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10 Fattening Foods That Should Be Avoided

muffin

You’ve carefully planned your diet full of healthy veggies and protein bars. You’ve started a new workout routine. You’ve done everything you’re supposed to, but for some reason you’re still not losing any weight. What’s going on? If you’re eating any of the 10 foods listed below, you may be sabotaging your own diet without even knowing it.

Granola

Granola is often touted for its healthiness. But, despite its reputation as great health food, granola is often anything but. The problem is in the calories – up to 500 per serving! – not to mention the sugar. If you do feel the need to munch on some granola, be sure to stick to a high fiber, low sugar variety. And, even then, watch the calories. You’re probably taking in more than you think.

Starbucks Frappuccino

Everyone needs a little energy boost throughout the day. But if you’re getting yours from a Starbucks Frappuccino, or other similar blended coffee drink, you’re getting a lot more than just a dose of caffeine. Some Frappuccinos contain as much as half a day’s worth of sugar and fat. Stick to a regular cup of coffee if you can; if you have to have a blended coffee drink, go with a Frappuccino Light.

Flavored Yogurt

A lot of people think that flavored yogurt can fit into their diet plan as long as they stick with a fat-free variety. But this just isn’t the case. Even fat-free flavored yogurt is loaded with unhealthy amounts of sugar – up to 16 g in a tiny 6 oz. serving.

Dried Fruit

But fruits are healthy and full of vitamins, right? Yes, they are, but companies regularly add sugar and sulfur to their dried fruit. Fresh fruit is always a better option – it doesn’t have any of additives, and usually has less calories.

Energy Drinks

Believe it or not, energy drinks aren’t regulated by the FDA, which means that there are no health standards that they have to meet with their ingredients. And, one look at the ingredients list of any random energy drink will tell you everything you need to know: lots of sugar, and almost nothing healthy. If you need to hydrate, go with water. It gives you a much healthier energy boost, without the crash later, once your body burns through all the sugar in that can of Red Bull.

Smoothies

A home-made smoothie is a healthy, delicious drink. A smoothie made in a store or a restaurant, on the other hand, is probably loaded with fats, sugars, and other diet-busting ingredients. It’s definitely worth the time to make your own to get your daily smoothie fix.

Fish Sandwich

Fish is a healthy, protein-laden food that tends to have much less fat than your average red meat. But when breaded, fried, and put into a fish sandwich full of fatty tartar sauce and a carbohydrate-heavy bun, all of fish’s health benefits disappear. Stick to grilled fish with a bit of rice and veggies, instead.

Wraps

Wraps used to be seen as a staple of the health food industry. But, no matter how many veggies and lean meats you put into one, you can’t get around the fact that your average tortilla has between 400 to 800 calories, all by itself.

Low-Fat Muffins

Remember what we said about fat-free yogurt? The same thing applies to fat-free muffins – just because they’ve had the fat removed doesn’t meant they aren’t loaded with sugar. Muffin manufacturers add more sugar to their fat-free muffins than they do their regular ones, in order to add taste that gets lost when the fat is taken out.

Diet Soda

It’s no secret that just having “diet” in the name doesn’t necessarily make foods healthy, but diet soda comes with an extra caveat. In addition to all the sugars and preservatives they’re taking in, studies have found that people are likely to eat more calories than usual after drinking a diet soda.

For your daily dose of protein, there’s no better option than Promax energy bars. Look around our website today to place an order or find a store near you.

Posted in Nutrition | Tagged , | June 15, 2015

The Top 5 Benefits of Exercising in the Morning

BenefitsOfMorningExercise

No matter what time of day you exercise, you are going to reap some benefits. It just so happens that exercising in the morning has benefits other than simply keeping you fit. The next time you grab your morning energy bar, consider the benefits below to see why you should follow it up with a morning work out, even if it’s just a jog around the block.

1.) Get Motivated for the Day.
When you start your day out with exercise, it helps motivate you for the rest of the day. It isn’t just because you already accomplished something, either. It’s because you got your blood flowing and released endorphins that will give you that little extra boost you may need throughout the day.

2.) Clear the Schedule.
One of the most common reasons that people don’t exercise is because they get busy doing other things. In order to exercise, they have to stop what they are doing and maybe even change clothes. Sometimes that just isn’t feasible with a busy schedule. However, when you do your work out before you do anything else, you don’t have to worry about clearing any time in the schedule for it, because it’s already done.

3.) Get Your Metabolism Going
Exercising is just one of the methods you use to boost your metabolism. Your gluten-free protein bars, avoidance of fast food, and strict schedule are other methods. When you start your day with a boost of your metabolism, it helps you keep your metabolism going for the day. Since the hard part is over, keeping it going for the rest of the day starts to seem easy. Before you know it, all the little things you do add up to a healthier body and better lifestyle choices.

