October 6, 2013 | Posted by Nick Jarvis
One of the questions I always get asked is what are the best healthy foods to snack on that will not make you gain weight. My answer is always goji berries! They are quick and easy to eat, taste great and have so many health benefits. That’s why they are a super fruit!
Goji berries are also known as wolfberries. They are mainly grown in Asia. Goji berries have been used to try and treat many of today’s health problems like high blood pressure, age related eye problems and diabetes. They can be eaten raw, dried, cooked. They can be used in juices, wines, medicines and herbal teas.
What are the Health Benefits of Goji Berries?
Goji berries are filled with powerful antioxidants so they are great for anti-aging, the immune system and the skin. They are rich in vitamin A, C and contain vitamins B1, B2, B6 and E. Goji berries are also a great source of beta carotene so are good for improving vision. They contain 18 amino acids and around 21 minerals. They contain more iron than spinach. Roughly around 15 times as much and 13% more protein than whole meat. They have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit. They are also loaded with calcium so are great for your bones too!
This super fruit contains natural anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial compounds. They also can help in muscle growth so they are a great muscle building snack. The amino acids in goji berries help the body to produce more growth hormone.
How Many Goji Berries Should You Eat a Day?
I recommend you eat two handfuls a day. You can add them to your porridge or add then to a smoothie. I tend to just eat them raw. They taste great, so they make a nice tasty snack!
Can Goji Berries Help You Lose Weight?
Yes, they can because of their low glycemic index value. They won’t cause your blood sugar levels to rise quickly and then crash causing you to crave more sugary foods like high GI foods do.
Stress can play a big part in gaining fat. When we are stressed we release too much cortisol which can result in weight gain by increasing cravings for sugary food. It also stops the secretion of growth hormone as well as depleting the adrenal glands, causing fatigue, resulting in overeating to restore energy levels. Goji berries can lower your stress levels. Goji berries are an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a biological substance found in certain rare plants and herbs that help the body adapt to changes and stress. They can also help with better sleep, increased energy, mental clarity and faster injury recovery.
There you have it. They are not only great for your body, they help you lose weight, build muscle and they taste nice too!
Skipping is one of the best ways to really blast away those calories. Skipping for around 20 minutes will burn around 200 calories. The British Rope Skipping Association say that 10 minutes of skipping can have the same health benefits as a 45 minute run. It’s also a lot kinder on your joints than running. You don’t need any expensive gym equipment. You only need a skipping rope that you can easily take anywhere. It’s great for improving your fitness levels as well as your co-ordination. That’s why it’s a staple exercise for boxers for many, many years.
Skipping rope is a great muscle toning exercise as well. Your legs, abdominals, arms and shoulders get a great toning work out. You should start slow if you have not done much skipping before. A simple 5 minutes is a great starting point. You can increase your time once you have got your technique right. The key to improving is dedicating yourself to the full 5 minutes. Even if you only can do around 20 skips at first. I can guarantee you that if you complete the full 5 minutes on a regular basis you will improve. Before long it will feel natural and you won’t need to focus on your technique on every skip.
To make it more fun, once you’ve mastered the basic jump technique you can add different moves like doubles, one foot and cross overs etc. You can add interval training by doing 30 seconds of fast skipping then 30 seconds of steady skipping. The key is to keep it fun. Get your headphones on with your favourite music and mix it up.
One of the most commons questions asked at the gym is “How to build muscle fast” Is there a way to speed up the muscle building process naturally? Yes, there is a way and it’s called “Compound Movements”. Compound movements work multiple muscles / joints at once rather than isolation movements which just target a single muscle / joint.
Compound movements should be your staple exercises. They should be the foundation of your exercise program. Here is a list of the main compound exercises that should be part of your routine. You should not be going longer than two training days without hitting a compound movement if you are looking to increase muscle mass.
Pull-up, Bent over Row, Deadlift, Pull downs
Barbell Bench Press, Dumbbell Bench Press
Squats, Lunges, Leg Presses
Stiff-Legged Deadlift, Lying Leg Curl
Standing Calf Raise, Donkey Calf Raise, Seated Calf Raise
Press behind Neck, Dumbbell Press, Military Press, Shrugs.
Standing Barbell Curl, Seated Alternate Dumbbell Curl, Preacher Curl
Lying Triceps Extension, Close Grip bench Press, Push-downs, Seated Triceps Extension
The above compound exercises should give you plenty of compound movements to include in your program. Remember to keep mixing up your routines to avoid plateau and to keep training fun!
