Burn Fat By Lifting Weights

Burn Fat By Lifting Weights

Americans drink an average of 200 calories a day in high-fructose corn syrup! That’s enough to pack on nearly 21 pounds a year.

It’s common knowledge right? Lifting weights=bulking up and more muscle. Cardio=slimming down and less fat. Not so fast. Studies have shown strength training to be just as effective for burning fat as hopping on the treadmill. However “spot reduction” itself is one of the most misunderstood theories in fitness. Fat is lost throughout the body in a pattern dependent upon genetics, gender, and age. That means doing crunches will not necessarily make you lose fat from your midsection. Overall body fat must be reduced to lose fat in one particular area. Strength training is one of the best ways to help accomplish this overall fat loss. Here are some facts in regards to strength training and burning fat.

  1. Increased Metabolic Rate Post Workout-While doing generic cardio and aerobics does a good job of spiking your metabolism during exercise, strength training using large muscle groups can increase your metabolism more effectively in the hours following your workout. As a result, more calories will be burned for up to 24-48 hours after your workout.
  2. Boosting Metabolism At Rest– Strength training can stimulate the development of muscle mass which can increase your resting metabolic rate and therefore increase the calories you burn.
  3. Strength Training Increases Energy Expenditure During A Training Session-Both cardio and weight lifting will burn calories and utilize stored energy in the body. However, in some cases, the anaerobic nature of strength training indicates a higher utilization of carbohydrates during a training session once initial ATP and CP(sources of energy) stores have been exhausted. During the post-exercise recovery period energy expenditure is elevated resulting in burning more calories. A good portion of those calories burned are coming from stored fat.
  4. Changing Your Body Composition– Lifting weights can help you maintain or increase lean body mass while reducing fat.  Overdoing it on cardio itself can cause a reduction in lean body mass and  lower your body’s ability to oxidize fat, in effect, lowering your metabolism. Strength training, especially high intensity weight lifting, can allow you to maintain or increase muscle mass while reducing body fat.
  5. High Reps vs Low Reps– This depends largely on your overall goals in terms of muscle hypertrophy or specifically losing weight. Generally, higher reps is geared towards burning calories/fat and developing more lean muscle versus sheer muscle mass. Lifting moderate to heavy weights for a lower number of repetitions will help you gain muscle at the same time as you lose body fat. The difference comes in post training metabolic rate and calorie burn. Some studies show when subjects used heavier weights and lower reps they burned more calories in the hours after training. With much debate about this, the best approach is to mix it up and keep the body guessing by varying rep range.
Here are some excellent strength training exercises to help burn fat.
1. Front Squat To Push Press
  1. Stand holding a bar on the front of your shoulders, with your elbows pointing straight ahead and feet hip-width.
  2. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor while keeping elbows up and hips back.
  3. As you push back up to the starting position, press the bar overhead and head through your arms.
  4. Lower the bar to your shoulders and immediately sink into your next squat.
2. Weighted Pushups With Legs Elevated
  1. Start in pushup position with legs elevated on a bench or swiss ball.
  2. Use resistance by; 1.Placing a band around your back 2. Having a partner put a weighted sand bag on your back or 3. Have a partner apply manual resistance to your mid/upper back.
  3. Lower until chest/head is close to the ground.
  4. Explode up to starting position and repeat.
3. Barbell Overhead Lunge
  1. Start by standing and holding a barbell overhead with your arms straight and core engaged.
  2. Hold that position as you lunge forward and your front knee is bent at 90 degrees and your back knee is an inch or two off the floor.
  3. Push back to starting position by exploding with front leg and maintaining your upper body posture.
  4. Repeat with the other leg.
4. Single Arm Overhead Squat
  1. Grab two dumbbells. One twice the weight of the other and stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Raise the lighter dumbbell in one hand overhead, with the heavier dumbell between your legs and your arm straight with palm facing inward.
  3. Perform squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor and push back to start position through your heals and mid foot.
  4. Complete all reps without lowering your arms, then switch sides.

Conclusion

All of the exercises above involve major muscle groups and can be modified for each individual’s ability. Going in and doing a few sets of arm curls is not going to help you burn fat. Multi-joint exercises that require multi-level muscle contractions will be the most effective.  Strength training is a proven method for fat loss, and allows you to maintain lean muscle mass and definition while losing body fat. Strength training in combination with dietary modifications can have more impact on fat loss than weight training alone. The ideal program for fat loss would include the combination of proper diet, weight training, and cardio exercise. As a general guideline for strength training and cardio, you need to cut back on the time but increase the intensity. This will prevent your body from going into a state where you start burning muscle mass instead of fat.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions or comments. The next topic will be about sleep.

From Norway,

Kevin

kdeeth21@gmail.com
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Ten Foods You Should Add To Your Diet

Ten Foods You Should Add To Your Diet 

These foods are probably foreign to most people however, they all pack a nutritional punch in terms of health benefits. Try and add a couple of these foods to your daily regimen for a more well-balanced diet. First, a great quote to start out the blog post that really puts things into perspective and something that really resonates for me right now in dealing with an injury.

To feel better, imagine the worst.  “Dont count your blessings; subtract them. “consciously spend a few minutes imagining what your life would be like without the good things. You’ll experience stronger feelings of love, gratitude, and happiness when you think about what life would be like without the people and things you love and, they’ll seem surprising and special again.”

-Psychologist Timothy Wilson

Exotic Berries- Goji and Acai

These two berries are super antioxidants that are loaded with several substances called anthocyanins and flavonoids. They work wonders on your immune system and help reduce the risk of some diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.

Benefits (Acai)

  • Loaded with antioxidants. (Twice the antioxidants of its cousin blueberries and 10 times more than red grapes)
  • Rich acai berries destroy cultured human cancer cells.
  • Provide an increase in energy.
  • Resistance to colds/flu.
  • Healthy and more youthful skin.
  • Promotion of weight loss.
  • High levels of omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids, which help the heart and cardiovascular systems.
  • A powerful anti aging food.
Benefits (Goji)
  • A high concentration of antioxidants.
  • Helps to slow down premature aging.
  • 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes and 10 to 30 times the anthocyanins of red wine.
  • A synergy of monounsaturated (healthy) fats.
  • Loaded with dietary fiber and phytosterols to help promote cardiovascular and digestive health.
  • A great amino acid complex.
  • Vital to proper muscle contraction and regeneration.


