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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

5 COMMON DIET MISTAKES THAT CAN HINDER FAT LOSS AND CREATE A HORMONE IMBALANCE

By: Alex Liska
1) LOW CARB DIETING FOR EXTENDED PERIODS OF TIME: 
This is one of the biggest mistakes I have come across that people make in an attempt to lose weight quickly! Carbs bind to water molecules so when they are eliminated from your diet, the initial drop in weight is mostly water! It is too hard to enter ketosis (the stage where the body burns body fat as a result of carb restriction) when you are combining intense exercise with a low carb diet! The reason for this is that our muscles require carbohydrates in order to perform optimally! For women especially; since most of our bodily functions are controlled by hormones, cutting carbs can be dangerous because we tend to increase dietary fats! Fats and estrogen (female hormones) in excess can cause a toxic internal environment and lead to major cravings which completely kills progress as far as fat loss goes. Another commonly overlooked fact about increasing protein intake to replace carbohydrates is the fact that our livers require glycogen (carbs) to function as does our skeletal muscle! Our bodies are built for survival and our liver will convert excess protein (amino acids) into sugar! (The term for this conversion is "gluconeogenesis")


2) DRASTICALLY REDUCING CALORIC INTAKE WHILE INCREASING EXERCISE: 
Think about your body as a vehicle that requires premium fuel to function optimally. By attempting to drive this car faster and longer (adding in weight training and cardio) and restricting fuel intake suddenly, we disrupt hormone functions and cause our body to break down muscles/joints/connective tissue in an attempt to support our new activity level. Eventually our body will slow down its metabolism as a survival mechanism. It is best to start by replacing unhealthy foods with healthier alternatives and slowly cutting back on calories (energy balance) over time or simply providing quality nutrients to replace empty calories. You are better off eating 2-3 clean meals and planning them ahead of time than setting the bar too high and trying to cut calories too low and just grazing on low nutrient foods for 5-6 meals a day because "they say so" in a fitness magazine sponsored by protein bars or other weight loss products.

3) MICRO MANAGING FOOD INTAKE/DIET AND STRESSING OVER SMALL MISHAPS:
Stress can cause  more weight gain than consuming extra calories in many cases! Stress causes an elevation in the hormone "cortisol" which is responsible for stubborn fat deposits around the midsection and hips/thighs (typically in women) as well as an increase in sugar cravings and many other complications. It is pretty common for folks that rely on food tracking mechanisms to have an all or nothing mentality when implementing nutrition changes to a new routine which can lead to little or no forgiveness when a mistake happens, such as an unplanned cheat meal or a higher number of calories consumed than what the initial daily goal was. Sometimes it is better to focus on small changes and shift gears slowly; one by one to ensure a smooth transition in to clean eating. Our bodies aim to achieve homeostasis (a balanced internal environment) so it is always best to ease into nutrition changes slowly and take it one step at a time: work with your body, not against it! Less stress this way!!

4) CONSUMING TOO MANY DIET PRODUCTS AND/OR ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS: 
Most supplement companies prey on the folks that are looking for quick changes and rapid fat loss and eager to start a fitness routine and diet!! This is why most of these products list "facts" on their labels such as: low calorie, no added sugars, meal replacement etc... to appeal to those looking for low calorie, low carb, and "easy on the go" options!!! The fact is that if the product is low calorie it is usually high in chemicals and preservatives. If it is low carb then it is full of artificial sweeteners which wreak havoc on the endocrine system a/k/a can wreck your thyroid and adrenal glands by disrupting hormone balance (for women especially!!!)  "Easy on the go" options all have a long shelf life so they are full of hidden ingredients that can extend their expiry date but also extend the time your organs require to eliminate the nasty preservatives and toxins! Imagine what all these chemicals are doing to your digestive system and your insides, overall?

