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The 4 move plank workout that you can do almost anywhere

The 4 move plank workout that you can do almost anywhere

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Brace your core: planks are coming.  If know that you're going to be planted firmly on the couch so that you can watch Game of Thrones for an extended period of time, do a plank workout in between major plot twists. Perform planks in between chapters of your textbooks. Plank it out after answering 20 emails. PumpUp member @nina_1911 demonstrates four plank variations that will allow you to strengthen your entire body as you dive deep into the world of your favourite television show or immerse yourself in your work. Regardless of how tightly-packed your schedule is, be assured that you have planks to help you stay active. How's that for multi-tasking?

4 move plank workout

Plank Variation 1: Normal plank

Plank variation 1 : Normal plank - PumpUp Blog

Rest your hands firmly on the ground, with your feet at a shoulder's width apart. Keep your body in a straight line, balancing on the balls of your feet and maintaining an arm position where your shoulders are aligned with your wrists. Try not to crane your neck too far up, and make sure that your hips don't pike up as you plank. Modification: Perform the plank on with your forearms lowered to the ground. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

Plank variation 2 : Side Plank

Plank variation 2 : Side plank - The 4 move plank workout from the PumpUp Blog

Begin in a normal plank position. Slowly rotate your body towards one side, so that your feet are stacked on top of each other. Keep one hand firmly planted on the ground and rotate the other arm upwards, so that it is perpendicular to your body. ModificationTry the side plank on one elbow, or rest the stacked foot on the ground. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

Plank variation 3: Side plank with a leg raise

Plank variation 3: side plank with a leg raise. The 4 move plank workout from the PumpUp Blog

Begin in a side plank position. With one hand planted firmly on the ground and  your other arm perpendicular to your body, lift your stacked leg as high as you can. Keep it straight and parallel to your other leg. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

Plank variation 4: Forward reach

Plank variation 4 - Forward reach. The 4 move plank workout from the PumpUp Blog

Return to the normal plank position. Keep arm firmly planted on the ground and reach the other arm ahead of you, maintaining it aligned with the rest of your body. Raise the opposite leg and reach that upwards. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

The 4 - move plank workout that you can do almost anywhere : 4 plank variations that will keep you fit when you're at your busiest (From the PumpUp Blog)

Loved this plank workout? Do you have other plank variations to show the PumpUp community? Tag your best photos with #FlexFriday on the PumpUp app and tag @nina_1911 if you tried this plank workout!

5 ways fitness taught me to love myself

This is a post by PumpUp member Claire Kane (@voltafitness), qualified fitness instructor, sports nutritionist, and the brains behind VoltaFitness

“She Loves Herself” usually has negative connotations; arrogance, a judgmental nature, vain, attention seeking. I think it’s time we changed that, don’t you?

My Fitness Journey, particularly the last 6 or 7 months, has taught me that loving yourself is a positive thing; it makes life more enjoyable, makes it easier to get on with other people and it makes it easier to make decisions that will improve your life.

1.     It taught me how phenomenal my body is

Fitness is a great way to get to know your body. When I say phenomenal I don’t mean “bodacious”. I mean it is an extraordinary and interesting thing that is capable of a lot of movements and reactions, and so is everyone else’s body.

Learning that my body can deadlift a load I would never have thought of attempting to move has made me appreciate it so much more. Learning that feeding it the right foods and training it in the right ways will get to respond the way I want it to has rendered me awestricken. When you think something is awesome or even intriguing you realise how outstanding it is and learn to love it. I can now look in the mirror without dread and shame and trust me, this has been the biggest part of the battle.

2.     It taught me to appreciate the idea of “rest”

Any of my friends, family or colleagues will tell you that I am a worrier; perpetually anxious and almost afraid to not work or do something to keep myself busy. I would socialise, work and write myself into the ground to the point where I could hardly produce the energy to meet friends for coffee.

Learning the importance of “rest and recovery” in training made me realise how important it is in the rest of my life.  That’s why we have annual leave in work, it’s why we take vacations; we need to slow down and take a break from the daily grind regularly to ensure that we are really benefiting from what we are doing. I now make time to read non-fitness and work related books and blogs every night before bed, I pick days when I will promise myself a pamper session or a lazy day and I consciously make more time for the little enjoyable things like watching a TV show or going out with friends and I am so much better for it.

3.     It taught me to be mindful

Fitness is a form of mindfulness, especially strength training. If allows you focus on one thing; getting through your sets and completing each rep. It is the one time in a lot of dedicated trainers’ days when they put their worries behind them and that is honestly the best thing you can do.

Being Mindful is to be consciously aware of how you feel, what you are doing and your surroundings and it is important to practice so you don’t get caught in a whirlwind of negative emotions and anxieties. It is, essentially, one of the most important things you can do to look after yourself.

4.     It taught me to put myself first

Whether as a result of being focused on my goals, the advice of my trainer or the people I have come across on social media I have learned that it is not a bad thing to put yourself first.

I am a firm believer that an inherently good person will always be available to help and to listen when someone needs them. I have learned, however, through fitness in one way or another, that putting yourself first does not make you a bad person either.

It’s ok to say “no” to plans, it’s ok to say you can’t go because you want to train and it is ok to decide you are no longer going to put up with someone or something if it will benefit you.

5.     It made me more aware of my mental health

Ok. Time to get heavy. There was a time when I was only happy during and after a training session. For a while this felt normal, it was a very welcome release, but when I became more aware of the contrast between how I felt when I was training and how I felt the rest of the day I realised there was something else wrong. As well as helping me realise that there was an issue, Fitness kept me going while I tried to figure out what was going on and how I could fix it.

Because I was more aware of my mental health and triggers in my life that made me feel bad, to put it gently, I eventually developed the tools and the wherewithal practice a little self-love, take care of my mind as well as my body and start creating a more positive life for more self.

Has training taught you to appreciate and take care of yourself more?

You can follow my journey, lap up my advice and consider my motivation over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as on my blog www.voltafitness.co and on PumpUp. I’d love to hear from you.

6 ways to transform your life

6 ways to transform your life

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Switch Your Mindset- Lasting change is not something that a “quick-fix” diet or bottle of pills can achieve. Instead, think about this as a permanent lifestyle change—a commitment to your health for life. While there are many diet plans and bootcamp classes out there to help kick start your transformation, ultimately you need to take responsibility for your health by changing your life! Eliminate processed foods completely- if you want to drastically change your health in the quickest way possible, I suggest avoiding as much processed and packaged food as possible. This means white breads, pastas, crackers, chips, cookies, snack bars, etc. There are always loaded unwanted ingredients in there that are adding to your waistline!

