5 Easy Ways to Sleep Better

SLEEP-STOCK-IMAGESleep is the tool our bodies use to repair and restore physically and mentally. With sleep we thrive, without it, we die.

If you’re the type of person who has troubles with going to sleep or can’t seem to sleep through the night, try these quick tips.

Take 400 to 1000 mg of magnesium at night
  • If you’re working out hard and not supplementing with magnesium, you’re probably deficient. Magnesium is a vital mineral for metabolism and health that’s used in over 300 different processes. Get a magnesium that ends in -ate such as magnesium citrate or orotate. Avoid magnesiums that end in -ide such as magnesium oxide.
Drink valerian root tea
  • Valerian root tea has been shown to be as effective as prescription sleep aids in some instances. Drink this before bed while relaxing.
Take 3 to 6 mg of supplemental melatonin
  • Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that’s secreted around night time to help you go to sleep. To date there are no studies that show addictive qualities. However, I recommend only using this for a short period of time. Start with 3 mg and if you begin to have crazy vivid zombie dreams, bump it up to 6….don’t ask.
Develop a routine
  • Your body’s processes are regulated based on your habits. That means you have a lot of power over changing the way your body responds. Turn off harsh lights, read a book and refuse to look at a phone or computer screen (artificial sun) for 1 hour before bed.
Black out your room
  • Light is powerful. Light tells your brain to wake up while dark tells it to sleep. Black out your windows, turn off night lights and turn clocks away from you to get the best sleep possible.
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Inspiration: Crossfit – Normal Women Getting Extreme Fitness

If you’re a woman who wants to get super fit and is worried about getting too bulky or losing body fat in places you’d like to keep it, look no further. In my opinion, many women have a more difficult time getting fit than men because they want to maintain body fat in certain areas and lose it in others while guys just shred everything.

Crossfit is no magic exercise combination. It is simply an explosive, all-body program that focuses on strength/interval training to achieve fitness and fat loss. Most likely, it probably also causes a greater boost in hormones that build muscle and retain womanly body fat while keeping muscle-eating stress hormone relatively low.

In short, I have seen women who embrace this style of exercise keep more of their desired shape without getting bulky.

This video features a handful of women who have been crossfitting for 1 to 3 years: This is the style of training I do and I am gearing up to launch a Crossfit affiliate site within the first three months of 2013.

GET INSPIRED!!!

Take the No-Corn Challenge

Farmers feed their animals corn to make them fat…so why is it in everything we eat?

Corn is found in just about every boxed or packaged food as corn oil, corn starch, dextrose corn sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup and many derivatives of these names. Imagine my surprise when a friend of mine brought over some chocolate milk and we found “high fructose corn syrup” on the label! Even if you’re not eating processed foods, you could be getting it from farm raised pigs, cows, chickens, fish, etc who are being fed a steady diet of the yellow cob.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that with the increase of corn consumption comes an increase in diseases and obesity. According to the following graphs by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity is climbing so fast they had to create a new color category!

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What do I think?

I agree with this ABC NEWS VIDEO. I tend to think that our over consumption of corn plays a huge role in the boom in obesity, diabetes, heart disease and morbidity.

Take the challenge!

Step 1: Awareness

Go through your pantry and fridge and look at every food label searching for the words listed in the second paragraph of othis article.

Step 2: Watch the ABC NEWS VIDEO

Step 3: Get rid of corn

Stop eating foods that contain corn (in the above mentioned forms) for three weeks and see how you feel. Expect more energy! Record your weight and body fat percentage before and after.

Step 4: Post your results/thoughts in the comments section below

Bonus Challenge: 

Check out this LIST OF ITEMS that can be made from corn and get rid of them from your diet completely unless they come from farm fresh fruits, veggies and grass fed/free range meats.

If you want to do more:

Check out this free anti-inflammatory food eating plan.

“Healthy Cereal” is Deceptive

This one minute video is a quick example of how supposedly “healthy” cereal can be deceptive.

A breakfast high in sugar can cause an early rise in the peptide hormone insulin. Insulin is largely responsible for driving sugar in to muscles to be used for fuel.  Too much overexposure to this hormone may lead to insulin resistance…also known as diabetes. In my opinion, insulin resistance is the number one reason why people are becoming more overweight and why it is becoming so difficult for many to keep the weight off.

Click here to check out the previous “yogurt” post mentioned in the video.

Twitter: @TrainerNate

Success: 7 pounds down

It’s controversial but once again I watched a client of mine lose 7 pounds in one week while eating bacon.

I have found that really low fat and high carb (even from whole grains) is an inferior way to lose weight. I had this client eating a diet consisting of

30% carb
40% fat
30% protein

And her eating included meats like beef and bacon; and fats like seeds and nuts.

