Losing Weight Safely: Marrying Exercise and Diet

If you want to lose weight at a steady pace, you must do more than swap candy bars for protein bars. Losing weight is a lifestyle change. You have to get up off the couch and – also – change the way that you eat for life. This means eating good food and eating less of it. At the same time you must start exercising regularly. This means more than just a 30-minute workout a week. Below are some ways to get started.

  1. Eating a healthy diet is a good start to weight loss. You should start cutting back on sugars, starches, and animal fat. Instead, focus on fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, poultry, fish, healthy fats, and lean meats. You should also be drinking plenty of water. Many health experts recommend drinking one ounce per pound of body weight. This will help you cut out water retention and bloating.
  2. Keep a food journal so that you can see what you are eating and how much. This is very helpful if you are having trouble when losing weight. Record all of your drinks and all the water you drink, too. This can help you calculate any further changes that you need to make to your diet. Another good idea is to write about how you feel when you are eating. This can help you identify trends in your eating habits.
  3. Some studies show that progressive weight loss requires at least an hour or more of moderate exercise per day. Cardio and strength training are the best types of exercise to focus on. Cardio burns the most calories, which helps you lose weight faster. However, the amount of calories you burn is limited when this is all you do. Adding strength training help you to build muscle, which means you burn more calories all day long. This leads to even faster weight loss.
  4. Always start out slow when working out. If this means only working out for 30 minutes a day for three days a week to start, do it. Over time, you can work up to hour-long workouts that include both cardio and strength training. You can also dial up the intensity of your workouts over time. This gradual increase in workouts helps you to avoid injuries.
  5. Interval training is a good way to add intensity to your workouts. This allows you to work much harder, but for less time than normal workouts. These workouts are much more effective than cardio and strength training alone. Over time, you burn more and more calories as you up the intensity of each workout.
  6. Avoid any types of fad or crash diets. Anything that sounds too good to be true usually is, and sometimes can be harmful. In most cases, these diets help you to lose some weight, but, afterward, you will gain it all back. Losing weight is hard work. However, it is a lifestyle change that is very healthy for you. The benefits of eating right and exercise include a longer and healthier life. Aim to make small changes over time so that they can become permanent and an automatic part of your daily life.

For more information about weight loss and exercise, contact us at Promax Nutrition.

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Nutrition Bar versus a Full Meal

When you add working out into your weekly routine, it is hard to determine when you should consume a nutrition bar or just eat a real food meal. There are many good reasons to choose one over the other, but sometimes there are advantages, depending on the time of day, situation, and where you plan to work out. There is also the choice between the types of nutrition bars, as there are many.

When Eating a Full Meal Is Best

If you plan to work out close to home, it is often better to eat a meal 30 to 40 minutes before your workout. Your meal should be well balanced and not too large. You want to eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed or sluggish. When planning the meal, ensure you have the ability to start working out shortly after the meal.

What to Eat

This meal should be a balanced one, with high carbs, a medium amount of protein, a small amount of fat, and low in fiber. The carbs will feed the brain and muscles before the workout, which also gives you energy. Protein also gives you energy and makes you feel full during the duration of the workout. Protein is good for the muscles to preemptively prepare the muscles before the workout. Fat is another form of energy for the body. Though low fat is on the lips of most dieters, eating healthy fats that are in some oils (such as olive oil) and nuts is part of a balanced diet. When considering your meal, plan to consume something with 8 grams of fat or less. When choosing your meal, try avoid fiber as it slows digestion and can cause digestive upset during your workout.

When Eating a Nutrition Bar Is Best

If you have little time and have to rush from one place to another in a hurry, you are better off eating a nutrition bar before working out. This way, you can eat the bar on the way to the gym, without taking time away from your workout. Many gyms also sell nutrition bars inside, so, if you are really in a rush, you can buy one there and then head straight to your fitness machine of choice.

What Type of Nutrition Bar to Choose Pre-Workout

Because working out takes energy, you will want a bar high in carbs. Most bodybuilding forums recommend between 20 and 50 grams of carbs prior to a workout. Carbohydrates are essential for fueling your workout and preventing muscle breakdown (catabolism) during strenuous workouts. Also be sure to get high quality protein, paired with very little fat. A macro-nutrient breakdown of roughly 40/30/30 (carbs/protein/fat) works great, like a Promax Original bar.  Plan to eat your nutrition bar 20 to 40 minutes before your workout for the best results.

