Monthly Archives for November 2013

Archives for November 2013

Myth Busted: Turkey Doesn’t Make You Tired!

Sliced TurkeyPeople often say that eating turkey makes you tired. And after consuming a gut-clogging Thanksgiving dinner, most of us feel a bit sluggish. But, according to experts, turkey isn’t the true culprit.

Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that’s a component of the brain chemical serotonin. It gets converted into a sleep-inducing hormone called melatonin.

But turkey isn’t alone in containing tryptophan. It’s also in other poultry. In fact, all these foods have more tryptophan than turkey – including, per 200-calorie serving, crab, fish, duck and even spinach.

According to Live Science, it’s not the turkey that makes you tired but all those carbohydrates:

Consuming carbs triggers the release of insulin, which removes most amino acids from the blood, but not tryptophan — that dearth of competitors allows tryptophan to enter the brain and form serotonin and, ultimately, melatonin.

Moreover, the blood sugar spike is followed by a low-energy crash. Add alcohol into the equation (and listening to your Uncle Bruce blabber endlessly), and it’s no wonder that so many of us want an afternoon nap.

 

 

 

Study: Drink Water Only When Thirsty!

tumblr_lyjbxs1KGq1qeucjro5_250In years past, we’ve been advised to drink water before we’re thirsty during exercise. By the time you’re thirsty, they said, you’re already dehydrated. And that still may be true. But researchers are finding that our bodies are actually well equipped to deal with some dehydration during physical activity. Moreover, they’ve found that more water may not be a good thing.

During physical activity, our bodies sweat to release excess heat. It’s like a built-in air conditioning system. However, when we don’t replace the fluids lost by sweat, dehydration occurs. As a result, your body may not have enough fluids to carry out its normal functions.

But a slew of recent studies are showing that some dehydration does not necessarily have a negative impact on performance or on overall health. In fact, it may be a good thing.

Case in point, a study by researchers at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa. They broke exercisers into three groups. The first group drank by thirst, the second group hydrated at moderate rate and the third group hydrated at a heavy rate. After completing three, 2-hour workouts, researchers found that there was no difference in body temperature or finishing times among the groups. The did find, however, that some individuals in the heavily hydrated group experienced stomach pains and couldn’t complete the workout.

In another study of marathon runners in France, researchers found that the fastest runners (who completed the course in under three hours) had lost 3.1% of their body weight through sweat and/or urine. They were faster – and significantly more dehydrated than – their slower counterparts.

In yet another study, researchers from University of Sherbrooke in Quebec analyzed various clinical trials. They discovered that mild hydration is perfectly safe – and that it can actually provide a boost to performance. After examining different groups of cyclists, those who only drank when they were thirsty had the best times.

But why? Researchers speculate that drinking too much water can dilute the concentration of sodium and other electrolytes in the blood. This is especially pronounced during longer periods of physical exercise.

The important thing to remember is that when it comes to hydration during exercise, listen to your body. If you’re thirsty, drink.

 

Myth: Extra Protein Builds Muscles.

JedHillbyRickDay02

A body like this wasn’t build by protein alone.

Think eating extra protein is enough to make your body big and buff? Think again.

It’s a common misconception that increasing one’s protein intake is enough to cause muscle development. In reality, the following three conditions must ALL be met for muscle growth:

  1. Effective strength training program
  2. Adequate calorie intake
  3. Sufficient protein intake

Yes, protein is a part of it. But all three conditions must be met together.

Drinking a protein shake is easy. Training for increases in muscle size – a process called hypertrophy – requires some real work. Our bodies are very efficient machines and muscle mass takes a lot of calories to maintain. Therefore, your body won’t build extra muscle unless it’s absolutely required. The first step in bulking up is employing an effective strength training workout – thereby signaling to your body that it’s time to add muscle.

In order to gain any sort of mass, you need to consume more calories than you burn. Thus, the second step in adding muscle consuming a surplus of calories. It’s simple math, but it’s something that many aspiring muscle guys and gals overlook.

Last but not least, is protein. The truth is, most people already get more than enough protein. And, often times, any additional required protein can come from food. First, calculate your protein requirements. Then, if there is a gap, figure out the best way to close it. Only avid exercisers require protein supplementation through protein shakes or powders.

The bottom line: Drinking protein shakes isn’t enough to buff you up. Without an effective strength training routine and enough calories, you’ll be spinning your wheels and wasting your money.

Want more help in building muscle? Download my muscle building program right now! Use discount code “YouTube” to save during checkout.

 

 

What Skinny People REALLY Think About Fat People At The Gym.

skinnyban20f-2-webThis morning, I noticed a woman signing up for a gym membership at the front desk.

