Category: Article

5 tips to make the most out of your workout routine

Posted on by Bernard Doan

(BPT) – Whether you’re hitting the gym to get healthy, tone up or improve your overall well-being, there’s no denying that seeing results can be one of the most satisfying feelings. Noticing even the smallest change in the way you feel or look is reason enough to lace up your sneakers for another sweat session. However, when results seem to plateau or schedules get busy, you might begin to question your commitment to a fitness routine.

Whatever you do, don’t give up! Keep the below tips in mind to help maximize your fitness routine and stay on track.

1) Find a workout buddy

Instead of flying solo, bring along a friend so you can encourage each other during your workouts. Exercising with a buddy can breed a healthy form of competition, but it’s also a great way to hold you accountable. To help maximize the impact, try to pick a partner that is on the same fitness level as you and shares similar goals — you will want to be able to increase your intensity level and challenge each other as a team.

2) Fuel up

An active lifestyle requires proper nutrition — period. When regularly exercising, your body needs fuel for optimal performance and proper recovery. Before a workout, opt for healthy and easily digestible carbohydrates like brown rice, quinoa, whole-grain bread and pasta, fruits and vegetables to give you energy. Afterward, try a protein-packed snack like Emergen-C Protein Fuel and Superfoods. With 15 grams of organic plant-based protein and two full servings of 14 superfoods, the protein and superfood powder blend can help you make the most of your active time by providing the wholesome nourishment you need, along with supporting your natural defenses with a high potency serving of vitamin C.

3) Head to the weights

If your fitness goals include improving body composition and losing weight, you may want to introduce strength training into your regimen. While exercises such as walking, running and cycling can do wonders for your cardiovascular health and help burn calories, strength training with weights can elevate your metabolism for a longer period — meaning your body will continue burning calories even after a workout. Plus, strength training can target and tone those hard-to-reach muscles, improve balance and help protect your bones.

4) Switch it up

After a while, bodies can grow accustomed to the same exercise routine, often leading to stalled results. If you find yourself breezing through a workout, it’s time to switch it up and push your limits. Varying your exercises can challenge your mind and body, help burn more calories and prevent boredom. If you like to run long distances, try implementing sprint intervals. At the gym? Try out new equipment or vary your reps. Challenge your body and you may be surprised by the results.

5) Take a break

The last way to maximize your fitness routine has nothing to do with the gym at all. In fact, it requires you to skip the gym. Exercise provides many health benefits, but too many high-intensity workouts can backfire, potentially causing injury from overuse and hindering your results. Be sure to allow your body enough time to heal before hitting the gym again and try to work active rest days into your schedule, such as going for a light walk or bike ride.

Keeping these tips in mind can help you make the most of your fitness routine and magnify your efforts in the gym, on the track, in the pool or wherever you choose to exercise. Above all, don’t hesitate to ask fellow gym-goers for help or to make modifications when something feels off.

For more information about Emergen-C, visit www.emergenc.com.

Play through the Pain: 5 Tips to Minimize Sports-Related Pain

Posted on by Bernard Doan

(BPT) – Pain is a part of everyday life for active Americans – whether as a result of their athletic pursuits or due to silly mishaps. Though pain can occur in the blink of an eye, it can linger for years and prevent sufferers from fully enjoying the sports and exercises they so love.

When participating in your favorite physical activity or trying out a new one for the first time, the last thing you want is for pain to live life for you. Ben Shear, performance trainer and Golf Digest fitness advisor, shares his tips on how to minimize and treat pain resulting from physical activity, so you can get back to performing at your best.

1. Warm Up

While warming up is often perceived as something only runners or collegiate or professional athletes need to do, no matter the physical activity you’re partaking in, it is crucial to properly warm up to avoid injury and minimize pain. In fact, according to a recent ThermaCare survey of 2,000 Americans, 45 percent of people feel they have injured themselves due to a lack of stretching or warming up. A good warm-up should increase core body temperature, making the muscles more receptive to stretching, and stretching keeps the muscles pliable and mobile.

2. Stock Up

When aches and injuries strike, it’s important to have items on hand that can combat pain quickly so that you can stay in the game. Be sure to stock up on a quick and effective topical pain reliever, like ThermaCare Ultra Pain Relieving Cream. It’s the first and only formula with four powerful pain-fighting ingredients that provides deep, penetrating relief for multiple types of pain, including sore muscles, joint pain, back pain, arthritis and body aches.

