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Diet

Macronutrients – Carbohydrates

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Yes, carbohydrates can be unhealthy just as any other macronutrient. The quality and quantity are what you need to consider.

There are so many different diets out there, they´re just different macronutrient ratios and with all these different diets some “experts” or “gurus” even start fighting claiming their diet is the best one. What frustrates me is that most of these experts or gurus eat a lot of unhealthy foods. So, it´s not only about macros, we´re focusing on the wrong point.

The last macronutrient we will talk about is carbohydrates, there are 4 calories in one gram of carbohydrate.

Carbohydrates are carbon-based molecules that contain water and can be classified in monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides.

Monosaccharides are the simplest basic structure which include glucose (the simplest form of sugar), fructose (fruit) and galactose (dairy). Glucose is the building block of most complex carbohydrates and it´s your body´s preferred source of energy (that´s what we´ve been told). These simple sugars do not need to be broken down, so they get into the bloodstream and are used immediately.

Disaccharides are two monosacchrides bound together which include sucrose and lactose.

Polysaccharides are more than two monosaccharides bound together which include starches.

Some years ago, this three groups (monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides) were divided into simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates depending on how fast or slow they were digested and how fast or slow they raise blood glucose. The simpler the molecule of sugar, the easier it is to break it down; the more complex the molecule, the more it must be broken down and the longer it takes to absorb. Simple carbohydrates were used to describe monosaccharides and disaccharides which are easier to digest and make sugar raise quickly, while complex carbohydrates were used to describe polysaccharides which take longer to digest and increase blood sugar slowly.

High blood sugar can be dangerous so your body needs to keep it regulated, when you eat too much sugar it gets to your bloodstream, insulin raises to take that glucose from the bloodstream to the cell and use it for energy or store it as glycogen in the muscles and if there´s an excess it stores the rest as fat.

Contrary to what we´ve been told our body performs better in a high fat – low carbohydrate diet with moderate protein. The amount of carbohydrates that your body needs is zero, there are no essential carbohydrates as there are essential amino acids (protein) and essential fatty acids (fats) the only reason we need carbohydrates is to vitamins and minerals but this doesn´t mean that you need to eliminate them from your diet completely.

Ketogenic diets are based on this, since there are no essential carbohydrates and your body doesn´t need them you can go high in fats, moderate in proteins and very low in carbohydrates.

The best carbohydrates sources you can eat are vegetables which include fiber and micronutrients, some fruits and those carbs like oats, amaranth, brown rice, quinoa and corn tortilla. The reason this carbs are better is because they are not highly processed and refined and they are not loaded with extra sugars and unhealthy oils.

There´s one point that I want to make clear, the only difference between complex and simple carbohydrates is the speed at which they raise insulin and get broken down and digested but they´re all carbohydrates, for your body they´re still sugar.

The type of diet or nutrition program you follow is the one that works best for you, the one that keeps you healthy and support your fitness goals and also the one the makes you feel great this is why you need to listen to your body, to find out which foods make you feel your best, deliver the best results and you can sustain for long periods of time.

For the last 3 posts we´ve been talking about macronutrients, we learnt the basics and functions of each macro in a simple way. There´s a lot of information and it can get very complex this is why we will continue talking about macronutrients and food in general so that you understand how everything works, how our body responds to each food option and how we can make better choices to not only lose weight, get in amazing shape and sustain your results but also maintain optimal health and live a fulfilled life.

If you have any doubts or questions let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter, we want to hear from you and know how we can help you.

It would mean so much to us if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow us on Twitter and YouTube.

Pam

Diet

Macronutrients – Protein

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How many times have you heard that protein is the most important macronutrient? Or maybe you are afraid of eating too much protein and you reduced it so much.

The next macronutrient we´ll see is protein, which is primarily used to build hair, nails and various organ systems like the heart, brain and are also the building blocks for tissue. Protein is essential for muscle repair and muscle growth.

Protein is essential for the body, but it has more functions apart from building muscle fibers. Some proteins provide structure to your body, to bones, skin, teeth, hair, nails; others provide antibodies to defend against viruses or bacteria. Protein is not used as a source of energy unless you are on a critic situation or your body feels you are on starvation and there´s no other source of energy left.

Protein is made of amino acids that create long chains called amino peptides, the structure of an amino acid is made of hydrogen, carbon, amino group, carboxyl group and a side chain. The side chain varies among each amino acid and is what gives each amino acid it´s name. There are 4 calories in one gram of protein.

