Category: Protein

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 4 Most Dangerous Workout Myths

Workout Myths

Maybe it’s a guy at your gym who thinks he knows more than he does, or maybe it was your hard-nosed high school football coach—whatever the case, we’ve all had someone give us some less-than-stellar workout advice. Some people love to give advice about working out, but just because you heard it from someone who looks bigger than you, that doesn’t mean that it’s actually good advice. In fact, some advice and tips get passed on quite a bit, even if they can be pretty dangerous. You should always do a little research on your own, instead of just taking a random gym-goer’s advice. We wanted to dispel a few of these myths once and for all, so we’ve brought you our most dangerous myths—and why you should never listen to them.

No Pain, No Gain

People use this saying for plenty of other everyday activities, and it’s supposed to mean something about the work you put in, and the result you get out. However, when it’s applied to an actual workout, this is terrible advice. You should never be feeling any kind of sharp or pronounced pain during or after a workout. That means something is wrong—either you have an injury, or you’re doing the exercise incorrectly. A little burning in your muscles after an intense workout? That’s perfectly fine, but actual pain is a troubling sign.

There’s No Such Thing As Too Much Protein

This one comes from some flawed logic about how our bodies work. Protein helps you build muscles, and you want big muscles, right? So the more protein the better. That just isn’t how our bodies work, unfortunately. For one thing, your body can only absorb so much protein at once. It doesn’t matter if you take three times the normal amount after working out, you won’t get three times the results.

Anti-Inflammatories And Working Out

There’s a persistent myth that NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) will decrease workout soreness if taken before a workout. In fact, it’s been shown that popping a few ibuprofen before a workout not only doesn’t noticeably decrease soreness, it can actually cause damage in the gastrointestinal tract and cause bleeding. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to the damage you do during a workout. Blocking that response simply isn’t a good move.

No Rest During Your Workout

This one claims that the best results come from high-intensity strength training with little to no rest in between exercises. The thing is, failing to rest causes muscle fatigue, and you’re more likely to fall into poor form during your lifting. Your body needs a short break between sets because the muscles need time to recover. This doesn’t include circuit training, however. In circuit training, you move quickly from one exercise to the next, but you’re working out a completely different muscle group, so the other muscle groups have time to rest.

Don’t be fooled by someone who acts like they know what they’re talking about, and don’t pass on advice unless you’re completely sure it’s correct. For more fitness tips, visit our blog, and while you’re there, check out our line of delicious and nutritious protein bars.

The 5 Best Diet Blogs To Follow

Healthy Diet

In some respects, working out is the easy part of getting fit. Sure, you have to make yourself get up off the couch and put in the work, but you feel good after a workout—both physically and mentally. Plus, there are so many different ways to workout, so you can find what’s right for your fitness level and the time you have to put in.

For some people, the dieting side of getting fit can be a little harder. Instead of pushing yourself to do something, you’re abstaining from some of the foods you’ve become used to, and replacing them with something different. This can be a hard cycle to break, and you’ll be constantly bombarded with fad diets that promise unrealistic results. This is especially true if you simply Google a generic term like “diets.” The internet is great for finding information, but sometimes the good stuff gets lost in the crowd. That’s why we’ve brought you some of the best diet blogs—so you can make the changes you need, and give your workouts the boost they deserve.

  • First we have Roni’s Weigh, a blog from Veronica “Roni” Noone. On Roni’s Weigh she discusses her own personal transformation—losing over 70 pounds—as well as tips on how to keep your whole family active, fit, and healthy.

 

  • Josie Maurer, of com fame, started her blog like many others. It began as a journal tracking her own weight loss journey in order to keep her accountable, and has blossomed into a funny and insightful blog that offers tips on what to do to lose weight, as well as what not to do. Her loyal fans enjoy the humor and personality that come through in her writing.

 

  • The Domestic Man is the work of Russ Crandall, a writer for Food and Wine and AOL.com’s Kitchen Daily. His blog promises paleo-friendly recipes inspired by traditional and international cuisines. And did we mention gluten-free? He updates the site with new recipes every Tuesday.

 

  • The Stone Soup adds a very important element to making delicious and healthy meals—simplicity. Most of their recipes have five ingredients or fewer, making them attainable for beginners looking for an efficient and nutritious meal.

With so many fantastic diet blogs out there, there really is something for everyone. Losing weight is so much easier if you don’t feel like you’re going it alone, and even the healthiest among us can always do with a new recipe or two. And after you’re done gaining inspiration from these blogs, head over to www.promaxnutrition.com to pick up some protein bars or check out our own blog—it’s full of the inspiration and information you need to transform your body.

