Posted in Supplements

Garcinia Cambogia: Legit or bust?

gc.jpg

 

In my current workplace I get asked about garcinia cambogia multiple times a day from people who are curious as to if it works. Normally i dismiss any product I am unfamiliar with, but due to the abundance of concern regarding this product, I have decided to do my own research.

 

What is it?

Garcinia cambogia is actually a fruit that grows in Southeast Asia. People and labels claim that it boosts weight loss by deterring the body’s ability to absorb and store fat while replacing fat with toned muscles, and even going as far as improving your mood and suppressing the drive to react to stress with food. The working ingredient in this particular fruit is hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is a substance found in garcinia cambogia that appears to inhibit the production of an enzyme called “citrate lyase” and interferes with fatty acid metabolism.

 

Customers at my job are raving about this product. So much in fact that I actually want to try it out myself. I have done research and realized that there is little to no evidence that backs these claims since not many studies have been done. But the way I see it working for clients and customers, makes me wonder how well it actually really works. I always tell people that there is no such thing as a miracle weight-loss pill, but maybe this particular product can work when combined with a better, healthier, more active lifestyle. I am going to be a guinea pig due to my own curiosity and try it while i conduct open stomach morning workouts and see where this new product takes me. Below i will provide a link to one of the most popular products that is out there.

 

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Posted in Workouts

Todays Leg Workout

 

 

kai

 

It was definitely a great day at the gym. You know when everything feels right and your pumps are absolutely skin-splitting? Well yeah, that was me today during the dreaded “leg day”.

Exercise 1: Squats

Pretty simple here, slight pause when you are just below a 90 degree angle. Perform 4 sets with reps ranging from 12, 10, 10, 8.

Exercise 2: Leg Press

After doing squats i like to take a little walk around the gym for a bit to loosen up my legs and get a little rest. Especially since i like to go super heavy on leg press. Perform 4 sets with reps ranging from 12, 10, 8, 6 with a slight pause at the very bottom of your press. I like to count “1 2 3” quickly in my head before i push the weight. This gives you a great stretch and will help add some mass to those tree trunks of legs that you guys have.

Exercise 3 and 4: Leg Extension and Leg Curls (machine)

I like to rotate these two workouts with no breaks in between. I like to use these as high rep workouts to help build lean muscle and keep my heart rate up. On each, perform compound sets one right after another. Do 4 sets of each with reps ranging from 20, 15, 12, 12. Try and pause at the very top of your rep when your quads/hamstrings are flexed to the max.

Exercise 5: Calf Raises

For me, and for a lot of people, calves are difficult to develop. Therefore i like to go a little heavier than normal hear and perform a high number of reps and get a nice stretch in between each rep. Perform 4 sets here with reps ranging from 30, 25, 20, 15. I like to use the machine here since it has a step where it allows you to get a great stretch in my lagging calves.

Exercise 6: Stationary Bike

Self- explanatory here, i like to go on the bike in order to breakdown lactic acid buildup and to keep the blood pumping. I like to go for about a half hour, a good source of cardio especially after the leg workout i just had.

Posted in Nutrition

Diabetes Destroyer

 

 

 

diabetic.jpgHere is a great article I came across today that I had to share/repost. I have family members who suffer from diabetes and I know how difficult it can be living with this disease.

Here is a great program to help yourself and others deal with this illness and get your life back to normal. Its known as “diabetes destroyer

Full credit goes to Sharlene Johnson and Jennifer Goldstein

 

 

“I kept saying, ‘This food will heal me. My body needs this.'”

 

WHITBY, ONTARIO

54; married with three kids, ages 22, 24, and 26; height: 5’8″

Before: 249 lb

Now: 169 lb

Lost: 80 lb

To look at Nara Schiller’s beautifully laid table, you’d never guess that she’s watching her diet. That rich-red “cabernet” in her wineglass? It’s actually a homemade blend of organic vegetable juices. Her fresh menu of brightly colored salads, flavorful soups, and other vegan dishes looks so appealing that even her meat-loving husband and sons decided to try it—and switched to her diet.

Schuler’s focus on healthful food developed in 2010, after she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and learned that her blood glucose was more than double the normal level. Two of her three older sisters already had the disease, and she didn’t want to follow their path of increasing dependence on pills and, ultimately, insulin injections. She refused the doctor’s prescription on the spot.

