…The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Diets…

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Losing weight is and always will be a big deal, which is why so many diets exist. Seriously, there are thousands and the number is growing with each passing day. It’s worth noting that not all of them are terrible weight loss programs designed to harm the body. For the most part, there are some excellent guidelines which are healthy and productive. However, some diets need avoiding at all costs because they provide short-term, reversible results. To do that, you need to understand the dynamics of good, bad, and ugly diets.

Here are the things to consider.

The Good: It Has Balance

A decade ago the Atkins Diet become popular, the reason being it cut out carbs and focused on eating meat. Then, studies began to suggest that although it did help lose weight, a person would pile on the pounds once they quit. Since then, the WHO has also re-categorized red meat as a potential cause of cancer. On the whole, the balance of this diet is not correct and doesn’t help from a long-term point of view. The one you choose should mix healthy food with exercise and the occasional treat to maintain motivation.

The Bad: It Guarantees Results

Whatever you take from this post, make sure it is this: successful weight loss programs don’t make guarantees! Dieting is a personal journey which requires time, patience and determination. To imply losing weight is a one-size fit all policy is misleading. Therefore, a diet which promises results is overcompensating. A quick look at the schedule or the small print should indicate it’s a fraud. The way scam diets work is they offer features which are too good to be true to stop people from analyzing the program. As a rule, always avoid deals which are not realistic.

The Ugly: It Has A Bullying Culture

Sadly, some diets are thoroughly nasty. The people who take part and those in charge will tell you it’s a necessary motivational tool. How else can they get the participants to see the error of their ways? In truth, the leaders create a culture of fear which entraps people by playing with their state of mind. Even the idea of quitting is off the table because it’s for the weak and you want to be strong. They are few and far between, but they do exist so keep a close eye out. If you are going to join a program, make sure they use positive reinforcement rather than drill-sergeant tactics.

The Conclusion:

As a novice, working out which diets are helpful and which are a hindrance is never straightforward. After all, you are not an expert. If you were, you wouldn’t need to be on a diet in the first place! However, the good news is they all have indicators which stand out when you delve deeper. By checking out the eating schedule, for example, you can tell whether the balance is right. Also, you can see past the PR nonsense.

The key is never to jump into a weight loss program head first, even if you think it’s flawless.

…Dehydration: Endurance Athletes kryptonite…

As an avid endurance runner, one of the  first AND last things that are on my mind when I am getting ready for a race is nutrition.  How will I nourish my body to ensure it has the nutrients it needs before/during/after my race AND how can I prepare my body to obtain/maintain hydration.

What is dehydration? 

Dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. If you don’t replace lost fluids, you will get dehydrated.

Dehydration also can occur in any age group if you don’t drink enough water during hot weather — especially if you are exercising vigorously.

You can usually reverse mild to moderate dehydration by drinking more fluids, but severe dehydration needs immediate medical treatment.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic 

How to tell if you are dehydrated:

In Adults

  • Extreme thirst
  • Less frequent urination
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion

Infant or young child

  • Dry mouth and tongue
  • No tears when crying
  • No wet diapers for three hours
  • Sunken eyes, cheeks
  • Sunken soft spot on top of skull
  • Listlessness or irritability

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic 

If dehydration is not taken care of, the side affects can cause some severe body issues.

There are several things that can be done to help someone stay hydrated for normal day-to- day activities OR for those that are getting ready for athletic activities.

  • Drink water before, during, and after any physical activity that you do
  • Avoid or limit alcoholic beverages (studies have shown that consuming alcoholic beverages actually dehydrates your body MORE than it hydrates your body).
  • If you are on a high protein diet, make sure that you are drinking additional water to help aid your body with digestion and processing the food that you consume.
  • You can use electrolyte tablets, salts, or drinks to help maintain your hydration during vigorous events

I was lucky enough to get to try SaltStick chewable tablets.

When I get the chance to try a product like this, I like to put it to the test. I used and tested this product while I completed several different races:

  • 5k (3.1 Miles)
  • 10k (6.2 Miles)
  • Half Marathon (13.1 Miles)
  • 25 K Ruck March (15.5 mile Hike with my weighted ruck sack on)

Typically I get slight dehydration issues when I complete a half marathon or during my 15 mile ruck. Typically around mile 10 is when I start to notice some slight issues and I take measures to hydrate more (in addition to already drinking water).  I also did these events in weather that was not above 60 degrees. So, the heat was not a major factor for me.

I consumed two tabs before the start of each of the above events which I found to be helpful (from my own personal expedience).  I took two more tabs around mile 8 and also at mile 10 to hopefully prepare myself for my usual dehydration symptoms. To be completely honest… I did notice a positive difference in my overall hydration AND my pace was slightly faster than normal.

