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3BG Blog



 

The Blog that Shows you how to Lose your Beer Belly, Not the Beer.

 
Welcome to the Blog- Let’s face it. Life without beer sucks. The boys at Team3BG share a passion for helping people achieve their personal & fitness goals without sacrificing the things they love.

If you haven’t guessed it, we love beer. This blog highlights useful fitness, health and nutritional information as well as a few of our own personal adventures.

Let us know what’s on your mind by posting comments below and be sure to sign up for our newsletter. Thanks for visiting!

Maintaining Momentum

 

Building and Maintaining Momentum

 
Maintaining MomentumOne of my favorite quotes comes from Herophilus, the physician to Alexander the Great who wrote: “When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot become manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied”.

The more I digest the meaning of these words, I cannot help but think how many of us have such good intentions about beginning a new exercise program yet find it so difficult to get started. If we are lucky to begin it becomes somewhat of a daunting task to maintain any sort of momentum that will produce the results we desire.

At the age of 46, I shared the experience of training for and completing a marathon (26 miles) with a close friend. Prior to this event and for many years after, I couldn’t seem to maintain any momentum with exercise. The more I reflect on the experience, I believe we were not merely interested in running the marathon- we were committed to completing it. This kind of thinking can apply to any exercise program.
 

Interest vs. Commitment

 
Research shows when we are only interested in improving our overall health through exercise there is a tendency to quit during the tough or inconvenient times. I am sure we have heard most of the following excuses: no time, tired, too busy, don’t know what to do, don’t feel like it right now and many, many more. Well, it is excuses like these that dominate our thoughts when we are but interested in implementing a lifestyle change.

The fact is when we are committed to our health we accept no excuses, only results. When we are committed, we understand that we are in it for the long haul and will do whatever it takes to feel the many benefits of our efforts. We make health our #1 priority.

Over the years I have had the opportunity to speak with many people about the above situation. Some who have mastered their commitment with respect to their exercise routine and others who continue to be challenged with not being able to maintain any sort of momentum.
 

How to Maintain Momentum

 
Here are a few ideas that will help you “jump start” your exercise program and maintain momentum:

1. Begin by creating/writing a Personal Vision Statement of the quality of life (changes and resulting benefits) you want to achieve and affirming a positive belief about yourself that your healthier lifestyle will result in increased effectiveness at work, a happier and more positive attitude, more energy for loved ones and friends, hobbies, reduced levels of stress, more relaxed and composed, more productive, less wasted time, etc… Think about the positive consequences for family, friends and others through the greatest gift that you could ever possibly give, the gift of health.

2. Read your Personal Vision Statement including benefits/consequences at the beginning and end of each day.

3. Set a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly goal related to your exercise/nutrition plan. Break each goal down into sub-goals and specific action steps. For example: First day- to run 3 stop signs at a slow pace and walk the next three and repeat. Each goal/sub-goal should be written down in a note book or personal agenda. Record your progress along with feelings and benefits. This provides a boost and can be a catalyst to establishing some level of momentum, especially in the early stages of starting a new exercise program.

4. Establish a schedule and mark it in your agenda. Be as specific as possible with respect to time, location, and duration.

5. Do not let thinking or feeling block you from implementing plans for a particular day. Remember you think first, then you feel, then you act. If you think that the weather is too cold to go for a jog, you will most definitely not feel like going. Having enough discipline to ignore your initial thoughts or how you feel and replace it with action will result in execution and positive consequences/benefits.

Maintaining MomentumRepeated success with the above technique will help establish a daily routine and like a ball rolling down a hill, there will be no stopping you. You will have achieved the momentum needed to maintain healthy living which will guarantee the benefits you are looking for. As the days, weeks and months pass; you will continue to become stronger, healthier, happier and more productive.

Stop being inspired to workout and make a commitment to regain your health today.

Mike Landry

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

Beer Belly- why did I ever have one?

Beer Belly WhyHow did I ever let myself get a beer belly? This is a question I have asked over the past few months. Before starting with the 3BG System I never made time for myself. That’s the real answer. With all the things going on in my life I never found time for me. Seems a bit crazy when I think about it now but I devoted a lot of time to my Beer Belly instead.

How much time did I need out of my day to take care of myself? Let me think… thirty minutes. Twenty-four hours in a day and all I had to do was find thirty minutes for me. You might be wondering what did these thirty minutes encompass? Well, here you go… I did fourteen, yes, only fourteen minutes of cardio. What about the other sixteen minutes? Well that was used to make sure I had food to eat throughout the day.

Yeah it’s pretty tough to stay fit these days (hopefully you got the hint of sarcasm). It’s actually not hard at all. In fact it’s easier than being lazy because now I have the energy to get things done. You might be sitting there, reading this and saying, “What a bunch of BS.” And if you have any doubt I encourage you to check out my before and after photos or my testimonial video. Those are 100% real and while we’re being honest- my cardio actually started out at only ten minutes, not fourteen. Don’t worry, if you want to see what the extra four minutes of cardio is doing for me- stay tuned. I’ll be sending BeerBellyBeGone.com a few updated photos shortly.

