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5 Fat Loss Plan Priorities to Get You Back on the GRIND!

1) Lift weights daily 30 to 60 minutes. Perform training sessions as total body or body part split with negligible differences in fat mass loss. Your ideal rep range is 12-20 reps with no more than 90 seconds rest between sets. Consider performing circuits. Circuits are an outstanding way to train for general fitness and fat loss.

2) Sleep 6 to 8 hours.

3) Drink lots of water! Start with approximately 1 gallon spread throughout the day.

4) Food Exchange priority over counting calories.

– Eliminate processed foods & refined carbs. (No sugar, no alcohol, no pasta, and no breads)

– Replace most carbs with high fiber nutrient dense vegetables.

– Lean Protein with every meal. (Meat, eggs, and low-fat dairy)

– Add Essential Fats! Add Omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil and/or Krill Oil. (No fried or baked foods.)

5) Add short High Intensity Interval Training sessions to your weekly training. Mix in 3 to 6 HIIT workouts. These can rage from as little as 8 minutes to 20 minutes. Longer sessions should be for lower intensity. These short HIIT sessions can be worked into your lifting sessions.

If you would like help with your training and nutrition let me know how I can help.

Take Action

Success doesn’t come from talking about what you want.

The ability to take action is the big divide between those who talk about what they are going to do and those that are doing something.

The world is full of dreamers, but we only ever know of the ones who took action.

Take the leap!

Even the smallest action is better than standing still.

Planning is important, but the reality is that taking even the smallest action will produce results that can demonstrate for you the benefits of taking action. With action, you can create momentum that will carry you forward toward and through the obstacles.

Done is always better than perfect.

The discipline to take action is not something you can inherit.
The desire to take action can not be bought or sold.

The determination to take action can’t come from what others want or expect of you.

You must know your purpose to build discipline.
You must invest in your vision to create true desire.
You must want what’s best for you to have the determination to succeed.

Action is the core of your existence.

Be someone who learns by doing.

Be someone who grows through an action-based process.

Don’t make your goal a fantasy by just talking about it.
Only through action will your dreams have a chance to become real.

The moment you take action you begin to see things more clearly.
The moment you take action you are no longer thinking and feeling the same.
The moment you take action you become more of who you must be in order to succeed.

Make the Tough Decisions

The easy option is rarely the best option.

If the path to success was easy then everyone would be successful.

Hard work and hard living create the character traits and skills you need to succeed.

Life is hard for those that want more from life.

It’s a choice! It’s the right choice!

Take life hard!

Walk hard!

Live hard!

Be harder than what comes your way, but welcome the challenge as the only way you will truly change into the person you want to become.

Know that you deserve to know your best self. You want to know that person!

Tough times are certain, become tougher because you’re willing to make the tough decisions.

Believe in Yourself!

First and foremost believe in yourself.

If you feel nobody else believes in you, be the one that believes in you.

Don’t be upset that you want something that others say you can’t have.

Don’t let the doubt from your past failure or the past failures of those around you dictate your future success.

If you have fallen then get back up.

If you’re in over your head then dig yourself out.

Yes, you can ask for help, but know that there is a good chance nobody will come to help you until they see you succeed.

Believe in yourself!

I believe you have the strength you don’t even know you have.

I believe you have the tools in you at this moment to create massive change in your life.

I believe that you have a purpose.

I believe that as long as you believe in yourself you will know true success.

Training with Purpose

There is going to the gym and working out for the body you have and then there is training for the body you want.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting in your workouts to simply maintain or to help you manage the stress of life. The basic principle to maintaining our health is that we must promote a lifestyle of movement each and every day. This can be built based on the simple practice of walking and stretching. Two training principles that are part of every culture with good health and longevity.

Those that train with purpose are those who follow a plan. If you’re lacking in this area I can easily help you with a training plan for your fitness level and goals.

Beyond the training plan, we must also make a commitment to the areas of our training that support our time in the gym.

Here are just a few reminders:

1. Lift free weights. If you wish to have the strongest and most aesthetic physique then your primary lift in all your training should have you using free weights. Squat. Deadlift. Bench. Row. Overhead Press. Pull Ups.

