Friday, October 27, 2006
Today i wanted to touch on the importance of being active, moving around, and avoiding the downward spiral of the sedetary life. It's easy to get carried away with the mundane routine of everyday life - crawling out of bed, the long commute to work, sitting at the desk debating your tasks for the day, the fast food lunch, more sitting around, another long commute home, and finally planting yourself in front of the tv for the rest of the night!
Every little bit counts, I myself am lucky that i have a physical job that keeps me moving around all day, i don't feel as guilty if i cheat a little on my meals, because i know that the energy will be effectively used to carry out the daily tasks of bending over, picking things up, hammering, drilling, walking around, you name it!
Not everyone works outdoors however, i feel for you guys that work in the cubicles, it has to make weight loss alot tougher! Definitely not impossible however! Take up a pasttime sport or activity, martial arts, hockey, cycling club, running club, etc. Not all physical activity has to stem from the gym.
Infact, keeping a variety of physical hobbies maintains motivation! Remember, every little bit counts, even that evening walk with your dog.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
All for good reason, if you check up on my other blog: http://policequest.blogspot.com - i've been taking it easy for a week or so in anticipation of my testing and in avoiding any possible chance of injury on the upcoming days to the test.
Thankfully i passed, and with the pass brings new motivation and determination to continue my training!
In the upcoming days i would like to bring forth my opinion on the best forms of cardio to perform to enhance fat burn and accelerate your metabolism!
I'd also like to induldge in some more supplement reviews, I am finishing up several bottles in the next couple weeks.
So stick around! The updates will be coming steady!
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
- Eating 6-7 meals a day - people always laugh when they see me wolfing down a big sandwich or at work when im always eating at every chance i can get, they always ask why im not a blimp!
- Drinking an abundance of water - pretty self-explanatory!
- Keeping active all day - Working construction has its perks, I am always moving around, bending over, picking something up, weilding a hammer, or walking around.
- Going to the gym 5-6 times a week - It's hard at first, and i don't reccomend it to beginners, start off slow, 2-3 times a week, and gradually build your routine and endurance for the gym.
- Eating high amounts of protein - fall in love with chicken, eggs, tofu, whey, seafood, soy, etc!
- Staying disciplined! When going out with friends, its hard to resist the urge to join in the junk fiesta, but you have to do it! I hear an earful from the buddies when i turn down a plate of wings, or a trip to McDonalds, but the results are there as proof!
Friday, September 15, 2006
- Helps to regulate the body temperature
- Maintains efficiency of cells and bodily functions
- Draws sodium out of the body - less bloating!
- Flushes body of toxins and other harmful waste by-products
- Helps in metabolizing fat cells
- Suppresses hunger
Not maintaining an adequate water supply will also have a negative impact on health:
- Body becomes bloated - less water coming in = body holds onto the remaining water it has, and when water is finally ingested, it is also stored in the body.
- Headaches, nausea if left dehydrated
- It only takes a 2-5% reduction in the body's water weight in order to suffer from dehydration symptons - so keep that water flowing!
- Ice cold water is the best water supply to ingest! Ice cold water causes the body to burn more calories in order to heat it up as it passes through your system. Think of it as coolant in an automobile, when you first start the engine the coolant is cold, but as the engine heats up the coolant draws the heat out of the engine. So with the same thinking, the ice cold water draws heat out of the body, and the body is forced to burn more calories in order to maintain a steady temperature!
- Despite common belief, drinking more water will not mean heavier and more bloated, with a steady supply of water, your body will quickly flush your system. However, if water intake is neglected, then your body will go into survival mode and hold onto every last drop of water in your system, causing the bloating!
So keep that glass filled to the brim!
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
It all starts with "clean" eating! What is clean eating? Well that can easily be answered by first talking about what dirty eating is! Pretty self explanatory - dirty eating is the ingestion of unhealthy, fattening products.
Examples of dirty food are:
- Fast Foods
- Fried Foods
- Foods loaded with saturated fats
- etc! the list can go on forever!
Clean foods include:
- Chicken breast
- Egg whites
- Omega 3 Eggs
- All Vegetables
- Low Fat Cottage Cheese
- Wholewheat and Flax Breads
- Bulk Oats
- Whey Protein
While it may take longer and take some more effort to eat the proper way, the payoff will be noticeable and permanent!
