The Best Foods to Eat on a Diet: High-Fiber Foods That Won’t Spike Your Blood Sugar

weight loss

Hey Angels and Alphas,

If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s vital to know what types of foods are best for your diet. Some foods can spike blood sugar levels quickly, which will make you hungrier and less inclined to exercise, which can mess up your efforts at weight loss in the long run. High fiber foods that won’t spike your blood sugar are ideal choices for those on a diet; these foods include beans and whole grain breads and pastas. For more information about the best foods to eat on a diet, read this helpful article.

The importance of fiber in managing blood sugar

Fiber is important for managing blood sugar because it slows the rate at which glucose leaves the bloodstream and enters cells. This is important because too much glucose entering cells can lead to insulin resistance, which in turn can lead to diabetes. The good news is that fiber can help regulate blood sugar levels. However, not all fibers are created equal; some types of fiber will not have as much of an effect on your blood sugar levels.

Grains

To keep your blood sugar level even, you should eat grains. Grains are especially important for diabetics, who need to regulate their insulin levels and blood sugar. Some of the best grain choices are whole wheat bread, brown rice and quinoa. They’re high in fiber and have a low glycemic index, which means that they will keep your blood sugar level steady for hours after eating them.

 Whole wheat bread is also an excellent source of fiber and protein, which helps you feel full longer so you don’t overeat later in the day. Brown rice is rich in nutrients such as manganese and selenium; quinoa has many essential amino acids that your body needs for muscle building.

Veggies

Vegetables are usually the best for anyone dieting because they’re high in fiber and low in calories. Kale, broccoli, and asparagus are all great choices because they have a lot of fiber and very few calories. If you need some variety, go ahead and try beets or cucumbers. They’re both delicious in salads!

Nuts

When you’re in the market for high-fiber foods, nuts are an excellent place to start. In fact, ounce for ounce, walnuts contain more fiber than any other food source. They also provide heart-healthy fats and protein with very little saturated fat. Almonds and hazelnuts are great options as well for their high fiber content, but pistachios may be the most popular nut among dieters because they have half the calories of other nuts with just as much fiber. For those who are allergic or don’t like nuts, seeds are another wonderful option.

Beans

One of the best foods to eat on a diet is beans. Beans are full of protein, fiber, iron and many other vital nutrients. They are also low in fat and don‌t contain any sugar. Not only are beans healthy for you, but they are so versatile that you can put them in almost anything from salads to tacos!

Fruits

#1. Fruit is an excellent source of dietary fiber, which may protect against diabetes and heart disease. #2. Fruit has no fat or cholesterol, making it a healthy snack choice for those watching their weight. 

#3. Dried fruit can be high in natural sugars, so it’s best to limit your intake to two tablespoons per day for women and three tablespoons per day for men (about 10-15 grams of sugar). 

#4. When selecting dried fruit, choose products that list only the fruit’s name (or the word dried) as the first ingredient rather than ones with lots of added sugar or other ingredients you don’t want.

Dairy/Dairy Substitutes

Dairy and dairy substitutes are an easy way to add healthy fat, protein, calcium, and vitamin D into your diet. For those who are lactose intolerant or vegan, soy milk is a great substitute for milk. Soy milk is also a great option if you’re looking for something less sugary than cow’s milk alternatives. 

You can also use dairy as the base for creamy sauces such as alfredo sauce by adding some vegetable broth or plant-based creamers such as cashew cream. You can even make yogurt or sour cream by adding probiotic capsules (they come in flavored versions) to plain yogurt or sour cream and letting it set in the fridge overnight.

4 Reasons Why Training Your Core Is Crucial for Optimal Health

weight loss

Hey Angels and Alphas,

Have you ever wondered why it’s so important to train your core? Many of us just think, Why bother? My abs are already strong enough. However, this mindset can put you in harm’s way if you aren’t careful. 

The core muscles are the group of muscles that encompass your torso, including the rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, transverse abdominis, and multifidus. These important muscles stabilize your spine during movement and protect your back from injury. 

When it comes to the core, training goes beyond just making it stronger—there are health benefits to consider as well. Here are four reasons why training your core will improve your overall health and keep you safe from injury.

1) Weight loss

Having a strong core will not only make you look amazing, it will also help you lose weight. If your abs aren’t visible, your body fat percentage is probably too high. A stronger core will also help you avoid back pain and improve the quality of your everyday life.  

If you want to lose weight and get into shape, training your core is an important aspect that you cannot overlook. A strong core will help improve your overall health and posture, prevent back pain and increase your range of motion. It’s important to train your core muscles on a regular basis as they play a vital role in supporting all of your movements. Stronger core muscles will not only help you reduce back pain but can also improve athletic performance and may even help with controlling blood sugar levels as well!

2) Better posture

A stronger core will help you sit, stand and move better. A stronger core will prevent back and neck pain. It can also improve your running form and make you faster. Properly training your core will also lead to better posture over time as the correct muscle groups are being activated. Strengthening your abdominal muscles will give you better posture which improves breathing capacity. Finally, a strong core can help reduce the risk of certain injuries like a herniated disc or hamstring injury.

3) Stronger back

The core is made up of many muscles, the most important being the spinal erectors. These muscles work together to maintain a straight spine and balance in our body. This means that having strong cores can help prevent injury and decrease back pain. In addition, a strong core will also assist with everyday activities such as picking up heavy objects or running for long periods of time. 

4) Improved balance

With a strong core, you’ll have better balance and be able to do things like walk up a set of stairs with confidence. The core muscles are also responsible for proper posture, which can help relieve back pain. If your abdominal muscles are weak, the lower back muscle has to work harder in order to compensate. This can lead to lower back pain or injuries. It’s important to include balance training in addition to strength training as we age; so when we get older we can stay agile with these two elements.

How to train your core properly

You can train your core by incorporating it into all of your exercises. Try to do crunches and planks at least twice a week and modify any exercises you are doing to make sure they’re core-strengthening. 

If your workout routine is lacking some core training, add classic exercises like leg raises and plank variations that target different muscles of your core to it right away! You will feel stronger, happier and healthier if you do. 

When training your core, it helps to use multiple muscle groups instead of just focusing on one at a time. Each time you exercise, try not to neglect working out your core. Incorporating a few effective exercises into every workout will help tone abs as well as provide added benefits that promote overall health and wellness. 

And remember to watch what you eat: reduced caloric intake alongside effective training will help achieve fast weight loss results in no time. You should always work in sets to provide enough time for muscle repair and recovery from exercise-related injury.

Kicking Your Bad Habits to the Curb for Good

weight loss

Hey Angels and Alphas,

We’ve all got bad habits that we just can’t seem to kick, no matter how hard we try. Maybe you bite your nails or put off doing work until the last minute. Or maybe you smoke too much or drink more than you should. If this sounds like you, then it’s time to stop making excuses and start finding solutions. This guide will teach you how to kick your bad habits to the curb so you can start creating new healthy ones that are sure to stick with you forever!

Pick one thing to start with

– Start gradually. If you’re trying to quit smoking, start with cutting down or switching to a healthier smoke like e-cigarettes. You don’t have to stop cold turkey. 

– Set up a plan. Write down what your bad habit is, when and where you do it, and how often you do it. This can help you map out a plan that will work for you and your lifestyle. 

– Get support from friends and family members who want you to succeed in kicking your bad habits. They may be able to provide encouragement or additional ideas on how they’ve dealt with similar challenges in their lives.

Get rid of any reminders

In order to kick your habit, you need to remove any reminders that trigger your habit. If you have a habit of smoking after meals, for example, get rid of anything in your house that reminds you of smoking. Get rid of ashtrays, lighters and matches. If certain people trigger your bad habits, avoid them or stop seeing them as much as possible. Remove junk food from your home so that it’s not tempting and eat healthy snacks instead.

Decide on what you want in its place

The first step in kicking your bad habits is to figure out what you want instead. What are some new habits that you can develop? 

You might want to make a list of behaviors or activities that you would like to replace your bad habits with. 

For example, if you have a hard time staying motivated at work, maybe you could try running on your lunch break once a week. If giving up sugar feels impossible, maybe you can start by reducing the amount that goes into your coffee each morning and work from there. It’s important not only what we’re replacing our bad habit with but also how often we do it. The more consistently we can engage in these healthier habits, the easier it will be for them become part of who we are and override our old ways of doing things.

Commit your whole self

Make sure you surround yourself with people who support your goals and are there for you when things get tough. If you know people who might bring you down or discourage you from making changes, it might be a good idea to distance yourself from them. It can also help if you have family or friends who are going through a similar experience and who can offer support. Remember that this is your journey, so only ask for help when it’s necessary.

Surround yourself with supportive people

If you are looking to break free of your bad habits, surround yourself with people who will not enable them. If you have a bad habit of over-eating but live with someone who always offers you food or goes out and buys treats, it’s time to get out of that situation. If you’re trying to quit smoking and every time you feel like a cigarette, your significant other is right there offering one; they should be doing something else when they see you feeling tempted. It’s important that we find supportive people who will help us on our journey and not make it more difficult by feeding into our unhealthy behaviors.

Reward yourself for every small win

It can be easier said than done, but being consistent is key when it comes to kicking bad habits. You might need a little outside help at first, so you might want to sign up for an online support group. If you’re not sure which ones are best suited for your needs, take this quiz. It’ll get you on track and keep you accountable.

Don’t try too hard

It’s really easy to overthink things and get yourself worked up into a frenzy, but that’s not going to do you any favors. It will only make the situation worse. The best thing you can do is take a step back, take some deep breaths, and remind yourself of what you’re trying to accomplish here. You want this habit gone forever, right? So stop being so hard on yourself. Accept that this is going to be difficult and work your way through it. You know what they say: Rome wasn’t built in a day!

How Many Times a Week Should You Train Legs?

Hey Angels and Alphas,

How many times do you need to train your legs? It depends on what your goals are and your current level of fitness, but generally speaking it’s a good idea to do something active at least two or three times per week. Here’s how to train your legs two or three times per week, depending on your needs and goals, as well as how it will affect other parts of your body.

The Importance of Weightlifting for your Legs

When you work out, the weight you lift causes micro-tears in your muscle fibers. As your muscles grow and repair themselves, those tears turn into stronger, thicker muscle fibers. That’s how lifting weights helps to build lean muscle mass and burn fat. Stronger, thicker muscles mean better strength and less chance of injury when exercising. There are many ways to train your legs with weights, but some of the best exercises are squats, lunges and calf raises.

How Does Running Impact Leg Training?

Running is a form of leg training. When you run, your quads and hamstrings contract to propel your body forward. Your glutes and calves work as stabilizers to keep you from falling over as your center of gravity shifts with each footstrike. Running is an excellent cardiovascular exercise and will help with weight loss goals, but it’s not the most effective way to train your legs for athletic performance. There are many other ways to get the same benefits (like cycling) without risking injury or boredom.

How Many Times Should You Train Legs per Week?

Training your legs once per week may not be enough to build muscle. In order to maximize growth and strength, you’ll want to train your legs at least twice once week. If you’re looking for maximum results, train them twice each week. On the other hand, if you’re just starting out in the gym or aren’t training any other body parts, it’s best to train your legs once per week until they are stronger and more conditioned.

Why You Should Mix Cardio and Weightlifting

When you train legs, it is important to do both weightlifting and cardio. Weights help build muscle and get the heart pumping, while cardio helps burn calories. If you only do one or the other, the leg muscles will not be fully stimulated. So in order to maximize your leg workouts and make sure that your entire leg is working hard, include both weights and cardio into your routine.

What Is The Right Volume for Leg Training?

If you are looking for building strong, muscular legs, the key is to train them at least three times per week. However, the volume that you train your legs will vary depending on your goal. For general strength and hypertrophy, start with 4-5 sets of 8-12 reps per muscle group. If you are looking for maximal strength and explosiveness, then be prepared to increase volume to 8-10 sets of 4-6 reps per muscle group.

Conclusion

The number of times you train your legs will depend on your fitness level and the amount of time you have to commit to training. People who are just starting out should try to train their legs two or three days a week. More advanced lifters can train up to five days per week with two being upper-body days and three being lower-body days. It’s also important not to overwork muscles, which means that you shouldn’t spend more than an hour working out any one day.

How Much Water Should You Drink When Taking Creatine?

nutrition

Hey Angels and Alphas,

Creatine is one of the most researched supplements on the market, but that doesn’t mean it’s always right for you. One of the most common questions asked about creatine supplementation is how much water should you drink? Here are some answers.

Why is Creatine Important

Creatine is an amino acid made naturally in the body and obtained through foods. It is stored mainly in muscle tissue, where it is used to produce energy. As creatine breaks down to form creatinine, it can be eliminated from the body through urination. Most of the time, a person’s kidneys are able to regulate how much creatinine is present in their blood, but when someone consumes too much creatine (more than 20 grams per day), their kidney may not be able to do this effectively and there could be an increase of creatinine levels in the bloodstream.

What Happens If You Don’t Take Enough

For people who take creatine, it is important to get enough water. When you don’t drink enough water while taking creatine, the body will break down muscle tissue to get the water that it needs. That can lead to muscle cramps and a host of other issues like kidney problems. The good news is that getting enough water won’t be too hard if you keep some of these tips in mind:

  1. Drink at least one glass of water before and after your workout.
  2. Consider drinking more than one cup of coffee or tea in a day as part of your fluid intake for the day as well.
  3. Take creatine at least 30 minutes before workouts so that you have time for your body to be properly hydrated during the workout session itself.

How Much Do I Need To Take?

Do you take creatine and wonder how much water you should drink while taking creatine? Take a look at the following general guidelines to find out:

  • After your workout, drink 20 ounces of water.
  • For weight loss, drink 2 liters of water per day.
  • If you’re healthy but want to improve your performance, drink 1 liter of water per day.

Is There Anything I Can Do To Counteract The Side Effects Of Too Little Hydration?

It’s important to be mindful of how much water you drink while taking creatine. If you’re not drinking enough, you may experience side effects like cramps, poor sleep and an inability to focus. To counter these side effects, try the following tips:

  1. Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet – They’re a great source of potassium that helps improve muscle function and reduces cramping.
  2. Stay hydrated with pure water – If you’re feeling dry or thirsty, drink more pure water until those feelings subside.
  3. Keep your skin moisturized – Not only does it keep your skin looking nice and soft, but it also helps prevent dryness which can lead to uncomfortable itchiness.

Conclusion

If you take creatine, it is important to monitor how much water you drink. If you don’t, this can lead to some adverse effects such as dehydration, muscle cramps and heat exhaustion. So be sure to make an effort to stay extra hydrated when taking creatine.

