Category: Dieting

How to Stay Fit While Enjoying Your Summer Travels and Vacations

Summer Travels and Vacations

From short weekend beach trips to week long family getaways, and other such travel, it can be challenging to maintain you normal exercise, fitness, and dietary routines. Not to mention, you do not always have access to the same conveniences you have at home and at your local fitness center.

Some people will tell you since you are on vacation, you should relax, splurge, and enjoy yourself. However, you might be the type of person who will not be happy with themselves after returning home having packed on five or ten additional pounds.

The following suggestions and tips are ideal for both personal and business travel and will help you stay in shape, while still enjoying your summer adventures.

  • Pack Workout Tools – Resistance bands, water weights, and jump ropes do not take up much room in your carry on or checked bags. These tools help you get in a 20 or 30 minute workout before heading out for the day.
  • Utilize the Amenities in Your Hotel Room – Pack dry oatmeal, protein bars, and other such nutritious snacks and meals. As long as they are not liquids, you can carry them onto an airplane. If your room has a refrigerator, make a trip to a local grocery store and stock it with fresh fruit and vegetables, yogurt, and other healthy options.

TIP: If your hotel offers a free breakfast, you can pick up fresh fruit, yogurt, and other healthy items for free.

  • Visit Your Hotel’s Fitness Center – Try to choose accommodations which feature a fitness center, to have access to exercise equipment and machines to supplement the workout tools you brought along.
  • Do Your Workouts in the Morning – Getting up early while on vacation does not sound like fun. However, if you put off working out until later in the day or evening, you probably are going to feel tired and not do it. Plus, working out in the morning gives you more energy throughout the entire day.
  • Drink Plenty of Water – Having easy access to water is sometimes challenging while traveling and on vacation. Make it a point to drink water throughout the day to help remain hydrated.TIP: Pack a reusable water bottle or two in your luggage and keep these in your mini fridge.
  • Don’t Stress if You Deviate from Your Normal Workout Routine – You are on vacation or traveling with limited access. It is okay if you deviate a little. As long as you are trying to fit in 10 minutes of exercise and sticking to a healthy diet for your snacks and at least two out of three of your daily meals, you should be close to, if not in, the same condition as when you left home.

Remember to order plenty of protein and energy bars for your summer travels and vacations, by contacting Promax Nutrition today at (888) 728-8962.

Energy Bars

Top 5 Unhealthy Foods Masquerading as Health Foods

Healthy Food

Eating healthy is challenging enough, thanks to all of the processed, frozen, canned, and packaged foods that are easy and available to eat on the go when you’re pressed for time. But sticking to a truly healthy diet is further complicated when you consider the fact that many “health foods” aren’t really all that healthy after all.

Below is a list of the top five unhealthy foods that are masquerading as health foods.

  1. Fruit Juices

Fruit juices are touted as healthy, but many of the juices that you’ll find on supermarket shelves aren’t made from actual fruit. Check ingredient labels and you may find high amounts of sugar and artificial flavors that are added to water to make it taste like fruit. Keep in mind that there are many names for sugar, so labels can also be misleading.

Even if you purchase 100% juice, however, you should do so in moderation because fruit juice, like fruit itself, has a high sugar content. Again, check labels and you may find that your favorite fruit juice contains roughly the same amount of sugar as any other unhealthy sugary drink.

  1. Agave

Agave syrup is touted as a healthy alternative to high fructose corn syrup, but it can contain between 55-90% fructose, depending upon how it’s processed. Compare this to high fructose corn syrup, which has roughly 55% fructose, and you’ll see why this food isn’t very healthy after all.

  1. Yogurt

Yogurt can be really good for your body, as it contains protein, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. But you should read ingredients labels because many brands use high amounts of sugar, along with artificial sweeteners, flavors, additives, and colors, officially rendering their foods unhealthy.

  1. Breakfast Cereals

So many breakfast cereals market themselves as being a healthy way to start your day, full of vitamins and minerals, grains and fruits – but be sure to double and triple check what’s actually in them to verify whether they’re something you want to put in your body. Most cereals are highly processed and full of sugar and chemicals – even the so-called “healthy” ones.

  1. Margarine

In spite of all the health claims margarine manufacturers plaster on their packaging, this is one “health food” that you’ll definitely want to steer clear of. Most brands have removed the trans fats that used to be part and parcel of using margarine, but this butter substitute is still basically just a bunch of chemicals – not something you want to be eating on a regular basis. Even though butter contains fat, it’s much healthier than margarine.