3. Massage Up

Sure, massages are a great way to unwind, but they can also aid with managing pain. Massages can help muscles recover, stimulate blood circulation and alleviate local inflammation to improve mobility and flexibility.

4. Fuel Up

Hydration is crucial when it comes to muscle and joint recovery; however, water isn’t the only fuel source to consider. The foods and drinks we consume can have a direct effect when it comes to minimizing muscle and joint pain post-exercise. Low-fat chocolate milk has the ideal recovery ratio of carbs to protein (4:1), so it can aid in faster muscle recovery. Nuts and seeds, as well as fish like salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation. Moreover, they’re packed with lean protein – a key element of muscle restoration.

5. Switch it Up

Yes, you’re a golfer, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore other types of physical activity to up your performance on the course. By introducing other types of workouts, like swimming and running, you’ll utilize different muscles and allow overused muscle groups a chance to heal and recover. Moreover, core and flexibility training can actually help you improve your athleticism, whether on the golf course or the basketball court.

For the 78 percent of people that participate in physical activity once or more a week, aches and pains are inevitable. Luckily, being equipped with thorough preparatory and recovery plans can make all the difference when it comes to getting back to feeling and performing your best.

Five Steps to Preparing for an Obstacle Course Race

Posted on by Bernard Doan

(BPT) – With popular obstacle- and ninja-style shows taking over TV, you might be curious what it takes to become a part of the competition. One expert ninja says this curiosity can springboard you quickly to the next level.

“‘I want to try it.’ This is the first thing I said before exploring training,” said John Wilmas, best known as the stair ninja (@stair_ninja on Instagram). He participates in competitive stair climbing with a passion for charity climbs. He also has competed on “American Ninja Warrior.”

“Most people enter this sport with a simple desire to give it a try and have fun,” he said. “If that is you, I encourage you to give it a go. From there, you can take additional steps to develop your skills.”

Wilmas recommends five tips when beginning to train for any obstacle-style event:

1. Find a local training gym or park

As the popularity of the shows has grown, so too has the desire for more obstacle-style training facilities. Research what is available in your area. Indoor gyms and outdoor obstacle parks featuring FitCore Extreme fitness equipment by Landscape Structures Inc. offer multiple whole-body fitness and agility options for children ages 5 to 12 and teens/adults ages 13 and over, so the whole family can participate. Learn more at www.playlsi.com.

2. Use your body weight as a training tool

If you can’t find training opportunities within 30 minutes of your home, focus on body-weight training and calisthenics – the type of training gymnasts do – to build your skills. Keep in mind that even if you can bench a lot of weight, it’s not the same as holding your own body weight. Train by using your own body weight as resistance because that is what will be tested on many of the obstacles.

3. Work on speed, balance and agility

Being agile and having good balance can help you conquer some of the toughest obstacles. Competitors that only focus on upper body strength will slip up on seemingly easier parts of the course simply because they don’t have good balance or speed. The faster you can go, the less energy you’ll expend, which means you can go further without getting tired. Speed can also be an alternative to balance. If you can go through some obstacles quickly, you’ll not have to rely on stellar balance skills.

4. Find friends and build camaraderie

What makes obstacle- and ninja-style competitions unique is everyone supports each other. It’s a competition, but competitors have strong bonds and encourage the success of each participant. When you start training and decide you enjoy the sport, try joining some local groups so you can build your own camaraderie. The support you’ll feel is incredible. You can start by researching local meetups on the Facebook group American Ninja Warrior Comrades.

5. Explore mental training

A big part of succeeding at this sport is mental strength. Believe in yourself and envision yourself successfully completing a challenge. A mental block is always the hardest obstacle, so if you make a mistake, don’t dwell on it. Repetition helps you gain confidence so your mind trusts your body. Then you can just go without overthinking it. The mind is your biggest asset if you use it to your advantage, but can also be your biggest hurdle if you let worries overtake your abilities.

Omega-3s: Do you really know what they are, and if you are getting enough?

Posted on by Bernard Doan

(BPT) – Each day we are bombarded with heaping helpings of health headlines – the latest, must-know, must-do health advice. Sometimes the tips seem obvious; but often, it’s quite difficult to understand what will produce health benefits – especially when headlines and social media can make legitimate advice seem irrelevant in a moment.

