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Archives for December 2013

Stay Guilt Free This New Year’s Eve (10 of the best party drinks and snacks)

New year’s eve is one of the best nights of the year. I think you deserve to celebrate a year of hard work.

So, if you’ve been working out and burning fat all year, then you should reward yourself.

However, you can have fun without putting on the pounds.

There are generally lots of fattening foods at these events, but there are also lots of healthy opinions. Here are the snacks and drinks that I will be eating. I encourage you to do the same.

In this post, you’ll see:

  • My go-to drinks for weight loss this New Years
  • Top party snacks for weight loss

Top Fat Loss Drinks:

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1. LaCroix Natural Sparkling Water (Flavored) & KettleOne Vodka

This will make for a tasty drink and you can enjoy yourself at the party. There are no calories from carbohydrates, so you will stay in a state of ketosis.

With that said, try to limit your intake as those calories still need to be burned off. However, it won’t halt your weight loss progress like most other drinks.

2. Glass of Red Wine

There is research showing that one glass of red wine (four to six nights per week) can help you to live longer. It can increase your good cholesterol (HDL). There are also certain antioxidants in red wine.

Good bacteria is found in red wine which helps with your digestive tract, and can make you leaner (according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).

⚡ Related: Learn The Best Wine to Drink for Fat Loss

3. Glass Of Champagne w/ Berries

There are only 87 calories in one glass of champagne. You will only gain 2.8 grams of carbohydrates, which your body can easily cope with. The berries add a nice secondary twist to the flavor.

4. Lite Beer (Amstel lite)

Containing just 95 calories, this is a great option to choose. There are only 5 grams of carbohydrates in one bottle. This is a great option for men and women who want to be social without ingesting too many calories.

5. Flavored Vodka (KettleOne Orange) and club soda or tonic.

Flavored vodka has a low-calorie content in comparison to other alcoholic drinks.  The minimum alcohol content for flavored vodka is 60 proof (30% alcohol by volume).

This means there are 30% fewer calories, as there is less alcohol. The rest is made up of water content.

Top Weight Loss Snacks:

1. Nuts

You can’t go wrong with nuts, and you can keep snacking on them during the evening.

But, you can eat just any type of nuts. Choose from the almonds, macadamias, cashews, and walnuts. Don’t sweat it though, if there is a mix of nuts go ahead and grab a handful or two.

2. Guacamole

Your best bet is to find some veggies as opposed to traditional chips. If you have access to some gluten-free chips you could go for those.

3. Deviled Eggs

These are a great choice, as you get your fat and protein needs to be met. If you’re entertaining, then just cut hardboiled eggs in half. Sprinkle some chili pepper and some olive oil to add extra flavor.

⚡ Related: Learn If You Should Be Going Gluten-Free

4. Dark Chocolate Cacao

Dark chocolate is a good snack to choose at a party. It is loaded with nutrients, which have a positive effect on your health. But, don’t confuse it with the chocolate loaded with sugar.

Cacao contains antioxidants, Theobromine, Phenylethylamine, essential minerals, and vitamins. Also, dark chocolate contains 15% fewer calories than other chocolate. It will also prevent the cravings for other salty and sweet foods.

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5. Lean meats

You can fill up on meats, as long as they are lean cuts.

You will get the best sources of protein and good fats from the lean meats. You will find some type of meat at most events and parties, so this is a great choice.

Summary

Remember to have a great time this New Year’s Eve. You can be social and enjoy the foods you eat by just being selective.

Use the tips above to prevent weight gain, and start 2014 in the best possible way.

Whether you’ve been on a Custom Meal Plan or an effective training routine, you’ve to work hard all year and you deserve to have a little bit of fun.

Lose Fat Faster By Setting Goals Like This

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Are you setting effective monthly goals?

If you have both your diet and exercise dialed in but are still not seeing the results you’d like, then it’s likely you are not setting “SMARTER” goals.

