In Blog

The Simplest Guide To Good Carbs Vs Bad Carbs

Talking about carbohydrates these days is as good as placing a giant red X on my back because this topic can get really hot and hectic.

But, I'm going to take my shot at it with the hopes of setting you up with something worth thinking about.

Carbs get a bad rap in the fitness and diet world.

I won't say that I completely agree with the ideas and arguments presented by the groups of people who believe carbs are completely bad for you but I do see some concerning things about this food group.

Let's be honest with ourselves for a moment, the carbs we consume from traditional stores and enterprises are not what they used to be. Genetic modification, new farming methods, pesticides and chemicals, added fillers and preservatives have completely changed the makeup and status of modern day grains which are used to as the main ingredients in most carbohydrate rich foods.

I've written an in depth article about how damaging the Standard American Diet already and you can check that out over here!

To touch on what that article says, modern day foods and/or ingredients have been altered to such an extent that many of us cannot handle to digest them without side effects.

As time goes on, the heavy taxing on our digestive system and organs accumulates until we develop health issues like autoimmune diseases! Eventually, our bodies start to reject these foods.

I believe modern day carbs as a food group plays a pivotal part in the destruction of our digestive system. Guess what? Destroy your digestive system and your body will breakdown.

We are creatures that need to be fueled. Vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients or phytochemicals, polyphenols and antioxidants are essential to a healthy existence and unfortunately, processed carbs have a way of poking holes into the lining of your gut and hinders the digestion and absorption of the above-mentioned nutrients.

When you are deprived of essential nutrients, it's only a matter of time before your immune system takes a knock, your basal metabolic rate gets messed up, your focus and physical strength begins to deplete and you experience what most of us dread - WEAKNESS.

What Types Of Carbs Are Good For Consumption?


So, with that being said, one thing I notice most people in the fitness industry agree on is that carbs are never a number 1 factor in any healthy weight loss diet. A high-carb diet for the averagely active human being just doesn't produce good results in most areas of health and wellness.

But, that's not to say carbs are completely useless.
The consumption of carbs can go a long way in keeping you satiated (fuller for longer) and giving you a quick and potent dose of energy (converted into glucose) when you really need it.
On a diet that contains a ton of vegetables, healthy meats and dairy, carbs can fuel you to become healthier and stronger. That's what I truly believe. But, you have to eat fairly clean and avoid or eliminate sugar altogether before carbs become a topic of discussion.

Another problem with carbs is that they are usually high in calories.

If you're in fairly good shape, muscular and have a high metabolism, carbs aren't much of a problem for you. For someone out of shape with a low metabolism, carbs are not going to help you maintain a caloric deficit at the end of each day.

This brings us to a pivotal question in this conversation, what sort of Carbs are good and/or bad?

In short, carbs made from grains in their whole, natural and sprouted form are much safer and healthier than processed products. Brown rice and quinoa trumps white rice and alternative flours are much healthier than white flours.

All those breads, buns, rolls, cakes and bagels are doing absolutely nothing for your health besides packing on calories and filling you up with ridiculously high amounts of sugar.

Whereas, grains in their natural forms like rice and oats offer a better nutritional makeup without as many negative effects as processed carb products.

RELATED POST: THE BEST FOODS TO EAT TO HEAL LEAKY GUT

Unlike bad processed carbs, these whole grain and/or sprouted carbs break down easier in the gut, convert to and release energy at a slower pace throughout the day providing you with a steady stream of much-needed energy and actually consist of a nutritional profile that benefits your overall health.

Look, if you have the time, nothing is stopping you from preparing your favorite carb products like bread and buns but with healthier alternatives! How awesome is that?!

Use This Checklist The Next Time You Consider Eating Carbs:
  • Is It Processed Or Natural?
  • Does It Contain Sugar And Artificial Fillers?
  • Were Sprouted Grains, Nuts And Seeds Used?
  • How Fresh Is It?
  • Does It Fit Within My Daily Macro Nutrient Goals?
  • Does It Contain Any Flours That Could Trigger An Autoimmune Response When Consumed?
I like to believe that the choices we make today determine the future we live tomorrow. It can be full of health and prosperity or sickness and depression. Whatever you eat, consider whether or not it fuels you to be the best version of yourself as you can possibly be or if it breaks you down from the inside.

Food is instrumental in how we feel, think and behave on a daily basis. Be sure the food you eat transforms your mind, body and soul in positive and uplifting ways.

I hope you enjoyed this article and found some clarity on the subject. If so, please hit the share button and be sure to subscribe for more articles like this one! 

Have a wonderful day and I'll see you in the next one! 

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In Blog Weightloss

8 Reasons Why You Keep Gaining Weight And How To Fix It

What if all this time, you've been researching a bunch of ways to lose weight and level up your physique but every attempt you make ends in disappointment.

Could it be that all the different diets have failed you? Are you just not working out hard enough? Do you not have it in you to lose weight and achieve your goal?

All these harsh questions may seem like a logical reaction to your inability to lose weight but what if it's none of that.

What if the diets works, what if you are exercising enough and what if you do (which I believe is true) have it in you to lose weight, what then? Could it be a few mistakes or underlying problems are actually hindering your progress without you even realizing it?

RELATED POST: THE ULTIMATE CLEAN EATING GROCERY LIST FOR INSANE WEIGHT LOSS

I think it's highly possible.

Which is why I want you to study the following 8 reasons why you keep gaining weight and can't shed those extra pounds! It's possible that by fixing the below-mentioned problems, you may just achieve your goal of flaunting a better version of your body!

8 Reasons Why You Keep Gaining Weight And How To Fix It


1. You're Eating In A Caloric Surplus

Basic science dictates that weight loss occurs when more calories are burned than consumed. Regardless of how much you exercise, if you eat more calories than you burned for that day, you won't lose weight. Calculate the number of calories you burn in any given day and aim to consume fewer calories. It's that simple!

