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Fitness goals

The problem with commercial weight loss programs

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I´m pretty sure that you´ve tried at least one of all the different weight loss programs out there, you may got some results but not what you were expecting and you couldn´t sustain the results for so long.

Most traditional weight loss programs are based on the most common strategy and advice, for nutrition “eat less – move more” the diets are so strict and go to low in calories; for training it´s most cardio or circuit training based on cardio which makes the experience so hated. The goal of this programs is to help you lose as much weight as possible and with this you get in more trouble.

This programs don´t focus on making your weight loss journey as healthy as possible and as enjoyable as it can be, even when you´re following a weight loss program you need to have some freedom and not make it so strict. So they´re giving you all the reasons to make it impossible to stick with the program.

They focus on losing as much weight as possible without considering body composition so you lose fat, water and muscle, when you stop the program it´s so hard to sustain your results because your metabolism is slower when you lose muscle your body needs less calories so you need to eat less to sustain your new weight and with all the cardio exercise that leads to muscle loss it also made your body more efficient at using calories so every time you do the same workout your body will be burning less calories. So you end in a worst place than when you started the program.

After you get 30 you start losing muscle so this muscle loss plus the muscle loss lost with this traditional programs it´s harder to maintain your results.

What you need to do is focus on eating healthy meals and avoiding unhealthy foods as much as possible, once you´re comfortable with this first step begin reducing the amount of food  eat just a little less to create a calorie deficit, you can try intermittent fasting to help you through this step.

Then you can start playing with your macro nutrient ratios and find which one is the best for you, you can use carbohydrate cycling as a tool to change your macro nutrients and calories. The goal is to give nutrients to your body to function properly for daily activities and to recover.

For training you need to reduce cardio and increase resistance training, resistance training or lifting weights is what helps you maintain or gain muscle, 3 to 4 days a week most be for resistance training and to those 4 resistance workouts you add some cardio on the 3 days left. On your resistance workouts you need to focus on getting stronger, you can do bodyweight exercises or compound movements and get stronger on those, this way you make sure you maintain muscle mass and cardio workouts help you burn more calories helping your get leaner.

This is how improving body composition is done, you gain muscle mass through resistance training and lower body fat. The best part of improving body composition is that you look amazing, your body looks toned and if you want to gain more muscle you can do it. Having more muscle means that your body needs more energy, more muscle burns more calories so you can eat more, once you develop new habits you don´t need to be obsessed or strict with your nutrition program, you can have more cheat meals and be able to eat snacks or desserts more often without worrying about gaining fat.

Chances are that you end up falling in love with your training routine and you don´t want to lose any lifting session, if this happens you´ll be in an awesome place and you only need to keep momentum going. It takes time to see results but not that much and the results you´ll get are amazing and will keep you motivated, you´ll see your body changing and getting stronger making it easier to go to the gym and to focus on healthy foods, seeing results is the best way to keep you motivated.

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

Fitness goalsNutrition

Why low calorie diets don´t work long term

11 Low calorie diets
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Most people I know who want to lose weight think of it of diet and exercise, the most common advice we all know “eat less move more” but when they start following this advice with any weight loss program they realize how hard it is, some of them finish the program and lose weight but can´t maintain the results for long, other don´t finish the program.

Weight loss is not about eating less and following strict low calorie diets, when people need to lose a lot of weight their body don´t work the same as a lean person, their metabolism is slower, they are insulin resistant so their body can´t use carbohydrates efficiently and their hormones are not working in balance.

With all this going on if they follow a strict low calorie diet of course they will lose weight, sometimes a lot but as they lose weight they´re losing muscle mass and they´ll hit a plateau and get to a point where the calories are too low that is not sustainable. This is a short term solution that causes negative impacts long term.

You may also know that it is actually very hard to keep calories low and avoid certain foods, in most cases people who have been following unhealthy diets and make a sudden change won´t stick to a nutrition program for long, the more strict the program the less chances of sticking with them. Your body is used to all those unhealthy foods, they create addiction and a vicious cycle that is so hard to change, if they focus on making healthier choices without considering calories the progress is amazing.

The first step is to first develop the habit of eating fresh foods, meals cooked and prepared with fresh ingredients then you can manipulate macro nutrients according to your body.

Not all calories are created equal and each macro nutrient affects our body and hormones differently, low calorie diets do not consider this so they´re not considering what matters most.

Low calorie diets are a short term option, if you want to lose weight fast you can follow one of those traditional weight loss programs and you´ll get results but the problem is when you stop following the program and realize that you made more harm to your body.

As I´ve said before your weight loss goal must be set as improving body composition and a lifestyle change, in order to sustain your results you need to develop healthy habits based on what matters most, the 5 principles of fitness are key.

