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Foods To Heal Your Gut

Foods To Heal Your Gut

Gut health plays a huge role in your overall health. Problems with the digestive system can range from cancer, healthy gut bacteria and even more controversial ones like leaky gut syndrome. One thing is certain, the best medicine in many cases are foods to heal your gut. If you’re taking bottles of antacids, the problem may come from what not what you’re eating, but what you’re not eating for overall gut health.

Eat foods chock-full of beneficial microbes.

Fermented foods are probiotics, meaning they provide beneficial microbes to help you digest your food better, fight off harmful microbes, aid in blood sugar control, aid in heart health and even eliminate cells that cause disease. The body has far more microbes than it has cells, so you’re never alone. The beneficial microbes not only help your digestion, they boost your immune system and even effect your nervous system and moods. Kifir, yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha are just a few that can improve your gut health.

Prebiotics feed the probiotic microbes.

Soluble fiber is often the food of choice for those helpful microbes in your gut. Prebiotics feed the healthy bacteria and microbes, so they can fight off the unhealthy ones. By increasing the good microbes, it starts the process of healing your gut. Don’t pull your dandelions or spray weed killer, dandelion greens are a good source of fiber to feed those hungry helpers. Apples keep the doctor away by supplying pectin and inulin fiber for beneficial bacteria, so do whole oats. Onions, chicory root and Jerusalem artichokes are all high in prebiotics to boost the healthy microbes.

Make sure you have adequate collagen to promote healing.

Bone broth is a good source of collagen, plus contains many other nutrients. You use the leftover roasted bones of any animal, beef, poultry or fish, and cook it for up to 72 hours to leach out the nutrients. The L-glutamine in bone broth helps the gut heal and seals the lining of the gut. It can be beneficial for IBS, leaky gut and more.

  • Healthy gut microbes are important for people that want to lose weight. If you have an imbalance it’s called gut dysbiosis and studies show it can potentially lead to weight gain. Restoring gut balance can help you lose it.
  • Garlic may kill vampires, but it can improve gut health. It has inulin and FOS that good bacteria and yeast use as their feast, growing stronger with every nibble. It’s especially healthy when eaten raw, but still has benefits when cooked.
  • Grab a banana. They’ve been used for years to help stop diarrhea, but also can help boost the healthy microbes. You’ll have less gas and bloating when you eat them.
  • In some cases, what you don’t eat is also healing. Cut out white flour and anything that’s sugar based. Those feet the bad microbes that kill the beneficial ones.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Academy


Train Your Brain To Crave The Gym

Train Your Brain To Crave The Gym

When you go to Upfit Training Academy in New York, NY, you’ll notice it’s different from other group training facilities. We focus on getting started, sticking with it now and finding ways to enhance your desire to keep fit in the future, promoting a lifetime of fitness. It might not come naturally to love working out, but when you find the right combination, you’ll no longer dread your workout time and even crave the gym when you miss a workout session.

Start with a friend or make a friend.

One of the reasons people love our programs is that everyone is so friendly, yet dedicated to fitness. We’re all here with the same goals in mind, getting fit, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Many of our clients sign up with a friend and say they look forward to working out, sharing healthy recipes and having someone they can share successes with and even compete against, occasionally. Whether you workout virtually or in person, everything is better when you’re having fun.

Make your workout a standing appointment that you can’t miss.

Working out at the same time every day builds a habit. Habits can be tough to break. If you schedule your appointment every day at 7 a.m., you’ll feel like something is missing if you don’t go after that habit is established. Don’t think of it initially as something you’re going to do every day for the rest of your life, that could seem overwhelming. Instead, think of it as something you’re going to do for a month and then reevaluate at the end of the month. Consider it an experiment and you need to follow through to see if you really can get in shape.

Make goals and measure your success.

There’s an old saying, “winners keep score.” In order to know if you’re making progress, you have to know where you started, what your goal is and whether you’re succeeding. That means you have to measure your success. Whether it’s weighing yourself once a week, taking measurements or just logging your workout and keeping a food journal, you’re keeping score. It becomes a game that you can win. It’s also the reason video games are so popular. Reaching a new level is exciting, but you won’t know you reached it unless you track your progress.

