Love Notes by Jari Love

Posts in the Wellness category

Things You Can Do At Night to Promote Weight Loss

Of course nights are great for going on dates, binge-watching Netflix, doing work, chatting on the phone—you name it. But you know what else they’re great for? Setting yourself up for bigger and better weight-loss results. Just follow these tips to get yourself that much closer to your goal weight.

Have a Low-Sodium Dinner
“If you want to wake up feeling less bloated, definitely skip the Chinese dinner,” says Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet. What happens is the salt stays in your system overnight, so you wake up puffier than you normally would. The best option is to cook a healthy meal of steamed veggies and a lean protein—neither of which should be loaded with salt.

Make Sure Your Bedroom is Super Dark
The hormone melatonin can help your body produce more calorie-burning brown fat, according to an animal study published last year in Journal of Pineal Research. Since your body already produces melatonin when you’re in complete darkness, make sure your room is light-free to boost and promote weight loss.

Turn Down the Thermostat Before Hitting the Hay
The idea of burning more calories while you sleep may sound too good to be true, but a National Institute of Health Clinical Center study found that people who slept in a 66-degree room burned seven percent more calories than people who snoozed at 75 degrees. Seven percent isn’t a ton—but it can’t hurt!  SEE MORE that will PROMOTE WEIGHT LOSS

By Collage Video | | fitness, Healthy, Jari Love, Motivation, tips, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Top Foods to Gain Muscle

People that workout in the gym want to build muscle tissue. Both men and women know that toned, firm muscles look great. You need to workout to achieve good growth, but to build large muscles, you need to eat right. Finding the top foods to gain muscle can help you build, while also reducing the amount of fat on your body. Even if you don’t want big guns or washboard abs, these foods help people shed fat, too. Not only do you need to build muscle tissue to get that sculpted look, you need to take off a layer of fat that might be hiding all your hard work.

 

Start with high quality protein.

Lean red meat is often what people think of when they consider protein, but there are many other types of food that fit that category. Eggs are one source of protein that offers not just high quality protein, but also healthy fat and other nutrients. Eggs have high amounts of leucine that boosts muscle growth. Salmon is another protein choice that provides high amounts of protein, but also high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B. Both play a role in building muscle when you’re exercising.

 

Which came first, the egg or the chicken breast?

While eggs are powerful in your diet for boosting muscle growth, so are chicken breasts. In fact, many trainers make it one of the most often used protein sources if their client is working to gain muscle mass. It has high amounts of B vitamins that are important for muscle gain, as well as aiding in losing fat, which is just as important for showing those muscles off to the world. While you’re at it, add some “chicken of the sea” and include tuna in your diet. Those omega-3 fatty acids slow muscle loss in older adults and increase muscle growth.

 

Dairy can help boost muscle growth.

If you want a snack that’s great for your after workout protein, try Greek yogurt or cottage cheese. Both contain high quality protein. You can boost the amount of protein by adding some whey or casein protein in it. Stick with Greek yogurt over regular yogurt to get the most protein per serving. Choose low fat cottage cheese if you’re cutting calories. Cottage cheese has leucine, a beneficial protein that helps build muscle tissue.

 

  • Vegetarians can use beans to build muscles. Beans provide plant-based protein, fiber, B-vitamins, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. They also boost your immune system.
  • Almonds, peanuts and edamame—immature soybeans—are great snacks that provide more than just protein, they also provide folate, vitamin K and manganese.
  • Have you tried chickpeas? You may know them as garbanzo beans and maybe even don’t like them, but there are some dynamite hummus recipes made from chickpeas that can add to your list of muscle building snacks.
  • It’s not all about protein, you need carbohydrates and fats, too. Healthy carbs help you workout harder to build muscles. Consider adding brown rice to your diet for that.

 

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.

Lower Your Blood Pressure With Exercise

If you get the verdict from your doctor that you have high blood pressure, it’s not too late to take action.