 

Soy Protein: A Nutritional Powerhouse

Soy Protein

Soy isn’t just for skinny jeans-wearing hipsters. The muscle-building properties of this remarkable bean have made soy-infused protein bars a staple of weight rooms, gyms, and exercise centers around the nation.

Bodybuilders and exercise enthusiasts know that soy provides an excellent source of protein to help them recover after workouts and to grow muscle mass. What they may not know is that energy bars containing soy protein also have lots of other nutritional benefits.

Food manufacturers make soy protein powder by stripping most of the fat and carbs from ground soybeans that have been dried. The end product is a protein-filled supplement incorporated into many snack and workout bars popular among bodybuilders and athletes.

Soy has a remarkable protein content. Just one serving of soy protein powder carries about half your daily requirement of protein, providing plenty of amino acids your body requires for building and keeping muscle.

Soy

In addition to its robust protein content, soy also offers the following nutritional benefits:

  • Fat – Keeping a close watch on fat intake is important for professional bodybuilders and average Joes alike. Soy protein is very beneficial from a fat standpoint. One 28 gram serving of soy protein powder has just 0.9 g of fat. Of that fat, only 0.1 g of it is saturated fat – the unhealthy type of fat – while the remainder is unsaturated fats – the heart-healthy version.[1]
  • Vitamins & Minerals – Soy protein contains a tremendous amount of the vitamins your body needs. Soy protein powder has 12 percent of the daily recommended amount of folate, as well as small amounts of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6. Soy protein is also rich in minerals, providing 25 percent of the daily recommended dose of iron, phosphorus, copper, and manganese. Soy protein also offers between 1 and 8 percent of daily zinc, potassium, and magnesium requirements.
  • Sodium – One thing consumers of soy-based protein bars will need to keep a watch on is their overall sodium intake. A single serving of soy protein powder carries about 12 percent of the daily allowance for sodium. Exercise enthusiasts will need to watch their diets carefully to avoid consuming too much sodium.
  • Carbohydrates – While much of soy protein powder’s carbohydrate content is stripped out in the manufacturing process, it still contains some carbs. A serving of soy protein powder has about 2.1 g of carbohydrates. The vast majority of soy protein powder’s carbohydrate content consists of dietary fiber.

As you can see, soy protein products don’t just give you the protein you need to build and maintain muscle, they also provide other essential nutrients. Combined with a carefully planned diet, soy protein can be vastly helpful in allowing you to achieve your fitness goals.

Promax Nutrition gives people who want better bodies the natural protein, vitamins, and minerals they need in delicious, gluten-free, vegetarian protein bars.  Promax has a wide range of delicious products, with one sure to please any palate.

Source:

[1] http://www.livestrong.com/article/273608-soy-protein-powder-nutritional-facts/

Vegetarian Guide to Weight Loss

Vegetarian Diet

There are many ways to lose weight, but not all of them will provide other important health benefits at the same time. One way to shed excess pounds, slim down, maintain muscle mass, and potentially even get healthier overall is by following a vegetarian diet.

The Potential Weight Loss Benefits

According to the CDC, more than 65% of adults in America are either obese or overweight, but amongst those who follow a plant-based diet, obesity is under 10%. Also, the weight of a vegetarian is likely to be anywhere from 3-20% lower than that of an omnivore.

Researchers have concluded that you can lose weight when you switch to a balanced plant-based diet, even if you don’t make any changes to your portion size or exercise routine.

When you embark on a vegetarian diet, you can also enjoy an increase in the number of calories burned naturally after you eat. Plant-based meals are utilized in a more efficient manner, so rather than storing the calories as fat, they’ll end up providing the fuel your body needs.

Stick with Natural, Non-Processed Foods

Like any other diet, when consuming vegetarian or vegan foods, you should stick with whole food options, rather than artificial, processed foods, for the best results.

To get the most benefits from your vegetarian diet, you should avoid plant-based junk foods. Opt instead for a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, lentils, beans, and so on.

Even though it might be tempting and easy to consume a lot of the vegetarian versions of things like hot dogs, burgers, pizza, sausage, and desserts, it’s best to keep those to a minimum.

Get the Right Fats

One of the great things about following a plant-based diet is the chance to reduce your intake of unhealthy fats.