  • Find new ways to challenge yourself. See how fast you can climb a flight of stairs or how many flights you can climb without resting. Use that as a measurement of your progress and test yourself every ten days.
  • Try new ways to exercise. Be on the lookout for something new if you’re working out on your own. At the gym, your trainer will provide all the new types of workouts and mix up your types of exercise.
  • Add music to your workout and dance your way to fitness. Working out is really just choreography for fitness, so why not put it to music. It makes it fun, especially if you love dancing.
  • Be in the moment, feel the control. Think about each muscle movement and how amazing that you have more command over your body. It’s truly amazing as you watch yourself steadily progress.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Academy


Meal Prep Tips

Meal Prep Tips

Like most people, fixing a meal after a long day at work doesn’t often sound enticing. It’s simply too easy to go to the drive through and grab dinner. In fact, deciding what to eat can be overwhelming some nights, too. Meal prepping has become popular for those that want to eat healthier. It’s a process where you plan your week’s menu and shopping list one day and fix the meals over the weekend or days off work to store. Here are meal prep tips that makes it go faster.

Plan your meal ahead around sales and do double duty.

When you plan around sales, you’ll save money. However, planning to use the same vegetables, meat or fruit with other meals can also save money and time. If you’re planning a snack, make it cut up fruits and vegetables, then use the leftover veggies as part of your soup the next week. Are you roasting, broiling or baking meat like chicken, Cook extra meat at that time and either use it for other meals that week or store it in the freezer for the next week’s meals. Freeze the meat on a tray, separated and then put in a bag, so the pieces don’t stick together.

Use your oven to cook several meats or dishes at once.

You’ll save tons of time by putting several dishes in the oven at once and using all the stovetop burners. A lot of the time spent cooking is simply waiting for the meal to cook. When you’re cutting vegetables for snacks, cut extra for main dishes and side dishes. Plan a menu where you have leftovers for power bowl lunches and dinners. With good planning you’ll cut out those leftovers that develop fur in the back of the refrigerator.

You’ll limit dish washing if you’re using skillets and pans over and over.

When you cook several meals at once, you can use the same pan for sauteing Kale as you do sauteing onions. In fact, if you sauté onions first, you might not need to wipe out the pan at all and just enjoy the extra flavor. Track the type of pan you’ll use to prepare each dish and see if you can put it in an order that benefits you. Keep the menu simple. Use the main protein source several times. If it’s chicken, shred it for a Caesar chicken salad or chicken salad roll-up. By doing this, you’ve wiped out hours of cooking. Save stock from boiled meat to make soup or make bone broth.

  • Take advantage of fresh seasonal vegetables that are lower in cost. You can cook and freeze some of it for later or use leftovers to make soup for the week and to freeze.
  • Use a slow cooker or instapot to cook meals while you do stove top and oven cooking. Once in the oven, slow cooker or instapot, there’s plenty of time to cut fresh vegetables and prepare other side dishes and snacks.
  • Save money and time by using frozen fruits and vegetables as part of your meal. They’re as nutritious or more nutritious than fresh if they don’t have any additives. Read the label.
  • Always start your menu by checking your pantry and seeing what you already have. It’s especially important to check the use by dates, so you don’t let food go to waste.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy


Benefits Of Juicing

Benefits Of Juicing

If you’re wondering what the benefits of juicing are, compared to eating the whole fruit or vegetable, you’ll find that there actually aren’t any. In fact, when you juice, you actually lose the benefit of much of the fiber. There are some indirect benefits, meaning that there’s nothing magic about the juice, but by juicing, you’ll make changes in your diet of fresh fruits and vegetables that provide a benefit. For instance, you’ll probably drink more fruits and vegetables than you could ever eat if they were whole. According to science, there’s no evidence that if you drink the juice of a fruit, it’s healthier than eating the fruit.