Over the years, we’ve seen more conflicting advice around omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA). Thousands of published scientific studies have shown the benefits, and we know that the human body needs them to function but can’t create them on its own. Among their numerous benefits, EPA and DHA have been associated with overall heart health and improving eye, brain and joint performance.

Yet most are confused

Unlike many other important measures of health, most people have no awareness of their omega-3 levels.

Omega-3s are found in fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel. But the reality is, many people have difficulty achieving optimal levels with diet alone. And according to one recent study, even among people who believed they were eating a balanced diet, 98 percent had levels of omega-3s that were below the optimal level.

“I had heard fish oil was critical to a balanced diet,” said Schnelle “Nellie” Acevedo, a fitness blogger and mom of three. “As an avid runner and working mom, making smart choices about my health is really important to me. As I learned more about omega-3s and their health benefits, I started worrying that I could be omega-3 deficient and wondering what kind of toll that could be taking on my health.”

What we can do

Today, there are resources available to help us get an answer on where our levels stand – the Omega-3 Index test is a simple blood test that unveils what percentage of red blood cells contain EPA and DHA.

There’s also a brief quiz online that provides a general guide for individual omega-3 scores. The five-question quiz at www.knowyouromega3s.com was launched by MegaRed, an omega-3 supplement brand dedicated to helping support overall health. By answering the simple questions, you can determine if your levels might be low, and learn helpful tips and actions to ensure you are getting enough omega-3s.

When it comes to health, knowledge is just the first step

Every health journey is unique, so regardless of the latest trend, it’s key to act to determine where you stand and the changes that work for you. Like understanding your cholesterol or blood pressure levels, knowing your omega-3 levels is an important marker of health.

“It’s tough to be sure of your health and fitness choices, but I got an answer when it comes to omega-3s. Last year, I sent in a test to check my omega-3 levels. When I got my results, my numbers were not nearly where I want to be. I needed to supplement my diet to get my numbers up!” said Acevedo. “It’s important for you to know whether or not you are getting enough omega-3s, and what you can do to fix it!”

Spotlight Series: Laura Choy

Posted on by Bernard Doan

A Podcast Companion Blog

INTRODUCTION

Every other week, FITREC releases a podcast that’s intended to bring you the best resources, information, and tools to keep you on your fitness journey. This past week, we kicked off our first in many features in the Spotlight Series. The Spotlight Series aims to bring you the industry’s very best personalities, so that you might take your fitness and health to the next level. This week, we bring to you one of FITREC’s very own, Laura Choy.

GETTING TO KNOW LAURA

Laura isn’t just your average fitness enthusiast. Not only is she a wife, a mother, a women’s health advocate, she is a certified health & fitness trainer, as well as, FITREC’s Events Coordinator. She is the one who is responsible for bringing the very best race and fitness events to a location near you! She is currently working very hard to put together a compelling event calendar for 2019. So, stay tuned!

But before she became FITREC’s master coordinator, Laura grew up in rural Pennsylvania. When it comes to healthy habits, it was something that she learned early on. Her mother is a diabetic, so their household grew up limiting the amount of sugar was present in foods. They were a big gardening household, securing fresh fruits, vegetables, and other produce from their own hard work. Lean proteins were a staple of their diet, again, securing it on their own. Believe it or not, Laura and her family are hunters. Other integral aspects of their diet was the inclusion of whole grains, particularly in any breads found in their meals.

Her healthy habits also included a very active lifestyle. Their family was always out and about, having a healthy appreciation for the wonders of nature. Even still, Laura’s personal journey into taking her health and fitness seriously began when she started having children.

After having her first three boys, she continued with the healthy eating habits she had learned growing up. At this time, she also explored the arena of fitness, establishing a consistent exercise routine. She began running regularly, even if it wasn’t initially enjoyable. However, it wasn’t until she had their daughter, some seven years later, that she realized she wasn’t going to “bounce back” like she had with her previous pregnancies.

During that time, she struggled, particularly with cravings and having self-control with her eating. The things she had done in the past did not seem to have great effect this time. She knew that she needed to take a step into new territory and learn what it meant to eat healthy and exercise with intention. She knew that she needed to do something different to get somewhere and to get somewhere on purpose, instead of just going through the motions of exercise and not making any gains.

