Is It Possible To Crave Healthy Food?

Is It Possible To Crave Healthy Food?

There is junk food available everywhere in Stamford, CT. Even gas stations offer it. Some people blame their weight gain on the inability to overcome their cravings for that type of food. You don’t have to gain weight or worry about addiction to unhealthy food. You can change your taste in food and learn to crave healthy food. There are hurdles you have to cross to reach that point. The first is eliminating food with added sugar. Sugar is addictive. It fills the opioid receptors in the brain and triggers dopamine that makes you feel good.

Start slowly by giving up food with added sugar.

The first few weeks will be the most difficult since sugar is in almost every processed food. You only have to give up the food with added sugar and can still consume whole food like fruit. As your body adjusts to the decreased sugar, your sense of taste improves. Whole food tastes better, and fruit tastes sweeter.

Build a new relationship with food.

Some foods are associated with memories. Most unhealthy food is associated with happy memories. The sweet taste of birthday cake, that special treat at the fast food joint, and a candy bar from grandma for being good are examples. You can build new memories and use healthy food as a reward. Find a healthy food or foods you especially enjoy. Reward yourself with those foods. If you’re sad and need an emotional fix from food, find a healthy option. You can add an extra ingredient to make it healthier, such as including butternut squash in your mac and cheese or switch unhealthy options for healthier ones. Making frozen banana ice cream only requires you to freeze banana rounds and then blend them until they’re creamy. It’s a lot healthier than ice cream and still comforting.

Stick with a healthy eating program and see how you feel.

You may not notice feeling better when you eat healthy, but if you fall off the wagon and binge on junk food, you’ll certainly notice the difference. Eating only junk food can leave you feeling horrible. It’s a surefire way to get your body and your mind to crave healthy food. Studies show that before eating a healthy diet, brain scans indicated a positive reaction to junk food, but after a few months of a healthy diet, the healthy food triggered that reaction, not the unhealthy food.

  • Taste your food. That may sound strange, but too often people shovel food in their mouth and don’t bother to enjoy it. Eat slowly and savor every bit, focusing on the texture, taste, and satisfaction you get when you eat it.
  • Keep a food diary and write down your emotions when you crave unhealthy food. You can use that information to find healthier alternatives. Crunchy food is often associated with anger or frustration, while soft food, like potatoes, is comfort food.
  • Eat slowly and identify the point where you feel full. When you chew food longer, you eat slower. It gives your body a chance to tell your brain it’s full.
  • It takes time to change your preferences for certain foods. If you have one specific unhealthy food you often crave, focus on giving it up. After a while, you won’t crave it and if you do, you probably won’t get the satisfaction you expected. ds if you’re still hungry.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Getting Started With Running

Getting Started With Running

What can you do outside the gym to get in shape for the ring? Almost any type of exercise will do. Many well-known athletes have taken ballet or dance classes, while others have used more traditional routes like running. Mohammed Ali used to run in weighted boots, and it paid off. When he didn’t wear the weighted boots, he was lightning fast. Everyone remembers the great scenes in Rocky as he ran through the streets of Philadelphia. Roadwork is part of boxing training, so doing it right is important.

Running seems simple enough, but it isn’t.

Most people think they only need to run and not do anything different. They believe it’s like walking but moving faster. That’s not true. When you walk, one foot is always on the ground. When you run, both feet are in the air sometimes if you’re running at top speed. That means you need good shoes to cushion the shock and are made for the type of terrain where you’ll run. Get help from an expert that only sells athletic or running shoes. You’ll save your body and your feet from the high impact of running.

Unless you’re in exception aerobic shape, start slower and work toward longer runs.

Even if you are fit, make your first few runs shorter, focusing more on posture, stride, and adjusting speed. Roadwork is meant to build endurance, but mental focus and footwork are also important. Break up your roadwork into different sets, sprinting sometimes, backpedaling, running while shuffling toward the left or right, anything that mimics the movements of the ring.

Make it a high-intensity interval training—HIIT—run.

Modifying your speed throughout the run from high intensity to a recovery speed and back builds cardio fast. It changes an ordinary run to a HIIT run. Start slowly to get warmed up. Jog for a few minutes first, then start running at a moderate pace for approximately 2 minutes, then begin alternating your movements. You can jog backward by turning around, switch to a side shuffle, skip forward, turn, and side shuffle leading with the opposite foot. Create a large square with your moves. Slow down your pace to a recovery pace for about five minutes. Your first runs should be shorter, approximately 20 minutes.

