If you want to up your game, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an exercise strategy that will improve your performance. HIIT is fantastic for anyone wanting to lose weight, including those who have been working out and have seen little/ no results or those pressed for time and want to achieve a lot in a short space of time. If you’re looking for ripped abs and toned arms, interval training can help get you there – especially if you throw in some weight training sessions. If there is such a thing as a magic bullet for weight loss, then HIIT probably comes closest to it! If your current “steady-state” aerobic exercise regime isn’t working for you, it is probably worthwhile to try HIIT.
HIIT FOR WEIGHT LOSS
HIIT improves performance through short exercise sessions and involves alternating short, fast bursts of intensive exercise with slow, easy activity. An HIIT session involves a warm-up interval, followed by several short, maximum-intensity efforts separated by moderate recovery intervals, and finally a cool-down interval.
Studies have shown this method to be more effective at burning fat and maintaining muscle mass than long periods of lower intensity aerobic workouts. Some studies state that HIIT burns 9x more fat than traditional cardiovascular exercise. HIIT burns a lot of calories during the workout, but where it differs from traditional cardiovascular exercise it that your metabolism stays elevated for more than 24 hours afterwards! This means that you keep burning calories after you have finished exercising. Therefore, don’t bother looking for an HIIT calorie calculator. It is difficult to calculate the calorie burn from HIIT training directly, as much of the effects of HIIT do not take place during the workout, but for hours after. HIIT does not simply instigate weight loss by burning calories, but acts via a complex series of physiological mechanisms (e.g. nervous and endocrine systems) to lower insulin resistance, improve glucose tolerance, increase exercise and post-exercise fat oxidation, and decrease appetite.
Researchers at an Australian University found people who cycled for 40 minutes at a steady pace lost an average of two pounds. A second group cycled just 20 minutes, but alternated between 8 second sprints and 12 seconds of slower riding. They lost an average of six pounds.
However, if you can complete only a short HIIT workout, it may be that you are better off with moderately high intensity cardio that you can sustain steadily for a long time period.
BENEFITS OF HIIT
The key to HIIT is that it does not allow your body to get used to what you are doing, i.e. by changing your pace and pushing yourself through each interval. No matter what your fitness goals are, HIIT can be one of the best methods to help you achieve them. HIIT is a great technique for those who get bored easily and are already active or those who have reached a fat loss plateau.
The variations of HIIT are infinite. You can adjust the training parameters (e.g. ratio of exercise to rest, number of intervals) to make the workouts harder or easier. Generally longer intervals provide better results. The four parameters you can manipulate when designing your interval-training program are:
HIIT TRAINING GUIDELINES
Below is an excerpt from an article written in the LA Times about HIIT.
“… a study published in December in the Journal of Applied Physiology and conducted by a team at Canada’s University of Guelph found that just two weeks of alternate-day interval training increased moderately active 22-year-old women’s fat-burning ability by 36%.“
Ironically, you can’t do the same intervals all the time – you’ll stagnate,” says Drozd, the Santa Monica trainer. “You need variation – for your body and your mind. For best fitness, mix short intervals and long intervals. Whatever you choose to do, do it hard.”
The New Zealand study showed cyclists’ performance gains plateauing after eight to 12 interval sessions. “To keep increasing your fitness after six weeks of intervals,” says OnFitness’ Grassadonia, “be creative: push it even harder or longer, add hills, stairs, cross-training. I’m a 55-year-old big-wave surfer, but I can hang with 20-year-olds because I do very intense 10 mph sprinting on the treadmill, all-out sprints in the pool – constantly mixing it up.”
Many people think about muscle-building nutrition in vague terms of eating more protein and reducing their carbs. The fact is, your nutritional plan needs to be a bit more specific if you want to build muscle quickly without gaining fat.
Yes, you do need to be sure that your macros (ratio of protein, carbs and fats) are on target, but our bodies also need a good supply of specific macronutrients in order to utilize our food for energy and to aid in muscle repair and recovery.
Eating to build muscle is also a three-pronged plan. Eating the right foods is just one aspect. You also need to eat the right foods at the right time and eliminate foods that will interfere with your muscle-building goals.
In this post, I’m going to help you understand and follow the three steps to eating to build muscle. These steps will not only help you build muscle, they’ll also help you to lose excess fat or prevent fat gain (depending on your current body fat ratio).
Step One: Eliminate the Foods That Will Hold You Back
Before you start calculating the protein you need and before you start divvying up your calorie allowance, you need to eliminate any foods that will make those things irrelevant. Even if you’re getting 1800 calories with 40% of them from protein (just as an example), the rest of your diet may work against building muscle. Too much sugar, starch and unhealthy fat will upset your hormonal balances and cause your body to store fat rather than build muscle.
The first thing you need to do is eliminate processed foods. By this I mean get rid of foods containing refined flours, refined sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and unhealthy trans-fats. These foods not only contain too much fat and too many calories, they also throw your insulin levels out of whack and contribute to insulin resistance. What that means is that your cells will have a hard time absorbing glycogen and that glycogen will be stored as fat instead. Not only will you gain fat, but you won’t have enough nutrients to help you build muscle.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to live without every single treat food. You just need to choose your cheat foods wisely and reserve them as treats instead of eating them daily. If you crave chocolate, a square of dark chocolate is much better than two scoops of chocolate ice cream. If you want a salty snack, go for kale chips or salted almonds instead of French fries or potato chips.
