Category: health

Traveler’s Guide to Fast Food Dining

How many of you have been on a business trip or vacation where you have been driving for hours, and one of the only options to stop and eat are the golden arches of McDonalds. At times we can get in a pinch with our busy schedules and lifestyles that can make it not as practical to eat the best quality food choices. So I decided to put together a small list of my top 5 low carb fast food meals that can help you stay on track with your meal plan….And no, they do not involve a “supersize” of any kind, sorry not sorry.

  1. Chipotle Bowl– This one almost doesn’t even seem like fast food being the quality of meat is better than some sit down restaurants. But one a good note, Chipotle now has online ordering, so if you know you will be passing through a certain area around a certain time, you can have your meal ready for you when you walk in, pay and get outta there probably within 2-3 minutes. As far as what to get on your bowl I would suggest the following…

*Chicken, or Steak, Fajita Vegetables, Lettuce, Sour Cream, Guacamole, Cheese.

Getting a serving of all these ingredients will put you at about 20 carbs total, mostly coming from the guacamole, which is mainly fiber.

2. Naked Chicken Chalupa from Taco Bell– Yes Taco Bell made the list! If you order there naked chicken chalupa without tomato, this will keep you around 15 carbohydrates total.

3. KFC Grilled Chicken- Order KFC’s Grilled Chicken with a side of green beans and you are at approximately 10-12 carbs total. Perfect, and plenty of protein and fat to keep you feeling full.

4. Subway Double Chicken Chopped Salad– Make sure to order this with the avocado to add some more fiber and healthy fat and you will still only be at 10 carbs total, and about 40 grams of protein. Solid option, and tasty as well.

5. Arby’s Roasted Turkey Farmhouse Salad- This one made the list for its minimal 8 carbs total.

Well there you have it. 5 solid options all from various places. When making the list I wanted to pick out different places for each one, so that way at least there is some variety. These fast food spots do have other accommodating meals for low carb eaters as well, but I wanted to put meals that I have actually eaten myself and would actually recommend to you. Hope this helps some of you guys traveling a lot to stay on track. Until next time.

 

low carb fast food

Genetics Do Not Matter

I hear people say this way too often at the local gyms so I thought this would be a great topic to bring up. Genetics, do they really matter at all? In my opinion, for the 99% of us average folks out there absolutely not. Now, if you are attempting to be an IFBB pro bodybuilder, or fitness professional of that caliper then okay yes genetics can give you that extra edge you need to get to the top. For example, I could lift daily, eat a perfect diet, and take a disproportionate amount of performance enhancing drugs and in five years I still would not stand a chance against him. So for that scenario genetics does make a difference. But in regards to the vast vast majority of us that are just chasing a better version of ourselves genetics will not matter at all. Sweat equity is what matters when you want to transform your body and get into better shape. I see so many people put these limitations on themselves and will use genetics as an excuse to not being able to achieve the look or goal they originally had. That’s bullshit. Have some discipline and self control to stick to your program and I guarantee in time you will start to see changes. NEVER limit yourself, always be pushing forward! Complacency is the killer of long term goals, so stay hungry and stay motivated my friends!

Fitness

How Much Does Alcohol Effect Your Weight Loss?

Let’s Have a Drink!

Very Often I get asked how much do I indulge in alcohol throughout the week? Occasionally, I will have a drink or two on my off days to help unwind, relax, and usually when I am drinking I am at some type of social event with friends which is always a plus. Nothing too crazy, but of course every once in a while I do have one of those nights that are usually pretty memorable in terms of alcohol consumption. The question is how much does this actually effect your weight loss, or fitness goals in general? Let dive in…

How Bad Can It Be?