4.) Be More Alert.
Because exercise does get the blood flowing, it also gets more oxygen to the brain. Instead of relying on a pot of coffee to wake you up and get your brain going, the extra oxygen will do it for you. This means you can do your job better or perform your daily tasks easier, without having to stop and think about them. If you happen to have academic functions to perform, couple your exercise with a brain-boosting breakfast or protein bar in order to further enhance your intellectual performance.

5.) Keep on Track
When you exercise in the morning, you set yourself up for success for the day. You will think back to the effort you put into that exercise, and you won’t want to waste it by making unhealthy choices later on in the day. If you are someone who has problems with feelings of guilt, your morning exercise will stave those off and help prevent actions later in the day that will make you feel guilty. In other words, you will concentrate more on making healthy choices because you started the day off with one.

These are just a few of the benefits of exercising in the morning. There are so many more that it would be difficult to list them all. As you start your morning routine for the first time, keep in mind that doing something for 21 days in a row will help make it a habit. Make this day one of your three week introduction to a new life.

For more information about how to make the most of your workouts, check back each week for tips from Promax Nutrition.

Posted in Fitness, Running | June 12, 2015

6 Reasons You Are Not Exercising Effectively

Jogger

It’s almost summer time, so you’ve had months now to work on those New Year’s fitness resolutions. How are you doing? Have you seen the progress you anticipated? Are your goals in sight?

If not, it may be time to re-evaluate your fitness routine. How effectively are you using your energy? If you feel like you’re working yourself to death and not getting any results, check for these eight symptoms you aren’t really giving it your all. There is still plenty of time to make adjustments and reach the goals you desire.

Reasons you are Not Getting Results from Your Workout

1. You focus on problems rather than progress.

Stop and consider if this is a true plateau. Look back over the last few weeks – are you getting stronger? Making slightly better time? Going further? Have you gained strength? Lost a couple pounds or inches? It’s possible you have been making progress but just didn’t realize it.

If that is the case, start celebrating! Watch for these milestones, small as they may be, and reward yourself for the effort by acknowledging your gains or losses.

2. You are too competitive.

Are you judging your progress based on your own growth, or are you constantly comparing yourself to others? Unless you are training for the Olympics, you should not expect yourself to be the fastest or strongest in town. Instead, set personal goals and celebrate progress based on your own achievement, regardless of that of others.

3. You are not setting long-term goals.

Why are you in this to begin with? Are you training for a marathon, slimming down to a healthy BMI, or getting in shape for a sports team? Give yourself a measurable goal with an achievable deadline. This helps you work forward toward it and see progress over time.

4. You make inconsistent effort.

Are you really as faithful to that diet and exercise program as you think? Most diet failures are due to inaccurate food diaries – not truly accounting for the hidden calories or measuring portions carefully. Exercise progress is seen only with regular practice; don’t skip days and then wonder why you aren’t getting stronger. Before you give up, renew your commitment to staying consistent with your exercise and careful with your diet choices.

5. You are neglecting strength training.

Aerobic exercise isn’t enough; you need to build strong muscles, as well. Be sure that strength training is a part of your workout routine. Those muscles will help you burn more calories even when you are at rest, and a stronger physique will help your endurance and stamina, as well.

6. You consume insufficient protein.

Your body uses protein to recover from workouts as well as to build strong, healthy muscle tissue. The more you workout, the more healthy protein you need to meet your needs. Be sure to eat a protein bar after workout and to include healthy protein choices in every meal and snack.

For more information about how to make the most of your workouts, check back each week for tips from Promax Nutrition.

Posted in Fitness, Strength Training |

5 Things You Can Learn from Exercising with Your Children

kids running

Do you enjoy exercising with your children or teens? In a busy day of work, community, and family, it’s natural to look forward to alone time. Running down the street with your tunes in your ears and the sun in your face – alone – is great therapy.

But believe it or not, there are many benefits from exercising with your children – for them and for you. One of your kiddos may just want to get in shape, another might be training for soccer, and the youngest might simply want to spend more time with you. So why not tie on your running shoes and bring someone along with you for that afternoon run? Here are some lessons you may just learn along the way.

Daily exercise is just as important for them. Though we may think back fondly to our younger years, when we could run a mile without thinking about it and played team sports before, during, and after school, our children don’t have as active a lifestyle. More of their day is spent sitting at school and sitting in front of computers and TVs, so they can use the encouragement to get more exercise.