2. Training in all planes of motion. This should be part of your dynamic warm-ups and in one or more of your secondary movements. This can be accomplished by stacking the exercise together in your training program, making sure you have them in your plan for the week, or can incorporate multi-plane exercises into your training. Lunges or Step Ups with Trunk Rotation. Mace Training or Club Bell Training. Kettlebell Windmills or Turkish Get Ups.

3. Train the muscles you don’t see. Many people want to train mostly the muscles they can see. It’s possible this way of training can cause some imbalance in the body, but mostly it just creates a weak chink in one’s armor. It’s one thing if you’re working on an area more to specifically bring up the development of that area for symmetry. What I’m referring to is the neglect of certain areas. Areas such as the Rear Delts, Hamstrings, Lower Lats, Rhomboids, and Trap 3 Development.

4. Focus on the fuel you put into your body. This is not just about pre and post-workout Nutrition. Take greater responsibility in putting higher quality fuel into your body at all times. Fruits. Veggies. Meat. Fish. Eggs. Nuts. Seeds.

5. Get the sleep your body needs. Make it your goal to get 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Take additional naps when possible. This might be difficult for many people due to work, school, and other responsibilities. Do all you can to ensure you get the proper sleep you need. Don’t convince yourself you don’t need as much sleep. You need sleep for the best results. Lack of sleep will affect both your training now and your health long term.

6. Hydration! Most of us need to improve in this area. Create reminders. Always have water in sight. Dehydration begins with just a 2% loss of water weight. You can easily lose 6 to 10% in one visit to the gym. Drink water before, during, and after your training.

Train with purpose and you will see and feel the changes.

Foods and Supplements That Lower LDL Cholesterol (Bad Cholesterol)

Exercise daily and eat healthily! Only what type of foods and possibly supplements can be taken to target “bad” cholesterol, LDL-low density lipoproteins?

For starters to lower LDL Cholesterol levels it’s important to have a diet that includes a variety of foods that provide soluble fiber.

Here are many of the foods that contain a good amount of soluble fiber.

These foods should be added often and rotated for variety.

* Oatmeal

* Barley

* Flaxseed

* Hazelnuts

* Sunflower seeds

* Black beans

* Kidney beans

* Lima beans

* Brussels sprouts

* Orange

* Asparagus

* Broccoli

* Turnips

* Pear

* Peach

* Apples

* Figs

* Nectarines

* Guavas

* Apricots

* Sweet potatoes

* Carrots

* Avocados

* Whole wheat bread

Phytosterols

Phytosterols are plant sterols or stanol esters, which are naturally occurring compounds found in plants that are similar in structure to cholesterol found in humans. When consumed in the foods you eat, they compete with cholesterol for absorption in the intestine. This can lower the cholesterol levels in your blood, especially the LDL cholesterol that may clog your arteries.

The foods containing Phytosterols are commonly fruits, vegetables, vegetable oils, whole grains, soybeans, mushrooms, lentils, and nuts. Many of these are also foods that contain soluble fiber.

Garlic

To benefit from garlic you will need to daily eat a clove of raw garlic, chewed or crushed. If it’s difficult for you to chew it, you may blend it up to add to your food, but it must be raw.

Black garlic is shown to have the best properties for eliminating lipids retained in your arteries.

Supplements:

Psyllium

A soluble fiber used primarily to add bulk in order to form healthy stools. Comes in powder and pill form. Have with plenty of water or may cause discomfort.

Niacin

The recommended daily allowance is 14 milligrams for women and 16 milligrams for men. Ask your doctor if this is something you need and how much they recommend.

May cause skin itching and flushing, nausea, and more.

Phytosterols

The current body of research has consistently shown that supplementing 2 grams of phytosterols per day can reduce your LDL cholesterol by anywhere from 8 to 10%. However, most can meet these goals by increasing their intake of phytosterol-rich foods and reducing saturated fats.

Side effects, if any, tend to be mild and may include constipation, nausea, upset stomach, heartburn, flatulence, and the discoloration of stools. Phytosterol supplements may reduce the effectiveness of some cholesterol-lowering drugs. Speak to your doctor to see if you should take Phytosterol supplements.

Garlic

Research studies with garlic involving both animals and humans suggest that garlic can lower cholesterol levels.