I had her supplement with magnesium (metabolism), alpha lipoic acid (antioxidant and sugar use) and probiotics (intestinal health).

While this type of weight loss may be typical on the biggest loser where contestants work out 8 hours a day, the people I see losing 5 to 13 pounds a day work out 3-6 hours a week!

It’s just good science 🙂

Nate

Tip 6: Why You Can Get a Better Body Eating Meat

One of my basic nutrition recommendations is to try eat meat with every meal. While some think I say that just to increase dietary protein, there is another reason that directly affects fat burn. According to a 2007 study in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the conjugated linoleic acid will help you whip in to shape faster.

Benefits

Conjugated Linoleic Acid or CLA not only increases the amount of FAT you burn at rest, it also decreases your body’s production of lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that helps  your body transfer fat in to cells to store.
CLA has been repeatedly shown to decrease body fat and was even shown to increase metabolism while it’s users slept, according to a 2006 study by the International Journal of Obesity”
Some studies also show CLA may reduce the risk of cancer, inflammations atherosclerosis…who knew Grass-fed or wild meat was so good?

Where do I get it?

CLA is rich in foods like meats, dairy and eggs and the animal’s lifestyle matters. Grass fed (as opposed to normal, corn and slop fed) animals have been found to produce around 300% more CLA compared to grain-fed.  The CLA in eggs has been shown to survive the high temperatures of frying. If those foods don’t do it for you, search for a list of foods that are potentially high in CLA or take it in CLA supplement form, usual recommended dose is 2400 to 3500 mg a day.

Most of the meat you can buy in the grocery store is garbage. It’s been fed fat and corn all it’s life to make it bigger…therefore, it’s bigger! Meat with a western diet will have western diet in its veins unless the cycle is broken and omega 3s are increased through more natural means of nutrition.

 

 

 

References

  • Watras AC., Buccholz AC., et al. The role of conjugated linoleic acid in reducing body fat and preventing holiday weight gain. Int J Obes (Lond). 2007 Mar;31(3):481-7. Epub 2006 Aug 22.
  • Close RN., Schoeller, DA., et. al. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation alters the 6-mo change in fat oxidation during sleep. Am J Clin Nutr September 2007 vol. 86 no. 3 797-804
  • Bianchette-Mackie EJ. Lipoprotein lipase and fatty acid transport in heart, adipose tissue and mammary gland: immuno and cytochemistry. Endocr Regul. 1991 Jun;25(1-2):63-9

Anti-inflammatory Eating: An Easy Way to Check for Food Allergies Part 1

Click here for part two of this article.

Inflammation is sneaky…as an often overlooked component of health, inflammation is the starting point for heart disease and a major reason why i believe people have issues losing weight or increasing muscle.
So what the heck is it?

Think of the last time you got a cut and the area got red and puffy. That’s inflammation. The difference between the inflammation inside and outside your body is that you don’t feel the stuff on the inside…at least, not directly. As your skin reacts to attack from foreign objects, so your organs will react to inflammatory foods. The effects of inflammation can be felt in the forms of allergies, problem weight loss, cold symptoms, fatigue, mid-day crashes, depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, etc.
It’s possible that you are allergic to certain foods and don’t even know it.
Its been my experience that most people who initially come to me for help are functioning on about 50% of their natural energy levels. They are usually relatively unmotivated to change because they believe what they feel as 50% is actually 100%. Imagine their shock when I help them get double the energy!
Much of the information below (with a few edits) is an excerpt of a 2008 article written by Isabel De Los Rios and published n PT on the NET. The info has helped me solve nutrition issues for many of my clients and yielded incredible results.

The following approach will make it easy to learn exactly which foods you can eat and which foods to avoid.

In order to find exactly which foods may be irritating, they must eliminate all possible culprits for 14 days. Almost every client can agree to 14 days. And after they have seen dramatic results in just two weeks, they are now more inclined to stick with the program!

FOODS TO EAT
1. For every meal you eat, choose one food from the A column and one from the B column.

A. Proteins –Whole Organic Eggs• Free Range Chicken, Duck, Pheasant (white and dark meat)• Free Range Turkey (white and dark meat)• Grass Fed Beef, Buffalo, Lamb, Venison• All Wild fish (no canned tuna)• Raw almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, filberts, pecans, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seedsRaw Nut Butters from the above mentioned nuts

B. Fruits and Vegetables – All vegetables (except for Iceberg Lettuce and Corn)All fruits (except for dried or canned)

Can be used at each meal –Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (preferably raw)• Butter (no margarine or any other fake butter)Coconut Oil (Organic, Extra Virgin)

Unlimited – All Spices• Only Celtic Sea Salt (no other salt is permitted)• Stevia (as a sweetener)Herbal Teas

2.  Sample Menu:

Breakfast: 3 organic eggs, spinach and peppers, cooked in butter or coconut oil1 banana

Snack: 1 green apple2 TBSP Raw Almond Butter

Lunch: 5 oz Salmon• Over large salad (Romaine Lettuce, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Celery)• 1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Lemon JuiceStrawberries or Blueberries

Snack: 2 TBSP Raw Walnut ButterBaby Carrots

Dinner:  Chicken Legs• Sautéed Broccoli cooked in butter• Large green salad with Olive Oil and Lemon dressing.