Post Workout: Food or Protein Bar

Post workout calls for protein paired with fast digesting carbs. The protein helps your muscles recover and heal. This is very important when it comes to building muscles and possibly preventing muscle soreness. Because your body benefits from the protein right away, you really should have your post workout meal within 10 minutes of the end of your workout. In many cases, this is too soon to eat a real food meal, so eating a protein bar makes a lot more sense.

For more information on our delicious, healthy bars, contact us at Promax.

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How To Calculate Your Calorie Consumption Based On Your Body Type & Fitness Goals

Whether you are trying to gain, lose, or maintain weight, the proper mix of diet and exercise will help you achieve your goals. In order to succeed in your effort, it is important to monitor your calorie consumption. The three primary macronutrients that provide calories and energy for your body are carbs, proteins, and fats.

To lose weight, it is necessary to keep your calorie intake lower than your total calories burned each day. Aim to lose no more than one to two pounds per week in order to stay healthy.

If you are looking to maintain weight, you will need to stick to a certain amount of calories each day. Take your current weight in pounds and multiply by 15 to find the magic number.

Finally, if you want to put on weight, it is important to consume an adequate amount of protein in addition to taking in more calories. Analyzing your current workout routine and diet will help you see what you can do to put on pounds.

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Analysis and Use of Recovery Bars

Recovery bars are simply protein bars used for recovery after a workout. Though you could have anything with protein in it and dub it a recovery product, certain ingredients are proven to aid recovery more than others do. This is why eating recovery bars after a hard workout can be helpful when you are trying to build lean muscle. There are many factors to consider when choosing protein bars for recovery. If you decide to do this, you’ll need to carefully consider the nutrition of the bar and what you eat afterward in order to lose weight and build muscle effectively.

  1. Look for bars high in protein, and choose the amount of carbs based on your workout. For workouts that are high intensity or long in duration, you’ll want a bar with a higher percentage of carbs to provide glycogen to your “damaged” muscles. For low intensity workouts you’ll want to choose a bar that is lower in total carbs. Additionally, once you’re your workout is over, your muscles need the nutrition that a protein bar can provide..
  2. Do not eat a regular meal after a workout in conjunction with a recovery bar unless your calorie needs dictate it. This is where you need to choose. Eating a recovery bar, and then dashing off to eat a full meal, could sabotage your diet and workout. After a big workout eat a recovery bar immediately, then plan a real food meal 1-2 hours later.
  3. between How’s this: Strategize the size of your recovery bar based on the size of your workout. Bigger, harder and longer workouts demand more calories in your recovery bar. It’s also important to consider your overall daily caloric need when choosing your fuel. If your diet or workout demands fewer calories in your recovery meal, aim for approximately 150-300 calories. Bigger workouts can often demand more than 300 calories in order to promote optimal recovery.
  4. A 2010 study published in The International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism suggests that you need at least 20 g of protein after a workout to fully recover. When you choose a recovery bar, keep this number in mind.
  5. For post-running recovery, or recovery from a strenuous workout, make sure the recovery bar offers a 3:1 carb to protein ratio. This would suggest that you should look for a protein and carb-rich bar. However, after a normal workout, you should consider looking into a lower carb/protein ratio. For smaller workouts look for a 2:1 or 1:1 carb to protein ratio, like a Promax Original bar.
  6. The amount of calories you consume has a large significance. To lose weight, you must keep track of the calories going in and out. Calories going in include all of the calories in everything you eat and drink. Calories going out include the ones that you burn during regular activities and during a workout. Always choose your protein bar based how many calories you burned during the workout and your overall caloric goals.

For more information about recovering after a workout with one of our bars, contact us at Promax Nutrition.

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A Time of Reflection

It’s time to celebrate what you’ve achieved this year! If we always keep our focus on the future, we can forget to reflect on the progress we’ve made in the last year. December is a time for warmth and enjoying life with family and friends so it’s a perfect time to acknowledge the hard work you’ve put toward improving your well-being. Even if you haven’t reached your goal yet, it’s good to revisit your year and make note of your progress.

