Cinnamon for Weight Loss

Cinnamon is one of those spices that has many health benefits:

cinnamon

  • Helps prevent breast cancer
  • Has a high thermic effect on the body
  • Helps in prolonging the digestion process in the stomach
  • Relieves diarrhea and nausea
  • Aids in peripheral circulation
  • Enhances digestion
  • Promotes the metabolism of fats

Recent studies have shown that cinnamon also affects blood glucose levels. It does this by prolonging the digestion process of the stomach, which helps to reduce spikes in insulin levels after eating a meal.

This effect it has on blood sugar levels helps in weight loss as you feel fuller longer, so you’re less likely to give into food cravings and you won’t feel so hungry all the time. It also boosts your metabolism and helps to control blood sugar levels.

I use cinnamon on my oatmeal in the morning and on top of yogurt or in my protein shake. I often make a Chai Tea with almond milk and will add a cinnamon stick just for fun and flavor. All you need is just 6 g of cinnamon a day to improve overall health.

 

Combatting Diet Crabbiness

Dieting can wreck havoc on your nerves and cause mood swings, especially in those in-between-meal moments.

diet crabbinessThat is why eating several small meals spread out throughout the day is a good idea to help manage these mood swings and keep your blood sugars level.

Mood swings are caused by fluctuations in serotonin levels in the brain, which often occur when someone hasn’t eaten or is stressed out. Research out of the University of Cambridge is now showing that these same regions of the brain affected by serotonin levels are the same regions of the brain that control anger.

Although reduced serotonin levels have previously been implicated in aggression, this is the first study to show how this chemical helps regulate behavior in the brain as well as why some individuals may be more prone to aggression. The research findings were published in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

Researchers altered the diets of the people participating in this study from serotonin-depleted days with no tryptophan to placebo days with normal amounts of tryptophan. This protein, tryptophan, is needed for the production of serotonin. Reactions to this manipulated diet were scanned via MRI images and notes were taken on behavioral changes, particularly in facial expressions.

“Using the fMRI, they were able to measure how different brain regions reacted and communicated with one another when the volunteers viewed angry faces, as opposed to sad or neutral faces.”

The MRI showed regions of the brain that were affected by low serotonin levels to experience weaker signals that control emotional responses to anger.

The subjects of this study were pre-screened to determine their normal response to anger and aggression. Those who exhibited higher levels of anger were affected worse by the lower levels of serotonin and the absence of tryptophan in their diets.

Dr Molly Crockett, co-first author who worked on the research while a PhD student at Cambridge’s Behavioral and Clinical Neuroscience Institute (and currently based at the University of Zurich) said:

“We’ve known for decades that serotonin plays a key role in aggression, but it’s only very recently that we’ve had the technology to look into the brain and examine just how serotonin helps us regulate our emotional impulses. By combining a long tradition in behavioral research with new technology, we were finally able to uncover a mechanism for how serotonin might influence aggression.”

Killer Workout for Abs that Pop!

Probably the most popular area that people want to improve is their waistlines. Everybody wants six-pack abs!

AbWorkoutBesides putting in the work and dedicating a chunk of training time solely to ab work and core strength, cardio and clean eating are two crucial elements that most people overlook. If you want to look cut and shredded, you need to make sacrifices in the kitchen.

On a regimented daily basis, you need to stop eating:

  • Sugar and anything the contains sugar
  • White flour (bread, pasta, cakes and pastries)
  • White rice
  • White potatoes
  • Deep fried foods
  • Processed foods
  • Refined foods
  • Most vegetable oils (unless they’re healthy MUFAs)
  • Too many fruits and fruit juice
  • GMO foods

On a regimented daily basis, you need to start:

  • Drinking more fresh, filtered water
  • Eating more vegetables, especially dark, leafy greens (low in carbs)
  • Eating more Omega3 fats and MUFAs like extra virgin olive oil
  • Eating more protein
  • Eating more organic food options
  • Eating more wholegrains and wholesome foods
  • Eating smaller meals more frequently

In order to show off those six-pack abs, you need to reduce your BMI and that means fat-burning cardio and high intensity interval training. Long cardio sessions are becoming a thing of the past. Science is now pointing to short-burst, high intensity interval training as the safer, more efficient option to work out.

Once you’ve got your fat burning and nutrition sorted out, next comes the grueling ab training. Here’s a killer workout that you should incorporate 2 to 3 times a week for well-developed abs. The secret is to use weighted training for your ab routine.

Killer Ab Training for Abs that Pop!