While you should always follow your doctor’s orders and make sure he okays a program of exercise, you might be able to avoid taking blood pressure medication for the rest of your life. You can lower your blood pressure with exercise and a healthy diet. It takes time, so don’t get rid of your medication right away and never without getting the blessing of your health care provider.

Exercise makes your heart stronger.

High blood pressure comes from the pressure on the arteries. If you’re heart is weak, it has to work harder, increasing the pressure. When you workout regularly, that builds a stronger heart that doesn’t have to pump with as much effort, relieving the extra exertion on your arteries and decreasing your blood pressure at the same time.

Exercise helps you lose weight.

Obesity can make your blood pressure climb. Not only does it affect you while you’re awake, it can cause sleep apnea, which also increases your blood pressure. Exercise helps you lose weight, but you need to have a healthy diet, too. Just losing 2.2 pounds can lower the mercury one millimeter, so you can imagine how much you’ll improve your blood pressure if you have even more weight to lose and accomplish your goals.

Reducing stress can lower your blood pressure.

Stress is a killer and it can be one of the causes for high blood pressure. In fact, you can almost feel your blood pressure climb when you’re in a stressful situation. You can get relief from working out in the gym. Exercising hard can burn off the hormones of stress and replace them with ones that make you feel good. You’ll lower your blood pressure, while you burn off the stressors of the day.

  • The changes to your blood pressure don’t occur overnight. It takes between one to three months to see any difference. Even then, the problem will return if you quit working out.
  • Exercise can help reduce inches around the waist, which is visceral fat, the most dangerous type of fat that affects all your organs and can increase blood pressure.
  • The food you eat can raise or lower your blood pressure. Foods high in sodium can cause your blood pressure to rise, while food high in potassium can help you reduce the effect of sodium on your blood pressure. Eat more whole foods and eliminate processed foods that often have a high sodium content.
  • If you smoke, quit. When you workout regularly, it can help you through the rough parts of quitting, but even then, it will be tough…but worth it!
By Collage Video | | Blood Pressure, Exercise, Healthy, Jari Love, stress, Weightloss, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

The POWER of Habit

by Jari Love

John Dryden famously said, “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”

Confucius said, “Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.”

And Aristotle noticed that, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

It’s pretty clear that the habits you adopt will shape who you are. What are your habits?

Do you eat the same thing for lunch, go through the same exercise routine, and fall into bed at the same time each night?

Or maybe you’ve made a habit out of eating something sweet before bed, avoiding the gym, and staying up as late as possible.

When it comes to your fitness, the two habits that define you are your eating and exercise habits. In fact, everyone that you know who is in great shape has dialed in these two important habits.

If you aren’t happy with your body, then simply adjust your eating and exercise habits.

Here’s how to adopt a habit:

  • Decide on the ONE habit that you would like to develop. It’s tempting to pick up 3 or 4 healthy habits but choosing just one new habit is realistic and doable.

Here are some healthy habit ideas:

  • Do not eat after 7pm each night.
  • Bring your lunch to work instead of eating fast food.
  • Exercise 4 times a week after work for 45 minutes each time.
  • Only eat fruits and veggies as your afternoon snack.
  • Get up early and exercise for an hour each morning.
  • Workout with me 3 times a week.
Write your new habit down on paper. Also include your 3 main motivators for developing this new habit, the obstacles you’ll face, and your strategies for overcoming these obstacles.

 

Here’s an example:

  • My new habit is to work with a personal trainer 3 times each week.
  • My 3 main motivators are 1) to feel confident in my bathing suit this summer, 2) to have more energy, and 3) to fit into my skinny jeans.
  • The obstacles I will face are 1) not having the energy to go to my session after work, 2) not having enough money to pay for sessions, and 3) not having my spouse’s support.
  • I will overcome these obstacles by 1) doing my workouts before work instead of after work, so I have more energy, 2) cutting down on frivolous spending to ensure that I can afford it, and 3) asking my spouse to join me so we can get in shape together.