Step Two: Eat Plenty of the Right Foods
Eating to build muscle means getting enough protein, getting the right kinds of carbs and getting enough of the antioxidants and other micronutrients that support hormone balance and muscle growth.
Your body needs a different macro balance for different things. If you have a decent amount of stored fat to lose, you probably need less carbs and fat in your diet. If your fat ratio is fine, you can eat more of these. Regardless, you need to get enough protein to support the growth of new muscle and prevent muscle catabolism (your body’s response to low calories or insufficient protein is to steal it from your muscle cells).
For most women, a diet of 30-40% protein, 40-50% carbs and 10-20% fat is best. You may find that 40-40-20 works for you, while your best friend may do better with 40-50-10. You’ll likely need to play around with those numbers over the course of a couple of months or so to see which formula keeps you satisfied, fuels muscle gain and gives you enough energy.
Protein: Yes, you do need to get enough lean protein to supply your body with the building blocks for new muscle. In general, eating 1-1.5g of protein per pound of body weight is a good rule of thumb, so if you weigh 110 pounds, you should be eating between 110-165g of protein each day. Try to stick with grass-fed and pasture-raised meats like beef, poultry and eggs, supplemented by plant-based proteins in vegetables, beans, quinoa, nuts and seeds.
Carbs: Your body needs carbs to build muscle, but a carb is not a carb. You want to limit or eliminate starchy carbs, like white rice, white potatoes, breads, cereals and so on. This is especially true if you have fat to lose while you’re building muscle.
As a general rule, you need to get about 80-90% of your carbs from vegetables and low-glycemic fruits like apples, pears, plums and melon.
Fats: Don’t even think about trying to cut your fat to drastically-low levels. Your body needs healthy fats to function and healthy fats also aid muscle building and recovery. That said, you need to get your fats from the right sources, mainly grass-fed meats, nuts, seeds, eggs, olives, avocadoes and olive oil and coconut oil.
If you find yourself starving all the time even though you’re getting roughly the right number of calories, you may have to increase your fat intake. Try increasing the amount of animal protein, nuts and seeds in your daily diet and that should take care of any protein and fat deficiency.
In addition to the right combination of macronutrients, you also need to get enough of certain micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants). While you should strive to get a wide variety of micronutrients by eating a wide variety of whole, fresh foods, there are a few micros that are especially important for building lean muscle.
Magnesium and Potassium: Magnesium and potassium increase blood flow and oxygen to muscle cells and are extremely important for muscle building and recovery.
Foods high in magnesium are spinach, quinoa, kidney beans, lentils, bananas and oats. For lots of potassium, be sure to eat white beans, dark, leafy greens, bananas, acorn squash, fresh fish, avocadoes and mushrooms.
CLAs or conjugated linoleic acids: These essential fatty acids are one of the Omega-6 fats and are one of the amino acids your body needs for building muscle. The best sources are grass-fed meats, butter from grass-fed cows and pasture-raised eggs.
Omega-3 fats: Omega-3 fats are extremely important for reducing inflammation and aiding muscle recovery. Your healthiest sources are flax seed, walnuts, salmon and other fatty fish, shrimp, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and winter squash.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E is one of your body’s most important antioxidants for repairing muscle and reducing inflammation. Great sources include spinach, almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, avocadoes, shellfish, rainbow trout, swordfish, olive oil, broccoli and pumpkin.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is another powerful antioxidant. It not only helps with muscle recovery and repair, it also promotes hormone synthesis and fat loss. Great sources of this multitasking micro include dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, collards and Romaine lettuce, as well as fruits such as berries, apples, watermelon, kiwi and plums. Of these choices, berries, apples and watermelon are the lowest on the glycemic index, so opt for these when your carb allowance is tight.
Glutamine: Your body does make and store some glutamine, which is used to build lean muscle and provide energy, but much of it will be used up during a strenuous workout. Eating grass-fed meats, pasture-raised eggs and poultry, raw spinach, raw parsley and cabbage will help replenish your stores of glutamine.
If you look at this list, you’ll see some of the same foods coming up repeatedly. Try to include these foods as much as possible when planning out your macro allowances. Go for grass-fed meats, pasture-raised eggs and fatty fish when planning out your proteins, avocadoes, olive and coconut oil, walnuts and seeds when portioning out your fats and berries, leafy greens, bananas, apples, broccoli and squash when choosing carbs.
You’ll be getting the right macros and also ensuring that you eat enough of these important micronutrients as well.
Step Three: Eating the Right Foods at the Right Time
Eating to build muscle also requires that you get the right nutrients at the right time.
As a general rule, you should get some healthy fats with every meal and snack, as healthy fats slow the absorption of carbs, aid in the absorption of vitamins, help you feel satisfied and prevent cravings.
It’s also a good idea to get some protein with every meal or snack, but protein is especially important at certain times during your day. Eating protein when you first wake up helps to replenish the protein stores that were utilized for muscle recovery while you were sleeping. You also need a good protein boost before you work out, to prevent muscle catabolism during a strenuous session. You should have some protein right after you work out as well, again to replenish what your workout has used up. Sticking with protein snacks (instead of carbs) late at night will help fuel muscle recovery during sleep.