Protein comes from different sources including animals and plants. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and can be divided in two groups: essential and nonessential amino acids. There are nine essential amino acids that you need to get from your nutrition and eleven nonessential amino acids that your body can make on its own. The nine essential amino acids also called branched chain amino acids are the ones that have a bigger impact on building muscle.

Even when protein can be found in animal and plant sources the quality of them varies and we need to consider this to make sure that you give your body the amount it needs or find ways to supplement it.

One thing to consider about protein is something called protein turnover which is the protein synthesis and protein breakdown. Protein synthesis is the building of new muscle using the amino acids, and protein breakdown is when our body takes existing muscle and breaks it down for energy.

There are some important factors we need to consider for protein consumption which are the amount of protein you need to consume and the quality of the protein. Getting around 1.0 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight is good place to start if you want to protect muscle mass, there´s not an exact number you may need more or less protein so you need to adjust the numbers considering your current goal and the type of nutrition program we are following.

Protein is considered by many as the most important macronutrient for fat loss and muscle growth therefore some people increase their intake. If you are looking to lose fat considering that you are in a calorie deficit and you are doing some kind of resistance training along with some cardio, increasing the amount of protein (if we´re not taking enough) will make sure that you maintain  muscle. If you want to gain muscle, you´ll need to be in a calorie surplus, you can use carbohydrate cycling and increase carbohydrates while focusing on keeping protein at 1.0 – 1.5 grams.

There are many protein sources from meat, chicken, turkey, eggs, also nuts, beans, dairy products like milk, cheese, yoghurt, also vegetables even when they´re all-natural sources their amino-acid profile vary. Another way some fitness experts, and athletes consume protein is by supplements in the form of protein bars, protein powders and you can find different sources or type of protein including whey, casein, isolated and some others, the difference between them is the time of absorption, how fast or slow our body digest the type of protein, you may know by now that I don´t recommend this type of supplements, if your goal is to improve and maintain optimal health and to lose weight and maintain your best physique possible you don´t need them.

As I said on the last post about fats, we´re going to continue talking about each different macronutrient and food in general, how unhealthy foods impact your body on a negative side and about the positive impact of healthy foods.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter what is your favorite source or protein, do you prefer animal sources? Or are you vegan or vegetarian?

It would mean so much to us if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow us on Twitter and YouTube.

Pam

Diet

Macronutrients – Fats

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Some fats are healthy, your body needs them. Once you start consuming the right amount of healthy fats you´ll feel amazing and you´ll also start losing weight.

How many times have you heard that fats are bad for us? that they make us gain weight and increase cholesterol?

If you´re like me you may have heard that fats are bad for you so you avoid cooking with butter and use small amounts of olive oil, you may never had tried coconut oil until the past years when people start claiming that it is one of the best oils to cook on, you avoid all fatty meats and try to steak to lean meats, you choose chicken or turkey over sirloin or rib eye. Sadly, we´ve been doing the wrong thing, this advice is completely wrong. I said sadly because honestly, I prefer more fatty meat, fortunately we´re in time to change those advice and get the truth out there.

The first macronutrient we´re going to talk about is fat and the reason why is because it has been involved in myths regarding health issues.

For the past years’ fats have been considered the cause of many health problems and diseases so experts recommended to lower fats and increased carbohydrates and that´s what we did but when we made those changes to our diet some chronic diseases increased. And what´s worse some “experts” recommended to avoid certain fats, especially the ones that come from animal sources and we started using vegetable oils which are unhealthy. The truth is that fat is a source of energy that your body can use efficiently, it´s more efficient than carbohydrates and your brain needs fat. Your entire body including your brain loves fat and perform a lot better when they thrive on fat. Of course, there are some unhealthy fats that you need to eliminate which we´re going to see in a minute and those unhealthy fats are the cause of health problems.

One of the biggest reasons why people don´t consume healthy fat is because they´re afraid that eating too much fat will make them fat, and that´s what we´ve been told, but this is not true. If you eat unhealthy foods like processed and refined carbohydrates, vegetable oils or seed oils and trans fats and you eat a lot you´ll gain weight and you´ll get fat, if you eat healthy foods it´ll be very hard to gain weight because it´s harder to over eat.

And, because the industries had made us believe that fats are bad and are causing health problems, we´ve been brainwashed to the idea that we need to follow a low-fat high carbohydrate diet which is creating more problems.

Fats come in the form of triglycerides from the food you eat, and they are also stored as triglycerides in our body. They are formed of a molecule of glycerol connected to three fatty acids. There are 9 calories in one gram of fat. Fats are also called lipids and their main function is to form the membranes of each cell of your body, they are divided into saturated, unsaturated and trans fats.

