When it comes to weight loss, the LAST thing that women think about is going near the dumbbells and barbells.
Traditional strength training programs that use iron clad resistance have long been associated with bodybuilders, power lifters, and all things muscle-related. Sure, throwing around dumbbells and barbells plays a central role in promoting muscular hypertrophy, or muscle growth… but there’s so much more going on here. Just because you are picking up something heavy doesn’t mean you will bulk up. For women, it’s quite the opposite.
In most exercise programs for women, weight lifting may be the last thing to be considered. This is strange because weight lifting is one of the best ways to burn more fat and promote a healthier weight loss overall.
Ladies, listen up: Let’s take a look at the top 5 ways that lifting weights can help you burn more fat than traditional cardiovascular programs.
First up, during a workout, your muscles are going to be demanding a constant supply of energy. You get said energy from the food you eat and the supplements that you take. Weight lifting is an ideal way to burn fat in in three ways:
Eating a normal “muscle meal” filled with carbohydrates and proteins may not burn as much fat during the workout but it may help to increase EPOC levels or Excess Post Oxygen Consumption. This is the number of calories that your body will continue to burn AFTER the workout has ended. This can be extremely beneficial as you keep burning fuel (calories) at a higher rate for an extended period of time. (1)
Sure, it may not be the most glamorous way to lift when you are just starting out but as you build up a tolerance to lifting weights on an empty stomach, you’ll quickly realize just how effective it is.
Studies, such as one published in the British Journal of Nutrition, demonstrate that weight lifting is good but lifting on an empty stomach is better. In one study, subjects had a higher rate of fat burning, up to 20% more, when they exercised in a fasted state. (2-3)
One study suggests that 24-hour fat oxidation is not greater post-fasted workout. Further studies confirming this are lacking; however, there is a trick to continue burning a higher percentage of fat throughout the day. We’ll talk about that below so keep reading. (4)
Lastly, one of the most effective ways to burn more fat during a workout is to teach your body HOW to burn only fat during a workout. This is where the popularity of the ketogenic diet comes into play. Ketogenic diets focus on eliminating (or drastically reducing) carbohydrates and replacing them with healthy, high-fat options like coconut oil, avocado, and pumpkin seeds.
Sure, there’s an adjustment period, which can be made much easier by simply easing yourself into the diet. Once you’re in a state of ketosis, studies confirm that your muscle glycogen is spared and your fat is the primary source of fuel during workouts. (5-7)
When it comes to your schedule and fitness preferences, one of these three ways to lift to burn more fat may not necessarily be better. We would recommend cycling through each option to see where you get the most benefits. It’s important to find a way of eating that keeps you motivated and drives you to keep seeing progress.
Okay, so we know that the muscle tissue will gladly start to chip away at stored body fat as a means of energy, especially if you’re in a ketogenic state but wait… you’re a woman. If you intentionally work your muscles, won’t you become huge and bulky?
Not at all. Here’s why:
One of the most perpetuated myths about women in weight lifting is that it causes you to look like Phil Heath or Arnold Schwarzenegger.
First, these guys are using a very specific set of acute variables to achieve that degree of muscle hypertrophy. That means they are lifting weight in a very scientific way that manipulates time under tension, or how long you are bring the pain to your muscles.
What’s more, have you ever seen a gym schedule for one of these guys? They gym is their office job. They are in there for 2 to 3 hours each training session, on average.
In between sessions, they are eating specifically for muscle mass. That’s right, bodybuilders, or anyone who is looking to pack on muscle, eat a very specific ratio of carbohydrates to proteins to fats in order to promote growth.
Lastly, let’s talk about the MOST important factor here: hormones. Testosterone is the sex hormone in men that drives muscle building. It’s why guys have a much easier time putting on muscle mass. Women have the hormone, estrogen, which is known for promoting softer, feminine features.
Are there women bodybuilders? Of course. The biggest ones, the ones with the bulky frame that you’re so scared of, did NOT get that way naturally. Testosterone, growth hormone, and anabolic steroids can help a women shred fat and build serious muscle mass. They also bring about a number of side effects such as a deeper voice and body hair growth.
Yes, you can expect to build muscle from weight lifting BUT it will be lean muscle tissue. Don’t believe us? Think about (or Google) famous female celebrities like Gwen Stefani, Madonna, J-Lo, and Jennifer Aniston. What do all these women have in common, aside from Hollywood success? They ALL lift weights.
Those sleek arms and toned tummies didn’t happen because of a spin class. These women embraced the lifting lifestyle and their bodies are proof.
To bring it full circle, we think it’s a safe bet that you aren’t planning on injecting anabolic compounds while training for several hours a day, right? We didn’t think so. So pick up those weights and stop worrying.
Having more lean muscle creates a self-perpetuating fat burning machine. As you lift weights, you’ll start to notice that your arms, legs, and stomach will get leaner or tighter. This happens because your body is burning more fat and lean muscle tissue is actively being built.
As it turns out, the more lean muscle tissue you have, the more fat you burn… even when you aren’t doing much at all.
Now, before anyone jumps on the soap box: Yes, it is true that these numbers have been inflated over the years with some people claiming that one pound of muscle gained burns an extra 50 calories per day. Sure, there are definitely ways to body back and get the numbers higher but, on average, one pound of muscle is only going to burn an extra 6 to 10 calories. (8)
While the naysayers will have you believe that those numbers can be dismissed, consider this example:
Let’s say that you burn and shed 30 pounds of body fat. During your weight lifting journey, you build 10 pounds of lean muscle tissue (that you are happily showing off during afternoon jogs). Best case scenario, given the average numbers, you’ll be burning an additional 100 calories per day. 10 calories per pound of muscle equals 100 calories.