A healthy lifestyle must be taught. Young people don’t instinctively make right food and exercise choices. They need information, the why behind the diet, and encouragement. It might take daily reminders to drink enough water and to include healthy proteins in every meal before these habits became natural.

Children start off with less strength and endurance. This may sound obvious, but you might be surprised at first. Though most of us consider ourselves much more sedentary than our children, it will probably take a few weeks before they develop the strength and endurance to keep up with a longer workout.

It will be much more enjoyable for everyone, then, if you keep the sessions short, about 20 minutes of moderate activity. After a couple weeks, you can add more time or a little more strenuous workouts. Before you know it, you might be the one struggling to keep up! But at first, it’s important to pace yourself.

Young people like to be included. And this doesn’t just mean letting them tag along. Children and teens like to choose the activity – shall we run or play an hour of indoor soccer? – and the gear. The more input they have, the more they’ll take ownership of their own healthy lifestyle. That is completely worth the compromises.

Like any workout plan, this takes commitment. You’ll need to make a commitment to yourself and to your children that you’ll include them in your daily workout. This keeps you and them accountable. On running days, your teens will be ready to improve on their time and keep you puffing down the street. On walking days, your youngest will look forward to telling you everything on his mind.

Working out with children is a great way to pass on healthy habits to the next generation. Why not find a young person in your family or community that you can help today?

For more information about exercise, check back each week for tips from Promax Nutrition.

Posted in Fitness, Running |

Secrets to Great Morning Workouts

GreatMorningWorkouts

Do you wish you had great morning workouts? Ever find yourself envying those social media posts from your friends, humble-bragging about their predawn run? Are you wracked with guilt for hitting the snooze button yet again instead of hitting the pavement?

You may be inadvertently setting yourself up for failure. Setting healthy habits takes time and commitment, but there is also a strategy for giving yourself an edge. If you find yourself struggling to make that morning workout a reality, try these five steps for success.

1. Begin well the night before.

The old adage is true: a great morning starts with a good night. Don’t sabotage yourself by staying up too late, drinking heavily, eating poorly, or simply failing to plan. Instead, use your evening to get the rest and refreshment you need to start the new day right.

Be sure you are getting sufficient sleep, too. The average adult needs seven hours of sleep to be at their best; you may need a little more. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to get your rest.

That means turning off the screens. Televisions, tablets, and laptops are too stimulating for before-bed relaxation. Instead, switch to reading, listening to music, or quietly conversing with your loved one for thirty minutes before sleeping.

2. Prepare your gear.

Get everything ready the evening before, that way in the early morning hours you won’t need to search for anything. Lay out your workout clothes, put your equipment and shoes by the door, and locate your pedometer and other gear. Your goal is to eliminate thinking from the early morning when you are still sleepy; you’ll just do it.

3. Set your alarm.

Be sure to set an alarm, because if you are struggling to make this a habit, you won’t automatically wake up early enough. Be sure your alarm is loud enough to rouse you, and set it a distance from your bed. If you have to walk across the room to turn it off, you are already upright, which is half the battle!

4. Hydrate well.

Drink at least one glass of water as soon as you wake up. This will help hydrate your muscles and wake up your system. If you are going to a gym, be sure to take a large water bottle with you to continue drinking through your workout. Be sure to drink a couple more glasses of water with your protein bar when you finish your workout.

5. Make a commitment.

It takes most people over a month of successful repetitions to set a new habit. Help yourself beat the curve by making a commitment to yourself and to others to stick to your morning routine. If possible, invite a fitness partner to workout with you each morning. The appointment will spur you to get going on tough days. If you can’t find an early morning workout buddy, at least call on a friend to hold you accountable to your commitment and ask you regularly if you have achieved your goal.

For more information about your workouts, check back each week for tips from Promax Nutrition.

Posted in Fitness, Rest |

The Healthy Parent’s Guide to Protein for Kids

protein for kids

Protein is important for children. Strong, healthy bodies need protein to grow. Constant activities, sports, and play require protein for repairing and building muscles. And all the movement needs energy.

That’s why your child wants to eat constantly. Growing children eat six to seven times a day, refueling for their constant learning and developing. According to HealthEating.SFgate.com, with adequate protein, children pay attention better, retain information longer, and experience less injury and illness. What parent doesn’t want that?

So that’s why they need plenty of protein. It is tempting to let them grab a cookie or even an apple every time they need a snack, but young bodies need more. Give them the protein they need for their vigorous day of challenges by stocking up on these quick and easy protein treats.

Tuna Dip

Mix a can of tuna with light mayonnaise, pickle relish, and shaved carrots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. The tuna dip keeps in a covered container for several days. Enjoy it with sliced vegetables like celery or broccoli, or serve with whole grain crackers or toast squares.

