work out food

What To Eat Before A Workout

What To Eat Before A Workout?

As a personal trainer, I get this question too often. Some people prefer to work out before breaking
their fast, while others find more energy and focus by eating before their workout. If you need a little
energy boost, keep in mind that food is fuel for your body. It gives you the energy you need to crush a
workout session and recover from it.

When picking what you should eat before your workout, there are two things you should keep in mind,
i.e., the type of food you eat, and the right time to eat. It might seem hard to keep track of the food you
eat before a workout for a week, but you can keep a journal to track how you feel and why you got
certain results.

1. Type of food

Although proteins are essential for every fitness journey, they are not a source of energy. I always
recommend carbs or fats before workouts. In all honesty, there isn’t one specific type of food that you
should eat before a workout. However, high-carb and high-fat foods provide energy to fuel your body.
You should, therefore, start by experimenting with either carbs or fats to see which one works best for
you.

For instance, if you ate carbs (oatmeal or banana slices), note it down on your journal. Make sure you
highlight what you felt during the workout. Did you have enough energy? Did you find it easier to focus,
or were you constantly distracted? How soon did you get tired? Taking note of how your workout
session was makes personal training a lot easier. It enables you to pick the foods that work for you and
makes your workout routine sustainable.

2. Food Timing

A general rule of thumb to start with, is having a meal about 1 hour before your workout. This gives your
body enough time to digest the meal while still providing the energy you’re looking for.
This, however, does not apply to everyone. You might need to take note of the time you eat your pre-
workout meal to ensure that you have an accurate estimation of the best time for you to eat before a
workout. Some people eat on their way to the gym and crush their sets, but you might need to wait a
few hours after eating for optimal energy levels.

In general, it’s crucial to figure out what works for you. Keep a journal, be honest with yourself, hold
yourself accountable, and if you have any questions or concerns; don’t hesitate to ask your fitness
trainer for help. You can contact us via Facebook messenger (button in the corner) or going to the Contact Us page on this site. We are always available to address any questions or concerns with answers that are tailored specifically for you.


What Fasting Does To The Body - OTG Fitness

What Fasting Does To The Body:

Fasting is a centuries old practice that is present in many religious and cultures.

Today, fasting is also a popular dieting trend.

So…what is fasting?

Google defines fasting as: ‘to abstain from all or some kinds of food or drink.’

That seems to be a lot of grey area.

One popular means of fasting is to do what is called intermittent fasting, which is where one cycles between periods of eating and fasting.

And according to science, fasting has many health benefits, from physical to neurological.

Here are 6 science based benefits of fasting:

 

What Fasting Does To The Body - OTG Fitness

1) It Boosts Metabolism While Lowering Calories.

Many people look to drop a few pounds by fasting.

Research has shown that short-term fasting increases levels of norepinephrine, which can enhance weight loss.

One example showed that whole-day fasting could reduce body weight by up to 9%.

Further, another review suggests fasting was found to be better at losing fat (while keeping muscle) than lowering one’s calorie intake.

 

What Fasting Does To The Body - OTG Fitness

2) It Improves Cholesterol Levels and Blood Pressure.

Making a change to your diet is an effective way to reduce your risk of heart disease.

Some research has discovered that intermittent fasting may be helpful with your heart health.

One study revealed that eight weeks of alternate-day fasting reduced levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol by 25%. Additionally, blood triglycerides saw a drop of 32%.

Another study in obese adults found that three weeks of intermittent fasting (under medical supervision) significantly decreased blood pressure, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Yet another study suggested fasting would lower the risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes.

 

What Fasting Does To The Body - OTG Fitness

3) It Reduces Insulin Resistance Controlling Blood Sugar.

Several studies show that fasting can lower blood sugar control, reducing the risk of diabetes.

In fact, intermittent fasting heavily decreased blood sugar levels in participants of one study.

Plus, another review found that both alternate-day and intermittent fasting were just as effective at reducing insulin resistance as limiting one’s calorie intake.

Lowering insulin resistance can improve your body’s vulnerability to insulin, helping your body to deliver glucose to your tissue cells more effectively.

Combined with the lowered blood sugar from fasting, this could help keep your blood sugar steady, preventing harmful fluctuations in your blood sugar levels.

 

What Fasting Does To The Body - OTG Fitness

4) It Helps Your Look Younger and Live Longer.

Several animal studies have seen exciting results on the life extending results of fasting.