Edamame

Also known as the soybean, edamame is a natural source of antioxidants that is made up of anywhere between 30% and 40% protein. A half-cup of these beans can have up to 11 grams of protein and are one of the few vegetarian proteins sources that have all nine of the essential amino acids the body can’t make. The fat in edamame is the heart-healthy kind, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that help to lower cholesterol levels.

Benefits 

  • Great source of fiber.
  • Rich in vitamins B,C, and E.
  • Rich in magnesium, calcium, and iron.
  • Helps reduce risk of heart disease.
  • Improves bone health.
  • Help reduce certain types of cancer.

Bok Choy

Bok choy is a member of the cabbage family that is loaded with antioxidants and can help aid in digestion. One cup of raw bok choy contains about half your daily requirement of Vitamin A, C, and K, while being low in fat, low-calorie, and low-carb.

Benefits

  • High in vitamin A, C, K, B6, calcium, dietary fiber, folate, and iron.
  • Lung, colon, prostate, and endometrial cancers seem to be reduced with bok choy intake.
  • Loaded with beta-carotene  which can help reduce muscular degeneration.

Lean Bison Meat

Bison or buffalo, is a lean protein that contains all the essential amino acids your body cannot produce on its own. Buffalo offers an alternative to other commonly eaten lean proteins such as chicken breast, turkey, and pork tenderloin. In looking at the comparison table you can see it has more protein with fewer calories, less fat, and is lower in cholesterol than other protein sources.

Benefits

  • Bison spend their lives on grass and are generally not subjected to questionable drugs, chemicals, or hormones.
  • A nutrient dense food because of the proportion in protein, fat, mineral, and fatty acids, to its caloric value.
  • Has a greater concentration of iron than other meats.
  • No growth hormones, steroids, or sub-therapeutic antibiotics. These animals are both environmentally friendly and people friendly.

Quinoa

Quinoa, considered the “mother of all grains”, is a complete protein, packing all the essential amino acids your body needs to build muscle. Quinoa has about twice the protein of regular cereal grains, fewer carbohydrates, and even a dose of healthy fats. This is great gluten-free alternative to wheat carbohydrates.

Benefits

  • An awesome alternative to the proteins found in meat.
  • Entirely gluten-free.
  • A very good source of magnesium, folate, and phosphorus.
  • Great source of fiber that can provide cardiovascular health and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Canned Salmon

Canned salmon is a quick and easy way to get 1 of your 3 recommended servings of fish per week. Like other varieties of canned fish, canned salmon is a convenient protein source that contains healthy monounsaturated fats with no sugars or carbohydrates and contains lower mercury levels than canned tuna.

Benefits

  • A good source of  B-vitamins, especially vitamin B12.
  • Very low in environmental contaminants such as mercury and pesticide residues.
  • Contains an abundance of nutrients that protect your bones, prevent cardiovascular disease, and help keep you mentally sharp.
  • One cup of canned salmon provides almost 30% of the 1,000 mg of calcium you need each day.

Venison

Like bison meat, venison is a great low-saturated fat alternative to generic red meats. Venison comes from any large game animal like deer, elk, moose, or caribou. Venison is low in cholesterol and like any non-farm produced animal, is resistant to disease and does not live on a diet of antibiotics and steroids.

Benefits 

  • Venison houses fewer calories, less fat, and more iron than chicken breast.
  • Rich in various nutrients including proteins, iron, vitamin B12, B6, riboflavin, and niacin.
  • A great option for those who are vulnerable to heart disease.
  • Can help increase energy and boost your metabolism.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is an excellent snack that is low in fat and carbohydrates, but packed with protein. Cottage cheese is a favorite food among athletes, weightlifters, and dieters for its high content of casein protein, or slow digesting protein. Research suggests that cottage cheese makes a great late night snack to allow your body to utilize the slow digesting protein while you sleep and can also help your muscles to recover.

Benefits

  • A good course of calcium, with vitamin D.
  • Great source of casein protein.
  • Helps control your appetite.
  • Great nighttime snack to keep you from feeling hungry while you sleep.

Spaghetti Squash

Comparison of  spaghetti squash noodles to one cup of enriched white spaghetti

Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to high-glycemic carbs that are associated with most white and wheat pastas. Spaghetti squash gives you the advantage of not spiking your insulin and is relatively low in carbohydrates. The low caloric value will allow you too add more natural ingredients to your spaghetti, such as more proteins and vegetables, versus getting calories from processed white or wheat noodles.

Benefits

  • Rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
  • High levels of vitamin A and C, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, folate, beta carotene, and more.
  • Can promote brain function while inhibiting inflammation.
  • Great alternative to high-carb/high calorie pastas.

Chia Seeds

There was a great article this week in the Wall Street Journal about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and how he lives and dies by chia seeds… Seems like my kind of guy. Chia seeds are another complete source of dietary protein, providing all the essential amino acids. They can make a great addition to your morning oatmeal or shake.

Benefits

  • Highest plant-based source of omega 3’s.
  • Rich in dietary fiber and protein.
  • Doesn’t carry the health concerns of flax seeds.
  • Naturally gluten-free.
  • Large amounts of B-vitamins and calcium.
  • Chia seeds are hydrophilic, meaning they hold around 10 times their weight in water. For athletes, this is a good thing, helping hydration during exercise.

Adding these foods to your diet will give you some great nutritional benefits and help you to yield greater results whether you are trying to gain weight, lose weight, or maintain a healthy balance. Thanks for reading.

From Norway,

Kevin

kdeeth21@gmail.com

Is It Time To Go Gluten-Free?

Is It Time To Go Gluten-Free?

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past couple years then you have probably heard about the “gluten-free” diet. Here is a quick synopsis to get you up to speed.