Some feel you get more nutrients from juicing, since there’s no fiber to get in the way.

While that statement immediately rings false, since the fiber doesn’t affect the absorption and even aids digestion. Fiber is also important to feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. However, if you remove the fiber from a fruit or vegetable, the volume decreases. That means you’ll be able to consume far more each day if you’re juicing and therefore get more nutrients.

You’ll be able to broaden your selection of fruits and vegetables.

Let’s face it, everyone has that “one veggie” they can’t stand. When you juice, you’ll be able to include a wider variety of fruits and vegetables than you’d normally eat at a meal. Even if you love veggies and eat a lot, like four servings at a meal, you’ll get about 7 to 10 when you juice. The more variety you have, the more potential you have to get all the nutrients you need daily. Dark greens might give a bitter taste to your juice and to hide that, mix in a bit of fructose or add an apple.

The increased fruits and vegetables in your diet can help fight a number of diseases.

You don’t have to juice every day if you don’t want to do that. Some people juice once a week to give their digestion a rest. However, if you juice one meal a day you could add enough extra vegetables and fruits in your diet to help lower blood sugar levels, prevent cancer, lower cholesterol levels and improve your overall good health. It’s even good for your skin.

  • If you want the full benefit of a fruit or vegetable, consider blending and making a smoothie. You’ll get all the fruit or vegetable, plus more fiber and more phytonutrients contained in the skin.
  • If you juice, make only the amount you intend to drink immediately. Freshly squeezed juice can become a petri dish for bacteria quickly.
  • A good recipe for a health juice is 80% vegetables and 20% fruit. Fruits higher in fructose should be limited, such as mangoes. If you choose berries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are lower than blackberries.
  • You can add herbs and spices to juices to increase the flavor and the health benefits. For instance, adding a bit of ginger, holy basil, parsley or other herb can bring even more benefits.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy


Alcohol + Weight Loss

Alcohol + Weight Loss

At Upfit Training Academy in New York, NY, a lot of clients enjoy a glass or two of alcohol after work, and some even stop for a drink after a workout. However, if your goal is weight loss, everything that you eat or drink plays a role in whether you achieve your goals or not. Unfortunately, alcohol does have many negative effects, besides the diminished performance both mentally and physically, potential for addiction, increased risk of diabetes and liver disease. Those reasons alone should make you want to skip that drink. If you’re trying to lose weight There are other reasons you might want to stick with water when you gather with friends.

Alcohol has empty calories.

You’re probably already aware that alcohol has calories, but no nutritional value—the very definition of empty calories. The body uses those calories first if you combine it with other carbohydrates, protein or fat. That means it puts off burning fat and adds to the fat storage. However, once those calories from the alcohol are burned, the body goes back to the regular fat processing routine. If you drink, drink straight alcohol on the rocks or with water, so the calories burn faster or opt for wine. Avoid beer and mixed drinks.

Your testosterone level is reduced by alcohol.

If you’re trying to build muscle and lose fat, testosterone is a good friend. Unfortunately, when you drink alcohol, it reduces the potential to act as a fat burner, while lowering metabolic rate by interfering with muscle gain. The less muscle you have, the harder it is to burn calories and the tougher it is to lose weight. Even when you’re resting, you’ll burn fewer calories. By interfering with the testosterone levels, alcohol both directly and indirectly affects your weight loss.

When you drink a glass of alcohol before or with your dinner, you’ll be more likely to eat more.

When you have a drink before dinner, the chances of eating more increases. Not only does it lower your inhibitions, making you more susceptible to over-eating, you simply feel hungrier and eat more. One study found that taking an alcoholic drink before dinner beefed up caloric intake far greater than if you drank a soft drink or water. Another study compared how much was eaten at a meal with an alcoholic drink compared to a meal with a soft drink. The subjects were told to eat as much as they wanted. When they drank alcohol, they ate far more they did with the soft drink.