Saturated fats.- Each carbon atom can form a bond with four other molecules, two of this bonds will always be use to connect it to the next carbon in the chain, if the remaining two bonds are connected to hydrogen it is called saturated fat. These saturated fats are solid at room temperature an example is butter. If you follow a balanced nutrition program that include high carbohydrates and you consume a lot of this type of fats your body is not efficient at breaking them down and digesting them.

Unsaturated fats.- If the remaining bonds do not bond with hydrogen molecules it is called unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and can be divided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

Monounsaturated fats have a single double bond and include olive oil, avocado oil.

Polyunsaturated fats have more than one double bond and include fish oil.

Trans fat.- This fats are created from unsaturated fats by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils to make them solid at room temperature and they are produced or used by food chains and processed foods. This are the fats you need to avoid due to their negative effects on health.

Vegetable oils or seed oils are also a type of fat that is unhealthy and toxic for your body, you also need to avoid this unhealthy oils and we´re going to talk about them in a future post so that we can go deeper and understand why they are bad and why we need to eliminate them from our diet.

Essential fatty acids are those fatty acids that you need to obtain from nutrition. They are classified as polyunsaturated omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids.

The amount of fat you need will vary depending of the nutrition program you are following, for a ketogenic diet  70% to 75% most come from fat, around 5% – 10% carbohydrates and the rest of protein. I want to make something clear here, if you are on a ketogenic diet, you must eat all healthy fats, the only ones you must avoid are trans fats. On a ketogenic diet your body can use saturated fats effectively.

Fats are a great option to keep us satisfied and full, you can have some almonds or nuts as a snack or add avocado to your meals to keep us full longer.

If you like to eat at restaurants like I do you need to watch out at how meals are cooked, many of them use dips and sausages high in trans fats and sugars and some cook with a lot of butter, even when butter is good if your goal is fat loss you want to be in a caloric deficit and fats are high.

We will be talking about fats and all macronutrients in future posts to see how they impact our body and health so that we can create a nutrition program that works for each of us, if you have any doubt or question let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter, we´ll glad to help you.

It would mean so much to us if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow us on Twitter and YouTube.

Pam

Diet

Nutrients in food – Macros and Micros

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As we said before food is one of the 5 principles of fitness so you need to understand how it works and how it can help you maintain optimal health, for this we will start understanding macronutrients and micronutrients, I´ll try to keep everything simple here and we´ll get in depth in future posts as we need to.

We know that the goal of any diet or nutrition program must be to give nutrients to your body. Food is not only fuel, it´s information and your body need the right fuel and the right information to function and perform at peak. I know I´ve said before that highly processed or refined foods are unhealthy and you need to avoid them as much as possible, now that you avoid all those unhealthy foods you need to start learning about the differences in whole, fresh food, we know that this healthy foods have the nutrients your body needs to function so we will divide them into macronutrients and micronutrients.

Macronutrients give energy to your body in the form of calories, you may have heard that “calories are calories” or “all calories are equal”, this is completely false, all three groups are different, your body will not respond the same way to protein than to fat and in each group you´ll find healthy and unhealthy options, your body will respond in different ways to this three groups of macronutrients and how healthy they are.

It´s not the same to have a cup of oatmeal than to have some Oreo cookies, for your body it´s completely different, it´s not the same to have some rice and broccoli than to have a donut and ice cream (even when I love ice cream). I know these examples look silly, but I want to make the point clear, not all calories are created equal. This is comparing healthy vs unhealthy options, if we compare healthy options from different macronutrient groups like avocado with chicken or oatmeal with nuts, they are still different, and your body uses them in different ways even if they are healthy options. This is the reason why the famous “calories in – calories out” advice doesn´t work.

Each macronutrient has its own purpose, to help your body function properly every day, I´ll be talking about each macronutrient on separate posts to give you all you need to know and keep it simple so that you can take your time to understand it.

The first we´re going to learn are macronutrients, macronutrients are divided in three: proteins, fats and carbohydrates and your body needs them in big quantities. Each group has its own primarily function making all of them a crucial part of your diet.

Micronutrients which your body needs in smaller quantities. These micronutrients are vitamins and minerals and they are essential for optimal health and preventing diseases, they all have an specific function in your body.

The best way to get this nutrients is through food but nowadays you need to consume a lot of highly nutritious food to get the amounts your body needs, the reason why is because the soil is depleted, you don´t get the same amount of nutrients in vegetables that some years ago, this is why many people decide to take supplements like multivitamins and minerals.

