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Fuel Your Muscles Before and After Exercise

What you eat before and after exercise has a huge impact on your results.

Think about that.

You could be doing intense workouts, pushing yourself hard in the gym, but then eating all the wrong foods that keep your body looking the same.

I don't know about you, but if I'm going to put in all that effort in the gym, I certainly don't want my results hijacked by poor nutrition.

Transforming your body comes down to two simple parts: 1) consistent, challenging exercise and 2) balanced, proper nutrition.

When you skip on the balanced, proper nutrition, you cheat yourself out of the sculpted physique that you should have.

The food you eat prior to and following exercise plays a key role in the overall success of your workout. What you eat and when you eat can either help you burn more calories and build more muscle or it can hinder your weight-loss and muscle-mass goals.

Here's how it works. Your body gets energy from the carbohydrates you eat. Carbohydrates are converted to glucose, and unused glucose is then converted to glycogen, which is stored in your liver and muscles.

During intense exercise, your body uses up this stored energy. Not having a store of energy, your body can't function at its potential. Healthy pre- and post-workout foods provide your body with the glycogen needed to fuel your muscles during aerobic and anaerobic exercise.

Pre-Workout Fuel. Many people find that exercising first thing in the morning works best for their schedule. For some, this means heading to the gym on an empty stomach. Unfortunately, when you exercise with your body's "gas tank" on empty, your body will start to take the amino acids from your muscles and convert them to the glucose you need for energy.

Therefore, instead of burning fat, you may actually break down your muscle!

This is the opposite of what you want to do.

In order to burn fat, you need to fuel up with something nutritious an hour to an hour and a half before working out. This gives your body enough time to digest the food and make the energy available for exercising.

Good examples of healthy pre-workout meals or snacks to give your body the energy it needs to exercise include high-fiber cereal with skim milk, a two- to three-ounce turkey breast, a low sugar energy bar, banana, poached egg with whole-wheat toast and grapefruit, or a lean turkey burger.

Don't have time to eat a meal before exercising? You still need to eat something. A quick way to give your body immediate energy is to eat a simple carbohydrate such as fruit or juice in a protein drink or shake 15 to 30 minutes prior to working out. And avoid heavy meals before exercising, as these large meals may slow you down and make you feel sluggish during your routine.

The combination of food to eat before a workout should contain complex and simple carbohydrates, fiber, and low-fat protein to give you energy, keep you feeling full, and help regulate a normal blood sugar level. Try to make sure each pre-workout meal or snack contains this combination of nutrients. Not having the right amount of carbs for energy will hinder your ability to burn calories, build muscle, and exercise to your full potential.

Replenish Post-workout. The goal of post-workout nutrition is to help muscles rebuild and strengthen following the stress and loss of glycogen they experience during exercise. To replenish energy stores, your muscles need protein and carbohydrates within half an hour to an hour and a half following exercise.

Examples of a post-workout snacks and meals include a four- to six-ounce turkey breast and brown rice, a green salad with grilled chicken, or a smoothie with fresh fruit and low-fat yogurt
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Is Your Slow Metabolism To Blame For Weight Gain

You're working out and eating well, but just can't seem to lose weight. Could a slow metabolism be keeping you from your weight-loss goals? It just might.

What is your metabolism and what relationship does it have to weight gain? Can you speed up your metabolism to help your body burn more calories? Hang on tight, ‘cause you're heading for a crash course in metabolism!

What is Metabolism?

The calories in your food or beverages combine with oxygen and create the energy necessary for your body to function. Metabolism is the complex, biochemical process in which your body takes what you eat and drink and converts it into energy. Your metabolism is constantly at work, even during rest and sleep when your body needs energy to breath, circulate blood, adjust hormones, repair cells, and grow new cells.

Your basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories it takes for your body to perform its basic functions. It affects how much energy your body needs to do its job and helps determine the number of calories you'll burn each day. Many factors play a role in your basal metabolic rate.

The first is your body composition and size. Larger people and those with more muscle mass burn more calories even while resting. This means overweight people usually have a faster metabolic rate than their thinner peers.

The second factor affecting your metabolic rate is your sex. Men generally have more muscle and less fat and therefore burn more calories, giving them the advantage when it comes to metabolic rate.

Third, your metabolic rate changes with age. The older you are, the less muscle you're likely to have. As a result, you burn calories slower.

