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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

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

Programs

New Years Fat Loss Program!!

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One of the most common New Year’s Resolution is weight loss but most of us don´t achieve it, for weight loss the goal must be to improve body composition, this means loss fat and gain or maintain muscle mass and be able to sustain those results. If you do it correctly, making those results sustainable becomes effortless.

If you are obese or overweight I need to say that it´s not your fault…completely… yes you play an important part but the real fault is the way we were educated, our society and the industry, there´s unhealthy food everywhere. If you´ve been dealing with your weight I know that the problem is not only physical, it´s also mental and emotional, you can see and feel some of the negative effects it has like feeling sad, depressed, lethargic, alone, you may think that your life sucks and you suck. I understand I´ve been through this emotional roller coaster and it gets tougher when you start following a program and you can´t stick to it, you feel like a failure the worst part is when you realize that weight loss is not difficult, you´ve spent so much time and effort following programs that are not right when it´s actually simple. It´s simple to lose weight and get in shape the hardest part is to change habits.

We´ve all hear the most common advice for weight loss “eat less – move more” if it was this simple then none of us would be dealing with our weight. I think it´s disrespectful to tell you this advice, there´s a reason why you can´t stop eating too much, there´s a reason why you can´t stop eating unhealthy foods and our goal with this website is to help you get to the root of the problem so that you can lose weight, get in shape and make it sustainable.

Life is full of choices, if you make one good choice, then another and then another every single day you´ll get results, consistency is key here but this is easier said than done at the beginning. There will be times when you make the wrong choice, don´t blame yourself and don´t make the whole moment bigger than it actually is, just realize that you made the wrong choice and move on, focus on your next choice it may be your next meal or your next workout and focus on making that the best choice.

Most weight loss programs focus on diet and exercises and in most cases the reason why this programs don´t give you the results you want or it´s impossible to sustain them is because they leave out 3 ingredients of fitness which are sleep, stress and mindset and they make nutrition and training a lot harder.

The key to make your results sustainable and do it effortless is lifestyle and habits. A lifestyle based on good habits makes it easier for you to achieve any fitness goal and live a better life. Many diseases we are dealing with nowadays are caused by our unhealthy lifestyle, making small changes in our routines and developing good habits is all you need but it´s the hardest part.

This program and all this website is designed to help you achieve any fitness goal and live a better life by developing good habits based on the 5 ingredients of fitness which are: Nutrition, Training, Sleep, Stress and Mindset.

What you can do is develop good healthy habits and routines one step at a time so that they become part of your lifestyle and it´s easy for you to get amazing results and sustain them.

There are tools you can use for each ingredient that will make your fitness journey more enjoyable and if you take the tools that fit better to you and make them habits you don´t need to worry about gaining weight back. Many of the tools we share with you in the website can have a huge impact in all areas of your life, not only fitness. So if you´ve been wondering how to make some changes that can help you improve in different areas feel free to navigate the site and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips.

One more thing before we begin, this is not a 4 week, 6 week or 12 week fat loss program, it takes time and it´s different for all of us, this program and everything we share with you is meant to be timeless and effective, it may take you 6 weeks to get in shape but it may take you 12 or more weeks, the more fat you have to lose the more time it will take you but don´t focus on that, focus on your weekly results and weekly progress. In this program we will use some tools for each ingredient of fitness but we won´t go deep explaining each tool, we´ll only share with you a simple explanation and how to use it, if you want to learn more about each or learn more in general feel free to navigate the site, is all free!!

NUTRITION

The problem with nutrition is that we have access to all kind of unhealthy foods, they´re everywhere. This foods are cheap and convenient but they are also full of chemicals, unhealthy fats and loaded with sugar. This is one of the causes of obesity, overweight, diabetes and other serious diseases and to make things worse portion sizes are bigger than some years ago and they just keep getting bigger and bigger, you can see some of this increased sizes in packages that say 20% more “to share” and we end up eating the whole bag alone or if you go to a fast food chain you can make the coke and fries bigger for just a couple bucks more.

We are eating too much of the wrong foods!!

If your diet is based on unhealthy foods which include sweets, junk, processed and fast food there´s no need to follow a strict low calorie diet where all you can eat is boiled chicken, broccoli and rice. Since you´ve been following unhealthy diets for a long time they became habits and routines so it´s very hard to change them in one day, this is why it´s so hard to stick to a diet for a long period of time.

