You’ve probably heard of intermittent fasting in some way, shape, or form and you’ve likely formed some sort of opinion about it based on your experience or the information you’ve been presented. If it’s something you’ve been considering to help your weight loss plan or you simply want more information, here is a beginner’s guide to intermittent fasting.
Intermittent Fasting (IF) really couldn’t be simpler: you go for a period of time when you are eating, and then a period of time when you are not eating. In fact, you already do this because you eat during the day and then don’t eat while you are sleeping. IF has a lot of hype around it, for great reasons which we will get into, but really it is the more basic and obvious thing in the world. Eat. Then don’t eat for a while. And that’s your day.
You may be asking yourself if IF is safe, since you’ve been told all your life that...
If we are speaking strictly about calories (ignoring all of the other factors that affect weight loss) it takes a deficit of 3500 calories in order to lose one pound of fat. What is a calorie deficit you ask? It’s when you take in fewer calories than is required for you to maintain your current body composition and energy function.
Kind of like when you overdraft your bank account (yikes) and you enter the red zone - that energy needs to be made up from somewhere and so it taps into your stored body fat to create energy. This is how fat loss works. If you are taking in less energy than you need to fuel your exercise and daily movement, then your body has this awe-some power to create that energy from those pesky love-handles you’re always complaining about.
Actually, when you stop to consider it, your body is pretty damned amazing.
Your body has a unique calorie...
When I started my road to get healthy and lift weights many years ago, I was extremely dedicated to the Paleo Diet. (Read my own weight loss transformation story here). At the time, I worked at Starbucks and managed an entire year there without consuming any sugar. Surrounded constantly by froofy, sugary beverages, I was steadfast. I would have a monthly emotional breakdown to my husband and ask him why I couldn’t lose weight faster.
It took me looking hard and honestly at my habits to admit that I was simply just eating too much to be aggressively losing body fat. I felt better than I ever had, my energy was amazing and my training was stellar. Sure, my body composition was changing gradually and looking back, I am really amazed at how slowly but consistently that progress took place. I wasn’t doing anything wrong, per say, and I contribute much of my strength gains during that period of time to not overly restricting calories.
I take it for granted sometimes that by understanding the principles of strength and conditioning, it’s easy for me to whip up a workout I can do anytime, anywhere with or without equipment. I’ve just been doing it for so long that I don’t even need to think about it. The truth is that once you understand a few fundamentals, you’ll be able to make up a great workout just as easily.
My first choice, training methodology for body recomposition will always be heavy compound movements (like squats, deadlifts and cleans) with good technique, progressively increasing weight over time. Building muscle will help you increase your resting metabolic rate, and therefore burn more energy throughout the day, even while you are not exercising.
But in the absence of a barbell, or if you a super new to strength training, there’s no reason you can’t have a results-producing workout routine in the comfort of your own home. The...
In the fitness and health community I get really tired of people spouting “a calorie is a calorie is a calorie.” Losing weight can be that simple, but it can also be much more complicated. For example, how do we monitor those calories accurately? What do we do when it’s not safe to decrease calories any lower? And how do we steer people away from an obsessive, calorie-tracking lifestyle so as to avoid disordered eating?
While your body may treat most calories the same in terms of utilizing them for energy, there are many sensitive factors at play that can affect your weight loss that don’t have to do with calories. You do need to be in a caloric deficit to lose fat, but fewer calories does not always equate to more pounds lost due to factors like stress hormones, training intensity and more.
The truth is that there is still so much we don’t fully understand about the body’s biochemistry. To say that weight loss is as...
Losing weight is hard. No one is denying that. It can be emotional, frustrating and infuriating. You may feel like you have tried everything to no avail. You may resent your best friend who is naturally lean and appears to be able to eat whatever she wants. But remember that we are not all the same and the weight loss strategy that works for your friend may not work as well for you. Differing genetic body types, food preferences or varying degrees of unhealthy relationships with food are each factors that may affect what your healthy weight loss plan looks like compared to the next person’s.
There is no magic pill and no secret workout routine to have a flat tummy or shredded abs. The only way you’ll be able to lose weight safely and keep it off is to pick a nutrition and exercise strategy, consistently work hard at it and stick with it over a long period of time. I’m not talking about 6-12 weeks. No, I mean that...
Food is so often surrounding by anxiety, duty, guilt or pleasure. But when you strip away the clever packaging, tasty engineering and the stigma about which food is “right” or “wrong,” food is just made of protein, fats and carbs.
It is a little strange to acknowledge this since food is the source of so many emotionally-charged opinions. From the American Heart Association to your next door neighbor, we are constantly being inundated with information about the latest research on restaurants, fad diets, ethical food sources, organic, non-GMO, cholesterol and the environmental impact all of these choices have. A good understanding of nutrition comes from a foundation of knowing the basic biochemistry of what makes up our food at the molecular level.
There are three macronutrients, called “macro” because they are the main, big ones. These are proteins, fats and carbohydrates and together they are the building blocks for the...
Let’s try to get away from this phrase “weight loss.” Weight loss could mean you have lost body fat, yes, but it could also mean that you're retaining less water due to less physical or emotional stress. Weight loss could mean that you don’t have much food in your stomach from yesterday or that you took a big dump this morning. Weight loss could mean that you have been on the Keto diet for 4 days and your kidneys are flushing water or it could mean that you’ve had a stomach flu for a week and are as weak as a kitten.
These are all reasons why we never want to rely on the scale alone to measure our success on getting healthier. The scale is like that bully in elementary school. It taunts us and teases us, but the more we show an emotional response to those taunts, the more power it has. Soon you will dread going near the scale. You will do everything in your power to avoid having an...
Electrolytes, a term commonly thrown around in regard to sugary sports drinks, are essential minerals in your body including sodium, magnesium, potassium, chloride and others. So called because when dissolved in water (in your body) they conduct electrical current. Not only are these needed for regulating fluid retention, blood pressure and blood acidity, but also for muscle contractility and sending nerve impulses to and from the brain. Electrolytes are lost through your sweat and urine and can be replenished through food or by supplementation.
-Regulates total amount of water in the body -Maintains function of the muscular and nervous systems
-Maintains function of the muscular and nervous systems
-Extremely high or low levels of Potassium can cause irregular heart beating
-Maintains function of the muscular and nervous systems
The ever-evolving world of nutritional awareness has created a new debate that will be the topic of our discussion today. Within the keto-carnivore and paleo communities, nobody questions whether meat is essential for human health, but new questions are emerging regarding the optimal way to consume our most precious resource. The debate hinges on whether to cook our meat or to go full caveman and consume it raw.
It seems very attractive to mimic the nature that surrounds us, wolves and bear certainly don’t cook their meat, even the brilliant dolphins and octopi of the oceans consume their prey raw. Are we humans any different? Is our biology and physiology so far removed from animal nature that we need to cook our meat? And just because we have the intelligence required to make a fire, does that mean we should throw our food into it?
This topic contains many variables: nutrients in red meat including vitamins and amino acids, the...