How to Improve Cardiovascular Endurance for Better Overall Health

weight loss

Hey Angels and Alphas,

When you exercise, your body demands oxygen to create energy. If your heart and lungs are not in peak physical condition, then your body will not be able to provide enough oxygen to all of your muscle groups when you need it most, preventing you from achieving your fitness goals.

Fortunately, the best ways to improve cardiovascular endurance are fairly simple—just follow these six tips and incorporate regular cardio activity into your workout routine twice per week. You’ll soon be on your way to better health!

Consistency Is Key

Many people assume that cardiovascular endurance is all about how long you can run. However, endurance is so much more than that. It encompasses your body’s ability to withstand physical stress and recover from it.

The more you train your heart and lungs, the better they will be able to handle exertion and fatigue, which means less rest time needed between workouts and an increased ability to perform at high levels of intensity over a longer period of time. Consistency is key–if you stop exercising altogether or do not give your body enough time in between workouts, you will see decreased benefits quickly.

Best Ways to Improve Endurance

  1. Incorporate cardiovascular exercise into your daily routine.
  2. Push yourself as hard as you can during your workouts and try to increase the intensity if you’re feeling good with it.
  3. Eat a healthy diet that includes a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, along with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  4. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, but make sure that you’re avoiding too much sugar in your diet because this can lead to weight gain and inflammation within the body which will hurt your endurance levels over time.
  5. Take care of yourself by getting enough sleep every night and spend some time outside each day in nature or doing something active outdoors when possible (even if it’s just taking a walk).

Stick To An Exercise Schedule

One of the best ways to improve cardiovascular endurance is by sticking to an exercise schedule. Rather than trying different types of exercise, you should find one that works best for you and stick with it. For example, if you enjoy running outside, then run outside every day. However, if you don’t enjoy running outside then try riding a bike or swimming instead. Find what works best and stick with it!

Best Methods of Cardiovascular Exercise

There are a number of different methods of cardiovascular exercise. These include walking, swimming, jogging, biking, and playing sports. In order to get the most out of your workout be sure you vary the intensity and duration. You can also try interval training which is alternating between periods of intense activity followed by periods of rest and is an excellent way to increase your heart rate without wearing yourself out.

Your Diet Matters, Too

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is one of the most important things you can do for your body. It’s also vital to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. This ensures that your muscles are in good shape and have the fuel they need to keep you going all day long.

Make sure you’re getting plenty of vegetables and whole grains, as well as low-fat dairy products, lean meat, poultry or fish and plant-based protein sources like tofu, beans or lentils. Remember that it’s not just what you eat but when you eat it too.

Low-Carb vs Low-Fat: The Pros and Cons of Both Diets

Hey Angels and Alphas,

Most people who are trying to lose weight want to avoid foods that aren’t good for them. This can make dieting confusing, because there are so many different food groups out there, and experts disagree about which ones you should be eating more of, and which ones you should be eating less of (or not at all).

The low-carb vs low-fat debate is one of the biggest arguments in the nutrition world, so we’re going to break down the pros and cons of both diets so you can decide if one will work best for your needs.

What is a ketogenic diet?

A ketogenic diet is a very low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet. When you eat something high in carbohydrates like bread or pasta, your body converts those carbs into sugars. As those sugars enter your blood stream, the pancreas releases insulin to help regulate the sugar levels. But if you don’t eat any carbs at all, your blood sugar will likely stay stable because there are no carbs to convert into sugar.

That’s what happens when you’re on a ketogenic diet – it typically eliminates all grains (breads, pastas), starchy veggies (potatoes) and fruit.

What is a low-fat diet?

A low fat diet is a diet that restricts the intake of saturated fats, trans fats, dietary cholesterol, and foods high in calories from fat. A low fat diet typically consists of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein sources such as chicken or fish.

The pros to this type of diet are that it can help you lose weight quicker than other diets because it reduces your caloric intake. This is because it reduces the amount of fatty foods in your diet so less calories are being consumed overall. Another pro to a low fat diet is that they can help you manage or reduce other chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease.

What are the pros and cons of each diet?

The main difference between low fat diets and low carb diets is the level of carbohydrates. A low fat diet includes a lot more carbohydrates than a low carb diet, because it focuses on eating healthy fats. A high amount of protein in a low carb diet can also make you feel fuller for longer periods of time, which is why many people who want to lose weight choose this type of diet.

On the other hand, high amounts of saturated fats from animal products that are not used in any activity but to be digested may lead to high levels of cholesterol and contribute to heart disease. Eating less carbs could also lead to vitamin deficiencies if you’re not careful about what you’re eating.

Picking a diet that’s right for you

The first thing to consider when deciding which diet is best for you is your lifestyle. You may have a lot of work commitments that make it hard to find time for cooking at home or exercising regularly. If this is the case, then you might want to go with a low-carb diet because it’s likely that this type of diet will require less time commitment than a low-fat one (which requires regular exercise).

On the other hand, if you do have enough time in your schedule for home-cooked meals and working out, then you might be better off with a low-fat diet. This kind of diet has been shown to help people lose weight more efficiently than low carb diets.

Should You Work Out If You Have the Flu?

Hey Angels and Alphas,

Even if you’re feeling terrible, there’s always one question that surfaces when you have the flu: Should I work out? It’s a valid question, since working out can make you feel even worse and dehydrated than you already do.

But did you know that staying in bed while suffering from the flu can be harmful to your body as well? Here are some reasons why it might not be such a bad idea to exercise when you have the flu.

What is The Flu?

The flu is a viral respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Those who are at higher risk of serious flu-related complications include young children and people with chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease, asthma or diabetes). Symptoms include high fever (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit), headache, fatigue and muscle aches. These symptoms are often followed by chills, dry coughs and nasal congestion.

In-Home Relief

If you’re feeling under the weather, it’s best to stay home and rest. A lot of people might be tempted to hit the gym or head out for a run in an effort to sweat out their fever, but it’s best not to overexert yourself when you have a fever and congestion.

The Downside of Working Out When Sick

You know that feeling you get when you’re sick, and all you want to do is curl up on the couch with Netflix on in the background? There’s a good reason for that. Working out while sick can exacerbate your symptoms, and make it harder for your body to recover. When we exercise, our body releases stress hormones like cortisol, which can suppress your immune system.

That means you’ll be more vulnerable to getting sick again in the future-even if this was just a 24 hour bug! Working out also puts pressure on your respiratory system, which will only make breathing more difficult and leave you feeling worse faster than sitting around would.

Don’t Overdo It

The flu is a virus that causes fever, body aches, cough, sore throat and fatigue. These symptoms are often worse than with other viruses that cause colds. The best way to feel better and avoid spreading the flu is to get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids and avoid contact with others as much as possible until you start feeling better. This means that you should not go to work or school or go out into public while you are sick.

Get Quality Sleep

To get quality sleep, it is important to have a room that is dark and quiet. As a side note, if you are not sick, you should try to go to bed at around 10:30pm or 11pm. This will allow your body enough time to fall into deep sleep before it’s time for your alarm clock to go off in the morning. In addition, try not to eat too much and avoid caffeine in the evening hours. Finally, keep your bedroom temperature comfortable and wear something comfortable to bed.

Stay Hydrated & Eat Well

Stay hydrated and eat well to help your body fight against the virus. It is important to maintain good nutrition while you are sick because your immune system will not be working at full capacity. Stay away from dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and greasy foods as these will irritate your stomach or cause heartburn which can make you feel worse in general.

Avoid fatty foods because they take a long time for digestion which can worsen nausea or vomiting. Drink plenty of fluids such as water, herbal tea, and broth to stay hydrated and replenish electrolytes.

Consider Anti-Inflammatory Supplements

For athletes, anti-inflammatory supplements may be a better option than working out when suffering from a cold or flu. Athletes who are on strict training schedules and have limited time to recover can use these supplements to reduce the inflammation that is caused by the illness.

These supplements work by suppressing inflammatory cytokines, which are molecules that are involved in inflammation. Anti-inflammatory supplements are not for everyone because of potential side effects such as stomach problems and headaches, but they may be worth considering if you’re an athlete with a strict training schedule who needs to get back to training quickly.

Why Working Out Matters for Your Blood Sugar and Cholesterol

Hey Angels and Alphas,

No matter how busy your life gets, it’s important to find time to exercise regularly in order to live a healthier and longer life. Physical activity has been proven to reduce your chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, and many types of cancers, but how does it actually impact your health? When you start working out, here are three things to expect from your blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

The Importance of Exercise

Exercise is important because it helps maintain a healthy weight, which can help reduce the risk of diabetes and high blood sugar. Workouts also improve insulin sensitivity, which can help prevent or control diabetes. Exercise improves your cholesterol by reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Plus, exercise helps you sleep better at night!

What Type of Cardio is Best

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is probably the most efficient form of cardio for fat loss. HIIT is also a very time-efficient way to train since it’s so intense. The best part about HIIT is that you only need to spend around 20 minutes doing it, three times per week. To do HIIT, alternate between 30 seconds of all out effort followed by 90 seconds of rest.

The Importance of Intensity in Your Workouts

Intensity is the key to making exercise work for you. The National Institute of Health recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. In order to get the desired benefits from your workouts, you need to make sure you are working hard enough. If your workout isn’t challenging enough, then it’s not effective. You should be able to talk during a workout, but not sing or shout without much difficulty. If you can do more than one minute without stopping or talking, then it might be too easy.

Interval Training

Exercise can play a major role in maintaining healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels. While most people know that getting enough sleep, eating well, and staying active are all part of a healthy lifestyle, research has shown that exercise has additional benefits.

Studies have shown that working out on a regular basis helps to control blood sugar levels by promoting insulin sensitivity in the muscles. Additionally, exercise leads to an increase in HDL cholesterol (the good kind), which helps keep LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) low. Exercising regularly is also beneficial because it reduces inflammation within the body; this process is vital because chronic inflammation can lead to many serious conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

How Training Impacts Your Blood Sugar

By now you’ve probably heard that exercise is good for your health, and most doctors would agree. Exercise lowers blood pressure, increases HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol), reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol), improves insulin sensitivity, helps to control weight gain, relieves anxiety, combats depression, helps prevent osteoporosis, increases energy levels – the list goes on.

But what many people don’t know is that exercise also improves blood sugar control. In fact, studies show that when overweight or obese individuals start a regular walking program, their fasting glucose levels will drop by up to 20%. Studies also show that even moderate exercise can be beneficial in lowering fasting glucose levels in patients with diabetes.

How Training Impacts Your Cholesterol

When you exercise, the body releases a substance called lipoprotein lipase that helps break down cholesterol in your bloodstream. This process is known as reverse cholesterol transport, which moves cholesterol from the walls of your arteries back to your liver where it’s excreted.

Regular exercise also improves insulin sensitivity so that cells can more efficiently use glucose (sugar) to create energy, which lowers blood sugar levels. Exercise also reduces inflammation in the body, which has been shown to decrease the risk of diabetes.

Bodyweight Training vs Weightlifting: Which is Right for You?

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Hey Angels and Alphas,

If you’re trying to get in shape, you’ve probably heard about the benefits of bodyweight training and weightlifting. The two are incredibly popular choices for people who want to stay fit, and they can even be used together by people who want to work out at home using minimal equipment and space. But which one is right for you? This article will discuss the differences between the two and help you figure out which type of workout will be best suited to your needs, whether it’s bodyweight training or weightlifting.

The benefits of bodyweight exercises

Building muscle and strength with only your body weight can be a great way to save money and stay in shape. Bodyweight exercises are easy to do anywhere, don’t take up much space, and require no equipment. Plus, there are a ton of exercises you can do – here’s just one!

The L-sit will strengthen your abs and core while also building shoulder stability, says Allana Karo, a personal trainer at Crunch Fitness in New York City. It’s also an awesome core workout if you’re pregnant.

The benefits of weightlifting

Weightlifting has been around as long as humans have. It is a great way to gain strength, power and muscle mass. When combined with proper nutrition, weightlifting can help you develop lean muscle that burns more calories at rest than fat tissue. That means that weight training will help with your fat loss goals!

What should you do when limited by equipment

If you want to focus on body weight training, but are limited by equipment, try these three exercises: *Push-ups *Pull-ups *Squats.

If you want to focus on weightlifting, but are limited by equipment, try these three exercises: *Bicep curls with a dumbbell or kettlebell *Bent over rows using a barbell or dumbbells *Bench presses using a barbell or dumbbells.

When should you add weights to your routine

Adding weights to your routine can increase muscle mass and improve joint strength. However, it’s important to ease into the process and focus on proper form before you start adding more weight. In the end, it all depends on what you want out of your routine. Some people may prefer bodyweight training, while others may prefer weightlifting – but in reality there’s no right answer. It just matters what works best for you.

The best beginner workout routines

Some people are looking to get fit, while others are trying to build muscle. Others might be looking to lose weight or improve their cardiovascular fitness. Whatever your goal, there is a workout routine that can help you achieve it. With the many different types of workouts out there, the question becomes which one is best for you. To answer that question, we’ve created a quick guide to compare and contrast some of the most popular types of training routines.

The best advanced workout routines

If you want to start with a more challenging routine, you may want to consider adding weightlifting into your routine. While bodyweight training can be very effective in building muscle, weightlifting also has many benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked.

For example, while they are two different types of exercises and have different movements, both are equally beneficial when it comes to the number of calories burned per hour and the amount of time it takes to burn those calories. When it comes down to it, weightlifting offers more variation in terms of what muscles you work out and how much resistance is applied whereas bodyweight training can get repetitive if done for long periods of time.

6 Ways to Do Progressive Overload the Right Way

Hey Angels and Alphas,

Progressive overload is one of the most important concepts to understand if you want to get results in the gym and avoid injury at the same time. It can be complicated, though, especially when you’re starting out in weightlifting.

There are so many ways to apply it to your workouts, which makes it easy to do it incorrectly without even realizing it! If you’re not sure how progressive overload works or how to use it correctly during your workouts, check out these seven tips that will help you do it right every time.

1) Is your intensity increasing?

Increasing your weight gradually is an important part of a progressive overload program. It should be done gradually, and it should be done consistently. For example, if you’re starting with a bench press of 45 pounds for 12 repetitions, then next time you should try 50 pounds for 10 repetitions. If your intensity isn’t increasing, then you’re probably not doing progressive overload correctly.

2) Are you working out more?

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I recently started lifting weights. It’s been really fun and challenging, but I’ve also learned that I need to do it in a certain way.

The thing is, that’s not always easy. If you’re like me, then you sometimes find yourself doing too much too soon or trying too hard when you should be easing into it a little more. And once you get overdoing things, it can take days or even weeks for your muscles to recover! That’s why I want to share with you some of my favorite ways to do progressive overload right!

3) Are you eating enough protein?

