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!

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. 

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. 

 

 

7 Little Known Fitness Hacks That Will Change Your Life

male

There is so much to learn about workout properly, it can be as confusing as you want to make it. However, there are some simple tips, tricks and hacks that anyone can do to make working out easier and more effective. Below are some simple fitness hacks that you can incorporate today to take your fitness to a higher level.

 

Eat more meals – Note I am not saying eat more food.  Break your meals into smaller portions and eat more frequently. Ideally you should eat a meal every 3 hours. Doing this will keep your blood sugar levels in check, keep your appetite under control so your less likely to binge on an unhealthy snack and increase your metabolism.

 

Tell the world - Tell the world, or at least your world, that you have a goal to lose weight, gain muscle, or even finish a 5k. Most people are willing to let themselves down before their friends and family. Whatever your goal is, telling your friends and family will keep you accountable to them and not yourself. Social networking websites are a great medium for announcing your goals.

 

The “new exercise” rule - Too often I see people in the gym doing the exact same exercises day after day. Your body has an amazing ability to adapt, and exercising is no exception. Over time, doing the same exercises over and over will decrease the effectiveness of your workouts. Make it a goal that every Sunday night you will search the internet for one new exercise you want to do at least 3 times during the upcoming week. Not only will this new exercise be a learning experience, it will take your fitness to a higher level.

 

Workout with a friend - Fact: working out with someone will make you less likely to skip a workout and more likely to complete a workout. So grab a buddy at a similar fitness level to you and be amazed at how far you push yourself.

couple

Reward yourself - This hack is especially useful for someone who can never seem to workout consistently. One of the biggest problems newbies have is they quit because they don’t have an end goal, or their goal is too long term. Make a short term goal, just a month or two, and if you complete your goal, say lose 7 pounds, reward yourself with new workout clothes. Having a short-term goal and a reward will make you more likely to finish what you started.

 

Exercise to Fast Music - A recent study concluded exercising to fast paced songs made people exercise harder and longer. So load your phone up with fast paced heart thumping music before you exercise to increase the effectiveness of your workout.

 

Active Work Meetings - Why does a day at work have to involve sitting at a desk 8 hours a day? A recent study concluded sitting is deadly, literally. Schedule an active work meeting. Instead of sitting at a conference table with others, burn some calories and take a walk around the building.

 

This article was authored by Sergeant Michael Volkin, inventor of Weight Loss Stack 52 and Strength Stack 52 weight loss and fitness cards

A Cool Trick to Redirect Calories to Muscles Instead of Fat

Image

Want a cool trick to help your body decide how to use those calories you just ate? Exercising right before and shortly after a big meal can help to activate a protein inside your muscle cells called Glut4. GLUT-4 is a protein that, when increased, tells your body to put calories into muscle tissue, instead of fat cells.

 

Here is how you activate your glut-4

Step 1: Do 60 -120 seconds of exercise right before eating (i.e. squats, lunges, push-ups, etc.)

Step 2: Eat a meal

Step 3: 90 minutes after your first bite, do another 60-120 seconds of exercise

 

Doing this will allow more calories to flow toward your muscle cells than fat cells.

 

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

How to Know if Your Diet is Plotting to Kill You

diets

 

This guest post was written by Michael Volkin, inventor of Weight Loss Stack 52 (currently undergoing crowdfunding), the most unique and fun way to lose weight.

How to Know if Your Diet is Plotting to Kill You

Is your diet actually bad for your body? It’s possible! Diets that restrict calories, and even some fad diets, can be harmful to your health in many ways. Don’t let the appeal of quick weight loss take trick you into harming your health.

A starvation diet is where you don’t consume the required calories and nutrients your body needs on a day to day basis.The fad starvation diets that are popular now include the Master Cleanse, the Ultra Extreme Calorie Restriction Diet, and the Clear Liquid Diet. Among other health concerns, each of these diet plans can lead to malnutrition. Malnutrition can cause emotional swings in the near term and liver and heart issues in the long term.

As an alternative to a starvation diet, you could try a healthier detox diet. Some of these include the Dr. Oz’s 48 Hour Cleanse, Clean Program Diet and the MediFast Diet.

But let’s be honest, diets suck. Here is a general rule of thumb to help you know if the food you have on the plate in front of you will contribute to your weight gain, or help you lose weight: The more humans have monkeyed around with your food, the worse it is for your body. By that statement I mean, is your food processed? Does it contain ingredients on the label you can’t read easily? Is the expiration date on the package past the next scheduled Olympics?

To lose weight, and keep it off, don’t overthink it. A balanced diet of fresh foods containing healthy fats, protein and carbs, mixed with a little exercise will do the trick every time.

 

We Made It To 6 Months!

Image

We started as an idea and a dream 6 months ago, and we’re live and kicking 6 months later!

 

Thanks to our readers and followers!

<3

Use these Workout Tips to Get a Beach Body in Half the Time

Image

 

The warm weather is upon us and the skimpy clothes are coming out of the closet. If you always wanted to look great in skimpy clothes but didn’t want to spend an hour a day at the gym, then use the below time-saving workout tips to tone up and look great.

 

Ditch the treadmill warm up and do a bodyweight circuit instead – Instead of spending 10 minutes warming up on a treadmill before a workout, perform a 5 minute bodyweight exercise circuit instead. The bodyweight circuit is more fun and warms up your entire body in half the time. You can shuffle 7 Strength Stack 52 cards for a quick bodyweight circuit or make up one of your own.

 

Stop squatting with heavy weight – If you’ve ever seen power-lifters training their legs, you have almost certainly seen them performing barbell squats with a large amount of weight on the bar. Barbell squats are effective for large powerful legs, but getting nice toned legs doesn’t require heavy weights. Try Hindu squats instead of heavy barbell squats. Not only do Hindu squats save time by not having to load hundreds of pounds of weight on a bar, it’s safer and easier on your knees and back.

 

Stop performing one rep at a time. So many times I see people in the gym doing the standard 10 rep set. Try mixing it up a little and doing a 5 rep set but perform each rep 1 and a half times. Perform 1 entire rep of an exercise, then before returning to the starting position, go only half way and finish the rep again. You will finish the set quicker and you will activate more muscle fibers, especially if you are not use to doing reps this way.

 

Do “the superman” to build up your back – Many bodybuilders know that a strong back is the key to looking strong. A strong back puts your body in alignment and gives you great posture. The problem with getting a strong back is it usually requires a piece of gym equipment. However, there is an easy bodyweight exercise you can do at home called the superman. To perform this exercise:

  • Start by lying face down with your arms extended over your head.
  • Lift your arms and legs creating an elongated u shape with your body.
  • Your back should be arched and your legs should be several inches off the floor.
  • Hold for 3 seconds and return to the starting position.

All of these time saving workout tips will make you look great under one condition, you have to actually do them. Getting started is the hardest step, so be sure to schedule time for your workout and have nothing interrupt that time.

 

This article was authored by Sergeant Michael Volkin, inventor of Strength Stack 52 fitness cards and Quick Sweat Dice