The first step here is to change your eating habits, for this you will focus on real food, meals cooked and prepared with real fresh ingredients. Cooking is amazing but if you don´t like or don´t have time to cook you can ask your mom, dad, siblings or someone for help or you can go to a local restaurant (no fast food chains allowed). And avoid all junk, processed and fast food; no sweets, donuts, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, muffins, no soda, no fruit juice, no energetic drinks, no “healthy” bars, no McDonalds, no Burger King, etc.

We´ve been told that we need to have 3 meals and 2 snacks every day, this is not true you don´t need to eat every 2 or 3 hours, our digestive system and body needs time, a tool we´re going to use is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is an eating schedule it tells you when to eat and when not to eat, it has a  lot of amazing health benefits and it also makes your fat loss easier. The fasting schedule I prefer is  8 hours eating window and 16 hours fasting window, in the 8 hours eating window is the time you have to eat and the 16 hours left you don´t eat anything you can drink water, coffee or tea. If you are use to 5 meals a day going to 16 hours of fasting is hard so you can start by reducing your meals from 5 to 3 meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) once you feel comfortable with this you can skip one of those 3 meals, most people prefer to skip breakfast so you only have lunch and dinner in an 8 hour period.

We need to say that even when  we don´t agree completely with traditional weight loss programs because it is impossible to stick to them, fat loss comes down to calories so you need to eat less. The way you´ll be eating less is by avoiding all unhealthy foods and intermittent fasting, by avoiding junk, processed and fast food and by skipping meals and getting to just 2 meals a day you´ll be reducing calories but you need to make sure that you are in a small calorie deficit for fat loss to occur.

So the 3 steps of nutrition for this fat loss program are:

1.- Intermittent fasting – 16 hours fasting window, 8 hours  eating window, 2 meals a day just lunch and dinner within those 8 hours.

2.- Eat real fresh food, avoid unhealthy food (sweets, junk, processed, fast food)

3.- Eat less

TRAINING

Training is the tool that helps you build the physique you want for this you need resistance and cardio training. Resistance is key and in more  cases more important than cardio but cardio still has its place in fitness it has so many benefits and it helps you burn fat so it makes your fat loss journey faster and easier and resistance helps you maintain and possibly build muscle.

In any fat loss phase it is highly important that you focus on maintaining as much muscle mass as possible while burning fat this is why resistance training is important and it´s also why you´ll be doing this type of training 4 days a week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday you´ll be working 2 muscle groups each day.

The 3 days left you´ll be doing cardio, cardio helps you burn more calories to achieve your desired weight faster so if you want to skip it for any reason you can skip it just realize that it will take you longer to get to your goal and you won´t get it´s benefits.

As you can see based on this you´ll be working out every single day, yes, the 7 days of the week. The reason for this is habits, developing new habits is hard you need to take the routine or action that you want to develop as habit and do it over and over and over again so by working out every day you are able to develop the habit of exercising faster.

Our approach to training is to use resistance training and work with low rep ranges lifting heavy weight to build lean dense muscle and use cardio to burn some extra calories for fat loss. By low reps in resistance training we mean working in the 5 to 8 rep range but since this is a weight loss program we´re considering that you have not work out for a long period of time and you´re not use to the exercises. We want to avoid injuries and get you in the habit of exercising so if we go directly to low reps and high weight it can be dangerous so in this case we will start at 12 reps in all exercises and from there we will increase weight until we reach 5 reps.