100 calories! This adds up. You may not realize how many foods or snacks are 100 calories. Here’s the important thing you have to focus on: This is an additional 100 calories on top of your workouts. For example, if you are burning 400 calories during an exercise session, you can look at that number as 500 calories because of the lean muscle factor.
Lean muscle tissue may not be the insane fat incinerator that click-bait bloggers will have you believe BUT that doesn’t mean it should be dismissed as a viable, natural, and effortless way to support fat loss.
As we alluded to above, there are ways to body hack your weight lifting workouts to improve overall fat burning. The idea here is to increase the intensity that you experience during your workouts. Aside from being better at promoting fat burning, higher intensity workouts require less time to complete.
Let’s review common weight lifting techniques that you can utilize to keep things new and fresh while promoting a high level of fat burning.
If you’ve never trained before, this is where you need to start. Utilize a full body workout three times per week. The idea is to train the largest muscle groups once per workout. Focus on quadriceps, hamstrings, chest, and back. You’ll perform one exercise per body part.
This is the step up from full body workouts. Here, you separate the upper and lower body into their own workouts. This means you can increase the number of exercises per body part. For example, if you were doing squats for your quadriceps during a full body workout, you can now add another exercise such as lunges. As an example, it’ll look like this:
This is the bare bones of weight lifting. Now, let’s throw in some lifting methodologies that will crank up the intensity.
You have two exercises. These exercises can be within the same muscle group or opposing muscle groups. You perform these exercises one after another with no rest in between. For example, you can perform a chest press followed by push-ups.
Same idea as Super Sets, except you throw in a third exercise. Again, it can be the opposing or the same muscle group.
Ready for intensity? With pyramid sets, you increase and/or decrease your repetitions. For example, you are performing biceps curls. You start with 4 repetitions. On the second set, you perform 6 reps. On the third set, you perform 8. You do this until you reach your goal number. The truly brave will reach that number then descend back down the repetition pyramid.
This is where you perform the given repetitions then immediately lower the weight and continue lifting until the muscle fatigues.
GVT is serious intensity. You have one exercise per body part but you perform 10 sets of 10 repetitions during that exercise. You only need to use a light weight that offers some challenge as 100 total repetitions is going to leave you sore.
The epitome of intense workouts, exhaustion training involves bringing a muscle to complete failure. Much like drop sets, this is done by performing the given number of reps then continuing with a lower weight. Here’s the difference: You keep going to complete failure at every new weight you pick up. You’ll cycle through 4 or 5 weight loads in a given set. This is a technique for someone who has been lifting for 6 months or more.
Let’s bring these benefits full circle:
As we mentioned above, EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption) is the amount of calories that your body continues to burn AFTER the workout has ended. During exercise, your body is using large amounts of oxygen. After your workout finishes, there is, for lack of a better term, an oxygen debt. Your body must work to replenish oxygen levels in the blood. This is great news because that “work” that your body is doing is burning through excess calories.
Now, a standard weight lifting program will turn up your EPOC levels naturally. Lucky for you, there are other ways to body hack to get an even better caloric burn via your EPOC levels.
Use the suggestions in point number two! The more intense your workout, the better the oxygen deficit that your body will work to balance.
Intermittent fasting can help to support both fat loss and muscle building simultaneously. A number of recent studies are hailing I.F. as a great way to support a healthy weight and combat age-related illness. I.F. can be done by fasting for 16 hours and eating during an 8-hour feeding window. Most people start the fast at 8 p.m. the night before. Click here to read more about intermittent fasting.
The Kutting Weight sauna suit has been shown in several studies to be an easy and effective way to boost your EPOC levels. One study conducted by Dr. Lance Dalleck showed that subjects wearing the Kutting Weight neoprene weight loss sauna suit experienced an increase in EPOC by up to 22%. The sauna suit was also shown to increase caloric burn and result in an overall greater weight loss by up to 40%. (9-10)
Are you a woman who loves weight lifting?
What benefits have you noticed since you started pumping iron?
Let us know in the comments below!
When you think about the ideal training time, you can’t help but picture that washed-up boxer who wakes up before the sun rises. He drinks his shake and he hits the pavement, despite the temperature showing below freezing. The morning workout has long been considered the holy grail for dedicated fitness enthusiasts. It’s associated with starting the day off right. Proponents swear by it, citing supposed weight loss benefits.
Sure, working out in the morning has always been looked at as the best time to exercise but is that necessarily true? Will you see better results by waking up early and getting yourself to the gym? Or is this just another belief that is more of a cultural norm than an actual fact?
Let’s review the pros and cons of each time-focused workout and take a look at what science has to say about the best time of the day for working out. The answer just might surprise you.
Let’s kick off the list with evening workouts. For most people, evening workouts are just more comfortable. They don’t require an early morning alarm clock and they let you work out the stress from the day. Let’s define an evening workout as exercise that takes place from 6 p.m. (18:00) until the gym closes, which is usually around 11 p.m. (23:00).
Fight Against Yourself
For those with extended lunch breaks or odd work hours, an afternoon workout may be ideal. Let’s define an afternoon workout as exercise that is completed between 12 p.m. (12:00) and 4 p.m. (16:00)
(Possibly) More Strength, Better Performance
Now it’s time for that bright and early workout in the morning. Most gyms will open around 5 a.m. so let’s define a morning workout as beginning somewhere between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. The reason for the cut off at 8 a.m. is due to hormone levels within the body, which play a big role in the pros and cons section below.
Setting Your Mood and Energy
Greater Risk of Strain
So what about all of those people who swear that morning workouts burn MORE fat?
