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FiiTNESS PLUS
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Snacking Healthy:
"Add Snacks to Subtract Pounds"

While some dieters happily accept when someone suggests a snack, others feel pangs of guilt when a nibble is merely suggested. However, there is nothing inherently wrong with a bite between meals. In fact, snacking might be the missing ingredient that will help you reach your weight loss goals.

But how can this make sense, since snacking theoretically adds calories?

Snacking doesn’t serve to replace a meal. In fact, you should spread meals and snacks out by an hour or two, and snacks should total a couple hundred calories or less.

Munching between meals can actually reduce your overall caloric intake by curbing overeating at your next meal. By controlling later binging, snacking can help you stay on track. You can actually use this to your advantage. If you know you are going out to a big dinner with friends later, for example, make sure you have a healthy snack before you head out so you’re less likely to order (and finish) a large entrée.

How You Snack Can Make or Break Your Diet
There is definitely a wrong way and a right way to snack. You should avoid sugary items like candy and soda, and shouldn’t be consuming enough calories to constitute a meal. Instead, steer towards foods that will satisfy you and keep you feeling fuller longer. Fruits and vegetables are always a safe bet because they are low in fat and calories. (Just be sure to avoid high-calorie dips.) Yogurt, fruit smoothies, even a slice of whole-wheat toast all make great snacks during the day. Combining lean protein, some healthy fat, and complex carbohydrates will help you feel fuller longer.

Mini Meals
Many experts are recommending several smaller meals throughout the day instead of the usual three. By eating at regular intervals, your blood sugar levels (and therefore your energy levels) remain stable. So, instead of that mid-afternoon crash, you’ll be full of vigor through dinnertime! Eating every few hours (especially if you chew on fruits and veggies) can also help add extra nutrition that might be missing from other meals
Snacking Isn’t Grazing
Mindless eating is often the downfall of many snackers. You may start with only a handful of your favorite crackers, only to finish the entire box, without even thinking about it. Obviously, this example isn’t the healthy snacking that can help you reach your weight loss goals. 

To avoid grazing:
Fill a small plate with your snack, and leave the kitchen. Just walk away. When your plate is empty, snack time is over. 
Never bring the entire container with you in front of the television or computer. Enjoy your snack without distraction and you won’t be tempted to reach for more.
If you stand around the snack table chatting at a party, you may find yourself reaching for food when the conversation lulls. This can often lead to an unintentional binge because you simply aren’t paying attention to what you are eating. 
Limit yourself to a single serving. 
Plan out your snacks just like you would a meal. Is one cookie worth the calorie cost, when you could eat a plate of fresh fruit instead? 
Practice Moderation
As with the rest of your diet, moderation is crucial when snacking. Make sure that you are adding every snack to your Nutrition Tracker, along with the larger meals you eat during the day. If you don’t keep track, you might add excess calories and fat to your diet without realizing it. 

Don’t sabotage your diet with unhealthy nibbles throughout the day; stick to nourishing foods whenever possible. If you know you have a weakness for junk food, do yourself a favor and don’t purchase these items next time you are at the grocery store. Then you won’t have to fight the temptation of ice cream or potato chips when hunger pangs hit.
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Try keeping constant tension on your legs by not pausing at the top or bouncing at the bottom of the rep when you squat. You will maximize muscle growth via cell swelling this way. Squeeze your quads both on the concentric and eccentric and watch how much of a difference it makes!
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The Science Behind Burning Your Belly Fat:
One of the most common questions I recieved was “How do I get rid of my belly fat?”. I will explain you the methods behind getting rid of that stubborn belly fat. I am going to try my best to provide you with as much information as possible.

What makes up belly fat?

Let’s first start by understanding what makes up belly fat. There are 3 layers to recognize:


1. Visceral belly fat which is also known as the deep fat. This lies around the organs under the abdominal muscles and can’t be pinched. The deep fat is rich in Beta-receptors, it has higher blood supply and it is easier to burn.

It is important to know that even if you’re thin you can still have too much visual fat. So to burn visceral belly fat you need to:
•exercise regularly;
•learn stress management;
•reduce carbs to moderation.

2. Superficial subcutaneous belly fat which hangs over your waistline and this can be pinched. This fat layer is rich in Alpha-receptors, it has lower blood supply and it is harder to burn. This is the fat most of us are concerned because we can visualy see it hanging over our waistline.

