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Archives for March 2013

Is a diet of only raw food healthy?

If you have considered this type of diet or are interested in knowing more, then read on.

What Is The Raw Food Diet?

RawFoodPerson

The Raw Food Diet is nothing new and Raw Foodism has been around for hundreds of years but has recently risen in pop culture popularity.

The raw food diet consists of uncooked (less than 118 degrees Fahrenheit), unprocessed, and primarily organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs and sometimes fish (such as sashimi), meat (such as carpaccio) and dairy (such as raw milk and raw cheese).

Many raw foodists are vegan or vegetarian.

⚡ Related: Learn If You Should Go Vegan

Gain The Health Benefits Without An Extreme Diet

I know what you’re thinking: there’s no way I can eat all raw food.

You don’t have to be extreme and go all raw immediately or at all. To start reaping the many benefits of raw foods, simply start adding them to the dishes you already eat.

For example, make a pizza using avocado instead of cheese. Use spaghetti squash instead of pasta for a spaghetti with meat. Make a grilled chicken breast sandwich with the fillings in leafy greens.

Also, try making chili with raw vegetables added in at the end and then serve it with salsa and guacamole.

Increase the raw food percentage of your meals by adding raw side dishes like vegetable mixes, salads, fresh sprouts or sliced veggies. Eventually, you should aim to get 50% raw foods at each meal.

Who Wants More Energy, Better Stamina & Less Body Fat

Raw food enthusiasts have said their diet results in many great health benefits.Some of these include increased energy, better mood, reduced cancer risk, improved stamina, healthier skin, weight loss, clearer intellect, enhanced immunity, improved sleep, and many more.A raw food diet contains fewer saturated fat and trans fats than the typical Western diet.

It is also much lower in sodium and sugar, rich in antioxidants and high in fiber, folate, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin A.

⚡ Related: Learn How You Can Naturally Get Insane Energy

RawFoodHeart-300x300

Reduce The Acidity In Your Body

The raw food diet is also thought to have a favorable acid-alkaline balance since the food is low in acid-forming food.

Too much acidity in the body is known to be toxic and cause an array of diseases.

Some ailments and sicknesses that are a result of acidity are dehydration, diabetes, bladder and kidney damage, fatigue, high blood pressure, heart disease, hormonal imbalances, indigestion, immune deficiencies, insomnia, lactic acid buildup, lupus, obesity, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, yeast and fungal overgrowth, and more.

Dairy, bread, white flour, meat, eggs, sugar, artificial sweeteners, coffee, carbonated drinks, and preservatives are the main offenders of high levels of acidity in the body.

Like I mentioned earlier if you are going to eat these types of foods, make sure to get 50% of your meal from leafy greens and raw vegetables to balance it out.

Save Time By Eating Raw Food

Besides providing great benefits for your entire body, the raw food diet means you will typically have less work to do to prepare your meals.Since you aren’t cooking food, your main duties will be chopping, cutting, slicing, juicing and blending.

Beginning a raw food diet can be an exciting way to discover new vegetables and fruits you’ve never tried before. It is also a great way to get in tune with your body and gauge how different foods affect your body and mind.

You will be amazed at all of the changes you’ll see and feel as a result of putting whole foods rather than preservatives and processed foods into your body.

Of course, what you eat is only part of the equation. You must also be working out to stay healthy and this is why I created my training programs, such as HIIT MAX™, which comes with both a training guide, as well as a nutrition guide.

If you’re working out like crazy, and still not seeing your 6 pack abs, then there’s one big reason:

The specific foods you eat.

As such, you need to start analyzing your diet.  With that said, I am not suggesting a low-calorie diet or advising you to reduce your carb intake.

But, there are 5 foods you must avoid.

In this post, you’ll learn why you should stay away from:

  • Fast food
  • Frozen “diet” food
  • Flour-based products
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Alcohol

MenWomenSixPack-300x200

Even if you have a sound nutritional diet, you will still be stuck in the weight loss trap but if you eat these foods.

If you’re consuming any of the 5 foods below, they will stop you from ever seeing your 6 pack – or even getting lean.

The solution is to eat substitutes or healthy alternatives.

1. Fast Food

Nearly all fast foods have tons of Trans Fats.  It’s these types of fats that have zero nutrition and they actually lower your good cholesterol while raising your bad.  Stay away from fast food, PERIOD.  I am sure you’ve heard the saying, “everything is good moderation”..?  Well, except fast food!