I like to think I’m a pretty busy guy and I know we all think the same way. I’m not going to sit here and tell you how to make time for yourself. You already know where the majority of your time is being spent and if you don’t I encourage you to think again (if you want some tips on finding time and staying active, check out Sean’s post Never Miss a Monday).
 

No More Beer Belly = More Time For Me

 
How I found time for me was quite simple. I made myself a priority instead of my beer gut. I made sure I had a pair of shorts and running shoes in my car so on the way home from work I could stop at the park or the gym and get in a quick workout. If by chance I forgot to do that, I had a skipping rope hanging on my bedroom door and dumbbells in the living room just so I wouldn’t forget about me. I didn’t sit on the couch until I had done what I needed to do.

The best part about it is, and I can say without a doubt- it gets easier as you go. After about two weeks I was hooked and actually looked forward to my workouts. Where you might lose some time is looking in the mirror each morning; well maybe not, but it sure feels good to see the progress staring back at you. An easy way to stay motivated when you start any routine is to take a few “before” pictures of yourself because for me, seeing a picture of my old friend “ the beer belly” is plenty motivation to continue living an enhanced lifestyle program like the 3BG System.
 

No more Beer Belly = Better Cook

 
That covers the working out part but how the heck did I manage to have all my meals ready in just sixteen minutes? Well you got me… It didn’t take me sixteen minutes to make all of my meals today; it took almost no time at all. I do what cooks refer to as prep or for us regular folk- I prepare my meals before hand. It’s simple. I come home with my groceries and divide up snacks into bags and containers. If I am going to cook chicken breasts I cook a few extra all at once, I cut up some vegetables and bam lunch is ready for tomorrow. Hey, it’s no slap chop; it’s just plain old planning ahead. I do however own a magic bullet that I have been known to use now and again… Soup, chili or anything else that can be divided up and frozen is a great trick too.

I spend slightly more time in the kitchen than I might spend waiting in line at a drive through but the rewards are well worth it. Don’t get sucked into commercial convenience. Create your own convenience and be way healthier because of it. This is something you will learn very quickly with the guys at 3BG. They work hard but most importantly they work SMART. Don’t let the big clowns of the world tell you what to eat. Take time for yourself whenever you have it and use it. At the very least, being smart enough to prep your meals at home will save you money in the long run, not to mention- save you from a beer belly as well.
 

No more Beer Belly = Better Beer

 
Now for the fun part… I drink a wider variety of beer than I ever have. I enjoy beer more now than ever before. The first thing to go when I wanted to “diet” was beer and I always missed it. I have learned to appreciate my favorite beverage more than ever and rather than buying the cheap stuff, I find myself searching for more unique beers with rich flavors. Whenever I am in a small town I seek out local breweries and craft beers. What does that have to do with being healthy? It’s simple- I deserve a good beer and I can afford a good beer because I’m not spending my money at the drive through. Think about it… a “cheap” meal these days costs about 10 bucks. Skip the drive through for a few days and you can enjoy a six-pack of a full-bodied beer. More beer and less beer belly is the life for me.

It’s so easy for me to say this today because I took the steps needed to get me here. I remember trying to get fit in the past and most of the time I would do something drastic like try to run up the Grouse Grind or spend an hour and a half at the gym. The next day I would try to get up and my body would be so sore it was a struggle to get the Fruit Loops out of the cupboard, say to myself, “Not doing that again.” And I wouldn’t.

The biggest thing that jumped out at me after joining Team 3BG is that moderation is the key to success. There are no quick fixes. Just consistency and having the ability to care about what you love. Most importantly, having the ability to care about you. I now know why I had a beer belly and with the knowledge I have gained with Team 3BG I can safely say good-bye beer belly, I know I won’t be seeing you again anytime soon.

In good health,

David Balback

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

The Supplement Puzzle- Part I

What is staring back at you when you walk into a supplement store? Most likely a huge wall of pills and powders that promise to blast fat, pack on dense ripped muscle and add a little boost to your performance in the bedroom. What is kept from you is all those supplements that look like they come from different companies and manufactures could actually be the same stuff from the same place re-branded with unique stickers, logos and advertising.

The right kind of supplements can improve your heart function, strengthen your immune system, reduce your beer belly and when used pre and post workout- help you recover faster. However, the wrong ones can be a complete waste of money or worse yet- potentially harmful to your health.

A recent survey found that 7 out of 10 people take supplements on a regular basis and that most of them get advice on what to take from a friend. If you have been taking supplements because someone told you to or you saw it in a muscle magazine you definitely need to read this review. With a little knowledge from someone who knows a thing or two about proper supplementation; you will waste less money, save time and reap bigger rewards.

In this 3 part series (click here for Part II and/or Part III) I’m going to outline 6 (not 16) supplements that are actually worth taking. Part I will focus on protein powders and creatine monohydrate.
 