Stay tuned for additional portions to the Proper Nutriton section.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Motivation is the engine behind our efforts, the thing that pushes us to our limits, when its waining there are ways to overcome it:
- Look at yourself in the mirror! Flex for a few minutes, perform a variety of poses, imagine yourself at the peak of your condition.
- Take some pictures, even some in poor or uneven lighting - the lighting will bounce off the very fine detail of your body creating shadows and valleys - when you look at the pictures you will see every muscle! Great motivator!
- Go to the gym! Take a moment and examine the room, look at everyone pouring the sweat out onto the floor to acheive their dream, if these people can do it, why can't you?
- Take a break! Sometimes overtraining will cause burnout in the body, its only natural - take a couple days off, allow your energy levels to return to normal, then start fresh.
- Change your routine - doing the same thing over and over gets boring! Boring leads to no more training - so mix it up! A new routine will create a fresh appeal all over again.
I guess going from 6 pills a day of energy blasting Hydroxycut to nothing the following days really caused my system to crash - only now am i bouncing back to normal levels.
I talked with a friend at the gym and he made a good point, when I am nearing the end of any supplement, i should start cutting the dose in the last week little by little to let my body slowly get off the product, going cold turkey causes the body to crash.
Well live and learn, and I wanted to pass this information down to everyone!
Saturday, September 09, 2006
What in God's name could I be talking about? Eating more means losing more? No way you say! Well its correct! One of the biggest secrets to my drop in body fat and increase in hard lean muscle mass was the fact that I ate more throughout the day.
The traditional staple for the 20th century has been the traditional "3 square meals" each and every day, starting with a big breakfast, a big lunch, and finally a big dinner, while taking extra caution not to ruin one's appetite before each meal. This is a completely incorrect way of accomplishing long-lasting weight loss!
The answer to our problem? 6-7 equally portioned out meals each and every day! Or a better rule of thumb, for the early risers or night workers - eating every 2.5-3 hours, starting with an intake of food almost immiediately after waking up.
One must understand that there are several benefits to eating more throughout the day:
- Stable blood sugar levels
- reducing the rollercoaster ride a traditonal person's blood sugar level would undergo throughout the day - thus, stimulating fat storage rather then fat burning for energy
- Reducing appetite
- Going longer between meals creates that "starving" feeling, and when the time comes to eat, one often consumes an excessive amount of food, followed by bloating and a queasly, uneasy, and tired feeling - we have all been there!
- Fuel for the Muscles
- Ensuring an ample supply of protein throughout the day will also ensure your muscles have the fuel needed to undergo repairs, as well as maintenance - going longer between meals will put the body into a catabolic state - this also helps to debunk the "dont eat after 7pm" myth.
"Dont eat after 7pm"
A total fallacy! The maintenance of your muscles is one of the most demanding aspects of your body. The human body would be willing to dump the muscle in a heart beat. In order to combat this one will have to keep their body supplied with energy throughout the day, and this includes night time as well!
Of course, im not saying to pig out on carbohydrate rich foods before bed - unless you are undergoing a bulking cycle. But for losing weight sake, protein rich foods before bed will keep your body out of the catabolic process - that is, breaking down muscles for energy.
Slow-release proteins will absorb for hours throughout the night to ensure your body has enough energy to repair and maintain muscle, as well as perform other body functions.
- Eat portioned out food every 2.5-3 hours
- Consume food right up to bed-time, however ensuring that this late night snack is protein rich and low in carbs.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day - several litres
Following these guidelines are among the first steps to a complete lifestyle change!
Welcome to the second installment of the Common Pitfalls to Weightloss!
Pitfall #2: Turning a cheat meal into a cheat day/week
I'll be the first to say that everyone deserves a break every once in a while! I know i sure do after weeks of super clean eating. There isn't a better way for one to maintain their sanity, shock their metabolism, and treat themselves after being super dedicated to their routine. This is where the cheat meal comes into play.
When your body has spent weeks eating the same diet of egg whites, chicken, cottage cheese, tofu, all spread out in even portions over the course of the day, it tends to get accustomed to the changes, it alters the body's metabolsim so that fat burning slows to a halt. Why does our body have to be so adaptive?!
The cheat meal is a meal infused with things we would not normall eat, the premise behind it is to literally "shock" the metabolism into high gear in order to digest the unsavory fats or high carbs we wouldn't normally eat.