Timing your carbs properly is also very important. Get a decent amount of carbs in the morning to help give you energy for your day and break your carb fast. You also need some fast-acting carbs like berries, bananas and melon right after your workout to replenish energy stores. Also, you want to try to eat your higher-glycemic carbs (grains and sugary fruits) early in the day (when they’re likely to be burned off) and as a post-workout treat. Stick to low-glycemic carbs like veggies from late afternoon onward; you’re less likely to need them for energy and more likely to store them as fat.
The great thing about eating to build muscle (aside from building that sexy muscle!) is that you’re able to eat plenty of food. As long as you fill up on plenty of the good stuff and limit the bad (or less good) stuff to occasional treats, you’ll be able to eat well and still lose fat.
The effect of Low carb diets on Testosterone has been heavily researched over the past few decades and there's clear evidence as to what the direct effect is.
When we look at all this info together it appears that extended LC diets (7-days of restriction) result in lower basal levels of Testosterone, but that training induced changes in Testosterone aren't significantly impacted by LC diets.
This means that LC diets may not directly reduce your "post-workout" anabolic window or response, but it can reduce your baseline anabolic environment.
When looking at the big picture, it may be that long-term reduced basal levels of Testosterone due to LC diets can impact your ability to make long-term muscle gains, especially when it's coupled with elevated levels of cortisol.
Cortisol is the number one enemy Enemy for LC Diets. Cortisol is released from the adrenal glands to mobilize amino acids from tissues (primarily muscle) to increase the availability of glucose through gluconeogenesis, making cortisol catabolic.
In the context of training, cortisol is released during high-intensity, anaerobic exercise to maintain normal glucose levels. The amount of glycogen you've stored directly impacts the release of exercise-induced cortisol. The more glycogen you have stored, the less cortisol is released, and the less glycogen you have the more cortisol is released.
Intuitively, this gives us reason to suspect that long-term glycogen depletion resulting from long-term LC diets may lead to chronically elevated cortisol levels.
Cutting carbs out of your diet to control insulin levels doesn't always mean you will stop loosing and storing fat. Fat can still be stored without the presence of insulin.
When you eat dietary fat there is an enzyme called chylomicrons which bind free fatty acids to a glycerol to produce tryclicerides TG.
These chylomicrons make there way to fat cells to which a cheeky enzyme called acylation-stimulating protein (ASP) allows lipogenesis (fat storage) to take place
This whole process is done without the presence of carbohydrates in your diet and the production of insulin through carbs.
However, ASP has a number of physiological actions to which one of them is the ability to signal the pancreases to release insulin without the presence of carbohydrates, this is where high fat low/zero carb diets can become problematic.
Your thyroid gland produces two main hormones: T4 (also called thyroxine) and T3 (also called triiodothyronine). These hormones help to control your metabolic rate, that is the rate at which your body burns calories. They also have a huge bearing on your energy levels and maintenance of normal body temperature.
T4 is not the active thyroid hormone; it must be converted into T3 in your body in order to exert its effects. The majority of this conversion does not occur in your thyroid gland. Most T4 to T3 conversion happens in your liver, kidneys and muscles. If you have a fatty liver or a sluggish liver, this conversion will not be effective. This can leave you feeling tired, depressed, puffy, overweight and with dry skin and thinning scalp hair. Indeed you would have a thyroid problem caused by a faulty liver.
If you are taking thyroid hormone medication in the form of thyroxine, it too must be converted into the active form in your body. Therefore if you are taking thyroid medication but still not feeling much better, your liver could be to blame! It is vital that you work on improving the health of your liver if you want healthy thyroid hormone levels.
There are many women lately struggling to lose weight and their number one reason why they finally decide to start their weight loss journey is due to their belly fat getting out of hand. Many of the women we interviewed said, it was making them feel uncomfortable around their partners and they felt unattractive. They feel nothing looks good on them anymore and that is a worrying sign for them. So what are the causes of belly fat?
Where you gain fat and how easy it is to lose belly fat is partly down to genetics. Our genes help determine how many fat cells we have and where these fat cells are stored. Most men preferentially deposit fat in their abdominal area, this is due to the action of male hormone testosterone. The stress hormone, cortisol also encourages belly fat. Women tend to deposit fat on the hips, thighs and buttocks, which is down to the effects of the female hormone, estrogen. For this reason, a woman’s body shape changes and belly fat increases after the menopause when estrogen levels decrease. Though men tend to have more belly fat than women, men generally lose belly fat faster as a result of regular exercise.
Your body shape also affects how easily you lose belly fat:
Basically this is caused by eating the wrong foods, consuming too many calories and/ or insufficient exercise. You probably also are carrying extra weight around your hips and legs. Losing belly fat is pretty straightforward, but does require a lifestyle overhaul. You need to implement a diet that will help you lose belly fat and regular exercise to burn fat and strengthen your abs. Read about which foods you should be avoiding and which ones will help you quickly lose that belly.
The stress hormone known as cortisol, promotes fat to be deposited in the belly area. High levels of cortisol are linked with greater amounts of belly fat. Alcohol, smoking and caffeine all increase cortisol levels. Read more about which type of diet will help reduce cortisol levels.
