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November 7, 2017

9 easy ways to avoid a weight loss plateau

Here are 9 simple things that you can do to get your weight loss moving in the right direction if you’ve hit a plateau.

Exercise more.

This seems obvious enough, but many don’t do it. If you’re training 2x a week, then try adding in another 2 days of activity to your training program. You may also need to increase the intensity of your training as well. The benefits of strength training are many, but some of the most important are they negate a metabolic decline as you diet, and help you to retain lean muscle mass. Both are important for weight loss.

Be aware of what you are eating.

Track your food. It can prove to be invaluable if you’re struggling to lose weight. We can forget what we had at breakfast, grazed on before lunch, and what we had after dinner. If you track what you’re eating (calories/macros) then you will start to see a pattern of why you’re not losing weight. You are most likely still eating too much if the scale won’t budge. I use the Nutritionist app myself to track, but there are others out there. Most people tend to under-report what they are eating so this is a good thing for many of you to try.

Chill out, bro.

No, seriously. You need to learn to relax. Being stressed out all the time will wreak havoc within your body. Being stressed out will cause the body to release cortisol, which can help to manage stress, but also lead to a bigger belly. If you’re constantly stressed out, you’ll be producing more cortisol which will make fat loss hard. You’ll also notice you don’t sleep as well, crave sugar more and pretty much suck to be around. Try to find some ways in which you can reduce your overall level of stress. You can walk, meditate, volunteer at a local shelter, etc.

Ditch the alcohol.

Who doesn’t like a nice cocktail from time to time? If your goals are to decrease body-fat you may want to abstain if you can’t limit yourself to just 1 or 2. Not only is there no nutritional value in alcohol, but many who drink end up consuming more calories than if they were not to drink at all. Alcohol lowers inhibition and all the sudden you don’t care about your diet and that hunk of chocolate looks pretty dang good! Alcohol may also suppress fat burning. If you’re going to drink you need to know what a serving is. Those wine glasses of yours hold more than one…I’m just saying.

Eat more protein.

This seems to be a hard one for people, especially women, to do. Not only does protein help keep you feeling fuller for longer periods of time, it can also help you to retain lean muscle mass as you diet down. The thermic effect for protein is also higher, so this may give your metabolism a little boost. Eat a little bit of protein at each meal, aiming for 15-25 grams.

Go to bed.

Unless you want to look and feel like an extra in the Walking Dead you need to get your sleep. Studies have shown that those who don’t get enough sleep can experience metabolic decline, weight gain, crave high sugar/fat foods, and hormonal issues within the body. I do well with 7-9 hours of sleep as do many of my clients. Turn off your smart phone, TV, and iPod and go to sleep!

Eat more fiber.

Getting enough fiber (soluble/insoluble) in your diet can help you to lose weight because you feel fuller longer. It slows the rate at which the food moves through your digestive tract. It also helps to keep you regular so you don’t feel like a bloated whale. Most of us don’t get enough fiber in our diets and that is due to the over-consumption of too many processed foods. Try to get 20-30 grams in daily. I like to use hemp protein to help in this area.

Eat your veggies.

Vegetables are an amazing way to help facilitate weight loss. Not only are they packed with vitamins and minerals, they are typically low in calories, high in fiber, and fill you up. When I sit down to eat my major meals, half of my plate is loaded with veggies. Get in mah belly!

Keep moving.

Don’t expect to lose much weight if you only go to the gym for an hour, but spend the rest of the day sitting on your gluteus maximus. You need to stay active! You can do this by just doing regular household chores, stand at your job for 5-10 minutes for every hour you sit, walk on your lunch break, etc. Find creative ways in which you can add more activity into your day.

There you have it folks, 9 simple ways in which you can help to keep the weight loss train moving, choo! choo!