In one study, rats that fasted every other day lived 85% longer and showed a slower aging rate than rats that did not fast.

Other animal studies have shown similar outcomes, suggesting that fasting could be a cause of increased survival rates and longevity.

Results for studies involving humans is not yet available.

 

What Fasting Does To The Body - OTG Fitness

5) It Can Help Improve Brain Function.

Though research has been limited with humans, several studies have shown that fasting can have a huge effects on the health of your brain.

One study in mice showed that intermittent fasting improved both brain function and structure over an 11 month period.

Other animal studies found that fasting could increase the re-generation of nerve cells which help enhance cognitive function.

Studies in animals suggest that fasting may reduce the damage to the brain caused by Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

 

What Fasting Does To The Body - OTG Fitness

6) It Fights Inflamation.

Though acute inflammation can be helpful to the body, research has shown that chronic inflammation can have serious effects on your health, such as heart disease, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.

Some studies have shown that fasting can help reduce inflammation and promote better health.

One study found that intermittent fasting for a single month sharply decreased levels of inflammatory markers.

Another study discovered a similar result when people fasted for 12 hours a day for 30 days. (6Trusted Source).

 

Ready to talk to us about YOUR Fitness goals?

Apply for our 8 week program by clicking HERE

 

[Source: Healthline.com]


7 Reasons You Aren't Losing Weight

7 Reasons Why You Aren't Losing Weight:

When you workout, you’re fighting your body’s ‘current state’.

As you lose weight, your body tends to ‘fight back’.

There are a handful of reasons you might be experiencing a weight loss plateau, and we’ll cover the BIG 7 here.

But before we jump into the 7 reasons why you aren’t losing weight…let’s make sure you’re not being too quick to criticize yourself.

You might be losing weight, even if you don’t notice it.

Don’t be too quick to judge yourself if the scale isn’t moving.

It is VERY common for the scale to not move for days, or even weeks at a time. This does not mean that you aren’t making progress.

Body weight tends to fluctuate by a few pounds. This depends on a variety of factors including:

  • Foods you are eating
  • Amount of water to are drinking
  • Any medication you may be taking
  • Hormones (especially in women)

It is also possible to gain muscle at the same time as you lose fat, especially if you hit the weights while you diet.

Use something other than the scale to track your progress, such as measuring your waist. Plus, check yourself out in the mirror. It’s common to see yourself looking thinner and your clothes feeling looser while the scale doesn’t move.

Aside from this, here are 7 possible reasons why you aren’t losing weight:

7 Reasons Your Aren't Losing Weight

1) You’re not logging your food intake.

Awareness of what you are eating is so important if you are trying to lose weight. Most people have no clue how much food they really eat.

Studies show that keeping track of your diet helps with losing weight. People who use food diaries and take pictures of their food tend to lose weight more than people who do not.

 

7 Reasons You Aren't Losing Weight

2) You’re eating too many calories.

Many times, people who are struggling with weight loss are just eating too many calories.

And largely…people are unaware that they’re doing it.

Studies consistently show that people commonly underestimate how many calories they eat… by a lot!

If your weight loss has stopped, try weighing your foods and tracking your calories for a month or two.

You can also try a Calorie calculator to figure out how many calories to eat.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to track and weigh all of your food for the rest of your life. Doing this for a month or two will usually be enough to help new eating habits set in.

 

7 Reasons You Aren't Losing Weight

3) You’re drinking sugar filled drinks.

Sugary drinks are the most fattening things you can eat. Your brain doesn’t account for the calories you drink by making you eat less.

And we don’t mean just sodas. This applies to sports drinks like Vitaminwater and fruit juices, which are loaded with sugar.

 

7 Reasons You Aren't Losing Weight

4) You’re not drinking enough water.

Water aids weight loss, plain and simple.

In one 12-week study, people who drank 17 ounces of water 30 minutes before eating lost more weight (44%) than those who did not.

Drinking water has also been found to help people burn 24–30% more caleries.

 

7 Reasons You Aren't Losing Weight

5) You’re not doing cardio.

Cardio or aerobic exercise is defined as an exercise that increases your heart rate.

Cardio is one of THE MOST effective ways to improve your health. It is also very helpful in eliminating disease causing “visceral” fat that builds up around your organs.

 

7 Reasons You Aren't Losing Weight

6) You’ve been starving yourself.

Dieting for too long can be bad for you.

If you’ve been losing weight for a few months, then suddenly reach a plateau, then perhaps take a break.

