The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Many people have heard of the benefits of fasting. Is intermittent fasting any different than the fasting used in religion or by those that detox? More importantly, what are the benefits of intermittent fasting? The following will give you a better idea of what to expect now and in the future from this type of fasting.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is exactly like it sounds. People spend periods fasting followed by periods of eating. It is recommend to fast for 24 hours, but 16 hours will provide some results. It is also recommended that you fast 1-2 days per week for the best results. And, what are those results? Actually the results that that come from intermittent fasting are very similar to those of calorie restriction. The plus is that you aren’t required to watch your calories every day. Instead, you eat what you want one day and then fast. However, those foods that you do eat are based on a primal diet consisting of meat, vegetables and animal fat.

How Can It Help Me Now?

Those using intermittent fasting have experienced increased energy. One of the biggest benefits though is that people find this diet easier to follow because it allows them to eat fat, which can be tasty and satisfying. Intermittent fasting can also improve brain functions and help the brain stay sharp for longer. This type of fasting also helps muscle mass by more quickly removing waste from the body. You may even experience better workout results when exercising during a fasting phase. Last, but not least, intermittent fasting can offer improved memory and mental clarity. This means you’ll have an easier time remembering names, concentrating on your work and better enjoying life as you age.

What About Later?

Intermittent fasting has many benefits that may not be easy to see immediately. Not only does intermittent fasting reduce the chances of cancer, but it may help you live longer. More importantly, the extra years that you do tack on will be more enjoyable.

Intermittent fasting may be a great option for some people trying to lose weight or just be healthier. However, you should speak with your doctor before beginning the plan. This is especially true for those that have diabetes or nutritional deficiencies that could be worsened while fasting. For those that can do intermittent fasting, you may see an increased value of life in which you’re better able to enjoy your food and quality of life.

About the Author: Darrick Berntsen is a personal trainer and nutritionist. While he doesn’t recommend intermittent fasting for those with certain health conditions, he does find it to be a reasonable method for those who are healthy and simply looking to modify their diets.

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Protein Supplements: Not Just for the Boys

Ladies, if your goal is burning fat and building muscle, don’t forget to consume the protein your fitness goals require.  Protein revs up your metabolism, helping your body to burn calories, using food for fuel instead of storing it as fat.  Plus, protein consumption assists with lean muscle development.

If you need to keep your diet plan as easy and convenient as possible, consider using supplements to reap the benefits of protein.

Supplements Add Protein with Ease

You will find protein shakes for sale at the health food store, and that’s certainly an easy solution.  But the best protein powders are also simple to use.

Simply stir powdered protein supplements  into water or milk with a spoon or a blender.  You can buy different flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Plus, using protein powders will be more cost-effective than ready-made protein shakes.

Don’t stop at adding your protein supplement to water or milk.  Blend in some fruit for a delicious smoothie.   Experiment with protein shake recipes until you find your favorites.

Protein is Key for Breakfast and Beyond

Breakfast and healthy snacks are essential to maintaining your metabolism and avoiding hunger.  If you’re too busy to prepare a protein-rich breakfast, a protein shake is a quick, portable (and refreshing) solution.  Protein is especially important at breakfast; without it, you’ll feel hungry or “crash” before lunch.

A protein shake makes a great snack, too.  In fact, studies show that your body (i.e. your muscles) will use protein more efficiently if you consume it consistently and gradually throughout the day. Plus, some of the best protein shake recipes feature high-quality branch chain amino acids that help general body recovery, especially after strenuous workouts.

A Positive Muscle Building State

In a positive muscle building state, your body burns fat rather than muscle.  Consuming protein, whether from supplements or your diet, will help you maintain this state.

To achieve a positive muscle building state, the International Journal of Sports recommends that you consume between 1.6 and 1.7 grams protein per kilogram of your body weight.   That amounts to  0.7 grams per pound, daily.  For an example woman who weights 140 pounds, multiplied by 0.7 grams, a good goal would be 98 grams of protein every day.