Opt for a whole foods diet- So once you cut out processed foods, you will probably be wondering what to eat! My advice is to eat as many colourful fruits and vegetables as possible, combined with the highest quality animal products, nuts, seeds and mindful eating practices you will be on your way to the best version of yourself in no time!

Set goals and review them regularly- Having a goal, like wanting to look good for bikini season, usually don’t work as well as wanting to feel more confident or wanting to lose weight because of health issues. Use positive visualization to dream up how you feel when you are at your ideal weight, shape or size. Write it down and use this visualization when you need a boost of motivation to cook a healthy dinner or go to the gym.

Find your cheerleaders- Human beings are social creatures, so it no wonder that we are so successful when we feel supported. There are many health programs out there that use support groups to supercharge results so don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Find your support circle whether it’s a personal trainer, nutritionist, online community, friends, coworkers or family. Recruit others to challenge themselves along side you, share your struggles and triumphs and most importantly encourage each other.

Reflect-Keep a journal of your progress and include how certain foods and activities make you feel. Emotional issues are often at the core of self-defeating habits that got us overweight and out of shape to begin with.  Looking back at your past pictures and see how far you’ve really come is also very powerful…however its important that this comes from a place of non-judgement!

This is a post by Gillian B

Digest your food faster with the Thunderbolt pose

This is a post written by PumpUp member countrygirl4ever. I’m a size four, but I have the appetite of a college football player.  How? The Thunderbolt pose. This is one of my ultimate secret to having a fast metabolism.  I have been practicing yoga for over ten years and this is by far one of my favorite yoga poses because it helps aid in proper digestion. Unlike other Asanas that should be done on an empty stomach to prevent acid reflux, this asana is most beneficial done after eating.  How does this work? Well, sitting in this posture decreases the blood flow to the legs and increases the blood flow to the digestive organs, which increases the efficiency of the digestive system.

How to do a Thunderbolt Pose

  1. Kneel on both knees, keeping the legs together, placing the feet where the two big toes touch or slightly cross each other.
  2. Sit the thighs on the calves, keeping the spine and neck straight.  Look forward.  (The gluteus should be resting on the heels).
  3. Settle the hands on the knees, palms down, elbows straight and breathe naturally.

The goal is to sit like this for thirty minutes after a meal.  However, it is natural for the legs to start to cramp in the beginning if this is new for you.  If so, try to sit like this for one to five minutes, then stretch and massage the legs as needed, and try sitting again.  I recommend practice sitting like this at least once, if not two times a day, after a meal.  With practice, you’ll gradually build up and sitting in this pose for thirty minutes will be easy as a breeze.  A trick I use to move my attention away from my cramping legs is to watch TV or listen to music.  If I am really crushed on time, I’ll literally sit in this pose in my office to type up a report, to make a presentation, or to read.

Other health benefits for this pose are that it provides relief for people suffering from low back or sciatic pain, helps aid for ones with gas problems if done immediately after a meal, helps relieve constipation, gives longevity and strengthens the spine.

*Note: Although the Thunderbolt pose may have many health benefits, it is not recommended for anyone with bad knees or who has had knee surgery.

Once I started CrossFit, my life 'clicked' into place

This is a post by PumpUp member jennipher_

Five months ago, I walked into my neighborhood gym and went straight to the scale. Thinking I had lost weight, I confidently looked down to see that I had gained 30 pounds! I was in shock and so disturb with myself. I was going to the gym daily and sort of eating well. Obviously that was not working. I also got into drinking and drugs during this time. I had reached rock bottom and taken on depression and anxiety.

I started trying any product and new conditioning class I heard about. Dancing my way to the perfect body with Zumba wasn’t working. Trying to find my zen in Yoga just caused me to gain weight. I just stayed with my typical 30 min on the elliptical and 50 squats. I was waiting for my “click” moment.

Anyone interested on changing their lives has read on any blog, website or weight loss story about the “click”. It is that moment of epiphany where you realize your health is so important to you that you’ll do all you can to achieve it. That moment where you stopping making excuses for yourself. That moment when you really commit. I was starting to think my “click”moment was never going to come. That is, until CrossFit fell into my lap.

To say I walked in to CrossFit not knowing what to expect, was an understatement of the century. I was leaving the grocery store one day and came across a Crossfit for women and children. I had heard a little about it and seen videos before, so I thought to look it up when I got home. I found the site of the box (gym) I had seen and read a little and saw a place to sign up for a free trial class. I’m one of those “try anything once kind of gals”.

I was immediately humbled on how hard CrossFit was. I remember almost leaving the box in tears I was so exhausted. I felt so out of shape and CrossFit just threw it in my face. Little did I know, that was my “click” moment.

By the time I had made it home and realized how sore and tired I was, I had received and email from the owner and head coach. Someone finally believed in me and gave me all the tools I needed to move forward if I chose to. That one humbling class and email from my coach, was my “click” moment.

I immediately signed up for the fundamentals class and a unlimited membership. I declared to myself that no matter how hard it was, I would commit to CrossFit and after a month of diet change and gruelling workouts; I have finally seen the results I’ve wanted for years. More importantly, I finally have the confidence in myself that I have been missing my whole life. Everyone finds their “click” moment, just trust yourself.

Are you on your fitness journey for the right reasons?

In this post, PumpUp member fitnessriss (@carissamarie2 on the pumpupapp) teaches us how to reorient our mindset in a positive way, allowing us to view our personal motives for “fitness” with more critical introspection. 

Everybody wants to be a health nut, to have that “perfect” body, and to be that “beast” in the gym. I’m curious though; do we know why we want these things? Are we working hard for the right reasons? We each have our individual reasoning, but together we should be working towards the same thing: to better ourselves, to become healthier beings, and to spread love. Your goals should not be surrounded in vain; striving to imitate the hottest celebrity or striving to become beautiful! Do it for YOU! You are someone great and you were born beautiful.

Every human being is beautiful, you must learn to love yourself, because nobody will love yourself more than you will. We must stop comparing ourselves to people we’ve never met, and start comparing ourselves only to the person we were yesterday. Are you better than you were yesterday? No? Then continue to do exactly what makes you better than you were yesterday, whether that is working out, finishing your work, creating something, or simply thinking positively about yourself.

Remember: be patient while working towards your goals!  If your goal is to be healthy and yo see yourself going down an unhealthy spiral, make sure you pick yourself up instead of bringing yourself down. Boost your confidence with positive affirmations and keep working toward those goals. Be patient, you will get to where you need to be in time. Focus on the now, because that is truly where we are. Right now is all we have to bring the tomorrow we want. Worrying about your past or future is useless and wastes the time you have in the present.

