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Is There Anything to All These Diet and Health Fads?
Over the years we have all seen a new diet product or natural extract that has some remarkable health benefits. Believe it or not, much of what they say may be true. How can that be? you say. The fact remains, many compounds found in our food and in plants do have health benefits. The Native Americans have known this for hundreds, if not, thousands of years the benefit of these gifts from Mother Nature. In the same way your morning coffee gets you going others may help you sleep. There is a reason TV doctors shows talk about compounds like Raspberry Keytones, Green Coffee Bean, Garcinia Cambogia, Tumeric and many more. These are some of many ingredients found in nature that help our body help itself. With digestion or pain relief or even energy. The secret is to treat these ingredients not like a miracle but more like a benefit. In the same way you look at ingredients in food or calories and fat. You use the ones that benefit you and omit the ones that do not. A great reference is a book called "Prescription For Nutritional Healing".

How to Keep Your New Year Resolution on Track
It's the beginning of the New Year. You've made your New Year Resolution. The first couple of weeks you stick to it hardcore, but as the week's progress you start to fall off track. Here are a few simple solutions to keeping your resolution on track.

1. Set smaller goals to achieve the overall goal. Sometimes setting smaller goals throughout the year helps you stay on track more than setting one large goal for the year. For example, let's say you want to lose 50 pounds this year. Instead of looking at the big picture, break it down into smaller attainable, measureable goals. By setting measureable goals it's easier for you to see your progress and stay motivated.

2. Stay positive. Bad habits are hard to break and it doesn't happen overnight. You will get frustrated. You will get discouraged. The trick is to keep a positive mindset. Instead of telling yourself you can't do something tell yourself you can. And then tell yourself why you can do it. Positivity trumps negativity every time.

3. Make reminders. Do you remember the resolution that you made for this year? Most people don't. And even if they do remember what it was, most likely they didn't stick with it. Making yourself friendly reminders is a great way to help keep your resolution on track. You can do this by putting reminders where you often go. You can make a calendar for yourself and hang it on your fridge. You can make a poster with your resolution on it and hang it in your room. You can set alarms in your phone to remind you. To go along with making reminders you can also make plans for your resolution. You can do this by scheduling time each week that you dedicate to your goal.

4. Get specific. Sometimes we make our resolutions too general. Just saying that you want to lose weight and be healthy can be a hard goal to achieve. Instead give yourself a specific goal. You can refer to numbers 1 and 3 to learn more about getting specific.

5. Be held accountable. Some people have a hard time sticking to their goals alone, but if they have someone right alongside with them they stay on track. Having someone hold you accountable to your goals is a great way to help you stay focused. As humans we don't like to disappoint others. When you have someone holding you accountable, you don't want to let them down. You are more likely to keep pushing since you want to make them proud.

6. Only set resolutions that you really want to achieve. If it's not something that you really want to do, you won't do it. It's that simple. So when choosing a resolution make sure it's something that you really want for yourself.

7. Reward yourself. Don't be afraid to reward yourself for your hard work. Let's say you're the person from number 1 whose goal was to lose 50 pounds. Once you've hit the 30 pound mark reward yourself with a new shirt. It'll help keep your morale high. It helps you feel like you've accomplished something (which is a huge deal!). It will also help keep you motivated. Everyone loves seeing their hard work pay off and being reward for your hard work is always a bonus. Celebrate you!

Timing: The Right Supplement at the Right Time
So you've decided to add supplements to your regime, but you don't know where to start. With so many choices it can be difficult figuring out the best supplements for you. Once you've figured out the supplements that work with your fitness goals you have to know when to take them. Timing is everything. If you take the supplements at the right time it could increase its effectiveness.

We talked a bit about pre-workouts in a previous post. Pre-workouts help improve strength, energy, and mental focus. Pre-workouts should be taken before the workout begins; usually about 20-30 minutes before. You want to take your pre-workout before starting your reps because it will boost your energy and boost your metabolism allowing you to get the most out of your workout.

We also talked about intra-workouts. Intra-workouts are designed to help you finish your workout strong. Intra-workouts supplements are usually aminos. The most popular are BCAA's (branched chain amino acids). These intra-workout supplements can be taken throughout the workout when needed. Taking these will allow you to get all of your reps in and restore carbs to your body.