  • Alcohol has twice as many calories per gram as protein and most carbohydrates. Alcohol logs in at seven calories for each gram, which is just about twice that as protein or other carbs. Fat has just two calories more per gram at 9 calories per gram, but without any potential for nutrients good for health.
  • Besides the calories from alcohol, which provide no bulk to fill you, many alcoholic drinks contain other ingredients that add to the caloric intake. The calories cause insulin release that increases fat storage.
  • About 25% of the alcohol is directly absorbed from the stomach to the blood stream, with the rest absorbed through the small intestine. Carbonated alcohol, like champagne is absorbed more quickly. Food slows down absorption.
  • The pounds gained from drinking alcohol tend to accumulate in the belly. There’s no doubt about it, beer bellies do exit. If you’re struggling to get rid of that belly fat, stick with water with your meal.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy


How To Stay Hydrated During Winter

How To Stay Hydrated During Winter

You probably don’t feel much like drinking cold water when the weather is below zero, but it’s just as important as when it was 90 degrees and toasty. That makes it harder to stay hydrated during winter, since you feel less like drinking water. We focus on hydration all times of the year at Upfit Academy in New York, NY, because it’s so important for your body.

You may not notice you’re losing fluid.

During the winter, sweat evaporates easier, since the air is often dryer and not nearly as humid. That causes it to evaporate quicker. You also lose fluid when you breathe. That cloud of water vapor when you can see your breath outside is also water vapor and the drier the air—which happens in cold weather—the more you lose. Your body reacts to cold weather by restricting blood flow and constricting surface vessels to save heat. That makes the body feel like you’re adequately hydrated, but your not. Even the choice of drinks is different and often highly caffeinated, such as coffee, which means they’re natural diuretics, causing you to lose more fluid.

Water is only second to air in the list of importance.

You can live three minutes without air, three days without water and three weeks without food. You need water for your joints to lubricate. Every organ in your body requires water. The body contains approximately 55-65 % water. The heart and brain contain 73 % water, the lungs have 83% and muscles and kidneys contain 79%. Dehydration affects how well they work. Seniors have a harder time staying hydrated and signs of dehydration can often be the same as dementia and senility. Water helps rid the body of toxins and acts as a shock absorber for the brain.

You can create a goal to drink more water.

Just like your fitness goal, setting a goal to drink more water and tracking it can help. In fact, there are apps to remind you to take a drink of water, if you have a problem remembering. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times and sip on it throughout the day. If nothing else, it will remind you to take a sip when you have a minute. If you have a problem with plain water, hot green tea, cinnamon tea, ginger tea and other herbal teas can help. While green tea does contain caffeine, which is a diuretic, it doesn’t have as much as coffee. Cut out alcohol consumption, it dehydrates you.

  • If you’re feeling a little tired and find it difficult to focus, try a bottle or glass of water before grabbing a cup of coffee. You’ll find it is often just what you need to get energized and far better than coffee.
  • Certain foods can add to your hydration. Fruit like oranges, cantaloupe, strawberries and celery are good. Soup made with broth, rather than cream soups, are also hydrating, plus they’re warm, often lower in calories, filling and delicious.
  • There’s no adequate way to determine exactly how much water you need. One estimate for a sedentary person is to cut the number of pounds you weigh in half and drink that many ounces of water. If you weigh 140 pounds, 70 ounces of water is your baseline. Add more if you are active.
  • When you’re exercising, it’s even more important to drink extra water. Sip the water, don’t guzzle it. It’s suggested that during a tough workout you lose a cup of water every fifteen minutes. Replenish it with one and a half times that during and after your workout.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy


Does Exercise Help Lose Fat?

Does Exercise Help Lose Fat?

When you exercise, you burn calories and that can cause you to lose weight, but does it cause you to lose fat? Not necessarily. Some aerobic exercises, such as running long distances, burn tons of calories, but those calories come from burning both fat and lean muscle tissue. If shedding fat is your goal, that simply won’t help. What does help burn fat? Strength building exercise helps burn fat. When you do strength training, you’re burning a lot of calories, but you’re also building muscle. That means the calories are coming from fat.

