Love Notes by Jari Love

Posts in the health category

Portion Control: Save Calories with One Change

by Jari Love

In a world overrun by crazy restrictive diets, miserable juice plans, and weight loss pills, it’s easy to forget about one simple concept: portion control. But new research shows that making this one change—or paying more attention to how much you eat rather than what you eat (or don’t eat)—is the gold standard if you want to lose weight. In fact, scientists at Cambridge University in the UK have found that cutting back on serving size alone can help Americans eat an average of 527 fewer calories per day, resulting in a weight loss of one pound per week, all from by reducing portion size. 

How does this happen? Researchers crunched the numbers on more than 60 studies on food intake to find that the bigger portion sizes that are now so commonplace in our society have caused us all to eat more, regardless of our gender, hunger levels, how thin or fat we are, or amount of self-reported willpower. In particular, they found that supersized portions can add more than 500 calories to each of our plates every day, which has only helped to make us fatter… and fatter. 

“The message is that, however it happens, reducing the amounts of food that end up in front of us in the first place is key [to weight loss],” says Gareth Hollands, PhD, senior research associate at Cambridge University School of Clinical Medicine and coauthor of the paper. 

But there’s one big problem: The first and only step of portion control—eat less—is notoriously difficult to do. So how do you accomplish the feat? Here are the top meal-reshaping, fat-blasting tips from Lisa Young, PhD, author of The Portion Teller. 

  1. Forget about portions when you eat out, because restaurants are notorious for serving oversize meals. Resolve before you even walk into a restaurant to split an entrée, supplementing with a salad or veggie side dish. Avoid all-you-can-eat deals like the plague, and wait to have your cocktail until after your meal, since alcohol is proven to trigger overeating. 
  1. Downsize your plates and glasses to smaller tableware, which will go a long way in reducing how much food ends up on your plate. 
  1. Most of us, even the healthiest, weight-conscientious of eaters, are serving ourselves WAY too much food, without even realizing it. 
  1. Fill half your plate with low-calorie, fiber-rich fruits and veggies that aren’t dripping in butter or cream sauce (herbs and spices are your friends!), using one-quarter of your plate for a lean protein and the final quarter for sweet potatoes or a whole grain like brown rice. 
  1. Plate your meal in the kitchen and keep serving dishes there so that you’re forced to get up for seconds rather than reach across the table. 

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.

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup – Recipe

by Jari Love

The perfect time of year for soup. This delicious squash soup is full of immune boosting properties and is perfect for those cool days. 

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

1 small butternut squash, about 5 cups, peeled, cored and cubed into 1 inch pieces

2 tbs coconut oil

1 chopped yellow onion

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic

1 teaspoon ginger

1 green jalapeño

1 small sweet apple such as gala

1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and stems

1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk

1 cup vegetable broth

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

 Directions: 

  1. Melt oil a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion about 2 minutes. Add ginger, jalapeño, garlic and squash and apple; cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes.
  2. Stir in vegetable broth and coconut milk. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer until squash is tender about 20 minutes.
  3. Add cilantro, salt and basil. Puree soup in two batches. When blending hot foods, allow the heat to escape to prevent splattering. Serve hot, with plain yogurt or sour cream, pepper, and pumpkin seeds, if desired.

 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.

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

How to Tell When You’re Really Dehydrated

by Jari Love

Did you know that once you hit the point of being thirsty, you’re already dehydrated? Our bodies are between 50 and 75 percent water, so once you’re dehydrated, the amount of water in the body has already dropped below what’s needed for normal body function. Here are signs that it is time to drink up! 

You Feel Tired 

If you feel tired throughout your day, try filling up on water before reaching for a caffeinated beverage and see if that makes a difference. After a full night’s rest it’s common to be slightly dehydrated in the morning; so don’t forget to include drinking a glass of H2O in your morning routine to jump-start your metabolism and your brain! 

A Little Moody 

A recent study found that mild dehydration can affect your mood and interfere with your ability to concentrate. If you’re sitting at your desk and feeling a little low, sipping water could help you snap into focus. 