2. You're Consuming Far Too Much Sugar

As most of my readers know, I'm absolutely against the consumption of sugar because it's nothing more than toxic. The problem with sugar is that it causes a spike of insulin in your blood. When this occurs, fat burning hormones are blocked thus preventing fat loss. Also, it doesn't help that all things sugar related are high in calories anyway. Avoid all white sugar and its derivatives and opt for natural sweeteners like honey and fruits.

3. You're Snacking Too Frequently

Despite being sold the idea that you need to eat at least 6 small meals a day to live a healthy life, that isn't a die hard rule. What I've noticed is that people who snack too often end up surpassing their calorie limit every day thus preventing weight loss. Let's not forget that you can become dependant on snacks for no reason apart from it becoming a habit. Diet is everything! Eat 2 - 3 nourishing big meals a day and you'll have more than enough energy in your system. In this case, you'll also lose weight!

4. Your Thyroid May Not Be Functioning Optimally

Believe it or not, you may be nailing your diet plan, exercise regimen and sleep schedule but the results could be severely hampered by a something you may not have even suspected. Ever heard of a condition called hypothyroidism? Basically, it's when you thyroid under performs. Guess what the thyroid tends to regulate? Your metabolism! Naturally, people with a sluggish thyroid tend to gain weight despite their initial efforts at weight loss. Get yourself tested and if you have hypothyroidism, get it treated. That should help you regulate and lose weight!

5. You Live A Very Sedentary Lifestyle

It has been deduced that by living a very sedentary lifestyle like sitting at a desk all day, your chances of having a heart attack increase significantly and the length of your lifespan actually shortens. As mobile beings, we are designed and meant to move. I love this line used by Dr. John Bergman - If you don't use it, you lose it. All you need is 25 - 40 minutes of exercising daily to burn calories, maintain muscle mass and regulate hormones.

6. You've Been Dieting For Too Long

The human body is marvelous. In all of its infinite wisdom, it has the ability to readjust and re-adapt to circumstances. Even if you intend on eating at a set deficit for an extended period of time, the possibility of your basal metabolic rate readjusting to maintain your current weight at a lower calorie intake is highly possible! At least once a week or every 10 days, carb cycle or eat at caloric maintenance to prevent your basal metabolic rate from dropping!

7. Your Sodium Intake Is Too High

Consume too many foods high in sodium and your body will hold onto excess liquid resulting in a bloated belly. That's just annoying, especially if you're exercising and eating at a caloric deficit but your sodium levels are too high. If you possibly can, get onto any food counting app because most of them contain a good idea of what kinds of sodium levels are in specific types of food. Oh, don't forget to hydrate like crazy!

8. You Haven't Given Yourself Enough Time To Lose Weight

I know it's not exactly what you want to hear but there's no telling how fast or how slow your body will react to change. Everyone loses weight at a different rate depending on a number of factors. This isn't a month journey, it could take much longer than that. You just have to be patient and keep being consistent. 3 months from now, you can either be in the best shape of your life or back to square one. The time is going to pass anyway. You might as well stick to the changes you've made, be consistent and let the chips fall where they may. It's literally only a matter of time before you lose all the weight you want to. Just keep doing exactly what you've set out to do!

Tying Everything Together

Despite these obstacles, you have the Ability and Power to effect awesome change in your body and life. Don't give up hope when things get hard. You have so much to gain by trying than by giving up and accepting defeat.

Weight loss is a journey and as time goes on, you will notice the results and absolutely smash plateaus when they appear! With that being said, I wish you all the best in your journey to a fitter body and please be sure to share this post with others who you know can benefit from it.

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In Blog Diet Health

Is Your Diet Killing You? It Might Be Time For A Big Change

What you're eating could be killing you right now. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that food can be the reason you don't get to see 50, 60, 70 or even 80 years of life. More and more people are kicking the bucking when they ought to only be entering the great days of their lives.

Why? We chalk it down to time, destiny, medication or unforeseen circumstances but I'm here today in hopes of making you aware of how your diet could be destroying you from the inside out.

It is estimated that 300 thousand deaths per year in the United States are caused by Obesity alone. Imagine that! Just by being fat, you could die this year. I know that sounds like an oversimplification of the matter but is it?

But that's not the only epidemic on our hands.

More and more people are being diagnosed with autoimmune conditions daily. These diseases are usually incurable and you're prescribed high scheduled medications just to improve the quality of your life.

Those deaths are not accounted for as part of dietary caused deaths.

Of course, these medications and their side effects have been known to cause fatality but we have to keep in mind that you wouldn't be on those medications if you didn't have such diseases in the first place.

When asked why you've developed certain autoimmune diseases, not many doctors or experts are able to pin down the exact cause on a case by case basis. And yet, when asked about diet, it often goes ignored or just considered briefly.

Yet more and more studies and anecdotal evidence points toward a connection between disease and food.

RELATED POST: HOW TO NATURALLY HEAL AND CLEAR PSORIASIS

I wanted to write this article in hopes of creating some awareness of the power food holds over our lives. It could be the fuel to a long and healthy future or the poison that leads to our early demise.

At the end of the day, what you eat on a daily basis is often a choice you make. I'm hoping that when you reach the end of this article, you'll be ready to make a conscious decision to consume healthier foods.

What Could Be So Bad About Food?

When we talk about food, a clear distinction should be drawn between the Standard American Diet which has infiltrated most of the world at this point and a healthy diet. They are not one in the same thing.

Take a look at the food pyramid and you find items like grains, dairy and meats at the highest levels. But, is that food pyramid still relevant for this day and age? I don't think so.

At one point, I believe it could have been a good overall standard for dietary needs because there was a time when grains were sprouted and GMO free, dairy was produced from animals who consumed grass most of their lives and weren't insanely injected with antibiotics and meat came from animals who, as I stated above, grazed on good food and were less exposed to a host of harsh chemicals, toxins and so on.

Nowadays, the genetical structure of food has been vastly manipulated. Grains are not what they used to be and that becomes extremely apparent in people who suffer from autoimmune diseases.

When they consume grains, something they may have eaten most of their lives, their immune system suddenly begins to view that grain as a foreign particle, or more specifically, an invader. Mistaken for a threat, these foods are then targeted by antibodies created by the immune system to fight against it.

