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Blog - Health & Fitness

Aug 8, 2013  |  Category: Nutrition

If you are reading this, you're probably already paying attention to what you eat, and are trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Good intentions and having a goal to strive for is a great place to start, nonetheless, there is always something more that we can do to accelerate the progress in reaching your desired physique and improving your health. Quite often we overlook something just because of the habits we have developed, and in this way we could potentially sabotage all our great efforts towards reaching our desirable outcome.

Have you considered the calories you consume in a liquid form? It's not only about calories, because different nutrients affect your body in different ways, but in this context I'm mainly referring to sugar. We all know that it makes you fat. And for most people, the more you eat, the more you want. The fact is - it's even easier to overdose on sugar in a liquid form, whether you're enjoying a soft drink, juice, smoothie or your favourite beverage from Starbucks.

A Daily Mail article came out a couple of days ago, analysing the data recorded by five volunteers who recorded everything they drank for a week. As per usual with mainstream media, I don't agree to many of the "expert's" opinions e.g. only counting calories instead of macronutrients; everyone should get their calcium from milk; the idea that body can only absorb 30g of protein etc. However, despite all these fallacies, the purpose of the aforementioned article is to drive people's attention towards improving their health buy cutting out all the sugary drinks from their diet, and that is something that's always been a pre-condition I've set with my clients starting a body transformation programme.

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Jul 5, 2013  |  Category: Mindset

When was the last lime you tested your willpower? It seems like some people manage to resist their temptations and make the right decisions without a great deal of effort. Almost like it’s some sort of genetic gift. But then we also see lots of radical transformations and lives completely changed; hence, it must be a learnable skill. The truth is that it’s much more complex than that. We should explore our habits to understand how to develop self-discipline and make it consistent. Let’s have a look at this fascinating experiment.

DON’T Eat The Cookies!!

Everyone who walked into the room where the experiment was being conducted at Case Western Reserve University agreed on one thing: The cookies smelled delicious. They had just come out of the oven and were piled in a bowl, oozing with chocolate chips. On the table next to the cookies was a bowl of radishes. All day long, hungry students walked in, sat in front of the two foods, and submitted, unknowingly, to a test of their willpower that would completely change our understanding of how self-discipline works. Sixty-seven undergraduates were recruited and told to skip a meal. One by one, the undergrads sat in front of the two bowls.

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Jun 29, 2013  |  Category: Nutrition

Are sugar cravings sometimes driving you nuts? Strong mindset and commitment to your goals always come first, but sometimes you just need an external boost. Glutamine is a natural supplement that can help you prevent food cravings and maintain optimal body composition.

Glutamine is most abundant free amino acid in the body. Not only it can help you avoid unhealthy food cravings, improve your digestion and nutrient absorption, and speed up recovery from training, it also helps decrease the insulin response to food, hence, preventing fat gain.

Glutamine And Sugar Cravings

Glutamine can improve the messages sent by the neurotransmitters to and from the brain, helping you to deal with food cravings. It has even been used as a treatment for alcoholism because it can calm compulsive feelings. Taking 10g of glutamine first thing in the morning, and with your pre- and post-workout meal would be a good start. Also, mix it in a cup of water and have a shot whenever you feel like you’re about to go on a sugar binge. You’ll see the unhealthy urges disappear in no time.

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Jun 19, 2013  |  Category: Health

We’ve all been guilty at this. When you deprive yourself of sleep over an extended period of time (5-7 days or more) you’re at risk for quite a few problems. Several studies have shown that being sleep deprived for a long time is similar to being intoxicated. You may be at risk for work accidents, driving accidents, diabetes, heart problems, psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse. You may develop a decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information. Last but not least, there is research that links sleep deprivation to obesity and decreased metabolism.

Sleep Debt

When we are trying to juggle a dozen of things and being busy in our lives, over time we may build up sleep debt. Just like a mortgage or credit card, you can pay this debt back with good quality sleep and longer sleep time. There’s a phenomenon called REM rebound. It may be possible that although you’ve built up “sleep debt” over 5-7 days, that you could pay it back in 2 or 3 days. Even after just one night of proper sleep you would feel much better. Nonetheless, it’s best to get the same quantity of sleep every night, and make sure it’s good quality, and that will allow you to function at your best during the day.