We are all beautiful human beings. Be proud. Be you. Stop saying I will be healthy, I will be beautiful, I will be happy. Instead, right now, at this moment, remind yourself you ARE healthy, you ARE beautiful, you ARE happy. Be all that you can imagine right now. And if you are able to make these realizations, you can view the world with clear eyes and a warm heart. You will see others with the same beauty you see within yourself and love others as you love yourself. In turn, this spreads positivity and happiness to everyone, and creates a better environment and better world for all of us to live in. Now, ask yourself, do you do what you do to become a better you? A healthier you? Are you doing this for your happiness and your well-being? Are you doing this for you?

Rethinking the rules of weightloss

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This is a post by PumpUp member @k_c, a vivacious blogger based in Central Arkansas. Learn more about her through her blog: voluptuousmisadventures.com

I read an article today that really hit me. It really encapsulated the changing mental focus that I am working on.

"The deprivation diet - characterized by ‘just-until-I-lose-this-weight’ thinking - is another enemy of weight loss. It causes us to alternate between extremes of ‘on diet’ and ‘off diet’ behaviour."

Um, hello! I am so guilty of this. I put so much faith in being thin. Everything would work out, if I was thin. My credit card debt would disappear, if I was thin. I’d meet the love of my life, once I got thin. I just had to eat this cardboard, until I got thin. It was a VERY dangerous mental cycle for me. No wonder it never worked. When I had this mentality, I would constantly put up roadblocks to getting fit because I loathed my body and didn’t truly love who I am. Once I forgave myself and stopped trying to find fault in who I was, I began to start the true journey of being my best self.

I’ve always had a decent support system around me. For the most part, my friends and family are very encouraging and express the utmost faith in me. What I’ve come to realize is the most critical element was missing from my support system: self-support. Looking back on all my past attempts at weight loss or getting healthy, I don’t think that I ever truly believed in myself. How could I do anything but fail when I set myself up for failure every time?

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Love for ourselves and others is so essential in this healthy journey. I recently read a line that said, “You can’t hate yourself healthy.” I took this to mean that you can’t bully yourself into getting healthy. I was so guilty of saying,” Geez Kaycee, you are such a fat lose. Why can’t you just stick to this diet?” I would never talk to someone that way, so why would I speak to myself that way? 

It has become so important to nurture and cherish my body for the marvel that it is. Because I love myself, I am going to do fun, physical activities to stay fit and feel young. Because I love myself, I am going to nourish my body with clean, healthy foods (most of the time). Being healthy is not just in the physical. It is so important to work on mental health and having a positive self-image. Me and my body are not enemies and the sooner I stop thinking that, the sooner we can work together to become one lean, mean, healthy-awesome machine.

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become." - Buddha.

Think something positive about yourself today. For me, life is just better when you love yourself. We fight so many battles every day. Why make yourself one of those battles?

Abs might be made in the kitchen, but you still need to exercise

This is a post by Ashley Hampton (PumpUp: @rawincollege), a college student looking to spread the power of the raw vegan lifestyle through her positive posts and vibrant photos. Check out her blog

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Whenever people ask me about the importance of exercise, I always respond with “abs are made in the kitchen!”. Your diet is the #1 most important factor in the way your body looks and feels! Your body is ultimately a reflection of what you put into it, plain and simple. 

I know that it can be difficult to get motivated to get out and be active on some days—what I want to stress the most to you is that it is not necessary to buy an expensive gym membership or work out every day of the week to stay fit. In today’s world, we have endless resources at our disposal. For example, there are customizable workouts on the pumpupapp and various free videos on the web that will target that “problem” area you have been wanting to tone up. Trust me, just type in “leg workout” and I guarantee thousands will pop up for you to choose from. In my opinion, exercise should not feel like a chore. 

You shouldn’t go to the gym if you dread it—you need to find something that is truly enjoyable for you! You can take a 30 minute power walk outside with a friend, you can bike ride, you can take a dance class, you can go for a swim…your options are truly endless!! Never get down on yourself for skipping a day either; mental and physical health go hand in hand so if you need a day to relax in bed and watch TV, that’s okay!!

Exercise will not only aid you in achieving your fitness and weight loss goals, but it will also give you a personal sense of well being and accomplishment on a regular basis. Some people love to work out for two hours every day at the gym—that’s just not for me. I like to go to the gym for about 30 minutes when I am in the mood. Exercising has become a form of stress relief for me—I used to be a dancer and that was my “outlet” and my daily exercise. 

Now, as a busy college student, it is reasonable to fit in 30 minutes of some kind of exercise at least 3 to 5 times a week without feeling like it is a burden on my schedule. When you are eating a plant-based diet, you do not have to constantly worry about getting an intense workout in every day.

Here are just a few more reasons why you should incorporate exercising into your lifestyle!

  1. Weight control: adding exercise to your life can be as simple as parking your car far away when you go out, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and standing when you could be sitting
  2. Health benefits: fight some of the most prevalent diseases by moving your body! (it is scientifically proven that exercise lowers your risk of heart and lung disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and even the common cold)
  3. Improved mood! Exercise stimulates various brain chemicals that will undeniably leave you feeling happier and more relaxed—endorphins commonly boost self-esteem and confidence!
  4. Better sleep: Regular exercise will most likely help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep! (**Just don’t exercise right before you go to sleep or you may be too energized to rest and recover!)

Check out Ashley’s blog for more tips, and follow her on the pumpupapp @rawincollege.

Toning doesn't exist

This is a post by Rachel Carpenter (@bothgirl). Check out her blog for her daily workouts!

So your fitness goal is to “tone up”.

I think what you meant to say is that you want to increase your muscle size and lower your body-fat percentage so that you appear to have more muscle definition. 

Cameron Diaz isn’t “toned”. She has developed her muscles and eats a clean diet for a low body-fat percentage so that those muscles can actually be seen.

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You see - there is no such thing as toning, and I’m going to explain to you why.

I hear from one girl after another, telling me that they “don’t want to get big”that they “just wants to tone”.

This has always frustrated me, because I know that a musclecan only get bigger or smaller. It’s not a shape shifter. Unfortunately, the media has marketed the toning myth to us for quite some time – but it’s not too late to get educated on the facts. 

Shall we have a short lesson in anatomy?

  • Our muscles are anatomically confined to the space between our joints and our bones.
  • They cannot get longer; they have a starting point and an ending point.
  • Between those two points the muscle can only grow bigger or smaller. It can’t change its shape.

The “toned” look that most people are hoping for is actually a result of an increase in muscle size paired with a lowering of body fat percentage so that you can more easily see the muscles. In order to get that look you need to:

  1. Build up muscle (through strength training)
  2. Lose the fat around the muscle (through a clean diet) 

The misconception surrounding toning beings with the myth that doing light weight and high reps will result in lower body fat and increased muscle. This is essentially cardio, and all this really means is that it’s going to take you a heck of a lot longer to grow that muscle that you want to see. This is also why so many people struggle to see progress. 

