Love Notes by Jari Love

Posts in the Wellness category

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.

Does Exercise Make You Hungry?

by Jari Love

If you’ve stuck to a new workout routine, chances are you know what the fuss is all about: the exercise-induced endorphins, the sense of accomplishment after you crush a workout, the realization that you actually like being sweaty. But one thing that may not make you love your workout routine: that ravenous, want-to-eat-everything feeling you get after a workout. 

Since weight loss is a combination of burning enough calories and eating fewer calories to create a deficit, if you’re trying to drop pounds, chances are you don’t exactly love the fact that you want to eat all the calories in your fridge when you’ve spent the last 45 minutes burning just a fraction of that. So what exactly makes you hungry after you work out, and how can you change your habits? 

Why You’re So Hungry After a Workout 

It could be the type of workout you’re doing. Studies have shown that the more intensely you exercise, the less ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) your body produces, so a long, low-intensity session could be the reason why you’re ravenous. But other research in women shows that even those who exercise intensely eat more calories after exercise than those who don’t work out, so this isn’t the only appetite-inducing culprit. If you’ve just finished an intense session and still feel like downing an entire pizza, it could be dehydration. Many times our bodies mistake thirst for hunger, so if you’re not adequately hydrated during a workout, you may feel superhungry afterward. 

One study found that the more fit you are, the less you feel like rewarding yourself with food after a workout, so another reason why you’re famished after exercise might be your body and brain haven’t gotten used to your workout habit yet. 

How to Prevent Disproportionate Hunger After a Workout 

If you’re noticing that you’re eating more than you should after a workout, it can be discouraging to want to keep up with your routine. But regularly exercising at least 20 to 30 minutes a day is important for not just weight loss, but also for preventing diseases, boosting immunity, and feeling happier — which means quitting your gym routine because you may be eating a few extra calories is not a good excuse. Instead of forgoing fitness altogether, try these habits to see if they make a difference in your post-workout meal habits. 

– Try doing HIIT (high-intensity interval) workouts instead of low-intensity ones; these bursts can help suppress your hunger hormone.

– Drink enough water before and during your workout; here’s how to make sure you’re getting enough.

– Make sure you’re strength training at least three times a week; muscles boost your metabolism so you’re burning more calories all day long, even when you’re sitting at your desk.

– Eat a small pre-workout snack at least 30 minutes before your session so you perform better and won’t deplete your body of all its energy stores.

– Have a high-carb, high-protein snack after a workout, then eat your dinner a little later. It will help build muscle and energy stores, and eating a low-calorie pre-workout snack before sitting down to a meal can prevent you from overeating when you’ve got a full plate in front of you.

– Stick with it. As your body adapts to your new healthy habit, you’ll figure out what works for fueling it while still sticking to your weight-loss goals. 

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.

When to Eat When Trying to Lose Weight

by Jari Love

Group fitness class members ask me all the time when the best time to eat is to lose weight. Can I eat after 8? Oprah says I shouldn’t, but what does research say. Should I eat a big breakfast and little dinner? Should I eat 5-6 meals a day, or 1? So many questions out there on when the best time to eat to lose weight. This article does a pretty good job at answering those questions. 

We have all heard the age-old advice to eat less and exercise more to lose weight. But a number of recent studies suggest that the key to dieting success is not just in how many calories you eat, or don’t, but in when you eat them. 

“There has been so much energy on what we eat and on carbohydrates and it’s only very recently that there have been studies to say that we have been ignoring timing and timing might be as important,” said Ruth Patterson, professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California, San Diego. 

However, the study was done in mice, and it is unclear whether people could benefit from limiting their hours of eating. “The really strong evidence is in rodent studies mostly where [timing calories] is a huge powerful predictor of overall metabolic health and chronic disease prevention,” Patterson said. 

Studies are starting to trickle in suggesting that fasting, as well as other strategies such as eating the bulk of your daily calories early in the day, could pay off in terms of weight loss. 

“If you are interested in modest weight loss over time or better metabolic health, then this could be the way to go, [but] if you really want to lose a lot of weight fast then you’re still going to have to cut way back on what you eat overall,” Patterson said. 