You’re Having Trouble Going 

Water helps to keeps your digestive system moving and your intestines flexible to avoid chronic constipation. It only makes sense that you’d have difficulty with your bowel movements if you’re not staying hydrated. Keep things moving by drink plenty of fluids throughout your day. 

You Have a Headache 

Mild headaches are a classic sign of dehydration. Drinking eight ounces of water when you feel the pain coming on might just keep the headache at bay. So sip up before reaching for the aspirin. 

You Have Bad Breath 

Dry mouth leads to bad breath. You need salvia to fight stink-inducing bacteria, so drinking water regularly should keep your breath in check. 

via popsugar.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.

Tips That Every Personal Trainer Knows

by Jari Love

They clock in wearing sports bras instead of pencil skirts. Peek in their supply closets and you’ll see kettlebells and battle ropes instead of paper clips and spare pens. And in their world, toner has nothing to do with printers and everything to do with defined upper arms and shapely glutes. Personal trainers have dedicated their professional lives to building better bodies. We called up some of the best in the biz and picked their brains for the slim-down, firm-up tricks of their trade. 

  1. You can’t just do cardio … 

Walking, running, cycling, and other heart-pumping activities have a whole host of benefits—burning calories, boosting your mood, protecting your cardiovascular system. But when it comes to weight loss, you also need to head to the other part of the gym, where the barbells and dumbbells reside, says Michelle Blakely, a trainer at Blakely Fit in Chicago. 

Like cardio, strength training burns calories while you’re doing it, but lifting also comes with benefits that last far longer, Blakely says. The more muscle mass you have, the higher your resting metabolism, which means you’ll burn more fat even when you’re just sitting on the couch. What’s more, strong muscles promote good form during your run, hike, or spin class, protecting you from injury and helping you reap bigger benefits from your sweat sessions, says Allison Hagendorf, a certified health coach with the American Council on Exercise.

 

  1. And heavier weights net you even bigger results. 

Functional body-weight moves like push-ups, squats, and lunges make everyday activities like lifting groceries or climbing stairs easier, Hagendorf says. Reaching for heavier dumbbells—those you can lift for only 8 to 15 reps—can stimulate the type of lean-mass production that truly transforms your body. “For someone who has never done weights, they may find they have a better body in their 40s than they did in their 30s when they start strength training regularly,” says Liz Neporent, a trainer and fitness expert in New York. 

Don’t fret about bulking up—unless you’re spending hours at the gym and pounding down massive quantities of protein, it just won’t happen. In fact, resistance training essentially “shrink-wraps” your body, tightening and firming you in all the right places, says Hagendorf. Your clothes will fit more loosely and you’ll look slimmer, even before the number on the scale budges. 

  1. The best workout won’t deliver without upgrades to your kitchen routine. 

They may not use corporate-speak like “synergy” and “touching base offline,” but trainers have their own sayings. Among the most popular: “You can’t out-train a bad diet,” says Samantha Clayton, a former Olympic sprinter and personal trainer in Malibu, CA. 

Your workout can complement your initial weight loss efforts and help maintain a new, slimmer physique. University of Alabama researchers recently studied women who lost 25 pounds. Those who did strength training and cardio three times per week offset the slowdown in metabolism that typically occurs after you shed pounds, staving off regain, according to the study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 

However, you’ll have to change your eating habits to see significant changes to your body in the first place. “Even if you’re doing everything right in the gym, if you aren’t eating to optimize your training, you’re never going to get the results you want,” Hagendorf says. Start with small changes—one less packet of sugar in your coffee, a side salad with your lunch. Keep that up for 2 weeks, and then pick two more minor adjustments. Eventually, you’ll build a nutritious and sustainable diet, says Liz LeFrois, a personal trainer in New York and a fitness expert on the streaming fitness site Acacia TV.

 

  1. But addition can be better than subtraction. 

Though you do have to watch what you eat, obsessive or near-starvation diets don’t work in the long run. Cutting too many calories breaks down the muscles you’re working so hard to build up, Clayton says. You may shed a few pounds at first by skipping meals or eliminating entire food groups, but the second you return to a regular eating plan, your beaten-down body and slowed metabolism actually trigger excess weight gain.