5) FORCING A BREAKFAST WHEN YOU ARE NOT HUNGRY EARLY IN THE MORNING BECAUSE "THEY SAY YOU NEED TO EAT BREAKFAST": 
If you take the word breakfast and break it up into two words "break" and "fast" then basically, "break-fast" is to be consumed when YOUCHOOSE to BREAK your FAST! If you break that fast too early in the morning before you're actually hungry then you are simply interrupting the body's natural digestive process and slowing down digestion. My biggest word of advice to my clients is "listen to your body". If you wake up hungry then by all means, EAT!! but if you wake up and don't have an appetite please refrain from forcing down food just because some fitness magazine or cereal commercial said it's the most important thing to do. Marketing gimmicks are everywhere and mislead people into thinking they need to eat "Special K" or "yogurt and granola" as soon as they wake up in order to lose weight! This information has no scientific evidence to prove it's true so you are better off listening to your body as far as breakfast or skipping breakfast are concerned. By skipping breakfast when you are not hungry, you are simply using up stored energy form the day before to fuel your activity whether that means a morning workout or simply reading or doing work on the computer! Wait until your body advises you it is the right time to BREAK your FAST: this is personal for each individual, and not a decision the cereal companies or fitness magazines can make for you! :)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Quick and effective metabolism boosting exercises for both gym and home!!

Hi, hope everyone's having a great week so far !!!

I have been brainstorming ways to shorten my daily workouts from over an hour to just under 45 minutes or 45min max!! I know a lot of people struggle with finding time to exercise and ensure that the workouts they're doing will be effective in terms of increasing energy levels, strength and building lean muscle while losing fat a/k/a boosting their metabolism!!

I have been focusing lately on finding a solution for this and finding workouts that can be done in 45minutes and under by combining some great exercises that focus on various components of fitness all at once. I picked some of my favorite exercises to share with you guys :) 
Of course, there are modifications but I was only able to capture a few shots and videos for now... Note that I always start with a good warmup whether it's a sprints on the treadmill, hiit on the stepmill, skipping rope, sled push or plate drags, or even jumping jacks.. the warmup is usually under 10minutes and is dynamic.. my goal is to get my heart rate up and get blood pumping and oxygen to the lungs ;)

I will usually do 4-5 rounds 12-15 reps of the following exercises with 45-60sec rest between sets:
1) Bulgarian Split Squat (targets glutes, hamstrings, quads)









2) BOSU burpees (with or without the pushup: works chest/core/cardio)
3) Wide grip pullup (use assistance if needed: works back/biceps)

4) Bench Jumps (great for getting the heart rate up/conditioning/core/shoulder strength)

AT HOME EXERCISES THAT ARE SIMILAR TO WHAT I POSTED ABOVE:

If you're interested in more info on crossfit as well as workout and nutrition check out https://www.manvsweight.com/crossfit-for-beginners/  where you can gain a better understanding of what crossfit is and how you can incorporate it into your fitness routine in order to make workouts more effective with less time spent on machines doing cardio :) Check out www.manvsweight.com for more workout ideas and to gain a better understanding of crossfit and how to incorporate it into your workouts to get more out of your training in less time!!

Hope this post was helpful and can add some variety to your workouts; I will be posting more ideas for both daily workouts and meal prep so stay tuned :) 

xo,                                                     







-Alex L. :)

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Quick At-Home Fat-Burn Workout!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE !!!!!!!


I hope 2018 is off to a great start for all of you... I must say my year has started off much better than 2017... One of the reasons for this is because I have chosen to take action of more of the small things I have control over, like every day habits; and I'm learning to let go of circumstances that are out of my control... 

That's one of the reasons I decided to post this quick workout; I didn't have time to get to the gym this morning because I had some work to do from home, and a meeting at noon.. so trying to force in a workout at the gym would have been stressful and stress is something we should all try to avoid... 

Anyhow here is the workout I did:

Warmup : 4 sets 50 jumping jacks ...
I did the following 5 exercises one after the other with no more than 30sec rest between rounds: I typically aim for 3-5 rounds depending on how much time I have!

1) 10-15 pushups (modified pushups are fine)
2) 50 mountain climbers total
3) 15-20 reps V-Ups (modify with reverse crunches or lying leg raises if necessary)
4) Ice skaters 50reps total
5) 25 jump squats

This workout targets most major body parts and cardio which is great for getting a quick burst of energy and strengthening your core/upper body and sculpting the lower body!

Years ago I wouldn't have been okay with skipping weight training at the gym followed by machine cardio.. but I am starting to realize you can get a decent workout at home; stress-free, and have also found that when I shorten my workouts I'm less hungry throughout the day so it's easier not to over-eat!!! 
AT-HOME WORKOUTS WILL ALWAYS BE BETTER THAN NO WORKOUT AT  ALL :D


Stay tuned for more workout ideas and nutrition tips !!

XO

















-Alex L. :)