Post-workout supplements (aka rest and recovery supplements) are supplements that are taken once a workout is complete. Post-workouts should be taken within 45 minutes of completing your workout. Post-workout supplements allow your body to recover from your workout. It helps alleviate joint pain you may have and it helps to build your muscles up. Post-workout supplements are usually protein or carbs.

Now in addition to pre-, intra-, and post-workout supplements there are supplements that can be taken throughout the day. For instance, if you are looking to burn fat it is best to take a fat burner first thing in the morning. And during breakfast, you can take a multi-vitamin.

Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes are enzymes that break down macros in the body helping it absorb them. These enzymes are found in the digestive tract where they enable the body to break down food. When the enzymes aren't properly broken down they can cause food allergies and stomach issues. Some of these issues include irritable bowel syndrome and lactose intolerance.

Taking a digestive enzyme supplement can help one manage their digestive stress. Digestive enzymes are usually plant based. There are supplements to cover all of you digestive needs and there are supplements to cover certain needs. For example, if you are lactose intolerant, there is a supplement called Lactase specifically for you. This supplement allows you to consume dairy products without it bothering your digestive system. Digestive enzyme supplements help your body absorb the nutrients that your body needs to digest properly.

Why Women Should Do Weight Training In Addition To Cardio
Women sometimes shy away from weight training in fear of becoming bulky and looking like body builders. Do you want the truth? That won't happen-not unless you want it to that is. The truth is weight training is a great way to burn calories and tone your muscles while maintaining your feminine physique.

Weight training helps you lose body fat by building lean muscle. When your lean muscle increases it helps your metabolism increase while at rest. This results in you burning more calories throughout the day. Another reason to do weight training is because it helps you increase your strength without bulking up. It can help prevent injuries and arthritis. Also, it can help combat illnesses such as heart disease. Weight training is also a great way to shape your body. By using weights when doing squats it will lift and firm your buttocks.

Rest and Recovery Supplements
Over the course of the last couple of weeks we have talked about the advantages of pre-workout supplements and intra-workout supplements. Now we're going to focus on rest and recovery supplements. Rest and recovery is very important because it protects your body from becoming overworked. And they help to prevent injuries. Let's start with recovery.

Those first 45 minutes after you complete your workout are crucial. This is when your body goes into recovery mode. At this point you feel like you've hit the brick wall and fatigue is coming on. Taking a recovery supplement allows your body to recover from the workout. It helps your muscles build back up stronger and bigger. It also helps to alleviate the joint pain that you may feel. This is good because it helps sooth your joints so that you will be ready to work out the next day without feeling fatigued.

Rest is just as important as recovery. Sometimes your body just needs a break. If you feel like you're tired before you even begin your workout or if your body is still in pain you might need a rest day. Rest days don't mean that you can't be active. It just means that you are doing lower intensity training instead of your normal training. This helps your body be able to bounce back so that you can hit your workout hard.

Advantages of Intra Workout Supplements
You're in the middle of your workout and you're starting to feel drained. You still have some reps to do. You're body wants to stop but you know you have to finish. This is when Intra Workout Supplements come in handy. Intra Workouts are designed to help you finish your workout strong. An intra-workout is a supplement that you take during your workout.

Intra workouts are made up of different blends of vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and enzymes. Intra workouts work by re-hydrating the muscles during the workout. They restore carbohydrates to your body which increases your energy levels while helping you burn fat. This allows you to train longer. You want to make sure that you use it as soon as your body begins to feel fatigue so that your body doesn't have time to shut down to rest. To get best results try taking a pre-workout before you start training and a post-workout once you finish. Be sure to check out the previous post on pre-workouts!

The Advantages of Pre-Workouts
Picture this: you wake up in the morning full of energy. You tell yourself that it's going to be a great day. You plan your day out. You're going to go to work then get off and hit the gym. You really need to get that workout in. You get off of work and you are beat. Going to the gym isn't sounding so great now. So what do you do? You take a pre-workout! Pre-workouts are perfect for giving you the extra kick in the butt that you need.