 

Focus on what to add to your diet instead of what to take away. Piling more high-quality, nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts onto your plate provides your body with the fuel to tackle your workouts while also improving your overall health, Blakely says. You’ll feel fuller on fewer calories, and over time—about 6 months, to be precise—you’ll actually rewire your brain to crave healthy foods instead of junk, according to a recent study in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes.

 

  1. In the recipe for success, fun is an essential ingredient. 

Trainers have a rep for working you so hard you puke. Not only are such extreme efforts unnecessary for weight loss, they may be counterproductive both physiologically and psychologically. If you actively dread your workouts, it’s all too easy to make excuses to skip them, says Mike Robinson, of MZR Fitness in San Luis Obispo, CA, recognized as 2015 personal trainer of the year by the IDEA Health and Fitness Association. 

Meanwhile, many pastimes that bring you joy—like gardening, hiking, or dancing—count as physical activity, too. Incorporating them into your plan means you’ll actually look forward to exercise, getting you into a regular routine and melting fat with much less effort. “Many people think exercise has to be very difficult and complicated to yield results,” Clayton says. “They are pleasantly surprised to find out that it’s balance and consistency that improves your body.” 

  1. The other 23 hours of the day count, too. 

Regardless of whether you’re sweating with a trainer or on your own, a successful weight loss program requires an all-day approach to movement, Blakely says. You might not think things like fidgeting during a meeting or tapping your toe along with the car radio could truly make a difference. A landmark study in the journal Science found otherwise, calculating that small tweaks in daily activity patterns could help heavy people torch an extra 350 calories per day.

 

The scientific term for this phenomenon is non–exercise activity thermogenesis—in other words, all the calories you burn just going about your day. So while you’re probably sick of hearing about parking farther away from the grocery store and taking the stairs instead of the escalator, trainers know their most successful clients take this type of advice to heart.

 

  1. Getting fit isn’t actually that much harder than staying heavy. 

Yes, you will have to put some work into achieving your weight loss goals. But consider all the energy you currently expend wishing you had a different body and fretting about how you don’t have the time or energy to make a change. Trainers know the true secret to changing your body is shifting your attention away from what you don’t have and toward what you can achieve. “You just have to choose which one you want to put your energy into,” says Robinson. “Firmly commit and put your mind to losing the weight and your body will follow.”

 

  1. Weight loss isn’t your true goal. 

Often, people starting a new exercise program begin because they’re unhappy with what they see in the mirror. But a good trainer will ask you to drill down deeper. “Just keeping asking yourself the question ‘Why?’ ” Blakely advises. Often, the fourth or fifth answer reveals your true motivation. 

Take Blakely’s experience: “As I get to know the client, I’ll find they’re not going on vacations with friends because they know they can’t do the hike or the excursion as comfortably as they want. Or they’re not as spontaneous as they want to be because they know that their building is under construction and it’s overwhelming that now they have to walk a certain length to get somewhere,” she says. 

Clarifying these higher-level goals—even writing them down and sticking them to your mirror or fridge—can give you the motivation to stick to your plan in the face of temptation, Hagendorf says. Plus, you can often detect progress even before you start to see big aesthetic or weight changes. “The feel is the fuel,” Blakely likes to say; if you notice you’re not as fatigued, winded, or frightened of new challenges, you’ll know you’re on the right track regardless of what the scale says.

 

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.

Coffee Lovers Rejoice!

by Jari Love

Ask the Diet Doctor: The Workout Benefits of Coffee

Q: Is it best to drink coffee before or after a morning workout?

A: I recommend drinking your java before a.m. exercise so you can take advantage of the shot of caffeine to optimize your workout.

Caffeine has powerful nootropic effects, meaning it manipulates neurotransmitters to alter how the brain functions. While we all think of caffeine as a stimulant, it doesn’t directly stimulate as much as it prevents or blocks the action of neurotransmitters that promote sedation and relaxation.