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Jun 13, 2013  |  Category: Mindset

Love to workout, love life. Even if it’s not always that simple, exercise does indeed make everything better. You don't have to fake feeling awesome when you're not – just get moving! It can also be used as therapy to get rid of any anger, pain or frustration. This means that if you drop a tear in between some heavy sets of squat, it’s ok. It’s just part of the healing process. Just get in tune with your body, put some extra weight on and go hard! It will help you rebuild yourself inside and out. Hurts really darn good!!

Exercise And Mood

So how does it work? Exercise changes the actual chemistry of your brain and improves your hormonal environment. It's pretty much impossible to work out and feel miserable at the same time. As long as you give 100% and are not just going through the motions, you will feel happier and more relaxed when you’re done. Exercise leads to the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain that alleviate pain, both physical and mental.

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Jun 5, 2013  |  Category: Nutrition

If you’re still not taking whey protein, you really should get with the programme. Not only you will be able to recover faster, but you’ll get leaner too. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that supplementing with whey protein resulted in fat loss, decreased body weight, and a smaller waist circumference in an overweight group of people – and the participants didn’t even exercise!

Increasing protein intake can help you lose fat because of the thermogenic effect, which is the energy utilized while digesting and metabolizing food. Protein produces the greatest thermogenesis, and whey protein is better than other forms such as casein, pea, hemp or soy for elevating the thermic effect.

Whey protein activates pathways in your brain to release transmitters that blunt hunger and maintain satiety for longer. The aforementioned study found out that fasting ghrelin was lower in participants consuming whey protein compared with soy or carbs. This is significant because ghrelin can serve as a hunger signal. Higher levels of this hormone may lead to increased calorie consumption.

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May 29, 2013  |  Category: Mindset

Whenever something goes wrong in our life or things get hectic, the first thing that goes out the window for most people is their fitness and health. But why? Fair enough, you may have to prioritise but exercise is the one thing that can make everything better, so it shouldn’t be completely given up on.

Anyway… Let’s solve your problems with creativity and tenacity, so that you can get back to being healthy and happy again. High-flyers and effective leaders always rise to a challenge. That’s one of the things that separate winners from whiners.

We all must face problems. They are inevitable because:

-   We live in a world of growing complexity and diversity

-   We interact with people

-   We cannot control all the situations we face

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May 24, 2013  |  Category: Nutrition

How many of you enjoy a good authentic Indian curry? You may not have realized that it doesn’t just taste great but also an active ingredient in curry powder provides a world of health benefits. This spice is turmeric, and the magic compound is curcumin.

Historical Use Of Turmeric

Turmeric is a common food flavoring and coloring in Asian cooking. The use of it has been described in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine as early as the seventh century AD. In various Asian folk medicine traditions, turmeric has been used to treat a long list of conditions, including diarrhea, fever, bronchitis, colds, parasitic worms, leprosy, and bladder and kidney inflammations. Herbalists have applied turmeric salve to bruises, leech bites, festering eye infections, mouth inflammations, skin conditions, and infected wounds. Some people even inhale smoke from burning turmeric to relieve chronic coughs. Not sure about the latter, but let me know about your experience if you decide to get high on some curry powder.

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May 13, 2013  |  Category: Training

I hope that you’ve been missing my blog posts. I’ve been crazy busy lately, as I’ve just moved gym, and I’m now located at Hilton hotel in London Euston.

Other big news are that I am now a sponsored athlete with Optimum Nutrition – one of the most popular sports supplements companies in the world that is highly respected within the fitness community. I’m honoured to be representing their brand, also it gives me an opportunity to offer my clients and blog readers 40% discount on their retail prices. Just go to http://www.onacademy.co.uk and enter my code WIK40 at checkout. I will be part of their team in BodyPower this weekend, which is the biggest fitness expo in the UK. Come and say hi!!

Also I just had a little break in LA, and came back totally buzzing despite dislocating my shoulder while training. I have put together a little video to show you how you can train around an injury like that.

 

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Mar 28, 2013  |  Category: Training

I don’t know what your situation is but I've seen a lot of people that have been paralyzed by procrastination for years when it comes to starting up exercise. There could be lots of reasons for this, but often they just don’t know where to start and lack a simple plan of action.

It’s Easter in a couple of days, and if having a long holiday weekend with the family, indulging in chocolate eggs and all kinds of sugary treats was holding you back from getting started, then from next week you have no more excuses. All you need is good 3 months of consistent effort to get in the shape of your life in time for the summer, and develop the exercise habit, in order to maintain the results.

For those of you who have been consistent with training – massive well done. The following tips may help you reevaluate your current plan to make sure you are taking all the necessary steps to become the best version of yourself.

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