Muscle Building: A Good Idea For Women, Too

Putting on muscle mass may have seem like a topic for guys who want to bulk up. However, building muscle is important for women, too. Keep your active imagination in check, resisting images of bikini-clad, muscle-bound women bodybuilders. While that level of muscle mass on a woman is an impressive demonstration of self-control and the ability to train muscles, it’s a result that requires a lot of hard work and more attention to your diet than you ever want to give. For the average woman, female muscle growth provides vital support for the bones and can positively affect the aging process. Plus, it’s easier for women who put on muscle mass to lose fat.

You Can’t Bulk Up (Easily)

It takes a lot of testosterone–more than you have–to build big, bulky muscles.

The fact that women bodybuilders exist proves that women are capable of putting on muscle mass in serious amounts. However, as fitness and nutrition expert Catherine Piot points out in her book “The Fit Body Plan,” women don’t produce as much testosterone as men do, so they don’t have the genetics to gain muscle as easily as guys can. To accomplish significant female muscle growth, a gal has to adjust her entire lifestyle, centering it around workouts and diet.

If I Could Turn Back Time

Resistance training can do more for anti-aging than a ton of expensive cosmetic treatments.

Growing older is a fact of life for everyone. Right around the age of 40, people start to notice little differences in how their bodies function and those little differences soon become major limitations. According to a study reported by the IDEA Health and Fitness Association, however, not only can muscle building workouts slow the aging process, but they can actually reverse it. In fact, the study showed that resistance training reversed the aging process right down at the genetic level.

Support Those Bones

Bones supported by strong muscles don’t break easily.

The International Osteoporosis Foundation reports that osteoporosis affects an estimated 200 million women worldwide and that 1 in 3 women over 50 will suffer from osteoporosis-related fractures. Considering that major loss of muscle mass is one of the leading causes of osteoporosis, all women should be  strength training to build muscle. Everyone from the National Institute of Health to the CDC recommends muscle building for avoiding osteoporosis. That’s because muscles not only provide support for your bones, but the stress of strong muscles working against your bones improves bone strength and will even stimulate bone growth, according to a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise. In light of these facts, muscle fitness for women should be a top priority.

Tip the Scales: Build Muscle Mass, Lose Fat

Maintaining muscle mass keeps the fat off your middle–and everywhere else.

If anti-aging and avoiding osteoporosis aren’t enough reasons for you to embark on a muscle-building regimen, then do it to stay trim. Not only do women who strength train have a pleasing, toned look to their physiques, but they also have an easier time keeping fat weight off. That’s because muscle is metabolically active. It literally burns calories all the time, even when you’re not working out. This is one of those times when something that sounds too good to be true isn’t; it’s a scientifically proven fact.

If you’re in a panic, thinking that you should have started putting on muscle mass long ago, you’re right. Whatever your age, however, it’s not too late to start resistance training. And you don’t have to pump iron if you don’t want to. Training with resistance bands is an excellent, safe alternative. It speeds up strength and muscle gains by allowing you to lift at your maximum potential. Go ahead, give it a try. You have nothing to lose and only muscle mass to gain.

Autumn Is An Awesome Time To Focus On Fitness

Shorter days, colder temperatures…winter is on its way and the holiday season is coming with it. It can be festive and fun, but the holidays are also notorious for interfering with health and fitness. We asked health and nutrition expert Helen Sanders to share some advice on using fall to kick-start your fitness and weight loss plans:

Healthy eating is often tossed aside during the holidays. Christmas and Thanksgiving usually include gut-busting turkey dinners and endless holiday parties. It can also be harder to motivate yourself to work out once the summer shorts and tank tops have been tucked away in your wardrobe for yet another year.

However, instead of being a time for winding down, fall can be the ideal time to get proactive and kick-start your fitness regime before the holidays even start. Weather conditions in the fall can be much more comfortable than the snow, rain, and ice of winter. Plus, there’s the added bonus that the gym will not be full of the post-Xmas part-timers when you visit in the off-peak fall season. So Why wait until January to make a resolution to get in shape? There’s no time better than now!

Get Out and Enjoy the Scenic Outdoors

In many parts of the U.S., fall is the most beautiful time of the year. A stunning array of autumnal colors make this an ideal time to go for a run, bike ride or even a brisk walk. Use the parks and countryside to your advantage for your fitness routine and enjoy this wonderful time of year while getting fit.

The change in season also brings about a change in climate, with temperatures often cooling down rapidly from the summer highs. Exercise can often be more enjoyable when you are sweating less but don’t have to layer up just yet. As it gets cooler, investing in breathable, moisture-wicking clothing can prevent having to peel the layers off as your blood gets pumping.

Experts in kinesiology have found that weather conditions can encourage or deter physical activity. Bad weather can actually be a barrier to physical activity, but exercising and being outdoors in nature have also been found to boost your mood. If you’re enjoying yourself, you’re more likely to stick with your fitness plan.

Take Advantage of Lower Prices

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Autumn is often the best time to find a bike on sale – and a new bike is a great motivator to exercise.

With fewer people trying for that beach body and most new year’s resolutions forgotten, fall is a quieter period for many gyms. Fall can be the perfect time to take advantage of the discounts and incentives offered by many gyms to attract new members. If you prefer a traditional gym workout, now could be the ideal time to join before the colder winter months see a gym membership rush.