Your pre-workout caffeine-packed cup of coffee isn’t just going to give you the mental edge, though—it will also help you burn more fat. The exact mechanism in which caffeine works to enhance fat-burning has yet to be conclusively nailed down (as it probably works via several different mechanisms), but it primarily seems to work by increasing the breakdown and release of fat.

Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty.

What kind of coffee should I drink?

An easy way to adjust how much caffeine you consume is to change the type of coffee that you are drinking. Dark roasted coffee has less caffeine, and light roasted coffee has more. After a short night of sleep, you might want to opt for the New England or Half City roast (light roast), but most days you’ll do fine with the French roast (dark roast).

How much caffeine is enough? How much is too much?

While research shows that caffeine is extremely safe to use—you’d need to drink 130 cans of Red Bull to get a fatal dose of caffeine—caffeine tolerance is very individualized. Just because I’ve seen studies safely use upwards of 600 milligrams (mg) of caffeine to test its effects on pain perception doesn’t mean that you could pop two NoDoz with your venti Pike’s Place before you work out. Too much caffeine prior to exercise may actually decrease performance, as it can make you feel nauseous and lightheaded. I’ve personally tested multiple different dosages of caffeine before workouts and found that 300mg is the most my body can tolerate before I start to feel nauseous.

So how much coffee should I drink?

When it comes to stimulants like caffeine, less is always better, and know your body. Those new to caffeine should start with around 100mg (a shot of Starbucks espresso has 75mg).

If you’re drinking coffee for the fat-burning effects of caffeine, studies show this seems to start around 200mg. Sticking with Starbucks coffee as our delivery mechanism for caffeine, this would equal a grande Americano (225mg caffeine) or slightly less than a tall regular brewed coffee (260mg caffeine).

One downside to caffeine is that your body adapts to it overtime. Any serious coffee drinker or energy drink fiend will tell you that it progressively takes more and more caffeine for them to reap the benefits of alertness compared to what they used to need to get the same effect.

And a final piece to consider with caffeine levels in coffee is that it can be very variable. In a test of six different samples of Starbucks Breakfast Blend, the caffeine levels ranged from 259 to 564mg. This is a huge range.

But doesn’t caffeine dehydrate you?

No; this is a very common myth about caffeine. While caffeine is a diuretic (e.g. it causes increases in urination), studies looking at caffeine use in high-temperature exercise situations show that it does not lead to dehydration or subsequent decreases in performance.

By Dr. Mike Roussell

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.

Cheesy Broccoli Bites Recipe

by Jari Love

Cheesy Broccoli Bites Recipe - Recipe

There are few comforting restaurant dishes I love more in this world than a hot bowl of broccoli-cheese soup. In college, I can remember going to “study” with girlfriends at Panera Bread where I would order this fatty soup in a bread bowl. I needed to fuel my brain, right?! 

While I no longer indulge in this fast-food delight on a weekly basis, my tastes haven’t necessarily changed. That’s where these amazing bites come into play. Warm, cheesy, and satisfying with only 40 calories per serving (20 if you hold the shredded mozzarella on top!) these beautiful bites will curb even the most intense broccoli-cheese cravings. They’d make a tasty light side dish or a party-pleasing appetizer.

Ingredients: 

3 cups broccoli florets, steamed and blotted dry

2 tablespoons low-fat cottage cheese

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 large egg whites

1/8 teaspoon salt

Pinch of black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion

Pinch of sweetener that measures like sugar, optional

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella for topping, optional

 Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with silicone or foil muffin liners and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Chop the broccoli florets into small pieces (no bigger than the size of a marble).
  3. In a large bowl, add the broccoli, cottage cheese, parmesan, egg whites, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion, and optional sweetener. Stir until everything is well combined.
  4. Scoop 2 tablespoons of the broccoli mixture down with your fingers. Sprinkle each bite with mozzarella if desired.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and enjoy warm.

 via popsugar.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 | | health, Healthy, Jari Love, Recipe, Weekly Blog | 0 comments | Read more

Reasons You Should Not Work Out Alone

by Jari Love

No matter how much you’ve made working out a part of your daily routine there are going to be days where it’s 5 a.m. and hitting the ground running is the last thing you want to do. Rest assured, even among the physically fit, you’re not alone. Having a partner to hold you accountable will make it considerably easier to overcome those groggy hurdles. But that’s not all. There’s a reason there’s burgeoning crop of apps designed with the sole purpose of helping you seek out a compatible workout partner. To find out more about the benefits of training with someone else The Cheat Sheet spoke with Ruben Belliard, co-founder of Warrior Fitness Boot Camp. 