When shopping for healthy foods, it’s important to look past health claims on product labels and instead analyze the ingredients and nutrition facts. This will help you avoid falling victim to unhealthy foods pretending to be nutritious.

Luckily, Promax makes your choice easy, when it comes to protein bars, because Promax products contain high quality ingredients that are actually good for you. For more information about Promax, check out our product page or our blog.

 

3 Debunked Diets That’ll Do More Harm Than Good

Diet Drinks

If you’re living a healthy lifestyle, you know that there really aren’t any shortcuts to getting fit. Any diet or workout routine that promises you unrealistic gains with little effort or “one simple trick” is almost assuredly a con. Dieting in particular is filled with these misleading or downright false guides. Beware of any diet that focuses particularly on one nutrient, food, or food group. Because we’re all about fitness and proper nutrition, we’re warning you about some of the worst diets out there, and explaining why they’re a terrible idea.

Juice Cleanse Diets

This type of diet basically promises that only drinking juices for a certain period of time will “detox” your body, and get you plenty of nutrients in the process. It might look appealing to some people because juice is pretty delicious, and you’re not eating whole foods. So you must end up losing weight, right? The problem is that your body already has ways to cleanse itself. They’re called your kidneys and liver. You’re also getting a ton of sugar when you only consume juice, and even if you do lose weight, it’s going to show back up when you return to eating normal food.

The Atkins Diet

This diet has been around for a while, and generally makes a reappearance after everyone has forgotten about it for a little bit. The basic premise is that you want to cut out carbs from your diet almost entirely in order to burn fat. Unfortunately, this just isn’t a healthy way to live, as carbs are essential for proper nutrition and energy. It’s not carbs that make us fat; it’s the kind of carbs we eat—namely, simple and processed carbs that don’t provide the benefits of complex carbs found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. So there’s no need to cut out carbs completely. Instead, change the types of carbs you have in your diet.

pH Diets

Could your body be too acidic? Should you change your diet to cut out acidic foods? The answer is no. These diets claim that acidic food makes us sluggish and more prone to disease, but there’s exactly zero real evidence to back this up. Blood pH is regulated by the kidneys, and diet doesn’t have any long-term effect on it. The reason some people see positive results with this diet is that it encourages users to eat more vegetables and cut out alcohol. However, there just isn’t any evidence that eating a more alkaline diet actually helps you in any way.

The reason so many people get taken in by these diets is that they present a simple answer to a complex problem. One or two superfoods aren’t going to get you slim. A healthy diet includes all of the food groups, but in moderation. A healthy diet and a workout routine will get you into the shape you’re looking for. For more tips on a healthy lifestyle, head over to our blog. And while you’re there, check out our line of delicious and nutritious Promax protein bars!

Lose the Belly with a High Protein Diet

Waist Measurement

Belly fat can be the most stubborn type of fat to lose for men and women trying to get in shape. Unfortunately, it’s also some of the most dangerous fat, as it is linked to a variety of health issues, such as heart disease and cancer. Adopting a high protein diet, including protein bars and foods like lentils and almonds, can help men and women reduce belly fat and cut their risk of serious illness.

Risks of Belly Fat

Belly fat carries a substantial number of health risks. The type of fat that makes up belly fat is referred to as visceral fat. This fat builds up in the spaces around and between your internal organs. It creates toxins that can have a negative impact on how your body functions.

Some of the biggest problem-toxins this type of fat creates are cytokines, which can increase your chances of developing heart disease or diabetes. Cytokines also contribute to inflammation, which can result in cancers of the colon, esophagus, and pancreas.

Even if you’re just slightly overweight, or within your normal weight range, an excess of belly fat can lead to some serious health implications. For men, a waist size over 40 inches is considered problematic for belly fat, as is a waist size of over 35 inches for women.

How Protein Helps

People seeking to lose belly fat can improve their odds by adopting a diet high in protein, while also eating responsibly by ditching foods high in sugars and carbs.

Protein helps reduce belly fat in several ways:

  • Reducing hunger – People consuming diets high in protein will get hungry less often than people eating diets high in carbs and other nutrients, because protein takes longer to digest. Because the digestive process is slower with protein, people on a high protein diet often consume less food than others. Dieters should include a source of lean protein with every meal to stave off hunger between meals.
  • Boosting metabolism – A high protein diet can help men and women burn more calories, because protein has a high thermic effect. This means that the body must burn a higher number of calories to digest and metabolize foods high in protein than it must burn for other foods. Protein also builds muscle, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. That’s why exercise is so important to losing weight and reducing your body’s fat.