First up: Protein Powder

 
What is it?

Powdered version of protein that mixes with water or your favorite beverage for quick energy on the go or an easy workout shake.

What does it do?

Protein is an essential component for most things in your body from skin, nails, hair, muscles, metabolism, healing, tissue repair, etc… Protein also helps to burn calories as your body uses more energy when digesting or breaking down proteins. It will therefore keep your metabolism running strong. Having protein with every meal or snack prevents over eating and keeps you full longer. This is a huge benefit to not only losing weight, but gaining muscle as most of the calories you burn will be coming from the right place- your fat stores.

Protein helps stabilize blood sugar levels by slowing the release of glucose (sugar) into your blood. This will better control hunger spikes and keep the hormone insulin from rising which promotes fat burning over fat storage.

Best brands?

Ideally, the majority of your protein intake will come from whole foods. There are times when eating chicken or steak isn’t the most convenient and a high quality protein powder can come in very handy. They taste great and are easily portable.

People generally respond well to protein powders however finding the right one for you can make all the difference. It’s important to mention that some people have difficulty digesting certain forms of protein and you might have to try a few before you find the right one. Two protein powders we highly recommend are Prograde Protein® and Sun Warrior Protein®. They are both very affordable, taste great and mix well.

Having protein powder available to you for the odd morning smoothie and for post workout nutrition will help you meet your protein requirements. When selecting a protein powder, whey isolate and casein are the best. However, if those do not agree with your digestive system there are other options available in powder form like; rice and hemp.

How much to take?

Before and After a workout:

100-140 pounds: 0.5 – 0.75 scoop of protein powder
140-180 pounds: 1 scoop of protein powder
180-230+ pounds: 1.5 scoops protein powder
 

Next up: Creatine Monohydrate

 
What is it?

Creatine exists in your body naturally, is formed from amino acids (proteins) and is stored as creatine phosphate (CP). Most people have approximately 120 grams of creatine in their body at any given time. Aside from being found in you, creatine is found in many foods we eat such as; beef, salmon and tuna which all contain 2-5 grams of creatine per pound. Needless to say, you would have to eat an AWFUL lot of steak to get 5 grams of creatine and fortunately there is an easier way.

What does it do?

Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is the energy of life and any action we do requires us to use ATP. During short bursts of activity like sprinting or weight lifting, ATP is burned rapidly and broken down into ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate). As ATP depletes to ADP, creatine phosphate can be utilized by the body to recharge ADP and turn it back into ATP- providing more energy to be used.

By ingesting creatine monohydrate prior to or during your workout you have a bigger pool circulating for your body to pull from. Therefore, when sprinting fast or lifting weights- you can perform more work, which translates to faster gains (more muscle and less fat).

As if that is not cool enough- creatine is shown to prevent muscle wasting and is even touted as a “smart supplement”, increasing mental acuity. Doctors have been using creatine to combat various muscle wasting diseases for years now.

What does the research say?

The research supports that creatine monohydrate increases muscle mass while decreasing fat mass. It is a safe and effective supplement. When taken in low doses there is no danger to the kidneys in a healthy adult, although some sources do recommend taking time off allowing the system a chance to reset. Minimal effects in muscle gain are seen in endurance athletes such as runners and swimmers but recovery time has improved.

How much to take?

Pre workout: 3-5 grams
Post Workout: 3-5 grams

Click here for an excellent creatine product that is very affordable.

Stay tuned next week for part II where I outline the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids and whether or not you really need a multivitamin.

Stay Strong,

Drew

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

Finding Your True Strength

Beer Belly Beer Gone Graeme Kelly 10KMFirst up the boys and I would like to congratulate our Team3BG member, Graeme Kelly, for finishing his 10 Km race this Sunday in under an hour!!! A true accomplishment.

Graeme, what beer did you reward yourself with?

Keep the momentum going- ask yourself what’s next? Another 10 Km, a half marathon, Everest?

Like Graeme, I too crossed the finish line with regards to a personal accomplishment. And now, a moment to breathe easy- well sort of…

I arrived home after spending three amazing weeks in the Vancouver sun. Vancity completely redeemed itself this time around after giving me a measly 2 days of sun during my previous 5 weeks there. The trip saw many highlights including my cousin getting married, my dad climbing the grouse grind with us (66yrs young), and me completing my MBA dissertation. The latter happened three days ago and I think waking up this morning I’m finally caught up from lack of sleep.

Honestly, I was a little surprised that I finished with all the distractions of the summer. There were times during the process where I didn’t think I could do it. Particularly when my Macbook and entire years research was stolen from my car while helping out at the Mike Fisher Charity Hockey Camp in Ottawa. To make matters worse I found out my external hard drive (or I) had not been backing up my work and thoughts about quitting my MBA started to drift into my head.

