Love Notes by Jari Love

Break These Bad Health Habits

by Jari Love

Are you health conscious? Good for you! If you exercise regularly, eat whole foods, keep up to date on the latest health concerns, don’t binge on sugar and have cut out all processed and fast foods, well, then, you are doing better than most people.

 However, you may still have some bad habits that are preventing you from achieving the body and lifestyle you would like. Based on my experiences with clients, I have put together a list of the top 5 bad health habits, even health conscious people make. If you find one or more of these habits apply to you, try to break your bad habit and watch the huge benefits in your life and on your body. 

  1. You’re Dehydrated

Dehydration is when more fluid leaves your body than is taken in. Seems simple right? But, roughly 75% of the population is chronically dehydrated. When was the last time you drank at least 8 glasses of water in a day? 

Dehydration causes a whole host of symptoms including: fatigue, headache, nausea, irritability—and in severe cases death. Hopefully you are never so dehydrated that the last symptom listed here is a problem for you, but I put it down so that you know dehydration has serious consequences on our bodies. Our bodies need water in order to function efficiently and this is true of our weight loss goals as well. Dehydration actually slows down your metabolism—which hinders weight loss. 

Don’t wait until you are thirsty, or your mouth feels dry to drink. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Begin each day with a large glass of lemon water to kick-start your system and keep drinking throughout the day. Keep a full water bottle with you during the day and constantly rehydrate throughout the day. Get into the habit of drinking a full glass of water before every meal and snack You shouldn’t wait until the feeling of thirst or dry mouth hits you, at that point damage has already been done. Instead, constantly rehydrate throughout your day to avoid dehydration. 

The best way to do this is to incorporate water into your daily schedule. Have a water bottle at your desk and train yourself to sip on it often, and get into the habit of drinking a full glass of water with each meal and snack. If water isn’t really your thing, try adding some lemon, cucumber, ginger mint leaves or orange slices to flavor it. 

  1. You Eat Out Too Often

In today’s hectic world it is easy and convenient to eat out, order take out or pick up something “quick” on the way home. Research suggests that most people eat out one out of every 4 meals and snacks. That’s an average of once a day. 

Even when you order healthy items, or choose places to eat that are health conscious, you are taking in more calories than if you had prepared the same meal at home. Restaurant food is designed to taste good, and the reason it tastes so good is that the food is often loaded with fat, sugar, salt, or some combination of those three. 

Healthy and quick meals are relatively easy to do with a little preparation. On the weekend sit down and plan out your meals for the week. Then go to the grocery store and stock up on everything you’ll need for those meals. You can even prepare make- ahead meals for the week and put them in the freezer, or invest in a slow cooker. Prepare your meals the night before, turn on your slow cooker in the morning and have a healthy and delicious hot dinner waiting for you when you get home. Pack your lunch and snacks each night before bed, then grab it on your way out the door in the morning. When you prepare dinner at home, make enough for at least the next day as well. Your efforts will pay off both in terms of weight loss and in money saved. 

  1. You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

You’ve heard it before, you’ll hear it again—sleep deprivation leads to a whole host of health issues, including weight gain. 

Do you feel tired in the middle of the day or early afternoon, or do you crave something sweet to help pick you up around 11 am? If yes, then you are one of the 56% of adults who, according to polls are not getting enough sleep. By enough sleep I mean at least 7-8 hours of good quality rest! When you fail to meet this need your body goes into sleep debt, which continues to accumulate indefinitely until you catch up. 

A lack of sleep negatively affects your immune system, your nervous system, and interferes with healthy hormone release and cellular repairs. Lack of sleep can affect your memory, concentration and reaction time. It can also have more serious consequences like an increased risk of serious diseases. 

If you have trouble falling asleep once you’re in bed, then try these tips. Sleep in complete darkness, don’t eat before bed, Avoid stimulating foods like caffeine or alcohol (yes, contrary to popular belief alcohol actually disrupts, rather than aids sleep), and also try sleeping in a cooler room temperature—cooler temperatures mimic the body’s natural sleep patterns, so a cooler room temperature may help prepare your body for sleep. 

  1. You’re Stressed Out

I don’t have to tell you that we are living in a fast-paced world and that most of us have stress levels that are through the roof. But what you might not realize is that your stress levels are making you fat. 

All types of stress cause a physiological response in our bodies. An increase in stress will kick-start your adrenal glands to release adrenalin and cortisol. This is a problem because is slows your metabolism, leads to cravings and is linked to greater levels of abdominal fat storage. 

