Saturday, November 30, 2013

THE GOAL IS TO ALWAYS FIGHT FAT: NUTRITION TIPS

I would like to try a bulking cycle where how much and what  kind of food I eat is not as strict as when I started out with my journey. Besides, a bulking cycle is where you grow the most muscle because of the surplus of calories.

As tempting as that sounds, we need to understand that the body easily slips back to its most comfortable stage (in my case, being 100lbs overweight) so if it sees a surplus of calories its way, the body stores it as fat to make itself more comfy.

That is why my goal is to fight fat for at least 24mos until my body learns that being lean is now its new comfort zone. To help me with this battle with fat, here are some tips to fight fat.

Nutrition
Stay hydrated. Active individuals actually require more water and should aim to consume roughly 1 gallon per day to avoid becoming dehydrated. And if you're one of those people who hates drinking water, consider this: Dehydrated individuals burn less fat than their well-watered counterparts.
Eat more frequently. Eating 5—6 small meals a day as opposed to "three squares a day" causes your metabolism to work constantly. Eating larger meals, on the other hand, slows your metabolism and forces leftover calories to be stored as fat.
Eat protein. Since muscle-building is the fastest route to slim down, you want to make sure that your protein consumption is enough to keep up with your weight training. Eat too little protein and your gains could be much slower. Get 1—1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day to help your muscle gains along. Use protein bars and shakes to supplement your whole-food consumption and stave off cravings.
Get leafy. Those who eat a salad before dinner tend to consume less calories overall during dinner. But don't sabotage yourself — stay away from high-fat dressings like ranch, blue cheese and Caesar.
Skip happy hour. Alcohol consumption can temporarily blunt testosterone levels, hindering muscle repair and growth and blunting sexual drive. Also, the calories from alcoholic beverages — in the neighborhood of 100—200 each without cocktail mixers — add up faster than you may think.
Cut out soda. Instead, rely on water and other flavored drinks like Crystal Light to get your fluids every day. If you drink one soda per day, you're adding 1,750 calories per week to your diet. Also, studies have shown that those who regularly consume diet sodas tend to gain weight in the long run because of overindulgences elsewhere.
Calories out! The goal in any fat-loss or weight-loss program should be to burn more calories than you consume. Aim to cut total calorie consumption by about 250 calories per day. Yes, that means you'll have to figure out how many calories you eat in a normal day. Get on it. The math will pay big dividends later.
Got the munchies? If you can do without the butter and salt, plain popcorn is a winner. Two quarts has the same number of calories as just 20 potato chips. By substituting 1 cup of plain, unbuttered popcorn for a 1-ounce bag of chips, you'll save 135 calories and 10 grams of fat.
The magical fruit. Subjects who ate half of a grapefruit with meals or drank 8 ounces of grapefruit juice three times a day lost 4 pounds (with some losing more than 10 pounds) in 12 weeks without dieting.
Carb smart. Keep your carbohydrates low to moderate when trying to lose weight. If you rotate low- and high-carb days, you'll be able to keep your energy levels up while running a caloric deficit. Good, clean, fiber-rich carbs include oats, potatoes, rice and whole-grain bread. Also, limit high-carb drinks like fruit juice to postworkout, when your body needs carbs to speed recovery.
Operation Dinner Out. Be diligent when ordering in a restaurant. Have your meats grilled without oil or grease. Ask for steamed vegetables with no butter. Get a salad (no cheese) with either low-fat dressing or vinaigrette.
Avoid simple sugars. Too much sugar in your diet can wreak havoc on your metabolism by spiking your insulin response and promoting the accumulation of bodyfat over time. Immediately after exercise, however, is an ideal time to ingest simple sugars; otherwise, steer clear.
GI Low. For most of the day, your carb options should be of the low-glycemic variety, meaning they're digested and burned more slowly. Athletes who eat low-GI carbs burn more fat throughout the day.
Eat more fiber. Fiber, both soluble and insoluble, is essential to health and helps decrease bodyfat. Adults should consume 35—40 grams of fiber per day, with about a third of that coming from insoluble fibrous sources. Along with whole grains rich in beneficial fiber, consume high amounts of fibrous vegetables, such as broccoli, to attain your daily intake. High-fiber foods also promote satiety.
Timed consumption. When you eat is just as important as what you eat. Many people who eat way too much at night should re-evaluate their eating patterns. Eat two-thirds of your day's calories before dinnertime to avoid overeating late in the day.
Prepare. Watch what you eat around work. If your workplace serves nothing healthy, tote food or snacks along with you. If you're attending a workplace function in which only junk food is served, pre-eat. Having recently eaten something that's healthy and adequate in calories to meet your energy needs, it's easier to say no to the junk and empty calories.
Get yolked. Eating eggs for breakfast was recently found to reduce hunger and food intake for up to 24 hours.
Slow down, Turbo! Successful dieters and fitness buffs will tell you that fast eating and bodyfat go hand in hand because you end up overeating. It takes about 10 minutes for the food in your stomach to signal your brain that you've eaten enough.
Don't be salty. Excess sodium consumption can make you look softer and cause you to burn less fat. Most people get way too much, anyway, especially if you eat a lot of processed foods. To help you look leaner and strip sodium from your diet, drink more water, cut back on highly processed foods and switch to potassium chloride to season your foods.
Got milk? Research has shown that individuals who consume high levels of dietary calcium in a 24-hour period had higher rates of fat oxidation that day than those who consumed lesser amounts. So stock up on low-fat versions of cheese, milk and yogurt; if you're lactose intolerant, choose dark-green leafy vegetables, legumes and almonds.
Go nuts! Eating a handful of almonds was found to help test subjects lose 62% more weight, 56% more fat and 50% more from their waistline after 24 weeks compared to those who followed the same diet without almonds.