Strength training also does more to help you shed fat.

Muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat tissue does, so the more you have, the more calories you burn. Not only will you maintain and build muscles as you burn fat, you’ll boost your metabolism to help you burn even more calories. That means that it helps you lose pounds, by burning fat, but also keep pounds off in the future.

The amount of time you exercise affects fat loss.

You probably think that more is better and a long workout is best, but you’d be wrong. You need to workout hard when you workout and push it as far as you can with shorter breaks. You can increase the amount of weight you lift to make it harder, rather than increasing the length of time you spend. Once you workout an hour, studies show the benefit of the workout drops dramatically and subjects you to the potential of muscle damage from injury.

Don’t forget about healthy eating.

Eating healthy not only helps you lose weight by controlling caloric intake, it helps you build muscle tissue. Protein is ultimately important if you want to build muscle tissue. Animal sources for lean protein include chicken, beef, fish and turkey. Plant sources include beans, tofu, nuts or seeds. You can boost the benefits of plant protein by fermenting seeds before using them for baked product or cereals. Soaking them or sprouting them also helps.

  • If you’re trying to lose fat, don’t worry about the scales if you’re eating healthy and working out. A cubic inch of muscle tissue weighs more than a cubic inch of fat, so you may be burning fat and replacing it with muscle, but the scales won’t show any weight loss. Track loss of inches.
  • Make sure your diet has adequate protein. Protein makes you feel fuller so you won’t eat as much or as often. It also takes more calories to burn. You need protein to build muscle tissue, too.
  • Besides exercise, don’t forget about hydration. If you’re dehydrated, even slightly, you’ll have less energy and burn fewer calories. The next time you get tired, don’t grab a cup of coffee, but get a bottle of water instead. You’ll be surprised at how it energizes you.
  • Getting enough sleep is also important for shedding fat. While you sleep, the body converts fat to energy. You’ll be able to work toward your maximum potential. Sleep also balances satiety and hunger hormones. Adequate sleep means you won’t get hungry as often.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy


How to Build Up Your Chin Up

Have you ever set a chin up (or pull up) goal for yourself but eventually fell short because it seemed too difficult or tedious? Do you watch videos of people doing chin ups and wonder how they “make it look so easy”?

If this sounds like you, you’re far from alone–plenty of people want to become better at chin ups. Majority of their success (and yours), comes from how you choose to approach the task. Simply attempting to do chin ups from a dead hang position is not your best bet here.

Make sure to start at a dead hang, as seen here.

That being said, there are various ways in which you can develop a better chin up. One of our go-to methods here at Upfit is the assisted chin up. The assisted chin up is great because it not only allows you to work through the entire range of the motion, but it also requires a good deal of core strength to do the exercise effectively.

One big variable in this exercise is the degree of tension in the resistance band you choose. Needless to say, the tighter the band, the more assistance it will offer & the easier the chin up will be. You want to find a happy medium in terms of resistance–not too easy but not extremely difficult…realistically you want to aim for 12-15 reps for this exercise.

Getting your chin completely above the bar allows you to reach the full range of motion.

Once the band is secured above your pull up bar you will start by putting either one or two feet in the loop of the band and allow yourself to drop enough so that your arms become fully extended.

 

From there you will brace your core and begin your chin up, finishing when the chin is completely above the bar & your shoulder blades are drawn down and your upper back is fully engaged. It’s important to note here that each rep should end in the dead hang position, arms fully extended.

 

After you have the proper form down & understand the full range of the motion, you’ll want to aim for 12-15 reps and 3-4 sets. Once you have hit that rep/ set range successfully for 3-5 weeks, depending on your frequency, you can begin to lower your resistance and eventually build up to body weight chin ups.


How to Build Up Your Chin Up

Have you ever set a chin up (or pull up) goal for yourself but eventually fell short because it seemed too difficult or tedious? Do you watch videos of people doing chin ups and wonder how they “make it look so easy”?
If this sounds like you, you’re far from alone–plenty of people want to become better at chin ups. Majority of their success (and yours), comes from how you choose to approach the task. Simply attempting to do chin ups from a dead hang position is not your best bet here.