One of the most effective ways to instantly eliminate stress is to sit down and write out a list of all the things that are bothering you. This should include things that you need to get done, issues that weigh on your mind and anything you believe contributes to your stress level. 

Once it’s all down on paper, organize it like a to-do list and start resolving each item. Doing so will get the stress off of your mind and will put your body into the motion of resolving each issue. 

Get some good sleep—sleep helps to regulate your cortisol levels. 

  1. Your Workouts are Always the Same

Did you know that your body can adapt to a workout in as little as 20 sessions? If you are not constantly challenging your body, then plateaus can occur where you don’t see any improvement and may actually see a regression in your weight loss efforts you’re your exercise routine feels comfortable, then chances are you are not getting the results you want. 

You don’t have to increase the amount of time that you spend exercising in order to see quicker, faster results. It’s all about challenging your body. To keep your body guessing try switching up the order of your exercises, the intensity at which you work out, the type of exercise you are performing, or do something totally new. If you regularly use weight machines then start using free weights. If you normally jog on the treadmill then start using the bike.

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Cardio Moves That Aren’t Running

by Jari Love

The cardio workout anti-runners will love.

We don’t all need to slap a 13.1 sticker on the back of our cars to feel good about a tough workout. In fact, contrary to what many runners would have you believe, running isn’t a requirement for staying healthy. 

While running has many benefits, if you’re just looking to keep your heart healthy while attaining a toned physique, any exercise (or series of exercises) will do. All that’s necessary is sustaining said exercises for a prolonged period of time. 

How long, you ask? 

That depends. Most “cardio workouts” typically last 30 to 60 minutes, but if you ramp up the intensity — à la high-intensity interval training or Tabata workouts — you can get a killer workout in as little as 20 minutes or less. 

To give it a try, choose any four of the 16 following exercises. Perform each exercise as a Tabata: putting in all-out effort for 20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds rest, for eight sets. Each Tabata lasts four minutes. Rest one minute between Tabatas. 

After this 20-minute workout, check back in. I guarantee you’ll be sweaty, tired and out of breath. The perfect cardio solution — no running required. 

  1. Inchworms

From a standing position, roll your torso forward and reach your hands to the ground. Walk your hands out in front of you until your body forms a plank, then reverse the movement and return to standing. 

Bonus: Add a push-up at the bottom. 

  1. Mountain climbers

Start in a plank position, then bend one knee, drawing it to your chest and planting the ball of the same foot in a forward position. In one movement, hop both feet into the air, supporting your weight on your palms and switching the position of your legs. Extend the bent knee and bend the extended knee. Continue hopping your feet back and forth as fast as you can. 

  1. Burpees

Stand tall, feet hip-distance apart, knees slightly bent. Bend forward, plant your palms on the ground just in front of your feet and hop your feet backward in a single movement to a plank position. Immediately hop your feet forward again and return to standing. 

Bonus: Add a push-up when you’re in the plank position and add a jump as you return to standing. 

  1. Broad jumps

Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, knees slightly bent, your weight in your heels. Squat down, pressing your hips back as you swing your arms behind you. Then in a powerful movement, press from your heels through the balls of your feet as you swing your arms forward and jump as far forward as you possibly can, landing softly on your heels with your knees bent. Turn around and immediately do another broad jump back to start. 

  1. Squat jumps

The squat jump is just like the broad jump, but instead of jumping as far as you can, you’re jumping as high as you can. Make sure you’re using proper jumping form and landing with “soft” knees — slightly bent to absorb the impact. 

  1. Grapevine

Takin’ you back to your elementary school dance curriculum. Simply step out laterally with your right foot, cross your left foot in front, step out again with your right foot and cross your left foot behind. Immediately reverse the movement, leading with your left foot. Continue “grapevining” back and forth. 

  1. Side shuffles

Like the grapevine, you’re moving laterally to the left and right, but this time you’re not crossing your legs as you move back and forth. Step to the right with your right foot and bring your left foot to meet it, then step to the right again. Shuffle a few steps to the right, then reverse and shuffle back to the left. 

  1. Washing machine hops

Stand with your feet together, knees slightly bent. Bend your elbows and clench your fists, holding them in front of your body. Hop into the air and twist your legs and hips to the right while keeping your torso facing forward, landing with your feet together and knees bent. Immediately jump into the air and twist your legs and hips all the way to the left. Continue twisting your lower body from left to right repeatedly. 