Friday, November 8, 2013

50 Reasons Not To Skip Your Workout Today

Lost your motivation and need a good kick in the pants? This article gives you fifty quality reasons to drop the junk food, get off the couch and head to the gym.

1. Because no matter how tired or stressed you feel right now, you will feel better after a workout.

2. You know that you are what you do, and will not allow yourself to become a quitter.

3. You are tired of wearing fat jeans.

4. You are sick of having a flabby stomach.

5. There is no other choice. It must be done.

6. So that you will have no regrets tomorrow.

7. Because you are tired of starting "on Monday." Today is the day to get it done!

8. Somewhere there is someone who is injured, sick or in a hospital bed who wished they could workout. Go train in their honor.

9. Being lazy sucks.

10. Squatting is cool. Nuff said. (And who doesn't want a great back side)

11. You are tired of having small arms and a small chest.

12. The manboobs gotta go!

13. The flabby arms gotta go!

14. Because you can have a hand in forging your own destiny.

15. Your dedication always inspires someone. Go be inspirational.

16. You will feel more confident and in control.

17. Staying in shape helps you perform better in the bedroom.

18. Because you want to look young for your age, not old for your age.

19. At the gym you will be around folks with similar goals, and that is motivating. Just go, now.

20. Working out improves your sleep.

21. Working out improves your energy.

22. Going to the gym makes you feel better about that ice cream you ate last night.

23. Even if you only feel like doing a light workout, there's a good chance that you will gain momentum after those first few sets and have a killer workout.

24. Iron therapy solves a lot of problems.

25. It's time to release your inner sexy beast.

26. You shower every day so you don't stink. Now it's time to workout so your body doesn't stink.

27. Movement is living.

28. It's torture thinking about whether you should workout or not. Working out is easier than thinking about it for 4 straight hours. Get it over with.

29. Endorphins - Google them. A great anti-depressant.

30. The video games will be there when you get back.

31. So that if you ever meet Arnold Schwarzenegger, you can compare gunzzzz.

32. Because success in the gym helps create success in other areas of your life.

33. Exercise lowers blood pressure and is cheaper than medication.

34. Exercise reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes.

35. Regular exercise helps to keep you more hormonally balanced.

36. Resistance training also builds stronger bones.

37. Extra muscle increases your metabolism.

38. Exercise allows you to set your problems aside for an hour and pretend they don't exist. It's ok to take a break from the stresses of life.

39. You will look better at the beach. Duh!

40. Exercise slows joint degeneration that comes with age.

41. If you don't, you won't respect yourself.

42. You're tired of wearing black "because it's slimming."

43. Because your momma didn't raise a wimp.

44. Exercise helps you feel incredible no matter what you look like.

45. Sticking to your commitments will improve your self-esteem.

46. Helps to reduce lower back pain.

47. Exercise reduces visceral fat levels. You will not only look better, but increase your chances of living longer.

48. Because no one likes to gasp for air after walking up stairs.

49. Remember your childhood heroes and why you started lifting? It's time to be like your childhood heroes.

50. Exercise helps you to maintain a positive outlook.

41 Things You Should Never Do At A Commercial Gym

Yo, bro! It's time to clean up your act in the gym. These 41 tips might not help you become a better lifter, but they will help you gain respect and maybe even make a few friends.