3.  “If it doesn’t make you feel good, don’t eat it!” It’s that simple.

FOODS TO AVOID

Inflammatory Foods – Wheat, Gluten and Grains 

“But I eat whole wheat bread instead of white.” Regardless, the human body was not designed to eat the breads we have in this country today. Just a quick glance at the health condition of our population and the amount of breads, cereals and grains we all consume, and it’s quite obvious that it is a poor choice for most of us. Whereas five years ago, it may have been more difficult to explain to clients to stay away from wheat and grains (bread, pastas, cereal, crackers), most of them now know how harmful it is to their health.

1. Dairy – “But I drink skim milk instead of whole.” or “Where will I get my calcium from?” Regardless of the variety of milk you consume, dairy in this country is not in the form nature intended. Because of pasteurization, the high heat kills off all the necessary enzymes in the milk that we need to digest (thus the high prevalence of lactose intolerance and irritable bowl syndrome in this country). You can argue pasteurization is necessary to kill off bacteria, but in reality, the high heat temperatures of pasteurization are actually not high enough to kill off the pathogens most people are worried about. So this practice kills off the good and leaves the bad. You will absorb more calcium from green leafy vegetables than any amount of milk you can consume. When I take clients off of dairy, the results are phenomenal. Once they have seen a significant amount of weight loss and improvement in health, I talk to them about incorporating raw dairy into their meal plan. If they are not open to it, then dairy is not an option.

2.  Sugar and foods containing sugar – Sugar, by far, is one of the most abused drugs in this country (and yes, I did call it a drug). It causes everything from rotting teeth to diabetes to most cancers. Even if you are not a candy or dessert eater, there is a ton of sugar in most food! If you were to total up the amount of sugar from their daily juices, sodas, processed foods and dressings, it could add up to 20 teaspoons of sugar a day!
any word ending in “-ose” on a package usually means sugar (i.e., sucrose, maltose, glucose).

3. Artificial Sweeteners and Packaged Foods – If they can’t pronounce it, they are not allowed to eat it. So NO diet foods of any type (Jell-O, Diet Coke, frozen dinners, etc.).
In Part 2 of this article series, I will list the most common questions I get from clients during this two week period and exactly how I transition them out of this preliminary phase.

References:

1. Chek, Paul. How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy. San Diego, CA: CHEK Institute, 2004

.2. De Los Rios, Isabel. The Diet Solution: Start Eating and Start Living. Florham Park, NJ: New Body, 2008.

3. Fallon, Sally, with Mary G. Enig. Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, 2nd Edition. Washington, DC: New Trends, 2001.

4. Mercola, Joseph, with Alison Rose Levy. The No-Grain Diet: Conquer Carbohydrate Addiction and Stay Slim for the Rest of Your Life. New York, NY: Dutton, 2003.

Tip 5: How I Would Workout If I Only Had 6 Minutes a Day

If life gets in the way of your workout, take heart!  It’s possible to get through a full workout that challenges you cardiovascularly, gives your metabolism a kick and has been demonstrated to increase your body’s fitness in about 6 minutes.

The original workout:
1. Go outside (you will get better results)
2. Warm up with a slow jog for two minutes
3. 20 seconds: Sprint as hard as you possibly can
4. 10 seconds: walk
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4, eight to twelve times

The workout protocol was designed by Japanese Scientist Izumi Tabata and his results were shocking. His experiment compared high and low intensity cardio and was done over a 6 week period. Two groups of people were assigned either one hour of light jogging for five days a week and the other was assigned 4 minutes of the above protocol for five days a week. At the end, the group that spent 5 hours a week exercising improved their aerobic (oxygen-using, long-distance endurance) fitness by 5 ml/kg/min and their anaerobic (sugar-using, power) fitness was about the same. On the other hand, the group that spent 20 minutes a week improved their aerobic fitness by 7 ml/kg/min and their anaerobic by 28%!
Takeaway: With high intensity interval training, it’s possible to increase your aerobic fitness 29% more, anerobic fitness 28% more and spend 93% less time working out. 