  • Gluten is a protein found in most grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats, that is consumed all over the world.
  • Gluten-free diets were originally formulated to treat celiac’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that affects 1% of the US population who are allergic to gluten and gluten products. In recent years, upwards of 6-10%  have been treated with mild cases of a “gluten sensitivity”.
  •  Some evidence attributes gluten to numerous diseases ranging  from obesity to autism and everything in between. There is also some evidence that shows gluten possibly contributing to overall inflammation in the body which is a major cause of more serious illnesses such as heart disease and joint pain.
  • A gluten-free diet allows for fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, many dairy products, rice, corn, soy, potato, tapioca, beans, sorghum, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, arrowroot, amaranth, nut flours and many specific gluten-free products while excluding all ordinary breads, pastas, and many convenience (processed) foods.
The Science In Support Of A Gluten Free Diet
  • When the human body senses the gluten, it needs to break it down, and it takes fairly strong enzymes to do that. The small intestine is not necessarily designed to digest large amounts of processed carbohydrates and gluten dense foods present in the evolving “Western Diet”. Therefore, the 99% of Americans who don’t have celiac’s disease also tend to respond favorably to a gluten-free diet.

The Benefits And Hype

  • While people with celiac disease have little choice but to avoid gluten, others may be avoiding gluten in an effort to;
  1. Trim pounds
  2. Benefit cholesterol levels
  3. Aid in digestion
  4. Increase energy levels
  • Wheat and other grains associated with the gluten-free diet are considered moderate to high on the Glycemic Index. ( A measurement of the type or quality of carbohydrates in a particular food and how fast they raise blood glucose levels. AKA the lower the better) Anything with a Glycemic Index rating over 50 is considered counterproductive for fat loss in high quantities. Many foods considered “healthy” like some breakfast cereals often contain a GI of 70+. More on the Glycemic Index to come later this month.
  • Marketers estimated in a 2008 study that 15% to 25% of consumers desired or wanted gluten-free foods, even though doctors estimate just 1% of actually having an allergy to gluten itself.
  • Gluten-free diets have gone mainstream getting endorsements from people like Oprah to Chelsea Clinton. In the most recent endorsement, Madonna was publicized as serving gluten-free brownies at her 52 birthday,
  • Many mainstream companies have created gluten-free products as well.

The Reality 

  • I believe the increased energy levels and documented weight loss isn’t from substituting generic whole grain bread for gluten-free bread or gluten-free products in general. Instead, people (excluding those with celiacs) “feel better” because they consume fewer fast and processed foods, which tend to contain gluten. They are substituting starchy carbs, breads, and convenience foods for more fruits, vegetables, and other natural carbohydrates.
  • In fact, many processed gluten-free foods and gluten-free junk foods contain almost twice the calories as their traditional counterparts, not to mention they are usually much more expensive. Processed gluten-free foods are generally lower in fiber, so you won’t stay full as long, creating an increase on overall caloric intake in the long term.
  • It’s a surprising statistic, but one study found that 81% of people suffering from celiacs disease (gluten intolerance) who followed a gluten-free diet actually gained weight. That’s because there is a common misconception that anything labeled “gluten-free” must be good for you.

  • Many gluten-free products are not fortified or enriched and contain lower amounts of nutrients such as folate, iron, and fiber than other foods
  • Some other drawbacks of specific gluten-free cultivated products;
  1. Less fiber than whole grain products
  2. Lower levels of certain essential vitamins and nutrients
  3. Avoiding grains with a gluten-free diet may mean eating fewer of these enriched products
  4. Manufacturers replacing gluten with more calorie dense substances causing an increase in overall caloric intake.
  5. THE COST FACTOR
The Cost Factor For Specific Gluten Free Products (not substituting products containing gluten for fruits and veggies)
The following data is from a 2007 US Government study. It shows that the cost of gluten-free products are considerably higher than their equivalent wheat filled products. Here are some extreme cases;
  1. Wheat flour $0.34/lb TO Brown rice flour $1.89/lb
  2. Wheat bread $1.09/loaf TO Gluten-free bread $6.00/loaf
  3. Wheat pasta $0.87/lb TO Gluten free pasta $3.69/lb
  4. Chocolate chip cookies $2.69/lb TO Gluten free chocolate chip cookies $12.83/lb
  5. Wheat crackers $1.63/lb TO Rice crackers $9.12/lb
  • The average unit price for gluten-free products was $1.71
  • The average unit price of regular products was $0.61
Conclusion
So, the answer to the article is yes and no. If you are substituting regular wheat products like breads, pastas, and processed foods, for more natural foods like fruits and vegetables than, YES, a “gluten-free diet” is great. Should you start buying gluten-free pastas, breads, and mixes? NO. The benefits of gluten-free products don’t seem to outweigh the negatives of the cost and convenience factor. However, anytime you can substitute gluten dense products like a high carb tortilla or wheat wrap for a more natural lettuce wrap is highly encouraged and very beneficial. The benefits and weight loss people experience from a gluten-free diet is not buy substituting breads, pastas, and processed foods, for their more expensive gluten-free counterparts. It is by eliminating these foods completely or opting for a more natural version where people see benefits. (For example, using spaghetti squash noodles instead of starchy, high-carb pasta noodles.)
Saving your money on what you would have paid for a gluten-free product and spending it on something like organic produce, dairy, or grass-fed meats, is going to be much more beneficial to your overall diet and wallet. The last and most important fact of gluten-free diets is; Do people know one of the ingredients in some of the most popular beers around? Gluten! Have fun drinking this on Friday night if you are giving the gluten-free diet a shot.
 

Kettlebells-Not Just A Fad

Kettlebells-Not Just A Fad

Make no mistake about it, kettlebell training is not just another passing fad. The benefits of kettlebell training are undeniable and have continually provided results for first time gym-goers to extreme body builders. Kettlebells were practically unheard of in mainstream fitness until recently. Now, kettlebells have become a workout staple at most gyms and training centers worldwide. However, is all the hype and notoriety that surrounds kettlebells worth it?