In addition to adding more protein to your diet, getting adequate sleep each night can help you reduce belly fat. Talk to your doctor or trainer about exercises and other suggestions for shedding your spare tire.

Promax Nutrition provides all-natural, gluten-free vegetarian energy bars for exercise enthusiasts and health-conscious snackers. Available in a variety of different flavors, Promax Nutrition bars are also designed with several training and dietary needs in mind. Try them today to find out how enjoyable healthy eating can be!

The 3 Worst Fad Diets Ever

Diet

Even the best workout regimen can be sidelined by a less-than-healthy diet. Eating right can be difficult work, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. Stress, lack of time for meal prep, or just the lapses in willpower that we all see from time to time can derail a healthy diet.

Unfortunately, some people will always want easy answers to a problem that might not be so simple. This is the reason we see so many fad diets come and go every few years. There’s always a new diet that promises weight loss and a healthy lifestyle if you just do one or two things. People may initially see some weight loss, but fad dieters usually end up putting that weight back on. That’s because fad diets aren’t built for the long run. Maintaining a healthy diet isn’t a fad; it’s a lifestyle. That’s why so many fad diets fail, and why some of them can even be dangerous.

Here’s a look at the worst types of fad diets that get advertised online.

Any Type of “Detox” Diet

These diets usually revolve around the idea that your body is full of toxins that need to be flushed out. In doing so you will lose weight and somehow become healthy again. A big part of these diets is relying strictly on liquids for a set amount of time. Water mixed with lemon juice or cayenne pepper are usually part of it, along with juices so that you actually get some sort of calories. This is basically the equivalent of taking diuretics for a week or so, and yes, you probably will lose weight. Unfortunately, as soon as you start eating again, you’re going to gain it all back. Not to mention this is incredibly unhealthy and can even be dangerous.

Diets That Eliminate An Entire Food Group

Is your diet telling you that carbs are your mortal enemy? Or that you should only eat raw food? Maybe it says that dairy is completely unnecessary, and once you rid yourself of it, you’ll see the pounds falling away. Any diet that promotes one food or food group over everything else should be viewed with suspicion. Sure, you should probably eat more fruits and veggies, but that doesn’t mean you should eliminate every other food group. Most likely, you’ll be missing key nutrients, which will end up hurting you more than it helps.

Diets That Advocate Too-Low Caloric Intake

If you’re diet includes some kind of fast, or lowers the recommended calories below a safe daily level, you’re going to be disappointed with the results. That’s because fasting may help you lose weight in the short-term, but it’s dangerous, and the weight you gain back will be mostly fat. Instead of cutting your calories to dangerous levels, you should look to healthier foods to supply those calories.

Simply put, it may be easier to lose weight if you don’t even think of it as a diet. Start replacing junk food with healthier alternatives, like a Promax protein bar, and make sure you’re getting the proper nutrition. It may not be a quick fix, but you’ll feel better and end up losing weight and keeping it off. If you want to know more about living a healthy lifestyle, visit our blog.

Your Diet and Navigating the Holidays

Navigating the Holidays

Keeping in line with your diet can be a real chore over the holidays. It’s bad enough that you spend more time inside when it’s cold, and are more apt to snack, but the holidays also bring bountiful feasts and get-togethers that are centered around food. Tips and tricks like eating nutrition bars instead of sweet treats can help you keep your diet goals in check while still making the most of the holiday season.

Don’t Dress for Comfort

The more comfortable you are in your clothes, the less concerned you are about how they look. Items that fit loosely around the waist are comfortable, but they also offer plenty of room for you to just keep eating.

Keep Hands Busy

Grab a drink of water as soon as you walk in. This gives you something to start filling up on, but it also keeps something in your hand so it isn’t as easy to just keep grabbing snacks. If you keep your hands occupied, you’re less likely to keep going for seconds (and thirds) on all of those unhealthy holiday treats.

Fill Up on Healthy Items

Holiday dinners can be fun, but they can also zap the energy right out of you. Snack on one of your favorite protein bars before you go to the dinner. And once you arrive, sip on some water and opt for the veggie tray. By the time dinner rolls around, you won’t be quite as ravenous.

Exercise Before You Go

If you take the time to get some exercise in before the dinner, you won’t want to blow of all your hard work on unhealthy foods. Instead, you will be more alert and more interested in conversation or activities than you are when eating large quantities of food, plus you will have burned a few extra calories in case you wind up eating more than planned.