Commit fully to your new habit, in a public way. This could mean posting it on social media, or simply announcing it at the dinner table. Put yourself in a position where you’ll be embarrassed to give up on your new habit.

Keep track of your progress. You could keep a detailed journal or simply make a check mark on each calendar day that you successfully exercise your new habit.

Once your new habit becomes second nature, usually in about 30 days, feel free to add a second habit by going through the same steps.

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.

1-MINUTE ACTIVITIES THAT WILL MAKE YOU HEALTHIER

by Jari Love

Young Businessman Doing Pushups At His Workplace

It seems that Americans these days are glued to their desks, their cards, and their couches, rarely getting up to stretch, walk around, or clear their minds from the clutter of life. We are enchanted by all the things happening in our outside lives that often times taking time for yourself is lost.

Even the greatest of workouts isn’t beneficial in the long run if you spend over half of your day sitting. It’s a scary thought to think our bodies are festering diseases due to our inactivity. Unfortunately, this is becoming the norm in America. According to the Huffington Post, sitting is the new smoking.

“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death,” says Dr. James Levine to Huffington Post, inventor of the treadmill desk and a director at the Arizona State University Mayo Clinic for obesity solutions.

Sitting is slowly killing us, but if you catch the problem early enough, there is no way you can’t turn your fate around. The little things add up; it’s up to us to remember to do think of our health.

Even the CDC has launched campaigns “Five Minutes (Or Less) For Health” that include lists of activities to help us stay safe and healthy throughout our days.

Doing these 1-minute activities for a minute, or more, can help you stay healthy. Here are some ways to stay active from the moment you wake up till you fall asleep.

1. Do squats or lunges while you make breakfast.

2. Bagel in the toaster? Squat until it’s ready. Eggs frying? Squat until you need to flip them. Even squat as you make your coffee or pour your orange juice. This will also help to wake you up and increase that blood flow early in the morning.

3. Park farther away at work.

4. Stand up at work, or take a break every 15 minutes to walk around.

5. Purchase a pedometer and set a daily goal. (Try to reach over 10,000 steps!)

6. Warm-up by walking on the treadmill at the gym.

7. Squeeze a hand grip while you’re on a phone call.

8. Lift your legs up and down under your desk for a minute.

9. Sit up straight all day long.

10. Rotate your wrists for a minute every so often. (Give your hands a keyboard break!)

11. Twist at your desk chair.

12. Sit up straight and stretch to each side for 30 seconds. Do this a few times throughout the day.

13. Do 20 jumping jacks.

14. Make sure no one is in the bathroom at work and quickly do 20 jumping jacks. You’ll feel more energized and squeeze some activity in.

15. Drink a glass of water 8 times throughout the day.

16. Deep breathing.

17. Fidget while you work: Often times fidgeting are lifelong habits that try to be avoided, but studies show that fidgeting can increase our calorie burn 20 to 40%.

18. Pace while you’re on the phone.

19. Clean your home (even if you only have a minute to spare). Vacuuming, sweeping, mowing the lawn, weed whacking, doing laundry, and dishes all increases total calorie burn throughout the day and helps to clear your mind.

20. Exercise while you watch sports late at night. Abs, mountain climbers, burpees, you name it. Your heart is telling you to sink into your couch, but your body is telling you to get in shape.

21. Squat or pace while brushing your teeth.

22. Eat dinner standing up.

23. Do 10 to 20 pushups before bed.

24. Stretch before bed for one minute.

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 | | fitness, Healthy, Jari Love, Motivation, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Weight-Lifting Moves to Substitute for Deadlifts

by Jari Love

If your goal is to add lean muscle and mass, everyone will tell you that you need to focus on two main exercises: the squat and the deadlift. Whether you really aim to get into shape, or start building some serious muscle, you’ll want to zero-in on your legs — because developing the muscle groups in your legs will not only help you burn more calories, they will also help you tone and train every other muscle group in the body.