BENEFITS

Functional Fitness Training– Kettlebell exercises generally require full body movements and engaging multiple muscle groups versus isolating specific muscles. Kettlebell’s require an element of balance and overall athleticism to accurately perform many of the exercises. One expert suggests the benefits stem from, “the body learning to work as one synergistic unit linked strongly together.” I couldn’t agree more.

Combining Anaerobic And Aerobic Systems-Many kettlebell classes and workouts combine strength movements that are usually done in some sort of circuit fashion so you are building muscle and aerobic capacity simultaneously. The effects of burning a high amount of calories and building muscle endurance in a short time period is one of the most popular aspects of kettlebells.

The Lean Factor– Kettlebells can be used for a variety of fitness goals, but most advantages are seen in building lean muscle while increasing functional capabilities. This has a huge appeal on women and men interested in building strength and lean muscles while not necessarily promoting sheer muscle mass.

Explosive Power– Athletes can specifically benefit from the ballistic movements (fast twitch) used with kettlebells. Multi-joint exercises, such as snatches or kettlebell swings creates ballistic shock and teaches muscles how to absorb shock efficiently, which is critical for contact sports.

The Group Dynamic-Ketllebells are often used in a group or class setting which is an appealing factor. These group dynamics often have a positive influence on people’s work ethic, willingness, and overall attitude towards lifting weights.

Using Stabilizer Muscles– The off-centered weight of a kettlebell will force you to use more stabilizer muscles which will benefit your overall strength. These often neglected muscles create deficiencies in larger muscle groups and make you more prone to injury and imbalance.

Negatives

Injury- Kettlebell exercises often require muscle endurance in combination with great form when performing exercises. Because muscle fatigue can lead to a breakdown in correct form, people can be more prone to injury especially in their backs and shoulders. Ensuring you maintain good form will help prevent injury associated with some kettlebell exercises.

Tough On Your Hands– Kettlebell movements can be tough on your grip, hands, and fingers. When you start adding volume and more difficult exercises into the equation, callous and skin tearing can result. However, this negative can also be turned into a benefit for those looking to improve grip strength, which is essential in many sports.

Steep Learning Curve– Many of the kettlebell exercises are tough, full body movements that can take a while to master. Dialing in the correct form is essential before you start adding weight and more intense workouts. Some people don’t have the patience for the learning curve required to really master kettlebell exercises.

Best Kettlebell Exercises

One Arm Kettlebell Swing

  1. Begin holding a light-medium kettlebell in the right hand, feet about hip-distance apart.
  2. Begin a warm up swing to get used to the movement, squatting as you take the weight down and back between the legs and thrusting the hips up as you lightly swing the weight to about hip level. Take the left arm out to the side for balance.
  3. Once you get comfortable with the movement, swing the weight to shoulder level, always using the hip-thrust movement to get the weight up.
  4. To work the shoulders and add variation, rotate the thumb down as you bring the weight back and rotate the thumb up as you swing the weight to shoulder level.
  5. At the top of the movement, the kettlebell should feel weightless. Use your hips and legs to move the weight, rather than your arms.
Kettlebell Turkish Get-up
Kettlebell Turkish Get-up
  1. Lie down holding a medium kettlebell in the left hand, arm extended straight over the shoulder with the elbow locked.
  2. Keeping the arm extended and looking up at the weight, raise up onto the right elbow as you bend the left knee.
  3. Continue pushing up onto the right hand while crossing the right foot under the right leg.
  4. Push up until you’re resting on the right knee and left foot(in a modified lunge), arm still extended straight up over the shoulder.
  5. Continue until you’re in a standing position, with the arm overhead.
  6. Lower back down the same way, arm extended, until you’re lying all the way on the floor
One Arm Kettlebell Clean

One-Arm Kettlebell Clean

  1. Hold a medium-heavy kettlebell in your hand, feet hip-width apart, with the arm straight.
  2. Lower into a squat with the torso upright and the abs braced.
  3. Thrust the hips up as you come up, pulling the kettlebell straight up.
  4. Rotate the elbow down as you pull the kettlebell up, catching it at shoulder height.
  5. Absorb the weight of the kettlebell and the movement by squatting slightly, keeping the wrist neutral.

One Arm Kettlebell Snatch

  1. Begin the one-arm snatch with the kettlebell in front of you and your feet spread shoulder width apart.
  2. Keep your back straight, bend at the knees, squat down and grip the handle of the kettlebell.
  3. Look straight ahead and lift the kettlebell using your hips and thighs, swinging the weight back through your legs to gain momentum for the exercise.
  4. Immediately, reverse the direction and forcefully drive the kettlebell swing forward, arcing up towards your shoulder, and your body extending into full standing position.
  5. As the kettlebell rises to the shoulders and begins to slow in speed, bend slightly at the knees and stand up straight while punching the kettlebell straight overhead. Return the kettlebell back to the starting position.
  6. This is one repetition. Complete the set and switch arms holding the kettlebell

Kettlebell Squat To High Pull

  1. Hold a medium kettlebell in both hands, feet hip-width apart.
  2. Squat down, keeping the arms straight, the torso upright and the abs braced.
  3. Thrust the hips up as you stand while drawing the kettlebell up and bringing the elbows up and above the shoulders.
  4. Keep the weight close to the body and use the power of your hips to pull the weight up, rather than your arms.

Conclusion

I think kettlebells can become a great supplement to anyone’s workout. Whether you are trying to better your muscle endurance, build your anaerobic/aerobic capacity, increase total body/functional synergy, kettlebells can provide numerous benefits to a wide variety of demographics. Using one day a week to complete a kettlebell circuit or substituting some standard barbell or dumbell lifts with some of the kettlebell exercises above can help upgrade your workout and provide visible results.

