All Posts by yogadoc

12 Strategies for a Successful Meal Prep Day

One common strategy for saving money on food that shows up in a lot of frugality books and on many frugality websites is the idea of a “meal prep day,” sometimes simply called “meal prep Sunday” because people often use a Sunday to do it.

Read the full article at: lifehacker.com

Still Counting Calories and Chasing Them With Exercise?

This is a great post about the financial and time-management advantages of a meal-prep day.  But the most significant benefit of prepping meals in advance is fitness and weight loss, because it gives you control over the factors that will help you lose weight much more efficiently than counting calories and chasing those calories with exercise:

  1. Hunger Management
  2. Macronutrient ratios that affect metabolism
  3. Mindless Eating

Still Eating Over The Sink?

If you’re like most Americans, you probably do at least some of the following:

  • Wait until you’re hungry to eat, then eat until you feel full
  • Have no idea what a macronutrient is and how they affect your hunger and metabolism
  • Eat at your desk, in your car, at the drive-through, or standing over a sink or in front of an open fridge or over a paper towel without utensils

If you could change those habits tomorrow it would have a huge impact on your ability to lose weight – so huge that you could skip counting calories and going to the gym altogether – seriously!

Palms of Protein, Fists of Veggies

The way to do this is by planning and preparing healthy meals in advance.  Every meal should include at least 2 palm-sized portions of protein and 2 fist-sized portions of veggies.  This is simple to eyeball when you’re preparing meals in bulk.  Reducing the ratio of sugar and refined carbs in your diet and replacing those calories with protein and healthy fats will control your hunger, make you less prone to mindless snacking and overeating, and actually change the way your body stores and burns fat, to your advantage.

Nobody Saves Fries For Later

One of the most neglected yet significant components of successful weight loss is our psychological response to hunger signals.  Think about it – how often do you wait until you are famished to start eating?  How often do you start shoveling food into your mouth, continuing until you can’t take another bite?  

Advance meal-prep has built-in safeguards against all of this harmful behavior.  You are forced to make decisions about portion size and content in advance, and even if a portion leaves you feeling too full to finish it, storing leftovers for another meal is a natural part of the process, unlike the double-cheeseburger and super-size fries you just have to finish (have you ever put away half your fries for later? I didn’t think so).  

Also, advance meal prep makes it easy to eat just until you are no longer hungry (instead of full), and put the rest of the food away until later.  This habit will inevitably lead to better planned portion control in the future.

Donut or Breakfast Burrito?

The author of this Lifehacker post gets a little crazy – I wouldn’t recommend trying to prepare 252 meals on your first shot.  he does, however, offer some excellent practical advice and I would add this crucial element: start small.  Try preparing your next meal in advance, then your next day’s meals, etc. until you work up to a week.  Why not start today?  I am certain that having a delicious breakfast burrito waiting for you when you wake up will work wonders in helping you resist that donut box in the break room at work tomorrow.  What are you waiting for?

 

 

 

How to Have a Perfect Day

30 ways to becoming a better person every day

Read the full article at: www.outsideonline.com

 

This is perhaps the most awesome post I’ve ever seen on motivation and productivity because it breaks down the perfect day into simple steps that anyone can follow.  It touches upon several points of crucial research that you should take note of because they are so easy to implement yet they have the potential to change your life dramatically.

  1. Sunshine – Get some sunshine in the early morning.  It has been shown to boost serotonin levels which will improve your mood.  if you’re struggling to get moving or motivated to exercise in the morning, sunlight may be your best solution.
  2. Visualization – There are actually studies showing that the act of visualizing sinking freethrows can make basketball players sink more free throws.  Elite athletes use this technique all the time but it can work for everybody.  Devise a physically challenging, but achievable move to perform every day and visualize yourself nailing it.  Then do it.
  3. Sleep – Take advantage of this calorie-free energy source.  The quickest, easiest way to improve your sleep is to turn off all your devices, including your TV, at least an hour before bedtime.  The blue light these devices emit inhibits production of the sleep hormone melatonin.  Try reading a book, meditating, talking, or making love.
  4. Manage your Hunger – The reason you eat the wrong things or too much of them is that you allow the food that happens to be in front of you, the time of day, or what other people are eating to make eating decisions for you.  Plan your snacks and meals in advance and try to eat them before you are hungry.  If you do get hungry try eating just enough to take the edge of the hunger.  In other words, instead of eating until you’re full eat until you’re no longer hungry.

Try implementing these simple changes today and you will notice a dramatic impact on your motivation, productivity, and your life almost immediately.

A Beginner’s Guide on How to Eat Healthy and Stick to It

Healthy eating. It’s something everyone knows they should do, but few of us do as consistently as we would like. Here’s how to change that.

Read the full article at: jamesclear.com

Stop Counting Calories and Chasing Them With Exercise

You don’t have to count calories or chase them with boring repetitive exercise to lose weight.  The latest scientific findings on eating habits offer amazingly simple strategies you can implement today with very little effort.

This is a great review by James Clear on the science of healthy eating.  He summarizes data from Brian Wansink’s excellent book, Mindless Eating, and the bestseller Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss.

Eat 20% Less With No Effort

The most practical advice you can take away from these excellent science-based reviews is that you can easily set up environmental cues to reduce your caloric intake by 20% or more without ever feeling deprived.

“Can’t” vs. “Won’t”

The most interesting psychological finding is that when you tell yourself you “can’t” eat something, you crave it more.  The studies suggest swapping that limitation for a sense of control – say “I won’t eat that”.  This simple semantic shift from “can’t” to “won’t” gives you an identity-based goal, putting you in the position of choosing what you eat and establishing your self image as the type of person who chooses an apple over a donut.

Cheating

The reason cheating works so well has nothing to do with shocking your metabolism – its effects are purely psychological and they are incredibly powerful:

  • Cheating gives you permission to commit

The single biggest obstacle to eating healthy is the fear of long-term commitment: the idea that I might never order another pizza or eat another brownie sundae is absolutely terrifying.  If I start out with a commitment that allows for intermittent cheating I’ll immediately jump right over the biggest hurdle of any new habit: getting started.