With the deadline fast approaching it was hard to see myself making up for lost time and finishing but I had to at least try. I borrowed a buddy’s computer and went to town. It’s funny, I can not remember ever having a set back of this magnitude before and my mind kept playing games on me. Frustration started to set in as for the life of me, I could not remember all that I had done and what I had written. This is exactly what we see with guys we help coach and inspire to workout again. When someone first starts exercising they tend to beat themselves down and confidence is at an all time low due to the disappointment of where they are starting from.

With frustration levels at an all time high my mom recommended I take a step back from the paper, clear my head and take it out on the old punching bag we have in the basement. Ironic because she hates the idea of me fighting on the ice but man, did this ever help. Three rounds later and sweat rolling down my forehead, my focus was back and I was ready to tackle the mountain that lay ahead.

I used the punching bag a couple of times when I was close to my boiling point but it was exercise and other workouts I did throughout the re-write that managed my stress and got the ideas flowing. Through exercise and movement I was able to develop new concepts and philosophies. I re-wrote the entire paper making it better than before in record time.

SOMETIMES IT TAKES GOING THROUGH SOMETHING TOUGH TO FIND YOUR TRUE STRENGTH

There is nothing better than the feeling of accomplishment. You set a goal and no matter what gets in your way- you achieve it. It gives you a feeling of confidence. A sense of knowing there isn’t anything you can’t take on. And you know what? It’s contagious.

Besides catching up on sleep, over the last two days I’ve taken time to reflect and enjoy the weight lifted off my shoulders but I haven’t stopped. I’m on to my next goal- training camp is three weeks away.

Go after it,

Jon

“Time to contemplate, time to listen to the learning, is crucial to the change process.” — Seven Days at the Links of Utopia

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

Never miss a Monday

Finding that groove when it comes to working out is often the hardest thing to do. There are ups and downs that come with starting a new routine- even more so if it has been awhile since you’ve exercised.

The truth is the most fit people in the world struggle with the same issues. Personally, with all the weddings, work, travel and long weekends this summer it has been a mental battle for me with regards to my health and fitness. Here are some simple tips I use to keep myself on track.

Never miss a Monday: Making sure you get a great training session in on Monday will set the tone for the rest of the week. Seriously, never miss a Monday.

Find a partner: Social support is the best way to make sure you stick to your game plan. Surround yourself with people that support your goals. Having someone to train with will greatly impact your success. They can motivate you on days when you don’t feel like training and even add a bit of friendly competition.

Join a team: Working out is only one aspect to a healthy lifestyle. Join a pick-up sports league; there are tons of options out there, look around your local community for various sports teams or athletic groups. Figure out whatever it is you like doing and get out and meet some like-minded people that enjoy playing sports. You’ll make some new friends in the process and have fun all the while improving your health. If you can’t join an organized league or group, start something with a group of your friends such as pick-up basketball, soccer, running, biking, or surfing groups. You can do anything, just get up and do it.

Don’t waste your time: One of your key partners in the gym should be your watch. Have a good timer on your wristwatch so you can keep your rest periods to the prescribed time limit.

Keep moving: If you get to the gym and it’s crowded and someone’s performing the exact exercise that you need, ask to work in with them or pick another exercise that targets the same muscles. Just stay positive and keep moving.

Forget to plan and plan to fail: You need a master plan like the one outlined in the 3BG System in order to be successful in your body/life transformation. Write down your goals, how you plan on achieving them and your progress along the way. Seeing all the work you have done written on paper will help keep you motivated.

Nobody’s perfect: Things are bound to come up in your lives that will prevent you from sticking to the exact plan. If you hit a bump in the road, such as missing a Monday, that’s life and it happens. Just acknowledge that you’ve fallen off track and get back at it. You’re going to mess up and we want you to know that it’s ok. Fitness and healthy living are for life.

By implementing these helpful strategies into your routine, you’ll be able to pull through when life gets hectic and your feeling overwhelmed.

If you are committed to regaining your health and getting in the best shape ever than know that there will be some struggles along the way. Nothing worthwhile is ever achieved without a little adversity. It is those things in life that we have to work for that afford us the greatest rewards.

Starting a new workout program for the first time in years (or ever) isn’t the easiest thing to do but if you are committed, you stay at it and use some of the tips you’ve just read about- the pay off will be huge.

Yours in health,

Sean

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

August 26, 2011Posted by Drew in Body

How to Get Rid of "Beer" Belly Fat

When you ask people what they associate beer with you get a mixed bitter-sweet response. On one hand it reminds people of the amazing taste that water, barley, yeast and hops make when they come together and hit your lips. And on the other hand they think of the dreaded beer belly, beer gut and belly fat associated with drinking beer.

For the record- I have and always will drink beer. Regardless of the reputation floating around that beer is bad and will make you fat, I know from experience and my clients experiences that it is possible to drink beer and still lose the beer gut, beer belly and belly fat. I’ve seen countless people lose fat, get stronger and still enjoy the wonderful taste of beer.