Not only does it help with the metabolism, but it also helps mentally. After a cheat meal, i am ultra focused for the next couple weeks, and my sanity is maintained, no urges or anything - they have all been satisfied by the previous meal!
The problem with the cheat meal is that one might take it past what it is intended for. They might abuse the principal of the cheat meal, and have a cheat day instead, a full out day where anything can be eaten and in mass quantities.
This isnt the right way to go about it! Its possible to totally throw off your training and progress from the previous week - not only that, but your also setting yourself up to fall into that rut again. One cheat day becomes 2, then you might eat clean for another couple days, but your body begins to beg for that tasty treat - the food you forced yourself to quit!
The best way around it is to show a level of discipline, every week, pick one day and one time of the day - preferably early in the morning or lunchtime - which will give your body adequate time to digest the food before it is stored as fat, and go nuts on one meal!
The most likely scenario is that if you have been eating clean for a while, you will feel bloated, repulsed, and generally sick of what you just ate - which serving as a motivator will push you back into the normal routine again!
Keep eating clean!
ps. pasta serves as a great cheat meal!
How a gym membership could give you the dream body you desire!
I have never been one to advocate or recommend a person interested in training to start by working out at home. I don't feel that there are any benefits towards working out at home. I realize my opinion is totally subjective and open to debate, but consider it for a moment.
There is the equipment advantage from a gym, sure you can spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your weight rack, smith machines, etc. but you will never be able to load your basement gym or garage gym with the equipment a professional gym will provide! Unless you are loaded beyond belief, then just stop reading now!
There is also the safety issue, how safe is one working out by themselves?
I can just imagine the horror stories of a newcomer working on the bench, using clamps and getting stuck with the weight on their chest and unable to tip it off to the side! At a gym, you've got anywhere from a handful to several dozen people working around you at the same time, all ready to help at a moments notice! I've seen it happen before!
The biggest thing i find is the energy i can tap into at a gym! When i work out next to my fellow gym members, pounding out every single rep, sweat dripping to the floor, huffing and puffing for oxygen, it drives me wild! No, not in a kinky sort of way - but their motivation drives me to push myself even harder, to push that last rep even when i don't think i can make it!
I could never imagine working out by myself, there is no energy for me! I feed off the energy of others, even during the slow periods at the gym, my routines severely lack any sort of power or energy because there is no one in sight!
The small costs for a gym membership (I pay $35mth CDN) are totally worth it for the amount of brand new equipment i have at hand, the energy, and the relative closeness (only a 5 min drive)
If one still finds this out of their price range, keep in mind that several family fitness and health clubs - such as the YMCA, offer special financial help in the form of one-on-one meetings to establish ones income and expenses, and often the new membership price is reduced anywhere from 30-70%!!
It is something to keep in mind, everyone is different, some people would prefer to work out alone or in their home, but i am the absolute opposite, it's the energy of others that pushes me to my limits.
The Journey Begins
So you've finally decided to drop those unsightly pounds and bring out the chiseled body beneath the fat eh? Well welcome to the club that millions of people have tried, and failed to accomplish!
Sounds disapointing right? Well, I am going to produce some common pitfalls to weight loss, which, if avoided, you too can also avoid joining the millions that have fallen back into their rut and into a lifetime of unhealthy weight and appearance.
If anyone has new ideas for this section, please leave a comment with your insight, or post in the message board, Thanks!
1. Eating too few calories
One of the biggest misconceptions in the quest to lose weight, is that in order to do so, one must eat next to nothing! This is entirely NOT TRUE! While fat loss is a simple equation (less calories in + more calories burned = fat loss) sometimes it just isn't that simple. One must keep in mind that calories are what your body uses for energy, if you fail to feed your body a necessary amount of calories every day, guess where your body gets its energy source from? Your Muscle!!! And all this lean muscle mass on your body acts as your metabolic furnace, when your muscle mass is converted to energy, your metabolism crashes as well.
So lets take an example of such an event: Let's say Joe decides that he wants to drop 50 lbs and have that perfect summer body; well Joe decides that in order to do so, he needs to eat as little as possible, so he tries something like a soup, grapefruit, or hollywood diet. 1200-1500 calories a day and Joe starts his journey. Wow Joe thinks to himself, as the first 2 weeks into this diet he has lost 15 lbs, astounding! Joe's clothing starts to fit looser, and he knows this diet is "working". Well as time progresses his weight loss each week drastically slows down, Joe begins to get frustrated, not only is he frustrated that he isnt losing much weight anymore, but he doesnt look lean or ripped, just soft and pudgy, albeit thinner.