Protein is one of the three macronutrients, and it’s a nutrient that your body needs in abundance. While there are many sources of protein, including animal products and plant-based options, if you’re looking for a place to start with incorporating more protein into your diet, we recommend opting for organic eggs.

You can purchase organic eggs at most grocery stores or your local farmers market. When cooking with eggs, try substituting whole eggs or egg whites for some of your favorite recipes and be sure to mix up the proteins you choose each day. For example:

4) Is your program flexible?

Flexibility is an important part of any progressive overload program. I’m a firm believer in doing the same workout routine for 4-6 weeks and then mixing things up.

This gives your body time to adapt, recover, and grow stronger without getting bored. My suggestion is if you are new to lifting weights or if you have a history of overuse injuries, start with one lift per day (bench press, squat, deadlift). After 3-4 weeks add in a second lift.

Alternatively you could do three workouts per week rotating between two lifts each day (Monday bench press and squats, Tuesday deadlifts and bench presses).

5) Are you doing smart active rest?

One of the most important things you can do for your workout routine is smart active rest. Listen, working out every day and pushing yourself as hard as you can, every single time is not going to be sustainable over time.
I get it – sometimes all you want is a break from all that hard work. But you need more than just a break – you need active rest.

6) Are you tracking properly?

If you’re not tracking your progress, how do you know if what you’re doing is working? Unless you’re measuring your results, there’s no way to tell if you’re building muscle or just wasting your time.

The good news is that it doesn’t take much effort at all to track progress. All you need is a notebook and a pen. The first thing I recommend is recording an initial baseline weight for each exercise on Day One of your workout program.

To do this, write down how much weight feels lightest and most comfortable when doing an exercise like bench press or leg extension.

Fast-Twitch vs. Slow-Twitch Muscle Fibers: What’s the Difference and Which One Should You Train?

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Hey Angels and Alphas,

The two main types of muscle fibers are slow-twitch muscle fibers (also called Type I fibers) and fast-twitch muscle fibers (also called Type II fibers). Slow-twitch muscle fibers contract slowly but have plenty of endurance, while fast-twitch muscle fibers contract rapidly but have less endurance.

This doesn’t mean that your body can’t use both; they’re just suited to different kinds of activities and training regimens. Find out more about the differences between them and how you can train each type for optimal results.

The Three Main Types of Muscle Fibers

There are three types of muscle fibers, which are slow-twitch, fast-twitch A and fast twitch B. Slow-twitch fibers typically contract slowly but can last a long time while contracting. These muscles allow you to do activities that don’t require a lot of energy, such as walking up stairs or running a marathon.

Fast-twitch A is recruited when you need to generate force quickly but only for short periods of time before fatigue sets in.

Fast-twitch B is used during high intensity exercise where your muscles require more speed, power or strength than the other two types can provide alone so it helps you maintain those higher intensities for longer periods of time before fatigue sets in.

Different Types of Workouts

One type of workout is geared towards training fast-twitch muscles, another is geared towards training slow-twitch muscles, but which one should you train to get the most out of your time in the gym? The answer lies in understanding what each type of muscle fiber does.

Slow-twitch muscle fibers are more efficient at using oxygen to generate force for a sustained period of time (2 to 3 hours). Fast-twitch muscle fibers are used for explosive events that last less than 2 seconds. These muscles have a lower aerobic capacity but can produce greater amounts of force faster than slow-twitch muscles.

The Benefits of Doing Fast-Twitch Exercises

Fast-twitch fibers contract quickly with a lot of force, but they tire out quickly as well. They’re great for short bursts of strength, speed, or power—but not for endurance. That’s why athletes like sprinters train their fast-twitch muscle fibers by doing sprints, intervals on the track, and weightlifting exercises that focus on explosive power (like snatches).

Slow-twitch muscle fibers are usually found in large numbers in places like your legs and lower back because they burn fat to create sustainable energy through aerobic respiration.

They do this through anaerobic glycolysis, which converts glycogen into lactic acid; that lactic acid then generates more heat so you can keep going for longer.

If you want to improve your stamina during cardio activities like running or cycling, it might be time to focus on training slow-twitch muscle fibers rather than just focusing on building more fast-twitch muscles.

The Benefits of Doing Slow-Twitch Exercises

Slow-twitch muscle fibers are designed for endurance, which is why they’re typically used to maintain a steady pace for long periods of time. They’re also effective at conserving energy because they rely on oxygen instead of sugar as fuel, which means they can continue working even when our glycogen stores are depleted.

This makes them perfect for low intensity workouts like walking or light jogging that last more than an hour per session.

These types of exercises also don’t require any equipment, so you can do them anywhere at anytime—no excuses! Plus, slow-twitch muscle fibers are important for improving cardiovascular health by increasing the amount of capillaries in your muscles.

Slow-twitch muscle fibers use aerobic respiration (requires oxygen), whereas fast-twitch muscle fibers use glycolysis (doesn’t require oxygen). The Benefits of Doing Fast-Twitch Exercises: Fast twitch muscles are designed primarily for strength and power.

Is Too Much Recovery Killing Your Gains? Find Out How Many Recovery Days You Need

Hey Angels and Alphas,

While many people assume that more recovery means better, that’s actually not the case if your recovery days are too long. You need sufficient rest and relaxation to recover effectively and maintain both your physical and mental health, but if you overdo it, you could be doing more harm than good to your body. This guide to how much recovery is too much recovery explains how long you should take between workouts and why there’s no such thing as overtraining.

What Does Overtraining Mean

Overtraining is when you are working out too much and not giving your body time to rest. Overtraining can lead to a decrease in performance, an increase in injury rates, and even burnout. When we work out, our muscles accumulate lactic acid as a result of the breakdown of sugar for energy. Overtraining can cause high levels of lactate which leads to muscle damage and inflammation. Overtraining can also lead to cortisol production which breaks down muscle tissue for short-term energy sources.

What Are The Signs Of Overtraining

Overtraining is a term used to describe when the body’s muscles are not given enough time to rest and recover. Common signs of overtraining include: muscle soreness, difficulty recovering between workouts, lack of motivation, fatigue, depression and irritability.

One way to know if you’re overtraining is by taking your pulse first thing in the morning before breakfast. If it’s above 100 beats per minute (bpm), then you’re most likely overtired and need some time off from training.
The main causes of overtraining are both physical and mental stress. When you’re constantly stressed out about work or personal issues, it can lead to physical exhaustion that affects your workouts negatively.

How To Avoid Overtraining

  1. Track your training and recovery. Keep a log of all workouts, both intensity and volume, as well as how you feel the next day. This will help you get an idea of your individual response to exercise.
  2. Take time off from weightlifting. A good rule is to take at least one day off per week to allow your body to recover from the muscle damage incurred during training.
  3. Give yourself a break when needed. If you’re feeling fatigued or notice that performance has declined, take a few days off to let your body recover fully before getting back into it again.

How Much Recovery Is Too Much?

The general rule is, the more volume you put on your muscles in training, the more recovery they need. And to make sure you’re recovering enough, you should be taking at least one full day of rest per week. But how long do you need to recover between workouts? That depends on what exercise you’re doing and how much intensity there is.

For example, if you’re doing a high-intensity workout such as heavy squats or sprints, it will take your body longer to recover than if you were doing an easier workout like yoga or walking. If your goal is to build muscle, then it’s important that you give yourself enough time in between sets so that the lactic acid can clear out of your system before going back for another set of reps.

How Many Rest Days Should You Have Every Week?

Here are a few guidelines for how many rest days you should have every week:

  • Two rest days per week for the average person.
  • Three rest days per week if you’re new to working out.
  • Four rest days per week if you’re in your third or fourth month of working out.

Social Media Detoxing: How to Reclaim Your Time and Health

Hey Angels and Alphas,

Social media can be time-consuming and all-consuming—and not just in the obvious ways, like spending too much time posting, liking photos, and scrolling through your feed.

Even when you’re not looking at social media websites or apps, the notifications can still be distracting and drain your attention away from tasks that are more important than Facebook or Instagram (like looking up how to get rid of pimples on Google). To help you reclaim your time and sanity (not to mention your productivity), here’s what you need to know about detoxing from social media once and for all.

Why you should make the change

People today are glued to their screens and social media, whether it be their phones, tablets or computer. It is not uncommon for people to log in on Facebook as soon as they wake up, check Twitter at lunchtime, and then update their Snapchat story when they get home from work. While social media can be a beneficial tool for staying connected with friends, family members or colleagues all over the world, it can also become an addiction that harms our mental health.

A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that heavy usage of Facebook was linked to depression in young adults.

Before you start the detox

It’s time to detox from social media! If you’re like me, you spend hours each day scrolling through your newsfeed. You may find yourself feeling anxious, unhappy, or even worse. It’s time for a social media detox.

Some people think that by giving up social media they are giving up their life. This is not true! During the detox, you will have more time for hobbies and family members as well as more energy during your day-to-day activities. You can make the decision to continue using social media when the detox is over if it makes you happy but with moderation of course.

The first week or so

This week’s goal for your detox is to set a specific time limit for using social media each day. This will help you get control of your time without feeling the pressure of having to give up the sites altogether. It will also make it easier when you need more time away from them later in your detox journey.

The second week

  1. Keep up with business obligations during the week by sending emails or texting so you don’t have to take the time to check in on your phone or computer.
  2. Take a break from checking your phone every 5 minutes by putting it away while you’re working, getting ready in the morning, or driving.
  3. Engage with loved ones as often as possible in person instead of just through social media posts (this might involve turning off notifications on your phone).

The third week

  1. Uninstall your phone from any social media apps that you use. This way, it’s harder for you to log on while scrolling through your Instagram feed when you’re bored or lonely.
  2. Put your phone away in a drawer or somewhere where it’s out of sight, so that when someone texts you, the screen won’t light up distracting you from whatever else you’re doing.
  3. Log off for the day by setting a timer for 60 minutes or 30 minutes, whichever works best for your schedule and make sure not to exceed this limit!

Tips to get back on track

  1. Take a break from social media for a day or two by deleting the apps from your phone.
  2. Spend that time with family, friends, loved ones.
  3. If you need your phone for work, turn off notifications on social media apps (i.e., the app will not notify you of anything).
  4. Turn off email notifications on social media apps (i.e., the app will not notify you of anything).
  5. Spend more time with loved ones offline!
  6. Unplug every night at 9pm and spend some quality time in nature or doing something creative like writing/painting/sculpting/etc
  7. Use this break as an opportunity to refocus on what matters most.

The Four Most Common Training Splits (and How to Pick the Right One for You)

Hey Angels and Alphas,

There are tons of ways to train your body, but these four training splits are some of the most popular and effective. Each split has its own pros and cons, so it’s important that you know what you’re looking for before choosing one.

This post will help you determine which type of split works best for you and your goals by comparing each type of split to explain how they work and which muscles they target. After reading this post, you’ll be ready to make an educated decision about which training split is right for your body and results!

Why Certain Training Splits are Popular

Many trainers and coaches use a certain training split based on their client’s experience level, body type, or goals. The most popular splits are 4-day, 3-day, 2-day and 1 day splits. A four-day split is the most common because it allows people to train all of their major muscle groups in one week.

Three-day splits are more popular with advanced trainers because they allow for more intense workouts but can be difficult due to time constraints. Two day splits are more suited towards those who want to focus on fewer muscle groups per day or those with limited time in a day. Lastly, one day splits are best for beginners who want high intensity workouts that take up as little time as possible.

Push/Pull/Legs

A push/pull/legs training split is a great way to balance out your muscle groups and get the most out of your workouts. This type of split is also perfect if you are new to the weight room, or just need some guidance on what exercises to do during a workout.

Push/pull days focus on getting stronger by doing compound exercises like bench press, shoulder press, and deadlifts.

Legs days help with gaining leg strength, which will help with running and other lower-body intensive exercises. The benefits of this type of training are that it helps build up specific muscles while helping prevent overuse injuries as well as ensuring you are getting the right amount of rest in between workouts.

Push days are exercises that work your chest, shoulders and triceps. These are exercises like bench press, dips, chins and overhead press. Pull days are exercises that work your lats, biceps, back and traps. These are exercises like chin-ups, pull-ups and rows. Legs days are all about your lower body – these would be squats, lunges, deadlifts and leg presses.

Upper Body/Lower Body

One of the most common training splits is the upper body and lower body split. This training split works well because your lower body is working while your upper body rests. Another benefit of this type of split is that it allows you to train multiple muscle groups in one workout, which gives you the chance to work on weak areas or target specific muscles. Upper-body and lower-body workouts can be done on the same day or different days.

When combined on the same day, it’s called a push/pull routine. Here are some considerations:

  • Do you want more focus on strength training or cardio?
  • Do you prefer to do upper body and lower body exercises in one session, or two separate sessions?
  • What are your goals?
  • What equipment do you have access to at home?
  • Do you want two or three non-strength-training days each week?

Full Body/Circuit Training

Circuit training is a type of workout that involves doing a series of exercises in succession with little or no rest in between. The intensity is usually high and each exercise should be performed as quickly as possible. Circuit training can be done with just your body weight, but it’s more effective when you use some kind of resistance, like free weights or machines at the gym.

There are many different types of circuit workouts including: upper body/lower body, full-body, and upper/lower split. A full-body circuit will work all muscles in your body while an upper/lower split will work either your backside or chest and arms one day, and then the other muscle group on another day.

5 Tips to Maximizing Gym Time When You’re Short on Time

Hey Angels and Alphas,

When you’re short on time, it can feel like there’s never enough hours in the day to squeeze in another workout. But don’t worry — you can still get results if you know how to maximize your gym time and the intensity of your workouts.

Follow these 5 tips on maximizing gym time when you’re short on time, and you’ll not only reach your fitness goals sooner, but you’ll have more energy throughout the day too.

1) Do bodyweight exercises before lifting weights

If you have no time for a full workout, try doing some bodyweight exercises before lifting weights. The movements will help warm up your muscles and joints, plus you’ll still be able to get a good pump in without having time to do much else. In addition, this is a great way to work your core without having time for crunches and sit-ups.

Just remember not to go too heavy if you only have a few minutes–you want the exercise to be challenging but not overwhelming.

2) Use high-intensity interval training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training is an excellent way to maximize the time you spend in the gym. HIIT is a form of exercise where you alternate between intense bursts of activity, followed by periods of rest or low intensity activity.

This type of training has been shown to burn more calories and have better results when it comes to weight loss than other forms of exercise, such as cardio. HIIT trains your body for a variety of situations and conditions, including when you’re short on time.

Some ways you can incorporate HIIT into your routine are by taking a few minutes at the start and end of your workout for high-intensity intervals, or adding sprints into your jog during a light day.