Post pregnancy the uterus is heavier than pre-pregnancy causing the uterus to drop. The uterus does return to its pre-pregnancy size, but takes about 6 weeks to do so. Also, pregnancy splits the abdominal muscles (the linea alba muscle separates) down the middle. Therefore, it’s not even worth thinking about aiming for flat abs until that process is complete and stay clear of crunches, as they will force these muscles farther apart. Don’t rush into exercising, give yourself at least 2 – 3 months before exercising to get back into shape. Always speak to your doctor or midwife before starting an exercise program, particularly if you’ve had a caesarean section. It is essential to ensure your abdominal muscles have healed before starting vigorous exercises.o get back your pre-pregancy body, you need re-train and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and your deepest tummy muscle layer (transversus abdominus). The pelvic floor muscles help to stabilize the pelvis and support the organs of the lower abdominal cavity, including the bladder and uterus. Pelvic floor strengthening exercises known as Kegels (named after Dr. Kegel) generally recommended for strengthening the pelvic floor. The transversus abdominus is a deep abdominal muscle and acts as a corset, pulling you in. Exercises targeting the transversus abdominus will help to strength your core and flatten your belly, by pulling it in from the inside out.
You know you have a bloated belly, if it starts off relatively flat in the morning, but grows larger throughout the day with gas or indigestion. Bloating can affect you irrespective of size, you may be slim or overweight. Your belly may be bloated due to food intolerances, sluggish bowels as a result of a poor diet or a relatively unknown, but probably common condition called Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). SIBO is when there are abnormally high levels of bacteria in the small intestine, especially the type of bacteria usually found in the colon (large intestine) than the small intestine. Basically, there are two problems (1) too much bacteria and (2) the wrong type of bacteria in the wrong place. The symptoms of SIBO include excess gas, abdominal bloating and distension, diarrhea (less frequently constipation) and abdominal pain. It is thought that many people labelled with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), are in fact suffering with SIBO.
FACTORS THAT CAN INCREASE BELLY FAT
There are several factors that increase the likelihood of developing excess deep belly fat, including:
• Male gender
• Post-menopausal women
• Sedentary lifestyle
• Heavy drinking (3 or more drinks per day for men, 2 or more drinks for women)
• Chronically high stress levels
• Poor diet, particularly if high total fat, saturated fat and refined carbohydrates.
Every time you put a stick of gum in your mouth and start to chomp, your brain thinks you're eating food. So it sends signals to your stomach, pancreas, and other digestive organs to get them ready for the digestive process.
Your pancreas is fooled into manufacturing a batch of the digestive enzymes your brain thinks you'll need.
If you keep this pattern going month after month, your pancreas gets exhausted from the repeated over-production. Then it won't be able to produce the digestive enzymes you need when you actually require them.
Without the relevant digestive enzymes to break down your food, you will be massively lacking in vital nutrients to supply your body with fuel and tissue building proteins.
During intense workouts, in particular anaerobic training such as weight training and interval training, the body secretes growth hormone from the pituitary gland. The amount of growth hormone released is dependent primarily on two factors, the first being the stress applied to the skeletal structure, where the most stress applied leads to higher growth hormone release. Compound multi-joined exercises would be at the top of that list. The other factor being the increasing of the intensity of the workouts, by increasing oxygen deprivation to the working muscle fibres with shorter rest periods. Growth hormone continues to be released into circulation up to 50 minutes after the workout is complete.
Whey protein has the ability to stimulate insulin release upon consumption. If whey protein is taken immediately post workout, the insulin spike resulting from it will shut down the growth hormone being released from the pituitary. This turns the body’s state from fat burning, to storing, since Insulin is a hormone that is used to store glucose, amino acids and even fat into muscle and then fat cells.
Taking BCAA's instead after a workout, prevents the insulin spike from occurring, and allows the growth hormone to continue its powerful metabolic effect. Whey protein can then be consumed after the 50 minutes period, to allow insulin to push the protein into the muscle tissue, allowing both hormones to be used to maximum effect
Reliable diet and exercise information is more accessible than ever before yet every year, The UK is continue getting fatter. Taking Control of the Insatiable Appetite, food manufactures purposely make food their foods irresistible by combining sugar, salt, fat and a pixie dust of chemicals to create an addictive
response in the consumer. Thus the more of their garbage you eat, the more you desire and predictably, excess fat is the consequence. Unfortunately, highly processed foods do nothing positive for the brain and body, merely displacing the nutrition required to thrive. Without a wholesome, nutrition-based, source of energy to get through the day, many people--mistakenly-- self-medicate with caffeine and other stimulants. Relying on artificial, external sources of stimulation is a poor choice which can lead to adrenaline resistance (and tandem insulin resistance) which can perpetuate weight gain and otherwise discourage good health. Increasing the ante with supplemental fat-burners and thermogenics only worsens the situation. In the long run, fat-burners can potentially make you fatter by screwing up your physiology. Overusing such supplements can create (or aggravate already existing) adrenaline resistance, which in turn causes fat retention, muscle loss, and inflammation.