If you are deficient in any of them your body won´t work properly and in some cases the negative effects are not that bad; examples of this can be chapped lips,  hair loss but things can get really bad and cause a lot of health issues. Being deficient in micronutrients can make it harder for your body to maintain optimal health so it´s a lot easier that you get sick and this include chronic diseases.

All systems in your body from the digestive system, nervous system, circulatory system, skeletal system, muscular system, etc; they all need vitamins and minerals, some of them may need more vitamins, others more minerals but they all need some amount and all this systems work in conjunction, talking about how your body works can get really complex so we´re going to keep it simple with what we need to know not only to reach your fitness goals but to live a better life.

I´ve said before that weight loss and fitness in general can be complex, the reason why is because you need to know and understand the job of each macronutrient and how your body responds to each, you also need to understand the job of micronutrients and make sure you´re not deficient, once we understand this information all fitness goals will be simple.

Knowing the job of each macronutrients is key because you need to manipulate them in certain ways to achieve your fitness goals, if you want to lose fat or gain lean muscle you´ll need to adjust your nutrition and make some slightly changes to support your goal.

For me macronutrients and micronutrients are far more important than calories, I don´t  consider a fitness program that only focuses on calories to be right because there are different ways to achieve the same amount of calories with different macronutrient ratios and each one will give us different results.

You may know by now that I love food, I love to cook and I consider food to be part of the culture and traditions of each country, I love traditional food and local cuisine. My approach to fitness and weight loss is to keep things simple by avoiding unhealthy, highly processed foods and to stick with whole fresh foods. I don´t count calories, I don´t count points, I don´t weight my food to set macro ratios I just have a clear idea of the amount of food and the types of food I´m eating.

When you understand each macronutrient and have an idea of the amount of food your body needs you´ll be able to enjoy food, while being able to maintain a healthy weight focusing on body composition in an enjoyable way.

Let us know if you have asked yourself what macros are and how our body uses them by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter

It would mean so much to us if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow us on Twitter and YouTube, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Diet

The importance of a good diet

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Food is one of the 5 principles of fitness and it´s really important because it´s the one you have more control over. If you just focus on this one your health, your weight and your life will improve dramatically.

I see a lot of people going through this, every time a girl talks about weight loss or they set a weight loss goal they think about going to the gym or some fitness class and diet, for diet they think about salads and chicken and the guys think about going to the gym, lifting weights for 12 to 15 reps and for diet they think about chicken, rice and broccoli. There are some variants to the diet and exercise routine but you got the idea.

Food plays an important role in our lives; it makes up a great part of social life. Whether we´re alone watching a movie or series while eating some of our favorite snacks or whether we´re having lunch or dinner with family, friends, coworkers or classmates or sometimes we´re just eating because we´re bored, stressed or depressed, every food choice we make has an impact on our body and health.

The importance of food is not only to help you reach your fitness goals, it´s not about following a restrictive diet for a period of time to lose weight and get in shape, it´s about developing healthy habits to make healthy choices most of the time to maintain optimal health, it´s a lifestyle that helps you live to your full potential and achieve amazing things.

Our relationship with food is not as good as it could be and it´s causing a lot of problems. Food can heal, and prevent diseases or it can make you sick, the choice is yours every single time you decide to eat something.

Food is data and fuel for your body, if you want to perform at peak every single day and if you want to live to your full potential you need to make the right food choices. Health is everything, it needs to be a priority but most of us do not make it a priority until something bad happens, we live surrounded by highly processed and junk foods loaded with refined sugars, trans fats, chemicals and toxins that are making us sick and we choose those options because they are convenient and many more reasons that we´re not aware of but we don´t think about the negative impact they have on our body and health.

We need to improve our relationship with food and make a shift on how we view it based on understanding how everything we eat works and the impact it has on our body positive or negative, we need to think about food as giving nutrients, data and energy to our muscle, cells, organs and entire body and realizing that you can still have delicious meals that are healthy full of nutrients that our body needs to work properly as opposed to eating processed foods based on taste and can´t stop consuming them because of the addiction they create (we´re going to talk about this on future posts).

Our unhealthy food choices based on highly processed foods are one of the causes of diseases like obesity, diabetes and even dementia, Alzheimer, cancer, etc; there´s no cure for most of this diseases but, it´s possible to prevent them if we develop healthy habits to live a healthy life and this doesn´t mean that you won´t be able to eat your favorite dish, snack or desert of course you can have them once a week, maybe less times or you can find healthy recipes and make those snack, dishes and desserts taste great and healthy so that you can enjoy them a lot more.

