10 Health & Fitness Truths

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As of today, with all the of things I have read and experienced first hand as well as through my clients, this is a list of 10 Health & Fitness Truths.  Most of them are not new but they might be new to you!

1. Drinking 2-3L of plain water or lemon water DOES help you flush fat and toxins from your body.  It also improves your mood, digestion, motivation and performance.

2. Bread is considered a processed food.  Same goes for crackers, flat breads, rice cakes etc.  There are some that are better choices than others.  Read the labels carefully.  Bread and other flour product do cause you to get bloated.  Keep them to a minimum and avoid altogether if you are trying to avoid bloat.  Bread isn't necessary for health.  It's a comfort food.

3. Food Logging works!  It really, really does!  Even if you do it for a couple of weeks, you gain quite an insight into what you HAVE been eating.  It helps you to make better choices.  It encourages you to get your exercise in so you can enjoy more calories.  Really, when trying to lose weight (fat) you need a clean diet along with that exercise.  Clean eating is not a quick-fix diet plan.  It is a LIFESTYLE. So approach it with gradual changes so you are more likely to stick to it.  

4. Carbohydrate Cycling works!  This is an advanced technique to lean out and should be carried out under guidance.  It is NOT easy and it isn't something you would do all the time.  Don't confuse this with Low Carb dieting.  That is something that people try to do for too long and they lose energy. Your muscles need carbohydrates (the healthy ones) for energy.  Carb Cycling is something you do for about 3 weeks at a time maybe a few times a year.  It should be done when you aren't training for anything strenuous like distance training or trying to pack on muscle during weight training.  Those are times when you NEED carbs.  

5.  Eating every 3 hours helps to increase your metabolism.  If you tend to forget to eat (hey, it happens in a busy workday!) or if you tend to snack too often, it sets you straight.  You will start to feel more hungry.  This is a good sign that your metabolism is perking up.  Claiming that you just don't get hungry during the day when you're not eating actually scares me.  Your metabolism has slowed to a crawl.  

6.  Sleep is more important than you think for your health & fitness goals.  It lowers your cortisol hormone (stress hormone that can cause you to store fat), it improves your motivation and you are more apt to make better food choices throughout the day.  Deep, good quality sleep is also when your body recovers from the training stimulus you put it through during the day.  Muscle recovery/building happens when you're sleeping, not when you're working out!  When you are working out, you are actually breaking down muscle.  

7. Abs really are made in the kitchen!  Seriously, back to nutrition…clean eating, and I mean superclean eating, will lean out your mid-section.  If you're serious, cut out sugar, alcohol, bread.  Eat clean veggies (no sauces), clean grains like brown rice, quinoa, lean meats/fish like chicken, tilapia, lean beef.  

8. Lifting heavy weights will not make us girls BULKY.  Ideally, you want to lift a variety of weights so that you train all of the groups of muscle fibres within each muscle group.  Lifting light will leave some out.  Tighten all those fibres!  You'd have to work pretty hard and take some pretty good supplements to look manly.  

9.  Distance running breaks down muscle.  If you want to keep what you've got, then supplementing with BCAA's (Branched Chain Amino Acids) will prevent muscle breakdown and because of that, will help you feel much better on those long runs!  It really does work.  To help with recovery of long runs (or any hard workout) also consider taking L-glutamine (amino acid) as it's primary job is muscle repair and boosting your immune system.  Taking it after or during those long runs will help keep you healthy.  Those long runs and speed sessions really kick your immune system so give it a hand with L-glutamine.  You won't be so susceptible to every cold that comes along.  

10. Exercising with music helps you work harder with less perceived effort.  Enough said!  Bring on your favourite playlist and keep updating it.  Songza is a fabulous internet-streaming music app.  Check it out! http://songza.com


© Jennifer Wasylenko 2013