Play a Game

Much of the holiday eating that occurs does so because people tend to sit around the table chatting, with nothing else to do but snack on treats or leftovers. If you have a game to play, you will keep your hands and mind occupied so that sugary sweets don’t remain the focal point for the duration of the evening.

Push Away from the Table

Avoid sitting at a table that holds large amounts of food. Instead, find your way to the couch or another area that doesn’t involve temptations likely to thwart your personal health and fitness goals. This way, you can still socialize, but you aren’t constantly distracted by all of the snacks (and the smells that come along with them).

A large part of making it through the holidays with your diet intact is planning ahead. Keep your cravings in check by shopping Promax protein bars online this holiday season.

Why Fad Diets Suck

Fad Diet

Fad diets are unforgiving. Boring. Restricting. They ban specific foods or entire food groups, only allow you to eat certain foods, require special pills or supplements, and promise nearly impossible results. They are, by definition, fleeting. They’re trendy for a few months, maybe a year or two, until people realize that these diets simply can’t deliver the results they promise and move on to the next. Americans alone are estimated to spend $40 billion annually on diet programs and products, many of them fad-based.

As a fitness aficionado, you know better than to subsist only on cabbage, lemon water, or grapefruit. Still, it can be frustrating when your usual workout regimen has slower results than you want, or when you seem to hit a plateau. It can be easy to be lulled in by the siren song of Before and After photos of pudgy dads becoming hunky hardbodies and the promises of lasting effects.

Newer science shows that the concept of dieting really doesn’t work for anyone trying to lose weight or maintain a new physique. These fad diets should actually be called “fat diets,” because for every pound you lose on one, you’re extremely likely to gain back, plus some. This is because radically changing your diet is a temporary solution, rather than a sustainable lifestyle change. It’s a band aid fix borne of desperation; as soon as you return to eating normally, your body will boomerang back to its previous state.

Fad diets lead to dehydration.

Rather than burning fat, fad diets usually help you shed water weight. Water does have weight, yes, but it’s also vital to healthy skin, proper digestion, waste removal, regulating body temperature, and allowing metabolism to occur.

You should be aiming to drink between six to eight glasses of water a day, and more if you’re working out frequently. If you have too little, you risk dehydration—which claims the gnarly side effects of weakness, dizziness, confusion, heart palpitations, and fainting. When you want to lose weight, water is your friend. To stay full and cut down on unhealthy snacking, drink one full glass before and one after each meal.

Fad diets are bad for your mental and physical health.

These diets are wholly unsustainable and set the dieter up for failure. This can lead to a pattern of yo-yo dieting, or gain and loss cycles. This is extremely demoralizing—particularly for anyone new to fitness.

Dieticians agree that crash diets also can lead to disordered thinking or unhealthy body image. “Punishment is not an effective way to make long-term, livable changes to your eating habits,” says registered dietitian Mary Bamford. “A sense of guilt and failure doesn’t help people keep the weight off. To make a change that matters, you need an approach that you can live with.”

Eating too few calories will lead to serious fatigue. When you restrict your intake, the body hits starvation mode and begins to dip into its muscles stores. Working out during this time is an almost sure way to get a nasty injury.

The Top Four Weirdest Fad Diets

The Cabbage Soup Diet

This is a gross one. While we like cabbage on occasion, this diet involves eating nothing but the boiled leaves in soup for a few days as a “cleanse.” While it’s true that cabbage is full of fiber, we say pass to this bland, mushy diet… and its shall we say, unpleasant side effects.

Blood Type

This fad diet seems to have come straight out of left field. According to the diet’s founder, each blood type has an ideal meal plan associated with it. For example, Type O allegedly shouldn’t eat dairy or wheat, and Type A should avoid most meats.  There’s little, if any, science to back up these claims.

The Twinkie Diet

Mark Haub, professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, spent two months living on only snack cakes, Doritos, and Oreos to prove a point. He lost 27 pounds, because he took in fewer calories than he burned. This experiment legitimizes the growing If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) movement, but living on Little Debbies alone won’t earn you that six-pack. There’s more to food than calories, and it’s a quick route to “skinny fat” if you don’t pay attention to anything else.

The Baby Food Diet

The weirdest was saved for last. Celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson is to blame for this one. The gist is that followers eat two jars of baby food a day and a sensible dinner. Apparently Lady Gaga was a fan at some point. For the average Joe, this is a terrible idea. Baby food is low on calories but high on sugar—not to mention that the texture is goopy!

A healthy weight loss plan involves a variety of foods, ongoing exercise (both cardio and strength-training), moderate weight loss goals of .5 to two pounds per week, and common sense. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is—unless you’re talking about the Promax protein bars, which won’t work any miracles, but will keep you full and fuel some great workouts.  For more information about Promax, check out our product page or our blog.