The reason it worked for these people (and can work for you) is because they adopted an attitude we call the “Earn Your Beer” mentality. The mentality states that if you want to enjoy beer guilt free and never worry about how it might expand your waistline, you have to EARN it.

Start implementing the following steps and you’ll be on your way to Earning Your Beer and torching off the “beer” belly fat from your midsection.
 

1. Beer Intake Control- The Beauty of Moderation

 
Depending on what kind of beer you drink the calories per bottle vary. Light beers range from 65-100 calories per bottle while a standard bottle of beer has around 150 calories.

Moderation is key. If you want to enjoy beer you must consume no more than 2 in a 24 hour period and keep it to under 5-7 drinks total per week. In moderate amounts beer has even been shown to be good for your heart and reduced the risk of cardio-vascular disease.

When in doubt choose darker beers. They are often more rich, contain anti-oxidants and are more nutrient dense. This in turn will fill you up faster so you’ll avoid over drinking.

The real culprit is the food you eat while you enjoy your beer. Fried, fatty and salty foods are the worst offenders and can do much more damage than 2 beers ever could. Don’t let the enjoyment of beer turn into a days worth of calories all in one sitting.
 

2. What to eat and your new shopping list

 
Beer bellies should really be called the sugar belly or the processed carb belly. If you truly want to get rid of that beer belly you must take nutrition seriously and look at getting all the fast convenient processed foods out of your kitchen. There are so many misconceptions out there regarding which foods are good for you and which ones are bad.

Typical foods that people think are OK to eat but are low in nutrients are:

  • Breads, pastas, white rice.
  • Boxed cereals even if they are whole grain or fortified they are low in nutrients.
  • Slim or diet shakes.
  • Prepackaged microwavable TV dinners.
  • Ketchup, BBQ sauce, & most common condiments.
  • Rice cakes, crackers and cookies.
  • Salad with Creamy Dressings.
  •  
    The easiest way to avoid pre-packaged, processed and refined foods is to shop around the outside of a supermarket and avoid going down the middle aisles. Sticking to the perimeter of the store guarantees that you will hit mostly fresh foods that come with an expiry date. The goal is to remove clutter from your shopping cart, kitchen and body.

    The shopping list that follows has been stripped down to the basics. Strive to eat good quality food that is nutrient dense and works with your body rather than against it. The following foods will keep you energized, lean, strong and keep the fat off your belly effortlessly.

    Items for your cupboards or pantry

  • Potatoes (red potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, the occasional white)
  • Sugar free oatmeal (steel cut oats)
  • Quinoa
  • Mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, macadamia, pecans, etc…)
  • All natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • Sunflower & pumpkin seeds
  • Olive oil (for salads)
  • Coconut oil (for cooking or stir frying at high temp)
  • Vinegar (white, red, balsamic)
  • Green tea, black teas, herbals teas, organic coffee (black)
  • Spices (various)
  • Kidney beans, Black beans
  •  
    Items for your refrigerator or freezer

  • Vegetables (all kinds)
  • Fruit (all kinds)
  • Lean meat (cow, bison, buffalo)
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Fish
  • Deep water shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Plain Greek Yogurt (No sugar added)
  • Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  •  

    3. How and when to eat carbs

     
    Burning fat from your midsection depends on your body’s ability to regulate cortisol and insulin. If you have chronic high levels of both you will likely have more belly fat than you need. Cortisol is best controlled by keeping your stress levels down and getting adequate sleep.

    Whenever you eat a carbohydrate- insulin is released to remove the calories from your blood stream. When this hormone is released in excess (by eating processed carbs) it will take those calories and stuff them in your fat cells. End result- a rapidly expanding waist line and beer belly.

    The best time to have carbs and not worry about this boost in insulin is when you first wake up and immediately after an intense workout. Otherwise if you are going to eat carbs in a meal make sure they are eaten last. Always start with a salad and plenty of vegetables, then your protein source (eggs, meat, fish, poultry, shellfish, dairy) and follow it up with your carb. Eating vegetables and protein first will ensure your stomach is better suited to digest and break down carbohydrates (yams, sweet potato, wild rice, quinoa), as well as shunt any potential spike in blood sugar.

    Do not mistake this as an open invitation to eat all the carbs you want. Much like step #1, moderation is key. If you have a sweet tooth stick to mixed berries with a piece of dark chocolate (85% or higher) for dessert.
     

    4. Sleep your way to a leaner waistline

     
    You’ve heard it before and no one likes being told the same thing over and over again. So I’m going to lay it out for you in a different way, one that will help you realize that if you’re falling short on sleep- you might be expanding your waistline as a result. Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

    Inadequate sleep has been shown to:

  • interfere with metabolism and digestion of carbohydrates causing high blood glucose levels, which then increases insulin levels and leads to fat storage.
  • down regulate the hormone leptin. Leptin signals your brain when you are full, and you stop eating. Without adequate levels of leptin you will crave more food and carbohydrates.
  • reduce levels of growth hormone. Growth hormone has been linked to fat loss and is found in higher quantities in lean people.
  • lead to insulin resistance, contributing to an increased risk of diabetes
  • increase blood pressure
  • increase the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • increase cortisol levels
  •  
    Hormones are the common theme. Without proper sleep good hormone levels drop and bad hormone levels rise. Chronic elevated levels of cortisol can lead to brain cell deterioration, decreased function and belly fat.
     