My workout revision:

While this protocol will surely hold true for a period of time, your body will need other sources of stimuli to stay trained. I shifted  Dr. Tabata’s original protocol to include other body parts. This workout takes just a couple minutes Moore and will be far more effective in overall fitness. If y’re crunched for time, whip this one out and stay fit!
My modified workout:
Go outside and jog for 2 minutes
Tabata Sprints (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)

Push-ups (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)

Tabata Chin-ups -or lat pull-downs (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
Do each exercise for 8 sets before moving to the next

 

 

 

Reference:
Tabata I., Nishimura K., et al. Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996 Oct;28(10):1327-30.

Tip 4: What Makes us Fat: Calories or Hormones?

One of the hottest battles is waged between the ideas that 1- fatness is caused by eating too much and  2-fatness is caused by chemical issues within the body. The first will say that fat people simply lack the will-power to exercise and eat right while the latter will say that fat-people are mere victims of their metabolism.
Because many are familiar with the calories in vs. calories out concept, I’ll write about hormonal weight loss and summarize my stance at the end. When you exercise, you expect to lose weight. The equation seems simple until you realize that exercise doesn’t make you lose weight.
Thats right, i said it. Exercise doesn’t make you lose weight.
Exercise simply forces your body to increase or decrease the production or use of hormones, proteins and enzymes. These chemicals, once increased or active, cause a chain of reactions that make your body use (burn) fat tissue, sugar or muscle for fuel and repair. If calories can be equated to bricks, another way to understand this may be to say; regardless of the quantity of bricks, you will never shape the house you want without appropriately placed cement. This chemical process is the cement of your body.
Lifestyle and nutrition choices create and shape the cement that makes your body work. For example, magnesium and chromium play big roles in the body’s ability to burn up the sugar you eat…make sense? It makes sense to the supplement industry. These two minerals, along with caffeine, are found in almost all “fat-burning” weight-loss supplements and drinks and companies are making a fortune off of simple science. Fish oil, in the right amounts, increases Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) to help use stored fat and absorb sugar. Getting appropriate amounts of sleep will help lower fat-storing stress hormone and boost the function of immunoglobulins in the blood to boost your immune system. Strength training boosts growth hormone, sex hormone and IGF-1 which increases fat and sugar use and builds muscle..the list goes on and on…
All of these examples further my statement…exercise, on its own, does not make you lose fat or gain muscle.
If you think I’m crazy for saying hormones are largely responsible for fat gain or loss, consider people you know who take anti-depressants, steroids, long-term antibiotics or insulin. Most of these people will begin to gain copious amounts of body fat, despite burning calories and eating very little. Now you can tell them why.
The takeaway: Chemical processes in the body which are stimulated by exercise, nutrition and lifestyle are responsible for body composition, NOT exercise. Some of the above tips may help with fitness.

On the other hand, hormone regulation is not the only answer. We can’t simply gorge ourselves on good food. Understand that eating causes a temporary boost in endorphins (feel-good chemicals) which is why many eat when they are bored or sad. Gorging yourself on chicken, fish, nuts, etc. etc, will make you gain weight.
My personal experienceI gain body fat really quickly. Though I maintain a body fat of 6- 11%, I can give none of the credit to an overachieving metabolism. Before I believed in anything other than calories in vs. calories out, I would have to eat a diet of beans, spinach, a couple triscuits and a protein shake a day. So I would consume roughly 1000 to 1200 calories a day and then work out 12 hours a week to stay that low. That activity didn’t include walking to college classes and playing volleyball/basketball 3-4 hours a day. Since adjusting my lifestyle, I consume 2000 to 2500 calories of meat, veggies, full-fat foods and work out about 4 to 5  hours a week. The difference is astounding and I feel fully satisfied. I try to reserve my “cheat days” to one day a week but I fail often with a few select friends!
My point is this: since changing my eating to revolve around hormonal balance, not just the calories in vs calories out, My cravings are fewer and my body fat stays lower. It’s so much easier…maybe this could be your answer, too.
The takeaway: Aligning your lifestyle will help you feel more satisfied and allow you to choose your food rather than fighting it because your body is starving on a chemical level.

So what do I do now? Dont get me wrong, you have to exercise. But knowledge about the way your bosy works will keep you from purely doing MORE MORE MORE. Exercise the right way to stimulate an internal response. Eat, sleep and line up your life to do the same. Stay tuned for more advice on HOW to exercise and what to do to change your body from the inside out.
Wakutsu, et al. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors

Kettlebell Swing Workout

High Intensity Interal Training is one of the best ways to kick your body in to fat burning high gear. It increases the amount if hormone like IGF-1 and growth hormone to force your body to work better. Try this simple workout and push to total exhaustion!

10 kb swings (35 to 45 pounds) and 10 second rest
Repeat this 20 times for a total of 200 KB swings

Enjoy your body fat loss.

Do you have any good interval workouts?