  • Cheating makes you more mindful of your guilty pleasures.

When you establish a habit of eating healthy most of the time and planning the what and when and how of your cheat meal, you exponentially increase your enjoyment of it.  You not only enjoy it multiple times in your mind with anticipation, you also savor every bite and every tiny detail of the experience as you indulge.

  • Planned cheating neutralizes guilt and powerfully reinforces your sense of control.

As Clear points out, if you cheat with the intention of immediately returning to your baseline of healthy eating, you not only eliminate guilt over your indulgence but you also remind your brain that you are completely in control of your cravings and you are the one who decides when you want to enjoy that pizza or brownie sundae.  This can feel incredibly empowering.

What These Studies Miss

I’m amazed that with all the excellent scientific work done on mindless eating, Brian Wansink can write an entire book and James Clear can write an exhaustive review and they can still miss the most obvious obstacles to mindful eating that we all experience every day:

  • Eating over the sink
  • Eating with the refrigerator or cupboard open
  • Eating standing up
  • Eating food on a paper towel, or from a bag

Have you convinced  your brain that calories consumed in this way don’t really count?  For most of my life I did.

I’ve found that the simplest acts of all: putting food on a plate, closing the refrigerator door, and sitting down, establishes an astonishing level of mindfulness with no thought or effort required.

 

Get Shredded Lower Abs and Sculpted Glutes Simultaneously

It's All About The Lines

You can talk about numbers all day

  • Calories eaten
  • Calories burned
  • Steps taken
  • Pounds lost
  • Body fat percentages
  • Grams of carbs or protein or fat

But the results you really want to see are those abdominal muscle lines in the mirror, and the toughest ones to define are the lower ab lines.  

Abdominal Muscle Lines Speak For Themselves

You've probably figured out by now that standard gym crunches are just bulking up your upper abdominal muscles, but not giving you that sharp, lean, shredded look you really want to see.

How would it feel to reach down with one hand, grab the edge of your shirt and smoothly peel it off over your head to reveal your abs like a boss, like a badass.  No numbers necessary.  Your abdominal muscle lines would speak for themselves.

The superhero crunch is laser-focused on sculpting a long, lean side view and hyper-defining the sharp lines of the abs and obliques

Abdominal muscle lines speak for themselves.  If you're doing standard crunches you're just bulking up the upper abs and missing the lean shred of the tucked-under margins of the  lower, mid, and side-cut abs

Reveal Your Lower Abdominal Muscle Lines

This move is specifically designed to laser-focus on making the abdominal muscle lines you don't have yet pop.

​You can sculpt sharp, defined abdominal muscle lines and reveal more of your abs while doing it, by activating the maximum number of fibers with the right sequence of the right mix of different contractions and movement dimensions.

3 EASY TRICKS REVEAL YOUR FUTURE ABDOMINAL MUSCLE LINES NOW

Reveal your future six pack with easy step-by-step tutorials

Fan Kicks

Fan kicks are an intense simultaneous activation of the lower abdominal muscles and glutes

Fan kicks are an intense simultaneous activation of the lower abdominal muscles and glutes

Easy Step-by-Step

Step 1 is a deep flat-foot squat with fully flexed knees and hips.  Fold forward as far as you can crunching your chest to your thighs

This move powerfully engages the deep core and sets the stage for the lower abdominal activation of the kicking phase.​

Step 2 is a side-to-side sway with balance on your toes.  This move establishes curvilinear knee and hip motion and activates the deep core with even more intensity.

steps 1 & 2 - Learn to balance in a deep flat-foot squat then sway side to side balancing on toes

steps 1 & 2 - Learn to balance in a deep flat-foot squat then sway side-to-side balancing on toes

Steps 3 & 4

Steps 3 and 4: Circle the kicking foot in the air in a wide arc, staying balanced on your opposite toe.  Powerfully engage your core, flex and extend the standing hip and knee for balance, and focus not on staying upright but on a soft landing.

Steps 3 and 4: Circle the kicking foot in the air in a wide arc, staying balanced on your opposite toe. Powerfully engage your core, flex and extend the standing hip and knee for balance, and focus not on staying upright but on a soft landing.

Stop Hiding Your Abs Behind XXXL T-Shirts and Start Showing Off Your Future 6-Pack Now

Most crunch workouts just bulk up the upper abdominal muscles and ignore the sharp shredded lines that can be sculpted where the lower margins of the mid, lower, and side cut abs tuck under.

By activating these muscle fibers in the right sequence and maintaining that activation throughout the entire move, you can quickly sculpt sharp, defined abdominal muscle lines and look cool while doing it - showing off your future ab muscle lines as you work out.

Look at the huge volume of muscle fiber in the deep core - you're not activating these fast-twitch fibers at all

Maintaining isometric tension in the deep core is where all the fat-burning action is

Most core workouts focus only on the thin layer of surface muscle and shut down the deep core - but the deep core is where all the fat-burning action is

Activating the surface abdominal muscle fibers in the right sequence while maintaining the deep core contraction will reveal your future six-pack

Take A Look Around... And In The Mirror

Look around.  Is the average gym member lean, sculpted, agile, strong, defined, and toned?   If you keep doing the same exercises as everyone else, you're going to look like everyone else. Would you be happy with the results of the average gym-goer?  Are you happy with the results you see in the mirror?

Got Swagger?  Give Gym Hotties A Reason To Notice You

Stop wasting your time and energy doing the same soul-crushingly boring exercises, rep after rep, as everyone else.  Start doing something extraordinary and you will start to look extraordinary.  Why not give the hottest girl at the gym a reason to notice you?

STOP HIDING BENEATH XXXL T-SHIRTS

Reveal your future six pack with easy step-by-step tutorials

Reveal your future six pack with easy step-by-step tutorials

7 ‘Get Fit’ Tips to Avoid This Year

I know that you want to get healthy this year, because it’s the most popular New Year’s resolution. Plenty of people want to help you, too, with everything from diet tips to exercise suggestions. They’ll tell you to make some lifestyle changes, to download a new app, or even to buy a wearable fitness tracker (those probably don’t work, by the way). But with lots of advice floating around, there are bound to be bad suggestions—those rooted in confirmation bias, trendiness, and pretty much anything except scientific evidence.