    5. Exercise

     
    Mention cardio and people generally think of going for a jog or sitting down on an exercise bike. Whatever the exercise you choose, it is then done at a steady pace for a set amount of time. The longer the session the more calories you burn, right?

    While that isn’t necessarily a wrong statement, it’s just not the best way to burn fat. Would you rather workout for 40 minutes or 15? Studies show you can burn more fat and save more time with shorter, more intense cardio sessions.

    A long jog at a slow to medium pace does not elevate your metabolism enough to generate exercise post oxygen consumption (EPOC). EPOC can keep your metabolism elevated for 15-25 hours after you stop exercising. The beautiful thing about generating EPOC is that it can be done in a high intensity interval session lasting as little as 12-20 minutes. The same can not be said for a 40 minute jog where oxygen consumption falls 30 minutes after completion.

    Also of note, a large percentage of exercise options for cardio only target the lower body. Making use of your entire body when performing cardio/interval training involves more muscle mass and will burn more calories by creating a bigger oxygen deficit.

    High intensity interval training (HIIT) incorporates both aerobic (oxygen dependent – walking/jogging) and anaerobic (non oxygen dependent – sprinting) training into one brief, but intense workout. This type of training will strengthen your heart more than aerobic (long slow boring cardio) training due to the strain involved with an all out effort. The increased pressure constricts your artery walls and forces your heart to work harder with each beat to maintain proper blood flow throughout the body.

    Typical cardio prescription

    Type: Running
    Total time: 45 Minutes
    Pace: 5-7 mph

    The New HIIT prescription

    Type: Flat sprint or uphill sprints with 4-6 push ups between each sprint
    Total time: 15 minutes
    Pace: top speed sprint for 8-10 seconds (uphill or flat) walk 40 seconds then drop down and complete 4-6 push-ups. Repeat process for 15 minutes.

    In order to get rid of a beer belly, beer gut or belly fat you need to be determined, willing and patient. Healthy fat loss of 1-2 pounds per week can be expected. Think of it as a long term goal rather than an overnight fix and I guarantee you will get there.

    Stay Strong,

    Drew

    Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

    Thirsty Thursdays: A Beer Review.

    Bet I can guess what you are thinking- these guys are going to start writing beer reviews so that they can drink them. You know what? You’re right!

    With the recent surge of craft beer and microbreweries across North America we want to share with you our passion and personal opinion on the many beers out there. The weekly review will encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Hopefully you’ll be more adventurous when it comes to making beer choices. The “winos” can’t have all the fun.

    Last night Sean and I hit up a local restaurant walking distance from his apartment. The resto of choice was made thanks to Sean’s Entertainment book which gave us $16 off the bill (highly recommend grabbing one of these booklets if you don’t have it already).

    Before sitting down we were scoping out what beers they had on tap. As the waitress guided us through the list of the usual Canadian suspects she finished with the special of the night- “Keith’s Ambrosia Blonde”. It was a very reasonable $4.50 for a pint of beer. A steal of a deal in terms of Vancouver’s inflated beer prices. We had to give it a try.

    Keith’s Ambrosia Blonde is brewed by Alexander Keith’s. The brewery was founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1820. It has been producing beer in Canada for over two centuries and only recently made the jump across the border into the United States. Operated by Labatt, a subsidiary of Anheuser Busch-Inbev, Keith’s brand is produced throughout Canada. It is best known for it’s India Pale Ale but also has dark, light, amber and premium white varieties.

    The Keith’s Ambrosia Blonde is one of the their seasonal brews. The brew-master refers to the beer as a deep gold and medium body brew which delivers captivating aroma, a distinct flavorful taste, slightly hoppy and hint of caramel, aged longer for a crisp finish that is perfect for warmer days. The Ambrosia Blonde taps out at 5.2% alcohol by vol.

    Our initial reaction of this all malt brew was that it was much darker than your typical blonde. The beer had a full head which tried to hang around for a little while but eventually ran out of steam and faded away. There was no visible carbonation, but as Sean postulated, it might have been because they were serving us the bottom of the keg and the very reason behind the beer being on special. As I stared at Sean’s ugly mug through the pint I noted the clarity and golden color with a slight reddish tinge, which can most likely be attributed to the hint of caramel.

    The verdict:

    The Ambrosia attempted to keep a microbrew feel and taste. I was reminded of the Scottish beer Tennant’s I used to drink while playing hockey over there, which wouldn’t be too far off as the company’s roots come from Scotland. Keeping with the Keith’s novelty the Ambrosia Blonde offered a hint of hops without any bitterness. It was a crisp and dry finish.