The Power of Authenticity

So, Laura began her fitness journey. But she didn’t do it alone. She documented her journey on social media. She put it all out there. She made no bones about where she started, where she was, the highs, or the lows. Along the way, she brought others along with her, conveying empathy for those out there that thought their health and fitness journeys couldn’t possibly begin. As she encouraged herself, she encouraged others, without setting unrealistic expectations. For Laura, there was power in being “real,” of being truly authentic, as she advocated for fitter and healthier lifestyles.

In impressing the value of authenticity, she discovered a resource and rhythm that worked for her. Although it was not without struggle or imperfection, she learned (and encourages) that fitness is not about the destination, but the journey. “Completing a class or program is great! Getting to your desired weight/size is great! But what then?” Laura asks. Does our fitness journey end when we reach a particular size or weight? In order to have a sustainable, healthier lifestyle, Laura gives us the following key aspects:

Establish Your “Why”?

Goals are great. However, goals tend to have endpoints. Endpoints are not a sustainable practice for something that ought to be a lifestyle. For example, let’s say you want to lose weight; you’re 250 lbs. You set a goal of reaching 190 lbs, for a net loss of 60 lbs. You’re super disciplined, and get down to that weight quickly. Now what? This is why trainer and YouTube personality, Jeff Cavaliere, says, “I don’t like diets. You get on a diet because you inevitably get off a diet.” Hence the term, “yo-yo dieting.” Sometimes, setting and hitting a goal can create a false sense of accomplishment that gives you permission to go back to an unhealthy lifestyle. Establishing your “why” is intended to create a more sustainable goal. For example, “I want to lose weight and get healthier so that I can keep up with my children.” Or, “I want to lose weight and get healthier so that I can create a good example for folks I often encourage.”

Have a Plan and Process for Reaching Your Goal

You cannot leave results up to random chance. Remember that habits — good or bad — are established by discipline. You’re either disciplined in creating bad habits — e.g. when you’re hungry, you reach for the Twinkee. Or, you’re disciplined in creating good habits — e.g. when you’re hungry, you reach for a nutritious apple. Whether you utilize a resource FITREC provides, search the web, or, even better, consult a health and fitness professional, a uniquely tailored plan can help you stay on track with your health and fitness journey.

“Better Together”

It’s not just the FITREC slogan. Consider any challenge in life. It is often easier to get through life’s challenges when we’re doing it together with others. Surround yourself with support and encouragement. Encouragement is going to get you through the days when you don’t want to do it. Support will keep you going when you’re killing it!

Consider Your Impact on Those Around You

Laura found it immediately advantageous to pursue her fitness journey as her daughter began emulating her during her workouts. It is more likely that your fitness journey becomes a lifestyle if your health gains aim to include the impact on those around you.

HEALTHY LIFESTYLES: EATING

A month ago, we did a podcast talking about diets and dieting. The question we posed was, “Are diets a fad or a fact of life?” We arrived at the notion that what we really mean by “dieting” is adopting a healthier lifestyle of eating. It isn’t even sufficient to just look at foods from the standpoint of calories, because not all calories are made equal. Three-hundred calories from 12 greasy potato chips isn’t as good as 300 calories from a few ounces of good protein, fruits and veggies, and some whole-grain source of carbohydrates. In that episode, we mentioned that Laura believes in this truth: “Treat food as fuel.”

Here’s what she said about that:

“Yes, I am really passionate about this because I see so many women struggle when it comes to eating. There are so many diets out there. For a lot of them the focus is primarily on how to lose weight. Often these diets include extreme changes in eating to lose weight quickly. While these diets may have their place, unfortunately, it usually doesn’t end in a sustainable healthy lifestyle. Our bodies are so much more than a number on the scale. The scale doesn’t tell us how healthy we are. The number on the scale doesn’t determine our heart health or our energy level or how well our body is functioning overall.

Our bodies need all different nutrients to function optimally. In order to get that diversity in nutrients we need a balanced way of eating. A way that is sustainable for life. This is somewhat of a mindset shift. Instead of just eating for pleasure or satisfying cravings, we view food in light of what it is going to do for our body!! Unfortunately a lot of the processed foods that we generally eat are designed to satisfy our taste buds but leave us wanting when it comes to giving our bodies the proper nutrients and energy we need. You can see the downward spiral in this.