It´s important that you understand the function of each macronutrient and the impact it has on your body and also how the hormones of your body respond to each macro and their functions.

Losing weight, getting in shape, improving body composition and make it sustainable is more complex than just calories. You need to improve insulin sensitivity, keep insulin and cortisol low, increase growth hormone, keep ghrelin and leptin in balance, imrpove metabolism and this can only be done when you focus on macro nutrients.

Low calorie diets do more damage to all those hormones, they slow your metabolism, they keep insulin and cortisol high, growth hormone is low, leptin and ghrelin are not in balance as you can see it´s the opposite of what we want and the more you stay with those diets the more damage they do.

Weight loss is not about diets, there´s no reason to follow a diet for a period of time and then get back to where you began. It is possible to get in amazing shape and get the physique you always wanted and sustain it, it´s simple and effortless the key is to make it a lifestyle by developing good healthy habits based on the 5 principles of fitness.

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

Fitness goals

How the food industry make your weight loss journey harder

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If you´ve ever asked yourself why you can´t lose weight? why you can´t keep that weight off? or why is it so hard to lose weight and sustain the results then you need to continue reading. There are different factors that come into play when you want to lose weight and each of them makes everything harder for you. It´s not your fault and it´s not as easy as “eat less – move more”.

Fat loss is simple but not easy, and no one seems to pay attention to the most important element you need to have in place to achieve your goal, your habits and mindset.

The best way to start your weight loss journey is by realizing that it´s a lifestyle change, you need to develop good habits that are going to make it effortless to sustain your results. One of the habits is to make healthier food choices and here is the biggest problem, even when all of us know which foods are healthy and which are unhealthy you may be making the wrong choices one after another without knowing why you are not able to make the right choice for at least one time.

The reason is because companies are making it harder and almost impossible for you to make the right choice, I mean food is everywhere and most of the options are unhealthy, sweets, junk, processed and fast food, food you can grab and go, that is convenient and cheaper so if you´re surrounded with this unhealthy foods at every moment it´s not surprise that you keep eating it.

Other reason why is the chemicals on those processed foods turn on the reward center on your brain so every time you them you feel good and you get addicted to that feeling, every time you feel down, depressed, stressed or angry you grab some unhealthy foods to make you feel better and if we add to this that some chemicals added to them are used to enhance flavors, make food taste better and also creates addiction it´s harder to avoid them. Research shows that this foods create addiction the same way alcohol and cigarettes do.

Companies want to sell so they create amazing campaigns to make you think that you are buying healthier products when it´s not that truth and they keep making packages and portions bigger. Also our relationship with food has changed, have you notice that when you´re bored, tired, feeling down, alone or watching a tv you go for something to eat, which most of those times in unhealthy? This is a constant trigger of the feel good hormone and a habit you´ve created over time.

When you start making healthier choices you´re dealing with 2 problems, one the highly addictive sugars and chemicals on products that your brain will be asking for as cravings and then making a different choice.

The first days or weeks when you start avoiding this unhealthy foods it´ll be like hell, your brain wants those foods so you´ll have cravings and you can have anxiety, looking for a way to substitute unhealthy foods for healthy options that could make you feel good and activate the reward center is good option but it´s hard to do, you can have some almonds or nuts which are great for your brain.

The hardest part is dealing with your mind, every time you do a different choice it doesn´t matter if your choice is better or healthier than the old one you´re getting out of your comfort zone and your brain hates to be uncomfortable so it will work hard to get you back to your old choices.

What you can do here is, every time you make a healthier choice that´s going to be a new habit you need to stop listening to your mind, don´t pay attention just get up and do it. Thoughts like: you´re too tired, those cookies are cheaper, start tomorrow, you don´t have time today and any other you can think of which are just making you procrastinate stop them. Stop them right now don´t listen to them and continue with your new choice.

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

Fitness goals

Simple and effective tips to lose fat faster

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Time and time again people ask me for advice, tips and ways they can lose fat faster and the first times I got asked this question I got angry because fat loss takes time but I realized that we all want to see results that motivates and keep us going. I´m not a fan of fast weight loss because if done the wrong way it has negative impacts on your health and it is harder to sustain your results but there are some tools and strategies you can use to lose weight a little faster.

The 5 principles of fitness play an important role here so lets start with stress, the more you can keep stress low the better, take some time every morning right after you wake up to breath, think about something you love or are grateful for and feel the emotions of love and gratitude deeply in your heart, then keep those emotions as high as possible and focus on your goal, create a mental image of you being lean. Think about the amazing day you will have.

