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dave

4 Rules To Prevent You From Over-Training

4 Rules To Prevent You From Over-Training

At this time of year, fitness motivation is running high. New Years resolutions have been set and people everywhere are flocking to their local fitness centers to make good on their promise to exercise regularly. This is good news, right? Not always.

In fact, up to 5% of the population exercises beyond what’s considered healthy – They are known as “excessive exercisers” and the number of people who fall into this category balloons each January.

Why Can't 2016 be the Happiest Year of Your Life?

Why Can't 2016 be the Happiest Year of Your Life?

We all want to be happier.

Whether it’s eating better, making new friends, saving money, travelling more often, or anything else, the driver behind resolutions is personal growth and increased happiness in life. Here's the one trick that you need to increase your happiness.

Get a Flatter Stomach: 3 Quick Home Workouts (Beginner to Elite)

Get a Flatter Stomach: 3 Quick Home Workouts (Beginner to Elite)

Training for a flatter stomach or a stronger core is a great goal, but you can only hang out in a plank for so long before boredom really sets in. Do some crunches instead? Okay, but some traditional core exercises like crunches simply aren’t the best use of your time. You want fast results, right?

4 Steps to Get Back On Track After Over-Indulgent Eating

4 Steps to Get Back On Track After Over-Indulgent Eating

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It’s the weekend and your social schedule is packed. You’ve got a night out with friends on Friday, followed by a wedding Saturday afternoon, and then a birthday party to cap it all off on Sunday. Fun? Yes.

Eating healthy? Not so much.

Whether it’s an entire weekend of not-so-healthy eating choices, just one day, or even one really big meal (hello all-you-can-eat sushi!), there’s a good chance you’ll be looking to rebound afterwards.

Here are 4 steps to get back on track after over-indulgent eating so that you can help your body and mind recover. You'll be able to get back to eating and feeling the way you’d like.

1. Top Up With More Water

Drink more water (GIF) - Get back on track after over-eating // The PumpUp Blog

 

The thought of adding anything to your stomach might not be very appealing after a junk food binge, but drinking some water is the first step towards recovery.

Drinking water is crucial after over-eating for two reasons: First, it helps break down solid food. This enables your body to absorb more nutrients as food passes through your digestive tract.

Second, water helps prevent stomach bloating and constipation, which are likely the last things you want to experience after eating a big meal! Drinking even a little extra water will soften the solid food in your stomach and help speed up the digestive process.

2. Get Up, Get Moving

Full body workout gif // The PumpUp Blog

 

Although you might feel like parking yourself on the couch and binge-watching Netflix, one of the best things you can do after indulgent eating is to get up and get moving.

A little exercise will prevent a lethargic food hangover from setting in, plus it will give your metabolism a much-needed boost. Physical activity will help move excess blood sugar to your muscles where it will be used as energy instead of storing it as fat.

You don’t have to go out and run a marathon either. Try a simple workout routine in your living room, follow along with a workout video, or just go for a walk.

3. Prepare Your Next Healthy Meal

Eat a healthy meal (GIF) - Recover from over-eating // The PumpUp Blog

 

Who wants to look at food after an eating frenzy?

You don’t have to actually eat a healthy meal when you’re already feeling stuffed, but planning and even preparing something that’s light and healthy is very important.

Some people will skip a meal or two in an attempt to fast away their food remorse, but going without food for too long can set you up for more bad food choices.

Instead, chopping up some veggies, making a salad, or even just picking out a healthy recipe that you’ll prepare for your next meal is a good way to avoid hunger and food cravings in the near future.

While you might feel stuffed right now, that feeling won’t last too long. Have a healthy meal option ready to go.

4. Ask Yourself, “Why?”

Ask yourself why - steps to recover after overeating // The PumpUp Blog

There are lots of reasons why people overeat. What was your reason?

Was it social pressure? Were you using food to deal with stress? Or maybe you were out of groceries and settled for a tub of ice cream!

It’s important to understand why your eating fell off track so that you can avoid doing it in the future.

4 ways to stay on track after over-indulgent eating // the PumpUp Blog

Falling for food temptations can easily be avoided by setting up an accountability system with a friend, cleaning out all junk food from your kitchen, or batch-preparing healthy foods so that you always have something good on hand.

Keep in mind that an occasional indulgence is no big deal – It’s not worth dwelling on it or beating yourself up. Just be proactive in getting your body back on track so that you can feel well as quickly as possible.

Author Bio:

Dave Smith is a professional fitness and weight-loss coach who was chosen as “Canada’s Top Fitness Professional” in 2013. You can find free workouts and more of his weight-loss resources at makeyourbodywork.com.