Fall could also be the ideal opportunity to save money on that new bike you may have been eyeing all summer. Mountain Bike World Magazine says fall is often the best time to buy a new bike. Many bike manufacturers bring out their new models in September and will heavily discount the previous year’s models to clear them. 

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A stroll through the local farmers market is exercise in itself. Plus, you’ll go home with loads of fresh, healthy food.

Enjoy the Harvests of Fall

A healthy diet is an important part of any fitness plan. With autumn comes a wide variety of fresh seasonal produce full of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants needed to fuel your body as you workout. A hike or bike ride could include a trip to the local farmers market to sample the fall harvest. You could also save money by buying local fresh produce at this time of year.

New Season, New Schedule

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Fall is the perfect time to enroll in a class you’ve always wanted to try. Image by John Seb Barber/Flickr

The kids going back to school after the long summer holidays can leave many of us with free time to fill. This provides the perfect chance to try that new gym or take up a new hobby which may help with fitness plans. Maybe a salsa dance class or a martial arts course can help revive your workout sessions.

Fall can also be a time when the TV schedules feature a return of many of your favorite shows. Try doing a few ab crunches or lunges while binge-watching episodes of Yellowstone or discovering what you missed with Netflix’s Schitt’s Creek.

After a long, hot summer, fall can be the best season to kickstart your fitness regime. By starting your plan early you will be free to enjoy the holiday season with fewer feelings of guilt. A little extra work now means not having to worry about a few extra calories here and there throughout the holidays plus, you can look stunning in that little black dress when the Christmas party season starts.

 

Helen Sanders is chief editor at HealthAmbition.com. Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. We pride ourselves on making sure our actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Working Out with an Injury

This week, TargitFit is pleased to bring you an informative health and fitness article from Dr. Brent Wells, D.C.:

There is nothing to compare to the joy of being able to move freely, without pain, and having the energy to get through our days without the need for that 3 PM pick-me-up coffee.

Exercise brings us multiple benefits, including a full range of motion without pain, and increased energy levels to name a few, but what happens to your workout when you have an injury?

Some of us love working out so much and feeling those endorphins kick in that when we become injured, whether through exercise or in some other manner, we still think working out is ok, but is it really?

Today I want to talk to you about the dos and don’ts of working out when you have been injured.

It Isn’t the End of the World

Becoming injured does not mean that your entire world comes to a halt. You should still be able to do many things you normally do, including your favorite exercise, in most cases anyway.

While you might need to give your injury a short time to heal and give your body time to rest, most times you can modify your workout so that you can still enjoy exercising without doing more harm than good.

If you were injured while playing a sport, at the gym, on the job, or simply by accident, the following list of do’s and don’ts will help you heal faster and get your regular schedule back on track sooner, rather than later.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Working Out with an Injury

Keep in mind that this list will vary from person to person based on the type of injury you have suffered. If you’ve broken your leg, for example, swimming is not going to be an option for you. So, if one item on this list doesn’t apply, try another one.

  • DO recognize when to stop. If it hurts, chances are that the injury hasn’t healed, or the exercise is doing you harm. Seek out the advice of your doctor or chiropractor.
  • DO adjust your exercises so that the affected area can rest. Yes, this may mean several weeks of rest for injuries such as tendonitis, but it is necessary to avoid re-injuring yourself and making matters worse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • DON’T “push through the pain.” I’ve seen too many people think “no pain no gain” is the way to go and they only end up hurting themselves even further. There is a difference between pushing your body to the max and physical pain from an injury.
  • DON’T ask your friends on social media what the problem might be and then follow their advice (unless they are a doctor or chiropractor, of course) Will tendonitis go away on its own? Your chiropractor or doctor knows, your friends, probably not.
  • DO listen to your body and your doctor. If your elbow hurts, for example, even when you aren’t working out, this would NOT be a good time to spend an hour on the rowing machine! Listen to and follow the instructions of your doctor or chiropractor. They study sports injuries in college so they are well equipped to advise you of what you need to do.

 

  • DO visit your chiropractor. They will not only help you avoid future problems, but they can also set you on the road to healing and suggest modifications to your workout so you can get the best of both worlds: healing and
  • DON’T stretch a pulled or torn muscle. Stretching is normally a good idea before and after your exercise routine but if the muscle has been damaged, you will only be exacerbating the problem.
  • DON’T take painkillers so you can keep working out. This is a really bad idea! Speak to your doctor, pharmacist, or chiropractor about natural anti-inflammatory supplements that can reduce pain levels naturally.
  • DO wait until you have felt no pain for one week or more before you begin exercising the injured area again.
  • DO start off slowly. Don’t expect your injured arm, leg, or back to be able to handle pre-injured levels of exercise.

Most of these do’s and don’ts are common sense, but so many people eschew them for advice from friends, relatives, or out of stubbornness.

If you are experiencing pain when you exercise or if you have sustained an injury and, despite rest, it still causes you pain after 4-6 weeks, it’s time to seek the professional help of a chiropractor or your primary care physician.

 

Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. Besides spinal adjustment, his clinic has treated thousands of patients in Alaska through massage therapy designed to provide long-lasting relief.

Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe, Organic Facts, and Thrive Global. He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.

Shed Fat, Boost Your Mood, and Reduce Inflammation With the Steak and Egg Diet

This week, Targitfit is pleased to bring you an informative diet article by Carnivore Aurelius:

Source

Are you interested in a diet that may be able to help you:

  • Shed body fat
  • Detox from decades of a bad diet
  • Increase lean muscle mass
  • And improve your skin
  • For just 3 INSTALLMENTS OF $9.99…just kidding! The steak & eggs diet, one of the simplest ways of eating in the world, may be it.