The good news is we can retrain our minds and our taste buds to find true satisfaction in real food.  Fueling your body contains several components:

  1. Balanced intake of macronutrients (carbs, lean proteins, healthy fats)
  2. Portion control
  3. Eating throughout the day
  4. Cutting out the sugar and cutting out processed food and find a replacement”

Beginning your nutrition journey is just as simple as your fitness journey. Laura says, “Start with your why!” Having a more meaningful goal other than size or weight will help you sustain a healthier lifestyle of eating. Create simple steps towards achieving those goals, using each step as a milestone. Enjoy reaching the short-term milestones, and celebrate those long-term milestone achievements. And here are some simple practical steps from Laura herself:

  • Drink more water. An easy rule of thumb is drink half your body weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 200 lbs, drink 100 ounces of water a day! That’s just about 12 cups, everyone!
  • Meal plan and prep. Guard against overeating but also succumbing to the temptation to go out for fast food when you don’t have time to cook! Meal planning and prep work will take the guesswork out what’s for dinner!
  • Replace refined sugar. Skip the donuts and pastries and replace them with fruits, yogurt, or a healthy smoothie.
  • Mix it up. Try a new recipe this week. Nothing will derail us faster than the same old, same old.

WOMEN’S HEALTH AND ADVOCACY

Lastly, we talked to Laura about her passion for women’s health and advocacy. Her desire to see women adopt healthier lifestyles was borne out her own personal journey. As Laura discovered what worked for her, she felt compelled to share it with others in the hopes that they might benefit or even join her in the journey! She began to realize how many women live lives held back by their own insecurities about how they look and how they feel. While she believes that emotional and spiritual health are vital for an overall healthy life, exercising and eating healthy is a basic place to start to begin gaining confidence and energy. She absolutely loves to help other women discover this for themselves.

And when it comes to women, it is especially moms that are on her heart. Moms have a tendency to give so much of themselves to others and sometimes neglect taking care of themselves. There is an energy and overall confidence that can be had when women start to embrace living a healthy lifestyle. When we take the time to invest in ourselves, we can show up, unhindered, to invest in others.

If you are interested in getting in contact with Laura to join her in her fitness journey, you can find her on Instagram at: @laurachoy

This has been a presentation of the Spotlight Series, on FITREC.com; “We’re BETTER TOGETHER”

Dieting: Fad or Fact of Life?

Posted on by Bernard Doan

Introduction

It happens every new year. We make those resolutions to get to the gym. To get healthy. To get fit. Invariably, we make these promises to get to a “newer” us. And, sure enough, part of that plan happens to be dieting. And, each year, it seems like the options for dieting get more and more complicated, because there are more and more choices. Atkins. Keto. Low carb. High carb. Fats good. Fats bad. Which is it? In the midst of that confusing midst is figuring out whether these are just fads or something that’s critically important to having a healthy lifestyle?

Comparing Diet Plans

In an article from the Journal of the American Medical Association, entitled, “Comparison of Weight Loss among Named Diet Programs in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Meta-Analysis,” forty-eight unique, randomized trials were compiled, with a total sample size of about 7,300 individuals. What they intended to do was compare popular diet plans against “no diet,” to see which produced the greatest weight loss. A number of well-known diets were mentioned, including Atkins (very low carbs), volumetrics (low carbs), Ornish (very high carbs), Rosemary Conley, and Jenny Craig. Subjects were considered overweight or obese adults because their body mass index was greater than or equal to 25.

Spoiler alert: after following these 7,300 individuals, they found that the largest weight loss was associated with low-carb diets and/or low-fat diets. Between each of the kinds of diets, the differences, though, were minimal. To understand why that is, let’s take a look at some of the more popular diet plans a bit more:

Atkins

Atkins focuses on controlling the levels of insulin in the body through a low-carb diet. The idea is that if people consume large amounts of refined carbs, their insulin levels will rise and fall rapidly. Rising insulin levels trigger the body to store energy from the food that’s consumed, making it less likely that the body will use stored fat as a source of energy. So, folks on the Atkins diet tend to reduce their carb intake, eat as much protein and fat as they like. Obviously, this is a radical approach to diet, so we at FITREC recommend that anyone looking into such a diet should consult their doctor first. A detailed look at the Atkins diet here.