Read the full article at: gizmodo.com

The #1 New Year’s resolution, to get healthy nearly doubled the runner-up of getting organized, and tripled the third place resolution of living life to the fullest.

Freezing off your fat, wearing a corset, taking pills, or  is not going to get you there, but you already know that.

There are 3 simple changes you can make right now that will have a dramatic impact on your overall health for the rest of your life.

Sleep

Americans are chronically sleep deprived, and this affects the function of every body system from the brain on down.  You probably aren’t aware that drinking alcohol and staring at LED screens deprives you of the good quality deep sleep that your body needs to recharge.  So lay off the booze, read a book made of paper before bedtime, and set that bedtime an hour earlier.  The impact on your physical and mental health will be surprising and dramatic.

Eat Till You’re No Longer Hungry

When do you stop eating?  When you’re full?  Eating till you’re full is killing you.  It takes 20 minutes for your brain to fully register the fullness signals coming from your belly and bloodstream.  So you can circumvent that delay by stopping when you’ve eaten enough to take the edge off the hunger.  I used to have such a fear of hunger that I would stuff myself at every meal – thinking who knows when I’ll see food again.  But once I started the habit of just topping off, that anxiety melted away, and I started losing fat without even thinking about it.

Establish Trust In Your Future Self

If exercise were a pill it would be a wonder drug.  It makes you young, lean, smart, healthy and extends your life.  The reason it’s so hard to start and stick with an exercise program is that you’ve seen yourself fail too many times, so you’ve lost trust in your future self.  The way to re-establish this trust is to commit to a tiny micro-habit and observe yourself sticking to it.  It can be a 10-minute walk, or even a single pushup.  It’s not the behavior that matters but the trust you establish in yourself by doing it consistently.  Starting small today will form the foundation of trust which will allow you to take on bigger challenges, one step at a time.

 

 

3 Simple Steps to Lose Fat Quick (hint: it’s not paleo or cardio)

Download the FREE ebook

No fancy-schmancy diet plans!  These 3 simple weight loss secrets that are rarely talked about will get you started losing fat today!

Weight loss studies almost never talk about them.   Every weight loss study focuses on selling the latest trendy diet plan – paleo, gluten-free, low carb, bulletproof etc.

You don’t need a diet book or video to figure out the glaringly obvious problem, and the solution is just as obvious.

30 % of our calories come from alcohol and added sugar – the worst possible sources for energy or nutrition.

We are chronically sleep deprived – which has been shown in study after study to cause hunger, overeating, weight gain, and fat storage.

5 of the top 6 sources of calories in the U.S. diet are:

  • cookies, cakes, and donuts
  • bread
  • soda
  • pizza
  • alcohol

The Ultimate Weight Loss Study

Here is the simplest design for a weight loss study – one group lives like typical Americans, consuming 30 percent of calories from alcohol and sugar, and being chronically sleep-deprived.  Group 2 skips happy hour and dessert, and goes to bed an hour earlier.  I am certain that group 2 would lose weight without any fancy expensive diet plan.

Will anybody ever do this study?  I doubt it.

How Sugar Makes You Fat

Sugar sneaks into everything.  Here are just a few of the dozens of super-secret stealth names for sugar

  • agave nectar
  • evaporated cane juice
  • brown rice syrup

Sneaky huh?  No matter what you call it, if it tastes sweet, it’s sugar.

Empty calories.  Except for alcohol, sugar is the worst choice you can make as a source of energy or nutrition.

Makes You Hungry.  The spike and crash of blood sugar and insulin make you hungrier sooner, so you consume more calories

Bulges your belly.  Fructose, the sweet chemical in sugar, becomes deep belly fat.

Causes heart disease.  That deep belly fat is associated with LDL and triglycerides, the bad cholesterol, and increases the risk of heart disease

Desensitizes your sweet-taste buds, so you crave more sweets, and eat even more calories.

How Sleep Deprivation Makes You Fat

If you sleep less, you eat more, and you don’t know when to stop.  Less than 6 hours of sleep makes your hunger hormones go all cattywampus – hunger signals go up, fullness signals turn off.

A single night of 4 hours of sleep induces insulin resistance – making you store more fat.

Sleep loss is stressful.  Stress hormone (cortisol) rises, causing you to eat more and store more fat.

Extra time to nosh.  Going to bed earlier gives you less time to snack at night.

Slows your metabolism.  Loss of deep (slow wave) sleep deprives your muscles of restorative energy – so your resting metabolism drops and you burn fewer calories.

How Alcohol Makes You Fat

Makes you eat stupid.  The prefrontal cortex is the executive office of the brain – where all the important decisions are made.  Alcohol affects the prefrontal cortex, shutting down the smart decision machine.  So you make poor food choices for immediate pleasure without considering the consequences.

Increases belly fat.  Alcohol, like sugar, is broken down in the liver, resulting in the accumulation of deep belly fat.

Reduces deep sleep.  Alcohol might seem to help you get to sleep – but it actually decreases the quality of sleep.  Suppression of restorative sleep causes all the fat-inducing effects listed above.

Nutritionally empty calories.  Alcohol is the worst choice for energy or nutrition, so you have to eat more calories to get the energy and nutrients your body needs.

Did you know?

sleep loss stimulates cannabinoid receptors, making you eat like a stoner with the munchies.

Cutting added sugar out of children’s diet measurably improved their health in only 10 days

Alcohol ranks 6th on the list of top 10 calorie sources for Americans, accounting for a whopping 16% of our calories.  The reason you don’t know this is that alcoholic beverages don’t have nutritional information labels.

How Exercise May Turn White Fat Into Brown

Exercise may aid in weight control and help to fend off diabetes by improving the ability of fat cells to burn calories.

Read the full article at: www.nytimes.com

There’s new evidence that exercise can help you burn more calories while you sleep.

Eat Fat & Exercise

There’s new scientific evidence every year that weight loss is much more than the simple matter of calories consumed, and that exercise is much more than calories burned.