This article explains what the steak and egg diet is, how it works, commonly reported benefits and what science has to say about it. It also offers guidance on how to begin this radical eating plan and what you should expect from a physiological viewpoint.

What is the Steak & Eggs Diet?

The steak and eggs diet is similar to the “all meat diet”, the “zero-carb diet”, and the “carnivore diet”. It is a simple but radical eating plan that helps many people to lose fat and develop more lean, ripped muscles. It’s all about healthy fats and protein!

It is simple because it only consists of – you guessed it – broccoli. No, it’s just steak and eggs, of course! It goes against the mainstream beliefs about healthy dieting and sticks a defiant middle finger in the air at veganism and other plant-centered, carb-heavy diets.

Eating only steak and eggs for lunch and dinner every day is radical because it totally eliminates every single other food. NO vegetables or vegetable oils. NO grains. NO sugar. NO carbs! This nonconformist eating plan makes the body burn fat as a primary energy source.

That means that people on the steak and eggs diet are not exposed to all of the bad foods that most other people are.

And because there are only 2 meals eaten each day within an 8-hour time period, practitioners are engaging in Intermittent Fasting, which offer loads of healthy benefits – like losing weight, having more energy, and enhancing the body’s detoxification capacity!

Many of you know why a carnivore diet works well already. The steak and eggs diet works for many of the same reasons. The first of which is because it’s a radical elimination diet, cutting out many of the ubiquitous disease causing foods

  • Seed oils
  • Sugar
  • Refined carbs
  • Processed food
  • Alcohol
  • Inflammatory vegetables

It’s no secret that many (most) people consume nutrient-void foods that cannot enable their bodies to function optimally. Most of the foods that people eat cause systemic inflammation, a key marker in nearly every disease including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, autoimmune disease, and arthritis just to name a few.

Check out this more in-depth article about why the carnivore diet works to learn more.

Who is Vince Gironda?

Before we jump in further, let’s take a look at where the all-meat diet originated from.

Enter Vince Gironda, a champion bodybuilder in the 1950s and trainer to celebrities in and out of the bodybuilding realm – including Frank Zane, Larry Scott, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cher, Denzel Washington, and the great Lou Ferrigno. Vince is perhaps most famous for calling Arnold a “fatfuck”.

Gironda attributed his success in bodybuilding to his diet. In his opinion, about 80% of a bodybuilder’s success depends on the foods he or she consumes. He developed the steak and eggs eating plan based on what our human ancestors survived and thrived on for millennia: animal meats and organs. The goal: to shred body fat in a hurry.

Vince Gironda at certain points would eat 36 eggs a day, which he compared to a cycle of steroids. Steak & eggs are two of the most anabolic foods in the world, as they increase cholesterol, have a lot of protein, and a complete amino acid profile.

Benefits of the Steak & Eggs Diet

Note that there has not been any long-term clinical research that supports or refutes the proposed benefits of the steak and eggs diet. However, there have been various small trials conducted that strongly suggest multiple health benefits, at least in the short-term.

With that being said, millions of people swear by the results they achieve while practicing this radical meal plan program. Here are some of the commonly purported benefits:

  • Rapid fat reduction and associated weight loss
  • Reduced systemic inflammation
  • Increased sexual drive (libido)
  • Increased testosterone levels
  • Stronger, less painful joints
  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved mental clarity
  • Reduced chronic pain
  • Happier mood
  • Healthier skin

The steak and eggs diet requires no calorie counting, carb counting, or any other type of dietary counting.

In a nutshell, it includes 1-2 pounds of beef meat and organs and 6-10 eggs daily, divided between two meals. That is ALL!

It makes grocery shopping a breeze and eliminates a lot of cooking time relative to preparing multi-course meals.

The steak & eggs diet is a great diet. But an even more powerful way of eating is adding in the other animal products that are even more nutrient packed (like beef liver!).

How Does the Steak & Eggs Diet Work?

Consider the prehistoric person: There was no McDonald’s or Pizza Hut to drive through and obtain food.

Instead, hunter-gatherers had to acquire their meals by eating other animals and gathering what plants they could. The bulk of their calories came from the animal meats and organs – not from the organic plants they discovered while on routine gathering trips.

#1 Radical Elimination Diet

The biggest reason why the steak & eggs diet is so effective is because it eliminates all of the main inflammatory culprits.

The standard american diet is death in a package. Frankly, anything that moves away from it is going to be beneficial.

The steak & eggs diet removes everything on the Mt. Rushmore of inflammatory foods: vegetable oils, sugars, processed carbs, fructose and inflammatory vegetables + pesticides.

All too often, people search for the next superfood to add, when in reality cutting out problematic foods often yields the greatest benefit.

Cutting out these foods will dramatically reduce immune system activation and inflammation. And yes, even supposedly healthy vegetables can be damaging.

Plants produce their own natural pesticides to fend off predators like you. Lectins, saponins, oxalates, and goitrogens in plant foods all play a role in disease.

Almost every single plant food has one of these booby traps. Learn why you don’t need vegetables here.

#2 Ketosis

The primary method of action that makes the steak and eggs diet so effective for shedding fat involves making a shift from using glucose and other sugars for energy to burning stored fat for energy.