  1. Skaters

Stand with knees bent in an athletic position, your arms in front of your body. Step to the right with your right foot and cross your left foot back and behind the right foot as you swing your left arm down to the ground to touch your right foot. Immediately reverse the movement, hopping to the left and leading with your left foot. But, this time cross your right foot behind your left, reaching across and down with your right hand to touch your left foot. Continue this “speed skating” motion from left to right. Remember to keep your core tight and torso straight to protect your low back. 

  1. Jumping jacks

You know how to do these! Hop both legs outward from your midline while swinging your arms out and over your head, then hop your feet back to center as you swing your arms back down to your sides. Continue jumping as fast as you can. 

  1. Frog push-up to low squat

This one’s a toughie! Get down on your hands and knees, planting the balls of your feet on the ground. Press through your feet and palms, lifting your knees from the ground. Bend your elbows into a mini push-up as you simultaneously rotate your hips outward from midline, almost like a frog, pointing your knees out to the sides. 

Press yourself back up, then hop your feet forward — outside your palms — picking your hands up off the ground to enter into a low squat position. Hold for a second, then return to start. 

  1. Bear crawl

This one starts just like the frog push-up. Balance on the balls of your feet and your palms, your knees just off the ground. Maintaining this position, step forward with one hand, then one foot, then your other hand and other foot, crawling forward with your knees off the ground while your back remains low and flat (Don’t let your butt point up to the sky!). Take several steps forward, then several steps backward and continue. 

  1. Crab walk

Flip that bear crawl over for the crab walk. Balance on your palms and feet, your butt off the ground and take several steps forward, then several steps back.

  1. March and twist

Stand tall and march in place — high knees, please! — while simultaneously twisting your torso. Aim to touch your opposite elbow to the knee you’re lifting. 

  1. Hacky sacks

Remember hacky sacks? Pretend you’re playing a game without the ball itself. As you lift one leg, rotate your knee outward so the inside of your foot crosses in front of the standing leg. Reach down to tap the inside of your lifted foot with the opposite hand. Lower your foot to the ground and repeat on the opposite side. Try to pick up your pace and hop from side to side as you perform the exercise. 

  1. Cross jacks

Very similar to traditional jumping jacks, cross jacks are exactly what they sound like: jumping jacks with a cross-body component. Start with your arms and legs spread wide like a star fish, then hop your feet toward your midline, crossing your left foot in front of your right as you simultaneously cross your left arm in front of your right. Reverse the movement: Hop back to start, then hop inward again. This time crossing your right leg in front of your left and your right arm over your left.

 via sheknows.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Why Is Sugar So Bad for Us?

by Jari Love

Sugar is an addiction, and the worst part is most of us don’t even know how much sugar we are ingesting during the day. Sugar somehow sneaks into all kinds of products. Baked goods and desserts are of course obvious culprits, but what about your cereals, yogurts, granola bars, breads, soups, dressings and pasta sauces? If your food is coming out of a box, bag, jar or wrapper chances are it has hidden sugar. Let’s get rid of our processed foods and switch to whole fresh foods!

 Sugar contains no essential nutrients. We all know it contributes to weight gain, but did you also know that high sugar consumption has been linked to chronic and debilitating diseases like diabetes, cancer, liver disease and even heart disease? There is no doubt that in excess highly processed and refined sugars can significantly damage our bodies’ systems and can suppress our immune systems lowering our chances of fighting off colds, flu and other viruses.

 Not only does it promote rapid fat storage, here are sugar’s other dirty little secrets:

  • Sugar weakens Your immune system
  • Sugar causes insulin resistance
  • Sugar is as addictive as hard drugs
  • Sugar speeds up the aging process
  • Sugar raises your risk of disease
  • Sugar is empty calories 

The good news is you don’t have to give up sweet things entirely. There are many wholesome sweeteners available like fruit, stevia, raw coconut sugar, and raw honey. Just remember because these sweeteners are higher in nutrients and lower on the glycemic index than white or brown sugar doesn’t mean you get a free pass to eat as much as you want. Add these sweeteners sparingly to enjoy their health benefits.

Try this make ahead dairy and sugar free Banana-Peach ice cream with raspberry sauce to keep in the freezer for the next time you are craving something a little sweet. 