It is possible to burn more calories during the morning workout but there’s a catch: you have to exercise on an empty stomach. Exercising in a fasted state has been shown to significantly promote an elevated metabolic rate, resulting in more calories burned. What’s more, post-workout, you’ll have an increased EPOC level. Essentially, this means that you’ll continue to burn calories at a high rate even after you complete your workout. (2)
Hormones are a tricky thing. At night, your body floods with melatonin to get you ready for sleep and in the morning, your cortisol levels spike to get you ready for the day. Cortisol is a double-edged sword.
Sure, it wakes you up and helps you get the day started; however, it’s also a catabolic hormone. That means it likes to break things down. Cortisol is also released in large quantities during times of stress. This includes exercise. See how this can be problematic?
The way to get around your cortisol worries is to eat a high protein, high simple carbohydrate meal before the workout. For example, a whey isolate shake mixed with a banana. However, this poses a problem for those of you out there who want to focus on weight loss and exercise on an empty stomach.
If you want to protect your muscle from cortisol AND exercise on an empty stomach, the best thing to do is to drink a calorie-free amino acid supplement before or during your workout. The amino acids are muscle sparing. This means they will protect your muscles from breakdown and your body can safely burn calories at an elevated rate.
It’s not that simple. It all comes down to two things: your goals and your schedule. Here’s how we look at it:
If your primary goal is weight loss and you really want to focus on maximizing your fat burning potential, then morning workouts on an empty stomach are going to be exactly what you need.
If you aren’t as concerned with body hacking in the morning to trigger a higher rate of fat loss, then any time of day is okay to exercise. The important thing is that you exercise.
If you exercise during the afternoon or evening, just be sure to watch out for some of the common cons we mentioned. Follow our advice to avoid any potential trouble during afternoon and evening workouts.
What time of the day do you work out?
Have you tried switching it up?
Notice different benefits when you work out at different times?
Let us know in the comments below!
How are your weight loss goals coming along?
Did you reach your goal weight before beach season started?
Or are you still on your way to success?
It may be Summer but make no mistake about it: people are still working their butts off to achieve weight loss and a lean physique. If you’re like most, you are close to where you want to be but the problem is those last 10 pounds.
Or maybe you just started, which is perfect because getting fit during the summer months is much more enjoyable than during the winter months.
If you want to kickstart your weight loss, it may be time to try to mix things up during your workouts. There is a training methodology that works wonders for anyone looking to trigger more fat loss and greater muscle building.
Let’s take a look at the principles behind eccentric training and how you can start to apply it to improve the results you see.
During any exercise, there are three sections or phases to the movement:
Before we jump into how eccentric training can help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals, it will be important to understand each of these three phases.
To demonstrate each phase, imagine you are about to perform a single arm dumbbell curl. You start by standing tall with a tight core and in your right hand is a dumbbell.
To begin the movement, you curl the dumbbell upwards towards your shoulder. This curling action is the concentric portion of the exercise.
When you reach the top of the exercise, the dumbbell will be at your shoulder. There is a pause of varying length, depending on your acute variables. Let’s say, for the sake of this example, that you hold the dumbbell there for two seconds. This is called the isometric phase of the exercise.
After the two seconds is up, you begin to lower the dumbbell back towards the starting position. The lowering of the weight is what is known as the eccentric phase of the exercise.
The lowering of the weight, or the eccentric phase of the exercise, is what we’ll be focusing on today. Let’s jump into how you can use eccentric training to promote better overall results.
Eccentric training is going to be useful for every fitness goal. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle, or gain strength, eccentric training has the scientific backing to prove it’s effective for all three goals. There are a few ways that you can utilize eccentric training based on your routine and if you have a lifting partner or not.
While it is ideal to exercise with a partner for eccentric training, doing it by yourself isn’t impossible. If you’re working out alone, try the following acute variables during your next workout.
If you’re able to convince a friend or lifting buddy to tag along for eccentric training, you won’t regret it. Having a partner allows you to really increase the weight to ensure your muscles are giving it their all during the eccentric portion of the lift.
Aside from following the tips and tricks above, you can also try the following:
Have you ever tried eccentric training before?
What results did you see from using eccentric training?
Let us know in the comments below!
1. Roig, M., K. O'Brien, G. Kirk, R. Murray, P. McKinnon, B. Shadgan, and W. D. Reid. "The Effects of Eccentric versus Concentric Resistance Training on Muscle Strength and Mass in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review with Meta-analysis." British Journal of Sports Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 2009. Web. 03 July 2017.
Pick up any issue of a popular health and fitness magazine and I guarantee that you’re going to see an exercise featured that is guaranteed to blast away fat and build muscle. Funny thing is that the following month, they have a new exercise that does exactly the same thing. Understandably, you may be asking yourself:
Wait a minute. What happened to the other exercise?
Is last month’s exercise useless now?
What’s better about this month’s exercise?
If there are multiple exercises that help to burn fat, then why not feature them in one issue?
All good and valid questions. If you’re a long-term subscriber to any in-print or online fitness magazine, you’ll start to see a trend as these incredible fat burning exercises are just recycled year after year with a new cover and fitness model.
Are there fat loss exercises that are considered the best? Yes.
Do you need to wait a year to find out what they all are? No!
Let’s take a look at 4 of the best and most proven weight loss exercises that will never die. I’ll also tell you why you need to start using them… pronto.
Before I jump into the 4 exercises that can help you lose weight, I want to first talk about the category that these exercises fall into. If this isn’t your first rodeo with fitness, it’ll come as no surprise that the best weight loss exercises are compound movements.
There are two primary categories of exercises: compound and isolation. (Yes, we can break it down further but let’s start at the foundation.) As you can guess from the name, isolation exercises focus on one muscle group. For example, when you perform a Dumbbell Biceps Curl, you’re focusing on your bicep muscle only.