5 Reasons Why Eating the Same Foods Every Day is a Healthier Way to Eat

5 Reasons Why Eating the Same Foods Every Day is a Healthier Way to Eat

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There's a popular notion that eating a wide variety of foods is the healthiest way to eat. In fact, many government food guides have included “food variety” in their recommendations for a healthy diet. If it’s in the food guide then it must be true, right? Maybe not.

While there are certainly benefits to eating a variety of healthy meals from day to day, there are also strong reasons why sticking to a few favorites will actually help you eat healthier and get in shape more quickly.

Here are 5 reasons why food monotony is better than food variety.

1. You Learn What You Are Actually Eating

Why eating the same foods every day may be a healthier way to eat // The PumpUp Blog Photo via Pinterest

Imagine sitting down for dinner at a restaurant and the waiter presents you with a huge platter of food. He asks you to take just enough to fulfill an appropriate single portion. Could you do it?

Most people can’t. When presented with unfamiliar meals, people miscalculated a proper portion size by more than 20% ­- That’s a lot of extra food!

Eating consistent meals allows you to familiarize yourself with what you are actually eating. How many calories are in that meal? How much protein, carbohydrates, and fat does it contain? What are the ingredients? And of course, how much should you actually be eating? Knowledge is power.

2. You Can Easily Get All the Nutrients You Need

Why eating the same foods every day may actually be a healthier way to eat // The PumpUp Blog Photo via rebloggy

There are a lot of nutritional requirements that need to be reached through the meals you eat each day. You need the right mix of vitamins and minerals, good sources of protein, a supply of healthy fats, and enough carbohydrates to give you energy.

Fortunately, you can get all of this nutrition from a relatively small selection of super-healthy food choices. This makes sense when you look back through history: People have rarely, if ever, enjoyed access to such a variety of foods as we do today. Historically, people have long been able to survive and thrive by eating the right foods, not by eating a wide variety of foods.

3. You Save a Lot of Time

Why eating the same foods every day may be healthier // The PumpUp Blog Photo via iVillage

What’s the number one reason why people aren’t in as good of shape as they would like?

“There just isn’t enough time.”

Trying to come up with new healthy meal options takes a lot of time. There is time spent researching new recipes to try, time required to collect the necessary ingredients, and then time spent preparing the actual meal.

4. You Reduce Your Stress

Why eating the same foods every day can make you healthier // The PumpUp Blog Photo via giphy

Change is stressful. Starting a new job or moving to a new city are just two examples of how newness can cause stress. Stress builds over time and chronic stress can take a real toll on your body.

So, while it can definitely be fun to try new foods, feeling pressure to come up with new recipes on a daily or weekly basis can become a source of stress. Contrast this with the comfort of eating a more monotonous diet. It’s easy and can mostly be done from habit, which means fewer decisions have to be made and less stress is created.

Anything that can be done to reduce your stress will have a positive benefit for your ability to lose weight, get in shape, and stay healthy.

5. You Can Become a Healthy Eating Master

Why eating the same foods every day is a healthier way to eat // The PumpUp Blog Photo via giphy

Nobody likes to fail.

That’s one of the reasons why so many people fall off the wagon when it comes to exercise. They try to adopt a workout plan that’s a bit too ambitious and end up quitting once a little failure (i.e. missed workouts) start to creep in.

Setting unrealistic eating expectations can lead to the same trap. Yes, it would be great to cook a new healthy meal every single day, but is that realistic?

Anyone can become a master of healthy eating if they start small enough. Choosing to perfect a handful of healthy meals is a great way to experience successful healthy eating and build confidence that you can do it. It then becomes much easier to add to this success by introducing a new meal to your repertoire once a week, or even once per month.

Take Action

The benefits of eating a wide variety of healthy foods do exist, but they are often overstated. Keeping your meals simple is a great way to save time and reduce the amount of work associated with healthy eating.

A great way to get started is by finding just one recipe for each of your daily meals - breakfast, lunch, and dinner – that is easy to prepare, includes lots of fresh ingredients that you normally stock in your kitchen, and is enjoyable to eat.

Let these be your go-to meals and then slowly begin to expand your options by introducing new recipes over time.

Why eating the same foods every day is a healthier way to eat // The PumpUp Blog

Author Bio:

Dave Smith is a professional weight-loss coach who was chosen as “Canada’s Top Fitness Professional” in 2013.

He approaches weight-loss from a psychological perspective. Most people know how to lose weight, but creating the right mindset and then putting those ideas into practice is where the real work begins.