Raise your calories, sleep more, and lift some weights. The goal will be to get stronger and build muscle.

Keep your body body fat levels in line for 2 months before you start trying to lose weight again.

 

7 Reasons You Aren't Losing Weight

7) You’re not sleeping well.

Quality sleep is critical to your physical and mental health…as well as your weight.

Studies show that bad sleep is a large risk factor for being overweight. Adults with poor sleep have a 55% greater risk of becoming obese. Children who sleep poorly have an 89% greater risk of becoming obese.

 

Ready to talk to us about YOUR weight loss goals?

Apply for our 8 week program by clicking HERE

 

[Source: Healthline.com]


6 Simple Ways To Lose Belly Fat

6 Science Based Ways To Lose Belly Fat That Are SIMPLE (but not easy)

It’s true…belly fat looks bad.

But having too much of it also leads to medical issues like heart disease and diabetes.

Thus, it’s easy to see that losing belly fat will help you become healthy and live longer! (with my Mother dying a very preventable death in my teens, this is a BIG DEAL for me).

You can measure your own belly fat at home with a measuring tape.

If a person has:

  • Over 40 inches (102 cm) for men
  • Over 35 inches (88 cm) for women

…then they are considered to have abdominal obesity.

If this is you (or you’re getting too close for comfort), I’m here to help.

There are proven strategies that specifically target belly fat, more so than other areas of the body.

Here are 6 ways to dump belly fat based on science:

6 Easy Ways To Lose Belly Fat

1) Stay Away From Sugary Drinks

You never want to drink your calories.

And you REALLY never want to drink your calories from sugar!

Added sugar is very unhealthy.

Studies have shown it’s hurtful effect on your health.

Sugar is part glucose and part fructose, and your liver cannot break down fructose in small amounts.

When you eat a lot of added sugar, your liver get overwhelmed with fructose, and has no choice but to turn it into fat. (4).

Many studies have proven that excess fructose leads to an increase in belly and liver fat.

When this happens, insulin resistance begins, along with other metabolic issues.

Liquid sugar is the worst. Because your brain doesn’t ‘register’ the calories you drink the way it does the calories you eat, sugary beverages, causes you to eat more total calories.

Let’s decide together to minimize sugar in your diet, and consider eliminating sugary drinks altogether. This includes sodas, fruit juices, high-sugar sports drinks, and heavily sweetened iced tea.

6 Simple Ways To Lose Belly Fat

2) Eat More Protein

When it comes to losing belly fat, protein is king.

Protein reduces cravings by 60%, boosts metabolism by 80–100 calories per day and helps you eat fewer calories per day (up to 400+).

If losing weight is your goal, protein is your biggest weapon in the fight.

It helps you lose weight, but also help prevent gaining weight back.

One study showed that people who ate protein of higher amounts and quality had much less belly fat.

The goal for protein consumption is 25 – 30% of calories eaten.

So make an effort to eat more high-protein foods such as eggs, fish, seafood, nuts, meat and dairy products.

If you have a hard time getting enough protein, a protein supplement like whey protein is a healthy way to give your protein a boost.

If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, this article can help you get more protein.

6 Simple Ways To Lose Belly Fat

3) Cut The Carbs

Carb cutting is a very effective way to lose fat.

Numerous studies have shown when people cut carbs, their appetite decreases and they lose weight.

Low-carb diets also lead to quick reductions in water weight, which shows results quickly (1 to 2 days).

Studies also compare low-carb and low-fat diets, showing that low-carb diets target belly fat.

Avoid refined carbs (sugar, candy, white bread, etc).

6 Simple Ways To Lose Belly Fat

4) Eat More Fiber

Dietary fiber is mostly indigestible, and there are different types of fiber to consider.

It seems that viscous fibers that have an effect on your weight.

These are fibers that bind water and form a thick gel that “sits” in the gut.

This gel can slow the movement of food through your digestive system, result in prolonged feeling of fullness and reduced appetite.

One 4 month study study found that adding 14 grams of fiber per day was linked to a 10% decrease in calorie intake and weight loss of more than 4 pounds.

This suggests that soluble fiber may be particularly effective at dropping belly fat.

More daily fiber can be found in plant foods like vegetables and fruit, as well as some cereals (read those labels).

Try taking a fiber supplement like glucomannan. This viscous dietary fiber has been shown to cause weight loss in several studies.

5) Exercise

You knew this one was coming…

Exercise is among the best things you can do if you want to live a long, healthy life.