The problem with trying to do squats and deadlifts — deadlifts particularly — is that you need access to the right equipment. To put some serious weight on the floor, and then proceed to pick it up, you need barbells, and a ton of plates. For some people, access to those things can be hard to come by.

Still, for others, physical limitations — past injuries, doctor’s orders, etc. — prevent them from incorporating the traditional deadlift into their routine. That can present an issue for people who are serious about building muscle and getting in shape, because it’s really hard to understate the deadlift’s importance in the world of weight training.

But fear not, because we have some alternatives for you. True, the exercises featured on the following pages aren’t perfect, and they won’t get you as far as traditional deadlifts will. But they’ll do in a pinch, and will work as viable substitutes when and if you need them. They’ll help you continue to build your lower-body — but it’s still better to do true deadlifts if possible.

With that, here are five suitable deadlift alternatives that you can incorporate into your routine.

  1. Dumbbell deadlift: Likely the simplest and most effective replacement for barbell deadlifts is the dumbbell deadlift. All you’re really going to be doing is swapping the bar for dumbbells. The video above, from The Fit Lab will give you a basic demonstration. It’s a simple, easy exercise, and will work the same muscle groups as a traditional deadlift. The only issue is that the dumbbell deadlift has its obvious limitations — dumbbell sizes, chief among them. Just be sure to keep your form and posture in mind, and dumbbell deadlifts will work when you’re without access to a barbell.
  1. One-armed dumbbell deadlift: A variant of the dumbbell deadlift is the single-arm or one-arm dumbbell deadlift. This, too, is relatively simple, and you can see a quick demonstration in the video above from Jeff Fields. Fields even throws some additional resistance into the mix in the form of a band, which is a great way to add a little bit of weight when you run into the eventual issue of maxing out on dumbbell sizes. Once you have the standard dumbbell deadlift mastered, try going at it with one arm — just make sure to keep your form intact.
  1. Bent-over rows: Bent-over rows, when done correctly, can be used in lieu of a traditional deadlift. You can do them with a barbell, if you have access to one (and if you do, just do regular deadlifts), or with dumbbells, which make them a more viable alternative for most lifters. Ben-over rows, like the other lifts on this list, are also a fairly simple exercise to nail down. Yet, again, it’s all about making sure you have the correct form. The video above demonstrates it very well, so thanks to Testosterone Nation for that.
  1. Kettlebell swing: Kettlebell workouts are soaring in popularity, and with good reason. They’re versatile, fun, and can be used to work out the same muscle groups as most traditional lifts, albeit in a much different sort of fashion. Case in point, the good old kettlebell swing can be used to give your quads and glutes a workout, much in the same way a deadlift session would. Yes, it’s different, but if you’re in a pinch, swinging a kettlebell around will help facilitate the muscle growth you’re looking for. Just make sure you’re going at it with a weighty kettlebell.
  1. Pistol squat: Finally, if you’re without barbells or dumbbells, or any other piece of equipment, you can use your own body weight to fulfill your deadlift quota. One of the best exercises for that is the pistol squat — a variant of the traditional bodyweight squat. And it’s a bit more challenging than it looks — so try it out a few times, and really work on your stance and form to get it right. Even after one or two reps, you’ll really start to feel it.

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.

By Collage Video | | exercise, fitness, goals, Jari Love, tips, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 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.

Stay in Shape While Traveling

by Jari Love

Spring is in full swing, which means so are your long-awaited vacation days. Time to travel to new locations (or visit old favorites), eat incredible food, and completely forget about working out. Wait… maybe not that last one. While neglecting a healthy lifestyle may not be on everyone’s itinerary, we’ve all been there. Keeping up your usual routine over the holidays, especially when coupling it with a vacation, is more of a challenge than the first day you move up in weights at the gym. But it doesn’t have to be! Follow these seven easy tricks for staying fit while traveling.