3) Do circuits instead of straight sets

One of the most effective strategies for maximizing intensity when you have limited time is doing circuits instead of straight sets. For example, you can do a circuit with three exercises. Do one set for each exercise and then move on to the next. This strategy will allow you to work through your entire routine without spending too much time in any one area, which allows you to get more done in less time.

4) Don’t try to make gains with long rest periods

Don’t try to make gains with long rest periods. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend in the gym if you don’t get enough rest and recovery. Muscle tissue grows during rest, not during workouts. Rest is just as important as the workout itself.

That’s why it’s important to do shorter high intensity training sessions. After a few sets, take a break and stretch before starting again.

This will allow you to use more weight while still giving your body adequate rest between sets so that it can recover faster between exercises.

Intersperse higher intensity sets with lower intensity sets: The same goes for variety of exercises. Intersperse higher intensity sets with lower intensity sets for both exercise types so that your body can recover from the stress of a higher intensity set before it moves onto the next one.

5) Warm up by going from lighter to heavier weights gradually

Doing a quick warm-up is important before you start your routine. Warm-ups can be as simple as doing light sets of the exercises that you plan to do for the workout.

For example, if you plan to do bench presses for your chest workout, then start with lighter weights first and work your way up.

This will help you feel more prepared when it comes time to lift heavier weight, which will in turn make your workouts more intense and effective.

The 5 Most Common Meal Prepping Mistakes That Actually Slow You Down

Hey Angels and Alphas,

Meal prepping sounds like a simple concept – cut up some veggies, cook some chicken, and portion it all out into containers so you can eat healthy all week long. Well, it’s not always that simple. There are plenty of common mistakes people make when meal prepping that actually slow you down and take you more time to get things done.

1) Not Having a Plan

One of the most common mistakes people make is not having a plan. When you’re trying to figure out what to cook, it can be tempting to just try something new and different each time. But if you don’t have a goal in mind, you’ll end up taking a lot more time to decide what to eat because you don’t know how long each recipe will take. Plus, it’s easy to get bored with your meal plan if all the food is unfamiliar or repetitive.

The best way to avoid these issues is to have a plan in place. Write out your meals for each day of your prep and what you’ll need to make them. Include snacks, as well – if you know that it’s just fruit and nuts on days when you don’t have time to prep, it will be easier to stick with your meal plan. Make sure that all your ingredients are pre-portioned so they’re easy to grab and throw into recipes when you’re ready.

2) Expecting Perfection

Expecting perfection is a recipe for disaster. It’s easy to think that since you’re spending so much time and energy, if it isn’t perfect then it just wasn’t worth it. But the truth is, not everything will turn out exactly how you planned or wanted it to. You can still be proud of your efforts even if they don’t look exactly how you expected them to.

3) Being Too Hard on Yourself

I think the number one mistake is being too hard on yourself. When it comes to meal prepping, it’s important to have a positive attitude and not get discouraged. After all, you’re trying to create healthy habits for your body. If you take a break for a day or two and then start again, that’s totally fine! Nobody is perfect and that includes you. The key is just to do what you can when you can and don’t beat yourself up about it.

4) Cleaning Up Between Workouts

It’s important to take care of yourself outside of the gym, too. One way is to eat a healthy, wholesome meal within 30 minutes or so of your workout. This will help your muscles recover faster and get you in the right frame of mind for starting a new day.

If you’re not used to cooking at home, it can be daunting to think about preparing food ahead of time. But if you make one recipe per week on Sundays and set aside some time once a month to prepare another four weeks’ worth, then it’s really only an hour or two each month–much less than if you were heading out every day for lunch! And that should leave plenty of time for sleep and other things that are important in life.

5) Relying on Pre-Made Foods

A lot of people think that relying on pre-made foods is the best way to save time and money. They assume that it’s a quick, easy, and healthy way to do meal prep. However, this is not always the case. Often times, pre-made food comes with preservatives and other additives which can be detrimental to your health.

Plus, in order to stay on track with your goals, you’ll need more than just one type of meal. If you want variety in your diet or if you’re trying to lose weight or eat less sugar or carbs, then relying on pre-made meals will slow you down because it will take longer for your body to adjust when there are so few choices available.

The Best and Worst Beverages to Sip on When You’re Fasting

Hey Angels and Alphas,

If you’re fasting, it can be difficult to know what drinks you can and cannot drink without breaking your fast. The rule of thumb is to avoid anything that will displace food or water during the period of your fast, but if you’re going a long time without food or water, it’s important to make sure your beverage choices are good ones as well.

Read on to learn which beverages are best and worst when you’re fasting, so you can sip in confidence while still adhering to your religious or personal traditions!

Coffee

If you’re fasting, drinking coffee is not an option. Coffee disrupts the natural process of sleep and your ability to focus. However, there are many substitutes for coffee that are caffeine-free and won’t break your fast. Try herbal tea or rooibos tea, kombucha, green tea and more! Not only will these beverages help you keep a consistent level of energy throughout the day but they also contain numerous health benefits.

Other options include sparkling water, black iced tea and carbonated water with a squeeze of lime juice if desired. Be mindful not to drink too much as this can lead to an upset stomach when you start breaking your fast at sunset! When sipping on any beverage other than coffee, make sure it has zero calories or low sugar content in order to maintain good digestion while fasting.

Tea

If you want a tea that’s caffeine free, there are plenty of options. Herbal teas such as peppermint or rooibos are great for settling your stomach or helping with gas. Fruit-infused teas such as raspberry or blueberry also have no caffeine but do have natural sugars so they might not be the best option if you’re diabetic. Other caffeinated options include black tea, green tea, and oolong tea. There are even decaffeinated versions of these varieties if you really need something with a little zing!

Carbonated Drinks

The most common form of carbonated drink. While soda is not a healthy drink, it does have benefits for those who are fasting. Carbonated drinks such as soda can help keep you from feeling hungry. However, the downside is that when drinking a lot of carbonated drinks, your stomach may end up hurting. Plus, if you are fasting during Ramadan, you might be more tempted to finish all the sodas in one sitting because they can help with feelings of hunger.

Sports Drinks

Yes, you can drink sports drinks while fasting. Sports drinks are designed to replenish electrolytes lost during vigorous exercise, as well as provide energy. These drinks are relatively low in sugar (unless you opt for one of the more sugary varieties), so they won’t break your fast. If you’d rather not consume any sugar at all, there are a few options that don’t contain any sweeteners.

Bone Broth

A traditional soup made with meat, vegetables, and water. Bone broth is a great soup to sip on when you’re fasting because it’s rich in collagen, amino acids, minerals, glycine, and protein.

Plus it’s also easy to digest! Non-Fruit Juice: If you need something cold, some non-fruit juice like coconut water is your best bet as long as there are no added sugars. Try chugging it before midday so the sugar doesn’t disrupt your fasting routine and make things more complicated for yourself (plus we all know how sweet fruit juice can be).

If you have been waiting for an excuse to buy those coconut waters that have been on sale for months at your grocery store then this is it! Drink up!! Bottled Tea: What if you want tea? That would be fine too; just try not to put anything else in the cup like milk or sugar or lemonade as they could violate your fast.

Saunas vs HIIT: Which is Better For Your Heart?

Hey Angels and Alphas,

Do you know which exercise is better for your heart and cardiovascular system: saunas or HIIT? If you’re not familiar with either of these, HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training, while sauna refers to steam rooms where individuals sweat in super-heated, humid air. Both of these practices are popular in the healthcare world as forms of physical therapy for various conditions and diseases, but if you’re wondering which one is better for your heart and general health, read on to learn more about what each offers in terms of benefits to the body.

The Benefits of Saunas

A sauna has been shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and depression, and can help lower blood pressure. Saunas also help increase the production of nitric oxide, which helps regulate blood flow. A recent study found that a session in a sauna led to improved endurance performance when compared to interval training. Saunas also have calming effects on the body and mind as they promote relaxation by lowering levels of stress hormones and increasing growth hormone levels, which helps with muscle repair. The heat from the sauna increases blood circulation by dilating blood vessels near the surface of your skin. This causes your heart to work harder so it pumps more oxygenated blood throughout your body during a session in a sauna.

The Benefits of HIIT

HIIT workouts are beneficial because they’re very time efficient. The average workout duration is 15 minutes, which is perfect if you’re strapped for time. Plus, because of the intense bursts of activity and recovery periods, they keep your body burning calories long after you’ve finished. This type of training also boosts metabolism as well as physical and mental health. Contrary to popular belief, this type of training doesn’t require any extra equipment or space; all you need are a mat, a chair, and maybe some weights. It’s also one of the most effective ways to lose weight quickly – just an hour-long session can burn up to 600 calories!

Comparing Time

A new study from Finland has found that people who regularly sweat in a sauna are less likely to have heart problems than those who do high intensity workouts. Researchers studied 2,315 Finnish men over the course of 15 years. The researchers found that men who used the sauna once per week had a 44% lower risk of developing coronary artery disease or dying from it, compared to those who did not use the sauna at all.

The study also showed that men who used the sauna more than once per week had an even greater reduction in risk of coronary artery disease, at 66%. The researchers noted that other studies have found similar results.

Comparing Benefits

We all know that exercise is important to stay healthy and live longer, but not everyone has the time or the motivation to go to a gym. Luckily, there are many ways you can exercise without having to leave your home. For example, if you have a home sauna, you can use it in place of a regular workout at the gym. Saunas may not be as intense as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), but they’re just as effective at improving cardiovascular health and reducing stress. In fact, one study found that after a month of using their sauna three times per week, participants had fewer symptoms of depression and were less stressed than before.

Comparing Difficulty

Research has shown that saunas may be more beneficial to the circulatory system than high-intensity interval training. Not only does this type of work out raise the heart rate and release endorphins, but it also reduces inflammation and oxidative stress. There are some drawbacks – you need to spend more time in a sauna session in order to get the same benefits, and you’ll have to make sure you stay hydrated while working out. Overall, though, the benefits of sauna workouts can outweigh these negatives.

Low-Intensity Cardio vs. High-Intensity Cardio Which One Is Right For You?

Hey Angels and Alphas,

When it comes to exercise, you’ll often hear about the importance of doing cardio exercise to keep your heart healthy and maintain your weight. But what does cardio mean? It’s actually a general term that refers to any aerobic exercise you do, but the different intensities of cardio can be classified as either low-intensity or high-intensity. Low-intensity cardio usually refers to exercises like walking and yoga, while high-intensity cardio usually refers to exercises like running and cycling.

Don’t confuse low intensity with easy.

The distinction is not always clear. Low intensity does not necessarily mean easy and high intensity does not automatically mean difficult or exhausting. In reality, any workout can be both hard and low intensity as well as easy and high intensity. It all depends on the speed, duration, resistance level of the exercise, etc…

Benefits of HIIT.

High intensity interval training is a type of cardio workout where you go all out for a short period of time, then rest for a lower intensity level for a certain amount of time before the next high intensity burst. This type of cardio has been found to have more benefits than traditional low-intensity cardio workouts like walking or jogging on the treadmill. The benefits include increased fat burning and improved cardiovascular health, among others.

Benefits of LOW-INTENSITY CARDIO.

For beginners, low-intensity cardio is a great way to build up stamina and increase overall cardiovascular health. Low intensity exercises include jogging, biking, and swimming. These exercises are easy on the joints and provide cardiovascular benefits by increasing heart rate and lung capacity while utilizing fats as an energy source instead of carbohydrates or sugars. If you are looking to lose weight, low-intensity cardio will help you burn fat at a steady pace without exhausting your muscles or stressing your joints too much. The downside of low intensity cardio is that it can take a long time for noticeable weight loss to occur so this might not be the best choice for people who want immediate results from their workouts.

Outlining the downsides of HIIT.

Cardiovascular activity at a high intensity is a form of exercise which can be as demanding as an intense physical challenge, and can have benefits for both physical health and mental well being. It’s also one of the most effective ways to lose weight. But there are plenty of reasons why you might not want to do it, or may not be able to do it for long periods of time–or ever at all.

The good news is that you don’t need vigorous activity in order to reap the many benefits of cardio exercise; regular low intensity cardio has been shown to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers while improving bone density and muscular strength–and this type of activity is usually easier on your joints than high intensity workouts.

Outlining the downsides of LOW INTENSITY CARDIO.

Cardiovascular exercise is one of the best ways to keep your body in shape and maintain a healthy weight. In addition, it is a great way to stay mentally active and have fun doing something you enjoy! There are many different types of cardio workouts, such as walking, running, cycling, rowing and swimming just to name a few.

The type of cardiovascular workout that is right for you depends on your level of physical fitness and your goals for the routine. Low-intensity cardio workouts include walking at an easy pace or taking a leisurely bike ride where you can chat with friends while riding or just take in your surroundings.

The Effects of Oxidative Stress on Your Fitness Progress and Performance in the Gym

male fitness

Hey Angels and Alphas,

When you think of oxidative stress, what comes to mind? Most people picture themselves lying on the beach in Miami sipping pina coladas as they get a tan from the sun. In reality, however, oxidative stress can be quite detrimental to your health and your fitness progress and performance in the gym. 

Read on to learn more about what oxidative stress is, what it does, and how you can reduce its effects on your body!

What is oxidative stress?

Oxidative stress is a term that describes an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a biological system’s ability to readily detoxify or repair these ROS. ROS are chemically active molecules that can damage cell structures such as DNA, proteins, or lipids. If left unchecked, oxidative stress can result in chronic inflammation, which can lead to serious health issues like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Exercise has been shown to counteract oxidative stress by reducing ROS production and increasing antioxidant defenses. Furthermore, exercise helps reduce chronic inflammation by promoting healthier blood vessels, which better deliver blood carrying oxygen throughout the body.

How do free radicals affect you when working out?

Free radicals can be produced by a variety of factors, including exercise, environmental pollution, smoking, lack of sleep, poor dieting habits, as well as many medications. When you work out your body produces free radicals. 

Free radicals are not necessarily bad for you. In fact, they can help stimulate muscle growth by inducing an inflammatory response. However, if your body does not have enough antioxidants to keep up with production these free radicals can start to accumulate which causes oxidative stress. 

This accumulation then prevents the muscles from repairing themselves after workouts which affects your progress and performance in the gym. As a result, it is crucial that you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables with high antioxidant content such as blueberries or strawberries to help protect yourself against oxidative stress while working out

Oxidative stress and its relationship to your diet

Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance between your body’s production of free radicals and its ability to neutralize them. 

This can lead to a number of health complications, but it also impacts your fitness progress and performance in the gym. For example, oxidative stress can be responsible for muscle fatigue, decreased muscle force, or compromised immune function. 

To combat this negative effect, look for foods that are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C (e.g., oranges), vitamin A (e.g., carrots), beta carotene (e.g., sweet potatoes), lycopene (tomatoes), selenium (Brazil nuts) or flavonoids which protect against cell damage that may cause disease.

