The Negative Health Effects of Skipping a Single Meal

plate

Less is more, right? Yes, if you’re talking about miles per hour when you get pulled over for speeding, but not in the realm of eating. Whether you’re a celebrity-diet fan or experienced a night of too much booze and Burger King, chances are you’ve heard of the term fasting.  Fasting may seem appealing when you’re in a crunch or trying to undo some serious damage, but think twice before you consider it.

Here’s what happens to your body when you skip a meal (yes, just a meal!):

Digestion Disruption: Our bodies are used to having food to digest. When you stop eating for a day or a meal, your body’s digestive system gets thrown off. If you aren’t eating, your body has nothing to digest. Help your stomach do its job- eat regularly!

Cortisol Chaos: By eating throughout the day, you can help keep your blood sugar in check. Skipping meals releases cortisol. Increased cortisol is closely tied to increased abdominal fat.

Mental imbalance: Humans need food to survive, that’s not rocket science. When you skip meals, you can slip into a thought process where you convince yourself you don’t need food. Slippery-sloping into a thought process where food becomes a guilt-trip is a big no-no.

Onset of Overeating: Ever skip breakfast and then realize it’s halfway through the afternoon and you have yet to eat? What likely happens as a result? A huge dinner! Our bodies function best when fed in reasonably moderate amounts at spaced intervals. So slamming a huge dinner not only confuses your body but will likely result in an overconsumption of calories.

Fat Foraging: When we skip meals or don’t eat, our bodies go into “freak-out-mode”, aka starvation. Our bodies start to think we won’t be getting food. As a result, your metabolic rate is reduced for the time being.

If these are the repercussions of just skipping meals, imagine the scale of consequences when applying this to a day-after-day fast. The key to lasting weight loss results is investment of time and effort. Fasting may lead to temporary weight loss, but can result in long term damage. Stick to the old-fashioned hard work and healthy eating and you and your body will be much happier.

This article was authored by Michael Volkin, inventor of Strength Stack 52 bodyweight exercise cards and the all new Weight Loss Stack 52, the most fun and unique way to lose weight. Now in Australia!

#Review: Green Coffee Bean Extract

We’re always wondering how these celebrities lose weight so quickly. I read a lot about the Green Coffee Bean Extract weight loss/management pills.

Now, I am not a believer in crash diets and diet pills – I believe work out regularly and eat healthy is the way forward. However, after reading all the reviews and comments made about this, I thought I would try it myself.

The instructions said, take one (1) 30 minutes before each meal. I wasn’t too sure what affect it would have on me (even though I had seen a lot of people say there were no side affects), so I started taking one in the morning and then one in the evening before my dinner. I had not changed what I was eating (I do watch what I eat – with a cheat day thrown in every now and then, but who doesn’t enjoy a cheat day?!), I generally do quite a lot of walking, I wasn’t going to the gym at all.

During the first few days of taking the green coffee, I started feeling like it was having the opposite affect on me than what it said on the packet. This was supposed to help slow down my appetite but actually I had felt more hungry! I just stuck with it and ate as much as I needed to.

 

On day one of starting these pills (I hate calling them that but that’s what they are), I weighed 72kg (158lbs). This is me at my heaviest, and I am just under 5″7 (1.70m) in height.

A week later, after regularly taking the coffee bean extract I was astonished at the results – after just 1 week!

I weighed myself in the morning and I couldn’t believe I was down 2kg (4.4lbs)! Not only had I lost a considerable amount in just a week, but I was generally feeling more awake and quite energetic.

 

All in all – this stuff works. I wouldn’t suggest it as a long term solution to weight loss as they have mentioned that not enough studies have been done on it and so they still aren’t aware of any long term side affects, but it is definitely a help to boost the weightloss that you need to help you later keep it off by doing regular exercise and healthy eating.

 

Review: Mix Up The Voltage – Lip Plumper

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So there has been a lot of talk about this product and I decided to give it a go.

 

I ordered this from eBay as most other places had either sold out or were selling it for a ridiculous price! Even on eBay it wasn’t cheap, I paid roughly £15.00!

