5 Foods to Give Your More Energy

5 Foods to Give Your More Energy

Avoid the Afternoon Slump with these 5 Foods to Give Your More Energy

Ever have one of those days where you just can’t seem to muster up enough oomph to get through your afternoon? All you need is just a little energy! We’ve decided to put together some great snacking options that will give you an energy boost to help you bust through that afternoon slump.

Dark, Leafy Veggies: Anyone with low levels of iron in their diet will end up having low energy levels throughout their day. This lack of iron actually affects the amount of oxygen-rich blood your body will receive and distribute. The solution? Start including veggies such as spinach and kale that are low in calories but high in iron; the perfect solution for anyone wanting a more energy naturally.

Quinoa: This “superfood” is high in nutrition and will definitely help you increase energy levels. Much like the dark, leafy veggies listed above, quinoa contains essential amounts of iron anyone that helps move the oxygen through your system. It even contains vitamin B2 and magnesium that provide even help your body with energy production and boosting metabolism.

Beans: Although they should be used sparingly, beans contain a great blend of carbs and protein for an energy boost. It’s also worth noting that an amino acid in beans, tryptophan, has been shown to improve your mood and help with feelings of depression.

Salmon: Salmon has always been a source of omega-3 fatty acids which is a huge benefit for reducing inflammation, controlling weight gain and fighting cancer cell growth. In addition, eating salmon two to three days a week can increase energy levels and even lift your mood in the same way beans do.

Dark Chocolate: Cut out that venti mocha from your diet and have a piece of dark chocolate instead! Not only does dark chocolate give you serotonin, a mood elevator, but it contains magnesium for energy production. However, be careful not to over indulge. Find dark chocolate with high cocoa content (over 70%) and keep your portions to about 1 oz. a day.

Of course, if you’d like more nutrition tips, view other articles in our blog or come in and speak with our fitness expert Chad Skinner, owner of Fast Fitness Boot Camp, group and personal trainer. We’re ready to get you on the right track to good health and back in that body that you’ve always wanted.

5 Fitness Myths Debunked

5 Fitness Myths Debunked

Work out at Fast Fitness Boot Camp, Edwardsville, IL

Myth #1: Doing abdominal workouts will get you that six-pack.
As any fitness buff should know, doing these exercises alone cannot get the results you want. The science of it all is that there is body fat that covers your abdominal muscles, so to get that six-pack you need to lose the fat! To do this, vary your workout with cardio and weightlifting exercises and it will help burn not only the fat in your stomach, but also your body in general. Here at Fast Fitness, this technique is one that we pride ourselves on. We varying our target areas and routines every day to help your body shape into that dream vision you have in mind.

Myth #2: Drinking lots of water helps you lose weight.
This myth it has a lot of truth in it, but with some caution. On the positive side, researchers have found that drinking two to three glasses of water before eating can lead to someone losing weight faster than those that do not do this. Even one glass of water before a meal has led to eating as much as 75 fewer calories in a meal. Now for the strange part, it is possible to drink too much water. The over consumption of water can result in hyponatremia. This is a condition where the sodium levels in your blood are too low. No need to worry though, this is an EXTREMELY rare condition.

Myth #3: Stretching before a workout will make you more flexible.
This train of thought is common for the mass majority. In fact, stretching before a workout doesn’t actually increase your range of motion. The CDC has reported that people who stretched before a workout were no more flexible than those that did not stretch. Here at Fast Fitness, we typically do a warm-up exercise instead of a stretch because it loosens the muscles for flexibility more than a simple toe-touch.

Myth #4: Weightlifting makes you bulky.
This is a common concern for the lovely ladies that attend classes here. They believe that lifting the weights will result in them looking too “huge,” like a bodybuilder. The thing to remember is that muscle actually takes up less space than fat does. So, using those weights will actually cause any measurements to shrink! These new muscles will also keep the fat off a lot longer.