  • As you get stronger, make the runs longer and add more footwork intervals to each session. Make your moderate-paced intervals shorter and your jogging and footwork longer.
  • Incorporate footwork and stairs or inclines into your roadwork to build stamina. Alternate the type of running you’ll do each time. Aim for distance one day and agility the next time you run.
  • Always let someone know where you’ll be running if you’re running outside. Leave a map of the path you’ll take and take a cell phone with you. If possible, run with a friend. Injuries can occur along the way.
  • Carry water with you, especially if it’s hot. Drink before you run, during your run, and after your run. In hot weather, don’t run on asphalt, but stick to dirt paths or grassy areas. Sunrise is the coolest time to run.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Surprising Sources Of Protein

Surprising Sources Of Protein

When you think of protein sources, animal products come to mind first, followed by traditional vegetable protein options, like beans and lentils. There are far more protein sources than you might think from the world of plants and some excellent but overlooked sources from the animal world. Some are superfoods that provide both protein and a wealth of other nutrients.

Protein comes in many colors, even green.

Several good sources of protein are green. Green peas and leafy greens like spinach are in that group. If you have a cup of cooked spinach, you’ll be consuming 5 grams of protein as you do. Green peas have over twice that amount with 9 grams per cup. Bodybuilders and others that supplement with protein will recognize the benefits of pea protein since some protein supplements contain it. Both peas and greens provide other benefits, such as they’re high in fiber. You’ll get a variety of vitamins, including A, C, and K, plus minerals that include thiamine, folate, manganese, iron, zinc, and more.

Substitute quinoa for rice or pasta at dinner.

Quinoa is a pseudocereal, although many people classify it as a grain since it’s used like grains. One cup of cooked quinoa provides 8 grams of protein. It’s one of the few plant sources of complete proteins—ones containing all the essential amino acids. It’s high in fiber, folate, vitamins E and B6, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus. It’s a good option for a gluten-free diet.

Eggs are an excellent source of protein.

Eggs don’t get nearly enough credit for their protein. There are 7 grams of protein in large eggs, which includes high amounts of leucine. Leucine aids triggering muscle protein synthesis for building new muscles. The protein is also bioavailable. That’s important. It means the body can use the protein easily, so it doesn’t become waste. They provide choline that boosts cognition, memory, and mood. They also contain lutein and zeaxanthin to benefit the eyes.

  • Toss some tree nuts or seeds on your salad or add to your smoothie for an additional source of protein. Pistachios, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, and cashews can increase your protein substantially.
  • Make bone broth from the bones left after you eat the meal. It’s high in protein, with 9 grams per cup, and filled with collagen to help joints, skin, muscles, and bones.
  • Most people recognize chia seeds as a means of growing hair for a clay statute, but they also are loaded with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Thicken smoothies, add them to baked goods, or make pudding.
  • Sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale, and edamame are good protein sources. Add them to your diet for the protein and the other nutrients they offer. You get much more protein than you might realize when you eat a healthy diet.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

How Hormones Affect Health And Behavior

How Hormones Affect Health And Behavior

At Revolution Training in Stamford, CT, most clients only worry about hormones concerning muscle gain or weight loss, but they impact health and behavior, too. Hormones are messengers. Some hormones tell your brain you’re full and others tell your brain you’re hungry. Stress hormones affect a wide variety of functions and if not addressed, can cause damage to the body. The endorphins released during physical exercise can make you feel happy and comfortable. Hormones do more than affect mood. Some are involved in mental health conditions.

Hormones aren’t good or bad. They’re just messengers.

The body has many hormones, which includes the sex hormones, stress hormones, and the infamous happy hormones you get from exercising. Each one performs a specific task. Some have an antagonistic hormone, one that does the opposite function. Insulin, for instance, reduces blood glucose levels, while glucagon increases blood sugar to prevent hypoglycemia. Since both control blood sugar for every cell, an imbalance affects the whole body. Hypoglycemia from too little glucagon can cause emotional changes and mood swings that range from anxiousness to unexplained outbursts of anger. If blood sugar levels are chronically low, it can lead to depression, memory loss, and a short attention span.

HGH—human growth hormone—is released in controlled pulses.

Sometimes hormones cause the release of hormones that control the body. Two antagonistic hormones are responsible for releasing HGH. The hypothalamus releases growth hormone-releasing hormone—GHRH to trigger the release of HGH and somatostatin to inhibit it. HGH affects children’s growth patterns. It impacts fat and sugar metabolism, affects body fluids, regulates body composition, bone growth, and heart function. Some people believe HGH is the fountain of youth. They may get injections of HGH. Abuse of HGH can lead to hallucinations, psychosis, paranoia, and physical harm.

Sex hormones perform other tasks that affect your behavior and health.