It wasn’t until I started setting goals that it became apparent that this often overlooked component was the only thing in my way from achieving my fitness goals.

I didn’t come up with the “SMARTER” formula. I can’t remember where I read it, but I knew the moment I saw it that it needed to be implemented and so I did. It started with my fitness goals, and now I use it to set goals for everything,

In order to set “SMARTER” goals, they need to be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time Specific
  • Evaluate
  • Revise

Once you learn how to effectively set goals it’s important to evaluate and revise them, or as I like to refer to it as correcting course.

With that in mind, once you have the “SMARTER” goal formula you must learn step two and that’s visualization. Napoleon Hill said it best, “whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”. There is so much flippin’ power in that statement, and it couldn’t be more spot-on.

In other words, your goals not only need to be smarter, they need to be written in the first person. You need to see yourself crossing the finish line, shattering that goal.

Here is an example of an unacceptable goal… “I want to lose some weight”.

Let’s rewrite that to follow the “SMARTER” formula and speak our new language… “It’s January 21st, 30 days from today and I have lost 11 pounds and 2 inches off my waist”.

Can you see the difference?! This is crucial and it cannot be overlooked.

You start setting goals like this and look out! How does that saying go?

You will be like an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object.

Lastly, you need to write down weekly goals every 7 days and 30-day goals every month.

These are new goals. I want you to write them down on a yellow Post-It note and place it somewhere where you’ll see the goals every single day without fail.

You do this and you cannot fail. This is power!

What’s your goal for the next 30 days?

Goals are important, but it doesn’t mean you have to achieve them alone. Let us help you reach your goals by creating a Custom Meal Plan or through one of our training programs, such as HIIT MAX™, designed with you and your goals in mind.

Is Fat Targeting Possible?

Is fat targeting possible?

This is one of the most common questions sent to me via email or on my blog.

It goes something like this:

How can burn the fat under my arms?

How can I burn the lower belly fat off?

So, is the controversy over fat targeting true?

In this blog and video, you’ll learn:

  • If you can burn fat in one specific location
  • How you can burn fat faster using HIIT

Can you burn fat in one specific location of the body?

The short answer is NO.

This is a long-held myth in gyms around the country. It is the reason that you see people doing 100 crunches or 200 leg lifts.

Also, you cannot tone a muscle or body fat. You can gain muscle and lose muscle. You can gain fat and lose fat. But it can’t be toned.

This is a misunderstanding that the fitness industry has created.

With that in mind, let me tell you what can and often does happen to make it appear otherwise.

The first thing is the toning and shaping that takes place as a result of muscle hypertrophy. The second thing that can happen is as you build muscle it takes up space, which briefly compresses the sub-dermal fat.

In other words, while you can tighten and tone specific areas of your body by working the muscles in that region, you cannot effectively target the fat stores.

⚡ Related: Learn How You Can Tight Specific Areas of Your Body

So how can I burn fat faster?

Although the science shows that you can’t “spot reduce”, as it is often known, there are ways that you can increase your rate of fat loss across your entire body (burning the problem areas in the process).

Here are two ways that I use and recommend to you:

  1. Consume a whole foods diet and eliminate all processed foods and refined sugars. Get your calories from as close to nature as possible and can be easily done through a Custom Meal Plan.

Implement highly explosive, compound functional movements at high intensity – as frequently as possible (30 minutes x 6 days per week), such as with HIIT MAX™, a program based on high-intensity interval training.

⚡ Related: Learn If HIIT is Right For You

Summary

As you can see, there is no way to reduce fat in one specific location on the body. It is not physiologically possible. But you can get the lean, toned look that you want by following the simple two-step process above.

Remember that you need to stay the course and be patient. That is the way to long-term fat loss and a great body.

Please leave questions and comments below. I will get back to you.

The Most Powerful Exercises For Fat Loss

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If you want to burn fat, then you need to work out with the best possible training system.

This will reduce your workout time, and bring you bigger gains.