March 3, 2016

What types of protein should you use, how much, and what types

What is the difference between the difference protein powders out there? (e.g. whey, casein, vegetarian)

Answer: The key difference between whey and casein is that whey is absorbed in the digestive system quickly, whereas casein is absorbed slowly and steadily. Egg white protein was the most popular type of protein supplement for many years before milk proteins surpassed its popularity due to their better taste and lower cost. Soy and hemp are unique among vegetable protein sources in that they supply all 8 essential amino acids. Most vegetable proteins lack one or more. There also is pea protein and brown rice protein. These are for vegetarians and those who don’t do well with dairy products.

When should you use what kind?

Answer: I would use the whey upon waking and after training if you are unable to eat a solid meal. If you’re looking for a MRP [meal replacement powder] then I would use the casein as it digest slower than the whey and will stick with you longer, promoting satiety. The hemp protein would also be a consideration to be used as an MRP in a smoothie.

What kind of protein powders do you suggest and why?

Answer: I suggest whey, casein and hemp protein powders. Casein, is known for slow digestion, so it is very beneficial in shakes that are used as meal replacements or a bedtime shake. The whey is excellent before and after training as it is absorbed into the bloodstream, and utilized by the body the fastest. Hemp protein is not only is an excellent protein source but also supplies healthy fats and is high in fiber. Hemp protein also contains large amounts of zinc, iron, and magnesium and EFA (omega 3, 6, 9)

I prefer to use whey protein upon waking and after training because the body can digest and use it rapidly. I will at times you casein at night because it digests slower providing my muscles with a steady stream of amino acids.

What ingredients should people avoid?

Answer: The main thing to look for in a clean protein is lack of artificial sweeteners and information on the label stating that the protein is derived from cattle that has not been exposed to synthetic hormones, chemicals or medications. How much should a person take and how much is too much? (if exercise or meal replacement)

For people that are dairy sensitive or vegetarian what can they do?

Answer: You need at least 0.8 grams per pound and as much as 1.5 grams if you are engaging in intense exercise for more than 1 hour per day and 6-7 days per week. A 140lb woman could easily need 112 grams per day. For vegetarians Brown rice protein powder has many benefits for health and fitness. It provides a convenient source of protein for vegetarians and others who follow restricted diets. Pea protein is also something to consider if you’re a vegetarian or sensitive to dairy. Yellow peas supply an alternative but complete source of amino acids and high in iron.

The quality of proteins can be measured in two ways. The most common measure is the Biological Value (BV).  The BV of certain proteins is calculated by measuring the percentage of protein consumed and absorbed versus how much of it is excreted as waste. This gives an indication of how much of the protein that is consumed actually remains within the body to promote protein synthesis Protein synthesis means how much protein the body will actually use.

I hope this clears up any misconceptions you might have had about using protein supplements, which ones, when, and how much!

June 17, 2015

Another fitness myth that must die.

NO, you will not magically gain weight if you eat after 7pm. I don’t care if you’re eating fat, protein, carbohydrates,etc. This simply isn’t true.

Weight loss will always come down to being in an energy (calorie) deficit, period. Nothing crazy complicated about it folks.

Don’t be afraid to eat after 7pm. You won’t get fat provided you stay within your macros (carbs,protein,fat) but I can’t guarantee you won’t turn into a Gremlin.

May 2, 2015

How to lose weight with PCOS

The Facts:

Insulin resistance is the main reason why it’s more challenging for you to lose weight with PCOS and generally.

About 80% of the women with PCOS have insulin resistance but then again if you’re overweight…

Chances are you already have an insulin resistance but without me going into a long complicated explanation of what insulin resistance is…

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April 10, 2015

Are you getting enough FAT in your diet?

Despite being vilified for many years, dietary fats are one of the 3 main nutrients that your body needs to function properly. Their numerous health benefits include controlling blood levels of cholesterol and glucose, preventing the development of cancer, reducing your heart disease risk and supporting your vital organs (including your brain, your heart, your liver and your lungs). However, due to the popularity of low fat diets and the untrue assertion that dietary fat is automatically stored as body fat, many people choose to eliminate this macronutrient from their diet. Doing this can be extremely damaging to your health and in this article I will be discussing why with 14 of the negative symptoms of dietary fat deficiency.