Thanks for reading, from Norway,

Kevin

kdeeth21@gmail.com

Healthy Versions Of Your Favorite Meals

HEALTHY VERSIONS OF YOUR FAVORITE MEALS

Changing your diet does not mean getting rid of your favorite foods. Any diet (whether you are trying to gain or lose weight) that has you completely changing the foods you eat, while eliminating some of your favorites, is setting you up for failure. Alterations to portion sizes and ingredients can transform notoriously unhealthy foods, such as ice cream, pizza, or burgers, into a healthy dinner option. This blog is intended to show you some good, bad, and everything in between, of popular foods we consume as a society. Each individual meal below can be catered toward your specific need, whether you are trying to put on muscle, lose fat, carbo-load for an event, or need an idea for your next dinner.

“The danger is not to set your goal too high and fail to reach it. It’s to set your goal too low and reach it.”

(Take a look at the change in obesity rates from 1991 to 2003 in America. Thanks to Doctor Anderson for forwarding this literature to me.)

 

 

PIZZA

The average American eats 46 slices (23 pounds) of pizza a year. 

Examples of things to stay away from: Keep in mind the American Heart Association recommends your sodium intake to be 1500 mg per day or less.

1. Papa John’s Pizza Pan Crust Cheese Pizza (1 slice)

  • 380 calories
  • 15 g fat (7 g saturated fat)
  • 1000 mg of sodium


2. Sbarro Stuffed Pepperoni Pizza (1 slice)

  • 960 calories
  • 42 g fat
  • 3,200 mg sodium

3. Pizza Hut Stuffed Crust Meat Lover’s Pizza (1 slice)

  • 480 calories
  • 26 g fat (12 g saturated, 1 g trans)
  • 1390 mg sodium


4. Uno Chicago Grill Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza (Individual pizza)

  • 2,310 calories
  • 162 g fat (54 g saturated fat)
  • 4,920 mg sodium

Common Mistakes

1. Being influenced by America-The motto that” bigger is better” has jumbo sized many of our foods and toppings. Italy, where pizza was originated, has pizza that is based around a thin crust (usually half the amount of flour as a traditional american, thin crust) with a flavorful, low-sugar, tomato based sauce, loaded with fresh-cut veggies and “SOME” cheese.

Try to guess which pizza is from America!

2. It’s not just cheese that’s hurting you– Sausage, ham, beef, and bacon, are just a few of the most popular toppings that exist today. Many of these salt-cured meats contain more than a day’s worth of sodium and are loaded with fat and grease. Salty meats coupled with a surplus of processed cheese does not make for the healthiest combo. Add some grease with a refined, carbo-loaded crust and you will help contribute to the obesity charts listed above.

3. Portions- Restaurants such as Sbarro serve up gigantic slices that are often two slices piled into one.

Quick fixes

  • As a general rule, avoid all over sized and stuffed crusts at pizza chains. Stick to a regular or thin sized crust. Better yet, make a multi-grain or whole wheat crust. Many pizza places now carry these different options.
  • As far as toppings go, stay with ham, Canadian bacon, or grilled meats, and nix the pepperoni and sausage. Load it with veggies instead.

Barbecue Chicken Thin Crust Pizza-A great example

Ingredients

  • 1 (8-ounce) thin pizza 100% whole wheat  or multi-grain pizza crust
  • 1/3 cup barbecue or homemade tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 1/4 pound)

Dominos Crunchy Thin Crust  Hawaiian Pizza- decent restaurant option

1 slice

  • 150 calories
  • 8 grams of fat
  • 315 mg’s of sodium

BURGERS: Food industry consulting firm Technomic says, “Almost half of Americans, 48 percent, eat a burger once a week.”

Examples of things to stay away from

1. Hardee’s Monster Thickburger

1,420 calories
108 g fat (43 g saturated fat)
2,770 mg sodium
230 mg cholesterol

2. Five Guys Cheeseburger (plain)
840 calories
55 g fat (22.5 g saturated)
1,050 mg sodium
3. Burger King Triple Whopper Sandwich with Cheese and Mayo
1,250 calories
84 g fat (32 g saturated, 3.5 g trans)
1,600 mg sodium
Common Mistakes
1. American Influence: The “bigger is better” motto is probably most prevalent in the burger industry. With sandwiches such as the Triple Whopper or Big Mac, you can easily find burgers with 2 or 3 patties in many restaurants and chains.
2. Choosing the wrong meat: Problems start with the high fat ground beef that is often chosen because it is cheap and easy to make. Substituting standard ground beef with a lean-ground turkey meat, bison, poultry, or lean-ground beef, will make a world of difference.
3. The way the meat is prepared:  Restaurants and fast food chains have been known to deep fry high-fat burgers in a mixture of grease and oil. Play it safe and grill your meat or throw it in the broiler for the best results. Using a 90/10 lean ground beef and cooking it over medium heat for even browning will provide great results.
4. Using Mayonnaise: 1 tbsp of mayo has 11 grams of fat and 100 calories and most people probably use at least double that as a topping on a burger. Substitute mayo with avocado or a healthy guacamole instead.
5. Choosing the wrong bun: White buns are the most common choice among burger consumers. White bread is refined flour that spikes your blood sugar and is extremely high on the glycemic index with almost no protein and affects your body in the same way as white sugar.
6. Choosing the wrong sides: Fries are the most common side ordered with a burger. I could probably write a whole book on the negatives of french fries but instead I will just suggest that you substitute them for sweet potato wedges, a healthy coleslaw, or a side salad.

What to choose instead

1. Keep it lean: Either the extra lean (also known as 5% or 95/5) or the lean (also known as 10% or 90/10) ground beef is a healthful substitute for a standard beef patty. Get creative and make a bison burger or turkey burger for even more health benefits and great taste.
2. Choose the right sides: Complement your lean burger with fresh fruit, a green salad, beans, veggies, sweet potato fries, coleslaw, or basically anything other than standard french fries.
3. Choosing a soft cheese: For a healthier sandwich topping, try soft cheeses, like mozzarella or feta cheese. Soft cheeses tend to be lower in fat and less processed then something like american cheese.
4. The right bun: Many restaurants offer a whole wheat or multi-grain bun as a substitute. If you are making a burger at home use half a bun and load it with veggies instead.
Greek Bison Burger-a great example
Nutritional Information

(per serving)

Calories 392
Total Fat 16g
Saturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 68mg
Sodium 671mg
Total Carbohydrate 30g
Dietary Fiber 6g
Sugars
Protein 35g
Calcium
Ingredients(serves 2 to 4)
  • 1 pound(s) ground bison
  • 1/2 cup(s) cooked spinach, squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup(s) crumbled feta cheese, preferably sheep’s milk
  • 2 teaspoon(s) chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon(s) chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon(s) minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup(s) non-fat or low-fat Greek-style plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon(s) chopped fresh dill
  • 4  French rolls or 4-inch pieces of baguette, preferably whole-wheat, split and toasted
  • 16 slice(s) (thin) English cucumber
  • 8 slice(s) vine-ripened tomato
  • 4 slice(s) (thin round) red onion
Balsamic Turkey Burger
Turkey Burgers With BBQ Sauce and Bell Peppers
Ingredients
  • 1 Whole wheat english muffin
  • Kale or lettuce
  • 1 slice Provolone Cheese
  • 1 sliced tomato
  • 1/2 pound of lean Turkey meat with1/2 cup chopped red onions sautéed with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic-vinegar
  • Calories per serving: 470; Fat: 12 grams

SALADS: People always affiliate salads as automatically being healthy. But, as depicted below, this is not the case in several circumstances.

Some examples of things to avoid:

1. Chili’s Southwestern Cobb Salad
  •  1,080 calories
  • 71 grams fat
  • 2,650 mg sodium
2. Applebee’s Santa Fe chicken salad

  • Calories: 1300
  • Saturated Fat (g): 25
  • Sodium (mg): 3420
  • Carbohydrates (g): 57
3. Outback Steakhouse queensland salad.

  • Calories: 1129
  • Saturated Fat (g): 26
  • Sodium (mg): 1975
  • Carbohydrates (g): 42
Common Mistakes
  1. Processed Salad Dressing.. Like RANCH– A mixture of trans fat, sugar, preservatives, and artificial flavoring, make for a deadly combo. (1 serving of ranch has 140 calories, 14 g fat, and 260 mg sodium). Opt instead for vinegarettes, balsamics, light olive oils, tomato salsas, or make your own.
  2. Using Iceberg lettuce– Contains almost no nutritional value. Opt for darker greens like spinach, mixed greens, kale, or arugula. This is something you will actually benefit from and tastes better.
  3. Using Croutons– It is white/dried/processed bread.. Enough said. 1/2 cup croutons has 100 calories. If you have to use them, use 100% whole grain croutons or make your own from 100% whole grain bread or some sort of sprouted grain bread.
  4. Bacon bits– Despite how good they taste, most bacon bits are highly processed and made up of mostly sodium and saturated fat. Opt for a natural protein like beans, grilled meats, or nuts.
  5. Cheese– A good salad shouldn’t need a lot of cheese but if you like it use it sparingly and opt for a more natural cheese such as feta.
What to add instead
1. Beans-Beans are high in protein, iron,  and a complex carbohydrate. With varieties such as black, kidney, garbanzo, you can substitute this protein for the more unhealthy fried/breaded meats, or some of the high sodium deli meats like pepperoni or salami.
2. Nuts and seeds-Almonds, walnuts, cashews, flax-seed, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds, can all be added as a substitute for croutons to keep the crunch of your salad, while adding essential vitamins and minerals, that you will benefit from.
3. Dried fruits– Cranberries, raisins, and apricots, can all add some sweetness to your salad. While they do contain moderate/high amounts of sugar, using a handful of dried fruits will not affect you and the antioxidant properties will outweigh any negatives caused by the sugar.
4. Avocado– A great source of healthy fats that is loaded with vitamin E can make for a nice addition.
5. Whole grains– Whole-wheat couscous, quinoa, and barley are all protein rich grains that are high in fiber toppings and make a great addition.
6. A healthy dressing– Vinegarettes and light oils are generally the safest but a healthy tomato salsa or lemon juice can give it a nice kick as well.
7. Creative veggies- There is nothing wrong with green pepper, cucumber, and carrots, but those can get got boring. Next time, opt for some artichoke, beets, radishes, turnips, or parsnips.
(A great example)
Salad of grilled chicken tenderloins with avocado, tomatoes, red onion, green beans, spinach and arugula. Delicious healthy eating. Stock Photo - 5366430
Ingredients
  • grilled chicken tenderloins
  • avocado
  • tomato
  • green beans
  • spinach
  • arugula
  • balsamic vinegarette dressing

You can now find my blog on “The Hockey Season App” which can be found using the link below and used with any iOS device such as an Iphone or Ipad.

http://itunes.apple.com/app/the-hockey-season/id481402661?ls=1&mt=8

Thanks for reading, from Norway,

Kevin

kdeeth21@gmail.com

Essential Vitamins and Supplements

Essential Vitamins and Supplements

Beginning the search for adequate supplements is undoubtedly overwhelming. The first question one should ask when considering what to potentially take is “what am I trying to accomplish?” There is an array of over-the-counter supplements on the market claiming to cater to a variety of individuals. It is important to note that there are still many different needs among individuals.

The best way to approach one’s personal needs is by adjusting food intake rather than attempting to make up for deficiencies through supplements. By following the advice posted in past blogs, it is relatively easy to develop an idea of how an optimal athletic diet should look. With that being said, there are a few basic supplements that are beneficial to most people.

I conducted a survey using 50 people and asked them what supplements they took on a daily basis to identify trends, beliefs, and ideas, about the health/wellness and performance market.

Demographics of the survey

-30 professional athletes between ages of 20 and 30 years old (NFL, NHL, AHL, Professional Golf, were some of the individuals surveyed)

-20 physically active people or fitness enthusiasts ranging from 20 to 60 years old (Both men and women)

-Most of the athletes were in-season and mentioned that the amount of performance enhancers they take (such as protein and creatine) were generally increased in the off-season. Here are the results.