Most fat burning supplements on the market are stimulant-based, thus they work by increasing the neurotransmitter/hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine. Norepinephrine and epinephrine are catecholamines, secreted by the adrenals, which trigger the "fight or flight" response (also known as an adrenaline rush) providing an energy and strength boost by way of the central nervous system for 2-15 minutes. When facing a legitimate stressor, i.e. an emergency, we rely on these hormones to overcome and persevere. Epinephrine, also referred to as adrenaline, is what gets you out of the bed in the morning; it further gives you an edge every time you take on a challenge. Adrenaline gives us energy for intense workouts and, in the form of norepinephrine, for the mental demands of problem solving.
Your metabolic rate is essentially a measure of the amount of calories you burn every day.
The number of calories you burn varies and is influenced by several factors (read more about how to increase the calories you burn every day). Knowing what these factors are will allow you to:
The good news is that there are 12 ways by which you can increase your metabolism! Food, exercise and other lifestyle choices have a significant impact on your metabolism. The more of these factors you are able to incorporate into your lifestyle, the more you’ll increase your metabolism and experience greater fat loss and importantly permanent fat loss.
1. AVOID VERY LOW CALORIE DIETS
On very low calorie diets, you are essentially starving yourself. While logically no one is able to maintain such a diet as part of a lifestyle change and those who do risk serious damage to their health, very low calorie diets generally do not work. Why? It triggers the starvation protection mechanism, which causes you to lose a lot of water weight, some muscle tissue and very little fat. How does it do it? Not knowing that McDonald’s is only around the next corner, your body panics and takes some extreme protective measures to ensure your survival, which appears to be in jeopardy since your body has registered that there is insufficient food around. Therefore, your body proceeds to protect its fat reserves in case things get worse later and uses muscle for fuel instead of fat. It also instigates a number of complicated measures to decrease the amount of energy your body needs for its essential functions. In other words it slows down your metabolism. Kinda counterproductive?!
2. EAT LITTLE AND OFTEN
Eating around 6 small meals per day with each meal consisting of a combination of protein, carbs and fat. On a calorie controlled diet you eat fewer calories than normal. Therefore, you need to provide yourbody with food every fewer hours helps avoid triggering the starvation protection mechanism. Research suggests that small, regular meals throughout the day, instead of one or two large meals, can increase your metabolism. In fact, evidence shows that people who eat every 2 to 3 hours have less body fat and faster metabolisms than those who eat only 2 or 3 meals per day. Also, about 10% of the calories we burn each day goes on digesting and absorbing food – so the more times you eat, the greater this effect is likely to be. Small, but frequent meals should form part of your daily metabolism-boosting plan.
3. INCREASE METABOLISM BY EATING BREAKFAST
Breakfast → break fast → breaking the fast. Yes, you have been fasting through the night. Therefore, especially when you are dieting you should eat something for breakfast to avoid triggering a slowdown in metabolism. You need not go as far as breakfasting like a king, but should definitely try eating a small breakfast at the very least. A low calorie meal replacement shake, fruit or cereal are options, though incorporate some protein into your meal.
4. INCREASE METABOLISM BY EATING PROTEIN- & FIBER-RICH FOODS
Our body has to use energy to digest, break down and absorb the food we eat. Some foods require more energy to break down than others. Research suggests that approximately 25% of calories in a protein-rich meal are burnt off. Your body has to burn more energy to digest protein than it does to digest fat or carbohydrate. Furthermore, protein will help build muscle and reduce loss of muscle mass that occurs on weight loss diets. Remember, muscle burns calories and increases metabolism. Therefore, a protein-rich diet acts to increase your metabolism by (1) requiring more energy for digestion than other foods and (2) by building metabolism boosting muscle tissue. Make sure you choose low-fat protein options such as lean meat, skinless chicken and low-fat dairy products. Fiber-rich foods are also excellent metabolism boosters. Fiber is not digestible, still your body works very hard trying to break it down. This uses up energy and increases metabolism in the process.
5. CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE
There is no way to get around exercise. While calorie-restricted diet decreases metabolism, exercise increases metabolism. Exercise is the only way to truly get the most of calorie restriction. Where dieting results in loss of muscle, exercise increases muscle or at the very least during dieting stops the loss of muscle mass. Exercise has short and long-term effects on metabolism.Exercise increases metabolism for a hours after exercise and increases metabolism by increasing muscle mass. High intensity interval training is the best exercise technique to increase metabolism, as it has the greatest effect on metabolism and is incredibly efficient. HIIT can burn an extra 100 to 200 after your workout.
6. BOOST METABOLISM BY BUILDING MUSCLE
Muscle gain of just 5 to 10 pounds will increase your metabolism by approximately 100 calories. Therefore, cardiovascular exercise with resistance/ incline and weight training.
7. AVOID ALCOHOL
Just as protein takes a lot of energy to digest alcohol takes the least. Almost all the calories in alcohol will go straight to your love handles. Furthermore, alcohol is the incredibly calorie rich intake can quickly add up to hundreds of calories. The calories in cocktails tend to be particularly high. Moreover, alcohol prevents fat burning.
8. INCREASE METABOLISM BY SPICING UP MEALS
It does work! Spices such as chilli are thought to increase metabolism by up to 50% for up to three hours after eating, by increasing your heart rate. Just make sure that your spicy food choices are not calorie-rich .