Chicken Quesadillas

Keep some shredded chicken in the refrigerator, or slice some leftover chicken for a tasty, cheese snack. Simply warm a tortilla with shredded cheese and chicken in a skillet until cheese is melted and tortilla begins to crisp. Serve with salsa for dipping.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a childhood favorite by itself, but it is even more fun with fruit. Dip apple or peach slices in cottage cheese, or serve a small bowl with pineapple on top. This is a great way to satisfy a craving for sweets while keeping young tummies satisfied longer with protein.

Hard Boiled Eggs

Keep a dozen hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator for a quick grab-and-go snack. Change the pace once in a while by chopping up the egg, mixing with light mayonnaise, and serving with pita chips.

Chocolate Milk

Next time your child asks for soft drinks with dinner, mix some chocolate into his milk instead. Milk provides valuable calcium for his strong bones in addition to a boost of protein. It’s a tasty treat that makes a great snack on the way to sports practice, too.

Peanut Butter Drizzle

Next time your child wants an ice cream treat, add some protein and some fun with this delightfully delicious topping.

Protein Bars

Replace the snack bags, cookies, and cereal bars with a healthy supply of delicious protein bars, instead. Yummy enough for dessert in school lunches and satisfying enough for a pre-game snack, protein bars pack a powerful supply of energy for growing bodies.

Moving Forward

Here at Promax we’re always looking for unique and innovative ways to mix it up with nutrition and fitness. For more ideas on how to live a healthy lifestyle, check out our blog or follow us on social media.

Posted in Nutrition |

Warning: 10 Signs You Aren’t Getting Enough Protein

ArentGettingEnoughProtein

You know that protein is an important part of your diet, and you have already taken steps to increase your protein consumption. How do you know if you are eating enough protein? Are there signs that your body is not getting all the protein it needs?

Absolutely! Your body will tell you in several ways if your diet includes sufficient protein to handle your daily fitness and wellness needs. Take this quick quiz to see if your body is asking for more.

  1. Are you tired? Fatigue after a strenuous workout or at the end of a long day is expected. But if you are feeling tired when you wake up in the morning or having a mid-day slump, you likely need more protein.
  2. Do you crave sweets? Protein helps regulate blood sugar, so if you are constantly reaching for cookies, you may want to turn to healthy protein snacks instead.
  3. Are you hungry? A balanced meal or snack should leave you satisfied for two to three hours. If you are looking for lunch before that, make sure you are including a strong protein source each time you eat. Protein will help you feel full longer.
  4. Do you have brain fog? By regulating blood sugar, protein keeps your brain functioning at its optimal level. Loss of clarity after eating with a sharp drop in capabilities drop an hour or two later is a sure sign of protein deficiency.
  5. Are you becoming weaker even though you are strength training? Your body actually breaks down muscle during workouts. If you don’t supply yourself with adequate protein, you could lose muscle rather than gain.
  6. Are you seeing more flab than muscle? Your body needs protein to function on a daily basis. If you don’t replenish that supply adequately, you may begin breaking down muscle for protein. Eat plenty of protein to keep the muscle you have.
  7. Are you suffering more injuries? Muscle needs to be repaired after every exercise. Without adequate protein, your muscles may not get all the repair they need, leading to more injury. Also, with insufficient protein, your injuries will heal slower and you’ll notice a longer recovery time.
  8. Are you frequently ill? Your body uses protein as well for keeping the immune system strong. Insufficient protein intake could leave your immune system lacking.
  9. Is your hair falling out? Your body rebuilds with protein, and in the absence of adequate stores will begin rationing to the most important functions. One of the first things to fall by the way side is hair and nails. If you notice hair thinning, nails breaking, and hang nails, it’s time to get more protein.
  10. Are you achy? Without protein to rebuild connective tissues and cartilage, you may begin noticing joint pain and aches increase.

If you said “yes” to several of these questions, it’s time to beef up your protein intake. For quick protein on the go, be sure to stock up on Promax bars, too.

For more information about nutrition and exercise, check back each week for tips from Promax Nutrition.

Posted in Protein |

Melinda Allen

Promax_FF_061015_Photo_v1What makes you the Featured Fan?
I’m a strong mom and woman! I have to have protein in my diet to keep me rolling and moving. As a stay-at-home mom, I care for my two autistic boys and my husband, who is a disabled Army veteran. He keeps me motivated to live a healthy lifestyle and has taught me so much in the 20 years I have known him. I am so grateful! I go to the gym five days a week to relieve stress; I take it out on the weights and my body thanks me for it! I’m a 39 year-old supermom who isn’t going to stop. I have no choice because people depend on me. 🙂

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR?
Promax Original Lemon Bar.