Testosterone is in both male and female bodies and performs tasks not related to sexuality. While the location of fat deposits, muscle size, and body hair growth are gender-related, women need testosterone for ovarian function, bone strength, and sexual drive. If your body is low in testosterone, depression, anxiety, and a low sex drive can occur. However, high testosterone levels in both men and women can lead to irritability, anxiety, and depression. Too much can cause acne, blood pressure changes, slurred speech, difficulty breathing, heart attack, sleep apnea, and other conditions.

  • Oxytocin is called the love hormone. Hugging increases oxytocin levels. Its primary purpose is stimulating uterine contractions. It may play a role in anxiety, anorexia, autism, depression, PTSD, and addiction.
  • Norepinephrine functions as a stress hormone and neurotransmitter. It constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure. Antagonistic hormones prostaglandins, acetylcholine, and histamine are vasodilators, making them wider and lowering blood pressure.
  • Motilin is a gastrointestinal hormone that helps move food from the small intestines to the large intestines. The body releases it during fasting periods. The levels depend on what you eat. A diet high in sugary foods or fat decreases it.
  • Melatonin can help you go to sleep. It works in total darkness and is an antioxidant. It helps counteract the effects of stress. Low levels are linked to obesity, cancer, and diabetes.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Why Fiber Is So Important?

Why Fiber Is So Important?

No matter what station you watch, you’ll probably hear at least one commercial attesting to the importance of fiber in your diet. Comedians often include fiber as part of a punchline about mood and constipation. Lack of fiber is no laughing matter. It’s important for many bodily functions. It can help maintain a healthy gut microbiome and keep blood glucose levels from spiking. If you want to lose weight, increase the fiber in your diet to improve your efforts.

Exactly what is fiber?

Fiber is a carbohydrate that your body can’t digest. There are two types, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber turns into a gel when mixed with water during digestion. It provides food for beneficial bacteria. While your body can’t digest it, the microbes do. Soluble fiber also helps stabilize blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, and by doing that, reduces the risk of heart disease. Insoluble fiber isn’t digested at all. It does provide bulk to the stools to make defecating easier and lowers the risk of colon disease.

Why is feeding the gut microbes so important?

There are trillions of gut microbes, some are beneficial, some aren’t. The soluble fiber feeds beneficial gut microbes. The gut microbes perform many tasks. They help your body digest food and absorb nutrients. About 80% of your immune cells are in your gut and your microbiome helped develop it when you were an infant. Your gut microbiome also takes part in metabolism and inflammation. They play a role in heart, nervous system, and brain health, A healthy gut microbiome reduces the risk of obesity and diabetes.

Fiber fills you up faster and keeps you feeling full.

If you eat an orange, you’ll get more health benefits than if you drank orange juice. You’ll also feel fuller even though you consumed the same number of calories. That’s because of the fiber in the orange. Food high in fiber is normally low in calories. Foods high in soluble fiber include apples, peas, strawberries, and other fruit and vegetables. Foods high in insoluble fiber include nuts, beans, and whole grains. Only food from plants contains fiber. It’s not in animal products.

  • If you want to lose weight, improve the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut by consuming food high in fiber. It’s a prebiotic.
  • Highly processed food, such as those made with white flour, have very little fiber. Refined flour is just an endosperm. Processing removes the germ and bran. The bran provides fiber, and the germ offers nutrients.
  • Some things can destroy the balance of gut microbes besides lack of fiber. Antibiotics can do it. So can a diet high in sugar. Not only does processed food provide no fiber, but the sugar in the processed food also harms the gut microbiome.
  • If you want to increase the fiber in your diet, take it slowly. Your gut needs time to build a colony of beneficial bacteria to digest it. It can lead to gas and other digestive issues.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Does Nutrition Influence Hormones?

Does Nutrition Influence Hormones?

You need messengers in the body for it to function correctly. That requires many things, including healthy nutrition. The messengers are your hormones. They’re chemicals created by the body that are vital to all functions. Each hormone has one that opposes it to return the body to homeostasis. Ghrelin is the hunger hormone, while leptin is the hormone that makes you feel full. Insulin lowers blood glucose, but if it gets too low, the body releases glucagon, which tells the liver to release more glucose.

Balancing sex hormones can be tricky.

Whether menopause or your menstrual cycle is causing problems balancing your estrogen, the food you eat can make a difference. Estrogen does more than regulate your cycle and the reproductive system. It also affects the heart, blood vessels, skin, hair, bones, and the brain. Consuming phytoestrogens from plant-based food can mimic estrogen by producing a small response when eaten. Phytoestrogen is in nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits, vegetables, soy, and whole grain. If you have too much estrogen, consuming cruciferous vegetables like broccoli can help.