His ”10 in 4” weight-loss program helps people lose 10 pounds in 4 weeks through daily coaching, group accountability, and a focus on building new lifestyle habits.

Enjoy free home workouts and learn more about his weight-loss programs at makeyourbodywork.com.

 

4 easy ways to clean up your diet while still eating the food you love

4 easy ways to clean up your diet while still eating the food you love

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“Your body’s size is built in the kitchen, your shape is built in the gym.” Maybe you’ve heard this saying before? There’s a lot of truth in it.

Exercise is a fantastic way to sculpt your body and improve many aspects of your health, but when it comes to dropping a few extra pounds, cleaning up your diet is the place to start.

But who really wants to go on a diet? Nobody.

If giving up your favorite foods and nibbling on carrot sticks doesn’t sound that appealing, know that there is still hope. Here are 4 ways you can drastically clean up your diet to help you start working on that leaner body.

Exercise Daily

Full body workout gif // The PumpUp Blog

Photo via PumpUp

Exercise? Aren’t we talking about healthy eating? Daily exercise actually has a huge impact on the foods you will naturally choose to eat.

A new study found that “exercise influences central brain responses [and] positively affects food choices that reinforce health and weight management.”

When you get your body moving you create subconscious signals in your brain that will drive you to search out healthier foods to eat. Instead of battling food cravings and relying on willpower to make healthy choices, you will actually desire healthier foods!

Drink More Water

Drink more water

Photo via Tumblr

How much water do you drink each day? (Don’t just guess – measure it for one full day to find out!) Most adults are chronically dehydrated and you might be one of them.

Not drinking enough water can slow down your metabolism and can create “fake” food cravings. Dehydration can be easily misinterpreted as hunger, which leads to increased snacking, often on foods you’d likely prefer to avoid.

On the other hand, drinking extra water before meal times has been shown to decrease calorie consumption by 13% - That’s a big reduction and requires no effort to consciously eat less food.

The general rule of thumb for proper hydration goes like this: Women need to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day (plus more if you’re exercising), while men need to start with 10 glasses.

Drink up and you’ll be teaching your body to crave (and eat) less food.

Cut Out Drinks With Calories

Drinks with calories gif

Photo via Tumblr

Drinking water is a major plus when it comes to improving your diet. But, drinking any sweetened drinks is an even bigger negative.

The average person drinks 400 calories each day – That’s 20% of their total daily calorie needs! What’s worse, these calories are easy to overlook because they don’t satiate hunger the way solid food does.

The net result of drinking high-calorie drinks is a diet full of sugar and one that doesn’t ever feel satisfying. Instead, clean up your diet by cutting out the sugary drinks and replace your fluids by drinking more water.

Practice Bulk Cooking

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Photo via Tumblr

Imagine coming home on a completely empty stomach. What are you going to eat? If you’re like most people, you'll grab whatever food is ready to be stuffed into your mouth.

Convenience is a huge factor that influences food decisions, so make it convenient to eat healthier options.

This requires a little planning. Instead of making one meal at a time (which can leave your fridge lacking any ready-to-eat options), try preparing one or two healthy meals in bulk each week.

Choose a couple of simple recipes that will store well as leftovers, prepare a large batch, and then enjoy the feeling of opening your fridge and seeing healthy, convenient food waiting for you!

You don't have to cut out all the foods you love when you clean up your diet. Practice these simple healthy-eating principles and your diet will clean up without much effort from you at all.

Clean up your diet without giving up the food that you love // The PumpUp Blog

Cover photo courtesy of PumpUp member @meeeko. Pinterest graphic photos via PumpUp members routine_sportive, herr_nutrition, itsmiraz, and barbaraptowers.

About the Author

Dave Smith is a professional fitness and weight-loss coach who was chosen as “Canada’s Top Fitness Professional” by CanFitPro. You can find more of his healthy-living resources at makeyourbodywork.com.

 

You're reading food labels wrong! Start looking for these 4 things

You're reading food labels wrong! Start looking for these 4 things

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A huge component of fitness comes down to developing healthy eating habits. Exercise will only take you so far – Fuelling your body with the right food is crucial. However, finding healthy foods can be more difficult than it might seem. Just take a peek at any food label and you can see why it’s so easy to become overwhelmed. There is a lot of information packed into the tiny space – What’s really important? What makes a food healthy? What should you be looking for?

More than 1 in 3 people report that they do look at food labels, but 90% admit that they don’t really know what they are looking for!

It’s not surprising that obesity has become such an epidemic – Most people are actually reading food labels wrong.