Cut out Midnight Snacks 

Patterson and her colleagues are carrying out some of the first work to see whether the benefit of fasting that was reported in rodent studies holds true in people. So far, they have found in a large cohort study that women who reported going more hours at night without eating have better control of blood sugar levels. 

Although it is only a guess at this point, Patterson believes that it would improve weight loss if we did away with eating between about 8 at night to about 8 in the morning. She and her colleagues are doing a pilot study to test this schedule in a small group of older women. It is too soon to say how it affects weight loss and overall daily calorie intake, but Patterson said that the women report that the schedule is simpler to follow than the usual dieting strategy of counting calories. 

“We think that nighttime fasting is a feasible lifestyle [while] something like diet is not,” Patterson said. Other fasting methods, such as severely cutting calories two days a week to only a few hundred, known as 5-2 fasting, may be less feasible, she said. 

Early to Dine 

A couple of recent studies suggest that eating the bulk of calories in the first part of the day could lead to greater weight loss. One study of a weight loss intervention in Spain found that adults who ate their largest meal of the day before 3 p.m. lost more weight over a 20-week period than those who ate their largest meal after 3 p.m. 

The benefit of frontloading calories seems to stem from the fact that we are programed to burn more energy at the beginning of the day. A region of our brain acts like our body’s internal clock and sets our circadian rhythms; it controls the activity level of the tissues in our body and also seems to make us metabolize meals in the first part of the day better than meals later in the day, said Frank Scheer, director of the medical chronobiology program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and one of the authors of the study in Spain. 

“We need more research, but to me, you can try [frontloading calories] if you don’t have any medical issues,” said Joan Salge Blake, clinical associate professor of nutrition at Boston University. People who have diabetes or hypoglycemia and need a more steady supply of glucose might not be good candidates for this strategy.+ 

Nibbling or Pigging Out? 

A study of just seven men way back in 1989 propped up the long-held belief that many smaller meals throughout the day trump three big ones. It found that men who ate 17 snacks a day had lower levels of cholesterol than those who ate the same diet concentrated into three meals. 

The jury is still out on the effect of noshing instead of gorging on weight loss, and one recent study found that two large meals a day were better for weight loss than six smaller ones, at least in diabetics. There have not been many studies on the topic because there is so much focus instead on the types of calories you eat, Blake said. A new study is underway that will compare the effects of three and six meals a day on appetite as well as markers of heart disease risk. 

“I think there could be a benefit to weight loss if you break up the meals, as long as the calories are controlled, [because] you are less likely to be starving and eat everything in front of you,” Blake said. 

Breakfast, Not Most Important Meal of Day 

Despite what your mom told you, breakfast might not be the most important meal of the day. A study of college students found that skipping a meal, whether breakfast or lunch, did not lead the students to eat more later in the day compared with the students who did not go hungry. As a result, the meal skippers ate fewer calories overall. 

“I’m a strong believer, our data and others’ suggest it, that humans do not accurately compensate for calories, which means that if you skip a meal or eat less, you’re not going to eat more on subsequent occasions. That’s a good sign,” said David Levitsky, a professor of nutritional sciences and psychology at Cornell University and co-author of the study. 

If you are thinking of skipping breakfast, make sure that you still get enough nutrients from the other meals, Levitsky said. Most Americans get the bulk of their fiber from cereal, which could be problematic for those banishing breakfast, he added. 

However, Patterson warned, it might not be worth skipping breakfast, even if it does help keep your total calorie intake down. 

“In kids, we know breakfast really affects academic performance, and you would think perhaps the same thing would apply to adults,” she said. 

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.

Fight Holiday Weight Gain

by Jari Love

‘Tis the season for merriment, celebrating, and complete overindulgence. All of a sudden, your typically healthy diet morphs into one based predominantly on candy, cheese, fatty meats, and pastries thanks to an abundance of holiday parties. Packing on the pounds seems inevitable. 

Interestingly, the average amount of weight an American gains during the holiday season is far less than most would assume. According to a 2000 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, most folks only add about 1 pound to their frame during this time period. The bigger problem is most fail to lose this weight once the season ends. Repeat this pattern every year, and it’s all too easy to gain 10 pounds or more in a decade. 