Back home, Schuler began looking for other options and discovered the best-selling book Eat to Live, by Joel Fuhrman, MD, who advocates a mostly plant-based menu, densely packed with nutrients but not calories. “I changed my diet that very moment, not as a short-term fix but as a way of life,” Schuler says. “At first I didn’t like the vegetable juices and greens, but I kept repeating, This will heal me. My body needs this.” Then she realized that making her meals attractive made them much more palatable. Even something as ordinary as a spinach-blueberry-banana-flaxseed smoothie looked appealing when served in her best crystal.

That hasn’t been the only change in her daily routine. Although she didn’t exercise much at first, her new body has inspired her to hit the gym 4 days a week for 90 minutes, with a mix of classes from boot camp to Zumba.

Schuler has no desire to return to her old ways. “My taste buds won’t accept poor-quality food anymore,” she says. “I’m used to really nutritious food now. Since it’s all low-calorie, I get to eat large portions. I don’t feel deprived in any way.” And there’s an added benefit: “Now I can wear shorter skirts and dresses that show off my legs and figure. My body feels so much younger, it makes me want to dress younger too.”

Nara’s Top Tips
Her get-moving mantra: Take a variety of classes at the gym to avoid getting bored with your routine. In the warmer months, walk outdoors.

Her diet discovery: Blend frozen chunks of bananas and strawberries with a little bit of vanilla extract for an ice-cream-like treat that will satisfy a craving for something sweet.

Her stay-motivated secret: Plant a garden: There’s nothing like the taste of freshly picked organic veggies. Schuler has set aside a small area in her backyard for kale, Swiss chard, tomatoes, zucchini, and other easy-to-grow favorites.

Miriam Geraci Olson
NEW BRITAIN, CT
38; married with one child, age 11; height: 5’3″
Before: 256 lb
Now: 144 lb
Lost: 112 lb

On a muggy day in August 2010, Miriam Geraci Olson stopped by her doctor’s office for an appointment. “I brought my daughter in because I thought I was just getting the results of some routine blood work,” says Geraci Olson, who works as a paralegal. Instead she was shocked to hear that she had type 2 diabetes, not to mention high cholesterol and hypertension. “At 36 years old, I was a heart attack waiting to happen,” she says. “All I could think of was my grandmother, who had her leg amputated in addition to several open-heart surgeries before she died at 65, all from complications of diabetes.”

While her physician demonstrated how to use a glucose meter, wrote prescriptions for all three conditions, and talked about the importance of weight loss and diet, Geraci Olson looked at her daughter, then 9, and her eyes filled with tears. “I felt horrible that she was hearing all this,” she says. “I thought, I need to be around to watch her grow up, and I’m killing myself.”

Coming from a big Italian family where the word mangia (“eat”) was frequently spoken, Geraci Olson had long been overweight. But that evening she ate her last frozen pizza (her favorite meal). She quit her fast-food habit cold turkey, started eating smaller portions, and began walking with her daughter most nights after dinner. Still, cooking healthy meals was a challenge until help arrived in the form of Eat What You Love, a cookbook by Marlene Koch, RD. A gift from Geraci Olson’s mother-in-law, who also has diabetes, the book contains low-fat, low-carb recipes that were a hit with the whole family. “I adopted it as my bible and made all our meals from it,” Geraci Olson says.

By November she had lost 50 pounds and no longer needed drugs to control her blood pressure and cholesterol. Within a year, her blood sugar was completely normal and she was able to stop taking her diabetes pills. “I haven’t been on a lick of medication since,” she says proudly.

Geraci Olson has stepped up her workouts, going to the gym every other day. “The adrenaline and endorphins from exercise put me in a much better place,” she says. “I want to keep up this good energy.” Now, when she joins her daughter on amusement park rides at Six Flags New England, “the seat belt actually fits.”

Miriam’s Top Tips

Her get-moving mantra: Add strength training to burn off blood sugar by building more muscle.
Her diet discovery: Set aside time every weekend to plot out your menu for the week. That way there are none of those “I don’t feel like cooking; let’s order pizza” slips.
Her stay-motivated secret: Build in quiet time every day. Take a walk, read a book, or do something else that makes you feel good.