9. SUPPLEMENT WITH FISH OIL
Although much focus has been on green tea, as it is believed to contain antioxidants that increase metabolism or at the very least stave off decreases in metabolism, fish oil has shown much greater promise. Research suggests that the omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), which are only present in fish oil, may may be able to dramatically increase metabolism. Fish oil may be able to increase calorie burning by approximately 400 calories per day! For an effective supplement choose capsules that contain at least 300 milligrams of EPA and DHA total.
10. CONJUGATED LINOLEIC ACID – CLA
Although more research is still needed for more definite conclusions can be drawn, it appears that conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) may increase muscle mass and therefore boost metabolism.
Yes, sleeping. Research suggests that insufficient sleep can cause weight gain. Lack of sleep appears to alter the levels of hormones Leptin and Ghrelin that play a role in weight control by affecting appetite and energy regulation. The changes in these hormones increase hunger and appetite. Furthermore, significant changes in glucose tolerance and endocrine function also occur and hasten the onset and increase the severity of diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Aim for 8 hours of sleep per night.
12. SAUNAS TO INCREASE METABOLISM
Saunas may increase metabolism by about 20%. In the heat of the sauna the body works hard to cool itself, such that there is a substantial increase in heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate – similar effects to exercise, without the physical exertion. Metabolism may stay elevated for hours after the sauna. Before you have a sauna, ensure you don’t have any underlying medical problems that mean you shouldn’t go in saunas or steam rooms.
So what are these super hormones? How do they make you skinny? Most importantly though, how can you make them work for you?
The good news is that these hormones are already being produced by your body, all you need to do is to give them a little boost!
With a little help your hormones you will turn your body into an amazing, efficient, fat burning machine!
These 3 fat-melting hormones are, Testosterone, HGH (Human Growth Hormone), and Progesterone
Testosterone Fat Burning Hormone #1:
Testosterone is responsible for making it possible for men to lose fat and retain muscle more easily than women. The good news is that women’s bodies produce it too, and there are many ways in which we can increase its production. I know what you are thinking, “I don’t want to have a hairy chest and a deep voice”. Never fear, that is only a problem if you take synthetic hormones like steroids.
Increases sex drive
Must eat some fat (even saturated fat) Testosterone relies on the right balance of fat in the diet.
Watch consumption of caffeine and alcohol.
HGH (Human Growth Hormone) Fat Burning Hormone #2:
Human Growth hormone is a fat burner. Your body usually uses glucose before burning fat, but HGH forces your body to use its fat reserves first! Yippee! This turns you into a fat burning machine even when you are sleeping! It also helps your body make new muscle cells. Usually your body stops growing new muscle cells after your teen years due to inadequate HGH in your body.
Higher sex drive
Youthful glowing skin
Body repairs itself more quickly
Cut back on carbs at night. Your body pumps out more HGH when your blood sugar is low. This way you will boost your metabolism while you sleep!
Eat foods high in B vitamins (Avocados, Beef, Bananas, Tuna, Potatoes, Oats, Brazil Nuts, Legumes, Kefir. ect.)
Zinc (Chocolate, Peanuts, Oysters, Pumpkins seeds, Sesame seeds, Tahini ect.)
High intensity exercise triggers HGH release
Get a good nights sleep (deep sleep is when your body produces HGH)
Progesterone Fat Burning Hormone #3:
Progesterone is useful in shedding fat stores as it facilitates the utilization of stored body fat as energy. When your body produces enough Progesterone it helps you burn an extra 100-300 calories a day! (That’s two of my favorite organic chocolate truffles,…but who’s counting…) When your body does not produce enough of it you overeat. Poor liver function suppresses Progesterone production. Progesterone also helps you to correct estrogen dominance as it does the following:
Helps use fat for energy
Normalizes blood sugar levels, thus reducing food cravings
Is a natural anti-depressant
Essential for proper thyroid function and thus fat burning
Delivers more oxygen to the cells
Restores sex drive
Helps prevent cancer
Stimulates bone building
Reduce stress. Stress greatly reduces Progesterone production in the body. (slow down, do yoga, meditate, breath deeply ect. all are beneficial when it comes to stress reduction.)
Avoid products like soy, tofu and soy milk. According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, these foods contain natural plant estrogen. More estrogen in your bloodstream enhances estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance causes fat storage and a slow metabolism.
Foods containing B vitamins, Zinc and Magnesium boost the body’s ability to produce Progesterone. Eat Yams, Walnuts, Whole Grains, Red Meat, Chicken, Shellfish, Turkey, Turmeric, Thyme and Oregano.
Drink warm water with the juice of one organic lemon upon rising to boost liver function. Do this before consuming anything else.
Watch processed foods, high refined carb intake, alcohol, medications (Tylenol, Aspirin ect.) and environmental pollutants (household cleaners, perfumes, air fresheners ect.) as they suppress the liver.
Adrenaline is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands and is released in response to stress. Adrenaline released for short periods is not a big deal but becomes problematic when it is prolonged. When it is prolonged it lowers levels of LH Lutenizing hormone, which in turn lowers testosterone production.
