Benefits of restricting when you eat
September 6, 2021
Last month a study was published in Cell Reports, which centered around time-restricted feeding. You may have heard this called intermittent fasting, a diet trend which has been quite popular within the past few years. It’s an easy way to restrict calories by simply restricting your eating schedule. The most common time frame is 16 hours of fasting, with an 8 hour eating window. Since it is so easy to restrict calories many people liked this as a way to be a little more flexible with the content of their diet.
The study observed mice that were being restricted to an 8-10 hour eating window, and were given a high fat and sucrose diet to emulate the common western diet. The study concludes that time restricted eating helps to mitigate the risk of and regulate fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, and sepsis. Additionally, they found that the mice benefited from an increase in muscle mass, as well as muscle mass retention, coordination, and performance. These findings suggest but do not conclude that intermittent fasting may help elderly and sick populations due to the listed benefits. However, the results are inconclusive considering the sample set provided within the study. For more information you can read the full article here:
Active Rest Days
Ideas for staying engaged and active
August 31, 2021
It’s important for all of us to make sure we are getting proper rest to ensure that our bodies are recovering from all the stress from workouts. Active rest can help keep you engaged with your fitness journey, while also given you an opportunity to diversify your experiences. On the opposite end of the spectrum, active rest days can be a way to get some extra physical activity if you don’t find yourself getting to the gym often enough. Either way here are a few ideas for your active rest days:
1.) Go on a walk/hike: This also gives the added benefit of being in the great outdoors, which is scientifically proven to make us happier.
2.) Play a sport: For a lot of people playing sports is a really fun way to stay active and enjoy their recovery.
3.) Take a yoga class: This a great way to strengthen your core, increase mobility, and mental fortitude.
When it comes to active recovery we just want to ensure that we are keeping things low impact to allow our bodies to recover. Even biking and rowing (whether stationary or not) can be great low-impact ways to still get some exercise in. Most importantly, you should ensure that you’re having fun to keep your mind engaged with your training.
Stay healthy and happy!
The DO SOMETHING Principle
How to get and stay motivated
August 20, 2021
Are you having a hard time staying on task? Feeling lethargic, unmotivated and can’t get yourself to do what you are supposed to be doing? This might sound like you, especially when we are talking about fitness and nutrition. This is where the Do Something Principle comes into play. Learn how one trick can help you get off your ass and start being productive.
This idea is explicitly taken from Mark Masnon’s book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. This particular idea centers around how to increase our motivation. According to Manson many people think of motivation backwards, that is they think that motivation must come before action. Manson argues the opposite however, that action leads us to motivation. The idea here is that the action is actually what inspires your motivation, which will then lead you to more action. This is opposed to sitting around and waiting for an opportunity to knock on our door … or in this case motivation. The thing that you do does not have to be a big thing, just anything to get the ball rolling. Then use the inspiration/motivation to continue to keep acting towards our goals.
Another mistake people often make is setting unsuitable goals. If you want to get healthier by going to the gym, your goal should not be to have a six-pack if you can’t even get off the coach. Perhaps you start with the goal of actually getting to the gym 3x/week. Perhaps your goal is simply to sign up for a gym membership, or to walk into the gym (after all will you really just leave after taking the time to get there) When it comes to motivating ourselves it is better to set small achievable goals in order to keep us more consistent and motivated to act. If you find yourself frequently discouraged or unmotivated perhaps you should rethink your goals before you think about rethinking your strategy to achieve those goals
These ideas require a lot of self-awareness and reflection of where we are currently and where we would like to be in the near future, which is difficult for the majority of us. With time however, the skill increases like any other. If you stick to the Do Something principle, you will find it much easier to stay motivated and focused. You might even have a hard time stopping yourself after using the principle effectively. Hopefully some of these tips help you guys, and of course check out Manson's book if you liked today's post!
Stay healthy and happy!
How to increase your metabolism
How to blend perfection
August 19, 2021
Many people know that having a fast metabolism is a good thing, but what exactly does your metabolism do and how do we improve it? Put simply, your metabolism is all of the chemical processes ongoing in your body to keep you alive. The faster your metabolism is the more calories you will burn during rest. A healthy metabolism can also improve sleep and energy levels. Age, gender, genes, body size and composition are all factors which affect our metabolism. Some of these factors we do not have control of, but here are some things to help improve or maintain a healthy metabolism.