Try protein supplements for a quick and delicious answer to give your body the protein it needs to avoid hunger, burn fat, and build muscle.

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Build Muscle Mass Faster With Home Weight Lifting Equipment

It has long been known that weight lifting is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to build muscle mass.  However, it requires a significant time commitment as you need to dedicate at least three days a week to a fitness routine that incorporates several different lifting techniques.  For many, this time commitment is just not possible and as a result we give up on staying in shape.

If this sounds like you, then you may want to consider the possibility of  adding select weight lifting equipment to your home or office.  This can be a great way to build muscle mass and maintain physical fitness as time allows.  No longer will you waste valuable time driving to and from the gym only to find out the equipment you wish to use is already in use.  With the right weight machines you can effectively build muscle you’ve always wanted from the comfort of your own home.  However, there are a few basic steps you must take before searching for any weight machines for sale.

In order to save money and reach your fitness goals in the most efficient way possible, you need to be sure you buy the right equipment.  In order to do this, you should consider creating a list of your fitness goals.  This list should include both short and long term plans as well as a time line for accomplishments.  This list will help you better understand which equipment is right for you as well as provide you with a great tracking tool for your progress.

Now that you know what your goals are, you can begin looking at the various weight lifting equipment options on today’s market.  You will quickly find that, although similar in many ways, each piece of equipment is different, offering different features and benefits.  These features and benefits should be compared to your personal fitness goals and the machines that match the best should be the ones you consider purchasing.

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Why You Need to Include Strength Training into Your Exercise Routine

Strength training.

Image via Wikipedia

Do you run for miles on the treadmill every day? Do you suffer through those cardio classes at your gym? Are you seeing the results that you are looking for? If not, it may be because you aren’t including strength training into your exercise routine. Many people, especially women, don’t pick up those weights because they are afraid they’re going to end up looking like a body builder. Well, put away those fears, because that isn’t about to happen.  However, strength training can give you the tone and definition you are looking for. It can make you look fantastic in your favourite bikini, skinny jeans or little black dress.

Cardio alone will help you lose fat, yes; but it will not shape and redefine your body. Only strength training can do that. You will also increase your metabolism – Your BMR (basal metabolic rate) increases, meaning that your body can burn fat much more efficiently. Your core will become stronger and you’ll have improved posture, greater strength and your bones will have an increased density.

So, do you need to give up your cardio routine altogether? No, absolutely not! You just need to add strength training to the workout you’re already doing. This doesn’t mean you have to spend another hour in the gym. A good strength training program can take as little as 15-20 minutes. Kettlebell workouts are becoming quite popular, because they incorporate both strength training and cardio at the same time. There are several DVD’s on the market that are quite effective.

If you’re just starting out, it’s important to use lighter weights, no more than 5 pounds. If you prefer, you can use the machines at your local gym. The machines are great for reducing the risk of injury and they will give you a good idea on proper form and posture while you’re performing the exercises.

When you are designing a routine, make sure you work opposing muscle groups; don’t just do your biceps, do you triceps as well. Work your lower body along with your upper body. This will give you a balanced physique.

Reassess your workout every four weeks; chances are you’ll need to increase your weights a bit. It’s also important to change up your routine; your body is so efficient that it gets used to the exercises, and that’s one of the reasons you hit a plateau. Change your program so that your body is always challenged.

While it’s ok to do cardio every day, it’s best to limit your strength training sessions to every other day. This gives your muscles a chance to recover in between sessions.

Eating protein with every meal will help in your strength training efforts as well. Your muscles need protein in order to develop and stay healthy. Have some almonds, organic peanut butter or other protein source with each meal. Protein shakes also make good meal replacements or mid-afternoon snacks.

When you add strength training to your overall exercise routine, you will notice a big difference in how your body looks and feels. You’ll finally have the tone and definition you’ve been looking for.

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How Much Protein Is Needed In A High Protein Diet Plan?