    As a rookie beer connoisseur this beer was tasty but easily forgotten.

    If you have access to this brew-masters special in your home town, don’t just take my word for it- give it a try and see for yourself.

    Stay thirsty,

    Jon

    Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

    Pre Workout Fuel & Post Workout Nutrition

    Whether you are looking to lose fat or build muscle… if you don’t give your body the right nutrients (pre & post workout), it won’t happen fast enough.

    There is a misconception out there that to lose fat it is best to workout on an empty stomach. The idea behind this is that by not eating before a workout your body will be forced to burn energy in the form of fat, ie. from your beer gut, love handles or back. It then becomes easy to convince yourself that eating before a workout isn’t worth it if you want to tap into your fat stores.

    So if you eat something before a workout you would be wasting your time right?

    Not quite.

    Let’s take a closer look. When you break it down, our bodies number one priority is survival. Because of this, we need to give it a good reason to lose fat, and this only happens when we keep our metabolism high by constantly providing it nutrients (this is where quality counts and NOT quantity).

    Going into a workout with an empty stomach, tells your body that it doesn’t know when or where the next feeding will come from. At this point you risk entering starvation mode and not only will your body fat become more stubborn and harder to burn off, you will also run the risk of breaking down your hard earned muscle. Exactly what you do not want!

    The easiest way around this is to have a little protein prior to exercise. This will provide easy to use energy and stabilize blood sugar levels without breaking down muscle because there will plenty of protein shuttling around for your body to pull from.

    If your goal is fat loss, use the following protocol:

    10-15 minutes before a workout:

    100-140 pounds: 0.5 – 0.75 scoop of protein powder
    140-180 pounds: 1 scoop of protein powder
    180-230+ pounds: 1.5 scoops protein powder

     
     
    Note: You want to ensure that your protein powder contains little to no fat. Without going into too much detail, directly before and directly after your workout is the one time of day you do not want to consume any fat. The best choices for protein are whey isolate, casein, and rice.

    Our favorite choice for whey protein is Prograde Protein

    And for those of that might be sensitive to whey we found an awesome rice protein you should check out called Sun Warrior Protein

    Now we’ll tackle what to eat following an intense workout.

    Research tells us that the hour immediately following a workout is a window for nutrient timing that we must not miss.

    Consuming protein and carbohydrates right after or during a workout will assist in recovery, muscle building and allow you to keep the intensity high during future training sessions.

     

     

     

    Aim to consume the following 5-60 minutes after a workout:

    100-140 pounds: 0.5 – 0.75 scoop of protein powder + carbohydrate
    140-180 pounds: 1 scoop of protein powder + carbohydrate
    180-230+ pounds: 1.5 scoops protein powder + carbohydrate

    Carbohydrate options:

    - Dried fruit (raisins – handful, apricots – handful, dates 2-4 regular sized)

    - Banana (1/2 to full)

    - 12- 16 oz low fat chocolate or skim milk (note: since milk contains protein you have to adjust your powder down if you choose this option)

    - 1-1.5 cups of your favorite breakfast cereal (note: we don’t suggest eating the typical breakfast cereals as part of your daily diet, however, during the post workout window they are highly effective and easy to bring with you wherever you train)

    - Blend ice, water, protein powder and mixed berries or a banana for an awesome post workout shake. Be creative.

    - Just eat something – if you don’t have access to any of the above options, consuming something is better than nothing!

     

    Whatever time of day you workout begin to implement proper pre and post workout nutrition. If you feel you have hit a wall when it comes to fat loss this is likely the jump start your metabolism needs.

    On the other hand, if you are struggling to put on lean muscle mass, consuming extra calories around your workout will ensure they end up in the right place- your muscles and not your gut.

    Whatever your goals- remember, no more cardio sessions at 6 am on a empty stomach!

    Stay Strong,

    Drew

    August 18, 2011Posted by Sean in Body

    How to warm up properly: Static Stretching vs. Dynamic Warm Up

    I went to school with a guy that would pick me up in his car before the gym with a coffee in hand and the heat blaring. No joke- getting in his car was like stepping into a sweat lodge.

    “Gotta get the blood flowing man,” was all he’d say as I toweled off my forehead.

    My buddy was onto something about getting your blood flowing before an intense workout, and although he did get his body temp elevated, his pre-workout routine was far from perfect.

    We get a ton of questions regarding the topic of how to warm up properly before a workout and here’s what I have to say on the subject:

    Warming up prepares your muscles, ligaments and joints for the disruption caused by a intense workout. If you don’t take the time to warm up before a workout, you will eventually experience a strain, pull or tear injury that can keep you out of the gym for days or even months.

    A general warm up involves 3-5 minutes of light cardio followed by a dynamic (moving) warm up that involves pairing stretching with movement. The purpose is to prepare the muscles and joints for movements similar to those in your upcoming workout. You should always be under control with dynamic stretching and ensure a full range of motion.