Do you think your body is going to function properly under so much of stress? highly unlikely!

Guess what happens? You have a worldwide epidemic on your hands. Think about celiac disease for a moment, hasn't it blown up over the last decade? People have grown more and more resistant to modern day foods in comparison to earlier generations.

The problem is our food.

How it is produced and prepared plays a crucial factor in whether we benefit from its consumption or face dire consequences.

Think of your body as a highly intelligent machine that requires a lot of vitamins and minerals to operate efficiently. Essentially, what passes through you, becomes you. If you are consuming foods from the Earth that are more or less free of pesticides and chemicals, then you will be free from it too.

When your body breaks down, digests and absorbs the nutrients from this healthy food, you may thrive like never before!

Now imagine eating the Standard American Diet consisting of genetically modified flours that were once sprayed and treated with pesticides and chemicals mixed with artificial fillers contained in meat that has been sourced from animals that live in horrendous circumstances? Crazy, right? Oh, let's not fail to forget how they're pumped with all sorts of antibiotics.

Do you think you're getting the essential nutrients you need to efficiently function? Do you think that all those negative factors aren't going to affect you when the food becomes a part of you? Consider these questions as food for thought (hehe couldn't help it)!
If you're eating foods high in unhealthy fats, antibiotic laden meats, hydrogenated vegetable oils, genetically modified grains, pesticide sprayed seeds and dairy from animals with unnecessary growth hormone then you are setting yourself up for all sorts of possible health implications!
Gaining weight will be just one of the many problems you'll have to deal with if you continue to eat a diet rich in the above-mentioned goods.

These foods have been reported to damage the gut causing permeation's within the structure, kills healthy bacteria within the gut, triggers conditions like normal acid reflux or more seriously GERD, cause an autoimmune response which can trigger an allergic reaction to certain compounds like wheat, gluten, soy, corn and so on. I'm just tipping the ice berg here.

You may have noticed that I didn't even include sugar in this article yet because that's an entirely different beast altogether. It shouldn't be in our diet at all! The only source of sugar we ought to be consuming is from fruits and natural sources like honey.

White sugar and its low-calorie derivatives are toxic! You gain absolutely nothing beneficial from the consumption of sugar and processed foods and treats rich in sugar.

If you're sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, now is the time to make a huge change in your life by fixing that nutrition plan you're on. Let's talk about what you should and must be eating on a daily basis.

What Sort Of Foods Are Healthy And Nourishing?

In my opinion and experience, the best foods for consumption are those that come attached with the least amount of side effects and an abundance of nutrients like vitamins and minerals. In my diet, I take it a step further by strategically adding healthy sources of pre & probiotics to repopulate my gut biome for improved digestion and immune health.

Look. by eating healthy, you're setting yourself up for possibly living a much longer life with a body that is strong, fit, healthy and incredible vigor! With that being said, let's get cracking on the kind of healthy food you ought to be eating daily.

Green Leafy Vegetables: Kale, collard greens, romaine lettuce, mustard herbs and spinach are but some of the many green leafy vegetables you ought to be eating every single day. These greens are packed with essential vitamins and minerals for an overall strong and healthy body.

Cruciferous Vegetables: Cauliflower, broccoli, arugula, brussel sproutes and cabbage are excellent prebiotic vegetables that are also rich in amino acids like L-glutamine that help fix and repair many parts of the body such as the gut.

Root Vegetables: Sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, onions, ginger, radishes, turnips and beets are just some of the root vegetables you absolutely must consume regularly. I watched a video on Youtube recently of a little village in Japan wherein the population saw an average lifespan of 90 years and more. Most of these senior citizens have amazing skin and are extremely fit and mobile even at such an old age. They attribute their youthful features to eating a diet rich in root vegetables!

Fermented Foods: To aid digestive issues and repopulate the gut with healthy bacteria, the consumption of fermented foods is essential. Sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, fermented mixed vegetables, miso and pickle are awesome fermented foods that taste delicious. They're easy to prepare and can be stored for up to 6 months!

Healthy Meats: Lamb, chicken, tuna, salmon, sardines, bison and other meats that have been sourced from animals that were grass-fed and farm raised are excellent sources of protein. Avoid processed meats like sausages and deli meats like the plague.

Dairy Enriched With Enzymes: Dairy seems to be an essential ingredient in most healthy desserts which is why I tend to opt for milk and cream that has been enhanced with the lactase enzyme. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down lactose in dairy making it a bit safer for people with a lactose intolerance. Apart from that, try to opt for dairy products made from non-animal sources like almond,  cashew, coconut or rice. If you have skin conditions, cows milk could be a majorly contributing factor to the problem.

Whole & Sprouted Grains: For the most part, the only grains I do consume is brown rice and oats. However, quinoa, basmati, sprouted seed loafs and sorghum are safer alternatives for consumption in contrast to white rice and wheat flours. They're so much easier to digest, still contain the fibrous outer casing and convert to glucose at a slower rate thus producing a steady amount of energy throughout the day.

Teas & Organic Coffee: Since sodas, juices and energy drinks aren't a part of this nutrition plan, the next best alternative for those thirsty moments on summer or winter days are fresh and organic teas, coffee and chicory. They come with a host of benefits and antioxidant properties that reduces aging and satisfies your desire for something tasty all at the same time.

Vegetable & Fruit Juices: While we're on the topic of beverages that are healthy, I believe vegetable and fruit juices made at home deserve a section all on its own. When I was ill, vegetable juice was my best friend. I was consuming at least 800ml  of vegetable juice a day to heal. Why? Well, because juicing vegetables is a form of predigestion that extracts the nutrients from whole vegetables and separates the fiber. Your body can absorb up to 80% of all the nutrients from that vegetable juice in contrast to eating them whole. For superb detoxing effects, juice vegetables and fruits!

Bone Broth: Ever thought of boiling bones? Turns out, there are essential amino acids in animal bones that are extracted into the liquid when boiled for 12 hours or more. Bone broth is an age old traditional 'soup' that has now received widespread attention for its spectacular healing effects in the body. Prepare a batch of bone broth at the beginning of the week and consume daily. It's epic and can taste pretty damn awesome.