Finally Joe's metabolism totally crashes, you see, without muscle mass to support his metabolism, it has slowed to such a point that weight loss is no longer possible with Joe, weeks go by and he even starts gaining a bit of weight! What is going on he thinks to himself? Without the adequate calories to maintain your muscle, your body has started using the muscle mass for energy, that is what is going on!
Frustration and stress gets the best of Joe, he falls back into his rut, back into the routine of junk food, pop, and fast food - his weight gain accelerates beyond what he originally weighed in at, all because he went about losing weight the wrong way!
The best method of weight loss is a slow and steady one, just like the old saying: Slow and steady wins the race!
A simple equation to follow would be:
- Removing 500 calories from your daily food intake + burning 500 calories a day in a cardiovascular/weight training exercise = 1000 calories x 7 days/week = 7000 calories deficit a week = 2 lbs(3500cals/lb) of weight loss per week.
- 2 lbs a week is about the maximum one can perform before their body literally "freaks" out - meaning it will go into starvation mode - holding onto every last calorie in an attempt to stop the precious fat loss.
- Weight training is also incredibly important in the weight loss process - the more muscle one has, the faster their metabolic rate, the more calories burned, even when sitting around!
What I have shown you is just one of many pitfalls to weight loss, this section will be updated often with new pitfalls as time progresses, so stay tuned for more!
Welcome to the first supplement review of the site! I would just like to start by saying that supplements are a wonderful thing, but before anyone should dig deep into their wallets and start buying everything on the market, they must understand their own body and how efficient it can be without supplements.
Most newcomers to the world of fitness feel that buying a garbage bag full of supplements will make them the next Ronnie Coleman - but if your diet and training regiment is lacking, supplements will not be able to help! They are only what they are known as, "SUPPLEMENTS!" - they supplement your training regiment, but they are not designed to replace it!!!!
With that being said, lets induldge into what this product has to offer.Hydroxycut Hardcore
I normally purchase all my supplements from www.bodybuilding.com, but since i am located in Canada, product ordered from down south usually take 2 weeks to clear customs - so i ordered from a somewhat local shop known as http://xtremesportsnutrition.com/store/xtreme_dynamicIndex.asp - about $50 CDN and 2-3 days later i had it in hand!
A very sleak design and 120 liquid filled capsules! Sounds like alot eh? Not likely! The dose is 6 capsules a day - so you've got a 20 day supply - not exactly the best bargain out there. There is also a nice big warning sign on the bottle stating not to go over the reccomended dose of 6 capsules every day- makes total sense when one examines the ingredients list.
I must say that this product definitely does what it is intended for, i wish i took progress pics from the moment i started using hydroxycut hardcore to right now as i finish up the bottle, but i can definitely see my chest looks more cut and my abs are popped a bit further - but one cannot expect drastic changes in only 20 days.
I was at a plateau at around 198 for about a month, no matter how much cardio i tried or how clean i ate i could notsurpass this hump - that is why i picked up this fat burner. The first week being on it i went from 198-194 which was amazing! however the next 2 weeks i have been hovering around 193 and unable to drop any further - i blame this partly on my heavy training regiment, my muscles increasining in size while my body fat continues to drop - once again i wish i took some sort of progress shot or bodyfat test before and after!
There are some side effects to taking it that i have experienced:
- Painful headrushes if taken before lifting weights - the strain of lifting weights seems to cause a blood rush to the head - almost to the point where i have to stop what i am doing and cool off for a few minutes.
- Red stool - this is due to the dye in the liquid gel caps that does not get digested by the body - it simply passes right through, so do not be alarmed!
- There is alot of caffeine, green tea, and othe diuretics - so drinking water is extremely important! Your body could become seriously fatigued if your not drinking several Litres of water per day
With the side effects out of the way, the host of benefits are nice to see:
- A huge rush of energy for the gym, when taken 30 min prior to cardio, i can go faster, harder, and for a longer period of time - this assists even further in the weight loss process
- Some diet suppression - I notice that i am not very hungry and i often have to force my food down the first 2 hours or so after taking a dose of hydroxycut hardcore.