To stop overeating you need to take control rather than going with the flow. You either control your mind or your mind controls you! You have a choice to stop overeating. The biggest mistake you can make is not making the decision to not overeat before you plan on eating. A good example of this is when you go out for a meal. Most over eaters make a decision on the spot when the dessert menu arrives for example. When you make a decision on the spot you can be easily influenced by the waiter and your friends. The waiter will be keen for you to order so they get a bigger tip and your friends will want you do have dessert as well so they feel less guilty when they have there’s.
You must make the decision before you go out to eat. Decide before you go whether you are going to have a small dessert or no dessert at all. By making the decision before you go, you won’t be persuaded by your indecision on deciding when the desert menu comes round. Your friends and the waiter will see your firm decision and will know that you have made up your mind and they are onto a losing battle trying to change your mind.
How Can I Stop Overeating
Here are a few more tips on how to stop overeating. Take your time when eating. Your brain does not immediately acknowledge that your stomach is full. It normally takes around 20 minutes or so for your brain to register that you are full. Slow down and enjoy every bite. If you’re eating with friends, enjoy conversation whilst you eat. This will slow down the time it takes you to eat your meal. Try not to watch television whilst you eat because you can get too engrossed in the program that you eat a lot quicker without realizing it. If you are watching television whilst eating, make the decision to make your meal last the length of the program. If the TV show is on for 30 minutes, try to make the meal last for most of the show. Drink plenty of water before eating also. Water helps suppress your appetite and also helps with the digestion process.
It will take a little bit of time to incorporate these habits into your routine but when you do they will become your new habits and you will do them without having to consciously think about it.
Interview with Bruce H. Lipton about the placebo effect and health.
Check out this great motivational video by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Watching this before working out will definitely add that extra bit of motivation.
Arnold Schwarzenegger – “Anything is possible if you believe in yourself”
What are the best ways to increase your energy for a workout? Low energy levels can seriously affect your workout. It can affect the intensity and sometimes cause you to cut your workout shorter than planned. There are numerous pre workout supplements you can take to boost your energy but they can be costly.
Let’s look at some natural and cheaper methods to increase your energy before you hit the gym or go for that run. We will look at which vitamins can give you an energy boost and which foods can also get your energy levels soring. Which vitamins are essential for the use and production of energy? The B vitamins are responsible for the body’s production and use of energy. They assist the body in oxygen utilization. There are a total of 8 B vitamins. They are thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folic acid (B9) and cyanocobalamin (B12). To get the most out of B vitamins its best to take them as a group. You can buy vitamin B complex which has all the 8 B vitamins in one tablet.
The B vitamins are water soluble so your body does not retain the vitamins for later use. If you have enough of the vitamin B vitamins in your system your body will flush out the excess.
The Best Pre Workout Foods
Bananas are a great pre workout snack. They digest quickly so can be used as energy in no time. They contain potassium which aids in maintaining muscle function. Lack of potassium can cause muscle cramping and fatigue.
Smoothies also give you a great energy boost. You can throw in some fruits and vegetables. Your body will digest liquid a lot quicker than solid foods, so it really is instant energy!
Remember to never train on a full stomach. You will feel sluggish and there is always the chance of being sick. Have your pre work out snack about 30-45 mins before training. Increased energy will make a huge difference in your work outs. It will also keep you in a more positive mind set as you power through your training!
Here is the trailer for Hungry for change. Check it out and follow the links to the full movie. A great watch and very informative about the foods that most of the population consume without giving any thought to the crap that’s in them.
It’s one of the oldest theories about resistance training and building muscle. Well it’s a load of old bull! Muscle does not turn into fat. If that is the case why do a lot of retired sports men or women lose muscle and gain body fat? It’s simply down to them being retired. They no longer train the way the used to. They may have stopped resistance training altogether. Muscles are like skills. If you stop working them they will decrease with time. Just like if you’re great at playing a sport. Stop practicing and your skills will decline in time.
Why the Increase in Body Fat?
What tends to happen is the same amounts of calories are still being consumed but the training that used to burn them off has stopped. That means only one thing – increased body fat! So in conclusion, the muscles have reduced in size because of the lack of resistance training and the body fat has increased due to roughly the same amount of calories still being consumed.
If you reduce your training then reduce your calories consumed to keep the balance right!