much bigger impact on your chances of getting fit than your workouts. Too many people focus on their exercise, rather than the food they are consuming.

If you want to be super fit, you have to embrace both challenges, together. They both work in harmony to give you the results you are looking for, and a vigorous workout can be spoiled entirely by a bad meal afterward.

3⃣ You Don’t Enjoy Your Workouts

People like, and react better, to different things. While most can put up with anything short-term, it’s important to do something you love doing when working out.

Don’t like the gym? Then try body weight exercises at home. Competitive nature? Try team sports, or something like boxing or MMA training to give you an edge. Love being outside? Then choose more jogging or cycling sessions.

Do what you love, and you will have a much bigger chance of completing your goals.

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4⃣ You Don’t Prepare

Becoming super fit takes a lot of preparation, from food and meals through to arranging a gym session. Robust preparation will ensure you don’t start to backtrack – which will happen when things start to slip.

5⃣ You Give Up

There are probably millions of weight loss and fitness goals established on new year’s eve every year. And the vast majority of them are forgotten about before it gets to February.

It all starts with missing a session, and then another, and so on. Until, of course, it seems silly to continue. You can’t afford to be like everyone else, though, if you want to be super fit.

Yes, there will be times when you miss a session. But, that doesn’t mean all your previous work has to suffer. Just be nice to yourself about the odd slip up and get back on track as soon as you can.

If you want long-term success, dealing with minor blips in a positive way is going to help.

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Source : fiitnessplus

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The Difference Between Weight Loss And Fat Loss

The question is: Do you wanna lose weight or do you wanna lose fat? Into many people those terms are interchangeable, there’s no difference between weight loss and fat loss. That’s because most people think when they start exercising they’re going to automatically lose fat. But it’s just not true! Weight loss and fat loss are two very different things.

Weight Loss And Fat Loss

In general, people who talk about weight loss really start from a place that is unknown to them. They may know how much they weigh, but they don’t know their lean body mass (how much muscle they actually carry) and they don’t know their body fat percentage (what percentage of their weight is fat).

So they may just go by the scale number and say “Well… I just need to lose weight. I’m 200 pounds, so I wanna get down to 150. So I just have to lose 50 pounds.” And what you’ll just see them do (especially women), is they’ll do a lot of cardio and they will start to diet and severely cut back their calories.

To lose weight, women will eat anywhere from 1000 to 2000 calories, and many women consider 2000 calories being way too much for them to eat. So they’ll cut out a food group entirely, or somehow they’re just trying things. Because all they want is just to lose weight, no matter whether it’s fat, no matter whether it’s muscle.

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If You Want To Lose Fat…

But if you ask many people “Do you wanna lose fat or do you want to lose weight?” they’ll say “Well, isn’t that the same thing? Of course I wanna lose fat!”. Or if you ask them if they want to lose muscle or if they wanna lose fat, of course they’ll say they wanna lose the fat from their body.

So what happens is that they’ll end up maybe losing weight, and they’ll maybe get down to the goal weight, get close to it, and they look smaller, but their body doesn’t look better or different. They will end up looking more skinny fat, which is still having a high percentage of body fat and low muscle. The reason for this is because they were focused on losing weight and not losing fat.

…Do Heavy Resistance Training

If you want to be smaller or in better shape, to be healthier, to cut excess fat of your body and to look toned, you have to incorporate some heavy resistance training with your weight loss journey. You can not just do cardio, because cardio will help you burn fat, but you’re going to have to build up the muscle, you’re going to have to increase your muscle size.

Toned is revealing the muscle under your skin. So the less fat and the less water you have between your skin and your muscle, the more the muscle is gonna pop up and show. And some fast ways to create heavy resistance are calisthenics, heavyweight training or using resistance bands.

…And Eat Enough Calories

You also need to pay attention to your diet in this process. Like I said, a lot of times women will cut out huge food groups or just lower their calories dramatically, so they could be hindering their fat loss. You could be eating as such a low calorie amount and doing so much cardio that you’re actually wasting away muscle. You’re eating away your muscle through that because you’re not feeding the muscle, you’re not giving the muscle anything to build itself on.