If your balance between glucagon and insulin is off, it may be about what you eat.

As mentioned earlier, there’s a yin-yang balance between glucagon and insulin. Insulin resistance causes the body to produce too much insulin. Insulin tells the cells to open to receive the glucose from the blood. If they don’t open, the blood glucose level stays high and the body sends more insulin. This can cause diabetes. If you want to rebalance and help insulin function properly, avoid simple carbohydrates, like food with added sugar. Consume fewer calories and include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in your diet.

Fat around your belly can come from too much cortisol.

Cortisol is released by the adrenal gland during the fight-or-flight response. It’s triggered by stress. Besides making changes during stress, it also helps regulate how the body uses protein, fat, and carbs for energy. It also is important for blood pressure regulation, limiting inflammation, aiding in blood sugar regulation, and maintaining the wake-sleep cycle. Eat a diet packed with nutritious whole foods, including healthy fat, whole grain, fruits, and vegetables. Good gut health is important, so include probiotic and prebiotic food. Avoid caffeine and alcohol which can increase cortisol.

  • Increasing omega-3 fatty acids in your diet can reduce your cortisol levels, reduce insulin resistance, and help balance sex hormones. Besides fatty fish like salmon, omega-3 is in walnuts, flaxseed, and chia seed.
  • Green tea has compounds that help all parts of the body. It’s filled with antioxidants. It can help improve insulin levels. Use marjoram liberally to influence insulin, estradiol, and cortisol.
  • A healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and good hydration can help your body get back to normal, without hormonal imbalances. Changing your lifestyle helps the entire body function at its best.
  • Discuss your concerns with your healthcare professional if you believe you have a hormone imbalance and follow their instructions. Always check with your healthcare professional before beginning any program of exercise.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Is It Possible To Gain Muscle Mass Without Working Out?

Is It Possible To Gain Muscle Mass Without Working Out?

Is there a lazy man’s way to gain muscle mass without working out? Well, it’s not as simple as that. Muscle mass increases by causing both physical damage to the muscle and encouraging metabolic fatigue. Working out causes microtears to the muscles, which leads to muscle repair. That repair causes muscles to get bigger. Fatiguing the muscle comes from draining its energy supply or working the muscle to failure, which also leads to building muscle tissue. To build muscles successfully, you need to combine muscle tension with metabolic success. That doesn’t mean you have to workout, you can do it other ways, but they all require effort.

Do a thorough house cleaning and build muscles as you work.

Washing walls or windows or moving the couch to clean under it can all build muscle mass. You’re exerting effort on your muscles, which acts the same way as working out. Lifting something heavy, whether it’s a barbell or couch, creates microtears and works muscles toward fatigue. Vacuum floors with vigor and put the Roomba in the closet. Not only will you build muscles, but you’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment. Climbing ladders, carrying bags of items to throw away, and getting rid of clutter can improve your life while improving your physique.

Have some fun and get active.

Whether you’re swimming, playing basketball, or riding a bike, you’re working muscles. Swimming builds the upper body muscles, while bike riding builds the lower body. Find an active way to spend your free time that gets your body moving. Before you know it, you’ll have more muscle mass and far less fat.

Be more aware of your movements and make them count more.

Are you getting up from a straight-back chair without rollers? Grip your hands on the side of the chair’s seat, lifting your body in the air. Slowly lower yourself until your bottom hits the chair’s seat and feet are on the floor. It’s a simple move once you conquer it. Lifting your body weight, whenever possible, like grabbing an overhead ledge and pulling yourself up or lifting your weight on stair rails, can increase muscle mass over time. Doing a plank while watching TV can accomplish the same.

  • Go for a walk. To build even more muscles, wear ankle weights or wrist weights. It adds an extra burden, causing improved muscle mass.
  • Give your kids a treat or your favorite pet special attention. Giving kids a piggyback ride or carrying your child or a pet in your arms can help build muscle tissue.
  • Increasing your protein intake can help build muscles but working them is still necessary. Some people choose bone broth or protein supplements to help. Choose products from animals that are pastured or free-range for better results.
  • Get more sleep. No matter what technique you use to build muscle tissue, adequate sleep helps complete the task. Your muscles heal and recover while you sleep. Skipping even an hour can reduce muscle mass.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

The Benefits Of Working Out With A Partner

The Benefits Of Working Out With A Partner

If you’ve ever changed your plans to workout just because you didn’t feel like it, you’ll appreciate the benefits of working out with a partner. At Revolution Training in Stamford, CT, classmates often become friends and eventually become training partners. One of the benefits is that it boosts motivation to attend classes and stick with a workout program. You know someone is waiting for you to train, so it’s similar to having an appointment, making you more likely to go.