The biggest offenders of this “toning” fad are the barre or ballet type classes, as well as Pilates. Don’t get me wrong, there are benefits to both of these types of exercises, but they claim to give you “long, lean muscles”, which is anatomically impossible.

By participating in these types of exercises, with the hope of “toning”, you’re just building your muscles more slowly than you would if you were strength training with heavier weights. You might achieve other benefits, but this is the hard way to get a lower body fat percentage.

I’d love to stop hearing the word “toned” – and I’d love to see a lot more women in the weight room. Don’t take my word for it. Find someone, like Cameron Diaz, who you want to look like and find out what they are doing. Chances are, they aren’t “toning” or practicing magical spells to get those results.  Remember to avoid the fads and stick to the facts…and don’t be afraid of heavy weights.

Here's why you should set daily challenges

This is a post by PumpUp member Claire Kane (@voltafitness), qualified fitness instructor, sports nutritionist, and the brains behind VoltaFitness

As a newly qualified fitness instructor I have recently become aware that I will in no time at all be helping others make and achieve their fitness goals. Because of this I have been taking part in the #MyResolution challenge with PumpUp and with each day I am seeing the benefits of setting yourself daily “challenges” that run in tandem with your goals or resolutions.

Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Constant motivation
  • Consistency
  • Regular sense of achievement
  • Planning gets you further to your end goal

Challenges you could set yourself:

Post all meals and snacks on Pump Up

Set yourself a challenge of posting all of your meals on Pump Up some days. This will encourage you to firstly be aware of what you are eating and secondly to plan your meals carefully. This will, theoretically, help you to see the benefit of meal planning and hopefully make it a habit.

Go up 5% or 10% on your lifts

Unless you have a personal trainer or have a gym buddy you are probably guilty of going a little easy of yourself and not pushing progression. One day of the month up your weights; you might be surprised at how manageable it is. The sense of achievement and confidence to come from this will keep you smiling for a days.

Try a (new) class or something different

If you train solo set yourself a task of going to a class, if you find you’re falling out of love with fitness, try something new.

I attended TRX classes and do a lot of weight training and Intense Cardio. When I felt like I was hitting a bit of a block, fitness wise, last year I went wall climbing. It reinstated my belief that I am strong and it was darn fun too!

Give your metabolism a needed shock by trying something different; it’s the best kept fitness secret.

Write out all your achievements

When we’re working towards a goal we can often hit a slump. “What’s the point?” “I keep slipping up” and other negative thoughts might cross your mind. About half way through your programme/the month set a challenge to write down all the things you have achieved in fitness and nutrition for as long back as you like.

This will give you an instant boost and keep you right on track.

Time to set yourself some challenges! I’d love to hear how you’re going to challenge yourself. Type them out and tag me in them on Pump Up (@VoltaFitness) 

Connect with Claire!

4 reasons why you should get off the elliptical and into the weight room

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This is a post by Rachel Carpenter (@bothgirl). Check out her blog for her daily workouts!

When people ask for my fitness advice, I preach three guidelines:

  1. Stick to a clean diet. Eat real food, and more protein/veggies, fewer sugars/carbs.
  2. HIIT (High intensity interval training) cardio.
  3. Lift heavy weights and strength train.

But every time a woman asks me for advice, she shies away from #3. Or, God forbid, she says that she wants to exercise with “less weight, more reps” because she “just wants to tone up” (don’t get me started on “toning” – I’ll save that for another blog).

The next thing I’ll say to her, in the interest of time, is to look at me.

I lift heavy. No, I’m talking heavy. On a weekly basis I max out (hundreds of pounds) on squats, lunges, deadlifts, bench press, pull-ups, dips, etc. If I’m not failing on the second or third rep, I’m not going heavy enough. Of course I switch up the weight and intensity, but super-heavy sets of 3-5 repetitions are an integral part of my training.

And I am not big. I am slender and strong with a body-fat percentage hovering around 14-17%. I am not bulky. Every person’s body is different, but the principles are the same. I don’t have a body fat percentage of 16% because I do cardio, and it’s not by accident. 

Don’t believe me? Here are four reasons you need to go pick up a heavy barbell – right now. 

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1)  Let’s talk about efficiency

Cardio burns fat and calories during exercise (1 hour). Weight training causes Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). This means that your metabolism is revving for up to 38 hours after your workout. And listen up ladies: the heavier the weight – the more EPOC. (Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education, Oslo, Norway)

2)  Muscle burns fat

Muscles are the primary energy consumers in the body. More muscles = more fat burned. (Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology)

3)  You will NOT get big and bulky

Women have far less testosterone than men – making it extremely difficult to get large without the use of drugs. You can work your booty off and still only build a fraction of the muscle that men do. (Muscle and Health)

Plus, do you think it’s easy for guys to get huge? Trust me, you’re not going to “accidentally” get big.

4)  Outside of fat loss, you need to do strength training for your overall health

Don’t believe me? Strength training will:

  • Boost energy
  • Protect joints from injury
  • Reduce depression
  • Fight osteoporosis
  • Lower diabetes risk
  • Better heart health
  • Blood sugar control
  • Back pain prevention
  • Improved balance
  • Better sex
  • Reduce stress
  • Sharpen memory 

If we’re being honest – there are other factors that play into the female stigma against lifting weights.  All too often I see women let their misinformed fears about bulking up keep them out of the weight room. This makes the weight room a scary place for the women who understand the importance of lifting heavy. But we can change this, and do the men a favor, by getting in there.

Ladies: please lift heavy. You’ll look better, you’ll feel better, and you’ll be better. Get after it.

Understanding the importance of a calorie

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This is a post by fashion and fitness blogger Jodi-Kay Edwards. Follow her on PumpUp @jodikayedwards and on her blog, lifestylefinesse.com.

Cal-o-ries {noun}: Tiny creatures that live in your closet and sew your clothes a little bit tighter every-night.

We have all heard the term counting calories right? While it is important to know the nutritional value of what you are eating, counting calories should not be your main concern when trying to get healthy or lose weight. My previous post on Metabolism, Anabolism and Catabolism explained that the body harbors many biochemical reactions. Today we are going to continue talking about what is happening on the inside so we can eventually get a better idea of how to make changes to the outside.

Previously on my blog I wrote about the set point for homeostasis, the point where you body tries to maintain a constant internal environment no matter the external environment. Another set point created by environmental factors is known as the metabolic set point. The body aims to maintain a set base rate of metabolism which becomes your basal metabolic rate. Research for weight loss shows that we can change our metabolic set point by how we vary our physical and dietary needs. This set point is controlled by not only our genetics, but environmental factors as well.

