Articles from August 2012

What Is A Superfood?

We hear the term “superfood” quite frequently these days but what is a superfood? A super food is a food rich in nutrients or phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are non-nutritive plant chemicals that contain disease preventive properties and prevent cell damage. These foods are not processed and don’t contain additives, artificial ingredients or high levels of saturated fats. Super foods are low in calories, so are great for losing weight. They can also lower your risk of many diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Popeye’s Favourite Food Was A Superfood!

SpinachSpinach is a great example of a superfood. It’s one of the most nutritious foods available. Spinach is rich in vitamin A and vitamin K. It also contains many more nutrients such as manganese, folate, calcium, magnesium, co-enzyme q10, glutathione, lutein, omega 3 essential fatty acids, Polyphenols , iron, vitamins B6, C, D, E, Zeaxanthin, riboflavin, protein as well as dietary fiber.   These nutrients also help increase your (SPF) level and lower your risk of sun damage as well as strengthen your bones. The magnesium helps towards maintaining a healthy blood pressure level. Spinach can also improve brain function, eyesight and gastrointestinal function. The flavonoids in spinach help battle those free radicals to help prevent against cancer. One cup of spinach only contains around 40 calories.

Best Way To Eat Spinach?

You can eat spinach fresh or cook it. Fresh spinach makes a great replacement for salad in your sandwich. If you are cooking spinach it is best to steam it rather than boil it. Steaming it retains more of the nutrients than boiling it. Another method of getting your weekly intake of spinach is by adding it to a smoothie. Get in the habit of adding spinach to your weekly meals and utilize the huge benefits of this superfood.

Best Way To Build Muscle?

To build anything in life, you need the raw materials. The same applies for building muscle. If you were to build a house then you would need the bricks and you would also need the labour. In terms of building muscle, the bricks would be protein and the labour would be a pre workout carb snack. A pre workout snack will give you the energy to power through your workout. Protein would be consumed after your workout to help repair the muscle tears you caused during your workout.

Another key element in muscle building is rest. Rest is where the magic happens : ) If you don’t get enough rest, then you will not have recovered enough for your next workout. Rest allows the body to create new and repair damaged muscle fibres. You can then lift more weight and control the weight better as you now have more fibres to call on as well as stronger fibres depending on the workout you are doing.

Now we have covered what to do before and after your workout we will concentrate what you need to do during your workout. There are two ways to build muscle. You can build muscle by continuing to lift heavier weight for low reps e.g. 3-6. This will create size and muscle thickness as well as muscle strength. The other way to build muscle is to lift weight in a controlled manner especially the negative part of the rep. The weight should be around 80% of your one rep maximum (This is the amount of weight you can lift for just one rep before failure) The rep range would be 8-12 reps. Lifting weight in a controlled manner will not only develop the stabilizer muscles that are not worked lifting heavier weight but will also help you to avoid injury. The best way is to mix the two. This will not only shock your muscles into growth but will also be more exciting by mixing things up.

In summary, make sure you are having a pre workout snack to power you through your workout. Mix the two methods of building muscle. Heavy weights using low reps and controlled weights using higher reps. Refuel with a protein meal. This can be in the form of a protein shake or a meal including protein. The most important of all is rest! Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time between each workout. Over training is as bad as under training. Follow these guidelines and you will be well on your way to developing more muscle!

Workout Music Songs

What is the best music to workout to? Well we all have our favourite music to workout to. Here are my top 3 favourite songs I like working out to.

Bill Conti – Gonna Fly Now 

Linkin Park – Bleed It Out

Ozzy Osbourne – I Don’t Wanna Stop

What is your favourite workout music?

The Most Important Meal Of The Day & The Secret To Staying Healthy!

The Most Important Meal Of The Day & The Secret To Staying Healthy!

Why is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Well the name “breakfast” gives us a good clue “break” – “fast”. You are in essence breaking the fast you have been on whilst you were sleeping. It’s the longest period your body and brain go without food. You could have gone 8-12 hours since you last had any food. Your blood sugar levels will be down and you will be in a catabolic state. That’s why you’re more likely to become tired in the morning. Most people think it’s down to not having enough sleep which sometimes is the case but your lack of energy is down to the lack food in your body.

Having a couple more hours worth of sleep can sometimes be the worst thing to do because that’s another few more hours that your body will go without replenishing it’s energy supplies!

Don’t Skip Breakfast!

Avoiding breakfast will not help with your losing weight goals. If you are skipping breakfast your body will store the fuel rather than burn it off because it’s unsure when the next meal is going to arrive. Studies have shown that people tend to accumulate more body fat when they eat fewer, larger meals than when they eat the same number of calories in smaller, more frequent meals.

When you are eating breakfast as part of a healthy lifestyle. Your body knows it will be getting refuelled so will use the energy rather than storing. Breakfast is actually good for weight loss and will help you maintain a healthy weight if that is your goal. You will notice how much better you will feel by not skipping breakfast.

Missing Breakfast Could Cause Serious Health Problems

US doctors have proven through their research that skipping the first meal of the day increases the chance of becoming obese, developing diabetes and even having a heart attack. Their study showed that eating a healthy breakfast including such foods as whole-grain cereals every morning are likely to see benefits to their health.

The BBC reported that DR Mark Pereira and his colleagues at Harvard Medical School analysed the eating habits of 1,198 black people and 1,633 white participants. Overall, 47% of whites and 22% of blacks said they ate breakfast every morning.

They found that people who ate breakfast every day were a third less likely to be obese compared to those who skipped the meal.

In addition, they were half as likely to have blood-sugar problems, which increase the risk of developing diabetes or having high cholesterol, which is a known risk factor for heart disease. The researchers believe that eating first thing in the morning may help to stabilise blood sugar levels, which regulate appetite and energy.

They suggest people who eat breakfast are less likely to be hungry during the rest of the day and are, therefore, less likely to overeat. “Our results suggest that breakfast may really be the most important meal of the day,” said Dr Periera. “It appears that breakfast may play an important role in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”

What Is The Ideal Healthy Breakfast?

A healthy breakfast should always contain some protein and fibre. The protein can be in eggs, low fat meats, dairy, beans or a protein shake. The fibre can be in the form of whole grains, fruits or vegetables. A great example of a healthy breakfast could be something like a hard-boiled egg, a banana, a bowl of whole grain cereal and a glass of orange.

Avoid white breads, pastries, syrups and sugary cereals because these are digested quickly and will leave you feeling tired and hungry again within a few hours. A breakfast containing protein and fibre will satisfy your hunger until your mid morning snack.

Start Your Day The Right Way

Remember it would be better to get up 30 minutes earlier and eat a healthy breakfast than to remain in bed. The breakfast would be so much better for your body and brain than missing breakfast and having that 30 minutes extra in bed. Get into the habit and before long you will see the difference.