Myth #5: Working out means you can eat whatever you want.
This is a HUGE no-no! Not following the proper diet program paired with your workouts can ruin any work you have done in the gym. This why our nutrition talk here is so important to reach your goals and is offered in the first place. As well, Fast Fitness provides the opportunity for clients to attain perfectly proportioned and nutritional meals that are quick and easy to prepare and taste great!

With this new outlook on your view of fitness, take this knowledge to start that new journey and make a better you.

If you aren’t here now, you should be. Get started now or share this blog with a friend to help them start their journey to a healthier lifestyle!


7 Tips to Stay Full Longer

Is that growling stomach the main reason why your diet just seems to have many “cheat” meals? Want to know how to keep your hunger at bay so you can succeed at your diet plan? Check out these 7 tips and tricks to beat the hunger and make a better you.

  1. Eat Fat Foods: Sounds ridiculous right? The truth is, our bodies need a certain amount of fats to function and perform well. Here are some great ways to get the right fats. Avocados, nuts, natural peanut butter/almond butter, fish oil supplements, extra virgin olive oil, and my favorite, coconut oil.
  2. Chew Gum: Although gum is not technically consumed, it is still a product that can help curve your appetite for the better. When considering the different types of gum, make sure you chose a sugarless type. The sugar in gum causes destruction for your teeth. As well, sugarless gum improves the flow of saliva which will further suppress your appetite.
  3. Snack on Almonds: This is an all-natural treat that contains fiber and unsaturated fat which, combined together, make your stomach feel fuller. Recent studies have also shown that you can shrink your waist by 14 percent by eating a handful of almonds daily for half a year. What a deal! We recommend eating no more than 3 ounces a daily to stay within a calorie count for optimal weight-loss results.
  4. Eat some Grapefruits: Eating half of a grapefruit with your breakfast, lunch, and dinner has shown that you can lose nearly 4 pounds in three months. Grapefruit lowers your insulin, which regulates your fat metabolism, and suppresses your appetite to burn calories faster. If you want this treat in juice form, make to freshly squeeze this fruit and not buy the sugar loaded store juices.
  5. Hit the Gym: This one should already be in your daily routine! Not only does going to the gym help you lose calories and tone up, but doing exercises like cardio will reduce your appetite for up to two hours after you’re done. Cardio, for example, reduces your level of ghrelin (the hormone which increases your appetite) and increases levels of the main hormone that suppresses your appetite. Always be aware, however, that doing the same cardio routine everyday can cause your positive effects to plateau. We recommend mixing up your routine at least twice a month to keep those pounds off!
  6. Try Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is something that can almost trick your brain into thinking that you have eaten something which, in turn, makes you think you are fuller than you actually are. Multiple studies have found that smelling aromas, such as peppermint, every two hours had the effect of people eating 2,700 fewer calories less weekly (about a pound every week). This new idea even works better when done more frequently!
  7. Grab Some Blueberries: Blueberries are one the essential fruits to consume when wanting to lose those extra pounds. Blueberries affect the genes in your body that regulate fat-burning and storage. This means that not only does it help you feel fuller, but it helps get rid of extra belly fat. Try eating a cup of blueberries every day and the results will show. Some studies show that this plan can result in 3% body fat lost in three months! As always, try to get fresh, organic blueberries, but eating frozen ones can help generate the same benefits.
  8. Now that this plan is laid out for you to enjoy, go out and try these tips to see for yourself! Keep checking back for more tips and tricks to meet your Summertime goals!

Must-Have Summer Traveling Tips

Must-Have Summer Traveling Tips

Summer Travel Tips

It’s that time of year everyone. Summer! That means vacations, cookouts, and family fun. Since this is a time when taking a vacation is a major aspect of the season, here are some helpful Summer travel tips to make it through your trip without adding on the extra stress (and pounds)!