Want to make friends (or not make enemies) and keep your gym membership? The follow is a list of 41 things you should never do at a commercial gym.
1. You should never... put 20 plates on the leg press and leave them there when you are done.
2. You should never... hock a giant yellow or green lugie into the water fountain and leave it there, stuck in the drain, gagging other members.
3. You should never... go to the gym in unwashed workout clothes, smelling like a cross between a post-game NFL locker room and a sewage plant.
4. You should never... sit on a piece of equipment and talk on the phone or text. You are there to lift, not to post social updates or text your epic workout sessions.
5. You should never... walk close to someone deadlifting, squatting, overhead pressing, power cleaning, etc. They are moving heavy weight. Don't distract or disrupt them.
6. You should never... hop in and use someone else's dumbbells or piece of equipment without asking if they are done.
7. You should never... sweat all over a bench or piece of equipment and not wipe it off. No one wants to swim in your salty discharge.
8. You should never... go into stalker mode and stare at girls working out or doing cardio. They notice, bro. They notice. Don't be a creeper.
9. You should never... load up the bench press beyond your one rep max and force a random stranger to spot you - correction, perform heavy barbell rows for you - while you stroke your ego by pretending you were actually moving the bar.
10. You should never... use chewing tobacco in the gym, and walk around spitting into a can.
11. You should never... curl in the squat rack. The squat rack is sacred. That is all you need to know. Save it for people that actually squat.
12. You should never... leave your dumbbells lying around after you're done. Re-rack your weights, amigo.
13. You should never... shadow box in between sets while standing right next to someone in the middle of a set.
14. You should never... assume a bigger lifter isn't natural, and ask them "what they take."
15. You should never... walk around the gym with your lats flared. This is ILS - Imaginary Lay Syndrome, and it is not allowed.
16. You should never... adjust your junk while everyone is watching.
17. You should never... perform 1/8th inch range of motion leg presses with 2,000 pounds while screaming bloody murder.
18. You should never... randomly go spot another lifter and start screaming IT'S ALL YOU BROOOOOOOOOOO!
19. You should never... correct someone's squat or deadlift form when you don't perform the lifts yourself.
20. You should never... sing loudly while wearing headphones. No one wants to hear you sing bro. No one.
21. You should never... walk up to a random stranger and tell them how to "tweak their workout" for better results.
22. You should never... wear a lifting belt while doing dumbbell tricep kickbacks or teacup laterals.
23. You should never... tell someone that deep squats are bad for their knees.
24. You should never... check your abs in the mirror between every set.
25. You should never... lift your shirt to wipe your face in between every set, so you can show everyone your abs.
26. You should never... ask a girl if she needs a spot on squats. She will let you know if she needs help, bro. She will let you know.
27. You should never... squat or deadlift on a Smith machine. It's wrong. All KINDS of wrong.
28. You should never... try to talk to someone while they are in the middle of a set.
29. You should never... try to talk to someone that has headphones in. If they wanted to talk to you, they would take the headphones out and talk to you.
30. You should never... play the game of "1 up" and tell someone that your high school buddies squatted 700 pounds and bench pressed 400 pounds. Quarter squats and bouncing bench press reps don't count.
31. You should never... do circuit training and hog up 5 stations during peak gym times.
32. You should never... unload someone else's barbell without knowing for certain they are done.
33. You should never... put your "boys" in someone's face when spotting on the bench press.
34. You should never... scream "light weight baby" during every set.
35. You should never... do anything on a bosu ball. They do not make exercises better, they make exercises dangerous.
36. You should never... work chest, biceps and abs 6 days a week.
37. You should never... bring a bag of McDonald's into the gym and eat it on a bench before your workout.
38. You should never... perform 1,000 crunches a day, hoping that six pack abs magically appear.
39. You should never... park your bench station for an exercise right in front of the dumbbell rack so other people can't pass by and find the dumbbells they need.
40. You should never... wear clothing that makes you look like a clown.
41. You should never... wear clothing that makes you look like 10 pounds of Jello in a 5 pound bag.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

8 REASONS WHY YOU FALL OFF THE WAGON

I just celebrated my birthday last July 21. Now, July 21 was the deadline date of the fitness goals I set last January and I have reached them and I am very happy and satisfied with the results I got.