Adrenaline receptors in abundance in stubborn fat areas: stomach hips, glutes etc. When adrenaline is sensitive we utilize energy from stubborn fat areas for stressful situations. When we are stressed too often the receptors get worn out and the brain gets the signal that you do not have enough energy stored in stubborn fat areas. Subsequently more energy is stored in stubborn fat areas when you eat.
Adrenaline is highly inflammatory and causes a subsequent increase in cortisol to drive down the inflammation.
Adrenaline resistance comes from too much stress: work, poor sleep, relationships, financial, excess caffeine consumption, stimulants like most fat burners, too much intense exercise
Body fat percentage is a great way to determine health and track weight loss. Average body fat percentages vary between men and women, as well as between different age groups. Below you’ll find a table with the different ranges of body fat for men and women, and illustrations of what these body fat percentages look like. Try to get you body fat percentage measured professionally.
Average Levels of Body Fat for Athletes
Triathlon: 10 –15% 5 – 12
Swimmers: 10 – 16% 6 – 12%
Marathon Runners: 10 – 16% 5 – 10%
Olympic Gymnasts: 11 – 14% 5 – 8%
Sprinters: 12 – 18% 5 – 12%
Tennis Players: 14 – 20% 10 – 16%
Volleyball: 16 – 25% 11 – 14%
LOW TO HIGH LEVELS OF BODY FAT
Essential Fat: 10 – 13% 2 – 5 %
Lean (Athlete): 14 – 20% 6 – 13%
Average (Fitness): 21 – 24 % 14 – 17%
Acceptable: 25 – 31% 18 – 25%
Overweight: ≥32% ≥26%
SUPERSKINNY? – Minimum Body Fat
It is impossible to decrease body fat levels to zero. Body fat can be divided into essential fat and storage fat. Essential fat is needed for the body’s hormone and immune systems to function properly and is stored in the body’s major organs such as the heart, lungs, bone marrow and muscles. Physical and physiological health are adversely affected below the level of essential fat. Women carry additional essential gender-specific fat in the breasts, pelvis, hips and thighs, which is a biological necessity for childbearing. Essential fat accounts for at least 10% to 13% of a woman’s and 5% of a man’s total body weight. Storage fat, on the other hand, is used as fuel for the body in times of need and is also required for good health. It is used to protect the internal organs in the chest and abdomen. The levels of this fat fluctuate, as this is the weight that changes during weight gain and loss.
Essential fat and some storage fat is a required for normal body functioning. This is particularly true for women, in whom very low levels of body fat may cause a disruption/ loss of the menstrual (amenorrhea) cycle, this in turn resulting in an estrogen deficiency, infertility, hair loss, a decrease in bone density and premature osteoporosis. Generally, any woman who seeks to maintain her body fat levels below 12 – 15 % and/ or trains very heavily will experience this disruption. However, this may also depend on how this body fat percentage was achieved and is maintained. The point of amenorrhea is different for all women, for some it may be at 18%, for others at 16% or 12%. It is important to understand that even with resumption of normal menses, some of the changes that have taken place may be irreversible, such as bone mineral loss (increasing risk of osteoporosis – brittle bones). This is particularly true in adolescence, during which, 60 – 80% of skeletal bone is laid down and consolidated. Low estrogen levels during this time will cause inhibition of normal pubertal growth and development.
Amenorrhea is never healthy, desirable or acceptable. This is a sign that something is wrong.If you stop menstruating after a period of weight loss, it may be that you have gone too far. Try putting on a little weight to see whether this restores your menses and make an appointment with your general practitioner.
SUPERSIZE? – TOO MUCH BODY FAT
Body fat is stored in fat cells and everyone is born with a specific number of fat cells. This number does not change. When we gain or lose weight, what does change is the size of these fat cells – they may grow bigger or shrink in size. However, there are exceptions to every rule and there are two instances during which there the number of fat cells can increase:
Some of you are most likely aware what a somatotype is. However for those that aren’t, a somatotype is basically the body shape/structure category that you fit into. To further elaborate, there are 3 somatotypes, an endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph. An endomorph is generally more likely to store bodyfat, builds muscle fairly easily and usually not very tall. An ectomorph is generally very tall, low level of bodyfat and struggles to build muscle. A mesomorph builds muscle very easily, is very athletic and doesn’t hold much bodyfat
Here are 3 examples:
Endomorph – sumo wrestler
Ectomorph – peter crouch
Mesomorph – 100m sprinter
Your genetics are what determine your somatotype. Everyone will be born with certain physical characteristics which may make them slightly ectomorphic, endomorphic or mesomorphic. It is however never a simple case of being one or the other. Usually people are somewhere in between 2 or even all 3 but leaning towards one or the other. If you imagine a triangle where the 3 points are the 3 somatotypes, you could place a dot anywhere in the triangle and that could be you. You may be slightly off to one point or on the side far away from another. It is totally dependent on your genetics.
The point I am trying to make is that you must identify your somatotype in order to account for your physical characteristics and train/eat accordingly.
Here are a few tips to follow after identifying your somatotype to achieve your physical goals.
