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Friday, March 23, 2012

6 Ways to Stick to Your Diet

So many have us have tried and tried again, we keep starting, and then we binge and then we try again.  It's just an endless cycle.  We know that once we start dieting that we will just inevitably stop.  Let's face it dieting just isn't fun.  You can't drink, no more mickey D's, and no more snacking on chips when you watch TV.  But dieting  is super good for you and it will help you reach your desired fitness goals.  So for those of us who do decide to take the plunge here are six tips that can help you beat that bulge.

1. Chew Gum (and lots of it).
Chewing gum especially cinnamon gum helps suppress the appetite.  Also it helps prevent shameless snacking, because if you already have gum in your mouth you are less likely to mindlessly grab some chips.  In addition gum can help satisfy you if your craving something sweet.

2.  Eat cheat meals
Dieting doesn't have to be an endless marathon where you never eat what you want.  Let's say that we eat 5 meals a day.  A meal is not necessarily a sit down meal, it could be you grabbing an apple on the way to work.  So any snacking we will consider a meal as well.  If you add that up that is 35 meals per week.  Now if you have 35 meals per week you can use the 90: 10 rule.  If 90% of your meals are healthy you can eat 10% what you want.  This can help you satisfy your sweet tooth, without going on a 3 day binge only to regain what you worked so hard to lose.

3. Put hot sauce on stuff
While sometimes diet foods aren't always the best tasting and are a little bland, most hot sauces are 0 calories, and the spiciness helps to suppress your appetite a little bit.  So don't be shy and go heavy on the hot sauce.

4. Keep Busy
When you are sitting at home looking at the computer or just mindlessly watch TV a lot of us have the tendency just to eat out of boredom.  However, if you are busy working on a project, or doing a hobby that you really love, you might just forget about eating all together.  While I don't advocate starving yourself during a diet, if you keep busy you might just forget that you are on a diet all together.

5.  Eat TONS of vegetables
Vegetables like mushrooms, carrots,  cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, etc.  are all mostly water.  It is possible to eat a plate full of vegetables with under a 100 calories.  You literally can not eat too many vegetables.  If you are hungry can some asparagus.  You won't eat too much, you can stuff your face with steamed broccoli, and you may get full but you will not overeat.  Since most vegetables contain mostly fiber and water, you get the full sensation, with all the vitamins just with almost none of the calories.

6. Take pictures of your progress
Let's face it you look at yourself every day in the mirror.  You don't necessarily notice when you are changing or not, however when you take pictures of your self on a weekly basis, you WILL start seeing results, and when you look at those pictures it will give you the motivation to keep on going, because you will be able to see how much you have accomplished.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Workout Split

A lot of people ask me "Mark?  what does your workout look like?"  Well I don't exactly have an easy answer to that.  I very my workouts constantly.  I haven't repeated a workout in years because I like to always have my muscles guessing, and I have seen really good growth from this strategy.  But for the past few months I have done the same body parts on the same day of the week.

A sample of what one of my weeks would look like this

Monday: Legs
Squats:  5x5
Romanian Dead Lift:  3x8
Lunges: 3x8
Leg extension:  4x10
Hamstring Curl:  4x12

Tuesday:  Chest
Dumbell Bench Press:  4x10
Incline Bench Press:  3x8
Incline Dumbell flyes: 4x8
Cable flyes:  3x8
Dumbell front raises:  2x20

Wednesday: Shoulders
Barbell Overhead Press: 5x5
Dumbell front raises: 3x10
Dumbell side raises: 3x10
Cable side raises: 2x12
Dips:  2x20 or to failure

Thursday: Back
Deadlift: 5x5
Hyperextensions: 3x8
Good Mornings:  2x10
Barbell row:  3x8
Lat Pulldown: 3x8

Friday: Arms  (Because you need good arms for when you go out on the weekends)
2x20: tricep pulldowns
3x8: skull crushers
3x5:  overhead extensions
3x8:  Barbell curls
2x10: Dumbell curls

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The 5 Biggest Eating Mistakes

I know that nearly all of us have the goal of building muscle, and losing fat.  While you all may kill it in the gym, that may be for only 1 hour a day.  The other 23 hours is what will really make or break your fitness goals, and that is why nutrition is so important.

1.  Not eating Before/ After your workout
Eating before and after a workout, is the most critical time.  The window that is 30 minutes before the workout and 2 hours after is the most anabolic period for building muscle.  When you eat before you will increase your energy in the gym.  In addition, eating after a workout, will provide your muscles with all the nutrients that you need to gain size, and adequately recover from a workout.

2.  Not being consistent
I know that this one is really obvious, but it needs to be said.  There are so many people (myself included) that just can't seem to keep their nutrition is check ALL of the time.  If you really wan't to see those results your nutrition really needs to be spot on.  If you want to cheat, you can consider adding 1 to 2 cheat meals per week.  These cheat meals would be 1 or 2 out of your 6 meals a day.  So that is like 1 out of 42ish meals which you should be eating per week.  If you can eat 40 meals consistently, then you cheat one that might be OK.  But, don't cheat too often, or you will see your results go away.