Fat is Good

When it comes to hunger and metabolism, there is good evidence that eating healthy fats will help you manage your hunger better, and it will also change your metabolism so you actually store fat differently – you will store less deep belly fat.

The Fat That Burns Calories

This is almost too good to be true – there is actually a type of fat – brown fat – that is metabolically active.  That is to say, it burns calories.  Babies have a lot of this type of fat – its purpose is to generate heat to help regulate body temperature.

How to Get More Brown Fat

Scientists used to think that adults had very little brown fat, but there is new evidence that there may be a way to increase your stores of brown fat and guess what? it’s that wonder drug called exercise.

That’s right, there’s a hormone called irisin produced during exercise that can convert the typical lazy form of white fat into brown fat.  Regular exercise can stimulate your muscles to produce irisin.  If you increase your stores of brown fat, you will actually burn more calories at rest – even while you sleep.

The Wonder Drug

So exercise not only makes you happier, younger, smarter, and healthier – it also helps you burn more calories while you sleep.

 

 

 

To Change Your Life, Learn How to Trust Your Future Self

How to change for the better, for good.

Read the full article at: nymag.com

The secret to a lifetime of fitness isn’t some superpower like motivation, persistence, or willpower.

The secret to a lifetime of fitness is establishing trust in your future self.

Huh?

A Simple Strategy

OK, let’s break that down, because… listen up … this is important.  Scientific research has identified a simple strategy you can start using today to stick to a fitness routine for good.

Why is it so easy the night before to decide to set your alarm and put your running shoes by the bed and resolve to get up and go for a run first thing in the morning?  But when that alarm goes off it seems like the sweet embrace of the pillow has an almost insurmountable veto power over all your plans?

This doesn’t seem to be rational behavior.  After all, you know all the heath benefits of regular exercise – it’s practically a wonder drug and if it were a pill you’d certainly take it every morning.

Delay Discounting and Preference Reversal

The psychological mechanisms at work are knows as “delay discounting” – rewards now are more highly valued than rewards in the distant future, and “preference reversal” – when a reward is right in front of your face, like your warm pillow, it gains a lot more power than the distant, more abstract goal of fitness.

We’re Not Lizards

Luckily, humans have a mechanism for overcoming these obstacles – that no other animals have – it’s called “bundling”.

Lizards, for example, don’t plan for the future.  Humans do.   And the way we do this is through a simulation engine located in the prefrontal cortex of our brains (that lizards don’t have) which allows us to step into the shoes of our future selves.

Bundling

What we do when we bundle is we package together all of the benefits that our future fit self will experience over the course of a lifetime – suddenly that “bundle” becomes more powerful than hitting snooze and sinking back into that deliciously warm pillow.

The Issue is Trust

There is one problem with bundling, and this is the reason why 90-plus percent of people don’t stick to a fitness routine.  The problem is that most of us don’t trust our future selves.  When we say “I’m too lazy” or “I’ll get bored” or “I’m not athletic” we’re not talking about the exercise, we’re talking about ourselves.  We’re expressing the belief that we just won’t stick with it .  Where does that belief come from?  The observation that we have failed to stick to a fitness routine in the past.

It turns out that we can’t talk, or even think ourselves out of those self-beliefs.

A Simple Rule

But, there is a way out – we have to establish trust in our future self by establishing a simple rule and sticking to it, no matter what.  Don’t worry about the behavior itself, just focus on establishing trust by sticking to it, without fail. Once you observe this type of behavior, you will start trusting your future self and replace the downward spiral of self-doubt with an upward spiral of self-trust.

One Pushup

Take a ridiculously simple rule, like doing one pushup every morning when you first wake up.  It may seem silly at first but try it.  The point is not to build a habit but to establish a pattern of evidence of consistency that your own brain can observe.  Now you will start establishing what’s called an identity-based goal – becoming the type of person who does some physical activity every morning.

Establishing Credibility With Yourself

As you establish credibility with yourself, you can start expanding your rules – ten pushups, fifteen, twenty.  Soon it becomes part of who you are and it gains momentum, your investment in the activity grows which raises the cost of quitting, and the momentum actually makes it hard to stop.  Pretty soon you will wonder how you ever got out of bed in the morning without banging out some exercise.

Effortlessly on Your Way

You don’t need a superpower like motivation, persistence, or willpower.  Just start gradually establishing trust in your self with concrete observable actions, and you will be effortlessly on your way to a lifetime of fitness.

 

 

10 Commandments of Fitness

Read the full article at: www.outsideonline.com

Sleep More, Eat Fat, Push Limits

Of these 10 awesome commandments, the most important ones you can implement right now are focusing on sleep, eating fat, and ignoring your limits.

Sleep and Fat

That’s right – 2 of the simplest things you can do right away are getting more sleep and eating more fat.  Sleep plays a regulatory role in modulating your hunger, so when your hunger hormones are in good control you’re going to naturally consume fewer calories without any effort at all.

Adequate slow wave or deep sleep also controls the level of stress hormone in your body, which results in more fat burning during activity and less storage of deep belly fat.

Hunger, Not Calories, is the Key

Nutrition science is clear on the issue: fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does.  The simple reason is that sugar stimulates hunger, bingeing, and overeating, while fat suppresses hunger.  Healthy fats – the kind in almonds and avocados – not the kind in chips, cookies, and other packaged snacks, will satisfy your appetite quicker and keep you feeling full longer.  The net result is that you will consume fewer calories throughout the day.  Your hunger will not come on as strongly and when you do eat your “I’m full” signal will kick in quicker.  So between fat and sleep you can make a dramatic change in your calorie intake without counting a single calorie or weighing a morsel of food.

Pushing Limits

Pushing your limits doesn’t have to mean extra reps with more weight, or higher intensity cardio.  A better way to push the envelope is with new types of movements.

Low Variety, High Repetition

If you are working out at a gym or with a trainer, you are most likely doing a low variety repetition of routine linear, mid-range movements that were designed to bulk-up a specific bundle of muscle fibers while stabilizing the rest of your body.  You sit in a chair and work one muscle while the rest of your body literally shuts down.  The result is specifically strengthened tissues next to weak underdeveloped ones, leading to deformity and unhealthy loads, reducing overall strength, agility and mobility.