Ketogenic

The KETOGENIC DIET is also a hot new diet. The ketogenic diet has been around for decades, originally used as a treatment for epilepsy. It basically reduces carb intake, while upping fat intake. It sounds counterintuitive, but it allows the body to burn fat as fuel, rather than carbs. And the kinds of fat that we’re talking about are the good kind. The fat that’s found in avocados, coconuts, oily fish, and olive oil. The diet causes the breakdown of fat deposits for fuel and creates substances called ketones through a process called ketosis. I wrote a blog article about this on our website.

There are however risks with this kind of diet. For folks with Type 1 Diabetes, the risk includes ketoacidosis, diabetic coma, and in severe cases, death. A detailed look at the ketogenic diet here.

Vegetarian or Vegan

Obviously, there are common diets that are a bit more self-explanatory: VEGETARIAN diet or a VEGAN diet. We’ve heard of JENNY CRAIG and WEIGHT WATCHERS, which has been evolving their offerings to accommodate the latest dietary trends. ANTHONY, what’s your take on some of these diet trends? Do you have any personal experience with any of these diets? A detailed look at vegetarianism here and a detailed look at veganism here.

The Zone

The Zone attempts to manage macronutrients by breaking them down into set amounts. It aims for a nutritional balance of 40% carbohydrates, 30% fats, and 30% protein. As with other diets, the intent it control insulin levels, which should result in weight loss and body weight control, compared to other approaches. A detailed look at the Zone diet here.

Weight Watchers

The most incentivizing aspect of Weight Watchers is their support network, as well as, their combination with exercise. Started in the 1960s, the founder of WW created a community of friends. It has since become a global phenomenon. The WW’s community is now available at local sites, as well as, online. In both situations, members find plenty of support and education to keep their healthy eating a sustainable lifestyle. A detailed look at Weight Watchers here.

South Beach

Started by cardiologist, Dr. Agatston and Marie Almon, this is another diet intended to control insulin levels, by focusing on unrefined, slow-burning carbohydrates versus simple sugars that burn quickly. They devised this diet during the 1990s because the diet prescribed by the American Heart Association yielded disappointing results, as a product of the low-fat, high-carb composition. A detailed look at the South Beach diet here.

Better Together

When it comes to “dieting,” this is not something that most people jump at the sight of. Instead, here at FITREC, we encourage the idea of “healthy eating lifestyles.” A doctor and his team in Montpellier, France, carried out a study that found the “Western-style diet” — you know the one, high in sweet and fried foods — raised a person’s risk of dying early. They published their findings in the American Journal of Medicine. They said that people who strayed from healthy eating had a considerably higher risk of cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular death.

In the article that we cited above, the study essentially concluded that dieting is good so long as it’s something that you will adhere to, in order to lose weight. One comment said, “Weight loss diets only work when you follow them.” What we resolve to at the beginning of the year is not as easy to adhere to than we expect. YouTube fitness personality, Jeff Cavaliere, founder and CEO of Athlean-X, likes to say that “we get on a diet because we will invariably get off a diet.” And so, he often recommends a healthier, lifestyle of eating that is easy for folks to stick to the longest.

A recent article in Harvard’s School of Public Health publication — “The Nutrition Source” — entitled, The Best Diet: Quality Counts.

Summary

In summary, the evidence found in the data continues to point to this simple truth:

“Yes, calories matter, but focusing on food quality is an equally important part of preventing weight gain and promoting weight loss.”

It is about using food for fuel, and not for satisfaction, emotional placation, or something else. But it’s also about the quality of the fuel you’re putting in your body.

  • High-quality foods include unrefined, minimally processed foods such as vegetables and fruits, whole grains, healthy fats and healthy sources of protein. We’ll put a link to what Harvard’s School of Public Health recommends is the Healthy Eating Plate.
  • Lower-quality foods include highly processed snack foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, refined (white) grains, refined sugar, fried foods, foods high in saturated and trans fats, and high-glycemic foods such as potatoes.

Essentially, getting 300 calories from a bag of potato chips is a lot worse for you than 300 calories through fruits and vegetables. Incidentally, this article also noted that “the more group counseling sessions participants attended, the more weight they lost, and the less weight they regained. This supports the idea that not only is what you eat important, but behavioral, psychological, and social factors are important for weight loss as well.”