1. EXERCISE: Both cardio and resistance training are good for increasing your metabolism and weight loss. Cardio workouts will help to burn extra calories throughout the day, and resistance training helps to increase muscle. One pound of muscle burns about six calories per day, while fat only burns 2 calories per day per pound.
2. EAT enough AND often: You want to make sure you are eating approximately every 3 hours in order to stimulate your metabolism. Just make sure you’re having healthy meals and snacks! Fatty fishes and spicy peppers also help boost your metabolism. For drinks, make sure you stay hydrated first and foremost, digesting water actually burns calories. Additionally, coffees and teas will help give you a slight metabolism boost.
3. GET plenty of SLEEP: Getting less than 7-8 hours of sleep can lower your metabolism and appetite, while increasing stress levels.
How to blend perfection
August 2, 2021
Smoothies are a great way to keep yourself satiated in between meals, and allows you to fit in some extra servings of fruits and vegetables.
First let's focus on the liquid base. There are three major categories to consider 1) a fruit juice base (ie. orange juice), 2) a milk (or milk substitute) and 3) plain old water. I would stick with water as your liquid base unless you aren't actively trying to lose weight, that way the smoothie will be easier to fit in to your diet. The juices and milks will add a lot of flavor but also a lot of extra calories too.
Next you want to think about adding fruits and/or vegetables. If you have trouble eating enough fruits or vegetables it can be easy to add a smoothie to supplement your daily diet. Adding 1-0.5 banana into your smoothie can help with both texture and sweetness. Other than that it is mostly personal preference. If you need some recommendations to get you started then I would try strawberries, mango, blueberries, bananas and pineapples; for vegetables try spinach, beets, and carrots.
If you do any sort of resistance training you may also want to think about adding protein powders. The flavor protein powder you choose will be dependent on the type of smoothie you want to make. For example you can use a chocolate protein with banana, milk, spinach, peanut butter, and ice. This will make a nice chocolate and peanut butter shake, and you could substitute/eliminate the milk and peanut butter to make it fit your diet. You could use a vanilla or strawberry protein with mango, banana, strawberries, carrots, and orange juice. Subbing water for the OJ would one way to make the recipe lighter in calories. In general frozen fruits and vegetables will be better for your smoothie. It will add texture, and keep the smoothie nice and chilly. Additionally, fruits and vegetables are frozen at peak ripeness which means you are getting optimally nutritious fruits/vegetables.
There are many more things even beyond what is mentioned here (such as seeds, herbs, and spices), but this should be enough for you to start experimenting with some smoothies!
4 BENEFITS OF SLEEP
And what it can do for your Wellness Journey
June 14, 2021
Sleep is important as most of us know, yet 1 in 3 adults are not getting enough sleep. A lack of sleep can have a bigger impact on your health than you realize. Experts generally recommend 7 to 8 hours of sleep, but the more active you are in your daily life the more sleep you will need. Here are 4 benefits of sleep:
1.Sleep boosts your immune system
When properly rested your immune system will be more effective in fighting off anything it has to. Having proper sleep can also boost the effectiveness of vaccines!
2. Lack of sleep makes weight loss harder
Without enough sleep your hormone balance will shift, making you more hungry and less likely to feel full. Who needs to make losing weight harder?!
3. Sleep strengthens your heart
A lack of sleep will result in extra cortisol in your body, a hormone which stresses your heart and makes it work harder. This will increase the risk of things like high-blood pressure and heart attacks.
4.Sleep will make your workouts better!
It’s been proven that a lack of sleep can affect muscle recovery and performance, as well as coordination and reaction times. Get enough sleep to make sure you're performing at your best!
There are many more benefits of sleep such as improved memory, mood, and productivity but hopefully the four given is enough for you to want to catch some more ZZZs! Be sure to check back for more content soon!
Jump Rope Buyers Guide
Choosing the right rope for you
June 7, 2021
For many beginners jumping rope can be one of the more difficult movements to get down. Whether you’re trying to get your first double under or are just trying to string a few single unders together, having your own jump rope which is properly sized will go a long way in your journey. Many people do a disservice to themselves by borrowing ropes that are well-worn, and the wrong size. Jump ropes are not a big investment and I recommend that they are one of the first things you buy yourself to increase your gym-going experience. Here’s a quick guide to help you pick the right jump rope for you and your needs.