When the body uses glucose, fructose, lactose, and other carb-based foods for energy, it relies on glycolysis to break those sugars down.

You can read more about ketosis and its effects in the article from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

When the body takes in NO carbohydrates, it begins to metabolize stored fats in order to gain the energy it needs to facilitate its many metabolic processes. This is WHY we store fats in the first place: to have nutrients and energy available to us in times of famine.

In fact, animal meat, organs, and fats are what made humans evolve in the manners that they did. It wasn’t bananas, broccoli, rice, tofu, or French fries. It was animal meat, animal organs, and animal fat!

Ketones have a number of benefits including

  • Increase longevity in c. elegans by 20%
  • Improve sirtuin function + DNA repair
  • Increase glutathione endogenously
  • Reduce oxidative damage
  • Upregulate foxo3, a longevity gene
  • Reduce DNA damage in the brain
  • Increase cognitive function

They are the ultimate superfuel.

This study from ben bikman pictured below also showed that a low carb keto diet actually makes you burn 300 more calories at rest.

Talk about a cheat code for weight loss.

#3 Satiety

Satiety is feeling full after eating. It comes from the brain recognizing that some quality nutrients have been taken into the body. Our brains shut off hunger signals to tell us that we have eaten enough. The food is then digested and nutrients are derived and distributed throughout the brain and body to enable function.

Most people believe that they MUST eat 3 meals daily and that being hungry will surely cause them illness and eventual death. They mistake the hunger signals from their brains, believing that they need “food” instead of “nutrients”.

THIS is all-together inaccurate. In fact, this erroneous belief is one of the largest contributors to the pandemic levels of obesity and almost every other disease in nearly every country on the planet today.

Frankly a calorie is not a calorie. Try eating 2000 calories of both Doritos and eggs. The Doritos will disappear without even flinching. Whereas doing it with eggs is near impossible (unless you’re Vince Gironda).

Your brain gives a hunger signal when it requires nutrients to facilitate the many processes of daily life – including walking, talking, thinking, hunting, gathering, and even thinking and sleeping. EVERYTHING we do requires energy. The better the source of the energy, the better the brain and body can function.

Poor foods, like those that comprise the modern western diet, are poor energy sources. When eaten, they provide no real nutritional value for the body or brain. It quickly results in the brain sending out more hunger signals – because it recognizes that it has not yet received the nutrients it requested initially.

And over the course of decades of consuming these nutritionally-void foods, they destroy their health, wreck their psychology, and often die prematurely. No thanks!

The Steak and Eggs meal plan gives your body all of the essential nutrients it requires to burn fat and thrive. It is so simple because meal planning and food preparation times are significantly reduced. This radical diet also works by:

  • Providing nutrient-dense foods
  • Increasing protein intake
  • Eliminating bad foods
  • Improving gut health

#4 Increased Nutrient Density

Nutrients are vital for all cellular function. They play a role in everything from growth to immune support, to brain function. Many also have antioxidant properties that can protect against diseases like cancer and Alzheimers.

But most people are extremely deficient in vitamins. Some common ones are below:

  • Vitamin D: 77% of American’s are deficient in Vitamin D
  • Vitamin B12: 3% of adults over 50 have extremely low vitamin D levels. 20% have borderline deficiencies. Amongst Vegans and Vegetarians vitamin b12 deficiency is much more common
  • Vitamin A: Vitamin A is only found in sufficient amounts that your body can absorb in animal products. It’s likely that if you’re not eating enough animal products, you’re deficient. Deficiencies amongst children and women are the most common. Approximately 127 million preschool-aged children and 7 million pregnant women are vitamin A deficient.
  • Iron: 25% of the world is deficient in iron. Anemia is even more common amongst vegan
  • Calcium: Over 20% of men and 10% of women over 50 are deficient in calcium
  • Zinc: 1.1 billion people are deficient worldwide

This paints a disturbing picture. No wonder chronic disease is so prevalent. Adequate vitamin intake is necessary for optimal function.

The steak and eggs diet increases satiety after meals because both red meat and eggs are LOADED with quality nutrients. This comes as a big surprise to a lot of people. They are unaware that red meat and eggs are two of the most nutritious foods in the world.

Wanna check it out for yourself? OK – here it is! The micro-nutritional breakdown of 2 pounds of steak and 8 chicken eggs (the percentages are relative to the US RDAs for each):

  • 660% of vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
  • 479% of zinc
  • 438% of selenium
  • 291% of phosphorus
  • 216% of vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • 183% of iron
  • 177% of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
  • 175% of vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • 92% of potassium

That’s not all! The same amounts of steak and eggs also contain vitamin B1 (74%) magnesium (66%), copper (64%), folate (63%), pantothenic acid (57%), vitamin A (54%), vitamin D (34%), calcium (32%), vitamin E (27%), and manganese (8%), and even trace amounts of vitamin C (ascorbic acid).

Possible Downsides of the Steak & Eggs Diet

Again, there have been no long-term clinical studies exploring the health benefits or negative effects of the steak and eggs meal plan. Most of what is known about it stems from anecdotal reports by people who practice it.

Although eating steak and eggs and nothing else may sound enticing, it can take some getting used to, especially for those who have had poor diets for many years. Some people report having cravings for the foods they are used to consuming.

That’s OK!

It is good advice to allow yourself a cheat day here and there when beginning to practice any new eating plan. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Many people even schedule a cheat day once every 6th day to avoid becoming burnt-out of only red meat and eggs. Just try to avoid carbs as much as possible on your cheat days.