  1. It’s more fun 

Exercising with a workout buddy is a social experience — allowing you to kill two proverbial birds with one stone. Instead of dreading going to the gym, working out will become a way of spending quality time with your significant other, a family member, a good friend, or a new career connection. Heard of #Sweatworking? It’s a thing. Studies also show that dates in which individuals join in a common activity versus exchange resumes over wine are more often successful. The extra endorphins and pheromones don’t hurt, either. 

As a whole, your workout buddy will most likely introduce you to new routines or encourage you to try a class you had never tried before, which will not only bring variety to your fitness regimen, but create a new inimitable bond between you. 

  1. It keeps you accountable

No matter how exhausted you are from the ups and downs of everyday life, you’ll show up, because someone is relying on you. Knowing that canceling will not only impact your own wellness, but that of your scheduled partner’s, will ensure you make an added effort to follow through. There will be days that you really do not want to work out. That’s inevitable. Yet, having a partner to motivate you and get you into the gym will keep you going. Make sure to choose someone who has similar fitness goals so that your commitment levels are equal. It’s been proven that having friends who are healthy makes you healthier as well. So keep your friends close, and your active friends closer! 

Prefer group classes? Sign yourself up in advance, commit to a payment plan and force yourself into a situation in which you have little to no room to back out. 

  1. You’ll have support to try new things 

Having a buddy will help provide encouragement to try different things. Attempting a new exercise is tough, but having a sidekick alongside will help nudge you to try the more adventurous, potentially intimidating, but often remarkably effective workouts — like cardio dance classes, jumping exercises, or my specialty, obstacle courses. Like they say: There’s power in numbers, and the added confidence of having a co-conspirator of sorts by your side can provide that much needed kick to try something new. 

  1. You’ll get that extra push 

Your workout buddy will inevitably keep you competitive. Friendly competition, of course — nonetheless, it will add fuel to the fire of your workout regimen. Healthy competition between two buddies can motivate you to achieve a goal you’ve never reached for before, and intensity is the fire that drives progress. It’s been found that choosing a workout partner who is fitter than you are has positive effects on your ability to improve. Whether you’re trying to edge them out, beat their previous time, lap them around the course, or get in just one more rep, competition with a worthy opponent is unquestionably a compelling motivator and a sensation that can’t be replicated while remaining solo. Just make certain that you are not pushing too far outside of your limits and staying safe. Competition can be healthy, until it’s not! 

  1. You’ll be safer 

Having someone watching your movements and correcting mistakes isn’t only necessary for progress, but it’s also important for making sure that you are progressing safely. While pushing yourself to accomplish the next rep, it’s often difficult to keep an eye on your form, but a spotter will ensure that this crucial component does not fall to the wayside. You’ll also be able to safely attempt to push yourself into that extra (and important) rep — and to the point of exhaustion — without worrying that your muscles will give out and that you’ll risk injury. Your buddy will be there for you if something goes wrong and you need assistance. At the risk of being cliché, as in most things, when working out, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

via cheatsheet.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.

Get Motivated, Get Moving

by Jari Love

Get Motivated, Get Moving 

Do you have a hard time getting to the gym, sticking to your healthy eating habits, or pushing yourself as hard as you can at the gym? 

Motivation and determination can get you almost anywhere. Here are some tips to help you stay motivated and meet your health goals. 