Sources:
http://diet.allwomenstalk.com/reasons-fad-diets-fail#
http://allwomenstalk.com/p/50eb19b214364dca6f1b2be3?utm_source=aws&utm_medium=Website&utm_campaign=related_api
http://www.canada.com/health/diets+fail+lifestyle+makeover+better+choice+lose+weight/4218317/story.html, http://www.diet-blog.com/08/why_do_most_diets_fail.php
http://www.elle.com/beauty/health-fitness/advice/g8691/most-popular-fad-diets/?slide=8

What the Heck is Flexible Dieting and How Can It Help You Lose Weight?

Flexible Dieting

Deprivation diets just don’t work. Sure, on the first day you’re all gung-ho to eat plain chicken breasts with brown rice. But as the days go on, you start to crave a cupcake. A Big Mac. A Twinkie. A couple beers after work. “I’ve been good for a week,” you think. “I can have a cheat meal.”

But if you’re like, oh, anyone else, your cheat meal will probably turn into a cheat day, cheat weekend, a black hole where you feel like you’ve “ruined” your day with bad foods and might as well keep going. Strict diets aren’t sustainable.

Enter flexible dieting.

Also known as If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM), flexible dieting is a way of tracking macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) to achieve your ideal body goals. According to flexible dieting, there are no such things as “bad” foods, just worse macro ratios.

Here’s how it works. One gram of each macro has a calorie value. A good rule of thumb is to eat one gram of protein per pound of your body weight, .4 grams of fat per pound of body weight, and 1.1 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight.

Tracking this way means you can influence body composition rather than just aiming to lose or gain.

How to Start Flexible Dieting

Starting a flexible diet is one of the easiest nutritional systems out there. Forget no carb this, caveman that and just aim for the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of your meals should be made with whole ingredients; 20 percent can be anything you want.

  1. Calculate your macros. There’s a great calculator here.
  2. Track your macros using a food registry like MyFitnessPal, which has the largest nutritional database in the world.
  3. Buy a food scale so you know exactly what you’re consuming, and log diligently.

IIFYM is effective.

The best diet is the one you can stick to. As shown by the Twinkie Diet, the quantity of calories you eat are more important than the “quality” of the foods you eat. No matter how clean you eat, if you’re having too much, you will not lose any weight.

Tracking gives you a sense of control over your diet and body, rather than causing you to restrict.

Flexible dieting is just that—flexible.

It sounds too good to be true, but when you use this nutritional system, you really can have your cake and eat it too. This leads to less food-related anxiety and sets you up for long-term success, rather than a short-term solution. The fitness journey shouldn’t be about losing weight, but about maintaining it—when you’re eating everything you usually would in moderation, you don’t have to reincorporate foods into your diet and then deal with the inevitable weight gain that comes with it.

Social events are less awkward when you use a flexible diet, too.

The flexible approach leads to less food-related anxiety, reduces the likelihood of developing an eating disorder, and sets you up for long-term success. You won’t be tempted to binge on “bad” foods if you have them in moderation.

Fiber and Flexible Dieting

Fiber isn’t absorbed by your body; unlike other food components, it passes intact through your stomach, small intestine, colon, and out of your body. Fiber keeps you full longer, keeps your body movements regular, and reduces cholesterol. Foods high in fiber are usually dense with other micronutrients, too. You should aim to eat 14 g of fiber per 1000 calories eaten.

There are two kinds of fiber:

Soluble fiber dissolves when it makes contact with water. It helps the waste move through your body. Examples are fruits, lentils, vegetables, potatoes, and oats.

Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve or change form. This includes bran, brown rice, whole grain cereal, nuts, and seeds.

Unlike some other bars that contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, the fiber content in Promax LS bars has been confirmed by an outside lab. This third-party used reliable testing that was up to par with regulations from the US Food and Drug Administration, so you can be sure that Promax bars are part of a fiber-heavy diet.

But do they fit your macros? With several lines of bars that suit various needs—from low sugar to the Pro series that feature ratios of 37 percent protein, 37 percent carbs, and 26 percent fat—you’re sure to find one that you can fit into your flexible diet.

For more information about Promax, check out our product page or our blog.

Sources:
https://healthyeater.com/flexible-dieting
https://healthyeater.com/flexible-dieting-fiber-amount
http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/08/21/eat-man-food-and-lose-weight-a-primer-on-flexible-dieting/