You need to transform “I want to lose weight” into “I want to lose fat”, not focusing on what the scale says. Who cares what the scale says?! You have to understand that the scale matters somewhat but your body fat percentage is much more important. Your lean body mass is much more important!

So when you’re starting a weight loss journey, think about how can you improve your muscle and lose fat. You’ve got to add resistance training, cut back on cardio and eat a balanced macro diet (your fat, your carbs and your protein are balanced).

I hope you learnt the difference between weight loss and fat loss, and I also hope that this article helped you to interchange the word weight with fat in the statement “I want to lose weight!”. After all, losing fat is what it’s gonna give you the nice toned body that you want. ..

Source : fiitnessplus

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Common Issues That Can Ruin Your Fitness Gains

Think you know everything needs to be known about muscle building? Check this list to make sure you’re avoiding the most common dietary and training mistakes that can ruin your fitness gains.

Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Fitness Gains

Everyone that lives a fit and healthy lifestyle will want to see results. Results are what motivates us to do even better, and workout harder. We like to look in the mirror and see all the gains we’ve made; it’s uplifting.

But, sometimes, we struggle to see gains. And, we can’t seem to understand why. Well, it’s most likely down to one of these three things:

1. Excessive Snacking

Excessive-Snacking-Ruins-Fitness-Gains

A lot of people will often complain that they don’t see any results. And yet, they spend a healthy amount of time in the gym and do lots of physical exercises. If you’re doing this and not seeing gains, the problem is with your nutrition.

However, often, people will say they eat well and list off their daily meals. The main meals they eat are healthy, but the problem lies in between those meals. The problem is excessive snacking. You might be eating too many unhealthy snacks throughout the day. A few packets of crisps, some chocolate, a cookie.

All of these things add up and make your ‘healthy’ diet, a lot more unhealthy. Most snacks are high in sugar, fat, and calories. Three things you want to avoid to stay fit and healthy. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can snack, and remain healthy. As seen on here, there are loads of healthy snacks for you to eat.

2. A Serious Injury

An-Injury-Ruins-Fitness-Gains

Being injured is never fun, and can be a major setback to your fitness gains. You’ve spent ages working hard and getting your body to a good standard. Then, you pick up a serious injury and can’t exercise properly for weeks or months. As a result, your gains start to fade away slightly.

Injuries can prevent you from performing to the standard that you’re used to. You may be unable to do certain movements or lift heavy weights. It can have serious consequences on your gains, trust me.

Plus, there’s overwhelming stress that comes with an injury. You feel annoyed and stressed out because you can’t do the things you want to do. So, you end up in a tough mental battle, and may lose the motivation to work out.

All in all, even a small injury can seriously ruin your gains.

3. A Poor Workout Regime

A-Poor-Workout-Ruins-Fitness-Gains

Sometimes, the reason behind your ruined gains is that you aren’t working out properly. You may be exercising infrequently, or doing things wrong. You could be attacking your workouts in a bad way too.

Most people think that you should workout for as long as possible. But, as I stated in this article, you need quality(DRS) over quantity. A shorter, more intense, workout is far better than a drawn out one. Have a look at how you’re exercising, it could be what’s holding you back.

4. Eating Carbs Late

Eating-Carbs-Late-At-Night-Ruins-Fitness-Gains

Any bodybuilder would advice you to eat all the time, a lot of calories, during the mass-gaining phase. True, except that carbs from your dinner and late-night meals can be easily stored as body fat.

So try to get your carbs from your early meals and reduce them to minimum in the evening. This will help your muscles recover properly overnight.

5. Not Forcing Progression

Challenge-Yourself-Every-Workout

No matter how hardcore your workout is, if you don’t challenge yourself, you’ll never get bigger/better. You need to stimulate your muscles to grow, and by constantly lifting 200 pounds 12 times daily, you’re definitely not doing it.