In contrast, a compound exercise utilizes several muscle groups at once. A perfect example of this would be the traditional Barbell Back Squat. This exercise hits several muscle group all at the same time including the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, hip flexors, glutes, lower back, abdominals, and chest.
So why exactly are compound movements superior to isolation exercises?
Think about it.
If you’re using eight muscle groups at once compared to only one muscle group, which exercise do you think will give you more caloric bang for your buck?
By generating force with a weight-bearing exercise that calls upon several muscle groups to take part in moving the weight, you’re looking at a far greater caloric expenditure. In other words, compound exercises burn more calories than isolation exercises.
What’s more, compound exercises help to strengthen muscle-tension relationships. This will improve the way your upper and lower body works together. The best way I can paint this picture is to have you think back to when you were a kid. When you’re a kid, you feel awkward in your body, like your feet want to do one thing but your upper body wants to do another.
Compound exercises force you to use all of your major muscle groups; many of which have to work together. Within only a month or two, you’ll notice a huge difference with how your body communicates with itself. You may notice your reflexes are better or you simply don’t walk around like your body is shared by two different personalities.
Compound exercises are the best way to trigger a higher rate of calorie burning, which can promote a faster and more effective weight loss. You’ll also have the added benefit of your muscle groups learning to work together more efficiently.
Keep in mind that the following list is by no means an exhaustive list. I wanted to focus on a combination of weight bearing exercises and bodyweight-based movements. I know there are plenty more compound exercises out there. If you have your own preferences for compound movements, list them in the comments below.
And now, let’s jump into the top 4 compound exercises that will help you achieve weight loss success.
Let’s kick off the list with the Kettlebell Swing, Clean and Press.
Kettlebells are a fairly recent hit in the States. Becoming popular with bodybuilders in Russia and Europe, these oddly shaped weights eventually made their way over to the good old U.S. of A. The unique design of the kettlebell allows for an easier grip, promotes wrist stability, and it is perfect for exercises that involve a snappy and quick reflex like the clean and press.
This exercise combines the Kettlebell Swing, which on its own is highly effective and throws in the Clean and Press to activate more muscle groups. You’ll burn more calories and strengthen your shoulders in the process.
Check out this video tutorial on the Kettlebell Swing, Clean and Press.
This is the move that you love to hate during every high intensity workout.
Burpees don’t use any additional weight but they don’t need to as they are difficult enough on their own. This compound movement is explosive and intense. Best of all, it utilizes nearly every muscle you can imagine.
The reason you’ll usually see Burpees at the end of a workout is because they take a lot out of you. Starting a workout with Burpees could impact your performance during other exercises. No need to shoot for glory with your numbers here. Burpees are intense so it’s okay (and very common) to only reach between 5 and 10 repetitions per set.
Check out this video tutorial on Burpees.
It should come as no surprise to see the squat on this list. The squat with or without weight is one of the best exercises that you can perform and they should be included in every leg workout you do.
The sheer variety of squat movements make them applicable to every level of fitness enthusiast, regardless of experience or goals. I’ve listed the barbell-based back and front squats here but you can do any variation to see incredible benefits. Here are some variations of the squat that you should look into if you aren’t able to hold a barbell on your back or front deltoids:
Click here to learn how to do the Barbell Back Squat.
Last but certainly not least is the Deadlift. When it comes to triggering high level fat loss and building serious strength, the Deadlift is the way to go.
Activating several muscle groups from the top to the bottom, the Deadlift is used in a variety of fitness programs regardless if you’re a powerlifter or a weekend warrior. Adding it to your program is a must and just like with the squat, there’s no need to immediately jump into Deadlifting with a barbell.
In fact, if you’ve never performed a Barbell Deadlift, you may want to start with Romanian Deadlifts to begin to master the form while strengthening your hamstrings. Romanian Deadlifts are a lot safer compared to the traditional deadlift and they are a good stepping stone to the real deal.
Click here to see a video on how to do the Traditional Deadlift.
Agree with the exercises on this list?
Have your own tried and true fat burning exercises?
Let us know in the comments below!
Every year, the fitness industry rolls out the newest set of exercise clothes. Some boost performance, others help with weight loss… or so they say.
There’s a reason that you rarely see the same exercise clothing trends around two years in a row and it’s because most of them don’t work. That’s not to say ALL of them are useless.
Let’s take a look at the top 3 fitness clothing trends that actually work and help you accomplish your exercise goals.
You know the mask we’re talking about. It’s the same one that looks like Bane from the Dark Knight is the company spokesperson. Now before you get on your soapbox about the mask, let’s immediately clarify something:
The training mask does NOT help you acclimate to elevation, nor does it trigger the same benefits.
There, are you happy?
With that said, the training mask IS a useful piece of fitness clothing that has been shown in a number of studies to have positive exercise and performance-related benefits to the person wearing it. (Not to mention… You get to look like Bane. Come on. That’s reason enough.)
If you want to train for endurance-focused benefits, the training mask may be able to make it happen. A study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine Science cited that subjects wearing the training mask during their workouts saw a larger improvement in the following than those not wearing the mask:
All in all, subjects were able to increase their endurance by using the mask during training; however, the company behind the mask doesn’t suggest using it during every single workout. Use it as a supplementary tool.
Want to train for elevation? Sorry but there’s no substitute for the real thing so get yourself a ticket to the nearest state or country with serious height.
The same set of tightly bound socks that you see your grandparents wearing exploded on to the fitness scene and has been sticking around for a while. Extremely popular with runners and athletes who spend a lot of time on airplanes, compression socks have some decent scientific backing behind them.
Again, let’s first address some of the issues with the socks. First, these socks are not going to turn you into a super athlete capable of super hero-like speed. I know there have been some conflicting studies with that notion so let’s squash that before jumping into the real benefits.
