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5 Ways to Fuel up for Exercise

By Team Best Life – TheBestLife.com

It may seem counterintuitive to take in calories before you head to the gym to burn them off, but eating a healthy bite beforehand can help you make the most of your workout. No matter what kind of activity you’re planning, you can use these tips to fuel up for fitness:


Eat when it feels best. Eating one hour before your workout is a good general rule, but everyone’s body is different. For instance, some people may feel uncomfortable or bloated trying to exercise after a snack or meal while others may be distracted by a rumbling tummy. Only you know exactly how much you can comfortably eat and how soon before your workout.

Keep track of carbs. Because glucose—a carbohydrate—is your muscles’ preferred source of fuel, you need to go into a workout with enough stored glucose (aka glycogen). If you eat a balanced diet, you should be all set. But if you’re hitting the gym hours after your last meal or snack, you might need a little carb boost; 15 grams should do the trick.
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Kami Rivera Got Hooked on Title Boxing and Lost 120 Pounds in One Year

Kami Rivera’s biggest contributors to weight gain were a poor diet and neglecting exercise. These unhealthy habits snowballed in her late 20s and led her to weigh nearly 250 pounds. In 2007, things grew worse as a heart condition required Kami to have surgery. As a result she felt sidelined from any attempts to get healthy. Looking back she admits she leaned on that event for a long time as a crutch. She’d gotten into such a rut that she began believing her problems would be solved by doing nothing at all.

But in October 2011, things began to improve as Kami started eating better. And 2012 brought a New Year’s resolution to get more active. Her activity of choice? Title Boxing.

“I tried to think of a million excuses for why I didn’t want to do it, but I live right across the street from the [Title] studio,” she said. “I was able to hang for the first class, then I started going twice a week. Eventually each class got easier and easier and I was going about five times a week and maybe six if I could squeeze in a Sunday.”

Unlike ever before Kami was working focused on getting in shape and gaining both knowledge and inspiration from her boxing classes. Though she’d had a treadmill, total gym and weight bench at her home for a long time, she realized she’d just never found the motivation to use them. With boxing it was different.
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16 New Ways to Put Protein Powder in Your Recipes

Nary a gym exists without an ample supply of protein powder. For the seriously dedicated gym goer, protein powder is as important to their regimen as a good pair of shoes and a full water bottle. It’s necessary for post-workout recovery as much as it is pre-workout fuel. During a weight lifting workout, the muscle fibers are torn. Without proper recovery nutrition, rich in protein, the muscles aren’t able to rebuild. But, when you do consume a high-protein snack, the muscles repair properly, that’s when you start to see more defined muscle tone.

It’s not always convenient to eat a meal right after a workout, but a quick shake or other snack can be noshed on the go to ensure you get that shot of protein as soon as possible. Plenty of protein in your diet offers a sense of satiation too, meaning you feel fuller for longer after you’ve eaten.

Protein powders are one of the go-to sources for this nutrient, and shakes are the most popular use. In a vast variety of choices, from type, like whey or soy protein, to flavor, like chocolate and vanilla, the brands and options available are boundless. And outside of shakes, the uses are pretty wide open, too! Break free of the blender and try one of these protein-infused ideas.

1. Muffins

You can healthify your baked goods with a scoop of protein powder added to the batter. For instance, in these Cinnamon Pecan Muffins use a 3/4 cup of protein powder to make them more satisfying and give you a protein boost to start you morning or on the way to the gym.

2. Oatmeal

You already know that oatmeal is a powerhouse food, but a little protein can take this morning meal to the next level. “A scoop of vanilla [protein powder] with a big ol’ scoop of pumpkin puree and cinnamon is pretty awesome in oatmeal,” suggested Jenn from FitBottomedGirl.com. We’ll try not to get too excited about all the favor it offers, not to mention fiber, protein and other important nutrients.
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10 Surprising Sources of Vegetarian Protein and How Much You Need

Protein may have gotten a bad rap in more recent years due to low-carb, high-protein diets. Some of those diets boasted that you could eat all the bacon, sausage, or steak you wanted and still lose weight. We now look at that behavior as wildly unhealthy. In fact, earlier this summer research published suggesting that low-carb diets are linked to heart disease. Protein is actually a very valuable nutrient, you should just be sure to recognize the difference between a healthy lean protein and a processed or fatty animal source.

Protein is an essential nutrient and many of us are not getting enough healthy protein in our diets. As well, our sources of protein aren’t nearly as diversified in our diets as they could be.

Why is protein so important? Madelyn Fernstrom is a TODAY contributor and the director of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She has explained that protein is one of the big three macronutrients; carbohydrates and fats are the other two. Protein is essential for maintaining the body’s muscle mass and its normal growth. Furthermore, protein is vital in maintaining a healthy immune system, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system.
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Mark Pinhasovich’s Whirlwind Arnold Classic Experience

By Mark Pinhasovich, owner of AMPD Fit Camp and at-home winner for Biggest Loser 10.

What did you guys do this past weekend? Did you take it easy? Did you work out hard? Maybe somewhere in between? You know I always push it to the max, so what did I do and where did I go?! Two words: Arnold Classic!!! That’s right, I was able to make it out for the world famous fitness and bodybuilding show started by the Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger!!!

Let me preface this by saying that it is NOT a bunch of “I lift things up and put them down!” type people at this show. There were 48 different sports represented here including such pastimes as fencing and ballroom dancing! There were so many great people there from all walks of life. Estimates put the attendance numbers at over a quarter million people!

As I walked into the hall for the first time, the sheer amount of protein (or more likely the result of that amount of protein) hung in the air like a mist in the jungle. I was there to help out at the Ultimate Flurry Bar booth, which is a ridiculously good tasting high protein/low carb bar. They also had Xtreme Shock, a great Beta-Alanine energy drink, and Protein Ice, a Gatorade-like protein drink. Joining me at the show were Amanda Arlauskas, finalist from season 8 of Biggest Loser, and Coleen Skeabeck from season 6.

The first day went by in a blur. I was not expecting this amount of people! All day we were talking to great people with great stories and took tons of pictures! We were pretty wiped out by the end of day one. What did we get ourselves into?
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