I’m not saying you’re not doing it right; any workout is better than no workout, right? But if you want to get real results, you need to try a Dynamic Recondition System(drs). Remember, not challenging your body means not wanting it to change.

Outdo your previous performance each time you exercise.

Add more weight, do more reps or shorten the rest periods to force progression and ensure your muscles are constantly growing.

6. (Not) Training To Failure

Training-To-Failure-For-Muscle-Building

Training to failure is a very disputed concept that has caused a lot of misunderstandings. Even though you need to do it to challenge your muscles, training to failure should be limited only to the last set of your workout.

So perform your workout reps as usual (10-20), but force progression in the last set by doing as many reps as you can. This will increase protein synthesis for 24 hours after the workout is finished.

7. Not Eating Fat At All

Eat-Healthy-Fats

Most of you would say “I don’t eat fat because I’ll get fat!”, right? Nope, this is not right at all. This is an outdated philosophy, and excluding healthy fats from your diet can limit your strength and muscle gain.

Fish, olive oil, avocados, seeds and nuts are great sources of healthy fats. Make sure these foods make about 20% of your daily caloric intake.

8. Skipping Breakfast

Skipping-Breakfast-Is-Not-Healthy

There are numerous benefits of eating breakfast every day.

Keep your fitness gains on track by starting your day with a breakfast rich in proteins and carbs. For instance, oatmeal is a great source of complex carbs (and fiber) and eggs are bodybuilder’s main protein source for breakfast.

A perfect breakfast caloric ratio is 40% protein, 50 carbs and 10% fat.

Hopefully, after reading this, you can see why your fitness gains may be stalling. If any of these things is the reason behind your struggles, you need to fix it! Do whatever you can to get back on track and start making gains once more.

Source: fiitnessplus

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DRS Fitness Laws Everyone Should Know And Follow

In an age of technology and virtual training, it’s so easy to forget what made us fit in the first place: healthy food, quality movement, dedication and high intensity discipline. Follow these DRS Fitness Laws to achieve optimal performance throughout your health and fitness routine.

DRS Fitness Laws

Here are DRS Fitness Laws you need to learn, apply and repeat if you really want a badass body:

1. Eating right is 80% of the battle.

With today’s incredible online resources it’s easy to get distracted by all those health and fitness products and fancy weight loss diets out there. But no matter what your fitness goal is, you can’t go wrong with a well balanced diet of fresh food, cooked from scratch. And the fun part is you can eat plenty of it!

2. Start long-term and work back.

Set your main goal for the long term, then cut it down into smaller goals, easy to reach. For example, if you plan to run 5k in 3 months, start by setting a goal for this month, or this week.

3. It is impossible to get ripped “accidentally”.

The super fit and super lean women/men you see on Instagram work their ass off to look that way. It’s not genetics, but dedication responsible for that insane body!

4. You need to make SMART goals.

Here’s what SMART stands for (just to easily remember what a smart goal should look like): Specific,Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Got the idea?

5. It’s worth investing in the right kit.

Once you’ve found a good workout, invest in the right fitness equipment. And this is not just an excuse to shop, it’s “an investment” because the right clothes will wick sweat away, stop chafing and make you feel fly. Most of them are totally wearable outside of the gym too.

6. Time is money, spend it wisely.

Instead of running one hour on the treadmill to burn 600 calories, why not lifting weights for 30 minutes to burn the same amount of calories?! You know, dynamic moves with free weights are the most efficient calorie-burning exercises.

The more intense the workout, the shorter it needs to be.

7. Peripheral heart action is the way forward.

PHA (peripheral heart action) is the ultimate fitness hack. It says that you can boost your metabolism and work your heart harder if you alternate between lower- and upper-body exercises. All there without spending more time in the gym; genius, right?!

8. Cardio first, weights after? No.

Try active rest instead of total rest to save time. Switch the total rest periods between sets with short cardio sessions (1-2 minutes) or full-body moves like pushups, squats, lunges.(try DRS-Circuits)

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9. Make weights work for you.