Promax can help you maintain this momentum on your path to success. Properly fueling your workouts will give you the replenishing protein, plus vitamins and minerals needed to continue building your healthy body. During this time of celebration, you may also need a way to remind yourself that exercise is still a priority in your life, even if you aren’t able to make it to the gym for several days.

Here are some easy ways to stay on the right track during the holidays:Promax Nutrition Holiday Greeting
1. While wrapping presents, complete 10 burpees for each gift you wrap.
2. Shoveling snow is a workout on its own: one hour burns about 400 calories.
3. Add a physical challenge when playing favorite board games, for example, “Passing Go” means 10 jumping jacks.
4. Enjoy a Promax Original Bar which contains a 2:1 carb to protein ratio to get the energy and recovery you need to stay fueled during this busy season.

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How to Eat Before and After You Lift

The Best Exercises for Arm Day

In conjunction with healthy energy bars, you can take arm day to the next level by switching up your workout routine. Changing your workout routine is essential for building muscles. The body becomes complacent, over time, when you complete the same exercises all the time. This contributes to plateaus. Avoid this by knowing when to change your routine and when to take a break. In addition, you can try some of the exercises below:

  1. Standing Dumbbell Reverse Curl: This exercise is just like the bicep curl, but it does it in a slightly different manner. Start by standing with feet about a foot apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand, with palms facing backward. Bend at the elbow and pull the dumbbell up to the front of your shoulder keeping the palm facing outward. You will end with the dumbbells in front of your shoulders and your palms facing forward. , Slowly lower the weights. Do 3 sets of 6-8 reps for size gains and 12-15 reps for strength and muscular endurance.
  2. Hammer Curls: Stand with the feet a foot apart and have a dumbbell in each hand at your side with palms facing your thighs.  Start with one side, bend your elbow and pull the dumbbell up to the front your shoulder. The dumbbell should be held with the weighted ends vertical so that your palm stays in the same position as the start. After you lower one arm, lift the other. Do 3 sets of 6-8 reps for size gains and 12-15 for strength and muscular endurance.
  3. EZ-Bar Curl: Stand with your feet one foot apart and hold and EZ bar bar in front of you with both hands, palms up. Bend at your elbows and pull the bar up towards your chin. . Hold the bar for one second and slowly lower it. Do 3 sets of 6-8 reps for size gains and 12-15 for strength and muscular endurance
  4. Chin-Up: To do a chip-up, you need a pull-up bar. Place your hands shoulder-width distance apart with your palms facing towards you. Pull yourself up to the bar at chin height by contracting your arms and back muscles.. Then slowly lower and do it again. You should be able to complete 3 sets of 6-8 reps. If this exercise is too hard, you can develop the necessary strength by performing the Reverse Grip Lat Pull Down exercise for a few weeks.
  5. Close-Grip Bench Press: You’ll need a weight bench and a spotter (for safety) to do this exercise. Place your hands approximately 6 inches apart on the  bar.. Take the bar off the pegs, lower it to the middle of  chest, and then push from your arms to return to the starting position again. The movement needs to be slow and controlled. Do 3 sets of 6-8 reps of this exercise for size gains and 12-15 for strength and muscular endurance
  6. The Dip: For this exercise, you need parallel bars. You can dip by holding yourself up on the bars with your arms, and lifting your legs under your buttocks. Lower your whole body slowly with your arms, as if you were doing a pushup (same arm movement). Do 3 sets of 8-10 for size gains and 12-15 for strength and muscular endurance . This exercise works your arms and upper chest muscles.

These are just a handful of exercises that you can try when working out on arm day. All of them are designed to build up arm muscle, not maintain what you have. Many of these exercises are the type that body builders use to add muscle mass to their arms. You should take a few rest days after completing these exercises and focus on a different part of the body.

For more great exercises and nutrition advice, contact us at Promax.

Photo courtesy of jllfitness @ morguefile.com
Photo courtesy of jllfitness @ morguefile.com

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New Years Resolution: Start with Promax Protein Bars