Compression socks do have two valuable selling points:
First, studies suggest that wearing the socks may help with your endurance levels. One study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research demonstrated that subjects wearing compression socks experienced a greater aerobic output. Put simply: They were able to outperform those subjects who were not wearing the socks. (2)
What’s more, compression socks may be able to boost recovery, which every type of athlete can benefit from. A study published in Sports Medicine confirmed that wearing compression socks can help to alleviate pain and soreness associated with exercise. The socks may also help to hasten recovery, allowing you to get back into your normal workout faster. (3)
Just like with the training mask, you don’t want to rely on compression socks for every workout. Use them once in a while as a supplement to your exercise program.
Finally, let’s jump into the category of clothing that has been getting a lot of attention from researchers across the world: sauna suits.
We aren’t talking about the sauna suits from 30 years ago that were essentially trash bags. Speaking of those plastic hazards, check out our article on just how dangerous plastic suits can be for your health.
The best sauna suits of the modern age are made with neoprene, which ensures durability and flexibility. Neoprene sauna suits are ready to go on the ride as you move through your workout, regardless of the intensity. These things are built to last. What’s more, they don’t collect odor-causing bacteria like the plastic suits do.
Best of all, they may be able to promote a variety of benefits that can help you reach your fitness goal faster.
In a variety of studies conducted by Dr. Lance Dalleck at the University of Western State Colorado, the Kutting Weight sauna suit was shown to promote the following benefits:
Have you tried any of these clothing trends?
What results did you notice?
Let us know in the comments below!
The rise and fall of trends in the fitness industry is like the passing of the seasons. Each year, some new diet or fad explodes all over the news and social media promising big results in a short amount of time.
Sure, there have been a few trends that deliver on their promises but for the most part, these fads do nothing for your long-term results except rubber-band you back to your original weight.
Let’s take a look at the 3 diet trends that you may be using that won’t help you lose weight or improve your wellness. We’ll also follow-up with a healthier and more effective alternative.
First up on the list are the diets that are based around a product line that may encompass frozen food meals, canned goods, and shelf stable entrees.
To give you an example: Whenever you visit your local grocery store, you may have noticed there are entrees and snacks that share the same logo throughout the store. These foods are a part of a complete product line of meals that you can buy to supposedly support your weight loss goals.
The reality is that these product line processed food diets, despite their claims of success, will do nothing for you in the long term.
From an economic standpoint, you are spending a great deal of money on foods that are heavily processed. For a fraction of the cost of a complete product line diet, you can purchase nutritious whole foods and prepare your own meals for the week.
Second, these processed foods need to be able to sit on a shelf or in a freezer for an extended period of time. The way to make that possible is with preservatives. Take a look at the sodium content on a processed food diet meal. Just one meal will contain the amount of sodium you need for the day.
Now, don’t get me wrong, natural sodium like you find in pink Himalayan salt is healthy and necessary. Processed sodium like you’ll find in all of those brand-focused processed foods is a big problem, especially if you have issues with high blood pressure.
What’s more, these artificial additives may be trouble in the long run as studies suggest artificial sweeteners and preservatives are linked with certain illnesses and diseases such as diabetes. (1)
Lastly, these processed foods may provide you with protein, carbohydrates, and fats but they lack real nutrition. Vitamin and minerals are usually artificially added and the quality of the macronutrients within are questionable at best
Next up are supplement-based diets. Supplements can be an important part of any diet and exercise plan… within reason. The name itself tells you the role that supplements need to play: they should supplement your diet, not be the main focus.
Still, many companies promote a diet based around their products. Whether it’s drinkable cleanses or snacks for your day that supposedly contain all of your daily nutrition, supplement-based diets defeat the purpose of an actual diet.
Your body runs best on whole food-based nutrients. Supplements contain synthetic vitamins and minerals that your body has trouble processing and utilizing. This is why the amount of certain nutrients are off that charts. Take a look at the back of a multi-vitamin. Do you really think you need 1,000% of your recommended daily allowance? Manufacturers do this because your body cannot absorb synthetic nutrients.
Let’s not forget about what science has to say. Studies confirm that taking a multi-vitamin is completely useless for a majority of the population, especially if you strive to eat well on a daily basis. In fact, the overuse of some vitamins has been linked to various forms of cancer. (2)
Aside from not providing you with the nutrition you need and can actually use, supplement-based diets hook the consumer to be dependent upon their products.
If, and that’s a big IF, you see results, you’ll be hooked into thinking that you need to buy that supplement to continue seeing those results. Not only is this diet bad for your health, it is terrible for your mental well-being and wallet.
The rise in popularity with juicing may have led consumers on a slippery slope that resulted in liquid-based diets.
It’s important to note that your digestive system certainly appreciates a break from time to time. You can provide that break by fasting and having a day, once in a while, where you consume primarily liquid nutrition. The benefits include alleviation of gastric distress and better overall digestion. The problem comes in when people toss out solid foods in place of liquids.
First, you are working against everything your body was built to do. You were built to chew crunchy things and eat solid foods. Your teeth love chewing on broccoli, almonds, and apples. It keeps them strong and it ensures your digestive system is doing its job.
Second, liquid-based diets rarely provide the calories and macronutrients you need. Do you know how much you’d have to drink to equal a nutritious diet based around whole foods? Trust me when I say, it’s a lot and more than you would want.
There is one macronutrient that liquid-based diets are great at providing and that’s simple carbohydrates in the form of sugar. Many of the liquid-based products and recipes taste horrible on their own and so sugar is pumped in to ensure you enjoy that greens-only juice.