 

Before, the product came in two boxes, one with the lip gloss and one with the plumping liquid. This time they have packaged it quite well and it comes in a slender box with the lip gloss inside and a syringe which contains the liquid.

photo 2

 

I had read a few reviews about this and about how much to put in, I didn’t want to risk my lips falling off, so I added 1 ml to the lip gloss, mixed it for 20 seconds and waited another 30 seconds (as told by the instructions).

Once I applied the lip voltage lip gloss, I expected some tingling, but what I didn’t expect was about 30 seconds after application was that my lips would be feeling as if I had rubbed raw hot chilies on my lips. It was quite intense, and this was only 1 drop! They say if you want to increase the plumpness of your lips to add 3 drops maximum.

The “tingle” (burn) lasted for roughly 2 minutes before it started dying down. However, I decided to put another layer on top to see what would happen. Again, the tingling and burning feeling came back but by this time I got used to the feeling and the second time around it wasn’t too bad (still quite intense).

Here are my results:

photo (1)

As you can see – just above my cupids bow it had turned slightly red, this had happened in a previous review I had read to the girl who was trying it out so I figured it wasn’t too abnormal, it is something you can hide with a dash of make up.

Looking at it now, it did work. My lips weren’t too thin to start with but they definitely looked a bit fuller. They were also a lot more red in colour from the reaction the lip gloss caused.

I would recommend this for others to try, the effects last a couple of hours.

If you’re going out and wish to wear lipstick or another colour lip gloss (this one is clear) you might want to put this on, wait for the plumping action to kick in and slightly dab off the gloss with a tissue so that you can apply the colour you want.

 

Let us know your experience! Have you tried it? Did it work for you?

Weird Workout Hacks that Actually Work

It’s not hard to find hundreds of search results for workout tips when searching the internet. That’s why I was on a mission to find quick and easy workout tips that actually work, proven by scientific studies. Below are my findings:

 

1

Talk to Yourself- While most people get bothered, and slightly scared, by others who talk to themselves while working out, the results of a recent study might get you mumbling too. In a study published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise Journal, researchers found that physical exhaustion, or the desire to stop working out, is largely psychological. The study recommends consistent and orderly self-talk in order to produce desired effects. By using statement such as “I am strong,” or “I can do two more reps,” you may find yourself pumping out an extra rep or running longer than ever before.

 

2

Grow a Milk Moustache- Chocolate milk, that is. While some athletes turn to a protein shake for post-workout, chocolate milk may be just as good of an option. Chocolate milk is a good post workout drink because it is a great blend of carbohydrates and proteins, all mixed into one. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that muscles protein synthesis is greater when milk-based proteins are consumed post workout, versus soy-based proteins.

 

3

Hit the coffee shop- This may be no different than usual for you coffee-lovers out there, but studies show there is a perk to having coffee or caffeine before a workout. Not only can caffeine help you burn a greater number of calories during your workout, it can also delay depletion of muscle glycogen, according to an article by the American College of Sports Medicine.

 

4

 

Activate your Glut-4- Doing 60 seconds of exercise right before eating and 60 seconds of exercise about 90 minutes after eating will activate your Glucose Transporter 4. Doing this will allow more calories to flow toward muscle cells than fat cells. Also known as glut-4, this naturally-occurring protein in your body can do amazing things with the excess sugar and calories in your body.

 

 

The most effective workout tips are those that work for you. Every person’s physical make-up is different, but most important everyone’s motivation for exercising is different. Some of the above tips may help you tremendously, and others not at all. Give them a try!

 

This article was authored by Michael Volkin, inventor of Strength Stack 52 bodyweight exercise cards and the all new Weight Loss Stack 52, the most fun and unique way to lose weight. 

 

5 Little Known Ways to Get a Leg Workout at Home

tone-legs-and-butt

We have all been there at some point: snow blocking the roads, sick child at home that needs pampering, car is in the shop, or probably the most common, I just don’t have the time today. But you need to get to a gym to get a leg workout, right? What to do?