Hanging Leg Raises with weight between your legs or ankle weights – raise legs to 90-degree angle and repeat till failure

Barbell Roll Outs – using a barbell with 5 to 10 lb weights, start in a jack knife and roll out to a push-up position. Then squeeze in your abs and roll back to the starting position. Repeat for 10 – 12 reps.

Cable Crunches – using cables with a rope attachment, kneel down with your back to the machine – pull the weight down while folding in at the waist to engage the abs. Repeat for 10 – 12 reps.

Plank – hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds.

Double Press-Ups – lying on an incline bench with a barbell with 5 or 10 lb weights – move into a chest press and transition all the way up into a shoulder press to finish, straightening up your body. Roll down and repeat for 10 – 12 reps.

Once you’ve completed one circuit, take a 2-minute break and sip on some intra-workout Aminocore. Then complete another 2 circuits for a total of 3.

Make sure you fuel your body afterward with a high quality whey protein isolate shake for rapid recovery and increased lean muscle.

Originally published @ FITLODE.COM

Super Bowl Half-Time Tabata Workout

This fat-burning Tabata circuit will help to combat some of those extra calories during the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl Half-Time Tabata WorkoutThere are four quarters during the game, which leaves you with some extra time to kill. You know if you just sit there and wait, you’ll munch on more fattening snacks than you need to, so get on up and perform a 4-minute Tabata circuit in each quarter.

There are four exercises in each circuit, which you are going to perform for 20 seconds each with only a 10-second break in between. Once you reach the end of one complete circuit, repeat from the beginning to complete two whole circuits.

First Quarter Tabata – Upper Body

  • Plyo Push-Ups
  • Renegade DB Rows
  • Pull-Ups
  • Shoulder DB Press

Second Quarter Tabata – Lower Body

  • Squat Down Curl and Press
  • Plyo Lunges
  • DB Deadlifts
  • Walking Lunges

Third Quarter Tabata – Total Body

  • Burpees
  • High Knees
  • Bear Crawl (in both directions)
  • Jump Squats

Fourth Quarter – Core Strength

  • Plank
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Bicycle Crunches
  • V-Ups

Make sure you warm up before and cool down and stretch after this challenging workout.

Time to Torch those Holiday Calories

The celebrations are over, the gifts are all unwrapped, there are traces of cookies, cakes and chocolates and protruding out from underneath it all are the tell-tale signs of much indulgence.

Time to torch those Holiday caloriesI’m talking about that ever-expanding holiday waistline.

Well, there is no better time like the present to step up and get back into shape.

We all know the key to losing weight and fat loss is to create a negative energy balance and the best way to do this is by keeping your metabolism revved up even at rest. The best way to do this is by building lean tissue and creating an intense metabolic response that will not only burn some calories during your workout but will keep you burning them for hours afterwards.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is the answer to this dilemma and is best performed after your weight training workout. As a post-workout workout, HIIT will boost your metabolism for hours and hours. Because this type of workout is so effective, you will be spending less time in the gym but getting twice the results and faster.

It won’t take you more than three hours per week to make significant changes if you are following a sound nutrition plan. The old saying of work smarter not harder…well it just isn’t the way it really goes when it comes to positive training outcomes. Yes, you will work smarter, which is why you can spend less time during the week in the gym, but you will be working harder than what you may have been (or never have) before.

Performing the workout below three times per week with at least a day off in between each workout will help you get fitter faster.

Post-Workout High Intensity Interval Training

Warm-Up

  • Jump rope 5 minutes
  • 360 degree bodyweight lunges x 5 each side
  • Overhead Squats with stick x 10
  • Isolateral Butt-Bridges x 5 each side
  • Inchworm x 10

Resistance Training

These supersets should be performed for 2 to 3 sets of 8 reps with a 60-second rest in between.

Superset 1

  • Thrusters
  • Back Squats

Superset 2

  • Deadlift
  • Bent-Over Barbell Row (supinated grip)

Superset 3

  • Lateral Lunge to Overhead Press
  • Push-Ups AMRAP (as many reps as possible in 30 secs)

Intervals can be done on your favorite piece of equipment or with burpees or a jump rope. Choose whichever will challenge you the most without compromising on safety for 30 secs of work at 85-90% of your heart rate reserve followed by 60-second rest. Repeat this 10 times.

If you are feeling up to it, throw in 3 sets of supersetted ab work like ball rollouts and pikes for 15 reps each. Finish with some stretching and be sure to refuel afterward.