Identify your Motivation 

Having a goal=having motivation. What is your goal? Once you find your goal you will find that motivation to achieve that goal quickly follows. Take a minute to identify what your goal is—be specific, vague goals like “losing weight” or “being more attractive” are not specific enough to motivate most of us. Here are some specific motivation inducing goals: 

  • I want to have the energy to play with and keep up to my kids
  • I want to improve my cardio-vascular health and reduce my cholesterol to extend and improve my life.
  • I want to lose 15 pounds before my class reunion so Football star Bobby will be sorry he broke up with me
  • I want to run 5 km in under 30 mins 

Once you have that specific goal in your mind it is easy to find the motivation to make choices that will help you achieve that goal. 

Document your Goal 

Write down your goal. Once it is written down it feels more official and you are more likely to stick to your plan. Write down your goal and stick it where you will see it often—by the fridge, in the car, on your bathroom mirror. By frequently reminding yourself of your goal you can keep your motivation for achieving it high. 

To take it one step further, write down steps you need to take towards that goal and give yourself a mental boost each time you achieve that step for the day. It doesn’t have to be a huge step, but everytime you take the stairs rather than the elevator, for example, feel proud of yourself. Each time you see your written goal, or steps it takes to get there, take a moment to visualize yourself accomplishing your goal this will help maintain your focus. 

Make a Plan 

Once you know what you want then it is time to map out how you will get there. Make a plan you know you can stick with rather than just putting down grandiose aims. 

Figure out what you need to get done to achieve your goal and how you will fit these steps into your schedule. Write it down. Once you know why and how you are going to achieve your goals the motivation will come naturally. Also choose an exercise program that you enjoy—don’t force yourself to jog everyday if you hate jogging. 

Call a Friend 

Tell everyone about your goal. Once you tell people you’ve made it real. Enlist the support of your friends, family and co-workers. If you make yourself accountable to people other than yourself you are more likely to follow through on your plan. Calling a friend to workout with you, or swap healthy recipes with when you are feeling less than motivated can also pull you out of your funk and re-light that motivational fire.

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.

Recovering From Your Holidays

by Jari Love

It happens to all of us. You go on holiday, or Thanksgiving comes and goes, and you’ve made less than optimal healthy living choices. Holidays can be tough on our resolutions to keep up with our exercise and diet plans, and you can be left feeling sluggish, bloated, achy, out of sorts and maybe your clothes feel tighter than they should. The good news is you can get back to feeling like yourself quickly and back on track with your healthy lifestyle with these 5 steps: 

Step One: Shake it Off- Don’t beat yourself up for poor choices. The holidays happened, maybe you ate things from your “never eat list” or maybe you didn’t exercise when you should—you can’t change it, shake it off and get refocused. 

Make a commitment to yourself. Write it down. Tell other people. Put it in your calendar. The poor choices stop now. Instead of saying “oh well my healthy eating plan is ruined, I may as well have this brownie”, say “today is a new day. Today I am starting on the path to a new, fitter and healthier me.” 

Step Two: Drink Up- The quickest way to get back your energy is to clean out your system by flushing out the toxins and other garbage from your system which you may have accumulated. Drink lots of water this will help you restore balance, combat dehydration as well as combating any water retention. 

Start your day by drinking a tall glass of water with a little lemon, and carry a water bottle with you throughout your day. Make sure you drink even more than you normally would and get at least 10 cups of water throughout the day—more if you are exercising. 

Don’t add artificial sweeteners or stimulants to your water – these will work against your hydration efforts. To add flavor, slice fresh fruit, herbs or vegetables to place in your water. 

Step Three: Whole Foods- To oppose the effects of poor eating choices you need to go clean right away. Set a goal for yourself that for the next four days you need to be extra careful about what you are eating. Eat only whole, real foods. Fruit, vegetables and some lean meat. For these four days try and avoid carbohydrates and focus on filling up with green veggies and lean meat. 

Avoid processed and packaged foods. This is a pretty good general rule for clean eating, but be particularly mindful about avoiding foods like processed meats, cheese, snack foods like granola bars, baked goods and alcohol for the next four days. 