Wrapping Things Up
I genuinely hope that you found this article to be insightful and are now more prepared to make healthier choices. What I tend to practice is an 80/20 rule and it has worked wonderfully for me. Eat really good 80% of the time so that you can eat some of those 'forbidden' foods 20% of the time without placing your body under extreme stress or damage (although you should avoid foods that are instantly dangerous to your health).

Speak to a nutritionist and find ways of improving your diet one step at a time. One of the best investments you can ever make is an investment in your health. For now, please share this post with your friends and family and I'll catch you in the next one.

Have a wonderful, healthy and productive day!

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In Blog Grocery List Weightloss

The Ultimate Clean Eating Grocery List For Insane Weight Loss

diet, eat clean, clean eating tips, clean eating grocery list, grocery list for clean eating, healthy foods to buy, what foods are healthy, diet
Let's say that you have finally made the decision to shed those dreaded pounds and break out your swimsuit for the summer, that's perfect because as you probably well know, we all have the potential to develop amazing bodies.

When speaking about diet, a common misconception amongst most people is a starvation diet. Those nasty and unhealthy 500 or 800 calorie liquid diets pop up and you just can't help but consider it.

Don't! Just don't!

The last thing you want to do is starve yourself of nutrients, especially when putting your body through strenuous exercises like weight lifting and cardio!

With that being said, let's go over the fundamental principles of weight loss and then a clean eating grocery list for insane weight loss and superb results! If you want to transform your body and health all at the same time, this post is for you!

How To Lose Weight And The Importance Of A Healthy Diet

diet, eat clean, clean eating tips, clean eating grocery list, grocery list for clean eating, healthy foods to buy, what foods are healthy, diet
In my teens, the only way I knew how to lose weight was to run. Forget about diet, I thought running was everything!

I was obviously so misinformed!

(Before we go on, if you know enough about weight loss and just want the clean eating grocery list, feel free to skip this part of the post and scroll down to check out the list)

Even though I ran and did sit-ups, I continued to devour trays of lasagne and big fat cheesy burgers regularly. At school, my lunch usually consisted of 3 to 4 slices of cheese or meatloaf sandwiches. When I got home, I'd eat a serving of rice and curry and late supper would be a repeat of rice and curry or lasagne and burgers.

I never lost a single kg! In fact, I just kept putting on weight!

It was only after finishing school did I learn the importance of diet and calories. Basic science explains that weight loss occurs when you burn more calories than you consume per day. If for instance, your body burns 1800 calories in a day and you eat only 1500 calories, you're in a caloric deficit.

When that caloric deficit adds up to 3500 calories, you lose a pound of weight! Pretty damn simple!

The problem is that exercise is not a very easy way of entering a caloric deficit especially if your diet contains large amounts of carbohydrates.

You may be wondering, why are carbohydrates bad? Well, they're not really bad (depending on the kind of carbs you eat). They're just high in calories. Meaning that a small serving of rice may contain anywhere between 200 to 400 calories.

I may be wrong but I don't think anyone in the world just eats rice for a meal and feels awesome about it! That's crazy. Rice is not particularly high in nutrients either. Worse than rice is bread, buns and rolls. These carbohydrate rich foods tend to also consist of sugar!

Sugar is bad for weight loss, particularly fat loss. Here's why - sugar causes insulin spikes within your body. For as long as you have a spike of insulin and loads of glucose in your blood, you're not going to burn fat for energy. If anything, those fat burning hormones are going to be blocked or hindered in the presence of insulin.

It is highly recommended that you quit sugar asap!

All in all, processed white carbs are just terrible for people trying to lose weight.

Once I learned about this, I decided to reduce or eliminate some carbs from my diet and replace them with alternative sources of foods with low carbohydrate counts. But that's not the end of this conversation.

Your body needs to be fueled efficiently or else it's going to be a miserable experience. What you need is an abundance of vegetables. Why? It's because vegetables are packed with antioxidants, nutrients and minerals. More importantly, vegetables are very low in calories which means that you can eat a ton and still be in a massive caloric deficit!

Awesome, we're making some good progress!

Now, let's talk about protein. Why do you need adequate to a good amount of protein per day? Let's say that you not only change up your diet to a low processed carb and high vegetable rich diet but you also throw in exercise, are you going to lose a lot of weight?

Hell yes!

The problem is that there is the possibility of losing muscle mass when in a caloric deficit and engaging in too much cardio. To prevent muscle loss, you need adequate amounts of protein. On average, you need about 0.7 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.

Pretty simple, right?

RELATED POST: HOW TO FIX A SKINNY FAT PHYSIQUE WITHIN WEEKS

Before you run over to a fitness store and dish out a ton of money for muscle building protein powders, I want you to think about whether or not you eat any form of meat or fish per day. You can easily get the amount of protein needed to maintain and even build muscle by simply eating adequate amounts of chicken, eggs, meats, fish and so on.

If you're vegetarian or vegan, hemp seeds, lentils and pea protein powder are excellent options for you!
To sum it all up to this point - Your diet needs to consist of carbohydrates from natural sources like vegetables such as sweet potatoes, you need to eat a ton of vegetables for essential vitamins and minerals and you need protein to maintain muscle mass.
Fantastic!

We can now talk about the last factor in nutrition and that is healthy fats. When most people hear the word fat, they have a meltdown. They stockpile their fridge with a bunch of low-fat products (which are actually high in sugar and calories that render it bad for weight loss anyway).

There are good fats and bad fats and you need to differentiate between the two.

All that greasy junk food you see all over the place contains bad fats. We know this! But, healthy fats, on the other hand, are often ignored.

They're essential to good health and shouldn't be avoided unless for medical reasons. Good examples of healthy fats are coconut oil, grass fed butter, nuts, seeds, and avocado!

Don't overindulge in them though, eat a modest amount and you'll be perfectly fine with this well-rounded diet.