Good quality sleep every night will make it easier for you to stay on track with your diet and workout program try to get at least  6 hours of good quality sleep every night, some ways you can improve sleep is by reducing blue light during the day and turn off all electric devices at least 30 minutes before you go to bed.

To get your mindset right you need to change your believes, remind yourself over and over that you deserve to be lean and to have and amazing physique, every time a negative thought or image come to your mind do not hold on to it, do not pay attention to it and let it go, believe in yourself, believe that you are worth it and that you will achieve your goal. You will also be using visualization tools, this are part of the small rituals you´ll be doing every morning when you wake up, breathing and visualizing help you lower stress and program your mind for the day and stay focus on your goal.

Now for the workout principle you need to focus on resistance training 4 days a week, we want to make sure that you maintain as much muscle mass as possible so working around the 6 to 8 rep ranges is the way to go and the 3 days left do some cardio to help you lose fat faster, you can do 20 to 30 minutes of steady state cardio or 10 minutes of HIIT. Make sure to make all your workouts as intense as possible.

The nutrition part is the one we´re going to make more strict to help you lose fat faster, you´ll be reducing calories, reducing carbohydrates and following an intermittent fasting schedule. Yes I know, this is extreme but it works. For intermittent fasting you´ll only have 2 meals a day they could be breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner, most people prefer to skip breakfast and have lunch and dinner. The fasting window gives your body time to burn stored fat as energy instead of energy from food by lowering insulin. Your nutrition program will be based on healthy fats, protein and veggies. We can consider it like a ketogenic diet based on fresh foods like eggs and meats are all great options, fish like salmon are also great, olive oil, avocado, nuts, chia seeds. For vegetables go for the green ones and avoid starchy carbs like potatoes. Reducing carbohydrates help your body improve insulin sensitivity and lower inflammation. And by reducing calories just a little, no more than 500 calories per day you make sure that your body uses stored fat for energy. Don´t go too low in calories with reducing 300 calories per day may be all you need to lose fat.

If you follow this tools you´ll be able to lose fat faster, I don´t recommend you follow this nutrition program for too long, in case you want to stay with a low carbohydrate diet you  can read the post I made about ketogenic diets and follow the guidelines there.

Remember that is not only about losing fat as fast as possible, it´s about developing healthy habits to achieve the body you want and sustain it.

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

Fitness goals

Tips for gaining muscle mass

08 Principles of muscle gains
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As you may know by now I like to keep everything simple and the way to do that is by keeping my nutrition almost the same for any goal and I just make little adjustments to fit my goal, the way I adjust any nutrition program is by using tools like intermittent fasting, carbohydrate cycling and sometimes ketogenic diets.

Last week I share with you the principles I follow to burn fat, this week I´ll share with you my principles to gain lean muscle mass. As you already know I prefer to stay as lean as possible while gaining muscle to make it easier and faster when I want to lose that extra fat.

For the nutrition aspect for gaining lean muscle  the principles you need to follow are very simple: Increase calories and cycle carbohydrates. This are two principles I use when I´m gaining muscle, I love to keep things simple and  not getting obsessed with anything.

AVOID UNHEALTHY FOODS

Even when you have more room to eat more it doesn´t mean that you can eat unhealthy foods, you need to keep those low and focus on healthy foods that give your body the nutrients it needs to function properly, perform great, recover and grow.

INCREASE CALORIES

Increasing calories is necessary to build muscle, you need to give your body nutrients and energy to get through the workouts and to recover. I´ve share with you one simple formula to get you calorie intake and two different ways to set macro nutrient ratios. Most people don´t need a lot of calories to build muscle, it takes around 300 to 400 calories, if you eat foods that are high in calories you can end up eating a lot more than what you need to build muscle and the rest will get stored as fat. The increase in calories come from starch carbohydrates.

You need to give enough nutrients to your body to repair and build so you need to consider the total amount of exercise you are doing, if you do resistance training and cardio training every day you are able to eat more.

CYCLE CARBOHYDRATES

Gaining lean muscle mass without a lot of fat along is what I prefer, this way you look great mostly all the time and when you want to lean down you can do it faster. Cycling carbohydrates is the best way to do it. To build muscle you need to increase calories, those extra calories come from starchy carbohydrates, what you´ll do to cycle them is on your resistance training days you increase carbohydrates to give your body fuel and nutrients, on your rest days you keep all macros the same, meaning you´ll be at maintenance.

By cycling carbohydrates you won´t be increasing calories every day, you only increase them on your resistance training days giving nutrients to your body to recover, on your rest days, your body doesn´t need those extra calories and that extra energy from the carbohydrates so you keep your maintenance macro ratios.

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