Activate Your Muscles, Don’t Shut Them Down

That conventional model of fitness training deconstructs human movement into tiny one-dimensional slices. It reduces the broad range of human movement to a narrow type of ‘exercise’ that can be mechanized and marketed.  So stop exercising like a machine and start moving like a human.

Use Your Whole Body

You don’t have to accept the limitations other people place on your movement.  You were given a whole body so why not use it every day?  THE game-changer is new, holistic movement patterns that constantly challenge your body and mind with ever-changing alignments, loads, variations, and adaptations.  This type of challenge is, after all, how our bodies evolved into the incredibly finely-tuned wonders of movement that they are.

Don’t Be One Of Those People

Most people shy away from curvilinear, multi-dimensional, movement challenges in the liminal zone at the edge of their capabilities. Don’t be one of those people!  The reason is usually fear, of failure or injury.

Micro-Variation and Adaptation

If you learn how to properly and safely push into that zone every day, the constant adaptation and micro-variation required will keep your mind and body in a continuous state of being challenged. This will not only motivate you but it will also keep you young. Imagine the confidence of being able to do a little bit more every tomorrow than you could do yesterday. When you reach that point, chronological age becomes inconsequential.

 

 

 

 

3 Easy Tricks Reveal Your Future Abdominal Muscle Lines Now

It's All About The Lines

You can talk about numbers all day

  • Calories eaten
  • Calories burned
  • Steps taken
  • Pounds lost
  • Body fat percentages
  • Grams of carbs or protein or fat

But the results you really want to see are those abdominal muscle lines in the mirror.

Abdominal Muscle Lines Speak For Themselves

You've probably figured out by now that standard gym crunches are just bulking up your upper abdominal muscles, but not giving you that sharp, lean, shredded look you really want to see.

How would it feel to reach down with one hand, grab the edge of your shirt and smoothly peel it off over your head to reveal your abs like a boss, like a badass.  No numbers necessary.  Your abdominal muscle lines would speak for themselves.

The superhero crunch is laser-focused on sculpting a long, lean side view and hyper-defining the sharp lines of the abs and obliques

Abdominal muscle lines speak for themselves.  If you're doing standard crunches you're just bulking up the upper abs and missing the lean shred of the tucked-under margins of the  lower, mid, and side-cut abs

Reveal Your Future Abdominal Muscle Lines

These moves are specifically designed to laser-focus on making the abdominal muscle lines you don't have yet pop.

​You can sculpt sharp, defined abdominal muscle lines and reveal more of your abs while doing it, by activating the maximum number of fibers with the right sequence of the right mix of different contractions and movement dimensions.

3 EASY TRICKS REVEAL YOUR FUTURE ABDOMINAL MUSCLE LINES NOW

Reveal your future six pack with easy step-by-step tutorials

Combining Multiple Contraction Types

The straight leg staff pickup is an intensely focused isometric contraction of the mid-abdominal fibers.

When combined with the dynamic "scissor" move, the variable resistance of the weight of both legs moving outward distributes the intense mid-abdominal contraction along its entire length, making this a badass move for sharp, shredded definition of that line.

Try to hold this position for a count of 10, extending your arms being you.​

Straight leg staff pickup is focused contraction of the mid abdominal fibers.  The dynamic "scissor" move intensifies this focused muscle activation

Straight leg staff pickup is focused contraction of the mid abdominal fibers. The dynamic "scissor" move intensifies this focused muscle activation

Hyper-Defining The Lower Abdominal Lines

The pelvic twist forces the lower edge of the the lower abdominal muscle to contract powerfully along its entire length

The pelvic twist forces the lower edge of the the lower abdominal muscle to contract powerfully along its entire length

Rocking The Side-Cut Lines

Rocking the pelvis side-to side isolates the side-cut abdominal muscle lines in intense opposing concentric-eccentric contractions

Rocking the pelvis side-to-side isolates the side-cut abdominal muscle lines in intense opposing concentric-eccentric contractions

Stop Hiding Your Abs Behind XXXL T-Shirts and Start Showing Off Your Future 6-Pack Now

Most crunch workouts just bulk up the upper abdominal muscles and ignore the sharp shredded lines that can be sculpted where the lower margins of the mid, lower, and side cut abs tuck under.

By activating these muscle fibers in the right sequence and maintaining that activation throughout the entire move, you can quickly sculpt sharp, defined abdominal muscle lines and look cool while doing it - showing off your future ab muscle lines as you work out.

Look at the huge volume of muscle fiber in the deep core - you're not activating these fast-twitch fibers at all

Maintaining isometric tension in the deep core is where all the fat-burning action is

Most core workouts focus only on the thin layer of surface muscle and shut down the deep core - but the deep core is where all the fat-burning action is

Activating the surface abdominal muscle fibers in the right sequence while maintaining the deep core contraction will reveal your future six-pack

Take A Look Around... And In The Mirror

Look around.  Is the average gym member lean, sculpted, agile, strong, defined, and toned?   If you keep doing the same exercises as everyone else, you're going to look like everyone else. Would you be happy with the results of the average gym-goer?  Are you happy with the results you see in the mirror?

Got Swagger?  Give Gym Hotties A Reason To Notice You

Stop wasting your time and energy doing the same soul-crushingly boring exercises, rep after rep, as everyone else.  Start doing something extraordinary and you will start to look extraordinary.  Why not give the hottest girl at the gym a reason to notice you?

STOP HIDING BENEATH XXXL T-SHIRTS

Reveal your future six pack with easy step-by-step tutorials

Reveal your future six pack with easy step-by-step tutorials

Bruce Lee on Willpower, Emotion, Imagination, and Confidence

“You will never get any more out of life than you expect.”

Read the full article at: www.brainpickings.org

 

Bruce Lee’s Notebooks For Inspiration

When I look for fitness inspiration, I read one of these excerpts from Bruce Lee’s notebooks.  He kept these tiny 2×3 inch spiral notebooks in which he recorded his philosophy right alongside his training notes, demonstrating that his physical training discipline was inseparable from his psychological discipline.