The old me would've just stopped with all this working out, eating right stuff since, c'mon, I made it. I reached my goals. But the new me, who I am now, think of it more as the base or the foundation that I have built for further improvement. After my birthday, I admit I had a hard time recovering from my planned cheat day. First I was tempted to make it a cheat week, then I got all paranoid about getting fat again then back to the idea of eating what is not in my diet plan. What I did was give myself some tough love; asking myself "Am I really willing to sacrifice all of my investment for a piece of cake?" or "Better think of all that hard work going to waste...". After checking myself, I am now back on track and ready to work on my next fitness goals which is to become better than what I have achieved on my birthday.

My point is this, a lot of us fall of the diet and exercise wagon for a few reasons and we must learn to pinpoint this and correct it immediately before it is too late.

1. No focus: you didn't set goals, you didn't put your goals in  writing, and or you didn't keep your goals in mind daily (by reading them, affirming them, looking at a vision board, etc.)

2. No priorities:  you may have set a goal, but you didn't put it  on or near the top of your priorities list. For example, your goal is six pack abs, but drinking beer and eating fast food on the weekend is higher on your priorities list than having a flat stomach.

3. No support system: you tried to go at it alone; no buddy system,  training partners, family, spouse, friends, mentors or coaches to  turn to for information and emotional support when the going got tough.

4. No Accountability: you didn't keep score for your own  accountability - with a progress chart, weight record, measurements, food journal, training journal, and you didn't set up external  accountability (ie, report to someone else or show your results  to someone else)

5. No patience: you were only thinking short term and had unrealistic  expectations.  You expected 10 pounds a week or 5 pounds a week or 3 pounds a week, so the first week you lost "only" 1 or 2 pounds  or hit a plateau, you gave up.

6. No planning: you winged it.  You walked into the gym without  having a workout in hand, on paper, you didn't plan your workouts  into your weekly schedule; you didn't have a menu on paper, you  didn't make time (so instead you made excuses, like "I'm too busy")

7. No balance: your diet or training program was too extreme. You  went the all or nothing, "I want it now" route instead of the  moderate, slow-and-steady wins the race route.

8. No personalization: your nutrition or training program was the  wrong one for you. It might have worked for someone else, but it  didn't suit your schedule, personality, lifestyle, disposition or  body type.

So there you have it - 8 mistakes that cause most people to fall  off the wagon. Are you guilty of any of these transgressions? If so, the solutions are clear and simple:

Focus, prioritize, get support, be accountable, be patient, plan,  balance and personalize.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

OVERCOMING SELF-SABOTAGE

"Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn't happen." ~ Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby

The last week of June, four weeks before my goal's deadline and I am already planning my next goals; my goals for August which is to build/gain muscle or to "bulk up". Thank God, I realized that I am getting side-tracked from my original goals and sabotaging myself so I will not reach my goals on July before it was too late.
How did I catch myself doing self-sabotage? I noticed I was eating more, cheating more and justifying it as "refeed" or "I deserve a break" or "I had such a good workout, I deserve this."

I also identified with some reasons of self sabotage:

The main reasons for self-sabotaging behavior

  • The familiarity of 'failure'. Maybe I'm so used to situations not working out or taking second place that it feels easier to 'not set myself up with disappointment' by behaving in some way that either worsens or destroys something promising - a kind of 'better the devil you know'.
  • An unconscious need to be in control. If I feel something is bound to fail because it's 'too good to last', I might engineer its failure somehow so as to maintain a sense that we are still in control (because we caused it to fail) or I would set goals just below to what I really want (even if I know I could do better) just so I would be able to reach the goal and still be in control.
  • Feeling unworthy. Low self-esteem may drive people to feel they 'don't deserve' success or happiness.
  • Bad habits are so hard to break. Like excessive eating and drinking. I am guilty of emotional eating or eating because I'm happy, bored, sad. This habit is exacerbated when I have nicotine withdrawals which makes a bad habit a reason for another bad habit and I am trying to break these bad habits.
  • Need for excitement. It might be an otherwise perfect sunny afternoon and seemingly out of the blue, I become moody, go into a silent mood, or drag up some unrelated contentious issue from the past. Suddenly, the afternoon turns into a battleground.Sometimes, I think I am bipolar or I might feel I am bored and feel the 'need' to break the monotony. This 'excitement-seeking' is never a good thing. When I feel this coming up, I always remind myself that nothing new means nothing bad and I should be content.