If you are an endomorph you will easily put on bodyfat and find it very hard to stay lean. This will mean that whilst trying to gain muscle you must be very careful as to the amount of calories you are consuming and where these calories come from. If you have too many sugars or empty calories you will put on fat easily and find it difficult to lose at a later stage. Luckily for the most part you will be able to build muscle fairly easily. This will mean that you wont need an abundance of calories to gain muscle. You will also naturally be very strong. Sumo wrestlers are incredibly strong, even though they don’t look all that muscular. With training I recommend that you train with heavy weights but at a fairly fast pace in order to keep your heart rate high. Try to do regular short duration cardio to avoid too much of a calorie surplus.
I am an ectomorph so I empathise with you guys. If you ever hear someone claiming to be a ‘hardgainer’ it is most likely because they are an ectomorph. You guys will struggle to put on any kind of weight. You will really find it difficult to gain muscle but you will have the benefit of staying lean very easily and dropping bodyfat with minimal dieting effort. Your diets must therefore reflect that. You will need rather high calorie diets to account for your fast metabolisms and ability to use calories. You can however get away with the occasional cheat meal without putting on fat, unlike endomorphs. With regards to training I would advocate heavy compound exercises combined with hypertrophy training on isolation exercises. Take longer rest periods and don’t do too much high intensity cardio. Cardio should not be avoided altogether though as it is beneficial for gaining muscle. You must though account for the cardio and make up for it with extra calories.
If you are a mesomorph you are one of those people that all other gym-goers are jealous of. You pick up a dumbbell and suddenly have 18 inch biceps. It is very easy for you to gain muscle due to high percentages of fast twitch muscle fibres and you are naturally very strong and athletic. You also don’t store fat particularly easily and can drop bodyfat without too much of an issue. I would recommend for you guys similar training and diet to ectomorphs but the calories in the diet do not need to be as high. Guys like phil heath are natural ectomorphs so if you want to get into bodybuilding you are genetically perfect for it.
So if you are wondering why you are naturally tall and skinny or short and fat, or perhaps why you are naturally muscular and lean, it is because of your somatotype. If you can identify this then you can start to embrace it or fight it as best as you can to achieve your goals in fitness and bodybuilding.
Your diet is clean. You have a pantry full of supplements and haven't missed a training session in six months. Yet you still don't have the body you want.
This is a common dilemma. There’s a tendency to blame genetics or look at magazine covers and assume those folks are taking something not readily (or legally) available. But there actually are four reasonable explanations for why you are not progressing the way you’d like to be.
stress raises cortisol and there are few things worse for your body composition than stress.
Stress can come in many forms from bad relationships. Overbearing parents and in-laws, an abusive boss, and needy co-workers, friends, and acquaintances, can stress out your system and cause you to hold onto fat, especially in the abdominal region.
Cutting bad relationships can be difficult – sometimes impossible. You’re pretty much stuck with the parents and in-laws, and unless you switch jobs, the boss and co-workers aren’t leaving either. But make an effort to cut as many toxic people out of your life as possible and you will be happier and healthier for it.
This one is a real kick in the pants. You eat everything you’re supposed to - eggs, fish, lean meat, gluten-free whole grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables - and yet, you can't shake those last five pounds of fat.
You could have a more stealth version of a food allergy: a food intolerance. Such an intolerance causes inflammation in the body. Not a full-blown, swollen-faced allergic reaction, but low-level inflammation that keeps your system from running smoothly.
If your system isn't running correctly, dropping fat is the least of your problems. Eggs, nuts, soy, wheat and dairy are the "Big Five" when it comes to food intolerances but you can be intolerant to anything from garlic to parsley to pineapple to eggplant. And, chances are, the more you eat something (and people tend to eat the same things when on a fat loss plan) the more likely your body will become intolerant to it. I told you it was a kick in the pants.
Things such as food intolerance tests (performed through Biological Effects) and elimination diets can identify the culprits. Eliminating these foods might be all you need to jump start your training program.
Remember Britney Spears? She wasn’t exactly a rocket scientist, but she might have been on to something when she sang, “You’re toxic!”
Environmental toxins -pollution, cigarette smoke, cosmetics, metal tooth fillings, prescription drugs, and mercury in fish – are stored in fat cells, and have the potential to wreak havoc on your body.
Since your body is smart, and prioritizes survival over ripped abs, it refuses to use these fat cells for fuel. Doing so would release these toxins into general circulation. Essentially, you are holding onto these fat cells so the toxins don't make you ill.
So how do we get rid of these unwanted guests, become less toxic, and drop that last chunk of stubborn body fat? You could take measures ranging from infrared saunas, detoxifying foot baths, chelation therapy, all the way to liver and GI tract detoxifying diets. These methods can help you remove metals and toxins from your system.
Such measures can be fairly dramatic depending on the source of the toxicity.
YOU'RE NOT WORKING HARD ENOUGH
Just because you’ve been working out consistently doesn’t mean you are getting the most out of your training. If showing up is half the battle, the other 50 percent is the effort you bring to the gym.
Most people do not realize what their bodies are capable of enduring. Are you leisurely working on a cardio machine while reading a magazine or talking on the phone? Do you continue to do the same workouts long after your body has adapted to them?
If so, take a look at the folks in your gym who appear to be getting results. Chances are, they’re pushing themselves, working at a furious pace, and continually undertaking new regimes.
There’s a reason those people have better body compositions than you do. It’s not by accident or genetics; they’re busting their asses – and you can too.
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