Aside from cravings, there aren’t a lot of downsides reported about the steak and eggs diet. Just pay attention to what your body and brain are telling you and modify your eating habits accordingly.

If you have ANY chronic underlying medical condition, then please consult with your doctor before changing your eating habits.

Conclusion

The steak & eggs diet is a great diet. But an even more powerful way of eating is adding in the other animal products that are even more nutrient-packed (like beef liver!).

If you’re interested in learning more about the carnivore diet, sign up below for my 14 day guide to mastering it.

This article originally appeared on carnivoreaurelius.com.

Carnivore Aurelius is a nutrition and biochemistry expert who’s studied for over 5 years. He used the carnivore diet to cure IBS, rheumatoid arthritis and his acne. He’s passionate about distilling complex nutritional information down to actionable advice.

How To Stick With a Weight Loss Program

How many times have you started a weight loss program? If you started and are still sticking with it, good for you! You’re definitely in an elite minority. According to Psychology Today, even when people are faced with a major incentive such as losing weight and getting fit versus dying, about 90 percent don’t make the necessary changes. Alternatively, many start but don’t stick with it. If you’re tired of feeling tired and wish your clothing was a few sizes smaller, you need more than another weight loss plan. Follow these weight loss tips to understand how to make weight loss part of your lifestyle.

Change Your Mind, Change Your Life

There is no finish line for weight loss. Losing weight and keeping it off requires a long-term lifestyle change.

Whether it’s on doctor’s orders, for an event like a wedding or class reunion, or you just want to lose weight to look and feel better, you have to understand that weight loss success only comes when you change your mindset and your lifestyle. Don’t start with the thought that you only have to keep it up for 3 weeks, 4 months, or any set time. According to HelpGuide.org, there’s no such thing as a quick fix that results in permanent weight loss. Yes, you’ll have to continue eating better for the rest of your life. No, you won’t reach a point where you can quit working out. But trust us–it will all be worth it once you start seeing results.

The Secret to Setting Goals

Treat yourself to a reward like a day at the beach when you meet short-term weight loss goals.

You might have one big overall goal in mind when you start a weight loss plan, such as dropping two dress sizes or losing 50 pounds. Even when they need to happen, those numbers as goals are overwhelming. To make losing weight more manageable (and more likely), break up your overall goal into smaller, short-term goals. Aim to lose 4 to 5 pounds in the first four weeks, for example. That’s a goal that you can achieve and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accomplishing short-term goals is great motivation to stick with a weight loss program. Celebrate those small accomplishments, too. Treat yourself to that gadget you’ve been eyeing or a new outfit for the thinner, fitter you. Recognizing those accomplishments will encourage you to keep going.

Take Your Time

Use a heart rate monitor to ensure you work hard enough without over-exerting yourself.

When you first start, you’ll be all fired up to lose weight fast, but having such high expectations guarantees disappointment and failure. After years of a sedentary lifestyle, your body won’t know what to make of the sudden change. It may take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months to start seeing results. Know that going in, and don’t get discouraged. Don’t try to force quick weight loss, either. Overexertion for a body that’s used to sitting all day and lounging all night can be detrimental to your health. Figure your optimum heart rate and use a heart rate monitor to keep it high enough but don’t exceed maximum heart rate. The CDC recommends this calculation for figuring your target exercising heart rate:

  • 200 – your age = maximum heart rate (MHR)
  • MHR x 60 to 70% for moderate intensity
  • MHR x 75 to 85% for vigorous intensity

Partners Shouldn’t Make or Break Weight Loss

bench press

Not having a workout partner shouldn’t derail your weight loss plans.

Weight loss programs are easier when you have a partner to help keep in check. Even if you have a friend who is willing to work out with you and help you stay accountable in the diet department, don’t put all your weight loss eggs in someone else’s basket. Do it for yourself and don’t count on them to keep you eating healthy or getting to the gym. There will be times your workout partner can’t make it, or he might lose interest in the diet part of the . Accept any support you get from a partner, but commit to doing it yourself.

Ask the Expert: How Do I Lose Weight Fast?

Being a personal trainer and having been a natural bodybuilder for years, the question people ask me most is how to lose weight — often, it’s specifically how to lose weight fast. Although there are some basic, common-sense guidelines for weight loss, everyone is working from a different starting point and with different circumstances including health history, genetics and personal weight loss motivation. It’s sometimes hard to hear, but weight loss success stories typically include equal parts exercise and attention to diet. If you can get past what you wish were true about weight loss programs and get motivated to put effective weight loss tips to work, the outcome will be guaranteed weight loss.

Diet and Exercise: the Power Couple of the Best Weight Loss Program

Those who aren’t partial to working out want to do it all through diet, and those who love their food hope for significant weight loss through exercise alone. Either approach will bring results, but when you incorporate both together, those results will be even quicker and more significant, and it will be a healthy weight loss that will last.

Avoiding the Hunger Games

Drinking water before, during, and after your workout will help fight hunger.

Your body is used to doing its normal thing using a certain number of calories. When you up your calorie burn with exercise, be prepared for your appetite to increase when you first start working out. To avoid the urge to binge after working out, make sure to fuel up ahead of time by eating a full, protein-packed meal about 2 hours before your work out. If you don’t have time for a big meal, the American Council on Exercise recommends having a light snack that includes both carbs and protein about 30 minutes before exercising. Other useful tips for avoiding hunger when dieting include chewing gum, drinking water, and brushing your teeth immediately after eating.