A side note: if you have any health conditions like I did, you might want to consult a doctor well versed in nutrition who can advise and monitor your health on certain foods. I say this because when psoriatic arthritis was active in my body, I couldn't eat nightshades without having a flare up. However, as time went on and I healed my gut, I've been able to reintroduce some nightshades in moderate amounts without issues. It all depends on your body and it's ability to break down and absorb foods.

Do You Need To Count Calories?

diet, eat clean, clean eating tips, clean eating grocery list, grocery list for clean eating, healthy foods to buy, what foods are healthy, diet
Depending on your food choices, the answer varies.

If you're eating predominantly vegetables and protein made with healthy fats like coconut oil, you don't need to count calories. That becomes even more apparent when you barely consume any sugar, even from fruits!

If, however, you opt to keep carbs in your diet but you've substituted white carbs for healthy carbs like brown rice and quinoa, then you'll most likely need to count calories. If you're eating loads of fruits, cheeses, and nuts, then you should most definitely keep a track of your calories.

As long as you're in a deficit at the end of the day, then everything will work smoothly.

Aim for roughly a 300 - 500 calorie deficit per day. This ensures that you don't lose weight rapidly and cause any negative issues to your body!

Oh yeah, don't forget that exercise counts towards calorie expenditure. Make a note of how many calories you approximately burned from exercise and then vary your calorie consumption from food accordingly.

In simpler terms, if you've already burned like 600 calories from exercise, then you don't need to eat in a usual calorie deficit for that day.

The Clean Eating Grocery List

Finally, we've made it to the part of this post that you probably want to read the most. The reason I broke down the role of diet and exercise above is so that you are properly equipped with all the information needed for purchasing healthy foods that promote weight loss.

This grocery list, although it is designed around weight loss, places an emphasis on consuming healthy foods so that your body feels amazing and looks amazing each and every day.

Here's my elaborate clean eating grocery list for weight loss and overall health. Feel free to print this image for your personal use and please share it with your friends and family!

diet, eat clean, clean eating tips, clean eating grocery list, grocery list for clean eating, healthy foods to buy, what foods are healthy, diet

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In Blog Fitness Health Skinny Fat Weightloss

How To Fix A Skinny Fat Physique Within Weeks

Am I the only one who thought that by running a lot and doing sit ups, I'd end up looking like a Greek God? Oh wait, I'm not. In fact, a ton of awesome people who manage to dedicate themselves to weight loss tends to experience the skinny fat phenomenon without having much of a plan to overcome it.

Sure, after losing a ton of weight, you're going to look awesome and much smaller than before.

You'll probably fit into good size jeans and possibly even look slim! Take your clothes off and you're actually just a much smaller version of your fat self! 

Such a pain in the ass, am I right? 

As it turns out, excessive cardio without resistance, HIIT or weight lifting often amounts to a skinny fat physique. It's unfortunate, I know!

But, believe it or not, there's a super quick fix to this problem and I plan on divulging a step by step system below on how you can change that skinny fat physique within weeks! 

Step 1: Ditch The Treadmill For Good Ol' Fashion Dumbells

One of the unfortunate effects of excessive cardio exercise is muscle loss and many experts believe that this plays a huge role in why people end up looking skinny fat. In essence, you still hold a significant amount of fat around your waist area despite being smaller in size.

Running more isn't going to flatten your stomach. Not by a long shot. You need to build muscle instead and the process isn't that complicated. Lifting weights at least 3-5 days a week is perfect.

Start off with a pair of 5 to 10kg dumbbells and work through weighted squats, lunges, overhead presses, bench presses, and deadlifts. Most of these workouts activate the core and help in burning fat.

Believe it or not, muscle mass burns calories!

As you build lean muscle, the amount of calories you burn to just maintain those muscles increases! That's pretty cool! The goal here is to lose some fat while building some lean muscle mass at the same time. 

Step 2: Carb Cycle And Eliminate Sugar From Your Diet

Another debate within the fitness community is whether or not it's better to bulk first or cut first when trying to fix a skinny fat physique. In my opinion, cutting or losing weight is the better option.

Why? Well because the last thing I wanted to do was get bulky and big again just after working so hard to lose a ton of weight. Also, after dedicating my time, energy and sanity to eating less food, the last thing I want is to undo all my hard work in rewiring my brain and body to function on fewer calories.

I just hate the idea of having to spoil my self with more foods only to go back onto a lesser calorie nutrition plan.

Anyway, to lose fat and not muscle, focus on eating adequate amounts of fat and good amounts of protein but very few to no carbs at least 5 days a week. Once or twice per week you may eat any carbs you like (just not in excess).

Here's why carbs are so low on this protocol - simple carbs like rice and bread convert to sugar super fast.

The spike of insulin from these carbs will knock you out of a fat burning state and you'll have a harder time losing fat. The whole point of this protocol is to sort out a skinny fat physique fast and I believe this low carb plan is essential. But, in normal circumstances, you wouldn't have to reduce carbs so much. It all depends on your goals and time frame.

I know that this isn't necessarily the only way to lose fat. At the end of the day, a caloric deficit amounts to weight loss but the last thing you want to do is eat a cup of rice and realize that you've already consumed hundreds of calories and you are barely nutritionally satisfied.

Keep in mind that on this protocol, you are free to eat as many vegetables as your heart desires. Which means you can literally stuff your face with vegetables and still lose weight! So hunger is Not a part of this strategy. Gimme a hell yeah!

RELATED POST: 5 WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT STARVING YOURSELF

Step 3: Eat In A Caloric Deficit

I just mentioned that being in a caloric deficit ultimately results in weight-loss which is why you need to calculate how many calories your body currently requires in a day to maintain your current weight.

This is known as maintenance caloric intake. At 2000 calories, you would need to consume anywhere between 1500 - 1700 calories a day to be in a caloric deficit which amounts to about a pound or more of weight loss per week.

On average, 300 - 500 calorie deficits are healthy and safe for long term weight loss. The last thing you want to do is lose muscle mass, destroy your metabolism and drive yourself crazy on a super low-calorie diet!