While less than ideal, I typically take these days as an opportunity to work not only major muscle groups, but also minor muscles that are often neglected during traditional exercises. As goes the old idiom, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” so goes a body is only as strong as its weakest muscle. So here are four at-home exercises that can work both your major and minor muscle groups which require little to no equipment.

  1. The Windmill Lunge

Typically, when we do lunges, we are doing front lunges, which give the quads a fantastic burn, but otherwise do not work other muscles. The windmill lunge will work all parts of your leg, including the inner thigh muscles and hip adductors. To do a windmill lunge, begin with a normal forward lunge, with your right foot forward. In your next lunge, step forward at a 45 degree angle. Continue to rotate 45 degrees each lunge, and after five lunges you will have just completed a reverse lunge. Repeat until fatigued and then switch legs.

  1. Jump Lunge

One of the worst aspect about at home workout is that without equipment, it is difficult to do explosive movements which activate those “Type 2” muscle fibers, which are the muscle fibers responsible for your heavy lifts. Doing a jump lunge will activate those type 2 muscle fibers. To do a jump lunge, it’s easy; do a lunge, then jump up in the air and switch your foot position for the next lunge, then land. The faster you move, the better the burn!

  1. One-Legged Squat

This exercise requires a lot of balance to execute correctly, so in case you fall over your first few times, make sure you have something to grab onto. Stand on a step with one foot and keep your other foot off the ground. Lower yourself with your planted leg until your butt and knee are parallel, then stand back up. If you can, try not to hold onto anything while doing these. Again, balancing engages minor muscles as well as your core.

leg-workouts-men

  1. Swiss Ball Hamstring Curl

Likely the easiest exercise from this list, find an inflatable exercise ball and lie down on your back. Place both your heels on the ball and lift your body off the ground. Now bring the ball in closer to your body by curling your legs. Repeat until fatigued. For a more challenging exercise, use a smaller exercise ball, which will throw your body off balance and engage more and different muscle fibers.

Whether your home is your ideal workout spot or you’re crunched for time and can’t leave the house, these exercises can get you the workout your body needs.

This article was authored by Michael Volkin, inventor of Strength Stack 52 bodyweight exercise cards and the all new Weight Loss Stack 52, the most fun and unique way to lose weight. 

Crunchy prawn & noodle salad

Crunchy prawn & noodle salad

This is for our Dairy-Free readers!

Ingredients

  • 100g rice noodles
  • 2 small carrots, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • small handful each coriander and mint, chopped
  • 140g cooked prawns in chilli, lime and coriander (we used Waitrose)
  • 2 tsp reduced-salt soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp light soft brown sugar
  • zest and juice 1 lime

 

Method

  1. Soak the noodles in boiling water following the pack instructions. Drain and run under cold water until cool, then drain well again. Mix the noodles with the carrots, spring onions, coriander, mint and prawns.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together, pour over the noodle salad and toss well to coat. Store in containers until ready to eat.

 

Review: Bodytox Detoxing Foot Patches

This Gets: 3 out of 5 rating

 

Bodytox: Detox Foot Patches

So, when I heard about the ‘detox foot patches’ I thought – Why Not?

The instructions said to use every night for 3 nights, obviously some people differ so they may have to use for longer. My initial thought was that this was just like any other detox product, they make you believe it will work and at the end of the day you don’t feel any different and the only thing that lost weight was your purse (or wallet – men are included in this, we don’t discriminate).

 

When I opened the packaging, I noticed a very familiar smell… Soy Sauce. I found this very strange but I was sure it was just the mix of special detoxifying ingredients that gave this peculiar aroma. The packaging included a handy leaflet which shows you which part of the foot is connected to certain parts of the body…

I did what any other person would do… Stuck the pad right in the middle and hoped for the best. I was pleasantly surprised that the pads on my feet didn’t bother me during my sleep. I hardly noticed them (thumbs up to that!)

The instructions said the next morning when the pads are removed there will be dark patches on the pads where the toxins had been drawn out of the feet. The darker patches means there are more toxins on that part of the body.