Believe me… I was somewhat skeptical of this product being able to aid in my hydration AND increased pace for my longer races.  But, then I stumbled upon an article and research about SaltStick (CLICK HERE TO READ IT)  

Now, to be honest I have been training and pushing myself to become a more efficient runner leading up to these races.  BUT, I was not expecting my pace and speed to increase as much as it did (I ran my half marathon 12 minutes faster than normal AND I completed the 25 K Ruck March 15 minutes faster than normal).

Overall Comments: 

I was excited but also skeptical to try this product. But, from the times that I tired the product I did not find anything negative to say.  The chew-able tabs had a taste similar to the sweet tart candy tablets.  They were not overly bitter and they did not cause me to have dry mouth.  I also had some tablets on a empty stomach and the tablets did not seem to cause me any issues. The product is sweetened with stevia and is said to be non-GMO, gluten-free, vegetarian, fat-free.

Quality for Price: 

These capsules and chew tabs can be purchased online and in stores.  Be expected to pay around $22 for a bottle of 100 capsules. The 60 count chew-able tabs are about $15. You can also get individual packs to make them easy to pack/carry during events. In my opinion this is a great price for this quality of product.

Ranking Scale: (on a scale from 1-5)

Price: 4.0

Overall Quality: 4.5

Quality for Price: 4.5

Overall Ranking: 4.33

Closing Remarks: 

I would say that I would recommend this product. I enjoyed it and I did notice a slight difference while using this product. I would for sure suggest trying it out on your own to see if it indeed is something that you can regularly incorporate while you endure athletic activities. For more information about SaltStick please CLICK HERE and you will have access to their website and the other products that they offer.

 

**NOTE: Please make sure to note my product review disclaimer that can be found HERE***

…Halloween Fitness Costumes….

If you are like me you already know that you want to find a fun yet “home made” costume to wear to celebrate Halloween festivities. I HATE walking into a function to find that I am wearing the same costume that someone else may have on. If you feel the same way, here are some classic fitness themed costumes that I found that you can use for your next costume party!

The Wheaties Box

You can create your own backdrop and stand in front of it OR create your own face cutout and wear that! 

American Gladiator 

 

80’s Fitness Guru 

Kettle Bell

Use two hula hoops and black table cloth/paper to create the primary component of the kettle bell. 

Old Time Circus Strong Man (or Woman)

Harlem Globetrotters (or any other sports team)

 

Your favorites Sporting Coach

 

Race Runner

Make a bib for whatever race you would like! The Color run, Spartan Race, Tough Mudder, Marathons, YOU PICK!

 

BUT always remember to be safe and have a good time! 

…Reaching Your Dream Physique In 6 Months Or Less…

Most people attempt to reach their dream physique at some point, only to fall flat and give up in a short space of time. Some people give up after a few weeks, others stick it out for months. Some even stick it out for years before they give up, feeling frustrated that they are nowhere near where they want to be.

This can be for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, there’s so much conflicting information out there in the health and fitness world, that actually getting and looking fit yourself can be tough. Should you eat paleo? Should you go vegan? Should you do supersets or stick to low reps? How much protein is too much?

Relax! This post will help you to get your dream physique in 6 months or less:

Get Clear On What It Is You Want To Achieve

The first thing you need to do is get super clear on what you want to achieve. Look at fitness models and fitspo and decide what sort of look you’re going for. It’s important to remember as you do this that you’re not going to get your body exactly like someone else’s. You can build more definition and get leaner for sure, but your body is unique and always will be. Embrace that.

You can also get clear on what you want to achieve by picturing it in your head. What do you want to look like when you have achieved your goal? Some people swear by doing this for a few minutes each day.

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Find A Plan That You Love

Now you know what you need to do, it’s time to find a plan you love. Never walk into a gym without a plan. Some people opt for random classes, and while they can be good occasionally, they are not going to help you to get the specific look you’re going for. Generally, a mixture of weights/resistance exercises and a little cardio can help you to stay healthy and get you to where you want to be.

Be open to trying new ways of training until you find a type you really want to stick to.

Make Sure Your Diet is 80/20

Good news. Your diet doesn’t have to be perfect, and you certainly don’t need to cut anything out. However, you should try to adopt an 80/20 approach. Make smart choices 80% of the time, choosing veg, lean protein, and super healthy options that will help you to achieve your goals. Then, 20% of the time, have a little of what you fancy. Just ensure you don’t go overboard! You may be able to speed up the process with certain MD health supplements, but you must read reviews first to make sure they’re right for you. Supplements are a total waste of money if you don’t know why you’re using them and just get them for the sake of it.

Monitor Your Progress

Make sure you monitor your progress each week, taking your measurements, pictures, and weight. Pay the most attention to how you look in the mirror and feel. Also monitor how much stronger you’re getting!

Be As Consistent As You Can Be

Finally, consistency is the key. You have to commit to changing your lifestyle or you won’t make any changes!