In most cases you don´t give too much attention to your food choices because you don´t understand how food works on your body and the impact it has so when you understand the negative impact of unhealthy foods and also the positive impact of whole healthy foods and learn the basics of nutrition it´s easier for you to make better choices.

You don´t need to follow restrictive diets if you don´t have to, if your goal is to use fitness as a tool to live the most amazing life then you just need to make sure that 80% or 90% of your food choices are based on whole, healthy foods and the ones that make you feel great. This may seem so strict or limited but if you actually have a lot of variety and options, the important thing here is that you follow 2 simple rules that we´re going to talk about in future posts.

I don´t like the word diet because it means that you´re going to eliminate some foods, especially the ones you love for a certain period of time making it restrictive in your food choices and focusing on calories. I´m not against any nutrition program or “diet” whether it´s vegan, vegetarian, paleo, ketogenic, carnivore as long as they are well formulated and healthy. I consider all those options to be tools to help you live your best life possible and your nutrition program or diet doesn´t need to follow any of them strictly for long periods of time, it´s not about trying to fit into one of the fad or commercial diets, the most important thing you need to do is avoid unhealthy options (highly refined and processed foods like sweets, sugars, candies, cakes, sodas, junk, fast foods, unhealthy seed oils) and stick to whole foods then from those whole fresh foods you can be more restrictive by avoiding foods that make you feel sick causing bloating, inflammation, etc.

Since foods is highly important for optimal health to live an incredible life you can start today making better choices, if you like to have some unhealthy snacks between meals (this includes “healthy bars”) skip those snacks or change them for something healthy, whole and fresh like pumpkin seeds, pecans or almonds.

Let us know which is your favorite unhealthy snack and whether you´re going to skip it or change it for a healthy option, if you change it for a healthy options which one you choose? Leave your comment down below and on Twitter.

It would mean so much to us if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow us on Twitter and YouTube, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

DietExercise

How you can boost your immune system

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With this pandemic so many people is looking for options that help them improve their immune system, some of them went crazy and but all supplements they could find but, our lifestyle has a huge impact. What you do and don´t do they both play a huge role on your health.

Today we need to consider some points about this coronavirus, and one of them is that it´s novel and what this means is that it´s new and no one is immune to it and at some point we´re all going to be expose so we need to do everything we can to make sure that it doesn´t have a negative impact on us.

We know that there are more than 2 million people infected to this day and more than a 160 thousand deaths worldwide. People who has some metabolic diseases like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, hypertension, cancer, are the ones who are at greater risk the problem is that most of us are metabolically unhealthy which means that we need to make some changes now and start prioritizing our health and improving our immune system.

To improve your health including your immune system there some things you need to do and some things you need to avoid. The things you need to avoid are as important or we can say more important than the things you need to so we will start with what you need to avoid:

1.- Eliminate highly refined and processed foods especially the ones that contain unhealthy vegetable oils and sugar.

2.- Eliminate simple carbohydrates and added sugar

3.- Stop smoking

4.- Stop drinking alcohol

5.- Stop watching news all day long because most of them are negative

6.- Avoid people who creates fear and panic with all this situation

This 6 points are so important and if you only focus on them you will get amazing results. We know that highly processed foods contain high amounts of sugars, trans fats, vegetable oils and other ingredients that are toxic for our body so it´s not new that when you eliminate them from your diet your health improve. There´s so much information talking about the negative impact that this virus has on people who smoke and there are so many more negative effects for overall health, eliminating alcohol is another huge win both alcohol and cigarettes suppress your immune system, there´s not a single benefit from alcohol and smoking but there are several negative effects for overall health including your immune system and brain which we´re going to talk about on future posts. I know it´s hard to eliminate all this and I know you don´t want but if you do want to do everything you can then at least avoid them during this pandemic.

The reason why you need to stop watching news whether it´s on tv, or radio or social media is because they focus on negative information and this negativity increases stress which blocks your immune system. Yes you need to be informed and you can get informed in just 5 to 10 minutes per day and make sure the sources are trustful. Something similar happens with negative people that only talks about the negative news and negative impact and the ones who share data about how everything is going to get worse without facts and only create fear and panic, fear and panic also shots down your immune system so stay away from them if possible, if you can´t stay away from them then don´t believe what they say instead just be informed from sources you trust.

Now lets talk about some steps you can take to improve your immune system and your health:

1.- Eat whole, fresh foods

2.- Use spices and herbs to cook

3.- Stay active

4.- Go outside to get sunlight

5.- Get enough high quality sleep

6.- Use breathing or mediation

We know that eating whole fresh foods is key, foods like leafy green vegetables, bell pepper, mushrooms, onions, nuts and seeds, meat, beef, chicken, fish, eggs, spices and herbs like garlic, turmeric, ginger, parsley make sure that you cook with olive oil or coconut oil. Natural yogurt is helpful to get probiotics.

