Carb cycling is a dietary choice where you alternate the amount of carbohydrates you have on each day. The idea is to have higher carbs on heavy lifting or cardio days and lower carbs on low energy days.
But that's nice. What does that really mean for you? The idea behind adding carb cycling into your life is that it trains your body to burn fat on low-carb days. Since you aren't giving your body a rich stream of carbs throughout the day, your metabolism is forced to turn to fat for energy.
Now, the reason carb cycling may be more beneficial than a strict all-low-carb-every-single-fucking-day diet is because the high-carb diets remind your body to replenish important hormones like leptin and human growth hormone...among others. When you dive into a low carb diet, you do get better insulin sensitivity, but your body also turns down certain hormones that are activated by carbohydrates in the blood stream. Ultimately, the high-carb/low-carb strategy burns fat without decreasing your metabolism. It also keeps you from turning into a raging a-hole because you didn't get your pancakes with whipped cream and syrup. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration...or is it? I'm pretty much an a-hole when I don't get my Sunday pancakes.
If you want to try carb cycling and see if it helps you lose weight or get you over a rough spot in your progression...or hell, if you just want to change up your diet, follow our 2-week carb cycling program, featured below.
We are super excited to tell you that we will be releasing a fitness and nutrition book this June. A preorder will be available shortly. The book is perfect for folks who want to lose a little or a lot of weight, and it comes with kick-ass food and butt-smashing workouts!
Let's get something straight, the food pyramids created by the USDA for Americans, whether meat-eating or vegetarians (or vegans) suck. They are funded by big agriculture and recommend that you eat large amounts of the food that they want to sell. Plain and simple.
I know this because I worked for the USDA for a brief time (but left because I couldn't handle the fact that they allowed their pockets and politics to influence the information they provided to us). I watched as the dairy or beef or wheat guys would totally influence how the pyramid was designed. That consumers were told to eat more grains or dairy because it was important to them to boost those economies...it had nothing to do with your health.
This is something that has been sitting on me for a long time and part of my mission to get you from skinny to strong is to make you the most informed on nutrition as possible. I aim to provide honest, no-agenda nutrition information that doesn't appeal to fads or policy. It just appeals to the human body and your physical (and sometimes emotional) needs.
To start, I have created a food pyramid that is the center of our nutrition program. And because many of you are meat eaters or are vegan, I made sure to create this pyramid to accommodate your dietary choices. Of course, you will not find dairy on this pyramid because it is not a legitimate food group for humans. We are not going to talk about this here, but let's just remember that another animal's milk isn't created for other species...we don't see baby cows being fed human milk, do we? No, it doesn't make any sense and it is purely a commercial product.
Protein: 3-4 servings per day
Fats: 1-3 servings per day
Fruits: 1-3 servings a day
Vegetables: 5+ servings per day
Grains: 0-3 servings per day
Scrambled Eggs with Fruit
Spray a medium pan over medium heat and scramble 3 eggs and 2 egg whites together. Season with salt and pepper. Add ½ chopped red bell pepper to the pan and cook until the eggs are cooked through. Serve the scrambled eggs with a banana sprinkled with 1 tablespoon flaxseed and a dash of cinnamon.
Super Citrus Smoothie
Blend together a frozen banana, 1 orange, a pinch of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon protein powder, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, and 2 teaspoons hempseed.
Blueberry Spinach Smoothie
Blend together 1 cup spinach, 1 ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup blueberries, ½ frozen banana, 1 tablespoon flaxseeds and a pinch of cinnamon.
In a cup, spoon 1 cup nonfat yogurt into the bottom. Add 1 cup blueberries, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, ½ cup Old Fashioned oats, and a pinch of cinnamon. Stir and eat.
Oats, Apples, and Almonds
In a bowl, mix together 1 cup cooked oats with 1 diced apple, 1 tablespoon flaxseed, 1 tablespoon chopped almonds and a pinch of cinnamon.
Apple Banana SmoothieBlend together 1 Granny Smith apple, ½ frozen banana, 6 almonds, 1 tablespoon protein powder, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, a pinch of cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon hempseed until smooth. Add more liquid if needed.