Metabolic set point: The average rate at which your metabolism runs

People with a slow metabolism tend to store fat more easily, while we all know at least one person who can eat pizza and ice-cream for days upon days and never gain an ounce of fat. I like to call those people the chosen one. No but really, take a moment to release your anger towards them. *Quiet moment*

Our metabolic set point is easily influenced by our external environment, nutrition, exercise climate etc. This is why it is better to eat several small meals a day instead of just our basic three. A good way to boost your metabolism is actually to eat more in smaller portions so our body does not go into starvation mode. Studies show that those who go on low calorie diets actually decrease their metabolic set point as the body is trying to conserve energy, in turn the body starts to reset itself to burn fewer calories. While the opposite is true exercise increases our metabolic rate.

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The type of food that we eat also influences our metabolism. We hear the term burning calories all the time, well what does that mean? It means that all foods release heat when they are burned, this heat is measured in a kilocalorie.

Calorie: A unit of heat (A verrrrrrry small unit)

Next time you reach for something think twice about what you will be getting back from it. Eat to live don’t live to eat. When we look at calories from protein we  know that those calories are being used for repairing and growth of new tissue and organs. Calories from carbs are used for energy, and calories from fat are generally stored as just that since they have the same molecular structure as body fat. Understanding calories will help you to understand how to set up your own meal plan, only counting calories will set you up for failure. Know how your body will consume calories and make good food choices!

Next time you lift your fork, think about what you are putting into your body, not all calories are bad, however the bad ones will be those little creatures that come in and sew your clothes a little bit tighter every-night.

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12 days of FITmas Challenge: Get Fit for the Holidays

On the first day of FITmas, PumpUp gave to me…a challenge!
PumpUp member Katie Evitts (@jatie) is hosting the “12 days of FITmas Challenge” starting Friday, December 12. She’ll post the daily challenge on PumpUp and Instagram (@katefit_) + a daily 20-30 min workout. Get fit for the holidays!

To participate, there are only 3 simple rules! 
1. Complete the daily workout.
2. Complete the daily challenge.
3. Post a photo each day of anything related to each day’s challenge & tag @katefit_ and #katefitmas 

We’d also love if you used the tags #TeamPumpUp and #SpreadPositivity ;)
You in? Reblog the challenge! We’ll be posting videos on Tumblr!

Learn how Bill transformed his body AND aced his past semester with a 4.0 - PumpUp Spotlight Series

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Bill (@bsiddiq) has the brains of a scientist and the body of a superhero. He joined PumpUp in June 2014 and confessed that he immediately fell in love with the app’s positivity and fitness community. He’s an extremely encouraging and informative member and he looks forward to lending his insights both as a PumpUp spotlight member and as a regular blog contributor. 

Around this time last year, Bill set his mind to look like his fitness idol Hugh Jackman, an actor most famous for his onscreen body as Wolverine in the X-Men Movies. “[Jackman] had the type of look I wanted for my body, and I became obsessed with it. I was ripping off pages from TRAIN magazine’s issue of “The Wolverine” and posting them to my walls. I even set various pictures as my iPhone background.”

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Bill was systematic with his approach to achieve his goals. His mentality echoes that of Arnold Schwarzenegger: Visualize and see exactly what you wish to become. "It became my motivation and mission in life, sitting next to my dream of becoming an orthopedic surgeon," said Bill. He purchased a foodscale and began to weigh all of his portions to precise amounts of grams and ounces. Next, Bill reviewed scientific studies on Baylor University’s research database, as well as Bodybuilding.com articles that contained adequate citations for the best approaches to food intake, supplementation, rep ranges, and exercises. "That, coupled with my motivation from PumpUp and visualizing what my final body would look like set me on a “by any means” mentality," he professed. 

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Bill has coined the phrase “BrainsANDGains” on Instagram and PumpUp, as he highly believes that those looking to lead a healthier lifestyle should focus on all, rather than one, aspect of their lives. He admits that balancing his studies with his workout regimen is still not easy, but it is do-able.“At first, it was so difficult to adjust, but now it is a lifestyle. I live and breathe it,” elaborated Bill. He stresses the importance of his ‘BrainsANDGains philosophy by urging, “Do not get stuck just worrying about your body because life is more than just looking good. Make sure you are trying to do your absolute best in every aspect of your life. Whether that means in the classroom or in the office, be the best Renaissance man and or woman you can be!”

Bill’s fitness journey is a 24/7 grind. Despite his busy schedule, he works out at the gym for 2 hours at a time, 5 days a week. However, nutrition made the biggest difference for Bill throughout his transformation over the past year. “I firmly believe that nutrition is what builds the body of a champion,” he emphasized. "Through experiences, research, personal trials and the power of science I can safely say that nutrition is 75% of “fitness” in general.”  

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More about Bill

His “body of work” has recently been published on Bodybuilding.com, and his lifestyle involving his studies in sports medicine at Baylor University and staying in optimal shape are his main focus. He works as a certified personal trainer and aerobics class instructor at the student life center at the University. Bill’s article on bodybuilding.com goes into deep detail about his personal fitness transformation, nutrition, and workout regimen but he does highlight the main aspect of his body’s amazing transformation was in visualizing how he wanted his body to look.

Bill’s future plans are to continue his studies and push his body to new heights and exposure. He will now be writing frequently for PumpUp as one of its permanent blog members, bringing his expertise in the science behind fitness and nutrition to the topic/theme of the month. 

“I want everyone to know that if you have ANY questions, you can direct them to my KiK: BaylorFitness and I will try my best to respond within the next couple of days (since my article debut on bodybuilding.com my inbox/text messages/ KiK has been full with inquiries, but I do not let this deter me from helping others as it is why I do what I do that being to inspire, help, and motivate. I look forward to blogging for the PumpUp community in the next upcoming months!”

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Be sure to keep up with his journey through both his PumpUp: @bsiddiq and his Instagram: @bsiddiq .You can read more in depth about Bill’s personal fitness journey, personal workout regimen, and diet through his bodybuilding.com feature.

Lifting myth: Once you stop training your muscles turn into fat

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This is part of a series of posts by Jennifer (@liftingfairy on PumpUp), a bikini competitor. Check out her blog here. 

You may or may not have been told that once you stop exercising, your muscles turn into fat. But is this actually true? Sure, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronnie Coleman no longer have their former physiques, but are they really ‘fat’ 

I’ll admit that they don’t look that fit. Maybe a bit flabby. But it is scientifically impossible that their muscles turned into fat. Muscles and fat are two completely different substances. That’s like saying ’ I will turn my fat into muscles’ it just doesn’t work like that!

I will explain to you what actually happens.