Why Pre-Workouts?
Pre-workouts help improve strength, energy, and mental focus. Also, it is a vasodilator*.

What's in a Pre-Workout?
There are several variations of pre-workouts. Most contain caffeine. Caffeine can help increase metabolism and mental focus. Caffeine is important because it helps to give you that boost of energy that you need to get through reps; this allows you to workout longer and harder. Speaking of which beta-alanine, this can be found in pre-workouts, increases muscular activity. It works by helping slow down the buildup of acid from carnosine in the muscles. It also helps increase muscle mass and helps to build lean muscles. Another ingredient that can be found in pre-workouts is creatine. Creatine helps to boost your energy levels quickly. Between the caffeine and creatine your fatigue will disappear. Lastly, arginine can be found in pre-workouts. The importance of arginine is that it is a vasodilator. This means that it helps to expand the blood vessels. It also helps to support oxygen flow during your workout.

Who should use pre-workouts?
For the most part anyone can use them. However, if you have heart problems or high blood pressure you should consult a doctor before using them. Also, it is not recommended for individuals under 18.

*Vasodilator: the expanding of the blood vessels.

History of Fat Burners
Fat burners have been popular for many years. Over the years there have been many changes to fat burners that have made a great influence on them. Fat burners were once made with ephedra. Ephedra is a plant this is commonly found in Chinese medicines. Ephedra was popular because it was known to increase metabolism resulting in weight loss. There was lots of speculation that ephedra was not safe and carried serious consequences. It could cause heart attack, stroke, or death. In April of 2004, the United States FDA (Food and Drug Administration) banned ephedra meaning that supplements could no longer contain it. The ban forced manufacturers to reformulate their products and find another ingredient that would be comparable to ephedra. That ingredient was DMAA or 1,3-dimethylamylamine. DMAA is an organic compound that can be found in dietary supplements such as fat burners. DMAA became a choice ingredient because of its similarity to ephedra. Another popular fat burner is the stimulant free ones. These have gained lots of popularity because of the stimulant-free ingredients it contains. These ingredients contain: caffeine, green tea, l-carnitine, and CLA. These fat burners are ideal because they are mixed with natural ingredients and they don't affect energy levels.

Cost Effective Ways to Add Protein to Your Diet
Protein is a vital part of any diet. Everyone needs it in their bodies in order to be healthy. Sometimes this can be difficult for people that are dieting or do not eat meat. It can also be hard for those that can't afford to buy certain protein providers. Here are some cost effective ways to add protein to your diet.

1. Dietary Supplements: Dietary supplements are ideal because they are an easy way to add whatever you are missing in your diet back to it. There is a wide selection of supplements with a wide array of costs. You can take your pick from protein powders to protein bars to protein in pill form. There's something for everyone! Here's a breakdown of the supplement route: Protein Powder: Price range: Protein powders are ideal because there are tons of variations to fit every special need. Everyone's diet is different and these cater to each individual. You can get Egg Protein, Weight Gainer Protein, Soy Protein, Low carb protein, and many others. They come in tons of different flavors including: chocolate, banana, vanilla, strawberry, and cookies-n-cream. Protein Bars: Protein bars are a great option because you can take them on the go! They're so easy and come in several delicious flavors. This option can be a bit pricey depending on the brand that you like best. Protein Pill Forms Just like protein bars, protein pill forms such as amino acids, are a good choice because they are convenient. They can be taken on the go. All you need is a drink (unless you're a pro at swallowing pills without one). Also, if you don't like the way protein tastes, the pills are a good option because you can't taste them.
2. Tuna Tuna is a nice choice because it is very inexpensive. Depending on the grocery store you go to you can find a can for as cheap as 98 cents. Tuna is also versatile and can be eaten with a salad, on a sandwich, or by itself.
3. Egg Whites Egg whites are a good choice because most people keep eggs in their home. Eggs are one of the main ways people get their dose of protein. The egg whites are better than the whole egg or the yolk because that's where all of the protein is found.
4. Cottage Cheese This is probably one of the least appealing options but it is high in casein protein. It is low in fat making it appealing to dieters and bodybuilders. It is also slowly digested in your system. You can also mix it with fruits and veggies to give it a better taste.

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