I realize that I am doing these so I resolve that enough is enough. This behavior is unacceptable. I need to focus. I need to check myself. I deserve to reach my goal more than I deserve that piece of bread, more than that cup of ice cream, more than that food I started craving 5minutes ago. I have to see food as fuel, not as pleasure, not as rewards, not as comfort against all the negativity I get from my surroundings.

I am now on track. I have four short weeks to prove myself and I will not fail. God bless my plans so I will prosper. You have given me this strength, make me steadfast, make me stand tall. Amen.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

MUSCLE UP WITH CREATINE

I started another creatine cycle last June 3. And if there is one supplement that you use consistently, it should be creatine. Study after atudy confirms that is works to increase muscle size, strength, power and endurance. And new research continues to pile in that shows it has many benefits.

Researchers from Arak University (Iran) reported in a 2010 issue of the journal Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology that subjects taking creatine while on an eight-week weightlifting programme had significantly lower myostatin levels that those taking a placebo. Myostatin is a protein that he Iranian researchers concluded that since myostatin levels were lower in the subjects taking creatine, one way that creatine may work to increase muscle size and strength is by reducing myostatin levels. That, in turn, would reduce the limitation that this protein places on muscle growth.

POTASSIUM FOR HEALTH

Bananas have always been one of my go-to fruits, next to pineapples. When I kept reading experts saying to cut out fruits to achieve ultimate leanness, I was like "Uh-uh, no way,not bananas, not pineapples". What can I say, I stick to my favorites. Plus, bananas are a good source of potassium.

Health experts agree that ingesting proper amounts of potassium daily is goof for health. Potassium helps to lower blood pressure, lower risk of stroke, maintain muscle balance and prevent muscle cramping. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, a 400mg increase in potassium intake was associated with a 40% reduction in the risk of stroke-associated mortality.

One of the reasons is that potassium helps reduce the amount of sodium in the body. A study by the University of California and the University of Cambridge School of Medicine revealed as people consume more potassium, they excrete sodium, thus helping to keep blood pressure down

The correct amount of potassium depends on an individual's physical activity according to registered dieticaian Laurie Meyer. THe ideal recommended daily potassium intake is 2,700 to 3,500mg. But serious athletes and those who work in the heat quickly deplete potassium levels and need to compensate with up to 5,600mg. Intakes above that level or below 1,875 are not safe. Too much potassium can cause mental confusion, shortness of breath, anxiety, fatigue or heartbeat problems, which could result in sudden death.

Its always better to gaining potassium naturally, not through dietery supplements. Consuming potassium rich foods and beverages is the best way to gain necessay amounts of potassium without overdoing it. There are many alternatives through which average persons can meet the daily requirementsif they include five to six servings in their diet.

Following are a dozen sources that provide 400mg or more of potassium:

Here’s how many milligrams (mg) of potassium you'll get from these potassium-rich foods:                                              

  •     Winter squash, cubed, 1 cup, cooked: 896 mg
  •     Sweet potato, medium, baked with skin: 694 mg
  •     Potato, medium, baked with skin: 610 mg
  •     White beans, canned, drained, half cup: 595 mg
  •     Yogurt, fat-free, 1 cup: 579 mg
  •     Halibut, 3 ounces, cooked: 490 mg
  •     100% orange juice, 8 ounces: 496 mg
  •     Broccoli, 1 cup, cooked: 457 mg
  •     Cantaloupe, cubed, 1 cup: 431 mg
  •     Banana, 1 medium: 422 mg
  •     Pork tenderloin, 3 ounces, cooked: 382 mg
  •     Lentils, half cup, cooked: 366 mg
  •     Milk, 1% low fat, 8 ounces: 366 mg
  •     Salmon, farmed Atlantic, 3 ounces, cooked: 326 mg
  •     Pistachios, shelled, 1 ounce, dry roasted: 295 mg
  •     Raisins, quarter cup: 250 mg
  •     Chicken breast, 3 ounces, cooked: 218 mg
  •     Tuna, light, canned, drained, 3 ounces: 201 mg