Guess what just happened? Beach Body is offering ALL of their workouts through video streaming!!! We are super in love with this streaming program at Skinny2Strong, and we had to tell you about it. Now tons of cable channels and even YouTube offers workouts (if you follow our site, you know that we post YouTube workouts). But the beauty of this is that you can dedicate yourself to a fitness program and always have your workouts available to stream from any device.
We think that having access to the workouts is going to make it easier to stay on track and get yourself in tip top shape. Since we work directly with Beach Body, they gave us this link to share with our clients. The link gives you 30 days free access to their streaming channel...if you like it, keep it. If not, dump it!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X9 square baking pan.
2. In a small pot, heat the almond butter and mashed bananas. Stir until combined; set aside.
3. In a food processor, coarsely chop the almonds. Coarsely chop apricots, cranberries and cherries.
4. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the seeds and oats. Fold in the almond butter mixture. Press the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
5. Let cool before cutting into bars/squares. Wrap individually in cellophane and store in fridge for up to 1 week.
Diet usually has something to do with you not meeting your fitness goals. Many of you do not have a lot of spare time, and while the team recommends living a stress-free life that allows you to cook all of your meals and spend more time with your family, we know it isn't always going to happen.
We don't want any of you slipping up on your progress. And we definitely don't want any of you slinking to Papa John's for a cheese pizza because you didn't have time to cook. We've partnered with Balance by bistroMD, a meal delivery service that prepares amazing meals with fresh ingredients. And guess what? The meals are delivered to your home for free if sign up for the service through the links in this post.
Now, we didn't want to promote a service unless we tried it ourselves. Two of our nutritionists signed up at their own expense to test it out. Let's see what they had to say:
The average American drives 33 miles per day. They get in the car to go down the street to the grocery store. They whiz through the drive-through for their 500-calorie lattes. They drive to pick their kids up from school. They drive to work. For the most part, Americans drive everywhere.
On the other hand, Americans usually walk less than 3 miles per day. That's less than 5,000 steps per day. Our team thinks that is backwards; many of us have sold our cars or only use them for long-distance trips because the human body was built to walk long distances. It was built to carry a backpack on its back and a 30-lb kid on its hips. The body is stronger than most people realize.
For the sake of ease, let's say that walking one mile burns around 60 calories, more if you weigh over 140 pounds. If you walk five miles a day just getting to the places that you have to be, then you burn 300 calories. This presumes a 2.5 MPH pace. Move faster and you will burn more. If you are piggybacking a kid or carrying a heavy backpack, burn even more. These are the miles that it takes to get places...work, home, school, store...it doesn't count your weight lifting or circuit training and it doesn't take into account the walking you may do at work or elsewhere. It's an extra 5 miles of physical movement added to your day.
Now you may think that this is impossible, but it isn't. One of our nutritionists has been without a car for SEVEN years. She walks with her now 6-year-old everywhere. The nearest grocery store is 2 miles from her house. She only uses the public bus when it's more than 5 miles from her house. And guess what? She's got a six pack. She has minimal body fat. And even better, she doesn't run or do extensive chronic cardio.
We bet that if you tried this method of living, you'd lose unwanted fat, build muscle and get closer to a "zen" happiness. After all, that's what we're all about here. Give it a try. Just a week.
Building muscle and burning fat is easy once you get the hang of it, but there are things that you can do to accelerate your progress or even shed a few pounds of body fat (you know the ones we're talking about!).
There are also tons of things that you can do to maintain your weight once you've reached a good place.
One of the hardest things for most people on a fitness journey from skinny to strong (or fat to fit) is staying on track. Some days are harder than others. Sometimes you just want to eat ice cream. And sometimes you want to eat ice cream while watching people work out at the gym.
But that doesn't mean you have to stay off track once you've goofed up. As soon as you slip, aim to recommit to your goals immediately. And if you think that you can't keep yourself on track using independent tools, then it may be time to invest in a fitness coach or mentor.
A mentor is a professional who can help you stay on track. A mentor supports you in your goals and keeps you accountable. For fitness and nutrition goals, you may want to invest in a personal trainer and a nutrition coach to keep you on track. These mentors may request your weekly schedules, help you develop meal plans, go shopping with you, cook your meals for you, and workout with you. They will do whatever you need them to do to help you.