3.  Eating Too Much
Many people who are trying to gain mass fall into the habit of just eating everything in sight.  While this may cause you to gain size, the size will be anything but healthy.  You will have an increased risk for diseases.  In addition obesity is another health problem that you could put yourself at risk for.  If you are trying to gain weight it is best to eat around 600 or so calories more than you need.  So if your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is 3000 calories a day, bump it up to 3600 calories a day.  You can calculate your BMR by multiplying 15*Lean Body Mass.  While it may take a little longer to gain size, you will not get that unwanted bodyfat that comes as a result.

4.  Eating Too Little
Yes, I know I just said that eating too much is a problem, but eating too little is also a problem.  There are many people who are trying to gain size/lose weight who just don't eat the adequate numbers of calories needed.  It is important for those even trying to lose weight, that they need to eat enough to get all of the health benefits of food.  Also eating can help you avoid binge eating in the future.  In addition for guys trying to put on size, no matter how much work you do in the gym, if you don't eat enough there is no way that you will be able to pack on that muscle that you want.

5. Eating Too Much of One Type of Food
So many people think that you should have protein over any other food nutrient.  But that is a huge mistake.  It is critical to have enough carbs, proteins, and fats for ideal muscle growth.  While protein what muscles are made of, if you don't have enough carbs or fat, your body will not be able to continue its basic functions, and not having enough carbs or fat, can actually hinder your development.  A good ratio is try is to have 40% protein 40% Carbs and 20% fat.  You can adjust those ratios to fit to your nutritional needs.

Friday, January 13, 2012

All Sources of Protein Are Not Created Equally

What nearly every diet has in common is that protein is one of the most essential things.  Protein is the building blocks of muscle.  In addition it takes more energy to digest protein than any other macronutrient, which is protein carbs and fat.

There are BV's (Biological value) of protein.  Whey protein is rated at 100, and now here are the rest of the proteins.

Whole Egg-99
Cow's Milk-91
Egg White (only)-91
Fish (various) - 83
Beef - 80
Casein -80
Chicken - 79
Soy - 74
Wheat Gluten - 64
Rice - 59
Wheat - 54
Beans - 49

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ginkgo Memory Benefits

Ginko is a an herb that is ground up to make medicine.  While there are many benefits of ginko one of the most well known one's is its help in memory loss.  In addition it can help slow Alzheimer's disease and it can help sharpen the memory skills of younger people.

While Ginko has many memory benefits, its benefits may include aiding in PMS (Postmenstrual sydrome), improve distance vision with those with macular degeneration, improve color vision for patients with diabetes,  and it can act as an antidepressant.  In addition people use it for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), blood clots, heart disease, high cholesterol, "hardening" of the arteries, depression, and mountain sickness.  However these things have not yet proven to be effective from ginko.

Ginko benefits memory and helps the body by improving blood flow.  In addition ginko seems to help kill bad bacteria, which could be a cause of disease.  So in general if you are not taking ginko, you should consider it because it could help you really improve your health.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Coenzyme Q-10 Benefits

Coenzyme Q-10 or Co Q-10 is a nutritional supplement with a lot of value.  It is really good for the heart, and it should be added to any person diet who either has a CO Q-10 deficiency or a Mitochondrial disorder, which is a inherited or acquired disorder that limits the energy production in the bodies cells.

However, even if you don't have these things, co q-10 can help the body with a whole bunch of other things.  In addition to helping mitochondrial disorders, co q-10 is effective in treating :

  • Congestive heart failure (CHF), in combination with other medications.
  • Decreasing the risk of additional heart problems in people who have had a recent heart attack (myocardial infarction).
  • Huntington's disease.
  • Preventing blood vessel complications caused by heart bypass surgery.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) in combination with other medications.
  • Preventing migraine headache.
  • Parkinson's disease. Some research shows that taking coenzyme Q-10 supplements might slow functional decline in people with early Parkinson's disease. But taking a coenzyme Q-10 supplement in people with mid-stage Parkinson's disease does not seem to improve symptoms.
  • Improving the immune system of people with HIV/AIDS.
  • Muscular dystrophy, an inherited disorder involving muscle wasting.
Co Q-10 has very few side effects that could include, loss of appetite or upset stomach.  But, it is pretty much a safe supplement, that can be given to children.  It is also relatively inexpensive, and can be found at most nutrition stores or some drug stores.  You should add co-q 10 to your supplement stack today!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Valerian Roots Benefits, helping you get a good night sleep

Do you have trouble sleeping?  You don't want to take sleeping pills, and melatonin just doesn't seem to be working.  Try taking some valerian.  There are many valerian root benefits that can help you, but helping insomnia is its number one benefit.  However, you need to be slightly careful because some people experienced side effects such as headaches or uneasiness when they were on valerian.  But valerian root is an all natural supplement so you should not worry about taking it.

There also is thoughts that there are more valerian root benefits in addition to helping insomnia.  There is thoughts that it helps: depression, convulsions, mild tremors, epilepsy, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), muscle and joint pain, headache, stomach upset, menstrual pains, menopausal symptoms including hot flashes and anxiety, and many others.  However you should be careful, and not use it for these things, because all of these have not been proven.

In addition if you are using valerian for sleep, it may take as much as a month before you see sleeping results.  But, valerian could be used as more as a cure to insomnia instead of just a quick fix, because it acts like a sedative to the brain.  I would suggest that you try and see the valerian roots benefits for yourself.  It may just help you get that good night sleep that you have always wanted.
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