Raspberry sauce

1 cup raspberries

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1tsp coconut sugar (optional)

1 tbs chia seeds 

  1. Puree all ingredients together in high speed mixer until smooth. Pour into serving jug and refrigerate at least 4 hours (this will give the sauce time to thicken), if you are short on time you can still use the sauce, but it will be runnier than the chilled version.

 

Banana-Peach ice cream

4 very ripe bananas

1 ripe peach

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

 1 Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. Transfer to a container and keep in the freezer until needed. Serve with raspberry sauce.

 ENJOY!

 Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Transform Stress Out of Your Life

by Jari Love

This one simple trick could transform your stressed-out life

Changing how you talk about the negative things in your life can have a surprisingly positive effect

 You were wronged, or something awful happened. Maybe you’re worried about something that might happen. How many times do you tell the same negative story over and over again to whoever will listen? Bad things do happen — but harping on them is the energetic equivalent of taking a bath in dirty water. It’s not likely to help you feel better, no matter how hard you try!

 When you keep telling negative stories, you’re marinating in those feelings of anger, fear, guilt and resentment. Your mind, spirit and body can’t differentiate between present events, past events or something happening in real time.

 Your body often sends out stress hormones, such as cortisol and epinephrine, as you talk about traumatic past events or worry about future ones. Over time, as these hormones flow through your bloodstream, you may experience health issues. Stress hormones are thought to trigger increased blood pressure and heart rate, tightening and tension of your muscles (back pain, anyone?), stomachaches, headaches, weight gain, slower healing and other health problems.

I believe that when we marinate in the negative stories of our lives, we stay stuck in the energetic vibration of those awful stories as well. Ever heard of the Law of Attraction? I’ve found that, as I talk about the negativity, more negativity comes my way. When I shift to the positive, I raise my vibration for positivity to find me.

 You might be thinking, “But this is how I process. I need to talk about it to work through it!” I agree that processing is important. But there’s a difference between “working through” and “dwelling on.”

 So, how do you stop “dwelling on” and tell a different story?

 Let’s say somebody was awful to you and you can’t stop thinking about how they wronged you. You’re not able to forgive yet —that’s okay. But you can begin telling a different story by saying, “I am opening my heart to forgive this person, in time.” Do you feel the shift of those words?

 Instead of saying, “I have no money,” say instead, “I can’t wait to see where the money shows up to pay my bills.”

 Instead of saying, “I am trying so hard to meet someone,” say instead, “Whoever is meant to be my love — we will find each other.”

 Instead of saying, “I have so many health issues,” say instead, “My body wants to heal.”

 I know it might feel tough to do, but just a simple shift in the story you tell yourself will improve the health of your mind and soul — and possibly even your body, in time. Switching to the positive will make you feel instantly better, just like you do when you bathe in clean water!

 What stories are you telling yourself?

 via sheknows.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Weight Gain while training for a marathon

by Jari Love

“Weight gain is very common in marathon training, especially in first-time distance runners,” says Carissa Bealert, a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified personal trainer and race announcer. She says, “First-time runners start [marathon training] as a ‘bucket list’ item with the notion that they’ll definitely lose weight due to all the extra activity and miles they’re running.” It’s true, I’ve seen this with a few of my personal training clients over the years. This is a real problem that affects many people starting to train for marathons. It is quite discouraging if you take up training for long distance running to lose weight, and you end up gaining weight. Read on for an explanation…

 And she’s not talking about a few extra pounds due to muscle gain, but adding pounds of fat despite the grueling training regimen. “Training for and completing a marathon is no easy task,” suggests Bealert. She continues, “Training for a marathon and trying to lose weight is like trying to serve two different masters.”

“Most new runners, particularly those who are trying to lose weight, start out with relatively poor eating habits,” says Kim Watkins, running and functional fitness coach and CEO of inShape Fitness. She explains that despite the body’s need for more calories to keep up with the increase in exercise, many first-time marathon trainers reach for “reckless carbohydrate products,” which “curtails the body’s ability to utilize stored fat as its energy source.”

 Watkins mentions that the “reckless carbohydrates” in a runner’s diet can be due to “poor replenishment choices,” including sugary sports drinks — a favorite beverage choice among marathon trainers. “Marathoners often consume sugary sports drinks and other food products that promote the idea of hydration, but add calories in the process,” she adds.