Better together is what we believe at FITREC. This includes exercise, as well as, nutrition. So, is DIETING: FAD OR FACT OF LIFE? There are a lot of fads out there, for us folks here in Western Society, it would do us well to adjust our eating habits towards something healthier, but more importantly, sustainable. FITREC can help you with that! Keep checking in with us as we continue to unpack the benefits of fitness and health in community.

Subscribe to our channel, download our podcasts, pick up our app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store today. Get connected with folks right in your area in a variety of different kinds of sports and activities. Whether you’re looking for a jogging buddy or a pick up game, the FITREC app will help you get and stay active because we’re BETTER TOGETHER.

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Five Common Mistakes with Low-Carb Diets

Posted on by Bernard Doan

These days, the word “carbs” is a bad word. Many people looking to shave inches off their waistline and pounds off their body aren’t necessarily eliminating carbs, but switching to low-carb diets. And yet, there are many mistakes that often come with reducing carbs in an unguided way. Cutting carbs from your diet can lead to unwanted results. You’re likely cutting carbs because you know that carbs are important metabolically. But you want to know how to do it well, so here are some things to look out for:

1. It’s too much!

As with many of these kinds of restrictions, the definition for what is “low carb” can vary. Some sources cite anything less than 150 grams of carbs per day. Even at that amount, there’s not much you can eat nowadays without exceeding that amount. And yet, you’re likely on a low-carb diet because you’re hoping that your metabolism will shift and your body will begin breaking down fat more. This is the state of ketosis, marked by a reduction in insulin, increased fat breakdown, and your liver producing high number of ketones to supply energy for your brain. (That’s a good thing!)

In order to be in a state of ketosis, you’ll need to get down to a level of around 50 grams of carbs per day. This may mean that you get the majority of your carbs from the vegetables that are on your plate.

2. I’ll load up on protein then!

Protein is one of those macronutrients in which most people are not deficient. You’re mostly likely never going to hear from your doctor at your next check up, “You need to eat more protein!” And yet, many of these low-carb diets include an increase in protein intake. While more protein should lead to weight loss, there is a process called gluconeogenesis, which takes extraneous amino acids into glucose. With circulating glucose, this obviously can cause a setback in entering ketosis (see above). Ketogenic diets, therefore, tend to be higher in fat, while moderating protein overall. A good rule of thumb is not to exceed 1 gram per pound of body weight. Accompanied by a high-intensity workout regimen, this should more than enough protein.

3. Eating Fat Makes Me Fat.

The body looks for energy preferentially by available sugars. When those aren’t available, the body breaks down fat in a process called lipolysis. Your body can use fat for energy! And breaking down that fat for energy requires more energy. Win-win!

But, not all fats are created equal. Trans fats are no bueno. Look for the healthy fats like monosaturated fats and omega-3 fats. Your fat intake should equate to about 70% of your total calories, if you’re pursuing a ketogenic diet. Choose fatty cuts of meat, while adding healthy fats to your meals should suffice!

4. Reduce Salt Intake.

Insulin has a sodium-retaining effect in the body. Increases in plasma insulin concentration within the physiological range stimulate sodium reabsorption in the kidneys. As such, there’s the opposite effect when insulin levels begin to decline. The body begins to lose sodium, as well as, you guessed it, water!

While you might feel less bloated, sodium is an essential electrolyte, involved in many of the body’s physiological processes. If you’re engaged in a low-carb diet, you must supplement your sodium intake. Salt your foods. Add liquid soups, like chicken broth to your diet.

5. I Can’t Do It No More!

In the early goings, it will be tough. As I said above, the body preferentially searches for energy breaking down sugar. Until the body shifts towards lipid metabolization, you might feel a bit sluggish or lethargic. Give it a few days to adjust. Within a month, your body will be humming along with no issues. So, keep at it and persevere. The payoff will be worth it.

Conclusion

Low-carb diets have great benefits to one’s health. Other than the obvious common ailments that befall the general public, i.e. T2D and obesity, a reduction of chronic inflammation around joints, gastrointestinal, etc. are other benefits. After all of this, it’s important that whatever you do that this is a sustainable lifestyle. Keep the long-term in mind and you’ll be pleased with the results!