How Diabetes Affects Your Looks—And What to Do About It

Save your smile

Diabetes reduces your body’s ability to fight bacteria, which can cause plaque to build up on your teeth, says Pankaj P. Singh, DDS, of Arch Dental Associates. He stresses the important of twice-yearly cleanings and suggests scheduling them for mornings—after taking diabetes meds, since “the stress of dental work can raise blood sugar.”

Help your hair

Hair needs oxygen and minerals to grow, but diabetes can impair circulation, even to your scalp. The result? Strands may become brittle and dull. Spend a few minutes rubbing in a hair oil before you shampoo. The massage increases blood flow to your scalp, especially if you use an oil with rosemary or eucalyptus, which has a stimulating effect.

Nourish your skin

Women with poor circulation—especially those who have diabetes—are more prone to dry skin, says dermatologist Sapna Westley, MD. “Apply a daily moisturizing cream with ceramides, which help repair the skin barrirs,” she says. Try Curél’s new ceramide-infused Intensive Healing Cream

Posted in Nutrition

Pancakes Are my Protocol — Nikki Korek

Came across this recipe and i have to admit, it looks amazing. I have to try this out.

 

Who ever said you can’t eat healthy and delicious at the same time clearly had zero creativity. My boyfriend loves pancakes. Our first Valentine’s Day together, where I (aww so romantic) whipped him up a cute batch of Red Velvet Pancakes, was my first successful attempt at making this favorite food of his. I admit, […]

via Pancakes Are my Protocol — Nikki Korek

Posted in Workouts

Todays Back Workout

 

back

 

Overall today was a great day at the gym for back. Had a great stretch and warmup before my actual workout began. After a quick stretch and spending 5 minutes on a stationary bike, i started my workout.

Deadlift

5 total sets. Reps dropping while weight increases. Starting with 15 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps. Then i threw on 185 lbs and performed 20 slow reps to get my blood pumping and ensure hypertrophy.

Lat Pull-down (Neutral Grip)

4 sets of moderate to heavy weight with reps ranging from 15, 12, 10, 8. Be sure to isolate your scapula at the top as you begin to pull down in order to properly perform the movement. Scapula rotation is crucial here and will provide more strength and stability overall.

Close-Grip Seated Cable Rows

This workout is one of my favorites. Try performing this movement slowly and aim for squeezing your scapulas together as if you are trying to pinch and hold a pencil vertically in between your shoulder blades. Do not cheat yourself here, do not lean forward or backward at any point during this workout. Perform 4 sets with reps ranging from 12, 10, 8, 8.

Dumbell Shrugs

With this particular workout I tend to go heavy, but as long as you feel blood flowing to your traps then you are doing a sufficient amount of work to stress the muscle. Perform slow movements while squeezing at the top of your shrug. Here i like to bend my arms slightly since it puts more stress on my traps as well as provides more isolation for the given muscle. Here i perform 4 sets with high reps ranging from 25, 20, 15, 15.

Reverse Close Grip Lat Pull-down

Perform this exercise the same way that you would perform the typical lat pulldown workout listed earlier in this post. Only in this workout, focus on your bicep as well. This particular variation of a lat pull-down targets your bicep muscle and is responsible for adding mass to your guns. 4 sets with reps ranging from 12, 10, 10, 8. Squeeze your biceps at the bottom of this movement.

Conclusion

I realize that this may seem like a heavy workload, but consider how big of a muscle group that your back actually is. Back is one of my favorite muscle groups to work out at the gym, especially since it ultimately helps you reach that triangular shape that bodybuilders desire. Any questions regarding workouts or diet plans, email me at nateferreira1992@gmail.com

Posted in Get Lean

Lose Weight Effectively Without Changing Your Diet

 