Step Four: Juice it Up- Remember: Go Green to Get Clean. Juicing, or doing a mini cleanse can reduce the negative effects of your holiday binge. Making your own juices or smoothies with hydrating and cleansing ingredients will stop those sugar and fat cravings and re-set your body’s metabolic and digestive processes. Avoid ingredients like carrots, oranges, and tropical fruits due to their high sugar content. 

Here is a detoxifying blend to kick-start your morning—serves 2: 

  • 1 cucumber
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 1 leaves of curly Kale
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup water or ice cubes

 Step Five: I like to Move it Move it- The best way to get yourself on track and detoxify your body is to sweat it out. Head to the gym and power out a solid 30 minutes of exercise that gets your heart rate up and your body sweating. 

Follow these five steps and not only will you recover from your holiday indulgences, but you will find yourself motivated to keep pushing your limits and boost your healthy lifestyle plan.

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 | | health, Healthy, healthy aging, Jari Love, Recipe, Weekly Blog | 0 comments | Read more

Foam Roller Exercises for Your Lower Body

by Jari Love

Foam rolling helps to massage the body, loosening up tight and stiff muscles, which is a must for preventing injury. Here are 7 foam rolling exercises to try after your workout. 

IT Band 

– Lying on your side, similar to a side plank position, place the roller on the outside of your thigh just below your hip.

– Place your top arm on your hip, and using your top leg for stability, roll the length of your thigh, stopping just above the knee. Go slowly, and do not roll over the knee joint. Keep your bottom leg lifted, or lower it down to the floor if you can. Chances are high that this move will be painful, which is a sign that you really need to do this.

– If you find an especially tender point, try rolling forward and back to release this spot.

– Roll for 30 to 60 seconds, then switch sides. 

Tip: the IT band is a thick strand of fascia that runs the length of the thigh; when it gets tight, it can pull the knee out of alignment, causing pain and inflammation in the joint. 

Calves 

– Sit on the floor with your left ankle crossed over your right, and place the roller under your right calf.

– Lift your pelvis off the ground so your weight is supported by your hands and the roller.

– Roll the length of your calf, from the back of your knee to the Achilles tendon. Do roll the inside and the outside of the muscle as well.

– Repeat for 30 to 60 seconds, then switch legs. 

Tip: pay special attention to tight spots, allowing the tension to sink into the roller.

 Glutes 

– Lying on the floor, lift your legs, and place the roller at the back of your pelvis (aka sacrum).

– Gripping the end of the roller for stability, slowly twist your lower body to the left, then to the right, to massage your glutes. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds.

– Adjust your body’s position until you find the “sweet spot” or tight spot. Direct pressure will help to release knots. 

Tip: tight glutes can pull on the IT band and adversely affect the alignment of the hips and knees. 

Shins

 – Starting on all fours, place the roller directly on your shins.

– Keeping your hands grounded, roll your knees toward your hands, stopping the roller right above the ankles. A slight twist will allow you to reach the entire muscle.

– Roll for 30 to 60 seconds.

 Tip: this move is a key to preventing shin splints.

 Piriformis 

– Sitting on the floor, place the roller in the middle of your glutes.

– Using a short and steady roll, move the roller back and forth for 30 to 60 seconds.

– To reach the entire muscle, adjust your position from side to side. Apply active release on specific tight spots by holding still for five seconds. 

Tip: the piriformis muscle, found under the glute max, runs laterally from the sacrum (back of the pelvis) to the outside of the upper thigh. It is small but can get really tight. 

Lower Back

 – Sitting on the ground, lift your pelvis off the floor to place the foam roller directly in the small of your lower back.

– Using your right hand for stability, roll up and down the length of your lower back for 30 to 60 seconds. Do be mindful of your spine.

– Slightly tilt from side to side to reach the entire area. 

Tip: keeping your lower back loose and limber directly affects the flexibility of your glutes and the efficiency of your training. 

Quads 

– Resting on your stomach, place the roller under the front of your thighs, lifting yourself into a basic plank position on your elbows.

– Pull with your arms to roll up and down the length of the quad. Do not roll over your knee joint.

– Continue this movement for 30 to 60 seconds. 

For images on these foam rolling exercises, visit popsugar.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.

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