  1. Don’t eat out for every meal

According to a recent study conducted at the University of Illinois, when Americans eat out, they consume about 200 calories more than when they stay in for meals. Multiply that by every single meal for your entire vacation, and you’ve got a major diet-buster on the table. Of course, you want to absorb the tastes and smells of your vacation destination, but taking in the culture doesn’t need to mean taking in the calories. Instead, consider cooking a few meals at home! Head to a local grocery store (which is a cultural experience in itself) and pick out some fresh local ingredients. This can be a bit trickier if you’re staying in a hotel, so opt for an airbnb or timeshare with a kitchen for your next vacation! Your waistline will thank you.

  1. Incorporate an active activity into your itinerary

It’s difficult to stick to a consistent routine while traveling, so work some exercise into your itinerary. If you’re on a seaside vacation, go paddle boarding, surfing, or even swimming. If you’re camping, incorporate some longer hikes into your schedule. You can even try a new cultural experience for exercise: sign up for a salsa class in Spain, try yoga in India, take jiu-jitsu in Brazil, the list goes on and on. The beauty of trying any of these vacation activities is you actually tend to eat less after a workout if you considered it to be fun, according to a study from Cornell University. So not only is it a great way to pass the time, but it will also keep you fit in more ways than one!

  1. Walk with a purpose

Without a doubt, the best ways to really discover a new travel destination is on foot. By walking around a city or town, you have the opportunity to get lost, wander, and stumble across unique sights that haven’t been neatly laid out in your travel book. So why not pack a pair of comfy shoes and stay in shape while you explore!

  1. Sight-see via bicycle

Another great (and active) way to sight-see is via bicycle. Plenty of tourist destinations organize bike tours in the city, which allows you to cover way more ground in a shorter amount of time than walking. But, unlike taking a bus tour, you’re actually getting a nice workout while sightseeing. Another option is to plan a trip that centers on biking in beautiful places. Whether it’s in an international spot or any of these destinations in our own backyard, a biking trip is a great way to make sure you’re staying healthy while enjoying your travel time.

  1. Take advantage of your hotel gym

If you do decide to stay in a hotel during your travels, look into booking an accommodation with a gym. With a workout opportunity in the building, it’s pretty difficult to come up with an excuse to avoid exercise. Consider the gym as part of the cost of your hotel room. If you don’t take advantage of the hotel’s amenities, then you’re simultaneously losing money and gaining pounds. Sound like a lose-lose? Then hit that hotel gym!

  1. Discuss workout plans with a partner

One way to combat workout-neglect on vacation is via teamwork. According to Men’s Fitness, working out with a partner keeps you motivated, makes your workouts more fun, and causes you to try harder. The same rules apply on vacation! Plus, a workout partner will keep you accountable on the days you’d rather reach for a beer than a barbell. So before you even head for vacation, talk with your significant other, buddy, brother, or whoever you’re traveling with, and agree to keep each other on track!

  1. Do a little bit every day

The most difficult part about maintaining your healthy routine on a trip is that you’re simply out of your usual life routine. Since you’re removed from your comfort zone, it’s reasonable to assume you won’t workout as often or diligently as you normally would at home. So instead, focus on accomplishing a little bit every day. Whether you go surfing, biking, or for a long stroll, consider these activities as travel triumphs. According to a recent study conducted at Iowa State University, creating habits is most effectively done by using cues to trigger an activity. Use this technique on vacation! For example, every time your alarm goes off in the morning, do three sets of push-ups, squats, or any workout you can do from your hotel room. This may not meet your usual gym goals, but at least you’ll be keeping active. By the time you return home to your usual routine, you (and your body) won’t feel guilty for taking a vacation.

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.

By Collage Video | | exercise, fitness, goals, Healthy, Jari Love, Motivation, practice, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

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.

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