To burn subcutaneous belly fatyou need to:
•exercise regularly;
•learn stress management;
•reduce carbs to low levels and choose the right carbs.

3. Deep subcutaneous belly fat which is a hybrid of both layers above.

There are 2 enzymes which are responsible for holding on to fat and also burning it. They are:
•lipoprotein lipase (LPL) which is responsible for fat storage;
•hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) which is involved in fat release (what we want);

What are the hormones that trigger belly fat?

So to beat belly fat it’s not just about creating calorie deficit, it is a combination of calorie deficit with hormone balance. The main hormones that impact the LPL activity are your insuline and your cortisol. INSULIN + CORTISON = BALLY FAT BULLIES!

How does insulin couse us belly fat?

When it comes to the brain, muscles and liver you want the body to be insulin sensitive and not resistance. Being insulin resistance in these areas make a person unable to burn fat and sugar or to fill satisfied after eating. This is why many overweight people who are insulin resistance in these tissues tend to overeat because they are hungry all the time.

How does cortisol couse us belly fats?

Excess cortisol in our body can drive us to eat more of the wrong foods more often which means higher daily calorie intake and fat gain. This also causes smaller, immature fat cells to became larger, mature fat cells which is not a good thing when you are trying to burn belly fat.

In order to burn fat we need to make sure that these hormones are well balanced in our body.

Dieting doesn’t help to beat belly fat

Lt’s just start by making it clear that diet don’t work. “Dieting” makes belly fat fatter. The common “eat less, exercise more” approach is only a short term success. This approach accomplishes the calorie deficit but makes the hormone balance worse.

Remember: BURN BELLY FAT = CALORIE DEFICIT + BALANCED HORMONES.

Just think at insulin as a starch and sugar hormone and cortisol as a sleep and stress hormone. I am sure you have heard about the low carb and high protein approach to reduce belly fat. This would work. However, a diet too low in carbs (which can cause low blood sugar) stresses the body and raises cortisol levels. But choosing the right carbs (which are lower in glicemic load) can help with belly fat and also to reduce weight gain overall.

So apply this thing on a combination of protein and vegetables as they help to suppress hunger with minimal insulin production. This results in fewer calories consumed and a good hormone balance. Here you can find a comprehensive list of glicemic load in foods.

While dealing with cortisol hormone, sleep and stress management is essential. Aim for a good 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night and practicing meditation or calming exercises would help as well.

Belly fat meal plans

1. Eat less, exercise less

You have here a 3-2-1 plan:
•3 meals a day;
•2 of these meals should be mostly protein and fiber with less starch;
•1 meal in a day should have havier starch (post-workout meal).

This 3-2-1 approach works well for those of you who are not heavy exercisers. I would say if you train 3 times or less in a week or you perform gentle light exercises.

2. Eat more, exercise more.

You have here a 3-2-2 plan which is for those of you who exercise regularly:
•3 meals per day;
•2 snacks per day;
•double the starch intake one meal per day (post-workout meal).

Both these methods generate low calorie intake and naturally reduce starch intake in a way that provides enough fuel to keep hunger, energy and cravings stable but not enough to slow fat loss.

 Learn how to assess your progress

How do you know if you are successful in a plan to reduce belly fat? Well again, you will need to check both calorie deficit and hormone balance.

Assess for hormone balance, on a scale from 1 to 10 (10 beeing high and 1 beeing low):
•hunger and cravings < 5;
•energy level > 6;

Do these assessments at the end of each week and if your hunger and cravings are lesser than 5 with your energy level more than 6, it means that your hormone balance is good.

Assess for body shape using the waist to hip ratio. So take your waist measurements and divide it with the hip measurement. For women, these ratio should be about 0.7 and for men the optimal number is 0.77. Always keep it below 0.8 for a healthy waistline.

Sources: fiitnessplus.com
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The Science Behind Burning Your Belly Fat:
One of the most common questions I recieved was “How do I get rid of my belly fat?”. I will explain you the methods behind getting rid of that stubborn belly fat. I am going to try my best to provide you with as much information as possible.

What makes up belly fat?

Let’s first start by understanding what makes up belly fat. There are 3 layers to recognize:


1. Visceral belly fat which is also known as the deep fat. This lies around the organs under the abdominal muscles and can’t be pinched. The deep fat is rich in Beta-receptors, it has higher blood supply and it is easier to burn.