If you plan on including dairy products in your diet, do so in moderation. Ounce for ounce, there are four times the amount of calories, and nine times the amount of fat, in cheddar versus a skinless chicken breast, so don’t be fooled into thinking you can have a lot of cheese just because you’re vegetarian.

To successfully lose weight, stick with just one dairy-based meal each day that contains no more than an ounce of cheese, preferably organic. If don’t want to switch to plant-based milks, opt for fat-free organic milk.

You can also get plenty of desirable omega fatty acids by eating foods like nuts, coconut oil, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and avocados, as a few examples.

Focus on Protein

Getting enough protein can help you control your weight and maintain your muscles. Many people worry that a vegetarian diet won’t provide enough of this nutrient, but you actually don’t have to be concerned.

It’s recommended that protein make up 10-12% of your calories, and the majority of legumes, grains, and vegetables provide this naturally, so it’s easy to get enough protein when following a plant-based diet.

Of course, adding a delicious Promax protein bar to your diet is another great way to get the protein you need! All our bars are vegetarian, so they’re perfect for boosting your protein intake and providing yourself with some fun variety in your vegetarian diet.

If you’ve been having trouble losing weight, switching to a plant-based diet might help. As long as you focus on eating right and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you’re likely to get all of the nutrients and results you need.

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

Sources:

http://www.shape.com/blogs/weight-loss-coach/will-going-vegetarian-help-you-lose-weight
http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/a-guide-to-healthy-weight-loss

 

 

 

 

 

Why You Shouldn’t Be Skipping Leg Day

Leg Exercises

We all know that one guy in the gym who looks like he hasn’t hit legs in the past year. Broad shouldered and top heavy, this guy lives in fear of the leg machines. It’s a pretty universal gym stereotype at this point. We make fun of the guys who skip leg day because it’s pretty obvious their only concern is those upper body muscles, but deep down, a lot of us would love to take leg day out of the equation. Yes, leg day isn’t much fun, but there are more reasons for keeping your leg workouts going than just looks.

  • For starters, you’re not just hurting your legs when you don’t work them like the rest of your body. Squats and deadlifts have been shown to increase the production of natural muscle building hormones more than any other exercise. What you also might be forgetting is that squats and deadlifts work more than just your legs. Your arms, abs, chest, and back are all getting worked to some degree when you perform these exercises. Working small muscle groups in your upper body is fine, but squats and deadlifts improve strength in exercises directly related to these muscles.
  • You also need to understand that the larger the muscle being worked out, the more fat loss will occur. The largest muscles in the body are the quads and glutes, and working them out on leg day burns more fat in the upper body than just crunches and treadmills. While burning fat, leg workouts improve core strength, which means better overall posture, flexibility, and athletic performance. Some people skip leg day because it’s more difficult, or doesn’t look as impressive as throwing up weight on the bench. Regardless, if you want to increase strength and look your best, routinely working out your lower body is essential.
  • Speaking of athletic performance, nearly every sport you enjoyed growing up involved running. Having a strong lower body is critical to performing well in athletics, whether it’s a game of pickup basketball with your friends, or just kicking the soccer ball around with your kid. A well-rounded workout will provide you with better endurance, power, and balance. If you want to perform better in just about any athletic endeavor, skipping leg day isn’t doing you any favors.
  • Oh, and leg day isn’t just about squats and deadlifts. Leg day can also include sprint training. Sprint training is great, because it serves as an excellent way to increase cardiovascular fitness without sacrificing hard-earned muscle gains. You might say that you only doing strength training, but ignoring your cardiovascular health is pretty much the same as skipping leg day. In both cases you’re missing out on a much-needed portion of your workout.

We know it isn’t the most fun or impressive workout, but skipping leg day hurts your overall health, and keeps you from reaching your potential. And if you need some recovery for after your next leg day, head on over to Promax and check out our full line of protein bars!

Unique Diets That Actually Work

Unique Diet

When you’ve tried every diet under the sun, it’s easy to feel like nothing will ever work for you. Perhaps the diets you’ve tried are too conventional. It’s important to remind yourself that what works for others won’t necessarily work for you. Check out this list of unique diets that may be the right fit for you.

The Scent of Food

Several studies have found that smelling foods before eating helps to curb overall hungriness. Since our tastebuds rely so much on our sense of smell, it’s no wonder that the smell of a delicious meal feels so satisfying in and of itself. You can even try it with your Promax bar – they smell as delicious as they taste!

Visualizing Food

Another sense to rely on for weight loss is sight. Scientists found that when people visualize their last meal, or look at a picture of a meal they’ve eaten in the past, their appetite for a snack lessens. Time to find that awesome Instagram picture you took of brunch this weekend!