In order to avoid the creep of holiday pounds, you need some strategies. Nothing crazy like fasting or running an ultra-marathon, but practical suggestions that are doable. We’re here to help. These seven tips will help you keep your figure through the year’s end without losing your mind. 

  1. Avoid skipping meals 

Opting out of breakfast or lunch seems like a good way to reduce calories leading up to a holiday party complete with a buffet and tasty treats. The idea is you have more wiggle room since you reduced your consumption earlier in the day, yet this strategy rarely pays off. If you show up famished, you’ll wind up eating far more than you normally would. 

Some researchers agree. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry fed one group of mice a restricted diet only once every 24 hours while the other group was allowed to graze on a normal amount of food throughout the day. The mice on the restricted, fasting diet initially lost weight, but once researchers restored their allotted calories to a normal amount, they gained all of it back and stored more fat around their bellies. 

And keep in mind, most of the eats at these get togethers are very high in calories and low in nutrients that keep you full. A bowl of oatmeal earlier in the day will do a lot more to keep you satisfied than one measly cookie. 

  1. Socialize with your friends at parties 

Food plays such a huge role in celebrations, it can be easy to forget why you’re even celebrating. Chances are good a few friends, or at least colleagues you generally like, will be at every gathering you attend. Instead of spending all your time at the buffet table or next to the bar, mingle with your peers. Talk to them, engage, laugh, and enjoy their company. Many of us eat out of boredom, so you’re a lot less likely to overdo it if you’re actually having a good time. 

  1. Start your day with a workout 

December’s calendar probably looks as decorative as a Christmas tree thanks to so many parties and other events. Such a packed schedule often means regular workouts become infrequent workouts. Fight back with a morning sweat session, even if it means waking up a little bit earlier. It’s the easiest way to make sure you stay active without cutting into social events. 

Some evidence even suggests morning workouts may be better for weight maintenance than sweating it up later in the day. A 2010 Belgian study fed participants a high calorie, high fat diet for six weeks and divided them into a group that didn’t exercise, one that exercised after eating, and one that exercised before eating anything in the morning. Both those who remained sedentary and those who worked out after eating gained weight while those who exercised in a fasted state were able to maintain their weight. Try going for a run, hitting the stationary bike, or a circuit. 

  1. Don’t try to shed pounds during the holiday season 

Even if you’re working toward a weight-loss goal, give yourself a little bit of a break during the season of all things butter and sugar. Keep your focus on maintaining rather than shedding pounds or you’ll make yourself crazy. Even the most organized guy will probably run into a situation or two where he doesn’t have the option to eat something nutritious. A busy day at the office might mean dinner ends up being some passed appetizers and a cookie at your office party. No worries, just get back on track the next day. 

  1. Tank up on water 

Staying hydrated keeps your body functioning properly and it could also keep you from overeating. Those who know they head to the food when they get bored should grab a glass of water instead. It gives you something to do the same way a pile of snacks does without the additional calories. 

Feeling hungry? Drink some water first. SparkPeople explained the hunger and thirst cues are very similar and often difficult to tell apart. The desire to eat may evaporate after downing a tall glass of H2O. 

Also, be wary of alcohol. Those liquid calories can be a real killer. For every cocktail, beer, or glass of wine you have, follow it with a full glass of water. It slows you down and helps to balance out the diuretic effect alcohol has on your body. 

  1. Embrace the crudité platter 

Cookies and salty snacks disappear from the buffet table at a rapid pace while the crudité tray remains untouched in the corner. Embrace the veggie platter. The veggie platter is your friend. It’s the one opportunity to load up on fiber and other important nutrients. Stock you plate with as many veggies as you’d like, keeping the fatty dip to a minimum. Filling your belly with produce will leave a lot less room for the unhealthy stuff. It’s the same idea of starting a meal with soup or salad, a strategy many nutrition experts recommend to avoid overeating. 