Let’s take the example of a man who eats a lot of calories to his body the nutrients that it needs to build a certain amount of muscles. While he is still training, his muscles also allow him to burn more calories each day. This helps him to stay fairly lean. However, if he stops training— for whatever the reason might be—and maintains his former eating habits, his body will not only lose the extra calorie-burn from his workouts, but also the extra burn from his muscle mass.

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Now you can say that he is going to turn into a little fluffy ball because if he keeps eating the same way, he will lose muscles and gain fat. But he won’t be turning his muscles into fat. That’s what people keep misunderstanding.

Muscles are breaking down because they are no longer needed. Your body will, however, gain fat, if you have the same caloric intake as before. But you won’t turn into a flabby ball if you take a little break from your sports. If you stop training you will certainly lose muscle tissue, but if you also reduce your caloric intake you won’t gain fat. 

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According to a study, strength and muscle mass are generally maintained for up to 4 hours of no training. In my experience, I’ve seen drop-offs in my strength within seven days without training. However, I never experienced major muscle loss within two or even three weeks out of the gym.

If you are afraid of losing too much strength or muscle when you are on vacation, just do a full-body-core workout like push-ups, planks, pull-ups, squats, lunges or go for a run at the beach.

This is part of a series of posts by Jennifer, a bikini competitor from Luxembourg. Check out her blog and follow her on PumpUp @liftingfairy and on Instagram @lifting_fairy.

Say Buh-Bye to Bloating with These Tips!

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This is a post published by PumpUp member @coachmelissa. Check out her website at melissalepage.com 

We all feel bloated from time to time, and it’s the most annoying sentiment in the world. It’s one of the reasons why I eat clean and workout every day. Even if you do abide by a healthy lifestyle, bloating can still happen. Fortunately for you, I have a couple of tricks to share!

Say  buh-bye to bloating and hello to gorgeous tips! 

I drink hot water with lemon every morning

Lemon water is a natural diuretic (which is huge when it comes to de-bloating). It also:

1.} Boosts the immune system: Lemon water stimulates brain & nerve functions.
2.} Balances pH: It reduces your body’s overall acidity (it’s one of the most alkalizing drinks!). Even though it’s acidic it metabolizes alkaline. Yay!
3.} Weight loss: Lemons help fight hunger cravings. Sold.
4.} Flush it out: Lemon juice gets rid of toxins. This helps with constipation & digestion.
5.} The best diuretic: Prep for your bikini season with lemon water! Lemons make you pee more, which rids toxins.
6.} Buh-bye pimples!: Vitamin C  helps decrease wrinkles & blemishes.
7.} Rids bad breath: Because no one wants bad breath.
8.} Later, stress: Vitamin C is the first thing to go when you’re under pressure or stress. Bottoms up!

Remember: not everything in life has to be so hard. This tip is easy. So make it an AM habit & thank me later.

(HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT HOT LEMON WATER.)

Note: eating too much lemons can eat away at tooth enamel. I highly suggest that you buy glass straws.

Reach for berries & grapes instead of apples or melons

Berries & grapes are easier on the digestive system. Dessert suggestion? Eat frozen berries & grapes! SO yummy!

I LOVE sparkling water!

Pelligrino is the BEST!!! I drink it alllllll the time & it keeps me very full. BUT. It tends to cause bloat. So, add some lemon in your glass!

Skip the salt

Salt= major bloat!!! I use fresh herbs, lemon juice, or curry powder instead. Also, anything spicy can release stomach acid. So ( unfortunately ) stay away from spicy foods to prep for a bikini.

Stay away from alcohol, if possible

Alcohol causes bloat– so sorry, guys— say ‘no way, rosé ( BOO ).’

Rule out wheat or lactose if you have an allergy or intolerance

Food allergies and intolerances can cause gas and bloating. Many people self-diagnose these conditions and unnecessarily eliminate healthy dairy and whole grains from their diet. You may benefit from reducing the amount of the suspected food or eating it with other foods. In the case of dairy, it can help to choose aged cheeses and yogurt, both of which are lower in lactose!!

Cut back on sugar-free gum

…And candy and other foods containing artificial sweeteners like sorbitol and aspartame, which aren’t digestible and trigger bloating.

Follow Melissa on PumpUp @coachmelissa. Check out her website at melissalepage.com 

The Top 5 Health and Fitness Instagram Accounts in Toronto

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If New York is the concrete jungle where dreams are made, Toronto is the city where dreams of fitness, health, and wellness are accomplished. From yoga instructors, to personal trainers and fitness models, we’re featuring inspiring Torontonians on Instagram who live and breathe by active living. Learn more about the faces behind the top 5 health and fitness Instagram accounts in Toronto: @therealgillianb, @trainitright, @mikehealth, @joafitness, and @hetsp. 

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Gillian B (@TheRealGillianb)

Gillian is a traveling nutritionist, yogini, and published holistic living writer. Having always been a curious kid, her passion for all things having to do with health led to a career in nutrition. Her life-changing practice of yoga led her to become a yoga instructor so that she could share her love for yoga with others. Gillian strives to inspire as many people as possible by sharing her experience healing the wounds of the past and her journey of learning to love herself. She thrives off of empowering others to overcome personal obstacles to bring about positive change and find inner joy and peace.

Fun Fact about Gillian

Gillian is a self-professed ‘travelling gypsy’. She lives out of a suitcase! 

Instagram Followers: 7376

Follow Gillian on Instagram @therealgillianb and check out her own personal website to learn more about her.  

Alicia Bell (@TrainItRight)

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Alicia Bell is a Toronto based Kinesiologist, Strength Coach and Track and Field Coach who has devoted her life to helping people reach their goals in fitness and sport. She is a nationally recognized track and field coach who coached team Canada at the Maccabi games in Israel in July of 2013.  Alicia is a published Fitness model for Zenzation with her pictures gracing their equipment and she leads their product DVD instruction. She also frequently has been published in fitness and running magazine. Alicia has worked with clients such as Dwight Howard (NBA), Rashad McCants (Former NBA), Geoff Harris (Olympic 800m runner), Lil Jon (Rapper/Dj), Karla Moy aka HustleGrl, Hill Harper (actor, author) and even the mother of the Toronto rapper Drake.

Fun Fact: Alicia is not only a personal trainer, but she also runs her own track and field sprinting club

Instagram Followers:24,395

Find Alicia on Instagram @trainitright and on her website to pump her up! 