While she was very overweight, the first thing I noticed was her body language. She seemed nervous and uncomfortable – as though she felt out of place.

After putting my clothes away in the locker, I saw her again in the cardio room. I introduced myself and gave her a friendly, reassuring smile. After a minute or two of chatting, she told me that this was her first time in a gym – and that she was literally terrified. She said, “Women like me don’t belong in places like this. I feel like everyone is looking at me and judging me.”

The truth is, she does belong in a gym. We all do. Taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle is important for each and every one of us.

As for people judging her, I suspect it’s the contrary. Most gym goers would be quick to recognize her bravery. And they’re probably impressed by her willingness to make a positive change in her life. Rather than a “look at her” mindset, I bet most people would think “good for her” – if they’re going to think anything at all. In reality, most people are too engrossed in their own workout and their own iPod playlist to really give any of it much thought.

I’m sharing this because I get countless emails from unfit, overweight or obese individuals who are too scared or too intimidated to go to the gym. My point is: Don’t be. Don’t be paralyzed by your fear – which, ultimately, is just another excuse preventing you from creating what you really want.

I think you’ll quickly discover that it’s much scarier in your mind than it is in reality.

Thinking About Your Muscles Makes Them Work Harder!

chest-pressEarlier in the year, I posted about mind muscle control. While it sounds like something from a science fiction movie, mind muscle control is really pretty simple:

Mind-muscle control refers to the feeling of connection between your mind and the muscles that are being worked.

While some of us have a tendency to let our minds wander elsewhere during exercise, turning your attention inward to the muscle being worked can actually result in a more effective workout. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research concluded that thinking about a muscle during exercise makes that muscle work 22% harder.

Why? There are probably a number of reasons. When you’re being mindful about an exercise, you may be less likely to rush through it – or to cheat during a repetition. You might be more likely to maintain proper form and less likely to engage other muscles to help out.

Regardless of the reasoning, the takeaway is clear: Keep your head in the game. Make paying attention to your muscles part of your exercise practice.

Cardio With No Equipment!

Devin-Thomas-Jump-Rope-ShirtlessHi Davey!

I can’t afford a gym membership and it’s getting really cold where I live! Are there any cardio exercises that I can do in my cramped apartment?

Thanks,
Jess

Hey Jess,

I have some great news! There are plenty of equipment-free cardio exercises that you can do at home.

Here are a few that I’d recommend:

  1. Jumping rope. While jumping rope may make us think of grade school recess, the truth is that it can be a great, heart-pumping workout. If you don’t have a jump rope, you can use an imaginary one – but it would definitely be worth the two or three dollar investment. If you’re 150 pounds, 10 minutes of jumping rope can burn 114 calories.
  2. Step aerobics. Even if you don’t have an aerobics step, you can make one with a small chair or stool. There are plenty of quality step aerobics videos on YouTube, so just fire one up and get started. With just 10 minutes of step aerobics, you can burn upwards of 120 calories.
  3. Jumping jacks. Much like jumping rope, jumping jacks can really get your heart racing. Just 10 minutes of vigorous jumping jacks can burn 92 calories.
  4. Dancing. Who said exercise can’t be fun? Feel the rhythm, feel the beat – and feel those calories burn away! If you dance hard (is there any other way to dance?), then you’ll burn nearly 70 calories in ten minutes. That’s about 20 calories per song!
  5. Yoga. When it comes to being a cardio workout, not all yoga classes are created equal. But a fast-paced yoga workout can burn up to 60 calories in 10 minutes. And you may even find your inner zen at the same time.

And really, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The moral of the story is that not having a gym membership and/or not having fancy equipment is no excuse for sitting on the couch. 🙂

Love,
Davey

Easy Way to Eat Healthy!

photoOne of my favorite fitness gurus is a YouTuber/yoga instructor/mother of four kids/backyard farmer named Rebekah Borucki. She’s an endless source of inspiration and her Instagram is basically the best thing since unsweetened almond milk.

The other day, Rebekah Instagrammed a quote that I want to share:

When coming from a place of self-love & not denial or punishment, all eating decisions become effortless & worthy of you.

Consider the following scenarios.

John walks by a pizza shop serving fresh slices. He’s hungry – and he’s tempted by the crispy pepperonis, melted cheese and oozing greasiness. He thinks to himself, “I really want to eat that pizza but I know that I shouldn’t.” He knows that he’s trying to cut calories and the pizza won’t help. Though he desperately wants to eat a slice or two, he musters up his willpower, denies himself the pizza and manages to continue on his walk.

Anna walks by the same pizza shop and sees the same slices. She is also on a weight loss journey, but is immediately reminded of the important roles that her body fulfills. While she has her ups and downs, she knows that her body is beautiful in its own right and that it is deserving of the very best. She knows that junk food is for junk bodies – and that her body is worthy of so much more. An effortless and knowing smile comes to her face, and she continues on her walk.

While neither individual ate the pizza, it’s clear that Anna’s experience is one that’s centered around true power. Rather than wrestling with denial or deprivation, Anna’s perspective comes from an abundance of self-love and worthiness. Not only does it help foster a healthier mindset, but it’s a perspective that is sustainable – and one that can result in powerful life changes.

So… If a healthier lifestyle is one of your goals, with whom do you wish to identify? John? Or Anna? The choice is always yours.

Is The Treadmill Easier Than Running Outside?

male-legs-treadmill-running-resized-600The treadmill definitely has its advantages – not the least of which is convenience. But when it comes to running on the treadmill versus running outside under comparable conditions, are exercisers cutting their results short? And if exercising on a treadmill is easier, how can runners account for the difference?

A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research set out to answer those questions. Researchers enlisted the help of 14 participants ages 20 – 26 and tracked the amount of energy that they burned on a treadmill. Then, participants completed the same walk outside.

Researchers discovered that running outside requires about 10% more energy. This increased energy requirement, according to researchers, can be attributed to breezes, slightly uneven terrain and other variables that come into play outdoors. If the wind becomes stronger, the amount of energy required to maintain a given speed increases even more.

This doesn’t mean that the treadmill is a bad choice. However, if you’re training for an outdoor run such as a 5K or marathon, you need to take this disparity into account. The researchers recommend adding a 3% incline to the treadmill to simulate the energy requirement for outdoor running.

Did you prefer running outside or on the treadmill? Why? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Calculate The Age Of Your Body.

male-agingEach of us has a chronological age that we count in days, weeks, months and birthdays. And then we have a biological age which is determined by the health of our bodies. This biological age is a better predictor of functional capacity at a later age than, for example, the number of times your body has circled the sun.

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have put together a very basic calculator to give some insight into each of our biological ages. It asks for your sex, exercise commitments, chronological age, waistline and resting heart rate. Then, you get your answer. According to the calculator, for example, my body is that of a teenager.

Of course, this calculator is just a very rough estimate. It doesn’t take other risk factors into account – like smoking, drug use, disease, etc. But it can still provide some good insight.

So go ahead! Calculate your biological age.

And then, in the comments below, share your chronological age and biological age. Were you surprised by the difference?

Quick Answers to Your Top 5 Fitness Questions!

got-fitness-questionsReady for a lightening round in answering your top fitness questions? GO!

Question 1: Is it better to run before or after lighting weights?
Answer: It depends on what your goals are. Keep in mind that whatever you do first, you’ll have more energy for. If the benefits of cardio exercise are more important to you, then do cardio first. If bulking up with more muscle is your primary goal, lift weights first.

Question 2: Are carbs bad?
Answer: Complex carbs – such as those found in brown rice, whole wheat, beans, etc. – are good. Simple carbs – such as those found in soft drinks, juices and cakes – are bad. Your body needs carbohydrates for proper function; rather than cut carbs, focus on eating the healthy, complex carbs that your body needs.

Question 3: When is the best time of day to exercise?
Answer: Whenever you have the most energy. I’m a morning person. For me, the best time to exercise is around 6:30 in the morning as that’s when I have the most energy. If you’re a night owl, nighttime workouts could be better. Having more energy is the biggest and most important variable in determining the best time to exercise.

Question 4: Do I need to lift weights in addition to cardio if I’m just trying to lose weight?
Answer: Yup! When you lose weight, it means that you take in fewer calories than you use. To make up for the calorie deficit, your body will burn both fat and muscle. By including strength training in your workout, you signal to your body that you need your muscle – and more of the weight you lose will be fat.

Question 5: How much protein do I need?
Answer: Most Americans already get enough protein. For most people the formula is about 0.4 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. Active people require 0.6 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight daily. Very active individuals, or people who engage in heavy lifting, need nearly a gram of protein per day. For individuals in this category, additional protein supplementation is often required (i.e., protein shakes, etc.).

Do you have any more fitness or nutrition questions? Send them to me at davey@daveywaveyfitness.com.

Lose Weight With A Success Journal!

Product photographyToday’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

Do you ever get discouraged about your weight loss progress? Do you worry your efforts aren’t good enough? If you lose sight of the steps you’re actually taking, this simple and powerful tool can help bolster your confidence. Keep track of your progress with a success journal so you remain committed and positive when self-doubt gets in the way.

What is a Success Journal?

A success journal is a daily recording of all the steps you’ve taken to treat yourself with love and respect. Permanent weight loss isn’t just about the food you eat. It’s about how you treat yourself on all levels. Recording these positive steps helps you stay connected with your overall progress. You simply take a moment to reflect as you answer this question:

“What did I do today to take good care of my mind, body and spirit?

For example:

“I took the stairs instead of the elevator at work. I’m happy I did that.”
“I ate way too many cookies after lunch but I didn’t beat myself up. I let it go.”
“I took “me” time and read passages from an inspirational book. It relaxed me.”

Every positive step you take brings you closer to reaching your goal weight. Recording even seemingly small steps, like parking away from the store entrance so you walk farther, helps you appreciate all your efforts and validates your progress. Ultimately, those small steps become new habits and create permanent lifestyle change.

A Success Journal Improves your Mindset

Positive psychology research emphasizes the value of acknowledging steps you take toward reaching a goal. When you routinely make a point of noticing, and appreciating, the positive changes you’re making, you begin to re-program your mind. Your attention shifts away from looking only at what’s “not working” to more easily notice what’s going well.

You see what you look for. If you doubt you’ll reach your weight loss goal, you’ll find evidence that you’re not making progress. You may undervalue the positive steps you’re actually making. Recording daily successes helps you notice those steps.

Keeping a success journal isn’t just a “feel good” exercise, although it will help you feel good. It works because you train your mind and brain to scan your experiences and find the healthy choices you’re making. Your memory becomes imprinted with images of taking good care of yourself. This gives you strength.

Here are three ways using a success journal can support your weight loss journey:

1. Build Confidence

When you record your successes, you honor their importance and you honor you. It’s great to hear positive feedback from others, but the greatest confidence builder is being your own best cheerleader. Keeping a success journal helps you do that.

2. Feel Inspired

Recording your successes keeps you emotionally connected to them. As you write each entry in your success journal, take a moment to praise yourself. This is important because the good feelings you have about your actions inspire you to keep moving forward.

3. Stay on Track

If you feel discouraged, a success journal can lift your spirits. For instance, reading past entries reminds you of all your successes and what you’re capable of. This helps you renew your commitment to living a healthy lifestyle. Or, simply writing an affirmation such as, “I am patient and gentle with myself as I release weight with confidence and love” may be all you need to soothe your spirit and get back on track after a difficult day.

Begin Today

Buy a beautiful notebook. Set aside a few moments each day to record at least three positive steps you took to nourish your mind, body and spirit. If this feels daunting, remember this includes even those small but important things you tend to overlook. Did you walk past the candy bowl at the office? Did you take a walk after work? Write it down. You can write in your success journal any time of day, but doing it right before bedtime helps you go to sleep in a positive frame of mind.

Recording your successes builds your self-worth and strengthens your determination. Your improved mindset supports you to keep moving forward as you release weight with pride and confidence.

Weight Loss Can Cause Relationship Tension!

two men exerciseLosing weight has a number of important benefits. Many of those benefits improve your physical and emotional health. But losing weight can also have an impact on your romantic relationships – and not always for the better.

A paper from researchers at North Carolina State University examines the effects of weight loss on relationships. For the study, 21 couples in which one partner had lost at least 30 pounds were surveyed.

According the researchers, the impact of weight loss was often a positive one. In such instances, the partner who lost weight was able to talk about his or her changes – and, in doing so, inspire his or her partner to adopt a healthier lifestyle. These couples were able to bond over lifestyle changes and enjoyed improved physical and emotional intimacy.

But this wasn’t always the case.

For other couples, the impact of weight loss was negative. In some cases, the individual who lost weight nagged his or her partner to lose weight. This nagging led to added relationship tension. Moreover, some individuals reported feeling threatened or insecure because of their partners’ weight loss. These individuals tended to make critical comments, be less interested in intimacy and even tried to sabotage the success of their partners.

For better or worse, losing weight does affect relationship dynamics. But rather than dissuade someone from losing weight, researchers suggest:

[This study] should encourage people to be aware of the potential pros and cons of weight loss on their relationship. It is really important for the partner of someone trying to lose weight to be supportive of their significant other without feeling threatened by their health changes. This approach will help people lose weight without jeopardizing the quality of their relationship.

In other words, communication is hugely important. This is true of all relationships at all times, but especially true when experiencing or undertaking a life change like weight loss.

Have you ever lost weight in a relationship? How did it change your relationship?

Video: The Gymnast Workout!

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 10.35.25 AMThe only thing that I like more than gymnastics is filming videos with “The Lean Machines.” Today’s video combines both! And I hope it’ll rock your world.

Click on over to YouTube to watch the video – or check it out below.

Enjoy!