A Healthy Weight Loss Diet

Track calories to ensure you’re burning more than you’re eating. Image by mayberryhealthandhome.com via Kevin Simmons/Flickr

To lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you take in, and it helps if those are healthy calories. Start keeping track of how many calories you eat each day. MyFitnessPal has a calorie counter along with an extensive library of the calorie content of different foods. The good news is that successful diet plans are less about depriving yourself and more about portion control and when you eat. Most people will benefit from small adjustments to their diet such as increasing protein, switching to skim milk, and not eating after 6 pm (or at least getting a 12 to 14-hour fast between your last meal of the day and the first meal of the next day). As for calories, the free extreme weight loss diet from TargitFit runs around 1200 calories, which may be perfect for kick-starting weight loss, but might not be optimal for some people. To make sure you’re getting enough calories for your specific situation, you can figure the best calorie intake for weight loss using this formula:

your current weight x 15 – 500=optimal calories you need to lose weight

This calculation allows for a healthy maintainable weight loss of about 1 lb per week. Increase the “500” in the formula to 750 or 1000 for more rapid weight loss, or eliminate it entirely for the number of calories you need for weight maintenance.

Working Out for Weight Loss

Jen working out

Resistance training increases your fat-burning capabilities.

Taking an aerobics class or hitting the treadmill for 30 to 45 minutes three or four times a week will burn fat and keep your cardiovascular system in top condition. You can do more, though. Building muscle with resistance training will enhance your body’s fat-burning and weight loss capabilities because muscle is metabolically active. According to ShapeFit, every pound of muscle you put on will burn an extra six calories each day. So, let’s say your weight stays the same, but you replace 3 lbs of fat with 3 lbs of muscle. That’s an extra 126 calories you’ll burn every week without doing anything. That’s a nice payoff for time spent on the TargitFit Trainer or other resistance training program.

–Matt

Can Substituting Stevia for Sugar Help You Lose Weight?

Sometimes weight loss can feel like an uphill battle, and a lot of advice from the “experts” can seem to conflict. We asked Pyure Organic what they know about using stevia for weight loss and they were kind enough to share this information:

The bottom line is that the only way to lose weight is to create a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories than your body burns for energy.

There are many ways to accomplish this, and targeting added sugars and replacing them with stevia is an easy and tasty fix.

Research has shown that subjects given foods or beverages containing stevia consumed fewer calories throughout the day. (2,3)

The Surprise About Added Sugars

It seems like everything we read talks about avoiding carbs and sugar.

In the U.S., the average intake of added sugars reaches up to 270 calories or more than 13 percent of calories per day based on an average 2000 calorie diet.

Not surprisingly, the largest source of added sugars in the typical diet is beverages, including soft drinks, fruit drinks, sweetened coffee and tea, energy drinks, alcoholic beverages, and flavored waters.

They account for almost half (47%) of all added sugars consumed by the U.S. population.

The other major source of added sugars is snacks and sweets. (1) Most people don’t realize how much sugar they consume from other sources like marinades, sauces, salad dressings, yogurt, crackers and other items that don’t “seem sweet.”

Dietary Guideline Limits

The 2015-2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting added sugars to less than 10% of total calories or about 50 grams per day based on 2000 calories.

If your body needs fewer calories based on size, age, and activity level, the gram limits are even lower.

To take it a step further, the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to 25g grams per day (6 teaspoons) for women and 36 grams per day (9 teaspoons) for men.

It’s obviously an area of concern in our standard American diet as the term “added sugars” appeared 138 times in the dietary guidelines report!

Limiting Added Sugars Means Less Calories

Simply put, consumption of added sugars can make it difficult for people desiring to lose weight to meet their nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits.

Whenever anyone restricts total calories, everything eaten needs to contain more nutrients to make sure you get what you need for proper fueling while limiting total calories.

One of the simplest strategies is to limit added sugars.

Why? Because they are more often found in foods that do not provide quality vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that we look for to help prevent lifestyle diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancers.

That’s where products like stevia fit in.

How Can Stevia Help With Weight Loss?

Since stevia is a plant-based, zero-calorie sweetener with a taste 50-350 times sweeter than sugar, a little goes a long way. By substituting stevia for sugar in your daily routine, there are many ways to cut total calories and sugar grams.

Using stevia to sweeten your coffee or tea (hot or iced), saves 16 calories per teaspoon over sugar. Afew cups per day with a few teaspoons each can really add up quickly. Each stevia packet is formulatedto equal the sweetness of 2 teaspoons of sugar. Take some with you to your favorite coffeehouse or restaurant and add your own.

Instead of eating pre-sweetened Greek yogurt with up to 20 grams of sugar, start with the plain variety and add your own stevia, vanilla extract, cinnamon and fruit.

Swap stevia for sugar, honey or maple syrup in your oatmeal, homemade salad dressings, baked goods and other recipes that call for sugar. Even subbing in ½ the amount in a recipe can make a big difference.

This article originally appeared on the Pyure Organic website.

References:

  1. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015- 2018, 8th edition, Added Sugars page 54: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf
  2. Anton SD, Martin CK, Han H, Coulon S, Cefalu WT, Geiselman P, Williamson DA. Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels. Appetite 2010;55:37–43.
  3. Tey SL, Salleh NB, Henry J, Forde CG. Effects of aspartame-, monk fruit-, stevia- and sucrose-sweetened beverages on postprandial glucose, insulin and energy intake. Int J Obes (Lond) 2017;41:450–7.