 Bealert adds that weight gain may also just boil down to overestimating and overeating. “We runners, myself included, love to use a long run as an excuse to eat our favorite ‘not-so-healthy’ foods,” she says. Clarifying, she adds, “You may burn 1600 calories on a 16-mile run, but it’s not that cut and dry. Add in a 300-calorie breakfast, 200 calories of fuel during the run, 100 calories of sports drink and 200 calories of banana and protein post run. You’ve just consumed about half of your calorie burn, however when you sit down to your burger, fries and beers, you are overeating and extra calories equal weight gain.”

 Since gaining weight is likely not the result you’re hoping for after months of hard work and training, you need to be aware of what you’re eating. “Make good food choices even though you are burning more calories,” advises Dr. Scott Weiss, a licensed physical therapist, board-certified athletic trainer, registered exercise physiologist and advanced personal trainer.

 He points out, “Just because your hunger levels spike, and your calorie burn is high, it doesn’t mean it’s time to snack on ice cream and cake. Maintaining a sense of discipline with your food intake while training will prevent any unexpected weight gain from calories.”

 Weiss also shared that during rigorous training, your body becomes better at storing carbohydrates for energy so making good food choices is important — even if you’re not actively running. “When you are plateauing in your training, or your training goes down, be very conscious of your food intake, and really only reach for what you need,” he adds.

 What you eat isn’t the only thing you need to be aware of when you’re training for a marathon. Water and a healthy electrolyte balance are a part of the puzzle too. “Drink plenty of water,” advises Brandon Roberts, M.S., certified strength and conditioning specialist and exercise physiologist.

 He continues, “Even up to a gallon [of water] a day is fine. Also, try to consume a 3:1 ratio of sodium to potassium — like Gatorade — before and after your runs,” which may help with any weight gain due to water retention.

 What you eat before and after your race is just as important as what you eat while you train. “The body needs fuel post-run with a balanced meal of protein, fat and carbohydrates within two hours,” recommends Emily Bailey, registered and licensed dietitian, board-certified specialist in sports dietetics and director of nutrition coaching at NutriFormance & Athletic Republic St. Louis.

 She adds, “When someone is unable to eat after a run, later they become starving and when we are that hungry, the rational to make a healthy choice or portion is difficult and we overeat.” That means committing to making healthy food choices needs to be made a large part of training as well as how many miles your shoes take you.

 If you’re struggling with meeting your nutritional and caloric demands while training for a marathon, seeking professional guidance is always a smart choice. “Meet with a registered sports dietitian to learn your individual fueling needs for training. Look for those who have the credentials R.D., L.D. and C.S.S.D. or a master’s degree in sports nutrition,” says Bailey.

Via sheknows.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Benefits of Eating Clean

by Jari Love

What does it mean to eat clean? Here’s an even better question: What really happens to your body when you jump on the clean eating bandwagon?

 Clean eating is a buzzword that you have seen used by celebrities and thrown around in hashtags on Facebook. Simply put, clean eating means: Don’t eat crap. “Crap” may be defined as processed foods, grain-fed meats, dairy, starchy carbohydrates and sugar, depending on which diet you ascribe to.

 Clean eating can be as complicated as you make it. For me, clean eating translates to eating fresh, whole foods (with as many vegetables as possible), making every meal count with high-quality nutrients and, of course, cutting the crap.

 More than a year after drastically changing my diet, I can personally vouch for 10 unexpected clean eating “side effects”:

  1. Better mood

While I still struggle with mood swings at a certain time of the month, my overall outlook and general happiness have improved after cleaning up my diet. As Drew Ramsey, M.D., The Happiness Diet co-author and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, explains in Yoga Journal, how you feel is directly affected by what you eat. He says, “Emotions begin in biology, with two nerve cells rubbing together, and those nerve cells are made of nutrients in food.”

  1. Boundless energy

Here’s all the proof you need: Even as a working mother of two toddlers, my energy soared after I quit eating processed foods. Devon D. Herndon, L.P.C.C., L.A.D.A.C., N.B.C.T., C.P.T., of BeMeBetter cites an energy boost as one of the prime outcomes of eating clean, saying, “If you are chronically exhausted or experience a post-lunch midday slump, it could very well be your diet. Diets that are high in refined sugar and carbs cause dramatic spikes in blood sugar. They might provide a temporary surge in energy, but it is followed by a crash.”

  1. Deeper sleep

Eat better, sleep deeper — what more can you ask for? The Balanced Brunette explains, “Vitamins and minerals found in whole foods will allow your body to regulate hormonal function throughout the day and promote deeper sleep at night. Eating healthy foods will also calm your nervous system and trigger a sleep-inducing hormonal response which helps you rest better at night.”