Work the biggest muscle groups first (back, chest, legs), then work your way down to isolated small muscles like biceps or triceps.

10. When it comes to weights, the more instability the better.

Free weights work your body in a more natural way without injuries. Machines isolate the muscles and neglect the supporting muscles, which can lead to injuries. When it comes to weight lifting, the more unstable the exercise is the better the result is.

Free weights > Cable machines > Fixed machines

11. Step away from the cardio machines!

An outdoor run is just so much better than a treadmill session. The uneven surface will strengthen your legs and the weather conditions will make your body work harder. You can even boost endorphins by 50% just by running outdoors.

12. Recovery is just as important as what you do in the gym.

Do 5 minutes of stretching at the end of every workout session. Don’t work the same muscle group 2 days in a row; rest at least 48 hours until the next workout for the same muscle group.

13. It’s not just about the way you look.

Fitness it’s not just about the way you look, it’s how it makes you feel. You’re strong, stress free, sleep well, have a lot of energy during the entire day and your skin glows; this is the real joy of being healthy, fit and toned!

14. See exercise as a treat, not punishment.

I don’t think there’s a person leaving the gym feeling worse than they did when they arrived at the gym. Yeah, a good workout really is a bless, so why treating it like a punishment?!

Grab your perfect running shoes, strap yourself into a sports bra /supporters with adequate support  and start your fitness journey. You will be amazed what you can achieve living your life by these DRS Fitness Laws.

Source: fiitnessplus.com

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12 Months DRS Challenge For A Healthy Lifestyle

That’s why I propose this 12 Months DRS Challenge where you will make a small choice every start of the month and hold on it the entire month. Every month would be a new challenge and maybe at the end of each month you will adopt a new healthy habit.

People get started on a weight loss journey and what tends to happen is they are so pumped and so ready to go that they jump into it 100% and then they die out quickly and fall back to their older routine. I wanted to talk about that in this article, I wanted to go over clean eating and healthy lifestyle. In my opinion if you slowly bring things into your life and slowly change your lifestyle, you are more likely to stick with it. There are little changes that can make a big difference in weight loss.

People venture out to lose many pounds and then they don’t meet their goals. This is because they’ve made too big goals. Forget about losing 30-40 pounds and focus on losing one pound a week. That’s what you need for healthy weight loss. And then, once you’ve done that, eventually the pounds start to add up. So if you think about it, there are 52 weeks in a year and that’s 52 pounds. Pretty good, right?

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12 Months Challenge

There is a 12 Months Challenge Infographic at the end of the article. You can print it and stick it to your fridge or anywhere else to remind you the decision you’ve made. So let’s see what small changes you should adapt each month:

1. January – Eat vegetables with your snack or meal at least three times per day.

2. February – Cut your processed sugar in 1/2 (or out all together). Instead of white sugar use stevia, honey or agave.

3. March – Drink at least 64-oz (2l) of water every single day.

4. April – Get your sweat on most days of the week. Just 20 minutes will count.

5. May – Stop eating foods with hydrogenated oils, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup. Get rid of margarine and use olive oil instead of other oils used to fry food.

6. June – Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. this should be easy.

7. July – Go meatless at least one day per week. And if you really want to challenge yourself, go meatless 3 days per week.

8. August – Meditate or just sit in silence 10 minutes per day. And do this every single day!

9. September – Kick it up a notch! Increase the time and/or intensity of your workouts.

10. October – Eat good fats and get your Omega 3’s with foods like salmon and walnuts.

11. November – Be gratful. Gratitude is good for your health, so practice it daily.

12. December – Meditate or sit in silence 10 minutes every day. Or try one more time a challenge that didn’t worked at the first time.

I encourage you to change your behaviour, to make small changes like the ones in this challenge. At the end, the winner in the game of weight loss is not who loses their weight the quicker, is the person who keeps it off the longest. GET IN GET FIT…STAY HEALTHY..

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