Understand this:  I’m not talking about abdominal exercises here. Losing fat in one spot of the body due to exercise is impossible, and doing crunches ’til you drop will not make you lose belly fat.

In one study, 6 weeks of training just the abdominal muscles had basically no effect on waist circumference.

Other types of exercise, however, can be very effective.

Aerobic exercise (like walking, running, swimming, etc) have resulted in good belly fat loss in numerous studies.

Exercise is also important after you lose the weight, and has shown to aid in keeping belly fat off during weight maintenance.

Exercise also leads to reduced inflammation and lower blood sugar levels too.

6 Simple Ways To Lose Belly Fat

6) Track What You Eat

We all know that what you eat is important.

Yet most people have no clue what they are really eating.

For someone who wants to better their diet, tracking food intake is essential.

Keeping a food diary can help you realize where you could make changes.

Outlining your current eating habits can help you apply the tips discussed above.

Check out this calorie calculator and a list of free online tools and apps to track what you are eating.

Once you start doing this, you’ll know exactly where to make adjustments in order to get closer to your goals.

 

Ready to talk to us about YOUR belly fat goals?

Apply for our 8 week program by clicking HERE

 

[Source: Healthline.com]


Go Out and Enjoy

Don’t Bring it Home

Know that feeling you get when you want something really sweet? Something that you know is not within your healthy diet and might even make you feel bad later? But you want it anyway?

I know I do. But one thing I don’t do is bring those types of things into the house. When you bring the blue bell home, it makes it extremely easy to give into temptation on Wednesday night after a long day at work.

As strong as we all think we are, when temptation hits, it is an overwhelming feeling of need. Fighting that feeling when your fix is a few steps away and only guarded by the safety seal of your freezer is next to impossible.

Go Out and Enjoy

Your best bet is to keep things like this out of your house and only “go out” for them. Yes it may cost more in dollars to do this, but I guarantee it will cost a lot less in calories. It will also lead to more happiness in the end (which is what having more money is all about anyways right?)  The happiness you feel will come from a combination of things. You’ll feel good about your own decision making for one. You will usually find more pleasure in going out as well.  And since you find so much more pleasure in your experience with this food you enjoy so much, you’ll also be able to withstand being without for much longer.

Don’t Stress it

As you know, your health based diet should mostly be comprised of whole foods that you and your family make at home. Taking a night off every once in awhile and enjoying some time out will not hurt you in the long term though. Realizing it’s not crushing your diet and understanding that you just need to get right back on track tomorrow is very important for your mental health. Be sure to keep that in mind!

Make an attempt to enhance the experience of “getting off your diet.”  Take your family, go to a special spot with your pleasure food, make it memorable.

Just please, don’t bring it home.

 

If you think you want to start implementing this strategy but just aren’t sure exactly where to start, apply for our 8 week program (by clicking HERE) to see if we may be able to help.


gym in league city

Don't Let it Control You

It Can be Simple

Far too many people think that living a healthy lifestyle means letting your workout routine and food choices control your life. It is simply not true and the exact opposite actually is.

There is a famous quote that I’m sure you’ve heard before, “Discipline equals freedom”.

When we create discipline, especially with health and fitness, it opens our entire life to more freedom. I think it is especially true in this scenario because food is around us all the times so making good nutrition choices in is the ultimate discipline. By sacrificing a little bit up front and creating the discipline, it will allow your healthy lifestyle to thrive.

There are many ways this can be done (and I’ve tried several). My personal favorite and how I’ve decided is the best FOR ME, is fasting. Fasting is simply not taking in any calories for extended amounts of time. There are many opinions on this method and some think it’s so unhealthy to not eat for more than a few hours. I have noticed though, that those are often the same people that eat fast food and snack cakes all the time. Sometimes, trying to always be “optimal” is useless if you can’t even do the basics.

Try This

Pick a time that is somewhere between 12 and 16 hours after dinner and tell yourself that you’re going to wait until that time to eat. During that fasting time, feel free to drink as much water as you feel you can. You can even have a cup of unsweetened tea or coffee . Here’s the secret though, actually do it!! This is your first small win! The discipline you create and feeling of well being for reaching a goal is the first step towards your healthy lifestyle. Don’t worry about the fine details beyond this. Focus on 1 step at a time. Because if you can’t do step 1, why worry about anything else?

 

If you know how simple it truly can be but still having a hard time getting started, apply for our 8 week program (by clicking HERE) to see if we may be able to help out.