  1. Fewer cravings

From personal experience, I can tell you that clean eating takes a while to get used to, but the longer you do it, the better your body responds. Sugar and carbohydrate cravings may be a struggle at the outset, but months later, you’ll find it hard to muster up a taste for a sweet treat.

  1. Flat stomach

When asked about the good side effects of clean eating on the Bodybuilding forum, user Ayekay put feeling leaner and less bloated at the top of his list. In translation, if you want your pants to fit better, load up your plate with Mother Nature’s foods.

  1. Gorgeous hair

Looking for long, luscious locks that would make a Pantene model jealous? The Lean Clean Eating Machine says that plant-based foods are the secret — specifically, radishes, pumpkin seeds, dulse and carrots.

  1. Higher self-esteem

What are the pros of clean eating? One Redditor keeps it short and sweet: “I feel better about myself, [along with] knowing I’m getting all the goodness of micronutrients.”

  1. Perfect poop

Sorry, but I had to go there. As Wellness Mama points out, bowel movements are a prime indicator of your inner health. Clean eating yields cleaner poop with a digestive tract that is neither moving too fast nor too slow.

  1. Radiant skin

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and refined sugar is its enemy. The Clean Eating Survival Guide stresses that a no sugar diet is the number one rule for a clear complexion.

  1. Raging libido

According to Cosmo, Gwyneth Paltrow attributed the state of her union to her clean living. Though dear Gwynnie is now consciously uncoupled, research still proves that nutrient-rich foods, like asparagus and watermelon, can help to heat things up in between the sheets.

 via sheknows.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Steps to Eliminate Belly Fat for Good

by Jari Love

Belly fat is something that a lot of people complain about. Why? There are the obvious reasons, such as the fact that it is unattractive and unhealthy, and then there are the less obvious reasons. For instance, belly fat is some of the toughest fat to eliminate from the body.

When you start to understand how and why the body places fat around the abdominal area, however, it can help you to begin to get rid of it “for good”.

The body uses the calories or energy (same thing) that you consume in a few ways. The energy that it gets from fat is something it knows how to use up (burn) almost immediately. The energy that comes from carbohydrates might head directly into storage. This ends up as fat around the body and even on the organs of the trunk or midsection.

Considering the source of calories is a useful way to almost immediately reduce the chances for midsection fat storage. Cut your daily caloric intake of carbohydrates to around 40% or less of total calories.

Do BOTH cardio and strengthening. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that a lot of cardio is the best way to blast belly fat, but the truth is that people with a higher volume of muscle will always burn calories as they exercise and for a much longer period of time afterward. So, when you want to really tap into any stored fat (whether visible or visceral) you will want to work on strengthening as well as cardio.

Go for fiber in the daily diet. Studies have shown that people who begin consuming around ten grams of soluble fiber each day (and without making any other changes in their diets) will become far less likely to develop belly fat. That translates to a large apple, a handful of cooked beans, or a full cup of peas.

Get more sleep and less stress. Though this has very little to do with diet and exercise, if you are not properly rested and living with too much stress, it will trigger the body to store fat. This is the type of fat that usually appears on organs and the midsection.

So, with just a few fairly simple facts, you can begin to make the changes needed to eliminate belly fat, and keep it off forever.

Source: Martin, Laura J., “How to Lose Belly Fat”, WebMD

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

What’s Better for Weight Loss: Diet or Exercise?

by Jari Love

When you set your sights on weight loss, the formula seems easy: work out more, eat less. But a new study in the International Journal of Epidemiology shows that it might be more about what you eat, putting truth to the idiom “abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.”

In 2013, researchers from Loyola University began looking into the relative power of diet and exercise as they relate to moving the scale. They thought they’d discover that exercise would prove to be a crucial component for weight loss. Two years later, though, the science shows that the largest driver behind obesity is not how sedentary people are but instead how poor their diet is.

“Physical activity is crucially important for improving overall health and fitness levels, but there is limited evidence to suggest that it can blunt the surge in obesity,” the study authors explained. Why? The more you work out, the more your appetite increases.

Of course, this new Loyola study isn’t the first to come to this conclusion. Research has consistently shown for years now that exercise doesn’t necessarily lead to weight loss. In a meta-analysis published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics last year, for example, researchers found that people only lost noticeable weight if they combined exercise and calorie restriction.