A partner not only holds you accountable for showing up but also for maximizing your workout.

If you’re working out alone, you may not keep your appointment with the gym, and nobody is the wiser. If you go, you could spend a few minutes or several hours and still get nothing accomplished. There are many ways to goof off at any gym without getting any exercise. Talking to others, walking around, or just doing a few exercises without breaking a sweat and quitting can be a waste of time. If you have a workout partner, you’ll be more motivated to do your best, since someone else knows what you’re doing.

A workout buddy might not be in the same room as you.

A study was completed to see if checking with someone made a difference in the effort and consistency of their exercise program. In the study, one group had to report their exercise progress every two weeks by phone. The control group didn’t have to respond to anyone but just exercised. When the study was complete, it showed those who had to call someone had a 78% increased chance of completing their exercise program. A buddy program is similar but has better results.

You’ll push yourself a little harder and be safer when you have a workout buddy.

Nobody wants to be a slacker and most people love to win. When you’re working out with someone else, it can turn into a friendly competition. If your buddy does one more set than you do, you’ll probably opt to do one more to match that success. If you’re lifting weights having someone to spot you is important. A workout buddy can also watch you and make sure your form is correct to avoid injury and maximize the benefits.

  • If your workout includes running or jogging, a workout partner can make it safer. When people run together, if there’s a medical issue, there’s always someone to help. If there are two people, the chances of getting assaulted reduces.
  • Workout partners can do more than just share workouts, they can share healthy eating hints and recipes, plus provide support when you want to quit or feel defeated.
  • You’ll try more new exercises when you have a workout partner and share your knowledge. You’ll find ways to vary your workout and try more difficult workouts when you have a partner.
  • Working out with a friend can make exercising more fun. It helps prevent boredom and makes it more social so you’ll be more excited about exercising. It’s why classes are more fun than working out alone.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Foods That Will Help Boost Your Memory

Foods That Will Help Boost Your Memory

As people age, they become far more aware of what they forget but forgetting happens to everyone. If you can’t remember what to buy at the grocery store, the name of your favorite book, or even the name of the boss’s wife, even though you know it well, you might need to change your diet. The food you eat can make a difference in how well memory is retrieved. Changing your diet can boost your memory and avoid the embarrassment of forgetting a name.

Increasing omega-3 fatty acids in your diet improves brain health.

There’s a beneficial ratio of omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids, which is 4:1 with four parts omega-6 to one part omega-3. The average diet in the US is far from ideal. It’s closer to having a 25:1 ratio, with almost six times as much omega-6. Many things occur when there’s an imbalance and too little omega-3 in the diet. It can cause mental decline, depression, poor memory, and aggression. Fat is necessary for the brain to function. The brain is 60% fat, of which half is omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is a building block of the brain. There’s a correlation between Alzheimer’s or age-related decline and the intake of Omega-3. Include fatty fish, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, or eggs in your diet to boost omega-3.

Feed your brain health benefits with a little spice.

Studies show that reducing inflammation improves brain functioning. One spice that does that is turmeric. Curcumin in turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that directly affects the brain cells. It reduces inflammation and may benefit the brain by clearing amyloid plaque associated with Alzheimer’s or preventing it from forming. If you want to maximize the benefits of turmeric, pair it with black pepper. Cinnamon can help you become more alert and improve brain functioning.

It’s not always what you eat, but what you don’t eat that boosts memory.

You’ll not only lose weight and feel better, but you’ll also boost your brain power when you quit foods with added sugar. Sugar increases inflammation. Foods that help you lose weight can also improve your brain power. Studies show that obesity can increase the risk of mental decline dramatically. Obese individuals show a reduced amount of gray matter, the location of neurons, and an increased amount of harmful proteins responsible for memory loss in the hippocampus, the area of the brain for memory. Not only will healthy eating boost your memory, but it will also make your whole body healthier.

  • Blueberries contain phytonutrients that boost memory. Walnuts and other tree nuts provide vitamin E, healthy fats, and plant compounds that are memory-boosters.
  • Include red and orange peppers or citrus for added vitamin C. It’s an antioxidant that also protects the brain. Broccoli also contains antioxidants, plus has vitamin K that prevents inflammation.
  • Coffee or tea contain caffeine and antioxidants to boost memory power. Green tea also contains L-theanine, which helps you relax yet still remain alert. Green tea also contains polyphenols that protect memory.
  • Eating organ meats, egg yolks, and cheese can boost vitamin D. Vitamin D improves memory. Safe sunning is another way to increase vitamin D intake.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training