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Nutrition Tips to Improve Fat Loss
By: Rick DeToma

Incorporating these fat loss tips will improve your nutrition
program. Start off slowly and add one a week, you don't have to
adopt all of them at once. Before long, you’ve cleaned up your
nutrition program and on your way to reaching your goal. Trendy
diets, fads and the infomercial product of the month, are not
going to help you reach your weight loss goals. A well
thought-out nutrition and exercise program will.

Eat breakfast

Proven time and again, those who eat breakfast are more
successful at controlling their weight than those that don't.
Plus, when doing strength training exercises (and you know you
should be), it's even more important to make certain you fuel
those muscles after an overnight fast. The perfect time for
burning fat because glycogen, blood glucose and insulin levels
are all low.

Unfortunately, it may also be perfect for burning muscle, because
glycogen levels are low, and levels of the catabolic stress
hormone cortisol are high. If you skip breakfast and eat lunch at
noon, you’re not only in a highly catabolic (muscle wasting)
state, you’re also sending an unmistakable starvation signal to
your body.

Eat less sugar

Start reading labels! Sugar is hidden in almost every commercial
food item. A single tablespoon of ketchup gets 3 of its 4 grams
of carbs from sugar. A 12 oz can of cola has a staggering 40
grams of sugar, and ALL of the carbs in a cola are sugar! Why
does that matter?

Simple sugars are digested very quickly and cause a rapid spike
in blood sugar. Your body then releases large amounts of insulin.
Insulin quickly clears the glucose from the bloodstream leading
to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia.) Low blood sugar causes
cravings, hunger, weakness, mood swings and decreased energy.
These cravings for sugar result in a vicious cycle of ups and
downs in blood sugar levels throughout the day.

Eat More Often

Studies have shown that those who eat 4-6 smaller meals per day
have less body fat than those eating 2-3 meals a day, even if
both groups eat about the same number of calories. This is
because of maintaining steady blood sugar levels. Too much
insulin activates fat storage enzymes and forces fat in the
bloodstream into fat cells for storage.

High insulin levels also inhibit enzymes that promote the
breakdown of existing stored body fat. You can manage your blood
sugar and insulin levels by choosing fewer simple carbohydrates,
more complex carbohydrates, eating fiber and having your
carbohydrates with lean proteins approximately every three hours.

Eat protein

Be sure to include enough protein for your level of activity (you
are exercising…right?)

Protein speeds up your metabolism because your body has to work
harder to digest, process, and utilize it compared to fats or

The "thermic" effect of protein is one of the reasons that a
higher protein diet is more effective for fat loss than a diet
high in fat or carbs. Too much of any food can be stored as body
fat, but protein is less likely to be converted to fat than any
other nutrient.

Eat nothing from a box

The closer your food is to nature the better off you are. Have
you looked at the ingredients list in most packaged food these
days? You need to be a scientist to figure out what half the
ingredients are. Stick to real, wholesome foods, fruits,
vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, etc.

Eat your vegetables

I don't mean fast food french fries. Try to get as many vegetable
servings into your meals as you can. It's nearly impossible to
over eat vegetables. They are full of fiber and will help keep
you full between meals. They also contain loads of antioxidants.
Raw is great, steamed is another good way to have them. Hold the
heavy cheese sauces please!

Eat protein and carbs together

If you want to keep your blood sugar in check, then don't eat
your carbs by themselves. Strive to always have balanced meals of
protein, carbs and healthy fats. You'll feel better and your
muscles will thank you.

Prepare your own food

Best for several reasons…It's cheaper than eating out, you know
exactly what you are eating, and it saves time. It takes no more
time to cook up 6 healthy chicken breasts than it does to cook
one or two. Make things easy. Prepare them over the weekend and
your lunches for the next few days are done. While you are at it,
put on a pot of brown or wild rice, or bake up some sweet
potatoes and you're good to go.

Drink water

LOTS! Most people are already dehydrated. Strive to drink a
gallon a day. If you drink a lot of coffee, then you need an
extra 8 oz for each cup of coffee. Exercise will put more demands
on your fluid levels. You need water. Drink 50-75% of your body
weight in ounces of water. Add an additional 16 oz for strenuous
exercise. No complaining!

Get more exercise

Get some exercise on most days of the week, and alternate between
strength training exercises and cardio training. If you are a
beginner, shoot for two weight workouts a week and progress to 3
or more depending upon your goals. Get in as many cardio sessions
as your schedule will allow, but aim for at least 3.

Commit to adopting these nutrition program changes and you'll be
well on your way to reaching your weight loss goal, whether it's
ten pounds or many more. Sound nutrition and exercise will always
succeed in the long run. Don't give into the temptation of fads.

The information contained in this article is strictly for
informational purposes and is not intended to provide medical
advice. If you are sedentary or over 40 please get clearance from
a doctor before starting an exercise program.

About the Author

Rick DeToma is a fitness coach, and trainer
who specializes in home workouts. Contact Rick for a no
obligation telephone fitness assessment at:

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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape


Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.

Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:

Dave Snape

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