- I have noticed some bodyfat loss on me - while its nothing close to the claimed "decrease bodyfat by 7.9%" located on the front of the bottle, for only 20 days and seeing some results is good enough for me.
Feel free to offer suggestions on my first review!
I have always been a large person, always the "fat kid" in elementary school! I was a very active individual, being involved in martial arts for 9 years - earning my black belt, playing soccer and baseball, as well as being very involved with the highschool football team. Unfortunately, a person can be as active as they want, but if their diet involves 2-3 bowls of pasta per sitting, fast food for lunch, 2-3 bowls of cereal before bed - THEY ARE GOING TO GAIN MASSIVE WEIGHT!!! and not the good kind of weight either!!
It was also painful to mention that a history of high blood pressure and high cholesterol runs in the family from both my father and mother's side - Thanks guys! Your the greatest!
A Change in Pace
I started my lifestyle change back in June of 2002 - a fresh graduate of highschool, and also a hefty individual, with my stats being 5'10 and a whopping 245 lbs of fat!
After finishing up highschool, my father set me up for a job in construction; as i wanted to take a year off between highschool and post-secondary in order to determine what program would best suit my future.
Physical labour is great! from July of 2002 to August 2003 when i was finished up i had melted 42 lbs off my body! i was weighing in at 203lbs - clothing fit loosely and people complimented me everywhere i went!
However, this was not the proper way to lose weight. You see i failed to perform any sort of weight training, and i still ate like i always did, however the physical labour gave me a false sense of hope that i was in fact getting skinnier, when in fact all i was losing was my muscle mass, with some fat loss added into the equation.
What this meant was a total burnout of my metabolism - as soon as i finished up construction and went into college for Police Foundations - i started to balloon back up again.By the time 1st semester was finished , i was up around 230-235 lbs again! It was horrible and i had no idea what i was doing wrong!
A Revision in my Ways
By this time i started to make friends with online information, one of the key sources was www.bodybuilding.com - with its huge forum i was able to research and gain knowledge/advise from everyone.
I learned that losing fat and packing on hard lean mass involves 90% diet with training coming far behind it!
While this was all fine and dandy, i still failed to act seriously throughout most of my 2 year College program! My only saving grace was during the summers when i would go back to construction, lose 20 lbs or so, then pack it back on when school restarted, it was a horrible cycle.
I was actually making an effort to go to the gym and train hard, while it seemed easy to get strong and gain muscle mass, everything was hidden behind a large structure of fatty tissue. I just wasnt making the click between diet and losing weight!
Enough is Enough
Fast forward to December 05 - Enough was enough, quite literally. After spending years researching on the net and gaining knowledge, i decided to put it all to the test. A clean food regiment involving plenty of high protein low carb foods was implemented, removing all forms of fast food, pop, pizza, and greasy snack food from my diet.
I decided it was now or never, i was going to stick to it, or suffer a lifetime of unhealthy living, followed by an early death.
Here are a couple pics i took on December 2005 - when i weighed approx. 230lbs
Looking good eh? nice and tubby - well you can see there is alot of muscle mass beneath the fat, i just had to cut down!
So i followed this new lifestyle change of healthy eating, gym 4-6 times a week, lots of weight training and cardio - and bam, it was working! the pounds were melting off!
I am definitley going to make a few more articles induldging into the keys to weight loss and muscle gain - so i dont want to spoil it in this introduction, but here are the current results
I am currently sitting at 5'10 and 193lbs
here are the pics to prove:
Stay Tuned for more articles regarding the progress!
Friday, September 08, 2006
Fitness is and should be a very important aspect of life - our bodies are our temples, the most prized possession we cherish, it is also the first impression we leave on the people around us. The most complex and dynamic organism is in our control - and we cannot waste this potential!
As this site grows, I wish to lay the groundwork and foundation for proper weight loss, avoiding the pitfalls and crash diets, the most efficient means of packing on lean mass, supplement reviews from my own firsthand experience, proper nutrition to enable the most permanent weight loss, and my own personal success story - so that you know I am not pulling this information out of the air!
I hope everyone becomes a permanent resident to this blog, and offers their support and comments whenever needed - it is always appreciated.
With that I am going to get to work on the articles!