Mike Di Carlo (@MikeHealth)

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@MikeHealth is completing a full body transformation using his own training techniques to prove that it can be done

Mike Di Carlo is an internationally recognized personal trainer, model, actor, and entrepreneur. The Toronto Native started his modelling career by being scouted by Ford models during the Canadian National Beach Volleyball Championship in 2008. His career quickly gained traction by bringing his athletic knowledge and training to the runway. He is now a high-profile celebrity trainer, training some of North America’s top models, and training along side some of Canada’s top volleyball players (Mike’s true passion). Mike has been featured in some of the world’s largest publications such as: GQ Italia, Men’s Health, Elle, Style Magazine International, Sharp, & many more.

Fun Fact:
Mike is capable of performing 21 Muscle-Ups in a row, which is just a few shy of the world record. Mike is hoping to achieve this feat by the end of 2015.
Instagram Followers:117,000 
Find Mike on Twitter @mikehealthy and on Instagram, and PumpUp @mikehealth 

Joa Rivas (@JoaFitness)

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Hailing from Caracas, Venezuela, Joa is a fitness model, personal trainer, fitness instructor, and bikini competitor who loves challenge and adventures. To say that Joa is passionate about fitness is an understatement: fitness is her life. At the age of 15 joe was diagnosed with scoliosis and dealt with severe backaches that affected her daily life for almost 10 years. After practising yoga and pilates, and exercising with consistency and patience over the last few years, she transformed her posture and her life, inside and out. 

She became a yoga and pilates instructor 5 years ago and developed a Posture Program that helps clients with similar spinal issues. Joa incorporates  the techniques she learned as a Thai Massage Therapist into her work sessions. Her teachings focus around how posture is the way to project one’s inner power to the world, in all aspects. 

Fun Fact about Joa

When she has time to unwind, Joa loves rollerblading in summer, salsa dancing, and listening to wellness and lifestyle podcasts. 

Instagram Followers:  3,704

Follow Joa on Instagram @joafitness and keep her motivated along her journey by checking out her personal website. 

Hetal Patel (@Hetsp

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Hetal has lived an active lifestyle for as long as she can remember: from countless dance performances to eventually teaching workshops for children and adults. Her passion for dance and self-expression led to something even more valuable as she began her journey of health promotion. Hetal now has extensive experience as a weight-loss practitioner, as a nutritional consultant, and as a personal trainer. Not only does she treat the general public, she also helps cancer patients and those with chronic conditions. Now that Hetal is a certified yoga teacher, it is not only her passion, but her mission to bring awareness to the benefits of yoga and fitness. She aspires to make yoga accessible to the community through social media to promote health, empowerment, and education.

Fun fact about Hetal:

Back in her dancer days, she made her first debut in a 2008 film where she danced alongside Jessica Alba & Mike Myers in a romantic comedy called The Love Guru.

Instagram Followers: 4408
Find Hetal on Instagram @hetsp and on Facebook at Seva Yoga Yorkville.

Is counting calories helpful?

Guest post by Siya Natseva. Follow Siya on her blog, PumpUp (@cinnamonontop), and Instagram/Tumblr cinnamonontop8.

To almost any woman, counting calories is second nature. It’s what we do. Checking and double-checking, calculating away. And wincing throughout the process, as if the mere thought of Ben & Jerry’s instantaneously added a few inches around our waists! For the other half of the species – and, yes, every rule has an exception - the business of counting calories isn’t a matter of life and death. If you questioned the average female on this, though, she’d tell you that: ‘What do men know about food and calories?! Is this a legitimate enquiry?’

But, as has repeatedly been demonstrated, much of our health knowledge is incorrect. In fact, is counting calories really helping us? Or is it a scam, something we’ve conveniently been tricked into swearing by? And, no, this article is not purely intended for Venuses.

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(Image c/o Rebloggy)

Obsessive? Navigate away from calorie-counting

Subjectively, as someone who has struggled with her weight over her teenage years, I’m palpably against counting calories. Past struggles notwithstanding, it’s in my character to obsess over insignificant issues like the total sum of calories I consume on any given day. It’s an easy trap I fall into and avoiding it at all costs is crucial for my peace of mind. Eating healthy, maintaining an active lifestyle and embracing a positive mind-set is where my focus is. If you worry too much about digits and tend to turn health into a Math class, you’re better off without a calorie calculator nearby.

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(Source: Tumblr)

Calories aren’t nutrients

Calories are units of energy. We eat a meal and, in exchange, we receive energy to support the body functions and get on with our errands. But for health enthusiasts, it’s clear that calories aren’t the only paramount piece of information on a label and, even if they were, quantity doesn’t ensure ‘quality’. Yes, quality of calories is a thing! This is an article of its own, but ‘calories’ aren’t synonymous with ‘nutrients’. A 52 g Snickers bar will provide you with, I don’t know, 245 units of energy, but what else? Apart from the instant energy and refined sugar, there’s not much in the way of nutrition in a Snickers bar. Simply ‘collecting’ calories doesn’t reflect a healthy lifestyle. The aim should be to eat a varied and nutritious diet, without a particular concern for calories.

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(Image c/o wifflegif)

It’s a waste of valuable time

Counting calories is a lengthy and dreary activity. You could spend said time either working towards your fitness goals or another venture, or even indulging in a favourite pastime. Once we immerse ourselves in the world of calories, it’s a mental exercise of enormous effort to find our road back out. Humans are wrapped up in the hype of calorie restriction and the bad effects of carbs. Before you know it, your whole existence is defined by logging every single food you eat. Ultimately, a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t be a chore. It shouldn’t be a task of monumental importance, but entirely devoid of pleasure. Where’s the fun in that?!

Yet, there are circumstances in which one can benefit from keeping track of their calorie consumption. Depending on the nature and stage of your journey, your personality and the projected outcomes, you might find it useful. If you aspire to shed a few pounds, acknowledging what and how much you eat can be a good solution. If you don’t suffer from obsessive tendencies and aren’t in danger of losing the plot, a food diary may not be as detrimental. Finally, if you have a very specific objective, linked to an exclusive meal plan, recording your calorie intake will surely assist you.

ABOUT SIYA

Howdy, PumpUps!

My name is Siya. I’m 27 years young, with a passion for a healthy lifestyle, including a love for nutritious food and an active routine. Having struggled with my weight for years, it would be incredibly rewarding to me to support others and inspire them to prioritise their health instead of their appearance. I’m currently working out at home and can relate to those on a tight budget. An aspiring blogger and writer, I’ve recently started a blog where I share simple recipes and exercises, and promote a positive body image. I welcome advice from like-minded fitness enthusiasts, for I believe one can never know enough. Hit me up and let’s ace this! 

Is cardio necessary for weight loss?

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This is a post by fashion and fitness blogger Jodi-Kay Edwards. Follow her on PumpUp @jodikayedwards and on her blog, lifestylefinesse.com.

Cardiovascular exercise is often overlooked when it comes to figuring out what is best for our exercise and fitness regime. Today I want to talk about a few beliefs related to aerobic fitness and take some time to give some thought as to why these may actually be myths.