  1. Choose your indulgences wisely 

If your mom makes the best holiday cake in the world, you should absolutely have that cake. Skip the other treats you don’t care much about, and allow yourself to enjoy something you really love. Those with a serious sweet tooth might have trouble saying no to trying multiple goodies, but they can still be smart about it. Fill one plate with a selection of treats, then split it with a bunch of friends. You’ll end up with just a bite or two of each dessert, which is just right for a little bit of a splurge.

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, holiday, Jari Love, practice, tips, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

5 Reasons you need a massage if you exercise regularly

by Jari Love

Aaahhhh, massage. Just the word alone conjures up images of scented oils and blissful relaxation. I could go for one right about now. But, did you know that massage can help make working out better too? 

Turns out, massage isn’t just a luxury you splurge on at the spa. It can also seriously boost your workouts so you’re getting the results you want. 

“Some kind of massage for people who work out is vital,” says Kimberly Dawn Neumann, an American Council on Exercise-certified fitness instructor at Equinox gyms in New York City. “You don’t have to destroy your body to have the body you want. Taking care of it and being kind [to yourself] has its own benefits.” 

Here are five ways massage can help improve your fitness routine. 

  1. It enhances your post-workout recovery 

A good, therapeutic massage helps loosen up your muscles after an intense workout, which in turn allows you to recover from the impact better and faster than you normally would. “You spend your time tightening and toning your muscles doing weight work and they start to feel like they’re going to snap, they just get so tight,” says Neumann. “Massage helps restore some pliability.” 

  1. It soothes the pain of sore muscles 

Those muscles can really ache after you put them through the ringer at the gym or while pounding the pavement during a run. But, massaging and stretching them can help work out the knots, flush out the toxins that contribute to the “ouch” factor and get the blood flowing again so they don’t hurt so much. 

  1. It makes your muscles work better 

Regular exercise not only puts a strain on your muscles, ligaments and tendons, but it also messes with those connective fibers under the skin known as your fascia — which help the muscles work smoothly and efficiently when they’re in good shape, according to Neumann. 

“The fascia can get really gunked up with repeated exercise, and that makes it harder for muscles to slide past each other easily,” she says. Massage helps by loosening up those fibers so the muscles are doing what they’re supposed to with much less effort. And then, bingo! Your workouts get a nice boost. 

  1. It can increase flexibility 

“Massage can help loosen up the muscles and restore some flexibility,” Neumann says, adding that for most people, flexibility starts decreasing at the ripe old age of 12. “Unless you continually stretch to keep your muscles lubricated, you will get stiffer with age.” But a massage, especially one that includes some stretching exercises, can reverse at least some of that process and give you back a bit of the incredible flexibility you had as a kid. 

  1. It helps you feel better, mentally 

“If you’re just beating yourself up with high-intensity classes or weight training, that’s not going to be completely beneficial,” Neumann explains. “Massage can give you a nice balance with the happy endorphins from working out. It’s a cortisol reducer as well — a stress reliever.” 

She says the best workouts are those combining exercise with what she calls self-care. 

“Instead of saying, ‘I’m going to get the best body, damn it,’ and push push pushing yourself, remember to give yourself care. Massage can be a nice part of that,” Neumann says. “You need both the exercise and the maintenance. That’s part of a well-rounded fitness regimen.” 

Makes perfect sense and sounds great… in theory. But, what if you don’t have the budget for regular professional massages by a therapist or at a spa? 

Neumann suggests hitting up your significant other if you have one who’s willing. Otherwise, there are plenty of ways to do little massages on yourself using foam rollers, tune-up balls and other fitness accessories you can buy for a lot cheaper than booking a weekly massage. You can also just use your hands to work out the knots in the spots you can reach. 

“Many of those will have the same effect from a muscle standpoint,” she says. “You won’t have the same relaxation or the benefits of healing touch, or the fun spa part of it. But you will actually be keeping your muscles in top shape by using some of those self-massage methods.” 

So, what are you waiting for? After your next workout, hit up your guy for a nice back-and-shoulder rub, book a deep-tissue appointment at the local day spa or DIY a massage if you’re feeling adventurous. You’ll get a lot more out of all that exercise and feel much better in the long run. 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.

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