 

dolgen

My Plan

In the world of fitness the number one problem people come across when it comes to losing weight is having a proper diet. Dieting is a hard thing to do, that I understand completely. Fortunately, for people lacking the will to stick by a diet plan, there is hope for you. The key lies within “Intermittent Fasting”. Usually when people hear/read the term “fasting”, they think of starving themselves. But this is not the case. I have heard about intermittent fasting years ago but never tried it until a few weeks before writing this post. My current program that i am following consists of having a 16 hour window where you fast and only drink water. Currently, I start fasting from 11pm until 3 pm the next day. This means that my eating window is constricted to 8 hours a day. In the 23 days that i have been intermittent fasting, I already lost 10 lbs. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the weight i lost was water weight, but i definitely notice a difference as far as my body fat percentage is concerned. Aside from fasting, i have been drinking a gallon of water a day in order to keep my water retention levels as low as possible and to keep my fat loss at its peak. The best part is, I only intermittent fast 4 days a week since I am trying to preserve as much of my muscle and strength as possible. Just remember, try reaching your macronutrient intake goals even though your eating window is severely limited. I like to eat every 1.5-2 hours during said window while consuming 40-50 grams of protein in each meal with a minimal fat intake as well as a restricted carbohydrate intake.

How Does Intermittent Fasting work?

This aspect of weight-loss is simple. Going 16 hours a day without eating keeps your body in fat-burning mode, while also increasing growth hormone levels in our bodies. Fasting for 16 hours also keeps our insulin levels low, thus keeping our bodies in desperation mode where it is still focused on burning fat in order to provide ourselves with a sufficient amount of energy to function. My number one rule is to stay hydrated, and if you do so, this plan will be much easier than it sounds. I also like to take BCAA’s and glutamine in the morning in order to help preserve muscle mass. I plan on intermittent fasting for another month or so or until i am satisfied with my weight-loss before beach season is officially here. I encourage people reading this post to try this fasting plan. I feel healthier overall and leaner than I can ever remember. Comment below if you are willing to try this challenge so i can follow along and see how your journey in intermittent fasting unfolds.

Posted in Supplements

Benefits of Taking Probiotics

 

probiotics

 

Probiotics are one of the most important supplements you can take to improve your health. I understand that it is hard to hear that consuming healthy bacteria is good for your overall well-being, but hear me out for a second. Bacteria is everywhere, and yes some can be bad, but there are bacterial cultures that can help us perform a plethora of bodily functions. For example, our digestive tract is loaded with cultures of bacteria that help us more than we even know. Some of their main functions are listed below.

Digestion:

Taking probiotics can help us digest food and absorb nutrients necessary for our bodies to function properly. In todays day and age, antibiotics is a common source of medicine used to fight off infection and certain illnesses. Although this is meant to only help us get back to perfect health, it also destroys our own beneficial bacteria that resides in our body. There are only so many ways that we can replenish our bacteria, whether that is eating yogurt, pickles, or even saurkraut. But personally, I recommend taking a supplement, especially for all of you dieters out there since there are no extra calories in probiotic capsules.

Immune System:

Beneficial bacteria have a positive effect on your gut’s immune system and your overall immune system as well. The bacteria play a crucial role in the development and functioning of the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract. They also aid in the production of antibodies to pathogens to help fight off foreign bodies and harmful bacteria.

Preventing Allergies:

This is fitting considering the time of year that I decided to write this post, especially since my allergies are currently keeping me as uncomfortable as possible. Probiotics aid in fighting allergies by helping your body distinguish the difference between harmful pathogens and non-harmful antigens. For all of you who didnt know, allergies are caused by your bodies own immune system where they treat foreign antigens (such as pollen) like harmful pathogens.

Keeping Bad Bacteria in Check:

Beneficial bacteria and harmful bacteria both inhabit our bodies and are roughly in the same space, but fortunately there are a great deal more of our beneficial bacteria. Yet if our levels are low, then that allows the harmful bacteria to thrive and throw off the healthy ratio that our bodies try to maintain. This causes several issues such as the weakening of the immune system, digestive issues, heart burn, etc. Therefore, it is important to minimize the effects that bad bacteria can have on our bodies.

Conclusion

As I stated earlier, probiotics are one of the best supplements you can take in order to maintain your health. I always had digestive issues where I would get bloated after eating and consistently get heartburn after eating greasy foods. But after taking probiotics, I noticed a decline in my digestive issues and an increase in my overall health. I rarely get sick (aside from my allergies) and I feel better as a whole. I never have the need to lay down for a few minutes after eating a huge meal or eating something unhealthy. And just knowing that it aids my immune system in performing at an optimal level is enough for me to keep this as a staple supplement. Below is a link to the probiotic supplement that I personally take from the amazon website. Give it a try and tell me what you guys think.

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