This is the problem with most weight-loss advice, the Loyola researchers said, which often puts statements like “take the stairs instead of the elevator” or “walk 10,000 steps a day” on par with calorie restriction. Study authors Richard S. Cooper, M.D., and Amy Luke, Ph.D., said they’re not trying to drive people away from fitness, but rather expose problems with current health campaigns. Take this new one funded by Coca-Cola—it (falsely!) emphasizes exercise over a healthy diet.

But don’t you dare drop your gym membership! Being active has a ton of benefits that go far beyond what the scale says. Increasing your strength and endurance has been shown to help prevent cancer, improve mental health, help diabetes, and help you live longer. Plus, research shows that dieters who exercise are better able to maintain weight loss and are also able to lose fat while keeping valuable muscle. You just need to make sure you’re logging your gym time and your food intake.

via shape.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Food Myths Revealed

by Jari Love

It goes like this: A client looking to lead a healthier life hires me, a nutritionist, to help him improve his diet. I analyze what he’s been eating, factor in his food preferences, and together we create an eating plan that fits his lifestyle and goals. Soon after, he’s noticeably leaner and more energetic—a happy customer.

 That’s when the trouble starts. After a coworker asks him for the details of his diet, my client suddenly finds himself in a heated interrogation. Doesn’t your nutritionist know red meat causes cancer? And that potatoes cause diabetes? Shouldn’t he tell you to eat less salt, to prevent high blood pressure?

 That’s because nutrition misinformation fools people into being confused and frustrated in their quest to eat healthily, even if they’re already achieving great results.

 Thankfully, you’re about to be enlightened by science. Here are 5 food myths you can forget about for good.

Myth #1: “High protein intake is harmful to your kidneys.”

The origin: Back in 1983, researchers first discovered that eating more protein increases your “glomerular filtration rate,” or GFR. Think of GFR as the amount of blood your kidneys are filtering per minute. From this finding, many scientists made the leap that a higher GFR places your kidneys under greater stress.

What science really shows: Nearly 2 decades ago, Dutch researchers found that while a protein-rich meal did boost GFR, it didn’t have an adverse effect on overall kidney function. In fact, there’s zero published research showing that downing hefty amounts of protein—specifically, up to 1.27 grams per pound of body weight a day—damages healthy kidneys.

The bottom line: As a rule of thumb, shoot to eat your target body weight in grams of protein daily. For example, if you’re a chubby 200 pounds and want to be a lean 180, then have 180 grams of protein a day. Likewise if you’re a skinny 150 pounds but want to be a muscular 180.

Myth #2: “Sweet potatoes are better for you than white potatoes.”

The origin: Because most Americans eat the highly processed version of the white potato—for instance, french fries and potato chips—consumption of this root vegetable has been linked to obesity and an increased diabetes risk.

Meanwhile, sweet potatoes, which are typically eaten whole, have been celebrated for being rich in nutrients and also having a lower glycemic index than their white brethren.

What science really shows: White potatoes and sweet potatoes have complementary nutritional differences; one isn’t necessarily better than the other. For instance, sweet potatoes have more fiber and vitamin A, but white potatoes are higher in essential minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and potassium.

As for the glycemic index, sweet potatoes are lower on the scale, but baked white potatoes typically aren’t eaten without cheese, sour cream, or butter. These toppings all contain fat, which lowers the glycemic index of a meal.

The bottom line: The form in which you consume a potato—for instance, a whole baked potato versus a processed potato that’s used to make chips—is more important than the type of spud.

Myth #3: “Red meat causes cancer.”

The origin: In a 1986 study, Japanese researchers discovered cancer developing in rats that were fed “heterocyclic amines,” compounds that are generated from overcooking meat under high heat. And since then, some studies of large populations have suggested a potential link between meat and cancer.

What science really shows: No study has ever found a direct cause-and-effect relationship between red-meat consumption and cancer. As for the population studies, they’re far from conclusive. That’s because they rely on broad surveys of people’s eating habits and health afflictions, and those numbers are simply crunched to find trends, not causes.

The bottom line: Don’t stop grilling. Meat lovers who are worried about the supposed risks of grilled meat don’t need to avoid burgers and steak; rather, they should just trim off the burned or overcooked sections of the meat before eating.

Myth #4: “High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is more fattening than regular sugar is.”