There is one simple rule to remember – use compound movements over isolation movements.

Compound functional type movements are the most effective exercises for fat loss. Why?

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • Why fast and explosive movements are most effective
  • How you can burn more fat
  • The best compound functional exercises
  • How you can add more compound movements to your training

Fast & Explosive Movement

Because they are fast, more explosive, and work more muscle fibers during the movement. And, if the exercise involves a weight, that usually means the weight is traveling the furthest amount of distance possible (think of a snatch movement).

All in all, you will rapidly increase your gains if you switch over to compound movements.

Fire Up With More Muscle Fibers

Compounds movements call more muscle fibers into action. The more muscle fibers (fast & slow twitch) you fatigue during training, the more fat you’re going to burn during recovery.

Burn More Fat

This is known as the “after burn” effect. This refers to how many calories and fat your body can burn after you have completed the workout.

Science shows that even as you go about your day, your body can still burn calories if your workout was intense enough. This is hugely important for anyone who wants to maximize fat loss.

In order to ramp up this “after burn” effect, you need to train using compound movements, as they cause the greatest intensity.

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Several Of The Best Compound Functional Exercises:

  • Burpees
  • Mountain climbers
  • Jump lunges
  • Kettlebell swings
  • Dumbbell snatch

There are lots of other exercises also, but those listed above are some of my favorites.

Add More Compound Movements Into Your Training

Increase the number of compound movements used during your workout. This will help you to get better fat loss results. You will also feel stronger and more powerful as a result.

Your training will be more intense and explosive, and you will feel the difference right away.

Start adding these movements into your training.

Sample Programs You Can Use

Here’s what I recommend…

Add a 2-3 compound movement circuit into your next training day with minimal rest periods.

For example:

1. Kettlebell Swing x 12

  • 30s Rest

2. Jump Lunge x 12

  • 30s Rest

3. Mountain Climber x 30

Repeat this circuit 3-4 times.

Summary

Use the simple concept of compound movements to increase your fat loss potential. You know why this works, and it can drastically increase your results.

You will also enjoy your workouts more, and see more muscle, and more definition as a result. If you have ever experienced a weight loss plateau, then this is may be an opportunity to get back on track. If you want more workouts that are challenging and are powerful for fat loss, take a look at HIIT MAX™, my training and nutrition guides based on high-intensity interval training.

⚡ Related: Learn If HIIT Can Help You Burn More Fat

Increase Your Fat Intake To Burn More Fat

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • If eating fat really makes you fat
  • Why you need to consume fat
  • Bad fats you should avoid
  • Good fats you should be eating

Does eating fat make you fat?

If you’ve read some of the mainstream diet books and magazines then you will have heard this saying. Unfortunately, it is misleading and causes lots of people to take the wrong diet approach.

Such people will remove all fats from their diet. In doing so, they will eat processed foods labeled “zero fat”, and other manufactured foods.

In the end, they actually gain more body fat as a result.

I have heard such stories from many people who eventually get so confused, they are close to giving up on their weight loss goal.

⚡ Related: Learn How Fats Can Help You Burn More Fat

The truth is that fats are needed by the body.

However, we need to separate the good fats from the bad.

The healthy fats are called monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.

Monounsaturated fats will raise your good HDL cholesterol and prevent the unwanted build up in your arteries. As you can see, they are healthy.

On the weight loss front, they will help to prevent stomach fat. I like to get these fats from avocados, almonds, cashews, and olives. Check out some of my other articles for details on these foods.

Polyunsaturated fats will help to lower your LDL cholesterol while increasing your immune system and aiding with brain function. As these types of fats are filled with omega 6 fatty acids, they also help with skin and eye care.

I like to eat these fats from foods such as salmon (but other fish are great too, such as herring), flaxseeds and walnuts.

Fats to avoid

The fats that you need to avoid, if you want to lose weight, are trans fats. These types of fats are made from saturated fats and are then altered chemically in order to increase their shelf life.