Make sure to start at a dead hang, as seen here.


That being said, there are various ways in which you can develop a better chin up. One of our go-to methods here at Upfit is the assisted chin up. The assisted chin up is great because it not only allows you to work through the entire range of the motion, but it also requires a good deal of core strength to do the exercise effectively.
One big variable in this exercise is the degree of tension in the resistance band you choose. Needless to say, the tighter the band, the more assistance it will offer & the easier the chin up will be. You want to find a happy medium in terms of resistance–not too easy but not extremely difficult…realistically you want to aim for 12-15 reps for this exercise.

Getting your chin completely above the bar allows you to reach the full range of motion.


Once the band is secured above your pull up bar you will start by putting either one or two feet in the loop of the band and allow yourself to drop enough so that your arms become fully extended.

 
From there you will brace your core and begin your chin up, finishing when the chin is completely above the bar & your shoulder blades are drawn down and your upper back is fully engaged. It’s important to note here that each rep should end in the dead hang position, arms fully extended.
 
After you have the proper form down & understand the full range of the motion, you’ll want to aim for 12-15 reps and 3-4 sets. Once you have hit that rep/ set range successfully for 3-5 weeks, depending on your frequency, you can begin to lower your resistance and eventually build up to body weight chin ups.


How To Beat A Weight Loss Plateau

How To Beat A Weight Loss Plateau

Everyone has faced it at one time or another, a weight plateau. You may be doing almost everything right but still can’t lose more weight. You notice the word almost was used. That’s because there are things you can do to beat a weight loss plateau that can make a big difference. What is plateauing and why does it occur? Sometimes, plateauing occurs for a week or two, but it doesn’t mean you aren’t losing fat, it just means you aren’t losing weight. There’s a big difference. Muscle tissue weighs more per cubic inch than fat tissue does, it’s also more compact. That means a pound of muscle tissue would require a much smaller container than a pound of fat. While you might not be losing weight, you probably are replacing fat tissue with muscle tissue, so you look thinner.

Doing the same thing repeatedly can cause you to plateau.

Have you been doing the same routine for months without making any changes? Maybe that’s why you’re having problems with weight loss. The longer you do the same type of motion, such as a specific exercise, your body becomes more efficient at doing that motion. The more efficient your body becomes, the fewer calories you burn. Rather than sticking with the same workout for months or years, vary it frequently.

Maybe sticking with the same caloric intake should be considered.

Weighing more than should is like constantly carrying around a weight. If it’s thirty pounds extra, you’re burning a lot of calories, as you would carrying a thirty pound weight. When you start to lose weight, unless you’re building muscle tissue, you’re caloric requirement will drop. It’s like doing lifts with 30-pound weights and then changing the routine to use ten pound weights. It’s often why that last ten pounds is hardest. Another way to trick your metabolism is to have a cheat day. A cheat day means eating some of your favorite high calorie foods, but not overdoing it. Cheat days help keep your metabolism higher and a slower metabolism means burning fewer calories.

Get all types of training, strength, flexibility, endurance and balance.

Are you drinking enough water? That may be part of the plateauing problem. Water can help curb your appetite, act like a diuretic, flush out toxins and fill you up. Drink a glass of water before you eat and you’ll eat less.

  • Get more sleep. Not only does lack of sleep cause you to work less efficiently, it also makes you hungrier. Lack of sleep causes you to produce less hormone that makes you feel full and more of the hormone that makes you feel hungry.
  • Keep a food diary to make sure you aren’t eating food you don’t realize. Do you lick spoons when you’re cooking, grab a handful of candy as you pass the dish on your friend’s desk or even finish the last spoonful of potatoes so it doesn’t go to waste? It all adds up to extra calories.
  • Vary your diet and make sure you have adequate protein. You not only need protein to build muscle tissue, it also helps you feel fuller sooner and stay fuller longer.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy