Friday, August 17, 2012

Just putting in time at the gym isn’t enough. If you want amazing results fast, you need to put equal emphasis on how you work out. To ramp up your fitness regimen and get ripped quickly, here’s what I advise: 
  1. High intensity interval training (HIIT). This simply means working short intervals of high intensity cardio into your strength-training routine. These cardio intervals can range from 20 seconds to 2 minutes. HIIT training enables you to burn more calories during your workout and hours after you’ve left the gym.
  2. Combination lifting. The concept here is combining two or more lifts into one exercise. For example, doing a squat at the same time as a bicep curl or a side lunge at the same time as a shoulder press. Because you’re working multiple muscle groups together, you burn more calories in a short time.
  3. Circuit training. This keeps you moving from exercise to exercise with no rest in between. So if you’re doing pushups, immediately go straight into a set of lunges. You’ve changed muscle groups, so you can rest the group you just exhausted, but still keep your heart rate up as you work your legs.
Now go get your burn on!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

  Jillian Michaels is someone that I love! I love her tips, her workout videos, her books and some of her recipes. Today's blog post is a good one that I feel a lot of us struggle with and continue to struggle with. In answering this question from a reader she gives some great advice and tips that I've never thought of and am going to be trying. Enjoy your reading!

Q: I have a hard time saying no to my cravings. When I go out to the grocery store, I can’t seem to stop myself from purchasing chips or chocolate bars. How can I stop this bad habit and not be tempted?Chris Goodine (via email)
A: Chris, having struggled with these issues personally, I have developed a somewhat unorthodox approach to cravings. I give in to them. Before your head explodes let me expand on that with two caveats:
I make the healthier treat choice. You mention that chips are one of your cravings. Think Popchips® instead of fried, greasy chips. Think all-natural frozen sorbet instead of regular ice cream. Same for chocolate bars; think Green & Black’s Organic® dark or white chocolate bars or Newman’s Own Organics® peanut butter cups in dark or milk chocolate instead of your run of the mill candy bar from the local convenience store. I could go on and on with healthier options. What makes one choice better than the other are the ingredients. You want to avoid “foods” with hormones, Trans fats (hydrogenated oils), HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup), artificial colors and flavors, MSG and so on. You see, your body doesn’t know how to process these chemicals and preservatives so they wreak havoc on your biochemistry, throwing your metabolism and overall health grossly out of whack. Sugar or salt on the other hand, while certainly not good for you, can be tolerated and processed by your body safely when consumed in moderation.
Which brings me to my second caveat ...
I follow the 80/20 rule. Make 20 percent of your daily controlled-calories allowance the treat food of your choice. While I am not a believer in “free” or “cheat” days, I do allow myself a treat every day. My reasoning is that I personally feel bloated, gross, and disappointed in myself after I’ve binged on something during a conveniently titled “free” day. Also, one calorie-filled “cheat” day can erase many good days of hard work. Think about it. If you are creating a 500-calorie deficit a day (which would equal a pound of weight loss a week), then on Sunday you consume 3,000 to 4,000 calories, you have instantly wiped out roughly four days of hard work! Plus, it creates and rewards a binge mentality. The key to success is not all and then nothing. It’s a balanced approach that is thought out and rooted in the math of weight loss.
So, you see, I do eat ice cream, chocolate, and chips. I just don’t binge on them and I don’t eat chemicals. EVER. You can’t deny a craving. The more you do the worse the kick back is going to be when you fall off the wagon.
If you find it hard to stop eating once you start, try a few of these techniques. First, buy treats in single-serving portions. Don’t get bags of chips or cookies and keep them in the house if you have trouble with binging. Second, take a few bites of the treat, and then occupy yourself with something else. Tell yourself that if you still want it after 15 minutes you will allow yourself more. You will find that 90 percent of the time your body will have had a chance to register the sugar or salt you were craving and feel satiated. Third, use logic. Think through the treat. Play it out in your head before you do it. Ask yourself how you will feel AFTER the binge has occurred. Probably guilty and disappointed with yourself, right? Knowing and feeling that ahead of time, let those emotions drive you to make better decisions and subsequently turn to a habit or behavior that rewards and fulfills you in life affirming ways like a bubble bath, foot massage, exercise, or a coffee with a good friend.
A life without treats is not only a virtual impossibility, but one I personally wouldn’t find worth living. Ok, I am exaggerating — a little. Food is not just fuel. It’s meant to be enjoyed and savored. Not denied and not abused. Acknowledge this, practice balance, and it all will work out fine.