Now, let’s talk about the rebound effect with this type of diet. Studies show that subjects who consumed a liquid-based diet ate significantly more when returning to solid whole foods. This isn’t hard to figure out. Liquid meals digest quickly and rarely provide the protein and healthy fats you need to feel satiated. Sure, they have carbohydrates but as I mentioned above, they are usually simple carbs that digest quickly and spike blood sugar levels. The result is having hunger pangs that turn you into a ravenous beast who raids the refrigerator. (3)
Have you tried any of these diets?
What results did you notice?
Do you have a better diet recommendation for the readers?
Let us know in the comments below!
Stull, April J., John W. Apolzan, Anna E. Thalacker-Mercer, Heidi B. Iglay, and Wayne W. Campbell. "Liquid and Solid Meal Replacement Products Differentially Affect Postprandial Appetite and Food Intake in Older Adults." Journal of the American Dietetic Association. U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2008. Web. 26 June 2017.
We all have that one spot that we want to lose a little more from.
Sometimes it’s belly fat.
Other times, it’s love handles.
If only there was a way to zoom in and focus on fat loss in that ONE area.
The idea of targeting a specific area on our bodies for weight loss, definition, or muscle building isn’t a new concept. People have been trying to do it for decades. Every time you turn on late night television, you’re sure to catch an infomercial about the latest and greatest product that can zap fat in a particular spot.
Most often, the belly is the target for spot reduction. Whether you’re a mom trying to lose baby fat or a weight lifter trying to get more shredded, no one wants fat to be in the front where everyone can see it. So the question is this:
“Can I do anything to target my belly fat only?”
Let’s take a look at the science behind spot reduction to see if it’s possible to get rid of your belly fat.
The concept behind spot reduction that many people hold near and dear is to perform specific exercises to target the fat in your belly. Many people believe that by doing these exercises over and over again, the fat is then shaken up and your body can use it since that’s where all the work is occurring.
For example, by performing 500 abdominal crunches followed by 200 leg lifts, your body realizes that you’re sending a message to use that area for fuel, focusing, of course, on fat. Sure, that’s a great idea; however, the problem here is that fat doesn’t work that way.
When your body stores fat, it does so in the form of triglycerides. (Don’t worry, I won’t be using crazy scientific terms so stay with me on this one.)
Now, you want your body to begin burning those triglycerides as fuel through the working muscles to reduce the fat in the targeted area. Yes, muscles can burn fat as fuel; however, NOT in the form of triglycerides. Those triglycerides must be broken down into a usable form of fuel. Think about it like this:
You own a cellphone.
Your cellphone needs to be charged in order to work.
You need electricity in order to charge your cell phone.
You plug in your cell phone to charge it.
You don’t walk over to the electric company and throw your phone into the power-lines.
An exaggerated example, of course, but one that paints the picture. Your body needs to convert triglycerides into a form of energy that your muscles can safely and effectively use.
Let’s say your body gets the cue that it’s time to get fueled up and it’s essential to use fat. Your body will take those triglycerides and break them down into two components:
These two compounds are the fuel that you’ve been wanting your muscles to consume, which they will happily do.
Now you have your usable fat energy and everything will be fine, right?
Not so fast.
There are two problems we need to discuss with using fat as fuel and spot reduction.
The biggest misconception when it comes to spot reduction is that you automatically enter a fat burning state when you exercise.
It isn’t always this simple. If you just consumed a meal heavy in carbohydrates, for example, then your body will focus on that as fuel, not stored body fat. Before your body can start breaking down triglycerides, you need to enter a fat burning state. The best way to do this is to enter a state of ketosis.
In short, the way to enter a ketogenic state is to focus the majority of your macronutrients on heathy fats and protein with very little to no carbohydrates. Once your body realizes there are no carbohydrates to use as fuel, it will turn towards the body fat and enter the process we detailed above.
Let’s say that, theoretically, you’ve achieved a perfect state of ketosis and your body has entered a high-powered fat burning state. You hit the gym, ready to crush your workout, and blast away that belly fat. All you need to do is that ab workout and your body will start to target your stomach. You’ll have that six-pack in no time, right?
Again, don’t be so quick to assume.
The biggest catch of spot reduction and, consequently, the reason it just isn’t possible is that your body has a genetic pre-disposition for fat storage and disposal. In other words, you didn’t tell your body where to put the fat when you gained it and you’re not going to tell it where to remove it when you start burning it away.
You may enter a state of effective fat burning but that doesn’t mean your body will burn the fat from only your stomach. Your body will breakdown fat throughout the body. Eventually, it will get to your stomach.
While it isn’t possible to spot reduce, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. The idea is to focus on total body fat loss. Not only is this a more realistic and healthy approach but it’s also one that will benefit your overall appearance and wellness.
It is important to train and exercise your body as one functioning unit. Unless you’re a bodybuilder, you shouldn’t be worried about isolation.
Do you have your own fat burning tricks?
Did you undergo a dramatic transformation where you burned a lot of body fat?
Let us know in the comments below!
We’ve all been there: Stepping out of the gym or exercise class covered from head to toe in sweat. We walk back to our cars feeling great. For many of us, that walk back to the car seems a lot less gratifying when our clothes are too dry for our liking. This raises an interesting question:
“Does the amount of sweat on your shirt mean that you had a better workout?”
The answer may surprise you. Let’s take a look at the function of sweat along with factors that determine whether you’ve had a good or a great workout.
First, let’s talk about sweat. Your body is an amazing self-cooling system. It has millions of sweat glands that provide the body with perspiration to keep your body temperature regulated to a safe and normal level.
There are two primary types of sweat glands, eccrine and apocrine. What are the differences?
While the apocrine glands are very important, for the purposes of your workouts, we’re going to focus on the eccrine glands.