  • The difference in vitamin/supplement intake was extremely widespread 
  • I had 3 Responses that indicated ZERO vitamins/supplements were taken on a daily basis.
  • Here is the other end of the spectrum for a typical day:

Example 1:

  1. 1 multi vitamin,
  2. 2 kre alkalyn 1500mg,
  3.  1 fish oil 1000 mg,
  4. 1 vitamin D 5000 IU,
  5. 1 b-12 1000 mcg,
  6. 3 zinc liver chelate,
  7. 1 protein shake

Example 2:

  1. 3,000 mg fish oil
  2. Multi vitamin
  3. 500-1000 mg green tea extract
  4. 800 iu vitamin D
  5. 1000 mg acetyl-L-Carnitine
  6. 400 mg alpha-lipoid acid
  7. Beta-Alanine-about 3000 mg-ish
There is no right or wrong answer here. I just wanted to show you the difference in the entire spectrum.  Below is a synopsis of the most abundant vitamins reported in the survey.

Multi-vitamins

A well-balanced multivitamin will probably seal up any cracks in one’s diet, provided the individual is consistently getting proper nutrition. Reportedly, 35% of people in the U.S  use  some sort of multivitamin-multimineral supplement. However, some of the most important nutrients like fiber and omega 3 fats are not present in any multi-vitamins. Even if you have an extremely healthy diet, you are likely missing out on some things depending on the time of year and foods available at your store/market.

Remember that less is more when choosing which multi-vitamin to take. You can probably get a high quality vitamin by purchasing something like a USANA multi-pack vitamin which is 130$… or get nearly the same contents by paying 10$ for a generic brand. It is hard enough for our body to break down and effectively use the contents of any pill. Some multi-vitamins are flawed on the side of having more nutrients in a single pill than the human body is capable of breaking down and effectively using. With that being said, I strongly suggest everyone take a multivitamin every day. The following guidelines will help one find the most effective daily vitamin:

  • Look for a vitamin that is formulated around 100% DV(daily value) for most nutrients
  • Most B vitamins may be higher than 100% DV
  • Make sure it has at least 100% DV for Vitamin D
  • Avoid vitamins with more than 100% DV for Vitamin A, Zinc, and Iron
  • Don’t be lured by added herbs. There is little evidence multi-vitamins with added herbs have any benefits
Here is an example of a generic daily multivitamin. (You can basically get 2 year’s worth for 10$)
Centrum multivitamin ingredients

Protein/Recovery Shake

The other supplement that would be beneficial, barring the right product and serving size is being used, is a Whey Protein/BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids)/Carbohydrate replacement shake. It is hard to say exactly which brand is the best because each product caters to different individuals. A shake can beneficial for helping to restore muscle fibers, ensure adequate protein levels, or refuel after exercise. I don’t want to get too specific on this subject because I will be doing a separate blog on recovery where I will go more in depth in a couple weeks. In general, evidence supports that the faster an athlete consumes a shake after a workout, the faster the supplement can begin to help muscles recover. Those that were surveyed drank some sort of protein/carbohydrate/glutamine/greens combination post exercise. So again, this is highly recommended, but more on the specifics to come later this month.

Fish oil

When choosing a fish oil, add up the EPA/DHA portion of omega 3’s, as these are the most important. At a minimum, you should be getting 500 mg/day of EPA/DHA, and several studies and people I surveyed had up to 4000 mg of DHA/EPA per day. Some studies show that too much fish oil can increase LDL (bad cholesterol levels) and If you have a diet filled with foods like salmon, flax seeds, walnuts or kale, you may not need a supplement. However, most people can greatly benefit from a fish oil supplement. It seems like the list is never-ending, but here is a list of the most important potential benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil.

#1 – Improves Mental Health

#2 – Lowers Cholesterol

#3 – Lowers Triglyceride Levels

#4 – Reduces Inflammation In The Body

#5 – Eliminates Joint Pain

#6 – Improves Your Skin

#7 – Promotes Weight/Fat Loss

#8 – May Prevent Schizophrenia

#9 – Improves Brain Function In Babies

#10 – Increases Your Focus

#11 – Reduces Post-Partum Depression

#12 – Improves Vision

#13 – Reduces Soreness From Weight Training

#14 – Reduces Risk Of Heart Disease

#15 – May Slow Breast Tumor Growth

#16 – Improves Cardiovascular Health

#17 – Eases The Effects Of Alzheimer’s Disease

#18 – Improves Cognitive Function

#19 – Stabilizes Mood

#20 – Decreases Blood Pressure

Vitamin D (focusing mainly on Vitamin D3)

In the winter, Vitamin D deficiency is a world-wide epidemic, with recent estimates indicating greater than 50% of the global population is at risk. Some studies show that up to 75% of the US had an insufficient amount of Vitamin D. Reportedly, two sessions of 15 minutes of sunlight each week is adequate for your body to naturally produce the necessary amounts of vitamin D. However, in the winter(especially here in Norway) the body cannot absorb these natural levels of vitamin D from the sun. In this case, a supplement is needed. Recomended intake: between 500 and 5000 IU’s (international units). I take a 3000 IU supplement in the winter.

Vitamin C

Probably the “best known” vitamin and most popular in the health and wellness market. The U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 50-60 milligrams per day, but higher levels can strengthen your immune system even more. Vitamin C helps form collagen and maintain such body parts as bones, cartilage, muscle, veins, capillaries, and teeth. Here is a list of some of the benefits.

  • Repairs tissue
  • Heal bones and wounds
  • Maintains health skin
  • Fights infection
  • Helps your body absorb iron
  • Building strong bones and teeth
  • Acting as an agent to hold new cells together
  • Supporting various metabolic processes
  • Boosts immune system
  • Potent antioxidant
Foods high in Vitamin C

If you are consuming these foods, a vitamin c supplement is not necessary. However, during cold and flu season, aiding your immune system with a vitamin C tablet could be beneficial.

B Vitamins

A Vitamin B-complex is used for ENERGY PRODUCTION and increases your metabolism.  Vitamin B is needed to help convert the carbohydrates we eat into glucose and eventually to usable energy.  Deficiencies in Vitamin B can lead to lethargy and fatigue. The best forms of B vitamins are from natural/unprocessed foods such as meat, turkey and tuna, whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, and beans. Because there are several Vitamins the make up a B complex, recommended daily allowance is tough to pinpoint. If you have a healthy diet filled with these foods, you are most likely reaching your recommended Vitamin B levels. With that being said, if you feel lethargic or fatigued, give a vitamin B-complex a shot to see if it aids in your energy levels.