Moderate exercise helps boost the immune system just make sure you don´t over do it especially if you are not use to exercising, 20 to 30 minutes of moderate physical activity is ok and it´s even better f you can get outside and exercise outside to get sunlight, vitamin D is also important so with 20 minutes of moderate physical activity you get both benefits. Sleep is also important if you do not get enough high quality sleep your body won´t work properly, sleep helps our body eliminate toxins and maintain all systems and hormones in balance. Breathing exercises are a great way to reduce stress and help you fall asleep faster and get high quality sleep, focus on breathing with your diaphragm and slow.

Don´t forget social distancing, washing your hands with soap and water, don´t touch your face and stay home.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

DietExercise

How to lose weight and improve your health during quarantine!

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Improving your health and weight loss go hand in hand, actually weight loss is a result of poor health, the same steps you need to take to improve your health will help you lose weight. It´s frustrating, sad, disappointing to follow a diet or exercise to program and work hard for a period of time without getting results but, the problem is most weight loss programs focus on giving you results as fast as possible without considering your health and at the end of the program you´ve done more damage to your health and body.

You may had followed the most famous advice to lose weight “eat less – move more”, if you gave up it´s not your fault. How can you follow this advice if you feel tired and hungry? It´s clear that your body is not working efficiently so what we need to do is improve your health so that your body can work efficiently, and you can lose weight consistently and maintain your results effortlessly while enjoying life.

We´re talking about improving your health and losing weight in a consistent way and being able to maintain your results so it will take time. Even when you will see results in a couple of weeks you need to be patient. It took years to be where you are now so it will take you some time to get to you desired weight but, getting results which include feeling better every day and looking leaner will keep you motivated to keep going.

Weight loss goes far beyond counting calories or points if you want to make sustainable and more importantly if you want to be able to maintain those results in an effortless and enjoyable way.

First we need to change or reframe your goal, you don´t want to lose weight, you want to lose fat and maintain or gain lean muscle mass, this is what´s going to make you look lean, toned and build a great physique. To achieve this, you need to understand that everything you do sends a message or signal to your body so you need to make sure that every message you are sending is the right one.

Food and exercise are both crucial, both help you improve your health and lose fat, exercise helps you build a lean body with the right amount of muscle mass and body fat according to your height that makes you look amazing and food helps you maintain optimal health while supporting your fitness goal.

There´s something I want to make clear, your health and weight is within your control, you are capable of losing fat, getting in shape, building an amazing physique and maintain effortlessly and you are also able to improve your health and maintain optimal health in a simple way but, even when it is simple there are some sacrifices you need to make, you need to exercise and you need to avoid certain foods, I´m not saying you won´t eat your favorite meals, snacks or dessert ever in for the rest of your life, what I´m saying is that you need to avoid them for some time while you improve your health and then you can have some cheat meals.

FOOD

Everything you eat has an impact on your health and body, if you´ve tried to lose weight before by following the most famous advice “eat less – move more” you probably get some results but not the ones you were expecting and it was hard to maintain those results. The reason why is because food is not created equal, if you eat junk food you are sending the wrong message to your body, you are telling it to store fat and we can´t forget the fact that if you are trying to lose weight chances are you are obese or overweight and your brain and body works differently which makes it harder for your body to lose fat and it´s harder for you to stick to low calorie diets where you need to eat foods you don´t like.

You need to focus on eating healthy whole foods to give your body the nutrients it needs, your body needs proteins to build muscle (learn more about protein here), it also needs healthy fats to help you burn fat and absorb nutrients (learn more about fats here), it needs fiber, prebiotics and probiotics (learn more about fiber here, prebiotics and probiotics here) to maintain a healthy gut.

When you eat unhealthy, highly processed foods loaded with unhealthy vegetables oils, added chemicals and sugar that are all toxic for your body you are sending the wrong message to your body, it won´t find the nutrients it needs to function properly and it will store body fat. When you eat healthy, whole foods you are giving your body the nutrients it needs to function properly, and it starts using fat for energy.

Healthy fats you can eat are avocado, nuts, seeds, yogurt (low in sugar – full fat), you can cook with olive oil and coconut oil, some proteins are meat, beef, steak, chicken, fish, some carbohydrates are vegetables (corn doesn´t count as veggie) especially leafy greens and broccoli, beans and legumes, oats (plain, natural oats), brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, corn tortilla, dark chocolate (at least 75%), spices, salt.