The Obesity epidemic is on the rise.  In fact, did you know that 1/3rd of the population (BMI 30+) suffer from being obese? Furthermore, overweight individuals (BMI 25-29) make up another 1/3rd of it.

We live in a fast food and microwave type of era, everyone wants it fast to fit their lifestyles.  No wonder these franchises are popping up on the most sought-after corners of real estate around the country.  And, they will keep opening doors as long as we keep lining up for their products.

2. Frozen “Diet” Food aka “Lean Cuisine”

No_Frozen_Meal-300x236These so-called “Lean Cuisines” or “All In One” diet meals are nothing more than a big ball of chemically processed garbage.

If you don’t believe me, grab a microscope and take a peek at what you’re putting into your body.  That should be enough to convince you!

Try baking a chicken breast in some lemon and garlic, add some asparagus or greens for the side.  It’s just as fast and easy tastes better and is far better for your body.

3. White, enriched, or otherwise refined flour-based products

Flour is a powder made from grains, legumes, nuts or seeds.  Refined grains are significantly modified from their original state, removing the germ and bran. They are further processed through mixing, bleaching, and brominating, and then can be “enriched” with B vitamins and iron.  However, in most cases, it is not leaving white flour useless for your body.

White flour contains absolutely no nutritional value what-so-ever.

There is a reason why diabetics are not supposed to eat white bread…  It’s because white flour is converted by the body into sugar as it enters the bloodstream.  You’re just as well off eating a slice of cake! In other words, it makes you fat so steer clear.

4. High Fructose Corn Syrup

Energy_Drink-300x300They are starting to put this crap in everything!  READ THE LABELS…

This ingredient is not good for you and without question detrimental to your six-pack abs. (HFCR) is not processed by the body in the same way as traditional sugar, it must pass through the liver first.

(HFCR) is prominent in things such as; soft drinks, juice beverages, and processed foods.  It is also referred to as “corn sugar”, so be conscious of this as you shop.

In fact, one study performed by Princeton found that high-fructose corn syrup ingestion in rats prompted considerably more weight gain than table sugar — even when caloric intake was the same. Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/high-fructose-corn-syrup/#ixzz2NoupSTBx

⚡ Related: Learn How Sugar can Affect Your Weight Loss

5. Alcohol

Red_Wine-300x293This is a midsection killer!  Alcohol wreaks havoc on your waistline like smoking does on lungs.  If you are going to drink, then resort to a glass or two of red wine or a light beer.

I certainly don’t recommend drinking alcohol at all while trying to lose weight, however, you can see some best case scenario beers here.

Find substitutes or alternatives for these 5 foods and you will break through your fitness plateau and begin losing body fat. I would also recommend following a training program, such as Six Pack Finishers, so you can dial in and get that six-pack. You can do this!

⚡ Related: Learn What Booze Does to Your Weight Loss and Your Body

Let’s get fit together!

WallSit-243x300What is Constant Resistance Technology..?

The easiest way to define (CRT) is any time you use your own body weight as the source of your resistance, you are using constant resistance technology.

Push-ups, pull-ups, air squats, wall-sits, jumping jacks, and even stretching falls into this category.

Sometimes special apparatuses facilitate calisthenic exercise.  I bet you’ve heard of adjustable step-up platforms, inversion machines, pull-up bars, TRX suspension systems, even slant boards for situps.

Calisthenics is designed to improve a multitude things; endurance (cardiovascular or in a single muscle group), strength, and/or flexibility.

Even running is considered a calisthenic exercise because again you are using your own body weight.  If you want to increase the level of difficulty during calisthenics, simple add resistance with dumbbells and/or strength bands.

How do I know (CRT) works?

Aside from the fact that I use this type of training during every workout and have had amazing success…

iStock_000023091527XSmall-300x199Have you seen what Olympic athletes look like?

I am specifically referring to those that train in gymnastic rings.  These athletes are training with constant resistance technology each time they train.

The great thing about calisthenics or (CRT) training is you can increase the stress level in a number of ways.  For example, you can add weight, increase duration, and/or increase the number of reps.

Constant Resistance Technology can also be isometric, functional isometric, compound and compound aerobic exercises.  Furthermore, by examining the training sequence you can not only increase or decrease cardiovascular intensity but also stress on the muscles.

Calisthenic exercises are nothing more than a special application of constant resistance technology.  It’s actually quite simple to understand. If your body weight is sufficiently heavy, it delivers overload to the muscles. In other words, calisthenics is just like constant resistance weight training.

The most important thing to remember about (CRT) and calisthenics is that if your muscles do not continually receive more stress than they are used to, you are not progressing and only maintaining.