The origin: In a 1968 study, rats that were fed large amounts of fructose developed high levels of fat in their bloodstreams.

Then, in 2002, University of California at Davis researchers published a well-publicized paper noting that Americans’ increasing consumption of fructose, including that in HFCS, paralleled our skyrocketing rates of obesity.

What science really shows: Both HFCS and sucrose—better known as table sugar—contain similar amounts of fructose. For instance, the two most commonly used types of HFCS are HFCS-42 and HFCS-55, which are 42 and 55% fructose, respectively.

Sucrose is almost chemically identical, containing 50% fructose. This is why the University of California at Davis scientists determined fructose intakes from both HFCS and sucrose.

The truth is, there’s no evidence to show any differences in these two types of sugar. Both will cause weight gain when consumed in excess.

The bottom line: HFCS and regular sugar are empty-calorie carbohydrates that should be consumed in limited amounts. How? By keeping soft drinks, sweetened fruit juices, and prepackaged desserts to a minimum.

Myth #5: “Salt causes high blood pressure and should be avoided.”

The origin: In the 1940s, a Duke University researcher named Walter Kempner, MD, became famous for using salt restriction to treat people with high blood pressure. Later, studies confirmed that reducing salt could help reduce hypertension.

What science really shows: Large-scale scientific reviews have determined there’s no reason for people with normal blood pressure to restrict their sodium intake.

Now, if you already have high blood pressure, you may be “salt sensitive.” As a result, reducing the amount of salt you eat could be helpful. However, it’s been known for the past 20 years that people with high blood pressure who don’t want to lower their salt intake can simply consume more potassium-containing foods. Why? Because it’s really the balance of the two minerals that matters.

In fact, Dutch researchers determined that a low potassium intake has the same impact on your blood pressure as high salt consumption does. And it turns out, the average guy consumes 3,100 milligrams (mg) of potassium a day—1,600 mg less than recommended.

The bottom line: Strive for a potassium-rich diet, which you can achieve by eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and legumes. For instance, spinach, broccoli, bananas, white potatoes, and most types of beans each contain more than 400 mg potassium per serving.

via prevention.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

By Collage Video | | 0 comments | Read more

Vegetarian Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles Recipe

by Jari Love

Do you love meatballs but are looking for a healthy or vegetarian alternative? These bite-size, meat-free meatballs will do just the trick without leaving your taste buds deprived.

Sautéed vegetables are combined with cooked quinoa, Italian breadcrumbs and flax “eggs” that act as a binder for these meatless meatballs. They’re perfect for those who eat a plant-based, vegan diet or for sneaking in some vegetables for picky eaters.

The whole family will enjoy this Italian dish gone veggie friendly. We enjoy serving ours over fresh spiralized zucchini noodles, but you can certainly use pasta if desired. Look for a spiralizer online or in most home goods stores.

Quinoa-veggie meatballs over zucchini noodles recipe

This vegan dish uses quinoa and vegetables that are formed into “meat”balls and then baked and served over zucchini noodles for an easy healthy dinner.

Serves: 6

Prep time: 25 minutes | Cook time: 45 minutes | Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseeds 
  • 1/4 cup hot water 
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced 
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms 
  • 2 carrots, chopped 
  • 2 celery stalks 
  • 4 garlic cloves 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa 
  • 1/2 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs 
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried Italian herbs 
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast 
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar tomato pasta sauce 
  • 4 large zucchini 
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, combine the flaxseeds and hot water. Mix well, and let sit for 5 minutes. Using a spiralizer, prepare the zucchini noodles, transfer them to a large bowl, and set them aside until ready to use.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables, garlic and olive oil. Season with onion powder, salt and pepper, and cook the vegetables until tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. To the bowl of a food processor, add the flax mixture, quinoa, breadcrumbs, herbs, nutritional yeast and roasted vegetables.
  5. Pulse the mixture several times to blend and chop until the desired consistency is reached. (If the mixture is too sticky to handle, add a few tablespoons of breadcrumbs.)
  6. Roll the mixture into balls, keeping them uniform in size. Bake the meatballs for 20 to 25 minutes or until firm.
  7. Once baked, add the meatballs to a saucepot, and cover with the jar of tomato sauce. Simmer until warm, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Divide the zucchini noodles among bowls, and top with the meatballs and tomato sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley, and serve.

via sheknows.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

By Collage Video | | Healthy, Jari Love, Recipe, tips, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more
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