    Static (still) stretching should always be done after weight or interval training session and never before. Static stretching before a workout can make joints too limber and actually decrease the force potential of your muscles. While you workout, the continuous contractions cause your muscles to shorten. Stretching for a period of 5-10 minutes at the end of your workout will help reset muscle length and enhance recovery.

    If you don’t stretch at the end of a workout, your contracted muscles stay short and the next time you try to work them they have less power and you are less efficient. These shortened “tense” muscles are those that we get worked on by a massage therapist, physiotherapist or osteopath to help them “loosen up.”

    Taking the time to stretch after your workout will not only save you injury time and increase the efficiency of your next workout, it might save you a ton of money on pain relief.

    Remember, as your age increases so should the amount of time spent on flexibility.

    Here’s an example of a general and dynamic warm up to be performed before a workout:

  • 3-5 minutes of cardio: jumping rope, stationary bike, walking, light jog, rowing machine, etc…
  • Dynamic warm up: Cat Camel, Prisoner Squats, Leg Swings and Shoulder Dislocations, etc… Perform 8-10 repetitions of each exercise in sequence for 2-3 sets and your ready to move onto your workout.
  •  
    Here’s an example of static stretching to be performed following a workout:

  • 5-10 minutes of static stretching focusing on major muscle groups: Hip Flexor, Glute, Calf, Hamstring, Chest, etc… Hold for 15 seconds (without bouncing), 2-3 times per side.
  •  
    A quick recap:

    The rules are as follows; if you’re cold you need to warm up with some dynamic movements. Once you finish a workout you need to cool down and re-set muscle length with some static stretching. Not too complicated.

    Add these simple pre (dynamic warm up) and post (static stretching) workout routines before working out and you’ll be able to workout harder, recover faster and stay injury free.

    Stay strong,

    Sean

    PS. Check out this link of Drew performing a simple version of a dynamic warm up in this 20 Minute Fat Blasting Circuit.

    The Best Chili Recipe

    Not gonna lie. I’ve been a chili lover my entire life.

    It’s a simple meal that you can make on a Sunday for example, and then store the leftovers in the fridge or freezer for the balance of the week. The next time you get home and don’t feel like cooking you’ll only need a few minutes to reheat the chili and dig in.

    Growing up my major influence in the kitchen was my mom. Most can agree that nobody cooks as well as their mothers do. Splice in a few tricks I’ve learned along the way from my favorite celebrity chef Jaime Oliver and I’ve become pretty good in the kitchen.

    Over the years I’ve messed around with a few different recipes until I finally settled on this one:

    What you need:

  • 2 Medium Yellow Onions, 2 Cloves of Garlic, 2 Carrots, 2 Celery Stalks, 2 Red (Green, Yellow or Orange) Bell Peppers, Big Handful of Mushrooms, 1 Small Zucchini, 1 – 24 oz Can of Diced Tomatoes, 1 – 12 oz Can of Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans), 1 – 12 oz Can of Black Beans, 1 – 12 oz Can of Kidney Beans, 1 pound of Ground Turkey (Chicken or Beef) and a 1/2 Can of your favorite Beer.
  • 2 table spoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 heaping table spoons of Chili Powder, 2 table spoons of Balsamic Vinegar, 1 heaping tea spoon of Ground Cumin (or Coriander), 1 heaping tea spoon of Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of Red Chili Flakes (more or less depending how spicy you like it), Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper.
  •  
    Whip it up:

  • Chop up all the veggies, pour 2 tablespoons of olive or coconut oil into a large pot and turn to medium/high heat.
  • Toss in all the chopped veggies and add in the following spices: 2 heaping table spoons of Chili Powder, 1 heaping tea spoon of Ground Cumin (or Coriander), 1 heaping tea spoon of Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of Red Chili Flakes (more or less depending how spicy you like it) and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Stir every 30-45 seconds for about 6-8 minutes.
  • Add the entire can of Diced Tomatoes.
  • Drain and Rinse the Chick Peas, Black and Kidney Beans and stir them into the pot.
  • Pour in the 1/2 Can of your favorite Beer (drink the other half).
  • With your wooden spoon slowly stir in and break apart the Ground Turkey (allowing it to cook in the chili).
  • Stir in the 2 table spoons of Balsamic Vinegar, and add another pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Reduce heat, cover and allow to simmer for about an hour or more, stirring occasionally.
  •  
    Serve garnished with a scoop of plain greek yogurt, some grated cheddar cheese and fresh cilantro. Sooooo Good.

    Keep this healthy Chili recipe in your back pocket to use whenever you are stumped for ideas on what to cook or when you feel like a nice warm meal. It makes approximately 6 – 8 servings and is easy enough to store in the fridge or freezer to be eaten at a later time. Enjoy.

    Yours in health,

    Sean

    PS. Beer and cinnamon are the secret ingredients in this recipe. What “secret ingredients” do you add to your chili to set it apart from the rest?

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