Besides your basal metabolic rate, the amount of physical activity you get and the way your body digests and processes food determines how many calories you burn. While many factors go into your metabolism, the most variable is physical activity. However, exercise also makes the most difference in the number of calories you burn, so amp up your exercise and watch your metabolism rise as well.

Slow Metabolism = Weight Gain?


Contrary to popular belief, a slow metabolism rarely causes excess weight gain. While it would be easy to blame your weight on a slow metabolism, the most likely culprit behind those extra pounds is the amount of calories you consume versus the amount of calories you expend in physical activity. When you eat more calories than you expend, your body stores that away as fat.

Your metabolism is a natural process, and your body balances your metabolism to meet your individual energy needs. This is made clear when folks jump into a starvation diet. When you don't eat, your body slows down the metabolizing processes to conserve calories and energy to survive.

You don't have much control over your metabolism, but you can control the number of calories you burn during exercise. The more activity you perform, the more calories you burn.

You may think a thin person has a faster metabolism, but they're usually just more active.

Having a slow metabolism is rare, and it usually doesn't cause obesity. Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism and Cushing's syndrome may slow metabolism and lead to weight gain. But for the most part, the factors that contribute to weight gain include consuming too many calories, genetics, family history, unhealthy habits such as too little sleep or not eating breakfast, and certain medications.

If you want to kick-start your metabolism with challenging progressive workouts then call or email us today to get started.




The 6 Best Exercises for Your Buns

Here's the article that you've been waiting for – everything you need to know to shape up your booty for swimsuit season. 

Don't allow past failures get you down. It can be frustrating waiting for results, but by a combination of cardio exercises, a healthy diet, and the right resistance workouts targeted for the butt and thighs, you will reach your goal. 

Here are the essential exercises that target your gluteal muscles to give it the shape and tone you desire. 

Exercise 1: Hip Lift 
A great exercise to work your glute muscles is the hip lift. To do this exercise, lie on the floor with your back flat, knees bent, and feet resting on the ground. While keeping your arms at your sides on the floor, lift your bottom and lower back off of the floor. Hold for a few seconds, and then slowly lower yourself. Repeat. To work your muscles even more, lift a leg in the air when you raise your bottom off the ground. Lower yourself and then repeat, lifting the other leg. 

Exercise 2: Leg Lift
To do a leg lift, lie on your side and prop yourself up on your elbow. Raise your top leg slowly into the air, as high as you can, so your legs make a "V" shape. Hold for a few seconds, and then slowly lower your leg. Repeat 10 times, turn onto the other side, and lift the other leg. 

Exercise 3: Banded Shuffle
This is a great exercise to get your heart pumping and work your butt. To do this exercise, you'll need an elastic sports band. Stand up straight with your legs hip-width apart and tie the band around your lower legs. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, your back is straight, and your abdominals are tight. While in this squatting position, take several steps to the left, then several to the right. You may need to use your arms for balance, but your butt muscles should feel a workout. 

Exercise 4: Plie Squat
Another form of squat is the plie squat. If you don't have an elastic band, this is the exercise to add definition and shape to your butt. Start by standing with your legs slightly more than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed out to the sides. This is what ballerinas call the plie position. For balance, hold your arms in front of you. While keeping your back straight, slowly squat to the ground until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold this for five seconds and stand back up. Repeat 10 times. 

Exercise 5: Lunge
A fifth exercise that targets the muscles of your butt, thighs, and hips is the lunge. Putting one foot out in front of the other, lower your body toward the ground, keeping your abdominals tight and your torso straight. Lower until the front knee is bent at 90 degrees and not extended past your toes. Stand back up and then extend the opposite leg and bend. Perform 10 repetitions. For an increased workout, hold dumbbells in each hand. 

Exercise 6: Run or Walk
Running or walking outside or on the treadmill are other great exercises that work your butt while giving you a cardio workout to burn fat at the same time. Make it your goal to exercise 30 to 45 minutes at least three times a week, including walking or running each time. 

Burn, Baby, Burn! These exercises are excellent ways to burn extra fat off your butt while adding the definition you desire. Not used to working your gluteal muscles? You'll definitely feel the burn the first few days, but the end result will be worth the effort! 

If you're serious about transforming your body then call or email today to set up a consultation with me. Together we will create the perfect program that will quickly get you into the body that you deserve.