As mentioned above, eccrine sweat glands have the job of making sure your body doesn’t overheat. This all starts with the sympathetic nervous system. One of the many duties of the sympathetic nervous system is to make sure that your body temperature stays within a safe zone. In order to regulate your body temperature, the sympathetic nervous system works via these eccrine sweat glands.
Simply put: When you start to heat up through a rigorous activity like exercise, your eccrine glands are activated by the sympathetic nervous system and, as a result, sweat is released on to the surface of the skin. That sweat is then evaporated into the air, providing you with that cooling feeling.
Obviously, when you are wearing gym clothes, that material catches the sweat, leaving you with a soaked t-shirt at the end of your workout.
So, if you sweat more during a workout does that translate into having a better workout?
Unfortunately, more sweat doesn’t mean you had a better workout but there is a catch, which I’ll talk about more below!
The amount of sweat you produce during a workout has very little to do with the quality of the workout. Sure, performing a high intensity workout like CrossFit is going to result in having a soaked t-shirt but there are other factors at play that are more important when it comes to the amount you sweat.
While heavy sweating may not correlate to a better workout, it may help with weight loss.
Sweating it out provides a temporary loss of water weight. When you resume your normal diet, the water weight returns. However, studies show that long term water weight loss methods such as using a sauna or sauna suit can provide better results in weight loss.
While you can’t judge the quality of your workout based on how sweaty you get, you can make sweating work for you. Here are a few tips to increase your sweat rate and promote long term weight loss:
How do you feel after a high intensity workout?
Have you tried sweating it out to help your weight loss?
Let us know in the comments below!
The flu is an illness so annoying that it strikes in the winter then makes another surprise visit to many during the summer.
For children and the elderly, the flu isn’t just a week with the sniffles, it can be life threatening. The Center for Disease Controls says that thousands of people die every year from flu-related complications. With symptoms including fever, soreness, chills, and pain, even the healthiest people can be taken out of commission because of the flu.
Put simply: You don’t want to get the flu.
First, you’ll hear every single commercial-based pharmacist tell you that you need a flu shot each and every year. Why?
The strain of the flu that makes its rounds in your neighborhood is going to change from year to year. Doctors try to predict which strains will be around and they give you a shot based on their predictions. The thing is that no system is perfect and doctors aren’t always right.
What’s more, even if you get a flu shot for the exact strain of flu that is going around, you can STILL get flu-like symptoms. Then there’s the debate on the dangers of getting a flu shot and the potential side effects that can occur such as dizziness, trouble breathing, and disorders with your nerves.
With that said, it’s understandable why so many people refuse to get their flu shot each year.
Sure, it’s called having a healthy, ready-to-fight immune system.
You have a genius system within your body that is specifically designed to fight against illnesses such as the flu. Admittedly, having a strong immune system may not always guarantee immunity from the flu. However, remember that the stronger your immune system, the less severe your symptoms are likely to be AND the quicker you can get it out of your system.
A healthy diet coupled with exercise and potentially beneficial supplements is the foundation for keeping your immune system strong. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a short cut out there that has been scientifically proven for boosting your immune system: Introducing the sauna suit.
While the use of saunas has been commonplace in a variety of cultures for thousands of years, science is just now catching up with proving the benefits that a sauna provides.
A variety of recent studies have demonstrated how consistently exposing yourself to a controlled high heat environment can be beneficial in boosting your immune response.
One study published in the Ann Med Annals of Medicine demonstrated that regular sauna use did, indeed, decrease the occurrence of colds. (1)
What’s more, those who are already in good physical shape may see even more of a benefit. A study published in the Journal of Human Kinetics showed that athletes saw more improvement in their white blood cell count and overall immune response when compared to their untrained counterparts. (2)
To take this even further, another study published in JAMA Internal Medicine concluded its study citing that long term, consistent sauna use directly supported overall health and lowered the risk of mortality. (3)
All of these benefits from simply sitting around in a hot room.
With the science laid bare for all to see, there is no argument against the idea that controlled high heat exposure can benefit the human immune system.
The problem may come for many in the form of a lack of time and funds. Not everyone can run to the sauna on a daily basis. This is where the Kutting Weight sauna suit is able to help.
A fraction of the cost of the spa treatment, the sauna suit captures the same high heat environment from your own home. It may be designed to handle tough workouts but the suit can also provide a number of different health benefits including improved immune response.
With the Kutting Weight sauna suit, you will be able to safely and effectively raise your internal body temperature to match that of being inside a sauna. As numerous studies have confirmed, placing yourself within this controlled high heat environment will help to trigger a boost in your immunity. As a result, your body will be better equipped to fight off the flu or, if you already have it, get rid of it faster.
In terms of time saving, the sauna suit can’t be beat. You don’t have to worry about drive time or the cost of going to a sauna. You only need the suit and 10 to 15 minutes per day.
1. Ernst, E., E. Pecho, P. Wirz, and T. Saradeth. "Regular Sauna Bathing and the Incidence of Common Colds." Annals of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1990. Web. 14 June 2017.
2. Pilch, Wanda, Ilona Pokora, Zbigniew Szyguła, Tomasz Pałka, Paweł Pilch, Tomasz Cisoń, Lesław Malik, and Szczepan Wiecha. "Effect of a Single Finnish Sauna Session on White Blood Cell Profile and Cortisol Levels in Athletes and Non-Athletes." Journal of Human Kinetics. Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego W Katowicach, 18 Dec. 2013. Web. 14 June 2017.
3. Tanjaniina Laukkanen, MSc; Hassan Khan, MD, PhD; Francesco Zaccardi, MD; et al. Association Between Sauna Bathing and Fatal Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality Events. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(4):542-548. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8187.