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(Image c/o giphy)

Aerobic fitness is not important for everyone.

False: Aerobic fitness is not just about how fast and far you can run, or how easily you can make it through a kickboxing class without sucking out all of the air in the room. Everyone needs to have the ability to have an efficient oxygen intake so their lungs are accustomed to different levels of exercise. Blood also needs to flow to the working muscles so carbohydrates and fats can produce energy. Aerobic fitness actually plays a critical effect on the quality of your life.

Aerobic training only benefits the heart and lungs not muscles.

False: Your muscles are actually the primary target of aerobic training. As I mentioned above aerobic training increases the muscles ability to use fat as an energy source.

The best aerobic exercise is running.

False: The best exercise is always one that you enjoy. There are many alternatives when it comes to aerobic fitness. In fact running 1 mile and walking 1 mile burns about the same amount of calories, think about that the next time you get discouraged! Swimming, stair climbing, kickboxing and Zumba, wow there are many alternatives to running! One mans trash is another mans treasure, just because Betty Lou enjoys running 5 miles on the treadmill, doesn’t mean your 45 minutes of cardio kickboxing is doing nothing for your body and fitness goals.

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(Image c/o: giphy)

I don’t own a treadmill so I can’t, I just can’t even.

It always amazes me how quickly we tend to forget that there is prime real estate surrounding us at all times. If you don’t like others to see you while you are working out, find a DVD for indoors or tune into one of the many free workout programs on YouTube. If your neighborhood isn’t exactly your favorite place to run around find a trail or drive to a different location.

I don’t have time.

What suits your busy lifestyle better? 20-30 minutes a day or being dead 24/7? Not saying that if you don’t do aerobic activity you will die, but making excuses is silly. There is always time to invest in your health. You invested time for an education, for that job search, for that perfect guy or girl, hey you made time to binge watch Netflix for a few hours (guilty) make some time to say hey body, you’re amazing, let me take you for a walk.

Aerobic fitness is achieved by raising your heart rate.

False: Aerobic fitness is achieved when your metabolic rate is elevated and the rate in which your muscles start to consume oxygen are sustained. A faster beating heart rate is only the external effect of oxygen consumption. Sustaining your metabolism is the actual fitness goal, the heart rate is only a byproduct of this process.

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(Image c/o Tumblr)

I’m too old, too fat, too lazy.

You are never too old, you are never too overweight, out of shape, and never too lazy to start. It all starts with a positive mindset and a can do attitude. While the too lazy part gets a lot of us to throw in the towel early, the benefits of aerobic fitness doesn’t discriminate no matter how sedentary of a lifestyle you lead. An 80 year old can see a 10% increase in their aerobic fitness level from just a few weeks of regular exercise. Slow and steady wins the race. It is better to start out slow than to burn yourself out too quickly.

Health and fitness work together as a package. Cardio, a little bit of weights and of course a proper diet is key when trying to reach those fitness goals! If you worked out this weekend I’m proud of you, pat yourself on the back and keep up the good work! It doesn’t matter if your fitness journey is about shedding a few extra pounds, training for a sport, trying to fit into your favorite jeans or just wanting a healthier lifestyle, take some time to reflect on how far you have come and even if it was just grabbing a pen and paper and writing down a few goals. Don’t give up on yourself! xx

How to stop binge eating

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This is a post by PumpUp member @coachmelissa. Check out her website at melissalepage.com 

What is binge eating?

Binge eating is a disorder characterized by compulsive eating that makes people feel out of control and powerless to stop. A binge eating episode can last for half an hour or on and off for a full day, and a binge eater eats without being able to stop or paying attention to what he’s eating, even if he stopped being full long ago. Binge eating can make you feel sick to your stomach, guilty, and like you’re spinning out of control.

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It will take some time to break out of this bad habit. I don’t say this to discourage you, but to be realistic. You don’t develop disordered eating habits overnight, so you can’t expect to break them overnight either right? Be patient and consistent, I can promise you it WILL get better and you WILL be successful. Believe in yourself that you can change this bad behaviour by replacing it with a healthy habit that will turn to be a lifestyle.

If you want to know how to stop binge eating, follow these steps:

1) Don’t diet. This is not the answer to your problem.
There’s a good chance that a diet is what spiraled you into binge eating in the first place.  

The solution: You need to have healthy and well-balanced meals every day. Which means three meals + two snacks throughout your day with good carbs, proteins, fruits & veggies.

2) Never skip breakfast. No matter what. Breakfast is THE most important meal of your day. The reason is pretty simple; it gives you the energy and vitamins to start your day. Think of it like the fuel for your body. If you skip breakfast, you will find yourself eating way more during lunchtime than if you had your breakfast. Plus, if you are trying to lose weight, skipping breakfast won’t help you will gain weight.

The solution: You don’t have to eat the minute you hop out of bed. Give yourself some time. You can either, get up a bit earlier to make yourself a healthy breakfast or pack it with you when you leave your house and eat it once you get to school or the office. Another idea is to prepare the night before what your breakfast will be on the table. Smoothies are a great idea to start your day!

3) Reduce your stress level. This is one of the major causes of binge eating. Stress steals your happiness. You will need to learn how to reduce stress in your life.

The solution: Start exercising. Seriously. Exercising 3 to 6 times a week will not only reduce your stress but you’ll be more energetic, positive, alert, lose weight and much more. Heck! It’s the perfect remedy and it’s FREE!

4) Remove ALL temptations! Yes, you heard me! Cookies, chips, and sodas…they all have to go. Removing temptations in your house will help you stop binge eating and in your weight loss journey as well.

The solution: Clean your fridge and pantry. Get rid of all temptations that you think would damage your success. Bring in only healthy and smart choices! Tip: Before leaving the house for grocery shopping: have your grocery list already made, shop only in the fresh produce aisles nothing sealed or packaged.

5) Have  positive support. If you know you will need help in the beginning, you can ask your family members, spouse or me to help you in this journey. Being supported is so important for your success!

The solution: Don’t be ashamed to ask for help, remember you are not alone in this, ask people for help and support. I personally can help you by providing healthy meal plans, exercises, tips, motivation, etc…

I would love to help so you can break free of binge eating and live a healthy fulfilling life!

Today, make the decision to change this behaviour with a healthy lifestyle. Once you made the decision, make a commitment to yourself. Decision and commitment made, take action now. Start small. In your first week, start with one of the 5 tips above. Implement these tips weekly by changing your old habits on a daily basis. One step at a time, no rush, you will get there. Remember to be patient, believe and be kind to yourself. IMG_9252_2.JPG

Melissa Lepage

www.melissalepage.com