Tips to minimize free radical damage to your body

One way to protect your body from oxidative stress is to increase your intake of antioxidants. Foods that are rich in antioxidants include vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans and grains. 

However, if you don’t have time to eat a variety of these foods every day, supplements are also available. Another way to avoid free radical damage is by exercising regularly. A recent study found that people who exercised had lower levels of oxidative stress than those who didn’t exercise at all.

How to minimize oxidative stress in your life

1. Stop Eating Processed Foods. Processed foods are high in sugar, which can increase inflammation and damage cells. 

2. Avoid Added Sugar. Added sugar comes from sources such as juice, sodas, desserts, sauces, ketchup, etc. 

3. Eat Lots of Whole Grains & Legumes. Whole grains offer tons of fiber to keep your gut healthy (especially when paired with legumes), while also providing you with important nutrients like magnesium, zinc and folate. 

4. Drink Water. Hydration is crucial for a healthy body; drink water to replenish fluids lost during exercise or other activities throughout the day 

5. Get Enough Sleep! A lack of sleep has been linked to oxidative stress and can impair your immune system 

6. Exercise Regularly. Physical activity reduces oxidative stress by promoting cellular health through increasing oxygen flow and creating new mitochondria within the cells. In addition, exercising will allow you to have more control over your diet since exercise allows you to burn more calories each day than rest does. Finally, regular workouts may also improve cognitive function by improving blood flow in regions of the brain that control things like memory formation, concentration and decision-making skills!

Calisthenics For Muscle Gain: How To Build More Muscle With Bodyweight Training

male fitness

Hey Angels and Alphas,

When you first start doing bodyweight exercises, you may be concerned about the amount of muscle that you can develop through these calisthenics exercises alone. In fact, many people shy away from calisthenics training because of this myth about not being able to build as much muscle as you can with weight-training. 

The truth is that, if you know what your body needs and understand how to train correctly, you’ll be able to build plenty of muscle with calisthenics alone! Read on for tips on how to build more muscle with bodyweight training.

Introduction to calisthenics

Calisthenics is one of the most popular forms of training for strength. It’s also considered a great form of cross-training for many other sports and activities. 

The beauty of calisthensic exercises is that they can be performed anywhere, with minimal gear, at any time. This makes them an excellent choice for those who have limited access to weights and equipment, or who have no desire to use them whatsoever.

Can you gain as much muscle with calisthenics as you can with weightlifting?

People often ask me if you can build as much muscle with calisthenics as with weightlifting. The answer is a resounding yes, but it will take more time and effort. That’s because there are many factors that play into building muscle and the type of training you do is one of them. Weightlifting has a greater potential to increase your strength and power while building muscle due to the heavier loads used in this exercise modality. If you want to get stronger and build muscle quickly, then weightlifting is the best way to go.

What are the best calisthenics exercises?

The best calisthenics exercises are ones that can be performed with your own body weight, rather than needing any equipment. Push-ups and squats are two examples of these types of exercises. You’ll also want to include exercises that can work multiple muscle groups at once, so planks and jumping jacks are great for this. You’ll also want to add some cardio in there as well to help you burn more calories. Jumping rope is an easy way to do this!

Weight and progressive overload with calisthenics

There are a few key things to keep in mind when training with calisthenics, which can help you to make the most out of your workouts, and build muscle. One of the primary keys is progressive overload. Progressive overload means that you’re always trying to increase the amount of weight that you’re lifting, or the number of reps that you’re doing. 

In order to build muscle with calisthenics, it’s important that you have a plan for how you’ll do this progressive overload. And make sure that your goal is realistic! If your goal is to bench press 250 pounds by next week, then your plan needs to be more detailed than if your goal was just to bench press 100 pounds by next month.

Tips for gaining more muscle with calisthenics

-Start with pushups and pullups, the two most basic bodyweight exercises. They work a lot of muscles and are great for building strength. 

-Do inverted rows to work your back, biceps, and abs. 

-Squats help strengthen your quads and glutes. 

-Do dips to build your chest muscles. 

-Practice handstands against a wall or on a box to build arm strength and balance. You’ll need this for when you eventually do freestanding handstands. 

-To build your core, do planks (every variant except the traditional plank) and leg raises.

Pro tip: As you get stronger, add weight to some exercises by using ankle weights or wearing a weighted vest. Just make sure you don’t add too much weight! Start with just 5 lbs if that’s all you have available. If it feels comfortable, then increase the amount little by little as you go along until you reach your max weight limit.

How to Avoid Overtraining When Working Out Six Days a Week

male fitness

Hey Angels and Alphas,

If you’ve been training consistently, chances are you’ve been working out six days per week on occasion. Maybe you want to build muscle and strength, or maybe you just love exercising and want to get more workouts in per week than usual. Whatever the reason, training six days per week can present its own set of problems and challenges if it isn’t done correctly and often leads to overtraining, which can put your health and fitness at risk if left unchecked.

The definition of ‘overtraining’

Overtraining, according to the Mayo Clinic, is when you exercise too much, too often. It also occurs when your body isn’t given adequate time to recover from workouts. The result is that your performance and health will decline. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) defines overtraining as a state of chronic training-related fatigue where increases in training volume or intensity are not matched by an increase in performance. If left unchecked, overtraining can lead to serious illness and injury.

Is training six days a week too much?

Training six days a week is not too much, but can lead to overtraining. Overtraining occurs when the body doesn’t get enough time to recover and build muscle. To prevent overtraining, it’s best to train four or five days per week with at least one day of rest in between each workout. It’s also important not to repeat the same workout two days in a row and always give yourself at least 24 hours of recovery before training again.

Why most people need more than 1 rest day a week.

It’s important to take at least one day off from training every week so that your body can heal and grow. Otherwise, you might risk overtraining, which is when you start exercising excessively and not allowing your body time to recover. 

People who workout six days a week often do it because they are addicted to the endorphins it releases in their brains. But this type of exercise is self-defeating because it will eventually lead them down the path of overtraining, which will then lead them to stop exercising altogether because they are injured or burned out. Exercise addiction can also be dangerous if you have an eating disorder. This type of addiction usually starts with someone telling themselves that they’re fat or ugly and need more physical activity in order to lose weight or get in shape.

How do we avoid overtraining with high training volume?

By training six days a week, you are more likely to overtrain. The best way to avoid overtraining is by training three days on, one day off, three days on and one day off. This allows for your body time to recover from the stress of lifting weights and running/biking/swimming long distances. 

This schedule allows for your body time to recover from the stress of lifting weights and running/biking/swimming long distances. It also gives your mind a break so that you can focus on other aspects of life without feeling like you’re always working towards a goal.

The bottom line

Overtraining can happen when you are working out too frequently and/or intensely. Here is how to avoid overtraining:

-Start by using a three-day split (three workouts per week). This will allow your body enough time to recover between workouts so that you don’t come down with any injuries. 

-Be sure not to work out the same muscle groups consecutively more than once per week, or else risk developing muscle imbalances. 

-If you are going hard on every set of every exercise, try alternating between heavier sets and lighter sets. 

-Listen to your body and know when it’s telling you that it needs rest.

How to Eat Healthy this Autumn: Tips for Easing In More Fruits and Veggies Into Your Winter Diet

nutrition

Hey Angels and Alphas,

The leaves have fallen off the trees, the temperature’s dropped, and winter’s on its way. If you’re like most people, this means it’s time to go into hibernation mode, but if you stick to your typical winter diet plan, that can be pretty dangerous. That’s because when you’re eating fewer fruits and veggies during the cold months, you’re more likely to develop nutritional deficiencies over time that can lead to serious health problems down the road. But it’s not all bad news.

What fruits and veggies are in season during the Autumn?

There are a lot of foods that are in season during the autumn. These include apples, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, beets, carrots, cauliflower. This list doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the different types of fruits and vegetables that can be eaten throughout the fall months. There’s a lot more than pumpkin pie waiting for you at Thanksgiving dinner!

Cook your meals from scratch

One way to make sure you’re eating more healthy is by cooking your meals from scratch. It’s easy, it saves money, and it tastes great. Here are some of my favorite autumn recipes that use fresh produce! Risotto with Roasted Squash Risotto with roasted butternut squash gets a spicy kick from chile de arbol peppers and cayenne pepper. 

The mild sweetness of the butternut squash is a perfect pairing with the subtle heat of the peppers. Try substituting other squashes like kabocha or acorn in place of the butternut squash if desired. Mushroom Marsala Risotto Mushroom Marsala risotto makes a delicious vegetarian option for dinner or as an appetizer at your next dinner party.

Don’t be afraid of local produce

One of the best things you can do this autumn is take advantage of the local produce available. The best way to do that is by visiting your nearest farmer’s market, where you’ll find a range of healthy options that are in season at the time. In the winter, there are so few locally grown fruits and veggies available, which makes it easy for people to lose sight of the importance of eating healthy. Buying from a farmer’s market helps you avoid produce that’s been shipped from far away. Plus, buying at a farmer’s market means you’re supporting a small business and getting more fresh vegetables because they don’t have as long of a shelf life as store-bought produce.

Use herbs instead of salt

Fruit is an excellent snack, not only because it’s a great source of fiber, but also because it contains natural sugars that can help your brain stay focused. And if you’re looking for a quick energy boost, fruit’s vitamin C content will give you the right amount of pep. 

Vegetables are another great choice — they’re packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that will keep your immune system strong all winter long. If you have time on the weekends or during the week, try prepping some snacks to take with you when you’re on-the-go.

Investing time into prepping your snacks will pay off big time later

Preparing your snacks ahead of time will save you so much time in the long run. Here are some tips for getting more produce into your diet this autumn. 

-Serve fruit at breakfast instead of cereal or oatmeal. 

-Add kale, spinach, or other dark leafy greens to salads or smoothies. 

-Make a big batch of soup that can be eaten throughout the week. 

-If you have a blender, try making a green smoothie packed with veggies like avocado, carrots, celery and fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro!

-Add cauliflower rice to curry dishes, as well as cabbage slaw in burgers!

Snack on whole pieces of fruit

It can be really easy to let healthy eating slip away when the weather starts getting colder. But there are a few simple things you can do to get more fruits and veggies into your winter diet. 

First, try making soups or stews that incorporate seasonal produce like squash, apples, parsnips, carrots, etc. You could also bake with pumpkin puree or make a smoothie with some frozen berries or fruit. There’s no need for these recipes to take up a lot of time – just start small! 

Second, try adding some fresh produce like apple slices onto your morning oatmeal or yogurt. If you’re cooking eggs in the morning, throw in some spinach or tomatoes as well. And don’t forget about side dishes!

Keep meals simple and easy to make

One of the best ways to ensure you’re getting enough produce is by keeping it simple. Stir-fries are a great way to get a variety of vegetables without having to chop them all up, while roasted veggies can be tossed in with pasta or made into a soup. If you find yourself really craving something sweet, try cutting up some fruit and baking it with a little honey or cinnamon.

Start your day with breakfast that includes some sort of fruit or vegetable.

The Best Time to Take Your Vitamins: Water-soluble vs. Fat-soluble

Hey Angels and Alphas,

Taking vitamins can help us to meet our daily nutritional needs, but they can also help us to stay healthy and fight off diseases by supplying our bodies with the essential nutrients they need to keep functioning properly. However, vitamins differ in how your body absorbs them and when you should take them. Here’s what you need to know about water-soluble vs. fat-soluble vitamins, as well as the best time of day to take them both!

The Difference Between Water-soluble and Fat-soluble Vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body and they need to be consumed every day. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body, so they need to be taken only once per day or less, depending on the vitamin. 

Some examples of fat-soluble vitamins include Vitamin A, D3, K2, and E. Fat-soluble vitamins can also be obtained through food sources like fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel; eggs; butter; cream; milk; cheese; coconut oil and nuts like almonds. These sources contain high amounts of nutrients which is important for maintaining healthy bones as well as preventing heart disease.

 With water-soluble vitamins such as B6, B12, C, folic acid and biotin, they are only absorbed in small amounts when consumed through food sources; you need higher doses of these vitamins to be effective. 

Some examples of water soluble vitamins include Vitamin B1 (thiamin), which helps convert carbohydrates into energy; Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and niacin (vitamin B3) help with metabolic functions, Vitamin B5 and pantothenic acid help in converting carbs into energy while vitamin E and choline are antioxidants that protect cells from free radical damage. An example of a water-soluble nutrient is choline found in soybeans and cauliflower.

Best Time To Take Water-Soluble Vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins are best taken with a glass of water or juice in the morning and at lunchtime, since they get absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly than fat-soluble ones. They should also not be taken with milk, coffee, tea or any other beverages high in calcium, as these drinks can interfere with absorption and lead to deficiencies. Milk is an exception if you’re taking calcium supplements and vitamin D at the same time; that combo requires a little extra time for the body to absorb all those minerals, so it’s better to have them at bedtime.

Best Time to Take Fat-soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins are best taken with meals containing some type of healthy fats, such as those found in nuts, oils, avocados and eggs. This helps the body absorb them more easily and effectively. If you don’t eat at least one meal a day containing these types of fats, then you should take a multivitamin that contains all the fat-soluble vitamins every day. 

When taking water-soluble vitamins (such as C, B12 or folic acid), it is important to know how much is needed daily for optimal health.

Do I Need Both Types of Vitamins?

You might be wondering if you should get both water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, but the answer is no. They serve different purposes in the body and they do not compete with each other because they are consumed at different times of the day.

What if I forget to take my vitamins?

If you don’t remember to take your vitamins, it’s not the end of the world. You’re still getting a lot of the benefits from them by simply being in contact with them (i.e., in the same room). That said, we recommend taking vitamin B12 at least twice a week and vitamin D once a day for optimal levels.

The bottom line

Water-soluble vitamins need to be taken with water for maximum absorption in the body. Fat-soluble vitamins are better absorbed when taken with food, so eat a meal before taking them. For most people, it’s best to take both types of vitamin at different times of day. Remember that only foods rich in these vitamins can provide you with all the health benefits they offer.

Seasonal Changes in Metabolism: How to Keep Your Weight Loss on Track This Winter

weight loss

Hey Angels and Alphas,

Did you know that the average person’s metabolism slows down by about 100 calories per day in the winter, with obese people experiencing an even greater decrease? That may not sound like much, but it can add up to an extra 10 pounds over the course of the winter if you don’t make any changes! 

However, there are steps you can take to keep your weight loss on track even in the coldest months. Read on to find out how!

Why your metabolism slows down during the cold months

There are a few reasons why your metabolism slows down during the winter. First, it’s harder to exercise outside when it’s cold. Second, our bodies don’t need as much energy when it’s cold because we’re constantly wearing more clothes and staying inside. 