Bacteria Diet

Not willing to lessen your food intake? Not a problem. This diet encourages you to keep eating. Specifically, you would have to eat foods that are rich in probiotics (such as yogurt) to induce bacterial growth in your digestive system. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi do wonders for your metabolism as well. Those who stick with this diet can lose 21 pounds in 6 months on average. Bacteria never sounded so appetizing!

Cabbage Soup Diet

This is the mother of all veggie soups. Carrots, celery, green onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and cabbage mixed together in a soup help you stay full while supplying some great nutrients. However, too much of anything is never a good idea. That’s why the concept of only drinking cabbage soup for a whole week doesn’t jump out as the best of ideas. While those who have attempted it claimed to have lost 10 pounds in that time frame, they are forgetting that there are essential nutrients to consume that aren’t available in soup or veggie form. Go to your nearest store, or order your Promax bars online to make up for some of those nutrients before going all in.

Eggs and Dessert

You’ve heard of eggs and bacon, and green eggs and ham, but what about eggs and dessert? A study from Tel Aviv University found that people who consumed a high-carb, sweet, and protein rich breakfast within their 1,600 calorie daily intake lost as much weight as those on a low-carb diet. Apparently, it’s the combination of the dessert aspect that controls your sweet tooth later in the day, and the protein that curbs your appetite, that helps with the overall weight loss.

So if you’re looking for just the right diet to help you reach your fitness goals, why not try one of these?  Others have found success with them, and you might just, too.

Still not sure which diet is right for you? Check out our ambassadors and see what they do for their bodies. And for more information about Promax, check out our product page or our blog.

Six Things You Should Know About Protein

Protein 411

If you’re new to the fitness lifestyle, you may wonder why protein is talked about so often. You see protein products just about everywhere, including protein bars, protein shakes, and even cookie dough with high protein content.

If you’re curious about why protein is so important to physical fitness and how much of it you need, these questions and answers should help you understand more about this critical nutritional component:

What is protein? Protein is an important nutrient found in many foods. Protein is key to building muscle mass, and that’s why so many fitness-related snacks and drinks have high protein content.

What else does protein do? In addition to being a critical building block for muscle, protein also performs a number of other vital functions. It helps to produce healthy bones and cartilage, and it also helps keep blood healthy. Protein is also essential to having healthy hair, skin, and nails.

On top of all that, protein is essential to the body’s healing process and also can help with libido problems among men and hormone regulation among women.

Why does my trainer want me to consume protein after a workout?  Protein helps with the body’s healing process. Working out involves tearing muscles down to build them back stronger. Protein helps this process by giving the body what it needs to rebuild muscles and help the body recover after a workout. Exercise experts recommend eating protein bars or other sources of protein within an hour after your workout.

What are some common protein sources? Meats like turkey, chicken, and beef are sources of protein, but vegetarians and vegans also have a variety of great sources of protein to choose. Peas and soy contain significant amounts of protein, and there are a growing number of healthy energy bars on the market acceptable to vegetarians and vegans.

How much protein should I eat? Experts suggest that you get 10 to 35 percent of your daily calories from protein. In general, a safe level of protein ranges from .08 grams of protein for about every two pounds of body weight. Active athletes may need up to 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight. It’s a good idea to get between 20 and 30 grams of protein per meal. If you’re increasing your protein intake, you’ll need to watch calories and carbohydrates to ensure that you’re not consuming too many, as they can lead to excessive weight gain.

Is there a such thing as too much protein? Yes. If you eat too many calorie-containing foods, even if they’re also high in protein, you’re going to gain weight. Also, excess protein intake can cause a number of problems, include gastric distress and kidney issues. Before embarking on a high protein diet, consult with your doctor and/or a nutrition and fitness expert.

Promax Bar

Promax Nutrition gives people who want better bodies the natural protein, vitamins, and minerals they need in delicious, gluten-free, vegetarian protein bars.  Promax has a wide range of delicious products, with one sure to please any palate.

How Super are Superfoods?

Berries

You’ve likely heard a lot about superfoods: specific foods, such as certain fruits or vegetables, that have superior properties and can help boost your health.

But how super are superfoods really? Are they actually as effective as the media would like you to believe, or are they just a gimmick?

Are These Foods Really “Super?”

There are many claims that superfoods are good for you, but they don’t necessarily have the power that you might think they have.