Garlic is one of the most widely purchased herbal supplements used to lower cholesterol levels.

In most of the studies that produced cholesterol-lowering results, about one-half gram or one gram of garlic was consumed daily.

In order to lower LDL Cholesterol or maintain safe cholesterol levels be sure to exercise regularly and consume whole natural foods while limiting processed food and alcohol. Have annual blood work done to know your total cholesterol and that your LDL Cholesterol is in an optimal range.

The foods and supplements provided can help you on your healthy journey. As always have a conversation with your doctor if you’re concerned about your health.

Food & Supplements That May Increase Melanin Production

Why would you want to increase melanin? Well, research has found that melanin may help protect the skin from dangerous cancer-causing UV rays. By increasing melanin, you may potentially block processes in the body that lead to skin cancer.

How great would it be if we could consume specific foods and supplements that can increase melanin?

Sadly, there are no well-published studies yet that isolate a specific nutrient and provide evidence that it directly increases melanin. However, some studies would suggests antioxidants may help heal and protect the skin resulting in an increase in melanin after its been damaged by UV rays.

Micronutrients like flavonoids or polyphenols, which come from the plants we eat, contain powerful antioxidants that may indirectly increase melanin production.

Consuming antioxidant-rich foods may be our best defense against harmful UV radiation. Foods such as dark leafy greens, dark berries, citrus fruits, and colorful vegetables are known to provide a variety of antioxidants.

Supplementing with some vitamins and minerals may also help. Vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C are important antioxidants that provide protection for the skin. However, there aren’t any studies that prove a link to any specific vitamins and minerals that increases melanin production. Most evidence is anecdotal at this time.

Most studies would suggest that any nutrients that increase melanin production would do so by helping you care for the health of your skin and result in a reduced risk of skin cancer.

Foods and Supplements for Liver Support

First, it’s important to note that no food or supplement alone is known to reverse existing liver damage, and it will not cure infection from the hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus.

The following foods and supplements have been shown to support liver function:

Foods:

Blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries.

Bananas.

Avocado.

Barley.

Beets and beet juice.

Brown rice.

Carrots.

Fig.

Potatoes.

Oatmeal.

Cinnamon.

Garlic.

Grapes.

Grapefruit.

Prickly pear.

Papaya.

Watermelon.

Fatty fish; Salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, herring and trout.

Olive oil.

Nuts such as Brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, and almonds.

Cruciferous vegetables such as brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Teas; Green Tea, Mint Tea, Turmeric tea, Ginger tea, and Chamomile tea.

Lemon added to water or tea.

Dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and arugula.

Egg whites.

Supplements:

Milk thistle (silymarin).

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC).

Turmeric.

Potassium.

Omega-3 fatty acids.

Vitamin E.

Folic acid.

Calcium.

Magnesium.

If you are concerned about your liver health consult your doctor.

Paleo Diet Review

Introduction

The Paleo Diet, also known as the Stone Age Diet or the Caveman Diet, was first popularized in the 1970s.  It is based on the book The Paleo Diet written by Loren Cordain Ph.D. who argues that we need to eat wholesome, contemporary foods from food groups that our ancestors during the Paleolithic era ate.  From roughly 2.6 million years ago to the start of the agricultural revolution, about 10,000 years ago, our ancestors were hunter-gatherers that ingested foods such as fresh meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and healthy oils, and by doing so their health thrived.

Promise

Besides freeing you of a multitude of chronic illnesses and diseases, eating a high-protein, high-fruit, and vegetable diet with moderate to high amounts of fat, with increased quantities of healthful omega-3 and monounsaturated fats, can help you lose weight.  However, if employing this diet to lose weight, you’ll also need to ensure that the protein you ingest has two to three times the thermic effect of either fat or carbohydrates.  In English, this means the protein source has to be able to rev up your metabolism so weight loss occurs.  Another benefit of eating more protein is that it will also help to curb your appetite, a common complaint of those trying to lose weight.

Premise

Cordain argues decades of research support the position that hunter-gatherers thrived and were typically free from chronic illnesses and diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease (heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis), Type 2 diabetes, cancer, autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, etc.) and osteoporosis.  Returning to such a diet will not only provide a myriad of health benefits but also assist those looking to lose weight.