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February 12, 2015

How to help end emotional eating

Do you find yourself constantly struggling with overeating? This may be why.

Dopamine is a hormone that is involved with appetite regulation and the reward system in the brain.

Did you ever wonder why you couldn’t stop at just one cookie or slice of cake? or why you eat even when you’re not legitimately hungry?

A lot of people get caught up in overeating because of the momentary pleasure it produces…and then the guilt and shame follow.

Here are 6 tips that can help you balance your dopamine.

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January 14, 2015

Benefits of fish oil

#1 – Eases Depression

As far back as the early 1990s, researchers started seriously looking at fish oil as an antidepressant – or, even better, a depression prevention supplement.

While researching other benefits of fish oil, scientists began to notice a repeating trend: people in countries where cold-water, fatty fish are a staple of a regular diet had lower instances of depression.

This trend was repeated so regularly that scientists had no choice but to explore these unexpected benefits of fish oil and how they were connected to depression–alleviating and preventing it.

Andrew Stoll, M.D., suggests that since cell membranes are partially comprised of omega-3s, increasing the levels of omega-3 in the blood allows serotonin, an antidepressant chemical produced by the body, to more easily transport between cells, thus explaining the benefits of fish oil, higher levels of omega-3s and connection to lower rates of depression.

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October 17, 2014

Learn the truth about fruit…is it the diabolical diet-killer it’s sometimes made out to be or is it just fruit and actually pretty good for you?!

The answer to the question of whether fruit can or will make you fat isn’t as simple as yes OR no…because the answer is yes AND no.

Sound confusing? It’s not so bad!

There have been studies done on fruit sugar (fructose) and how it’s metabolized in the body and liver, which I’ll get into in a bit, but I’m also going to talk about fruit from a practical standpoint.

First, here is why it WON’T make you fat…

Fruit is a fat-free (with rare exception, like avocados) and fairly low-calorie, high-fiber food. It’s going to be hard to eat ENOUGH fruit to result in an excess of calories, resulting in noticeable fat gain…hard, but not impossible.

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August 21, 2014

Are you a sugar or fat burner?

It is important to use the right fuel… both for cars and for people. For instance, one could put aviation fuel or diesel fuel into a gas burning automobile engine and it would burn for a while the wrong fuel… but the engine would be damaged because it would be damaged by excess heat and/or byproducts of inefficient combustion. Similarly, the human body needs correct food to run run correctly. The body obtains water, fiber, nutrients and fuel from the food we eat. Each of these is critically important. But, of prime importance is the “fuel” portion of food. The body can only burn two types of fuel: Sugar or fat. Although either fuel will work, FAT is the best energy source. It is the the fuel we should primarily utilize in our bodies because it does far less damage to our bodies than does burning sugar/carbohydrates.

FAT BURNING KEY CONCEPTS:

1. Creating energy, by burning fuel, is necessary, but it is destructive to our bodies, just like burning gasoline or diesel is necessary, but destructive to the engine of the automobile.

2. Fat is a more efficient energy source (releasing more than twice as much energy than is released by burning sugar).

3. Along with containing a greater density of energy, fat, when burned for energy, releases far fewer free radicals (damaging elements) than does burning sugar (for the same amount of energy)

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July 31, 2014

The mighty apple

Apple nutrition facts – the mighty apple

An old proverb attests to the health benefits: “An apple a day keeps the doctor” So an apple a day is perhaps the most delicious prescription ever made. However it will take more than a daily apple to keep you healthy Apples are a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.

Soluble fiber such as pectin actually helps to prevent cholesterol building up in the lining of blood vessel walls and thus reducing the incident of atherosclerosis and heart diseae. The insoluble fiber in apples provide bulk in the intestinal tract, hold water to cleanse and move food quickly through the digestive system.

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