Like a lot of people, you might think that you can eat just a little bit of a superfood and it will help eliminate a certain health problem that you are dealing with. But you have to keep in mind that, when studies are conducted, they often involve testing high concentrations of extracts from the foods. When you eat superfoods in their natural state, you aren’t getting the same high concentrations of those compounds or nutrients, so the health claims can be a bit misleading.

For example, when garlic was shown to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, people weren’t told that they would have to eat about 28 cloves every day in order to match doses that were studied in the lab.

Some Examples of Superfoods

Over the last few years, a lot of foods have been touted as superfoods. Some of them are promoted with exaggerated claims, but a few are highly recommended.

Berries, such as strawberries and blueberries, are good for you because they have high amounts of flavonoids. You can potentially decrease your risk for a heart attack if you consume nine servings of berries, other fruits, and vegetables daily.

Seeds, legumes, and nuts are a great source of healthy fats, as well as protein, and it’s recommended that you consume about four servings per week, according to the American Heart Association.

Kale is considered a superfood because it has a host of nutrients, including potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and phytochemicals. Incorporate it into your diet with other fruits and vegetables.

You Should Eat Superfoods as Part of a Healthy Diet

If you’re consuming a generally poor diet on a day-to-day basis, you won’t reap many benefits from the superfoods you choose to include every now and then. Sure, you can have some dark chocolate because it has bioactive compounds that may provide health benefits, but check the ingredients list for things like fat and sugar, which you don’t want to increase, especially if you are trying to lose weight.

The key to your health would instead lie in consuming a healthy diet that contains a variety of whole foods that are packed with nutrients like fiber, vitamin D, calcium, and potassium, to name a few. This means you should eat more vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and grains, as these all contain phytochemicals that are found in plants and may be able to protect against disease.

It isn’t realistic to think that you can just add certain superfoods to your diet to greatly enhance your health. Instead, experts recommend eating a balanced diet that gives your body the nutrients it needs. This is a better way to go about attaining and maintaining health than by focusing all of your attention on just a few superfoods.

Promax bars are also a great part of a balanced diet – and we think they’re just as super as any superfood! For more information about Promax Nutrition, check out our product page or our blog.

Valentine’s Day Workouts For Couples

Couples Workout

Check out some great exercises you can do as a team

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and for most people that means a romantic dinner and gifts of chocolate, candy, or other sugar-filled sweets. But you aren’t most people, and doubling your daily intake of sugar isn’t your idea of a good time. Still, you want to keep this Valentine’s Day romantic, right? You just want to do it on your terms.

At Promax, we get where you’re coming from. No need to sacrifice a nice intimate evening just because you don’t fall into the “chocolate roses” target demographic. So we’ve put together a list of some of the best exercises you can do together on Valentine’s Day, in place of all those empty calories.

  • We’ll start off slow with the dynamic lunge. Stand facing your partner, about an arm’s length apart, and hold each other’s hands. Romantic, right? Lunge forward with your right leg as your partner lunges backward with their left leg. Reverse the motion, lunging backward with your right leg as your partner lunges forward with their left. Not incredibly challenging, but lunges are one of those exercises every beginner thinks they’ve got down, until they actually try them.
  • Next we have the wheelbarrow pushup, which allows one of you to work on your upper body, while the other works leg muscles, and you both work your core. Start at the top of a pushup, and have your partner hold your feet in their hands. Brace your core, and do as many pushups as you can while maintaining your form. As you lower yourself down, your partner should simultaneously lower into a squat, keeping his or her arms straight. And once you’re done? Switch it up and hold onto your partner’s legs while they do pushups.
  • You can also try the pull and release seated row. For this one, you’ll need the complicated piece of workout equipment known as a beach towel. Sit facing your partner with the bottom of your feet touching, knees slightly bent. Each of you will grasp one end of the towel, and perform a back and forth tug of war, keeping your back straight and maintaining good posture. Pull the towel into your midsection, and then squeeze your lats hard as your partner begins to pull in the opposite direction. Use a three-count to coordinate your pull and release.
  • Time to congratulate yourselves for not giving in to the societal pressures to buy chocolate and other sweets on Valentine’s Day. Face your partner, arm’s length apart, and get in pushup position. Do a pushup, push back to starting position, and reach out and give your partner a high five. You deserve it.

So you’ve made it through Valentine’s Day your way. They told you that you had to buy chocolate and sit on the couch sipping wine, but you’ve beat them at their own game. After you’ve worked up a sweat with your partner, you’ll need something to refuel your bodies and keep you going. So check out Promax’s full line of protein bars today!