Vegetables, healthy meats, eggs, some fruits, nuts and seeds are perfect for consumption whereas sugar, shitty dairy products, sodas, junk food and simple carbs are only okay on certain refeed days.

Which brings me to an important part of this protocol, you may eat at caloric maintenance or slightly above once per week. This is known as a refeed!

By doing this, you challenge and prevent your body from adapting to a lower caloric intake. This allows your metabolism to remain at a high rate and prevent weight loss from stalling.

So, on your refeed day, have a cheat meal. Just a cheat meal, not a cheat day. The last thing you want to do is eat so much junk that you undo the entire week's work and calorie deficit.

Step 4: Throw In Some Interval Training 2 - 3 Times Per Week

Cardio can be fantastic for health and fitness if done correctly and in moderation. I think that applies to any form of routine. Excessive strain without adequate rest for recovery is going to hinder progress.

Which is why I stick with 2 - 3 HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions per week for about 30 minutes a session. It helps burn extra calories and fat from all over your body.

Don't waste your time with steady state cardio because it's boring and not effective like interval training.

Here's how you do it - Exercise at full force for a minute to 90 seconds and take a minute break to recover. During your recovery, walk or lightly jog. I've had fantastic results with HIIT training and it seems to be the exercise protocol that works best for fat burning (in my opinion).

If you can't do anything too intense for your joints, try jumping rope!

Step 5: Stop Messing With The System

Look, at the end of the day, results are not achieved overnight. When it comes to building a lean and mean body that is beautifully toned, it's going to take weeks to months of disciplined action.

With each passing week, you will notice a change in your body! It's exciting and awesome but you need to be aware of the end game. When something is working, don't try to fix what isn't broken. Speeding up the process with something crazy may end up doing more harm than good.

Be consistent and the results will come!

When you actually hit a plateau, that's when you can start implementing changes in your caloric intake, weight lifting, and cardio routine. For now, just focus on using this protocol for 4 - 12 weeks and watch just how your body transforms!

Wrapping It Up

I'm so glad you have the desire to level up your body and attain a physique worth marveling over. At the end of the day, we are gifted with one body and one life. At the very least, we owe it to ourselves to see the extent of growth we are capable of.

Lift weights, eat healthily and avoid sugar, be in a caloric deficit, intermittent fast, implement HIIT training or regular interval cardio training, be consistent and give your body time to change. It may not be super easy but it's most certainly simple.

And I'm pretty damn sure that you are capable of succeeding! I'll catch you in the next article with a personal update on my physique goals. Until then, stay humble and stay active!

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In Blog Diet

How To Quit Your Sugar Addiction Without Driving Yourself Crazy

Sugar is the root cause of most things bad when it comes to health. There's absolutely nothing nutritionally beneficial about the consumption of sugar and it is often a majorly contributing factor in many illnesses like obesity, diabetes, gut permeability, skin conditions and even cancer.

The problem most of us face, as you probably already know, is that sugar is literally everywhere.

Stop at any store and there are brightly packaged goods made with insane amounts of sugar and genetically modified ingredients that wreak havoc when eaten.

I've always been obsessed with honing a chiseled physique. It's a goal I've aspired for since I was a teen but I had to have a very serious conversation with myself because I have a monstrous sweet tooth.

For as long as I hold onto my desire to eat sweet junk food and added sugar, there's no way I'm going to attain my dreams. That layer of fat that circles the gut will forever be a part of my life if I don't give up sugar.

So that's what I did. I quit sugar so that I can achieve my dreams and prevent autoimmune conditions like psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis from affecting my quality of life ever again. (For those of you who are new to my blog, I was diagnosed with both of those autoimmune diseases when I had just turned 22. Since then, I've managed to enter a state of remission for about 18 months now through a lifestyle change and without any medications).

What Do You Have To Gain From Quitting Sugar?

Think about this for a second, what if most of your health and fitness goals could be attained by simply eliminating this one factor from your life, wouldn't you be psyched? These days, I've started to look at my daily choices and actions as steps towards living a great life or a horrible life.

If health and wellness are what you aspire for, then most of your actions, even the small ones, on a daily basis should revolve around pushing you an inch closer to achieving that goal.

That means eating healthy, exercising regularly, fixing undisturbed sedentary hours from your routine, eliminating and replacing unhealthy substances and ingredients from your diet and adding in many healthy but tasty substitutes for sugar to dispel your desires for junk.

With that being said, let's go over the potential benefits of quitting sugar:
  • Better Insulin Levels
  • Fewer Skin Ailments
  • Less Inflammation In Your Gut
  • The Reduction Of Stored Fat
  • Improved Pancreatic, Liver and Kidney Function
  • Reduction In Severity Of Autoimmune Diseases
  • Less Brain Fog
  • Steady Release Of Energy Throughout The Day
  • Less Join Pain
  • Healthier Skin And Age Better
  • Improved Immune Function
There are more benefits to quitting sugar that I haven't even been able to list, it's that awesome! This toxic processed substance should have no place in our diets. 

I hear so many people try to compare fruits and processed sugar in hopes of convincing themselves that they are one and the same. 

That's just foolish. 

Sure, fructose from fruits has a similar effect in terms of insulin production in the body as white sugar but what people fail to realize is that fruits don't come with a host of horrific effects on your body as synthetic sugar does.

If you're game to quit sugar, I've got a bunch of techniques you can try below!

Quit Your Sugar Addiction Using These 5 Techniques

1. Find A Substitute For Your Favorites

For the 2 weeks of any change, your mind and body is going to give you a hard time. But, if you've made a decision to quit sugar and have a desire to improve your overall health, then I'm sure you're prepared to be strong and battle through those hurdles.

But, rather than go cold turkey and not eat anything sweet at all, it's smarter to incorporate a few healthy, natural and sweet alternatives to your top 3 sweet treats.

I love chocolate cereal but most products on the market are packed with added sugar. Instead of consuming that rubbish,

I make a chocolate protein banana and cold oats porridge to satisfy my desire. I only eat gluten free oats, my pea protein powder has absolutely no added sugar or GMO ingredients, the lactose-free milk I used is actually enriched with the lactase enzyme and Vitamin D3 and banana's in our home are usually organic and loaded with potassium. It's sweet, tasty, chocolatey and most importantly, healthy!