Why is fitness and nutrition important to you?
Keeps me sane, mentally and physically happy!

What is one unique thing about you?
I like to collect baseball hats. I have hundreds of them! I’m a sportsmom! 🙂

CHECK OUT MELINDA ON TWITTER @LoveSportsMom!!


Want to be our next Promax FEATURED FAN? Fill out the form below to be considered as our next Featured Fan and a chance to win 1 box of Promax bars!

Posted in Featured Fan | June 10, 2015

Five Foods That Are Packed with Protein

protein

Protein is an essential part of every diet. It helps our bodies build muscle, improves metabolism, regulates blood sugar, and feeds us a steady stream of carbohydrates throughout the day. Our energy bars are designed to provide exercisers with a healthy dose of protein to power and recover from their workouts and help them achieve the healthy bodies they want. But, since not every meal can be a Promax bar (unfortunately!), we’ve put together a list of 5 additional foods that are packed full of protein.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt has become increasingly popular over the last few years, and it’s not hard to see why. Greek yogurt gets its thick consistency from straining out the liquid found in regular forms of yogurt, and has nearly twice as much protein as the standard version (23 g per 8 oz. serving). In addition to being loaded with protein, Greek yogurt is also loaded with probiotic bacteria that improves digestion and calcium that helps keep bones healthy and strong.

If you’re limiting your sugar intake, be sure to pick up an unflavored Greek yogurt. The flavored versions can have up to three times as much sugar.

Eggs

Eggs aren’t just a dietary staple; they’re one of the most protein-heavy foodstuffs around. Eggs have an incredibly high biological value, which measures how much of the protein in a food item can be incorporated into proteins in the body. Biological value is largely determined by the amount of amino acids a food contains, and eggs are absolutely full of them. One large egg contains 6 g of protein; if you’re looking for food that will power your day, eggs are practically an essential.

Steak

When you think protein, you probably think meat. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that steak is a great way to add protein to your diet. If you’re concerned with the fats and calories that are also found in your traditional cut of steak, we have some good news: leaner cuts of beef, like bottom round and beef loin, typically have only 7 calories per one gram of protein; for comparison, a rib eye has 11 calories per one of protein. Even better news: round cuts are some of the least expensive cuts of meat. Just be sure not to overcook – rounds and loins are thin, which means that they dry out easily if cooked too much.

Wild Salmon

Think there’s no real difference between wild caught sockeye and farm-raised salmon? Think again: wild salmon contains nearly 25% more protein than fish raised on a farm, as well as more of the fatty acids like omega-3 that increase your body’s fat-burning power. A 3 oz. serving of wild-caught sockeye salmon has 23 g of protein. If you’re looking for a tasty way to add protein to your diet, salmon is one of the easiest (and tastiest) ways to do just that.

Edamame

Looking for a light snack that’s packed with protein? Edamame fits the bill with its 8 g of plant protein per ½ cup serving, along with a healthy dose of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Shelled edamame can be found in most grocery stores’ frozen aisles, and taste great with a squeeze of lemon juice after cooking.

And, of course, Promax protein bars are a great, healthy source of protein. Ready to stock up? Check out our variety of products today!

Posted in Nutrition, Protein | June 8, 2015

Allie Liu

Promax_FF_060315_Photo_v1What makes you the Featured Fan?
I am dedicated to leading a healthy lifestyle, both inside and out. My devotion to exercise isn’t to just get a six-pack or lose weight; it’s so my body can fully function. Since I was 11 years old, I struggled with eating disorders. It wasn’t until recent years that I went into treatment. After treatment I tried lifting weights instead of cardio for hours. I felt great! Now I’m stronger than ever, and feel comfortable fueling my body the way it needs to be.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR?
Promax LS Chocolate Mint, for sure!! It tastes just like my favorite Girl Scout cookie and doesn’t have a funky aftertaste like so many other brands.

Why is fitness and nutrition important to you?
Fitness is what keeps me feel content and energized. It helps me to channel my anxiety into a healthy outlet. Nutrition is just as critical because it helps my body perform to its full potential. After years of lacking nutrients, I now can say, from eating real nutrient-dense foods, I checked out perfectly healthy at the doctors!! And no more anemia, either!

What is one unique thing about you?
I’m double jointed in my thumbs and knees.

CHECK OUT ALLIE ON INSTAGRAM @allieliuz!!


Want to be our next Promax FEATURED FAN? Fill out the form below to be considered as our next Featured Fan and a chance to win 1 box of Promax bars!

Posted in Featured Fan | June 3, 2015

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