7 Tips For Better Sleep

This week, TargitFit is pleased to offer some healthy sleep advice courtesy of guest blogger, Brenda Bostwick:

It’s a vicious cyclical world we live in these days, hyper-caffeinated during the day and restless at night.  We can’t fall into a good sleep so we have to keep our engines running in other ways.  If only we could wake up completely rested every day, maybe then we would feel like we’re ahead of the game instead of just barely staying afloat.

09151607Sleep is essential to the health and wellbeing of your mind and body.  It is amazing we survive the way we do with the demands that are put on us daily.  But we are just surviving most of the time, when the goal of living is to thrive.  We could all use a more sleep, but how do we obtain it?  Here are seven great ways to start getting the most amazing night’s sleep… every night.

1. Find the right mattress

06081703The right mattress is like the right pair of running shoes.  Slightly more expensive, yes, but you will never be happier with a decision than finding the mattress that cradles and supports you in all of the most perfect ways.  One size certainly doesn’t fit all, and you may not get it right on the first or even second try.  Do your research and find your perfect match; for example, these mattresses work well with platform beds.

2. The way you eat is the way you sleep

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Save that cuppa joe for morning. Non-caffeinated tea is a better choice at night.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that caffeine, sugar, alcohol, eating too heavy (or too light), and using tobacco products can highly affect your sleep.

Tolerance differs, but in general caffeine has a half-life of 7 hours, meaning it takes on average 7 hours for half the amount of caffeine to leave your system.  Try to avoid caffeine after late morning and remember to look at the ingredients of packaged products for hidden caffeine.

3. Physical activity is important, but…

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Your workout is important, but give yourself adequate time to calm down and relax between exercising and going to bed.

 

 

While, yes, it is extremely important to maintain a physical activity routine, the time of day you’re working on your fitness can be killing your ability to drift away into dreamland.  It’s best to exercise in the morning or early afternoon, giving your body time to get pumped up and then slowly come down off of the natural high.

4. Napping

06081701Studies have shown power naps are super beneficial to brain activity, alertness, problem solving, and creativity.  But napping too long or too late in the day will only keep you up later that night, lessening the amount of REM-cycled sleep you need.

While some situations call for longer naps, make sure your naps are between 20-30 minutes to avoid waking up feeling groggy.  Thirty minutes is just enough time to give us a quick boost of energy without falling into the deep sleep process.  Keep your nap routine in the early afternoon and keep the room warm and dark.

5. Routine and Rituals

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Following the same before-bed routine as often as possible will help prepare your body to sleep.

 

Growing up, the majority of us had bedtime routines: dinner, bath, brush teeth, bedtime story.  Most of the time we drifted right off to sleep and stayed that way until morning.

Just because we got older doesn’t mean we need any less of a routine.  Life is certainly more crazy and unexpected than a toddler’s, but your brain still works best when it knows what is going to happen next.  Creating routines is the best way to a good night’s sleep.  If you follow the same steps before bed every night your brain will eventually start quieting down on its own sooner into that routine because it will know to anticipate the rhythm of the repetition.

6. Your bedroom is your sanctuary

06081709

Set the mood for sleep. Use curtains or blinds to tone down or block outside light completely.

Your bedroom is the one place in your home you should feel most at peace and relaxed.  It is for certain activities only.  It is not your office, tv room, or storage room, nor is it a place you put things to deal with them later.  Your mind can’t rest if there is constant clutter or if it is continually being stimulated.

A clean, quiet space is best.  Make it somewhere you want to be.  Spend some quality time making a refuge.  Find bedding you love, hang artwork, use an oil diffuser to fill the room with peaceful scents, use a humidifier to make the air easier to breathe, try a fan for white noise.

The room should be cool and dark, turn all electronics off and cover all lights. Also, consider getting a circadian rhythm alarm clock to naturally and gently wake you up.

7. When you just can’t get there

Maybe you’ve followed every suggestion you’ve ever been given and you’re still not able to fall asleep consistently or well enough to wake up rested.  Well, here are a few more options:

06081708

Journaling before bedtime can help clear your mind to help you sleep better.

Journal.  Most of the time our minds are racing with all that stuff we didn’t get done today and all the stuff we need to do tomorrow.  Just jot it down.  Make this a part of your routine.

Leave the sanctuary.  Sometimes, it’s just not time.  And that is okay.  But don’t lie there counting down the remaining minutes you have left until you have to be up, remember your bedroom has a specific purpose and lying there waiting isn’t one of them.  If you truly cannot fall asleep, get up and try your routine again.  Try to find the source of the problem and find a relatively quick solution to help yourself into as much sleep as possible.

Ask for help.  We live in a self-help world.  But, there are degrees that other people have paid a lot of money for to help you with the exact problem you’re suffering from, I promise.  Let them do their job so you can do yours.  Find the right doctor and try everything they suggest that you feel comfortable with, you never know what will be the missing piece just for you.

Remember, your sleep is just like the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the nutrition you intake.  It is required to live, let alone live happily and healthily.  What you put into it, you get back from it.  Make certain you are giving your body what it needs so it can give everything it has back to you.

Fitness Equipment Your Home Gym Needs

There are over 25.4 million home gyms in the U.S., according to Statista.com’s most recent count–and that number has likely gone up this year alone. Whatever your motivation for working out at home, there are a few pieces of vital fitness equipment home gyms require. They can vary, depending on what your workout style and goals are but, overall, the same essential pieces show up on all the lists.

