Blog - Health & Fitness
Did you visit a coffee shop today? I wonder what’s your favorite beverage. I do drink coffee, especially black coffee with extra espresso shot before training – it can do miracles for your performance. But there is another wonder drink with even more potential benefits, and you can drink this one pretty much without any limitations.
The Magic Of Green Tea
I’m talking about green tea. It has been found to stimulate fat burning and the development of muscle. Drinking it regularly can help you get lean and also improve your health. Not only it helps to improve body composition, research shows green tea improves your immune system, regulates blood sugar, improves insulin sensitivity, and it can even minimize the negative effects of alcohol.
When it comes to non-sedentary individuals, there are two types of people: the ones who moan about going to the gym, and the ones who get excited about it. It doesn’t come as a surprise that the first ones never really get any substantial results. They just roll up to the gym looking displeased, spend ages getting changed, drag themselves onto the gym floor and start mindlessly going through the motions on the cross trainer for an extended warm-up while watching the TV. That’s if the desired piece of equipment is available. If it isn’t, they just keep watching the TV while holding on to their towel and water bottle. Then they probably do a little round with the resistance machines for upper body with sloppy form, and finish the session with a bit of stretch. Do you know anyone like this?
The other type knows exactly what they want. They either have a plan, or they train instinctively as it has become their second nature. They don’t make excuses, and nothing will stop them from having a great workout if it is supposed to be a training day. They just get it done. That doesn’t mean that they have become obsessed or fanatic about fitness. They are just programming themselves for success and manage their time well. Fitness has become embedded in their lifestyle, and they are enjoying the health benefits, love looking their best and having supreme confidence. They have also learned to use this amazing feeling to achieve great success in other areas of their life. I call it the high-flyer mindset.
People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.
~ Dale Carnegie
So what makes so many people fall into the first category? How do you join the 2% at the top of the pyramid? Let’s examine some of the reasons that can destroy the enjoyment factor, and will hold you back from achieving success.
As you probably know already, full-body exercises are essential for your fat loss efforts. You may have tried squat, deadlift and clean & press. Burpee also is a great exercise for conditioning and to bring up your heart rate enhancing the post-exercise "afterburn" effect. Here is an exercise I created to combine these benefits and challenge your body while also increasing functional movement and speed.
With Barbell Burpee Curl you can hit your chest, biceps, legs and core muscles all at the same time. Also your triceps and lower back get a fair amount of work. It's a great exercise to do when finishing a chest & biceps day, or it can be performed on a full-body workout day. As a London personal trainer I've been incorporating it in my clients' programmes with great success. Sometimes a bit more variety and hitting your muscles from a different angle while keeping the intensity high is just what your body needs to break through a plateau and start progressing again.
It’s interesting how most people in Britain seem to think that the only viable option for lunch is a sandwich. To me that sounds like serious lack of imagination covered by the usual excuse: “I’m too busy.” Possibly it’s also because people don’t realise what the gluten in wheat products do to their bodies and long-term health.
Finally we have some scientific evidence to confirm what physique competitors and well-rounded fitness professionals have known for years – you can lose fat by eliminating gluten from your diet. Going gluten-free can benefit everyone, and not just people with celiac disease and wheat intolerances.
New Scientific Study Links Gluten With Body Fat Gain
Here’s what has been found by a recent study from a Brazilian research team that published a report in the January 2013 Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry:
Researchers fed two groups of mice a high-fat diet in order to induce fat gain, but one group was gluten-free and the other ate 4.5 percent gluten in their diet. Results showed that the gluten-free animals had lower body fat, less belly fat, less inflammation, and better insulin sensitivity and blood sugar tolerance.
There are all sorts of theories in regards to breakfast. Intermittent fasting is all the rage these days, and it supports the idea of skipping breakfast and having your first meal at lunch. I may be old fashioned but I still believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
All meals are important of course but breakfast is special. When you wake up you’ve been fasting all night, hence the name “break fast”. Unless you’re doing some quick morning cardio, there is no need to delay it.
I remember the couple of occasions back in school when I overslept and had to rush to classes without having a meal. Not a nice feeling at all – I couldn’t even focus on the teacher. All I could think about was food.
If your metabolism is already screwed, you may not feel hungry. But that exactly is the problem. Let’s push your metabolism up!!
Eating for fat loss can become quite boring if you don’t season your food. You have to make some sacrifices, adopt a fitness lifestyle and stay consistent with it to see results, however, you want to enjoy food at the same time. I use a lot of seasonings when preparing chicken, beef, fish etc., and when it comes to vegetables, a dash of vinegar can do wonders for your taste buds.
Vinegar may live up to its age-old reputation in folk medicine as a health promoter. People have used it for a wide range of ills. Modern scientific research suggests that acetic acid, the main component of vinegar, may help control blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and fat accumulation.
You don’t always need a gym to train. Bodyweight exercises are effective but they may limit you to only a few major muscle groups. What about your shoulders? Whether you’re male or female, I take it you would choose lean, round and capped shoulders, and not those shapeless things with the bone sticking out and fat hanging off them that most of the population have. Have you ever been in a situation where you want to have a good workout but you only have a small selection of light dumbbells available?
1/12 of 2013 has gone. Hopefully you have a vision of what you’d like to achieve and experience this year. Have you managed to stay on track while moving towards your goals? My client Jen has a great ambition. She started training with me one month ago, when she decided that she’d like to look her absolute best in a skimpy outfit dancing and having the time of her life at the Notting Hill Carnival end of the summer. With her permission I’d like to share an email she wrote first week into her training programme:
“Wow, so what can I say, first week of new lifestyle nearly done.
The low point was definitely Friday night after pre-brekkie run, an 11hr day at work and the thigh buster weights you've got me doing. Tried to open a tin of tuna as part of dinner #2 only to fail spectacularly and ended up gazing wistfully at a tin of tuna with lots of stab holes in but no tuna coming out. So annoying. Then went to shops to get yet more chicken to cook, and opted for stairs instead of lift but tripped up and fell over coz my legs were still all wobbly. Rubbish.
We know that chicken breast is a low-fat protein source that you can’t go wrong with when on a fat loss programme. However, way too often I see it being cooked the same way with not much seasoning, and it ends up tasting bland and dry. Kind of like ready-to-eat chicken breast slices from your local supermarket with no hot sauce to spice it up. Not much flavor, is there? Now here’s a simple recipe that is not your usual curry, but it’s cooked in a healthy way to create a high-protein and low-fat meal.