Program Overview

Against a modern backdrop, the Paleo Diet looks to mimic the types of foods that people prior to the Agricultural Revolution ate.  The emphasis is therefore on eating lean meats, seafood, fresh fruits, and vegetables that are high in beneficial nutrients like soluble fiber, antioxidant vitamins, phytochemicals, omega-3, monounsaturated fats, and low-glycemic carbohydrates).  Program followers are encouraged to replace existing dairy and grain products in their diet with more nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables.  

Plan followers can eat lots of fresh lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats.  Eggs, nuts, seeds, and healthier oils such as olive and coconut oil are allowed.  Forbidden foods include any proceeds foods, wheat, dairy products, grains, and legumes.  Also say goodbye to refined sugar, potatoes, salt, and refined vegetable oils like canola.  

Plan Strengths

The recommendation to eat unlimited fruits and vegetables as your source of carbohydrates may provide a low-glycemic index (the rise in blood sugar and insulin levels will be slow or limited).  Excessive jumps in insulin and blood sugar levels have been linked to Metabolic Syndrome – obesity, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, etc.   

The Paleo Diet is high in fiber, protein, and omega-3 fat content, which also helps prevent Metabolic Syndrome.  The high soluble-fiber content of the diet tends to also improve most ailments of the gastrointestinal tract.  The high omega-3 fat content helps to improve many of the related inflammatory diseases as well.

Plan Weaknesses

Outside of Dr. Cordain’s research, there have been only a few small controlled trials that have focused on short-term weight loss.  Those results have not proven impressive.  Critics of the plans point out that restricting entire food groups make any diet difficult to follow for any length of time.  And, while the diet does cut out sugary, fatty, and processed foods, nutritionists point out that you can still do so without eliminating whole food groups.

For some dieters, the cost of eating lean meats, fish, and fresh vegetables may be prohibitive.  Another difficulty lies in picking out lean meats.  Diet followers unfamiliar with the right cuts of meat could easily end up with cuts that are high in artery-clogging LDL cholesterol and saturated fat.  Unfortunately as whole grains, oats, beans and other legumes that are a great source of fiber have been cut out of the diet plan, the ability to lower and/or moderate cholesterol becomes more challenging.

Finally, the plan is not viable for vegans and vegetarians as it is impossible to follow the Paleo Diet without incorporating animal food (meat, seafood, and eggs) into your diet.

Conclusion

The premise of cutting down/out refined foods, trans fats, and refined sugar, from any diet is a sound one given the huge body of research that links these transgressors to a multitude of health concerns.  However, there are other ways to accomplish these tasks that do not require eliminating entire food groups (legumes, whole grains, and dairy).  Food groups that research has shown to have beneficial health benefits.  Additionally, outside of Dr. Cordain’s research, there are too few studies indicating any long-term benefits for this particular plan.

The information provided here is for educational or informational purposes only.  Dave DePew does not endorse any of the programs/services reviewed here.  

Additional Resources

Paleo Diet official website, http://thepaleodiet.com/ 

U.S. News, Paleo Diet – What You Need to Know, http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/paleo-diet

WebMD, the Paleo Diet, http://www.webmd.com/diet/paleo-diet

10 Tips to Beating The Cold and Running Faster & Further by Spring

The leaves are falling.  Daylight’s in short supply, and the chill in the air has most runners thinking of hibernating. While you might need to trade in your running shorts and tank tops for wool wicks, tights, and jackets, the colder weather shouldn’t keep you from doing what you love.

Feeling as if you are standing still or moving backward in your training can make the winter season a very frustrating time for runners, but it doesn’t have to be.  Here are a few tips to help you maintain your running stride. 

1. Running Accountability

Complacency rears its ugly head all too often. Even the most dedicated runner has likely struggled with this on occasion, but learning to hold ourselves accountable takes perseverance and practice.  It requires establishing a system of measurement and assessment, writing down your goal, and listing out the tasks that you must perform daily.  

It also means establishing a set of rewards and consequences based on your ability to meet those tasks. Then, find a coach who can check in with you regularly and ensure that you are meeting your goals, performing your tasks, and facing the required consequences, if necessary.