If you find your willpower flagging one day, try watching his video of the water metaphor.

Water

Water is formless.  It becomes whatever contains it.

I’ve heard the story that Lee could kick a single lightbulb out of a chandelier without rattling it, and I’ve seen a video of him holding this impossible-looking position for 2 minutes (which is hard to hold for even 2 seconds).  If you want a step-by-step tutorial on how to learn the Bruce Lee pickup click here.

Live Like The Water

Live like the water.  Water doesn’t strive.  Water flows around obstacles.  How would it feel to live life like that – simply, smoothly, effortlessly flowing around obstacles?

Does Working Out In the Cold Burn More Calories?

Here’s your cheat sheet for stoking the furnace during winter workouts

Read the full article at: www.outsideonline.com

There’s even more scientific evidence accumulating that working out in the cold can help you burn more calories:

Brown Fat

Brown fat is a type of fat that helps us regulate body temperature, so it would make sense that its formation might be stimulated by cold temperatures.

Transforming Fat Cells

Just this year, a study published in Nature showed that regular exercise can produce a hormone that converts fat cells from the lazy kind to the kind that burns calories.

The formation of this metabolically active, so-called “brown fat”, is also stimulated by cold temperatures.

Coolout

In fact, The Joslin Diabetes Center has a special workout called the “Joslin Coolout” that uses cool temperatures to specifically activate brown fat.

This is the same reasoning that leads Tim Ferriss and other elite athletes to swear by ice baths.

Shivering

The effect of shivering on calorie burn is well known.  Shivering generates a lot of heat so its a major calorie-burner.  Most of these calories come from the depletion of muscle glycogen.  but since shivering is a sign of hypothermia, its not a good way to burn calories.

There is, however, another effect called “non-shivering thermogenesis” which may help you burn more calories in the cold.

No Sweat

I have noticed a psychological effect as well, when it takes some extra effort at the beginning just to get my muscles and joints warmed up.  Once I do get warmed up, I find myself motivated to work harder just to break a sweat, because doing so in the cold requires more effort and somehow feels a lot more rewarding.

 

 

Show Off Your Future Six Pack Abs Now

Hiding Bellies Behind Numbers

Everyone talks about numbers

  • Calories eaten
  • Calories burned
  • Steps taken
  • Pounds gained
  • Pounds lost
  • Body fat percentages
  • Grams of carbs or protein or fat

The truth is that most people are just hiding behind the numbers while they hide their bellies behind​ baggy t-shirts.   I know.  I used to be one of those people.  I was miserable.

Belly Hider or Ab Show Off?

Be honest with yourself.  Are you hiding your belly beneath XXXL t-shirts, numbers on a scale, or hashtags like #gopaleo?  the only results that matter are the one you can see in the mirror.

How would it feel to reach down with one hand, grab the edge of your shirt and smoothly peel it off over your head to reveal your abs like a boss, like a badass.  No numbers necessary.  That action would speak for itself - the confidence, the swagger, the poise, the finesse...

You don't want a specific weight or body fat percentage.  You don't want a certain number of calories or grams of carbs or fiber or gluten.

What you want is to go from belly hider to ab show off.​

Will 2017 be the year you reveal your Abs?​

Results You Can See In Selfies

You know those sharp, individual muscle fiber lines that pop?  Those are exactly what you want to see in the mirror and in selfies.  If you're spending hours at the gym, doing hundreds of crunches and situps, and you're not seeing every sharp, cut , lean, shredded muscle fiber line you want to see then you're just wasting your time.

Reveal Your Abs Before You Have Abs

There is a better way - you can sculpt sharp abdominal muscle lines and reveal more of your abs while you're doing it - the key is replacing your standard crunches with moves that activate the maximum number of muscle fibers in the least amount of time.

The superhero crunch is laser-focused on sculpting a long, lean side view and hyper-defining the sharp lines of the abs and obliques

The superhero crunch is laser-focused on sculpting a long, lean side view and hyper-defining the sharp lines of the abs and obliques

NAIL THIS MOVE - IN 3 RIDICULOUSLY EASY STEPS

Superhero crunch maintains the deep core in an eccentric contraction while the surface core muscle are concentrically contracting

Combining Multiple Contraction Types

Find a soft surface for your knees.  Sand or grass outside, a folded yoga mat or blanket inside.

​Reach up and extend your hands to the sky.  Maintaining this length in your sides as you drop back will keep the deep core muscles in an eccentric contraction while you are crunching back up.

When you are having difficulty maintaining the stick-straight posture, that is the sign that you have pushed your deep core and surface abs to the limit.

Try to hold this position for a count of 10, extending your arms being you.​

To activate the maximum number of muscle fibers in the least amount of time, maintain a stick-straight upper body with no flex at the hip or waist and lengthen upwards as you drop back

To activate the maximum number of muscle fibers in the least amount of time, maintain a stick-straight upper body with no flex at the hip or waist and lengthen upwards as you drop back

Pushing The Limits

Superhero crunch - when you can't drop back any further, you have reached the limit of your deep core and surface abdominal muscles

Superhero crunch - when you can't drop back any further, you have reached the limit of your deep core and surface abdominal muscles

Stop Hiding Your Abs

Most crunch workouts focus on the surface abdominals - the ones you can see.

​The problem is that they shut down the deep core, where all the fat-burning action is.

You will reveal more of your surface abs while you're working out if you keep the entire length of deep core fibers activated.​

At the same time you will be sculpting the sharp, defined muscle fiber lines you want to see in the mirror and in selfies.

Look at the huge volume of muscle fiber in the deep core - you're not activating these fast-twitch fibers at all

Look at the huge volume of muscle fiber in the deep core - you're not activating these fibers at all

Most core workouts focus only on the thin layer of surface muscle and shut down the deep core - but the deep core is where all the fat-burning action is

Most core workouts focus only on the thin layer of surface muscle and shut down the deep core - but the deep core is where all the fat-burning action is

Take A Look Around... And In The Mirror

Look around.  Is the average gym member lean, sculpted, agile, strong, defined, and toned?   If you keep doing the same exercises as everyone else, you're going to look like everyone else. Would you be happy with the results of the average person pumping away endless reps on the machines at the gym?  Are you happy with the results you see in the mirror?