You had a rough week at work and so you decide to follow-up with a wild night to forget the memos and e-mail task lists. Maybe you have one too many and wake up the following morning holding on to your head.
No one likes hangovers. They are painful and they zap the day’s productivity and you’re in the business of time saving and maximizing your day. Outside of sipping a sports drink and munching on crackers, is there any way to speed up that recovery? Studies suggest that a sauna suit may just be the answer.
Although it is specifically designed for sports performance, the Kutting Weight sauna suit benefits extend into other areas of your health and lifestyle. Case in point: the hangover cure. First, let’s understand why your head is pounding, your stomach is unsettled, and you feel like you’ve been hit in the head with a brick.
Alcohol is a tricky thing. Our bodies tolerate alcohol to a moderate and responsible point. Over doing it just means an incredible amount of work for your body. A hangover is thought to take place for three primary reasons:
On a normal day-to-day, your body requires a decent amount of water to assist in everyday tasks. When you drink alcohol, you are consuming ethanol. Ethanol is a known dehydrating compound. It triggers increased urination. When you pee, you lose fluids including necessary electrolytes that assist with your body’s messaging network between cells.
When your body starts calling out for a refill of high quality H2O, you respond with more alcohol. This vicious cycle quickly leads to dehydration.
Once dehydration sets in, get ready for a wild ride. Dehydration causes the blood vessels to constrict and red blood cells to swell. What you have is a narrow space for extra-large objects to move through. The result is that infamous hangover headache. (1-2)
Your body is not a fan of the inflammatory response. Inflammation, which necessary in most cases, just plain sucks. When you drink an overabundance of alcohol, you know which organ doesn’t appreciate it? Well… None of them enjoy it but in particular, your stomach isn’t a fan.
Alcohol can severely irritate the lining of your stomach. In response, you end up hugging your toilet for most of the night. As you vomit, you increase your dehydration, which, as we mentioned above, will only increase the pain from the headache you have. (1-2)
This funny, French-looking word is what happens during the natural fermentation process of alcohol. When alcohol is becoming… alcohol, congeners are produced. These compounds give alcohol its distinct taste and aroma of that particular drink of choice. Different types of alcohol have different levels of congeners. For example, red wine has a lot and gin doesn’t have that much.
Studies show that the more congeners in an alcoholic beverage, the greater chance for a hangover AND the greater the severity of the hangover. (1-2)
Individually, these three things aren’t too bad and probably not terrible enough to warrant the hangover of a lifetime. However, since they are working together, you’re in for trouble when you drink too much.
When you wake up in the morning, you don’t realize it but your body has been hard at work throughout the night trying to get rid of the toxins from the alcohol. This means it’s been working overtime to filter those toxins through the liver; however, it’s been working without the proper tools because you’re dehydrated. It needs water and electrolytes to help do its job. You’ve been providing neither of those things.
In order to feel better faster, your body needs to get rid of the problem: the alcohol still floating around your bloodstream. This means you need to crank up your body’s ability to start ditching toxins. One of the best ways to get rid of toxins is through sweating. As you already know, the high heat environment that you’ll find in a sauna is the perfect place to sweat.
Since you aren’t able to move further than the kitchen, this is where the Kutting Weight sauna suit can help. Capturing that same high heat environment and the same benefits of a sauna, the Kutting Weight neoprene sauna suit can help increase your sweating rate and detoxification phase. (3)
It is extremely important to understand this:
YES, the sauna suit can help you sweat more and detox faster; however, you need to be well hydrated before you even attempt this.
Remember that you are dehydrated from the over consumption of alcohol. Since the suit will immediately trigger an increased rate of sweat, that means you’ll be losing even more fluids.
If you’re already running low on fluids, your body is going to be in big trouble. Increasing your sweating rate when you’re already dehydrated is extremely dangerous. Do NOT put on the suit until you have re-hydrated yourself.
Here are the steps to follow to safely detox from a hangover with the Kutting Weight sauna suit:
The first thing you must do before setting foot near the suit is to get more fluids into your body. Not just any fluids, you need water and electrolytes. The fastest way to do this is to drink a bottle of mineral water followed by a sports drink. Sip each one and gradually consume them. If you chug them all at once, your stomach might respond by sending it back up.
The exact amount of water you should drink is tough to say. It’s going to vary based on the individual and the condition of the person. A safe bet is at least a liter of water and sports drink. Remember that you’ll need to drink more than you think because soon you’ll be sweating it back out.
After you consume enough fluids, wait for 30 to 60 minutes to make sure your body is okay and will be able to tolerate getting into the suit.
Put on the Kutting Weight sauna suit and relax. Give yourself 15 minutes in the suit. This is an ideal timeframe that allows you to increase your sweat and detox rate without over doing it.
Your body is already in a frail state so you want to be careful. Stepping into a sauna or putting on the sauna suit is like a form of exercise so you have to listen to your body’s cues. If you start to feel faint or dizzy, take off the suit immediately.
After your 15 minutes in the suit, get back to rehydrating yourself. Again, wait for an hour and then suit up again to sweat out those toxins. With the amount you’ll be sweating, you’ll probably only need one to three sessions in the suit followed by proper hydration.
What methods do you use to cure a hangover?
Have you ever tried the sauna suit?
Let us know in the comments below!
1. Swift, Robert, M.D. "Alcohol Hangover: Mechanisms and Mediators." Springer Reference 22.1 (1998): 1-6. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol Health & Research World, 1998. Web.
2. Jones, A.W. Elimination half-life of methanol during hangover. Pharmacology & Toxicology. 60(3):217–220, 1987.
3. Hannuksela, M. L. & Ellahham, S. Benefits and risks of sauna bathing. The American journal of medicine 110, 118-126 (2001).