Now that you are at home you have a lot more time to cook more, if you don´t know it´s a great time to learn, if you focus on whole fresh foods, like the ones I mention before it will be a lot easier for you to improve your health and lose fat. Apart from focusing on those healthy foods remember that you need to avoid or eliminate unhealthy highly processed foods (at least for a period of time) eating this unhealthy foods have a negative impact on your body and health and they will take stop your progress or even take you back.

EXERCISE

When you want to lose weight or actually lose fat and maintain your results you need to focus on getting stronger, when you get stronger you send the message to your body to maintain muscle and even build new muscle, for this you need resistance. Resistance can come from free weights like barbells or dumbbells or it can come from gym machines or it can come from your body weight.

Your goal then is to get stronger on bodyweight exercises and you do this by making every exercise challenging an example is getting stronger on pushups and building up to one arm pushups or one arm feet elevated pushups, one arm chin ups, pistol squats. These are really challenging levels of each exercise, but you can start with knee pushups, bodyweight rows and squats.

Here is a workout you can use as a guide:

Workout A – Lower body Workout B – Upper body
Squats – pistol squats 8 – 10 reps Pull ups – One are pull ups 8– 10 reps
Step ups 8 – 10 reps Pushups – One arm pushups 8 – 10 reps
One leg deadlift 8 – 10 reps Pike pushups – Handstand pushups 8 – 10 reps
Glute bridges 10 reps Chin ups – One are chin ups 8 – 10 reps
Knee ups – Leg raises 12 – 15 reps Dips – Weighted dips 8 – 10 reps
Calf raises 12 – 15 reps Back bridges

Cardio is not the best way to lose fat, it is helpful if you use it the right way but, we cannot deny that it has so many amazing benefits for optimal health so what you can do is take a walk, we need to be social distancing but if you can go outside for a walk alone it will help you lose fat faster, plus you get sunlight and it improves your mood, if you can´t go outside and walk then try jump rope, it will give you the same benefits. Take a walk for 15 to 20 minutes or 10 minutes or jump rope.

You want to stay active and doing some type of physical activity to improve health and to lose fat and get lean you want to get stronger on bodyweight exercises so combining both of them gives you both benefits. Eating healthy whole foods helps you improve your health and sustain your fat loss goal; you give the nutrients your body needs to function properly.

Use this post as a guide to start your fitness journey, to start improving your health and losing weight, if you want to keep working on it, if you want to maintain optimal health and build an amazing physique to live an amazing life follow me on social media and keeping visiting this site. Also, if you have any comments, questions or doubts leave them on Facebook and Twitter, I´m glad to help.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Diet

The big problem with sugar.

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Different diets come out and become viral, some guys try them while other critique them claiming they´re unhealthy, but millions of people consume high amounts of sugar per day and it seems to be the least of the matter.

Obesity and overweight are increasing and with that diseases like diabetes are raising too. I believe the cause of this problems is our lifestyle and one of them is the amount of unhealthy food we eat which has a lot of sugar. Sugar is everywhere even when it´s not listed as sugar in the ingredients, we´ll find it under names like dextrose or sucrose and many others. Other ingredients like high fructose corn syrup is also harmful and is in so many products. The amount of sugar contained in foods is so high and I´m not only talking about sweets or junk food, even in energetic drinks, cereals or healthy bars.

When we eat foods high in sugar, unhealthy oils and trans fats we´ll want to continue eating more of them because they are empty calories, there are no nutrients and there´s no way to stop our brain of thinking or sending signals that we are hungry until we give it the nutrients it needs.

This is what happens when we eat sugar, insulin is the hormone that regulates sugar by getting glucose out of the bloodstream to the cells, when we consume sugar the glucose in the bloodstream goes up and insulin goes up to regulate it and bring it down, over time our body gets tired and don´t know exactly what to do and the result is low blood sugar, this is the first step to diabetes, many people are on this level and don´t know it, our body sends  signals like cravings specially for sweets, everything we eat has an effect on our health and mood.

The spike on highly processed foods with hidden sugar is creating an obesity epidemic in many countries, around 30% to 40% of kids in some countries are overweight or have obesity and diabetes as they grow older the risk increases, diseases get worse and in some cases lead to death. The amounts of sugar consumed per day goes between 25 to 30 teaspoons a day sometimes even 35 teaspoons, that´s a lot considering that our bodies don´t need it.