It is important to know that even if you’re thin you can still have too much visual fat. So to burn visceral belly fat you need to:
•exercise regularly;
•learn stress management;
•reduce carbs to moderation.

2. Superficial subcutaneous belly fat which hangs over your waistline and this can be pinched. This fat layer is rich in Alpha-receptors, it has lower blood supply and it is harder to burn. This is the fat most of us are concerned because we can visualy see it hanging over our waistline.

To burn subcutaneous belly fatyou need to:
•exercise regularly;
•learn stress management;
•reduce carbs to low levels and choose the right carbs.

3. Deep subcutaneous belly fat which is a hybrid of both layers above.

There are 2 enzymes which are responsible for holding on to fat and also burning it. They are:
•lipoprotein lipase (LPL) which is responsible for fat storage;
•hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) which is involved in fat release (what we want);

What are the hormones that trigger belly fat?

So to beat belly fat it’s not just about creating calorie deficit, it is a combination of calorie deficit with hormone balance. The main hormones that impact the LPL activity are your insuline and your cortisol. INSULIN + CORTISON = BALLY FAT BULLIES!

How does insulin couse us belly fat?

When it comes to the brain, muscles and liver you want the body to be insulin sensitive and not resistance. Being insulin resistance in these areas make a person unable to burn fat and sugar or to fill satisfied after eating. This is why many overweight people who are insulin resistance in these tissues tend to overeat because they are hungry all the time.

How does cortisol couse us belly fats?

Excess cortisol in our body can drive us to eat more of the wrong foods more often which means higher daily calorie intake and fat gain. This also causes smaller, immature fat cells to became larger, mature fat cells which is not a good thing when you are trying to burn belly fat.

In order to burn fat we need to make sure that these hormones are well balanced in our body.

Dieting doesn’t help to beat belly fat

Lt’s just start by making it clear that diet don’t work. “Dieting” makes belly fat fatter. The common “eat less, exercise more” approach is only a short term success. This approach accomplishes the calorie deficit but makes the hormone balance worse.

Remember: BURN BELLY FAT = CALORIE DEFICIT + BALANCED HORMONES.

Just think at insulin as a starch and sugar hormone and cortisol as a sleep and stress hormone. I am sure you have heard about the low carb and high protein approach to reduce belly fat. This would work. However, a diet too low in carbs (which can cause low blood sugar) stresses the body and raises cortisol levels. But choosing the right carbs (which are lower in glicemic load) can help with belly fat and also to reduce weight gain overall.

So apply this thing on a combination of protein and vegetables as they help to suppress hunger with minimal insulin production. This results in fewer calories consumed and a good hormone balance. Here you can find a comprehensive list of glicemic load in foods.

While dealing with cortisol hormone, sleep and stress management is essential. Aim for a good 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night and practicing meditation or calming exercises would help as well.

Belly fat meal plans

1. Eat less, exercise less

You have here a 3-2-1 plan:
•3 meals a day;
•2 of these meals should be mostly protein and fiber with less starch;
•1 meal in a day should have havier starch (post-workout meal).

This 3-2-1 approach works well for those of you who are not heavy exercisers. I would say if you train 3 times or less in a week or you perform gentle light exercises.

2. Eat more, exercise more.

You have here a 3-2-2 plan which is for those of you who exercise regularly:
•3 meals per day;
•2 snacks per day;
•double the starch intake one meal per day (post-workout meal).

Both these methods generate low calorie intake and naturally reduce starch intake in a way that provides enough fuel to keep hunger, energy and cravings stable but not enough to slow fat loss.

 Learn how to assess your progress

How do you know if you are successful in a plan to reduce belly fat? Well again, you will need to check both calorie deficit and hormone balance.

Assess for hormone balance, on a scale from 1 to 10 (10 beeing high and 1 beeing low):
•hunger and cravings < 5;
•energy level > 6;

Do these assessments at the end of each week and if your hunger and cravings are lesser than 5 with your energy level more than 6, it means that your hormone balance is good.

Assess for body shape using the waist to hip ratio. So take your waist measurements and divide it with the hip measurement. For women, these ratio should be about 0.7 and for men the optimal number is 0.77. Always keep it below 0.8 for a healthy waistline.

Sources: fiitnessplus.com
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