  1. Clean Hands: Bring disinfecting items such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes while traveling through high traffic areas. It’s always good practice to keep you hands washed to keep the amount of germs down. Some areas to look out for is security checkpoints (and their bins), airplane seatback trays, and even your purse!
  2. Plan Ahead: When packing a medical bag, make sure to plan for anything and everything! This should include pain reliever, cold medicines, and even anti-diarrhea medication (you never know!). As well, Band-Aids and travel-sized antibiotic ointments are great additions. If you are traveling to a far and foreign location, it is recommended that you visit your physician to make sure every shot and medication is in place. Safety first!
  3. Write it Down: Have a copy of all your specific allergy and dietary needs with you at all times! It is essential to inform your companions and/or tour operator of your situation. As well, have your physician name and number plus insurance info written down in case of emergency.
  4. Moderation: I know it is vacation and we all want to relax and not worry about our daily life, but keep in mind what you are doing to your body! Be aware of overeating, drinking too much, and lack of sleep. These are things that will wreak havoc on your body and before you know it you’ve gained more weight than you ever intended. One of our best Summer travel tips is to prepare early for the trip by looking ahead at the restaurants where you may be eating to be prepared to order prior to arrival. Be sure to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated and try to get at least 8 hours of sleep. Stay away from temptations like all-you-can-eat buffets and other places where portion control might be an issue.
  5. Exercise: How could we leave this one out?! Always keep moving during your trip and flight. If you can, avoid public transportation and explore the area on foot or on a bike. Most hotels have a basic gym where you can hit the treadmill or stair climber. We’ve got plenty of exercise tips that you can take with you or you can always contact me for work out tips from me here at Fast Fitness.

Be sure to print these Summer traveling tips so they or handy or share them with a friend. Do remember to have fun!

Time to Switch your Focus

Time to Switch your Focus

How To Focus

Feeling like there is just too much going on that doesn’t seem to get done? Feeling like the hours of the day are just escaping you and you do not know why? This could be due to having a lack of FOCUS. Check out these key areas to emphasis in your life to learn how to focus and get out of the rut.

  1. Stop Multitasking: Let’s be honest…we all tend to do this! It appears to be an action that gets a lot more done in our daily life. However, the truth is that when someone multitasks, they are essentially splitting their brain function into two separate items of thought. Doing these two or more tasks at the same time just lowers performance and uses up twice as much unnecessary energy in our daily routines. This leads to the next topic on how to…

  3. Focus on Two Critical Things Per Day: If you take the time to make a to-do list each day for items, narrow it down to just critical items! Putting little tasks on the list will just lower your energy levels. Would you really want to use your peak energy while you take out the trash or washing the dishes? No! Get to a subject or topic that takes serious thought and consideration and your results will show!

  5. Control Email: Email Inbox’s…something that most people feel like they have to check constantly in order to stay on top of the constant flow of questions sent and answers replied. The feeling of cleaning out one’s inbox is one of accomplishment and satisfaction, but it comes at a cost. Checking your email can cause the brain an average of 15 minutes to refocus on a task you were previously working on. The best solution to this is to handle a problem by simply calling or talking in-person then sending an endless chain of wordy emails.

  7. Interval Train: What does this mean? Think of it in terms of sports. Athletes learn how to focus by regularly alternate between doing harder workouts for a length of time and switching to a lesser routine or rest period. The best solution to this problem is to set goals of when you will focus on your work and nothing else. For example, start focusing on only doing your assigned task for 15 minutes then gradually work yourself up to longer periods of time like 30 minutes. As well, you can use this solution to control your email problem listed above. Use the last 10 minutes of every hour to focus solely on email and the other 50 minutes for assignments!

  9. Practice The Brainpower Of None: Taking the time to get away from everything in the world is one of the simplest things to do to improve your focus. Stepping back and getting away from all the technology and “noise” around us can help free your brain of clutter and let it process information more deeply and logically. Some ways to accomplish this are leaving the radio off in the car when driving home, leaving your phone at home while taking a walk or run, or getting up and taking a walk/stretch while at work. Having this opportunity of having fewer choices allows us to think clearly and ultimately change our thought process for the better.