Got Swagger?  Give Gym Hotties A Reason To Notice You

Stop wasting your time and energy doing the same soul-crushingly boring exercises, rep after rep, as everyone else.  Start doing something extraordinary and you will start to look extraordinary.  Why not give the hottest girl at the gym a reason to notice you?

STOP HIDING BENEATH XXXL T-SHIRTS

define your shoulders and sculpt your abs with one move - the Bruce Lee Pickup

The Wrong Eating Habits Can Hurt Your Brain, Not Just Your Waistline

A diet high in saturated fats and sugars can affect the parts of the brain that are important to memory. Diet-linked brain changes can also make people more likely to crave unhealthful food.

Read the full article at: www.npr.org

You Can’t Tell When You’re Full

Stop counting calories – here’s further scientific evidence that the effects of a bad diet extend far beyond the number of calories consumed – it actually impairs your memory and makes it difficult to determine when you are full.

Sugar Makes You Store More Fat, And Crave More Sugar

There is already conclusive evidence that a diet high in sugar and refined carbs has an effect on metabolism and hunger.  The result is you crave more sweet food, tend to overeat, and your body stores more fat (particularly deep belly fat) rather than burning it.

This metabolic effect stems from the fact that fructose (the chemical that makes sugar sweet) is metabolized in the liver and converted to deep belly fat.

A Bad Diet Also Changes Your Brain

Now there is new evidence that your diet can also change parts of your brain, making you crave more unhealthy food.

A study from The University of Cambridge revealed cognitive impairment in humans that had been demonstrated previously in rodents an American University study.  The brains of rats who were fed a bad diet underwent changes that impaired their ability to tell when they were full.

A 2015 study in the Journal of Pediatrics found obese children performed more poorly on memory tasks that test that same brain region  compared with kids who weren’t overweight.

The average

So Stop Counting Calories and Chasing Them With Exercise

The average American diet gets 30% of its calories from added sugar and alcohol.  It’s the composition of this diet that leads you into a vicious cycle of hunger and fat storage.

Now scientists are also discovering that a bad diet has longer term effects on your brain that worsen these cravings not just in the short term, but changes your brain for a long-term effect, and turns off your “i’m full” signals.

3 Steps to Change Right Now

  1. Replace your morning donut or sugary boxed cereal with whole grain oats & berries.
  2. Eat a palm-sized portion of protein and a fist-sized portion of veggies with every meal.
  3. Store healthy snacks like almonds and berries in clear baggies or bowls at eye-level.  Move cookies and chips to opaque containers in the way-back.

 

A Brief History of Humankind’s Desperate Attempts to Stay Fit

Having trouble sticking to your exercise routine? Don’t feel bad. Just look at our long drawn-out relationship with exercise gear—from discus to Thighmaster to jBells.

Read the full article at: www.wsj.com

As the author states, “Machines are nothing, motivation is everything”.  But willpower is not a superpower.  Willpower is for people who haven’t made up their minds.  If you’ve already committed to getting fit. then it’s just a matter of sticking to the choices you’ve already made in advance.

In his blog post about mental toughness, Tim Ferriss quotes former Navy Seal Trainer Jocko Willink:

“If you want to be tougher mentally, it is simple: Be tougher. Don’t meditate on it.”

He says it’s ok to start small.  If skipping that second martini and dessert is the plan then don’t think about it, just do it.  Even going to bed an hour earlier may take a significant amount of discipline.  So just make the plan & stick to it.

But why is it that so many people abandon their New Year’s resolution to get fit even before Valentine’s Day?

The answer is the monotony, the drudgery , the soul-crushing boredom and lame-ass results.  Gyms and fitness machines have constrained our movements into mechanized, repetitive, linear, core-stabilized, mid-range peripheral isolation moves that quickly cause you to lose motivation and just don’t give you the results you want to see in the mirror.

The author states what most of us are feeling:

“I’m looking for motivation that can beat the instant gratification of a peanut-butter cup. I want something that provides results before I throw in the towel.”

So the simple solution is to push slightly beyond your own limitations every day and the results you will experience will serve as a positive feedback motivation loop that will keep you motivated.  Get off the treadmill and instead of exercising like a machine start moving like  the human body was designed to move.

Repetitive, linear, core-stabilized, mid-range isolation moves will never give you results you want to see in the mirror.  The reason is clear: standard exercise deconstructs natural human movement into “linear, closed chains” resulting in athletes with specifically strengthened tissues sitting next to underdeveloped tissues.  According to Laird Hamilton, “When you sit down on an exercise machine, with your back against a chair, you tend to shut down the rest of your body.”

There are no ‘leg days’, ‘back days’, ‘arm days’, or recovery days, there are only whole-body days. You’ve got a whole body, right? so why not use it? Instead of mechanistically bulking up the same tiny bundle of mid-range isolated muscle fibers every day, why not stimulate the maximum number of fibers over the entire range of temporal-spatial dimensions available to you?  Why not let everything get more defined, stronger and more agile in balance with everything else?

Reject the limits that other people and the ‘exercise’ establishment have placed on you.  Stop exercising and start learning how to move.

 

Rock The Yoga Studio – Nail This Muscle Move Before Your First Class

How would it feel to get noticed by that yoga hottie - you know, the one you're afraid to approach - without a word, by skillfully executing moves that speak for themselves? 

Instead of trying, like every other musclehead, to power through another set of weight plates -   grunting, grimacing, red-faced and sweating - why not learn to finesse extraordinary feats of strength with dexterity, skill and poise - and give that yoga hottie a reason to notice YOU.

Real News Flash

There's been a lot of talk about fake news lately, so here's some real news for ​you:

Single Women Work Out to Attract Guys​

Whether they are working on making their bodies more attractive, or they see the gym as a social environment preferable to a bar or club, the psychology is the same - meeting guys is on their minds.  

So, if you're not meeting hotties at the gym, you're doing it wrong, and if you can impress fit chicks during your workout, you're basically pulling off the ultimate feat of multitasking: building lean muscle while meeting hot women - at the same time.