The Best Rope for ABSOLUTE Beginners
If you have a hard time doing jump rope at all, then I usually recommend getting a jump rope with a heavier, thicker cable. This allows you to move a little slower, and get used to jumping with a rhythm. I wouldn’t recommend this type of rope for anyone who already has single unders down, or anyone who is going to want to practice double unders. With that being said, a heavy rope can be a great way to switch up your regular jump rope training as well. I would recommend the Rogue Thai Jump ropes for this category, which come in at under $15.
The Best Budget Ropes
This jump rope goes for just under $20, has an adjustable nylon cable length to get the perfect fit. The nylon coating on the cable will make this rope last longer than an uncoated cable, but it will also move a little slower. The cable is also replaceable in case anything were to happen to it. The handles are a sturdy nylon that you won’t have to worry about shattering. If you have particularly sweaty hands, or just want a little extra grip in the handles you can pay about $10 more to get a model that has a textured rubber and nylon overmold for better grip. These ropes will easily last you years before needing to be replaced.
Textured Handles for Grip
The Next Level
For those who are looking to get a premium jump rope, or are looking to upgrade their current rope then I would definitely recommend a rope that has metal handles. This will help increase grip, and durability. Rogue has models with aluminum handles which are nearly identical to their models with the nylon handles that come in at just under $50.
Rogue Speed Rope w/ Aluminum Handles:
There are also the RPM ropes which come in two models. One has a nylon coated cable($65), and the other has a bare steel cable($70). The bare cable will move noticeably faster than the coated cables, but the difference is not significant. The bare cables will have to be replaced more often, and are more susceptible to damage. Ultimately the cable type comes down to preference though.
RPM Bare Cable
RPM Coated Cable
Hopefully this guide will help you find the perfect jump rope for you, and increase your gym going experience. Of course there are many models that I could not cover and even different variations of the models that I did cover, but for the sake of simplicity I tried to keep this guide as succinct as possible. My goal was to make picking your jump rope easier, so hopefully this helps just one person.
EASY method for WEIGHT LOSS
Using BMR for weight management
May 27, 2021
So you want to get lean, shredded, or maybe you just want to lose that spare tire you’ve been holding. Maybe you want to lose that last few pounds before the summer. In this post I will teach you how to use your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) to create a simple plan to help you on your weight loss journey. This plan can help both experienced athletes trying to get leaner and newbies trying to lose weight for the first time.
What is BMR, and how do you find it?
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) put simply is the amount of calories that your body needs in order to maintain its current weight. There are several BMR calculators online but they are not always very accurate. Here is one that you can use: https://www.freedieting.com/calorie-calculator
Since these tools are not always 100% accurate you must take 1-2 weeks to test the given amount of calories. If you are using your calculated BMR for this period of time and you do not gain OR lose weight, then you know that you have found your true BMR.
What do you do after finding your BMR?
From here the plan is simple, you are going to subtract 200-300 calories from your maintenance level. The goal is to have a slow and steady amount of progress. You can lose weight faster by having a deficit of 500+ calories but then you are risking losing lean tissue, which should be avoided. Additionally, higher deficits are going to be much harder to maintain for longer durations.
My diet is PERFECT but it’s not working!
I’m sorry to tell you, but the scale doesn’t lie. If you think your diet is perfect and the scale is not moving, then your diet is not “perfect.” You need to make sure that you have calculated an accurate BMR and that you are in a caloric deficit, if you do this correctly you will lose weight without question.
I’ve made progress but I’ve plateaued, help!
It’s common for individuals to lose a certain amount of weight before the scale inevitably begins to plateau. Assuming that your training and diet have been unchanged, here are three simple ways to get back on track:
1. Increase your caloric deficit by ~100 calories
2. Add a cardio session (preferably a minimum of 25 minutes of steady state cardio)
3. Add 5 minutes to your existing cardio sessions
One of these three options should help you bust through your plateau.
With all of that said, losing weight should be simple and easy. The harder part is keeping yourself accountable to your plan, but that’s why you have the CFEC community to back you up! Be sure to keep checking in for more fitness and nutrition tips!