Alcohol unfortunately disrupts REM sleep, which is the important sleep for those of you that may not remember the sleep cycle. REM sleep is the time when all the magic happens with your hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone release. By decreasing REM sleep, this will inhibit some of the hormone release you would normally get from a night sober. Additionally, alcohol is very dehydrating. In fact most researchers have agreed that most of the hangover effect that happens post drinking is attributed to your body being dehydrated. Having a lack of water in the body will have your energy levels low, and have you feeling less than your normal self. From a weight loss stand point the most important thing to understand about alcohol is that when you ingest alcohol, whether its something that is almost calorie free, such as a vodka and tonic water, alcohol itself is still converted over to an energy source once ingested. This means that the body will need to use this energy source up first before it can burn through whatever else you are taking in. To say it as simple as possible, alcohol consumption will decrease your metabolism by spiking your insulin and putting your body in a storage mode vs a burning mode. Now do not feel like you should try to quit drinking all together because you are destroying your weight loss goals. There is still room for a drink or two every now and then as long as it is in moderation. The problem truly lies in the weekend binge drinkers that have 5 plus drinks in a night, and then also while they are out, eat a burger with fries and various other bad meal choices. So if you are really trying to cut body fat you will really want to consider cutting down on the alcohol consumption to maybe a night a week, to try to ensure you are not impeding any of your results.

 

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Carb Restriction vs Fasting. Which is more effective for Weight Loss?

Is there a Difference?

Research has shown that both of these options can be effective for weight loss, and keeping blood sugar and insulin lowered. But is one option better than the other? Or does it even matter which you choose, as long as the carbohydrate levels stay down. Let’s break them down and see what the research says.

In Regards to Weight Loss

Both carb restriction and fasting can help you reduce your total calories, which can lead to weight loss, and both are easy to follow. But, if you have any issues with feeling hungry it may be tough for you to consistently stick to your meal plan if you have issues with fighting hunger. So from the perspective of staying the most consistent, I would have to vote for just following a lower carbohydrate diet consistently vs fasting.

What About For Health Benefits?

As far as the health benefits go surprisingly fasting showed a greater drop in glucose and insulin for a 24 hour period. Additionally for those that were doing an evening fast that lasted throughout the night into the early morning saw an even greater decrease in glucose levels.

This is great news, but you can not just fast all the time! So what can we do to find balance to try to reap the health benefits of fasting, and also continue with our weight loss efforts?

Intermittent Fasting

IF or intermittent fasting, also known as temporary fasting is where you fast for a temporary amount of time throughout the day, or during the day into the night. Most people doing temporary fasting will eat the majority of there calories in a window of say 8 hours, and then fast for the next 16 until the next day. For example, say you wake up at 8am, and eat your first meal around 9am. Between the hours of 9-5pm you would eat what you had planned for the day, then from 5pm until 9am the next day do not eat anything. Some will squeeze the window even tighter where they only eat in a 4 hour window and fast for 20 hours. Obviously this will take a lot more discipline, but in time it can be done. This way you can reap both the health benefits of fasting, and get the weight loss benefits as well. Give this a try sometime, and see if you can stick with it. Personally, I think it is worth giving a shot even just for the health benefits alone. What do you think?

Is Drinking Wine Healthy?

Wine Healthy?

For years now there has been a long debate on whether consuming wine has any real health benefits, or was this merely a scheme cooked up by good marketers to make us feel good about consuming booze. After doing some digging I was able to locate some interesting information regarding the benefits of wine. Interestingly enough the benefits that are mentioned are correlated to the amount taken in. Now, do not go running out and start hitting the bottle just yet, the amount tested was between 5-8 ounces. So this would be equivalent to 1-2 glasses. Here are some of the benefits mentioned below….

Diabetes: Drinking between the above mentioned 5-8oz of wine per night has shown to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Cardiovascular Disease: Wine has shown to have a positive effect on cardiovascular disease and LDL or bad cholesterol.

Stroke: Wine has also shown to reduce the risk of stroke as well.

What is the Connection?

It seems that there is one main ingredient found in wine that is aiding in all of these great benefits, and they are called polyphenols, which are micronutrients found in certain fruits and vegetables. Wine is naturally made of grapes, which contain a good amount of polyphenols in them. And it just so happens that when wine is produced, and ferments, even more polyphenols are developed. For more information on the benefits of polyphenols and there benefits I would recommend checking out this link here.

The bottom line with wine is simply this. Consuming a little wine here and there, 1-2 glasses of wine a night can have benefits to your health. But going over this amount consistently will actually start to have the opposite effect on you, causing negative side effects, which we will talk about more in our next installment on the effects of alcohol in the body.

 

Red Wine