2. Outside Our Comfort Zone

Have you felt stuck in your running routine?  Maybe you are bored or frustrated that you don’t seem to be progressing.  What you need are new running possibilities and that is exactly what running in colder temperatures will provide you.   Your immediate reaction may be to continue doing things the way you usually do and to stay in your comfort zone.  It’s comfortable there, right?  However, the possibilities that making this minor change in your running routine could potentially set the stage for major fulfillment.  After all, it is sometimes the smallest shift in our thinking or routine that can bring about the biggest opportunity.  

3. Dressed for Success

Runners often hesitate to enter winter racing events for fear of injuries. However, this means missing out on one of the major benefits of cold weather race events — faster times.  We run a lot faster in the cold than we do during the hot-summer month. 

Cold weather running requires the proper attire. How you dress for the elements can make or break your cold weather runs. The right cold weather gear can make all the difference in the world.

4. Visibility 

With the drop in temperature comes to a decrease in daylight hours and nighttime visibility becomes essential. Reflective materials that are sewn into clothing, shoes with attachable lights, a headlamp, and even a flashlight will not only ensure greater visibility but safety as well.

5. Warm-up Inside 

Have you ever taken a frozen steak from the freezer and tapped it on the counter? It’s stiff and not pliable. Your muscles in the cold are just like that steak so don’t expect that when the weather is cold outside you can do a proper warm-up outside. Spending 10-15 minutes doing some dynamic stretching and calisthenics indoors will decrease your risk of injury and make the run much more enjoyable.

6. Weather Ready 

The only thing more unpleasant than being unprepared for foul weather is burning up from too many clothes. Design your run with the intention of shedding layers as you go.  Avoid clothing that is cumbersome or that cannot be easily removed. Must haves include t-shirt, long sleeve T-shirt (polypropylene or capilene), wool wicks, running tights, and a light jacket. 

What you will and won’t likely need:

Yes

  • Underwear
  • T-shirt
  • Long sleeve T-shirt (polypropylene or capilene)
  • Wool wicks
  • Running tights 
  • A light jacket

Unlikely

  • Face mask
  • Beanie Scarf

No

  • Full-length thermal underwear
  • Wind pants
  • Sweater

7. Work Capacity Over Speed or Mileage

Runners want to run faster. The best way to improve our run time is to run more, but running more is not viable for those who find winter running challenging. You have other options. When you start to find it difficult to take to the road the answer isn’t simply to jump on a treadmill. While that is an option, it doesn’t offer nearly the overall advantages that cross-training will provide you. The best option for you would be to participate in an indoor boot camp or go to a gym that specializes in metabolic conditioning. 

Metabolic conditioning allows you to perform shorter more intense aerobic training combined with various forms of resistance training. These sessions range from 30 to 60 minutes and can be structured with free weights, body weight, and kettlebells. 

Many runners who incorporate cross-training and metabolic conditioning have seen increases in their run times even while decreasing their mileage. Cross-training also maintains consistency and provides a much higher level of intensity than running. It also strengthens your core and builds more explosiveness in your lower body through activities like plyometrics, resistance training, and sprints. Some facilities even offer incline speed training and sled drags.

8. After the Run

Once you finish your run, it is important to remove all wet, sweaty clothing. If your running gear mostly consists of clothing made from materials such as polypropylene and capilene, you will be more comfortable as these tend to pull the moisture away from your body while still allowing you to remain warm and dry as possible. 

9. Running Buddies 

Chances are you can’t always count on a running partner unless your running partner is a man’s best friend. However, if you establish your own monthly running event, you can meet up with other runners.  A great bonus is that it also adds another level of accountability. Tip:  to challenge yourself, invite runners who are faster pace-setters than you. Pushing yourself against those who are stronger runners has a way of making you better.

10. Travel Runs

When the weather is at its worse and outdoor runs are limited, it might just be time to head to warmer climates. Vacationing in warmer climates provides a great opportunity to meet new people and explore new running treks.  

Conclusion

Winter months don’t need to be a setback, but you have to be prepared for what the months ahead will bring.

Manage your expectations, begin slowly and over time you can easily build up.