Finally, there are fewer daylight hours which means that our bodies produce less vitamin D. All of these combined together can cause your body to burn less calories throughout the day and you may find that you’re not losing weight as quickly as you would like. 

But don’t worry! There are a few ways that you can keep your weight loss on track this winter including taking daily walks and making sure you’re drinking lots of water.

How to keep your weight loss on track during the cold months

You might be feeling a little sluggish this time of year. But don’t worry, you’re not alone! As the weather gets colder, your metabolism slows down. Luckily there are some things you can do to keep your weight-loss plan on track this winter. 

Eat smaller portions – The colder it gets outside, the more we want to get inside and enjoy some warmth. When we spend more time inside, we tend to eat more or put off exercise until later because of our busy schedules. 

To combat this urge, try eating smaller portions throughout the day so that you don’t overeat at one meal or snack. And make sure you’re getting enough activity during the day so that your body doesn’t start burning less calories naturally just because of being cold outside.

Should you change your training regime?

First, it’s important to note that we see a decrease in metabolic rate when the temperature drops. However, this is not an excuse for abandoning your weight loss goals just yet. If you’ve been following your healthy eating and training routine all summer, then it may be worth sticking with it for now. On the other hand, if you are just starting a weight loss program or have fallen off track over the last few months because of fall activities, there is no better time than now to get back into gear!

Tips for transitioning between seasons

1. Stay active by exercising and/or going for walks outside whenever you can. If it’s too cold, try doing some indoor exercises or watch a workout video.

2. Eating more high-quality protein is a great way to maintain muscle mass and avoid gaining weight during the winter months. Lean meats, dairy products, eggs, beans, lentils and tofu are all good sources of protein. 

3. Eat more fruits and vegetables! The fiber that fruits and vegetables provide will help your body feel full for longer periods of time. 

4. Consider getting a standing desk so that you burn more calories throughout the day without even realizing it! 

5. Eat breakfast!

The bottom line…

If you’re someone who’s been struggling with weight loss this winter, don’t give up! While your metabolism is naturally slower during the winter months, there are ways to keep your weight loss on track. Here are some tips for staying motivated and sticking with it through the cold season. 

-Keep a food journal! Tracking what you eat can be helpful for identifying what may be causing weight gain. Plus, it can help you track your progress when trying out new strategies or recipes. 

-Plan ahead! Make sure that you have healthy snacks handy when hunger strikes and avoid making unhealthy choices at fast food restaurants or convenience stores.

How Much Training is Too Much? The Sweet Spot for Optimal Volume

Hey Angels and Alphas,

When it comes to training volume, there are two concepts you need to be familiar with: the sweet spot and the zone of optimal training benefit (ZOTB). Both are based on the idea that your body adapts to how hard you train it – so that if you do too much, your fitness will actually decrease over time, and if you do too little your fitness will decrease as well. 

However, at some point along the spectrum between not enough training and too much training lies the sweet spot, where your body gets the optimum benefit from your work.

What Is Training Volume? 

Training volume is the total amount of training you do in a week. It’s calculated by taking your average weekly hours, and multiplying it by seven. If you’re following a four day program, then you need to add fourteen hours per week to find your weekly training volume. 

For example, if an athlete trains with CrossFit Seminar six days out of the week that would be 30 hours (6×7) of total training volume.

Training volume has been found to have an inverse relationship with recovery. Higher volumes are generally associated with more fatigue and less effective gains during workouts. 

According to Maffetone, less than 16-18 hours a week was not enough. Other research has shown that optimal volumes vary depending on age and fitness level.

What Does ‘Too Much’ Training Mean?

Too much training volume can mean a number of different things. The two most common instances are either that you’re overtraining and need to take a break or that you’re training too often and not recovering well enough. In general, most athletes are overtrained when they’re feeling burnt out or feel like they’re not getting as much out of their workouts as they did previously. 

On the other hand, training too often can make it so that your body doesn’t have time to heal from any previous stressors, resulting in lack of progress or strength gains at best and injury at worst.

Are You Overtraining or Just Under Recovering

Since you’re reading this post, it’s safe to assume that you’re looking for the best way to gain as much muscle as possible with minimal effort. You’ve probably heard of individuals who train one hour a day and see rapid gains, whereas others feel they can never get an effective workout done in under two hours. 

A question that always comes up is which side of the spectrum do I fall into? What exactly is my training volume sweet spot? Let’s take a look at how many sets you should be performing each week and why. 

When we’re talking about training volume, what we’re really discussing are sets.

Some Rules of Thumb on Training Volume

1. Evaluate your training volume with the following three questions: How much did you sweat during the workout, how hard was the workout and how long ago was your last hard session (training volume increases when you’re recovering from an injury or illness).

2. If you are training a muscle group and have never worked that particular muscle before, it’s safe to do 2-4 sets of 8-12 reps of that exercise 2x a week. As you progress in strength, intensity and/or frequency increase. 

3. Varying stimulus is important to maintaining motivation and avoiding overuse injuries—keep changing up exercises!

Decrease in Performance Could be Caused by Underrecovering, Not Overreaching

All of us at some point in our careers will go through a period of decreased performance. This usually happens when you have been chronically overtrained and have depleted your adrenal glands as well as your fuel stores to meet the demands being placed on them. 

While it can seem counter-intuitive, this could actually be caused by not training hard enough and not recovering well enough. Additionally, if your training volume drops too low, it will take longer for adaptive changes to take place that would help improve physical functioning. 

While an undertrained state may feel better in the short term, over time it can lead to even greater problems down the road – so please heed this warning!

How Many Sets do You Need Every Week for Each Muscle Group?

There’s no right answer to this question, but a good starting point for most people would be 3-4 sets per muscle group. 

This should be around 10-14 reps, with 4-6 of those being heavy and focused on the area that you are trying to build. To maintain muscle size, this will generally mean going to failure somewhere in the 8-12 rep range.

How to Use Progressive Overload for Optimal Fitness Gains

Hey Angels and Alphas,

Progressive overload, also known as overload principle, refers to the idea that in order to build muscle and increase strength, you have to keep pushing your body to do more than it’s used to. 

When you progressively overload your muscles through weightlifting or other types of exercise, you’re increasing the weight lifted, reps performed, intensity of exercise, or some combination thereof over time. 

As you go through this process, your body will adapt and strengthen accordingly—if you allow it time to recover in between workouts and don’t push yourself too hard too fast.

What is Progressive Overload

Progressive overload is a concept that’s fundamental to lifting weights. It basically means doing more over time, but it’s not just about going heavier each time. If you’re not getting stronger, your workouts are too easy and will likely lead to plateaus and injury. 

To get stronger you need progressively bigger weight challenges in training: overload. You need progressively bigger weight challenges in training so the body can adapt by building muscle and increasing strength. 

The idea of progressive overload isn’t just to go heavier with each workout, but also higher intensity exercises (more reps) or volume (sets). For example, rather than adding five pounds every workout as you progress through your program, add two pounds per workout with the same number of reps until you reach your target weight for that exercise.

Why it’s essential

Progressive overload is a technique used in fitness training and exercise science. The term was coined by physical education professor Vernor Panton while at the University of Waterloo. 

The goal of progressive overload is to gradually increase physical stress on the body so that it responds by becoming stronger and gaining more endurance. This may seem counterintuitive, but overloading your muscles and then giving them enough time to recover will actually build strength and power. 

If you think about it, after a workout, muscles are damaged from being stretched beyond what they’re used to. The body naturally repairs this damage with new muscle fibers and tissue when it’s allowed sufficient recovery time.

When does it apply

Compound exercises are exercises that involve both the lower and upper body, or multiple large muscle groups. The push-up is an example of a compound exercise; it targets muscles in the arms, shoulders, chest, core and back. 

One of its benefits over a push-up that just focuses on chest muscles is it increases the workload for your cardiovascular system by adding arm movements. 

Additionally, with compound exercises you often use heavier weights than isolation exercises which leads to greater strength gains and improved muscle endurance.

What are compound exercises?

Compound exercises are exercises that work multiple muscle groups at the same time, such as bench presses or squats. These exercises require more coordination and stability than other types of movements, and they place an increased amount of stress on your muscles – this makes them perfect for progressive overload! 

Once you’ve mastered the movement itself, adding more weight is a great way to keep challenging your body so it can continue making progress. Compound exercises are great additions to any workout routine because they provide an intense full-body workout with minimal equipment required.

What are isolation exercises?

An isolation exercise is any exercise that has one specific muscle group as the main focus. For example, a bicep curl would be an isolation exercise because it focuses on only the biceps. 

Isolation exercises have a higher level of intensity because they require greater focus and concentration; this makes them the preferred method for boosting strength and shaping muscles when combined with more complex exercises that work multiple muscle groups.

How Blood Sugar Levels Impact Energy Levels

Hey Angels and Alphas,

Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to get out of bed in the morning? Energy levels are probably the biggest factor that impacts how you start your day. If you wake up feeling tired and without motivation, it can make your whole day seem bleak and unproductive, even if other parts of the day go well. 

Low energy levels at the beginning of your day cause you to feel like there are no good options available to you, which can lead to feelings of regret or sadness. 

In this article, we’re going to explore the connection between your blood sugar and your energy levels so you can optimize your mornings for more productivity throughout the day.

What is Blood Sugar?

Blood sugar levels are measured by something called a glucose test. Glucose, simply put, is the form of sugar in our blood. In order to have enough energy during the day, blood sugar needs to be maintained at a steady level. If not, we experience fatigue. A sudden drop in glucose will cause tiredness and hunger at different rates depending on whether you have diabetes or not. The condition is often referred to as hypoglycemia if it has been diagnosed but there are many other terms that can be used interchangeably.

What Causes Low and High Blood Sugar?

Blood sugar is a measurement of how much glucose is in our blood. When we eat carbohydrates or consume anything with sugars, they are broken down into glucose molecules that are absorbed into our bloodstream. 

The hormone insulin plays an important role in maintaining the balance between how much glucose is in the blood stream and how it’s used by different parts of the body. Insulin tells cells to absorb more glucose and store it as glycogen, which is a natural storage form for carbohydrate energy. 

Glucose that isn’t being used right away by cells or stored as glycogen will eventually end up being converted to fat deposits which are stored throughout our bodies.

How Does Blood Sugar Relate to Energy?

Blood sugar is measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). In order to be healthy, it should remain at or below 120mg/dL. When blood sugar levels are low, it leaves you feeling tired and lacking in focus. Having a sufficient level, around 160-180mg/dL is needed for energy. This ensures that your body has enough glucose to properly function.

How to Optimize your Blood Sugar for More Energy throughout the Day

* Avoid processed foods and refined sugars as they quickly break down into glucose, which can cause a spike in your blood sugar levels. 

* Try eating some protein for breakfast, like eggs or a hard-boiled egg if you are not used to protein first thing in the morning. 

* Pack snacks such as almonds or almond butter or raw veggies like carrots and celery sticks in a lunch bag, so that if you get hungry during the day you have a healthy choice ready to go. 

* Be sure to have your afternoon snack at least 2-3 hours before going to bed. Eating something before bed will give your body extra calories for fuel, but it may cause indigestion that interrupts sleep.

The Bottom Line

When you have low blood sugar, your brain may not be able to maintain an efficient flow of thoughts and ideas. That’s why we usually experience moments of low energy right before or after a meal or snack. 

But if your blood sugar remains consistently too low over time, it can become increasingly difficult to concentrate and focus on tasks at hand, leading to decreased productivity at work, in school, or at home.

How to Make a Breakfast That Will Power You Up for the Entire Day

Hey Angels and Alphas,

If you want to start your day off on the right foot, there are some foods that are better than others at keeping you energized and focused until lunchtime rolls around. If you’re trying to figure out how to make a breakfast that will power you up for the entire day, check out this list of breakfast foods guaranteed to get your morning off to the right start.

The Importance of A Healthy Breakfast

If you want to power up for the day, your breakfast must consist of all three nutrient groups: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. A breakfast with no protein, carbs or fats will leave you feeling unbalanced and can contribute to an energy slump in late morning. There are endless ways to include these nutrient groups in your breakfast- try one of these three ideas. 

Baked oatmeal with low sugar and fat: Combine rolled oats with dry milk powder, raw sugar and raisins until well mixed. 

In a separate pan over medium heat mix together 1/4 cup butter with two eggs scrambled lightly without butter, 1⁄4 cup water, cinnamon and nutmeg. For this recipe choose either unsweetened apple sauce or banana sauce.

Carbohydrates – Oats

Start your day off right with oatmeal. Oats are rich in many nutrients and will provide you with sustained energy for hours on end. Cooked rolled oats come in many varieties: steel cut, old fashioned, quick cooking, plain, and flavored such as cinnamon spice or cranberry orange. Add rolled oats to boiling water with desired amount of milk (dairy or non-dairy), stir until thick and add other desired toppings such as nuts, seeds, brown sugar, dried fruit, ground flaxseeds or wheat germ. By adding these to your morning meal you’ll be fuelling up for hours of productivity!

Protein – Almond Milk

Almond milk is much better than dairy milk because it has less sugar and fat. Almonds are good sources of protein and essential vitamins. This means you can have something quick to grab on your way out of the door in the morning, or you can make a big batch on Sunday evening and enjoy it throughout the week. Here’s an example recipe:

-A handful of almonds soaked overnight in water 

-1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder 

-2 cups non-dairy milk (e.g. almond, rice)

Fat – Coconut Oil

Breakfast can be as simple as eating leftovers from the night before, but this is not always practical. Another breakfast option is eggs with avocados and black beans, which provides enough protein and other nutrients such as fiber and iron. But it may not fill you up enough if you need more energy. A healthy fat option would be to scramble your eggs in coconut oil (or grass-fed butter) rather than olive or vegetable oil because it improves mental clarity, boosts energy levels, promotes healthy digestion, and supports brain function.

Spices – Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Cardamom

To create this healthy breakfast, saute diced potatoes and eggplant over medium heat until browned, stirring occasionally. Once the vegetables are well cooked, add in three chopped garlic cloves and a tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes. Keep cooking for another minute or two, then add in a cup of vegetable broth or water. Add salt and pepper as desired before mixing in a pinch each of cinnamon and cardamom along with about half a teaspoon of nutmeg. Cook it over low heat until all liquid is reduced by about one-third. Add salt as needed, then remove from heat.

Additions – Blueberries

Mornings are one of my favourite times of the day. We’re all busy with family, work, activities and social engagements. However, we cannot expect our bodies to provide what they need if they don’t have the right fuel. Blueberries have been known as a powerhouse fruit in terms of nutritional content and their ability to provide us with sustained energy – so give them a try!

The Case for Indulging on Your Day Off

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Hey Angels and Alphas,

If you’re like most dieters, your weekdays are characterized by strict diets and limited eating, followed by an anything-goes weekend of buffets and cheat days. That way, you can justify the indulgent side of your personality on the weekend and feel guiltless about it because it’s just one day (or two) out of the entire week. However, what you may not realize about this habit is that it might not be helping you reach your goals at all.

How many calories should you eat on your rest day?

Indulgences are meant to feel good. So, if you’re eating candy as a means of dealing with stress, you should rethink that strategy. However, if you’re using sweets and other indulgent items like potato chips and chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth or keep your cravings at bay while dieting – there’s nothing wrong with having them on occasion. 

The key is moderation – not going overboard when it’s not necessary. Eating too many calories will cause all the hard work of dieting to be undone, so take the day off now and then and enjoy some of your favorite foods in moderation.

How much sugar, fat, protein and alcohol are OK in moderation?

It can be challenging to determine exactly how much sugar, fat, protein and alcohol is a healthy amount in moderation. We have to remember that dieting is about total calorie balance. You should never starve yourself or go without food. However, it’s still good to know your limits! 

Generally speaking, carbs should be consumed in moderation as they turn into sugar very quickly in the body and may cause you to crash in a few hours. Protein also takes longer to break down than carbs so it can also keep you feeling full longer.

What’s the verdict? Should we indulge more often?

Eating healthy may seem like a never-ending cycle, but it doesn’t have to be. We may not be able to change the fact that calorie counting is in our blood. What we can do is change the way we think about food and more importantly how often we indulge. There’s nothing wrong with eating a piece of cake or going out to eat after a workout. But the key is not making it a weekly tradition, because your health should always come first!

Which foods are worth splurging on and which aren’t?

Even though you don’t need as many calories on your day off, it doesn’t mean that you should deprive yourself completely. After all, if you haven’t been eating a lot lately (working out or taking care of a sick family member) it might be wise to replenish some of those nutrients by eating well and balanced. 

Indulging in a calorie-rich meal can actually keep your metabolism running at an efficient level throughout the day without snacking excessively between meals (although this could depend on your daily calorie budget). Since indulgent food has more calories than nutrient-rich foods like vegetables and whole grains, choose wisely when choosing your indulgences.

Is there anything else we can do to stay healthy without dieting all the time?

Who said you have to be strict with your diet every day? If you’re trying to maintain a caloric deficit and control your appetite, you may want to rethink depriving yourself of everything tasty. Restricting your diet is counterproductive because it often leads to more intense cravings and a cycle of binges.

The body needs nutrients from the outside world (i.e., those found in food) in order to function properly; cutting them out of your life too early may lead you down the path toward sickness or even death. Plus, restricted foods are usually the most delicious, meaning if you’re not eating something good, then what’s the point? It’s like eating nothing at all.

Is Intermittent Fasting Ruining Your Gut Health?

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Hey Angels and Alphas,

If you’re starting to read up on intermittent fasting or are already practicing it, chances are you’ve heard something about how it’s bad for gut health. But what does that mean? And what can you do about it? In this blog post, we’ll go over why intermittent fasting might be bad for your gut health, as well as what you can do to counteract the negative effects and keep your gut healthy.

What is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?

Intermittent fasting is a dietary pattern where cycles of prolonged fasting are combined with short periods of unrestricted eating. It differs from other intermittent or calorie-restricted weight loss methods in that it involves cyclic periods of hunger (restriction) alternating with fat-burning (fasting) times, instead of continuous periods without food. 

In general, intermittent fasting is safe and may have some health benefits. However, there is not enough evidence to say it’s an effective treatment for any specific disease or health condition, like diabetes.

The safety of the diet will depend on how low in calories people eat when they’re not eating during their eating window, so people often worry about what they should and shouldn’t eat at all times to be on the safe side.

How Does Your Gut React to Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is generally safe for most people, and those who do have adverse effects tend to only experience short-term symptoms. 

However, some research suggests that while the metabolic changes are relatively benign in the short term, they could contribute to serious long-term health problems like hypertension and weight gain. 

Another problem is that if you don’t eat enough protein during your fast, this may lead to depletion of muscle tissue which will eventually slow down your metabolism. This means that not only do you risk gaining weight in the long-run, but you also might see reductions in your ability to recover from injuries or new activity.

The Many Benefits of Fasting

Fasting is all the rage in recent years as more research reveals the many benefits of fasting. Intermittent fasting or IF is a form of intermittent calorie restriction that involves short-term abstention from food (e.g., 12-24 hours). 

The term was coined in 1963 by Ancel Keys, but has recently gained traction due to numerous clinical trials revealing health benefits for IF practitioners. 

The general idea behind intermittent fasting is that we shouldn’t eat every day because our stomachs don’t work well when they are constantly full and stretched out.

Can Fasting Improve your Gut Health?

This is the question many people are asking themselves, with the trend of intermittent fasting increasing on a yearly basis. Some experts say that fasting will in fact improve your gut health, while others disagree and suggest that it is actually going to worsen your gut health. 

A study conducted in 2013 by Valter Longo, Director of Longevity Studies at USC, had shown that not only does intermittent fasting have great benefits for various bodily systems but can also improve gut health. 

When participants in the study were randomized into two groups, one being fasting and one who ate regularly three times a day; blood samples showed that those who fasted had lower levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) which is associated with aging and increased risk of cancer when combined with reduced dietary restriction.

Is Fasting Harmful to Your Gut Health?

When most people think about intermittent fasting, the first thing that usually pops up in their heads is weight loss. And while those benefits may be a secondary concern to some, research has shown that when following an IF diet, gut health may take a back seat. 

This is due to a natural cycle called autophagy: the elimination of cellular components and intracellular pathogens as part of an organism’s adaptation to a hostile environment. In response to limited nutrients and also as a component of aging, autophagic pathways in our cells degrade proteins and recycle structures such as ribosomes, endoplasmic reticulum and peroxisomes.

The verdict – is fasting good for your gut?

Intermittent fasting has many health benefits like promoting weight loss, reducing the risk of heart disease, and helping control blood sugar. However, fasting may be too much of a good thing when it comes to your gut. 

You see, fasting can actually change the type of bacteria found in your gut which could lead to gastrointestinal issues like bloating. So if you’re trying intermittent fasting and experiencing these GI symptoms, then consider ending your fast early until those issues have resolved.

Why Full-Body Training is the Perfect Solution for Your Busy Schedule

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Hey Angels and Alphas, 

Don’t have time to hit the gym every day? Can’t get to the gym at all? Then full-body training may be the perfect solution for you, especially if you have several muscle groups you want to work on but don’t have time to do so individually. Full-body workouts challenge your body in different ways, and can help you improve your strength, burn fat, and feel more energized—all without stressing about when and where you can fit in your next workout.

What Are The Benefits of Full-Body Workouts?

Full-body workouts have become increasingly popular. They provide a lot of benefits. Benefits of full body training:

1) You can do your workout anywhere, and anytime – Just wear sneakers and you’re ready to go! You don’t need a gym membership or any special equipment, just get some space to move around and you’ll be good to go. 

2) You spend less time in the gym – While it may seem counterintuitive, 30 minutes at home on your living room floor every day will make way for more time doing other things. And not just at home–no excuses now with your fitness routine! Be sure to fit it in before work, during lunch, after work and on weekends when those pesky obligations come up.

Which Exercises Should I Include in My Workout Routine?

When it comes to busy schedules, full-body training offers a number of benefits. It has been found that adding this type of routine can help you lose more weight, in addition to seeing other health benefits like stronger bones and improved cardiovascular health. So if you’re looking for a way to stay in shape while balancing your schedule, full-body training may be just what you need. Plus, because full body workouts work all your major muscle groups with exercises such as squats and lunges; they also leave you feeling like your muscles are worked out enough without doing an entirely separate routine!

Should I Train Monday, Wednesday, Friday Or Is Every Other Day Enough?

As a general rule, everyone needs to do three days of weight training and two days of cardio per week. We like to advise our clients to train five days a week and split it up like this: Monday: cardio, Tuesday: full body, Wednesday: cardio, Thursday: rest or weights if you want, Friday: full body, Saturday: cardio and Sunday: rest. That way your muscles are never too sore from one day on top of another and you get in an adequate amount of cardiovascular activity every day.

What About Rest Days?

This full-body workout can be done at any time, day or night! You can do this either as a quickie on your lunch break or as a way to sneak in some exercise after work. This workout doesn’t require any equipment either. It’s not just limited to during the weekdays too. Even if you only have 30 minutes in the morning before work, you can still complete a full-body routine that won’t take up too much of your precious time. As long as you have an adequate amount of time though, 10 to 20 minutes may be best for really seeing progress and results with this type of workout.

Conclusion and Summary

A full body workout gives you a lot of bang for your buck. It offers the benefit of both aerobic and anaerobic exercise while maximizing calorie burn, fat burning, and muscle gain. These full body workouts are often short in duration (less than 40 minutes) and can be done in as little as 10 minutes each day with breaks between sets to keep things interesting. 

Finally, these workouts have some built-in time hacks that make them perfect for busy schedules; you can choose exercises that take up less space (think squats or deadlifts) so that a gym isn’t necessary, and then there’s also preprogrammed on demand circuits designed specifically to work around people’s crazy schedules.

How to Maximize Your Workouts with a Weightlifting Belt

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Hey Angels and Alphas,

Weightlifting belts have been used in gyms and weight rooms across the world since they were invented, but today there’s a lot of confusion surrounding their use. Some believe that their sole purpose is to protect your lower back from injury, but belts can actually do so much more. Here are some tips on how to maximize your workouts with a weightlifting belt so you can get the most out of your time in the gym!

Why You Need a Lifting Belt

A weightlifting belt is an often overlooked yet incredibly valuable tool. A weightlifting belt is designed to help protect your lower back by supporting it during heavy lifting, making it significantly more difficult for the lower back muscles to fatigue as quickly. 

That being said, if you find yourself unable to do exercises such as heavy deadlifts without proper support then get a weightlifting belt. This is also important for those who have past history of back problems. They can also be used on exercises like the squat and power clean which will protect the lower back during each repetition. The bottom line: it’s never too late or too early in your fitness journey to start using a weightlifting belt.

Choosing The Right Weight Lifting Belt

1) Decide on the size – usually this will be determined by measuring around your waist or hips. Generally speaking, belts run in 4 increments, so if you have an odd measurement (such as 39) you may need to buy two belts and use one of them at the end of your workout when you’re lighter.

2) Choose your desired style – There are three main types of weight lifting belts: Velcro, buckle and lever buckle. Buckle belts offer the most adjustability while velcro is often preferred for weightlifters who do CrossFit because it is easier to get on and off quickly. Lever buckles are popular among powerlifters because they tighten down with more pressure than other styles, but they require some skill to open up again which can make things difficult for beginners. 

3) Get the right thickness -Belts come in different thicknesses depending on what level of support you want from it. The thicker the belt, the more support it provides. 

4) Buy a belt that fits comfortably – You should never wear a belt too tight because it can lead to poor circulation, nerve impingement and muscle fatigue during workouts.

5 Tips For Using The Lifting Belt Correctly

When it comes to weight lifting, most people think that a weight belt is only for competitive powerlifters. But if you work out regularly at home or in the gym, then you are probably more familiar with back pain than someone who has never lifted anything heavier than groceries. 

A weightlifting belt can be an excellent way to add stability during the heaviest lifts and decrease back stress during those crunches. When used correctly, the belt should be able to reduce the feeling of pressure on your spine when performing exercises such as squats or heavy deadlifts by preventing your core from expanding too much when your body becomes fatigued. 

To use a weightlifting belt properly, follow these five tips: 

1) Always tighten the belt high enough so that it doesn’t slip down while exercising. The goal is to get maximum support without losing mobility.

2) Use the belt during low-rep sets for higher weights.

3) Use the belt on any exercise where you bend over, like doing lunges or curls.

4) Tighten your abs before tightening your belt. If done correctly, this will help maintain stability in your spine.

5) Avoid using a weighted vest unless recommended by doctor.

Breaking Your PR: Tips for Quickly Improving Your Performance

Hey Angels and Alphas,

No matter what kind of exercise you do, your performance improves over time as you get better at it and learn more about your own body’s physical capabilities. The key to long-term improvement, however, is knowing how to improve your performance quickly in order to avoid getting stuck in a plateau or losing motivation if things aren’t moving fast enough. This quick guide on breaking your personal best will show you the way to boost your performance instantly without having to spend years practising!

Keep a Workout Journal

One way to track your progress is by using a workout journal. You can use the notes in your journal to see what you have accomplished and then apply this new knowledge the next time you go to work out. Here are some things that might be helpful to include in your workout journal: 

* What you want to do (i.e., increase cardiovascular endurance) 

* When it occurred (date, time) 

* The amount of weight/resistance you used, how long it took, and how far/fast you went 

* What obstacles were present at the time.

Before Working Out, Drink Water or Sports Drinks

Before you start your workout, remember to hydrate. Drink plenty of water or an electrolyte-rich sports drink at least 1 hour before exercise and about half a cup (4 ounces) every 15 minutes during vigorous activity. 

Sports drinks contain carbohydrates that replenish the body’s glycogen stores, prevent dehydration and provide an instant energy boost because they are absorbed quicker than water alone. 

Drink too much too quickly and you may feel nauseous or get a headache from drinking too much liquid. Avoiding these problems by staying well hydrated before, during and after your workout is key to breaking your personal best.

Warm Up and Cool Down Properly

Before you start your workout, it’s important to warm up properly. This is a vital step that must not be overlooked, as it helps to prevent injury and prepare your body for the exercise. Studies have shown that athletes who do not perform adequate warm-ups before their workouts had higher levels of muscle soreness and reported lower range of motion in the next few days than those who did. 

To keep yourself safe, do a 10-minute light jog or bike ride before you work out to help increase your heart rate and the circulation of blood. Some people also like to stretch or do yoga poses during this time as well, which can reduce muscle stiffness when you start your main workout session.

Try a Weightlifting Belt

Using a weightlifting belt will increase the amount of weight you can lift. When it comes to weightlifting, nothing matters more than the strength of your core. The muscle between your hips and ribs, the abdominal muscles, needs to contract strongly in order to keep your spine stable. You can’t do that if it’s being compressed from being too heavy on either side. A weightlifting belt allows you to go heavier without pushing against this natural stabilizer—which means better power and a quicker work-out. 

Try Using Hand Straps

Lifting straps have been a highly underrated addition to the gym bag. A lifting strap is used to keep a person’s grip from slipping off the bar while lifting, thereby allowing them to lift more weight than they could otherwise. To use lifting straps, take one hand and wrap it around the barbell in your hand, placing it palm down. 