You'll need substitutes/alternatives if you're planning on quitting sugar indefinitely, so for now, purchase organic unrefined honey or xylitol. Don't get any of those zero calorie sugar alternatives like aspartame because they are just as toxic to your health as regular white sugar.

2. Create A Timeline To Track Your Progress

Even if your intention is to quit sugar permanently, I think it's beneficial to have a 30, 60 or 90 day timeline to track your progress. See, here's the thing, even if you end up eating a bit of sugar 15 days from now, that doesn't nullify the 15 days of progress you've made!

Rather than give up on your mission just because you had a bad day, mark it down on your calendar and pick up where you left off.

You don't have to start from day 1 all over again for as long as you don't end up on a weeklong sugar bender!

It's going to take time for your mind and body to readjust and forget those reactors that trigger your desire to consume sugar laden products. With that being said, if you can make it until day 90 with below 7 cheat days in total spread over the 90 days, you'll break free of the hold sugar has on you.

As far as possible, hang in there and avoid giving up too soon or else you'll end up in a loop of cheating.

RELATED POST: 10 DAILY HABITS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE AND IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH

3. Eat Something Bitter, Sour, Salty Or Tangy When You Crave Sugar

I want you to think about something for a second, aren't we creatures of habit?

When you have a craving for something sweet, what do you usually go for? A chocolate? Candy? Soda? As time goes on, when you think about those items, you automatically attribute them to your cravings. What this creates is a pattern.

To break this pattern, you have to end it at one of the many stages. You can't eliminate cravings but you can most certainly change your behavior when these cravings pop up. If your brain associates A and B as a pattern, the ideal scenario to break this pattern would be to substitute either A or B with C.

Wow, I overly complicated that, didn't I?

Basically, when you crave for something sweet, eat something bitter, sour, salty or tangy. As time goes on, your brain will rewire and instead of craving chocolates or sodas daily, you'll start to crave those 'not so sweet' treats like fermented vegetables, coconut and so on.

Simple enough, right? Give it a try and let me know what you experience is like.

4. Don't Tempt Yourself By Purchasing Or Storing Items Made With Sugar

We may be super passionate about health but that doesn't mean we are robots programmed to follow set instructions. If we were, quitting sugar would be an absolutely easy feat. From time to time, when I see a chocolate cake, it's really difficult for me to resist.

Sometimes I fail and give into the temptation that is staring me in the face.

It's the whole forbidden fruit situation - knowing that you can't have something and yet it's right there in front of you for the taking is extremely tempting. That temptation is often overwhelmingly powerful and you end up giving into it.

(This can be viewed as another dangerous pattern!)

Rather than beat yourself up for not having an iron resolve (only a gifted few do), I suggest eliminating as much temptation from your home as you possibly can. There's more than enough things to entice you when you're out, there's no need to put yourself through torture at home too.

Get rid of it. Simple. Or, get one of your family members to hide all those sugary treats away from you (I'm sure they won't even need to think about it lol).

RELATED POST: 5 WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT STARVING YOURSELF

5. Feed Your Body Loads Of Nourishing Food

Now that you've decided to take a wonderful step towards improving your health and fitness, it's the perfect time to fuel your body with as much nutrient dense foods as you possibly can. Not only will you end up exploiting the full benefits of eating healthy but you'll be satiated each and every day making those nasty cravings occur less frequently.

Here's the deal, eliminating those sugar rich foods and beverages from your diet is going to significantly reduce the amount of calories you're eating per day.

That deficit opens you up the possibility of eating larger meals without putting on weight (and you'll probably still lose weight if you're eating a healthy diet not high in processed carbs)!

How freaking awesome is that?!

The next time you go for some grocery shopping, I want you to pick up a bunch of green leafy vegetables and plants, fruits and berries, nuts and seeds and healthy dairy products.

Be excited to enjoy these foods in abundance. Not only will you feel better but I'm pretty sure you're going to look a hell of a lot better as well.

I noticed an improvement in my skin, hair, nails and breath within a week or so!

What Are Some Of The Side Effects You May Experience At First And What Can You Do To Prevent Them?

I wish that I could say that this whole process will be a walk in the park but in reality, there's a bit of a hurdle to overcome before unlocking all those wonderful benefits of quitting sugar!

At first, you may experience a drop in energy, possible headaches and irritability but they often pass very quickly, often within days. And once they do pass, you end up feeling way better than you have ever felt in a long, long time!

Although, if you've got good substitutes as mentioned above and you're eating some nutrient dense foods, the likelihood of you experiencing those withdrawal effects are slim to none!

Keep in mind that when making any significant changes in your lifestyle, it is always recommended and smart to consult a medical professional and have him or her monitor you throughout the entire process.

It is always better to be safe than sorry!

Eat loads of vegetables, munch on some berries and get a healthy dose of fructose with the fibre that comes along with it (don't waste your money on any sweetened fruit juices from stores). That should help prevent the side effects mentioned above.

Most importantly, drink ample beverages that are healthy such as green tea, apple cider vinegar, green smoothies and so on.

Print And Use This Calendar To Track Your 30 Day Progress

I came across this beautiful looking printable that I strongly recommend you use. As you can see from this image, it's designed with 30 blocks for you to strike off and measurement records marked on the right side for your body measurements. This image was designed by Katti Pillar and I strongly recommend you send her some love for her great design!

Just right click on the image, save it and print! It's as easy as that! I hope you enjoyed this post and if you found it helpful, be sure to share it with your family and friends!

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In Blog Habits Natural Remedies

10 Daily Habits That Will Change Your Life And Improve Your Health

Lately, I've been feeling really down in the dumps and out of the zone in most areas of my life. Health and fitness seem to be the only aspect that I've been maintaining to an extent but I realized that in my 20's, I shouldn't be feeling this way.

Hell, whether you're 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 or 70, there aren't many excuses for feeling so lethargic, demotivated and exhausted. It was only until last night (25th August) that I realized how simple it would be to make some positive and uplifting changes in my life Again.