Calcium/Magnesium

Calcium’s best-known role in the body is strengthening your bones and teeth. But, it also facilitates muscle activities including lifting, pushing and pulling, and plays an important role in the circulatory system by keeping blood moving efficiently. The recommended daily intake of calcium is 1,000 mg daily. Like calcium, magnesium supports bone and tooth structure and plays a role in muscle contraction and relaxation,  as well as helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Recommended daily amount is between 300 and 400 mg. Paired calcium and magnesium supplements are a powerful combination of minerals that complement one another. For instance, calcium primarily causes contraction of muscles and vessels while magnesium primarily causes relaxation. If your intake of any of the foods below are adequate you can probably do without a calcium/magnesium supplement.

Foods high in magnesium

Conclusion

There is no “correct” universal supplementation plan. Supplement intake should be based on what areas you think you are lacking in your diet. I strongly encourage everyone to take a daily multi-vitamin because as discussed before, it can help seal up any cracks in your otherwise, well-balanced diet. Other than that, each daily supplement regiment is very individualized. My general recommendation;

  • 1 Daily Multi Vitamin
  • 1 Fish oil supplement (aim for at least 800 mg DHA/EPA)
  • 1 Recovery Shake (post exercise)
  • 1 Vitamin d supplement (in the winter only)

Special thanks to all those who took part in the survey and Ben Ryan for helping with the blog.

From Norway,

Kevin

kdeeth21@gmail.com

New Exercises For The New Year

New Exercises For The New Year

Happy New Year to everyone. Start off 2012 by incorporating some of these new exercises into your workouts.  Here is a couple of things to think about before you start.

Scientists believe that close to 85% of our most dreaded diseases can be prevented with appropriate lifestyle changes, including a good diet and regular exercise.

Studies have shown that regularly skipping breakfast increases your risk of obesity by 450 percent.

Mountain Climber Pushups

Directions

  1. Start in a pushup plank position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankles.
  2. Without allowing your lower-back posture to change, lift one foot off the floor and move that knee toward your chest.
  3. While you return the original leg to the starting position simultaneously lift the other leg through the same motion. (knee towards chest).
  4. Then do a pushup. That’s one rep.
  5. Aim for between 15-30 reps.

Muscles Worked

  1. Hipflexors
  2. Glutes
  3. Lower abs and core
  4. Chest
  5. Triceps
  6. Delts
Modifications
  • You can vary the speed and tempo of your mountain climbers
  • Perform more than 1 set of mountain climbers in between pushups

Pushup To Renegade Row

Directions

  1. Start in pushup position. While grasping the dumbbells perform a pushup.
  2. Once you’re back in the starting position, row the dumbbell in your right hand(without twisting your core or back) to the side of your chest, by pulling it upward and bending your arm and pause.
  3. Lower the dumbbell back down, and repeat the same movement with your left arm.That’s one repetition.
  4. Aim for 5-15 reps

Muscles Worked

  1. Trunk
  2. Glutes
  3. Obliques
  4. Core
  5. Pecs
  6. Lats
  7. Shoulders

Modifications and Tips

  • Weight can be modified depending on your strength.
  • This can also be performed with your knees on the ground.
  • If you are having trouble with your balance, try spreading your feet farther apart.

Goblet Squat To Press

Directions

  1. With both hands, grab one end of a dumbbell or kettlebell to hold it vertically in front of your chest.
  2. Take a little bit of a wider stance than you would with a standard squat.
  3. Keeping your back naturally arched, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until the tops of your thighs are at least parallel to the floor and pause.
  4.  Push yourself up to the starting position
  5.  Complete a press extending the dumbbell or kettlebell overhead and lower to starting position.
  6. Aim for 8-16 reps.
Muscles Worked
  1. Quads
  2. Glutes
  3. Hamstrings
  4. Core
  5. Shoulders.
Modifications
  • Use two kettlebells or dumbbells
  • Perform on an inverted Bosu ball

Inverted Row on Swiss Ball

Directions

  1. Grab a fixed bar(Smith Machine) with an overhand or mixed, shoulder-width grip.
  2. Hang with your arms completely straight and your hands positioned directly above your shoulders. (Activate hips so your butt does not sag.)
  3. Place your heels on the Swiss ball
  4. Pull your chest towards the bar, while maintaining a straight back, until it almost touches the bar and then lower with a controlled eccentric movement to the starting position.
  5. Aim for 5-20 reps
Muscles Trained
  1. Lats
  2. Traps
  3. Biceps
  4. Core
  5. Glutes
Modifications
  • Feet on the ground instead of on a Swiss ball
  • Use only 1 leg on Swiss ball to challenge yourself.
  • Have a partner place a weight on your stomach.

Tim Tebow Stair Running (Tebow runs some 1,500 steps at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, a. k. a. The Swamp, to build endurance and stamina.)

Directions

  1. Warm up by walking up and down 90 steps twice.
  2. Then perform walking lunges up 90 steps. This helps build strength without spiking your heart rate.
  3. Run 1500 steps skipping every other step or 15 to 25 minutes on a stair stepper.
Muscles Worked
  1. Glutes
  2. Calves
  3. Hamstrings
  4. Quads
  5. Hipflexors
Modifications
  • Substitute a stair stepper in if you can’t get to a local stadium or high school field
  • Do sprint intervals on the stairs vs. steady endurance running
Power Food; Combining Norwegian and American Dishes-A common Norwegian holiday dish is mashed turnips. I decided to combine the typical American mashed sweet potatoes with the mashed turnips and added some carrots. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Recipe
  • 1 cup of cut-up carrot
  • t cup of cut-up turnip
  • 1 cup of cut-up sweet potato
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Milk
  • Cinnamon

From Norway,

Kevin

kdeeth21@gmail.com