Significant numbers of people decide to join a gym each year. For some, their aim is simply to improve fitness levels, but many others wish to increase their lean body mass, and to look and feel better. However, of all the people who start an exercise plan with the best of intentions, only a fraction continue for very long. For some people, the main reason for discontinuing their exercise regime is that they do not see progress fast enough; and the primary reason for this is that they fail to recognize the importance that a protein diet plan has on progress. A high protein diet plan is an essential ingredient in increasing lean body mass and improving one’s physique.

When trying to gain weight, the amount of protein that needs to be consumed is much more than some people imagine. In fact, it is often recommended that a person needs to consume between 1 and 1.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass every day.

To calculate your lean body mass, you must first know your total weight and your body fat percentage. You can find both by purchasing a set of scales that also calculates body fat. These types of scales work by passing a very small (and safe) electric current through the body – because fat resists electricity at a different rate than muscle / bone etc., the scales can determine the amount of body fat by the current that is returned.

When you know your total weight and body fat percentage simply multiply your total weight by BF% and then minus the result from your total weight.

As an example, if a man weighs 170 pounds and has 15% body fat: We multiply 170 by 0.15 to get 25.5. We would then minus 25.5 from 170 to get a total lean body mass of 144.5 pounds.

This means that to consume enough protein for high protein diet plans, our hypothetical man would need to consume between 144.5 and 216.75 grams of protein each day.

Whatever your reasons for working out, do not discount the importance of a high protein diet plan. This is how the body repairs and grows muscle tissue, and without an adequate supply, you will not make the gains that you could.

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Vibrating Machine: Decrease Excess Fat in the Abdomin

Believe it or not, there is now a fitness machine that is able to help you shed some pounds, and the only thing you need to do is stand in place on the platform.  Users can actually receive quite a few rewards as a result of working out on a vibrating machine.  Among these are weight loss and a decrease in the amount of excess fat in the abdominal region.

If you are able to stand still for ten minutes each day, you can drop some weight.  Users can enjoy several benefits as a result of working out on a vibration exercise machine.  These remarkable benefits include weight management and a decrease in the amount of excess fat in the stomach.

The Russian space program is to blame for a great deal of the attention the vibration exercise machine has gotten, but the very first application of a vibration machine was back in 1895, when a doctor from Battle Creek, MI put it to use in treating his clients. Dr. John Kellogg not only designed the vibrating machine, but he and Will Keith Kellogg, his brother, were responsible for the production of the breakfast cereal, corn flakes.

The response of your muscle tissues to the machine’s vibrations is what helps make this equipment work.  Even though you stand still on the platform, your muscles are not staying still.  Every last one of the vibrations makes your muscles tense and relax very quickly.  The result is that your muscle tissues get strengthened, and the only thing you need to do is simply to stand on the plate for ten minutes daily.

In what ways can you expect to benefit as the result of using a vibrating machine?  The three main benefits are improved muscle tone, weight loss, and preventing the loss of bone density.  The vibration exercise machine is a great choice for those who are worried about getting osteoporosis because it is very low impact and does not put much stress on the bones.  Using a vibration machine can also help you develop greater flexibility and increase your blood circulation.  A few people also report a decrease in lower back pain.

When selecting a vibrating machine, you should avoid the plastic ones that are produced in China.  Not to pick on China, but many companies outsource their manufacturing to China specifically to save money, and you typically get what you pay for, particularly with regard to mechanical equipment.  When you are using your vibrating machine, it will be under a lot of stress due to the vibrations, so you need to purchase something that is built well enough that it will hold up.

Not all vibrating machines use the same kind of vibration.  There are two main types.  First of all, there is linear vibration, which is also identified as piston or tri-planar.  Another name for this sort of vibration is “three dimensional.”  It is best to stay away from the linear vibration machines since they are hard on your system.  The other form of vibration, which is called oscillating or pivoting vibration, is the kind you should try to find.  The alternating movement produced by an oscillating vibration machine puts less stress on the body and is not as hard on your back, hips and knees, internal organs, ligaments, and tendons.

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