Grabbing both ends of the straps with your free hand, extend them until they are in front of you and then place your hands on top of one another with palms down on the strap portion of this part. Wrap this end around each thumb so that it is tight enough to not slide but loose enough to allow you to still grip at a lower weight when desired.

Use Shorter Rep Ranges

Studies have shown that one way to break your personal best is to use shorter rep ranges. Take a heavy weight, perform one or two sets with 2-3 reps per set, and then try to keep the pace up for all remaining sets. For example, do a set of five reps, followed by four reps, three reps, and two reps. Try not to slow down as you get close to failure so that you’ll push past it and improve your performance on the exercise overall.

Why Consuming Carbohydrates is Essential for Muscle Growth

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Hey Angels and Alphas,

When you think of muscle growth, you may instantly think of protein – and you’d be right. Protein is one of the most important nutrients to building muscle, but carbohydrates are equally important as they provide your body with the energy necessary to exercise hard and recover from your workouts. 

This guide explains why consuming carbohydrates is essential for muscle growth, how carbs work to improve your performance, and the best types of carbs to consume if you want to get lean and muscular.

Why complex carbohydrates are better 

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in the body and one of the three main types of nutrients in a healthy diet. If you don’t consume enough carbs, your body will start to break down muscle mass in order to use it as fuel. This can lead to a condition called ketosis, which results in ketones being broken down in the blood and released through urination. 

This process can be unhealthy if it’s prolonged. The best option is to combine whole grains with protein and fat at every meal to stabilize your blood sugar levels throughout the day. This allows for stable moods and improved cognitive performance, which will help you get through your day-to-day tasks more easily.

Carbs provide energy

Carbohydrates are a vital source of energy, so it’s understandable that many people have a strong aversion to them. Carbs can be fattening, especially when they’re consumed in excess. But they also play an important role in providing fuel to muscles during exercise and even throughout the day. 

Without sufficient carbs, athletes could experience muscle cramps and weight loss as their glycogen stores become depleted. The moral of the story? Eat your veggies! They contain plenty of carbohydrates!

What happens if you don’t consume carbs?

Protein provides the building blocks for muscle development, and carbohydrates provide the fuel needed to convert protein into muscle. Thus, when you don’t consume enough carbs, your body has a harder time building and maintaining muscles. This will have an adverse effect on your physical strength and athletic performance. A lack of adequate carbohydrates also slows down post-workout recovery.

How many carbs should you eat per day?

Carbohydrates are an essential nutrient that provides fuel to muscles. Without enough carbohydrates, the body will start to break down protein into amino acids to produce glucose. When you do not consume enough protein and carbs, your muscle mass will decrease as you lose body fat. 

The general guideline is that carbohydrate intake should make up between 5% and 10% of your total caloric intake each day. This translates to 55-110 grams of carbohydrates per day for a 2,000 calorie diet (200-350 grams per day). 

And while many people consider these recommendations high, they actually reflect more of a moderate intake based on total calories when compared with most peoples’ current consumption habits.

What foods can you use to energize your workouts?

For people looking to exercise, carb-rich foods are a perfect choice. They can be consumed as part of a meal or snack before, during, or after your workout to keep you energized and feeling good. 

-Carbohydrate-rich foods provide fuel for the muscles during and after exercise. 

-People who do not consume enough carbohydrates are at risk of burning muscle protein instead of fat because their body does not have the glycogen (the sugar stored in muscles) it needs to burn fat for energy. This can happen when people skimp on carbs without realizing that they need to eat them too.

Five High-Energy Foods to Help You Stay in Ketosis

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Hey Angels and Alphas,

If you’re following the ketogenic diet, you know that it can be extremely difficult to find satisfying foods that are low in carbs and high in fat and protein. Sure, there are plenty of low-carb foods out there, but how many of them actually give you energy? Finding food that gives you energy while on the keto diet can be challenging, but with these five high-energy foods, staying in ketosis will be much easier.

Avocado

Here are some tips and tricks on how to stay in ketosis while also boosting your energy. One of the best ways to get a great source of fuel is through avocado, which contains lots of healthy fats that give you sustained energy. Besides being an excellent option for morning eggs or lunchtime salads, you can even enjoy it as a satisfying snack without the guilt! And if you’re vegan? Load up on the guacamole!

Salmon

The most important part of eating on the ketogenic diet is staying full. Having high-energy foods will help you not overeat and help maintain weight loss. Salmon is a great choice because it’s high in protein, low-carb, and has essential fats that help your body stay energized!

The keto diet requires little carbohydrate intake, which makes it easy for us to fill up on fish instead of sweet potatoes or rice at dinner time. By starting out with a small amount of fish, adding vegetables as our main course, and finishing with heavy cream (although this isn’t necessary), we have an amazingly satisfying meal without feeling overstuffed or too full. We might also add avocado for some extra healthy fat!

Cheese

If you need a quick boost of energy, having a high-energy snack is one of the best ways to go. Here are five great options that will help keep you on track with your keto diet:

1) Nut Butter – One thing I’ve been loving lately is nut butter for a quick snack! Even just plain almond butter or peanut butter is surprisingly satisfying and provides an extra dose of healthy fats that keep you full for hours. Just 1 tablespoon has about 7 grams of fat, so it’s enough fat for one serving, but not too much. It also tastes really good if you’re craving something sweet but need protein as well.

Nut Butter

Foods that can provide sustained energy for many hours without raising blood sugar levels are ideal for people who are following a ketogenic diet. One food option is nut butter, which is made from a variety of nuts, such as almonds and cashews. 

The fats contained in these nuts may provide the brain with long lasting energy while avoiding other unhealthy effects of eating carbohydrates like high blood sugar and insulin spikes. Nut butters come in both organic and non-organic forms, so be sure to read labels carefully when shopping.

Green Tea

If you’re struggling with caffeine withdrawals or just want an easy-to-drink beverage, green tea is a great option. In addition to having caffeine, it also has some health benefits like reducing stress and balancing blood sugar levels. It contains less than 0.4g of carbohydrate per 100ml serving and about 45mg of natural caffeine. We recommend giving this healthy drink a try if you need some energy on the ketogenic diet.

Why You Crave Junk Food When You Haven’t Had Enough Sleep

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Hey Angels and Alphas,

Have you ever found yourself craving junk food when you’re tired? You’re not alone! Recent research has uncovered the link between low-quality sleep and junk food cravings, which may explain why you reach for that bag of chips or bowl of ice cream when you have trouble sleeping. 

Poor sleep can even cause cravings for unhealthy foods in children as young as 3 years old! To help you get better sleep and keep your appetite under control, here are some tips on how to avoid junk food cravings caused by poor sleep quality.

Four Ways Sugar Affects Our Bodies

-Elevated blood sugar levels can stimulate increased appetite and cravings for carbs 

-The hormone ghrelin stimulates hunger and causes us to crave fats, carbs, and sweets after a meal. Ghrelin levels decrease when we sleep. 

-Sugar suppresses the hormones leptin (which tells you when you’re full) and insulin (which helps control your blood sugar). Over time, elevated insulin levels can lead to type 2 diabetes. 

-One study found that the quantity of calories consumed after dinner was doubled if they were preceded by a high-sugar dessert such as ice cream or cake. This can lead to weight gain over time.

When We’re Deprived of Sleep, Our Bodies React

A lack of sleep can cause feelings of fatigue, which may lead to an increased desire for sweet foods like cake and cookies, leading to the popular phrase: ‘Cravings are worse at 3 a.m.’ Our brains produce more of the hunger hormone ghrelin when we’re sleep deprived and produce less of the appetite suppressing hormone leptin. The result is that we have greater desires for junk food, but don’t feel as satisfied by it. 

Sleep deprivation also affects our motivation and mental clarity, making tasks like writing emails seem overwhelming and sending us into midday slumps with cravings for sugar or carbs. If we’re sleep deprived for a few days in a row, it’s even possible that our memories will be negatively affected.

What Happens in Our Brains During Sleep Deprivation

As we sleep, our brain releases beta-endorphins that make us feel relaxed and happy. These same endorphins are also released during moderate exercise (but the effect of these endorphins is not as strong). 

Without enough sleep, your brain releases more of these feel-good chemicals, causing you to crave junk food and want to avoid activities that would use up the energy it took to produce those chemicals. 

This might be because low quality sleep interferes with production of growth hormone, which causes muscle deterioration and other problems in people who don’t get enough sleep. The good news is, even just one night of restful sleep can have a significant impact on your hunger levels and cravings. There’s no better time than now to take a look at how well you’re sleeping!

Junk Food and Sugar Quality

You may not be aware of it, but there’s a link between junk food cravings and low quality sleep. You see, when you don’t get enough sleep, the levels of the hormone ghrelin are elevated in your body. This hormone is the one that triggers hunger signals to the brain. 

That means that if you eat less than normal while your sleep has been disrupted and is lower quality, your body will think it’s starving which can lead to unhealthy eating habits like binging on snacks that are high in sugar and calories. The easiest way to deal with this is by making sure you’re getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

Should You Hydrate All at Once or in Small Intervals?

nutrition

Hey Angels and Alphas,

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you drink roughly 1 gallon of water per day, but you don’t have to do it all at once, nor do you have to do it in small intervals throughout the day. 

There are benefits to both approaches and depending on your lifestyle and schedule, one might be better than the other for you personally. 

This article will discuss how to hydrate all at once or in small intervals, so take some time to read up on which method works best for you and why!

Why is it important to drink water daily?

Drinking water is important to keep our bodies functioning properly. When we are dehydrated, our kidneys cannot adequately filter waste products from the blood. Not only can this leave you feeling drained and tired, but it can also lead to headaches and difficulty concentrating. It is important to drink plenty of water to maintain adequate hydration – but drinking too much too quickly can have the opposite effect! Here are some tips for proper hydration:

-Slowly drink 16 oz. of water with a meal and 64 oz over the course of two meals

-Drink 8 oz. of water before you go on a walk/jog

What does your body do with water anyway?

Water is a vital nutrient for our body to function. It carries nutrients and removes waste. We need it more than we think, with an estimated 60% of water being lost through exhaling, sweat, and urination. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and decreased mental alertness, so it’s important to be mindful of how much you are consuming every day.

The best way to ensure you drink enough water daily is to drink enough every time.

The best way to ensure you drink enough water every day is to drink as much as you can throughout the day. There are many other liquids that will not hydrate you properly, such as soda, juice, and alcoholic beverages. Drinking only water is the best way to stay hydrated and feel energized.

Why you shouldn’t wait until you are thirsty before drinking water

Simply waiting until you are thirsty before drinking water is not sufficient enough to maintain adequate hydration. The more logical approach is to drink small amounts of water regularly, every fifteen minutes if possible. If your thirst doesn’t decrease, even after drinking a glass of water, that’s usually a sign that you’re dehydrated and should seek medical help immediately. The better question is how much should you drink? The answer can vary depending on age, body size, physical activity levels and other factors like pregnancy and illness.

What happens when you don’t drink enough water?

When your body becomes dehydrated, your blood thickens, which means less oxygen and nutrients can get to the cells and organs. Dehydration also makes you more susceptible to infection. Plus, when you’re thirsty, it’s a sign that your body needs fluids so don’t ignore those signals! So should you hydrate all at once or in small intervals throughout the day? Drinking small amounts of water throughout the day will help keep your blood from becoming too thick and prevent dehydration.

The benefits of having 8 glasses of water a day

A study has shown that water doesn’t just help you to stay hydrated, but it also increases your metabolic rate and can have a significant impact on your health. So, by following the 8 glasses of water-a-day rule, you may notice an improvement in digestion, weight loss, less brain fog and improved cardiovascular health. The beauty is that getting hydrated is easy and even more convenient when drinking water isn’t your only option.

How Herbal Supplements Can Help You Lose Weight, Feel Great, and Perform Better

nutrition

Hey Angels and Alphas,

If you’re like most people, you probably want to lose weight and perform better at the gym so that you can feel your best and live healthier overall. There are many reasons why this may be important to you, but chances are good that it has something to do with improving your appearance, energy levels, fitness performance, and metabolism. Luckily, there are safe herbal supplements on the market today that can help you accomplish all of these goals while also giving you plenty of other benefits that only herbs can provide. The following are just some of the things herbal supplements can do for you.

The importance of herbs for improving health

Herbs are not just for culinary dishes anymore. Medical science has shown that herbs can be an effective way to maintain good health. Many herbs are designed to improve the performance of various organ systems such as the cardiovascular system or immune system. They also have no known drug interactions, or side effects making them a great alternative treatment option.

Start with the basics – green tea & ginseng

Whether or not you’re concerned about your weight or overall health, taking herbal supplements can benefit everyone. Some of the most popular herbal supplements to take are green tea and ginseng. ##Green Tea ##Though often consumed as a beverage, green tea has been found to have an abundance of antioxidant compounds that fight against cancer-causing agents in our body. 

Plus green tea is a great source of vitamins C and E, which help neutralize harmful free radicals in the blood stream. Taken regularly with other dietary changes and exercise routines you can lose weight while also improving your immune system function and metabolic rate.

Build on your knowledge – raspberry ketones & deer antler

Deer antler velvet has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to improve male virility. This herb is also one of the most popular energy supplements for athletes who want to lose weight and perform better in competitions. 

The key ingredient found in deer antler velvet is called IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1). Research shows that it may help protect cartilage from degrading when joints are damaged and can regenerate muscle cells in wounds. The most important thing to remember about deer antler velvet is that it contains amino acids which are vital for rebuilding cells and tissue.

Learn what works for you – coffee bean extract & guarana seed

The right herbal supplements can be a powerful tool in the arsenal of natural health. They can help you lose weight, feel great, and perform better. One such supplement is coffee bean extract with guarana seed. Coffee bean extract provides a significant boost to energy levels because of the caffeine found in it. A study on athletes showed that those who used coffee bean extract before exercising saw a dramatic improvement in performance when compared to those who didn’t take any form of stimulant at all.

Diversify your routine – mangosteen & panax ginseng

Mangosteen improves metabolism and immune function while giving people an extra boost of energy when they need it most. Another great supplement is panax ginseng – known for its performance boosting effects as well as its ability to enhance physical recovery time by boosting the immune system. For those looking for even more benefits, such as improving blood circulation, promoting natural hormone balance and supporting cognitive health – we also carry ashwagandha capsules.

Continue to build on your knowledge – l-carnitine & guggulsterone

One of the best supplements to help you burn fat is L-Carnitine. It helps by transporting fatty acids across the cell membrane into the mitochondria so they can be used as a fuel source. This means more fatty acids are burned which leads to more fat being released from storage. Guggulsterone is also a popular supplement for fat loss.

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