Join the Resistance
No matter what your fitness goals are, whether they’re losing weight, gaining muscle or a combination of both, resistance fitness equipment for home gyms is essential. If you can afford commercial quality, there’s no reason not to buy it, especially if you’re a bodybuilder and need access to serious tools. For most people, though, the dumbbells, barbells, weight plates, benches, and even kettlebells that BreakingMuscle.com lists as home gym essentials should suffice. Plus, practically all of it can be found at sporting goods stores and online.

Chin Up, Old Chap
Even people who pay for a health club membership include bodyweight exercises in their workout routines. They’re doubly valuable in a home gym because they provide variety without breaking your budget. That’s why pull-up bars are Stack’s home gym essential equipment pick. Use a variety of grips to do pull-ups, or work your abs with hanging leg raises. If your pull-up bar is movable instead of permanently attached to your wall or ceiling, Stack says you should also be able to use it to do incline push-ups and dips.

 

Band Together for a Dynamic Workout
“Lifestyle Medicine, Second Edition” recommends resistance bands as a controlled mode of resistance because they’re safer, easier on your joints and tendons, and don’t require a spotter on hand to get you out of sticky situations. Make no mistake: the bands you’ll need for your home work out center aren’t flimsy, over-sized rubber bands. The ones you want are thick and substantial and come in a variety of lengths, widths and resistance capabilities, according to Bodybuilding.com .

 

 

Opt for the All-In-One
The one piece of fitness equipment home gyms need to be able to do almost any exercise you can do at the health club is the TargitFit Trainer Bonus: it uses bands for resistance. In fact, it comes with 220 pounds of resistance, but can be upgraded to over 400 pounds. It also includes all the accessories you need to perform over 115 club-quality exercises — including squats! It can even be used as an aerobic step, and everything packs neatly away into the Trainer itself for easy storage so you won’t have to give up significant square footage to create a useful home gym.

Carnivore Diet: Everything You Need to Know

Interested in a carnivore diet? This week, Targitfit is pleased to bring you an informative article by Carnivore Aurelius:

Source

Heck yes, you’re interested in the carnivore diet.

Let’s face it. Vegetables suck.

You haven’t liked them since the first time your mom served you bland, microwaved broccoli.

You’re tired of having to starve yourself and eat like a rabbit when you want to be healthy.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be a slave to plant foods to have the body, mind and energy you want.

The carnivore diet is the exact opposite of what we’re fed by today’s diet culture. Yet it has:

  • Cleared people’s skin
  • Supercharged energy
  • Helped people drop weight faster than a vegan drops $16 on avocado toast

All while eating the juiciest, most flavorful, mouthwatering foods in the world.

It may not do these things for you, but it’s still too interesting to ignore.

Read more to learn everything you need to know about the carnivore diet: the benefits, meal plan, results and how it works.

What is the Carnivore Diet?

Everything You Need to Know

The carnivore diet is a high-fat, high-protein diet consisting mainly of animal products. Yes, that’s right. No more grains. No more sugar. No more vegetables. And no more bitching.

Wait, vegetables? The healthiest foods in the world? The foods God put on our beautiful earth so Karen from yoga could have her green smoothies?

Yup. As I’ll describe below, it turns out plants are loaded with endogenous pesticides (like lectins, oxalates and goitrogens) that could be causing your health issues.

It’s surprising, but you should be happy. After all, don’t we only eat salads for the dressing and the bacon bits? Let’s be honest.

The carnivore diet is a more restrictive variation of the ketogenic diet. It’s very low in carbs and will put you into ketosis, which has tremendous health benefits. It’s also sometimes referred to as the all-meat diet or the zero carb diet.

Some people say that if your ketones are high enough, you can talk to electricity. I haven’t confirmed this yet, but please let me know if you can.

The carnivore diet took the world by storm when Shawn Baker appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast The Joe Rogan Experience. Dr. Baker is an athlete in his fifties, and to put it bluntly, he’s absolutely ripped.

I tried counting his abs but lost track at 3,412. He recently set two indoor rowing world records, and he attributes his success to the carnivore diet.

Other prominent advocates include clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson and his daughter Mikhaila – both have reversed lifelong autoimmune and mental health issues by adopting the carnivore diet.

I get it – this may be shocking at first. The carnivore diet preaches the exact opposite of all mainstream nutrition recommendations. We’re told to limit our meat intake and subsist mainly on whole grains and vegetables—including the controversial Game Changers documentary on Netflix. But are we any healthier for it?

If you look at the state of health around the world, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that people are looking for a change. What everybody is doing is undoubtedly NOT working. And as I’ll argue, the exact opposite will. Eating meat. Cutting out plant foods. And walking backwards.

The carnivore diet is centered around some of the healthiest, tastiest, most nutritious foods in the world: steaks, animal fats, lamb, butter, beef tallow and liver.

Think of this diet like Noah’s ark: if it’s an animal, hop on board. Noah left plants behind – why shouldn’t you?

Read the complete Carnivore Diet Guide at www.carnivoreaurelius.com.

Carnivore Aurelius is a nutrition and biochemistry expert who’s studied for over 5 years. He used the carnivore diet to cure IBS, rheumatoid arthritis and his acne. He’s passionate about distilling complex nutritional information down to actionable advice.