And a GREAT mentor will know how to get you from baby steps to full-blown autonomy. How do you find one of these miraculous people? Lucky for you, Skinny to Strong has a team that is happy to help. We can provide a fitness and nutrition coach to help you meet your goals. Simply contact us and we can talk about what you need.
And if you can't afford to hire a coach, then read this website that gives you tons of FREE resources.
While we don't recommend that those looking to lose weight or get in shape need to count calories (if you are eating 2-3 meals per day that do not include crap or booze, then you really don't need to count calories!). HOWEVER, not all of us have it so easy, and for some us, counting calories makes us feel accountable for our progress. It's the same thing a keeping track of workouts.
But before you can start counting calories, you need to know how many calories you should be eating per day. You can figure out how many calories should be eating if you want to lose weight by multiplying it by 10 or 12. It's also important to know that the body wasn't built to have the exact same number of calories every single day. You should stick within a range.
Here is a calculator to help you as well:
According to several surveys, Americans are pretty passive when they aren't at work. The most popular hobbies are watching TV, reading, playing video games, going to the movies, renting movies (seriously...the media consumption is through the roof), fishing, computering, shopping, sewing, board games, golf, crafts, etc...
Obviously these are not all of the hobbies in America, but these are the ones that are hogging the upper ranks. Active activities such as walking, hunting, hiking, sports, and skiing were barely holding onto the bottom of the survey.
And while all of those these listed are fine to do here and there, they should be done in moderation especially if you want to lead an active lifestyle. If you are new to the active lifestyle, you may be wondering what types of hobbies are available to you. And if you are a seasoned pro, perhaps you are looking for a new "thing". Let's look at nine hobbies that fit into an active lifestyle.
Fifty eight million pounds of chocolate are bought around Valentine's Day each year. Can you believe that! And most of that chocolate is sugar-laden and not the best kind of chocolate for you in the world. I mean chocolate is delicious, but it not all chocolate is created equal. These paleo-friendly chocolate truffles will appease your cravings for chocolate without all of the other junk.
Fancy people like to call trampolines rebounders, but we are regular folks here at Skinny2Strong, so we will just say trampoline! As kids, we all loved jumping on trampolines and were super jealous of the neighbor who had one in the backyard.
It turns out that trampolines aren't just super fun; trampolines offer a wealth of health benefits. From weight loss to improved balance, working out on a trampoline can change your fitness life. After reading this post on trampolines, you just might throw out your tennis shoes and buy a trampoline for your living room.
One of the best (and most expensive!) things to do at a movie theater is the popcorn. That yummy buttery, salty taste of freshly popped corn is enough to make me wear sweatpants every I see a movie. But woe is me -- I've learned to bring a bag of trail mix with me to the theater. Or better, yet, a bag of my own homemade popcorn. Because my homemade popcorn is delicious and not smothered in factory butter...which means that I can make it a part of my eating arsenal.
Popcorn can be a smart snack for a number of reasons. It's low in calories ( you can eat 3 cups of it for under 100 calories) and it is versatile. Popcorn transforms when it is dusted with curry powder or pumpkin pie spice. Seriously! It will change your world. And if you are loving popcorn, then try these three flavorings to spice up your popcorn:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn
**You can portion the popcorn into small bags to take with you to work or to the theaters (sorry Regal, we won't pay $7 for your popcorn anymore!)
Pumpkin Pie Popcorn
Evidence suggests that we don't need carbs to survive. We can subsist on fat and proteins. so long as we are consuming the entire animal and not just going to Safeway for chicken breast and turkey thighs. But you know what? What kind of person just wants to survive? We want to thrive. We want to live and be happy. And most of all we want the energy to be active.
Folks who live on just fat and protein (according to the study) don't have the same endurance or energy levels as a person who includes moderate carbohydrates in her diet. This have to do with the fact that there are vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in carbohydrates that play an imperative role in our growth and energy levels.
Carbs not only make you happier mentally, they make it easier for your body to use fats and proteins. Amazing right. So the next time somebody tries to carb shame you, go ahead and give them the bird. Here are some great ways to incorporate carbs into your diet and be happy.
Sites We Love
The Baker Chick
The Candida Diet
Super Healthy Kids
Wake Up World
No Meat Athlete
American Nutrition Assoc.
Lean it Up
Muscle and Fitness
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”
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