Workout Schedule

Monday – Legs

Tuesday – Back – Biceps

Wednesday – Cardio

Thursday – Chest – Triceps

Friday – Shoulders – Abs

Saturday – Cardio

Sunday – Cardio

Workout Program

LEGS BACK & BICEPS
Bodyweight squat  

SUPERSET
Walking lunges
Deadlifts  

SUPERSET
Wide stance squat
Hip thrust  

SUPERSET
Standing calf raises
Seated calf raises
Pull ups  

SUPERSET
Bent over row
Straight arm pull down  

SUPERSET
T-bar row
Lat pull down  

Chin ups  

SUPERSET
Barbell curls
Hammer curls
CHEST & TRICEPS SHOULDERS & ABS
Push ups  

SUPERSET
Incline bench press
Incline dumbbell flies

SUPERSET
Flat bench press
Flat bench dumbbell flies  

Dips  

SUPERSET
Skullcrushers
Over head triceps extensions
Handstand push ups  

SUPERSET
Over head press
Dumbbell lateral raises  

SUPERSET
Arnold press
Bent over flies  

Leg raises  

SUPERSET
Abs wheel roll outs
Plank hold

As you can see you will repeat almost the same workouts every week, the difference each week will be the rep range. On week 1 you go for 12 reps, on week 2 you go for 10 reps, on week 3 you go for 8 reps, on week 4 you go for 6 reps. You don´t necessarily need to follow the rep ranges for each week, if you are new to this type of training you may want to stay in week 1 which is 12 reps for 2 or 3 weeks until you get use to the exercises, movements and make sure that you are doing each with good form and then you go to week 2 where you increase the weight and go for 10 reps.

Cardio program

For cardio in this case you´ll be doing 30 minutes of steady state, this means that you´ll be doing the same activity at the same pace for 30 minutes, try to keep it intense. It can be brisk walk, jogging, bicycle, swimming, jump rope.

You don´t need to finish this program in 4 weeks, the goal of the program is not only to lose weight and get in shape but to introduce you to fitness and develop the habits you need to make your results sustainable, then you can do some of the other programs we´ll be sharing with you that focus on low reps and high weight.

The 2 steps of training for this fat loss program are:

1.- Resistance training 4 days a week

2.- Cardio training 3 days a week.

SLEEP

Enough good quality sleep every night is necessary for fat loss, it helps you keep cravings low, it keeps you focus and motivated so it´s easier to stick to the program.

One night of lack of sleep impacts negatively certain hormones that increase appetite, increase your cravings specially for sweets and unhealthy foods, makes you insulin resistant, you don´t have the energy and mood to hit the gym.

If you are like most of us who have a 9 to 5 job or you go to school and have other projects and stuff to do you may find it difficult to get the 7 or 8 hours recommended, you can get 6 hours of good quality sleep and have amazing results and feel great during the day but you really need to make sure that those 6 hours are good quality otherwise you won´t make it.

Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day helps you get a better sleep, also getting sun light in the morning because it helps your body set its internal clock.

Reducing light from electronics like Tv, computers, lap tops, cell phones and other devices also improves your sleep, what you can do is turn off all this devices at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep, if you can do it 60 minutes before it´s amazing.

STRESS

Most of us live with chronic stress and we think it´s normal and it´s actually not and it has many negative impacts not only on weight but health in general. High levels of stress for a long period of time plus high consumption of highly processed foods are the cause of many diseases nowadays, eating less junk, processed and fast foods and lowering stress can make a huge difference in our lives.

One of the causes of stress is worrying about things we can´t control and worrying about what others say and think of us. If you can stop worrying about what people say or think you´ll feel more calm and have more freedom, you don´t need to please everyone you just need to be yourself.

Another thing you can do is avoid negative people and negative environments, stop reading and watching news which almost all of them share negative information and they show us what they want us to see, they create fear and that fear increases stress.

MINDSET

Even if you have the best workout and nutrition program if you don´t have the right mindset you won´t achieve your goals.

Our thoughts and emotions have a strong impact on our results, if there´s any fear or doubt deep inside us that´s the only thing you need to block your results, if you feel unworthy or that you don´t deserve a better life you are not letting that amazing life and those amazing dreams come to you.

Most of us set goals and try to focus on what we want but most of the time we keep thinking about what we don´t want, from now on I want you to think of yourself as that amazing person you already are, think of yourself and visualize yourself already lean and in shape. Belief in yourself, belief that you can get that amazing body and live the life you deserve but know that you need to put time and effort and commit to taking action every single day.

The 4 steps to improve sleep, stress and mindset are:

1.- Turn off all electronics (tv, computer, tablet, laptop, cell phone) 30 minutes before going to  bed.

2.- Use those 30 minutes for meditation.

3.-  Get at least 6 hours of good quality sleep every night.

4.- Keep a positive attitude.

We hope you take this as the introduction and beginning of your fitness journey to help you live a better life and achieve any fitness goal so that you can enjoy every moment as much as possible. There´s so much we still need and want to share with you for each 5 ingredients of fitness.

We believe we all deserve to live the best life possible and for that we all need to know the truth and to understand how things really work, that´s the reason why we created this site.

If you know someone who wants to lose weight and wants to live a healthier life share this post with them, we can all be examples and heroes of the people around us.

Love – Pam