Besides making you fat, they will also increase your risk of heart disease and lead to an inflamed body.

The biggest culprits are fries, doughnuts, cookies, chips, desserts and other processed foods. You need to check the labels of foods you buy, as some trans fats are included in foods you would not expect.

Eat good fats for health and weight loss

I lost weight by cutting down on my carbohydrate intake. In order to get the fuel I needed for my workouts, I eat more calories from fat (see those listed above). The body will quickly switch over to a state of ketosis when you start doing this.

Science shows that when the body is in ketosis for a time, the brain will start to use ketones, and therefore decrease its need for glucose. This means you will lose weight and keep your body healthy.

On top of this, studies have shown that a low carb diet is a good treatment for a range of neurological conditions, such as seizures and Alzheimer’s.

Summary

Don’t believe the hype that fats make you fat. Only trans fat will do that. However, eating healthy, clean fats will let you feel good and crank up your metabolism, so you burn calories all day – leading to a lean, trim body. There is a lot of misinformation out there about what is healthy, so to make sure what you are eating is what you should be eating, and not just another hype, let us create a Custom Meal Plan for you, so you eat according to your needs.

Lose Weight By Eating Your Carbs Like This

Cut out carbs to lose weight? Really?

This weight loss concept started as a fad diet, but it has become part of the mainstream ideology – but it is completely wrong and damaging.

Have you ever tried the no carb diet?

I have, and I was so depleted of energy that I couldn’t complete my workouts. Besides that, my focus was foggy and my thoughts were sluggish.

If you fall into this trap, you will suffer.

So, please don’t get suckered into the no carb myth.

Your body needs carbs for energy. They are essential.

With that said, you need to consume the best quality carbs and at the right time of day – if you want to lose weight.

In this post, you’ll discover why you should focus on:

  • The best carb sources
  • Timing your carb intake

Focus on the best carb sources

When you eat the right carbs a certain way, you will lose weight.

You can’t eat bagels and donuts and expect to lose weight. Those are the wrong carbs.

The best carbs are those from whole foods: 

  • Fruits
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Roots
  • Tubers

The most healthful plants are green leafy vegetables and seaweeds, fruits and berries, roots and tubers (in contrast to grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds).

Also (and this is contrary to conventional diet wisdom), you can eat starches and lose weight.

I call these “safe starches” or “safe sugars” because of the low levels of problematic antinutrients. These include sweet potato, potato, yam, taro, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, beets, onions, and squash. Another good source of nontoxic starch is white rice.

⚡ Related: Learn How to Know the Difference Between Good Carbs and Bad Carbs

Focus on timing your carb intake

When eating carbs, consume them closer to your workout. This timing issue is very important.

As you know, I recommend six meals of whole foods every day. This means a blend of high-quality proteins, fats, and carbs.

However, during the first 3 meals of the day, you can consume carbs in your meals (see the list above). But when you are coming toward the end of the day, you need to restrict your carbs intake.

As such, meals 4-6 should be made from a majority of protein and fats. If you eat carbs at night, then you need to be eating leafy vegetables (not fruits or white rice).

In other words, eat leaner foods as you get closer to your bedtime.

⚡ Related: See the Top 3 Times You Should Consume Carbs So You Don’t Store Body Fat

Summary

Don’t follow the conventional wisdom about cutting carbs from your diet. In order to lose weight, you need to have the energy to workout.

The key is timing your carb intake during the day. Eat your carbs earlier in the day, and taper them off as you move toward bedtime. This will lead to enhanced and long-term weight loss.

So… if there was one carb you could eat all day long and not gain weight what would it be?

Mine is a cranberry orange muffin from a local coffee shop called Colectivo.

Remember, how and what you eat is important, but so is making sure you get the right exercise. Nutrition is only half the equation and the other half is your workout routine. If you are wanting to lose weight, take a look at our workout and nutrition guides, such as HIIT MAX™, where you will see your workout and nutrition work together to lose that fat.

 

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