The CSSI Method: How To Make Food Labels Simple

There is a lot of redundant information on your food labels, so we can simplify the process by focusing on what matters most. A 4-step process known as the “CSSI Method” will get the job done.

Instead of counting carbs, adding up fat calories, or analyzing vitamin dosages, the CSSI Method sticks to the crucial aspects of establishing a healthy diet.

It allows you to quickly answer the question, “Is this food a great one for me to eat?”

For example, the second “S” in CSSI stands for sugar. But, instead of counting sugar calories each day, the goal is to build up your familiarity with foods that are high in sugar. Then you won’t unknowingly consume much more than you might think.

Take a look at the infographic below to check out the CSSI Method. Then try it next time you start reading food labels at the grocery store – Do your food choices pass the test?

food labels cssi method infographic

Infographic by makeyourbodywork.com

Author Bio:

Dave Smith is a professional fitness and weight loss coach who was chosen as “Canada’s Top Fitness Professional” by CanFitPro in 2013. You can learn more about Dave and his services at makeyourbodywork.com.

3 Reasons Why Cheating On Your Diet Will Lead to Better Results

3 Reasons Why Cheating On Your Diet Will Lead to Better Results

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Just about any honest person will admit to having the occasional (or maybe more often) craving to eat something that doesn’t exactly jive with a healthy diet. How big of a deal is it to indulge once in a while? A common fitness saying goes like this: “Your fitness is 80% dependent on what you eat and 20% on how you exercise.” While it’s obviously true that a healthy diet is crucial for weight-loss and getting a great physique, there is room for some cheating. In fact, having a specific cheat day can actually help you improve your fitness results!

Here are 3 good reasons why cheating on your diet is a good thing:

1. Cheating Keeps You Motivated

Having one or two pre-set cheat meals each week can keep you focused

Some people approach healthy eating with an “all-in” mentality. These people are motivated to get results and choose to swear off all treats because “that’s what it takes!”

Unfortunately, eating clean 24/7 would require superhuman resolve, and simply isn’t doable for the long-term. Cravings begin to creep in, and soon that “all-in” approach leads to one misstep, then another, and soon it’s “all-out” (usually with a bag of chips or big bowl of ice cream!)

A more realistic approach involves picking a specific day or meal that will be your designated time to cheat. Not only does this provide something to look forward to, but it also reduces the psychological drain of trying to fight off cravings week after week.

Having one or two pre-set cheat times each week can play a powerful role in helping you stay focused and motivated to eat well outside of that designated time.

2. More Calories Is Sometimes a Good Thing

. A burst of calories each week reassures your body that food isn’t in short supply.

Cheating on your diet is more than a psychological coping mechanism. There are physical benefits of eating extra calories on a regular basis. In fact, doing so actually teaches your body to burn more calories.

Your body’s main purpose is to survive. If you were to go on a calorie-restrictive diet for long periods of time, this can signal your body to take protective action. Not confident that enough food is on its way, small but powerful hormonal changes can take place.

Hormones that control the thyroid gland stop being produced in adequate quantities, which tells your thyroid to slow down. What’s this mean? Basically your metabolism drops and fat-burning stops completely. Yikes!

This is why a planned cheat day can be so awesome for anyone who is trying to get lean. A burst of calories each week reassures your body that food isn’t in short supply. Hormones keep flowing to the thyroid gland and your metabolism will actually get a boost.

3. Cheating Helps Build Better Habits

A pre-determined cheat day keeps indulgences in check and ensures that the eating habits you build will be healthy ones

In order to see noticeable fitness gains over the long-term, healthy habits must be built up. That’s why a planned cheat day can be so much better than “little cheats” here and there.

While it can be easy to think that a little treat after dinner each night isn’t going to add up, this is creating a habit. Eating something sweet (or savory, or salty if that’s your preference) becomes part of your routine and your body learns to expect this.

This innocent habit can easily start showing up elsewhere in your daily routine: A sugary mocha latte in the morning, a cookie at lunch, and then some late-night chocolate all become normal occurrences.

A specific cheat day keeps these indulgences contained and the regular eating habits you build will be healthy ones. One day of cheating doesn’t compare to the habit-building power of six days eating clean!

Anyone who is looking to clean up their diet should seriously consider adding a cheat day to their weekly routine. Not only can it help you get better results and build healthier lifestyle habits, but cheating can be a fun way to enjoy tasty food guilt-free. (Now give me that slice of pizza!)

About the author

Dave Smith is a professional fitness and weight-loss coach who was chosen as “Canada’s Top Fitness Professional” by CanFitPro. You can more of his healthy-living resources at makeyourbodywork.com.