Recommendation…

By putting into play the advice above, you’ll be able to keep your body guessing and therefore keep your body progressing. Varying speed, form, time, weight, sequence, and/or the number of reps and you could easily use (CRT) training to continually improve both your aerobic and anaerobic capacity.

I also recommend signing up for a Custom Training Plan and have a workout program designed for your specific goals.  

I used to do hours of cardio. The 1 hour runs. The 7-day weeks. But I never got my body fat down to 8.3% until I stopped all the cardio training.

Instead of cardio, here’s what actually worked for me:

1. SIMPLE DAILY DISCIPLINES

  • Easy To Do
  • Easy Not To Do
    • These simple disciplines compounded over time equal Positive or Negative results.

2. VERY LIMITED REST DURING YOUR WORKOUT

  • Rest for no more than 30 seconds in between sets & 45 seconds if you absolutely have to.
  • Don’t let your heart rate slow down to less than 75% of maximum target heart rate.
    • For information on how to find your target heart rate (see below).

3. DRINK ENOUGH WATER

  • Drink roughly a half ounce of water per pound of body-weight per day.
  • Do not drink huge amounts of water all in one sitting.
  • Make sure you spread this consumption out over the course of the entire day and remember if you’re eating a healthy diet as much as 20% of your total water consumption can come from the foods you eat.

⚡ Related: Learn Your Correct Daily Water Intake

4. EAT 6 TIMES PER DAY

  • Make sure to plan your meals and snacks ahead of time, otherwise, you’ll end up somewhere without options.
  • Do not under any circumstances go longer than 3 hours without eating.

5. KNOW WHAT TO EAT, HOW MUCH TO EAT, AND WHEN

  • The timing of meals and snacks is key, it’s important to understand your schedule as well as your body.
  • Under no circumstances should your biggest meal of the day be dinner, nor should you eat 2-3 hours before resting.

6. ALWAYS TRAIN WITH HIGH INTENSITY

  • The mind-muscle link is crucial, and I mean it.  Concentrate on the muscle(s) you are working every time you train.  If part of your training includes a brisk walk or jog, YOU should be thinking about your calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes.  That’s how focused you need to be.
  • High intensity doesn’t mean high reps, it means to keep your pace up and consistent and your mind laser focused. Because this is so effective, I made HIIT MAX™, a training program based on high-intensity interval training and it is super effective!
    • Implement this and you’ll experience results like never before!

⚡ Related: Learn If HIIT Is Right For You

7. SWEAT EVERY DAMN TIME

  • You should always sweat during your workouts.  If you’re not sweating then your body isn’t changing.
  • If you don’t work up a decent sweat while training then considers it a REST DAY – Period!

8. SUPPLEMENTS 

  • The more nutrients you can get from actual and natural foods the better.  Do not be afraid to supplement if need be.  Just make sure you know what you’re putting in your body every time.
  • You cannot afford to go even one day without the proper nutrition your body requires to work and change.

9. NO CONSECUTIVE REST DAYS

  • One full day of rest is plenty unless of course you have injured yourself or are sickly.  This is especially important to follow initially as you form your exercise habits.
  • DO NOT take consecutive days off, it’s just not necessary.
    • Did you know it takes 30 solid, consistent days to form a single habit?

10. FIND SUBSTITUTES FOR DAIRY

  • There are plenty of great substitutes for dairy.  You can get your calcium from lots of different sources.
  • Do not consume dairy, it just does not do your body one bit of good.  Don’t take it from me do your own homework!
    • Almond Milk or Coconut Milk are just as tasty and are packed with calcium.

11. RESISTANCE TRAINING

  • Always train with resistance, this could mean; body-weight exercises, movements with dumbbells or resistance bands, and even some plyometrics.
  • I would stay away from machines, they are poor for your range of motion and do not offer the same benefits as other methods.

12. SET GOALS

  • Run a series of short races, it’s not supposed to be one giant marathon.  Pay close attention to your simple daily disciplines; run fast, ferociously, and with extreme focus to each new finish line (goal).
  • Do not set unrealistic goals, but do not set easily achievable goals either.  Challenge yourself ALWAYS!
    • Remember, what gets measured gets improved; time, weight, reps, waist… You catch my drift..!

⚡ Related: Learn How To Set Better Goals For Faster Fat Loss

I wish you amazing success on your journey.

Stay positive, patient and consistent. Remember, by the time you see results, most of the work will have already been done.

To Your Success ~ Michael

 

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