I believe we can prevent some diseases and lower obesity and overweight by changing our lifestyle and developing healthy habits, just by changing what we eat the benefits are amazing, it´s not only about reducing calories, it´s about what we eat and the impact it has on our body and health.

As I´ve said before, this high amounts of sugar in our diets with the high amounts of unhealthy fats plus the chemicals or ingredients added to those foods are the cause of many diseases and create a vicious cycle that is so hard to stop. We´re addicted to them.

The goal is to avoid as much as possible all unhealthy food, avoid sweets, junk, processed, refined and fast food and stick with real, whole fresh food, just by doing this the results in how we feel and how we look will be amazing.

There´s no reason to try to follow a very restrictive diet like low carbohydrate, ketogenic or any other if we still eat junk or fast food, once we eliminate or avoid this foods then we can start adjusting our nutrition program to make it better for each of us.

If we want to live healthier and happier and help all the people around us we need to change what we eat and eating healthy food is the first step, reducing sugar is a most, sugar is the cause of many diseases now a days, but it´s hard to do. We´ve been consuming sugar for almost all our life so when we start to eliminate it from our diet our mind will trick us making us think that we need it, it´s like giving up any other addiction.

Even if we´re not following any famous diet like ketogenic or high protein, vegetarian, etc; when we eliminate or avoid as much as possible sweets, junk, processed and fast food from our nutrition we start living healthier and the results will come. There are some healthy carbohydrates we can eat which I´ll explain in other post, but for now, and to keep things simple we just need to know and understand that processed sugar is bad so we need to eliminate it from our nutrition program for our health and fitness goals, the best way to do it is by avoiding sweets, junk, processed and fast foods.

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Twitter and Facebook account if most of what you eat is whole fresh food or unhealthy highly processed foods.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Diet

Prebiotics and Probiotics

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Our body is full of bacteria, some good and some bad. Both play an important role on our health in general and they have different functions in our gut and digestive system.

Most of us do not pay attention to our gut health but if there´s something wrong it can lead to health issues that we never thought could be related. Some experts are talking about our gut as being our second brain and with so many new studies we can say that we need to focus on overall optimal health and that includes our gut.

Probiotics are good bacteria that live in our digestive system especially in our intestines and help with digestion therefore doctors and many people suggest them when we have digestive problems or after we take antibiotics which can kill the good bacteria. It´s important that we pay attention to the quality of supplements or products from where we´re getting probiotics because they are very fragile.

In some cases, like when we´ve been taking antibiotics taking probiotics supplements is helpful to repopulate the colon and they can also be helpful at preventing side effects of medications and they can help prevent issues on our digestive system.

Probiotics are found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir and tempeh.

Prebiotics are fiber that feed the good bacteria living in our gut. They help our good bacteria to grow and they are also helpful at supporting our digestive system, control our weight and overall health.

Prebiotics are found in foods high in fiber like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes.

Some people say that our gut is our “second brain” because of the communication between our brain and our digestive system, this two-way communication control our eating behavior, we can feel full, satisfied, hungry which has an impact on our weight and it also impacts the quality of sleep.

The gut has a big impact on our overall well-being how we feel, how we sleep, our energy level, how clear we think, our ability to focus and performance throughout the day.

A healthy diet based on whole, fresh foods that include healthy fats, healthy fibers, moderate proteins and low carbohydrates is a great option and according to the type of diet we follow we need to find foods that contain pre and probiotics or if we can´t get them through food we can use supplements.

Getting enough fiber from a healthy nutrition program is simple, vegetables, fruits and grains are some options for people following a ketogenic diet may be harder to get enough fiber since they eliminate all grains but vegetables are still an option, some fruits like berries and chia seeds.

For priobiotcs many people use to have yogurt or kefir which are good options but some of us avoid them because they are high in carbohydrates, one option is to find yogurt or kefir options low in carbohydrates, for those who eliminate dairy of their diet then fermented foods are one options or taking probiotics from supplements is another option.

For the past months and year mental health problems have increased and many experts recommend changing the diet and improving gut health, people with depression and anxiety who focus on improving their gut health by increasing the intake of fiber, healthy fats, moderate protein and lowering processed and refined foods have seen positive results.

Prebiotics and probiotics along with fiber play an important role on our gut health which is something we need to consider optimizing our health and not only focus on the 3 macros.

We´ll talk in a future post about the benefits or fermented foods and how they can help us lose weight, maintain a great physique and maintain optimal gut health.

If there´s something you want to know more about or if you have any doubts, questions or suggestions leave a comment on our Facebook and Twitter account, we want to hear from you (well, read from you) so that we can help you achieve your weight loss goal and improve your health.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam