Wellness Archives — ShesTough
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Category: Wellness

4 FITNESS MYTHS THAT ARE MESSING WITH YOUR RESULTS

Shestough shares 4 common fitness myths that are sabotaging your results..

 

  • You have to work out every day.

This is untrue. Research shows that 2 interval sessions per week alone can bring forth results. We recommend at least 2 interval cardio days and 2 weight- training circuits per week to start. Outside of this, the main focus should be on the diet, as this is the key factor in driving results and pushing past plateaus. Once your diet is in check, you should see better results.

  • You have to train for over an hour.

Your exercise duration doesn’t need to be long, but it has to be effective. Research shows that shorter duration exercise routines with more intensity are more effective than longer exercise routines with less intensity. Working out for over an hour can spike your stress hormone and leave your energy depleted at the end. Over time this can actually work against you and slow your metabolism down, which means less muscle building/toning and more body fat gain. Try circuit training, drop set training, and interval training. These modalities can be as short as 20 minutes in length and leave you sweating buckets at the end, without the expense of slowing your metabolism down.

  • Low carb diets

While going lower carb for strictly, weight loss holds some truth; you must be careful. Going too low can significantly affect your energy levels. With low energy levels, you will struggle to push yourself to an intensity needed to see results in your workouts. Try consuming at least one fist portion of carbs per day. If your energy is still low in your workouts, up your carbs to two fist portions, spread out of two different meals. Stick with low glycemic complex carbs like dark fruit, root vegetables, and whole grains.

  • You can out-train a bad diet or poor sleeping habits.

A poor diet and sleeping patterns will automatically increase your stress hormone in your body. Too much stress hormone will put your body into survival mode. Survival mode consists of putting your biological needs before your performance goals. This means fat-storing, aka energy preservation. Get your blood sugar levels healthy by eating a balanced meal plan that consists of clean proteins, veggies, healthy fats, and complex carbs. For sleep, aim for at least 6 hours per night. If sleep is an issue, try doing an Epsom salt bath, meditation, walking, or a stretch out before bed-time. Blue light blocking glasses are also a great idea if you tend to have lots of screen time once the sun goes down. Finally, make sure your room is as dark as possible. Invest in blackout blinds so you can stay asleep all night long.

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BENEFITS OF CHEAT MEALS

Cheat meals are a popular topic of discussion in the world of fitness and physical transformation. To cheat meal or not is the question?

This article can be broken down into two sections. First, cheat meals for putting on mass and secondly, cheat meals for losing fat.

 

Let’s start with cheat meals for mass building.

It is no walk in the park, putting on weight. Not only do you have to work out, but you also need to eat, constantly. Because of the high caloric needs in order to consistently put on muscle mass, cheat meals can be a beneficial and a convenient way to up your calories. Now depending on if you want to put on muscle, muscle/fat, or just fat, you should watch what you cheat with. Cheating with clean calories will help you put on muscle mass without all the body fat that comes with ‘dirty’ cheat meals. Clean cheat calories can be defined as whole foods that do your body good. Too many “bad calories,” such as sugars, refined carbohydrates, hydrogenated fats, alcoholic beverages, etc., will increase inflammation. This can lead to increased belly fat gain and decreased muscle gain. An example of a clean cheat meal is whole grain pasta, pizza, burrito, or sushi. Focus on higher carb with moderate protein.

Having a cheat meal can also help you power through your workouts. After indulging in a high carbohydrate cheat meal, your muscles will be full of energy. The more energy you have, the more you can power through your workouts and break down muscle fibers. The more you break down, the more you can potentially build up.

In conclusion, adding in a high-calorie cheat meal (high carb, moderate protein) every 2-3 days can be beneficial both for upping your overall calories and increasing your fitness and strength performance.

Now let’s discuss the benefits of cheat meals for fat burning.

Incorporating cheat meals for fat loss is beneficial for satiation hormones. When on a calorie-restricted diet, individuals often struggle with hunger cravings. To understand this more, let’s talk about the two key hormones involved:

Leptin and Ghrelin are your hunger hormones that influence your appetite, satiation, and body weight. These two make sure you don’t get too fat or too skinny. These homeostatic hormones will either trigger hunger (Ghrelin) or satiety (Leptin).  When dieting and losing weight on a calorie-restricted diet Leptin can drop, this is because leptin lives in your body fat, and as you burn body fat, your leptin is triggered. If leptin drops, it gives your brain the impression that you are not satiated. When leptin decreases, Ghrelin increases, which begins to tell your brain that you are hungry. Can you imagine how much harder dieting is when you are feeling hungry all the time?

So how do you increase Leptin while dieting, so you don’t feel hungry all the time?

 

1) ADDING AN EFFECTIVE CHEAT MEAL

Having a high carbohydrate cheat meal can trigger a leptin spike. Bare in mind, both fat and MSG (artificial sweetener) can do the opposite. So make sure your cheat meal is more glucose-based then fat-based. How often should you consume a cheat meal? We recommend one every two weeks.

Tips for cheat meals:

A. Make it yourself. When you have a cheat meal at a restaurant, you do not know what is in your food. As discussed above, artificial sweeteners like MSG and high amounts of sodium are typically used in many dishes at restaurants.

B. Consider consuming digestive enzyme, lemons, or apple cider vinegar before cheat meal. A cheat meal can be strenuous on the digestive stem. Digestive enzymes, freshly squeezed lemon in lukewarm water and ACV can all support digestive processes, aiding in the processing of a high-calorie cheat meal.

C. Exercise the following day. After a high-calorie cheat meal, your muscle stores will be full of fuel. Capitalize on a killer workout by exercising the following morning.

 

2) INCORPORATE INTERMITTENT FASTING

Intermittent fasting (IF)  typically consists of 16-hour fast window followed by an 8-hour feed window. Research shows that IF may decrease ghrelin and increase leptin. We recommend incorporating IF in on two non-consecutive days per week to avoid hormonal adaptation.

 

3) GETTING BETTER SLEEP

This is by far the most important. Research shows that sleep deprivation can result in a dip of leptin, giving your constant feeling of hunger.

Increase your sleep health by cutting out all stimulants 12 hours before bed, exercising in the morning rather than evening, and considering a wind-down routine before bedtime. This might consist of stretching, meditation, Epsom salt baths, or listening to Binaural Beats.

In conclusion,  cheat meals can undoubtedly work to your advantage. Bear in mind, and it is a cheat meal, not a cheat day. If you find eating a cheat meal every couple of weeks pushes you off the rails, consider avoiding it altogether. Remember, it is all about balance.

 

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7 WAYS TO BE BETTER AT SELF-CARE

Self-Care is essential for life. People who spend a bulk of their time taking care of others have the inherent ability to put other people’s interest first before theirs. From parents to nurses, and even personal trainers, they all have similar traits to look after others. This is what makes each and every one of them good at what they do.

The downside of this is that this trait means lots of women end up keeping their own goals and aspirations aside, and in other words, self-care is neglected.

Lots of women don’t follow up on what is vital to them, such as their wellness and female fitness goals because they feel guilty about given themselves time. However, this shouldn’t be the case. Self-care time is a very important time and one that shouldn’t be compromised on, whether you are a parent or a coach. Let’s take a look at what self-care really is.

 

Understanding what self-care is

For some, self-care means a cozy day at the spa or a sweet weekend Caribbean cruise. While those are great ways to spend your time, they don’t define what self-care is.

Put simply, self-care revolves around giving yourself quality time on a daily basis. It entails giving yourself enough sleep, eating healthy meals, improving your female fitness, exercising regularly, and engaging in activities that are beneficial to your health and wellness.

It is understandable that engaging in all of these activities might be huge for different people, but there are ways you can incorporate them into your lives. The following are ways you can improve your self-care.

 

Take things slowly

Making wholesale changes in your life all at once can be quite tasking. Rather than focusing on several self-care activities, focus on just one. It could be preparing a healthy meal, or ticking a box off your female fitness program list. Taking things slowly allows you to set you’re up for success.

 

Go easy on yourself

Success gets you more success, and the same can be said for failure. You can build up success most, especially when it comes to self-care is by starting small and going for the easy option. The rule of thumb is to pick a self-care strategy that you love and enjoy the most. You can then build from that.

 

Make it a habit

As soon as you pick a self-care strategy, you enjoy, work on it, and make it a habit. The more you do it, the more it becomes easy for you, and more importantly, it encourages you to incorporate more self-care practices.

 

Add it to your schedule

Make it a part of your daily plan, and work it into your schedule and calendar. When you do this, you give yourself every chance to engage yourself in it and make it a part of daily life.

 

Self-care is essential, and it shouldn’t be neglected in any way. Try and make self-care a part of your daily life, and you will be surprised at the changes you see.

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