As I peeled them off, I was happy to see that it did what it said on the tin. Dark patches? Yes. Still smelling of Soy Sauce? Definitely.

 

I did as recommended, 3 nights in a row, each morning checking the foot patch and seeing whether it made any difference. There was a noticeable difference in colour by day 3. It was lighter, still patchy but definitely lighter.

I was happy that my money hadn’t completely gone down the drain, I admit I did not feel too different, but I suppose if I had maybe carried on for another 3 days I would have…

 

For those who want to try this – I would say go for it, it’s not very expensive and you can find them in your local super markets.

Back Exercises You Can Do at Home

back

Come on, you know where the back machines are in your gym right? Well if you don’t, it’s the group of machines that rarely have anyone on them. That’s because people like to work muscle groups that get attention, like biceps and abs. However, those with strong backs will be the first to tell you it is one of the most important muscle groups on your body, not only for posture, but for any type of athletic movements.

 

Facts about your back muscles:

  • Your back muscles are the second strongest muscle group in your body; only your legs have more power.
  • A wide back creates the illusion of having a much smaller waist than you actually do. Therefore you look a lot trimmer than you really are.
  • Back training burns more calories than most exercises because they are the second biggest muscle group in the body.
  • For athletic movements, a strong back will enable you to throw further, climb and pull higher, or punch harder.
  • The lower back is used in nearly every exercise that you do for your entire body.

So, how do you exercise your back if you don’t have access to gym equipment? Easy, just follow the below workout I designed for you. Feel free to add or take away reps if the exercises are too easy or difficult for you.

Supermans – 1 set – 8 reps – video link

Lay face down with your arms out straight in front of you. Raise your arms and legs 6 inches off the ground. Hold for 3 seconds and return to the starting position.

I Pose Pump – 1 set – 18 reps – video link

Lay face down with your arms extended by your side. Raise your arms and legs 6 inches off the ground. Pump your arms up and down.

T Pose Pump – 1 set – 25 reps – video link

Lay face down with your arms extended outward. Raise your arms and legs 6 inches off the ground. Pump your arms up and down.

Bird dog – 1 set – 8 reps – video link

On your palms and knees with your eyes facing the ground, raise one arm and the alternate leg in line with your back. Hold for 3 seconds. Every two times you raise your leg is one rep.

Bridge– 1 set – 8 reps – video link

Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Put your arms at your side and lift your hips. Hold for 3 seconds and return to starting position.

There you have it, 5 back exercises you can do anywhere and anytime without any equipment. Of course, if you have a gym membership you could add many more back exercises to this workout, such as lat pull downs and pull ups. Always be sure to stretch your back after a workout to reduce soreness and stiffness.

 

This article was authored by Michael Volkin, inventor of Strength Stack 52 bodyweight exercise cards and the all new Weight Loss Stack 52, the most fun and unique way to lose weight. 

 

 

Five-Veg Lasagne; Iron-Rich!

This one is for our Veggie readers! Get some extra Iron in your system with this delicious 5 veg lasagne from BBC Good Food

 

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 aubergine, cut into small chunks
  • 150g mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 700g passata with onions and garlic
  • 8-10 lasagne sheets
  • 400g frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 250g tub ricotta
  • 25g grated parmesan (or vegetarian alternative)
  • 25g pine nuts

 

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large, non-stick frying pan. Fry the aubergine for 5 mins until softened, then tip into a bowl. Fry the mushrooms in the remaining oil for a few mins until golden, then mix with the aubergine and peppers. Spoon half of the veg into a 20 x 30cm baking dish. Spoon over half the passata, then arrange a layer of lasagne sheets on top.
  2. Spread the rest of the veg over the pasta, cover with passata and another layer of pasta. Drain any excess liquid from the spinach and mix together with the ricotta and half the Parmesan. Spoon over the top of the pasta, then sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and pine nuts. Cover with foil, bake for 20 mins, uncover, then bake for another 10 mins until browned. Serve with a crisp green salad.

 

 

Enjoy! Yummmmm!