I don't have to spend a ton of money or pick up a brand new sport to feel better, in reality, I just needed to pick up where I left off in terms of my daily habits and rituals.

 In today's article, I want to share a list of 10 daily habits that changed my life in the past and that will change my life in the present and future. These habits, if you choose to implement them, can be vastly beneficial to your life and I strongly urge you to give these daily habits a try!

1. Start Your Day With Appreciations And Affirmations

You have been gifted with a life to spend on things you love doing and with people who you love wholeheartedly.

Inspite of and despite all the things that have caused you to feel stressed.anxious or depressed, find a moment to list as many things you are appreciative for and remind yourself of all the positive qualities, attributes, and values that you've been working on for all your life.

We may not be able to control our feelings but we don't have to allow our feelings to control us when they direct us onto a path we don't want to travel.

You'd be pleasantly surprised at how uplifting and motivating it is to know that you have many things and people to be grateful for. This simple act could change the way your day plays out.

2. Intermittent Fast Frequently

Nothing has allowed me to focus more or stay healthy as much as intermittent fasting has. The amount of time taken to decide on what to eat for breakfast or at lunch alone is baffling.

Just yesterday, my buddy shared his experience with intermittent fasting the last few days and how he was able to crank out more work in the morning because he doesn't have to think about food until a set time.

RELATED POST: 8 WEIGHTLOSS TIPS THAT WORK INCREDIBLY FAST

3. Skip Those Breakfast Bagels And Cereals For Fruits And Nuts

If you're not sold on intermittent fasting and want to eat something before starting your day, why not feed your body healthy and nourishing food that promotes the proper release of energy throughout the day rather than processed carbs packed with sugar?

Despite all the claims made on these traditional sugar laden products on the market, they're no good for you or your body.

Fruits and nuts are particularly good for breakfast because they have natural sugars, fiber, and fat that ensures you have the energy to get shit done and still feel satiated until lunch.

4. Fit Some Light And Fun Cardio Into Your Morning Routine

Hey, you just slept for a bunch of hours, the last thing you want to do in the morning is jump onto the couch or onto a chair at a desk.

Start your morning with movement and watch how much clearer, energized, focused and happier you feel throughout the day!

Exercise, particularly aerobic exercises, promotes the release of dopamine and serotonin which are responsible for those feel good emotions. Jump rope, jog outside, box, do some calisthenics or yoga for 20 minutes and you'll be set to take on the day with pride and vigor.

5. Flip Between Hot And Cold Showers

I've previously written about cold showers and the host of benefits attached to this simple change!

Not only does it rid your body of lethargy and mental fog but it helps increase blood flow to your skin and hair. This has helped many people deal with bad skin and hair conditions and I swear by it. Sure, it takes some adjusting too but you don't have to ditch hot water altogether. Start hot and end your shower cold.

RELATED POST: 5 EPIC BENEFITS OF A COLD SHOWER

6. Drink Atleast 1 Cup Of Green Tea Or Matcha Tea

Green tea is a powerful antioxidant rich drink that has been helping people feel healthier for centuries. It is a zero calorie drink that promotes weight loss, reduces inflammation, fights skin conditions like acne and is a wonderful beverage for those cold winter days.

My goal is to work my way up to 5 cups of green tea every single day ever since I've fallen to just 2 cups over the last 2 weeks.

RELATED POST: 6 OUTSTANDING BENEFITS OF DRINKING GREEN TEA

7. Supplement With Amino Acids, Vitamin D And C

Modern day foods have become ridiculously unhealthy over time and with the sedentary office lifestyles most of us live, we don't get much access to healthy foods or sunshine.

This has become an underlying issue for people all around the world who are suffering from autoimmune conditions, including myself.

Since educating myself and healing naturally from psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, I've come to realize that it is essential to supplement with amino acids like L-glutamine and Vitamin D and C to regulate gut health, improve inflammation in the body and to live a generally healthy life.

Don't worry about buying anything fancy, start with a good multivitamin and pay attention to your diet. Vegetables, fruits, nuts and healthy meats should be your ideal diet, not sugary processed shit.

8. Take 10 Minutes To Focus On Being Still And Mindful Of Your Environment And Life

In a fast pace world with a constant influx of commitments and responsibilities, I believe it is both important and beneficial for us to just take a few minutes to focus on being present in the moment.

I'm currently reading The Power Of Now and it had blown my mind. When my brain plays tricks on me and all these crazy 'what-if' thoughts plague my mind, focusing on the present moment has proven to snap me out of anxiety and unnecessary stress.

10 minutes, a quiet space, a comfortable seat, and patience are all you need.

9. Stop Sitting So Much And Walk Around Frequently

Now that you've sat down and focused on appreciating the present moment, it's time to get the hell up and move around a bit to increase blood flow to your brain and limbs. Look, there seems to be a strong correlation between sedentary lifestyles and early mortality.

If you want to live longer and improve the overall quality of life you live for the next few decades, get off that chair every 45 minutes to an hour and walk around at the very least!

10. Make A Note Of The Top 3 Things You Want To Accomplish Today And Why

It's all good and well that you want to make some positive changes in your life but it's important to know WHY. Why do you want to be successful, why do you want to be healthy, why do you want to be better?

Figure out your purpose for self and life development and then target the top 3 things you can do today to achieve your purpose!

I'm more than certain that if we put in the effort to take action on the above-mentioned habits and make them a part of our daily life, living a happy, healthy and wealthy life won't be something to dream about because it will be a reality. At the end of the day, small actions that are taken daily compounded over time creates significant results.

Take it one day at a time but make sure that you are giving a 100% of yourself each and every day. If today isn't a good one, tomorrow can and will be a better day.

If you messed up on your diet or goals for today, okay, dust yourself off and get ready to kill it tomorrow.

Lifestyle changes aren't for a month or two, they are for an entire Lifetime. Remember that! Thank you for taking the time to read this article and I genuinely hope that this post has helped you put into perspective what you need to do to live a much better life!

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