But how exactly do you do that?

Well, instead of grunting, grimacing, panting and sweating through rep after boring rep of the exact same exercises as everyone else, and then trying to awkwardly start a conversation with some ridiculously hot gym babe, why not learn to expertly pull off some badass feats of strength with dexterity and poise that will get you shredded, strong, confident, and noticed by that hottie, without saying a word.

NAIL THIS MOVE - IN 3 RIDICULOUSLY EASY STEPS

The secret to crow balance is gradually transferring your weight from your toes to your hands

Crow Hand Balance in 3 Easy Steps

Crow balance is the first step in learning to execute some of the coolest-looking muscle yoga moves with finesse and style.  The key is using your deep core muscles to support your body weight in the air as you gradually transfer your weight from your toes to your hands.

Step 1

Step 1 is a deep toe squat - squeeze your chest to your thighs and the backs of your thighs to your calves as you balance on your toes

Step 1 is a deep toe squat - squeeze your chest to your thighs and the backs of your thighs to your calves as you balance on your toes

Toe Balance & Core-Squeeze Squat-Crunch 

The first step trains you to engage your core muscles in a tight squeeze to stabilize your body weight in the air.  Learning this skill will allow you to smoothly and effortlessly transfer your weight to your hands and float up into all of the hand balances.

Balance on your toes as you squat down and really squeeze your deep core, pressing your thighs to your chest and your calves to the backs of your thighs.  Extend your arms and hands as far forward as possible as a counterbalance to your bodyweight pulling you back.  When you can easily hold this tightly squeezed squat-crunch, you are ready to progress to step 2.​

Step 2

Step 2 - Maintain the deep squeeze, knees-to-elbows, as you roll forward balancing on the tips of your toes while you shift your body weight onto your hands

Step 2 - Maintain the deep squeeze, knees-to-elbows, as you roll forward balancing on the tips of your toes while you shift your body weight onto your hands

Slowly rock your body backwards and forwards keeping your core tightly squeezed and feeling your bodyweight shift from toes to hands.  Come off the ground with one foot at a time until your core is so stable in the air that your body doesn't wobble or shift at all.  Then you will be ready to lift both feet off the ground simultaneously and float up smoothly into the air.  You should be practicing on a soft surface like sand or grass, or place a blanket, pillow or folded yoga mat under your head as a crash pad.

Step 3

Step 3 - your core is doing most of the work. Once you can stabilize your body weight in the air try to look cool like "I totally got this" - Squeeze your elbows and thighs together for insane muscle definition

Step 3 - your core is doing most of the work. Once you can stabilize your body weight in the air try to look cool like "I totally got this" - Squeeze your elbows and thighs together for insane muscle definition

Take a look around... and in the mirror

Look around.  Is the average gym member lean, sculpted, agile, strong, defined, and toned?   If you keep doing the same exercises as everyone else, you're going to look like everyone else. Would you be happy with the results of the average person pumping away endless reps on the machines at the gym?  Are you happy with the results you see in the mirror?

Got Swagger?  Give gym hotties a reason to notice you

Stop wasting your time and energy doing the same soul-crushingly boring exercises, rep after rep, as everyone else.  Start doing something extraordinary and you will start to look extraordinary.  Why not give the hottest girl at the gym a reason to notice you?

FINESSE THIS BADASS MUSCLE MOVE IN 3 EASY STEPS

define your shoulders and sculpt your abs with one move - the Bruce Lee Pickup

The 4 Elements of Physical Energy and How to Master Them

“Manage your energy, not your time” says the famous quote from Tony Schwartz. Here’s how to do that, beginning with physical energy.

Read the full article at: blog.bufferapp.com

One Simple Yet Powerful Change

The most simple and powerful change you can make with respect to fitness has nothing to do with food or exercise.

Go to sleep an hour earlier.

Seriously, that’s it.  Here’s Why:

 

  1. Sleep is calorie-free energy,
  2. Adequate sleep regulates hunger
  3. Sleep deprivation slows your metabolism and increases stress hormones, causing you to store more fat

 

A number of studies have demonstrated that sleep regulates leptin, ghrelin, and endocannabinoids, all of which modulate hunger signals.  There is also solid evidence that adequate deep sleep improves athletic performance.  Check out this infographic for a summary of these findings.

Hunger Management

The other powerful change you can make in managing your physical energy has to do with blood glucose levels.  Many articles and books make this sound much more complicated than it needs to be so here’s a simple, practical approach.

Carb Confusion

Carbohydrates are of 3 basic types:

  1. Sweets (anything that tastes sweet)
  2. Starches and refined carbs (bread, pasta, boxed cereal)
  3. Whole grains (oats, quinoa, brown rice)

 

The first 2 cause your blood glucose and insulin levels to spike, which depletes your energy and makes you hungry sooner.  This cycle leads to overeating every day.  Whole grains, on the other hand, tend to keep your glucose and insulin levels more stable, which controls your hunger better.

 

Food labels can be confusing, so here is a simple test to determine if a food is whole grain – if the carbohydrate-to-fiber ratio is less than 10-to-1.  Don’t worry about the serving size, just divide the grams of carbs in a serving by the grams of fiber – if it’s less than 10, you’re good.

Mouth Feel and Belly Feel

I’ve become so used to the hearty texture of whole grains that refined grains have begun to feel insubstantial.  Try this experiment.  Prepare, side-by-side, a bowl of packaged instant oatmeal and a bowl of steel-cut oats.  Notice as you prepare them how the refined oats are light powdery flakes and the whole grain consists of firm gritty nuggets.

Now taste a spoonful of each.  Pay particular attention to how they each feel in your mouth and in your belly.  If you’re like me, the refined packaged oats will feel like mush in your mouth and pretty insubstantial in your belly.  The Whole grain oats have a gritty nugget-y mouth feel and they give you that feeling of fullness in your belly much sooner than the refined oatmeal.

That firm, gritty texture might feel different at first, but you will soon notice that it keeps your hunger in check all day.  And it’s the best way to start managing your hunger, and begin losing fat for good.

 

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